Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.07.23)

  • [New York Times] Mercury Win 13th Straight, Clinch Playoff Berth (Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:22:06 GMT)
    Diana Taurasi isn’t focused on winning streaks. She’s just trying to get the Phoenix Mercury to keep improving.

  • [New York Times] Moore Has 48 Points in the Lynx’s 112-108 2OT Win (Wed, 23 Jul 2014 03:58:03 GMT)
    Maya Moore put on one of the best scoring displays in the history of the WNBA and it was barely enough to lift Minnesota.

  • [New York Times] Executive Says Clippers Coach to Quit if Sterling Stays (Wed, 23 Jul 2014 03:16:01 GMT)
    The interim chief executive of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.

  • [New York Times] L.A. Clippers Would Lose Players if Sterling Stays: CEO (Wed, 23 Jul 2014 01:00:52 GMT)
    The Los Angeles Clippers could face an exodus of players, sponsors, fans and their coach if embattled owner Donald Sterling is still associated with the team, Richard Parsons, the franchise’s interim chief executive, said on Tuesday at a trial over the NBA team’s $2 billion sale.

  • [New York Times] National Basketball Association Roundup (Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:15:52 GMT)
    Talks between the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves surrounding forward Kevin Love threaten to derail talk of a newly formed ‘Big Three’ in Cleveland.

  • 173 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.07.23)

    1. KnickfaninNJ

      In the interest of spicing up an otherwise boring blog day, I suggest we try predicting the top eight teams in the Eastern conference next year. My predictions are as follows. But take them with a grain of salt. I have been far off every year so far in my expectations for the Knicks and the Eastern conference.

      1. Cleveland (I have faith in Lebron, he wouldn’t have gone back to Cleveland if he didn’t think he could win).
      2. Toronto
      3. Washington
      4. Chicago
      5. Indiana (they’re not that great, but this is a weak conference)
      6. Charlotte (they’ve quietly made good moves this summer and weren’t so bad last year)
      7. Atlanta
      8. New York (we’re likely not to be very good, but it’s emotionally hard for me not predict some sort of playoff spot for us. if NY doesn’t make it, I would put Miami here)

      That leaves Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Orlando, Detroit and Brooklyn out of the playoffs.

      Doing this exercise makes it sink in how difficult it will be for NY to do well next year.

    2. Brian Cronin

      Doing this exercise makes it sink in how difficult it will be for NY to do well next year.

      If Love goes to Cleveland or Chicago, imagine how difficult it will be for the Knicks the next year even.

    3. Brian Cronin

      The proposed Love deal for Chicago is a good return for Minnesota and it would definitely help Chicago, but at the same time I don’t think Love necessarily fits in Chicago quite as well as he does in Cleveland. But yes, definitely a strong offer and a good deal for Chicago. I wonder if the intent is almost more just to make sure that Cleveland has to up their own offer to get Love.

      Perhaps the best part of Chicago’s offer is that we won’t hear more from Cleveland fans about how “we should be able to get Love without giving up Wiggins!”

    4. Z-man

      I think Indiana gets exposed and is on the outside looking in. I’m not sold on Toronto either, they caught a lot of teams by surprise last year. On the other hand, the Knicks, Nets and Heat are all wild-card teams that have no track record as currently constructed/coached. My guess is that they have enough talent to duke it out for the last 2 playoff spots. On the other hand, Detroit might surprise people as well with SVG at the helm.

    5. KnickfaninNJ

      I agree that Indiana is hard to pick. They had two different teams using the same people last year. If the bad one shows up, I don’t see them making the playoffs. On the other hand if their two all stars play to their all start status, they should be in the playoffs somehow.

    6. johnlocke

      @Knickfan.
      Assuming Kevin Love goes to Cleveland..
      1. Cleveland (assuming they get Love in return for Wiggins/#1 pupu platter)
      2. Indiana Pacers (losing Lance hurts, but still best defensive team in the East)
      3. Chicago (assuming Rose is healthy) — more consistency on offense w/ Rose
      4. Washington Wizards — more experience, Wall improvement, Pierce addition
      5. Miami Heat — highly dependent on health of Wade, but Bosh, Wade, Deng not missing playoffs
      6. Toronto Raptors — did well last year, but not sure DeRozan having another career year
      7. New York Knicks — will have excellent offense but bad defensive team
      8. Charlotte — should make playoffs again

      9. Atlanta — Horford back — could get the #8 seed
      10. New Jersey — too much dysfunction, “clumsy roster”

    7. KnickfaninNJ

      Toronto is relatively young and has a decent GM. I estimated they would improve a little. Chicago, on the other hand, could easily have injury problems; and there is a good chance that Rose will never be the force he was in his first year. Unless they get Love, I think they will still have trouble scoring.

    8. KnickfaninNJ

      JohnLocke,

      your prediction looks good too. The only thing I wonder is can Miami really be fifth? Remember how bad Cleveland suddenly looked when Lebron left.

    9. thenoblefacehumper

      I think it’ll be something like this:
      1. Cleveland-if they get Love this is pretty much a lock, still have a good shot if they don’t.
      2. Chicago-I don’t think they’re as improved as some people seem to think, but this shouldn’t require them to be much better than last year.
      3. Toronto-No reason for them to be worse than last year (maybe Lowry regresses though?) and 48 wins should be enough for the 3rd seed.
      4. Charlotte-Losing McBob hurts but if Lance can repeat last year they’ve got a solid team.
      5. Indiana-Not very good anymore, I could see worse than this.
      6. New York-Call me an optimist, our pythag was 39 wins last year and I think the upgrade from Felton to Calderon, (hopefully) less/zero Bargs, more Cole, etc. is worth 6 or so wins.
      7. Atlanta-A healthy Horford helps a lot but I’m not sure it gets them 8 more wins.
      8. Washington-Ariza/Booker>Pierce/Humphries

      As for Brooklyn, they lost Pierce and Livingston without really replacing them, Detroit doesn’t really scare me, and the Heat could nab a 7/8 seed but they’re also a Wade injury away from being awful.

    10. MSA

      The east is such an awful conference that the only teams that I see losing the playoffs are the Bucks and 76ers.

    11. thenamestsam

      I’d put the Heat a bit higher. Chalmers, Cole, Wade, Deng, Bosh, McRoberts, Bird, Haslem is a solid rotation in the East. They still have one of the best coaches in the league, and I think they’ll have a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Wade will take a lot fewer maintenance type games off, and I think Bosh can bring his numbers back up a decent amount as the focal point of the offense – people forget a little bit just how good he was at the end of his Toronto stint. I think they’ll be comfortably in the bottom half of the playoffs.

      My quick take as things stand now is that Cleveland and the Bulls are at the front of the pack, either would become the strong favorite with a Love trade, but as things stand I think they’re the two best teams. Second tier looks like Toronto, Indy and Washington. All sort of felt worse than their records last year if you know what I mean and there are reasons to doubt all of them, but somebody has to win games in this conference. Last group of playoff teams looks like Miami, Charlotte and Atlanta. None super talented, but all well coached enough to scrape something in the 40-45 range. I don’t think its inconceivable that the Knicks could fight their way into that group if some things go right, but as of right now I’d guess that the Knicks will come up just slightly short of the 8th seed again.

    12. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      and I think Bosh can bring his numbers back up a decent amount as the focal point of the offense

      It’s interesting how Bosh is seen a player who gets better when his usage increases, yet almost every player in this league (like Carmelo, remember) is supposed to get better as they’re asked to do less.

      Lots of “yeah, buts” on this site.

    13. thenamestsam

      It’s interesting how Bosh is seen a player who gets better when his usage increases, yet almost every player in this league (like Carmelo, remember) is supposed to get better as they’re asked to do less.

      Hard to believe that anyone would think nuance would be important in a basketball discussion. What a bunch of idiots we all are. I do find it a bit odd that you spend so much time on a board for basketball discussion given how pointless it all is since it’s all already been solved with a simple linear regression, but I guess we all need to fill the time.

      In this case I wasn’t referring as much to usage as to the areas where he’s used. When he was in Toronto he was devastating in the high post, using his quickness to attack the rim and get to the free throw line (consistently averaged about 7 ftas per game). Over time in Miami he warped almost entirely into a floor stretching jump shooter. Part of that was probably age related decline, but part of it was also a system based adjustment designed to maximize spacing for Lebron and Wade to attack the hoop. I don’t think he’s going to go right back to the player he was in Toronto, but I’d be very surprised if his free throw rate doesn’t shoot back up next year as he transitions partially back to that old role. Consequently, I do think you’ll see him score more without much of a dropoff in efficiency.

    14. chrisk06811

      Brooklyn is weird. yeah, they lost pierce and livingston, and you didn’t mention Blatche, but getting Lopez back is huge. Plumlee and Teletovic are fun to watch; they need another big body. and, of course, they need deron williams to remember how to play

    15. Nick C.

      Bosh is an anomaly. His TS with Miami was: .569, .551, .592, .597 usage 24.2 to 22.6. Last 5 years in Toronto with usage from 25.2 to 28.7 was: .585, .577, .588, .569, .592. Not much of a difference to my eye.

    16. Z-man

      “I’d put the Heat a bit higher. Chalmers, Cole, Wade, Deng, Bosh, McRoberts, Bird, Haslem is a solid rotation in the East. They still have one of the best coaches in the league, and I think they’ll have a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Wade will take a lot fewer maintenance type games off, and I think Bosh can bring his numbers back up a decent amount as the focal point of the offense – people forget a little bit just how good he was at the end of his Toronto stint. I think they’ll be comfortably in the bottom half of the playoffs.”

      This is an older (Birdman, Haslem) injury-prone (Wade, Granger) and smallish team that has lost significant leadership (LeBron, Battier, probably Allen.) Spoelstra has never coached a team without LeBron James, so I wouldn’t dub him a great coach yet (At least Phil got the Jordan-less Bulls into the playoffs.) They have no rim protection other than Birdman, and he is at most a 25 mpg player. Their PG rotation is terrible (unless Napier is a revelation) no reliable shooting guard behind Wade, and no reliable SF behind Deng. McRoberts is a nice addition, but not really a difference-maker. I see some long losing streaks in the making with this bunch.

      Love him or hate him, Lance was a critical player for the Pacers on both ends. He was a high-energy triple-double threat and played good perimeter D. Essentially, their season hinges on Hibbert, C.J. Miles and Stuckey.

      I think they will get run off the floor by more athletic teams (e.g. Rockets, Wizards) beaten up by bigger teams (e.g Grizzlies, Bulls.) Miami will suck a s a home town arena.

    17. Kevin Udwary

      I think they will get run off the floor by more athletic teams (e.g. Rockets, Wizards) beaten up by bigger teams (e.g Grizzlies, Bulls.) Miami will suck a s a home town arena.

      Sounds like a 5 or 6 seed in the East to me. I think Charlotte is better than most of you are giving credit for, too. This is gonna be an ugly season in the East, though…

    18. Z-man

      On another note, Houston signed Nick Johnson to a 3-year deal. I know it’s summer league, but he looked great. Could this be another 2nd round combo guard find for Morey?

    19. thenamestsam

      This is an older (Birdman, Haslem) injury-prone (Wade, Granger) and smallish team that has lost significant leadership (LeBron, Battier, probably Allen.) Spoelstra has never coached a team without LeBron James, so I wouldn’t dub him a great coach yet (At least Phil got the Jordan-less Bulls into the playoffs.) They have no rim protection other than Birdman, and he is at most a 25 mpg player. Their PG rotation is terrible (unless Napier is a revelation) no reliable shooting guard behind Wade, and no reliable SF behind Deng. McRoberts is a nice addition, but not really a difference-maker. I see some long losing streaks in the making with this bunch.

      They definitely have weaknesses, nobody would deny that, but I think that their rotation stacks up just fine with teams like Atlanta and Charlotte. I think Chalmers is being underrated after the collapse he had in the playoffs, he’s a steady performer overall, and Cole has turned into a fine backup. They’re definitely short on the wing, but all of these teams have holes (Charlotte PF for example). If they didn’t they wouldnt be in the bottom half of the playoff picture in an awful conference. McRoberts is no difference maker and yet he was a starter on one of the teams they’ll be fighting with. Spoelstra actually has coached a team without Lebron (led two awful Heat teams in teardown mode to the playoffs), and besides you can only judge a guy on what he has done, and he has done a ton the last few years. Would you say we can’t call Pop a great coach because he never coached without Duncan (except his first year when they were awful)?

      Anyway I don’t want to get into too much of a drag out debate here, but I think too many people are focusing on just their weaknesses and ignoring their strengths(similar to Indy). The weaknesses are real, but we’re talking about very mediocre teams here – weaknesses are a given.

    20. iserp

      It’s interesting how Bosh is seen a player who gets better when his usage increases, yet almost every player in this league (like Carmelo, remember) is supposed to get better as they’re asked to do less.

      Lots of “yeah, buts” on this site.

      I don’t see any inconsistency. When we are discussing TS% or some other efficiency stats, players are supposed to do better when asked to do less. When we are discusing points, rebounds,… you are supposed to get more when you are asked to do more.

      Basically Bosh will pick up lots responsabilities now that LeBron will not play with him (instead of other players like Chris Andersen, or Ray Allen,… etc.)

      Where is the inconsistency, oh incredible lord of the prescient knowledge?

    21. johnlocke

      @ THCJ / TPCJ, etc

      Do you prognosticate that the Knicks will make or miss the playoffs this upcoming season, given current roster is the roster to start / end the season?

    22. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      I had assumed that “bring his numbers back up” had more to do with his overall productivity, not the wretched PPG and RPG. He probably will rebound more now that LeBron’s gone (only so many rebounds available to a player on defense, after all) and he will certainly score more points, but let’s not pretend he’s going to become a better basketball player with LeBron gone. He’s just going to score more because he’s going to shoot a lot more.

      As for the playoffs, who knows? Chandler’s going to leave a hole in the middle, and if Bargnani comes back as a PF/C for even 20 MPG, the Knicks are totally ruined.

      If Cole turns out to be the mint copy of Rubber Soul in the used wax bin that I, DRed and others believe him to (probably) be, and Fisher gives him a spin for 35 minutes a night, the Knicks can probably offset the loss of Chandler.

      I just don’t expect Carmelo to become a legit all-NBA player and I don’t expect Calderon to be 27 years old and I don’t expect J.R. Smith to lay off the Cleveland gentleman’s club and I don’t expect Shumpert to learn how to finish a layup.

      There are lots of things to be positive about, but Chandler at 80% is better than most of the league. We’ll see.

    23. Kevin Udwary

      When we are discussing TS% or some other efficiency stats, players are supposed to do better when asked to do less.

      When using a significant data sample, scoring efficiency shows no correlation to usage.

      He probably will rebound more now that LeBron’s gone

      Last year Bosh was actually right around his career average for defensive reb%. It’s on the offensive glass that he was well below average, probably due to taking so many more 3′s and hanging around the perimeter. It will be interesting to see how they use him in the offense without Lebron.

    24. Nick C.

      It’s nice how no one ever actually looks at information when it is easier to just repeat talking points.

    25. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Nick, the interaction effect thing is big around here. No one wants to give it up.

    26. GoNyGoNYGo

      This is just for kicks-and-giggles:

      CLE – LeBron was a nice little tweek to the lineup
      NY – Tops in the Atlantic – Yes, I’m delusional
      MIA – Granger and Luol Deng can’t replace LeBron but they’re nice.
      CHI – If Rose is healthy, they could edge out CLE for top spot
      IND – Division got very tough – There’ll be lots of losses to CLE and CHI.
      TOR – Better than Brooklyn.
      WAS – Pierce is a nice veteran addition to a young team.
      CHA – They would be 14th in the west but in the east, they’ll sneak in.

    27. GoNyGoNYGo

      @24

      if Bargnani comes back as a PF/C for even 20 MPG, the Knicks are totally ruined.

      Now I’m rooting for Bargs big time – just to prove you wrong (which you probably aren’t).

    28. er

      I think Barg for 15-20 backup mins may not kill the KNicks if he comes to the season with the understanding that he is a better shooter on the blocks than from 3

    29. ephus

      I do not have any predictions on the Knicks yet. I think it is more likely that only one playoff team comes from the Atlantic than three.

      There are five teams in the East that I would be surprised to see in the playoffs: Philly, Boston, Orlando, Detroit and Milwaukee. I think Cleveland is a playoff lock unless LBJ goes out for the season. Same for Chicago and Derrick Rose. That leaves eight teams for six spots.

    30. Z-man

      Guys, the fanboy in me defended the logic behind the Bargs trade, but now that I’ve seen him play in a perfect situation for him, I don’t see any way he will magically become even a moderately productive player on a consistent basis. For every 1 thing he occasionally does well, there are 2 things he consistently does wrong. He has a basketball IQ of zero.

      If Jackson/Fisher can get him to be anything other than a net minus, They should get executive/coach of the year. But in the likely event that that doesn’t happen, I can only hope that any experimenting doesn’t go on too long at the expense of wins (i.e. at the expense of Cole’s minutes).

    31. er

      –I don’t see any way he will magically become even a moderately productive player on a consistent basis. For every 1 thing he occasionally does well, there are 2 things he consistently does wrong. He has a basketball IQ of zero.

      This is so true. Lol you are right. Emergency player!

    32. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      For every 1 thing he occasionally does well, there are 2 things he consistently does wrong. He has a basketball IQ of zero.

      If Jackson/Fisher can get him to be anything other than a net minus, They should get executive/coach of the year. But in the likely event that that doesn’t happen, I can only hope that any experimenting doesn’t go on too long at the expense of wins (i.e. at the expense of Cole’s minutes).

      It’s true, guys: I hacked Z-man’s account. It’s all me.

      Seriously, I think Aldrich could be our center for 48 MPG. But his fouls might be an issue, so let’s go with 45 MPG and we’ll play a large Bermese Green peacock at center for the remaining 3. Despite the average peacock’s poor lateral quickness, it will still be no worse at help defense than Andrea Bargnani.

    33. JK47

      Bargs is a living, breathing loss generator. At this point, hoping that he is going to help in any way seems rather foolish. He needs to be a garbage time player who plays less than 500 minutes. If he’s out there for 1500 minutes and Cole Aldrich is at the end of the bench again, this team is going to be bad, and incredibly annoying to watch.

    34. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      I think Bargnani would be an awesome NCAA player right now. I would like to see that. Definitely a winner, there.

    35. thenamestsam

      So it’s crazy to think Bosh will be better next year, but totally normal to think that Cole Aldrich with his 4 career games of 25 or more minutes (1 more than 30) will not only do okay, but actually excel if we ask him to play 35 minutes a game. Huh.

    36. Z-man

      “It’s true, guys: I hacked Z-man’s account. It’s all me.*”

      *except for the part about being wrong :)

      I can’t wait to see the “surprise, and a pleasant one” Jax hinted at re: AB

    37. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Surprised that, yet again, a Knicks player making eight figures a year is nailed to the bench? Eh, I remember Curry.

    38. Z-man

      So Shannon Brown was waived. Glad he wasn’t kept around just because of his Triangle experience.

    39. ephus

      Would not be surprised to see Shannon Brown brought back to camp on a non-guaranteed deal. He had to be waived to avoid year 2 of his deal becoming guaranteed. If he cannot get a guaranteed vets minimum elsewhere, he would make sense for the Knicks during training camp because of his Triangle experience.

    40. richmond

      Coach Spo led Heat in the playoffs in his first year but lost in 1st round to Atlanta then following year another 1st round exit to Boston. Four consecutive finals appearances after that.. he’s a proven coach.. Granger/Deng replacement of Lebron may not be as good but sufficient to make top 8

    41. Z-man

      I have to agree, he’s a proven coach. Those teams did have Dwayne Wade in Jordanesque form playing at a ridiculous usage. He was 2-4 in the finals with the big 3 and should have been 1-3. But he’s certainly a top-10 coach.

      I just think that based on their “clumsy” roster, the Heat’s range of outcomes is pretty wide. They should make the playoffs, but if Wade is cooked, they will struggle. It’s a guard’s league right now and their guards are a huge question mark.

    42. max fisher-cohen

      Assuming Rose has a Jrue Holiday level season…

      Assuming Love AND Dieng go to Cleveland…

      Assuming the Knicks trade Smith and Shumpert for future cap space/value…

      1. Cleveland (54-28) — Still young, will be inconsistent early on.
      2. Chicago (53-29) — Bulls added outside shooting at two positions. Butler should be better.
      3. Toronto (51-21) — Young, were good last year, lost no one of value.
      4. Washington (49-33) — Don’t love their offseason, but Beal is set to make a big leap. Plus there’s Porter and Rice Jr., who had strong summer leagues.
      5. Atlanta (49-33) — Horford, plus I suspect they’ll snag some value with their cap space.
      6. Charlotte (46-36)
      7. Indiana (45-37)
      8. Miami (43-39)
      9. Orlando (37-45) — Just putting them here because I like them most out of any of the potential EC surprises. Realistically, probably more like 30 wins.
      10. Brooklyn (36-45) — I’d argue they lost three of their top 5 most product players last season. They add Lopez & Bogdanovic, but the guard play will be terrible again.
      11. Detroit (36-46) — All DET has to do to get here is trade Smith or Monroe for a guard.
      12. New York (33-49) — wishful thinking on my part. I’d put them somewhere between 33 and 40 wins. I’ll take 33 in that case.
      13. Milwaukee (22-60)
      14. Boston (18-64) — Assuming Rondo is traded to one of these teams with cap space.
      15. Philadelphia (17-65) — I like the addition of Noel, but the Sixers refuse to sign NBA level talent.

    43. KnickfaninNJ

      Max,

      You must really believe in the number determine everything to put NY at 33 wins. That’s four wins less than last year. To make that prediction I think you are assuming better coaching, better team rapport and a better playing system than Woodson’s will make little or no difference compared to last year. Maybe it’s my wishful thinking, but I’m hoping all those things will help next year. That doesn’t mean the Knicks will be good, but I hope significantly better than 33 wins.

      On the subject of Shannon Brown, I am not surprised he was cut. He woudn’t have been in summer league if he hadn’t known he had to prove he still had it in order to make the team. And, from all accounts, he wasn’t a stand out in Summer league. Aldrich was, and he got signed after one game and pulled from the rest; so the Knicks logic seems clear. I would be surprised if he gets invited to Training camp. It’s more likely he signs in Europe or somewhere before that.

    44. Z-man

      Assuming the Knicks trade Smith and Shumpert for future cap space/value…”

      Not gonna happen, at least, not before it’s clear they are not in the playoff hunt near the trade deadline. They definitely won’t trade Shump until they get a look at him in the triangle; if they wanted to do that, they would have done it already. Smith, maybe, if the right deal comes along. His contract really isn’t that bad, and when the cap increases to $80 million, he will be off the books.

    45. max fisher-cohen

      @Z-Man — There are lots of articles about how Jackson is open to trading the two of them. Example: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24630509/report-knicks-considering-backcourt-trades-including-shumpert-smith

      @KnickfaninNJ — With Shumpert and Smith, I think the Knicks are 35-41 win team. IMO a disinterested Chandler is more important than Calderon for the Knicks, and Aldrich is a total unknown in terms of how he’d produce with extra minutes and whether he’ll get minutes. Without Aldrich being a factor, the Knicks’ frontcourt will be a joke. then there’s the likelihood of an improved E.C. Put those two together, and they offset any gains the Knicks make from better coaching. Take away two of the Knicks’ best 3 wings (counting Melo as a PF), and the Knicks are down to the low 30s.

    46. KnickfaninNJ

      I agree that Chandler is more valuable than Calderon, but I am hoping Dalembert isn’t so bad. Previous posters have posted similar numbers for the two. But you still could be right.

      It’s true the Knicks are open to trades, but, honestly I don’t see the Knicks trading useful guards just for cap space. Jackson has said he wants more big men. I would think they are looking for players back if they trade their guards.

    47. Z-man

      Max, the article starts by saying that the Knicks are open to trading ONE of their guards.. My take on it is that Shump and JR would be available for the right price, and that Timmy is not. At the end, he discusses possible scenarios, including keeping Shump and than sign-and-trading him when he becomes a RFA. Where do you get that they would trade both?

    48. massive

      The Knicks won’t win 33 games next year. I don’t care what your stats say; there is no way the Knicks will be bad enough to have a top 10 pick in the draft because that would be a good thing. That would mean we go into the off-season with one star already locked up, a competent point guard, young talent (Tim Hardaway Jr and a top 10 pick), and a lot of cap space. That’s actually too good to be true. The Knicks will win 44 games and be in the playoffs. Bank on that.

    49. max fisher-cohen

      @Z-Man I don’t think it’s a done deal or even likely. Just possible, and something I hope the Knicks do.

    50. Z-man

      Not sure if the team will cooperate, but now that Melo is in the fold for the next 5, it serves no purpose to miss the playoffs. The whole point of having cap space is to compete for signing the best players. It is far less likely that, all else being equal, good players will sign up with losing teams. They would rather go to a team that is on the rise. I think Phil and Derek goes all out to prove that their system is a winning one to play in, and that Melo can be a winning player in that system with the players we have, and that with a couple of better pieces, they could win big. Right now, they wouldn’t get equal value for either Shump or JR, so trading either/both of them for cap space or picks is a form of tanking. that’s why I don’t think it will happen.

    51. max fisher-cohen

      @z-man, I would strongly disagree there. Players are capable of looking at the bigger picture. The team they would be joining would be nothing like the team of the previous season. Calderon, Anthony and Hardaway Jr. are the only significant pieces who are likely to be back. They won’t be joining the same team of the previous year.

      If the Knicks end up with two D-leaguers in their rotation next season, and/or Anthony only plays half the season like Paul Pierce did in 06/07, and the Knicks end up with a high lottery pick, free agents will have the perspective to see that while the team struggled, the team’s future is brighter than it would have been with a ~43 wins and the 8th seed and a first round sweep.

      Take the 2007 Celtics as an example. That team won 24 games and ended up adding Ray Allen and KG. Yes, it was via trade, but it required those guys being open to coming. The pick Boston got for winning 24 games got them Ray Allen, which motivated KG to open up to joining Boston.

      Add in the fact that the free agent market next summer is highly unlikely to have top tier players — guys who have multiple teams offering them the max. Love won’t leave Cleveland if he’s traded there. Gasol is on a good team – unlikely to leave. That leaves Rondo, whose fit in the triangle is highly questionable, and after him, I doubt anyone else even gets a max offer, meaning the Knicks’ summer would be more about finding underrated/undervalued players than about making player’s lust after playing for them.

    52. JK47

      The Knicks shouldn’t miss Tyson Chandler all that much, because they have a reasonable facsimile of Chandler in Sam Dalembert. Chandler was worth about 1 win more than Dalembert last year in WP, and in Win Shares they were a dead heat– 4.9 wins each. They played a similar number of minutes too. If Aldrich actually gets to play, the Dalembert/Aldrich platoon could actually be pretty good.

      I would consider a 45-win season from NYK would be a success, and it’s not all that far-fetched to imagine. The Knicks had 39 pythag wins last year, and they’re gaining probably 4-5 wins by swapping Calderon for Felton.

    53. Donnie Walsh

      They played a similar number of minutes too.

      Sure, if 32 and 20 are similar… (And Dalembert played only 16 mins per game the year before– otherwise known as half of Chandler’s starter’s minutes)

    54. thenoblefacehumper

      Sure, if 32 and 20 are similar… (And Dalembert played only 16 mins per game the year before– otherwise known as half of Chandler’s starter’s minutes)

      Their total amount of minutes played last season was very similar due to Chandler’s injury. Dalembert on his own probably can’t make up Chandler’s production, but a Dalembert/Cole platoon could be surprisingly (at least to the people who don’t frequent this board) effective.

    55. richmond

      A good rookie coach (Fisher) is better than a bad veteran coach (Woodson), Knicks should break .500

    56. Frank

      I’m normally a pretty optimistic guy but the eastern conference really has gotten deeper this year. I wouldn’t give us more than a 50/50 shot of making the playoffs next year, even though I think the change from Woodson to Fisher (or anyone else) is a hugely positive change.

      Assuming Cleveland is going to be a new playoff team, it would mean two playoff teams from last year would have to take a step back for the Knicks to get in. The weakest playoff teams from last year (Atlanta and Charlotte) look to be significantly better, with Atlanta getting Horford back and Charlotte getting Lance — although I think the loss of McRoberts will hurt them some. The teams that look to be worse than last year (Miami and Indiana) might still be better than the Knicks.

      Miami’s going to be very interesting. Their offense fell off a cliff when Lebron was on the bench (1.14 PPP down to 1.05) and they had a net negative rating (-3) with Lebron on the bench. I think they’ll be scuffling for a playoff spot.

      The top 2 seeds from last year might be fighting for an 8 seed. Crazy offseason.

    57. lavor postell

      If you can get a solid 20-25 minutes a night a piece from Dalembert and Aldrich you’re not going to see a huge dropoff defensively. Hell we were 24th in DRtg last year. How much worse is it even possible to get on that end? Our last 2 years our DRtg has been marginally better with Chandler off the floor.

      13-14: On floor – 110.5 Off floor – 110.3
      12-13: On floor – 107.4 Off floor – 107.2

      Obviously you figure that Chandler faced opposition starting lineups more often, but those numbers don’t scream elite defender. Where he was a positive was offensively, a loss which shouldn’t be huge given our schematic change on that end. Chandler was never going to be a great fit in the Triangle since it eliminated his one elite offensive skill in the high PNR as the roll man.

      I don’t think Chandler can sustain the energy required to help initiate movement in the offense as the primary PNR player and anchor a defense at close to an elite level on a 28+MPG load. I think we can get reasonably similar levels of production from Dalembert and Chandler next season at a fraction of the cost. I’m sure Carlisle will manage Chandler better than Woodson did and his effort will go up which should lead to him having a better season, but the 10-11 and 11-12 version of Chandler who was a top-5 defender and could be a high energy player on both ends for close too or over 30 minutes a night aren’t coming back.

    58. Frank

      @68 – totally agree re: Tyson’s lack of impact on the defensive end. Your on/off numbers (especially from this year) are even more damning if you consider the 2 bigs that played the MOST when Chandler was off the floor were Amare and Bargnani. Some of that was the ridiculous defensive scheme, but we had the same scheme in 2010-11 and 2011-12, so it can’t all be due to that. I think he’s a 25-27 min/night guy at this point in the career, which coincidentally is about as much as he played when he was with Dallas.

      I think Dalembert will give us 85% of Tyson productivity at 20% the price. But yes, we will need to find some more minutes from guys like Cole and Tyler.

    59. Z-man

      On paper, based on past performances, we’re not in the top 8. In addition to other teams underperforming (Miami, Indiana, Toronto, Charlotte and Washington are all one injury away from the lottery) some good things need to happen:
      Our key players need to stay healthy
      Melo needs to crack the .200 WS48 barrier via the Zenmaster’s influence and system
      Cole needs to play more and play well
      TH2 and Shump need to make, as Clyde would say, the quantum leap
      Stoudemire and JR need to pick up where they left off
      Derek and the triangle need to make a significant difference in overall efficiency
      We need surprise performances from someone in the rotation (Early, Jason, Larkin, Tyler)

      I think Calderon, Dalembert, and Prigioni pretty much are who they are at this point.

    60. SJK

      As long as we’re giving half our cap $$ to Amar’e and Bargs we might as well be as bad as possible next year. No reason to make the playoffs if we’re an 8 seed.

    61. lavor postell

      @Z-Man

      Larkin seems to me the most likely to surprise and be a contributor. I like what I saw from him in Summer League and I think him and Prigs should be able to back up Calderon at least at a league average level for 18-20 minutes per night. PG and C (assuming good minutes distribution) are not a huge concern for me. I view getting the minutes right at the 2 between our 3 SG’s, the 3 backing up Melo (probably JR with a dash of Early here and there) and production and again minutes distribution at the 4 as our biggest question marks.

    62. swiftandabundant

      There’s too many variables going into this year with The Knicks to really predict one way or the other how good we’ll be. But to predict low 30 wins is definitely pessimistic and not realistic. Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong last year did. Except for Melo. Melo I think its fair to assume will do his thing, barring a major injury. But…

      We’ll we get 6th man of the yr JR and the JR who closed out last season? Or will we get first half of last year JR and playoffs JR? I tend to think we’ll get good JR this year based on his recent interview and how he played last year.

      Will Shump bounce back? I think the odds of him having a better season than last are pretty high. I think Calderon is gonna help shump out a lot.

      Will Hardaway Jr. improve on his rookie campaign? All signs right now lead to a yes.

      will calderon be a big improvement at the PG spot? Most likely yes.

      STAT. Can we get a full season of 20 to 25 a night (back to back offs) producing on the offensive end at a high and efficient rate? I think we will. Call me a homer!

      Cole/Dalembert…can they effectively reproduce Chandler’s production? Odds are decent.

      We have enough areas where we could improve from last year (good JR, shump, Hardaway, Cole, Calderon, STAT) and we have good leadership with Fisher and Phil that there are reasons to be optimistic. If all breaks right we could be a top 3 seed. Basketball is a game where slight improvements across the board can greatly improve a team bc they all have affect each other. Better offense leads to less turnovers/lost possessions which leads to better defense which leads to more trust in close game situations, etc. If shump is getting set up with good open shots and he hits them its gonna give him more confidence and energy on the defensive end, etc.

    63. lavor postell

      Aminu last season – 51.6 TS%, 48.7 eFG%, 27.13P%, 14.1 TRB%, 8.4 AST%, 13.7 TOV%, 14.3 USG%, 105 ORtg, 108 DRtg, .072 WS/48

      And he’s a small forward where we just drafted a rookie and are likely to give minutes to JR and Shump. I’m not sure why this is a signing that irritates you that much.

    64. thenoblefacehumper

      And he’s a small forward where we just drafted a rookie and are likely to give minutes to JR and Shump. I’m not sure why this is a signing that irritates you that much.

      At the minimum Aminu would’ve been a great get for us. Early is unlikely to be NBA-ready this year, so why not have a great rebounder and defender backing up the 3/4 spots? I still have faith in Phil but I definitely would rather have Aminu and Ed Davis for the total price we paid for Jason Smith.

    65. d-mar

      Favorite headline of the day: “NY expects a more focused JR”

      Yes, and I also expect Kim Kardashian to shun publicity and Johnny Manziel to stop partying.

    66. Frank

      At the minimum Aminu would’ve been a great get for us. Early is unlikely to be NBA-ready this year, so why not have a great rebounder and defender backing up the 3/4 spots? I still have faith in Phil but I definitely would rather have Aminu and Ed Davis for the total price we paid for Jason Smith.

      I think it’s possible that Early is going to be better than Aminu even in this year.

      One thing that is clear is that Phil is remaking the roster, getting rid of guys who can’t shoot. That includes Tyson, who shot great at the rim but nowhere else. Felton, gone, replaced by maybe the best shooting PG in the league. Even Dalembert (who hardly shoots anything outside the paint) is an ok mid-range shooter if you look at his shot charts. Aminu, on the other hand, is an awful shooter, playing mostly a wing position in which his presence on the court will allow other teams to ignore him.

      Jason Smith on the other hand, while not a great player by any means, is an amazing mid-long range jump shooter. Like amazing. Like Dirk Nowitzki-lite good from that range (no 3 point range though). He’s especially lethal around the elbows and was actually the best elbow jump shooter in the league at one point (a fact that was buried in a Kirk Goldsberry article about Rondo) – http://grantland.com/the-triangle/courtvision-everything-you-think-you-know-about-rondos-shooting-is-wrong/

      Also buried in that same section is that 2 of the 3 best elbow shooters in the league are now on our team (Calderon and Smith).

      In fact – Goldsberry also noted a couple years ago that Jason Smith was better from the top of the key area than Dirk and Durant. https://twitter.com/kirkgoldsberry/status/187280128064225281

      I’m not very smart about the Triangle but my recollection is that many of the sets are designed to open up a good elbow jumper as an option. Sounds like Phil is “filling” his roster with guys that fit the sets appropriately.

    67. er

      yep….Aminu is hot garbage. Great analysis on Smith Frank. I feel a bit better about him. I hate to bring this up but isnt Barfnani good at the elbows as well?

    68. JK47

      Aminu is a low-usage guy who is a good rebounder for a small forward, so he scores well in WP48 despite his weak shooting. He’s also a pretty nice defensive player, especially against the pick and roll.

      Good signing for the league minimum as a defensive specialist.

    69. thenoblefacehumper

      Jason Smith on the other hand, while not a great player by any means, is an amazing mid-long range jump shooter.

      The problem I have with this is it is the worst shot in basketball, we shouldn’t build a team based on who can hit it. I’m worried we’re foregoing productive players in favor of inferior ones who may technically fit the triangle better, but are just flat out worse players.

      yep….Aminu is hot garbage.

      What is Jason Smith better at?

    70. danvt

      ClE
      IND
      WAS
      CHA
      TOR
      CHI
      ATL
      NYK

      NYK goal for the season should be to surprise and bounce back. I’d love to be really looking forward to 15/16. That happens if the team plays together, demonstrates a good culture, keeps away from controversy, STAYS AWAY FROM INJURY, and lets younger players play. Maybe 41-41 and a trip to the playoffs. Maybe a tough 6 or 7 game series in round one against LBJ. Then Aldridge comes over as a FA and we’re really a contender next year. This is a year to build on, not to tank. We want to find some long term answers this season and not just back the truck up and start from the beginning when it ends.

      I remember when Riley took over and all of a sudden Starks and Mason were contributing regularly. Last year was the total opposite with Woodson running Bargs, Stat, Felton and JR out there. It was almost as if he saw, along with everyone else, that it was not working but kept talking himself out of doing something about it. The “trust your vets” mantra really backfired on him. Maybe a coach without de facto lame duck status will have more balls.

    71. er

      What is Jason Smith better at?
      –Nah your right, they are both hot garbage. But if Smith has something that hes elite at, then thats a plus no?

    72. thenoblefacehumper

      Nah your right, they are both hot garbage. But if Smith has something that hes elite at, then thats a plus no?

      Well Smith is an elite long-two shooter, and Aminu is an elite rebounder. I’d definitely rather have the latter. If we’re really valuing guys based on how well they shoot long-twos, I’m worried Bargnani is going to get to play. Which would suck.

    73. Z-man

      “Are there players who are bad at long twos but great at threes?”

      Not sure if you are serious, CJ, but here’s a serious answer

      Assuming that FG% is inversely correlated with distance from the hoop, if a hypothetical player shoots 41% on long 2′s and 37% on 3′s, the answer would be yes, right?

    74. bobneptune

      Dallas getting Aminu for nothing is another really irritating deal.

      What is with all the butthurt over this guy? He has an enormous case of suck fever @ basketball. He’s played > 300 games and 7,000 minutes and isn’t getting appreciably better anytime soon. He’s a significantly below average NBA player with a kewl name. That is the only outstanding thing about him.

    75. DRed

      But Aminu was the 7th best small forward in the NBA by real plus minus, you guys. And he was signed by the Mavs, who we all know are a smart, well run club.

      And elite elbow jump shooting. My god. It’s good to see that although ruru is gone, his spirit lives on. Remember when we traded for Andrea Bargnani? The guy who was better than even Dirk at the pick and pop? Elbow jump shots generally suck. You rarely get fouled taking them, it’s easier to defend against them (hey-isn’t floor spacing supposed to be important), and it’s hard to hit a high enough percentage of them to be worth it. If all Jason Smith is going to stay healthy and take wide open elbow jump shots-well, I guess that wouldn’t be terrible. And for 3 million bucks, a decent player is a fine return on investment. But when dealing with scrap heap guys, I’d much rather take someone with more upside who has stayed healthy. If Aminu can ever develop a shot you’ve got a really damn good player. If not, you’ve got a guy who gives us someone off the bench who can actually play defense and grab boards. And, importantly, he can be relied on to be healthy. He’s got 4 more seasons of playing 1400+ minutes in his 4 year career than Smith has over 6. Our frontcourt isn’t exactly filled with guys who play big minutes except for Melo, and I can’t imagine we all want that again.

    76. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      UPSIDE, BABY.

      I like it. That’s the 2014-15 Official Knicks’ Hopes and Dreams Catch-phrase Sponsored by The Omniscient Cock Jowles. It may continue throughout Carmelo’s contract.

      Upside, baby.

    77. yellowboy90

      With Aminu to me it was that he is dirt cheap and young. He is basically a bigger version of thannasis that you know can do some things well on the nba level. The good thing is he will be available probably next year.

    78. KnickfaninNJ

      I can see the point of having everyone on the floor being able to nail at least one type of shot when undefended. It’s much harder to defend if you have good ball and player movement when they all are a potential threat. The thing I wonder about “the worst shot in the NBA” is such a shot when undefended better than a better shot that’s defended? I have no idea how to check that statistically. but it would be interesting to know.

    79. MeloDrama

      I think the loss of Chandler is pretty big and negates a lot of improvement we’d make from “running hotter” or better coaching. It wasn’t one of his better seasons, for sure, but he was still a good, positive player in one of the toughest roles to replicate (a mobile rim defender). Dalembert is a poor man’s Tyson and not a bad stopgap, but the loss will still be felt here.

    80. Owen

      Got to agree with that Melodrama. Knicks fans who took Chandler for granted (and I suppose he returned the favor a little bit last year) are going to be missing him in a big way next year.

      I don’t know about you guys but I can’t (I won’t!) forget the horror of watching Eddy Curry and then David Lee (gasp!) play center for the Knicks.

      As much as people take centers for granted these days, it’s really difficult to win without at least a good one.

    81. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Splitter/Duncan
      Birdman
      Bosh/Haslem/Joel Anthony (?!?)
      Chandler
      Bynum/Gasol
      Bynum/Gasol
      Garnett/Perkins (Perkins didn’t totally suck that postseason)
      Duncan
      Shaq (not his best year)
      Duncan
      Ben Wallace
      Duncan
      Shaq
      Shaq
      Shaq
      Hakeem

      Then the Jordan Bulls.

      It’s been a long time since a team has won without an All-NBA 7′-er (or Ben Wallace, who basically counts).

    82. Z-man

      Birdman? Chandler? Haslem? Joel Anthony? Perkins? All NBA????

      Think hard. What did all of these guys have in common?

    83. er

      Got to agree with that Melodrama. Knicks fans who took Chandler for granted (and I suppose he returned the favor a little bit last year) are going to be missing him in a big way next year.

      We will see about this.

    84. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      I’m not willing to put Chandler and Birdman in the same category with Joel Anthony (who was basically a sixth man during the Dallas series, and was a big dud in the Heat’s loss).

      Those are two guys who, despite being low volume scorers, are exceptionally efficient with the basketball. Birdman took 57 shots and made 46 in the 2013 playoffs. He led the league in WS48. It doesn’t hurt to have LeBron and Wade throwing you lobs, but it also doesn’t hurt to be tall, long and able to get above your defender. And whatever you want to say about Bird and Chandler, that’s exactly what they’re good at, and why they are so valuable to their teams.

    85. d-mar

      “It wasn’t one of his better seasons, for sure, but he was still a good, positive player in one of the toughest roles to replicate (a mobile rim defender).”

      I may be wrong, but I think rim defender suggests a player who actually defends the rim. I can’t remember many times last year where Chandler rotated over and blocked a shot or took a charge. I thought he was a non-factor on defense for most of the season.

    86. Kahnzy

      Isn’t Cole Aldrich supposed to be the second coming of Bill Russel? We’ll be fine without Tyson whatshisname.

    87. DRed

      I can’t remember many times last year where Chandler rotated over and blocked a shot or took a charge. I thought he was a non-factor on defense for most of the season.I can’t remember many times last year where Chandler rotated over and blocked a shot or took a charge. I thought he was a non-factor on defense for most of the season.

      The only things I remember from last season were a few of the Bargnani plays, Tyson dunking the ball off his own fucking head, and the time Beno passed JR the ball. How would you suggest we figure out what effect Tyson had on our D?

    88. Z-man

      And I’m not willing to put Chandler or Birdman in the same category as Duncan, Shaq, Hakeem, Gasol or Garnett.

      Not even the freakish Wallace, although at least I could see the logic there.

    89. Z-man

      In the 2013 playoffs, Birdman averaged 15 mpg and 2.9FGA/g. He definitely was a difference maker and a steal at the vet’s minimum, but please, stop putting him on lists with Hakeem and Shaq.

    90. Owen

      We will see about this.

      We will. Happy to go on record with that prediction.

      I think there is an argument that if you have one of the top 5 basketball players of all time on the perimeter you don’t necessarily need a dominant big man.

      But Birdman is not chopped liver in the low usage center department….

    91. thenoblefacehumper

      We will. Happy to go on record with that prediction.

      If a Dalembert/Cole platoon is employed properly (i.e. 20 minutes or so each, not a trace of Bargnani) I could see Chandler not being missed so much. Or at the very least, I could see the upgrade from Felton to Calderon being well worth losing him.

    92. DRed

      The single easiest thing Fisher can do to improve the Knicks is to never, ever play Bargnani. If Bargs is getting real minutes and it’s not because of a bunch of injuries or because we’re not trying to win, than we know we still haven’t solved the coaching problem.

    93. Z-man

      “I think there is an argument that if you have one of the top 5 basketball players of all time on the perimeter you don’t necessarily need a dominant big man.
      But Birdman is not chopped liver in the low usage center department….”

      Agree on both counts. It’s funny, because he looks like such a rebel, but he plays consummate team ball. He’s a poster boy for maximizing one’s strengths and minimizing one’s limitations.

    94. lavor postell

      In the 2013 playoffs, Birdman averaged 15 mpg and 2.9FGA/g. He definitely was a difference maker and a steal at the vet’s minimum, but please, stop putting him on lists with Hakeem and Shaq.

      Thank you.

      The only things I remember from last season were a few of the Bargnani plays, Tyson dunking the ball off his own fucking head, and the time Beno passed JR the ball. How would you suggest we figure out what effect Tyson had on our D?

      In the same exact system led by the same exact coach, with many of the same players Tyson won DPOY in 2011-12 and garnered his lone All-Star appearance in 2012-13. Generally speaking top-5 interior defenders should be able to have a discernible difference on the defense. In Tyson’s case the defense the past 2 seasons has actually been marginally better with him on the bench and in 2013-14 that’s pretty embarassing since a lot of those minutes were soaked up by defensive stalwarts like Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire.

    95. max fisher-cohen

      Okay folks, note that I said if the Knicks trade Shumpert and Smith for future assets the Knicks will win 33 games, which is something I hope they do.

      Not that I think 33 wins is outlandish. If you think the Chandler/Calderon swap was a net loss, and you think the east will be better, and you think Melo will not repeat his career season, then you might lose 4 more games than last year even with better coaching.

      But my prediction, for the record, if the Knicks do not make any further moves, is 37 wins.

    96. Z-man

      I think the Knicks as currently constructed could win between 30 and 50 games, so 40 seems like a reasonable number. to get to 50, all of the things I mentioned in @70 have to happen. If none of them happen, 30 wins is in play. Since some will probably happen and some won’t, I’d guess that 40 wins is reasonable. Not sure that makes the playoffs next year.

      One thing I feel certain about is that despite the weak EC, there should be a lot of very competitive, interesting, well-coached games. Fisher, Hollins, Blatt, SVG should all be improvements, and SA’s dominance should set an example of how the game should be played. Only the Celts, Sixers, Bucks and Magic should be truly putrid.

    97. Zanzibar

      If a Dalembert/Cole platoon is employed properly (i.e. 20 minutes or so each, not a trace of Bargnani) I could see Chandler not being missed so much. Or at the very least, I could see the upgrade from Felton to Calderon being well worth losing him.

      The overwhelming consensus appears to be that Calderon is a huge upgrade over Felton. I, however, am not convinced he’ll be an upgrade at all. Look at these raw net +/- stats for each player over the last 7 seasons:

      Calderon: +1.6, +1.6, +2.0, +5.1, -.9, -2.4/-6.8, -6.5
      Felton: +3.9, +5.6, +2.5, -3.1, +10.3, +3.9, +2.7

      Still think Il Matadore will be an upgrade? Cue discussion of the power of the Triangle to transform JR/Calderon/Melo which brings us to the Chandler loss. I don’t think the issue is so much the loss of Tyson as it is completely different offensive schemes. Felton/Tyson PnR was an important part of our offense not just as an end in itself but to initiate ball movement; indeed PnR-centric offenses are the norm in the NBA. We were 3rd in offensive efficiency in 2012-13 and 11th overall in 2013-14 (something like 5th in the last 2 months). I look forward to watching an offense centered more on ball movement and player motion but I wonder if we’ll be able to achieve the same results. This season will likely be a referendum on the viability of the Triangle offense in today’s NBA.

    98. Frank

      As Lavor mentioned, Tyson’s major +/- impact the last 2 seasons have come on the offensive end where his PNR skills and offensive rebounding really helped us out.

      Wonder whether we will see Amare featured as a PNR roll man on the weak side / 2-man game in the triangle now. It always baffled me why Amare got so few touches on PNR even with Tyson out of the game – he was only the best PNR guy in the league for most of his career.

    99. Frank

      This season will likely be a referendum on the viability of the Triangle offense in today’s NBA.

      it’s not like it was 1980, or even 2000 the last time the Triangle offense was very effective in the NBA. And it’s not like the PNR offense was just introduced to the NBA 2 seasons ago. MDA’s offense took the league by storm 10+ seasons ago.

      The last 5 seasons Phil was coach in LA (2006-2010) the Lakers ORtg was #7, 3, 3, 11, 6. I’d say the Triangle can work in today’s NBA. Whether it will work with this particular team is, of course, another story.

      If anything, one might think the Triangle might be MORE effective in today’s all-PNR-all-the-time NBA, since very few teams will have much experience trying to defend it as a primary offense. Sure there are elements of the Triangle in many offenses now, but my guess is there’ll be a lot of wrinkles that teams don’t see on a day-to-day basis and will not necessarily be practiced in stopping them.

    100. Z-man

      The most troubling weakness of the Knicks last year (really for the last decade or more) is our inability to keep opposing PGs out of the paint. It is a three-headed problem: bad 1-on-1 PG defenders, bad P&R defensive play, and over-switching. Even if the opposing PG was successfully picked up on a switch, it left our PG in an even worse mismatch situation. Calderon doesn’t help there, Prigs is a mixed bag and has a glaring weakness on the offensive side of the P&R and Larkin is lightning quick and smart but tiny with short arms. The list of middling PGs that destroyed our defense in recent years is a long one. Last year, it included the likes of Jack, Walker, and Jimmer. I hope that some time in the next year, Phil figures out a way to deal Calderon and one of our 2′s for a solid 2-way PG. Or maybe that’s what we target in next year’s draft. Or maybe a D-League call-up. My guess is that Prigioni or Calderon will miss some time with minor injuries, that would be a good time audition someone.

    101. d-mar

      @118 that’s why my mind keeps going back to the Lowry deal that we turned down. And I totally understood at the time that we didn’t want to give up another draft pick, but he would pretty much fill the need you describe. Then we don’t need to trade for Calderon, and could get another useful player or two for Chandler.

      Plus, he might have helped us sneak into the playoffs, for what that’s worth.

    102. Zanzibar

      The last 5 seasons Phil was coach in LA (2006-2010) the Lakers ORtg was #7, 3, 3, 11, 6. I’d say the Triangle can work in today’s NBA. Whether it will work with this particular team is, of course, another story.

      I originally had the words “for our team” in my post but deleted them because I think this is a larger question. The Triangle has failed in all other implementations besides that Laker team. And the real issue is not that the Laker offense was successful because any offense featuring prime Kobe/prime Gasol/prime Bynum is likely to be productive no matter what offensive system is in place. The issue is the effectiveness of an offense initiated primarily through PnRs versus other types of offenses like the Triangle. I very much would like the Triangle to be successful but I just think it will be difficult to better our #5 rank in offensive efficiency. Maybe the reason there are fewer and fewer post-up bigs is because coaches are looking more and more for PnR and PnPop guys triggered by the stats suggesting those types of offenses are the most productive. Sure the PnR has been around for a long time but the NBA is slow to settle on optimal strategies. Witness the very gradual increase in # of 3FGA over the years at http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_stats.html

    103. lavor postell

      How much worse can Calderon be than Felton on PNR coverage? It’s not like outside of PNR Felton was an excellent defensive player.

      How many times did Felton’s man get an easy shot at the rim off a backdoor cut because Felton was completely unaware dreaming of a Big Mac (Specifically remember this happening tied at the end of the Milwaukee game we lost when Zaza fucking Pachulia caught him napping and dished it to Knight for what should have been an and-1)? How many fucking times did Felton double team a player for no reason at all leaving a player wide open from beyond the arc one pass away? How many times did Felton fail to get back on defense because he was too busy bitching about not getting a foul call offensively (Note: you fucking suck Raymond, the refs aren’t going to give you and respect)?

      As a whole how much worse can our defense actually get this season even if Calderon is a worse defensive player than Felton? Last season we couldn’t stop teams from getting to the rim or getting wide open 3′s. I have no clue how we could possibly get worse on that side of the ball. I also don’t think Dalembert and Aldrich is that much of a defensive dropoff from what we’ve seen from Tyson the past 2 seasons. He’ll have some uptick since it’s a contract year, he’ll be motivated and happier in Dallas, but IMO Chandler doesn’t project as an elite defensive player anymore.

      On the other end losing Chandler would hurt a lot of if we were continuing with a system predicated on high PNR, but the shift to the Triangle makes this a lot less of a factor. Chandler isn’t a very good high post passer either. In fact while teams didn’t need to worry about K-Mart shooting from the elbows, they generally had to come out a bit on him to respect his ability to pass from that position.

    104. lavor postell

      I very much would like the Triangle to be successful but I just think it will be difficult to better our #5 rank in offensive efficiency

      That offense delivered great results in the regular season. We saw how it bogged down in the playoffs under Woodson’s direction. You can argue that we could have found a coach who would installed secondary and tertiary sets and actions so the offense wouldn’t bog down, but I don’t view the Triangle as being an impossible thing to teach. In Minnesota when Rambis attempted to install it, management drafted players completely ill suited to the offense like Rubio, Flynn, Wes Johnson, etc. I don’t anticipate their being much of a disconnect between our head coach and the front office.

      Also there are other benefits to the Triangle in that it always maintains floor balance which helps preserve the integrity of the defense regardless of the quality of shot we generate on a given possession. There are also always 2 players close to the rim designated to crash the offensive glass. It’s not the only system that works, but I think it’s fairly obvious that the system works given Jackson’s success in Chicago and Los Angeles. Yes he had all-time great players on those teams, but every coach that has had success over a period of time has had legendary players. That doesn’t devalue how consistently effective Jackson’s teams on both ends. You don’t have a 68.8% win percentage in the playoffs just because you have great players.

    105. GoNyGoNYGo

      I am so tired about hearing how Calderon is a defensive liability. Don’t show me stats either, I know that his numbers aren’t great. But you really can’t evaluate how a players from another team will work in a new system with new pieces.
      Calderon’s problems are with his lack of quickness. He’s not getting faster. Period. What I see is that Felton had the exact same problem. He couldn’t keep fast point guards from blowing by him. Calderon tries hard and will do an OK job on the perimeter, but he’ll need help on penetrating guards.
      On the offensive end Calderon blows away Felton. He doesn’t turn the ball over and he’s a real perimeter threat.
      Let’s face it, we’re going to be seeing a lot of 120-115 games.

    106. DRed

      The triangle, like any other system in the NBA, only works really well with good players. There are no magic formulas at this level. We should not have trouble scoring next year. Its the rest of the game that’s a question.

    107. bidiong

      I think the only way you get worse than Felton is to have my pot bellied ass running point for the Knicks as a starter. I think the build of this team is to make an all around balanced offensive attack that forces teams not to hedge toward defending Melo with doubles all the time. This should allow him to be more productive and efficient without burning all of his energy trying to carry the team offensively. In reality this is year one. BCT can’t do 50 deals in one offseason and build a championship. Let’s give him a year to move pieces around before we start bitching about who the starting point guard is. If BCT can inflate some of these guys offensive values and get them playing with more effort on D maybe he can make some trades for better 2 way players. He obviously isn’t scared to make waves and trades.

    108. sugarslim5

      Okay folks, note that I said if the Knicks trade Shumpert and Smith for future assets the Knicks will win 33 games, which is something I hope they do.

      It came across to me, as if you were insinuating the Knicks as a 20 win team who might get 33 as their best bet.

    109. lavor postell

      Wonder whether we will see Amare featured as a PNR roll man on the weak side / 2-man game in the triangle now. It always baffled me why Amare got so few touches on PNR even with Tyson out of the game – he was only the best PNR guy in the league for most of his career.

      Because Woodson. Failing to maximize our players’ skill sets in lieu of isolations is a big part of what we do as a ball club.

    110. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      The triangle, like any other system in the NBA, only works really well with good players.

      Ding ding ding. Occammin’ it.

    111. airkent

      I actually think the Calderon, Amare P&R could be pretty devastating but i don’t know how much it will be run in the triangle. Potentially a poor man’s Nash/Amare with Calderon’s shooting.

    112. sugarslim5

      The triangle, like any other system in the NBA, only works really well with good players.

      Ding ding ding. Occammin’ it.

      It’s not the players, it’s the coach. Only one man has been able to make this work, that’s why I love it.

    113. DRed

      It’s not the players, it’s the coach. Only one man has been able to make this work, that’s why I love it.

      Look at the 05-06, and 06-07 Lakers. They have Kobe, Odom, (very young) Bynum, and more or less a pu-pu platter of other guys. And they were pretty mediocre teams that got bounced in the first round. Then they added Pau-and boom, they’re in the finals. The system was the same. They just got better players.

    114. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      If you put Mike Woodson at the helm of a LeBron + average players team, they’re at least a Conference Finals team. I could coach LeBron to the Conference Finals, and I’ve only ever looked at a box score. Poorly, at that. Unscientifically. Dumbly. I could do it.

    115. JK47

      The benefits of “system basketball” are long-term benefits. The 2014-2015 Knicks are not going to magically become a way better team just because they are playing a “system.” For the most part, they’re the same shitty players who stunk in 2013-2014. Hopefully they can get some improved play out of the PG position and perhaps even the C position, although I’ll believe Bargs is a permanent bench warmer when I see it. SG is still a major question mark, as all the 2-guards are one-way players: JR and THJ (offense) and Shump (defense). I like Wayne Ellington as an under-the-radar 3-and-D guy but who knows if he’s gonna get minutes. The PF position seems like a barren wasteland. It’s not gonna be an awesome team. It’s a fringe playoff team if everything goes right, with 45 wins probably a very optimistic upside.

      This season is about building a foundation– sorting out which guys you can keep and which guys you must dump. Some bad contracts come off the books for 2015-2016, and the Knicks will have a first round pick, so that’s something to look forward to. Fisher can get his feet wet for a whole season without worrying about getting canned, and Jackson can get a longer look at some of the young pieces. But I wouldn’t get too excited thinking this mediocre team is going to use the principles of triangle basketball to add 15 wins to last year’s total, ’cause, um, that ain’t happening.

    116. iserp

      Look at the 05-06, and 06-07 Lakers. They have Kobe, Odom, (very young) Bynum, and more or less a pu-pu platter of other guys. And they were pretty mediocre teams that got bounced in the first round. Then they added Pau-and boom, they’re in the finals. The system was the same. They just got better players.

      Weren’t the lakers already 1st in the conference when they added Pau?

    117. iserp

      Just looked it up. They were 2.5 games behind. They had a mini-losing streak before getting pau.

    118. thenoblefacehumper

      Look at these raw net +/- stats for each player over the last 7 seasons:

      On/off numbers can be valuable, but dude, comparing players from different teams solely based on them makes no sense. Every metric available says Calderon is a huge upgrade, because he is.

    119. DRed

      Weren’t the lakers already 1st in the conference when they added Pau?

      Maybe? It wasn’t just Pau-they had young guys get better and added some other nice players (Ariza, Fisher). The point is that the two years before that they were thoroughly mediocre running the triangle. The triangle might have made those teams a bit better than they would have been running a different system, but it didn’t turn lead into gold.

    120. DRed

      Felton: +3.9, +5.6, +2.5, -3.1, +10.3, +3.9, +2.7

      I love that raw plus minus has Ray as one of the best players in the NBA the year he was super fat and caused all of Portland to hate him. It’s not a very useful statistic. It’s way too context dependent.

    121. JK47

      “I want to win. I don’t care about the money”???? Then why did you take that gigantic contract Melo?

      “I just want to have my cake, man. I also want to eat it, too.”

    122. Brian Cronin

      Simply put, do not pay attention to anything Carmelo Anthony ever says. I don’t even mean that as a knock on the guy. It is what it is – the guy just doesn’t know how to communicate. And that’s fair enough. His job isn’t to communicate – it’s to play basketball. And he’s really good at that. So it is best to just ignore everything he ever says. It’s never going to make sense.

    123. er

      Simply put, do not pay attention to anything Carmelo Anthony ever says. I don’t even mean that as a knock on the guy. It is what it is – the guy just doesn’t know how to communicate. And that’s fair enough. His job isn’t to communicate – it’s to play basketball. And he’s really good at that. So it is best to just ignore everything he ever says. It’s never going to make sense.

      –I say this also but no one cares.

    124. DRed

      “I just want to have my cake, man. I also want to eat it, too.”

      No point in having cake if you’re not going to eat it. I’ve never understood that expression.

      Almost every athlete always says it’s not about the money. But really, it’s about the money. And that’s cool. If an owner, who locked me out in order to artificially cap my salary, asked me to take a further pay cut so he could have a winning team I’d tell him to go fuck himself and ease the pain of losing by wallowing in a gigantic pile of money.

    125. Brian Cronin

      But once you eat it, you can’t have it, too, because you’ve eaten it already. That’s what the phrase means – it means that you can’t eat your cake and then complain about not having the cake anymore. Or, in other words, you can’t have everything.

    126. DRed

      Off topic, but I’m going to the Garden tomorrow night for the first time since they renovated it again. Have they improved the food options, or should I eat before I go?

    127. Will the Thrill

      I feel i am the only one who understands that PHIL OFFERED IT TO HIM.

      Phil offered him 5 contracts apparently. Do you really think the one he took was the one that showed that he cared about winning and didn’t care about money? Look, nobody is blaming Melo for taking what was offered to him, but he fucked up by saying he didn’t care about money because he clearly does (maybe more than winning?).

    128. Will the Thrill

      Here’s my predictions for next year:

      1. Chicago (assuming healthy Rose)
      2. Cleveland
      3. Indiana
      4. Toronto
      5. Washington
      6. Charlotte
      7. Brooklyn
      8. Atlanta/New York

      I don’t see New York improving much over last year, but it could definitely happen with Woodson gone. A lot of good things are going to have to happen for us to even make it past the first round of playoffs, but luckily, we are in the East so as long has we don’t get matched up against Chi/Cle, we could have a fighting chance.

    129. er

      I think the Knicks will be better than all of these teams. They have the best player and if they get improved role player play ala 2013 they will win more than these teams

      4. Toronto
      5. Washington
      6. Charlotte
      7. Brooklyn
      8. Atlanta

    130. johnno

      “No point in having cake if you’re not going to eat it. I’ve never understood that expression.”
      I’m really dating myself here but Dudley Moore explained the phrase in the movie Arthur. (Before seeing that movie, I never understood it either.) His explanation — the phrase is really backwards, it should be (and really means), “You can’t eat your cake and have it too.” Meaning, you can’t eat your cake and still have it sitting there in front of you waiting to be eaten (much to the disappointment of Raymond Felton and Eddie Curry).

    131. DRed

      For the record, I know what the expression “have your cake and eat it too” means. I just think it’s a dumb way of expressing that sentiment. Dudley Moore is right. Without the having of cake, there can be no eating.

    132. Owen

      Michael Kay having a field day with the Melo comment.

      Melo has a said a lot of dumb things and I am not sure he is even scraping bottom in that respect with this one, but such a dumb thing to say.

      Just don’t say anything, ever, that would be my advice if I were his pr guy….

    133. DRed

      If Michael Kay wants to complain about someone saying something fucking stupid, he should start with his co-worker Steven A and his blazing hot take on domestic violence.

    134. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      “You can’t eat your cake and have it too.”

      I think it’s more like: “You can’t have eaten your cake and remain in possession of the cake in its previous, uneaten form.”

    135. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      er,

      Did you think that Eddy Curry would lead the Knicks to 50 wins? Answer honestly.

    136. nicos

      Hey Eddy Curry is only 31 and his low post skills would be a perfect fit in the triangle- any chance we can get him into camp and have Phil work his magic? I’m pretty sure he’s available.

    137. sugarslim5

      And guess what? He’s not the head coach of this team.

      Can Derek Fisher be the Alexander to Jackson’s, Phil of Macedon.

    138. thenoblefacehumper

      I actually think Toronto could mess around and make the ECFs this year. They won 48 games last year despite starting 6-12 (thanks, Rudy Gay) and added Lou Williams and James Johnson without really losing anyone. I guess it’s possible Lowry doesn’t have as good a year but I like what Masai has done.

    139. Brian Cronin

      The Lakers are about to hire Byron Scott. That will be such a hilarious disaster. I had so much hope for Scott when he first became a coach but he has been regularly a pretty bad coach throughout his career (and a bit of a jerk).

    140. Zanzibar

      On/off numbers can be valuable, but dude, comparing players from different teams solely based on them makes no sense. Every metric available says Calderon is a huge upgrade, because he is.

      Not every metric. Real +/- rated Felton higher than Calderon this past season. Looking at a player’s +/- over a 7 year period on different teams is an excellent way to gain some understanding of the overall effectiveness of a particular player. Very strong defensive players tend to be underrated by traditional metrics such as PER/WP/WS while very weak defensive players tend to be overrated. Plus/minus is really only the stat which helps in evaluating these type of players who are at the extremes.

    141. er

      “Hey Eddy Curry is only 31?
      It really is hard to believe that he is only 31…

      Yep him and Chandler and World Peace were the baby bulls right lol

    142. thenoblefacehumper

      Looking at a player’s +/- over a 7 year period on different teams is an excellent way to gain some understanding of the overall effectiveness of a particular player.

      Not really, seeing as how it’s very easy for their 11 other teammates to skew it. If they were on the same team for those 7 years it’d be better, though still flawed. I’ll pay attention to Real Plus Minus the day ESPN decides to tell us what the hell it actually is.

    143. Brian Cronin

      Hey, at least they tried! Good for them. It was a terrible offer that had no chance, but at least they tried!

    144. Brian Cronin

      Is Dallas just going to cut Felton? Harris and Jameer Nelson plus Ellis holding the ball a ton – what role do they really have for Felton?

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