Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.07.30)

  • [New York Times] In Search of the Next Andrew Wiggins (Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:00:03 GMT)
    Nike’s youth basketball league is the largest incubator of teenage talent. For one coach in the Bronx, it might be too much to take.

  • [New York Times] Pulling From Their Past, Lakers Turn to Scott to Rekindle Success (Wed, 30 Jul 2014 03:54:27 GMT)
    After a run of unsuccessful coaching hires not named Phil Jackson, the Lakers turned to someone familiar — not just with their tradition, but with their inner workings — in Byron Scott to try to turn things around.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Charles Paces Liberty (Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:35:50 GMT)
    Tina Charles scored 23 points, Sugar Rodgers had 5 points and two huge defensive plays in overtime, and the Liberty beat the Washington Mystics, 80-76, at Madison Square Garden.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Woman to Lead N.B.A. Players’ Union (Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:30:36 GMT)
    The National Basketball Players Association has elected Michele Roberts, a Washington trial lawyer, as executive director, making her the first woman to lead a North American pro sports union.

  • [New York Times] Analysis: Before Signing, Big Stars Seek a Prize Beyond Fortune and Glory (Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:40:06 GMT)
    Free agents usually make a choice between wages and wins, but this year some of the game’s biggest stars made their decisions about a new team in a more nuanced fashion.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Clippers Eye Future With Steve Ballmer, While Lakers Relive Past With Byron Scott (Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:17:24 GMT)
    The Clippers can look to brighter times ahead now that Donald Sterling finally appears to be gone, while the Lakers look back on their glory days.

  • 32 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.07.30)

    1. d-mar

      Thought I would share some interesting insights from an NBA ref, Kane Fitzgerald, who led a workshop for high school basketball referees that I attended recently.

      First of all, he’s a great guy, very unassuming and humble, and is in his early 30’s, which is pretty impressive (and unusual). He told us that after every game 6 NBA guys in Secaucus review game film for each official from 6 different camera angles, and they track everything (calls made per quarter, charges, travels, missed calls, etc.) and enter it into a database. All of the officials are ranked, and if you are in the bottom 20% for an extended period of time, you’re basically through (he said a younger official was recently terminated, and once that happens, you can almost never get back)

      So while they are very well compensated and get the perks of travel, prestige, etc., it’s still pretty cutthroat and the NBA obviously takes officiating very seriously. I’d love to think I’ll be doing NBA games someday, but it’s a long way from Summit vs. Basking Ridge to Spurs-Clippers.

    2. johnlocke

      That’s interesting dmar – glad that they have that level of rigor.

      In other news, according to WARP (full article on ESPN insider) we had the 5th least productive offseason (not accounting for draft picks) this past offseason. See excerpt below. Yays? Nays? My gut tells me that WARP has to be not underestimating Felton’s impact or lack thereof enough…
      ————–
      26. New York Knicks | minus-4.4 WARP

      Key additions: Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert
      Key losses: Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton

      Offensively, Calderon and Dalembert should be an upgrade on the departed duo of Chandler and Felton. Defense is a different story entirely. While Chandler shined in real plus-minus, Calderon (2.8 WARP) lags because of his poor defense. As a result, the Knicks appear to have taken a step backward in the short term while building their base of young talent with the additions of Shane Larkin and the draft pick they used on Cleanthony Early.

    3. hoolahoop

      He told us that after every game 6 NBA guys in Secaucus review game film for each official from 6 different camera angles, and they track everything (calls made per quarter, charges, travels, missed calls, etc.) and enter it into a database. All of the officials are ranked, and if you are in the bottom 20% for an extended period of time, you’re basically through (he said a younger official was recently terminated, and once that happens, you can almost never get back)

      So, why does the officiating suck?
      Did he talk about the part about how the NBA office makes “suggestions” to refs about which teams should win? Or why star players get every call and rotation players get every call against them?

      Of all major sports, the NBA has the worst officiating, to the point that it often looks fixed.

    4. JD & the 21-Foot Turnaround Fadeaway Carmelo Shot

      Man, I can’t wait to make some money on the Knicks’ under this year.

      And yes, the NBA tries to rig games. 2002 is enough evidence for me.

    5. GoNyGoNYGo

      @D-Mar
      I used to umpire baseball (youth – HS) but it got too much for an old dude. Some of my fellow umpires did basketball too and they said that the certification test was very, very difficult. Being an NBA ref is such a difficult job. Not only do you have to have eyes everywhere and be in position, it’s also one of the most physically demanding ref jobs. When I watch Dick Bavetta I’m just blown away. I have no idea how he does it! I have such a great appreciation for what it takes.

    6. vincoug

      So while they are very well compensated and get the perks of travel, prestige, etc.,

      Have to comment on this. I travel a lot for work and it can be fun at times but doing it day after day and month after month can be rough, especially on your personal relationships. There’s a good article on Grantland today about NBA scouts that mentions this a bit as well.

    7. hoolahoop

      No question, officiating basketball is difficult.
      But when DWade, Kobe, Lebron etc. go to the hoop, they get calls that guys like Corey Brewer and Toure Murray will never get. Different rules for different players.
      And the true tell is that the refs and the NBA will vehemently deny it.

    8. ephus

      One of the toughest things to do in sports is react to a play that goes differently than experience has taught you to expect. It was why a change up works. It is why major league hitters look foolish against softball pitchers that experienced softballers hit easily. And it is also why superstars get calls that journeymen do not. In the NBA, a player has to build a reputation to get a good whistle. Tony Allen gets away with defensive pressure that would earn Shumpert a foul. It is not consistent, but I do not think it is a conspiracy.

      There have been some egregious examples of badly officiated games (Kings v. Lakers) that seem to be the officials putting a thumb on the scale. I certainly cannot vouch that there never has been an edict from the league office. But I am more inclined to believe that the poor calls result from anticipating the action than corruption.

      YMMV.

    9. hoolahoop

      After more than forty years of watching NBA games, I’ve never been less sure which way the call is going to go on “charges”.
      How many times have we seen a player going to the hoop run into their defender who’s back pedaling to get out of the way, and still get called for a blocking foul. Do the refs expect the defender to vanish? Yet, other times, the same play, is clearly an offensive charge.

      And how about the Hibbert going straight up BS, but no one else seems to jump that way. C’mon.

    10. hoolahoop

      In the NBA, a player has to build a reputation to get a good whistle. Tony Allen gets away with defensive pressure that would earn Shumpert a foul. It is not consistent, but I do not think it is a conspiracy.

      That’s exactly the problem.
      There’s clearly a bias. For me, that’s so against the spirit and essence of sports. I hate it.

    11. GoNyGoNYGo

      I agree 100% that it’s not right to have the bias – which does exist. But it’s not just basketball. In baseball you have the experienced pitcher getting the outside corner and the hitter that gets the benefit of the doubt on borderline strikes. In football some players are targets for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. But just because it happens it doesn’t make it right.

    12. Donnie Walsh

      The fundamental problem with basketball as a sport is that a foul can be called on every single possession and it is up to the ref’s discretion what gets called and what doesn’t. It takes the sport out of the game. Fans are basically watching the refs play without even realizing it.

    13. Brian Cronin

      Wolves apparently are only talking to Cleveland now and sources are saying it’s just a matter of time for Love to become a Cav. Well, that sucks.

    14. Hubert

      Man, the timberwolves are so dumb. Wiggins’ is as overvalued right now as a tech stock in 1998. Just make them wait, let him play basketball so his bubble bursts, and by February LeBron will be demanding Gilbert that they trade for Love and you can really extract a price from Cleveland.

      If they do this now, they’re going to end up letting Cleveland act like Wiggins is Pippen 2.0 and leave them enough assets to get the big man they need.

      Why are stupid teams always so impatient?

    15. Frank

      In other news, according to WARP (full article on ESPN insider) we had the 5th least productive offseason (not accounting for draft picks) this past offseason. See excerpt below. Yays? Nays? My gut tells me that WARP has to be not underestimating Felton’s impact or lack thereof enough…
      ————–
      26. New York Knicks | minus-4.4 WARP

      Key additions: Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert
      Key losses: Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton

      Offensively, Calderon and Dalembert should be an upgrade on the departed duo of Chandler and Felton. Defense is a different story entirely. While Chandler shined in real plus-minus, Calderon (2.8 WARP) lags because of his poor defense. As a result, the Knicks appear to have taken a step backward in the short term while building their base of young talent with the additions of Shane Larkin and the draft pick they used on Cleanthony Early.

      I wonder what our dear former coach Woody’s defense WARP was?
      What we can say about the Triangle is that under Phil Jackson, his teams have been extraordinary on defense — in his 2nd incarnation with the Lakers he took over a team that was LAST in defensive efficiency in 2006 and went 15th, 24th, then all in the top 6 until he left. Basically the same roster.

      His first time through starting in 1998, he took over a team that already had Kobe and Shaq the previous season and was 23rd out of 29 in DefEff — the very next season they were 1st.

    16. Hubert

      I wonder what our dear former coach Woody’s defense WARP was?

      Yeah, I think WARP is likely overrating the loss of Chandler and failing to factor in the loss of Woodson.

    17. lavor postell

      Yeah, I think WARP is likely overrating the loss of Chandler and failing to factor in the loss of Woodson.

      This.

      It also doesn’t account for limiting transition and semi-transition points which the Triangle should accomplish with it’s emphasis and built in structure ensuring floor balance offensively to prevent exactly that.

    18. DRed

      Dallas got the better player in the short term in the Tyson deal (which I liked). We should be better next season because (please please please) much less Bargs and a defense that makes more sense. But I don’t think we’re going to be good either.

    19. ptmilo

      I doubt we’ll be materially better. Swapping Woodson for Coach X is a positive and Chandler was hurt slash stopped trying last year. But the Knicks have one of the worst defensive rosters imaginable. They are poised to give minutes to four of perhaps the ten worst defenders in the NBA (TH2, Calderon, Amare, Bargnani), and two of their other primary players (Melo and JR) are mediocre defenders at best. They were 24/30 in defensive rating last year and even with better coaching I am guessing they will be worse this year swapping Chandler for Dalembert/Aldrich, Felton for Calderon and giving = or more minutes to the three sided colander of TH2/Amare/Bargani. Melo also played 3000 minutes last year. That is best case and the base case is lower. If you believe they will be a bottom 5 defensive team, it’s hard to see them over .500.

    20. Frank

      I have to say that I thought Tyson was very average last year especially on defense. No matter what metric you use (real plus minus, DRtg, unadjusted plus/minus, FG% when he’s close etc.) he looked very average. Dalembert is not as good, especially on the offensive end, but he’s no slouch – however Dallas used him last year he had a higher usage% than Chandler (14.8 vs. 12.9) and was only marginally worse in TS% (60.5 vs. 61.5). Dalembert actually had a higher ORB% (14.4 vs 10.9) than Tyson.

      Yes, Dalembert’s season was sort of an outlier for him, but there’s no guarantee that Tyson isn’t on the steep downside of his career. He’s noticeably less agile than he was in his DPOY year. Both of them are probably best off playing mid-20s minutes per game.

      The hope is that the downside of not having Tyson SMASHes is more than made up for by having way more ball movement and easier scoring opportunities on offense, actual shooters from the PG position, and that the loss of Tyson as a “rim protector” is made up for by no Bargnani, 90% of Tyson-productivity from Dalembert, and an actual defensive system.

    21. DRed

      I have to say that I thought Tyson was very average last year especially on defense. No matter what metric you use (real plus minus, DRtg, unadjusted plus/minus, FG% when he’s close etc.) he looked very average.

      I think some of people’s thoughts on Tyson are over-influenced by the eye test. He was generally out there with nobody who could play defense. If you look at the 5 most common lineups with Tyson, only one had more than one other good defender (and that’s if you are willing to count Prigs as an above average defensive player). So yeah, there were going to be a lot of people scoring near a frustrated looking Tyson Chandler. And he clearly thought Woody’s schemes were stupid (justly), so I’ll dock him for not playing as hard as he should have for part of the season. But he was our best regular by DRTG, best regular by real/plus minus (If you’re going to say Tyson’s average by real plus/minus, tell me where he ranks among centers playing starter minutes), best rim protector, etc. He was an above average defensive big, even if he was a below average Tyson Chandler. We’re going to miss him unless we give big minutes to Cole, and I’m not sold on us doing that yet. Dalembert is a solid bigman, but he’s not as good as Tyson and even more fragile, and after him it’s a trainwreck with anyone not named Aldrich on the court.

      Still, that was a good trade for us. Tyson had to go, and I think we got a reasonable return for him.

    22. KnickfaninNJ

      I read the original ESPN description of real plus minus once (which now seems to be unavailable on their web site). There are many corrections in it compared to raw plus minus. There were so many that basically it seemed like a mathematical embodiment of what one particular person thought was important, rather than a demonstratedly useful or even understandable statistic. I predict that next year and in following years it will undergo “improvement”; which, in practice, will mean changing the correction factors. With this sort of approach, assuming enough variables, which there are in this case, I think you can basically get any answer you want. So it’s hard to take it seriously as a means for evaluating players. I think of it as basically just ESPN’s opinion of player value.

    23. JK47

      Tyson is a good defensive center but he was wasted here last year, much like Shump was wasted. If you take the Seattle Seahawks defense and have them play prevent defense the whole game, it’s going to blunt Richard Sherman’s impact. The Knicks’ defensive scheming was so bad, even the good defenders played like bad defenders.

      That’s not to say they are going to be a good defensive team this year. I doubt they will be a good defensive team. But they shouldn’t “miss” Tyson’s defense all that much, at least compared to last year. A Dalembert/Cole/Jason Smith platoon playing in a coherent system should not be all that big a dropoff from Tyson/Bargnani playing WoodyBall.

    24. lavor postell

      Funny that Chandler won DPOY and made his only All-Star appearance playing in this incoherent defensive system that he suddenly disagreed with last season.

      Even if your defensive scheme is terrible shouldn’t the sole bastion of solid interior defense have a discernible effect on your team’s DRtg? Our team defense has been marginally better with Chandler riding the bench the past 2 seasons. Last season that becomes even more damning when you realize everybody on the team other than Shump and Melo (I had him as about a league average defensive player) was a minus defender and when Chandler wasn’t on the floor a large share of those minutes went to Bargnani and Stoudemire.

      He should have a better impact next year for Carlisle simply on the virtue of him being a much better coach than Woodson, but he’s not a top-5 defensive player anymore. He’ll be a solid defensive center in a better scheme, but not the rim dominating juggernaut we saw in 2011-12.

      At this point I don’t particularly care. Tyson gave up on the team last year, our scheme sucked, our coach was terrible and he decided “screw it” and threw everybody under the bus to try to distance himself from how poor we were last year. He needed a fresh start somewhere else and I personally had no desire to see him max out his effort in a contract year and then leave without getting anything back. Good trade for New York, Dallas and Tyson.

    25. DRed

      Woody’s defense worked alright with better defensive players. A switch heavy scheme isn’t bad per set. But with the ambulatory turnstitles we had out there it clearly wasn’t working at all. And we’ve learned that Woody is really inflexible.

    26. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, Woody had the personnel for the system back in 2011-12 and it worked out well and then they lost pretty much all of that personnel the next season and the defense fell apart unsurprisingly.

      In 2011-12, the Knicks surrounded Chandler with Lin, Shump playing the 2, Fields playing the 3 and Jeffries/Melo playing the 4. Shump is an excellent 2 defender. Fields and Jeffries were very good defenders at the fowards spots (with Fields too slow to be an effective 2 guard defender) and Lin was better than Felton (which is saying very, very little, but still).

      In 2012-13, the Knicks surrounded Chandler with Felton, Kidd/JR, Shump playing the 3 and Melo. It was a huge downgrade and suddenly Chandler looked worse. Same thing happened this past season.

      That isn’t to say that Chandler hasn’t gotten worse himself, as of course he has – he’s a guy built on athleticism who is on the wrong side of 30.

      But the fact that Woody continued playing a system that no longer suited his personnel was the bigger issue. Zach Lowe wrote about it in 2012-13 – Chandler was essentially thrown to the wolves on defense in that system.

    27. Kahnzy

      Makes me almost feel bad for Pacer fans. They were sooooooo close two years ago, and now they have to watch it all fall apart.

    28. Kahnzy

      Scola for Green, a pick and a Plumlee looks even dumber now than it did last summer.

      Not Bargnani dumb, but I agree. Terrible trade

    Comments are closed.