Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.08.12)

  • [New York Times] How Becky Hammon Became N.B.A.’s First Full-Time Female Assistant Coach (Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:08:06 GMT)
    Hammon’s being named the first full-time female assistant coach in the N.B.A. by the San Antonio Spurs may have started on a shared flight from the London Olympics.

  • [New York Daily News] Carmelo Anthony says he does not expect Knicks to win a championship this year (Tue, 12 Aug 2014 05:47:59 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony is apparently as realistic about the Knicks championship chances as most basketball fans. The All-Star forward, who re-signed with the Knicks for five years and $124 million, told Spanish-language newspaper Pimera Hora on its website: ‘I don’t expect to win a championship this year.’

  • 33 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.08.12)

    1. KnickfaninNJ

      “I thought our front office did a great job of really trying to put the team together not as far as going to get big names, but trying to get pieces that fit into the system that they are going to be incorporating. I was very excited about the moves that they made and the players that they have on the team.”

      Quoted from Carmelointerview. I hope this is true

    2. Z-man

      I’ve learn to pretty much ignore everything Melo says. Not that he’s dishonest or dumb, just kinda goofy. Wasn’t he full of happy talk last summer as well? And if there was ever a time for blind optimism, this is it. New regime, new personnel, new contract.

      Certainly, Phil has been peddling the “we can win with what we have, we can win big with what we will have, we don’t necessarily need to pursue big-name FAs, just the right mix of quality players, the Triangle, and leadership” mantra to Melo. He’s probably sold Melo on the idea that he can be to the Knicks what Kobe was/is to the Lakers.

    3. flossy

      Carmelo also called the Bargnani trade a “steal.” In his defense, I guess he didn’t specify who got robbed…

    4. Hubert

      Owen:

      I also don’t really understand your argument.

      I believe this thing you said:

      You can’t win in the NBA without good teammates

      is simply not true.

      Dwyane Wade won 90 games from 2008-2010 with bad teammates.

      Kobe Bryant won 87 games from 2006-2008 with bad teammates.

      LeBron James made NBA finals with bad teammates.

      My argument is:

      a) that all these people did the same thing: they increased their usage to extremely high levels while maintaining or sometimes improving their performance statistics.

      b) maintaining or improving your performance statistics while increasing your usage to extremely high levels is an elite skill, and is something that separates the LeBrons of the world from the next tier.

      c) neither Melo nor Love has proven able to do that. Melo brings his usage to that level and his performance suffers. Love’s performance is better, but he falls far short of the usage he would have needed to be at to bring those bad teams to the playoffs.

      d) in our rush to remain consistent to our dogma, we make excuses for Love that we don’t allow to be made for Melo. (And DRed, shockingly, even went so far as to say “Melo has never played for a terrible team”; I’m actually jealous he’s been able to block out so much of the Melo-era Knicks.) Because this other thing you said, Owen:

      I think we just believe that landing on the Cavs will be as much a windfall for his reputation as being at the mercy of the wrath of Kahn has been a disaster the last five years

      I whole-heartedly agree with, but I think would make as big a difference to Melo’s efficiency numbers as it will to Love’s lack of team success.

      So ultimately I believe that right now, if you look at Melo on the Knicks and Love on the T-Wolves, I think we’re talking about two players in the same tier, neither of whom is capable of being in the next tier, and neither of whom is demonstrably better than the other.

    5. DRed

      Carmelo also called the Bargnani trade a “steal.” In his defense, I guess he didn’t specify who got robbed…

      Well done

    6. johnno

      I was in the dentist’s office this morning and picked up the ESPN NBA draft preview issue. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this before, but I thought that it was interesting — They had Early going 20th. They had his best case comp as Chandler Parsons and his worst case comp as Wilson Chandler. Chad Ford’s take was that he had a chance to start as a rookie and would definitely contribute as a rookie. Aside from the fact that it was pretty clever that they picked a best and worst both named Chandler, I’m pretty happy with the comparisons. If the worst that he might be is Wilson Chandler, that’s a helluva pick at 34.

    7. johnno

      It cracks me up that most NBA talking heads are saying that, with Love, the Cavs will win “at least 55″ games. The Cavs won 62 and 66 with a less developed version of LeBron and Mo Williams as his best teammate. If they only win 55 with LeBron and Love, something has gone drastically wrong.

    8. DRed

      d) in our rush to remain consistent to our dogma, we make excuses for Love that we don’t allow to be made for Melo. (And DRed, shockingly, even went so far as to say “Melo has never played for a terrible team”; I’m actually jealous he’s been able to block out so much of the Melo-era Knicks.)

      I remember the Melo era Knicks. I just also remember the Larry Brown Knicks, and the Isiah Thomas Knicks. Some of those teams were legitimately terrible. (I’m defining terrible as winning 25 or fewer games) Terrible is obviously subjective, but the Melo Knicks have gone to the playoffs most years, and were a title contender in one of them.

      You should really go look at the Timberwolves teams Love has played on. His first 4 seasons in the NBA there were only 4 times he had a teammate with a WS/48 above .100 (one his first year, an amazing zero his second year, two his third season and one the fourth). So like I said yesterday, you can’t say he didn’t change his game when his surrounding teammates got bad-he’s essentially never played on a good team.

    9. ptmilo

      Hubert, you are arguing that some players can increase scoring usage on bad teams without sacrificing efficiency, and that this is a skill. I think this is probably right. But that is just one skill. And, by the way, it is a skill that most applies to one of the less valuable NBA conditions: Improving on mediocrity. After all, if you could have a player worth X+3 on mediocre teams and X+1 on elite teams, or a player worth X+2 on elite teams or X+2 on mediocre teams, you’d take the latter all day. But more importantly, it is only one skill!

      In 03/04 and 04/05 Kevin Garnett was on winning teams and has usage of 28%+. These teams were #5 and #6 in Offensive Rating. In 05/06 the team was bad and won 33 games and was #28 in Offensive Rating. Garnett’s usage actually dropped to 25.5, well below Love’s last year. Does this mean that Carmelo and Garnett are in the same tier? Of course not. The potential to increase usage by 10% or so in bad times is only one (relatively minor) potential difference maker. Yes, it is “obvious” that Garnett generates a huge amount of value from his defense compared to Love. But Love’s other skills include being a more efficient scorer than Anthony at a very high (if not accordion-like) usage level, a better rebounder, the best outlet passer in the league, and in my opinion a better defender. This usage thing in bad times is just not that important, even if it a real phenomenon for certain guys like Melo, Wade and Kobe.

    10. johnno

      “I’ve learn to pretty much ignore everything Melo says. Not that he’s dishonest or dumb, just kinda goofy.”
      Melo took a lot of crap for saying that his decision to re-sign with the Knicks was not about the money. In a bizarre way, that was 100% true. If it was just about the money, he wouldn’t have even considered signing with the Bulls but would have, instead, re-signed with the Knicks immediately. The mere fact that he even considered leaving $50 million on the table for a week before deciding to come back kind of “proves” that he’s not just about the money. When he said that he was willing to take less money if it meant winning, we all just assumed that he was talking about the Knicks. Silly us. Turns out that what he was really saying was, “I’ll consider taking less money to go ELSEWHERE to win.”

    11. Farfa

      They had his best case comp as Chandler Parsons and his worst case comp as Wilson Chandler.

      I don’t see any difference between those two players (in terms of gap between ceiling-floor. I know they’re vastly different in playing style, etc. etc.). In fact, if you told me to choose between them in year 4 of their NBA career, I’d choose Wilson Chandler. I’m probably biased against Parsons after all that Rockets’ disrespect fuss (has he not considered the Rockets gave him the chance to earn all those dollars a year sooner?), but as I said before, he doesn’t strike me as an improving player. Yes, he improved his passing and free throw shooting, but everything else reeks of me-first guy who got tired very, very soon about playing defense and generally giving a fuck when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands. Red flags galore with Parsons.

    12. er

      @4 —-The 07 Cavs had 6 players with a ws/48 of .135 of better, the 2007 Lakers had 2, the 2008 Heat had 0 and the 2007 Heat had 2 (a team that won the division and had Shaq and Zo on it). Just for shits and giggles the 2014 Knicks had 3. I think we underestimate LBJ’s Cavs teamates sometimes.

    13. JD & the J.R. Smith 4 AM Cleveland, OH Nudie Bar Jello Shot

      That 66-16 team was totally stacked with perfect complementary players and to call LeBron “less developed” or anything like it would be a little off-base. He had a .399 WS/48 over 14 games during that playoff. That was probably the best stretch of player by any player in the playoffs … ever. MJ never did it, Kobe never did it. LeBron was transcendent.

    14. johnno

      “to call LeBron “less developed” or anything like it would be a little off-base.”
      You really don’t think that LeBron is a better player now than he was 4 years ago?

    15. yellowboy90

      I don’t see the Cleanthony and Parsons comparisons. They both came in as older players though and where picked in the second round is about all I can think off. Maybe they share some off the ball attributes but Parsons was more of a ball handler and facilitator at UF and has continued to do those things in the NBA. Besides Ft shooting I am not sure what Early at Parsons level. There are not to many 6’10(shoes) SFs like Parsons. Maybe I’m bias as a UF fan.

    16. DRed

      Best case Cleanthony would score more efficiently than Parsons, but he’s almost certainly never going to be the playmaker that Parsons is. Not a terrible comp, by any means, but yellowboy is right about Chandler’s ball handling and facilitating.

    17. Hubert

      @4 —-The 07 Cavs had 6 players with a ws/48 of .135 of better… I think we underestimate LBJ’s Cavs teamates sometimes.

      For one thing, you’re counting LeBron among the 6 players. You’re also counting Ira Newble, who played 129 minutes that year.

      Anderson Varajeo is in there, and he is an excellent basketball player and was LeBron’s best teammate.

      The other 3 guys are Ilgauskas, Gooden, and their 8th man, Donyell Marshall. I stand by the assertion that 2007 LeBron had bad teammates on Cleveland until the 2008/09 season.

    18. sugarslim5

      Besides Ft shooting I am not sure what Early at Parsons level

      Neither am I, you lost me.

      The 07 Cavs had 6 players with a ws/48 of .135 of better, the 2007 Lakers had 2, the 2008 Heat had 0 and the 2007 Heat had 2 (a team that won the division and had Shaq and Zo on it). Just for shits and giggles the 2014 Knicks had 3. I think we underestimate LBJ’s Cavs teamates sometimes.

      er you speak an obvious truth. His Cavs teams were better than we think. He had a tall center for peats sake and rebounding was very good on those teams. I’ve never understood the attempt to play down that team’s talent in the easier east.

    19. thenamestsam

      I think Lebron is much more well rounded now than he was then. Offensively at that point his game was pretty one dimensional – tons of high PnR, when he went left he’d pull up for jumpers a lot, and when he went right he’d get to the hole like a freight train. Defensively, he was at his athletic peak as well (in particular his blocks have fallen off a lot), but his off ball defense in particular wasn’t as good as it is now (when he’s fully engaged which he wasn’t always on D this year).

      Now his game has many more facets. Offensively, the improvement in his post game and the development of his abilities as a PnR screener have given him a lot more diversity – if his jumper isn’t falling he can go to his big man game and completely alter the look he’s giving a defense. Defensively he’s used to guarding a lot more positions now – again, a more diverse weapon – and the aggressive system they played in Miami improved his awareness as a help defender I think.

      So I don’t think he’s better necessarily, but he can do a lot more things, which makes him much more consistent. Back then when he was on, he was unstoppable because he was probably the greatest athlete the league has ever seen, but there were also some weaknesses in his game that locked in defenses could occasionally exploit (specifically when his jumper was off and teams packed the paint on him he didn’t have other things to go to on offense). I think his 08-09 best was probably the best he’ll ever be, but the floor was significantly lower than his current floor is. That’s my 2 cents.

    20. Z-man

      One positive thing I noticed about Early is that he seems to play within himself. For example, he knows he’s a poor ball handler, so he either shoots or passes. That’s something that has eluded, say, Anthony Randolph. Lots of star players, too, like Josh Smith.

      Early seems super eager to learn as well. That he is older is a negative, but at least he has size, can shoot, has played well in the spotlight, and likes contact. And the Triangle doesn’t require ball-handling as much from wing players. I don’t think he gets much burn at first, but ideally his maturity and work ethic will lead to increased minutes.

    21. DRed

      You really don’t think that LeBron is a better player now than he was 4 years ago?

      It’s one of those complicated questions that depends on what you mean by better. He is probably a smarter, more skilled basketball player now than he was 4 years ago, but he’s worse athletically. Lebron is still a stupendously gifted athlete, but he’s about to turn 30, and you’re just not as good athletically when you’re 30 as you are when you’re 25. Lebron had a bit of a down year last year (by his ridiculously high standards). He may have passed his peak.

    22. JD & the J.R. Smith 4 AM Cleveland, OH Nudie Bar Jello Shot

      .399 WS48 over 14 games against playoff-caliber teams.

      That’s absurd.

    23. Frank

      Re: the Kevin Love thing – not that I want to open up the whole “are players responsible for their own stats” argument again, but doesn’t something have to be made of the fact that players didn’t really play better with him? There’s no question he’s a great talent on his own, but is it any surprise that Mo Williams played by far his best basketball with Lebron next to him? He had a 0.165 and 0.136 WS/48 those 2 years, and hasn’t sniffed 0.100 in any of his other seasons. Daniel Gibson looked like a better than average player with WS/48 0.098, 0.111, 0.101, and 0.117 with Lebron, then went to 0.062–>0.028–>0.026–>bagging groceries after Lebron left.

      Win shares and stats in general just can’t measure how much one player affects his teammates. Lebron had 18-20 win shares his last 2 years in cleveland, yet somehow they won FORTY-TWO fewer games the year after he left with pretty much the same team other than him. I can’t see what his WP were back then (boxscoregeeks only gives data for last 2 years) but even at a WP48 of 0.33 his WP has only been ~20 the last 2 years in Miami, so I can’t imagine that his WP back in 09-10 with Cleveland is much higher than 20.

      that’s why I think it’s worrisome that Kevin Love has been unable to lift his teammates to better results. some of it’s luck, some of it’s just playing in the western conference. don’t get me wrong – i think he’s probably a top 10 player in the league, but I think this whole thing about how bad his teammates are may be a bit overblown.

    24. DRed

      .399 WS48 over 14 games against playoff-caliber teams.

      That’s absurd.

      What’s really absurd was that this happened during the height of the lamestream media’s Lebron can’t win in the playoffs phase. Yeah, the guy going for 35/9/7 a night can’t get it done in the post season.

    25. johnno

      “It’s one of those complicated questions that depends on what you mean by better. He is probably a smarter, more skilled basketball player now than he was 4 years ago, but he’s worse athletically.”
      Interesting way of putting it. One of the rare occasions where I think that I agree with you. I wonder if the muscle/weight that he added in Miami (a coincidence that he lived about a mile from the Biogenisis Clinic?) made him a little less explosive athletically. It will be interesting to see what impact his weight loss has this year.

    26. er

      For one thing, you’re counting LeBron among the 6 players. You’re also counting Ira Newble, who played 129 minutes that year.

      I counted Wade, Kobe and Melo also. and i didnt check mins for anyone, so others could be in the same boat

    27. iserp

      It cracks me up that most NBA talking heads are saying that, with Love, the Cavs will win “at least 55? games. The Cavs won 62 and 66 with a less developed version of LeBron and Mo Williams as his best teammate. If they only win 55 with LeBron and Love, something has gone drastically wrong.

      I think you should compare with 2010-11 Miami Heat, who won 58 games (and started 9-8). They will need time to adjust. And if you include that Varejao might miss some games, i think it could be lower than 56 games. The roster is unbalanced as it is, unless Tristan Thompson improves and plays quality minutes at center. Anyway, they still have time to add veterans or make some more trades.

    28. Jack Bauer

      @ #5 “Carmelo also called the Bargnani trade a “steal.” In his defense, I guess he didn’t specify who got robbed”

      +1

    29. yellowboy90

      I see it’s being reported that the knicks start the season off Oct. 29 at home against the Bulls then travel to Cleveland. Nice

    30. dtrickey

      ESPN reporting that LeBron will be spending Christmas in Miami. Yep. It’s definitely getting to that time of the off-season.

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