Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.08.13)

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: P. J. Tucker Suspended After D.U.I. Plea (Wed, 13 Aug 2014 03:09:05 GMT)
    The N.B.A. suspended Phoenix Suns forward P. J. Tucker for three games after his guilty plea to “super extreme” driving while intoxicated.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Liberty Lose to Mercury (Wed, 13 Aug 2014 02:47:48 GMT)
    Candice Dupree scored 18 points as Phoenix beat the host Liberty, 76-64, giving the Mercury home-court advantage throughout the W.N.B.A. playoffs.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Approves Ballmer’s Purchase of Clippers (Wed, 13 Aug 2014 00:57:02 GMT)
    The sale, for a record $2 billion, came shortly after a California state court confirmed that Rochelle Sterling had the right to make the sale on behalf of her estranged husband, Donald Sterling.

  • [New York Daily News] Carmelo Anthony, Knicks set to open NBA season against Bulls: source (Wed, 13 Aug 2014 02:31:06 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony, who nearly jumped ship to join the Chicago Bulls in July, won’t have to wait long to see Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Tom Thibodeau again.

  • 60 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.08.13)

    1. Z-man

      So now Curry thinks he’s a better offensive player than LeBron. I would love to see LeBron insist on guarding Curry when Cleveland plays GS.

      Obviously, even a smart kid like Curry has spent very little time studying B-R. Maybe a course in advanced sports statistics (specific to the sport one plays) should be mandatory for all college athletes. It would make far more sense for many of them than the BS filler courses they often take.

    2. Z-man

      Jowles, promoting this idea could be your gateway back into academia. Just remember to acknowledge your sources. ;-)

    3. Z-man

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgdr2xr2qVM

      We need to get THIS guy back! (Job #1 of Phil/Derek, starting opening night vs. Bulls at MSG.)

      So freakin’ happy we didn’t dump him for a draft pick at the deadline or to ditch salary. Unfortunately, the 7 or 8 deflections and other well-defended plays don’t show up in WS or WP.

      (video clip courtesy of poster allan houston game winner vs heat from P&T)

    4. GoNyGoNYGo

      Z-Man,
      You’re so right. Shumpert is key and more so without Chandler in the middle. We need strong D from him because we’ll get nothing out of Calderon. That’s why I would always want to pair the two. The problem is aside from him, none of our other guards actually guard. Calderon and Prigioni are too slow to defend. While both JR and Hardaway have the athleticism to do so, neither put out the effort. Defense is still the Knicks main weakness. There are too few 2-way players on the team.

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

      I don’t want to go back there. Nothing like looking at a starting salary of about $50k after 10-12 years of “higher” education.

      Curry can just get shut down by LeBron next time they play. We won’t have to quantify it when LeBron swats him so hard that he cries.

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

      Also, I like how it says, “Rose scored 29 points, but was 8-26 shooting.” Then it says that Shumpert punctuated his defensive play with 15 points! Wow!

      Well, I looked up the game log, and Shumpert was 5-14 that game. So, y’know, whatever.

      It’s a good highlight reel, but he is not good at playing offense, and that’s half the game.

    7. Z-man

      “It’s a good highlight reel, but he is not good at playing offense, and that’s half the game.”

      But defense is half of the game as well. You will declare that Faried had a great game when he scores 14 points on 6 shots, regardless of how he does on defense (usually poorly.) You believe that Faried is a much, much better player than Shumpert, even though Shumpert is as much better at defense than Faried as Faried is better than Shumpert on offense.

      Do you believe that a player that scores efficiently is just as valuable as a player who causes opposing players to score inefficiently?

      Shumpert got 15 points on 14 shots vs. the best defensive team in the league. His main defensive assignment, the reigning MVP got 29 points on 26 shots, and had 8 turnovers. Shump also had 9 rebounds (Rose had 6), 6 assists (Rose had 4), 4 steals (Rose had 1) and a bunch more deflections, plus only 1 turnover. Taken as a whole, that was a superstar-level performance. Van Gundy was absolutely gushing about him.

      The problem with Shumpert is that he hasn’t shown the ability to string games like this together. But he is capable of being an all-defensive team kind of player, and as you said, that’s half the game.

    8. d-mar

      Re: Shump – I think it’s problematic to have a 2 guard on the floor who is virtually no threat to score except for the occasional open 3 pointer. And it was alarming this season to see over and over again his inability to finish around the basket, cringe inducing at times.

      He’s still relatively young and theoretically can improve his offensive game, but if the right deal comes along, I would move him in a heartbeat.

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

      Rose had some duds against other teams that season:

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201203080CHI.html

      Who was the all-defensive team player, here? Jameer Nelson?

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201112260GSW.html

      Defensive stalwarts Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry.

      I’m not trying to diminish Shumpert’s play on the defensive end, but sometimes all you need is a body in front of someone to make them miss. The 8 TO in that Knicks game was a great thing, but Shumpert neutralized Rose and got neutralized himself. 15 points on 14 shots is not good.

    10. DRed

      Shumpert is above average at enough things to be a valuable player on his rookie deal without any improvement on offense. However, he’s bad enough on offense that I’d look to move him midseason if he doesn’t show any improvement, because he probably won’t be good value on his next deal.

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

      ^^^ this

      No problem with him as a bench player, especially against strong guard play. I expect him to shoot the ball a lot this year, and then be overpaid.

    12. Z-man

      Here’s a comparison of Shump at age 23 to Pippen at age 23 and Bowen for his career (he came into the league as an older player.)

      At this point, Shump very similar offensively to Bowen over his career, and MUCH better than Bowen was after 5 years, before he went to the Spurs:

      http://bkref.com/tiny/AwOjE

      (What a shock that Bowen improved significantly under Pop! You think he does that under D’Antoni and Woodson?)

      Shump’s stats are also not that far removed from Pippen’s at age 23 in a similar amount of games played and minutes played. Interestingly, Shump is the only one out of the 3 who posted better WS48 numbers in the playoffs than during the regular season (compare with Landry Fields, Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak.)

      Would you agree that Shump’s floor is Bruce Bowen, and he is pretty much at that floor right now? If yes, why would you want to piss that away? Sure, last year he regressed, but so did Felton, JR, Chandler, etc. You think coaching/teammates/injury had anything to do with it?

      BTW, Bowen hardly ever had a WS score of >.100 in the regular season or the playoffs, peaking at .112. Somehow, Pop thought he was good enough to play him 30+ minutes per game on championship caliber teams.

      There’s a reason Phil has been very reluctant to part with Shump, and why he already singled him out as the “only guy playing defense” last year. Phil’s obviously not averse to making trades. I am guessing that he knows that Shump’s value is grossly understated by his stats (including WS48) right now, and that last year was probably an outlier. I would bet that he’s itching to see what he has in this guy, given a coach and a system that plays to his strengths. Jax and Fisher saw plenty of Bruce Bowen and knows how valuable a player like that is, especially on a contender.

      Not with horrible defensive players all across the rotation.

    13. DRed

      WS is a usage friendly stat, so guys like Bowen and Shumpert are not generally going to look good by WS.

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

      I think there are a lot of players who could match up with Bowen and Pippen during those years.

      Strangely, Dave Berri’s research argues that Popovich and Jackson are two of the few coaches who make players considerably better (against the average coach) so I’m not surprised.

      Do I think Shumpert would become a better player under Popovich? Yes. Do I know whether Jackson will be phantom-coaching the team, making Derek Fisher a $5M/year figurehead? Nah.

    15. Z-man

      @9 in these cases, you have not only the visual evidence to confirm the stats, you have the heaping of praise by JVG. Many/most of Rose’s turnovers and missed shots were impacted by Shump’s defense. If you want to show me the film clips of Curry, Ellis, etc. playing D on Rose during the two games you site, I’d be happy to check them out. Unless you’re trying to say that there’s no difference between a great player having a bad shooting game regardless of the defense, and a great player having a bad shooting game because of the defense.

      I mean, yeah, right, maybe Rose misses those shots anyway. Maybe he turns the ball over anyway.

    16. yellowboy90

      I might be the only one but Shump needs to improve more on D off the ball. On the ball he is at his best but he got lost so much last year. I do agree with DRed though that at his price right now he is good.

    17. Hubert

      I think it’s problematic to have a 2 guard on the floor who is virtually no threat to score except for the occasional open 3 pointer.

      The omnipresence of the term “3 & D guy” would seem to indicate otherwise.

      At this point, Shump very similar offensively to Bowen over his career, and MUCH better than Bowen was after 5 years, before he went to the Spurs:

      But Bowen was on his way out of the league at that point!!

    18. Z-man

      @14 But why get Jax if you don’t feel he can ultimately influence play on the court?

      Is it Popovich, Pop’s system, or Pop’s ability to get players to fully buy into his system that results in unlocking a player’s potential?

      If Pop coached Woodson’s system, would Leonard be as good as he is now?
      If Woodson coached Pop’s system, would Leonard be as good as he is now?

      I think not. The system and the leadership have to go together. In Jackson, we clearly have the system. The question is, will Fisher, backed up by Jax, be able to get the players (starting with Melo) to “buy in or else” like Pop does? It’s a really good question. I think bodes well having Jackson in the background (and at times in the foreground) reinforcing that it’s his way (the Triangle) or the highway. Shump is a great test case for this regime, and Jax probably sees that pretty clearly.

    19. Z-man

      “But Bowen was on his way out of the league at that point!!”

      My point exactly! Until he developed a real offensive skill (volume 3-pt shooting…he actually led the league one year at 44%!) and played for a coach that understood his value on a contending team, his potential was grossly undervalued.

      “I think there are a lot of players who could match up with Bowen and Pippen during those years.”

      re: Pippen, I agree, yet at age 23, you need to find out before giving up on the kid.
      re: Bowen, what about Bowen’s career stats, most of which were compiled under Popovich?

      http://bkref.com/tiny/H9F9f

      Shump’s per 36 and advanced stats are already better in nearly everything but 3-pt shooting, and he had a 45-game season where he shot 40% from 3 on 148 attempts. He has also been consistently good at the corner 3, a staple of the triangle. On the other hand, he is clearly NOT an effective isolation player (Woody, are you listening?)

    20. Hubert

      Two things with Shump:

      1. His value as an offensive player all comes down to whether or not his second season was a fluke. There is more evidence that he is not a good shooter than there is evidence of him being a good shooter. BUT, there it is also reasonable to believe that the bullshit that went on during both his rookie year and last year affected his performance. The numbers are leading us towards believing he is not a very good shooter, but I don’t think they’re conclusive yet.

      2. The bigger problem is, as DRed stated, his contract status. I mean, Avery Bradley got $8 million a year! Our whole mission statement has been using our cap space in 2015 to improve the team. Well keeping Shumpert may mean using 35-40% of our cap space just towards retaining our team! We simply can’t keep him and be a player in free agency in 2015.

      That leaves two options:

      a) pump up his value and trade him this season, or

      b) gamble on him being the player he looked like in his second season (and being healthy) and try to ink him to a below market extension now.

      It doesn’t look like b is going to happen, so it’s got to be a.

    21. Hubert

      My point exactly! Until he developed a real offensive skill (volume 3-pt shooting…he actually led the league one year at 44%!) and played for a coach that understood his value on a contending team, his potential was grossly undervalued.

      Ok, but 98%* of the NBA players who put up Bowen’s numbers through 5 years don’t have Bowen’s second act.

      * Full disclosure: I made this number up.

    22. Z-man

      “His value as an offensive player all comes down to whether or not his second season was a fluke. There is more evidence that he is not a good shooter than there is evidence of him being a good shooter. BUT, there it is also reasonable to believe that the bullshit that went on during both his rookie year and last year affected his performance. The numbers are leading us towards believing he is not a very good shooter, but I don’t think they’re conclusive yet.”

      Fair enough, but why is his value as a potential 1st team all-NBA defender so minimal compared to his offense? If he turns out to be at worst, say, the complete opposite of Jose Calderon as a player, why is he any less valuable? Defense is half the game, right? (and the stats say he may turn out to be an even better defender, passer and rebounder than Bowen.)

    23. Hubert

      But what if we sign him using Bird rights after any FA signings with available cap space?

      I know it doesn’t work that way, but I’m not sure exactly how it works, especially in light of everything that went on with Chandler Parsons.

      I think we have to retain his cap hold (which is $6.5mm according to Shamsports), and that amount counts against our free salary cap space, and if we use up all the other cap space (minus his cap hold) we can then either offer him $6.5 million or go over the cap to match an offer sheet that is over $6.5 million.

      If Ephus isn’t too busy reporting on the latest Supreme Court hearing for CNBC maybe he can confirm.

      But I do know for a fact that we cannot just use all our cap space on a max free agent and then go over the cap to re-sign Shump.

    24. Hubert

      Why would a guy’s cap hold be nearly 300% of his salary??

      Actually it’s 250%, and that’s exactly right according to Coon.

    25. johnno

      “BUT, there it is also reasonable to believe that the bullshit that went on during both his rookie year and last year affected his performance.”
      Uh-oh. As far as I know, Fisher hasn’t yet guaranteed Shumpert a starting spot and it seems like every other day this offseason I’ve been reading a rumor that Shumpert is on the trading block. Sounds like the same bs is going on this offseason (although, thankfully, it does not appear that Fisher has had the gall to call him “Rook”), so he’s got a built-in excuse for stinking up the joint again this year, while loads of people make excuses for him.

    26. nicos

      My synergy subscription has lapsed but I know that Shumpert led the league (and by a pretty wide margin) in turnovers forced % in his rookie season. Of course Woodson in his infinite wisdom moved him off the ball for the next two years (and the ACL didn’t help much either). Towards the end of last year- more or less with Phil’s arrival- he moved back to playing more on the ball and looked pretty much like he did his rookie year. If he can just hit corner threes and finish around the basket better he’d probably be worth Avery Bradley money- problem is if he does raise his TS% up to acceptable standards and plays dominant on the ball defense he’ll be looking for more (and might get it from somebody). So yeah, he’s probably going to have another year where everyone is talking about whether he’ll be traded or not.

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

      Defense doesn’t get you paid in this league.

    28. nicos

      Defense doesn’t get you paid in this league.

      True, at least for non-bigs. Right now Bradley is an outlier- neither Sefolosha nor Tony Allen have ever cracked 5m per year.

    29. thenamestsam

      Because the best offense beats the best defense?

      I think there’s also the perception that defense is more about scheme and effort whereas offense is more about talent. I’m not saying it’s right, but when you think about what makes a good defense in the NBA Thibs and Vogel come to mind as quickly as Noah and Hibbert. You wouldn’t say the same on offense (with the possible exception of Pop who’s basically the exception to every NBA rule). So rightly or wrongly I think NBA teams think the correct strategy is to pay for offensive talent and then teach it to play defense rather than the other way around.

    30. er

      I think NBA teams think the correct strategy is to pay for offensive talent and then teach it to play defense rather than the other way around.

      Yea, not really sure you can “teach” someone to shoot. But i guess you can push for more effort and awerness on D

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

      There is a pretty simple binary on offense: Did you score during the possession?

      There is not a simple binary on defense, aside from: Did you force a turnover?

      Aside from steals, you have to look at defense like: Were your hands and body in a place that affected the shot in some way to reduce its expected point value? You can leave a guy wide open in the corner and he can clank the shot. You can also contest a guy, nearly smothering him with your bodies, and he can make the shot. Individual defense isn’t quantifiable, at least not to the extent that offense is. We all know this.

      Players are still paid commensurate with their points scored per game.

    32. Z-man

      Wow, I couldn’t disagree more. Scottie Pippen and Bruce Bowen were not simply “taught” to be good defenders. Like any other high-level skill, its a combination of physical talent, effort, coaching, intelligence and instincts. Amare Stoudemire could never, ever, ever, ever have been the defensive player that Dennis Rodman was, no matter who coached him or how hard he worked at it. He doesn’t have the instincts.

      Shumpert was one of the best defensive guards in the league his rookie season despite having a lousy defensive coach and then a lousy coach period. Then he blew out his ACL, came back and had an excellent playoffs for a guy that was still essentially a rookie. Then he has off-season knee surgery again and goes on to play poorly on both ends on a dysfunctional team, as did former DPOY Chandler among others.

      Shumpert clearly HAD the talent and instincts to be a GREAT defensive player, i.e. a game-changing kind, 1st team NBA all-defensive team type of player. He will now have the coaching as well. the questions are:

      1) Has he lost something physically since his rookie year?
      2) Is he coachable or is he pretty much who he is at age 24?
      3) Can he refine his game enough on offense to be a legit two-way player, either by better shot selection or just better shooting?

      I think the answer to #1 is no at this point, but probably was yes last year.
      As to #2, the jury is out, but the smart move is to find out before making a deal. The defensive potential is just too great to give up on.
      #3 is related to #2. He already has shown consistency with the corner 3, so there’s something to build on. Phil also talked about footwork as being a point of emphasis in coaching, and Shump’s footwork is lousy.

    33. Z-man

      Defense is harder to quantify, but with today’s technology (replay-based like Synergy, or player movement-based, like Sportsvue) you can certainly quantify it. Granted, steals and blocks can be misleading because they can be gained by taking risks at the expense of proper defensive positioning. But you can quantify a player’s positioning and decision-making in hundreds of P&R situations, i.e. the things that lead to turnovers and low percentage shots. You can look at how often a player keeps a given opposing player in front of him vs. other defenders, or goes over a screen vs. under, or forces a given player to pass or miss in isolation situations.

      I mean, it’s hard but not impossible to quantify lots of things in sports. How do you quantify how good non-skill position football players are? You have to look play by play, even when the play does not directly involve the player. For example, Revis was great with the Jets because quarterbacks wouldn’t even throw his way, but that minimized his chances for the most quantifiable stat associated with corners (interceptions.) Great nose tackles get doubled on every play, opening things up for other players to record tackles and sacks.

      In baseball, how do you quantify a shortstop’s defense? Is it just by errors committed or does range come in to play?

    34. Z-man

      In other news, the schedule looks very reasonable this year. The toughest stretch seems to be Oct-Dec. It sucks playing Chicago and Cleveland back-to-back on national TV with travel for openers, but maybe we can steal a win while those teams are figuring things out.

    35. hoolahoop

      ESPN reporting “The Utah Jazz are closing in on a deal to sign free-agent guard Toure’ Murry away from the New York Knicks, according to NBA front-office sources.”

      Another knicks blunder. Woodson should have played him more. PJ should not have let him go. He can play a big role. He’s a long PG with a lot of potential, young, cheap and home grown. He’s the type of guy that San Antonio would cultivate into a meaningful role player, and knicks fans would wonder why they couldn’t draft as smart as the Spurs.

    36. JK47

      In baseball, how do you quantify a shortstop’s defense? Is it just by errors committed or does range come in to play?

      Defensive metrics in baseball have become quite sophisticated. UZR is probably the most commonly used defensive metric, and it takes into account batted ball data including speed and location of the batted ball, handedness of opposing batters, handedness of pitchers, number of outs in the inning, ballpark factors… It’s pretty comprehensive. Yet UZR still doesn’t seem to really “nail it,” and you need to look at several years of UZR to really draw any conclusions.

      Case in point– Jhonny Peralta has a higher UZR than Andrelton Simmons this season. If you’ve ever seen those guys play, you know that Peralta is a sure-handed but slow-footed shortstop who makes the routine plays but is thought of as a bat-first shortstop, while Simmons is the most dazzling shortstop in the game. Defense is tough to quantify, even in baseball where there’s a stat for everything.

    37. KnickfaninNJ

      I’m not sure losing Murry is a blunder. We don’t have room to sign everyone. We already have Calderon, Prigioni and Larkin. Would you give up Larkin for Murry? Larkin looked good in summer league, better than I remember Murry looking. Larkin is physically small, so he might have trouble with big guards, but he seems a better scorer.

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

      Losing Murry is almost certainly not a blunder. Signing an above-average shooter to a $120M+ contract is a blunder. Dropping your 12th man? Who cares?

    39. hoolahoop

      I like Larkin, but Murry can grow into a solid starter. He has a higher ceiling and I really like his length for a PG. Murry showed good signs last season, but Woodson wouldn’t give him minutes.

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

      I have a friend who is a tennis novice but has unbelievable speed and reaction time to the point where he can rally and keep the ball in play and track down shots long enough to win points against players with much better technique and greater experience.

      It’s not surprising that he played shortstop in college ball (even D. III) and is an exceptional 5’8″ PG in pick-up games. His athleticism is not just having speed and quickness, but using it effectively in space. This is how Rodman, Barkley, Faried and Ben Wallace manage to have been outstanding rebounders despite giving up several inches to their positional counterparts. Spatial awareness is something that can be improved through practice, I’d guess, but it’s largely something that you do or do not have.

    41. DRed

      Toure”s going to be 25 this season. I wish him well, and would have been happy to have him on our D-league team, but I can’t get mad he’s going to Utah either. He was not very good last year-tons of TOs and he couldn’t score at all.

    42. yellowboy90

      I never got the love for Murry. Well I get that he has length and size for a pg but he never really showed any skills and his defense wasn’t that great. It was basically let my man go by me and reach in and try to steal the ball from behind. That worked in SL but no so much in the reg season. His lack of strength was an issue too.

      I would take him over Outlaw though and just use Smith as the back up 3 but that’s just me.

    43. bobneptune

      Another knicks blunder. Woodson should have played him more. PJ should not have let him go. He can play a big role. He’s a long PG with a lot of potential, young, cheap and home grown. He’s the type of guy that San Antonio would cultivate into a meaningful role player, and knicks fans would wonder why they couldn’t draft as smart as the Spurs.

      @43,

      Please…. Tourettes sucked at basketball in college and sucked by any metric in limited action 2 years later with the Knicks. He shot the ball poorly in both college and the nba. He turns the ball over like its a hand grenade and can’t even shoot free throws as a pro.

      Why on earth would anyone care if he’s “homegrown”? Do we get a breeder’s award like in horse racing?

    44. thenoblefacehumper

      Yeah Toure never actually did anything impressive and to be honest I hadn’t thought about him at all this summer. If you want to argue that he should be the 15th man over Outlaw or Bargnani (hope he’ll be 15th anyway) then sure but nothing he’s done so far indicates he’ll be even a rotation-level player.

    45. Z-man

      “It’s not surprising that he played shortstop in college ball (even D. III) and is an exceptional 5’8? PG in pick-up games. His athleticism is not just having speed and quickness, but using it effectively in space. This is how Rodman, Barkley, Faried and Ben Wallace manage to have been outstanding rebounders despite giving up several inches to their positional counterparts. Spatial awareness is something that can be improved through practice, I’d guess, but it’s largely something that you do or do not have.”

      True, but I don’t get the analogy. PGs and SS’s are the most all-around skilled (hand-eye coordination, situational awareness) players on their teams. The players you cite are only similar in terms of being volume rebounders, a rather singular skill. Barkley dominated at both ends and would have been an NBA stud even if he was an average rebounder. Beyond rebounding, Rodman could dominate defensively at multiple positions and was very long for his height. Ben Wallace had a prime that lasted 5 years. Beyond that, he was a very average NBA player. Faried is a piss-poor defender whose ws48 has regressed each year.

    46. JK47

      Rodman was a smarter player than he got credit for. He didn’t just react to the rebound coming off the rim, he seemed to make rapid-fire calculations in his head while the shot was still in the air– who was shooting, what the shooter’s tendency was, whether it was likely to be a short or long rebound, what other players he’d be competing with for the rebound… He was really something. He just knew where the ball was going to go, and he got a lot of boards by sort of slithering AROUND opponents instead of going OVER them.

      As obnoxious as he was off the court, I still loved watching him play. He was able to get all those rebounds, and still avoid being a defensive sieve like the David Lee-Kevin Faried type forward; quite the contrary, he was one of the most annoying, harassing, effective defensive forwards of his time. Just a lethal player.

    47. Hubert

      I think the multiple references in this thread to Shump’s potential as a first team All Defensive team player are a little wild. Maybe compared to the rest of his teammates it looks like he’s that good, but more likely we’re just looking at a plus defender, one who hopefully can shoot like he did in his sophomore season.

    48. Z-man

      Hubert, I don’t think they are wild at all. Watch that Bulls video again (btw, that was maybe the most exciting regular season win of the Melo era.) Listen to JVG talk about him. Then there’s what nicos brought up in @30. “My synergy subscription has lapsed but I know that Shumpert led the league (and by a pretty wide margin) in turnovers forced % in his rookie season.”

      Shump right now is very similar to Tony Allen. He clearly can’t be counted on offensively at this point. But he is just as clearly on the way to being an elite wing defender. He just turned 24 in June, and has had to recover from two knee surgeries. (Tell me, what has Derrick Rose done since 2012? Should the Bulls give up on him?)

      I’m not saying that he’s a lock to be anything, only that we need to give him a chance to show what we can do when healthy in a stable and intelligent environment. He is at rock bottom value right now (the fact that people here are so willing to trade him suggests that.) A smart GM would at least build up his value before trading him to a contending team desperate for wing defense. (Mavs? Rockets?)

    49. Hubert

      He is at rock bottom value right now (the fact that people here are so willing to trade him suggests that.) A smart GM would at least build up his value before trading him to a contending team desperate for wing defense. (Mavs? Rockets?)

      Which is why I don’t understand why, if we really do want him here beyond this year, we don’t offer him a 4 year, $20-22 million extension (backloaded as much as possible) right now and see if he takes it.

      If we’re successful getting the best out of him, he will either leave next year or eat up too much of this summer’s cap space.

    50. johnno

      “Which is why I don’t understand why, if we really do want him here beyond this year, we don’t offer him a 4 year, $20-22 million extension”
      Probably because the team is worried that, if he turns out to be no better than the Shumpert from last year, that contract would be an albatross around their necks. In my opinion, what Shumpert needs more than anything else is an attitude adjustment. When he was a rookie, he talked and played like he wanted to be a great defender more than anything else. Last year, in an interview, he said something like he doesn’t really like to play defense but he plays hard on defense because, when he gets a steal, he gets to take a shot at the other end. He said it half-jokingly, but I think that it was also half serious (which would explain why his defensive effort appeared so uneven at times; if he didn’t think that there was a chance for a steal, he often seemed to give a half-hearted effort). He needs to go back to looking at defense as his primary way of contributing, rather than merely as a means to get himself a shot or two. I also think that he needs to start working harder and lose the entitlement mentality (and stop referring to himself in the third person as Shump-Shump, which I find incredibly annoying).

    51. Z-man

      I could see that. Not sure if Shump bites, though. That’s a rock-bottom kind of price for him, why should he lock himself up 4 years? At the end of this season, he’s still just 24. If he plays well (and tha fact that it is a contract year should help) he will be worth at lease a Jeremy Lin kind of deal (3 years @ $25 mill.)

      Let’s hope he has a good year and that we either trade him for a real asset or that we keep him and he becomes Bruce Bowen or Trevor Ariza. I trust that Jax has a handle on this one, so as long as he soesn’t dump him on the cheap, I can live with whatever happens.

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