Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.08.14)

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Court Rejects Sterling’s Appeal (Thu, 14 Aug 2014 03:52:55 GMT)
    A California appeals court shot down Donald Sterling’s latest effort to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to the former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

  • [New York Times] LeBron James and Cavs Open vs. Knicks (Thu, 14 Aug 2014 01:30:49 GMT)
    The N.B.A. on Wednesday released its schedule, which begins on Oct. 28 with the San Antonio Spurs hosting the Dallas Mavericks in one of three games.

  • [New York Times] Sterling’s Last Bid to Halt L.A. Clippers Sale Blocked by Court (Thu, 14 Aug 2014 01:30:06 GMT)
    Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his final chance to block the $2 billion sale of the NBA team to former Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, when a California appeals court refused on Wednesday to halt the deal.

  • [New York Times] Sterling Loses Appeal to Block Clippers Sale (Thu, 14 Aug 2014 00:39:15 GMT)
    Donald Sterling’s latest effort to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was rejected Wednesday by a California appeals court.

  • [New York Times] Work Starts on New Arena for Sacramento Kings Basketball Team (Thu, 14 Aug 2014 00:06:01 GMT)
    Wrecking crews tore into the shell of a dated shopping mall a half-dozen blocks from the California state capitol on Wednesday, as work began in earnest on a new downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings basketball team.

  • 56 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.08.14)

    1. JK47

      Maybe Melo’s new slimmed down body will help his mobility, and thus make him more of an impact player on defense.

    2. Hubert

      So, Grantland is describing the LeBron/Wiggins rivalry as “The Stuff Trilogies Are Made Of” and calls Wiggins the Darth Vader to LeBron’s Obi Wan. They go on to say:

      “Five years from now, this rivalry could be the best thing in sports. This Wiggins vs. LeBron thing is as personal as professional rivalries get. If I’m Wiggins, I’ve got a LeBron fathead on the ceiling above my bed to help me focus on the vengeance that will one day be mine. And every night, I will dream of hoisting a trophy over the king for causing me to endure one of the most embarrassing summers a no. 1 pick has ever gone through. ”

      This is hilarious. Honestly, I’d be shocked if the Wiggins/LeBron “rivalry” ever becomes as competitive as Michael Jordan’s rivalry with Gerald Wilkins.

    3. DRed

      In 5 years Lebron is going to be 35. Assuming he actually starts caring about Andrew Wiggins sometime during the next five years he’s going to be well passed his prime and his greatest rival is going to be father time. For example, Michael Jordan’s greatest rival when he was 35 was the blackjack dealer.

    4. Hubert

      And really, how embarrassing was this summer for Wiggins? People compared him to Scottie Pippen for fucks sake. I bet this is the last summer anyone ever thinks of Andrew Wiggins as a future hall of famer.

    5. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, I’ve constantly been amazed at how this has been spun as an insult to Wiggins. And he has totally bought into it, as well.

    6. thenamestsam

      Yeah, I’ve constantly been amazed at how this has been spun as an insult to Wiggins. And he has totally bought into it, as well.

      I know beating on Wiggins has apparently become the new cool thing around here, but seriously, what are we talking about here? Everything I’ve seen he has been totally professional and said basically “I want to play somewhere where they want me” and that’s it. For example here are the most recent quotes I could find:

      “Whatever happens is out of my control. I’m not worrying about it right now” and “I let my agent and my support system handle that, I just love playing the game of basketball and I know the NBA is a business”.

      WHOA! Somebody stop the kid! He’s out of control!

      And to Hubert I’m really struggling to figure out how being traded for Kevin Love and being compared to Scottie Pippen is “embarrassing”. I’m not sure I understand why there seems to be such animosity towards this kid. He got picked higher than some people think is right based on his college stats I guess. That’s his fault how again?

    7. Brian Cronin

      And to Hubert I’m really struggling to figure out how being traded for Kevin Love and being compared to Scottie Pippen is “embarrassing”.

      Hubert was using sarcasm there. That’s his (and my) issue here – Wiggins is being treated like a superstar (the Pippen comparison, being basically traded for Love straight up) and yet the mainstream media narrative is that he’s being disrespected by Cleveland.

    8. thenamestsam

      Ah so now he’s not totally buying into it, it’s just a mainstream media narrative. Still not sure I understand why people seem to have a problem with him.

    9. dtrickey

      I must admit Wiggins has shown a lot of maturity. I’m still not convinced how far he’ll go in the league (for Minny fans I sincerely hope he comes up good), but I don’t think you can fault his character. High character guys are what you want to build your team around.

      This World Cup is definitely going to raise a lot of questions as to the viability of high paid stars participating. As an outsider, I would be disappointed if the USA didn’t field their absolute strongest team in the future. I mean Australia probably isn’t going to ever really compete with the big dogs of international basketball, but it’s always great to see the worlds best competing against each other. You look back at the years the USA fielded poor teams pre-Beijing, and it’s pretty easy to see what happens when the big names opt out of international play.

    10. Totes McGoats

      I finally got a peek at the sked..and we start with a CHI-CLE-CHA gambit??? Jeez! Helluva way to start a new regime..

    11. Kevin Udwary

      If you want to argue that Melo is a better shooter than LeBron (and I think that’s the crux of most of these chaps arguments) then you can probably make a pretty strong case. But, if you are saying he is a better scorer, while completely ignoring scoring efficiency, then you are either being disingenuous or you really have no comprehension of what those efficiency stats describe.

    12. DRed

      I’m pretty sure its the later.

      Melo is a better shooter from distance than Lebron, and he scores more PPG, sooo. . .

    13. Brian Cronin

      Not to mention the fact that does anyone (I mean anyone) seriously believe that Lebron couldn’t score more if that’s all he decided to do? The dude could clearly average 30 a game if he decided to concentrate just on scoring. There’s no doubt about it.

    14. er

      I think it depends on what you mean by “better” Melo has more variety in his game offensively. But he lags in efficiency. Remember Melo was a post player years before Lebron. Lebron early in his career relied heavily on his athleticism…and just a few years ago started to add variety

    15. lavor postell

      @danvt

      Don’t care. I only argued that George’s injury sucks for him, the Pacers and Team USA and that it may potentially help the Knicks. Cousins getting a boo boo that they are calling day-to-day now isn’t changing my opinion since I wasn’t debating should players play in the Olympics or not.

      I will say the NBA didn’t seem to have a problem with it when the Dream Team was spreading the game to places beyond America’s borders. Now that there isn’t a ton of need to spread the game and a very good player got hurt it’s quite self serving of them to bandy about the idea that NBA stars should no longer participate in the Olympics.

      Billionaires crying about how risky their investment in a player is doesn’t strike much of a chord with me.

    16. lavor postell

      Wiggins is being treated like a superstar? How?

      Generally speaking No. 1 overall picks are going to get attention, especially when they’ve been hyped up since before their balls dropped and when they’ve been traded for a perennial All-Star before even stepping on an NBA floor.

      How many people here watched Wiggins this season more than a handful of times? You guys can rip on him all you want, but he was never dropping past No. 3 regardless of who was picking, so clearly NBA teams value him even if you don’t.

      That’s not to say they are absolutely right for valuing him so high, but they must all see some potential with this kid beyond the fact that he can jump high. DeAndre Jordan was an insane athlete and he dropped to the 2nd round. Plenty of guys are insane athletes and still drop into lower draft positions.

    17. danvt

      Don’t care. I only argued that George’s injury sucks for him,

      @7 zzzzzzz…

      I actually asked that it be taken down but they didn’t. Sorry. You guys win.

    18. hoolahoop

      I think it depends on what you mean by “better” Melo has more variety in his game offensively. But he lags in efficiency.

      er, we finally agree on something.
      I’m no stranger to knocking Melo, but it’s true, he’s a better scorer than Lebron. However, Lebron is a much much much much much much much much much better basketball player.

      That’s exactly why Melo deserves the criticism he gets. His innate talent is as good as Lebron’s or Durant’s. He just plays so damn stupid.

    19. DRed

      I’m no stranger to knocking Melo, but it’s true, he’s a better scorer than Lebron.

      No, he’s not a better scorer than Lebron. If he was, he’d score baskets more often. The best shots are the ones that go in.

    20. Brian Cronin

      Melo’s a better three-point shooter than Lebron, he definitely has that on Lebron (their career percentages are actually very close, but I think it is fair to say that Melo has turned the page, as it were, when it comes to his three-point shooting).

    21. Donnie Walsh

      Why not debate whether Peja Stojakovic, Kiki Vandeweghe, or Adrian Dantley are better scorers than LeBron. It’s equally pointless (but at least those guys were all better scorers than Carmelo Anthony).

    22. Hubert

      And to Hubert I’m really struggling to figure out how being traded for Kevin Love and being compared to Scottie Pippen is “embarrassing”.

      Yeah, when I said “how embarrassing was this summer?” I meant “how is this embarrassing”?” not “this is so embarrassing”.

    23. Hubert

      Still not sure I understand why people seem to have a problem with him.

      I don’t have a problem with Andrew Wiggins. I have a problem that an out of control narrative based in very little fact inflated his value to such a point that another Eastern rival was able to trade him virtually straight up for one of the very best players in basketball.

    24. iserp

      I don’t have a problem with Andrew Wiggins. I have a problem that an out of control narrative based in very little fact inflated his value to such a point that another Eastern rival was able to trade him virtually straight up for one of the very best players in basketball.

      Kevin Love was in his last year of contract in a team he didnt want to be, and unlikely to make the playoffs. I am amazed that Minnesota got what they got. Wiggins might not pan out, but you can say the same about most draft picks.

    25. thenamestsam

      Yeah I don’t understand how you can say with a straight face that “an out of control narrative based in very little fact inflated his value”. He was the #1 overall pick for god’s sake. That’s not a “narrative”. It’s a fact about his value. He was considered the best prospect in one of the most loaded drafts in years. You may disagree with that evaluation, but there are reasons for it, namely the same reasons people have known his name since he was 15 – because he’s a special athletic talent. It’s not like the media is making this kid out to be something he’s not – NBA consensus is that he has the chance to be a special player.

    26. lavor postell

      Yeah I don’t understand how you can say with a straight face that “an out of control narrative based in very little fact inflated his value”. He was the #1 overall pick for god’s sake. That’s not a “narrative”. It’s a fact about his value. He was considered the best prospect in one of the most loaded drafts in years. You may disagree with that evaluation, but there are reasons for it, namely the same reasons people have known his name since he was 15 – because he’s a special athletic talent. It’s not like the media is making this kid out to be something he’s not – NBA consensus is that he has the chance to be a special player.

      Agreed. It’s fine if you think he isn’t going to be a good player, but clearly the majority of NBA teams feel he will be special. That doesn’t make them right, but I’d venture to guess they’ve seen the kid play and run the numbers on him a hell of a lot more than anybody here who’s proclaiming him to be completely undeserving of being picked that high.

      I mean in all likelihood the odds of him being better than or equal too Kevin Love aren’t great, but what package was Minnesota going to get that was better than what Cleveland offered them?

    27. Brian Cronin

      I think that it was a fine package for Love. It is also a home run for Cleveland, and that was half of my issue with the narrative.

      Problem 1 with the narrative – that the trade was anything other than a slam dunk for Cleveland. Fair trade for Minnesota to be sure, as they were losing Love anyways, so to get a cost-controlled guy like Wiggins was a rare opportunity for them (plus a not horrible chance for a rebound player in Bennett plus another pick). But a slam dunk for Cleveland. And yet multiple writers (including some of ESPN’s highest profile basketball writers) talked about how they wouldn’t make the trade, turning it in the media into an open debate when there should have been no debate. And that debate centered on Wiggins being blown up into some Hall of Fame level talent. “He could be the next Scottie Pippen!”
      Problem 2 with the narrative – that Wiggins being traded for Love was disrespectful to Wiggins. Here, the media was serving its best interests, as they love creating rivalries and they were desperately pushing for it to be “Wiggins vows to make the Cavs pay.” I think Wiggins handled this narrative well for the most part, but I think by the end of it he was buying into it, as well (which is reasonable on his part – when reporters come at you every day to ask you about how disrespected you were, eventually you begin to buy in).

    28. Hubert

      He was considered the best prospect in one of the most loaded drafts in years.

      Narrative, narrative, narrative, narrative.

      The draft was considered loaded before the season began, because guys like Parker & Wiggins had immense hype.

      By all accounts, they both failed to justify it. This was not Oden & Durant. Not by a long shot.

      By the time this draft rolled around, it was not loaded. It was disappointing (especially in light of Embiid’s injury).

    29. Z-man

      If Embiid wasn’t hurt, he clearly should have been picked #1. Not sure Cleveland would have done that, or if they had, if they would have been as anxious to package him for Love.

      The larger point is that Wiggins did not really merit a #1 narrative, and his college performance was pretty disappointing compared to other 1 and done “sure thing” #1 picks, Like Melo, Durant, etc. Parker was hyped as well, and he wasn’t dominant either.

      This draft class was very deep in NBA rotation-caliber talent and potential, but there are no sure-fire superstars. I think McBuckets has as good a chance to be a superstar as Wiggins or Parker, and Embiid’s injury makes him a risk (he clearly has superstar talent written all over him.) Or maybe Jowles’ boy Kyle Anderson becomes the next Oscar Robertson. Who knows, maybe Cleanthony Early becomes James Worthy!

    30. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, if Embiid had been healthy, then that would have been an interesting debate, at least, as to whether Cleveland should deal him for Love. I probably still do it, but A. it would no longer be a slam dunk deal for Cleveland and B. I don’t think I’d include anything other than Embiid and salary filler in the deal.

    31. thenamestsam

      It may not have been as strong as people were expecting it to be at one point, but it was still considered an extremely strong draft by most NBA people. Here’s just one quote as an example. Also note that the Magic reportedly offered #4, #12 and Afflalo to move up to #1. I guess those NBA GMs were just doing it because of a media narrative?

    32. Brian Cronin

      I think it was a very good draft. It was just not the draft they thought it would be before Wiggins and Parker had mediocre college seasons. Before then, it looked like it would be a deep draft plus a top heavy draft – which is obviously a real rarity.

    33. lavor postell

      Wiggins posted a 56.3 TS%, 49.9 eFG%, 10.4 TRB%, 2.1 STL%, 3.1 BLK%, 26.3 USG%, 21.4 PER and .170 WS/48. Sure the guy has flaws, but despite that he had a very promising freshman year if not being the next Lebron James like he was hyped up to be. It’s not insane to have watched him this past season and seen the potential of an All-NBA wing defender and hope that with some time and instruction he could develop his handle and jump shot to the point he was a plus offensive player.

      If Embiid was healthy he was unquestionably the No. 1 overall pick, but Wiggins also flashed a ton of potential and had some monster games through the course of the season. Clearly some NBA teams feel that given some time he has the potential to be a two-way star.

      By the time this draft rolled around, it was not loaded. It was disappointing (especially in light of Embiid’s injury).

      This is just not true. Maybe it wasn’t as top heavy with 3 franchise altering stars as was thought at the beginning of the season, but this draft was loaded with players that project to have long careers in the league.

    34. thenamestsam

      Note before I say this that I’m not saying Wiggins is Lebron James, but I have often wondered how Lebron would have performed in college if he’d been forced to play one college season. Keeping in mind that he couldn’t shoot a lick at that age and that he has occasionally shown in the past a willingness to defer rather than dominate, it’s not impossible for me to imagine the following situation: Lebron plays for a disciplinarian college coach on a team with a number of veteran players. He struggles a bit to get his points outside of transition scenarios because, again, he can’t shoot, and his coach’s half court offense isn’t designed to take advantage of a point-forward type PnR weapon – it’s tailored to the strengths of the veterans who Lebron occasionalyl seems overly willing to defer to. His athleticism and talent are apparent to anybody who cares to look at those sort of things, but he’s also a let down to some people who expected him to be the complete package as an 18 year old. He puts up just decent stats with some monstrous games mixed with games where he looks a little lost. Is it that far fetched?

      People forget now that Lebron was pretty mediocre in some respects his rookie year (how I wish we could see what some of our WP worshiping brothers would have said about the .069 Wp/48 he put up that year. Can you say bust alert?). A lot of highlights, but extreme inconsistency. Again, I’m not saying Wiggins is Lebron, I’m just saying it might be a good rule of thumb not to write off extremely talented 19 year-olds after one mediocre season.

    35. DRed

      Is anyone writing off Wiggins? I wouldn’t have taken him with the first pick, but he could turn out to be a terrific player.

    36. Z-man

      “Wiggins posted a 56.3 TS%, 49.9 eFG%, 10.4 TRB%, 2.1 STL%, 3.1 BLK%, 26.3 USG%, 21.4 PER and .170 WS/48.”

      That makes him a very solid college player, not a sure-fire NBA superstar in the making. I think Wiggins will be a stud, probably a future multiple all-star, and maybe a HOF kind of player. But it’s not nearly as clear cut as it was for, say, Durant, who averaged 26 and 11 as a freshman. (who a lot of people were down on when he was drafted because he couldn’t complete even 1 bench press rep, and then labeled a bust because he had TS% of .510 his rookie year, shooting 29% from 3!)

    37. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, Wiggins is still a good prospect (like I said, he’s a fine return on Love for Minnesota). He’s just not someone you would ever worry about losing when you’re getting Kevin Love for him.

    38. DRed

      Agreed, Brian. A more interesting hypothetical would be trading fresh out of college Kevin Durant for 25 year old Kevin Love if you’ve just added 30 year old Lebron to your team. Unlike Wiggins, Durant was a fucking monster in college, but he was still super young and it took him a couple years to really blossom in the NBA.

    39. Brian Cronin

      Heck, I think Embiid is a worse prospect than Durant was and I would hesitate even with Embiid! But yeah, that Durant question is a fascinating one. I think I’d roll the dice with Durant. He and Oden were special talents.

      Of the last ten NBA drafts, here are the #1 picks I would not trade for Love (based, of course, on only what we knew about them at the time):

      Oden
      Rose
      Griffin
      Davis

      Everyone else I would trade for Love.

      “Everyone else” being Bogut, Bargnani, Wall, Irving, Bennett and Wiggins.

      Oh, wait, how could I give up Bargs for Love!?! I would do anything for Love, but I wouldn’t do that!

    40. thenamestsam

      I think the fact that your list of guys you wouldn’t have traded lines up exactly with the best players on the list shows the obvious flaws of trying to do retroactive analysis of “what we knew at the time”. Or maybe you’re just awesome at knowing which #1 picks will be good. As one example, to my memory, Rose wasn’t considered a better prospect than Wall at the time of drafting. Remember that Rose vs. Beasley was considered a toss up – it’s not like Rose was considered some can’t miss player.

    41. Brian Cronin

      True, Oden has had an awesome career.

      That said, the obviously awesome draft picks tend to become awesome players. That’s typically how it works.

      And you’re misremembering Rose’s draft. Clear cut #1. We talked about it for months hoping that the Knicks would get #1 to get Rose, since we all knew only the #1 pick would be getting Rose.

    42. thenamestsam

      And you’re misremembering Rose’s draft. Clear cut #1. We talked about it for months hoping that the Knicks would get #1 to get Rose, since we all knew only the #1 pick would be getting Rose.

      That’s really not how it happened. Lots of early mock drafts had Beasley going #1. See for example: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/draft2008/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=MockDraft-080520. By draft day it was well established that Rose was going #1 overall, but it was by no means considered a lock during the process.

    43. Brian Cronin

      I just looked into our old comments on the blog and yes, sure enough, lots and lots of comments about us hoping for Derrick Rose in 2008. So perhaps elsewhere on the internet people were clamoring for Beasley, but here it was almost entirely Rose (of course there were some Beasley talk – the dude was hyped a lot but Rose was the consensus pick here). And the closer it got to the draft, the comments here about Beasley went from “I wouldn’t mind him if we can’t get Rose” to “I don’t want him period.”

      Here’s a fun comment from late in 2007:

      Michael Beasley? Think Antoine Walker/Derrick Coleman 2.0…

      Derrick Rose!

      It’s sad that Beasley wasn’t even close to the level of Walker and Coleman!

      So based on just what we thought back then (which is what I was doing) I wouldn’t have traded Rose for Love. I’d probably be wrong, honestly (which is also a weird part of your commentary about hindsight – at least 1/4 of the guys I mentioned would have been bad ideas not to trade for Love and possibly half of them!), but I wouldn’t have done it.

    44. thenoblefacehumper

      I think the fact that your list of guys you wouldn’t have traded lines up exactly with the best players on the list shows the obvious flaws of trying to do retroactive analysis of “what we knew at the time”

      I think now most people would trade Rose for Love, and they’d certainly trade Oden…

    45. DRed

      Beasley was a wrecking machine in college. We were super lucky we didn’t have the second pick that year

    46. Z-man

      Situation counts as well. If you already have 30 y.o. LeBron and Kyrie, and the championship window is open for the next 5 years, wouldn’t you trade the promise of Rose for the guarantee (barring injury) of Love? There is no mystery with Love, he’s an established 24 and 12 guy at age 25. Even if Rose becomes Rose, it’s not like you got a stiff in return.

    47. Brian Cronin

      Exactly, which is why the only guys I wouldn’t have traded for him would be guys I was certain (at the time) would be delivering All Star quality performances within two years. The only guys I felt that about were Davis, Griffin, Oden and Rose.

      Man, I still can’t get over how everything went so wrong for Oden. He was so good!! He was the type of guy you’d consider trading one of your current players for a pick to draft Mike Conley just to make Oden happy (back when Conley didn’t look like he’d be much of an NBA player).

    48. Z-man

      Oden was good, yet I’m not sure he’d be more valuable than Love. But I get the logic.

      On another note, I’m surprised this guy didn’t get drafted:

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

      Sacramento just signed him to a training camp contract. He’s obviously too slow to play in the NBA right now, but doesn’t seem like a total stiff and was 2-time WAC tournament MVP with New Mexico State. He needs to lose another 40 pounds or so and if his legs hold up, you might have something there.

    49. iserp

      Although i agree with you that it is wise for Cleveland to trade Wiggins for Love, i want to defend the other side a bit:

      Wiggins as he is projected is a better fit than Love for the team. Cleveland has enough guys that excel on the offensive side of the game. They already have Tristan Thompson at PF, and LBJ can play there too, specially as he ages. On the other hand, Wiggins would be a valuable piece on the defensive end. He is very versatile, and they could replicate the good perimeter defense of the Miami Heat, which masqueraded their lack of a Center (and they will need to if/when Varejao misses time). As currently constructed, the team is weak at D, and may suffer through the season.

      I still support going for the known quantity which is already a great player, and then figuring things out.

    Comments are closed.