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Friday, November 24, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.10.17)

  • [NY Newsday] Point guard Frank Ntilikina talking with Knicks teammates as bruised knee heals
    (Monday, October 16, 2017 7:40:05 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Frank Ntilikina’s troublesome knee will have a few more days to heal before it really gets tested by NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks podcast: One on one with Tim Hardaway Jr.
    (Monday, October 16, 2017 2:10:51 PM)

    The Knicks open their 2017-18 NBA season on Thursday. In Oklahoma City. Against Carmelo Anthony.

  • [SNY Knicks] Kuzminskas, Jack tentatively ruled inactive ahead of season-opener
    (Monday, October 16, 2017 8:20:00 PM)

    Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas and guard Jarrett Jack have been ruled inactive for Thursday’s season-opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks expect Frank Ntilikina to play in season-opener
    (Monday, October 16, 2017 1:11:03 PM)

    Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek expects rookie PG Frank Ntilikina to play during Thursday’s season-opener against the Thunder in Oklahoma City.

  • [NYPost] Knicks preview: Finding out how low they can go
    (Monday, October 16, 2017 10:08:31 PM)

    The only question is whether Jeff Hornacek will replace Derek Fisher in the history books for worst single-season record for a Knicks coach. Probably not, but after an 0-5 preseason, it’s not out of the realm of possibility the rebuilding, post-Carmelo Anthony club could challenge 17-65. The new regime of Steve Mills and Scott Perry…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ Frank Ntilikina caretaker is just happy to be here
    (Monday, October 16, 2017 3:36:26 PM)

    Ramon Sessions has no problem babysitting. He has spent large segments of his 10-year NBA career serving as a caretaker for younger players such as Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker. So when he inked a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum with the Knicks on July 28, Sessions knew mentoring rookie Frank Ntilikina would be…

  • [NYPost] Frank Ntilikina: I’ll be ready for Knicks opener
    (Monday, October 16, 2017 9:41:48 AM)

    Frank Ntilikina is making progress, slowly but steadily, in advance of Thursday’s regular-season opener against Carmelo Anthony and the Thunder. The Knicks’ rookie point guard from France took part in his second straight practice Monday, doing more than he did Saturday, and the expectation is he will be available when the season begins. “If the…

  • [NYTimes] Eastern Conference Preview: Are the Celtics and Cavaliers Vulnerable?
    (Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:00:57 AM)

    Boston and Cleveland continued to stockpile stars, but the Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors are all waiting for a chance to break through.

  • [NYTimes] Western Conference Preview: The Warriors and 14 Other Guys
    (Tuesday, October 17, 2017 9:00:56 AM)

    The Warriors are in a class by themselves, but the Rockers and the Thunder spent the off-season making rosters moves to try to keep up.

  • [NYTimes] On Basketball: The Warriors Want Steve Nash in Their Ring Ceremony. He’d Rather Pass.
    (Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:41:09 AM)

    Nash, who is a player development consultant with the Warriors, says he would prefer to be out of the spotlight when the team gets its title rings on Tuesday.

  • [NYTimes] Katie Smith Replaces Bill Laimbeer as Liberty Coach
    (Monday, October 16, 2017 10:08:03 PM)

    Laimbeer, who has coached the Liberty since 2013, is expected to take a position with the relocated San Antonio Stars franchise.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Months of N.B.A. Sound and Fury, Signifying No Threat to the Warriors
    (Monday, October 16, 2017 6:59:22 AM)

    The league went through a transformative off-season, with star players switching teams and the league overhauling rules. But the most important thing didn’t change.

  • 93 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.10.17)

    1. iserp

      Random win predictions ahead!

      WEST

      Golden State Warriors 70-12
      Houston Rockets 60-22
      Oklahoma City Thunder 55-27
      LA Clippers 52-30
      Denver Nuggets 51-31
      San Antonio Spurs 50-32
      Utah Jazz 45-37
      Portland Trail Blazers 44-38
      —————-
      Memphis Grizzlies 42-40
      Minnesota Timberwolves 37-45
      Dallas Mavericks 35-49
      New Orleans Pelicans 30-52
      Phoenix Suns 27-55
      Sacramento Kings 22-60
      LA Lakers 19-63

      So here, I’m counting on a healthy season for the Clippers, and an injured one for SA (Old guys, and Kawhi starts the season with a nagging injury). Denver has incredible depth, and I think it will work for the regular season, even better if they manage to trade for a point guard. I think Utah’s defensive approach will get them many wins. On the other hand, Minnesota has a very thin bench, and inadequate defensively; and I see them out of the playoffs. For NOP, the talent dropoff after Davis and Cousins is so big, I dont think they can make up for it, even if they click together.

    2. iserp

      EAST

      Cleveland Cavaliers 61-21
      Boston Celtics 59-23
      Milwaukee Bucks 52-30
      Washington Wizards 50-32
      Toronto Raptors 46-36
      Charlotte Hornets 45-37
      Miami Heat 42-40
      Detroit Pistons 37-45
      —————-
      Orlando Magic 36-46
      Philadelphia 76ers 34-48
      Brooklyn Nets 32-50
      Indiana Pacers 31-51
      New York Knicks 30-52
      Atlanta Hawks 24-58
      Chicago Bulls 12-70

      I think Crowder will be a very welcome addition to the Cleveland with his ability to switch on defense. Milwaukee will keep improving with a full season of Middleton, and Thon Maker making a leap. The Hornets seems a solid team even without Batum in a weak east. For the 76ers, I thinks TOs and rookie mistakes, shooting struggles, and Embiid health will make them wait another year for the playoffs. For the Knicks, I really want to put them higher, and I think that if Ntilikina is a good playmaker from the get go, we can overcome the deficiencies in D with versatility matching the opponents to our advantage, and even reach the playoffs. But I’d rather put the more reallistic number, so when I get quoted out of context I dont look like such a fool ;-) .

    3. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Boston Celtics 54.5–Id smash the under on this one. Boston gutted their team for Kyrie Irving—Jae Crowder is literally almost as good as Kyrie in the first place. Horford is aging, and Hayward and Kyrie are probably just gonna take turns with the ball. I peg them at 48.
      Toronto Raptors 48–under, but close. 46 wins.
      Philadelphia 76ers 39–under. Too much injury volatility; 35 wins
      New York Knicks 29.5—under; this team is absolute garbage and I don’t think KP takes a leap. 25 wins.
      Brooklyn Nets 28–over. 32 wins.
      Cleveland Cavaliers 54.5–over. 56 wins.
      Milwaukee Bucks 46.5–lots of volatility on this one too. I think I’d hit the under at around 44 wins.
      Detroit Pistons 38.5–under. 36 wins.
      Indiana Pacers 31.5–over. 32 wins.
      Chicago Bulls 22–I think this is almost definitely an over. They seem about as equally talented as the Knicks, if not more. 26 wins.
      Washington Wizards 49–over. Otto will probably come back to earth this year efficiency wise, but I think Wall and Beal improve chemistry wise. 51 wins.
      Miami Heat 44.5–under. 42 wins.
      Charlotte Hornets 42.5–over. 45 wins.
      Orlando Magic 32.5–under. 29 wins.
      Atlanta Hawks 25.5-under 24 wins. Dennis Schroeder is gonna be chucking for 40 mins a game.
      Oklahoma City Thunder 53.5–under. 51 wins.
      Minnesota Timberwolves 48–under. 47 wins.
      Denver Nuggets 45.5–over. 49 wins. Jokic is a god.
      Portland Trail Blazers 43–over. 45 wins.
      Utah Jazz 41.5–under. 40 wins
      Golden State Warriors 67.5–over. 69 wins.
      Los Angeles Clippers 45–over. 48 wins.
      Los Angeles Lakers 32.5–over. 33 wins.
      Sacramento Kings 27.5–id smash the over. 34 wins.
      Phoenix Suns 29–under. 26 wins.
      Houston Rockets 55.5–over, over, over. 60 wins.
      San Antonio Spurs 54.5–under. 53 wins. Losing Desmond hurts more than it looks.
      New Orleans Pelicans 39.5–under. 36 wins.
      Memphis Grizzlies 37.5–over. 39 wins
      Dallas Mavericks 34.5–over. 35 wins.

    4. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      The New York Times has great one sentence summaries at the end of each teams paragraphs. For the Knicks:

      Status: Tall (and not much else)

    5. Bruno Almeida

      I think people are really underrating the Raptors. They won 51 games last year, they kept the same core and added some interesting players, plus they have some young dudes with a chance to progress. I think people are hanging on to how non competitive they were in the playoffs, but the east is terrible and Lowry will feast on the weak backcourts all day long.

      I also think if Butler was able to carry that Bulls team to 41 games last year, I can’t see how they won’t win at least the same amount with KAT in the west.

      If I were a betting man, I’d take Toronto, Sacramento, Charlotte and Indiana as overs, Boston, New Orleans and Miami as under.

    6. stratomatic says you can't play defense if you keep getting players than can't defend

      The under/over for the west was very difficult for me to analyze. A lot of teams have either improved personnel, seem likely to get some development from young players, or both. There aren’t enough wins to go around. A couple of very good teams are going to have disappointing years.

    7. swiftandabundant

      @ 3 – when you say the Knicks are absolute garbage does that mean you are not high on our future and the young players we have? Do you think KP won’t be a good core piece to have on a contending team?

      I’m not taking shots. I’m just curious what you mean by that. Like they’re garbage bc the good pieces they have are all young and haven’t played together and we’ve got holes on the roster? Or we’re garbage like KP, Willie and Frank (and Hardaway) aren’t long term pieces we can hang our hats on?

    8. wetbandit

      I really, really don’t understand how people think the Knicks win more than 25 games. They play no defense at all. Frank is a rookie, and as such will probably take away wins more than give. No one outside of KP is above average on defense, and most way below. Lance and Lee are overrated defenders, like winning the least ugly award at a syphilis clinic.

      They’re probably gonna end up with too many lineups to gel or create any positive set plays. And the lineups all suck.

      KP can take a leap or whatever, but I never bank on the improbable. He’ll probably be a good shooting rim protector, which is great. He won’t drag us LeBron style, because that’s what it would take.

      One of our best win now lineups is Sessions- Hardaway-Lee-KP-Kanter. That sucks!

      22 wins. And that’s great to me.

    9. lavor postell

      The Knicks options suck but so do a lot of other teams, especially in the East so it’s not that hard to see the Knicks winning 30 games tbh. I think they’re closer to 25, but it doesn’t really matter to me since that’s not the priority right now and isn’t how I’ll be judging the level of our success this season.

    10. ess-dog

      I hope we see some Frank/Dotson backcourt at some point. TH2 is such a waste of money it boggles the mind. He’s just not a good defender.

    11. lavor postell

      THJ’s defense is pretty okay and I stand by that based on what I saw in preseason. He makes rotations, he closes out on shooters and he gives effort. He’s not going to be a lockdown perimeter defender, but if you have strong defensive players around him and a scheme that isn’t a disaster like ours was last year then he can be a fine cog within that context. He proved as much as last year in ATL.

      If the FO surrounds him with Sessions and McDermott and Kanter long term moving forward then he’s not going to cover for them, but if you replace them with guys who are defensively competent and able he’ll be fine. Offensively is where he needs to prove that his last half a year in ATL is the new norm and not just a 40 game hot streak.

    12. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      @6

      Because PG and Melo are massively overrated (Patterson was anice pickup however) and I don’t believe that Melo will improve in any significant sense—he’s never gonna turn into olympics Melo without Lebron.

      Meanwhile the Rockets added a top 5 player in the league who can actually pass and keep an offense moving without turning the ball over to a 55 win team.

      @8

      I don’t think are young players are ready to contribute beyond Willie KP and THJr (and it’s an open question just how much each will contribute.) Meanwhile all of our older pieces are hot garbage. I think we’ll be good in the future, so I’d say I’m only pessimistic about this season and maybe about KP unless he takes a leap this year (as he should.)

    13. bobneptune

      I don’t want to come off as an optimist, but the Knicks are in way better shape than 6 months ago.

      The can actually put a high offensive efficiency bully post player and surround him with plus 3 point shooting from KP, Mc Dermott, Lee, and likely Frank and Dotson. I can’t get past Kantner’s >.200ws/48 over the last 3 seasons and imagine he will be horrible. They can give him the majority of his minutes vs second units and hide him 18 minutes a game that way.

      If Phil and Gaines were correct about Frank and Dotson the Knicks won’t make the playoffs but will be entertaining and the franchise will have a reasonable future.

    14. stratomatic says you can't play defense if you keep getting players than can't defend

      The Knicks won 31 games last year.

      They lost Rose. They picked up Sessions and Frank. What’s the net of that?

      They lost Melo. They picked up Hardaway Jr and McBuckets. What’s the net of that?

      They added Kanter to an already solid front court. What’s the net of that.

      How many more games will they win because of the development of KP and Hernangomez?

      How many more games will they win because the east got worse.

      It’s easy for me to picture them having a much better season than people think, but it’s also easy for me to picture a team that can’t win very often because they give up 110 points a night and have the 28-30th ranked defense in the league.

    15. DRed

      The can actually put a high offensive efficiency bully post player and surround him with plus 3 point shooting from KP, Mc Dermott, Lee, and likely Frank and Dotson

      Kanter doesn’t pass

      Edit: that being said, I would take the over on the Knicks this year (I think it’s around 28 or 29 in vegas atm)

    16. kevin5318

      The efficient offense uptick will probably be offset by us turning the ball over a shit ton.

      Melo’s gone, KP will be pressured as the #1, Hardaway isn’t really a ball handler and Frank is a rookie. It’s gonna get ugly at times.

    17. ess-dog

      TH2 is NOT good at defense and he CANNOT close out on threes. I didn’t see that at all this preseason when teams scored at will on us. 3pt defense is arguably the most important need in modern basketball and the Knicks have been abysmal at it for years.

      I think TH2 can start and be of service if he’s sandwiched between 2 great perimeter defenders (Frank and Dotson I hope) but so far, he seems to give up the pointz he gets.

      They really need to start the best on-ball defenders they have as well as our best defensive rebounder (Willy) which won’t happen for some reason.

      I’m already pissed at Horny and we haven’t played a minute yet!

    18. lavor postell

      TH2 isn’t the reason teams scored at will on us, but sure, whatever. If you’re expecting him to standout and cover up for some of the worst defensive players in the league that’s your prerogative. And if you watched the last preseason game against Washington there were plenty of examples of him closing out on 3 point shooters effectively and making multiple rotations, just like he did in ATL last year.

      Also he didn’t defend Beal in that game, Lee did. TH2 defended Porter and he went 5-10 for 11 points and 0-2 on 3s.

    19. ess-dog

      He was on Beal some, but yes, Lee’s defensive ability is highly overrated. Maybe he was a decent defender about 4 years ago? I’m not sure… And I don’t think Baker will help much either. That’s why people here get so excited about Dotson. He seems like a high-level athlete that can not only be passable on defense, but maybe even be a net positive! Who was their last good wing defender even? Shumpert, I suppose?

    20. lavor postell

      I think Baker’s a good defender and he’s improved a lot as a ball handler and passer, but if he can’t shoot and/or finish at the rim it’s hard for it to matter.

      Dotson always keeps his feet alive on defense even when he’s off the ball. That’s something that I’ve noticed about him. If he shoots and rebounds like he did at Houston he definitely needs to get minutes on a team that’s very unlikely to be good.

    21. djphan

      the offense is not going to be that great…. horny’s offense relies on stellar guard play… sessions is good at that and might surprise if he can stay healthy but the other guards on the roster aren’t really great at that… in fact there aren’t many great passers period at any of the positions…. hardaway in particular will need to take a step up as a facilitator if we overperform on that side of the ball….

    22. ClashFan

      This could be A Tale of Two Seasons for the Knicks this year. The first “season” may be an Evaluation and Showcasing time. Lots of experimenting with lineups, etc. and lots of losses. Lee, OQ, Kanter, LT, and Beasley will also see significant minutes early on to showcase them. And yes, they do need minutes to remind teams that they are out there and perhaps worth dealing for. I think Beasley will quickly wear out his welcome here and be discarded before long, but that may just be wishful thinking on my part.

      The second “season” should be devoted to the young guys. Lee for sure needs to be dealt for all kinds of reasons. At least one of Kanter or OQ needs to go, maybe both. LT should go. Obviously try to deal for picks and try to limit bringing back any contracts longer than a year or two unless that contract has something Very Nice attached to it. If looking for players, try to target a young PG with some upside to share time with Frank (I think that Ron is, at best, a 4th guard on a decent team) and a young 3 with some upside. Try to steal a lottery pick from one of the pretenders out there (New Orleans?).

      If guys like Sessions, Lee, and/or LT are still on the team and logging significant minutes in the second half of the season, something has gone wrong.

    23. er

      Because PG and Melo are massively overrated (Patterson was anice pickup however) and I don’t believe that Melo will improve in any significant sense—he’s never gonna turn into olympics Melo without Lebron.

      Meanwhile the Rockets added a top 5 player in the league who can actually pass and keep an offense moving without turning the ball over to a 55 win team.

      So the Thunder will win 4 more games when they turned: Sabonis, Oladipo, McBuckets, Kanter INTO Melo, George, and Patterson…….that sounds like hateration. Grant will also have an expanded role and hes a damn good role player in todays NBA. I would be stunned if the won less than 54 games.

      I actually think the Rockets getting Paul was a very overrated regular season move. It should help in the playoffs tho

    24. thenamestsam

      So the Thunder will win 4 more games when they turned: Sabonis, Oladipo, McBuckets, Kanter INTO Melo, George, and Patterson…….that sounds like hateration.

      I think it’s really important to note that despite winning 47 they had the Pythagorean W-L of a 43 win team. So they could imp0rove significantly, have a little bit worse luck in close games and not come out more than a few games better. They also have really questionable depth this year due to those 2 for 1 trades. I love Patterson but his health is a big question mark and their other bench guys are all shaky at best – Felton, Abrines, Jerami Grant, Singler (who’s probably getting traded) – it gets ugly fast is my point. I like their starting 5 and think they can be tough in the playoffs if the Westbrook-Melo-George dynamic works out, but I also like the under on regular season wins for them.

    25. ruruland

      I agree on the first half showcase for Kanter and KOQ. Both guys can solidify the bench of a west team, and GSW is still giving 30 minutes a game to an actual center, so I’d think they’d have some value to any of the top 8 teams in West (sans injury), excluding perhaps Denver who has Plumleee coming off bench.

      But more importantly, KP is a center and his best chance of developing into a franchise-altering player is with space in a more modern offense. He HAS to develop some ability to generate shots near the rim eventually, but his strengths in pnr and catch and shoot have be emphasized.

      Last year, 20% of KP’s shots were unguarded (59.8 EFG%), 26% of his shots didn’t have a defender within 4 feet (51%efg).

      KP lost the NBA’s league leader in gravity score, according to the Washington Post. (Yes, Melo led all of the top scorers in the rate of defenders not helping off of him, and the last time that stat was made public, he was 4th in the NBA in 2014).

      So, he needs to be generating clean looks, and the way to do that is playing against opponents centers not accustomed to guarding a pick and pop 3-point center.

      Pitting him against mobile power forwards forces him to attack off the dribble and post up more often, and further clutters spacing.

      Everything should be done to maximize KP right now, giving him the confidence and reinforcing the notion he can be a superstar while allowing his body and game to develop closer to the basket.

      Also, the notion of PG and Melo being severely overrated might be accurate had they been traded to teams where they were the top option.

      All of the new advanced stats support the idea that top options get a lot more defensive attention, and that there is a large discrepancy in efficiency based on that attention.

      RW, PG and Melo will all reap the benefits of the feedback loop that is a defensive unable to properly account for all 3 at same time, as been the case with ALL the other big 3 teams

    26. stratomatic says you can't play defense if you keep getting players than can't defend

      So, he needs to be generating clean looks, and the way to do that is playing against opponents centers not accustomed to guarding a pick and pop 3-point center.

      This is moot. Porzingis already said he does not want to play C because he gets beat up physically having to deal with bigger stronger guy inside and it wears him down. Given the evidence keeps accumulating that he’s a bit fragile to begin with, I think the “theoretical” edge he might have over traditional Cs on offense gets offset by what he gives up when they are tossing him around like a rag doll under the boards and him missing more games.

      I think everyone sort of agrees his future is at C, but it doesn’t have to be now. We want him to be happy and last long enough to actually peak.

    27. kevin5318

      I think everyone sort of agrees his future is at C, but it doesn’t have to be now. We want him to be happy and last long enough to actually peak.

      Agreed.

    28. thenoblefacehumper

      The Thunder swapping out Kanter’s 60% TS for Melo’s Meloness will be a really interesting case study. His “gravity” or ability to stretch the floor or Olympic Melo or whatever will have to be worth a hell of a lot for that tradeoff to be beneficial offensively, especially considering their usage was actually pretty similar last year. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just that you have to think Melo’s non-boxscore contributions are very significant to think this will work. Color me skeptical.

      Defense is a different story, but if you’re trading for Carmelo Anthony expecting to radically improve you’re defense you’re likely to wind up disappointed.

      All in all, it’s very difficult to see the Thunder living up to the hype this year. I don’t think they’re in the same league as the Rockets, and the Spurs will probably finish ahead of them too. Their success in the playoffs will depend on the matchups, but I don’t see a conceivable path to getting through the second round.

    29. 2FOR18, understands math

      Please tell me this board won’t become dominated by er and Ruru talking about okc all season. I’m asking nicely.
      There are plenty of okc blogs fwiw.

    30. johnno

      “3pt defense is arguably the most important need in modern basketball and the Knicks have been abysmal at it for years.”
      This surprisingly is not true at all. In fact, the Knicks have been one of the better teams in the league in 3 pt defense over the last two years (after being last in the league three years ago). The last two years, the Knicks have been 8th and 7th, respectively, in 3pt field goal % allowed. And it’s not like they are giving up a ton of three pointers either. They were middle of the pack last year (15th) in total 3 pointers given up, but they were 4th in the league the year before.

    31. er

      Please tell me this board won’t become dominated by er and Ruru talking about okc all season. I’m asking nicely.
      There are plenty of okc blogs fwiw.

      I dont bring up Melo or OKC here unless someone else does. So talk to them. Or Dennis Smith for that matter. And I can talk about what I want. Everyone here can crow about Jokic or whoever without being harassed.

    32. 2FOR18, understands math

      Er, with all due respect, you brought up okc, which of course means you brought up melo. Somebody gave their prediction for every nba team and you immediately jumped on his okc prediction.

      And now we have Melo and his gravity and feedback loop for crying out loud.

      Melo is gone. He was a very polarizing figure. Let’s move on.

    33. Ben R

      The upgrade on Okc of Melo over Kanter isn’t about being better. He isn’t at not by much. It is about fit. Kanter can only play center and Okc already has a great center. Plus against Houston and golden state they need to be able to go small.

      Melo gives them a lot more flexibility even if he is barely if any upgrade in talent.

    34. geo

      The Knicks options suck but so do a lot of other teams, especially in the East so it’s not that hard to see the Knicks winning 30 games tbh. I think they’re closer to 25, but it doesn’t really matter to me since that’s not the priority right now and isn’t how I’ll be judging the level of our success this season.

      absolutely correct perspective to have – it’s gonna be tough though as the season progresses to keep that in mind though…new yorkers and patience – don’t exactly go together…

      The Knicks won 31 games last year.

      They lost Rose. They picked up Sessions and Frank. What’s the net of that?

      They lost ****. They picked up Hardaway Jr and McBuckets. What’s the net of that?

      don’t forget that veteran leadership rose & **** provided out on the court…hahahahahahahahaha…

      Edit: removed all references to **** – cuz, movin’ on…

    35. Ben R

      I think THJ is going to be very good for us and end up being a solid pickup. I could see him being a top 7 or 8 SG this year. Kanter will also be a good pickup and KP should take a step forward.

      The problem is we are so bad at PG, unless Frank is a lot more ready than expected (and healthy), that it really hurts any upside this team has. PG is the most important position in the NBA and we have maybe the worst PG rotation in the league.

      I think the over under line is pretty spot on and I’m guessing 32-34 wins for us. 9th pick in the draft.

    36. Owen

      Given how much ink has been spilled on Denver during the Melo years it’s probably not unfair to discuss OKE. I am honestly fascinated to see how it works out there. It’s a pretty perfect experiment for statheads to monitor.

    37. er

      @ Ben R its also about 3 point shooting. Here are the top 3 point catch and shoot guys from last year: >= 3 3FGA Per Game

      Allen Crabbe 46.4%
      Stephen Curry 46 %
      Kyle Korver 45.4%
      JJ Redick 44.9%
      Otto Porter Jr. 44.4%
      Nick Young 44.2%
      Klay Thompson 43.8
      Kawhi Leonard 42.9
      Langston Galloway 42.7
      Ryan Anderson 42.7
      CJ Miles 42.6
      Carmelo Anthony 42.6
      Bradley Beal 42.5
      Kevin Durant 42.5
      CJ McCollum 42.3
      Tony Snell 42.2
      Paul George 42

      7 of the 18 are top 2 scoring options on their teams
      5 are number 1 options and 2 are secondary options meaning that PG and Melo were in the top 5 in catch and shoot 3 point opportunities for #1 options in the whole NBA. To add not 1 but 2 guys like that to Westbrook who folds defenses the way he does is devastating.

    38. Owen

      That’s 3p% when taking more than 3 in a game?

      Why not just use totall 3p% instead? Doesn’t flatter Melo quite so much.

      Or am I missing something here?

    39. iserp

      Or am I missing something here?

      Catch and shoot threes, more than three tries a game (on average, I guess)

    40. er

      Catch and shoot threes, more than three tries a game (on average, I guess)

      The list consists of players who took 3 or more catch and shoot 3s per game and their corresponding 3 point percentages on those shots.

    41. Bruno Almeida

      I just don’t buy yet that Westbrook, Melo and PG will all join hands together sharing the ball happily and they’ll turn into a ball moving machine. Even the Heat when the big 3 joined together was A LOT of Lebron + Wade taking turns isolating and creating by themselves, and Lebron is by a very large margin the best passer of all those guys.

      It is possible that they all buy in to the sharing and taking better shots idea, but I have to see it to believe it. We have an entire career of data on Melo isolating, jab stepping and taking poor shots and some Olympic games of counter evidence, the same goes for Westbrook and to some extent George. The fact that Melo shoots well in those situations does not necessarily means a sure increase in those types of shots in relation to his general playstyle.

      I take the under on OKC because I think even if they do mesh well together, it won’t be instant and there’s a chance they’ll struggle more than expected.

    42. ruruland

      Here is the WaPo story I was referencing in regards to gravity score and defender distraction score.

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/fancy-stats/wp/2017/10/13/carmelo-anthony-is-a-great-fit-for-the-thunder-but-there-is-a-catch/

      And another on gravity scores: https://www.google.com/amp/s/8points9seconds.com/2014/07/30/nba-gravity-score-paul-george/amp/

      Players who set career highs in scoring + offensive efficiency with new teams and two other superstar offensive players in last decade.

      Lebron James, Miami: career TS w/Miami 622, 577 w/Cleveland.

      Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden (Durant, RW).

      Those who didn’t:

      Going back more than 10 years for 3+ star players, you have Houston with CB/Dream/Drexler, CB/Dream/Pippen, and did not have that effect, but each was at least 33 yo.

      If you think individual defense matters, then obviously at least one of the “big 3″ will have a better offensive matchup every game than what they are accustomed.

      Teams will not play power forwards against PG, so before you go into any interaction effects, Melo is going to get an inferior defender WAY more often than at any point of his career.

      Instead of Kawhi, he’ll get Aldridge. Instead of Ariza, he’ll get Anderson. Instead of Barnes, McRoberts; Gibson instead of Butler et al.

      Again, that’s before you talk about defensive schemes, defensive rotations, increased transition opps., etc.

    43. stratomatic says you can't play defense if you keep getting players than can't defend

      Kanter played a little over 21 minutes per game for OKC, didn’t start any games, and played both PF and C.

      Melo and George are more or less replacing Oladipo and Sabonis. IMO, that’s HUGE upgrade.

      Patrick Patterson will get Kanter’s minutes at PF. That’s a MASSIVE upgrade on defense. They will lose some scoring efficiency off the bench, but the net will probably still be better.

      I’m not really sure who their backup C is now. They will probably go small.

      I don’t think there’s any doubt OKC is a lot better now. The debate is only how many more wins it translates into because much of the rest of the west is a LOT better too.

    44. JK47

      If the Thunder can get Melo to take more efficient shots and do a lot less heroballin’ then yeah sure his efficiency might go up. Problem is that Melo really enjoys heroballin’. He thinks that’s the best way to win.

      I expect him to have another .530 TS%, .100 WS48 type season. He’s in his decline phase, it’s completely obvious. He can’t jump anymore, never gets dunks, and is slow.

    45. ruruland

      43.

      Except they don’t need high art GSW style movement and passing to be better.

      They have three isolation players who will each benefit from less defense and inferior defenders.

      Combine that with three really good defenders, and their floor is pretty damn high.

      No one is beating GSW, but OKC will be really good if healthy.

    46. ruruland

      Don’t you guys think it’s pretty weird that these new advanced stats show Melo getting the kind of defensive treatment that other superstars get, when he’s such a bad player?

      Are coaches just really stupid, and shouldn’t they know that Melo’s inefficiency is wholly a product of his own play, and that treasured defensive assets should be reallocated elsewhere.

      Hey, he dunked in each of OKC’s preseason games and is at his rookie playing weight.

      I told myself I wasn’t going to do this here, so I said my peace and will be checking out on this topic for awhile, chiming back in on Knicks.

    47. iserp

      I just don’t buy yet that Westbrook, Melo and PG will all join hands together sharing the ball happily and they’ll turn into a ball moving machine.

      Well, Westbrook, Roberson, Paul George, Melo and Steven Adams have career AST% of 41.5, 5.1, 16.9, 16.1 and 5.4

      On the other hand, Baker, THJr, McDermott, Porzingis and Kanter have AST% of 17.3, 10.9, 5.2, 7.6 and 5.1

      I have purposedly chosen a Knicks lineup with low AST%, but I dont see how the ball movement will improve withouth Melo. Also, OKC might have troubles sharing the ball because of the egos on the team, but not on the abilities of their players.

    48. ClashFan

      One thing’s for sure: Thursday night’s game will have lots of intrigue.

      I hoping to notice this gravity effect at work, not just for Melo but for the Knicks. Who will be the Knicks’s go-to gravity guy? I’m guessing Kanter, O’Quinn, or Willy.
      :-)

    49. ruruland

      Gravity effect refers to the frequency a defender leaves his man to help. Doesn’t seem like you read those pieces, but seemingly a pretty useful stat.

      Also, I don’t think the KP at the 5 has been gamed out very well.

      It’s going to mean a lot more tussling for him on offense, as his pops and drives will get taken away by quicker players and his height will be used more to generate shots in the mid-post.

      KP is even a better offensive rebounder at the 5 because he gets most of his action off of running starts and transition when his defender is sinking into the paint or lost in help, trailing in transition.

      I think the 4 is the worst use of his talent and will hinder his development, even though he’s not a fan of playing the position.

    50. ptmilo

      I told myself I wasn’t going to do this here, so I said my peace and will be checking out on this topic for awhile, chiming back in on Knicks.

      you kinda threw your mic-drop over the curtain from backstage, there. that was the melo swipe-and-GTFO defense of rhetorical melo defenses.

      I think OKC if healthy will win in the 50-55 range, which is a huge improvement over their 43 expected pyth total from last year. they might be a top 3 defense unless roberson slips into some kind of betances funk and becomes legitimately unplayable.

    51. er

      I just don’t buy yet that Westbrook, Melo and PG will all join hands together sharing the ball happily and they’ll turn into a ball moving machine.

      I actually agree with you. Its on Westbrook to do this. I think Melo and George are free to be score first players on this team. Especially when Adams and Roberson are out there. Its on Westbrook to be aggressive and to hit those guys in their spots to operate.

    52. Bruno Almeida

      It’s definitely on Westbrook, I agree, but he’s the reigning MVP, and he had a penchant for calling his own number ahead of Kevin freaking Durant who was not only a MVP level player but also a long time friend who grew up together with the team.

      Melo is in decline, which is frankly undeniable, and while he does look a lot skinnier (I even commented on how surprised I was by this) there’s no telling how much he still has on the tank.

      I think this topic again is about player / team interaction. To assume Melo will be even good you have to pretty much assume player interaction is key to production and different teammates / environment will change the production of a player by a large margin. I focus on Melo because even if PG is great, which is not a given too, the difference maker has to be Melo. If Westbrook + Durant was not enough to get to the finals, Westbrook + George, who is inferior to KD in pretty much every way, won’t get you 55 wins in this western conference.

    53. 2FOR18, understands math

      “Don’t you guys think it’s pretty weird that these new advanced stats show Melo getting the kind of defensive treatment that other superstars get, when he’s such a bad player?”

      Because they know he’s gonna jab step for a few seconds and then jack up a shot, so why leave him?

      I, for one, welcome back our hoops savant, so I can be told how dumb I am by somebody who’s so comically and consistently wrong.

    54. Bruno Almeida

      In a league that pays Andrew Wiggins the amount of money he just got, I don’t believe anyone should rely on team’s expertise as a solid argument.

    55. kevin5318

      I think this topic again is about player / team interaction. To assume Melo will be even good you have to pretty much assume player interaction is key to production and different teammates / environment will change the production of a player by a large margin.

      I don’t think player interaction is the key to production but he is in a pretty much ideal situation to maximize his talents offensively(he might be too close to cliff at his age tho).

      Having a playmaker like Westbrook and a guy in George who can draw away the teams best perimeter defender has to make a difference IMO.

    56. JK47

      If Melo puts up a mediocre TS% and WS48 in OKC I don’t want to ever hear this “gravity effect” bullshit again.

    57. JK47

      Carmelo Anthony has the ball in his hands. Do you:

      A. Have your help defender stay at home, because you’re worried about Melo burning you by passing out of a double team

      B. Go ahead and send that help defender because dude is almost certain to shoot the rock

      The answer is B, and that’s your gravity effect right there.

    58. Ntilakilla

      I can already see that Westbrook, the league MVP, is going to be used as a potential scapegoat should Melo underperform this season. LOL. Its always someone else’s fault, huh?

    59. kevin5318

      @DWolfsonKSTP
      Follow Follow @DWolfsonKSTP
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      Many Wade Baldwin questions in my timeline. No #Twolves interest shown so far. Hear #Rockets, #NYKnicks, + Pelicans among those w/ interest.

    60. er

      I was just coming to post that. Mitotic probably hit him in the balls or something. European guys love to do shit like that. Looking at you Batum…..

    61. er

      This has been three years in the making, a source said. Mirotic has broken bones in his face, apparently instigated, and Portis punched him

      ——–Mirotic is a bit of a dirty player I can’t wait to hear what he did to deserve abroken face

    62. Ntilakilla

      Thanks ras for your usual stupid comment

      LOL. This is like Donald Trump accusing someone else of having bad hair.

    63. ClashFan

      Looks like the Bulls second rounder we have just got more valuable.

      Talk about a mess for them. Imagine if this happened in a Knicks practice, what the media would say?

      Looks like the Bulls might need a forward or two? How about Beasley? He’ll fit in, and they can have him gratis.

      Hope the dude is alright, regardless of what went down.

    64. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I knew I should have taken the under on the Celtics.

      In all seriousness, I hope Hayward comes back healthy and balling.

    65. ptmilo

      one of the worst things I’ve seen in sports. Visually worse than the paul George injury. Can’t even enjoy this yankee comeback. Brutal.

    66. ess-dog

      I’m still shaken from watching that. Jesus, I really hope Hayward recovers. It feels like there’s a glitch in the human matrix right now. One insane thing after another.

    67. JK47

      Aw man, I hate to see a guy get hurt like that. I have no love for the Boston Celtics but that just sucks.

    68. 2FOR18, understands math

      Damn. One of my fav players since the ncaa tournament when Bill Raferty said about him: Don’t let the smooth taste fool you, he’s a killer!

      The worst I’ve seen was Shaun Livingston. Was this worse than that?

    69. DRed

      I’m not a doctor, but I just watched the clip of the Hayword injury and that’s more than just a fractured ankle his foot was pointing backwards

    70. Z-man

      Funny, I had a weird feeling when GH went up, it was a bad read, he was kinda hung out to dry. Still a pretty freaky injury, hopefully he makes a full recovery. As much as I hate the Celts, you hate to see that.

    71. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I’ve long hated the Celtics but Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward have been two of my favorite players for a while. I hate they’re in Boston now but I don’t have a problem rooting for them. It sucks what happened to Hayward, and I’m hoping he recovers fully.

    72. Jack Bauer

      Great ending, KD hit the shot but it didn’t count, too late. Gordon and Swaggy P both impressed.
      Chris Paul didn’t look like a good fit tonight at least.

      In ex-Knick related news, Derrick Rose 14 points on 14 shots, some things never change….

    73. stratomatic says you can't play defense if you keep getting players than can't defend

      Don’t you guys think it’s pretty weird that these new advanced stats show Melo getting the kind of defensive treatment that other superstars get, when he’s such a bad player?

      Are coaches just really stupid, and shouldn’t they know that Melo’s inefficiency is wholly a product of his own play, and that treasured defensive assets should be reallocated elsewhere.

      The question has NEVER been whether Melo is an extremely talented offensive player.

      That’s a clear YES!.

      It’s that despite that defense, he throws up a ton of bad shots anyway and doesn’t get a lot of assists out of it to make his teammates better. So his actual contribution is WAY LESS than his physical skills should warrant.

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