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Friday, December 19, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, Apr 20 2012)

  • [New York Daily News] Who can stop Melo? Maybe only Amar’e (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 06:25:08 GMT)
    Amar’e Stoudemire may be the only one who can stop Carmelo Anthony â?? and vice versa. Like most celebrity marriages, this one is more style than substance.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks clinch playoff berth with Bucks loss (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 04:00:10 GMT)
    The Knicks clinched their second straight playoff berth Thursday night by virtue of the Milwaukee Bucks losing to the Indiana Pacers.

  • [New York Daily News] Barkley: Knicks ‘still stink, dude’ (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 03:58:29 GMT)
    Charles Barkley is never at a loss for words, especially when discussing the Knicks. With the race for the NBA playoffs all but complete, Barkley chimed in on the Knicks’ chances in the playoffs.

  • [New York Daily News] New York City may become All-Star central (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 00:14:41 GMT)
    The All-Stars could be coming to New York, in both the NBA and Major League Baseball. NBA commissioner David Stern told the Associated Press Sports Editors Thursday that both the Knicks and the Nets have expressed interest in bringing the NBA All-Star game to the New York City area, a real possibility since the Nets are moving into a new arena in Brooklyn and the Knicks are renovating Madison Square Garden.

  • [New York Post] Coach vs. player is an NBA tradition (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 04:47:45 -0500)
    Shockingly, all is not tofu ravioli and high def rainbows for Michael Jordan’s Bobcats these days, or any game days, for that matter.
    After Sunday nights’ beat down by Boston, Paul (Bearer) Silas did what every self-respecting competitor would love to do (thank you, but we already have a…

  • [New York Post] Chandler: Bring on the Heat (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 04:42:15 -0500)
    CLEVELAND â?? Tyson Chandler isn’t afraid of the Heat.
    Despite the Knicks’ 0-3 record against the Heat in the regular season, Chandler feels coaching adjustments can be made in the game plan if they meet again a week from Sunday in Miami for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals…

  • [New York Post] Knicks clinch playoff berth; Amar’e likely to play vs.Cavaliers (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 04:35:22 -0500)
    CLEVELAND â?? Amar’e Stoudemire will rejoin a playoff team Friday night.
    The Knicks officially clinched a playoff berth Thursday night when the ninth-place Bucks lost to the Pacers, 118-109. That good news is coupled with tonight’s, as Stoudemire is slated to rock and roll in Cleveland, making his long-awaited…

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Knicks Tweaking Formula as Stoudemire Returns (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 05:36:19 GMT)
    Amar’e Stoudemire, out the past four weeks with a back injury, is expected to return to the Knicks lineup for Friday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Magic’s Dwight Howard to Have Season-Ending Surgery (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 07:25:08 GMT)
    The Orlando Magic’s All-Star center, Dwight Howard, will undergo surgery on Friday morning in Los Angeles to repair a herniated disk.

  • [New York Times] Suns End Clippers’ Streak With Wild 93-90 Win (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 06:05:05 GMT)
    Steve Nash hit a crucial driving layup, then made two free throws for the deciding points and the Phoenix Suns bolstered their playoff hopes with an intense 93-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Bulls Feel the Heat in Miami, Rockets Misfire Again (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 05:02:02 GMT)
    The Miami Heat defeated the Chicago Bulls 83-72 in an ill-tempered and physical encounter between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] Howard to Miss Playoffs and Olympics: Report (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 03:05:00 GMT)
    Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard will undergo back surgery on Friday and miss the NBA playoffs and Olympic Games, ESPN reported on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] Heat Top Bulls 83-72, Tighten East Race (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 07:20:29 GMT)
    The earliest Miami and Chicago could meet again is Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Hurt Rockets’ Playoff Hopes, 105-99 in OT (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 03:19:59 GMT)
    Eric Gordon scored 27 points, Carl Landry had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Hornets dealt a blow to Houston’s playoff hopes with a 105-99 overtime victory Thursday night, the Rockets’ sixth straight loss.

  • [New York Times] Report: Howard Says He Will Have Back Surgery (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 05:20:11 GMT)
    Dwight Howard’s season is over. His chances to help Team USA win another Olympic gold are likely done, too.

  • [New York Times] T-Wolves Snap 11-Game Losing Streak vs Pistons (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 02:32:07 GMT)
    Nikola Pekovic scored 23 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves ended an 11-game losing streak with a 91-80 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Granger Leads Pacers Past Bucks, 118-109 (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 02:08:20 GMT)
    Danny Granger scored 29 points to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 118-109 on Thursday night and clinch homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Obama to Give Basketball Coach Summitt Top Honor (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 00:29:49 GMT)
    President Barack Obama said on Thursday he will give the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the top civilian honor, to retiring University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, who amassed the most wins of any men’s or women’s collegiate basketball coach.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Keeping Score: Nash’s Efficiency Keeps Suns in the Hunt (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 03:02:36 GMT)
    The Suns are contending for a playoff berth in spite of a roster overhaul thanks to point guard Steve Nash’s playmaking and shooting.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Stern Shines Light on W.N.B.A. and Development League (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 04:55:04 GMT)
    David Stern talked of the success of the N.B.A. in a lockout-shortened season, praised the N.B.A. Development League and took the media to task for its lack of coverage of the W.N.B.A.

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: Video: It’s Time to Acknowledge Anthony (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 00:09:17 GMT)
    In the star-driven N.B.A., the Knicks cannot win without Carmelo Anthony.

  • [New York Times] SPORTS: It’s Time to Acknowledge Anthony (Fri, 20 Apr 2012 04:48:21 GMT)
    In the star-driven N.B.A., the Knicks cannot win without Carmelo Anthony, says William C. Rhoden.

  • 197 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, Apr 20 2012)

    1. Brian Cronin

      Can you imagine what it must be like to be the Pacers right now watching these Orlando and Knick games? The difference for them between playing the Knicks and a Howard-less Magic is tremendous. It must be excruciating for them to watch Orlando play.

    2. Kikuchiyo

      Okay, Amar’e is back today. But is anyone else a little creeped out with how he has been acting since the injury? The strange silence, today’s odd video (in which he sounds rather distant from the other Knicks), the new tattoo.

      I love the guy and hope he’s feeling okay, mentally and physically. And it’d be even better if he figures out how to work within Melomania or Melovation or whatever we’re calling it.

    3. Z-man

      Probably just super-focused on rehab. No one was more reclusive and mysterious than Bernard King during his knee rehab. Being that Amare has come back from two career-threatening injuries already, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt.

    4. d-mar

      Brian Cronin:
      Can you imagine what it must be like to be the Pacers right now watching these Orlando and Knick games? The difference for them between playing the Knicks and a Howard-less Magic is tremendous. It must be excruciating for them to watch Orlando play.

      Clips losing last night helps a little if we need Magic to lose last game of the season against Grizz. Memphis may be playing for home court in the 1st round, in which case there’s no way they’d lose at home to Orlando.

      On another topic, I feel confident with Woodson as coach that we will show up and play hard every single game, which couldn’t be said under the prior regime. That Nets game we had every right to come out sluggish in the 1st quarter, but instead we put the hammer down and pretty much decided things early. So tonight I just don’t see the Knicks not blowing Cleveland out of the building.

    5. Cousyfan

      Now that the playoffs are assured, Woodson should use these last four games as ‘Spring training’ to tune up the team for the playoffs whomever we should play against. Coordinate the Amare/Melo team work, get special offensive sets for Novak and JR Smith, and get the PG committee working. Whether we can depend on Orlando to fall pass us is not something we can do anything about, so just concentrate on the task at hand and prepare the team.
      Also push Lin to get on with his rehab.
      Cheers!

    6. ABG

      I don’t mean to be a dime store psychologist, but Amare seems to be trying to turn himself into the modern day Clyde in search of an identity with Melo taking over as the lead dog. His twitter feed is almost exclusively a mix of attempts to depict himself as urbane and show off how much the ladies love him. I have no issue with any of this as long as he produces.

    7. Cousyfan

      I am new on the NBA basketball scene; so, I have been watching and reading everything I can. It comes to me that SAS is similar to Rush Limb***; they are both absolutely full of themselves. But that is how they sell tickets. A calm and collected person is my choice.
      Cheers!

    8. Brian Cronin

      I am new on the NBA basketball scene; so, I have been watching and reading everything I can. It comes to me that SAS is similar to Rush Limb***; they are both absolutely full of themselves. But that is how they sell tickets. A calm and collected person is my choice.
      Cheers!

      Yep, SAS is a terrible, terrible basketball analyst. But he does have good sources, though, so occasionally he will break big stories. Have to give him that much credit (he was the first guy who broke the “Lebron to Miami with Bosh and Wade” story – a full week before anyone else confirmed it).

    9. njasdjdh

      ABG: His twitter feed is almost exclusively a mix of attempts to depict himself as urbane and show off how much the ladies love him. I have no issue with any of this as long as he produces.

      That has nothing to do with Melo and everything to do with the fact that he decided to braid his hair. We, as black men, collectively gave up braids some time in the mid aughts though a precious few (Pusha T) are standing strong. Amar’e’s (sp?) decision to braid his hair is premature as not enough time has passed for that style to be considered vintage or for it to be taken as him paying homage to a forgotten era. Instead, he just looks foolish and was rightfully mocked all across Twitter upon the unveiling of his new hairstyle. Seeing his mentions explode in laughter and derision, Amar’e’s pride was hurt and he attempted to build himself up by retweeting the positive comments about his terrible hair decision made by the thirstiest of groupies. So, no, that whole thing really has nothing to do with Melo, just a bad hair decision.

    10. er

      For some reason i remember he had the rows in 02 when he played in that hs all american game with JJ redick and Melo

      njasdjdh: That has nothing to do with Melo and everything to do with the fact that he decided to braid his hair. We, as black men, collectively gave up braids some time in the mid aughts though a precious few (Pusha T) are standing strong.Amar’e’s (sp?) decision to braid his hair is premature as not enough time has passed for that style to be considered vintage or for it to be taken as him paying homage to a forgotten era.Instead, he just looks foolish and was rightfully mocked all across Twitter upon the unveiling of his new hairstyle.Seeing his mentions explode in laughter and derision, Amar’e’s pride was hurt and he attempted to build himself up by retweeting the positive comments about his terrible hair decision made by the thirstiest of groupies. So, no, that whole thing really has nothing to do with Melo, just a bad hair decision.

    11. cgreene

      njasdjdh: Instead, he just looks foolish and was rightfully mocked all across Twitter upon the unveiling of his new hairstyle.Seeing his mentions explode in laughter and derision, Amar’e’s pride was hurt and he attempted to build himself up by retweeting the positive comments about his terrible hair decision made by the thirstiest of groupies. So, no, that whole thing really has nothing to do with Melo, just a bad hair decision.

      Unreal analysis btw. It’s amazing how human these dudes are at times. From D12 to LeBron to Melo’s picture to Amare and his insecurities about having lost his immortal shwag. Their insecurities are out there for the world to see. Think about the last 18-20 months for Stat. He comes to NYC as a conquering hero willing to take all comers. He performs at the highest of levels legitimizing a lost team in the world’s biggest market. He was a giant star. He even said “I feel like a rock star” mid season last year. Then comes the Melo deal and he has to share the spotlight. Then comes the playoff injury right as it looked like the team and he were starting to perform. Then he comes back this year with the shared star, the crappy start, his terrible play due to lack of court time. Then comes the death of his bro which definitely hit him hard. Then comes Linsanity taking even more of his stardom away. Then MDA is gone and the worm is starting to turn and he’s playing great and the team is going on a run. Then boom another injury. Then Melo explodes and becomes the real toast of the town. Now people saying he’s no longer a starter after 14 months ago being the toast of NYC. Im sorry but that’s a lot and it would fuck with anyone’s head no matter the $ or whatever

    12. er

      True indeed its tough no matter the money…but which pic is worse rat pack melo or centaur ARod…….I Go with Melo cuz its so damn big and ugly hahahahaha

      cgreene: Unreal analysis btw.It’s amazing how human these dudes are at times.From D12 to LeBron to Melo’s picture to Amare and his insecurities about having lost his immortal shwag.Their insecurities are out there for the world to see.Think about the last 18-20 months for Stat.He comes to NYC as a conquering hero willing to take all comers.He performs at the highest of levels legitimizing a lost team in the world’s biggest market.He was a giant star.He even said “I feel like a rock star” mid season last year.Then comes the Melo deal and he has to share the spotlight.Then comes the playoff injury right as it looked like the team and he were starting to perform.Then he comes back this year with the shared star, the crappy start, his terrible play due to lack of court time.Then comes the death of his bro which definitely hit him hard.Then comes Linsanity taking even more of his stardom away.Then MDA is gone and the worm is starting to turn and he’s playing great and the team is going on a run.Then boom another injury.Then Melo explodes and becomes the real toast of the town.Now people saying he’s no longer a starter after 14 months ago being the toast of NYC.Im sorry but that’s a lot and it would fuck with anyone’s head no matter the $ or whatever

    13. Doug

      We don’t know what the A-Rod centaur looks like, so I’ll give Melo the benefit of the doubt.

    14. DS

      TelegraphedPass:
      Who will be the Knicks’ starting 2-guard tonight?

      I really hope it’s Shump at the 1, Fields at the 2.

      Bibby’s been a’ight but it sort of kills morale to think he’s our starting 1.

    15. villainx

      We, as black men,

      I didn’t know you were black, njasdjdh. So interesting, seen you post from BTF to RLYW, and never knew you were a knicks fan till recently. And didn’t know you were black until now.

      Or perhaps your other posts in other places suggested or stated such, but never solidified in my mind. Plus, you didn’t go to that disastrous Yankee game outing (in the result of the game only, the social and drinking aspects were great).

      We don’t know what the A-Rod centaur looks like, so I’ll give Melo the benefit of the doubt.

      http://cdn0.sbnation.com/imported_assets/797965/128279.gif

    16. jon abbey

      @Al_Iannazzone: Amare back tonight and starts. Shumpert starts. Fields goes to bench.

      FINALLY

      also he’s reporting that we’re waiving Bill Walker and signing Dan Gadzuric.

    17. jon abbey

      DS: I really hope it’s Shump at the 1, Fields at the 2.

      Bibby’s been a’ight but it sort of kills morale to think he’s our starting 1.

      Baron is back today, I believe.

    18. jon abbey

      tonight’s lineup will almost certainly be the starting lineup in the playoffs, barring injuries:

      Baron
      Shumpert
      Melo
      Amare
      Chandler

      Shumpie is going to need to hit some jumpers.

    19. Bruno Almeida

      jon abbey:
      @Al_Iannazzone: Amare back tonight and starts. Shumpert starts. Fields goes to bench.

      FINALLY

      also he’s reporting that we’re waiving Bill Walker and signing Dan Gadzuric.

      that’s a good move, Gadzuric isn’t good but he’s a decent option, he’ll help at the very least giving us 6 more fouls…

      I’d still rather give some minutes to Jordan, but it seems Woodson doesn’t trust him.

    20. TelegraphedPass

      jon abbey: @Al_Iannazzone: Amare back tonight and starts. Shumpert starts. Fields goes to bench.FINALLYalso he’s reporting that we’re waiving Bill Walker and signing Dan Gadzuric.

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      GADZURICSANITY????

    21. TelegraphedPass

      By the way, Dan Gadzuric is really really terrible. He is a career sub-50% foul shooter, hasn’t posted above a .50 TS% since ’05-’06, and fouls more than Jerome Jordan.

      Why sign him? He’s significantly worse than Jordan and Jorts.

    22. Matt Smith

      #FreeJeromeJordan

      I don’t know what this guy does it practice, but it must be awful. I would start him over Harrellson ANY DAY. Especially since Jorts hasn’t hit a single jumper since he came back from injury.

    23. massive

      Anybody else hoping Baron Davis can turn it on in the playoffs again? I don’t expect him to be scorching again like 2007, but maybe he can be as effective as Jeremy Lin post Linsanity?

    24. art vandelay

      jon abbey:
      Jeffries is out again tonight, I guess that’s the reason for the Gadzuric thing.

      Is this just precautionary in case Jeffries goes down or is he out for season and we don’t know it yet (as Knicks FO is super-secretive with everything, especially with status of injured players)?

    25. TelegraphedPass

      massive: Anybody else hoping Baron Davis can turn it on in the playoffs again? I don’t expect him to be scorching again like 2007, but maybe he can be as effective as Jeremy Lin post Linsanity?

      Shoot, I’ll settle for the guy who averaged 19.7 pp36 on .548 TS% with a 45.4 assist percentage and a 17% turnover percentage for Cleveland LAST YEAR.

      Seriously, healthy Baron is still really productive.

    26. TelegraphedPass

      Brian Cronin: Dan freakin’ Gadzuric?!? Just for the playoff push (as he can’t play in the playoffs)? Such a weird move. Jerome Jordan can not be this bad.

      Al claims Dan Gadz will be playoff eligible. Which makes things even worse.

    27. PC

      massive: Anybody else hoping Baron Davis can turn it on in the playoffs again? I don’t expect him to be scorching again like 2007, but maybe he can be as effective as Jeremy Lin post Linsanity?

      Jeremy Lin post-linsanity put up 18 fourth quarter points in Philly (which was billed as the most important game of our season at the time). post-Linsanity Lin is really really good. I am hoping Baron doesn’t open the game with his requisite 2 turnovers for dunks the other way.

      How does a PG not understand that Chandler only wants bounce passes or alley-opps, regular passes to his chest or face don’t work. Baron is clueless.

    28. Jafa

      If you study the remaining schedule and make some reasonable assumptions, you come to the conclusion that we will be the 7th seed and the Heat will be the 2nd seed (if you have questions I can elaborate).

      Taking a look at the “4 factors”:

      Offensive
      eFG%: 51.3 vs. 52.4 (edge Miami)
      TO%: 14.3 vs. 15.2 (edge NY)
      OREB%: 24.2 vs. 25.2 (edge Miami)
      FT/FG: 24.6 vs. 27.9 (edge Miami)

      Defensive:
      eFG: 51.5 vs. 47.5 (edge Miami)
      TO%: 15.9 vs. 14.4 (edge NY)
      OREB%: 28.1 vs. 24.5 (edge Miami)
      FT/FG: 24.0 vs. 22.3 (edge Miami)

      I just don’t see it. Are there any other quantitative measures I am not looking at? Are there any other qualitative factors I am missing? Otherwise I’ll keep preparing myself for a 4-2 series loss and looking forward to next year.

    29. PC

      Another point re Baron – just because he is hurt does not justify horrific turnovers. He gets all the way to the paint and turns it over behind him which leads to odd man break. It is nuts. Lin Nash Paul have a sick nack at going all the way to the hoop and keeping their dribble; something Baron needs desperately.

    30. d-mar

      Maybe Gadzuric’s crazy bug eyes will scare opponents who haven’t seen him in a while.

      I think his last productive game was against NY, one of many career scrubs who looked like world beaters against us.

    31. TelegraphedPass

      @36 Yeah, Miami and Chicago are better. That’s why they are the top seeds. You don’t need to look at 4 factors to figure out NY will be the underdog against either team.

      They still need to actually play. Ultimately, this isn’t a math equation and upsets are possible, if improbable.

    32. massive

      Baron Davis is really best as a PG off the bench in limited minutes. Watching him play with the “Mob Deep” 2nd unit, he was really playing some great ball (well, at least it looked great).

    33. JC Knickfan

      Is Gadzuric even aloud to be on playoff squad?
      If not, with only 4 games left, play Jort I guess.

      Jerome Jordan look decent in the summer league and he look good in Erie game where Lin had triple double. Yes, persona seem to project lack coordination, but until he play some non-garbage time don’t know what your going to get. Is he that bad in practices?

    34. TelegraphedPass

      For all of Baron’s many flaws this year, he’s lowkey better at creating scoring opportunities for guys not named Tyson Chandler than Lin was. He turns the ball over a lot because he’s making late passes, not because he can’t keep his dribble alive in the lane. Lin was losing the ball on drives way more than Boom Diz.

    35. Brian Cronin

      Aha! i forgot the rules. It is not “you can’t sign someone to the playoff roster after the deadline,” it is “you can’t sign someone to the playoff roster after the deadline if they were on another team at the deadline.” Gadzuric, on the other hand, was not on any other team’s roster, so he’s eligible for the playoffs.

      Interesting.

      I still would rather Jordan, but at least Gadzuric can be depth in the playoffs if need be (and it is not like Walker was ever going to play). And maybe his game has returned and he’ll be good. Odder things have happened.

    36. Jafa

      @39,

      I agree its not a math equation, but the quantitative data does not look good. Sure we can score an upset (anybody can), but where would that spark likely come from? What do you think is likely to give us the edge to score the upset?

    37. ruruland

      Jafa: @39,I agree its not a math equation, but the quantitative data does not look good. Sure we can score an upset (anybody can), but where would that spark likely come from? What do you think is likely to give us the edge to score the upset?

      We can acknowledge that those four factors look quite a bit different in the Woodson era?

    38. ruruland

      TelegraphedPass: For all of Baron’s many flaws this year, he’s lowkey better at creating scoring opportunities for guys not named Tyson Chandler than Lin was. He turns the ball over a lot because he’s making late passes, not because he can’t keep his dribble alive in the lane. Lin was losing the ball on drives way more than Boom Diz.

      Right, specifically Amar’e. He had a much higher assist rate to Amar
      e specifcally than Lin did. Bout to post the numbers again.

    39. JC Knickfan

      massive:
      Baron Davis is really best as a PG off the bench in limited minutes. Watching him play with the “Mob Deep” 2nd unit, he was really playing some great ball (well, at least it looked great).

      At one point we got above average to very good PG w/ Lin/Davis combo. I think everyone was thinking Davis could setup and take over as he would sometime outplay Lin with 2nd unit stat-wise.

    40. Jafa

      ruruland: We can acknowledge thatthose four factors look quite a bit different in the Woodson era?

      Can you extrapolate them for all to see? Otherwise how do you know that our gains on the defensive factors in the Woodson era are not offset by our losses in the offensive factors in the same era?

    41. art vandelay

      TelegraphedPass:
      For all of Baron’s many flaws this year, he’s lowkey better at creating scoring opportunities for guys not named Tyson Chandler than Lin was. He turns the ball over a lot because he’s making late passes, not because he can’t keep his dribble alive in the lane. Lin was losing the ball on drives way more than Boom Diz.

      I think a problem I observed was that he takes a long time to get into the offense…Lin pushed the ball up and didn’t wait until fewer than 10 seconds were left on shot clock generally to start moving the ball around, attempting to attack….baron often just dribbles around, shakes and bakes his defender on the perimeter and wastes precious shot clock time, causing him to have to force a pass with few seconds remaining to shoot.

    42. TelegraphedPass

      I mean, literally the only thing Dan Gadz has been consistently good at his whole career has been rebounding. I think the hope is that his energy and rebounding will help against the Miami/Chicago froncourt. But he’s so bad at everything else that it’s almost a wash.

      And Jerome Jordan has demonstrated an ability to rebound well on both ends of the floor and an ability to be 7 feet tall, so what’s the point?

    43. jon abbey

      Jafa: Can you extrapolate them for all to see?Otherwise how do you know that our gains on the defensive factors in the Woodson era are not offset by our losses in the offensive factors in the same era?

      our offense was pretty terrible under D’Antoni this year, it’s improved under Woodson.

    44. ruruland

      Re-post from Tuesday:
      Assists on Amar’e baskets since return:

      Without Melo
      Fields:2
      Shumpert:3
      Lin:12
      Walker:3
      Bibby:1
      Jeffries:1
      Unassisted baskets:7
      Assisted basket percentage: 75.8
      TS%: 49.88

      With Melo
      Melo:9
      Lin:12
      Fields:4
      Davis:9
      Jeffries:1
      Chandler:1
      Shumpert:4
      Smith:1
      Unassisted baskets:21
      Percentage of assisted baskets: 61.3
      TS%:57.3

      Woodson+Melo
      Anthony:7
      Lin:4
      Davis:4
      Fields:3
      Unassisted: 20
      Percentage of assisted baskets: 47.4
      TS%: 607

      Background: Last year, Amar’e’s 563 TS came on 53% assisted baskets. Here are both the assisted basket percentage and TS% in his Phoenix days. TS is in parentheses: 57(615), 63 (617) ,70 (656), 63 (637), 60 (617).

      You can see that strong correlation between assisted baskets and TS.

    45. jon abbey

      TelegraphedPass:

      And Jerome Jordan has demonstrated an ability to rebound well on both ends of the floor and an ability to be 7 feet tall, so what’s the point?

      I’m not really defending the Gadzuric signing, but Jerome Jordan has proven virtually nothing in the NBA, as he hasn’t been given a chance to. garbage time numbers don’t matter.

    46. Jafa

      jon abbey: our offense was pretty terrible under D’Antoni this year, it’s improved under Woodson.

      I don’t necessarily disagree Jon, just want to see some data to back up the assertion.

    47. JC Knickfan

      As soon Baron play starter minutes his body fell apart. This number one reason I hope Knicks do not resign him.
      Lin does NOT have history of injuries as believe play every game in his 4 years at Harvard. But to play safe, I think need backup that does not have history injuries issue in case need step in play starter minutes.

    48. DS

      jon abbey: back

      Re: Gadzuric = MONSTER on the offensive glass as long as he passes and doesn’t try to score.

      Re: Baron is better for morale, swagger. If we play Miami, it might just go downhill the entire series. At least we won’t be starting Bibby as a matter of pride. Granted, they’re starting Turiaf.

    49. ruruland

      Jafa: Can you extrapolate them for all to see? Otherwise how do you know that our gains on the defensive factors in the Woodson era are not offset by our losses in the offensive factors in the same era?

      Pretty sure the offense has improved quite a bit under Woodson. It’s a completely different team. extrapolate from the last 19 games, or the 43 previous to that….. Spent so much time with Douglas at pg, without Novak or JR, without Amar’e, it’s difficult to project what the team can do in the playoffs.

      Let’s hope we don;t face the Heat though.

    50. ruruland

      Jafa: I don’t necessarily disagree Jon, just want to see some data to back up the assertion.

      I think you can do this on PBR with it’s new play index tools.

    51. TelegraphedPass

      jon abbey: I’m not really defending the Gadzuric signing, but Jerome Jordan has proven virtually nothing in the NBA, as he hasn’t been given a chance to. garbage time numbers don’t matter.

      My stance on limited minutes is a bit softer than yours. Jerome has shown out in the D-League, he’s shown out abroad, he was strong at Tulsa, and he’s rebounded well in his 85 or so minutes in the NBA, so chances are slim he’s secretly a poor rebounder.

      My point is that even if Dan is actually a better rebounder than Jerome, is it really worth how triddash he is at everything else involving a basketball? Jerome hit his free throws in the DL and here for the Knicks when he got to the line. What are the chances that he’s actually a 39% (!!!!) FT shooter like Dan was LAST YEAR?

      Even if we accept that Jerome’s numbers don’t mean anything definitive, Dan’s numbers are definitively awful.

    52. ruruland

      TelegraphedPass: My stance on limited minutes is a bit softer than yours. Jerome has shown out in the D-League, he’s shown out abroad, he was strong at Tulsa, and he’s rebounded well in his 85 or so minutes in the NBA, so chances are slim he’s secretly a poor rebounder.My point is that even if Dan is actually a better rebounder than Jerome, is it really worth how triddash he is at everything else involving a basketball? Jerome hit his free throws in the DL and here for the Knicks when he got to the line. What are the chances that he’s actually a 39% (!!!!) FT shooter like Dan was LAST YEAR?Even if we accept that Jerome’s numbers don’t mean anything definitive, Dan’s numbers are definitively awful.

      He’s an elite offensive rebounder and solid defensive player. Most of his shots come on extra chances. But he’ll kick it out to re-start the offense as well.

    53. JC Knickfan

      ruruland: Pretty sure the offense has improved quite a bit under Woodson. It’s a completely different team. extrapolate from the last 19 games, or the 43 previous to that….. Spent so much time with Douglas at pg, without Novak or JR, without Amar’e, it’s difficult to project what the team can do in the playoffs.

      Let’s hope we don;t face the Heat though.

      After Lin went down under Woodson, there several games due lack of any PG play Knicks not names Melo shot 35% FG range. Novak will have a guy glued to him in playoffs. Melo began all-star we expected him to be, but whose else exactly gotten better offensively during this run?

    54. jon abbey

      TelegraphedPass: My stance on limited minutes is a bit softer than yours. Jerome has shown out in the D-League, he’s shown out abroad, he was strong at Tulsa, and he’s rebounded well in his 85 or so minutes in the NBA, so chances are slim he’s secretly a poor rebounder.

      My point is that even if Dan is actually a better rebounder than Jerome, is it really worth how triddash he is at everything else involving a basketball? Jerome hit his free throws in the DL and here for the Knicks when he got to the line. What are the chances that he’s actually a 39% (!!!!) FT shooter like Dan was LAST YEAR?

      Even if we accept that Jerome’s numbers don’t mean anything definitive, Dan’s numbers are definitively awful.

      I’m just playing devil’s advocate, but I think offense matters much less than defense for a backup center. rebounding and post D are what matters, although if we play Miami, we’re probably better off going small anyway, so who knows.

    55. jon abbey

      JC Knickfan: After Lin went down under Woodson, there several games due lack of any PG play Knicks not names Melo shot 35% FG range. Novak will have a guy glued to him in playoffs.Melo began all-star we expected him to be, but whose else exactly gotten better offensively during this run?

      not sure what the point is here. the overall team offense (including Melo) has gotten better, that’s what matters.

    56. TelegraphedPass

      jon abbey: I’m just playing devil’s advocate, but I think offense matters much less than defense for a backup center. rebounding and post D are what matters, although if we play Miami, we’re probably better off going small anyway, so who knows.

      Can somebody find some statistical support for Dan as a defender? He fouls at an obcene rate.

    57. TelegraphedPass

      We live in a world where Delonte West was fined $25,000 for a wet willie on Gordon Hayward and KG was fined $0.00 for choking Bill Walker.

      I’ll miss you, Bully.

    58. Z

      Gadzuric, huh?

      The only thing I know about Dan Gadzuric is that Owen out rebounded him in a highschool game. Not sure if that bodes well, or not… (I can’t access Owen’s career HS rebound% on BBR:)

    59. formido

      TelegraphedPass:
      For all of Baron’s many flaws this year, he’s lowkey better at creating scoring opportunities for guys not named Tyson Chandler than Lin was. He turns the ball over a lot because he’s making late passes, not because he can’t keep his dribble alive in the lane. Lin was losing the ball on drives way more than Boom Diz.

      A turnover’s a turnover. Lin also gets to the line a ton on those drives. Fact is, Davis has never been as efficient as Lin this season and that’s reflected in their comparative net ratings.

      Interestingly, Lin’s rating used to be even higher when he played with the backups during Linsanity, the same guys that Baron mostly played with later on. Lin’s rating was dragged down by playing with Amare and Carmelo under D’Antoni. During that period, Amare and Carmelo had the worst defensive rating of any two player combination on the Knicks, and Lin was on the court for most of those minutes–Lin’s defensive rating worsened from -4 to around 0. The first team’s defense has improved a lot since then, mainly due to motivation I think.

      Also, if you go back and read the game threads, you’ll see that it was Lin who uncovered Novak’s potential, so obviously Lin doesn’t only pass to Chandler. But, frankly, if you can get the second highest percentage shooter in the league lots of easy baskets, I’d prefer that to passing to other people. That’s smart basketball.

    60. formido

      I mean, if you think about, Lin is known for having the best passing chemistry with the league’s second highest shooting percentage guy and the league’s best three point shooting percentage guy. That speaks volumes about his basketball IQ to me.

    61. ruruland

      TelegraphedPass: Can somebody find some statistical support for Dan as a defender? He fouls at an obcene rate.

      http://www.82games.com/0910/09MIL17.HTM

      http://www.82games.com/0708/07MIL13D.HTM

      Other years not a bnig difference, but a healthy +/- profile. I remember him as a very high energy player without basketball skills.

      He’ll be the best rebounder on the team, and he has the size to body up some of the bigger post guys. He’s Jeffries with slightly different strengths

      I think it’s a good signing.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biIUHHnpflA

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P-0LLilIHs

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvJkXAfvazs&feature=fvsr

    62. TelegraphedPass

      formido: A turnover’s a turnover. Lin also gets to the line a ton on those drives. Fact is, Davis has never been as efficient as Lin this season and that’s reflected in their comparative net ratings. Interestingly, Lin’s rating used to be even higher when he played with the backups during Linsanity, the same guys that Baron mostly played with later on. Lin’s rating was dragged down by playing with Amare and Carmelo under D’Antoni. During that period, Amare and Carmelo had the worst defensive rating of any two player combination on the Knicks, and Lin was on the court for most of those minutes–Lin’s defensive rating worsened from -4 to around 0. The first team’s defense has improved a lot since then, mainly due to motivation I think.Also, if you go back and read the game threads, you’ll see that it was Lin who uncovered Novak’s potential, so obviously Lin doesn’t only pass to Chandler. But, frankly, if you can get the second highest percentage shooter in the league lots of easy baskets, I’d prefer that to passing to other people. That’s smart basketball.

      No. First of all, I was directly responding to someone saying Baron was losing the ball in the lane often. I know a turnover is a turnover.

      Second, I would really like it if my PG were able to get our $100m PF going on offense. It’s great that Chandler is so efficient, but he’s not going to be an offensive cornerstone. Amar’e can be.

      Lin’s rating was dragged down partly because he kept waving off Amar’e screens, preferring Tyson’s hard screens.

      I’m a huge Lin guy. I’ve made that point several times before. That doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore his flaws, especially when they directly affect the immediate future of this franchise.

    63. PC

      JC Knickfan: As soon Baron play starter minutes his body fell apart. This number one reason I hope Knicks do not resign him.Lin does NOT have history of injuries as believe play every game in his 4 years at Harvard. But to play safe, I think need backup that does not have history injuries issue in case need step in play starter minutes.

      We can thank D’Antoni’s “i’m gonna ride him like secretariat” theory for Lin’s first knee injury.

    64. K-hab25

      I guess I’m the only one who likes the Gadzuric signing. I like having a veteran come in for Chandler in the playoffs over a couple of rookies. Looking at TRB% and BLK%, Gadzuric is very similar to Chandler, offensively, not so much. Gadzuric’s TRB% is 17.4, Chandler’s is 18.3 and Gadzuric’s BLK% is 4.4, Chandler’s is 3.7. If he is able to give us 10 to 15 minutes of good defense and rebounding, I’ll be happy. I’ve been very disappointed with Harrelson post injury and Jordan is extremely green to be given important playoff minutes. Guys like Gadzuric always look better on good teams, where they can play to there strengths. Think about Jefferies on the Crawford/Curry Knicks, compared to this year. He was horrible looking then, now we all love the guy. I feel Gadzuric is a similar player. He can play an important role for us, as long as he plays to his strengths, ie. rebound and defend for the 10 to 15 minutes Chandler is on the bench.

    65. TelegraphedPass

      PC: We can thank D’Antoni’s “i’m gonna ride him like secretariat” theory for Lin’s first knee injury.

      “Chronic” tear.

      But by all means, continue your crusade against Mike D’Antoni. Not like that run was crucial for us making the playoffs or anything.

    66. johnlocke

      So based on these highlights…he can make open layups? Sign me up! =)

      ruruland: http://www.82games.com/0910/09MIL17.HTM

      http://www.82games.com/0708/07MIL13D.HTM

      Other years not a bnig difference, but a healthy +/- profile. I remember him as a very high energy player without basketball skills.

      He’ll be the best rebounder on the team, and he has the size to body up some of the bigger post guys. He’s Jeffries with slightly different strengths

      I think it’s a good signing.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biIUHHnpflA

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P-0LLilIHs

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvJkXAfvazs&feature=fvsr

    67. Owen

      “Gadzuric, huh?

      The only thing I know about Dan Gadzuric is that Owen out rebounded him in a highschool game. Not sure if that bodes well, or not… (I can’t access Owen’s career HS rebound% on BBR:)”

      Natch, Dan Gadzuric, high school nemesis and now, New York Knick.

      I fouled Gadzuric out of a game after he put up something like 30-17 in maybe 25 minutes. We lost by 22. And he narrowly beat me out for the league rebounding title, by about 4 rebounds per game.

      I have said this before, but playing against someone like that, i.e. a human pteradactyl who blocks out the sun, definitely gives you an appreciation for how freakishly different NBA basketball players are from the rest of us.

    68. TelegraphedPass

      And I am STILL perplexed as to why so many people think veterans carry some type of playoff magic that young players don’t.

      You think being a rookie is going to make Jerome Jordan scared of rebounds if he gets PT? He’s just gonna choke up in the playoffs right? All that attention will make him a bad rebounder and he won’t hit free throws or make layups, right?

      Why do we put so much faith in veterans? If you want to point to Landry’s failing, I’ll point to Bibby’s. There isn’t much evidence that age leads to more success in the post-season. Why do vets get so much credit?

    69. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      TelegraphedPass:
      And I am STILL perplexed as to why so many people think veterans carry some type of playoff magic that young players don’t.

      You think being a rookie is going to make Jerome Jordan scared of rebounds if he gets PT? He’s just gonna choke up in the playoffs right? All that attention will make him a bad rebounder and he won’t hit free throws or make layups, right?

      Why do we put so much faith in veterans? If you want to point to Landry’s failing, I’ll point to Bibby’s. There isn’t much evidence that age leads to more success in the post-season. Why do vets get so much credit?

      Confirmation bias.

    70. flossy

      Gadzuric is not very good, but Bill Walker was completely, totally useless. So here we are.

    71. johnlocke

      I think his point his during the playoffs…who will step up for us, if Melo has an off-game. I think during the stretch, Shump has shown some offensive potential, although he’s regressed recently (something to do with the ankle?). JR has taken on a more prominent role in the offense and Novak has stepped up, except for 2 or 3 games when he was off / couldn’t get open. Fields has regressed frighteningly, but the good news is Amare is coming back. We can rely on Melo, Amare, Tyson and then the X-factors would be Novak, Smith and Shump… don’t expect much from Fields, Toney Douglas, Davis, Bibby, Jorts, Jeffries, Walker/Gadzuric on the offense during the playoffs. We have to hope Melo stays at this torrid pace and Amare comes back playing like he did right before being injured — otherwise we’re putting a lot of pressure on the other guys above and the only ones I trust to varying degrees are Smith, Shump and Novak. I think the concern is about us becoming a very predictable team over the course of a long series with an elite team, if other guys don’t step up.

      jon abbey: not sure what the point is here. the overall team offense (including Melo) has gotten better, that’s what matters.

    72. K-hab25

      TelegraphedPass:
      And I am STILL perplexed as to why so many people think veterans carry some type of playoff magic that young players don’t.

      You think being a rookie is going to make Jerome Jordan scared of rebounds if he gets PT? He’s just gonna choke up in the playoffs right? All that attention will make him a bad rebounder and he won’t hit free throws or make layups, right?

      Why do we put so much faith in veterans? If you want to point to Landry’s failing, I’ll point to Bibby’s. There isn’t much evidence that age leads to more success in the post-season. Why do vets get so much credit?

      If you honestly believe experience means nothing , that we have nothing to talk about.

    73. Owen

      Also, Ruruland, I haven’t quite been able to isolate James Harden’s stats without either Durant or Westbrook on the floor.

      But the splits are pretty dramatic. More dramatic than I expected.

      Harden plays much much better without Durant.

      In 511 minutes without Durant he has shot 53% percent, shot 12.5 fta per 36, scored 31 points per 36, and had a much higher assist rate.

      With Durant, (1390 minutes) he is shooting 46% and 14 points with just 4.7 fta.

      Similar though less dramatic story with Westbrook. 28.5 per 36 versus 15, 51% rather than 47%, etc….

      If I were a little more motivated I would find the exact sample of Westbrook without either of those two guys, but I think the story is pretty clear. Harden is pretty good without both those guys out on the court with him.

      My problem with the interaction effects concept is that is so rarely materializes as the theory would predict.

      Just to cherry pick two examples. And I am sure you can find others that support your point.

      But, Iman Shumpert has been basically the exact same player, shooting 40% with Carmelo on and 40% with him off.

      Chandler has shot 70% with Carmelo off. 67% with him on.

      I will say though, the difference in Harden’s splits without Durant and Westbrook out there was pretty shocking to me.

    74. jon abbey

      Owen:
      Also, Ruruland, I haven’t quite been able to isolate James Harden’s stats without either Durant or Westbrook on the floor.

      But the splits are pretty dramatic. More dramatic than I expected.

      Harden plays much much better without Durant.

      In 511 minutes without Durant he has shot 53% percent, shot 12.5 fta per 36, scored 31 points per 36, and had a much higher assist rate.

      With Durant, (1390 minutes) he is shooting 46% and 14 points with just 4.7 fta.

      Similar though less dramatic story with Westbrook. 28.5 per 36 versus 15, 51% rather than 47%, etc….

      If I were a little more motivated I would find the exact sample of Westbrook without either of those two guys, but I think the story is pretty clear. Harden is pretty good without both those guys out on the court with him.

      My problem with the interaction effects concept is that is so rarely materializes as described.

      Iman Shumpert has been basically the exact same player, shooting 40% with Carmelo on and 40% with him off.

      Chandler has shot 70% with Carmelo off. 67% with him on.

      I will say, the difference in Harden’s splits without Durant and Westbrook out there was pretty shocking to me.

      the reason this is misleading is that, as ruru said, he’s often going against backup defenders. if Durant and Westbrook missed a month at the same time, you’d have a sample size, but as it is, I don’t think it makes too much sense.

      also, I heard that you were actually Grunwald’s first choice for the Gadzuric spot, but Melo (evidently a hardcore KB reader) vetoed it. :)

    75. ruruland

      Owen: Also, Ruruland, I haven’t quite been able to isolate James Harden’s stats without either Durant or Westbrook on the floor. But the splits are pretty dramatic. More dramatic than I expected. Harden plays much much better without Durant. In 511 minutes without Durant he has shot 53% percent, shot 12.5 fta per 36, scored 31 points per 36, and had a much higher assist rate. With Durant, (1390 minutes) he is shooting 46% and 14 points with just 4.7 fta. Similar though less dramatic story with Westbrook. 28.5 per 36 versus 15, 51% rather than 47%, etc….If I were a little more motivated I would find the exact sample of Westbrook without either of those two guys, but I think the story is pretty clear. Harden is pretty good without both those guys out on the court with him. My problem with the interaction effects concept is that is so rarely materializes as the theory would predict. Just to cherry pick two examples. And I am sure you can find others that support your point. But, Iman Shumpert has been basically the exact same player, shooting 40% with Carmelo on and 40% with him off. Chandler has shot 70% with Carmelo off. 67% with him on. I will say though, the difference in Harden’s splits without Durant and Westbrook out there was pretty shocking to me.

      And that’s fine. But the difference between us much of the time is that you’re fine without any explanation of why Harden’s numbers in that sample are better. You’re happy to conclude that he’s a great player that doesn’t need anyone else on the floor to be great.

      Also, how many minutes is Harden on the floor without BOTH Westbrook and Durant?

      Are you thinking about the rest of my argument in that post? Becuase this only addresses a small part of it.

    76. JC Knickfan

      jon abbey: not sure what the point is here. the overall team offense (including Melo) has gotten better, that’s what matters.

      Yes it’s better then versus MDA offensive. That guys just too stuborn adjust offensive to Melo strengths.
      I don’t think any better then 6-1 Melo/Amare/Lin vs 9-4 Melo offense which about end tonight with reappearance Stat.
      I give credit to Woodson for feeding ego of his 2 Max players and unfortunately Melo does need it. There world of difference on defensive and again I think that started with Melo. It’s not like Woodson some genius X/O guy the put together play for Melo to find touch. Something click in head after those injuries. So doesn’t it boil down to Melo playing like superstar and really the only reason offensive is better.

    77. ruruland

      johnlocke: I think his point his during the playoffs…who will step up for us, if Melo has an off-game. I think during the stretch, Shump has shown some offensive potential, although he’s regressed recently (something to do with the ankle?). JR has taken on a more prominent role in the offense and Novak has stepped up, except for 2 or 3 games when he was off / couldn’t get open. Fields has regressed frighteningly, but the good news is Amare is coming back. We can rely on Melo, Amare, Tyson and then the X-factors would be Novak, Smith and Shump… don’t expect much from Fields, Toney Douglas, Davis, Bibby, Jorts, Jeffries, Walker/Gadzuric on the offense during the playoffs. We have to hope Melo stays at this torrid pace and Amare comes back playing like he did right before being injured — otherwise we’re putting a lot of pressure on the other guys above and the only ones I trust to varying degrees are Smith, Shump and Novak. I think the concern is about us becoming a very predictable team over the course of a long series with an elite team, if other guys don’t step up.

      If Melo stays at this pace ar around (which I expect him to) and Amar’e returns to being the guy he was before he was injured, then the Knicks can beat the Heat in a playoff series.

    78. Brian Cronin

      Off on a tangent, how big was that Suns win last night? Imagine if they somehow make the playoffs! Nash should just ascend directly into heaven.

    79. Owen

      “Also, how many minutes is Harden on the floor without BOTH Westbrook and Durant?”

      That would take a spreadsheet and I am just not that motivated, as I said in my post. The splits are so dramatic and the potential sample size so small, there is no way he hasn’t dramatically outperformed without that duo also.

      You guys are reaching at straws if you think playing against second units explains his dominance. The guy is just a fantastic basketball player.

      More generally, Ruru, I’d love for you to address my central point. Why don’t we find the huge interaction effects in the stats that you argue you see out on the court?

      Take Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer. That was the first example that jumped into my mind. If you ask Carlos, and someone has recently, he’ll say Derrick makes a tremendous difference to his game.

      But if you look at the splits, Boozer has scored more and more efficiently without Rose.

      I don’t think anyone in the NBA draws more attention than Rose. But it actually hurts Boozer’s performance.

      Same thing for Joakim Noah. He shoots 51% with Rose on and with Rose off. He just scores a little more with Rose on the bench.

      These are the mysteries I would love to have explained.

      And while you do that I will work up a more thorough response to your points yesterday….

    80. TelegraphedPass

      K-hab25: (Quote

      I assume you didn’t check out the Sloan article on how team experience correlates much better with post-season success than age alone.

    81. thenamestsam

      I think ruru is right that we definitely can beat the Heat. I’d personally give us about a 25% chance maybe. As people have rightly pointed out we are playing much better than our season stats indicate. I also think there is a pretty big mental aspect of the series in play. If we can steal one of the first two games in Miami the pressure that is going to be heaped on that team is tremendous. People are looking for them to fail, and especially if one of those losses comes in inauspicious circumstances (like Lebron failing to score every possession in the last 2 minutes like he is apparently supposed to) the narrative in the media, twitter etc. will start to shift dramatically against them. And while a lot of the stuff about Lebron’s mentality is garbage propagated by a desperate media, there is a kernel of truth in there. Miami is extraordinarily tough when things are going well. But Dallas showed that when things start going against them they aren’t necessarily great at reversing that momentum. If we can just get the series moving our way I think it could snowball.

    82. ephus

      I can’t get too excited about the Walker vs. Gadzuric debate, but I see why Woodson/Grunwald would rather have Gadzuric than Jordan on the court: reputation matters with the refs, opponents and teammates.

      If Gadzuric/Jordan gets into a playoff game (outside of garbage time), it will be because Chandler is injured or in foul trouble and the Knicks need a big man to rebound and/or play post defense. Although Gadzuric has a (well-deserved) reputation as a fouling machine, he also has a reputation as a strong rebounder. If Joel Anthony/Boozer/Noah throws Gadzuric out of the way to collect an offensive rebound, that is likely to draw a whistle. On the other hand, if Jordan moves bizarrely away from the ball (because he has been pushed), he is less likely to draw the whistle.

      Also, if Jordan is on the court for meaningful plays, you can be certain that the opponent will pick on him — either with a post-up or a PnR that requires a switch. Gadzuric has enough of a defensive reputation that the opponent is not particularly likely to break the offense just to try to pick on him.

      Finally, Gadzuric is enough of a known quantity that his teammates will be prepared to accept what he can give (post-up defense, rebounding at both ends) without expecting what he cannot (offense, perimeter defense). A couple of Jordan mistakes at the wrong moment could blow up team cohesion.

    83. Owen

      “If you actually believe that melo was the only player not working as hardunder MDA as hehas been under Woodson, then it’s very difficult to not credit Melo for the huge turnaround.

      And, implicitly, if you credit Melo for the turnaround, what does it say about an individual player when he can, by simply playing harder, turn a sub.500 team into a 70% win team???”

      I do give Melo credit for this turnaround. He obviously has played much much better. And that has made a big difference. It’s been a huge swing from him playing really really badly for a max contract player to playing really really well.

      Unlike you though, I don’t give him a pass for playing a lot of really crappy basketball for most of this season.

      Unlike you, I give the 75% of the season he played poorly three times the weight I give his last 13 games.

      Why you don’t, I don’t quite understand. You seem to live for the Melo highs while pretending the lows never happened….

      Also, I have never seen Chandler play without maximum effort. I have never seen him throw the ball to the other team while chatting to an opposing player. Chandler has had off nights like everyone else but the guy gives 100% all the time from what I have seen.

      Chandler is a much better basketball player than Carmelo all things considered. Pure confirmation bias I know, but I thought that going into the season and it’s been strongly reinforced by everything I have seen this year.

      It would be an interesting poll. I wonder how many Knickerbloggers actually think Carmelo is better than Chandler after what we have seen this year.

    84. TelegraphedPass

      ephus: I can’t get too excited about the Walker vs. Gadzuric debate, but I see why Woodson/Grunwald would rather have Gadzuric than Jordan on the court: reputation matters with the refs, opponents and teammates.If Gadzuric/Jordan gets into a playoff game (outside of garbage time), it will be because Chandler is injured or in foul trouble and the Knicks need a big man to rebound and/or play post defense. Although Gadzuric has a (well-deserved) reputation as a fouling machine, he also has a reputation as a strong rebounder. If Joel Anthony/Boozer/Noah throws Gadzuric out of the way to collect an offensive rebound, that is likely to draw a whistle. On the other hand, if Jordan moves bizarrely away from the ball (because he has been pushed), he is less likely to draw the whistle.Also, if Jordan is on the court for meaningful plays, you can be certain that the opponent will pick on him — either with a post-up or a PnR that requires a switch. Gadzuric has enough of a defensive reputation that the opponent is not particularly likely to break the offense just to try to pick on him.Finally, Gadzuric is enough of a known quantity that his teammates will be prepared to accept what he can give (post-up defense, rebounding at both ends) without expecting what he cannot (offense, perimeter defense). A couple of Jordan mistakes at the wrong moment could blow up team cohesion.

      This is excellent. I can buy all of this. I would prefer Jerome get the PT, but these are some interesting points supporting the signing.

    85. TelegraphedPass

      @93 Define “better”.

      I would say Carmelo is better at basketball than Tyson. He’s better at dribbbling, shooting, and passing. Tyson is better at rebounding and being 7’1″. That said, I’m not sure Carmelo produces as much benefit for his team as Tyson.

      But that’s why the word better doesn’t work so well for me.

    86. Brian Cronin

      How is he playoff eligible?

      And, if we suddenly have roster spot, why not get a PG??

      I was thrown by that as well at first but then I remembered that the rule is that a player can’t be on an NBA roster on the deadline date (it is typically March 1st, but I have no idea what it is this season – whatever it is, it has long passed) and then signed by another team and be playoff eligible. For instance, Bill Walker will not be playoff-eligible for another team. But if you sign a player that was not on any NBA team at the time of the deadline, he is eligible for the playoffs. There must not have been a point guard in a similar situation (i.e. not in the NBA) worth picking up. Amusingly, this rule means Marbury is available for a playoff run if any team is interested! :)

    87. ruruland

      Owen: “Also, how many minutes is Harden on the floor without BOTH Westbrook and Durant?”That would take a spreadsheet and I am just not that motivated, as I said in my post. The splits are so dramatic and the potential sample size so small, there is no way he hasn’t dramatically outperformed without that duo also. You guys are reaching at straws if you think playing against second units explains his dominance. The guy is just a fantastic basketball player. More generally, Ruru, I’d love for you to address my central point. Why don’t we find the huge interaction effects in the stats that you argue you see out on the court?Take Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer. That was the first example that jumped into my mind. If you ask Carlos, and someone has recently, he’ll say Derrick makes a tremendous difference to his game. But if you look at the splits, Boozer has scored more and more efficiently without Rose. I don’t think anyone in the NBA draws more attention than Rose. But it actually hurts Boozer’s performance. Same thing for Joakim Noah. He shoots 51% with Rose on and with Rose off. He just scores a little more with Rose on the bench.These are the mysteries I would love to have explained. And while you do that I will work up a more thorough response to your points yesterday….

      Where are you finding these numbers?

    88. Owen

      Well, if Carmelo doesn’t produce as much benefit, he isn’t better.

      That doesn’t seem complicated.

    89. TelegraphedPass

      Owen: Well, if Carmelo doesn’t produce as much benefit, he isn’t better. That doesn’t seem complicated.

      That’s my point. You define better in terms of production. It’s possible to define it in other ways.

      Who’s better at basketball: Tyson Chandler or Kobe Bryant?

    90. JC Knickfan

      @93
      Based on this year alone.
      If I was picking teams for only current Knicks player I would still pick Melo first. Be realistic Chandler has no postup game for center. What Melo provide on offensive outweighs the difference between TC and Melo defensively.
      I know Melo never been all-defensive team and one biggest reason I wasn’t big fan of trade, but he can play defense if he puts his mind to it.

    91. Owen

      Tyson Chandler is currently a lot better at basketball than Kobe Bryant. That’s without question. Chandler is the cornerstone of the the fifth best defense in the league and is leading the league in offensive rating. Kobe is having by far the worst season of his career.

      Look, if we are picking a guy to play HORSE, it’s Kobe and then Melo every time.

      But if we are playing NBA basketball, I am taking the second best defensive player in the league every time.

    92. JK47

      Getting Landry Fields off the floor is going to be some serious addition by subtraction. Under Mike Woodson Landry has now amassed a TS% of .420. He’s also shooting a sizzling .167 from 3-point range and has hit a Shaq-like 50% of his free throws.

      God does that guy suck.

    93. TelegraphedPass

      Owen: Tyson Chandler is currently a lot better at basketball than Kobe Bryant. That’s without question. Chandler is the cornerstone of the the fifth best defense in the league and is leading the league in offensive rating. Look, if we are picking a guy to play HORSE, it’s Kobe and then Melo every time. But if we are playing NBA basketball, I am taking the second best defensive player in the league every time.

      I would take Tyson over Melo as well. I don’t think Melo is the most important player on this team. I don’t necessarily believe that makes Tyson “better” though. I don’t define it strictly in terms of statistical production.

    94. ruruland

      Owen: “If you actually believe that melo was the only player not working as hardunder MDA as hehas been under Woodson, then it’s very difficult to not credit Melo for the huge turnaround.And, implicitly, if you credit Melo for the turnaround, what does it say about an individual player when he can, by simply playing harder, turn a sub.500 team into a 70% win team???”I do give Melo credit for this turnaround. . P>Unlike you though, I don’t give him a pass for playing a lot of really crappy basketball for most of this season. Unlike you, I give the 75% of the season he played poorly three times the weight I give his last 13 games. Why you don’t, I don’t quite understand. You seem to live for the Melo highs while pretending the lows never happened….Also, I have never seen Chandler play without maximum effort. .

      There’s never been a player in league history who has played with maximum effort every single minute he’s been on the floor.

      But Chandler does play hard, and he doesn’t deserve the same criticism that Melo deserves for not giving it his all during a 6-7 game strech under MDA.

      But, you understand that offense creation takes a lot of energy, right? You understand that Melo works harder on offense than CHandler?

      What I was trying to during the MDA debacle, and after — when Melo was the only WILLING to admit he played with more effort– was explain why that would be the case. I never excused it.

      The thing about it was……he was receiving so much criticism at the time, there wasn’t really anyone attempting to explain his thinking. That’s what I tried to do.

      I’m not go to argue with you on who’s a better player between Chandler and Melo. I love Chandler, and I understand this is one of the cases where you’d prefer to use advanced stats. You don’t address other arguments.

    95. johnlocke

      Who’s better than Chandler?

      Owen:
      Tyson Chandler is currently a lot better at basketball than Kobe Bryant. That’s without question. Chandler is the cornerstone of the the fifth best defense in the league and is leading the league in offensive rating. Kobe is having by far the worst season of his career.

      Look, if we are picking a guy to play HORSE, it’s Kobe and then Melo every time.

      But if we are playing NBA basketball, I am taking the second best defensive player in the league every time.

    96. Z

      Owen:
      Tyson Chandler is currently a lot better at basketball than Kobe Bryant. That’s without question.

      Wait– is Tyson Chandler better than David Lee??

    97. JK47

      Tyson Chandler’s impact on this team is just immense; over the course of the season he has obviously been the team’s best player. Undo the Billups-for-Chandler amnesty and this team is unwatchable.

    98. thenamestsam

      TelegraphedPass:
      @93 Define “better”.

      I would say Carmelo is better at basketball than Tyson. He’s better at dribbbling, shooting, and passing. Tyson is better at rebounding and being 7’1?. That said, I’m not sure Carmelo produces as much benefit for his team as Tyson.

      But that’s why the word better doesn’t work so well for me.

      I think you’re right and the conversation often breaks precisely because people mean different things by better. I don’t want to diminish what Tyson does, but with his physical gifts it isn’t impossible for me to believe I could be a similar player to him. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to play like Melo. In a pickup game if I’m the tallest guy on the court I can be effective setting picks. I can grab a lot of boards, I can make layups off put-backs and I can contest shots at the rim. Not as well as him obviously, but I can roughly do the same sort of things. I can never make a 25 foot turn-around fadeaway jumper no matter who I’m playing against. Heck it’s probably less than 20% that I draw iron. I can’t even begin to approximate Melo’s game.

      I think at least part of the ongoing dispute about high usage scorers revolves around this issue as well. Those guys as a rule tend to be guys who take and make crazy shots. When you watch Allen Iverson play basketball it’s very hard not to feel that he was the best player, because he could do things that no one else could do. That’s how we define best in a lot of fields. But when we talk about basketball what we usually mean when we say best is most valuable to winning games. And it’s not really the same.

    99. ruruland

      Owen: Well, if Carmelo doesn’t produce as much benefit, he isn’t better. That doesn’t seem complicated.

      Would you ever take the time to consider the idea that an extremely low usage centers with no semblance of offensive skills does not produce benefit on the plays he’s not being used for, and on many of the plays he can’t be used for actually is a big reason for negative results on offense?

    100. Owen

      “Getting Landry Fields off the floor is going to be some serious addition by subtraction. Under Mike Woodson Landry has now amassed a TS% of .420. He’s also shooting a sizzling .167 from 3-point range and has hit a Shaq-like 50% of his free throws.

      God does that guy suck.”

      I am not as prepared to jump ship on Fields as some. I think he has been better overall this year than people give him credit for. I think he has been a below average starter but a perfectly serviceable NBA rotation player.

      Of late, he hasn’t looked good. In general, and I thought this last year as well, I don’t think pairing him with Melo is optimal. They don’t seem to work with together very well.

      Of course, when I check the numbers, it turns out Fields has actually shot and scored marginally better with Melo than without this year…..

    101. JK47

      Melo’s poor play (sub-.500 TS% 2/3 into the season) is a big reason why the Knicks underachieved and now face a damn near impossible challenge in the first round. Whether it was injuries or indifference or whatever, there is simply no way to make the argument that he has been the Knicks’ best player this season.

    102. Z

      Owen:

      You guys are reaching at straws if you think playing against second units explains his dominance.

      Seriously. Harden plays 32 minutes a game. It doesn’t all come against the Steve Novaks of the league. I can see that argument working when comparing backup centers who come in for 8 minutes just to foul a lot. But obviously Harden is tearing up the league, and if opponents aren’t trying to figure out how to stop him it’s no wonder his team is winning almost every game it plays.

    103. ruruland

      Owen: “Getting Landry Fields off the floor is going to be some serious addition by subtraction. Under Mike Woodson Landry has now amassed a TS% of .420. He’s also shooting a sizzling .167 from 3-point range and has hit a Shaq-like 50% of his free throws.God does that guy suck.”I am not as prepared to jump ship on Fields as some. I think he has been better overall this year than people give him credit for. I think he has been a below average starter but a perfectly serviceable NBA rotation player. Of late, he hasn’t looked good. In general, and I thought this last year as well, I don’t think pairing him with Melo is optimal. They don’t seem to work with together very well. Of course, when I check the numbers, it turns out Fields has actually shot and scored marginally better with Melo than without this year…..

      Wait, wait wait… hold on a second.

      I thought you were making the case that interactions effects were merely a figment of my imagination.

      Why, exactly, haven’t you given up on Fields? How has he shown to be a “perfectly serviceable” rotation player?

      Is this another case where you’d prefer to IGNORE the advanced numbers?

    104. JK47

      ruruland: Would you ever take the time to consider the idea that an extremely low usage centers with no semblance of offensive skills does not produce benefit on the plays he’s not being used for, and on many of the plays he can’t be used for actually is a big reason for negative results on offense?

      The 2011 Dallas Mavericks were NBA champions and had the #8 offense in the NBA last year. They did this despite Tyson Chandler’s presence on the floor for 2000+ minutes. If Melo had played this season the way Dirk Nowitzki played last season, the Knicks offense would have been pretty amazing, even with Chandler’s “negative results” on offense bogging everything down.

    105. johnlocke

      Yes, that was in essence what drove the Shaq versus Kobe debate, while the played together.

      In Chandler’s case, I think we under-estimate though how hard it is to consistently make the right fundamental plays over and over again b/c as you said it looks like if we were that tall we could do it…as a one-off, anyone can set a pick or play good help defense all the way out to the three point line…but doing so at the right times, against the right players while teaching teammates in-game are two different things entirely. That requires intellect not just athletic ability or height…that’s why there are so many useless 7 footers in professional basketball.

      thenamestsam: I can grab a lot of boards, I can make layups off put-backs and I can contest shots at the rim. Not as well as him obviously, but I can roughly do the same sort of things. I can never make a 25 foot turn-around fadeaway jumper no matter who I’m playing against. Heck it’s probably less than 20% that I draw iron. I can’t even begin to approximate Melo’s game.

      I think at least part of the ongoing dispute about high usage scorers revolves around this issue as well. Those guys as a rule tend to be guys who take and make crazy shots. When you watch Allen Iverson play basketball it’s very hard not to feel that he was the best player, because he could do things that no one else could do. That’s how we define best in a lot of fields. But when we talk about basketball what we usually mean when we say best is most valuable to winning games. And it’s not really the same.

      </blockquote

    106. ruruland

      Z: Seriously. Harden plays 32 minutes a game. It doesn’t all come against the Steve Novaks of the league. I can see that argument working when comparing backup centers who come in for 8 minutes just to foul a lot. But obviously Harden is tearing up the league, and if opponents aren’t trying to figure out how to stop him it’s no wonder his team is winning almost every game it plays.

      Again folks, yes, he’s playing against subs and starters, but how many minutes do you think he’s being matched up against the opponent’s best wing defender?

      Owen has said on many occassions that he prefers guys with defensive repuations — Iggy, Deng among a long list of others– over Melo even when the advanced stats are in Melo’s favor.

      If you accept that Harden isn”t being guarded by the opponent’s best wing defender and isn’t the focal point of an opponent’s defensive gameplan, then you can’t say it doesn’t have a big effect.

      Not if you’re Owen (though he can make the argument if he wants to be a hypocrite.)

    107. johnlocke

      When Chandler isn’t scoring, he isn’t just waiting out at the three point line…. he’s constantly setting screens to get guys open and/or create mismatches, fighting for offensive rebounds to get us more opportunities and then finishing at a high efficiency rate when he’s number is called…and he’s not atrocious at the line, which is pretty good for a seven footer. On pretty much every offensive play, besides when we walk up and jack up a shot early in the shot clock, Chandler is doing one or more of the above. He does more than ‘wait for the ball to come to him’

      ruruland: Would you ever take the time to consider the idea that an extremely low usage centers with no semblance of offensive skills does not produce benefit on the plays he’s not being used for, and on many of the plays he can’t be used for actually is a big reason for negative results on offense?

    108. gjknick

      I love listening (reading) the ruru/owen back and forth when you both take the time to actually respond to each other. Truely is educactional and interesting. I’ve seen some articles backing owen’s points about how a player is who he is statistically regardless of teammates. I can also read Ruru’s commentary on how Melo tilts the floor for the defense and it makes sense it should help his teammates.
      So trying to make sense of it, I think of a comparison in baseball – Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) in baseball. Almost regardless of talent, a pitcher will give up .3 hits per ball put in play. It just doesn’t ring right with what was commonly believed yet it is well documented. But then there is Mariano Rivera who consistenly beats that number. Very very few pitchers do, but the exceptional ones do beat it. So, I wonder if there is a similar situation with basketball. Most players are who they are, but an exceptionally talented player actually does boost the numbers of those around him. Maybe Rose isn’t at that level despite his MVP’dom. Nash? Melo? I guess to know, one would have to agree on the statistics to look at that actually measure performance.

    109. ruruland

      JK47: The 2011 Dallas Mavericks were NBA champions and had the #8 offense in the NBA last year. They did this despite Tyson Chandler’s presence on the floor for 2000+ minutes. If Melo had played this season the way Dirk Nowitzki played last season, the Knicks offense would have been pretty amazing, even with Chandler’s “negative results” on offense bogging everything down.

      Again, I mentioned this yesterday. On an offense with a 4 who can really score and score efficiently, floor spacing all around and shooters all around, Chandler’s total death of skills doesn’t make any difference. Setting screens and getting tip-outs is fantastic in that offense….

      And I think the fact that he can finish on a very limited number of plays, can set good screens, get a few tip-outs, and is somewhat of a threat on the pick and roll and can make 65-70 % of his free throws, that moves him beyond a zero sum offensive player.

      However, on a team that struggles with shot creation from its guards, and only has one scorer, Chandler’s inability to contribute or help space the floor and create easier shots for teammates is a detriment.

    110. thenamestsam

      johnlocke:
      Yes, that was in essence what drove the Shaq versus Kobe debate, while the played together.

      In Chandler’s case, I think we under-estimate though how hard it is to consistently make the right fundamental plays over and over again b/c as you said it looks like if we were that tall we could do it…as a one-off, anyone can set a pick or play good help defense all the way out to the three point line…but doing so at the right times, against the right players while teaching teammates in-game are two different things entirely. That requires intellect not just athletic ability or height…that’s why there are so many useless 7 footers in professional basketball.

      You’re absolutely correct about the difficulty of doing it time and time again and it’s a great point. I definitely didn’t mean my comment to be disparaging towards Tyson whatsoever. He is an amazing player and I definitely 100% could not play like him even if I was 7’1″ and a godly athlete. It just seems more within reach than playing like Melo and I think because of that a lot of people may be under the misconception that they could play like a big man if only they were big.

    111. Juany8

      I still find it odd that people think players can be judged independently of one another, and that the main tool being used is offensive efficiency. Chandler can be the cornerstone of a defense, while Carmelo can be the cornerstone of an offense. Both are necessary to win, and luckily both are competent on the other end so they end up being pretty complete players.

      It’s really hard to definitively say whether it’s more important to have a fantastic paint defender or an dominant primary offensive option, but history has shown that both are generally needed to win in the league. In the past 20 years only Tim Duncan and Hakeem were capable of single handedly carrying the primary offensive AND defensive roles on the team that won a championship, and no one in the NBA is currently close to those guys. In general though, you take size in the NBA so Chandler is probably a little more valuable than Melo.

    112. ruruland

      JK47: Melo’s poor play (sub-.500 TS% 2/3 into the season) is a big reason why the Knicks underachieved and now face a damn near impossible challenge in the first round. Whether it was injuries or indifference or whatever, there is simply no way to make the argument that he has been the Knicks’ best player this season.

      I don’t think anyone has attempted to make that argument.

    113. johnlocke

      If this game was purely about statistics (players constantly reverting to their mean, etc) I would agree with you. But psychology also plays a big role in sports and that dude is just not very confident in anything he does these days (free throws, jumpers, floaters, layups, etc). He’s a fragile 2nd round pick, 2nd year player that seems to shrink in big moments. I think that’s why D’Antoni was hesitant to pull him out of the starting line-up. I think he’ll be OK next season with hard work, but I don’t see him bouncing back against an elite defense (Chicago / Miami) in a pressure-filled situation.

      Owen:
      “Getting Landry Fields off the floor is going to be some serious addition by subtraction. Under Mike Woodson Landry has now amassed a TS% of .420. He’s also shooting a sizzling .167 from 3-point range and has hit a Shaq-like 50% of his free throws.

      God does that guy suck.”

      I am not as prepared to jump ship on Fields as some. I think he has been better overall this year than people give him credit for. I think he has been a below average starter but a perfectly serviceable NBA rotation player.

      Of late, he hasn’t looked good. In general, and I thought this last year as well, I don’t think pairing him with Melo is optimal. They don’t seem to work with together very well.

      Of course, when I check the numbers, it turns out Fields has actually shot and scored marginally better with Melo than without this year…..

    114. ruruland

      Juany8: I still find it odd that people think players can be judged independently of one another, and that the main tool being used is offensive efficiency. Chandler can be the cornerstone of a defense, while Carmelo can be the cornerstone of an offense. Both are necessary to win, and luckily both are competent on the other end so they end up being pretty complete players. It’s really hard to definitively say whether it’s more important to have a fantastic paint defender or an dominant primary offensive option, but history has shown that both are generally needed to win in the league. In the past 20 years only Tim Duncan and Hakeem were capable of single handedly carrying the primary offensive AND defensive roles on the team that won a championship, and no one in the NBA is currently close to those guys. In general though, you take size in the NBA so Chandler is probably a little more valuable than Melo.

      Right, find riming -protecting bigs who are also extremely versatile outside the paint….. you just can’t make up for that.

      Those guys are extremely rare. Melo’s are extremely rare, as well, but there are a few ways you can build your team to create the effect Melo has.

      So, on that point, I’d certainly agree. Though, Chandler isn’t winning anything without a Dirk or Melo.

    115. johnlocke

      Yeh, I agree with you

      thenamestsam: You’re absolutely correct about the difficulty of doing it time and time again and it’s a great point. I definitely didn’t mean my comment to be disparaging towards Tyson whatsoever. He is an amazing player and I definitely 100% could not play like him even if I was 7’1? and a godly athlete. It just seems more within reach than playing like Melo and I think because of that a lot of people may be under the misconception that they could play like a big man if only they were big.

    116. Juany8

      ruruland: Right, find riming -protecting bigs who are also extremely versatile outside the paint….. you just can’t make up for that.

      Those guys are extremely rare. Melo’s are extremely rare, as well, but there are a few ways you can build your team to create the effect Melo has.

      So, on that point, I’d certainly agree. Though, Chandler isn’t winning anything without a Dirk or Melo.

      It goes both ways, Melo and Dirk aren’t winning anything without a Chandler. It’s why it makes little sense to talk about a player’s value independent of the context of a team, it serves no purpose other than being glorified fantasy basketball. Chandler and Melo are great complements for one another (although neither is a perfect fit with Amar’e) and both are necessary to contend since neither is capable of carrying the load on offense and defense.

    117. Ben R

      ruruland: Why, exactly, haven’t you given up on Fields? How has he shown to be a “perfectly serviceable” rotation player?
      Is this another case where you’d prefer to IGNORE the advanced numbers?

      If you look at the numbers Fields has been a “perfectly serviceable” rotation player over the course of the season.

      His non-scoring stats are very good, his efficiency is poor but not abysmal, still better than Smith, Shumpert or Davis, his +/- is very good and his WS/48 is okay, also better than Shumpet or Davis.

      There are 8 players in the NBA that have played more than 500 minutes and average over 5 rebs, 3 asts and 1.5 stls per 36 this season: LeBron, Wade, Igoudala, Lowry, Kidd, Ariza, Gaines and Fields.

      The Knicks are better on both defense and offense with Fields on the court and his +3.9 per 48 is better than Melo, Amare, Chandler and Shumpert.

      Out of the rotation players his 48.6% efg% is only behind Chandler and Novak and his 50.4% TS% while poor is still better than 4 other rotation players (Shumpert, Smith, Davis and Jeffries)

      His WS/48 is 0.83 which while below average is solid for an end of the rotation player which right now Fields is.

      I am not saying Fields is better than Shumpert or Smith right now or that he should stay the starter but he has been a “perfectly serviceable” rotation player this year according to the advanced stats.

      Lately he has been playing very badly which Owen admitted to but overall this year he has been servicable, which is what Owen was claiming, with nice developments in his overall game which will hopefully pair with his shot coming back next year and make him a nice player.

    118. Brian Cronin

      In the past 20 years only Tim Duncan and Hakeem were capable of single handedly carrying the primary offensive AND defensive roles on the team

      You have to put Ewing there, too. But otherwise, sure, I think that’s fair.

      EDITED TO ADD: My apologies, I was reading that as a team capable of winning a championship. My bad. So yeah, just those two. If you did extend it to teams capable of winning a championship, who else do you think would be added to the list? Would you consider David Robinson?

    119. ruruland

      @119

      Right, I think the sample size with Rose is too small. I know that the Bulls offense has been much more efficient with Ros,e far beyond the TS difference between he and Watson.

      I’d love to see the offensive rebound rate difference over a 4 year span with Rose on and off the floor. (Iverson ahd the same effect, slightly making up for an inbaility to run a coherent offense around him)

      ALso, there are certainly many cases where role player and opportunity players have numbers that stay relatively static throughout the year. I think, often, a big reason for that is that these players never find themselves outside of their role on new teams. They typically play with the same kind of players and are asked to do the same kind of things.

      While it’s true that Rose creates a lot of defensive attention, that defensive attention is only valuable if you can make plays from it. Considering how often Rose is in the lane, his assist numbers are merely good. I think his prescence does make a significant difference in the offense, but not as big as a pure passer who lives in the lane would.

      And if we extend this argument out, that players play the same way independently of one another or the skill sets of others, then players who have assists really shouldn’t matter at all.

      Assists would be the most OVERRATED statistic in sports by that measure. Because anyone should be able to get them (or create their own shot). That’s the logical extension of Owen’s argument.

    120. Z

      ruruland:

      If you accept that Harden isn”t being guarded by the opponent’s best wing defender and isn’t the focal point of an opponent’s defensive gameplan, then you can’t say it doesn’t have a big effect.

      The 3rd best defenders on some teams are better than the 1st best defenders on other teams.

      I don’t think there is any evidence that bench players are worse defenders than starters.

      The best defenses are team defenses, so a team with a good defensive scheme should be able to defend both starters and substitutes.

      If teams truly don’t focus on Harden, maybe it’s about time they start.

      All in all, I don’t think it has a big effect, and I don’t think you really do either. (If Carmelo started coming off the bench and posted a +.650 TS% I think you’d be writing 1000 word posts to silence the critics claiming he is only playing well because of the defensive drop off between starters and subs).

    121. ruruland

      Juany8: It goes both ways, Melo and Dirk aren’t winning anything without a Chandler. It’s why it makes little sense to talk about a player’s value independent of the context of a team, it serves no purpose other than being glorified fantasy basketball. Chandler and Melo are great complements for one another (although neither is a perfect fit with Amar’e) and both are necessary to contend since neither is capable of carrying the load on offense and defense.

      I’m with you 100 percent

    122. ruruland

      Ben R: If you look at the numbers Fields has been a “perfectly serviceable” rotation player over the course of the season.His non-scoring stats are very good, his efficiency is poor but not abysmal, still better than Smith, Shumpert or Davis, his +/- is very good and his WS/48 is okay, also better than Shumpet or Davis.There are 8 players in the NBA that have played more than 500 minutes and average over 5 rebs, 3 asts and 1.5 stls per 36 this season: LeBron, Wade, Igoudala, Lowry, Kidd, Ariza, Gaines and Fields. The Knicks are better on both defense and offense with Fields on the court and his +3.9 per 48 is better than Melo, Amare, Chandler and Shumpert.Out of the rotation players his 48.6% efg% is only behind Chandler and Novak and his 50.4% TS% while poor is still better than 4 other rotation players (Shumpert, Smith, Davis and Jeffries)His WS/48 is 0.83 which while below average is solid for an end of the rotation player which right now Fields is.I am not saying Fields is better than Shumpert or Smith right now or that he should stay the starter but he has been a “perfectly serviceable” rotation player this year according to the advanced stats.Lately he has been playing very badly which Owen admitted to but overall this year he has been servicable, which is what Owen was claiming, with nice developments in his overall game which will hopefully pair with his shot coming back next year and make him a nice player.

      Fair enough.

    123. ruruland

      Z: The 3rd best defenders on some teams are better than the 1st best defenders on other teams. I don’t think there is any evidence that bench players are worse defenders than starters.The best defenses are team defenses, so a team with a good defensive scheme should be able to defend both starters and substitutes.If teams truly don’t focus on Harden, maybe it’s about time they start.P>

      Right, but it’s not really the schemes it’s the defensive commitment to helping.

      If we are to believe that individual defense essentially doesn’t matter, then you must admit that Melo’s been one of the better defenders in the NBA in his career. He has, after all, consistently played on top ten defenses throughout his career.

    124. JC Knickfan

      From this season if had vote for MVP on Knicks – I would vote Chandler.

      Hypnotically if you GM and you get starting new team from scratch and you had pick one player first from the Knicks. Given their age and career wouldn’t Melo always be the first pick? I really like TC as player and person, but not going to be voted into the HOF.

    125. Owen

      “Would you ever take the time to consider the idea that an extremely low usage centers with no semblance of offensive skills does not produce benefit on the plays he’s not being used for, and on many of the plays he can’t be used for actually is a big reason for negative results on offense?”

      Without Carmelo this year Chandler is scoring 13.6 points per 36 and shooting 70%. Hardly an offensive black hole.

      When are you going to take time to consider that guys like Melo and Rose don’t have nearly the impacts on other player’s production that you think.

      Jr Smith, Amare, and Fields have had slight gains from playing with Melo. Lin, Novak, Chandler, Jeffries, Shumpert have all been the same or worse with him.

      What gives. Where are the dramatic efficiency gains that are supposed to come from playing with Melo? Why don’t they show up in the numbers?

    126. Z

      ruruland: If we are to believe that individual defense essentially doesn’t matter…

      Who believes that? Not me, and I didn’t say that I did.

      I said some team’s 3rd best defenders are better than other team’s 1st best defenders. Since all teams, generally, play against the same other teams, over the course of a season a large sample size reflects this.

      I did say that the best defenses are team defenses. I think that this is true, but it doesn’t render individual ability and performance moot. How did you draw that conclusion from what I wrote?

    127. ruruland

      Owen: “Would you ever take the time to consider the idea that an extremely low usage centers with no semblance of offensive skills does not produce benefit on the plays he’s not being used for, and on many of the plays he can’t be used for actually is a big reason for negative results on offense?”Without Carmelo this year Chandler is scoring 13.6 points per 36 and shooting 70%. Hardly an offensive black hole. When are you going to take time to consider that guys like Melo and Rose don’t have nearly the impacts on other player’s production that you think.Jr Smith, Amare, and Fields have had slight gains from playing with Melo. Lin, Novak, Chandler, Jeffries, Shumpert have all been the same or worse with him. What gives. Where are the dramatic efficiency gains that are supposed to come from playing with Melo? Why don’t they show up in the numbers?

      Well, they were there in Denver when the offense was built around Melo.

      They haven’t show up this year, for most of the year, because MDA wasn’t using Melo properly (and because he can’t help guys who can’t shoot if they were the only ones in the gym)

      What does that mean? Well, MDA was using him in the pick and roll without the spacing to run it effectively. When Melo is on the wing/block, he creates the double/tilt which tne creates the floor spacing.

      We weren’t seeing that effect with MDA because Melo wasn’t put in positions to create defensive attention.

      As the offense has shifted back towards Melo, and as Melo has begun to score like he’s capale of, what are we beggining to see? Double teams and extreme tilts? And what have we seen latetly when those things occur?

      The best 3pt shooting of the year so far.

      There can be excpetions to this effect for sure. Some of them simply take time to develop. Amar’e will be one of those guys.

    128. nicos

      Brian Cronin: You have to put Ewing there, too. But otherwise, sure, I think that’s fair.

      EDITED TO ADD: My apologies, I was reading that as a team capable of winning a championship. My bad. So yeah, just those two. If you did extend it to teams capable of winning a championship, who else do you think would be added to the list? Would you consider David Robinson?

      As much as I love Patrick, I think Oakley was the most important defender on the team.

    129. JK47

      I am not saying Fields is better than Shumpert or Smith right now or that he should stay the starter but he has been a “perfectly serviceable” rotation player this year according to the advanced stats.

      If you just blindly look at TS% and WS/48 in a vacuum, then sure, Landry is a “perfectly serviceable” rotation player. But really, what use is a two-guard who can’t sink a jump shot to save his life and shoots under 60% from the line?

      This year Landry has been a low-usage, low-efficiency player. Opposing teams don’t even bother to guard him anymore. Sure he’ll get some easy buckets on drives– opposing teams simply pretend he doesn’t exist. It doesn’t make him a useful player.

      Landry is the most comically overrated player in the history of advanced stats.

    130. ruruland

      Z: Who believes that? Not me, and I didn’t say that I did. I said some team’s 3rd best defenders are better than other team’s 1st best defenders. Since all teams, generally, play against the same other teams, over the course of a season a large sample size reflects this.I did say that the best defenses are team defenses. I think that this is true, but it doesn’t render individual ability and performance moot. How did you draw that conclusion from what I wrote?

      I don’t understand your argument. just because a guy sees many stratum of defenders doesn’t make him the same as a guy who always sees the opponent’s best defender. Not all players face the same, or anywhere near, level of defensive attention throughout the year.

      A bad defensive team is still going to put it’s best guy on the best offensive player on the other team. Who know,s maybe the drop-off from the best defender on a bad defensive team to the second best is HUGE.

      Do you think Landry Fields gets the same defensive attention that Melo gets — both from the defense and from the level of defender the opposing coach puts on him?

      Of course not. That makes a big difference over a year. Teams are in a bind against OKC because they don’t have 3 good individual defenders, and when Durant and Westbrook go to the bench, the opponents best defenders often catch a breather, too.

      That will change at some point (it might be awhile) because Harden is hurting teams more than Durant and Westbrook

    131. Ben R

      Carmelo does not have a huge effect on other people’s shooting numbers:

      Team EFG%:
      11-12 – With Melo – 47.3% – Without Melo – 49.1%
      10-11 (Knicks) – With Melo – 50.9% – Without Melo – 51.4%
      10-11 (Nuggets) – With Melo – 52.5% – Without Melo – 52.6%
      09-10 – With Melo – 50.3% – Without Melo – 52.1%
      08-09 – With Melo – 52.1% – Without Melo – 49.8%
      07-08 – With Melo – 51.2% – Without Melo – 50.6%

      Over the last five years Melo’s teams have shot better with him on the court in two of the seasons and worse in three. The difference was less than a percent 3 times and more than 2 percent only once.

      There does not seem to be a lot of evidence showing a great effect on team EFG% either direction for Melo being on or off the court.

    132. ephus

      Juany8: In the past 20 years only Tim Duncan and Hakeem were capable of single handedly carrying the primary offensive AND defensive roles on the team that won a championship, and no one in the NBA is currently close to those guys.

      I think you have to add Michael Jordan to the list. Even though Scottie Pippen was a very strong offensive player, Jordan was the defensive glue for the 1992 and 1993 champions.

      Here is the test for all of the TC > Melo advocates, if Miami is looking to blow up their team after this year’s playoffs, would you trade TC + Shumpert for Wade? The salaries line up. Knicks would have a starting lineup of Lin/Wade/Fields (or Smith, if he could be resigned)/Melo/Stat.

    133. Owen

      “Do you think Landry Fields gets the same defensive attention that Melo gets — both from the defense and from the level of defender the opposing coach puts on him?”

      Novak is shooting 51% from three without Melo and 40% from three with him. Novak should be the perfect example of a guy who is so inept at creating his own shot he can really only succeed with a guy like Melo draws double teams and the best defenders.

      Jared Jeffries is another perfect example. He is exactly the kind of guy you would argue lives under the blanket of protection Melo provides. Yet Jeffries has been a FAR better offensive player with Carmelo on the bench. He has shot 46% both this year and last with Melo off the court. He is shooting 25% with him this year and 35% with him last year.

      My point is, you talk constantly about how having Melo out on the court is critical for other players. But quite clearly it isn’t.

      And to say that’s how it was back when you were a Nuggets fan, well, that seems like sort of a ridiculous cop out.

      Z – No one is better than David Lee. NO ONE.

    134. Ben R

      JK47:
      I am not saying Fields is better than Shumpert or Smith right now or that he should stay the starter but he has been a “perfectly serviceable” rotation player this year according to the advanced stats.

      If you just blindly look at TS% and WS/48 in a vacuum, then sure, Landry is a “perfectly serviceable” rotation player.But really, what use is a two-guard who can’t sink a jump shot to save his life and shoots under 60% from the line?

      This year Landry has been a low-usage, low-efficiency player.Opposing teams don’t even bother to guard him anymore.Sure he’ll get some easy buckets on drives– opposing teams simply pretend he doesn’t exist.It doesn’t make him a useful player.

      Landry is the most comically overrated player in the history of advanced stats.

      I was also “blindly” looking at +/- and non-scoring stats and efg%. I don’t know which stats advanced or not that I should look at that shows Landry to be so bad over the course of this entire year. Our team is better with him on the court so whether or not opposing teams ignore him it doesn’t seem to negatively effect our team.

    135. Juany8

      Brian Cronin: You have to put Ewing there, too. But otherwise, sure, I think that’s fair.

      EDITED TO ADD: My apologies, I was reading that as a team capable of winning a championship. My bad. So yeah, just those two. If you did extend it to teams capable of winning a championship, who else do you think would be added to the list? Would you consider David Robinson?

      Possibly Robinson, definitely not Jordan, he was the third best defender on the 96-98 teams… But I’m amongst the very few people that would take a dominant 2 way centers over Jordan so feel free to disagree with that. It’s not a coincidence that Duncan and Hakeem had by far the worst supporting cast of any superstar on a championship team in the past 20 years though (go look at the 2005 Spurs, their second best player might have been Stephen Jackson)

    136. nicos

      ruruland: Well, they were there in Denver when the offense was built around Melo.

      They haven’t show up this year, for most of the year, because MDA wasn’t using Melo properly (and because he can’t help guys who can’t shoot if they were the only ones in the gym)

      What does that mean? Well, MDA was using him in the pick and roll without the spacing to run it effectively. When Melo is on the wing/block, he creates the double/tilt which tne creates the floor spacing.

      We weren’t seeing that effect with MDA because Melo wasn’t put in positions to create defensive attention.

      I think Melo’s struggles early in the year had a lot more to do with the wrist and groin than MDA- the only thing he did well in the first half of the season was run the pnr. He was getting the same iso looks from the wing as he’s getting now, the same walk up threes, he just wasn’t knocking them down. The only thing MDA didn’t do was let him post up as often as he should have. You make it sound like MDA was having him run sets from from the top of the key- Melo was still getting the ball 16-18 feet out on the wing more often than not. The fact that neither he nor Amar’e couldn’t knock down anything from 16-18 feet (and Chandler’s presence) had more to do with the bad spacing than MDA’s sets. Post-Linsanity MDA put Melo out on an island but you’re only talking about a couple of games- not enough to explain a sub 50 TS. I think the wrist hurt his outside shot and the groin kept him from exploding to the basket- now that he’s healthy he’s doing both.

    137. thenamestsam

      Ben R:
      Carmelo does not have a huge effect on other people’s shooting numbers:

      Team EFG%:
      11-12 – With Melo – 47.3% – Without Melo – 49.1%
      10-11 (Knicks) – With Melo – 50.9% – Without Melo – 51.4%
      10-11 (Nuggets) – With Melo – 52.5% – Without Melo – 52.6%
      09-10 – With Melo – 50.3% – Without Melo – 52.1%
      08-09 – With Melo – 52.1% – Without Melo – 49.8%
      07-08 – With Melo – 51.2% – Without Melo – 50.6%

      Over the last five years Melo’s teams have shot better with him on the court in two of the seasons and worse in three. The difference was less than a percent 3 times and more than 2 percent only once.

      There does not seem to be a lot of evidence showing a great effect on team EFG% either direction for Melo being on or off the court.

      Interesting evidence. Melo also plays a large share of his minutes with the other best players (since he starts and finishes games), so the fact that those numbers aren’t tilted towards when he is on the court are very surprising.

    138. Owen

      “I don’t understand your argument. just because a guy sees many stratum of defenders doesn’t make him the same as a guy who always sees the opponent’s best defender. Not all players face the same, or anywhere near, level of defensive attention throughout the year.”

      Let’s rewind here.

      We know Harden has performed much better this year when either Durant or Westbrook are off the floor. And we know Durant and Westbrook have played almost 90% of their minutes together.

      So, basically, we know the Harden plays far better, both from a usage and efficiency perspective, as a second banana.

      Let me repeat, he clearly plays worse when he is the third option.

      How does that square with your belief that a player out to perform better when he is sharing the court with more talented offensive teammates?

    139. Juany8

      Also, how can anyone look at this team’s season averages like they mean absolutely anything? This team clearly isn’t the same team that was out there early in the season, and the biggest difference hasn’t been Melo improving dramatically or Amar’e not playing, but the team simply becoming dominant defensively once the players got used to playing together. Or does no one remember the team’s constant switching from early in the year? The way the team plays has totally changed and Melo, Amar’e, and JR all found their shot as the season went on after being putrid for a period.

    140. ruruland

      Ben R: Carmelo does not have a huge effect on other people’s shooting numbers:Team EFG%:11-12 – With Melo – 47.3% – Without Melo – 49.1%10-11 (Knicks) – With Melo – 50.9% – Without Melo – 51.4%10-11 (Nuggets) – With Melo – 52.5% – Without Melo – 52.6%09-10 – With Melo – 50.3% – Without Melo – 52.1%08-09 – With Melo – 52.1% – Without Melo – 49.8%07-08 – With Melo – 51.2% – Without Melo – 50.6%Over the last five years Melo’s teams have shot better with him on the court in two of the seasons and worse in three. The difference was less than a percent 3 times and more than 2 percent only once. There does not seem to be a lot of evidence showing a great effect on team EFG% either direction for Melo being on or off the court.

      Interesting that you cut the numbers off where you did:

      2006-2007 Effective FG% with Melo 51.5% without Melo 47.8% +3.8%

      2005-2006 Effective FG% with Melo: Effective FG% 49.3% without Melo 47.6% +1.7%

      2004-2005 Effective FG%with Melo 49.1% without Melo 46.9% +2.2%

      2003-2004 Effective FG% with Melo 47.4% without Melo 45.2% +2.3%

      Let’s look at this year: Who has Melo played more minutes with: Douglas, Bibby,Walker, Davis and Fields, or Smith, Lin, and Novak??

      First, the numbers do not refelect the offensive surge of the last three weeks. Second, Melo missed games in which Novak finally played. ALl of that happened during Linsanity. That makes a big difference in a 40 game sample. Novak compared to Douglas? c’mon, that’s a huge difference. Novak and Lin compared to Douglas and Walkers? Even bigger.

    141. Owen

      “(go look at the 2005 Spurs, their second best player might have been Stephen Jackson)”

      Stephen Jackson played for the Spurs from 01-03. On the 03 team I still like Parker, Ginobili and Robinson better than him.

    142. Z

      ruruland: I don’t understand your argument. just because a guy sees many stratum of defenders doesn’t make him the same as a guy who always sees the opponent’s best defender…

      I think defense in the NBA is very hard to quantify, especially once double teams and switches are factored in. Perhaps there is something on synergy that Frank can offer here that shows that Durant/Westbrook face significantly greater defensive players than Harden over the course of a season. My a priori guess is that there isn’t much individual drop off between the defenders that play Harden one-on-one and Durant/Westbrook one-on-one over the course of a season.

      It makes some theoretical sense that it could explain a “Harden bump”, but like Owen has said here, Harden actually seems to play better without those two on the court.

    143. Juany8

      Without a clear picture of the level of competition Harden faces when Durant and Westbrook are out, saying he’s more efficient without them doesn’t really mean anything, and even if it did TS% would hardly be the best measure of that. I think Harden is a fantastic player, but I would hardly call him dominant, he hasn’t yet shown an ability to consistently be the focal point of a team’s offense and he’s an average defender at best.

      The fact that he’s a great passer and playmaker makes him a good fit next to Westbrook and Durant, but it means when he’s playing with them he’s in a secondary offensive role where he’s not going to be getting constant free throws since he’s attacking a lot less. Even if he’s an efficient spot up shooter, spot up shots are still less efficient than free throws and layups, so his overall efficiency might go down even if he was actually making the same shots more efficiently. A better test would be to see how Harden is shooting on 3’s while he’s on and off the floor with Durant and Westbrook, which would actually say something about his relative efficiency. Also, regardless of whether or not Harden is drawing good perimeter defenders, the team defense is oriented around stopping Durant and Westbrook, which means helpers are much more likely to ignore Harden at any given point. It’s difficult to say how much Harden would change if someone like Chandler was keyed in on helping on him anytime he made an offensive move

    144. ruruland

      thenamestsam: Interesting evidence. Melo also plays a large share of his minutes with the other best players (since he starts and finishes games), so the fact that those numbers aren’t tilted towards when he is on the court are very surprising.

      He left out the previous four years, all of which show the positive Melo effect.

      This years numbers will be much different when the last 3 weeks are accounted for, that’s knowing that Melo missed time when Novak and Lin played and boosted the team’s efg% with him out.

      Let’s look at last year with Denver. There was almost no difference between when he was on and when he was off. The team was obviously underachieving with Melo because of the incessant rumors and speculation. They had tons of energy to burn off when he left. Let’s not forget that the Nuggets were a lot better last year without Chauncey, which says something about tempo and how the bench was utilized.

      We have the New York sample –25 games, very small, and the difference is small, too. If we look at the playoffs, those numbers begin to shift back. Knicks were a pretty good offensive team before the trade.

      How about 2009? First, the Nuggets efg% is down 1.9 with Melo, but the points per 100 possessions is up 4.6 points. That’s pretty stagerring, don’t you think? 4.6 points per 100 possessions is like a 20-30 game difference in wins.

    145. Z-man

      You can cherry-pick his stats all you want; Fields has flat-out sucked the hairy horse-helmet all year and has gotten worse each month. He piles up stats in the first quarter and then tightens up and disappears as the game goes on. He has zero cohones. Calling him servicable is like calling Bibby, Baron, or TD servicable. There aren’t a baker’s dozen rotation 1’s, 2’s or 3’s combined on all the top-20 team that I wouldn’t trade him for straight up (ignoring salary).

      The bad news is that 3 of these four has-beens and stiffs will have to play significant minutes during the first round. I’m sure the Heat, Bulls, or Pacers are just drooling to exploit them any time they enter the game.

      Honestly, I can’t believe that anyone would defend this scrub after the way he has played since the end of last year. If you want to say that he’s young, smart and cheap and will improve, OK. But there is no debating that he has been a colossal disappointment this year (except to jon abbey, in his case he is as expected ;>).

    146. Juany8

      Owen:
      “(go look at the 2005 Spurs, their second best player might have been Stephen Jackson)”

      Stephen Jackson played for the Spurs from 01-03. On the 03 team I still like Parker, Ginobili and Robinson better than him.

      Sorry I meant 03, and a rookie Ginobli and Parker were not carrying that team. Neither was an aging Robinson that retired as soon as they won the ring. The point I was trying to make is that everyone but Duncan sucked, and they still won a championship. No one should ever compare Chandler (or Amar’e or Melo) to someone that good, who basically combines the best of all of them into one player

    147. ephus

      Juany8: Possibly Robinson, definitely not Jordan, he was the third best defender on the 96-98 teams

      The criteria was championship teams in the last 20 years. Jordan was the best defender on the 1992 and 1993 Bulls. Robinson was not the best defender on the 1999 Spurs.

    148. ruruland

      Let’s remember that ’09 team. Andersen, Lawson and Smith off the bench. Pretty efficient offensively ,especilly when you’re taking K-Mart out.

      Still ,the Nuggets were 4.6 points better with Melo on the floor that year. It leaves us with just this year to really question. And this year’s data is missing all of April. THings are changing pretty dramatically with the offense running through Melo, don’t you think?

    149. Owen

      ruruland: Interesting that you cut the numbers off where you did:

      2006-2007 Effective FG% with Melo 51.5%without Melo 47.8% +3.8%

      2005-2006 Effective FG% with Melo: Effective FG% 49.3% without Melo 47.6% +1.7%

      2004-2005 Effective FG%with Melo 49.1% without Melo 46.9% +2.2%

      2003-2004 Effective FG% with Melo47.4%without Melo 45.2% +2.3%

      Let’s look at this year: Who has Melo played more minutes with: Douglas, Bibby,Walker, Davis and Fields, or Smith, Lin, and Novak??

      First, the numbers do not refelect the offensive surge of the last three weeks. Second, Melo missed games in which Novak finally played. ALl of that happened during Linsanity. That makes a big difference in a 40 game sample.

      Also interesting. 07-08 was the year Melo’s contract jumped to 13 million.

      I really don’t understand your point re Novak and Linsanity.

      Look, we know how well Novak played in that stretch. We know he is exactly the kind of low usage player who shouldn’t be able to survive without a guy like Melo on the floor.

      So why has he shot so much better with Melo on the bench?

    150. Owen

      Juany8: Sorry I meant 03, and a rookie Ginobli and Parker were not carrying that team. Neither was an aging Robinson that retired as soon as they won the ring. The point I was trying to make is that everyone but Duncan sucked, and they still won a championship. No one should ever compare Chandler (or Amar’e or Melo) to someone that good, who basically combines the best of all of them into one player

      You won’t hear me arguing Duncan’s greatness.

    151. Juany8

      ephus: The criteria was championship teams in the last 20 years.Jordan was the best defender on the 1992 and 1993 Bulls.Robinson was not the best defender on the 1999 Spurs.

      I still wouldn’t say Jordan was the best defender at any point Scotty Pippen was on that team (I think he’s easily the best perimeter defender of all time personally) and either way, Jordan was not guarding the paint, the most important defensive role on the team. Neither was he guarding the other team’s best player since they would guard him with Pippen so that Jordan could focus on offense. I’m sorry but any player who is allowed to take plays off on defense is not a defensive cornerstone, but then I don’t think anyone but big men can be defensive centerpieces. And yes I know Jordan was an incredible defender, he was still nowhere close to Hakeem and Duncan on impact.

    152. ruruland

      Owen: “I don’t understand your argument. just because a guy sees many stratum of defenders doesn’t make him the same as a guy who always sees the opponent’s best defender. Not all players face the same, or anywhere near, level of defensive attention throughout the year.”Let’s rewind here. We know Harden has performed much better this year when either Durant or Westbrook are off the floor. And we know Durant and Westbrook have played almost 90% of their minutes together. So, basically, we know the Harden plays far better, both from a usage and efficiency perspective, as a second banana. Let me repeat, he clearly plays worse when he is the third option.How does that square with your belief that a player out to perform better when he is sharing the court with more talented offensive teammates?

      Well, that probably has to do with the fact that he’s in rhythm when he can get a few touches while he’s playing.

      See, there is a lot to consider. A lot of dynamics in play. Does Harden benefit from playing alongside two extremely dangerous win/guards? Ofr course he does. Does that mean he wouldn’t be a very good offensive player without them? Of course not. But, if he had to go it alone, he would be facing much better defenders and defenses focused solely on him.

      He’s not going to post a .660 TS in those conditions, I can absolutely guarantee that.

    153. ruruland

      Owen: Also interesting. 07-08 was the year Melo’s contract jumped to 13 million. I really don’t understand your point re Novak and Linsanity. Look, we know how well Novak played in that stretch. We know he is exactly the kind of low usage player who shouldn’t be able to survive without a guy like Melo on the floor. So why has he shot so much better with Melo on the bench?

      You’re misrepresenting my arguments.

      First, do you understand how +/- works?

      It’s not just the difference between when a player is on the floor and on the bench, it gathers all the same data when that player is out with injury.

      When Melo played injured through most of first 23 games, he had neither the services of Lin and Novak.

      Becuase Melo’s efficiency was so bad, he was totally misused and he was surrounded by Douglas and co., the efg% of the team was very poor.

      When Melo went out with injury, Lin +Novak came into the lineup — they really boosted the team’s efg%.

      As I documented this week, the only guy who made shots during Linsanity was Novak. The efg% of the other players didn’t change.

      And, in an MDA offense, Lin initating the offense through pnr is more effective than Melo in the pnr.

      So, the numbers make perfect sense.

      Novak thrived with Lin, just as he’s thrived with Melo being the focal point. Neither are surpising. Both guys create offense.

    154. Juany8

      ruruland: Well, that probably has to do with the fact that he’s in rhythm when he can get a few touches while he’s playing.

      See, there is a lot to consider. A lot of dynamics in play. Does Harden benefit from playing alongside two extremely dangerous win/guards? Ofr course he does. Does that mean he wouldn’t be a very good offensive player without them? Of course not. But, if he had to go it alone, he would be facing much better defenders and defenses focused solely on him.

      He’s not going to post a .660 TSin those conditions, I can absolutely guarantee that.

      Ruru I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but you’re actually missing the point at the end. Harden might actually go out and post a .660 TS% as a team’s primary option, I wouldn’t bet on it but it could certainly happen. The point is, that until he starts putting up that percentage as a primary option, it doesn’t really mean much. Whether he can have that production or not is irrelevant as long as he’s not being asked take on that role. His role defines the limits of what his impact can be, being incredibly good at that role doesn’t change the fact that he’s not being asked to be seriously involved with the game on the line.

    155. Z-man

      If Melo regresses to his mean, he is not as valuable as Chandler. However, if Melo gets better and more consistent along the lines of his recent play on both ends, it’s not even close, he’s by far the better and more valuable player. The only questions with Melo are consistency and effort. When he gets it going, he’s a monster. Chandler could never, ever do what he’s been doing lately.

      That’s the gamble with Melo. I don’t even know if it makes sense to look at his past in predicting his future, but if you must, take note that he has had more playoff wins than Garnett, Pierce or Allen had at the points in their respective careers. His numbers at age 27 are very similar to Pierce’s, who became a much better player statistically in the years after the big three trade. Yeah, Melo has been a flake and a douche more than any of those guys, but the talent and potential to get even better is undeniable. It seems like the combination of Woodson, maturity, and the NY press/fans/expections is starting to work some magic with him.

      Look, Zach Randolph was essentially run out of town here, but he was sensational last year, especially in the playoffs, and his teammates, coach and fans absolutley loved him. If Zach could improve his attitude and get the most out of his talents in the right set of circumstances, Melo certainly can.

    156. Ben R

      ruruland – I went back 5 years because going back futher seemed unessessary since the Melo we have now is not the Melo from 5 year ago, if I had wanted to skew the results I could have only gone back three years in which Melo’s teams have been worse shooting wise with him on the floor all three years.

      I am not surprised Melo’s teams were better with him on the floor he is a great player I was simply showing that Melo’s mere presence does not make his teammates better shooters.

    157. ruruland

      Juany8: Ruru I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but you’re actually missing the point at the end. Harden might actually go out and post a .660 TS% as a team’s primary option, I wouldn’t bet on it but it could certainly happen. The point is, that until he starts putting up that percentage as a primary option, it doesn’t really mean much. Whether he can have that production or not is irrelevant as long as he’s not being asked take on that role. His role defines the limits of what his impact can be, being incredibly good at that role doesn’t change the fact that he’s not being asked to be seriously involved with the game on the line.

      Yep. that’s true. But we’re dealing with the hypotheticals for now, and if we don’t understand why a player is so effective, there’s no way to know if they’d be succesfull ina bigger role.

      No one really knows, but there are some things we can look at.

    158. ruruland

      Ben R: ruruland – I went back 5 years because going back futher seemed unessessary since the Melo we have now is not the Melo from 5 year ago, if I had wanted to skew the results I could have only gone back three years in which Melo’s teams have been worse shooting wise with him on the floor all three years.I am not surprised Melo’s teams were better with him on the floor he is a great player I was simply showing that Melo’s mere presence does not make his teammates better shooters.

      I’d be interested to see where the numbers end up this year. I think they’ll be dramatically different.

      Last year was clearly an anomaly when we look at the other 7 years. But, I hear what you’re saying.

    159. thenamestsam

      Ruru, The problem as I see it with a lot of the arguments that you make is that you basically have a reason for dismissing all of the bad periods in Melo’s data. But you can’t do that and then look at the rest of the data because you’ve obviously biased the data. It’s fair to argue that we should dismiss the data entirely because it’s too dependent on other factors. I don’t necessarily agree with you, but you can certainly make that case. But to say that if we throw out all the periods where there doesn’t seem to be a “Melo effect” we see an effect is just silly.

    160. Owen

      “Novak thrived with Lin, just as he’s thrived with Melo being the focal point. Neither are surpising. Both guys create offense.”

      Novak has not thrived with Melo actually.

      In 665 minutes without Melo he has shot over 50% from the field.
      In 253 minutes with Carmelo he has shot just 40% from the field.

      It’s a bit of a puzzle.

      Is there a reason Novak has shot so much better without Melo?

      Or it just a small sample size fluke?

    161. Juany8

      thenamestsam:
      Ruru, The problem as I see it with a lot of the arguments that you make is that you basically have a reason for dismissing all of the bad periods in Melo’s data. But you can’t do that and then look at the rest of the data because you’ve obviously biased the data. It’s fair to argue that we should dismiss the data entirely because it’s too dependent on other factors. I don’t necessarily agree with you, but you can certainly make that case. But to say that if we throw out all the periods where there doesn’t seem to be a “Melo effect” we see an effect is just silly.

      It seems to me that most of the data being thrown around is inconsistent either way, looking at plus minus numbers, for instance, is pretty meaningless without factoring in the quality of play faced by Anthony’s teams when he was on and off the court. The “Melo effect” is also not consistently going to result in higher efg% for everyone, even if it existed, because only one person can ever be attacking the basket with the ball in their hands, and that’s likely to change everyone’s shot distributions.

      The fact that TS% is primarily a function of shot type shouldn’t be ignored, it’s entirely possible for a player to get better at shooting from every single area on the floor (at the rim, at the FT line, from 3, etc.) and still have his overall TS% decrease if he’s taking a higher ratio of 3’s to ft/rim attempts than he was before. Chandler is more efficient than Dwight Howard because he only takes shots at the rim, but Dwight Howard is actually as efficient as Chandler on those types of shots, which means that if Howard made a conscious decision to take nothing but shots right at the rim, he’d have the same TS% as Chandler.

    162. Juany8

      Owen:
      “Novak thrived with Lin, just as he’s thrived with Melo being the focal point. Neither are surpising. Both guys create offense.”

      Novak has not thrived with Melo actually.

      In 665 minutes without Melo he has shot over 50% from the field.
      In 253 minutes with Carmelo he has shot just 40% from the field.

      It’s a bit of a puzzle.

      Is there a reason Novak has shot so much better without Melo?

      Or it just a small sample size fluke?

      You’re talking about 250 minutes on a team without a consistent lineup, about a guy that takes very few shots. Not only that, but the guy happens to take the highest variance shots in the NBA as his main form of offense. Either way, I don’t think Melo would directly increase his 3pt%, as ruru might be arguing. I think Melo directly influences the number of shots he takes, since Novak usually passes instead of taking a bad shot anyway. Melo getting him open allows him to shoot, Melo not being there gets him open less times, it doesn’t actually affect the rate he’ll make the open ones.

    163. thenamestsam

      Juany8: It seems to me that most of the data being thrown around is inconsistent either way, looking at plus minus numbers, for instance, is pretty meaningless without factoring in the quality of play faced by Anthony’s teams when he was on and off the court. The “Melo effect” is also not consistently going to result in higher efg% for everyone, even if it existed, because only one person can ever be attacking the basket with the ball in their hands, and that’s likely to change everyone’s shot distributions.

      The fact that TS% is primarily a function of shot type shouldn’t be ignored, it’s entirely possible for a player to get better at shooting from every single area on the floor (at the rim, at the FT line, from 3, etc.) and still have his overall TS% decrease if he’s taking a higher ratio of 3?s to ft/rim attempts than he was before. Chandler is more efficient than Dwight Howard because he only takes shots at the rim, but Dwight Howard is actually as efficient as Chandler on those types of shots, which means that if Howard made a conscious decision to take nothing but shots right at the rim, he’d have the same TS% as Chandler.

      As I said, I think “the data is effectively broken and should basically be ignored” is a pretty valid viewpoint. I just don’t think the cherry-picking of saying “The data is valid for when it shows an effect, but we should ignore it when it doesn’t shiow an effect because (long list of reasons)” is a logically valid response.

    164. Z-man

      BTW, Melo is posting the highest WS48 of his career, despite shooting very poorly for most of the year and playing indifferently at times until we ditched _’Antoni. That bodes well for the future, doesn’t it?

    165. Z

      Juany8:until he starts putting up that percentage as a primary option, it doesn’t really mean much.

      I don’t think you meant to type this. I can’t imagine you did.

      Harden this year is one of 7 players since 1979 with a usage over 21 and a TS% over .650. The others are McHale, Barkley, Nash, Amar’e, Dantley, and Dawkins. It’s not like there’s a whole bunch of guys that come in and face the 2nd unit and put up unreal numbers. If there was so much variance between 1st 2nd and 3rd option there’s be others doing what Harden is doing. Nash is the only other guard, and the only other player that is comperable to what Harden is doing is Manu, and he’s won 3 rings doing what he does, so you can’t really say that “it doesn’t mean much”.

      Besides, to take anything away from Harden just because he faces “the 3rd best individual defender on the other team” is silly, especially considering that 3rd best individual defender is just as easily Dwayne Wade as it is Corey Maggette.

    166. ruruland

      Juany8: You’re talking about 250 minutes on a team without a consistent lineup, about a guy that takes very few shots. Not only that, but the guy happens to take the highest variance shots in the NBA as his main form of offense. Either way, I don’t think Melo would directly increase his 3pt%, as ruru might be arguing. I think Melo directly influences the number of shots he takes, since Novak usually passes instead of taking a bad shot anyway. Melo getting him open allows him to shoot, Melo not being there gets him open less times, it doesn’t actually affect the rate he’ll make the open ones.

      bingo

    167. ruruland

      Z: I don’t think you meant to type this. I can’t imagine you did.

      Harden this year is one of 7 players since 1979 with a usage over 21 and a TS% over .650. The others are McHale, Barkley, Nash, Amar’e, Dantley, and Dawkins. It’s not like there’s a whole bunch of guys that come in and face the 2nd unit and put up unreal numbers. If there was so much variance between 1st 2nd and 3rd option there’s be others doing what Harden is doing. Nash is the only other guard, and the only other player that is comperable to what Harden is doing is Manu, and he’s won 3 rings doing what he does, so you can’t really say that “it doesn’t mean much”.

      Besides, to take anything away from Harden just because he faces “the 3rd best individual defender on the other team” is silly, especially considering that 3rd best individual defender is just as easily Dwayne Wade as it is Corey Maggette.

      take anything away? Well, ok, you’re right, there’s no doubt he’s on his way to being one of the 5 greatest shooting guards of all time

    168. Owen

      “You’re talking about 250 minutes on a team without a consistent lineup, about a guy that takes very few shots. Not only that, but the guy happens to take the highest variance shots in the NBA as his main form of offense. Either way, I don’t think Melo would directly increase his 3pt%, as ruru might be arguing. I think Melo directly influences the number of shots he takes, since Novak usually passes instead of taking a bad shot anyway. Melo getting him open allows him to shoot, Melo not being there gets him open less times, it doesn’t actually affect the rate he’ll make the open ones.”

      Juan – Novak has played nearly 700 minutes without Melo this year. Not a huge sample. He has taken only slightly more fga per 36 without him.

      Do I really believe Melo is hurting Novak? Off of 250 minutes. Not really.

      But he definitely is the kind of guy Ruru thinks should thrive next to Melo. And so far he has done much better without him.

      The same is true of Jared Jeffries, as I mentioned.

    169. JK47

      Ben R: I was also “blindly” looking at +/- and non-scoring stats and efg%. I don’t know which stats advanced or not that I should look at that shows Landry to be so bad over the course of this entire year. Our team is better with him on the court so whether or not opposing teams ignore him it doesn’t seem to negatively effect our team.

      In terms of +/-, the team is better when Tyson Chandler is NOT on the floor. They’re +2.1 points when Chandler plays, and +3.8 when he sits. When Baron Davis plays, the team is +8.1 points. When he sits, the Knicks are +1.8 points.

      +/- stats are more noise than signal.

    170. ruruland

      thenamestsam:
      Ruru, The problem as I see it with a lot of the arguments that you make is that you basically have a reason for dismissing all of the bad periods in Melo’s data. But you can’t do that and then look at the rest of the data because you’ve obviously biased the data. It’s fair to argue that we should dismiss the data entirely because it’s too dependent on other factors. I don’t necessarily agree with you, but you can certainly make that case. But to say that if we throw out all the periods where there doesn’t seem to be a “Melo effect” we see an effect is just silly.

      I wouldn’t say I’m dismissing it….I’m attempting explain it. Melo has been at fault at times for what the numbers are…..I’ve talked about that, too….

      So, Owen, how great would the Knicks offense be if you had 2 Tyson Chandlers and 3 Steve Novaks

    171. nicos

      No surprise Harden is better without Durant- Harden does a big chunk of his damage in the pnr (32% of his possessions) and it’s pretty hard to run the pnr when all your bigs are busy setting screens for KD. And while Durant isn’t quite the black hole he used to be, he’s still a shoot first guy so he’s not as good as he might be at getting the ball out to open shooters when defenses collapse on him.

    172. Owen

      “So, Owen, how great would the Knicks offense be if you had 2 Tyson Chandlers and 3 Steve Novaks”

      Ahh, the classic fallback argument of the anti stat crowd. Not very good.

      And a team of five Carmelo’s probably would be ok. And cost you 100 million dollars.

    173. Mulligan

      Any argument that focuses solely on individual metrics without considering role in the team is seriously flawed. Many people have argued this before but it bears repeating.

      Basketball is an ecosystem (read Bateson or some other systems theory) – different players are asked to do different things and there are different criteria for a success. Comparing Melo to Harden is somewhat akin to comparing a wolf to an ant. You may think wolves are awesome because they’re fast and can kill things or you may admire ants for their selflessness, digging abilities etc. In a one on one battle to the death, wolves beat ants 99% of the time. But that doesn’t change the fact that wolves are dependent on ants and vice versa through some insane relationship that forms a balanced ecosystem. If you had no ants, it’s likely you’d have little plant life since ants surely do things to enrich the nutrient content in soil, which would lead to fewer herbivores, which = less food for wolves.

      James Harden is James Harden in part because he plays with Durant and Westbrook. Durant is better at being Durant than Harden would be. Just because Harden is more efficient than Melo doesn’t mean they’d do well in role reversals. Likewise Chandler. The best teams complement each other through a balance of skills and attributes. Something like “efficiency” is only one descriptor of the system and no one description is ever sufficient to describe something so complex (although +/- is an interesting attempt to capture this idea).

      Likewise, this is exactly why we all know that Melo and STAT do so poorly together. They do similar things, when any good ecosystem needs diversity.

      None of us disagree about any of this do we? So why do all of you intelligent people keep coming back to questions around Melo’s value? He certainly has value, but no one would disagree that he can do it alone. The other 4 players complement and detract from Melo in a variety of ways, just like he does to them.

    174. nicos

      ruruland:

      So,Owen, how great would the Knicks offense be if you had 2 Tyson Chandlers and 3 Steve Novaks

      I’d say two Chandlers, two Novaks, and a decent point guard would be pretty damned good.

    175. ruruland

      Owen:
      “So, Owen, how great would the Knicks offense be if you had 2 Tyson Chandlers and 3 Steve Novaks”

      Ahh, the classic fallback argument of the anti stat crowd. Not very good.

      And a team of five Carmelo’s probably would be ok. And cost you 100 million dollars.

      It’s a fallback because it’s a perfectly good argument.

      The thesis you seem to be operating under is that shot creation doesn’t exist externally from each individual player. Or perhaps, that all shot creation is created equally. Any player, essentially, is going to create the same shots for himself regardless of who he shares the floor with.

    176. ruruland

      Great post. Mully, and I agree. But that’s exactly what Owen and co. are arguing against.

    177. ruruland

      nicos: I’d say two Chandlers, two Novaks, and a decent point guard would be pretty damned good.

      hmmm. Any decent point guard. What happens when the point guard is trapped at all times? (as such a team facing two Novaks, two Chandlers and one decent point guard would always do.)

      What happens when the ball is swung to one of the Novaks in the corner and his shot is closed out on, and other Novak is being guarded on the perimeter.

      You honestly believe an NBA offense can function with one player capable of dribbling a basketball?

    178. Z

      ruruland: take anything away? Well, ok, you’re right, there’s no doubt he’s on his way to being one of the 5 greatest shooting guards of all time

      Isn’t this the same kind of BS response that you get mad at others for?

      Besides, I don’t even know what means. Who said anything about top 5 SG of all time?

      If you could objectively read your posts here over the past 9 months I think you’d laugh at the sliding scale you use to rate Carmelo.

    179. BigBlueAL

      ruruland: hmmm. Any decent point guard. What happens when the point guard is trapped at all times? (as such a team facing two Novaks, two Chandlers and one decent point guard would always do.)

      What happens when the ball is swung to one of the Novaks in the corner and his shot is closed out on, and other Novak is being guarded on the perimeter.

      You honestly believe an NBA offense can function with one player capable of dribbling a basketball?

      It worked during Linsanity :-)

    180. ruruland

      Z: Isn’t this the same kind of BS response that you get mad at others for?

      Besides, I don’t even know what means. Who said anything about top 5 SG of all time?

      If you could objectively read your posts here over the past 9 months I think you’d laugh at the sliding scale you use to rate Carmelo.

      Well, he’s posting top 5 efficiency numbers of all-time. All due respect Z, and I enjoy your posts, but you seem to be arguing that Harden would perform at this level regardless of whatever situation he’s in and that the circumstances he’s currently immersed in are totally immaterial to his production.

      IF that’s the case, then we should be able to extrapolate that out to 36-40 minutes, increase the usage. You do that, he’s one of the greatest offensive players ever.

    181. ruruland

      BigBlueAL: It worked during Linsanity :-)

      Bill Walker can dribble. Landry Fields can dribble, JR Smith, Shumpert.

      Even Jarred Jeffries is more mobile with the ball in his hands than Novak.

    182. Nick C.

      Interesting stuff guys. These conversations are part of what makes this board great. Now apropos of nothing : Ruru I don’t know how old you are or if you’ve always been on Denver but how do you think Melo compares with Alex English of the 80s?

    183. Owen

      Mulligan – Look at Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant’s career statistics.

      Do they really look like an argument that your numbers are driven by your teammates?

      Kobe has been in a ts% range of 54.4 to 56.3% for 13 of the last 15 years. In his first 8 years he was in a band within 54.4 and 55.2. Then Shaq left. And his numbers actually improved, despite no longer playing next to the best center of recent times.

      Take any established player and the pattern is the same. Contexts change, but by and large, adjusting for age, injuries, and pace, their numbers are remarkably consistent.

      I don’t really know about ants and wolves, but that is the anti-ecosystem argument….

    184. nicos

      ruruland: hmmm. Any decent point guard. What happens when the point guard is trapped at all times? (as such a team facing two Novaks, two Chandlers and one decent point guard would always do.)

      What happens when the ball is swung to one of the Novaks in the corner and his shot is closed out on, and other Novak is being guarded on the perimeter.

      You honestly believe an NBA offense can function with one player capable of dribbling a basketball?

      Point taken- you’d need to upgrade from a decent to a very good point guard. That said, as long as you can break the trap, at worst Novak should only have to take a dribble or two or make a pretty simple dump down pass inside to get a very good look and even he’s capable of that. That team might lead the league in turnovers but would also lead in TS% by a mile.

    185. Juany8

      Z: I don’t think you meant to type this. I can’t imagine you did.

      Harden this year is one of 7 players since 1979 with a usage over 21 and a TS% over .650. The others are McHale, Barkley, Nash, Amar’e, Dantley, and Dawkins. It’s not like there’s a whole bunch of guys that come in and face the 2nd unit and put up unreal numbers. If there was so much variance between 1st 2nd and 3rd option there’s be others doing what Harden is doing. Nash is the only other guard, and the only other player that is comperable to what Harden is doing is Manu, and he’s won 3 rings doing what he does, so you can’t really say that “it doesn’t mean much”.

      Besides, to take anything away from Harden just because he faces “the 3rd best individual defender on the other team” is silly, especially considering that 3rd best individual defender is just as easily Dwayne Wade as it is Corey Maggette.

      I mean I don’t think Harden is actually one of the best offensive players of all time, I actually love Harden and think he’ll be an excellent player. But just because he has a much higher TS% than most guards ever, I don’t think he’s already a better offensive player than most of the league, and I don’t think he’s as good as Melo.

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