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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, Aug 03 2012)

  • [New York Times] Basketball: Russia, Spain Made to Sweat as U.S. Amass 156 Points (Fri, 03 Aug 2012 02:17:14 GMT)
    Two nail-biting finishes kept the pot boiling at the top of Group B in the men’s Olympic basketball on Thursday while a record-breaking romp underlined why United States are the favorites to land gold.

  • [New York Times] Basketball: U.S. Crush Nigeria in Record-Setting Spree (Fri, 03 Aug 2012 00:50:14 GMT)
    An irresistible force met with a very moveable object on Thursday and the result was a record-breaking scoring spree for the U.S. men’s basketball team over a hapless Nigeria at the Olympic Basketball Arena.

  • 130 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, Aug 03 2012)

    1. Gideon Zaga

      Man Melo’s efficiency last night was incredible. I couldn’t believe my eyes didn’t know he was such a good off ball player, I guess Nigeria also played a part in that. See why I always said Dantoni is a great Assistant Coach. Too bad Coach K didn’t leave him in to go for 100.

    2. Jafa

      I am here to sing Melo’s praises today. Didn’t see the game but the stat line is ubber-impressive: 10/12 from 3 point land, 13/16 from the field in only 14 minutes of work! What else can you say? Plus he’s been on fire for the last 2 games.

    3. d-mar

      Maybe I’m just a rose colored glasses wearing fanboy, but I just have a strong feeling Melo is primed to have a superb season. He just watched LeBron win a title, and the Knicks are truly his team now. There are no more excuses (new coach, lockout, Linsanity, roster changes, injuries, etc.etc.) and I think he realizes this is judgement year in NY. And I truly believe he’s ready for the challenge.

      This is the year when the pro and anti Melo camps will finally have their day in court, so to speak.

    4. Jafa

      d-mar:
      Maybe I’m just a rose colored glasses wearing fanboy, but I just have a strong feeling Melo is primed to have a superb season. He just watched LeBron win a title, and the Knicks are truly his team now. There are no more excuses (new coach, lockout, Linsanity, roster changes, injuries, etc.etc.) and I think he realizes this is judgement year in NY. And I truly believe he’s ready for the challenge.

      This is the year when the pro and anti Melo camps will finally have their day in court, so to speak.

      In order for this to be a “superb” season for Melo, I think a couple things have to happen:

      – Knicks winning at least 50 games with Melo leading the charge on offense while contributing on defense
      – Knicks getting to at least the Eastern Conference Finals

      If he can lead us that far and ends up falling to Miami in 6 games, we will all give him credit and bemoan what could have been if he had Lin to help carry the scoring load.

    5. Z-man

      Jafa: If he can lead us that far and ends up falling to Miami in 6 games, we will all give him credit and bemoan what could have been if he had Lin to help carry the scoring load.

      Unless Lin stinks up the court in Houston…

    6. Jafa

      Z-man:
      Yeah, weak opponent, stacked USA team, shorter 3-pt line, etc. but still great to see!

      Regardless of shorter 3-PT line, still amazing to go 13 for 16 from the field. Even if it was all 2 pointers, it is still Kevin Durant shooting territory.

    7. chrisk06811

      Jafa: In order for this to be a “superb” season for Melo, I think a couple things have to happen:

      – Knicks winning at least 50 games with Melo leading the charge on offense while contributing on defense
      – Knicks getting to at least the Eastern Conference Finals

      If he can lead us that far and ends up falling to Miami in 6 games, we will all give him credit and bemoan what could have been if he had Lin to help carry the scoring load.

      I think we should agree that if we win 50 games and make the east finals, we should never speak Lin’s name again.

    8. massive

      Jafa: Regardless of shorter 3-PT line, still amazing to go 13 for 16 from the field.Even if it was all 2 pointers, it is still Kevin Durant shooting territory.

      Except he outscored KD by 20+ points yesterday. I really think that if Melo played the same role as Melo (high usage, OFF-BALL scorer), he would be the most lethal offensive weapon in the game today. His skill set is such that he should average 28+ points a game on a .600 TS%, with 8 rebounds and 5 assists s game to go with it. He just hasn’t had that mindset to play off the ball in his career(nor has he had a talent like Westbrook at PG to allow him to do so). Watch the 43 point game against Chicago and you’ll see how he did his damage. Most of it came off ball movement and not isolation. I just wish he would play more like KD so he can prove (for me) that he’s more talented than him.

    9. Z-man

      To THCJ and Juany8, going back to Tuesday’s thread, here’s an interesting critique of Berri’s work:

      http://sabermetricresearch.blogspot.com/2011/01/david-berris-faq-and-rebounding.html

      IMO, Berri undervalues volume shooting and defense and overvalues rebounding. He admitted to as much with defensive rebounding and adjusted the formula, so that’s a start.

      The anti-Berri camp has often proposed that a team of low-volume, high efficiency scorers that are excellent rebounders (esp. offensive rebounders) would not fare well in practice. Imagine how a team of, say, Tyson, Blair, Faried, Rubio and Brewer would fare, yet according to WP48, they would be a top-5 team in the league. Something is counterintuitive about that.

      Truly efficient high-volume scorers are hard to find, and if you can’t get one, WP48 would argue that you should go for low-volume effient scorers that are great rebounders for their position over high-volume, medium efficiency players, and that somehow, this would translate into more wins. That seems somewhat counterintuitive.

      I wonder if there is a diminishing returns effect that could be documented with usage% vs. WP48.

    10. Z-man

      Here’s a CRAZY hypothetical: suppose current players were to play a season where they were told that their salary would be determined solely on WP48, and that the only stat that would be valued was WP48, and the scoreboard during a game would be programmed to calculate WP48 as a running total; e.g., the announcers would say “at the end of the first quarter, it’s the Knicks .238, the Celtics .167…Paul Pierce leads all players with a WP48 of .372. I wonder how the game would evolve as the season went on…?

      (Obviously if you did that with PER, there’s be a whole lotta chuckin’ goin’ on!)

    11. Nick C.

      There would be all sorts of lost possessions based on balls being knocked out of bounds by two teammates fighting for the rebound. That would be when there wouldn’t be a shot clock violation as reasonable but not totally wide open look and look were passed up lest the TSP go down.

    12. Z-man

      Nick C.: There would be all sorts of lost possessions based on balls being knocked out of bounds by two teammates fighting for the rebound. That would be when there wouldn’t be a shot clock violation as reasonable but not totally wide open look and look were passed up lest the TSP go down.

      Possibly, In truth, I proposed this less as a way to malign WP48, and more as way to get a better look at what effect it might have on individual and team play. For example, would player like Kobe and Melo be capable of adjusting their games so that they were still among the league leaders, or would players like Faried become worth a max contract while those like Melo and Kobe be viewed as low-budget role players?

    13. johnlocke

      What led to Melo’s open shoots in USA basketball was primarily drive and kicks from Chris Paul and Deron Williams. If you look at the game where Melo scores 43 points, a lot of his shots are off the catch off curls or through him initiating the penetration. He needs a penetrating PG that commands double teams on the drive and can pass in order to be a high usage spot up player. He and Lin never really built that chemistry though…maybe he can with Felton??

      massive:
      His skill set is such that he should average 28+ points a game on a .600 TS%, with 8 rebounds and 5 assists s game to go with it. He just hasn’t had that mindset to play off the ballin his career(nor has he had a talent like Westbrook at PG to allow him to do so). Watch the 43 point game against Chicago and you’ll see how he did his damage. Most of it came off ball movement and not isolation.

    14. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Can’t teach a five-time All-NBAer new tricks. (He thinks he knows ‘em all.)

      Those of you hoping that Carmelo’s gonna have a breakout season at age 29 are betting against the odds. Just sayin’.

    15. johnno

      Here’s the most amazing stat that no one has mentioned — against Nigeria, the US team shot 30-37 on 2 point shots.

    16. johnlocke

      Lots of amazing stats, that are unlikely to be repeated, from this blow-out game:

      Only Kobe and Lebron, played less than the leading scorer – Melo
      The US had 1 block the entire game
      Only 3 US players had more than 1 foul
      The US shot better from the field than from the free throw line
      If the US missed every single 2 pt shot would have still won by double digits
      Harden was the only player to shoot under 50%
      No one on Team USA turned the ball over more than once

      johnno:
      Here’s the most amazing stat that no one has mentioned — against Nigeria, the US team shot 30-37 on 2 point shots.

    17. massive

      johnlocke:
      What led to Melo’s open shoots in USA basketball was primarily drive and kicks from Chris Paul and Deron Williams. If you look at the game where Melo scores 43 points, a lot of his shots are off the catch off curls or through him initiating the penetration. He needs a penetrating PG that commands double teams on the drive and can pass in order to be a high usage spot up player. He and Lin never really built that chemistry though…maybe he can with Felton??

      That’s basically my point. He needs a Russell Westbrook in order to really succeed. Somebody who can attack the rim consistently so he can get open shots. Carmelo taking shots over double teams is only good for defenses and his reputation. As it stands, he’s the only player that commands a double team. If Amar’e gets back to form, than he have two and we might get somewhere in this league. To me, Jeremy Lin was that penetrating point guard we needed in order to maximize Melo. I don’t believe in Felton being able to do that. Maybe Mike Woodson can get him to be the .600 TS% player I know he can be.

    18. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Can’t teach a five-time All-NBAer new tricks. (He thinks he knows ‘em all.)

      Those of you hoping that Carmelo’s gonna have a breakout season at age 29 are betting against the odds. Just sayin’.

      betting implies choice, and unless you’re going to root for a different team (a very valid possibility as I’ve said here numerous times), there’s no choice.

      so, go Melo! breakout year! whoo!

    19. Z-man

      massive: To me, Jeremy Lin was that penetrating point guard we needed in order to maximize Melo.

      Not sure why Lin is already considered a better penetrating PG than Felton. If you want to say that Lin is a better finisher going right, I’d agree. However, Felton is a MUCH better ball handler than Lin, especially vs. ball pressure, and probably a better p&r passer. Watch some video of Felton and you’ll see that getting into the lane is not a problem for Felton, and he is equally adept with both hands.

    20. massive

      Z-man: Not sure why Lin is already considered a better penetrating PG than Felton. If you want to say that Lin is a better finisher going right, I’d agree.However, Felton is a MUCH better ball handler than Lin, especially vs. ball pressure, and probably a better p&r passer. Watch some video of Felton and you’ll see that getting into the lane is not a problem for Felton, and he is equally adept with both hands.

      My point is predicated around the possibility of Jeremy Lin either maintaining his production, or getting better, which is always a possibility for a 23 year old PG. Lin presented us with a much greater possibility of getting a legit All-Star caliber PG than Felton does. It doesn’t matter how good of a penetrating guard Felton is if he can’t get his TS% above league average.

    21. johnno

      Because believing that Felton is better than Lin at anything would weaken the arguments of those who want to whine, scream, curse and stamp their feet that Dolan should have committed $70 million to a guy with 25 career starts and some people enjoy whining, screaming, cursing and stamping their feet…

      Z-man: Not sure why Lin is already considered a better penetrating PG than Felton.

    22. Eric Chen

      Jafa: If he can lead us that far and ends up falling to Miami in 6 games, we will all give him credit and bemoan what could have been if he had Lin to help carry the scoring load.

      There’s where I’m at looking down the line to where Lin’s absence will most likely hurt the Knicks.

      In the regular season, the Knicks will miss Lin’s smart fill-in-the-blanks, all-around game, especially if their backcourt specialists don’t mix well. But as long as Woodson’s defense and system holds together, the team should do fine in the regular season. See Woodson’s Hawks play-off teams and the Rose-era Bulls, including last year’s Rose-less Bulls. I expect an improvement to a 2-5 seed for the Lin-less Knicks this season, which is what I expected for the Knicks with Lin.

      It’s in the play-offs, especially against the Heat, where I see the absence of Lin hitting hard. Unlike some Lin fans, I’m an Anthony fan – I put him in the same class as mid-deep iso scorers Durant and Nowitzki, both of whom also have needed a reliable 2nd (and 3rd) perimeter scorer to relieve pressure and help them win deep into the play-offs. You can get away with one reliable scorer in the regular season and against lesser play-off teams, but the elite play-off defenses will neutralize him if that’s all you got. See the 2010-11 discipline-and-defense-and-Rose Bulls that charged through the regular season and the soft Pacers and Hawks teams in the play-offs until Rose was smothered by the Heat in the ECF; when the Bulls needed a 2nd creative scorer to take pressure off Rose, they didn’t have one. Without Lin, the Knicks are now following the 2010-11 Bulls path, when they could have followed the 2010-11 Mavs path with Lin.

      CONTINUED …

    23. BigBlueAL

      “If he can lead us that far and ends up falling to Miami in 6 games, we will all give him credit and bemoan what could have been if he had Lin to help carry the scoring load. ”

      Change “we will all” to “an annoying few”.

    24. johnlocke

      Huh? Lin has never sniffed the playoffs and the only game we have of him playing against the Heat, is one where we all felt bad for him. I think Lin 2-3 years from now could be the type of player that makes noise in the playoffs, but there is no way I see him as the missing link for a championship run, next year

      Eric Chen:

      It’s in the play-offs, especially against the Heat, where I see the absence of Lin hitting hard.

    25. massive

      johnno:
      Because believing that Felton is better than Lin at anything would weaken the arguments of those who want to whine, scream, curse and stamp their feet that Dolan should have committed $70 million to a guy with 25 career starts and some people enjoy whining, screaming, cursing and stamping their feet…

      In no way, shape, or form am I whining about the Knicks not committing to Jeremy Lin. I could care less about him leaving at this point. Just yesterday, I made a post about Felton’s WP/48 and TS% on playoff teams being significantly better than his career numbers. I just believe that Jeremy Lin has star potential that Felton does not have, and the potential to make Carmelo a better basketball player (which I also don’t believe Felton has). You can complain about other people complaining, but that doesn’t make you any better than those you criticize.

    26. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      johnno:
      Because believing that Felton is better than Lin at anything would weaken the arguments of those who want to whine, scream, curse and stamp their feet that Dolan should have committed $70 million to a guy with 25 career starts and some people enjoy whining, screaming, cursing and stamping their feet…

      $70M? No. That’s wrong.

      “If worse comes to worst, another new rule can help the team out. The “stretch provision” allows a team to waive a player and extend his salary payments over twice the number of remaining seasons, plus one. So if Lin is waived with one season remaining on his contract, he would be paid his salary over three years.

      Here’s the important part — teams also may elect to stretch a waived player’s salary cap hit over the same number of years. So if Lin proves to be a disaster over the next two seasons, the Knicks can waive him, stretch the payment of his $14.8 million salary over three years, and reduce his salary cap amount to about $4.9 million in each season. This would reduce the team’s tax bill significantly. If they are right at the tax line, a $4.9 million salary would translate to a $7.35 million tax bill. This is much more palatable.”

    27. johnno

      See, now you’re complaining about me complaining about other people complaining, which might compel me to complain about your complaining about me complaining about other people complaining…

      massive: You can complain about other people complaining, but that doesn’t make you any better than those you criticize.

    28. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man:
      To THCJ and Juany8, going back to Tuesday’s thread, here’s an interesting critique of Berri’s work:

      http://sabermetricresearch.blogspot.com/2011/01/david-berris-faq-and-rebounding.html

      IMO, Berri undervalues volume shooting and defense and overvalues rebounding. He admitted to as much with defensive rebounding and adjusted the formula, so that’s a start.

      The anti-Berri camp has often proposed that a team of low-volume, high efficiency scorers that are excellent rebounders (esp. offensive rebounders) would not fare well in practice.Imagine how a team of, say, Tyson, Blair, Faried, Rubio and Brewer would fare, yet according to WP48, they would be a top-5 team in the league. Something is counterintuitive about that.

      Truly efficient high-volume scorers are hard to find, and if you can’t get one, WP48 would argue that you should go for low-volume effient scorers that are great rebounders for their position over high-volume, medium efficiency players, and that somehow, this would translate into more wins.That seems somewhat counterintuitive.

      I wonder if there is a diminishing returns effect that could be documented with usage% vs. WP48.

      Berri adjusted the formula in Dec. ’11, after that article was written, to account for diminishing returns on defensive rebounding.

      Also, WP48 is adjusted for position, so it’s really more about how good a center is compared to another center. Maybe Brook Lopez is a phenomenal rebounders but he plays most of his minutes 15 feet from the rim and thus in bad position for a rebound, but that doesn’t make him a productive player.

    29. massive

      I’m not complaining lol. I’m addressing your argument, clarifying myself, and trying to point out that it’s foolish to troll people when we’re all hear to talk about the Knicks. This website is often polluted with debates that turn into personal insults, and the post I addressed is the type to start something like that. I’d rather discuss basketball than attack people over the internet.

    30. ruruland

      Do you admit that different kinds of shots are more efficient than others, and that getting certain kinds of shots– at least in proportion to others–is dependent on other players?

      Is it merely a coincidence that Melo’s most efficient seasons have come when 50+% of his baskets were assisted? And secondly, is it coincidental that his least assisted basket seasons came when Chauncey Billups and Toney Douglas/Mike Biggy were his point guards?

      Melo’s .557 efficiency in 2009 is actually pretty impressive when you consider that 35% of his plays were isolation.

      Kobe’s never played with a drive and kick pg, but surely he’s working on his spot-up game with Nash coming aboard.

      Old dogs do learn new tricks. Look no farther than the the great pg on the Knicks roster.

      Melo’s been adding to his game since he came into the league. He’s had to. Any primary scorer that isn’t amazing in pnr and has to create new ways to beat defenses that are set to defend him has to add new elements to his shot creation game.

      That being said, Melo’s most efficient seasons also occurred before his 3pt shot developed.

      Kidd’s passing game is very similar to Andre Miller’s. Andre Miller’s vision allowed Melo to twice lead the NBA in dunks.

      Raymond Felton is a drive and kick point guard who’s actually interested in passing (unlike, say, Allen Iverson)…. Those two things should allow Melo’s shot distribution to change 10-15% away from unassisted post-ups and isolations.

      Melo is anticipating more spot-ups and off-ball opps, and that’s what he’s been working on since the season ended.

      There are a lot of reasons to believe that Melo is going to have a monster season, from the shape he’s in to Team USA to his focus level. But bear in mind that Melo’s had stretches of 570-580 TS on extremely high usage with very low 3pt attempts — each time there was a trade and a new set of circumstances that his game needed to adapt to.

      Here is the…

    31. massive

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Berri adjusted the formula in Dec. ’11, after that article was written, to account for diminishing returns on defensive rebounding.

      Also, WP48 is adjusted for position, so it’s really more about how good a center is compared to another center. Maybe Brook Lopez is a phenomenal rebounders but he plays most of his minutes 15 feet from the rim and thus in bad position for a rebound, but that doesn’t make him a productive player.

      Would you agree with the point the WP/48 is limited to judging how good a player is in their role? For example, it would appear to be foolish to say that Kawhi Leonard is a better basketball player than Kobe Bryant because WP/48 says so. Would you agree that WP/48 says that Kawhi Leonard is much better at his role (hustle guy, efficient scorer) than Kobe Bryant is at his (high usage, isolation scorer)? WP/48, IMO, measures a player’s contributions to wins depending on good they are in their respective roles. I don’t think anybody would argue that Kawhi Leonard is the 4th best SF in the NBA, but he probably is the 4th most productive due to his role on the team.

    32. hoolahoop

      Tell me how great Melo is when he learns how to move without the ball on the court at MSG and pass to his knicks teammates – and can win more than one playoff game in two seasons.
      Lebron is happy passing to his stud cast of teammates, while Melo dominates Nigeria. How impressive.

    33. hoolahoop

      ruruland: There are a lot of reasons to believe that Melo is going to have a monster season, from the shape he’s in to Team USA to his focus level.

      I think Melo is going to lead this team to mediocrity – again! – and reap the ire of the intelligent portion of the fan base – again! Look for him to request leaving the knicks at some low point of the season when they are playing as ugly as they have the first two seasons he was here – again!.

    34. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      massive: Would you agree with the point the WP/48 is limited to judging how good a player is in their role? For example, it would appear to be foolish to say that Kawhi Leonard is a better basketball player than Kobe Bryant because WP/48 says so. Would you agree that WP/48 says that Kawhi Leonard is much better at his role (hustle guy, efficient scorer) than Kobe Bryant is at his (high usage, isolation scorer)? WP/48, IMO, measures a player’s contributions to wins depending on good they are in their respective roles. I don’t think anybody would argue that Kawhi Leonard is the 4th best SF in the NBA, but he probably is the 4th most productive due to his role on the team.

      Look at the numbers and then tell me if you think Kobe Bryant is better than Kawhi Leonard. Plus Leonard’s on a rookie contract. The idea that Bryant is more valuable than Leonard is laughable, to me, especially given their contracts.

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/137-kobe-bryant

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/504-kawhi-leonard

      Bryant doesn’t have to take that many shots. He chooses to, and his team suffers for it. I don’t care how many rings he’s got or any eyetest bullshit. Leonard is a superior player and would be efficient on any decently-run team. Kobe Bryant would be a chucker on any team because that’s his reputation. Who’s going to tell the heir to Mr. Jordan to shoot less?

    35. massive

      Placing all the blame on Carmelo Anthony for the bad season is unfair. We had the one of the worst guard rotations in the league last year, the coach was stubborn, the team quit on him, and as soon as Woodson gets the job, the team goes 18-6. What makes you think that we won’t be able to keep up to that 18-6 pace? The playoff series when all of our point guards not named Mike Bibby were hurt? The playoff series in which we lost to the Miami Heat in 5 (the same fate OKC suffered)? Was Carmelo a part of the problem? Yes, but so was everybody else on the team. Melo finished last season with a WS/48 of .160, and his WS/48 as a Knick last year was at .157. That is not a mediocre basketball player.

    36. hoolahoop

      The epiphany
      The best thing that could happen would be for Lebron, CP3, DWill and melo to be sitting around in the hotel room on an off night, passing around a spliff and talking hoops and team ball. . . . when suddenly, melo has the “aha” moment.

    37. hoolahoop

      massive: the coach was stubborn, the team quit on him, and as soon as Woodson gets the job, the team goes 18-6. What makes you think that we won’t be able to keep up to that 18-6 pace? The playoff series when all of our point guards not named Mike Bibby were hurt? The playoff series in which we lost to the Miami Heat in 5 (the same fate OKC suffered)? Was Carmelo a part of the problem?

      You’re joking, right. Was Melo part of the problem? is that a serious question.
      The team did not quit on Dantoni. Melo did. The coach was stubborn? That’s why he’s called the coach. If MDA had his way, Dwill would be on the knicks with Amare, TC and the rest. That would be a much better team.

    38. massive

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Look at the numbers and then tell me if you think Kobe Bryant is better than Kawhi Leonard. Plus Leonard’s on a rookie contract. The idea that Bryant is more valuable than Leonard is laughable, to me, especially given their contracts.

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/137-kobe-bryant

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/504-kawhi-leonard

      Bryant doesn’t have to take that many shots. He chooses to, and his team suffers for it. I don’t care how many rings he’s got or any eyetest bullshit. Leonard is a superior player and would be efficient on any decently-run team. Kobe Bryant would be a chucker on any team because that’s his reputation. Who’s going to tell the heir to Mr. Jordan to shoot less?

      You see, that’s what I’m trying to point out, in a sense. Kawhi Leonard was more productive than Kobe Bryant. There’s no arguing against that fact. But I’m not sure Kobe Bryant is 100% in the mindset of “I must take off balance 19 footers over double teams.” What I’m trying to say is that certain roles have certain effects on players, and therefore give them a better shot at being productive. If Rondo’s role on his team was to get back after every shot, he wouldn’t be in place to get rebounds. If D Wade’s role was to shoot threes all day, he would be one of the worst players in the league. Conversely, if Kobe Bryant’s role in the offense was to take open shots or dump it down to Dwight Howard/Pau Gasol, he would probably be a much better basketball player. Do you agree with that?

    39. Eric Chen

      massive: To me, Jeremy Lin was that penetrating point guard we needed in order to maximize Melo. I don’t believe in Felton being able to do that.

      Felton as a Knick was as fast as Lin and had the handle to penetrate, but was not as quick/explosive, and lacked the lift, craftiness, and the touch Lin has as a finisher. Defenses don’t have to account for Felton’s penetration as much as they do Lin’s.

      I agree Lin’s playmaking would have helped Anthony, but I go more the other way: I believe Anthony and Woodson would have maximized Lin’s game.

      Lin tasked by D’Antoni to singlehandedly break down defenses is one thing; Lin isn’t the only good PG who struggled against the Heat. Woodson mitigated the limits of Lin’s combo-guard handle by not demanding he break down every defense every time.

      The thing about Linsanity is that ball-dominant scoring is arguably not Lin’s top strength. Lin actually played off the ball in college and only took over primary ball handling against elite opponents when his teammates weren’t good enough.

      Running the offense through Anthony would have allowed Lin to play off the ball more, which arguably is his top strength. Anthony is a skilled passer out of double-teams and, off the ball, Lin reads defenses, is active, and maneuvers to get open very well. Lin as a weakside pressure valve would have opened an entire dimension for the offense, especially against elite defenses. On the weakside, against a defense caught in rotation by a crisp Anthony kick-out, Lin would have been lethal. In those closing ‘6 minutes’ of games, where I expected Lin and Kidd to play together a lot, an Anthony kick to Kidd swing to Lin would have been a good score or assist opportunity for the Knicks every time.

      I also believe Woodson would have run a hybrid offense with Lin, not only Iso-Melo. Lin would have had enough touches to be a…

    40. massive

      hoolahoop: You’re joking, right. Was Melo part of the problem? is that a serious question.
      The team did not quit on Dantoni. Melo did. The coach was stubborn? That’s why he’s called the coach. If MDA had his way, Dwill would be on the knicks with Amare, TC and the rest. That would be a much better team.

      Did you read the rest of my post?
      “Was Carmelo a part of the problem? Yes, but so was everybody else on the team.”

      Something I learned in a high school course I took on peer mediation is that when there is a conflict, all parties involved are at fault (assuming all parties involved are sane people). It’s unfair to place all of the blame on Carmelo Anthony. How much blame he deserves is a different issue altogether.

    41. massive

      @43, I agree. Back when Lin was a Knick, I thought Melo, Woodson, and Lin needed to build a Westbrook/Durant type of synergy on offense for both parties to be successful. I think it would have worked well because Lin isn’t as egotistical as Westbrook (although Melo’s ego is bigger than Durant’s), and would have allowed to better player to make the play. I was hoping it would work out that way, so now I’m hoping for Felton/Melo/Woodson to work out the same way.

    42. EB

      Felton’s first 25 games as a Knick
      MP TS% TRB% AST% TOV% usg
      38.6 .576 5.7 35.5 18.3 22.5

      Duhon’s first 25 games as a Knick
      MP TS% TRB% AST% TOV% USG
      39.8 .561 5.4 30.4 20.5 14.3

      Lin’s 26 games following breakout
      MP TS% TRB AST TOV USG
      34.1 .552 6.2% 39.3 21.3 27.6

    43. Eric Chen

      johnlocke: He and Lin never really built that chemistry though…maybe he can with Felton??

      The unrealized potential of the Anthony-Lin G/F duo is probably the most frustrating part of the Knicks letting Lin go. They could have been a modern version of Nash/Nowitzki and entered the conversation with Durant/Westbrook and James/Wade as elite G/F combos.

      Woodson saw the potential of the Lin/Anthony 2-man game. Besides the conventional PG feeding of Anthony in the high-post and spotting up or clearing out (ie, freeing up Lin on the weak side), Woodson had Lin and Anthony running side pick-and-rolls, which were still rough at the point Lin went down with his knee, but you could see the play had real potential to evolve into something special. Even rough, the play was putting a lot of pressure on the defense with both players’ offensive versatility and scorer mindsets. As is, the PnRs Lin ran with Anthony opened up Lin more than they did Anthony because, of course, defenders usually opted to stay with Anthony. Felton lacks the offensive versatility to open the same options in a Felton/Anthony 2-man game Lin would have opened with Anthony.

      As far as Stoudemire, I doubt changing PGs will be the difference in Stoudemire’s shrinking production. Felton isn’t better than Lin in the PnR. One, STAT’s (predicted) physical breakdown is the chief culprit. Two, adding Anthony, and Anthony’s defender, crowded Stoudemire’s work space in the mid-range (pick-and-pop). Then, three, the introduction of Chandler and his defender crowded his work space in the paint (pick-and-roll).

      Before Anthony, the Knicks ran the traditional 7SOL sets with the PnR and 3 on the perimeter. We saw the plays work again during Linsanity with Chandler. It’s a lot harder to open the middle for STAT when he’s playing bumper cars with Anthony and Chandler in either work space.

    44. hoolahoop

      massive:

      Something I learned in a high school course I took on peer mediation is that when there is a conflict, all parties involved are at fault (assuming all parties involved are sane people).

      That’s not true. A conflict can be the fault of one person’s conduct. Why blame innocent people that are involved with someone else’s unacceptable behavior.

    45. johnlocke

      Dude, don’t be slave to data, use your common sense

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Look at the numbers and then tell me if you think Kobe Bryant is better than Kawhi Leonard. Plus Leonard’s on a rookie contract. The idea that Bryant is more valuable than Leonard is laughable, to me, especially given their contracts.

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/137-kobe-bryant

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/504-kawhi-leonard

      Bryant doesn’t have to take that many shots. He chooses to, and his team suffers for it. I don’t care how many rings he’s got or any eyetest bullshit. Leonard is a superior player and would be efficient on any decently-run team. Kobe Bryant would be a chucker on any team because that’s his reputation. Who’s going to tell the heir to Mr. Jordan to shoot less?

    46. Z-man

      Re: Bryant vs. Leonard, WP48 does not seem to factor in usage. In theory, Leonard should score more points per possession than Kobe even at a usage of .30+, but in practice, that is highly unlikely to happen. Sure, Kobe should lower his usage by taking fewer bad shots and distributing the ball more to the higher efficiency players on his team, but there is no guarantee that those players maintain their efficiency as more shots come their way. Leonard might (or might not) fall into the same category of player as Trevor Ariza, who was an excellent low-usage player when paired with Kobe, but failed to replicate that as as a high-usage focal point on offense after signing a big FA contract with Houston.

      In short, I think that replacing Kobe circa 2005-6 with Leonard 2011-12 would have greatly dimished that team’s chances to win a title. Yes, Kobe had one of his more efficient years, but I would guess that his WP48 was still significantly lower than Leonard’s last year. This is because I think the “threat” of Kobe raises everybody else’s efficiency, just like it did for Ariza. Some of the Synergy stats seem to support this line of reasoning.

    47. Eric Chen

      johnlocke:
      Huh? Lin has never sniffed the playoffs and the only game we have of him playing against the Heat, is one where we all felt bad for him. I think Lin 2-3 years from now could be the type of player that makes noise in the playoffs, but there is no way I see him as the missing link for a championship run, next year

      With Lin at this point, it’s his promise based on his demonstrated type, not his track record.

      Elite play-off defenses eventually adjust to trump systems, which are then forced to transition to multiple perimeter iso scorers and ball movement (playmaking). Felton and Kidd may indeed run Woodson’s system as well as Lin would have, but eventually in the play-offs, the Knicks will need one or both PGs to step up as a creative scorer and playmaker to augment Anthony. Their track records show that neither PG is that type of guard; Lin, while unproven in the play-offs, is that type of guard. Who’s going to be the Barea/Terry of this Knicks team to complement Kidd’s Kidd and Melo’s Nowitzki? Right now, the Knicks hope for filling that critical play-off role rests on JR Smith.

      As far as the Heat game, other teams saw the tape. They tried to pressure Lin after the Heat game and Lin adjusted. Unfortunately, he didn’t get his rematch against the Heat. Even assuming Lin’s ball-handling won’t improve and the Heat have a unique ability to guard him, Lin wouldn’t have had the same ball-handling responsibility for Woodson as he did for D’Antoni. At worst, Lin would have been the Knicks’ Barea who could fill the critical play-off role as a secondary creative scorer and playmaker out of the backcourt. The track records of the current Knicks PGs show they won’t fill that role come the play-offs.

    48. ruruland

      Z-man:
      Re: Bryant vs. Leonard, WP48 does not seem to factor in usage. In theory, Leonard should score more points per possession than Kobe even at a usage of .30+, but in practice, that is highly unlikely to happen. Sure, Kobe should lower his usage by taking fewer bad shots and distributing the ball more to the higher efficiency players on his team, but there is no guarantee that those players maintain their efficiency as more shots come their way. Leonard might (or might not) fall into the same category of player as Trevor Ariza, who was an excellent low-usage player when paired with Kobe, but failed to replicate that as as a high-usage focal point on offense after signing a big FA contract with Houston.

      Of course this is all true. And THCJ would likely counter with something to the effect that 80 % of players current performance is explained by past performance, or in other words, players generally stay within a relatively small range of production and effieincy from year to year.

      And it’s so obvious why that is true. Low-usage, high efficiency players rarely have the skill-sets to take on more usage without rapidly declining efficiency, coaches recognize this WAYYYYYYYY before the stats do, so they always play the same roles. NBA coaches allow them to do the things they’re good at while burdening others with things they can’t do.

      You’re not going to see Steve Novak as a pick and roll ballhandler. You won’t see Faried take more than 4-5 jump shots as a roller. Et
      c.

      Naturally, there are play types that are much less efficient (unassisted play-types vs assisted play-types) than others. But unassisted play types don’t exist in a vacuum. They often are the kind of plays that create the more effiicent unassisted play-types.

    49. Eric Chen

      massive: @43, I agree. Back when Lin was a Knick, I thought Melo, Woodson, and Lin needed to build a Westbrook/Durant type of synergy on offense for both parties to be successful. I think it would have worked well because Lin isn’t as egotistical as Westbrook (although Melo’s ego is bigger than Durant’s), and would have allowed to better player to make the play.

      Woodson was going in that direction. Westbrook and Durant seem to take turns more than actually play off of each other. Ie, as a duo, their whole is not greater than the sum of their parts, though their sum is big. I think Lin/Anthony would have had been better than Westbrook/Durant at working out their synergy because Lin and Anthony are more versatile and better passers than their OKC counterparts. Lin certainly has a better knack for making his teammates better and has better instincts as a playmaker than Westbrook.

    50. Brian Cronin

      Is Chris Anderson worth a look as a third-string 4 and 5? He says he’s fine with the vet minimum. I think I prefer a 4 who can shoot from the outside, but ANderson is pretty decent, especially for a minimum guy.

    51. jon abbey

      hoolahoop: You’re joking, right. Was Melo part of the problem? is that a serious question.
      The team did not quit on Dantoni. Melo did. The coach was stubborn? That’s why he’s called the coach. If MDA had his way, Dwill would be on the knicks with Amare, TC and the rest. That would be a much better team.

      um, good for Melo for quitting on D’Antoni, to what ever extent he actually did. D’Antoni is a one-dimensional coach whose success is entirely determined by his point guard, and who was doing a pretty shitty job in NY. so, good job on this one, Melo.

      (and this all comes from one of the bigger fans of the D’Antoni Suns that you’ll ever meet)

    52. Z-man

      The quintessential quote from D’Antoni was when he defended his reputation as a coach who didn’t focus enough attention on the defensive end: (paraphrasing) “Well, our team went 62-20, so we played better defense than our opponent did 62 times.”

      It was truly refreshing to see Woodson take over for D’Antoni. Still not sure whether he is the long-term answer, but I have historically never really liked gimmicky “systems” coaches, going back to Westhead and Doug Moe, and more recently, Pitino and D’Antoni. On the other hand, why hire D’Antoni if you are not willing to build a team around his style?

      I can only imagine what the Bulls would be had D’Antoni taken them up on their offer…

    53. ruruland

      Brian Cronin: Refueled

      Prefer martin, but Andersen is a great 15 minute bench player who to many observers was more effective than Marcus Camby for a two-year stretch. You can make a strong statistical case that it’s true as well.

      More blocked shots, great finisher, knows how to move on offense, decent free throw shooter.

      He or Martin would both be great gets and superior to Jared Jeffries.

    54. Z-man

      Eric Chen: At worst, Lin would have been the Knicks’ Barea who could fill the critical play-off role as a secondary creative scorer and playmaker out of the backcourt. The track records of the current Knicks PGs show they won’t fill that role come the play-offs.

      Two things: first, Barea made less than $2 mill to fill that role with Dallas, and coming off a championship, they couldn’t wait to dump him when he got a $4 mill per offer; second, Barea had already firmly established himself as a player (albeit not a very good one) in this league. When you say “at worst” you are assuming that Lin will not regress and that his 26-game run was not a fluke. That has not come close to having been established yet. It may turn out that we pick up a guy at the vet’s min who can do it as well or better than Lin. Or that if Prigioni focuses more on scoring, he plays that role almost as well, as well, or even better then Lin. Or it may be that that role (penetrating, scoring PG off the bench) is not needed on this team. Who fills that role for the Heat, Norris Cole? Who fills it for the Celts, Keyon Dooling? Who filled it for the Bulls, CJ Watson? Who filled it for the most recent Lakers championsip team, Jordan Farmar? Does ownership really need to spend $25 million plus luxury tax on that guy?

    55. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man:
      Re: Bryant vs. Leonard, WP48 does not seem to factor in usage.

      You have no idea what you’re talking about.

    56. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland: You’re going to stand by that?

      Just like I stood by my win prediction last year, and my prediction about Amar’e’s contract and Faried and Leonard and Lawson and even Blair. Haters gonna hate.

    57. hoolahoop

      jon abbey: um, good for Melo for quitting on D’Antoni, to what ever extent he actually did. D’Antoni is a one-dimensional coach whose success is entirely determined by his point guard, and who was doing a pretty shitty job in NY. so, good job on this one, Melo.

      (and this all comes from one of the bigger fans of the D’Antoni Suns that you’ll ever meet)

      I loved when the knicks signed Dantoni, and though it took me a while to admit it to myself, there was no question he was part of the problem and had to go. But, do you really want your best player quitting on the team?
      Calling Dantoni a one trick pony is a bit unfair. He has a system he believes in, and has proven to work (albeit with Nash). I think running the offense through the PG and pressuring the ball on both ends is a fantastic system, maybe the best. Unfortunately, management never got him a good PG.

    58. hoolahoop

      Z-man: The quintessential quote from D’Antoni was when he defended his reputation as a coach who didn’t focus enough attention on the defensive end: (paraphrasing) “Well, our team went 62-20, so we played better defense than our opponent did 62 times.”

      That’s just Dantoni being a flippant, and when you’re 62-20 you can afford to be a wise-ass.

      Z-man: It was truly refreshing to see Woodson take over for D’Antoni. Still not sure whether he is the long-term answer, but I have historically never really liked gimmicky “systems” coaches

      I agree that it was refreshing to see Woodson take over – surprisingly. However, I wouldn’t call Dantoni a gimmicky coach. He got a system and that’s the style he primarily coaches to. He tried doing the “iso” thing with melo. We saw how that worked out.

    59. hoolahoop

      BigBlueAL:
      Good article about Melo and his selfish label.I think D’Antoni’s quote describes it perfectly:

      http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/london/basketball/story/2012-08-03/carmelo-anthony-new-york-knicks-olympics-usa-basketball/56747268/1

      That article is infuriating. It lets melo off hook for playing selfishly by saying, that’s just his style. Could you imagine if we all used that defense to justify out poor behavior.
      Of course he was not going to be as selfish with superstars all around him. I’ve said all along that melo will win a ring when he’s no longer the number one guy on the team, and plays a more humble, team oriented role.
      That is still years away and is not going to happen in a knicks uniform.

    60. BigBlueAL

      I thought D’Antoni’s quote in the article I mentioned about Melo’s mindset was right on the money:

      “I don’t think it’s selfish as much as it is you get into a certain mentality of how to play and you revert to what you do,” D’Antoni said.

      Brian used to mention this alot when Billups/Melo played together as Knicks right after the trade. They played D’Antoni offense for 3 1/2 quarters but in crunch time they reverted to what they know and do best which was Iso Melo. The offense was the best in the NBA after the trade because for the most part Melo played within the offense (his great 3pt shooting helped lead to a 57% TS% after the trade) and you had Billups playing PG (plus TD played his best stretch of basketball in that span).

      I dont think Melo is a selfish player who doesnt want to pass, last season he showed he was plenty willing to pass. I think his mindset is come crunch time with the game on the line Im the best player on my team and its my job to score because thats what I do best. I also think he loses confidence in his teammates but when they are on fire (the Celtic triple-double for example) you could see he was continually looking for his teammates even during the entire 4th quarter. There were many games last season (especially before Linsanity) where he spent the entire 1st quarter passing but they shot horrible so he took it upon himself to score as much as possible for the rest of the game.

      Im not agreeing with that mentality at all, Im just saying I think thats alot different than saying Melo is selfish he never passes to his teammates because he wants to score all the time and he doesnt care if they win or lose he just wants his points.

    61. Unreason

      Brian Cronin: Andersen is pretty decent

      …well decency might not be what he’s best known for…..
      Sorry I missed your earlier post on his availability.

    62. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Just like I stood by my win prediction last year, and my prediction about Amar’e’s contract and Faried and Leonard and Lawson and even Blair. Haters gonna hate.

      Don’t forget about Fields and Fazekas…

    63. Z-man

      I was really hoping that THCJ would illuminate me re: post #11. Would the game improve or would Nick C’s scenario in #12 play out? Would all the gaping holes in WP48 be exposed, or would the game improve? Would the Wp48 winners infallably have the most points? Because if it is theoretically possible for the team with the highest Wins Produced score to not produce a win based on actual points scored, I would be interested to hear how you would rationalize that.

    64. Unreason

      ruruland: Prefer martin

      He was pretty quick to Melo’s defense in the media so I assume they’re on pretty good terms at least. Do you think he, like JR, could be convinced to come for less than he could get elsewhere?

    65. hoolahoop

      BigBlueAL: I thought D’Antoni’s quote in the article I mentioned about Melo’s mindset was right on the money:

      “I don’t think it’s selfish as much as it is you get into a certain mentality of how to play and you revert to what you do,” D’Antoni said.

      I think there’s a lot of truth to what you’re saying. However, that’s not a valid excuse for being a ballhog. And let’s make no mistake about it. Melo is a ball hog, in spite of his moments, here and there, when he actually passed the ball like a normal player. Regardless of the reason he chooses to play hero-ball most of the time, as a fan, that doesn’t make it any more tolerable.
      The good thing about melo is that he’s helping me lose my attachment to the knicks. I look forward to watching the Nets this season.

    66. Z-man

      hoolahoop: The good thing about melo is that he’s helping me lose my attachment to the knicks. I look forward to watching the Nets this season.

      Congratulations! I’m sure you will enjoy they will be scintillating to watch, especially Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and MarShon Brooks. Enjoy!

    67. flossy

      “Lin came and we started winning games and then we started losing games, and they could only point to one thing, which is me, the leader of the team,” Anthony said. “They’re not going to point to Amar’e. They’re not going to point to (guard) Iman Shumpert. They’re going to point to me. I accept that. It doesn’t bother me.”

      Haha, how much must Amar’e hate Carmelo? Can you imagine being adored as the best player to suit up for the Knicks since Ewing… for 4 months, before Chubby Chucker shows up and initiates a hostile takeover of the franchise? Now Melo’s talking about Amar’e like he’s a rookie, not a 6-time All Star, or, you know, the co-captain of the team. I guess Stat has got a max deal to keep him warm at night, but damn. I’d be seething.

    68. Z-man

      flossy: I guess Stat has got a max deal to keep him warm at night, but damn. I’d be seething.

      You know what? Let your game do the talking. Bottom line is, Amare has work to do if he wants to still be considered the leader of this team. Let’s see him start sticking the open 18 footer. Let’s see him play good help and man D all the time. Let’s see him not self-immolate in the playoffs.

    69. BigBlueAL

      Z-man: Congratulations! I’m sure you will enjoy they will be scintillating to watch, especially Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and MarShon Brooks. Enjoy!

      I find it hilarious when Knick fans talk about screw this team and the way they are run Im gonna be a Nets fan now as if they are an example of a well-run franchise.

      Look at the awful contracts that team has now. They have traded away a bunch of Top 10 draft picks (one for Gerald freaking Wallace who they then overpaid to keep). Their starting bigs are awful defenders. They have less future cap flexibility than the Knicks since their horrible contracts all have 4 years left on them. At their best they might be a Top 4 team in the East with no ways of improving at all in the next 4 years and thats something to praise but the Knicks screw them.

    70. nicos

      ruruland: Prefer martin, but Andersen is a great 15 minute bench player who to many observers was more effective than Marcus Camby for a two-year stretch. You can make a strong statistical case that it’s true as well.

      More blocked shots, great finisher, knows how to move on offense, decent free throw shooter.

      He or Martin would both be great gets and superior to Jared Jeffries.

      Has Anderson resolved his legal issues? I’m guessing that no one is going to sign him unless he’s completely cleared and even then it still might be too big a distraction to deal with for a 10-15 minute a night guy.

    71. bobneptune

      d-mar:
      Maybe I’m just a rose colored glasses wearing fanboy, but I just have a strong feeling Melo is primed to have a superb season. He just watched LeBron win a title, and the Knicks are truly his team now. There are no more excuses (new coach, lockout, Linsanity, roster changes, injuries, etc.etc.) and I think he realizes this is judgement year in NY. And I truly believe he’s ready for the challenge.

      This is the year when the pro and anti Melo camps will finally have their day in court, so to speak.

      I believe there has been a season and a half already, or am I mistaken?

    72. sidestep

      BigBlueAL: I find it hilarious when Knick fans talk about screw this team and the way they are run Im gonna be a Nets fan now as if they are an example of a well-run franchise.

      Nets needed the franchise reboot and opening of Barclay center to make a splash. If that means overpaying for contracts, it’s worth it from a marketing standpoint.
      The homers (many of which are unwitting Dolan apologists) will always bag on the Nets but I think it’s good to make Dolan’s organization look over its shoulder with an example of how it might be done otherwise. There was nothing stopping Dolan from raising ticket prices at MSG every year forever.

    73. bobneptune

      Jafa: Regardless of shorter 3-PT line, still amazing to go 13 for 16 from the field.Even if it was all 2 pointers, it is still Kevin Durant shooting territory.

      Goose Tatum used to put up numbers like that vs the Washington Generals every night, too :-)

    74. BigBlueAL

      bobneptune: I believe there has been a season and a half already, or am I mistaken?

      It feels like Melo has been a Knick forever yet he has played in exactly 82 regular season games and 9 playoff games as a Knick so far.

    75. sidestep

      The shorter 3-PT line is perfect for Melo since he’s so fond of shooting the NBA long 2 heh. Doesn’t have to move from his comfy spot.

    76. bobneptune

      EB:
      Felton’s first 25 games as a Knick
      MPTS%TRB% AST% TOV%usg
      38.6.5765.7 35.5 18.322.5

      Duhon’s first 25 games as a Knick
      MP TS% TRB% AST%TOV%USG
      39.8.5615.430.4 20.5 14.3

      Lin’s 26 games following breakout
      MP TS% TRB AST TOVUSG
      34.1 .5526.2% 39.321.3 27.6

      To quote Bernard McGuirk as Cardinal O’Connor….”Which doesn’t belong and why!”

    77. knicknyk

      Z-man: Not sure why Lin is already considered a better penetrating PG than Felton. If you want to say that Lin is a better finisher going right, I’d agree.However, Felton is a MUCH better ball handler than Lin, especially vs. ball pressure, and probably a better p&r passer. Watch some video of Felton and you’ll see that getting into the lane is not a problem for Felton, and he is equally adept with both hands.

      I am pretty sure Felton isn’t a better pnr passer than Lin. And in regards to your statement about the Knicks having top 10 easiest schedule I am pretty sure that is wrong as well. Someone reported that the Knicks had one of the tougher schedules in the NBA. Chicago had one of the easiest.

    78. ruruland

      Unreason: He was pretty quick to Melo’s defense in the media so I assume they’re on pretty good terms at least. Do you think he, like JR, could be convinced to come for less than he could get elsewhere?

      Of course. but he’s a guy who wants to play meaningful minutes.

      he’s one of the great playoff defenders because he’s allowed to play physically and of course he still has great lateral quickness. He’s incredibly strong for his size and is legitimately one of the few crazy tough guys in the league.

      KG is afraid of him, fwiw. He also broke Nene’s nose the first day of training camp after coming over in the NJ trade in 2004 .

      He’s not Charles Oakley, but he brings a lot to a team emotionally and with his still fantastic man defense. He’s smart on both ends.

      I’m frankly shocked he hasn’t been picked up yet.

    79. ruruland

      Z-man: You know what? Let your game do the talking. Bottom line is, Amare has work to do if he wants to still be considered the leader of this team. Let’s see him start sticking the open 18 footer.Let’s see him play good help and man D all the time.Let’s see him not self-immolate in the playoffs.

      What Melo said was true. Amar’e doesn’t get the blame. They both understand that. It should help Amar’e. Melo burdens all of the outside pressure.

    80. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland: What Melo said was true. Amar’e doesn’t get the blame. They both understand that. It should help Amar’e. Melo burdens all of the outside pressure.

      Are you serious? You have made up some truly delusional things during your time on this board, but the idea that a max player doesn’t get blame for his team being mediocre is fucking retarded.

    81. flossy

      ruruland: What Melo said was true. Amar’e doesn’t get the blame. They both understand that. It should help Amar’e. Melo burdens all of the outside pressure.

      Right, except for the part where Amar’e was being criticized constantly last season. But you miss the point, of course. It’s about how quickly this has gone from “Amar’e’s team” to “Stat and Melo” to “Carmelo Anthony and friends.”. Given how every single person who was here when he signed including the coach has been replaced in the space of two years, I think it’s clear Amar’e never really had a chance. But it still must be shitty to get dissed by your friend (?) and co-captain. I guess it helps (?) that Melo says something retarded to the media on what seems like a daily basis, so maybe everyone has learned not to take it personally.

    82. Z-man

      Yeah, Melo does say some dumb shit. Amare does too, e.g the gay slur, and compounds it with doing dumb things, like throwing his back out and slicing his hand off.

    83. Z-man

      knicknyk: I am pretty sure Felton isn’t a better pnr passer than Lin. And in regards to your statement about the Knicks having top 10 easiest schedule I am pretty sure that is wrong as well. Someone reported that the Knicks had one of the tougher schedules in the NBA. Chicago had one of the easiest.

      How can you be “pretty sure” about anything regarding Lin? There is just not enough evidence to reach any meaningful conclusions about him, except that he is a legit NBA player.

      Re: difficulty of schedule, again, how can you be pretty sure that the knicks schedule based on STRENGTH OF OPPONENTS is one of the toughest? Granted, there might be some quirky things, e.g. long road trips with lots of travel and few rest days, etc., but it is impossible for them to have a tougher schedule than, say, the Warriors, who play all Western Conference teams 3-4 times, while we only play them twice, plus they have 2 games vs. the Knicks and we have 2 games vs. the Warriors. Please explain.

    84. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Are you serious? You have made up some truly delusional things during your time on this board, but the idea that a max player doesn’t get blame for his team being mediocre is fucking retarded.

      I think ruru is referring to the media…and you’re not seriously questioning whether the press is as rough on Amare as it is on Melo, are you?

    85. Z-man

      flossy: Right, except for the part where Amar’e was being criticized constantly last season. But you miss the point, of course. It’s about how quickly this has gone from “Amar’e’s team” to “Stat and Melo” to “Carmelo Anthony and friends.”. Given how every single person who was here when he signed including the coach has been replaced in the space of two years, I think it’s clear Amar’e never really had a chance. But it still must be shitty to get dissed by your friend (?) and co-captain. I guess it helps (?) that Melo says something retarded to the media on what seems like a daily basis, so maybe everyone has learned not to take it personally.

      Agreed, except that the SMART choice would have been to amnesty Amare instead of Billups to acquire Chandler. Since that time, Amare has done little to make that look like anything resembling a good decision.

    86. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Just like I stood by my win prediction last year, and my prediction about Amar’e’s contract and Faried and Leonard and Lawson and even Blair. Haters gonna hate.

      Blair is in Popovich’s doghouse and is apparently on the trading block. You have often said that Popovich is one of the smartest coaches and that the Spurs (takers of Ginobili and Leonard) are outstanding talent evaluators. I haven’t read any reports of it being anything but basketball-related. So, in your narrow world, has Pop suddenly become as much of an idiot as Karl?

    87. flossy

      Z-man: Agreed, except that the SMART choice would have been to amnesty Amare instead of Billups to acquire Chandler. Since that time, Amare has done little to make that look like anything resembling a good decision.

      Or, since that time the franchise has consistently refused to put him in a position to succeed, for example by firing the coach he came here to play with, refusing to keep a decent PG on the roster and retooling on the fly around the offensive game of a ball-stopping mid-range isolation specialist whose entire game is anathema to Amar’e’s. Or did we already forget that during the only period when the Knicks actually featured him in the offense that Amar’e averaged 26ppg on .570 TS%?

      But look, it’s no secret that Carmelo Anthony is kind of a douchebag, whatever his merits as a basketball player. To be the first top-tier player to voluntarily join the Knicks in a decade or more, only to have the team gutted around you and rebuilt in the image of a guy who monopolizes the offense, calls his teammates contract offers ridiculous and compares you too a rookie, must be insufferable.

      To be a true team player and generally a class act while your team is slowly filled up with the Carmelo Anthonys and JR Smiths of the world while fans blame you for not fitting in… must really suck. I feel for Amar’e and think he deserves to be frustrated. And for what it’s worth, as a gay man who is also a Knicks fan, it pains me far less that Amar’e once used a gay slur in frustration during a private conversation and then immediately apologized, than it does that the franchise has basically become a Carmelo Anthony vanity project.

    88. knicknyk

      Z-man: How can you be “pretty sure” about anything regarding Lin? There is just not enough evidence to reach any meaningful conclusions about him, except that he is a legit NBA player.

      Re: difficulty of schedule, again, how can you be pretty sure that the knicks schedule based on STRENGTH OF OPPONENTS is one of the toughest?Granted, there might be some quirky things, e.g. long road trips with lots of travel and few rest days, etc., but it is impossible for them to have a tougher schedule than, say, the Warriors, who play all Western Conference teams 3-4 times, while we only play them twice, plus they have 2 games vs. the Knicks and we have 2 games vs. the Warriors. Please explain.

      Re schedule: I unfortunately cannot find the link I have been searching for the last few days for it. But according to ESPN stats info the Knicks have one of the tougher schedules harder than Miami and a lot of other teams. Chicago had one of the easiest schedules. I can’t remember what basis they use to determine it to be such. Your choice to believe me or not.

      Re Lin: Yes there is only a 25 game sample size but Felton has had years to do what Lin did in a short span. Felton has never done that.

    89. Z-man

      Twitter is a private conversation?

      I agree with most of what you say, with some quibbles:

      Amare did NOT come here to play for D’Antoni. He came here because he got offered the most money by a team who was willing to risk a non-insured max contract. His relationship with D’Antoni was pretty icy and they needed to clear the air when he got here.

      Amar’e’s production started to tail off even before the Melo trade. He was atrocious on defense this year, missed open jumper after open jumper, and has not in any way lived up to his max contract since hurting his back attempting a practice dunk during the playoffs.

      Still, I am hoping that all of the changes have finally resulted in a stable situation that is good for both players, and that the frustration will make both of them improve their individual games and team play. I like both guys and think of their issues as more goofy and immature than mean-spirited.

    90. flossy

      Z-man: Twitter is a private conversation?

      It was a direct message to the “fan.” Who then made it public. So it was no more public than a phone call or text that is then publicized by one of the parties.

      And no, his production did not tail off before the Melo trade. His efficiency actually *peaked* in February before Melo showed up, and that was despite Raymond Felton’s ongoing late-winter meltdown. Even with mediocre PG play, in the system in which he thrives (the uptempo spread pick and roll offense, D’Antoni’s system–whether or not the two loved each other or not) he was a beast.

      I don’t dispute he had a very disappointing year, was very bad on defense and generally just not good. I happen to think that back injuries, lack of capable PG play (on which he, as a big man, is more dependent) and the death of his brother are things that can be 100% held against him. Amar’e isn’t perfect, but he is more unlucky than unlikable.

    91. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man: Blair is in Popovich’s doghouse and is apparently on the trading block. You have often said that Popovich is one of the smartest coaches and that the Spurs (takers of Ginobili and Leonard) are outstanding talent evaluators. I haven’t read any reports of it being anything but basketball-related. So, in your narrow world, has Pop suddenly become as much of an idiot as Karl?

      Blair had an off-year; he wasn’t very good. Yet we’re talking about a mother fucking 2nd round pick, here. A guy who’s made $2.7M over three years in the league. You’re going to shit on WP48 over this guy?

      By the way, with the stat others like to use, WS48, he still posts a .140 for his career.

      How many 2nd round picks can say that?

    92. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Blair had an off-year; he wasn’t very good. Yet we’re talking about a mother fucking 2nd round pick, here. A guy who’s made $2.7M over three years in the league. You’re going to shit on WP48 over this guy?By the way, with the stat others like to use, WS48, he still posts a .140 for his career.How many 2nd round picks can say that?

      Dude, just about the entire world was shocked that he fell into the 2nd round. Don’t make it out to be some kind of magical find. He was generally projected anywhere from 15-25. Once it came out that he had no ACLs, his stock dropped.

      BTW, if you look back at KB posts from draft night, I was in favor of drafting Blair with our *first* pick instead of Jordan Hill. I couldn’t believe we passed on him twice!!

    93. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man: Dude, just about the entire world was shocked that he fell into the 2nd round. Don’t make it out to be some kind of magical find. He was generally projected anywhere from 15-25. Once it came out that he had no ACLs, his stock dropped.

      BTW, if you look back at KB posts from draft night, I was in favor of drafting Blair with our *first* pick instead of Jordan Hill. I couldn’t believe we passed on him twice!!

      And he would have been a bad #20 pick because he had a down year this year?

    94. Z-man

      The metric you use suggested that he should be either the #1 or #2 pick. The rest of the world had him at #20 or above, and most of these folks probably never heard of WP40 or PAWS40.

      Many of the guys in the top-10 of PAWS40 coming out of college never play a meaningful minute of NBA basketball. Some with dreadful scores go on to be very productive players. How do you explain that?

    95. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man:
      The metric you use suggested that he should be either the #1 or #2 pick. The rest of the world had him at #20 or above, and most of these folks probably never heard of WP40 or PAWS40.

      Many of the guys in the top-10 of PAWS40 coming out of college never play a meaningful minute of NBA basketball. Some with dreadful scores go on to be very productive players. How do you explain that?

      How do I explain that there are outliers in every trend? Are you kidding me, dude?

    96. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      And I addressed the “Moneyball” issue at the end of the thread on Tuesday, but you didn’t respond to it. About how even though the explanation for why OBP is more important than BA is really fucking obvious, yet it took decades before “experts” in baseball were able to change that hierarchy of values. And how if a “expert” system was able to be that fucking clueless for that long on a topic (OPS>BA, ERA>WINS, etc.) that is really fucking simple, how can we expect basketball “experts,” who are examining a more complex and multivariate game, to be somehow “better?”

      I question the “expertise” of the basketball community through and through. People tell me to use “common sense,” but I don’t know what the fuck that means. And it’s getting a little annoying at this point when most of the arguments against me are, “Use your eyes.”

    97. ruruland

      Z-man:
      Twitter is a private conversation?

      I agree with most of what you say, with some quibbles:

      Amare did NOT come here to play for D’Antoni. He came here because he got offered the most money by a team who was willing to risk a non-insured max contract.His relationship with D’Antoni was pretty icy and they needed to clear the air when he got here.

      Amar’e’s production started to tail off even before the Melo trade. He was atrocious on defense this year, missed open jumper after open jumper, and has not in any way lived up to his max contract since hurting his back attempting a practice dunk during the playoffs.

      Still, I am hoping that all of the changes have finally resulted in a stable situation that is good for both players, and that the frustration will make both of them improve their individual games and team play. I like both guys and think of their issues as more goofy and immature than mean-spirited.

      Amar’e was not as effective without a pick and roll point guard when Felton was traded for Billups. He will be very effective next season with one.

      Nothing changed but the shot distribution.

    98. ruruland

      flossy: Or, since that time the franchise has consistently refused to put him in a position to succeed, for example by firing the coach he came here to play with, refusing to keep a decent PG on the roster and retooling on the fly around the offensive game of a ball-stopping mid-range isolation specialist whose entire game is anathema to Amar’e’s.Or did we already forget that during the only period when the Knicks actually featured him in the offense that Amar’e averaged 26ppg on .570 TS%?

      But look, it’s no secret that Carmelo Anthony is kind of a douchebag, whatever his merits as a basketball player.To be the first top-tier player to voluntarily join the Knicks in a decade or more, only to have the team gutted around you and rebuilt in the image of a guy who monopolizes the offense, calls his teammates contract offers ridiculous and compares you too a rookie, must be insufferable.

      To be a true team player and generally a class act while your team is slowly filled up with the Carmelo Anthonys and JR Smiths of the world while fans blame you for not fitting in… must really suck.I feel for Amar’e and think he deserves to be frustrated.And for what it’s worth, as a gay man who is also a Knicks fan, it pains me far less that Amar’e once used a gay slur in frustration during a private conversation and then immediately apologized, than it does that the franchise has basically become a Carmelo Anthony vanity project.

      Silly.

    99. ruruland

      flossy: Right, except for the part where Amar’e was being criticized constantly last season.But you miss the point, of course.It’s about how quickly this has gone from “Amar’e’s team” to “Stat and Melo” to “Carmelo Anthony and friends.”. Given how every single person who was here when he signed including the coach has been replaced in the space of two years, I think it’s clear Amar’e never really had a chance.But it still must be shitty to get dissed by your friend (?) and co-captain.I guess it helps (?) that Melo says something retarded to the media on what seems like a daily basis, so maybe everyone has learned not to take it personally.

      How is Amar’e being dissed?

      He does not take anywhere near the amount of criticism Melo does from the media.

      Did Melo throw Amar’e under the bus when Amar’e injured himself doing a trick dunk game 2 of the playoffs? What about last year’s incident in the playoffs?

      What ground does Amar’e stand on in the first place?

      it’s the media on its Melo witch hunt that manipulates and masssages Melo’s comments to make him the villian.

      His Lin contract comments were completely taken out of context. I posted Tommy Beer’s story showing how that was done.

      And the “who’s team” business is always a media creation.

    100. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Are you serious? You have made up some truly delusional things during your time on this board, but the idea that a max player doesn’t get blame for his team being mediocre is fucking retarded.

      It should be. You don’t read the rags and I don’t blame you. But they’re very consistently one-sided in placing blame.

    101. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: And I addressed the “Moneyball” issue at the end of the thread on Tuesday, but you didn’t respond to it. About how even though the explanation for why OBP is more important than BA is really fucking obvious, yet it took decades before “experts” in baseball were able to change that hierarchy of values. And how if a “expert” system was able to be that fucking clueless for that long on a topic (OPS>BA, ERA>WINS, etc.) that is really fucking simple, how can we expect basketball “experts,” who are examining a more complex and multivariate game, to be somehow “better?”I question the “expertise” of the basketball community through and through. People tell me to use “common sense,” but I don’t know what the fuck that means. And it’s getting a little annoying at this point when most of the arguments against me are, “Use your eyes.”

      I think you were going at it with Juany8 re: Moneyball, not me. I’m probably much more aligned with your perspective on this matter. I do think that basketball presents some difficulties that baseball doesn’t. However, I agree that WP48 is much more valuable than per-game stats on their face.

      Where we differ is in the jump from individual WP48 stats to team play, and the effect of teammates, coaching, role, etc. on a player’s value and efficiency in basketball.

      If you are saying that GMs and coaches that fully consider WP48 are more likely to make good personnel decisions than those that don’t, I am totally with you. However, you make it sound like all decisions should be made based on which player puts up the best WP48 score (and in the draft, PAWS40), without looking at video, without considering role, without measuring athletic attributes, etc. and that anyone who doesn’t do so is an idiot. I doubt that you are really that extreme, but that’s how you often come off.

    102. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I mean, I agree to a certain point, Z-man.

      I just think that the Knicks would be in better shape had they taken a Moneyball approach: shedding salary en masse, stockpiling picks and buying late first rounders and second rounders whenever possible, and then targeting the Leonards and Denmons and Farieds whenever possible. Then, sign vets to one-year deals at an inflated rate (you have to reach the cap minimum anyway, so you’re either wasting the money on some shitty expiring vet or a decent one at a slightly inflated price) and wait for a 40-win core that you can add one or two prized max FAs to.

      I really would be happier with $15M committed to Faried, Leonard, Lawson, Denmon, Crowder, Jones, or any of those “high projected” late first-round-or-second-round picks because of the potential for striking gold. Signing second rounders to 4-year deals is also a hugely profitable investment.

      Instead of worrying about usage rate, I’d say to try to build a team where the ball gets spread around instead of aiming for one player who’s going to “reduce” the burden.

      There are many times when I feel that these high-volume scorers are forcing tough shots, rather than “being forced” to take them due to the absence of a play-oriented or motion-oriented shot. I don’t think there’s a shortage of plays in which a player like Fields can make a scoring attempt. I think that’s a myth.

    103. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: There are many times when I feel that these high-volume scorers are forcing tough shots, rather than “being forced” to take them due to the absence of a play-oriented or motion-oriented shot. I don’t think there’s a shortage of plays in which a player like Fields can make a scoring attempt. I think that’s a myth.

      At the risk of sounding patronizing, I appreciate the thoughtful, respectful response.

      I have no problem with your strategy for building a winner, it is not a sure-fire plan, but it makes total sense. I also understand that owners are concerned with having “superstars” to put fannies in expensive seats, and often make bad decisions because of that.
      Amare and Melo probably fit into that category. On the other hand, the Knicks have made some very sound “WP48 friendly” decisions, including signing Chandler, Camby, Novak and Brewer.

      I think the 24-second clock is more limiting than you suggest in finding an efficient scoring attempt for players like Fields and Faried, and that this is not fully accounted for in WP48. Not to mention the defensive focus towards team with “stars, i.e. high-volume shooters” vs. those without them.

    104. MeloDrama

      Z-man: At the risk of sounding patronizing, I appreciate the thoughtful, respectful response.

      I have no problem with your strategy for building a winner, it is not a sure-fire plan, but it makes total sense.I also understand that owners are concerned with having “superstars” to put fannies in expensive seats, and often make bad decisions because of that.
      Amare and Melo probably fit into that category. On the other hand, the Knicks have made some very sound “WP48 friendly” decisions, including signing Chandler, Camby, Novak and Brewer.

      I think the 24-second clock is more limiting than you suggest in finding an efficient scoring attempt for players like Fields and Faried, and that this is not fully accounted for in WP48. Not to mention the defensive focus towards team with “stars, i.e.high-volume shooters” vs. those without them.

      Lin BS aside, I think the Knicks’ best chance to win consistently around Melo is to put a lot of those Chandler, Brewer, Faried etc types around him and they’ve done a decent job there. You’ll never have the league’s most efficient offense with Melo, but he’s such a good one-on-one scorer that with a little help, he’ll lift you to at least league average. A great defensive team around Melo can win plenty, and I think we got a glimpse of that late last season.

      Kidd isn’t a great lockdown defender, but with his size he can check 2-3 spots (if the opposing 3 is a negligible threat). Brewer’s a fine defender. Chandler’s one of the best (and last season was voted ‘the’ best).

      Melo fits pretty well with this group, minus Amar’e … the issue there is that Amar’e’s a pretty big minus everywhere but in the scoring column, and to maximize him he needs touches, or else why is he out there? He and Carlos Boozer in Chicago basically suffer from the same affliction. Our best success will come when one or the…

    105. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man:

      I think the 24-second clock is more limiting than you suggest in finding an efficient scoring attempt for players like Fields and Faried, and that this is not fully accounted for in WP48. Not to mention the defensive focus towards team with “stars, i.e.high-volume shooters” vs. those without them.

      There’s no doubt that some shot attempts come with very little time left on the clock. That much is certain. But with great offensive rebounders (I’ve argued that despite Chandler and Faried’s “limited” offensive skillset, their style of play is even anecdotally universal: there will always be missed shots, and any player who is tenacious enough to get into position for a high ORB% is going to be tremendously valuable), you don’t have to worry as much about the (I’m guessing, here) 5% difference between Carmelo’s last second 3-pt attempt and the average SF’s. And you sure as hell shouldn’t spend max money to get a slightly higher rate of return on “botched possessions” and “buzzer beaters.” That doesn’t make basketball sense. I mean, the Nuggets had no one like that (“shot creator”) on their team (Gallo was mediocre), and they were fantastic this year. I think they’ll be even better this year so long as they keep Harrington on the bench.

    106. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      MeloDrama: You’ll never have the league’s most efficient offense with Melo, but he’s such a good one-on-one scorer that with a little help, he’ll lift you to at least league average.

      This is the first time in a long time that I’ll come to Melo’s defense, but the Denver offense was #1 the year he was traded to the Knicks (although they had a better WL with him gone, I believe). They were also #3 in 2009-10.

      I would simply argue that it was not BECAUSE of Carmelo, primarily. They had some phenomenally efficient scorers. Nene, Anderson, Lawson, and Billups all had +.600 TS% that season.

    107. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: I mean, the Nuggets had no one like that (“shot creator”) on their team (Gallo was mediocre), and they were fantastic this year.

      if “fantastic” is now defined as losing in the first round to a team that only won one game in the second round, then you are correct. :)

    108. MeloDrama

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: This is the first time in a long time that I’ll come to Melo’s defense, but the Denver offense was #1 the year he was traded to the Knicks (although they had a better WL with him gone, I believe).They were also #3 in 2009-10.

      I would simply argue that it was not BECAUSE of Carmelo, primarily. They had some phenomenally efficient scorers. Nene, Anderson, Lawson, and Billups all had +.600 TS% that season.

      I do stand corrected.

    109. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      jon abbey: if “fantastic” is now defined as losing in the first round to a team that only won one game in the second round, then you are correct. :)

      I blame Al Harrington, as always. .417 TS% on 22.3 usage. Pretty much single-handedly sunk that team. Still, I don’t think they would have made it past the second round.

    110. ruruland

      Z-man: I think you were going at it with Juany8 re: Moneyball, not me. I’m probably much more aligned with your perspective on this matter.I do think that basketball presents some difficulties that baseball doesn’t. However, I agree that WP48 is much more valuable than per-game stats on their face.

      Where we differ is in the jump from individual WP48 stats to team play, and the effect of teammates, coaching, role, etc. on a player’s value and efficiency in basketball.

      If you are saying that GMs and coaches that fully consider WP48 are more likely to make good personnel decisions than those that don’t, I am totally with you.However, you make it sound like all decisions should be made based on which player puts up the best WP48 score (and in the draft, PAWS40), without looking at video, without considering role, without measuring athletic attributes, etc. and that anyone who doesn’t do so is an idiot.I doubt that you are really that extreme, but that’s how you often come off.

      I’m with this post 100 percent. In all seriousness, obviously great value in both WS48 and WP48, just not nearly to the extent THCJ gives it.

    111. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      . I don’t think there’s a shortage of plays in which a player like Fields can make a scoring attempt. I think that’s a myth.

      Really? he had an assisted basket rate of close to 80 percent his rookie season. That seems to be maximizing his low usage attempts.

      From an actual basketball perspective, there are quite a few limits to his ability to take good shots.

      Even the most pass-oriented teams are in the 60 percent assisted basket range.

    112. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: This is the first time in a long time that I’ll come to Melo’s defense, but the Denver offense was #1 the year he was traded to the Knicks (although they had a better WL with him gone, I believe).They were also #3 in 2009-10.

      I would simply argue that it was not BECAUSE of Carmelo, primarily. They had some phenomenally efficient scorers. Nene, Anderson, Lawson, and Billups all had +.600 TS% that season.

      it was not because of Melo primarily, perhaps, but it’s no coincidence that guys like Nene and Aflallo suffered from significant efficiency drops post-trade. Both guys often functioned directly off Melo touches.

      Lawson and Billups both are quite adept at creating their own offense and don’t necessarily need an inside out prescence to be efficient, though they were also both more efficient with Melo as well, especially in spot-ups often created by tilted defenses.

    113. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: I blame Al Harrington, as always. .417 TS% on 22.3 usage. Pretty much single-handedly sunk that team. Still, I don’t think they would have made it past the second round.

      I think it’s absolutely fantastic you brought up Harrington.

      Harrington and Andre Miller were most often the players trying to create offense in the half-court. That’s why they were most often on the floor late in the game over more passive WP48 friendly players like Gallo and even Lawson.

      harrington and Miller, for a variety of reasons, were the guys most often taking the most difficult shots in the half-court.

      You’re missing the causation again. Unassisted halfcourt shots are the most difficult in the game, and even on the most balanced offense in the NBA, the Nuggets proved that teams still have to have unassisted individually created attempts when defenses begin to clamp down.

      That was evident late in games and in the playoffs where the Nuggets efficiency dropped.

    114. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: I blame Al Harrington, as always. .417 TS% on 22.3 usage. Pretty much single-handedly sunk that team. Still, I don’t think they would have made it past the second round.

      Gallinari was .450 TS%… Of course you’re not going to mention that.

    115. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: There’s no doubt that some shot attempts come with very little time left on the clock. That much is certain. But with great offensive rebounders (I’ve argued that despite Chandler and Faried’s “limited” offensive skillset, their style of play is even anecdotally universal: there will always be missed shots, and any player who is tenacious enough to get into position for a high ORB% is going to be tremendously valuable), you don’t have to worry as much about the (I’m guessing, here) 5% difference between Carmelo’s last second 3-pt attempt and the average SF’s. And you sure as hell shouldn’t spend max money to get a slightly higher rate of return on “botched possessions” and “buzzer beaters.” That doesn’t make basketball sense. I mean, the Nuggets had no one like that (“shot creator”) on their team (Gallo was mediocre), and they were fantastic this year. I think they’ll be even better this year so long as they keep Harrington on the bench.

      The Nuggets are a great up-tempo team that should be really efficient moving forward.

      But Harrington and Miller are their best half-court players. If they get fewer minutes next year it will be interesting to see which of the WP golden boys suffer efficiency drops from the increased burden.

      I can assure you, however, that other players will suffer efficiency drops with them off the floor.

    116. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Harrington is a shitty basketball player. No amount of iso bullshit from him is going to make the other players around him better.

    117. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: There’s no doubt that some shot attempts come with very little time left on the clock. That much is certain. But with great offensive rebounders (I’ve argued that despite Chandler and Faried’s “limited” offensive skillset, their style of play is even anecdotally universal: there will always be missed shots, and any player who is tenacious enough to get into position for a high ORB% is going to be tremendously valuable), you don’t have to worry as much about the (I’m guessing, here) 5% difference between Carmelo’s last second 3-pt attempt and the average SF’s. And you sure as hell shouldn’t spend max money to get a slightly higher rate of return on “botched possessions” and “buzzer beaters.” That doesn’t make basketball sense. I mean, the Nuggets had no one like that (“shot creator”) on their team (Gallo was mediocre), and they were fantastic this year. I think they’ll be even better this year so long as they keep Harrington on the bench.

      This is reasonable, but I would need more convincing. For example, I’ve argued before that while all baskets count equally in the box score, there are times in games (and in the season and in the playoffs) where scoring is much more difficult or crucial (late shot clock, late in close games, on the road, etc.) If I were to make an analogy with baseball, it would be the ability to hit in big spots vs. top pitchers or closers in critical games vs. piling up 4-for-5’s vs. the #3-#5 starters on most teams. (I think the recent Yankees suffer from this as opposed to the 90’s Yanks.)

      The most recent glaring example of this is Steve Novak. You could see that the team was really trying to get him the ball vs. the Heat, and he not only couldn’t make shots, he couldn’t even get shots off and was pretty easily rendered a complete liability.

    118. Z-man

      In my opinion, WP48 overvalues the four factors by exaggerating their correlation with wins. Yes, those factors have a clear and consistent correlation with team wins (did you say 70% or so?) But the other 30% is far from irrelevant. For example, shot-blocking and steals are hard to correlate with wins because players can pad these stats by overcommitting, resulting in lots of blocks and steals, but lots of defensive breakdowns that don’t show up in one’s individual stats. I’m sure lots of these kinds of arguments have been made in rebuttals to Berri’s and Oliver’s work, so I won’t make them again. But it’s not necessarily as simple as “do you trust your eyes or do you have statistical evidence for your conclusions.” At the end of the day, WP48 is still based on box-score stats, which do not encapsulate all that has gone on during a game, either physically, situationally, or psycologically.

    119. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man:
      In my opinion, WP48 overvalues the four factors by exaggerating their correlation with wins. Yes, those factors have a clear and consistent correlation with team wins (did you say 70% or so?)But the other 30% is far from irrelevant.For example, shot-blocking and steals are hard to correlate with wins because players can pad these stats by overcommitting, resulting in lots of blocks and steals, but lots of defensive breakdowns that don’t show up in one’s individual stats. I’m sure lots of these kinds of arguments have been made in rebuttals to Berri’s and Oliver’s work, so I won’t make them again. But it’s not necessarily as simple as “do you trust your eyes or do you have statistical evidence for your conclusions.” At the end of the day, WP48 is still based on box-score stats, which do not encapsulate all that has gone on during a game, either physically, situationally, or psycologically.

      Blocks have nothing to do with the four factors unless they result in a turnover.

      Shooting (40%)
      Turnovers (25%)
      Rebounding (20%)
      Free Throws (15%)

      Those four things will tell you the outcome of most basketball games.

    120. Z-man

      Right, yet blocks are a big part of the psycological part of the game. Bill Russell said that it’s not important to block every shot, but in making the opponent think you are going to block every shot. Yet the effect of having a prolific shot-blocking threat is totally ignored as an integral part of the game. Shot-blocking can lead to more missed shots, more turnovers (beyond those directly attributable to the blocked shot) and more rebounds (altered shots are rebounded because they miss.) Same with steals…they don’t always happen but the prospect of them happening affects the outcome of games. On the other hand, those who recklessly go for steals and blocks can hurt their team’s chances.

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