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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, Aug 23 2013)

  • [New York Post] Garden, Barclays both may get All-Star Games (Fri, 23 Aug 2013 03:58:53 -0500)
    The NBA All-Star Game could be coming to New York. Twice. In a three-year period.
    Multiple league sources maintain the 2015 All-Star Game will be played at Madison Square Garden on Sunday of All-Star weekend with the Friday and Saturday night events — the skills, shooting and dunk competitions — set for…

  • [New York Daily News] NBA Stars might align in New York in 2015 (Fri, 23 Aug 2013 03:53:39 GMT)
    The NBA could award the All-Star Game in 2015 to the Garden and have its All-Star weekend events leading up to the game held in Brooklyn, but there won’t be a decision on the specifics for another few weeks, according to well-placed league sources.    

  • 32 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, Aug 23 2013)

    1. Z-man

      Apparently the Knicks have a standing offer for Ivan Johnson on the table but Ivan is looking for something better or will go overseas.

      If Melo is slated into the 4 spot, this team makes no sense for Ivan. He would be anywhere from 3rd to 5th on the depth chart. Yet we could really use a high-volume rebounder, especially situationally.

      The more I thought about it, the more clear it became to me that Melo should be mainly played at the 3. I know he presents problems for the opposition at the 4, but if he wants to have any chance of succeeding vs. playoff teams in the east WITH THIS ROSTER + Johnson he would help the team most at the 3. Leslie is way too raw to help much this year and should be in the D-League. With Melo at the 4, we are extremely thin at the 3 (behind MWP, JR and Shump are really 2′s, as is Hardaway.)

      Play Melo at the three and Tyson exclusively at the 5 and you have a 4-5 rotation af STAT, AB, KMart, Tyler and, say, Johnson or Aldrich, and with injuries, foul trouble and proper rest rotations (e.g. no back-to-backs for STAT, KMart or Chandler) there should be enough time for everyone to be happy.

      With Melo at the 4, the PT will be very imbalanced and eventually chemistry will suffer.

      Thoughts?

    2. SeeWhyDee77

      Z Man..I agree pending Stat’s health. If he’s good enough to give 20-25 mpg, then the best thing the team can do is find a backup 5 that Woodson can trust right now because Bargnani probably starts at the 4. We wouldn’t necessarily need a 5 to play a lot of minutes, just one to play enough to keep Stat from playing against 5′s a whole lot. The problem with that is I’m not sure if there are any available 5′s that Woodson would like. Ivan Johnson would fill a role that the team needs structurally, but he’s a 4. U are spot on in saying that Johnson doesn’t make too much sense because we don’t have multiple top flight talents like Miami has. Therefore, we can’t and shouldn’t rely on a whole bunch of small ball. I like the idea of havin Bargnani and Melo in that starting lineup. That’s alotta size and potential to impose our will on the opposition. But I like a defensive tone setting lineup better. If we start MWP as oppose to Bargnani, we still have enough offense to start games as teams have a hard time matching up. But it also leaves a very good player not playing in the frontcourt with Bargnani, Stat and Kmart vying for burn on the 2nd unit. Dunno. Maybe Bargnani should start. He is 7′ tall and might not be so bad defending 4′s and helping clog the lane with Chandler. Hmmmmm..

    3. SeeWhyDee77

      If Bargnani starts, Shump absolutely HAS to start. But again..this is all depending on Stat’s health. He means a whole lot more to this team than most folks realize or want to accept because of his health. Lets hope we can get him rolling an manage his minutes properly.

    4. Brian Cronin

      I agree that Ivan Johnson doesn’t really fit with a “Melo at the 4″ team. Honestly, as much as I like Ivan Johnson, I dunno if he even fits in that well with a Melo at the 3 team. They have a lot of players and not a lot of playing time. This is, of course, based on Artest being a real contributor. I think he will be, but if he isn’t, then obviously that opens up a lot of minutes.

    5. thenamestsam

      Brian Cronin:
      I agree that Ivan Johnson doesn’t really fit with a “Melo at the 4? team. Honestly, as much as I like Ivan Johnson, I dunno if he even fits in that well with a Melo at the 3 team. They have a lot of players and not a lot of playing time. This is, of course, based on Artest being a real contributor. I think he will be, but if he isn’t, then obviously that opens up a lot of minutes.

      I think part of the problem is that the size of the role is so unclear. Obviously looking at the roster now it doesn’t look like there’s any minutes. But there are so many injury prone guys that the role could end up being quite large. Amare’s health is a permanent question mark. Bargs ability and health are both question marks. Tyson and KMart are both going to miss chunks of the season – it’s just a matter of when. As you point out it’s not exactly certain what we’ll get from MWP. You don’t have to be an extreme pessimist to see how the Knicks might quickly be in the market for a big to play as much as 20-25 minutes a night.

      So on the one hand it’s almost impossible to attract a quality player like Ivan Johnson because there’s certainly no guarantee that they’d be getting any minutes at all. But on the other hand picking up a guy like Aldrich who really hasn’t proven he can be an effective NBA player in the kind of minutes we might need seems insufficient.

    6. Z-man

      I just think that Melo at the 3 in the Bernard King role is best for this team. Sure, he can abuse 4′s on the offensive end, but unless you have a LeBron, going small is a dead end, especially in the EC. He can still play in the post on O, with Bargs at the stretch 4. Or, he can rotate to the 4 for 10 mpg with MWP at the 3 (although STAT and MWP make a great forward combo, imo). But he should be at the 3 for at least 2/3 of his floor minutes.

    7. johnlocke

      change of topic, but have been at home from work, not feeling well the last 2 days and noticed NBA basketball has an ongoing tribute to Air Jordan. Man, I used to really hate the guy, but when you hear respected coaches like Chuck Daly saying: “This guy is literally embarrassing the league” it’s crazy – you just have to respect. I mean Lebron is clearly the best player in the NBA, but I don’t think a coach would say the same thing about him today. It also wasn’t just what he did, but how he did it. Artistry in motion.

    8. KnickfaninNJ

      This explains why the Knicks haven’t signed anybody for the last roster spot. They have an offer out and are waiting for a response. I can see that overall Johnson is a better player than, say, Earl Barron or Josh Harrelson; but he doesn’t play center, he plays power forward, which is what everybody here is commenting. In this case, I am kind of in favor of get the best possible player. If we are down to using our 15th player heavily, we’re in trouble anyway and he’s probably a better trade component than Barron or Harrelson.

    9. Frank O.

      johnlocke:
      change of topic, but have been at home from work, not feeling well the last 2 days and noticed NBA basketball has an ongoing tribute to Air Jordan. Man, I used to really hate the guy, but when you hear respected coaches like Chuck Daly saying: “This guy is literally embarrassing the league” it’s crazy – you just have to respect. I mean Lebron is clearly the best player in the NBA, but I don’t think a coach would say the same thing about him today. It also wasn’t just what he did, but how he did it. Artistry in motion.

      Lebron just physically dominates. Jordan was a freak early in his career, but what defined him more was his will. Not sure I see that same kind of will in Lebron, but time will tell.

    10. Z-man

      Yeah, to me the defining difference is that an in-his-prime Jordan playing with Wade and Bosh never loses to that Dallas team in the finals.

    11. lavor postell

      Z-man:
      Not to mention that LeBron was a Popovich brainfart away from losing AGAIN in the finals.

      Right but Lebron also made it all happen down the stretch. You also can’t discredit him for what could have happened. Nobody sits here and says man Jordan got lucky against the Pacers in 1997 in Eastern Conference Finals and that they didn’t play a Knicks team that gunning for it that year.

      Caveats and qualifiers are what those who don’t win championships like us Knicks fans have to live with. If only JR shot 32% from three against Indiana, Jason Kidd did anything, Woodson played Copeland in lieu of Kidd, if Melo hadn’t gotten his arm ripped out of its socket by Garnett intentionally, if Hibbert didn’t get the Jordan treatment, etc.

      Idk if he’s as good as Jordan but I think it’s getting to be not as ridiculous an assertion as it was previously. I personally don’t think he’s as good as Jordan was, but I’d be surprised if he’s not solidified the No. 2 position when it’s all said and done. In my life I think my top-5 in order would be Jordan, Lebron (assuming career trajectory), Duncan, Shaq, Magic. Really wish I had got to watch an in prime Abdul-Jabbar.

    12. johnlocke

      Rating across eras is really tough. What do you do with guys like Wilt (his stats are outrageous), or Bill Russell (defensive/rebounding monster + 11 rings), or Kareem (leading all-time scorer in NBA history) or Oscar? I’m 100% sure Jordan would have destroyed no matter what era he played in, can’t say the same for Oscar for example.

      I think the key thing that will ultimately determine Lebron’s legacy is his ability to adjust his game once his all-world athleticism starts to diminish at 31 or so. Jordan didn’t just adjust but mastered the post-up and mid-range/fadeaway jumper to compensate, which is why he was able to come back near 40 and still kick ass with the Wizards. Jury still out as to whether Lebron can do the same. I think his passing, and IQ will always be there, and that jumper is still good in stretches, but when it becomes his dominant mode of scoring what kind of player will he be? Will be interesting to watch.

      Having said all that, just in terms of pure entertainment value, for me, it’s not even close. Jordan just did everything in a graceful way and still came across as a guard throwing it down on 7 footers, versus a PF muscling past smaller players. He took the NBA to the next level.

      lavor postell:

      Idk if he’s as good as Jordan but I think it’s getting to be not as ridiculous an assertion as it was previously.I personally don’t think he’s as good as Jordan was, but I’d be surprised if he’s not solidified the No. 2 position when it’s all said and done.In my life I think my top-5 in order would be Jordan, Lebron (assuming career trajectory), Duncan, Shaq, Magic.Really wish I had got to watch an in prime Abdul-Jabbar.

    13. lavor postell

      johnlocke:

      I think the key thing that will ultimately determine Lebron’s legacy is his ability to adjust his game once his all-world athleticism starts to diminish at 31 or so. Jordan didn’t just adjust but mastered the post-up and mid-range/fadeaway jumper to compensate, which is why he was able to come back near 40 and still kick ass with the Wizards. Jury still out as to whether Lebron can do the same. I think his passing, and IQ will always be there, and that jumper is still good in stretches, but when it becomes his dominant mode of scoring what kind of player will he be? Will be interesting to watch.

      Having said all that, just in terms of pure entertainment value, for me, it’s not even close. Jordan just did everything in a graceful way and still came across as a guard throwing it down on 7 footers, versus a PF muscling past smaller players. He took the NBA to the next level.

      I agree with this, though we are seeing Lebron adding a post game to his repetoire, in which he was starting to reap real benefits last year. That will probably help him deal with a declining of his athletic abilities. I actually think age will hurt his defensive impact way more than his offensive returns.

      Ranking across eras is very hard which is kind of way I said in my life. There are too many great players in the history of the game that I haven’t seen to make an all-time statement. Hard to imagine anybody being better than Jordan though from what I have seen.

    14. thenamestsam

      lavor postell: I agree with this, though we are seeing Lebron adding a post game to his repetoire, in which he was starting to reap real benefits last year.That will probably help him deal with a declining of his athletic abilities.I actually think age will hurt his defensive impact way more than his offensive returns.

      Also the amount he has improved his jumper is extremely impressive. It can still abandon him in stretches as we saw during the finals but he has made huge strides the last few years. If you’d told me the kid we first saw in Cleveland with that broken jumper would one day be a 40% 3-pt shooter I wouldn’t have believed it. If he can continue to get more consistent with his shot that will offset a lot of decline.

      On top of the post game Miami also started using him more as a screener at times last year. I think ultimately as his athleticism declines that’s the way his game will go – more towards a traditional 4. Getting the ball more in the post and more off of screen and rolls than as a pick and roll ball handler. His athleticism is amazing but the amount of work he has put into his game and the skill level he now possesses makes me think he won’t fall off dramatically.

    15. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Frank O.: Not sure I see that same kind of will in Lebron, but time will tell.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jamesle01.html#playoffs_advanced::none

      If he hasn’t proved it to you by now, I’m not sure he ever will. If you think a .399 WS/48 against playoff competition isn’t imposing his will, I don’t know what to say.

      There are a lot of voices in the media who question LeBron’s character, mental ability, etc. I think it’s more likely that you and I have been inundated with sports-talk radio’s annoying negativities than that LeBron actually lacks something.

      I don’t care much for Game Score, but the dude put up his five biggest GSs of the season in the ECF and Finals. That’s will.

    16. er

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jamesle01.html#playoffs_advanced::none

      If he hasn’t proved it to you by now, I’m not sure he ever will. If you think a .399 WS/48 against playoff competition isn’t imposing his will, I don’t know what to say.

      There are a lot of voices in the media who question LeBron’s character, mental ability, etc. I think it’s more likely that you and I have been inundated with sports-talk radio’s annoying negativities than that LeBron actually lacks something.

      I don’t care much for Game Score, but the dude put up his five biggest GSs of the season in the ECF and Finals. That’s will.

      I 100% agree with you. I know you are more of an advanced stats guy than i am but those numbers are crazy. I think MJ destroyed alot of things in terms of bball perception ie killer instinct and one on one play. Lebron goes in the face of all of that and ppl cant stand it. Hes just a regular guy who is great at bball.

    17. Unreason

      Better scorer: Jordan
      Better facilitator: James
      Better defender: James
      Better crunch time/big game performer: Jordan
      Drive/will: Even
      Ability to get in your opponents’ head: Jordan
      Tiger Woods is the only other male athlete I know of to have had a similar impact. Making a bunch of pudgy martini-swirling guys in monogrammed slacks doubt themselves isn’t quite as impressive IMO. I guess a lot of athletes have lined up against Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt thinking they only had a realistic chance at second. Maybe male athlete in a team sport is the better category and I can’t think of anyone like Jordan since I’ve been a sports fan.
      Anyhow, the fact that James is still getting a lot better every year is hard to fathom given how good he was a few years ago. I think he’ll have to keep it up, though, to keep the GOAT conversation going.

    18. Frank O.

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jamesle01.html#playoffs_advanced::none

      If he hasn’t proved it to you by now, I’m not sure he ever will. If you think a .399 WS/48 against playoff competition isn’t imposing his will, I don’t know what to say.

      There are a lot of voices in the media who question LeBron’s character, mental ability, etc. I think it’s more likely that you and I have been inundated with sports-talk radio’s annoying negativities than that LeBron actually lacks something.

      I don’t care much for Game Score, but the dude put up his five biggest GSs of the season in the ECF and Finals. That’s will.

      I can’t disagree with you. My comment was intended in the context of his Airness. Certainly Lebron has extraordinary will, but as of right now, he’s no Jordan. But again, time will tell.

      Lebron has played 10 years, won two championships.
      TS% .575 (Playoffs .567), eFG% .524 (playoffs .507)
      WS/48 .241 (Playoffs .238)
      PER 27.6 (playoffs 27.3)

      Michael after 10 years, won four championships
      TS% .592 (.587), eFG% .527 (.514)
      WS/48 .275 (.256)
      PER 29.8 (29.5)
      source: basketball-reference.com

      Even if you compare Jordan’s playoff stats over his first 10 years (playoff stats typically fall off for most players because of the level of competition) to Lebron’s regular season stats over his first 1o years, Jordan is the better player, and not necessarily by a little.

      Lebron is great; his Airness, much as I hated him, nonpareille.

    19. lavor postell

      Frank O.: I can’t disagree with you. My comment was intended in the context of his Airness. Certainly Lebron has extraordinary will, but as of right now, he’s no Jordan. But again, time will tell.

      Lebron has played 10 years, won two championships.
      TS% .575 (Playoffs .567), eFG% .524 (playoffs .507)
      WS/48 .241 (Playoffs .238)
      PER 27.6 (playoffs 27.3)

      Michael after 10 years, won four championships
      TS% .592 (.587), eFG% .527 (.514)
      WS/48 .275 (.256)
      PER 29.8 (29.5)
      source: basketball-reference.com

      Even if you compare Jordan’s playoff stats over his first 10 years (playoff stats typically fall off for most players because of the level of competition) to Lebron’s regular season stats over his first 1o years, Jordan is the better player, and not necessarily by a little.

      Lebron is great; his Airness, much as I hated him, nonpareille.

      I agree that Jordan was on a slightly higher level, but the first 10 years numbers can be pretty skewed seeing as how Lebron entered the NBA at the age of 18 and Jordan entered after his junior year of college.

    20. Frank O.

      lavor postell: I agree that Jordan was on a slightly higher level, but the first 10 years numbers can be pretty skewed seeing as how Lebron entered the NBA at the age of 18 and Jordan entered after his junior year of college.

      that Jordan went through three years of college development may also be why he could end up being better.
      Again, I’m not making a definitive point. Just saying that so far, Jordan is the better player. That could change.

    21. thenamestsam

      Frank O.:
      Again, I’m not making a definitive point. Just saying that so far, Jordan is the better player. That could change.

      I agree with this but find it frustrating when some people (not saying you are) wield this against Lebron like it’s some kind of failure of character on his part to be not as good as MJ. Something which puts him in a class with every other person ever to pick up a basketball and try to toss it through a hoop.

    22. BigBlueAL

      Unreason:
      Better scorer: Jordan
      Better facilitator: James
      Better defender: James
      Better crunch time/big game performer: Jordan
      Drive/will: Even
      Ability to get in your opponents’ head: Jordan
      Tiger Woods is the only other male athlete I know of to have had a similar impact. Making a bunch of pudgy martini-swirling guys in monogrammed slacks doubt themselves isn’t quite as impressive IMO. I guess a lot of athletes have lined up against Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt thinking they only had a realistic chance at second. Maybe male athlete in a team sport is the better category and I can’t think of anyone like Jordan since I’ve been a sports fan.
      Anyhow, the fact that James is still getting a lot better every year is hard to fathom given how good he was a few years ago. I think he’ll have to keep it up, though, to keep the GOAT conversation going.

      Jordan was a better defender than LeBron. If you think LeBron is better because of his chase down blocks and steals, check out MJ’s stats when he was young and still freakish athletically. LeBron’s steal and even block numbers pale in comparison to MJ (especially steals). MJ was also a great full court defender, those first 3-peat Bulls teams would destroy teams with their full court press with MJ and Pippen spearheading it.

      LeBron to me is overrated a bit as a man-to-man defender. I see him get blown by alot, as someone mentioned earlier once he starts to lose athleticism his defense is will suffer more than his offense. MJ even in his mid-30′s would lock any guard down, he just wasnt athletic enough anymore to average 3 stls/g and 1.5 blks/g like he did when he was younger.

    23. yellowboy90

      yeah, I’m in thr LeBron defense is overrated club. Chase down blks and help defense he is great but man to man he gets roasted. Sure he can guard Kendrick Perkins in the post so I guess that means he can guard all 5 positions on the floor.

    24. nicos

      While I’d still give the edge to Jordan, I do think it’s pretty close- I actually think Jordan benefited a lot more from the rules he played under than LBJ does now. Imagine what numbers LeBron could put up if you could clear out one whole side of the court with the defense’s ability to help constrained by illegal defense rules. No zoning off guys to clog the lane, etc… Hand-checking might slow him up a bit but he’s just so much stronger/quicker than anyone who tries to guard him I can’t imagine it’d have too much of an impact. On the other side of the ball, allow LBJ to hand check guys and his defense would look a lot closer to Jordan’s- no one would be going anywhere if LeBron could put a hand on their hip and push them where he wanted them to go. I think LBJ needs to play another couple of years at this level and win at least two more rings before you can really make the comparison but I do think there’s still a chance (albeit a long shot) that he could surpass Jordan.

    25. Unreason

      I think the change in rules makes it very hard to compare defense and almost meaningless to compare defensive stats. I give the edge to Lebron because of the range of positions he can cover. But I think it’s subjective and I’m not sure I’m right. I also think Pippen was a better defender than Jordan. Watching a fully committed Pippen cover the ball handler full court always made me feel like I couldn’t breathe. It was literally suffocating defense. Jordan was amazing too obviously, but it’d be interesting to see how James played under the old rules along side a teammate like Pippen.

    26. Frank O.

      nicos:
      While I’d still give the edge to Jordan, I do think it’s pretty close- I actually think Jordan benefited a lot more from the rules he played under than LBJ does now.Imagine what numbers LeBron could put up if you could clear out one whole side of the court with the defense’s ability to help constrained by illegal defense rules.No zoning off guys to clog the lane, etc… Hand-checking might slow him up a bit but he’s just so much stronger/quicker than anyone who tries to guard him I can’t imagine it’d have too much of an impact.On the other side of the ball, allow LBJ to hand check guys and his defense would look a lot closer to Jordan’s- no one would be going anywhere if LeBron could put a hand on their hip and push them where he wanted them to go.I think LBJ needs to play another couple of years at this level and win at least two more rings before you can really make the comparison but I do think there’s still a chance (albeit a long shot) that he could surpass Jordan.

      Jordan benefitted from the rules?
      In Jordan’s time certain defensive actions would have led to charges if left to the NYPD, but weren’t called.
      These days, you can’t touch a player forcefully without getting called, comparatively. I loved them, but the Knicks during the Jordan era we thugs, some of the most physically imposing and dangerous players in basketball.
      If anyone benefits from the rules, it’s Lebron. Indeed, it was only this last playoff run that we began to see again basketball comparable to what it was like in the late 80s early 90s. IMHO.

    27. Frank O.

      Unreason:
      I think the change in rules makes it very hard to compare defense and almost meaningless to compare defensive stats. I give the edge to Lebron because of the range of positions he can cover. But I think it’s subjective and I’m not sure I’m right. I also think Pippen was a better defender than Jordan. Watching a fully committed Pippen cover the ball handler full court always made me feel like I couldn’t breathe. It was literally suffocating defense. Jordan was amazing too obviously, but it’d be interesting to see how James played under the old rules along side a teammate like Pippen.

      Simply stated, Lebron in his prime was no where near as quick as Jordan. Lebron is the bigger man, but Jordan was widely known as one of the strongest main me league, and if he chose to, he could shut down any player in the league at that time. Period.
      Jordan was a better defender than Pippen. The reason Pippen was noted for his defense was because he was expected to spend more time doing it. Jordan was expected to do so much more, or at least he expected to do so much more. On a asked all court, the man could do as he pleased at any part of the game.
      Lebron is great, but I can see how time makes people forget. There is a reason why every player who has ever played singles Jordan out.

    28. Frank O.

      Please also remember that Pippen was not a champion without Jordan.
      Wade was a champion without Lebron and has been seen as one of the best players in all of basketball in his career.
      Lebron with the Heat has had more going for him than Jordan, I would argue…not trying to be unfair to Pippen who is a hall of famer. Just saying that Wade is a sublime talent.

    29. nicos

      Frank O.: Jordan benefitted from the rules?
      In Jordan’s time certain defensive actions would have led to charges if left to the NYPD, but weren’t called.
      These days, you can’t touch a player forcefully without getting called, comparatively. I loved them, but the Knicks during the Jordan era we thugs, some of the most physically imposing and dangerous players in basketball.
      If anyone benefits from the rules, it’s Lebron. Indeed, it was only this last playoff run that we began to see again basketball comparable to what it was like in the late 80s early 90s. IMHO.

      Yeah, you’d get hammered when you got to the rim (and held before you got there) but there was so much less help in the paint. When Jordan made his move he had Oakley waiting to take his head off, when LBJ makes his move he’s got a guy to beat at the elbow and another guy at the charge line who’ve cheated over (which they could never have done before without an illegal defense call) and finally a big waiting for him at the rim- less dangerous perhaps, but much more difficult to score on. And as I said, if LBJ played when you could literally put everyone else on the team on the other side of the court (and their defenders couldn’t stray more than a couple of feet from them) and let him go one on one his TS% would look at lot more like Jordan’s. Yeah, he’d get hand-checked but LBJ’s probably the least hand-checkable guy in NBA history- he plays at about 275 lbs with an first step that’d be elite for a point guard- putting a hand on his hip in a one on one situation would be useless.

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