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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, Jan 04 2013)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: JR has a sixth sense (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 08:56:46 GMT)
    J.R. Smith pulled off an acrobatic dunk with the Knicks pulling away in the fourth quarter to cap another electrifying performance off the bench. Midway through the fourth quarter, Smith hauled in a Pablo Prigioni pass in midair and slammed home a one-handed reverse dunk.

  • [New York Daily News] Spurs stars no match for Knicks as Melo, bench key blowout (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 08:54:27 GMT)
    All the big names â?” Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili â?” were present and accounted for on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden which may have been a blessing for the Knicks.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks get an assist from Mayor Bloomberg in win over San Antonio (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 07:42:38 GMT)
    San Antonio forward Stephen Jackson suffered a sprained ankle and didn’t return to the game after tripping over a waitress crouching in front of Bloomberg along the sideline during the Knicks’ 100-83 win Thursday night over the Spurs at the Garden.

  • [New York Daily News] Lawrence: Result at Garden doesn’t sit well with Popovich (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 07:38:58 GMT)
    In retrospect, Gregg Popovich should have sent Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker back to San Antonio before the Spurs ever reached the Garden on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Donovan Heading Back to Coach in W.N.B.A. (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 07:30:05 GMT)
    Anne Donovan, who plans to step down as the women’s basketball coach at Seton Hall at the end of the season, will return to the W.N.B.A. to coach the Connecticut Sun.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Nets Belong to Carlesimo, Unless, Perhaps, Jackson Cuts In (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 07:24:04 GMT)
    The Nets have gone 3-1 since their change of coaches and seem happy to stick with P. J. Carlesimo â?? though Phil Jackson is said to be No. 1 on their wish list.

  • [New York Times] Spurs’ Stars Play at Beginning but Not End Against Knicks (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 07:24:04 GMT)
    Five weeks ago, Coach Gregg Popovich was fined for sitting his top players for the Spurs’ fourth game in five days. Against the Knicks, after a similar stretch, Popovich opted to keep his lineup intact.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 100, Spurs 83: Knicks, Finding Balance on Offense and Defense, Rout Spurs (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 07:17:16 GMT)
    Led by Carmelo Anthony, a balanced offense and tight defense, the Knicks ran away from San Antonio on Thursday, ending the Spurs’ seven-game winning streak.

  • [New York Times] D’Antoni Responds to Stoudemire’s Criticism With a Congratulations (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 05:22:36 GMT)
    Coach Mike D’Antoni praised Amar’e Stoudemire, who made six All-Star appearances playing for D’Antoni despite a sometimes strained relationship, for his new defensive attitude.

  • [New York Times] Novak Shines as Knicks End Spurs’ Win Streak (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 05:04:03 GMT)
    Bench player Steve Novak led a sizzling three-point shooting display as the New York Knicks mixed spectacular offense with a much improved defense to stun the red-hot San Antonio Spurs with a 100-83 win at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] Barea Leads T-Wolves to 101-97 Win Over Nuggets (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 04:43:41 GMT)
    J.J. Barea scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter while All-Star forward Kevin Love sat on the bench with a sprained finger, lifting the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 101-97 win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 100, Spurs 83: Knicks End Spurs’ 7-Game Winning Streak (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 04:25:38 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and J.R. Smith kept up his surge with 20 as the New York Knicks were able to hold on against San Antonio in what had been a close game for three quarters.

  • [New York Times] Knicks’ Defense Loses Its Edge, Forcing Offense to Rally (Fri, 04 Jan 2013 00:49:47 GMT)
    The Knicks have gone just 5-5 in their last 10 games, allowing an average of 101.3 points per game, which ranks a dismal 25th for that span.

  • 48 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, Jan 04 2013)

    1. Frank O.

      I saw signs of life in Amare’s game last night.
      Once he gets his explosiveness back, he’ll be fine.
      I also think while he missed on pick op, he set a ton of picks and rolled well. One pcik and roll Prigs somehow got the ball threw a keyhole sized slot between two defenders.
      one thing I noticed: Citizen Cope appeared to not pass to a wide open Amare a few times, which leads me to believe he may be feeling a little competitive with his older partner.
      Just an observation.

    2. Frank O.

      Frank O.:
      I saw signs of life in Amare’s game last night.
      Once he gets his explosiveness back, he’ll be fine.
      I also think while he missed on pick op, he set a ton of picks and rolled well. One pcik and roll Prigs somehow got the ball threw a keyhole sized slot between two defenders.
      one thing I noticed: Citizen Cope appeared to not pass to a wide open Amare a few times, which leads me to believe he may be feeling a little competitive with his older partner.
      Just an observation.

      geez. through….

    3. Kurt

      Just one observation from last night about JR’s awesome slam. What really set it up was his man’s choice between staying on him and Amare’s roll. That is, there were two three-point shooters on the weak side in the corner and wing, so their defenders couldn’t go across the lane to cover STAT on the roll. When STAT’s (Diaw) left him to hedge on Prigioni, STAT was rolling to the rim on J.R.’s side. That left J.R.’s man with a choice between a STAT dunk and covering J.R. That’s what led to that awesome ooop.

      I remember last year there were a few times when J.R. was in the corner and he got an oop when his defender covered the pick and roll. It’s an awesome play that takes advantage of J.R.’s unique combination of athleticism and shooting ability. I hope Woody uses this play a lot, especially with STAT and Prigs.

    4. Frank

      @4 – great pickup there – just watched that play over and saw Nando cheating more than he should have to cut off Amare’s dive (which he never actually did).

      Makes you see how dangerous that lineup can be. Copeland in the weakside corner, Novak next to him on the at foul-line extended, JR on the play-side corner. Really puts Nando on an island there.

      Copeland shoots 50% from corner 3 (7 of 14)
      Novak shoots 40% from wing 3, 52% from corner 3

      Somehow JR only shoots 26% from corner 3, but clearly he can hit that shot.

    5. massive

      Carmelo Anthony’s ridiculous scoring tear is historic. There have been only 8 players in NBA history with a season over both a 59% TS and a 30% USG:

      1) Michael Jordan
      2) Carmelo Anthony
      3) LeBron James
      4) Kobe Bryant
      5) Karl Malone
      6) Kevin Durant
      7) Larry Bird
      8) Shaquille O’Neal

      Melo could have the greatest scoring season ever if he can get his TS% to 60.4 and his USG% to 34.2, which would usurp Michael Jordan’s 1987-1988 season with a TS% of 60.4 on a 34% USG. I doubt this happens with the return of Amar’e Stoudemire and the emergence of JR Smith, but it’s still amazing to see what Carmelo Anthony is doing. He’s having a better season than Bernard King had back when he was the King of New York basketball.

      http://tinyurl.com/NBAUSG

    6. Frank

      massive: Carmelo Anthony’s ridiculous scoring tear is historic. There have been only 8 players in NBA history with a season over both a 59% TS and a 30% USG:

      If you add in Melo’s ridiculously low TOV% (filter for TOV%<10) then it's just him and Jordan.

    7. Nick C.

      That leaderboard is crazy. It’s all Jordan, Malone and Lebron with Durant having two seasons and Shaq, Bird and Melo one. LeBron, Jordan and Malone must have 15 or 16 of the 21 seasons. I’m surprised no Kareem seasons appear he had some 30 point seasons and typically shot a high percentage.

    8. DRed

      massive:
      Carmelo Anthony’s ridiculous scoring tear is historic. There have been only 8 players in NBA history with a season over both a 59% TS and a 30% USG:

      1) Michael Jordan
      2) Carmelo Anthony
      3) LeBron James
      4) Kobe Bryant
      5) Karl Malone
      6) Kevin Durant
      7) Larry Bird
      8) Shaquille O’Neal

      Melo could have the greatest scoring season ever if he can get his TS% to 60.4 and his USG% to 34.2, which would usurp Michael Jordan’s 1987-1988 season with a TS% of 60.4 on a 34% USG. I doubt this happens with the return of Amar’e Stoudemire and the emergence of JR Smith, but it’s still amazing to see what Carmelo Anthony is doing. He’s having a better season than Bernard King had back when he was the King of New York basketball.

      http://tinyurl.com/NBAUSG

      I’d like to point out that Durant has a TS% of 64.8 with a Usage% of 29, which is also pretty ridiculous.

    9. jon abbey

      the best sign for this team IMO is that they’re 17-2 when holding the other team under 100 points.

      with all of the injuries and how old many of their role players are, it’s not surprising they can’t bring that effort every night, but they should certainly be able to when it counts in the postseason.

    10. BigBlueAL

      massive:
      Carmelo Anthony’s ridiculous scoring tear is historic. There have been only 8 players in NBA history with a season over both a 59% TS and a 30% USG:

      1) Michael Jordan
      2) Carmelo Anthony
      3) LeBron James
      4) Kobe Bryant
      5) Karl Malone
      6) Kevin Durant
      7) Larry Bird
      8) Shaquille O’Neal

      Melo could have the greatest scoring season ever if he can get his TS% to 60.4 and his USG% to 34.2, which would usurp Michael Jordan’s 1987-1988 season with a TS% of 60.4 on a 34% USG. I doubt this happens with the return of Amar’e Stoudemire and the emergence of JR Smith, but it’s still amazing to see what Carmelo Anthony is doing. He’s having a better season than Bernard King had back when he was the King of New York basketball.

      http://tinyurl.com/NBAUSG

      Amazing part is MJ had 4 seasons with a TS% over 60% and in all of those seasons his lowest usage rate was 32.1%!!

    11. nicos

      DRed: I’d like to point out that Durant has a TS% of 64.8 with a Usage% of 29, which is also pretty ridiculous.

      Yeah, I’d take Durant’s current numbers over Melo’s at this point. Amar’e also had one the all-time great scoring years in 07/08 posting a TS% of .656 with a usage of 28.2.
      Also, one thing about Amar’e's play which might bode well is that he has been able to establish solid, very deep post position- he if continues to catch the ball 8-10 feet from the basket that’s going to pay big dividends once he gets his legs back.

    12. massive

      DRed: I’d like to point out that Durant has a TS% of 64.8 with a Usage% of 29, which is also pretty ridiculous.

      If you watch OKC’s games, it’s obvious that he isn’t really the engine that makes OKC go. As much as I hate him, Russel Westbrook runs that offense. They never deny Durant the ball. He’s just extremely good at scoring the ball. Durant is not the elite shot creator the same way Melo and Michael Jordan are. Despite what stats show, he really isn’t the main cog of their offense. Even though Westbrook makes about a dozen bad plays a game, OKC needs him for everyone else to get their numbers. Basically, I believe Durant’s ridiculous scoring has more to do with his on-court relationship with Westbrook than Melo’s relationship with anyone in a Knicks jersey.

      And I would bet that Durant is a worse half-court player than Carmelo Anthony. Durant gets a lot more easy buckets in transition than Melo because he’s a better athlete, and that inflates his TS% and USG%.

    13. DRed

      massive: If you watch OKC’s games, it’s obvious that he isn’t really the engine that makes OKC go. As much as I hate him, Russel Westbrook runs that offense. They never deny Durant the ball. He’s just extremely good at scoring the ball. Durant is not the elite shot creator the same way Melo and Michael Jordan are. Despite what stats show, he really isn’t the main cog of their offense. Even though Westbrook makes about a dozen bad plays a game, OKC needs him for everyone else to get their numbers. Basically, I believe Durant’s ridiculous scoring has more to do with his on-court relationship with Westbrook than Melo’s relationship with anyone in a Knicks jersey.

      And I would bet that Durant is a worse half-court player than Carmelo Anthony. Durant gets a lot more easy buckets in transition than Melo because he’s a better athlete, and that inflates his TS% and USG%.

      Tranisition buckets don’t ‘inflate’ your TS and USG numbers. Being really athetic is a good skill to have if you’re a basketball player. Those points count, and it makes you a better player.

    14. yellowboy90

      One thing that sticks out is his low assist % which is very low. He moves the ball plenty to the naked eye.

    15. Frank

      Gotta love how MDA has to get in a parting shot on Amare:

      “Anyway, a lot of times players will say things just to say things. I have a good relationship with him. He’s a good guy and I hope him the best. You know, if he’s learning, great. He needs it. That would be super.”

      Not that I blame him, since Amare totally threw him under the bus, but these guys with their egos…. man.

    16. Frank

      You know what’s interesting about Durant and Westbrook? They’re always on the floor together. Makes it almost impossible to figure out who is making the other better or worse.

      2012-13:
      Westbrook has only played 68 minutes without Durant, or 2 min/game.
      Durant has only played 166 minutes without Russ, or 5 min/game.

      2011-12:
      Westbrook only played 75 minutes without Durant, or <2 min/game.
      Durant has only played 290 minutes without Russ, or 10 min/game).

    17. danvt

      Could anyone tell me what they think Amar’e's transition back will be like? Are we looking at a fundamentally different player than when he was with the Suns? Is he going to have to reinvent his game, like a pitcher who loses a few miles an hour on his fastball? Or is that still a few years away. I mean, he’s added dimensions to his game since he was a kid. Change is not all bad. But I want to know if we can expect some vintage athleticism.

    18. max fisher-cohen

      last night was the first in a while that I’ve been impressed by the Knicks. Yes, the Spurs missed a lot of open shots, and this was more of a 5 point win than a 17 point win had the Spurs been fresh, but a 5 point win over the Spurs is a good win wherein the Knicks did a great job of containing the paint. Recently, they haven’t been able to contain anything.

      That’s two nice wins with excellent ball movement vs. San Antonio. I wonder how much if the Knicks’ success vs. SA has to do with San Antonio’s insistence on doubling Melo right as he touches the ball. This puts Melo in a situation where he has to pass, which really lubed up the offense — had it looking like it did earlier in the season.

      Other random thought: When Melo catches the ball at the angle for a three and steps into his shot, I swear he shoots about 90%. I wonder if this is something the fancy video tracking caught last year, and if Melo is thus making a conscious effort to take that shot.

      Stoudemire still looks really uncomfortable with his back to the basket. His dimished lateral quickness and explosiveness mean that when he does his quick baseline spin, which had been his go to post move, he’s just not able to get around most guys… Splitter is no speed demon.

      I’d really like to see Amar’e with a lineup of Kidd, Smith, Brewer and Melo. Smith and Brewer can contain penetration to a degree, covering some of Stoudemire’s defensive flaws, and because Melo’s at the 4, opponents would have to put their slower big on STAT. I think a lot of the problem though is that as Stoudemire has gotten slower, the centers around the league have gotten faster. You really only have a few teams that start slow 5s.

    19. nicos

      danvt:
      Could anyone tell me what they think Amar’e’s transition back will be like?Are we looking at a fundamentally different player than when he was with the Suns?Is he going to have to reinvent his game, like a pitcher who loses a few miles an hour on his fastball?Or is that still a few years away.I mean, he’s added dimensions to his game since he was a kid.Change is not all bad.But I want to know if we can expect some vintage athleticism.

      I think it’s way to early to speculate on Amar’e's athleticism going forward. He looks pretty much like he looked early last year when he came in top heavy. Once he lost that extra weight last year, while he wasn’t close to Amar’e at 24, he was still very athletic. My guess is that once he’s in game shape he’ll look more or less like he did the second half of last year. The big question going forward is can he stay healthy or is going to continue to have constant injury problems.

    20. johnlocke

      LOL. awesome.

      Frank:
      Gotta love how MDA has to get in a parting shot on Amare:

      “Anyway, a lot of times players will say things just to say things. I have a good relationship with him. He’s a good guy and I hope him the best. You know, if he’s learning, great. He needs it. That would be super.”

      Not that I blame him, since Amare totally threw him under the bus, but these guys with their egos…. man.

    21. ruruland

      If Amare plays help defense as he did last night, all of this talk of needing to cover him up is completely moot.

      Honestly, his rotations and man defense last night should be looked at as one of the biggest developments of the season.

      The second biggest development was the dominance exhibited defensively with Camby and Chandler. I looked at all of the sub-100 point game logs for the Spurs the last two years and couldn’t find a game where they had less than 20 points in the paint.
      It’s likely that it was one of the lowest paint point games in the Duncan era.

      What I saw with Camby in the game was Chandler playing much more aggressively on the ball and against penetration, trusting the rim protection behind him.

      The key to Chandler returning to defensive dominance and contesting shots off the ball is having rim protection behind him he believes in.

      We’ve talked about Camby’s weaknesses before, mainly that he refuses to leave the paint. That’s precisely why Chandler, at his best, is the ideal complement.

      These two guys, if they can stay healthy, will be the best interior defensive combination in the NBA in some time.

      I would put them in the Duncan/Robinson class. A young Duncan was very similar to Chandler on defense, though I think Camby does a few things better than old Robinson. Robinson was a better post defender.

    22. Nick C.

      I can’t quite articulate it but it seems as if they free each other to do what they do best and maybe minimize foul trouble. Since I am stuck on it would Camby starting mean that was why they felt free to lock up the paint or is that just the logical defensive strategy against the Spurs?

    23. d-mar

      ruruland:
      If Amare plays help defense as he did last night, all of this talk of needing to cover him up is completely moot.

      Honestly, his rotations and man defense last night should be looked at as one of the biggest developments of the season.

      The second biggest development was the dominance exhibited defensively with Camby and Chandler. I looked at all of the sub-100 point game logs for the Spurs the last two years and couldn’t find a game where they had less than 20 points in the paint.
      It’s likely that it was one of the lowest paint point games in the Duncan era.

      What I saw with Camby in the game was Chandler playing much more aggressively on the ball and against penetration, trusting the rim protection behind him.

      The key to Chandler returning to defensive dominance and contesting shots off the ball is having rim protection behind him he believes in.

      We’ve talked about Camby’s weaknesses before, mainly that he refuses to leave the paint. That’s precisely why Chandler, at his best, is the ideal complement.

      These two guys, if they can stay healthy, will be the best interior defensive combination in the NBA in some time.

      I would put them in the Duncan/Robinson class. A young Duncan was very similar to Chandler on defense, though I think Camby does a few things better than old Robinson. Robinson was a better post defender.

      Obviously you’re making that comparison purely from a defensive standpoint. Having Chandler and Camby on the floor together is problematic on the offensive end; I would almost prefer Sheed starting when he’s healthy, as he keeps defenders honest with his ability to make midrange shots. Then bring in Camby and STAT on the 2nd unit.

      Woodson will have some very interesting decisions to make when this team is 100% healthy, decisions a lot of coaches would love to be faced with.

    24. ruruland

      Nick C.:
      I can’t quite articulate it but it seems as if they free each other to do what they do best and maybe minimize foul trouble. Since I am stuck on it would Camby starting mean that was why they felt free to lock up the paint or is that just the logical defensive strategy against the Spurs?

      I’ve always felt that if you establish that it’s really hard to score in the paint or get offensive rebounds, an offense will stop attacking. I think the inverse is true as well. That’s why combining Chandler and Camby at the starts of halves instead of separating them is brilliant.
      I’d like to see Camby get 25-30 minutes.

      But just combining those two wingspans in a small area makes it extremely difficult to get a shot off that isn’t altered. When you throw in Camby’s timing and Chandlers mobility getting out to guys just outisde the paint– which is the reason that at his best he’s just as impactful a defender as Howard –it’s as good as you can get.

      But yeah, I’d never really thought about it before, but they are perfectly congruent on defense provided a team isn’t playing super small.

    25. DRed

      d-mar: Obviously you’re making that comparison purely from a defensive standpoint. Having Chandler and Camby on the floor together is problematic on the offensive end; I would almost prefer Sheed starting when he’s healthy, as he keeps defenders honest with his ability to make midrange shots. Then bring in Camby and STAT on the 2nd unit.

      Woodson will have some very interesting decisions to make when this team is 100% healthy, decisions a lot of coaches would love to be faced with.

      Chandler keeps teams honest. If teams leave Chandler he smashes the ball through the rim. Our back court players are generally good ball handlers-they can get Tyson the ball if his man moves off him.

    26. ruruland

      d-mar: Obviously you’re making that comparison purely from a defensive standpoint. Having Chandler and Camby on the floor together is problematic on the offensive end; I would almost prefer Sheed starting when he’s healthy, as he keeps defenders honest with his ability to make midrange shots. Then bring in Camby and STAT on the 2nd unit.

      Woodson will have some very interesting decisions to make when this team is 100% healthy, decisions a lot of coaches would love to be faced with.

      Of course. Chandler/Camby doesn’t compare offensively. But those Spurs teams didn’t have a Carmelo Anthony, either (Elliot was more of a space and attack player).

      That combo is so good defensively you don’t have to be great offensively to have a big advantage.

    27. DRed

      It must really gall Lakers fans hearing Magic talk about how the Clippers are the second coming of Showtime.

    28. Nick C.

      On offense Sheed would provide better spacing and passing angles on the pick and roll since he will take threes whereas Camby shoots mostly from the key which would gum things up. But should we really get a hard on for a career 29% or whatever it is three point shooter’s shooting.

      Defensively Camby can be a sweeper for the penetrators that have been the source of much grousing. Chandler can box out and guard the post. Sheed would seem to duplicate rather than complement what Tyson does.

    29. Douglas

      Watching Chicago/Miami, it’s interesting to see the Bulls bludgeon another team for a change.

    30. d-mar

      Could be a good night for Knicks fans, Hawks lose to Pistons and Heat losing by 10 to the Bulls at home. Celts winning big though, will make it more fun to spank them on Monday.

    31. BigBlueAL

      Funny how last season we all wanted to face the Bulls in the playoffs instead of the Heat (this was before Rose even got hurt). Now Im getting scared of the Bulls once Rose returns lol.

    32. d-mar

      BigBlueAL:
      Funny how last season we all wanted to face the Bulls in the playoffs instead of the Heat (this was before Rose even got hurt).Now Im getting scared of the Bulls once Rose returns lol.

      I
      The Bulls outrebounded Miami 48-28, including 19 offensive. Their defense and rebounding might be the best in the NBA.

    33. Brian Cronin

      Great results for the Knicks with the Hawks, Heat and Pacers all losing.

      The Nets had a hell of a win. They were down by eight with a little over a minute left in OT and pulled out the win in double OT (amazingly, down 8 with a little over a minute left, they were actually up three before the Wizards tied it with a three at the buzzer).

    34. JK47

      Camby makes way more of an impact than Sheed on defense at this stage of their careers. Camby is a natural shotblocker and plays really long on D, plus he’s an incredible rebounder. Sheed is decent on defense but Camby is a real difference maker, at least to my eyes.

    35. Robtachi

      Frank:
      Meanwhile, if anyone is not excited about Shump’s imminent return, watch this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VBk-Yx_8hc

      It also makes me miss Jeremy Lin a whole lot.

      That 5 of Melo, STAT, Chandler, Shump and Lin almost brought a tear to my eye and an uncomfortable lump to my throat.

      Definitely excited to see what he can do in his (albeit shortened) sophomore year. This kid should be in the slam dunk contest next year.

    36. ruruland

      Is there another coach in the league who could turn a triple into a double like MDA? Howard, Gasol, Artest, and to a lesser extent Bryant, is a bad defensive team?

      They were 13th in defensive efficiency last year with an out-of-shape Artest.

      They’re 19th and falling fast now. Maybe when Dwight talks about not practicing on defense it means something. Or maybe he’s full of shit like Amar’e.

    37. Juany8

      On Durant vs. Melo, it really depends on what kind of team you have. There is no way Durant would be able to put up those numbers on this team, Melo has become the second or third best half court offensive player in the league (after Chris Paul and Lebron), and the Knicks don’t run at all. On a fast young team where you have a guy like Westbrook to actually attack the defense? Durant is the superior option. I really like Durant, but he relies mostly on being set up or just popping jumpers all over the place. It works obviously, but Melo is far more versatile, especially on the ball. That makes a huge difference later on in the playoffs when defenses game plan very specifically to stop a particular team. You don’t see Poppovich giving up and doubling Durant instantly like he does with Melo.

    38. Robtachi

      Durant is probably the better overall player, but there’s question that Melo is a more talented and versatile offensive weapon. Honestly, all efficiency and athleticism caveats aside, Anthony is probably more gifted on offense than Lebron. The only other guy on the planet with his array of skills is Mr. Bean Bryant, and he’s not as efficient as Melo. Of course, Lebron makes up quite a bit of that skill gap with ludicrous superhuman athleticism as well as efficiency.

    39. DRed

      Juany8:
      On Durant vs. Melo, it really depends on what kind of team you have. There is no way Durant would be able to put up those numbers on this team, Melo has become the second or third best half court offensive player in the league (after Chris Paul and Lebron), and the Knicks don’t run at all. On a fast young team where you have a guy like Westbrook to actually attack the defense? Durant is the superior option. I really like Durant, but he relies mostly on being set up or just popping jumpers all over the place. It works obviously, but Melo is far more versatile, especially on the ball. That makes a huge difference later on in the playoffs when defenses game plan very specifically to stop a particular team. You don’t see Poppovich giving up and doubling Durant instantly like he does with Melo.

      Melo’s been great this year, but Durant has just been better at everything but offensive rebounds, and he’s been better for years. Durant is a physical freak. There haven’t been any 6’10″, athetic wings who can score like Durant. Serioulsy, I like Melo, but it’s not close this year. Durant’s been ridiculous.

    40. Robtachi

      Robtachi:
      Durant is probably the better overall player, but there’s question that Melo is a more talented and versatile offensive weapon.Honestly, all efficiency and athleticism caveats aside, Anthony is probably more gifted on offense than Lebron.The only other guy on the planet with his array of skills is Mr. Bean Bryant, and he’s not as efficient as Melo.Of course, Lebron makes up quite a bit of that skill gap with ludicrous superhuman athleticism as well as efficiency.

      Sorry, to continue the thought since I can’t edit… Melo will post up, change his layup mid-air, dunk when he feels like it, hit a 3 from way downtown, knock down a turnaround jumper – just so many ways to score from every part of the half court. I feel like most of what I see Lebron do now is blow past people and dunk ferociously or knock down a stationary jumper. If he has the offensive toolbox Carmelo has, I’m not sure I’ve seen it used to its full extent. But again, the fact that he practically breaks the sound barrier torpedoing through the entire defense on his way to a thunderous and demoralizing slamma jamma makes up for a whole lot of the difference.

    41. yellowboy90

      I think NY could be a fast break team but our rebounders rarely look up. Also, unless Melo is at the high wing or at the top of the key he stays back to try and bring the ball up. I think its just a habit that needs to be stressed to him.

    42. ruruland

      You know, Melo was among the tops in dunks a few years early in his career.

      Now he likes to hang back, trail the break and get those open 3s.

      Look, Durant and Lebron are among two of the most incredible physical specimens in any sport, ever.

      Michael in his prime was capable of a lot, but not some of the stuff these guys do.

      It’s not just Durants wingspan, it’s his change of direction — torque-that is just otherworldly.

      I’d say the four most blessed players of all time that ive watched a lot of video of would be Wilt, Shaq, Lebron, Durant.Pippen isn’t that far off (Durant without quite as much explosion but quicker laterally) , Dr. J., David Thompson, Elgin Baylor, Jordan. A lot of guys on that next tier. But I think the top tier belongs to freakish size/strength/length in combination with freakish quick twitch.

      Melo is not in either of those two top tiers athetically, but his great skill-set in combination with his strength, first step and short range quickness makes him one of the all-time indefensible players.

      Melo’s Synergy numbers are absolutely sick this year. Top 10-15 in most major categories.

      But the thing is, Durant is having one of the greatest statistical seasons of all time and Lebron might be the greatest statistical player since Oscar and or Wilt.

      Shouldn’t change how we view Melo’s season. For a number of reasons, Melo has turned a corner purely from a statistical perspective, and sorry Owen, it’s not going to dramatically change anytime soon.

    43. jon abbey

      ruruland:
      Is there another coach in the league who could turn a triple into a double like MDA? Howard, Gasol, Artest, and to a lesser extent Bryant, is a bad defensive team?

      They were 13th in defensive efficiency last year with an out-of-shape Artest.

      They’re 19th and falling fast now. Maybe when Dwight talks about not practicing on defense it means something. Or maybe he’s full of shit like Amar’e.

      a lot of this seems to be that Howard clearly isn’t anywhere near himself physically, he looks like just another guy out there most of the time even though he sometimes puts up Howard-esque numbers still.

    44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Strangely, the Clippers’ surge also coincides with getting one of the Lakers’ best players during the offseason…

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