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Friday, October 24, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, Mar 23 2012)

  • [New York Post] Amar’e returns to form during Knicks’ streak (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 04:59:40 -0500)
    TORONTO â?? After two of his rim-rattling dunks in Philadelphia Wednesday night, Amar’e Stoudemire looked up at the crowd filled with Knicks fans, howled, and flexed his muscles.
    Mike D’Antoni is gone, but Stoudemire, his chief supporter, is back. And Stoudemire vowed he will stay this good.
    “I felt…

  • [New York Post] Game to be broadcast Lin Mandarin (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 04:21:30 -0500)
    TORONTO â?? Tonight’s Knicks game in Canada will be broadcast in three languages â?? English, French, and, for the first time in Raptors history, Mandarin.Yes, Linsanity II is alive North of the Border as are Mike Woodson’s Knicks, who take their five-game winning streak into Air Canada Centre. It…

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] The Knicks Report (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 06:00:59 EDT)

    During the week, ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley, Jared Zwerling and Christopher Hunt will break down several hot topics in “The Knicks Report.”
    In Friday’s segment, Hunt and Zwerling discuss the Knicks’ five-game winning streak and what the team can do to improve.
    What are your thoughts? Leave us your comments below.

  • [New York Times] Keeping Score: Knicks Slow Down and Take Off (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 05:23:28 GMT)
    While a five-game sample is too small to draw any meaningful conclusions, some changes that have occurred under the Knicks’ interim coach, Mike Woodson, bear watching.

  • [New York Times] Celtics End Bucks’ 6-Game Winning Streak (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 04:38:08 GMT)
    Paul Pierce scored 25 points to help the Boston Celtics snap the Milwaukee Bucks’ six-game winning streak, 100-91.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Defensive Switch Helps Halt Bucks’ Run (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 06:25:08 GMT)
    Boston halted the Milwaukee Bucks’ six-game winning streak on Thursday after a defensive change in the third quarter helped them to a 100-91 road win that tightened their grip on an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

  • [New York Times] Jazz Edge Kings 103-102 on Jefferson’s Putback (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 06:04:10 GMT)
    Al Jefferson’s putback with 0.9 seconds remaining lifted the Utah Jazz to a 103-102 win over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Batum Leads Blazers to 97-93 Win Over Grizzlies (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 06:10:14 GMT)
    This season is not a lost cause to the Portland Trail Blazers.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Beat Clippers 97-90 in Paul’s Return to NO (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 04:19:15 GMT)
    Chris Kaman scored 20 points and the Hornets rallied for a 97-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, spoiling Chris Paul’s return to New Orleans.

  • [New York Times] Dragic, Parsons Lead Rockets’ Rout of Warriors (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 02:37:16 GMT)
    Rookie Chandler Parsons had 20 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, leading the Houston Rockets to a 109-83 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Pacers Rally From 22 Down to Beat Wizards, 85-83 (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 02:07:22 GMT)
    David West grabbed three offensive rebounds in the final 70 seconds, Darren Collison made a key steal of an inbounds pass, and Paul George’s 3-pointer with 1:01 to play gave the Indiana Pacers their first lead of the game, completing a 22-point comeback Thursday night for an 85-83 win over the Washington Wizards.

  • [New York Times] Allen Iverson Won’t Join Dominican Republic Team (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 01:55:13 GMT)
    The manager for Allen Iverson says the former NBA star will not play for a team in the Dominican Republic.

  • [New York Daily News] Melo isn’t missing points (Fri, 23 Mar 2012 02:11:09 GMT)
    The NBA isn’t an equal-opportunity league when it comes to shots and minutes. Mike Woodson knows he has to treat each player differently.

  • 106 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, Mar 23 2012)

    1. Mulligan

      Interesting numbers from Jason Kubatko’s piece in the times:

      “When D’Antoni resigned on March 14, the Knicks had the second-fastest pace factor in the N.B.A., at 94.2. Under Woodson, the Knicks have slowed things down considerably. They have a pace factor of 90.8, the league’s 12th slowest”

      “The Knicks have been far more efficient under Woodson, to the tune of 115.8 points per 100 possessions, the league’s fourth-best rate since D’Antoni’s resignation.”

      “Contrary to popular belief, the D’Antoni-led Knicks were not a bad defensive team this season, giving up 101.7 points per 100 possessions, the 10-stingiest mark.

      Since Woodson’s ascension, the Knicks have been the N.B.A.’s top defensive team, giving up 95.3 points per 100 possessions, the best by a margin of 3 points per 100 possessions.”

    2. jon abbey

      I thought this part was more interesting:

      “On D’Antoni’s watch, the Knicks were a below-average offensive team, averaging 101.9 points per 100 possessions, the eighth-worst rate in the N.B.A.

      In fact, in their first three seasons under D’Antoni, the Knicks finished 17th, 17th and 7th in points per 100 possessions. Those figures are rather surprising given the success D’Antoni had with his high-octane offense in Phoenix.

      The Knicks have been far more efficient under Woodson, to the tune of 115.8 points per 100 possessions, the league’s fourth-best rate since D’Antoni’s resignation. “

    3. massive

      jon abbey:
      I thought this part was more interesting:

      “On D’Antoni’s watch, the Knicks were a below-average offensive team, averaging 101.9 points per 100 possessions, the eighth-worst rate in the N.B.A.

      In fact, in their first three seasons under D’Antoni, the Knicks finished 17th, 17th and 7th in points per 100 possessions. Those figures are rather surprising given the success D’Antoni had with his high-octane offense in Phoenix.

      The Knicks have been far more efficient under Woodson, to the tune of 115.8 points per 100 possessions, the league’s fourth-best rate since D’Antoni’s resignation. ”

      Being the 17th best offense twice in a row when the team was so talent stripped (Chris Duhon got how many minutes?) shouldn’t be an indictment on D’Antoni. Same with being 7th with last year’s team; that’s about where they should have been for the year. This year does point to a flaw in D’Antoni, though. This team should have been an elite offense, and they were far from that under him. I refuse to believe that was a case of him having a bad system, since we’re still using his principles. D’Antoni’s problem here was that he couldn’t motivate these guys, or get them to buy into his system.

    4. JLam

      The numbers dont add up. How can one be the 8th worst(that’s 22rd position/30 teams in the NBA) average when the Knicks finish 17th, 17th, and 7th? That would be close to the middle of the pack.

    5. massive

      JLam:
      The numbers dont add up. How can one be the 8th worst(that’s 22rd position/30 teams in the NBA) average when the Knicks finish 17th, 17th, and 7th? That would be close to the middle of the pack.

      I think they meant 22nd in the league this year, not over four years.

    6. Mulligan

      jon abbey:
      I thought this part was more interesting:

      “On D’Antoni’s watch, the Knicks were a below-average offensive team, averaging 101.9 points per 100 possessions, the eighth-worst rate in the N.B.A.

      In fact, in their first three seasons under D’Antoni, the Knicks finished 17th, 17th and 7th in points per 100 possessions. Those figures are rather surprising given the success D’Antoni had with his high-octane offense in Phoenix.

      The Knicks have been far more efficient under Woodson, to the tune of 115.8 points per 100 possessions, the league’s fourth-best rate since D’Antoni’s resignation. ”

      I didn’t find that particularly surprising. Those first two years sucked and our one good year we were pretty good but not great. What’s amazing is that in those first two years we ran an incredible pick n roll with the ball handler that had barely any offensive skills. That’s like competing in the Tour de France with a Schwinn.

    7. Mulligan

      DS:
      * Also, Mavs sign Azubuike to a two year deal!

      http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/220021/Azubuike_Signs_Two_Year_Deal_With_Mavericks

      I will be curious to see what he does because we spent so much time talking about him on KB.To the extent that an articulate player who seems to have his head screwed on straight is more likely to put in the work through rehab and have a successful comeback, I’m hopeful for Kelenna.

      That’s a bummer. I was hoping he could be a more grounded, if less gifted, replacement for JR Smith next year. Any chance that if we make some noise in the playoffs this year that we could convince Ray Allen to sign with us for a year or two for the bigger exception (assuming Lin gets the lower one)? Probably not, right? Any other suitable candidates?

    8. art vandelay

      Al Iannazzone: Jared Jeffries will have an MRI on his knee tomorrow morning. Won’t play tonight or tomorrow, he said. about 27 minutes ago

      ————————–
      I have to assume Jorts will get at least a few minutes tonight and tomorrow, no? We have no other interior defender off the bench, really (Novak doesn´t really count).

    9. SSS

      Mulligan: Any chance that if we make some noise in the playoffs this year that we could convince Ray Allen to sign with us for a year or two for the bigger exception (assuming Lin gets the lower one)

      I’m pretty sure Lin is getting the bigger exception, no?

    10. DS

      @10 – Unfortunately I see Ray Allen receiving a more enticing offer, be it more money and/or a better chance at a title than the Knicks will be able to offer. But if this group starts playing like a top 10 team anytime soon I suppose it’s possible!

      If not a FA, I wonder if we can nab a useful 2nd rounder for the 3rd year in a row.

    11. Z-man

      Mulligan: “Contrary to popular belief, the D’Antoni-led Knicks were not a bad defensive team this season, giving up 101.7 points per 100 possessions, the 10-stingiest mark.
      Since Woodson’s ascension, the Knicks have been the N.B.A.’s top defensive team, giving up 95.3 points per 100 possessions, the best by a margin of 3 points per 100 possessions.”

      By implication, D’Antoni had a team capable of being a top-5 defense and was only at #10, which is especially damning considering ease of schedule. D’antoni is not a good defensive coach, he’s just not. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t coach defense, or that his teams have played bad defense relative to other teams. It means that it is not a central pillar of his philosophy; I doubt that any players ever felt that their minutes were in jeopardy if they didn’t bring maximum defensive effort every quarter of every game. Amare is a prime example, since he’s been coached mostly by D’Antoni, will he become a better overall defender under Woosdon, who demands it? I hope so. Not asking him to become DPOY or anything, just to give consistent effort from quarter to quarter and game to game. The team is showing what it is capable of during this stretch when it is committed to defense first: we can defend with any team in the league, no matter what style of offense we are confronted with. Would we ever have felt that way under D’Antoni? I seriously doubt it.

    12. Frank

      I’m really hoping that J-Lin sees the big picture (ie. being a winner is more important to his brand/image than a few extra million) and takes the biannual exception next year (~$2M), leaving us the MLE to use as needed. If Forbes can be believed, he is already going to be a $10M+/year endorsement guy, so between endorsements and whatever insurance he wants to get against injury and loss of skill, he should be fine for a long time financially (not to mention he has a Harvard degree even if basketball doesn’t work out for whatever reason). If he takes the $2M deal, then we will have early bird rights on him the following season and can sign him irregardless of caps and exceptions.

      I think JR will probably leave for greener pastures (would be great if he opts into the 2.5M player option he has with us for next year but probably unrealistic) but having the MLE to resign Jeffries and Novak would be great (or whoever else the FO thinks is better).

    13. SSS

      Unless Lin gets a large chunk of upfront money from endorsement deals, I really hope for his sake he takes the most money he can. This could easily be his last contract, be it from injury, ineffectiveness, etc. So its hard to ask him to take 40% of his market value – actually, probably less than his market value, since I bet he’d get more than the MLE if he was an unrestricted FA.

      Would be great for the team though.

    14. art vandelay

      JJ thinks he will be back early next week and said he doesn´t believe it is anything serious, but he will have the knee MRI´d tomorrow morning anyway.

    15. art vandelay

      Frank: I’m really hoping that J-Lin sees the big picture (ie. being a winner is more important to his brand/image than a few extra million) and takes the biannual exception next year (~$2M), leaving us the MLE to use as needed. If Forbes can be believed, he is already going to be a $10M+/year endorsement guy, so between endorsements and whatever insurance he wants to get against injury and loss of skill, he should be fine for a long time financially (not to mention he has a Harvard degree even if basketball doesn’t work out for whatever reason). If he takes the $2M deal, then we will have early bird rights on him the following season and can sign him irregardless of caps and exceptions.I think JR will probably leave for greener pastures, but having the MLE to resign Jeffries and Novak would be great (or whoever else the FO thinks is better).

      After everything this dude has gone through to get to this point on his long, circuitous journey to the NBA, I highly doubt he leaves money on the table now that he has finally made it!

    16. Frank

      Usain Bolt signed a 5 year $115M deal in China with some sports apparel company. Obviously Lin is not in Bolt’s class in terms of dominance, but most reports have noted that he is likely to be in the $10M+ range per year assuming no surprises.

      The Knicks could presumably structure a deal that gives him some insurance – ie. 2 year deal with the max raise and player option on the 2nd year – that way he would have $4.16M guaranteed even in the worst of circumstances (career ending injury, total suckage, etc.). To be honest, I obviously don’t know the guy at all, but he doesn’t seem like a cash-grabber to me. He doesn’t come from poverty, doesn’t have a bunch of hangers-on that will sap his finances, and presumably would have plenty of post-basketball opportunities should he want them. If he has the long view on this, enabling the Knicks to field a stronger team around him by taking the biannual has a much more favorable financial ceiling than if he takes the whole MLE himself.

    17. flossy

      Unless he seriously wets the bed over the rest of the season, Jeremy Lin would literally have to be a saint to take anything less than the full MLE next year–which would still be below market value for a start PG, much less one who also brings in approximately a bazillion dollars of additional revenue to the team by virtue of a massive worldwide fanbase. So, yeah.

    18. Bruno Almeida

      Frank:
      I’m really hoping that J-Lin sees the big picture (ie. being a winner is more important to his brand/image than a few extra million) and takes the biannual exception next year (~$2M), leaving us the MLE to use as needed.If Forbes can be believed, he is already going to be a $10M+/year endorsement guy, so between endorsements and whatever insurance he wants to get against injury and loss of skill, he should be fine for a long time financially (not to mention he has a Harvard degree even if basketball doesn’t work out for whatever reason).If he takes the $2M deal, then we will have early bird rights on him the following season and can sign him irregardless of caps and exceptions.

      I think JR will probably leave for greener pastures, but having the MLE to resign Jeffries and Novak would be great (or whoever else the FO thinks is better).

      yeah, I hope too, but I doubt it… these players all have agents, and those guys will push for bigger contracts no matter what, they get a big share of the player’s money…

    19. flossy

      Frank:
      Usain Bolt signed a 5 year $115M deal in China with some sports apparel company. Obviously Lin is not in Bolt’s class in terms of dominance, but most reports have noted that he is likely to be in the $10M+ range per year assuming no surprises.

      The Knicks could presumably structure a deal that gives him some insurance – ie. 2 year deal with the max raise and player option on the 2nd year – that way he would have $4.16M guaranteed even in the worst of circumstances (career ending injury, total suckage, etc.).To be honest, I obviously don’t know the guy at all, but he doesn’t seem like a cash-grabber to me.He doesn’t come from poverty, doesn’t have a bunch of hangers-on that will sap his finances, and presumably would have plenty of post-basketball opportunities should he want them. If he has the long view on this, enabling the Knicks to field a stronger team around him by taking the biannual has a much more favorable financial ceiling than if he takes the whole MLE himself.

      There’s also an element of pride at play, though. If you shocked the world, came out of nowhere, played waaaay above expectations on a winning (we hope, from now on) team, would you really be cool with making less than Chris Duhon?

    20. ruruland

      Wel, we better starting worrying about that now because god knows there’s nothing else to talk about.

    21. JLam

      Is Lin obligated to sign with the Knicks if Dolan matches any offers be it 5 million or less?

    22. SSS

      ruruland: Wel, we better starting worrying about that now because god knows there’s nothing else to talk about.

      After 1000 posts on here in the last 4 days, I think there’s enough bandwidth for topics like this too.

    23. MSA

      art vandelay: After everything this dude has gone through to get to this point on his long, circuitous journey to the NBA, I highly doubt he leaves money on the table now that he has finally made it!

      Or after this long, circuitous journey to the NBA he maybe would like to settle down with a team.

      But expect him to leave the MLE for another player will be a pretty stupid move for him…

    24. Juany8

      No third year player is going to take less than what he can get as a third year player, he’s already going to be paid below market value, why in the world would Lin be willing to give up more than that? He seems like a nice kid, but no one leaves millions of dollars on the table unless he has already made his millions (Baron I could see coming back for cheap more so than Lin for instance). He’s barely had a guaranteed contract so far in the league, just ask yourself if you would have left a few million on the table for a sports team you’ve been a part of for 4 months?

    25. Brian Cronin

      That’s like competing in the Tour de France with a Schwinn.

      I think it’s like hiring a tap dancer to perform for you, but only giving him sneakers. And then complaining when it doesn’t work that he shouldn’t be so tied to the “tap dance” thing. He should be able to adapt to other styles of dance.

    26. Brian Cronin

      No third year player is going to take less than what he can get as a third year player, he’s already going to be paid below market value, why in the world would Lin be willing to give up more than that? He seems like a nice kid, but no one leaves millions of dollars on the table unless he has already made his millions (Baron I could see coming back for cheap more so than Lin for instance). He’s barely had a guaranteed contract so far in the league, just ask yourself if you would have left a few million on the table for a sports team you’ve been a part of for 4 months?

      Agreed. No way does Lin take anything less than he can get. What’s interesting is what will he get? Will any team try to come up with a crazy backloaded contract? What is the most that a team would theroetically offer Lin as a yearly average? $8 million? $10 million? More?

    27. New Guy

      Z-man: By implication, D’Antoni had a team capable of being a top-5 defense and was only at #10, which is especially damning considering ease of schedule.

      This simply isn’t true. It’s 5 games. The Knicks had a better Defensive Efficiency during a 5 game stretch in Linsanity than they do under Woodson now, so D’Antoni absolutely was capable of coaxing this type of defensive output from the team.

      Check out the numbers of the last 5 games vs the 5 game stretch from the Lakers to the Hornets.

      http://hoopdata.com/teamgl.aspx?team=NYK

    28. Brian Cronin

      As for JR Smith, things turn on how much you think he will get on the open market. Can JR Smith beat the MLE on the open market? If so, then he is likely gone. If not, then he is also likely gone, but there is at least a chance, since if he stays, he can get the MLE from the Knicks the following season. So 5 years/$22.5 million versus 5 years/$25 million on the open market. That’s not much of a difference. The only downside would be if he got hurt or was awful next season. That is a fairly significant downside, though.

    29. Juany8

      Brian Cronin: I think it’s like hiring a tap dancer to perform for you, but only giving him sneakers. And then complaining when it doesn’t work that he shouldn’t be so tied to the “tap dance” thing. He should be able to adapt to other styles of dance.

      Well if the dancer doesn’t adapt he gets fired. The front office is always going to be bigger than the coach, it may have been a mistake to hire D’Antoni in the first place if you weren’t going to give him the specific players he wanted, but if D’Antoni doesn’t adapt then the correct solution is to get rid of him, not to give in the to demands of an average coach. D’Antoni was paid to win, not to coach an SSOL offense, if he can’t win without SSOL players then the front office has a responsibility to find a coach who can, instead one who gives up on talented players because he can’t fit them into an offense.

    30. Caleb

      Last year’s Knicks were #1 in offense, post-Melo trade (and #30 in defense). That’s what makes this year’s terrible offense, pretty shocking.

    31. SSS

      Brian Cronin: Agreed. No way does Lin take anything less than he can get. What’s interesting is what will he get? Will any team try to come up with a crazy backloaded contract? What is the most that a team would theroetically offer Lin as a yearly average? $8 million? $10 million? More?

      And is there a number where the Knicks say no? I think probably not.

    32. Juany8

      Brian Cronin: Agreed. No way does Lin take anything less than he can get. What’s interesting is what will he get? Will any team try to come up with a crazy backloaded contract? What is the most that a team would theroetically offer Lin as a yearly average? $8 million? $10 million? More?

      The Knicks would probably match anything, no matter what they’re going to be capped out after this year so flexibility isn’t an issue and at the very least Dolan has never been cheap with his money.

    33. thenamestsam

      Can’t see how anyone could expect Lin to leave money on the table at this point. With the money he’s making now and the life-style that NBA players live he’s likely not saving any money at all. It’s easy to say that in the long run it’s the smart move, but there isn’t necessarily a long run for him. If his career is over next year (always possible) that endorsement money will go away real quick, and he could be left with almost nothing. Sure he has a Harvard degree, but even with a high-paying job it could take him most of a lifetime to save the $2 Million he’d be leaving on the table next year. If I was his friend or family member I’d smack him if he tried to take a discount next year. If guys like Melo, Chandler etc. aren’t leaving money on the table when they’ve already made 10s of millions in their careers, why should he? Let someone else sacrifice for the team.

    34. Caleb

      Brian Cronin: Agreed. No way does Lin take anything less than he can get. What’s interesting is what will he get? Will any team try to come up with a crazy backloaded contract? What is the most that a team would theroetically offer Lin as a yearly average? $8 million? $10 million? More?

      Larry Coon went into this a little while ago.. basically no, Gilbert Arenas rule is still around and teams cannot offer him more than the mid-level. The rule works!

      You can’t really backload contracts because yearly raises are limited to 10 percent (I think… might be 12.5 percent)

    35. Caleb

      The reason the Arenas rule matters is because the knicks do NOT have Lin’s Bird rights… they can’t go over the cap to sign him as their own player, because he’s been here less than a year.

      They have to sign him with an exception, and the mid-level is the biggest.

      The good news – other teams are limited to what they can offer (to a number that’s less than the mid-level) – so the Knicks will be able to match.

      The bad – they will almost definitely have to use the mid-level, so they can’t use it for J.R. Smith or someone else… they’ll have less to offer other FAs.

    36. ephus

      Frank: Frank says:

      March 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      I’m really hoping that J-Lin sees the big picture (ie. being a winner is more important to his brand/image than a few extra million) and takes the biannual exception next year (~$2M), leaving us the MLE to use as needed.

      I think that you have the economics backwards here. If Lin stays with the Knicks, then the experience of Yao’s teammates in Houston shows that there is economic value in taking a below-market deal to be his teammate. If the Lin-led Knicks become regulars on PRC television (not guaranteed but likely), then other Knicks will have lucrative endorsement opportunities in China. If Lin really wanted to keep the gang together, he could let JR Smith and/or Steve Novak know that he expects to do joint endorsements with his teammates.

    37. Frank O.

      For one thing, it guarantees a Knicks starter in the All Star game for the rest of Lin’s career if China and Taiwan get behind him as one expects.
      Lin is good for NYC. They know it and he knows it. Chinatown will be rocking during the playoffs!

    38. Brian Cronin

      Larry Coon went into this a little while ago.. basically no, Gilbert Arenas rule is still around and teams cannot offer him more than the mid-level. The rule works!

      You can’t really backload contracts because yearly raises are limited to 10 percent (I think… might be 12.5 percent)

      The Arenas Rule specifically allows for backloaded contracts. I did a primer on Lin’s situation here that covers it in detail. Suffice it to say, any team that has the cap room can make him an offer that averages out to whatever they have space for (up to the Maximum for a third-year player, of course).

    39. SSS

      Here’s a question though – if the Knicks offered Lin the choice between (a) the full MLE and (b) smaller contract but with an opt-out after 1 year (if that’s allowed?), how much smaller can that contract be for Lin to still consider it. Theoretically this could lead to a greater overall payout for Lin, since I assume we’d have Bird rights on him next year? Though with the obvious downside of a decrease in value between this year and next (mitigated somewhat by his right to not opt-out).

    40. art vandelay

      Juany8: The Knicks would probably match anything, no matter what they’re going to be capped out after this year so flexibility isn’t an issue and at the very least Dolan has never been cheap with his money.

      Yes, and other teams likely know this so conventional wisdom I think dictates they would fail to place a bid. However, if they are just about sure Knicks would match then I also think some eastern conference team with cap space in need of a point guard (maybe Indiana?) would offer him something back-loaded and outrageous just to jack up his price tag and put is into the luxury tax in a year or two. No way Dolan loses his cash cow…I think Dolan would trade Melo (albeit a low chance) before he would not re-sign Lin at this point…they are already placing Lin-inspired Coca-Cola ads in MSG (in the arena) in chinese!!!

    41. Brian Cronin

      Here’s a question though – if the Knicks offered Lin the choice between (a) the full MLE and (b) smaller contract but with an opt-out after 1 year (if that’s allowed?), how much smaller can that contract be for Lin to still consider it. Theoretically this could lead to a greater overall payout for Lin, since I assume we’d have Bird rights on him next year? Though with the obvious downside of a decrease in value between this year and next (mitigated somewhat by his right to not opt-out).

      The problem is that because of the Knicks not having his Bird Rights, they would not have his Bird Rights next season, either. They would just have his Early Bird rights. So they would only be able to offer him the MLE. And since that’s exactly what he can get this year, why would he wait?

    42. New Guy

      @43 I’m pretty sure anyone signed on a one-year deal has no bird rights, so that scenario wouldn’t work.

    43. SSS

      Brian Cronin: The problem is that because of the Knicks not having his Bird Rights, they would not have his Bird Rights next season, either. They would just have his Early Bird rights. So they would only be able to offer him the MLE. And since that’s exactly what he can get this year, why would he wait?

      Makes sense – I didn’t realize that his Bird Rights wouldn’t kick in next season. I probably would have if I took the time to dig up your primer on this though.

    44. Brian Cronin

      The Knicks would probably match anything, no matter what they’re going to be capped out after this year so flexibility isn’t an issue and at the very least Dolan has never been cheap with his money.

      So do you think no one will bother making him a big offer then, knowing the Knicks will match? Or will they force the Knicks’ hand?

    45. ephus

      There is one fly in the Arenas rule ointment. If the Knicks resign Lin only to a one year extension, they will not have the Arenas Rule to protect them the following year, and they will only have Early Bird rights (not full Bird rights) to Lin. If the Knicks are over the cap — which is virtually a given — they would not be able to do anything more than 175% of current salary or the MLE, but competing teams could go over the MLE.

      If I have gotten this correct (and I am not certain), then the Knicks want to make a qualifying offer that covers at least two years. If they want to buy him out unrestricted free agent years, they could go four years, with the first two years at the MLE and the last two at a higher figure.

    46. Brian Cronin

      Ha! I was just double-checking that before I posted that, as well, ephus. You are correct, the Arenas Rule is only available to players in their first two seasons, making it doubly unlikely that the Knicks would sign Lin to a one-year deal.

      The most likely scenario is he gets a two-year deal for the MLE at which point he can then re-sign with the Knicks for as much as they’d like to pay him, as they’d then have his full Bird Rights.

    47. JLam

      MSG is making money on the chinese advertising and subscription as there million of viewers in China watching his NBA games. Knicks are not going to let him go as long as he’s playing well. He a valuable marketing tool. There another Chinese player who plays for the Mavs that doesn’t get this much attention. So he only as valuable as his performance

    48. New Guy

      That smaller exception, the $2 million one, that should be enough to sign Novak, though, I would hope. And I imagine we could re-sign Jefferies to the $1.3mm minimum again. So we’re basically looking at losing Davis and Smith from this team, while unlikely adding anyone else unless we buy a draft pick.

      Actually, can we buy a draft pick? We used our $3mm in the Turiaf trade, I believe. Is the draft part of this season or next?

    49. Mulligan

      Brian Cronin: I think it’s like hiring a tap dancer to perform for you, but only giving him sneakers. And then complaining when it doesn’t work that he shouldn’t be so tied to the “tap dance” thing. He should be able to adapt to other styles of dance.

      You hire the tap dancer with an incentive of moving into a really nice venue, some nice tap shoes and an excellent band, but first he’ll have to perform using a boombox and some old tennis shoes. But the routine should be exactly the same.
      The band isn’t quite as good as promised and neither are the shoes, but it’s close enough to the old act that everyone is pretty into it.

      Then you fire half of the band, because you have the opportunity to hire a really excellent saxophone player who loves to solo and really thrives in more of a modern dance/jazz milieu. Plus you have to give up your tap shoes and do the dance barefoot. You try to make it work, but it’s just a mess and people are getting impatient.

      Then the saxophone player gets a sore throat and you stumble upon some old tap shoes and voila, the act is better than ever! The the saxophone player comes back, sets fire to your tap shoes (while saying he really loves them) and starts playing slightly off key until you can’t take it anymore and you quit.

      Something like that?

    50. Z-man

      New Guy: This simply isn’t true. It’s 5 games. The Knicks had a better Defensive Efficiency during a 5 game stretch in Linsanity than they do under Woodson now, so D’Antoni absolutely was capable of coaxing this type of defensive output from the team. Check out the numbers of the last 5 games vs the 5 game stretch from the Lakers to the Hornets.http://hoopdata.com/teamgl.aspx?team=NYK

      I would discount the Linsanity stretch for anything meaningful because it was not sustainable. It was an adrenaline rush-fueled scrubfest that caught lots of teams with their pants down. Other than their jobs, guys were playing for their jobs with nothing to lose.

      There is also a difference between winning games because of individual defensive efforts at critical times and an overall defensive philosophy. Compare our last 2 games vs. Toronto. The Linsanity game required Shump to come in and stormtroop Calderon, who had absolutely killed us for most of the game. In the last game, the defensive pressure was consistent, there was no rigid switching philosophy, and the “stars” who are not noted for their defensive prowess/intensity did their share.

      Look, if you want to believe that D’Antoni was a great, or even good defensive coach, I’m sure you can make a statistical argument for it. However, the team is doing stuff now that I never saw earlier this year, or any game last year except the first 46 minutes of the playoff game vs. the Celts.

    51. formido

      jon abbey: I thought this part was more interesting:

      “On D’Antoni’s watch, the Knicks were a below-average offensive team, averaging 101.9 points per 100 possessions, the eighth-worst rate in the N.B.A.

      In fact, in their first three seasons under D’Antoni, the Knicks finished 17th, 17th and 7th in points per 100 possessions. Those figures are rather surprising given the success D’Antoni had with his high-octane offense in Phoenix.

      The Knicks have been far more efficient under Woodson, to the tune of 115.8 points per 100 possessions, the league’s fourth-best rate since D’Antoni’s resignation. ”

      According to an article on ESPN just before D’Antoni resigned, the Knicks were 8th in the NBA in offensive efficiency when Lin was on the court. Folks always want to assign blame/credit to one actor in complex systems, when the fact is results are dynamically related to the actors involved.

      Try jumping with just your calves, knees stiff. Can’t get more than a couple inches, can you? Try jumping with just your legs, off your heels, ankles stiff, no calf involvement. A little higher but not high. Now do a full normal jump. Higher than your previous two jumps combined, right?

      Or, who was more responsible for Apple’s early success, Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak? This is an interminable debate in some circles. The fact is, the question makes no sense. Neither could have been remotely what they were without the other.

    52. Mulligan

      formido: Folks always want to assign blame/credit to one actor in complex systems, when the fact is results are dynamically related to the actors involved.

      Word.

    53. New Guy

      Z-man: I would discount the Linsanity stretch for anything meaningful because it was not sustainable.

      This may not be sustainable, either. It’s five games. You can be capable of something for 5 games that you’re not capable of for 82, so it’s a bit premature to say Woodson has proved this a top-5 defense and D’Antoni should be criticized for only having it 10th.

      Besides, Woodson’s been in charge of the defense all year.

    54. Brian Cronin

      That smaller exception, the $2 million one, that should be enough to sign Novak, though, I would hope. And I imagine we could re-sign Jefferies to the $1.3mm minimum again. So we’re basically looking at losing Davis and Smith from this team, while unlikely adding anyone else unless we buy a draft pick.

      Actually, can we buy a draft pick? We used our $3mm in the Turiaf trade, I believe. Is the draft part of this season or next?

      I’d have to imagine that the draft would be a separate season than this one, so I think that yes, they’d be able to buy a pick. I wondered in the past and now we will see – how much will picks go for in this new NBA economy with the new monetary limits each team has?

    55. Ben R

      Z-man: I would discount the Linsanity stretch for anything meaningful because it was not sustainable.

      Maybe it was unsustainable, we changed gears before it stopped. Maybe the effort now is unsustainable. Right now it is very similar to the Linsanity stretch because we have a case of everyone buying in and working really hard. I hope they keep buying in and working hard. I don’t see this stretch as anymore sustainable or unsustainable as the Linsanity stretch.

    56. iserp

      New Guy: That smaller exception, the $2 million one, that should be enough to sign Novak, though, I would hope. And I imagine we could re-sign Jefferies to the $1.3mm minimum again. So we’re basically looking at losing Davis and Smith from this team, while unlikely adding anyone else unless we buy a draft pick.
      Actually, can we buy a draft pick? We used our $3mm in the Turiaf trade, I believe. Is the draft part of this season or next?

      JR may opt in if featured in the team. The extension we could give him next year would be very similar to the MLE, so he would only be losing $2 million. When can we offer him the extension? maybe we can offer him that early in the season, so the risk of injury is less (for him).

      On the other hand, Davis might bolt anyway. He is not the starting point guard he expected to be, maybe he can find a place somewhere else.

    57. Z-man

      Also, look at the Indiana back-to-back. We out-adjusted them in the second game when they surely had revenge on their mind. Look how we outhustled the Sixers defensively, a team that has built its entire season on defensive intensity. Woodson has preached a commitment to defense from day 1. Woodson has called out everyone for defensive lapses, during games and in film sessions, stars and scrubs alike. If D’Antoni did, you certainly wouldn’t know it.

      Players like Chandler, Jeffries and Shump don’t need to be motivated defensively. Lin and Fields are playing for his NBA life. Its the ability to get the most out of all players, no matter what the circumstances, that makes all the difference with defensive coaching. It’s also having a game plan that is best suited to the players.

    58. ephus

      I do not see a real impetus for the Knicks to purchase a 2012 draft pick. Even if Baron Davis and JR Smith leave (and there is reason to hope tht Smith will stick around), the team still has nine players who currently merit non-garbage time minutes: 1) Lin, 2) Fields, 3) Shumpert, 4) Melo, 5) Amar’e, 6) Chandler, 7) Novak, 8) Jeffries and 9) Jorts. The only glaring weakness is bench strength at guard, and there is some hope that _____ can regain his good name during the off season.

    59. Juany8

      Ben R: Maybe it was unsustainable, we changed gears before it stopped. Maybe the effort now is unsustainable. Right now it is very similar to the Linsanity stretch because we have a case of everyone buying in and working really hard. I hope they keep buying in and working hard. I don’t see this stretch as anymore sustainable or unsustainable as the Linsanity stretch.

      Your really think a team starting Jared Jeffries and Bill Walker could sustain a good pace? This winning streak is vastly more impressive than the Linsanity stretch, even the statistics show it, John Hollinger still had the Knicks ranked liked crap after that 7 game winning streak because they were scraping by terrible teams, other than the Mavericks and Lakers. Even after that 6 game losing streak, the Knicks are now in the top 10 in Hollinger’s rankings because they’ve been blowing out teams (Winning on a game winner against Toronto isn’t as good as beating them by 20) 3 of which are ranked higher than us in playoff standings.

    60. New Guy

      Z-man:
      Also, look at the Indiana back-to-back.We out-adjusted them in the second game when they surely had revenge on their mind. Look how we outhustled the Sixers defensively, a team that has built its entire season on defensive intensity. Woodson has preached a commitment to defense from day 1.Woodson has called out everyone for defensive lapses, during games and in film sessions, stars and scrubs alike. If D’Antoni did, you certainly wouldn’t know it.

      Players like Chandler, Jeffries and Shump don’t need to be motivated defensively.Lin and Fields are playing for his NBA life. Its the ability to get the most out of all players, no matter what the circumstances, that makes all the difference with defensive coaching. It’s also having a game plan that is best suited to the players.

      Agree with all this.

      Just don’t agree we’re already nailed on as a top 5 defense b/c after 5 games. Long way to go.

    61. Frank

      I sort of worry that we will not be able to resign Novak and Jefferies. If Novak finishes this year shooting north of 45% on 3, playing sort of OK defense, and with a TS around 70, that will be 2 consecutive years that he will have done that. I think he’ll get something near to the full MLE if not the full MLE. Alternatively, a luxury tax team could offer him the mini-MLE and still outbid us.

      Jeffries might come back, but his loyalty might have been to MDA and not to the NYK. And given how well he has played, he probably has outperformed a minimum deal also.

      We might have to hope that one of them wants to be part of this enough that they take a relatively under-market biannual exception deal.

    62. Brian Cronin

      My thing is that while yes, this winning streak is definitely more impressive, it is also more impressive for Lin, since his great games are coming with STAT and Melo both here, as well, so it is not like one of those “Well, I’m the only guy who can do anything, so I’m going to shoot it a gazillion times.”

      So while Linsanity was a total blast, this is all around better, Lin included (well, except for the circumstances in which it launched).

      That said, sure, five games is still just five games. As always, we have to see more (but that’s always going to be the case).

    63. villainx

      The only saving grace with Lin’s contract situation for next season is that Lin isn’t that good. He’s extremely competent, and has a lot of off the court potential, but purely on basketball terms, would his contract really be that outrageous?

    64. villainx

      I didn’t meant to say anything negative about Lin, I love competent players, especially when it comes with strong basketball IQ.

    65. jon abbey

      New Guy:

      Besides, Woodson’s been in charge of the defense all year.

      in name only, it seems like, as that idiotic switch-everything system seems to have disappeared along with D’Antoni.

    66. Brian Cronin

      I sort of worry that we will not be able to resign Novak and Jefferies. If Novak finishes this year shooting north of 45% on 3, playing sort of OK defense, and with a TS around 70, that will be 2 consecutive years that he will have done that. I think he’ll get something near to the full MLE if not the full MLE. Alternatively, a luxury tax team could offer him the mini-MLE and still outbid us.

      Jeffries might come back, but his loyalty might have been to MDA and not to the NYK. And given how well he has played, he probably has outperformed a minimum deal also.

      We might have to hope that one of them wants to be part of this enough that they take a relatively under-market biannual exception deal.

      I think this upcoming offseason will be very interesting. We’ll really get a chance to see how the new CBA will affect how the fringe players do on the open market. In the old days, sure, Novak would get his money. Now? I really dunno if he can beat $2 million on the open market.

    67. Z-man

      Ben R: Maybe it was unsustainable, we changed gears before it stopped. Maybe the effort now is unsustainable. Right now it is very similar to the Linsanity stretch because we have a case of everyone buying in and working really hard. I hope they keep buying in and working hard. I don’t see this stretch as anymore sustainable or unsustainable as the Linsanity stretch.

      The stronger part of your argument is whether what we are doing now is sustainable; 5 games doesn’t prove anything. As to whether Linsanity was sustainable, come on Ben, are you kidding? You think that team beats the Lakers, Spurs and Mavs again when they had a chance to adjust? Not to mention we caught a lucky break with the Lakers, who had a rough game the night before. Nobody even knew who Novak or Lin were, let alone how to game plan for them.

      In addition, two of the wins vs. weak teams (Minn and Toronto) were pulled out of their rear ends, games that were pretty much handed to us. Do you really think that Lin’s scoring and assist numbers during that stretch were sustainable? And that when they went down, the supporting cast during those games were capable of filling the void?

      On the other hand, what have we done during this 5-game stretch that is unsustainable? Nobody is averaging 28 points and 12 assists. Nobody is putting up outrageous TS%, assists, rebounding, steals or blocked shot numbers relative to their career averages or expectations. Nobody on the team is a surprise anymore, and yet teams haven’t figured us out. Opposing coaches are raving about our defensive intensity. We beat two very good EC teams on the road, both on the tail end of a back to back. Even better, there is still room for improvement!

      Now if we lose to Toronto tonight, I’ll have lots of crow to eat!

    68. Brian Cronin

      in name only, it seems like, as that idiotic switch-everything system seems to have disappeared along with D’Antoni.

      His Atlanta teams switched like crazy, too. What makes more sense? That D’Antoni suddenly developed a new switching defensive scheme out of nowhere on his own or that the new defense coach came up with it (a coach who used switching a lot in his last coaching stint)? The switching had to be Woodson. He just thankfully realized that it was not a good idea. The over-switching was disappearing even before D’Antoni left.

    69. Caleb

      Brian Cronin: I think this upcoming offseason will be very interesting. We’ll really get a chance to see how the new CBA will affect how the fringe players do on the open market. In the old days, sure, Novak would get his money. Now? I really dunno if he can beat $2 million on the open market.

      Shawne Williams looks like a pretty good benchmark for Novak. The fact he fell on his face in Jersey probably helps our negotiating position. Of course in the old days Jason Kapono got what, $30 million? But I think those days are gone. I do predict we’ll have to pony up at least the bi-annual exception, or let him walk.

      Jeffries I predict will be playing for the vet minimum again. Most likely in NY, otherwise LA for D’Antoni.

    70. Caleb

      re: how long we can sustain this, I’d say, pretty long. Before the season I predicted a 48-50 win team (over a full season).. you know, not quite a contender but genuinely good. And that was before we had a real PG. Or J.R. Smith, for what that’s worth. So the talent is there.

      On the other hand, we were pretty bad for most of the year and we’ve only been good for five games, so they still ahve a lot to prove.

      Virtually everything would have to go right in order for this team to put up a 6- or 7-game fight with the Heat or Bulls (no injuries, Lin being solid, Melo playing like old Melo, Amare keeping up his recent play, etc.) But short of that, I think the Knicks probably still are the 3rd best team in the East.

      Funny thing is, in a normal year with a full pre-season, and non-compressed schedule, we’d only be at the halfway point, starting to play well after some adjustments and rough stretches. it would seem pretty normal. But because of the lockout, we’re scrambling in the home stretch, and it’s high drama. Good stuff! A 66- or 72-game season (with more rest) might be a nice, long-term thing.

    71. jon abbey

      Caleb:
      A 66- or 72-game season (with more rest) might be a nice, long-term thing.

      I’ve been saying this for years, too bad the league would never give up that revenue.

    72. d-mar

      Knicks’ PPG allowed from beginning of Linsanity (Nets game on 2/4) to D’Antoni’s last game as coach: 97.8

      Knicks PPG allowed during Woodson’s tenure: 86.6

      I know one sample size is much larger, but that’s a pretty significant difference.

    73. ruruland

      Z-man: The stronger part of your argument is whether what we are doing now is sustainable; 5 games doesn’t prove anything. As to whether Linsanity was sustainable, come on Ben, are you kidding? You think that team beats the Lakers, Spurs and Mavs again when they had a chance to adjust? Not to mention we caught a lucky break with the Lakers, who had a rough game the night before. Nobody even knew who Novak or Lin were, let alone how to game plan for them.In addition, two of the wins vs. weak teams (Minn and Toronto) were pulled out of their rear ends, games that were pretty much handed to us. Do you really think that Lin’s scoring and assist numbers during that stretch were sustainable? And that when they went down, the supporting cast during those games were capable of filling the void?On the other hand, what have we done during this 5-game stretch that is unsustainable? Nobody is averaging 28 points and 12 assists. Nobody is putting up outrageous TS%, assists, rebounding, steals or blocked shot numbers relative to their career averages or expectations. Nobody on the team is a surprise anymore, and yet teams haven’t figured us out. Opposing coaches are raving about our defensive intensity. We beat two very good EC teams on the road, both on the tail end of a back to back. Even better, there is still room for improvement!Now if we lose to Toronto tonight, I’ll have lots of crow to eat!

      Great post. And I learned a lot about the Knicks situation moving forwward in this thread,s o my bad.

    74. ruruland

      Brian Cronin: His Atlanta teams switched like crazy, too. What makes more sense? That D’Antoni suddenly developed a new switching defensive scheme out of nowhere on his own or that the new defense coach came up with it (a coach who used switching a lot in his last coaching stint)? The switching had to be Woodson. He just thankfully realized that it was not a good idea. The over-switching was disappearing even before D’Antoni left.

      That’s a good point. The Knicks pick and roll defense started to change after the Boston game, as some of us mentioned at the time.

      It still was a piece of work in the San Antonio game, but obviously it’s become pretty damn good, perhaps close to elite, of late. We can get into crediting this guy vs that guy later, as more evidence becomes available.

    75. Z-man

      jon abbey: I’ve been saying this for years, too bad the league would never give up that revenue.

      Yeah, but the waiting between games would kill me! I actually like that the games come so rapid fire. Maybe if you kept the 82 games with each team having like 3 long breaks per year (like we did prior to the 6-game bender!) might be fun.

    76. Z-man

      Re: switching, D’Antoni was the head coach and could overrule anything an assistant suggests. So either way, D’Antoni was ultimately responsible. That it was scrapped when Woodson got contol and hasn’t returned suggests that he wasn’t married to it.

      Bottom line: switching on everything is dumb. You initially match up with who you match up with because that is the best matchup for you. Changing that matchup defeats that purpose. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure our how to isolate and exploit a mismatch, any smart coach/team knows how to do it, especially when you know it’s coming every time, like the Celtics did. It is just as stupid as full-court pressing all game (didn’t Pitino try that, with equally predictable results?)

      Lin has really improved at getting over screens and is now getting hedging help when he gets caught up, and a switch only if necessary. The P&R defense has come a long way recently, as is the help around the rim (about time, Amare!) Coaching philosophy is a part of that.

    77. Brian Cronin

      That it was scrapped when Woodson got contol and hasn’t returned suggests that he wasn’t married to it.

      It was scrapped before Woodson took control. But yes, I agree that he was not married to the idea. Which is good, as it was a bad idea.

    78. ruruland

      Brian Cronin: It was scrapped before Woodson took control. But yes, I agree that he was not married to the idea. Which is good, as it was a bad idea.

      It’s good as a tactic, and against Steve Nash. It’s not something you want to employ every game against diverse offenses and multiple post-up threats.

    79. JK47

      One of the most encouraging thing about the Knicks is that they are steadily improving in eFG% allowed, which is a hugely important statistic. For much of the season the Knicks were well below average in eFG% allowed, but they have been steadily rising in the rankings and are now #13 with a bullet. They’ve been a solid defensive rebounding team and have generated tons of turnovers all season long, but this surge in eFG% allowed is a pretty recent thing. If they continue on this trajectory they’re a legit top 5 defense, which is hard to believe but true. They’re #7 overall right now and seem to be playing better defense than they have at any time this season.

    80. ruruland

      JK47: One of the most encouraging thing about the Knicks is that they are steadily improving in eFG% allowed, which is a hugely important statistic. For much of the season the Knicks were well below average in eFG% allowed, but they have been steadily rising in the rankings and are now #13 with a bullet. They’ve been a solid defensive rebounding team and have generated tons of turnovers all season long, but this surge in eFG% allowed is a pretty recent thing. If they continue on this trajectory they’re a legit top 5 defense, which is hard to believe but true. They’re #7 overall right now and seem to be playing better defense than they have at any time this season.

      Top defense in the NBA since Woodson took over by about 3 points per 100 possessions, which includes a 42 point garbage time quarter…

    81. villainx

      All I am hoping for is that the team keeps up the intensity. While some of the early losses right after Linsanity were against great/good individual performances by the opponents, losses to the bottom dwellers really was horrible.

      Just want this Knick team to keep the foot on the pedal. If that’s the right saying.

    82. Ben R

      I am as excited as the next guy about our recent surge but of course it is not sustainable. We have won the last 5 games by an average of 18.6 points. That would be the greatest point differential in the history of the NBA.

      I think we have improved, something that started before D’Antoni was fired and then was pushed futher by the new coach bump that most teams go through. We will come back down to Earth.

      Once we land the question is whether our mercurial “superstars” will keep their defensive drive. If they continue to work hard on every play and continue to buy into the offense and their teammates then we will be a good team, probably 3rd or 4th best in the East. If they don’t continue to work hard and buy in then we will have a repeat of the problems we had before.

    83. jon abbey

      Ben R:

      I think we have improved, something that started before D’Antoni was fired and then was pushed futher by the new coach bump that most teams go through. We will come back down to Earth.

      I think this depends a bit on the teams around us, what has the Knicks playing this hard isn’t Woodson as much as it is a fear of missing the playoffs. one reason it would have been nice for MIL to win last night is that it would have kept the pressure on to play each game like it was do or die. hopefully we see that again tonight anyway.

      and let’s get a game thread going early again!

    84. Z-man

      Brian Cronin: It was scrapped before Woodson took control. But yes, I agree that he was not married to the idea. Which is good, as it was a bad idea.

      I’m not sure it was scrapped. It had been modified shortly after Robert S put on his protest avatar, only to return later. There was only a game or two in the stretch before D’Antoni got fired when it was not used extensively.

      Taking the decision-making out of defense (i.e. switch every time) is just plain lazy or gimmicky. I would suspect that it had a lot to do with Amare and Melo being poor decision makers on the P&R and Lin and Fields being limited defenders at their positions. A coach needs to beat players over the head with proper decision making in a team defense scheme, and bench guys when the situation or their effort level calls for it.

    85. ephus

      One (small) change that I would like to see tonight is Lin taking the foul shots instead of ‘Melo when they are both on the court. Lin’s improvement over the last two weeks (32-33) does not appear to be a fluke, but rather a change in technique. Right now, ‘Melo is really struggling at the line.

    86. jon abbey

      ephus:
      One (small) change that I would like to see tonight is Lin taking the foul shots instead of ‘Melo when they are both on the court.Lin’s improvement over the last two weeks (32-33) does not appear to be a fluke, but rather a change in technique.Right now, ‘Melo is really struggling at the line.

      it depends if it’s a close game or not, sometimes giving a scorer a T is a way to try to get him going.

    87. Z-man

      Ben R: I am as excited as the next guy about our recent surge but of course it is not sustainable. We have won the last 5 games by an average of 18.6 points. That would be the greatest point differential in the history of the NBA.I think we have improved, something that started before D’Antoni was fired and then was pushed futher by the new coach bump that most teams go through. We will come back down to Earth.Once we land the question is whether our mercurial “superstars” will keep their defensive drive. If they continue to work hard on every play and continue to buy into the offense and their teammates then we will be a good team, probably 3rd or 4th best in the East. If they don’t continue to work hard and buy in then we will have a repeat of the problems we had before.

      Ben, this is misleading. We had one 42-pt blowout skewing the stats. The other 4 games, especially the last 3, were much more competitive and sustainable. Re: coach-change bump, Portland’s lasted one game. Re: buying in, that is an assumption for every team. However, lots of teams buy in but don’t have the talent to match up come playoff time. The Sixers and Pacers have bought in all year. Do you like their chances vs. Miami or Chicago better than ours?

    88. ruruland

      ephus: One (small) change that I would like to see tonight is Lin taking the foul shots instead of ‘Melo when they are both on the court. Lin’s improvement over the last two weeks (32-33) does not appear to be a fluke, but rather a change in technique. Right now, ‘Melo is really struggling at the line.

      Melo was close to 84% the previous 3 years. Lin has not been a good ft shooter in the pros outside of this recent stretch, nor was he in college. Secondly, I know most people don’t want to see Melo get going, but the Knicks will need him to to win playoff games. Getting more free throws helps in that regard.

    89. JK47

      The Knicks’ current defensive rating is 100.8. That’s 100.8 points per 100 possessions, good for 7th in the league. And it’s not like some recent development– the team has been ranked in the 6 to 9 range defensively for most of the season.

      But the beauty is, they are clearly playing at an even higher level defensively over the past few weeks. Let’s say their “real” level of defensive ability is a little bit better now and they allow just one fewer point per 100 possessions– now you’re one of the best defensive teams in the league. Under 100 points per 100 possessions is where the elite defensive teams live, and the Knicks seem to be headed in that direction. Which is almost inconceivable to tell you the truth.

    90. daJudge

      I generally hate switching on defense because as noted it creates serious mismatches for the defending team, who are already at a disadvantage by definition. Another reason to fight through the pick is that it sends the picking player a clear message and throws him off his roll to the hoop. Players usually do not get fouls called on them for fighting hard through the screen and it gives the defensive squad a chance to assert dominance and simply show toughness. Of course, some players get hurt fighting through screens like TD, but the real danger occurs when other defenders fail to communicate regarding the screen and the player hits it blind. I think this is a huge issue and a pleasant change. There is a place for switching, but certainly not as a steady diet.

    91. ephus

      ruruland: Melo was close to 84% the previous 3 years. Lin has not been a good ft shooter in the pros outside of this recent stretch, nor was he in college. Secondly, I know most people don’t want to see Melo get going, but the Knicks will need him to to win playoff games. Getting more free throws helps in that regard.

      I would love to see ‘Melo get going, but I do not think that giving him the technical free throw shots is going to make a meaningful difference in his efficiency when he gets the ball on the wing. If I thought for a moment that hitting a technical free throw would make ‘Melo more likely to hit his next 13′ jump shot, I would see your point.

      I think we have this one backwards, Ruru. Taking extra free throws does not make a scorer more likely to score in the future, it makes it more likely that he will accumulate the additional point for the free throw (in ‘Melo’s case, about 2/3 more likely). I do not care whether or not ‘Melo accumulates stats, I care whether or not the Knicks win. Right now, I think that Lin is more likely to convert that point than ‘Melo.

      And, to carry the logic one step further, if Lin and Novak are on the court at the same time, I want Novak taking the technical free throw (which is the way it has been).

    92. ruruland

      ephus: I would love to see ‘Melo get going, but I do not think that giving him the technical free throw shots is going to make a meaningful difference in his efficiency when he gets the ball on the wing. If I thought for a moment that hitting a technical free throw would make ‘Melo more likely to hit his next 13? jump shot, I would see your point. I think we have this one backwards, Ruru. Taking extra free throws does not make a scorer more likely to score in the future, it makes it more likely that he will accumulate the additional point for the free throw (in ‘Melo’s case, about 2/3 more likely). I do not care whether or not ‘Melo accumulates stats, I care whether or not the Knicks win. Right now, I think that Lin is more likely to convert that point than ‘Melo.And, to carry the logic one step further, if Lin and Novak are on the court at the same time, I want Novak taking the technical free throw (which is the way it has been).

      You don’t believe the “hueristic” notion that seeing the ball go through the net gives a player a better chance of finding a shooting rythym than trying to find it by taking more difficult shots against defenders??????? I’m sure there is analysis that backs up the idea that within a certain time frame ft shots lead to increased field goal percentage on jump shots.

      Shoot, why do players need to take warm-ups, or practice shots anyway??? It all just comes down to who’s been hot the last couple of games.

      You’re using a statistical argument and you’re telling me that you’d prefer to use the 33 shot sample over the 2,000 shot sample….

    93. JLam

      i am surprised that the Knicks were the 8th best defensive team under Pringles. The defense is a lot better now under Woody and Knicks might be the best defensive team now.
      Im also surprised that the Knicks have a better offensive efficiency under Woody. Im sure it has a lot to do with getting more offensive rebounds and getting second chances to score.

    94. ruruland

      Moreover, you’ve created a false dichotomy between a creating accumulating stats and a team trying to win.

      I was pretty clear in stating that the Knicks will need Melo to find his shot if they want to beat the top playoff competition. But, you don’t need to read the argument to know yours is a bad one from any perspective, with all due respect.

      Maybe if Melo has missed a few free throws in a stretch and Lin is really hot during the game, you’d think about that scenario late.. But not premeditated heading into a contest.

    95. ephus

      ruruland: You’re using a statistical argument and you’re telling me that you’d prefer to use the 33 shot sample over the 2,000 shot sample….

      No, Ruru, not to get personal, but you wrote yourself that right now ‘Melo is missing free throws because he is working through a lack of confidence. I think you shared that thought in the thread where someone figured out your relationship to basketball nobility.

      Accepting what you wrote as correct, if ‘Melo is off of his game right now, he is not the right person to choose to pick up what should be free points.

      BTW, if ‘Melo and Novak were both on the floor and the Knicks were shooting a T, wouldn’t you want Novak shooting rather than ‘Melo?

      Finally, while I certainly believe in “finding a rhythm”, the rhythm of hitting a contested jump shot and the rhythm of hitting a free throw are very different. Ask Ted St. Martin!

    96. Ben R

      Z-man: Ben, this is misleading.We had one 42-pt blowout skewing the stats.The other 4 games, especially the last 3, were much more competitive and sustainable. Re: coach-change bump, Portland’s lasted one game. Re: buying in, that is an assumption for every team. However, lots of teams buy in but don’t have the talent to match up come playoff time.The Sixers and Pacers have bought in all year. Do you like their chances vs. Miami or Chicago better than ours?

      I don’t like anyone’s chances against Miami or Chicago, they are really the class of the league and I would be surprised if any of the Eastern teams can even get them to 6 games much less 7 or an upset.

      As for buying in, it should be a given, but with Melo I just think we are always one rough stretch away from him going into hero ball mode and torpedoing the team. Also once I see Amare and Melo give it their all defensively for 50-60 straight games I’ll start to buy that they can maintain their defensive commitment consistantly but I certainly don’t buy it after only 5 games.

      I hope I’m wrong, I just don’t trust our two superstars to bring it every night defensively and I don’t trust Melo to take a backseat to Amare and Lin.

    97. ruruland

      ephus: No, Ruru, not to get personal, but you wrote yourself that right now ‘Melo is missing free throws because he is working through a lack of confidence.I think you shared that thought in the thread where someone figured out your relationship to basketball nobility.

      Accepting what you wrote as correct, if ‘Melo is off of his game right now, he is not the right person to choose to pick up what should be free points.

      BTW, if ‘Melo and Novak were both on the floor and the Knicks were shooting a T, wouldn’t you want Novak shooting rather than ‘Melo?

      Finally, while I certainly believe in “finding a rhythm”, the rhythm of hitting a contested jump shot and the rhythm of hitting a free throw are very different.Ask Ted St. Martin!

      Yes, you give your best ft shooter the free throws in a competitive situation. So, obviously that would be Novak. But if you’ve got room to spare and you’re trying get a guy going u give them to a career 84% ft shooter trying to find his stroke. It’s about release point, ball pressure, and locking into old muscle memory…..In that sense, all shots are the same. It’s just much harder to find your stroke when you’ve got someone trying to block your shot.

      I said that I agreed with your caveat, close game where one guy is hot and the other guy is struggling give it to the hot guy if the career percentages are relatively comparable.

      Fuck

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