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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, May 18 2012)

  • [New York Times] Game 3: Pacers 97, Heat 75: Pacers Pound Heat, 94-75, in Game 3 (Fri, 18 May 2012 04:41:46 GMT)
    The Pacers’ Roy Hibbert had 19 points and 18 rebounds while Dwyane Wade scored only 5 on 2-of-13 shooting for the Heat, as Indiana took a 2-1 lead in the series.

  • [New York Times] Game 2: Spurs 105, Clippers 88: Streaking Spurs Go Up 2-0 on Clippers (Fri, 18 May 2012 05:49:36 GMT)
    Tony Parker scored 22 points on his 30th birthday as the Spurs pushed their winning streak to 16 games and took a 2-0 lead in their series against the Clippers.

  • [New York Times] Kobe Bryant Failing to Finish Against Thunder (Fri, 18 May 2012 06:54:05 GMT)
    Kobe Bryant’s reputation as a strong finisher has come into question now that the Lakers have lost the first two games of their series against the Thunder.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Vogel is Pacers’ High-Confidence, Low-Profile Coach (Fri, 18 May 2012 01:01:11 GMT)
    Indiana Pacers Coach Frank Vogel is still a mostly unknown face in the N.B.A. But that could be changing soon if his team continues to play well against the Heat.

  • [New York Times] Leading Off: Los Angeles Lakers Game 2 Sequel: It Just Got Worse (Fri, 18 May 2012 06:54:05 GMT)
    After a Game 1 debacle, the Lakers lost Game 2 when Kobe Bryant went flat and the Celtics and Devils made unintelligible statements in victory.

  • [New York Times] Wade Loses Cool in Heat’s 94-75 Loss to Pacers (Fri, 18 May 2012 08:25:37 GMT)
    Dwyane Wade lashed out in frustration during the worst playoff game of his career.

  • [New York Times] Pacers Give Heat ‘Butt-Kicking’, Spurs Clip LA (Fri, 18 May 2012 06:25:25 GMT)
    The Indiana Pacers, showing the poise and determination Miami was supposed to have, routed the cold shooting Heat 94-75 on Thursday to take a surprising 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series.

  • [New York Times] Pacers Take Fire Out of Heat for Big Win (Fri, 18 May 2012 02:13:45 GMT)
    The surprising Indiana Pacers held Dwyane Wade to five points and shocked the cold shooting Miami Heat 94-75 to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series on Thursday.

  • [New York Post] OKC must find way to keep Harden (Fri, 18 May 2012 05:19:00 -0500)
    Spoke to a coach and “Scoutâ? â?? collective time around the NBA 90 years or so â?? the other night about James Harden, the Thunder’s smartest player, by far, and every bit as important to the team’s success as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
    Scout defied me to name 10…

  • [New York Post] Ewing closer to first head-coaching gig (Fri, 18 May 2012 01:25:18 -0500)
    With Mike Woodson’s contract being hammered out this week, Patrick Ewing won’t be getting any head-coaching interviews with the Knicks any time soon. But Thursday, the Big Fella moved a step closer to his first head-coaching job when he interviewed for the Bobcats position in Charlotte.
    If Ewing…

  • 125 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, May 18 2012)

    1. Kikuchiyo

      In fairness to LeBron, he may have been right when he predicted the number of championships the Big Three would win:

      “Not one, not two, not three….”

    2. thenamestsam

      Pretty early to be post-morteming the Heat, but if they do go down you have to figure Spo will take the fall, rightly or wrongly (mostly wrongly in my view). As people were pointing out last night it makes perfect sense as a spot for Phil Jackson. They are right on the cusp, their half court offense is a bit of a mess, they clearly have some mental…issues that they need to overcome. It all makes sense except for the Riley, Jackson thing. But let me ask a question. Isn’t Riley the one who should be getting fired here anyway? What exactly has he done with this team?

      He obviously was successful as a recruiter in free agency, but looking back even before the big 3 era, he has really struggled recently in the draft and in minor signings and just hasn’t been able to build a solid supporting cast around his big guys. Chalmers is a nice player, and Miller is fine when he’s shooting well, but they don’t have anyone else who’s more than a fringe rotation guy. Battier is still a good defender but he can’t shoot and that was the only skill he ever had on offense. Haslem is broken. Joel Anthony and Turiaf work hard but they really should be 4th bigs on a championship team. The Knicks have found more with low draft picks and low cost signings in the last year than the Heat have in the last 5. Riley probably deserves to lose his job.

    3. Frank

      thenamestsam: Pretty early to be post-morteming the Heat

      This next game is really the biggest – if Miami somehow manages to win game 4, then they have homecourt again + momentum.

      They certainly looked horrible last night. My feeling is Wade is playing injured- no one falls off the map that fast. Either that or someone is sleeping with HIS mom this year.

      btw- I highly suggest this article:
      http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/492/492

      which explains why PER, WoW, WS, etc.etc. are all prehistoric. The future is SportVu.

    4. 2FOR18

      thenamestsam:
      Pretty early to be post-morteming the Heat, but if they do go down you have to figure Spo will take the fall, rightly or wrongly (mostly wrongly in my view). As people were pointing out last night it makes perfect sense as a spot for Phil Jackson. They are right on the cusp, their half court offense is a bit of a mess, they clearly have some mental…issues that they need to overcome. It all makes sense except for the Riley, Jackson thing. But let me ask a question. Isn’t Riley the one who should be getting fired here anyway? What exactly has he done with this team?

      He obviously was successful as a recruiter in free agency, but looking back even before the big 3 era, he has really struggled recently in the draft and in minor signings and just hasn’t been able to build a solid supporting cast around his big guys. Chalmers is a nice player, and Miller is fine when he’s shooting well, but they don’t have anyone else who’s more than a fringe rotation guy. Battier is still a good defender but he can’t shoot and that was the only skill he ever had on offense. Haslem is broken. Joel Anthony and Turiaf work hard but they really should be 4th bigs on a championship team. The Knicks have found more with low draft picks and low cost signings in the last year than the Heat have in the last 5. Riley probably deserves to lose his job.

      Yeah, imagine if Miami had Lin and Novak. Even Jordan, Jorts and Fields would be helpful to them. Good work by our front office.

    5. 2FOR18

      Frank: This next game is really the biggest – if Miami somehow manages to win game 4, then they have homecourt again + momentum.

      They certainly looked horrible last night.My feeling is Wade is playing injured- no one falls off the map that fast.Either that or someone is sleeping with HIS mom this year.

      btw- I highly suggest this article:
      http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/492/492

      which explains why PER, WoW, WS, etc.etc. are all prehistoric. The future is SportVu.

      My psych 101 take: I think LeBron’s late game passivity is wearing on Wade, and that he’s having serious second thoughts about the whole Superfriends thing that he went all in on. And the Bosh injury may have just pushed him over the edge to the point that he knows they’re screwed, and so he has mentally checked out.

    6. Frank

      From Hollinger: Clips shot 9-of-13 on 3’s and lost by 17.

      Spurs are outrageously good right now. They have to be the prohibitive favorite.

    7. 2FOR18

      2FOR18: My psych 101 take: I think LeBron’s late game passivity is wearing on Wade, and that he’s having serious second thoughts about the whole Superfriends thing that he went all in on.And the Bosh injury may have just pushed him over the edge to the point that he knows they’re screwed, and so he has mentally checked out.

      Ha, and just when I write that, I read that Wade’s leg is hurting, so never mind.

      http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime

    8. er

      Lmaoooooo

      Kikuchiyo:
      In fairness to LeBron, he may have been right when he predicted the number of championships the Big Three would win:

      “Not one, not two, not three….”

    9. er

      If the over under on spurs losses is 1.5 I’m taking under cuz they are rediculus right now

      Frank:
      From Hollinger:Clips shot 9-of-13 on 3?s and lost by 17.

      Spurs are outrageously good right now. They have to be the prohibitive favorite.

    10. Frank

      sidestep: I thought this was a good read about the Heat-Pacers.

      Early Observations About the Miami-Indiana Series
      http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/

      My favorite part of this link:

      “Danny Granger and David West are basketball tough guys. They are not fake tough guys who act tough but won’t do anything nor are they cheap shot artists (there is nothing tough about delivering cheap shots); they play hard-nosed basketball at both ends of the court and they won’t back down from anyone regardless of a player’s physical gifts or reputation.”

      I totally agree with many of this guy’s points. The Heat are frontrunners, and are REALLY good when they get on a roll, but they do NOT liked to get punched in the mouth. And I think this is neither a pro-Melo or anti-Melo statement (in the sense that we have been arguing about for the last 16 months) — Melo is not a true tough guy. We saw that in his cheapshot in the Garden years ago. He’s extremely talented, plays physically, but when push comes to shove, I’m not sure he’s the guy you want next to you in a fight. He’s more Allan Houston (no offense to him) than a Mason, Oakley, Childs, Harper, or even Larry Johnson.

      Chandler can be that guy – he’s not overtly a “tough guy” but I think he’s got that streak in him. Not sure about Amare – he seems more of a hug-it-out kind of guy. In fact, I’m not sure we have a brawler-type on the entire team. IMHO – we probably need one or two more of these guys if we’re going to survive the playoff “battles” to come.

    11. johnno

      Here’s what’s bizarre about LeBron — He is one of the most gifted natural athletes who ever walked the planet Earth and one of the best basketball players of all time. Yet, when his team needs him most, he often gets oddly passive. Last night, going in to the fourth quarter, his team was down by 14 and Mario Chalmers was the only guy on the floor who was playing semi-competent NBA basketball for the Heat. Why wasn’t he demanding the ball every time down the court and trying to get to the rim every time he touched the ball? He certainly has the ability to carry a team in those circumstances (especially when you take into account all of the favorable whistles that he would get every time he drove to the basket). I’m trying to picture Durant, Pierce, Melo, Rose, Dirk, Kobe or any of a host of other guys standing around watching his teammates clank shots off the rim in that situation and I can’t even begin to imagine it happening. Yet, LeBron is so passive that Hubie Brown felt compelled to say, “Have you noticed that we’re not even mentioning LeBron’s name?” If I were a Heat fan, I would find him infuriating to watch.

    12. johnno

      I love how, the first time the Heat face even a little adversity, Windhorst falls all over himself to blame injuries. Yet, when the Heat were at full strength and the Knicks were playing without Lin, Shumpert, Davis and Amare and with Chandler and Jeffries at far less than full strength, Windhorst couldn’t wait to write about how great the Heat were and how lousy the Knicks are and how Melo is not a real superstar because he couldn’t carry his team. By the way, how come LeBron finds playing power forward to be so “taxing” yet Melo thrives there despite LeBron having a good inch in height and 30+ pounds of muscle on Melo?

      2FOR18: Ha, and just when I write that, I read that Wade’s leg is hurting, so never mind.http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime

    13. Frank

      johnno: By the way, how come LeBron finds playing power forward to be so “taxing” yet Melo thrives there despite LeBron having a good inch in height and 30+ pounds of muscle on Melo?

      +1000000000

    14. sidestep

      During the Heat-Knicks series, Lebron was asked whether there would be an asterisk next to winning the NBA championship this year because of all the injuries suffered by other teams (Orlando, Chicago, NY, etc), and Lebron dismissed the idea. Now that Bosh is injured and perhaps Wade too — this is a kind of poetic justice, if ever there was such a thing — the Heat sure like to talk about how they are “banged up” and how “no one is 100 percent.” Whiners.

    15. 2FOR18

      johnno:
      I love how, the first time the Heat face even a little adversity, Windhorst falls all over himself to blame injuries.Yet, when the Heat were at full strength and the Knicks were playing without Lin, Shumpert, Davis and Amare and with Chandler and Jeffries at far less than full strength, Windhorst couldn’t wait to write about how great the Heat were and how lousy the Knicks are and how Melo is not a real superstar because he couldn’t carry his team. By the way, how come LeBron finds playing power forward to be so “taxing” yet Melo thrives there despite LeBron having a good inch in height and 30+ pounds of muscle on Melo?

      Just for the record, I am not any kind of Heat/Wade/Lebron apologist. I also never read anything on ESPN. This was just an article that was referenced on rotoworld, and since we were wondering what’s up with Wade I thought it might be relevant.
      I personally think Wade is just pissed off and’or disillusioned with the whole Superfriends thing.

    16. thenamestsam

      @14, I think that’s a little harsh on Lebron. He wasn’t in the game to start the 4th (first 2nd half rest in this series) and by the time he rentered the lead had stretched to 18 with 10 minutes to play. Asking why Lebron didn’t carry his team back into that game is just silly. Down 18 with 10 minutes to play is nearly insurmountable. They scored on every possession for the next 3 minutes, and got the lead down as far as 11, and Lebron made a big difference in that spurt with his energy on defense and pushing the ball, even if he wasn’t the one scoring. He could have done more, but it’s hard to believe that Wade could lay down such a stink bomb in such a big game and we’re still talking about Lebron! How does that make sense? One game +/- is obviously flawed, but Lebron was -9 last night, Wade -25. Wade cost them that game, not Lebron.

      And if you can’t picture Kobe (just to take one example) standing around watching his teammates when they’re down big late you don’t have much of a memory. A certain playoff game against Phoenix comes to mind. Dirk in Game 4 against the Thunder, season on the line, reentered the game with 2 minutes to play in the 3rd, team down 10, and in the next 7 minutes of game time shot once and went to the free throw line once. Oh and grabbed one defensive rebound. If you look for it you’ll find it with every single player. You’re just looking harder with Lebron.

    17. thenamestsam

      johnno:
      I love how, the first time the Heat face even a little adversity, Windhorst falls all over himself to blame injuries.Yet, when the Heat were at full strength and the Knicks were playing without Lin, Shumpert, Davis and Amare and with Chandler and Jeffries at far less than full strength, Windhorst couldn’t wait to write about how great the Heat were and how lousy the Knicks are and how Melo is not a real superstar because he couldn’t carry his team. By the way, how come LeBron finds playing power forward to be so “taxing” yet Melo thrives there despite LeBron having a good inch in height and 30+ pounds of muscle on Melo?

      Windhorst is obviously a Heat apologist, and should have recognized the role injuries played in the first series. But that said, there’s a pretty big difference between Lebron and Melo playing the 4. Lebron is playing way more minutes and he plays PG half the time on offense, so he has the added responsibility of bringing the ball up the floor. That’s a lot of extra energy expended. On top of that for whatever Lebron has said about it being taxing, he has been completely dominant at the 4 this year, his PER is something ridiculously off the charts, so it’s not like Melo thrived and Lebron wilted. They both thrived and Lebron made an off-hand comment that the jackals who seem to hang on his every word have torn into.

    18. er

      Melo led the playoffs in minutes

      thenamestsam: Windhorst is obviously a Heat apologist, and should have recognized the role injuries played in the first series. But that said, there’s a pretty big difference between Lebron and Melo playing the 4. Lebron is playing way more minutes and he plays PG half the time on offense, so he has the added responsibility of bringing the ball up the floor. That’s a lot of extra energy expended. On top of that for whatever Lebron has said about it being taxing, he has been completely dominant at the 4 this year, his PER is something ridiculously off the charts, so it’s not like Melo thrived and Lebron wilted. They both thrived and Lebron made an off-hand comment that the jackals who seem to hang on his every word have torn into.

    19. johnno

      Melo played 41 minutes a game in the Heat series and LeBron is playing 42 against the Pacers, so that hardly qualifies as “way more minutes” and, as far as LeBron dribbling the ball upcourt, did you happened to notice how much Melo handled the ball against the Heat? He had the ball in his hands constantly — probably more than LeBron. And why is there a “big difference” between LeBron and Melo playing the 4? LeBron is much bigger and more athletic. It should be easier, not harder, for him to play power forward than Melo. You make an excellent point though — even when he is “dominant,” LeBron looks for a reason to whine and complain.

      thenamestsam: Windhorst is obviously a Heat apologist, and should have recognized the role injuries played in the first series. But that said, there’s a pretty big difference between Lebron and Melo playing the 4. Lebron is playing way more minutes and he plays PG half the time on offense, so he has the added responsibility of bringing the ball up the floor. That’s a lot of extra energy expended. On top of that for whatever Lebron has said about it being taxing, he has been completely dominant at the 4 this year, his PER is something ridiculously off the charts, so it’s not like Melo thrived and Lebron wilted. They both thrived and Lebron made an off-hand comment that the jackals who seem to hang on his every word have torn into.

    20. Z

      thenamestsam:
      But let me ask a question. Isn’t Riley the one who should be getting fired here anyway? What exactly has he done with this team?… Riley probably deserves to lose his job.

      Well, Riley did bring a championship to Miami.

      And they got to the finals last year.

      And he pulled off the greatest general managing coup in history. (It may not bring 3 more championships, but EVERYBODY wanted LeBron and he was the one that got him).

      The Rat REALLY doesn’t deserve to get fired.

      (I guess there is a historical precedent: Churchhill was fired right after he won World War II. (but that’s all that comes to mind right ow…))

    21. thenamestsam

      johnno:
      Melo played 41 minutes a game in the Heat series and LeBron is playing 42 against the Pacers, so that hardly qualifies as “way more minutes” and, as far as LeBron dribbling the ball upcourt, did you happened to notice how much Melo handled the ball against the Heat?He had the ball in his hands constantly — probably more than LeBron.And why is there a “big difference” between LeBron and Melo playing the 4?LeBron is much bigger and more athletic.It should be easier, not harder, for him to play power forward than Melo.You make an excellent point though — even when he is “dominant,” LeBron looks for a reason to whine and complain.

      My minutes comment was referencing the regular season, since while Melo obviously had a ton on his plate in the Heat series, and I don’t think he played poorly, you couldn’t possibly argue that he was “thriving”. Plus he wasn’t playing the 4 much because Amare played 4 of the 5 games. Melo was thriving at the 4 during the regular season, when he was playing significantly fewer minutes. Same thing goes for handling the ball. Yes he handled the ball a lot in the Heat series (not usually bringing the ball up which is more effort, but whatever) but he wasn’t playing the 4 much at the time, so the comparison isn’t very apt.

      And if responding to a question about whether playing a 4 takes a toll on you by saying “It’s a lot more taxing being in there with the big guys, but I’m ready for the challenge” is considered whining then I don’t know what the world has come to. The vendetta against him is just insane.

    22. thenamestsam

      Z: Well, Riley did bring a championship to Miami.

      And they got to the finals last year.

      And he pulled off the greatest general managing coup in history. (It may not bring 3 more championships, but EVERYBODY wanted LeBron and he was the one that got him).

      The Rat REALLY doesn’t deserve to get fired.

      (I guess there is a historical precedent: Churchhill was fired right after he won World War II. (but that’s all that comes to mind right ow…))

      I guess I was trying to say that relatively speaking he’s the one whose head should be on the chopping block, not necessarily that they should fire him. He obviously has great things on his resume. He has had a knack for the major move. He got Wade, swung the Shaq trade, and pulled off the Big 3. All brilliant moves that have brought them a championship and close to another one. But he has struggled with the smaller moves, and that’s part of the reason they haven’t won more in spite of his fantastic work in other areas.

    23. Frank

      thenamestsam: And if responding to a question about whether playing a 4 takes a toll on you by saying “It’s a lot more taxing being in there with the big guys, but I’m ready for the challenge” is considered whining then I don’t know what the world has come to. The vendetta against him is just insane.

      I didn’t think he was whining at all – it’s just a question of why he should be asked that question at all. He is actually taller and heavier than Karl Malone was, and he is bigger than David West- he should be the one punishing the other team inside, not the other way around. I mean, I guess the question could be phrased this way: “What is it like playing with guys your own size as opposed to beating on smaller people all the time?”

      And re: the vendetta — if he carried himself like Durant or Derrick Rose (or most appropriately, Magic Johnson), it wouldn’t be quite like it is. But — he calls himself King James and has done so SINCE HIGH SCHOOL. He did the ridiculous “Decision” TV show. He and his two partners in crime did that ridiculous rock-star intro. He didn’t have to be the villain. As much as our current media likes to just devour people like barracudas, he in large part brought this on himself.

    24. jon abbey

      I thought Riley had a minority ownership in the Heat, but I don’t see confirmation of that anywhere online.

    25. ephus

      I don’t think that Riley “deserves” to be fired. But, if the Heat get eliminated by the Pacers, then I think it is a vitual certainty that there is a shakeup before next season. Either (a) one of Wade/Bosh/LBJ get traded or (b) Spoelstra gets fired. In the world where Spoelstra gets fired, Jackson would be one of the obvious choices to take over — particularly given his success with the Jordan/Pippen combo in Chicago. Others have pointed out that Riley would never willingly bring Jackson in to coach. My thought is that if Arison tells Riley to explore getting Jackson and Riley digs his heels in, Riley might be greasing the skids for his own exit from Miami.

      There are a lot of “ifs” in the prior paragraph, so this is far from certain. But, I think there is a real possibility that either Bosh or Wade could be moving this off-season. I do not see a good way to integrate Bosh into this team. But I stand by my suggestion that Chandler/Shumpert for Wade could be a mutually beneficial trade. The Knicks would slide Amar’e to 5, Melo to 4, Fields/Smith at 3, Wade at 2 and Lin at 1. The interior defense would take a major hit, but the offensive flow would be amazing. Miami would be even stronger defensively, and commit to running the offense through LBJ.

    26. er

      I heard somewhere that the heat should trade wade for melo…..would Knicks fans like this?

    27. formido

      And if you look at the box score, no San Antonio player did anything spectacular. Which is exactly what I saw from the Knicks during their longest stretch of most comfortable wins this season. Team basketball wins and NY can play it, when healthy.

      Frank: From Hollinger: Clips shot 9-of-13 on 3?s and lost by 17.

      Spurs are outrageously good right now. They have to be the prohibitive favorite.

    28. thenamestsam

      @ Frank certainly some it is self imposed, and I understand criticizing him for some of those things, although I think a balanced reading of them makes them a lot less than the average fans perspective (e.g. Lebron obviously had no hand in planning in the silly intro thing, and Wade/Bosh were every bit as much a part of it, and yet don’t get killed to near the same extent). But I’m not sure that’s a complete answer. There are hundreds of athletes with massive egos who are lionized, so it’s not like the culture as a whole only respects humble athletes. And if it were only about those larger root causes (the decision etc.) you’d think people would get past it to some extent with the passage of time, but as you can see some people see every comment he makes as some new sign of how horrible he is. It’s a very curious phenomenon in my mind.

      @ephus It seems a little strange to say that they can’t find a way to integrate Bosh when we’re getting a pretty decent snapshot right now of how critical he is to everything they do. Chandler/Shump doesn’t solve the fundamental problem you’re seeing right now against Indy which is that without Bosh none of their bigs can shoot a lick which makes the paint ridiculously crowded for Lebron and Wade.

    29. KnickfaninNJ

      er:
      I heard somewhere that the heat should trade wade for melo…..would Knicks fans like this?

      I wasn’t at all happy with the trade that brought Melo here, but I have to confess, I would rather have Melo than Wade.

      This is sort of a gut reaction without reasoned analysis on my part, but I think several things contribute to this. I think it’s important for the Knicks to get a stable team rather than constantly changing. I think Melo is capable of passing better than Wade (whether he actually does so is another discussion) and I think Wade has had a number of injuries and may be declining in skills, while I don’t sense a decline in Melo’s capability.

    30. Z

      ephus:
      I don’t think that Riley “deserves” to be fired.But, if the Heat get eliminated by the Pacers, then I think it is a vitual certainty that there is a shakeup before next season.Either (a) one of Wade/Bosh/LBJ get traded or (b) Spoelstra gets fired.In the world where Spoelstra gets fired, Jackson would be one of the obvious choices to take over — particularly given his success with the Jordan/Pippen combo in Chicago.Others have pointed out that Riley would never willingly bring Jackson in to coach.My thought is that if Arison tells Riley to explore getting Jackson and Riley digs his heels in, Riley might be greasing the skids for his own exit from Miami.

      Isn’t it more likely that Riley fires Spolestra and coaches the team himself? (in fact, if Wade and Bosh are set to get healthy before they’re eliminated, isn’t it a Rileyesque thing to do to fire Spolestra this year and ride to glory as “the man who saved the Heat season” with 9 nine games left?)

    31. Z

      Also, re:Riley v Jackson, is there more to the story than just the back and forth in press conferences between 1992-1994? Is there some sort of deep, irreconcilably hatred between the two? Cause back then they were just being competitors– Jackson had the better team and Riley was doing everything he could to try to counter that.

      Jackson seems to put stockpiling rings above all else. I can’t imagine Riley would rather lose with Spolestra than win with Jackson at this point in his career…

    32. Z

      And finally, in “the case against Pat Riley”, it’s really, really, really, hard to argue he has committed a fireable offense in not mining a Steve Novak or a Jeremy Lin for the Heat. If the Heat do rebuild, the sum of their parts is so much greater than their product that they could have a competitive team for the next decade and a half, all because of the inhuman job that Iley did building that core.

    33. d-mar

      The Heat are not breaking up the big 3. Before Bosh went down they were still a favorite to win it all, and now they’re playing with 1 1/2 of their 3 stars. They make Spoelstra the scapegoat, but from a roster perspective, they’ll just look to add pieces.

    34. thenamestsam

      Z:
      And finally, in “the case against Pat Riley”, it’s really, really, really, hard to argue he has committed a fireable offense in not mining a Steve Novak or a Jeremy Lin for the Heat. If the Heat do rebuild, the sum of their parts is so much greater than their product that they could have a competitive team for the next decade and a half, all because of the inhuman job that Iley did building that core.

      It may not be a fireable offense, but look at the records of other good teams. The small moves make a big difference. I mean Boris Diaw would be starting for the Heat right now and yet the Spurs got him. But it’s not about missing on any one specific player as much as a general inability to find those types of guys. If Riley (and Spoelstra probably deserves to be included in this because none of their young players have developed at all) was half as successful filling out a rotation and bench as San Antonio has been they really might win 70+ games a year. But that rotation is pitiful.

    35. ephus

      If the Heat are eliminated by the Pacers, then I think Spoelstra is out or they break up the Big 3. If Spoelstra is out, you know that Arison would want Riley to take over as coach — even if he knew it was a one-year gig. But if Riley would not coach, there are not a lot of available names to coach who make more sense than Jackson.

    36. thenamestsam

      ephus:
      If the Heat are eliminated by the Pacers, then I think Spoelstra is out or they break up the Big 3.If Spoelstra is out, you know that Arison would want Riley to take over as coach — even if he knew it was a one-year gig.But if Riley would not coach, there are not a lot of available names to coach who make more sense than Jackson.

      This is what I was thinking. Trying to come up with other names isn’t easy. It seems like it almost has to be one of those 2. It seems like it has to be someone with cache, which means of available guys Jackson and Riley are far and away 1-2. After that the Van Gundys, maybe, but they both have beef with Riley. Once you take them out of the picture what are your options? I’d think taking a big shot at luring Coach K to the pro game would be the best option. He has coached the Big 3 in the Olympics, he and Battier were super tight, and it’s obviously a good situation in terms of potential to win a championship if he just wants to try his hand for 2-3 years before retirement.

    37. ruruland

      Frank: This next game is really the biggest – if Miami somehow manages to win game 4, then they have homecourt again + momentum.

      They certainly looked horrible last night.My feeling is Wade is playing injured- no one falls off the map that fast.Either that or someone is sleeping with HIS mom this year.

      btw- I highly suggest this article:
      http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/492/492

      which explains why PER, WoW, WS, etc.etc. are all prehistoric. The future is SportVu.

      Isn’t this exciting??? And here Owen and THCJ didn’t even think they did this: “You ever wonder what NBA assistant coaches are scribbling on their clipboards during games?

      They’re taking down stats. But not the stats you’ll read in any box score. They’re logging numbers like touches in the paint, passes per possession, three-pointers off kick-out passes, secondary assists, fouls drawn –- information central to a game’s outcome but not found anywhere near a traditional box score.”

    38. PC

      d-mar: The Heat are not breaking up the big 3. Before Bosh went down they were still a favorite to win it all, and now they’re playing with 1 1/2 of their 3 stars. They make Spoelstra the scapegoat, but from a roster perspective, they’ll just look to add pieces.

      How in the world do they have 1.5 stars? Wade is not half a player. He dominated game 2 in an insane manner. He is still a freak superstar. He had one bad game.

    39. ruruland

      Frank: My favorite part of this link:

      “Danny Granger and David West are basketball tough guys. They are not fake tough guys who act tough but won’t do anything nor are they cheap shot artists (there is nothing tough about delivering cheap shots); they play hard-nosed basketball at both ends of the court and they won’t back down from anyone regardless of a player’s physical gifts or reputation.”

      I totally agree with many of this guy’s points.The Heat are frontrunners, and are REALLY good when they get on a roll, but they do NOT liked to get punched in the mouth.And I think this is neither a pro-Melo or anti-Melo statement (in the sense that we have been arguing about for the last 16 months) — Melo is not a true tough guy. We saw that in his cheapshot in the Garden years ago.He’s extremely talented, plays physically, but when push comes to shove, I’m not sure he’s the guy you want next to you in a fight.He’s more Allan Houston (no offense to him) than a Mason, Oakley, Childs, Harper, or even Larry Johnson.

      Chandler can be that guy – he’s not overtly a “tough guy” but I think he’s got that streak in him.Not sure about Amare – he seems more of a hug-it-out kind of guy. In fact, I’m not sure we have a brawler-type on the entire team.IMHO – we probably need one or two more of these guys if we’re going to survive the playoff “battles” to come.

      I’m not sure the actual fight matters anymore. If you want intimidation you should have gone after kenyon Martin.. He’s one of the few guys left in the league who actually scares people and he doesn’t back down from the big brutes. I’ve seen him go at it with Shaw a few times and KG never wants anything to do with him.

      He’s always been a great playoff player and I think he’s probably been the third most important piece on that Clippers team.

    40. ruruland

      PC: How in the world do they have 1.5 stars?Wade is not half a player.He dominated game 2 in an insane manner.He is still a freak superstar. He had one bad game.

      It was the matter with which he played, and the way he was dominating before — a lot of cherry-picking. We see flashes, but he’s not the same guy iMO.

    41. bobneptune

      Frank: This next game is really the biggest – if Miami somehow manages to win game 4, then they have homecourt again + momentum.

      They certainly looked horrible last night.My feeling is Wade is playing injured- no one falls off the map that fast.Either that or someone is sleeping with HIS mom this year.

      btw- I highly suggest this article:
      http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/492/492

      which explains why PER, WoW, WS, etc.etc. are all prehistoric. The future is SportVu.

      Someone plz tweet this to Melo:

      * The NBA-wide shooting percentage is significantly higher when the shooter doesn’t take any dribbles. This confirms what any basketball observer suspected: ball movement equals offensive success.

    42. johnlocke

      No… Wade is 2 years older and as he loses his athleticism the type of game he plays will have a marked impact on his production. Prepare for him to start taking a lot more long 2s and not finishing at his very efficient rate on drives / shots at the rim over the next 2 years. His game also will make him increasingly injury prone.

      er:
      I heard somewhere that the heat should trade wade for melo…..would Knicks fans like this?

    43. ruruland

      bobneptune: Someone plz tweet this to Melo:

      * The NBA-wide shooting percentage is significantly higher when the shooter doesn’t take any dribbles. This confirms what any basketball observer suspected: ball movement equals offensive success.

      How do you create ball movement?

    44. er

      I agree look @ Kobe he’s basically a jump shooter now which wade isnt very good @

      johnlocke:
      No… Wade is 2 years older and as he loses his athleticism the type of game he plays will have a marked impact on his production. Prepare for him to start taking a lot more long 2s and not finishing at his very efficient rate on drives / shots at the rim over the next 2 years. His game also will make him increasingly injury prone.

    45. thenamestsam

      PC: How in the world do they have 1.5 stars?Wade is not half a player.He dominated game 2 in an insane manner.He is still a freak superstar. He had one bad game.

      It’s really not 1 bad game. His PER for the playoffs is 20.1 (26.3 regular season) and his WS/48 is .169 (.227 regular season). Now it may just be a slump, but he looks like something is wrong to me.If it was just his jumper that was off I’d say slump, but his closing out has been lazy, and he’s not getting back on D, and he’s not even trying to attack the basket off the dribble, only off post-ups. Those things suggest to me that something is wrong either mentally or physically.

    46. Nick C.

      Frank: This next game is really the biggest – if Miami somehow manages to win game 4, then they have homecourt again + momentum.They certainly looked horrible last night. My feeling is Wade is playing injured- no one falls off the map that fast. Either that or someone is sleeping with HIS mom this year.btw- I highly suggest this article:http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/492/492which explains why PER, WoW, WS, etc.etc. are all prehistoric. The future is SportVu.

      That was awesome. Who knew Durant grabbed the highest % of “available” rebounds or that Carlos Delfino?!?! was second. There must be all sorts of crazy factoids in there. When Battier was talking about how he plays people to force them to their weak points or something to that effect I wonder if he was using data from here?

    47. johnlocke

      Lots of different ways… one way is to have a guy that gets double-teamed in iso-situations. Another way is to have lots of off-ball action, – screens, cuts and a democratic offense (e.g., the Sixers don’t have a guy that consistently creates double teams yet they are in the top half of the league in assists – proxy for ball movement). A third (best?) way is to have a penetrating point guard that can loosen up the defense and kick for open looks (Lin should hopefully help with that). Would be interesting to see how our assists / assist rate was impacted while Lin was running the offense. One key next year is finding the right balance of iso melo and penetrating Lin (w/ melo off-ball)

      ruruland: How do you create ball movement?

    48. ruruland

      thenamestsam: It’s really not 1 bad game. His PER for the playoffs is 20.1 (26.3 regular season) and his WS/48 is .169 (.227 regular season). Now it may just be a slump, but he looks like something is wrong to me.If it was just his jumper that was off I’d say slump, but his closing out has been lazy, and he’s not getting back on D, and he’s not even trying to attack the basket off the dribble, only off post-ups. Those things suggest to me that something is wrong either mentally or physically.

      this

    49. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      Lots of different ways… one way is to have a guy that gets double-teamed in iso-situations. Another way is to have lots of off-ball action, – screens, cuts and a democratic offense (e.g., the Sixers don’t have a guy that consistently creates double teams yet they are in the top half of the league in assists – proxy for ball movement). A third (best?) way is to have a penetrating point guard that can loosen up the defense and kick for open looks (Lin should hopefully help with that). Would be interesting to see how our assists / assist rate was impacted while Lin was running the offense.One key next year is finding the right balance of iso melo and penetrating Lin (w/ melo off-ball)

      Well, Philly has a lot of offensive players that are capable of making shots off screen action or driving to the rim on close-outs, but I would refrain from using them as an example of good offense because they still take a ton of contested shots in the half-court. To me it shows you the limitations of any offense that doesn’t have a dominant center-point.

      You throw a great offensive player into the mix that creates attention and I think all of those role players/ complementary players flourish — perhaps with slightly less ball movement.

      I agree with what you’re saying. But ball movement is still a function of having attention-demanding players and versatile shot-makers/penetrators.

      The Spurs very often have 5 guys on the floor either capable of driving or making an open shot– and they always have at least one focal point in the game at one time.

      I think it should be noted that from 2004 to 2009 the Nuggets ranked in the top 10 in assist percentage despite not having a player in the top 20 in assist percentage.

    50. Frank

      Nick C.: That was awesome. Who knew Durant grabbed the highest % of “available” rebounds or that Carlos Delfino?!?! was second. There must be all sorts of crazy factoids in there. When Battier was talking about how he plays people to force them to their weak points or something to that effect I wonder if he was using data from here?

      The issue I see with that is some people are just awesome with positioning. I mean, how in the world are Kevin Love and Dwight Howard not in that group? To me what this means is that if the ball happens to enter that 3.5′ radius, they are really good at getting it. But being in the right place at the right time is still the most important thing, and some guys just have a knack for being there.

    51. nicos

      Nick C.: That was awesome. Who knew Durant grabbed the highest % of “available” rebounds or that Carlos Delfino?!?! was second. There must be all sorts of crazy factoids in there. When Battier was talking about how he plays people to force them to their weak points or something to that effect I wonder if he was using data from here?

      That’s a great example of how even these advanced stats need to be parsed- no surprise that three of the top five are perimeter players who more than likely grab a higher percentage of long (less contested) rebounds. The stat that would be more meaningful is who grabs the most rebounds when an opposing player is also within 3.5 feet of the ball.

    52. johnlocke

      Agreed… Miami versus Indy is a case-in-point of attention demanding players (Lebron/Wade) versus versatile shot-makers/penetrators/passers. One thing you didn’t mention is that both the attention demanding player or the versatile shot makers/penetrators also have to be very good passers. I think that is where San Antonio excels, they are an excellent passing basketball team (4th in the league in assists)

      ruruland: saying. But ball movement is still a function of having attention-demanding players and versatile shot-makers/penetrators.

    53. nicos

      thenamestsam: It’s really not 1 bad game. His PER for the playoffs is 20.1 (26.3 regular season) and his WS/48 is .169 (.227 regular season). Now it may just be a slump, but he looks like something is wrong to me.If it was just his jumper that was off I’d say slump, but his closing out has been lazy, and he’s not getting back on D, and he’s not even trying to attack the basket off the dribble, only off post-ups. Those things suggest to me that something is wrong either mentally or physically.

      He closed out really well against the Knicks- ask Novak if his closeouts were lazy. I do agree that something seems physically wrong- Fields was able to stay in front of him fairly well after game 2 and he normally just destroys him- I’d like to believe that Fields improved his D but there’s no way it improved that much.

    54. johnno

      Not to beat a dead horse (but I’ll do it anyway), for the last 20 or so games of the season, when he was playing primarily the 4, Melo averaged 37 minutes a game. For the last 20 games of the season, LeBron averaged 36.8 minutes a game. Hard to say that LeBron was playing “way more minutes” during the regular season. And “bringing the ball up” when the other team isn’t pressing takes no more effort than jogging up the court without the ball. The only time that dribbling upcourt is “taxing” is when the other team is pressing. And yes, after Lin got hurt, Melo dribbled the ball upcourt quite a bit.

      thenamestsam: My minutes comment was referencing the regular season, since while Melo obviously had a ton on his plate in the Heat series, and I don’t think he played poorly, you couldn’t possibly argue that he was “thriving”. Plus he wasn’t playing the 4 much because Amare played 4 of the 5 games. Melo was thriving at the 4 during the regular season, when he was playing significantly fewer minutes. Same thing goes for handling the ball. Yes he handled the ball a lot in the Heat series (not usually bringing the ball up which is more effort, but whatever) but he wasn’t playing the 4 much at the time, so the comparison isn’t very apt. And if responding to a question about whether playing a 4 takes a toll on you by saying “It’s a lot more taxing being in there with the big guys, but I’m ready for the challenge” is considered whining then I don’t know what the world has come to. The vendetta against him is just insane.

    55. thenamestsam

      nicos: He closed out really well against the Knicks- ask Novak if his closeouts were lazy.I do agree that something seems physically wrong- Fields was able to stay in front of him fairly well after game 2 and he normally just destroys him- I’d like to believe that Fields improved his D but there’s no way it improved that much.

      You’re right that his energy level was better against the Knicks, although some of the signs were there in terms of him not destroying Fields off the dribble like you said. It makes sense that if it’s something physical (rumors of some sort of leg injury today) that he was feeling relatively good to start the playoffs because they’d been resting him a lot before that, and it has gotten progressively worse.

    56. thenamestsam

      johnno:
      Not to beat a dead horse (but I’ll do it anyway), for the last 20 or so games of the season, when he was playing primarily the 4, Melo averaged 37 minutes a game.For the last 20 games of the season, LeBron averaged 36.8 minutes a game.Hard to say that LeBron was playing “way more minutes” during the regular season. And “bringing the ball up” when the other team isn’t pressing takes no more effort than jogging up the court without the ball.The only time that dribbling upcourt is “taxing” is when the other team is pressing.And yes, after Lin got hurt, Melo dribbled the ball upcourt quite a bit.

      I guess I’m not being clear on the minutes thing. Melo was playing 37 minutes a game, like you said, when he was thriving at the 4. Lebron’s comment about it being taxing playing the 4 came after a game in which he played 43 minutes. So Lebron WAS playing significantly more minutes than when Melo was doing his best work at the 4. And it’s true that Melo brings the ball upcourt fairly often, but based on what I see maybe a third as often as Lebron does.

      On your second point, I’ve never been much of a player but I never found that to be true at all. Bringing the ball up is a significant amount more work, even if you’re not getting pressed in my opinion. It requires more focus and more running (even if only slightly), but the biggest difference in my opinion is that while other guys just have to keep up with their man on D you’re usually responsible for sprinting back to be the first guy back. Less of an issue for Lebron because he doesn’t play as a traditional PG, but still a factor. Plus sometimes you do get pressed, and then it’s even more extra work.

      Like I said though I never played at a high level. Anybody else have any thoughts on this?

    57. Frank

      @59 – yeah, I agree that bringing the ball up even against token pressure probably does take its toll over a whole game.

      I’m sort of surprised that teams haven’t done to LBJ what Dallas did all during the finals last year – run him off multiple screens, basically just run him all day long to get him tired. While it’s awesome that LBJ is 6’9″ 260 lbs, that is A LOT of body to run all over the place for 40 minutes. It’s no surprise that he might wear down at the end of games / series / seasons.

    58. thenamestsam

      Just thought I’d throw this out there because I found it interesting. From Hollinger’s column today: “Here’s an amazing stat from ESPN’s Stats & Info group:The Heat are 3-for-19 on unguarded, catch-and-shoot jumpers this series, including 2-of-12 in Game 3.” That’s unbelievably bad. Randomness, or feeling pressure, or something else it’s a very telling stat. I wish it were possible to see those kinds of numbers for all teams all the time.

    59. johnlocke

      True…context also matters, there aren’t a lot of PFs with the bulk, and back-to-the-basket game of a muscle-bounded David West. Cannot be fun guarding that guy. Guarding Bosh or Josh Smith is not the same as guarding David West.

      thenamestsam: I guess I’m not being clear on the minutes thing. Melo was playing 37 minutes a game, like you said, when he was thriving at the 4. Lebron’s comment about it being taxing playing the 4 came after a game in which he played 43 minutes. So Lebron WAS playing significantly more minutes than when Melo was doing his best work at the 4. And it’s true that Melo brings the ball upcourt fairly often, but based on what I see maybe a third as often as Lebron does.

    60. nicos

      thenamestsam: Windhorst is obviously a Heat apologist, and should have recognized the role injuries played in the first series. But that said, there’s a pretty big difference between Lebron and Melo playing the 4. Lebron is playing way more minutes and he plays PG half the time on offense, so he has the added responsibility of bringing the ball up the floor. That’s a lot of extra energy expended. On top of that for whatever Lebron has said about it being taxing, he has been completely dominant at the 4 this year, his PER is something ridiculously off the charts, so it’s not like Melo thrived and Lebron wilted. They both thrived and Lebron made an off-hand comment that the jackals who seem to hang on his every word have torn into.

      Add to that the amount of energy LBJ expends in transition- where he runs hard both ways, unlike Melo. And he shows as hard as anyone in the league on almost every screen. Show me another first option scorer who expends anywhere close to the energy LBJ does at the defensive end.

    61. er

      Boo hoo for lebron

      nicos: Add to that the amount of energy LBJ expends in transition- where he runs hard both ways, unlike Melo.And he shows as hard as anyone in the league on almost every screen.Show me another first option scorer who expends anywhere close to the energy LBJ does at the defensive end.

    62. ephus

      nicos: Show me another first option scorer who expends anywhere close to the energy LBJ does at the defensive end.

      Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose, but both are lower volume scorers.

      If the Heat are going to win this series, and they still might, they are going to have to turn it into a track meet. Hibbert and West do not have the speed to keep up with a 94 foot game. And if you force Hibbert to the bench, the Heat will have more lanes to the basket in their half court sets.

    63. thenamestsam

      ephus: Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose, but both are lower volume scorers.

      If the Heat are going to win this series, and they still might, they are going to have to turn it into a track meet.Hibbert and West do not have the speed to keep up with a 94 foot game.And if you force Hibbert to the bench, the Heat will have more lanes to the basket in their half court sets.

      In theory this seems good, but can the Heat afford to do it given the absurd difference in depth between the teams. It would definitely neutralize Indy’s interior advantage somewhat, but I’m just not sure Miami has the horses for it. Lebron and Wade would have to play significantly less, and that means a lot more James Jones and Norris Cole. Basically it neutralizes one weakness while aggravating another. That’s not to say that it’s not a good tradeoff, it might be, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk.

    64. JK47

      If the Heat lose this series it will be the greatest thing in the history of ever. If anybody ever deserved comeuppance it is this bunch of egomaniacal bullies. The Heat are like the real life equivalent of Johnny from the Karate Kid.

      Go Pacers.

    65. hoolahoop

      ruruland: How do you create ball movement?

      Why even ask? Your hero has no interest in ball movement.
      Eventually, he’s going to be run out of town for that.
      (please don’t tell me it’s because the rest of the team sucks. That’s BS. Ball movement makes EVERYONE better. Iso makes everyone WORSE.)

    66. BigBlueAL

      Those shooting % numbers for the Heat on open catch and shoot jumpers during the Pacers series so far is mind-boggling.

    67. ruruland

      hoolahoop: Why even ask? Your hero has no interest in ball movement.
      Eventually, he’s going to be run out of town for that.
      (please don’t tell me it’s because the rest of the team sucks. That’s BS. Ball movement makes EVERYONE better. Iso makes everyone WORSE.)

      –Every year of Melo’s career his teams have played better with him offensively on the floor, in the 4-5 point range the last 7 years.

      –Six straight years Denver ranked in the top 10 in assist percentage. They did that with a player have 9 assists or more only once.

      –Every year of his career he’s averaged more assists and a higher assist rate than Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki, two players Melo is most similar to offensively — both of whom have been the highest scoring players on elite offenses throughout their careers.

      –Melo was 4th among forwards this year in assist rate

      –And yes, an inability to make open jump shots and drive against rotation has a dramatic effect on ball movement and assists numbers. There is a direct correlation between shooting percentage and Melo’s assist numbers in the playoffs.

    68. ruruland

      ephus: Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose, but both are lower volume scorers.

      If the Heat are going to win this series, and they still might, they are going to have to turn it into a track meet.Hibbert and West do not have the speed to keep up with a 94 foot game.And if you force Hibbert to the bench, the Heat will have more lanes to the basket in their half court sets.

      Trying to seal off your defender and fighting for position on the post/wing takes a lot of energy. Anyone who has wrestled in their lives understands how demanding those kinds of movements can be in a very short amount of time.

      Melo and Howard do this on most possessions offensively, but I would agree that no one is really in Lebron’s class from an endurance p.o.v. Maybe Deng.

    69. ruruland

      ruruland: –Every year of Melo’s career his teams have played better with him offensively on the floor, in the 4-5 point range the last 7 years.

      –Six straight years Denver ranked in the top 10 in assist percentage. They did that with a player have 9 assists or more only once.

      –Every year of his career he’s averaged more assists and a higher assist rate than Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki, two players Melo is most similar to offensively — both of whom have been the highest scoring players on elite offenses throughout their careers.

      –Melo was 4th among forwards this year in assist rate

      –And yes, an inability to make open jump shots and drive against rotation has a dramatic effect on ball movement and assists numbers. There is a direct correlation between shooting percentage and Melo’s assist numbers in the playoffs.

      I forgot to mention, 90 percent of Melo’s teammates in Denver (represented as seasons) had higher than career numbers playing alongside Melo. And as Owen pointed out a couple of months ago, those players were shooting their best when they shared the floor with Melo. It wasn’t system. The effect was there for Iverson, Billups and Miller, and wasn’t there when those players played with other guys.

      Melo helps his teammates the same way Howard does. Assists don’t really show their impact.

    70. Owen

      You think any advanced stat hobbyist is thinking to themselves, “player tracking is dumb and box score stats are better.”

      Of course not. Using sportsvu is completely consistent with the idea that a data driven approach to understanding basketball has a lot of value. If it turns out to credibly invalidate previous approaches, fantastic!

      The proper takeaway from reading the article should be, why weren’t the Knicks one of the first four teams called to use it? Why are we still not using it? Why arent we spending 100k of the thirty million we get from JPM every year on the latest and greatest?

      Trust me, I would feel a lot better about having Melo as our centerpiece if we had the most analytical, data driven, pursue any edge front office and ownership in the NBA.

      Unfortunately we don’t…

      ruruland: Isn’t this exciting??? And here Owen and THCJ didn’t even think they did this: “You ever wonder what NBA assistant coaches are scribbling on their clipboards during games?

      They’re taking down stats. But not the stats you’ll read in any box score. They’re logging numbers like touches in the paint, passes per possession, three-pointers off kick-out passes, secondary assists, fouls drawn –- information central to a game’s outcome but not found anywhere near a traditional box score.”

    71. Frank

      Owen: Trust me, I would feel a lot better about having Melo as our centerpiece if we had the most analytical, data driven, pursue any edge front office and ownership in the NBA.

      I totally agree with this. The thing that worries me about our current front office and management is that these guys are all ex-players. That’s obviously not always a bad thing – but it means that they were all brought up thinking a certain way about basketball. If you think about Moneyball and the explosion of advanced stats in baseball, it was all economists/statisticians/mathematicians who, when combined with the RIGHT baseball people, really changed the game for the better.

      But you look at our front office – all Indiana guys. Our coaching staff (assuming Woodson is back) – all old-school guys. That’s why I love seeing guys like Spoelstra and Vogel succeed (even if for other teams) – these guys are young, hungry, and willing to believe that in new stuff.

      It sounds like Woodson is coming back, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. But it sure would be interesting to see JVG 2.0 here after he’s been so involved in Sloan etc.

      One last thing – I don’t necessarily believe everything/anything Bill Simmons says about basketball, but I agree with this:

      “The Garnett/Doc/Pierce/Rondo/Allen Celtics have been together for five years; the Duncan/Popovich/Ginobili/Parker Spurs have been together twice as long. When basketball is humming the right way, it’s not about throwing an All-Star team together — it’s about familiarity, about knowing your teammates almost as well as you know yourself.”

      We haven’t had a core together for 5 minutes. Almost literally. That’s why I think this core needs to be given more time before we blow it up all over again.

    72. Owen

      Writing it that way is a bit much.It’s not actually clear how big the impact Melo had is at all, when you adjust for age and other factors. Its highly debatable actually. And even the leading proponent of the theiry thinks the “effect” is unlikely to materialize when Melo is surrounded by competent offensive players. Which is interesting after a year in which the Melo effect was absolutely nowhere in evidence.

      And for the record Andre Miller’s offensive rating was lower with Melo than it has been in his career overall.

      Also, Ty Lawson and aaron afflalo disagree they were products of the Melo effect.

      ruruland: I forgot to mention, 90 percent of Melo’s teammates in Denver (represented as seasons) had higher than career numbers playing alongside Melo. And as Owen pointed out a couple of months ago, those players were shooting their best when they shared the floor with Melo. It wasn’t system. The effect was there for Iverson, Billups and Miller, and wasn’t there when those players played with other guys.

      Melo helps his teammates the same way Howard does. Assists don’t really show their impact.

    73. ruruland

      Owen:
      Writing it that way is a bit much.It’s not actually clear how big the impact Melo had is at all, when you adjust for age and other factors. Its highly debatable actually. And even the leading proponent of the theiry thinks the “effect” is unlikely to materialize when Melo is surrounded by competent offensive players. Which is interesting after a year in which the Melo effect was absolutely nowhere in evidence.

      It’s one thing to say a guy will improve his efficiency because he will be put in better scoring situations, it’s another to say they’re a product of Melo.

      I would never make that claim.

      Miller and Melo weren’t very symbiotic.

      But a guy like Afflalo was more efficient with Melo because more of his shots were ideal looks created by the attention Melo garners. AA’s efficiency has gown down quite bit since the trade.

      Same thing with Nene. You see this over and over again in Melo’s career.

      We didn’t see much of it this year. And while Melo got guys like Fields and Douglas open shot after open shot, they were never able to convert shots NBA guards should convert.

      And I think Lin can have a similar effect, but he was unable to improve the efficiency of these shooters just as Melo couldn’t. The reason the Knicks won so many games during that stretch was in large part due to Novak finally playing.

      There was no difference in efficiency from the other shooters as I showed a couple months ago.

      It is interesting to note that the Knicks offense was worse when it’s most efficient offensive player — Chandler– was on the floor, yet was better when Melo was on the floor.

      That’s a little odd, wouldn’t you say?

      All of this is common sense. Melo creates defensive attention. The players who share the floor with him take a higher percentage of good looks than they would with a non-attention creator…

    74. BigBlueAL

      Owen:
      You think any advanced stat hobbyist is thinking to themselves, “player tracking is dumb and box score stats are better.”

      Of course not. Using sportsvu is completely consistent with the idea that a data driven approach to understanding basketball has a lot of value. If it turns out to credibly invalidate previous approaches, fantastic!

      The proper takeaway from reading the article should be, why weren’t the Knicks one of the first four teams called to use it? Why are we still not using it? Why arent we spending 100k of the thirty million we get from JPM every year on the latest and greatest?

      Trust me, I would feel a lot better about having Melo as our centerpiece if we had themost analytical, data driven, pursue any edgefront office and ownership in the NBA.

      Unfortunately we don’t…

      Didnt the article state that the cameras were being used at MSG which is one of the 10 arenas using it this year?? I assumed that meant the Knicks use this service right now after not using it the first 2 years obviously.

    75. Owen

      “But a guy like Afflalo was more efficient with Melo because more of his shots were ideal looks created by the attention Melo garners. AA’s efficiency has gown down quite bit since the trade.”

      Really? Doesn’t look like it. Seems to be the same guy actually, just a little better, as you would expect as he hits his peak. His offensive rating has been 111 three years in a row.

      I don’t think it’s odd that the offense was bad with chandler. It would be odd to say it was bad because of chandler.

      Obviously your thing is to deflect all blame from Melo. I get it. But it’s just sort of ridiculous.

      Is Tyson that much more difficult to play with than Marcus Camby?

      I know you think you can show this on tape. But trust me, there is plenty of tape of Melo dribbling the ball into dust and hoisting inefficient midrange jumpers. And throwing the ball to the other team while cracking jokes.

    76. max fisher-cohen

      Frank:

      “The Garnett/Doc/Pierce/Rondo/Allen Celtics have been together for five years; the Duncan/Popovich/Ginobili/Parker Spurs have been together twice as long. When basketball is humming the right way, it’s not about throwing an All-Star team together — it’s about familiarity, about knowing your teammates almost as well as you know yourself.”

      This is typical Bill Simmons narrative over logic approach. The 2007 Celtics started their FIRST season together by winning 29 of their first 32 games. If anything, it’s been downhill from there.

      The Spurs are harder to pin down since Parker and Duncan were very young early on (giving them a clear motivation to be patient even if they HADN’T been great), but that team has never really faced serious questions about it’s viability. They won 56 games in Duncan’s first year & outside of the lockout year (in which they were champions) they haven’t won fewer than 50. Why WOULD the Spurs consider major changes?

      If you look at other teams where the core is not young & stars are newly put together, rarely do you find a team that doesn’t show its mettle (or lack thereof) within half a season.

      Examples: 2010 Heat started 9-8 before winning 21 out of 22.

      Chicago added Boozer in 2010 after going .500 the previous season. They started out 7-3 en route to a 62-20 season.

      Memphis added Z-Bo in 2009/10 and went from 24 to 40 wins. They started that season 1-10 and consistently won 60% of the rest of their games.

      I can’t think of any examples of a team taking more than 20-ish games to develop chemistry. Perhaps this is an argument for keeping Miami — already a contender — together, but it’s especially foolish for capped out older teams like ATL, POR (pre-blowup), or even NY or ORL.

    77. ruruland

      Owen:
      And throwing the ball to the other team while cracking jokes.

      Ok. You’re not going to be serious today.

    78. Owen

      Totally agree Max. The whole “learning how to play together” thing is bizarre to me.

      At all times it’s difficult to swallow the NBA commentariat’s raison d’être I.e. fitting a narrative to what is essentially random noise. But it is especially bad in the playoffs.

      How about a simple explanation for what is a happening with Miami. They lost their third beat player and aren’t as good without him? And they are getting a bit unlucky with their shots?

      Too boring i guess….

      This is typical Bill Simmons narrative over logic approach. The 2007 Celtics started their FIRST season together by winning 29 of their first 32 games. If anything, it’s been downhill from there.

    79. ruruland

      Owen:
      “But a guy like Afflalo was more efficient with Melo because more of his shots were ideal looks created by the attention Melo garners. AA’s efficiency has gown down quite bit since the trade.”

      Really? Doesn’t look like it. Seems to be the same guy actually, just a little better, as you would expect as he hits his peak. His offensive rating has been 111 three years in a row.

      I don’t think it’s odd that the offense was bad with chandler. It would be odd to say it was bad because of chandler.

      Obviously your thing is to deflect all blame from Melo. I get it. But it’s just sort of ridiculous.

      Is Tyson that much more difficult to play with than Marcus Camby?

      I know you think you can show this on tape. But trust me, there is plenty of tape of Melo dribbling the ball into dust and hoisting inefficient midrange jumpers. And throwing the ball to the other team while cracking jokes.

      AA’s shooting efficiency pre-trade last year: 634 O rating 123

      post-trade: 571 116 O rating

      2009 without Melo TS

      Two horrible playoff performances without Melo, one great one with Melo

    80. ruruland

      max fisher-cohen: This is typical Bill Simmons narrative over logic approach. The 2007 Celtics started their FIRST season together by winning 29 of their first 32 games. If anything, it’s been downhill from there.

      The Spurs are harder to pin down since Parker and Duncan were very young early on (giving them a clear motivation to be patient even if they HADN’T been great), but that team has never really faced serious questions about it’s viability. They won 56 games in Duncan’s first year & outside of the lockout year (in which they were champions) they haven’t won fewer than 50. Why WOULD the Spurs consider major changes?

      If you look at other teams where the core is not young & stars are newly put together, rarely do you find a team that doesn’t show its mettle (or lack thereof) within half a season.

      Examples: 2010 Heat started 9-8 before winning 21 out of 22.

      Chicago added Boozer in 2010 after going .500 the previous season. They started out 7-3 en route to a 62-20 season.

      Memphis added Z-Bo in 2009/10 and went from 24 to 40 wins. They started that season 1-10 and consistently won 60% of the rest of their games.

      I can’t think of any examples of a team taking more than 20-ish games to develop chemistry. Perhaps this is an argument for keeping Miami — already a contender — together, but it’s especially foolish for capped out older teams like ATL, POR (pre-blowup), or even NY or ORL.

      Here’s the thing though guys. Not every team that plays together develops chemistry. Some go in the opposite direction playing with each other. But of course chemistry and time together matters, especially as pressure increases.

      It’s something that would be very difficult to find in the statistics because not every team develops chemistry over time.

    81. Owen

      ruruland: Ok. You’re not going to be serious today.

      When sportsvu demonstrates Melo’s hidden value I will welcome the finding.

      But until then, Melo will remain a guy whose elite value can’t be found in the numbers….

    82. ruruland

      Owen: When sportsvu demonstrates Melo’s hidden value I will welcome the finding.

      But until then, Melo will remain a guy whose elite value can’t be found in the numbers….

      I’d say the elite guys are Nash, Lebron, probably Paul (though we haven’t seen it this year).. I’d say Melo’s offensive prescence in terms of attention created is more similar to Howard and Dirk…

      So, probably not elite, but the evidence is pretty overwhelming that it’s positive.

    83. ephus

      Sixers vs. Celtics reminds me of mid-80s Big East basketball. Lots of energy on defense, broken sets and most of the (limited) scoring is in transition. This is a really physical game.

    84. Owen

      “AA’s shooting efficiency pre-trade last year: 634 O rating 123
      post-trade: 571 116 O rating”

      AA played 6 games after the trade, then got injured, and played sporadically the rest of the way, sitting out 13 of the last 19 games.

      Does that strike you as strong evidence in support of your claim that Afflalo is a product of Melo. (a ridiculous contention anyway given how he played this year.)

      For the games before he got injured, without Melo, he posted a 121 rating. So yeah, he couldn’t survive without him.

      “So, probably not elite, but the evidence is pretty overwhelming that it’s positive.”

      But it’s not. We didn’t see it all year in New York. Which again, is exactly what the guy who argued for the “melo effect” predicted would happen.

    85. ruruland

      Owen:
      “AA’s shooting efficiency pre-trade last year: 634 O rating 123
      post-trade: 571 116 O rating”

      AA played 8 games after the trade, then got injured, and played erratically the rest of the way, sitting out 13 of the last 19 games.

      Does that strike you as strong evidence in support of your claim that Afflalo is a product of Melo. (a ridiculous contention anyway given how he played this year.)

      For the games before he got injured, without Melo, he posted a 121 rating. So yeah, he couldn’t survive without him.

      “So, probably not elite, but the evidence is pretty overwhelming that it’s positive.”

      But it’s not. We didn’t see it all year in New York. Which again, is exactly what the guy who argued for the “melo effect” predicted would happen.

      You aren’t paying attention to my posts. Can’t take you seriously.

    86. Owen

      How am i not paying attention to your posts?

      You said Afflalo was worse after Melo left. Which turned out to be true. Because he was injured. But before he got injured he didn’t miss Melo at all.

      And this year he raised his usage and posted a higher offensive rating this year, without Melo, than Melo has ever posted in his career.

      Obviously, the usage isn’t as high. But do we agree, Afflalo doesn’t miss Melo?

      And do we agree, there was no “Melo effect” this year in New York?

      ruruland: You aren’t paying attention to my posts. Can’t take you seriously.

    87. ruruland

      Also, .434 and .423 3pt shooter with Melo, drops to below 40 without — pretty much what I said. He got a higher percentage of great looks with Melo. Now, he’s proven he has other elements to his game that have been opened up in a more democratic offense, and that’s great, but he’s taking more difficult shots overall, even on a faster team.

      The difference is especially evident when the game slows down in the playoffs.

    88. ruruland

      Owen:
      How am i not paying attention to your posts?

      You said Afflalo was worse after Melo left. Which turned out to be true. Because he was injured. But before he got injured he didn’t miss Melo at all.

      And this year he raised his usage and posted a higher offensive rating this year, without Melo, than Melo has ever posted in his career.

      Obviously, the usage isn’t as high. But do we agree, Afflalo doesn’t miss Melo?

      And do we agree, there was no “Melo effect” this year in New York?

      You once again repeated this idea that I said AA was a product of Melo.

      I made it very clear that wasn’t the point when I said :” It’s one thing to say a guy will improve his efficiency because he will be put in better scoring situations, it’s another to say they’re a product of Melo.”

      I would never make that claim.”

      And again, my point was that his scoring efficiency went down without Melo– that’s simply a fact.

    89. ruruland

      Owen:

      And do we agree, there was no “Melo effect” this year in New York?

      Again, ignore the way I addressed this point and then obfuscate, rinse, repeat.

    90. Owen

      Seriously, look at the numbers. They don’t say what you what them to say.

      Honestly, the only real Melo effect I have seen in Denver is them improving dramatically after he left.

      ruruland:
      Also, .434 and .423 3pt shooter with Melo, drops to below 40 without — pretty much what I said. He got a higher percentage of great looks with Melo. Now, he’s proven he has other elements to his game that have been opened up in a more democratic offense, and that’s great, but he’s taking more difficult shots overall, even on a faster team.

      The difference is especially evident when the game slows down in the playoffs.

    91. ruruland

      Owen:
      Seriously, look at the numbers. They don’t say what you what them to say.

      Honestly, the only real Melo effect I have seen in Denver is them improving dramatically after he left.

      ok. later man.

    92. Owen

      :And again, my point was that his scoring efficiency went down without Melo– that’s simply a fact.”

      Is it. His TS% actually went up for the first six games after Melo left. He was at 64%.

      Then he got injured and posted a ts% of 47.5% the rest of the way.

      And this year he posted a 58.4% ts% with an offensive environment that was 1.4% worse while increasing his usage 25%.

      What gives? You are making totally spurious arguments.

    93. d-mar

      Very enjoyable watching the Celtics blow a 15 point 2nd half lead to the Sixers. It really is true that every playoff game is an entity unto itself, the pundits were licking the C’s butts after game 3 and anointing them contenders, and then they put up a stinker like this.

      In the same vein, I think you’ll see a totally different Miami team on Sunday, and they’ll go home 2-2. Count on it.

    94. Owen

      Well, it’s true isn’t it? Fact or fiction? The Nuggets have improved since shipping Melo off? Or am I making that up?

      Nope, not making it up. 18-7 without him last year. And better this year by about a half a percent than they were with him last year.

      And by the way, Andre Iguodala, that horrible offensive player, just stuck a dagger in the Celtics and finished the game with a ts% of 54.6, which is to day, 2/10 above Melo’s career average.

      Owen:
      Seriously, look at the numbers. They don’t say what you what them to say.
      Honestly, the only real Melo effect I have seen in Denver is them improving dramatically after he left.
      Ruruland:
      ok. later man.

    95. Owen

      People love to underestimate the base rate. People love to bet momentum.

      But generally speaking, those are bad bets….

      d-mar:
      Very enjoyable watching the Celtics blow a 15 point 2nd half lead to the Sixers. It really is true that every playoff game is an entity unto itself, the pundits were licking the C’s butts after game 3 and anointing them contenders, and then they put up a stinker like this.

      In the same vein, I think you’ll see a totally different Miami team on Sunday, and they’ll go home 2-2. Count on it.

    96. ruruland

      Owen:
      :And again, my point was that his scoring efficiency went down without Melo– that’s simply a fact.”

      Is it. His TS% actually went up for the first six games after Melo left. He was at 64%.

      Then he got injured and posted a ts% of 47.5% the rest of the way.

      And this year he posted a 58.4% ts% with an offensive environment that was 1.4% worse while increasing his usage 25%.

      What gives? You are making totally spurious arguments.

      You just let us all know when injuries matter Owen, because you don’t consider them in your Knicks projections. Stay consistent my friend.

    97. ruruland

      Owen:
      Well, it’s true isn’t it? Fact or fiction? The Nuggets have improved since shipping Melo off? Or am I making that up?

      Nope, not making it up. 18-7 without him last year. And better this year by about a half a percent than they were with him last year.

      And by the way, Andre Iguodala, that horrible offensive player, just stuck a dagger in the Celtics and finished the game with a ts% of 54.6, which is to day, 2/10 above Melo’s career average.

      Owen:
      Seriously, look at the numbers. They don’t say what you what them to say.
      Honestly, the only real Melo effect I have seen in Denver is them improving dramatically after he left.
      Ruruland:
      ok. later man.

      Of course they were better with him last year. That team was a wreck. And you can blame that on Melo if you want (and yes, chemistry matters).

      But better than the Billups/Melo Nuggets? Nope.

    98. ruruland

      Owen:
      People love to underestimate the base rate. People love to bet momentum.

      But generally speaking, those are bad bets….

      snore

    99. Nick C.

      ruruland:
      iguodola is so bad offensively.

      he must have read this and got motivated fir those two threes in the final five minutes … or a blind squirrel. Sorry I couldn’t resist.

    100. ruruland

      Owen:
      Well, it’s true isn’t it? Fact or fiction? The Nuggets have improved since shipping Melo off? Or am I making that up?

      Nope, not making it up. 18-7 without him last year. And better this year by about a half a percent than they were with him last year.

      And by the way, Andre Iguodala, that horrible offensive player, just stuck a dagger in the Celtics and finished the game with a ts% of 54.6, which is to day, 2/10 above Melo’s career average.

      Owen:
      Seriously, look at the numbers. They don’t say what you what them to say.
      Honestly, the only real Melo effect I have seen in Denver is them improving dramatically after he left.
      Ruruland:
      ok. later man.

      12.7 points on .472 TS on a team in desperate need of it’s primary ball-handler to score is pathetic. But he did make a few shots in the final 6 minutes tonight. Good for him.

    101. Owen

      “Of course they were better with him last year. That team was a wreck. And you can blame that on Melo if you want (and yes, chemistry matters).
      But better than the Billups/Melo Nuggets? Nope.”

      Seriously? They lost Billups AND Melo! And then went 18-7!

      And yeah, they finished this year with a 39-31 expected w-l. Which isn’t quite as good as the 52-30 peak in the Melo and Billups year. OFf by 4%.

      So, you are right, they weren’t quite as good this year as they were at their Melo-Billups peak.

    102. ruruland

      Owen:
      “Of course they were better with him last year. That team was a wreck. And you can blame that on Melo if you want (and yes, chemistry matters).
      But better than the Billups/Melo Nuggets? Nope.”

      Seriously? They lost Billups AND Melo! And then went 18-7!

      And yeah, they finished this year with a 39-31 expected w-l. Which isn’t quite as good as the 52-30 peak in the Melo and Billups year. OFf by 4%.

      So, you are right, they weren’t quite as good this year as they were at their Melo-Billups peak.

      And if we’re going to start talking about injuries, Denver was 47-22 in 2009-10 before all of their big men got hurt (Andersen, Martin and Nene) and Karl was diagnosed with cancer. But coaching doesn’t matter of course.

      That 2010 team was quite a bit better than the previous year heading into the final stretch of the season ( the additions of Ty Lawson and Aflallo, plus a healthier year from Melo)

    103. Owen

      They lost Melo and Billups!

      Seriously, how do you explain the fact the the Nuggets didn’t implode when Melo and Billups departed?

      What gives? How did the Nuggets lose a guy you think is a top 10 NBA player, and a HOF point guard still playing quite well, and not miss a beat?

      It seems like you will accept any explanation other than that Melo is actually a pretty replaceable player.

    104. ruruland

      Owen:
      They lost Melo and Billups!

      Seriously, how do you explain the fact the the Nuggets didn’t implode when Melo and Billups departed?

      What gives? How did the Nuggets lose a guy you think is a top 10 NBA player, and a HOF point guard still playing quite well, and not miss a beat?

      It seems like you will accept any explanation other than that Melo is actually a pretty replaceable player.

      I don’t think I’ve ever said Melo was a top -10 player. I’d say he’s top 15 though.

      Denver traded for players that fit quite well in a running system. And they’ve run as well as any team in the NBA since the trade — the traded for solid players, added another two through trade and one in the draft.

      I think most people saw the 4-1 deal as probably being an overall wash in the regular season and that the winner would be decided by the Knicks ability to surround Melo with good role players and the Nuggets eventual ability to find a more impact player around 8-9 really solid to good pieces.

      So far it’s pretty even.

    105. Owen

      “I think most people saw the 4-1 deal as probably being an overall wash in the regular season and that the winner would be decided by the Knicks ability to surround Melo with good role players and the Nuggets eventual ability to find a more impact player around 8-9 really solid to good pieces.”

      It was a 4-2 deal right? Melo and Billups.

      And no one say this as a wash. People saw it as a superstar and a still productive hall of fame point guard getting traded for a bunch of young guys with upside.

      Everyone thought the Nuggets were going to suck and miss the playoffs.

      Instead, they improved. Which wasn’t a surprise if you were looking at numbers that said that Melo was maybe the fourth best player on the team last year and was getting replaced by a guy (Gallinari) who was better than him.

    106. ruruland

      Owen:
      “I think most people saw the 4-1 deal as probably being an overall wash in the regular season and that the winner would be decided by the Knicks ability to surround Melo with good role players and the Nuggets eventual ability to find a more impact player around 8-9 really solid to good pieces.”

      It was a 4-2 deal right? Melo and Billups.

      And no one say this as a wash. People saw it as a superstar and a still productive hall of fame point guard getting traded for a bunch of young guys with upside.

      Everyone thought the Nuggets were going to suck and miss they playoffs.

      Instead, they improved. Which wasn’t a surprise if you were looking at numbers that said that Melo was maybe the fourth best player on the team last year and was getting replaced by a guy (Gallinari) who was better than him.

      4th best player ? Why not fifth or sixth? Shoot, addition by subtraction, that’s your argument. right?

      You still stand by Gallo>>>>Melo right?

    107. Owen

      Yes I do.

      And I still think harden is a ton better than Melo.

      Incredible sequence there….. Foul, foul, rebound, assist steal three

    108. ruruland

      So, Gallo >>> Melo. You also must think Gallo >>> Rondo and Gallo>>Bryant, Gallo >> Deron Williams, right?

    109. ruruland

      Owen:
      No I don’t.

      Why not…. Gallo had better WS/48 than each of those players. What makes you believe Gallo is a better player than Melo despite a lower WS/48 last year and career?

    110. Owen

      This year?

      If gallo plays like he did this year pre injury it’s possible.

      But if rondo and deron return to historical form probably not.

      I do expect gallo to outperform Melo next year.

      And Kobe who knows. He wasn’t good this year.

      He was good at getting bailed out by refs though. Really sold those two calls on harden.

    111. ruruland

      Owen:
      This year?

      If gallo plays like he did this year pre injury it’s possible.

      But if rondo and deron return to historical form probably not.

      I do expect gallo to outperform Melo next year.

      And Kobe who knows. He wasn’t good this year.

      He was good at getting bailed out by refs though. Really sold those two calls on harden.

      Kobe gets a bad whistle overall. Plays with much more contact than guys who get more fta…

      What’s with all this pre-injury/post-injury subjective stuff?

      Gallo will have a better WS/48 than Melo next year?

      WHat made him better this year? What has made him better over their respective careers (Melo has a higher career WS/48, though I don’t think opposing defenses respect Melo like they do Gallo)?

    112. Owen

      Nothing subjective about injuries. They clearly happen. They clearly affect player performance. I wouldn’t discount the possibility for instance that Melo played hurt for a chunk of the season.

      You have connections to Melo’s camp. How hampered was he by injury this year?

      And as for Gallo being better than Melo, what I have said in the past is that at the time of the trade, based on performance that season, the Nuggets got the better player. That’s what the box score data says. That’s what adjusted +/- says. Comparing a player in his 4th year in the league to a player in his 9th year can be tricky. But there is every reason to believe that Gallo will be at least as good as Melo going forward at half the cost. I expect him to be better, and that’s even without the bump Melo is getting in WS.48 from playing next to the DPOY.

    113. Frank

      Owen: If gallo plays like he did this year pre injury it’s possible.

      The interesting thing about Gallo is that it is so easy to see where the fall-off in his play happened. It is purely about a decrease in FT/FGA. In Dec/Jan/Feb his FT/FGA was 145 FTA/293 FGA = 0.49.
      In March/April post-injury, his FT/FGA was 64 FTA/174 FGA = 0.37

      In Dec/Jan/Feb his TS was 60%
      In Mar/April his TS was 50% even though he shot better from 3.

      A lot of Gallo’s efficiency is tied into how much he gets to the line. In his post-trade 2010-11 Denver season, his FTA/FGA was 0.77!! For a guy with a usage as high as him, that was 1st in the league by a MILE. But as time has gone on, his FTA/FGA has steadily fallen ie. refs are no longer buying his flops and antics.

      I love Gallo but I am not sure at all how his career is going to turn out. The league is very much aware of flopping on offense as well as defense, and my guess is that players will not get bailed out as easily in the future. And without FTs counted, eFG becomes the stat to look at. And Gallo’s eFG in his career, by year:

      08-09 –> 57.6
      09-10 –> 52.3
      10-11 –> 49.5
      11-12 –> 47.9

      Call me crazy but that looks like a trend.

    114. Frank

      *quick edit – his FTR was 1st in the league by a mile for forwards – I didn’t look at guards or centers. But in terms of guys who have a usage near 20, I’m pretty sure it was 1st by a lot.

      Second thing – we’ve all seen Gallo play and we’ve all seen Melo play. Maybe I’m biased now that Melo’s a Knick, but Melo gets hammered every time he drives, and his career FTA/FGA is 0.40. Gallo’s career FTR is 0.432 and in his Denver career it has been 0.62! There is no credible explanation in my mind for this difference other than either referee bias or flopping, or some combination of the two.

    115. ruruland

      Owen: Nothing subjective about injuries. They clearly happen. They clearly affect player performance. I wouldn’t discount the possibility for instance that Melo played hurt for a chunk of the season. You have connections to Melo’s camp. How hampered was he by injury this year? And as for Gallo being better than Melo, what I have said in the past is that at the time of the trade, based on performance that season, the Nuggets got the better player. That’s what the box score data says. That’s what adjusted +/- says. Comparing a player in his 4th year in the league to a player in his 9th year can be tricky. But there is every reason to believe that Gallo will be at least as good as Melo going forward at half the cost. I expect him to be better, and that’s even without the bump Melo is getting in WS.48 from playing next to the DPOY.

      You wouldn’t discount it? You followed the Knicks this season?

      Why are you expecting Gallo to exceed Melo in the future?

      Melo’s 21, 22 and 23 year old seasons are each better than Gallo’s seasons at the same age.

      You take out those first two years for Melo where he was being asked to do a lot for a really young player, and his WS/48 is .140 for his career.

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