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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, Sep 28 2012)

  • [New York Times] Sun Top Liberty in Playoff Opener (Fri, 28 Sep 2012 06:00:05 GMT)
    Tina Charles, the newly named W.N.B.A. most valuable player, scored 17 points to lead the Connecticut Sun to a 65-60 victory over the visiting Liberty.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: N.B.A. Ready to Act on ‘Flopping’ (Fri, 28 Sep 2012 02:25:35 GMT)
    After years of complaints, the N.B.A. finally appears ready to outlaw “flopping” – the act of exaggerating contact to induce a foul call.

  • 55 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, Sep 28 2012)

    1. d-mar

      Amare was great on The Daily Show last night, he really is a likeable dude with his heart in the right place.

      http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-september-27-2012-amar-e-stoudemire

      It seems like a long time ago, but Knicks fans should always be grateful for his first season as a Knick, where he made us relevant again and had no problem with the burden of being “the man” after the Knicks lost the LeBron sweepstakes.

      I really hope he stays healthy and is productive this year; and believe it’s way premature to write off the guy’s career at the age of 29 as some on this board have.

      Oh, and in other stunning news, Charles Barkley bashes the Knicks in the Daily News today. Yawn.

    2. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      d-mar:
      Amare was great on The Daily Show last night, he really is a likeable dude with his heart in the right place.

      Except the whole “faggot” thing.

    3. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Oh, also: 29 is pretty old by NBA standards. Even though some players keep it into their late 30s (Garnett, Allen, Nash, Stockton, Malone, Duncan, Robinson), most don’t, and I think that’s kind of a foregone conclusion. His peak is most certainly over, and that’s not a good sign when he’s signed to a max deal for a few more years.

    4. d-mar

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Oh, also: 29 is pretty old by NBA standards. Even though some players keep it into their late 30s (Garnett, Allen, Nash, Stockton, Malone, Duncan, Robinson), most don’t, and I think that’s kind of a foregone conclusion. His peak is most certainly over, and that’s not a good sign when he’s signed to a max deal for a few more years.

      Gasol-32, Ginoboli – 35, Joe Johnson – 31, Pierce – 35, Nowitzki – 34

    5. thenamestsam

      I think the big question with Amare going forward is what the cause of his big fall-off in jump shooting last year was. That’s the big area where his offense took a nose-dive, and if it comes back he can at least go back to being an offensive dynamo (I don’t have much faith in him ever becoming any more than passable on defense, even with Woodson’s impact).

      I see two competing hypotheses. The concerning one is that Amare lost a step. Consequently, defenders weren’t as afraid to get up on him as they used to be, they crowded his space, and consequently his jump-shooting took a nose dive. If that’s the case than he will probably never be as efficient as he once was, and combined with his lack of defense and the fact that he pushes Melo out of his best position and he becomes a pretty dead weight.

      Alternately, the slump was due to something else. Health issues, lack of practice time, or just a cold streak. If this is the case he should be able to bounce back this year, and that would be huge for the Knicks. The Melo-Amare pairing will never be an ideal one, but getting both guys back to playing their best would at least be a good start.

    6. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      d-mar: Gasol-32, Ginoboli – 35, Joe Johnson – 31, Pierce – 35, Nowitzki – 34

      I understand that we’re making the outlier case here, but Amar’e's already shown decline. ruruland primarily attributes it to PG play, and I primarily attribute it to age. I guess I can’t conclusively prove anything, but I think we all can agree that most players DO become worse with age.

      Also, how did I miss this on the WoW network?

      http://wagesofwins.com/2012/09/24/the-perils-of-data-collection-and-data-analysis/

      I had no idea that synergy ALSO uses team defense in their assessment!

    7. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      d-mar: Yeah, I’m sure he’s the first pro athlete to use that or any other derogatory term, he should be villified for sure

      Hey, Eric Claptop wasn’t the first Brit to call out “colored” and “towelheads,” but it doesn’t make him any less an of asshole to do so.

    8. thenamestsam

      Also, multiple sources now reporting that Sheed has taken his physical and deal will be complete soon. I know it’s dumb to get worked up about the 12th man, and I know that GG has earned some trust with filling the fringes of the roster but good god. I hate this move so so very much.

    9. yellowboy90

      thenamestsam:
      Also, multiple sources now reporting that Sheed has taken his physical and deal will be complete soon. I know it’s dumb to get worked up about the 12th man, and I know that GG has earned some trust with filling the fringes of the roster but good god. I hate this move so so very much.

      Given his age and the uncertainty of the shape he is in I see this as a Jorts upgrade.

    10. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: I understand that we’re making the outlier case here, but Amar’e’s already shown decline. ruruland primarily attributes it to PG play, and I primarily attribute it to age. I guess I can’t conclusively prove anything, but I think we all can agree that most players DO become worse with age.

      I think we can be pretty sure that the Amare of the mid-2000s is gone — but I can’t be so sure that the Amare of 2008-9 isn’t in there somewhere.

      Pre-ASB, Amare was terrible – averaged 18.6p/8.5r per 36 but with a TS of 51.1 on 16.1 shots/36 – terrible.

      Then he lost the extra weight he put on during the offseason (when he thought he’d be playing center, and also when there was no training camp or coaching staff around) — and then:

      Post-ASB, he averaged 20.2p/8.7r for a TS of 59.7 on 13.9 shots/36. Compare that with 2008, when he averaged 21p/7.9r on TS of 61.7 on 13.8 shots/36. The only noticeable difference there is that Amare shot well below his prev 3 year average FT% after the ASB last year for whatever reason (70% vs. ~80%). If he had shot 78% from the FT line post-ASB his TS% would have been 61.4.

      He finished the year shooting ~70% at the rim, which was comparable to his best years in PHX. His huge dropoff was in the 3-9 foot range (his flailing runners that never look like they should go in anyway) and terrible shooting from midrange (career lows by a lot). Assuming that his jumper returns to form (ie. FG% 40-45%) and that some of the 3-9 foot prayers now turn into actual purposeful post moves, I think he might have a surprisingly good year.

      thenamestam makes a good point that maybe he was being crowded more on his jumpers because they weren’t afraid of his explosiveness anymore, but I seem to remember he was just bricking relatively open shots that he was hitting in 10-11.

    11. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I also love the video playlist’s first option: “Heat Focused on Repeating.”

      Really? As opposed to what?

      “Heat Relaxing by Pool, Say Title is ‘Theirs to Lose.’”
      “Heat Only Moderately Enthusiastic about Upcoming Season.”
      “Heat Say, ‘Basketball No Longer Fun’; LeBron Prays for Sisyphusean Mindset to Magically Reappear”

    12. Frank

      Interesting article at wagesfowins linked to by THCJ. This is my favorite quote:

      “Gladwell quotes another good tale in Blink from Stuart Oskamp. The gist is that a group of psychologists were given data on a patient and asked to make judgments. The kicker was they also had to say how confident they were. They were then given more data and asked to repeat the same judgements and confidence tests. As they got more data their judgements got a little better but their confidence skyrocketed! As a fan noticing the recent explosion of basketball data, this has me a little concerned.”

      Wages of Wins types (and other “advanced-model” devotees) should also recognize this same phenomenon in their own statistical models – and not say things like “if John Shurna didn’t have a PAWS40 > “x” he definitely doesn’t even belong in the D-league”, or “Nick Fazekas is the greatest player that no one will give a chance to because my model says so” with too much confidence/arrogance.

    13. johnlocke

      This. Completely agree Frank. You can look at hoopstat and you’ll find the drop-off was in mid-range shooting and I would argue many of those were coming off down-screens or kick outs where he was open and just bricking. Yes, Amare has relatively lost a step athletically from his otherworldly years in Phoenix – but there are still very few PFs in the game as athletic as Amare. If he can get his midrange shooting back to non-outlier category and just play smarter on defense (he makes the worst decisions — trying too hard when he should back off, not trying hard enough when he should help) — we’ll be a top-tier team.

      Frank:

      Post-ASB, he averaged 20.2p/8.7r for a TS of 59.7 on 13.9 shots/36. Compare that with 2008, when he averaged 21p/7.9r on TS of 61.7 on 13.8 shots/36.The only noticeable difference there is that Amare shot well below his prev 3 year average FT% after the ASB last year for whatever reason (70% vs. ~80%).If he had shot 78% from the FT line post-ASB his TS% would have been 61.4.

      He finished the year shooting ~70% at the rim, which was comparable to his best years in PHX. His huge dropoff was in the 3-9 foot range (his flailing runners that never look like they should go in anyway) and terrible shooting from midrange (career lows by a lot). Assuming that his jumper returns to form (ie. FG% 40-45%) and that some of the 3-9 foot prayers now turn into actual purposeful post moves, I think he might have a surprisingly good year.

      thenamestam makes a good point that maybe he was being crowded more on his jumpers because they weren’t afraid of his explosiveness anymore, but I seem to remember he was just bricking relatively open shots that he was hitting in 10-11.

      </blockquot

    14. thenamestsam

      Frank and johnlocke,

      I also remember a lot of open bricking. Maybe someone with a synergy account can weigh in. I believe that it should be possible to see whether the decline was mostly off catch-and-shoot or off of isos, or an all-around decline and that could be very helpful in determining the cause.

    15. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Frank:
      Interesting article at wagesfowins linked to by THCJ. This is my favorite quote:

      “Gladwell quotes another good tale in Blink from Stuart Oskamp. The gist is that a group of psychologists were given data on a patient and asked to make judgments. The kicker was they also had to say how confident they were. They were then given more data and asked to repeat the same judgements and confidence tests. As they got more data their judgements got a little better but their confidence skyrocketed! As a fan noticing the recent explosion of basketball data, this has me a little concerned.”

      Wages of Wins types (and other “advanced-model” devotees) should also recognize this same phenomenon in their own statistical models – and not say things like “if John Shurna didn’t have a PAWS40 > “x” he definitely doesn’t even belong in the D-league”, or “Nick Fazekas is the greatest player that no one will give a chance to because my model says so” with too much confidence/arrogance.

      My argument is not that PAWS40 is infallible and wholly effective at predicting future success. It’s that its predictive power looks good enough to merit its use, especially over the subjective tests that are proven time and time again to be significantly more flawed.

      No one’s asking for Fazekas to be the starting PF on the Heat, but getting no playing time despite phenomenal college and NBDL statistics? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    16. Brian Cronin

      Also, multiple sources now reporting that Sheed has taken his physical and deal will be complete soon. I know it’s dumb to get worked up about the 12th man, and I know that GG has earned some trust with filling the fringes of the roster but good god. I hate this move so so very much.

      At least it’s not Chris Smith!

      But yeah, while this is not a good move, it hopefully is a low risk/low reward type of move. He likely won’t factor into things too much.

    17. DS

      Brian Cronin: But yeah, while this is not a good move, it hopefully is a low risk/low reward type of move. He likely won’t factor into things too much.

      I mostly agree. I think with other coaches would try to prod STAT or ‘Melo into hustling and/or passing more by threatening to give their minutes to these older vets, but I don’t see Woody doing it.

    18. thenamestsam

      Brian Cronin: At least it’s not Chris Smith!

      But yeah, while this is not a good move, it hopefully is a low risk/low reward type of move. He likely won’t factor into things too much.

      Yeah, there’s admittedly no real downside to the actual move. The only part I’m actually concerned about is that it makes it apparent to me that the Knicks have no intention whatsoever of playing Melo at the 4. Early in the offseason I assumed that the big rotation would have Melo getting decent time at the 4, both backing up Amare, and also playing with him when Amare shifted to the 5. But the signings of Camby, Thomas AND Sheed have convinced me that the Knicks have no intention of doing that at all. I think it’s a big mistake.

    19. Brian Cronin

      I don’t know that this for sure rules out Melo at the 4. Wallace played a lot of 5 for the Celtics. I could still see Melo playing at the 4, just not with Amar’e at the 5. I do agree that it seems as though they’re making it pretty clear that Melo at the 4 is not going to be a major part of the Knicks game plan, though, which something I definitely do think is a foolish move, as I’ve always thought Melo would do well playing the 4 with some more frequency (one of the things I was most looking forward to when they traded for him was seeing him play the 4).

    20. Brian Cronin

      It is weird listening to Chris Bosh talk about playing the 5 more now. He is making it out like this is some incredibly noble sacrifice. You’re just playing a position that helps your team more, dude! You’re not giving them your kidney or anything like that. “I’ve made my peace with it.” Geez louise.

    21. flossy

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Except the whole “faggot” thing.

      Oh for Christ’s sake. Can I just say, as a card carrying homosexual, that I couldn’t care less about that? Yeah, he used a slur, out of frustration, in what was supposed to be a private communication, and then quickly apologized for it. I’m sure none of us here have ever committed a sin so grave. Give me a break.

    22. massive

      http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/8435842/carmelo-anthony-willing-sacrifice-scoring-help-new-york-knicks

      This was an interesting read. But re: Melo at the 4, I don’t really care to see him play there. The guy has all of the tools to be as good as Kevin Durant, he just needs to let the game come to him the way Durant does. If Melo can take shots over screens (something our new shooting coach stresses) instead of playing isolation basketball, we wouldn’t be talking about how a guy who averages 6.3 rpg for his career needs to play power forward.

    23. massive

      http://espn.go.com/nba/powerrankings/_/year/2013/week/-1

      Do people really believe the Clippers, 76ers, Pacers, Mavericks, Grizzlies, and the freaking NETS are better than us? I can understand the Clippers and Grizzlies. Indiana is even debatable. But the Mavs, the 76ers, and the Nets? Seriously?

      I’ll never understand how a 22 win team (27 win-pace over an 82 game season) can add Joe Johnson and be considered the 12th best team in the league. I love Jay-Z as much as anybody, but he’s not gonna win them any games.

    24. Frank

      I don’t know whether Sheed has anything left, but he is a perfect match to play next to Amare in the front court if he’s in shape. Very solid defender that can check both 4s and 5s, and a legitimate 3 point shooter. At least he could do these things 3 years ago.

      Assuming he can play at all, this is starting to feel a little similar to what the Bulls had up front- a seemingly endless number of guys that can contribute in the front court- as opposed to last year when we lived in total fear of Tyson’s second 1st quarter foul.

      @massive- I really don’t see how the Nets win more than 45 games.

    25. thenamestsam

      massive:
      http://espn.go.com/nba/powerrankings/_/year/2013/week/-1

      Do people really believe the Clippers, 76ers, Pacers, Mavericks, Grizzlies, and the freaking NETS are better than us? I can understand the Clippers and Grizzlies. Indiana is even debatable. But the Mavs, the 76ers, and the Nets? Seriously?

      I’ll never understand how a 22 win team (27 win-pace over an 82 game season) can add Joe Johnson and be considered the 12th best team in the league. I love Jay-Z as much as anybody, but he’s not gonna win them any games.

      I’m with you that we’re better than the Nets, but I’ve heard this “They only added Joe Johnson” line a lot now, and it’s really an incredibly stupid point. Gerald Wallace played 16 games for them last year. Brook Lopez played 5.

      So they didn’t really add just Joe Johnson. They added Johnson and Lopez and Wallace. That’s 3 starter quality players, one of whom is a legit all-star. And Teletovic Watson and Evans should all give them some NBA-quality minutes, something that was in short supply on that bench last year.

      I don’t think they’re world beaters by any means, but their squad bears only a passing resemblance to the team that racked up those 22 wins last year. Acting differently is disingenuous.

    26. JC Knickfan

      d-mar: Gasol-32, Ginoboli – 35, Joe Johnson – 31, Pierce – 35, Nowitzki – 34

      I don’t see how those players are good comparison to Amare.
      A Heavy part Amare offensive game repertoire relies on quickness and explosion. I believe some point last year he was leading league in % of his shots being blocked. That show me he lost a step.

      Woodson did ask Amare work on low post game. Amare did so by taking lesson with “The Dream”, but going into his 11 season this tall order ask for. If Woodson refuse make him the 6th man, I personal think Amare offensive # will live and die by his jumper.

    27. JC Knickfan

      Brian Cronin: At least it’s not Chris Smith!

      But yeah, while this is not a good move, it hopefully is a low risk/low reward type of move. He likely won’t factor into things too much.

      Technically Copeland (NG contract) could be cut instead Chris Smith.

    28. massive

      thenamestsam: I’m with you that we’re better than the Nets, but I’ve heard this “They only added Joe Johnson” line a lot now, and it’s really an incredibly stupid point. Gerald Wallace played 16 games for them last year. Brook Lopez played 5.

      So they didn’t really add just Joe Johnson. They added Johnson and Lopez and Wallace. That’s 3 starter quality players, one of whom is a legit all-star. And Teletovic Watson and Evans should all give them some NBA-quality minutes, something that was in short supply on that bench last year.

      I don’t think they’re world beaters by any means, but their squad bears only a passing resemblance to the team that racked up those 22 wins last year. Acting differently is disingenuous.

      Brook Lopez, in my opinion, is not a starting quality player in this league. He’s a worse version of Eddy Curry (something I thought would never say). Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace are above average players, I’ll give you that. They improved this offseason, but not nearly enough to justify the money they’re going to be spending for the next 4 or 5 years. I have them going 44-38 this year, unless Deron Williams plays like he’s in Utah, then they’ll win 50 or 51. I have a feeling that Deron Williams is going to hate the New York media, though. His mediocre play will not be overlooked here.

    29. jon abbey

      I’m not clicking on Wages of Wins links anymore, but it is funny in the excerpt here to see them cite Malcolm Gladwell, as he spouts a similar kind of bogus pseudo-science and expects people to take him seriously.

    30. thenamestsam

      massive: Brook Lopez, in my opinion, is not a starting quality player in this league. He’s a worse version of Eddy Curry (something I thought would never say).

      This reinforces something I’ve thought for a while, which is that in all of the backlash about how he’s overpaid and not worthy of being a Dwight Howard center-piece (both very, very true) Lopez has become dramatically underrated. Career per 36 he averages 18 and 8. And that 8 is seriously deflated by a season where he had mono basically the whole year. Yes, he’s mediocre defensively. But 20-9 with a couple blocks and passable defense is a perfectly reasonable expectation for him this year. If you don’t think that’s a starting caliber center, I think you need to take a hard look around the league.

    31. max fisher-cohen

      Highlights from Daryl Morey AMA over on reddit:

      On building a contender (my favorite): “We were rolling the dice on getting Jeremy Lin but taking smart risks is what we have to do up and down the roster on every move. As only 1 team out of 30 gets to win, you cannot play it safe. A fund manager who beats more than half his peers and beats the S+P 500 is considered pretty good. We have won more games than we lost the past few years (beaten our peers) despite losing our franchise player Yao Ming and it has been appropriately considered disappointing despite the fact that most teams win around one-third of their games after losing their franchise player. We need to keep taking on more smart risk.”

      On Yao: “He was by far the funniest person in the locker room… During the pre-season required drug testing, all the players were lined up to pee in a cup and Yao Ming looking to all of them and said, “why am I the only one not nervous”?”

      On stars & championships: “You definitely need at least 1 elite player in the top 10-20 of all NBA players (all-star level) to win the championship.” He goes much more in-depth here and here.

      On situational effect on player’s value: “players have different values in different style of play and teammate contexts. this is why basketball analysis is more fun/interesting than baseball I think. Barry Bonds adds 10 wins over replacement to every MLB team.”

      Best GMs: Buford and Riley (“league jealousy prevented him from winning GM of the year recently”)

    32. max fisher-cohen

      on jeremy lin: “Lin played at an all-star level last year. Even if he does not maintain that level (likely), both he and Asik increase our flexibility and get us closer to our goals. I also like that Lin has already played for a small yet not insignificant stretch at an all-star level. This increases his odds — up and down the roster that is the primary thing we are trying to do — increase our odds of developing or acquiring an all-star level player.”

    33. thenamestsam

      jon abbey:
      I’m not clicking on Wages of Wins links anymore, but it is funny in the excerpt here to see them cite Malcolm Gladwell, as he spouts a similar kind of bogus pseudo-science and expects people to take him seriously.

      As someone who quite likes both Gladwell and Wages of Wins I actually think the analogy is quite interesting. I think their strengths and weaknesses are quite similar from my perspective. Both of them are quite good at applying an unusual and different perspective to problems, and I do think that they frequently have informative insights because of it. That’s their strength in my eyes. However, both do have a tendency to lapse into pseudo-science and to overreach on their conclusions because of the pseudo-science thing. I enjoy both by reading them more for their unusual perspectives for things, and then forming my own conclusions based on those insights, not necessarily the conclusions they form. Just because something isn’t fully rigorous doesn’t mean it can’t be informative or informational.

    34. ruruland

      Like we said, THCJ: On situational effect on player’s value: “players have different values in different style of play and teammate contexts. this is why basketball analysis is more fun/interesting than baseball I think. Barry Bonds adds 10 wins over replacement to every MLB team.”

      Fuck, he had to actually say that.

    35. jon abbey

      thenamestsam: As someone who quite likes both Gladwell and Wages of Wins I actually think the analogy is quite interesting. I think their strengths and weaknesses are quite similar from my perspective. Both of them are quite good at applying an unusual and different perspective to problems, and I do think that they frequently have informative insights because of it. That’s their strength in my eyes. However, both do have a tendency to lapse into pseudo-science and to overreach on their conclusions because of the pseudo-science thing. I enjoy both by reading them more for their unusual perspectives for things, and then forming my own conclusions based on those insights, not necessarily the conclusions they form. Just because something isn’t fully rigorous doesn’t mean it can’t be informative or informational.

      cool, more power to you. my experience is that I almost always either think “that’s obvious” or “that’s wrong”, so kind of a waste of time for me.

    36. ruruland

      max fisher-cohen: on jeremy lin: “Lin played at an all-star level last year. Even if he does not maintain that level (likely), both he and Asik increase our flexibility and get us closer to our goals. I also like that Lin has already played for a small yet not insignificant stretch at an all-star level. This increases his odds — up and down the roster that is the primary thing we are trying to do — increase our odds of developing or acquiring an all-star level player.”

      Great stuff, thanks for posting.

    37. ruruland

      thenamestsam: This reinforces something I’ve thought for a while, which is that in all of the backlash about how he’s overpaid and not worthy of being a Dwight Howard center-piece (both very, very true) Lopez has become dramatically underrated. Career per 36 he averages 18 and 8. And that 8 is seriously deflated by a season where he had mono basically the whole year. Yes, he’s mediocre defensively. But 20-9 with a couple blocks and passable defense is a perfectly reasonable expectation for him this year. If you don’t think that’s a starting caliber center, I think you need to take a hard look around the league.

      He’s a skilled offensive player, one of maybe 5-6 centers that gets buckets without help and who creates a lot of attention. He’s certainly better than his efficiency numbers.

      But he’s truly a horrible defender, maybe the worst starting center at guarding pick and roll. combined with his poor rebounding, despite being space-eater, he’s an average to slightly good player in my book.

      You just can’t hide him defensively.

    38. massive

      thenamestsam: This reinforces something I’ve thought for a while, which is that in all of the backlash about how he’s overpaid and not worthy of being a Dwight Howard center-piece (both very, very true) Lopez has become dramatically underrated. Career per 36 he averages 18 and 8. And that 8 is seriously deflated by a season where he had mono basically the whole year. Yes, he’s mediocre defensively. But 20-9 with a couple blocks and passable defense is a perfectly reasonable expectation for him this year. If you don’t think that’s a starting caliber center, I think you need to take a hard look around the league.

      Ehh, fair enough. Mediocre defensively is generous, but okay. We’ll see how he does this season.

    39. thenamestsam

      ruruland: He’s a skilled offensive player, one of maybe 5-6 centers that gets buckets without help and who creates a lot of attention. He’s certainly better than his efficiency numbers.

      But he’s truly a horrible defender, maybe the worst starting center at guarding pick and roll. combined with his poor rebounding, despite being space-eater, he’s an average to slightly good player in my book.

      You just can’t hide him defensively.

      That’s fair. I think with some coaching on a decent team he has the foot speed and size to get from awful to acceptable on D. He is still only 24 after all. If he can get to average on D he can take a leap to a top-7 or 8 center. But some guys just can’t figure it out on that end.

      I mostly agree with your evaluation though. For a team that gave 35 starts to Shelden Williams, 10 to Johan Petro, 14 to Mehmet Okur, and 5 to Jordan Williams I think that’s still a pretty significant upgrade.

    40. massive

      I guess I’m being extremely harsh on Brook Lopez, but I can’t get behind a center who hasn’t averaged 8+ rebounds since 2010. Between Wallace, Humphries, and Lopez, I’d say he’s the worst rebounder in that frontcourt (although it bears mentioning that Wallace and Humphries are superb rebounders). Their season comes down to the play of Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, and those guys haven’t been good basketball players since 2010. That’s why I have very little faith in that team.

    41. johnlocke

      Another good morey quote explaining why I have zero faith in Denver making noise in the playoffs although advanced stats says they’re a championship contender:

      I think analytics can help improve the quality of nearly all decisions to some extent but as you mention the potential efficacy will vary. The utility of analytics on a decision will also vary but I will just discuss efficacy since you brought it up.
      Yes, I agree, what I am stating about acquiring an all-star level player every NBA GM in 1965 could have also stated with confidence. It is just a fact that the structure of our sport requires this. No other major professional team sport comes remotely close to having a player like Lebron James who can single handedly shift a team from winning 3 out of 4 games (09-10 Cavs) to 1 out of 4 games (10-11 Cavs).
      The reason for this is numerous with two off the top of my head being fewer players on the court and a near asymptotic distribution function of high end talent. One way I describe it is imagine in baseball when Barry Bonds was at the height of his powers he could have kept calling himself to the plate over and over, ignoring the lineup card. This is essentially what the top players in basketball can do each time down the floor — they can “call their own number” and make sure the team gets a great possession each time.
      I do think analytics can improve the process to getting a top player but as you state, it has not created a new path to winning like has opened up in baseball with analytics where numerous small smart decisions and great roster management on player 2-25 can lead to a championship. No amount of work and good decisions on our players 2-15 could overcome not having an all-star level player.

    42. Z-man

      I’d like to hear Morey answer the question: who would you rather have for the same money, Melo, Faried or Harden?

    43. Z-man

      flossy: Oh for Christ’s sake. Can I just say, as a card carrying homosexual, that I couldn’t care less about that? Yeah, he used a slur, out of frustration, in what was supposed to be a private communication, and then quickly apologized for it. I’m sure none of us here have ever committed a sin so grave. Give me a break.

      How can I get a card?

    44. Z-man

      Rasheed may be washed up, but he was one of the most underrated situational players of the last decade. Incredible versatlity, really no weaknesses, just a crazy and sometimes angry free spirit. If he has any game left, who are we gonna get for vets min better than him? He was not good statistically for the Celts, but didn’t look like he was in last stages of physical decline.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptPGX8mCypc

    45. jon abbey

      Z-man:
      I’d like to hear Morey answer the question: who would you rather have for the same money, Melo, Faried or Harden?

      no one except maybe Faried’s mom would pick him there.

    46. ruruland

      Z-man: Rasheed may be washed up, but he was one of the most underrated situational players of the last decade. Incredible versatlity, really no weaknesses, just a crazy and sometimes angry free spirit. If he has any game left, who are we gonna get for vets min better than him? He was not good statistically for the Celts, but didn’t look like he was in last stages of physical decline.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptPGX8mCypc

      People are going to make fun of this signing, but all indications are that Sheed is physically in a very good place. Certainly — at the very least –the player he was a few years back.

      Now, no one knows how a guy responds to the rigors of a training camp or playing 3 games a week.

      However, let’s say he plays 50 or so games this season and 10-20 minutes in the playoffs depending on match-ups.

      He’s a perfect complement to Amar’e. He still should be able to shoot the three in the 35% range. He’s not as athletic as he was at 32, but he never relied on it defensively. ‘Sheed is long, strong and a VERY smart positional defender.

      Rasheed will allow Amar’e, 10 maybe 15 minutes a game where he can ostensibly play center on offense with all the space to operate and allow Sheed to take care of the dirty stuff inside.

      Naturally, a player that is a very strong man defender on both power forwards and centers, and a great weakside shot-blocker, and perhaps the only true stretch five in the NBA, will fit into any lineup.

      He’s not a good rebounder. But the Knicks have those in spades.

      And while he had a very rough year with Boston at 35, after having four very good years at the tail-end of his tenure in Detroit, he still managed close to 20 mpg on a similarly loaded front-court— and shot 35% from 3 w/ a .123 ws/48

      great signing.

    47. max fisher-cohen

      Wallace wasn’t terrible that last year in Boston, but it would be truly unprecedented for a 38 year old to be an effective NBA player after taking two full seasons off.

      For reference, there have been 111 players who have played at 35 years old since 2000/01. There have been 34 players to play at 38. Those three years do a lot to your body.

    48. ruruland

      max fisher-cohen:
      Wallace wasn’t terrible that last year in Boston, but it would be truly unprecedented for a 38 year old to be an effective NBA player after taking two full seasons off.

      For reference, there have been 111 players who have played at 35 years old since 2000/01. There have been 34 players to play at 38. Those three years do a lot to your body.

      I’m going to look this up soon. And to our friends behind the curtain, I’ve been very busy moving to new state last two weeks. Kind of unexpected. I’m not going to half-ass that piece.

    49. jon abbey

      max fisher-cohen:
      For reference, there have been 111 players who have played at 35 years old since 2000/01.

      nice, so that’s less than 10 leaguewide per season. NY signed five this offseason alone (Kidd, Camby, Prigioni, Thomas, Sheed).

      as Joel Sherman tweeted, I’m only surprised they haven’t gone after Andruw Jones or Eric Chavez yet. :)

    50. max fisher-cohen

      jon abbey: nice, so that’s less than 10 leaguewide per season. NY signed five this offseason alone (Kidd, Camby, Prigioni, Thomas, Sheed).

      as Joel Sherman tweeted, I’m only surprised they haven’t gone after Andruw Jones or Eric Chavez yet. :)

      Well, that’s just players who were exactly 35. There have been 301 player-seasons by players 35 or older since 2000/01. If you limit it to guys who played in at least 40 games, that number drops to 212.

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