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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Monday, Aug 20 2012)

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: LeBron James Says He Wants To Play in Olympic Games in Rio (Mon, 20 Aug 2012 05:25:12 GMT)
    LeBron James said that if he was healthy â?? and if the rules allowed â?? he would like to step inside the Olympic rings a fourth time.

  • [New York Times] Simon P. Gourdine, N.B.A. Executive, Dies at 72 (Mon, 20 Aug 2012 05:00:07 GMT)
    Mr. Gourdine became the highest ranking black executive in professional sports in the 1970s when he was named the N.B.A.’s deputy commissioner.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Give Coach Monty Williams Contract Extension (Mon, 20 Aug 2012 04:33:59 GMT)
    Monty Williams received a four-year contract extension from New Orleans that runs through the 2015-16 season.

  • [New York Times] LeBron Savoring Special Summer (Mon, 20 Aug 2012 00:21:22 GMT)
    LeBron James squeezed his mom’s hands, the way he did as a kid.

  • [New York Times] Basketball Star Jonathan Hargett’s Promising Career Derailed (Mon, 20 Aug 2012 00:04:11 GMT)
    Jonathan Hargett was once thought to be the first point guard to jump from high school to the N.B.A., but that was before a tumultuous college career and a prison sentence. He blames himself for his past decisions, which include years of abusing marijuana.

  • 61 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Monday, Aug 20 2012)

    1. JC Knickfan

      I believe rule says you can have 20 players in training camp. I would expect 5 more Tony Taylor Jr type signees before we open camp.

      Knicks have 13 Guaranteed contract which really leave possible 7 people to fight for final 2 spots. The other thing is does anyone not think Chris Smith will not make team in wink, wink deal after we sign JR?
      I guess Chris Copeland will have to fend of these last signees.

      One thing there’s no way we find hidden gem this season because with veteran Knicks signed we not going to see last year futility at any one position (PG).

    2. Jafa

      I beg to differ JC.

      I think we will find hidden gems this season. All those veterans we acquired (except Felton) have one thing in common – the are all so old they could be player coaches. Old players get injured. Injuries give back-of-the-roster players an opportunity to show their skills. One of them will shine bright enough that we have to keep him in the rotation.

      My money is on Double T. If you don’t know who that is, go to the comments section of the previous thread.

    3. JC Knickfan

      Hidden Gems (Pural)? I don’t consider Pablo Prigioni (35) or James White (29 and 3rd NBA) hidden anyway shape or form.

      So leave Chris Smith
      A 6-foot-2 Smith averaged 9.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists in two seasons at Louisville. This signing totally seem like a favor to JR.

      Lastly your hidden gem 15th roster spot
      This could be your Double T George Washington prospect, Chris Copeland (6 year oversea professional experience I would say far from hidden gem) and 4 TBD signees.

      Considering Smith listed as a PG which make 4th PG – I take 1/6 odd and wager Tony Talyor Jr. doesn’t even make team. If going talk injuries I would PF has highest possibility. I’m sure we see Melo at 4, but if Amare and Thomas go down we someone back Melo. This spot going to big just not sure if Copeland.

      I wager Chris Smith doesn’t even belong in D-league. So only Knicks find hidden is young unsigned PF take Copeland spot.

    4. Jafa

      Maybe something has been lost in translation:

      Hidden gem to me means a players that is not well known leaguewide, primarily because he was not highly touted and his talents have not yet been on display at the NBA level. So Jeremy Lin, Isaiah Thomas (with Sacramento) and Lester Hudson (with Cleveland) count as hidden gems (yes plural). We didn’t know who these people were (or cared either) until they began to perform at a high level.

      So, based on that, Pablo, James White, Chris Smith, Double T and Copeland are all “potential” hidden gems. At the same time, they could be crystalized poop, but we won’t know until we put them under the microscope and see what they possess. That microscope is called playing time.

      And the risk of injury is as high for the PG position as it is for the PF position. If Felton is not in shape, he could be at risk of injuring himself or performing poorly (I think he’s a dud either way). Kidd is old and Pablo is old. Does not take that big a leap of faith to see that Double T (or another PG prospect) could see some real playing time during the season.

    5. Jafa

      I’m very surprised that ESPN thinks this highly of Chicago sans Rose. Unless Rose is coming back earlier than expected, Chicago will probably be a lower seed. I don’t see them beating New York and Brooklyn for the last top 4 seed.

      My standing would be:
      #1 Heat
      #2 Celtics
      #3 Pacers or Knicks
      #4 Pacers or Knicks
      #5 Nets
      #6 Bulls
      #7 76ers or Hawks
      #8 76ers or Hawks

    6. thenamestsam

      Jafa:
      ESPN has its regular season standings predictions up and the Knicks come in at 45-37 and a 7th seed in the East:

      http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8273488/2012-nba-summer-forecast-east-standings

      Cue Ruru, jon abbey and the rest of the 60 win season predictors for a rant against ESPN.

      For me, I say give it 5 more wins and the #3 or #4 seed and I think its accurate.

      7th seed seems disappointingly low to me, but if you look at the standings they’re very tightly clustered, and the difference between projectinga team at 45 wins vs. 46 wins is essentially zero. The way I read it was as Miami…large gap…Boston and Indiana…small gap…NY, BKLYN, Chicago and Philly. That’s not a ridiculous projection in my opinion. Personally I think we’re going to be up in the Boston and Indy group, possibly even leading that group and fighting for the #2 seed. But I understand a more cautious projection.

      We were, after all, the 7th seed last year, and we’ve done more tinkering than anything else. I happen to think that the tinkering will have a pronounced effect (especially at the point) but I am a fan after all.

    7. thenamestsam

      Jafa:
      I’m very surprised that ESPN thinks this highly of Chicago sans Rose.Unless Rose is coming back earlier than expected, Chicago will probably be a lower seed.I don’t see them beating New York and Brooklyn for the last top 4 seed.

      4 seed seems high, but again give them 2 more losses and they’re the 7 seed. Looking at it more generally 46 wins seems like a pretty good number for them. They’ve already proved that they can be a pretty good regular season team without DRose and unless him being out longterm affects them mentally in some way I still think their defense will keep them in enough games to get them around 45 wins.

    8. Jafa

      I think the clusters should be:

      Heat
      <>
      Celtics
      <>
      Pacers, Knicks & Nets
      <>
      Bulls, 76ers & Hawks

      Anybody who thinks we are in the same cluster as the Celtics is wearing orange colored shades. The Celtics may not be as good as the Heat, but they are clearly better than the rest of the East. Of our cluster, I would be willing to believe we are the best, hence my prediction of a #3 or #4 seed.

    9. Gideon Zaga

      Z-man I beg to differ with your argument about playing Melo and Amare or Amare and Chandler most but 12mpg. In 2011 after the Melo trade, Melo or Amare had their best games when either was not on the floor with the other. My landmark game is the 2011 playoffs game 1 against Boston, Melo picked up 2 quick fouls in the early part of the first quarter and got benched, Amare exploded as Melo was on the bench and stayed in rhythm the whole game. If you had a chance to get some numbers from 2011 you will notice how true this is. I think the Chandler issue is to a lesser extent since Amare has or is rumored to have developed his back to the basket game but I’ll believe it when I see it. Someone was right about both Amare and TC improving their interior passing. If this happens this argument will be moot since the offense will run as efficient as ever. Imagine this Felton dribbles up the ball runs pnr with TC, he rolls to basket and gets the ball from Ray, Amare’s man rotates over to help and TC dumps the ball to a wide open Amare for a 15-18 footer. In the second variation of this TC’s defender plays the pnr well and Amare quickly gets in position for a post up, Ray gets him the ball, now Melo’s defender who is with him on the wing quickly rotates to double Amare leaving Melo open and I guess u know what happens next. So in essence what we need more for this team to do is to develop and execute that interior ball movement otherwise we have to split them up for most of the game.

    10. Jafa

      Johnlocke,

      Unless the Hawks are the ones that made that trade for D12 and not the Lakers, I’d take the other side of that bet against Dolittle anyday.

      As for the Celtics – yes, they have tended to rest their vets, and will probably do so again this year. But who are their vets that need resting? PP & KG right? So that leave this roster playing a bulk of the regular season minutes and putting in 100%:

      PG: Rondo
      SG: Bradley, Terry
      SF: Green, Lee
      PF: Bass, Sullinger
      C: Collins, Melo

      Coached by Doc Rivers, I don’t see a letdown in the regular season.

    11. Gideon Zaga

      So in other words, Melo-Amare-TC still have to gel and the gel is about passing and looking for each other. They simply have to learn to play together. All they did last year was to iso each other out and don’t get me wrong i Dont mind seeing an iso fest But i also like to win. Woodson needs to take a page out of the Jackson playbook and work on the fundamentals the first week of training camp.

    12. Juany8

      Although I think the Celtics are a better overall team (I don’t think it’s a huge gap though) assuming health the Knicks should beat out the Celtics for a top seed. They were hardly better than the Knicks last year, and the Knicks had the most ridiculous regular season I’ve ever seen a team have (mostly on the bad side too). The Celtics just don’t care about the regular season much, and Danny Ainge is not like R.C. Buford, the Celtics aren’t going to have some random rookie or young player suddenly play like a serious rotation player, much less several like the Spurs usually have. Factor in that their biggest addition this offseason was a Jeff Green that hasn’t played in a year (and wasn’t all that good before that) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Celtics finish just as low as they have the last several years

    13. Z-man

      Gideon Zaga: My landmark game is the 2011 playoffs game 1 against Boston, Melo picked up 2 quick fouls in the early part of the first quarter and got benched, Amare exploded as Melo was on the bench and stayed in rhythm the whole game. If you had a chance to get some numbers from 2011 you will notice how true this is.

      I don’t disagree with what happened, but this was still early on, with a lousy coach, and a weird mix of players. In other words, it can’t be acceptable as the statud quo. They have to learn (or be forced to learn) how to play with each other more effectively than they have.

      Gideon Zaga: So in other words, Melo-Amare-TC still have to gel and the gel is about passing and looking for each other. They simply have to learn to play together. All they did last year was to iso each other out and don’t get me wrong i Dont mind seeing an iso fest But i also like to win. Woodson needs to take a page out of the Jackson playbook and work on the fundamentals the first week of training camp.

      Pretty much what I think. Both guys are gonna iso several times a game no matter what, but it should not be either excessive or predictable. I’d love to see more Melo and Amare in the P&R.

    14. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      sidestep:
      For last season, Harden had 35 games in which he played 30-39 min (33min avg):
      .469FG%, .375 3P%, averaging 17.1 pts per game.

      He had 22 games in which he played 20-29 min (27min avg):
      .527FG%, .438 3P%, averaging 16.3 pts per game.

      Those numbers seem to bear out that Harden is less efficient with more minutes. Sorry, I don’t have TS stats, but the correlation would look the same.

      This is a fallacious argument. Firstly, you assume that the additional 6 MPG are inherently “more difficult” for Harden. You cherry-pick (there’s absolutely no reason to do the 20-29/30-39 thing; it’s meaningless). You also assume that a “hot streak” would cause a coach to leave a player in, or a “cold streak” to reduce a player’s minutes by a substantial number. This is James Harden. He had the third-most minutes on that team last year. He is a “star” player, and, like other star players like Carmelo and co., will play second-half minutes whether he’s 1-10 in the first half or not.

      There are a ton of assumptions that are, frankly, unwarranted in your argument.

    15. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: This is a fallacious argument. Firstly, you assume that the additional 6 MPG are inherently “more difficult” for Harden.You cherry-pick (there’s absolutely no reason to do the 20-29/30-39 thing; it’s meaningless). You also assume that a “hot streak” would cause a coach to leave a player in, or a “cold streak” to reduce a player’s minutes by a substantial number. This is James Harden. He had the third-most minutes on that team last year. He is a “star” player, and, like other star players like Carmelo and co., will play second-half minutes whether he’s 1-10 in the first half or not.

      There are a ton of assumptions that are, frankly, unwarranted in your argument.

      James Harden didn’t get on the floor the 4th quarter of the only game OKC won in the series. Pretty sure that throws out your whole argument that he’s a “star who will play no matter what” lol. That being said, Scott Brooks is NOT a good coach, in large part because he thought it was ok to guard Shane Battier with Ibaka so that Perkins could play serious minutes. Also, he thought it was a good idea to have Harden guard Lebron for significant portions of the series. I have never seen anyone do as poor a job coaching as Scott Brooks did in the Finals this year, he had a bigger impact on the Heat’s chances of winning than Spoelstra (or even Wade lol)

    16. ruruland

      Jafa:
      I think the clusters should be:

      Heat
      <>
      Celtics
      <>
      Pacers, Knicks & Nets
      <>
      Bulls, 76ers & Hawks

      Anybody who thinks we are in the same cluster as the Celtics is wearing orange colored shades.The Celtics may not be as good as the Heat, but they are clearly better than the rest of the East.Of our cluster, I would be willing to believe we are the best, hence my prediction of a #3 or #4 seed.

      why?

    17. ruruland

      Juany8:
      Although I think the Celtics are a better overall team (I don’t think it’s a huge gap though) assuming health the Knicks should beat out the Celtics for a top seed. They were hardly better than the Knicks last year, and the Knicks had the most ridiculous regular season I’ve ever seen a team have (mostly on the bad side too). The Celtics just don’t care about the regular season much, and Danny Ainge is not like R.C. Buford, the Celtics aren’t going to have some random rookie or young player suddenly play like a serious rotation player, much less several like the Spurs usually have. Factor in that their biggest addition this offseason was a Jeff Green that hasn’t played in a year (and wasn’t all that good before that) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Celtics finish just as low as they have the last several years

      Ray Allen is better than Terry, Bradley is coming off injury… They need KG to be a very good 35pg guy and he isn’t that anymore. I don’t understand why folks here like them better than NY…. The Knicks had a better srs than Boston last year, and will have significantly better depth, two nba point guards, and JR/ Novak for a whole season
      Boaton gets worse or at best, older.
      My money is on Melo/ Amare having much better year than Pierce/KG… Rondo can carry them to 6th seed, but the two heavyweights in the conference are Miami NY

    18. knicknyk

      ruruland: Ray Allen is better than Terry, Bradley is coming off injury… They need KG to be a very good 35pg guy and he isn’t that anymore. I don’t understand why folks here like them better than NY…. The Knicks had a better srs than Boston last year, and will have significantly better depth, two nba point guards, and JR/ Novak for a whole season
      Boaton gets worse or at best, older.
      My money is on Melo/ Amare having much better year than Pierce/KG… Rondo can carry them to 6th seed, but the two heavyweights in the conference are Miami NY

      I don’t understand how you can say with a straight face that we are the heavyweights in the conference. We were a first round exit, yes I know there were injuries and coaching change and roller coaster season but we were still a first round exit. Boston is a well coached team with a great pg. The Pacers also deserve credit as well for there strong season last year. I say we are top 4 and I agree with Jafa’s clusters.

    19. thenamestsam

      ruruland: Ray Allen is better than Terry, Bradley is coming off injury… They need KG to be a very good 35pg guy and he isn’t that anymore. I don’t understand why folks here like them better than NY…. The Knicks had a better srs than Boston last year, and will have significantly better depth, two nba point guards, and JR/ Novak for a whole season

      There’s one heavyweight in this conference. If you honestly think differently you should get yourself down to Vegas. There’s a lot of money out there for you if you’re right.

    20. ruruland

      thenamestsam: There’s one heavyweight in this conference. If you honestly think differently you should get yourself down to Vegas. There’s a lot of money out there for you if you’re right.

      of course

    21. ruruland

      knicknyk: Do you seriously believe that we are second to miami? I think we are a good team but we are not that good.

      i have no doubt. Last years Chicago team would change that equation, but barring Injuries it’ll be Mia/NYK ECF or semis and a great series…. Will be a really fun season knock on wood

    22. knicknyk

      ruruland: i have no doubt. Last years Chicago team would change that equation, but barring Injuries it’ll be Mia/NYK ECF or semis and a great series…. Will be a really fun season knock on wood

      Wow well I definitely don’t share your optimism. We will see though.

    23. knicknyk

      In other news. Jorts to the Heat?

      Josh Harrellson ?@BigJorts55
      Tired of it… Miami here I come Wednesday! Let’s have a good workout

    24. thenamestsam

      knicknyk:
      In other news. Jorts to the Heat?

      Josh Harrellson ?@BigJorts55
      Tired of it… Miami here I come Wednesday! Let’s have a good workout

      His style seems like a good fit for them, especially if the shot comes back. For the sake of his career I think he’d be better off finding somewhere where he could get a few more minutes though. Don’t think there will be too many available minutes there.

    25. knicknyk

      thenamestsam: His style seems like a good fit for them, especially if the shot comes back. For the sake of his career I think he’d be better off finding somewhere where he could get a few more minutes though. Don’t think there will be too many available minutes there.

      I wouldn’t really care. You get to practice with an against the best player in the world. Your on a team fresh off a championship run. And you have some semblance of job security. Oh and your living in Miami and all the perks that comes with being a athlete in that city.

    26. Juany8

      I think the Knicks can get the second seed because of circumstances (Chicago and Boston should be much better in the playoffs than in the regular season, and Philly may surprise people but will take time to restructure their entire play style) That being said, I’d have a hard time seeing the Knicks as anything more than even with the Celtics or Bulls at the end of the season. I think they beat the Pacers in the playoffs because of match ups, but I could easily see the Pacers winning more games in the regular season depending on how several things shake out.

      The only team close to a heavyweight in the conference is Miami though, no other team in the East would even get homecourt in the west. If Amar’e can somehow learn to at least be an average defender and is willing to box out consistently (kind of sad that this isn’t a given) This team can keep up with Miami’s small ball lineups while destroying them on the boards. I think if the Knicks reach their ceiling they are the biggest threat to Miami in the east, but a healthy Bulls or Celtics team could more easily beat them even at their best, and I have a hard time seeing Amar’e suddenly hedging on pick and rolls properly, or Felton becoming a serious threat from beyond the arc.

    27. massive

      deI’m with ruru. I think we’re the #2 team in the conference behind Miami, with Indiana 3rd and Boston 4th. People remember the great series the Cs gave Miami, but forget that Bosh was out for most of that series. The Knicks and OKC are the only teams that played Miami at full strength, and both were only able to win one home game. I just thought that was worth mentioning.

      But on the matter of the Cs, unless Sullinger is the real deal, I don’t see how their clearly better than us. We had a lot of bad stretches last year, and finished the season 3 games behind them. I’m not gonna believe they’re better than us just yet.

    28. ruruland

      Heavyweight was simply a word I threw out there. Miami and New York are the two teams that will win 55 or more.

      Stiemsma was very effective last season, with the second highest WS48 on the team. At best, Sullinger and Fab duplicate his minutes.

      They replaced a shooting guard who was +.600 TS the last four seasons with one who hasn’t shot above .552 the last 3.

      In other words, they are banking on Garnett, who has now logged over 50,000 NBA minutes, to once again be their best player statistically (though Rondo is obviously their best player). They will also need Bradley, coming off an injury, to shoot as well as he did last season. He was not a good shooter his rookie year, so the book is still out.

      Even if they get all those things to go in their favor, just based on how they performed in the regular season, it’s highly unlikely they will be better than the Knicks this year.

      Once again, despite being quite healthy and having a more dynamic roster last season, the Knicks had a better srs than the Celtics.

      Th

    29. thenamestsam

      massive:
      deI’m with ruru. I think we’re the #2 team in the conference behind Miami, with Indiana 3rd and Boston 4th. People remember the great series the Cs gave Miami, but forget that Bosh was out for most of that series. The Knicks and OKC are the only teams that played Miami at full strength, and both were only able to win one home game. I just thought that was worth mentioning.

      Although both teams won one game that doesn’t really make the series similar. Average Margin against OKC was Miami +4. Average margin against NY was Miami +14. That’s a more revealing stat in my eyes.

      I’m not saying the Knicks won’t be good this year. We will, the 2nd seed is within reach, and the only Eastern team that can (maybe) give Miami a tougher series than us is Boston (and I think we’ll be a better regular season team than them). But holding up our one victory against Miami when they were already up 3-0 as some kind of badge of honor is twisted. That series was a cakewalk for them.

    30. thenamestsam

      ruruland:
      Heavyweight was simply a word I threw out there. Miami and New York are the two teams thatwill win 55 or more.

      Stiemsma was very effective last season, with the second highest WS48 on the team. At best, Sullinger and Fab duplicate his minutes.

      They replaced a shooting guard who was +.600 TS the last four seasons with one who hasn’t shot above .552 the last 3.

      In other words, they are banking on Garnett, who has now logged over 50,000 NBA minutes, to once again be their best player statistically (though Rondo is obviously their best player). They will also need Bradley, coming off an injury, to shoot as well as he did last season. He was not a good shooter his rookie year, so the book is still out.

      Even if they get all those things to go in their favor, just based on how they performed in the regular season, it’s highly unlikely they will be better than the Knicks this year.

      Once again, despite being quite healthy and having a more dynamic roster last season, the Knicks had a better srs than the Celtics.

      It seems obvious to me that we’ll be better in the regular season than them. We were close last year and we’ve upgraded a lot more than they have. It’s not just about their age either. The biggest factor is just that Rondo doesn’t bring it every night. When you watch how he carved up Miami there’s no way he should only be averaging 12 points a night and only 5 rebounds. In the playoffs, in a big series, where KG and Pierce play max minutes, Rondo brings it every night and coaching matters more I still like them better than us. But it’s pretty close.

    31. Z-man

      Love this Amare quote from NY Post writer Zach Braziller:

      As far as his play on the defensive end, or lack thereof at times, Stoudemire said he’s focused on getting better at that end of the floor. Woodson has emphasized the important of defense and Stoudemire is ready to buy in.

      “Defense is the key to win championships, that’s something I’m dedicated on also, to become a much, much better defensive player,” he said. “It’s going to happen. It’s a matter of preparation and practice and getting that chemistry down on that end of the court.”

      Well, it’s a start…keep on him, Woody!

    32. jon abbey

      Jafa:
      ESPN has its regular season standings predictions up and the Knicks come in at 45-37 and a 7th seed in the East:

      http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8273488/2012-nba-summer-forecast-east-standings

      Cue Ruru, jon abbey and the rest of the 60 win season predictors for a rant against ESPN.

      For me, I say give it 5 more wins and the #3 or #4 seed and I think its accurate.

      not sure why you think I’m predicting 60 wins, I’d go a bit lower than you as of now, 48-52 wins and maybe a #5 seed, but I’d like to see how preseason goes first. there is zero chance (yes, zero) IMO that they will win 60 games. (and no, ruru, I don’t bet on sports anymore, so keep your CAA-sponsored wagering to yourself on this one, thanks).

      Amare to me is the big question mark, he can be anything from the overall non-factor he was for long stretches last year to the top 5-10 MVP candidate he was for the bulk of 2010-2011. there are plenty of other question marks, but that’s the main one IMO.

    33. knicknyk

      Z-man:
      Love this Amare quote from NY Post writer Zach Braziller:

      As far as his play on the defensive end, or lack thereof at times, Stoudemire said he’s focused on getting better at that end of the floor. Woodson has emphasized the important of defense and Stoudemire is ready to buy in.

      “Defense is the key to win championships, that’s something I’m dedicated on also, to become a much, much better defensive player,” he said. “It’s going to happen. It’s a matter of preparation and practice and getting that chemistry down on that end of the court.”

      Well, it’s a start…keep on him, Woody!

      I have trouble seeing Amare getting better on the defensive end but we will see. He was decent in that 7 game stretch under Woodson before injury. We will see though.

    34. ruruland

      Juany8:
      That being said, I’d have a hard time seeing the Knicks as anything more than even with the Celtics or Bulls at the end of the season. I think they beat the Pacers in the playoffs because of match ups, but I could easily see the Pacers winning more games in the regular season depending on how several things shake out.

      The only team close to a heavyweight in the conference is Miami though, no other team in the East would even get homecourt in the west. If Amar’e can somehow learn to at least be an average defender and is willing to box out consistently (kind of sad that this isn’t a given) This team can keep up with Miami’s small ball lineups while destroying them on the boards.

      Miami is clearly the best team in the East. No doubt, even if they have a few weaknesses, their strengths are overwhelming.

      However, there aren’t many teams that have the following:

      1)two elite perimeter defenders that can match up with Lebron and Wade at the same time

      2)two rim protecting big men that can ensure the Knicks have a rebound and interior advantage for all 48 minutes

      3)An offensive player that is capable of going toe-to-toe or outplaying Lebron at least 40 percent of a series

      4)cont.

    35. flossy

      Z-man:
      Love this Amare quote from NY Post writer Zach Braziller:

      As far as his play on the defensive end, or lack thereof at times, Stoudemire said he’s focused on getting better at that end of the floor. Woodson has emphasized the important of defense and Stoudemire is ready to buy in.

      “Defense is the key to win championships, that’s something I’m dedicated on also, to become a much, much better defensive player,” he said. “It’s going to happen. It’s a matter of preparation and practice and getting that chemistry down on that end of the court.”

      Well, it’s a start…keep on him, Woody!

      Ah, the annual Amar’e Stoudemire “This is the year I’m really going to play defense!” soundbite. One of my favorite NBA offseason traditions.

    36. ruruland

      thenamestsam: It seems obvious to me that we’ll be better in the regular season than them. We were close last year and we’ve upgraded a lot more than they have. It’s not just about their age either. The biggest factor is just that Rondo doesn’t bring it every night. When you watch how he carved up Miami there’s no way he should only be averaging 12 points a night and only 5 rebounds. In the playoffs, in a big series, where KG and Pierce play max minutes, Rondo brings it every night and coaching matters more I still like them better than us. But it’s pretty close.

      The Knicks win a few more close games, like the two they lost against Boston, then they would have had a better record. They were already better statistically.

    37. ruruland

      thenamestsam: Although both teams won one game that doesn’t really make the series similar. Average Margin against OKC was Miami +4. Average margin against NY was Miami +14. That’s a more revealing stat in my eyes.

      I’m not saying the Knicks won’t be good this year. We will, the 2nd seed is within reach, and the only Eastern team that can (maybe) give Miami a tougher series than us is Boston (and I think we’ll be a better regular season team than them).

      In that series the Knicks had no point guard capable of playing pick and roll, shooting, or getting the basketball inside the 3pt line.

      That allowed the Heat to basically suffocate the offense and force Amar’e and Melo’s touches into 20+ feet territory. It also allowed their defense to overhelp on all the Knicks shooting threats.

      Thirdly, the destitute pg issues forced JR Smith onto the ball, taking away his spot-up game and putting him into create/forced-shot situations.

      ———Davis in his prime was a mediocre at best pnr player, but prior to his knee popping out, he was playing through injury and really didn’t even resemble the player he was in Cleveland—–

      On top of that, Chandler was a shell of himself with the flu, Amar’e missed a game and a half basically, and Shumpert played one half of basketball.

      Felton’s ability to beat ball pressure means the Knicks will be able to involve Amar’e and Chandler much more, and its shooters will get more opportunities. It will also relieve some of the pressure on Melo to create.

      The pg domino effect really made the entire difference offensively. Adding Camby, a healthy Chandler, Shumpert, Brewer, Kidd and Felton is going to make a big difference defensively in the playoffs against that team.

    38. ruruland

      flossy: Ah, the annual Amar’e Stoudemire “This is the year I’m really going to play defense!” soundbite.One of my favorite NBA offseason traditions.

      Amar’e played far better-than-adequate defense prior to his injury with Woodson. He showed an awareness/focus/recognition that no one really thought he had.

      Give him a chance to play with a head coach who doesn’t treat defense as an afterthought and holds players accountable for mental errors.

      Amar’e can be an adequate defender. He’s already solid on the ball, according to Synergy.

    39. Z-man

      flossy: Ah, the annual Amar’e Stoudemire “This is the year I’m really going to play defense!” soundbite. One of my favorite NBA offseason traditions.

      Yeah, but to be fair, he’s never (certainly not recently) had defense demanded of him by his coach. I’m highly skeptical too, especially after all the bravado he spouted last year. What can I say, I like the guy and believe he will try.

    40. ruruland

      For those predicting high 40s low 50s wins, remember that the Knicks pythag last year for an 82 game schedule was 51 wins…. Apparently believing improvements in Melo/Amare, addition of two NBA point guards, addition of two high caliber defenders, a season that starts with Novak and Smith on rotation…. That those improvements net four WHOLE wins makes me a wild-eyed optimist. Let’s see where Vegas has the line in October. Remember, I was also considered a Pollyanna when I talked about a huge second half surge(against much more difficult schedule) and Melo going on torrid streak ( sure. It was around corner for awhile, but it showed up big and for an extended period)

    41. jon abbey

      ruruland:
      Abbey, respect ur stuff, don’t get the animus…

      it’s not really animus, but if you’re not being paid or compensated in some way for your online presence by CAA or someone else close to Melo, I’ll eat Walter White’s hat.

    42. jon abbey

      ruruland: Miami is clearly the best team in the East. No doubt, even if they have a few weaknesses, their strengths are overwhelming.

      However, there aren’t many teams that have the following:

      1)two elite perimeter defenders that can match up with Lebron and Wade at the same time

      2)two rim protecting big men that can ensure the Knicks have a rebound and interior advantage for all 48 minutes

      3)An offensive player that is capable of going toe-to-toeor outplaying Lebron at least 40 percent of a series

      4)cont.

      yes, again, as soon as they allow platoon hoops, we’ll be title contenders, but until then, we have the not so minor issue of most of our guys being subpar on one end of the floor.

    43. Robtachi

      jon abbey: it’s not really animus, but if you’re not being paid or compensated in some way for your online presence by CAA or someone else close to Melo, I’ll eat Walter White’s hat.

      C’mon, Melo’s/CAA’s perpetual PR machine has much better and more fruitful avenues to pursue than a stathead internet fan blog.

      I’m all for conspiracy theories, jon, but you’re venturing a little too close to that aluminum foil helmet

    44. ruruland

      jon abbey: yes, again, as soon as they allow platoon hoops, we’ll be title contenders, but until then, we have the not so minor issue of most of our guys being subpar on one end of the floor.

      dallas 2011….not a single player on roster great both ways….not that many exist

    45. ruruland

      In other words, basically all championship teams have weaknesses and role players with multiple holes in their game. But not all championship teams are as deep as the Knicks will be next year. There will be a few permutations next season where the collective 5 man unit maximizes strengths and minimizes weaknesses. Does Miami absolutely maximize Bosh and Wade? Of course not. Bosh is not exactly a great defender, and not even Lebron makes up for their poor rebounding and rim protection. Secondly, in the NBA, a properly coached deep team can use its variety of strengths to attack an opponents weakness or minimize its strengths to change the dynamic of the game long enough to gain an advantage and force a counter-move, whereby that deep team can change again.

    46. AvonBarksdale

      If you have walter whites hat, please don’t eat it, he might need it to finish the season and i need to see what’s going on with that giant machine gun he purchased. #2 in the east is feasible thats whats crazy about the amount of talent and potential the knicks have….so much talent and skill but whether or not they hustle every play and the coach can keep them consistently humble i dunno. this team is a lot better now in every way and the hunger seems to be there but we lost so many games to horrible teams not because of d’antoni or the point guard situation but because there is some quit inside those guys a few times, that shit is contagious like poison…also landry fields shot was so ugly it was a major distraction. someone should examine the schedule and list wins/losses guesses that way. a better idea than just throwing up a number.

    47. thenamestsam

      ruruland: In that series the Knicks had no point guard capable of playing pick and roll, shooting, or getting the basketball inside the 3pt line.

      That allowed the Heat to basically suffocate the offense and force Amar’e and Melo’s touches into20+ feet territory. It also allowed their defense to overhelp on all the Knicks shooting threats.

      Thirdly, the destitute pg issues forced JR Smith onto the ball, taking away his spot-up game and putting him into create/forced-shot situations.

      ———Davis in his prime was a mediocre at best pnr player, but prior to his knee popping out, he was playing through injury and really didn’t even resemble the player he was in Cleveland—–

      On top of that, Chandler was a shell of himself with the flu, Amar’e missed a game and a half basically, and Shumpert played one half of basketball.

      Felton’s ability to beat ball pressure means the Knicks will be able to involve Amar’e and Chandler much more, and its shooters will get more opportunities. It will also relieve some of the pressure on Melo to create.

      The pg domino effect really made the entire difference offensively. Adding Camby, a healthy Chandler, Shumpert, Brewer, Kidd and Felton is going to make a big difference defensively in the playoffs against that team.

      Sure, this is all true and we’ve been through it ad nauseum. I was responding to the idea that the fact that OKC lost once and we lost once means anything. They blew us out. Mitigating circumstances sure, but we don’t need to pretend it wasn’t a blowout. As I’ve said, I think we match up with them as well as anyone in the east, but how we played this past year certainly doesn’t show it.

    48. er

      in the lakers 4-1 loss to okc they lost 2 of the 4 games by 3 or less and everyone says they got destroyed in the series so point diff isnt that big a deal in terms of the perception of the outcome in a series

      thenamestsam: Sure, this is all true and we’ve been through it ad nauseum. I was responding to the idea that the fact that OKC lost once and we lost once means anything. They blew us out. Mitigating circumstances sure, but we don’t need to pretend it wasn’t a blowout. As I’ve said, I think we match up with them as well as anyone in the east, but how we played this past year certainly doesn’t show it.

    49. Juany8

      er:
      in the lakers 4-1 loss to okc they lost 2 of the 4 games by 3 or less and everyone says they got destroyed in the series so point diff isnt that big a deal in terms of the perception of the outcome in a series

      That just means the media doesn’t really know what it’s talking about. I actually saw someone that said the OKC-Miami series wasn’t close, and they had 3 consecutive games where OKC was within 1 possession, WITH the ball, in the last minute of the game. The Lakers were also a lot closer to OKC than anyone gave them credit for, they happened to blow a game or 2 in the last few minutes or it might have gotten really interesting. They also just added the center in the league for guarding teams like OKC and Miami, while fixing a lot of their 3 point shooting and ball handling issues with Nash. They also have some solid depth now (Blake-Meeks-Jamison-Hill isn’t too shabby, especially if Jordan Hill plays like he did in the Nuggets series)

    50. jon abbey

      Robtachi: C’mon, Melo’s/CAA’s perpetual PR machine has much better and more fruitful avenues to pursue than a stathead internet fan blog.

      I’m all for conspiracy theories, jon, but you’re venturing a little too close to that aluminum foil helmet

      I didn’t say he was their only employee, this isn’t the only place he posts like this (which he’s talked about, I haven’t really checked), and you’ll note he didn’t deny it. we had this discussion last season and semi-resolved it then with him admitting a connection that he wouldn’t talk about the specifics of. the CAA element is a new one that I’m introducing, though.

      anyway, I like ruru and respect his input in general, but the endless flow of positive spin makes me feel like I’m listening to a Kremlin spokesman circa 1980. it’s a bit much sometimes is my point. :)

    51. Jafa

      jon abbey,

      I completely agree with the conspiracy theory. Ruru sometimes sounds like he has not been a fan of the Knicks for a long time. Anybody who has been rooting for this team knows to temper their expectations because they almost always disappoint (except for 1999 when the far exceeded expectations).

      Ruru,

      You said our 36 wins in 66 games comes out to 51 wins in an 82 game schedule? What formula are you using? 36 wins in 66 games equates to a 0.545 winning percentage. In an 82 game schedule, to achieve that exact winning percentage, you would have to win 45 games. So where are you getting 51 wins from?

    52. Z-man

      Well, it’s all perspective. Considering that we have not won a playoff series in a fan’s eternity, there is lots of reasons for optimism. Problem is, we here in NY go from “please give me a winning season” to “nothing less than a championship is acceptable” in a nanosecond.

      Here are my 10 biggest reasons for optimism:
      1. We are not capped out for the forseeable future…if the Amare-Melo-Chandler thing doesn’t work out, there is major cap relief in 2-3 years.
      2. Grunwald is our second at least “competent” and ad best “damn good” GM in a row, and looks to be here for a while.
      3. We have 3 legit all-star caliber players in our starting lineup.
      4. We are at least 2 deep at every position with established NBA rotation players (unless Thomas, Kidd and/or Camby all hit the age wall hard):
      PG: Felton, Kidd (Maybe Prigioni?)
      SG: JR, Brewer/Shump
      SF: Melo, Novak
      PF: Amare, Thomas
      C: Tyson, Camby
      5. Amare, Melo, Felton and several others are at a critical career crossroads and will be trying to shut a lot of mouths.
      6. We have a coach who seems flexible to the roster, has his player’s respect, and a defensive mentality.
      7. We have veteran leadership, including 2 guys who recently were critical players on a championship team.
      8. We have guys that have recently played together: Amare-Felton, Kidd-Chandler, Melo-JR-Camby
      9. We have 3 PGs that can run an offense, play respectable D, have years of high-level experience, and will take some of the critical decision-making out of less capable hands.
      10. We have a number of really good defenders and the reigning and former DPOYs protecting the rim.

      For the short term, #4 is a huge difference from previous years, especially last year. Let’s remember that the following guys who played big minutes: TD, Fields, Bibby, Jorts, Jeffries, and Baron all were replaced with much, much better players, and that Lin was replaced with a player who “might” (and I think he will) be better than him this year.

    53. Jafa

      Z-man,

      My thoughts on your points Sir:

      1. Our cap situation is depressing for the next 3 years, with money tied up to only 2 solid players (Melo & TC) and the rest tied to mediocre players and old/past their prime players with little room for internal improvement (Shump is our only hope).

      2. I agree on Grunwald, but he’s not the problem. Dolan is.

      3. We have 2 legit all-star caliber players. STAT is a shell of his former self and does not have a very good PG and/or the offense all to himself to make him all-star caliber anymore.

      4. We do have depth but its really old.

      5. I think Melo will do his thing. I highly doubt Amare and Felton shut up anybody, particularly Felton.

      6. But is that coach the best we can do? I can name 3 coaches on the open market I would rather have than him (SVG, Sloan & McMillan).

      7. Completely agree. I would go further and advocate that Kidd be the starter over Felton, so that he can assert that leadership from the opening tip with Melo, STAT and TC on the floor.

      8. Ok, I buy that.

      9. We have 3 PGs that can’t attack the paint, are average shots from outside (which means they can’t effectively stretch the floor) and I only trust Kidd when it comes to critical decision-making.

      10. I agree. Defense will definitely be our calling card.

      I’m glad you agree that #4 is whats realistic for us, instead of some who wildly think we are #2 in this conference.

    54. Z-man

      Here are reasons for pessimism:
      1. Lots of players who have historically only gotten it done on one end of the floor
      2. A coach who has never gone deep in the playoffs
      3. Age, age, age…
      4. Overrated, inefficient players like Melo and Felton will revert to their most negative selves
      5. Amare will never be close the same player he was at his peak and continues to defend poorly
      6. JR will shoot us out of playoff games
      7. Shump does not fully recover
      8. Prigioni is a poor man’s Sergio Rodriguez
      9. White offers nothing on either end
      10. Lin leads the league in scoring and assists and Fields averages 20 and 10, causing a suicide epidemic among Knicks faithful. Isiah is rehired as GM/president/ coach.

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