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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Monday, Jun 04 2012)

  • [New York Daily News] That’s Amar’e! Stoudemire to wed ALL  (Mon, 04 Jun 2012 03:08:40 GMT)
    Knicks captain Amar’e Stoudemire finally popped the question to the mother of his three children â?? with the gleaming lights of Paris as a romantic backdrop.Radiant in a black dress, Alexis Welch quickly said yes after his proposal on the penthouse of the storied Meurice Hotel.

  • [New York Times] Eastern Conference Finals Game 4: Celtics 93, Heat 91: Celtics Prevail in Overtime and Tie the Series (Mon, 04 Jun 2012 08:00:35 GMT)
    Paul Pierce, who led the Celtics with 23 points, and LeBron James, who led the Heat with 29 points, both fouled out in overtime as the Celtics won to tie the series at 2-2.

  • [New York Times] Western Conference Finals: Serge Ibaka Helps Thunder Tie Series Against Spurs (Mon, 04 Jun 2012 05:34:03 GMT)
    Serge Ibaka, who scored a career-high 26 points in Game 4, epitomized how the Thunder have outplayed the Spurs in tying the Western Conference finals at two games each.

  • [New York Times] Liberty Top Fever for First Win (Mon, 04 Jun 2012 06:11:55 GMT)
    Cappie Pondexter scored 25 points to lead the host Liberty to an 87-72 win over the Indiana Fever, ending the Liberty’s (1-5) longest winless start in franchise history.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Beat Heat 93-91 in OT, Tie Series at 2-2 (Mon, 04 Jun 2012 09:01:24 GMT)
    The Celtics’ big lead gone and leading scorer along with it, Rajon Rondo had a message for Kevin Garnett.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Pull Even With Heat in Overtime Thriller (Mon, 04 Jun 2012 05:34:10 GMT)
    Miami guard Dwyane Wade missed a three-point shot at the buzzer in overtime, allowing the Boston Celtics to see off the Heat 93-91 on Sunday and level the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series at 2-2.

  • [New York Times] LeRoy Ellis, Star With St. John’s and N.B.A.’s Lakers, Dies at 72 (Mon, 04 Jun 2012 02:57:19 GMT)
    Mr. Ellis, a center, was on the outstanding St. John’s teams of the early 1960s and went on to win an N.B.A. championship with the Lakers in 1972.

  • [New York Times] James Fouls Out, Watches Celtics Beat Heat 93-91 (Mon, 04 Jun 2012 06:06:53 GMT)
    He’s taken last-second shots and he’s passed them up. He’s made some, and missed a few, too.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Beat Heat in OT, Tie East Finals at 2-2 (Mon, 04 Jun 2012 05:19:32 GMT)
    Rajon Rondo delivered the trash talk at halftime and the big plays in overtime.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Court Rivals May Someday Vie on Distant Field (Mon, 04 Jun 2012 04:18:06 GMT)
    LeBron James of the Heat and Kevin Garnett of the Celtics both own interests in European soccer teams: James in Liverpool and Garnett in A.S. Roma.

  • 106 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Monday, Jun 04 2012)

    1. Eternal OptiKnist

      I find myself very depressed today…just tired of flaming out in the first round. What gets me is that its another year where we didn’t nearly have a full squad, no guarantee that the result would be any different, but we never got to find out two-years running. Maybe im bummed because i see the monthly credit card charge for next season’s tickets with no games to watch…withdrawal, perhaps? I dunno…im just knicks-sad today and need some support. Come back Knickerbloggers…lets talk.

    2. thenamestsam

      I was feeling bummed too, but I think it has to do with that game last night. That Celtics team is not good. They’re really not. With Lin I really think we were better than them this year, but somehow things always seem to go the Celtics way, and here they are with a good shot to make the finals again, while we were eliminated a month ago. Atlanta, then Philly, then Miami without Bosh. Things never break like that for the Knicks. To me that was the most amazing thing about Linsanity this year was just that it was so unexpected. If something similar had happened with the Yankees it wouldn’t have been the same because good things always seem to happen to the Yankees. But Lin was honestly the first time I felt like the Knicks got some good luck in almost 15 years. Of course it didn’t last long though.

      One other thought on the game last night, and that series in general. The officiating was just the worst, and has been throughout that series. They honestly checked every box on the bad officiating scorecard last night. Momentum officiating, home team bias, taking over the game, inconsistencies, they really did it all. Very frustrating to watch.

      Does anyone else find it enraging when the refs blow off a basket and do the exaggerated waving the arms for 15 seconds, blowing the whistle over and over, all to make sure they’re the center of attention before they grace us with their call? The only person I saw celebrate their own achievement more than Bill Kennedy after calling an offensive foul was Tiger Woods after draining a chip to win a tournament. When they make me commissioner that’s going to be an instant ban for any ref who pulls that junk.

      And now an actual last thought, supposedly Bosh is playing in game 5. Very awkward time to try to reinvolve him, in a must win game. If Miami plays with intensity on D for 48 minutes though I can’t imagine Boston beating them at home.

    3. TheRant

      I’m always sad when the Knicks’ season ends. But this year my spirits are buoyed because (a) the Celtics/Heat and Thunder/Spurs are both amazing series to watch and (b) watching the Heat lose makes me almost as happy as watching the Knicks win.

      As for Amar’e, Mazel Tov! But is she Jewish?

    4. d-mar

      Whew, I’m just glad to finally be seeing a few posts, was getting tired of going to K-Blogger and seeing “0 comments” and “1 comment”

      @3 I feel the same way. A fully healthy Knicks squad vs. a Bosh-less Miami, and we’d be in the same place as the Celtics. Or we could have lost a few more damn games in the regular season and been playing the C’s in the 2nd round. Either way, our playoff experience wouldn’t have been so abbreviated, and the highlight being streamers dropping at MSG for winning one freaking playoff game down 3-0.

      @2 I write some big ass checks to the Knicks as well (have been for 27 years, my seats were $12 way back when) and it is more painful when they get bounced early. Although the way they jack up prices each round (almost 200% if you make the finals) it means I can still feed my family!

    5. Eternal OptiKnist

      I’d love to see an analysis showing % of overall points scored at the foul line in a series comparing the home team and away team. I’d also index it to # of shot attempts in the paint. The home court advantage is so strong in the NBA..more than any of the other major sports; and i’d argue that fouls-called has more of an impact in the NBA vs any of the other majors as well.

    6. Eternal OptiKnist

      I was one of the few that wanted to see Miami in the first round..shows how smart i am. I agree that if we were 100% we could push them 6, maybe 7 games. I think the thing i’m looking most forward to next year is our first excuse-less year in what….5 years? No more..waiting for lebron, not having a center, gutting the team for melo, not having a point guard, not having training camp, not being on the same page as the coach. Every excuse should be behind us except injuries which is always possible. The only other wild-card for us going into next year is depth.

    7. Eternal OptiKnist

      Any legal minds want to shed light on what our chances are of winning that bird rights case with the league? It wont impact us keeping Lin..thats a forgone conclusion as far as i’m concerned..but it does have major impact on what our depth/bench will look like.

    8. Eternal OptiKnist

      sorry…but i’m committed to keeping this thread alive. Perhaps i will post a semi-nude pic of a woman on a hotel room bed.

    9. johnlocke

      Now you’ve got my attention! =)

      Eternal OptiKnist:
      sorry…but i’m committed to keeping this thread alive.Perhaps i will post a semi-nude pic of a woman on a hotel room bed.

    10. johnlocke

      Jared rents his Manhattan apt from a friend/co-worker and for what it’s worth isn’t planning on renewing his lease….. could mean he’s moving on up — to the East Side to a deluxe apt in the sky… or he’s not coming back

      chrisk06811:
      I wonder what Jarred Jeffries is doing right now.

    11. dgvertz

      As for the bird rights case, everyone who is asked about it says the player’s association is going to lose.

      As for a year with “no excuses” there will always be an excuse. The fact is that two of our starters (Amar’e and Tyson) are generally injury prone guys. That means that at some point this year, we are pretty much guaranteed an injury to one of our very important pieces. Add to that the fact that Shumpert is going to probably miss the first month of the season, and we have no clue how Lin is going to react to knee surgery (or Shumpert), and that’s 80% of our starting lineup.

      80% of our starting lineup has injury question marks all over it. And not to mention Carmelo with his nine hundred groin injuries or whatever (christ, dude, can’t you keep it in your pants for ONE NIGHT?!). That’s 100% of our starting lineup with injury question marks.

      But god damn. If our team is healthy, I’d say they’re the best in the conference.

    12. thenamestsam

      As much fun as this is, I’m going to bring it back to the Knicks for a minute. Interesting article in NY magazine that I saw earlier today:

      http://nymag.com/news/sports/games/carmelo-anthony-2012-6/

      Some of the shots at Melo may be slightly exaggerated, but the more I think about it the more I agree with the fundamental premise that it’s probably impossible to have a coach be a long-term success when the players are perceived as above him in the organizational pecking order, and that is certainly the case with Melo and Woodson. I just don’t see how Woodson can command Melo’s respect when he and Melo both know that he has the job in large part thanks to Melo (both his explicit endorsement and the stronger implicit endorsement he gave with his effort after the coaching change) and that if Melo wants him gone he can submarine him as easily and effectively as he did Dantoni.

    13. johnlocke

      I guess…but Woodson apparently has 3 years on his contract….same as Melo. Melo has already run one coach out of town, do you really think he wants the reputation of being the guy that runs coaches out of town, when he’s due to sign another contract / extension? I see next year as a ‘Redemption Tour’ for both Carmelo, and hopefully Amare.

      thenamestsam:
      As much fun as this is, I’m going to bring it back to the Knicks for a minute. Interesting article in NY magazine that I saw earlier today:

      http://nymag.com/news/sports/games/carmelo-anthony-2012-6/

      Some of the shots at Melo may be slightly exaggerated, but the more I think about it the more I agree with the fundamental premise that it’s probably impossible to have a coach be a long-term success when the players are perceived as above him in the organizational pecking order, and that is certainly the case with Melo and Woodson. I just don’t see how Woodson can command Melo’s respect when he and Melo both know that he has the job in large part thanks to Melo (both his explicit endorsement and the stronger implicit endorsement he gave with his effort after the coaching change) and that if Melo wants him gone he can submarine him as easily and effectively as he did Dantoni.

    14. thenamestsam

      johnlocke:
      I guess…but Woodson apparently has 3 years on his contract….same as Melo. Melo has already run one coach out of town, do you really think he wants the reputation of being the guy that runs coaches out of town, when he’s due to sign another contract / extension? I see next year as a ‘Redemption Tour’ for both Carmelo, and hopefully Amare.

      I don’t doubt that the honeymoon period will probably continue into next year, but I think there are problems lurking down the road. The years remaining on the contract are a little misleading because we all know that if Melo is still Melo Dolan plans on keeping him around after those 3 years, and will do what it takes to make that happen. Woodson only has two guaranteed years. That means that, barring an extension, next year he’ll be coaching for his job again. If Melo wants him out all he has to do is stop giving the effort on D again, or just go have a little chat with Dolan. Yes, it would be bad for his reputation, but someone who freely admitted to the media to giving more effort after Dantoni got fired doesn’t really seem too worried about that.

      I want to be clear that I’m not trying to blast Melo here, even if it’s coming across sort of like that. What I’m upset about is the dysfunctional organizational structure that allows a player to (mostly) control coaching decisions.

    15. johnlocke

      I would agree with you, were this a case where we hired a coach who didn’t deserve it or made no sense simply b/c our star player supported him, but that’s not the case here. Woodson was the odds on favorite to return whether Melo went out of his way to support him or not, based on the 18-6 record and team statistic improvements. Melo quit on D’Antoni, (he wasn’t the only one) but I don’t think D’Antoni was the right coach for the personnel we had on the team.

      thenamestsam: I don’t doubt that the honeymoon period will probably continue into next year, but I think there are problems lurking down the road. The years remaining on the contract are a little misleading because we all know that if Melo is still Melo Dolan plans on keeping him around after those 3 years, and will do what it takes to make that happen. Woodson only has two guaranteed years. That means that, barring an extension, next year he’ll be coaching for his job again. If Melo wants him out all he has to do is stop giving the effort on D again, or just go have a little chat with Dolan. Yes, it would be bad for his reputation, but someone who freely admitted to the media to giving more effort after Dantoni got fired doesn’t really seem too worried about that.

      I want to be clear that I’m not trying to blast Melo here, even if it’s coming across sort of like that. What I’m upset about is the dysfunctional organizational structure that allows a player to (mostly) control coaching decisions.

    16. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Unless your name is Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, or a few others, you really don’t matter.

      Looking forward to a 48-win season and a first round exit next year.

    17. Eternal OptiKnist

      You wonder how much is real vs fake with all the anonymous-sourced reports that are out there. I was always of the mindset that Phil would never want to come to NY to work for Billy Madison. I don’t think Woodson is ideal, but if there’s no Phil then there is no one else out there who is both a better option than Woody..AND is available. So i thought to myself, ‘eh…at least he got proven results and got Melo to play well.’ So to me, I can understand if you’re the Knicks and say, there’s no reason why we should make calls and hurt Woody’s confidence knowing we wont get anywhere with Phil. But then there were some quotes out there that seemed like obvious plants from the ‘Jackson camp’ indicating that he’s available. If its true that he was than i agree with the major media outlets in the NY area that it was so monumentally stupid not to make the phonecall. It really does seem like Melo just runs the Knicks – its seems as though everyone is so enamored with him that he’s so catered to. Woodson seems like such a no-nonsense man of principle, so i hope he can be above that and not let Melo influence his better judgement. Then again, i thought there was a chance he’d refuse to ditch his agent…but that didnt happen. We’ll soon see how much of a company man he is.

    18. johnlocke

      If you’ve ever played sports at a competitive level, you’d know that both good and bad coaches have an impact on a team.
      I’m not sure you give enough credit to the importance of leadership to a basketball team of 20 year olds and getting a bunch of individuals moving selflessly toward a common goal. That’s just as important as the Xs and Os and coaches do matter from that perspective.

      As to your first round exit…there is no team in the East outside of Miami and a healthy Bulls team (we’ll see) that worries me.

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Unless your name is Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, or a few others, you really don’t matter.

      Looking forward to a 48-win season and a first round exit next year.

    19. ruruland

      johnlocke: If you’ve ever played sports at a competitive level, you’d know that both good and bad coaches have an impact on a team.I’m not sure you give enough credit to the importance of leadership to a basketball team of 20 year olds and getting a bunch of individuals moving selflessly toward a common goal. That’s just as important as the Xs and Os and coaches do matter from that perspective. As to your first round exit…there is no team in the East outside of Miami and a healthy Bulls team (we’ll see) that worries me.

      THCJ believes he would be a “good” NBA coach. That’s what he’s said before.

    20. Eternal OptiKnist

      johnlocke: Melo quit on D’Antoni, (he wasn’t the only one) but I don’t think D’Antoni was the right coach for the personnel we had on the team.

      Thats not the first time ive heard someone say this. Who else quit on D’antoni? Obviously, he’s got to be one of Amare’s mentors, Jeremy Lin flourished, Jared Jeffries couldn’t stop praising him, Chandler seemed to like him, he made Novak a star. Who else besides Melo quit?

    21. johnlocke

      If you look at the team’s offensive and defensive statistical jumps after D’Antoni left — they were significant. And that can’t be explained by the fact that Melo was ‘trying harder’. All of the Knicks were trying harder…Melo was just too un-media savvy to actually admit he was trying harder. As a coach, as I mentioned above, part of your job is to be a leader of young men. When your guys see that you are blatantly not holding everyone to the same standard (and chewing out Fields and Shump) but saying nothing to Amare and Melo, whether these guys LOVE you or not, becomes moot, because they don’t RESPECT you anymore. Mike lost the respect of the team through his passive-aggressive approach to leadership and that affected everybody to not give their full mental and physical effort. When the Knicks were at their best ..the 6-1 mark post D’Antoni, Melo’s offensive stats weren’t that great.

      Eternal OptiKnist: Thats not the first time ive heard someone say this.Who else quit on D’antoni?Obviously, he’s got to be one of Amare’s mentors, Jeremy Lin flourished, Jared Jeffries couldn’t stop praising him, Chandler seemed to like him, he made Novak a star.Who else besides Melo quit?

    22. jon abbey

      when you’re making the list of people to blame for the eternal damnation we seem to be in as Knicks fans, Dolan is obviously first, but soon after that are season ticket holders IMO. stop supporting this organization financially until there is a new owner! just STOP! thank you.

    23. johnlocke

      By watching Knick games on TV you are supporting the high television advertising fees earned by the MSG network…so you too are supporting the Dolan regime…

      jon abbey:
      when you’re making the list of people to blame for the eternal damnation we seem to be in as Knicks fans, Dolan is obviously first, but soon after that are season ticket holders IMO. stop supporting this organization financially until there is a new owner! just STOP! thank you.

    24. Eternal OptiKnist

      johnlocke: If you look at the team’s offensive and defensive statistical jumps after D’Antoni left — they were significant. And that can’t be explained by the fact that Melo was ‘trying harder’. All of the Knicks were trying harder…Melo was just too un-media savvy to actually admit he was trying harder. As a coach, as I mentioned above, part of your job is to be a leader of young men. When your guys see that you are blatantly not holding everyone to the same standard (and chewing out Fields and Shump) but saying nothing to Amare and Melo, whether these guys LOVE you or not, becomes moot, because they don’t RESPECT you anymore. Mike lost the respect of the team through his passive-aggressive approach to leadership and that affected everybody to not give their full mental and physical effort. When the Knicks were at their best ..the 6-1 mark post D’Antoni, Melo’s offensive stats weren’t that great.

      I’m not saying that may not be true but you can’t discount the effect that one player not playing to his ability would have on the whole team. As far as comparing season stats…here’s what i’d like to compare…Feb 4 through Feb 19 (Linsanity), Feb 20 through March 12 (Carmality) and then March 14 through April 26 (Woodsanity). The one thing I remember from Linsanity under D’antoni was the hard play on both ends..the offense ran correctly but the defense was even better…we were shutting teams down. There was legitimate passion there and players playing hard for a coach. Then Melo comes back and dogs it. Does the team stop playing hard because Melo does or do they quit cause they’re pissed that D’antoni lets him?

    25. ruruland

      Eternal OptiKnist: Thats not the first time ive heard someone say this.Who else quit on D’antoni?Obviously, he’s got to be one of Amare’s mentors, Jeremy Lin flourished, Jared Jeffries couldn’t stop praising him, Chandler seemed to like him, he made Novak a star.Who else besides Melo quit?

      Quit is a really strong word. Where did it come from?

      Melo was playing his typical 36 minutes under MDA, and up until the final few games under MDA (in which they were on a long losing streak and he was being asked to be a complementary offensive player), was doing everything he was asked to do offensively.

      Defensively, like all of his teammates not named Jared Jeffries, he was switching an extremely high percentage of the time, which is a lower effort defensive strategy.

      The pick and roll defense and switching was what was killing the Knicks defensively, even though they were a top 10 defense at the time.

      Even Chandler had subpar efforts during that losing streak.. Shumpert was not fighting through screens. Amar’e was absolutely abominable. Up and down the roster, guys became much better defensively after the coaching change.

      Now, Melo is going to be the goat because of his salary, or because of how he was attained or whatever, but it would once again be entirely unfair to say he was the one who “quit.”

    26. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      If you look at the team’s offensive and defensive statistical jumps after D’Antoni left — they were significant. And that can’t be explained by the fact that Melo was ‘trying harder’. All of the Knicks were trying harder…Melo was just too un-media savvy to actually admit he was trying harder.As a coach, as I mentioned above, part of your job is to be a leader of young men. When your guys see that you are blatantly not holding everyone to the same standard (and chewing out Fields and Shump) but saying nothing to Amare and Melo, whether these guys LOVE you or not, becomes moot, because they don’t RESPECT you anymore. Mike lost the respect of the team through his passive-aggressive approach to leadership and that affected everybody to not give their full mental and physical effort.When the Knicks were at their best ..the 6-1 mark post D’Antoni, Melo’s offensive stats weren’t that great.

      But it goes deeper than that, but yeah, I’d agree.

    27. Eternal OptiKnist

      johnlocke: By watching Knick games on TV you are supporting the high television advertising fees earned by the MSG network…so you too are supporting the Dolan regime…

      Thats technically only true if you’re a Nielsen family :) If not, your viewership is not counted.

    28. jon abbey

      yeah, the TV argument is ridiculous, no one has any idea whether I watch MSG or not and it’s not a stand alone pay channel (if it was, I wouldn’t pay for it for the same reason mentioned above).

    29. thenamestsam

      johnlocke:
      If you’ve ever played sports at a competitive level, you’d know that both good and bad coaches have an impact on a team.
      I’m not sure you give enough credit to the importance of leadership to a basketball team of 20 year olds and getting a bunch of individuals moving selflessly toward a common goal.That’s just as important as the Xs and Os and coaches do matter from that perspective.

      As to your first round exit…there is no team in the East outside of Miami and a healthy Bulls team (we’ll see) that worries me.

      I don’t think you can quite equate whatever level you played at with the NBA. Like with everything else the spread between the best and the worst gets much smaller as you climb the ladder. It’s true that at the High School level and even college the spread between the best coaches and the worst can be huge. But at the NBA level there has already been a big weeding out of the horrible coaches (every now and then one slips through, but for the most part). So the difference is going to be a lot smaller than at lower levels.

      That said I do think it’s ignorant to say that NBA coaches have no impact outside of PJax and Pop. I’d agree that it’s generally a marginal difference, but in order to win a championship or even have playoff success, you need to either be getting a lot of the marginal stuff right or have overwhelming talent. The Knicks are talented, but I don’t believe that if we face off with Indy, or Boston, or Atlanta or any of the other middle of the pack Eastern teams our advantage is overwhelming. We’ll need to win some marginal matchups, and in a tight playoff series where games are close, one decision can have a very big effect.

    30. ruruland

      Eternal OptiKnist: I’m not saying that may not be true but you can’t discount the effect that one player not playing to his ability would have on the whole team.As far as comparing season stats…here’s what i’d like to compare…Feb 4 through Feb 19 (Linsanity), Feb 20 through March 12 (Carmality) and then March 14 through April 26 (Woodsanity).The one thing I remember from Linsanity under D’antoni was the hard play on both ends..the offense ran correctly but the defense was even better…we were shutting teams down.There was legitimate passion there and players playing hard for a coach.Then Melo comes back and dogs it.Does the team stop playing hard because Melo does or do they quit cause they’re pissed that D’antoni lets him?

      From Feb.4 to Feb. 19 the Knicks were 8-1 (1-0 with Melo) with a +7.1 point differential. Six of the games during that stretch were at home, and six were against lottery teams.

      The average defensive rating during for the Knicks during that stretch was 97.5, which is better than the 100 rating on the season.

      However, take a look at the offensive ranking of the teams it played during that stretch: 23rd, 6th, 25th, 10th, 18th, 29th, 21st, 28th, 22nd

      There was virtually no offensive improvement on the Knicks outside of Lin’s individual play and the insertion of Novak into the lineup.

      The Knicks were statistically unimpressive on offense as they were with Melo and no Novak/Lin.

    31. ruruland

      From Feb.20 to March 12 the Knicks were 2-8, with a not-so-awful
      -3.5 point differential.

      But consider the following: 6 of the ten games were on the road….

      Check out the schedule: Loss to NJ with Deron Williams going off, blow-out of Hawks at home, loss @ Heat, blow-out win against Cleveland, OT loss @ Boston, loss @ Dallas, b2b loss @ San Antonio, 5pt loss @ Milwaukee, loss against Philly, 5pt loss @ Chicago (with Rose)….

      The Knicks 6-1 stretch with all of its players under Woodson was likely one of the more dominant stretches in the NBA this season:+14 point differential, playing 3 teams that advanced in the NBA playoffs.

    32. thenamestsam

      ruruland: From Feb.4 to Feb. 19 the Knicks were 8-1 (1-0 with Melo) with a +7.1 point differential. Six of the games during that stretch were at home, and six were against lottery teams.

      The average defensive rating during for the Knicks during that stretch was 97.5, which is better than the 100 rating on the season.

      However, take a look at the offensive ranking of the teams it played during that stretch: 23rd, 6th, 25th, 10th, 18th, 29th, 21st, 28th, 22nd

      There was virtually no offensive improvement on the Knicks outside of Lin’s individual play and the insertion of Novak into the lineup.

      The Knicks were statistically unimpressive on offense as they were with Melo and no Novak/Lin.

      It’s true that the results during Linsanity were definitely partially due to an easy schedule and good luck in close games. However, I think we all saw that the team was playing with more energy and spirit during that period than they were during the subsequent period. Now, it’s not fair to hang that all on the return of Melo. If I remember correctly, there were a couple really tough losses right in a row and a deflatingly difficult period of the schedule, and we never really know exactly what’s happening behind the scenes with a team. But there was a pretty clear drop in the energy of the team that was correlated with, even if not necessarily caused by, Melo’s return. Do you disagree with that?

    33. ruruland

      Now, it’s not fair to hang that all on the return of Melo.

      I wouldn’t disagree with that at all.

      There was certainly a palpable spirit with the Lin team that was different than before. To me the explanation is that you finally had a player that could run MDA’s offense, and I think the identity of that iteration of the team was very easily formed because of that — guys fit into very defined roles they were comfortable with. And even though they weren’t all that better offensively, it seemed as though there was a very clear direction.

      When you have an identity it’s much easier to go full-throttle energy-wise, which is what you saw with a lot of loose balls and those kinds of plays.

      When we rewind back to when Melo returned. Yeah, you had the loss against New Jersey which was very similar to the loss the team had against New Orleans without Melo just a week earlier, you had guys trying not to step on one another which always causes a little bit of energy deflation.

      But I still go back to the second half against Atlanta, the dominance against Cleveland, the first half against Boston — to me there were signs that the offense was going to work EXTREMELY well.

      We saw a lot of flashes of Melo+ Amar’e and Lin working together in pick and roll, there was some really great ball movement during those stretches and they were running SSOL. You could see the potential moving forward in that offense.

      It was after that Boston loss where I really think pressure got to Melo and MDA. MDA being unwilling to allow Melo more touches in the offense, to alter his offense and give Melo more responsibility to change the team’s fortune.

      Melo gets blamed for skirting responsibility when he actually wanted more responsibility during the team’s losing streak.

      That’s where all of his many critics take both sides of the argument against him.

      Now, he handled that situation, starting in the Dallas game and through the next 4-5 games…

    34. Bison

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Unless your name is Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, or a few others, you really don’t matter.

      Looking forward to a 48-win season and a first round exit next year.

      A first round exit’s likely if the Knicks continue to play mostly Melo ball.

    35. Bison

      jon abbey:
      yeah, the TV argument is ridiculous, no one has any idea whether I watch MSG or not and it’s not a stand alone pay channel (if it was, I wouldn’t pay for it for the same reason mentioned above).

      I wouldn’t be so sure that your TV viewing was anonymous. If you have a digital TV box, the little gadget could be phoning home every time you tune into “Sex and the City”. I don’t know that this is happening, but given how easy it would be to implement, I wouldn’t put it past the cable companies.

    36. ruruland

      Bison: A first round exit’s likely if the Knicks continue to play mostly Melo ball.

      If they stay healthy and have a semblance of the team they had last year they won’t lose in the first round.

      Melo’s offenses in Denver consistently ranked among the top teams in assist percentage: 10th, 7th, 11th, 4th, 3rd, 12th, despite lacking a top point guard….

      When there is balance, there is more ball movement, more diversity, and everyone gets better shots.

    37. thenamestsam

      @Ruru, I think that’s a very fair assessment, and I do remember you beating the drum about how it was going to work eventually. Do you still think they would have eventually hit the rhythm that they eventually did find without changing coaches or do you think that the tension building in the MDA/Melo relationship (and whatever effect it was having on the team’s spirit) because of the downturn in results made a coaching change a prerequisite for the run they went on after that?

    38. thenamestsam

      Wow, I said eventually a lot of times. Not the best written comment of my career.

    39. ruruland

      thenamestsam:
      @Ruru, I think that’s a very fair assessment, andI do remember you beating the drum about how it was going to work eventually. Do you still think they would have eventually hit the rhythm that they eventually did find without changing coaches or do you think that the tension building in the MDA/Melo relationship (and whatever effect it was having on the team’s spirit) because of the downturn in results made a coaching change a prerequisite for the run they went on after that?

      I think it would have gotten worse because this was mostly about MDA’s contract situation, which is probably the biggest reason he was stubbornly unwilling to get creative with his offense, and yes I think there was some level of intention on Melo’s part to get MDA out last year.

      For all the people that want to talk about Melo being defiant toward his coach, you don’t often hear the opposite narrative– of how a lame duck coach with an offensive system that he branded and had earned him tens of millions of dollars , who had not gotten his way in terms of building his team to fit that proprietary system, was also being defiant towards the Knicks organization in terms of not incooperating Melo’s talents into the offense.

      I mean, think of it like this. The guy quit after the Chicago game. Do you really think he was acting on a whim, that he had really just started to think about quitting?

      Now way. I don’t think there’s any idea that MDA was thinking about an out a long time ago. And players can pick up on that. I don’t think he was invested into the team, and so that lack of passion was reciprocated, especially from the guy for whom all the responsibility of winning had been placed (Melo).

    40. Eternal OptiKnist

      Bison: I wouldn’t be so sure that your TV viewing was anonymous.If you have a digital TV box, the little gadget could be phoning home every time you tune into “Sex and the City”.I don’t know that this is happening, but given how easy it would be to implement, I wouldn’t put it past the cable companies.

      Nielsen viewership is how program shares are determined and those shares drive advertising revenue..period. Now, cable providers will use their box data to sell their on-demand ads which is different.

    41. max fisher-cohen

      @ruru, I’d agree that if we had the same team we had this year return next year with good health and with Woodson running a balanced offense that a fair expectation would be 2nd round in the playoffs, losing to Chicago or Miami in, say, 6 games. The problem is that’s not happening. JR Smith, Novak and Baron Davis are all likely gone, and Shumpert, due to his knee, is unlikely to play at the level he played at in the last 1/3 of this season. There’s a 50/50 chance that Jeffries is gone although that’s less of a concern for me since I’m hopeful about Harrellson.

      My understanding of our second half recovery was that it was part Melo going off and partly the fact that suddenly we had some role players who could make shots: most notably Shumpert, Novak and Smith. If those 3 are gone/diminished, what are the odds that we catch lightning in a bottle again and find impact role guys for minimum money?

      Then there’s the fact that TC has missed 15 games/year on average and is now 30 with 12 seasons under his belt, and that Lin’s style of play and brief career suggests he’ll be injury prone throughout his career.

      Factor all these things in and my average case scenario is THCJ’s 48 win prediction. My worst case reasonable scenario (assuming traditionally healthy guys stay healthy but others suffer some injuries) is 38-42 wins, 8th-10th place in the East.

      By the way, who would be opposed to bringing back Nate Robinson for the minimum?

    42. formido

      ruruland: The Knicks 6-1 stretch with all of its players under Woodson was likely one of the more dominant stretches in the NBA this season:+14 point differential, playing 3 teams that advanced in the NBA playoffs.

      This should be considered a portent. This combination of players wins.

      A nice side effect of believing this is that I get to root for the team and all its current players like a true fan. I will not have to remain silent or issue back-handed compliments as the Knicks march through a long play-off run, because I expect it to happen. ;)

      thenamestsam: It’s true that the results during Linsanity were definitely partially due to an easy schedule and good luck in close games.

      I think the opponents’ winning percentage during that period was like .38 or so? If you flipped a loaded coin that came up heads 60% of the time, you’d still be exceedingly unlikely to roll 7 heads in a row. Discounting that stretch would be irrational minimization. Fans tend to have a viewpoint to defend and a history of predictions to rationalize.

      Imagine you’re playing a pickup game and you lose two of your best players, players with whom you’d been having middling to poor results with so far. And then you get a new player and you have a 7 game winning streak. Is there any chance whatsoever that you don’t think your play has improved or that the new player wasn’t a significant part of that? Anyone who’s played much basketball will know that you’d be spending no time rationalizing away his impact. Weak competition? These are all NBA teams. The teams they played didn’t have a .10 winning rate. I love how an undrafted player making his first career starts was “feasting” on this weak .400 winning percentage NBA teams.

    43. Bison

      ruruland: If they stay healthy and have a semblance of the team they had last year they won’t lose in the first round.

      Not if they continue to play Melo ball.

      Melo’s offenses in Denver consistently ranked among the top teams in assist percentage: 10th, 7th, 11th, 4th, 3rd, 12th, despite lacking a top point guard….

      Didn’t I blast “assist percentage” as a bogus stat, given how many different formulas there are for it? When a stat that claims to measure passing ability values Brian Scalabrine over Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan — especially when we can all see how superbly the latter two have been passing in the playoffs lately — I laugh.

      When there is balance, there is more ball movement, more diversity, and everyone gets better shots.

      This is meaningless until you define “balance”.

    44. SangaD

      seeing the celtics compete leaves me refreshed and hopeful. I dont like the celts, nothing personal just in the spirit of things, but they prove the undervalued lesson on Chemistry. months ago when we were debating getting JR smith, I didnt like it for one reason bcuz it thought would hinder the growth of our chemistry as a unit, I just knew the Celtics were gonna ball harder than us but not because they were better simply because those guys actually know and CARE about each other. They have Talent but really man they have Flow! This knick squad has a core four that we just need to stick with and let these guys develop. CHOP the stats up however the fuck you want when the whistle is blown its about being hell bent on not letting your man down. getting to the point where that aura is the dominating force in your locker room takes Time even if you have the talent. this season is not going to be our fairy tale but this year is about growing that core finding those four guys that we will finally stop talking about trading and we have no doubt will retire here. 45 – 50 wins and the EAST FINALS, where that core shows up, thats my prediction.

    45. Bison

      Eternal OptiKnist: Nielsen viewership is how program shares are determined and those shares drive advertising revenue..period. Now, cable providers will use their box data to sell their on-demand ads which is different.

      You are being a little naive. If your digital TV box is telling the cable companies exactly what you are watching, the company is sitting on a gold mine. I have little doubt that IF they have this data on the millions of their subscribers, they are cashing in. Since the opportunity is so potentially lucrative, I think the likelihood is very high that your digital box is phoning home.

    46. Bison

      formido:

      ruruland:
      The Knicks 6-1 stretch with all of its players under Woodson was likely one of the more dominant stretches in the NBA this season:+14 point differential, playing 3 teams that advanced in the NBA playoffs.

      This should be considered a portent. This combination of players wins.

      I would amend that to say “this combination of players — and Melo’s team play — wins big”. Most of the games during that 6-1 stretch with the full team were blowouts, even with Melo shooting only 39% in that run.

    47. johnlocke

      George Karl bashing melo part 2 on ESPN…..and woodson says Lin is the starting PG (duh!).
      His largest beef on Melo is inconsistency…tough to argue with that…though kinda poor taste for ex-coach to be bashing former player publicly

    48. ruruland

      max fisher-cohen:
      @ruru, I’d agree that if we had the same team we had this year return next year with good health and with Woodson running a balanced offense that a fair expectation would be 2nd round in the playoffs, losing to Chicago or Miami in, say, 6 games. The problem is that’s not happening. JR Smith, Novak and Baron Davis are all likely gone, and Shumpert, due to his knee, is unlikely to play at the level he played at in the last 1/3 of this season. There’s a 50/50 chance that Jeffries is gone although that’s less of a concern for me since I’m hopeful about Harrellson.

      My understanding of our second half recovery was that it was part Melo going off and partly the fact that suddenly we had some role players who could make shots: most notably Shumpert, Novak and Smith.

      if we just look at the JR the Knicks had last year, the guy with a .508 TS– that guy is replaceable. he did some nice things in terms of spacing the offense, playmaking and effort and energy, but you can find energy players/complementary offensive players with below average shooting efficiency for cheap.

      If the union loses, we still don’t know what the market is for Novak and Smith.

      Brian has run down the long run salary scenario for Smith and it doesn’t seem obvious that he’ll pass up the opt-in.
      Not with an organization that respects him, a coach that believes in him, playing at MSG, living an hour from home etc al …

      I think the market for JR is smaller than people think if only because of his 3 year number trends and perceived personality issues.

      And when you’re talking about 5-6 different situations and the chance to com back to NY, maybe making a little bit less initially, I think the odds are pretty decent he returns

    49. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      George Karl bashing melo part 2 on ESPN…..and woodson says Lin is the starting PG (duh!).
      His largest beef on Melo is inconsistency…tough to argue with that…though kinda poor taste for ex-coach to be bashing former player publicly

      I didn’t hear Karl bashing Melo, per se. He said he was a championship caliber player that needs to be fully committed to a championship.

    50. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      George Karl bashing melo part 2 on ESPN…..and woodson says Lin is the starting PG (duh!).
      His largest beef on Melo is inconsistency…tough to argue with that…though kinda poor taste for ex-coach to be bashing former player publicly

      And Karl has toned it down from his days of publicly bashing Shawn Kemp and Ray Allen, among others.

      Karl made quite glowing comments about Melo in February, I believe, but they were buried and then taken out of context by the New York Media.

    51. johnlocke

      I guess:
      He’s saying winning a championship has not been Melo’s priority? If not, then what else? Scoring? Seems to be side-swipe regarding him being selfish/me-oriented:
      “I definitely think Carmelo Anthony is talented enough to win a championship,” he said. “I’ve always said that once he gets that being the goal, winning a championship being the only goal on his plate, he will figure out how to get it done.

      The other thing, he’s saying is that Melo doesn’t give consistent effort between games and in particular on the defensive end: Not too hard to read btw the lines

      “he can do every aspect of the game. It’s just that when is he going to commit to doing them every night.”

      ruruland: I didn’t hear Karl bashing Melo, per se. He said he was a championship caliber player that needs to be fully committed to a championship.

    52. ruruland

      max fisher-cohen:
      @ruru, I’d agree that if we had the same team we had this year return next year with good health and with Woodson running a balanced offense that a fair expectation would be 2nd round in the playoffs, losing to Chicago or Miami in, say, 6 games. The problem is that’s not happening. JR Smith, Novak and Baron Davis are all likely gone, and Shumpert, due to his knee, is unlikely to play at the level he played at in the last 1/3 of this season. There’s a 50/50 chance that Jeffries is gone although that’s less of a concern for me since I’m hopeful about Harrellson.

      And we’ve had this argument before, but to briefly summarize, I think a Lin/Shumpert/Melo/Chandler/Amar’e starting 5 with some average-solid shooting off the bench is easily a 50+ win team, if most players regress back towards their 5-year numbers.

      I don’t think people quite understand how hard the game of basketball is when you don’t have a point guard or a player that plays the position by proxy, and furthermore when those point guards cannot make open jump shots.

      Lin not only does those things , but he ties the offense together as any good point guard does.

      And Max, despite giving 75% of the team’s point guard minutes to arguably the 3 worst rotational players in the NBA, despite the team’s two best offensive players having the worst offensive years of their careers, despite the huge slip in efficiency from Landy Fields, they still managed to have a Pythagorean 41-25 record, which would project them to 51 wins next season.

      Even if they lose Novak, they can absolutely improve their jump shooting efficiency from last season, and go beyond those projected 51 wins.

    53. Bison

      johnlocke:
      and woodson says Lin is the starting PG (duh!).

      Did the coach say more about Lin being the starting PG? I remember Woodson’s waffling on that issue a few days ago. Was he not serious then, or is he not serious now?

      This matters somewhat: Lin’s a free agent. Even though he’s restricted, I can see him being less happy to return on hearing Woodson’s waffling.

      It’s quite possible that Woodson was being sincere the first time: that he was planning on iso-Meloing and didn’t expect to need a particularly good PG to run such an offense. A vet who can defend and hit the 3 with reasonable frequency — all you really need to iso — would certainly be cheaper than Lin.

    54. Bison

      Ruruland, have you noticed how completely Oklahoma’s fortunes have changed once they stopped doing so many iso’s and consciously chose to move the ball?

    55. ruruland

      Bison: Not if they continue to play Melo ball.

      Didn’t I blast “assist percentage” as a bogus stat, given how many different formulas there are for it?When a stat that claims to measure passing ability values Brian Scalabrine over Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan — especially when we can all see how superbly the latter two have been passing in the playoffs lately — I laugh.

      This is meaningless until you define “balance”.

      So, the percentage of possessions a team gets that end in assist is somehow not a good, easy-to-understand metric???????

      Team assist percentage is a much better measure than player’s individual assist percentage, for obvious reasons.

      Please tell me that team assist ratio, by this metric, is a good way to measure passing.

      It also should be noted that Denver was in the top 7 in fta every year of Melo’s career in Denver, and were No.1 three years in a row.

      That has a tendency to decrease your assist percentage.

      Balance simply means having different modes of attack from different parts of the floor. It also means that you can complement those modes of attack. With Lin, the Knicks open up many more modes of attack than they had with the other point guards.

      You open pick and roll with two of the best pick and roll finishers in the NBA, for one. You also open up Lin penetration, which is huge.

      And Lin complements Melo post-ups as well.

    56. johnlocke

      He never waffled on wanting him back, just whether he would start. He is old school and prefers veteran players who don’t turn the ball over (there was no Baron alternative at end of season). I’m guessing that given Lin’s agent’s waffling about returning to the Knicks, the word was passed down throughout the org that Lin would be back and be the starting PG and Woodson got the message from the top.

      Bison: Did the coach say more about Lin being the starting PG?I remember Woodson’s waffling on that issue a few days ago.Was he not serious then, or is he not serious now?

      This matters somewhat: Lin’s a free agent.Even though he’s restricted, I can see him being less happy to return on hearing Woodson’s waffling.

      It’s quite possible that Woodson was being sincere the first time: that he was planning on iso-Meloing and didn’t expect to need a particularly good PG to run such an offense.A vet who can defend and hit the 3 with reasonable frequency — all you really need to iso — would certainly be cheaper than Lin.

    57. ruruland

      Bison:
      Ruruland, have you noticed how completely Oklahoma’s fortunes have changed once they stopped doing so many iso’s and consciously chose to move the ball?

      They seemed to have been quite successful with their “isolation” offense earlier in the year, but much of what we call isolation was their semi-transition shooting. There are different kinds of isolation.

      Isolation is much more effective when it creates titlted defenses and double teams. The Thunder’s three main isolation players don’t really do that in the same post-up players create attention.

      Isolation can create passing, driving and open shot opportunities — it did throughout Melo’s career.

      I know the last 30 or so games with Melo made an impression on you that that’s the only we he can play — it’s simply false.

      But the Knicks will run plenty of isolations with Melo and they will be very effective in creating shots and drives.

    58. Brian Cronin

      That was an ugly looking shot attempt by Manu. I don’t know why they were so determined to just go for the tie or the loss. Take the 2 points and play the foul game.

    59. jon abbey

      very surprised Duncan didn’t shoot that three, he was wide open and Ginobili had cooled down and the D was totally focused on him. happy he didn’t, ONE MORE PLEASE!

      I seriously don’t understand how any basketball fan without a direct rooting interest can’t want to see LeBron matched up against Durant in the Finals.

    60. jon abbey

      also, it was a crime the way the refs kept Ibaka to 20 minutes in this game, every one of his fouls was borderline or wrong.

    61. Bison

      What a game. And Ruruland, notice that when Oklahoma started isoing in the 4th quarter, they nearly blew it. If it hadn’t been for Harden’s improbable dagger 3 (with Kawhi all over him) the Spurs would likely have won.

    62. jon abbey

      and last game when they started isoing, Durant went nuts and they won.

      I can’t wait to see a MIA/OKC final (hopefully) so people can STFU already about “hero ball”. that’s the NBA, team ball works in the Big 10, enjoy.

    63. Bison

      ruruland: So, the percentage of possessions a team gets that end in assist is somehow not a good, easy-to-understand metric???????

      Easy to understand, difficult to measure. Why do you think “assist percentage” has so many different contradictory formulas?

      Balance simply means having different modes of attack from different parts of the floor. It also means that you can complement those modes of attack. With Lin, the Knicks open up many more modes of attack than they had with the other point guards.

      Of course. But having balance is different from actually using it. My prediction is that next year we will still be seeing mostly Melo ball, with Lin or not. Woodson knows that keeping Melo happy is priority number 1; we all know what an unhappy Melo did to the former head coach. And the iso is probably Woodson’s preference anyway (remember his Atlanta history). So we have more than one reason why iso will likely be our main offense next season.

      If so, we are doomed to yet another first round exit.

    64. Bison

      jon abbey:
      and last game when they started isoing, Durant went nuts and they won.

      So? Hot streaks happen when they happen. You can’t count on them. Making the one-player iso your normal policy is foolish. Perhaps it can work if you have more than one guy capable of doing it (OKC has 3), but it is risky.

    65. Brian Cronin

      very surprised Duncan didn’t shoot that three, he was wide open and Ginobili had cooled down and the D was totally focused on him. happy he didn’t, ONE MORE PLEASE!

      Yeah, I thought it was a set play for Duncan to take the three (like against Phoenix a few years back). That would have made sense. A set play for a three right out of the timeout I get. But not running the shot clock down to the point where it is “make an off balance three or else lose.”

    66. Bison

      Somehow dropped the following sentence from #74:

      Which is why the Thunder were losing the series badly until they stopped their isos (mostly) and started moving the ball.

    67. Bison

      Brian Cronin: Yeah, I thought it was a set play for Duncan to take the three (like against Phoenix a few years back). That would have made sense. A set play for a three right out of the timeout I get. But not running the shot clock down to the point where it is “make an off balance three or else lose.”

      If that was the play, I don’t understand why they had Duncan taking the 3. Even Kawhi would have been a better bet. (Duncan hadn’t made a 3 in the regular season.) Is Popovich losing it?

    68. Brian Cronin

      Like with the Phoenix game a few years back, you go for the play if Duncan is going to be wide open. Duncan with a wide open look is better than most other players with a guarded three. And OKC was not going to leave anyone else open.

    69. Bison

      Brian Cronin:
      Like with the Phoenix game a few years back, you go for the play if Duncan is going to be wide open. Duncan with a wide open look is better than most other players with a guarded three. And OKC was not going to leave anyone else open.

      Yeah, I guess you’re right. I had forgotten about the Duncan 3 against the Suns.

    70. jon abbey

      Duncan was wide open too, very surprised (and pleased) he didn’t take that.

      bison, stop confusing what we’re seeing currently with the Knicks, very different situations. the Knicks aren’t winning a title no matter what system they use, their players aren’t good enough.

    71. max fisher-cohen

      If we assume a healthy Knick offense would have USG%s something like this:

      Lin: 20%
      Shump/Fields: 15%
      Melo: 27%
      STAT: 25%
      TC: 13%

      And then we look at how Melo did when he was at or below 27% USG%, it’s a little disconcerting:

      16 games
      42% TS% (estimate based on avg of his TS% — too lazy to run the numbers. It’s definitely somewhere between 40% and 44% and improves as the USG approaches 27%)
      0.7 steals
      5.3 rebounds

      So his shooting is awful and his defensive stats go down as well. That’s what scares me.

    72. nicos

      max fisher-cohen:
      If we assume a healthy Knick offense would have USG%s something like this:

      Lin: 20%
      Shump/Fields: 15%
      Melo: 27%
      STAT: 25%
      TC: 13%

      And then we look at how Melo did when he was at or below 27% USG%, it’s a little disconcerting:

      16 games
      42% TS% (estimate based on avg of his TS% — too lazy to run the numbers. It’s definitely somewhere between 40% and 44% and improves as the USG approaches 27%)
      0.7 steals
      5.3 rebounds

      So his shooting is awful and his defensive stats go down as well. That’s what scares me.

      But those numbers are probably skewed as he had a lot of nagging injuries this year and my guess is that in at least some of those games he shot less because he was hurting. That said, I agree with your ideal shot distribution (assuming everyone’s healthy) and it’s been a long, long, time since Melo’s usage has been below 30 so it’d be interesting to see how he’d deal with it. My guess is he’ll be okay with it as long as they’re winning (and I mean truly okay with it- not just putting up with it because it’d look bad to complain) but if they go through a bad stretch, who knows.

    73. Bison

      jon abbey:
      bison, stop confusing what we’re seeing currently with the Knicks, very different situations. the Knicks aren’t winning a title no matter what system they use, their players aren’t good enough.

      Yes, the Knicks are not likely to win it all next year — especially if they continue playing iso-Melo. But the team should start to do the right thing as soon as possible, as they will win more games that way.

      To me, team ball is the right thing. We are seeing how the Thunder has been forced to move the ball, in spite of being better at the iso than anybody else, and this is just more proof that team ball is the right thing.

      Remember Michael Jordan’s statement: “Talent wins games. Teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

    74. jon abbey

      hahaha! yeah, it’s easy for Michael freaking Jordan to say that, he was the best player in the league for a decade.

      “team ball” encompasses a lot of things, every team physically has five guys on the court at all times. but superstars win rings, virtually every year since the Magic/Bird era began has seen one of the top few players in the league lead his team to a title. the prime examples of “team ball” in Philly, Indiana, and hopefully now San Antonio have all fallen to teams led by superstars, despite being deeper in each case (SAS/OKC maybe not).

      and the Knicks are never going to win a title with this group of players, apologies to ruruland and anyone else holding out hope. it doesn’t matter what system they run, how they allot the shots, who coaches them, none of it matters. the sooner we all come to that realization, the better.

    75. Bison

      Ha ha yourself, Jon. What part of Jordan’s dictum, that “teamwork wins championships”, don’t you understand? His Airness averaged 5.3 assists per playoff game during his title runs; in 1991, his playoff average was 8.4!

      Melo averages a pitiful 3.1 assists per playoff game, agreeing with his reputation for not being a great team player.

    76. Bison

      By the way, Jordan’s championship teams were consistently one of the best at passing. Their assist rankings during the regular season (I’m too lazy to calculate the playoff rankings): 4th, 3rd, 6th, 10th, 5th, and 2nd.

      Teamwork is more than the total number of assists, but that will have to do for now.

      I’m off to bed.

    77. Bison

      Just one more thing. I am using real asssists, a relatively hard number, not the bogus “assist rate” that Ruruland prefers.

    78. jon abbey

      first of all, I’d like to see details on that statement, when Jordan actually said it and if he really did. google has a bunch of people like you claiming he said it, but nothing first-hand.

      secondly, Jordan has proven in recent years that while he was the GOAT as a player, he may be one of the worst of all time at assembling talent and knowing what it takes for others to win.

      and lastly, of course they had a lot of assists, Jordan was swarmed constantly, and people would rather let guys like Paxson and Armstrong shoot open 18 footers than let Jordan beat them again and again.

      anyway, I’d say that Jordan statement (if he actually made it) is pretty close to 180 degrees wrong. you are welcome to cite me in the future if you like:

      “in the NBA, teamwork may win regular season games, but talent wins titles.”-Jon Abbey

    79. jon abbey

      oh, and Melo’s problem isn’t selfishness, it’s that he’s not good enough to be the #1 guy on an NBA title team and he never has been.

    80. TelegraphedPass

      Bison: Just one more thing. I am using real asssists, a relatively hard number, not the bogus “assist rate” that Ruruland prefers.

      A guard has more assists per game than a forward wtf HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE???? Drop moar gems of knowledge plz.

      Carmelo averages more assists per game than Kevin Durant. This means something I’m not sure what tho.

    81. TelegraphedPass

      Bison: Just one more thing. I am using real asssists, a relatively hard number, not the bogus “assist rate” that Ruruland prefers.

      HEAR HEAR! I hadn’t previously considered using the little known stat “real asssists”, which I bet isn’t affected by role or minutes per game at all. Why would any of that matter? It’s a “hard” number, right?

    82. TelegraphedPass

      No, but seriously. The absolute best part was when you used a 3 game stretch from the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals to prove that isolation heavy offense if inherently bad. So they just lucked into the 2 seed in the West through 66 games while being in the top 3 in offensive efficiency all year? oh.

      Yeah, you right. They got SO MANY lucky bounces. What a lucky year for this Thunder team.

    83. Frank

      I’m not sure about unintended consequences of changing Melo’s shot distribution like this, but it would be very interesting if he sat down and really looked at James Harden’s shot chart:

      http://courtvisionanalytics.com/wheres-the-beard-its-not-in-the-midrange/

      and realized that Harden had one of the most efficient and high-quality scoring seasons ever for a guard. Harden only shot SEVENTY-TWO mid-range shots for the entire year. That is just astounding for a guy that had more than 600 field goal attempts this year. Melo, on the other hand, shot about 450 10-23 foot jumpers at a combined FG% of 35.9%.

      If I had the basketball background to do figure it out, it’d be interesting to see how Harden manages to shape his shot chart like this (ie. is this by Brooks’s design or that Harden just refuses to shoot from mid-range, etc.), and what ramifications it has for the rest of the offense. It’s not a team-wide thing – Durant and Westbrook EACH shot more than 500 10-23 foot jumpers this year.

    84. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Harden’s not a good shooter. His teammates just make him that way. Can’t trust the stats.

    85. TelegraphedPass

      @93 I’m not sure how it would effect Melo. He gets a lot of looks out of his triple-threat, and varying his offense would change that. He isn’t a wizard with the dribble the way Harden is (Melo’s ball-handling skills have been really overrated over the years in my opinion) so I have no clue how it would affect him. It would certainly create a long adjustment period, which isn’t ideal.

      Thing is, Isaiah Thomas was among the most efficient guards in the league this season, and his offense heavily featured the threat of the midrange jump shot. Check out his shot chart when you get the chance. I don’t think midrange shots are quite as evil as people sometimes make them out to be.

    86. Frank

      Another interesting thing is that the Knicks actually had a nice shot distribution (from what you would want from a stats perspective):

      At rim: 26.5 FGA/game (7th most in NBA)
      Threes: 23.3 3PA/game (2nd most in NBA)
      FT/FGA: 0.306 (tied for 6th best in NBA)

      And the less efficient shots:

      3-9 feet: 8.3 FGA/game (4th least in NBA)
      10-15 feet: 5.7 FGA/game (6th least in NBA)
      16-23 feet: 16.9 FGA/game (5th least in NBA)

      So our hearts are in the right place, it’s just that our shooting sucks. We were not in the top half of the league in terms of eFG in ANY of these spots. And we turned the ball over at the 4th highest rate in the league.

      Sort of makes you feel like someone is paying attention and trying to minimize low-percentage shots. Unfortunately when you have Fields, Douglas, Melo, JR, and Amare all having career-worst shooting years, the offense is going to suck regardless.

    87. TelegraphedPass

      No. Stop using data. You will never win a title while your main star averages fewer than [insert arbitrary total] assists. Unless Durant does it this year, in which case we’ll switch to something about being humble.

      Loud noises team play loud noises random all caps statement

    88. Brian Cronin

      Unfortunately when you have Fields, Douglas, Melo, JR, and Amare all having career-worst shooting years

      That really is a remarkable mix of players there all having career-worst shooting years.

      And it also says a lot about Baron Davis that he’s had worse years shooting the ball in his career (it was his worst year from a TS% standpoint, at least).

    89. Frank

      Meanwhile, hilarious tweet of the day, from JR Smith playing Xbox basketball:

      @TheRealJRSmith: How do you shoot a step back in thus damn game?

    90. Frank

      Brian Cronin: That really is a remarkable mix of players there all having career-worst shooting years.

      And it also says a lot about Baron Davis that he’s had worse years shooting the ball in his career (it was his worst year from a TS% standpoint, at least).

      Shoot, forgot about Baron. How soon he is out of sight/mind. He was terrible too!

      Anyway, if we add Baron and Bill Walker to the list of players having essentially their worst offensive (TS) year of their careers, then 3162 out of a total 5335 FGA were shot by players having the worst season of their careers. Most of the rest were shot by Chandler, Novak, and rookies. No wonder our offense sucked.

    91. jon abbey

      Frank:
      Meanwhile, hilarious tweet of the day, from JR Smith playing Xbox basketball:

      @TheRealJRSmith: How do you shoot a step back in thus damn game?

      heh, I find it hard to believe anyone in the league had worse shot selection than that guy this year. infuriating, but we still desperately need him to come back…

    92. d-mar

      Frank:
      Meanwhile, hilarious tweet of the day, from JR Smith playing Xbox basketball:

      @TheRealJRSmith: How do you shoot a step back in thus damn game?

      His avatar must have been standing 1 foot in front of the 3 point line when he sent the tweet.

    93. jon abbey

      but Smith’s version is even worse: he starts with a fairly wide open 3, dribbles around for a few seconds, and invariably ends up taking a contested step back 22 footer.

    94. Glew

      This guy knows whats up. I could not have said it better. Amen bro.

      SangaD:
      seeing the celtics compete leaves me refreshed and hopeful. I dont like the celts, nothing personal just in the spirit of things, but they prove the undervalued lesson on Chemistry. months ago when we were debating getting JR smith, I didnt like it for one reason bcuz it thought would hinder the growth of our chemistry as a unit, I just knew the Celtics were gonna ball harder than usbut not because they were better simply because those guys actually know and CARE about each other. They have Talent but really man they have Flow! This knick squad has a core four that we just need to stick with and let these guys develop. CHOP the stats up however the fuck you want when the whistle is blown its about being hell bent on not letting your man down. getting to the point where that aura is the dominating force in your locker room takes Time even if you have the talent. this season is not going to be our fairy tale but this year is about growing that core finding those four guys that we will finally stop talking about trading and we have no doubt will retire here. 45 – 50 wins and the EAST FINALS, where that core shows up, thats my prediction.

    95. Glew

      hahhahah dude seriously cant get enough of the step back

      Frank:
      Meanwhile, hilarious tweet of the day, from JR Smith playing Xbox basketball:

      @TheRealJRSmith: How do you shoot a step back in thus damn game?

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