Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Monday, May 14 2012)

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Playoffs — Lakers Face Thunder After Edging Nuggets (Mon, 14 May 2012 07:39:06 GMT)
    Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol contributed greatly to the Lakers series-deciding victory against the Nuggets, but the Thunder are next for Los Angeles.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Bosh Leaves in Pain as Heat Take Game 1 (Mon, 14 May 2012 05:00:10 GMT)
    LeBron James had 32 points and 15 rebounds as the Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers, 95-86, despite Chris Bosh leaving the game with an abdominal injury.

  • [New York Times] Game 1: Heat 95, Pacers 86: LeBron James Scores 32 as Heat Top Pacers to Open Series (Mon, 14 May 2012 00:33:43 GMT)
    The Heat outscored Indiana 25-16 in the fourth quarter, with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James combining for 22 of those points in the first game of this Eastern Conference semifinal series.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Advance, Knock Out Grizzlies 82-72 (Mon, 14 May 2012 09:39:40 GMT)
    Chris Paul played with an aching right hip and Blake Griffin’s sprained left knee stiffened up during the game. If the Clippers were truly a two-man team, then they would have been in trouble facing elimination by the Memphis Grizzlies.

  • [New York Times] MVP James, Heat Top Pacers 95-86, Await Bosh Word (Mon, 14 May 2012 07:54:45 GMT)
    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade carried the Miami Heat offense in the second half. With Chris Bosh gone, they had no other choice.

  • [New York Times] AP Source: Irving to Be Named NBA’s Top Rookie (Mon, 14 May 2012 01:39:29 GMT)
    Kyrie Irving began his first pro season as the top pick and ended it as the top rookie.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: The Numbers Are Adding Up for the Thunder (Mon, 14 May 2012 02:05:13 GMT)
    Oklahoma City General Manager Sam Presti has built the Thunder into an N.B.A. power through the draft.

  • [New York Times] Knicks’ Replay: Game 5 (Mon, 14 May 2012 00:51:45 GMT)
    Despite a momentary slip three days earlier, the Heat, led by LeBron James’s 29 points, left no doubt about their superiority in clinching the first-round series over the Knicks, four games to one.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Tyson wants to be a 'threat' more on offense (Mon, 14 May 2012 00:20:41 EDT)
    Addressing the media for the final time of the season on Thursday, Tyson Chandler said there’s not a big gap between the Knicks and the Heat and Bulls. He called his team “explosive,” but said they just need some fine-tuning to compete with the beasts in the East.
    That fine-tuning includes Chandler wanting to return stronger and become more of an offensive threat next season.
    “I want to come back in better condition and I want to be more of a force on the block,” he said.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Amare cites pre-lockout period for injuries (Mon, 14 May 2012 00:10:55 EDT)
    “It was a crazy year, man,” Amare Stoudemire said after a Knicks practice before the team faced the Heat. “This year, it’s going to go down with an asterisk mark because it was a roller-coaster year with the lockout. A lot of injuries across the NBA, so many games.”
    That was a few days before NBA commissioner David Stern gave his annual pre-playoff conference call, in which he said that significant injuries, such as ACL and Achilles tears, were not as prevalent during the season as in previous years.

  • 142 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Monday, May 14 2012)

    1. KnickfaninNJ

      So when the NBA says there were the same number of serious injuries this year as last is the that the number of injuries for the season or per month or per game?

    2. er

      I don’t wish injuries on anyone but it’s crazy that bosh gets hurt the first game in the pacers series an he’s out for 2 weeks …..what are the odds :(

    3. Frank

      I only watched a few minutes of the Miami-Indy game yesterday, but what stood out to me wasn’t how LBJ took over the game – that’s sort of expected – but this:

      A lot has been made in the media about Frank Vogel’s comment:

      ‘(The Heat) are the biggest flopping team in the NBA. It will be very interesting how the referees officiate the series and how much flopping they reward.”

      And without a doubt – I saw Miami attempt about 5-6 flops in just the ~10 minutes of game action I saw, and ZERO were called. Several of the 5-6 led to wide open baskets for Indy.

      Assuming that Woody gets the job, I hope he isn’t too old-school to get involved in “the game behind the game” (psychological games with the refs). There is no doubt that he could have come out and said something about the referees after game 1 and all the ridiculous flopping by 6’9″ 270 lbs Lebron. And for all his talking to the Knicks about not wanting to hear them whine about the refs — I would hope he means that they should their heads in the game, and that HE would take the fight to the zebras for them. Not all the time, but certainly when the flopping became just egregious, like it was in our series against the Heat.

    4. sidestep

      Frank: I would hope he means that they should their heads in the game, and that HE would take the fight to the zebras for them. Not all the time, but certainly when the flopping became just egregious, like it was in our series against the Heat.

      I don’t think it is reasonable to expect Woodson to do that publicly, that is, to the press. Anyone who calls into the question the officiating is hit with a big fine. I guess you can call it pecuniary censorship. I’ve heard players hinting at bad officiating but avoid putting it in such a way that it can result in a fine by the league or made into a sound bite.

    5. sidestep

      Also, when JVG talks about how flopping, it can be understood as a general comment about the state of the NBA, but if a particular coach did the same thing after a particular game, that would clearly be understood as taking particular referees to task. I think that can only backfire in your face. Either those specific referees will have you or the Knicks on their shit list, or the referees as a group will fuck with you by sticking up for each other. In the end, there is no ‘superior court’ to appeal to, and Stern will always back the referees even if in retrospect, after reviewing tape, the calls are confirmed to be bad calls.

    6. Frank

      @4 and @5 – I hear what you are saying but it’s not like the refs don’t know there is a ton of flopping going on. There are makeup calls ALL the time. What I would say is that if you plant the seed of doubt in the officials’ minds, you are more likely to get the benefit of that doubt.

      If you saw collusion by the refs in response to what a coach said, that would be even more grounds for an actual complaint. It’s not like these guys are the Supreme Court where no one can challenge them. Within the individual game that is true, but once the game is over there is accountability. All the refs are graded, etc. etc.

      Meanwhile, Vogel said what he said, Lionel Hollins called CP3 the biggest flopper in the league, and no one got any fines. You just need to be careful with how you say it. You don’t have to say “These refs suck!”. You just need to say things like – “their players are really good at showing the referee contact when there really isn’t that much”. Or, just like Vogel said “These guys are floppers”. You just don’t say – the refs suck and they screwed us out of a game.

      My point re: Woodson was only that the coach needs to put his players in the best situation to succeed. yes, that means gameplanning, adaptability in-game and in practice. But that also means doing everything you can do to make sure your team succeeds, and that plainly includes trying to shade the refs your direction. Phil Jackson was a master at that.

    7. Frank

      And re: David Stern – if there was obvious collusion amongst referees against one team, you don’t think after the whole Tim Donaghy thing that he would absolutely side AGAINST the officials?

    8. slovene knick

      I agree with Frank that Woodson is too stoic behind the line…he should jump up and scream, steam coming out every hole, blood pressure sky-high, look all in disbelieve, point out referee’s mistakes hands in the air, wrap him self around Tyson’s leg… :)

      He needs to add some drama to his what till now looks like good(not great) overall couching performance.

    9. jon abbey

      but Frank, you yourself point out that it doesn’t matter. Vogel did that, and then once again LeBron wasn’t called for a single foul until the middle of the 4th quarter. coaches talking about it publicly won’t have any effect until the league decides to do something about it, at least Stern seems to realize there’s a problem there now.

    10. Frank

      jon abbey:
      but Frank, you yourself point out that it doesn’t matter. Vogel did that, and then once again LeBron wasn’t called for a single foul until the middle of the 4th quarter. coaches talking about it publicly won’t have any effect until the league decides to do something about it, at least Stern seems to realize there’s a problem there now.

      I’m not talking about Lebron in particular. Chalmers tried to flop 2x in just the 5 or 10 minutes that I watched – neither were called. Miller tried to flop also – not called.

      I have no problem with players not getting called for ticky-tack hand fouls, as long as they are trying to play real defense. What I hate is the obvious flopping to draw offensive fouls, or players throwing their heads back like they just took a sniper bullet every time someone nudges them on the way to the basket. It’s like the media nowadays – everyone has fake outrage at supposed slights. We’ve got CP3 flopping from nonexistent contact FROM A REFEREE. Ticky-tack fouls are not the problem – if ticky-tack fouls were called, Shump would have fouled out of 50 games this year.

      Again – I think there should a “flop” official who reviews controversial calls in a booth somewhere, just like there is a replay official in football. The “flop” official doesn’t have to review flops in real-time, can be delayed by 30-120 seconds or so. But if the “flop” official sees a really egregious case, he can call an official time out and reward the other team 2 shots. End. Of. Flopping.

      btw, other than the CP3 ref flop, this is my favorite flop of the year – the rare double flop with Manu and Raja Bell.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNxiWES8G0o

    11. 2FOR18

      I’m interested in the psychology of flopping. As a man playing a sport, how do you justify doing this? Shouldn’t you be embarrassed? How do you face your peers after doing this?

      Any ballplayers on here who can provide some insight into this?

    12. thenamestsam

      Flopping is almost an unsolvable problem in my opinion. European soccer has been talking about finding a solution for years, but they haven’t really made any progress, and with good reason. The fundamental problem is that judging what constitutes a flop is almost always subjective. On ones with literally zero contact perhaps you can institute a video review system whereby the player gets fined, but that is an incredibly small proportion of the plays we’re talking about.

      Look at the plays that still have Knicks fans up in arms two weeks later. On one JR Smith barely bumps Lebron and Lebron sprawls out of bounds. On the other, Tyson hits Lebron hard, but Lebron acts like he was just rear-ended by a tank. Are they flops? You think so, I think so, and if you gave Stern truth serum, he thinks so too, but there is contact on those plays, so how do you regulate that? You’re talking about two of the largest, most athletic people on the planet flying around at high speeds and bumping each other, and a guy watching slow motion replays is going to try to determine whether the contact was enough to knock him down? Or how hurt he was and what the appropriate reaction to that amount of pain is?

      Doesn’t seem feasible to me. It’s going to be unbelievably subjective and will inevitably have an extremely high false positive rate (guys being convicted of flopping when they just lost their balance or whatever). The high false positive rate will make it essentially impossible to have more than a nominal punishment because even the possibility of a player missing a critical game because they lost their balance when a 6’6″ 265 lb man ran into them is unacceptable. So you can have a fine or whatever, but a system that suspends guys for that is going to do more bad than good in my opinion.

    13. thenamestsam

      2FOR18:
      Any ballplayers on here who can provide some insight into this?

      As someone who has played both soccer and basketball, I’ve seen some flopping in my day, and even participated on occasion. Based on my experience it starts at frustration at actual fouls that aren’t called. You get guys nipping at your ankles, or reaching in constantly, and the ref isn’t calling it, and you get frustrated. And then you see a different player take the same kind of contact, and flail his head back (basketball) or collapse to the ground and grab his ankles (soccer) and they get the call. After that it’s just a natural evolution, and you start to see it not as unsportsmanlike, but as the language by which you communicate with the referee. Reffing games is hard, and telling the difference between a reach in that’s a foul and what that isn’t is really hard. When I flail my arms or jerk my head I’m helping the ref tell which ones are fouls and which aren’t. All of my flopping exploits only go to the level of exaggerating contact, not feigning contact when it isn’t there, but I assume that’s just the next step down the road. You anticipate the contact, react with your normal exaggeration, the contact doesn’t come, and all the sudden you’re simulating entirely.

      Fundamentally we all tend to think of ourselves as honest upstanding people, even though almost all of us lie and cheat all the time if the incentives are in place to do it. I think this is an interesting question though because I think shaming the players may be effective at curtailing flopping. As I said above I’m not sure the league can do anything, but #stoptheflop, viral videos etc. can definitely help with the problem.

    14. Garson

      I read that the Wizards are going to take advantage of Rashard Lewis 23 million dollar trade asset.

      Are they desperate enough to take Amare?

    15. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      2FOR18:
      I’m interested in the psychology of flopping.As a man playing a sport, how do you justify doing this?Shouldn’t you be embarrassed?How do you face your peers after doing this?

      Any ballplayers on here who can provide some insight into this?

      Have you ever played a pick-up game and had to drive on a player fifty pounds (or more) heavier than you? Imagine being Ty Lawson driving against Andrew Bynum. There’s a hundred pound difference, there. Now imagine having to do that for 2400 minutes over the course of six months. Maybe more if you make it to the playoffs. Do you think you’re going to “man up” or play smart?

    16. formido

      This is not an insolvable problem by any stretch of the imagination, but it makes it harder when people say that it is insolvable because it lets the league off the hook. Regulating the game is hard, let’s go shopping! Human beings are really, really good at evaluating ambiguous situations. Yes, some plays are debatable. Some aren’t. These should be punished.

      One way would be to allow each team to submit a certain number of plays to review as flops after each game. Players would be suspended after a threshold of flops. If the punishments are at the correct level, players’ behavior will change[1].

      This is not a criminal case. The standard of proof is not “beyond a reasonable doubt”. It’s OK if 1 player is unfairly punished so that 10 are fairly punished. The standard here needs to be enforcement at the level that causes players’ behavior to change on court. This is a standard which can be met easily.

      Also, note, there are pros and cons to every potential solution. That doesn’t imply do nothing. It implies iterate the process until the right balance is found.

      [1] Sadly, the NBA has a poor record for punishments being strong enough to alter behavior. Artest banned 7 games for the third violent offense, something 99% of NBA players go their entire careers without committing? The only punishment I’ve seen them mete out that was clearly strong enough to alter behavior was the Kobe gay slur fine.

      thenamestsam: Look at the plays that still have Knicks fans up in arms two weeks later. On one JR Smith barely bumps Lebron and Lebron sprawls out of bounds. On the other, Tyson hits Lebron hard, but Lebron acts like he was just rear-ended by a tank. Are they flops? You think so, I think so, and if you gave Stern truth serum, he thinks so too, but there is contact on those plays, so how do you regulate that?

    17. formido

      This is not an insolvable problem by any stretch of the imagination, but it makes it harder when people say that it is insolvable because it lets the league off the hook. Regulating the game is hard, let’s go shopping! Human beings are really, really good at evaluating ambiguous situations. Yes, some plays are debatable. Some aren’t. These should be punished.

      One way would be to allow each team to submit a certain number of plays to review as flops after each game. Players would be suspended after a threshold of flops. If the punishments are at the correct level, players’ behavior will change[1].

      This is not a criminal case. The standard of proof is not “beyond a reasonable doubt”. It’s OK if 1 player is unfairly punished so that 10 are fairly punished. The standard here needs to be enforcement at the level that causes players’ behavior to change on court. This is a standard which can be met easily.

      Also, note, there are pros and cons to every potential solution. That doesn’t imply do nothing. It implies iterate the process until the right balance is found.

      [1] Sadly, the NBA has a poor record for punishments being strong enough to alter behavior. Artest banned 7 games for the third violent offense, something 99% of NBA players go their entire careers without committing? The only punishment I’ve seen them mete out that was clearly strong enough to alter behavior was the Kobe slur fine.

      thenamestsam: Look at the plays that still have Knicks fans up in arms two weeks later. On one JR Smith barely bumps Lebron and Lebron sprawls out of bounds. On the other, Tyson hits Lebron hard, but Lebron acts like he was just rear-ended by a tank. Are they flops? You think so, I think so, and if you gave Stern truth serum, he thinks so too, but there is contact on those plays, so how do you regulate that?

    18. Owen

      “but as the language by which you communicate with the referee.”

      I agree with this somewhat. I do think a lot of “flopping” is done when a real foul has been committed to make sure the call gets made.

      While I think flopping is somewhat regrettable, I have a hard time with the machismo angle that challenges a player’s manhood for flopping. Flopping is a winning strategy and that’s why players do it. It’s as simple as that.

      I would definitely support measures to combat it though. Refs should be able to give techs for clear simulation for instance. True Hoop has a lot of other ideas too…..

      Over at CBS Sports, they took a big cut at Dolan today regarding Jackson. The bit about the JPM sponsorship is pretty amazing. That’s a gigantic crapload of money…….

      “Championships? Who needs championships when you have this much power and money all flowing in the same direction? After landing CAA client Anthony last season, the team’s gate receipts went right through the Garden’s iconic, pinwheel roof this past season, thanks in part to the emergence of Jeremy Lin, and oh yeah, a 49 percent increase in average ticket prices. The most expensive seats in the NBA — more than double the league average — will cost a comparatively modest 4.9 percent more next season. And if you don’t think Woodson roaming the sidelines with his bemused scowl, immaculate goatee and Tone Loc voice will prevent people from paying those prices, think again.

      Again, Phil who?

      In September 2010, the Knicks signed a 10-year, $300 million marketing and sponsorship deal with JP Morgan Chase. Annually, that’s more money than each of the 30 NBA teams reaps from the NBA’s national broadcast rights agreements with ABC/ESPN and Turner. Revenue sharing, shmevenue sharing. The revenues from a couple of concert dates with CAA client Bruce Springsteen would just about cover Jackson’s salary, if only the Knicks would call — and if only the Zen Master would listen.”

    19. johnlocke

      I’d trade Amare for Rashard Lewis and Singleton to chase the pipe dream of getting Chris Paul in a couple years. Chances he leaves Clippers decreased with their first round win I think, but you never know. Rashard is the 2nd highest player in the league behind Kobe Bryant…and these executives think the players are the problem…geesh

      Garson:
      I read that the Wizards are going to take advantage of Rashard Lewis 23 million dollar trade asset.

      Are they desperate enough to take Amare?

    20. Frank

      @12 – if you just instituted a plan that punished (with FTs for the other team) the most egregious ones, that would be fine. Even if it was only 1 per day of game play, it would put it in players’ minds that not only might I get myself out of position but might result in actual points for the other team. That in of itself would have a more deterrent effect, so it would be maximized just from the fear of the punishment.

      And you need to have the punishment happen during the game. No amount of fining players is ever going to stop it. 15K to a guy making $10MM? who cares? And like you said, suspensions are probably not feasible because of the subjective nature of it. But free throws are not THAT severe a penalty, and all these things are subjective anyway. I’m telling you, if they put in a “flop” official and penalized teams 2 FTs, the worst flops would disappear. Sure, players would learn to game it right up to that point, but just like the Joey Crawfords of the ref-ing world are more tech-whistle-happy, the players would have to know that pushing that line too much might lead to unpredictable results.

    21. ephus

      Garson:
      I read that the Wizards are going to take advantage of Rashard Lewis 23 million dollar trade asset.

      Are they desperate enough to take Amare?

      Lewis actually is a trade asset at this point, because only about 13MM out of his 23MM salary is guaranteed. I am certain that Dallas would trade Marion/Hayward/Carter in a heartbeat for Lewis, as soon as we get past the July moritorium.

    22. thenamestsam

      Frank: @12 – if you just instituted a plan that punished (with FTs for the other team) the most egregious ones, that would be fine.

      I think in order to continue this discussion effectively it’s important to be clear about our terms. What constitutes an egregious flop, and can you provide an example?

      To my mind an egregious flop is one where there is no contact and the player acts like there was. The one that comes to mind is Griffin pretending Cousins whacked him in the face earlier this year even though Cousins clearly missed him. I’m fine with that being penalized, but I think those constitute a very small portion of the “flopping problem” as it’s commonly understood. I’d say solidly 99% of the flopping that takes place is exaggerated contact, not feigned contact.

      As for the idea of having refs dish out the punishment during the game, I think you’re making it very hard on the referees. They clearly already struggle to distinguish what is and isn’t a flop since they so often give calls on what I’d call flops. Now you’re making those calls even more difficult by giving them a 3rd option – call a flop, no call for incidental contact, or call a foul. I think the refs are going to have a very hard time handling that effectively.

      For evidence I think you can look at European soccer. About 6-8 years ago they made this a big deal and started giving people yellow cards for diving. But it barely had any effect on the problem and after a few years refs entirely stopped calling it because it was just too hard to judge in 99% of all cases.

    23. jon abbey

      Dave Berri continues to be a stupid stupid stupid man with about as much understanding of basketball as my dead cat:

      “In contrast, Melo’s production of wins – because he was a very inefficient scorer – was in the negative range.”

      http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/05/14/don%E2%80%99t-be-deceived-by-carmelo-anthony%E2%80%99s-scoring-totals/

      he should talk to Danny Granger after yesterday’s game and see just how easy it is to “boost one’s scoring total” while playing head to head against LeBron. again, pure and unadulterated idiocy combined with a healthy dose of obviousness (wow, you mean it’s better to score the same amount on less shots? NO SHIT, SHERLOCK.)

    24. Frank

      @22 – you and I can look at a replay and tell what’s obviously a flop and what’s maybe a flop and maybe not a flop. To be less controversial, they should just call the “obviously a flop” category. And again, this would not be done by the game officials. My plan would be to have a replay official who can watch it. For instance – LBJ’s ridiculous flop on that Chandler replay – no one in their right mind would argue that the SECONDARY motions by LBJ (the crazy arms in the air thing that happened AFTER contact) weren’t obviously done to exaggerate the contact. Watch it again and you will see.

      This system wouldn’t catch the flop he did with JR on the boundary line or the flop he did with Melo in which Melo threw him to the ground without even having to extend his arm or make any motion to throw the 6’9″ 260 lb LBJ down. But it would catch the worst of them.

    25. Frank

      jon abbey:
      Dave Berri continues to be a stupid stupid stupid man with about as much understanding of basketball as my dead cat:

      “In contrast, Melo’s production of wins – because he was a very inefficient scorer – was in the negative range.”

      http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/05/14/don%E2%80%99t-be-deceived-by-carmelo-anthony%E2%80%99s-scoring-totals/

      he should talk to Danny Granger after yesterday’s game and see just how easy it is to “boost one’s scoring total” while playing head to head against LeBron. again, pure and unadulterated idiocy combined with a healthy dose of obviousness (wow, you mean it’s better to score the same amount on less shots? NO SHIT, SHERLOCK.)

      yeah, it was pretty horrible, especially when he self-linked to the wages of wins site article, in which the actual words “the very good Landry Fields” appeared. linkbait, all of it.

    26. Frank

      Re: the flopping – the other thing that could be done is that you give each coach 1 or 2 “flop replay” challenges. If the replay official agrees with you that it was an OBVIOUS flop, then you get it back.

    27. ruruland

      Unreal. Bosh out indefinitely. That’s going to be HUGE just watch. I’m starting to believe all this voodoo paranoia

    28. Nick C.

      @23 “The final horn sounded, and LeBron James wrapped his arms around Carmelo Anthony in a warm embrace.

      Their head-to-head scoring matchup in this series was even, 139 points apiece.

      Just about everything else tipped Miami’s way — so the Heat are moving on and the New York Knicks are going home.”

      Such a lead gives the impression that Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James played about the same in this series.

      I don’t necessarily agree with Berri or disagree with your point but the gist of the article was his reaction to the AP blurb saying effectively since they scored the same points they played equally well. Maybe not here but my impression is in the general populace PPG is still the ultimate measuring stick.

    29. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      jon abbey:
      Dave Berri continues to be a stupid stupid stupid man with about as much understanding of basketball as my dead cat:

      “In contrast, Melo’s production of wins – because he was a very inefficient scorer – was in the negative range.”

      http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/05/14/don%E2%80%99t-be-deceived-by-carmelo-anthony%E2%80%99s-scoring-totals/

      he should talk to Danny Granger after yesterday’s game and see just how easy it is to “boost one’s scoring total” while playing head to head against LeBron. again, pure and unadulterated idiocy combined with a healthy dose of obviousness (wow, you mean it’s better to score the same amount on less shots? NO SHIT, SHERLOCK.)

      What’s your argument? He was responding to an AP article that appeared to say that LeBron and Melo had an equal series, scoring-wise. Let’s also not forget that most basketball writing deals with per-game and total scoring stats to discuss player value.

      Your assumption is that other players can’t take inefficient shots like Melo does, and I just see no evidence supporting that.

    30. ruruland

      Nick C.:
      @23 “The final horn sounded, and LeBron James wrapped his arms around Carmelo Anthony in a warm embrace.

      Their head-to-head scoring matchup in this series was even, 139 points apiece.

      Just about everything else tipped Miami’s way — so the Heat are moving on and the New York Knicks are going home.”

      Such a lead gives the impression that Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James played about the same in this series.

      I don’t necessarily agree with Berri or disagree with your point but the gist of the article was his reaction to the AP blurb saying effectively since they scored the same points they played equally well.Maybe not here but my impression is in the general populace PPG is still the ultimate measuring stick.

      Heat are now +52 in fta margin through six games.

      At 75% that’s a 6.3 points per game advantage. But it’s likely much more than that. The Heat, because they have such low foul rates, can play aggressively the entire game. Their opponents cannot.

    31. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:

      Your assumption is that other players can’t take inefficient shots like Melo does, and I just see no evidence supporting that.

      really? did you watch the Knicks/Heat series? who should have been shooting more exactly? Steve Novak, who couldn’t get open more than a few times the entire series? your beloved offensive weapon Tyson Chandler, whose weaknesses on that end were thoroughly exposed all series long? maybe you’d rather JR Smith went 3 for 20 every game instead of 3 for 15?

    32. johnlocke

      co-sign. Didn’t think the article was that bad…mostly pointing out the obvious….but to your average fan who has never heard of TS%, I guess it could have been enlightening. Also more broadly, Carmelo has historically been even less efficient in the playoffs than in the regular season — blame the defenses, blame his teammates — at some point, he has to be accountable to trying to impact the game in other ways, other than shooting.

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: What’s your argument? He was responding to an AP article that appeared to say that LeBron and Melo had an equal series, scoring-wise. Let’s also not forget that most basketball writing deals with per-game and total scoring stats to discuss player value.

      Your assumption is that other players can’t take inefficient shots like Melo does, and I just see no evidence supporting that.

    33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      jon abbey: really? did you watch the Knicks/Heat series? who should have been shooting more exactly? Steve Novak, who couldn’t get open more than a few times the entire series? your beloved offensive weapon Tyson Chandler, whose weaknesses on that end were thoroughly exposed all series long? maybe you’d rather JR Smith went 3 for 20 every game instead of 3 for 15?

      zzzzzz

      “Did you watch the games?” Stirring argument.

    34. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: What’s your argument? He was responding to an AP article that appeared to say that LeBron and Melo had an equal series, scoring-wise. Let’s also not forget that most basketball writing deals with per-game and total scoring stats to discuss player value.

      Your assumption is that other players can’t take inefficient shots like Melo does, and I just see no evidence supporting that.

      Some were inefficient shots. Others were efficient shots near the rim not rewarded at the same rate they were in the regular season (because of the opponent).

      Anyone who understands a little about the game of basketball saw what little happened in the half-court when the ball reversed out of Melo’s hands.

      And yes, you saw what happened when the ball was in JR Smith’s hands in the half-court?

      He had a TS% more than 100 points lower than Melo’s. Much of their struggles were due to the temporary structural flaw that the Heat took advantage of.

    35. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Let’s also not forget that most basketball writing deals with per-game and total scoring stats to discuss player value.

      I would sort of disagree with that statement. We’ve had this discussion before, but let’s have it again. The main sources for sports reporting as far as I can tell are now the AP, ESPN, and SI. Maybe the AP continues to talk about PPG as the #1 stat, but I think it is quite clear that ESPN and SI have moved beyond that. Front page stories on their websites are Zach Lowe, Hollinger, etc.

      I think the days of when KB posters like THCJ etc. were talking about things no one else was talking about are over. That Berri PPG=$$ article you always reference was from 2006 or something. Think about that – that was 6 years ago. The iPhone didn’t exist. Netflix Watch Instantly didn’t exist. The bottom hadn’t fallen out of the world economy yet. Everyone and their brother was working as mortgage broker. It was a totally different world. The Aaron Afflalos of the world are now making $8-9MM/year despite never having averaged more than 12.6PPG in his career before that contract was signed, whereas Jamal Crawford had to take a short “below-market” deal.

      The 1st stage of the stats revolution is over. The next stage is coming with more situtational stats, lineup combinations, video-enhanced analysis (ie. Sportvu), etc. etc.

    36. johnlocke

      what voodoo paranoia? don’t get the reference

      ruruland:
      Unreal. Bosh out indefinitely. That’s going to be HUGE just watch. I’m starting to believe all this voodoo paranoia

    37. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      co-sign. Didn’t think the article was that bad…mostly pointing out the obvious….but to your average fan who has never heard of TS%, I guess it could have been enlightening. Also more broadly, Carmelo has historically been even less efficient in the playoffs than in the regular season — blame the defenses, blame his teammates — at some point, he has to be accountable to trying to impact the game in other ways, other than shooting.

      Pretty sure Melo’s being held to account for his playoff failures, lmao.

      He has an excellent rebound rate for a SF in the playoffs. His teams have always heavily relied on him to not just score, but to create scoring opportunities…..

    38. d-mar

      ruruland:
      Unreal. Bosh out indefinitely. That’s going to be HUGE just watch. I’m starting to believe all this voodoo paranoia

      You think the Celtics could catch any more breaks in the playoffs? Rose goes down, so instead of having to play Chicago, they play a very flawed Philly team. And now the Bosh thing, which may carry over into the next round, so KG can just run completely wild.

      Can’t wait to see smug-faced Pierce if they advance to the Finals. Yuch.

    39. Nick C.

      ruruland: Heat are now +52 in fta margin through six games. At 75% that’s a 6.3 points per game advantage. But it’s likely much more than that. The Heat, because they have such low foul rates, can play aggressively the entire game. Their opponents cannot.

      I saw Wade and LeBron alone nearly equalled (24-28) the total FTA of Indy yesterday.

    40. johnlocke

      Accountable for getting better as a player…not for being blamed. I could care less about blaming Melo, he’s not going anywhere. I want him to focus on becoming a more complete basketball player, which I think he can. I just don’t know why it hasn’t happened yet. I also think he could be more efficient if he limited some of the low-efficiency shots he takes…namely contested threes early in the clock and well guarded long 2s. Hopefully a point guard/Lin helps with that part.

      ruruland: Pretty sure Melo’s being held to account for his playoff failures, lmao.

      He has an excellent rebound rate for a SF in the playoffs. His teams have always heavily relied on him to not just score, but to create scoring opportunities…..

    41. JK47

      The Pacers rely pretty heavily on getting to the line and making free throws– they were #2 in the NBA in FT/FGA this season, a key component to their #7 overall offense. In this series, forget it. Miami will get more FTA every single game. In game 1 it was a +10 advantage.

    42. ruruland

      jon abbey: really? did you watch the Knicks/Heat series? who should have been shooting more exactly? Steve Novak, who couldn’t get open more than a few times the entire series? your beloved offensive weapon Tyson Chandler, whose weaknesses on that end were thoroughly exposed all series long? maybe you’d rather JR Smith went 3 for 20 every game instead of 3 for 15?

      Right. Anyone with a little bit of a basketball background who watched tape of that series understood that most often the best way for the Knicks to get a shot off — just to get one off, not talking about quality — was to get it in Melo’s hands.

      They tried to do a lot of things offensively. This whole cockamamy about Woodson’s playbook is utterly hilarious.

    43. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland: You can’t be serious. Are all shots the same?

      Of course not. Does Carmelo have to take as many 15-foot fallaway jumpers as he does?

    44. ruruland

      Frank: lol, fair enough. But that’s what the coach SHOULD do.even if it costs 15K, the point has been made, the commish is talking about it, and the refs are aware this is a point of emphasis.if it costs 15K to have the field tilted closer to neutral, then it costs 15K, which is peanuts even to a young coach like Vogel.

      Stern was awfully quite all the years Riley and Phil tried to manipulate officials through the press.

      Look, it’s true and it’s despicable. And yes, you can officiate flopping the same subjective way you officiate technicals, flagrants and most calls– no one calls a game by the books.

    45. thenamestsam

      Frank:
      @22 – you and I can look at a replay and tell what’s obviously a flop and what’s maybe a flop and maybe not a flop.To be less controversial, they should just call the “obviously a flop” category.And again, this would not be done by the game officials. My plan would be to have a replay official who can watch it.For instance – LBJ’s ridiculous flop on that Chandler replay – no one in their right mind would argue that the SECONDARY motions by LBJ (the crazy arms in the air thing that happened AFTER contact) weren’t obviously done to exaggerate the contact.Watch it again and you will see.

      This system wouldn’t catch the flop he did with JR on the boundary line or the flop he did with Melo in which Melo threw him to the ground without even having to extend his arm or make any motion to throw the 6’9? 260 lb LBJ down.But it would catch the worst of them.

      I remember the play well, but I cannot agree with a system which would make that punishable. Have you ever been blindsided by a 7 foot 260 lb man? I doubt it. I certainly haven’t, and I honestly have no idea how I would react, but I think there’s a very good chance that when I realized what was happening I’d throw my hands up. That’s a pretty huge impact. Is Lebron trying to fool the ref with that hand motion? Maybe, but I think you’re leaping to a conclusion and asking the refs to be the ones deciding that is asking them to do something that is not at all related to what they’re trained to do.

      Besides that it’s only in slow motion replays that you can see that the arms aren’t raised as a result of the contact, but as a result of his response to the contact. But you can’t tell live, so now the ref is allowed to check the monitor on every player’s reaction to see if it was a natural result of the play or not? This just isn’t a feasible system.

    46. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Of course not. Does Carmelo have to take as many 15-foot fallaway jumpers as he does?

      He could probably cut down on them in some situations and I think it’s a fair point. His 3pt shot attempts have increased over the years.

      Here’s the thing. The mid-range shot is a counter to the drive. I don’t have the numbers on me, but Melo’s % of shots at the rim and fta in the half-court is probably a really excellent number overall (key is half-court)– it’s probably not quite elite, but it’s very good.

      Having both a mid-range shot and a great first step allow Melo to create double-teams in the elbow/ high-post/wing — that’s what has often allowed the team’s he’s played on to have very efficient half-court offenses — the tilting and the double teams.

      If we JUST looked at his efficiency overall in those situations he’s middling — sometimes because of the personnel on the floor, and the situation in the shot clock he needs to take tough jumpers (a lot more than his teammates do)

    47. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      Accountable for getting better as a player…not for being blamed. I could care less about blaming Melo, he’s not going anywhere. I want him to focus on becoming a more complete basketball player, which I think he can. I just don’t know why it hasn’t happened yet. I also think he could be more efficient if he limited some of the low-efficiency shots he takes…namely contested threes early in the clock and well guarded long 2s. Hopefully a point guard/Lin helps with that part.

      I’ll keep saying it. Melo’s most efficient seasons have come when 50-60% of his buckets were assisted. That’s true of many of the great scorers in the league — there’s typically a strong correlation there.

      It should be an indication to you guys that there was a mix of strong-side isolations and post-ups and weakside shots/attacks plus early post-ups and running.

      What should be interesting to you folks is that the years Melo had those high-assisted baskets numbers — he had very low 3pt attempts.

      I think that’s why you’ll see Melo have his most efficient seasons with a penetrate and kick pg (he’s never played with one before) — he’ll get those open 3pt looks and rive opportunities.

      We started to see Lin get Melo involved with early post-up action, and hard off-ball movement — Melo is quite good at those things when he knows his pg can deliver — and I think we started to see that Lin can, in fact, get Melo (and others) those looks.

    48. Frank

      @50 – all you have to do is watch how teams defend Landry Fields to see what the defense would be like if Melo was not only willing to take the mid-range jumper but able to show that he could make it. Or Rondo. Or even Amare — when he was hitting that 18 footer with regularity last year, it bought him an extra step on his dribble-drive.

      Re: his efficiency in these playoffs – is there any way to look at shot distribution in regards to time left on clock? If you WATCHED the game, it was obvious that it took the Knicks 14-18 seconds to even get him the ball at times, and so he was down to 4-5 seconds to make his move. That in and of itself probably explains 50% of his poor efficiency, if not more.

    49. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      Accountable for getting better as a player…not for being blamed. I could care less about blaming Melo, he’s not going anywhere. I want him to focus on becoming a more complete basketball player, which I think he can. I just don’t know why it hasn’t happened yet. I also think he could be more efficient if he limited some of the low-efficiency shots he takes…namely contested threes early in the clock and well guarded long 2s. Hopefully a point guard/Lin helps with that part.

      Well, I think what you saw when the offense was balanced (Lin and Amar’e) was Melo playing at an extremely high level on defense.

      When he isn’t asked to be a 30-35% usage guy on offense and grapple with defensive specialists every possession, he has the energy to be a great defensive player.

      He was 4th among forwards not named Lebron this year in assist rate — passing on a team that couldn’t shoot.

      He rebounds very well. I’m not sure he’ll ever have Jordan level endurance–where he can carry your offense and still be a great defensive player. I honestly don’t think Lebron has that kind of endurance.

    50. ruruland

      Frank:
      @50 – all you have to do is watch how teams defend Landry Fields to see what the defense would be like if Melo was not only willing to take the mid-range jumper but able to show that he could make it. Or Rondo. Or even Amare — when he was hitting that 18 footer with regularity last year, it bought him an extra step on his dribble-drive.

      Re: his efficiency in these playoffs – is there any way to look at shot distribution in regards to time left on clock?If you WATCHED the game, it was obvious that it took the Knicks 14-18 seconds to even get him the ball at times, and so he was down to 4-5 seconds to make his move.That in and of itself probably explains 50% of his poor efficiency, if not more.

      I’m going to look at the percentage and volume of shots Melo took in “distress” shot clock situations compared to other scorers in the league.

      Guys look Gallo will often pass the ball with 6 or 7 shots left in the clock — guys like Kobe and Melo almost never do. Those are always low percentage shots.

    51. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: zzzzzz

      “Did you watch the games?” Stirring argument.

      that wasn’t the argument, the argument was that without Melo in those games, that Knick team would have struggled to score 40 points total per game against Miami (if Miami had played hard the whole game, obviously).

    52. johnlocke

      Looking at his shot location stats, Carmelo’s most frequently attempted shot (33% of attempts) was the 16-23 foot jumper. Comparing him to a somewhat similar player, Pierces 2 most frequent shots are ‘at the rim’ and ‘threes’ … from a TS% perspective, better shots than the long 2. I know there’s a lot of context that can be added, which you’ve provided, but Carmelo can still become more efficient by taking better shots, becoming more selective and focusing on being a better all around player going forward. The distressed shot clock scenario cannot explain all or most of that.

      http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Carmelo%20Anthony

      ruruland: He could probably cut down on them in some situations and I think it’s a fair point. His 3pt shot attempts have increased over the years.

      Here’s the thing. The mid-range shot is a counter to the drive. I don’t have the numbers on me, but Melo’s % of shots at the rim and fta in the half-court is probably a really excellent number overall (key is half-court)– it’s probably not quite elite, but it’s very good.

      Having both a mid-range shot and a great first step allow Melo to create double-teams in the elbow/ high-post/wing — that’s what has often allowed the team’s he’s played on to have very efficient half-court offenses — the tilting and the double teams.

      If we JUST looked at his efficiency overall in those situations he’s middling — sometimes because of the personnel on the floor, and the situation in the shot clock he needs to take tough jumpers (a lot more than his teammates do)

    53. johnlocke

      Hope you’re right, would love to see more of that and less of the constant waiting for the ball in the post and staring down the defender.

      ruruland: I’ll keep saying it. Melo’s most efficient seasons have come when 50-60% of his buckets were assisted. That’s true of many of the great scorers in the league — there’s typically a strong correlation there.

      It should be an indication to you guys that there was a mix of strong-side isolations and post-ups and weakside shots/attacks plus early post-ups and running.

      What should be interesting to you folks is that the years Melo had those high-assisted baskets numbers — he had very low 3pt attempts.

      I think that’s why you’ll see Melo have his most efficient seasons with a penetrate and kick pg (he’s never played with one before) — he’ll get those open 3pt looks and rive opportunities.

      We started to see Lin get Melo involved with early post-up action, and hard off-ball movement — Melo is quite good at those things when he knows his pg can deliver — and I think we started to see that Lin can, in fact, get Melo (and others) those looks.

    54. johnlocke

      Good points on the importance of the mid-range…I would still prefer a 10-15 foot mid range jumper…versus the 16-23 foot jumper.
      Regarding the playoff efficiency being less than the regular season: if this were the only season where this happened, I wouldn’t be concerned — just look at the historical stats (ruruland has already contextualized a lot of this) but the stats are what they are, and this series only served to further highlight the data.

      Frank:
      @50 – all you have to do is watch how teams defend Landry Fields to see what the defense would be like if Melo was not only willing to take the mid-range jumper but able to show that he could make it. Or Rondo. Or even Amare — when he was hitting that 18 footer with regularity last year, it bought him an extra step on his dribble-drive.

      Re: his efficiency in these playoffs – is there any way to look at shot distribution in regards to time left on clock?If you WATCHED the game, it was obvious that it took the Knicks 14-18 seconds to even get him the ball at times, and so he was down to 4-5 seconds to make his move.That in and of itself probably explains 50% of his poor efficiency, if not more.

    55. er

      I think the playoff effeciency thing goes to his opponent and probably his lack of adjustments in series. I know the year he played to the wcf he played no and Dallas not exactly defensive teams. So it’s probably the the yrs playing the spurs etc for series they got to him and drastically affected his percentage.

      He probably doesn’t adapt well playing good defensive teams in series, although I think he did pretty well in 3/5 of this series.

      johnlocke: year

    56. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Paul%20Pierce
      Paul Pierce’s

      Thanks for posting these, John.

      Let’s take a look.

      In 2007, Melo takes 9.4 shots per game at the rim (63% assisted) — much of that I would assume coming from Andre Miller. That number has gone down over the years. The assisted percentage goes down with it — those things are not coincidental.

      Still, Pierce never averaged more than 4.6 shots at the rim. Melo has never averaged less than 5.4 shots at the rim per game.

      FGA at rim difference between Pierce and Melo
      ’07: Melo +4.9 (Melo+21% assisted, Melo +8% fg)
      ’08: Melo +3.2 (Melo +22.1% assisted, Melo +5% fg)
      ’09: Melo +2.5 (Melo +1.0% assisted, Melo +1% fg)
      ’10: Melo +3.9 (Pierce+ 7.9% assisted, Pierce +4.4% fg)
      ’11: Melo +1.4 (Pierce+ 17.2% assisted, Pierce +3.4% fg)
      ’12: Melo +1.8 (Pierce +12.2% assisted, Pierce +4.9%fg)

      Melo takes more mid-range jumpers– and is slightly more efficient than Pierce at them.

      The difference is the 3pt shooting as you mentioned — Pierce attempts more, has a higher percentage of them assisted.

      What I would conclude from these numbers is that both are relatively good mid-range jump shot creators — we can talk about why there is a need for that shot.

      Melo puts a lot more pressure on the rim than Pierce— and finishes at a higher rate (when looking at the difference between assisted and unassisted baskets).

      The key to me is the assisted basket percentage — it’s evident in both guys numbers.

    57. ruruland

      Carmelo playoffs vs opponent

      Miami: 489 TS (no penetrating or shooting pg)
      Boston: 505 TS (no penetrating or shooting pg)
      Utah: 564 TS (Billups)
      New Orleans: 544 TS (Billups)
      Dallas: 605 TS (Billups)
      LAL: 546 TS (Billups)
      LAL: 447 TS (Anthony Carter point guard/ worst 3pt shooting pg in NBA)
      San Antonio: 582 TS (Steve Blake point guard (50% from 3)
      LAC: 431 TS (Andre Miller)
      SAS: 494 TS (Andre Miller)
      MIN: 412 TS (Andre Miller)

      —————————————————————–

      Of course it’s not that simple. But the key is this: in the series where Melo had EXTREME struggles he had almost no floor spacing and he lacked a point guard who was able to penetrate and create easy shots. Andre Miller is a post-up/inside-out point guard and a phenomenal lob passer to big men — not a playoff/penetrate and kick pg.

      The series where Melo posted good TS% he had floor spacing from the point guard position.

      When he gets floor spacing and penetration (like Pierce gets) he’ll put up his most efficient numbers. Until then, teams are going to overload to Melo’s side and not respect his teammates.

    58. er

      Agreed …I think next year he and Lin will get the drive and kick going to a tee

      ruruland:
      Carmelo playoffs vs opponent

      Miami: 489 TS (no penetrating or shooting pg)
      Boston: 505 TS (no penetrating or shooting pg)
      Utah: 564 TS (Billups)
      New Orleans: 544 TS (Billups)
      Dallas: 605 TS (Billups)
      LAL: 546 TS (Billups)
      LAL: 447 TS (Anthony Carter point guard/ worst 3pt shooting pg in NBA)
      San Antonio: 582 TS (Steve Blake point guard (50% from 3)
      LAC: 431 TS (Andre Miller)
      SAS: 494 TS (Andre Miller)
      MIN: 412 TS (Andre Miller)

      —————————————————————–

      Of course it’s not that simple.But the key is this: in the series where Melo had EXTREME struggles he had almost no floor spacing and he lacked a point guard who was able to penetrate and create easy shots. Andre Miller is a post-up/inside-out point guard and a phenomenal lob passer to big men — not a playoff/penetrate and kick pg.

      The series where Melo posted good TS% he had floor spacing from the point guard position.

      When he gets floor spacing and penetration (like Pierce gets) he’ll put up his most efficient numbers. Until then, teams are going to overload to Melo’s side and not respect his teammates.

    59. johnlocke

      Understand your point regarding 3Pt shooting and floor spacing being important for Melo, but it’s not that simple as you noted. Carmelo has wild fluctuations within the same series, from game to game in the playoffs. His excellent Game 4 happened with and against the same team as his inefficient Games 1, 2, 3 and 5. In the Lakers series when they had Billups and made it to the WCF, he had an insane game 1 and then a really inefficient series the rest of the way. I’d have to go rewatch all those games to try to pinpoint why he has had such swings within the same series. I’d rather he have 25 pts in one game on 50% shooting and 26 pts on 42% shooting, …than 11 pts one game (30%) and 40 pts (6 the next. Carmelo’s a volatile stock in the playoffs. My hypothesis is that his game is far too reliant on the 16-23 foot jump shot, and if his ‘shot is not falling’ he just keeps taking the same shots. What we saw in game 4, is that he was able to do some other things to get going, when his jumper was off early, but don’t see that often enough . I also think there’s a big difference between the 10-15 ft mid-range jumper closer to the FT line (Pierce’s speciality) and the 16-23 foot mid-range jumper (Melo’s). I think who he plays with is important, but even when you hold that constant, you still see the above volatility in his game. Why?

      ruruland:

      Of course it’s not that simple.But the key is this: in the series where Melo had EXTREME struggles he had almost no floor spacing and he lacked a point guard who was able to penetrate and create easy shots. Andre Miller is a post-up/inside-out point guard and a phenomenal lob passer to big men — not a playoff/penetrate and kick pg.

      The series where Melo posted good TS% he had floor spacing from the point guard position.

      When he gets floor spacing and penetration (like Pierce gets) he’ll put up his most efficient…

    60. er

      You make great points on the inconsistency

      johnlocke:
      Understand your point regarding 3Pt shooting and floor spacing being important for Melo, but it’s not that simple as you noted. Carmelo has wild fluctuations within the same series, from game to game in the playoffs. His excellent Game 4 happened with and against the same team as his inefficient Games 1, 2, 3 and 5. In the Lakers series when they had Billups and made it to the WCF, he had an insane game 1 and then a really inefficient series the rest of the way. I’d have to go rewatch all those games to try to pinpoint why he has had such swings within the same series. I’d rather he have 25 pts in one game on 50% shooting and 26 pts on 42% shooting, …than 11 pts one game (30%) and 40 pts (6 the next. Carmelo’s a volatile stock in the playoffs. My hypothesis is that his game is far too reliant on the 16-23 foot jump shot, and if his ‘shot is not falling’ he just keeps taking the same shots. What we saw in game 4, is that he was able to do some other things to get going, when his jumper was off early, but don’t see that often enough . I also think there’s a big difference between the 10-15 ft mid-range jumper closer to the FT line (Pierce’s speciality) and the 16-23 foot mid-range jumper (Melo’s). I think who he plays with is important, but even when you hold that constant, you still see the above volatility in his game. Why?

    61. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      Understand your point regarding 3Pt shooting and floor spacing being important for Melo, but it’s not that simple as you noted. Carmelo has wild fluctuations within the same series, from game to game in the playoffs. His excellent Game 4 happened with and against the same team as his inefficient Games 1, 2, 3 and 5. In the Lakers series when they had Billups and made it to the WCF, he had an insane game 1 and then a really inefficient series the rest of the way. I’d have to go rewatch all those games to try to pinpoint why he has had such swings within the same series. I’d rather he have 25 pts in one game on 50% shooting and 26 pts on 42% shooting, …than 11 pts one game (30%) and 40 pts (6 the next. Carmelo’s a volatile stock in the playoffs. My hypothesis is that his game is far too reliant on the 16-23 foot jump shot, and if his ‘shot is not falling’ he just keeps taking the same shots. What we saw in game 4, is that he was able to do some other things to get going, when his jumper was off early, but don’t see that often enough . I also think there’s a big difference between the 10-15 ft mid-range jumper closer to the FT line (Pierce’s speciality) and the 16-23 foot mid-range jumper (Melo’s). I think who he plays with is important, but even when you hold that constant, you still see the above volatility in his game. Why?

      Most guys have fluctuations in the playoffs.

      In that Lakers series he started out playing on the weakside :

      Here’s the game:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2bYXQj3hU4

      They moved him back to the strongside because the Lakers started to ignore the strongside Billups pnr and dared him to drive into their bigs. They put Melo back on strong side.

      Here is game by game playoff performance with a pg who could shoot:
      …..

    62. Caleb

      I don’t see any evidence that Melo is more or less volatile or inconsistent than anyone else.

    63. Brian Cronin

      I think the only realistic anti-flopping regulation the NBA could pass is what the NHL has, which is that they call a penalty if a player pretends to have been hit when he was not actually hit. I think that’s about the only thing you could get in the NBA. If the ref does not believe there was contact and a player acted like there was contact, the player would get an offensive foul. Currently, these are just no-calls, but if they began to be called as offensive fouls, then you’d see a decrease in them from most players in the NBA.

      What you wouldn’t see is a decrease in the acting once there has been contact, and I don’t see a realistic way of punishing that. Like the infamous Chandler/Lebron play. Yeah, Lebron flopped like crazy on that play. But only after Chandler clearly fouled him! So are you really going to punish Lebron for making an actual foul look like a worse actual foul? How can any referee seriously be expected to make that call? “He only hit you hard enough for you to go flying here, not here.” It’s next to impossible. And since Lebron’s game involves drawing contact, he would continue to get his fouls called.

      But we’d see a drop in the flops from the guys like Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, Blake Griffin, etc.

    64. Frank

      Brian Cronin:
      I think the only realistic anti-flopping regulation the NBA could pass is what the NHL has, which is that they call a penalty if a player pretends to have been hit when he was not actually hit. I think that’s about the only thing you could get in the NBA. If the ref does not believe there was contact and a player acted like there was contact, the player would get an offensive foul. Currently, these are just no-calls, but if they began to be called as offensive fouls, then you’d see a decrease in them from most players in the NBA.

      What you wouldn’t see is a decrease in the acting once there has been contact, and I don’t see a realistic way of punishing that. Like the infamous Chandler/Lebron play. Yeah, Lebron flopped like crazy on that play. But only after Chandler clearly fouled him! So are you really going to punish Lebron for making an actual foul look like a worse actual foul? How can any referee seriously be expected to make that call? “He only hit you hard enough for you to go flying here, not here.” It’s next to impossible. And since Lebron’s game involves drawing contact, he would continue to get his fouls called.

      But we’d see a drop in the flops from the guys like Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, Blake Griffin, etc.

      I think if you think of the punishment on LBJ as a technical foul, it’s fine. Just like hanging on the rim, taunting, yelling at officials etc. Hanging on the rim, taunting, and giving the refs lip don’t actually change the game – they’re just behaviors that the league doesn’t want to see in the game. Flopping is no different. If you make it a 1 shot foul, you’ll get some decrease. If you make it a 2 shot foul, it’ll go away VERY quickly.

    65. Frank

      Actually, IMHO, making the call even MORE subjective by having the refs on the floor call it (with continuation!) might even increase the effectiveness of it. All those flop no-calls will now turn into foul shots and possibly made baskets.

      Anyway, there are 100000 ways to do this. Stern and the owners just have to decide it is enough of a problem to do something about it. Seriously – it makes the game and the officials look silly when the replays obviously show it and the commentators are harping on it.

    66. 2FOR18

      ruruland:
      Carmelo playoffs vs opponent

      Miami: 489 TS (no penetrating or shooting pg)
      Boston: 505 TS (no penetrating or shooting pg)
      Utah: 564 TS (Billups)
      New Orleans: 544 TS (Billups)
      Dallas: 605 TS (Billups)
      LAL: 546 TS (Billups)
      LAL: 447 TS (Anthony Carter point guard/ worst 3pt shooting pg in NBA)
      San Antonio: 582 TS (Steve Blake point guard (50% from 3)
      LAC: 431 TS (Andre Miller)
      SAS: 494 TS (Andre Miller)
      MIN: 412 TS (Andre Miller)

      —————————————————————–

      Of course it’s not that simple.But the key is this: in the series where Melo had EXTREME struggles he had almost no floor spacing and he lacked a point guard who was able to penetrate and create easy shots. Andre Miller is a post-up/inside-out point guard and a phenomenal lob passer to big men — not a playoff/penetrate and kick pg.

      The series where Melo posted good TS% he had floor spacing from the point guard position.

      When he gets floor spacing and penetration (like Pierce gets) he’ll put up his most efficient numbers. Until then, teams are going to overload to Melo’s side and not respect his teammates.

      This has gotten ridiculous. One day, it’s cherry picked stats that show how melo makes his teammates better. Another day it’s cherry picked stats that show that melo is only productive when he has certain teammates. Another day it’s about the top 10 defensive stopper he’s going against. It never freakin ends. Why is it that against the same opponent with the same teammates, he can score 40 one game and 10 the next? Oh, the 10 pt. game is probably the refs’ fault.

    67. ruruland

      vs SAS 10/18 2/4 (from 3), 8/8 ft 31 pts
      vs SAS 8/21 2/4 8/8 26pts
      vs SAS 10/21 2/3 6/11 28 pts
      vs SAS 11/18 2/5 5/6 29 pts
      vs SAS 8/20 1/2 4/5 21 pts
      vs NOH 4/12 0/0 5/6 13 pts
      vs NOH 10/20 2/5 0/0 22 pts (9 assists)
      vs NOH 10/24 1/2 4/8 25 pts
      vs NOH 9/17 2/3 6/7 26 pts (7 assists)
      vs NOH 13/25 1/3 7/7 34 pts
      vs Dal 7/10 2/3 7/7 23 pts
      vs Dal 8/21 1/8 8/9 25 pts
      vs Dal 9/24 2/2 11/14 31 pts
      vs Dal 15/29 2/5 9/11 41 pts
      vs Dal 13/22 4/7 0/0 30 pts
      vs LAL 14/20 4/5 7/8 39 pts
      vs LAL 12/29 0/6 10/14 34 pts
      vs LAL 4/13 1/7 12/14 21 pts
      vs LAL 3/16 0/3 9/11 15 pts
      vs LAL 9/23 1/4 12/13 31 pts
      vs LAL 6/17 1/3 12/15 25 pts
      vs UT 18/25 2/5 4/4 42 pts
      vs UT 9/25 0/1 14/15 32 pts
      vs UT 11/21 0/3 3/4 25 pts
      vs UT 13/26 4/4 9/9 39 pts
      vs UT 7/19 0/2 12/15 26 pts
      vs UT 6/22 0/4 8/10 20 pts

      Some great games, some really bad ones — most are high-usage and efficient.

      (558 fg 218 ft 754pts)

      TS in the 27 playoff games with a quality shooting/ floor spacing pg: .572

      Kevin Durant career playoff TS: .563

      What does Durant have? penetrate and kick pg who creates semi-transition opportunities.

      You give Melo floor spacing or a penetrate and kick — with an outside chance at both — and he will be VERY efficient at extremely high usage.

      Lebron was really inefficient in his playoff career when he lacked floor spacing. In fact, when matched up against top 7 defenses like Melo without the floor spacing, the two have very similar TS% inm the playoffs.

    68. johnlocke

      @ Caleb …

      Here are some stats from his last 4 playoff performances…

      > look up his performances against the Lakers with the best team he has been on to date in the WCF. Look at the swings from game to game. Look up Kobe’s swings from game to game.

      > Look up his performance against Boston last year…42 in Game 2…look at his performances in Games 1 (w/ Billups and Amare helthy), 3 and 4. Pierce had one bad game.

      > Look up his performances against the Miami Heat this year. 11 pts in game 1. 40 points in Game 4. Look at the rest of the series. Carmelo and Lebron had similar AVGs in PPG, Lebron had more consistency (not to mention the other advanced stats)

      > 2010 versus Utah: Denver lost in 6. Melo’s best 3 shooting games (18-25; 11-21; 13-26) and the worst (7-19, 6-22, 9-22)

      Point being I don’t think it’s just on Carmelo’s teammates or the defense he plays against…I think it’s partly due to his game. I’d say it’s due to his 33% reliance on 16-25 foot jumpers. Very few players shoot that shot effectively and consistently outside of Dirk. I’m sure there are other factors too…but just pointing out that it’s just not on his teammates and the defenses they played against.

      2FOR18: This has gotten ridiculous.One day, it’s cherry picked stats that show how melo makes his teammates better.Another day it’s cherry picked stats that show that melo is only productive when he has certain teammates.Another day it’s about the top 10 defensive stopper he’s going against.It never freakin ends.Why is it that against the same opponent with the same teammates, he can score 40 one game and 10 the next?Oh, the 10 pt. game is probably the refs’ fault.

    69. Shad0wF0x

      Another thing that bothers me about flops is how the fall actually happens? Has anyone here ever fallen like that after getting hit? There are only 2 natural reactions to it.

      1. Stagger backward trying to stay on your feet.
      2. In fighting sports, a hard hit knocks the guy out and his knees give way.

      I’ve never seen it on the court where a player who takes the blow lean perfectly backward with their feet together and fall down in one swoop motion.

    70. ruruland

      2FOR18: This has gotten ridiculous.One day, it’s cherry picked stats that show how melo makes his teammates better.Another day it’s cherry picked stats that show that melo is only productive when he has certain teammates.Another day it’s about the top 10 defensive stopper he’s going against.It never freakin ends.Why is it that against the same opponent with the same teammates, he can score 40 one game and 10 the next?Oh, the 10 pt. game is probably the refs’ fault.

      So, I cherry-picked stats when I showed you that 90+ percent of Melo’s teammates in Denver shot above their career TS% with him? Was it cherry-picking when Owen posted Pelstein’s article that showed the same thing with Melo on the floor? Was I cherry-picking when I showed that every year of Melo’s career the offense has been better with him on the floor — many years where his TS% was below the teams? (How is that not proof of positive interaction effect?)

      Was it cherry-picking when I showed basically a 1 correlation between Lebron’s TS% and the 3pt percentage of his teammates, both in regular season and playoffs?

      Was it cherry picking when I showed Melo’s playoff assist totals and matched them with his teammates 3pt percentage — once again showing a near correlation???

      What you’re saying is that although the evidence overwhelmingly supports the ideas that I’ve talked about on this board all year — floor spacing, the need to have penetration from multiple positions –that none of it actually matters.

      Floor spacing doesn’t matter. Your teammates don’t matter. The opposition doesn’t matter — is that supposed to be the smart opinion?

    71. JC Knickfan

      Ruru can you also ask Melo why so many years he shot better in Regular season vs the playoffs? He is playing with same teammates in playoffs. Can you also ask him for reminder of contract to perform better in playoff then regular season avg? Is that too much to ask?

      Miami: 489 TS (Davis/Bibby) Reg = 525 (lost 4-1)
      Boston: 505 TS (Billups/Douglas) Reg = 557 (lost 4-0)
      Utah: 564 TS (Billups) Reg = 548 (Lost 4-2)
      New Orleans: 544 TS (Billups) Reg = 532 (Won 4-1)
      Dallas: 605 TS (Billups) Reg = 532 (Won 4-1)
      LAL: 546 TS (Billups) Reg = 532 (Lost 4-2)
      LAL: 447 TS (Anthony Carter) Reg = 568 (Lost 4-0)
      San Antonio: 582 TS (Steve Blake) Reg = 552 (Lost 4-1)
      LAC: 431 TS (Andre Miller) Reg = 563 (Lost 4-1)
      SAS: 494 TS (Andre Miller) Reg = 526 (Lost 4-1)
      MIN: 412 TS (Andre Miller) Reg = 509 (Lost 4-1)

    72. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      @ Caleb …

      Point being I don’t think it’s just on Carmelo’s teammates or the defense he plays against…I think it’s partly due to his game. I’d say it’s due to his 33% reliance on 16-25 foot jumpers. Very few players shoot that shot effectively andconsistently outside of Dirk. I’m sure there are other factors too…but just pointing out that it’s just not on his teammates and the defenses they played against.

      John, Melo’s had some amazing performances in the playoffs without much of the requisite things around him — he’s also had some horrendous ones. Think of the shots he made in the Miami and Boston series. Really, really tough shots.

      The question you seem to be posing is, how can he get better ones?

      What I’m telling you over and over again is that he can get better shots with better floor spacing and a point guard that can create shots for others by collapsing the defense (and running).

      When Melo hasn’t had any of those things in the playoffs, sure he’s had a few great games — but they’ve mostly been very bad.

      When he had the floor spacing, he’s been able to get more quality looks and his efficiency has skyrocketed.

    73. Frank

      To return back to the Lin vs. Nash commentary — I really do see both sides of the coin here. Lin has a small sample which in itself was a huge surprise, so there is definitely the possibility of him being Landry Fields 2.0. Nash has great productivity but is very old and has a long history of back issues.

      This, I believe, should answer the question for us:

      http://bkref.com/tiny/wJNdP

      There has only been 1 player in the history of the NBA (since 1947) older than 37 that has played guard, has been able to stay on the floor for more than 25 min/game, and has given some sort of productivity representative of the rest of his career – and that is John Stockton. The only other guard that has even played >25 min/game is Jason Kidd this year, who was an absolute shell of himself.

      One could make the argument that Nash has less tread on his tires since he didn’t play all that much his first few years – but still — there have been A LOT of guards who have played from 35-37 years old, but after the 38 year old mark, it is just Stockton and Kidd, and just Stockton if you are talking about players who have really played well after the age of 37. And Stockton was probably a genetic freak in terms of durability – he played in 1504 of 1526 regular season games in his 19 year career. Just crazy.

      I guess I wouldn’t be upset at all if Nash came and Lin was allowed to leave, since he would have the gravitas to challenge Melo’s ball domination and we know he can play great with Amare, but what if he completely deteriorates after the 12-13 season when he’ll be 40? We’re still capped out, probably are only in mini-MLE territory. Even if he does play pretty well, he will probably only be able to play max 30 min/game, which means we need 18 min of solid backup PG play.

    74. ruruland

      And John, you’re absolutely right about the mid-range stuff. When Melo has lacked the floor spacing, like has the last two years, he takes a lot of mid-range shots because the paint gets crowded.

      Teams don’t respect Melo teammates ability to hit open jump shots.

      And because most of those teams struggled so much getting shots, Melo was being asked to create from the mid-post.

    75. Frank

      very interesting article just published by Jared Zwerling at ESPN re: JR Smith — JR can actually opt out of his contract and use a non-Bird exception to get a 20% raise from his 11-12 salary –> $3M. That actually sounds like a good option for him if he wants to stay in NYC, assuming he signs a 1 or 2 year deal with another player option year (to get Early Bird or Full Bird status).

    76. Owen

      “Like the infamous Chandler/Lebron play. Yeah, Lebron flopped like crazy on that play. But only after Chandler clearly fouled him!”

      Exactly. That’s the problem with flopping. It’s hard to ban simulation when a foul actually occured. You’d like to isolate cases where it’s pure theatrics but that can be a very difficult judgment call at the pace at which NBA games are played.

      Jon – Sorry about your cat!

      I also don’t see what the issue is with the Berri article. To us it’s supremely banal to point out that you shouldn’t just a player by his points production. But to the rest of the world that remains how players are judged.

      I know the Heat have a tough defense but Melo sucked in this series. And I say that despite being a newly minted member of his fan club. For a guy who is supposed to be one of the most supremely talented offensive players in the game to only rack up 11 assists in 200 minutes is pretty pathetic.

      And I was disappointed that a guy Ruruland has touted as one of the better small forward defenders in the league wasn’t able to check Lebron at all after Shumpert went down.

    77. ruruland

      JC Knickfan:
      Ruru can you also ask Melo why so many years he shot better in Regular season vs the playoffs? He is playing with same teammates in playoffs.Can you also ask him for reminder of contract to perform better in playoff then regular season avg? Is that too much to ask?

      Miami:489 TS (Davis/Bibby) Reg = 525 (lost 4-1)

      For one, with few exceptions, most players see dramatic efficiency decreases in the playoffs. Obviously the game changes and better defensive teams are playing (Melo has consistently played some of the best defenses in the playoffs) . Look at what happened to Denver this year.

      The other important thing to understand is that those Nuggets teams were running teams — but they were very poor shooting teams. When the playoffs forced them into a slow-down, half-court game, they lacked the penetration and floor spacing to get good shots.

      With Lin, some shooting, a strong pick and roll attack away from Melo, I have little doubt he will have his best years in New York.

    78. 2FOR18

      ruruland: So, I cherry-picked stats when I showed you that 90+ percent of Melo’s teammates in Denver shot above their career TS% with him? Was it cherry-picking when Owen posted Pelstein’s article that showed the same thing with Melo on the floor? Was I cherry-picking when I showed that every year of Melo’s career the offense has been better with him on the floor — many years where his TS% was below the teams? (How is that not proof of positive interaction effect?)

      Was it cherry-picking when I showed basically a 1 correlation between Lebron’s TS% and the 3pt percentage of his teammates, both in regular season and playoffs?

      Was it cherry picking when I showed Melo’s playoff assist totals and matched them with his teammates 3pt percentage — once again showing a near correlation???

      What you’re saying is that although the evidence overwhelmingly supports the ideas that I’ve talked about on this board all year — floor spacing, the need to have penetration from multiple positions –that none of it actually matters.

      Floor spacing doesn’t matter. Your teammates don’t matter. The opposition doesn’t matter — is that supposed to be the smart opinion?

      Now it’s strawman time. Of course teammates and circumstances matter to a degree, but your excuse making would be embarrassing to melo himself.
      You know what melo says when he has a bad game? He says “Hey, my shot wasn’t falling”. That’s the freakin truth. He takes difficult shots; sometimes they go in at a high rate and sometimes they don’t.
      What makes him a 3rd tier star is that there isn’t much of a plan B when the long 2s aren’t falling.

    79. ruruland

      Owen:

      I know the Heat have a tough defense but Melo sucked in this series. And I say that despite being a newly minted member of his fan club. For a guy who is supposed to be one of the most supremely talented offensive players in the game to only rack up 11 assists in 200 minutes is pretty pathetic.

      And I was disappointed that a guy Ruruland has touted as one ofthe better small forward defenders in the league wasn’t able to check Lebron at all after Shumpert went down.

      This is an attempt to lower the level of dialogue. I’m very disappointed.
      11 assists is a very poor number, but with a team that closes out on shooters like the Heat and can recover to the paint, it’s not all that unusual, especially when you shoot 21-70 from 3 (not including Melo)

      Melo performed better than Rose did last year in a similar kind of situation — and Rose wasn’t being asked to check Lebron every possession (Melo guarded Lebron a lot more than Lebron guarded Melo).

      I’ve said that Melo is an excellent defender when he’s not asked to carry the load on offense — was that the case in this series?

      I know you’re not one for subtlety but you can try a little harder reading beyond the first sentence.

    80. Brian Cronin

      very interesting article just published by Jared Zwerling at ESPN re: JR Smith — JR can actually opt out of his contract and use a non-Bird exception to get a 20% raise from his 11-12 salary –> $3M. That actually sounds like a good option for him if he wants to stay in NYC, assuming he signs a 1 or 2 year deal with another player option year (to get Early Bird or Full Bird status).

      Wow, you know, it’s hilarious how often such obvious points just slip by us. Every free agent, no matter how long they have been with a team, is allowed to get a 20% raise over their current salary. And yet it did not even occur to me that that option for JR would allow him to make $3 million as opposed to $2.5 million next year.

      I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think passing up an extra $2 million (by signing with another team for the MLE) as opposed to passing up an extra $2.5 million is going to make much of a difference to Smith and that he is likely gone no matter what (his tweets after Game 5 sort of laying the groundwork for his departure), but yes, $3 million is definitely better than $2.5 million!

    81. johnlocke

      Fair point. Games like game 4 against Miami and even that first breakout game of the season for him against the Orlando Magic show me he has the ability to, cut off the ball, start inside out and take more 10-15 foot jumpers and less 16-23 foot jumpers and work his way from inside out. That’s the Melo I like to see. I don’t like the Melo that takes the path of least resistance by raising up and shooting 16-25 foot jumpers. That’s partly his teammates (as you’ve argued well on several occasions) but also on him and his mindset/determination to not settle. I think he’s cursed by his versatility sometimes, because he can do so many things fairly well, he doesn’t try extra hard to get the shots he could get with more effort. It’s on his teammates, coaches and on him also, from my POV.

      ruruland:
      And John, you’re absolutely right about the mid-range stuff. When Melo has lacked the floor spacing, like has the last two years, he takes a lot of mid-range shots because the paint gets crowded.

      Teams don’t respect Melo teammates ability to hit open jump shots.

      And because most of those teams struggled so much getting shots, Melo was being asked to create from the mid-post.

    82. Brian Cronin

      From Zwerling’s piece:

      In fact, when Smith chose the Knicks over the Clippers in mid-February after coming back from China, a source said the Knicks’ higher offer ($2.443 million to the Clippers’ $1.4 million veteran’s minimum) was the deciding factor because he was financially broke. Therefore, Smith will likely opt out and ask for the 20 percent raise. At that point, the ball will be in the Knicks’ court to re-sign Smith, who’s already said publicly that he wants to return next season.

      So he’s broke, yet he’ll take $3 million for one year as opposed to $5 million a year over four-five years? How does that follow?

    83. Frank

      Brian Cronin: Wow, you know, it’s hilarious how often such obvious points just slip by us. Every free agent, no matter how long they have been with a team, is allowed to get a 20% raise over their current salary. And yet it did not even occur to me that that option for JR would allow him to make $3 million as opposed to $2.5 million next year.

      I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think passing up an extra $2 million (by signing with another team for the MLE) as opposed to passing up an extra $2.5 million is going to make much of a difference to Smith and that he is likely gone no matter what (his tweets after Game 5 sort of laying the groundwork for his departure), but yes, $3 million is definitely better than $2.5 million!

      but crucially — it makes it so teams with only the mini-MLE can’t outbid us (and we will have early Bird on him after 12-13, which is worth a lot more in salary potential to JR than the mini-MLE’s 2nd and 3rd years) – that means no Lakers, Heat, Bulls, and probably no Magic also. Considering teams like the Lakers and Bulls could really really use JR, that is huge.

    84. Owen

      “I’ve said that Melo is an excellent defender when he’s not asked to carry the load on offense — was that the case in this series?”

      It’s just ridiculous that you can even make this argument with a straight face.

    85. ruruland

      2FOR18: Now it’s strawman time.Of course teammates and circumstances matter to a degree, but your excuse making would be embarrassing to melo himself.
      You know what melo says when he has a bad game?He says “Hey, my shot wasn’t falling”.That’s the freakin truth.He takes difficult shots; sometimes they go in at a high rate and sometimes they don’t.
      What makes him a 3rd tier star is that there isn’t much of a plan B when the long 2s aren’t falling.

      Melo knows there are far too many fans like you who don’t give a fuck why something happened they just want to win. And that’s fine.

      Again, you’re directing the criticism at me and you are constantly dumbing down the thread.

      What did John Locke just post? He posted Hoop Data’s numbers for Pierce and Melo.

      What did they show? They showed that Melo takes A LOT more shots at the rim than Pierce does (Melo also takes more shots at the rim than Durant, Kobe, Dirk and every great scorer not named Lebron, Wade and Westbrook)….

      No one who was paying attention to this thread should take you seriously.

      So, all of those things you mentioned do matter, but they’re just excuses in the end., right?

      What Melo does with and without floor spacing is a moot point is it an excuse? What?

    86. Brian Cronin

      but crucially — it makes it so teams with only the mini-MLE can’t outbid us (and we will have early Bird on him after 12-13, which is worth a lot more in salary potential to JR than the mini-MLE’s 2nd and 3rd years) – that means no Lakers, Heat, Bulls, and probably no Magic also. Considering teams like the Lakers and Bulls could really really use JR, that is huge.

      Did you really think Smith was ever going to leave for the mini-MLE? I never got that impression. It was always the lure of the MLE (or possibly even higher from a team with money to burn like Indiana or Charlotte) that scared me. I mean, leaving some place he likes for just an extra $500,000? Seems unlikely.

    87. ruruland

      Owen:
      “I’ve said that Melo is an excellent defender when he’s not asked to carry the load on offense — was that the case in this series?”

      It’s just ridiculous that you can even make this argument with a straight face.

      Ok. that’s nice. he sucks. go back to talking about something where you can help move the conversation forward.

    88. 2FOR18

      Frank:
      This Zwerling article deserves a link here — really good stuff overall even if he suggests that Landry Fields might get the full MLE salary amount, which is just nuts to me.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/19565/the-knicks-summer-spending#comments

      I think Fields will get at least the MLE for 3 years from some team. Teams have to fill their cap somehow, and Fields has a decent rep. i.e. I was looking at a cavs blog a couple of weeks ago for some kyrie news, and Fields was getting support as a guy to target for next year. People like his rebounding and he has high name recognition for being in the rookie of the year running last year.

    89. jon abbey

      Owen:

      Jon – Sorry about your cat!

      I also don’t see what the issue is with the Berri article. To us it’s supremely banal to point out that you shouldn’t just a player by his points production. But to the rest of the world that remains how players are judged.

      I know the Heat have a tough defense but Melo sucked in this series. And I say that despite being a newly minted member of his fan club. For a guy who is supposed to be one of the most supremely talented offensive players in the game to only rack up 11 assists in 200 minutes is pretty pathetic.

      Owen, my cat died a long time ago, but thanks.

      and you are better than the rest of this post. I genuinely don’t understand how anyone could watch that series and not think that:

      a) Melo was by far (BY FAR) the best Knick in the series, including Chandler.
      b) we would have had no prayer of winning a game without him, and all four games would have likely looked like game 1.

      plus, I really don’t get how anyone can give him shit for not getting more assists. as I said above, who the hell was he supposed to pass to that he wasn’t? you don’t get an assist for passing, you get an assist if the other player makes the shot, and pretty much no one besides Melo was capable of doing that against Miami. not to mention, hockey assists stemming from his doubleteam.

      what we really need is new stats: “passes out of doubleteams that eventually lead to baskets”, “passes to open shooters that result in missed shots”. if we had numbers on those, I think you’d have a different perspective on what happened in that series.

    90. yellowboy90

      Owen:
      “Like the infamous Chandler/Lebron play. Yeah, Lebron flopped like crazy on that play. But only after Chandler clearly fouled him!”

      And I was disappointed that a guy Ruruland has touted as one ofthe better small forward defenders in the league wasn’t able to check Lebron at all after Shumpert went down.

      I know you and Ruru have this thing but besides transition and scoring against Fields and Smith Lebron really did not do much against Melo.

    91. jon abbey

      2FOR18: I think Fields will get at least the MLE for 3 years from some team.Teams have to fill their cap somehow, and Fields has a decent rep.i.e. I was looking at a cavs blog a couple of weeks ago for some kyrie news, and Fields was getting support as a guy to target for next year.People like his rebounding and he has high name recognition for being in the rookie of the year running last year.

      good riddance, I find it really hard to believe he can’t be very easily replaced.

    92. 2FOR18

      ruruland: Melo knows there are far too many fans like you who don’t give a fuck why something happened they just want to win. And that’s fine.

      Again, you’re directing the criticism at me and you are constantly dumbing down the thread.

      What did John Locke just post? He posted Hoop Data’s numbers for Pierce and Melo.

      What did they show? They showed that Melo takes A LOT more shots at the rim than Pierce does (Melo also takes more shots at the rim than Durant, Kobe, Dirk and every great scorer not named Lebron, Wade and Westbrook)….

      No one who was paying attention to this thread should take you seriously.

      So, all of those things you mentioned do matter, but they’re just excuses in the end., right?

      What Melo does with and without floor spacing is a moot point is it an excuse? What?

      I admit I don’t know as much about basketball as you – heck nobody does.
      But I don’t take anything you say seriously because you are either a paid advocate or a lunatic.

    93. ephus

      2FOR18: I think Fields will get at least the MLE for 3 years from some team. Teams have to fill their cap somehow, and Fields has a decent rep.

      I think teams are going to be more guarded in their spending than to offer Fields the full MLE. If Fields does get that offer, IMO the Knicks should NOT match. That would take the pressure off from reaching the $74 MM apron, which would allow the Knicks to give Lin the full MLE (rumors are that Toronto may go above the MLE for years 3&4, which would create a tought choice for the Knicks) and bring back JR Smith at $3MM

    94. Frank

      Brian Cronin:
      Did you really think Smith was ever going to leave for the mini-MLE? I never got that impression. It was always the lure of the MLE (or possibly even higher from a team with money to burn like Indiana or Charlotte) that scared me.

      yeah – i guess it is just a question of whether JR trusts his skill, how much he wants wins/exposure vs. just pure $.

      If he stays with the Knicks and they use his Early Bird exception, his salaries will be like this:

      2012-13 = $3M (120% of 11-12 salary)
      2013-14 = $5.25M (175% of 12-13 salary via Early Bird)
      2014-15 – $5.64M (107.5% of 13-14 salary)
      2015-16 = $6.06M (107.5% of 14-15 salary)
      Total= $19.95M over 4 years

      If he signs with another club using the MLE, his salaries will be:
      2012-13 = $5M
      2013-14 = $5.225M (104.5% of 12-13 salary)
      2014-15 = $5.46M (104.5% of 13-14 salary)
      2015-16 = =$5.71M (104.5% of 14-15 salary)
      Total = $21.4M over 4 years

      So really we are talking about less than $1.5M total difference over 4 years (<400K/year).

    95. Brian Cronin

      Not just the extra money, though, but the security. The Knicks’ offer includes a lot more risk. If he gets hurt, he’s basically screwed, right?

    96. Brian Cronin

      think teams are going to be more guarded in their spending than to offer Fields the full MLE. If Fields does get that offer, IMO the Knicks should NOT match. That would take the pressure off from reaching the $74 MM apron, which would allow the Knicks to give Lin the full MLE (rumors are that Toronto may go above the MLE for years 3&4, which would create a tought choice for the Knicks) and bring back JR Smith at $3MM

      I agree that if Fields gets the full MLE, the Knicks just can’t match it. I’m curious as to what point they do match. $3 million? $4 million?

    97. Frank

      Brian Cronin:
      Not just the extra money, though, but the security. The Knicks’ offer includes a lot more risk. If he gets hurt, he’s basically screwed, right?

      That’s for sure. NYK can mitigate that by signing another 1 year deal for $3M + 1 year player option for $3.6M (20% raise). But if he trusts he’s worth it and he likes playing in NY, that’s how Grunwald (and presumably Woodson) can sell it. And that’s a pretty good sell = play in the biggest market in the world with the best fans, close to home, with the first coach that really believes in you, and make pretty much the same $.

    98. ephus

      @100, You are also assuming that JR Smith signs a 3 year deal once he gets Early Bird rights. If he wanted to really roll the dice, he could insist on a two year Early Bird deal with a player option on year 2. That would mean he could be a UFA with Full Bird rights in 2014-15. At that point, if he stayed healthy, it would not be unreasonable for him to command $30MM/3 years.

      If the Knicks get JR Smith and Lin to agree to undermarket contracts during this off-season, I would bet that the NBA front office will be looking hard for Joe Smith-style under-the-table agreements.

    99. Frank

      Brian Cronin: I agree that if Fields gets the full MLE, the Knicks just can’t match it. I’m curious as to what point they do match. $3 million? $4 million?

      I literally don’t match anything over $1.5M. Assuming Zwerling #s are correct and we only have $11.5M to play with:

      Lin gets $5M — down to 6.5 to play with
      JR get $3M — down to 3.5 to play with
      Novak gets BAE – down to 1.5 to play with
      Don’t know – my guess is that a vet’s minimum SG/SF would not be so much worse than Fields. Given the new environment, I just don’t see how any team gives him anything more than BAE-type money.

    100. Frank

      @105 – according to Larry Coon, the Early Bird deal must be for at least 2 seasons to prevent exactly your scenario…

    101. johnlocke

      By the way…the 2013 unrestricted free agent sweepstakes…will be huge. This will be one of the biggest bonanzas in some time. Tons of stars will be available including Howard, Paul, Griffin, Kevin Martin, Josh Smith, Milsap, Al Jefferson, Odom… and a large swath of very good complementary pieces, including 3 pt shooters galore.
      http://www.hoopsworld.com/2013-nba-free-agents

      Grunwald has to realize this and must be seriously contemplating if we can move Amare for other big contracts expiring in 2013 (Brand or Rashard Lewis) to be in the running for Paul, Griffin or even Josh Smith. 2013 has to be the year we have salary cap space. Thoughts?

    102. ephus

      Brian Cronin: I agree that if Fields gets the full MLE, the Knicks just can’t match it. I’m curious as to what point they do match. $3 million? $4 million?

      I would match Fields up to and including the mini-MLE. For all of his flaws (and they ahve been recounted at length on these pages), he is a strong rebounder, decent slasher and can defend at the 2 & 3. $3 MM seems about right for the bottom of the rotation.

    103. ephus

      Frank:
      @105 – according to Larry Coon, the Early Bird deal must be for at least 2 seasons to prevent exactly your scenario…

      Missed that one.

    104. Brian Cronin

      Holy shit, I was just reading more about the apron and my god, the NBA owners are nuts! Essentially, they are just really really really really scared of the MLE.

      All of these hard cap rules only come into play if a team uses its MLE.

      Why are they so scared of the MLE?!?

    105. Jafa

      Let me get this straight:

      Our Knicks were over the cap and had a roster chuck full of players that did not fit and couldn’t take the team past the first round. So we hired Walsh in 2008 to clean house, create cap space and set us on a new course. And now, 4 years later, we are in the same place again.

      It is absolutely depressing being a Knick fan.

    106. ephus

      Brian Cronin: That’s for sure. NYK can mitigate that by signing another 1 year deal for $3M + 1 year player option for $3.6M (20% raise).

      According to Coon, raises for a non-Bird free agent are limited to 4.5%. So if the Knicks wanted to give JR Smith a player option, it would be at $3.14 MM, not $3.6.

    107. hoolahoop

      Owen:
      “I’ve said that Melo is an excellent defender when he’s not asked to carry the load on offense — was that the case in this series?”

      It’s just ridiculous that you can even make this argument with a straight face.

      The series was evidence of why Lebron was deservedly awarded MVP (for his regular season play), and that Melo is a super talented scorer that needs a lot of work on his game to be a great player that can lead his team to win playoff games.

    108. ephus

      Brian Cronin:
      Holy shit, I was just reading more about the apron and my god, the NBA owners are nuts! Essentially, they are just really really really really scared of the MLE.

      All of these hard cap rules only come into play if a team uses its MLE.

      Why are they so scared of the MLE?!?

      Jared Jeffries, Clarence Witherspoon, Jason Kapono, Ron Artest, and countless other MLE signings who were good enough to entice, but nearly good enought to earn the contract. When you combine unlimited MLEs with Bird rights, you get teams of $100 MM in salary.

    109. Brian Cronin

      Jared Jeffries, Clarence Witherspoon, Jason Kapono, Ron Artest, and countless other MLE signings who were good enough to entice, but nearly good enought to earn the contract. When you combine unlimited MLEs with Bird rights, you get teams of $100 MM in salary.

      True, but that is just so sad. “We must do whatever we can to protect ourselves from our own stupidity!!”

    110. Owen

      “and you are better than the rest of this post. I genuinely don’t understand how anyone could watch that series and not think that:

      a) Melo was by far (BY FAR) the best Knick in the series, including Chandler.
      b) we would have had no prayer of winning a game without him, and all four games would have likely looked like game 1.”

      Do you think Melo had a great series that the stats just didn’t see?

      Should we really use the other Knicks as the standard by which we judge Melo?

      Look, for a guy who is a max contract player and who we are constantly told is an All-NBA player this was an utterly pedestrian performance. WS says league average. That seems about right to me. And we have every right to expect Melo to be much better than that. Don’t we?

      What I would have liked to see from Melo, in a series which we were clearly going to lose, was anything that indicated that all the things I have said about him were untrue or that anything that Ruru has said this year were true.

      That clearly didn’t happen. Same old Melo. Tons of shots, tons of points, very mediocre peripherals, uninspiring defense.

      Obviously, I don’t think you should judge a player on a 5 game sample. Anyone can be good or bad across one series, as Lawson and Gallo showed.

      But it was a very disappointing capper to an incredibly disappointing season for anyone trying to find any reason to hope that Melo could be a building block for the future. Melo-Amare-Chandler didn’t work. Melo couldn’t deliver in the playoffs, unless scoring less than a point per possession is delivering. His vaunted ability to deliver in playoff situations against tough defenses totally evaporated. And he showed no ability to consistently be a two way force on the basketball court.

      Ruruland- The idea that Melo can defend or score but not do both is just a ridiculous cop-out. If that’s something that is said in defense of a player, then that player isn’t a superstar. It’s as simple as that.

    111. Z-man

      Brian Cronin: I agree that if Fields gets the full MLE, the Knicks just can’t match it. I’m curious as to what point they do match. $3 million? $4 million?

      I would prefer to put a match to his Knick career. I’m with you, jon, he flat out stunk this year.

    112. Z-man

      Actually, I thought Melo played tough defense for most of the series. Owen, why do you disagree?

    113. KnickfaninNJ

      Owen,

      I think you and others are too tough on Melo. Yes, his stats were pedestrian in the playoff series, but many many players would have been more pedestrian than usual playing Miami 5 times in a row. I haven’t looked up the stats, but I suspect Gallinari also has worse stats in the playoff than the regular season. It’s just in the nature of the playoff beast. I am not so worried about his stats as about the fact that the team didn’t find ways to make other Knicks productive when Miami slowed down Melo. I am hoping that is due it being basically the sixth or seventh different Knick team of the season without any reasonable preseason to get tuned together.

    114. ruruland

      Owen, you haven’t come to close to accurately summarizing my arguments.

      You’re making arguments that others aren’t making.

      The depth of your analysis is far too often regurgitated pro basketball reference win share and true shooting stats — anyone can do that.

      And your explanation for other guys is, hey, anyone can have up and down performances, it’s just stuff that happens.

      Lawson played good Gallo was awful– whatever — it’s all just random and the only knowledge we can ever really attain comes from pbr which shows guys career WS/48 and TS%.

      Why did Chandler play soo poorly? Who cares, he posted a .238 oir whatever WS/48 with a 700 TS (which came in handy in the playoffs)

      Why does it seem like Amar’e's efficiency goes down without a point guard? It doesn’t matter, he’s probably just old.

      We can never get anywhere in these arguments because you always refuse to acknowledge or perhaps understand the points that I and others make?

      You believe this series is proof that Carmelo Anthony can’t be a building block for the future, whatever that means.

      You never look to answer, why did he shoot so much, why was his efficiency low?

      Do you think Bulls fans don;t believe Rose is a building block for the future? He was much less efficient than Melo against that team?

      Why don’t you acknowledge the fact that melo has a .570 playoff TS% when he plays alongside point guards who actually help facilitate a half-court offense because they can shoot?

      Why do you always ignore the points I make?

    115. ruruland

      KnickfaninNJ:
      Owen,

      I think you and others are too tough on Melo.Yes, his stats were pedestrian in the playoff series, but many many players would have been more pedestrian than usual playing Miami 5 times in a row.I haven’t looked up the stats, but I suspect Gallinari also has worse stats in the playoff than the regular season.It’s just in the nature of the playoff beast. I am not so worried about his stats as about the fact that the team didn’t find ways to make other Knicks productive when Miami slowed down Melo.I am hoping that is due it being basically the sixth or seventh different Knick team of the season without any reasonable preseason to get tuned together.

      It’s due to a fundamental structural flaw in the Knicks roster. How does the AMar’e/Chandler combination work — how do you get them shots?

      Well, you have to have a point guard than can run pick and roll, and you have to get penetration.

      Knicks had neither in the series.

      How do you get Melo more efficient shots against great defenders?

      Well, you beat their fronting and ball denial– those things eat up clock and limit Carmelo’s scoring options –they also force him to catch the ball moving into parts of the floor the HEat want him to catch the ball. Into the corners, going into the helping big man?

      How do you beat ball-denial and fronting? Penetration from the guards.

      The Knicks got almost none of that?

      Look at what Indiana did to Miami yesterday. They scored 86 points despite Granger and Hill going 5-20 for 17 pts.

      How did they approach Miami on offense? They didn’t try to initiate their offense against Lebron and Wade. They went inside to West and Hibbert a bunch. Those two combined to score 34 points on 50% from the field. And if the Heat can’t defend them, it will force them to change their defense and open up other opportunities.

    116. KnickfaninNJ

      Ruruland

      The Knicks certainly got little penetration from their guards. They clearly need more than Bibby. It would actually be nice to get Lin and a back up besides Bibby. But our salary cap might prevent that.

      I am not sure the Pacers performance is a good model. The Pacers 86 points isn’t much more than what the Knicks averaged for the series (82.4 points). And the Pacers didn’t have as many injury/illness problems as the Knicks did. Scoring 86 points against Miami and losing doesn’t seem very promising for them.

    117. jon abbey

      Owen, you know that Chandler was way worse than Melo in that series, right? why doesn’t that enrage you to the same extent? he makes plenty of money too.

      and since you asked, I think that Melo did his job in that series, after an awful game 1. he barely sat, he was matched against the best player in the league on both ends (and had Battier defending him the rest of the time), and he had stunningly little offensive help.

      pretty much everyone else on the team underperformed, specifically Smith and Chandler, and of course our three best guards (besides Smith) being hurt didn’t help either. if Smith and Chandler do their jobs, if Shumpert doesn’t get hurt, if we have Lin in there, and if Amare doesn’t knock himself out mid-series, maybe we could have pulled the upset. Melo did his job, though, and against many other teams (PHI, IND, ORL w/o Howard, ATL), Melo would have been the best player on the floor. against Miami, he was the third best.

    118. Owen

      “I’ve said that Melo is an excellent defender when he’s not asked to carry the load on offense — was that the case in this series?”

      So I shouldn’t infer from this line that Melo can be an excellent defender or a reasonably efficient volume scorer but not both?

      I don’t want to cite my own post but I clearly said above that I am not discounting Melo because of his performance against the Heat. I am discounting him because he played terribly for most of the season and then capped it off with a totally mediocre showing against the Heat. And I am discounting him because he never has been a superstar on any observable statistical basis.

      What is your relationship with Melo anyway? Why don’t you just go on record with it so we can know exactly where you are coming from?

    119. ruruland

      Owen,

      You, along with many others on the board have claimed you/they would take Iguodola over Melo in a “heartbeat.”

      Melo vs Lebron in ’12

      Melo: .489 TS, .099 WS/48 22.5 PER, 103 ORTG

      James: .604 TS, 114 ORTG

      ’11
      Iguodola: .490 TS, .045 WS, 14.4 PER, 99 ORTG

      James: .587 TS, 131 ORTG

      Also, Melo had two horrible games –320 and 408 TS with 78 and 81 ORTG, but was quite good in the other 3.

    120. ruruland

      Owen:
      “I’ve said that Melo is an excellent defender when he’s not asked to carry the load on offense — was that the case in this series?”

      So I shouldn’t infer from this line that Melo can be an excellent defender or a reasonably efficient volume scorer but not both?

      if he is put in more off-ball situations without necessarily affecting his overall usage much, but not force him to have to grapple with a defender 90 percent of the offensive possessions — he will have more energy to defend for 36-40 minutes.

    121. TelegraphedPass

      2FOR18: I admit I don’t know as much about basketball as you – heck nobody does.
      But I don’t take anything you say seriously because you are either a paid advocate or a lunatic.

      Caught this while scrolling down and lmaooo.

    122. TelegraphedPass

      I’m not sure Melo can be an “excellent” defender. He’s never been that. Even during this year, wherein he’s seemed more focused on D than most, he wasn’t excellent. He was good, and his rep as a poor defender is a bit overblown, but he surrendered a bit too many PPP for my liking.

      One thing I noticed though: Almost everyone on this team struggled with guarding the spot up shot. It was the worst area of defense for nearly every player on the roster. That leads me to believe it’s a systemic issue. The defensive schemes must lead to a lot of open shots. But our system involved heavy switching, so that doesn’t even make sense.

      If those surrendered points on spot up shots decreased, Melo and the rest of our ‘Bockers would have much cuter defensive numbers. Why did this team struggle so much in that area?

    123. Nick C.

      Ruru- I have a clarifaction to ask. Typically the data you put up has Melo with higher, maybe much, assisted basket % (and apparently at the rim) with Miller. Yet the playoff numbers with Miller posted are much worse. It seems contradictory unless its the difference between regular and post-season.

    124. Nick C.

      yellowboy90:
      JR building a house in NJ per twitter.what could it mean?

      He’s from Jersey so I’m not sure it means anything either way.

    125. TelegraphedPass

      yellowboy90:
      JR building a house in NJ per twitter.what could it mean?

      He’s from New Jersey. He has a tattoo on his arm that says King of Jersey. He loves New Jersey (except Joe Budden).

    126. ruruland

      Nick C.:
      Ruru- I have a clarifaction to ask. Typically the data you put up has Melo with higher, maybe much, assisted basket % (and apparently at the rim) with Miller. Yet the playoff numbers with Miller posted are much worse. It seems contradictory unless its the difference between regular and post-season.

      Denver was able to get easier baskets in the regular season with Miller/Melo in semi-transition. When the game slowed down and teams loaded up to Melo’s side there fewer opportunities for Miller to get Melo easy baskets.

      The two were less compatible in the half-court because Miller was a post-up guard who got assists when you spread the floor around him. He did not help spread the floor for Melo and because he wasn’t a penetrating guard he didn’t collapse the defense.

      Did you notice the kind of assists Miller got in the playoffs? And Miller, btw, has a worse playoff record than Melo and has never gotten out of the first round. fwiw.

    127. ruruland

      TelegraphedPass:
      I’m not sure Melo can be an “excellent” defender. He’s never been that. Even during this year, wherein he’s seemed more focused on D than most, he wasn’t excellent. He was good, and his rep as a poor defender is a bit overblown, but he surrendered a bit too many PPP for my liking.

      One thing I noticed though: Almost everyone on this team struggled with guarding the spot up shot. It was the worst area of defense for nearly every player on the roster. That leads me to believe it’s a systemic issue. The defensive schemes must lead to a lot of open shots. But our system involved heavy switching, so that doesn’t even make sense.

      If those surrendered points on spot up shots decreased, Melo and the rest of our ‘Bockers would have much cuter defensive numbers. Why did this team struggle so much in that area?

      he was excellent in the stretch where Woodson took over and Lin and Amar’e were healthy. Excellent meaning as good as anyone wing not named Lebron, Deng, Iguodola, Shumpert or Wade.

      He obviously did not play at that level most of the year. But he was pretty much as good as you’ll see in the NBA minus the freak of nature guys for a solid two weeks. He’s had stretches like that before, particularly in ’08, where his usage was down.

    128. ruruland

      TelegraphedPass:
      I’m not sure Melo can be an “excellent” defender. He’s never been that. Even during this year, wherein he’s seemed more focused on D than most, he wasn’t excellent.

      I would love to sit down and go over that stretch with you. There was no doubt he was excellent defensively. He was doing everything at a high level, especially rotations.

    129. TelegraphedPass

      ruruland: I would love to sit down and go over that stretch with you. There was no doubt he was excellent defensively. He was doing everything at a high level, especially rotations.

      I didn’t look specifically at splits; I was looking at his PPP and FG% surrendered for the year in different situations per Synergy. So you probably have more specific info on his defense during stretches this season.

      He may have had excellent stretches, I’m not sure. I remember him being an excellent post and iso defender, but to my knowledge he struggled all year at guarding the spot up shots and it’s dragging his defensive numbers down.

    130. ruruland

      TelegraphedPass: I didn’t look specifically at splits; I was looking at his PPP and FG% surrendered for the year in different situations per Synergy. So you probably have more specific info on his defense during stretches this season.

      He may have had excellent stretches, I’m not sure. I remember him being an excellent post and iso defender, but to my knowledge he struggled all year at guarding the spot up shots and it’s dragging his defensive numbers down.

      He should close out better for sure. His teammates could, too. He’s consistently been a good man defender.

    131. 2FOR18

      jon abbey:
      Owen, you know that Chandler was way worse than Melo in that series, right? why doesn’t that enrage you to the same extent? he makes plenty of money too.

      and since you asked, I think that Melo did his job in that series, after an awful game 1. he barely sat, he was matched against the best player in the league on both ends (and had Battier defending him the rest of the time), and he had stunningly little offensive help.

      pretty much everyone else on the team underperformed, specifically Smith and Chandler, and of course our three best guards (besides Smith) being hurt didn’t help either. if Smith and Chandler do their jobs, if Shumpert doesn’t get hurt, if we have Lin in there, and if Amare doesn’t knock himself out mid-series, maybe we could have pulled the upset. Melo did his job, though, and against many other teams (PHI, IND, ORL w/o Howard, ATL), Melo would have been the best player on the floor. against Miami, he was the third best.

      Just as a side note, Chandler was criticized for his performance against the Heat by a few people, including myself.
      Also, look at how much heat Amare took on here; he was practically run out of town by many on here. I, personally, have ripped on him many times for his flaws.
      The reason there aren’t 200 post battles about the above players is because no one on here goes defending them. Some would have you believe that melo is the only Knick that receives criticism on here, but that is far from the case.

    132. er

      The others don’t have defenders bcause they are not blamed for everything under the sun. Those guys are usally way down the list of complaints, but if melo doesn’t play a hall of fame type game he is called an air quote star r worse than danilo gallinari or iggy, I think the level of venom towards melo is at least 3 times as much as the others.

      2FOR18: Just as a side note, Chandler was criticized for his performance against the Heat by a few people, including myself.
      Also, look at how much heat Amare took on here; he was practically run out of town by many on here. I, personally, have ripped on him many times for his flaws.
      The reason there aren’t 200 post battles about the above players is because no one on here goes defending them.Some would have you believe that melo is the only Knick that receives criticism on here, but that is far from the case.

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