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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Monday, Oct 01 2012)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks are older and wiser, but are they better? (Mon, 01 Oct 2012 03:19:35 GMT)
    FROM FEEL good to feeling old. That’s what the Knicks have become in the post-Jeremy Lin era. It’s hard to decipher if management built a team capable of beating Miami or one that should just retire there. The recent additions of Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and presumably Rasheed Wallace give the Knicks plenty of experience as well as four players with plenty of mileage on their legs.

  • [New York Times] Analysts Weigh In on Getting Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire in Sync (Mon, 01 Oct 2012 06:09:06 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, two Knicks’ players who are in their prime, have not shown they can click at the same time, though they are essential components of a team that shed its young players in the off-season.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: For the Nets, a Coming-Out Concert (Mon, 01 Oct 2012 03:22:46 GMT)
    Jay-Z’s hip-hop show to inaugurate the Barclays Center was not about the Nets, but only not officially.

  • 29 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Monday, Oct 01 2012)

    1. Jafa

      I feel bad for Melo.

      This season is setting up to be a season where the Knicks live and die by Melo. Our defense will be great, but we will be over reliant on him for our offense. I would feel much better is we had a reliable 2nd option, but our second scoring options all come with an if:

      STAT “IF” we get good PG play
      JR “IF” he is efficient with his shot selection & does not over-dribble
      Novak “IF” he does not have a man sticking to him all day
      Kidd “IF” he is wide open
      Felton “IF” he is wide open, he shot is falling & he gets lots of shots

      Melo is the only one whose offensive production does not come with an if. He has to compete with Miami (who have 3 players whose offense does not come with an if) and Boston (who also have 3-4 players whose offense does not come with an if). Even Brooklyn has 2-3 players whose offense does not come with an if.

      I agree with rurland on one thing: Melo might win MVP if he has us in the top 3 in the East at the end of the season. He would have to play like one for us to be there.

    2. jon abbey

      I feel a lot of things, but I can’t even imagine feeling bad for Melo in any situation ever. I don’t hate him like many other people, but he certainly has yet to fully show that he’s as much about the team as most other superstars in the league. the best example was the way he put himself over the best interests of the Knicks organization while forcing the trade to NY. his priority was getting paid as much as possible, not leaving his new team in the best possible position to win.

      on a different note, I don’t think it’s a good sign when your 28 year old PG says your other ‘new’ PG is “like a father figure” to him. :)

    3. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      jon abbey:
      on a different note, I don’t think it’s a good sign when your 28 year old PG says your other ‘new’ PG is “like a father figure” to him. :)

      J: “Hey, Ray. It’s your pops. I’m gonna need you to come pick me up.”

      R: “Alright, dad. You drunk again?”

      J: “Got a little toasty on the way home from the Garden. Gonna need a lift back to Jersey.”

      R: “Give me a few minutes. My second order of disco fries just got to the table.”

    4. Jafa

      I would not be surprised if we started 5-5 or 4-6 in the first 10 games.

      Games we should win:
      Philadelphia
      @ Orlando
      @ New Orleans

      Games we will probably lose:
      Miami
      @ Philadelphia
      @ San Antonio
      @ Memphis

      Toss ups:
      @Brooklyn
      Dallas
      Indiana

    5. Frank O.

      Geez, the Jets are so bad and the Yanks are in their twilight…these Knicks better make some noise.
      I can’t help feeling unease at the thought that this is Melo’s team.
      I am still hopeful that Amare becomes a dominant PF again. I somehow don’t accept the idea that he’s past his prime. I think he’s still a .600 TS dude.
      Watching Melo jack low percentage jumpers or diving into three defenders isn’t exactly my idea of a winning strategy.
      At the core, this is going to be an ugly defense-minded team, where possessions will be few and scoring averages low.
      This is a team that will need to grind.

    6. sidestep

      Woodson: “We felt that we needed veteran pieces around those guys. [There aren’t] young guys who are winning NBA titles.”

      Hrm, there’s this team called OKC that made it to the finals. Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka are 23, Durrant is 24.

      We know Woodson favors veterans but he really overstates the point.

    7. flossy

      sidestep:
      Woodson: “We felt that we needed veteran pieces around those guys. [There aren’t] young guys who are winning NBA titles.”

      Hrm, there’s this team called OKC that made it to the finals. Westbrook, Harden and Ibaka are 23, Durrant is 24.

      We know Woodson favors veterans but he really overstates the point.

      Well… they didn’t win.

    8. max fisher-cohen

      such gummed up logic if management really believes that investing in older players makes any difference. The difference is older players sometimes take less money or cost less for their talent level due to the fact that they are most likely only going to get worse.

      If you’re choosing between a 23 year old and a 35 year old who the previous season looked to be equals, only a fool or a team that is already a title favorite picks the 35 year old. The 23 year old’s performance will have more variance, but overall, you are far more likely to breakthrough with the 23 year old.

      The reason young players don’t win titles as often may have a teeny bit to do with playoff experience, but mostly it has to do with the fact that rookie contracts and restricted free agency forces younger stars to stay on the teams that drafted them for the first 8ish years of their careers. As these young players only end up on these teams due to how bad they were (the miracle of the lottery), their supporting casts generally suck for quite some time.

      Instead, they try to add the only stars they can get their hands on: guys in their late 20s and 30s. The teams that succeed win titles, so of course they’re old. The pool of free agent talent is heavily skewed towards older guys.

      If you look only at the age of the BEST player on championship teams, you end up with this list for the post-Jordan era:

      2012: James – 27
      2011: Nowitzki – 32
      2010: Bryant – 31
      2009: Bryant – 30
      2008: Garnett – 31
      2007: Duncan/Ginobili – 30/29 = 29.5
      2006: Wade – 24
      2005: Duncan – 28
      2004: Billups – 27
      2003: Duncan – 26
      2002: Shaq/Bryant: 29/23 = 26
      2001: Shaq/Bryant: 28/22 = 25
      2000: Shaq: 27
      1999: Duncan/Robinson: 24/33 = 28.5

      Average: 28 years old

      If the 30s treat players so well, why haven’t the Lakers and Spurs dominated in the last couple years? Where have the Celtics gone?

    9. Z-man

      Max, you make no sense. The best 2 player on the Knicks are Melo and Chandler (I think Melo is WAY better than Chandler, but that’s irrelevant to this discussion), and they are 28 and 30. All of the starters are 30 or under. All of the older guys on the roster are playing supporting roles. Kidd and Camby are the only 2 older guys projected to get significant rotation minutes. Why should we care in this all or nothing year (or 2 years) who we fill out the last 5 contract spots with?

      In fact, almost the entire rotation is +/- 2 years from your 28 average (and many of the guys you list are over 28). You could use your “analysis” to actually support the strategy behind the roster construction…the bulk of the roster is around the age that is the average age for the best players on championship teams.

      There are lots of reasons for not believing in this roster (e.g. Phil’s “clumsy” contention) but age is not a valid one. If you are looking towards the future, that may be a different story.

      Also,

    10. Z-man

      PS the Celtics and Spurs both went deep into the ECFs. The Celts were one quarter away from the finals. The Lakers had other problems (e.g. horrible PG play, sound familiar?)

    11. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, I’m not worried about the Knicks adding veterans. Would I prefer it if the Knicks had added young guys similar to these vets? Of course, but those guys are not available for the mini-MLE and the vet minimum (okay, Bayless was, but the Knicks had already signed Kidd by the time he became available and I don’t think anyone thought he’d go for the mini-MLE).

      And while I also obviously would like to see them pick up a rookie with upside, if they don’t think they have found one by now, I’m willing to defer to their judgement that Rasheed is better than any undrafted big men out there, which is very possibly true. Not a lot of great undrafted big men that haven’t been seen by any team yet.

      That said, I still wish Extra E had gotten at least an invite to camp.

    12. ruruland

      Z-man:
      PS the Celtics and Spurs both went deep into the ECFs. The Celts were one quarter away from the finals. The Lakers had other problems (e.g. horrible PG play, sound familiar?)

      stop making arguments that shed Knicks off-season in positive light. It’s tiresome.

    13. massive

      I really still wish the Knicks would sign Josh Howard and Tracy McGrady so we can hold an old timers night with Kidd, T-Mac, Howard, Wallace, and Camby as the honorary starting 5. Damn, that would have been a dynasty 6-8 years ago.

    14. ruruland

      Brian Cronin:
      Yeah, I’m not worried about the Knicks adding veterans. Would I prefer it if the Knicks had added young guys similar to these vets? Of course, but those guys are not available for the mini-MLE and the vet minimum (okay, Bayless was, but the Knicks had already signed Kidd by the time he became available and I don’t think anyone thought he’d go for the mini-MLE).

      And while I also obviously would like to see them pick up a rookie with upside, if they don’t think they have found one by now, I’m willing to defer to their judgement that Rasheed is better than any undrafted big men out there, which is very possibly true. Not a lot of great undrafted big men that haven’t been seen by any team yet.

      That said, I still wish Extra E had gotten at least an invite to camp.

      I get idea of invite, Sheed less redundant though

    15. Z-man

      The only glaring hole I see on this team is a “microwave” type guy off the bench at the 1 (Barea) or 2 (Terry). If JR can be that, cool, but, he’s not realy a “change of pace” guy. Barbosa might be good in that role, is he still available?

    16. Frank

      Z-man:
      The only glaring hole I see on this team is a “microwave” type guy off the bench at the 1 (Barea) or 2 (Terry). If JR can be that, cool, but, he’s not realy a “change of pace” guy. Barbosa might be good in that role, is he still available?

      To be honest, I don’t really see any glaring holes. This is going to be a very very good team – not as good as Miami, OKC, or the Lakers, but that’s not because of holes per se, but more just because our best players are not as good as their best players. But I think we can easily be a top 4 team in the East and a top 6-7 team overall.

      Shot “creation” or ball distribution – Felton/Kidd/Melo and JR to lesser extent

      Outside shooting – JR, Novak, Kidd

      Transition offense (ie. guys who are GREAT on the break) – Kidd, JR, Shump, Tyson

      Low-post offense – Melo (we’ll se about Amare)

      On defense we are stacked except maybe against the truly quick PGs, but who doesn’t have a problem there? Certainly Felton will be better than anyone we had their last year, and Shump/Brewer can probably do a nice job against the Parkers of the world.

      Wing defense – Shump/Brewer/Melo/JR – that’s a lot of bodies to throw at LBJ and Wade.

      And our inside defense should be MUCH improved especially Amare really has dedicated himself to defense.

      This is not news, but this year will come down to whether we can make Melo+Amare at least equal to the sum of their parts on offense. There certainly is enough offensive talent on this team to score on just about anyone, and we have more defenders on this team than at anytime since those teams of the 90s. And we are deeper than any Knicks team I can remember.

    17. Frank

      The other thing about the additions in the offseason – THCJ and I had a “discussion” a week or so ago about athleticism and success in the NBA, and I will give him this – on defense athleticism is important but probably even more important is understanding the scheme, knowing how to position yourself, not bailing shooters out with fouls. We added

      Felton (career ~2.5 fouls/36)
      Brewer (ridiculously low career 1.7 fouls/36 considering how good his on-ball defense is)
      Kidd (1.6-2.2 fouls/36 over last 4 years)

      and replaced

      TD (3.4 fouls/36 career)
      Lin (3.3 fouls/36 last year)
      Baron (4.4 fouls/36)
      Bill Walker (who played a lot in the beginning of last year (4.9! fouls/36)

      So not only did we foul more last year, I’d say that the addition of Brewer and Felton will dramatically improve our on-ball defense while fouling less. We were 6th worst in the league in opponent free throw rate last year, and if we were even middle of the pack, we probably would’ve been a top 2 defense.

    18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      See, I think LeBron is the best defender in the league because he can guard all five positions, if need be. He’s the closest to Magic Johnson the league has ever seen. The idea that a 6’9″ SF can dominate 6’2″ PGs is amazing to me.

      And that brings me to the thought: with all of the long-range PFs in the league, why can’t undersized players like Faried play (at least on defense) the 3? Why does he HAVE to be matched up against guys who are 3″+ taller than he is when LeBron is often put on guys much shorter? If Faried’s key strength is quickness and anticipation, why wouldn’t he be more effective against shorter, faster opponents?

    19. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      See, I think LeBron is the best defender in the league because he can guard all five positions, if need be. He’s the closest to Magic Johnson the league has ever seen. The idea that a 6’9? SF can dominate 6’2? PGs is amazing to me.

      And that brings me to the thought: with all of the long-range PFs in the league, why can’t undersized players like Faried play (at least on defense) the 3? Why does he HAVE to be matched up against guys who are 3?+ taller than he is when LeBron is often put on guys much shorter? If Faried’s key strength is quickness and anticipation, why wouldn’t he be more effective against shorter, faster opponents?

      Lebron is amazing defensively, but this whole idea that he guards all 5 positions is a little absurd. Sure, he’s guarder Marcus Camby and other very limited offensive centers for brief moments in games, but any Center with a good offensive game would destroy him. He’s never going to guard freaking Dwight Howard lol, or even Marc Gasol. A rim defender is also always going to be more valuable than a perimeter defender, so as good as Lebron is out on the perimeter and at switching on pick and rolls, he just doesn’t have the impact of a Chandler or Howard

    20. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Juany8: Lebron is amazing defensively, but this whole idea that he guards all 5 positions is a little absurd. Sure, he’s guarder Marcus Camby and other very limited offensive centers for brief moments in games, but any Center with a good offensive game would destroy him. He’s never going to guard freaking Dwight Howard lol, or even Marc Gasol. A rim defender is also always going to be more valuable than a perimeter defender, so as good as Lebron is out on the perimeter and at switching on pick and rolls, he just doesn’t have the impact of a Chandler or Howard

      I’ll grant that centers are more valuable than perimeter defenders, but being a lock-down defender 1 through 4 is no joke.

    21. Z-man

      Juany8: Lebron is amazing defensively, but this whole idea that he guards all 5 positions is a little absurd. Sure, he’s guarder Marcus Camby and other very limited offensive centers for brief moments in games, but any Center with a good offensive game would destroy him. He’s never going to guard freaking Dwight Howard lol, or even Marc Gasol. A rim defender is also always going to be more valuable than a perimeter defender, so as good as Lebron is out on the perimeter and at switching on pick and rolls, he just doesn’t have the impact of a Chandler or Howard

      I disagree with pretty much this entire post. Case in point, the Jordan Bulls never had an elite rim protecter.

      Every position has a huge range of length. PGs typically range from 5’10” to 6’5″. LeBron is 6’8″ and Howard is 6’11” (if that), and they weigh within 10-15 pounds of each other. If LeBron had to, and wanted to, play center, he’d figure out how to be great at it, as he would at any other position. And I agree that Magic is the only other guy that this would be true about.

      I wonder if Synergy has stats on what happens when LeBron gets isolated vs. guys like Howard, Marc Gasol, Bynum, etc. on switches.

      Defense is not just about size and strength, it’s about timing, positioning, anticipation, footwork, agility. LeBron is roughly the size of an in-his-prime Charles Oakley, probably just as strong, and vastly superior in every other athletic and skill department. My recollection is that Oakley was a very solid PT defender vs. centers like Mourning and Smits (7″ taller!)

    22. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Let’s just remember that this is all conjecture and LeBron and Howard would be great candidates for DPOY in each of the last eight seasons.

    23. max fisher-cohen

      I wasn’t criticizing the Knicks’ current roster. They very well may have gotten the best players they could get, regardless of age. I was criticizing the Woodson quote, which makes him sound like a stodgy old man. Older ? better or more likely to win a championship. To choose age because you think it has some mystical quality that wins championships is goofy.

    24. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      If Faried’s key strength is quickness and anticipation, why wouldn’t he be more effective against shorter, faster opponents?

      because he can’t play anything but PF on offense, so if you switch him down to guard a smaller guy, then you’re asking the SF (Gallinari?) to guard the opposing PF, which is of course possible, but seems like a negative check in Faried’s column.

      I also disagree about LeBron being able to guard the post effectively, at least for stretches. when Artest was at his defensive peak, he did a better job defending Eddy Curry (who led the league in points in the paint that year by a sizable margin) than almost any legit center did one on one, and LeBron is decidedly bigger than Artest, and not really much smaller than Howard.

    25. Juany8

      jon abbey: because he can’t play anything but PF on offense, so if you switch him down to guard a smaller guy, then you’re asking the SF (Gallinari?) to guard the opposing PF, which is of course possible, but seems like a negative check in Faried’s column.

      I also disagree about LeBron being able to guard the post effectively, at least for stretches. when Artest was at his defensive peak, he did a better job defending Eddy Curry (who led the league in points in the paint that year by a sizable margin) than almost any legit center did one on one, and LeBron is decidedly bigger than Artest, and not really much smaller than Howard.

      The Olympic team just finished getting killed on defense every time Chandler sat and Lebron was essentially the biggest player on the floor. Freaking Melo was often being asked to guard the bigger player when both were on the floor. Being a great post defender isn’t about being big or athletic, it’s about having a strong base and a good feel for post defense, which is why Chuck Hayes is an absolute monster at post defense despite being 6’6″. As strong as Lebron is overall, Artest was a freaking monster, it’s no surprise that he could guard bigger, stronger players. Lebron is built a bit more like Howard in that he’s more top heavy, which helps make him faster but it wouldn’t make it easier to body up Bynum.

      Again, this is just nitpicking since Lebron is a fabulous defensive player who can very easily guard anyone from positions 1-4. I just think he’s a clear tier below the top 2 or 3 defenders in the game, mainly because of his role on the court

    26. jon abbey

      Bynum is one thing, but how many other legitimate centers are genuine offensive threats? there are only a handful.

      to me LeBron is easily in the top two defensive players in the game, and arguably better than Howard because of his versatility. for instance, no one in NBA history has ever been as good at chasing down guys on the break and blocking or changing or intimidating their shots from behind.

      Howard can disrupt an offense from the interior via his role as a traditional middle intimidator, but LeBron at his best disrupts an offense by virtue of seemingly being everywhere.

    27. Brian Cronin

      I think Lebron is amazing on defense, I just don’t think perimeter defenders and post defenders are too comparable. I mean, obviously, at the end of the day you have to pick which one you think is more valuable when it comes to choosing stuff like Defensive Player of the Year (I lean towards post defenders, but I have no problem with an argument for perimeter defenders), but the skill sets are so different I think it just makes more sense to judge them separately. Howard is in a class of his own among post defenders while Lebron, I think, has more peers as a perimeter defender. Is he better than all of them? Very likely, but it is not the separation that Howard has between himself and, say, Tyson Chandler. I mean, Howard gave Chandler a run for his money as the best post defender in the game this past season while Howard obviously was not giving even the slightest shit out there (which is BS behavior on Howard’s part, of course, please don’t take that as a defense of Howard – he was a jerk for half-assing it all season. Heck, sometimes he didn’t even half-ass). Meanwhile, guys like Deng, Iggy, Marion (okay, Marion is probably getting a bit long in the tooth, but he is still pretty damn impressive) I think compare well to Lebron. He’s better than them all, but they’re at his basic level.

      As THCJ noted, though, this is likely a bit of nit-picking, as Lebron is the best at what he does, and he’d be a reasonable choice for DPOY in pretty much any year (if you are a “perimeter defense is more valuable than post defense” guy).

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