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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Monday, Sep 17 2012)

  • [New York Times] Liberty Roar Back in Fourth Quarter to Win (Mon, 17 Sep 2012 06:00:19 GMT)
    Cappie Pondexter had 30 points and 11 rebounds as the Liberty rallied from 9 points behind in the fourth quarter to beat the host Washington Mystics, 75-68.

  • [New York Times] 30 Seconds: A Discovery of Priorities: 30 Seconds With Dwyane Wade (Mon, 17 Sep 2012 02:42:16 GMT)
    Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat star, discusses his new memoir, his team’s chances of repeating as N.B.A. champion, losing sleep and other topics.

  • 95 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Monday, Sep 17 2012)

    1. massive

      I’m probably a major Celtics hater, but they made the ECF’s after going through Atlanta and Philly. Does anybody think they would have beaten a healthy Bulls team (or even gotten to Game 6 if the Heat were healthy)? The last time we played them, their #1 ranked defense let JR Smith and Steve Novak combine for 15 3 pointers. I just don’t see how anybody can say that Boston is, without a doubt, better than the Knicks. They got to Game 7 of the ECFs because of the injuries to Derrick Rose and Chris Bosh, IMO.

    2. knicknyk

      massive:
      I’m probably a major Celtics hater, but they made the ECF’s after going through Atlanta and Philly. Does anybody think they would have beaten a healthy Bulls team (or even gotten to Game 6 if the Heat were healthy)? The last time we played them, their #1 ranked defense let JR Smith and Steve Novak combine for 15 3 pointers. I just don’t see how anybody can say that Boston is, without a doubt, better than the Knicks. They got to Game 7 of the ECFs because of the injuries to Derrick Rose and Chris Bosh, IMO.

      The celtics looked so uninterested in that game. And despite that the Knicks still nearly lost. They won’t be playing like that come playoff time.

    3. er

      lol everytime the knicks beat the heat or the celtics the excuse was they were uninterested…….only knick fans

      knicknyk: The celtics looked so uninterested in that game. And despite that the Knicks still nearly lost. They won’t be playing like that come playoff time.

    4. Z-man

      knicknyk: The celtics looked so uninterested in that game. And despite that the Knicks still nearly lost. They won’t be playing like that come playoff time.

      Really!? That’s just nonsense, the Celts NEVER are disinterested when they play the Knicks, they HATE losing to the Knicks. They even play their starters big minutes in preseason games. More like they got caught with their pants down, and that said, correct, they would have adjusted in the playoffs.

      and continuing my point from a previous thread:

      Z-man:
      21 Z-man says:
      September 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm
      knicknyk: I have trouble seeing Woodson being able to out coach Doc. Aside from Woody’s weaknesses, I still think Boston can beat us in a series.
      Doc was a lame duck when the big 3 were assembled, not expected to last the season. Next thing you know, he wins a title. Woodson is in a similar situation. At the end of the day, it’s a player’s league. Did Brooks outcoach Popovich?

      Furthermore, because of the many assistants and extensive analytical tools available to coaches these days, I believe that what separates coaches most is not systems or X’s and O’s, but their ability to connect with players, to motivate them to give 110% (especially on D), to play unselfishly, to keep them settled in big moments, etc. Doc happens to be exceptional at these things, but I am encouraged so far at what I have seen from Woodson in these regards.

    5. knicknyk

      er:
      lol everytime the knicks beat the heat or the celtics the excuse was they were uninterested…….only knick fans

      I never said that we didn’t deserve the win or that we didn’t earn it. All I said was that you can’t use that one game as an indication of future success. What about the game before that under Dantoni the game we lost? Why don’t we use that game as an indication of future failure. As of now it’s only the optimism of Knick fans that are saying that we can beat the Celtics in a 7 game series. Our roster has a ton of question marks and we have few significant accomplishments to our name. Relax with all the “hope & change” & “yes we can”.

    6. jon abbey

      the Celtics also have a bunch of new players since the playoffs, Bradley was out then, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Sullinger, and they only lost Ray Allen.

    7. Z-man

      jon abbey: the Celtics also have a bunch of new players since the playoffs, Bradley was out then, Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Sullinger, and they only lost Ray Allen.

      Exactly, all of those new players come with question marks, just like all of our new players.

      knicknyk: All I said was that you can’t use that one game as an indication of future success.

      That’s NOT what you said, read your own words. You said that the Celts looked disinterested and the game was still close, which is basically saying that if the Celts cared even a little bit, they would have beaten the Knicks easily.

    8. knicknyk

      You are putting words in my mouth. Where in my initial statement did I directly say these words “which is basically saying that if the Celts cared even a little bit, they would have beaten the Knicks easily”. That is what you inferred from my statement. What I was getting at was that you cannot draw the conclusion that because in the last game we played JR & Novak were able to get 15 3′s therefore the Knick can win win a series against Boston. The celtics were not very interested in that game. If they had been more interested would we have lost that game god only knows & I could careless. That wasn’t my point. My point was using that 1 game as an example of future Knicks success is unwise in my opinion.

    9. jon abbey

      and I just can’t let this sit: “all of those new players come with question marks, just like all of our new players. ”

      not sure what questions Jason Terry comes with, but honestly you could have questions about every player in the league except LeBron (and even him before the Finals). I just don’t think the individual pieces on NY are going to fit together especially well, less than the sum of the parts IMO. but that’s why they play the games…

    10. massive

      That isn’t what I was trying to do or say, btw. I was trying to say that we beat them in our last meeting (and I call bullshit on the disinterest part), and they got rather lucky in the playoffs with injuries to two teams that were clearly better than them this year. I’m more skeptical about the whole “the Cs are clearly better than the Knicks” thing than saying that “the Knicks are clearly better than the Cs.” WP/48 and WS/48 say we have the best player on both rosters (Tyson Chandler), and WP/48 likes our roster more than theirs. At thenbageek.com, JR Smith and Steve Novak are listed as a 3 and 4 respectively, but they play the 2 and 3, so I’m inclined to believe that their respective WP/48s would be higher than the .108 and .143 they’re currently at (correct me if I’m wrong about my last statement, THCJ). More fuel for the “New York is better than Boston” argument.

      Boston is a good team, no doubt. I just refuse to believe that the additions of two rookies, Jason Terry, and Courtney Lee keep them better than us. I personally think we’ll finish 2nd in the conference with Indy 3rd, and Boston 4th. We’ll see how wrong I am in about 7 months.

    11. knicknyk

      Alright. Well only time will tell I guess. Anyway, there core has at least proven that they can win a title/contend we haven’t even proven that we can get past the first round. It just sounds silly to say that a team that just barely made it to the playoffs is now going to be a two seed the very next year. The same team that hasn’t accomplished anything to recommend itself over the last several years will now, upon assembly finally get there act straight. Well “hope & change”, “yes we can” & “forward 2012″.

    12. massive

      Well, when you consider a few things, it doesn’t seem as ridiculous. The Knicks ended the season on an 18-6 stretch under the new coaching regime, and then they ran into the eventual champions in the first round after they had lost all point guards before Game 2 had started. The Knicks replaced rotation players Baron Davis, Jared Jeffries, and Landry Fields with (much) better versions of each player in Kidd, Camby, and Brewer. I would have much more sure about the Knicks being #2 if they kept Jeremy Lin, but Felton’s WP/48s on playoff teams (.119, .126, and .147) have been respectable to pretty good. I don’t see anybody disagreeing with the Knicks being a playoff team, and we should also consider that Felton’s highest WP/48 took place on a team in which he played with Tyson Chandler (’10 Bobcats). So I’m not worried about Raymond Felton playing good basketball.

      All of my reasoning is predicated on statistics that give me faith. I’m not banking on Carmelo having a career year (although his WS/48 has been trending upwards), or Amar’e playing like he did before he got back spasms. This is going to be a very good basketball team next year, and I’m standing by my predictions.

    13. max fisher-cohen

      @Massive,

      Okay, instead let’s compare to the late-season 18-6 Knicks. During that time, you had

      1) Shumpert playing out of his mind (36% on 3s vs. 26.5% on rest of season)

      2) Stoudemire mostly out allowing Novak more minutes and making his persistent chemistry issues with Melo and Chandler disappear.

      3)Davis, if not shooting well, then averaging close to 7 assists, 2 steals per 36

      4) Bibby coming back from the dead to shoot 41% from 3 compared to 32% on the season

      5) Melo putting up Lebron level numbers (as he tends to do for about a month every season), especially after STAT was out, when he shot 49% on 3s and had a 58% TS%.

      Now consider which of these advantages will remain next season. We’ll almost definitely be worse at the 2 than we were during Shump’s hot streak as even on the off chance his knee is fine, his hot shooting during that period, when compared to his other NBA and college numbers, strongly appears to be a blip.

      Stoudemire will play, and while his chemistry issues with Melo and Chandler might not be quite as bad as last year, they will remain a major issue, so #2 we’re worse.

      Felton’s worst case is being what Davis was for us last year, but part of that 18-6 run included Lin, who didn’t play great, but played at least well enough to call Kidd’s backup mins a wash. Also Bibby really did play competently when called upon. For #3 & 4, a definite edge still goes to the 2012/13 Knicks.

      #5, again, Melo is unlikely to replicate anything close to those #s, so #5 is another edge for the 2011/12 Knicks.

      If we say Camby is a decent upgrade over Jeffries, then you have three major downgrades, one solid upgrade (kidd/felton), and 1 minor upgrade (camby).

      Add in the fact that fired coaches tend to lead to short performance bursts, and you can see why IMO while during the hot streak we played like a 60 win team, this year’s team is closer to a 43-53 win team.

    14. Z-man

      I’m with you, massive. Nobody is saying that the Knicks are better than the Celts, only that it’s reasonable to feel that they will have a better year, i.e. that they are within the statistical margin of error. As to knicknyk’s snide remarks re: “hope and change,” etc., to me, that is what being a sports fan is all about. I mean, there is every indication that LeBron is on his way to a dynasty a la Jordan and Kobe, they are the prohibitive favorite to win it all, so why even bother paying attention?

      Yes, I “hope” that the “changes” we have made work out, and that the one the Celts made do not. I go into every season optimistic that all the Knick players will have career years at the same time, that the breaks will go our way, and that what happened in ’99 will happen again, only with a happier ending. But when your conjecture is polluted with BS statements like “The celtics were not very interested in that game” it’s hard to take you seriously.

    15. massive

      @14, I see your points and I agree that the Knicks aren’t likely to be on a 60 win pace. But I would say that JR will shoot at a 3PT& north of 36% this season, and that Brewer’s WP/48 of .180 is nothing to disregard. I would also say that the Knicks won’t need Carmelo Anthony to play out of his mind with a healthy Amar’e Stoudemire on the team. Camby, IMO, is a significant upgrade over Jeffries (WP/48 of .265 vs WP/48 of .124), plus having him on the team allows for 48 minutes of solid defense. So, if healthy, I think they’ll win 53+ games this year.

    16. Z-man

      max fisher-cohen: Add in the fact that fired coaches tend to lead to short performance bursts, and you can see why IMO while during the hot streak we played like a 60 win team, this year’s team is closer to a 43-53 win team.

      43-53 wins is a huge spread. A 43 win team is barely a .500 team; a 53 win team is a top 8 team in most years. And I can’t believe you are suggesting tha Baron and Bibby played at any point like legit starting NBA PGs (let’s not forget the defensive end.)

      Re Melo and Amare, seems to me that they are hearing the doubters loud and clear (did that happen much in Denver and Phoenix?) and they have a coach that seems like a defensive-minded, no-nonsense, tough love kind of guy. They are already working out together, two weeks before training camp and both guys have chips on their shoulders as does Felton.

      Re: Shump, could it be that he got more selective towards the end of the year (shot selection was clearly a problem for him in college)? Hard to say until we have more data, but I’d rather have his trend going into his soph year than Fields’.

      The roster is essentially set and is veteran-heavy with lots of playoff experience. There is an entire training camp to work on chemistry. With all the turmoil last year, they still finished 36-30. 43 wins? That’s an awfully low floor. I’d say 48-56 is a more reasonable range, with 52 right in the middle.

    17. knicknyk

      Z-man:
      I’m with you, massive. Nobody is saying that the Knicks are better than the Celts, only that it’s reasonable to feel that they will have a better year, i.e. that they are within the statistical margin of error. As to knicknyk’s snide remarks re: “hope and change,” etc., to me, that is what being a sports fan is all about. I mean, there is every indication that LeBron is on his way to a dynasty a la Jordan and Kobe, they are the prohibitive favorite to win it all, so why even bother paying attention?

      Yes, I “hope” that the “changes” we have made work out, and that the one the Celts made do not. I go into every season optimistic that all the Knick players will have career years at the same time, that the breaks will go our way, and that what happened in ’99 will happen again, only with a happier ending. But when your conjecture is polluted with BS statements like “The celtics were not very interested in that game” it’s hard to take you seriously.

      The Celtics were not even closing out on shooters were missing defensive rotations. Simple fundamentals on the defensive end, mistakes that we usually make they were making. JR & Novak were shooting wide uncontested 3′s. Fifteen 3′s in one game. Wait didn’t the vast majority of them come in the first half of the game? That game reminded me of first quarter of the Nets game right when Linsanity broke out in terms of the opposing team just shooting uncontested 3′s continuously. This isn’t conjecture this is just facing facts. And why do I get the feeling that the only reason you can’t take me seriously is because you don’t like what you are hearing.

    18. massive

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz8jno91V18

      That’s every 3 pointer New York hit against the Celtics. Here’s a tab on all of them:
      1) Melo drive-and-kick to JR on the baseline. Contested by Bass.
      2) Melo passes to JR Smith for a wide open three thanks to a Chandler screen. Paul Pierces runs out to no avail.
      3) Shumpert hits a contested 3 in Rondo’s face off a JR Smith pass.
      4) JR Smith hits a deep, contested 3 as the shot clock winds down.
      5) Avery Bradley rotates to the wrong man (Bibby) off a Steve Novak pass. JR hits it wide open.
      6) Off of a turnover, JR Smith finds Steve Novak open for three on a fastbreak.
      7) Melo hits a 3 off a Bibby bounce pass in transition.
      8) Bibby hits off a Melo pass. Rondo contests the shot.
      9) Bibby finds JR for a wide open 3 on a cross court dime, as two quick passes caught Boston off guard.
      10) Steve Novak hits an and-1 3 pointer on Avery Bradley.
      11) JR Smith hits a 3, contested by KG. A quick pass over a Novak 3 by Bibby, here.
      12) Novak hits a 3, contested by Bass, off of a Bibby pass.
      13) As the clock expires, JR hits a deep, contested 3. Bad shot.
      14) Melo to Novak on a drive-and-kick. The defense got caught with their pants down here, nobody runs out.
      15) Melo hits a contested 3 on Paul Pierce as the clock is winding down. Bad shot.
      16) Novak hits it in Pierce’s face off a Melo pass.
      17) Tyson Chandler creates a 2nd chance opp off a Shumpert miss. Bass runs out to Novak to no avail.
      18) Off a Melo pass, Rondo bites on a Novak pump-fake, then he hits it on Avery Bradley.
      19) Novak gets free behind a Shumpert screen off a Melo pass. The defense gave up.

    19. massive

      By my analysis, the Knicks had Boston’s number in this game. Novak was being guarded by a slow PF who couldn’t rotate fast enough to stop the 3 ball. New York caught Boston with quick passes on the wide-open attempts, and most of the shots saw a jumping effort by Boston to close out on the shot. I didn’t see Boston look disinterested as much as they look beat by better offense. I don’t see how one can say Boston looked disinterested as much as they did nonathletic and old. Then again, I don’t watch Celtics games, so I don’t know what the Celtics look like on a regular basis.

    20. ruruland

      Max, that’s an interesting way of looking at it.

      43 wins? Wow, are we assuming reasonable amount of injuries?

      That’s really low.

      To wit: Last year the Knicks were projected to win 51 games on a Pythagorean prorated 82 game schedule.

      51 wins. 51 wins despite two awful offensive seasons from Amar’e and Melo. 51 wins despite doling out nearly 2,000 minutes to the worst pg trio in the NBA Davis (.014 WS/.457 TS), Mike Bibby (.061/.404 TS), and Douglas (-046/.393TS)

      I dare someone to find a trio of NBA players (not Bobcats) who were worse and received anywhere near that kind of burn.

      Douglas, Bibby and Davis combined to play almost twice as many minutes as Lin.

      Even if you consider Lin’s play to be a ceiling for Kidd and Felton, even at their floors, the Knicks made a massive upgrade at the PG position — and both Kidd and Felton could combine to play at or above Lin’s level last season.

      Thirdly, Steve Novak (.181 TS) received only 1000 minutes while Bill Walker and Landry Fields received (.67 WS each) more than 2500.

      Jr Smith (.122) played less than 1,000 minutes.

      Brewer/Smith/Novak at 100% minutes is a significant upgrade over Walker/Fields 60% Smith/Novak 40% minutes.

      Camby is a significant upgrade over Jeffries.

      I think it’s likely that both Amar’e and Melo have better, possibly much better years than they had last season. Therefore, the Knicks have likely upgraded/improved at each position outside of Chandler (perhaps he’s not as good as las year, it doesn’t mattter) and many of those upgrades could be quite substantial.

      Do you dispute any of these individual points?

      If not, injuries being equal, it’s impossible to imagine the Knicks playing 8 games below the level they played at last year. Moreover, a 9 game improvement is clearly in range.

    21. jon abbey

      why just 9 games? it’s hard to imagine this team not winning 70 minimum, 75-7 or 76-6 seems right. :)

    22. Z-man

      massive: By my analysis, the Knicks had Boston’s number in this game. Novak was being guarded by a slow PF who couldn’t rotate fast enough to stop the 3 ball. New York caught Boston with quick passes on the wide-open attempts, and most of the shots saw a jumping effort by Boston to close out on the shot. I didn’t see Boston look disinterested as much as they look beat by better offense. I don’t see how one can say Boston looked disinterested as much as they did nonathletic and old.

      Thanks for the shot-by-shot analysis, massive. It’s one thing to say that the game was just one of those games for the Knicks and for the Celts. It’s another to conclude that the Celts didn’t really care.

      knicknyk: This isn’t conjecture this is just facing facts. And why do I get the feeling that the only reason you can’t take me seriously is because you don’t like what you are hearing.

      When what I’m hearing is a difference of opinion, I neither like nor dislike it, I just present my side as rationally as I can. When what I hear is pure, unadulterated bullshit, as massive showed your stupid statement to be, you’re right, I don’t like it.

      ruruland: If not, injuries being equal, it’s impossible to imagine the Knicks playing 8 games below the level they played at last year. Moreover, a 9 game improvement is clearly in range.

      You were making sense until here. A 9-game improvement is really 18 games in terms of winning %. Is 60 wins in range? If all goes perfectly and some EC teams stumble, maybe. 53-29 is a very good record, and could be achieved with a “reasonable” amount of setbacks (Melo, Chandler and/or Amare missing 10-15 games here or there, Shump having a…

    23. Z-man

      …setback, Felton shooting under 30% from 3, Kidd getting another DWI arrest, etc. But the Celts, Bulls, Sixers and Indiana aren’t winning 60 games either. The Nets should struggle to win 45. There’s a lot of good teams in the league and not too many doormats. Teams like Milwaukee and Toronto can beat anyone when they get hot from 3.

    24. Z-man

      Other than Miami being a prohibitive favorite to repeat, this should be a banner year for the NBA. Yeah, you have Miami, OKC and I guess the Lakers at the top of the food chain, but there is a large group of teams that should be fun to watch, including up and comers like the T-wolves and Warriers (maybe the Hornets?) and teams that have made intriguing acquisitions like the Sixers and Nets.

    25. yoda4554

      One other thing for those who are talking about how we went 18-6 under Woodson: almost all of our games against the West came under D’Antoni. Given that the West was comically better than the East last season–and is even moreso this year; I wouldn’t be surprised if every West playoff team is better than every team out East except for Miami–that’s a significant factor.

      By the way, ruru–stop with the idea that Melo had an uncharacteristically bad year last year. Correct for league shooting percentages dipping a bit and he had the same year he has every year.

      Argument that we will not be better this year: we were extremely good defensively last year and poor offensively, then went out and ditched our best offensive player and picked up a bunch of defensively-minded, offensively-limited ones. This is likely to only marginally improve our defense and possibly hinder our offense even further.

    26. Z-man

      If it turns out that Lin was going to be our best offensive player, I would agree that the season is going to be a bummer. If it turns out that Felton, Kidd and Prigioni make Lin an afterthought (as I believe they will) then the season will come down to Amare and Melo, as it should. All contending teams need their max players to play well to be successful. Amare and Melo need to average 45-50 pts or so at reasonably high efficiency(say 57%TS combined), Felton (14) and Chandler (11) should get you another 25, JR another 15, Novak, Brewer, Thomas, Camby, White, Shump and Kidd should get you another 10-15. I’m really not that worried about offense overall, so long as Melo and Amare have reasonably good years for them. And as Chicago has demonstrated, great defense helps out on the offensive end as well.

    27. Juany8

      yoda4554:
      One other thing for those who are talking about how we went 18-6 under Woodson: almost all of our games against the West came under D’Antoni.Given that the West was comically better than the East last season–and is even moreso this year; I wouldn’t be surprised if every West playoff team is better than every team out East except for Miami–that’s a significant factor.

      By the way, ruru–stop with the idea that Melo had an uncharacteristically bad year last year.Correct for league shooting percentages dipping a bit and he had the same year he has every year.

      Argument that we will not be better this year: we were extremely good defensively last year and poor offensively, then went out and ditched our best offensive player and picked up a bunch of defensively-minded, offensively-limited ones.This is likely to only marginally improve our defense and possibly hinder our offense even further.

      So ditching Fields, Walker, Jeffries, TD, Baron, and Bibby in favor of Kidd, Felton, Brewer, Camby, and a full season of JR and Novak is some how getting worse on offense? Lin was our best offensive player because he had a nice 25 game streak that wasn’t anywhere near as good as Melo’s stretch under Woodson (really isn’t close, Melo was playing at a top 10 player level while Lin was playing like a top 15 PG) Other than Lin leaving (and again he played less than half the season and had some monstrously bad games mixed in there) this team didn’t get worse in any way, and most of the wins with Lin came when Amar’e and Melo were injured and Fields and Walker were still getting serious burn. This team is MUCH better than the team than the team the Knicks started with last year, and that includes a noticeable improvement at coach. Even with that terrible start, the team played like a 50 win team

    28. Z-man

      Z-man: I wouldn’t be surprised if every West playoff team is better than every team out East except for Miami–that’s a significant factor.

      Let’s see: OKC, Lakers…then, I dunno maybe the Spurs, probably could stretch the argument for the Clippers, Nuggets. After that, you have Memphis, T-wolves, GS and Utah…naah, I would be REALLY surprised.

    29. ruruland

      Right, z-man. 60 wins is in range. It would be a really good season, with relatively few injuries, but it wouldn’t be that big of a deal in the weaker conference. Both Melo and Amare won more than 53 games on teams less talented than this and in better conferences. As I’ll detail in the next couple of weeks, 9-10 game jumps aren’t at all that rare for teams like the Knicks.

    30. Z-man

      I would put the odds of the Knicks winning 60 games at less than 10%, probably about the same odds of them winning 40 games.

    31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The Nuggets and Timberwolves could be 55-win teams this year. OKC, LAL, SAS, DEN, and MIN are all contenders.

    32. massive

      Right, Z-Man. How many great offensive players did Chicago, the #1 seed two years running, have these past two seasons? I’d say one in Derrick Rose, with Boozer being very good. Kyle Korver’s TS% of .600 was tops on that team by a whole 39 points, and they still finished 5th in ORtg last year. Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith, Steve Novak, and Amar’e Stoudemire give us a chance to be better than last year’s Chicago team was offensively. And we were in the same ball-park as them on defense last year, with our defense ranking 5th and theirs ranking 2nd (in DRtg).

      SAS, OKC, LAL, and Denver aside, the Knicks (and Boston/Indy) should be better than every Western Conference team. Maybe the Clippers are better than us, but I still like our chances against them in a playoff series. I think we’d beat Denver in a playoff series, although they’ll likely have a better regular season than us. It wouldn’t surprise you if Memphis and Utah had better seasons than Boston, Indy, and New York? That sounds asinine.

      I think the top 8 NBA teams should look like this:
      1) Miami
      2) OKC
      3) SAS
      4) LAL
      5) Denver
      6) Boston (for now)
      7) Indy (for now)
      8) New York

      By the end of the season, New York should be 5 (“star power) or 6.

    33. massive

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      The Nuggets and Timberwolves could be 55-win teams this year. OKC, LAL, SAS, DEN, and MIN are all contenders.

      Right, I forgot about Minnesota. I’d say they’re better than Indy, but they have a lot to prove. Rubio and Love are going to be great this year.

    34. Z-man

      I think it’s a bit early to call the Nuggets and T-wolves contenders. Denver’s big acquisition is AI, who has not cracked a .540 TS in 3 years. They will rarely, if ever, have the best 5 players on the floor in the 4th quarter vs the top-10 teams in the league, unless JaVale has an enormous improvement. Minny hasn’t come close to playoff contention in years and won the equivalent of 32 games last year. Now they’re a title contender?

    35. Z-man

      massive, I think the Lakers are better than the Spurs right now, and could possibly be better than OKC. I also think the Knicks are better than Indiana right now.

      Denver is very deep and solid, but I don’t see them getting past past the first round in the playoffs unless they do something flukey (like the Motumbo team did.)

    36. max fisher-cohen

      The 43 low is just that the Knicks have so many question marks. Felton and Stoudemire are both coming off terrible seasons. Camby and Kidd are really old. That means all four have a pretty good chance of sucking/being hurt this year.

      Chandler himself has been injury prone throughout his career and will be 30 in 2 weeks. This will be his 12th season.

      If Stoudemire and Felton play like last season and Camby and Kidd play like 80% of what they were last season, this is a .500 team. So yeah, I think there’s maybe a 10% chance of us ending up around .500, and a 10% chance of us having a perfectly healthy season wherein both Stoudemire and Felton bounce back and Kidd and Camby fend off age another year, getting us to the low/mid-50s in wins.

    37. er

      You CANNOT be serious. This team won 36 games in a 66 game season last year after they started the year with toney douglas and ended with baron davis…….and you talk about question marks, wow.

      The low for this team is 50 wins, the denver nuggets won 50 for melos last 4 seasons there in the tough west. This is the first full season with the knicks in a weak east, they will win at least 50 bro

      max fisher-cohen:
      The 43 low is just that the Knicks have so many question marks. Felton and Stoudemire are both coming off terrible seasons. Camby and Kidd are really old. That means all four have a pretty good chance of sucking/being hurt this year.

      Chandler himself has been injury prone throughout his career and will be 30 in 2 weeks. This will be his 12th season.

      If Stoudemire and Felton play like last season and Camby and Kidd play like 80% of what they were last season, this is a .500 team. So yeah, I think there’s maybe a 10% chance of us ending up around .500, and a 10% chance of us having a perfectly healthy season wherein both Stoudemire and Felton bounce back and Kidd and Camby fend off age another year, getting us to the low/mid-50s in wins.

    38. Juany8

      I’d be willing to bet quite a large amount of money that the Nuggets and Timberwolves won’t get out of the second round this year. As it is, only one of them will even have a chance to make it to the second round. Maybe one of them would be capable of making the ECF if they were in the East, but even that wouldn’t be anywhere near a lock. Both teams have bad (if not terrible) defenders at PF and only decent defenders at C. Their wings aren’t exactly dominant defenders either (except Iguodala, who is the only elite defender on BOTH teams), both teams will be able to light up opponents on offense in the regular season but both will have crappy defenses that will get demolished in the playoffs by smart teams. Plus as we’ve seen from Denver and Phoenix the last decade, a fast-break offense will work amazingly well in the regular season before sputtering in the off season once teams game plan to prevent that. The only exception to this has been Miami (and maybe OKC) and both of those teams were legit defensively and could force the stops/turnovers they needed to run in the playoffs

    39. Juany8

      er:
      You CANNOT be serious. This team won 36 games in a 66 game season last year after they started the year with toney douglas and ended with baron davis…….and you talk about question marks, wow.

      The low for this team is 50 wins, the denver nuggets won 50 for melos last 4 seasons there in the tough west. This is the first full season with the knicks in a weak east, they will win at least 50 bro

      This is the funniest thing about people who question the Knicks. Are Kidd, Felton, Camby, and Brewer bigger question marks than TD, Baron, Bibby, Walker, and Jeffries? I don’t think the Knicks win 60 lol, but 50 is really the floor for this team unless they have serious injuries. They were a 51 team last year! There is literally no way they start the season as badly as last year either, the coach is improved, they have actual point guards, they have capable rotation players to fill every possible minute (seriously, Bill Walker played serious minutes for the Knicks last year) and I’d like to think that Amar’e could not possibly be as bad as he was last season (while Melo has a decent chance of improving, even if it’s not dramatic) I say the Knicks win 53 games and have about a 30% chance of making the ECF, with their chances of making the Finals just about equal to the chances Wade or Lebron gets injured lol

    40. er

      i willing to bet they dont get outta the first round

      clippers
      spurs
      grizz
      lakers
      thunder

      are all better

      Juany8:
      I’d be willing to bet quite a large amount of money that the Nuggets and Timberwolves won’t get out of the second round this year. As it is, only one of them will even have a chance to make it to the second round. Maybe one of them would be capable of making the ECF if they were in the East, but even that wouldn’t be anywhere near a lock. Both teams have bad (if not terrible) defenders at PF and only decent defenders at C. Their wings aren’t exactly dominant defenders either (except Iguodala, who is the only elite defender on BOTH teams), both teams will be able to light up opponents on offense in the regular season but both will have crappy defenses that will get demolished in the playoffs by smart teams. Plus as we’ve seen from Denver and Phoenix the last decade, a fast-break offense will work amazingly well in the regular season before sputtering in the off season once teams game plan to prevent that. The only exception to this has been Miami (and maybe OKC) and both of those teams were legit defensively and could force the stops/turnovers they needed to run in the playoffs

    41. iserp

      I like Minny, but they will start the season without Rubio, they have lots of new faces, their frontcourt situation is still not clear, and AK47 and Brandon Roy are injury prone. They’ll be in the playoffs, but barely. They might finish strong, though.

      And i don’t see what’s so special about Denver. Perhaps you are counting on a great year of Javale McGee.

    42. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Juany8:
      I’d be willing to bet quite a large amount of money that the Nuggets and Timberwolves won’t get out of the second round this year. As it is, only one of them will even have a chance to make it to the second round. Maybe one of them would be capable of making the ECF if they were in the East, but even that wouldn’t be anywhere near a lock. Both teams have bad (if not terrible) defenders at PF and only decent defenders at C. Their wings aren’t exactly dominant defenders either (except Iguodala, who is the only elite defender on BOTH teams), both teams will be able to light up opponents on offense in the regular season but both will have crappy defenses that will get demolished in the playoffs by smart teams. Plus as we’ve seen from Denver and Phoenix the last decade, a fast-break offense will work amazingly well in the regular season before sputtering in the off season once teams game plan to prevent that. The only exception to this has been Miami (and maybe OKC) and both of those teams were legit defensively and could force the stops/turnovers they needed to run in the playoffs

      I don’t see any evidence for the fast-court offense not working in the playoffs. The Suns got screwed out of a Finals appearance by some ill-timed suspensions, and were never the best team in the league in any of the years they made it to the WCF. When they got beat by the spurs in the Semis, they were matched up with a team with a superior SRS and point differential. Don’t act like it’s a matchup problem when the argument could just as easily be that they got beat by teams that were straight-up better than they were.

      And Denver was never close to the best team in the West in all the years Carmelo “led” them to first round playoff exits. They had a 3.13 SRS in the only season they made it out of the first. Never had higher than 4.8.

    43. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      iserp:
      I like Minny, but they will start the season without Rubio, they have lots of new faces, their frontcourt situation is still not clear, and AK47 and Brandon Roy are injury prone. They’ll be in the playoffs, but barely. They might finish strong, though.

      And i don’t see what’s so special about Denver. Perhaps you are counting on a great year of Javale McGee.

      What’s unclear about their frontcourt situation? They have Love, Pekovic, and Stiemsma, who are all really good players, with Love being a legitimate first-team All-NBAer.

      Last year’s WP and WS figures on those three players:

      Stiemsma: .181/.170
      Pekovic: .242/.170
      Love: .226/.223

      Does that look like a problematic frontcourt? If so, that’s a problem I’d love to have.

    44. Z-man

      You kill me, dude. The Knicks add two of your faves in Brewer and Camby, already have WP48 god Chandler, and improved their most glaring weaknesses (PG, frontcourt depth) but you give Minny all the love.

    45. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man:
      You kill me, dude. The Knicks add two of your faves in Brewer and Camby, already have WP48 god Chandler, and improved their most glaring weaknesses (PG, frontcourt depth) but you give Minny all the love.

      Minny doesn’t have Amar’e and Carmelo taking shots at .54 and .52 TS% with a combined usage of like, 57. Puke.

    46. knicknyk

      This is my final point on this topic, Boston was a number 2 ranked defensive team last year, they didn’t play like that in that 3 point shooting festival game. Second, I wouldn’t call Lin our best offensive player but he was a much better third consistent offensive option behind Melo & Stat than what we have now. Felton, Kidd & Prig likely won’t make up for that considering the fact that Lin himself will likely improve. Third, seems silly to compare Lin’s stretch to Melo & say one was superior to the other when both are in vastly different stages of there career. Fourth, I agree with Yoda I am also worried about our offense. We ranked 5th in defense last year & 19th offensively & I don’t think we did anything to really improve our offensive efficiency from last year. We are definitely going to hang our hat on the defensive end as seen from the defensive guys we signed. Boston this season was 24th offensively & 2nd defensively & look how far they got so Woodson maybe taking that approach who knows. I do believe though that our additions will likely improve our defense from last season though. Hopefully we can move up fromv 5th place. Fifth, I don’t see Felton scoring more than 12ppg if both Melo & Amare are going to be playing 36 minutes. Our success will depend on Melo & Amare scoring 20+ points a game and everyone else chipping in and playing great D. Right now Melo & Amare are our only players that fulfil all these categories offensively (efficient, consistent, not limited) everyone else is either inefficient, inconsistent or limited in some way. I have us at around 47 wins. We shall see. Finally, I also think Minny & Denver will make the PO’s.

    47. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man: Not the most athletic or defensively talented group…

      I don’t care how athletic someone is if they put up those numbers. Maybe Kevin Love’s not very athletic, but he sure can shoot and rebound…

      It’s funny how the “athletic” evaluative shit seems to be something that has long fallen by the wayside in baseball (thanks again, Moneyball), but in basketball? Still so very important in our evaluations. Why is that?

    48. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      knicknyk:
      This is my final point on this topic, Boston was a number 2 ranked defensive team last year, they didn’t play like that in that 3 point shooting festival game. Second, I wouldn’t call Lin our best offensive player but he was a much better third consistent offensive option behind Melo & Stat than what we have now. Felton, Kidd & Prig likely won’t make up for that considering the fact that Lin himself will likely improve. Third, seems silly to compare Lin’s stretch to Melo & say one was superior to the other when both are in vastly different stages of there career. Fourth, I agree with Yoda I am also worried about our offense. We ranked 5th in defense last year & 19th offensively & I don’t think we did anything to really improve our offensive efficiency from last year. We are definitely going to hang our hat on the defensive end as seen from the defensive guys we signed. Boston this season was 24th offensively & 2nd defensively & look how far they got so Woodson maybe taking that approach who knows. I do believe though that our additions will likely improve our defense from last season though. Hopefully we can move up fromv 5th place. Fifth, I don’t see Felton scoring

      Actually, they were first in defense and 27th in offense. 12th in SRS.

    49. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      It’s funny how the “athletic” evaluative shit seems to be something that has long fallen by the wayside in baseball (thanks again, Moneyball), but in basketball? Still so very important in our evaluations. Why is that?

      Prob because baseball is a static sport in which fat and unathletic people can still succeed. If you watched the SAS/OKC series, you might have noticed that OKC’s length/quickness (especially when they put Sefalosha on Parker) basically won that series for them. And you don’t need WP48 to see how the ridiculous athleticism of LBJ and Wade make that team a defensive juggernaut.

      Athleticism probably doesn’t make that much difference in terms of the things Kevin Love is especially good at (and is rewarded for in terms of WP48)– rebounding at both ends, shooting 3′s. Rebounding is much more about effort, positioning, and anticipation, and spot up jumpshooting is about technique, finding open spaces, and shot selection. I love Kevin Love’s game, and appreciate how he can be so good without being an elite athlete. But trapping PNRs and still having the length and speed to make all your rotations – that’s pure athleticism (and good coaching). Running out in transition to take the highest percentage shots in the league like Durant/Westbrook/LBJ/Wade? Pure athleticism.

    50. ruruland

      Z-man:
      I would put the odds of the Knicks winning 60 games at less than 10%, probably about the same odds of them winning 40 games.

      I’d take those odds all day. 56-60 wins is not that big of a deal when you consider the Knicks play in a largely watered down conference with Chicago, Orlando and Atlanta significantly weakened (only NJ seriously strengthened).

      One of the many teams these Knicks remind me of: http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/POR/2000.html

    51. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      But you’re telling me that in basketball, players can’t succeed without being athletic. Players like the three white guys on the Wolves. Also, there are players like Kenneth Faried who ARE ridiculously athletic, but their stats are also skewed for being “one-dimensional.” Then you use OKC playing a (statistically and “athletically”) really good player (Sefalosha) as an indicator that athleticism wins a series. Then we talk about how Wade and LeBron are phenomenal athletes, but what we’re really saying is that they’re good at defense.

      And athleticism doesn’t factor into a player’s ability to rebound or shoot, which sounds like total bullshit to me. Are you talking about speed? Because a player can be a good shooter without being fast. Or quickness? I don’t think a player Faried’s size could be a good rebounder (and he’s a fucking phenomenal rebounder) without being athletic. There’s so much selectivity in your post that I have no idea how to put together a coherent argument. Are you saying that athletes are better at defense? And somehow rebounding has nothing to do with athleticism?

      How is Kevin Love not a good athlete?

    52. Frank

      Someone previously posted a golf analogy re: the Knicks playoff hopes — here are mine including reg season

      Playoffs:
      Triple bogey – missing playoffs
      Double Bogey – first round loss
      Bogey – 2nd round loss if we avoid Miami
      Par – 2nd round loss if we play Miami
      Birdie – Making ECF
      Eagle – Making Finals
      Hole-in-one – Winning it all!

      Regular season
      Triple bogey – under .500
      Double Bogey – 42-45 wins
      Bogey – 46-51 wins
      Par – 52-55 wins
      Birdie – 56-59 wins
      Eagle – 60-64 wins
      Hole-in-ine – 65+ wins

      For the record – I’m expecting 54 wins, and for our season to end in Miami (again) in whichever round that matchup happens. I very much think we can beat any other team in the eastern conference.

    53. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      But you’re telling me that in basketball, players can’t succeed without being athletic. Players like the three white guys on the Wolves. Also, there are players like Kenneth Faried who ARE ridiculously athletic, but their stats are also skewed for being “one-dimensional.” Then you use OKC playing a (statistically and “athletically”) really good player (Sefalosha) as an indicator that athleticism wins a series. Then we talk about how Wade and LeBron are phenomenal athletes, but what we’re really saying is that they’re good at defense.

      Zzzz. this is a boring conversation that I’m sorry I got involved in, but fine.

      #1 – fair point that I did not define “athleticism”
      To me – basketball “athleticism” comes down to explosiveness (ie. acceleration in a short space both vertically and horizontally) combined with body control and length, and to a lesser extent, actual end-to-end speed. Guys like Lebron and Wade have all 4 of these qualities at elite levels. That means they can aggressively gamble on defense and still recover, and it means that Spoelstra can attack an offensive play and not worry as much that quick passes will lead to a wide open shot — the holes in the defense close much more quickly. This kind of “athleticism” tends to matter more in wing and perimeter.

      Re: rebounding and athleticism – obviously it helps to have great hops but you don’t need great hops to be a very good rebounder. Faried is great – has below-average height but way above average effort and anticipation. Love has average height, way above average effort/anticipation, and is able to overcome fairly pedestrian (by NBA standards) “explosiveness” as measured by combine stuff.

      You don’t need to be a great or good athlete to be a good shooter. Look at Kapono/Novak/Korver etc.
      continued…

    54. Frank

      My issue with many of THCJ’s posts is that it seems like everything must be a categorical statement. People are idiots or geniuses. You’re a fucking moron or you’re Dave Berri. He’s an awful player or he’s Kenneth Faried.

      Dude – there are shades of gray in this world. Live with it. You can be a good rebounder and not be athletic but use effort and “smarts” like anticipation to get the ball. You can be a good rebounder and use great quickness to get the ball. You can be a good shooter AND be athletic. You can be a good shooter and be Matt Bonner. my only point is that athleticism DOES help in this game we love, and you only needed to see the athletic cream (OKC/MIA) rise to the top during the playoffs to know that that’s true.

      Other than this statement, nothing I ever write is meant to be categorical, because very little in this world is ever black and white. So you don’t need to take anything I say as a personal affront to your strange worldview.

    55. max fisher-cohen

      Re: East is less competitive

      I agree, but it’s not as bad as it seems. Atlanta lost Johnson and Crawford, but they added Lou Williams, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver and Anthony Morrow. They have a ton of shooters now, and Horford will be healthy again. I anticipate they’ll try to be the Suns, with their two quick point guards, Harris and Teague, pushing the ball like crazy. If Teague can step up and they get few other breaks, they could be a 50 win team.

      Then you have NJ, which didn’t have Brook Lopez nearly all of last year and added Johnson, Teletovic, and the highly underrated Reggie Evans.

      Boston got better too. They added depth and replaced an aging Ray Allen with Terry.

      Toronto (Lowry, Valanciunas, Fields) and Cleveland (Irving & Thompson will improve, Varejao will be back, and they added to 1st rounders) also should win somewhere between 30 and 40 games — they won’t the trash they were last year.

      Overall, yeah, with Rose out and Dwight gone, the East is weaker, but it’s still not the joke of a conference in was ten years ago.

    56. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Frank:
      My issue with many of THCJ’s posts is that it seems like everything must be a categorical statement. People are idiots or geniuses. You’re a fucking moron or you’re Dave Berri.He’s an awful player or he’s Kenneth Faried.

      Dude – there are shades of gray in this world. Live with it. You can be a good rebounder and not be athletic but use effort and “smarts” like anticipation to get the ball. You can be a good rebounder and use great quickness to get the ball. You can be a good shooter AND be athletic. You can be a good shooter and be Matt Bonner. my only point is that athleticism DOES help in this game we love, and you only needed to see the athletic cream (OKC/MIA) rise to the top during the playoffs to know that that’s true.

      Other than this statement, nothing I ever write is meant to be categorical, because very little in this world is ever black and white. So you don’t need to take anything I say as a personal affront to your strange worldview.

      I’m not asking for black and white. I’m saying that when you accuse players of lacking athleticism, who cares, so long as they’re productive? And further, the idea of “athleticism” is predicated on what? Your extensive analysis of Love, Pekovic, et al.’s game footage? The scouting reports by so-called experts? Faried’s athletic, but Love’s not — and according to Draftexpress, they have the same vertical leap (35″).

      It’s easy to say “he’s athletic and the other guy’s not,” but it only serves a narrative that’s impossible to quantify and nearly as hard to conclusively argue. The numbers on Love, Pekovic, and Stiemsma are awesome, no matter what subjective analysis you want to apply to them. I will take the data over the eyetest any day of the week.

    57. Z-man

      Actually, it was I who mada a comment about athleticism, but I was mainly refering to defense. It’s telling that your hero Faried is one of the worst defenders at his position in the league, but since that end of the court doesn’t matter to you and the rest of the WoW crowd, I would have guessed that you couldn’t care less about how Love, Pecovic and Stiemsma fared on the defensive end. On the rare occasion that their opponents miss (and don’t get sent to the line by the ex-Celt hatchetman, who averaged 6.8 PFs per 36) they will certainly get those rebounds.

    58. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Minny doesn’t have Amar’e and Carmelo taking shots at .54 and .52 TS% with a combined usage of like, 57. Puke.

      Amare’s career TS% is .596 and Melo’s is .544. And you conveniently use last year’s no-PG, injury-riddled, lockout-tainted, cluelessly coached circus to conclude that they will stay at that level? What if they play to their career averages (say, combine for a TS% of .570) and the team is a top-3 defensive team, and your faves like Camby, Chandler and Brewer all do their thing, would that make you puke too?

    59. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: I’m not asking for black and white. I’m saying that when you accuse players of lacking athleticism, who cares, so long as they’re productive? And further, the idea of “athleticism” is predicated on what? Your extensive analysis of Love, Pekovic, et al.’s game footage? The scouting reports by so-called experts? Faried’s athletic, but Love’s not — and according to Draftexpress, they have the same vertical leap (35?).

      It’s easy to say “he’s athletic and the other guy’s not,” but it only serves a narrative that’s impossible to quantify and nearly as hard to conclusively argue. The numbers on Love, Pekovic, and Stiemsma are awesome, no matter what subjective analysis you want to apply to them. I will take the data over the eyetest any day of the week.

      You’re right athleticism doesn’t matter in the slightest as long as a guy can produce. The problem is that you 100% ignore a player’s contributions on defense, which is literally half the game (and as every champion ever has shown, a very important part of winning in the playoffs and not just the regular season) You also seem to ignore that the most important defensive players for a team are the front court big men, and that Minnesota doesn’t have a single one that’s even above average on that end. Who cares how many rebounds Kevin Love gets when his opponents are feasting on shots at the rim? I still Kevin Love is a fantastic player, but like Dirk he needs a strong defensive center and a strong wing capable of guarding several positions (Shawn Marion) to make up for his weaknesses. Minnesota doesn’t have the personnel to make up for it, which is why I think calling them anything more than a challenging first round team is a reach.

    60. massive

      As an aside (and I’m not trying to be a prick), I’ve always had a problem with the “literally half the game” thing when talking about either side of the ball. Teams don’t end up with the same amount of possessions, but I do get the point. Both sides of the ball are very important when talking about player evaluations.

    61. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Juany8: You’re right athleticism doesn’t matter in the slightest as long as a guy can produce. The problem is that you 100% ignore a player’s contributions on defense, which is literally half the game (and as every champion ever has shown, a very important part of winning in the playoffs and not just the regular season) You also seem to ignore that the most important defensive players for a team are the front court big men, and that Minnesota doesn’t have a single one that’s even above average on that end. Who cares how many rebounds Kevin Love gets when his opponents are feasting on shots at the rim? I still Kevin Love is a fantastic player, but like Dirk he needs a strong defensive center and a strong wing capable of guarding several positions (Shawn Marion) to make up for his weaknesses. Minnesota doesn’t have the personnel to make up for it, which is why I think calling them anything more than a challenging first round team is a reach.

      What team doesn’t need a strong defensive center? Miami? Before that, the starting centers on championship teams:

      Chandler
      Bynum
      Bynum
      Garnett/Perkins
      Duncan
      Shaq
      Duncan
      B. Wallace
      Duncan
      Shaq
      Shaq
      Shaq
      David Fucking Robinson AND Duncan

      Then a bunch of teams that had MJ.

      ’08 and ’12 are the only teams that lacked a “star” center, and that’s if you don’t count Garnett, who, it could be easily argued, is among the best defensive PF/C of all-time. And the Heat had LeBron James, who is unarguably the best all-around player since Jordan. (Okay, maybe I’d take Duncan in his prime. Maybe.)

      How does it come down on an uber-efficient PF? And how can we even come close to presuming that Love gives up the same efficiency that he creates on offense? If he’s 40% more efficient than the average PF, and he gives up 20% more efficiency than the average PF on defense, doesn’t that still make…

    62. massive

      You know what’s interesting? The top 2 WP/48 guys on the 2011 Mavs, Chandler and Kidd, both play for the Knicks. Novak had a WP/48 of .259 that year, but he only played 18 minutes that season lol. Ronnie Brewer was 3rd on the Bulls in both 2011 and 2012 in terms of WP over the season. JR Smith had a WP/48 of .153 back in 2011.

      So here’s what I get from WP/48:
      1) Two current Knicks were very essential in Dallas’ title run, if not the most important pieces.
      2) The Knicks got a much better Landry Fields for a seventh of the price (does everything Landry does, and is one of the league’s premier defenders).
      3) Raymond Felton has been, at the very least, competent on playoff teams (WP/48 ranging from .119 to .146). He’ll play well for us. Jason Kidd needs more minutes than him, though.
      4) JR Smith can be a middle-class, right-handed version of James Harden.
      5) Dallas’ and Chicago’s #1 scorers in 2011 both posted a WP/48 > .150, so Carmelo only needs to be around .130 for us to win a lot of games.
      6) We should win a lot of games this season if the right guys get minutes. This is a big if with all of the egos on the team.

      I’m probably using the stat wrong, because it’s making me very optimistic about this season. I wish we got our hands on Steve Nash, though. Nash, Brewer, Anthony, Stoudemire, Chandler, JR, Novak, Shumpert, and Camby would have been the league’s #1 offense and a top 5 defense.

    63. Z-man

      A minor point, Shump was part of the proposed Nash deal.
      WP48 or no, there is no question that this is a very good, very deep
      veteran team with tons of playoff experience. As it should, it really comes down to how well Melo and Amare play. And age/injuries. We have tentative answers for all of the other eventualities. Poor or selfish play by the big 2 is the main thing that would lower the ceiling for us. Next would be key injuries. If we play well and stay healthy, we can beat anyone except the Heat and OKC.

    64. Nick C.

      I like the optomism, but I would like to see this team win a playoff series before I set the bar so high. I think anything less than 48 wins and/or 6-7 games of the second round is either colossal injuries or the old guys playing old and JR, Amare and/or Melo playing down to the level their detractors have them at.

    65. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man:
      A minor point, Shump was part of the proposed Nash deal.
      WP48 or no, there is no question that this is a very good, very deep
      veteran team with tons of playoff experience. As it should, it really comes down to how well Melo and Amare play. And age/injuries. We have tentative answers for all of the other eventualities. Poor or selfish play by the big 2 is the main thing that would lower the ceiling for us. Next would be key injuries. If we play well and stay healthy, we can beat anyone except the Heat and OKC.

      WP48 actually has the Knicks winning 50 games. The problem is that they’re giving a ton of minutes to an average SF and a below-average PF who happen to score a lot of points. If they replaced both of those players with young, cheap options (Leonard and Faried, please), this team would win 60 games and challenge Miami for the East crown.

    66. Z-man

      Well, the Spurs had Leonard and Blair (the Faried of 2010) and were beaten in 4 straight playoff games by the Thunder. Of course, it’s that idiot Popovich’s fault for not playing Blair 40mpg.

      It has yet TBD if Amare will be a below avg PF. You only have to go back 2 years to him being an MVP candidate for the Suns, and as I said earlier, he isn’t even 30 yet. As to Melo, he looked pretty good in the Olympics when he has some decent players around him, and I didn’t hear anything from anyone about him being selfish, a ball-stopper, out of shape, etc. Oh I forgot, who you play with doesnt matter, so the roster overhaul won’t help Melo, right?

    67. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: WP48 actually has the Knicks winning 50 games.

      Also, since WP48 has Knicks winning 50 games, and defense accounts for only a small fraction of WP48, and since we will undoubtably be one of the best defensive teams in the league, that sounds pretty good.

    68. d-mar

      Man, if cloning were only a scientific reality, we could create an NBA roster of 5 Leonards and 5 Farieds. Wow, the number of championships they would achieve is too high for even THCJ to fathom.

    69. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      d-mar:
      Man, if cloning were only a scientific reality, we could create an NBA roster of 5 Leonards and 5 Farieds. Wow, the number of championships they would achieve is too high for even THCJ to fathom.

      That’s my argument exactly.

    70. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man: Also, since WP48 has Knicks winning 50 games, and defense accounts for only a small fraction of WP48, and since we will undoubtably be one of the best defensive teams in the league, that sounds pretty good.

      If defense only accounts for a small fraction of WP48, and the correlation between actual wins and Wins Produced is that good, then defense really doesn’t mean a damn thing. You really should read about WP before you criticize it.

    71. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man:
      Well, the Spurs had Leonard and Blair (the Faried of 2010) and were beaten in 4 straight playoff games by the Thunder. Of course, it’s that idiot Popovich’s fault for not playing Blair 40mpg.

      It has yet TBD if Amare will be a below avg PF. You only have to go back 2 years to him being an MVP candidate for the Suns, and as I said earlier, he isn’t even 30 yet. As to Melo, he looked pretty good in the Olympics when he has some decent players around him, and I didn’t hear anything from anyone about him being selfish, a ball-stopper, out of shape, etc. Oh I forgot, who you play with doesnt matter, so the roster overhaul won’t help Melo, right?

      Are you blaming DeJuan Blair for a team that won 20 consecutive games losing four straight to a great team? Is this really what it comes down to? Straw mans?

    72. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Are you blaming DeJuan Blair for a team that won 20 consecutive games losing four straight to a great team? Is this really what it comes down to? Straw mans?

      Dejuan Blair got benched completely by the best coach in the league (and possibly the NBA best coach of all time) for Boris Diaw who had a .46 WP48 for the season last year, and is not even a very good defender. Want to know what that means? It means Poppovich thought a WP scrub was a better player than your WP superstars. Considering he also picked up Stephen Jackson and played him serious minutes in the playoffs (WP48 of .015 last season), I’m pretty sure Poppovich would literally laugh at WP’s conclusions . Simply put, I would gladly bet my life and that of everyone I loved that Poppovich knows better than WP48 when it comes to basketball. But hey what do I know, I’m only an engineer that would be firedat if he ever used a linear metric to blindly make predictions….

    73. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Boris Diaw had a .153 WP48 last year. And Jackson had a .124. What? Where are you getting your numbers?

    74. massive

      Honestly, the whole “he doesn’t defend well enough to be relied upon” argument is a bit overblown. Steve Novak rode the bench for Jeff Van Gundy (455 total minutes in 2 seasons), Rick Carlisle (18 minutes in half a season), and Gregg Popovich (197 minutes in half a season). He’s not a good defender by any stretch of the imagination, but I can safely say that the guy who led the NBA is 3PT% deserves to play in NBA games. Just because a good coach won’t play DeJuan Blair doesn’t mean he can’t play. In Steve Novak’s case, 3 great coaches thought he wasn’t good enough. Besides, Tyson Chandler turned the 22nd ranked defensive team into the 5th best defensive team in a season. And look at how many impact defenders every team in the Top 5 had on the roster:

      1) Boston – Rondo (1,957 Total Minutes), Pietrus (921 TM) Bradley (1,368 TM), and Garnett (1,864 TM):
      2) Chicago – Brewer (1,635 TM), Deng (2,129 TM), Asik (971 TM) and Noah (1,945 TM)
      3) Philly – Iguodala (2,209 TM), Holiday (2,196 TM), and Brand (1,732 TM)
      4) Miami – Wade (1,625 TM), LeBron (2,326 TM), and Anthony (1,349 TM) (Chalmers? – 1,825 TM)
      5) New York – Chandler (2,061 TM), and Shumpert (1,705 TM)

      My point here is that we were the only team with 2 impact defenders to crack the top 5 in DRtg (we now have 4), and the top team only had 4, so you don’t need a roster full of defensive stalwarts to be a good defensive team. Besides, Blair’s WP/48 last year was .90. It wasn’t that he couldn’t play defense, he fell off of a cliff.

    75. Juany8

      massive:
      Honestly, the whole “he doesn’t defend well enough to be relied upon” argument is a bit overblown. Steve Novak rode the bench for Jeff Van Gundy (455 total minutes in 2 seasons), Rick Carlisle (18 minutes in half a season), and Gregg Popovich (197 minutes in half a season). He’s not a good defender by any stretch of the imagination, but I can safely say that the guy who led the NBA is 3PT% deserves to play in NBA games. Just because a good coach won’t play DeJuan Blair doesn’t mean he can’t play. In Steve Novak’s case, 3 great coaches thought he wasn’t good enough. Besides, Tyson Chandler turned the 22nd ranked defensive team into the 5th best defensive team in a season. And look at how many impact defenders every team in the Top 5 had on the roster:

      1) Boston – Rondo (1,957 Total Minutes), Pietrus (921 TM) Bradley (1,368 TM), and Garnett (1,864 TM):
      2) Chicago – Brewer (1,635 TM), Deng (2,129 TM), Asik (971 TM) and Noah (1,945 TM)
      3) Philly – Iguodala (2,209 TM), Holiday (2,196 TM), and Brand (1,732 TM)
      4) Miami – Wade (1,625 TM), LeBron (2,326 TM), and Anthony (1,349 TM) (Chalmers? – 1,825 TM)
      5) New York – Chandler (2,061 TM), and Shumpert (1,705 TM)

      If someone like Love, Blair, or Love can’t defend, it doesn’t mean they’re worthless players. It just means they’re not freaking superstars. That’s the case I’m trying to make, that those guys might be solid starters, and certainly deserve serious rotation minutes. According to WP48, however, Faried was the second best rotation player in the league on a per minute basis. Is there a single person here that believes Faried (other than THCJ) is honestly better than Tyson Chandler, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant… etc.?

    76. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Your numbers are more valid than mine because you say so. Right on, chief of mathematicals.

      lol it’s the NBA geek site! they literally say right there what they produced last season, and the actual WOW website doesn’t even bother keeping track of it’s own numbers anymore. You’re literally disputing facts now lol, this isn’t even an opinion. Unless you think 2/3 of Diaw’s minute’s last year are somehow not applicable when talking about Diaw’s performance last year

    77. massive

      Juany8:
      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/24-stephen-jackson

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/21-boris-diaw

      Are you really taking half of a shortened season to draw your conclusions? If you don’t even take statistics seriously, why should anyone else?

      What matters is that they played great basketball for the Spurs. Why should what they did on another team matter when we’re talking about their season with the Spurs? They made the most of the minutes they had under Popovich, so he kept playing them instead of Blair (who had a bad year in terms of WP/48).

    78. massive

      Juany8: If someone like Love, Blair, or Love can’t defend, it doesn’t mean they’re worthless players. It just means they’re not freaking superstars. That’s the case I’m trying to make, that those guys might be solid starters, and certainly deserve serious rotation minutes. According to WP48, however, Faried was the second best rotation player in the league on a per minute basis. Is there a single person here that believes Faried (other than THCJ) is honestly better than Tyson Chandler, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant… etc.?

      To me, WP/48 says that Kenneth Faried was really good at what he was asked to do last year. The same thing for Kawhi Leonard, and every other player WP/48 likes (well, maybe not Fields). I define a superstar as a player that every metric (eye test, PER, WP/48, and WS/48) agrees is a superstar. Otherwise, he’s not a superstar. IMO, the only superstars in the NBA, are Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Dwight Howard.

    79. massive

      Juany8:
      A cleaner look at what the official site for tracking WP says about Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson last year.

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/compare?utf8=%E2%9C%93&player_ids%5B%5D=21&player_ids%5B%5D=24

      Unless you just think the NBA geek site has the wrong numbers (which wouldn’t exactly be my fault), there is no way to say Diaw or Jackson have been anything but terrible for a couple of years, as far as WP goes at least

      Until they played for the Spurs lol.

    80. Juany8

      massive: What matters is that they played great basketball for the Spurs. Why should what they did on another team matter when we’re talking about their season with the Spurs? They made the most of the minutes they had under Popovich, so he kept playing them instead of Blair (who had a bad year in terms of WP/48).

      Because one of the core ideas of statistics is “beware small sample sizes”. THCJ has also constantly parroted the idea that players don’t change when they switch teams, and in this case both went from being below average WP players for years, on several different team, to serious rotation players on a contender. The point is, why would Poppovich acquire and start playing terrible players? Stephen Jackson was a net negative (by WP) when he was with the Bucks, so why was Poppovich comfortable playing him right away? WP gave less than zero indication that Jackson and Diaw would be good players, while giving plenty of indication that Blair was amazing (he was a better prospect than Blake Griffin by their college metric).

      So how do you justify that the best coach in the league saw enough in both players to go out and acquire them, AND that they turned out well even though the conclusion you get from WP is that they would seriously hurt the team? You can’t judge an analytical process by the results, which means that WP would have judged the Diaw and Jackson acquisitions as fucking terrible, which they obviously were not. So why the major discrepancy between what a brilliant basketball mind thinks vs. what a linear metric based on a box score says?

    81. massive

      That much I can agree with, since WP/48 didn’t like those two players at all. But, as I said earlier, WP/48 is only good for measuring how good a player was in their role on the court. Faried would be terrible, too, if he was relied on heavily by the Nuggets (like Jackson and Diaw were on their lottery teams). I think it’s a great stat when comparing players who play similar roles, but it clearly has problems in predicting how a player will do when changing roles (as Jackson and Diaw did once they became Spurs).

    82. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      We’re also talking about Popovich, who is one of few coaches shown by Berri and friends to have any kind of positive impact on player production.

    83. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      We’re also talking about Popovich, who is one of few coaches shown by Berri and friends to have any kind of positive impact on player production.

      Then why isn’t it accounted for at all? Shouldn’t there be some kind of “coaching coefficient” that gives some credit to the coach? Like Poppovich is worth 5 wins (or say a 10% increase in wins) and that Vinny Del Negro kills your team? Seriously, you know you stat has flaws but you just ignore them when discussing it’s conclusions? And you want to pretend that this somehow comparable to real scientific research?

      You keep bringing up the straw men that I only believe in numbers at my convenience, but the truth is I see no reason to base my decisions on a stat that has a lot of serious flaws, some of which it’s creators are at least vaguely aware of. If WP suddenly started accounting for defense, coaching, and player role, I’d be a lot more likely to take it seriously. As it is, it just tells me that limited offensive players who can’t make a jump shot or defend but rebound extremely well and only take uncontested layups are considered valuable by WP. Which is how Rodman comes out as a better player than Michael Jordan lol

    84. Z-man

      massive: That much I can agree with, since WP/48 didn’t like those two players at all. But, as I said earlier, WP/48 is only good for measuring how good a player was in their role on the court. Faried would be terrible, too, if he was relied on heavily by the Nuggets (like Jackson and Diaw were on their lottery teams). I think it’s a great stat when comparing players who play similar roles, but it clearly has problems in predicting how a player will do when changing roles (as Jackson and Diaw did once they became Spurs).

      Well put, massive. Of course, THCJ will use the ol’ “outlier” defense that he turns to any time the gears in the WP48 machine start grinding. Jowles has jumped down the throat of any poor soul who suggested that a WoWaphobic player (Melo, Amare, Felton, etc.) might improve due to a change in scenery, role, teammates, coaches, or anyone who would cherry pick a limited sample of games.

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