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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Monday, Sep 24 2012)

  • [New York Times] Marv Kessler, Basketball Coach and Instructor, Dies at 80 (Mon, 24 Sep 2012 06:23:01 GMT)
    Kessler, a product of Brooklyn’s schoolyards, spent more than half a century in basketball as a player, coach, scout and, most prominently, a camp instructor who molded young athletes.

  • [New York Post] Knicks give shot to Mychel Thompson (Mon, 24 Sep 2012 04:57:12 -0500)
    Basketball scouts mystify Mychal Thompson, the NBA’s first overall pick in 1978 with the Blazers who won two titles with the Lakers.
    One of his sons, shooting guard Klay Thompson, became a lottery pick by the Warriors in the 2011 NBA Draft. Klay, and his drop-dead 3-pointer, became one…

  • [New York Post] Rash’ decision by the Knicks (Mon, 24 Sep 2012 02:20:59 -0500)
    The Knicks are no longer considering Tracy McGrady but now are taking a look at retired Rasheed Wallace.
    The Post confirmed the 6-foot-11 Wallace worked out with Knicks players at their Greenburgh, N.Y., facility Saturday during voluntary workouts.
    Wallace, 38, retired after the 2009-10 season with the Celtics. The…

  • 37 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Monday, Sep 24 2012)

    1. Gideon Zaga

      Fucking experts!! Bunch of patsys and some of them don’t and never play a lick of the game. #17. Why didn’t they rank him at #50, maybe then he would care what they think.

    2. Juany8

      Are people still arguing that Melo doesn’t play defense? He’s not on Lebron’s level lol, or even Iguodala’s, but to say he’s a below average defender after what he showed last year is kind of childish. There’s plenty of things to criticize about his game without making things up. Considering he also had his best passing season last year, the only criticism Melo should come under is for his offensive efficiency. Every other part of his game is above-average to elite for a small forward, if he was as efficient as Durant he’d be the clearly better player at this point. Even if he’s not, Melo is still a nice player, and while I’d argue that he deserves to be a tad higher, #17 in the NBA isn’t an unreasonable rank for him (even if Deron Williams is still considered better after shitting his pants without Jerry Sloan, even WP ranks Melo as better than Deron)

    3. thenamestsam

      Juany8:
      Are people still arguing that Melo doesn’t play defense? He’s not on Lebron’s level lol, or even Iguodala’s, but to say he’s a below average defender after what he showed last year is kind of childish. There’s plenty of things to criticize about his game without making things up.

      I don’t think it’s making things up. Melo definitely showed that he CAN be an above-average defender last year, but that’s not the same thing as being an above-average defender. He also showed that he CAN be a horrible defender last year, but that similarly doesn’t make him a horrible defender or even a bad one.

      Melo has the tools to be a very good defender, perhaps even a great one against certain types of opponents. But by my evaluation last year he played half a season of good defense (sometimes even excellent defense) and half a season of mediocre defense (sometimes awful). I don’t think it’s right to say “Well, since he showed he can play good defense, he’s now a good defender”, any more than it would be to go the other way and conclude that the first half makes him a bad defender. If Melo defends the way he did under Woodson for an entire year I think he’ll get the recognition he deserves for it, not least of all because the Knicks will be a very tough team to beat.

    4. Juany8

      thenamestsam: I don’t think it’s making things up. Melo definitely showed that he CAN be an above-average defender last year, but that’s not the same thing as being an above-average defender. He also showed that he CAN be a horrible defender last year, but that similarly doesn’t make him a horrible defender or even a bad one.

      Melo has the tools to be a very good defender, perhaps even a great one against certain types of opponents. But by my evaluation last year he played half a season of good defense (sometimes even excellent defense) and half a season of mediocre defense (sometimes awful). I don’t think it’s right to say “Well, since he showed he can play good defense, he’s now a good defender”, any more than it would be to go the other way and conclude that the first half makes him a bad defender. If Melo defends the way he did under Woodson for an entire year I think he’ll get the recognition he deserves for it, not least of all because the Knicks will be a very tough team to beat.

      I suppose this is fair, although I never felt that Melo played straight up bad D last year. At the very least he never got attacked on D the same way Lin, Fields, or Amar’e would get picked on, so I’d say he was at least an average defender throughout the year. Either way, dismissively calling him a poor defender at this point seems almost ignorant, he’s clearly shown signs of improvement from his time in Denver

    5. er

      i like that they dropped dude……he has to earn his keep

      On the defense thing, no one else gets criticized the way he does. Blake and Love are far worse defensively. Durant is marginally worse, and dwill is a terrible defender at pg, but like they say you have to put up or shut up

      funny though they have at least 2 guys who didnt get in the playoffs ahead of him

    6. er

      I do really hate when people lump amare and melo together defensively it is just lazy, amare is faaaaar worse on D

      Juany8: I suppose this is fair, although I never felt that Melo played straight up bad D last year. At the very least he never got attacked on D the same way Lin, Fields, or Amar’e would get picked on, so I’d say he was at least an average defender throughout the year. Either way, dismissively calling him a poor defender at this point seems almost ignorant, he’s clearly shown signs of improvement from his time in Denver

    7. er

      one last thing about the nba rank thing.

      we know parker is at 16

      so that leaves in no particular order kd, kobe, wade, lbj, rose, westbrook, rondo, howard , gasol, dwill, dirk, blake, love, paul, and i believe bynum

      these are pretty fair, although dwill had a worse season than melo he is ahead lol

    8. thenamestsam

      Juany8: I suppose this is fair, although I never felt that Melo played straight up bad D last year. At the very least he never got attacked on D the same way Lin, Fields, or Amar’e would get picked on, so I’d say he was at least an average defender throughout the year. Either way, dismissively calling him a poor defender at this point seems almost ignorant, he’s clearly shown signs of improvement from his time in Denver

      Agreed on all points, basically. I don’t think Melo is a bad defender at this point, and I think his reputation as such is mostly just self-perpetuating at this point. However, most of this discussion is taking place on twitter, so having a nuanced argument can be a bit tricky. I think of the guys ranked in the same tier as him, Melo has perhaps the best opportunity to get himself into the very top of the list. If he steps up for the entire year on D and plays a bit smarter on O this will be a very strong team and he can get himself in the debate for the top 5 next year.

    9. Juany8

      er:
      one last thing about the nba rank thing.

      we know parker is at 16

      so that leaves in no particular order kd, kobe, wade, lbj, rose, westbrook, rondo, howard , gasol, dwill, dirk, blake, love, paul, and i believe bynum

      these are pretty fair, although dwill had a worse season than melo he is ahead lol

      You could certainly argue Melo over Pau, Westbrook, and Parker too I feel, although I do think his rank is pretty fair. It just bothers me that supposedly intelligent and impartial analysts seem to make no effort to update their perspective on a player. Dwill has been significantly worse on the Nets than in Utah, yet people still talk about him on the same level as Chris Paul lol. Considering what happened to Boozer, it’s fair to say Jerry Sloan was having some impact on their stats in Utah. Melo, on the other hand, has been clearly better than he was in Denver, and seems committed to improving, yet people consider him the selfish and unmotivated one.

    10. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      Did folks already discuss the J.R. article? Interesting perspective on the guy and funny how every year (including this one) he’s labeled an X-Factor who can have a breakout season….

      http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8396297/view/full/is-new-york-knicks-shooting-guard-jr-smith-misguided-just-misunderstood

      yes, we started discussion few days ago. I thought was a pretty fair piece, given today’s journalism standards. using Hochmann as a primary source was a seriously flawed choice though.

    11. ruruland

      er:
      i like that they dropped dude……he has to earn his keep

      On the defense thing, no one else gets criticized the way he does. Blakeand Love arefar worse defensively. Durant is marginally worse, and dwill is a terrible defender at pg, but like they say you have to put up or shut up

      funny though they have at least 2 guys who didnt get in the playoffs ahead of him

      This is a very good thing though.Melo has always internalized this stuff and used it for good, mostly.

      The whole “I don’t pay attention to the media” line is often a smokescreen, thought I think that’s changed some the last yer.

      Like it or not, he’s going to have the best year of his career next season, health willing.

    12. ruruland

      Juany8:he’s clearly shown signs of improvement from his time in Denver

      He was fantastic in ’08 with the culture change/Billups trade. Really good defensively.

      He played like an elite defender to start the 2009 season, where he was the MVP frontrunner before the elbow and leg injuries (which required surgery last off-season) started to wear him down.

      He was improving under Bzdelik and Karl, was more than solid in 2005, but regressed when offensive burden became among league tops, and then REALLY regressed in ’07 when the team went to zone with Iverson and Camby.

      it got very bad for awhile and it took Olympics for him to change habits.

      2010 his mind was not on the task of playing to his potential, and I think the lack of defensive culture with MDA he developed his bad habits again, until the coaching switch and re-emphasis on the end under Woodson.

      He’s done it for a full year before. This team should allow Melo easier oppurtunities and less wrangling on offense, which should preserve his defensive energy.

    13. johnlocke

      Ah ok…thanks ruru.

      ruruland: yes, we started discussion few days ago. I thought was a pretty fair piece, given today’s journalism standards. using Hochmann as a primary source was a seriously flawed choice though.

    14. d-mar

      This will be the defining season of Melo’s career, the year that he has to prove he is an elite player and put forth maximum effort at both ends of the floor. No more excuses (new team mid-season, new coach,, injuries, etc.) and by the end of this season either the Melo haters or the Melo defenders will be in full “I told you so” mode. We should all fervently hope the defenders are right, otherwise it’s gonna be a long season with an early playoff exit.

    15. ruruland

      d-mar:
      This will be the defining season of Melo’s career, the year that he has to prove he is an elite player and put forth maximum effort at both ends of the floor. No more excuses (new team mid-season, new coach,, injuries, etc.)and by the end of this season either the Melo haters or the Melo defenders will be in full “I told you so” mode. We should all fervently hope the defenders are right, otherwise it’s gonna be a long season with an early playoff exit.

      I agree and he knows that these next two years will largely define his career, same with Amar’e. Their respective off-seasons reflect their urgency.

    16. Juany8

      ruruland: I agree and he knows that these next two years will largely define his career, same with Amar’e. Their respective off-seasons reflect their urgency.

      It is a pretty good sign that both guys are at least becoming aware of their faults. This team as a whole seems to understand what’s at stake, and guys like Chandler and Kidd will have huge respect in the locker room. This team certainly has the talent to make the ECF, although unlike most people I think Amar’e is more of the key to this season than Melo. He simply needs to focus on the fundamentals of the game, making smart passes, consistently boxing out, hustling on D so as to at least become tolerable on that end. If opponents can simply keep picking on Stoudemire on pick and rolls, there really isn’t much anyone on this team can do. Even the mighty Chicago defense got exposed 2 years ago because Boozer was a total liability.

    17. ruruland

      I don’t expect Amar’e to become a consistently great defender, but we saw him do all of the things many suspected he was incapable of under Woodson.

      His pick and roll defense and overall weakside and positional awareness were significantly better after MDA quit on the team.

      In truth, neither Melo nor Amar’e have played on a team that stressed defense the way Woodson does. Amar’e’s never really played for a coached that stressed defense, period. So, especially for Amar’e, I think it’s wise to reserve judgement on what he’s capable of doing until sometime in January or Feb.

      Karl expects energy but his tactics and overall strategy is based on traps and funneling players into certain parts of the court. He’s always utilized gimmicks that ultimately get exploited against smart offenses.

      Woodson does not coach that kind of defense.

      If Amar’e is incapable of becoming a plus defender, there isn’t much wrong with a Felton/Kidd, Smith/Shumpert, Brewer, Melo, Chandler/Camby lineup.

      That fact that Melo is more than passable as a post defender, given the Knicks defensive strength at the wings, means that they won’t have to rely on Amar’e if they’re being taken advantage of by certain teams.

      In fact, 20-30 minutes of Melo at the 4 and Brewer and Shumpert guarding Lebron and Wade, with a healthy Chandler protecting the rim, is a big reason why I think the Knicks will extend Miami in the semis or ECF.

      Shoot, the Knicks half-court defense against Miamai without both Brewer and Shumpert, with a sick Tyson, was pretty damn good.

      Brewer and Shumpert are problems for Wade and Lebron, as great as they are. More importantly, it allows Melo to save some of his defense against a more worn opponent.

      Felton is going to get some penetration on Chalmers, certainly more than Bibby or Davis did. And if Shumpert and Brewer have a nice shooting series, the Knicks are capable of dethroning the champs.

    18. ruruland

      ESPN on Kidd, fwiw: Kidd is especially good at understanding every player’s tendencies. “He’s such a cerebral player,” said the scout, who likened a unique ability he has to Steve Nash and Chris Paul, where he’s able to predict the sweet spot a teammate wants the ball and then deliver a pass right to their designated hands set-up. The scout shared a story that when Kidd first got to the Nets in 2001, he went up to every guy on the team and asked them where they prefer to shoot on the court, so he could allow them to catch the ball and go right up with it in a catch-and-shoot situation. In the NBA, every second counts, and Kidd won’t waste any of them.”

      A lot of those aren’t assists, even though he was top 5 in assists per 36 four of the last five season. Just brilliant quarterback.

    19. jon abbey

      Heh, if only this were actually true, I’d have so much more hope for this team this year:

      “Carmelo Anthony ?@TeamMelo7

      Unbelievable. We don’t need critics to tell us where Melo stands. At the end of the day we all know Melo #TOP5. Come on now! “

    20. massive

      Honestly, I don’t care if Melo and Amar’e play the exact same defense they played last year. If we remain the same on defense, we’re still a top 5 team in the NBA. We’re likely to move up with the additions of Brewer and Camby, so that’s not the problem. What we need is to become an elite offense this year. Get me a top 5 offense to go with this top 5 defense, and we’ll win 55+ games.

      As strange as this may sound, my only concerns with Melo and Amar’e come on offense. The defense, with Tyson Chandler, takes care of itself.

    21. BigBlueAL

      Stan Van Gundy not that high on the Knicks apparently:

      “Their guard situation is very uncertain,” Van Gundy told Zagoria. [Iman] Shumpert when he comes back will help them a great deal. I thought he was great defensively. But who’s playing the point?” Raymond Felton? “He had his best year there, but he had his best year with Mike [D’Antoni],” VG said. “It will be interesting to me if their guards are good enough to get them to where they want to go and I certainly don’t think they’re in Miami’s realm. I’m not even sure they’re in Boston’s realm or Chicago’s when Rose comes back. Them and New Jersey are both lower-tier playoff teams.’’ VG also doubted where Amar’e Stoudemire’s offense fits in as a power forward since he’s done his best work at center.

    22. massive

      Putting Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams ahead of Carmelo Anthony is dumb, though. D-Will was atrocious this year, and Westbrook took a step back this year. Actually, I hate watching Russell Westbrook play basketball. His decision making skills are really sub-par for an NBA point guard. There is no reason for him to have a higher usage than Kevin Durant, the NBA’s 3x scoring champion. Westbrook’s usage being a whole 11.1 percentage points higher than James Harden is also a shame, but I’m just a blogger, right? What they’re doing in OKC got them to the NBA Finals, so it obviously works.

    23. Brian Cronin

      Westbrook is interesting because he gets so much (too much) praise from the mainstream media that he gets backlash from sites like this one, which obscures just how good he really is. And he is an excellent player. Also, because he gets so much hype he also gets too much criticism. The coverage of him is bizarre. I don’t know if there is another player this overrated and underrated at the same time.

    24. er

      I can make an arguement for westbrook, rose, and dwill and pau shouldn’t be above melo but it is what it is, all opinion

      We will see this year which I think is gonna be one of the best years in ages

    25. Brian Cronin

      Hollinger had a great line about Anthony Randolph:

      Randolph shot 32.1 percent outside the basket area and 64.5 percent inside it. Where do you suppose he took more shots?

      And yet in New York, D’Antoni played him on the perimeter. I’m still pissed. Just ruined any value the guy might have possibly had.

    26. max fisher-cohen

      I agree that Westbrook and Williams are probably in the same class if not lower than Anthony. Williams IMO has the same thing as Anthony propping up his reputation. Anthony was drafted with James and Wade and Williams was drafted right after Paul. They have always been bundled into the same group with their draftmates, which raises their profiles.

      Westbrook’s halo effect comes from the fact that his team is amazing, and he scores a lot of points.

      If the criteria is I get the player for 1 year, and I can then build a team around him, that he won’t struggle due to inexperience in the playoffs, and I’m in championship or die mode, my top 25 would go something like this:

      1. James
      2. Paul
      3. Durant
      4. Howard
      5. Love
      6. Pau Gasol
      7. Rose (assuming he returns to pre-injury level)
      8. Rondo
      9. Harden
      10. Irving (because he was freakin’ 19 years old last year and still was well above average. Dwight Howard is the only teenager to have ever had that good a rookie year. I predict a WS/48 > .18 this season)
      11. Marc Gasol
      12. Pierce
      13. Garnett
      14. Noah
      15. Wade (at 31, given his reckless style of play and inability to shoot, he’s bound to lose a step or have lots of injury problems)
      16. Parker
      17. Anthony
      18. Greg Monroe (for similar reasons to Irving. This guy was 21 last year and was still one of the top big men in the league. He’ll be even better next year.)
      19. Tyson Chandler
      20. Deron Williams (despite 1 1/2 mediocre seasons, he arguably the most important position in today’s NBA and has shown he can be the top 3-4 in the league at that position)
      21. Ibaka
      22. Aldridge
      23. Ginobili
      24. Bosh
      25. Duncan

      Westbrook comes somewhere in the next 5, but he’s just too unpredictable. While his defense and strength on the break can carry a team, his scoring mentality can also put it in a hole. I feel like if you have Westbrook on your team, you live and die by his success.

    27. er

      i dont wanna sound like a dick but your list isnt good by your own standards.

      Love in your top 5 is unfathomable, the guy puts up great stats but cant guard a lick and hasnt even SNIFFED the playoffs yet.

      its been tried with pau in his prime and was a miserable failure

      im not even gonna address harden after the choke job in the finals

      marc gasol disapeers for chunks at a time

    28. Juany8

      er:
      i dont wanna sound like a dick but your list isnt good by your own standards.

      Love in your top 5 is unfathomable, the guy puts up great stats but cant guard a lick and hasnt even SNIFFED the playoffs yet.

      its been tried with pau in his prime and was a miserable failure

      im not even gonna address harden after the choke job in the finals

      marc gasol disapeers for chunks at a time

      Not to mention Irving in the top 10 after his rookie season. If you had said you were ranking players for the next 3 years, your list makes a lot of sense, but wanting Harden over Ginobli or the defensively limited Greg Monroe over Tyson Chandler? Plus how in the world is Noah so high when he’s effectively a poor man’s version of Tyson Chandler? He’s worse defensively (though not by much) and clearly worse offensively (neither can consistently make a basket outside the paint, Chandler is just MUCH better at it)

    29. yellowboy90

      Is Noah really worse than Chandler offensively or Defensively? I guess Chandler can handle big men a little better but Noah can trap smaller positions better and actually guard any position fairly well.

      How can Chandler be better at something he never does? He never takes a shot outside the paint. At least Noah has a little low post movement and a ugly shot that he actually takes.

    30. Juany8

      yellowboy90:
      Is Noah really worse than Chandler offensively or Defensively? I guess Chandler can handle big men a little better but Noah can trap smaller positions better and actually guard any position fairly well.

      How can Chandler be better at something he never does? He never takes a shot outside the paint. At least Noah has a little low post movement and a ugly shot that he actually takes.

      Chandler isn’t better outside the paint, but Noah gets left open to shoot so it’s not exactly a shot the offense wants him to take. He’s also significantly worse as a pick and roll partner, and at offensive putbacks, which is the only real way for them to get shots. As far as trapping goes, Chandler was just the second best player on a championship team 2 years ago because he was able to stifle the pick and roll attacks of Westbrook and Lebron (Wade still went off lol) Noah might be a slight bit better as a pick and roll defender, but Chandler is worlds better as a shot blocker and post defender, Noah is going to get killed by Bynum if the Sixers meet the Bulls.

    31. max fisher-cohen

      er:
      i dont wanna sound like a dick but your list isnt good by your own standards.

      Love in your top 5 is unfathomable, the guy puts up great stats but cant guard a lick and hasnt even SNIFFED the playoffs yet.

      its been tried with pau in his prime and was a miserable failure

      im not even gonna address harden after the choke job in the finals

      marc gasol disapeers for chunks at a time

      What I meant about playoff experience/potential playoff choking was that I WASN’T counting that. I guess I could have said my goal was best regular season record, but I didn’t want to take points off for older players who conserve energy in the regular season.

      In regard to Irving, teenagers who are headed towards being stars generally break out big time their second seasons.

      LBJ nearly tripled his WS/48 from his first to second season.
      Kevin Durant MORE than tripled his.
      Kobe doubled his.
      McGrady nearly doubled his.

      big men like KG and Howard were a little slower to progress, but Irving’s game is already butter. Now that he has a season under his belt, I’m thinking he will rock it big time.

      W/r/t Ginobili, he’s injury prone, aging, and can only play limited minutes. If was guaranteed no injuries, I’d take him over Harden, but otherwise the risk is too great.

    32. max fisher-cohen

      Evans had injury problems though all of his second year. I’m not saying there aren’t counterexamples or that Irving is guaranteed to to dominate this year. I just feel like it would be a good gamble.

    33. arthurprescott2

      Synergy #s on Melo’s defense – showed marked improvement – but still not great.

      http://www.hardwoodparoxysm.com/2012/09/25/synergy-sessions-debut-edition/

      “2009-10 Carmelo saw him ranked a lowly 398th overall on defense, giving up 1.03 PPP in Iso situations, 0.98 in Post-Up, and 1.01 on Spot-ups, his three most common defensive stances. Remember, there’s only about 400-450 active NBA players at a given time, so that’s really bad. 2010-11 saw a moderate improvement to 331st overall, but he was still giving up nearly 1.00 PPP in most defensive situations. As noted by both Knicks fans and Clark, Melo improved — for him — fairly dramatically on defense last season for New York, giving up 0.84 PPP overall, good for a 240 ranking. His Post-up defense was an incredible 0.52 PPP, good for 2nd in the NBA, although he is quite a bit bigger than much of his competition at the 3-spot. He showed little interest for chasing his man, however, posting a dismal 1.13 PPP on D in Spot-up situations, ranked 344th. It’s pretty clear Melo still only plays D when it suits him, and I’d bet without looking that he leaks out in transition often on said Spot-ups.”

    34. ruruland

      too bad Synergy wasn’t around in ’08.

      “His Post-up defense was an incredible 0.52 PPP, good for 2nd in the NBA, although he is quite a bit bigger than much of his competition at the 3-spot.”

      Right, so that doesn’t really count? Much of the post defense he played was at the 4 against “true” power forwards.
      Why should I trust this guy when he says this:

      “and I’d bet without looking that he leaks out in transition often on said Spot-ups.”

      I’ve already gone through all of his spot-ups, this is not true.

      More snooze analysis, number regurgitating.

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