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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Apr 21 2012)

  • [New York Times] Cavaliers 98, Knicks 90: Knicks Fall to Cavaliers in Stoudemire’s Return (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 05:33:03 GMT)
    Lowly Cleveland (21-41) looked like a playoff team in beating the Knicks, whose hopes of moving into the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference took a huge hit.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Joe Johnson Scores 30 Points as Hawks Beat Celtics (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 05:06:19 GMT)
    Atlanta (38-25) is in line to be the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, and Boston (37-27) is on track to be No. 5.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Union Leaders Want Derek Fisher to Resign (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 06:23:05 GMT)
    Derek Fisher has rejected a call from the NBA players’ association’s executive committee to resign as president, instead urging players to seek a review of the union’s finances.

  • [New York Times] Amar’e Stoudemire Returns to the Knicks (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 01:46:05 GMT)
    The Knicks said forward Amar’e Stoudemire, who has been out with a bulging disk in his back, was healthy enough to start Friday night against the Cavaliers.

  • [New York Times] Sunday Routine | Walt Frazier: Walt Frazier Keeps His Body and Wardrobe in Shape on Sundays (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 07:20:05 GMT)
    Walt Frazier, the sports analyst and sharp dresser, has a regimen of exercise and health food on Sundays to maintain the image his fans expect.

  • [New York Times] Howard Has Successful Back Surgery: Report (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 07:11:09 GMT)
    Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard had successful back surgery in Los Angeles on Friday and should make a full recovery, one of his surgeons told an Orlando newspaper.

  • [New York Times] Mavs Tune Up for Playoffs; Spurs Crush Lakers (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 06:17:01 GMT)
    Defending NBA champions Dallas prepared for another playoff run with a 104-94 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday while red-hot San Antonio crushed the Los Angeles Lakers despite Kobe Bryant’s return to the court.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Beats Kings 103-92 (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 04:49:59 GMT)
    Kevin Durant had 29 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-92 victory over the struggling Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Beats Lakers 121-97 (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 04:26:31 GMT)
    Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all scored at least 20 points to help the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers 121-97 on Friday night and spoil Kobe Bryant’s return.

  • [New York Times] NBA Union Leadership Wants Fisher Out as President (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 04:05:19 GMT)
    Derek Fisher has rejected a call from the NBA players’ association’s executive committee to resign as president, instead urging players to seek a review of the union’s finances.

  • [New York Times] Mavericks Beat Golden State 104-94 in Home Finale (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 03:19:59 GMT)
    Vince Carter had 19 points, including eight straight for Dallas early in the fourth quarter, and the playoff-bound Mavericks finally pulled away from the young Golden State Warriors for a 104-94 victory Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Beat Short-Handed Celtics 97-92 (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 02:08:10 GMT)
    Joe Johnson scored 30 points, and the Atlanta Hawks edged the short-handed Boston Celtics 97-92 on Friday night to take a step toward landing homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Cavaliers Stun Playoff-Bound Knicks (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 05:40:57 GMT)
    Amare Stoudemire came back. The Knicks went missing.

  • [New York Times] Conley Scores 20 as Grizzlies Beat Bobcats 85-80 (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 01:56:05 GMT)
    Mike Conley had 18 points and seven assists as the Memphis Grizzlies beat Charlotte 85-80 on Friday night to extend the Bobcats’ franchise-worst losing streak to 19 games.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] J.R. Smith 'likely' to decline option (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 06:00:29 EDT)
    J.R. Smith says he hasn’t made a decision yet on his player option for next season.
    “It’s still too early,” Smith said last week. “I’m still weighing my options.”
    But, according to three league sources with knowledge of Smith’s contract situation, the reserve shooting guard will more than likely decline his player option and test free-agency this summer.
    That doesn’t necessarily preclude Smith from a return to the Knicks. But bringing the 26-year-old New Jersey native back as a free-agent would be financially challenging for New York.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Playoff picture: 6th slipping away (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 06:00:01 EDT)
    The Knicks loss to the Cavs on Friday cut Orlando’s magic number to clinch the sixth seed to one.
    New York is 3 1/2 games behind Orlando. The Magic have four games left.
    One Magic win or one more Knicks loss will leave New York shut out of the sixth seed.
    Orlando plays at Utah on Saturday. If the Magic beat the Jazz, the Knicks will be left battling the Sixers for the seventh seed.
    The Magic also have a home game against Charlotte on Wednesday so, unless Kemba Walker’s club can shock Orlando, the Knicks can forget about the sixth seed.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Melo limited to 1 FG attempt in 2nd half (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 01:41:38 EDT)
    Carmelo Anthony scored 11 of his 12 points in the first half and only managed one attempt in the second half, as the Cavaliers defeated New York 98-90.
    For nearly a month, Anthony had thrived as the team’s go-to scoring option as he never had to consider deferring to the team’s other star, Amare Stoudemire, who was out with a bulging disk in his back.

    In the 13 games Stoudemire was out, Anthony averaged 30.6 ppg. On Friday, Anthony managed just 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting, which tied his lowest point total in a month.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Amare, Knicks search for offensive rhythm (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 00:37:21 EDT)
    The fact that Amare Stoudemire played 27 minutes of injury-free basketball was about the only thing that pleased Knicks coach Mike Woodson on Friday.
    “It was good having Amare back,” Woodson said after the Knicks lost 98-90 in Cleveland. “I thought he played decent at spurts, but again, as a unit, we just didn’t compete. And that’s unacceptable.”
    In his first game since March 24, Stoudemire was effective at the offensive end, drawing fouls and finishing uncontested layups, but he struggled to keep Cleveland’s active frontcourt off the boards.

  • [New York Post] Knicks, Amar’e take step back in loss to Cleveland (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 05:09:34 -0500)
    CLEVELAND â?? Playing blocks from the famed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Amar’e Stoudemire stopped the good music wafting over the Knicks. The only thing that looked fresh about Stoudemire Friday night was his cornrows.
    Stoudemire, after missing 13 straight games with a bulging disk, was blanketed in rust…

  • [New York Post] Knicks’ Amar’e: Disk woe a year-old (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 04:36:48 -0500)
    CLEVELAND â?? Amar’e Stoudemire, in his most extensive interview in weeks at Friday morning’s shootaround at Quicken Loans Arena, confirmed his bulging disk has been around since he suffered a back injury in the Knicks’ playoff series against the Celtics last April.
    Stoudemire said the bulging disk was discovered…

  • [New York Post] Knicks sign Gadzuric as big insurance policy (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 04:36:47 -0500)
    CLEVELAND â?? Call it big-man insurance for the playoffs.
    With the Knicks worried 6-foot-11 reserve Jared Jeffries won’t make it through to the playoffs because of his chronic right knee injury, the team signed 6-foot-11 journeyman center Dan Gadzuric Friday and cut swingman Billy Walker.
    Gadzuric, 34, an athletic big…

  • [New York Daily News] Cav-not: Knicks fall 98-90 in Amar’e’s return (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 06:39:40 GMT)
    Returning to the team for the first time since he suffered a back injury on March 24, Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t hit an offensive rhythm until it was too late in a 98-90 loss.

  • [New York Daily News] Woody puts press on Amar’e to play better defense (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 04:51:37 GMT)
    Mike Woodson is looking for some defense from Amar’e Stoudemire, but that’s not what the Knicks’ coach got Friday in a no-effort loss by his entire team to the Cavs.Stoudemire’s defense has been subpar for much of the season, but Woodson is demanding more from his big man.

  • [New York Newsday] Woodson: I won't allow players to let up (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 00:22:53 EDT)
    Mike Woodson won't rest players just because the Knicks have clinched a playoff berth. Even with their loss Friday night, they still have a small chance to earn the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, so his approach won't change.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks are flat in loss to Cavaliers (Sat, 21 Apr 2012 00:09:18 EDT)
    One night after clinching a postseason berth by not even playing, the Knicks didn't play anywhere near the way they had been and were beaten, 98-90, by the lottery-bound Cavaliers Friday night.

  • 89 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Apr 21 2012)

    1. ess-dog

      Well the Bully Walker era is over. Unceremoniously cut in order to nab Gadzuric. Can’t argue with that.

    2. Mulligan

      Owen, did get to reply to you last night (this is now like 3 threads ago!) because of the game.

      Owen:
      Mulligan – Look at Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant’s career statistics.

      Do they really look like an argument that your numbers are driven by your teammates?

      Kobe has been in a ts% range of 54.4 to 56.3% for 13 of the last 15 years. In his first 8 years he was in a band within 54.4 and 55.2. Then Shaq left. And his numbers actually improved, despite no longer playing next to the best center of recent times.

      Take any established player and the pattern is the same. Contexts change, but by and large, adjusting for age, injuries, and pace, their numbers are remarkably consistent.

      I don’t really know about ants and wolves, but that is the anti-ecosystem argument….

      I don’t think this really challenges what I’m saying. An ecosystem thrives by having a variety of life forms that don’t change or evolve (a wolf doesn’t become a vegetarian if you move it to a desert) but simply complement each other.
      Rather than thinking about players impacting other players, I mean it more that players occupy multiple roles (or maybe a better word is attributes?) on a team (wing-defender, ball handler, corner-3 shooter, etc) and that team success is based on various roles complementing each other. I think when various teammates do complement each other well, you can see a positive impact on everyone’s performance. When they don’t complement each other (starbury/francis backcourt, possibly STAT and Melo), you see the opposite.

      My point is that you seem to be overvaluing certain attributes (namely efficiency) and devaluing others, some of which are harder to quantify (i.e what is the value of taking a double-teamed shot, what is the value of taking mid-range shots even though they’re less efficient), while ignoring that these attributes only have…

    3. Bruno Almeida

      Mulligan:

      My point is that you seem to be overvaluing certain attributes (namely efficiency) and devaluing others, some of which are harder to quantify (i.e what is the value of taking a double-teamed shot, what is the value of taking mid-range shots even though they’re less efficient), while ignoring that these attributes only have…

      the point is that intelligent players on good teams should never be taking double-teamed shots and mid-range jumpers early in the shot clock unless it’s REALLY necessary, while players should be looking for more efficient shots all the time.

      I undervalue a player’s ability to score while being double-teamed because I don’t think a player should score while double-teamed, as simple as that.

      I agree, sometimes there are situations in the game where someone has to take such a shot, and it’s good to have a player (Carmelo, for example) who can make some of those shots, but as we’ve seen in this excellent recent stretch by Melo, we’re much, much better when he draws the double team and passes to the open man.

    4. Mulligan

      I’m not making a definitive statement on the value of scoring while double teamed. I was using that as an example of the type of attribute that is not as easily understood or quantified right now. I’m sure it will be within the next 5 years.

      My point was more that, there are many attributes that may not on the surface be efficient that are still useful or that may contribute to efficiency in indirect ways. For example, as I believe Caleb and Ruru have noted several times, Melo’s teams have generally been very highly rated offensively. Is this in spite of the fact that he shoots inefficiently and while double teamed or can it be partially attributed to it?

      Again, I can’t say I have a definite opinion on it, but I find it more interesting that comparing Melo’s TS to Harden’s TS ad infinitum.

    5. Will the Thrill

      The defense/ offense looked really bad last night and the cavs looked like the better team. Can someone convince me that this was not about the return of Amare? I kind of understand it because we looked bad even when Amare was out, but was it just because we already clinched the playoffs and we took the night off? It looked like Woody didn’t care much about the 6th seed when he didn’t insert Melo or Chandler in the end of the game when we were only down by 8 or so.

    6. Ben R

      That was a very important loss. It seemed that the Knicks, Woodson included, didn’t take that game as seriously as they should have. That game was potentially the difference in making the second round or being lucky to win a playoff game.

      None of the starters played more than 30 minutes, Melo took 13 shots and one free throw in a game where we needed his offense. Now is not the time to experiment with lineups. Now is not the time to relax.

      If we face Miami it will be a bloodbath, three blowouts and maybe one win and we lose in 4 or 5 games. We needed to make as hard a run as possible at the 6th seed and now we blew it.

    7. Brian Cronin

      Bynum has been pretty darn awesome this season, so that is not a big slap in the face. But yeah, Chandler has been a lot better than Rubio and notably better than Deng, as well. Then again, I’m just happy Chandler is getting love from the media period.

    8. BigBlueAL

      Gonna be interesting to follow the Heat and Bulls games rest of the season. Still a very strong possibility Heat get the #1 seed so the Knicks would have to win to keep the 7th seed if Philly wakes up.

    9. d-mar

      Ben R:
      That was a very important loss. It seemed that the Knicks, Woodson included, didn’t take that game as seriously as they should have. That game was potentially the difference in making the second round or being lucky to win a playoff game.

      None of the starters played more than 30 minutes, Melo took 13 shots and one free throw in a game where we needed his offense. Now is not the time to experiment with lineups. Now is not the time to relax.

      If we face Miami it will be a bloodbath, three blowouts and maybe one win and we lose in 4 or 5 games. We needed to make as hard a run as possible at the 6th seed and now we blew it.

      I had just posted yesterday that in the Woodson era, they hadn’t had that big letdown game against an inferior opponent (except maybe in Toronto) and that he seemed to do a good job motivating them and keeping them focused for every game. Last night looked like a pre-Woodson loss, getting outhustled and turning career scrubs like Manny Something or Other into stars. (and it wasn’t all Amare, Shumpert looked like his mind was somewhere else and Chandler was almost passive) I agree about the 6th seed, the Knicks should have been treating the remaining 4 games like absolute must-wins, now the last 3 really mean nothing.

    10. ruruland

      Mulligan: I’m not making a definitive statement on the value of scoring while double teamed. I was using that as an example of the type of attribute that is not as easily understood or quantified right now. I’m sure it will be within the next 5 years.My point was more that, there are many attributes that may not on the surface be efficient that are still useful or that may contribute to efficiency in indirect ways. For example, as I believe Caleb and Ruru have noted several times, Melo’s teams have generally been very highly rated offensively. Is this in spite of the fact that he shoots inefficiently and while double teamed or can it be partially attributed to it?Again, I can’t say I have a definite opinion on it, but I find it more interesting that comparing Melo’s TS to Harden’s TS ad infinitum.

      Great posts Mully,

      And you have to read/watch the Pruiti analysis.

    11. ruruland

      BigBlueAL: Gonna be interesting to follow the Heat and Bulls games rest of the season. Still a very strong possibility Heat get the #1 seed so the Knicks would have to win to keep the 7th seed if Philly wakes up.

      right, it’s going to be wild if the Heat beat Boston and Chicago loses to Dallas.

      Do we know tiebreakers between those teams right now? Anyone?

    12. BigBlueAL

      ruruland: right, it’s going to be wild if the Heat beat Boston and Chicago loses to Dallas.

      Do we know tiebreakers between those teams right now? Anyone?

      I believe it depends on what teams they each lose to because they are 2-2 head-to-head and currently each have 10 conference losses but they each have games remaining vs West teams.

      Also I believe I read that if it goes to 3rd tie-breaker (record vs other playoff teams) it will depend on whose the 8th seed because if its the 76ers the Heat have the tie-breaker cause they swept them but if its the Bucks the Bulls would have it since the Heat lost twice to them.

      Confusing stuff lol

    13. ruruland

      BigBlueAL: Damn, you posted this while I typed my previous comment lolSo yeah what I had read before was correct according to this article.

      haha, that happens a lot here. There’s a huge difference between Miami and Chicago right now. It’s not even close. We can talk about the rebounding differential or whatever.

      But everything gets tightened up in the playoffs — even rebounding. You can improve in that area if you focus on it for a week. I remember the Denver Lakers WCF a few years back. Yes, rebounding seperated the teams, but Denver made it much closer than people thought they could. The Nuggets probably should have won that series.

      But what you can’t really improve on is stopping two great offensive players and a third that’s really good. You can do everything right and it won’t matter.

      The difference between a rusty, still banged up Derrick Rose and James and Wade is much larger than the difference in rebounding.

      Besides, in the case where one team sweeps the upcoming playoff opponent in the regular season, they have a real mental advantage going into the series.

      We’ve played closer games with Chicagoand we’ve beaten them.

      I actually think we can beat Chicago in a series with the team as is. I really don’t believe we can beat Miami without a full roster and without playoff momentum (which is huge).

    14. Bruno Almeida

      I just hope we get anyone else other than Miami.

      I don’t really think we can beat Chicago on a 7 game series, but it’ll be much tighter than Miami.

    15. ruruland

      Bruno Almeida: I just hope we get anyone else other than Miami.I don’t really think we can beat Chicago on a 7 game series, but it’ll be much tighter than Miami.

      Only hope now is that we get Chi.

    16. Bruno Almeida

      my problem right now is, as usual, Amare… he’s coming back from injury, but can we really trust he’ll be 100% when the playoffs come?

      if he’s not 100%, then he’ll help less than he’ll screw our defensive rotations and offensive rhtyhm… Pruiti has shown how well we’re rotating and how that translates to good defense, but can you see Amare doing the job that even Novak has done on that end? running cross court full speed to challenge a corner 3?

      I can’t, and he won’t even help on the rebounding…

    17. nicos

      I’d definitely prefer Chicago at this point. Yeah, their rebounding could kill us, but so could Miami’s ability to force turnovers. And I’m not sure Chicago has another gear in terms of intensity- Miami’s ball pressure against us in the last game was nothing compared to what it’s going to be in the playoffs. Chicago plays pretty much flat out all the time.

    18. Bruno Almeida

      Pruiti’s piece is also very interesting as it shows how well Shumpert, Smith, Carmelo and Chandler have been playing together on defense… the Chicago play he uses where Deng shoots a bad 3 pointer with Fields on his face is a very nice example, and the double team on the post by Shumpert also.

    19. ruruland

      nicos: I’d definitely prefer Chicago at this point. Yeah, their rebounding could kill us, but so could Miami’s ability to force turnovers. And I’m not sure Chicago has another gear in terms of intensity- Miami’s ball pressure against us in the last game was nothing compared to what it’s going to be in the playoffs. Chicago plays pretty much flat out all the time.

      Yeah, both teams will ball pressure. Both teams are going to defend well.

      But there simply isn’t a comparison between Miami and Chicago’s shot-makers. That’s far and away the biggest difference.

      The playoffs aren’t like the regular season in that regard. Let’s remember what Miami’s big three did to Chicago in last years playoffs. That was clearly the difference in Miami winning the final four games of that five game series (the Heat were outrebounded).

      The Knicks could very well have 3 of the best 4 players in that series. That oftentimes is the difference.

    20. ruruland

      Bruno Almeida: my problem right now is, as usual, Amare… he’s coming back from injury, but can we really trust he’ll be 100% when the playoffs come?if he’s not 100%, then he’ll help less than he’ll screw our defensive rotations and offensive rhtyhm… Pruiti has shown how well we’re rotating and how that translates to good defense, but can you see Amare doing the job that even Novak has done on that end? running cross court full speed to challenge a corner 3?I can’t, and he won’t even help on the rebounding…

      Amar’e was doing all of the aboive before the back. He was horrible defensively in the first half and really bounced back in the second half.

      What we didn’t the last 6-7 years was if Amar’e could actually play good defense. We know that now. Woodson will not let him play if he’s not playing defense and rebounding. You could see Woody lighting in to him in the second quarter last night.

    21. Bruno Almeida

      he was playing decent defense, but as a help man on the paint, not chasing shooters around like Miami or Chicago will force him to do at times.

      I really hope Woodson sticks him to the bench is he can’t play defense.

    22. danielbubbs

      ruruland:
      Dallas should be fighting hard tonight to avoid the 7th seed.

      dallas may want the 7th seed to play okc or SA over the Lakers, in fact i’m sure of it, they’ve lost 4 times to LA this year and have played okc well…bulls will get that top seed, knicks should lose,really

    23. ruruland

      danielbubbs: dallas may want the 7th seed to play okc or SA over the Lakers, in fact i’m sure of it, they’ve lost 4 times to LA this year and have played okc well…bulls will get that top seed, knicks should lose,really

      the Mavs sweeping LA last year?

    24. Owen

      Mulligan –

      Honestly, I don’t think I would really argue your point. Basketball players are not interchangeable. They are highly specialized more often than not and you can find players at every position being productive by doing very different things. There is no one right way to play a position. Point guards run the gamut from a Rondo or Kidd to a Rose or Westbrook. Shooting guards run the gamut from a Ronnie Brewer to Dwyane Wade or Kobe. There are definitely role players and scorers.

      Advanced stats, imo, do capture to a pretty large extent the nuance of a player’s role, through usage rate, through different rate stats, by decomposing the elements of ts%, etc. +/- and counterpart data can tell you something about defensive stoppers. Although watching a guy play will tell you the same thing.

      Within a team framework, chemistry clearly matters. The major lesson of the Isiah years is that combining a bunch of guys whose main strength is scoring (inefficient or otherwise) just is not a sound strategy. There is only one ball and there are large diminishing returns in scoring. That’s one reason why Melo, for many anyway, was an unwelcome addition to a team that already had Amare. It was an acquisition that fit perfectly into a very destructive pattern.

      So, I do think fit matters and to a certain extent I believe chemistry matters, within a team context.

      The question we were addressing in the previous thread though was more about how much do players affect other players on an individual basis? How important are those synergies, especially the intangible ones (i.e. outside of assists and FGA). How vital is Melo’s ability to draw the double team to Novak’s ability to shoot the ball for instance?

      These individual synergies do matter, but they matter much less I think than most people think. And they are also, in my view, a very convenient fallback to defend players whose stats don’t quite measure up to their reputation.

    25. ruruland

      Owen, no one has ever argued with that point, per se. But we’ve argued that players can adapt.

      Too many things have gone on to really know if Amar’e/Melo can adapt.

      They’ve both been injured a significant part of the time. Much of the time the two have been the court together they’ve been without a passing/penetrating point guard, something Amar’e needs.

      They’re aren’t perfectly symbiotic together, but as Mully was talking about, if the ecosystem can be restored with better balance ( a passing point guard that can tie it all together) then we’ll know.

    26. Owen

      And just as a follow on to my last point, why is it we never talk about Novak’s ability to space the floor. Do we think defenses are just ignoring him out there? What about the value that a great offensive rebounder brings by forcing players to box him out and account for him at all times? What about a player like Fields or Brewer’s ability to cut off the ball? People generally write off players who have a high percentage of assisted fg’s. But it’s a real skill to be able to move without the ball and put yourself in position for an assist.

      Too frequently these kind of nebulous interaction effect arguments are invoked only on behalf of the player who takes the most shots.

      Also, while I understand the argument that attacking players add a lot of value, I am not really sure there is huge difference between Melo’s ability to attack the basket and Tyreke Evans, outside of what we can measure with statistics, there turnover rates, there ts$, and there assists.

      Is one guy who dominates the ball and takes a lot of shots really so different from all the others, outside of their measurable statistical success in the role?

      From the perspective of Steve Novak say, is there really a huge difference between Stephon Marbury taking 24 shots per game and Melo taking 27 shots per game that can’t be measured by statistics?

      Maybe, I am sure Ruruland will explain the nuances to me…

    27. ruruland

      Owen: And just as a follow on to my last point, why is it we never talk about Novak’s ability to space the floor. Do we think defenses are just ignoring him out there? What about the value that a great offensive rebounder brings by forcing players to box him out and account for him at all times? What about a player like Fields or Brewer’s ability to cut off the ball? People generally write off players who have a high percentage of assisted fg’s. But it’s a real skill to be able to move without the ball and put yourself in position for an assist. Too frequently these kind of nebulous interaction effect arguments are invoked only on behalf of the player who takes the most shots.Also, while I understand the argument that attacking players add a lot of value, I am not really sure there is huge difference between Melo’s ability to attack the basket and Tyreke Evans, outside of what we can measure with statistics, there turnover rates, there ts$, and there assists. Is one guy who dominates the ball and takes a lot of shots really so different from all the others, outside of their measurable statistical success in the role? FP>Maybe, I am sure Ruruland will explain the nuances to me…

      Carmelo creates doubles and tilts without even moving. So of course there’s a difference. If you think Tyreke Evans garners the same kind of attention Melo does I’m done talking about this with you.

      Players that can spread the floor are very important. No question. It’s often not their ability to move off the ball though — that’s a whole other skill. It’s their ability to make shots on the catch.

      Don’t tell me you’re actually arguing that players who spread the floor are more important than those who create shots.

    28. ABG

      I have a feeling that in a few weeks, we’ll look back at last night as a blessing in disguise, perhaps as early as tonight. In fact, we may just look back at it as the best thing that could’ve happened to this team.

      I start that rather contrarian viewpoint from the premise that the sixth seed was never really in play, despite the media’s force-fed narrative that losing last night was the reason the Knicks won’t be playing Indiana. Orlando was always far more likely to win one of its three “potential loss” games than the Knicks were to go 4-0 with games against Atlanta and Los Angeles.

      If you accept that, and I’m sure many don’t, the loss last night allows the team to do what it really needed to be doing all along: allow Chandler, Shumpert, Jeffries and Davis to deal with nagging injuries, allow Melo to rest, and allow Woodson some needed time to implement his philosophies with the roster. Frankly, I hope to see Melo and Amare on the court together exclusively the rest of the way to maximize the amount of time they can spend regaining the timing that served us so well during the 6-1 stretch.

      It also prevented a disaster scenario of playing Chandler et al too many minutes in a quixotic attempt at the sixth seed, only to see Memphis rest its starters on the last night of the year having been locked in to one seed or another.

      Bottom line: I’ll take a X% chance at improving our odds against Miami or Chicago over a Y% chance at getting the sixth seed. In my view, X > Y.

    29. BigBlueAL

      On a side not, Yankees were down 9-0 to the Red Sox and are now up 14-9. Gotta love sports.

    30. Owen

      “Carmelo creates doubles and tilts without even moving. So of course there’s a difference. If you think Tyreke Evans garners the same kind of attention Melo does I’m done talking about this with you.”

      He creates doubles without even moving? Can he kill seven giants with one blow like Mickey Mouse?

      I was really thinking of rookie year Tyreke Evans, who was constantly attacking the basket, and showed some nice passing skills. But yeah, he hasn’t been good this year. So what about Monta Ellis in GS?

      Or Brandon Jennings before Monta arrived? Or really any high usage scorer who is less efficient than Melo?

      In terms of impact on teammates, outside of measurables like assists, fga, and turnovers (having a guy like Carmelo on the floor with you will help you reduce turnovers) how big are the differences between one guy who dominates the ball and another? Why is Melo putting pressure on the defense so different from say, Stephon Marbury, outside of the fact he makes more shots and commits less turnovers?

      As I said, I am not sure. And I really suspect the only real important differentiator is your actual stats….

    31. Juany8

      If you totally ignore their actual skill sets, then yes there isn’t much of a difference between Tyreke and Melo. I’ts not about the fact that they both take a lot of shots, it’s that Melo can’t be effectively guarded one on one by anyone in the league, meaning he’s a consistent offensive option at all times. Being able to post up, spot up, cut off the ball, isolate, and run a pick and roll makes Melo quite possibly the most versatile offensive player in the league. Players like Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings aren’t that different, they mostly rely on being able to blow past people or on taking pull up jumpers, but Carmelo doesn’t have to do that, he can beat the defense in whatever way actually works best. When he has a good enough matchup, Melo has been one of the very, very few players in the league that teams are willing to double team OFF the ball. Until brilliant defensive teams like the Celtics and Bulls stop transforming their whole defense to stop Melo, I’m going to say he’s an elite offensive player. I figure the people who actually have the task of stopping Melo have more insight on the matter than I do, and all the really smart ones act like they fear him a hell of a lot more than Steve Novak and Tyson Chandler.

    32. ruruland

      Juany8: If you totally ignore their actual skill sets, then yes there isn’t much of a difference between Tyreke and Melo. I’ts not about the fact that they both take a lot of shots, it’s that Melo can’t be effectively guarded one on one by anyone in the league, meaning he’s a consistent offensive option at all times. Being able to post up, spot up, cut off the ball, isolate, and run a pick and roll makes Melo quite possibly the most versatile offensive player in the league. Players like Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings aren’t that different, they mostly rely on being able to blow past people or on taking pull up jumpers, but Carmelo doesn’t have to do that, he can beat the defense in whatever way actually works best. When he has a good enough matchup, Melo has been one of the very, very few players in the league that teams are willing to double team OFF the ball. Until brilliant defensive teams like the Celtics and Bulls stop transforming their whole defense to stop Melo, I’m going to say he’s an elite offensive player. I figure the people who actually have the task of stopping Melo have more insight on the matter than I do, and all the really smart ones act like they fear him a hell of a lot more than Steve Novak and Tyson Chandler.

      There’s no point anymore.

      Melo=Rookie Tyreke Evans

    33. Owen

      Well, most of the people who believe that about Melo also believe in the hot hand, believe Kobe is a clutch assassin, and believe it’s correct to bench a player with foul problems to preserve him for the end of the game rather than maximize his time on the court.

      In baseball, they believe in the power of lineup protection,”proven closers”, and a bunch of other bs.

      Can you honestly tell me Juan, having watched Melo all year, that the multifaceted offensive threat he poses has made any positive difference to any other player on the Knicks? Because it just doesn’t seem all that apparent to me.

      I have seen a guy who can carry a team’s offense in stretches. And yes, to some extent I see a guy who by taking a bunch of shots keeps JR from taking some really really bad ones.

      But I don’t really see any discernible difference in how other players on the Knicks have functioned around him. And I am pretty sure it’s because there hasn’t been one.

    34. daJudge

      ABG-I completely agree with your premise concerning the 6 seed. Another words, even if we won, it probably would not matter relative to seeding and it’s good we rested our players. I get that. But we still played crappy and that doesn’t bode well. I would rather be the smoking hot team going into the playoffs, like the football Giants, than a mediocre team (which we are) that believes it can just coast, particularly on D. If we had played really tough D, rebounded, but missed shots, I would be fine with the loss. So, while I agree with your premise, I don’t at all think the loss was a blessing in disguise, but perhaps instead a harbinger. BTW, I saw nothing at all to suggest that Melo and Stat could make each other better or even co-exist. Sorry to be negative and I hope tomorrow’s performance will change my mind. If we don’t get our shit together do you really think resting, tanking or whatever will help us beat Chicago or Miami. If we’re tanking to try and create a match up, shame on this team.

    35. Owen

      Here is another puzzle for you Ruruland. Melo is one of the very best offensive players in the game according to you.

      Yet the team he left, the Denver Nuggets, currently has the 4th best offense in the NBA. And the team he joined is 18th.

      That Nuggets team that finished fourth in offensive efficiency btw, in a stacked Western Conference, has the following top seven minute getters.

      Lawson
      Afflalo
      Harrington
      Miller
      Gallinari
      Brewer
      Faried.

      Seriously, explain this to me. How does a team that lost Carmelo and Billups and Wilson Chandler, and the services of Nene and Gallo for the better part of this season, manage to be so good offensively?

      Maybe Melo was just a product of George Karl’s coaching?

    36. Owen

      “There’s no point anymore.

      Melo=Rookie Tyreke Evans”

      My point was clearly not that Evans was a better player. My point was that he was a bad player but one who attacked the defense and drew a lot of attention. Which he did, though his usage rate didn’t hit 30%,

      I’d really love to hear you solve the puzzle of how George Karl and the Nuggets have managed to cobble the 4th best offense in the NBA together, playing the 12th hardest schedule in the NBA, while the Knicks have the 18th best offense having played the 4th easiest schedule.

      I guess it’s Tyson Chandler’s low usage right?

    37. BigBlueAL

      So the Heat sit Lebron and Bosh tonight but Wade plays. Wade dislocates his left index finger early in the game and is now out too. Heat currently losing at home to the Wizards by double digits late in the 2nd quarter. Oh and Rose is playing tonight vs the Mavs who are sitting Kidd and Terry.

    38. BigBlueAL

      I suggest a separate thread only for Owen and Ruru to continue their endless and at times nauseating Melo debates lol

    39. JR Sec 112

      Actually, abg, I agree 100 percent. This way we can get baronand TC some rest, work amare back in, give bibby a lot of minutes to see if he can continue to shoot well, heck even give landry the green light to work on his outisde shot.

      As for who finishes 1, miami resting all their starters tonight and maybe for the rest of the year? So, unless we tank the next 2, we get them.

      Also, on a separate note, I think there is a better than 50% chance Bibby starts in the playoffs.

    40. Owen

      “I suggest a separate thread only for Owen and Ruru to continue their endless and at times nauseating Melo debates lol”

      Sorry man. I can’t help it.

      Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.

    41. BigBlueAL

      lol its all good man. Days like today there isnt much to talk about so a Melo debate is always good fodder on slow days.

    42. max fisher-cohen

      @Owen There is no difference. That’s why everyone was on the “Melo is garbage” train for 2/3s of the season, and now everyone is on the “Melo is the new Jordan” train for the 13 games Stoudemire sat. People have incredibly short memories.

      If Melo put together an entire season that looked like those 13 games, I would vote for him for MVP, and the Knicks would have a real shot at a championship. The ability to shoot efficiently in volume is maybe the single-most important ability in basketball. If Melo played as he did for the first 2 months of the season, however, I would vote for him for DNP because the ability to take a lot of shots at medium efficiency is just so replaceable and acceptable for opposing defenses. Why double Melo when he’s probably going to take a medium efficiency shot? That’s something you can overcome.

      On the whole, I think Rose is the most apt comparison in the NBA for Melo. He is a big scorer who when he’s on, wins games almost by himself, and at other times just takes a ton of shots that would have been converted more efficiently in a more dynamic offensive attack. Rose’s WS/48 is better because he gets more assists, but I feel that advantage is overrated as post players often get hockey assists.

      Like Rose, his inability to consistently make perimeter shots and his inconsistent defense make it difficult for him to be anything but a primary option on offense. Like Rose, most people think he’s way better than he is. Like Rose, he is EXTREMELY valuable to a defense oriented team like the Bulls, and like the Knicks are when Stoudemire isn’t out there. Like Rose, he’s not as efficient as the best scorers in the league and he’s not as great a distributor as the best passers. The main difference is that Rose is 4 years younger and could still become an above average shooter.

    43. ruruland

      BigBlueAL: I suggest a separate thread only for Owen and Ruru to continue their endless and at times nauseating Melo debates lol

      I

      Owen: “

      Owen: Here is another puzzle for you Ruruland. Melo is one of the very best offensive players in the game according to you. Yet the team he left, the Denver Nuggets, currently has the 4th best offense in the NBA. And the team he joined is 18th. That Nuggets team that finished fourth in offensive efficiency btw, in a stacked Western Conference, has the following top seven minute getters.LawsonAfflaloHarringtonMillerGallinariBrewerFaried.Seriously, explain this to me. How does a team that lost Carmelo and Billups and Wilson Chandler, and the services of Nene and Gallo for the better part of this season, manage to be so good offensively?Maybe Melo was just a product of George Karl’s coaching?

      The best defensive teams are in the eastern conference. You understand that, right?

      They play a fool’s gold pace and are extremely efficient in transition. They’re also a significantly better offensive rebounding team than they were with Melo/Chauncey/Martin/Nene — Koufos, Faried etc al.

      If you actually look at points per 100 possessions, the 2009-2010 Nuggets were 3 points better than the current team and the 2008-2009 team was 2.5 points better per 100 possessions.

      So, know they’re actually worse, despite being significantly stronger in areas that had nothing to do with Melo.

    44. ruruland

      Owen: “There’s no point anymore.Melo=Rookie Tyreke Evans”My point was clearly not that Evans was a better player. My point was that he was a bad player but one who attacked the defense and drew a lot of attention. Which he did, though his usage rate didn’t hit 30%, I’d really love to hear you solve the puzzle of how George Karl and the Nuggets have managed to cobble the 4th best offense in the NBA together, playing the 12th hardest schedule in the NBA, while the Knicks have the 18th best offense having played the 4th easiest schedule.I guess it’s Tyson Chandler’s low usage right?

      How did Tyreke Evans create defensive attention???

      Your premise seems to be that all players who are high usage create the same defensive attention. That’s pure ignorance.

    45. ruruland

      But I don’t really see any discernible difference in how other players on the Knicks have functioned around him. And I am pretty sure it’s because there hasn’t been one.

      I don’t know a single coach or player who believes that or has said something to that effect. I could supply countless quotes on this message board of coaches who talk about how Melo changes the way they defend.

      It’s simply a matter of not really understanding what’s going on in an NBA game when you watch it.

    46. ruruland

      Owen: P>He creates doubles without even moving? Can he kill seven giants with one blow like Mickey Mouse? P>

      I get that you’re trying to be cute, but comments like this prove to me that you simply don’t know how to watch a game.

      You could fast forward every possession to the time the shot is launched and it wouldn’t change anything in your analysis.

    47. ruruland

      2011-2012: 40% efg .571 in first ten second

      2009-2010:40% .551 first ten
      27% .499 11-15
      23% .488 16-20
      11% .423 21-24

      2011-2012: 40% .571 first ten
      25% .477 11-15
      21% .471 16-20
      13% .418 21-24

    48. BigBlueAL

      Heat lost at home to the Wizards, looks like Bulls will win tonight. So its basically a lock Bulls get 1 seed.

      Philly won in OT at Indiana tonight and are tied with the Knicks. Go Hawks tomorrow?? lol

    49. ruruland

      Well, Heat lose. Time to tank. Hopefully Woodson is smart enough to recognize the match-up advantage. If the Bucks win tonight the Sixers will still have to win on Monday to clinch spot. That will open the door for the Knicks to lose 2, if need be 3 of their final games to get 8th seed.

      Play the starters 20 minutes max. Next week will be boring as hell.

    50. Owen

      Clearly a guy with a 30% usage is having an effect. And he is clearly an above average offensive player. Clearly, people are game planning to stop him.

      All those things can be true and he can still be just a third tier offensive star in the league, a very good but not great offensive lynchpin who shows occasional flashes of pure genius.

      That’s what I thought of him coming in and he’s been a bit worse.

      I have watched Melo all season long, And so far, the Emperor has no clothes.

      Also, your response to my point about Denver’s offense is just weak. Seriously. And btw, they Nuggets are only an average offensive rebounding team. But they have the third highest EFG in the league. Somehow, despite losing Melo and one of the most efficient point guards in history, they are finding a way to put the ball in the hoop.

      As for your coaches lounge, look, I get you think you know things we don’t, stuff only NBA insiders know. But you are on very shaky ground telling a group of Knicks fan’s to trust the wisdom of NBA insiders.

      And if you took some time to look at the statistical correlations in NBA salary data and in NBA draft data, you’ll soon realize these guys are not quite the geniuses you think they are.

    51. outoftowner

      I think there’s an interesting argument as to whether certain ways of scoring are better than others. Like, obviously scoring is better than not scoring. But can 2 players who score at equal efficiency and volume have different impacts on the players around them?

      Between usage, TS%, assist rate, turnover rate, and offensive rebounding %, you can describe almost all of how good a player is offensively, at least statistically. But, you can’t tell anything about the style of how they achieved those numbers. And maybe style counts for something, independent of results.

      For example, shooters space the floor. Slashers draw the big man to block the shot, opening up offensive rebounds. Is one more valuable than the other?

      I think the case that Melo’s mediocre efficiency numbers not fully capturing his effect on the team’s offense would have to rely on his style being more effective than other players with similar numbers (for example, Danny Granger, with USG 24 and TS% .546 this year). Its an interesting argument to consider, not necessarily anti-quantitative.

    52. BigBlueAL

      I think its tough to say Melo has been a bit worse since he became a Knick because last season he was very, very good after the trade. The first 10 games of this season he was also very, very good before the wheels fell off but he has responded in a pretty big way the last 14 games.

      Its hard for me because I agree and disagree with both of your takes on Melo if that makes any sense lol Call me a fence straddler which is why I stay out of these debates for the most part cause Im usually flip-flopping on what I really think about Melo as a player.

      I wil say this he is fun as hell to watch when he is on fire and in his short time with the Knicks so far he has given us some pretty cool game-winning moments and performances.

    53. Owen

      BigBlue – He has been up, he has been down. He’s like a tech stock.

      And he was really good last year. I had hoped that would continue. It seemed like D’Antoni and SSOL was the perfect fit for him, which is what the hype was coming in. Offensive superstar paired with the greatest offensive coach in the NBA.

      Then, this year, suddenly he can’t play in SSOL.

      Which of course is Toney Douglas’ fault. Toney Douglas being the only thing that can stop Melo from unleashing his offensive talent.

      The excuses go on and on.

      Outoftowner – It’s a great conversation to have. I’d just like to see some empirical evidence to back up all the claims made by Melo’s fan club rather than having the wisdom of NBA coaches and GM’s thrown at me….

    54. ruruland

      Owen, here are the facts.

      The 2010 Nuggets were 3 points per 100 possessions better than the 2012 Nuggets.

      The 2010 Nuggets were better in the half-court (building around Melo), while the 2012 Nuggets have been better in transition.

      Every player that played with Melo on the 2010 team has suffered drops (significant for Nene) in scoring efficiency post-trade.

      Six of the seven players that lead the Nuggets in efg did not play on the 2010 team. Those six players have totaled nearly 3000 minutes.

      Moreover, to complement these athletes and runners, the Nuggets acquired Andre Miller, one of the best transition passers in the NBA. Lawson and Billups were both scoring point guards.

      So, what do we make of this data?

      The Nuggets have a new team full of athletes that finish in transition and semi-transition much better than the previous team. The’ve replaced the production of Nene with high-efficiency bigs, and they no longer have Kenyon MArtin’s inefficient offense to deal with. They’ve withstood stark efficiency drops from the Melo-era players by adding a bunch of efficient bigs.

      The 2009 and 2010 teams were much better built in the half-court than the 2012 team currently is. They also play much better defense.

      How do you explain the Nuggets dropping 7 to 15 spots in defensive efficiency? Does Kenyon Martin impact the game like Tyson Chandler. Also, what does that say about Ty Lawson, a player you’d prefer over Carmelo? The Nuggets have one of the worst perimeter defenses in the NBA. You claim to favor players with defensive reputations regardless of what their advanced stats say ( not a fallacy in your argument, correct?), yet you make no mention of the fact that Lawson gets the most minutes on a horrible perimeter defense team.

    55. ruruland

      Owen: BigBlue – He has been up, he has been down. He’s like a tech stock. And he was really good last year. I had hoped that would continue. It seemed like D’Antoni and SSOL was the perfect fit for him, which is what the hype was coming in. Offensive superstar paired with the greatest offensive coach in the NBA. Then, this year, suddenly he can’t play in a SSOL. Which of course is Toney Douglas’ fault. Toney Douglas being the only thing that can stop Melo from unleashing his offensive talent. The excuses go on and on. Outoftowner – It’s a great conversation to have. I’d just like to see some empirical evidence to back up all the claims made by Melo’s fan club rather than having the wisdom of NBA coaches and GM’s thrown at me….

      In 2008-2009 he had a horrible offensive year. He broke his hand and had bone chips in his elbow.

      Was it just a coincidence that he dominated much of the 2009 playoffs, just a couple of weeks after claiming he was finally healthy?

      Was it just coincidence that Melo began putting up these numbers this year after claiming he was finally getting healthy?

      What was saw last year, Owen, was not SSOL. I know you struggle with identifying these simple things when you watch the game, but the Knicks also traded for Chauncey Billups when they traded for Melo. Chauncey Billups is a horrible fit in MDA’s offense. What was saw was largely a hybrid of MDA”s offense when Douglas was in the game, and Melo/Chauncey offense when he wasn’t, They didn’t have the time to learn that offense.

      Now, to this year. We start out the season with Melo playing point guard on a team that can’t shoot the ball (can’t shoot it in an empty gym, wouldn’t matter if they played with Steve Nash). continued…..

    56. ruruland

      Melo was not posting up or isolating very much. The lack of floor spacing certainly made driving more difficult — didn’t you recently acknowledge that floor spacing was important?

      I’m pretty sure you did.

      When Melo came back, he wasn’t touching the ball very much, and had a difficult time re-establishing his rhthym as a bystander in the corner (Gallo’s specialty in Denver).

      What were looking at is a very small sample and an environment (through role, injury and surrounding talent) that was not conducive to Melo being an efficient scorer.

      Do we acknolwedge that Amar’e efficiency is largely tied to point guard play? Of course. Do you think Lebron James would be as efficient as he’s been throughout his career playing with toney Douglas, Landry Fields, Bill Walker, etc al. Guys who put up great efficiency numbers typically have a few things in their favor — floor spacing, shot creators, etc.

      Here’s a challenge for you, Owen. Find me a really high usage, high efficiency player that played alongside extremely inefficient teammates.

    57. 2FOR18

      So, which is it ruru?
      Also, can you start your own Melo blog so old time knicks fans like me can come on here and read knick fans talking about the knicks? You have ruined this blog for me.

      http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7836691/welcome-back-mailbag

      SG: Always side with the team over the player. You’ll watch Griffin for the next 15 years; you’ll watch the Cowboys for the next 60. There are only four ways a favorite player can trump a favorite team: If you’re related to the player; if you’re dating the player; if you’re close friends with the player; or if the player just knocked you up and agreed to pay for alimony. That’s it.

    58. Mulligan

      outoftowner:
      I think there’s an interesting argument as to whether certain ways of scoring are better than others.Like, obviously scoring is better than not scoring.But can 2 players who score at equal efficiency and volume have different impacts on the players around them?

      Between usage, TS%, assist rate, turnover rate, and offensive rebounding %, you can describe almost all of how good a player is offensively, at least statistically.But, you can’t tell anything about the style of how they achieved those numbers.And maybe style counts for something, independent of results.

      For example, shooters space the floor.Slashers draw the big man to block the shot, opening up offensive rebounds.Is one more valuable than the other?

      I think the case that Melo’s mediocre efficiency numbers not fully capturing his effect on the team’s offense would have to rely on his style being more effective than other players with similar numbers (for example, Danny Granger, with USG 24 and TS% .546 this year).Its an interesting argument to consider, not necessarily anti-quantitative.

      Yes. I find this way more interesting than just debating how overrated Melo is or not.

    59. ruruland

      2004: Lebron TS .488 Team 3pt percentage: .314
      2005: Lebron TS .554 Team 3pt percentage: .332
      2006: Lebron TS .568 Team 3pt percentage: .339
      2007: Lebron TS .552 Team 3pt percentage: .352
      2008: Lebron TS .568 Team 3pt percentage: .358
      2009: Lebron TS .591 Team 3pt percentage: .393
      2010: Lebron TS .604 Team 3pt percentage: .381
      2011: Lebron TS .594 Team 3pt percentage: .370
      2012: Lebron TS .605 Team 3pt percentage: .373

    60. ruruland

      2FOR18: So, which is it ruru?Also, can you start your own Melo blog so old time knicks fans like me can come on here and read knick fans talking about the knicks? You have ruined this blog for me.http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7836691/welcome-back-mailbagSG: Always side with the team over the player. You’ll watch Griffin for the next 15 years; you’ll watch the Cowboys for the next 60. There are only four ways a favorite player can trump a favorite team: If you’re related to the player; if you’re dating the player; if you’re close friends with the player; or if the player just knocked you up and agreed to pay for alimony. That’s it.

      Wait, you come here to insult me because I’m responding to Owen (who consistently brings Melo up before I do), and then you proceed to talk not talk about the Knicks (isn’t Carmelo an important part of the Knicks)…

      I’ve almost never seen a post of your talking about the Knicks, but you’ve told me I’ve ruined the board for you on a more than a few occassions.

    61. 2FOR18

      ruruland: Wait, you come here to insult me because I’m responding to Owen (who consistently brings Melo up before I do), and then you proceed to talk not talk about the Knicks (isn’t Carmelo an important part of the Knicks)…

      I’ve almost never seen a post of your talking about the Knicks, but you’ve told me I’ve ruined the board for you on a more than a few occassions.

      I finally have some time to come on here and the first freaking thread I click on has half the posts written by you, saying the same freaking thing you always say.
      I enjoy reading the writers on here so I tried to just skip past your posts but for Christ’s sake half this thread is you posting the same old melo stuff. What kind of weirdo freak spends his whole day posting about Melo?

    62. david

      I fall somewhere in the middle in this (admittedly endless) Melo debate. There are some things advanced metrics don’t pick up about him (or only partially pick up), like his ability to increase his usage without losing efficiency, the number of shots he takes to bail out a bad possession, the way an off-the-ball top scorer puts a different kind of pressure on a defense than an on-the-ball guy like Evans (and most high usage guys are guards). But the limitations in the advanced metrics do reveal that he’s not as efficient as the really top guys in the league. I think the Rose comparison is pretty good, as a defensive team like the Bulls or us for most of the season, need a high usage scorer.

      But the bigger point is so what. Unlike every other player on the roster, Melo is virtually certain to be a Knick for a long, long time. The front office’s job is to build a team with players that fit his skills. We need to build a strong defense, load up on a bunch of shooters, and get a great pg. Oddly, when healthy, this year’s team has a bunch of the relevant pieces. If we can keep Lin, Novak and Jeffries (which we probably can’t, but still), add them to Chandler and Shumpert, and add about 2 or 3 other pieces (Amare for Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries?), we’re as good as any non-Miami/Chicago team in the East.

    63. jon abbey

      2FOR18:

      SG: Always side with the team over the player. You’ll watch Griffin for the next 15 years; you’ll watch the Cowboys for the next 60. There are only four ways a favorite player can trump a favorite team: If you’re related to the player; if you’re dating the player; if you’re close friends with the player; or if the player just knocked you up and agreed to pay for alimony. That’s it.

      I thought this answer by Simmons was ridiculous, FWIW. sports are entertainment, rooting for a team is not a lifelong commitment if you don’t want it to be. if your least favorite player in the league gets traded to your team, you’re not a worse person if you root against him.

    64. Owen

      Ruruland –

      So, instead of comparing the Nuggets this year to the Knicks this year, we are going to compare the Nuggets this year to the Nuggets of two years ago, the best offensive team he played a full season on? A team which benefitted significantly from the offensive contributions of two of the lynchpins of this year’s team?

      Makes perfect sense, I will give it a crack…

      League wide, offense is down a significant amount this year. On a points per 100 possession basis, the Nuggets are actually closer to the top offense in the league than the 2010 version was. It’s not apples and oranges, and I probably wouldn’t argue that the 2010 nuggets were a slightly better offensive team, but it’s closer than you think, relatively speaking. (i.e. who knows what the 2010 team’s numbers would be if it had played as many back to backs.)

      It’s also true that the Nuggets last year lost Melo and Billups, took back Gallo and Felton, and barely missed a beat offensively. So we have another sample ex Andre Miller.

      And they have played a majority of the season without Nene and Gallo, clearly two of their best offensive players.

      Look, anyway you slice it, there is no getting around the fact that the Nuggets have not missed Melo much offensively. Unless that platoon of Kostas Koufos and Timofey Mozgov is much better than I realized. (and Koufos might be)

      Have they missed Melo on defense? Maybe!

      If I had to hazard a guess why they are so bad on defense I would refer you again to the list of top minute getters. None of the top 6 guys on that list is over 6-8 or one of those offensively useful creatures called “centers”.

    65. Owen

      “SG: Always side with the team over the player. You’ll watch Griffin for the next 15 years; you’ll watch the Cowboys for the next 60. There are only four ways a favorite player can trump a favorite team: If you’re related to the player; if you’re dating the player; if you’re close friends with the player; or if the player just knocked you up and agreed to pay for alimony. That’s it.”

      You know, I thought the same thing. Clearly Ruruland has a different take….

    66. Owen

      Ruruland – Honestly, the way you respond to comments about Melo, it’s like someone is calling your sister a slut.

      When people said David Lee was a shit defender, I didn’t take it personally. They were right too.

    67. nicos

      Hard to consider Melo an “elite” scorer when there are a group of guys- LBJ, Wade, Dirk, Paul, Durant- who “tilt the floor” every bit as much as he does, drawing every bit as much defensive attention, and still score much more efficiently. And LBJ, Wade, and Paul are also much better facilitators (and better defenders). He’s really good, he’s just not in that class.

    68. BigBlueAL

      When it comes to the Yankees and Knicks for me as they always say you root for the name on the front of the jersey not on the back of it.

    69. Owen

      Not to mention Steve Nash, who led the best offense in the league 8 out of 9 years and the best offense of all time. And who almost led this year’s Phoenix team into the playoffs in the Varsity conference.

      How many levels below Steve Nash is Melo as an offensive player? Just one?

    70. nicos

      ruruland:

      Here’s a challenge for you, Owen. Find me a really high usage, high efficiency player that played alongside extremely inefficient teammates.

      Kevin Love has a TS% of .568 (which would match Melo’s career high) with a team whose perimeter play was every bit as inefficient as the Knicks this year- Rubio .476, Derrick Williams .503, Beasley .507, Barrea .502, Wes Johnson .470. Only Ridnour is better than league average (barely) at .530. I’d agree that Melo sure wasn’t helped by Douglas, Shump, and Fields, (nor was he to blame to blame for their struggles) but I think his .500 TS% had more to do with his health than anything else.

    71. Owen

      An Addendum:

      2012 Denver Nuggets points per 100 = 108.3

      2012 League Average points per 100 = 104.7
      = +3.6

      2010 Denver Nuggets points per 100 = 111.8

      2010 League Average points per 100 = 107.6
      = + 4.2

      So relative to league average, the best offensive team Melo played on has a .6 points per 100 possession advantage on offense on this year’s squad, which played without Nene and Gallo for most of the season.

      As for Lebron. Players do improve when they come in the league. Especially the guys who jump straight from high school. There is no question his numbers dipped the first year in Miami, although he still posted the highest WS/48 in the NBA. But this year he is right back playing like he did in his final year in Cleveland.

      Alright, bed…

    72. Juany8

      All these team arguments against Melo fall apart when you realize Wade was part of some terrible offenses before Lebron and Bosh came. So do all the arguments about his playoff losses when you consider that he’s won one more series than Chris Paul and one of the series Melo won included absolutely destroying Chris Paul’s Hornets. Aren’t superstars supposed to prevent their teams from losing by 50 points in the playoffs? Aren’t they supposed to beat crappy Hawks teams in the east? Does anyone think Chris Paul or Dwayne Wade suck?

      Hell going back to those Nuggets teams, the 2012 Nuggets also replaced Chauncey, JR, Kenyon Martin, and Nene without losing a beat, so it’s hard to even compare the teams considering that pretty much that everyone that played with Melo was gone. Before Melo left the Nuggets last year, they were the best offense in the NBA if I’m remembering correctly (they were pretty damn good either way) and the Nuggets were in better playoff position before the Melo trade (which included a bunch of injuries to the Nuggets) than they are now. But either way, replacing even someone as good as Dwayne Wade with 3 above average players is going to result in only a modest change in win totals. Even Jordan’s Bulls only dropped 2 games after Jordan left for baseball.

    73. Spree8

      2FOR18: I finally have some time to come on here and the first freaking thread I click on has half the posts written by you, saying the same freaking thing you always say.
      I enjoy reading the writers on here so I tried to just skip past your posts but for Christ’s sake half this thread is you posting the same old melo stuff. What kind of weirdo freak spends his whole day posting about Melo?

      +

    74. daJudge

      If you find the Melo debate to be tedious, which it clearly is for me, post about other stuff. I’ve been trying to do that here and there. I think we need an over 50 blog to go along with my over 50 league! Also, I am with BBA and others regarding rooting for the team, not the player. That is why all my past favorite players are from the Knicks, Mets or football Giants. That doesn’t mean that I think they are the best players though. It’s just the way I am with sports. Doesn’t make it right, wrong or in between. I grew up in NYC but moved way up state to a very rural area years ago. We are minutes from Vermont. When I was growing up, most kids loved one of the local teams and were fans of the players on that team. What I noticed when I moved was people liked other teams, NYC was not the center of the universe and people rooted for players with all different affiliations. It was like a USA Today world, not a Daily News world. This took time to get used to and it is still very strange for me when I’m at my favorite bar and people are rooting for the Celtics, or the Sox, the despicable Pats or the numerous other teams on the screens. On the other hand, if I had some personal connection to a particular athlete, that would completely change things for me. That’s how it is for Jimmer up here and Eddy Ubiles out of Sienna. I pull hard for those guys to succeed.

    75. Bruno Almeida

      Juany8:
      All these team arguments against Melo fall apart when you realize Wade was part of some terrible offenses before Lebron and Bosh came. So do all the arguments about his playoff losses when you consider that he’s won one more series than Chris Paul and one of the series Melo won included absolutely destroying Chris Paul’s Hornets. Aren’t superstars supposed to prevent their teams from losing by 50 points in the playoffs? Aren’t they supposed to beat crappy Hawks teams in the east? Does anyone think Chris Paul or Dwayne Wade suck?

      ok, now this is absurd.

      1 superstar and 4 scrubs isn’t even a playoff team, nobody said that s true superstar should make a winning team all by himself.

      the point is, Carmelo has played on some very good teams in his career, while Wade has played on exactly 2 good teams, the Heat that won a NBA TITLE and the other that already went to the finals and seems poised to do it again.

      does Wade’s career production look like Carmelo’s?

      and on Chris Paul, have you seen the teams he has played on? Morris Peterson or Rasual Butler started on those teams, for god’s sake.

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