## Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

# Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Aug 03 2013)

• [New York Times] Agent Says Heat to Sign Greg Oden (Sat, 03 Aug 2013 01:51:41 GMT)
Greg Oden still needs some time to get ready for the rigors of playing in the NBA.

• ## 69 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Aug 03 2013)”

1. iserp

Mike Kurylo: But if the weatherman says there’s a 70% chance of rain (70% stay the same or better), you’re going to grab an umbrella before heading to work, no?

I’ve got an issue with this. It is a bad way to look at statistics. At the end of the day it rains or it doesn’t, but you can have many numbers for the “probability” you give for rain tomorrow in seattle. The weatherman statement doesn’t mean: “the cloud will throw a 10 sided dice, and will rain if it gets 7 or lower”, but “the 70% of the times i say ‘there’s 70% of probability of raining tomorrow’, it will rain tomorrow”. It seems very stupid, but it is really important, because it means that the probability of raining tomorrow is not an intrinsic property of the cloud, but a property of the collective of the study. And that means i can give many more numbers that are equally right.

As i feel really stupid trying to put an example with weather, i will put the classical one (numbers totally made up): The life expectancy for women is 78 years, and for men 75, for smokers 71 years, for non smokers 80 years, for regular beer drinkers 73 years, for non regular beer drinkers 84. I am male, don’t smoke, and drink beer, how much will i live?

I don’t have a life expectancy, i will live a set number of years. However, if you study me in the context of certain group, you can assign me a life expectancy. We can agree, that the more specific the group, the more you can separate the details of the variance from the mean, the better your prediction will be. However, sometimes you even have incompatible information, i drink and don’t smoke, but i haven’t got a number for drinkers that don’t smoke.

Back to Copeland, your 70% number is right. But so is other info, even the one coming from eye test. And in some occasions, eye test will be the finer detail, the one that tells you if it is…

2. iserp

0% or 100%. Obviously, eye test has failed many many times, but some times, it can give predictions like the weather man. Of all the times my heart says “this player will improve” X% i am right. And this X% might depend if you are a fan or a shooting trainer. And i won’t blame the knicks if they also follow that route, because it is more info, and just because it is harder to quantify, it doesn’t mean it is valuable.

Remember, Copeland won’t throw a 10 sided dice, and improve if it is 7 or less. He will improve or he won’t. Probably we won’t know till next year, but there’s more than looking at the statistics of the rest of the league (which is important to do, too)

3. SeeWhyDee77

4. The Honorable Cock Jowles

SeeWhyDee77: Again, not sayin Copeland can’t do it, but the fact he couldn’t make a NBA roster until age 28 and didn’t crack an aged and injury riddled rotation consistently does not bode well regardless of per 36.

Yo, you know Juwan Howard took up a roster spot for the last five years, right? There are lots of capable players who never see the floor. Don’t have so much faith in NBA GMs. One of them just maxed John Wall, after all.

5. SeeWhyDee77

The Honorable Cock Jowles: Yo, you know Juwan Howard took up a roster spot for the last five years, right? There are lots of capable players who never see the floor. Don’t have so much faith in NBA GMs. One of them just maxed John Wall, after all.

Haha true true! That’s kinda why I made a point to add in how good Cope looked playing alongside Melo and Tyson the few times he did. Cope probably is a quality player, but no one knows to what extent. I like him, but the fact he couldn’t crack a rotation with a hobbled Stat, an old and hobbled Sheed, and an old Kurt worries me. Seems to me he only had to beat out the severely one dimensional Novak. Then again Novak really didn’t get the burn he should have either. It’s tough to gauge given Woodson’s rotation preference. Hell, if Stat can hold up, Bargnani might suffer the same fate as Woodson believes in Kmart and Stat more and doesn’t wanna give Bargnani a try. But until Copeland does it as his team’s best weapon for a season, I can’t pick him over Bargnani as a rotation piece.

6. DRed

“The cool thing about playing for the Heat is when you’re LeBron’s teammate and you screw up, nobody gets mad at you for missing a shot or turning the ball over — they get mad at LeBron for passing to you in the first place,” Oden joked.

ha. Good point, Greg.

7. SeeWhyDee77

So..they say the FO is interested in Ivan Johnson and Jannero Pargo. I can see Johnson as an enforcer off the bench, but I’ll pass. He definitely doesn’t get PT with the guys in front of him on the roster. Pass on Pargo too. They’d rather talk to him over Boobie Gibson?? Really?? Any big that we add at this point is likely to get little burn..unless its a defensive minded guy 6’11” or better. So we need guys at the end of the bench who aren’t gonna make waves, but will contribute when called upon. Johnson doesn’t strike me as that type. Pargo does but we don’t need another pg that can’t create. Boobie Gibson’s not a great creator, but he’s better at it than Pargo..and younger. I understand the concern about Delonte West, but he would be at the top of my list for a 3rd PG since Udrih isn’t willing to sign and possibly play that role. I think he beats out Prigioni but I really don’t think he wants that big a pay cut. Then Boobie and then maybe Brown and Pargo.

8. Brian Cronin

Haha true true! That’s kinda why I made a point to add in how good Cope looked playing alongside Melo and Tyson the few times he did. Cope probably is a quality player, but no one knows to what extent. I like him, but the fact he couldn’t crack a rotation with a hobbled Stat, an old and hobbled Sheed, and an old Kurt worries me. Seems to me he only had to beat out the severely one dimensional Novak. Then again Novak really didn’t get the burn he should have either. It’s tough to gauge given Woodson’s rotation preference. Hell, if Stat can hold up, Bargnani might suffer the same fate as Woodson believes in Kmart and Stat more and doesn’t wanna give Bargnani a try. But until Copeland does it as his team’s best weapon for a season, I can’t pick him over Bargnani as a rotation piece.

As noted during the playoffs, Woody’s rotation choices made pretty much zero sense during the Indy series (I’ll give him a mulligan on the Boston series since I think Cope was nursing an injury during that series). When he finally played Cope, Cope played really well.

And again, I thought it was fair to question the success that Cope had while playing limited minutes. But then he duplicated that success playing bigger minutes. Skepticism is fine when all a guy does is play garbage minutes. But when he continues to play well in bigger minutes and, in particular, plays so well during the playoffs that the team that beat the Knicks targeted him during the offseason? He’s probably actually a good player. The presumption should at least be in his favor.

That doesn’t really have anything to do with Bargs, since the Knicks never really had a choice between Cope and Bargs because of the salary cap rules. It is just a general “The signs point to COpe being a good player.”

9. SeeWhyDee77

Brian Cronin: As noted during the playoffs, Woody’s rotation choices made pretty much zero sense during the Indy series (I’ll give him a mulligan on the Boston series since I think Cope was nursing an injury during that series). When he finally played Cope, Cope played really well.

And again, I thought it was fair to question the success that Cope had while playing limited minutes. But then he duplicated that success playing bigger minutes. Skepticism is fine when all a guy does is play garbage minutes. But when he continues to play well in bigger minutes and, in particular, plays so well during the playoffs that the team that beat the Knicks targeted him during the offseason? He’s probably actually a good player. The presumption should at least be in his favor.

That doesn’t really have anything to do with Bargs, since the Knicks never really had a choice between Cope and Bargs because of the salary cap rules. It is just a general “The signs point to COpe being a good player.”

Agreed. I think Cope is a good player who would have shown that as a Knick had we been able to keep him. Woodson would have had no choice but to grant him a bigger role. But I think the folks who may think Bargnani is a downgrade from Cope will come away pleasantly surprised. Even if Bargnani plays the same role Cope did. People are letting the fact he’s a #1 pick cloud their judgment about his role on THIS TEAM. He’s got way better talent around him than he had in Toronto, but he still managed to get 21 ppg at some point. So logic should only dictate that he will be more effective with the weapons we have around him. And I fully expect going against Chandler-Melo-MWP-Kmart-Stat every day to make him better. Maybe a lot to expect but I expect it. Also I think Felton and Prigioni can get him the ball where he can be most effective.

10. SeeWhyDee77

Continued

He may even benefit in the defense and toughness department goin against the guys we have on the roster. I’m lookin forward to seein what Bargnani comes out. If he can find some middle ground between his offensive ability and his other offensive (the yucky kind) abilities (defense and rebounding), I will be ecstatic. Honestly just more effort to rebound and defend would be enough for me

11. danvt

The Honorable Cock Jowles: shhhhhhhhhh

I’m gonna go here because you are so arrogant and you almost never take any time to formulate any arguments anymore. You just make sarcastic comments about how little people who don’t agree with you know about basketball.

Is a statistic you don’t like still better than the eye test?

I think PPG is actually a very good statistic! It means the team is relying on a player to score. It means a team is giving a player chances to score over other players. The starting player who takes the most shots and scores the most points generally correlates to being the most well rounded and best player on the court. Carmelo can score in many ways on a basketball court. So can Bargnani. Those guys tend to take more shots and miss more shots because that’s their job.

PPG is a BETTER predictor of success than FG%. You are so enamored with so called efficient players who are completely reliant on others to create for them or who only dunk, that you completely miss what happens in real basketball games.

Even in pickup games at the local high school it happens. The best players are more confident, take more shots, don’t care as much if they miss, and generally dominate the action.

You can argue that if I make the two three pointers I take I’m the best player out there but it isn’t true.

12. Z-man

Hence the argument re: role. Tyson is super-efficient, so long as he doesn’t have to take too many shots. So if Melo took 5 less shots per game and TC took all of those 5 shots, would overall shooting efficiency go up?

So its fair to argue that Melo is not as good at maximizing team efficiency as LBJ or Durant, but comparing him to Faried or Ronnie Brewer is beyond dumb.

That said, once role distinctions are in place, ppg is a weak measure of player value. Melo scored more ppg than Durant, yet Durant is clearly the better offensive player.

13. lavor postell

http://www.postingandtoasting.com/2013/7/30/4563446/andrea-bargnani-best-year-and-how-it-might-help-knicks

“Well the numbers don’t lie, people. Despite shooting less than 30% from beyond the arc, Bargnani was a transcendent presence for the Raptor’s offense in 2011-12. Overall, Toronto had the second-worst offensive efficiency rating that season, but when Bargnani took the court the Raptors offense jumped from a ghastly 99.4 points-per-100-possessions to a league-average 104.3 points-per-100-possessions. That +4.9 offensive rating on/off number was by far the best of Bargnani’s career:

– 2011-12: +4.9

– 2010-11: +3.1

– 2009-10: +2.1

– 2008-09: +0.1

Call it the Bargnani paradox: a reputed shooter performing at his highest level of offensive efficiency while shooting at his lowest level of efficiency. How did he pull it off? First, you should check his assists rate: in 2011-12 he assisted on 11.6% of his teammates’ field goals while he was on the floor, a rate nearly three percent higher than his next-best season. Second, he excelled at getting points from the free-throw line – 4.9 made free throws per game.”

14. The Honorable Cock Jowles

Z-man: So if Melo took 5 less shots per game and TC took all of those 5 shots, would overall shooting efficiency go up?

It depends on whether you think that possessions like a Carmelo Anthony isolation are necessary and unavoidable, and that Chandler’s possessions-used are maximized. I don’t. Stop running ISOs. Keep running plays that have high xPPS.

I expect that with more conclusive data on basketball games in the next ten years, iso is going to go the way of the bunt…

15. The Honorable Cock Jowles

danvt: I think PPG is actually a very good statistic! It means the team is relying on a player to score. It means a team is giving a player chances to score over other players. The starting player who takes the most shots and scores the most points generally correlates to being the most well rounded and best player on the court. Carmelo can score in many ways on a basketball court. So can Bargnani. Those guys tend to take more shots and miss more shots because that’s their job.

I’m sorry you feel this way.

All that it means is that a player used a certain number of possessions in scoring attempts. Believe it or not, EVERY NBA player has confidence. How do we know this?

BECAUSE THEY MADE IT TO THE FUCKING NBA.

Do you think there’s a player — a rotation player — in the NBA who doesn’t go up with the ball when there’s an opportunity? Fuck, you see this in NCAA D-1 ball. We’re talking about the best 400 players in the world, bro. You want to compare the pimply-faced dudes who eat pizza and drink Mountain Dew after games to grown-ass men who are demonstrably the best players in the world? Give me a fucking break.

98% of NBA players can shoot the ball. The difference between an All-NBA player and a normal starter is maybe one more out of every twenty shots going through the rim. EVERYONE HAS CONFIDENCE. EVERYONE CAN SHOOT WITHOUT BEING BLOCKED. THE NBA IS NOT THE YMCA.

16. lavor postell

The Honorable Cock Jowles: I’m sorry you feel this way.

All that it means is that a player used a certain number of possessions in scoring attempts. Believe it or not, EVERY NBA player has confidence. How do we know this?

BECAUSE THEY MADE IT TO THE FUCKING NBA.

Do you think there’s a player — a rotation player — in the NBA who doesn’t go up with the ball when there’s an opportunity? Fuck, you see this in NCAA D-1 ball. We’re talking about the best 400 players in the world, bro. You want to compare the pimply-faced dudes who eat pizza and drink Mountain Dew after games to grown-ass men who are demonstrably the best players in the world? Give me a fucking break.

98% of NBA players can shoot the ball. The difference between an All-NBA player and a normal starter is maybe one more out of every twenty shots going through the rim. EVERYONE HAS CONFIDENCE. EVERYONE CAN SHOOT WITHOUT BEING BLOCKED. THE NBA IS NOT THE YMCA.

Seriously dude? How many fucking times last season did Kidd pass up shots that he clearly should have and needed to be taking? That was the entire fucking Pacers series right there was Kidd passing up or just airballing wide open looks while Copeland sat. You’re trying to tell me Kidd’s confidence in his shot didn’t change from December when he was hitting game winning threes in Brooklyn to May when he didn’t score for like 7 consecutive games?

Did you watch Chandler last year not take more than like six 15 foot jump shots last year when he was wide open constantly? You really don’t see how even if your play works perfectly and you get a wide open look there are some players that will not take or maximize those opportunities, because it’s out of their comfort zone? Do you watch the same fucking sport?

17. danvt

Z-man: That said, once role distinctions are in place, ppg is a weak measure of player value. Melo scored more ppg than Durant, yet Durant is clearly the better offensive player.

I agree. PPG isn’t the be all and end all, obviously. I see ppg as a measure similar to shot attempts per game. Made shots or missed, the better players are trusted more and thus get more attempts. So, Jowles, what I’m saying is, in a real basketball game, as opposed to one on a google doc, the better players, with better outside shots, who are quicker, bigger, and better DRIBBLERS AND WHO ARE, YOU KNOW, BETTER AT BASKETBALL, TEND TO GET MORE ATTEMPTS, AND SCORE MORE, AND THIS IS AS TRUE IN THE NBA AS IT IS IN THE YMCA.

I’ll even throw more gas on this fire now and say that, one on one, Andrea Bargnani would KILL Tiago Splitter or Kenneth Faried or Steve Novak. He has a WELL ROUNDED game. His coach has not said, “Andrea, your job is to stand at the three line in the corner or box out while Danny Green takes a three.” He has been entrusted as a creator and a scorer. 98% of basketball players CANNOT shoot the ball, and very few are trusted to be a lead player on a team. Even someone who has failed at that role is better than the many one dimensional athletes who populate the NBA.

So, while ppg certainly belies the fact that Durant is better than Carmelo, it is not a value-less measure. FG% has way less value than PPG, IMHO.

PS, Jowles, I took a little while to formulate my thoughts here. You might take similar time to read them and then to formulate your own. Your rant is close to unreadable and very difficult to understand.

18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

Hilarious. Andrea Bargnani is better than Splitter, Faried, or even the one-dimensional Steve Novak. Just hilarious. I have no words.

You keep looking at points per game and let it confirm that the best players get opportunities because they are the best players. Held up with totally baseless assumptions.

No one gives a shit about FG%, either.

19. The Honorable Cock Jowles

lavor postell: Seriously dude? How many fucking times last season did Kidd pass up shots that he clearly should have and needed to be taking? That was the entire fucking Pacers series right there was Kidd passing up or just airballing wide open looks while Copeland sat. You’re trying to tell me Kidd’s confidence in his shot didn’t change from December when he was hitting game winning threes in Brooklyn to May when he didn’t score for like 7 consecutive games?

It’s normally a good idea to use a 40-year-old (now-retired) athlete as your evidence, the outlier that disproves the principle. Bravo!

If only there were 16-year-olds in the league so you could get both ends of the spectrum.

20. Z-man

THCJ, I’m not a big fan of iso-ball beyond a 3-4second move in a 1 on 1 situation. In that context, all great players should take advantage of situations when they are isolated in their comfort zone against an inferior defender or vulnerable defensive situation. Chris Paul does it. Lebron does it. Duncan does it. Durant does it.

The issue with Melo is that he thinks that he can score on anyone (or 2) at any time, whereas the others recognize the diminishing odds of converting as the situation unfolds. If the others iso’d as often as Melo, they probably are less efficient than him. I agree that if he worked at cutting back on iso’s and contested 3’s and worked on getting the ball to Chandler in good spots, efficiency would improve somewhat, although turnovers would also increase and offensive rebounds might decrease.

21. danvt

There is an assumption on this board that, “if we had just drawn Hibbert out of the paint” we would have won. The problem is that on the defensive end of the floor we needed someone to push him out of the paint. So, the coach opted for a hurt Tyson Chandler over a one dimensional Chris Copeland.

Coaches are the ones who make decisions and they want to win. If a guy gets more shots than another it’s not because of their reputation with fan bois like me. It’s because a coach thought, “Chris Copeland time?, no”.

Then dudes like you turn around and second guess those decisions because a guy has a good FG%. Oh wait…EFG%. Let’s replace Woodson with Cock Jowles! Let’s replace Carmelo with Tiago Splitter (that was a strait up deal you proposed right?)

Novak is a great three point shooter who scored about six points a game. Good at one thing but not a major factor. Faried, Splitter are rebounders, defenders and hustle players. Not without merit, certainly, but a different animal than someone like Carmelo or even Bargnani. PPG or even shot attempts can help exemplify.

What makes LBJ and Durant so special is that they combine high efficiency with multidimensionality. Manu, Duncan, Parker, Dirk, etc. these are all guys that have an answer when you shut one aspect of their game down. That’s why they contend for championships and lead their teams in scoring.

You DO have words. Unfortunately they’re just not that relevant to what actually happens on a basketball court.

The Honorable Cock Jowles: Hilarious. Andrea Bargnani is better than Splitter, Faried, or even the one-dimensional Steve Novak. Just hilarious. I have no words.

You keep looking at points per game and let it confirm that the best players get opportunities because they are the best players. Held up with totally baseless assumptions.

No one gives a shit about…

22. lavor postell

The Honorable Cock Jowles: It’s normally a good idea to use a 40-year-old (now-retired) athlete as your evidence, the outlier that disproves the principle. Bravo!

If only there were 16-year-olds in the league so you could get both ends of the spectrum.

Well according to WP wasn’t Kidd a top-5 point guard in the league last year? What exactly does his age have to do with him passing up wide open shots?

23. The Honorable Cock Jowles

Z-man: The issue with Melo is that he thinks that he can score on anyone (or 2) at any time, whereas the others recognize the diminishing odds of converting as the situation unfolds. If the others iso’d as often as Melo, they probably are less efficient than him. I agree that if he worked at cutting back on iso’s and contested 3?s and worked on getting the ball to Chandler in good spots, efficiency would improve somewhat, although turnovers would also increase and offensive rebounds might decrease.

I totally agree. My issue has never been whether Carmelo is talented enough to improve, but whether he actually can produce that change in efficiency. Shot selection is part of the package that a basketball player brings. It’s more frustrating when it’s perceived to be a willful thing (i.e. Carmelo chooses to take difficult shots that masters like LeBron now see as last-ditch-attempts only), but the fact remains that Carmelo does take those shots. We can be diagnostic about that, but it doesn’t change the point that he needs to change an aspect of his game to reach an elite level. Likewise, we can talk shit on Faried for not having a mid-range game instead of focusing on the fact that he is one of the best players in the game at getting close to the rim for a high xPPS attempt.

24. The Honorable Cock Jowles

danvt: Coaches are the ones who make decisions and they want to win. If a guy gets more shots than another it’s not because of their reputation with fan bois like me. It’s because a coach thought, “Chris Copeland time?, no”.

Why does Josh Smith have nearly 1000 3PA for his career? Do you really think that coaches are that authoritative?

Like I’ve said: football coaches still punt despite overwhelming evidence that it is not a good football decision. Baseball coaches still send slow runners on SB attempts. They still bunt despite it almost always being a low-reward play. Don’t think that because someone has a job that he’s an expert at that job.

25. The Honorable Cock Jowles

danvt: Faried, Splitter are rebounders, defenders and hustle players. Not without merit, certainly, but a different animal than someone like Carmelo or even Bargnani. PPG or even shot attempts can help exemplify.

Dude, this is such bullshit. Just because the game is won by point totals doesn’t mean that Faried and Splitter are any less valuable. I mean, christ, Ben Wallace was the best player on the Pistons’ CHAMPIONSHIP team and he is one of the worst scorers in modern NBA history. Equating FGA (which is essentially PPG given how similar most players’ PPS totals are, despite the huge difference in win probability from those small changes in number) with player value is so small-minded it hardly warrants a debate. You could have the shittiest shooters in the league and still win games by collecting lots of extra possessions. If Faried produces a, say, +10 offensive rebound differential and coughs up even three of those extra possessions from inept offensive play, he’ll still be the most valuable player on the floor. Assuming that a player is good because he scores a lot is the reason that the Knicks were fucking terrible for ten years. That’s an Isiah Thomas argument. I can’t believe we’re talking about this.

26. The Honorable Cock Jowles

The Honorable Cock Jowles: Why does Josh Smith have nearly 1000 3PA for his career? Do you really think that coaches are that authoritative?

Like I’ve said: football coaches still punt despite overwhelming evidence that it is not a good football decision. Baseball coaches still send slow runners on SB attempts. They still bunt despite it almost always being a low-reward play. Don’t think that because someone has a job that he’s an expert at that job.

Let me temper that argument.

Coaches can be really good at some things and awful at others. NBA coaches are, in part, counselors, managers, and PR men. They deal with millionaire athletes who could, at any moment, check out and mail it in. They have to deal with egos and be the buffer between the front office and the players. They oversee staffing decisions, quite often. They give press conferences and often take heat for players’ poor play. If they lose on a last-second circus shot, the media asks what went wrong and asks who they should blame. You can be great at all of those things and still make stupid decisions like playing Andrea “5.5 TRB/36″ Bargnani because you’re impressed that a seven-footer has such a nice shot.

27. danvt

The Honorable Cock Jowles: They still bunt despite it almost always being a low-reward play.

I love the bunt. Best play in the game. You’d think a guy like you would love the bunt but no. Score runs without hits, no. Move runners into scoring position, no. Keep out of double plays, no. One of those plays that fails the reviled eye test but is effective, no. Cano the other night wouldn’t even lay one down in the bottom of the ninth with two on and no one out, oy! That made me want to give up baseball, more so than I even already have, but I digress.

28. danvt

The Honorable Cock Jowles: Why does Josh Smith have nearly 1000 3PA for his career? Do you really think that coaches are that authoritative?

Talk about a baseless assumption. Coaches aren’t authoritative because Woodson thought Josh Smith gave the Hawks, a playoff team, the best chance to win? I should know not to engage you but I just can’t help myself.

29. flossy

The Honorable Cock Jowles: It’s normally a good idea to use a 40-year-old (now-retired) athlete as your evidence, the outlier that disproves the principle. Bravo!

If only there were 16-year-olds in the league so you could get both ends of the spectrum.

This from the guy who posted a video of Chris Copeland scoring on Shelvin Mack as evidence that he’s defended like any other #1 scoring option in the NBA. Idiot.

30. danvt

The Honorable Cock Jowles: Assuming that a player is good because he scores a lot is the reason that the Knicks were fucking terrible for ten years. That’s an Isiah Thomas argument. I can’t believe we’re talking about this.

I made no such assumption. I just assume that if a coach has a better option he’s going to push that button. You assume the opposite. You assume that a coach thinks he has an obligation to get shots for a star player and values that over winning.

31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

flossy: This from the guy who posted a video of Chris Copeland scoring on Shelvin Mack as evidence that he’s defended like any other #1 scoring option in the NBA.Idiot.

Quick! Let’s find all of the shot attempts against Shelvin Mack and discredit them!

32. The Honorable Cock Jowles

danvt: I made no such assumption.I just assume that if a coach has a better option he’s going to push that button.You assume the opposite.You assume that a coach thinks he has an obligation to get shots for a star player and values that over winning.

You know what’s almost always a better option than bunting? Swinging the bat. You know what happens, too often? Bunts.

You’d think the coaches would want to win, but really they want to see bunts.

33. danvt

You don’t think Cano should have moved runners on first and second over, with no outs and the score tied in the bottom of the ninth? (He ended up striking out, btw) Do you think they should have played for a big inning?

The Honorable Cock Jowles: You know what’s almost always a better option than bunting? Swinging the bat.

34. DRed

danvt:
You don’t think Cano should have moved runners on first and second over, with no outs and the score tied in the bottom of the ninth?(He ended up striking out, btw) Do you think they should have played for a big inning?

You want your best hitter (by a country mile) swinging the bat with a runner in scoring position in a tie game. That’s a not even a point worth arguing.

35. danvt

DRed: You want your best hitter (by a country mile) swinging the bat with a runner in scoring position in a tie game. That’s a not even a point worth arguing.

Wow! Well that makes no sense at all but I won’t argue it with you. (Or anything else)

36. flossy

The Honorable Cock Jowles: Quick! Let’s find all of the shot attempts against Shelvin Mack and discredit them!

Quick! Let’s talk ourselves into believing that Shelvin Mack is the dude teams use to guard players with top-15 scoring chops like Chris Copeland.

37. The Honorable Cock Jowles

DRed: You want your best hitter (by a country mile) swinging the bat with a runner in scoring position in a tie game.That’s a not even a point worth arguing.

A single wins the game. A bunt is a near-guaranteed out. I don’t see how this is arguable. Why am I still arguing in this thread?

I mean, is this what Knickerblogger is about? Arguing that points-per-game is indicative of a player being good? I thought that Marbury and Curry and Jamal Crawford helped us through that fallacious argument.

flossy,

If NBA teams “allowed” Copeland to put up 58% TS on 25 USG% by playing him against inferior defenses, those teams are terribly managed.

38. danvt

The Honorable Cock Jowles: A single wins the game. A bunt is a near-guaranteed out. I don’t see how this is arguable. Why am I still arguing in this thread?

1st and 2nd, no outs, bottom of the ninth, tie game, you only need one run. The bunt is a very good play, and in my mind, and a lot of peoples (John Smoltz most recently that I’ve heard), the best play even if it is the best hitter on the team “by a country mile”.

The fact that this bewilders you shows your true colors. I really can’t take any of your arguments seriously. I like a good argument but this is like a farting contest with a skunk.

39. DRed

If you look at run expectancy matrixes, you have a greater chance of scoring with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs as you do with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. It’s not a huge difference, but when you consider how much better of a hitter Cano is than his teammates, it’s an easy choice to have him swing.

40. Igno-Bot 3000

I just spent some time pouring through the 08-09 and 09-10 Raptors seasons to see Bargnani’s effect on each team. I looked at the 5-man lineups for each season to see the difference between Bargs being in the lineup or not.

Generally his effect was a net negative. Offensively, his effect on the effective field goal percentage of the team was barely positive in 08-09 (0.37% greater with him on the floor) and negative in 09-10 (4% worse with him on the floor). Points per possession were a little higher without him in 08-09 (0.02) and more significantly higher without him in 09-10 (0.25).

Rebound percentage was 1-2% higher with him off the floor both years. Turnover percentage was 2% lower with him off the floor in 08-09 and 1% higher with him off the floor in 09-10.

Defensively the effective field goal percentage against the Raptors was higher with him on the floor (3% in 08-09, 5% in 09-10). Defensive points per possession were higher with him on the floor in 08-09 (0.06), though interestingly lower with him on the floor in 09-10 (0.12).

Net points per possession with Bargnani on the floor were negative in 08-09 (-0.06) and positive in 09-10 (0.02). Without him, net points per possession in were 0.02 in 08-09 and 0.15 in 09-10. Meaning the team was generally better with him off the floor.

As far as sample size goes (82games only has the top 20 lineups for each season), I have 514 minutes with him off the floor in 08-09 and 120 minutes with him off the floor in 09-10. For the most part, Jermaine O’Neal was playing in Bargnani’s place in 08-09 and Amir Johnson was playing in his place in 09-10.

41. Igno-Bot 3000

Successful lineups with Bargnani:

08-09
Solomon-Parker-Moon-Bargnani-Bosh (142 minutes in 08-09, as opposed to Calderon at the 1 or Marion at the 3. Good offense: 53% eFG, Bad defense: 52% eFGA, (Relatively?) Good rebounding: 50.5%. 1.07 points per possession, 1.03 points allowed per possession.)

The team without Bargnani had a 50% eFG, 50% eFGA, 48.5% rebounding, 1.08 points per possession, 1.06 points allowed per possession.

09-10
Calderon-Weems-Wright-Bargnani-Bosh (110 minutes in 09-10, as opposed to Jack, Derozan, Turkoglu at the 1/2/3. Offense: 51% eFG, Defense: 49% eFGA, Rebounding: 53%. 1.18 points per possession, 1.11 points allowed per possession)

Jack-Weems-Turkoglu-Bargnani-Bosh (101 minutes in 09-10. Offense: 51% eFG, Defense: 44% eFGA, Rebounding: 52%. 1.12 points per possession, 1.08 points allowed per possession)

The team without Bargnani had 52.5% eFG, 41% eFGA, Rebounding: 53%. 1.19 points per possession, 1.04 points allowed per possession)

42. Igno-Bot 3000

Made an error in the 09-10 calculations. The difference in points per possession with him off the floor was 0.07, not 0.12. Defensive points in possession with him off the floor were 0.09 greater with him on the floor.

To conclude this means that in his two most “successful” years, his team was both better offensively and defensively with him off the floor!!

I realize this was all kind of dense, but you have to squint your eyes pretty hard to see any kind of positive impact he had on the team. His most successful lineups in 09-10 weren’t as good as the team with him off the floor. His successful in 08-09 was better than the team without him due to a good offense and good rebounding.

I came into this unbiased to see what impact he had on the team as at least the second option on the team with a 51% eFG and 55% TS%. I ignored his 07-08 season because his stats were generally worse that year and ignored his 10-11 season because he was the #1 option. I will glady look at those seasons if somebody is interested.

If there is anybody interested in any other information from any of these seasons regarding the 5-man lineups, I will be happy to do more research.

43. danvt

DRed: If you look at run expectancy matrixes, you have a greater chance of scoring with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs as you do with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. It’s not a huge difference, but when you consider how much better of a hitter Cano is than his teammates, it’s an easy choice to have him swing.

OK, at least you’re giving me something here. I’ll look at expectancy matrixes (matrices?). Another thing you could say is that they’re certain to walk Soriano with first base open and then you most likely need a fly ball and your hoping Overbay, not your best hitter by a country mile, gets it. I still think the bunt in that particular situation and others is a good play though, and it hasn’t been debunked as some myth from baseball’s past or whatever. It’s certainly arguable.

44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

danvt: OK, at least you’re giving me something here.I’ll look at expectancy matrixes (matrices?).Another thing you could say is that they’re certain to walk Soriano with first base open and then you most likely need a fly ball and your hoping Overbay, not your best hitter by a country mile, gets it.I still think the bunt in that particular situation and others is a good play though, and it hasn’t been debunked as some myth from baseball’s past or whatever.It’s certainly arguable.

I thought that everyone who speaks about bunting knows about run expectancy.

It is NOT a good play. Objectively, it is a terrible play.

http://www.blessyouboys.com/2011/8/17/2365806/a-sabermetric-view-of-bunting

It doesn’t matter what John Smoltz says. It is not good.

45. BigBlueAL

danvt:
You don’t think Cano should have moved runners on first and second over, with no outs and the score tied in the bottom of the ninth?(He ended up striking out, btw) Do you think they should have played for a big inning?

Cano in 2013 in this pathetic lineup should never even entertain the thought of bunting. Hell Cano since 2009 should never think about bunting considering he has been one of the best players in baseball in the past few years.

Scrubs like Stewart/Lillibridge/Nix etc fine go ahead and sac bunt, its the same crap as letting them swing away for the most part. Problem is (which has happened this season a few times) is one of them bunting with the other 2 hitting behind them. You dont give up an out to advance runners with an even more automatic out hitting next.

But thats a different topic for a different website lol.

46. JK47

If I was a Yankee fan, I’d be screaming and throwing things at the TV if Cano bunted in that situation.

Bunting only still exists because baseball is the slowest-changing, stodgiest, old-man sport in the world, in which “tradition” dictates what is the smart play. Baseball managers are by and large HORRIBLE at playing the percentages. It has taken many, many years for baseball managers to figure out that bunting is usually a really stupid play. They’re still nowhere near figuring out how to use relief pitchers correctly.

47. BigBlueAL

The Honorable Cock Jowles: Dude, this is such bullshit. Just because the game is won by point totals doesn’t mean that Faried and Splitter are any less valuable. I mean, christ, Ben Wallace was the best player on the Pistons’ CHAMPIONSHIP team and he is one of the worst scorers in modern NBA history. Equating FGA (which is essentially PPG given how similar most players’ PPS totals are, despite the huge difference in win probability from those small changes in number) with player value is so small-minded it hardly warrants a debate. You could have the shittiest shooters in the league and still win games by collecting lots of extra possessions. If Faried produces a, say, +10 offensive rebound differential and coughs up even three of those extra possessions from inept offensive play, he’ll still be the most valuable player on the floor. Assuming that a player is good because he scores a lot is the reason that the Knicks were fucking terrible for ten years. That’s an Isiah Thomas argument. I can’t believe we’re talking about this.

The league leader in offensive rebs per game usually averages a bit over 4 a game. Thats it. Not saying those arent important but you put way too much value in basically 4 offensive rebs per game. Ben Wallace in 2004 averaged 4 offensive rebs per game with a 44% TS%. He was God awful on offense.

The Heat and Spurs were 26th and 29th in offensive reb% this season. To me defensive reb% is way more important. Then again the Heat were only 24th in defensive reb%. The Heat just won a championship despite being pretty bad at rebounding. Of course they are a very unique team, most teams I would think couldnt get away with being such a poor rebounding team. Although in today’s NBA not sure if rebounding is necessarily as important as in the past.

48. dtrickey

We Knickerblogger enthusiasts fall way to much in love with end of the bench guys and training camp invitees. Don’t get me wrong I loved what Cope brought to the table, but fact is he was a 28 y.o. rookie who largely played garabge time and pinch hit when we were short becaus eof injuries. Yes he did have some great outings, but I don’t think that justifies us giving him what Indiana gave him.

Like I said I loved what he brought in limited playing time, and he would have endeared himslef if he took less, when in all likelyhood the Indiana offer was potentially his only shot a some nice cash. In the past we would have given guys like Cope a blank cheque and just told him to write a figure down. I’m happy we are at last not overpaying (setting myself up here) bench warmers and garabage time all-stars.

Looking at what we’ve got back so far this offseason in comparison to what we’ve lost, I can live with loosing Cope…….until he burns us for 30 points on some ridculous Knicks karma thing.

49. danvt

BigBlueAL: Cano in 2013 in this pathetic lineup should never even entertain the thought of bunting.

JK47: If I was a Yankee fan, I’d be screaming and throwing things at the TV if Cano bunted in that situation.

Seems pretty simple to me. I’m amazed at the virulence of the sentiment around here. Certain situations there’s no excuse not to sacrifice, to me. If you disagree and can make a reasonable argument, I may see it but I don’t like the “it’s just stupid to bunt because it’s been proven that it doesn’t work” argument. Yes it’s an argument for another blog but I hope people aren’t committed to other analysis with the same religious type fundamentalism.

PPG is another one. Anthony, Durant, Bryant, James, Harden, Westbrook, Curry, Wade, Aldridge, Lopez. Not a top ten list of best players in the league but it’ll give a clue or two as to who’s valuable to their specific team. I’m not defending it as a be all and end all stat but I don’t need the “I can’t believe anyone is even bringing this up, it’s so 1980’s” snobbery.

Finally, the idea that a role player could have as much value as a lead player is absurd. Role players do certain things well and others poorly. Their deficiencies need to be mitigated by team schemes but their statistics may look excellent because they don’t do what they’re bad at. It seems like, to many around here, if you’re bad at shooting, don’t do it very often, and are good at one other aspect of the game you somehow have as much value as Carmelo Anthony.

Carmelo stinks compared to Lebron James and a few others. That’s his competition. If he doesn’t step up, his career will be considered a failure. That’s fair. Saying you’d rather have Faried or Splitter is just dumb. You’ve…

50. JK47

Certain situations there’s no excuse not to sacrifice, to me. If you disagree and can make a reasonable argument, I may see it but I don’t like the “it’s just stupid to bunt because it’s been proven that it doesn’t work” argument.

It’s common sense. You don’t have the guy who is far and away your best hitter bunt with two on and none out, so you can have Alfonso “I strike out 150 times a year” come up next. You don’t take the one guy on your team who is LEAST likely to make an out and turn him into a free out. It’s not like Ruth and Gehrig are coming up after Cano gets the bunt down. The Yankees have exactly one competent hitter– you don’t take the bat out of his hands.

Your best chance of winning the game is letting your best hitter swing the bat with a runner in scoring position. Bunting in that situation is foolish. The only reason to do it is because of tradition– because that’s how Leo Durocher would have done it 50 years ago.

51. Igno-Bot 3000

For anyone curious about my 5-man unit studies, I just did one on Copeland and it looks like his (limited sample size – 113 minutes) contributions were largely negligible. Having him on the court raised the points per possession and the points allowed possession nearly the same amount. Rebounding went down by 2% and net turnover percentage went up by around 2% (meaning steals relative to turnovers).

Out of my own curiosity I input Novak’s 11-12 numbers in and his small bump in offense was no match for his damage in defense. In a vacuum he was a net-zero player but relative to the Knicks’ standards he didn’t contribute much of value last year.

Finally I put in Stoudemire’s number’s from last year and he was terrible for us. Worse on offense, worse on defense, better in rebounding and worse in turnovers.

52. danvt

JK47: The only reason to do it is because of tradition– because that’s how Leo Durocher would have done it 50 years ago.

No, the reason to do it is to score a run without a hit. The best hitters still get out six out of ten times. Dag! I mean the spew coming out over this. At least Jowles and Dred gave me something to think about (though it was unconvincing ultimately). Everybody else who has weighed in has been knee jerk and thoughtless.

To me, saying Cano should never bunt is like people saying Carmelo shouldn’t pass. I mean, he’s there best player by far right? Why shouldn’t he take every shot?

Jeter would have bunted.

After he struck out I thought I’d never watch NYK again I was so pissed. I may forgive Girardi (maybe Cano just CAN’T bunt) but that doesn’t make the bunt, WITH TWO RUNNERS ON AND NO ONE OUT IN THE BOTTOM OF THE 9TH A CATEGORICALLY BAD PLAY. Get your heads out of your asses people.

53. Z-man

The Honorable Cock Jowles: Likewise, we can talk shit on Faried for not having a mid-range game instead of focusing on the fact that he is one of the best players in the game at getting close to the rim for a high xPPS attempt.

This is not a reasonable comparison. Faried couldn’t possibly in a million years be an efficient high usage scorer. Melo could, if he wanted to, do most of the things that Faried does as well as Faried does, except possibly rebound, although Melo is also a good rebounder when in position and when he puts his mind to it. In other words, if they switched roles, Faried would absolutely kill his team, while Melo would probably be pretty damn good as a highly selective low usage rebounder. Of course, we’ll never know, but imagint a team of 5 Faried clones playing a team of 5 Melo clones. Do you honestly, truly believe that the Faried clones would have a chance?

The Honorable Cock Jowles: I mean, christ, Ben Wallace was the best player on the Pistons’ CHAMPIONSHIP team and he is one of the worst scorers in modern NBA history.

This is a curious statement from you. He had only the 4th highest WS48 on his team. However, what made him great was his defensive presence…4-time DPOY…more than his rebounding (Mehmet Okur was not that far off as a rebounder on that team.) Ironically, his terrorizing opponents on defense hardly gets picked up by WS48 or WP48; it’s an intangible “eye test” thing. PS that team might have been the luckiest championship team ever. They had a 54-win season, then went through 3 conference matchups that shouldn’t have scared anyone. Finally they took advantage of a totally dysfunctional Laker team. Not that they weren’t good, in fact, they were a joy to watch from a purist perspective.

54. BigBlueAL

danvt, what you basically wanted was the best hitter on the team to bunt to basically have 1 chance to score a run on an out. Instead of having 3 chances to win the game with a hit (with the 1st chance being with your best hitter) you would rather have him get out on purpose to give a weaker hitter a chance to win the game without getting a hit and if that doesnt work than have an even weaker hitter with a chance to win the game with a hit.

If this was 2009 when 8 of the 9 hitters in the lineup were all well above average hitters then fine bunt since the next 2 hitters are just as good if not better so I can understand that logic. But not this season with this horrible lineup.

Also with Jeter, I hate how much he has bunted during his career especially early in the game. He is an excellent hitter who shouldnt be bunting as much as he has. Now Jeter bunting in the bottom of the 9th to bring up Tex/Arod/Posada/Cano/Swisher in 2009 is acceptable, especially since Jeter is prone to grounding into a double play. Plus he is a good enough bunter that he may bunt and get a hit out of it (at least back then when he could still run fast).

I think its actually a great/fun debate baseball strategy. I didnt mean to come off as being that dismissive of your bunting strategy in general. But sorry for me this season no way in hell I would ever want Cano bunting. Even now when he is in a 6 for 44 slump lol.

55. BigBlueAL

This is a curious statement from you. He had only the 4th highest WS48 on his team. However, what made him great was his defensive presence…4-time DPOY…more than his rebounding (Mehmet Okur was not that far off as a rebounder on that team.) Ironically, his terrorizing opponents on defense hardly gets picked up by WS48 or WP48; it’s an intangible “eye test” thing. PS that team might have been the luckiest championship team ever. They had a 54-win season, then went through 3 conference matchups that shouldn’t have scared anyone. Finally they took advantage of a totally dysfunctional Laker team. Not that they weren’t good, in fact, they were a joy to watch from a purist perspective.

Read what I wrote above about Ben Wallace, he was awful offensively that season. His 4 offensive rebs per game doesnt change that.

Now he was amazing on D obviously, no arguments there. But the fact that he got 4 offensive rebs per game and didnt turn the ball over doesnt change the fact he sucked offensively.

THCJ puts way too much emphasis to me on low usage guys who rebound well because to him every player in the NBA can score if they wanted to and got to take alot of shots. Its as if the smart players only take 5 shots per game because they know they will make most of them and thats smart basketball. Problem is teams need to take about 80 shots a game to score enough points to win.

THCJ makes enough comments that shows he watches plenty of basketball and just doesnt look at box scores or WP spread sheets. I just dont agree with his philosophy in evaluating players. He gives way too much credit to NBA players because he thinks every one of them can just score at will if given the chance and FGA so he values guys who basically do everything but shoot it seems unless he is a great player like LeBron or KD who can shoot alot but do so efficiently. He can be a bit annoying though with his Knicks pessimism lol.

56. nicos

Finally I put in Stoudemire’s number’s from last year and he was terrible for us.Worse on offense, worse on defense, better in rebounding and worse in turnovers.

As I recall the numbers showed the Knicks were really good with Amare at PF and absolutely awful when he played center. They were +9.7 ppg with him at forward and -6.4 ppg with him at center.

57. Igno-Bot 3000

nicos: As I recall the numbers showed the Knicks were really good with Amare at PF and absolutely awful when he played center.They were +9.7 ppg with him at forward and -6.4 ppg with him at center.

Wow yep. Amare’s stint as center was so bad it tanked the rest of his numbers. Both lineups with him at the 4 were quite successful.

58. Igno-Bot 3000

What’s funny is that the exact combo that’s such a disaster with Amare (Prigioni/Smith/Novak/Anthony) is phenomenal with Chandler as center. One of the team’s best lineups of the year.

59. danvt

BigBlueAL: danvt, what you basically wanted was the best hitter on the team to bunt to basically have 1 chance to score a run on an out. Instead of having 3 chances to win the game with a hit (with the 1st chance being with your best hitter) you would rather have him get out on purpose to give a weaker hitter a chance to win the game without getting a hit and if that doesnt work than have an even weaker hitter with a chance to win the game with a hit.

If this was 2009 when 8 of the 9 hitters in the lineup were all well above average hitters then fine bunt since the next 2 hitters are just as good if not better so I can understand that logic. But not this season with this horrible lineup.

Also with Jeter, I hate how much he has bunted during his career especially early in the game. He is an excellent hitter who shouldnt be bunting as much as he has. Now Jeter bunting in the bottom of the 9th to bring up Tex/Arod/Posada/Cano/Swisher in 2009 is acceptable, especially since Jeter is prone to grounding into a double play. Plus he is a good enough bunter that he may bunt and get a hit out of it (at least back then when he could still run fast).

I think its actually a great/fun debate baseball strategy. I didnt mean to come off as being that dismissive of your bunting strategy in general. But sorry for me this season no way in hell I would ever want Cano bunting. Even now when he is in a 6 for 44 slump lol.

Thanks for the explanation BBA. I would have still done it but I see why Cano didn’t. I just have always thought that it was the best play in some situations. Maybe some in and around the sport are re-evaluating that now. I know some people still believe in it though. I got on the soap box because I see baseball in general really straying from being the game I learned to love and because some posters here seem incapable seeing grey areas.

60. The Honorable Cock Jowles

danvt: I would have still done it but I see why Cano didn’t.

This is one reason you are not a baseball manager. Bandwagon fallacy all the way to a loss.