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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Aug 24 2013)

  • [New York Post] Monroe mourns Meminger, former Knicks teammate (Sat, 24 Aug 2013 03:49:33 -0500)
    Earl Monroe was in tears yesterday upon hearing his former Knicks roommate and backcourt mate, Dean Meminger, was found dead in a Harlem hotel, possibly of a drug overdose.
    Monroe and Meminger were teammates on the 1973 championship team and became best friends. Monroe is godfather to Meminger’s daughter…

  • [New York Post] Ex-clemency boss got tight with Amar’e (Sat, 24 Aug 2013 02:09:43 -0500)
    PHOENIX — The former head of the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to consider commuting the sentence of Amare Stoudemire’s half brother after developing a personal relationship with the Knicks player, records released by the board show.
    Jesse Hernandez resigned last week after an internal investigation concluded he repeatedly…

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Liberty Lose to Chicago (Sat, 24 Aug 2013 04:02:33 GMT)
    Sylvia Fowles scored 14 points to lead host Chicago to an 82-64 win over the Liberty, clinching the Sky’s first playoff berth in its eight-year history.    

  • [New York Times] Dean Meminger, Who Helped Knicks to a Title, Dies at 65 (Sat, 24 Aug 2013 01:12:29 GMT)
    The speedy point guard and tenacious defender had long battled drug problems.    

  • [New York Daily News] Dean (The Dream) Meminger is dead at 65 (Sat, 24 Aug 2013 08:22:50 GMT)
    Meminger, a key backup player during the 1973 championship, was found dead by staff at a Harlem hotel.    

  • 32 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Aug 24 2013)

    1. danvt

      RIP Dean the Dream! He scrimmaged with my middle school team. Just an ebullient personality. Great ball player, great New Yorker and a great man.

    2. Unreason

      That is very cool news about the camera. Apart from the amazing analytics it will support, it would seem to have tremendous advantages for improving in-game officiating in real time. Maybe not this year but in the next 3-4 yrs I bet we’ll see that. Official box score stats should get a lot more reliable right away I would think. If so, it’ll be interesting to see whose assist and rebound jump up or down with more objective measurement.

    3. SeeWhyDee77

      Melo says he wants to figure the p&r out and run it more. And his trainer says he’s watching a lot of film and making a serious effort to make it a strength of his. Well, obviously that is GREAT news as he is a better passer/ball handler than critics give him credit for. No..not on LeBron’s level with it, but still better than a ton of forwards in the league that handle the ball as much as he does. But my point of bringin this up is Melo has been labeled as selfish, an unconscious gunner, and incapable of actually leading a team. I think this news, and the way he’s played as a Knick is evidence to the contrary. For the most part. The “unconscious gunner” realized how much dangerous he can be and how much more he can help his team if he adds this wrinkle to his game. Yea he could be better on defense. But I can live with it because he gives us so much on offense. I like his willingness to evolve and drive to be the absolute best. He kinda gets a worse rep than he deserves and I wonder how the conversation about him changes if this wrinkle works for him. I think he looked at the additions and saw the potential on offense and said to himself “how can I lead this team and bring out the best in these guys around me? Ah! P&R, hit the open man and stay in the physical shape I was in last season!” Melo doesn’t get credit in most circles for that. But when Durant or LeBron or Rose or Griffin says its time for them to step up and add this or change that, it’s big news.

    4. SeeWhyDee77

      SeeWhyDee77: But my point of bringin this up is Melo has been labeled as selfish, an unconscious gunner, and incapable of actually leading a team. I think this news, and the way he’s played as a Knick is evidence to the contrary. For the most part. The “unconscious gunner”

      Meant gunner without conscience not unconscious gunner. My bad

    5. massive

      A Melo/Chandler P&R attack would be pretty much unstoppable if Melo could execute passes out of the set (both to Chandler and to open shooters). I’m liking the sound of this, and if it works I hope we try some Melo/Bargnani P&P action too.

      I’m sure we all realize this, but we have zero shot at beating anybody next Spring unless Bargnani basically replicates Dirk’s most recent season (.564 TS%, 24.2 USG%, 7.9 reb/36, 19.9 points/36). The pick and pop would be a useful tool for Bargs to reach that goal.

    6. SeeWhyDee77

      sidestep: Didn’t Melo have many opportunities to run PnR under D’Antoni?

      No not really because Pringles preferred to let Lin handle those. Melo had opportunities but not a whole lot. On top of that, and this is a major fault on Melo, he didn’t believe in the system because it allowed an unproven PG run the show while he did a lot of off ball move my and spotting up. Well..he was required to anyway. I guess u can blame that on both Pringles and Melo. Pringles preferred to coach to lin’s strengths more than his best player’s strengths.

    7. SeeWhyDee77

      massive: A Melo/Chandler P&R attack would be pretty much unstoppable if Melo could execute passes out of the set (both to Chandler and to open shooters). I’m liking the sound of this, and if it works I hope we try some Melo/Bargnani P&P action too.

      I’m sure we all realize this, but we have zero shot at beating anybody next Spring unless Bargnani basically replicates Dirk’s most recent season (.564 TS%, 24.2 USG%, 7.9 reb/36, 19.9 points/36). The pick and pop would be a useful tool for Bargs to reach that goal.

      Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but I think Bargnani will thrive playing off of Melo. He’s too skilled not to. I also believe he will work harder on defense and rebounding as he will have a coach in Woodson who leans toward defense, and guys like Chandler-Shump-MWP-Kmart who Han their hats on defense. It’s not like those guys just focus on defense because that’s the only way they’ll play since they suck at offense. Those guys are really good at defense. Prigioni is no slouch there either. Maybe this is the year Melo doesn’t have to carry as much a load on offense and can step up his defensive effort. The team takes a huge step forward if our star plays better defense

    8. SeeWhyDee77

      Oh and I definitely agree that a Melo-Chandler P&R would be amazing..especially if there are guys out there who can knock down J’s consistently. Which is the only way we will miss Novak. Bargnani’s a better all around player

    9. ruruland

      Per Synergy

      Melo ranked third in the NBA as a pnr ballhandler last year, averaging 1.07 ppp on 269 plays.

      Melo was the 5th ranked roll man in the NBA last year as well.

      In 2011-12, Melo ranked 18th in the league as a pnr ballhandler avg .96 PPP on 142 plays.

      Melo also averaged 1.14 PPP on 22 pnr plays as the roll man in 11-12, which would have been a top 10 ranking had he qualified.

      Melo compared with other highly efficient stars

      2011-12 PNR Ballhandler
      Lebron .97 PPP
      Melo .96 PPP
      Durant .93
      Harden .99
      Paul .93
      Wade .89
      Bryant .86
      Curry .97
      Pierce .80
      Parker .85
      Lawson .85

      2011-12 PNR Rollman
      Lebron 1.17 PPP
      Melo 1.14 PPP
      Durant 1.05
      Griffin 1.08

      2012-13 PNR Ballhandler
      Melo 1.07
      Lebron .92
      Durant .91
      Harden 1.00
      Paul .98
      Williams .75
      Bryant .86
      Wade .84
      Curry .87
      Lawson .88
      Parker .91

    10. ruruland

      The above shows you the power of shot distribution. It’s the kind of thing our friend Owen has never been able to wrap his head around.

      Melo’s 269 possessions as a pick and roll ballhandler were a lot in 67 games relative to the average guard/wing. However, they represented a smaller part of his shot mix compared to the other guys on the list. Most of those players used 15-20 + percent of their possessions in the pick and roll.

      It’s not as though Melo isn’t capable of significantly raising the amount of pick and rolls he’s involved in. Look at the other players on those lists. Almost all of them are primary ballhandlers.

      The primary reason Melo didn’t have a TS% near .600 last year, as has been true throughout much of his career, was his shot distribution.

      In Denver, Melo played in an unstructured offensive system that stressed quick shots, transition and semi-transition. He rarely had much shooting around him, and played with non-traditional guards that were most effective in isolation and post-ups (Billups and Miller).

      Pick and rolls were not the emphasis of the offense, and were a largely neglected part of Melo’s game. His isolation and post-up centric approach developed in Denver.

      But the year after Melo was traded to New York, his off-season emphasis was developing his pick and roll handling so he would better mesh in the 4-out as the Knicks primary playmaker.

      Melo actually played much better as the point forward than he was given credit for.

      To wit, Melo was averaging 4.5 assists per 36 minutes prior to Lin’s emergence. He had an assist percentage of 27.4. Melo was putting up those numbers without the benefit of a Steve Novak or JR Smith to spread the floor and make those corner 3-pointers.

      It’s reasonable to assume that with just average shooting Melo would have been in the 5 assist area as the team’s primary ballhandler.

    11. ruruland

      Remember that some of us observed in 2011-12 that Melo started to shift back to a more independent isolation-centric offensive approach as the Knicks shooting woes lingered on through January.

      Last year, Melo led the league in usage by a large margin, and nearly 50 percent of his shots came off post-ups and isolations.

      That’s way too much.

      I think the coaching staff has recognized how great Melo is as pnr ballhandler, and have relayed that message to Ravin and Melo.

      Remember that the Melo/Chandler pnr was the bread and butter player in the 4th quarter of close games last year.

      That’s Woodson who called those plays.

      I think the idea going into last season was to have Felton act as the team’s primary pnr attacker. I don’t think that will change much, and I still think Melo is almost always going to find the ball if a set doesn’t create a shot in the first 14 seconds.

      But Melo can’t have a shot distribution like he’s had historically on a team with shooting and attacking like the Knicks will have next year.

      I think Melo needs to be initiating sets much more frequently . He passes more frequently in the pnr as it allows him to see the floor and develop a rhythm managing the game.

      Felton plays in spurts and when he’s tired after one of those spurts he starts to take those mid-range shots.

      There’s no reason for that to happen next year.

      A 10-15 percent reduction in isolations and post-ups should be made in pnr plays as the ballhandler in roller, and that’s kind of change will not only shoot-up Melo’s efficiency, but it will ensure the offense doesn’t stagnate too much. That only happens if the Knicks emphasize getting the ball to Melo earlier in the clock and further from the basket

      There’s still a place for isolations and post-ups, even if they are less efficient shots. And Melo is still going to the primary bail-out option with 10 seconds or less.

    12. ruruland

      SeeWhyDee77: No not really because Pringles preferred to let Lin handle those. Melo had opportunities but not a whole lot. On top of that, and this is a major fault on Melo, he didn’t believe in the system because it allowed an unproven PG run the show while he did a lot of off ball move my and spotting up. Well..he was required to anyway. I guess u can blame that on both Pringles and Melo. Pringles preferred to coach to lin’s strengths more than his best player’s strengths.

      Melo’s shot distribution changed dramatically after Lin’s emergence. It was only during the extended losing streak that Melo started to break the offense.

    13. Jack Bauer

      ruruland:
      The above shows you the power of shot distribution. It’s the kind of thing our friend Owen has never been able to wrap his head around.

      Melo’s 269 possessions as a pick and roll ballhandler were a lot in 67 games relative to the average guard/wing. However, they represented a smaller part of his shot mix compared to the other guys on the list.Most of those players used 15-20 + percent of their possessions in the pick and roll.

      It’s not as though Melo isn’t capable of significantly raising the amount of pick and rolls he’s involved in. Look at the other players on those lists. Almost all of them are primary ballhandlers.

      The primary reason Melo didn’t have a TS% near .600 last year, as has been true throughout much of his career, was his shot distribution.

      But the year after Melo was traded to New York, his off-season emphasis was developing his pick and roll handling so he would better mesh in the 4-out as the Knicks primary playmaker.

      Melo actually played much better as the point forward than he was given credit for.

      To wit, Melo was averaging 4.5 assists per 36 minutes prior to Lin’s emergence. He had an assist percentage of 27.4. Melo was putting up those numbers without the benefit of a Steve Novak or JR Smith to spread the floor and make those corner 3-pointers.

      It’s reasonable to assume that with just average shooting Melo would have been in the 5 assist area as the team’s primary ballhandler.

      Nice analysis. Does Woodson know this? We should all hope like hell he figures out how to maximize his best player. To beat good teams in the playoffs the offense needs to be a lot more creative than iso (hero) ball

    14. yellowboy90

      ruruland:
      Per Synergy

      Melo ranked third in the NBA as a pnr ballhandler last year, averaging 1.07 ppp on 269 plays.

      Melo was the 5th ranked roll man in the NBA last year as well.

      In 2011-12, Melo ranked 18th in the league as a pnr ballhandler avg .96 PPP on 142 plays.

      Melo also averaged 1.14 PPP on 22 pnr plays as the roll man in 11-12, which would have been a top 10 ranking had he qualified.

      Melo compared with other highly efficient stars

      2011-12 PNR Ballhandler
      Lebron .97 PPP
      Melo .96 PPP
      Durant .93
      Harden .99
      Paul .93
      Wade .89
      Bryant .86
      Curry .97
      Pierce .80
      Parker .85
      Lawson .85

      2011-12 PNR Rollman
      Lebron 1.17 PPP
      Melo 1.14 PPP
      Durant 1.05
      Griffin 1.08

      2012-13 PNR Ballhandler
      Melo 1.07
      Lebron .92
      Durant .91
      Harden 1.00
      Paul .98
      Williams .75
      Bryant .86
      Wade .84
      Curry .87
      Lawson .88
      Parker .91

      Could you also post the number of attempts from the other players.

    15. Nick C.

      What is it about Melo that causes him, or his coaches, to have him take such a disproportionate number of inefficient or suboptimal shots compared to others? Because at this point in time he has played under several coaches with half a dozen or so point guards and varying amounts of good and/or bad outside shooters.

    16. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Nick C.:
      What is it about Melo that causes him, or his coaches, to have him take such a disproportionate number of inefficient or suboptimal shots compared to others? Because at this point in time he has played under several coaches with half a dozen or so point guards and varying amounts of good and/or bad outside shooters.

      This is the question that needs to be answered.

    17. massive

      I disagree that Melo’s TS% wasn’t in the 600s because of shot selection. I think it’s more because of the treatment Melo got from the refs. Players got to rip Melo’s shoulder out of place without a foul being called. For this very reason, I don’t think Melo will ever be a 600 TS% guy. His body isn’t strong enough to succeed through the foul play. I’ve seen Chris Kaman uppercut Melo in a close game without a foul. I can’t make this stuff up. I’ll take off my tinfoil hat when LeBron can’t go a two week period without drawing a foul and when defenders don’t get called for fouls on Durant for being within two feet of him.

      Besides that, Melo’s game does seem to be maturing. He’s a healthy season away from leading the league in scoring two years in a row.

    18. Jack Bauer

      Z-man:
      The answer is simple:Melo is not good at math.

      Funny
      It is Woodson’s job to get Melo to improve his math skills……

    19. lavor postell

      massive:
      I disagree that Melo’s TS% wasn’t in the 600s because of shot selection. I think it’s more because of the treatment Melo got from the refs. Players got to rip Melo’s shoulder out of place without a foul being called. For this very reason, I don’t think Melo will ever be a 600 TS% guy. His body isn’t strong enough to succeed through the foul play. I’ve seen Chris Kaman uppercut Melo in a close game without a foul. I can’t make this stuff up. I’ll take off my tinfoil hat when LeBron can’t go a two week period without drawing a foul and when defenders don’t get called for fouls on Durant for being within two feet of him.

      Besides that, Melo’s game does seem to be maturing. He’s a healthy season away from leading the league in scoring two years in a row.

      This x1000.

      I’d like to think that I’m just being a homer, but after the Celtics and Pacers series it’s not even a question that the Knicks and Melo in particular rarely gets the benefit of the whistle. Hell the game @OKC Melo was such a beast on the offensive boards because he wasn’t getting any respect when he was drawing contact. Durant gets rewarded for initiating contact (read as: jumping into and wildly flailing arms) while Melo gets punished to a far greater degree without as much reward.

    20. Nick C.

      I agree a whistle affects TS% both with more FTA and negating misses and that Melo seems to get the short end of the stick compared to guys liek LeBron, Durant, Harden, Wade et. al. However, that doesn’t explain Ruru’s numbers and comment that Melo runs a much lower percentage of pick and rolls. Elsewhere, IIRC, it has been noted that Melo runs a higher percentage of post up and/or isos than his ‘peers” and that , at least isos, typically are a lower percentage play relatively speaking.

    21. yoda4554

      lavor postell: This x1000.

      I’d like to think that I’m just being a homer, but after the Celtics and Pacers series it’s not even a question that the Knicks and Melo in particular rarely gets the benefit of the whistle.Hell the game @OKC Melo was such a beast on the offensive boards because he wasn’t getting any respect when he was drawing contact.Durant gets rewarded for initiating contact (read as: jumping into and wildly flailing arms) while Melo gets punished to a far greater degree without as much reward.

      I’ve seen this claim ad nauseum. Look, please, everyone, bookmark this classic essay — http://www.all-about-psychology.com/selective-perception.html — and consult it before you write stuff like this.

      Alternately, go to any other team’s blog and read all the bitching about the superstar calls that the Knicks get.

    22. ruruland

      Wait, so it’s only fans who are disposed to this and not officials, right?

      Laughable. What about the studies that show that officials across all sports are swayed by the momentum of the game and the crowd (for starters)?

      Officiating in basketball is far more personal than other sports, and much more subjective. The volume of calls and no-calls per player is only succeeded by baseball. Players develop relationships with officials, and one’s individual reputation carries more weight than in any other sport. It’s been shown that teams reputed to be good on defense are able to get away with more physical play.

      Just like any other interpersonal dynamic within a larger group, officials have biases toward just about every player in the league, just as you and I carry subconscious biases that influence all of our interactions.

      If you follow the Knicks closely, especially last year, you would have observed that Melo’s teammates get visibly frustrated on the bench when Melo doesn’t get calls many players — not even stars mind you — get around the rim.

      That’s not very typical around the league. You don’t have to be a para-language/body language expert to see that Melo’s teammates thinks he gets a raw deal.

      Shoot, most of them have said as much.

      On multiple occasions I’ve shown that Melo has a dramatically lower free throw rate to paint field goals attempts ratio than every other big time scorer in the game.

      For whatever reason and over thousands of repetitions, officials have perhaps subconsciously “chosen” that Melo is not worthy of the kind of whistle that other players get. There are a few exceptions to this of course. Dick Bavetta has always given melo a very generous whistle, for example.

      In general though, Melo gets a bad whistle.

    23. yellowboy90

      hey ruru did you ever get a chance to poat bargs synergy profile.

      and could you post Melo’s late in shot clock numbers that you posted before?

    24. ruruland

      At some point I’ll post a Melo/Lebron Synergy comparison.

      If you didn’t look at play percentages, Melo’s Synergy profile is more impressive than Lebron’s.

      Durant’s is the most impressive, but I would say among higher usage players,Melo’s profile is the second most impressive that I’ve seen.

      He’s a top 100 player in the majority of categories. And if not top 100, he’s w/in the top 200 which I believe demarcates the 50th percentile.

      Melo’s dominance and versatility become pretty clear from Synergy.

      I’ve always felt that his isolation efficiency was underrated because of the incredible amount of possessions he uses on them.

      I wouldn’t argue that CP3 is not as good of a pnr scorer as Melo is, which is what Synergy shows by a big margin, because Paul had about four times as many possessions in that play as Melo did last season.

      The element of surprise is a factor in this I think, which helps Melo in a few categories and hurts him in a couple others.

      Balancing out his shots and redistributing away from isolations would obviously help his efficiency the most, not that it isn’t very good already, but the more important question is, does that help the team the most?

      That one is always up for debate. Durant has admitted he avoids certain shots late in the clock, and we’ve all seen him pass to teammates in non-threatening positions or pass on shots to take a team shot clock violation.

      Those kinds of things clearly do not enter Melo’s mind. He knows what efficiency is, and he knows where he’s efficient.

      I think we’d be surprised about what the proprietary analysis shows about isolations.

      That said, I think pick and roll is a way to allow Melo to be the focal point of the offense and still create open shots while avoiding some of those early mid-range jumpers that are really intended to set up the drive and the double-team.

    25. ruruland

      yellowboy90:
      hey ruru did you ever get a chance to poat bargs synergyprofile.

      and could you post Melo’s late in shot clock numbers that you posted before?

      Yeah, sorry I hadn’t responded to you before. At some point I will go back into Bargs and also post Beno’s numbers like you asked for, and I think I can find a few of my posts about late shot clock shots.

      Not sure when, finally had a chance to get a few posts out but I’ve got a new radio gig and a new role at my other job so I’ve been really busy. We’ve got a couple of months. I’m interested to go back myself so I’ll get to it.

    26. EB

      ruruland: He’s a top 100 player in the majority of categories. And if not top 100, he’s w/in the top 200 which I believe demarcates the 50th percentile.

      Somehow being in the top 100 when there’s only 150 starters in the league doesn’t sound impressive. And being in the top 200 when there’s ~270 rotation players doesn’t sound at all impressive. Maybe its a lack of context but that just doesn’t sound impressive. Anyway, I’d rather have a player be elite at scoring one way then have a jack of all trades who is slightly above average.

    27. EB

      ruruland: Melo ranked third in the NBA as a pnr ballhandler last year, averaging 1.07 ppp on 269 plays.

      Melo was the 5th ranked roll man in the NBA last year as well.

      In 2011-12, Melo ranked 18th in the league as a pnr ballhandler avg .96 PPP on 142 plays.

      Melo also averaged 1.14 PPP on 22 pnr plays as the roll man in 11-12, which would have been a top 10 ranking had he qualified.

      My issue with this is that, to my knowledge, it doesn’t factor in passing ability or assists. The other players on the list generally have much better assist numbers than Melo which is a huge part of the pnr.

    28. yellowboy90

      ruruland: Yeah, sorry I hadn’t responded to you before. At some point I will go back into Bargs and also post Beno’s numbers like you asked for, and I think I can find a few of my posts about late shot clock shots.

      Not sure when, finally had a chance to get a few posts out but I’ve got a new radio gig and a new role at my other job so I’ve been really busy. We’ve got a couple of months. I’m interested to go back myself so I’ll get to it.

      ok cool thanks. I appreciate it.

    29. DRed

      Carmelo’s Synergy profile is more impressive than Lebron’s. There you have it, folks. I’m sure Riley has been calling us all offseason looking to make a swap.

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