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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Saturday, May 05 2012)

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Carmelo Anthony of Knicks Has Failed Repeatedly in Playoffs (Sat, 05 May 2012 05:04:04 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony has rarely taken responsibility for his team’s failures, preferring to shift blame toward injuries, coaches or the playbook. He needs to mature.

  • [New York Times] Celtics 90, Hawks 84 (OT): Rondo Helps Celtics Beat Hawks in OT (Sat, 05 May 2012 05:46:54 GMT)
    Rajon Rondo had a triple-double to lead the host Celtics to an overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks, giving Boston a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

  • [New York Times] 76ers 79, Bulls 74: 76ers Tops Bulls in Game 3 for 2-1 Series Lead (Sat, 05 May 2012 05:06:31 GMT)
    Spencer Hawes scored 21 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and hit the go-ahead jumper late in the game to help Philadelphia rally past Chicago and take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.

  • [New York Times] Rondo Helps Celtics Beat Hawks 90-84 in OT (Sat, 05 May 2012 09:09:43 GMT)
    Celtics coach Doc Rivers looked at his aging team at the end of regulation, and he wasn’t encouraged by what he saw.

  • [New York Times] 76ers Tops Bulls 79-74 in Game 3 for 2-1 Lead (Sat, 05 May 2012 08:39:43 GMT)
    Spencer Hawes officially knocked off Chicago in Game 3 with a late jumper that capped a 14-point rally.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Edge the Hawks, Nuggets Tame Lakers (Sat, 05 May 2012 05:39:48 GMT)
    The Boston Celtics, lifted by the return of guard Rajon Rondo from suspension, scraped past the Atlanta Hawks 90-84 in overtime on Friday to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference quarter-final series.

  • [New York Times] Lawson Scores 25 as Nuggets Beat Lakers 99-84 (Sat, 05 May 2012 05:27:46 GMT)
    Ty Lawson scored 25 points and the Denver Nuggets raced to an early 24-point lead on their way to a 99-84 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night in Game 3 of their first-round series.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Ground the Hawks, 76ers Edge the Bulls (Sat, 05 May 2012 03:39:47 GMT)
    The Boston Celtics, lifted by the return of suspended guard Rajon Rondo, scraped past the Atlanta Hawks 90-84 in overtime on Friday to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference quarter-final series.

  • [New York Times] Game 3: Thunder 95, Mavericks 79: Thunder Run Past Mavericks, Take 3-0 Series Lead (Sat, 05 May 2012 03:39:08 GMT)
    Kevin Durant scored 31 points as Oklahoma City rolled to a victory in Dallas. The Thunder lead the series, three games to none.

  • [New York Daily News] ‘Blessed’ Amar’e out to help fix Knicks Sunday (Sat, 05 May 2012 05:39:10 GMT)
    Amar’e Stoudemire is still not giving up on playing in Game 4. The Knicks injured power forward went through shooting and running drills with his left hand heavily bandaged.

  • [New York Daily News] At Garden, LeBron enjoys last word (Sat, 05 May 2012 02:41:53 GMT)
    LeBron James left the Madison Square Garden court with his fourth foul in the third quarter Thursday night and listened to the backlash.

  • [New York Daily News] Woodson: Melo must shape up next season (Sat, 05 May 2012 00:25:26 GMT)
    Mike Woodson’s message to Carmelo Anthony this offseason will have a familiar ring to it: Improve your fitness. Despite being one of the NBA’s elite scorers, Anthony has seen his weight and conditioning get criticized in the past, and Woodson wants his best player to address those issues this summer.

  • 134 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Saturday, May 05 2012)

    1. f.l.o.

      “Carmelo Anthony has rarely taken responsibility for his team’s failures, preferring to shift blame toward injuries, coaches or the playbook.”

      true that…

    2. SeeWhyDee77

      I just read the previous thread and until now it never occurred to me that our PG play really allows Miami to double Melo and front him at will. He’s essentially goin 1 on 5 against a very tough defense. Doesn’t absolve him tho becuz I still think he can and should pass more and work for a better shot within the flow of the offense. Against a team as athletic as Miami, u jus can’t play hero ball all the time. I think Melo is a championship caliber player..physically. But I gues after years of being options 1, 2, and 3 it’s kinda hard to play any different than he’s been playing. I admire and appreciate the job Woody has done in place of D’Antoni, but i’m really startin to believe it’s gonna take a stronger coach when it comes to principles and philosophy to make this Melo marriage work. Yes..I’m talkin about Phil. I’ve been lukewarm on him being the coach in the past, but Melo really needs a coach who isn’t gonna let him do whatever whenever. And plus he would absolutely dominate in the triangle. And it would create more space and opportunity for Chandler and Amare..if he stays. The only downside to a Phil hire is how much longer can he coach? All the younger strong willed coaches are already locked up and going nowhere. Again, Woody is doing a fine job..but is he really the right coach for Melo any more than D’Antoni was? He did get Melo to play more defense and he is handicapped offensively because of the injuries. But do we roll the dice on him using Lin, Stat and Melo properly given his track record? Or do we just throw Dolan’s check book at Phil for a few years and then rebuild once he’s done?

    3. cypes

      i always felt carmelo was a selfish player i do believe before we traded for melo we had a scrappy entertaining team relying heavily on amare does anyone ever think what our team would look like wit no melo chandler/stat/gallo/feilds/felton with wilson chandler as 6th man or shump wit novak and lin off bench also jeffries to me thats a better TEAM than we have right now.also his conditioning is terrible i beleive we have the talent to compete with the heat if we were at full strength and if MELO play team ball hes always blaming others anyone notice how he acts when he has a good game we lose hes like ok with that thats some bs hes gonna be this generations dominique but to be fair melo has the skills to be a top 5 player he just refuses to do it

    4. Cousyfan

      I remember a famous coach purposely got himself ejjected from a game to make a statement to his players. That was what Woodson should have done during Game One, when LeBron was squirming on the floor.
      Cheers

    5. Owen

      Pretty competent take down from Beck. That one would have made me proud had I written it here….

    6. daJudge

      Beck criticizes Melo because he is not a so-called team player, but Beck’s entire focus is ironically on the performance of one player, rather than one player in the context of a damaged/flawed team without a point guard or power forward. It’s not that I don’t agree with some of Beck’s observations, but I find that his fixation on Melo involves the same thought process as the behavior he condemns.

    7. d-mar

      I know NY fans are instant gratification types, but I think next year will be the defining year for Melo and the rest of this Knicks squad. With a full training camp, a healthy and competent PG, maybe a new coach (I like Woody, but if Phil Jackson says yes, of course you grab him), and hopefully some smart FA acquisitions by Grunwald, we can get a true sense of this team.

      (but I still can’t help thinking about this year and how if we were one seed higher or lower in the East, we wouldn’t even be talking about next year. Dammit!)

    8. hoolahoop

      daJudge:
      Beck criticizes Melo because he is not a so-called team player, but Beck’s entire focus is ironically on the performance of one player, rather than one player in the context of a damaged/flawed team without a point guard or power forward.It’s not that I don’t agree with some of Beck’s observations, but I find that his fixationon Melo involves the same thought process as the behavior he condemns.

      What is it about Melo that makes you guys feel that you have to defend him? He’s clearly a selfish player that never learned to play the game beyond his own scoring ability . . . which at the playoff level is not nearly enough to get the job done.
      Some of us here understand that team basketball and ball movement are superior to iso, hero-ball. Many people here don’t.

      Melo came to NYC to be a star, not a winner.

    9. hoolahoop

      Next season, the knicks fan base is going to give Melo more heat that the Heat. He’s going request being traded claiming that he tried and it didn’t work out. By then, Amare will be long gone. . . and there will go another ugly chapter in the knicks saga.

    10. Bruno Almeida

      hoolahoop:
      Next season, the knicks fan base is going to give Melo more heat that the Heat. He’s going request being traded claiming that he tried and it didn’t work out. By then, Amare will be long gone. . . and there will go another ugly chapter in the knicks saga.

      wait, isn’t this one already a pretty ugly chapter?

      Dolan, 2 max superstars on the pay roll only to get swept twice straight in the playoffs by the teams we hate most…

      this one is pretty ugly already for me, a rebuilding process with Shumpert, Lin, Chandler, J.R Smith and whoever we can get from Melo and Amare would actually be pretty promising imo.

    11. er

      Lol @ this obsession with melo…I hope he gets traded man I’m just tired of this old ass convo how hes so selfish blah blah whatever…..get a competent pg and let’s playbin the playoffs….on the knicks his playoff PGs are toney Douglas baron and mike bibby…great

    12. hoolahoop

      er:
      Lol @ this obsession with melo…I hope he gets traded man I’m just tired of this old ass convo how hes so selfish blah blah whatever…..get a competent pg and let’s playbin the playoffs….on the knicks his playoff PGs are toney Douglas baron and mike bibby…great

      It’s shameful that the knicks never acquired a talented PG, but that does not excuse Melo’s selfish style and poor play.

    13. Doug

      cypes:
      i always felt carmelo was a selfish player i do believe before we traded for melo we had a scrappy entertaining team relying heavily on amare does anyone ever think what our team would look like wit no melo chandler/stat/gallo/feilds/feltonwith wilson chandler as 6th man or shump wit novak and lin off bench also jeffries to me thats a better TEAM than we have right now.also his conditioning is terrible i beleive we have the talent to compete with the heat if we were at full strength and if MELO play team ball hes always blaming others anyone notice how he acts when he has a good game we lose hes like ok with that thats some bs hes gonna be this generations dominique but to be fair melo has the skills to be a top 5 player he just refuses to do it

      Are you allergic to periods?

    14. er

      Hes played poorly but how is it selfish? I never understood this critique

      He avgs more assists than durant but I’ve never heard him called selfish any response

      hoolahoop: It’s shameful that the knicks never acquired a talented PG, but that does not excuse Melo’s selfish style and poor play.

    15. TelegraphedPass

      er:
      Hes played poorly but how is it selfish? I never understood this critique

      He avgs more assists than durant but I’ve never heard him called selfish any response

      It’s a reputation thing. Durant is humble. He’s the consummate teammate. If Durant fails in the playoffs for the next five or so years people will start to say he’s too soft to win. Casual fans like their storylines.

    16. er

      Yea reputations lol like lebron sux in fourth……i just wish the Knicks would trade melo I’m over this every day indictment of his game trade him for gallo and his awesome playoff shooting

      TelegraphedPass: It’s a reputation thing. Durant is humble. He’s the consummate teammate. If Durant fails in the playoffs for the next five or so years people will start to say he’s too soft to win. Casual fans like their storylines.

    17. er

      Also in that article beck compares Melos career stats with wade and lbj. This is dumb because over their respective careers in cle and Mia they were the defacto point guards….I’m just over it ship him out to please all the gallo fans

    18. er

      I meant assist stats

      er:
      Also in that article beck compares Melos career stats with wade and lbj. This is dumb because over their respective careers in cle and Mia they were the defacto point guards….I’m just over it ship him out to please all the gallo fans

    19. TelegraphedPass

      Could you imagine what it would have been like for Jerry West if twitter and blogs existed back when he was busy getting shut down over and over again in the NBA Finals?

      I can only imagine the things people said about him. Read several pieces about his depression today and it really humanizes pro athletes. Fans are so cruel and selfish sometimes. We forget that these guys are people and paint them as one-dimensional storylines.

      JR Smith is a headcase.

      LeBron is a quitter.

      Carmelo is selfish and a primadonna.

      Dirk is too soft.

      We forget about all the work LBJ has done for Ohio inner-city kids, and Melo’s words to Trayvon Martin’s family. We forget that these guys have hopes and dreams and flaws and resentments. It’s even more depressing thinking about how many guys retire unfulfilled. If LeBron never won a title, he would always be viewed through a prism of failure. People would talk ad naseum about the phenomenal talent who didn’t have the heart to win it all.

      Maybe he did and just ran into better constructed teams. Maybe he just had bad luck.

      It’s fascinating how Steve Nash has managed to dodge almost all of this vitriol. He has never sniffed the NBA Finals in his long career. He has a well-known rep for being a bad defender at his position. But we love Nash so much we let that go. Phoenix will probably love him forever. People would never consider him a failure. I wonder why that is.

      These thoughts are what make me despise posters like hoolahoop so much. I don’t really love Melo. I defend him a fair bit, but I don’t consider myself particularly a Melo lover. He’s never been among my favorite players. But then these guys come along with nonsensical arguments about how selfish he is and he doesn’t want to win and he just wants to score points and I can’t help but defend him. He’s a person, and as he’s a NY athlete I’ve gotten to see more of him than ever before. I’ve seen him try.

      I can’t buy these lame stories boxing…

    20. johnlocke

      Spot on in several ways…and what I’ve been saying for the last few days regarding Melo’s disparity between his playoff and regular season performances. The big issue with Melo is when “his shot is not falling” and “he’s missing shots he normally makes”, there’s not much he can revert to to have a positive impact on the game…and in the playoffs against good defensive teams, this shot missing happens way too often. He and others may blame team composition and the other team’s defense and other contextual effects for the regular season-playoff disparity….but even on his best Nuggets team — the one that went to the WCF, Melo was woefully inconsistent from game to game. I’m really not trying to bash Melo, just pointing out something that’s concerning….he needs to become a better player and improve and add to his game, if we’re ever going to reach the promised land w/ him

      Frank O.:
      The times article is right about Melo. He needs to get mentally more mature

    21. TelegraphedPass

      players in when they work so hard to try and win. Melo’s played poorly this series at the worst possible time. When he was winning the game on opening day against the hated Celtics or drilling contested threes to finally knock down the Chicago Bulls, all this had quieted.

      He’s played on efficient offensive teams starring him in Denver in the past. The evidence is there that Melo doesn’t bog down an offense alone. Honestly, I just feel like he’s a poor fit here.

      He doesn’t fit the offensive system that was in place at all. I really wanted NY to trade Melo for Chris Paul before LAC stole CP away. I just wonder at this point if an offensive scheme exists to maximize the talents of STAT and Melo. More and more I feel like we’ll have to choose between the two. I suppose I’m fine with either, as long as we build properly around them. This current team won’t cut it, though.

    22. TelegraphedPass

      johnlocke:
      Spot on in several ways…and what I’ve been saying for the last few days regarding Melo’s disparity between his playoff and regular season performances. The big issue with Melo is when “his shot is not falling” and “he’s missing shots he normally makes”, there’s not much he can revert to to have a positive impact on the game…and in the playoffs against good defensive teams, this shot missing happens way too often. He and others may blame team composition and the other team’s defense and other contextual effects for the regular season-playoff disparity….but even on his best Nuggets team — the one that went to the WCF, Melo was woefully inconsistent from game to game.I’m really not trying to bash Melo, just pointing out something that’s concerning….he needs to become a better player and improve and add to his game, if we’re ever going to reach the promised land w/ him

      Yeah, that’s really the issue. He’s a pretty good passer, and willing enough, but not dominant in any way at that aspect of the game. I don’t think he ever will be. How many scorers remake themselves into dominant passers several years into their career? (Bonus points to whoever thought of Wilt just now.)

      I think the team needs to build a team around Melo like CHI built around Rose. Dominant defenders and rebounders to make up for any poor scoring coming from him. Guys like Faried (had to), Boozer, Noah, or Varejao would fit way better at the 4 than STAT for this team if we build around Melo. Crash the O-glass, get putbacks, draw fouls, etc. Give him that plus some shooters and the offense would run so smoothly. STAT’s offensive game just doesn’t complement Melo’s.

    23. Doug

      TelegraphedPass: These thoughts are what make me despise posters like hoolahoop so much. I don’t really love Melo. I defend him a fair bit, but I don’t consider myself particularly a Melo lover. He’s never been among my favorite players. But then these guys come along with nonsensical arguments about how selfish he is and he doesn’t want to win and he just wants to score points and I can’t help but defend him. He’s a person, and as he’s a NY athlete I’ve gotten to see more of him than ever before. I’ve seen him try.

      Thank you. I feel exactly the same way but I couldn’t articulate as well as you did.

      Isn’t this what the philosophy of advanced statistics is is trying to fight against? The projection of contrived, moralistic narrative onto players by sportswriters looking for an easier story to sell?

      It’s much more comfortable to go on thinking Melo is a selfish, arrogant ballhog; a locker room cancer who takes bad shots and hates puppies. Not like that fine young man Kevin Durant, who Plays The Game The Right Way and only cares about the good of the team!

      Owen, you obviously care a lot about the integrity of this site as a stat-focused blog. How come you don’t go after commenters that do nothing but attack Melo based on his perceived character flaws? Projecting morality onto athletes is much more ignorant and dangerous than misusing stats.

    24. Frank O.

      The fact that Woodson today had to say that Melo, a veteran player at this point, needs to show up in shape is a clear example of poor leadership. A mentally tough player doesn’t go to war with the idea that he will use battle to get in shape. That’s how you lose the war. The Knicks, as Woodson rightfully points out, blew this season in the first half because guys, especially Melo, showed up unprepared to play.
      Other players, veterans, also have not dee eloped as thy should. Amare’s defense is a huge problem. Chandler’s inability at this stage of his career to not have a serviceable jumper is silly.
      Out stars are veterans guys who have not worked to stay in shape and develop their weaknesses.
      But that Melo didn’t get to a good level of conditioning until late in the season sends a horrible message to teammates, especially the young ones.

    25. er

      I agree with this but I think alotta guys need the structure or something…but it’s still his and other players around the leagues fault who did this

      Frank O.:
      The fact that Woodson today had to say that Melo, a veteran player at this point, needs to show up in shape is a clear example of poor leadership. A mentally tough player doesn’t go to war with the idea that he will use battle to get in shape. That’s how you lose the war. The Knicks, as Woodson rightfully points out, blew this season in the first half because guys, especially Melo, showed up unprepared to play.
      Other players, veterans, also have not dee eloped as thy should. Amare’s defense is a huge problem. Chandler’s inability at this stage of his career to not have a serviceable jumper is silly.
      Out stars are veterans guys who have not worked to stay in shape and develop their weaknesses.
      But that Melo didn’t get to a good level of conditioning until late in the season sends a horrible message to teammates, especially the young ones.

    26. Z

      Doug:
      Owen, you obviously care a lot about the integrity of this site as a stat-focused blog. How come you don’t go after commenters that do nothing but attack Melo based on his perceived character flaws? Projecting morality onto athletes is much more ignorant and dangerous than misusing stats.

      I don’t want to answer this for Owen, but I would imagine it is because it is a good policy to ignore people like that. Their arguments aren’t based on anything but emotion. Engaging in conversation is kind of pointless.

    27. bobneptune

      Melo came to NYC to be a star, not a winner.

      such eloquence with an economy of words…..

    28. Owen

      “Owen, you obviously care a lot about the integrity of this site as a stat-focused blog. How come you don’t go after commenters that do nothing but attack Melo based on his perceived character flaws? Projecting morality onto athletes is much more ignorant and dangerous than misusing stats”

      Well, I am not the sheriff here. The biggest thing I am not a fan of is personal attacks on other posters (although i probably have erred once or twice on that score)

      I am not all that excited about personal attacks on players either.

      That said, I am not sure Hoolahoop is really making a personal attack here. He really is making a criticism of his professional conduct.

      I think there is a valid case to be made, as there was with Marbury and others, that Carmelo plays the game in a way which maximizes his own self interest. It was a very conscious thing with Marbury. I am not sure it is with Melo. I think he really believes his own hype, helped no doubt by an entourage of people who help him maintain that self belief.

      I do sympathize with any old timer who got to watch the Knicks of the early 70’s, a team characterized by unselfish play and ball movement, and who finds Melo’s game to be more or less the antithesis of what basketball should be. That I don’t think is a personal criticism either. It’s an aesthetic criticism and one based on the observation that team basketball is one of the basic ways you win in the NBA, absent a superstar. If you watched the Riley Knicks, and I am sure we all did, you know the value of a team approach. They weren’t the best defensive team of all time off of one player alone.

      I just want to win a championship, or come close. I would be happy to watch Melo iso all day long if it worked. But I just don’t see enough talent in him. It’s a handful of guys in NBA history who fit that bill. Melo clearly isn’t one of them. I do think he wants to win though.

      I hope next year he comes back with a vengeance and proves the doubters wrong…

    29. bobneptune

      Frank O.:
      The fact that Woodson today had to say that Melo, a veteran player at this point, needs to show up in shape is a clear example of poor leadership.

      it is far worse than that. being in top athletic shape is integral to his job description…. it really isn’t optional.

      here’s a guy that the knicks traded 8 assets for and paid him an average of 20 million a year and he couldn’t be bothered to come in ready to play? and people wonder why his leg muscles gave out?

      i’ve been screaming his face was too round and his body undefined for 3 months now and finally with a day left in the season somebody says something. jeez……

      the difference between real stars like jeter and rivera and poser stars like melo are clear. the real stars are dedicated to their craft while the others are in it for other reasons.

    30. bobneptune

      Doug: Are you allergic to periods?

      punctuation is way over rated:

      let’s eat grandma!

      vs

      let’s eat, grandma!

    31. er

      I think the issue with players like rose and melo and Allen iverson for example is that they need specific types of teams to be successful….they need defense orientated teams with good shooters and scrappy players…amare would need to be replaced and Landry would have to learn how to shoot again

    32. bobneptune

      It’s fascinating how Steve Nash has managed to dodge almost all of this vitriol. He has never sniffed the NBA Finals in his long career. He has a well-known rep for being a bad defender at his position. But we love Nash so much we let that go. Phoenix will probably love him forever. People would never consider him a failure. I wonder why that is.

      probably because nash elevates the players around him, rather than takes away from them as melo does.

      probably because nash appears to be in shape and appears to give max effort all the time while melo doesn’t

      also probably because melo shot his way out of dodge city while under contract to denver and then laid down on his coach and team mates in ny, while nash has never done that stuff.

      i mean nobody gives stockton and malone “vitriol” for not winning championships because they both gave pretty much what they had every night.

      kind of a strawman-ish argument.

    33. Bruno Almeida

      the fact is, it’s not a moral judgment on Melo, it’s a judgment on his professional approach.

      it’s painfully obvious that he just doesn’t have the same mindset as other superstars, the pathological approach to the game of Jordan or Kobe, or the super smart-high basketball IQ of Duncan or Bird…

      why is that a problem?
      because he’s extremely talented, probably even more athletically gifted than some of those guys, and yet his short comings are never related to not having the ability to do something, or not having the body or athleticism, but always to decision-making.

      and decision-making is something that’s closely related to basketball IQ and mindsets, and that’s where Carmelo fails.

    34. ruruland

      Owen, what’s gone wrong with Ryan Anderson?

      Just a bad series or what? Why is he having such a difficult time getting and making shots?

    35. ruruland

      Bruno Almeida:
      the fact is, it’s not a moral judgment on Melo, it’s a judgment on his professional approach.

      it’s painfully obvious that he just doesn’t have the same mindset as other superstars, the pathological approach to the game of Jordan or Kobe, or the super smart-high basketball IQ of Duncan or Bird…

      why is that a problem?
      be

      and decision-making is something that’s closely related to basketball IQ and mindsets, and that’s where Carmelo fails.

      Decision-making, eh? He should shoot more spot-up 3s? Should he pay the officials to get a few more calls (How does Gallinari, for example, get as many free throws as Melo. fta per 36 is bullshit)?

      Should he reverse the ball more often to Landry Fields (who can’t shoot or drive in the half-court this series) Baron Davis (same) and Steve Novak (who’s weaknesses have singlehandily killed every possession he hasn’t gotten a shot of on)?

      What about reversing to JR SMith (as he did on three of JR’s baskets)? Smith was 5-18 the other day.

      Should he start deferring to Tyson Chandler in the post so he can get easier looks? Maybe he should let Baron Davis run the high pick and roll more often and stand in the corner? Oh, wait, they ran the high pick and roll with Davis as the primary play on on Thursday?

      Blame Melo for not having the energy to play 45 minutes at the highest level against Lebron and Battier. Blame him for missing shots, for driving to the basket and not getting calls, and really, blame him for not having a supremely confident mindset against the Heat……

      But all the rest of is utter nonsense. Melo is not a drive and kick point guard. But even if he was Deron Williams for example, like Rose last year, would have a really tough time without a second mode of penetration or defense attraction.

    36. Brian Cronin

      I’ve always said that making judgments about player’s character based on their style of play is foolish. Knock the player’s style of play all you like, you don’t really know what is in the heart/mind of the guy himself.

      I think Melo has received some awfully harsh judgments about his personal views and there is no real way to accurately judge them.

      You can judge his actions, like say “I don’t like that he quit on his coach,” but plenty of legendary NBA players quit on their coach. Magic Johnson quit on his coach. Michael Jordan had Doug Collins fired because he thought Collins was too much of a hard ass. That’s like the epitome of what people would say is spoiled star behavior! A star getting rid of a coach because the coach worked the team too hard! But then Collins’ replacement, who was more of a player’s coach, comes in and they win six titles! So perhaps Jordan was correct to want Collins replaced! So while I think it is fair enough to say “that’s not cool to do,” I don’t think it shows anything about his character or willingness to win, as plenty of players that we treat like paragons of what NBA players should be did the same thing.

      Pretty much none of us actually know the guy, so we really shouldn’t be making pronouncements about his character.

      As mentioned, though, his style of play and his production is fair game. If you don’t like his style of play or how much he produces or how much he gets paid, complain away (if you feel like you have to complain, that is).

    37. StatsTeacher

      ruruland: Decision-making, eh? He should shoot more spot-up 3s? Should he pay the officials to get a few more calls (How does Gallinari, for example, get as many free throws as Melo. fta per 36 is bullshit)?

      Should he reverse the ball more often to Landry Fields (who can’t shoot or drive in the half-court this series) Baron Davis (same) and Steve Novak (who’s weaknesses have singlehandily killed every possession he hasn’t gotten a shot of on)?

      What about reversing to JR SMith (as he did on three of JR’s baskets)? Smith was 5-18 the other day.

      Should he start deferring to Tyson Chandler in the post so he can get easier looks? Maybe he should let Baron Davis run the high pick and roll more often and stand in the corner? Oh, wait, they ran the high pick and roll with Davis as the primary play on on Thursday?

      Blame Melo for not having the energy to play 45 minutes at the highest level against Lebron and Battier. Blame him for missing shots, for driving to the basket and not getting calls, and really, blame him for not having a supremely confident mindset against the Heat……

      But all the rest of is utter nonsense. Melo is not a drive and kick point guard. But even if he was Deron Williams for example, like Rose last year, would have a really tough time without a second mode of penetration or defense attraction.

      My beef with Melo is that he apparently is not particularly fit. How absurd is that? Lin ran 3 asst. coaches into the ground last summer, his workout(s) are Bay Area legendary. My guess is his body will either break this summer, or he will return in scary good shape. Watching Melo this year, I question his fitness level, not his scoring ability. A professional athlete who is not fit? How is that even possible? (unless you are Sandoval and play for the SF Giants).

    38. JC Knickfan

      The great player seem step up their game in playoffs. Melo has been exact opposite. He about to finish 9 year in league and he consistently shot worst in playoff then regular season. I don’t hear this about him playing better defense. Scoring is his bread and butter, he should be able to step the F__K up. So, Yes I do think we possible need blow this team up.

      I would try do it smartly. Let Glen G. do his magic this offseason. After resign Lin and filling out roster, you tell Melo this he better come back in best shape of his life. Now whoever coaching team, has basically till the trade deadline before we shake up the roster. If we are top 2 team record wise we should stay status quo. If not, I would shop Melo for best deal possible. You just have to pray Melo has a stellar season so he doesn’t diminish his trade value.

    39. d-mar

      C’mon, this sudden rush to condemn Melo’s fitness is ridiculous, none of us know how hard he does or doesn’t work in the off season. Not every player in the NBA looks like LeBron James or STAT, do you think Grizzlies fans are all over Zach Randolph for not being “cut”? Or Kevin Love for that matter? Is it because he looks so tired at the end of games where he guards LeBron on one end and (rightly or wrongly) is basically our entire offense on the other?

      I also heard he has bad body odor and doesn’t brush his teeth every day.

    40. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      When is Carmelo accountable, ruruland? I have a feeling that the rest of his career will unfold a series of excuses as to why he’s stopped short in the playoffs each and every year.

    41. massive

      You know, this team has fallen flat on it’s face largely because of Woodson’s lack of offensive creativity. D’Antoni isn’t the leader of men that Woodson is, but Woodson isn’t the X’s and O’s guy that D’Antoni is. In my opinion, it’s no coincidence that the Knicks were playing their best when they were still using D’Antoni’s principles with Woodson’s energetic coaching style. You can’t expect to beat the Miami Heat when the offense is as predictable as ours has gotten under Woodson. Last year, along with his isolation plays, Melo would get the ball in stride to the basket and spot up for open 3s. This year, we have him getting the ball in the same spot, which allows defenses to deny him the ball and double team much easier. It’s harder to get away with double teaming a player who’s playing off the ball. He was doing that this season too, before Woodson installed that predictable, slow-paced, and oft-ugly offense.

      Carmelo Anthony isn’t the isolation wizard that Kobe Bryant is. He’s better off getting the ball fed to him where he can either catch and finish/shoot, or take 1 or 2 dribbles to free himself for an open jumper. He’s also very good at driving to the basket. Putting Melo in isolation situations all the time makes the offense stagnant, and it almost always leads to a forced shot against two of the best wing defenders the NBA has to offer. You don’t see OKC putting Kevin Durant in iso situations all the time, and the two have similar games, with Melo being more skilled and KD more athletic.

      It’s very easy to blame Melo, and he deserves to shoulder some blame. However, Mike Woodson’s inability to adapt is the bigger story here. How many times have we seen Novak run around screens? How many attempts were made to get Amar’e involved? Why wasn’t Landry Fields cutting to the basket? Why run the same Melo iso play over and over again? Dolan and Grunwald were very right to not extend him before the playoffs started.

    42. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland: Decision-making, eh? He should shoot more spot-up 3s? Should he pay the officials to get a few more calls (How does Gallinari, for example, get as many free throws as Melo. fta per 36 is bullshit)?

      He either pays them or offers sexual favors. There’s no way Gallinari could be better than Melo at drawing free throws. He’s not even a max player!

    43. massive

      That being said, Melo does need to be in better shape, make better decisions, and become a better team player and leader. I loved watching him dive to the floor and fight for loose balls in Game 3, so I do see him improving as a team player. But I think he really screwed the pooch this season by not showing up in shape (the lockout does play into this as well), and we may not make it past Sunday because of that.

    44. Brian Cronin

      Why wasn’t Landry Fields cutting to the basket?

      Not for nothing, but there were at least two occasions of Fields cutting right to the basket and being looked off by Melo as Melo just kept holding the ball and eventually shot with a few seconds left on the shot clock. Hard to keep cutting if you’re not going to get rewarded for it (although, as Juan rightly noted, Melo probably finds it hard to trust Fields, although I’d say that the one thing Fields has always been good at is cutting to the basket).

    45. Brian Cronin

      And massive, I do agree that it seems like once Amar’e and Lin got hurt, Woodson just went right back into his Hawks offense, albeit with Melo as the focus instead of Joe Johnson, which made the offense a lot better, as Melo is a much more dominant scorer than Johnson is (not that Johnson is a slouch, of course). And as we saw in Woodson’s past, such an offense is easier for the other coaches to adjust to come playoff time. I don’t know if it is a coincidence that Woodson’s teams are not only on a seven-game losing streak in the playoffs, but all seven losses have been double digit losses.

    46. Nick C.

      The showing not in shape seems odd since I seem to recall preseason Melo talking or Tweeting about how he was working out. Is my memory off or was Melo or Woodson being disingenuous?

    47. JC Knickfan

      @42

      Do considered George Karl a good x & o guy? Melo had quite few bad playoff performance with him also. Please it’s been 9 season already and look at his playoff stat vs regular season. It’s anomaly when actually shot better in playoff vs the regular season. Doesn’t scare that we might deal with 1st round playoff exit through life of his contract?

    48. daJudge

      I really wasn’t defending Melo as much as pointing out that Beck was being hypocritical. BTW, I don’t think Melo needs to be defended. As Brian pointed out, making character judgements without having a clue about the person is shallow, vapid and frankly illogical. As far as Melo’s game, I think 99% of the folks on this site understand his strengths and flaws. I am more interested in team dynamics.

      hoolahoop: What is it about Melo that makes you guys feel that you have to defend him? He’s clearly a selfish player that never learned to play the game beyond his own scoring ability . . . which at the playoff level is not nearly enough to get the job done.
      Some of us here understand that team basketball and ball movement are superior to iso, hero-ball. Many people here don’t.

      Melo came to NYC to be a star, not a winner.

    49. Bruno Almeida

      ruruland: Decision-making, eh? He should shoot more spot-up 3s? Should he pay the officials to get a few more calls (How does Gallinari, for example, get as many free throws as Melo. fta per 36 is bullshit)?

      Should he reverse the ball more often to Landry Fields (who can’t shoot or drive in the half-court this series) Baron Davis (same) and Steve Novak (who’s weaknesses have singlehandily killed every possession he hasn’t gotten a shot of on)?

      Should he start deferring to Tyson Chandler in the post so he can get easier looks? Maybe he should let Baron Davis run the high pick and roll more often and stand in the corner? Oh, wait, they ran the high pick and roll with Davis as the primary play on on Thursday?

      ok, this is insane.

      why the hell shouldn’t Gallinari have the same FTA as Carmelo?

      maybe is Carmelo stopped getting the ball at 18-feet, jab stepping a couple of times and firing a stupid shot, and instead attacked the basket, he could draw more fouls.

      you say there’s no way a person can attack the basket all the time… yet, LeBron does it all the time, because he’s FIT all the time, while Carmelo has been criticizes even by Woodson now for having problems showing up in shape.

      yes, he should defer more to his teammates and play the right way, if they miss shots, so be it, but it’s better to lose trying to play good basketball then to keep playing stupid basketball and hope somehow “the shots go in”.

      keep making excuses, that’s all you do after all.

      you’ll never hold Anthony accountable of anything, you’ll always find ways to make him look better and everyone else around him worse (even though he was supposed to be “the guy who makes his teammates better”, and yet that has utterly failed).

      even Amare can’t play well with him, so how does he make his teammates better? Nash made Amare better…

    50. nicos

      TelegraphedPass:

      It’s fascinating how Steve Nash has managed to dodge almost all of this vitriol. He has never sniffed the NBA Finals in his long career. He has a well-known rep for being a bad defender at his position. But we love Nash so much we let that go. Phoenix will probably love him forever. People would never consider him a failure. I wonder why that is.

      I get your point but Nash has made the conference finals 4 times including two teams that had no business going that far- 2006 w/o Amar’e and two years ago when it was basically he, Amar’e, and a bunch of role players (though Jason Richardson played out of his mind in the playoffs). He’s also had some bad luck- the suspensions in 07, Joe Johnson getting hurt in 05 which were probably the only teams he’s been on that maybe should have made the finals. Hard to say he’s underachieved.

    51. Owen

      Yeah, re Nash. I don’t think anyone could ever accuse him of getting anything less than the absolute most out of his talent…..

    52. Bruno Almeida

      nicos: I get your point but Nash has made the conference finals 4 times including two teams that had no business going that far- 2006 w/o Amar’e and two years ago when it was basically he, Amar’e, and a bunch of role players (though Jason Richardson played out of his mind in the playoffs).He’s also had some bad luck- the suspensionsin 07, Joe Johnson getting hurt in 05 which were probably the only teams he’s been on that maybe should have made the finals.Hard to say he’s underachieved.

      Nash is the one people should be making excuses about, he’s had TERRIBLE luck in the playoffs and he routinely made average guys look like good players on his teams.

    53. JC Knickfan

      Brian Cronin:
      And massive, I do agree that it seems like once Amar’e and Lin got hurt, Woodson just went right back into his Hawks offense, albeit with Melo as the focus instead of Joe Johnson, which made the offense a lot better, as Melo is a much more dominant scorer than Johnson is (not that Johnson is a slouch, of course). And as we saw in Woodson’s past, such an offense is easier for the other coaches to adjust to come playoff time. I don’t know if it is a coincidence that Woodson’s teams are not only on a seven-game losing streak in the playoffs, but all seven losses have been double digit losses.

      In the eyes of Knicks Woodson fallen pretty hard. After going 18-6 record and not losing more one game in row, Woodson display pretty poor in-game and game to game adjustment. I surprise he hasn’t play zone defense and for life of me has setup some o-play for Novak?

      One thing we do retain due not getting star coach (Phil?) we probably will have pretty good season record under him. Should get homecourt advantage in 1st rd.

    54. Doug

      Bruno Almeida: you say there’s no way a person can attack the basket all the time… yet, LeBron does it all the time, because he’s FIT all the time,

      That’s not entirely accurate. Lebron LOVES his jump shot.

    55. Bruno Almeida

      Doug: That’s not entirely accurate. Lebron LOVES his jump shot.

      yeah, he does, but his TS% over the last four years is ..598, so I guess he’s kinda doing something right with it.

      if Carmelo could shoot whatever shots he wanted and have a .598 TS%, I’d never criticize his shooting.

    56. Bruno Almeida

      but according to ruruland, Melo’s problem is his teammates…

      because coming up with a .604 TS% with Mo Williams, J.J Hickson, Anderson Varejão, ultra washed-up Shaq, Anthony Parker, Delonte West, even more washed-up Ilgauskas, Daniel Gibson, Jamario Moon, Jawad Williams and Antawn Jamison for 20 games is impossible, right?

      uh…

      that’s a terrible team that promptly became a 19-63 team without LeBron, and yet he had a .604 TS% with them.

      stop making excuses using Carmelo’s teammates.

    57. Doug

      Bruno Almeida: yeah, he does, but his TS% over the last four years is ..598, so I guess he’s kinda doing something right with it.

      if Carmelo could shoot whatever shots he wanted and have a .598 TS%, I’d never criticize his shooting.

      Your conclusion is that his mediocre jumper improves his production? He is obviously succeeding in spite of a jump shot that is either on fire or ice cold from game to game.

      If Lebron used more discretion in jacking up long midrange shots off the dribble, his TS% would easily be over .600.

    58. David Crockett

      Bruno Almeida: Nash is the one people should be making excuses about, he’s had TERRIBLE luck in the playoffs and he routinely made average guys look like good players on his teams.

      Which of Melo’s Denver teams really underachieved? That’s a serious question. I never really followed Denver, but my recollection is that Melo’s Nuggets never got upset. They got beat by favored teams during a period of Western Conference domination. They year they got out of the first round they went to the conference finals. That’s more that KG ever did before Kevin McHale did his boy Ainge a solid.

      There are fair criticisms of Melo–namely he must be a better passer, rebounder, and defender. I just don’t think his “career playoff record” is particularly fair, especially when people go out of their way NOT to mention that Melo hauled his team to a conference finals when the West was at its most brutal.

    59. Bruno Almeida

      Doug: Your conclusion is that his mediocre jumper improves his production? He is obviously succeeding in spite of a jump shot that is either on fire or ice cold from game to game.

      If Lebron used more discretion in jacking up long midrange shots off the dribble, his TS% would easily be over .600.

      no, that’s not what I think, I actually agree with you that he could be even more efficient if he dropped most of the jumpers.

      but ruruland’s argument is that mid-range jumpers are necessary sometimes, that it helps opening up the rest of the game… that’s an ok argument (even if I disagree to some extent), but what I tried to show with the LeBron comparison is that Melo’s problem is not doing it efficiently enough.

      if you can shoot mid-range jumpers and still have a .600 TS, that’s ok, but it’s not ok if you’re in the .500 range.

    60. Doug

      Bruno Almeida:
      but according to ruruland, Melo’s problem is his teammates…

      because coming up with a .604 TS% with Mo Williams, J.J Hickson, Anderson Varejão, ultra washed-up Shaq, Anthony Parker, Delonte West, even more washed-up Ilgauskas, Daniel Gibson, Jamario Moon, Jawad Williams and Antawn Jamison for 20 games is impossible, right?

      uh…

      that’s a terrible team that promptly became a 19-63 team without LeBron, and yet he had a .604 TS% with them.

      stop making excuses using Carmelo’s teammates.

      You should read people’s comments more carefully; NO ONE is saying Melo is as good as Lebron. You should also stop oversimplifying arguments; I’ve seen ruruland post the same stats over and over about the Melo-Iverson Nuggets and the Melo-Andre Miller Nuggets and the Melo-Billups Nuggets. You have one piece of anecdotal evidence with confounding factors (Lebron’s point guard skill, Lebron’s replacement) that doesn’t even involve Melo.

      One thing I am sick and tired of is people slagging on ruru, when he researches his opinions and always backs them up with stats. Isn’t this a stat blog AND a Knicks blog at the same time? You can argue with his interpretation. You can argue with his analysis. But you can’t accuse him of arguing in bad faith just because you don’t like his opinions or his persistence annoys you.

    61. BigBlueAL

      Maybe the problem with Melo is he has too many people close to him who tell him the same things ruru tells us here?? Lack of accountability??

    62. Bruno Almeida

      I never said ruruland compares Melo to LeBron, I know he doesn’t.

      the point is, the pro-Melo argument has focused on the supposed “fact” that he’s a superstar and, because of that, makes his teammates better.

      when, in fact, true superstars (like LeBron, that’s why the example) do exactly that, but not Carmelo Anthony.

      ruruland just had a lenghty post saying that Carmelo’s problem in this series has been the terrible play of his teammates… I’m just responding to that.

    63. Owen

      Kg made one WCF in 04.

      I think the whole playoff record thing is a fair argument only to the extent that people make the argument that Melo is particularly suited to the playoffs. In general, judging a player by his team accomplishments is pretty dubious. Kobe doesn’t deserve all the credit he gets for five rings. (although he deserves a lot.) I don’t think KG deserved all the crap he got in Minny where people thought he didn’t have the game for the playoffs.( which was preposterous)

      KG did have really crappy teammates in Minny. I think Terrell Brandon was probably the best guy he ever played with there. His statistical record in those years was also as impressive as anyone of his era. And clearly, when he moved to Boston, he showed that wasn’t an illusion.

      Melo has no statistical track record like KG, who profiled as the best player in the nba despite being on some mediocre teams. . That’s my issue with an analogy between the two (not that you were comparing them)

      And of course, IMHO as always….

      David Crockett: Which of Melo’s Denver teams really underachieved? That’s a serious question. I never really followed Denver, but my recollection is that Melo’s Nuggets never got upset. They got beat by favored teams during a period of Western Conference domination. They year they got out of the first round they went to the conference finals. That’s more that KG ever did before Kevin McHale did his boy Ainge a solid.

      There are fair criticisms of Melo–namely he must be a better passer, rebounder, and defender. I just don’t think his “career playoff record” is particularly fair, especially when people go out of their way NOT to mention that Melo hauled his team to a conference finals when the West was at its most brutal.

    64. David Crockett

      Bruno Almeida:
      but according to ruruland, Melo’s problem is his teammates…
      [...]
      stop making excuses using Carmelo’s teammates.

      That likely proves that Melo isn’t as good as LeBron. Well even Melo, if you injected him with truth serum, would admit the same. But, I’m not sure how that informs any discussion about what Melo should do. The LeBron comparisons seem like a red herring.

      In my humble opinion, Melo is more comparable to Paul Pierce even in terms of the narrative about his career. To be clear, Pierce has always been better (just taking a quick glance at bball-reference) but they’re in the same ballpark.

      Here’s the thing though — Anthony actually has been a *significantly* better passer this season. His assist rate is up over 20% (21% to be specific) for the first time, and that’s up from 15%. So it’s one thing to say, “we need him to be better, up around 24-25%.” It’s another to imply that the guy is selfish and won’t pass. That seems mean-spirited because it’s so demonstrably false.

    65. Bruno Almeida

      ruruland:
      Owen, what is going on with Ryan Anderson? Please address.

      hm, the best center in the league is on his team and is injured?

      maybe that changes a little bit how things work on that team?

    66. Owen

      “One thing I am sick and tired of is people slagging on ruru, when he researches his opinions and always backs them up with stats. Isn’t this a stat blog AND a Knicks blog at the same time? You can argue with his interpretation. You can argue with his analysis. But you can’t accuse him of arguing in bad faith just because you don’t like his opinions or his persistence annoys you.”

      I do think Ruru ignores what the stats say about Melo, especially all the box score data.

      For instance, if you show him a Sloan paper from some respected basketball analysts showing gallo was better at the time of the trade, he will laugh at you, and tell you that you know nothing about basketball.

      That’s the way it was most of the year anyway. Now that Melo has crapped in the sheets it looks like we are ganging up on him I guess. I want no part of anything like that and I don’t think that’s really how it is. But it would be great if ruru could talk a little more about the Melo we have seen this year, warts and all, rather than the one we are going to see down the road who is going to be amazing…

    67. ruruland

      Bruno Almeida:
      but according to ruruland, Melo’s problem is his teammates…

      because coming up with a .604 TS% with Mo Williams, J.J Hickson, Anderson Varejão, ultra washed-up Shaq, Anthony Parker, Delonte West, even more washed-up Ilgauskas, Daniel Gibson, Jamario Moon, Jawad Williams and Antawn Jamison for 20 games is impossible, right?

      uh…

      that’s a terrible team that promptly became a 19-63 team without LeBron, and yet he had a .604 TS% with them.

      stop making excuses using Carmelo’s teammates.

      Fuck, man. Why aren’t you getting this yet?

      First, I’ve said repeatedly that Melo should be held accountable for the final result because he is getting paid max dollars and he isn’t producing commiserate efficiency numbers. It’s a bottom line business and that’s the bottom line. He is held responsible for the fact that he is not making shots at a rate that allows the Knicks to win. Regardless of who Melo’s teammates have been he is always going to be responsible for the final result—not Tyson Chandler, not Amar’e, not Andre Miller, not Chauncey Billups — he is essentially the quarterback of the franchise, as he was in Denver, and so the team’s record is his record.

      However, all of that doesn’t really mean shit if we don’t understand who Melo is, what abilities he has, and what the interaction effects are of his teammates.

      I think it’s great that you mentioned Lebron’s teammates — that’s a perfect test case for a comparison….. So

    68. ruruland

      Bruno Almeida: hm, the best center in the league is on his team and is injured?

      maybe that changes a little bit how things work on that team?

      The statistical community does believe in interaction effects or statistical context.

      All shots are the same, players stay the same. I may be reducing the argument here slightly, but that’s one of the fundamental disagreements I have with THCJ and Owen.

      Sure, it’s true that 70-80 percent of a players numbers, on average, are explained by past performance.

      First, that leaves room for a very large and meaningful percentage of the numbers to change. Most players find themselves on the same team in the same role with similar sets of teammates — it’s when these players are taken out of those roles because of myraid factors when we see the larger changes.

      That’t exactly what is happening with Ryan Anderson right now — Novak, too.

    69. David Crockett

      Owen:
      Kg made one WCF in 04.

      [Correct. I forgot about the run they made with Spree and Cassell. But that goes to the larger point I was making. KG's Minny teams never had homecourt in the first round in the years they lost. So, even as awesome as he was during that stretch he couldn't just "will" his team to a series win.]

      I think the whole playoff record thing is a fair argument only to the extent that people make the argument that Melo is particularly suited to the playoffs…

      [I'm not saying people haven't made such an argument about Melo's game. I just hadn't heard that. It's a pretty lame argument even on the surface. At any rate, that's hardly the context in which Melo's playoff record has been brought up recently. That's not how Howard Beck has used it. Now that it's in the paper of record, it's quickly become part of the "Melo's a loser. You can't win with that guy." narrative.]

      Melo has no statistical track record like KG, who profiled as the best player in the nba despite being on some mediocre teams. . That’s my issue with an analogy between the two (not that you were comparing them)

      [Well, exactly. I'm not comparing the two. KG's awesomeness supports my argument -- KG in Minny and Melo in Denver never lost a series they were favored to win. When they had a team good enough to be a top 3 or 4 seed they won. The "he's a loser" narrative is almost always tautological and reckless.]

      I’m not “making excuses” for Melo’s flaws. He’s a pretty good player with some holes in his game that are fairly obvious. What annoys me is when people–not necessarily you–won’t acknowledge legitimate improvements a guy has made and are perfectly willing to ignore context.

    70. BigBlueAL

      I think the problem with Melo is he loses faith in his teammates when they are struggling. Melo has shown many times this season he has no problems passing the ball and can make some great passes. Ive mentioned when he played with Lin his numbers were bad but he had no problem letting Lin handle the ball most of the time.

      But when the offense is struggling and his teammates are shooting bricks Melo seems to hold the ball forever looking hesitant to make certain passes (early in the season this seemed to me real obvious after seeing teammates cost him 5 or 6 assists in the 1st half come the 4th quarter he would go to hero ball). I only saw the 4th quarter of Game 3 and you can tell Melo was looking for Novak in the opposite corner (he made a great cross-court pass to him in the corner for the 3pter that didnt count) but when that pass wasnt available he just held it and held it.

      Im someone who really thinks Lin will make a big difference and I believe he and Lin can coexist w/o a doubt. I would though LOVE to see Melo playing in a system like the triangle. I really think he is tailor-made for that system although not sure if the rest of the current roster is but still it would be nice to watch this team play in a structured system (I loved D’Antoni’s system but understand it can be at times too reliant on the PG).

    71. ruruland

      Owen:
      “One thing I am sick and tired of is people slagging on ruru, when he researches his opinions and always backs them up with stats. Isn’t this a stat blog AND a Knicks blog at the same time? You can argue with his interpretation. You can argue with his analysis. But you can’t accuse him of arguing in bad faith just because you don’t like his opinions or his persistence annoys you.”

      I do think Ruru ignores what the stats say about Melo, especially all the box score data.

      That’s the way it was most of the year anyway. Now that Melo has crapped in the sheets it looks like we are ganging up on him I guess. I want no part of anything like that and I don’t think that’s really how it is. But it would be great if ruru could talk a little more about the Melo we have seen this year, warts and all, rather than the one we are going to see down the road who is going to be amazing…

      I didn’t laugh at the Sloan paper. I thought it was inconclusive.

      Until we find stats that capture interaction effects, that show how shots actually get created, and the offensive and defensive value of each movement within a situation, we aren’t getting anywhere near the complete picture.

      Again, in a perfect Berri world we’d see Steve Novak, Ryan Anderson, Reggie Evans, Kenneth Faried and say Brendan Wright — that should be an amazing team by advanced metrics…..

      But then Owen will get slightly deferential to my argument and admit, ok, you’d actually need a point guard to make that work.

      So, I say, ok, you need a point guard to make that work, because that team would be horribly inefficient and get blown out of the building by decent teams…..put Rondo on that team and it makes ALLL THE DIFFERENCE. Right?

      Except, when you put Rondo on that team and run 82 games with that lineup, Rondo is the LEAST VALUABLE player on the team because of his true…

    72. Owen

      Yeah, fair enough.

      People are just unhappy, bottom line. We are 101 games and seven playoff losses into the Carmelo era, early returns not encouraging.

      Hopefully it gets better.

    73. StatsTeacher

      d-mar:
      C’mon, this sudden rush to condemn Melo’s fitness is ridiculous, none of us know how hard he does or doesn’t work in the off season. Not every player in the NBA looks like LeBron James or STAT, do you think Grizzlies fans are all over Zach Randolph for not being “cut”? Or Kevin Love for that matter? Is it because he looks so tired at the end of games where he guards LeBron on one end and (rightly or wrongly) is basically our entire offense on the other?

      I also heard he has bad body odor and doesn’t brush his teeth every day.

      I made a supposition about Melo’s fitness based on Woodson saying he did not show up in shape, and visual comparisons to his time in Denver where he did look quite different. STAT looks fit but he actually wasn’t either, admitting that during the lookout he sat around and didn’t play any basketball. Think Chandler sat around during the lockout?

    74. Owen

      Not sure how Novak really helps your argument. He has played much better without Melo this year.

      I believe in interaction effects. I believe in role players and usage as an important distinguishing factor btw players. I believe defense isn’t always accounted for correctly. I just don’t think interaction effects are nearly important enough to explain everything you try to use them to explain.

      You approach basketball on a very microscopic level. Which is great. But I think you miss some things that are obvious from 20,000 feet.

      Reggie Evans, love that guy…

    75. ruruland

      Bruno Almeida:
      but according to ruruland, Melo’s problem is his teammates…

      because coming up with a .604 TS% with Mo Williams, J.J Hickson, Anderson Varejão, ultra washed-up Shaq, Anthony Parker, Delonte West, even more washed-up Ilgauskas, Daniel Gibson, Jamario Moon, Jawad Williams and Antawn Jamison for 20 games is impossible, right?

      uh…

      that’s a terrible team that promptly became a 19-63 team without LeBron, and yet he had a .604 TS% with them.

      stop making excuses using Carmelo’s teammates.

      Ok, this perfect. There is essentially a 1:1 correlation between Lebron’s ts% and the 3pt percentage of the team’s he’s played on. I’ve posted this for Owen before.

      While none of those players are great players by themselves — they were perfect around Lebron.

      It’s very simple — that team has fantastic shooting — but not just that— each of those shooters is good enough to beat their man off the dribble if you close out too hard on him — these guys aren’t Steve Novak or Ryan Andersons and they don’t need multiple offensive initiators to get off good shots.

      Parker is a career 40% 3pt shooter with the ability to dribble the ball and take a 2pt mid-range shot (Novak can’t do this). Parker is also a plus defender. Jamison is the best stretch 4 in the NBA.

      Mo Williams is an excellent 3pt shooter and can get the basket better than, say, JR Smith ( he also has a higher assist rate).

      Gibson — another amazing 3pt shooter. West — excellent complementary player that plays his best off ball — can do everything.

      Big Z? A perfect offensive player next to a high usage star — one of the best shooting big men in the game and can create shots from the post — rebounds and defends rim a little.

      Shaq was still a very good player on that team and gave them a third way to initiate offense and create kick-outs and…

    76. ruruland

      Owen:

      You approach basketball on a very microscopic level. Which is great. But I think you miss some things that are obvious from 20,000 feet.

      Reggie Evans, love that guy…

      He’s played better in a limited sample size where he put up much of his numbers with Lin on the floor– Lin creates defensive attention and shot opportunities for others and he’s the key to the Knicks building a team that can beat the Heat. I’ve said that from day one.

      Novak is one of the few exceptions — guys who haven’t improved with Melo on the floor. One that would likely change as the sample got larger and larger.

      My point with Novak is that we see how limited he is when you don’t have enough penetration and defensive attention on the floor.

      Having 2-3 non-shooters on the floor at the same time like the Knicks always do — from Fields, Chandler, Jeffries, Davis, Jorts– when you only have one offense generator means that a one-dimensional player like Novak won’t be able to get shots.

      See, you’re saying that usage is the key distinguishing factor in efficiency. That’s probably roughly true from a statistical perspective, but it doesn’t tell us anything of how a team works and how players function within a team…to know how usage is ideally distributed you have to take into account a huge amount of variable.s

      I think of these things can be empirically determined but it’s not easy to do. Our eyes and scouting analysis gives us a rough/ballaprk approximation of these things and how they work.

      You would not want Owen or THCJ or Berri trying to draw up plays for a team. It’s how you get to the shots that is critical.

    77. johnlocke

      Chris Paul — a player whose stats are even MORE impressive in the playoffs than they are in the regular season —> despite losing in the first round with crappy teammates. Probably, why no one points out his playoff losses

    78. Doug

      Owen: For instance, if you show him a Sloan paper from some respected basketball analysts showing gallo was better at the time of the trade, he will laugh at you, and tell you that you know nothing about basketball.

      I understand how you feel, especially being a stat-minded baseball fan. But truth be told, I think the “respected basketball analysts” are not on the same level of authority as, say, Fangraphs or a Tom Tango. Baseball lends itself perfectly to statistical analysis because it is a game of discrete events. There is no teamwork in baseball; everyone’s an individual. Basketball is a much higher mountain to climb. Five guys on the court, all with varying degrees of dependence an independence. It’s a cube to baseball’s square.

      Which is a very long way of saying that advanced basketball stats are a long way from where baseball stats are now. Basketball stats are still in a Bill James era. How many of Bill James’ metrics do we still use today? Right now you have guys like Dave Berri trying to apply baseball paradigms of individual performance, and you get wacky shit saying that Kenneth Faried, Ryan Anderson, and Reggie Evans are an all-world frontcourt.

      I view basketball stats with a much more discerning eye than baseball stats. Just because we’re in a post-Moneyball era doesn’t mean that advanced stats work with every sport.

      Advanced basketball stats are Bill James, not Fangraphs. Remember that.

    79. ruruland

      ruruland: Ok, this perfect. There is essentially a 1:1 correlation between Lebron’s ts% and the 3pt percentage of the team’s he’s played on. I’ve posted this for Owen before.

      While none of those players are great players by themselves — they were perfect around Lebron.

      It’s very simple — that team has fantastic shooting — but not just that— each of those shooters is good enough to beat their man off the dribble if you close out too hard on him — these guys aren’t Steve Novak or Ryan Andersons and they don’t need multiple offensive initiators to get off good shots.

      Parker is a career 40% 3pt shooter with the ability to dribble the ball and take a 2pt mid-range shot (Novak can’t do this). Parker is also a plus defender. Jamison is the best stretch 4 in the NBA.

      Mo Williams is an excellent 3pt shooter and can get the basket better than, say, JR Smith ( he also has a higher assist rate).

      Again, Bruno, the point is that those Cleveland teams were perfectly built for Lebron.

      You never had less than 3 shooting threats on the floor at the same time — all of your shooting threats had the ability to break the defense down when they closed too hard.

      You had two big men who spread the floor, one who created double teams, and a third Varejao, who was one of the best cutters and movers in the game, and excelled at extra possessions.

      it would have been very difficult to build a better team around Lebron.

      Melo’s never had that kind of team around him — two way players that made offense easier. The closest he had was the Billups Nuggets……..

      The team that’s playing the Heat right now, from an offensive perspective, is truly horrible.

    80. hoolahoop

      BigBlueAL:
      Maybe the problem with Melo is he has too many people close to him who tell him the same things ruru tells us here??Lack of accountability??

      Bingo!

    81. Z

      That’s the thing— Paul plays in 4th gear for 24 minutes, then goes into 6th gear inthe 4th. We all suspect Melo can turn it off and on too (at least he gave every indication he can this spring). So– Why can’t he turn it on for the playoffs??

      johnlocke:
      Chris Paul — a player whose stats are even MORE impressive in the playoffs than they are in the regular season —> despite losing in the first round with crappy teammates.Probably, why no one points out his playoff losses

    82. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      Chris Paul — a player whose stats are even MORE impressive in the playoffs than they are in the regular season —> despite losing in the first round with crappy teammates.Probably, why no one points out his playoff losses

      He was unreal when matched up against Fisher.. When Denver trapped him, sort of like how the Heat are defending Melo, he was awful.

    83. ruruland

      Doug: I understand how you feel, especially being a stat-minded baseball fan. But truth be told, I think the “respected basketball analysts” are not on the same level of authority as, say, Fangraphs or a Tom Tango. Baseball lends itself perfectly to statistical analysis because it is a game of discrete events. There is no teamwork in baseball; everyone’s an individual. Basketball is a much higher mountain to climb. Five guys on the court, all with varying degrees of dependence an independence. It’s a cube to baseball’s square.

      Which is a very long way of saying that advanced basketball stats are a long way from where baseball stats are now. Basketball stats are still in a Bill James era. How many of Bill James’ metrics do we still use today? Right now you have guys like Dave Berri trying to apply baseball paradigms of individual performance, and you get wacky shit saying that Kenneth Faried, Ryan Anderson, and Reggie Evans are an all-world frontcourt.

      I view basketball stats with a much more discerning eye than baseball stats. Just because we’re in a post-Moneyball era doesn’t mean that advanced stats work with every sport.

      Advanced basketball stats are Bill James, not Fangraphs. Remember that.

      This is perfectly put, Doug. I appreciate your posts.

    84. BigBlueAL

      hoolahoop: Bingo!

      I will say though hoola that I do think Melo wants to win more than he wants to get his points. I just think he truly believes the best way for it to happen is by him getting his especially when he is playing with clearly inferior teammates. I do wonder though like I mentioned if whoever is in his inner-circle or whatever tell him that his struggles is due mainly to his teammates and not to his shot selection or poor shooting in general.

      After Game 3 he said he was taking shots he makes all the time and that isnt the first time he has said that. When he has had some awful shooting games after the game he usually always says he was just missing shots he makes all the time so he isnt worried about his shooting. There were some games earlier in the year where he had bad shooting numbers but it was due to him missing some layups and getting shots blocked but he was at least taking it to the rim. But most of the time he struggles cause he is bricking contested 18 footers but to him he thinks he can make those shots all the time so they arent bad shots for him.

      Great talent can be a gift and a curse at times I guess lol

    85. d-mar

      I love what Mike Woodson brought to this team, and will always be grateful for him turning the Knicks into a pretty good defensive team, but these playoff games have made me reconsider whether he should be re-signed. As others have pointed out, the offense in game 3 was basically give the ball to Melo and stand around. I understand his teammates are not future Hall of Famers, but Woodson could have been a tad more creative than just “we’re gonna ISO Melo every single time down the court”

      That’s why the more I think about it, Phil Jackson would be perfect for this team next year (assuming he wants the job) The players will listen to him, and he will figure out a way to make the pieces work. Unfortunately for Woody, I think he was a little exposed the last week, and his prior playoff record with Atlanta doesn’t help his case either.

    86. hoolahoop

      er, Telegraph Pass, John Locke, Doug, et al.

      You hate my posts for calling out Melo on his ball hog playing style, but Jon Barry, DWade, M Dantoni, Charles Barkley, Chris Webber, Larry Brown, Howard Beck, Kelly Tripuka, . . . the list goes on and on of guys that have said that Melo should play less iso and move the ball more.

      I guess you think they’re all idiots that they don’t get it like you guys do.

    87. hoolahoop

      d-mar:
      I love what Mike Woodson brought to this team, and will always be grateful for him turning the Knicks into a pretty good defensive team, but these playoff games have made me reconsider whether he should be re-signed. As others have pointed out, the offense in game 3 was basically give the ball to Melo and stand around. I understand his teammates are not future Hall of Famers, but Woodson could have been a tad more creative than just “we’re gonna ISO Melo every single time down the court”

      I’m afraid it’s more about Woodson succumbing to Melo’s will than a game plan he devised. I’m not sure which is worse.

    88. ephus

      ruruland: Blame Melo for not having the energy to play 45 minutes at the highest level against Lebron and Battier. Blame him for missing shots, for driving to the basket and not getting calls, and really, blame him for not having a supremely confident mindset against the Heat…

      Yes, I blame him for that, because there is not an apparent excuse for failing to prepare during this offseason. Let’s see Melo work as hard as Roy Hibbert, Jerry Rice or Kevin Love this off-season. Let’s see Melo give himself the stamina to be able to play hard for 38 minutes per game at both ends of the court. Let’s see Melo have the spring in his step to finish above the rim, instead of below it. If Melo does all of these things (which are really just one thing), Knick fans will learn whether Melo can be the best player on a championship team, or merely an also ran. I think he can be the second coming of Bernard King (whose 1984 season would have carried the Knicks to a championship in many seasons), but only if he decides to prioritize conditioning and hard work over all else. I have no idea if Melo will pay the cost to be the boss.

    89. nicos

      Doug:
      One thing I am sick and tired of is people slagging on ruru, when he researches his opinions and always backs them up with stats. Isn’t this a stat blog AND a Knicks blog at the same time? You can argue with his interpretation. You can argue with his analysis. But you can’t accuse him of arguing in bad faith just because you don’t like his opinions or his persistence annoys you.

      I think the issue is sometimes it seems like he’s constantly changing the rules of the argument to favor Melo- You can’t argue Melo has more value as an offensive player than Amar’e because he doesn’t require a point guard to get him good shots and then spend the entire playoffs saying Melo can’t get a good shot because the point guard play is so poor. Guys on Denver shoot well because Melo presence makes them better but when talking about Cleveland with LBJ it’s “LBJ shoots well because he’s surrounded by great shooters” like he had nothing to do with the fact that those shooters like Mo Williams and Boobie Gibson shot career bests playing with LeBron. Crowing about Melo’s great assist % and ignoring his below average assist % (which give a better idea of how willing you are to pass the ball). You can’t say Melo is worn out from guarding LBJ when he’s been almost as bad in the first and third quarter as he’s been late. Some of the Melo attacks on the board have been mindless (though not much less mindless than proposing trading Amar’e for Trevor Ariza) but the fact is is that he’s playing worse than he has any excuse for playing- just say, yeah he’s having a crappy series, he’s got some flaws, please.

    90. BigBlueAL

      Brian Cronin:
      Hey, maybe Rudy Gay shouldn’t be taking end of game shots anymore.

      Nothing beats the Heat having Anthony Carter and Clarence Weatherspoon taking their final end of game shots in Games 6 and 7 in 2000 lol

    91. Brian Cronin

      Ha! True. The Weatherspoon one was especially bad since Jamal Mashburn got pissed after he missed because he thought Weatherspoon was going to pass back to him. Dude, you passed him the ball with five seconds left at the end of the game! What the hell were you thinking!?

    92. ruruland

      nicos: I think the issue is sometimes it seems like he’s constantly changing the rules of the argument to favor Melo- You can’t argue Melo has more value as an offensive player than Amar’e because he doesn’t require a point guard to get him good shots and then spend the entire playoffs saying Melo can’t get a good shot because the point guard play is so poor.Guys on Denver shoot well because Melo presence makes them better but when talking about Cleveland with LBJ it’s “LBJ shoots well because he’s surrounded by great shooters” like he had nothing to do with the fact that those shooters like Mo Williams and Boobie Gibson shot career bests playing with LeBron.Crowing about Melo’s great assist % and ignoring his below average assist % (which give a better idea of how willing you are to pass the ball).Y

      Nicos:

      Next time you post about me direct it to me, not someone else.

      The relationship between Lebron and his teammates is symbiotic. they were already good shooters — Lebron provided them easier looks and less shots they had to create on their own.

      Those shooters provided Lebron easier driving lanes to score. They demanded respect of the defense that previous incarnations of the support roster didn’t.

      My point with Amar’e/Melo comparison wasn’t just that Amar’e needs a point guard to optimize his efficiency, it’s that he needs a point guard to get shots. Secondly, Amar’e’s scoring his opportunity scoring — while teams respect his pick and roll, it’s not that kind of scoring that typically generates the kind of defensive attention that self-created offense does. You must have a very good point guard in order to maximize the opportunities presented by the defense when teams take away the pick and roll.

    93. BigBlueAL

      Brian Cronin:
      Ha! True. The Weatherspoon one was especially bad since Jamal Mashburn got pissed after he missed because he thought Weatherspoon was going to pass back to him. Dude, you passed him the ball with five seconds left at the end of the game! What the hell were you thinking!?

      He got lucky that Camby slipped because if not Spoon gets that jumper sent right back to his face which wouldve been like the 4th or 5th shot of his Camby wouldve blocked that series lol

    94. ruruland

      The central premise to the idea of trading Amar’e was that you cannot maximize his offense without significantly taking away from the defense…..

      That’s not just because Amar’e is a poor defender. It’s that a paint-clogging big man — those like Chandler who play defense—cause Amar’e efficiency to decrease quite substantially. He’s shooting 13 percent lower with Chandler — there is no difference with Melo.

      Trading Amar’e for Ariza and Okafor is not a stupid idea. It’s not just that you bring in better defenders that are more complementary offensive players — but it allows you more money to sign a guy like JR Smith or Novak — and it gives you more flexibility moving forward.

      It was probably the least attractive scenario I proposed.

    95. Brian Cronin

      Next time you post about me direct it to me, not someone else.

      I agree. That goes for everyone, though. How often have you spoken about Owen or THCJ not to them?

    96. ess-dog

      I’m clearly not a big Melo fan, but if you look at the stats, Melo has had his best year (albeit an inconsistent one) in many regards. His WinShares/48 were an all time high .160, his assist rate was an all time high 21, his rebounding didn’t really change much, his defense is consistently average. The glaring weakness is his TS at .525 (Josh Smith career territory.)

      I think some of the issue is him not having a coach that has had the perfect system for him (although you have to believe Karl did his best.) Another part is that his skills overlap greatly with Amare’s, which has been discussed ad nauseum. And also Melo just had not had really great teammates. Tyson is of course good, but Amare has been terrible and aside from a flash from Lin and great defense from Shump (who’s been horrible offensively), what do we have? Really very little.

      The “plan” was for the Knicks to team Melo up with the real Stat and CP3 – two statistically better players. What we have is nothing resembling that.

      And Melo has basically been shut down by LBJ and Battier – two of the best defenders in the game – while getting little help from his team. I don’t think Melo is blameless, but I think Stat should probably get MORE blame along with coaches who can’t maximize Melo OR Stat. I mean, all of us here were clamoring for Lin WEEKS before he was actually put in a game. Was it that hard to see his talent??? And Woodson’s playoff “coaching” isn’t maximizing anyone, much less Melo. LMAO at him talking about “next year” when he is so gone…

      This season has sucked, but I really think if we can get a healthy Lin some time with Stat, Melo and Chandler under coach Jackson (yes, I’m calling it here) we will be a 3 or 4 seed.

    97. ruruland

      It must really suck to be a fan of a team where you dislike the face of the franchise player.

      I don’t think there’s another franchise in that NBA or any sport that comes close to having a fanbase where the majority openly hate the top player.

      It’s hard to think of another situation like this in sports ever. Well, I guess Arod.

      Deron Williams has sucked, but Nets fans love him. Tracy McGrady was never hated — neither was Paul Pierce.

      Better yet, the fans who argue on Melo’s behalf — like most normal fans root for their top players — are ostracized.

    98. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland:
      It must really suck to be a fan of a team where you dislike the face of the franchise player.

      I don’t think there’s another franchise in that NBAor any sport that comes close to having a fanbase where the majority openly hate the top player.

      It’s hard to think of another situation like this in sports ever. Well, I guess Arod.

      Deron Williams has sucked, but Nets fans love him. Tracy McGrady was never hated — neither was Paul Pierce.

      Better yet, the fans who argue on Melo’s behalf — like most normal fans root for their top players — are ostracized.

      It must really suck to ride a professional athlete’s jock so hard that you value his brand more than you do his production.

    99. ephus

      ruruland: It must really suck to be a fan of a team where you dislike the face of the franchise player.

      No. I love the Knicks and want to love Melo. I just am extremely frustrated that he has not put himself in the best position to contribute to a championship because he showed up less than FIT. I am frustrated that he allows non-calls to get into his head, and lollygags back on defense when he is angry at the refs. I am frustrated that he does not have the hell-bent-for-leather attitude of 1984 Bernard King (whom Melo cites as his basketball hero).

      If Melo completely commits to victory and comes up short, I (and I think most here) will lionize him, in the same way that we have lionized Patrick Ewing.

    100. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: It must really suck to ride a professional athlete’s jock so hard that you value his brand more than you do his production.

      Crazy thing is that unlike many of you I actually root for this current Knicks team to do well.

      Save for a few empty statements like “oh, I actually hope they win and I’m wrong,” which are utter bullshit because you make every conceivable argument about how it CANNOT work…. with every indication that you’d prefer it not to work so that you can be “proven” correct.

      But whatever. I just think that would be pretty miserable. Not me to judge what a fan is or if you many of you even fit the definition.

      I’m the anti-fan because I believe in one of the top players and think the Knicks can eventually figure it out.

    101. ruruland

      ephus: No.I love the Knicks and want to love Melo.I just am extremely frustrated that he has not put himself in the best position to contribute to a championship because he showed up less than FIT.I am frustrated that he allows non-calls to get into his head, and lollygags back on defense when he is angry at the refs.I am frustrated that he does not have the hell-bent-for-leather attitude of 1984 Bernard King (whom Melo cites as his basketball hero).

      If Melo completely commits to victory and comes up short, I (and I think most here) will lionize him, in the same way that we have lionized Patrick Ewing.

      I think frustration is fine. Most of you I totally understand.

    102. Brian Cronin

      The Thunder are weird. They have Fisher on the court. They have Westbrook on the court. And yet James Harden is acting as the point guard right now. I mean, Harden is delivering but it is still weird.

    103. ephus

      So, Ruru, does ‘Melo have the mental strength to actually fully commit to victory by getting into top physical shape?

      I recall reading in around 2003 an interesting pop-psych comparison of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson (before Phil had won a single major). The author took as a given that Tiger and Phil were the two most talented golfers, but Tiger had managed to win a lot of majors, while Phil had not captured one. The clear difference between the two was the amount of dedication that each put into their preparation. The author pointed out that it took a tremendous amount of mental strength for Tiger to prepare as completely as he did, but not because discipline is hard. Rather, what is really hard if you are renowned to be that talented is that if you prepare as hard as possible and lose, you will destroy the myth of your talent level. If Tiger lost despite his maniacal focus on golf, the perception would be that he was not as talented as everyone had thought. By working so hard, Tiger knowingly took on the risk that he would lose his identity as the most talented golfer in the world.

      Phil, on the other hand, always had a built-in excuse for why he lost to Tiger — he had other priorities in front of golf (family, gambling on the course with risky shots, gambling in Vegas). When Phil came up short, people did not conclude that Phil was not talented, they concluded that he was not taking full advantage of his talent. And, as a matter of self-definition, that was a safer place to be.

      Carrying this analogy forward, I would put ‘Melo into the Phil column, while LeBron, Wade and Kobe fall into the Tiger column. Is ‘Melo willing to risk his reputation as the “greatest scorer’ in the NBA (held by some, but far from all) by doing all of the hard work necessary to be a complete superstar, and risk coming up short? Patrick Ewing did (and came up short).

    104. ephus

      Brian Cronin:
      The Thunder are weird. They have Fisher on the court. They have Westbrook on the court. And yet James Harden is acting as the point guard right now. I mean, Harden is delivering but it is still weird.

      And he just scored the biggest basket of the game on an isolation play with ten seconds left.

    105. 2FOR18

      Doug: You should read people’s comments more carefully; NO ONE is saying Melo is as good as Lebron. You should also stop oversimplifying arguments; I’ve seen ruruland post the same stats over and over about the Melo-Iverson Nuggets and the Melo-Andre Miller Nuggets and the Melo-Billups Nuggets. You have one piece of anecdotal evidence with confounding factors (Lebron’s point guard skill, Lebron’s replacement) that doesn’t even involve Melo.

      One thing I am sick and tired of is people slagging on ruru, when he researches his opinions and always backs them up with stats. Isn’t this a stat blog AND a Knicks blog at the same time? You can argue with his interpretation. You can argue with his analysis. But you can’t accuse him of arguing in bad faith just because you don’t like his opinions or his persistence annoys you.

      I get on him because he does argue in bad faith.
      1) He’s getting paid for this.
      2) he only uses stats that paint melo in a favorable light, and either ignores all other stats, or excuses them away by blaming melo’s teammates, and also uses the term “stathead” perjoratively (sp).
      I know you’re gonna rip me a new one for #1, but I have been around the block a few more times than you and can see it.

    106. 2FOR18

      ruruland: Crazy thing is that unlike many of you I actuallyroot for this current Knicks team to do well.

      Save for a few empty statements like “oh, I actually hope they win and I’m wrong,” which are utter bullshit because you make every conceivable argument about how it CANNOT work…. with every indication that you’d prefer it not to work so that you can be “proven” correct.

      But whatever. I just think that would be pretty miserable. Not me to judge what a fan is or if you many of you even fit the definition.

      I’m the anti-fan because I believe in one of the top players and think the Knicks can eventually figure it out.

      Again, it’s a joke for you question the “fandom” of 20-30 year Knicks fans when you just switched teams because your boy left and you didn’t like the criticism he got in Denver. You have no idea what you’re talking about re: what Knicks fans want. Ewing took more shit than you can imagine here but it doesn’t mean we wanted the Knicks to lose.

    107. jon abbey

      Harden was fantastic down the stretch of that game, very impressive.

      but this stat is incredible:

      Zach Lowe ? @ZachLowe_SI

      Harden had zero baskets this ENTIRE season in the last 3 minutes of games w/ scoring margin of 5 or fewer, per http://NBA.com

    108. BigBlueAL

      The problem Melo has and will always have with many Knick fans is how he became a Knick. Many fans obviously hated the trade because of how much the Knicks gave up for him (not to mention that it was obviously made against the wishes of the GM and head coach) plus he is seen as Dolan’s boy which is another huge strike against him. His salary doesnt help him either.

      Knick fans dont feel any real connection to him unlike what we had to someone like Ewing who was brought up earlier. Ewing was a Knick draft pick.

    109. Brian Cronin

      Agreed. If it were the other way around and Melo was here when the Knicks added STAT, STAT would bear the brunt. And, as someone else noted, Ewing got a ton of shit from Knick fans over the years. On a Ewing poster giveaway night, they threw his poster on to the court, for crying out loud!! And Ewing was a much better player than Melo or STAT. Aand he had a better reputation, as well. Six times Ewing finished in the top five in MVP balloting. STAT and Melo have never finished in the top five.. Five of those top five finishes came in his first nine seasons, six in his first ten (Melo just finished his ninth season, STAT his tenth).

    110. BigBlueAL

      It was like we could give shit to Ewing but if a fan from another team gave him shit we jumped to his defense lol

    111. ephus

      Brian Cronin: . On a Ewing poster giveaway night, they threw his poster on to the court, for crying out loud!!

      Actually, it was much worse than that. The poster was a lifesize 7 foot long growth chart. When Ewing was shooting a free throw, stood under the basket stantion and ripped the entire thing from top to bottom.

    112. Owen

      That is amazing and seems impossible. 82games shows him averaging 6.8 points per whatever, so it looks like there are some shots in there….

      jon abbey:
      Harden was fantastic down the stretch of that game, very impressive.

      but this stat is incredible:

      Zach Lowe ? @ZachLowe_SI

      Harden had zero baskets this ENTIRE season in the last 3 minutes of games w/ scoring margin of 5 or fewer, per http://NBA.com

    113. Owen

      “I think of these things can be empirically determined but it’s not easy to do. Our eyes and scouting analysis gives us a rough/ballaprk approximation of these things and how they work.
      You would not want Owen or THCJ or Berri trying to draw up plays for a team. It’s how you get to the shots that is critical.”

      Ruru – Do you think the hot hand exists? Because from what I can tell every single nba player and coach, and every analyst on tv, will tell you it exists.

      And reams of analysis by multiple economists will tell you it doesn’t exist.

      Who is right? The NBA insiders? Or the eggheads?

    114. Robtachi

      I’m neither a Melo sympathizer nor a hater. What I am is a truly invested Knicks fan. I want to see this team whole, complete, healthy and under normal circumstances. I want to see what that team does, and what they seem capable of doing.

      To write them, or any of their franchise cornerstones off at the moment as never has beens and never will bes is shortsighted, irresponsible journalism, prisoner of the narrative-type stuff.

      And that’s why high quality sports journalism is so rare, and so rarely recognized.

    115. Doug

      2FOR18: I get on him because he does argue in bad faith.
      1) He’s getting paid for this.
      2) he only uses stats that paint melo in a favorable light, and either ignores all other stats, or excuses them away by blaming melo’s teammates, and also uses the term “stathead” perjoratively (sp).
      I know you’re gonna rip me a new one for #1, but I have been around the block a few more times than you and can see it.

      You’re right, I am and I will. So you’ve been around “the block.” What block? The internet sports team blog comment section block? Someone among our midst is a salaried professional blog commenter, paid by the comment to defend Melo from his INTERNET HATERZ. He answers only to Team Melo, a secret cabal composed of La La Vazquez, Leon Rose, Worldwide Wes, and the Illuminati. And only you can finger this villain and reveal his true nefarious purposes because you’re some kind of grizzled old Internet veteran.

      I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

    116. Doug

      Owen: Who is right? The NBA insiders? Or the eggheads?

      The NBA insiders have proprietary statistical informations that they’ll never share with the eggheads, so I’ll go with the insiders.

      Also the eggheads are basically Bill James printing out mimeographed copies of The Baseball Abstract out of his garage in 1982 right now. Remember that.

    117. Doug

      Also, people actually listen to what Jon Barry and Kelly Tripucka have to say about basketball?

      Perhaps you meant Brent Barry, the non-douche Barry brother.

    118. nicos

      ruruland: Nicos:

      Next time you post about me direct it to me, not someone else.

      Sorry- will do. And sorry for the post in general- no reason for it. But Trevor Ariza is awful and Okafor’s washed up- so there :)

    119. max fisher-cohen

      ruruland: It must really suck to be a fan of a team where you dislike the face of the franchise player.

      Here we go again with the “attacking people for not being the right kind of fans” stuff. There are about 3 people on this board who attack Melo personally, which IMO is a waste of time and unfair. I root for the Knicks. The team. Players come and go, and the only ones I can remember having a strong attachment to are Oak, Spree, LJ, and Gallo.

      Gallo was the vulnerable young dude who I got to watch grow up. He was the guy who came into his own just as NY was emerging from the Isiah dark ages. He’s like a holocaust baby. By the end, you just had to love him.

      I loved Spree & LJ because they were emotional & confident on the floor, & they had that unforgettable run together, where against all odds they slayed our worst enemies: The Heat – Hardaway & Mourning, & the Pacers – Reggie Miller.

      Oak because I felt like he was the heart of NY’s identity. He was the real enforcer, and he also seemed like an interesting dude in a John Wayne badass kind of way.

      Point is, I can root for players, but they have to have some positive history with the team. I’m guessing that’s why you love Melo. He gave Denver fans hope.

      As a NY fan though Melo’s acquisition has done nothing but squelch all hope for improvement & championship contention. He’s not young so he’s unlikely to improve & hasn’t made the team any better (Dolan’s fault, not his). He is a square peg in a round hole, or else he turned STAT into that peg. I want him traded, not because I don’t like him, but because he is the only piece that can be converted into young players with potential, giving STAT a chance to recover, giving NY a chance to have a coherent offense & of maybe, just maybe, developing into a contender.

    120. max fisher-cohen

      Oh yeah, and I loved Marcus Camby too because he was part of that same team with LJ and Sprewell, and, similar to Gallo, grew into a star that year. I never loved Houston I guess because he seemed so collected and unemotional.

    121. hoolahoop

      ruruland: It must really suck to be a fan of a team where you dislike the face of the franchise player.

      Yes, it does.
      I’ve been a big knicks fan since before Melo was born. I was at a lot of the games during the championship seasons. It’s been a fun ride till the end of the Ewing era.
      The last decade has been awful, punctuated by Marbury, Isiah, and now Melo. The first half of last season was finally fun again. Then, Melo showed up and “the ship be sinkin”, except for the Linsanity respite. That was the most fun two weeks I can remember in knicks history.
      Denver shed no tears when Melo left and there are few fans there who would undo that trade.

      I’m trying to figure out if I can wipe the knicks fan DNA from my blood. So far, I can’t.

    122. hoolahoop

      ruruland: It must really suck to be a fan of a team where you dislike the face of the franchise player.

      And it must really suck to be a fan of a player more than the team he’s on – especially when the player is ostracized for being a ball hog that doesn’t pass to his teammates and has the worst playoff record in NBA history.
      Lets face it ruru, you’re a knicks fan by default that started last year with Melo’s arrival. Who are you to judge knicks fans?
      What type of fan abandons his team to follow a player? I liked Cazzie Russell, and Walt Bellamy, and Ewing, – and Gallo, but that doesn’t make me like the Nuggets more than the knicks.

    123. hoolahoop

      Doug:
      Also, people actually listen to what Jon Barry and Kelly Tripucka have to say about basketball?

      If you don’t think those two guys know basketball, “I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.”

    124. 2FOR18

      Doug: You’re right, I am and I will. So you’ve been around “the block.” What block? The internet sports team blog comment section block? Someone among our midst is a salaried professional blog commenter, paid by the comment to defend Melo from his INTERNET HATERZ. He answers only to Team Melo, a secret cabal composed of La La Vazquez, Leon Rose, Worldwide Wes, and the Illuminati. And only you can finger this villain and reveal his true nefarious purposes because you’re some kind of grizzled old Internet veteran.

      I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

      That’s all cool and I deserve it since I don’t have proof.

      All I know for sure is that he makes his money as a writer and that he has spent years on the internet talking up melo. He also follows the same template that political hacks follow – there is a whole industry of paid internet folks who comment on the “other side’s” sites with “their side’s” talking points, and he uses the same methods of arguing – the deflection, the blaming of others, the strawman arguments, repeating of the same talking points ad nauseum, etc.

      If there is a more logical explanation for his melomania, I’d like to hear it.

    125. Doug

      2FOR18: That’s all cool and I deserve it since I don’t have proof.

      All I know for sure is that he makes his money as a writer and that he has spent years on the internet talking up melo.He also follows the same template that political hacks follow – there is a whole industry of paid internet folks who comment on the “other side’s” sites with “their side’s” talking points, and he uses the same methods of arguing – the deflection, the blaming of others, the strawman arguments, repeating of the same talking points ad nauseum, etc.

      If there is a more logical explanation for his melomania, I’d like to hear it.

      Because I find your wild conspiracy morbidly fascinating to the point where it’s entertaining to think about: DUDE. You’re forgetting that there’s absolutely no real world value to sports discussion. It’s not like we have an election to swing. What would be the point of astroturfing a Knicks blog? And just this one blog? This isn’t even the biggest Knicks-only blog out there. If I hired a guy to defend me on the internets and found out he was only posting on one blog, I’d fire his ass.

      And anyway, it’d be relatively easy to identify your hypothetical pro-Melo astroturfer because if they were doing their job they’d have multiple aliases posting on as many blogs possible. You could easily identify them with their writing style.

      What’s the most logical explanation? Uh… he really likes Melo. Occam’s Razor, bruh.

    126. 2FOR18

      Doug: Because I find your wild conspiracy morbidly fascinating to the point where it’s entertaining to think about: DUDE. You’re forgetting that there’s absolutely no real world value to sports discussion. It’s not like we have an election to swing. What would be the point of astroturfing a Knicks blog? And just this one blog? This isn’t even the biggest Knicks-only blog out there. If I hired a guy to defend me on the internets and found out he was only posting on one blog, I’d fire his ass.

      And anyway, it’d be relatively easy to identify your hypothetical pro-Melo astroturfer because if they were doing their job they’d have multiple aliases posting on as many blogs possible. You could easily identify them with their writing style.

      What’s the most logical explanation? Uh… he really likes Melo. Occam’s Razor, bruh.

      Funny, I was going to use “Occam’s razor” as my easiest explanation for my theory, as I can’t fathom anyone going to these lengths to defend a player unless they were being paid in some way. It’s not just this blog. He’s defended melo on other sites as well, going back years. I checked it out when he was “outed” here a couple of months ago by someone.

    127. TelegraphedPass

      hoolahoop: If you don’t think those two guys know basketball, “I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.”

      I can’t anymore hahahahhaa

    128. Bruno Almeida

      ruruland: Crazy thing is that unlike many of you I actuallyroot for this current Knicks team to do well.

      Save for a few empty statements like “oh, I actually hope they win and I’m wrong,” which are utter bullshit because you make every conceivable argument about how it CANNOT work…. with every indication that you’d prefer it not to work so that you can be “proven” correct.

      But whatever. I just think that would be pretty miserable. Not me to judge what a fan is or if you many of you even fit the definition.

      I’m the anti-fan because I believe in one of the top players and think the Knicks can eventually figure it out.

      ok, stop the pathetic personal attacks, please.

      you have absolutely no fucking right to question people and say these are “empty statements” or that people don’t cheer for this Knicks teams to go well.

      you don’t know me, you don’t know Owen or Max or anyone else to say this kind of shit.

      I have an opinion about whether this Knicks team will eventually win a title or not, and I’d love to be proven wrong.

      if you don’t believe it or think it’s an empty statement, I don’t fucking care.

      you can think my opinions are shit and respond accordingly, but the personal stuff is just bullshit.

      get off your high horse dude, because after all, all you’ve done is find excuses for why your lofty predictions have failed miserably.

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