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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Sunday, Jan 15 2012)

  • [New York Post] Minus Anthony, Knicks routed by Thunder (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 05:30:15 -0500)
    OKLAHOMA CITY â?? Knicks owner James Dolan broke into laughter from his baseline seat in the final seconds of the third quarter last night while his team was getting hammered, down by 27 points to the Thunder. Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett was talking in Dolan’s ear, seeming as if…

  • [New York Post] Melo not certain to make return tomorrow (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 01:41:53 -0500)
    OKLAHOMA CITY â?? Carmelo Anthony said he still was uncertain about being able to return tomorrow against the Magic because of his sprained ankle and wrist. That the Martin Luther King Day contest is a 1 p.m. matinee at the Garden gives him less time.”It’s too far away…

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks lack Thunder and Melo in loss to OKC (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 07:05:20 GMT)
    The Knicks were thoroughly outclassed by the Thunder, one of the NBA’s elite teams. The game was essentially over by halftime as Oklahoma City held a double digit lead for the final 29 minutes and cruised to a 104-92 victory.

  • [New York Daily News] Anthony unsure if he’ll play vs. Magic with sprained wrist and ankle (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 06:13:47 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony reported that he is making “some progress.â? but the Knicks’ small forward is unsure whether he’ll be available for Monday’s home game against the Orlando Magic. Anthony missed his first game of the season Saturday night due to a sprained right ankle and sprained left wrist. Bill Walker started in place of Anthony.

  • [New York Newsday] Minus Carmelo, Knicks routed by Thunder (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 00:22:07 EST)
    Think of this occasion, without Carmelo Anthony, as just one of those inevitable inclement nights. You know, into each Knicks season some rain must fall. The trouble for them was that the Thunder can strike like lightning.

  • [New York Times] Thunder 104, Knicks 92: Offense and Defense Fail Knicks Against Thunder (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 06:30:09 GMT)
    The Knicks, playing without Carmelo Anthony, allowed 70 points in the first half as the Thunder cruised to their sixth consecutive victory.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Jazz Beat Nets as Williams Struggles in Return to Utah (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 06:39:06 GMT)
    Deron Williams, who was traded last February, missed 10 of his first 12 shots and finished with 16 points.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Beat Lakers 102-94 Behind 33 by Paul (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 06:29:58 GMT)
    Chris Paul scored 33 points, Blake Griffin had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way in beating the Lakers 102-94 on Saturday night despite 42 points by Kobe Bryant.

  • [New York Times] Mavericks Smother Kings in Rout (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 05:38:50 GMT)
    The Dallas Mavericks had little difficulty extending their win streak to five games as they crushed the Sacramento Kings 99-60 at the American Airlines Center on Saturday.

  • [New York Times] Jefferson Helps Jazz Spoil D-Will’s Return 107-94 (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 04:41:54 GMT)
    Al Jefferson scored 20 points and reserve C.J. Miles added 17 in Utah’s 107-94 win over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night, spoiling the return of former Jazz All-Star guard Deron Williams.

  • [New York Times] Mavs Rout Kings 99-60 for Fifth Straight Win (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 04:50:55 GMT)
    Jason Terry scored 21 points, Vince Carter added 16, and the Dallas Mavericks stretched their winning streak to five games with a 99-60 rout of the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Gay, Gasol Help Grizzlies Overwhelm Hornets 108-99 (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 03:59:53 GMT)
    Rudy Gay scored 23 points, Marc Gasol added 20 points and 11 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the New Orleans Hornets 108-99 Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Rout Carmelo-Less Knicks, 104-92 (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 03:38:58 GMT)
    Kevin Durant scored 28 points, James Harden added 24 off the bench and the Oklahoma City Thunder raced past the New York Knicks 104-92 on Saturday night for their sixth straight win.

  • [New York Times] Rose Leads Bulls to 77-64 Win Over Raptors (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 03:33:03 GMT)
    Derrick Rose had 18 points and 11 assists, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 77-64 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Granger Leads Pacers Past Celtics (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 03:00:11 GMT)
    Danny Granger scored 21 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 97-83 victory over Boston on Saturday night, the Celtics’ fourth straight loss.

  • [New York Times] Walker Scores 23 as Bobcats Beat Warriors 112-100 (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 02:50:54 GMT)
    Rookie Kemba Walker made the most of his first NBA start, scoring a career-high 23 points to lift the Charlotte Bobcats to a 112-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Rally From 18 Down, Beat Timberwolves 93-91 (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 02:44:53 GMT)
    Joe Johnson scored 25 points, Ivan Johnson hit the clinching free throws with 4.6 seconds remaining and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from from 18 points down to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 93-91 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] 76ers Beat Wizards for Second Straight Night (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 02:38:59 GMT)
    Lou Williams scored 24 points and Andre Iguodala added a season-high 23 to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 103-90 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Chicago News Cooperative | Sports: Considering the Chicago Bulls (and Derrick Rose) After the Lockout (Sun, 15 Jan 2012 04:35:53 GMT)
    The Bulls have re-established themselves, and their newfound worthiness is not all about Derrick Rose, their point guard. Or is it?

  • 134 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Sunday, Jan 15 2012)

    1. njasdjdh

      Continuing the discussion from the last thread, I think it’s kind of funny that people want to point out that “Denver isn’t built to do much in the playoffs.” Not sure if you guys noticed, but Denver never did much in the playoffs with Melo outside of 1 year. So…yeah, I think it’s pretty clear that they’re either the same or better off. Reminds me of my friend who always wants to tell me how LeBron isn’t clutch and Melo is, and if I point out any example of LeBron playing well down the stretch, he’ll say it doesn’t matter because LeBron hasn’t done it in the Finals. Meanwhile, Melo hasn’t been out of the 1st round other than that aforementioned one year.

    2. hoolahoop

      Knicks Reality Check Bites

      Tyson Chandler – over rated. This guy needs to get mean. And someone, please get him a pair of hands, He can’t catch the ball.

      Amare – Where have you gone? Excels in a ball movement, player motion offense. He’s lost out there.

      Shump – Stop reading this message forum. You’re a good player, but not that good.

      TD – Stop reading this message board. You were never as good as they said you were as a rookie. You’re not as bad as they say you are now. And yes, you can play good defense.

      Fields – Practice Practice Practice. Better start knocking down the three. Coaches don’t make nearly as much as players.

      D’antoni – They say Amare needed Nash to be good. I’m starting to think it was you, all along, that needs him.

      Melo-bury – There, I said it (someone had to). Ball stopping, ball hog. Most over rated superstar in the NBA. Never will win a ring as long as he’s “the man”.

      Jorts -The new Landry Fields. Best +/- on the team. A keeper.

      Bibby – picking on him is being a bully. He’s just another body out there. … and better than people think.

    3. CapB

      It’s hard for Chandler to do much when he is constantly guarding the other team point guards at the 3 point line.

      Are some of the people on this board as depressing on real life as they are with bball? Such grim outlook

    4. hoolahoop

      C’mon Doug. Aside from the off the court antics, it’s the same old thing. 1-on-1 basketball.
      Did you see how OKC moves the ball. Durant shoots a lot, but he’s always in motion and moving the ball. The OKC offense is fluid. The knicks’ is stagnant.
      Unfortunately, considering their depleted roster, without Melo on the floor they’re outgunned by the superior teams.

      Doug: Did they? Did they really?

    5. danvt

      I’m starting to be concerned about our coaching. I mean, I knew we were going to lose last night but we still could have rotated better on defense. The Thunder got open dunks. Also, the Stat technical and the general chippy-ness. They really relished kicking our ass. Maybe it’s time.

    6. iserp

      I find your lack of faith disturbing…

      We put all the ingredients together, we still have to wait 2 hours to bake the cake. That will be about 1-2 seasons, patience… the foundations are good.

    7. Caleb

      Anyone who doesn’t think a semi-healthy Baron Davis would help.. Savior Shump Shump is now shooting 38 percent from the field, 25 percent on 3s, has a TS% of 43.8 and nearly as many turnovers as assists.

      Even if Baron is as inefficient as usual, he’s a massive upgrade. Not to mention another body.

      I won’t belabor things but they need to run Balkman out there, get some rebounds and play faster. This is a horrible half-court team.

      I also don’t think CHandler has been half bad. He’s not rebounding, but I think he will – it hurts that as you pointed out, he’s always having to chase little guys away from the basket. But he’s massively improved the defense, and I don’t know why you say he has bad hands – they look fine to me.

      I know he’s basically going to be a garbageman on offense but he’s extremely efficient and should probably be getting 8 or 10 shots a game, not 3… you can blame that straight on our miserable PG play. Baron will solve that – he knows how to lob it in to Chandler.

    8. iserp

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Here’s a good article about the “stats vs. subjective” debate, and it describes pretty well why posters like jon abbey and co. are wrong.

      And i suppose that everyone else being wrong means you have the truth… right?

    9. d-mar

      Wow, a loss to the odds on favorite to win the West on the road without our best player, and all is lost?

      I just don’t get the constant pronouncements about how the Knicks’ model doesn’t work, how we all wish we had Denver’s roster, we need to dump STAT etc. etc, AFTER 12 GAMES, many of which we were missing key players (Shump, STAT, Melo) If we’re getting our butts kicked in late Feb. with a full roster (including Davis) then it’s time to worry. But do you really think we’re seeing the best the Knicks have to offer right now? They’re 6-6 and should be 7-5 or even 8-4, but the world is not coming to an end, give it a little bit of time. Boston is struggling mightily and their best player Pierce is off to the worst start of his career and the Heat just lost 3 in a row out West. It’s a weird season that will take time to take shape, patience my brothers.

    10. Z-man

      OKC looks like a championship team, and an exciting team to watch. Their D is much improved. I would take Durant over LeBron in a heartbeat.

    11. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      iserp: And i suppose that everyone else being wrong means you have the truth… right?

      Wow! You must have a degree in logic to come up with that claim!

      When have I said I have the truth? All I’m saying is that we have models that determine value and predict future value that many of you have overlooked because it runs contrary to your subjective assessments. Again, Berri’s not god. He’s just got a system that’s a hell of a lot better than “Carmelo was the ‘leader’ of a Western Conference Finals team so he must be good” or “Carmelo’s one of the best scorers in the league; just watch him play!”

      I mean, Berri himself just revised Wins Produced to more accurately represent the value of rebounds. Doesn’t that smell of the (scientific) attitude, “I was using my data incorrectly; let’s try it again”?

    12. danvt

      I can’t believe I’m saying this. It was nice to see Jeffries back out there.

      I can’t believe I’m saying this. He looked like his timing was off and he might make a difference once he gets some run.

      I can’t believe I’m saying this. We need Baron Davis. We probably can’t win with what we have.

      I’m glad we’re .500 and we’ve shown some flashes and it’s early. Obviously we’re trying to stay in the pack until we have a “full roster”. But there’s some stuff going on out there that gives me an old familiar lump in my throat. The frustration leading to overly hard fouls. Obvious give-ups on defense. Blown assignments. The offensive troubles are well documented.

    13. Ben R

      We haven’t been bad for 1 game or 12. We’ve been bad since the Melo trade. We were bad when we had a good PG in Billups. It took Douglas getting hot and going on a tear last season to even end up .500 post Melo.

      Also it is not that we are losing it is how we are losing. We might be .500 but we are scraping by teams like the Wizards and Bobcats and getting pounded by the Grizzlies and the Thunder. If we look like a bad team and smell like a bad team we might just be a bad team regardless of how many all-star games our “big 2″ have played.

    14. danvt

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: When have I said I have the truth? All I’m saying is that we have models that determine value and predict future value that many of you have overlooked because it runs contrary to your subjective assessments. Again, Berri’s not god. He’s just got a system that’s a hell of a lot better than “Carmelo was the ‘leader’ of a Western Conference Finals team so he must be good” or “Carmelo’s one of the best scorers in the league; just watch him play!”

      The reason I asked you about Zbo (and really just asked, I had no thesis, necessarily) was that I was interested in the correlation between team and individual stats. I’m also interested in the correlation between coaches and players individual stats. Mostly, I’m interested in the “career year”. That is, the championship team that is filled with statistical anomalies. That is, many players that outperformed their career numbers, on the same team in the same season AND the correlation between that and the teams that have won the championship.

      So, my question would be. What happened that enabled the Mavs to win last year? Barea, outplayed his career norms, they say. Did everyone else do essentially what it is they always do? If it was just one player that needed to do that, wouldn’t it have made them the prohibitive favorites through the season? Assuming there was a perfect storm of career seasons (or playoff runs) going on, what was it that enabled that to happen?

    15. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

      We haven’t been bad for 1 game or 12. We’ve been bad since the Melo trade. We were bad when we had a good PG in Billups. It took Douglas getting hot and going on a tear last season to even end up .500 post Melo.

      I don’t know about bad. I’d say mediocre.

    16. danvt

      Oh and BY THE WAY. Fields lost his starting job last night to…Wait for it…Mike Bibby. So, I guess, when the Nuggets asked us who we wanted to keep, Gallo or Fields, and we chose Landry, that was a mistake, huh?

      I’m gonna cry now.

    17. EB

      Ben R:
      We haven’t been bad for 1 game or 12. We’ve been bad since the Melo trade. We were bad when we had a good PG in Billups. It took Douglas getting hot and going on a tear last season to even end up .500 post Melo.

      This strikes me as a fallacy in reasoning. When we did have a good point guard we were missing a legitimate starting center, when we we’ve had a good center we’ve been missing a legitimate point guard. If we had a decent player at both positions then I believe it would be fair to come to the conclusion that we are bad but we have yet to play an NBA game with a quality starter at each position.

      If Davis comes back relatively healthy and our team still is mediocre then it would be fair to say that the experiment failed, but until then we are in a wait and see mode. Melo not needing to run the offense, fields and stat having a pg to move off the ball for will help greatly.

    18. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

      Oh and BY THE WAY. Fields lost his starting job last night to…Wait for it…Mike Bibby. So, I guess, when the Nuggets asked us who we wanted to keep, Gallo or Fields, and we chose Landry, that was a mistake, huh?

      I’m gonna cry now.

      I don’t think that it was ever “Gallo versus Fields.” I think it was more “you’re not getting Fields on top of everything else, so don’t even think about asking for him.” Now, could they have done the same thing with Gallo? I don’t believe so. I think Gallo was always going to have to be part of the deal. The problem was that Denver negotiated perfectly with the Knicks by consistently denigrating Gallo. You know, like, “We don’t want him. If you want to use him as a centerpiece, you better be throwing in a whole pile of other stuff.”

    19. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      danvt:

      So, my question would be.What happened that enabled the Mavs to win last year?Barea, outplayed his career norms, they say.Did everyone else do essentially what it is they always do?If it was just one player that needed to do that, wouldn’t it have made them the prohibitive favorites through the season?Assuming there was a perfect storm of career seasons (or playoff runs) going on, what was it that enabled that to happen?

      It wasn’t Barea. It was Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki. They each had outrageously awesome playoff runs. Barea had a TS% of .500 in last year’s playoffs, but he managed to pull a .100 WS/48, down from .139 in the regular season.

      Berri’s done work on the role of coaching. Here’s an anecdote about the importance of in-game coaching:

      “I saw where Adrian Dantley (coaching the Denver Nuggets) kept saying, ‘We’re giving up too many layups.’ And it’s like the players were sitting there saying, ‘Yes, we know. We don’t want them to get layups, either. Why don’t you tell us how to stop them?’ ” said Berri. “They keep putting the mic on Doc Rivers and he keeps saying the same thing, ‘We’ve got to play like a team.’ I mean, I’m getting tired of that. I can’t imagine what the players are thinking. . . . You’ve got to imagine Kevin Garnett, when Doc Rivers is talking, is, like, “Are you done yet? Can I go play? Yep. Play like a team. Got it.” That’s coaching.”

    20. JK47

      Listen, we weren’t any good BEFORE the Melo trade either. Before that trade our #2 option on offense was Ray Felton and our center was Ronny Turiaf.

      And the centerpiece of that team was Amar’e Stoudemire, who, if you all haven’t noticed, sucks. Very badly.

    21. EB

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: “I saw where Adrian Dantley (coaching the Denver Nuggets) kept saying, ‘We’re giving up too many layups.’ And it’s like the players were sitting there saying, ‘Yes, we know. We don’t want them to get layups, either. Why don’t you tell us how to stop them?’ ” said Berri. “They keep putting the mic on Doc Rivers and he keeps saying the same thing, ‘We’ve got to play like a team.’ I mean, I’m getting tired of that. I can’t imagine what the players are thinking. . . . You’ve got to imagine Kevin Garnett, when Doc Rivers is talking, is, like, “Are you done yet? Can I go play? Yep. Play like a team. Got it.” That’s coaching.”

      And those little clipboards they draw on all the time they probably just write play like a team over and over maybe with a few underlines and exclamation points.

    22. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

      Listen, we weren’t any good BEFORE the Melo trade either. Before that trade our #2 option on offense was Ray Felton and our center was Ronny Turiaf.

      And the centerpiece of that team was Amar’e Stoudemire, who, if you all haven’t noticed, sucks. Very badly.

      They were slightly less mediocre before the trade, but yeah, they certainly were not some great team. They were built well enough to get, say, a #6 seed and lose in the first round (which is exactly what happened after the trade). The difference being that there was plenty of room to easily improve that team. For instance, they could have signed Tyson Chandler this past offseason (before re-signing Wilson Chandler). That’s the big problem – besides Davis and the hope that Nash somehow accepts the mid-level next year, this is pretty much going to be the Knicks team going forward the next few years (since you can’t trade STAT for anything).

      And STAT was good in the old system.

    23. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

      That said, I really don’t think it is particularly valuable to wish for the pre-Melo deal team, since the deal did happen. So it’s more productive (as if any of this is actually “productive”) to spend our time talking about the benefits/problems of the current team and not about what could have been.

    24. jon abbey

      wow, that article was awful, same old bullshit from that side, can’t believe anyone is still buying that crap…

    25. jon abbey

      with all the Melo bemoaning (rightly or wrongly), I’m pretty surprised no one has been talking about how it is increasingly looking like we (me included) made the wrong call with Stoudemire over D-Lee.

    26. JK47

      Actually, Stat was having his worst season in quite some time even before the Melo trade. So he’s great with Steve Nash, mediocre with Ray Felton and horrible with whoever the Knicks run out there now. And his defense sucks pretty much across the board no matter who his teammates are. Great max signing.

    27. hoolahoop

      The excuse of the week.
      I’ve been hearing them for years. Many many years.
      Whatever you do, don’t hold anyone on the team or organization accountable.

      EB: This strikes me as a fallacy in reasoning. When we did have a good point guard we were missing a legitimate starting center, when we we’ve had a good center we’ve been missing a legitimate point guard. If we had a decent player at both positions then I believe it would be fair to come to the conclusion that we are bad but we have yet to play an NBA game with a quality starter at each position.

      If Davis comes back relatively healthy and our team still is mediocre then it would be fair to say that the experiment failed, but until then we are in a wait and see mode. Melo notneeding to run the offense, fields and stat having a pg to move off the ball for will help greatly.

    28. hoolahoop

      Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): I don’t think that it was ever “Gallo versus Fields.” I think it was more “you’re not getting Fields on top of everything else, so don’t even think about asking for him.” Now, could they have done the same thing with Gallo? I don’t believe so. I think Gallo was always going to have to be part of the deal. The problem was that Denver negotiated perfectly with the Knicks by consistently denigrating Gallo. You know, like, “We don’t want him. If you want to use him as a centerpiece, you better be throwing in a whole pile of other stuff.”

      I thought the Knicks’ reply to Denver was, “Are you sure you don’t want any more of our players.”

    29. hoolahoop

      JK47:
      Actually, Stat was having his worst season in quite some time even before the Melo trade….

      You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

    30. Owen

      I think we would be pretty happy with Lee at the 8 million per we could have signed him for back in the day before a year of being the only big man on the court in a D’Antoni offense took his value up into the stratosphere.

      I will say, he is a good example of efficiency declining when usage increases, which isn’t supposed to happen according to we stat people…

      Jon – I can understand not loving the WOW (though I still enjoy it of course), but I do highly highly recommend Thinking Fast and Slow. Kahneman might go down as the most influential thinker of the past 50 years with his partner Twersky and it’s a very accessible, fun book…

    31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      jon abbey: there has never been a good article on wagesofwins, I wish I had the time back I’ve ever spent reading any of them and am not clicking on another.

      Wow, what an argument, Jon. You really know how to make your points with clarity.

      The extent of your argument is “You know nothing about basketball, so shut the fuck up.” Good job, bro.

    32. Ben R

      I hated the Melo trade I disliked the Amare signing but I am over those things. We signed Amare we traded for Melo it is what it is.

      I am just tired of excuses. Wait till we gel, when we’re healthy, when we have a good PG. No. I’m sorry, we are a bad team, maybe if everything works out great we might one day become mediocre, but this is a flawed team. Two mismatched, overrated, no defense playing, ball-stopping all-stars does not a great team make.

      The worst part is we are stuck with them for 3 more years, eventually D’Antoni will get fired becasue it couldn’t be the all-stars’ fault, then we will get a new coach and fail to improve, then our role players will be ejected because it can’t be the all-stars’ fault and then when we finally realize that it is our all-stars’ fault three years will have been wasted while we watch ugly frustrating basketball.

    33. Shad0wF0x

      @37

      I think D’Antoni missed his opportunity to resign once that Melo trade happened. I’m pretty sure he knew that his style of play wasn’t going to work with the players that they had post-trade.

    34. hoolahoop

      The problem with a lot of statistical analysis and sport metrics, in particular, is that there are so many variables unaccounted for, that they
      a) become weapons for people to spin to their justification.
      b) lead to incorrect conclusions

      That being said, some statistical categories have great value in analysis. However, you cannot read a box score, or a season of box scores, and know what you’re talking about unless you’re a student of the games that you watch, with regularity.

      Owen:
      I think we would be pretty happy with Lee at the 8 million per we could have signed him for back in the day before a year of being the only big man on the court in a D’Antoni offense took his value up into the stratosphere.

      I will say, he is a good example of efficiency declining when usage increases, which isn’t supposed to happen according to we stat people…

      Jon – I can understand not loving the WOW (though I still enjoy it of course), but I do highly highly recommend Thinking Fast and Slow. Kahneman might go down as the most influential thinker of the past 50 years with his partner Twersky and it’s a very accessible, fun book…

    35. EB

      Last year with Stat and Melo we were 6th in offensive efficiency, this year with chandler we are 8th in defensive efficiency. Neither of these teams sound like a bad team and if we could put them together, say with a player who can actually play pg and some people to shoot the three we are one of the best teams in the league. The problem isn’t Melo or the trade it is the deterioration in shooting from douglas, fields and Stat.

    36. flossy

      JK47: And the centerpiece of that team was Amar’e Stoudemire, who, if you all haven’t noticed, sucks. Very badly.

      Yep, sucked all the way to 2nd team All-NBA, he did.

    37. JK47

      Let’s see, .414 shooting percentage, .493 TS%, .079 WS/48 and defense that can best be described as “appalling.” Excellent use of a max contract.

    38. EB

      If everybody stops the we are doomed because we got Melo reasoning and look at the numbers, specifically the % of Fields, Douglas, and Stat they will see that they all have had their fg%, TS%, along with TD and Fields’ 3P% drop by approx. .100. They have gone from above average shooters to well under the average. The problem with the team can’t be blamed on two volume shooters w/ no defense so much as the inability of 3 out of our projected 5 starters to shoot the ball, one of the most important parts of Dantonis offense.

      This could be chalked up to a number of different things, 1) having chandler on the floor messes up the spacing or eliminates Stats value, 2) Melo is not a Pg and we do not have a PG to get players the shots they want, or 3) The team just sucks. I’m inclined to believe that the team needs a pg.

    39. JK47

      @34

      Stat’s TS% and WS/48 were well off his career norms last season even before “Yoko” Anthony came along and broke up the Beatles.

    40. Nick C.

      I hate to say this, but the litany of excuses sounds all too much like back when He Who Must Not Be Mentioned was in charge.

    41. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Ben R:
      I hated the Melo trade I disliked the Amare signing but I am over those things. We signed Amare we traded for Melo it is what it is.

      I am just tired of excuses. Wait till we gel, when we’re healthy, when we have a good PG. No. I’m sorry, we are a bad team, maybe if everything works out great we might one day become mediocre, but this is a flawed team. Two mismatched, overrated, no defense playing, ball-stopping all-stars does not a great team make.

      The worst part is we are stuck with them for 3 more years, eventually D’Antoni will get fired becasue it couldn’t be the all-stars’ fault, then we will get a new coach and fail to improve, then our role players will be ejected because it can’t be the all-stars’ fault and then when we finally realize that it is our all-stars’ fault three years will have been wasted while we watch ugly frustrating basketball.

      Welcome to the dark side.

    42. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      flossy: Yep, sucked all the way to 2nd team All-NBA, he did.

      Derek Jeter has like, 18 Gold Gloves. Talk about postseason awards more.

    43. EB

      Nick C.:
      I hate to say this, but the litany of excuses sounds all too much like back when He Who Must Not Be Mentioned was in charge.

      I’d like to disagree with you because the way I see it the team coming into the year had a theory under which the team should excel, namely Berri’s theory of rebounds and efficiency. The problem is that the past has not proven indicative of the future, the flaw with statistics. Back with Isaiah there was no theory at all other than he scores a lot lets get him.

    44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      EB:
      If everybody stops the we are doomed because we got Melo reasoning and look at the numbers, specifically the % of Fields, Douglas, and Stat they will see that they all have had their fg%, TS%, along with TD and Fields’ 3P% drop by approx. .100. They have gone from above average shooters to well under the average. The problemwith the team can’t be blamed on two volume shooters w/ no defense so much as the inability of 3 out of our projected 5 starters to shoot the ball, one of the most important parts of Dantonis offense.

      This could be chalked up to a number of different things, 1) having chandler on the floor messes up the spacing or eliminates Stats value, 2) Melo is not a Pg and we do not have a PG to get players the shots they want, or 3) The team just sucks. I’m inclined to believe that the team needs a pg.

      But Melo’s so good he draws double and triple teams! Let’s look for another excuse for them sucking.

    45. yoda4554

      Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): They were slightly less mediocre before the trade, but yeah, they certainly were not some great team. They were built well enough to get, say, a #6 seed and lose in the first round (which is exactly what happened after the trade). The difference being that there was plenty of room to easily improve that team. For instance, they could have signed Tyson Chandler this past offseason (before re-signing Wilson Chandler). That’s the big problem – besides Davis and the hope that Nash somehow accepts the mid-level next year, this is pretty much going to be the Knicks team going forward the next few years (since you can’t trade STAT for anything).

      And STAT was good in the old system.

      This a thousand times.

    46. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      JK47:
      @50

      They could trade Stat.They won’t, but they could.

      For what? His contract’s uninsured and he’s been awful this year (and not very good in the last). He’s what, 29? His value is gone.

    47. JK47

      I’m not saying they’d get awesome value for him, but we’re not the only idiot team obsessed with “name” players. Somebody would take him.

    48. Juany8

      Isn’t Melo actually having a pretty good statistical season? I mean he’s actually made legitimate improvements, why are people pretending you don’t win with a ball stopping wing scorer who can post up? Dirk, Kobe (2x), and Paul Pierce are the last 4 finals MVPs. Dirk just destroyed everyone in the playoffs last year by repeatedly posting people up and shooting over them unless he was double teamed. Kobe is probably even more of a ball hog than Anthony. If Amar’e, Fields, and Douglas totally forgot how to shoot forever, then yes this team will be terrible. If Baron Davis can’t be decent, and we can’t find good role players for the mid level in the coming years, then we’ll continue to be mediocre. Otherwise we stand a chance to contend with the vastly overrated and flawed rosters Miami and Chicago are building.

      Also, Chicago was 9-8 after 17 games last year, without the gaudy point differential of Miami, and were projected to be a 50-55 win, 4th contender in the East. Derrick Rose was considered an equal point guard to Rajon Rondo. Maybe we do have to be a little patient…

    49. Ben R

      Even if Fields and Douglas start shooting better the core problem with this team is the pairing of Amare and Melo.

      Since the Melo trade Amare’s stat line per 36 is:

      21.4 pts 7.6 rebs 2.0 asts 2.7 TOs with a 52.9% TS%

      Melo has not made Amare better he has made him worse.

      Our record since the Melo trade: 20-24

      So far in 44 games there has been no evidence and very few glimmers that this team can work. When we get some more depth next year and a full training camp we will be better but this team looks a lot like a best case 40-45 win team even with everything going right.

    50. nicos

      Berri’s done work on the role of coaching. Here’s an anecdote about the importance of in-game coaching:

      “I saw where Adrian Dantley (coaching the Denver Nuggets) kept saying, ‘We’re giving up too many layups.’ And it’s like the players were sitting there saying, ‘Yes, we know. We don’t want them to get layups, either. Why don’t you tell us how to stop them?’ ” said Berri. “They keep putting the mic on Doc Rivers and he keeps saying the same thing, ‘We’ve got to play like a team.’ I mean, I’m getting tired of that. I can’t imagine what the players are thinking. . . . You’ve got to imagine Kevin Garnett, when Doc Rivers is talking, is, like, “Are you done yet? Can I go play? Yep. Play like a team. Got it.” That’s coaching.”

      That’s about as weak (and purely observational) as any “Iverson led the league in scoring so he must be great” stuff. Look, do coaches do 90% of their coaching in practice rather than games? Maybe, but so what- does that mean coaching has no value? I’d agree that player talent is a lot more important to team success than coaching but that doesn’t mean that coaching is insignificant. Reducing coaches to glorified cheerleaders is ridiculous.

    51. JK47

      @58

      What, you mean players aren’t automatons who mindlessly generate WP/48 numbers, and basketball isn’t won by simply accumulating the players whose WP/48 scores are the highest? That’s crazy talk.

    52. EB

      Ben R:
      Even if Fields and Douglas start shooting better the core problem with this team is the pairing of Amare and Melo.

      Since the Melo trade Amare’s stat line per 36 is:

      21.4 pts 7.6 rebs 2.0 asts 2.7 TOs with a 52.9% TS%

      Melo has not made Amare better he has made him worse.

      Our record since the Melo trade: 20-24

      So far in 44 games there has been no evidence and very few glimmers that this team can work. When we get some more depth next year and a full training camp we will be better but this team looks a lot like a best case 40-45 win team even with everything going right.

      Last year, if I remember correctly, our offense efficiency improved once Melo came to our team, so I don’t believe that Amare’s struggles have been because of his pairing with Melo. If anything I believe its his playing against pf’s now instead of C’s. The end of last year did see a drop in efficiency from Amare but that could have multiple causes and more importantly over a larger sample than this season he was not this abysmal.

    53. JK47

      Amar’e can’t play with Melo. Amar’e can’t play with Chandler. Amar’e can’t play without Nash. Amar’e can’t play without Felton. Does this guy need like everything to be like a perfect environment to play basketball well? I’m sick of this crap already.

    54. EB

      JK47:
      Amar’e can’t play with Melo.Amar’e can’t play with Chandler.Amar’e can’t play without Nash.Amar’e can’t play without Felton.Does this guy need like everything to be like a perfect environment to play basketball well?I’m sick of this crap already.

      I agree, but the melo trade isn’t the reason. The reason would be that Amare sucks.

    55. nicos

      Also, on the Wages of Win article- numbers don’t tell the whole story in Basketball. This isn’t baseball where 90% of the game comes down to pitcher vs. hitter. Good screens, guards boxing out, quick outlet passes, quick, smart rotations- there’s all kinds of stuff that doesn’t show up in box scores but that every successful team seems to do and bad teams don’t do very well, if at all. Rodman was one of the best man defenders of his era but didn’t make a ton of steals or block a lot of shots- so are we just going to ignore it because there’s no number attached to it?
      Two, if you’re going to live by numbers, make sure they’re the right ones. My guess is that in a couple of years we’ll be looking at rebounds per game pretty much the same way we now look at points per game. A guy who grabs 11 boards a game and never boxes out (thus also allowing his man a couple of offensive rebounds a game) is not the same rebounder as the guy who grabs 11 boards while always boxing somebody out and giving his teammates a better chance to get the rebounds he can’t get to. I’d also love to see someone track variance in points per possession by various rebounders- I’m guessing that a possession that starts with a rebound from a Wes Unseld-type outlet passer is worth more than a possession that begins with a rebound from a Mutombo-type rebounder who swings his elbows around for three seconds and forces the point guard to come and take the ball out his hands- and that difference probably isn’t going to show up in the box score. Who rebounds in traffic and who is wrestling the ball out of his teammate’s hands. If you’re going to value rebounds so much, you really ought to be tracking this stuff. Rather than tinkering with his formula, he should be looking for better numbers.

    56. ruruland

      EB: So your saying its all Melo’s fault that everyone else forgot how to shoot a basketball?

      That’s exactly what he’s saying

      It’s as though there is no history of Melo and Amar’e a) playing on great offenses b) being the focal point of those offenses c) those offenses playing much better with Melo or Amar’e on the floor than on the bench

      Amar’e year offensive rating (Hollinger) offensive +/- (82games
      ’04 1 +12.8
      ’06 1 +3.2
      ’07 1 +11.4
      ’09 1 +3.9
      ’10 5 +5.9

      Melo year offensive rating offensive +/-
      ’03 9 +4.9
      ’04 15 +3.3
      ’05 15 +3.6
      ’06 11 +6.6
      ’07 10 +1.7
      ’08 7 +7.6
      ’09 5 +4.6
      ’10NYK 5 +4.6

    57. Bruno Almeida

      JK47:
      Amar’e can’t play with Melo.Amar’e can’t play with Chandler.Amar’e can’t play without Nash.Amar’e can’t play without Felton.Does this guy need like everything to be like a perfect environment to play basketball well?I’m sick of this crap already.

      that really pisses me off too, I mean, he’s a freaking professional basketball player (and a VERY HIGHLY paid one), and he can’t even pretend giving 100% effort?

      the Knicks should trade Amare and Fields while they still have any value, and then rebuild around Melo and Chandler, with Shumpert and Baron (if he comes back well) and whatever we can get from the trade… Amare’s got star power, some front office will definitely think he’s redeemable / would play well in the right offense.

      I think we could definitely get a decent trade with a team like Houston, but I douby Morey would go for such an inefficient player… I won’t go into speculations, but we can definitely get something from Amare + Fields.

    58. ruruland

      For all the ‘Melo kills the offense nonsense’…….

      Nene and Affalo, the only two guys still playing for Denver who started during the Melo era, have had huge drops in efficiency since the trade.

      Nene TS% ’08: 645
      Nene TS% ’09: 631
      Nene TS% ’10 with Melo: .695
      Nene TS% ’10 without Melo: .597
      Nene TS% ’11 without Melo: .544

      Nene TS% playoffs: ’08 587
      ’09 637
      Nene no-no Melo ’10: 529

      Afflalo 2009 TS% ’09 576
      Afflalo 2010 TS% with Melo: 673
      Afflalo 2010 TS% without Melo: 559
      Afflalo 2011 TS%:544

      Afflalo playoffs with Melo 10: 746
      Afflalo playoffs no Melo: 453

    59. JK47

      Well, for all the doom and gloom, we can at least say that Jorts is a success so far. He’s averaging about 10 and 8 per 36 minutes, plays some scrappy defense, stretches the floor… He’s been pretty much the best player on the team other than Melo and Chandler, which says a lot about why we’ve been so disappointing.

    60. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: But Melo’s so good he draws double and triple teams! Let’s look for another excuse for them sucking.

      He does, and guys who relied on those double and triple teams, like Afflalo and Nene, are really struggling without him.

      I’m not sure if you actually watch the games, but the Knicks supporting players have had a lot of great looks they’ve consistently missed. Either the Knicks have one of the worst (I’d venture to guess its the worst at this point) open jump shooting team, or they’re just off to a horrendous start.

      Gee, maybe the offensive issues that are percieved as ball-movement problems have a lot to do with the shooting woes from the support players.

      maybe, IDK, it makes sense that if they start to shoot at percentages on open looks more in line with their career averages, the ball movement will improve as well.

      Just a wild theory.

    61. ruruland

      EB: Last year, if I remember correctly, our offense efficiency improved once Melo came to our team, so I don’t believe that Amare’s struggles have been because of his pairing with Melo. If anything I believe its his playing against pf’s now instead of C’s. The end of last year did see a drop in efficiency from Amare but that could have multiple causes and more importantly over a larger sample than this season he was not this abysmal.

      Amare’s worst offensive year of his career (at least as a mature player with Nash) was ’08 with the paint clogging Shaq.

    62. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan)

      @Cock Jowels

      “The illusion of validity is why I get deeply suspicious whenever a fan, sportswriter, coach, or GM says anything to the effect of “the numbers don’t tell the whole story”. This is, in fact, true, but what the person saying this usually means is “I don’t care what the numbers say because I am convinced that what I have seen is correct.”

      For someone who values empirical evidence in order to ascertain some deeper truth, “what the person really means” seems like kind of a cop-out, no?

      Numbers don’t tell whole the story — never have, never will. While statistics by their nature are supposed to get better over time, the idea that you can ever arrive at a statistical singularity — particularly in a sport as complex and with as many moving parts as basketball — is absurd. At the end of the day, coaches and management still have to base their decisions on factors not entirely related to statistics: A player’s age, health, history with other teams in terms of personnel, etc. This doesn’t mean statistics are taking a back seat, per se; far from it. And you can certainly make the argument that the Knicks management is waaaaay behind the 8-ball when it comes to most of these various aspects of analyses.

      Ever statistic, no matter how ostensibly capturing, contains margins for error. And it is within these margins for error that we as fans have to find the room to suspend our disbelief, have a little faith, bank on a little luck, and hang our heart’s hat.

      In closing, I would just pose a single hypothetical to you, Cock Jowels: Let’s say you were the NBA’s first blind GM. Let’s say you rule with an iron statistical fist, and base all of your judgments — drafting, signing, etc. — on knowing the numbers, any numbers you want. Do you think a GM in this position could build a championship basketball team — or at least a perennially contending — basketball team? That is, can you build a contending team based purely on statistics,…

    63. BigBlueAL

      Dave Berri does realize when they show clips during games of coaches talking they have to show the most generic quotes possible. They are not allowed to show stuff that would be considered strategic per say.

    64. d-mar

      When you guys get tired of trashing STAT (who at this time last year was carrying the team on his back and was in the MVP conversation) go on a Celtics blog and take some shots at perennial All-Star Paul Pierce whose FG percentage right now is .372 vs. a career .448 or go on a Nets blog and kill Deron Williams, whose FG percentage is .366 vs. a career .460. (STAT btw is .414 vs. career .534)

      I know THCJ, shooting percentage is completely meaningless, but Pierce and Williams are having truly awful starts to the season. I don’t think Celtics and Nets fans are calling for the GM to dump these guys for whatever they can get.

      I’m just kind of shocked how quickly people have turned on Amare, and now the “maybe we’d be better off with David Lee” arguments are resurfacing? Give me a break.

    65. Bruno Almeida

      d-mar:
      When you guys get tired of trashing STAT (who at this time last year was carrying the team on his back and was in the MVP conversation) go on a Celtics blog and take some shots at perennial All-Star Paul Pierce whose FG percentage right now is .372 vs. a career .448 or go on a Nets blog and kill Deron Williams, whose FG percentage is .366 vs. a career .460. (STAT btw is .414 vs. career .534)

      I know THCJ, shooting percentage is completely meaningless, but Pierce and Williams are having truly awful starts to the season. I don’t think Celtics and Nets fans are calling for the GM to dump these guys for whatever they can get.

      I’m just kind of shocked how quickly people have turned on Amare, and now the “maybe we’d be better off with David Lee” arguments are resurfacing? Give me a break.

      look, I too love Amare, he had the guts to do what few other “stars” would not: come to New York and accept the challenge of rebuilding the Knicks.

      but come on, he’s not on Pierce or Deron’s level, and he is showing no signs that he’ll eventually revert to his +60 TS%… since he’s never been an elite rebounder or even passable defender, I don’t think he’s worthy of a max contract, and we should explore trade options if they exist.

    66. Z-man

      Bruno Almeida: look, I too love Amare, he had the guts to do what few other “stars” would not: come to New York and accept the challenge of rebuilding the Knicks.but come on, he’s not on Pierce or Deron’s level, and he is showing no signs that he’ll eventually revert to his +60 TS%… since he’s never been an elite rebounder or even passable defender, I don’t think he’s worthy of a max contract, and we should explore trade options if they exist.

      Uh-oh, here comes the “Amare took the most money and nobody would sign him w/o insurance” retort…

    67. ess-dog

      This is pretty easy guys. Every since Stat was baby Stat he was in a fast break offense. If you remember, there was always talk about how the Suns would wilt in the playoffs where teams slow things down. This was the D’Antoni offense.

      In NY with Felton, there was a fair amount of fast breaks but Felton wasn’t as good as Nash and we had slower players so Amare slowed down a bit.

      Then, we traded for Melo and Billups. We tried to run a bit, but in order to maximize Melo, we started running a lot of half court sets. Amare gets even worse.

      Fast forward to 2012 where we have a traditional center and no real point guard. The ball actually goes right to Melo who holds it/dribbles around in the half court. We now fast break less than any team in the league. D’Antoni’s famous offense is nowhere to be seen. Amare no resembles Andray Blatche. Melo’s numbers are better than ever.

      The thing is, if we had a fast pg next to Shump, we could still run SSOL, despite Tyson. But you have to wonder why we’ve abandoned the fast break….

    68. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      EB: So your saying its all Melo’s fault that everyone else forgot how to shoot a basketball?

      That’s not at all what I’m saying. Like I said before, he doesn’t affect his teammates’ level of play that much. If he has a positive impact on other players, then Fields and Douglas are sucking even worse than their numbers suggest. They are what they are: terrible. I don’t think Melo’s making them suck less.

    69. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Stat was an MVP candidate because he was averaging 24 points per game and dunking the ball hard every now and then. That’s it.

    70. Bruno Almeida

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: That’s not at all what I’m saying. Like I said before, he doesn’t affect his teammates’ level of play that much. If he has a positive impact on other players, then Fields and Douglas are sucking even worse than their numbers suggest. They are what they are: terrible. I don’t think Melo’s making them suck less.

      I think that’s the point, Melo could have a decent impact on his teammates (as Afflalo’s and Nenê’s numbers might suggest), but the fact is that, outside of Amare, Tyson and maybe Shumpert, we simply don’t have enough guys who would even crack the rotation of a team like Oklahoma City.

      but he needs to play within the flow of an offense and keep looking for the pass, which is something I’m not confident D’Antoni will be able to ensure happens.

    71. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Wow, what an argument, Jon. You really know how to make your points with clarity.

      The extent of your argument is “You know nothing about basketball, so shut the fuck up.” Good job, bro.

      that is the level of argument and respect that your perspective is worth. it’s like trying to convince Tim Tebow that Jesus doesn’t give a shit about him, not worth my time.

    72. jon abbey

      Owen:

      Jon – I can understand not loving the WOW (though I still enjoy it of course), but I do highly highly recommend Thinking Fast and Slow. Kahneman might go down as the most influential thinker of the past 50 years with his partner Twersky and it’s a very accessible, fun book…

      yeah, you’re not the first to recommend that to me, but that kind of book really just seems like common sense to me (especially in my field), just a bit better than Malcolm Gladwell territory. and FWIW, a Nobel Prize in economics impresses me about as much as an Academy Award at this point, that is to say, not at all. I’m a Nouriel Roubini guy.

    73. d-mar

      Bruno Almeida: look, I too love Amare, he had the guts to do what few other “stars” would not: come to New York and accept the challenge of rebuilding the Knicks.

      but come on, he’s not on Pierce or Deron’s level, and he is showing no signs that he’ll eventually revert to his +60 TS%… since he’s never been an elite rebounder or even passable defender, I don’t think he’s worthy of a max contract, and we should explore trade options if they exist.

      My point wasn’t to compare Amare to Pierce or D-Will, it was to bring up 2 players who are off to absolutely horrid starts to their seasons, much worse than STAT’s. Just way too early to be completely trashing the guy.

    74. yoda4554

      ruruland: He does, and guys who relied on those double and triple teams, like Afflalo and Nene, are really struggling without him.

      I’m not sure if you actually watch the games, but the Knicks supporting players have had a lot of great looks they’ve consistently missed. Either the Knicks have one of the worst (I’d venture to guess its the worst at this point) open jump shooting team, or they’re just off to a horrendous start.

      Gee, maybe the offensive issues that are percieved as ball-movement problems have a lot to do with the shooting woes from the support players.

      maybe, IDK, it makes sense that if they start to shoot at percentages on open looks more in line with their career averages, the ball movement will improve as well.

      Just a wild theory.

      Except that Nene and Afflalo aren’t really struggling, when you consider that a) offense league-wide is down because no one had a preseason and everyone’s shot is off (incidentally, this does make Melo shooting at his career average TS% more impressive), and b) players’ percentages often decline a little bit with increased usage, and both of their usages are up this season (as per Dean Oliver). Correct for those two things and Afflalo is easily at his career numbers; add sample-size and injury caveats and Nene is at his.

      The “Melo draws double teams and so he makes everyone better” theory is also pretty weak when you consider that Fields and Amare got drastically worse when Melo arrived. Amar’e’s TS% was at 58-59% when Melo arrived; it’s been in the low 50s ever since. People shoot better when there’s spacing; double-teams create spacing a little, but shooting and ball movement create it much more effectively.

    75. latke

      EB: I agree, but the melo trade isn’t the reason. The reason would be that Amare sucks.

      The suns sure became a MUCH worse team without him. They went from 54 wins to 40 wins with the only major difference being they replaced Amare with Warrick. Amare is not just good in the right system, he is GREAT. Some players are more systems-dependent than others. Look at how much better Nash became after leaving Dallas’s ISO offense.

      danvt: I can’t believe I’m saying this. It was nice to see Jeffries back out there.
      I can’t believe I’m saying this. He looked like his timing was off and he might make a difference once he gets some run.

      Jeffries is good. He’s an excellent defensive player. I was glad to see him back as well.

      Ben R: Also it is not that we are losing it is how we are losing. We might be .500 but we are scraping by teams like the Wizards and Bobcats

      Yup, there’s a reason we’re ranked 20th in Hollinger’s power rankings. We have had the second easiest schedule so far: SOS of .388. Right now, this is a bad team. What people forget is that even bad teams look good at times. Last year, in the first ten games, the Cavs were 5-5 after ten games with a similar strength of schedule. They had one good win vs. Boston.

    76. xduckshoex

      ruruland:
      For all the ‘Melo kills the offense nonsense’…….

      Nene and Affalo, the only two guys still playing for Denver who started during the Melo era, have had huge drops in efficiency since the trade.

      Nene TS% ’08: 645
      Nene TS% ’09: 631
      Nene TS% ’10 with Melo: .695
      Nene TS% ’10 without Melo: .597
      Nene TS% ’11 without Melo: .544

      Nene TS% playoffs: ’08 587 ’09 637
      Nene no-no Melo ’10: 529

      Afflalo 2009 TS% ’09 576
      Afflalo 2010 TS% with Melo: 673
      Afflalo 2010 TS% without Melo: 559
      Afflalo 2011 TS%:544

      Afflalo playoffs with Melo 10: 746
      Afflalo playoffs no Melo: 453

      I think you have causality all wrong here, and this is why: in both cases, their numbers fell before Melo left town.

      Afflalo was scoring at an insanely efficient rate early in last season, but that efficiency fell before Anthony was traded. Anthony was around for every game Afflalo played in February, and his TS% for February was .575. Then he got hurt and had his minutes reduced on his return and never really got his stroke back.

      The same goes for Nene; his TS% was insanely high for the first two months of the season, it dropped .633 in February WITH Melo playing all but three games and it was .640 in March. Then it tanked in April.

      So it’s pretty clear that Melo wasn’t the reason it was high to begin with, as in both cases it dropped before he had even left.

      And the 2010 playoffs that you’re referencing was a 6 game first round exit. It’s completely meaningless, the sample size is way too small. Why not point out that with Melo, we saw Nene’s playoff TS% fluctuate a lot? .467 in 2004, .530 in 2005, .630 in 2008, back down to .587 in 2009?

      I’m not sure if you’re being disingenuous or if you just have no idea what you’re talking about though.

    77. ruruland

      yoda4554: Except that Nene and Afflalo aren’t really struggling, when you consider that a) offense league-wide is down because no one had a preseason and everyone’s shot is off (incidentally, this does make Melo shooting at his career average TS% more impressive), and b) players’ percentages often decline a little bit with increased usage, and both of their usages are up this season (as per Dean Oliver). Correct for those two things and Afflalo is easily at his career numbers; add sample-size and injury caveats and Nene is at his.The “Melo draws double teams and so he makes everyone better” theory is also pretty weak when you consider that Fields and Amare got drastically worse when Melo arrived. Amar’e’s TS% was at 58-59% when Melo arrived; it’s been in the low 50s ever since. People shoot better when there’s spacing; double-teams create spacing a little, but shooting and ball movement create it much more effectively.

      numbers are down across the board, so I suppose we should give Amar’e, Fields, Nene and Afflalo more time. But if you watched the Nuggets with Melo, Afflalo, and Nene, you’d understand how important Melo was the latter’s success. Nene and Afflalo excelled at making open jump shots and driving against rotating defenses, created by overload schemes against Melo.

      Afflalo would sit in the opposite corner/baseline, while Nene was typically the screener/elbow pivot.

      It’s not just this year that Afflalo and Nene’s efficiency is significantly down, but post-trade as well. I have a hard time giving Afflalo and Nene’s career averages much merit when you consider the circumstances they faced as younger players and the development they’ve undergone.

      Fields is much more a case of small sample size….

    78. ruruland

      xduckshoexSo it’s pretty clear that Melo wasn’t the reason it was high to begin with, as in both cases it dropped before he had even left.And the 2010 playoffs that you’re referencing was a 6 game first round exit. It’s completely meaningless, the sample size is way too small. Why not point out that with Melo, we saw Nene’s playoff TS% fluctuate a lot? .467 in 2004, .530 in 2005, .630 in 2008, back down to .587 in 2009?I’m not sure if you’re being disingenuous or if you just have no idea what you’re talking about though.

      wow. absurd. boiled down what you’re saying is that the far smaller sample (the few games where Nene and Afflalo started to decline with Melo) is more important than the much larger sample (the difference between efficiency the prior two years with Melo and since the trade)…….

      I can’t believe you would try to make that argument and then lecture me about sample size.

      it’s undeniably clear through the near 50 games after the trade and the two years before it, that the two players Melo started with in Denver were much better with Melo.

      Moreover, you’ve introduced no alternative casuality at all.

      Thirdly, much of Nene’s early career was marred by injuries, namely cancer and a torn acl…. that’s why we focus more on his last 150 games or so with Melo…..

      Besides, given the significant positive point differential with Melo on the floor and the relatively average offensive efficiency, how else do you suppose Denver was so much better with Melo on the floor all those years? You understand that much of Denver’s up-tempo firepower came off the bench.

      Again, I get the sense that you didn’t watch Denver all those years.

    79. Z

      latke: Amare is not just good in the right system, he is GREAT. Some players are more systems-dependent than others. Look at how much better Nash became after leaving Dallas’s ISO offense.

      I’m pretty sure that I used to read here that coaches don’t have much impact. Not just from Berriphiles, but from a lot of the stats crowd. That a coach’s job was as simple as giving the bet players on the team the most playing time.

      But clearly you are right, as we re seeing first-hand how a coach with a brand clearly has an effect on games, seasons, and player’s statistics.

    80. latke

      I think the only thing holding this team back from being good is the fact that we are running our offense through Melo rather than STAT. TD, Fields, Walker and STAT have proven to be successful within MDA’s system and have been pretty awful outside of it.

      People want to argue Chandler makes that impossible, but the truth is MDA teams have always had a defensive center who played between 20 and 25 minutes a game: Turiaf, Lopez, Shaq, Kurt Thomas. Chandler shouldn’t be playing more than like 28MPG given his injury history and big schedule, so I don’t see how that’s an issue.

      My fear is that MDA has bought into the Melo ISO offense.

      My hope is that BD knows better, or that watching Davis play will ignite MDA’s imagination, remind him how effective STAT is as a centerpiece. My hope is that this will become apparent to MDA, and he will ban Melo isos early in the clock.

      There’s nothing wrong with ISOs when the defending player is outmatched or when a set play goes awry, but those are the only situations it should happen.

      For all those citing Kobe and Dirk as evidence in favor of isos, consider this: Dirk scores MUCH more efficiently than Melo out of isolations and plays PF. This allows the Mavs to surround him with shooters. When you post your SF with two bigs on the floor (Tyson, STAT), the middle is going to be packed and Melo’s passing options will be severely limited.

      Regarding Kobe, I watched the offensive possessions in the first half of their Cleveland game. About 70% of their sets while Kobe was on the floor were

      A) Post ups for Gasol/Bynum
      B) PnR action with Bynum/Gasol with Kobe off the ball.
      C) Kobe catching off a screen. In most of these situations, Kobe either took a J immediately or drove and passed off.

      Kobe posted 3 times. He missed 2x and passed to a cutting Barnes once.

      Let’s also remember that STAT is not Bynum or Gasol on D. You can have an average offense if you have a great defense. The Lakers have 5th best D and…

    81. Z

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: For what? His contract’s uninsured and he’s been awful this year (and not very good in the last). He’s what, 29? His value is gone.

      History has shown that ANYBODY can be traded. There are so many pea-brained GMs in the league that anything is possible. (a steeply declining Steve Francis and his giant long-term contract got traded for a really good young player once, remember?)

      Amar’e definitely CAN be traded, if Knick brass decides to cut and run.

    82. ruruland

      Latke, there isn’t a healthy player outside of Melo who is capable of running the pick and roll.

      Have you been watching?

      That’s a big reason the offense is struggling, the other is that guys aren’t making open shots.

      Right now the offense is 7.4 points better with Melo on the floor. It’s 2.1 points better with Amar’e off of it.

      This team is currently not capable of good offensive play without Melo.

    83. ruruland

      latke: I think the only thing holding this team back from being good is the fact that we are running our offense through Melo rather than STAT. TD, Fields, Walker and STAT have proven to be successful within MDA’s system and have been pretty awful outside of it. People want to argue Chandler makes that impossible, but the truth is MDA teams have always had a defensive center who played between 20 and 25 minutes a game: Turiaf, Lopez, Shaq, Kurt Thomas. Chandler shouldn’t be playing more than like 28MPG given his injury history and big schedule, so I don’t see how that’s an issue.My fear is that MDA has bought into the Melo ISO offense.My hope is that BD knows better, or that watching Davis play will ignite MDA’s imagination, remind him how effective STAT is as a centerpiece. My hope is that this will become apparent to MDA, and he will ban Melo isos early in the clock.There’s nothing wrong with ISOs when the defending player is outmatched or when a set play goes awry, but those are the only situations it should happen.For all those citing Kobe and Dirk as evidence in favor of isos, consider this: Dirk scores MUCH more efficiently than Melo out of isolations and plays PF. This allows the Mavs to surround him with shooters. When you post your SF with two bigs on the floor (Tyson, STAT), the middle is going to be packed and Melo’s passing options will be severely limited.Regarding Kobe, I watched the offensive possessions in the first half of their Cleveland game. About 70% of their sets while Kobe was on the floor wereA)

      you definitely haven’t been watching enough Lakers games.

    84. latke

      @ruru, I sort of agree. I think Douglas can do it, but he’s having mental issues. He was pretty solid all last year. Derek Fisher is an awful PG, but he has two good roll men. The pick and roll has been pretty effective for him.

      We are better with Melo because we do Amare ISOs without Melo, and Amare is an awful ISO player. But that’s why I was writing about when BD comes back. We need a guy who can run pick and roll with Amare. That’s really the only major X-factor left with this team, so it’s where I’m placing all my hopes.

      But really you can’t even judge whether any of our PGs can run pick and roll with Amare since they’ve only tried it like five times the entire season.

      Also, they HAVE tried it plenty with Tyson, and it’s been pretty effective.

      Also, centering the offense around Amare doesn’t mean Melo does nothing. He’s a crucial second option and would IMO be even more of a beast because he wouldn’t have to beat a set offense every damn time. He could do the things he’s best at: Shoot threes and drive the lane.

    85. ruruland

      latke: @ruru, I sort of agree. I think Douglas can do it, but he’s having mental issues. He was pretty solid all last year. Derek Fisher is an awful PG, but he has two good roll men. The pick and roll has been pretty effective for him.We are better with Melo because we do Amare ISOs without Melo, and Amare is an awful ISO player. But that’s why I was writing about when BD comes back. We need a guy who can run pick and roll with Amare. That’s really the only major X-factor left with this team, so it’s where I’m placing all my hopes.But really you can’t even judge whether any of our PGs can run pick and roll with Amare since they’ve only tried it like five times the entire season.Also, they HAVE tried it plenty with Tyson, and it’s been pretty effective.Also, centering the offense around Amare doesn’t mean Melo does nothing. He’s a crucial second option and would IMO be even more of a beast because he wouldn’t have to beat a set offense every damn time. He could do the things he’s best at: Shoot threes and drive the lane.

      I have no idea why they don’t run Melo/Amar’e pick and rolls. You’re correct, Melo/Chandler pnr is clearly the most effective play. If they can get Amar’e cutting down the baseline after his man helps on the roller would be a start.

      A strong dose of Baron/Amar’e pnr is going to do wonders for everyones confidence.

      I like what we’ve seen from Bibby this year too in a 15-20 mpg role.

      This is clearly the worst this team is going to play offensively allyear. The question is ‘can they maintain their defensive play.”

      If yes, they’ll be in excellent shape…. Fields, Douglas and everyone elese aren’t going to be this awful all year.

    86. Bruno Almeida

      one thing I can’t even remotely understand is why we haven’t ever tried the pick and roll with Melo and Amare, specially when Jorts is in to stretch the floor…

      it just makes no sense, it could open up all sorts of mismatches and it would be a chance to create some chemistry, and some easy opportunities for STAT

    87. MSA

      People just dont like Melo here.

      I’m not a Melo fan but so far we have two productive players in our roster. Melo and Chandler.

      Stat is on decline for the past four years. Just check the advanced stats: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/stoudam01.html

      Still, some guys prefer to bring him back from the ashes with some miraculous PG that is not even available or change the style of play for one that we don’t have the personel, than admit that is better to build aroud Melo and Chandler.

    88. Bruno Almeida

      wow, wrote at the same time as @97 lol

      it still makes no sense, I just hope Baron is capable to help Amare when he’s back.

    89. MSA

      And sure, lets find a way to maximize Stat, that’s fair enough

      But right now he is a second banana at best.

    90. Shad0wF0x

      Melo Amar’e PnR should be the 1st play ever single time. No questions asked. At the very least it forces everyone to move.

      But yeah. Be a Giants and Yankees fan and all the Knicks’ woes don’t seem so bad anymore.

    91. nicos

      Problem with Amare’e / Melo P & R is Chandler’s man is basically planted one step outside the lane all game so you have three defenders & no space to make the play.

    92. ruruland

      nicos: Problem with Amare’e / Melo P & R is Chandler’s man is basically planted one step outside the lane all game so you have three defenders & no space to make the play.

      Chandler is the best offensive player in basketball.

    93. BigBlueAL

      Shad0wF0x:
      Melo Amar’e PnR should be the 1st play ever single time. No questions asked. At the very least it forces everyone to move.

      But yeah. Be a Giants and Yankees fan and all the Knicks’ woes don’t seem so bad anymore.

      Yankees and Giants keep me sane as a Knicks fan lol

      Although to be honest Im a much bigger Yankees/Knicks fan than I am a Giants fan because I LOVE baseball/basketball alot more than football.

    94. xduckshoex

      ruruland: wow. absurd. boiled down what you’re saying is that the far smaller sample (the few games where Nene and Afflalo started to decline with Melo) is more important than the much larger sample (the difference betweenefficiency the prior two years with Melo and since the trade)…….

      I can’t believe you would try to make that argument and then lecture me about sample size.

      it’s undeniably clear through the near 50 games after the trade and the two years before it, that the two players Melo started with in Denver were much better with Melo.

      Moreover, you’ve introduced no alternative casuality at all.

      Thirdly, much of Nene’s early career was marred by injuries, namely cancer and a torn acl…. that’s why we focus more on his last 150 games or so with Melo…..

      Besides, given the significant positive point differential with Melo on the floor and the relatively average offensive efficiency, how else do you suppose Denver was so much better with Melo on the floor all those years? You understand that much of Denver’s up-tempo firepower came off the bench.

      Again, I get the sense that you didn’t watch Denver all those years.

      I didn’t really ascribe more importance to either sample, I merely pointed out that the decrease you are referencing actually occurred before Melo left so it makes your claim that Melo’s presence was responsible for the high scoring efficiency numbers kind of ridiculous. It was really high with Melo, it dropped before Melo left town, so Melo leaving town doesn’t seem to be the reason it dropped.

      It’s not a difficult thing to understand, you’re just trying really hard to spin that into a pro-Melo light that you’re either not thinking straight or being disingenuous. Like I said, it’s hard to tell which right now.

      You’re just doing what you always do: trying to draw convenient and overly simplistic…

    95. xduckshoex

      …conclusions.

      You take a situation with hundreds of variables, isolate it down to the one that will prove the point you want to make and disregard everything else.

    96. Z-man

      Wow, am I the only one who realizes that this team has an historically bad backcourt. Beyond the savant forwards like Durant and LeBron, there aren’t any forwards in history that could play well with our group of Fields, TD, Shump and Bibbymortis. Baron Davis might help, but either Shump better grow up fast or someone has to fall into our lap out of nowhere (Fields just plain stinks, face it already, and Bibby is PG roadkill.) Don’t you think Amare, Melo and Chandler know this by now? You put this backcourt foursome on any team in the league and you have a team that can lose to anybody, period.

      Trading anybody now would be dumb, because everyone is being devalued by the poor guard play. Let’s suffer and hope to play .500 ball until BD comes back and then see what he brings to the table in terms of making everybody else better (and I think he will have a big impacy!). If he comes back at 80+% and we still suck, then we ain’t going anywhere this year.

    97. latke

      Stockton/Malone ran pick and roll with Gregg Ostertag at center.

      Chris Paul & David West played pick and roll with Tyson Chandler at center.

      Blake Griffin and Chris Paul play pick and roll right now with DeAndre Jordan.

      Ellis/Curry (Neither of whom, it should be noted, are great passers) and Lee play pick and roll with Kwame and Biedrins, neither of whom can shoot.

      Chandler is not some lumbering big. He’s big, but he’s mobile. There’s no reason he can’t find an opening in the paint if his man leaves to help on Amare or Knick PG X.

      nicos:
      Problem with Amare’e / Melo P & R is Chandler’s man is basically planted one step outside the lane all game so you have three defenders & no space to make the play.

    98. Z-man

      BigBlueAL: All you bitter Knick fans must also be Jets fans and not Giants fans :-)

      Yes, Al, I am a Jets fan, and a Mets fan for that matter. At least I’m old enought to have enjoyed ’69-’70!

    99. nicos

      latke:
      Stockton/Malone ran pick and roll with Gregg Ostertag at center.

      Chris Paul & David West played pick and roll with Tyson Chandler at center.

      Blake Griffin and Chris Paul play pick and roll right now with DeAndre Jordan.

      Ellis/Curry (Neither of whom, it should be noted, are great passers) and Lee play pick and roll with Kwame and Biedrins, neither of whom can shoot.

      Chandler is not some lumbering big. He’s big, but he’s mobile. There’s no reason he can’t find an opening in the paint if his man leaves to help on Amare or Knick PG X.

      Yeah, but Melo’s not Paul or Stockton- can you run the p n r with a second big in the game? Yes, but it’s a lot harder- Paul and Stockton are two of the top five point guards of all time. They both were/are great at creating space with the dribble and stringing the play out and making the tight pass after the defense commits. It’s a little much to expect Melo to be able to do that. He runs it well with Chandler when Amar’e’s on the weakside as Amar’e’s man usually at least hesitates to help. Now, they haven’t tried Melo/Amar’e much if at all, so maybe it’s worth at least running every once in a while but I think it’ll be tough to have much success with it.

    100. xduckshoex

      Z-man:
      Wow, am I the only one who realizes that this team has an historically bad backcourt.Beyond the savant forwards like Durant and LeBron, there aren’t any forwards in history that could play well with our group of Fields, TD, Shump and Bibbymortis.Baron Davis might help, but either Shump better grow up fast or someone has to fall into our lap out of nowhere (Fields just plain stinks, face it already, and Bibby is PG roadkill.)Don’t you think Amare, Melo and Chandler know this by now? You put this backcourt foursome on any team in the league and you have a team that can lose to anybody, period.

      Trading anybody now would be dumb, because everyone is being devalued by the poor guard play.Let’s suffer and hope to play .500 ball until BD comes back and then see what he brings to the table in terms of making everybody else better (and I think he will have a big impacy!).If he comes back at 80+% and we still suck, then we ain’t going anywhere this year.

      You’re definitely not the only one that realizes this. Fields and Douglas are great when they are on the floor with multiple quality offensive weapons and they can sit back and pick their spots; if they are asked to do any more they fall off hard.

      That said, I don’t think trading is a lost cause. It’s not like NBA teams are not aware of Amare’s history and what he’s aware of, it’s pretty clear that in most situations he will be fine. Any team with a decent point guard would be glad to have him.

    101. BigBlueAL

      What the hell, Denver lost at home to Utah?? After losing at home to the Hornets earlier this week?? Impossible!!

    102. Z-man

      xduckshoex: You’re definitely not the only one that realizes this. Fields and Douglas are great when they are on the floor with multiple quality offensive weapons and they can sit back and pick their spots; if they are asked to do any more they fall off hard. That said, I don’t think trading is a lost cause. It’s not like NBA teams are not aware of Amare’s history and what he’s aware of, it’s pretty clear that in most situations he will be fine. Any team with a decent point guard would be glad to have him.

      Fields and TD are never great, they are below-average bench players at best. Take the 6th-8th players on any team in the league, and tell me how many of them couldn’t play as well as them under the conditions you mentioned (on the floor with multiple offensive weapons.)

      The question is, who wants Amare right now at $20mil per year with the salary cap intact, especially the way he is playing coming off a back injury and with a history of knee and eye injuries.

    103. Owen

      “yeah, you’re not the first to recommend that to me, but that kind of book really just seems like common sense to me (especially in my field), just a bit better than Malcolm Gladwell territory. and FWIW, a Nobel Prize in economics impresses me about as much as an Academy Award at this point, that is to say, not at all. I’m a Nouriel Roubini guy.”

      Many people recommending it for a reason!

      If it’s common sense it’s only because he and Twersky made it so.

      Also, importantly, he’s not a monetary economist, he is a behavioural economist, and as Richard Thaler said about the two of them, “When I met Danny and Amos, neither of them knew any economics. They couldn’t have passed Econ 101.”

      Check out this article if you don’t want to read the book. I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll be right up your alley…

      http://chronicle.com/article/The-Anatomy-of-Influence/129688/

    104. xduckshoex

      Z-man: Fields and TD are never great, they are below-average bench players at best.Take the 6th-8th players on any team in the league, and tell me how many of them couldn’t play as well as them under the conditions you mentioned (on the floor with multiple offensive weapons.)

      There are a lot of bench players in that position who don’t play as well as Fields and Douglas have, and the ones that do tend to be regarded as pretty valuable role players. For example, Fields’ production last year wasn’t far off from what Afflalo did, and Afflalo got a huge deal out of it. Yes, Afflalo is a much better defender, but the point is that it’s not like Fields and Douglas are ordinary players who have nothing to contribute, they are valuable pieces of a good team whose value on the floor drops when they are asked to do too much.

    105. danvt

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: It wasn’t Barea. It was Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki. They each had outrageously awesome playoff runs. Barea had a TS% of .500 in last year’s playoffs, but he managed to pull a .100 WS/48, down from .139 in the regular season.

      Berri’s done work on the role of coaching. Here’s an anecdote about the importance of in-game coaching:

      “I saw where Adrian Dantley (coaching the Denver Nuggets) kept saying, ‘We’re giving up too many layups.’ And it’s like the players were sitting there saying, ‘Yes, we know. We don’t want them to get layups, either. Why don’t you tell us how to stop them?’ ” said Berri. “They keep putting the mic on Doc Rivers and he keeps saying the same thing, ‘We’ve got to play like a team.’ I mean, I’m getting tired of that. I can’t imagine what the players are thinking. . . . You’ve got to imagine Kevin Garnett, when Doc Rivers is talking, is, like, “Are you done yet? Can I go play? Yep. Play like a team. Got it.” That’s coaching.”

      I guess this says it all. The Mavs had people get insanely hot and outperform their career norms. Maybe we can do it too, with good coaching. I believe in good coaching. Guys like Wooden, Red Holtzman, Hubie Brown, etc.

    106. Z-man

      I disagree. Afflalo was, is, and I believe will always be better than Fields. He has better skills on both sides of the ball. The league has figured out Fields and the novelty has worn off. He can’t shoot, pass, dribble or defend like an NBA 2 guard. He can rebound and that is it. TD is an undersized 2 who is overrated defensively and injury-prone. He has poor court vision and a low b-ball IQ. They are both hard-working and likeable guys, but at best, 8th-10th guys on a good team’s bench, and not even rotation players on some teams.
      Michael Jordan made a long list of scrubs look good. I’m sure he could have made Fields and TD look good. That doesn’t make them good players in their own right.

    107. daJudge

      I’m with you Z-Man. BTW, I was at Shea when the Mets won in 1969. BBA, how ’bout them Giants? On these Knicks, you can look for trends, but what else can you say for certain except that our guards simply suck right now. They suck bad and you all know it. Point out whatever you want, but this is patently obvious. The only other facet of the game that sucks as bad is Amare’s defense. The fact that we are winning half our games is OK right now. A lot of you guys are really smart, but focusing on Melo, Amare (except D) or Chandler is way, way off base. The offense will change in a big way with a competent point guard. I do not know about Amare’s crappy, crappy D, which is a huge problem from a so-called PF.

    108. Z-man

      Agree on Amare’s D, Judge, I have been shocked by the magnitude of some of his lapses. He has no lateral quickness and gets frozen sometimes. I wonder if he needs some ADHD meds!

    109. d-mar

      Just wish we could see the Amare from game 1 of the Boston series, he was an absolute beast and abused one of the best defensive PF’s in the game. (And yes, Melo played in that game too.)

    110. JK47

      In my opinion, the Nuggets are due to come back down to earth, mainly because they’re not really a very good defensive team. Nene is a pretty weak defender, Gallo is improving on D but still below average, Al Buckets is horrible, Rudy Fernandez is a poor defender, Andre Miller looks like he’s giving up on the season… Too many iffy defenders over there for them to be true contenders.

    111. Z-man

      Nugs have the biggest home court advantage in basketball, at a mile high altitude. Anybody who has worked out there after being at sea level knows what I mean.

    112. Z-man

      d-mar: Just wish we could see the Amare from game 1 of the Boston series, he was an absolute beast and abused one of the best defensive PF’s in the game. (And yes, Melo played in that game too.)

      Yeah, I am hoping that the back has nothing to do with what we’re seeing now. Baron will tell us all we need to know.

    113. Ben R

      I am not blaming the Knicks problems on Melo or Amare. The Knicks problems are deep and widespread. Melo contributes to them by being a ball stopper, he is still the Knicks best player but his ball stopping hurts the Knicks. Amare contributes to the Knicks problems by not meshing with Melo and trying to do way too much, which has him shooting at a career low and turning the ball over and by being epically bad on defense. Douglas is hurt, shooting terribly and trying to do too much on defense, Fields has forgotten how to shoot and is slow on defense, Shumpert is shooting way too much and is being asked to do too much as a PG, which he really isn’t at this point, Bibby is simply old and slow.

      We have many problems but the reason why people are focusing on Melo and Amare is they are our stars, they are making more money than the remainder of the team combined and they are under contract the longest, along with Tyson. Everyone else is easily moveable but our sucess is directly tied to Melo’s and Amare’s success. If Fields all of a sudden becomes good again but Melo and Amare are still not fitting we still suck. But it Melo and Amare start clicking then it really doesn’t matter that much long term whether Fields gets it together or not. That is why we focus on Amare and Melo.

      There is a reason Baron Davis was unclaimed on waivers he is not that great anymore, I think he was always overrated anyway. The Amare/Melo experiment didn’t work last year with a good PG in Billups and Douglas playing great. Why should it all of a sudden work now. The fact that it doesn’t work does not mean that Melo sucks or Amare is useless it just means they don’t work well together.

    114. jon abbey

      “There is a reason Baron Davis was unclaimed on waivers he is not that great anymore, I think he was always overrated anyway. ”

      actually the reasons were that he was going to be out for at least another month or two, plus he’s notorious for only playing hard in situations where he wants to be. he chose NY, he wants to be here, people need to believe. if he stays healthy, by playoff time he’ll be a better fit/piece than Billups.

    115. Matt Smith

      jon abbey: <P if he stays healthy, by playoff time he’ll be a better fit/piece than Billups.

      Could you substantiate that?

      I’m not trying to be contentious but that seems like little more than a warrantless assertion to me. Not saying you’re wrong, I’m just not sure why it’s true.

    116. RastaPappa

      Shad0wF0x:
      @37

      I think D’Antoni missed his opportunity to resign once that Melo trade happened. I’m pretty sure he knew that his style of play wasn’t going to work with the players that they had post-trade.

      He’s a professional coach. He has to change the system how this team is playing right now. Are the players willing to do that? Maybe not. I think mr Pringles has given up and would be happy to leave.

    117. Z-man

      @125 Ben, I don’t get what you are saying. Amare is well-known to be dependent on good PG play to be efficient. Melo has played 11 games as well as anyone could have expected: highest PER, ws48, AND ASSIST % in his career. What is the use of moving the ball if the guys you move the ball to either clank shot after shot or turn the ball over? Despite his gaudy offensive efficiency numbers, Tyson Chandler is not a threat unless he’s dunking the ball, and FWIW his scoring is only slightly down from last year so he is not being hurt by Melo and Amare. So how can you expect that Melo and Amare can do anything differently than they are right now with the offensive garbage aat the guard position they are playing with? If Melo moved the ball more, especially in the 4th Q, we are probably 2-10 instead of 5-5.

    118. daJudge

      Matt-I don’t know if BD will play healthy. Of course that is a big question. If he does, he has shown over the years that he is one hellacious passer. Stats that I’ve seen bear this out, including some very interesting numbers regarding the quality of his passes. Sorry, I don’t recall the site, but some folks on this board were discussing it a few weeks ago. I loved Mr. Big Shot, but Baron will hopefully be a better fit because his passing and handle, which I think you would agree we need desperately. On the other side, Davis is also a good defender. So if he is healthy, what an addition. Also, even if he fit in only as well as Chauncey, the team would certainly be better and much easier on the eyes. Happy MLK day to all.

    119. xduckshoex

      “What is the use of moving the ball if the guys you move the ball to either clank shot after shot or turn the ball over?”

      Pretty much everybody on the Knicks has been a moderate to high efficiency scorer at some point in time, they are capable of doing it.

      Maybe part of the problem is that excessive isolations interrupts the shooters rhythm?

      Take Landry Fields. He’s not getting the same shots he used to. He’s taking 19% of his shots in the last 4 seconds of the shot clock, when space is generally to come by. Last year he was taking 8% in the last 4 seconds of the shotclock. 80% of his jumpers were assisted last season, 67% this season. It’s not like nothing has changed for these guys and they just stopped hitting shots, a lot has changed and what we need is to get back to what the team was doing when these guys were successful.

      Ball movement is a big part of that.

    120. jon abbey

      Matt Smith: Could you substantiate that?

      I’m not trying to be contentious but that seems like little more than a warrantless assertion to me. Not saying you’re wrong, I’m just not sure why it’s true.

      Davis is more of a distributing PG than Billups, he will create and find space for Melo and especially Amare, where Billiups didn’t do that so much.

      again, the paragraph that Knicks fans should all have memorized by now, from Hollinger’s Baron Davis player card:

      “Davis had the most valuable assists in the league last season, and it wasn’t even close. Among players with at least 300 assists, Davis’ average assist was worth .841 points, well ahead of the league average of .667. And lest you think that was all from having Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan slamming down dunks, consider that Davis’ assist value didn’t change at all after the trade to Cleveland. More than half of Davis’ assists were layups or dunks, according to Hoopdata.com, compared to the league average of 38 percent; conversely, only 26.3 percent of his dimes were “bad” assists that led to 2-pointers away from the basket.”

    121. Z-man

      xduckshoex: “What is the use of moving the ball if the guys you move the ball to either clank shot after shot or turn the ball over?”Pretty much everybody on the Knicks has been a moderate to high efficiency scorer at some point in time, they are capable of doing it.Maybe part of the problem is that excessive isolations interrupts the shooters rhythm? Take Landry Fields. He’s not getting the same shots he used to. He’s taking 19% of his shots in the last 4 seconds of the shot clock, when space is generally to come by. Last year he was taking 8% in the last 4 seconds of the shotclock. 80% of his jumpers were assisted last season, 67% this season. It’s not like nothing has changed for these guys and they just stopped hitting shots, a lot has changed and what we need is to get back to what the team was doing when these guys were successful.Ball movement is a big part of that.

      Really, are you even watching the games? Fields has much bigger problems than just not hitting shots. So do all the other guards. They can’t handle the ball or pass effectively either. Again, Melo is playing to an all-time high assist% for him. At some point, we have to move away from making excuses for Fields and TD.

    122. xduckshoex

      Yeah, I’m watching the games, and what I’m seeing is Fields and Douglas not getting the same shots they used to, and I see those shots not falling. Then I say to myself, “Self, I wonder what it would take to get Fields and Douglas shots that they can hit.” Then I see Douglas try to hit yet another shot off the dribble and I remember last season when he didn’t have to do that and his shots fell with greater consistency, and I don’t see that as a coincidence.

      That’s not “making excuses”. It’s a simple fact that basketball players who were efficient scorers don’t suddenly forget how to make shots. If that happens, there is something external that is causing that to happen, and if you want things to normalize again you need to figure out what that is and make the necessary adjustments.

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