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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Sunday, Jul 28 2013)

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Pacers Add Scola in Trade With Suns (Sun, 28 Jul 2013 04:09:30 GMT)
    The Pacers bolstered their front-line depth with the acquisition of Luis Scola, a 6-foot-9 forward, from the rebuilding Suns.    

  • 53 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Sunday, Jul 28 2013)

    1. Z-man

      Talent-wise on paper, Delonte West is hands down the best combo guard available for the minimum. Being that our depth at both PG ans SG is questionable (not sure if TH2 is an NBA player yet) West seems like a perfect minimum signing.

      Before inking him, I would like to know what he’s been doing for the last few months. If he’s been partying and is totally out of shape, I’d pass. Otherwise, why not?

    2. daJudge

      That is a very nice article. Many years ago we had an intramural hoop team that was pretty good. The captain was a very good player, but started acting really crazy/bizarre and we needed to remove him from the team. I learned a bit later that he was bi-polar—the real kind where his neuro-transmiters were out of whack. He really could not function without his medication. On the medication, he was fine–or so it seemed. Anyway, he never played for us again and I felt kind of bad about it. If Delonte’s issue is really bi-polar disorder and it is medically controlled, well I hope he gets another chance with us. If instead he has what some people call a ‘bi-polar personality’, party’s too much and just shows plain bad judgment, I would steer clear.

    3. DCrockett17

      I’ll always remember the first time I saw West play. It was at UMass, when he was teamed up with Jameer Nelson for St. Joe’s. This was in 2001, when West was a freshman, before they made their deep tournament run.

      West wore his hair in not-quite-afro-puff pig tails.

      I hope the dude is in a good place because this team could use him, if he’s the same player he was a couple years ago. If it’s between he and Telfair my intuition says West based on size. But, I honestly don’t know if the guy can still play.

    4. SeeWhyDee77

      I honestly forgot Delonte West was out there. Wow. He would be a nice addition..a very nice one. We bring him in, Prigioni loses minutes. I don’t wanna really talk about his disorder because I’m starting to believe the majority of the world has ‘bipolar tendencies’. Nobody’s perfect and it seems like more and more people are acting what most what call ‘out of character’, everyday. Like most, I hate to hear when something happens with West, or any athlete for that matter, but I really don’t care about his disorder. I’ve known people who were unemployed (and when they had jobs they made less than 30K) who were able to manage it. So, with West, it’s all about drive and environment. He deserves a chance. Call me crazy, but him and MWP could be good for him and the team. MWP is a HUGE advocate for mental disorder research and care..and his heart is always in the right place. Plus Woodson has proven to be great at reaching ‘troubled’ players. On the court, West would solidify our perimeter D in a way that could make Stat look passable on interior D. I say give him 2 yr vet minimum. If he plays well we have options in the backcourt that will make injuries to Felton, Prigioni, or JR less worrisome. If he doesn’t, then hopefully Murry will be on the roster along with Tyler..and a damn good roster will be complete

    5. Z-man

      Thanks, Judge. At this point, we are filling out the roster, so our sights have to be low. We have to choose between players on the serious downside (Mo Williams,) Jeremy Lin wannabees (Bobby Brown,) sure-fire scrubs (Sebastian Telfair,) or crippled relics (Baron Davis) or nut jobs (Delonte West.) I suppose that patience could yield a Lin or a Beverley, but the odds of getting a better NBA player than West are very slim. In any case, I trust that GG will do the right thing. Maybe he’s looking at a foreign FA that is totally under the radar for now.

    6. Z-man

      I must be one of the few that is not high at all on Toure Murry. As a camp invitee, OK, but it’s waaay premature to talk about him as a legit backup guard.

    7. danvt

      I remember in the IND series, Frank Vogel commented on losing George Hill for a game by saying, in a somewhat annoyed way, “we have plenty to beat the Knicks without George Hill”. It’s obvious that that team never had respect for us at all.

      I think we can beat them, but I think it’s going to take some work. I’ll consider next season partly a success, at least if we avenge that playoff loss. The regular season games will be telling and it’ll be interesting to see how the comments of the coach reflect the mood of the team heading into the playoffs. I don’t think they’re in a different league from us but I think their coach and their players think so. Sending them home would be very sweet.

    8. flossy

      This sort of goes back to the “accountability” thing, but I’m not sure why Mike Woodson gets a reputation for being “great at reaching ‘troubled’ players.”

      What exactly supports this argument? The fact that JR Smith managed to make it through an entire contract season (excluding the playoffs of course) playing basically the same as he always does, without killing anyone in a car accident or posting naked pictures/gang stuff on twitter?

      Woodson may be a player’s coach, but I don’t see him as having any kind of magical ability to get otherwise difficult people to change their ways. We’re looking at a roster with a lot of people who have personality issues or character question marks of some kind, from Artest (legitimately mentally ill and sometimes violent), JR Smith (perpetually reckless and immature both on/off court), K-Mart (has caused locker room problems in the past), Bargnani (highly questionable effort level) and a star in Carmelo who has never been known for embracing aspects of leadership that don’t directly relate to volume of FG attempts.

      At this point, I guess you could just say why not add one more player with mental health problems and a checkered past, but I don’t think you can deny that there are a lot of ways things could go spectacularly wrong with this particular cast of characters.

    9. prezs2reprsntme

      say what you want about the effectiveness of the changes, but he did get melo to change his shot distribution, and he did with JR as well, which neither of the 2 players previous coaches have really done.

      i don’t think that cuts one way or another on the accountability thing, but it’s certainly worth noting.

    10. Z-man

      flossy:
      This sort of goes back to the “accountability” thing, but I’m not sure why Mike Woodson gets a reputation for being “great at reaching ‘troubled’ players.”

      What exactly supports this argument?The fact that JR Smith managed to make it through an entire contract season (excluding the playoffs of course) playing basically the same as he always does, without killing anyone in a car accident or posting naked pictures/gang stuff on twitter?

      Woodson may be a player’s coach, but I don’t see him as having any kind of magical ability to get otherwise difficult people to change their ways.We’re looking at a roster with a lot of people who have personality issues or character question marks of some kind, from Artest (legitimately mentally ill and sometimes violent), JR Smith (perpetually reckless and immature both on/off court), K-Mart (has caused locker room problems in the past), Bargnani (highly questionable effort level) and a star in Carmelo who has never been known for embracing aspects of leadership that don’t directly relate to volume of FG attempts.

      At this point, I guess you could just say why not add one more player with mental health problems and a checkered past, but I don’t think you can deny that there are a lot of ways things could go spectacularly wrong with this particular cast of characters.

      Can’t really dispute any of this, but at this point, the bed is made. West would basically be just another accent pillow.

      I would generally have no qualms with having a high-character guy on the end of the bench (e.g. Collins) but at this point there is still a need for a backup that can be an effective rotation player for long stretches. Collins is not that guy. West might not be either, but at least he has a chance to be.

    11. Z-man

      So, if this goes down, we would have basically replaced:

      Kidd with West
      Cope with STAT
      Novak with Bargs
      White with TH2

      And then:

      Camby/Thomas/Wallace/Jones/Barron with Tyler/Leslie/Jordan/???

    12. mokers

      Z-man:
      So, if this goes down, we would have basically replaced:

      Kidd with West
      Cope with STAT
      Novak with Bargs
      White with TH2

      And then:

      Camby/Thomas/Wallace/Jones/Barron with Tyler/Leslie/Jordan/???

      I would say

      Kidd with Prigs
      Prigs with West

      Adding West once again means a lot is going to depend on how Woodson splits his minutes. West is probably the best insurance for another Felton injury.foul trouble. Assuming he still has something left, it’s better to give him more PG duties than try to burn out Prigs or put additional ball handling for JR or Shump. Still think we need a passable big to give some minutes if Chandler gets injured.

    13. Z-man

      mokers: I would say

      Kidd with Prigs
      Prigs with West

      Adding West once again means a lot is going to depend on how Woodson splits his minutes. West is probably the best insurance for another Felton injury.foul trouble. Assuming he still has something left, it’s better to give him more PG duties than try to burn out Prigs or put additional ball handling for JR or Shump. Still think we need a passable big to give some minutes if Chandler gets injured.

      Agreed.

    14. JK47

      I’ve been making the joke “crazy is the new market inefficiency” but there’s some truth to it. On talent and production alone, West is worth solidly more than the vet minimum, and is a way better fit on this team than a guy like Nate Robinson.

      We’re lucky he’s a little crazy, because otherwise he’d probably have a job already, for more than the minimum salary we can afford.

    15. SeeWhyDee77

      I’m so glad I’m not the coach. He has a good problem to have because he’s got so much to work with, but he might have some sleepless nights. Granted a 30 mpg ceiling for STAT helps him out, but he eventually gets back to a point where he can give 28 mpg there’s gonna be a serious l

    16. SeeWhyDee77

      SeeWhyDee77:
      I’m so glad I’m not the coach. He has a good problem to have because he’s got so much to work with, but he might have some sleepless nights. Granted a 30 mpg ceiling for STAT helps him out, but he eventually gets back to a point where he can give 28 mpg there’s gonna be a serious l

      Sorry..accidentally hit submit cuz the keyboard’s a lil code to the button.
      Anyway..there’s gonna be a serious logjam up front, IF Stat can stay healthy. But let’s say we fill our last 3 spots with Tyler, West, and Murry. Murry would be insurance for West so it’s possible we could bring in another big like Jennings to develop. We now have a 4/5 rotation of Chandler-Melo-Kmart-Bargnani-Stat-Tyler. A whole lotta talent and diversity there. I believe Tyler can step in and give us 10 mpg at the least. Consistently. Then when u add the SF spot we have Melo-MWP-JR-Leslie (Kmart can also defend the SF spot), we have a pretty nice frontcourt picture, health being the only concern. Where we need help in the backcourt. I like TH2 and I have high hopes for him, but he is a 2 who cans handle well enough and pass well enough to keep defenses off balance. In no way should Woodson even think of him as a combo guard. But..Felton goin down last year hurt and we can’t reasonably expect Prigioni to hold up with starter’s minutes should he go down again. Bring West in, u have a guy who can fill in at both the 1 and 2. Also..West has the mentality and the ability to play both ends well. So, in this scenario West is a bigger help than most expect him to be. JR has the size to play the SF off the bench if we need him 2, which bodes well for roster versatility should we bring West in. Best case scenario we can stash Murry in the D League and call him up if West doesn’t pan out, leaving us the option to develop Jennings. I can’t be mad if that happens

    17. Jack Bauer

      Biggest issue is limiting Chandler’s minutes so he is fresh and uninjured for the playoffs. Woody needs to do a better job of this. Take a flyer on West, he would help a lot as long as he stays on his meds

    18. Hubert

      I find myself this morning rather terrified about JR Smith’s injury, the severity of which I think has been greatly underestimated.

      These patella tendon injuries have a pretty scary track record. As I was getting geared up for the Premier League season over in England, I noticed it was the same injury that has sidelined a defender, Younes Kaboul, almost a year and counting (after an initial diagnosis of 12-16 weeks). And a friend of mine pointed out it was the same injury that essentially ended Owen Hargreaves’ career.

      These names may mean nothing to many of you here, so I went googling for other athletes who suffered this injury. Severity always matters and no two injuries are the same, but given the absurd manner the Knicks report injuries I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume we can’t trust their claim that it’s minor. This Trailblazer blogger did a report on as many petella injuries he could find and the results don’t exactly lead to optimism (scroll halfway down til you get to the sections titled “Torn or partially torn patellar tendon: A much more severe injury.”):

      http://www.blazersedge.com/2009/12/8/1190861/patella-injuries-in-nba-history

      Some highlights below.

    19. Hubert

      SF Cedric Ceballos, 1996-97, age 27, Lakers/Suns

      Partial tear of the right patellar tendon in November 1996, expected to be out 2 months. He got reactivated in January, but it continued to bother him throughout the season missing several more games with a strained patella in March after a trade to the Suns. He continued to have s ome problems with his right knee (meniscus) and especially his wrists over the following years. Some drop in production, though he did have another strong season with the Mavericks in 1999-00.

      PF Antonio McDyess, 2001-2003, age 27-29, Nuggets: Several fractures and tears

      Subluxated left patella in March 2001 (partial/incomplete dislocation). Missed remainder of the season.

      Initially there was no surgery, then in October 2001 he required surgery to repair what was then diagnosed as a partially torn patellar tendon. In addition he needed arthroscopic surgery on the right knee to clean out some loose debris and was expected to be out 3-4 months. In March 2002 he briefly got activated, but was deactivated quickly again when both knees got inflamed.

      Next season: Joining the Knicks that offseason, he was immediately placed on the injured list with a “left knee inflammation”, and then in October required another surgery to repair a fracture to the left patella. In April 2003 he needed yet another surgery on the left knee patella missing the entire 2002-03 season.

      When finally returning to action, he played in 42 games in 2003-04 season. Then continued to play several seasons completely or close to. His statistics dropped significantly across the board before going up slightly again but never back to previous state. However as of now he is still active as a rotation player.

    20. Hubert

      PG Damon Stoudemire, 2005-06, age 32, Grizzlies

      Surgery on torn right patellar tendon in January 2006 after injuring it just before the end of the year, out for remainder of the season.

      He already had suffered from what was deemed ‘left knee tendinitis’ a decade earlier when on the Raptors missing the end of the 1995-96 season without going into detail which tendon. While with the Blazers he missed much of November with 2001 right knee tendinitis.

      Next season: Played in 62 games. Stats dropped to level from a few years earlier while about maintaining efficiency. Career end after 2007-08 season where he played in another 60 games.

      SG Kelenna Azubuike, 2009, age 26, Warriors

      Torn patellar tendon in left knee after having appeared in 9 games, out for the season. In the video of the injury it looked like someone had beaten him out of mid-air with a bat when he tried to go up on a drive to the basket.

    21. Hubert

      flossy:
      This sort of goes back to the “accountability” thing, but I’m not sure why Mike Woodson gets a reputation for being “great at reaching ‘troubled’ players.”

      What exactly supports this argument?The fact that JR Smith managed to make it through an entire contract season (excluding the playoffs of course) playing basically the same as he always does, without killing anyone in a car accident or posting naked pictures/gang stuff on twitter?

      Woodson may be a player’s coach, but I don’t see him as having any kind of magical ability to get otherwise difficult people to change their ways.We’re looking at a roster with a lot of people who have personality issues or character question marks of some kind, from Artest (legitimately mentally ill and sometimes violent), JR Smith (perpetually reckless and immature both on/off court), K-Mart (has caused locker room problems in the past), Bargnani (highly questionable effort level) and a star in Carmelo who has never been known for embracing aspects of leadership that don’t directly relate to volume of FG attempts.

      At this point, I guess you could just say why not add one more player with mental health problems and a checkered past, but I don’t think you can deny that there are a lot of ways things could go spectacularly wrong with this particular cast of characters.

      You read my mind with this.

      I don’t see how he has affected any real positive change in JR Smith. He just seems to be tolerant of JR’s faults and gives him a long leash, which makes JR like playing for him.

      His per 36 numbers and advanced stats are either equal to or worse than his numbers in Denver. The only thing that’s gone up is his minutes played.

    22. Z-man

      Doesn’t sound like the patellar tendon injury is anywhere near as severe as those you are bringing up. JR actually played through this injury and did not look compromised in any major way. 3-4 months is a very reasonable recovery window.

      This is not to say that there should be no concern at all, only that you are looking at players who had much more severe injuries. Also keep in mind that this is a 3-year $6 mill per deal for a player in his 20’s.

      I worry much more about his mental health and low b-ball IQ than about his knee. He’ll be fine physically.

    23. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, I believe Z-Man is spot on here. Don’t get me wrong, none of us have seen the exact injury JR has suffered, so all of us could be wrong, but the main point is that not every patella tendon injury is the same. Those other players mentioned suffered worse injuries to their patella tendons. This is supposedly not a significant injury to JR’s patella tendon. Could they be lying to us? Of course, but if we take them at their word, this injury should not be in the same ballpark as those other players.

    24. Hubert

      Here’s the thing, though. If you look through the entire list posted in that link, there is one theme: if the tendon required surgery to repair, no one recovered fully within 4 months.

      One guy not on that list (because the article is over a year old) is Danny Granger. Initial reports on his problem sound very similar to JR’s:

      http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/danny-granger-left-knee-injury-miss-3-months-174415615–nba.html

      Again, none of us can say for sure without knowing, but it seems that historical data indicates if surgery is required, it’s not minor. It also seems a setback is extremely likely, and that 4 months is a very aggressive time frame.

    25. Brian Cronin

      I agree with you that any surgery is not “minor.” I totally concur with that. If there’s surgery involved, it is not “minor.” I just don’t think it will be big enough to see him miss significant time this season because he had the surgery so early.

    26. Hubert

      Granger, like JR by the way, first injured his knee months before requiring surgery, and also played through it in the playoffs against Miami.

    27. Hubert

      I hope you’re right, Brian. That’s what I wanted to think. But when I started looking for athletes who recently had patella tendon surgery it seems like they are always underestimated at first. It seems like full recovery takes almost a year.

    28. Hubert

      And – I don’t mean to channel my inner Isola here – but why should we believe anything on player injury news that comes out of MSG? We should automatically assume it’s worse than they are telling us.

    29. Brian Cronin

      Ha! I do tend to believe that the Knicks are always lying to us. I guess I have a little faith that the Knicks wouldn’t commit three years to JR if his injury was more significant, since they knew about the surgery before he signed the deal.

    30. Hubert

      See, that’s what’s scaring me! The only indicator I have found that would lead me to believe it’s actually minor is that the Knicks gave him a 3 year contract despite knowing he had this issue. I feel like we’re all taking the Knicks’ word on this instead of actually looking at the history of the injury.

      Time will tell. I hope we have a fully fit and recovered JR by December, because we need one.

    31. Hubert

      Slow day at the Knickerblogger.net, eh?

      Someone brought up Jason Collins over the weekend. I had no idea he was still unemployed and I’d jump all over that. Martin isn’t playing 80 games, and I like Jeremy Tyler but don’t ever want to be in a situation where we’re counting on him for minutes backing up Tyson. Collins as a 3rd center for the minimum seems like a great move. I imagine he would find life easier here than in most NBA markets, so I think it might be attractive to him as well.

      But…I admit I haven’t really seen him play a minute of basketball since he was the “Dwight-stopper” that one year in Atlanta. Is he still capable of 12 spot minutes 15-20 times a season?

      Plus the idea of him banging with Roy “No Homo” Hibbert amuses me.

    32. Brian Cronin

      Time will tell. I hope we have a fully fit and recovered JR by December, because we need one.

      I do agree that we often understate his importance to the team. He is a vital part of the offense. Even a revitalized STAT and Bargnani do not bring the same skills to the table that JR does. If he is not here, then Felton will have to become “Every Shot is Okay Ray,” which I think we all know is the worst side of Felton’s personality.

    33. Brian Cronin

      Jason Collins is a bad pro basketball player now. He’s fine as the 15th man on a team, but if you’re playing him as the 15th man on the team, then you might as well go with someone who can give you some theoretical upside like Tyler (and I say this not as a compliment to Tyler – more of a shot at Collins).

      Collins, of course, would give them some great PR, but I think it is pretty telling that no other NBA team has gone for him knowing that they could get that same great PR. It is because he is totally washed up. Note that when he was traded last season and Zach Lowe analyzed the trade, he did not even mention that Jason Collins was in the trade!! That is how inconsequential he has become as a player.

      I feel bad saying it because I really do admire his courage in coming out, but he really is not a legit NBA rotation player anymore.

    34. Hubert

      Fair enough, I’ll take your word for it. I had memories of him being a useful backup, but they were from the 2011 playoffs.

    35. Brian Cronin

      I think it is a case of big men just having an expiration date, ya know? It differs for all of them but at some point in their 30s they just fall off a cliff. And Collins has fallen off a cliff. I think the 2011 playoffs were sort of his last hurrah.

    36. flossy

      Brian Cronin: Collins, of course, would give them some great PR, but I think it is pretty telling that no other NBA team has gone for him knowing that they could get that same great PR.

      I don’t know, there are a lot of end-of-the-bench caliber players still sloshing around in free agency. I don’t think the fact that nobody has signed Jason Collins by late July means that he can’t play in the NBA or that nobody will sign him, but NBA GMs know that he’ll be there toward the start of training camp (or midseason, or whatever) so there’s no urgency.

      Moreover, his sexual orientation might be a double-edged sword depending on the market he plays in and the other players on the team, so I can see why team wouldn’t be falling over themselves to sign him any earlier than necessary.

    37. GHenman

      At his point, if anyone we sign ends up playing meaningful minutes it means that something has gone terribly wrong and the season is most likely lost. With that in mind, I’d rather go with young guys such as Murry or Tyler as opposed to signing a vet that most likely get a chance to play like Camby.

    38. Hubert

      I don’t know, GHenman. If Kenyon Martin goes down for 20 games, I don’t think that’s something terribly wrong. We should be expecting that and have a contingency plan (i.e. a 3rd string C), and the kind of guys who can play that role are precisely the guys who are available now.

      I like Jeremy Tyler as a prospect. I don’t think Mike Woodson would be thrilled with playing him 12 minutes a game if Martin is out, not with his defense. And I wouldn’t blame Woodson for a second if he didn’t want to do that, because the kid looked clueless on D in Vegas. So the likelihood is that when Martin goes down, we’re looking at either extended minutes for Tyson, or Amar’e/Barngani at the 5. Neither sounds appealing.

      I like the idea of Cole Aldrich, as some have mentioned. In fact, I really don’t understand why we couldn’t sign Artest for the vet’s minimum. Did he really need that extra $300k? Was he really not going to play for us if we offered him $1.4mm instead of $1.7mm next year?

      Aldrich, on the other hand, his vet minimum is $880,000. The $1.7mm would have been really attractive to him, I bet.

    39. Brian Cronin

      Agreed on both points, that Aldrich would be a fine pick-up and I also disliked Artest getting the full remaining mini-MLE. While I agree that it would be foolish to let Artest slip through their fingers because of $300,000 dollars, I also find it extremely hard to believe that that $300,000 would really have made a difference to him. But I guess obviously I don’t know the inner workings of Artest’s mind, so perhaps he would have viewed it as an insult if the Knicks didn’t give him all that they possibly could. If that really is the case, then yes, better to get Artest even if it means losing out on someone like Aldrich.

    40. massive

      “On the Anthony front, there is a chance he looks at greener pastures in 2014, but sources close to the process say the Knicks have already let Anthony know that their books will be basically clear in 2015 and he can pick his teammates much as Wade did in Miami.

      With the New York market behind him and the almost unlimited checkbook of the Knicks…Anthony has a lot of influence in New York and they are willing to let him build his own team in NYC in 2015.”

      http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-am-the-milwaukee-bucks-master-plan#SJDdxbTLZ0lcdows.99

      This could get very interesting in two summers. I feel like it’s a foregone conclusion Rondo comes to town, but the rest of that money is where it gets complicated.

      As it stands, between Shump (I’m assuming his new deal starts at $7 million with us), JR, TH2, 2015 1st, and Felton, we have about $20 million in salary on the books. That leaves about $40 million to split between Melo and his teammates of choice.

      Let’s say Rondo is one of them and he gets $16 million with us, but it’s a S&T that sends out the 2015 pick and Felton (roughly $5.5 million). We now have $29.5 million to give Melo and friend(s). So it’ll likely come down to how much money Melo is willing to give up. I doubt Rondo comes here just to play in New York and with Melo. Chances are that Melo will have to take $14-15 million just to get a guy like Love, LeBron, or Bynum to come play here. We’ll see in a couple years.

    41. Hubert

      Jesus Christ. Tom Ziller is a smart guy, but this is a pretty stupid article:

      http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2013/7/27/4562540/luis-scola-trade-pacers-suns-heat-east?utm_source=sbnation&utm_medium=nextclicks&utm_campaign=articlebottom

      I like what Indiana has done, and as a playoff contender I think they rank above us and are probably Miami’s #1 threat. But a threat to win more games in the regular season? Miami and Indiana may have looked very close in the playoffs, but over 82 games a very large abyss separated the two teams, and CJ Watson + Luis Scola doesn’t span an abyss, IMO.

    42. Brian Cronin

      and he can pick his teammates much as Wade did in Miami.

      That sort of belies what actually happened in Miami, no? It was not Wade choosing Lebron. It was Lebron choosing Wade and Bosh.

    43. Brian Cronin

      I like what Indiana has done, and as a playoff contender I think they rank above us and are probably Miami’s #1 threat. But a threat to win more games in the regular season? Miami and Indiana may have looked very close in the playoffs, but over 82 games a very large abyss separated the two teams, and CJ Watson + Luis Scola doesn’t span an abyss, IMO.

      The Pacers do have an All-Star forward returning, as well.

    44. max fisher-cohen

      I don’t think there’s any point in even thinking about Indiana. Even if we don’t matchup particularly well, if we can beat Miami, then we should be able to take out Indy. I’d be more worried about Brooklyn. Yeah, the age thing is a big question mark, but the Garnett, Pierce, Kirilenko trio has the potential to be terrifying on defense, and while they have no dominating offensive force, they have a lot of excellent passers.

    45. daJudge

      max fisher-cohen:
      I don’t think there’s any point in even thinking about Indiana. Even if we don’t matchup particularly well, if we can beat Miami, then we should be able to take out Indy. I’d be more worried about Brooklyn. Yeah, the age thing is a big question mark, but the Garnett, Pierce, Kirilenko trio has the potential to be terrifying on defense, and while they have no dominating offensive force, they have a lot of excellent passers.

      Sorry max f-c, I messed up on prior post. The Nets do not scare me at all and that trio IMO will not terrify anyone on defense. They will just get older, slower, more belligerent and less and less effective. I think the Nets are something like the Knicks relative to signing big names, but even worse with respect to the efficacy of the particular player. The Nets remind me a bit of the Jets. Just my view.

    46. GHenman

      Hubert and Brian, I think Aldrich is a decent player and also fairly young so he wouldn’t be a bad pick up. I believe Bargnani is going to play alot more minutes at the five than people here expect. We are paying him $11 mil or whatever and we did give up a no. 1. I just don’t beleive we’re going to pick up someone who will take minutes away from him. That’s why I would go with Tyler, even if he spent the year in the D-League. Same for Murry.

    47. Brian Cronin

      What shocks me is how much money is still available out there to spend. Did you know that the Grizzlies still have their entire full MLE left?!? Plus their Bi-Annual Exception! Unless, of course, they used the Bi-Annual Exception on Mike Miller. Still, the fact that they still have their entire MLE to spend puts them in a great spot to cherry pick the best of the remaining free agents and i believe it is why they’ll be able to sign Mo Williams for, like, one penny more than the Heat (who can only offer the mini-MLE).

    48. Z-man

      BC, do teams get to carry over the MLE, MMLE and/or BEE or are they “use it or lose it?” I think the latter, right?

      If so, if using the MLE puts you in luxury tax territory, might a team actually be fiscally prudent in not using it? Especially on a player that is simply not worth it?

      Not sure what the case is for Memphis, but saving the MLE seems weird at this point. Is there a player out there worth that money? Maybe Blair?

    49. Z-man

      *agree though that it puts Memphis in the best bargaining position of the contenders for the remaining scraps.

    50. Brian Cronin

      BC, do teams get to carry over the MLE, MMLE and/or BEE or are they “use it or lose it?” I think the latter, right?

      If so, if using the MLE puts you in luxury tax territory, might a team actually be fiscally prudent in not using it? Especially on a player that is simply not worth it?

      Not sure what the case is for Memphis, but saving the MLE seems weird at this point. Is there a player out there worth that money? Maybe Blair?

      Use it or lose it, except, of course, the Bi-Annual Exception (as if they don’t use it this year they can use it next year). Yes, Memphis wants to stay under the luxury tax rate, but if someone like Mo Williams becomes available at $3 million, I think they feel like they might “have” to spend the money on him. Their biggest weakness last year was three-point shooting and they’ve already added Miller. If they added a solid three-point shooter like Williams, it would really help them.

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