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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Thursday, Apr 26 2012)

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks top Clippers, still hold 7th seed (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 00:37:08 EDT)
    Turns out the Knicks won't exactly have a meaningless regular-season finale after all.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Opening Tip: Should Knicks tank for 8th? (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 06:00:38 EDT)
    Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our “Opening Tip” segment.
    Today’s Burning Question: Should the Knicks lose intentionally to Charlotte on Thursday in an effort to get the eighth seed and a first-round date with Chicago?
    Someone asked Carmelo Anthony late Wednesday night if the Knicks were trying to lose intentionally against the Clippers to fall to the eighth seed in the East.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Video: Where will the Knicks finish? (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 03:04:10 EDT)

    ESPN New York’s Ian Begley and Jared Zwerling discuss the wild final day of the regular season for the Knicks and what awaits them heading into the playoffs.
    You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.
    You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Knicks playing it safe in season finale (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 01:56:48 EDT)
    Health is more important than seeding.
    That’s the attitude the Knicks will take into Thursday’s regular-season finale against the Charlotte Bobcats.
    Carmelo Anthony said he probably won’t play against the Bobcats. Tyson Chandler said that if he take the floor, it will be in limited minutes.
    “You want to get into the playoffs healthy,” Chandler said after the Knicks’ win over the Clippers on Wednesday.
    Mike Woodson is going to check with his players before making any decisions.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Steve Kerr: Knicks needed the sixth seed (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 01:35:57 EDT)
    The question will exhaust itself from now until the Knicks finish playing the Bobcats Thursday night: Who would they rather face in the first round, the Bulls or Heat? Because until the game is in the books, the seventh and eighth seeds are up for grabs between the Knicks and Sixers.
    After the Knicks’ 99-93 win over the Clippers Wednesday night, the consensus in the locker room was that the players don’t care who they play. They realize the Bulls and Heat are the Eastern Conference leaders for a reason, and neither should be taken lightly.

  • [New York Daily News] D-Rose or D-Wade? Knicks opponent still TBD (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 04:29:03 GMT)
    The Madison Square Garden crowd was chanting of “Beat the Heat” but Mike Woodson seemed to do everything in his power to avoid the Heat. J.R. Smith, however, had different plans. It was Smith who may have sealed a Knicks-Heat first round playoff series.

  • [New York Daily News] Jets ‘Odd Couple’ Sanchez & Holmes booed at MSG (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 03:38:55 GMT)
    Not even Knicks fans are buying the idea that Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes have kissed and made up. The Jets quarterback and mercurial wide receiver were booed on Wednesday when they were shown on the giant scoreboard during the first quarter of the Knicks-Clippers game.

  • [New York Daily News] Lin on target for 2nd round return for Knicks (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 02:36:46 GMT)
    Jeremy Lin provided evidence that he may play again this season assuming, of course, that the Knicks extend their season beyond the first round.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks GM Grunwald: I like Mike (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 01:54:52 GMT)
    Glen Grunwald gave Mike Woodson a strong endorsement but the Knicks’ newly minted GM wasn’t ready to name his good friend and former college teammate as the full-time coach.

  • [New York Post] Knicks GM leaning toward keeping Woodson (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 02:02:14 -0500)
    Knicks permanent general manager Glen Grunwald raved on about interim coach Mike Woodson Wednesday, giving strong indications he’s got his man for next season.
    Grunwald said it wasn’t the time to guarantee Woodson’s return with the playoffs about to start. But all signs point that he strongly…

  • [New York Post] Knicks hold off Clippers, Heat likely playoff foe (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 05:24:10 -0500)
    The Garden fans chanted “Beat the Heat” in the final seconds Wednesday night, but the Knicks won’t know if they’ll get that chance until late Thursday night.
    Miami or Chicago. Chicago or Miami. It will be one or the other in the first round that could start Saturday…

  • [New York Post] Plenty of reasons for Amar’e, Knicks to sweat possible matchup vs. Heat (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 04:47:34 -0500)
    Maybe Amar’e Stoudemire confused the Clippers with the Heat Wednesday night. The Knicks’ $100 million big man has melted against Miami this season, and he came up small in their 99-93 win over the Clippers at the Garden.
    That could be bad news for the Knicks, who head into…

  • [New York Post] Tank in win, slam dunk in front office (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 04:52:43 -0500)
    On the court, the Knicks and the Clippers, who both ostensibly had things to play for, turned in 48 minutes that looked like a study in tanking, tankage, tankology. The Clips still could have earned a homecourt edge in Round 1, yet kept Chris Paul nailed to the bench.
    The…

  • [New York Post] Knicks interim coach Woodson dines with Isiah Thomas in Westchester (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 05:21:56 -0500)
    Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson and Isiah Thomas met for dinner Tuesday night in Westchester, hours after Glen Grunwald got promoted as the permanent executive VP/GM, according to sources.
    Woodson, Thomas and Grunwald were all teammates on the Indiana University basketball club for three seasons. Thomas, fired by Florida…

  • [New York Times] Knicks 99, Clippers 93: Knicks’ Playoff Destination Comes Down to Final Game (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 05:49:03 GMT)
    By beating the Clippers, the Knicks held their ground as the seventh-place team in the Eastern Conference, with one game left to settle the standings and determine playoff matchups.

  • [New York Times] Clippers in Rarefied Air of the N.B.A. Playoffs (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 08:09:07 GMT)
    Thanks to a talented cast headlined by Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, a usually moribund franchise has enjoyed a successful season.

  • [New York Times] Metta World Peace Cites ‘Passion,’ Not Anger, in Elbowing (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 04:11:31 GMT)
    The seven-game suspension of Metta World Peace for elbowing the Thunder’s James Harden will make him ineligible for the Lakers’ first six postseason games.

  • [New York Times] Glen Grunwald Will Have Decision to Make on Woodson (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 05:48:04 GMT)
    With his status as the team’s top basketball executive secure, Glen Grunwald’s first big decision will be whether to help make Mike Woodson’s role as coach more concrete.

  • [New York Times] Bobcats Lose 22nd Straight (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 06:10:06 GMT)
    J. J. Redick had six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points as the host Orlando Magic held off Charlotte, 102-95, for the Bobcats’ 22nd consecutive loss.

  • [New York Times] Sparks Sign All-Star Candace Parker to Extension (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 02:37:12 GMT)
    The Los Angeles Sparks signed a multiyear contract extension with the All-Star forward Candace Parker.

  • [New York Times] Playoff Races Going Down to Final Day of Season (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 09:12:44 GMT)
    There’s one day left in the NBA’s truncated regular season, and only two of the eight first-round postseason matchups opening this weekend have all the particulars decided.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Top Suns in Nash’s Possible Phoenix Farewell (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 06:07:12 GMT)
    No one could say for certain that this was Steve Nash’s final game in a Phoenix uniform, but the Suns’ fans certainly sensed it was.

  • [New York Times] Bulls Closer to Home-Court Advantage (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 04:09:37 GMT)
    Eastern Conference top seeds Chicago inched closer to securing home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs with a 92-87 win over Indiana on Wednesday.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Hold Off Clippers to Stay Tied for 7th Seed (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 03:04:09 GMT)
    JR Smith scored 21 points, including a rally-stopping jumper with 31 seconds left, and the New York Knicks held on to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 99-93 on Wednesday night and close in on the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.

  • [New York Times] Padres Lose 2nd Straight to Nationals, 7-2 (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 02:45:45 GMT)
    The results have been predictable when the San Diego Padres have faced the Washington Nationals in a matchup of the NL’s best and worst teams.

  • [New York Times] Nuggets Beat Thunder 106-101 to Avoid No. 8 Seed (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 02:48:40 GMT)
    Ty Lawson scored 25 points, Kenneth Faried added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 106-101 on Wednesday night to ensure they won’t be the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Turner Scores 29, 76ers Beat Bucks 90-85 (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 03:48:43 GMT)
    Facing a potentially short and hectic transition from the regular season to the playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers managed to get a win while Doug Collins rested a few of his key players.

  • [New York Times] Redick, Magic Shoot Way Past Bobcats 102-95 (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 01:57:42 GMT)
    J.J. Redick had six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points as the Orlando Magic held off Charlotte 102-95 on Wednesday night, the Bobcats’ 22nd consecutive loss.

  • [New York Times] Korver Leads Bulls Past Pacers 92-87 (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 01:45:39 GMT)
    Kyle Korver scored 20 points to help the Chicago Bulls defeat the Indiana Pacers 92-87 on Wednesday night and inch closer to claiming the top overall seed in the NBA playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Wizards Beat Cavs 96-85 for 5th Straight Win (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 01:39:42 GMT)
    John Wall had 21 points and 13 assists to help the Washington Wizards extend their longest winning streak since 2007 to five games with a 96-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Leading Off: N.B.A. Dips Into Head Shot Outrage (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 05:06:55 GMT)
    As the N.B.A. disciplines Metta World Peace, the N.F.L. faces allegations that the general manager of the Saints eavesdropped on opposing coaches. The N.H.L., meanwhile, is quiet for the moment.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Late in the Season, the Knicks Have Won Bigger (Thu, 26 Apr 2012 05:00:43 GMT)
    Since Mike Woodson became the coach of the Knicks, New York has had a notably large percentage of blowout victories.

  • 144 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Thursday, Apr 26 2012)

    1. Frank

      What does it say about Jorts that he can’t even beat out a last minute D-Leaguer for rotation minutes? It’s too bad that his shooting touch seems to have deserted him since the wrist injury — when he was shooting 37% from 3 he at least needed to be accounted for.

      I think Amare needs 20+ minutes tonight. He needs to get his wind back, and also needs to get more rhythm. Going up against Biyombo will be good practice.

      Meanwhile – if the Bobcats get the #1 pick and get Davis, that is a seriously intimidating defensive frontcourt they will have between Unibrow and Biyombo. They’ll probably block 8 shots/36 between the 2 of them.

    2. Owen

      “It is funny how much of a lull we have in posting right before the playoffs. It is like the figurative calm before the storm.”

      Whatever. Regular season posting doesn’t matter. It’s only the playoffs that matter. That’s where the real commenting gets done. That’s where reputations are made

    3. Owen

      And frank, I agree about Char. Although the odds are against them getting the top pick right?

    4. tastycakes

      Watching last night’s game half-heartedly I was SURE the Knicks were trying to give it up down the stretch. Up 19, they knew they had beat the Clips, and it would have been mutually beneficial for both teams IF THE CLIPS HAD WON. They’d run these posessions where JR Smith would initiate the offense 45 feet away with 8 on the shot clock and I thought gleefully “they’re giving it up!” Aaand they didn’t.

      Personally, I can’t stand this macho “we don’t tank, we’ll take whatever matchup comes” bullshit. Chicago — with Derrick Rose in questionable ballin’ health — is CLEARLY a better matchup for the Knicks. We played them close in 4 games this year. Their best player is hurt. Yes, they are both super tough and we are unlikely to win either series but goddamnit… maybe it’s just that I’d rather lose to the Bulls than the Heat but I am not looking forward to that matchup.

    5. Frank

      Owen:
      And frank, I agree about Char. Although the odds are against them getting the top pick right?

      As much as I can’t stand tanking, it does seem a little wrong that Charlotte only has a 25% chance of getting that top pick. I know they made an institutional move to tank the entire year, but it still feels wrong.

      I’m sure some of you have been following the #hoopidea discussion on how to stop tanking. I like the one in which the team with the most WINS after being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs gets the #1 pick. That way teams that truly suck start accumulating those wins earlier in the year. Charlotte would still stink but at least most of the players (ie. those with contracts for next year) would be playing hard to get Unibrow on their team, and the FO wouldn’t completely (intentionally) mail it in like this year. I’m sure teams would game that somehow, but at least the end result would be teams playing to WIN at the end of the year as opposed to playing to lose, like 50% of the league is trying to do this year.

    6. d-mar

      tastycakes:
      Watching last night’s game half-heartedly I was SURE the Knicks were trying to give it up down the stretch.Up 19, they knew they had beat the Clips, and it would have been mutually beneficial for both teams IF THE CLIPS HAD WON.They’d run these posessions where JR Smith would initiate the offense 45 feet away with 8 on the shot clock and I thought gleefully “they’re giving it up!”Aaand they didn’t.

      Personally, I can’t stand this macho “we don’t tank, we’ll take whatever matchup comes” bullshit.Chicago — with Derrick Rose in questionable ballin’ health — is CLEARLY a better matchup for the Knicks.We played them close in 4 games this year.Their best player is hurt.Yes, they are both super tough and we are unlikely to win either series but goddamnit…maybe it’s just that I’d rather lose to the Bulls than the Heat but I am not looking forward to that matchup.

      I’ll echo what some others said on another thread about trying to lose, it’s just bad mojo. Say for argument’s sake, Woodson puts a lineup out there of Jorts, Jordan, Bibby, Gadzuric and Fields in the 4th quarter and the Clips win going away. Now we’re a game behind Philly. So the Sixers go out tonight and do everything possible to try to lose to Detroit, and we try as hard as possible to lose to the Bobcats. The whole thing would just smell.

      Let’s just play who we play, we’re huge underdogs either way.

    7. johnlocke

      Hollinger on why Amare should come off the bench. I agree with him , I think we are a better team with Amare off the bench – defensively and offensively. Thoughts?

      “Anthony’s numbers this season as a power forward are amazing: a player efficiency rating of 28.9, according to 82games.com, compared to just 16.5 as a small forward. He’s a matchup nightmare at the 4; as a 3, well, he’s just a 3 who shoots a lot of long jumpers”

      “The Bockers again played their best ball with small lineups, which makes one wonder why they’re so stubbornly insistent on not using them. Nothing screams this more succinctly than “Novak: +14.”

    8. Frank

      johnlocke:
      Hollinger on why Amare should come off the bench. I agree with him , I think we are a better team with Amare off the bench – defensively and offensively. Thoughts?

      “Anthony’s numbers this season as a power forward are amazing: a player efficiency rating of 28.9, according to 82games.com, compared to just 16.5 as a small forward. He’s a matchup nightmare at the 4; as a 3, well, he’s just a 3 who shoots a lot of long jumpers”

      “The Bockers again played their best ball with small lineups, which makes one wonder why they’re so stubbornly insistent on not using them. Nothing screams this more succinctly than “Novak: +14.”

      Is this really true? To my recollection, Melo has basically been guarded by the other team’s 3 regardless of him playing the 4. The mismatch has always been the other team’s 4 guarding Landry, who hasn’t really been able to make them pay. I think it may be that his hot streak coincided with him playing the 4, but I’m not sure that move was the REASON for his hot streak.

      I think he can play the 4 against Miami (ie. he guards Haslem or Joel Anthony while Chandler guards Bosh) but we will get murdered on the boards against Chicago with Melo playing the 4.

    9. johnlocke

      I like the Chicago matchups better (mainly because Amare won’t get as exposed defensively against Boozer as he would against Bosh)..but Clyde’s take is interesting. Miami has three great players and a bunch of role players and a poor bench, they also allow the most threes of any team in the NBA. Chicago meanwhile has a balanced offensive attack, a better bench than ours, and the best defense and rebounding in the league. We also turn the ball over the 2nd most in the league and Miami is great at getting turnovers, but so are we. In either case, looks like a strong case of pick your poison

      d-mar: I’ll echo what some others said on another thread about trying to lose, it’s just bad mojo. Say for argument’s sake, Woodson puts a lineup out there of Jorts, Jordan, Bibby, Gadzuric and Fields in the 4th quarter and the Clips win going away. Now we’re a game behind Philly. So the Sixers go out tonight and do everything possible to try to lose to Detroit, and we try as hard as possible to lose to the Bobcats. The whole thing would just smell.

      Let’s just play who we play, we’re huge underdogs either way.

    10. johnlocke

      Fair point, problem is I don’t think Chandler can guard Bosh either. The key to beating Miami is bottling up Bosh I think. He’s abused both Chandler (too slow) and also draws him out on the perimeter….I’d put Amare on Bosh I guess, so Tyson can contest shots at the rim from Wade and ‘Bron. Wade is the other challenge of course — his averages are much higher than his 22 per game average across the season against us. Shump should help but Wade abuses him of post-ups and cuts to the basket, which is the least effective aspect of Shump’s defensive game.

      Frank: Is this really true? To my recollection, Melo has basically been guarded by the other team’s 3 regardless of him playing the 4.The mismatch has always been the other team’s 4 guarding Landry, who hasn’t really been able to make them pay.I think it may be that his hot streak coincided with him playing the 4, but I’m not sure that move was the REASON for his hot streak.

      I think he can play the 4 against Miami (ie. he guards Haslem or Joel Anthony while Chandler guards Bosh) but we will get murdered on the boards against Chicago with Melo playing the 4.

    11. TelegraphedPass

      Obviously NY will be the clear underdog against either team, but I agree that the difference between playing MIA versus CHI isn’t as great as it’s made out to be for NY.

      I feel more comfortable facing a shallow team with streaky shooters and a starting line-up that doesn’t beat you from the outside. Melo typically plays well against LeBron. As others have said, MIA isn’t great at guarding the perimeter. Our only shot at knocking that Goliath down is through reliable sniping from Novak and Earl. But I see that as more plausible than stopping CHI from offensive rebounding us to death.

      I think Rip Hamilton would feast if we faced Chicago in Round 1. I’m not certain Rose is as hobbled as he’s made out to be. Kyle Korver fits the “Knick-killer” job description perfectly. Melo will need to get to the line a lot to keep NY hanging around, and it’s easier to score on a Bosh-Turiaf-Dexter Pittman frontcourt rotation than a Gibson-Noah-Asik frontcourt rotation.

      I don’t think Chicago is a distinctly superior matchup, and certainly not to the point where I would want to tank to meet them.

    12. danvt

      At least we don’t have guys saying, “This will be a good experience for us to get our feet wet in playoff competition, etc.” We’ve got a very confident group. Carmelo and Amar’e think they are as good as anyone and Tyson actually beat Lebron’s team last year.

      I think the core issue with MIA is whether Amar’e can guard Bosh and whether the Heat will look to exploit it if he can’t.

      I will be so ridiculously happy if the Knicks can win this series.

    13. Kikuchiyo

      I see all the “on paper” arguments about how Chicago is Miami’s peer. But, LeBron’s occasional no-shows notwithstanding, Miami has so much more playoff and big game experience. Boozer shrinks. Deng won’t necessarily rise to the occasion. The Bulls will, after all, do what they do: watch D-Rose make (and miss) spectacular shots through crunch time. The Heat simply cannot go out in the first round without major grief. The Bulls can use the excuse of Rose’s injuries and all that.

      In other words, I’m not feeling good about the 7th seed.

    14. Ben R

      We are a good team defensively and neither Miami or Chicago is great offensively so I think on the defensive end we will be fine vs either team. The problem is Miami will dominate us on the defensive end. Their defense when everything is clicking and they are flying everywhere at once is so of the best defenses I’ve ever seen. It will be a quick ugly four game series that will look like the first quarter of the Lin game over and over. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hold us to less then 35 points in the first half in at least 3 of the first 4 games.

      I just don’t know how we score consistantly vs Miami. I think Miami will play us with a chip on their shoulder, like in the Lin game, because our series will be the most hyped 1st round matchup.

    15. TelegraphedPass

      Kikuchiyo: I see all the “on paper” arguments about how Chicago is Miami’s peer. But, LeBron’s occasional no-shows notwithstanding, Miami has so much more playoff and big game experience. Boozer shrinks. Deng won’t necessarily rise to the occasion. P>

      This is more narrative than fact. Go back and look at what Boozer and Deng did in the ECF last year. Peep Booz’s 26 and 17 in game 3, or Deng’s 20 and 8 in game 4. They both had some off games, but they weren’t bad enough to warrant any sort of shrinking rep.

    16. TelegraphedPass

      Ben R: We are a good team defensively and neither Miami or Chicago is great offensively so I think on the defensive end we will be fine vs either team. The problem is Miami will dominate us on the defensive end. Their defense when everything is clicking and they are flying everywhere at once is so of the best defenses I’ve ever seen. It will be a quick ugly four game series that will look like the first quarter of the Lin game over and over. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hold us to less then 35 points in the first half in at least 3 of the first 4 games. I just don’t know how we score consistantly vs Miami. I think Miami will play us with a chip on their shoulder, like in the Lin game, because our series will be the most hyped 1st round matchup.

      You’re aware that Chicago is the best defensive team in the NBA, yes?

      Miami guards the pick and roll about as well as any team in the league. That’s what they did to Lin. They hedged hard and trapped him, and forced NY to create shots with 13 seconds on the shot clock. Fortunately, the pick and roll is less ingrained in our offense now.

    17. massive

      I’d agree with Clyde; Miami is absolutely atrocious outside of their Big 3, and their best two players do the same thing on offense. Every time I watch the Miami Heat play, I see terrible offensive sets, but great defense that creates a lot of transition baskets. Miami struggled immensely against Boston, which tells me two things:
      1) Miami’s offense is entirely too predictable to work against the league’s best defenses. Luckily for us, our defense is stifling.
      2) Boston knows Miami entirely too well (which is probably why Miami didn’t want the 1st seed).

      I think we have a good shot against Miami.

    18. massive

      Kikuchiyo:
      I see all the “on paper” arguments about how Chicago is Miami’s peer. But, LeBron’s occasional no-shows notwithstanding, Miami has so much more playoff and big game experience. Boozer shrinks. Deng won’t necessarily rise to the occasion. The Bulls will, after all, do what they do: watch D-Rose make (and miss) spectacular shots through crunch time. The Heat simply cannot go out in the first round without major grief. The Bulls can use the excuse of Rose’s injuries and all that.

      In other words, I’m not feeling good about the 7th seed.

      The Bulls only beat last year’s Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs. They haven’t proven themselves to be postseason warriors in my eyes.

    19. Frank

      I’d rather face the Bulls also, but I think we have a pretty reasonable (~30%) chance of upsetting Miami. I think we can completely ignore the first two games this year because our current team doesn’t even resemble those two at all. The game 2 weekends ago — we were up by 4 with 8 minutes to play in the game. The game turned on Wade and Lebron hitting contested mid-long range jumpers in isolation – in fact, they hit 5 of those from the 6 min to the 2 min mark. Those are the shots you WANT them to take. They basically hit every one. But they won’t do that all the time, like we saw in last year’s finals.

      We also settled for jumpers – presumably that was good defense against us, but we also had 4 turnovers (1 3-sec, 2 Baron TOs, one horrible offensive foul called on Melo). They turned up the intensity on us on their defensive end, and we did not adjust. But I think we can.

    20. tastycakes

      [q]I’ll echo what some others said on another thread about trying to lose, it’s just bad mojo. [/q]

      Nonsense. It’s just smart — if you are in position to choose your opponent, THEN CHOOSE YOUR OPPONENT.

      I don’t honestly believe we’ll win more than 2 games against either of the two… but I just like our chances better against CHI. Too bad that’s not happening. Obviously a series win would make the year, never mind whatever happens after.

    21. johnlocke

      Well what I still haven’t heard real facts around is whether we’ll be able to keep Novak next year. Is the only way we keep him is if Lin takes less than the full MLE? The MLE is $5M/yr correct? How much do we think Novak will field on the open market? Kyle Kover does more, but he got a 3 year $15M contract when he left Utah. If we lose Novak, who else can we get that will be a free agent?

      JC Knickfan:
      http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/

      Novak had always been known around the league as one of the best shooters — in fact, during his pre-draft workout in 2006 with the Spurs, he made 96 out of 100 threes

      Not sure everyone know this, but wow. Sure open jumpers, but 96/100

    22. TelegraphedPass

      johnlocke: Well what I still haven’t heard real facts around is whether we’ll be able to keep Novak next year. Is the only way we keep him is if Lin takes less than the full MLE? The MLE is $5M/yr correct? How much do we think Novak will field on the open market? Kyle Kover does more, but he got a 3 year $15M contract when he left Utah. If we lose Novak, who else can we get that will be a free agent?

      Jeremy will absolutely command the full MLE. That is beyond a shadow of a doubt. I believe we can offer Novak either the $2M Bi-Annual Exception or a 120% raise on his current salary. Neither is likely to cut it. I’m pretty certain Novak is gone after this season.

    23. TelegraphedPass

      jon abbey: can we stop talking about next season now until this season is over? playoff time, baby!

      Can’t help it. We’re already exhausting the Chicago versus Miami debate. Wanna talk about the incredibly irrational things we will do as Knick fans if NY topples the Heat?

    24. TheRant

      I don’t know how anyone can call the final NBA games meaningless.

      I’ve waited all season to hear Clyde say “Bismack Biyombo

    25. david

      I’m rooting for us to play Chicago too. A number of reasons:

      1. Deep teams over performed during this insane season and Chicago seems like a perfect example;

      2. we’ve played them well over the past two seasons, no matter who we had out there;

      3. Fields v. Lebron, or worse Melo using all of his energy on defense guarding Lebron.

      4. Rose is likely to play hurt, which is good, I think, and Shump is the perfect matchup for him, as he excels at defending Isos

      5. Bosh is a matchup problem for us, too quick and with too much range for Chandler, and actually plays offense, making him a matchup problem for Amare

      6. I hate hate hate the Bulls.

      7. Although I want to see more small lineups, we are going to play a lot of the big lineup for political/coaching weirdness reasons. The big lineup matches up against Chicago much better than it does against Miami — it will mitigate their rebounding advantage, at least and no nightmare defensive match ups. Against Miami it translates into Melo getting into foul trouble, no speed to chase down all the three point shooters.

      8. If we’re the 8th seed and pull off the upset, we get to play the Celtics (which I think is marginally better than getting to play Indiana, although I think Indiana is a better matchup this year).

      There are other reasons too, but #3, #4 and #7 work for my head, and #6 and #8 for my heart. We should not send Melo, Chandler or Shump to Charlotte.

    26. Frank

      TelegraphedPass: Jeremy will absolutely command the full MLE. That is beyond a shadow of a doubt. I believe we can offer Novak either the $2M Bi-Annual Exception or a 120% raise on his current salary. Neither is likely to cut it. I’m pretty certain Novak is gone after this season.

      He’ll command the full MLE if he wants it- question is whether the FO can convince him to take less for the good of the team. For a guy like him, his BRAND is more important (money-wise) than his NBA contract. If he takes less money (with player options, insurance, etc. to protect himself) so that we can keep the team together, then he will be even MORE admired than he already is.

      Slim chance but I think that idea will come up in the negotiations. Would be very interesting to see how much he already commands in endorsement contracts.

      jon abbey:
      can we stop talking about next season now until this season is over? playoff time, baby!

      I’m done. =)

    27. TheRant

      Frank: For a guy like him, his BRAND is more important (money-wise) than his NBA contract. If he takes less money (with player options, insurance, etc. to protect himself) so that we can keep the team together, then he will be even MORE admired than he already is.

      Interesting question. We’ve all heard for decades the branding argument that “you’ll make so much more money playing in NYC, due to the spotlight and the opportunity for endorsements.” It’s often been questionable.

      With Lin, I think it is 100% true. Linsanity, the prevalence of Asian media, the prevalence of Asians themselves — none of this would have happened anywhere else to the degree it did in NYC. And it wont continue at this level if he leaves.

      The big question is whether Lin himself likes the heat of this spotlight. It’s been amazing how focused he’s seemed despite the five-deep camera crews following his choice of kitchen tiles for his new apartment.

    28. TelegraphedPass

      @27

      1. No. Deep teams are better. I’m not sure there is any evidence that shallow, talent-laden teams are actually superior to deep teams.

      2. Played well over 2 seasons? How does that affect us next week?

      3. This is probably valid.

      4. This is conjecture and not particularly relevant anyways. Only 13.6% of Rose’s possessions have come in isolation this season. 42.8% have come as the pick and roll ball handler, Shump’s biggest weakness on D.

      5. Boozer isn’t a cakewalk. He’s shot better than Bosh spotting up and in the post this year. I’m not sure Bosh is that much more dangerous, especially considering his mysterious injury concerns of late.

      7. How do you know we’re going to play big? NY’s best line-ups have been their small ones.

      8. There is absolutely no way I’d rather face the Celtics than the Pacers. The Celtics are beastly. Pierce is a Knick-killer supreme. We sabused the Pacers this year. Why in God’s name would you want to face one of the best defenses in the league with our oft-stagnant offense?

    29. thenamestsam

      Schedule is out. Knicks will play Saturday afternoon either way. Most likely @ Chicago will be the first Saturday afternoon game and @Miami the 2nd most likely. I’d say that knowing we have to play saturday afternoon it becomes even more imperative to have the big guns sit tonight’s game. That’s a very quick turnaround.

    30. ephus

      david: 8. If we’re the 8th seed and pull off the upset, we get to play the Celtics (which I think is marginally better than getting to play Indiana, although I think Indiana is a better matchup this year).

      Although the question of whom the Knicks would play in the second round is a relatively minor point (we should be so lucky as to have this problem), the Knicks match up much better with Indiana than Boston. Chandler dominates Hibbert and Amar’e can handle David West. Pierce and Garnett have been true Knick killers over the last five years.

    31. johnlocke

      Yeh, his market value to NBA teams will be through the roof….he played 30 games and finished #2 in Jersey sales…so you can look at that two ways. Jeremy Lin has all the negotiating leverage and will command the maximum and it will make sense to pay him the maximum even if he is only ends up being mediocre b/c MSG is a for-profit business. The other way to look at it is, everyone in the world will want to sponsor him, so he could theoretically take a bit less…max of $1M less I would think — what’s the normal range for a sponsorship $2M a year?

      Frank: He’ll command the full MLE if he wants it- question is whether the FO can convince him to take less for the good of the team.For a guy like him, his BRAND is more important (money-wise) than his NBA contract.If he takes less money (with player options, insurance, etc. to protect himself)so that we can keep the team together, then he will be even MORE admired than he already is.

    32. johnlocke

      We’re playing the Bobcats tonight…not sure what else there is to talk about given we don’t even know who we’re playing yet..besides Miami vs Chicago debates

      jon abbey:
      can we stop talking about next season now until this season is over? playoff time, baby!

    33. TelegraphedPass

      I don’t think it matters if Lin takes less of the MLE.

      Let’s say for some reason Lin is ok with only making $3M a year. That leaves $2M of the MLE left to offer to other people. Or, the same as we could offer Novak with the BAE.

      I’m not sure why Lin would take less money anyways. There isn’t a resounding history of players taking millions of dollars less to make possible room to sign a role-player (regardless of how good that player is at his role).

    34. Frank

      TelegraphedPass:
      I don’t think it matters if Lin takes less of the MLE.

      Let’s say for some reason Lin is ok with only making $3M a year. That leaves $2M of the MLE left to offer to other people. Or, the same as we could offer Novak with the BAE.

      I’m not sure why Lin would take less money anyways. There isn’t a resounding history of players taking millions of dollars less to make possible room to sign a role-player (regardless of how good that player is at his role).

      Yeah, he probably won’t. can’t help hoping though.

      If they could somehow convince him to take $2M per, give JR the $3M left over, Novak the biannual, then we would be all set. Pipe dreams though. I think it’s very likely JR is gone. Novak might stay. I think Jeffries stays regardless – his vet’s min is still 1.5M per year, not sure anyone gives him much more than the biannual so it might not be worth the life upheaval for him to leave.

    35. TelegraphedPass

      Frank: Yeah, he probably won’t. can’t help hoping though.If they could somehow convince him to take $2M per, give JR the $3M left over, Novak the biannual, then we would be all set. Pipe dreams though. I think it’s very likely JR is gone. Novak might stay. I think Jeffries stays regardless – his vet’s min is still 1.5M per year, not sure anyone gives him much more than the biannual so it might not be worth the life upheaval for him to leave.

      I think it’s far more likely that JR stays than Novak. JR is coming off of his worst shooting year in recent years. He’s already said that he likes being a Knick, he clearly likes coach Woody, he has a clearly defined role and is given the opportunity to play through his bone-headed errors, he chose to play here above other locations, he’s playing near his hometown, he gets to team up with his longtime comrade Melo (and they share the same agent), he’s already said he would be interested in excercising his option, and he hasn’t cared a whole lot about money for his entire career.

      Novak, by comparison, was claimed off waivers and has no real ties to NY. He is knocking down his threes at a record pace. There is no way he doesn’t get a lucrative offer from another team. Unlike Smith, he has no real reason to stay here.

    36. JC Knickfan

      Look like Knicks will play Saturday as Chicago, Miami and Oklahoma City will open the NBA playoffs Saturday, though their opponents are still to be determined.

    37. johnlocke

      Novak is a limited role player, JR is a legitimate third scoring threat on a winning team and has shown he can play defense and pass better than expected. I’d say it’s a very very small % chance he comes back. At this point in his career – JR wants to get paid…sad to see him go, but I don’t blame him. Wasn’t he having money troubles?

      TelegraphedPass: I think it’s far more likely that JR stays than Novak. JR is coming off of his worst shooting year in recent years.

    38. JC Knickfan

      Being realistic both JR & Novak will be gone. Korvar is better then Novak , but Novak easily should at least get a 3 year deal for 9 million.

    39. TelegraphedPass

      @39 But both are going to be underpaid if they stay here. At least Earl has a reason to stay. There is literally no reason for Novak to re-sign.

    40. taggart4800

      This is the complete antithesis of the MO of this blog, but I just have a ‘feeling’ that we are going to beat the Heat. Following that we will put in a windless performance and lose in the 2nd round.

      It is a semi-philosophical reason I hold this belief. The way the Heat were put together and acted after their assembly was more than a little crass and I believe in karma just wee little bit. In the same way Tiger Woods buried, as best he could, the furor surrounding his private life, he is now suffering the humiliation on the course. Similarly the Heat are going to be put through their own dark days before they deserve to win their championship.

      Horrendously subjective, but I think we are looking at it entirely the wrong way round. The Heat will not be excited about facing the Knicks in the 1st round. Just a thought. I can just see the ESPN coverage of a Heat loss but I just cannot picture the coverage the other way. Call it a premonition (acid trip is perhaps more appropriate).

      Knicks in 6 and if anyone wants what I am smoking then I suggest a flight to Amsterdam!

    41. danvt

      TelegraphedPass: @39 But both are going to be underpaid if they stay here. At least Earl has a reason to stay. There is literally no reason for Novak to re-sign.

      Only reasons for either of them to stay would be having a big role on a promising team. Novak might be interested in staying with the team that made his career. JR might flounder on an underachieving team that happened to have the $ to give him. Jeffries could have gotten more but chose to stay rather than ride the pine somewhere else. So, maybe, with an electric playoff run that features each of them playing a starring role in defeating LBJ and company, there may be a chance to lure them back for less. Probably not but maybe.

      If they don’t, I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to find guys to give us some production at those spots. Maybe extra E comes back. When we made the Melo trade we took the calculated gamble that role players could be found and that the key to life in the NBA is star power. Watching Melo will us into the playoffs has made me a believer. The key to the future is the big 3 + Lin.

      Unless you’d rather let go of Lin? Would you rather have one or two of JR and Novak?

    42. TelegraphedPass

      danvt: Only reasons for either of them to stay would be having a big role on a promising team. Novak might be interested in staying with the team that made his career. JR might flounder on an underachieving team that happened to have the $ to give him. Jeffries could have gotten more but chose to stay rather than ride the pine somewhere else. So, maybe, with an electric playoff run that features each of them playing a starring role in defeating LBJ and company, there may be a chance to lure them back for less. Probably not but maybe. If they don’t, I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to find guys to give us some production at those spots. Maybe extra E comes back. When we made the Melo trade we took the calculated gamble that role players could be found and that the key to life in the NBA is star power. Watching Melo will us into the playoffs has made me a believer. The key to the future is the big 3 + Lin. Unless you’d rather let go of Lin? Would you rather have one or two of JR and Novak?

      Extra E will not be free agent, and I’m assuming you haven’t seen how poo poo garbage he has been this season anyways. I don’t particularly want him back.

      I’m of the belief that we should absolutely retain Lin. I think his skillset, provided he’s developed properly, fits this team very well. We know he can score. We know he can create for his teammates. Can he limit those turnovers? Can he vary his offense enough to prevent guys like LeBron James from rendering him a complete net negative? I certainly hope so, and I think it’s worth the MLE. Especially considering other PGs on the market this summer.

    43. Owen

      Just to poke a stick in the embers of our ongoing debate, by beating OKC without Harden last night, the Nuggets assured themselves a better record than the Knicks this year, despite a far more difficult schedule. (27th vs. 10th)

      They have also moved up to the 6th best SRS in the league, while the Knicks are now at 11th, And that’s a Nuggets team that got less than 2200 minutes combined from Gallo and Nene.

      I wonder how many Denver -> Knicks converts imagined that the 2012 Denver Nuggets team would be better than the 2012 Carmelo Anthony led Knicks…..

      Or that their offense, currently third in the NBA, would be with one game to play exactly as good as the best offense Carmelo played a full season on relative to league average.

    44. Frank O.

      Owen:
      Just to poke a stick in the embers of our ongoing debate, by beating OKC without Harden last night, the Nuggets assured themselves a better record than the Knicks this year, despite a far more difficult schedule. (27th vs. 10th)

      They have also moved up to the 6th best SRS in the league, while the Knicks are now at 11th, And that’s a Nuggets team that got less than 2200 minutes combined from Gallo and Nene.

      I wonder how many Denver -> Knicks converts imagined that the 2012 Denver Nuggets team would be better than the 2012 Carmelo Anthony led Knicks…..

      Or that their offense, currently third in the NBA, would be with one game to play exactly as good as the best offense Carmelo played a full season on.

      With all due respect, there are so many factors that play into this comparison that it seems unfair to attribute to any one player.

    45. Frank O.

      I think the biggest challenge facing the Knicks is this point guard by committee issue.
      Baron needs to show up, he needs to play well and he needs to be able to play more than 30 per game.
      If we have to rely on Bibby, or Shump at the point, we’re in trouble.

      I also think the series comes down to whether the Knicks contain Wade.
      Bosh doesn’t scare me and Lebron will do what he do.
      It’s Wade that can kill you. If the Knicks can keep him under some control, they have a chance to win.

    46. johnlocke

      Seriously total apples and oranges.

      So we lost Raymond Felton (bum this season)
      We lost Wilson Chandler (injured)
      We lost Mosgov (easily replaceable)
      We lost Danilo Galinari (doesn’t look like he’s on the verge of superstardom)
      Am I missing someone else?

      Who cares about what Denver’s record is…..so knowing what you know now, you think Chandler and Galinari (effectively what we traded for Melo) wasn’t worth it? Ay-ya-yi

      Frank O.: With all due respect, there are so many factors that play into this comparison that it seems unfair to attribute to any one player.

    47. ephus

      On the Jeremy Lin situation, the Knicks need to resign him to a multi-year contract, or else they will certainly lose him after next season. Currently, the Gilbert Arenas exception allows the Knicks to resign Lin for up to the MLE and, equally important, prevents any team from bidding more than the MLE for the next two years. If Lin were resigned to a one year deal (such as a Qualifying Offer), he would become a free agent after next season and the Gilbert Arenas exception would not longer apply. The Knicks would only have Early Bird rights to Lin, so they would only be able to bid up to the MLE. Other teams would be unrestricted in the amount they could bid for Lin.

      So, basically, the Knicks would want to sign Lin for at least two years. My guess is that he will be resigned for two years at the MLE. It would make no sense to nickle & dime Lin for less than the full MLE, since they will not be able to carve out enough to exceed the Bi-annual Exception ($2 million).

    48. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Frank O.: With all due respect, there are so many factors that play into this comparison that it seems unfair to attribute to any one player.

      Seriously?

    49. johnlocke

      Not turning the ball over is also big. As old as Bibby is, he doesn’t turn the ball over at a frightening rate. Baron, however, does. That leads to transition LEbron dunks all day long.

      Frank O.:
      I think the biggest challenge facing the Knicks is this point guard by committee issue.
      Baron needs to show up, he needs to play well and he needs to be able to play more than 30 per game.
      If we have to rely on Bibby, or Shump at the point, we’re in trouble.

      I also think the series comes down to whether the Knicks contain Wade.
      Bosh doesn’t scare me and Lebron will do what he do.
      It’s Wade that can kill you. If the Knicks can keep him under some control, they have a chance to win.

    50. TelegraphedPass

      johnlocke: Not turning the ball over is also big. As old as Bibby is, he doesn’t turn the ball over at a frightening rate. Baron, however, does. That leads to transition LEbron dunks all day long.

      Yeah, I think Bibby may be a better option for heavy minutes at the point than Baron. Diz needs his minutes, especially considering how good he is at running the PnR, but turnovers will kill the team.

    51. Owen

      I’m not really attributing it to Carmelo, per se. But for the skeptics who argued we would be better off punting this year and waiting for Paul or Howard, it’s some grist for the mill….

      Obviously, if we don’t add Carmelo we may not get Chandler, etc etc….

      But this team added Chandler (who I think is deserving of a top 10 mvp finish), Melo, Smith, Shumpert, Davis, Lin, and Novak, and isn’t all that much better than the Knicks pre trade last year.

      We were a 500% team last year before Carmelo arrived. We are a 28-26 with him in the lineup this year.

      Anyway you cut it, a year’s worth of returns on the Melo trade have to be pretty disappointing for anyone who was expecting big improvement.

      Let’s hope he goes off in the first round and leads us to a glorious victory that makes the negative nellies look like idiots and killjoys….

    52. thenamestsam

      taggart4800:

      Knicks in 6 and if anyone wants what I am smoking then I suggest a flight to Amsterdam!

      This is exactly 100% how I feel except I’m going Knicks in 6 or 7. I’m usually as pessimistic as it gets, but I really think this is our time. I think we swipe 1 of the first 2 in Miami in a game where Novak+JR do big things and the Heat have one of those 65 points for Lebron+Wade and 15 points for everyone else combined types of games. We win game 3 at home and (bad pun alert) the heat really starts to turn up on them. Twitter, ESPN, etc. are all 100% “What’s wrong with the Heat?” coverage as Woody and Tyson continue to play the “Noone believes in us” and “We get no credit” cards in the locker room. I think Game 4 will be a nailbiter. If we pull it out we win in a Game 6 blowout. If we lose it, we’ll be fighting for our lives in game 7.

      Either way I think in the end we’re going to want it a bit more and fight for it a bit harder. Plus our vastly superior 3 point shooting is really going to tell in 1 or 2 these games. If Miller or Jones is hot then throw out everything I wrote above (obviously you should probably throw it out either way, but bear with me), but I feel like it’s going to be a pretty tight defensive series, and in those types of games each 3 can feel like a backbreaker. Against their over-helping, over-rotating D our guys will have good looks, and on that + Carmelo’s dominance we’re going to take the series.

      And yes I will almost certainly be incorrect.

    53. ruruland

      Owen:
      I’m not really attributing it to Carmelo, per se. But for the skeptics who argued we would be better off punting this year and waiting for Paul or Howard, it’s some grist for the mill….

      Obviously, if we don’t add Carmelo we may not get Chandler, etc etc….

      But this team added Chandler (who I think is deserving of a top 10 mvp finish), Melo, Smith, Shumpert, Davis, Lin, and Novak, and isn’t all that much better than the Knicks pre trade last year.

      We were a 500% team last year before Carmelo arrived. We are a 28-26 with him in the lineup this year.

      Anyway you cut it, a year’s worth of returns on the Melo trade have to be pretty disappointing for anyone who was expecting big improvement.

      Let’s hope he goes off in the first round and leads us to a glorious victory that makes the negative nellies look like idiots and killjoys….

      Is Owen trolling all of us right now or what?

    54. Owen

      JohnLocke=

      Yeah, I’d much much rather have Danilo and Wilson Chandler than Melo.

      Any advanced metric, (adjusted +/- or stat based) show Gallo and Melo to be equivalent talents at the time of the trade.

      Gallo though was a lot younger and cheaper. We also drafted him, which is a nice perk as a fan.

      Plus, all the picks….

      Chandler is probably a league average player also, which has some value.

      It will be interesting to see how many times the Knicks outperform the Nuggets while Carmelo is on the team. I will set the line at 1 and take the under.

    55. johnlocke

      I guess…but if you look at our record since Woodson took over we are a very good / close to elite team. As many have said, this team has had at least 4 iterations …. and we have had significant injuries as well all season to three of our top offensive players (Melo, Amare, Lin). We were starting Toney Douglas at shooting guard, we weren’t playing Novak any minutes and we didn’t have JR Smith. I’d like to think that the Knicks are more of a reflection of the games we have played with Woodson (now a large enough sample size to be meaningful) than the D’Antoni Knicks. Next year, is a different story, we’ll have to see how Grunwald replaces JR Smith and/or Novak…

      Owen:
      Anyway you cut it, a year’s worth of returns on the Melo trade have to be pretty disappointing for anyone who was expecting big improvement.

      Let’s hope he goes off in the first round and leads us to a glorious victory that makes the negative nellies look like idiots and killjoys….

    56. Frank

      Owen:
      I’m not really attributing it to Carmelo, per se. But for the skeptics who argued we would be better off punting this year and waiting for Paul or Howard, it’s some grist for the mill….

      I know we’re all bored and that you’re semi-trolling just to keep the interest level up, but to quote the ever-eloquent THCJ:

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Seriously?

      Think of the position we would be left in right now. We would have basically punted the 11-12 season, since no matter how much you loved the pre-Melo-trade NYK there was no way that was a championship level team. Felton has shown his true colors, Wilson Chandler would still have come back in March from China etc. And we would be left pining for Chris Paul (who would probably still have gotten traded to the Clips, taking him off the market for this summer) and a post-herniated disc surgery Dwight Howard (who also isn’t available this summer). If the Lebron debacle (LeBacle) showed us anything, it’s that assuming players will come to NYC as FAs 2 years in the future is not a good plan.

      Owen:
      But this team added Chandler (who I think is deserving of a top 10 mvp finish), Melo, Smith, Shumpert, Davis, Lin, and Novak, and isn’t all that much better than the Knicks pre trade last year.
      We were a 500% team last year before Carmelo arrived. We are a 28-26 with him in the lineup this year.

      I’m sorry, I think you have this current team confused with a team that hasn’t gone 17-6 against a very difficult stretch. It’s a lazy and disingenuous argument to lump this team with the one pre-Woodson (and you know it). Good raw meat for flame wars, but lazy.

    57. ruruland

      Owen:
      Just to poke a stick in the embers of our ongoing debate, by beating OKC without Harden last night, the Nuggets assured themselves a better record than the Knicks this year, despite a far more difficult schedule. (27th vs. 10th)

      They have also moved up to the 6th best SRS in the league, while the Knicks are now at 11th, And that’s a Nuggets team that got less than 2200 minutes combined from Gallo and Nene.

      I wonder how many Denver -> Knicks converts imagined that the 2012 Denver Nuggets team would be better than the 2012 Carmelo Anthony led Knicks…..

      Or that their offense, currently third in the NBA, would be with one game to play exactly as good as the best offense Carmelo played a full season on relative to league average.

      Why do you keep talking about Nene? You understand Denver was better with him off the floor, correct? Koufous(huge coup) has been a lot better.

      The Nuggets took a 53-54 win team, made a great trade and changed out a lot of the pieces, and now have a worse win percentage than when they did with the Billups/Melo team (they had much less depth and more injuries).

      The starting points aren’t the same at all. Moreover, the trend line is moving in an obviously positive direction for the Knicks. It appears as though the Nuggets have basically stayed course.

    58. Owen

      “Is Owen trolling all of us right now or what?”

      I am going to go with “or what.”

      I am honestly curious. How surprised are you that the Nuggets have been significantly better than the Knicks since Carmelo left? And significantly better than they were with him? No Carmelo team ever finish as high as 6th in SRS. How do you explain that?

      I can tell you that before that trade was made there were plenty of people who predicted, based on statistical evidence, that the Knicks wouldn’t improve very much.

    59. ruruland

      Owen:
      JohnLocke=

      Yeah, I’d much much rather have Danilo and Wilson Chandler than Melo.

      He finally said it.

    60. johnlocke

      Whether the Nuggets outperform the Knicks is totally irrelevant. It was not a 1 or 1 trade where neither the Knicks or Nuggets made subsequent moves.
      If you think Gallo and Melo are equivalent talents, I have a bridge to sell you. Advanced stats said Fields was the best player on the Knicks last year.

      Gallo was younger and cheaper …so is Fields.

      Owen:
      JohnLocke=

      Yeah, I’d much much rather have Danilo and Wilson Chandler than Melo.

      Any advanced metric, (adjusted +/- or stat based) show Gallo and Melo to be equivalent talents at the time of the trade.

      Gallo though was a lot younger and cheaper. We also drafted him, which is a nice perk as a fan.

      Plus, all the picks….

      Chandler is probably a league average player also, which has some value.

      It will be interesting to see how many times the Knicks outperform the Nuggets while Carmelo is on the team. I will set the line at 1 and take the under.

    61. ruruland

      Owen:
      “Is Owen trolling all of us right now or what?”

      I am going to go with “or what.”

      I am honestly curious. How surprised are you that the Nuggets have been significantly better than the Knicks since Carmelo left? How do you explain that.

      I can tell you that before that trade was made there were plenty of people who predicted, based on statistical evidence, that the Knicks wouldn’t improve very much.

      This is a really stupid time to make this argument. I know your die-hard Knicks passion is shining through here, but maybe we should wait until after the playoffs.

    62. Owen

      “Owen:
      JohnLocke=

      Yeah, I’d much much rather have Danilo and Wilson Chandler than Melo.”

      Finally?

      I think I have been pretty consistent all year about preferring Gallo to Melo. Of course I would rather have Gallo back.

    63. ruruland

      Owen:
      “Is Owen trolling all of us right now or what?”

      I am going to go with “or what.”

      I am honestly curious. How surprised are you that the Nuggets have been significantly better than the Knicks since Carmelo left? And significantly better than they were with him? No Carmelo team ever finish as high as 6th in SRS. How do you explain that?

      I can tell you that before that trade was made there were plenty of people who predicted, based on statistical evidence, that the Knicks wouldn’t improve very much.

      I have a long list of arguments to make, btw. But for now I’d rather talk about the playoffs.

    64. ruruland

      Owen:
      “Owen:
      JohnLocke=

      Yeah, I’d much much rather have Danilo and Wilson Chandler than Melo.”

      Finally?

      I think I have been pretty consistent all year about preferring Gallo to Melo. Of course I would rather have Gallo back.

      Haha. Ok. got it.

    65. Owen

      “The Nuggets took a 53-54 win team, made a great trade and changed out a lot of the pieces, and now have a worse win percentage than when they did with the Billups/Melo team (they had much less depth and more injuries).”

      That’s not true. The Nuggets have had a better record without Melo than they had with him last year.

      And they never had as good a team with Melo as they have been this year, with one game remaining.

    66. Frank

      Owen:

      I am honestly curious. How surprised are you that the Nuggets have been significantly better than the Knicks since Carmelo left? How do you explain that.

      I have to be honest – it’s not surprising at all to me that the Nuggets are good this year. They were great after the trade last year. If anything, I’d say they are either on par with expectations or a disappointment as a 6 seed in the west. I thought they would start out fast because they essentially had all their starters back – Lawson, Afflalo, Gallo, Nene, plus they upgraded Felton to Andre Miller and got a bunch of other serviceable players for free, like Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer. We all liked Faried as a draft pick. So they SHOULD have been good. They didn’t have to change their system.

      The only thing surprising to me as a Knick fan was how god-awful Toney Douglas was as a PG. If we even had top 25 PG play out of him earlier in the year our record would be significantly better than Denver’s by now. Instead we got maybe the worst guard play in the last 10 years of the NBA. Seriously, has anyone who played that many minutes and took that many shots ever been worse than TD was?

      It’s sort of trite to say this, but what really matters going into the playoffs is how well you are playing going into the playoffs. It’d be nice to have home court obviously, but we are playing as well as anyone in the league right now. In a 7 game series on a neutral court, would anyone here actually pick Denver to beat us? I wouldn’t.

    67. Owen

      Seriously, Gallinari, when healthy, is at least as good as Melo. And he is much younger and cheaper.

      I know that’s a major blow to your weltanschauung, but when healthy, Gallo has been at least as good as Melo over the last two years.

      Just a note on Carmelo’s ts%. With his lackluster performances in the last two games he is going to need this Charlotte game to finish above average for the year. I hope he gets there….

    68. johnlocke

      The Nuggets have been significantly better? Do you think the Nuggets have a prayer of reaching the conference finals anytime soon with their current roster? The Nuggets have been consistently mediocre throughout the season….we were really atrocious and then with some player and coach personnel changes very very good. Which would you rather have?

      Owen:
      “Is Owen trolling all of us right now or what?”

      I am going to go with “or what.”

      I am honestly curious. How surprised are you that the Nuggets have been significantly better than the Knicks since Carmelo left? And significantly better than they were with him? No Carmelo team ever finish as high as 6th in SRS. How do you explain that?

      I can tell you that before that trade was made there were plenty of people who predicted, based on statistical evidence, that the Knicks wouldn’t improve very much.

    69. ruruland

      Owen:
      “The Nuggets took a 53-54 win team, made a great trade and changed out a lot of the pieces, and now have a worse win percentage than when they did with the Billups/Melo team (they had much less depth and more injuries).”

      That’s not true. The Nuggets have had a better record without Melo than they had with him last year.

      And they never had as good a team with Melo as they have been this year, with one game remaining.

      I’m losing more respect for you.
      You’re making stuff up.
      The last 4 Nuggets teams had much higher SRS.

      Of course Denver played better without the distractions of the trade last year. You understand that Denver had a win pct of 75% with both Melo and Chauncey in the lineup previous to last season?

    70. ruruland

      “And they never had as good a team with Melo as they have been this year, with one game remaining.”

      That has to be the most ignorant comment ever made on this board.

    71. johnlocke

      Stats guy….any stats to prove your point?

      Owen:
      Seriously, Gallinari, when healthy, is at least as good as Melo. And he is much younger and cheaper.

      I know that’s a major blow to your weltanschauung, but when healthy, Gallo has been at least as good as Melo over the last two years.

      Just a note on Carmelo’s ts%. With his lackluster performances in the last two games he is going to need this Charlotte game to finish above average for the year. I hope he gets there….

    72. ruruland

      Owen:
      Seriously, Gallinari, when healthy, is at least as good as Melo. And he is much younger and cheaper.

      I know that’s a major blow to your weltanschauung, but when healthy, Gallo has been at least as good as Melo over the last two years.

      Just a note on Carmelo’s ts%. With his lackluster performances in the last two games he is going to need this Charlotte game to finish above average for the year. I hope he gets there….

      “When healthy…”

      You can’t be taken seriously anymore.

    73. Owen

      “So they SHOULD have been good. They didn’t have to change their system.”

      I mean, if you start the analysis after the point where the Nuggets prove they are a better team without Melo than they have ever been with him, than yeah, it’s not surprising.

      And, if you accept that Melo is a moderately above average high volume scorer type who isn’t all that much better than an Afflalo or Gallinari, than sure, it’s again not all that surprising.

      But when you take as the starting assumption that the Nuggets were going to be destroyed by losing an elite, top 10 NBA player, in his absolute prime, the guy whose usage allowed everyone else on his team to survive in the NBA, well, it looks a little different.

      Owen:

      And significantly better than they were with him?

      this is ESPN board kind of stuff here.

      I have never been on an ESPN fan board. I can’t imagine anyone has ever floated the idea that Gallinari is a better asset than Carmelo there.

    74. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      Stats guy….any stats to prove your point?

      2011-2012 win percentage: 569
      2009-2010 win percentage:646
      2008-2009 win percentage: 659
      2007-2008 win percentage:610

      2011-2012 SRS: 2.82
      2009-2010 SRS: 4.15
      2008-2009 SRS: 3.13
      2007-2008 SRS: 3.74

    75. ruruland

      Who here thought Owen would start flaming a pre-playoff thread with baseless assertions about the Nuggets having the best team in franchise history and Danilo Gallinari proving how much better he is than Melo this year?

      Sometimes I wonder why I keep showing up here.

    76. Owen

      The best team by SRS league rank. Its true.

      I don’t really hear an explanation from you about how all this has happened.

    77. Brian Cronin

      So, basically, the Knicks would want to sign Lin for at least two years. My guess is that he will be resigned for two years at the MLE. It would make no sense to nickle & dime Lin for less than the full MLE, since they will not be able to carve out enough to exceed the Bi-annual Exception ($2 million).

      Yep, exactly. I wonder what Lin’s thoughts are vis a vis the length of his contract, though. He might be concerned that his value will drop if the Knicks hire Phil Jackson (Lin in the Triangle? Not a great idea). If he is, then he might want a longer deal at the MLE. But nah, he’s got to know that other teams will be willing to sign him even if his numbers drop in a different system.

    78. Owen

      Brian – I am sure ESPN will spin this in the playoffs into Kobe now having the maturity of a proven leader and being all about winning.

      It’s a good decision on Kobe’s part though, in every sense. It keeps him healthy. And he would look pretty terrible if he were to try to put 38 up just for the title.

    79. ruruland

      Owen:
      The best team by SRS league rank. Its true.

      I don’t really hear an explanation from you about how all this has happened.

      It’s true. This years Nuggets team is far and away the best they’ve ever had. And all the players that played with Melo have gotten a lot better. basically, it’s just the same team without Melo, that’s why they’ve gotten so much better, and why the Knicks have gotten so much worse.

    80. TelegraphedPass

      Brian Cronin: Anyone else shocked that Kobe is passing up the opportunity to win the scoring title? He must be hurting more than we think.

      I won’t believe it until the night is over.

    81. ruruland

      Owen, I’m done responding to you. You’re not a stats guy, you’re completely disingenious, intellectually dishonest and wasting tons of my time. Find someone else to troll.

    82. Brian Cronin

      Brian – I am sure ESPN will spin this in the playoffs into Kobe now having the maturity of a proven leader and being all about winning.

      It’s a good decision on Kobe’s part though, in every sense. It keeps him healthy. And he would look pretty terrible if he were to try to put 38 up just for the title.

      Maybe he is noting what the karma gods did to David Robinson in 1994. Scored 71 for the scoring title and then they were upset in the first round (granted, a 5 over 4 “upset,” but still).

    83. Owen

      “Why pre-trade? Melo post-trade is .160. Gallo is .133.”

      Because I was asked for evidence that Gallo was the better player going into the trade. Which he was.

      And he was definitely a much better player until getting injured this year.

      And Melo is getting a boost in WS/48 from our team defense and most likely for the lack of a positional adjustment for how much power forward he has played.

      But look, even if you believe Gallo is going to be .133 next year, which I definitely don’t looking at his pre and post injury splits, If i could trade a .160 for a .133 who costs 25% as much, I would do that in about four seconds, and if he cost half as much, I would do that also.

    84. Brian Cronin

      Owen, I’m done responding to you.

      For the sake of all the posters that are not you two, I am hoping that this will be the first time in internet history that someone wrote that and actually did it.

    85. Owen

      “Owen, I’m done responding to you.

      For the sake of all the posters that are not you two, I am hoping that this will be the first time in internet history that someone wrote that and actually did it.”

      Lol, yeah, time to cease and desist.

    86. Juany8

      Wait, people think this Nuggets team is better than the Melo teams? The same team that is going to get steamrolled by OKC in the first round? Besides Ruru is right, that team has literally nothing in common with the Nuggets teams centered around Melo except two really young role players (Lawson and Afflalo) who had had plenty of room for improvement even with Melo there. Until the Nuggets are again back at the WCF with a legitimate chance for a victory against a team on it’s way to back to back championships (they probably would have at least been to 7 games if not for those inbound passes) I don’t think you can say they’ve improved. 7th in a weak as shit west certainly doesn’t show anything.

    87. thenamestsam

      I realize you too are in a pissing match and refuse to engage in any sort of meaningful dialogue but as always in life, the truth does lie somewhere between the two extremes (in my opinion at least).

      Owen does raise a fair point. By SRS rank, this team does have a better league rank than they ever did with Melo, and they will finish with a better record than the Knicks. Honestly that has to surprise Ruru and the more extreme pro-Melo folks around here doesn’t it? If it was such a lopsided trade in our favor than how has the level of their play been able to stay relatively high?

      That said I think Owen being honest would have to admit that the way this team has played post-Woodson (although the numbers have gotten worse recently) is better than any stretch we had seen or reasonably expected to see from the pre-Melo group. That makes sense. When you trade several guys for one guy it increases our variance. When Melo isn’t playing well we have fewer good players on the team so it makes a bigger difference. When Melo is going good it makes a bigger difference.

    88. ruruland

      Juany8:
      Wait, people think this Nuggets team is better than the Melo teams? The same team that is going to get steamrolled by OKC in the first round? Besides Ruru is right, that team has literally nothing in common with the Nuggets teams centered around Melo except two really young role players (Lawson and Afflalo) who had had plenty of room for improvement even with Melo there. Until the Nuggets are again back at the WCF with a legitimate chance for a victory against a team on it’s way to back to back championships (they probably would have at least been to 7 games if not for those inbound passes) I don’t think you can say they’ve improved. 7th in a weak as shit west certainly doesn’t show anything.

      Yeah, yeah, but their SRS is .00006 better than two teams behind them, even though it’s 45 % less than what it was with Melo and Billups.

      Playoffs aren’t part of this.

      Someone should bet Owen on the Lakers beating Denver in the first round (the Nuggets have a higher SRS).

    89. JC Knickfan

      Brian Cronin: Yep, exactly. I wonder what Lin’s thoughts are vis a vis the length of his contract, though. He might be concerned that his value will drop if the Knicks hire Phil Jackson (Lin in the Triangle? Not a great idea). If he is, then he might want a longer deal at the MLE. But nah, he’s got to know that other teams will be willing to sign him even if his numbers drop in a different system.

      Again Lin is very tradable, if they decide get Phil, it would make alot sense to move him.

      Here nice write up about triangle offense and Melo going to hate it just as much MDA offense.
      http://www.startinganedschool.org/2012/01/02/merits-of-demerits-3-lessons-from-the-triangle-offense/

    90. ruruland

      thenamestsam:
      I realize you too are in a pissing match and refuse to engage in any sort of meaningful dialogue but as always in life, the truth does lie somewhere between the two extremes (in my opinion at least).

      Owen does raise a fair point. By SRS rank, this team does have a better league rank than they ever did with Melo, and they will finish with a better record than the Knicks. Honestly that has to surprise Ruru and the more extreme pro-Melo folks around here doesn’t it? If it was such a lopsided trade in our favor than how has the level of their play been able to stay relatively high?

      That said I think Owen being honest would have to admit that the way this team has played post-Woodson (although the numbers have gotten worse recently) is better than any stretch we had seen or reasonably expected to see from the pre-Melo group. That makes sense. When you trade several guys for one guy it increases our variance. When Melo isn’t playing well we have fewer good players on the team so it makes a bigger difference. When Melo is going good it makes a bigger difference.

      Not really.

      The Nuggets of years past had much higher win percentages. What we’re actually looking at is the fact that the East has the Charlotte Bobcats and Washington Wizards, far and away the worst teams in the NBA.

      That drags all the Eastern Conference SOS down quite a bit, and of course inversely artifically raises the WC SOS.

      So it doesn’t really mean much to me. If the Nuggets played in the same conference as the Bobcats and Wizards, with the same point margin and everything else, their SRS would be quite a bnit lower — regardless of their performance.

    91. Juany8

      JC Knickfan: Again Lin is very tradable, if they decide get Phil, it would make alot sense to move him.

      Here nice write up about triangle offense and Melo going to hate it just as much MDA offense.
      http://www.startinganedschool.org/2012/01/02/merits-of-demerits-3-lessons-from-the-triangle-offense/

      Did no one ever watch Kobe and Jordan play? They broke off the triangle all the time, Melo isn’t as good as those guys but he’ll likely occupy the same role. And for all the grief Melo gets about his 3PT%, his is actually pretty comparable, if not better, than Kobe and Jordan’s, so I really don’t see how Melo doesn’t fit into the triangle. Stoudemire and Chandler are trickier, neither posts up much and Stoudemire has pretty mediocre floor vision when he’s taking his man inside. Either way I’m pretty sure Phil Jackson is a total pipe dream at this point, and a coach of that caliber would have no problem integrating players into any offense he chose.

    92. ruruland

      The East’s top 15 teams are 6 games better than the West’s top 15 teams.

      The East’s worst team is 14 games worse than the West’s worst team, that, along with the point differential intra-conference, means that the West looks a lot better than the East.

    93. jon abbey

      Denver has Lawson at PG, NY has had a big gaping hole for most of the season. end discussion, in a just world.

      now if you want to argue that we’re still trying to recover from Donnie’s disgusting botch of the 2009 draft (where he could have taken, um, Lawson), then I can get solidly behind that.

    94. ruruland

      thenamestsam:
      I realize you too are in a pissing match and refuse to engage in any sort of meaningful dialogue but as always in life, the truth does lie somewhere between the two extremes (in my opinion at least).

      Owen does raise a fair point. By SRS rank, this team does have a better league rank than they ever did with Melo, and they will finish with a better record than the Knicks. Honestly that has to surprise Ruru and the more extreme pro-Melo folks around here doesn’t it? If it was such a lopsided trade in our favor than how has the level of their play been able to stay relatively high?

      That said I think Owen being honest would have to admit that the way this team has played post-Woodson (although the numbers have gotten worse recently) is better than any stretch we had seen or reasonably expected to see from the pre-Melo group. That makes sense. When you trade several guys for one guy it increases our variance. When Melo isn’t playing well we have fewer good players on the team so it makes a bigger difference. When Melo is going good it makes a bigger difference.

      I’ve never claimed the trade was lopsided.
      —————————————————————————
      melo going good is completely random. he hasn’t been injured either. The Knicks record and SRS is indicative of the team they have now, and they’ll be lucky to win 45 gamez next year based on thoz numbers.

      The Nugg have had the worst luck in the NBA.

    95. ruruland

      jon abbey:
      Denver has Lawson at PG, NY has had a big gaping hole for most of the season. end discussion, in a just world.

      now if you want to argue that we’re still trying to recover from Donnie’s disgusting botch of the 2009 draft (where he could have taken, um, Lawson), then I can get solidly behind that.

      but gallinari was injured.

    96. johnlocke

      From Evan Turner: “What I said was looking back at the past two years matching up against teams, we had a tougher time against the Heat. That’s all I said. If I had to choose, we match up better against the Bulls.”

      If Philly gets the Bulls..expect a major ass-kicking from the Bulls

    97. Juany8

      thenamestsam:
      I realize you too are in a pissing match and refuse to engage in any sort of meaningful dialogue but as always in life, the truth does lie somewhere between the two extremes (in my opinion at least).

      Owen does raise a fair point. By SRS rank, this team does have a better league rank than they ever did with Melo, and they will finish with a better record than the Knicks. Honestly that has to surprise Ruru and the more extreme pro-Melo folks around here doesn’t it? If it was such a lopsided trade in our favor than how has the level of their play been able to stay relatively high?

      That said I think Owen being honest would have to admit that the way this team has played post-Woodson (although the numbers have gotten worse recently) is better than any stretch we had seen or reasonably expected to see from the pre-Melo group. That makes sense. When you trade several guys for one guy it increases our variance. When Melo isn’t playing well we have fewer good players on the team so it makes a bigger difference. When Melo is going good it makes a bigger difference.

      Those are all excellent points, except that this is a lockout season with extreme variance from the beginning to the end, I honestly think anyone’s season stats other than Miami’s, Chicago’s, and OKC’s are fairly suspect at this point (they were the only 3 teams that came out fully intact and firing on all cylinders all season) Both Denver and Philadelphia (teams with similar makeups, lots of young wings and depth that had been mostly intact before the lockout) came out firing early before utterly cratering, and both teams that are likely to get WORSE in the playoffs (depth means less, fastbreak opportunities are decreased, and it’s easy to gameplan for weaknesses)

    98. Brian Cronin

      If Philly gets the Bulls..expect a major ass-kicking from the Bulls

      I love his attempt to diffuse the statement. “It wasn’t an insult! I just meant we match up better against the Bulls.” Ooooh…is that what you meant?

    99. Frank

      Owen:
      Seriously, Gallinari, when healthy, is at least as good as Melo. And he is much younger and cheaper.

      So you think Melo was healthy all year this year?
      Look – part of me is happy that you wrote what you wrote 50 comments ago, just so there’s some life back on this board. Part of me doesn’t even want to go there with the Gallo/Melo comparison, because I really like Gallo. But I have news for you – Gallo has had a steadily dropping eFG each year in the league – .576 –> 0.523 –> 0.495 –> 0.475. He had a career low TS% this year, 55.8. (I don’t want to hear about injuries – if you’re out there, you’re out there). His 3 point shooting has been average or below average since his truncated rookie year, and he wasnt ever a great 3 point shooter before coming to the NBA. He remains one of the worst rebounders for a 6’10″ guy in the league. And he’s an average defender at best.

      This current iteration of Melo is IMHO a far superior player to Gallo. I know Gallo’s still young, but I don’t see a lot of improvement other than that he now is averaging 3 assists per 36 (still 0.8 a/36 less than Melo). Points/36 identical year to year. Rebound rate basically 8%. WS/48 0.13-0.14 year after year. Again, I love Gallo and was very sad to see him go, but he’s not a better player than Melo.

    100. Juany8

      ruruland:
      The East’s top 15 teams are 6 games better than the West’s top 15 teams.

      The East’s worst team is 14 games worse than the West’s worst team, that, along with the point differential intra-conference, means that the West looks a lot better than the East.

      To be fair, I think the only way to do an honest discussion comparing is to compare winning percentages in each conference, then doing a non-weighted average (so that the fact that Eastern teams play other Eastern teams more doesn’t matter [playing the Bobcats 2 times instead of 4 times is going to make a noticeable impact]) of the winning percentage. I’m pretty sure once you do that the West blows out the East still, and the West is crap this year

    101. Frank

      Oh, and btw, Gallo will be making $10.5M per year now. I am not sure that is good value for a non-centerpiece player. I remain very interested to see how the Nuggets “7 guys making 8-11 M/year” strategy works out. Probably will be decided by how Javale reacts to Karl’s coaching.

    102. Juany8

      Brian Cronin: I love his attempt to diffuse the statement. “It wasn’t an insult! I just meant we match up better against the Bulls.” Ooooh…is that what you meant?

      Haha yea Evan Turner isn’t going to be scoring in the playoffs haha. Kind of glad the Knicks aren’t going against the Bulls, the only thing they have to fear from the Heat offensively is Lebron making a bunch of off balance 3′s in a row. As soon as that stops happening he’s going to mysteriously “disappear” from the playoffs once again lol

    103. Juany8

      Frank:
      Oh, and btw, Gallo will be making $10.5M per year now. I am not sure that is good value for a non-centerpiece player.I remain very interested to see how the Nuggets “7 guys making 8-11 M/year” strategy works out. Probably will be decided by how Javale reacts to Karl’s coaching.

      Take it from a Houston fan… that strategy gets old really, really fast if no one is a good defender. Good thing they’re locking up Faried, Afflalo, Lawson, and Gallinari then lol

    104. TelegraphedPass

      Juany8: Haha yea Evan Turner isn’t going to be scoring in the playoffs haha. Kind of glad the Knicks aren’t going against the Bulls, the only thing they have to fear from the Heat offensively is Lebron making a bunch of off balance 3?s in a row. As soon as that stops happening he’s going to mysteriously “disappear” from the playoffs once again lol

      We’re optimistic on this board.

    105. Frank

      Denver’s whole contract strategy is a little weird to me. Guys like Wilson Chandler, Harrington, Afflalo – these were all guys that would have gotten the MLE a few years back, and were the kinds of contracts that got teams in trouble in the old CBA — paying 7-10M/year to average to average+ guys. And yet here they are giving out these contracts to the same players in the new CBA. They have $23M/year tied up in those 3 guys through 2014-15 (who IMHO are just “guys” except Afflalo who is above average). They still need to extend Javale and Lawson. Javale will probably get near the max, Lawson will get $10M+.

    106. Will the Thrill

      Haha yeah, as if he isn’t the best player on the planet. But I would love to see him choke, along with Wade….and Bosh.

      Juany8: the only thing they have to fear from the Heat offensively is Lebron making a bunch of off balance 3?s in a row.

    107. Juany8

      The Nuggets should have tried to bottom out after losing Chauncey and Melo, but they stubbornly decided that the little band of misfits that won 1 game in the playoffs (or rather, was given a game by Westbrook back when he did that kind of thing last year) was good enough to lock up longterm. It was clear they had no idea what they were doing when they gave Nene the same contract the Knicks gave Chandler and then traded him for McGee the same season. The Nuggets are quickly going to turn into Philadelphia west, a team that’s up and coming for like 5 years in a row but never does anything in the playoffs when all of their nice transition and hustle statistics suddenly vanish when teams start going all out every night.

    108. Juany8

      Will the Thrill:
      Haha yeah, as if he isn’t the best player on the planet.But I would love to see him choke, along with Wade….and Bosh.

      He is the best player on the planet, that doesn’t mean he’s the best player in the planet at every facet of the game. I can think of multiple people I’d rather run a half court offense around than Lebron (including Wade lol). Seriously, last year the Heat beat the Bulls mostly on the kind of absurd “hero” shots everyone kills Melo for. Lebron shot an unsustainable percentage of his 3′s against the Celtics and Bulls (most of them terrible, off-balance 3′s) but since statistics don’t capture how a player accumulated his production, everyone started comparing him to Jordan and the best players of all time. When he stopped making those same stupid 3′s against Dallas, Miami quickly unraveled (by the end of the series, Dallas looked the clear cut best team and Lebron wasn’t even the 4th best player in the series. There’s a difference between choking and becoming useless) If you have a team with a rim protector and a wing powerful enough to keep up with Lebron, he’s not going to consistently hurt you in a half court offense

    109. New Guy

      TheRant: Interesting question.We’ve all heard for decades the branding argument that “you’ll make so much more money playing in NYC, due to the spotlight and the opportunity for endorsements.”It’s often been questionable.

      With Lin, I think it is 100% true.Linsanity, the prevalence of Asian media, the prevalence of Asians themselves — none of this would have happened anywhere else to the degree it did in NYC.And it wont continue at this level if he leaves.

      There is actually one other place that’s better for Lin than where he is now: the Lakers.

      Fortunately, I don’t think they have the full MLE.

    110. TelegraphedPass

      LeBron this season is scoring at a 49.7% clip as the PnR ball handler. In the post, he’s scoring .97 PPP at 50.6%. 1.32 PPP on 67.8% off of cuts.

      ^You think that makes for a bad option in the half-court??????

    111. Brian Cronin

      I’m pretty sure once you do that the West blows out the East still, and the West is crap this year

      Yeah, I don’t see how the West wouldn’t show up as better than the East. I mean, just look at the record of the West teams against East teams. Denver, for instance, is sub .500 against West teams and has lost just twice in eighteen games against the East. The West is definitely stronger as the East this season. Houston and Phoenix are likely both playoff teams if they were in the East (at least one of them would be).

    112. Owen

      Frank – I think Afflalo is a little better than meh actually. He has posted high efficiency scoring numbers both with Melo and without and they like his defense a lot. I was surprised by his contract but less surprised when I looked at the numbers.

      I think the other thing that needs mentioning is that they have a bunch of first round picks coming their way and a pretty excellent track record of getting value in the draft. One injury to Tyson Chandler in 2014 and that could be a lottery pick. And if there team does flatline, they should be able to restock pretty easily.

      The Gallo-Melo comparison is what it is. Before he hurt his hand and missed a month he was averaging 17 and 5 in 33 minutes per with 1.6 turnovers on a ts% of 59.7%. Last year, the team swapped Billups and Melo for Gallo and Felton and improved dramatically.

      When the trade was made he had better box score numbers and a better SPM. He is also four years younger and will be roughly 9 million dollars cheaper next year.

      Gallo has been really bad in the last month. But I wouldn’t bet on a guy who has a career ts% of 58% and offensive orating of 115 being a 48.5% true shooter and posting a 100 offensive rating.

      Either way, anyone who thinks that Gallo and a 9.5 million dollar player isn’t way more valuable than Carmelo Anthony is, well, quite mistaken.

      JuanNY – I don’t disagree that there is a lot of variance in the numbers this year. And it’s true that the SRS numbers could shift. But there is no getting around the fact that the Nuggets lost Billups and Melo and are still really really good. Good enough to demand an explanation from those who think that Melo is one of the top 10 players in the NBA.

      Because generally speaking, teams don’t improve when they lose a top 10 guy….

    113. TelegraphedPass

      Love Afflalo’s game, I really do, but he’s underwhelmed me this season. Especially from a defensive standpoint.

      He’s been a pretty bad defender, and a worse spot up 3 point shooter than our very own JR.

      Hasn’t lived up to that contract.

    114. jon abbey

      Owen:

      Because generally speaking, teams don’t improve when they lose a top 10 guy….

      the Heat are something like 14-1 without Wade this year.

    115. Z-man

      Back to the playoffs, one good thing about playing Miami is that there will be no “we could have beaten Miami if we didn’t lose in the first round to _____” talk. Odds are that Miami is going to the Finals again, and so this is like the ECFs without the wait. In a way, it’s good to play the Heat when we are playing well and relatively healthy. If we can get just one of the firat two, it should be a fun ride!

      Maybe Chicago beats everybody this year, but I just am not a believer in the Bulls yet. I also think that if we beat the Heat, we can beat anyone. So let’s get it on!

    116. Owen

      Jon – Lebron is 14-1 without Wade. They lost against Boston without either of them. I suppose I should have added the caveat that no team has survived the loss of a top 10 player expect for the team with the guy capable of carrying Anderson Varejao and Mo Williams to a 60 win season.

    117. ruruland

      TelegraphedPass:
      Love Afflalo’s game, I really do, but he’s underwhelmed me this season. Especially from a defensive standpoint.

      He’s been a pretty bad defender, and a worse spot up 3 point shooter than our very own JR.

      Hasn’t lived up to that contract.

      Aflallo is an extremely overrated defender.

    118. Brian Cronin

      Jon – Lebron is 14-1 without Wade. They lost against Boston without either of them. I suppose I should have added the caveat that no team has survived the loss of a top 10 player expect for the team with the guy capable of carrying Anderson Varejao and Mo Williams to a 60 win season.

      Wouldn’t the caveat be that you can survive the loss of a Top 10 guy if you start with two Top 10 guys?

      By the way, the Bulls also improved their record in 1993-94 after losing Jordan to his first retirement. Would 1992-94 Pippen count as a Top 10 guy?

    119. Juany8

      The entire Nuggets roster changed Owen. And guess what, if you trade any player other than Lebron for 3 above average starters, the team is simply not going to change that much in the regular season. Utah got better after they got rid of Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer for rookies and picks, doesn’t WS/48 put them both as players better than Melo? Hell Miami lost Wade for nothing this year and had a better record lol. It’s really easy for a team as a whole to replace one player for a short stretch of time, as Chicago and Miami have shown this year (simply losing a superstar is supposed to be more painful than trading a superstar for 3 starters). I mean isn’t it laughable to think player values can be linearly additive to total team wins if losing a player like Dwyane Wade, Kobe, or Rose doesn’t cause a dramatic difference? Especially when those guys are backed up by Mike Miller, Matt Barnes, and Cj Watson?

    120. Owen

      “Wouldn’t the caveat be that you can survive the loss of a Top 10 guy if you start with two Top 10 guys?”

      That’s exactly what I was trying to say, but I managed to make it pretty confusing.

      The Bulls won 57 games with Jordan and won 55 games without him.

      But by efficiency differential they went from a 58 win team to a 50 win team. And given they had won 67 games the year before that with the same core, I think the 58 expected wins probably understates their true talent slightly….

    121. Juany8

      Brian Cronin: Wouldn’t the caveat be that you can survive the loss of a Top 10 guy if you start with two Top 10 guys?

      By the way, the Bulls also improved their record in 1993-94 after losing Jordan to his first retirement. Would 1992-94 Pippen count as a Top 10 guy?

      I think it just means the value of top ten guys is only seriously apparent in the playoffs (especially for elite defensive teams not losing a center), except for the rare case where you have a team built entirely around one guy’s talents (Lebron’s Cavaliers, Dwight Howard’s Magic) As the Bulls have shown, it is possible to beat teams by simply trying much, much harder than them on a consistent basis, which becomes all but impossible once the playoffs start. Jordan’s Bulls are a great example, they had basically the same record after losing the best player of all time. They were noticeably worse in the playoffs however.

    122. johnlocke

      Only the highlights – but you still see that 1) Baron needs to not turn the ball over…very first highlight is off Baron drive to lane and pass to unsuspecting teammate instead of shooting variety layup… and 2) the Heat overreact/overrhelp to penetration — which leads to kick out three opportunities…if we can be as hot as we were in April….look out. Unfortunately for us we shot 30 threes in our last game against them…but only made 9.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb9qQj5e4XE

    123. Owen

      I would also add that Pippen had a big swing, from .192 ws/48 in 91-92 to a .132 in 92-93 which was pretty uncharacteristic of his prime production….

      Not sure what the story there was…..

    124. ruruland

      Juany8: I think it just means the value of top ten guys is only seriously apparent in the playoffs (especially for elite defensive teams not losing a center), except for the rare case where you have a team built entirely around one guy’s talents (Lebron’s Cavaliers, Dwight Howard’s Magic) As the Bulls have shown, it is possible to beat teams by simply trying much, much harder than them on a consistent basis, which becomes all but impossible once the playoffs start. Jordan’s Bulls are a great example, they had basically the same record after losing the best player of all time. They were noticeably worse in the playoffs however.

      I always thought that was pretty obvious, but thanks for bringing it up.

    125. Juany8

      Owen:
      “Wouldn’t the caveat be that you can survive the loss of a Top 10 guy if you start with two Top 10 guys?”

      That’s exactly what I was trying to say, but I managed to make it pretty confusing.

      The Bulls won 57 games with Jordan and won 55 games without him.

      But by efficiency differential they went from a 58 win team to a 50 win team.

      If losing the best player of all time for nothing only drops your record by 8 games, I’d say the entire theory that players simply add up to their team’s wins is entirely flawed, to the point that any analysis starting with that assumption could pretty much be thrown out. Clearly things like coaching and team fit are dramatic factors, even if no one bothered to keep a column in the box score for a coaches’ good contributions.

    126. Juany8

      johnlocke:
      Only the highlights – but you still see that 1) Baron needs to not turn the ball over…very first highlight is off Baron drive to lane and pass to unsuspecting teammate instead of shooting variety layup… and 2) the Heat overreact/overrhelp to penetration — which leads to kick out three opportunities…if we can be as hot as we were in April….look out. Unfortunately for us we shot 30 threes in our last game against them…but only made 9.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb9qQj5e4XE

      The strength of the Heat’s defense can also be their biggest weakness, they basically help on everything as much as possible on the assumption that their players are capable of communicating well and simply getting to all the open players. If you have a team that doesn’t have a problem with heavy ball pressure (elite point guards), or doesn’t have to run pick and rolls to generate consistent offense (teams with post up options) the Heat defense can certainly be beat, although guys like Shumpert and JR are gonna have to make the open shots they get.

    127. Owen

      JuanNY – Yeah, as i explained, by looking at efficiency differential you can see the narrative changes substantially.

      Utah has rebuilt on the fly. But they also drafted Millsap and added Jefferson. And I don’t believe this year’s team is better than the Boozer-Williams squads….

    128. Owen

      “If losing the best player of all time for nothing only drops your record by 8 games, I’d say the entire theory that players simply add up to their team’s wins is entirely flawed, to the point that any analysis starting with that assumption could pretty much be thrown out. Clearly things like coaching and team fit are dramatic factors, even if no one bothered to keep a column in the box score for a coaches’ good contributions.”

      Seriously though Juan. The numbers showed Pippen had a really bad year in 92-93 before Jordan left, far worse than the previous year. He then rebounded the next year. And the team’s performance reflected that.

      the SRS numbers 8.57, 10.07, 6.19, and then 2.87 in the year after Jordan left.

      Does that quantify it better?

      And do you feel better about WS as a statistic?

    129. Owen

      Yeah, Utah had two teams that were roughly top 5 teams by efficiency differential. They certainly aren’t in that range this year. Though this new lineup with Millsap as a small forward is pretty nasty.

    130. thenamestsam

      johnlocke:
      Loved watching this…
      cocky bastards!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzWRS6GaXhA&feature=fvst

      Fun watch and definitely gets me fired up to go against them. That said it also reminds you how amazing they are going at full steam. They really threw that game away at the end, but there are devastatingly impressive moments in there:

      1)Playoffs DWade where he is going 100% balls out for 40+ minutes a night is a terrifying prospect, as that highlight effectively reminds you of that. He has basically been going half speed all year (Lebron gives him that luxury). When he goes to 5th gear he is as scary as anyone in the league. I hope Shump has been eating his wheaties.

      2) They are just so devastating in the open court. We simply must limit our turnovers and be smart about getting back rather than over-pursuing offensive boards. We can compete in a half court game. If not we have no hope.

      3)Their defense, while obviously good overall, is not at its best against Isos and when you slow it down. They created a lot of turnovers in that game, but when it slowed down at the end they struggled. They’re at their absolute best when the game is frantic and they’re in motion, as we saw when we ran our Lin-heavy offense against them. The more deliberate offense we run now shouldn’t allow them to exert their athleticism as much. That gives me hope and also dovetails with #2. We have to be smart and control the pace. Baron has gotten us into track meets at times this year. He has to show a cool head in this series.

      4) The last thing is Lebron. If he’s not making jumpers then you can go a whole highlight without seeing him in the halfcourt once. If he is, they’re capable of blowing out the 2nd best team in the league. So much of it rests on that simple…

    131. 2FOR18

      Juany8: Did no one ever watch Kobe and Jordan play? They broke off the triangle all the time, Melo isn’t as good as those guys but he’ll likely occupy the same role. And for all the grief Melo gets about his 3PT%, his is actually pretty comparable, if not better, than Kobe and Jordan’s, so I really don’t see how Melo doesn’t fit into the triangle. Stoudemire and Chandler are trickier, neither posts up much and Stoudemire has pretty mediocre floor vision when he’s taking his man inside. Either way I’m pretty sure Phil Jackson is a total pipe dream at this point, and a coach of that caliber would have no problem integrating players into any offense he chose.

      melo won’t fit in the triangle because he won’t want to.

    132. Juany8

      Well it’s your assumption that efficiency differential is the only worthwhile mention of a team’s value, not mine. I think both wins AND efficiency differential are worth looking at in predicting future performance, and regardless the value difference between the Bulls without Jordan was nowhere near as high as you’d think a player of his caliber would command. Robinson’s Spurs had a much more dramatic drop when he went out for a season (meaning they lost him for nothing as well) and I don’t think anyone would say that Robinson was a significantly better player than Jordan

    133. Juany8

      thenamestsam: Fun watch and definitely gets me fired up to go against them. That said it also reminds you how amazing they are going at full steam. They really threw that game away at the end, but there are devastatingly impressive moments in there:

      1)Playoffs DWade where he is going 100% balls out for 40+ minutes a night is a terrifying prospect, as that highlight effectively reminds you of that. He has basically been going half speed all year (Lebron gives him that luxury). When he goes to 5th gear he is as scary as anyone in the league. I hope Shump has been eating his wheaties.

      2) They are just so devastating in the open court. We simply must limit our turnovers and be smart about getting back rather than over-pursuing offensive boards. We can compete in a half court game. If not we have no hope.

      3)Their defense, while obviously good overall, is not at its best against Isos and when you slow it down. They created a lot of turnovers in that game, but when it slowed down at the end they struggled. They’re at their absolute best when the game is frantic and they’re in motion, as we saw when we ran our Lin-heavy offense against them. The more deliberate offense we run now shouldn’t allow them to exert their athleticism as much. That gives me hope and also dovetails with #2. We have to be smart and control the pace. Baron has gotten us into track meets at times this year. He has to show a cool head in this series.

      4) The last thing is Lebron. If he’s not making jumpers then you can go a whole highlight without seeing him in the halfcourt once. If he is, they’re capable of blowing out the 2nd best team in the league. So much of it rests on that simple…

      That’s some spot on analysis of the Heat. They’re certainly not as intimidating as some of the champions in recent years.

    134. Owen

      Juany8:
      Well it’s your assumption that efficiency differential is the only worthwhile mention of a team’s value, not mine. I think both wins AND efficiency differential are worth looking at in predicting future performance, and regardless the value difference between the Bulls without Jordan was nowhere near as high as you’d think a player of his caliber would command. Robinson’s Spurs had a much more dramatic drop when he went out for a season (meaning they lost him for nothing as well) and I don’t think anyone would say that Robinson was a significantly better player than Jordan

      I am not really sure what you mean by that about wins and efficiency differential. Clearly, you don’t think wins are more predictive, because they aren’t and you know that. It’s a simple, empirical fact, not an assumption of mine. It’s also common sense. A team that has lost several 1 point games probably isn’t much worse than a team that has won several 1 point games. And winning close games is more a coin flip than anything else…

      Regarding the Bulls, any thoughts on those three years of SRS numbers for the Bulls, or on Pippen’s performance in 92-3? Because looking back to 92 gives you a very clear sense of the difference between a team with vintage Jordan-Pippen and a team with just vintage Pippen.

      Re David Robinson – He led the league in Win Shares the two years Jordan missed and was the best player by WS/48 in five different years. It’s not hard to see why the Spurs struggled without him.

    135. johnlocke

      Game thread? I know it’s not a good game and all…but if Charlotte plays well and Philly beats the 2nd worst team in the league in Detroit, we’re playing Da Bulls

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