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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Thursday, May 09 2013)

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: Wrong time for Amar’e to be plotting return (Thu, 09 May 2013 05:09:08 GMT)
    The arranged marriage of superstars has worked wonderfully in Miami where LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are gunning for their third straight trip to the NBA Finals and their second straight title. In New York, Carmelo and Amar’e haven’t won anything as “maxâ? partners.    

  • [New York Daily News] Woodson hints he could keep sixth man on bench (Thu, 09 May 2013 04:46:42 GMT)
    Mike Woodson’S patience with J.R. Smith may be running thin, with the Knicks coach saying on Wednesday that “it wouldn’t be toughâ? to bench the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year if he continues to struggle.    

  • [New York Times] Bulls-Heat Series Even, and Tensions Rising (Thu, 09 May 2013 07:19:24 GMT)
    Carlos Boozer said the Chicago Bulls were feeling cheated. Mario Chalmers said the Miami Heat thought they were getting too many cheap shots.    

  • [New York Times] Warriors End Skid at 30 in San Antonio, Tie Series (Thu, 09 May 2013 06:00:51 GMT)
    Golden State coach Mark Jackson insisted the Warriors’ historic collapse in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals would only help his team’s growth.    

  • [New York Times] Golden State Beat Spurs to Level Series at 1-1 (Thu, 09 May 2013 05:24:32 GMT)
    Klay Thompson scored 29 of his 34 points in the first half and added 14 rebounds for his first career double-double as the visiting Golden State Warriors beat San Antonio Spurs 100-91 on Wednesday to level the Western Conference semifinals at 1-1.    

  • [New York Times] Heat Respond to Loss With Statement Win Over Bulls (Thu, 09 May 2013 03:48:29 GMT)
    Miami Heat bounced back from their series-opening loss to Chicago to thrash the Bulls 115-78 on Wednesday and level their Eastern Conference semi-final at 1-1.    

  • [New York Times] With Teardrop Shots, N.B.A.’s Little Guys Gain Upper Hand (Thu, 09 May 2013 03:09:16 GMT)
    The slam dunk has captivated the basketball world for a generation with its raw ferocity and balletic grace, but this year a different shot is sweeping the N.B.A. playoffs: the teardrop.    

  • [New York Times] A Romp for the Heat, Who Top Bulls 115-78 (Thu, 09 May 2013 03:07:20 GMT)
    For the first time in these playoffs, the Miami Heat were facing some real adversity.    

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Warriors Beat Spurs to Tie Series (Thu, 09 May 2013 02:41:14 GMT)
    Klay Thompson scored 34 points, leading Golden State to its first win in San Antonio since 1997.    

  • [New York Times] Game 2: Heat 115, Bulls 78: Miami Heat Get Mad and Get Even in a Feisty Rout (Thu, 09 May 2013 02:20:15 GMT)
    LeBron James had 19 points, all in the first half, and 9 assists as Miami evened the series, at 1-1, and handed Chicago its worst playoff loss in franchise history.    

  • 83 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Thursday, May 09 2013)

    1. Hubert Davis

      I was just thinking last night – and I know I’m getting ahead of myself – but we all need to start hoping Durant can beat the Grizzlies.

      Can you imagine having to win a title by going through Boston, Indiana, Miami, and THEN the most physical team in the NBA?

      I’m putting on my Durant fan cap for the next week.

    2. er

      Lol he is , but jeez if Memphis doesn’t make it out of the west. I would pick ny or Miami to win the chip

    3. flossy

      I wonder what dogrufus thinks of the fact that all 4 ongoing series are now tied at 1-1. Not a single high seed retained home court advantage through their first 2 games. I guess they’re all doomed!

    4. airchibundo507

      flossy:
      I wonder what dogrufus thinks of the fact that all 4 ongoing series are now tied at 1-1.Not a single high seed retained home court advantage through their first 2 games.I guess they’re all doomed!

      lol. the teams that won game 2 will probably win the series imo.

    5. Hubert Davis

      I tend to get more optimistic and more time elapses after our games.

      For instance:

      - During the game, I’m on a ledge.
      - After the game (win or lose), I can’t believe the mistakes we made and we’re doomed.
      - The next morning, we really weren’t that bad, RuRu’s right.
      - The following morning, I hope we get a good matchup in the finals
      - Game day, I’m a nervous wreck, I can’t believe the NBA is trying to fix this game so we lose.
      - Repeat step 1

    6. Frank O.

      I clearly don’t spend as much time analyzing basketball as some on this board, but I was struck by a comment by Kerr last night.
      He said that coaches like Thibodeau have decided that their players should keep fouling, regardless of the new rules protecting offensive players, because at some point refs will just stop calling fouls.
      The point is they either get desensitized to the fouls or they are not inclined to bog the game down with foul calls.
      And given how physical so many playoff teams actually have become, and how much this playoff, writ large, reminds me of playoffs from the early 90s, I think Kerr is right.
      I was watching the Bulls-Heat game realizing if the Knicks to get to the finals they would have to beat some of the very best, most physical defenses in the NBA in the Celtics, Pacers and Heat.
      I hadn’t even made it to the Griz yet, but damn. Those guys are physical.
      But in watching what the Knicks, with a small lineup, did to the Pacers, they’re D is pretty damn physical as well.
      Anyway, what a crucible. Basketball, like any competition, is all about measures and countermeasures, and it appears teams are willing to commit a lot of fouls, calculating that in the end, the refs will back off on the whistles as a new normal is established.
      I think this is good for the league because it helps to equalize the talent dispararity between the elite players’ teams and those teams that are just a step below in talent. Durant and Lebron and Wade and Melo all will have to absorb ever more physical play as teams try to knock them down a peg.
      What was extraordinary last night was regardless of how physical the Bulls got with Lebron, he was still dominating, and even more than his scoring, his passing utterly destroyed the Bulls. He made at least two passes that I would be hard-pressed to remember better in the 40+ years I have watched the professional game. Great ball movement in any form stymies physical teams.

    7. Frank O.

      Hubert Davis:
      I tend to get more optimistic and more time elapses after our games.

      For instance:

      - During the game, I’m on a ledge.
      - After the game (win or lose), I can’t believe the mistakes we made and we’re doomed.
      - The next morning, we really weren’t that bad, RuRu’s right.
      - The following morning, I hope we get a good matchup in the finals
      - Game day, I’m a nervous wreck, I can’t believe the NBA is trying to fix this game so we lose.
      - Repeat step 1

      Hahaha!

    8. stratomatic

      IMO the Knicks and Pacers are about pick’em from here.

      The interesting series is Golden State vs. San Antonio.

      GS outplayed them TWICE in San Antonio. Only inexperience got them beat in one of the games.

      The general consensus was that GS beat Denver because the Nuggets were missing a very key piece in their offense in Gallo (they have no good outside shooters or guys that can get to the FT line and make them) and Faried (their most productive player) was playing hurt. Once they lost home court, they were kind of screwed.

      But the reality may be that GS stepped it up more than one level in the playoffs (Curry certainly has) and is actually a lot better than the typical 6th seed or what people thought (I realize the west is vastly superior to the east).

      I was never a fan of Marc Jackson as a coaching prospect from listening to his commentary with Jeff Van Gundy. He seemed sort of clueless about some things. But he’s an incredible motivator and he’s getting that team to play very very well. I was wrong.

    9. Hubert Davis

      Frank O. says:
      May 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      I clearly don’t spend as much time analyzing basketball as some on this board, but I was struck by a comment by Kerr last night.
      He said that coaches like Thibodeau have decided that their players should keep fouling, regardless of the new rules protecting offensive players, because at some point refs will just stop calling fouls.

      ^^^^
      He definitely learned that from JVG via Riley! In fact that was Phil Jackson’s number 1 complaint during those early 90′s battles. He would say we fouled on every play because officials didn’t want to call it.

    10. Nick C.

      Hubert Davis:
      Frank O. says:
      May 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      I clearly don’t spend as much time analyzing basketball as some on this board, but I was struck by a comment by Kerr last night.
      He said that coaches like Thibodeau have decided that their players should keep fouling, regardless of the new rules protecting offensive players, because at some point refs will just stop calling fouls.

      ^^^^
      He definitely learned that from JVG via Riley!In fact that was Phil Jackson’s number 1 complaint during those early 90?s battles.He would say we fouled on every play because officials didn’t want to call it.

      You know what is funny is when I saw the show on the 1973 team I was struck by how there was almost no contact on defense. I figured it was just a few clips or angles but now I wonder.

    11. d-mar

      Pretty funny that the Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year come from a team that was unceremoniously bounced out of the playoffs in the 1st round

    12. Juany8

      Dirty little secret of the NBA right now is that the Spurs are totally hobbled. Duncan was sick yesterday, Ginobli only came back for the playoffs and only looked good against a shell of a Lakers team, and Splitter went from their core second big to 10 minutes a game because of injuries. When you add in that the Bulls are decimated, Tyson Chandler looks like a ghost of himself, and Westbrook is gone, this season is working out extremely well for Miami.

    13. flossy

      dogrufus: It means three of the four are in serious, serious trouble.

      Miami, as they showed last night, can pretty much turn it on and effortlessly destroy a valiant but thin team like the Bulls.I think they’ll win in 5.Chicago is the weakest team left in the playoffs other than us and Miami is by far the strongest because of Westbrook.

      OKC is in serious trouble.Durant has been absolutely awesome but the injury hurts them in a lot of ways.I could see MJ losing a lot of second round matchups if Pip blew out his kneww.

      SAS is also in serious trouble.They just don’t match up great with GS.They can’t seem to contain both Curry and Thompson and with Bogut GS is just way better than their regular season record.They’ve been up like 20 in both games in SA, and miracles like game 1 aren’t something that can be relied on even for the Spurs.

      And we, of course, lost the series in game 1, as I’ve established before. :)

      So losing one of the first two at home is bad enough that three favorites out of four are in serious trouble.The only one that is okay is okay because they’re one of the greatest teams in history at full health with the potential GOAT in his razor prime facing a shambling corpse of a team that stole a game by a perfect storm of Heat complacency and Thibs genius.

      Just so we’re clear–Miami is fine, because they can just turn it on whenever they want, but we’re not, despite blowing the doors off the Pacers with a 36-4 run to end game 2? Is that right?

    14. flossy

      d-mar:
      Pretty funny that the Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year come from a team that was unceremoniously bounced out of the playoffs in the 1st round

      I mean, it’s an award for regular season performance. I think setting a franchise record for wins 2 years after having been forced to trade your franchise star and without drafting in the lottery during that time deserves some recognition.

    15. stratomatic

      dogrufus: I think it’s clear GS is a lot better than their RS record, for a few reasons:

      Their young core players are at a point of rapid natural improvement

      Bogut’s back and reasonably healthy

      They’ve drawn opponents who just don’t have enough perimeter defenders to contain jack/curry/thompson.I wouldn’t like their chances against the Grizz near as much.

      In the East they’d probably have had a record comparable to ours.

      If we somehow made the finals and drew them I wouldn’t like our chances, though it would be an awesome series.

      I agree they have upside and getting Bogut healthy enough to play is a big plus, but they are missing Lee. So that must be offsetting a little.

    16. jon abbey

      no, they got better the instant Lee went out, like us and Amar’e. even in game 1 of the DEN series, they came back after being down a lot with Lee in there, and they haven’t looked back. this isn’t a big issue with Amar’e slated for a maximum 10-15 minutes, but it would be if he was slated for a larger role.

    17. stratomatic

      flossy: I mean, it’s an award for regular season performance.I think setting a franchise record for wins 2 years after having been forced to trade your franchise star and without drafting in the lottery during that time deserves some recognition.

      Plus, Gallo was out, Faried was a shell of himself in game 2 when they lost home court, and he way less then 100% the rest of the way.

      That’s arguably their 2 most important players.

      It happens. Sometimes the better team does not win the series. Every matchup out west was tough except perhaps the Lakers and that was only because they were decimated.

    18. nicos

      flossy: I mean, it’s an award for regular season performance.I think setting a franchise record for wins 2 years after having been forced to trade your franchise star and without drafting in the lottery during that time deserves some recognition.

      But what did he really do this year other than the Iggy trade? Most of his work was done in the last two seasons not this one. Morey made the Harden deal and a smart move with Asik (Lin not so much at least so far) and picked up a guy who might be a nice asset down the line in Robinson for peanuts.

    19. stratomatic

      jon abbey:
      no, they got better the instant Lee went out, like us and Amar’e. even in game 1 of the DEN series, they came back after being down a lot with Lee in there, and they haven’t looked back. this isn’t a big issue with Amar’e slated for a maximum 10-15 minutes, but it would be if he was slated for a larger role.

      That’s the anti conventional wisdom that has become conventional wisdom, but I don’t agree with it.

      Lee doesn’t have as much value to GS as his box score stats indicate because he’s not a strong defender and his scoring was easily replaced by all those GS gunners, but there’s no way they are better without him.

      I agree even less on Amare.

      I don’t consider last year as evidence of anything because Amare was playing crippled all last year. He looked way better this year once he got through the first few games. This team NEEDs another scorer because we are built around two inconsistent players with a tendency to make bad decisions.

      The key is allowing him to do what he does better than anyone else on this team – high usage efficient scoring. If you don’t allow him to be a high usage scorer, there’s no point in having him because that’s the only thing he does way better than average. That it doesn’t happen when he’s on the court with Melo is not his fault. (which is why it never made sense to team him with a guy like Melo to begin with, but I don’t want to open old wounds and stupidity)

      On this team he belongs as the #1 option in the second unit. The real question is what he can give us in this series? Probably not much because it’s going to take until the end of the series to hit stride again.

    20. stratomatic

      nicos: But what did he really do this year other than the Iggy trade?Most of his work was done in the last two seasons not this one.Morey made the Harden deal and a smart move with Asik (Lin not so much at least so far) and picked up a guy who might be a nice asset down the line in Robinson for peanuts.

      I agree that Morey deserved it for last year, but I think (perhaps improperly) they were thinking of Masai’s trades, signings, and drafts over the last few years. He rebuilt that team into a #3 seed with upside, draft picks, trade flexibility etc… without it even feeling like a rebuild.

    21. Juany8

      Am I the only person who thinks Masai didnt do a good job of building the Nuggets? Assuming they sign Faried for about $10 a year, that’s a team that’s going to be playing near max level money for every single position on the floor without a single great player involved. They don’t have any great flexibility since the only player they have on a trade friendly contract is Faried, and it’s doubtful they’d get a better player for him without throwing in some extra depth. The Atlanta hawks were once young and upcoming too, then it turns out that playin above market value for B level players leaves you capped out with a hard second round ceiling every year. Then the highlight of your year becomes getting rid of Joe Johnson for peanuts just so they’d have flexibility they’re going to use to sign decent played for too much money. Denver isn’t going to be making serious noise in the playoffs with this core for years, if ever.

    22. thenamestsam

      stratomatic: I agree that Morey deserved it for last year, but I think (perhaps improperly) they were thinking of Masai’s trades, signings, and drafts over the last few years. He rebuilt that team into a #3 seed with upside, draft picks, trade flexibility etc… without it even feeling like a rebuild.

      right. The way they seem to assess the award is in which team’s executive deserves the most credit for the success the team achieved this year, rather than which teams executive made the moves in the past calendar year that helped their team most.

      Anyway I’d argue Executive of the Year award is the dumbest of all the major awards because it encourages voters to think about the work of an executive over the time span of a single year, which is probably just about the dumbest way you can look at the achievements of an executive. Hell, Billy King got votes and I’d say the Gerald Wallace trade alone probably did more to harm the future of his organization than any other single move any other executive made. But he gets credit because his team is a lot better this year than they were last year ignoring that their actual long term position is substantially worse. I’d say the executive who improved the long term prognosis of his team most over the past 12 months is clearly Morey, so he’d get my vote I guess.

    23. Keniman Shumpwalker

      stratomatic: I agree that Morey deserved it for last year, but I think (perhaps improperly) they were thinking of Masai’s trades, signings, and drafts over the last few years. He rebuilt that team into a #3 seed with upside, draft picks, trade flexibility etc… without it even feeling like a rebuild.

      I completely agree that Masai’s work over the last few years in re-building without it feeling like a re-build has been tremendous. If this were the Executive of the Last Few Years award then I’d be all for giving it to him. But, the fact is, beyond the Iggy trade…what is there from THIS PAST OFFSEASON/SEASON that screams EOY? I think Morey and Grunwald both deserved it above Uriji, though I don’t think anyone wins in a runaway. Forget about the fact that the “core” of the Knicks was already in place, Prigs/Ray/Kidd for relative pennies, K-Mart, even the Cope find to a lesser extent were decisive factors in the Knicks improving from a #7 seed to a #2. There were some head-scratchers as well, but overall Grunwald has done a phenomenal job considering the limited resources at his disposal.

    24. flossy

      stratomatic:
      I agree even less on Amare.

      I don’t consider last year as evidence of anything because Amare was playing crippled all last year. He looked way better this year once he got through the first few games. This team NEEDs another scorer because we are built around two inconsistent players with a tendency to make bad decisions.

      The key is allowing him to do what he does better than anyone else on this team – high usage efficient scoring.If you don’t allow him to be a high usage scorer, there’s no point in having him because that’s the only thing he does way better than average.That it doesn’t happen when he’s on the court with Melo is not his fault. (which is why it nevermade sense to team him with a guy like Melo to begin with, but I don’t want to open old wounds and stupidity)

      All you really need to know is that this season, the combination of Melo and Chandler played great, the combination of Amar’e and Chandler played great, the threesome of Melo, Amar’e and Chandler played great.

      On the other hand, Melo and Amar’e on the court without Chandler really sucked. Amar’e on the court without Melo and Chandler also sucked. I don’t know about Melo on the court without Amar’e and Chandler but I expect it probably sucked, unless you substiute K-Mart for Chandler. I don’t think Amar’e and Chandler played together for more than a few minutes.

      While Melo and Amar’e are redundant in the larger sense (they should both be the #1 option somewhere), I think it’s not true that they can’t play together effectively. However, it’s HUGELY important to have another frontcourt player out there with them who can direct the defense and mitigate their mistakes. Now that we have both Chandler and K-Mart, there’s no reason to ever run out the the Amar’e, Melo, Novak/Copeland/JR Smith unit to get slaughtered on defense.

    25. flossy

      nicos: But what did he really do this year other than the Iggy trade?Most of his work was done in the last two seasons not this one.Morey made the Harden deal and a smart move with Asik (Lin not so much at least so far) and picked up a guy who might be a nice asset down the line in Robinson for peanuts.

      That’s true. This is the year when the pieces really fell into place. I agree with those who question the logic of giving annual GM awards for what is really a multi-year building process.

      But yeah I think you could have given the award to Morey for this year and it would have absolutely made sense.

    26. flossy

      dogrufus: Or are you asserting we’re as dominant, healthy, or advantaged over our opponent as Miami is?

      If what we did to the Pacers on Tuesday isn’t domination, I don’t know what is.

    27. stratomatic

      Juany8:
      Am I the only person who thinks Masai didnt do a good job of building the Nuggets? Assuming they sign Faried for about $10 a year, that’s a team that’s going to be playing near max level money for every single position on the floor without a single great player involved. They don’t have any great flexibility since the only player they have on a trade friendly contract is Faried, and it’s doubtful they’d get a better player for him without throwing in some extra depth. The Atlanta hawks were once young and upcoming too, then it turns out that playin above market value for B level players leaves you capped out with a hard second round ceiling every year. Then the highlight of your year becomes getting rid of Joe Johnson for peanuts just so they’d have flexibility they’re going to use to sign decent played for too much money. Denver isn’t going to be making serious noise in the playoffs with this core for years, if ever.

      IMO the only “bad” contract on that team is McGee, but there’s always hope a hyper athletic immature 7 footer with a low basketball IQ can blossom. :-) Think of him as JR without the behavioral disorders, late night partying, tweets of semi naked women etc…
      :-)

      But they need to make a decision on him. You either go “all in” and make him your center or you make a move. You can’t have a backup center making that much money.

      I think they could trade any other player on that team (and they may make some moves) without too much difficulty. The toughest one might be Lawson because he had a mediocre year, but he finished well enough.

    28. Keniman Shumpwalker

      dogrufus: Yes.Or are you asserting we’re as dominant, healthy, or advantaged over our opponent as Miami is?

      We still have to win 3/5 with them having home court.We’re probably less than 40% to win.

      From 0% to 15% to 25% to 33% to 40% all in the span 3 days. Impressive. Oh, also, you predicted 3 things (essentially) prior to game 2: that it would be a blow out, that the Knicks would lose, but that the Knicks would also win. So, I mean, damn…you’re batting .666 this week.

    29. thenamestsam

      Juany,

      I think you’re defining success too narrowly if you think the team he has in place now is not a successful one. If they can win 50+ games, make the playoffs and maybe get into the 2nd round once or twice in the next few years I’d say that’s a very successful outcome for the 5 years after trading a franchise defining star.

      No, they almost certainly won’t win anything big (although I still firmly believe they would have had an outside shot at the finals this year if Gallo and Faried were healthy, and I think that looks even better now with GS taking it to the Spurs) but they’re in the mix. It’s far from a perfectly constructed team, but they’re winning games. If I’d told you on the day of the Melo trade that the Nuggets would go 95-53 over the next two years (and not fall apart the year of the trade) I think you and pretty much everyone else would have bet the under on that.

      Also I think you’re wrong about their flexibility. Lawson and Chandler are both still appealing assets. Gallo too if healthy. Fournier is a nice looking young player. Koufos is very tradeable on his salary. They don’t have that one amazing chip that could get them in the hunt for a true superstar if one were to become available, but I think every player on the roster is tradeable, and with the exception of McGee they all have some value on their current contracts.

    30. stratomatic

      flossy:

      While Melo and Amar’e are redundant in the larger sense (they should both be the #1 option somewhere), I think it’s not true that they can’t play together effectively.

      This is the great fallacy promoted by the MSG folks etc…

      The question is not whether they can play together effectively.

      The question is whether having 2 guys whose primary value comes from scoring can create as much value together as they do alone.

      1 + 1 should = 2.

      Amare and Nash = 1 + 1 = 2.25

      Amare and Melo = 1 + 1 = 1.75

      1.75 is still effective, but it’s really dumb team building and bad value for the dollar.

    31. nicos

      thenamestsam:
      Juany,

      I think you’re defining success too narrowly if you think the team he has in place now is not a successful one. If they can win 50+ games, make the playoffs and maybe get into the 2nd round once or twice in the next few years I’d say that’s a very successful outcome for the 5 years after trading a franchise defining star.

      No, they almost certainly won’t win anything big (although I still firmly believe they would have had an outside shot at the finals this year if Gallo and Faried were healthy, and I think that looks even better now with GS taking it to the Spurs) but they’re in the mix. It’s far from a perfectly constructed team, but they’re winning games. If I’d told you on the day of the Melo trade that the Nuggets would go 95-53 over the next two years (and not fall apart the year of the trade) I think you and pretty much everyone else would have bet the under on that.

      Also I think you’re wrong about their flexibility. Lawson and Chandler are both still appealing assets. Gallo too if healthy. Fournier is a nice looking young player. Koufos is very tradeable on his salary. They don’t have that one amazing chip that could get them in the hunt for a true superstar if one were to become available, but I think every player on the roster is tradeable, and with the exception of McGee they all have some value on their current contracts.

      I don’t think you’re going to find a lot of teams busting down doors to get Gallo- he’s paid appropriately if he’s healthy but he’s been injury prone his entire career so even before this latest injury I doubt they could have gotten equal value for him at 10m a year. Outside of Faried and Koufus no one is really outperforming their contracts. Two nice pieces but hardly a world of flexibility.

    32. Juany8

      Guys, just because a player is tradeable doesn’t mean you’re going to get good value in return. Yea you can trade McGee, but not for a better player on a similar contract. Same with Lawson and Gallinari, sure you could trade them for solid pieces, but how does that make you better? Nobody trades all stars for players on big , long contracts and some late first round picks, look how hard it was for the Sixers to trade Iguodala after years of trying, or Toronto with Jose Calderon. Good players whk arent stars but are getting over $10 million a year dont get traded for better players unless they are expiring. You salary dump a guy like McGee, you don’t get pieces to build around afterwards.

    33. stratomatic

      thenamestsam:

      Fournier is a nice looking young player.

      He’s probably their SG of the future. They need another strong outside shooter to go with Gallo and he may be the guy.

      That’s where the problem is right now.

      If you have Faried and Iggy on the court together with a C with no shooting range, you don’t have as much space as they need. That’s where they missed Afflalo. Iggy is a better player than Afflalo, but not as a shooter.

      They may have to make a decision with Iggy and Faried unless Faried develops some range. They are both excellent players, but they need more shooting.

      Someone suggested moving Gallo to the 4, Iggy to the 3, and Fournier to the 2 in the starting lineup and then giving big minutes to Faried off the bench. He could play with Gallo (at the 3) and Fournier.

    34. Hubert Davis

      thenamestsam:
      although I still firmly believe they would have had an outside shot at the finals this year if Gallo and Faried were healthy, and I think that looks even better now with GS taking it to the Spurs

      I agree.

      Karl probably would’ve messed it up, but in the alternate universe where they’re healthy (and Westbrook still isn’t), I think they’re winning the West.

    35. flossy

      stratomatic: This is the great fallacy promoted by the MSG folks etc…

      The question is not whether they can play together effectively.

      The question is whether having 2 guys whose primary value comes from scoring can create as much value together as they do alone.

      1 + 1 should = 2.

      Amare and Nash =1 + 1 = 2.25

      Amare and Melo = 1 + 1 = 1.75

      1.75 is still effective, but it’s really dumb team building and bad value for the dollar.

      No doubt. I agree completely and said so vociferously before we traded for Melo. But since they’re both here now and for the foreseeable future (since Melo won’t be traded and Amar’e can’t be traded), the overriding priority has to be to make 1+1=2.

      Given their offensive versatility (particularly now that Amar’e has turned himself into an incredible post scorer), it should be possible to design an offense where they enhance, or at least don’t diminish, each other’s impact. The early returns on this, in the form of the net rating of the Melo/Amar’e/Tyson trio this year, seems encouraging.

      The key is keeping a defensive anchor on the floor with them in the person of Chandler or Martin, because they do seem to compound each other’s defensive issues and there really is no way they can simply outscore their own defensive ineptitude.

    36. flossy

      stratomatic: This is the great fallacy promoted by the MSG folks etc…

      The question is not whether they can play together effectively.

      The question is whether having 2 guys whose primary value comes from scoring can create as much value together as they do alone.

      1 + 1 should = 2.

      Amare and Nash =1 + 1 = 2.25

      Amare and Melo = 1 + 1 = 1.75

      1.75 is still effective, but it’s really dumb team building and bad value for the dollar.

      I guess what I was trying to say in my comment above is that Amar’e and Melo alone may be a 1+1=1.75 situation, but Amar’e, Melo and [really good defensive big] could be a 1+1+1=3.25 kind of deal. Maybe better, depends on match-ups also.

    37. Juany8

      nicos: I don’t think you’re going to find a lot of teams busting down doors to get Gallo- he’s paid appropriately if he’s healthy but he’s been injury prone his entire career so even before this latest injury I doubt they could have gotten equal value for him at 10m a year.Outside of Faried and Koufus no one is really outperforming their contracts. Two nice pieces but hardly a world of flexibility.

      That’s the problem, players are only valuable trade chips if they’re outplaying their contracts. Gallo on a rookie deal is a great value, Gallo with a $10 million dollar year is proving less bang for the buck than guys like Jimmy Butler and Chandler Parsons. If the Clippers wanted to trade Chris Paul for instance, do they trade for Lawson and Gallinari, sticking them with a bigger salary figure for a downgrade, or do they trade for Beverly and Parsons, who aren’t quite as good but provide 70-80% of the same value for less than 10% of the cost…. It’s an easy choice once you consider than you have a ton of cap room you can now use to pay off a higher caliber player. It’s literally no contest, your team might be a little worse in the short term but you have a lot more control and upside. And if the cheap guys don’t actually improve or get injured, you have no problem with just dumping them off and getting new ones, a much bigger issue when you have $40 million invested in a player’s success. Overpaying B level players is the surest way to get stuck in NBA purgatory for half a decade.

    38. Juany8

      Hubert Davis: I agree.

      Karl probably would’ve messed it up, but in the alternate universe where they’re healthy (and Westbrook still isn’t), I think they’re winning the West.

      So in a world where Ginobli, Westbrook, David lee, and Blake Griffin are all getting injured, the nuggets might have made the Finals? Well in a world where Lebron and roy hibbert get injured the Knicks would be making the Finals pretty easily. Kind of sad when you have to hope for perfect health and terrible health for your opponents so that you can maybe make the Finals.

    39. Hubert Davis

      This quote from Woodson on Amar’e is VERY concerning:

      “It won’t be very many minutes,” Woodson said. “I’m thinking somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes.”

      That’s actually a lot of minutes. In fact, I was kinda hoping when healthy the most he’d get is 10-15 minutes.

    40. thenamestsam

      Juany8: Kind of sad when you have to hope for perfect health and terrible health for your opponents so that you can maybe make the Finals.

      For one, saying the Nuggets needed “perfect health” is disingenuous. Arguably their best player tore his ACL.

      Second, sad by what standards? I think saying a team needs to avoid a key injury to their best player and a little help to make the finals describes a situation that at least 20 teams in the league are hoping to find themselves in. I don’t consider the Knicks current situation sad. Do you? Because I’d say “Needs to avoid a key injury and needs a little help to make the finals” is a very accurate description of where we find ourselves. Only one team can be championship front runners. The question remains if I told you on the day they traded Melo that they’d be 95-53 over the next two years would you have taken the over or the under. I know I would have gone way, way under.

      Lastly, on the flexibility question the point in my mind isn’t whether they have the pieces to add some kind of superstar to the mix. They don’t. But they don’t need to. They won 57 games this year. Their team is past the point where they need to add a ton of value to be a contender and at the point where they need to get the pieces right. They don’t need to try to get a Chris Paul (imo). He’d never stay there anyway. They need to try to move one or two of their guys for guys of similar caliber who fit a little better.

    41. thenamestsam

      Hubert Davis:
      This quote from Woodson on Amar’e is VERY concerning:

      “It won’t be very many minutes,” Woodson said. “I’m thinking somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes.”

      That’s actually a lot of minutes.In fact, I was kinda hoping when healthy the most he’d get is 10-15 minutes.

      Yeah, I really hate how this is going to affect the rotation if Woodson is playing Amare 20+ minutes a night when he’s fully healthy. Assuming Chanlder stays around 30 and Kenyon around 20 that’s at least half the game that we’re using a traditional two big lineup. On top of that with Melo playing 40 minutes and JR playing more than 30 and Shump playing very well it leaves almost no space for the two point guard lineups that have been a hallmark of our best play this season. Do not want.

    42. marechal

      I think Amare will probably get most of Novak’s/Copeland’s minutes. I guess Prigs may end up getting some of Kidd’s minutes to run the offense in the second unit, as he has pretty good chemistry with Amare.

    43. GHenman

      Denver also has the extra draft picks to add an outside shooter and maybe a low post scorer.

    44. d-mar

      Can someone explain to me why the 4 teams that played yesterday play again on Friday, and the 4 teams that played Tuesday don’t play again until Sat.? How does that make any sense?

    45. Hubert Davis

      marechal:
      I think Amare will probably get most of Novak’s/Copeland’s minutes. I guess Prigs may end up getting some of Kidd’s minutes to run the offense in the second unit, as he has pretty good chemistry with Amare.

      I thought so, too. But if Woody is talking about 10-15 to START with, then I think that’s a sign that he plans to do much more than give Amar’e Novak/Copeland minutes.

      Heard Zach Lowe on a podcast today say he picked the Pacers in part bc he doesn’t trust the Knicks to handle this. Said Amare at 8-12 minutes could be huge but we won’t resist playing him 20-25.

      Those comments seem to prove him right.

    46. Hubert Davis

      d-mar:
      Can someone explain to me why the 4 teams that played yesterday play again on Friday, and the 4 teams that played Tuesday don’t play again until Sat.? How does that make any sense?

      Bc the 4 teams that played tuesday were rushed into their 2nd round series for TV purposes (they had 36 hours between game 6 of round 1 & game 1 of round 2) whereas the teams that played yesterday were given more time off between their series (except the Bulls, but only bc they were the only team to play a game 7).

    47. Knicks4Eva

      However many minutes Amar’e gets, he’ll likely play with Kenyon and without Melo most of the time. In that situation he’s definitely an improvement.

      Stop wringing your hands about Amar’e coming back.

      His return will be a net positive for this team. Besides, the Knicks have so many ways to mess things up, what makes you think it will be Amar’e's minutes that are a problem instead of J.R.’s, or Kidd’s?

      Man up guys.

    48. flossy

      dogrufus: Did we dominate them as badly as Miami dominated the Bulls?

      Didn’t watch that game, so I can’t recall if Chicago went TWELVE MINUTES without scoring a single basket or not

    49. flossy

      Knicks4Eva:
      However many minutes Amar’e gets, he’ll likely play with Kenyon and without Melo most of the time. In that situation he’s definitely an improvement.

      Stop wringing your hands about Amar’e coming back.

      His return will be a net positive for this team. Besides, the Knicks have so many ways to mess things up, what makes you think it will be Amar’e’s minutes that are a problem instead of J.R.’s, or Kidd’s?

      Man up guys.

      Seriously. Jason Kidd continues to get big minutes despite becoming the first player in the history of the NBA to play 10+ scoreless minutes in 6 straight playoff games. He’s gone over 150 minutes without scoring a single point. If Amar’e rounds into shape quickly I have no problem with drastically reducing Kidd’s minutes, cutting Cope out of the rotation entirely and reigning in JR’s PT as well.

    50. jon abbey

      Knicks4Eva:
      However many minutes Amar’e gets, he’ll likely play with Kenyon and without Melo most of the time. In that situation he’s definitely an improvement.

      Stop wringing your hands about Amar’e coming back.

      His return will be a net positive for this team. Besides, the Knicks have so many ways to mess things up, what makes you think it will be Amar’e’s minutes that are a problem instead of J.R.’s, or Kidd’s?

      Man up guys.

      because Amar’e has killed this team repeatedly when he’s been out there for the last two seasons, much as I like him and wish that wasn’t the case. NY is 43-18 without him this year, 16-13 with him, and that isn’t a total coincidence.

      also much like GS and D-Lee and HOU and Lin, I think NY is better without him. here is a GS columnist writing about Lee, a very similar situation:

      http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2013/05/09/are-the-warriors-a-better-playoff-team-without-david-lee-you-see-it-you-know-it-and-heres-why-its-true/

    51. jon abbey

      and yes, Kidd shouldn’t be playing almost at all, that’s been obvious for at least a few games now. I think that is largely separate from the Amar’e issue, though.

    52. JK47

      Amar’e actually brings something to the table that the Knicks don’t currently have– high-efficiency low-post offense.

      Amar’e had 413 points on 267 FGA this season. He shot .677 at the rim. That seems like the kind of guy that might be able to pitch in a little bit in a 10-15 minutes per night role.

    53. flossy

      jon abbey: NY is 43-18 without him this year, 16-13 with him, and that isn’t a total coincidence.

      Yeah, it’s mostly a coincidence. Unless Amar’e stepped on Raymond Felton’s pinkie, injured Melo’s knee and roofied Jason Kidd and JR Smith for about 6 weeks running.

    54. Knicks4Eva

      Yeah, I hear you jon abbey.

      With respect, correlation is not causation.

      So with that in mind I’m thinking that your being wrong about both the Knicks and the Warrior simultaneously doesn’t suggest anything about you, though it sure seems to.

      I think most people agree that Felton being out/limited by injury had much more to do with our rough stretch than the return of Amar’e.

      He’s not the answer to every problem, but he solves enough of them that I still maintain that his return will help us.

    55. Hubert Davis

      Don’t get me wrong I love what Amar’e could do in this series with 8-10 minutes. 10-15 to start & potentially more, though? That’s a big ask.

    56. jon abbey

      haha, I’m definitely not wrong about the Warriors. they are really obviously better without Lee, not sure how anyone could even argue otherwise. I am more open to being wrong about Amar’e, but I have made my arguments there many times in the last few months, so will let it go.

      and I agree with Hubert, if he plays alongside Chandler or Martin and keeps it to 10-12 minutes, I’m very happy to see what he can bring. I think Woodson does better the fewer real options he has, though, and I don’t trust him to manage this correctly. he should never ever ever be the sole big man, though.

    57. Knicks4Eva

      Well, the Warriors are certainly better against Denver/SA without Lee.

      But what about against Memphis?

      As for not completely trusting Woodson, I hear ya.

    58. flossy

      Hubert Davis:
      Don’t get me wrong I love what Amar’e could do in this series with 8-10 minutes.10-15 to start & potentially more, though?That’s a big ask.

      There is no point to playing someone 8 mpg.

    59. Unreason

      A small sample of things I’ve been wrong about lately- including several I didn’t post:

      The Knicks would sweep Boston
      Shump would fade sadly into irrelevance
      Earl would look to drive when his jumper is off
      Chandler would dial up the intensity in the PS, even if hobbled, kinda like Joakim
      Kidd was saving himself for the playoffs and would have a mild resurgence
      Prigs would get more tentative in big moments, not less
      Ray would use up crucial extra shots late in games
      Anthony and JR would each have a hot hand about every other game and they’d both be hot at the same time about every third game, pretty much no matter who they were playing

      My fallibility is not merely good, it is outstanding. It is a balm against fevered visions of Amare being battered like a seal pup every minute he’s on D. With Melo and pipemaster flash icy cold night after night after night, the twin graces of Knickbocker team D and C/Pacer spasticity have borne almost every Knick W so far out of a swampy offensive muck. Amare might help with that a bit of course, but I’d expect him to more than offset that benefit by sprinting energetically to the left as everyone else slides right- oh half a dozen times a game. So I rest easier knowing how little I know.

    60. Juany8

      Thenamestsame, @47

      This argument sounds nice, but not many people would actually agree that Gallo is their best player, and even if he was he’s still only an above average player and nothing more. It’s not some massive loss, and I completely disagree that Golden State is better without Lee, they are simply better with JUST Bogut (who did not play anywhere near this level during his very brief regular season) than they are with JUST Lee. A half playoff game where Lee started off already injured and tried to play through provides proof of nothing.

      So to put a slightly different spin on the story, the Warriors lost the only all star of the series while coming in with the worst point differential of any Western Conference playoff team. Bogut had barely played all season and looked toast, while Harrison Barnes had played next to no serious time as the team’s power forward. Yet they beat down a 57 win team in the first round. Not a good look for the 57 win team.

      This entire argument that Denver is good hinges on the fact that Golden State improved significantly due to its injury while Denver lost major pieces. That’s a very questionable argument at best, and teams that lose in the first round to non contenders don’t tend to just jump into contention with a few minor tweaks. Or does no one remember the 67 win, defending Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks losing in the first round to Golden State? Took more than a few tweaks to get a 67 win team (same number of wins as Miami btw) to even get back to the WCF. Such as firing the coach, picking up Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion, and Jason Kidd, and totally changing the bench up.

      If a 67 win team can admit it’s not a true contender 1 season removed from making the Finals, you can’t praise the 57 win team for losing in the first round to a supposedly inferior opponent. How were they supposed to beat the actual GOOD teams? Success is relative of course, but constant first round losses aren’t it.

    61. Juany8

      jon abbey:
      haha, I’m definitely not wrong about the Warriors. they are really obviously better without Lee, not sure how anyone could even argue otherwise. I am more open to being wrong about Amar’e, but I have made my arguments there many times in the last few months, so will let it go.

      and I agree with Hubert, if he plays alongside Chandler or Martin and keeps it to 10-12 minutes, I’m very happy to see what he can bring. I think Woodson does better the fewer real options he has, though, and I don’t trust him to manage this correctly. he should never ever ever be the sole big man, though.

      How is this obvious? I don’t really understand the argument honestly, he played like shit in the first game because he was already injured, and yes Harrison Barnes is better than an injured David Lee at power forward. So there is quite obvious proof that Golden State is better than their regular season record, but only because Golden State with JUST a healthy Bogut is better than Golden State with JUST David Lee. If Amar’e suddenly came back totally healthy and started playing awesome off the bench, it would kill Copeland’s minutes. That would not prove that the Knicks are a better team with Copeland missing, it would prove that a healthy Amar’e is better than a healthy Copeland.

      So it’s fair to say that Golden State is better now than they were during the regular season, but that does not mean Golden State would be hurt by having both Lee and Bogut playing together. I’ll concede that it’s at least possible that this is the case, but there is absolutely no conclusive proof that Golden State would suddenly get worse if Lee came back fully healthy. If Bogut was playing like he did during the regular season (meaning mostly cheering from the bench) there would be nobody on earth saying the Warriors are better off without him.

    62. Juany8

      I would also not that Marc Jackson is no longer starting Harrison Barnes at power forward against San Antonio. At this point, to prove that golden state is better off without lee, you have to argue that Draymond green is a better power forward than David lee. That’s a pretty hard argument for me to simply accept on face value. It was one thing when they were going small and you could argue the offense improved, but Draymond Green went 2-8 yesterday in 33 minutes, I don’t think switching in Lee for those minutes would have somehow hurt Golden State’s chances of winning game 2.

    63. Juany8

      On the other hand Jon, I fully agree with you about Amar’e. it’s sneaky because everyone already gives him shit for it, but he’s actually OVERRATED on defense and rebounding. It is virtually impossible to be an excellent team on that end if Amar’e is playing because he will make it easy for the opponent to attack him. He doesn’t box out and he is mind numbingly awful at guarding the pick and roll. Having Amar’e on the floor instantly provides the opponent a go to action on offense! Just run the pick and roll at Amar’e with any 2 competent players and you’re gonna have a good possession. It’s too big a weakness, he might still be effective in limited minutes, but Amar’e does not help a team as a featured player.

    64. max fisher-cohen

      JK47:
      Amar’e actually brings something to the table that the Knicks don’t currently have– high-efficiency low-post offense.

      Amar’e had 413 points on 267 FGA this season.He shot .677 at the rim.That seems like the kind of guy that might be able to pitch in a little bit in a 10-15 minutes per night role.

      In stat’s first two weeks back though he was awful — 51.7% TS%, net rating of -6.4. I don’t see him returning to form immediately.

      Regardless, even when healthy and doing what you write of — dominating in the post — he was still taking away one of the most efficient types of offense: NY’s 3 point game because the Knicks don’t have a perimeter big who can protect Amar’e on defense, forcing the Knicks to play big.

      NY’s offense and defense were both BETTER without Stoudemire than with him. Yeah, there are plenty of variables that could be confounding these numbers, but I remain a major skeptic.

    65. JK47

      Juany8:
      On the other hand Jon, I fully agree with you about Amar’e. it’s sneaky because everyone already gives him shit for it, but he’s actually OVERRATED on defense and rebounding. It is virtually impossible to be an excellent team on that end if Amar’e is playing because he will make it easy for the opponent to attack him. He doesn’t box out and he is mind numbingly awful at guarding the pick and roll. Having Amar’e on the floor instantly provides the opponent a go to action on offense! Just run the pick and roll at Amar’e with any 2 competent players and you’re gonna have a good possession. It’s too big a weakness, he might still be effective in limited minutes, but Amar’e does not help a team as a featured player.

      I don’t know about that. Amar’e played a lot of minutes in the 2011-2012 season, and the Knicks were 5th in the NBA in Defensive Rating. So we know it’s not an impossible task to field a good defensive team with Amar’e playing major minutes.

    66. flossy

      JK47: I don’t know about that.Amar’e played a lot of minutes in the 2011-2012 season, and the Knicks were 5th in the NBA in Defensive Rating.So we know it’s not an impossible task to field a good defensive team with Amar’e playing major minutes.

      Also, when Amar’e was on the floor the Knicks were a +5 in TRB% and got defensive rebounds at what would have been the #1 rate in the NBA over the full season, so… clearly his rebounding is not really an issue.

      Amar’e has to play with one of Chandler or K-Mart on the floor and if he does I assure you he’ll be a net positive (assuming he’s reasonably healthy). Amar’e, one of those two, and any 3 guys who can pass and shoot (but preferably Melo being one) and we’re good. It’s only when Amar’e is the lone big on the floor that we’ll have any problems.

    67. Juany8

      JK47: I don’t know about that.Amar’e played a lot of minutes in the 2011-2012 season, and the Knicks were 5th in the NBA in Defensive Rating.So we know it’s not an impossible task to field a good defensive team with Amar’e playing major minutes.

      The best defensive stretches of the season coincided with him missing a lot of time though. A quick peek at basketball reference reveals that the Knicks were a staggering 10 points worse when Amar’e played last year. The defense was 4 points worse per 100 possessions. The team played just about as many minutes with Amar’e on the court as with him off the court, so if anything Amare’s presence prevented the Knicks from being truly dominant instead of helping in any way. Last year is just not a good year to use when trying to make a case for Stoudemire lol.

    68. Juany8

      flossy:
      Amar’e has to play with one of Chandler or K-Mart on the floor and if he does I assure you he’ll be a net positive (assuming he’s reasonably healthy).Amar’e, one of those two, and any 3 guys who can pass and shoot (but preferably Melo being one) and we’re good.It’s only when Amar’e is the lone big on the floor that we’ll have any problems.

      I actually think you could be right about this, the only problem is that this team is clearly centered on the idea that Melo is going to be playing major minutes at power forward. With JR playing terrible it does open the possibility that Amar’e would be a better late game option, but at this point I’d actually rather have Shump finishing games at the 3, he has been the second best Knick in the playoffs so far. You could move down and say Shump could take Kidd’s spot at the 2, but again I think Prigioni would be a better fit in that position with what the Knicks are trying to do. Felton has been more than fine as a second option so far this post season, and Prigs and Shump are playing fantastic basketball, if JR and Kidd can’t pick their games up then I say their minutes should go to the most similar player available.

      At this point, you’re only playing Amar’e around 15-20 minutes a game since he won’t be starting or finishing games, and you want Melo playing a ton of minutes at power forward. At that point, why would you even bother? It’s one thing to try to ease him in during the regular season and see what you have, there’s really nothing to lose then, but right now a quick 10 point run when Amar’e plays might lose the Knicks a game. You can’t be looking ahead to Miami when you’re not even sure you’re going to win this series. I’d honestly rather hope JR starts 3′s over watching Amar’e try to post up a couple of times to shake the rust off. Maybe if we’re down 2-0 in Miami and a little…

    69. nicos

      max fisher-cohen: In stat’s first two weeks back though he was awful — 51.7% TS%, net rating of -6.4. I don’t see him returning to form immediately.

      Regardless, even when healthy and doing what you write of — dominating in the post — he was still taking away one of the most efficient types of offense: NY’s 3 point game because the Knicks don’t have a perimeter big who can protect Amar’e on defense, forcing the Knicks to play big.

      I agree with the first part- he’s going to be rusty. As for the three point game- as far as the bench goes it’s already gone. JR’s only hitting 30%, Copeland’s below that, Novak’s not playing and even if he was he’s not getting shots off against a team like Indiana. I won’t even mention Kidd. Amar’e's going to draw some attention, rusty or not and that should help the offense when Melo’s off of the floor.

      Also, as far as his defense goes, Indiana isn’t a big PNR team so I’m not hugely worried about that. And both this year and last Amar’e has shown some real improvement in his pnr coverage- that last game against OKC he was great and that was on a bum knee against a really good pnr team so I’m not sure that it’s a given he’ll stink as long as he’s moving okay. As Flossy mentioned the Knick’s rebounded better with Amar’e this year but I’d agree with Juany8 that his rebounding is a concern- he has a history of being outworked by energy guys like Hansbrough. As long as his minutes are coming from Novak/Copeland plus a few from JR/Kidd where we play bigger rather than a three guard lineup he could help.

    70. nicos

      I’ll also add that David West’s career TS% head to head with Amar’e is under .500 so Amar’e is capable of banging with him in the post.

    71. jon abbey

      Juany8:
      On the other hand Jon, I fully agree with you about Amar’e. it’s sneaky because everyone already gives him shit for it, but he’s actually OVERRATED on defense and rebounding. It is virtually impossible to be an excellent team on that end if Amar’e is playing because he will make it easy for the opponent to attack him. He doesn’t box out and he is mind numbingly awful at guarding the pick and roll. Having Amar’e on the floor instantly provides the opponent a go to action on offense! Just run the pick and roll at Amar’e with any 2 competent players and you’re gonna have a good possession. It’s too big a weakness, he might still be effective in limited minutes, but Amar’e does not help a team as a featured player.

      well, then it’s an easy jump to my argument about Lee, wasn’t there a big study in the middle of this season that showed he was maybe the worst defensive big man in the league?

    72. Douglas

      jon abbey: well, then it’s an easy jump to my argument about Lee, wasn’t there a big study in the middle of this season that showed he was maybe the worst defensive big man in the league?

      Kirk Goldsberry’s presentation at this year’s Sloan Conference.

    73. Zanzibar

      The unanimous feeling on this board seems to be that Amare should never be on the floor without Kenyon or Tyson. I would like to offer a rationale for why Woody might want to try to fly solo with Amare when Hibbert is in the game. If it doesn’t work, he can abandon it as fast as he jettisoned the Tyson/Kenyon on the floor at same time experiment. And btw, many people prior to the series were arguing that we needed to play Kenyon/Tyson together against the Pacers. Here goes:

      (1) According to that Dwight Effect study, Hibbert is the best interior defender in the league. How do we get him out of the paint? Force him to guard Amare who, unlike Tyson, can knock down a mid-range shot. Run pick-and-pops. Also Amare can take Hibbert off the dribble. Most important of all, this configuration could open up the lane for Felton, Melo and JR to attack the basket. All of this could be huge for our offense against this particular team. How often has the vaunted Pacer D faced this type of offense? Maybe it will figuratively collapse when Hibbert is literally unable to collapse in the paint?

      (2) Amare is a terrible help defender but Indy does not have those speedy guards to expose EZPass Amare. Indy is not a big PnR team and Amare can just drop back and our guard can go under the screen. And it’s not like Tyson is one of the better interior defenders in the league (35th in Dwight Effect study).

      (3) Amare has always been a decent man defender so he may be able to handle Hibbert.

      (4) Defensive rebounding is critical against the Pacers. Amare has been an average rebounder but it’s hard to believe he’d be much worse than Chandler’s been this series (career 17.9 playoff DRB% vs 20.6 Tyson). Plus we rely heavily on Melo/JR/Shump/Kidd to shore up our rebounding in any case so they would have to step up.

      continued…

    74. Zanzibar

      We lose some offensive rebounds but, most importantly, Chandler’s excellent screens – and it looks like Woodson’s finally realized that we’re gonna have to hit jumpers coming off screens when Hibbert is in the game. That overall worked well in the 2nd game but is it sustainable and would a more open paint work even better leading to more efficient shots? Also, maybe the effectiveness of Tyson dive and smash plus his offensive rebounding would increase when Hibbert is out of the lineup. While I believe ultimately the best use of Amare will be to provide badly needed offense on the second unit, maybe we should not dismiss out-of-hand the idea of playing Amare at the 5 in stretches with the first unit if it’s struggling on offense. It just might open the floodgates for our offense offsetting the hit to our D.

    75. jon abbey

      FWIW, Amar’e hasn’t actually been able to hit mid-range jumpers since his first year here, he was terrible at it last season and this year almost everything came in the post.

    76. Zanzibar

      True Amare shot 35% from 16-23 last season compared to 44%,42,46,48, 48 the previous 5 seasons. Was that an anomaly given his back injury, weight/muscle gain, and general offense flow issues? This season he shot 40% on a low 1.1 attempts/game. The other thing is it seemed like he took quite a few shots coming off screens the last 2 seasons which might have also depressed his %. In my scenario against Hibbert, I would envision him taking set, spot up 2pt shots or driving to basket if Hibbert closes out. Felton/JR/Melo would drive and kick to Amare for a wide open shot if Hibbert stays in paint. But yeah, Pacers might force Amare to make wide open looks before they have Hibbert guard him out there.

    77. bidiong

      We’ll know more tomorrow on Amaré. I’m looking forward to seeing him play some mini minutes. From what I read Woodson said that the minutes won’t go up because they don’t want to injure him again. 15 solid minutes a game from him would do a lot of good for our team at this point.

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