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Friday, August 1, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, Aug 14 2012)

  • [New York Post] Teamwork was not on Olympic agenda for Chandler, Melo (Tue, 14 Aug 2012 04:05:48 -0500)
    LONDON â?? Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski fashioned a gold-medal-winning rotation during the Olympics, with Tyson Chandler starting at center and Carmelo Anthony replacing him at the five-minute mark of the first and third quarters.
    Having Anthony in an odd role, often at the 5, was good for the gold in…

  • 46 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, Aug 14 2012)

    1. Frank O.

      So I want someone to tell me – because my life is consumed by Congress and the elections at the moment – how they think Amare will adapt to a back to the back, low-post role in Woodson’s offense.
      One would assume that in that role, Amare will need to pass effectively, and the rest of the offense would need to stay in motion.
      Neither one of those actions were strengths last year.
      But I also can see the benefit of Amare keeping his back to a defender and using his strength, size and quickness to cause problems.
      But he’s been in the NBA for a long time, and this has not been a priority up until this point.
      Love to read thoughts on this.

    2. thenamestsam

      Frank O.:
      So I want someone to tell me – because my life is consumed by Congress and the elections at the moment – how they think Amare will adapt to a back to the back, low-post role in Woodson’s offense.
      One would assume that in that role, Amare will need to pass effectively, and the rest of the offense would need to stay in motion.
      Neither one of those actions were strengths last year.
      But I also can see the benefit of Amare keeping his back to a defender and using his strength, size and quickness to cause problems.
      But he’s been in the NBA for a long time, and this has not been a priority up until this point.
      Love to read thoughts on this.

      I agree that I don’t really see how it can be a focus of the offense. I’d much prefer Amare work on his jumper which I think is much more important. In crunch time we know that Melo, Amare and Tyson are going to be on the floor. Tyson is a non-factor offensively outside of 2 feet, and Melo is at his most effective when he can get down low and attack the basket with his superior strength. The space that is going to be open for Amare to work in is 15-18 feet from the hoop where he has shown in past years he can make the jumper or fake it and get to the hoop. If he can’t knock down the shot and he’s going to the post to get his points the spacing seems like it’s going to be very flawed to me.

    3. Z-man

      One problem I see with Amare on both ends of the court is that he seems to play with a high center of gravity, so to speak. This is not conducive to a post game, or staying in front of quicker players on D. Maybe working on post moves will help him get lower in his stance, but I’m not optimistic that he will ever have anything more than a token post game. He’s never really been a banger or a fallaway shooter. Maybe if he draws a smaller defender in the post off a switch, but otherwise I worry about a lot of fallaway misses. Good to see that he’s working on his game, though.

    4. ess-dog

      Another issue with Amare is that he’s a terrible dribbler. The less he puts the ball on the floor, the better chance he’ll score and not turn it over.

      With Nash, he would often get the ball right at the rim. With Felton, he got the ball at the elbow and had a lot of 7 or 8 turnover games, but was still about as efficient as Melo. Perhaps a Felton/Kidd/Prigioni platter will work in his favor? Not to Nash levels, but I expect him to play much better than he did with Toney Douglas running the show.

      As far as post moves, hopefully he’s just learning the dream shake and other 1 or 0 dribble moves. And extended ball handling for Amare will not work, but he could learn new fakes and that would be beneficial.

    5. JK47

      Amar’e's environment in Phoenix was a perfect storm– he played with the ideal PG, he had plenty of space around the basket in which to operate, he was able to play lots of minutes at center and he was surrounded by dangerous 3-point bombers. He had some incredible years in Phoenix, but some of those stat lines just seem sort of inflated.

      He had the stats of a max contract player, but is not really a max contract player. On a “normal” team that plays a traditional center and doesn’t have a bona fide legend at PG Amare’s weaknesses become pretty apparent pretty quickly. I think what we’ve seen from him as a Knick is pretty much what we’re going to continue to see. He’s not a terrible player and will have occasional hot stretches that will get everyone excited but people who are pining for the .600+ TS% Amar’e are going to be disappointed.

    6. d-mar

      I know you can’t pick one game as a benchmark, but are we forgetting the monster performance by Amare vs. the Celtics in game 1, which was only a year and a few months ago? He absolutely owned one of the best PF defenders in the game. Now there is a possibility that that stupid back injury before game 2 derailed his career, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that his career success was just a product of the Phoenix system and Nash.

    7. Brian Cronin

      I honestly don’t believe Amar’e will become tradeable until one of two things happen:

      1. He turns his career around this season or
      2. He has just one year left on his deal, at which point teams will be willing to trade their bad contracts for him.

    8. ephus

      DS:
      Is there not one team that would take Amar’e? Philly? Orlando? Brooklyn?

      If you believe Larry Coon (who seems to have really good sources in NBA FOs), Amar’e's contract is the most untradable in the league, because of the insurance issue.

      There is a league-wide policy that insures the contracts of around 150 players each season. The five most expensive contracts for each team are included, and teams have the option of submitting additional names for coverage. The carrier has the right to exclude 14 contracts per season, such as when they consider a player with a very large remaining contract to be a medical risk. For example they excluded Luol Deng in 2008-09 because he had $71 million remaining and a history of back injuries. The list of excluded players changes each year, so a player who is not covered one season might be covered the following season.

      If an insured player is disabled, there is a 41 game waiting period, after which the insurance company pays 80% of the guaranteed portion of the player’s base salary. Once a player is covered, the carrier can’t exclude the player for the remainder of his current contract.
      http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q71

      Stat’s contract was not insured when he signed it, and without that insurance, teams will not risk taking him on. It is possible that in the next year, either the disability insurer will take the risk, or the contract will become small enough that teams are willing to trade for Amar’e without insurance coverage.

    9. nicos

      To me the biggest plus would be for Amar’e to get in the habit of sprinting down court and getting post position 10-12 feet from the basket. I doubt he’s going suddenly develop great back to the basket moves but from 12 feet he can turn and face and get to the hoop in one dribble. He can still blow by just about anyone (he beat both Bosh and Anthony off of the dribble multiple times against Miami even when he only had one hand and they knew he was going right) but the half-step he’s lost has allowed rotating defenders to cause real problems for him. Getting him closer to the basket (especially early in possessions) should pay real dividends- Kidd should really help in this regard.

    10. knicknyk

      I am really nervous for Amare. I love the guy and I feel like there will be massive backlash if he doesn’t display some of these post moves he is learning from Hakeem. The way that it is being hyped up in the Houston media and the NY media doesn’t bode well if he doesn’t apply it on the court.

    11. DS

      Thanks, ephus, I knew nothing of that insurance policy. Guess we’re stuck w/ the guy.

      Do you want to field my next question too; why can’t good players improve their defense? Maybe Hakeem could have shown him a thing or two on D.

    12. sidestep

      @ ephus, post #9

      I forget where I read this but there is, under certain circumstances, value to an expiring contract whose payout is large. The gist is that there is a minimum salary total that teams have to pay out each year; if the minimum is not met, then the team has to pay a penalty to the players’ union. By taking on a large contract, a team can meet the minimum salary requirement, but not be locked into a multi-year commitment since the contract will expire in a year. It’s a way to meet the salary requirement while keeping salary flexibility two years down the road to make further trades and acquisitions.

    13. sidestep

      If I’m right about those details, there seems to be the theoretical possibility that a team would be take on Amare’s sucky contract for the reasons stated above if it could get good assets in return (such as picks, which the Knicks don’t have haha).

    14. ephus

      Under the CBA, teams have to pay at least a certain percentage of the cap as salary. This year it is 85%, next year (and for the rest of the CBA) it goes up to 90%. That means each team must have at least $49 million in salary at the end of the season, or pro rata increase the salary of each player to get up to $49 million.

      In the rare circumstance where a team was under the salary floor, it might make sense to bring on a player. But I cannot imagine a situation where a team was under by $20 million, which is Amar’e's salary. And, it would never make sense to take on Amar’e for more than one year to reach the minimum.

      The much more likely scenario would be for the Knicks to trade Amar’e in his last year for other “bad” contracts that had more time to run. Or, if the insurance kicks in and Amar’e's play improves, he could actually be traded for value.

    15. sidestep

      knicknyk:
      I am really nervous for Amare. I love the guy and I feel like there will be massive backlash if he doesn’t display some of these post moves he is learning from Hakeem. The way that it is being hyped up in the Houston media and the NY media doesn’t bode well if he doesn’t apply it on the court.

      Amar’e is certainly setting up high expectations.

      “[Hakeem] helped me a lot,” STAT said. “A lot of moves that he has really, really translate to my game. To now develop a post game is going to be remarkable for me. It’s going to catch a lot of my opponents off guard and it’s going to be a great year for me.”

    16. Brian Cronin

      The much more likely scenario would be for the Knicks to trade Amar’e in his last year for other “bad” contracts that had more time to run. Or, if the insurance kicks in and Amar’e’s play improves, he could actually be traded for value.

      Yeah, exactly, like I mentioned before, there are two scenarios where he can be tradeable:

      1. He turns his career around this season or
      2. He has just one year left on his deal, at which point teams will be willing to trade their bad contracts for him.

    17. ruruland

      There is really no reason Amare can’t be a quality post player… Kenyon Martin, for example, is considerably smaller but used to use his vertical to shoot a very consistent right handed mini hook in the middle of the lane. Much of Hakeems post up game came after facing up his opponent. He and amare are actually very similar in that way and are roughly the same size, though I would imagine Hakeem is aliitle longer and wider. Someone made a very good comment about amare high center of gravity. I think it would be more natural for him to get into a post move after gaining some momentum. I actually think we will see Amares post up game manifest if he cannot initially beat his defender on the drive… Last year we saw a lot of charges and forced drive turnovers that could have been avoided if Amare had more moves and countermoves, and could use his pivot foot more dynamically. It should be noted that Amar’e was one of the more efficient post up players two years ago….. If he can add a few traditional b2boves he would be a second inside out option

    18. johnno

      You guys are amazing. They post an article about how Chandler and Melo hardly played together at all in the Olympics and that somehow leads to a chain of criticism of Amare. And what did Amare do to warrant all of the negativity? He mentioned how hard he’s been working on his game in the offseason and that he thinks that it will help him this season. HOW DARE HE SAY THAT!! HE SUCKS!! TRADE THE BUM!! I’m surprised no one worked in any “Felton is a fat load” comments. I guess the only thing that surprises me is that no one came up with a way to trash Melo for the US not beating Spain by 20 points or to blame Melo for Lin not making the Olympic team.

    19. ruruland

      I happen to think that Amare at his best is still one of the 10 best bigs in the league, which would give the Knicks two… Unless you get a cp3 caliber point guard in his place, you may as well keep him, as he’s the most realistic player (in comparison to what u could get for him) to have a monster series against a Miami or Boston.But with Melo ability to be a great 4, I don’t think hell get a second contract

    20. ephus

      To be clear (and I do not think I was above), I am not advocating trying to trade Amar’e. Rather, people put out questions about the circumstances under which he could be traded, and I tried to bring some knowledge to the issues standing in the way of an Amar’e trade.

    21. knicknyk

      sidestep: Amar’e is certainly setting up high expectations.

      “[Hakeem] helped me a lot,” STAT said. “A lot of moves that he has really, really translate to my game. To now develop a post game is going to be remarkable for me. It’s going to catch a lot of my opponents off guard and it’s going to be a great year for me.”

      Yes exactly. He is setting up high expectations. That is why I hope he fulfils them. I am not advocating for him to be traded nor am I saying he is a bum. I really like the guy and I want him to be successful. Just hoping that he will be able to effectively apply what he learned from Hakeem.

    22. flossy

      I think Amar’e is going to have a major bounce-back season. He’ll never average 26/game on .600TS% again because he’ll never play with a Nash-caliber PG again nor play in a system built to feature his scoring. But I could see something like 20 and 8 per 36 on .575 TS% not being out of the question, which is not bad at all for your second option on offense.

      Playing with PGs who are at least serviceable if not world-beaters will help. Coming off a full off-season where he worked on his post game (and hopefully his defense) rather than bulking up to play center will help. Being a year and a half removed from the back injury that seemed to really linger will help. Having one coach and one set of teammates for the whole season will help. Putting some distance between him and the death of his brother will help. Being one of the hardest working players in the league and coming in with a massive chip on his shoulders will help.

    23. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      flossy:
      I think Amar’e is going to have a major bounce-back season.He’ll never average 26/game on .600TS% again because he’ll never play with a Nash-caliber PG again nor play in a system built to feature his scoring.But I could see something like 20 and 8 per 36 on .575 TS% not being out of the question, which is not bad at all for your second option on offense.

      Playing with PGs who are at least serviceable if not world-beaters will help.Coming off a full off-season where he worked on his post game (and hopefully his defense) rather than bulking up to play center will help.Being a year and a half removed from the back injury that seemed to really linger will help.Having one coach and one set of teammates for the whole season will help.Putting some distance between him and the death of his brother will help.Being one of the hardest working players in the league and coming in with a massive chip on his shoulders will help.

      If Amar’e gets 20 ppg on .575 TS%, this team will win 60 games.

      Ain’t gonna happen. Wrong side of 30.

    24. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ephus:
      To be clear (and I do not think I was above), I am not advocating trying to trade Amar’e.Rather, people put out questions about the circumstances under which he could be traded, and I tried to bring some knowledge to the issues standing in the way of an Amar’e trade.

      Thanks for the previous post. Really helpful. I’d like to see some featured posts by ephus on legal/salary cap type stuff during the season. Anyone back that?

    25. showtime

      Frank O.:
      So I want someone to tell me – because my life is consumed by Congress and the elections at the moment – how they think Amare will adapt to a back to the back, low-post role in Woodson’s offense.

      Interesting analyses on Amar’e that’s been on the minds of many of us.

      (Now wish this were the time and place to hear Frank’s thinking on ‘Congress and the elections!’)

    26. sidestep

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Thanks for the previous post. Really helpful. I’d like to see some featured posts by ephus on legal/salary cap type stuff during the season. Anyone back that?

      +1. I go boners for that legal contract and management strategy sort of stuff.

    27. ruruland

      sidestep: +1. I go boners for that legal contract and management strategy sort of stuff.

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Thanks for the previous post. Really helpful. I’d like to see some featured posts by ephus on legal/salary cap type stuff during the season. Anyone back that?

      100 percent… Ephus should be writing posts

    28. ruruland

      flossy:
      I think Amar’e is going to have a major bounce-back season.He’ll never average 26/game on .600TS% again because he’ll never play with a Nash-caliber PG again nor play in a system built to feature his scoring.But I could see something like 20 and 8 per 36 on .575 TS% not being out of the question, which is not bad at all for your second option on offense.

      Playing with PGs who are at least serviceable if not world-beaters will help.Coming off a full off-season where he worked on his post game (and hopefully his defense) rather than bulking up to play center will help.Being a year and a half removed from the back injury that seemed to really linger will help.Having one coach and one set of teammates for the whole season will help.Putting some distance between him and the death of his brother will help.Being one of the hardest working players in the league and coming in with a massive chip on his shoulders will help.

      Good post…. Look, even with just a slight increase in pick and roll plays next year, if amare simply makes shots from 9 to 18 feet as he has almost all of his career with the exception of last season, his efficiency will at least get back to what it was two years ago….. I think it will be higher because of decreased usage, which is just another way of saying a decrease in distribution of self created shots

    29. Z-man

      I’m gonna wait and see with Amare. He fooled me going into the season last year with happy talk…”I feel like a BEAST” and stuff like that; also said he worked on his ball-handling and 3-pt shot, which didn’t translate at all once the season started. I know he’s a hard worker and all that, but he had a lot more problems last year than lack of a post-up game. I truly hope he gets back what he lost, but he reminded me a lot of LJ, who worked his ass off and was a very servicable player but never got the explosion back.

      On the positive side, Amare has a lot of finesse to his game, and even without full explosion he can be very effective offensive player. The key for me is the 15-20 footer. He also has to find a way to play at least respectable defense.

    30. Z-man

      And I agree that PGs who know how to run the P&R and/or who aren’t re-animated from the NBA morgue will help Amare’s productivity as much as anyone’s.

    31. Robtachi

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: If Amar’e gets 20 ppg on .575 TS%, this team will win 60 games.

      Ain’t gonna happen. Wrong side of 30.

      Then there’s no right side of 30, considering Amar’e is 29 at the start of the season.

    32. flossy

      Robtachi: Then there’s no right side of 30, considering Amar’e is 29 at the start of the season.

      Indeed. Also, post all-star break last year (a.k.a. during Woodsanity) he averaged 18 and 8 per 36 on .597 TS% so 20 and 8 per 36 on .575 is not a ridiculous expectation if he actually does get featured a little more in the offense.

    33. Robtachi

      flossy: Indeed.Also, post all-star break last year (a.k.a. during Woodsanity) he averaged 18 and 8 per 36 on .597 TS% so 20 and 8 per 36 on .575 is not a ridiculous expectation if he actually does get featured a little more in the offense.

      I’m not rushing to the guy’s defense. For the past year and change he’s been far from ideal fitness. But he’s 29 and still has the juice in him to recalibrate his body for a few more good years. Will it happen? Dunno. But we’re not talking about a 33-year-old vet who’s body is going to fall off a cliff any moment.

      It’s not about his usage, it’s just his shooting touch. Outside of Fields, I can’t think of anyone else on the Knicks who more baffled me with his inability to knock down a reasonably open look. If STAT can simply manage to lay fewer bricks than required to build a modern outdoor shithouse, there’s your missing ~2 pp/36 right there.

    34. ruruland

      Robtachi: I’m not rushing to the guy’s defense. For the past year and change he’s been far from ideal fitness. But he’s 29 and still has the juice in him to recalibrate his body for a few more good years.Will it happen?Dunno.But we’re not talking about a 33-year-old vet who’s body is going to fall off a cliff any moment.

      It’s not about his usage, it’s just his shooting touch.Outside of Fields, I can’t think of anyone else on the Knicks who more baffled me with his inability to knock down a reasonably open look. If STAT can simply manage to lay fewer bricks than required to build a modern outdoor shithouse, there’s your missing ~2 pp/36 right there.

      ESPN Stats and Info showed he had something like the third worst percentage on open jumps shots in the league. Melo was fifth or sixth….both guys in the mid 20s…It wasn’t these guys inability to finish, or any other abstract issue, it was two guys— the highest usage guys in the team by far— each having career worst jump shooting seasons….

      I’m not going to push forth a gamblers fallacy, but we can at least expect both guys to return to career norms…all the other roster improvements aside, that alone could be a, what? 3,5,7,10 game difference, the high end if both guys have really good shooting years after recommitting themselves with full time/ overtime off season?

    35. ephus

      I am really humbled. Thanks for the kind words. I never expect Ruruland and THCJ to agree on anything, let alone praise for me.

      I will be posting during this year. I expect that my next column will be on the interplay between the luxury tax, revenue sharing and the Lakers new media contract with Time-Warner Cable.

    36. Juany8

      ephus:
      I am really humbled.Thanks for the kind words.I never expect Ruruland and THCJ to agree on anything, let alone praise for me.

      I will be posting during this year.I expect that my next column will be on the interplay between the luxury tax, revenue sharing and the Lakers new media contract with Time-Warner Cable.

      It seems we can all agree on what qualifies as good writing haha. Seriously though, having our own mini-Larry Coon is pretty great. I don’t have to go read over that FAQ myself!

    37. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Robtachi: Then there’s no right side of 30, considering Amar’e is 29 at the start of the season.

      Turns 30 on November 16. C’mon, mang.

      Also, I think the only person on this site who disagrees (at least sometimes) on writing quality is jon abbey, who asked that Jim and Bob make fewer jokes in their write-ups, to which I say, “No thank you,” and request a harumph from each individual in the gallery.

    38. Juany8

      ruruland: ESPN Stats and Info showed he had something like the third worst percentage on open jumps shots in the league. Melo was fifth or sixth….both guys in the mid 20s…It wasn’t these guys inability to finish, or any other abstract issue, it was two guys— the highest usage guys in the team by far— each having career worst jump shooting seasons….

      I’m not going to push forth a gamblers fallacy, but we can at least expect both guys to return to career norms…all the other roster improvements aside, that alone could be a, what? 3,5,7,10 game difference, the high end if both guys have really good shooting years after recommitting themselves with full time/ overtime off season?

      It was insane how poor Melo and Amar’e shot on open jumpers last season. I hadn’t looked at the specific numbers, but it was obvious that for long stretches of the season Amar’e and Melo weren’t making shots they were historically at least decent at. Seriously, everything went wrong last season (except for Linsanity) and this team had a 50+ win point differential. Not at all hard to picture this team winning 53-55 games, although everything would have to go perfect for them to win 56+. The Knicks also have some legitimate matchup advantages against Miami (you can’t go small against Chandler and Melo can defend Lebron as well as anyone) Even though I’m not sure if the Knicks make the ECF, I think they have the best chance of beating Miami in the East

    39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I don’t think we can expect those players to return to career norms. Players start to decline around age 27, and Amar’e is well past that point. It would be a statistical aberration for a player of his age to “bounce back” to his average.

    40. ephus

      Given his recent shooting display in the Olympics, I think it is more than reasonable to expect Carmelo Anthony to be at least average on his open jumpers this year. In fact, I would wager a coke that he is more likely to end up in the top-third of shooters than the bottom-third.

      I also have high hopes that Amar’e will once again be able to hit the elbow jump shot. Although I have not seen numbers, anecdotally jump shooting has always been considered an older-player skill.

    41. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ephus:
      Given his recent shooting display in the Olympics, I think it is more than reasonable to expect Carmelo Anthony to be at least average on his open jumpers this year.In fact, I would wager a coke that he is more likely to end up in the top-third of shooters than the bottom-third.

      I also have high hopes that Amar’e will once again be able to hit the elbow jump shot.Although I have not seen numbers, anecdotally jump shooting has always been considered an older-player skill.

      I think the data suggest that players with good jumpers don’t lose their shooting with age. The problem is whether Amar’e really ever had a good jumper. I don’t know.

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