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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, Oct 16 2012)

  • [New York Post] Knicks’ Amar’e: I’ll play Friday vs. Raptors (Tue, 16 Oct 2012 00:16:25 -0500)
    Amar’e Stoudemire hasn’t played yet this preseason and hasn’t had a chance to build chemistry on the court with his Knicks teammates. But the veteran power forward said that’s about to change, returning to 5-on-5 contact drills yesterday and vowing he’ll “absolutelyâ? play in Friday…

  • [New York Post] Lin wanted to retire a Knick (Tue, 16 Oct 2012 00:16:10 -0500)
    Jeremy Lin fesses up in an upcoming magazine cover story he not only wanted to remain in New York the next three seasons, he wanted to retire a Knick.
    Lin, who will be on the cover of November’s issue of GQ, is in training camp with his new team…

  • 48 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, Oct 16 2012)

    1. SeeWhyDee77

      Just read Hollinger’s forecast on ESPN.com….he has us 7th..or rather “tied for 6th”, but he predicted Miami, Indy, Boston, Brooklyn, Philly and ATL to finish ahead of us- in that order. Top 3 are really good teams and it is possible that each team could finish there..and if Bynum stays healthy maybe they will be in the mix. But Brooklyn and Atlanta ahead of us??? Brooklyin will be interesting, I’ll concede that. But I’m not sold on Joe Johnson being as good as he was in Atlanta. He declined last year and got an all star birth on reputation. Gerald Wallace is declining as well and not good enough a shooter to make up for it. Brook Lopez can score, but every other aspect of his game is questionable. Why is no one bringing up the name Eddy Curry with this guy? No D..no boards..but buckets a plenty. The only advantage D Will is gonna have is he’s got a reliable backcourt mate so he won’t have to do everything. Maybe they should have dumped Wallace and got another 2 Guard and moved Johnson to the 3. Perfect spacing for D Will to dominate the game and maybe the Nets would be worthy of such lofty expectations. And Atlanta?? Seriously?? ATLANTA? Mylanta? Love Josh Smith and Horford, but they are not enough to carry them past the 8 seed if they make it in- even if they get a resurgent Devin Harris at the 1. Honestly, I think the Wizards have a better roster if healthy. What else do they have? Korver can shoot yup..but he will have lots of company on the perimeter with Smith, Harris, Williams, and Morrow- but not enough inside presence to balance it. Our Knicks aren’t perfect by any stretch, but we’re certainly better than Atlanta and Brooklyn. Hell, we’re better than Atlanta if we field last year’s roster. I do think Brooklyn’s gonna be fun to watch though, especially at home. I used to enjoy Hollinger’s articles lol.

    2. d-mar

      @1 saw Hollinger’s “forecast” and before I allowed myself the usual knee jerk “why does ESPN and the rest of the sports media hate the Knicks so much?” reaction, it dawned on me that there’s only way to shut up the Barkleys and the Hollingers of the world: kick some butt and win the Atlantic.

      And honestly, there haven’t been a lot of reasons the last few years for the media to throw accolades at us (except maybe Linsanity) so until we post a serious W-L record and make noise in the playoffs, none of that will change. And teams like the Nets and the T-Wolves will be the flavor of the month.

    3. Eternal OptiKnist

      Agree with d-mar, until we do something on the court that is the opposite of embarrassing ourselves, you can’t fault anyone for betting against us. My picks for the east assuming everyone is healthy (except D. Rose) are Heat, Celts, 76-ers, Indy, Knicks, Nets, Bulls, Bucks. I’d also say that, injury aside, spots 2 – 6 are pretty highly interchangeable. I could care less about anyone’s predictions..we’ll know very shortly how things might go. Does seem crazy to think that Atlanta will do anything this year though.

    4. max fisher-cohen

      I’m not going to comment on how good I think the Knicks will be since we’ve beaten that conversation to death. However, I do think Atlanta will be pretty good this year. Yeah, they lost Crawford, but Lou Williams is better than Crawford. Yeah, they lost Johnson, but they also added 2 of the best 3 point shooters in the league in Korver and Morrow. Add in Devin Harris, and they now have three really quick guards, two strong pick and roll bigs, and three strong perimeter threats. They are going to score A LOT of points. Depending on their defense, they’ll IMO likely end up somewhere in the 47-53 win range.

    5. njasdjdh

      Couple things:

      1. I don’t think you can get caught up on the seeding. If you look at the projected records you will see he has spots 3-7 in the East pretty tightly bunched.

      2. For those thinking ATL is suddenly a lottery team. Keep in mind that essentially what they’ve done is traded Joe Johnson for Al Horford since Horford missed almost all of last season. I think we all agree that Al Horford is much better than Joe Johnson, so, in light of that, I don’t think it makes sense to predict they are lottery bound or even worse than last year. They also added Korver/Morrow which is going to help their spacing and there is the promise of maybe this is the year Jeff Teague breaks out.

    6. max fisher-cohen

      Just saw he puts Philly up above new york, which even being pretty skeptical of the Knicks’ current roster, I disagree with. Bynum is flaky and injury prone. If he’s missed about 26 games on average the last five seasons, and some of those earlier seasons he was only playing 28-ish MPG. He’ll be expected to play 35 a night, and he already is having health issues.

      If he plays 56 games, where is Philly’s defense going to come from? Iguodala and Brand were the keys to their defense. Turner has shown nothing to indicate he’s anything more than, say, Josh Childress. His only plus skill is rebounding. Jason Richardson is a one dimensional player at this point in his career. Without Bynum in the post and with Williams gone, Philly will need Holiday to create offense. I’d be surprised if Philly wins more than like 43 games.

      That doesn’t even take into account the issues that Collins will likely have with Bynum’s antics.

    7. nicos

      max fisher-cohen:
      Just saw he puts Philly up above new york, which even being pretty skeptical of the Knicks’ current roster, I disagree with. Bynum is flaky and injury prone. If he’s missed about 26 games on average the last five seasons, and some of those earlier seasons he was only playing 28-ish MPG. He’ll be expected to play 35 a night, and he already is having health issues.

      If he plays 56 games, where is Philly’s defense going to come from? Iguodala and Brand were the keys to their defense. Turner has shown nothing to indicate he’s anything more than, say, Josh Childress. His only plus skill is rebounding. Jason Richardson is a one dimensional player at this point in his career. Without Bynum in the post and with Williams gone, Philly will need Holiday to create offense. I’d be surprised if Philly wins more than like 43 games.

      That doesn’t even take into account the issues that Collins will likely have with Bynum’s antics.

      If their backcourt shoots like they did last year they might struggle to make the playoffs- Holiday’s TS% .502, Nick Young .512, Turner .478, J Rich .502. Who’s their back-up point guard? Can Holiday run an offense? Even if you’re taking a healthy, engaged Bynum as a given (big if) this team has a ton of question marks- I’m really surprised people are picking them so high.

    8. d-mar

      Frank O.:
      I agree with his top three.
      I think the Knicks will be four.

      I’m not buying Indy at the 3 spot. They downgraded at the PG from Collison to Augustin, their bench is shaky and they didn’t add any other pieces of note. I see them as a 5-6 seed. Also agree with Max that Philly is way overrated.

    9. Jafa

      We finished 7th the last two seasons when analysts expected us to finish higher. Why would they become optimistic about our chances all of a sudden? Did we draft/sign/acquire an important player that will move us up the standings? Did other teams lose important players that will move them down the standings?

      Look at last years finish:
      1. Chicago – lost in the 1st round and will be without Rose for most of the season so is downgraded
      2. Miami – won a title and added Allen, Lewis so is upgraded
      3. Boston – lost Allen but added Terry, Green, Lee so is upgraded
      4. Orlando – lost Howard, Anderson so is downgraded
      5. Atlanta – lost Joe Johnson so is downgraded
      6. Philadelphia – lost AI, Lou Williams but added Bynum so flat
      7. New York
      8. Indiana – stayed the same on a net basis

      So based on my count, Miami moves to #1, Boston to #2, Indiana either #3 or #4 (not necessarily on merit but merely since they will probably win their division) and competition ensues for the rest of the spots due to downgrades of some teams and no net improvement by others. This is why Milwaukee (last years #9 team) and Brooklyn (upgrades) are in the mix.

      I see us at that #3 or #4 spot (more like #3 as I’m not completely sold on Indiana), fighting with Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Chicago, which gives us a worse case scenario of a #6 finish. So #7 is not too far off if Atlanta, Milwaukee or Washington is better than expected.

    10. Jafa

      d-mar: I’m not buying Indy at the 3 spot. They downgraded at the PG from Collison to Augustin, their bench is shaky and they didn’t add any other pieces of note. I see them as a 5-6 seed. Also agree with Max that Philly is way overrated.

      I couldn’t agree more. Indy finished at the #8 spot last year, all of a sudden their #3? Only reason I can think of is that they win their division, guaranteeing them a top 4 spot. In that case, I would put them at #4, not #3, as I think New York, Brooklyn and Philadelphia are better than them.

    11. AHouston20

      Hollinger does say that if things go right for the us, which to him are keeping Tyson and Melo healthy and Felton skinny he could see the Knicks winning around 50 games and taking the division. He seems to doubt this, as well as Knicks’ ability to keep defensive effort at were it was last season, in particular where it was at the end of the season.
      He believes (like many of us here) that Knicks would be much better if we started Melo at the 4 and brought Amar’e off the bench

    12. Juany8

      The Knicks do have a lot of question marks, but is absolutely laughable that a bunch of teams with even bigger questions marks are ranked above them. The Nets, Sixers, and Hawks all made massive changes to their roster, and suddenly they’re all going to click from day 1? Even the Heat had troubles integrating their stars together and started 9-8, suddenly the Nets are going to integrate 2 wings that are both used to having the ball in their hands while trying to cobble a defense together around Brooke Lopez? Bynum has never been a primary option and showed some serious issues with passing out of double teams last year, but now he’s going to anchor both an offense and defense that lost all its best players from last year? I get putting the Knicks behind the Pacers and Celtics, and could see someone ranking one of those 3 teams as better. Ranking all 3 higher is just dumb, especially since the Knicks are a monstrously improved team from the beginning of last season, when
      their point differential suggested they were a 50 win team

    13. Juany8

      AHouston20:
      Hollinger does say that if things go right for the us, which to him are keeping Tyson and Melo healthy and Felton skinny he could see the Knicks winning around 50 games and taking the division.He seems to doubt this, as well as Knicks’ ability to keep defensive effort at were it was last season, in particular where it was at the end of the season.
      He believes (like many of us here) that Knicks would be much better if we started Melo at the 4 and brought Amar’e off the bench

      Lmao so he simply doubts the Knicks are going to try as hard? And he’s pretending to be objective? Might literally be the dumbest thing I’ve heard an analyst use as reasoning, suddenly with all the veterans on the team and a defensive minded coach, the Knicks are going to simply care less on defense than last season, when Bill Walker was getting serious minutes and D’Antoni coached 2/3 of the season…. And there was no one to back up Chandler. Seriously just as stupid fucking comment, and I’ve respected Hollinger’s writing recently

    14. AHouston20

      I usually enjoy Hollinger’s stuff, but I have to disagree with his skepticism on the Knicks ability to remain an elite defensive team, although part of his doubt seems to come from Shumpert’s injury as he says the w/o Shump’s knee injury the case for us being a top-4 team is much easier. However, I would think adding Brewer negates much of this loss and when he and Shump are both healthy we could potentially have elite perimeter defense at 2 positions at times. Also having Camby backup Chandler should help our defensive rebounding, especially when Tyson isn’t on the floor, which was a problem at times last year.

    15. AHouston20

      Juany8: Lmao so he simply doubts the Knicks are going to try as hard? And he’s pretending to be objective? Might literally be the dumbest thing I’ve heard an analyst use as reasoning, suddenly with all the veterans on the team and a defensive minded coach, the Knicks are going to simply care less on defense than last season, when Bill Walker was getting serious minutes and D’Antoni coached 2/3 of the season…. And there was no one to back up Chandler. Seriously just as stupid fucking comment, and I’ve respected Hollinger’s writing recently

      Yea that line pissed me off too. Also he says Brewer and Kidd are unlikely to appreciably worse than Fields, which I’m sorry but seems totally inaccurate. To me that is a clear upgrade on Fields. Brewer has the same shooting issues as Fields, but is light years ahead of him defensively, and Kidd for all his scoring issues is a much better passer, and spot up shooter.

    16. Frank

      Really fascinating read on Melo at the mother ship:

      http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8509424/new-york-knicks-star-carmelo-anthony-master-getting-way-espn-magazine

      Nothing really new in there, but very well written. Lots and lots of relying on anonymous sources that rip Melo then run away and hide their faces.

      Great point at the end though – that Melo killed in in the Olympics running the offense that MDA was trying to run in NY:

      “”It’s the ultimate irony of this whole thing,” the source says. “Carmelo was at his best and most efficient running that offense. It couldn’t be more obvious to him, and he couldn’t be more oblivious to it.””

      My guess? Source = Mike D’Antoni.

    17. Frank

      Just read Hollinger’s forecast. I’m not upset by it – it’s reasonable – just think like others here do that every team in the Atlantic has big question marks, but he is giving them a pass for some reason and not the Knicks.

    18. jon abbey

      that same ESPN preview picks NY 3rd in the East, behind ATL of all teams in second. of course, then I turned the page to see them picking DEN first in the West (and MIN 3rd, ahead of LAL) and realized that I should ignore the entire section.

    19. AHouston20

      Frank:
      Just read Hollinger’s forecast.I’m not upset by it – it’s reasonable – just think like others here do that every team in the Atlantic has big question marks, but he is giving them a pass for some reason and not the Knicks.

      I thought it was reasonable as well, except for him not providing a real reason or justification for why he seems to think they will slip on D, except insinuating they will stop trying as hard as last season, which to me is particularly out of line with his more statistical focused writing style. Other than that his points are legitimate even if I happen to disagree with some

    20. ruruland

      Frank: Really fascinating read on Melo at the mother ship:http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8509424/new-york-knicks-star-carmelo-anthony-master-getting-way-espn-magazineNothing really new in there, but very well written. Lots and lots of relying on anonymous sources that rip Melo then run away and hide their faces.Great point at the end though – that Melo killed in in the Olympics running the offense that MDA was trying to run in NY:“”It’s the ultimate irony of this whole thing,” the source says. “Carmelo was at his best and most efficient running that offense. It couldn’t be more obvious to him, and he couldn’t be more oblivious to it.””My guess? Source = Mike D’Antoni.

      Another one-sided, cherry-picked, homogenously-sourced hit piece.

      Yes, there is this argument to be made against Anthony. And people in the NBA make it, though not nearly as much as people in the media do. Carmelo is respected by both the NBA’s hierarchy, Team USA, and those who’ve played with him.

      They’ve gone on the record over and over. Chauncey, Lebron, Kobe, his teammates in denver et al.

      But there’s a lot more to it.

      I’m not going to waste any bandwidth fleshing out all of these claims. Though it’s hard to resist. You’ve heard enough from me.

      This is going to a fun year, and the folks who’ve authored these pieces the last 18 months are not going be let off the hook.

    21. thenamestsam

      Frank:
      Just read Hollinger’s forecast.I’m not upset by it – it’s reasonable – just think like others here do that every team in the Atlantic has big question marks, but he is giving them a pass for some reason and not the Knicks.

      I don’t think this is accurate. I think people get way to caught up in focusing on the exact order of people’s projections, when the reality is that if you look at the number of projected wins, most people (Hollinger included) are projecting almost identical records for a large number of teams in the East.

      I don’t see how you can say that he is giving the Celtics, Nets and 76ers a pass on their issues by projecting them for 48, 47 and 46 wins, but not giving the Knicks a pass by projecting them for 45. The reality is that the difference between a projection of 48 wins and 45 is quite small, and a lot of people are missing that by focusing in on the distinction between 1st in the Atlantic and 4th. Don’t miss the forest for the trees.

      Overall I think it’s an extremely fair and unbiased take on the upcoming Knicks season. I’m higher on them than he is, esspecially defensively, but If you’re one of the fools crowing about how Hollinger “hates the Knicks” I suggest you open the comments on the preview for any team and see what that team’s fans have to say. Newsflash: Every team’s fans think Hollinger hates their team, and that their team will easily exceed the projection, and yet his projections are very accurate overall. Maybe, just maybe it’s you who’s the biased one, not him.

    22. thenamestsam

      Also a lot getting made of the the comment about the Knicks defensive effort, which doesn’t even get it’s own aside in the one sentence where he mentions it. It’s actually 1/3 of an aside in one sentence. That is some intense cherry-picking. I think people are focusing in on it primarily because he doesn’t really say much else to justify expecting the Knicks to be only an above-average defense (as opposed to much better than that). And I do think that’s the biggest weakness of the piece.

      The Knicks team defense last year was significantly underrated. Due to the fact that they had a lot of individual players who people looked at as bad defenders, they didn’t have the defensive rep of a top-5 defense and I think because of that a lot of people are expecting them to be middling on defense this year when I can’t see how they got much worse defensively.

      But to act as though that line somehow invalidates the whole piece – 10 words in a 35+ paragraph piece – seems just a little silly to me.

    23. njasdjdh

      thenamestsam: I don’t think this is accurate. I think people get way to caught up in focusing on the exact order of people’s projections, when the reality is that if you look at the number of projected wins, most people (Hollinger included) are projecting almost identical records for a large number of teams in the East.

      I don’t see how you can say that he is giving the Celtics, Nets and 76ers a pass on their issues by projecting them for 48, 47 and 46 wins, but not giving the Knicks a pass by projecting them for 45. The reality is that the difference between a projection of 48 wins and 45 is quite small, and a lot of people are missing that by focusing in on the distinction between 1st in the Atlantic and 4th. Don’t miss the forest for the trees.

      Overall I think it’s an extremely fair and unbiased take on the upcoming Knicks season. I’m higher on them than he is, esspecially defensively, but If you’re one of the fools crowing about how Hollinger “hates the Knicks” I suggest you open the comments on the preview for any team and see what that team’s fans have to say. Newsflash: Every team’s fans think Hollinger hates their team, and that their team will easily exceed the projection, and yet his projections are very accurate overall. Maybe, just maybe it’s you who’s the biased one, not him.

      This.

    24. njasdjdh

      I imagine the argument for the Knicks defense slipping goes something like this: more Amar’e+less Shump+less Melo at the 4

    25. ruruland

      But if all of the Knicks returners remain constant in their overall play from last year or slightly dip, and even if the Knicks take a little bit of a dip in defensive efficiency (which wouldn’t make sense at all), the net addition off the new role players (which will likely include higher overall minute distribution over season to Novak and Smith) should allow the Knicks to at the VERY LEAST meet their 51-win profile of last year.

      So, no, I have literally no respect for Hollinger’s analysis in this instance. His arguments are totally superficial and devoid of reason.

      But, keep ‘em coming. Anyone who heard the Celtics announcers last week, as homerific as they may be, I think it serves as a good litmus for how the Knicks are perceived league wide.

      It’s exactly how the WCF Nuggets team was percieved going into the 2009 season, and yes it makes a difference.

    26. ruruland

      njasdjdh: I imagine the argument for the Knicks defense slipping goes something like this: more Amar’e+less Shump+less Melo at the 4

      There’s this guy named Brewer who actually looks like a better defender in every conceivable metric who’s also a superior rebounder and more efficient on offense.

      And, apparently Melo had a good overall year last season and can only be successful at power forward. Also, Amar’e should not improve with the addition of a few NBA-caliber point guards, his jump-shooting was not an anamoly, and there is no indication that Mike Woodson is a better coach for the personnel.

      We also need to ignore the trendline from last season for basically everyone returning to the Knicks.

      Fucking laughbale.

    27. ruruland

      It’s sad that Hollinger failed to mention how absolutely horrible the Knicks point guard/role player situation was for most of last year. That’s his job.

    28. bockadoo

      I think we’ll win 48 this year. Our talent is better than that, but there will be some annoying injuries along the way that will keep us from the 55 we should win. We actually have POINT GUARDS who PASS FIRST, which we had none of last year. Last year when Tyson was in foul trouble we had nothing backing him up, now we have Marcus Freakin’ Camby, who will be the best back up center in the league. We had little interior toughness, now we have Kurt and Sheed to throw in there. None of these guys has to play big minutes, they just need to stay healthy for the playoffs. Perimiter D is improved with Brewer and Kidd and Felton. I’d like to have a shooter in the starting lineup, better than Melo, but no team is perfect. I bet during the season we’ll have more balance throughout games with JR and Novak playing with different units. I think we filled alot of holes. Perfect scenerio would be to win the division and get home court, but even if we don’t get that, if we’re healthy, we’ll have experience and defense that wins in the playoffs. With some luck that we’re due for, I say ECF, and if Wade or Lebron get hurt, we’ll be in the damn finals.

    29. JK47

      Don’t forget that the Knicks had the softest schedule in the entire NBA last year; their strength of schedule was dead last, 30th out of 30 teams. In the shortened season they played a disproportionate amount of games against some of the league’s worst offensive teams. They played the Bobcats 4 times, Toronto 4 times, Detroit 3 times, Washington 3 times, the Celtics 4 times, the Cavs 4 times and the Nets 3 times. That’s 25 games against teams that ranked in the bottom 8 in the NBA in offensive rating. That represents 38% of the Knicks’ schedule.

      If the Knicks’ defensive rating slips this year, it’ll probably be because they won’t have so many games against the worst offensive teams in the league.

    30. daJudge

      Guys, no dis intended, but who cares what he says. At least half of you guys probably know more about hoop than Hollinger. The other half probably played more ball than Hollinger and, like me, depend on gut, observation and experience. BTW, Hollinger is not prescient. On the other hand, his predictions are not historically unreasonable. Either way, let the Knicks show something, demonstrate excellence and go deep into the playoffs. Before they do that, his predictions are more than fair. What is mediocrity? Mediocrity. I’m a big Giant’s fan and it’s funny how I haven’t had to defend Eli much lately. Well, if Melo and the boys get a ring or, at least go DEEP into the playoffs, then we will not be having the same discussion. If they don’t, all the other stuff is meaningless dribble. I know some of you will say I am being result oriented and I would say, damn right.

    31. ruruland

      JK47:
      Don’t forget that the Knicks had the softest schedule in the entire NBA last year; their strength of schedule was dead last, 30th out of 30 teams.In the shortened season they played a disproportionate amount of games against some of the league’s worst offensive teams.They played the Bobcats 4 times, Toronto 4 times, Detroit 3 times, Washington 3 times, the Celtics 4 times, the Cavs 4 times and the Nets 3 times.That’s 25 games against teams that ranked in the bottom 8 in the NBA in offensive rating.That represents 38% of the Knicks’ schedule.

      If the Knicks’ defensive rating slips this year, it’ll probably be because they won’t have so many games against the worst offensive teams in the league.

      true, but the Knicks had the best defense in the NBA post Woodson promotion, when the schedule was more difficult than it was early in the season.

    32. Juany8

      The problem with the Hollinger article is that it somehow has the Knicks slipping on D, for almost literally no reason. This team got backups for Chandler, signed 2 better defenders at point guard than anyone they had last season, and get a full season of Brewer and JR instead of a rookie season from an oft injured Shump and a terrible season from Fields. The only good defensive player this team lost was Jeffires, and Thomas and Sheed should more than be able to make up for it.

      Besides, assuming the Knicks do slip some, there is no argument you could make that Atlanta or Brooklyn will be half as good on defense. Unless you think the Knicks will be absolutely terrible on offense, how can you make a case that those teams are straight up better?

      At the end of the day, the Knicks played with one of the worst backcourt rotations in NBA history last season and had very little depth till late in the season. They still got 45 wins, and had a 50 win point differential, which even if you account for strength of schedule would still leave you over 45 wins. This year they have a solid rotation player taking up every minute, a better coach for the full season, and they should have more luck with injuries (last year was a fucking disaster, Mike Bibby started a playoff game!) Why would people think they’re due to get worse?

    33. daJudge

      Juany8, what you say is reasonable to me. However, 3 games either way can make a big difference, no?. Our boys, from ownership down have not inspired confidence over the years. So even after all the rational arguments are factored in, somewhere in your gut, don’t you think the Knicks could and may underachieve? Age, injuries and ownership. Amare is injured and really overrated as a 4. The problems are core. For example, I am not a Dolan hater at all, but to me, the signing of Lin was a freaking no-brainer, whatever flaws he demonstrated and role he occupied. If it was a financial issue, I want to see it demonstrated that Lin would lose this franchise money. As Bill Cosby used to say, Right…. If he was a high draft pick, he would have been signed in a minute and people would be thrilled. BTW, I don’t even like Lin that much. To me, it’s just a demonstration of core irrationality. Either way, I will say this, from my own view, I see this team as improved and a 50 win season.

    34. JK47

      Atlanta actually looks like a pretty decent team to me, not spectacular but pretty well-balanced. You have the very efficient Horford down low, you get Josh Smith’s D and rebounding at the PF position, good perimeter shooting from Korver and Morrow and a solid PG tandem in Devin Harris and Jeff Teague. Plus a great combo guard in Lou Williams and a very solid backup C in Zaza Pachulia and another potential outstanding shooter in rookie John Jenkins.

      Their perimeter D might be a little shabby but that’s not a bad NBA team.

    35. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Hollinger still believes in a stat in which you can shoot 33% overall and 25% from 3 and lead the league in it. Why bother with his thoughts?

      This is a 48-win team unless Ronnie Brewer gets the bulk of minutes at SG, Felton stays off the floor, and Amar’e starts playing like a role player instead of an idiot who puts up 17 foot bricks several times a game. You don’t need Hollinger to tell you that they’re a middling EC team.

    36. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Hollinger still believes in a stat in which you can shoot 33% overall and 25% from 3 and lead the league in it. Why bother with his thoughts?

      This is a 48-win team unless Ronnie Brewer gets the bulk of minutes at SG, Felton stays off the floor, and Amar’e starts playing like a role player instead of an idiot who puts up 17 foot bricks several times a game. You don’t need Hollinger to tell you that they’re a middling EC team.

      If only we still had Landry Fields, one of the top 5 rookies in NBA history. =)

      btw – Zach Lowe has a new piece in Grantland re: “future innovations” in the NBA. As usual, a good read, but one part that was very interesting, especially in regards to WP48 and Four Factors in general is his point about how offensive rebounding has declined from average ORR of ~33% in the 80s-90s to ~25% now due to coaches giving up chances at offensive rebounds to cut down on transition opportunities – ie. giving up chances on the O-boards makes your defense better. Now obviously in the case of Chicago that’s not true – they had by far the highest ORR last year and had also had the stingiest defense. But Boston has for years not bothered with O-rebounds (last by far last year) and had the 2nd best defense. Interestingly, SA was one of the very worst O-reb teams in the league last year (24th), and yet was the best offense in the league. Just goes to show you that there are many ways to skin this cat.

      in principle, it seems like some of the transition opportunities you give up if you hit the O-boards hard would be evened out by better offensive efficiency (ie. fewer chances to run on missed baskets), but I’m not sure what the math is there. If I have time later, I’ll try to plot out ORR vs D-Eff to see if there are any correlations. Certainly not groundbreaking but interesting stuff nonetheless.

    37. Juany8

      Frank, Lowe made the point that pretty much any strategy your team takes depends both on its personnel and it’s opponents. For a team like the Bulls with dominant rebounding bigs and big wings, athletic wings that can run the floor, it makes a lot of sense to crash the boards. For a slow, poor rebounding team like the Celtics, it doesn’t make any sense to crash for offensive boards. There’s an optimization between how likely you are to get the offensive rebound vs. what your opponent is likely to do if you fail to get that rebound. Since there is no league-wide rebounding strategy that could ever be implemented, the value of an offensive rebound depends entirely on the team and player. Players who are told to crash the boards cannot be judged by the same standard as players who are told to run back on D, regardless of how convenient that would be

    38. Frank

      @42 – totally agree, which is why extrapolating the value of the Four Factors to individuals when they are meant to be applied to teams can be so misleading. Do I really care that point guard X (or even stretch PF “Y”) has a poor ORR if he’s told not to go for offensive rebounds by his coach?

    39. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Hollinger still believes in a stat in which you can shoot 33% overall and 25% from 3 and lead the league in it. Why bother with his thoughts?

      This is a 48-win team unless Ronnie Brewer gets the bulk of minutes at SG, Felton stays off the floor, and Amar’e starts playing like a role player instead of an idiot who puts up 17 foot bricks several times a game. You don’t need Hollinger to tell you that they’re a middling EC team.

      Because Hollinger is fully aware of his stats faults (the least of which is the way offense is rated, unless you think Tyson Chandler is a better offensive player than Steve Nash like WP48). Since Hollinger knows he cannot dogmatically follow his pet number, he doesn’t try to and has never once tried to pass off PER as “science”. He makes judgement calls on matchups and attempts to adjust for common sense and obvious statistical outliers (when PER had Kevin Love ranked higher than Dirk the year Dirk won Finals MVP, Hollinger was quick to point out that was wrong)

      So is his statistical system worth paying much attention to? Not really. Does he generally still manage to be a smart basketball analyst? Other than when he’s talking about the Lakers or Knicks sure, with those 2 teams he’ll find every possible flaw to harp on while pretending D-Will is suddenly going to go back to his Utah level on the Nets despite lacking any objective proof for either point.

    40. thenamestsam

      Juany8: Does he generally still manage to be a smart basketball analyst? Other than when he’s talking about the Lakers or Knicks sure, with those 2 teams he’ll find every possible flaw to harp on while pretending D-Will is suddenly going to go back to his Utah level on the Nets despite lacking any objective proof for either point.

      Really curious where this idea that Hollinger hates the Knicks comes from. Here are his forecasts for the last 5 years:

      2011-2012: Hollinger prediction: 35 wins, actual: 36 wins
      2010-2011: Hollinger prediction: 37 wins, actual: 42 wins
      2009-2010: Hollinger prediction: 26 wins, actual: 29 wins
      2008-2009: Hollinger prediction: 28 wins, actual: 32 wins
      2007-2008: Hollinger prediction: 38 wins, actual: 23 wins

      So basically he was way off once, and that was way high. Every other year he has been extremely accurate, although a little low each year. The only year he was off by more than 4 wins was when they pulled off a mid-season blockbuster. I’d say you have to squint pretty hard at that record to convince yourself that he’s consistently dramatically underestimating the Knicks.

    41. Jafa

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Hollinger still believes in a stat in which you can shoot 33% overall and 25% from 3 and lead the league in it. Why bother with his thoughts?

      This is a 48-win team unless Ronnie Brewer gets the bulk of minutes at SG, Felton stays off the floor, and Amar’e starts playing like a role player instead of an idiot who puts up 17 foot bricks several times a game. You don’t need Hollinger to tell you that they’re a middling EC team.

      +1. Please get Shump back ASAP, please keep Felton off the floor, and please play Amare more with Kidd/Prigioni to maximize whatever talent he has left. And yes, 48 wins sounds about right.

    42. ruruland

      Jafa: +1.Please get Shump back ASAP, please keep Felton off the floor, and please play Amare more with Kidd/Prigioni to maximize whatever talent he has left.And yes, 48 wins sounds about right.

      Lmao

    43. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Juany8: He makes judgement calls on matchups and attempts to adjust for common sense and obvious statistical outliers (when PER had Kevin Love ranked higher than Dirk the year Dirk won Finals MVP, Hollinger was quick to point out that was wrong)

      “Obvious statistical outliers.” I really don’t know how you evaluate “obvious.”

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