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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Dec 21 2011)

  • [New York Post] Douglas, Fields in backcourt, for starters (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 04:43:57 -0500)
    Toney Douglas will start at point guard and Landry Fields will start at shooting guard for the Knicks in tonightâ??s preseason finale against the Nets at the new Garden. But Mike Dâ??Antoni left open the possibility the starting lineup could change for Sundayâ??s season opener and left…

  • [New York Post] Novak deal imminent (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 03:25:57 -0500)
    Steve Novak is expected to join the Knicks today.If the 6-foot-10 Novak clears waivers today after getting cut by the Spurs, he will sign a one-year deal, according to an NBA source. The Knicks need anther backup forward and like his 3-point shooting prowess (career 41.7 percent). Novak…

  • [New York Post] NBA back at Knicksâ?? refurbished home tonight (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 03:17:05 -0500)
    There have been 20 menâ??s and womenâ??s college basketball games played on the new Garden floor this winter. A total of 36 college teams have competed under the famed pinwheeled ceiling. They include menâ??s powers Duke, Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas and the local university St. Johnâ??s.
    But…

  • [New York Times] Knicks Face Nets in Preseason Finale (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 06:20:28 GMT)
    The Knicks’ starting lineup will be the same as in the first game, but the rotation will remain fluid and the starters’ playing time will probably be held down.

  • [New York Times] AP Source: Bulls’ Rose Agrees to Extension (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 08:16:06 GMT)
    It seemed like something out of a movie script the moment the Chicago Bulls took Derrick Rose with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Guard Curry Hurt in 95-91 Loss to Kings (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 07:18:58 GMT)
    Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry sprained his right ankle and had to be helped off the court during the Sacramento Kings’ 95-91 preseason victory Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Lawson Scores 21 to Lead Nuggets Past Suns 127-110 (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 04:43:06 GMT)
    Ty Lawson had 21 points and seven rebounds, Danilo Gallinari scored 15 and the Denver Nuggets beat the Phoenix Suns 127-110 Tuesday night in the preseason opener for both teams.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Top Mavericks 87-83 to Sweep Preseason (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 03:54:58 GMT)
    The Oklahoma City Thunder took some satisfaction in sweeping Dallas during the NBA’s shortened preseason — even if it wasn’t the Western Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] Boozer Sends Bulls to 93-85 Win Over Pacers (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 03:37:39 GMT)
    Carlos Boozer scored 24 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 93-85 win over the Indiana Pacers in a preseason game Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Daye’s Free Throws Lift Pistons Over Cavs 90-89 (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 03:13:10 GMT)
    Austin Daye’s two free throws with 3.1 seconds left gave the Detroit Pistons a 90-89 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Holiday Leads 76ers to 101-94 Win Over Wizards (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 02:55:08 GMT)
    Jrue Holiday scored 24 points, including 15 in the last 5:35 of the fourth quarter, to propel the Philadelphia 76ers to a 101-94 preseason victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] AP Source: Rose Agrees to Extension With Bulls (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 05:01:20 GMT)
    Derrick Rose says there isn’t much that excites him. A maximum contract extension, though, just might.

  • [New York Daily News] Dâ??Antoni and Knicks feel Christmas stress (Wed, 21 Dec 2011 03:48:02 GMT)
    ‘TIS THE SEASON for anxiety and stress. Christmas is just four days away, which isnâ??t enough time for any team, including the Knicks, to be completely prepared for what lies ahead.

  • 118 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Dec 21 2011)

    1. Matt Smith

      So what are our actual chances of getting Martin when/if he comes back from China? Is he a FA? I thought he’d be too good of a player to take our MLE, but if he’s willing I’d love to spend that money on a solid defensive (albeit undersized) backup at the PF. I am honestly pretty terrible with keeping track of our salary and roster situation and who we can and can’t cut/keep/etc. I don’t think it’s a necessary move, but I’d love someone like that on our team (especially since I believe we have a lot of guys who can keep his ‘tude at bay).

    2. alsep73

      I believe that Wilson Chandler is restricted, while Martin is unrestricted. So if Kenyon wants to take the room exception (don’t know if it’s prorated or not, but if not, that’s $2.5 million for less than a half season of work) and play for us, he’s ours.

    3. Z-man

      Matt Smith: So what are our actual chances of getting Martin when/if he comes back from China? Is he a FA? I thought he’d be too good of a player to take our MLE, but if he’s willing I’d love to spend that money on a solid defensive (albeit undersized) backup at the PF. I am honestly pretty terrible with keeping track of our salary and roster situation and who we can and can’t cut/keep/etc. I don’t think it’s a necessary move, but I’d love someone like that on our team (especially since I believe we have a lot of guys who can keep his ‘tude at bay).

      K-Mart undersized at PF?!

    4. Matt Smith

      Z-man: K-Mart undersized at PF?!

      Quoth Doctor Hollinger, Esq.:

      “+ Tough, undersized power forward with explosive leaping ability.”

      Listed at 6’9”, and I believe he’s 6’7” without shoes.

    5. TDM

      alsep73: I believe that Wilson Chandler is restricted, while Martin is unrestricted. So if Kenyon wants to take the room exception (don’t know if it’s prorated or not, but if not, that’s $2.5 million for less than a half season of work) and play for us, he’s ours.

      Chandler has a $3.1M QO. I still can’t believe the Nuggets gave Afflalo 5yrs/$43M. When and if Ill Wil comes back, he’ll probably be paid seeking a deal close to that.

      KMart would be a UFA if he was released from his contract in China.

      Anyone catch Faried’s solid stat line last night. ; )

    6. art vandelay

      Anyone else surprised Hollinger´s model predicted Knuggets to finish 2nd in the Western Conference in the regular season standings (in yesterday´s WC preview article)? I think they will be better than most expect, but 2nd???

    7. art vandelay

      Btw, he has Knicks picked to finish SEVENTH in the Eastern Conference, with record of 35-31, with Pacers, Philly and Orlando all expected to finish higher, as well as the typical 3 of Miami, Chicago and Boston…

      Then again, I don´t feel discouraged given his belief that there was only a 0.01% chance Knicks would land Baron Davis. I imagine he feels there is a better than 0.01% chance this time that Knicks finish higher than 7th!

    8. Caleb

      art vandelay:
      Btw, he has Knicks picked to finish SEVENTH in the Eastern Conference, with record of 35-31, with Pacers, Philly and Orlando all expected to finish higher, as well as the typical 3 of Miami, Chicago and Boston…

      Then again, I don´t feel discouraged given his belief that there was only a 0.01% chance Knicks would land Baron Davis. I imagine he feels there is a better than 0.01% chance this time that Knicks finish higher than 7th!

      It’s not that crazy – the Knicks aren’t deep and 2 of their big 3 have durability questions, not counting Baron Davis. But I disagree on the Chandler addition. Yes, it’s basically a Billups-Chandler swap, and in terms of raw value it’s not a huge upgrade. But for the Knicks it’s huge. Stoudemire, Anthony and our 3-point shooters can soak up Billups’ missing shots. Meanwhile we go from zero interior defense, to maybe the 2nd best center (defensively) in the league. I’d say the Knicks were basically a 42- or 43- win team, then added Tyson Chandler – that’s a lot better than a 7-seed.

      I also think Hollinger is way, way too optimistic on the Celtics (old) and Magic (chaos).

    9. Spree8nyk8

      art vandelay:
      Btw, he has Knicks picked to finish SEVENTH in the Eastern Conference, with record of 35-31, with Pacers, Philly and Orlando all expected to finish higher, as well as the typical 3 of Miami, Chicago and Boston…

      Then again, I don´t feel discouraged given his belief that there was only a 0.01% chance Knicks would land Baron Davis. I imagine he feels there is a better than 0.01% chance this time that Knicks finish higher than 7th!

      Hollinger is an asshole that is making laughable projections that nobody will remember by the end of the season. I’ve seen a lot of people picking the Knicks to win the division and THAT I do believe in. But this moron picked the nuggets 2nd the Lakers 5th and the Knicks 7th. He’s truly trying to be some kind of soothsayer here. And basically the reason he puts us 7th is he believes we are going to have several major injuries. Funny that I don’t see him factoring any injuries in for old ass boston.

    10. massive

      I think as much about Hollinger’s opinion as I do about PER; not to be completely discredited, but to be taken with a grain of salt nonetheless.

      I don’t see how a healthy Knicks team gets anything lower than the 5th seed.

    11. Nick C.

      I see the bottom falling out for Boston, if not this year then next. Is there anyone there that they can seriously re-boot with other than Rondo, who isn’t quite a centerpiece type. NJ/Brooklyn is banking on Howard or else they implode. Toronto is a work in progress. Philly seems a mixed bag. If anything the division should be the Knicks for the taking for the next 3-5 seasons.

    12. iserp

      Hollinger makes good points sometimes, and he is usually insightful… but his projections… well, they don’t usually work.

      I don’t have access to ESPN, but looking a little bit, last year he predicted 48 wins for chicago, who would guess they were going to get 62?

    13. Jafa

      Hoopshype has its predictions up:

      http://hoopshype.com/predictions_2012.htm

      Things that stick out to me:
      - Heat vs. Thunder finals prediction with Heat winning it all
      - 2 out of 5 predict Knicks to make it to ECF
      - Knicks predicted to finish between 2 and 4 spot in East
      - 3 out of 5 predict LAL to make it to WCF (I seriously doubt this will happen)
      - consensus is that ROY award will be battle between Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams. I think it will be Williams vs. Ernes Kanter, with Irving and Rubio getting some love.
      - Gallo being picked by one for most improved player of the year
      - Vinny Del Negro being picked for COY by 2 out of 5. If the Clippers are good, I will seriously doubt it will be because of Del Negro’s “excellent” coaching.
      - Tyson Chandler picked to be new all-star player this year

    14. tastycakes

      His 2010 projections were pretty good, minus a couple of whiffs, notably the Blazers in the West:

      http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/preview2010/news/story?page=Predictions1011-Hollinger

      I think Hollinger’s method (and approach) seem biased towards inexperienced but talented and deep teams, and he IS trying to make the argument that injuries matter. If the Knicks can stay *perfectly healthy*, I think they should be a top-4 team in the East. Everybody loves to bring up Amar’e's knees, but the dude hasn’t missed significant time in years.

      Still, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of injury risk to spread around with this squad.

      But I’m not buying the hype on the Sixers or Pacers just yet. The Pacers in particular are a very intriguing team that’s loaded with young talent, but I don’t see them being better than the Knicks. But hey, I’m a homer (though I try to be a realistic homer).

    15. tastycakes

      Oh, and picking the Bucks in the East was pretty miserable. And obviously he underrated Chicago’s assent. Hey, it’s an imperfect business, at least the man tries to look at numbers rather than just picking with his gut.

    16. Caleb

      I’d say Chandler is the most indispensable player – Stoudemire/Anthony can pick up the slack for each other, in the short term, although we need them all to make a serious run. That’s true for pretty much every team, though.

    17. Spree8nyk8

      tastycakes:
      His 2010 projections were pretty good, minus a couple of whiffs, notably the Blazers in the West:

      Pretty good? Did he get anyone right other than the Celtics? I mean he picked 14 out of the 16 playoff teams (which really isn’t that hard), but he wasn’t very close to predicting their order of finish which is what the main gripe seems to be.

      He also flat out says that he’s lowballing the Knicks because of the injury factor, but the Celtics should be in much worse shape in that respect. They have players that have actually missed games recently and I can’t see how he can put them 3rd in a compact season.

      The Knicks are going to win the division. I fully stand behind that. I think they did more than any other team during the offseason to actually improve the team, and I think they are focused and are going to gel extremely fast. I also think they may be slightly deeper than people are giving them credit for. If any of our 3 rooks develop into a decent player this season they are going to be scary good. Screw Hollinger.

    18. Spree8nyk8

      And I know that here everyone tries to keep everything all straight down the line honest. But there has been a lot of optimism here as of late. And at least until the season starts, hold onto that. After the season starts and you have facts, you can be as blunt as you like.

    19. Spree8nyk8

      tastycakes:
      Oh, and picking the Bucks in the East was pretty miserable.And obviously he underrated Chicago’s assent.Hey, it’s an imperfect business, at least the man tries to look at numbers rather than just picking with his gut.

      I don’t know what NUMBERS you could possibly look at that would suggest that the Knicks will be worse than last year. He isn’t using numbers for these picks. I don’t believe that for a second, these are his gut picks, and his gut hates the knicks.

    20. iserp

      I guess he is using numbers indeed, and when the numbers see our bench they cringe… But it shouldn’t be that bad as long as we keep one of Stat or Melo in the lineup and if Jorts or Jerome Jordan gives fouls when substituting Chandler.

      Besides, we might still get a nice pickup before march… and we will play smallball if our frontcourt bench is not that good.

    21. jon abbey

      Spree8nyk8: The Knicks are going to win the division.I fully stand behind that.

      are you still standing behind them beating the Celtics in last year’s playoffs also? :)

      I think the truth is somewhere between Hollinger and those wildly optimistic HoopsHype predictions, I agree with Brian’s 39-27 regular season prediction and I think they’re a second round playoff team, of course depending on health and matchups as always.

    22. TDM

      Assuming Jeffries is the first off the bench during the regular (irregular)season to spell Chandler and STAT, who is second between Jorts, Jordan, Balkman and Hunter? Jeffries is already nursing a calf injury (he’s not playing in tonights game), so we should see some substantial minutes for the others tonight.

    23. Caleb

      I would guess none of them play at all.

      Balkman, maybe, if someone gets hurt or if he really goes on a tear. And Novak will probably get a look.

      But I think Anthony will spend a chunk of time at the 4.

    24. Frank

      I think a 2 seed is a best-reasonable-case scenario.
      I think a 3 or 4 seed is expected.
      Anything lower than that has to be considered a disappointment, at least in terms of the regular season.

      D’Antoni is gone if they don’t get past the first round.
      If they lose in an epic 7 games series against the Bulls or Heat, I think he’ll be back.

      If they make it to the ECF or farther I think he gets an extension.

      Re: injuries – I think they’ll be ok even if Chandler is out, as long as it’s not for 1/2 a season or anything. If Chandler’s out, it won’t be that different a team than last year since Billups didn’t play all that much or that well anyway. Without Chandler, I think they would be a 43 to 46 win team (in an 82 game season). With Chandler, 52-55 wins should be expected if you ask me.

    25. Nick C.

      OMG Jeffries is not/cannot be getting 6/7th man status. No. Please say it ain’t so. IDK maybe guys with limited offensive stats like Thabo Sefolosha or in the recent past Trenton Hassell have logged major minutes for teams that went deep in the playoffs, but this is to me just an awful realization.

    26. Ben R

      I think 7th is a bit pessimistic but not anymore unrealistic than 2nd or 3rd. We have a good team but we have a lot more question marks than Boston and while Amare might not get injured I think D’Antoni will have to worry about pacing his minutes so he doesn’t wear down. If our frontcourt depth doesn’t improve I would not be surprised if we’re in a battle down the stretch with teams like the Pacers, Magic and Sixers.

      We are built for the playoffs where we can shorten our rotation and play our big 3 36-38 minutes a game we are not built for a condensed regular season.

      As for the Nuggets I think they are going to be even better than they were during the second half of last season and wouldn’t be surprised if they are in the mix for top 4 in the West. 2nd is best case but they will be good. I think the addition of Miller is huge and the improvement of Mozgov and Gallo will help. Faried and Fernadez will make us forget Martin and Smith. They are the opposite of us their depth will make them a very good regular season team and the condensed season will help them.

    27. ess-dog

      Injuries are huge. Anyone, even much deeper teams than the Knicks can expect a 5-10 game difference due to a major injury. Imagine Chicago w/o Rose or Noah for 20 plus games?
      If all goes well, I think we’re fighting for the 4 seed with Orlando. I the the C’s still have one good year left and I think Chicago can expect to falter a bit this year. Miami SHOULD be the top seed.
      The impact of the Melo-as-pg system and Shumpert should be the difference makers for us.
      The rest of the guys: Jeffries, TD, even Baron… we know who they are more or less. There shouldn’t be a lot of variables there.
      And this is the homer in me talking but we match up really well with the Bulls and Melo is definitely in LeBron’s head….
      I think if we can avoid the Celts (who kinda have our number) in the playoffs, we stand a puncher’s chance of making some noise.

    28. Count de Pennies

      Jafa: – Vinny Del Negro being picked for COY by 2 out of 5. If the Clippers are good, I will seriously doubt it will be because of Del Negro’s “excellent” coaching.

      I would be a legit candidate for Coach of the Year if I had Chris Paul running the point for me.

    29. Caleb

      I think #3 is a good goal. Chicago won 62 last year, even with Boozer in and out, and they have a young team with everyone back.

    30. Frank O.

      Look, I’m very optimistic/excited about this Knicks team, but their talent level dips significantly after the 6th guy.
      This is important because the season is radically truncated, which, I believe, will lead to a league-wide injury problem. It’s not a Knicks problem alone. I mean 21 back-to-backs, a bunch of 3 gamers and several four games in five days???
      And given that, all things being equal, team depth will matter even more than usual in the NBA. If the Knicks lose Amare, they are left with Novak and Jeffries and Melo playing some four.
      If Melo gets hurt, we have some weak 3s. If Chandler goes down, we are left with Jeffries and a rookie.
      If TD goes down, we have Bibby, who also is freakin’ old.

      So, Hollinger’s prediction isn’t off-the-wall nutty. The Knicks have a nice team one through six…beyond that, pretty soft. Finishing seventh isn’t outrageous. I think they’ll be better, but I can see where someone might see them worse off.

    31. Spree8nyk8

      Frank O.:
      Look, I’m very optimistic/excited about this Knicks team, but their talent level dips significantly after the 6th guy.

      Yeah, the Heat do the same…..after the 3rd

    32. gbaked

      Frank: think a 2 seed is a best-reasonable-case scenario.
      I think a 3 or 4 seed is expected.
      Anything lower than that has to be considered a disappointment, at least in terms of the regular season.

      I think you have to look at the regular season as preparation for the playoffs and not worry too much about seeding.

      Most of the other teams in contention have played with each other for a while. They dont need the preseason like we do, so it will be harder for us to get going.

      The goal of this season, to be considered a success or not, should be the 2nd round of the playoffs. IMO.

    33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Does anyone have anything to say about this analysis of the Nuggets before and after the Anthony trade?

      http://thenbehteam.blogspot.com/2011/03/nuggets-knicks-and-melo-effect.html

      It’d be awesome if we could get some responses to the (convincing) argument that maybe, just maybe, Carmelo Anthony doesn’t make everyone else around him a better shooter.

      I’d say that if the Knicks win more than 36 games, the season is a success. But I doubt that’s going to happen with Douglas, Bibby, and a 31-year-old Baron Davis running the point and Amar’e and Carmelo taking half of the team’s shots.

      I’d argue that their talent level is quite nice up until the 6th guy, but their actual productivity dips after the 2nd. Amar’e's never going to be 24 again, nor will Carmelo ever stop taking 25% of his team’s shots. Optimism is one thing, but blindly dismissing the effects of age and the inefficient recent play of our star players sounds like foolishness to me.

      And before you get all huffy, jon abbey: hataz gonna hate.

    34. Ben R

      Spree8nyk8: Yeah, the Heat do the same…..after the 3rd

      I don’t know, the Heat have pretty solid depth. Haslem, Miller, Battier they are all bench players and all three are more proven and probably better than any of our bench. Not to mention James Jones.

    35. Caleb

      These Knicks are a much stronger playoff team than regular season team. Partly learning to play together, but mainly that key guys like Chandler and Stoudemire need their minutes limited in the regular season. Plus, even if BD works out well it’s not going to happen until late.

    36. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Does anyone have anything to say about this analysis of the Nuggets before and after the Anthony trade?

      yeah, it’s from like three weeks after the trade was made and thus almost entirely pointless.

    37. Frank

      I’m starting to get a little annoyed with Hollinger, whose writing I usually like a lot. Some of this is Knick-fan-baiting which seems to be the favorite pastime of the ESPN guys, but some of it is just inconsistent thinking/writing.

      1st of all, regarding Amare’s injury concerns -
      - his knee operation was in 2005, not 2009 or 2010
      - since his return in 2006, he has missed a grand total of 36 games in 5 seasons, 29 of which were from an eye injury, not a knee injury. So he’s missed 7 regular season games in the last 5 seasons from non-eye issues.

      Then he goes on to say that he expects the celtics to “get a lot more out of Jermaine O’Neal” this year even though he’s 5 years old then Amare and has a much worse injury history than Amare. Not to mention Wade has missed many more games due to injury than Amare, Haslem has missed nearly half a season or more 2 of the last 4 years, Noah has missed 42 games in the last 2 years, Boozer has missed 73 games over the last 4 years. Jameer Nelson has missed 76 games over the last 4 years, and he’s the only non-DH12 player on ORL that’s even league average or better. Let’s not even talk about Garnett,

      Injuries happen, I get it. The Knicks depth isn’t great, I get it. But to downgrade them based on injury risk when so many other teams have exactly the same issues (or worse) — sounds like Knick-hating to me.

    38. Caleb

      @43 I know I’m not breaking any news here, but the Nuggets had a better record and point-differential post-Anthony than before.

    39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Caleb:
      @43 I know I’m not breaking any news here, but the Nuggets had a better record and point-differential post-Anthony than before.

      Yeah, but there’s an explanation to be found by the stat-haters that Carmelo is not the variable that caused the change. It must be Billups!

    40. jon abbey

      I’m not arguing anything about Carmelo either way, just saying that analysis about the trade from March is pretty pointless at this point.

    41. Frank O.

      Spree8nyk8: Yeah, the Heat do the same…..after the 3rd

      Except two of their top three are two of the top three players on the planet…:) And the third is a pretty damn good PF.

    42. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Does anyone have anything to say about this analysis of the Nuggets before and after the Anthony trade?

      http://thenbehteam.blogspot.com/2011/03/nuggets-knicks-and-melo-effect.html

      It’d be awesome if we could get some responses to the (convincing) argument that maybe, just maybe, Carmelo Anthony doesn’t make everyone else around him a better shooter.

      I’d say that if the Knicks win more than 36 games, the season is a success. But I doubt that’s going to happen with Douglas, Bibby, and a 31-year-old Baron Davis running the point and Amar’e and Carmelo taking half of the team’s shots.

      I’d argue that their talent level is quite nice up until the 6th guy, but their actual productivity dips after the 2nd. Amar’e’s never going to be 24 again, nor will Carmelo ever stop taking 25% of his team’s shots. Optimism is one thing, but blindly dismissing the effects of age and the inefficient recent play of our star players sounds like foolishness to me.

      Funny thing is, if you weren’t like you are, I think we would all be huge Nugget fans – as it is, I just hope they crash and burn (figuratively). Seriously though – I think the Nuggets are a really good team. Karl’s a great coach and they are going to be fun to watch. It still remains to be seen whether their 10 above average guys will be able to beat 2-3 superstars +2-3 average guys in a 7 game series when defensive and offensive game plans become much more targeted. But I’m rooting for them to be a top 3 team in the West because frankly, I like a lot of their players and I have become a big fan of their GM, who I think is just doing a masterful job.

    43. nicos

      I think the key for the Nuggets is for Birdman to stay healthy and for Faried to earn enough burn to keep Harrington’s minutes down. If Harrington’s in the starting lineup they’re pretty awful defensively.

    44. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

      The Nuggets are a lot like the Spurs in that their playoff success will likely be based on who they play. They match up really well against some times and really poorly against others (especially the Thunder). Similarly, if the Spurs play a team with a great scoring 4, they’re basically screwed (as we saw when Randolph ate them alive in the playoffs).

      But like the Spurs, their great depth will likely help them a lot during the regular season.

    45. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      That’s the difference between you and me. You want your intuition to be right so you can show what a pseudoscience basketball analysis is. I want your baseless conjecture to be wrong so you can see the limitations of human observation in comparison to compiled data.

      And re: Karl being a great coach: how do you know that?

    46. jon abbey

      it’s a great situation for Faried also, that team is so deep that he can break in slowly if necessary.

    47. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I don’t think basketball is anything like NFL football, in which a quarterback can get rattled by being sacked 3-4 times a game and perhaps never mentally recover. It’s basketball. Experience only helps learning, and he’s not a 19 year old rookie — he’s 23, I think.

      A great situation for a rookie is being placed on a team that ISN’T deep so you don’t have idiots like George Karl essentially saying that no matter how well Faried plays, he can expect very little playing time this season.

    48. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Jafa:
      Cock Jowles, I see your 36 wins and raise you 45 wins.

      You raise me 45? Or you raise me 9? Also, please don’t bet a substantial amount of money that the Knicks will go 45-21 this season. You will lose your money.

    49. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ess-dog:
      I’m surprised you haven’t posted this yet THCJ:

      http://wagesofwins.com/2011/12/20/how-carmelo-and-amare-may-con-the-voters-for-another-year/

      I think some good points are made here but I think (hope) Amare will cut down on those turnovers this year and hopefully Melo, who looks to be in good shape, has improved on his athleticism.There’s no reason we can’t get rookie year Melo and 2007 Amare, right?

      I don’t post anything from the Wages of Wins Journal on this blog. No one on here seems to think that Landry Fields could possibly be that good (and since he’s more a SG/SF, I’m not so sure I agree with Berri on his WP).

      But I do agree that Amar’e was terrible (for a max contract player) last year, and Carmelo’s never been very good — an inefficient chucker who does everything else in an average way, but good luck preaching that to the faithful on here.

    50. Ben R

      THCJ – I think its a win win situation for Faried. The 4 is their worst position so if he plays reallly well he will have the opportunity to play a lot of minutes but overall they are so deep if he struggles they can fill in with other players and bring him along slowly. I think Faried will be a beast and is a great pickup for the Nuggets, but if he’s not then Nene can start at the 4 and they will be fine without him.

    51. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      A great situation for a rookie is being placed on a team that ISN’T deep so you don’t have idiots like George Karl essentially saying that no matter how well Faried plays, he can expect very little playing time this season.

      it must be awesome to grasp Faried’s game so much better than Karl does, it’s a miracle some NBA team hasn’t snapped you up yet.

    52. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Does anyone have anything to say about this analysis of the Nuggets before and after the Anthony trade?

      Interesting that the analysis of the Knicks’ small improvement post-Melo has a caveat re: pace, strength of opposition, whereas the Nuggets’ improvement does not have that caveat. He is most likely right in his analysis, but it sure seems like he knew what answer he wanted before he did the analysis.

      Furthermore, I think the analysis isn’t all that useful or relevant to the question of “Is Carmelo Anthony as good as people think he is?”. First, I think Denver knew that Ty Lawson was better for their system than Billups, so some of their improvement came from that. Second, in return for their other trade piece (Melo), they got Chandler, Gallo, and Felton, all of whom are very good players (plus Moz who didn’t play much). Not only are they good players, but they enabled Denver to NOT play worse players – ie. Shelden Williams (who was playing 17 min/game), or Al Harrington, who went from playing more than 25 min/game to <20 min/game after the trade. So was I surprised that Denver got so much better – sure, but I think there are other potential reasons than "Melo sucks".

      Then on the flip side, in order to get Melo, the Knicks gave up 3 out of their 4 best players and were forced to take on 2 players that didn't know the system at all, and one of which (CB) got injured. In addition, they lost much of their depth, forcing them to play people like Jefferies, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Bill Walker etc. On top of that, Landry Fields fell off the face of the earth, which can't be fully blamed on Melo.

      So yes – I read the analysis, and NO, it doesn't convince me of anything. Not to mention that Denver also got knocked out in the first round in a lopsided (but entertaining) series.

    53. Frank O.

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: I don’t post anything from the Wages of Wins Journal on this blog. No one on here seems to think that Landry Fields could possibly be that good (and since he’s more a SG/SF, I’m not so sure I agree with Berri on his WP).

      But I do agree that Amar’e was terrible (for a max contract player) last year, and Carmelo’s never been very good — an inefficient chucker who does everything else in an average way, but good luck preaching that to the faithful on here.

      You know, I could be wrong, but my impression was there was an overwhelming sense that the Knicks gave up way to much for Melo, and that Melo wasn’t statistically speaking measuring up to what people say about him.
      Nonetheless, he’s wearing blue and orange, so I can’t blame folks for cheering for him. And frankly, after the way he played for the Knicks late last year, my overall impression of him was he’s someone I’m happy to cheer for.
      And for me, it would seem the critical mass of having Amare and Melo was the incentive to draw Chandler, who everyone agrees is probably one of the best centers in the league.

    54. TDM

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: You raise me 45? Or you raise me 9? Also, please don’t bet a substantial amount of money that the Knicks will go 45-21 this season. You will lose your money.

      Well, if Jafa was thinking this was an 82 game season, then you are both projecting the same result – that the Knicks will win 55% of their games, which is fairly reasonable. If he thinks that the Knicks will win 68% of their games (45 of 66), then I’d have to agree with THCJ.

    55. Frank

      Last thing – and not even THCJ can disagree with this–
      Melo had a USG% of ~30 here, and a TS% of 57.5. If the whole team shot with that TS they would have been the most efficient team in the league.

      These are good numbers and do not qualify one as an inefficient chucker. If you ask B-R’s season finder to find active players with a USG >25 and TS>57 and Min played >30, the only names that come up are players you would WANT on your team – LBJ, CP3, Dirk, Arenas when he was good, mid-2000s Kobe, Garnett, Manu, Howard, Paul Pierce, mid-2000s Redd, PHX Amare, Wade. There are some outliers like Kevin Martin, Corey Maggette, Jason Terry, Ben Gordon, etc. but for the most part – that’s not bad company.

      Remains to be seen whether Melo can keep that up for a whole season, but he got off to a very promising start.

    56. Frank

      Frank O.: You know, I could be wrong, but my impression was there was an overwhelming sense that the Knicks gave up way to much for Melo, and that Melo wasn’t statistically speaking measuring up to what people say about him.

      Also @THCJ – no one is arguing that the Melo trade was a good “deal” for the Knicks. I think 95% of the people here thought we were probably negotiating against ourselves and that we really screwed the pooch on that trade. But the idea that Denver got better because they traded Melo away (ie. addition by subtraction) and not because they got basically every good player on the Knicks not named Amare is just not a slam dunk. Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t – but it sure isn’t clear enough for your usual smugness. And a sloppy confounded statistical analysis to prove a preconceived conclusion isn’t enough either.

    57. Ben R

      Great post Frank in response to the nuggets article. I am someone firmly on the side of the Melo trade being terrible for our team but I cannot keep revisiting it because that is not useful at all. Even if we gave up too much for Melo it does not change the fact that he is still a great player and now with the addition of Chandler we have the best team we’ve had in over a decade.

      I am predicting about 35-40 wins this season because our lack of depth will hurt us. Let’s pencil me in for 38 wins. I think we will be much stronger in the playoffs though and will make it to the 2nd round and with luck could even go to the conference finals.

    58. Spree8nyk8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: You raise me 45? Or you raise me 9? Also, please don’t bet a substantial amount of money that the Knicks will go 45-21 this season. You will lose your money.

      you say 36 he says 45, I’ll split the difference and take the over of 41 against you. How about it

    59. BigBlueAL

      Besides Hollinger, Basketball Prospectus had their East preview on ESPN today but they did it differently. They listed teams in tiers. They listed the Heat and Bulls as favorites, then listed the Magic/Celtics/Knicks as contenders.

      The 76ers and Pacers were the other playoff teams while the Bucks and Hawks were listed as fighting for a playoff spot. The biggest thing I took from the previews (besides the biased Hollinger Knick prediction as mentioned above lol) is how truly awful the bottom of the East is.

    60. Frank

      I’ll predict 38-28 if Baron doesn’t play for 8-12 weeks, and 41-25 if he’s back in 4-6. I think with the compressed schedule D’Antoni will aim for at least a 4 seed – if that is in hand, I would guess that he’ll dial back the minutes on TriMecca which may cost us a few games.

    61. Juany8

      Do the people who read David Berri realize how totally unscientific his work really is? He basically takes factors that correlate well to winning at a team level and directly applies those same factors to evaluate players, without ever proving in a scientific, objective way that individual stats translate 100% to the team level. This means that David Berri says high efficiency shots are preferable to low efficiency shots, which is true at a team level, but totally ignores the fact that creating high efficiency shots is a team exercise. Maybe Ben Wallace can shoot 65% FG by shooting only open layups and dunks, but Ben Wallace isn’t going to have many open layups against a solid defense unless he has other offensive players drawing his defender off him of he gets offensive rebounds. He’s also not going to get any turnovers because he’s never going to be asked to handle the ball, not because he’s particularly good at avoiding turnovers.

      Ben Wallace is the classic example of a player who David Berri incorrectly claims is a superstar, someone who is efficient on offense only because he’s asked to not be a part of it. As someone who’s asked to do major statistical analysis as a part of his job (I’m an engineer), I find Berri’s claims wrong not because I’m terribly in love with scoring (I think chuckers like Jamal Crawford and Ben Gordon often hurt teams more than help), or because I’m incapable of trying to apply scientific analysis to a sport like basketball, but because Berri does not even attempt to provide empirically sound proof that what happens on the team box score level is the same as what happens on a basketball court. His analysis of basketball is done without actually having to look at a single second of basketball! According to Berri, anyone with a calculator and a box score is a better player evaluator than every GM in the league, which includes many GM’s that love to use statistical analysis as an edge.

      Wins Produced is a fraud, signed…

    62. Juany8

      Sorry for the block of text above, basically I’m saying that a scientific analysis of Berri’s work would show that what Berri is saying is just as pseudoscientific and opinion based as a player evaluation containing the words “heart” and “great length”

    63. Frank

      Actually, I’ve changed my mind and am going to be hopelessly optimistic. I’m going to go with 44-22, and will start the year 9-1. Reason? Playing Boston probably without Paul Pierce – that should be a win. Playing the Lakers without Bynum – should be a win. Then it’s a bunch of bottom-feeders (GSW, Sac, CHA, Milwaukee etc.) until we play Philly in mid-January. The schedule-makers really did us a favor in that the beginning of our schedule (especially with Pierce probably out and Bynum definitely out) is really soft, giving us time to gel. March is brutal though – start off with 3 games in 4 nights on the road against Boston, Dallas, and the Spurs. I’d be happy if we even won 8 out 17 games in March given how packed the schedule is and the strength of competition.

    64. BigBlueAL

      I will say this, my goal for this season is to get a 4/5 seed and win a playoff round. Anything less like a 6/7 seed would be a disappointment unless they upset whoever they play in the 1st round (of course injuries during the season could change that view).

      Sure I would LOVE to win the Atlantic Division which should mean a 3 seed but I wont be disappointed as long as I said they finish in the 4/5 range. I just want a good/fun season where we could really be optimistic and excited for next season and come July if we can get the right player or 2 with the full mid-level and mini-mid level we can be seriously looked at as title contenders next season.

    65. BigBlueAL

      Kobe is listed as day-to-day with a torn lunotriquetral ligament in his right wrist. What the hell does that mean?? (the injury Im referring too)

    66. Spree8nyk8

      It’s the ligament that is on the outside portion of the wrists if you have your thumbs pointing inwards.

    67. Z-man

      Also known as “chucker’s syndrome,” an injury common to players that are deemed overrated by WoW.

    68. BigBlueAL

      Spree8nyk8:
      It’s the ligament that is on the outside portion of the wrists if you have your thumbs pointing inwards.

      Apparently he should be able to play with it and be ready for Sunday. Wrist injuries bring back bad memories of late Dec 1997 and Patrick Ewing :-(

    69. Juany8

      I honestly think the Knicks core 3 guys are as good as any core in the league. Chandler provides a fantastic foundation for defense. He’s the guy that prevented guys like Russell Westbrook and Lebron from getting to the rim all throughout the playoffs, which is an absolutely necessary skill set for any contending team. Amare is an extremely skilled power forward that’s a huge threat to score from anywhere on the floor, and adding Chandler masks his weaknesses protecting the rim and rebounding while allowing him to come in and block from the weakside (the one thing he does well on defense) more often while Chandler is guarding the opponent’s best big man. Carmelo is just going to be an unstoppable scorer. He’s totally unguardable one on one, and although he settles for a few too many bad shots, the fact is that you need a player like Carmelo, someone who can score regardless of the defense played on him and who can draw defensive help away from his teammates, to win a championship.

    70. BigBlueAL

      Dont know how smart Hoops World is but they had 5 guys predicting where the Knicks will finish and 4 said win the Atlantic Division while the other said 2nd place. They didnt have wins predictions though lol

      One team I think could be a regular season sleeper are the 76ers. They have the same exact team as last season so chemistry issues wont be a problem and they have a pretty deep, young team. Dont think they have a chance in hell of winning a playoff series but they could be a surprise team in regular season and crack the Top 5 potentially.

    71. Frank O.

      BigBlueAL:
      Dont know how smart Hoops World is but they had 5 guys predicting where the Knicks will finish and 4 said win the Atlantic Division while the other said 2nd place.They didnt have wins predictions though lol

      One team I think could be a regular season sleeper are the 76ers.They have the same exact team as last season so chemistry issues wont be a problem and they have a pretty deep, young team.Dont think they have a chance in hell of winning a playoff series but they could be a surprise team in regular season and crack the Top 5 potentially.

      I like the Sixers. Fun team to watch.
      Iggy is so good.

    72. BigBlueAL

      Frank O.: I like the Sixers. Fun team to watch.
      Iggy is so good.

      Melo destroyed them last season in the big win in Philly. One of the funnest games of the season.

    73. taggart4800

      @57 – I don’t think basketball is anything like NFL football, in which a quarterback can get rattled by being sacked 3-4 times a game and perhaps never mentally recover. It’s basketball. Experience only helps learning, and he’s not a 19 year old rookie — he’s 23, I think.

      A great situation for a rookie is being placed on a team that ISN’T deep so you don’t have idiots like George Karl essentially saying that no matter how well Faried plays, he can expect very little playing time this season.

      Complete conjecture. You undermine all the great points you are capable of making. Lest we forget the Nuggets received players in return for Carmelo. As astute as you want everyone to think you are it takes a monumental degree of arrogance to believe that you yourself, have an opinion that is more valued than anyone else.
      The odd thing is I wholeheartedly agree with using advanced metrics. I find them fascinating. Publicly available advanced stats are however still based on conventional box scores. If you look at soccer they are collecting data now that is much more enlightening than, shots on target etc. Successful passes in the final third being one. OPTA stats, if you wish to look at the website. Data is also being collected from microchips embedded in players boots to determine ‘Runs at full sprint’ ‘Total distance covered’ ‘Pace to defensive position’.
      Entirely conjecture. But similar data WILL be available to NBA coaches and teams and it would be irrational to believe that they are not utilizing it.
      I maintain that, despite my belief that Melo is over rated, there are numerous highly experienced coaches and professionals that rate Melo as one of the premier players in the league.
      So please, continue to champion the use of compiled data, but do so with at least some degree of humility.
      I am fully aware of how well read you are on the subject, but someone with a truly high intellect would understand that there knowledge is far from complete.

    74. taggart4800

      @ 88 plenty of grammatical errors in there. I am aware, before you attack my intellect along with everyone else on the site. Juany8 makes my point far more eloquently.

    75. Juany8

      taggart, what you’re talking about would actually be part of any advanced scientific analysis, which is a great thing. No matter how clever you think you are in making a model, you are not the only clever person making the only model. True scientific analysis of anything, not just Basketball, involves being fully aware that all your intelligent, hard work is most likely wrong, and will most likely to continue being wrong for the near future. If it was as easy as picking the player with the highest Wins Produced or PER, GM’s wouldn’t spend millions on scouts and development and player evaluation. Knowing when you’re wrong is the only way to each the truth

    76. Z-man

      I’m not a fan of Berri’s methodology, but to claim that it is unscientific is not fair. However, while any objective analysis of WP 48 would have to conclude that it is reasonably predictive, there is still a significant margin of error that must be reckoned with. The margin of error is probably due to “unmeasurable” or “unattributable” intangibles. Your Ben Wallace example is a good one, in that in his prime years, while his defensive rating was consistently all-NBA, his offensive rating varied from a low of 98 to an impressive high of 117. Same guy, same system, same role, way different outcomes. His Offensive win shares varied from 1.0 to 4.3 during that same span. You could argue that his offensive efficiency/inefficiency doesn’t mean much since his usage rate is low, but then who gets all the usage? How is their efficiency affected by Wallace’s presence?

      WoW doesn’t account for a player’s effect on the game plan of the opposing team, e.g. how much defensive attention a player gets, and how that affects the other players on the court. It also doesn’t consider “role” all that much. I remember arguing with someone about how Trevor Ariza’s stats were inflated when he played for the Lakers because he played with Kobe. Ariza leaves for Houston and there go his great advanced stats because he couldn’t adapt to his changed role, teammates, system. To conclude that Fields was responsible for more wins than STAT based on their WP48, and that your eyes are merely deceiving you, is simply irrational.

      While some players definitely can’t/won’t change their spots, e.g. Iverson, some can. Zach Randolph cut his usage from 28% to 25% and lo and behold, his efficiency, reb%, and WS48 all go up. It’s a lot more promising to try and get a guy like Zach or Paul Pierce (pre vs. post Garnett) to shoot less, take better shots, and focus more on rebounding or passing or defense, than it is to tell a, say, Landry Fields to shoot and score more at the…

    77. Juany8

      Z-man, when I said it was unscientific I didn’t mean that there isn’t some solid analysis being done. What is unscientific is that he fails to provide any kind of analytical reasoning for certain major factors, many of which you pointed out above, and then he still has the arrogance to act like his methods and analysis are absolutely correct. The truth is, coming up with a deterministic final number for player value, which Berri and Hollinger act like they’re doing, is both impossible and misleading. Not all stat collection is the same for every player. Context matters a huge amount, especially in something with as many complicated moving parts as basketball. Although smart analysis with numbers can take place, smart analysis involves actually watching games and trying to understand what’s happening, then looking at numbers to try to confirm or disprove your suspicions, ultimately arriving at a conclusion that is well thought out, but nowhere near certainly correct. Attempting to gauge player talent without actually watching the game is not smart analysis, and it is not scientific, no matter how difficult it might seem to work with those numbers and how smart the person might be.

      As Mark Twain said, There are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics

    78. New Guy

      I’m also one that thinks the Knicks will have some difficulty finding cohesion this year. I see us in the 4-6 seed range.

      Not that I really care, tbh. I would not waste energy on pursuing a seed this year. I’m sure Thibodeu will burn out his Bulls doing that just like Riley did with his Heat in 99. I’ll gladly use the regular season to find cohesion and enter the playoffs as a 5 seed.

      I happen to think we match up extremely well in a 7-game series with the top 2 teams in the East (Miami and Chicago, obviously.)

    79. Z-man

      To conclude, if you argue that Stat (post-Nash), Melo, and now Shump and Davis, are all low-efficiency chuckers that are what they are and are impervious to coaching and other change agents, then you probably won’t be convinced otherwise no matter what happens, and that if Shump goes on to be the next Dwyane Wade, it was a statistical outlier rather than a “margin of error” issue. I believe that regardless of what WP48 and the 4 factors suggest (not prove) players with transcendent skills can change and adapt, e.g.that Melo can be the Paul Pierce on a championship team because he has the skill and the cojones, and that we got him at just the right time.

    80. BigBlueAL

      Juany8:
      Z-man, when I said it was unscientific I didn’t mean that there isn’t some solid analysis being done. What is unscientific is that he fails to provide any kind of analytical reasoning for certain major factors, many of which you pointed out above, and then he still has the arrogance to act like his methods and analysis are absolutely correct. The truth is, coming up with a deterministic final number for player value, which Berri and Hollinger act like they’re doing, is both impossible and misleading. Not all stat collection is the same for every player. Context matters a huge amount, especially in something with as many complicated moving parts as basketball. Although smart analysis with numbers can take place, smart analysis involves actually watching games and trying to understand what’s happening, then looking at numbers to try to confirm or disprove your suspicions, ultimately arriving at a conclusion that is well thought out, but nowhere near certainly correct. Attempting to gauge player talent without actually watching the game is not smart analysis, and it is not scientific, no matter how difficult it might seem to work with those numbers and how smart the person might be.

      As Mark Twain said, There are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics

      I will say Hollinger does watch games though, he actually covers and attends a bunch of games and reports from them.

    81. New Guy

      Apropos to nothing, I very much enjoyed the gathering for the season opener last year that Mike K put together. Any plans to do that this year? I imagine the X-Mas day opener isn’t going to be good, but perhaps a different early season game?

    82. Z-man

      @94 I understand, however, semantically speaking, it is better to use words like “inaccurate” or “unreliable” than “unscientific.” To me, “unscientific” means e.g. “arbitrary and capricious” or “factually incorrect.” The science behind the methodology is actually very good, just subject to the same limitations that are inherent in any scientific analysis of complex phenomena. We agree that it is about the certainty of the conclusions being argued. When you use WP48 to prove that Jordan was better than Kobe, that is a reasonable use of that metric. When you use it to prove that DeJuan Blair is better than Blake Griffin, then it becomes a joke.

      The greatest untapped potential of current state-of-the-art stats is in getting players to become more self-aware. You almost never hear players talking about their “offensive rating” or eFG%; are they aware that these stats exist?

    83. Juany8

      Z-man, I strongly agree with that sort of analysis. Also for an example for very smart analysis involving statistics that also includes video and explanations for context, read Sebastian Prutti’s stuff on Grantland. Basketball cannot be understood by just looking at numbers, but a smart analysis that includes statistics, video, and yes even opinions is the only way to truly attempt to learn this game. And even then, you have to be willing to accept that you could be wrong and that there is much to learn that fans like us simply have no idea about, simply because we’re not there at the coaches meetings learning how basketball really works from the people that know

    84. BigBlueAL

      Juany8:
      Z-man, I strongly agree with that sort of analysis. Also for an example for very smart analysis involving statistics that also includes video and explanations for context, read Sebastian Prutti’s stuff on Grantland. Basketball cannot be understood by just looking at numbers, but a smart analysis that includes statistics, video, and yes even opinions is the only way to truly attempt to learn this game. And even then, you have to be willing to accept that you could be wrong and that there is much to learn that fans like us simply have no idea about, simply because we’re not there at the coaches meetings learning how basketball really works from the people that know

      The article I linked above about Odom and Chandler is from Prutti. He just started writing for Grantland. Really enjoy his work because as you mentioned he uses stats and video to explain his work. Really interesting stuff.

    85. Frank

      Z-man:
      When you use WP48 to prove that Jordan was better than Kobe, that is a reasonable use of that metric. When you use it to prove that DeJuan Blair is better than Blake Griffin, then it becomes a joke.

      The greatest untapped potential of current state-of-the-art stats is in getting players to become more self-aware.You almost never hear players talking about their “offensive rating” or eFG%; are they aware that these stats exist?

      Totally agree.

      My feeling is that players are VERY aware of their shooting percentages from different spots on the floor, off the dribble, coming off screens, etc. If they aren’t, then the coaching staff is seriously out to lunch. The teams that are more aware know stuff at an even more granular level (ie. > 2 dribbles going right, after a pump fake, with defender within 2 arm lengths, etc.). I know a few teams in the league use the Sportvu system which is specifically designed to provide this kind of data. See:

      http://www.sportvu.com/basketball.asp

      I don’t know what players think about offensive ratings, but I wouldn’t think they really care about it because it is too nebulous a stat.

    86. Caleb

      @92 I think the strength of Berri’s system is that it IS very testable, i.e. scientific. It offers a clear analysis, and is predictive. Of course the predictions are not always good! And there plenty of weaknesses, which I’m sure we’ll keep talking about.

      Too many analysts, even “advanced” stats people, use numbers that aren’t anchored to a fixed standard (e.g. wins). You can end up with a roster of a .500 team where all the players are above average.

      With Berri, you can disagree with his conclusions about which players deserve the credit, but the individual players’ “ratings” correspond directly to the team’s success.

      I would love to see more analysts do the same.

    87. BigBlueAL

      Frank: Totally agree.

      My feeling is that players are VERY aware of their shooting percentages from different spots on the floor, off the dribble, coming off screens, etc.If they aren’t, then the coaching staff is seriously out to lunch.The teams that are more aware know stuff at an even more granular level (ie. > 2 dribbles going right, after a pump fake, with defender within 2 arm lengths, etc.).I know a few teams in the league use the Sportvu system which is specifically designed to provide this kind of data.See:

      http://www.sportvu.com/basketball.asp

      I don’t know what players think about offensive ratings, but I wouldn’t think they really care about it because it is too nebulous a stat.

      Shawne Williams mentioned during last season that the coaching staff showed him stats of where he shot the best % so he started to try to limit himself to taking just those shots (corner 3′s was mentioned).

      D’Antoni has cited eFG% during interviews, specifically using that stat when talking about corner 3′s for being one of the most efficient shots in basketball along with layups/dunks and FT’s.

      I remember reading an article last season talking about how the Knicks coaching staff was really into these type of stats and always talked about it with the players. The Knicks may not be fully invested in advances stats like the Rockets or Mavs but they certainly do utilize them.

    88. Juany8

      Caleb, while I do commend Berri for attempting to tie player success to wins, the only metric anyone really cares about, he uses that fact to try to prove that WP is correct. Basically, Berri has formulated Wins Produced so that all of the Wins Produced Players on a team will absolutely add up to the “Wins” of the team (really efficiency differential, which correlates with future success). I like the idea, but hate the fact that he pretends its meaningful that his numbers add up to the actual wins. Since his formula guarantees that the WP of the individual players adds up to the team WP, using that fact to prove the validity of WP is misleading at best. I’d like to try to see an analysis that compares Wins to player value across a career actually, so that when Kris Humpries goes from Dallas to the Nets he doesn’t suddenly seem like a star just because he has better numbers.

    89. daJudge

      Juany8 @ 93—”smart analysis involves actually watching games and trying to understand what’s happening, then looking at numbers to try to confirm or disprove your suspicions,…” This is exactly what I was trying to say last week. I was not ripping stats, but it seems that a closed system with set definitions was being used to justify more general conclusions which evolve way outside the defined closed system. I just look at it the other way around. I also think that cognitively our brains can function like little quantum computers. We form ideas based on so many observations that the subjective impression, particularly by a student of the game, is a reasonable starting point to assess future probabilities. By adding other observed collated facts, we come to intelligent opinions—which still may be utterly incorrect by virtue of the variables. Thank God (or whatever) for that.

    90. iserp

      Z-man: I understand, however, semantically speaking, it is better to use words like “inaccurate” or “unreliable” than “unscientific.” To me, “unscientific” means e.g. “arbitrary and capricious” or “factually incorrect.”

      I have to disagree. Scientific relates to using the scientific method, you have some kind of hypothesis, make some predictions out of it, and test it. As far as i know (because i haven’t read berri’s books), Berri makes some theoretical analysis on the game of basketball, and some logical assumptions about what correlates to winning… and then presents his model.

      OK, Berri has made an hypothesis, let’s say “WP/48 correlates to winning”. Now it is time to make some predictions and test it. If WP/48 was anything scientific, Berri would present us how good WP/48 is to make predictions, some quantifiable measure about it. Even if chance is a big factor, there are mathematical tools to extract information when chance is involved, he has a big database of games since i don’t know which season,and that database is growing each day.

      So Berri should have us update on how WP/48 is faring when making predictions, and should be updating his algorithm (i am not sure how, fitting it to new data with some Monte Carlo simulator and having some kind of control group).

      Instead of that, we have periodic bulletins of the universal truth in his blog. That’s pseudoscience, something that resembles science but it is not. I don’t buy homeopathy to cure anything however logical some guy said it is, it is not science, it resembles it, but it is not… and it doesn’t work, neither does WP/48.

    91. iserp

      Ok, comparing it to homeopathy is not fair… because the purpose of PER and WP/48 is just to have some kind of debate. But i hate that someone is using the word “scientific” and pretend that WP/48 is better for using that word.

      It is useful, you can see aspects of the game you don’t usually see, but it is not scientific.

    92. Juany8

      iserp, thank you for perfectly explaining my rant about WoW and PER being pseudo science earlier. Honestly, as someone who’s had some insight into how big time scientific research is done, calling these statistical tricks “science” and “purely objective” is absurd. Many assumptions are made about how box scores translate into skill, all of them purely subjective, and then they pretend there’s some deeper truth to these all in one stats because advanced math was involved. For a look at the proper use statistics to form basketball opinions, look at sites like Hoopdata and NBA Playbook, not WoW

    93. xduckshoex

      @102 Caleb, the problem with Berri’s system is that it doesn’t pass the initial smell test. Landry Fields was 8th in the NBA in wins produced last year. Kris Humphries was 17th.

      And then when you look at it per-minute, Chris Anderson was 6th, Reggie Evans 10th, Jeff Foster 11th, Kris Humphries 13th while Amare Stoudemire is in the bottom half of the league. Josh Childress outplayed Melo last year. This is all stuff that his numbers indicate, I don’t know why people continue to take him seriously.

    94. latke

      @xduckshoex

      This in itself doesn’t scientifically disprove WP. COnsider the post-trade Nuggets. Out went #186 in Carmelo Anthony & # 74 in Chauncey Billups, opening up more minutes and shot opportunities for #30 Nene Hilario, #37 Ty Lawson, #54 Aron Afflalo.

      When one looks at the abstraction of star power, Anthony and Billups seem like they should be getting the minutes and shots, that a team would perform better with them consuming possessions and minutes. However, WP would argue the opposite, and it seems to have gotten it right in that Denver was one of the best teams in the league post trade.

      The Knicks were slightly worse, as WP again would have suggested. Billups was an upgrade on Felton (#136), but Chandler/Gallo (#200, & #173) and Carmelo were a wash and the knicks had injury troubles and a lack of depth.

      Clearly WP has its flaws as every universal metric does. Measuring defense (outside of rebounding) and measuring the impact a player has on the defensive strategies of an opponent are near impossible to measure. The issue is when individuals make declarative statements about these metrics and how they reflect on a player’s value.

    95. Z-man

      There are broad misconceptions about what is “scientific” and the sanctity of the “scientific method.” In reality, much of what is accepted as “science” is in part based on statistics, assumptions and interpretations, and not on direct observation. In fact things like the earth’s core and the inner workings of atoms are not observable at all with current technology, so we use things like earthquake waves and such to make inferences. With Berri’s methodology, this”assumptions” are based on statistics that were recorded by statistitians that directly observed the game. Honestly, I find it strange that one can conclude that Berri’s body of work is “unscientific” without even reading his book.

    96. Juany8

      Z-man, my point isn’t that Berri’s work is unscientific as some kind of personal thing against WP. My point is there really is no such thing as “scientific” analysis of basketball that can be purely based on numbers. Berri’s observations, methods, and opinions all revolve around box score numbers, which are not remotely scientific by any stretch of the imagination, and analysis purely on those numbers. Those statements you said about the Earth’s core and the inner workings of atoms? Scientists are aware that they are at best inducing the possible working of nature, and that they are actually not certain of these things but will continue to try to research them just the same. The difference is they don’t go out and claim their research presents indisputable proof of some formerly unknown truth.

      I would also like to point out at this time, that economic analysis based on numbers (Berri is an Economics professor) can be correctly described as analytical and well thought out, but it cannot be described as science. Basketball analysis is the same, the analysis yields opinions that can inform future decisions, the analysis does not present the true inner workings of basketball

    97. jon abbey

      also, “statistics that were recorded by statisticians that directly observed the game” are often wrong in and of themselves. steals especially never seem to be credited correctly, and there have been studies about players getting assists they don’t deserve from hometown scorers.

    98. xduckshoex

      latke:
      @xduckshoex

      This in itself doesn’t scientifically disprove WP. COnsider the post-trade Nuggets. Out went #186 in Carmelo Anthony & # 74 in Chauncey Billups, opening up more minutes and shot opportunities for #30 Nene Hilario, #37 Ty Lawson, #54 Aron Afflalo.

      When one looks at the abstraction of star power, Anthony and Billups seem like they should be getting the minutes and shots, that a team would perform better with them consuming possessions and minutes. However, WP would argue the opposite, and it seems to have gotten it right in that Denver was one of the best teams in the league post trade.

      The Knicks were slightly worse, as WP again would have suggested. Billups was an upgrade on Felton (#136), but Chandler/Gallo (#200, & #173) and Carmelo were a wash and the knicks had injury troubles and a lack of depth.

      Clearly WP has its flaws as every universal metric does. Measuring defense (outside of rebounding) and measuring the impact a player has on the defensive strategies of an opponent are near impossible to measure. The issue is when individuals make declarative statements about these metrics and how they reflect on a player’s value.

      Well it’s pretty clear that I wasn’t going for a scientific means of disproving WP. There is no point in even going into that kind of depth when it has Birdman and Reggie Evans as top 10 players in the NBA per minute while Jeff Foster and Kris Humphries are just outside of that.

      WP doesn’t just have flaws, it has 30% of it’s top 10 horribly wrong, and that’s assuming you’re fine with including Tyson Chandler in there. There really isn’t any debate possible regarding those names and their standing and that’s far too great a number to qualify as an outlier.

    99. iserp

      Z-man: In fact things like the earth’s core and the inner workings of atoms are not observable at all with current technology, so we use things like earthquake waves and such to make inferences.

      I am afraid you are wrong with that. The point isn’t to reach the universal truth (if that exists is a philosophical question i am not going into), but to make a model, make predictions, and see if that predictions adjust to reality. If our predictions come closer and closer to reality, then we are more near the “truth”, and that’s science.

      So, for the earth’s core, you can make some predictions about how the earthquakes waves are gonna behave… and each time there is an earthquake, scientists will look how right or how wrong were they. For the atom, we see some spectral lines, try to explain them with quantum physics… we predicted more spectral lines, and we see them, we are making science (OK, the timeline here is wrong, but you get the point).

      I know that scientific is used in more broad sense… but Berri is outright pseudoscientific.

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