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Friday, September 19, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Feb 06 2013)

  • [New York Times] Short-Handed Lakers Maintain Dominance of Nets (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 06:48:21 GMT)
    The Los Angeles Lakers shrugged off the absence of Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace but now face the prospect of losing Pau Gasol to injury after their 92-83 road victory over Brooklyn on Tuesday.

  • [New York Times] Lakers 92, Nets 83: Kobe Bryant Leads the Way as the Lakers Creep a Little Closer to .500 (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 05:31:55 GMT)
    Without Dwight Howard or Metta World Peace at his side, Kobe Bryant attacked often and found his way to the rim frequently, scoring 21 points as the Lakers beat the Nets.

  • [New York Times] Rockets Tie N.B.A. Record for 3s Against Warriors (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 05:09:41 GMT)
    The Houston Rockets tied an N.B.A. record and set a franchise mark with 23 3-pointers in a 140-109 win over Golden State on Tuesday.

  • [New York Times] Nuggets Rally Past Bucks for 112-104 Win (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 05:03:32 GMT)
    Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson each scored 22 points and the Denver Nuggets rallied past the Milwaukee Bucks 112-104 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory.

  • [New York Times] Lakers Top Nets Without Howard, World Peace (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 05:03:21 GMT)
    The Los Angeles Lakers shrugged off the absence of Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace with a 92-83 road victory over Brooklyn on Tuesday.

  • [New York Times] Short-Handed Lakers Beat Nets 92-83 (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 04:45:28 GMT)
    Kobe Bryant would have liked to celebrate more, maybe gloat about that highlight-reel dunk, but there were bigger concerns.

  • [New York Times] On Basketball: With Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Can Relate to Orlando (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 04:36:25 GMT)
    About a year after Dwight Howard gained infamy for his indecision with the Magic, it is the Lakers’ turn to experience his struggles with commitment and perhaps contentment.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 99, Pistons 85: 20 Rebounds for Chandler and a Win for the Knicks (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 04:17:03 GMT)
    Tyson Chandler became the first Knick since Willis Reed to grab 20 rebounds in three straight games as the Knicks rolled over the Pistons for their fifth consecutive victory.

  • [New York Times] Dragic Helps Suns Rally Past Grizzlies (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 04:06:46 GMT)
    Goran Dragic scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Phoenix Suns past the Memphis Grizzlies 96-90 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] George Scores 29 as Pacers Beat Hawks, 114-103 (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 03:15:48 GMT)
    Paul George scored 29 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to their 15th straight home win, 114-103 over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Knicks’ Tyson Chandler on Cusp of Setting Team Rebounding Record (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 02:52:52 GMT)
    Knicks forward Tyson Chandler will set a team record on Wednesday if he snares 20 rebounds for the fourth consecutive game.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Kobe Bryant Says Stars Must Take Active Role in N.B.A. Union Matters (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 01:34:53 GMT)
    Kobe Bryant said it was time for the N.B.A.’s stars to take a stronger role as players deliberate the fate of Billy Hunter, the union’s embattled executive director.

  • [New York Daily News] A year later, Jeremy’s life far less Linsane (Wed, 06 Feb 2013 07:39:45 GMT)
    Rockets guard Jeremy Lin spent Monday â?? the one-year anniversary of the start of Linsanity â?? nursing a sprained ankle, not celebrating.

  • 79 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Feb 06 2013)

    1. KnickfaninNJ

      Great quote from Kobe last night:

      “I was pretty shocked that the lane was so wide open,” Bryant said. “I think that everybody’s been drinking the ‘Kobe-pass’ Kool-Aid, so everybody kind of stays on the perimeter with the shooters. It just parted like the Red Sea. So I felt a little like Moses.”

      The Lakers could be big trouble for some teams if they keep up what they’ve been doing recently.

      And on another note, David Lee and Nate Robinson were NBA players of the week this week, both drafted late by he whom no one here wants to mention.

      So that’s two ex-Knick coaches with positive news lately (Not that Woody’s been doing badly in the news either).

    2. Frank

      The other story from the Lakers-Nets game last night is how bad the Nets should be feeling. They lost to the Lakers – a team that has just been crushed by lack of depth all year – playing without 2 of their starters in Brooklyn. They’ve made a nice run since PJ came on board, but the fact remains they are 10-17 against teams better than .500.

      And re: Kobe – he looks great. But after watching him dunk in traffic like he did a decade ago – it’s hard not to read that Bill Simmons PED article and not think just a little bit about Kobe Bean Bryant, having maybe his best season ever at age 34 while leading the league in minutes played. I hate to say that but how can you not think it?

    3. flossy

      Frank: The other story from the Lakers-Nets game last night is how bad the Nets should be feeling. They lost to the Lakers – a team that has just been crushed by lack of depth all year – playing without 2 of their starters in Brooklyn. They’ve made a nice run since PJ came on board, but the fact remains they are 10-17 against teams better than .500.

      What’s worse is that Kobe got MVP chants and Lopez was booed at the line. Ha!

    4. Nick C.

      Frank:
      The other story from the Lakers-Nets game last night is how bad the Nets should be feeling. They lost to the Lakers – a team that has just been crushed by lack of depth all year –playing without 2 of their starters in Brooklyn.They’ve made a nice run since PJ came on board, but the fact remains they are 10-17 against teams better than .500.

      And re: Kobe – he looks great.But after watching him dunk in traffic like he did a decade ago – it’s hard not to read that Bill Simmons PED article and not think just a little bit about Kobe Bean Bryant, having maybe his best season ever at age 34 while leading the league in minutes played. I hate to say that but how can you not think it?

      The Nets definitely are not as good as they would seem.

      Kobe received the blood platelet “therapy” which consists of removing “spinning” and then reinjecting it. It might not be PEDS , but you probably can’t ride the Tour de France after doing that and if you’re hooked into that …

    5. yellowboy90

      Frank:
      The other story from the Lakers-Nets game last night is how bad the Nets should be feeling. They lost to the Lakers – a team that has just been crushed by lack of depth all year –playing without 2 of their starters in Brooklyn.They’ve made a nice run since PJ came on board, but the fact remains they are 10-17 against teams better than .500.

      And re: Kobe – he looks great.But after watching him dunk in traffic like he did a decade ago – it’s hard not to read that Bill Simmons PED article and not think just a little bit about Kobe Bean Bryant, having maybe his best season ever at age 34 while leading the league in minutes played. I hate to say that but how can you not think it?

      I have not read Simmons’ article but I have always wondered or thought it seemed out that you rarely or for me I have never heard of a bball player connected to PEDs. A lot of PEDs now is about recovering quicker so why wouldn’t basketball players who play several games a week be tempted?

    6. Frank

      Nick C.: Kobe received the blood platelet “therapy” which consists of removing “spinning” and then reinjecting it. It might not be PEDS , but you probably can’t ride the Tour de France after doing that and if you’re hooked into that …

      in Kobe’s defense (and Simmons does mention this in his article), he did play in the Olympics and the drug testing there is far more stringent. So at least this summer he wasn’t doing it.

    7. custer

      yellowboy90: I have not read Simmons’ article but I have always wondered or thought it seemed out that you rarely or for me I have never heard of a bball player connected to PEDs. A lot of PEDs now is about recovering quicker so why wouldn’t basketball players who play several games a week be tempted?

      Yeah kobe’s always been a huge fitness guy, so part of me wants to give the benefit of the doubt.

      In other news, i’ll be at the game tonight down in DC, so think of some offensive chants for me to shout at the erstwhile bullets

    8. johnno

      I’ve always thought that Brook Lopez is a much better player than most people give him credit for — he’s a lousy rebounder, but he might be the most versatile offensive center in the league (and he’s only 24). Kind of a young Pau Gasol. I read yesterday that Dwight Howard says that his back is about 75% and that he still gets a tingling sensation even when he is sitting down, which makes you wonder if he will ever be the athletic freak that he used to be. So, here’s my question — If the Lakers called up the Nets and offered Howard for Lopez, Marshon Brooks and one or two first round picks, what should the Nets do? I’m starting to think that they should say no. I also wonder if the Magic are regretting turning down Lopez in favor of the poo-poo platter of mediocrity that they got for Howard.

    9. KnickfaninNJ

      Yes, that is for sure. I don’t understand the Nets. They ought to be a good team to judge by their record, but in crunch time, they don’t seem to act like one.

      Frank:
      The other story from the Lakers-Nets game last night is how bad the Nets should be feeling. They lost to the Lakers – a team that has just been crushed by lack of depth all year –playing without 2 of their starters in Brooklyn.They’ve made a nice run since PJ came on board, but the fact remains they are 10-17 against teams better than .500.

      And re: Kobe – he looks great.But after watching him dunk in traffic like he did a decade ago – it’s hard not to read that Bill Simmons PED article and not think just a little bit about Kobe Bean Bryant, having maybe his best season ever at age 34 while leading the league in minutes played. I hate to say that but how can you not think it?

    10. lavor postell

      johnno:
      I’ve always thought that Brook Lopez is a much better player than most people give him credit for — he’s a lousy rebounder, but he might be the most versatile offensive center in the league (and he’s only 24).Kind of a young Pau Gasol.I read yesterday that Dwight Howard says that his back is about 75% and that he still gets a tingling sensation even when he is sitting down, which makes you wonder if he will ever be the athletic freak that he used to be.So, here’s my question — If the Lakers called up the Nets and offered Howard for Lopez, Marshon Brooks and one or two first round picks, what should the Nets do?I’m starting to think that they should say no. I also wonder if the Magic are regretting turning down Lopez in favor of the poo-poo platter of mediocrity that they got for Howard.

      I think Orlando is still satisfied with what they got in return. Vucevic has actually been pretty damn good this year, averaging over a double double, something Lopez for all his offensive talent has yet to accomplish in the NBA. Nicholson has also looked like a promising young big and Afflalo gives them somebody who can create their own shot, a skill they lack in abundance. They also have a $17.8 millon trade exception which they need to use by Aug. 10, 2013.

      The biggest positive to the trade that they made versus the Nets’ offer of Lopez, Brooks and 4 first round picks destined to be in the high 20′s is they are far under the cap now (at least that’s what most of us thought a Howard deal would guarantee at the time). This will allow them to get involved in sign and trades to help facililtate deals and benefit themselves along the way. Lopez is definitely a better immediate improvement and they probably would be more competitive with him in tow, but basically they move from the high lottery to a low lottery or bottom playoff team draft position.

    11. d-mar

      Frank:
      The other story from the Lakers-Nets game last night is how bad the Nets should be feeling. They lost to the Lakers – a team that has just been crushed by lack of depth all year –playing without 2 of their starters in Brooklyn.They’ve made a nice run since PJ came on board, but the fact remains they are 10-17 against teams better than .500.

      And re: Kobe – he looks great.But after watching him dunk in traffic like he did a decade ago – it’s hard not to read that Bill Simmons PED article and not think just a little bit about Kobe Bean Bryant, having maybe his best season ever at age 34 while leading the league in minutes played. I hate to say that but how can you not think it?

      I don’t normally put much stock in anything Howard Beck says, but he did have an interesting column recently about how the Nets have no identity. Their 2 stars are not leaders, and the team as a whole almost seems robotic and passionless during the course of a game. And most alarmingly, they fold like a cheap suit whenever things get tough (like the last 2 minutes vs. the Lakers) Not to mention that they have an awful record against teams over .500.

      I would love to face Brooklyn in the playoffs, they are not built for them.

    12. lavor postell

      KnickfaninNJ:
      Yes, that is for sure. I don’t understand the Nets.They ought to be a good team to judge by their record, but in crunch time, they don’t seem to act like one.

      This is probably because of how anytime Joe Johnson touches the ball the offense changes into a 13 second And-1 commercial where JJ keeps trying to cross over his defender and if that fails to take some ridiculous step back jumper. It’s basically like having J.R. Smith except you pay him more than Lebron, Melo, Wade, Bosh, CP3, Dwight, etc. and he does less on offense and defense.

      To be honest the Nets offensive system is a huge joke. Almost every play is a glorified isolation set with little or no movement off the ball. Now I’m sure this is certainly in some ways being done under directions from the coaching staff, but this is also how all of JJ’s teams in Atlanta played on offense. Maybe some zebras can’t change their stripes. Also their cap situation is just awful.

    13. johnlocke

      Joe Johnson’s a slightly better shooting SG than JR, but a worse defender….and JR makes more than 6 times less. $3M versus $19M

      lavor postell: This is probably because of how anytime Joe Johnson touches the ball the offense changes into a 13 second And-1 commercial where JJ keeps trying to cross over his defender and if that fails to take some ridiculous step back jumper.It’s basically like having J.R. Smith except you pay him more than Lebron, Melo, Wade, Bosh, CP3, Dwight, etc. and he does less on offense and defense.

      To be honest the Nets offensive system is a huge joke.Almost every play is a glorified isolation set with little or no movement off the ball.Now I’m sure this is certainly in some ways being done under directions from the coaching staff, but this is also how all of JJ’s teams in Atlanta played on offense.Maybe some zebras can’t change their stripes.Also their cap situation is just awful.

    14. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      Joe Johnson’s a slightly better shooting SG than JR, but a worse defender….and JR makes more than 6 times less.$3M versus $19M

      I actually think Johnson is a good defender (when he wants to be) and JR really struggles on the ball these days (though he’s pretty good making plays off the ball and swooping in for boards).

      Johnson is also a more capable individual scorer, more consistent passer who demands more attention.

      But JR is historically better off the ball and probably makes more hustle plays.

      Clearly, JR is a better value, but Johnson, just like Lopez, is better than his advanced stats would suggest from my perspective.

      Lopez has to be accounted for in so many parts of the floor.

    15. ruruland

      d-mar: I don’t normally put much stock in anything Howard Beck says, but he did have an interesting column recently about how the Nets have no identity. Their 2 stars are not leaders, and the team as a whole almost seems robotic and passionless during the course of a game. And most alarmingly, they fold like a cheap suit whenever things get tough (like the last 2 minutes vs. the Lakers) Not to mention that they have an awful record against teams over .500.

      I would love to face Brooklyn in the playoffs, they are not built for them.

      Imagine if Deron Williams got half of the scrutiny from Beck that Melo (still) receives from him?

      I wonder what that is really about, in the end, for Beck. Maybe it’s the trade, idk .

      Deron Williams was once a hell of a basketball player in the flex, and for years he was clearly the on-floor leader of those Jazz teams.

      Seems like the obvious solution is to find a coach who runs and drills flex sets as the base offense.

      Gerald Wallace is an ideal flex player. You can make it work with some of the guys already on the roster. But the cool thing about the flex is that you can build an efficient offense by taking advantage of market inefficiencies through drafting/signing relatively low-skill wings and forwards, guys who can’t shot but can finish with some momentum behind them and are willing to work hard on offense.

      The flex opens up the middle of the floor for a guy like Williams and lends itself to semi-transition opportunities that he simply doesn’t get anymore in a traditional offense, even with good spacing.

    16. Frank

      klownboy:
      I thought the Nets would be a tad better than what they are now.They had no business losing to LA without Howard and Ron Artest last night.Oh well, the Nets are definitely not the Knicks ;).
      http://www.theklowntimes.net/

      another bit of advice on your constant plugging of your website here. perhaps “klownboy” is not the the name you want to use when you’re looking for people to take you seriously. and if you want people to click on your link, you might write something substantive here to make us think that clicking on that link might actually teach us something.

    17. Frank

      ruruland: But the cool thing about the flex is that you can build an efficient offense by taking advantage of market inefficiencies through drafting/signing relatively low-skill wings and forwards, guys who can’t shot but can finish with some momentum behind them and are willing to work hard on offense.

      The flex opens up the middle of the floor for a guy like Williams and lends itself to semi-transition opportunities that he simply doesn’t get anymore in a traditional offense, even with good spacing.

      hey ruru – i love basketball and am learning slowly about the intricacies of it – but clearly i don’t have any of the real basketball knowledge you and some others here have. do you know of any good websites where i could learn about the prominent offensive systems (the spread PNR is pretty clear to me by this point, but things like the princeton offense, flex, triangle, etc.) and how and why they are theoretically supposed to work? i’m a layman, never played real organized basketball, so even that level of knowledge would be useful to me.

    18. ruruland

      Frank: hey ruru – i love basketball and am learning slowly about the intricacies of it – but clearly i don’t have any of the real basketball knowledge you and some others here have.do you know of any good websites where i could learn about the prominent offensive systems (the spread PNR is pretty clear to me by this point, but things like the princeton offense, flex, triangle, etc.) and how and why they are theoretically supposed to work? i’m a layman, never played real organized basketball, so even that level of knowledge would be useful to me.

      http://www.coachesclipboard.net/4Out1InMotionOffense.html

      Great resource.

    19. DRed

      yellowboy90: I have not read Simmons’ article but I have always wondered or thought it seemed out that you rarely or for me I have never heard of a bball player connected to PEDs. A lot of PEDs now is about recovering quicker so why wouldn’t basketball players who play several games a week be tempted?

      I would be shocked if PED use wasn’t common in the NBA. There are big gaps in the NBA’s testing program, so why wouldn’t you use them?

    20. ruruland

      If you ball-watch against the flex it’s instant death, which is why it often leads to slow or non-existant help. If you have bigs that can shoot in medium range and wings that are athletic, but can’t create much and only shoot it okay, you can still build a really good offense with a pg like Williams running it. That’s basically what the Jazz were with Williams and it’s clear they consistently overachieved with Sloan.

      http://www.coachesclipboard.net/FlexOffense.html

    21. lavor postell

      ruruland:

      Gerald Wallace is an ideal flex player. You can make it work with some of the guys already on the roster. But the cool thing about the flex is that you can build an efficient offense by taking advantage of market inefficiencies through drafting/signing relatively low-skill wings and forwards, guys who can’t shot but can finish with some momentum behind them and are willing to work hard on offense.

      How many teams in the league use the flex as the base offense in the NBA nowadays? I know that Sloan was famous for running the flex in Utah for years, but there has been a lot of criticism as to how limited those teams were and that would be a fair criticism at times. All those years under Sloan and I can’t really remember a standout wing, other than Kirilenko for a couple of years.

      That really hurt them when they would play the Spurs and Lakers of the world who were capable of defensively controlling Williams to a degree and limiting the basket opportunities the flex provides. Are there other teams that use large doses of the flex in their offense? I know plenty of teams incorporate various philosophies on offense, but are there any other teams that current do or have recently as much as Utah?

    22. Owen

      “Imagine if Deron Williams got half of the scrutiny from Beck that Melo (still) receives from him?

      I wonder what that is really about, in the end, for Beck. Maybe it’s the trade, idk .”

      Probably. The nuggets and rockets are now two and three spots behind us in the SRS rankings. The Nuggets especially moved on from the Carmelo era with alacrity. They have been as good without Melo as they ever were with him. Not that that will get them out of the first round either. The western conference is tough.

      I think it’s reasonable to be skeptical if you are the NYT beat reporter. Melo has shown glimpses of greatness but not enough to go all in. And the dominance of Chandler, the resurgence of Kidd and Amare, and the strength of our bench have diminished Melo’s centrality to the Knicks narrative this season.

    23. Juany8

      ruruland: Imagine if Deron Williams got half of the scrutiny from Beck that Melo (still) receives from him?

      I wonder what that is really about, in the end, for Beck. Maybe it’s the trade, idk .

      Deron Williams was once a hell of a basketball player in the flex,and for years he was clearly the on-floor leader of those Jazz teams.

      Seems like the obvious solution is to find a coach who runs and drills flex sets as the base offense.

      Deron Williams isn’t even worth the attention anymore, it’s quite amusing that he used to be in the debate for best PG in the league, and that people once clamored to trade Melo for him. Oh well at least the Nets aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

    24. flossy

      ruruland:
      If you ball-watch against the flex it’s instant death, which is why it often leads to slow or non-existant help. If you have bigs that can shoot in medium range and wings that are athletic, but can’t create much and only shoot it okay, you can still build a really good offense with a pg like Williams running it. That’s basically what the Jazz were with Williams and it’s clear they consistently overachieved with Sloan.

      http://www.coachesclipboard.net/FlexOffense.html

      Probably no coincidence that the only time Ronnie Brewer has looked anything other than useless on offense is in the flex.

    25. ruruland

      lavor postell: How many teams in the league use the flex as the base offense in the NBA nowadays?I know that Sloan was famous for running the flex in Utah for years, but there has been a lot of criticism as to how limited those teams were and that would be a fair criticism at times.All those years under Sloan and I can’t really remember a standout wing, other than Kirilenko for a couple of years.

      That really hurt them when they would play the Spurs and Lakers of the world who were capable of defensively controlling Williams to a degree and limiting the basket opportunities the flex provides.Are there other teams that use large doses of the flex in their offense?I know plenty of teams incorporate various philosophies on offense, but are there any other teams that current do or have recently as much as Utah?

      The Princeton offense utilizes a lot of flex screens and is a continuity and read offense.

      A lot of teams run flex components but there isn’t a team that runs the flex offense full time anymore.

      Its always a tough one for me to figure out.
      Its like running a really good zone/boot offense in the NFL where you can plug in really low picks everywhere because the skill sets it uses are largely undervalued.

      To me, the continuity offense with one high quality pg is the Moneyball of the NBA. (Because great rebounders are no longer undervalued and now scoring efficiency is probably overemphasized in certain contexts.)

    26. ruruland

      flossy: Probably no coincidence that the only time Ronnie Brewer has looked anything other than useless on offense is in the flex.

      Yeah, all of those freelance baseline cuts he used to make with Chicago he was probably instilled with under Sloan because he was a different player in college.

    27. ruruland

      Owen:
      “Imagine if Deron Williams got half of the scrutiny from Beck that Melo (still) receives from him?

      I wonder what that is really about, in the end, for Beck. Maybe it’s the trade, idk .”

      Probably. The nuggets and rockets are now two and three spots behind us in the SRS rankings. The Nuggets especially moved on from the Carmelo era with alacrity. They have been as good without Melo as they ever were with him. Not that that will get them out of the first round either. The western conference is tough.

      I think it’s reasonable to be skeptical if you are the NYT beat reporter. Melo has shown glimpses of greatness but not enough to go all in. And the dominance of Chandler, the resurgence of Kidd and Amare, and the strength of our bench have diminished Melo’s centrality to the Knicks narrative this season.

      It’s one thing to be skeptical, and that is completely fair, but I think it’s overwhelmingly obvious Beck has an anti-Melo bias that I’d really prefer not to go into at the moment.

      If you’re saying that the reason Beck does not have the same agenda against Williams is because of the difference in the trades, I think that is kind of foolish. If Beck has an anti-Melo bias because of CAA and how the trade was drawn out publically, it seems a relatively focused quibble that should not effect Becks coverage the way that it did/does, especially relative to Williams.

      1/2

    28. ruruland

      Juany8: Deron Williams isn’t even worth the attention anymore, it’s quite amusing that he used to be in the debate for best PG in the league, and that people once clamored to trade Melo for him. Oh well at least the Nets aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

      Right, he’s Williams has been exposed in a more contemporary NBA offense, something Beck does not even mention in passing.

      Nor has he written a single hatchet piece on Williams when he must have done at least 4-5 one sided “analysis” pieces on Melo.
      You certainly don’t come across any of those back-handed insults in gamers, notebooks and advances that you’d read from Beck on the regular.

    29. ruruland

      Juany8: Deron Williams isn’t even worth the attention anymore, it’s quite amusing that he used to be in the debate for best PG in the league, and that people once clamored to trade Melo for him. Oh well at least the Nets aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

      Right, Williams has been exposed in a more contemporary NBA offense, something Beck does not even mention/suggest in passing or investigate.

      Nor has he written a single hatchet piece on Williams when he must have done at least 4-5 one sided “analysis” pieces on Melo.
      You certainly don’t come across any of those back-handed insults in gamers, notebooks and advances that you’d read from Beck on the regular.

    30. ruruland

      Owen:
      “Imagine if Deron Williams got half of the scrutiny from Beck that Melo (still) receives from him?

      I wonder what that is really about, in the end, for Beck. Maybe it’s the trade, idk .”

      Probably. The nuggets and rockets are now two and three spots behind us in the SRS rankings. The Nuggets especially moved on from the Carmelo era with alacrity. They have been as good without Melo as they ever were with him. Not that that will get them out of the first round either. The western conference is tough.

      I think it’s reasonable to be skeptical if you are the NYT beat reporter. Melo has shown glimpses of greatness but not enough to go all in. And the dominance of Chandler, the resurgence of Kidd and Amare, and the strength of our bench have diminished Melo’s centrality to the Knicks narrative this season.

      This current Nuggets team is the most suited for Karl of any he’s had since he came to Denver. Denver’s done a very good job of building post Melo, using some of the assets they received in the trade, but also through deconstruction of the entire Melo teams.

      What that has to do with Melo is unclear. The teams Melo led to the playoffs prior to Iversons arrival were mediocre at best, especially I’ll-equipped for a half court game in which they were far too reliant on Melo.

      The teams with Iverson were more talented but lacked Synergy in crucial areas.

      The Billups teams were just the right mix, and when Billups, Melo and Nene were healthy the Nuggets won at close to a 75 percent clip.

      The 2009-10 team was primed for 55-60 wins prior to Karl’s cancer and injuries to all the front court players.

      Comparing any Melo team to the current one is not instructive on its face, which as far as I know the only depth your comfortable with.

    31. lavor postell

      It’s pretty amazing how bad Williams has been in isolation this year, at least to my eye. Ruru do you have Williams shot distribution from his years in Utah as compared to his last two seasons with the Nets?

    32. yellowboy90

      Sidenote: Anyone have any synergy stats on Paul George? I am having a little debate on him being an elite 2-way player. I think he is an very good to elite defender and an up and coming offensive player but I don’t think of him as an elite offensive player.

    33. ruruland

      Owen:
      “Imagine if Deron Williams got half of the scrutiny from Beck that Melo (still) receives from him?

      I wonder what that is really about, in the end, for Beck. Maybe it’s the trade, idk .”

      I think it’s reasonable to be skeptical if you are the NYT beat reporter. Melo has shown glimpses of greatness but not enough to go all in. And the dominance of Chandler, the resurgence of Kidd and Amare, and the strength of our bench have diminished Melo’s centrality to the Knicks narrative this season.

      First, remember I predicted the Nuggets would win around 55 games this year, but they’re still likely to lose in the first round, even if for a third year they have a higher srs than their playoff opponent. Something that never happened with Melo Nuggets.

      I’m not sure what the narrative change has to do with anything.
      You’ve conveniently left out Raymond Felton as part of that narrative shift, which is just utterly shocking.

      The Knicks have built a fantastic team around Melo and Amare, both of whom are functioning together at high levels. It seems as though you temporarily lost sight of your own side. You were to have us believe that couldn’t be done, or did you forget?

    34. ruruland

      lavor postell:
      It’s pretty amazing how bad Williams has been in isolation this year, at least to my eye.Ruru do you have Williams shot distribution from his years in Utah as compared to his last two seasons with the Nets?

      I did a post on this a month ago using hoopdata,82 games and PBR.

    35. Frank

      Re: the Melo trade, the main complaints about it were that we gave up too much and that we could never build a good team since we gave up all our good assets in the trade (including draft picks).

      While I agree wholeheartedly with the 1st part, the 2nd complaint has been emphatically disproven by the genius that is Grunwald. This Knicks team is bursting at the seams with talent, and is probably the deepest team in the entire league — and all built with little in the way of salary cap space, no full MLE, and only 1 draft pick of note (Shumpert).

      Re: the 1st part, that we gave up too much– I’d still totally agree with this, since I think we were probably bidding against ourselves. The way Melo handled that situation was really the only thing I hold against him (lol as if that matters) — if he said absolutely that he would only sign an extension with the Knicks, then we might still have Gallinari and/or our 2014 draft pick. It was a high stakes 3-way game of chicken between Melo/Nuggs/Knicks (with the Nets used as a foil), and everyone but the Nuggets blinked. It’s worked out well for all 3 parties (and also the Nets, who did get DWill for some draft picks and the perpetually overrated Derrick Favors) so all’s well that ends well I guess.

    36. mcliff05

      DWill on this team is a round peg in a square hole. He is not a one-on-one breakdown type of PG, this is exactly why the motion offense has always suited his play. Other than Wallace, the Nets have players that love to play ISO ball. So when JJ or Lopez pass out of a double team to with 5 seconds on the shot clock you see Williams put up brick after brick.

      They play well against the Knicks becuase they can outrebound us and we over-play penetration which leaves those corner 3s wide open. The Knicks are a better team now then the were 20 games ago so in the playoffs I dont see the Nets being a huge challenge…the Bulls on the other hand…

    37. Hubert Davis

      The funny part about that Simmons article on PED’s you guys were talking about earlier is that Kevin Garnett checks all the boxes of a PED user (he’s a habitual cheater, for one – See Tony Douglas trip on Ray Allen 3; and he conspicuously refuses to play for Team USA basketball) but I doubt it ever occurred to him to mention him. He only names the guy who just beat his Patriots.

    38. ruruland

      yellowboy90:
      Sidenote: Anyone have any synergy stats on Paul George? I am having a little debate on him being an elite 2-way player. I think he is an very good to elite defender and an up and coming offensive player but I don’t think of him as an elite offensive player.

      A springier Kwahi Leonard with shot creation. I’ll post later if no one else does.

      And LP let me know what you find/confirm with Williams shot distribution/efficiency changes.

    39. Owen

      “I’m not sure what the narrative change has to do with anything.
      You’ve conveniently left out Raymond Felton as part of that narrative shift, which is just utterly shocking.”

      Just utterly shocking?

      Felton is a near average NBA point guard. A nice thing to have. And we missed him when he wasn’t around. Not sure he is all that important in the bigger scheme of things…

    40. Hubert Davis

      Owen:
      “Imagine if Deron Williams got half of the scrutiny from Beck that Melo (still) receives from him?

      I wonder what that is really about, in the end, for Beck. Maybe it’s the trade, idk .”

      Probably. The nuggets and rockets are now two and three spots behind us in the SRS rankings. The Nuggets especially moved on from the Carmelo era with alacrity. They have been as good without Melo as they ever were with him. Not that that will get them out of the first round either. The western conference is tough.

      I think it’s reasonable to be skeptical if you are the NYT beat reporter. Melo has shown glimpses of greatness but not enough to go all in. And the dominance of Chandler, the resurgence of Kidd and Amare, and the strength of our bench have diminished Melo’s centrality to the Knicks narrative this season.

      I think that’s all fair, but the question remains: why have such healthy skepticism of Carmelo Anthony and be seemingly blind to Deron Williams’? You want to talk about moving on with alacrity, I don’t see many sad faces in Utah. They may not be doing as well as Denver, but took the youth package route which takes extra time, and they are rebuilding very nicely. Meanwhile, Deron appears more and more a phony every day. Where’s the coverage of that from Beck as the Nets’ beat reporter? He seems to be pushing an angle.

    41. Frank O.

      re: Knicks depth

      the Knicks have benefited from some of the injuries they have suffered. Not sure we’d know as much about our bench without them.

    42. flossy

      Hubert Davis:
      The funny part about that Simmons article on PED’s you guys were talking about earlier is that Kevin Garnett checks all the boxes of a PED user (he’s a habitual cheater, for one – See Tony Douglas trip on Ray Allen 3; and he conspicuouslyrefuses to play for Team USA basketball) but I doubt it ever occurred to him to mention him.He only names the guy who just beat his Patriots.

      I think Kevin Garnett would inject himself with the blood of newborn infants if he though it would give him a competitive advantage.

    43. Hubert Davis

      Also regarding the Knicks bench: let’s be honest, we’ve been very lucky. This doesn’t mean Grunwald hasn’t done a great job (he has), but we’ve been lucky.

    44. Frank

      Owen: Felton is a near average NBA point guard. A nice thing to have. And we missed him when he wasn’t around. Not sure he is all that important in the bigger scheme of things…

      I’m really not sure what to make of Felton at this point. Obviously he was shooting too much right before he got injured. His career stats scream “average point guard”.

      But on this team — since we are talking about a team sport here, after all — so far he has clearly been more than his personal efficiency statistics would lead us to believe — ie. he is synergistic with other guys on this team, not additive. Other than Jason Kidd, every single player that has played more than 100 possessions with Felton scores more efficiently with him on the floor than with him off. Some of the differences are small (JR, Tyson), but some of them are huge (>5 TS points)- Melo, Novak, Amare, Rasheed, Copeland, etc. And even Kidd’s TS numbers are not so much worse — 58.8 without Felton, 57.3 with Felton. And for the most part (small sample alert!), this effect is robust even if you look only at the minutes that Tyson and/or Melo is off the floor. There is something about Felton in this offense that makes the whole thing tick — something that is not obvious looking at his below-average TS, horrific WP48, good but not great AST/TO ratio, and very average PER.

      Now obviously we’re only talking about 60% of a season so far, but it sure feels real.

      I encourage anyone who hasn’t done so to go to nbawowy.com and play with the on/off court stuff – it’s really fascinating. And no, I have no affiliation with the site.

    45. Owen

      Deron doesn’t have Melo’s stature and rightly or wrongly is not held to the same standard. And quite frankly, Deron has played well enough not to attract a large amount of negative attention. Not quite as well as in his vintage years. But not so far off that it is all that noteworthy. I think he gets credit also for having handled last year fairly well. And I think the resurgence after Johnson’s firing also suits a pro-Deron narrative.

      Hubert Davis: I think that’s all fair, but the question remains: why have such healthy skepticism of Carmelo Anthony and be seemingly blind to Deron Williams’?You want to talk about moving on with alacrity, I don’t see many sad faces in Utah.They may not be doing as well as Denver, but took the youth package route which takes extra time, and they are rebuilding very nicely.Meanwhile, Deron appears more and more a phony every day.Where’s the coverage of that from Beck as the Nets’ beat reporter?He seems to be pushing an angle.

    46. Nick C.

      On the Nets you get isolated snippets of quotes from Gerald Wallace or some other player about lacking focus, breaking down, effort, isolation or something along those lines. I think they came out within the last week or two tops. But there was no follow up or attempt to figure out what he may have felt or referred to. I could be slightly off but I think that was the gist of the quotes. Had that been the Knicks well you could just imagine how the next seven paragraphs would play out.

    47. Juany8

      Hubert Davis:
      Also regarding the Knicks bench: let’s be honest, we’ve been very lucky.This doesn’t mean Grunwald hasn’t done a great job (he has), but we’ve been lucky.

      Have we though? Shump has been injured all year, Brewer has become useless, it’s hard to argue that Novak is worth his contract, Prigs is a 34 year old rookie, and right now none of Thomas, Camby, or Sheed are giving the Knicks anything. Of all the moves the Knicks made this summer, the only ones that truly worked out have been Kidd and Felton. If the Knicks were really lucky, they would have had the whole year to use STAT’s newfound post offense (it’s not like he was getting better at this while rehabbing from injury) and at least Felton would have been healthy the whole year.

    48. Nick C.

      Here is what Gerald Wallace had to say that I was referencing. Picture the hoohah if that was Tyson Chandler after a Knicks game.

      NETS
      Gerald Wallace calls last night’s loss “typical Nets basketball”
      Posted on: January 31st, 2013 by DEVIN KHARPERTIAN 3 Comments

      Angry after the third consecutive double-digit loss to the Miami Heat this season, Brooklyn Nets forward Gerald Wallace sounded off about his team’s lack of cohesiveness against the best team in the NBA, calling it “typical” and an ass-kicking.

      “It’s typical Nets basketball,” Wallace said after the game. “We don’t play together, turnovers and we don’t execute offensively and defensively.”

      The Nets have yet to lose to a team under .500 this season, but have a sub-.500 record against winning teams and have lost their three games to Miami by an average of 21 points.

      “We didn’t actually lose in those games,” Wallace continued, “we got our asses kicked in all three games. They dominated us. Any sport you measure yourself against the champions and it’s been embarrassing all three times.”

    49. KnickfaninNJ

      I would rephrase that as “a near average starting point guard”, which is much better than an average NBA point guard (if you were to take the average of all of them. Quality starters are not so easy to find, and not all of them fit the current Knicks team as well as Felton does. If we didn’t have Felton, Grunwald would be doing well to get someone of Chris Duhon’s capability. To me, that makes Felton important in the scheme of things.

      Owen:

      Felton is a near average NBA point guard. A nice thing to have. And we missed him when he wasn’t around. Not sure he is all that important in the bigger scheme of things…

    50. Frank

      Nets beat writers are not as jaded as the Knicks guys. I feel like Isola and Berman go way over the top just to make things interesting for themselves. Plus, the Nets writers are probably afraid of ending up in Russian-made cement boots at the bottom of the East River.

    51. Juany8

      Frank: I’m really not sure what to make of Felton at this point. Obviously he
      I encourage anyone who hasn’t done so to go to nbawowy.com and play with the on/off court stuff – it’s really fascinating.And no, I have no affiliation with the site.

      Thanks for the site Frank, it’s pretty interesting to muck around in. As far as Felton, I still think he’s the Knicks third most important player. He’s the only guy on this team that can consistently penetrate into the lane while still maintaining good awareness of his teammates. He allows the Knicks to diversify their offensive attack, getting away from Melo, JR, and Amar’e Iso attempts and replacing them with Felton pick and rolls. He also spaces the floor and moves the ball well when someone else is running the offense, which is very important for a player not capable of being the main option full time. He has his warts, and it was odd to see him shooting MORE when he got injured, but the Knicks simply don’t work without him. They’ve done quite well when anyone but Melo, Felton, and Chandler have been out

    52. lavor postell

      ruruland: A springier Kwahi Leonard with shot creation. I’ll post later if no one else does.

      And LP let me know what you find/confirm with Williams shot distribution/efficiency changes.

      So just at a quick glance I would think most of his regression stems from not getting nearly as man rim attempts as he did in Utah playing in a flex offense that catered to his strengths.

      Rim Attempts:
      07-08: 303-495 (61.2%) 35.0% assisted
      08-09: 213-358 (59.5%) 23.5% assisted
      09-10: 216-367 (58.9%) 35.2% assisted
      10-11: 146-242 (60.3%) 29.5% assisted
      11-12: 108-190 (56.8%) 20.4% assisted
      12-13 (47 games): 65-97 (67.0%) 18.5% assisted

      So he’s taking less shots from closer in and working harder for them judging by the lower assist rate.

      Interestingly enough Williams was once a very good shooter from the most hated range, the long two.

      16ft-3pt range:

      07-08: 159-362 (43.9%) 34.6% assisted
      08-09: 123-270 (45.6%) 28.5% assisted
      09-10: 129-298 (43.3%) 69.0% assisted
      10-11: 82-181 (45.3%) 48.8% assisted
      11-12: 85-215 (39.5%) 47.1% assisted
      12-13: 48-128 (37.5%) 50.0& assisted

      Interestingly enough the assist rate doesn’t seem to have as much a correlation with his percentage as simply the difference in his shooting ability in Utah and NJ/BKN. Granted these aren’t super efficient looks in nature, but they would help slightly alleviate Brooklyn’s floor spacing issues if he could hit better from this range.

      He’s really never been a great 3 point shooter with a career 35.0% mark and his best mark was a 41.6% in his rookie season. Since then his best two marks were in 07-08 (39.5%) and 09-10 (37.1%).

    53. Hubert Davis

      Owen:
      Deron doesn’t have Melo’s stature and rightly or wrongly is not held to the same standard. And quite frankly, Deron has played well enough not to attract a large amount of negative attention. Not quite as well as in his vintage years. But not so far off that it is all that noteworthy. I think he gets credit also for having handled last year fairly well. And I think the resurgence after Johnson’s firing also suits a pro-Deron narrative.

      But part of the reason he doesn’t have Melo’s stature is because people like Beck aren’t covering the negative stuff with the same passion they cover Melo’s faults. Prior to the winter of 2010 when they were both traded, I think their stature was relatively equal. Melo’s was slightly higher because of his Syracuse exploits and his inclusion in the draft class of Wade & LeBron, but they weren’t far apart. Since that time, Melo has been covered in such a polarizing way that it’s made his stature higher than before, while Deron has mostly been treated with kid gloves (mostly. There was certainly some negative press about him earlier this year after the Johnson firing). So the point is: how seriously can a guy like Beck be treated on this particular subject when it seems like he has such a bias? To say he treats one differently than the other because of their respective statures is tough when they way he treats one of them has led to a polarization that has increased his stature.

      The only real difference in stature I would detect is that one plays for the Knicks and the other for the Nets, and so their statures reflect those of their teams. That’s fair. But should that color his coverage? I don’t think so.

      Without getting too sidetracked, I think RuRu has a fair point here. Deron is treated with kid gloves relative to Melo.

    54. DRed

      Juany8: Thanks for the site Frank, it’s pretty interesting to muck around in. As far as Felton, I still think he’s the Knicks third most important player. He’s the only guy on this team that can consistently penetrate into the lane while still maintaining good awareness of his teammates. He allows the Knicks to diversify their offensive attack, getting away from Melo, JR, and Amar’e Iso attempts and replacing them with Felton pick and rolls. He also spaces the floor and moves the ball well when someone else is running the offense, which is very important for a player not capable of being the main option full time. He has his warts, and it was odd to see him shooting MORE when he got injured, but the Knicks simply don’t work without him. They’ve done quite well when anyone but Melo, Felton, and Chandler have been out

      Felton taking 10 shots a night is a pretty solid player. December Ray-Ray will hopefully not show up again this year.

    55. lavor postell

      I think a lot of this demonstrates that as great as Deron Williams was running the flex in Utah, the flex was also great for him in accentuating his strengths and creating movement and space for him to thrive off of. Like ruru mentioned before the wings are always going to be moving off the ball and working hard so as a point guard it can be a dream to run a flex, especially one as well oiled as Sloan’s machine.

      It really doesn’t help him to play with an immobile big like Lopez who’s strength is isolation as well as JJ who is the ultimate ball stopper. Also lineups with Williams at the 2 have been uniformly terrible throughout the year.

    56. Hubert Davis

      Juany8: Have we though? Shump has been injured all year, Brewer has become useless, it’s hard to argue that Novak is worth his contract, Prigs is a 34 year old rookie, and right now none of Thomas, Camby, or Sheed are giving the Knicks anything. Of all the moves the Knicks made this summer, the only ones that truly worked out have been Kidd and Felton. If the Knicks were really lucky, they would have had the whole year to use STAT’s newfound post offense (it’s not like he was getting better at this while rehabbing from injury) and at least Felton would have been healthy the whole year.

      I was only talking about our ability to reconstruct a very good bench the previous two years after giving away all our depth to get Melo. We’re a little lucky we found Novak, that a guy like Shumpert fell to 17 (though Walsh deserves a lot of credit for seeing past the “broken jumper” narrative), that JR got stuck in China, that Baron Davis made it through amnesty waivers, that Jeremy Lin happened. That kind of thing. We didn’t lay out a blueprint, is what I’m saying.

    57. johnno

      Hubert Davis: Prior to the winter of 2010 when they were both traded, I think their stature was relatively equal.

      For what it’s worth (probably not much, but still), prior to this season, espn had Williams rated as the 10th best player in the NBA and Melo ranked number 17. While it’s hard to believe that any of the “experts” had Williams rated that highly, it certainly does beg the question — why isn’t he getting killed by the media for his mediocre play?

    58. Hubert Davis

      johnno: For what it’s worth (probably not much, but still), prior to this season, espn had Williams rated as the 10th best player in the NBA and Melo ranked number 17.While it’s hard to believe that any of the “experts” had Williams rated that highly, it certainly does beg the question — why isn’t he getting killed by the media for his mediocre play?

      I think it boils entirely down to how Denver and Utah handled their business. Denver made theirs public, elongated the process, and dragged Melo through the mud. Utah handled things discreetly and acted swiftly, trading Deron before millions of bloggers could chime in. I think that fuels current perception of each player as much as anything.

    59. jon abbey

      the bottom line is that NY is 25-9 this year with Felton in there, no matter how many shots he takes, and 6-6 without him.

      when you have two legit All-Stars and a third guy who is playing like one of the handful of best post scorers in the league, plus a slew of shooters, an average NBA point guard is a big deal, especially considering his replacements.

    60. Juany8

      Hubert Davis: I was only talking about our ability to reconstruct a very good bench the previous two years after giving away all our depth to get Melo.We’re a little lucky we found Novak, that a guy like Shumpert fell to 17 (though Walsh deserves a lot of credit for seeing past the “broken jumper” narrative), that JR got stuck in China, that Baron Davis made it through amnesty waivers, that Jeremy Lin happened.That kind of thing. We didn’t lay out a blueprint, is what I’m saying.

      Fair enough you’re right, although I think that speaks to Grunwald being awesome as much as anything. Keep in mind that he only got the job last year, he didn’t acquire Melo and STAT

    61. Juany8

      johnno: For what it’s worth (probably not much, but still), prior to this season, espn had Williams rated as the 10th best player in the NBA and Melo ranked number 17.While it’s hard to believe that any of the “experts” had Williams rated that highly, it certainly does beg the question — why isn’t he getting killed by the media for his mediocre play?

      The media hates admitting they made a mistake, and will do their absolute best to avoid admitting as much. They all said Deron Williams was awesome and that Melo was a selfish chucker. It was pathetic during the summer, and it just looks fucking ridiculous now that we’re a good chunk of the way through the season. By lambasting Melo and ignoring Williams, they’re doing the best they can to stick with their pre existing notions of who’s good at basketball.

    62. Owen

      Yeah, I agree. Also, Melo is Melo. He is a scorer and always has been a much bigger media star.

      Re Felton, it’s true this team needs him. But I think there are tons of guys who could fill that role as well as he has. Just not on the roster. Happy with how he has played but if he wanted a big contract I’d look for alternatives. Bargain at this price.

      Hubert Davis: I think it boils entirely down to how Denver and Utah handled their business.Denver made theirs public, elongated the process, and dragged Melo through the mud.Utah handled things discreetly and acted swiftly, trading Deron before millions of bloggers could chime in.I think that fuels current perception of each player as much as anything.

    63. Will the Thrill

      I know this is a bad time for this but Gallo has been killing it over in Denver. It seems that he’s got his old stroke back (from three at least).

    64. Glew

      Will the Thrill:
      I know this is a bad time for this but Gallo has been killing it over in Denver. It seems that he’s got his old stroke back (from three at least).

      Good for him I would like to seem him get traded to the lakers in some package for gasol think he could be a great stretch 4 there. By the way where is actual will the thrill right now? is he still hurt?

    65. Glew

      Unfortunately for gallo, I think the nuggets are fools gold and will get worked by whoever they play in the first round. Too many players with low bball IQ and lack of defensive cohesion will be the death of them. Not to mention their struggles in the half court.

    66. ruruland

      Owen:
      Yeah, I agree. Also, Melo is Melo. He is a scorer and always has been a much bigger media star.

      Re Felton, it’s true this team needs him. But I think there are tons of guys who could fill that role as well as he has. Just not on the roster. Happy with how he has played but if he wanted a big contract I’d look for alternatives. Bargain at this price.

      Tons, eh? Name a few

    67. jon abbey

      Tyson Chandler not in Bradford Doolittle’s top 10 interior defenders based solely on performance so far this year, no surprise to anyone who’s watched NY closely all season.

    68. nyk8806

      ruruland: Tons, eh? Name a few

      Come on, that wouldn’t be difficult, unless we’re talking bang for the buck and/or availability in the the window we needed to sign somebody.

    69. Frank

      Felton is definitely a bargain at this price. And I agree with ruru – especially even in this price region, there are very few that would have done as well as he has and that were theoretically available to us this offseason. I love Jeremy Lin but I’m not sure he would have been as good.

      Here is a list of PGs not on rookie contracts making around or less than Felton this year:

      Kirk Hinrich $3,941,000
      Chris Duhon $3,500,000
      D.J. Augustin $3,500,000
      Raymond Felton $3,480,453
      Will Bynum $3,250,000
      Aaron Brooks $3,250,000
      Jason Kidd $3,090,000
      Jerryd Bayless $3,000,000
      Randy Foye $2,500,000
      Earl Watson $2,000,000
      Shaun Livingston $1,773,976
      Eric Bledsoe $1,707,720
      Jordan Farmar $1,500,000
      John Lucas $1,500,000
      Royal Ivey $1,223,166
      Ronnie Price $1,146,337
      CJ Watson $992,680
      Ishmael Smith $910,491
      A.J. Price $885,120
      Will Conroy $854,389
      Derek Fisher $644,005
      Tyshawn Taylor $473,604
      Pablo Prigioni $473,604
      Scott Machado

      Uh… I’d say we did about as well as we could with Felton. In fact, you’d do well to find more than a handful of PGs making double (<$7M) what Felton is that I'd take over Felton right now:

      John Wall probably (only because he's still young)
      Kyle Lowry for sure
      Jarrett Jack probably
      Sessions maybe but is making $5MM

      And that's it.

      Grunwald did great with a buy-low deal for Felton. Donnie traded him away at $7.5M, Glen brought him back at <50% the price when the team was ready for him.

    70. nicos

      nyk8806: Come on, that wouldn’t be difficult, unless we’re talking bang for the buck and/or availability in the the window we needed to sign somebody.

      Felton is a very good- I’d say top ten- pnr point. You can find a lot of guys whose all all-around game is as good or better but finding a guy who fits this team’s needs as well as he does? Not that easy.

    71. Frank

      What Grunwald has done is truly amazing. He was stuck with zero “conventional” flexibility in that he had few high-value trade assets (ie. young players on good deals) and zero cap room. What he did was:

      1) Amnesty Billups to sign Tyson – no one saw that coming
      2) Signed Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak to bargain basement deals
      3) Convinced JR Smith to come to NYC when arguably he had a better chance to win in LA with Chris Paul
      4) Convinced JR to sign for bargain basement deal for this year (I really don’t buy that he couldn’t get more than a $3M one year deal this year)
      5) Traded roster filler/crap (including some innovative 2nd year nonguaranteed deals like Gadzuric) for Marcus Camby, Raymond Felton, Kurt Thomas
      6) Signed Novak to a reasonable deal that decreases in value each year (probably could have signed him for less, but still, has minimal impact in the later years)
      7) Signed Kidd to mini-MLE
      8) Unearthed Prigioni, James White, and Copeland for vet’s minimum
      9) Signed Ronnie Brewer to vet’s minimum (I remain convinced Ronnie will be useful at some point this season, even if just for defensive assignments)

      And maybe most importantly – had a hand in hiring Woodson to be D-coordinator for D’Antoni, then hired him rather than chasing Phil to be the full-time HC.

      Basically – he was stuck with the 3 max-ish deals of Amare/Melo/Billups. He turned Billups’s contract and bunch of crap into a team that is 31-15 right now. This isn’t luck. This is hard work and inspired genius IMHO.

    72. Frank

      An amusing side note to the Woodson thing – according to the NYT article about the hiring of Woodson, Billups was apparently instrumental and very vocal about bringing him in. And then was essentially traded a few months later for Tyson before ever getting to play for him.

    73. Frank

      Sorry, I’m going to continue just for a sec on my Grunwald love-fest. Here is our playoff roster in 2010-11 (ie. right before Grunwald took over):

      Carmelo Anthony
      Renaldo Balkman
      Chauncey Billups
      Derrick Brown
      Anthony Carter
      Toney Douglas
      Landry Fields
      Jared Jeffries
      Roger Mason
      Andy Rautins
      Amar’e Stoudemire
      Ronny Turiaf
      Bill Walker
      Shawne Williams
      Shelden Williams

      Look at that roster and just try to comprehend how, with only 1 single 1st round pick in the following 2 drafts and no cap space, how Grunwald turned THAT roster into the one we have now:

      1 Amar’e Stoudemire
      2 Raymond Felton
      4 James White
      5 Jason Kidd
      6 Tyson Chandler
      7 Carmelo Anthony
      8 J.R. Smith
      9 Pablo Prigioni
      11 Ronnie Brewer
      14 Chris Copeland
      16 Steve Novak
      21 Iman Shumpert
      23 Marcus Camby
      36 Rasheed Wallace
      40 Kurt Thomas

    74. nyk8806

      nicos: Felton is a very good- I’d say top ten- pnr point.You can find a lot of guys whose all all-around game is as good or better but finding a guy who fits this team’s needs as well as he does? Not that easy.

      No real argument there–he’s surely top 10 or 12 at pnr, and at the time we needed him, he was available at a price we could pay…thus, great value and smart move under the circumstances. Only wish we had a backup guard who could also initiate the pnr semi-competently, but I guess few teams have that luxury.

    75. Glew

      Eh Gasol’s trade value just dropped,massively, partially torn plantar fascia out at least 6 weeks.

    76. Douglas

      Frank: hey ruru – i love basketball and am learning slowly about the intricacies of it – but clearly i don’t have any of the real basketball knowledge you and some others here have.do you know of any good websites where i could learn about the prominent offensive systems (the spread PNR is pretty clear to me by this point, but things like the princeton offense, flex, triangle, etc.) and how and why they are theoretically supposed to work? i’m a layman, never played real organized basketball, so even that level of knowledge would be useful to me.

      Frank, if you’d like the flex broken down in video form, I recommend this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRoDi2ECVtw

      And the triangle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALeAu_dBjds

    77. DRed

      I don’t even remember who Derrick Brown was. Nice post Frank-Grunwald deserves some sort of award for the wizardry he’s pulled.

      I still miss Balkman, though.

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