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Monday, April 21, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Jul 17 2013)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks have no worries over J.R. surgery (Wed, 17 Jul 2013 03:14:54 GMT)
    Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald claims the club had no reservations about giving J.R. Smith a four-year contract despite Smith needing knee surgery.    

  • [New York Post] GM: Knicks knew J.R. ‘likely’ needed surgery (Wed, 17 Jul 2013 01:51:08 -0500)
    LAS VEGAS — Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said despite the delay in J.R. Smith’s knee surgery, he still expects him to be on the court with Metta World Peace when the team opens its season in late October.
    Grunwald attempted to clear up the mystery yesterday on why…

  • [New York Times] Smith’s Knee Surgery Does Not Surprise the Knicks, Who Are Investing Less (Wed, 17 Jul 2013 02:39:57 GMT)
    The timing of J. R. Smith’s knee surgery raised questions about whether the Knicks should have invested four years and $24.5 million in him. It turns out they didn’t.    

  • [New York Times] Kidd Settles a Court Case but Still Faces a Suspension (Wed, 17 Jul 2013 01:47:56 GMT)
    Jason Kidd, the Nets’ new coach, was placed on interim probation and agreed to speak to Long Island high school students about the dangers of drunken driving.    

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] GM: Talks with K-Mart 'going pretty well' (Wed, 17 Jul 2013 02:07:35 EDT)
    LAS VEGAS — Now that they got their man Metta World Peace, will the Knicks get their second in Kenyon Martin?They remain in hot pursuit, and according to GM Glen Grunwald on Tuesday, continued negotiations with Martin’s agent, Andy Miller, have been positive.”We are still very interested in Kenyon and giving him full consideration,” said Grunwald, who can only offer the 35-year-old forward a contract in the veteran’s minimum range. “We’re just having discussions with Kenyon and his agent, and they’re going pretty well at this time.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] J.R. Smith's deal for three years, not four (Wed, 17 Jul 2013 01:39:21 EDT)
    Those Knicks fans concerned about the length of J.R. Smith’s new contract can breathe a little sigh of relief. Smith’s deal was originally reported by ESPN and other media outlets to be a four-year pact worth $24.7 million dollars. But according to Smith’s agent, Leon Rose, the terms of Smith’s deal changed between the time both sides agreed to the deal on July 4 and when it became official on July 11. Rose, confirming news first reported by the New York Times, said the Knicks originally offered Smith a four-year contract but the reigning Sixth Man award winner opted to sign a three-year contract with a player option in the third season so he could test free agency sooner.

  • 124 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Jul 17 2013)

    1. Vinny L.

      JR Bricks must think he’s gonna be a All Star in the next 2 years… Did he tell Knicks brass not to get Nate Rob and go with non-threat Prig because prig is scared to shoot?

      From ESPN:

      “Nate had a great year last year in Chicago,” Grunwald said. “Nate was great for Chicago and we’re exploring players, but we have nothing to report right now.”

      Robinson, however, is in the market for more than the veteran’s minimum, according to a player source. In addition, the Knicks have some concerns that he and J.R. Smith, who both have the mentality of sixth man scorers, would step on each other’s toes in the backcourt together coming off the bench. – Zwerling

    2. ess-dog

      I’m starting to think that we’d be foolish not to put Melo at sf this Year, especially with JR on the mend.

      We need a starting lineup that punishes people for doubling Melo, and not just at the three point line. Ideally we would start Prig, Shump, Melo, Bargs and Tyson.

      It’s not ideal, but Bargs and Tyson are a cheap approximation of Dirk and Tyson. Prig and Barg can work the pick and pop. Hopefully Shump can expand his offense or at least become a great 3 and D guy.

      And we’ll still have plenty of D and O on the bench.

      Woody will never start Prig though, and he’s obsessed with Melo at pf.

      Man Brooklyn is going to whip our ass this year.

    3. Juany8

      ess-dog:
      I’m starting to think that we’d be foolish not to put Melo at sf this Year, especially with JR on the mend.

      We need a starting lineup that punishes people for doubling Melo, and not just at the three point line. Ideally we would start Prig, Shump, Melo, Bargs and Tyson.

      It’s not ideal, but Bargs and Tyson are a cheap approximation of Dirk and Tyson. Prig and Barg can work the pick and pop. Hopefully Shump can expand his offense or at least become a great 3 and D guy.

      And we’ll still have plenty of D and O on the bench.

      Woody will never start Prig though, and he’s obsessed with Melo at pf.

      Man Brooklyn is going to whip our ass this year.

      Didnt he start prigs last year?

    4. er

      ess-dog:
      I’m starting to think that we’d be foolish not to put Melo at sf this Year, especially with JR on the mend.

      We need a starting lineup that punishes people for doubling Melo, and not just at the three point line. Ideally we would start Prig, Shump, Melo, Bargs and Tyson.

      It’s not ideal, but Bargs and Tyson are a cheap approximation of Dirk and Tyson. Prig and Barg can work the pick and pop. Hopefully Shump can expand his offense or at least become a great 3 and D guy.

      And we’ll still have plenty of D and O on the bench.

      Woody will never start Prig though, and he’s obsessed with Melo at pf.

      Man Brooklyn is going to whip our ass this year.

      I agreed with you until the last two lines. Prig did start and idk about all the brooklyn hype. But as i said afew days ago, i think you gotta start melo bargs and tyson in the front court

    5. ess-dog

      Re: Prig, it’s more that Woody won’t bench Felton than he won’t start Prig. Felton at the 2 won’t do.

      And Brooklyn will be a tough matchup for us this year unless we can spread the floor and find easy baskets.

    6. flossy

      ess-dog: We need a starting lineup that punishes people for doubling Melo, and not just at the three point line. Ideally we would start Prig, Shump, Melo, Bargs and Tyson.

      I just don’t understand why, at this point, anyone would want Bargnani to start. He’s never been good and was one of the absolute worst players in the NBA last season. As far as I’m concerned, he sucks until proven otherwise, and while I hope he proves otherwise, why would anyone assume we’ll start a player who can’t rebound, can’t play defense, and can’t shoot?

      I mean, Amar’e could start at PF depending on what his minutes restriction ends up being set at–he was easily a top 10 scoring threat in the NBA last season.

      Or keep Melo at the 4 and start Artest at the 3–add more defense to the starting five, and at least Artest shoots 40% from the corner 3 spots (vs. Bargnani, who hasn’t shot above 30% from 3 since 2010 and virtually never shoots from the corners, per Goldsberry).

      Or if we sign a competent 3rd PG, you could stick with the Felton/Prigs starting backcourt and Shumpert at the 3.

      Either way, there are several possible starting line-up combinations that seem to me to be obviously superior that giving Andrea Bargnani any kind of significant role before he proves he is an actual NBA-caliber player again, to say nothing of a poor man’s Dirk (HA! Maybe a homeless, mentally-challenged man’s Dirk…).

    7. Juany8

      Agreed flossy, I didn’t think the Bargs deal was the disaster some people are making it out to be and I do think there is some reason for hope that he improves enough to at least replace copeland and Novak, but to outright assume he’s a good player and just start him would be a nightmare. I’d be much more in favor of starting Artest

    8. Frank

      few thoughts on the news of the day:

      1) Steven A Smith says Dolan wanted to trade Shump for not playing summer league? Somehow I highly doubt that that is true — because if it was, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have been 1-and-done. Feels like SAS creating buzz.

      2) Not that I am defending Dolan/Knicks FO, but is it any wonder why they are totally opaque to the media? Re: this JR situation, why does everyone think it’s so weird that he’s getting surgery now? we are only about 8 weeks from the end of our season.

      #1) Even if everyone thought surgery was likely, it seems altogether reasonable that one would wait a month or two to see if he would heal on his own.

      #2) like Howard Beck said, it’s not up to the team to tell a patient he HAS to have surgery or when he has surgery.

      #3) if I were JR, I’d also wait until after my contract is signed to have surgery

      #4) now that we know it’s a 3 year deal, what is the issue regardless of the fact that the knicks didn’t correct everyone?

      #5) on ESPN Radio, Isola said what the Knicks should have done is to offer 2 years, let him go get his offers, and if he DID get a bigger/longer offer, to the leak his knee info. First of all, what a shitty thing that would be to do. Second – what, the other teams aren’t going to do a physical? They’re just going to take JR’s word when it was well-known that he had knee issues at least in the playoffs?

      continued….

    9. er

      Juany8:
      Agreed flossy, I didn’t think the Bargs deal was the disaster some people are making it out to be and I do think there is some reason for hope that he improves enough to at least replace copeland and Novak, but to outright assume he’s a good player and just start him would be a nightmare. I’d be much more in favor of starting Artest

      The reason i think Woody should start Bargnani has more to do with bench config than my love for him. To me this creates a real flexible bench config where Artest could replace either the sf or pf depending on the circumstance. Stat could replace Barg or Chandler, Kmart could replace Barg or Chandler.

      However I guess it doesnt matter who starts really

    10. Frank

      To me, the most likely scenario is this: JR had a nagging knee issue all year long, which maybe worsened in the playoffs. Knicks advised him that he prob would need surgery after the year. JR said I’d like to rest for 6-8 weeks before making the decision especially since his contract is at risk. Knicks decide that given age/severity of injury, that he’s still a good deal at 2 years + 1 year player option. JR makes the decision to have surgery very soon after his contract is signed — and has surgery as soon as possible to get back at the beginning of the year.

      Seriously — everyone is in agreement that JR is at least a reasonable deal at 5.5M per. If this was Kevin Durant having this problem at contract time, is there ANY DOUBT AT ALL that OKC is still signing him to a max deal for as many years as they can get?

      And one wonders why the Knicks hate dealing with the media. Everything is a conspiracy, everything is back page worthy. SMH.

    11. er

      Frank:
      To me, the most likely scenario is this:JR had a nagging knee issue all year long, which maybe worsened in the playoffs.Knicks advised him that he prob would need surgery after the year. JR said I’d like to rest for 6-8 weeks before making the decision especially since his contract is at risk. Knicks decide that given age/severity of injury, that he’s still a good deal at 2 years + 1 year player option.JR makes the decision to have surgery very soon after his contract is signed — and has surgery as soon as possible to get back at the beginning of the year.

      Seriously — everyone is in agreement that JR is at least a reasonable deal at 5.5M per.If this was Kevin Durant having this problem at contract time, is there ANY DOUBT AT ALL that OKC is still signing him to a max deal for as many years as they can get?

      And one wonders why the Knicks hate dealing with the media. Everything is a conspiracy, everything is back page worthy. SMH.

      Isola did sound like a creep with that leak stuff smh

    12. Juany8

      Frank:
      To me, the most likely scenario is this:JR had a nagging knee issue all year long, which maybe worsened in the playoffs.Knicks advised him that he prob would need surgery after the year. JR said I’d like to rest for 6-8 weeks before making the decision especially since his contract is at risk. Knicks decide that given age/severity of injury, that he’s still a good deal at 2 years + 1 year player option.JR makes the decision to have surgery very soon after his contract is signed — and has surgery as soon as possible to get back at the beginning of the year.

      Seriously — everyone is in agreement that JR is at least a reasonable deal at 5.5M per.If this was Kevin Durant having this problem at contract time, is there ANY DOUBT AT ALL that OKC is still signing him to a max deal for as many years as they can get?

      And one wonders why the Knicks hate dealing with the media. Everything is a conspiracy, everything is back page worthy. SMH.

      I actually agree with most of what you said, I do think the Knicks should have signed him regardless, but how many players have “been given some time to rest and work things out” these past few years before suddenly getting a big surgery and being out forever? Knicks can’t force JR to do anything of course, but he likely values their opinion and this team seems to have a history of dealing with injuries in odd way.

    13. chrisk06811

      flossy:
      I mean, Amar’e could start at PF depending on what his minutes restriction ends up being set at–he was easily a top 10 scoring threat in the NBA last season.

      top 10? guy only played 29 games / 700 minutes!!

    14. jon abbey

      it’s hard for me to believe that JR was hurt in any way during that insane stretch he had towards the end of the regular season, I don’t believe he was actually hurt in March.

    15. Juany8

      flossy: Top 10 when he actually played.Top 3 in terms of scoring efficiency at a high usage.

      Well I don’t know how you feel about the issue personally, but we can’t just ignore that he was mostly playing against second units who were not exactly keying in on him like he was dominant. James harden had one of the most efficient seasons of all time as a third option on the bench, once he became the lead option was still awesome, but a 7% decrease in TS% is pretty significant. If amares playing enough minutes to become a major part of the rotation, there’s a good chance his efficiency drops. Hopefully he’s still good enough to contribute offensively, but I think expecting him to be a dominant scorer is too much.

    16. Frank

      Juany8: I actually agree with most of what you said, I do think the Knicks should have signed him regardless, but how many players have “been given some time to rest and work things out” these past few years before suddenly getting a big surgery and being out forever?

      Well, we just had one the other direction with Melo and his shoulder.

      Given the choice (and short of ACL tears etc, there’s always a choice), players (and regular people) should and will always try to heal on their own. Easy for us to say that he should go under the knife, but even if there’s just a 2% complication rate, that’s still a 2% you might not have to deal with if somehow rest/rehab can fix it.

    17. DRed

      Starting Bargnani is a recipe for losing more basketball games. He should be one of the last people off the bench until he proves he’s much better than he’s been for the last few seasons.

    18. flossy

      Juany8: Well I don’t know how you feel about the issue personally, but we can’t just ignore that he was mostly playing against second units who were not exactly keying in on him like he was dominant. James harden had one of the most efficient seasons of all time as a third option on the bench, once he became the lead optionwas still awesome, but a 7% decrease in TS% is pretty significant. If amares playing enough minutes to become a major part of the rotation, there’s a good chance his efficiency drops. Hopefully he’s still good enough to contribute offensively, but I think expecting him to be a dominant scorer is too much.

      Amar’e had achieved the .600+ TS%/25%+ usage combo five times prior to last season. We’re not talking about Chris Copeland, here, where the “can he stay efficient while playing more/against better competition” question is legitimate. This is a six time all-star who has been a dominant scorer since entering the NBA, and who dramatically expanded his offensive repertoire before last season to account for his diminishing athleticism, with great results.

      There really cannot be any argument that in the abstract, he is anything less than a vastly superior player offensively (and in virtually every facet of the game, tbh) compared to Bargnani. Obviously his health is the overriding concern (though it’s not as if Barngnani has not had similar or even worse injury issues over the past few years).

    19. Juany8

      Frank: Well, we just had one the other direction with Melo and his shoulder.

      Given the choice (and short of ACL tears etc, there’s always a choice), players (and regular people) should and will always try to heal on their own.Easy for us to say that he should go under the knife, but even if there’s just a 2% complication rate, that’s still a 2% you might not have to deal with if somehow rest/rehab can fix it.

      Fair point frank, although I would counter that JR is financially dependent on his body working at optimum levels, so he doesn’t just get to take his sweet time to come back from injuries in the same way you and I would. If someone is paying you to be healthy, they’re going to have a large influence on how you’re going to stay/get healthy. Of course I don’t know all the details of the case and it could be that this was the best possible option. I’m just wary since the Knicks tend to have a wait and see attitude towards everything, and it hasn’t exactly worked well in the past. Every playoffs all the top players other than Melo have fallen apart because of injuries. Mike bibby started a playoff game last year. At some point you have to at least question if that’s coincidence

    20. flossy

      ruruland:
      Flossy, you think LaMarcus Aldridge is a good player?

      Why? Because his career TS% and usage is similar to Bargnani? I’m not trying to hear that–I think we all know that LMA is a vastly superior player. If anything, scoring efficiency is the biggest knock on Aldridge, and he’s still light years ahead of where Bargs has been over the past few seasons.

      As I Knicks fan, I do hope Barngnani can pull his head out of his ass and show he can actually contribute to a winning basketball team, but until he does show that I would consider him on basketball probation. Certainly, I can think of several different starting line-ups that I’d rather trot out on opening night before I assume that he’ll rise from the dead and deserves a starting spot.

    21. Keniman Shumpwalker

      Juany8: Fair point frank, although I would counter that JR is financially dependent on his body working at optimum levels, so he doesn’t just get to take his sweet time to come back from injuries in the same way you and I would. If someone is paying you to be healthy, they’re going to have a large influence on how you’re going to stay/get healthy. Of course I don’t know all the details of the case and it could be that this was the best possible option. I’m just wary since the Knicks tend to have a wait and see attitude towards everything, and it hasn’t exactly worked well in the past. Every playoffs all the top players other than Melo have fallen apart because of injuries. Mike bibby started a playoff game last year. At some point you have to at least question if that’s coincidence

      I think one aspect of this that hasn’t been brought up yet is the simple fact that JR wasn’t under contract until quite recently. Not many professional athletes undergo major knee surgery while being free agents. You’d be acting without the guidance (or misguidance, in our case) of a team’s medical staff and would be making it very difficult for your agents to negotiate on your behalf. I think it’s pretty reasonable for him to wait to do surgery until he had signed a contract. I would also think that most teams that showed interest in him would want him to wait until he was under contract and could be examined and handled by THEIR medical staff, not free-lancing out on his own.

    22. Juany8

      flossy: Amar’e had achieved the .600+ TS%/25%+ usage combo five times prior to last season.We’re not talking about Chris Copeland, here, where the “can he stay efficient while playing more/against better competition” question is legitimate.This is a six time all-star who has been a dominant scorer since entering the NBA, and who dramatically expanded his offensive repertoire before last season to account for his diminishing athleticism, with great results.

      There really cannot be any argument that in the abstract, he is anything less than a vastly superior player offensively (and in virtually every facet of the game, tbh) compared to Bargnani.Obviously his health is the overriding concern (though it’s not as if Barngnani has not had similar or even worse injury issues over the past few years).

      Oh he’s better than bargs of course, but I question if he’s going to maintain a monster efficiency that’s all. He’s still be a valuable player if he’s scoring at around a .580-.590 ts% with a similar usage. Wouldn’t exactly make him a top 10 scorer, but it would work and benefit the team. I’m just pointing out that even Harden had a huge drop in efficiency when taking on a bigger role, so it’s hard for me to be optimistic that Amare is going to put up some of the very best scoring numbers in the league.

    23. Juany8

      Keniman Shumpwalker: I think one aspect of this that hasn’t been brought up yet is the simple fact that JR wasn’t under contract until quite recently. Not many professional athletes undergo major knee surgery while being free agents. You’d be acting without the guidance (or misguidance, in our case) of a team’s medical staff and would be making it very difficult for your agents to negotiate on your behalf. I think it’s pretty reasonable for him to wait to do surgery until he had signed a contract. I would also think that most teams that showed interest in him would want him to wait until he was under contract and could be examined and handled by THEIR medical staff, not free-lancing out on his own.

      Hadnt really thought of that, you’re probably right and I’m just being paranoid because we’ve had 2 of our 3 stars either on the bench or hobbling around the court every year since Melo and Amare came over. Just once I’d like to see what this team can do with it’s intended core healthy in the playoffs.

    24. ruruland

      Flossy,
      There is no question Amar’e is the superior player, and I totally agree he is a dominant scorer. His efficiency last year at sub 60 assisted basket rate is, well, phenomenal. One could argue that without a great pg alongside him in combination with a reduction in transition scores, it was the most impressive offensive season of Amar’e's career, albeit in a very small sample.

      But even in a platoon situation, Bargnani has value.

      Lamarcus Aldridge is generally thought of as a very good offensive player and for good reason.

      Aldridge career TS: 537
      Bargnani career TS: 535

      Aldridge career dreb rate: 17.4
      Bargnani career dreb rate: 15.2

      Aldridge career block rate: 2.3
      Bargnani career block rate: 2.3

      Baargnani as good as LA? Hell no, not on either end. LA much better offensive rebounder, better help defender, and is at least a decent primary option, while AB never will be.

      However, let’s remember a few things about shot distribution.

    25. Frank

      DRed:
      Starting Bargnani is a recipe for losing more basketball games.He should be one of the last people off the bench until he proves he’s much better than he’s been for the last few seasons.

      It’s these kinds of categorical statements that are, frankly, hard to stomach.

      Here are some that Bargnani is pretty clearly good at.

      1) being tall
      2) he’s a very good shooter for a guy who is very tall. His height in and of itself (combined with his relative skill in the post) makes it so the opposing team needs to guard him with a similarly tall guy. If you look at guys 6’11″ or taller, only 6 players since 1947 have shot more than 4 3Ps/game and hit more than 37% for that season – Dirk, Frye, Troy Murphy, Okur, Villaneuva, and Bargnani.

      2) As has been linked to before, he’s a well-above-average PNR and POP player

      3) he’s a well-above average scorer in the post

      He’s a bad rebounder, and probably pretty bad in help defense. As a one-on-one defender, pretty much every statistical analysis and scouting report (done by serious people) suggests that he’s actually quite good.

      So the question isn’t “does he suck or not”? The question is “how can the Knicks use his skillset the optimal way while hiding his deficiencies?”.

      continued…

    26. thenamestsam

      I have to agree that there’s no way Bargs should be starting until he proves himself in a big way. My current minute allocation (assuming Kenyon eventually returns) would be something like:

      5: Tyson-30, Kenyon-18
      4: Amare-20, Bargs-10, Melo-23
      3: Melo-12, MWP-24, Shump-12
      2: Shump-18, JR-30
      1: Felton-28, Prig-20

      Obviously all 10 of those guys aren’t going to be healthy often, but I think Bargs deserves to be 10th on the pecking order right now in terms of minutes. He has the talent to play himself higher than that but he has a ton to prove. I have no problem with starting a guy who’s not one of your 5 best for tactical reasons, but starting your 10th best guy is just stupid.

    27. Hubert

      Someone please assure me that we didn’t give JR this 2 year deal so we could max him out in 2015. Part of me is scared that CAA has conned Dolan into thinking JR has been taking under market deals to stay with us, and that his reward for being loyal is in two years when he has full bird rights and we give him a 3 year $36 million deal at age 30.

      That’s crazy, right? Please tell me we wouldn’t do something like that.

    28. johnno

      Frank: on ESPN Radio, Isola said what the Knicks should have done is to offer 2 years, let him go get his offers, and if he DID get a bigger/longer offer, to the leak his knee info. First of all, what a shitty thing that would be to do. Second – what, the other teams aren’t going to do a physical? They’re just going to take JR’s word when it was well-known that he had knee issues at least in the playoffs?

      And what if the Knicks did say, “Mr. Lin, I mean Mr. Copeland, I mean Mr. Smith, shop around and see if you get a better offer and he got an offer that the Knicks couldn’t match…” What an idiot…

    29. domiknick

      I think 1 issue with starting Stat is that it sounds like he’s going to be on a STRICT minutes limit next year – 20 minutes per game. If you start him, and let’s say he plays the first 7-8 minutes and then goes to the bench, that’s almost half his available minutes for the game. do you save the other 12-13 for the second half? Do you bring him back for a 3-minute stretch in the second quarter?

      If he’s the first big off the bench, I think it’s a more “natural” way (for lack of a better word) to allocate his 20 minutes over the course of the game.

    30. Frank

      Remember – Amare had a pretty bad 2011-12 season but then turned around and had one of his most efficient seasons ever. But the key to his success wasn’t that he returned to Amare of 2005. It was that Woodson recognized his potential in the post, recognized how inefficient his jumpshooting had become, and basically told him not to shoot bad shots anymore. According to NBA.com, in 12-13 he shot 82% of his shots in the paint as a whole, and 69% (!!!!) of his shots in the restricted area. That is just ridiculously focused offense. He took 26 TOTAL mid-long range jumpers.

      Just to compare: in 11-12 he shot just 60% of his shots in the paint and 44% in the restricted area. In 10-11 he shot 62% in the paint, 37% in the restricted area. Even in one of his best seasons in PHX (09-10) he shot just 44% of his shots in the restricted area.

      Bargnani can be very valuable to this team if put in positions to succeed. He’s already shown he probably shouldn’t be the primary shot creator on a team. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be a very valuable piece at least on the offensive end. And if they can maybe scheme something for him on defense, he could be ok there too. Before he got hurt in 11-12 (Casey’s first season in TOR), there were a bunch of articles about how much he had improved on the defensive end, and how surprised Casey was with his effectiveness covering the PNR. Then he got injured again and again and obviously his play fell off. But that might indicate there’s something there. He’s never had an actual good coach before when healthy, so maybe Woodson can get something out of him.

    31. Keniman Shumpwalker

      Juany8: Hadnt really thought of that, you’re probably right and I’m just being paranoid because we’ve had 2 of our 3 stars either on the bench or hobbling around the court every year since Melo and Amare came over. Just once I’d like to see what this team can do with it’s intended core healthy in the playoffs.

      Oh dude, you’re paranoia is more than justified. Our medical staff is terrifyingly inept and I ALWAYS expect the worst when it comes to injuries. When they tell me Hardaway Jr. has a bruised wrist I instantly assume that he’s in danger of amputation.

    32. ruruland

      Frank is absolutely right. As I mentioned before, we’re hearing a lot of the same damning remarks about AB as we heard about Felton.

      Remember what a few of us (and many more should have) said about Felton going into last year ( not even addressing the weight issues).

      He was a really good pnr pg (folks pretended his first half in NY was an anomaly) and a solid spot-up shooter that could function in 4-out and Melo post-ups.

      We also saw that when Felton came back from the thumb injury and re assimilated himself into the offense, he changed his approach in pnr and basically took out a large portion of those midrange pull-ups.

      His TS went above 550 and his usage went down to about 18 — just the right spot. That’s why we want Felton in a usage environment where he doesn’t feel the need to try to create those bad shots.

      the very same thing can happen with AB, except AB is much more talented offensive player.

      AB is the third best spot-up shooting big in the NBA the last four years, behind only Anderson and Nowitzki. He has been more efficient on spot-ups than Love, Bosh, KG, you name him.

      He’s also been tremendously efficient in pick and opo, as Frank mentioned.

      In fact, his post-up numbers are also pretty good, and his isolation numbers aren’t terrible.

      What’s the issue? More than 30 percent of AB’s shots have been post-up/isos the last 4 years. Way too many.

      Only post and iso him in highly optimal situations, play him alongside Melo or Amar’e and he’ll get the open shots he got with Bosh, back when he was shooting 37-40 5 from 3.

      His game developed a lot after Bosh left (he only played until age 24 with Bosh, and bigs develop slowly). The problem is that he became the de facto top option when Bosh left, and he didn’t get as many of those open spot-ups.

      You just watch, in this situation, of he is right, I’d wager his WS/48 will shoot up to the 140-150 range.

    33. DRed

      Frank: It’s these kinds of categorical statements that are, frankly, hard to stomach.

      Here are some that Bargnani is pretty clearly good at.

      1) being tall
      2) he’s a very good shooter for a guy who is very tall. His height in and of itself (combined with his relative skill in the post) makes it so the opposing team needs to guard him with a similarly tall guy.If you look at guys 6’11? or taller, only 6 players since 1947 have shot more than 4 3Ps/game and hit more than 37% for that season – Dirk, Frye, Troy Murphy, Okur, Villaneuva, and Bargnani.

      2) As has been linked to before, he’s a well-above-average PNR and POP player

      3) he’s a well-above average scorer in the post

      He’s a bad rebounder, and probably pretty bad in help defense. As a one-on-one defender, pretty much every statistical analysis and scouting report (done by serious people) suggests that he’s actually quite good.

      So the question isn’t “does he suck or not”? The question is “how can the Knicks use his skillset the optimal way while hiding his deficiencies?”.

      continued…

      He hasn’t shot 37% or better from 3 in 4 fucking years. He was probably the worst player in the NBA last season. Starting him right away would be moronic. Pretending that there’s some significant extra value in having a guy who is 6’11″ shooting 3s instead of a guy who is 6’10″, doesn’t it still make sense to see if Bargnani can play well in the role we’d like him to play before throwing him in the starting lineup?

    34. ruruland

      Hubert:
      Someone please assure me that we didn’t give JR this 2 year deal so we could max him out in 2015.Part of me is scared that CAA has conned Dolan into thinking JR has been taking under market deals to stay with us, and that his reward for being loyal is in two years when he has full bird rights and we give him a 3 year $36 million deal at age 30.

      That’s crazy, right?Please tell me we wouldn’t do something like that.

      Full birds. Only cap hold would be his $6 million or whatever. Moreover, it doesn’t benefit CAA’s clients if their marquee players lose.

      If CAA dupes Dolan into giving a bunch of undeserving guys max contracts, especially when one of CAA’s top clients is on the team and his legacy is intertwined with CAA, how is that going to help CAA in the long run?

      CAA helped create a situation in Miami where guys took pay cuts so they could win championships.

      Besides, you think Melo would be cool with that; does he not have some control of CAA in New York?

    35. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Bargnani’s going to have a career year, eh? That’s a hilarious projection.

      IF X DOES Y AND Z DOES A AND B DOES C, BARGNANI WILL BE THE LEAGUE MVP.

    36. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      WS/48 is okay, WP/48 is not, even though WS/48 has a bigger team adjustment than WP/48 does.

      God, I love this board.

    37. Hubert

      Also, I find it curious that several weeks ago the main chorus here was that getting a healthy Amar’e back and working him in with Melo and Chandler was the key to us taking a step forward. Now everyone wants Artest or Bargnani to start (mostly Artest)?

      If Amar’e is around, and he’s healthy, I don’t see why our starting lineup wouldn’t be Amar’e, Melo, Chandler, Felton, Shump. Artest, Martin, Prigioni, and JR should be the 4 main bench players. AB should essentially play the Copeland/Novak 10th man role until Amar’e gets hurt in which case he can plug in for him.

      In this scenario, Amar’e would start, but he’d be more like a Udonis Haslem kind of starter who plays 20 minutes and makes way to Artest, who would play the Battier role for this team (i.e. take the toughest defensive assignment away from Melo, play 30+ minutes off the bench, hit threes, etc).

      I think that’s our optimal setup. Thoughts?

    38. ruruland

      DRed: He hasn’t shot 37% or better from 3 in 4 fucking years. He was probably the worst player in the NBA last season. Starting him right away would be moronic.Pretending that there’s some significant extra value in having a guy who is 6’11? shooting 3s instead of a guy who is 6’10?, doesn’t it still make sense to see if Bargnani can play well in the role we’d like him to play before throwing him in the starting lineup?

      Felton was probably the worst player in the NBA in 2011.

      I don’t think AB should start either, but to pretend that, everything else big equal, a good shooting big doesn’t have more value than a good shooting guard, is just the typical willfully ignorant argument WP folks make.

      It’s not like we didn’t just go through a traumatic playoff series where the lessons of not being being willing to pull a shot blocking big out of the paint weren’t learned.

    39. flossy

      thenamestsam: Obviously all 10 of those guys aren’t going to be healthy often, but I think Bargs deserves to be 10th on the pecking order right now in terms of minutes. He has the talent to play himself higher than that but he has a ton to prove. I have no problem with starting a guy who’s not one of your 5 best for tactical reasons, but starting your 10th best guy is just stupid

      Right, this is what I’m saying. I have a low opinion of Bargnani, but I will concede that in theory (if you squint hard), he has the potential to be useful, and I get the twisted logic behind this hail-mary attempt to find another reliable scoring option in the front court for cheap given Amar’e's health problems.

      Of course, in reality, Bargs has been truly awful recently. It’s crazy to me to assume he’s starter before seeing him kill it in the preseason, for example. Especially since we will have so many other possible good starting lineups we could play.

    40. DRed

      I think Bargnani can score more effectively if we cut his usage and he only does the things he’s good at. So fucking what? You get a mediocre scoring bigman who is terrible at team defense and is still one of the worst rebounders in NBA history. That’s not a productive player. At best that’s a guy who is situationally useful.

    41. Hubert

      ruruland: Full birds. Only cap hold would be his $6 million or whatever. Moreover, it doesn’t benefit CAA’s clients if their marquee players lose.

      If CAA dupes Dolan into giving a bunch of undeserving guys max contracts, especially when one of CAA’s top clients is on the team and his legacy is intertwined with CAA, how is that going to help CAA in the long run?

      CAA helped create a situation in Miami where guys took pay cuts so they could win championships.

      Besides, you think Melo would be cool with that; does he not have some control of CAA in New York?

      I’m sorry, that did nothing for me.

      RuRu, I respect your opinion on just about everything…except how stupid the Knicks are capable of being. This is one area you just underestimate!

    42. ruruland

      Hubert:
      Also, I find it curious that several weeks ago the main chorus here was that getting a healthy Amar’e back and working him in with Melo and Chandler was the key to us taking a step forward.Now everyone wants Artest or Bargnani to start (mostly Artest)?

      If Amar’e is around, and he’s healthy, I don’t see why our starting lineup wouldn’t be Amar’e, Melo, Chandler, Felton, Shump. Artest, Martin, Prigioni, and JR should be the 4 main bench players.AB should essentially play the Copeland/Novak 10th man role until Amar’e gets hurt in which case he can plug in for him.

      In this scenario, Amar’e would start, but he’d be more like a Udonis Haslem kind of starter who plays 20 minutes and makes way to Artest, who would play the Battier role for this team (i.e. take the toughest defensive assignment away from Melo, play 30+ minutes off the bench, hit threes, etc).

      I think that’s our optimal setup.Thoughts?

      Given his minute reduction Amar’e can be most efficiently used as a primary option off the bench. In no scenario do you want AB to be a primary option.

      AB is here to complement the other players on the floor and improve spacing. He could also be the one player who could turn a series against Indiana, forcing Hibbert — who is clearly the best rim protector in the game — to the bench.

    43. flossy

      Frank: Bargnani can be very valuable to this team if put in positions to succeed. He’s already shown he probably shouldn’t be the primary shot creator on a team. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be a very valuable piece at least on the offensive end. And if they can maybe scheme something for him on defense, he could be ok there too. Before he got hurt in 11-12 (Casey’s first season in TOR), there were a bunch of articles about how much he had improved on the defensive end, and how surprised Casey was with his effectiveness covering the PNR. Then he got injured again and again and obviously his play fell off. But that might indicate there’s something there. He’s never had an actual good coach before when healthy, so maybe Woodson can get something out of him.

      It’s just bizarre to me that someone who has basically been a massive disappointment since entering the league and had a truly, spectacularly terrible season last year seems to automatically get the benefit of the doubt (assume he’ll be healthy, assume his J returns to 2010 form, assume that Woodson can improve his notoriously poor defense and rebounding), and yet Amar’e is basically written off as someone who will never be healthy and never be a decent defender despite being overwhelmingly better than AB both for his career and last season.

    44. flossy

      Hubert:
      Also, I find it curious that several weeks ago the main chorus here was that getting a healthy Amar’e back and working him in with Melo and Chandler was the key to us taking a step forward.Now everyone wants Artest or Bargnani to start (mostly Artest)?

      If Amar’e is around, and he’s healthy, I don’t see why our starting lineup wouldn’t be Amar’e, Melo, Chandler, Felton, Shump. Artest, Martin, Prigioni, and JR should be the 4 main bench players.AB should essentially play the Copeland/Novak 10th man role until Amar’e gets hurt in which case he can plug in for him.

      In this scenario, Amar’e would start, but he’d be more like a Udonis Haslem kind of starter who plays 20 minutes and makes way to Artest, who would play the Battier role for this team (i.e. take the toughest defensive assignment away from Melo, play 30+ minutes off the bench, hit threes, etc).

      I think that’s our optimal setup.Thoughts?

      I agree, though I can also see legitimate arguments for Artest in the starting line-up, or a 2 PG starting line-up with Melo at the 4, depending on what other FAs round out the roster. Woodson will have a lot of options and tough decisions to make.

      Keeping Bargnani on the bench until he shows he can contribute, however, should not be a tough decision at all.

    45. ruruland

      DRed:
      I think Bargnani can score more effectively if we cut his usage and he only does the things he’s good at.So fucking what?You get a mediocre scoring bigman who is terrible at team defense and is still one of the worst rebounders in NBA history.That’s not a productive player.At best that’s a guy who is situationally useful.

      Let’s remember, the Knicks were the third best defensive rebounding team in the NBA with one bigman with an above average dreb%.

      Defensive rebounding can be a team activity and individual players are prone to diminishing returns in terms of REAL defensive rebounding value.

      Yes, the Knicks would need to have some ballhawks around AB when he’s in. He does a get job blocking out, like Melo, but does not track the ball or anticipate well.

      He’s a much better defensive rebounder than Novak and Copeland, however, that’s what is more important in this conversation.

      And I think he can be Copeland on offense next season. A copeland with better defense and rebounding.

    46. DRed

      ruruland: Felton was probably the worst player in the NBA in 2011.

      I don’t think AB should start either, but to pretend that, everything else big equal, a good shooting big doesn’t have more value than a good shooting guard, is just the typical willfully ignorant argument WP folks make.

      It’s not like we didn’t just go through a traumatic playoff series where the lessons of not being being willing to pull a shot blocking big out of the paint weren’t learned.

      Everything else isn’t equal when it comes to Bargnani. He’s below average at blocking shots, rebounding, assists, steals, turnovers and he’s bad on defense. Ray Felton (who, incidentally, was not even as bad as Andrea Bargnani in 2011, and wasn’t even close to being the worst player in the NBA) was a guy who got fat and had a bad year, but he’s been a good player in the NBA.

    47. ruruland

      flossy: I agree, though I can also see legitimate arguments for Artest in the starting line-up, or a 2 PG starting line-up with Melo at the 4, depending on what other FAs round out the roster.Woodson will have a lot of options and tough decisions to make.

      Keeping Bargnani on the bench until he shows he can contribute, however, should not be a tough decision at all.

      I agree. I think Frank was arguing with the categorical statement.

    48. ruruland

      DRed: Everything else isn’t equal when it comes to Bargnani.He’s below average at blocking shots, rebounding, assists, steals, turnovers and he’s bad on defense. Ray Felton (who, incidentally, was not even as bad as Andrea Bargnani in 2011, and wasn’t even close to being the worst player in the NBA) was a guy who got fat and had a bad year, but he’s been a good player in the NBA.

      Ray Felton had a lower career WS/48 than AB heading into last season.

      Beside, it is not true to say AB has been bad with turnovers.

      We heard all of the same things w/Felton heading into last season : he is not good at thing.

      People even scoffed when I brought up his healthy assist rates and looked at all the slow systems he’s played in.

      No one gave a fuck about the Synergy numbers I brought up with Felton either.

    49. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      WS/48 is okay, WP/48 is not, even though WS/48 has a bigger team adjustment than WP/48 does.

      God, I love this board.

      Jason Kidd had more than twice as many wins produced as Roy Hibbert in about 300 fewer minutes.

      The end.

    50. DRed

      ruruland: Let’s remember, the Knicks were the third best defensive rebounding team in the NBA with one bigman with an above average dreb%.

      Defensive rebounding can be a team activity and individual players are prone to diminishing returns in terms of REAL defensive rebounding value.

      Yes, the Knicks would need to have some ballhawks around AB when he’s in. He does a get job blocking out, like Melo, but does not track the ball or anticipate well.

      He’s a much better defensive rebounder than Novak and Copeland, however, that’s what is more important in this conversation.

      And I think he can be Copeland on offense next season. A copeland with better defense and rebounding.

      Copeland’s usage was HIGHER than Bargnani’s career average, and he put up a TS that would have been a career best for Bargnani. So you’re arguing that by cutting his usage Bargnani will be more efficient and can replace the scoring done by a guy who had a high usage. That’s incoherent.

    51. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland: I don’t think AB should start either, but to pretend that, everything else big equal, a good shooting big doesn’t have more value than a good shooting guard, is just the typical willfully ignorant argument WP folks make.

      So you also argue that a good-hitting catcher is equal in value to a RF who hits the same way? Do you not understand marginal value?

      u crazy bro?

    52. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      DRed: Copeland’s usage was HIGHER than Bargnani’s career average, and he put up a TS that would have been a career best for Bargnani.So you’re arguing that by cutting his usage Bargnani will be more efficient and can replace the scoring done by a guy who had a high usage.That’s incoherent.

      yueah but states dont tell the whole story

      i think u crazy bro

    53. ruruland

      DRed: Copeland’s usage was HIGHER than Bargnani’s career average, and he put up a TS that would have been a career best for Bargnani.So you’re arguing that by cutting his usage Bargnani will be more efficient and can replace the scoring done by a guy who had a high usage.That’s incoherent.

      Copeland played about half his minutes in garbage time.

    54. MeloDrama

      Frank:
      few thoughts on the news of the day:

      1) Steven A Smith says Dolan wanted to trade Shump for not playing summer league? Somehow I highly doubt that that is true — because if it was, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have been 1-and-done.Feels like SAS creating buzz.

      2) Not that I am defending Dolan/Knicks FO, but is it any wonder why they are totally opaque to the media?Re: this JR situation, why does everyone think it’s so weird that he’s getting surgery now?we are only about 8 weeks from the end of our season.

      #1) Even if everyone thought surgery was likely, it seems altogether reasonable that one would wait a month or two to see if he would heal on his own.

      #2) like Howard Beck said, it’s not up to the team to tell a patient he HAS to have surgery or when he has surgery.

      #3) if I were JR, I’d also wait until after my contract is signed to have surgery

      #4) now that we know it’s a 3 year deal, what is the issue regardless of the fact that the knicks didn’t correct everyone?

      #5) on ESPN Radio, Isola said what the Knicks should have done is to offer 2 years, let him go get his offers, and if he DID get a bigger/longer offer, to the leak his knee info.First of all, what a shitty thing that would be to do. Second – what, the other teams aren’t going to do a physical? They’re just going to take JR’s word when it was well-known that he had knee issues at least in the playoffs?

      continued….

      Yeah, that would have gone over wonderfully with both JR and his agency. They leak the info, he’s gone to whoever makes the closest comparable offer, and CAA makes you public enemy #1. LOL at Isola, he’d be great to work for.

    55. Hubert

      thenamestsam:
      I have to agree that there’s no way Bargs should be starting until he proves himself in a big way. My current minute allocation (assuming Kenyon eventually returns) would be something like:

      5: Tyson-30, Kenyon-18
      4: Amare-20, Bargs-10, Melo-23
      3: Melo-12, MWP-24, Shump-12
      2: Shump-18, JR-30
      1: Felton-28, Prig-20

      Obviously all 10 of those guys aren’t going to be healthy often, but I think Bargs deserves to be 10th on the pecking order right now in terms of minutes. He has the talent to play himself higher than that but he has a ton to prove. I have no problem with starting a guy who’s not one of your 5 best for tactical reasons, but starting your 10th best guy is just stupid.

      Hadn’t read this before I suggested the same thing in 41. I think this is the way to go. Hopefully Coach does, too.

    56. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Nah, dude. Here we go:

      Let all SG in the NBA shoot 50% eFG at the same usage.

      Let all PF in the NBA shoot 60% eFG at the same usage as the SG.

      Player A joins the league. He is a SG.

      He shoots 60% eFG.

      Relative to other SG, he is good at shooting. Relative to PF, he is average.

      Because his team should expect 60% eFG (league-average) efficiency from the PF position, and higher efficiency from the SG position. Their productivity, as a team, should increase.

      It’s about expectations. NBA teams expect that their PF/C will produce rebounds. By playing Bargnani, the team either expects other players to make up for the loss of rebounding production from the 4 or 5, or that Bargnani is so good in other areas that he will make up for his low rebounding production. He would be an average SG. He is a terrible C.

    57. DRed

      You can’t use your fancy Synergy stats to tell us how Copeland’s numbers looked when it wasn’t garbage time?

    58. er

      DRed:
      That’s not a productive player. At best that’s a guy who is situationally useful.

      Can you explain this thought? How is someone useful in situations, but still unproductive?

    59. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Nah, dude. Here we go:

      Let all SG in the NBA shoot 50% eFG at the same usage.

      Let all PF in the NBA shoot 60% eFG at the same usage as the SG.

      Player A joins the league. He is a SG.

      He shoots 60% eFG.

      Relative to other SG, he is good at shooting. Relative to PF, he is average.

      Because his team should expect 60% eFG (league-average) efficiency from the PF position, and higher efficiency from the SG position. Their productivity, as a team, should increase.

      It’s about expectations. NBA teams expect that their PF/C will produce rebounds. By playing Bargnani, the team either expects other players to make up for the loss of rebounding production from the 4 or 5, or that Bargnani is so good in other areas that he will make up for his low rebounding production. He would be an average SG. He is a terrible C.

      Yes, that was my point. You somehow misunderstood my post.

      You will never understand or be open to data that shows that individual rebounding can be an elastic measure relative to other rebounding roles on the floor. For instance, a player can positively help a team rebound on both ends of the floor without actually getting any of the rebounds.

      If a player takes a dominant rebounder out of rebound position, he is helping his team rebound on offense.

      If a player keeps one of the opponents best rebounders from getting a defensive rebound by boxing him out, he is helping his team rebound on defense.

      Scoring efficiency should not be looked at from just a position variable. That’s silly.

      Shot distribution, role, teammates, situations are important variables that provide more insight.

    60. ruruland

      DRed:
      You can’t use your fancy Synergy stats to tell us how Copeland’s numbers looked when it wasn’t garbage time?

      It would take some time. I did research this, though: about 70 percent of Copeland’s minutes last year came at PF or C…..and he had an 11.9 dreb%. Ab has a career 15.2

    61. jon abbey

      ruruland:

      Scoring efficiency should not be looked at from just a position variable. That’s silly.

      especially because positions are so fluid in today’s NBA, positional adjustments make sense in baseball but much much less in basketball.

    62. ruruland

      jon abbey: especially because positions are so fluid in today’s NBA, positional adjustments make sense in baseball but much much less in basketball.

      Make total sense in baseball. Make little sense in basketball.

    63. Z

      er: Can you explain this thought? How is someone useful in situations, but still unproductive?

      In basketball you can’t control situations, like you can in baseball. Maybe if his skill is inbound passing, he can be used at the end of quarters after a foul to give has been given?

    64. MeloDrama

      I think the cost of the Barge signing was too much and that we basically got worked by Masai. But I’ll also say that if Barge is going to succeed, this is the kind of roster he’d do it on.

      He needs to be surrounded by good positional rebounders – his lineups that were positive +/- in Toronto in the past seemed to mostly be the ones where he had good rebounders at SF/C. Knicks have stocked up on those guys to a decent degree, so he MIGHT do some work in a lineup with Chandler/Melo/Prigs, etc.

      Still, you’re also banking on a return to peak form of over 2 years ago, and then you’re banking on that peak churning out a positive difference due to new situation. It’s kind of a wild swing … not one without potential payoff, but one I feel like they gave away a little much for.

    65. DRed

      ruruland: It would take some time.I did research this, though: about 70 percent of Copeland’s minutes last year came at PF or C…..and he had an 11.9 dreb%. Ab has a career 15.2

      We were talking about his contribution on offense, no? Copeland was a super awful rebounder, but he at least has the excuse of being undersized and out of position.

    66. ruruland

      DRed: Copeland was a super awful rebounder, but he at least has the excuse of being undersized and out of position.

      How is that material?

      You said he is the worst player in the NBA.

      I say he can approximate Cope’s offense with superior rebounding and defense.

    67. ruruland

      MeloDrama:
      I think the cost of the Barge signing was too much and that we basically got worked by Masai. But I’ll also say that if Barge is going to succeed, this is the kind of roster he’d do it on.

      He needs to be surrounded by good positional rebounders – his lineups that were positive +/- in Toronto in the past seemed to mostly be the ones where he had good rebounders at SF/C. Knicks have stocked up on those guys to a decent degree, so he MIGHT do some work in a lineup with Chandler/Melo/Prigs, etc.

      Still, you’re also banking on a return to peak form of over 2 years ago, and then you’re banking on that peak churning out a positive difference due to new situation. It’s kind of a wild swing … not one without potential payoff, but one I feel like they gave away a little much for.

      Knicks should have been the team getting the pick.

      But if Bargs is the key player to beating Indiana in a playoff game next year, I think it might be worth it.

      He is one of the few guys who can force Hibbert out of a game. There is no doubt the Knicks are a much better team than the Pacers with AB on the floor and Hibbert off of it.

    68. DRed

      er: Can you explain this thought? How is someone useful in situations, but still unproductive?

      I should have said situationally productive.

    69. massive

      Bargs definitely shouldn’t see the floor if he sucks like most people believe he will, but that’s obvious. Mike Woodson even knows that from his “I need to fix him” comments. Very few of us, however, believe that Bargnani will actually succeed against all odds because of the situations the Knicks can put him in. I think Bargnani should start because I think I know how the system here works and how it would be a much superior system to Toronto’s, thus making Bargs a useful player. It’s a leap of faith I’m taking, but from my paltry film study and ruru’s synergy numbers, it’s a leap I’m fairly confident in taking. Anywhere else but the starting 5 is where Bargs will get into trouble because he’d be relied on too heavily to create.

    70. Eternal OptiKnist

      Frank: few thoughts on the news of the day:1) Steven A Smith says Dolan wanted to trade Shump for not playing summer league? Somehow I highly doubt that that is true — because if it was, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have been 1-and-done. Feels like SAS creating buzz.2) Not that I am defending Dolan/Knicks FO, but is it any wonder why they are totally opaque to the media? Re: this JR situation, why does everyone think it’s so weird that he’s getting surgery now? we are only about 8 weeks from the end of our season. #1) Even if everyone thought surgery was likely, it seems altogether reasonable that one would wait a month or two to see if he would heal on his own. #2) like Howard Beck said, it’s not up to the team to tell a patient he HAS to have surgery or when he has surgery. #3) if I were JR, I’d also wait until after my contract is signed to have surgery#4) now that we know it’s a 3 year deal, what is the issue regardless of the fact that the knicks didn’t correct everyone?#5) on ESPN Radio, Isola said what the Knicks should have done is to offer 2 years, let him go get his offers, and if he DID get a bigger/longer offer, to the leak his knee info. First of all, what a shitty thing that would be to do. Second – what, the other teams aren’t going to do a physical? They’re just going to take JR’s word when it was well-known that he had knee issues at least in the playoffs?continued….

      OK, so few thoughts on the whole JR thing. The scenario to me is clear as day. We convinced JR smith to take a 2nd yr in a row at the vets min 1-yr deal on the promise that when we had his bird rights, we’d give him max $ (and hang out with his brother and buy him a slurpee). We made good on a promise…simple as that.

    71. Hubert

      ruruland: Given his minute reduction Amar’e can be most efficiently used as a primary option off the bench. In no scenario do you want AB to be a primary option.

      Agree on AB. My idea was for him to be the 10th man, Novak/Copeland.

      One thing I don’t like about Amar’e off the bench is his terrible synergy with any unit that involves JR Smith.

      If we’re going to get 20 minutes out of him, I’d like as many of them as possible to be with Melo and Chandler.

    72. flossy

      ruruland: There is no doubt the Knicks are a much better team than the Pacers with AB on the floor and Hibbert off of it.

      No doubt? Really? How about we see if Andrea Bargnani still has a basketball career by February before deciding he’s the key to advancing past the Pacers in the playoffs?

    73. Eternal OptiKnist

      Eternal OptiKnist: OK, so few thoughts on the whole JR thing. The scenario to me is clear as day. We convinced JR smith to take a 2nd yr in a row at the vets min 1-yr deal on the promise that when we had his bird rights, we’d give him max $ (and hang out with his brother and buy him a slurpee). We made good on a promise…simple as that.

      (i love quoting myself) My guess is that we knew about the injury leading up to the playoffs. We agreed to keep his injury under wraps during free agency so as not to screw a man trying to make a buck AND perhaps not make ourselves look like fools (even though we kinda just put off the inevitable). I understand we made a promise to him before last year, but i would think the injury would give us at least SOME leverage to be able to go back to him and say, hey man…c’mon, we’re making good on our end of the bargain but lets make the year-4 option, a team option and not a player’s option.

    74. Nick C.

      I know Vogel did this at times like on the final play of game one v. Miami but I still for the life of me fail to comprehend how Bargnani will force Hibbert out of the game. Wouldn’t Hibbert just guard Chandler or Stat?

      ruruland: Knicks should have been the team getting the pick.

      But if Bargs is the key player to beating Indiana in a playoff game next year, I think it might be worth it.

      He is one of the few guys who can force Hibbert out of a game. There is no doubt the Knicks are a much better team than the Pacers with AB on the floor and Hibbert off of it.

    75. massive

      And all of this injury talk kills me. Our training staff both let the Pacers off the hook AND lost James Dolan money. Why on earth do they still have jobs? This is the 3rd post season in a row that we were affected by injuries. Someone isn’t doing their job correctly. I want the best players to be at their peak physical condition during the post season, and we haven’t had that. Dolan needs to realize that a healthy Knicks team means more playoff games, which in turn means more money. There has to be a way Dolan can be convinced that his medical staff is costing him millions of dollars behind this. A series with Miami for the East would have generated a ridiculous amount of revenue that he seemingly missed out on because Melo, Tyson, and JR weren’t healthy. Our training staff consistently fails us, and I’m not even faulting them for Amar’e.

    76. Juany8

      God I hate to be the one agreeing with THCJ and DRed but they’re right, bargs should be a situational player who has to prove he deserves minutes. Of course that’s all Novak ever was and the team got carried away and have him a 4 year deal. I am optimistic that Bargs can improve enough to be a useful player, but he needs to prove it first.

      On the other hand, any argument about bargs being a terrible rebounder is idiotic considering who he’s supposed to replace. Even Melo was a pretty mediocre rebounder as a 4. But yea I don’t think bargs is really going to be a great addition, more like some nice insurance, like copeland was when every other big on the team went down.

    77. Eternal OptiKnist

      Vinny L.: The Post knew something was wrong with JR’s knee in MAY!http://m.espn.go.com/nba/story?storyId=9304986

      Yup, i remember hearing at some point in the regular season he had some knee pain. I’m not shocked that it got worse trying to play through it in a contract year. What i want to know is this. Everyone in the media is running with this “chronic and worsening” thing. What does that mean? Is it chronic and continually worsening, Amare-style? Or is it chronic and will get worse until you fix it via surgery? Are there any doctors in the house? What is the prognosis with this type of procedure? is it like ACL? microfracture? get me some damn facts! :)

    78. Eternal OptiKnist

      massive: And all of this injury talk kills me. Our training staff both let the Pacers off the hook AND lost James Dolan money. Why on earth do they still have jobs? This is the 3rd post season in a row that we were affected by injuries. Someone isn’t doing their job correctly. I want the best players to be at their peak physical condition during the post season, and we haven’t had that. Dolan needs to realize that a healthy Knicks team means more playoff games, which in turn means more money. There has to be a way Dolan can be convinced that his medical staff is costing him millions of dollars behind this. A series with Miami for the East would have generated a ridiculous amount of revenue that he seemingly missed out on because Melo, Tyson, and JR weren’t healthy. Our training staff consistently fails us, and I’m not even faulting them for Amar’e.

      I think this might be the first time i’ve read a comment regarding our med staff but its been something i’ve thought about for some time..I feel like they suck too. This is NY..should we not have the best staff in the league?

    79. DRed

      ruruland: How is that material?

      You said he is the worst player in the NBA.

      I say he can approximate Cope’s offense with superior rebounding and defense.

      I said he was probably the worst player in the NBA LAST season. That does not mean he will be that bad THIS season, but is a very good reason to not start him from opening day. You say he can approximate Copeland on offense, but you ignore the fact that Copeland was better on offense than Bargnani has ever been in his career. I get that you think he can improve his efficiency by accepting a reduced role with the Knicks, but then he’s not approximating Copeland on offense.

      And for what it is worth, I was fine with us letting Copeland go, because he’s not a very productive basketball player either. Seemed like a good guy, a great story, and I’m glad he’s getting some money in Indiana.

    80. Juany8

      massive:
      Bargs definitely shouldn’t see the floor if he sucks like most people believe he will, but that’s obvious. Mike Woodson even knows that from his “I need to fix him” comments. Very few of us, however, believe that Bargnani will actually succeed against all odds because of the situations the Knicks can put him in. I think Bargnani should start because I think I know how the system here works and how it would be a much superior system to Toronto’s, thus making Bargs a useful player. It’s a leap of faith I’m taking, but from my paltry film study and ruru’s synergy numbers, it’s a leap I’m fairly confident in taking. Anywhere else but the starting 5 is where Bargs will get into trouble because he’d be relied on too heavily to create.

      Not gonna lie you’re making me super optimistic about Bargs, especially since I agree that Woodson won’t play him unless he shows he deserves it. Should be interesting at the very least

    81. Juany8

      Eternal OptiKnist: I think this might be the first time i’ve read a comment regarding our med staff but its been something i’ve thought about for some time..I feel like they suck too.This is NY..should we not have the best staff in the league?

      Have you seen our owner? Not sure why anyone would have more faith in his ability to pick doctors than players.

    82. DRed

      Juany8: Have you seen our owner? Not sure why anyone would have more faith in his ability to pick doctors than players.

      I wouldn’t let that idiot pick a restaurant, let alone a medical staff.

    83. Glew

      Does anyone make anything of the idea of Melo and/or Lebron bouncing to LAL after next year?

    84. Eternal OptiKnist

      I think loyalty might be one of Dolan’s major flaws. An otherwise noble trait taken to a bizarre extreme. Over-reacting when he feels wronged or betrayed and also over-rewarding perceived loyalty.

    85. Vinny L.

      Glew:
      Does anyone make anything of the idea of Melo and/or Lebron bouncing to LAL after next year?

      Nope… Melo’s staying put. Lebron’s going back to Ohio.

    86. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      If you can’t lie no betta’ (if you can’t li-e)
      If you can’t lie — no — betta’ (shoop shoop)
      If you can’t lie no betta’ than that
      You might as well tell the truth

    87. Vinny L.

      @Glew

      Although I think Lebron should stick it to Gilbert for him going along with the bankrupting of Detroit and all those poor black people losing their pensions, homes, jobs, healthcare, and public services. Greedy bastard.

    88. Hubert

      DRed: Copeland’s usage was HIGHER than Bargnani’s career average, and he put up a TS that would have been a career best for Bargnani.So you’re arguing that by cutting his usage Bargnani will be more efficient and can replace the scoring done by a guy who had a high usage.That’s incoherent.

      I’m so frustrated I keep reading things like this here. USG doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s not about lowering AB’s USG, it’s about making sure the plays he uses plays are the types of plays he is more productive out. On our team, we can eliminate the 30% of his plays that were ISO’s and post ups (things he was terrible at) and replace them with the type of plays he was good at (like spot ups and pick and pops), thus making him a more effective player in a limited role.

    89. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Hubert: I’m so frustrated I keep reading things like this here. USG doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s not about lowering AB’s USG, it’s about making sure the plays he uses plays are the types of plays he is more productive out. On our team, we can eliminate the 30% of his plays that were ISO’s and post ups (things he was terrible at) and replace them with the type of plays he was good at (like spot ups and pick and pops), thus making him a more effective player in a limited role.

      Again, the assumption is that he’s been underutilized. What if he’s been maximized?

    90. Mike Kurylo Post author

      ruruland: AB is the third best spot-up shooting big in the NBA the last four years, behind only Anderson and Nowitzki. He has been more efficient on spot-ups than Love, Bosh, KG, you name him.

      This reminds of the argument “Eddy Curry is the league leader at scoring points in the paint.” Except Bargnurry isn’t even the best at the thing he’s good at.

      I go back and forth on his ability to help the team. As 9th man (JR, Amar’e, Prigs, Bargs) you could do worse. As 6th man (or starter) he’s going to hurt the team. Maybe flanked by Tyson/Artest/Russian Winter with a team that doesn’t have a PF that can light him up and abuse him on the glass he can help.

    91. er

      Hubert: I’m so frustrated I keep reading things like this here.USG doesn’t exist in a vacuum.It’s not about lowering AB’s USG, it’s about making surethe plays he uses plays are the types of plays he is more productive out.On our team, we can eliminate the 30% of his plays that were ISO’s and post ups (things he was terrible at) and replace them with the type of plays he was good at (like spot ups and pick and pops), thus making him a more effective player in a limited role.

      I know this is wrong but some of these guys are married to efficiency stats like a crack head to crack. NO sense of perspective at all smh

    92. JK47

      NYK worked out that Bobby Brown character. He has been turrible in his few brief NBA stints, but he had a big year as a volume scorer in Euro ball. Not sure what to make of him– I actually think I’d rather bring in a guy like Aaron Brooks but the Knicks have done well with their Euro scouting in recent years, so maybe Bobby Brown is the latest revelation.

    93. Z-man

      So I still don’t get why people are so down on Bargnani as a low-risk signing. His situation is strikingly similar to Andray Blatche. Here are their stats with their original teams:

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=bargnan01&y1=2013&p2=blatcan01&y2=2012

      Very similar, nearly identical WS48 and PER, also both having their worst seasons in the year before their move. Blatche actually poted a negative WS48!

      Who would have predicted that Blatche would become one of the most valuable bench players in the league, posting a PER of 22 and a WS48 of .158… and .184 in the playoffs?

      Granted, the price was more for us, but the logic is the same: take a flier on a very physically talented player who came into the league very young with super-high expectations, only to flop miserably. In Bargnani’s case, playing in a shit-NBA city like Toronto for 7 years, on teams that were destined for the lottery before the season even started, had to be absolutely miserable, especially when the fans started blaming him for the losing.

      This is not about pinning your hopes on a raw project that never developed and hopeing that you can be the team to develop him. Bargnani is a skilled player. He can do some things that other players will never be able to do, including Steve Novak and Chris Copeland (who I predict will be disappointing in Indiana). His ceiling is way, way, way higher than Novak or Copeland or anyone else we had the resources to go out and get.

      I understand the pessimism and the statistical basis for it, and I would have preferred getting him via amnesty, but that wasn’t gonna happen. I truly believe that there is also cause for optimism. Playing on a contending team in a great city and in a more suitable role can make a big difference for Bargs, just like it did for Blatche.

    94. Z-man

      I also think that Prigioni can be a really good influence on Bargs because he can bridge the Euro-softy style that Bargs has played with a better understanding of how can be productive in the NBA. I look forward to seeing those two work the PnR and PnP together.

    95. Z-man

      Mike Kurylo: This reminds of the argument “Eddy Curry is the league leader at scoring points in the paint.” Except Bargnurry isn’t even the best at the thing he’s good at. I go back and forth on his ability to help the team. As 9th man (JR, Amar’e, Prigs, Bargs) you could do worse. As 6th man (or starter) he’s going to hurt the team. Maybe flanked by Tyson/Artest/Russian Winter with a team that doesn’t have a PF that can light him up and abuse him on the glass he can help.

      I don’t think the Bargs-Curry comparison is fair. Curry was brought in as a centerpiece-savior at an enormous cost; Bargs is a 7th-8th man candidate who will simply be expected to space the floor and play defense more effectively than Novak, and then everything extra he gives you (rebounding, defense, inside scoring) is a bonus. Why do you see him as such a potential flop in that limited role, and how could that possibly be compared to Eddy’s performance vs. expectations and opportunity cost?

    96. flossy

      Z-man: In Bargnani’s case, playing in a shit-NBA city like Toronto for 7 years, on teams that were destined for the lottery before the season even started, had to be absolutely miserable, especially when the fans started blaming him for the losing.

      I mean, they were right to blame him. He has been pretty damn bad. For every Andray Blatche, how many Michael Beasleys are there, talented players who have only gotten worse and worse as they’ve bounced from team to team?

      I don’t think anyone would have been terribly upset if we’d signed Bargnani to a vets minimum deal after he’d been amnestied, a la Blatche–then any contribution is found money and it’s an easy contract to ditch.

      Trading away even marginally useful rotation players and a handful of draft picks (for some reason) to get back someone as disappointing and massively overpaid as Bargnani is much more annoying, because a) it’s going to be impossible to get rid of him in the event that he continues to suck, b) it creates expectations about how much he’ll contribute that I think people can be reasonably pessimistic about. Hell, this whole thread kicked off because ess-dog said putting Bargnani in the starting line-up would be “ideal.” Ideal! And he’s FAR from the only one who assumes Bargs will step in right away and play a major role. Can you imagine if anyone had said that about Blatche this time last summer? They’d have been called crazy, and rightly so.

    97. Juany8

      Flossy, if you create some weird expectations because of his salary that make you pessimistic that sounds kinda personal. If you simply see him as a replacement for Novak and cope, it doesn’t really seem that bad, he’s actually a much, much better defender and rebounder than those 2, and is way more versatile on offense, if not necessarily effective. In that light, while I’m not optimistic that bargs is the missing piece, it’s not inconceivable for him to be a nice player off the bench. Simple truth is, if you had told anyone last year (or even after the 18-5 start) we’d be worrying about Chris copeland this offseason, everyone would have laughed and called you crazy. Same with Novak the year before. So maybe we should focus on the fact that players tend to suddenly and unexpectedly become good in NY.

      But yea, anyone asking for bargs to step in and play 30 minutes a night off the bat is out of their mind. We don’t even know if he’ll be healthy enough to play.

    98. er

      “it’s going to be impossible to get rid of him in the event that he continues to suck”

      Funny, the opposite was said about Lin.

      “it creates expectations about how much he’ll contribute that I think people can be reasonably pessimistic about.”

      I don’t get this. If people expect him to contribute, we cant be pessimistic?

      Also, starting doesnt REALLY mean you have to contribute ie James White

    99. Mike Kurylo Post author

      Z-man: I don’t think the Bargs-Curry comparison is fair. Curry was brought in as a centerpiece-savior at an enormous cost; Bargs is a 7th-8th man candidate who will simply be expected to space the floor and play defense more effectively than Novak, and then everything extra he gives you (rebounding, defense, inside scoring) is a bonus. Why do you see him as such a potential flop in that limited role, and how could that possibly be compared to Eddy’s performance vs. expectations and opportunity cost?

      Sure the fanfare and circumstance over Bargnani is not near the Currian level. However there are similarities. We traded a future first for a score first Center/PF who can’t rebound or block shots. As I said I think Bargs could be a good bench, based on matchup or floor unit. But when asked if he would start, Woodson balked at saying no. So if Bargs is going to provide 30 minutes for the Knicks every night, I think he’s going to hurt the team substantially with his deficiencies.

    100. Vinny L.

      Z-man:
      I also think that Prigioni can be a really good influence on Bargs because he can bridge the Euro-softy style that Bargs has played with a better understanding of how can be productive in the NBA. I look forward to seeing those two work the PnR and PnP together.

      I keep seeing this. You guys were saying this is why Delfino should’ve been brought. What do you base this on? Because they’re Italian?

    101. Z-man

      flossy, agreed, but Bargnani is not being expected to live up to his contract, only to outplay Novak and Copeland in a similar role, and to be a minutes-eater for STAT in that role. He could be a 10-minute end-of-rotation player or a starter when it all shakes out, but why even dwell on that for now? It’s stupid to even try to predict what his role and effectiveness will be with any certainty. I am merely saying that there is precedent for a guy of his talent level making a dramatic improvement with a change of scenery and role. If it wasn’t a gamble, he wouldn’t have been available. I don’t get the sense that he’s self-destructive or mentally ill, like Eddy or Beasley; maybe Darko Milicic is a better comparison.

    102. Z-man

      Vinny L.: I keep seeing this. You guys were saying this is why Delfino should’ve been brought. What do you base this on? Because they’re Italian?

      I believe that euro-basketball is more of a ball-movement and less of an iso game than NBA ball. BTW, DelFino and Prigioni are both from Argentina.

    103. Juany8

      It really blows my mind that people are convinced Woodson will just play Bargs a ton of minutes because the Knicks brought him in. How did that work out with camby last year? If anything, I trust Woodson enough to say that if bargs is playing 30 minutes a game, it’s because he exceeded our wildest expectations.

    104. nicos

      Z-man:
      I also think that Prigioni can be a really good influence on Bargs because he can bridge the Euro-softy style that Bargs has played with a better understanding of how can be productive in the NBA. I look forward to seeing those two work the PnR and PnP together.

      He was already playing with Calderon- very much a euro-style guy and better than prigs offensively- so I’m not sure how much of a difference playing with prigs will make.

    105. Eternal OptiKnist

      Z-man: flossy, agreed, but Bargnani is not being expected to live up to his contract, only to outplay Novak and Copeland in a similar role, and to be a minutes-eater for STAT in that role. He could be a 10-minute end-of-rotation player or a starter when it all shakes out, but why even dwell on that for now? It’s stupid to even try to predict what his role and effectiveness will be with any certainty. I am merely saying that there is precedent for a guy of his talent level making a dramatic improvement with a change of scenery and role. If it wasn’t a gamble, he wouldn’t have been available. I don’t get the sense that he’s self-destructive or mentally ill, like Eddy or Beasley; maybe Darko Milicic is a better comparison.

      AGREED! I totally understand being upset about trading the pick..i get that.. i wasn’t thrilled either. But in pure basketball terms, how could anyone not believe that he can’t replicate what we were getting from Novak and Camby??? Who gives a shit about the size of his contract? We’re already over the cap and it expires a year earlier than what what we gave up. I think this move is so….under-rated is not the term…overly-criticised is better.

    106. massive

      I think Knickerblogger.Net criticism is almost good luck at this point lol. We hate every move to this point and they usually work out okay. Has there been a move we hated in recent memory that was correctly disliked? I can’t think of one.

    107. dtrickey

      I think what all the debate about starting lineups over the off season has proved is what great depth this team has. When you can slot just about any player in (probably barring rookies and maybe some summer league guys that we mights sign) the starting lineup I believe that creates matchup headaches for opposing teams. Obvioulsy we want to keep some consistency for chemistry purposes, but the opptions are there to shake things up.

      I get why people would be down on Bargs, but I think he should be in good form. Playing for the Italian national team should be a positive, if not just to get some competitive game time and fitness before camp.

      Also my 2 cents on the starting lineup would be thus: Felton, Shump, Melo, STAT, Chandler. I’m going with STAT at the 4 because I really do believe that would be a massive boost for his confidence going forward. Obvioulsy he’ll be on the minutes restriction, but I think he can provide a bit of energy in the opening minutes. Plus, get him on the PnR a few times could really get the offense working early. Just a thought though. The starting 4 spot seems to be the most contentious at the moment.

    108. Vinny L.

      Dalembert is going to the Mavs. The Bucks just amnestied PF Drew Gooden (31 years old)… Should the Knicks get em?

    109. Unreason

      flossy: For every Andray Blatche, how many Michael Beasleys are there, talented players who have only gotten worse and worse as they’ve bounced from team to team?

      This is an interesting empirical question. If someone with the spare time would look into it and report back, the answer would raise the level of this conversation. Unless of course, someone already knows the answer, though that seems doubtful.

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