Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Jun 12 2013)

  • [New York Daily News] Mum on Melo: No word from Knicks on surgery (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 03:28:09 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony is rehabbing his injured left shoulder, and the Knicks have not announced whether the All-Star forward will need surgery. The initial plan was to see if the injury will heal without surgery and re-evaluate it after three weeks. It’s been 23 days since the diagnosis.    

  • [New York Times] 5 Things Learned in Game 3 of the NBA Finals (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 07:36:00 GMT)
    Five things to take away from the San Antonio Spurs’ 113-77 win over the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night:    

  • [New York Times] No-Names Controlling the NBA Finals So Far (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 07:29:33 GMT)
    The NBA Finals opened as such a juicy matchup of A-list stars.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs Rout Heat 113-77 in Game 3 of NBA Finals (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 07:23:47 GMT)
    Gary Neal may have dreamed it, though it was nothing Danny Green ever could have imagined.    

  • [New York Times] Heat Seeking Missiles to Keep Title Hopes Alive (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 07:09:11 GMT)
    A sudden disappearance of scoring by the top-seeded Miami Heat has the defending champions scrambling to rediscover their form in time to turn the NBA Finals back in their favor.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs 113, Heat 77: The Nonstars Come Out (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 06:51:33 GMT)
    Two of the most anonymous players in the series swiped the spotlight Tuesday night, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a stunning rout of the Miami Heat.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs Stun Heat, Parker’s Status Unknown (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 06:20:24 GMT)
    The San Antonio Spurs moved two wins away from an NBA title with a stunning 113-77 blowout victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday but may have lost leading scorer Tony Parker to a hamstring injury.    

  • [New York Times] Green Grows From Callow Youth Into Spurs Stalwart (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 05:59:19 GMT)
    Danny Green was twice cut by the San Antonio Spurs and wondered if he had a future in the NBA, but those doubts were quickly forgotten on Tuesday with a career performance that put his team two wins away from lifting the championship.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs’ Top Scorer Parker Injures Hamstring in Victory (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 05:47:18 GMT)
    San Antonio’s Tony Parker suffered a hamstring injury on Tuesday during a blowout 113-77 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday and his status for Thursday’s Game Four of the NBA Finals is unknown.    

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Blaylock Appears in Court (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 05:35:44 GMT)
    A Georgia judge has set bond at $250,000 for the former N.B.A. player Mookie Blaylock, who was involved in a fatal car crash in suburban Atlanta.    

  • [New York Times] Parker to Have MRI on Sore Hamstring (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 05:05:42 GMT)
    San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker is scheduled to have an MRI on a tight hamstring on Wednesday, leaving his availability for Game 4 of the NBA Finals very much up in the air.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs Rout Heat 113-77 in Game 3 of NBA Finals (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 05:03:05 GMT)
    Danny Green and Gary Neal aren’t NBA royalty like LeBron James.    

  • [New York Times] Game 3: Spurs vs. Heat (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 04:43:05 GMT)
    Two Spurs guards helped San Antonio seize a 2-1 lead. Game 4 is Thursday.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs Blow Out Heat to Grab 2-1 Finals Lead (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 03:59:17 GMT)
    Danny Green and Gary Neal delivered career-best performances to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a 113-77 blowout win over the Miami Heat and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals on Tuesday.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs Rout Heat 113-77 in Game 3 of NBA Finals (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 03:51:11 GMT)
    From big 3s to Big Three, the Spurs had it all in the NBA Finals’ raucous return to San Antonio.    

  • [New York Times] Duncan Helps Lift Spurs to 50-44 Halftime Lead Over Heat (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 02:32:19 GMT)
    Tim Duncan scored 10 points and made seven rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs took a 50-44 halftime lead over Miami Heat in Game Three of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals on Tuesday.    

  • [New York Times] Kidd Impresses Nets, Boosting Chances to Become Coach (Wed, 12 Jun 2013 01:22:29 GMT)
    Jason Kidd’s bid to become the next coach of the Nets appears to be gathering momentum, although team officials are continuing their interview process.    

  • 105 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Jun 12 2013)

    1. d-mar

      Really surprised at the minimal discussion of the NBA Finals, which I find one of the most intriguing in years. Will Miami finally pay for not showing up to games that are not “must wins”? Obviously if they lose game 4 it’s pretty much over. But I think it’ll keep going back and forth, with a game 7 seeming almost inevitable (and it would be epic as well)

      Also, LeBron going 14-38 over his last 2 games is fairly eye opening as well, the Spurs have decided to let him shoot jumpers all day and the strategy is working (for now)

    2. flossy

      d-mar:
      Really surprised at the minimal discussion of the NBA Finals, which I find one of the most intriguing in years. Will Miami finally pay for not showing up to games that are not “must wins”? Obviously if they lose game 4 it’s pretty much over. But I think it’ll keep going back and forth, with a game 7 seeming almost inevitable (and it would be epic as well)

      Also, LeBron going 14-38 over his last 2 games is fairly eye opening as well, the Spurs have decided to let him shoot jumpers all day and the strategy is working (for now)

      So much depends on Tony Parker’s hammy.

    3. Nick C.

      I think he is also not getting touch fouls, which means FTA now = misses. I did not expect a blowout win by SA last night after seeing how Game 2 went. Danny Green and Mike Miller seem to be having the most notable series, from a positive standpoint.

    4. massive

      Danny Green’s great series is giving Reggie Bullock’s stock some serious bolstering. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went inside of 20 now.

    5. Frank

      Great article from Mike Prada on how the Spurs are defending Lebron:
      http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2013/6/12/4421720/lebron-james-spurs-vs-heat-nba-finals-2013

      Begs the question – why don’t all teams treat Lebron this way? Even though Lebron is an elite mid-long range jumpshooter now (48% is what he says in his article), even if he shoots 50-52% or even 55% on those shots, that’s only a TS of 50-52 or 55. And in addition, he’s not getting to the line and he’s not making high-value assists.

      in essence this feels like how everyone guards Melo. Dare him to shoot jumpers – but Melo’s a better jumpshooter than Lebron (and Lebron is much better attacking the rim), so they play up on Melo a bit more.

    6. Hubert

      Frank:

      Begs the question – why don’t all teams treat Lebron this way?

      I think the answer is because no one else has the balls to defend LeBron like he’s Rondo!

      That was a really risky strategy. Turned out to be a brilliant risk that worked about as perfectly as SA could have hoped. But I don’t know if you want to keep going to the well with that one. I would imagine LeBron adjusts to it in game 4 and goes off.

      If he doesn’t, oh boy.

    7. Hubert

      Funny thing about that Prada article is it makes you wonder how LeBron failed to get to the FT line one time despite regularly driving into a sea of arms.

    8. Nick C.

      Hubert:
      Funny thing about that Prada article is it makes you wonder how LeBron failed to get to the FT line one time despite regularly driving into a sea of arms.

      True but then again Duncan got clubbed across the head and knocked down that one play with no whistle. Maybe there is a directive to let the players decide the finals rather than the refs.

    9. Frank

      Hubert: I think the answer is because no one else has the balls to defend LeBron like he’s Rondo!

      That was a really risky strategy.Turned out to be a brilliant risk that worked about as perfectly as SA could have hoped.But I don’t know if you want to keep going to the well with that one.I would imagine LeBron adjusts to it in game 4 and goes off.

      If he doesn’t, oh boy.

      I’m sure this strategy is easier said than done. Most teams don’t have a HoF rim protector back there, aren’t disciplined enough not to foul, etc.

      Will be fascinating to see how Lebron plays the rest of this series. The Heat are down, but this is a little different than it was against Indy this and last year, or against Boston or OKC last year. This is IMO the first time they’ve been against a team they don’t have more talent than (Boston/Indy) and who has a better coach than they do. I happen to think Spoelstra is awesome, but Pop is on another level. OKC may have had as much talent, but Brooks is a child compared with Spoelstra, Pop, and even Carlisle from 2010-11.

      I’m trying not to lurch wildly back and forth based on the last game, but I’ve actually thought since before this series that the Spurs would win. With Wade’s health, I’m just not sure that Lebron has enough firepower around him to outscore SA.

      Fascinating series. can’t wait for tomorrow night.

    10. Hubert

      Frank: I’m sure this strategy is easier said than done. Most teams don’t have a HoF rim protector back there, aren’t disciplined enough not to foul, etc.

      Yeah, I feel like more often than not if you invite LeBron to drive into a sea of bodies he’s going to spend half the night on the free throw line. So not only was it a ballsy strategy, but it had flawless execution.

      I would be very surprised if it works two games in a row, though.

      I’m so bitter we didn’t get the chance to play these guys.

    11. Hubert

      Hubert:
      I’m so bitter we didn’t get the chance to play these guys.

      Even though we would never have been able to pull off any of the things Indiana and San Antonio are. Still, I think our strategy on offense would have worked, especially against Gimpy Wade and Gimpy Bosh.

    12. Hubert

      This reminds me of our series vs the Pacers a little. Through 3 games, one team has been clearly better except for 12 insane minutes where the other team went on a ridiculous run.

    13. d-mar

      I think it will be really interesting to see what Miami does in the offseason if they lose this series. You know Riley won’t sit tight, so the question is does he try to move Bosh or even Wade. And you know he has to be thinking about LeBron’s free agent status at the end of next season, can you imagine if after all the Big 3 hoopla (“not one, not two…) Miami ends up with exactly one title?

    14. bidiong

      It’s tough to win championships. Even when you stack the odds in your favor you still need some luck to avoid injuries and everything else.

    15. massive

      d-mar:
      I think it will be really interesting to see what Miami does in the offseason if they lose this series. You know Riley won’t sit tight, so the question is does he try to move Bosh or even Wade. And you know he has to be thinking about LeBron’s free agent status at the end of next season, can you imagine if after all the Big 3 hoopla (“not one, not two…) Miami ends up with exactly one title?

      That would be great for the Heat’s nonexistent fanbase. Fanbases like Miami’s don’t deserve a dynasty like the one they were expecting. But Miami should have seen this coming. You cannot give LeBron an aging Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh (a grossly overpaid, one side of the ball type of player) and a bunch of old one trick ponies and ask him to win multiple championships. They need to do some serious reloading or LeBron James will be gone in 2014.

    16. flossy

      jon abbey:
      Broussard reporting that Doc Rivers may leave Boston.

      Not that there’s any chance of this happening, but I’d show Woodson the door in a heartbeat if it meant getting Doc Rivers.

      This will make it even weirder, though, if Brooklyn really does hire Kidd. I can’t remember this kind of buyer’s market on good (or at least pretty good) coaches: Doc Rivers, Byron Scott, George Karl, Lionel Hollins, Lawrence Frank, Stan van Gundy and Nate McMillan are all out there, to say nothing of longtime assistants like Shaw who are due a head coaching gig.

      I can understand a team like Charlotte that is cheap and also resigned to tanking this season not wanting to lay out the dough to hire a good coach, but what’s BK’s excuse? They really think Jason Kidd is going to out-coach all those guys, in his first season as a head coach? Bizarre.

    17. flossy

      flossy: Not that there’s any chance of this happening, but I’d show Woodson the door in a heartbeat if it meant getting Doc Rivers.

      This will make it even weirder, though, if Brooklyn really does hire Kidd.I can’t remember this kind of buyer’s market on good (or at least pretty good) coaches: Doc Rivers, Byron Scott, George Karl, Lionel Hollins, Lawrence Frank, Stan van Gundy and Nate McMillan are all out there, to say nothing of longtime assistants like Shaw who are due a head coaching gig.

      I can understand a team like Charlotte that is cheap and also resigned to tanking this season not wanting to lay out the dough to hire a good coach, but what’s BK’s excuse?They really think Jason Kidd is going to out-coach all those guys, in his first season as a head coach?Bizarre.

      Forgot Doug Collins, he’s unemployed too.

    18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Danny Green, 2013 Finals MVP.

      How weird is it going to be to say that.

    19. lavor postell

      Wade and Lebron were never particularly a good fit together, but because Lebron has been the best player in the league since they joined up and Wade was still a very effective player the last 2 seasons they were able to make up for it due to their own individual brilliance. Let’s not forget that Lebron’s “transformation” during last year’s championship run also came at the expense of Wade willingly taking less of a load offensively and becoming a clear cut No. 2 option rather than 1a.

      Now with Wade aging in front of our eyes you can see the problems they are having. When Wade is active enough to move off the ball, crash the glass and get in the passing lanes Miami can compete as they did in the first half, but when he isn’t doing those things it completely destroys Miami’s offense. Their floor spacing is terrible as San Antonio is more than happy to let LBJ and Wade alternate taking atrocious midrange pull ups.

      It also doesn’t help when you collectively as a team make no effort to even show up during an NBA Finals game. Minus that incredible stretch Miami had in Game 2 the Spurs have thoroughly outplayed them in the series. We’ve seen Miami bounce back from losses throughout the playoffs, but they have not played a team nearly as good as San Antonio.

    20. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      lavor postell: Wade and Lebron were never particularly a good fit together, but because Lebron has been the best player in the league since they joined up and Wade was still a very effective player the last 2 seasons they were able to make up for it due to their own individual brilliance.

      This is fucking crazy. They have made three consecutive finals together. Individual brilliance wins NBA championships, dude, and don’t think that when they’re fast-breaking together, they’re not playing off each other’s strengths.

      The whole “all-or-nothing” winning mentality in our sport culture is pretty gross. Think of their success this way:

      Playoff record since 2011

      2011: 14-7
      2012: 16-7
      2013: 13-6

      That’s 43-22 against playoff competitors. One series loss out of eleven. 10-1 series record!

      Is this really not good enough to warrant a “they play well together” assessment?

    21. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      lavor postell: We’ve seen Miami bounce back from losses throughout the playoffs, but they have not played a team nearly as good as San Antonio

      No one has played a team as good as San Antonio. But it’s not just the team that’s good. Do you know how hard it is to shoot as well as Danny Green did last night, even in an all-star weekend shooting competition?

      The players are good. It is not just the team. The team is well-coached, obviously, but it also selects objectively good basketball players to operate its system.

    22. lavor postell

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: This is fucking crazy. They have made three consecutive finals together. Individual brilliance wins NBA championships, dude, and don’t think that when they’re fast-breaking together, they’re not playing off each other’s strengths.

      The whole “all-or-nothing” winning mentality in our sport culture is pretty gross. Think of their success this way:

      Playoff record since 2011

      2011: 14-7
      2012: 16-7
      2013: 13-6

      That’s 43-22 against playoff competitors. One series loss out of eleven. 10-1 series record!

      Is this really not good enough to warrant a “they play well together” assessment?

      Did I ever say they weren’t great together? All I’m saying is Wade getting older and less capable of being brilliant makes him a poor fit next to Lebron. When they were both fucking basketball titans it worked great because they were athletic freaks that can hunt out the slightest out of place pass and turn it into an automatic two points. They can both create and score at the rim.

      When Wade can’t do that it’s not going to work. If they win this series it will be because Parker got hurt and that offsets how completely shit Wade has been so far and will continue to be in this series.

    23. stratomatic

      Defending Lebron in the playoffs is different than defending him in the regular season. In the playoffs, they allow much more physical play before calling fouls.

    24. lavor postell

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: No one has played a team as good as San Antonio. But it’s not just the team that’s good. Do you know how hard it is to shoot as well as Danny Green did last night, even in an all-star weekend shooting competition?

      The players are good. It is not just the team. The team is well-coached, obviously, but it also selects objectively good basketball players to operate its system.

      Pretty sure Miami were among the worst at defending the three on the season. Their entire defense is built around protecting the paint at all costs. I remember the Knicks torching this very Heat team on hot three point shooting. That’s the risk you take when you’re constantly hoping you can rotate and switch fast enough to contest against great ball movement. The Spurs were fairly successful all season playing this way so safe to say maybe they won’t be as hot as they were but they have a slight margin for error when you win by 36 points and Mike Miller hits his first 5 threes of the night.

      Battier losing his shooting stroke and wearing down the stretch of the season has not helped the cause either as Lebron has to defend the 4 far more frequently. They are forced to sacrifice Battier’s defense and awesome corner three point shooting with Mike Miller or Ray Allen. They space the floor better than Battier but really don’t give you much value defensively. That in combination with a 50% Wade isn’t getting it done.

    25. stratomatic

      Bosh is a terrific player, but he loses a lot of value on Miami because his strength is scoring. When you have Wade, James, and a few other floor spacing wings, you don’t exactly need a player that’s versatile enough as a scorer to give you 20+ efficient points on another team. You want a player of similar overall value that does other things. Bosh has been reduced to a 10-15 point player taking 3s to help generate space. That’s idiotic. The Heat would be better off with a player like Varajao that would crush on the boards, defend, get physical inside etc…

    26. flossy

      stratomatic:
      The Heat would be better off with a player like Varajao that would crush on the boards, defend, get physical inside etc…

      Yes, yes. And just imagine if they replaced Wade with a decent ballhandler who could hit threes to space the floor, someone like Mo Williams maybe…

      WAIT A MINUTE

    27. Hubert

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Danny Green, 2013 Finals MVP.

      How weird is it going to be to say that.

      I wonder if the writer’s will have the balls to vote for him. But yeah, he’s the clear choice through 3 games. A lot can change, though.

    28. stratomatic

      I hate to change the subject, but I don’t think Knicks fans fully appreciate the negative impact the retirement of Kidd is going to have on the team. Granted, he totally flamed out in the playoffs and is done. But during the regular season (especially during the great start) he was arguably one of the most valuable players on the team and added a lot of wins. His absence is not going to be easily replaced. A healthy Amare and a full year of a healthy Shumpert will help, but Kidd was worth quite a few wins.

    29. stratomatic

      flossy: Yes, yes.And just imagine if they replaced Wade with a decent ballhandler who could hit threes to space the floor, someone like Mo Williams maybe…

      WAIT A MINUTE

      Let’s not get crazy. lol

      It’s one thing to say player X fits better than player Y when X and Y are of similar value but do different things well (as is the case with Bosh and Varajao when healthy). It’s another to say some role player that would fit better with James would generate more value than one of the best players in the NBA. Wade is hurt and is not an ideal fit with James, but he still generates way more value than virtually all other possible alternatives.

    30. Hubert

      stratomatic:
      Defending Lebron in the playoffs is different than defending him in the regular season. In the playoffs, they allow much more physical play before calling fouls.

      Uh, tell that to the 2006 Mavericks. Guys like LeBron normally get superstar whistles in the playoffs. I don’t think that is the source of his struggle, but I do agree that in this particular playoffs the refs seem to be leaning towards the “let them play” side of things. I’m curious if the numbers back that up.

    31. flossy

      stratomatic: Let’s not get crazy. lol

      It’s one thing to say player X fits better than player Y when X and Y are of similar value but do different things well (as is the case with Bosh and Varajao when healthy).It’s another to say some role player that would fit better with James would generate more value than one of the best players in the NBA.Wade is hurt and is not an ideal fit with James, but he still generates way more value than virtually all other possible alternatives.

      No I know, I’m just kidding. I just think it would be funny if Miami slowly dismantled the big three in favor of surrounding LeBron with the kind of (or even the very same) role players he left behind in Cleveland.

      If Miami doesn’t win the Finals, I could see them flipping Bosh for Pau Gasol, maybe. Wade is probably untradable for a variety of reasons.

    32. flossy

      stratomatic:
      I hate to change the subject, but I don’t think Knicks fans fully appreciate the negative impact the retirement of Kidd is going to have on the team.Granted, he totally flamed out in the playoffs and is done.But during the regular season (especially during the great start) he was arguably one of the most valuable players on the team and added a lot of wins. His absence is not going to be easily replaced. A healthy Amare and a full year of a healthy Shumpert will help, but Kidd was worth quite a few wins.

      I think resigning Prigioni and giving him a larger, more clearly defined role would help make up the difference. But Shumpert will have to take a step forward and Amar’e will have to stay on the court, it’s true (but that was always true).

    33. Hubert

      Hubert: I’m curious if the numbers back that up.

      This is far from definitive, but it’s all I had time to do. I compared FTA’s in the two conference finals series and NBA Finals last year to the FTA’s in the two conference finals series and NBA Finals this year, and also the last 3 NBA Finals.

      2012 ECF + WCF + Finals: 49.167 FTA’s per game
      2013 ECF + WCF + Finals: 42.928 FTA’s per game

      Also:

      2011 NBA Finals: 50.500 FTA’s per game
      2012 NBA Finals: 49.600 FTA’s per game
      2013 NBA Finals: 30.667 FTA’s per game (through 3 games)

      I don’t know if that’s down to better player discipline.

    34. MKinLA

      Flipping Bosh for Gasol would screw their spacing up even more. I think they want a 4/5 who is at least as good a defender and a better 3pt shooter. They are probably willing to sacrifice shot creation / post game / etc. to get this.

    35. stratomatic

      Hubert: This is far from definitive, but it’s all I had time to do.I compared FTA’s in the two conference finals series and NBA Finals last year to the FTA’s in the two conference finals series and NBA Finals this year, and also the last 3 NBA Finals.

      2012 ECF + WCF + Finals: 49.167 FTA’s per game
      2013 ECF + WCF + Finals: 42.928 FTA’s per game

      Also:

      2011 NBA Finals: 50.500 FTA’s per game
      2012 NBA Finals: 49.600 FTA’s per game
      2013 NBA Finals: 30.667 FTA’s per game (through 3 games)

      I don’t know if that’s down to better player discipline.

      I don’t know if the stats back this up, but I remember reading an interview with D’Antoni where he said that he had incorporated one piece of Pop’s defensive strategy into his own defense.

      The idea is that you are often better off giving up a mildly contested shot than fouling trying to make a great defensive play. Point being that the efficiency of even mildly contested shots will be lower than FTs for most players. So what often appears to be lax defense or bad defensive strategy is actually EV+ if executed well. Something like that could account for SA not fouling much.

    36. stratomatic

      flossy: I think resigning Prigioni and giving him a larger, more clearly defined role would help make up the difference.But Shumpert will have to take a step forward and Amar’e will have to stay on the court, it’s true (but that was always true).

      I like Prigs a lot as a backup. I wasn’t a huge fan when I first saw him in pre season because he was turning the ball over so much. But he slowly grew on me. Now I like him more than Felton.

    37. KnickfaninNJ

      stratomatic:
      I hate to change the subject, but I don’t think Knicks fans fully appreciate the negative impact the retirement of Kidd is going to have on the team.Granted, he totally flamed out in the playoffs and is done.But during the regular season (especially during the great start) he was arguably one of the most valuable players on the team and added a lot of wins. His absence is not going to be easily replaced. A healthy Amare and a full year of a healthy Shumpert will help, but Kidd was worth quite a few wins.

      I’m not sure about this. Even half way through the season, Prigioni’s stats per minute were very similar to Kidd’s. In the playoffs, Prigioni’s stats were probably much better. They can probably get away without Kidd if they keep Prigioni as long as they get another guard somewhere so they have enough of them. Losing both would mean losing a lot of smarts.

      I also am not sure Kidd would have had a good time playing or done as well next year, since he is 40. I think he saw all the open coaching jobs in the league and realized he would enjoy coaching more than being a backup point guard who goes through stretches where his body just doesn’t let him perform the way he wants to.

    38. Hubert

      stratomatic:Something like that could account for SA not fouling much.

      San Antonio’s FTA’s are low, too. So Miami would have to be employing the same strategy.

      Comparing one finals to two others is far from definitive, but I did feel when watching games this year that the old superstar treatment had changed a bit in the playoffs. (Except for Kevin Durant.) I’d be curious to see numbers across the board stack up but I don’t know a simple way to find them.

      If a true development, this is probably really bad for Carmelo Anthony’s technical foul total.

    39. massive

      This whole “what role players should we put around LeBron” argument misses the entire point. LeBron needs a 2nd wheel, not a new role player. He essentially needs a player like Ray Allen used to be and for Chris Bosh to not attempt 3 pointers. If you replace Wade with a Stephen Curry type of player, you have a dynasty.

      He needs a legitimate second wheel who has 3 point range. A player like Harden, Curry, Lillard, or Irving fit the bill perfectly. Even Dirk or Melo. Someone who, when defenses decide to crowd the paint, can make teams pay with their jump shooting.

    40. jon abbey

      Kidd was horrendous for long stretches of the regular season too, he was cooked way before playoff times. overall averages are deceptive in this case, as they often are.

    41. Nick C.

      Kidd’s would be skewed by the first month or whatever where he was shooting around .500 from three.
      Now of course this being the internet someone will say his post-played too much because Felton was hurt doldrum dragged down his average.

      jon abbey:
      Kidd was horrendous for long stretches of the regular season too, he was cooked way before playoff times. overall averages are deceptive in this case, as they often are.

    42. Frank

      jon abbey:
      Kidd was horrendous for long stretches of the regular season too, he was cooked way before playoff times. overall averages are deceptive in this case, as they often are.

      Yeah – Kidd was basically horrible after the new year–
      Kidd post-1/1/13:
      TS 43.2 on a usage of 10%. Remember, the lower usage one player is, the more other guys (ie. Melo) have to shoot. Melo’s TS was 4.5% worse with Kidd on the floor than without Kidd.
      The team was 5 points worse per 100 poss on offense, and pretty much a wash on defense.

    43. Hubert

      massive:
      This whole “what role players should we put around LeBron” argument misses the entire point. LeBron needs a 2nd wheel, not a new role player. He essentially needs a player like Ray Allen used to be and for Chris Bosh to not attempt 3 pointers. If you replace Wade with a Stephen Curry type of player,you have a dynasty.

      This is why I fear there is a 15% chance Melo opts out and heads to Miami after 2014.

    44. thenamestsam

      I agree with a lot of what people are saying here but the one thing I think it’s important to keep in mind is how different all the stories might be today if it weren’t for one of the craziest shots any of us have ever seen (Parker in Game 1). We’ve had a blowout for each team and one near-coin toss that came up San Antonio’s way. Last night’s blowout definitely felt more definitive than Game 2s, but overall a large chunk of the current narrative still has to do with which team won a game that was about as close as possible to a tossup. If Miami can win one of the next two San Antonio will still have to beat them in a do-or-die in Miami. Won’t be easy to do.

    45. Frank

      Hubert: This is why I fear there is a 15% chance Melo opts out and heads to Miami after 2014.

      I don’t know Melo at all, but I think there’s a <0.000001% chance this happens. Maybe Melo bolts to join a contender when he's in his mid-30s, but leaving NY after 2014 would be an irreparable hit to his reputation/legacy.

    46. jon abbey

      yeah, I bet Kidd broke the alltime league record this year for percentage of times getting the ball in the last five seconds of the shot clock and passing it on, almost always resulting in a fling by someone else or a 24 second violation.

    47. Hubert

      I feel like if LeBron and the Heat put on a full court press, anyone would listen, even Melo. I did say it was 85% unlikely, so I’m not banking on it. Just a fear which I’ve expressed before.

      Not that we care about the Heat, but they will be a fascinating soap opera in 2014. Win or lose this series, I think they’re mostly bringing back the same team. But after 2014, some seismic decisions are going to take place.

      Dwyane Wade, by the way, might be more untradeable than Amar’e, right? Who wants Dwyane Wade right now for three more years at $20 million per?

    48. BigBlueAL

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: This is fucking crazy. They have made three consecutive finals together. Individual brilliance wins NBA championships, dude, and don’t think that when they’re fast-breaking together, they’re not playing off each other’s strengths.

      The whole “all-or-nothing” winning mentality in our sport culture is pretty gross. Think of their success this way:

      Playoff record since 2011

      2011: 14-7
      2012: 16-7
      2013: 13-6

      That’s 43-22 against playoff competitors. One series loss out of eleven. 10-1 series record!

      Is this really not good enough to warrant a “they play well together” assessment?

      I think in the NBA its different than other sports. In the NFL or MLB making the World Series or Super Bowl 3 years in a row is an amazing achievement which is rarely done. No team has ever won 3 Super Bowls in a row and winning 3 World Series in a row has only happened twice in the divisional era (since 1969) and no team has even won 2 in a row in the past 13 years.

      But in the NBA great teams are expected to win at least 2 in a row. I mean Magic Johnson’s Lakers made the NBA Finals 9 times in 12 years before he retired in 1991 (winning 5). Bird’s Celtics made the Finals 4 year in a row (winning twice). We all know about Jordan’s Bulls teams and the Shaq/Kobe teams winning 3 in a row but hell the Bad Boy Pistons won 2 in a row as did Olajuwon’s Rockets and Kobe/Gasol’s Lakers teams too.

      Also none of them predicted winning a boatload of titles in a row like the Heat’s Big 3 predicted in their stupid celebration after the “Decision”.

    49. stratomatic

      KnickfaninNJ: I’m not sure about this.Even half way through the season, Prigioni’s stats per minute were very similar to Kidd’s. In the playoffs, Prigioni’s stats were probably much better. They can probably get away without Kidd if they keep Prigioni as long as they get another guard somewhere so they have enough of them. Losing both would mean losing a lot of smarts.

      I also am not sure Kidd would have had a good time playing or done as well next year, since he is 40.I think he saw all the open coaching jobs in the league and realized he would enjoy coaching more than being a backup point guard who goes through stretches where his body just doesn’t let him perform the way he wants to.

      I agree that Kidd was on a steep decline and probably wouldn’t have been as productive next year, but you still have to replace what he did last year.

    50. Frank

      BigBlueAL: But in the NBA great teams are expected to win at least 2 in a row.

      Totally agree. Considering the externally and internally manufactured hoopla over “the Heatles”, the fact that LBJ is the best player in the league at least since Jordan, that Wade at his peak was considered probably one of the top 3 players in the league, and that they brought this on themselves, making the finals a few times is not impressive. Jason Kidd’s thoroughly unimposing Nets did it in ’02 and ’03 and then in ’04 made the 2nd round before losing to the Pistons. The Jazz made the Finals seemingly every year during the Jordan years. I’m sure their playoff record was record was really good too.

      If they don’t win this year and then get broken up, they’ll go down in history as a team somewhere between the 10-11 Mavericks and the Jazz. And that would be considered an enormous disappointment – as it should be.

      This is not your run-of-the-mill situation. This was a self-created so-called “dynasty” that was supposed to crush the league for years. If they come out of this with “just” one championship, and if LBJ doesn’t win another one… that will justifiably stain his legacy going forward, even if he’s at least one of the best 2 players I’ve ever seen.

    51. stratomatic

      Hubert: San Antonio’s FTA’s are low, too.So Miami would have to be employing the same strategy.

      Comparing one finals to two others is far from definitive, but I did feel when watching games this year that the old superstar treatment had changed a bit in the playoffs.(Except for Kevin Durant.)I’d be curious to see numbers across the board stack up but I don’t know a simple way to find them.

      If a true development, this is probably really bad for Carmelo Anthony’s technical foul total.

      It’s well known that the refs let the players get more physical in the playoffs without calling fouls. So maybe they are allowing even more in the finals?

    52. stratomatic

      I know you guys are not huge fans of WOW, but they have Kidd contributing close to 10 wins this year. My own numbers are not much different. He dropped off in the 2nd half of the season and was terrible in the playoffs. But like I said previously, he was arguably one of the two most valuable players on the team in that very successful early stretch. That’s where he added a lot of wins. Take that away and instead of being 18-5, maybe they are 12-11 (or whatever, but you get the point). People are forgetting just how good he was early in the season and how mediocre the Knicks became as soon as he cooled down.

    53. stratomatic

      I think there’s a 0% chance that Melo would wind up in Miami for one major reason.

      Pat Riley is way too smart to pay Melo a max salary to be a high usage average efficiency scorer when he already has 3 more efficient high usage scorers on his team.

      The Heat’s weakness is interior defense/rebounding and the fact that Wade is hurt and will need off season surgery.

    54. flossy

      stratomatic:
      I know you guys are not huge fans of WOW, but they have Kidd contributing close to 10 wins this year.My own numbers are not much different.He dropped off in the 2nd half of the season and was terrible in the playoffs.But like I said previously, he was arguably one of the two most valuable players on the team in that very successful early stretch. That’s where he added a lot of wins.Take that away and instead of being 18-5, maybe they are 12-11 (or whatever, but you get the point). People are forgetting just how good he was early in the season and how mediocre the Knicks became as soon as he cooled down.

      He was pretty terrible during our insane hot streak to close the season, which suggests that Prigioni is more than capable of filling his role.

    55. stratomatic

      flossy: He was pretty terrible during our insane hot streak to close the season, which suggests that Prigioni is more than capable of filling his role.

      Prigs has been a pleasant surprise. If he can take on a bigger role, that will be great.

      I guess my point is that Kidd was so terrible down the stretch and in the playoffs that everyone has totally dismissed his loss as irrelevant, but I disagree with that conclusion. I think on a net basis he added quite a few wins.

    56. jon abbey

      flossy: He was pretty terrible during our insane hot streak to close the season, which suggests that Prigioni is more than capable of filling his role.

      exactly, plus we have Shumpert back now, he wasn’t around during the first part of last season.

    57. Hubert

      Hubert: Actually the opposite is true.More fouls are called in the postseason.

      Here’s one piece on it.There are many more.

      http://sportskeptic.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/think-youve-been-seeing-a-lot-of-fouls-think-again/

      Althought the potential flaw in that piece is that perhaps the number of fouls committed is going way up while the number of fouls called is only increasing marginally.

      But while the adage is “anything goes in the playoffs”, more often than not I see a parade to the free throw line. Officiating seems to me to be pretty consistent. Consistently terrible, but consistent.

    58. jon abbey

      Frank: Totally agree.Considering the externally and internally manufactured hoopla over “the Heatles”, the fact that LBJ is the best player in the league at least since Jordan, that Wade at his peak was considered probably one of the top 3 players in the league, and that they brought this on themselves, making the finals a few times is not impressive. Jason Kidd’s thoroughly unimposing Nets did it in ’02 and ’03 and then in ’04 made the 2nd round before losing to the Pistons.The Jazz made the Finals seemingly every year during the Jordan years.I’m sure their playoff record was record was really good too.

      If they don’t win this year and then get broken up, they’ll go down in history as a team somewhere between the 10-11 Mavericks and the Jazz.And that would be considered an enormous disappointment – as it should be.

      I agree with the disappointing thing, but think you’re overstating the case. the Nets and Jazz teams you cite both made two Finals and lost both, not three in a row, winning one.

      if Miami loses this series and then gets broken up, I think they’d be around the level of the Wallace/Wallace/Billups/Hamilton/Prince Pistons, who only made two Finals, winning one, but made six straight Conference Finals.

    59. stratomatic

      Hubert: Actually the opposite is true.More fouls are called in the postseason.

      Here’s one piece on it.There are many more.

      http://sportskeptic.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/think-youve-been-seeing-a-lot-of-fouls-think-again/

      That’s pretty interesting.

      I’m not sure if what that study says is totally negating what I am saying about the finals.

      IMO the play gets more physical in the playoffs and the refs tend to let more of it go than they do in the regular season (unless they see major trouble brewing).

      What that means is that if you drive and there is some mild incidental contact you are more likely to get called for a foul in the regular season than in the playoffs. However, since the playoffs are way more physical, there could easily be more foul calls despite the greater leniency. It depends.

      From casual observation of the conference finals and finals, I’m seeing players getting killed inside on a regular basis but not getting the call. I’ve been shocked by some of “no calls” that would be routine foul calls in the regular season.

      Perhaps the level of physicality and the leniency is a variable depending on the teams, style of play, and what’s coming down from the NBA???

    60. stratomatic

      Hubert: Althought the potential flaw in that piece is that perhaps the number of fouls committed is going way up while the number of fouls called is only increasing marginally.

      My thought expressed way better.

    61. BigBlueAL

      jon abbey: I agree with the disappointing thing, but think you’re overstating the case. the Nets and Jazz teams you cite both made two Finals and lost both, not three in a row, winning one.

      if Miami loses this series and then gets broken up, I think they’d be around the level of the Wallace/Wallace/Billups/Hamilton/Prince Pistons, who only made two Finals, winning one, but made six straight Conference Finals.

      I think they could also be compared similarly to the “Big 3″ formed right before them, the KG/Pierce/Allen Celtics.

    62. stratomatic

      Hubert: Althought the potential flaw in that piece is that perhaps the number of fouls committed is going way up while the number of fouls called is only increasing marginally.

      My thoughts expressed way better.

      If the the physicality is a variable and the tolerance for fouls is a variable, the number of fouls called is not necessarily telling you much about either in isolation.

      I think playoff games tend to be more physical and the refs more tolerant. The net of that may or may not explain the low number of foul calls in this series.

    63. stratomatic

      BigBlueAL: I think they could also be compared similarly to the “Big 3? formed right before them, the KG/Pierce/Allen Celtics.

      That’s a pretty good comparison because arguably that Celtics team would have won at least one more championship if it wasn’t for injuries and I’m sure if the Heat lose this one, Wade’s health and off season surgery is going to figure prominently in their excuse for losing.

    64. jon abbey

      BigBlueAL: I think they could also be compared similarly to the “Big 3? formed right before them, the KG/Pierce/Allen Celtics.

      yeah, that’s a good one too, didn’t think of that.

    65. ruruland

      stratomatic:
      I know you guys are not huge fans of WOW, but they have Kidd contributing close to 10 wins this year.My own numbers are not much different.He dropped off in the 2nd half of the season and was terrible in the playoffs.But like I said previously, he was arguably one of the two most valuable players on the team in that very successful early stretch. That’s where he added a lot of wins.Take that away and instead of being 18-5, maybe they are 12-11 (or whatever, but you get the point). People are forgetting just how good he was early in the season and how mediocre the Knicks became as soon as he cooled down.

      He was the third best point guard in the NBA bud.

    66. ruruland

      stratomatic:
      I think there’s a 0% chance that Melo would wind up in Miami for one major reason.

      Pat Riley is way too smart to pay Melo a max salary to be a high usage average efficiency scorer when he already has 3 more efficient high usage scorers on his team.

      The Heat’s weakness is interior defense/rebounding and the fact that Wade is hurt and will need off season surgery.

      Melo was more efficient than Wade last year on much higher usage.

      Melo’s efficiency would obviously go up, perhaps considerably, in a lower usage environment.

      You know what average efficiency is, or is average anything below Lebron and Durant?

    67. Frank

      Off topic, but I finally got around to reading Zach Lowe’s article about Golden State’s future (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9363701/an-offseason-plan-golden-state-warriors) — and came across this very interesting line:

      But there is very little leaguewide interest in Lee’s contract right now, according to several executives outside Golden State. It’s simply too long. The very best semi-reasonable scenario for Golden State would be to unload Lee for another bad contract that expires a year earlier, but even teams with such players — Kris Humphries, Carlos Boozer, Amar’e Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade — aren’t going to bite on Lee as of now.

      and this — which I’ve written about before here –

      Yes, Golden State fanatics, Lee’s individual rebounding numbers are quite good. But his teams have consistently rebounded better with him on the bench, and camera-tracking data from STATS LLC shows that Lee ranks toward the bottom among big men in nabbing rebounds outside of his arm’s reach. He’s also a fundamentally shaky boxer-outer, to use a very inelegant term.

      But that first paragraph brings up an interesting idea – would GS actually trade Lee + other bad filler like Biedrins or Jefferson for Amare? Lee’s deal runs through 15-16 which is not optimal, but he’s clearly a better player than the Okafor/Ariza mess that Hubert was talking about before.

      The 15-16 $ for Lee is sort of a downer since that’ll be the first time we really have any cap flexibility, but hmmm.

    68. mokers

      I don’t know right now that Amar’e is any better of a fit than Lee next to Bogut. Plus with Curry and Bogut already candidates to miss time because of ankle issues, I am not sure how you convince them to take on Amar’e who should be limited to 20-25 minutes a game. The only way that makes sense is if Lee’s hip is worse than we think and they aren’t counting on him either. In that case, the deal doesn’t make sense for the Knicks.

    69. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      lavor postell: Pretty sure Miami were among the worst at defending the three on the season. Their entire defense is built around protecting the paint at all costs.

      Nope, 11th in the league in 3P%.

    70. SeeWhyDee77

      I was thinkin about the draft..and I read on espn.com that the Knicks are actually pretty high on Withey. I don’t know too much of his game so maybe someone here can fill me in on why. All I see is another overrated Kansas big. I like the Muscula guy..problee spelled his name wrong though lol. Anyways the question I wanna ask anyone that might still be checking this thread is this: if it came down to picking between Bullock, Hardaway Jr, an Rice Jr..who’s the pick? I like Bullock but I’m kinda thinkin more about Hardaway now because of his all around game. What do u guys think?

    71. flossy

      Random thought experiment: IF Andre Igoudala opts out of his contract in Denver, might the Rockets be better off forgetting about Paul and Howard (who both seem like longshots to leave their current teams for the Rockets) and target the combination of Iggy and Josh Smith with their buttload of cap space?

      They’ve already got a high-usage, ball dominating A+ elite talent in the backcourt in Harden and a defensive anchor/rebounding monster/pick and roll finisher/not locker room cancer in Asik; why not fill out the roster with two astonishingly athletic defensive aces who can guard multiple positions, rack up points in transition and naturally function best as secondary or tertiary options on offense. Those two and Asik would easily be the best defensive frontcourt in basketball, and Houston could go huge for stretches with Harden at PG and Parsons at the 2. They might hurt the team’s spacing on offense a tad, but they’re perfectly suited to the uptempo, transition-based attack the Rockets already play.

      If this somehow actually happens I will absolutely buy league pass ’cause that team will be the shit.

    72. ruruland

      flossy:
      Random thought experiment: IF Andre Igoudala opts out of his contract in Denver, might the Rockets be better off forgetting about Paul and Howard (who both seem like longshots to leave their current teams for the Rockets) and target the combination of Iggy and Josh Smith with their buttload of cap space?

      They’ve already got a high-usage, ball dominating A+ elite talent in the backcourt in Harden and a defensive anchor/rebounding monster/pick and roll finisher/not locker room cancer in Asik; why not fill out the roster with two astonishingly athletic defensive aces who can guard multiple positions, rack up points in transition and naturally function best as secondary or tertiary options on offense.Those two and Asik would easily be the best defensive frontcourt in basketball, and Houston could go huge for stretches with Harden at PG and Parsons at the 2.They might hurt the team’s spacing on offense a tad, but they’re perfectly suited to the uptempo, transition-based attack the Rockets already play.

      If this somehow actually happens I will absolutely buy league pass ’cause that team will be the shit.

      That’s actually a great idea.

      And getting Iggy and Smith off the ball in a 4-out attack with Harden would suit them quite well, methinks. Iggy really shouldn’t handle the ball as much as he does, and was much better offensively as a pure attack guy, and I think playing with a lot of on-ball talent could convince Smith to stay in the post and only work mismatches. Smith’s spot up shooting is actually very solid for a power forward, his pull-up/iso shooting is atrocious.

      That would be a devastatingly athletic team.

    73. Frank

      Rockets will have an interesting offseason. I don’t really like the Josh Smith + Iggy additions, because they already have a PG that can’t shoot, and so your starting lineup would be 4 nonshooters + Harden. Harden would be playing 1-on-5 on his drives to the paint.

      They play that spread pick-and-roll that everyone seems to do now.

      I think their best bet is probably to package Lin, Asik, and maybe T-Rob in a S&T for Howard, unless they can somehow convince Howard to take a paycut to come as a FA rather than as a S&T. For the Lakers, that would actually be a very nice package for Dwight.

      Then they’d have a starting lineup of Beverly, Harden, Parsons, PF-to-be-named, and Howard — and in addition they’d still have cap room and the room exception to fill out the roster.

      You know everyone was beside themselves congratulating Morey on stealing Lin from us, but I’m pretty sure he’s not that excited about his $8.4M cap number right now. They could have filled that PG slot with either Beverley or another stopgap, and REALLY have had a huge amount of cap room.

    74. ruruland

      Frank:
      Off topic, but I finally got around to reading Zach Lowe’s article about Golden State’s future (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9363701/an-offseason-plan-golden-state-warriors) — and came across this very interesting line:

      and this — which I’ve written about before here –

      But that first paragraph brings up an interesting idea – would GS actually trade Lee + other bad filler like Biedrins or Jefferson for Amare?Lee’s deal runs through 15-16 which is not optimal, but he’s clearly a better player than the Okafor/Ariza mess that Hubert was talking about before.

      The 15-16 $ for Lee is sort of a downer since that’ll be the first time we really have any cap flexibility, but hmmm.

      The only deals for Amar’e I’d consider would be Pau Gasol in some kind of a three team trade.

    75. Zanzibar

      Frank: I don’t know Melo at all, but I think there’s a <0.000001% chance this happens. Maybe Melo bolts to join a contender when he’s in his mid-30s, but leaving NY after 2014 would be an irreparable hit to his reputation/legacy.

      This seems to be the conventional wisdom, but I don’t really understand this view at all. Let’s say Amare is unable to stay on the court next season and Tyson is a slightly above average center. Who would fault Melo leaving? Why wouldn’t the narrative be that he’s hungry for a chip? His inability to accomplish this in NYC would be attributed to Amare and Chandler’s lack of production not Melo’s play. Is Melo supposed to stick around and waste another year of his prime? It won’t be as easy as some people think to move an expiring 22m contract. And JR, Novak, Felton under contract in 2015-16 is suppose to entice him to stay? If Heat lose this series, the Lebron sweepstakes will start in earnest and many teams including the Lakers will be looking to make sure they have available cap space. Now tell me why Melo wouldn’t exercise his ETO and join LBJ in Laker land in 2014-15?

    76. ruruland

      Zanzibar: This seems to be the conventional wisdom, but I don’t really understand this view at all. Let’s say Amare is unable to stay on the court next season and Tyson is a slightly above average center. Who would fault Melo leaving? Why wouldn’t the narrative be that he’s hungry for a chip? His inability to accomplish this in NYC would be attributed to Amare and Chandler’s lack of production not Melo’s play. Is Melo supposed to stick around and waste another year of his prime? It won’t be as easy as some people think to move an expiring 22m contract. And JR, Novak, Felton under contract in 2015-16 is suppose to entice him to stay? If Heat lose this series, the Lebron sweepstakes will start in earnest and many teams including the Lakers will be looking to make sure they have available cap space. Now tell me why Melo wouldn’t exercise his ETO and join LBJ in Laker land in 2014-15?

      Dude, why would Melo want to play with Lebron? There is almost no scenario I can see Melo leaving NY on his own volition.

      He could have signed his first big deal to expire the same year LBJ/Bosh/Wade. He could have demanded to go a team much further ahead than the Knicks. He could have conspired to join CP3 somewhere.

      No, he wanted NY.

      The Knicks have $7 million committed in 15-16. The team is being built around Melo, who will be about the same age Pierce/KG were when the big three came together in Boston.

      There are plenty of exciting permutations, some we don’t know about yet.

    77. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:

      The whole “all-or-nothing” winning mentality in our sport culture is pretty gross.

      Says the guy who openly hates the mid-50 win team he claims to be a fan of. You make this too, easy, bud.

    78. ruruland

      stratomatic: Prigs has been a pleasant surprise.If he can take on a bigger role, that will be great.

      I guess my point is that Kidd was so terrible down the stretch and in the playoffs that everyone has totally dismissed his loss as irrelevant, but I disagree with that conclusion. I think on a net basis he added quite a few wins.

      He was solid. Defensively he was good.

      Did WOW have him pegged correctly as a top 15 player, third best pg?

    79. ruruland

      stratomatic:
      I hate to change the subject, but I don’t think Knicks fans fully appreciate the negative impact the retirement of Kidd is going to have on the team.Granted, he totally flamed out in the playoffs and is done.But during the regular season (especially during the great start) he was arguably one of the most valuable players on the team and added a lot of wins. His absence is not going to be easily replaced. A healthy Amare and a full year of a healthy Shumpert will help, but Kidd was worth quite a few wins.

      Let’d do a bet like I’ve done with Owen in the past (keep in mind there were few who supported the Kidd acquisition more than I did amidst a sea of naysayers on this board).

      1. The Knicks will have multiple players who improve their rebounding in Kidd’s place.

      The Knicks were a .6 with Kidd on the floor last season, which is hard to imagine given he’s just behind Chris Paul in terms of impact.

      2. The Knicks offense will be more efficient with Kidd’s replacement on the floor than they were with Kidd last year.

    80. flossy

      Frank: Rockets will have an interesting offseason. I don’t really like the Josh Smith + Iggy additions, because they already have a PG that can’t shoot, and so your starting lineup would be 4 nonshooters + Harden. Harden would be playing 1-on-5 on his drives to the paint.
      They play that spread pick-and-roll that everyone seems to do now.

      I personally believe Lin will improve (he shot nearly .400 from 3 after the all-star break, after a slow start to the season), but if they decide Lin’s not the guy I don’t think it would be hard to move his contract. He’s basically a league average player if he doesn’t improve, which is not as good as you’d want for $8m/year, but the Rockets could probably package Lin and the insanely-cheap Chandler Parsons and I bet a lot of teams would bite on that.

    81. massive

      If Houston is going to be offering max money to a power forward, they need to be giving it to Paul Millsap. Lin/Millsap/Iguodala/Millsap/Asik is one hell of a team, even if Jeremy Lin plays terribly again.

    82. JC Knickfan

      Frank:
      I think their best bet is probably to package Lin, Asik, and maybe T-Rob in a S&T for Howard, unless they can somehow convince Howard to take a paycut to come as a FA rather than as a S&T.For the Lakers, that would actually be a very nice package for Dwight.

      If Rocket cut Carlos Delfino, Aaron Brooks, Francisco Garcia, Tim Ohlbrecht, James Anderson, Greg Smith
      and if Rocket trade T-Rob and Royce White they have enough to sign D. Howard to 4 year Max.

      I pretty sure last year T-Rob the 5th pick last could be unload for future protect 1st round pick. White + 3 million + 2nd round, it’s safe to say they could get least another 2nd rounder back.

      Also new CBA does not allow teams to do S&T for 5 max deals anymore. Howard would get the same exact deal in S&T as if he sign as a max FA.

    83. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland: Says the guy who openly hates the mid-50 win team he claims to be a fan of. You make this too, easy, bud.

      I hate when people fawn over a guy who’s been bounced from the first round of the playoffs year after year, and I hate when he gets credit for the mid-50 win team when others are doing more for it.

      I don’t worry. You’ll be gone in a year and we can have our board back.

    84. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: I hate when people fawn over a guy who’s been bounced from the first round of the playoffs year after year, and I hate when he gets credit for the mid-50 win team when others are doing more for it.

      Jason Kidd and Ronnie Brewer, right?

    85. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland: Jason Kidd and Ronnie Brewer, right?

      Rest assured that I have been a Knicks fan longer than you. You can wear your cool-guy Oakleys all the way to the CAA mailroom and back but your “expert analysis” will find itself among skeptics at the next team’s blog that you frequent.

      When you write a piece on Carmelo’s retirement (I’m guessing Bleacher Report), be sure to posit how he never achieved greatness because of his teammates. It has nothing to do with average shooting efficiency at high volume.

      I’m looking forward to it, cool-guy.

    86. max fisher-cohen

      ruruland: The Knicks have $7 million committed in 15-16. The team is being built around Melo, who will be about the same age Pierce/KG were when the big three came together in Boston.

      Pierce and KG (and Ray Allen) are WAY exceptions to the rule in their ability to sustain all-star play into their mid-30s. It’s more likely that Melo will follow the path that less multi-talented and less defense-oriented wing players follow — Stackhouse, Maggette, Wade, McGrady, Mashburn, falling off significantly at 31 at the latest. Even Kobe played his last GREAT year at 30. Yes, he turned it on in the playoffs during his 31 y/o season and got what will likely be his last title, but I think history will remember the 09/10 playoffs as Kobe’s real last stand.

      Sure, if Melo’s name brings in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett circa 2007 type players, then maybe that’s a title contending team for a year or two, but it’s unlikely Melo will be able to do in 15/16 (when he’ll be 31) what he did this past season.

    87. ruruland

      max fisher-cohen: Pierce and KG (and Ray Allen) are WAY exceptions to the rule in their ability to sustain all-star play into their mid-30s. It’s more likely that Melo will follow the path that less multi-talented and less defense-oriented wing players follow — Stackhouse, Maggette, Wade, McGrady, Mashburn, falling off significantly at 31 at the latest. Even Kobe played his last GREAT year at 30. Yes, he turned it on in the playoffs during his 31 y/o season and got what will likely be his last title, but I think history will remember the 09/10 playoffs as Kobe’s real last stand.

      Sure, if Melo’s name brings in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett circa 2007 type players, then maybe that’s a title contending team for a year or two, but it’s unlikely Melo will be able to do in 15/16 (when he’ll be 31) what he did this past season.

      Pierce and Allen were multi-talented defensive oriented players prior to KG? Ok

      So, rebuild it now, right? I know you’ve been pinning for that for awhile, not that many on the board hadn’t the second the Melo trade went through.

    88. DRed

      ” Let’d do a bet like I’ve done with Owen in the past (keep in mind there were few who
      supported the Kidd acquisition more than I did amidst a sea of naysayers on this board).”

      If Jason Kidd wasn’t very good, why should you get credit for supporting the acquisition against a sea of naysayers?

    89. ruruland

      DRed:
      ” Let’d do a bet like I’ve done with Owen in the past (keep in mind there were few who
      supported the Kidd acquisition more than I did amidst a sea of naysayers on this board).”

      If Jason Kidd wasn’t very good, why should you get credit for supporting the acquisition against a sea of naysayers?

      He was pretty good. He wasn’t the third best point guard in the NBA last year. And I think the ways he was valued statistically are not commensurate with his actual value.

      His passing was actually pretty bad, totally un-Kidd like last season.

      His rotations were excellent, the best on the team, IMO.

      His rebounding and ability to hunt extra possessions — both valuable — he would have been more valuable in lieu of his absolute dearth of offense had Amar’e been healthy.

      Prigs was better. If he comes back, he’ll be better than Kidd was last year.

      Ergo, in that context, he won’t be missed much.

    90. ruruland

      max fisher-cohen: Pierce and KG (and Ray Allen) are WAY exceptions to the rule in their ability to sustain all-star play into their mid-30s. It’s more likely that Melo will follow the path that less multi-talented and less defense-oriented wing players follow — Stackhouse, Maggette, Wade, McGrady, Mashburn, falling off significantly at 31 at the latest. Even Kobe played his last GREAT year at 30. Yes, he turned it on in the playoffs during his 31 y/o season and got what will likely be his last title, but I think history will remember the 09/10 playoffs as Kobe’s real last stand.

      Sure, if Melo’s name brings in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett circa 2007 type players, then maybe that’s a title contending team for a year or two, but it’s unlikely Melo will be able to do in 15/16 (when he’ll be 31) what he did this past season.

      I would counter that Melo’s game is significantly different than the players you mentioned, and actually built to age exceptionally well.

      No major injuries.

      His first step, quick second leap, quick hands, along with his strength and skills, don’t disappear as quickly as speed and vertical jump.

      Look at how boxer’s age.

    91. max fisher-cohen

      @ruru He still takes a lot of abuse from bigger players by attacking the rim quite often, and that first step can go away as we saw before Melo had his knee drained this season. Anyway, for some of these guys (maggette, wade), it’s not the fact that they aren’t good anymore, it’s the fact that they are always playing (or not playing) with some injury or another.

      I agree with you that for some of those guys — McGrady, Wade, Kobe — athleticism was a big part of why they were dominant. .

      Anyway, would I advocate rebuilding now? I would have advocated rebuilding 1 1/2 years ago when it became clear that Melo/Stoudemire was a suboptimal pairing and would likely remain that way.

      At this point, with 2 of our next 3 1st rnd picks going to denver, there’s really no point. We might as well just preserve flexibility for summer 2015, see what Melo looks like then (if he doesn’t opt out in 2014…) and see who’s willing to come to NY then. Hope we get lucky in the free agent market. If we were to add Kevin Love and Marc Gasol, I’d probably use unironic exclamation marks in all of my posts for a few months!

      At the same time, if Melo shows significant decline or develops chronic injury problems in the next couple seasons, I think it’s a fools errand to resign him for what will most likely end up being the 4-5 worst years of his career. I also hope that if those big time free agents don’t come here, we don’t just settle for mediocrity and end up with a starting lineup in 2015 of something like Rondo, Smith, Anthony, Boozer and Chandler, all of whom will be in their 30s at that point.

    92. BigBlueAL

      I would think the fact that Melo is a much better shooter (especially from 3pt range) than someone like Wade bolds well for when he ages, similar to Pierce. Also he is not a true wing player since he can play PF and has the size to maintain his ability to rebound and post up.

      So as long as he doesnt suffer any serious injuries in the near future I think Melo should age pretty well.

    93. yellowboy90

      Maybe I am bias but I am not taking Parsons off the floor for Iggy.
      Also, if the Lakers want a S&T I am definitely asking for Parsons in that deal.

      Also, instead of the Iggy and Smith plan. What would Smith and Howard look like with Smith at a below max deal price?

    94. yellowboy90

      BigBlueAL:
      I would think the fact that Melo is a much better shooter (especially from 3pt range) than someone like Wade bolds well for when he ages, similar to Pierce.Also he is not a true wing player since he can play PF and has the size to maintain his ability to rebound and post up.

      So as long as he doesnt suffer any serious injuries in the near future I think Melo should age pretty well.

      I agree. Wades lack of improvement from 3 has hindered his health, imo, which hurts his game. HE has no choice but to continue to slash and fall to the floor because he didn’t work on his jumper. He will stay efficient because he will continue to pump fake, pump again, and then pass.

    95. BigBlueAL

      The funny thing is we are talking about Wade breaking down already and Melo hopefully not doing so in the future yet they both have been in the NBA since 2003. Wade played 2 more years of college so he is a bit older but thats not that big a difference. It sure feels like he has been playing longer in the NBA than Melo and LeBron.

    96. yellowboy90

      I don’t even know if Wade can improve over time as a 3ball shooter. People who are better at research: has there been a player who had multiple seasons shooting less than 80 3 pt FGAs that became an avg 3 pt. shooter?

    97. Frank

      max fisher-cohen: It’s more likely that Melo will follow the path that less multi-talented and less defense-oriented wing players follow — Stackhouse, Maggette, Wade, McGrady, Mashburn, falling off significantly at 31 at the latest. Even Kobe played his last GREAT year at 30. Yes, he turned it on in the playoffs during his 31 y/o season and got what will likely be his last title, but I think history will remember the 09/10 playoffs as Kobe’s real last stand.

      I don’t know whether or not Melo will fall off, but these are strange comparisons to say the least. Like ruru mentioned, guys like Maggette, McGrady, and Mashburn all had very significant leg injuries (knees) that obviously robbed them of their athleticism — Melo has not had those. Stackhouse had just a bunch of nagging injuries, but he was never a very “skilled” player – no post game, poor shooter for most of his career, an average or worse handle (although he was a pretty good assist guy). And re: Wade- this is a guy who spent most of his career flying through the air and getting knocked to the ground. He plays a totally different game than Melo.

      Guys who have actual skills that don’t rely 100% on athleticism are the ones that age well. Guys who have shown the ability to work on their games are the ones that age well. Melo has changed from a below-average 3 point shooter to an above-average high-volume 3 point shooter – huge change. Melo’s 1st step is elite of course, but his ability to get to the rim has more to do with hesitation moves and an innate sense of when his opponent is off balance.

      And like BBA said above, his positional versatility should help Melo as well. He’ll be able to play stretch 4 effectively even when his athleticism really wanes.

    98. Frank

      @mwfc – just realized you already made some of my points!! anyway…

      max fisher-cohen: At the same time, if Melo shows significant decline or develops chronic injury problems in the next couple seasons, I think it’s a fools errand to resign him for what will most likely end up being the 4-5 worst years of his career. I also hope that if those big time free agents don’t come here, we don’t just settle for mediocrity and end up with a starting lineup in 2015 of something like Rondo, Smith, Anthony, Boozer and Chandler, all of whom will be in their 30s at that point.

      I think if we end up resigning Melo after the 14-15 season, it’ll probably be at a Pierce-like discount of, say, $14-16MM/year (depending on what the cap/luxury tax is at that point) to give the team a little bit of wiggle room. By then he’ll be at the tail end of his prime and it only makes sense that he would start to pass the torch a bit to whoever is ready to take it. One can only hope.

      btw re: Wade – his regular season #s this year were basically indistinguishable from the previous 2 seasons (since LBJ came) – 24/6/6 per 40 with TS in mid-high 50s, usg in high 20s. Maybe some of that is fool’s gold since during the regular season he gets a ton of easy shots, but we should remember that he’s been hurt this postseason — it’s entirely possible that he comes back strong next year. But agree that he really needs to work on his 3 point shooting. I find it hard to believe that a guy who has shot in the high 70s from the FT line can’t at least shoot 35% from 3 on wide open shots if he takes the offseason and really works on it. Like y’all have said, it’s his ticket to a longer and more productive career.

    99. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      yellowboy90:
      I don’t even know if Wade can improve over time as a 3ball shooter. People who are better at research: has there been a player who had multiple seasons shooting less than 80 3 pt FGAs that became an avg 3 pt. shooter?

      Jordan.

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