Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Nov 07 2012)

  • [New York Times] Jim Durham, N.B.A. Broadcaster, Is Dead at 65 (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 08:09:06 GMT)
    Mr. Durham called Chicago Bulls games for 18 years and was ESPN Radio’s lead play-by-play commentator for N.B.A. games since 1996.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Nets Team, With Gerald Wallace, Shaped With Heat in Mind (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 06:20:17 GMT)
    Gerald Wallace has the hustle, strength, grit and versatility to help mold the identity of the Nets and also lead the charge, with the help of a supporting cast, against Miami.

  • [New York Times] Rasheed Wallace Is Giving the Knicks Quality Time and Tips (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 06:17:19 GMT)
    Rasheed Wallace, at 38 and coming out of retirement, has been a big surprise for the Knicks, who are 3-0 for the first time since 1999.

  • [New York Times] Deng Leads Bulls Run to Beat Magic (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 06:16:19 GMT)
    The Chicago Bulls dominated the start of the fourth quarter to beat the Orlando Magic 99-93 on Tuesday in a matchup of two teams trying to adjust to playing without last season’s All Stars.

  • [New York Times] Westbrook Leads Thunder Past Raptors 108-88 (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 06:00:08 GMT)
    Thunder coach Scott Brooks was happy to see his team get off to a fast start that made his job easy at the end.

  • [New York Times] Iguodala Lifts Nuggets to 109-97 Win Over Pistons (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 05:56:57 GMT)
    First, Andre Iguodala threw a bad pass. Then, he took too many steps.

  • [New York Times] Deng, Bulls Hand Magic First Loss (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 05:17:11 GMT)
    For nearly three quarters, the Orlando Magic looked like the team that has been the surprise of young NBA season.

  • [New York Times] Deng Leads Bulls Run to Beat Magic (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 04:49:07 GMT)
    The Chicago Bulls dominated the start of the fourth quarter to beat the Orlando Magic 99-93 on Tuesday in a matchup of two teams trying to adjust to playing without last season’s All Stars.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: The Knicks’ New Mantra: Take It Slow (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 01:41:58 GMT)
    By dramatically slowing the game down, combined with the devastating efficiency they’ve displayed on offense, the Knicks are creating the equivalent of a ball-control, run-first football team.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Section 15: First Fan In (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 01:38:40 GMT)
    The Off the Dribble team was interested in learning about Nets fans now that the team is in Brooklyn. We plan to talk with fans at home games throughout the season and will focus on Section 15, behind the east basket in the lower bowl. The first fan to find a seat at the delayed season opener against Toronto was George Cardenas from Ithaca, N.Y.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Coach Williams Fined $25,000 for Critical Comments (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 00:45:59 GMT)
    New Orleans Hornets head coach Monty Williams has been fined $25,000 by the National Basketball Association (NBA) for public criticism of the NBA’s concussion policy, the league said on Tuesday.

  • [New York Times] Bobcats Guard Gerald Henderson Out for 2-4 Weeks (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 00:22:55 GMT)
    Charlotte Bobcats starting guard Gerald Henderson is expected to be sidelined for two to four weeks because of a sprained left foot, the team said on Tuesday.

  • [New York Daily News] Revived and rested Rasheed fitting Knicks to a â??T’ (Wed, 07 Nov 2012 02:58:17 GMT)
    Technically speaking, Rasheed Wallace has been more than the Knicks could have anticipated. He’s been a positive presence in the locker room and on the court, and get this: the player who holds the NBA record for technicals hasn’t been booked yet.

  • 81 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Nov 07 2012)

    1. johnno

      er: jesus gallo cant shoot anymore

      At the beginning of I think it was his third year, he hurt his right wrist and tried to play through the pain. I think that he altered his release very slightly and his shot has not been the same since. If you look at his #’s from his third year on, his reputation as a great outside shooter is pretty much a myth.

      On another totally unrelated topic, am I the only one who thinks that the Thunder have bought into their own reputation as draft geniuses just a little bit too much? They traded away Harden with the idea that, with Toronto’s lottery pick that they got in the deal, they’ll just draft another Harden. I think that they out-thought themselves. They are due for a Michael Sweetney/Jordan Hill lottery miss.

    2. JC Knickfan

      They could resign Martin for maybe 3 more years who TS% is at a blazing 0.753. He is 29 now so 3 more years only 32.

    3. Juany8

      What nobody seems to understand about the Harden trade is that the only cost of paying him a max contract was not a few extra million per year. By putting themselves firmly in the luxury tax, the new restrictions in the CBA would have made it practically impossible for the Thunder to add talent past their current core. They would have been stuck giving at best the mini-mid level, and OKC isn’t Miami or LA, they aren’t getting quality veterans like Battier to come into a boring ass town with a bunch of kids for the mini-mid level.

      As Cuban showed last year, the problem with the Luxury tax isn’t just the ridiculous payments you have to make but the total loss of flexibility that occurs past that point. Now the Thunder did have a young enough team that it would likely improve without any serious changes, but keeping Harden would have meant giving up Maynor this year and taking themselves out of the market for any notable upgrades to their roster. So the question is not is Harden worth K-Mart, Jeremy Lamb, and a lottery pick. The question is whether Harden is worth those players plus Maynor and most of their future flexibility for the next few years, especially since I don’t think Amnestying Perkins is a real options since the Thunder owners don’t seem like the type to pay a player millions a year when he’s not on their team lol, they would still owe him a salary and would be out a starting center

    4. johnno

      Scorpio Dragon: I think they feel that Lamb + Draft pick will be the long-term solution to replace Harden.

      Maybe, but maybe not. I think that it’s dumb to trade a guy who is a star for one or two guys who might become stars or who might be busts.

      JC Knickfan: They could resign Martin for maybe 3 more years who TS% is at a blazing 0.753. He is 29 now so 3 more years only 32.

      To paraphrase Lloyd Benson — “I knew James Harden. James Harden was a friend of mine. Kevin, you’re no James Harden.” (To those of you too young to know what I am talking about, google Lloyd Benson Dan Quayle Vice Presidential debate.)

    5. chrisk06811

      Smartest quote I’ve heard from a player in god knows how long, and it came out of Rasheed Walace’s mouth:
      ‘My speed isn’t the same, my agility isn’t the same, but yet I still can talk.’ That’s an extra defender out there.”

      I used to think he was just a no brained thug, now i’m seriously considering having him do my taxes this year.

    6. KnickfaninNJ

      Re:Harden,

      Everybody’s down on OKC for trading Harden; but honestly, if you have a potential star who can’t crack the starting rotation because you already have a star at his position, trading him is reasonable. This is especially the case if he is going to wreck your roster flexibility if you sign him. The question is, did OKC get good value for him and the jury’s still out on that.

      You could look at it by analogy. Hypothetically, assume Amare was healthy and not injury prone. He’d still be a high priced star who probably should be playing as sixth man on the current Knicks team. In this hypothetical case, should the Knicks consider trading him for a different sixth man plus three reasonable draft choices and more salary cap flexibility? If you say the Knicks should do this, then maybe OKC was right to do what they did.

    7. Juany8

      KnickfaninNJ:
      Re:Harden,

      Everybody’s down on OKC for trading Harden; but honestly, if you have a potential star who can’t crack the starting rotation because you already have a star at his position, trading him is reasonable.This is especially the case if he is going to wreck your roster flexibility if you sign him.The question is, did OKC get good value for him and the jury’s still out on that.

      You could look at it by analogy.Hypothetically,assume Amare was healthy and not injury prone. He’d still be a high priced star who probably should be playing as sixth man on the current Knicks team.In this hypothetical case, should the Knicks consider trading him for a different sixth man plus three reasonable draft choices and more salary cap flexibility?If you say the Knicks should do this, then maybe OKC was right to do what they did.

      Kevin Martin has been more efficient than Harden so far too, which is supposed to be a big part of Harden’s appeal. So the real difference between them has basically been Harden’s playmaking ability. (neither is a plus defender) Westbrook and Durant both seem to be improving in that regard though, the real problem with the Thunder is that they have a below average coach handling all the decisions. Which means that Lamb and PJ3, 2 exciting rookies that seem to fit in perfectly with what the Thunder are doing, are getting no playing time while the Thunder have at least 1 play a game where they essentially punt a possession by giving it to Perkins. A Perkins post up with the Thunder’s other options on the floor would be roughly the equivalent of giving Kurt Thomas possessions to isolate opponents from the 3 point line. The Perkins post up is the single worst play in basketball (it results in a turnover at least half the time, and a missed field goal or reset pass the rest) mostly because it’s 100% unavoidable.

    8. yellowboy90

      chrisk06811:
      Smartest quote I’ve heard from a player in god knows how long, and it came out of Rasheed Walace’s mouth:
      ‘My speed isn’t the same, my agility isn’t the same, but yet I still can talk.’ That’s an extra defender out there.”

      I used to think he was just a no brained thug, now i’m seriously considering having him do my taxes this year.

      I get that it your opinion based on your view but I can’t think of an analyst, coach, or player that didn’t credit Rasheed for his BBall IQ. They all mentioned that teammates and coaches loved him but that he was just a hothead who was a supreme talent but never wanted to be a star.

      In regards to Sheed’s quote: I know Amar’e and the team trained with Hakeem but If Rasheed has any coaching skills to translate what he did to help a player’s game then he would be the perfect guy for Amar’e to learn from. Rasheed’s game was really flawless except he fell in love with the 3 and fell in love with the turn around J in the post.

    9. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Juany8: Kevin Martin has been more efficient than Harden so far too, which is supposed to be a big part of Harden’s appeal. So the real difference between them has basically been Harden’s playmaking ability. (neither is a plus defender) Westbrook and Durant both seem to be improving in that regard though, the real problem with the Thunder is that they have a below average coach handling all the decisions. Which means that Lamb and PJ3, 2 exciting rookies that seem to fit in perfectly with what the Thunder are doing, are getting no playing time while the Thunder have at least 1 play a game where they essentially punt a possession by giving it to Perkins. A Perkins post up with the Thunder’s other options on the floor would be roughly the equivalent of giving Kurt Thomas possessions to isolate opponents from the 3 point line. The Perkins post up is the single worst play in basketball (it results in a turnover at least half the time, and a missed field goal or reset pass the rest) mostly because it’s 100% unavoidable.

      Agreed on Martin, and both of them are going to come down to earth. Just seems like the question is: who’s coming farther down? (My guess is Martin.) And your point about Perkins is the same point I make about Anthony and isolation, although of course Perkins’ post move is even less preferable.

    10. er

      Yea please dont compare a melo and a perkins post up

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Agreed on Martin, and both of them are going to come down to earth. Just seems like the question is: who’s coming farther down? (My guess is Martin.) And your point about Perkins is the same point I make about Anthony and isolation, although of course Perkins’ post move is even less preferable.

    11. johnlocke

      Kevin Martin will fill in ok enough with scoring, but you’re right it’s the playmaking that will be missed. Particularly in the fourth quarter, where Harden can act as the initiator of the offense and make smarter decisions than Westbrooke makes. The Thunders’ ability to close games will definitely be impacted by Harden’s departure, IMHO.

      Juany8: So the real difference between them has basically been Harden’s playmaking ability. (neither is a plus defender) Westbrook and Durant both seem to be improving in that regard though

    12. massive

      I know it wouldn’t have happened, but I believe that it would have been much easier to replace Russell Westbrook than James Harden. The league believes he’s a top 10 player, so you know somebody would have offered a boatload for him. They might have even been able to stick that team with Kendrick Perkins. It will always be my opinion that the Thunder’s Big 3 was Harden, Durant, and Obama, and the Thunder will not win a championship over the next decade now that Harden is gone.

    13. er

      lol do u mean Ibaka….i see someone was into the election

      massive:
      I know it wouldn’t have happened, but I believe that it would have been much easier to replace Russell Westbrook than James Harden. The league believes he’s a top 10 player, so you know somebody would have offered a boatload for him. They might have even been able to stick that team with Kendrick Perkins. It will always be my opinion that the Thunder’s Big 3 was Harden, Durant, and Obama, and the Thunder will not win a championship over the next decade now that Harden is gone.

    14. njasdjdh

      johnlocke,

      Is there a reason you consistently spell Westbrook’s name with an “e” at the end?

    15. johnlocke

      The e is for efficiency…so I should take it out…you’re right. Apologies.

      njasdjdh:
      johnlocke,

      Is there a reason you consistently spell Westbrook’s name with an “e” at the end?

    16. JC Knickfan

      johnno:

      To paraphrase Lloyd Benson — “I knew James Harden.James Harden was a friend of mine.Kevin, you’re no James Harden.”(To those of you too young to know what I am talking about, google Lloyd Benson Dan Quayle Vice Presidential debate.)

      Yeah, I watch that live and it was hysterical.

      Anyway, looking back at what Presti was thinking is that Martin could come close reproducing Harden of the bench instance offense and still very efficient. He’s in contract year and would anyone be surprise he posted career best TS this year? Trying get the last payday seem do magic for performance. This no way shape or form that I think K-Martin is better Harden.

      OKC recent losses all points one person. Westbrook and his 48% TS. Having watch Harden played and comparing that Westbrook, I personally though should kept Harden and traded Westbrook.

    17. knicknyk

      With the injury news about Granger the Knicks now more than ever need to stay healthy and exploit. Get off to a really good start. It is a long season so anything can happen down the road but if we can start off really strong with everyone healthy and get a great record that could potentially protect us down the road if slip ups happen.

    18. Frank

      Ridiculous thought I just had now — that a very small part of me wants the Knicks to come back to earth so this board comes back to life. It’s hard to kvetch when you’re blowing the doors off the competition!

      Camby back on Friday + healthy Tyson Chandler means a much more aggressive back line defense. Tyson doesn’t have to worry about foul trouble anymore with Camby behind him, and Rasheed and Kurt Thomas can play C if necessary.

      This defense is going to be scary when Shump comes back.

    19. ruruland

      The Knicks could have shot 34.7% to this point and have a + 9.3 pt differential (assuming none of those misses get converted into offensive rebounds)

    20. Frank O.

      One great thing about this 3 pt shooting to date: teams must respect it and extend their defense now for all the Knicks’ shooters. That will create awesome penetration ops for our deft guards and paint ops for bigs.
      Amare and Melo won’t have defenses always collapsing on them.
      I think the Knicks have had so many wide open 3s that they were bound to hit a high percentage, especially when it’s not TD or Nate or some other past guard chucking.
      As teams extend I think the ball will start to find people down low and at mid range who are open. This offense is focused on taking what it can get through patience and passing.

      one other point, if Brewer continues to play like this, and I was not familiar with his game until her arrived, he could hold the starting spot. He’s taller and more polished than Shump, and however ugly his shot is, he’s shooting better now, although he is well above average for his career at this point from 3 pt.
      I know this may not be well accepted here; Brewer must maintain this level, but his effect on the Knicks is undeniable right now. It also may be a moot point given Shump won’t return til Jan., and his knee even then won’t have the explosiveness it once had right away.

    21. Z-man

      When Shump, Camby and Amare come back, I don’t see us playing much better than we are now, but we will have an ability to mix and match with anyone. I would guess that the 3 guys most often out of the 12-man lineup are White, Copeland and Kurt. However, I see those guys rotating in as needed, keeping everyone fresh. Kurt will spell the 4’s and 5’s as needed, White the 2’s and 3’s, Copeland the 3’s and 4’s.

      Melo, Felton, Kidd, Amare, Chandler, Camby, Shump, JR, Brewer, and maybe Novak will play every night if they are healthy, right? Sheed and Prigs? We can’t have a 12-man rotation so PT issues might be dicey unless a suitable number of tweaks and strains happen. Thoughts?

    22. Juany8

      Z-man:
      When Shump, Camby and Amare come back, I don’t see us playing much better than we are now, but we will have an ability to mix and match with anyone. I would guess that the 3 guys most often out of the 12-man lineup are White, Copeland and Kurt. However, I see those guys rotating in as needed, keeping everyone fresh. Kurt will spell the 4?s and 5?s as needed, White the 2?s and 3?s, Copeland the 3?s and 4?s.

      Melo, Felton, Kidd, Amare, Chandler, Camby, Shump, JR, Brewer, and maybe Novak will play every night if they are healthy, right? Sheed and Prigs? We can’t have a 12-man rotation so PT issues might be dicey unless a suitable number of tweaks and strains happen. Thoughts?

      The beauty of this team is that having everyone healthy at the same time will be an issue anyways. It turns out the health issues of everyone on the team might actually benefit the Knicks lol, if everyone is healthy I do see chemistry taking a hit because so many people will want playing time. Wouldn’t be totally surprised to see a trade coming, maybe something for a first/second round pick with a contender.

    23. Frank O.

      Also, some of our guys are soooo old that they’re not necessarily jonesing to play more than 15 minutes anyway.

    24. Brian Cronin

      The beauty of this team is that having everyone healthy at the same time will be an issue anyways. It turns out the health issues of everyone on the team might actually benefit the Knicks lol, if everyone is healthy I do see chemistry taking a hit because so many people will want playing time. Wouldn’t be totally surprised to see a trade coming, maybe something for a first/second round pick with a contender.

      Ha! I like that. “We have too many good players, maybe a couple of you could get injured.” :)

      And yeah, I wouldn’t be shocked by a trade in the future, either.

    25. max fisher-cohen

      I think OKC believes in general in the idea that team culture plays a huge role in player development. Support, nurture a player and he’ll grow to his max potential, which when you’re talking about a high and carefully chosen draft pick, is usually pretty high. You can’t blame them for thinking that way. Look at what a similarly culture-oriented team has done via the draft — San Antonio.

    26. ruruland

      Daryl Morey just now on PTI:”Basketball is way too complex of a game. As much as basketball has been broken down and you might be able to run it by computer, basketball is a wonderful mix of art and science. Where you are not going to be able to isolate everything down. The example i use is one made jump shot: Is it it because the guy can shoot, because the defense is bad, because the pick set was good, because the pass was good, was it because he was more open, was it because it was off the dribble or not, so many factors go into one made jump shot in basketball that you can’t isolate it completely down to a number. That’s what makes the game fun.”

      — Founder of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

      http://www.sloansportsconference.com/?p=58

      Morey holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science with an emphasis on statistics from Northwestern University.

    27. ruruland

      Should read: “As much as baseball has been broken down and you might be able to run it by computer…..”

    28. ruruland

      Plan a schedule based on opponent to have Rasheed and Camby switch off playing 15-20 minutes.

      Sheed plays against the teams that have a strong post player, or a scoring center like Bynum, Gasol. Howard, Hibbert etc. Camby plays center against teams that allow him to roam the paint.

      Both Camby and Wallace generally stay out of the paint, are very strong defenders in their own way, and complement Amar’e on offense.

      All 15-20 of Camby or Wallace’s minutes should come with Amar’e on the floor.

      A ten man rotation concept looks ike this: Camby/Wallace 1A/1B only one plays per game.

      Amar’e and Chandler: 28 mpg each (Amar’e off bench to maximize time with Wallace or Camby)

      You give a total of 80 minutes to Shump, Brewer, Smith and Novak. If there is a defensive situation that makes Novak a net minus, you substract many of his minutes and give them to the other three. If Novak is having one of those nights, I take some minutes from Shumpert.

      Keep Felton’s minutes between 27-30, so to keep him in attack mode whenever’s he’s on the floor, and hold Kidd’s minutes in the 25 range.
      there are still enough minutes left over to get Melo 34-36.

      I personally think these minute allotments maximize the talents of each player, and I have little doubt the team improves a lot with Shump, Camby and Amar’e.

      Camby is a significant upgrade over Kurt Thomas, though Thomas is nice as a 5th big. Amar’e is still likely to be a premier scorer, especially when his looks will be coming in more of a Harden/OKC role.

      Amar’e takes the Knicks from being a good paint scoring team in the half-court to a great one.

      Amar’e takes the Knicks from being an average ft drawing team to a good one.

      Shumpert is the one player on the roster capable of holding down the long, quick two guards and some of the explosive shooting guards.

      Collins said the Knicks have no weaknesses. Well, I think they have three, all of which will be covered by the return…

    29. daJudge

      “Camby is a significant upgrade over Kurt Thomas, though Thomas is nice as a 5th big.” Don’t mean to nitpick, because your post is very reasonable, but not sure it is is accurate on this point. Kurt is smart, tough, sets a very nasty pick, plays pretty decent D and will definitely be hitting that elbow J. Sure, Camby is a better rebounder off the ball and a better shot blocker, but is really quite different from Kurt in many ways. He doesn’t consistently hit his shots, doesn’t have the same court presence and I believe that Kurt will have many, many shooting opps, particularly with Prigs and Amare on the court. Just a very minor point though.

    30. ruruland

      agree on your Kurt assessment. But while I do have some issue with how Camby gets rebounds, there is n doubt that he is not simply a better rebounder than Kurt, he is one of the game’s best rebounders.

      And while he is not going to make the smart rotations Kurt makes, or play sturdy man defense against big pfs, his difference in blocking and altering shots provides significantly more impact than Kurt’s relative toughness and foul-giving.

      Camby probably alters more shots at the rim than Chandler, and whle he is nowhere near the overall defender Chandler is, he does get after loose balls, takes charges, and just makes it very difficult for penetrators.

      The 2007 Nuggets weren’t exactly great defensively, but they had one of the league better units because they actually funneled opponents into Camby.

      That aproach backfired in a major way in the playoffs, and I personally don’t like building a defense around that approach, but there’s certainly merit to it.

      Camby is probably the most impactful defensive substitute in the NBA and in combination with his ability to generate extra possessions on offense and pass from the high-post, he’ll be one of the best bench players in the NBA with the right pieces around him.

      Often the problem with Camby is that he’s a energy player, and he can get really lazy if his minutes are extended (which is why the Nuggets had a year where they were better defensively without him on the floor)…

      But that won’t be a problem here, and when he has his legs and energy, there aren’t many who do the things he does better than he does them.

    31. jon abbey

      I took a shot at this the other day too, although I kind of doubt everyone will ever be healthy at the same time.

      to me the most important thing is to keep Melo’s minutes down a bit if possible, obviously we’ll need him to go 40 or so in the playoffs so it’d be nice if he was as well rested as possible before then:

      Chandler-28
      Melo-32
      Brewer-24
      Shumpert-24
      Felton-28

      Camby-10
      Sheed-10
      Amare-24
      Novak-16
      Smith-24
      Kidd-20

      DNP: Prigioni, Thomas, Copeland, White

      an 11 man rotation is a lot, but maybe it makes sense with all of the older bench players.

    32. Juany8

      I gotta say, I don’t think the Heat are going to take the regular season very seriously this year. They’re just not defending anywhere near the level they were at in the playoffs, they’ve been one of the worst defensive teams in the league so far and can’t really stop anyone inside. I don’t think the Knicks game was any kind of fluke, although I don’t think that game was indicative of what the Heat will play like in the playoffs.

    33. daJudge

      Ruru, thank you for the response. BTW, I have always been a big Kurt fan, but I’m totally down with Camby too. Looking at Jon’s post re: minutes—Jon, you are a big Shump fan. Are you saying that in your view Brewer and a healthy Shump are roughly equivalent? I don’t agree and I see Brewer as an 18 minutes, balls out guy, Shump (discounting injury), 26-28 minutes. Maybe give Novak the extra time, because 16 minutes is not enough at all for him. His stretch effect is crazy and his D is not horrible. If he has a hot hand, leave him in. Also, I do not see why Brewer should start over Smith, unless Smith gets stupid. BTW, I have no problem at all with the punch by Smith and some of his stupid (other than shooting stupid). It’s about time our boys set limits and lay down some hard fouls. I know it’s entertainment, but it’s not a freaking musical. Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? I also think Prigs/Kidd fit so well with Amare on offense that Stat could conceivably score more than Melo, especially off the bench. It makes me very happy. Tough defense, rebounding, picks, hard and meaningful fouls, only selective switching, outlet passes, above average foul shooting, no dopey turnovers all need to stay constant. Game face.

    34. jon abbey

      Smith brings the offense off the bench, I agree with Woodson that he shouldn’t be starting.

      those minutes are just a rough outline, but I separated the guard positions (Shumpert/Smith only at SG, Felton/Kidd only at PG, Brewer only at SF) and obviously there’s much more flexibility than that depending on the opponent.

    35. jon abbey

      Juany8:
      I gotta say, I don’t think the Heat are going to take the regular season very seriously this year. They’re just not defending anywhere near the level they were at in the playoffs, they’ve been one of the worst defensive teams in the league so far and can’t really stop anyone inside. I don’t think the Knicks game was any kind of fluke, although I don’t think that game was indicative of what the Heat will play like in the playoffs.

      this is surprisingly overly reactionary from you, they’re definitely not fully motivated but it’s still so early and there’s no real reason for them to. anyway, Brooklyn is a good offensive team and Miami turned it after a slow start and closed the half out strong.

      love to see the Celtics struggling, though, go Wiz!

    36. Juany8

      Toney Douglas is 2-17 this season. Once you start off realizing that any game that TD started last year involved one of the worst basketball players of all time getting serious minutes, the Knicks early season woes seem a lot more forgivable. It seems the main contribution from Lin was getting Toney permanently off the rotation lol

    37. Juany8

      jon abbey: this is surprisingly overly reactionary from you, they’re definitely not fully motivated but it’s still so early and there’s no real reason for them to. anyway, Brooklyn is a good offensive team and Miami turned it after a slow start and closed the half out strong.

      love to see the Celtics struggling, though, go Wiz!

      Let me be clear, I don’t think they’re worse when it matters, I just don’t think they’re that concerned about these games. They’ll turn it on for stretches, but they simply aren’t rotating and playing hard anywhere near the levels they were at in the playoffs, one of the main reasons their small lineup was able to work so well. Now they’re essentially relying on Battier to guard and rebound against 4’s so Lebron can stick on 3’s. This lineup simply doesn’t work well defensively if Lebron isn’t playing at full throttle for 40+ minutes a game.

      And as you pointed out, there’s no reason for Miami to really care, Lebron can play 40+ minutes in the playoffs when it actually matters for him and Wade. After 2 straight Finals, look what happened to the last 2 Lakers teams. That 2010 team had a pretty mediocre record before winning it all, and the 2001 team won even less before almost sweeping the playoffs. No team that is practically assured of making the Finals is gonna bother setting regular season records.

    38. Frank

      Juany8:
      Toney Douglas is 2-17 this season. Once you start off realizing that any game that TD started last year involved one of the worst basketball players of all time getting serious minutes, the Knicks early season woes seem a lot more forgivable. It seems the main contribution from Lin was getting Toney permanently off the rotation lol

      Don’t forget Landry Fields, who has a truly immortal 23.5%TS right now, shooting 20% from the field for a healthy 4.5 points per 36! Man did Colangelo ever screw the pooch with that Nash gambit. Btw it is starting to look like that 11.7 rebound rate from his rookie year was a fluke.

    39. Juany8

      Frank: Don’t forget Landry Fields, who has a truly immortal 23.5%TS right now, shooting 20% from the field for a healthy 4.5 points per 36! Man did Colangelo ever screw the pooch with that Nash gambit. Btw it is starting to look like that 11.7 rebound rate from his rookie year was a fluke.

      Fields got a big contract so they at least have to give him a chance. The Knicks are still paying at least some of TD’s contract, and McHale plays him!!!! Scott Machado even looked good in the preseason, and McHale insists on giving minutes to someone who is clearly not capable of playing in the NBA. It’s times like this where I can see why THCJ has no faith in a coach’s ability to evaluate talent lol, McHale is a terrible coach

    40. er

      watching la vs utah, and first off Utah is a pretty nice young team and will be 5-7 seed out west this year. Second thing is Jamaal Tinsley is still in the league?

    41. Juany8

      It honestly makes me mad that TD is still playing. He is just such an awful player I get angry watching him play for teams I enjoy. There is absolutely nothing he does at even a below average level, except maybe make free throws. He is a bad dribbler/playmaker for a shooting guard, and he’s playing the fucking point…

    42. ruruland

      Anyone else beside Juany watch Houston/Denver tonight?

      Ugly, ugly.

      Denver pick and roll defense is atrocious. On the other hand, you’re starting to see the kinds of bad games a star player like Harden will have when he’s the focal point of the offense going up against the opponent’s best wing defender.

      5/15, 15 points 6 turnovers, ts% 414 a game after 8/24 24 pts 5 tos.

      Now, clearly he is a better player than these last two games, but I think it just shows you how challenging it is to be the No.1 option on a team without ideal balance. Harden was a player, similar to Durant, who could lurk in the weeds at times, and in Harden’s case, face the team’s inferior third best wing defender.

      Is there any doubt he has more chance of scoring against Gaillinari or Cory Brewer than he does Iggy? That is the very obvious nature of being the guy, something so demonstrably clear it’s hard to understand why THCJ and friends can’t grasp it.

      And Lin? 2/9, nearly all of both players scored or assisted in transition only.

      And how about the worst team in the NBA tonight? Philly blows out New Orleans, a team that even without Davis looked much improved in their first three games, beating Utah, Chicago and nearly upsetting San Antonio.

    43. ruruland

      Also, if Owen is hanging around, and I know these are tough times for him as an NBA fan, but the trendline with Ryan Anderson sans double-team Dwight Howard is becoming very hard to ignore at this point.

    44. ruruland

      Tyson Chandler is a moron of monumental proportions apparently: “I’ve been working on it,” he told ESPNNewYork.com after Wednesday’s practice. “If my defender’s going to lay off, I’m going to start taking that shot. I consistently knock it down in practice. Before, I just wanted to make sure we stayed in our offense and get guys touches, and get guys the ball in the right spot, but if they’re going to lay off me like that, I feel like I can knock it down. Then if my guy starts running at me, then we’re really in good offense.”

    45. BigBlueAL

      Tonight wouldve been a great night if the Celtics wouldve lost to the Wizards instead of squeaking out an OT win at home.

    46. Juany8

      It’s been painfully hard for me to watch Harden go up against real defenders like Matthews and Iguodala. I’m sure he’ll figure it out eventually, but right now it is very obvious that Harden can only make shots in the paint or when open for 3, and the Rockets don’t have very good spacing. His best moments of the game came when the Rockets went super small at the end, which unfortunately meant that Pattrick Patterson had to try to rebound against Kenneth Faried lol.

      On a side note, Kevin McHale needs to be fired soon. Might be the worst coach in the league other than Del Negro and whoever has been coaching the Wizards lol

    47. jon abbey

      not sure how no one has posted this yet, but if the Clippers win this game, our heroes will be the last undefeated team in the league.

    48. ruruland

      Harden has explosion going to the basket, but as it happens with most players who become prominent high usage guys, the little tricks they use get more exposure and thus, don’t get the same results as often. Both the defender, the team defense and the officiating crews anticipate the little manuevers guys use. You’re even seeing a guy like Gallinari not get all of the flukey flop calls he’s so accustomed to getting.
      For example, one of the reasons Harden was so incredibly efficient was his patented rip-through on anyone who dare get their hands or arms near him as he charges into the big.

      Well, he’s not going to get that call nearly as frequently as he did. Chauncey was an expert at this move as well, which allowed him to be a somewhat efficient guy inside the paint despite being a horrible finisher. But I’d say it worked about a 1/3 of the time. Chauncey was such a great ft shooter though that it was still an efficient play.

      Harden is going to need to add a layer of accentuation or embellishment in order for that move to continue to work at a high level for him. The problem is that it’s a speed move, meaning it works because Harden is going full speed into the defender and it appears as though the contact is natural, a product of his aggression and explosion. But everyone is catching on and he’s going to need to change his approach when he drives if he hopes to stay highly efficient.

      Also, as you saw tonight teams are taking away his left-handed drives, and changing their pick and roll coverages, not letting him split it with the dribble.

      To me, the truly great scorers in this league are versatile enough to adapt to the defenses that take away their strengths. I don’t see the requisite versatility in Harden’s game.

      You can dump the ball into Durant in the post and be fine. I don’t see that with Harden. because most teams are going to really limit the other things he does so well, transition notwithstanding.

    49. ruruland

      jon abbey: not sure how no one has posted this yet, but if the Clippers win this game, our heroes will be the last undefeated team in the league.

      I’d prefer S.A. be undefeated heading into next week.

    50. BigBlueAL

      Dallas on Friday wont be easy. They will be w/o Dirk and Marion but they are still a very good team (4-1 record so far).

    51. massive

      Dallas is 4-1 because they played Toronto, Portland, Charlotte, the Lakers, and Utah (they lost to Utah). Don’t let that record fool you. They did blow Charlotte and Portland out, so I guess they deserve for that.

    52. jon abbey

      and they had Marion for the bulk of that. if NY can control Collison/Mayo, they should be in good shape.

      Rondo with his 28th straight regular season game with 10+ assists, only Magic and Stockton have had longer streaks.

    53. jon abbey

      so not only is NY the last undefeated team, but their opponents are undefeated against the rest of the league (6-0). I hope Hollinger gets his initial rankings up before we fall back to earth…

    54. Juany8

      jon abbey:
      so not only is NY the last undefeated team, but their opponents are undefeated against the rest of the league (6-0). I hope Hollinger gets his initial rankings up before we fall back to earth…

      At some point you have to accept that either no one is playing seriously against New York or that the Knicks really have been that dominant so far. If Chicago can get by without Rose because of their defense then Philly has a decent chance to do the same, but there is no team in the league that can cover the Knicks if they keep passing and moving the ball around like they have. And before someone brings up the ridiculous 3 point shooting (on mostly entirely open shots that you WANT the players taking) Even if the Knicks started shooting noticeably worse and got 0 offensive rebounds on those misses, they would still have the best differential in the league. Would anyone be that sad if the Knicks beat Miami by 11 instead of 20?

      There’s also the fact that Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd could easily play more minutes in a big, tight game. 2 of the best players on this team (and the second and third best players on a championship team 2 years ago) are playing low minutes because the Knicks are winning so easy. There’s also the fact that the Knicks are ALREADY dealing with pretty serious injuries, so injuries will only really become an issue if Melo goes out an extended period. I don’t want to see the JR and Felton show lol

    55. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland:
      Harden has explosion going to the basket, but as it happens with most players who become prominent high usage guys, the little tricks they use get more exposure and thus, don’t get the same results as often. Both the defender, the team defense and the officiating crews anticipate the little manuevers guys use. You’re even seeing a guy like Gallinari not get all of the flukey flop calls he’s so accustomed to getting.
      For example, one of the reasons Harden was so incredibly efficient was his patented rip-through on anyone who dare get their hands or arms near him as he charges into the big.

      All this from two “down” games. Man, you are the master of confirmation bias.

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/229-james-harden

      And you should check out his stats. He’s still awesome, even if his moves “don’t work as well.”

    56. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: All this from two “down” games. Man, you are the master of confirmation bias.

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/229-james-harden

      And you should check out his stats. He’s still awesome, even if his moves “don’t work as well.”

      I love how these stats don’t include last night’s game lol. Pretty sure ignoring by far his worst game is going to skew his stats. In other news, Kevin Martin has a higher WP than Martin even without accounting for Harden’s worst game. It seems playing against bench players and playing off of Westbrook and Durant makes it easy to have a monster TS% lol, Iguodala can’t be shutting down Harden if he needs to guard either Durant or Westbrook.

    57. Nick C.

      Guys, guys I thought we went through this years ago. Stats don’t change with playing time, starting, bench etc. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with either of you. It’s just funny that while the posters change a bit the arguments, even in different guises, remain very much the same.

    58. Frank

      Nick C.:
      Guys, guys I thought we went through this years ago. Stats don’t change with playing time, starting, bench etc. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with either of you. It’s just funny that while the posters change a bit the arguments, even in different guises, remain very much the same.

      I know you’re being tongue-in-cheek here but I’d like to emphasize again that I don’t buy the argument that “a player’s per minute production to stay the same despite how many minutes they play” (from the Layman’s guide to Advanced NBA statistics page linked above). First of all the links to the studies referenced in that statement are now nonfunctional so maybe they need new URLs.
      Second, as I remember it, they were crappy studies.
      Third, as I remember it, if you looked at the scatterplot of PER vs. min played, about 60% of the players had better PERs with more minutes and 40% had worse PERs with more minutes — the combination of those created a nonsignificant result which has been interpreted as “a player’s per minute production to stay the same despite how many minutes they play”. A nonsignificant result does not mean the same thing as “there is no difference”. It just means you can’t necessarily predict that the player will be better or worse. If my memory is correct, fully 40% of the players sampled actually got worse, so how can you say that they stayed the same?

      And that other argument about players playing the same no matter the role or the team? I’ve never bought that, and have asked THCJ 37256 times to show me that study. Feels very much to me like the same story as the per-min stat thing – that the signal gets lost in the noise. Some guys stay the same, some get better, some get worse, and when glommed into one study, it all looks the same. Doesn’t mean that each player was the same.

    59. Nick C.

      Yeah I remember the study and I probably ditto’d your comments back then (and now). At the time I believe David Lee was the focal point of all arguments du jour. Millsap was the “see production doesn’t change, poster child. The other point was most, most improved players only improved their minutes. Anyway it is probably up in the Layman’s Guide for those that are curious.

    60. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Frank: I know you’re being tongue-in-cheek here but I’d like to emphasize again that I don’t buy the argument that “a player’s per minute production to stay the same despite how many minutes they play” (from the Layman’s guide to Advanced NBA statistics page linked above).First of all the links to the studies referenced in that statement are now nonfunctional so maybe they need new URLs.
      Second, as I remember it, they were crappy studies.
      Third, as I remember it, if you looked at the scatterplot of PER vs. min played, about 60% of the players had better PERs with more minutes and 40% had worse PERs with more minutes — the combination of those created a nonsignificant result which has been interpreted as “a player’s per minute production to stay the same despite how many minutes they play”.A nonsignificant result does not mean the same thing as “there is no difference”.It just means you can’t necessarily predict that the player will be better or worse. If my memory is correct, fully 40% of the players sampled actually got worse, so how can you say that they stayed the same?

      And that other argument about players playing the same no matter the role or

      Any study using PER is worthless in my book. The consistency of data comes from WP48, which you can read in Wages of Wins or Stumbling on Wins, each of which have a bibliography you can skim at your leisure. I’m not interested in arguing with people who, for example, use five games of James Harden being inversely awesome and average to make a claim about his “little tricks” being figured out by defenses and consequently less effective.

    61. jon abbey

      one thing that’s awesome about the Harden move is that it’s a fantastic case study about something we’ve been arguing about for a while now.

    62. Frank

      jon abbey:
      one thing that’s awesome about the Harden move is that it’s a fantastic case study about something we’ve been arguing about for a while now.

      yeah, all the big Houston off-season moves basically challenge the conventional wisdom — he gave big $ to bench players (Asik, Harden) and to small sample size guys (Lin) and sold (probably) high on players like Budinger/Lowry, and let a very good (and more proven) PG in Dragic go.

      Denver is a great case study too – totally bailing on the recently conventional wisdom of 2-3 max- or high-salary players + a lot of low cost guys/rookie scale guys, and handing out $8-11MM/year contracts to, well, everyone on the team.

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: you can read in Wages of Wins or Stumbling on Wins

      Just got the latter for Kindle. Please tell Berri that $18 for a 6 year old kindle WoW book is too much.

    63. Juany8

      It seems funny to me that people can ignore both that Harden’s first game masterpiece was against the Pistons, who are at this point the worst team in the league. His latest game came against Andre Iguodala, one of the premier perimeter defenders in the league. Simply put, that makes a bit of a difference lmao.

      Frank also brings up a pretty important point, in that averages don’t tell you anything about the distribution of data. If someone gets 20 rebounds one night and 2 the next, it’s not the same as someone who rebounds 11 on consecutive nights. In the case of WP, I buy that player statistics overall stay fairly consistent from year to year, but that could easily mean that a lot players stay really consistent but many don’t. It also doesn’t help WP that most players don’t move teams, and that WP has a lower year to year correlation for players that switch teams than for those that don’t.

    64. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      jon abbey:
      one thing that’s awesome about the Harden move is that it’s a fantastic case study about something we’ve been arguing about for a while now.

      And something that, unfortunately, is going to be considered persuasive evidence for those who think that team role and supporting cast are significant factors IF it supports their claim. If his number stay relatively constant, I wouldn’t consider it persuasive evidence one way or the other. He’s just one player. And we sit here and watch Juany8 talk about tiny sample sizes (of one game) between Harden’s first and last games this season, as if that’s indicative of any larger trend.

    65. Nick C.

      How do we explain Portland (bad game) or Atlanta (monster game). Maybe I don’t pay enough attention but Jared Jefferies is the only guy on Portland with a rep. On Atlanta DeShawn Stevenson who is allegedly a defend and three wing played about as much as any other wing that game. I’m not crazy about the study for the reasons Frank noted, but Juan you’re better than that as far as taking one game (or two if you count Detroit) as proof.

    66. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: And something that, unfortunately, is going to be considered persuasive evidence for those who think that team role and supporting cast are significant factors IF it supports their claim. If his number stay relatively constant, I wouldn’t consider it persuasive evidence one way or the other. He’s just one player. And we sit here and watch Juany8 talk about tiny sample sizes (of one game) between Harden’s first and last games this season, as if that’s indicative of any larger trend.

      Anecdotal evidence is still evidence – especially when you consider that Harden’s specific situation will never have enough of a sample size to satisfy any rigorous statistics — ie. how many times have we seen:
      1) super high efficiency high usage bench player
      2) in his 4th year in the league (ie. before a bigger sample of his performance is available)
      3) who had been playing alongside/with 2 high-usage All-Stars who definitely diverted defensive attention away from him (whether that makes any difference is another question altogether)
      4) get traded to a team with no other high-usage players (we’ll see about Lin)?

      I can’t think of a single other case off the top of my head. These things just don’t happen. And so for all intents and purposes, this is all the evidence we are going to have for this specific situation. This is totally different from Ray Allen going to Boston, or Shawn Marion going to Miami, or even Steve Nash going to LA.

      For cases like this, there shouldn’t be a null hypothesis. Why should we assume he will be the same player in HOU as in OKC? There is no evidence at all to suggest that a player like him that moves from the situation he was in (banana 2a or 3 in OKC) to the situation he’s in now (1st banana in HOU) will be better/worse/same than he was.

    67. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: And something that, unfortunately, is going to be considered persuasive evidence for those who think that team role and supporting cast are significant factors IF it supports their claim. If his number stay relatively constant, I wouldn’t consider it persuasive evidence one way or the other. He’s just one player. And we sit here and watch Juany8 talk about tiny sample sizes (of one game) between Harden’s first and last games this season, as if that’s indicative of any larger trend.

      it’s not about a trend, it’s about accounting for the strength of the opponent when evaluating players. Going up against the Heat is not the same as going up against the Pistons, and I’d argue that the effect is not the same for any player. A heavy pick and roll player like Harden is going to have a more difficult time dealing with excellent trapping teams than an isolation/post up player like Melo. Or if the opponent only has 1 elite wing defender, the top player is going to be bothered more than the second banana. There’s just so much situational context for basketball, you can’t just blankly say a player shot X% over a season and pretend it means anything

    68. ruruland

      Such an unserious response fom THCJ deserves another reposting of this:
      Daryl Morey on PTI:”Basketball is way too complex of a game. As much as basketball has been broken down and you might be able to run it by computer, basketball is a wonderful mix of art and science. Where you are not going to be able to isolate everything down. The example i use is one made jump shot: Is it it because the guy can shoot, because the defense is bad, because the pick set was good, because the pass was good, was it because he was more open, was it because it was off the dribble or not, so many factors go into one made jump shot in basketball that you can’t isolate it completely down to a number. That’s what makes the game fun.”

      – Founder of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

      http://www.sloansportsconference.com/?p=58

      Morey holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science with an emphasis on statistics from Northwestern University.

    69. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Any study using PER is worthless in my book. The consistency of data comes from WP48, which you can read in Wages of Wins or Stumbling on Wins, each of which have a bibliography you can skim at your leisure. I’m not interested in arguing with people who, for example, use five games of James Harden being inversely awesome and average to make a claim about his “little tricks” being figured out by defenses and consequently less effective.

      Average?

    70. Juany8

      One thing statisticians seem to miss about the numbers in general is that they have no physical meaning on their own. The only way to ever evaluate the value of a statistic is from observation, if the model you are coming up with doesn’t match up with what’s happening in real life, the number is useless. For example, in most sports it has been shown that a team’s point differential is a better measure of future performance than straight winning percentage. This was done by purely mathematical models, but the reason it works is because it is pretty obvious that winning by 20 is better than winning by 1 against the same opponent. The model for point differential can thus be confirmed through simple observation, teams that tend to win by a lot are generally better than teams who win by a little.

      This “reality check” is a necessary test for any model. Physical observation is imperfect, especially for vast quantities of data, but you have to physically be able to see something for it to be true. For example, WP, WS, and PER all give full credit for a shot to the person who took the shot. They also give credit for an assist on any made shot. Therefore, on a possession that results in an unassisted basket, the only player that accumulated value in the possession is the shooter, and he basically accumulated +2 value. On a possession with an assisted basket, however, the shooter is still getting his +2 value, but an extra player is accumulating some value via the assist. For that to make sense, it would have to mean that the individuals on a team are getting more credit for making a basket than the team is. Since I’m pretty sure an assisted basket is not worth 2.8 points or something odd, this means that the way assists are evaluated has no basis on anything resembling basketball.

      (cont. on next post)

    71. Juany8

      The clearest way I can show that the way assists are evaluated is absurd is what happens if you freeze the camera after a shot goes up. Say Kidd just passed to an open Novak from the corner and Novak took the shot. If you simply stopped the game right there, before the shot either hits or misses, the only thing that has happened so far is that Kidd has made a pass and Novak has made an attempt.

      Kidd doesn’t have any impact on whether the shot goes in or not at that point, but he still made the same pass regardless. Since Kidd is not responsible for Novak’s shooting, why should the pass he made be evaluated differently after the fact? Making a pass to an open Novak in the corner is a good basketball play, so why is Kidd getting credit for being a good player in one scenario and not the other? He made the same play!

    72. ruruland

      Juany8:
      The clearest way I can show that the way assists are evaluated is absurd is what happens if you freeze the camera after a shot goes up. Say Kidd just passed to an open Novak from the corner and Novak took the shot. If you simply stopped the game right there, before the shot either hits or misses, the only thing that has happened so far is that Kidd has made a pass and Novak has made an attempt.

      Kidd doesn’t have any impact on whether the shot goes in or not at that point, but he still made the same pass regardless. Since Kidd is not responsible for Novak’s shooting, why should the pass he made be evaluated differently after the fact? Making a pass to an open Novak in the corner is a good basketball play, so why is Kidd getting credit for being a good player in one scenario and not the other? He made the same play!

      I agree totally. Mainstream basketball statistics are simply flawed representations of observation, as you point out.

    Comments are closed.