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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Knicks Resurgence Not Just 1 Man

With the Knicks on track for a 17 win improvement over the last season, many people seem content with attributing all of the improvement to one person. Amar’e Stoudemire wears the number one, but also appears to be the number one reason New York has turned their fortunes around. And while Amar’e has been an upgrade over Lee, it’s unreasonable to think that he alone has made New York 17 wins better. Instead the Knicks upturn is the result of a number of improvements.

Image by mikenitro94/Flickr Creative Commons
Amar'e is on fire, but so are the rest of the Knicks

After Amar’e the most obvious improvement is at the point guard position. Last year Chris Duhon gave New York 2072 putrid minutes last year. Duhon’s tenure was so bad I ripped Kelly Dwyer for describing the Magic signing him to a minor deal as ‘fine’. I didn’t even have to wait for Duhon to take up residence in Stan Van Gundy’s doghouse. Lost in the Amar’e Amore is the tremendous upgrade that Raymon Felton has been over Duhon. I’ve lined up the two in a comparison here, but if you want the 35 word explanation instead: Felton scores nearly twice the amount of points (16.4 to 8.6 pts/36) with a much higher efficiency (53.7% to 50.1% TS%) combined with more assists (8.3 to 6.6 ast/36) and steals (1.7 to 1.0 stl/36).

After Felton, the next biggest upgrade might be at shooting guard. Because Landry Fields has allowed Wilson Chandler to move to forward, Fields essentially takes the minutes of Jared Jeffries (1462 mins) in addition to the shooting guard carousel of Larry Hughes (820 mins), Tracy McGrady (627 mins), and Eddie House (371 mins). Just being league average would put Fields ahead of his 2010 Knick counterparts, but Fields has been more than average.

Pessimists would look at him and say he doesn’t score enough, but they’d be overlooking that Fields doesn’t miss much. Of the Knick starters, Fields is first in scoring efficiency, edging out Gallinari 61.0% to 60.4%. Like David Lee in his early career, the Knick guard doesn’t need the ball often, has good hands, converts extremely well around the hoop, doesn’t take many bad shots, and rebounds like crazy. Averaging 8.3 reb/36 for a shooting guard seems to be a typo. Additionally Fields can also hit the three at a good rate, making 38.8% of his downtown attempts. All these components make him a perfect complimentary player to D’Antoni’s system, especially considering what kind of play the Knicks have gotten from their guards in the past.

Not to be ignored is the development of Wilson Chandler, which can be attributed to two events. First is Chandler’s ability to hit three point shots. Prior to this season he was a 30.8% shooter from behind the arc, an appalling number since he attempted 3.1 treys per 36 minutes over that span. This year he’s nailing 35.9% of his threes, which has been instrumental in moving his TS% from 53.4 last year to 57.1 this year. There has been some talk that this improvement is due solely or largely to Amar’e arrival giving Chandler more open looks, but I think that discredits Chandler’s hard work and development. (Additionally this wouldn’t explain why Danilo Gallinari’s three point percentage decreasing or Roger Mason is building brick walls out there).

Second with regards to Chandler’s development is his move to forward. While this hasn’t helped his rebounding much (which in itself is odd because the Knicks have worse rebounders like Amar’e, Turiaf, and Mozgov at center), it has freed him up to block more shots. Chandler’s nastiness has allowed him to recover his “Ill-Will” persona, nearly doubling his blocks from the previous season (0.8 to 1.4 blk/36).

In retrospect it’s easy to say “Amar’e Stoudemire has turned the Knicks around,” but that’s also the lazy answer. New York has seen improvements in multiple areas, and I didn’t even mention their bench of Ronny Turiaf and Shawne Williams. Both of these players have performed well in limited minutes considering their role. In essence if you wanted to make the case that the Knicks have been turned around by one man, then I’d choose Donnie Walsh. He’s done a great job in bringing in players that fit into D’Antoni’s system and turned them back into a winning team.


Picture by Chamber of Fear/Flickr Creative Commons
Donnie Walsh is the man behind the Knicks resurrection


101 comments on “Knicks Resurgence Not Just 1 Man

  1. njasdjdh

    Re: Issues with stagnant 2nd unit Offense

    What about letting Gallo get more burn with the second unit? He seems to make pretty good decisions with the ball and we all complain about him not being featured enough. Might this be a good way to utilize him?

  2. ess-dog

    Felton is clearly an improvement over Duhon, but he’s really come to earth as of late. His WS/48 is now standing at .109 – fairly mediocre.
    At this point, he’s (statistically) become what we all thought he was after a hot start. Will he rebound? Hopefully a bit.
    But his high PER shows me that he’s chucking too much and (I believe) he should focus more on distributing to our slashers/shooters as 2nd options (Chandler, Gallo) instead of himself.

    Amare has done the best he can with this group. We start a rookie, a 21 year old, a guy that’s bounced between 3 different positions, and Ray. I’d say we’re about where we expected to be if not a little better.

  3. Caleb

    I would say the difference is slightly misleading – based on point differential, I think it’s more like a 15-game jump (assuming they keep up the pace)

    Without any fancy math, I’d break it down as something like this…
    – Felton replaces Duhon – 6-7 games better
    – Stoudemire replaces Lee – 2-3 games better, mostly on D
    – Landry Fields replaces (last year’s) Tracy McGrady – 6-7 games better
    – natural improvement by Gallo + Chandler – 3-4 games better
    – losing Al Buckets – 2-3 games worse
    – occasional interior D, when Turiaf can play – 2 games better
    – deep bench (Douglass and Walker a little worse, but Extra-E steps in) – about even

    based on that (Stoudemire, Felton, Turiaf, Chandler) – you’d say about 2/3 of the improvement is on the defensive end. And it’s true, the Knicks have improved more on D, than O.

    Most of this was semi-predictable – most of the roster has played to form. If you told me the Knicks would be doing this well without Anthony Randolph contributing, I wouldn’t have believed it, but Fields came out of nowhere to more than make up the (expected) difference.

  4. Doug

    Does regression to the mean usually happen this quickly? It doesn’t seem quite right that player on a hot streak suddenly starts playing like poop to even things out, statistically.

  5. Frank

    More reason to think Melo may force his way here from Howard Beck’s twitter:

    “@HowardBeckNYT
    HowardBeckNYT
    SI also reports that LeBron advised Melo to join Amare: ‘If u want any chance against us in Miami, you’d better team up with Stoud in NY”.

    Lebron’s right – short of going to Chicago (a team that doesn’t want him), his best option is us.

  6. Caleb

    It only helps the Knicks in the long-run if it doesn’t block them from getting Dwight Howard or possibly one of the star PGs a year later..

  7. Frank

    Lets us all know what Lebron really thought of the super-sell job by Jay-Z and Prokhorov.

    This whole Prokhorov thing is really a joke. In a league with a salary cap, how deep the owner’s pocket is is pretty immaterial unless the owner is really a cheapskate like Sterling or Sarver. From a personnel perspective, there’s no difference between Dolan’s hundreds of millions and Prokhorov’s billions — they can both throw money at players. Sure some players might love Cuban but I bet you there are more than a few players who would prefer the owner just sit up in the owner’s box and write checks.

    The thing that makes the difference is the GM, who decides how much money to throw at which players. After his work the last 12 months, I’d put Donnie Walsh up against anyone.

  8. d-mar

    @8 Agree about Prokhorov, I posted a link on a prior thread to a Wajornowski article on Yahoo that’s a great take on this “Russian billionaire mystique” and how completely meaningless it is (although someone did point out that Adrian bought into it during the LeBron mess) This idea that a face to face meeting with Melo will seal the deal is dumb, and of course Melo won’t even agree to it anyway.

    Mike, there’s no doubt the Knicks’ resurgence is due to more that STAT, but I would submit that his 4th quarter scoring (maybe not recently, but during our hot stretch) is what separates us from being a 33-35 win team and a solid playoff team. If he ever gets his 16th tech and has to sit out a game, watch what our offense looks like down the stretch in a close game, it’ll be flashback to 2009.

  9. Nick C.

    Interesting read Frank. I don’t generally buy into the whole “draws attention” line of praise especially since it is frequently coupled with the “takes all the few seconds left on the shot clock shots” (yes you Jamal) and generally applies to the low percentage high usage player (AI). But the articles on Melo have softened my stance somewhat. Still not crazy about getting him or at least not if more than one of Gallo, Fields, Chandler has to go, especially since that still leaves us a good offensive tream with no interior defense or back up point guard.

  10. ess-dog

    Can anyone else verify this statement about our draft picks that I saw on theknicksblog:

    “The Knicks cannot currently trade this year’s pick because Houston has the rights to their 2012 pick and according to the current collective bargaining agreement teams cannot trade future first round picks in consecutive years. Thus the Knicks cannot trade their 2011 pick or their 2013 pick.

    But if Donnie Walsh can get a 2012 pick in a trade for Randolph then that pick replaces the pick the Knicks owe to Houston and the Knicks can trade this year’s pick and their 2013 pick.

    Those picks could be useful in a trade for a star player…”

    If so, it would let us include an extra draft pick?

  11. Caleb

    @10 that sounds about right.

    I’m still a skeptic on the trade, though… as Pelton semi-points out, Carmelo is not as good a fit on the Knicks, who have other high-usage, good offensive players – some of whom play the same position as he does.

    You also have to look at the marginal value – even if he IS a solid All-Star, it’s not a huge upgrade from a borderline All-Star like Chandler. Is it worth giving out an extra $10 million in salary (that you could spend on, say, Nene) and a bunch of draft picks?

    Now, I don’t think Walsh is about to give away the store but caution is the right approach, even if you have a very high opinion of Melo.

  12. Frank

    @12 – Larry Coon has weighed in and agrees with your statement – if the NYK get an UNPROTECTED 2012 pick, then they can trade both 2011 and 2013 if they want to.

    2012 must be unprotected because even the possibility of not having a 2012 pick isn’t allowed if you’re going to trade the 2011 or 2013 pick.

    That makes life a little more difficult. But one could imagine a team which is likely to be 20-30 in the 1st round taking a chance on AR.

  13. Caleb

    @12 we were taling about that before… Alan Hahn had the same doubts I did, but research convinced him that the Knicks COULD trade their 2011 pick if they found themselves a 2012 pick first.

    I’ll just say – aside from the merits of a Melo trade, trading Randolph for anything outside the lottery is a sucker’s move.

  14. ess-dog

    Caleb: @12 we were taling about that before… Alan Hahn had the same doubts I did, but research convinced him that the Knicks COULD trade their 2011 pick if they found themselves a 2012 pick first.
    I’ll just say – aside from the merits of a Melo trade, trading Randolph for anything outside the lottery is a sucker’s move.  

    Well that just opens up a lot more options for us then. If we wanted to keep AR for instance, and trade TD to the lakers for their pick, then we could trade 2011 and 2013 to Denver AND keep AR if we wanted…
    Not that I would do that move per se, but there are more options at least.

  15. Z

    @14 so if the Knicks trade, say, Roger Mason + $3 mil to the Lakers for their 2012 pick, they can then trade their (or Houston, depending on the swap) 2011 pick to Denver? Is that what Coon is implying?

  16. KnickInSeattle

    About Felton’s recent performances not living up to the standard he set: he’s had a few injuries, right? Including one to his shooting hand which might account for his declining shot-making. I’m not arguing that the injuries are the only factor…certainly his great performance during late November and all of December did seem to be better than what he can produce over a season…but I’m also hopeful that the let down of the last few games has something to do with injuries and exhaustion and not just a regression to the mean.

  17. ess-dog

    details from Chris Sheridan interview on 1050 re: Melo:

    –Sheridan said Nets have no shot to sign extension.
    –75% chance he goes to knicks, 20% stays with Denver, 5% Other team as rental
    –Puts his 15 year journalistic career on line that his “Melo will only sign extension with Knicks” story is as reliable as it could be
    –Chandler, Curry, Fields, Walker, AR — 4 of these will be included in the trade. Didn;t mention Gallo.
    –Denver could keep him for this year to make one last playoff run

  18. Brian Cronin

    –Chandler, Curry, Fields, Walker, AR

    Basically, if a trade doesn’t involve two of WC, Fields and Gallo, I’m okay with it, so if the four in that deal is WC, Curry, Walker, AR, then fair enough.

  19. Thomas B.

    Leon Woods saw that picture and called Amar’e for an offensive foul.
    Why do you have a picture of the back of the Crypt keepers head at the end?

    This is a great write up and gives credit to a number of contributors. I know I tease Fields about beating people off the dribble of more agression, but really it isnt needed. He fits in exactly as he should. Thank God for Fields because without him we’d be talking about how Walsh was unable to find a suitable shooting guard–the most abundent position in basketball–since 2008. Look at this list
    Mobley
    Hughes
    House
    Anthony Roberson
    Roger Mason
    Azubuike

    Sadly, Hughes was the best Walsh pick up at SG of Walshes tenure and boy is that sad. If memory serves, Von Wafer was in our summer camp before the 08/09 season and we picked up Roberson instead. Wafer goes on the Houston and plays a decent season (WS/48 .103) at the 2 for them Roberson gave us nothing. Techincally he gave us a WS/48 of 0.057, but that is as close to nothing as you can get without being Eddy Curry or Jerome James and guess what; Roberson is an all-star compared to Roger Mason’s season thusfar (WS/48 -0.146) Yes, that is a negative sign in his WS/48. He is a black hole of basketball. He is such a dense collection of pure suckiness that any productive basketball that gets near him is pulled in and cannot escape. Anyway…

    Wafer could have held down the position far better than any of the aforementioned players in 08/09 and 09/10 and for less money than any of them. Yes, so thanks to Fields for helping us forget the terrible job Walsh has done at finding a SG. Glad DW found his stride or finally got lucky, whichever I’ll take it.

  20. Caleb

    Gotta say – it’s all second-hand, but there is a lot of reporting pointing the same way – that Melo wants nothing to do with the Nets.

    There’s also a lot of smoke around this trade – but you don’t have to be an insider to see that there is tremendous pressure on Denver. And a lot on Carmelo, too.

    If these things are true, I would bet on the price ending up on the low end… Chandler + Curry, of course, but Walker or a future 1st instead of Fields or Randolph. Walsh has most of the leverage. Randolph’s status is a wildcard and opinions are all over the place, but Walsh seems to like him and in any case he’s a savvy GM who hates to sell low.

    The value of the extension is another wild card – I have no idea what to expect. Walsh has paid top dollar for stars in the past – he didn’t lowball Amare, or Jermaine O’Neal. At the same time, I could see him making a pitch to Carmelo: “We’ll give you security with an extension – but if you want to see this team in the title hunt, trying to round up a 3rd star, you need to sacrifice some $$….” Stranger things have happened.

  21. Caleb

    Thomas B.: Yes, so thanks to Fields for helping us forget the terrible job Walsh has done at finding a SG.   

    “Thanks to the great shooting guard Walsh found for helping us forget the terrible job he’s done finding a shooting guard.” You’re letting out your inner Groucho Marx!

  22. Caleb

    Or if that’s the sort of negotiation they’re doing, he could include Fields but get the Nugs to give up Aron Afflalo.

  23. Brian Cronin

    True, Caleb, but I think Thomas’ points revolves around what your opinion of GM draft picks is. Are you a proponent of “The GM gets credit for the pick no matter what” or “If we know that the GM did not push for the pick, we don’t give him credit for it.”

    Or, in other words, does Isiah get credit for drafting David Lee when he was pretty much set against it?

    If the answer is yes, then of course DW gets credit for Fields.

    If the answer is no, then it seems like Walsh really wasn’t a proponent of drafting Fields (note that he had Rautins above him on the talent pool).

  24. Brian Cronin

    Or if that’s the sort of negotiation they’re doing, he could include Fields but get the Nugs to give up Aron Afflalo.

    Good point.

    By the way, regarding the “future first” stuff, I’m pretty sure they’d have to deal AR to get that future first, so I think he’s sadly a given in this deal (and, really, if D’Antoni will never play him, I don’t think it’s a huge loss).

  25. Caleb

    If you really know what happened then you can parse it, but barring that – yes, Isiah gets credit for David Lee (although I don’t forget that he picked Frye and Robinson first, so he loses bonus points).

    Why wouldn’t Walsh get credit for drafting Fields?

    Wafer was a whiff but there’s been worse.

  26. Caleb

    @29 If Walsh really wants to keep AR, he could get an extra 2012 by trading Douglas or Mozgov (or something more complicated, like Rautins + $3 million). Someone suggested Douglas to the Lakers for a 2012 pick, which sounds viable.

  27. Brian Cronin

    Oh, totally agreed, if we don’t know the “behind-the-scenes” story, then we got nothing.

    But we seem to know the “behind-the-scenes” story for both Rautins/Fields and Lee.

    For Lee, Isiah wanted to draft Chris Taft, but ultimately Brendan Suhr was able to talk him out of it. When he made the pick, Isiah told Suhr, “You better be ____ right” (with the empty space being a profanity).

    With the Fields draft, Walsh was dealing with his surgery, so he left the draft to his two cheap scouts, Mark Hughes and Misho Ostarcevic.

    However, in both cases, Isiah and Walsh had the final say. So does having the final say give them ultimate credit? I’m not even saying it DOESN’T, I’m just wondering what you think.

  28. Brian Cronin

    If Walsh really wants to keep AR, he could get an extra 2012 by trading Douglas or Mozgov (or something more complicated, like Rautins + $3 million). Someone suggested Douglas to the Lakers for a 2012 pick, which sounds viable.

    Yeah, I guess if the theory is just “get whatever 2012 pick you can get so that you can then trade your 2011 and 2013,” then that does make sense.

  29. Thomas B.

    @12 Ess-dog,
    “The Knicks cannot currently trade this year’s pick because Houston has the rights to their 2012 pick and according to the current collective bargaining agreement teams cannot trade future first round picks in consecutive years.”

    The 2011 pick cannot be traded but not exactly for the reason stated. The rule is that a team cannot create a situation whereby it could go consecutive years without making a first round pick. So by that rule, the Knicks who did not make a 2010 first round pick, cannot trade the 2011 pick. The 2012 pick is protected but the Knicks wont know if that pick will vest with the Knicks or the Rockets until well into 2012. So since the pick is not vested with the Knicks, the Knicks must work under the assumption that they have no 2012 pick.

    Without a 2012 pick, they cannot trade the 2013 pick. Because they would then create a situation whereby they could go consecutive years without a first round selection. If the 2012 vests with Houston, they have no first rounder in 2012 and 2013 which violates rules.

    The reason the qouted statement is not quite right is that Houston’s ownership of the Knicks’ pick is not the determining factor here. The problem is that the Knicks dont have any other vested first rounders available in 2011, 2012, or 2013. If the Knicks had an additional vested first rounder in 2011, they could trade one of those picks without regard to Houston’s ownership of the 2012.

    NY must make a 2011 pick, and until they get an additional 2012 or 2013 pick, they cannot trade the 2013 pick. Does that clear it up?

  30. Caleb

    Brian Cronin: So does having the final say give them ultimate credit? I’m not even saying it DOESN’T, I’m just wondering what you think.  

    Well, I do think “the buck stops here.” Walsh (and Isiah before him) had final say. And of course Walsh hired the guys who “made” the pick.

    But I agree that that the actual draft order matters in the “ratings.” Walsh can’t say, “oh I thought that Fields was a top-10 talent” when he actually picked Rautins first.

    @33 – I just get the feeling that Walsh likes AR. He’s always had a thing for young, raw players, especially long forwards (O’Neal, high-school Harrington, Jon Bender, Shawne Williams (!)). he made a big deal out of getting AR from the Warriors. He speaks highly of him in the press.

    And, while this is a matter of opinion, I think Walsh is pretty smart and I think Randolph is pretty good so therefore I think Walsh thinks Randolph is good.

    But aside from that, even if he’s on the fence, I just think the Knicks have leverage. They don’t HAVE to make the trade at all – faced with the prospect of getting nothing, the Nugs would take Chandler and a couple of late picks – they won’t be in position to quibble.

  31. Caleb

    @34 the consensus from Larry Coon, Alan Hahn and others is that the Knicks would be allowed to trade their 2011 pick if they had a 2012 pick – they say the rule only looks forward, not back to 2010.

    But today was the first I heard that.

  32. cgreene

    I found the Kevin Pelton analysis very compelling. Think it does the best job of taking the shortcomings out of PER and WOW in a way that also passes the “eye test” in terms of Melo as a talent that needs to be reckoned with by opposing defenses in a major way.

    I would include both Gallo and Chandler in a deal and prefer to keep Fields. With offensive options 1-3 being Stat, Melo, Felton and Fields maintaining his role as low usg, high efficiency, plus rebounding and a center and backup PG to be named later the Knicks would be at the elite level in the conference.

    Chandler, Gallo, Randolph (or pick/picks) plus Walker would be a great haul for Den and Knicks.

    I know that is not popular opinion here.

  33. Caleb

    @37 Gallo + chandler, no Fields or picks would be an interesting approach – it would offer a lot more cap flexibility over the next two years.

    Not sure how you can read that Pelton article and come away thinking Gallo + Chandler + Randolph + more is a good trade…

  34. Frank

    Thomas B.: .NY must make a 2011 pick, and until they get an additional 2012 or 2013 pick, they cannot trade the 2013 pick.Does that clear it up?  

    Larry Coon amongst many others in the media disagree with your interpretation. Apparently this rule only applies to FUTURE #1s and has no connection to the past year’s draft. Right now the Knicks do not definitely have a #1 pick in 2012 (HOU has rights unless it is the #1 pick), so they can’t trade either 2011 or 2013. If they were able to get an unprotected 2012 pick, they could trade both 2011 and 2013.

    Here it is cut/pasted from Larry Coon’s twitter account:

    @LarryCoon
    Larry Coon
    Correct. RT @original_ARI: if they trade for 2012 pick,all of a sudden they have 2011(or HOU) & 2013 pick to trade
    18 hours ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

  35. Caleb

    @39 I like it if we could find a 3rd team to take Harrington (for nothing)… which, we probably could, at least before summer of 2012.

    But it’s a risk – if we get stuck with Al, we lose all cap flexibility for the next three years and we have even more forwards than we do now..

  36. Frank

    Z: If we can buy a low 2011 pick to package our own mid-range 1st rounder, would this trade be bearable for both sides?:http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=5w6v6wg  

    Sorry – I am less of an Al Buckets hater than most, but a 5 year full MLE was way too much to give him.

    Meanwhile, if this is Donnie’s end game here — grabbing an unprotected 2012 pick for Randolph to trade 2011 and 2013 – that’s just brilliant. 2011 picks will be less valuable because of the labor situation — most of the top guys will probably go back to school. Then they’ll all rush in in 2012.

  37. Owen

    I think the Melo effect dialogue is fascinating. Is there an Amare effect? I can’t figure out what Landry Fields shooting numbers are when he isn’t n the court with Amare. They used to have a table for it on 82games but I can’t find it. Would be interesting to know. And ditto for Chandler’s numbers this year.

    What I did see when scanning basketball value is that Fields has been a top 10 player in the NBA this year. Small sample but we would be crazy to let him go.

    Obviously, I don’t want Carmelo here. He’s a good not great player who will probably cost us a shot at Dwight Howard or Chris Paul.

    Love Amare Amore, very felicitous phrase…

  38. Caleb

    @42 $9 million like the Knicks were paying him was painful – at the mid-level it’s not that awful – Al just needs the right team – Dallas, OKC, Lakers, Bulls, etc. Not sure who could take the salary, send back an expiring.

  39. Thomas B.

    Caleb:

    “Thanks to the great shooting guard Walsh found for helping us forget the terrible job he’s done finding a shooting guard.” You’re letting out your inner Groucho Marx!  

    (Quote)

    I never called Fields a great shooting guard. He is a nice player. Good at what he does, but not yet a great shooting guard. He is good enough to help us forget how bad Walsh has been at filling this roster spot, but not great. Not yet.

  40. cgreene

    Caleb: @37 Gallo + chandler, no Fields or picks would be an interesting approach – it would offer a lot more cap flexibility over the next two years.Not sure how you can read that Pelton article and come away thinking Gallo + Chandler + Randolph + more is a good trade…  

    i am one who thinks that Melo will improve in SSoL from an efficiency perspective. Also think that you get more rebounding which we desperately need. I am also a little short on Wilson and Randolph’s long term prospects. Something is wrong there to me. He does 2 things well rebs and blocks.

    I also think from a cap perspective that it is easier to get veteran role players to take cuts and play with Melo and Stat so I am less worried about the long term cap implications.

    Def a lot of risk though. No doubt. Obviously would rather your deal.

  41. Z

    @ 41/42 re:trade proposed in 39

    Yeah, the cost of keeping Gallo, Fields, and possibly Randolph would be taking on Al Harrington and his 4 1/2 year contract. But we’d have 18 months to deal him elsewhere, and in the interim he would at least be a useful basketball player on the roster.

  42. ess-dog

    Z: If we can buy a low 2011 pick to package our own mid-range 1st rounder, would this trade be bearable for both sides?:http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=5w6v6wg  

    I think I’d rather lose Gallo than take on Harrington. I’d rather stay in play for CP3 come 2012. But yeah, it looks like we’re in a position to lowball. I think it’s safer to just pass on Melo at the deadline rather than give anything more than AR picks/Curry/WC/Walker. Let Houston trade for him w/o the extension. I’ve been to Houston. Melo ain’t extending there. Maybe Dallas. They have a good 1st option in Dirk along with Kidd and other parts. But not sure if they have any worthy picks and ultimately, their rental deal should be worse than our deal.

  43. Brian Cronin

    I’d take Harrington over losing two of the three, but I would pass on anything involving two of the three, so that is not saying a lot.

  44. Frank

    Actually I have changed my mind re: Z’s trade — the ability to keep Gallo and Fields is worth it. I’d even take Balkman back if they insisted, and send $3M Dolan Dollars back to Denver as well.

    So we would field this lineup:

    PG: Felton
    SG: Fields
    SF: Melo
    PF: Gallo
    C: Amare

    Bench: Harrington, DWTDD, Turiaf, Extra E

    That’s really not bad. – we could do some serious SSOL there. There’s not a team out there that could run with this crew.

  45. d-mar

    I totally get Melo’s shortcomings and his inefficiencies, which have been well documented on this site. But watching Pierce hit the game winning shot against Orlando last night (which had all the intensity of a playoff game) it pointed to the fact that you need at least 2 guys on your team who you can give the ball to in the last 2 minutes with confidence that they’ll get fouled or make a big shot. Stat is the closest thing we have to that, but for all his greatness, I’m not sure you’d want him with the ball and 30 sec. left in a tie game. Melo on the other hand, is great at a)taking it to the basket b)drawing fouls and making the FT’s and c) shooting off the dribble. I just think the value of that is not measured by statistics. I think that’s why Donnie will pull the trigger, even if he has to give up 2 of the 3 Gallo, Chandler, Fields.

  46. Caleb

    cgreene:
    i am one who thinks that Melo will improve in SSoL from an efficiency perspective.Also think that you get more rebounding which we desperately need.I am also a little short on Wilson and Randolph’s long term prospects.Something is wrong there to me.He does 2 things well rebs and blocks.I also think from a cap perspective that it is easier to get veteran role players to take cuts and play with Melo and Stat so I am less worried about the long term cap implications.Def a lot of risk though.No doubt.Obviously would rather your deal.  

    I agree that Melo has some upside. His play in the Olympics and the playoffs, and his unusual career arc – peaking as a 21 and 22 year old – make me think he would look a lot better on the right team with the right coach.

    You’d go backward in rebounding, though – he’s a great rebounder for a SF but he’d be left playing PF, with Stoudemire at center.

    re: the cap, you’d have no problem finding cheap vets, but withOUT Carmelo we’d have a real shot at Howard, Paul or Williams.

    Of course, a Machiavellian GM might consider the possibility of trading Melo for Howard in the summer of 2012.

  47. cgreene

    Caleb, that is quite Machiavellian and fun! Couple of things.
    1. Not a big believer in CP3’s knees (but love DWil)

    2. I am personally a little cooked on the “…but if we save our cap for ’12” scenario. I think there is a lot of risk in that you actually need to land these guys. Too much can happen btwn then and now for that to feel like it has a better than… say… 25% chance of happening?

    3. I am missing why we would be so capped out on 2012 w Melo and Stat. I don’t think we actually have 1 cap commitment beyond next year. Say Amare is at $19M and Melo at $18M and we have minimum cap holds on all positions outside that and the cap is in the $55M to $60M range isn’t there a shot we can pull off something similar to Miami??? What am I missing?

  48. Caleb

    Even if we sold off all our draft picks, gave away Fields and whoever was left after the Carmelo trade – just those two and cap holds would leave us around $42 million… but sure, Carmelo at $18 million is better than $21 million like Denver’ss extension offer.

    I am not anti-Carmelo but at the same time not convinced that Carmelo really is better than, say, Chandler + Nene.

  49. Robert Silverman

    Z: If we can buy a low 2011 pick to package our own mid-range 1st rounder, would this trade be bearable for both sides?:http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=5w6v6wg  

    If you replaced Al Harrington With Birdman Andersen (it works $-wise), then yes. I think AH a 2nd time around would be a really bad idea. (And there has to be some rule preventing Donnie Walsh from acquiring Al for a FOURTH time (drafted him, traded twice. This’d be #4)

  50. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    My reasons to sign/trade for Carmelo:

    1) He’s better than Wilson Chandler by a lot. Chandler has scored 14.1 ppg; Carmelo’s got 24.6. That’s over ten extra points per game, which basically makes the Knicks into a 70-win team. Plus, Chandler was the 23rd pick in his draft, Carmelo was #3. No-brainer.

    2) He’s better than Danilo Gallinari. Even though Gallo’s got better shooting numbers, he just doesn’t draw the double-team like Carmelo does. If you watch the tape, you’ll see what I mean. I saw it.

    3) He’s better than Landry Fields. Fields played for a bad college team, and just didn’t have what it took to will his team to victory. Carmelo? National Champ, baby. There’s a reason Fields was picked in the 2nd round. No one wanted him because he’s not a winner. Carmelo has the intangibles we need to beat those team-stacking losers in Miami.

    Since he plays the same position as these three guys, I don’t see why we can’t give up at least two of them to replace the minutes. Like I said, Carmelo should give us an extra ten points per game, which will make us an elite team. He just finds a way to win, like he always has, despite playing with career role players in Nene and Billups. They needed a great scorer to be effective.

  51. Thomas B.

    Frank:

    Larry Coon amongst many others in the media disagree with your interpretation. Apparently this rule only applies to FUTURE #1s and has no connection to the past year’s draft.

    It is absolutely connected with the previous year’s draft (well it should be). A team cannot go consecutive years without making a 1st round pick. And a team cannot make a trade that would result in future picks traded in consecutive years (or at least they shouldnt be able to).

    The Knicks did not make a 2010 first round pick becuase they traded that pick as part of the Marbury deal. That trade was made before the Knicks used that pick, thereby making it a future pick. If the Knicks trade the 2011 pick before they make a selection with it, then they will have traded future first round picks in consecutive years. So even if the Knicks held the 2012 pick outright they still cant trade the 2011 pick unless the picked up a second vested 2011 pick.

    If the rule only concerned upcoming picks with no consideration to the past year’s pick, then each team could trade a pick in each year and as long as they did it one year at a time they would be okay. That doesnt make sense. So in 2011 I can trade my 2011 pick even though I traded my 2010 pick already? But that was last year so that doesnt matter. And in 2012 I can trade my 2012 pick even though I traded the 2010 and 11 picks already making it three consecutive years without a pick? Well if that is true then it is a major loophole in the Stepien rule that doesnt match my reading of it or the spirit of the rule.

  52. Robert Silverman

    I’m about to completely cross over into the “Get Melo at all costs” camp.

    Am I Anakin Skywalker joining the Emperor in Episode III, or Darth Vader killing the Emperor in Episode VI?

  53. Thomas B.

    Robert Silverman:

    I’m about to completely cross over into the “Get Melo at all costs” camp.

    Am I Anakin Skywalker joining the Emperor in Episode III, or Darth Vader killing the Emperor in Episode VI?  

    (Quote)

    Anakin in episode III becuase he wasnt thinking long term or rationally.

  54. Robert Silverman

    Thomas B.:
    Anakin in episode III becuase he wasnt thinking long term or rationally.  

    Really? The Emperor/Vader did rule the entire galaxy, even if they were evil. To beat this metaphor to death, woudn’t we all take an evil “dark side” Knicks if it meant championships?

  55. John Kenney

    Am I the only one who thinks that there’s no way we’d accept taking back Harrington? To all the above who said they’d be ok with the trade: Didn’t harrington make a comment in an interview that he was advising melo NOT to go to new york, in which he revealed that players the previous year had been jealous of the attention given to gallinari? Given the fact that we had no interest in resigning him, it seems like both sides decided they don’t like eachother.

  56. latke

    cgreene: 3. I am missing why we would be so capped out on 2012 w Melo and Stat. I don’t think we actually have 1 cap commitment beyond next year. Say Amare is at $19M and Melo at $18M and we have minimum cap holds on all positions outside that and the cap is in the $55M to $60M range isn’t there a shot we can pull off something similar to Miami??? What am I missing?

    This is completely feasible, but it’s contingent on either

    A) being able to make a deal with our expirings at the deadline for our 3rd star or

    B) renouncing gallo, felton, and maybe fields’ rights (had a long discussion with caleb about this a few threads back). Their cap holds combine to somewhere between $15 and $21 million.

    If you put the odds of being able to work option A at 25%, and option B, optimistically at 75% (williams and howard seem long shots. CP3 is more conceivable, but he’s an injury risk), then you have to go back and ask yourself — would you rather have a good chance at Chris Paul + maybe Fields plus minimum contracts, or have Gallo, Felton and Fields (assuming Chandler is gone). Then there are the two summers of MLEs that we lose out on in order to retain our cap flexibility (assuming the MLE remains in the new CBA). Finally, who’s to say that NOH wouldn’t prefer to get some decent players with longer term contracts over simply replacing CP3 with a bunch of expirings?

  57. cgreene

    latke:
    This is completely feasible, but it’s contingent on either
    A) being able to make a deal with our expirings at the deadline for our 3rd star or
    B) renouncing gallo, felton, and maybe fields’ rights (had a long discussion with caleb about this a few threads back). Their cap holds combine to somewhere between $15 and $21 million.If you put the odds of being able to work option A at 25%, and option B, optimistically at 75% (williams and howard seem long shots. CP3 is more conceivable, but he’s an injury risk), then you have to go back and ask yourself — would you rather have a good chance at Chris Paul + maybe Fields plus minimum contracts, or have Gallo, Felton and Fields (assuming Chandler is gone). Then there are the two summers of MLEs that we lose out on in order to retain our cap flexibility (assuming the MLE remains in the new CBA). Finally, who’s to say that NOH wouldn’t prefer to get some decent players with longer term contracts over simply replacing CP3 with a bunch of expirings?  

    In my scenario B Gallo is gone in the Melo trade and Felton expires after next year. All we have is Fields.

  58. Brian Cronin

    As a quick aside about Silver’s study – boy, was that a weak study. From choosing extremely small amount of minutes (2,000 minutes is not even a full season for a full-time player) to comparing dramatically different sample sizes (Iverson’s 32,000 minutes without Melo to his 5,700 minutes with Melo), it was a mess. What I found particularly damning was the five or so players (Camby, K-Mart, Boykins and a couple of others) on the list who actually played comparable large sample size minutes (over 5,000 minutes with and without Melo and within 1,000 minutes of each other), there was basically no pattern at all, which is what we’ve long thought about the effect of one player on another player’s TS%.

    So I really did not like his study.

  59. Thomas B.

    Robert Silverman:

    Really? The Emperor/Vader did rule the entire galaxy, even if they were evil. To beat this metaphor to death, woudn’t we all take an evil “dark side” Knicks if it meant championships?  

    (Quote)

    Vader did it save his son from murder. Anakin did it to save himself the pain of loss. It wasnt to protect Padme as much as he wanted to protect himself, and if he could get a bit more powerful along the way…

    I wish the Knicks had won the last three games then we wouldnt hit the panic button to get Anthony. Now we want to give everything away.

  60. Frank

    Brian Cronin: As a quick aside about Silver’s study – boy, was that a weak study. From choosing extremely small amount of minutes (2,000 minutes is not even a full season for a full-time player) to comparing dramatically different sample sizes (Iverson’s 32,000 minutes without Melo to his 5,700 minutes with Melo), it was a mess. What I found particularly damning was the five or so players (Camby, K-Mart, Boykins and a couple of others) on the list who actually played comparable large sample size minutes (over 5,000 minutes with and without Melo and within 1,000 minutes of each other), there was basically no pattern at all, which is what we’ve long thought about the effect of one player on another player’s TS%.
    So I really did not like his study.  

    Pelton basically came to the same conclusion as Silver in his (much more exhaustive) study. Meanwhile I think it is a relatively logical conclusion — when one guy gets all the defensive attention, it’s easier for others to score. Just think about on the playground – if you’ve got the best player on your team and you suck, people will always be leaving you to cover the other guy. Ergo more open shots. And neither will you be taking stupid shots because you know the great player has the better chance at making stupid shots than you do. Just look at Cleveland’s starting lineup’s TS% – except for Varejao, every single one has dropped precipitously since Lebron left.

    And @ Thomas B – I agree with the idea of what you’re saying, but it’s pretty tough to argue with Larry Coon – what he says pretty much goes when it comes to minute NBA rules. On his Twitter, Coon actually specifically addressed your scenario about trading picks each year one at a time and said it was legal.
    check it out: twitter.com/larrycoon

  61. Brian Cronin

    Pelton basically came to the same conclusion as Silver in his (much more exhaustive) study. Meanwhile I think it is a relatively logical conclusion — when one guy gets all the defensive attention, it’s easier for others to score. Just think about on the playground – if you’ve got the best player on your team and you suck, people will always be leaving you to cover the other guy. Ergo more open shots. And neither will you be taking stupid shots because you know the great player has the better chance at making stupid shots than you do. Just look at Cleveland’s starting lineup’s TS% – except for Varejao, every single one has dropped precipitously since Lebron left.

    Right, sorry, I should have clarified, clearly there are players who do have an impact on TS%, guys like Lebron, Howard, Jordan, etc.

    I just don’t see anything from Silver to suggest that Melo has that effect. Like I said, the only guys who actually had sizable comparable numbers didn’t have noticeable differences (some went up with Melo, some went down).

  62. Thomas B.

    @68 Okay. But It seems wrong and it seems to violate the spirit of the rule. But that token a GM could make it so it never has a first round selection. That is basically what Stipen did.
    I would love an opion from an NBA executive on this. Robert Silverman, use some of your connects to get an answer on this. You went to lunch with Stu Jackson last week right?

    Well if Walsh gets a 2012 for Randolph and he trades the 2011, then we will know for sure.

  63. Brian Cronin

    Okay. But It seems wrong and it seems to violate the spirit of the rule. But that token a GM could make it so it never has a first round selection. That is basically what Stipen did.

    The spirit of the rule is not to keep teams from trading their draft picks every year, but rather not to trade away future picks in consecutive years, because of the fear that teams will end up unwittingly giving up good picks for years in a row in the future (like Stipen did, and Isiah undoubtedly would have done, so sure of himself was he). If the team wants to trade their pick every year when their draft position is known, the league is cool with that (the Suns basically did that for awhile).

  64. rama

    No comments for four hours? I’m sensing Melotaxia – a weariness of the muscles due to typing comment after comment about trades involving a certain basketball player…

  65. Robert Silverman

    Thomas B.: @68 Okay. But It seems wrong and it seems to violate the spirit of the rule.But that token a GM could make it so it never has a first round selection.That is basically what Stipen did.
    I would love an opion from an NBA executive on this.Robert Silverman, use some of your connects to get an answer on this.You went to lunch with Stu Jackson last week right?Well if Walsh gets a 2012 for Randolph and he trades the 2011, then we will know for sure.  

    I’ll ask David Stern this weekend. We like to grab a nosh after Synagogue

  66. MyBestFriendLandry

    He can only trade the 2011 (or 2013) if the 2012 is unprotected. From what I read from Larry Coon this week, apparently there has to be a guaranteed 2012 1st round pick in order to make the move. This is obviously limiting — just ’cause no lottery team is going to send over an unprotected pick for AR (maybe ’08 David Kahn). Looks like Donnie Basketball’s rumored 1st round pick may not all that we’ve hoped and dreamed for.

    Also, if anyone’s interested, I posted another Knicks Weekly column last night:

    http://mybestfriendlandry.wordpress.com

  67. Caleb

    @74 If a trade goes down involving this pick, I think it’s more likely that Douglas, Walker or Williams goes out the door – both because of my guess @35 (that Walsh likes AR) and because of @74 (a team drafting in the 20s won’t worry about “unprotected”)

  68. ess-dog

    I wonder if the Clips would trade their Twolves pick and maybe Kaman and Gomes for Melo w/o the extension? Once he’s in LA with Griffin and Gordon, that could prove to be an awesome young core that could give the Lakers fits. Plus it’s good for the wifey.
    I’m pretty sure the Nets would be desperate enough to do that as well. Their pick and Devin Harris, another cheap player and taking back Harrington for an unsigned Melo? I kind of think that would be worth the risk for NJ. Then they can at least fill seats for half a season before they go to Brooklyn. Plus, they would have a Lopez, Favors, Melo frontline, pretty strong. And the drop off from Harris to Farmar isn’t that bad, and Avery doesn’t like Harris anyway. And they still have room to sign another big free agent.
    A deal like that is likely what the Knicks would have to compete with. If I’m the Nets, I would rather have Gallo or Fields over Chandler b/c of the cost of resigning Chandler. Gallo, Walker, Curry and the two 1sts would probably beat those other packages but it’d be close… the only problem is our 2011 and 2013 picks should not be great. If it were me, I’d rather have one lottery pick and a 2nd rounder than two low 1sts.
    So we’ll see. It will be interesting.

  69. stratomatic

    I’d like to add one thing about the Silver study.

    One of the reasons that some great players make their teammates better is when they get double teamed or the defense is designed to stop them, they get better looks for their teammates by passing them the ball and getting ASSISTS.

    The record is very clear that “assisted shots” tend to be much more efficient than unassisted shots.

    For example, IMHO there’s almost no doubt that part of reason the Cavs are doing so poorly from a TS% point of view is that they are getting fewer great looks/assisted shots from Lebron.

    However, if a player is actually good enough to make that kind of contribution, it shows up in his own stats via his assist totals.

    So IMO, even though some players almost defintely do make their teammates better by drawing doubles etc… I doubt that Melo is one of them. At least not in a major way. If he was, he’d have way more assists and he’d be accruing most of that value to himself in the boxscore.

    One could argue that the boxscore doesn’t capture hockey assists, but I would simply say that there are almost certainly fewer hockey type assists than actual assists off doubles and even if they were captured and added in, IMO they would not change the values all that much.

    So IMO, yes, making your teammates better is something to consider, but I don’t think it’s as well hidden as some are suggesting.

  70. stratomatic

    Caleb,

    It’s refreshing to read your notes here every day.

    I’m an opinionated guy and rarely agree with anyone about almost everything, but I do with you. That’s especially true when it comes to Anthony Randolph. You, I, and Donnie Walsh maye be the last 3 believers.

    IMHO he’s already highly productive at the things that are hard to develop (rebounding, shot blocking, height, length, athleticism) and so darn young, still reasonably likely to develop the things he’s lacking (basketball knowledge, mid range/outside shot).

    I still see him as the perfect potential fit for NY along side Amare if he can just put it all together mentally and expand his range a bit. It might take some patience, but the potential is there.

    I really like Fields, Gallo, Chandler, and AR and will be disappointed to see any of them go in a trade for Melo. I just think people are dismissing AR’s value, potential, and fit here in NY too easily and quickly.

  71. Caleb

    @78 We can only keep our fingers crossed! But yes, especially if we end up with two super-high usage players like Melo and Stoudemire, AR would be a great guy to have left.

  72. Doug

    Ideally, AR will emerge at some point from his cocoon, fully formed with a complete understanding of his place in D’Antoni’s offense, like a beautiful, SSOL butterfly.

    Until that glorious day comes, it’s harder and harder to get excited about AR getting to play in garbage time and then watch him just be a turd out there. Every time he throws a pass into the stands, camps out on the perimeter, or stops on the fast break for an elbow jumper it is just like COME ON MAN.

    I am still believe the best thing to do is exercise patience with him to learn the system and then earn playing time in practice, but now I’d be OK with him being dealt if the price is right. It could very possibly be fan myopia. But he’s just hard to watch now.

  73. ess-dog

    Caleb and Strat,
    I enjoy both of your posts! Keep em comin’.
    Has there actually been any mention of D’Antoni disliking AR? The “benching” might simply be a case of wanting to coach him up first combined with him being very young and the Knicks vying for a playoff spot. There’s no reason to think that he isn’t being “groomed” if you will. Of course, he’s a reasonable sacrifice in a Melo trade since he isn’t currently playing. But I’m not surethe Knicks are that “down” on the guy. Since middle school he hasn’t had the same coach for more than one year straight. He really doesn’t have a game yet!
    And regarding Melo again, Chad Ford is saying that the extension IS more important than the team, and that owners are really going to be looking for a “franchise tag” kind of thing in the NBA next year, which would dash any hopes of a CP3/Melo/Amare teaming.

  74. Brian Cronin

    A source tells the New York Daily News that Knicks president Donnie Walsh is willing to trade Danilo Gallinari, Landry Fields, Eddy Curry and future first-round picks for Carmelo Anthony.

    Ugh.

  75. Caleb

    @82 A source with the Nuggets, maybe. I’ll believe it when I see it. Although it might depend on the details…

    @81 I think part of it is your classic coach/GM split – GM with long-term view is looking at player development (and wanting to maintain a guy’s value, which is hard when he’s on the bench) whereas coach wants the best guy RIGHT NOW. And it’s hard to say AR is better this minute than the other 3 forwards – Stoudemire, Gallo and Chandler.

    Another part of it is that D’Antoni just prefers the continuity of a short rotation – rather than using AR (or anyone) for spot minutes, to suit the matchups.

    I THINK Walsh understands the value here, and is willing to wait. But who knows? D’Antoni does seem to have a fetish for shooters, which is one thing AR isn’t.

  76. Nick C.

    Brian Cronin: Ugh.  (Quote)

    So under that scenario Chandler is the 2G and who is the PF or vice-versa? I would be very surprised if Walsh were that myopic. The sportswriters and FAN/ESPN callers , yes, but Walsh.

  77. Z

    @77 Carmelo has a career assist rate twice that of Gallinari and almost twice that of Wilson Chandler. Melo’s assist rate, for his career, is about that of Tim Duncan, a player who draws a lot of double teams and is adept at passing out of them.

    Also, it often takes two passes to get the ball to the weak side, so the first pass out of a double team may not get credited with an assist, but the double team still may have led to an open shot.

  78. Caleb

    re: the franchise tag issue – the CBA deserves a longer post but it kills me that owners are talking like this. Maybe I’m biased, since we’re in NY which actually is in play for a super-team, and is likely to be a winner in this game…

    …but IMO, super-teams and player movement are good for the league as a whole. The Celts/Lakers thing and the Bulls dynasty (and the Lakers more recently) are the best things the league has had in the last 30 years. 30 teams with one good player and a bunch of filler – sounds like the 90s to me. Bleh.

    The LeBron/Wade/Bosh thing was huge for the league – did it hurt fan interest? Did it hurt other franchises? No way. And of course the fear that it would lead to a boring season was overblown. I’d still pick ‘em as the favorite) but there are probably more contenders this year than ever before.

    What kills fan interest isn’t having a terrible team – it’s knowing that your team is unable to make a moves to make things better. Look how exciting it was to be a Knicks fan in the Isiah Thomas era, thanks to the cap. Some teams will always be constrained because their owner is too poor, but a tight cap and a franchise player system are two ways to put all 30 teams in the same straitjacket.

    Booooooring.

  79. stratomatic

    Doug,

    I don’t like the way AR is playing any more than the next guy, but as lost as he has looked at times he has still been productive as a rebounder/shot blocker on a per minute basis and hasn’t turned the ball over nearly as much as people think. He just made a few head scratchers that really stuck out.

    Some people don’t agree with this and perhaps I’m not even right, but I think all the ouside shooting is mostly on D’Antoni. AR didn’t shoot nearly as many outside shots for GS. I think our system calls for spacing and D’Antoni tends to put all the wings outside the arc and give then free reign to shoot if they are open. He did it with Chandler when he was shooting poorly and even had Jared Jeffries shooting 3s. I don’t think that’s the correct use of his talents right now, but it’s an issue. If he’s not the centerpiece of the P&R (like Amare or Lee), it’s tough to use him as a wing in this system.

  80. Z

    Nick C.: I would be very surprised if Walsh were that myopic.The sportswriters and FAN/ESPN callers , yes, but Walsh.  

    Remember, though, Walsh works for Dolan, and his contract is up in a few months…

  81. Jimmy C

    Z:
    Remember, though, Walsh works for Dolan, and his contract is up in a few months…  

    Ugh is right. Really hope someone Broussard-ed this one. Interesting point about his contract though — had no idea it was coming up for review. If this is in fact Dolan pulling the Melo strings, and we do in fact end up giving up both Gallo and Fields… well, let’s just say not being able to yell “Thrilling Fields!” would be an enormous disappointment.

    I want to start taking bets on how close to the deadline this thing will ultimately drag. Even if he isn’t moved, a break would be more than welcome at this point.

  82. greatscott

    “In retrospect it’s easy to say “Amar’e Stoudemire has turned the Knicks around,” but that’s also the lazy answer.”

    Well said and excellent article.

  83. taggart4800

    Carmelo Anthony is clearly an extremely gifted basketball player. A coach of George Carls caliber would not put his career and reputation on the line by running an offense through a player that was simply not capable of handling the responsibility. I think advanced stats are fantastic, but in this case perhaps not showing Anthony’s true value.
    Yes Wilson Chandler is playing very well this season and yes from a statistics point of view may well be nearly as effective as Melo. But he is also, and i am not using stats here which i know is poor for a site such as this, the 4th best offensive player on this team.
    It has to be said that he has improved dramatically on the offensive and defensive end and should be duely credited. However he is still incapable of scoring with significant coverage. His ineptitude in this area doesn’t make him a bad player it just stops him from being an elite one and although he has given us good service I would trade him in an instant for Carmelo.
    The P&R, when run through Amare is an effective weapon because it forces a defense to choose between playing him honest and allowing him single coverage or collapsing and allowing Felton space. If the double team arrives on Amare and Felton is still covered then good ball movement or vision from Felton will provide a good basketball player (Chandler) with an open shot. As an NBA player this is something he should be able to make with relatively high levels of efficiency.
    When exceptional defense is played and the Knicks cannot find the open look, their lack of elite basketball skill in isolation situations becomes apparent, how many times have we seen Amare make forced barreling drives? or Chandler throw up midrange contested fade away’s from contrived footwork.
    Anthony has the ability to make these shots, he has built a career on doing so and if he has even an average NBA shooting touch he will become more efficient in D’Antoni’s system and be worth every penny of his max.

  84. latke

    re: anthony randolph

    One thing that has been almost entirely overlooked in this whole AR thing is that the guy was injured for the last 2/3s of last season. That’s ten months without basketball. He didn’t play in the summer league, so what he’s had are about 200 minutes during the preseason (during which he played alright) along with 110 regular season minutes. Even Blake Griffin, a far more polished player, after missing an entire season, struggled early on. He really didn’t put things together until the game against the knicks. At that point, he’d already played 500+ NBA minutes. After that NYK game, his rebounding, assists, scoring, and FG% all went up dramatically.

    Yes, even before the injury he was playing better than AR has this season, but AR is not Blake Griffin, and if you take into account AR’s preseason stats, the only time he’s had the chance to stay on the floor, he was not that far off from his career averages.

  85. Z

    I think that D’Antoni is a correlation equals causation kind of guy. Taking Randolph out of the rotation coincided with a winning streak, so coach figured if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Then, when people got hurt and opportunities arose, Williams and Walker outplayed Randolph so blatantly that Randolph will continue to linger on the bench until he gets in there and spends a few minutes of court time not making a fool of himself.

  86. Ben R

    Amare criticizing the team about effort on defense is like Eddy Curry criticizing someones effort rebounding the ball. I like Amare’s leadership but Amare is the worst defender in the starting lineup by a pretty wide margin.

  87. jon abbey

    Prokhorov says the Nets are out on Carmelo, which at the very least kills any leverage Denver had with Walsh.

  88. daaarn

    jon abbey: Prokhorov says the Nets are out on Carmelo, which at the very least kills any leverage Denver had with Walsh.  

    Just saw the article too. I was never willing to break the bank in a trade for ‘melo, but if this could somehow reduce the asking price, I might actually support a trade, though I’m still loathe to give up any of our young talent (Chandler, Gallo, and esp. Fields). However, if the Nets are out, I imagine re-signing with Denver straight up becomes a much more viable option now. I don’t see Melo being willing to give up any money.

  89. John Kenney

    I never wanted to give up landry, but if we gave him up now, it will be Knicks management committing a crime. They have next to NO leverage. No bidding war. And on top of that– I think this is the right move for the Nets, too. I’d rather have Favors Lopez and a ton of picks with the hope you create a Blazers/Thunder scenario with a ton of young talent, than a team with one superstar and not much chance of improving drastically.

  90. latke

    John Kenney: I never wanted to give up landry, but if we gave him up now, it will be Knicks management committing a crime. They have next to NO leverage. No bidding war. And on top of that– I think this is the right move for the Nets, too. I’d rather have Favors Lopez and a ton of picks with the hope you create a Blazers/Thunder scenario with a ton of young talent, than a team with one superstar and not much chance of improving drastically.

    Yes, good for the Nets, good for the Knicks. I wonder what happens with Rip Hamilton now? Detroit is playing better with him benched, but now they don’t have an excuse to bench him anymore.

    Denver does still have a bit of leverage though. They are the only team that can offer ‘Melo that extension. If they chose, they could simply trade ‘Melo to another team without the extension, and then he’d have to take whatever the new CBA allowed, so if he’s deadset on getting the extension, and Denver plays a good game of chicken, Denver might be able to weasel a little more out of a deal. I don’t, however, see Denver waiting until the offseason to trade him. It would be a big financial hit, as they’d no longer be able to take back contracts that expire at the end of this season.

    What do you all think the market is for a Carmelo rental? Would Dallas do this? http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=47sowgh

    Beaubois is a really nice prospect (his per 36 #s are off the charts for a rookie). It would be a big gamble for Dallas, but Cuban loves taking risks, and he knows Dirk won’t be around forever. Denver’s GM is an advanced stats type of guy, so I could see him valuing Beaubois more than Gallo.

    The one hiccup to the trade is that Denver already has a young point guard in Lawson.

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