Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Knicks sign Udrih to one-year deal

In a move that may well bookend a surprisingly busy offseason, the Knicks appear poised to sign veteran point guard Beno Udrih to a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract, according to Coach Mike Woodson.

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 10.05.28 AM

In the wake of Jason Kidd’s departure, landing a third point guard to supplement Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni — re-signed to a three-year, $5 million, partially guaranteed deal on July 10th — was of paramount concern for the front office. Mission accomplished.

That the Knicks were able to land Udrih marks a small but not insignificant coup: At 31, the Slovenian point guard has plenty left in the tank, and brings a combination of size, quickness, shooting, and passing to a back-court rotation that experienced something of an accidental renaissance down last year’s stretch, when two-point guard lineups became a staple of Mike Woodson’s offense — and an efficient one at that.

Memphis and San Antonio were both said to have been in contention for Udrih’s services, but Udrih ultimately decided with the Knicks, no doubt due in part to the team’s propensity for two-headed point guard lineups.

While Udrih has never been a world-stopping defender, his offensive versatility alone — crafty in transition, dangerous on mid-range jumpers, serviceable (35% career) from deep, and capable of playing either guard spot — should proof a much-needed boon for a bench unit shaping up to be one of the deepest in the league.

An interesting tidbit from @TommyBeer: Beno is just one of four active point guards to have totaled 2,200 career assists and fewer than 1,000 turnovers. He has a tendency to get a bit cavalier with the ball on occasion, but this kind of ratio is definitely promising — particularly considering the team’s top-tier turnover rate a season ago.

According to Mark Stein, the cap hit on Udrih will be less than 900K, but the signing will move them to more than $16M beyond the tax threshold, which means the 2013-14 tax bill is up to $32,341,250. And forty cents.

Yikes.

The Knicks were considering a bevy of stopgap solutions at the position, including Bobby Brown and Chris Duhon and I’ll just end that sentence here.

Be it for fit or fashion, this was a good get. Nice going, Glen.

143 comments on “Knicks sign Udrih to one-year deal

  1. flossy

    Splendid. Man, this CBA sucks for league-average players past their rookie deals. But hey, no complaints here!

    Beno is easily worth what we’re paying, probably two or three times more. If Felton has another “oops, broke my hand and can’t stop shooting” episodes, I feel much more comfortable that we have two other capable PGs on the roster.

  2. DRed

    Udrih is excellent as a third PG. As someone pointed out in the Jon Abbey Memorial thread, he’s pretty inconsistent as a scorer, but he can certainly pass the ball. And if we get the Udrih who can shoot he might even steal some minutes from Felton. Getting a league average player at a minimum price to be your 3rd PG is a nice pickup.

  3. GHenman

    Bravo! Beno gives us some nice pg depth. I hope they use the last spot on Murry and send him, Leslie and Tyler down to the D-League to work on their games.

  4. Garson

    This also gives Woodson the option to go with the Felton Prigs starting lineup.

    Numbers aside, when prigs started, the offense seemed a little more fluid and aggressive. His energy and selflessness seemed to rub off on the others.

  5. er

    Garson:
    This also gives Woodson the option to go with the Felton Prigs starting lineup.

    Numbers aside, when prigs started, the offense seemed a little more fluid and aggressive. His energy and selflessness seemed to rub off on the others.

    I agree, but that lineup was out of necessity. I think it is all but dead as a starting lineup, do to the fact that we added Metta, Kmart, and Bargs. We may see it in spurts however

  6. ephus

    I’m in favor of anything that keeps Chris Duhon off of the team. This is much better than I hoped for.

    Plus, we get to hear Clyde pronounce “Udrih”.

    PG: Felton/Prigioni/Udrih
    SG: Shumpert/Smith/Hardaway Jr.
    SF: Melo/MWP/CJ Leslie (?)
    PF: Stoudamire/Bargnani
    C: Chandler/Martin/Tyler (?)

    I like this roster. I expect ‘Melo to get a lot of run at the PF with Smith sliding over to the SF.

  7. Hubert

    Funny, Beno Udrih has existed entirely outside my realm of NBA knowledge for about 6 years now. I literally remember nothing about him after his stint with San Antonion. Every time I heard something about him I think I transferred the information to the part of my brain that stores knowledge under Ekpe Udoh.

    We did need a 3rd PG, though. And you guys like him. So that’s good.

  8. Z-man

    EB: Why’d you take Udrih’s 05-07 numbers?</blockquote

    Comparing players at similar ages/experience levels is a pretty common methodology, no?

  9. Frank

    Great thing about Udrih is that he’s a reasonably good playmaker in the PNR that takes care of the ball — which would mean much much less of JR “playmaker” “iso” Smith with the 2nd unit.

  10. KnickfaninNJ

    Looking at the official Knick’s roster on their website, I see Earl Barron listed (but it has “FA” by his name). Does anyone know why he’s there?

  11. Z-man

    EB: Yes, but we didn’t sign that player. We signed the Udrih that’s 6 years older.

    And our stats-savvy colleagues here would suggest that Lin should be the same player in 6 years that Beno is now.

    BTW, I think there is a decent chance that Beno has a very good statistical year in him, as he hasn’t played on a winner in those 6 years. Really good opportunity for him to cash in as a FA next year.

  12. johnno

    So, from last year’s roster to this year’s, the Knicks essentially traded Kidd, Novak, Copeland and a bunch of guys who hardly played for Bargnani, MWP, Udrih, Hardaway and a few guys who will hardly play. Overall, it appears to me that this year’s team will be better than last year’s. By the way, I wouldn’t be upset if they re-signed Earl Barron as their emergency center. For some reason, I like the guy.

  13. er

    johnno:
    So, from last year’s roster to this year’s, the Knicks essentially traded Kidd, Novak, Copeland and a bunch of guys who hardly played for Bargnani, MWP, Udrih, Hardaway and a few guys who will hardly play.Overall, it appears to me that this year’s team will be better than last year’s.By the way, I wouldn’t be upset if they re-signed Earl Barron as their emergency center.For some reason, I like the guy.

    I love the fact that this team is a sleeper while the other four teams are getting slurped beyond comprehension.

  14. Hubert

    I, for one, really look forward to this deal working out beyond anyone’s wildest imagination and then losing him next summer in free agency.

  15. ephus

    Earl Barron is still on the Knicks’ roster because they have not renounced him. There is a cap hold for him, but since the Knicks are above the apron with or without Barron, it has no practical effect. Some retired players stay on a roster for a really long time, because there is no reason to renounce.

  16. Douglas

    Hubert:
    Funny, Beno Udrih has existed entirely outside my realm of NBA knowledge for about 6 years now.I literally remember nothing about him after his stint with San Antonion.Every time I heard something about him I think I transferred the information to the part of my brain that stores knowledge under Ekpe Udoh.

    We did need a 3rd PG, though.And you guys like him.So that’s good.

    I just realized I’ve been confusing him with Omri Casspi this whole time.

  17. Z-man

    Hubert: I, for one, really look forward to this deal working out beyond anyone’s wildest imagination and then losing him next summer in free agency.

    …after which he never lives up to his inflated contract.

  18. SeeWhyDee77

    Udrih beats Prigioni out for PG2. Looks like TH2 and Prigioni will get less PT than they hoped. At least while JR is on the mend those 2 will get minutes, but after that we might see some ruffled feathers. But Grunwald..u done good. I would have preferred a backup better on D, having a quality backup like Udrih at that price is a major coup. Adds another layer to the offense. Shump’s gonna have a helluva defensive load because Woodson will undoubtedly lean on him to keep the opposing perimeter threats in check from PG to SF. I would t mind having a Bruce Bowen type on the roster, but I’m gonna be selfish and hope Shump’s not that guy because he has more to offer on offense than Bowen did.

  19. KnickfaninNJ

    Hubert:
    I, for one, really look forward to this deal working out beyond anyone’s wildest imagination and then losing him next summer in free agency.

    there you go being bipolar again ;-)

  20. KnickfaninNJ

    ephus:
    Earl Barron is still on the Knicks’ roster because they have not renounced him.There is a cap hold for him, but since the Knicks are above the apron with or without Barron, it has no practical effect.Some retired players stay on a roster for a really long time, because there is no reason to renounce.

    Many thanks. then I assume he holds down the fifteenth roster spot until he’s renounced. Is this correct?

  21. mokers

    Frank:
    Great thing about Udrih is that he’s a reasonably good playmaker in the PNR that takes care of the ball — which would mean much much less of JR “playmaker” “iso” Smith with the 2nd unit.

    Agreed. It’s also pretty reasonable insurance for when Felton loses his shot.

    Now let’s see if we can get some rebounding and/or rim protection insurance.

  22. ephus

    KnickfaninNJ: Many thanks. then I assume he holds down the fifteenth roster spot until he’s renounced. Is this correct?

    No. Barron is on the salary cap until his rights are renounced, but he is not on the 15 man roster until he is signed. I know that is counter-intuitive, but that is how it works. For example, that is why Keith Van Horn came out of retirement in order to re-sign and be part of the Jason Kidd trade between the Mavs and the Nets.

  23. KnickfaninNJ

    Many thanks. Then it makes sense that we keep him. We could actually trade him if we still have an open roster spot to sign him to. I suspect this flexibility is costing the Knicks tax money because from a post above the Udrih signing put them over some threshold for higher taxes. But I am very happy they are willing to pay the tax.

  24. Jack Bauer

    Terrific move getting Udrih. someone else who can run the offense is desperately needed. Any scoring he gives NY will be a bonus, there are other scorers, but having someone who can pass the ball and run the offense in the half court sets will be huge. Also, as mentioned above, it is insurance should Felton get hurt or start sucking again.
    GG having a fantastic offseason, NYK are without a doubt better than last year. Flying under the radar as New Jersey (can’t get that out of my head) gets all the pub is good too.

  25. SeeWhyDee77

    Fact rarely pointed out:
    The rotation that we relied on last season had 3 guys 37 or older. Plus we also hoped we could count on Camby. We have replaced Kidd-Sheed-Thomas-Camby with Bargnani-Kmart-Prigioni-Udrih-TH2-and a hopefully healthier Stat. Of that group we have Prigioni and Kmart who are 36, albeit a ‘fresh 36′. Add in MWP and we have gotten better talent-wise and significantly younger in our rotation. Gotta appreciate that.

  26. JK47

    Very happy about the Beno Udrih signing. He has played on poor offensive teams for pretty much his entire career, so he’s underrated and undervalued. He’s the ideal size for a PG, scores efficiently enough (career .540 TS%) and protects the ball quite well. Should fit in well with the team. He’s had a couple of back-to-back years of subpar TS% (.488 and .516) but the .488 mark looks like an outlier. His 3PT and FT% were really in the tank that season for some reason.

    Okay, now one more big who can defend and rebound for 12-15 minutes per night.

  27. Hubert

    Jack Bauer:
    NYK are without a doubt better than last year.

    The one thing that’s almost certain is we will be different. I wouldn’t be shocked if this team shoots 2/3 the number of 3′s we shot last year. And I think our defense will be much stronger. But there will be very little continuation of the team we saw last year.

    When we look back at Knicks history, I think two seasons are going to stick for being utterly unique:

    1989 – the year Pitino ran the full court press
    2013 – the year we shot all the threes

    (If you were too young for the Pitino Knicks, our was 99.1 in 88, went up to 104.4 in 89, and then dropped back to 98.2 in 90! We never saw anything like it again.)

  28. JK47

    SeeWhyDee77:
    Fact rarely pointed out:
    The rotation that we relied on last season had 3 guys 37 or older. Plus we also hoped we could count on Camby. We have replaced Kidd-Sheed-Thomas-Camby with Bargnani-Kmart-Prigioni-Udrih-TH2-and a hopefully healthier Stat. Of that group we have Prigioni and Kmart who are 36, albeit a ‘fresh 36?. Add in MWP and we have gotten better talent-wise and significantly younger in our rotation. Gotta appreciate that.

    Yeah, and Kidd-Sheed-Thomas-Camby all had one thing in common– they were all utterly useless by the time the playoffs rolled around. The only one of those guys who might ever suit up in the NBA again is Camby, and that’ll be as an end-of-the-bench guy who hardly ever plays.

  29. Jack Bauer

    SeeWhyDee77 says:
    August 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    Fact rarely pointed out:
    The rotation that we relied on last season had 3 guys 37 or older. Plus we also hoped we could count on Camby. We have replaced Kidd-Sheed-Thomas-Camby with Bargnani-Kmart-Prigioni-Udrih-TH2-and a hopefully healthier Stat. Of that group we have Prigioni and Kmart who are 36, albeit a ‘fresh 36?. Add in MWP and we have gotten better talent-wise and significantly younger in our rotation. Gotta appreciate that.

    +1

  30. Hubert

    Hubert:

    (If you were too young for the Pitino Knicks, our *Pace* was 99.1 in 88, went up to 104.4 in 89, and then dropped back to 98.2 in 90!We never saw anything like it again.)

    fixed to include key word.

  31. Mike Kurylo

    Z-man: And our stats-savvy colleagues here would suggest that Lin should be the same player in 6 years that Beno is now.

    BTW, I think there is a decent chance that Beno has a very good statistical year in him, as he hasn’t played on a winner in those 6 years. Really good opportunity for him to cash in as a FA next year.

    Yup Beno and Lin are identical at age 24. Except Lin has more assists (+2.1 ast/36), steals (+1.0), and TS% (+.23).

    Non-stat savvy people could just look at their PPG (11.5 to 5.2) and know that Lin is precisely 2.21 times better.

  32. KnickfaninNJ

    I remember the Pitino team. It was amazing to watch and it used 10 guys regularly so that he could keep up the pace. They pressed all the time and it was pretty effective. I’m kind of surprised no one has ever tried it again.

  33. lavor postell

    KnickfaninNJ:
    I remember the Pitino team. It was amazing to watch and it used 10 guys regularly so that he could keep up the pace.They pressed all the time and it was pretty effective.I’m kind of surprised no one has ever tried it again.

    Pitino tried this in Boston in the Walker-Pierce era. They were awful at it, thought that might be because they also had Walter McCarty (bless his angelic voice) playing major minutes on that team.

  34. Frank

    Hubert: The one thing that’s almost certain is we will be different.I wouldn’t be shocked if this team shoots 2/3 the number of 3?s we shot last year.And I think our defense will be much stronger.But there will be very little continuation of the team we saw last year.

    I’m not sure why you think we’ll shoot less 3′s. The personnel is a little different (minus Kidd/Novak/Cope, plus full season Shump, Bargnani, Beno, Artest) but all the guys we added are mid-high volume 3 point shooters. The offensive philosophy should remain mostly the same ie. PNR with Felton/Tyson with a bunch of (but hopefully less) Melo ISOs which in themselves lead to 3 pointers if the other team doubles.

    We were the #3 offense in the league because we maximized our possessions — took high value shots and didn’t turn the ball over. That philosophy shouldn’t change.

  35. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, this team should still shoot a ton of threes.

    I agree with the notion that it is too soon to tell if the team will be better, but it will definitely be:

    A. Different
    and
    B. Younger

    The second is definitely good and hopefully the first will be good, too!

    That has nothing to do, really, though with Udrih (and has all to do with Artest, Bargs and STAT). Udrih is just a flat-out good signing. Sucks to be him and not be able to get more money, but great for the Knicks!

  36. johnno

    According to Udrih’s agent, he wanted to play for a team that had a chance at a title — which is interesting because I read somewhere that he was also talking to the Spurs and Grizzlies — and he picked the Knicks.

  37. SeeWhyDee77

    Jim Cavan: For good reason, Mike won’t let me make this a post, so I’m just gonna leave this here.

    http://theclassical.org/articles/in-the-house-of-dolan

    Haha..so I’m sitting at my desk with my iPhone I my drawer reading this during a moment of downtime..and I’m fully picturing this really happening and laughin hysterically. Everyone here is looking at me sideways and the one person that actually follows basketball probably wouldn’t get it if I showed it to him because he’s a Laker fan. A laker fan whose only retort nowadays is ‘Kobe..5 rings’. I am sad. My only solace is the pure humor that only a true Knick fan would see in that ironically likely accurate piece. Good stuff

  38. massive

    The best part about this roster is that it’s at least 13 deep. No wastes of a roster spot like Marcus Camby or James White. Iike this roster a lot, and we can take a loss to any one or two guys at a time and be fine. Now all we need is a better medical staff.

  39. Z-man

    Mike Kurylo: Yup Beno and Lin are identical at age 24. Except Lin has more assists (+2.1 ast/36), steals (+1.0), and TS% (+.23).

    Non-stat savvy people could just look at their PPG (11.5 to 5.2) and know that Lin is precisely 2.21 times better.

    Don’t forget -1.0 in TOs. Oh, and the -$19mill vs. the salary cap and -$40+mill in luxury tax.

  40. Z-man

    massive:
    The best part about this roster is that it’s at least 13 deep. No wastes of a roster spot like Marcus Camby or James White. Iike this roster a lot, and we can take a loss to any one or two guys at a time and be fine. Now all we need is a better medical staff.

    Well, yeah, but TH2, Tyler, and Leslie are totally unproven as NBA players, Amare may not make it through preseason before his knees disintegrate, and I’m told by the stats-savvy people that Bargnani is the worst player in the NBA. But don’t worry, Chandler’s gonna up his usage to 40% at a TS% of .70, so we’re OK.

  41. Z-man

    At this point, I would have no problem with taking a flyer on Ivan Johnson. his stats look pretty good and we need an inside banger to go at it with guys like Reggie Evans. Kenyon still has those old knees and not sure if Tyler can stay out of foul trouble. I wouldn’t have minded Jerome Jordan being that guy, but he looked horrific in SL.

    Wouldn’t mind giving Jorts another shot either!

  42. BigBlueAL

    This signing wont change the talk about the Knicks not being championship contenders with the mainstream media but so far today Ive read alot of tweets from pretty smart writers talking about how deep the Knicks are now and that they are a very intriguing team. Who knew Udrih would be such a great pickup!!

  43. Z-man

    OK, so I’ll go out on a limb and say that the Knicks will make the playoffs again!

    Now the scary part: unless we somehow get the 2 or 3-seed, we are likely to face either the Nets, Bulls or Pacers in the first round. It would be nice to avoid that. In other words, winning the Atlantic Division is HUGE!

  44. Jron Abney

    Good. I am filled with a sense of confidence that this season will pay dividends in our memories.

  45. Loathing

    Love the signing…I still say Barron would be a good third center. Man can rebound like a man possessed….while wearing a Knicks uniform. Ain’t much for anything while wearing someone else’s. Might as well take advantage of that.

  46. Hubert

    Frank: I’m not sure why you think we’ll shoot less 3?s. The personnel is a little different (minus Kidd/Novak/Cope, plus full season Shump, Bargnani, Beno, Artest) but all the guys we added are mid-high volume 3 point shooters. The offensive philosophy should remain mostly the same ie. PNR with Felton/Tyson with a bunch of (but hopefully less) Melo ISOs which in themselves lead to 3 pointers if the other team doubles.

    We were the #3 offense in the league because we maximized our possessions — took high value shots and didn’t turn the ball over. That philosophy shouldn’t change.

    I’m probably overly optimistic about Amar’e returning successfully and overly pessimistic about JR doing so. And I think we’ll end up playing more traditional lineups than last year. And I don’t think we have enough good 3 pt shooters now to justify that many shots.

  47. Hubert

    KnickfaninNJ:
    I remember the Pitino team. It was amazing to watch and it used 10 guys regularly so that he could keep up the pace.They pressed all the time and it was pretty effective.I’m kind of surprised no one has ever tried it again.

    I maintain to this day that was gross misuse of Patrick Ewing, Mark Jackson, and Charles Oakely’s talents and never should have happened. Combine that with his role in kicking King to the curb and Rick Pitino will always be persona non grata in this Knicks’ fans house.

  48. dtrickey

    Really like the Udrih signing. Wouldn’t hate the idea of re-upping with Baron either. I mean c’mon he was the teams leading rebounder (18rpg) by a country mile!!!!

    Despite some reaction on this site to trades and signings, I genuinely feel this has been a solid offseason considering our financial position. I don’t necessarily think we are “better” than last year, but we got younger and hopefully healthier (pending recovery of key guys) which will hopefullly lead to more consistent lineups.

    I like (as odd as it might sound for a big market team) that we are flying under the radar in predictions for next year. As frustrating as it is to see some real dead shit predictions, I think that being underestimated will work in our favour. It may even put a bit of a chip on the teams shoulder (I hear Pierce is already talking jive about taking the city).

  49. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    iserp:
    I don’t want to hijack the thread, but well, that’s the problem with WP48, it is not scientific in any way. Its proponents lack criticism, and don’t do any test. The only test they do is against W-L record at the end of the year, and they don’t even beat some writers that predict based on “eye test” (there are hundreds of writers that do predictions, so you can expect some of them beating WP48 by pure randomness, but some of them beat WP48 year to year). But even if WP48 matched well W-L for teams, it is an underconstrained system, 29 data points for over 150 players. You have a continous of different solutions to make that work, and most of them will be wrong. It is Brewer > Melo wrong? most likely, and until WP48 does some effort to constrain more the system, you have to take it with a grain of salt.

    OTOH, “eye test”, PPG, PER, and other metrics, as bad as they are, have tried to make more tests on the individual level, and care writing about it. They look at what happens when i substitute X player with Y player, with different levels of accuracy. So, when they say that Melo > Brewer, it is more credible for me that what WP48 has to say.

    I really have to comment on this. iserp, I hope that you reread what you’ve just written. You’ve just criticized WP48 for being “unscientific,” and then you say that because your hypothesis is that Melo > Brewer, WP48 needs to go back to the drawing board until it can justify that hypothesis. This is bad science.

    WP48 does not care about individual players. It does not come to the table with the attitude that LeBron James is obviously the best player in the league, even though he is. They simply look at box score statistics in a totally objective way — they do not inherently value points over any other statistic — and use regression to try to figure out which items on the box score indicate values of…

  50. Jack Bauer

    GREAT offseason. I most definitely think Knicks are better this year. Younger, more flexible, less injury prone (in theory), and should be better defensively with Kmart and Shump available for the whole year, adding MWP, young legs in THJ, and without having to throw the corpse of JKidd and assorted other 38 year olds out there for major minutes.

  51. SeeWhyDee77

    Jack Bauer:
    SeeWhyDee77 says:
    August 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    Fact rarely pointed out:
    The rotation that we relied on last season had 3 guys 37 or older. Plus we also hoped we could count on Camby. We have replaced Kidd-Sheed-Thomas-Camby with Bargnani-Kmart-Prigioni-Udrih-TH2-and a hopefully healthier Stat. Of that group we have Prigioni and Kmart who are 36, albeit a ‘fresh 36?. Add in MWP and we have gotten better talent-wise and significantly younger in our rotation. Gotta appreciate that.

    +1

    ‘Preciate it. Hey can I +1 a +1? Lol

  52. Z-man

    Jowles, the point is that if the metric, however constituted, supports a notion that a player who is not exactly a mystery and can’t even land a vet’s min spot is a more productive player than a player that would be snapped up at $10 mill a year by every team in the league, it can’t be taken seriously. That is, beyond perhaps the notion that Brewer is somewhat more valuable than he is widely perceived, and Melo is somewhat less valuable than he is widely perceived. The metric may have its uses, but the way you use it has troubles with the eye test as well as the smell test. Not a single team or coach in the league seems to believe that Ronnie Brewer will produce more wins for them at the vet’s minimum, even guys like Morey and Popovich (who also couldn’t find a role for WP48 fave DeJuan Blair.) On a team level, it is regularly out-predicted by Hollinger, who invented the comprehensive stat you seem to revile the most.

    Even Dean Oliver alluded to its limitations in the ruru interview.

    Have you ever kept track of how many times WoW articles turned out to be no better than the bleacher report? It’s not a lot, but certainly enough to merit academic criticism.

    At the same time, you disparage the use of Synergy data because it is too subjective. As Juany8 has said over and over again, box score data is also polluted with subjectivity, and does not account for many factors that determine wins and losses in the real world.

  53. thenoblefacehumper

    Between Felton, Shumpert, ‘Melo, Stat, Bargnani, Chandler, Prigioni, MWP, K-Mart, Udrih, Hardaway Jr, and Lesie/Tyler/Barron we may very well have 12 capable NBA players. Now injuries are almost sure to take a healthy bite out of that but still, there aren’t many other teams who can claim as much. This team definitely will have a different feel than last season’s. Hopefully that’s a good thing!

  54. thenoblefacehumper

    thenoblefacehumper:
    Between Felton, Shumpert, ‘Melo, Stat, Bargnani, Chandler, Prigioni, MWP, K-Mart, Udrih, Hardaway Jr, and Lesie/Tyler/Barron we may very well have 12 capable NBA players. Now injuries are almost sure to take a healthy bite out of that but still, there aren’t many other teams who can claim as much. This team definitely will have a different feel than last season’s. Hopefully that’s a good thing!

    …And somehow I forgot about The Pipe. I think he said today that he’s aiming for opening night. Let’s all hope he’s right, but we have enough depth not to rush him.

  55. SeeWhyDee77

    Ok so I’m thinkin one more defensive minded big won’t hurt. I’ve heard that the team was interested in Haddadi and I would love to add a low maintenance player like Jeffries if the team isn’t gonna add another young big. So, I’ll try to make a case for them all.
    Haddadi- HUGE. Low maintenance. And with the amount of quality bigs we will face from playoff contenders in the East alone, his size would be a welcome addition.
    Jeffries- Woodson’s defensive scheme fits this guy to a T. He may not be the rebounder or blocker Kmart is, but he has the same defensive versatility should Kmart go down for any amount of time. Very low maintenance and LOVES being a Knick.
    Young big (ie: Jennings)- Health concerns about Chandler, Stat, and Kmart. Sometimes we forget that Kmart has had multiple operations on his knees as well. And Chandler never really has been a pillar of health throughout his career.
    I think at this point I would probably lean towards Haddadi because now that Scola is in Indy, and Miami could get a healthier Oden, plus the Evans-Lopez-KG-Blatche combo is worrisome. Not to mention Cleveland could have a healthy Bynum and Sideshow Bob. And up and comers Detroit and DC have talented bigs as well.
    Thoughts?

  56. Chase Thomas

    Frank:
    Great thing about Udrih is that he’s a reasonably good playmaker in the PNR that takes care of the ball — which would mean much much less of JR “playmaker” “iso” Smith with the 2nd unit.

    Smith will still likely play the majority of his minutes with the 1st unit and with Woodson still in charge I don’t see Smith changing his game just because the Knicks added another distributor.

    It will be interesting to see who Woodson favors early in the season between Beno, Prigs, and Hardaway because I think one of the three will get very little playing time with how the current roster is constructed.

    Biggest concern right now is the lack of depth and injury concerns in the frontcourt.

  57. iserp

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I really have to comment on this. iserp, I hope that you reread what you’ve just written. You’ve just criticized WP48 for being “unscientific,” and then you say that because your hypothesis is that Melo > Brewer, WP48 needs to go back to the drawing board until it can justify that hypothesis. This is bad science.
    WP48 does not care about individual players. It does not come to the table with the attitude that LeBron James is obviously the best player in the league, even though he is. They simply look at box score statistics in a totally objective way — they do not inherently value points over any other statistic — and use regression to try to figure out which items on the box score indicate values of…

    My main point is still that WP48 assigns values to 150 players and only tests against 29 data points.

    I put the example of Melo and Brewer because you are very fond of it, and it is a place where other valoration systems try to test it more extensively (like on the court / off the court splits), to get more tests than just the final W-L of each team.

    I acknowledge that “Brewer > Melo” it is only an example, and that WP48 might get it right. But as i said earlier, since there are only 29 test points for 150 players, so there is a continuous of solutions that fit the system, some of them with Melo > Brewer, and some of them with Brewer > Melo. If you don’t offer anything more to reduce the degeneracy, i find WP48 debatable at best.

  58. Z-man

    SeeWhyDee77:
    Ok so I’m thinkin one more defensive minded big won’t hurt. I’ve heard that the team was interested in Haddadi and I would love to add a low maintenance player like Jeffries if the team isn’t gonna add another young big. So, I’ll try to make a case for them all.
    Haddadi- HUGE. Low maintenance. And with the amount of quality bigs we will face from playoff contenders in the East alone, his size would be a welcome addition.
    Jeffries- Woodson’s defensive scheme fits this guy to a T. He may not be the rebounder or blocker Kmart is, but he has the same defensive versatility should Kmart go down for any amount of time. Very low maintenance and LOVES being a Knick.
    Young big (ie: Jennings)- Health concerns about Chandler, Stat, and Kmart. Sometimes we forget that Kmart has had multiple operations on his knees as well. And Chandler never really has been a pillar of health throughout his career.
    I think at this point I would probably lean towards Haddadi because now that Scola is in Indy, and Miami could get a healthier Oden, plus the Evans-Lopez-KG-Blatche combo is worrisome. Not to mention Cleveland could have a healthy Bynum and Sideshow Bob. And up and comers Detroit and DC have talented bigs as well.
    Thoughts?

    Don’t like Hadaddi, too little upside. I’d go with Ivan Johnson or Jerome Jordan over him, or even Tyrus Thomas. Or better yet, keep pounding the bushes and hope someone drops in our lap.

  59. Hubert

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    WP48 does not care about individual players. It does not come to the table with the attitude that LeBron James is obviously the best player in the league, even though he is. They simply look at box score statistics

    And that’s why frequently they reach conclusions that are obviously false. Because they do not observe.

  60. Hubert

    Chase Thomas:
    It will be interesting to see who Woodson favors early in the season between Beno, Prigs, and Hardaway because I think one of the three will get very little playing time with how the current roster is constructed.

    I will bet a lot of money that “one of the three” is Hardaway!

  61. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Hubert: And that’s why frequently they reach conclusions that are obviously false.Because they do not observe.

    The box score data is accrued through observation. I am failing to see your point.

  62. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Z-man: Don’t like Hadaddi, too little upside. I’d go with Ivan Johnson or Jerome Jordan over him, or even Tyrus Thomas. Or better yet, keep pounding the bushes and hope someone drops in our lap.

    I agree about Haddadi, he just looks so slow and clumsy to me. Maybe I’m missing something and I’m definitely just going off the eye test but I’m not a fan, even in a super-limited role. I have an irrational love for Ivan Johnson. He’s an animal. But he seems to replicate what K-Mart brings (rugged undersized power forward with a limited offensive game). I had hopes that Jordan would turn into a viable back-up big but he looked atrocious in summer league. Thomas’ injury history scares me. I want someone backing up Tyson who has a good chance of not getting hurt. I keep coming back to Cole Aldrich. I have no idea whether or not we can convince him to take a minimum deal but he’s the best fit for us out of what’s left. I’m going to keep holding out hope that he’s our guy.

  63. ephus

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: The box score data is accrued through observation. I am failing to see your point.

    The point – and I know that you understand it – is that observation of players in game situations is an important part of player evaluation. PER, WP, +/- all can produce results that run contrary to the conventional wisdom about a player. Particularly when that occurs, I believe that it is necessary to go back and take a close look (meaning actual observation) to see whether the stat-based evaluation is telling you something that was previously missed, or a glitch in the metric. For most of us on this board, when WP generates a result like “Brewer > Melo”, it is a sign that WP has glitched.

    The camera-tracking and film breakdown that teams can now do should lead to better evaluations of players in-game performance, because there will be hard data to accompany the raw gut feel of scouts. I do not trust that Jim Dolan will allow that information to override his bias, but that is a different story.

  64. Brian Cronin

    I will bet a lot of money that “one of the three” is Hardaway!

    Yeah, I don’t see how Woody plays Hardaway any meaningful minutes this season unless the injury bug hits (perhaps I should have said “until the injury bug hits”).

    A. He’s a rookie
    B. He’s an offensive player not a defensive one.
    C. He’s a rookie
    D. He’s a rookie

  65. Hubert

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: The box score data is accrued through observation. I am failing to see your point.

    The box score data does not contain everything that can be observed. That’s the faulty foundation on which everything is built.

  66. Hubert

    Hubert: The box score data does not contain everything that can be observed.That’s the faulty foundation on which everything is built.

    And it’s something that’s been discussed ad nauseum so let’s spare feigning surprise or opening up the can of worms again. You prefer to make certifiable conclusions based on limited data. That’s your thing, I’m cool with it. But if you’re calling out other readers because they don’t conform to your misinterpretation of the scientific method, it’s fair game to point out the silliness of statements like this:

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I really have to comment on this. iserp, I hope that you reread what you’ve just written. You’ve just criticized WP48 for being “unscientific,” and then you say that because your hypothesis is that Melo > Brewer, WP48 needs to go back to the drawing board until it can justify that hypothesis. This is bad science.

    You know what bad science is? Being slavishly devoted to your method even when it spews results that stand opposed to what is self evident.

    If a scientist developed a system that yielded a result that stated water is solid, he would perform analysis on said system to see where it failed. Instead, people like Berri assume their system is flawless and prefer to simply tell us that water is, in fact, solid, and it’s our perception that is wrong.

    You want to call that science, be my guest.

  67. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Hubert: The box score data does not contain everything that can be observed.That’s the faulty foundation on which everything is built.

    This invalidates the model? I just got LASIK surgery, and I can tell you that my doctors could have gotten a lot more information out of me (and my eyeballs) before assessing me as a good candidate. Does this mean that their method is inherently wrong? Because they don’t have a complete and closed body of information?

  68. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ephus: The point – and I know that you understand it – is that observation of players in game situations is an important part of player evaluation.

    I don’t disagree with this at all. It would be foolish for me to say that there is no difference between a corner 3PA and a 3PA with a foot in the half-court circle.

    The assumption is that because FGA does not provide certain details of information, it is useless. My assumption is that NBA basketball — I am talking about professional American basketball, not any other kind of basketball, from YMCA to the NBDL — is a game that provides a fairly consistent range of opportunities for players. That is, you will not find guards who take an inordinate number of shots from 75 feet, nor will you find centers who take 90% of their shots at the rim.

    Much of the “good” that we can attribute to players like Kenneth Faried — evident in his stellar eFG% — is a result of his ability to create a large number of opportunities in the paint and at the rim, a larger percentage than someone who is less explosively athletic, like Carmelo Anthony.

    Much of the “eyetests” on this board seek to show how Faried is less skilled than Anthony, which is probably true. But it does not make him less efficient. eFG% explains efficiency, but it does not explain how a player is efficient. That makes it a certain type of descriptive statistic, but that does not make it useless or even misleading, so long as you do not try to explain that Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Paul take the same range, types, and frequencies of shot attempts.

  69. Hubert

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: This invalidates the model? I just got LASIK surgery, and I can tell you that my doctors could have gotten a lot more information out of me (and my eyeballs) before assessing me as a good candidate. Does this mean that their method is inherently wrong? Because they don’t have a complete and closed body of information?

    Not a comparable analogy at all but let’s play with it. I just need to think what the LASIK equivalent of Ronnie Brewer > Carmelo Anthony is.

    If, after performing their surgery, it left you blind, then yes that could indicate that their method was wrong and they should have gotten a lot more information out of you before proceeding.

    Look, I’m not anti-Berry. I like what WP offers, but I would never be overly zealous about their conclusions.

  70. JK47

    There is a certain type of player that WP unmistakably overvalues– the Ronnie Brewer, Landry Fields “low usage but decent rebounder for his position” type player. Most of WP’s more embarrassing moments come from overvaluing this type of player– famously ranking Landry Fields as the 8th best player in the NBA his rookie year or something like that. Guys like Fields and Brewer do well in WP because they don’t turn the ball over a lot, and they don’t have very many high volume, low efficiency games. The problem is that WP doesn’t punish them for what they DON’T do.

    I play in a pickup game every now and then despite the fact that I’m a terrible player. I can’t jump, I’m short, I don’t dribble well, I can’t convert a layup with any consistency… The one thing I can do is stand on the perimeter and occasionally rattle in a long-range J. And because I hang around on the perimeter a lot with nobody near me, I pick up a long rebound every now and then. In other words, I’m the Landry Fields of pickup games. I almost never turn the ball over, because I almost never put it on the deck. I don’t miss a lot of shots, because I don’t take a lot of shots. WP would probably say I’m not all that bad a player, when in fact I am.

  71. massive

    I’m not sure people on the board argue against efficiency. Kenneth Faried is an extremely productive basketball player, but the argument is more along the lines of how good he would be if he was viewed as a #1 by his organization. Kenneth Faried was taken with the 22nd pick in the NBA draft. That fact alone lets him come in, fly under the radar, and do what he does best. If he were drafted with the #1 pick like our new friend Bargs, he would be asked to do a lot more than just rebound like a mad man and get easy buckets. He would be asked to create his own offense in the traditional “not off another person’s miss” mold and he would be asked to create easier scoring opportunities for his teammates. Most people on this board would agree that it’s easier for Kenneth Faried to put up his numbers than it is for Melo to put up his, and that’s where it gets interesting in terms of building a team dynamic.

    Again, it’s the common trend of thought that you need both a Carmelo Anthony and a Kenneth Faried (or Tyson Chandler) if you want your team to succeed. We had both and won 54 games despite losing the 3rd most player games last season (I think only the Lakers and Minnesota were worse and we saw how their seasons turned out).

  72. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    massive: He would be asked to create his own offense in the traditional “not off another person’s miss” mold and he would be asked to create easier scoring opportunities for his teammates.

    Like Anthony Davis?

  73. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    massive: He would be asked to create his own offense in the traditional “not off another person’s miss” mold and he would be asked to create easier scoring opportunities for his teammates. Most people on this board would agree that it’s easier for Kenneth Faried to put up his numbers than it is for Melo to put up his, and that’s where it gets interesting in terms of building a team dynamic.

    And I take issue with all of these assumptions.

    1) that offensive rebounds do not create shots for players or their teammates
    2) that Faried is incapable of creating his own shot, which is easily disproved by simply watching him play — he DOES have a post game!
    3) that is easier to do what Faried does than what Anthony does, as if there are a comparable number of players who produce with the efficiency that Faried does

    When someone on this board talked about how Harden was the recipient of other players’ hard work, I showed a full-game highlight clip and analyzed individual possessions, showing how Harden was the one responsible for his own production. (Westbrook stood out near the 3-point line for much of those plays.) If you see Faried make a strong 1-on-1 move on a defender, the assumption that he is incapable of doing such a thing should vanish. Then you can take a look at his shot distribution and efficiency.

    If Faried is more efficient than Anthony, and for different reasons, shouldn’t we be criticizing Anthony for not being able to do the highly unique things that Faried is able to do given similar opportunities?

  74. Keniman Shumpwalker

    DRed:
    Why is it easier for Faried to put up his numbers than it is for Anthony?

    Yeah easier is, I think, the wrong word. What Faried does is extremely physically taxing, especially given that he is undersized for his position, and requires a remarkably consistent motor. This is not “easy” on any level. But what he does is less reliant on a varied skill set than what Melo does and I think that’s what Massive was driving at, correct me if I’m wrong.

  75. nicos

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:

    If Faried is more efficient than Anthony, and for different reasons, shouldn’t we be criticizing Anthony for not being able to do the highly unique things that Faried is able to do given similar opportunities?

    Except last year Faried wasn’t a more efficient scorer than Anthony mostly due to turnovers and free throws. And when you consider that Anthony’s usage was double Faried’s, making any kind of argument that suggests Faried was anywhere close to Anthony in terms of scoring the ball last year is ridiculous.

  76. DRed

    Keniman Shumpwalker: Yeah easier is, I think, the wrong word. What Faried does is extremely physically taxing, especially given that he is undersized for his position, and requires a remarkably consistent motor. This is not “easy” on any level. But what he does is less reliant on a varied skill set than what Melo does and I think that’s what Massive was driving at, correct me if I’m wrong.

    Sure. But who cares? If what Faried does helps his team win more than what Carmelo does, wouldn’t you rather have Faried (assume that Faried does do more to help his team win)?

  77. Keniman Shumpwalker

    DRed: Sure.But who cares? If what Faried does helps his team win more than what Carmelo does, wouldn’t you rather have Faried (assume that Faried does do more to help his team win)?

    Of course. And I would never argue that Faried isn’t awesome at what he does. But I don’t actually believe that Faried, in a vacuum, does more to help his team win than Melo. I’m a middle-grounder: I believe that pairing guys like Melo (high volume scorers) with guys like Faried (low-usage specialists), is the ideal way to build a team.

  78. Frank

    I hesitate to even get involved in this, if only because we go around and around in circles on this every 2 weeks and we never get anywhere.

    But re: Faried – let’s look at his offensive poss types via Synergy.

    His overall PPP is 1.01 which is excellent – 56th in the league. Fantastic.
    But if you drill down into play types, it makes you wonder whether he could, in fact, keep the same PPP if he increased his usage.
    Play type / % of total possessions / total # poss / PPP
    Overall / 100% / 962 / 1.01
    Isolation/ 2.7% / 26 / 0.96
    PNR BH / 0.1% / 1 / 0
    Post-up / 5.1% / 49 / 0.61 (um, he doesn’t really have a post game)
    PNR RM / 13.2% / 127 / 0.88
    Spot-up / 3.8% / 37 / 0.92
    Screen / 0.2% / 2 / 0
    Handoff / 0.3% / 3 / 0.67
    Cut / 29.2% / 281 / 1.14
    OReb / 19.9% / 191 / 1.08
    Transition / 16.6% / 160 / 1.31

    So we can see from this that the the majority of his offensive possessions come from basket cuts, putbacks, and in transition. Great. But how is one supposed to increase the number of those opportunities? Presumably he’s maximizing his basket cuts, putting back everything he can already, and running out as aggressively as he can.

    So the only way he can really increase his usage is to increase the other kinds of possessions – iso/PNR roll man / post-up, spot ups. Unfortunately, in ALL those play types he is well below his overall PPP, so they could only drag down his PPP / TS / eFG, barring major improvements to his game (ie. his jumper gets better, he works on his post game). Improvements can certainly happen, but it’s not like he can increase his usage% from 17.7 to 30 just by trying harder with the things he already does well.

    It’s the same story with Tyson Chandler. he uses the vast majority of his poss with PNR, Cuts, and O-rebs. He’s awful in the post, can’t shoot, and can’t iso. We already run PNR multiple times every possession. How is he supposed to increase his usage without dropping his efficiency?

  79. Frank

    btw I am NOT saying that I want Carmelo Anthony to have a usage of 34. I think he does take a bunch of unnecessary low-efficiency shots, and if he took fewer of those, it might increase the opportunities for higher-efficiency shots from other players. But the idea that someone’s usage could go up a lot without any change in efficiency when that someone is a terribly limited offensive player is just not believable.

  80. Nick C.

    Isn’t the usage comparison similar, at least to me, to comparing a 200 IP starter with a 50-75 IP reliever (setting aside the leverage issue).

  81. Nick C.

    Isn’t the usage comparison similar, at least to me, to comparing a 200 IP starter with a 50-75 IP reliever (setting aside the leverage issue)?

  82. DRed

    Nick C.:
    Isn’t the usage comparison similar, at least to me, to comparing a 200 IP starter with a 50-75 IP reliever (setting aside the leverage issue)?

    I don’t think that works, because basketball players do more than just shoot the basketball.

  83. mokers

    DRed: Sure.But who cares? If what Faried does helps his team win more than what Carmelo does, wouldn’t you rather have Faried (assume that Faried does do more to help his team win)?

    This brings up a good point. you say that Faried helps his team to win more. WP places the Knicks top lineup from last year as Kidd, Prigioni, Novak, Chandler, Martin. do you see anything problematic with that lineup?

  84. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: that Faried is incapable of creating his own shot, which is easily disproved by simply watching him play — he DOES have a post game!

    Frank:
    / 0
    Post-up / 5.1% / 49 / 0.61 (um, he doesn’t really have a post game)

    Ah, my favorite new game!

    1. Trash the eye test as being unscientific and then

    2. Turn around and use the eye test to defend your favorite player but

    3. Do so in such a way that it completely undermines your original argument.

    Is this some sort of 4-dimensional meta trolling about the fallibility of human memory and observation? Because if so, bravo. Gotta doff my cap to you for that one.

  85. swiftandabundant

    I read every comment on this blog every day but never comment. Mainly because I’m not a huge stats guy and I feel like anything I say might get knocked down by certain people on this blog. But I have to chime in on this.

    OMG! TCHJ you need to loosen up on your rigid efficiency stats philosophy!!!

    Its freakin’ basketball dude. Yeah stats can help you discover things about players you didn’t know and can find hidden gems. They can help you build a team but you can’t build a team by stats alone man!

    Its simple. You need a PG who can dish and score. You need a guy who can create his own shot and score and make difficult shots/draw the double team. You need a guy who can get rebounds and putbacks. You need defensive guys. You need 3 point shooters. You need guys who can do some or all of these things.

    It sure would be nice to get 5 Lebrons, players at every position who can do it all. But it doesn’t work that way. So you gotta mix it up and find the right balance. And at the end of the day, if the players don’t like each other and the coach has bad substitution patterns and bad plays, the team is gonna not be as good as they are on paper. Sometimes a key player can go down and the team gets better because everyone plays harder in their absence.

    The idea that Keneth Faried is better than Melo is ridiculous. Does that mean I wouldn’t want Faried on this team with Melo cause he does things that Melo can’t/won’t do? Of course not! But you can’t have a guy who scores on putbacks and rebounds and fastbreaks be your main guy. Is that how Kobe or Shaq or MJ or Hakeem or any other franchise player did it? Nope! They had role players that did that dirty work for them.

    I enjoy your comments and your point of view but dang you can be dense when it comes to common sense about basketball. Have you ever played the game?

  86. EB

    WP does have massive flaws in so far as it only looks at the box score. When Faried is having a bad game or bad matchup he isn’t getting rebounds or isn’t getting cuts to the basket, but this has no effect on his ts%. He takes no shots but loses nothing for not taking those shots.

    Melo on the other hand MUST shoot. The entire Knicks offense was predicated on Melo shooting the ball until they started doubling him. Melo’s bad day means he still needs to take 30 shots a game. Melo’s bad day shows up in the box score, Faried’s does not.

  87. Nick C.

    DRed: I don’t think that works, because basketball players do more than just shoot the basketball.

    True. I was thinking usage only rather than overall game.

  88. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: Ah, my favorite new game!

    1. Trash the eye test as being unscientific and then

    2. Turn around and use the eye test to defend your favorite player but

    3. Do so in such a way that it completely undermines your original argument.

    Thank you for the snarky comment. It’s contributing well to the thread.

    My point is that you cannot categorically say something like, “Faried cannot do X,” and then see him do X, and maintain your argument. You cannot say that Harden gets his points because defenders don’t have to worry about him, and then watch him torch a defense on ISOs and PnRs in which the “#1 option” is standing in the corner with a defender treating him like he’s Rasheed Wallace.

    If you’re going to rely on the eyetest, you cannot dismiss the eyetest when it doesn’t support your hypothesis.

  89. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    swiftandabundant: The idea that Keneth Faried is better than Melo is ridiculous. Does that mean I wouldn’t want Faried on this team with Melo cause he does things that Melo can’t/won’t do? Of course not! But you can’t have a guy who scores on putbacks and rebounds and fastbreaks be your main guy. Is that how Kobe or Shaq or MJ or Hakeem or any other franchise player did it? Nope! They had role players that did that dirty work for them.

    I enjoy your comments and your point of view but dang you can be dense when it comes to common sense about basketball. Have you ever played the game?

    This comment does not meaningfully contribute to the conversation.

    Firstly, I do play basketball. I am quite good at basketball. People I play with often comment on how mechanically sound my shot is. I have a tough time driving left, but I play the two-man game exceptionally well and I know how to execute a pick-and-roll as either option.

    Secondly, my being good, bad, experienced or not at basketball: it’s irrelevant. The point about statistics (or even game theory) is that you don’t have to be an expert at X to understand X. I recommend to you the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis.

    Thirdly, it is only ridiculous that Carmelo is worse than Faried because you have already taken your hypothesis as your conclusion. If you change what attributes identify a good player and what outcomes identify a good basketball play, you will see a different course of evaluation. Then, it will not be so obvious. I do not care if you disagree with me because your assumptions — those that support your claim — do not seem any more reasonable than mine.

    Fourthly, you claim that “Kobe … did it.” I disagree. Shaq, Pau, Andrew, Horace, Robert, and Kobe did it. I don’t see any reason to thrust Kobe up aside from that he scored a lot of points. Other things help win basketball games.

  90. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Thank you for the snarky comment. It’s contributing well to the thread.

    My point is that you cannot categorically say something like, “Faried cannot do X,” and then see him do X, and maintain your argument. You cannot say that Harden gets his points because defenders don’t have to worry about him, and then watch him torch a defense on ISOs and PnRs in which the “#1 option” is standing in the corner with a defender treating him like he’s Rasheed Wallace.

    If you’re going to rely on the eyetest, you cannot dismiss the eyetest when it doesn’t support your hypothesis.

    If you’re going to make a whole shtick out of denouncing the eye test, you cannot then try to use it whenever it seems convenient. See how that works?

    Nobody is saying Kenneth Faried is categorically incapable of scoring on post-ups, but nice try. The arguement is that Kenneth Faried is very BAD at posting up to score, something borne out both by the eye test and his dismal PPP at post ups per Frank’s comment. It follows that Kenneth Faried is probably not cabable of maintaining his sterling scoring efficiency if forced to increase his usage, because to do so would be to take more low-efficiency (for him) shots out of post ups, ISOs, jump shots, etc. If he could get up to Carmelo Anthony levels of usage like (~30%) on his preferred died of efficient transition dunks, put backs and cuts off the ball, why wouldn’t he? He can’t.

    But yes, you are correct, that your having seen him score on a post up on at least one occasion proves the he is not LITERALLY INCAPABLE of creating his own shots in the manner that every high usage player must do in order to be, well, high usage. He’s just bad at it. Something to keep in mind when you’re declaring him categorically superior to Melo.

  91. Z-man

    flossy: If you’re going to make a whole shtick out of denouncing the eye test, you cannot then try to use it whenever it seems convenient.See how that works?

    Nobody is saying Kenneth Faried is categorically incapable of scoring on post-ups, but nice try.The arguement is that Kenneth Faried is very BAD at posting up to score, something borne out both by the eye test and his dismal PPP at post ups per Frank’s comment.It follows that Kenneth Faried is probably not cabable of maintaining his sterling scoring efficiency if forced to increase his usage, because to do so would be to take more low-efficiency (for him) shots out of post ups, ISOs, jump shots, etc.If he could get up to Carmelo Anthony levels of usage like (~30%) on his preferred died of efficient transition dunks, put backs and cuts off the ball, why wouldn’t he?He can’t.

    But yes, you are correct, that your having seen him score on a post up on at least one occasion proves the he is not LITERALLY INCAPABLE of creating his own shots in the manner that every high usage player must do in order to be, well, high usage.He’s just bad at it. Something to keep in mind when you’re declaring him categorically superior to Melo.

    Very good, sir.

  92. bidiong

    flossy: If you’re going to make a whole shtick out of denouncing the eye test, you cannot then try to use it whenever it seems convenient.See how that works?

    Nobody is saying Kenneth Faried is categorically incapable of scoring on post-ups, but nice try.The arguement is that Kenneth Faried is very BAD at posting up to score, something borne out both by the eye test and his dismal PPP at post ups per Frank’s comment.It follows that Kenneth Faried is probably not cabable of maintaining his sterling scoring efficiency if forced to increase his usage, because to do so would be to take more low-efficiency (for him) shots out of post ups, ISOs, jump shots, etc.If he could get up to Carmelo Anthony levels of usage like (~30%) on his preferred died of efficient transition dunks, put backs and cuts off the ball, why wouldn’t he?He can’t.

    But yes, you are correct, that your having seen him score on a post up on at least one occasion proves the he is not LITERALLY INCAPABLE of creating his own shots in the manner that every high usage player must do in order to be, well, high usage.He’s just bad at it. Something to keep in mind when you’re declaring him categorically superior to Melo.

    THCJ just picks one word it off your argument and goes off that. You’re wasting your time over and over arguing it. He’s like a news producer cutting early in a sound bite to change the context.

  93. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Isolation/ 2.7% / 26 / 0.96
    PNR BH / 0.1% / 1 / 0
    Post-up / 5.1% / 49 / 0.61

    If we’re going to take 49 shot attempts as evidence that Faried is a bad post-up player, we should also take his 26 shot attempts in ISO to determine that he is a fantastic isolation player. That number should be top-20 in the league, right?

    bidiong: THCJ just picks one word it off your argument and goes off that. You’re wasting your time over and over arguing it. He’s like a news producer cutting early in a sound bite to change the context.

    Thanks for this. Enjoy your stay!

  94. bidiong

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Isolation/ 2.7% / 26 / 0.96
    PNR BH / 0.1% / 1 / 0
    Post-up / 5.1% / 49 / 0.61

    If we’re going to take 49 shot attempts as evidence that Faried is a bad post-up player, we should also take his 26 shot attempts in ISO to determine that he is a fantastic isolation player. That number should be top-20 in the league, right?

    Thanks for this. Enjoy your stay!

    Just stating what I’ve seen through the eye test. Prove me otherwise if you’re so multidimensional.

  95. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: The Honorable Cock Jowles
    August 9, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Isolation/ 2.7% / 26 / 0.96
    PNR BH / 0.1% / 1 / 0
    Post-up / 5.1% / 49 / 0.61

    If we’re going to take 49 shot attempts as evidence that Faried is a bad post-up player, we should also take his 26 shot attempts in ISO to determine that he is a fantastic isolation player. That number should be top-20 in the league, right?

    Well, bottom line is that if you take his iso and post-up attempts COMBINED you come up short of 1 attempt per game. In fact, Melo probably takes more of these in a busy week than Faried does in an entire season. It is simply not part of his game and I would expect that statistical tendencies would validate that it is highly improbable that it ever will be to any significant degree.

    I think you would also find that there is a statistical cap on certain kinds of shots and not on others. For example, a team like the Celts would get back in transition on virtually every play, figuring that stopping transition baskets is a better strategy than crashing the offensive boards. So 17% of Faried’s FG attempt type might dwindle down to 10% or less. However, I would conjecture that iso’s and post-ups are much harder to restrict, although easier to lower PPP on via double-teams, etc. So when Faried gets shut down in transition, it causes he and other players to take lower-PPP shot attempt types, yet affects him less because he will rarely take them. He will just focus on follow-ups, cuts and PnR roller type baskets, which is 65% of his current mix of shots. That number might go up somewhat, but would it affect his efficiency?

  96. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: If we’re going to take 49 shot attempts as evidence that Faried is a bad post-up player,

    I guess your eye test happened to coincide with Kenneth Faried’s weekly post-up FGA! How serendipitous.

  97. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    bidiong: Just stating what I’ve seen through the eye test. Prove me otherwise if you’re so multidimensional.

    I don’t appreciate the tone of this post, so I won’t respond to it. Thanks for reading!

  98. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: So when Faried gets shut down in transition, it causes he and other players to take lower-PPP shot attempt types, yet affects him less because he will rarely take them.

    And what about all of the “easy” baskets that Carmelo cannot get in transition? Why do we penalize Faried for having a less-developed post game, but do not do the same for Carmelo for not getting those same high-efficiency opportunities that Faried does?

  99. lavor postell

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And what about all of the “easy” baskets that Carmelo cannot get in transition? Why do we penalize Faried for having a less-developed post game, but do not do the same for Carmelo for not getting those same high-efficiency opportunities that Faried does?

    We should probably trade Melo straight up for Faried and sign Brewer again. Wouldn’t that make us a 60 win team? The more low usage, high efficiency guys we sign the better. It really was something to see Faried carry the Nuggets offense last year as the centerpiece….

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I don’t appreciate the tone of this post, so I won’t respond to it. Thanks for reading!

    Funny coming from a guy who makes half of his posts in condescending and sarcastic fashion.

  100. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    lavor postell: We should probably trade Melo straight up for Faried and sign Brewer again.Wouldn’t that make us a 60 win team?The more low usage, high efficiency guys we sign the better.It really was something to see Faried carry the Nuggets offense last year as the centerpiece….

    Funny coming from a guy who makes half of his posts in condescending and sarcastic fashion.

    Neither of these comments contribute in any way to the conversation. If you’d like to address my points as flossy has, perhaps with a bit less snark (but with all of the substance), I’d be happy to engage you in conversation.

  101. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And what about all of the “easy” baskets that Carmelo cannot get in transition? Why do we penalize Faried for having a less-developed post game, but do not do the same for Carmelo for not getting those same high-efficiency opportunities that Faried does?

    Well, for one thing, it isn’t true that Melo gets less higher efficiency opportunities.

    Melo MP 2482 Shots at rim 246/458 .537
    Faried MP 2248 Shots at rim 305/457 .667

    So it seems that Melo generated almost the same number of shots at the rim, but made them at a lower %, resulting in a net difference of less than a basket a game. I would guess that a significantly smaller % of Melo’s at-the-rim shots were in transition and a lot more were in the half court, i.e. more likely to be contested. In any case, it seems to suggest that Melo could easily generate something like Faried’s shooting efficiency numbers if he only took these shots. But, like Faried, he is probably maxing out on these opportunities. Fortunately for Faried, he can defer the rest of the offense to others. He took less than one shot per game from beyond 10 feet, and less than one a week from beyond 15 feet. And take away easy transition baskets like great defensive teams do (Faried surely gets more of these than Melo) and Faried becomes a super-limited offensive player.

    That said, FWIW I will grant you that Faried is a better transition finisher than Melo.

  102. iserp

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And what about all of the “easy” baskets that Carmelo cannot get in transition? Why do we penalize Faried for having a less-developed post game, but do not do the same for Carmelo for not getting those same high-efficiency opportunities that Faried does?

    Let’s not forget that transition opportunities are also a consequence of the style of play of all the team, and that it goes both ways. And what you get in easy baskets for you, sometimes you give in easy baskets for your opponent (not that i think it is a wrong strategy).

  103. massive

    The transition scoring argument is an extremely valid point. It’s the reason Carmelo’s TS% isn’t in the 600s despite shooting 38% from 3 and 83% from the line. Transition baskets are without a doubt good for a basketball team. We don’t get enough of those, and some of that can definitely be blamed on Melo.

    And I contend that Melo doesn’t finish at a higher rate around the rim because the refs refuse to call fouls when Melo catches an uppercut from Chris Kaman. He gets fouled a lot and they rarely call it.

  104. massive

    However, I think that a lot of the half-court praise vs fast break opportunities is:

    1) People think that half court shots are more frequent over a course of a game, and that fast break opportunities are restricted in the playoffs, thus making half court shot efficiency superior on a contending team.

    2) Not getting super efficient shots like transition opportunities and leaving them to your teammates is not a terrible thing. If Felton, Shump, and JR get all of the transition buckets and Melo can maintain a .560 TS% without those shots, then that would make the offense better, no? You’re getting above average efficiency (at a league-leading efficiency) from one player while allowing the other players to boost their individual scoring efficiencies.

    This is a bad example because he creates these looks for his teammates, but it’s sorta how Chris Paul rarely plays in off-ball catch-and-shoot scenarios, even though wide open 3s are a good shot to take. Would his scoring efficiency stand to benefit from these shots? Of course, but his not taking those available shots doesn’t hurt his team’s offense.

  105. Z-man

    What you are alluding to is the main part of my criticism of how WP48 is used. Players that don’t play the same role should not be compared. Carmelo Anthony should only be compared to other relatively high-usage offensive centerpiece players. Berri’s whole point seems to be that o matter who the other 4 (or 14)teammates are, Faried being the 15th guy would produce more team wins than Melo as the 15th guy. My critique is that this is only true in cases where Faried does what he does better than the other 14 guys (a forward who excels at rebounding, scoring efficiently by only taking high-percentage shots, running the floor.) If the team needs perimeter and iso scoring, spreading the floor, creating double teams, but already has, say, Reggie Evans, Faried would be duplicative. Sort of like Melo and Amare; even though they do it in different ways, they occupy the same niche. More accurately, the same niches.

    My contention is that there are a finite number of niches that define the team sport of basketball. Some are absolutely essential (ball handling and distribution, perimeter scoring) while others are less essential but generally a net positive to have (high-volume steals guy, enforcer, 25+ foot shooting specialist) The truly great players can be very good to great at several things (LeBron, Bird, Jordan, etc.) or extremely great at a couple of things are somewhat less valuable (Durant, Rodman, Ben Wallace). How valuable and productive a player is depends on how well he occupies these niches. WP48 contends that only certain niches are correlated with wins, and refutes the notion that the many little things that need to be done matter much because they do not have as much of a statistical impact in the box score.

  106. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: How valuable and productive a player is depends on how well he occupies these niches. WP48 contends that only certain niches are correlated with wins, and refutes the notion that the many little things that need to be done matter much because they do not have as much of a statistical impact in the box score.

    I actually do agree with this; our assumptions on how wide of a variance there is between those niches simply do not mesh.

    The box score is obviously not perfect, but if one were to argue that Bargnani, as a 7′ PF/C, is entitled to be a scorer-only niche player, with no detriment to his team’s rebounding — that would be an unacceptable assumption to me. (And let’s all remember that what we end up arguing on this site is often the assumptions, which my set theory book defines as “a statement accepted without proof as a basis for argument.”)

    The idea that centers should get rebounds (to the risk of relying on other positions to make up for low totals) seems a “common sense” assumption to me. Perhaps if Bargnani were playing next to Ben Wallace, we could agree that diminishing returns and “niche exclusivity” (or something like it) would make Bargnani’s production greater, but as it stands, few players get

    It just seems to me that the assumption that Carmelo “has to” take low-efficiency ISO shots is more a function of bad coaching than a lack of skill or talent on his part. I think he’s an excellent player and dazzles me with his range of skills. That doesn’t make him particularly efficient in his opportunities, though — certainly not to the same degree as Durant et al. — so the question is whether he is “forced” to take those difficult shots and why. I certainly don’t think that the pick-and-roll is a play that has to be limited in number, but when ISO plays are called, I question why that’s so.

  107. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: Berri’s whole point seems to be that o matter who the other 4 (or 14)teammates are, Faried being the 15th guy would produce more team wins than Melo as the 15th guy.

    No, I don’t think this is the case. I think Berri says, “This is how many wins Faried produced this year, this game, whatever.” Berri has come right out and said that the statistic expresses outcomes, but does not express how or why those outcomes came about. The data seem to show that offensive rebounds; highly efficient scoring; few turnovers and fouls committed; and high free throw rates are desirable outcomes. How a player achieves these things is a different story, and something that WP48 does not even pretend to know.

  108. mokers

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:

    The idea that centers should get rebounds (to the risk of relying on other positions to make up for low totals) seems a “common sense” assumption to me. Perhaps if Bargnani were playing next to Ben Wallace, we could agree that diminishing returns and “niche exclusivity” (or something like it) would make Bargnani’s production greater, but as it stands, few players get

    I know you didn’t get to finish this paragraph, but it is not important that any one position gets rebounds. If the front court players are all boxing out to keep their men off the glass, a back court player might get the actual rebound. In terms of value of a person’s rebounding skill, I would think on/off rebounding rate would be as good an indicator of rebounding skill. Now this is not to say that Bargnani is not a bad rebounder and is good at boxing out, of course, but to say that rebounds are something that a center is supposed to do only tells a part of the story.

  109. mokers

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: No, I don’t think this is the case. I think Berri says, “This is how many wins Faried produced this year, this game, whatever.” Berri has come right out and said that the statistic expresses outcomes, but does not express how or why those outcomes came about. The data seem to show that offensive rebounds; highly efficient scoring; few turnovers and fouls committed; and high free throw rates are desirable outcomes. How a player achieves these things is a different story, and something that WP48 does not even pretend to know.

    So by WP, the best lineup on the Knicks last year would have been Kidd, Prigioni, Novak, Martin, Chandler. Who is running the PnR with chandler to get his shots? What rotation is getting Novak an open shot? Does Kidd shoot as many 3s since Novak and Prigioni are on the floor? Would you consider it a disadvantage to have Novak guarding Lebron James in that scenario?

  110. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    mokers: If the front court players are all boxing out to keep their men off the glass, a back court player might get the actual rebound.

    This is true. Why do players like Kidd get so many more rebounds than other guards, regardless of team?

  111. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: The box score is obviously not perfect, but if one were to argue that Bargnani, as a 7? PF/C, is entitled to be a scorer-only niche player, with no detriment to his team’s rebounding — that would be an unacceptable assumption to me.

    But this muddles things up; Bargnani is not getting “zero” rebounds; he averages roughly 6 rebounds per 36. He’s really not a C as much as a stretch 3-4, and a below-average rebounder for that position. He basically occupies the same niches as Melo, Dirk, Durant, Gallo, maybe Josh Smith and Bosh on the high end, and Novak, Mike Miller, Matt Bonner, Ryan Anderson, etc. on the more pedestrian end. He rates lower than the top guys in most categories, and lower than the lesser guys in the more important parts of that role (perimeter shooting), both statistically and by the eye test. Faried is an “energy/interior 3-4 rebounder” who should be compared to guys like Lee, Millsap, Evans, Ivan Johnson, DeJuan Blair, Hansbrough who can score efficiently but in limited ways and mainly inside, and who aren’t really rim protectors. I would contend that the ways that Faried scores (and rebounds) can be affected dramatically by a bad playoff matchup, as it was last year. When Gallo went down, Faried was unable to increase his usage within his normal skillset. His usage actually went down, as did his rebounding and scoring per 36. Novak is a better example of a guy who made hay during the regular season, only to have nothing to go to once conditions changed and his niche was minimized. Bargnani? I would agree wholeheartedly that Faried was a much better player than him, both statistically and via the eye test (if your eyes are capable of valuing other aspects of the game other than points scored, like most of us here) But they simply do not occupy the same role(s).

  112. JK47

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: This is true. Why do players like Kidd get so many more rebounds than other guards, regardless of team?

    Actually, all the Knick 2-guards rebounded pretty well last year:

    TRB%
    Kidd 9.3
    JR Smith 9.3
    Shump 8.0

    The Knicks as a team were a very good defensive rebounding team, despite the fact that they played a lot of small ball. This says to me that the bigs did a pretty good job of boxing out, and the guards did a good job of taking advantage of said boxing out.

    Jason Kidd was of course a great rebounder for a PG, one of the reasons he’s a sure-fire Hall of Famer. We all know why: he was a genius at anticipating the carom of the ball and being in the right place at the right time. That’s why he was still a very solid rebounder with the Knicks, after he had lost all of his athleticism.

  113. Z-man

    To add to this, if you have great 3-pt shooting guards, then your need for a Bargnani is less; if you have a great rebounding rim-protector (say Howard) then your need for a Faried is less. The Knicks have a need in both areas, and neither guy would perfectly fill the void. However, I think there is more chance that Bargnani is likely to do so, especially in te playoffs, than Faried.

  114. JK47

    You guys all remember Juan Samuel, the baseball player? Samuel was supposed to be a big star, because he was a middle infielder who had power and speed. But in real life, Juan Samuel was not a star, and in fact was a bad player.

    He had power, but not enough so you could bat him in the middle of the lineup. You also couldn’t bat him at the top of the lineup because he had no plate discipline. He had speed, but was a poor percentage base stealer. And he was a middle infielder, but a lousy one, a consistently terrible defensive player.

    Andrea Bargnani is like a basketball version of Juan Samuel. He shoots the three well, but not as well as the real sharpshooters in the league. He’s a seven footer, but doesn’t protect the rim or rebound. He’s a “center” but he’s a center in the same way that Juan Samuel was a second baseman. It’s tantalizing to think “hey, we have a center who can shoot threes” in the same way that people once thought “hey we have a 20/20 second baseman” but in Bargnani’s case the advanced stats are right on the money.

    It’s a grave insult to Kenneth Faried to even compare him to a dud like Bargnani.

  115. DRed

    mokers: So by WP, the best lineup on the Knicks last year would have been Kidd, Prigioni, Novak, Martin, Chandler. Who is running the PnR with chandler to get his shots? What rotation is getting Novak an open shot? Does Kidd shoot as many 3s since Novak and Prigioni are on the floor? Would you consider it a disadvantage to have Novak guarding Lebron James in that scenario?

    The best 5 players by WP doesn’t mean the best lineup. If, for example, your 5 best players are F/Cs, that doesn’t mean it’s time to unleash a radical no-guard lineup and revolutionize the NBA. You need someone to bring the ball up, initiate the offense, etc. So WP wouldn’t say roll out the Kidd/Priggs/Novak/Martin/Chandler lineup and cruise to easy wins.

  116. Z-man

    One more thing, and this pertains to the bunt in baseball; just because statistically the average outcome of bunting is lower than the average outcome of swinging away doesn’t mean it is always a bad play. I recently heard on the radio a piece about the are of card-counting at a casino. While the odds are obviously against splitting tens being a good play, expert card counters know when the deck favors it being a good play. In fact, betting heavy while splitting 10′s is one of the ways that card counters get caught.

    Cards are inanimate objects, however; baseball players are not. A good manager should be analogous to a card-counter, he should know when the odds shift in favor of the bunt being a good percentage play. It may depend on the skill of the bunter/hitter, the skill of the next hitter, the speed of the runner, the hitter-pitcher matchup, etc. Just like knowing when a hitter is in a slump or is having with a certain pitch or pitcher, managers should not just blindly play percentages and eliminate the bunt option.

  117. Z-man

    DRed: The best 5 players by WP doesn’t mean the best lineup.If, for example, your 5 best players are F/Cs, that doesn’t mean it’s time to unleash a radical no-guard lineup and revolutionize the NBA.You need someone to bring the ball up, initiate the offense, etc.So WP wouldn’t say roll out the Kidd/Priggs/Novak/Martin/Chandler lineup and cruise to easy wins.

    It actually does say you have the best odds of winning with that lineup, so long as positions are somewhat considered.

  118. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: I would agree wholeheartedly that Faried was a much better player than him, both statistically and via the eye test (if your eyes are capable of valuing other aspects of the game other than points scored, like most of us here) But they simply do not occupy the same role(s).

    I agree with this, yet if we hold that rebounding is an important thing to have on a team, and that our PF should be one of the main contributors to both individual rebounds and “team” rebounds, the role that Bargnani can fill is quite less valuable than Faried’s.

    If Bargnani could play the SG position — that is, if he could guard SG — he would be a much more valuable player, as SG seem to be the least productive members of a team (on average). If he could guard other SG, and you could play a pairing like Faried and Chandler, we could totally reevaluate him as a player. I’m arguing that there is a limited range of effective playstyles for a PF, and Bargnani cannot play any of them.

  119. DRed

    Z-man: It actually does say you have the best odds of winning with that lineup, so long as positions are somewhat considered.

    No, it doesn’t. WP doesn’t know that, say, Novak can’t shoot if he’s not open. It says that Novak, playing in a system that got him open looks, was a productive player. It doesn’t say that you should start Novak if he has to guard Lebron because he’s a productive player. You can’t take the stat in a vacuum.

  120. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: I recently heard on the radio a piece about the are of card-counting at a casino.

    Listening to This American Life? I just listened to that a few days ago.

  121. mokers

    DRed: The best 5 players by WP doesn’t mean the best lineup.If, for example, your 5 best players are F/Cs, that doesn’t mean it’s time to unleash a radical no-guard lineup and revolutionize the NBA.You need someone to bring the ball up, initiate the offense, etc.So WP wouldn’t say roll out the Kidd/Priggs/Novak/Martin/Chandler lineup and cruise to easy wins.

    I actually took the top rated players at the 5 positions, but I understand where you are coming from here. How would WP say that the knicks should have matched up against the Heat or Pacers or Bulls?

  122. DRed

    mokers: I actually took the top rated players at the 5 positions, but I understand where you are coming from here. How would WP say that the knicks should have matched up against the Heat or Pacers or Bulls?

    It doesn’t say anything about matchups. That’s what coaches are for.

  123. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Listening to This American Life? I just listened to that a few days ago.

    Maybe, I was coming home from NH in July and flipping through radio channels from the Boston-Hartford area, sounded NPR-ish.

  124. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I agree with this, yet if we hold that rebounding is an important thing to have on a team, and that our PF should be one of the main contributors to both individual rebounds and “team” rebounds, the role that Bargnani can fill is quite less valuable than Faried’s.

    If Bargnani could play the SG position — that is, if he could guard SG — he would be a much more valuable player, as SG seem to be the least productive members of a team (on average). If he could guard other SG, and you could play a pairing like Faried and Chandler, we could totally reevaluate him as a player. I’m arguing that there is a limited range of effective playstyles for a PF, and Bargnani cannot play any of them.

    I essentially agree that if Bargnani’s stats don’t improve, he will always be a sub-standard PF or C, and clearly he could never play SF or SG. I do think that there is a reasonable chance that given a complete change in his situation, his stats may very well improve, and that trading what we did for him is a good gamble at this point in time, but totally get the skepticism.

  125. massive

    I actually think Bargnani will see the bulk of his minutes playing the 3 on offense and the 4 on defense. I see him as a guy who stands around the perimeter and catches and shoots for the most part, and he’ll likely take slower defenders off the dribble and put smaller defenders in the post. However, if he doesn’t get better at rebounding, he will not see the floor. The Knicks will make up an injury for him all season long like they did with Camby if he chooses not to get with the program.

  126. Z-man

    massive:
    I actually think Bargnani will see the bulk of his minutes playing the 3 on offense and the 4 on defense. I see him as a guy who stands around the perimeter and catches and shoots for the most part, and he’ll likely take slower defenders off the dribble and put smaller defenders in the post. However, if he doesn’t get better at rebounding, he will not see the floor. The Knicks will make up an injury for him all season long like they did with Camby if he chooses not to get with the program.

    To me, it’s obvious that Bargnani will, at worst, simply fill the niches of Novak and Copeland (both of whom were far worse per 36 rebounders than Bargnani). Lets look at Novak, since he had everyone believing he was some kind of secret weapon until the start of the 2012 playoffs. He illustrates the problem with a guy who piles up WP48 points by excelling at one thing.

    In 2011-2012, Novak avaraged 20mpg and 12fga per 36 at a monster TS% of .684, and although at 6’10″ he averaged 3.7 Treb/36, he racked up a WS48 of .181

    Then, in 95 playoff minutes (19mpg) he still shot at a TS% of .667 and raised his Treb/36 to 5.7. Yet his WS48 went down to .008, I guess because 1) his turnover% went up to 25%, which makes no sense because he only committed 3 turnovers in 2 games worth of minutes; he had no assists, blocks, steals of FTA. Yet nobody would argue that they were surprised that he didn’t rebound, pass, steal or get FTs; all anyone expected was for him to take and make lots of 3′s. But his 3pt attempts per 36 went from 10 during the regular season down to 2.7!! Sadly, there was nothing else he could do well, so he was rendered a huge liability even though his TS% stayed essentially the same.

    Same for Faried. He IMPROVED his TS% in the playoffs but his FGA per 36 went from 11 to 8, despite no Gallo, and Drtg went from 102 to 108.

  127. Z-man

    The point is, simply creating more attempts for high TS% guys by reducing other lower % FG attempts for other players is not as easy as it sounds, especially if the high TS% guys have a very limited skillset. The problem is actually compounded when they truly suck at other things (Novak: pretty much everything, Faried: perimeter shooting, defense, ball-handling, passing). In regard to Faried, how could he possibly not take advantage of the Warriors at his position? GS is hardly a team known for its great interior D.

  128. KnickfaninNJ

    JK47:

    Actually, all the Knick 2-guards rebounded pretty well last year:

    The Knicks as a team were a very good defensive rebounding team, despite the fact that they played a lot of small ball.This says to me that the bigs did a pretty good job of boxing out, and the guards did a good job of taking advantage of said boxing out.

    That could be, but I think you have to consider the possibility that the Knick guards rebounded “well” simply because the Knicks shot a lot of threes. Three point shots don’t go in as often as two pointers and they tend to rebound farther from the basket, which should create more opportunities for guard rebounds than inside shots do

Comments are closed.