Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Knicks Week In Advance 11/16/2008

Hello everyone. Thomas B. here, Kool-Aid in hand, to introduce a new Sunday feature. Each week, I will compare the Knicks’ against those of their opponents and provide some insight on what to watch for. The Knicks have three games this week – a home game against Washington after road games at Boston and Milwaukee.

Tue, Nov 18 at Boston

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 97.2 106.4 51.4 15 21.8 18
Rank
1
14
4.5
14
27
29
Boston Celtics-Defense 92 96.6 43.4 18.2 26.5 27.1
Rank
15
2
1
3
12
22.5
New York Knicks-Defense 97.2 106.1 52.1 17 28.1 17.6
Rank
1
17
29
9
20
1
Boston Celtics-Offense 92 101.5 47.3 18.9 26.8 30.8
Rank
15
26
18
30
18
2

[First meeting this year.]

I’d be shocked if the Knicks win this game, as the Celtics are one of the top defensive team in the league. Boston is 2nd in defensive efficiency and 1st in eFG% allowed. That doesn’t bode well for a New York team that needs to score to win. The Knicks will have to push the ball and look for quick transition buckets before Boston’s strong team defense can get set.

What to watch for: The Knicks’ defense. Boston’s two losses came when they struggled to score. The Celtics had an eFG% below 40% in their two losses. If the Knicks can maintain good defensive energy and force turnovers, they could take advantage of Boston’s weak offense.

Fri, Nov 21 at Milwaukee

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 97.2 106.4 51.4 15 21.8 18
Rank
1
14
4.5
14
27
29
Milwaukee Bucks-Defense 90 103.7 48.4 17.9 23.2 34.7
Rank
21
12
16
4
1
30
New York Knicks-Defense 97.2 106.1 52.1 17 28.1 17.6
Rank
1
17
29
9
20
1
Milwaukee Bucks-Offense 90 102.5 45.6 17.6 32.1 24.8
Rank
21
25
27
26
2
16.5

[Knicks lost the last meeting 94-86.]

Honestly, it’s hard to come up with anything to write about the Bucks. [Editor's note: tell me about it - writing about the Bucks for the last 5 years has been like taking a class trip to the corrugated box factory.] Everything about them is mediocre. If the NBA was a game of high low, then the Bucks are an 8.

What to watch for: Second chance shots. The Bucks are the best in the league right now at offensive rebounding, and they’re second in the league on the defensive glass. The Knicks are not a strong offensive rebounding team (27th) and they are in the bottom half of the league in defensive rebounding (20th). New York nees to focus on ball movement and getting a good shot as second chances may not be there.

What to watch for 2: Interior defense of the Knicks. Bogut, Jefferson, and Sessions are each adept at getting to the rim. The Knicks will need to work to keep those three from securing easy buckets in the paint.

Sat, Nov 22 Washington

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 97.2 106.4 51.4 15 21.8 18
Rank
1
14
4.5
14
27
29
Washington Wizards-Defense 91.8 111.7 53.4 16.1 29.1 19.4
Rank
16
27
30
14
23
5
New York Knicks-Defense 97.2 106.1 52.1 17 28.1 17.6
Rank
1
17
29
9
20
1
Washington Wizards-Offense 91.8 101.1 46.6 15.5 25.3 25.9
Rank
16
27
20
17
21
11

[Knicks won the last meeting 114-108.]

What can you say? Almost nothing is going right for Washington. The Wizards are one of the worst teams on both offense (27th) and defense (27th). They are without two of last year’s starters; Gilbert Arenas will be out until December, and Brendan Haywood may not play at all this year. Combine that with the slow start from Deshawn “You can’t see me” Stevenson, and you get arguably the worst team in the conference.

What to watch for: Who is going to guard Caron Butler? Butler dropped 30 on the Knicks and pretty much scored at will. Butler is the Wizards’ best player in terms of creating his own offense (18.8 PTS/36, 24th in the league in Usage Rate), so the Knicks would do well to disrupt him and keep the ball out of his hands.

What to watch for 2: Nate Robinson v. Deshawn Stevenson. Did anyone else notice these two jawing in the first game? Nate scored twice on Stevenson and showed him the “you can’t see me” hand gesture that Stevenson used last year. Robinson has played well this year but his constant taunting and talking is starting to annoy me. MSG decided to have him on microphone for an entire game. Why provide a showboat like Robinson a stage like that? That’s like letting Pookie work in your crack house. Damn Nino, what were you thinking?

29 comments on “Knicks Week In Advance 11/16/2008

  1. Bigben

    Robinson has played well this year but his constant taunting and talking is starting to annoy me. MSG decided to have him on microphone for an entire game. Why provide a showboat like Robinson a stage like that?

    time to trade Nate.
    Nate for Sean-WIll is very good

  2. caleb

    Nate for Sean-WIll is very good

    I wouldn’t do it unless I put a private detective on SW for a week or two. So for now I’ll have to abstain…

  3. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    Really like the new feature. Interesting first edition. I didn’t realize how well the Bucks are rebounding. D’Antoni seems adamant aout stressing transition D over offensive rebouding, this game might test whether that’s the best strategy. If the Knicks are going to contend for the playoffs this season they can’t (well, shouldn’t) lose to the Bucks again.

    I sort of think the Knicks should let Caron Butler get the ball in his hands on the perimeter and then play good D on him. He’s a very dangerous scorer, but in the first match up he was mostly looking to go one-on-one and force the issue instead of playing within a team concept. He would get the ball on the perimeter where he doesn’t even look to shoot it (he takes less than 2 3-pointers per game and is a career .318 3P shooter), put his head down, and try to score even if 3 Knicks defenders had an eye on him. He made quite a few shots, but not as many as the Wiz needed him to make. Maybe he makes some adjustments and he’s probably good enough to carry the scoring load on any given night, but on the season he’s at a .516 TS%.
    Keeping Antawn Jamison out of the paint seems like a key to me. He falls in love with the 3 ball, but if he gets in the paint it’s not going to take him long to realize no one on the Knicks can do much to stop him (maybe Zach’s girth is enough since it takes a slender Jamison like 5 steps to get around Zach’s body).
    I’ll be interested to see how Javal McGee plays/is used after it was clear in the first match-up that the Knicks have no one to match up with him physically.
    Nick Young also seems to have played well since these two teams met.

  4. Ted Nelson

    Robinson has played well this year but his constant taunting and talking is starting to annoy me. MSG decided to have him on microphone for an entire game. Why provide a showboat like Robinson a stage like that?
    time to trade Nate.Nate for Sean-WIll is very good

    I love Nate’s fire. The guy is 5-7 and blocks the shot of a 7-5 All-Star? If only our bigmen played with that intensity…

    As much as anything, the key to D’Antoni’s early success has been channelling Nate’s energy in positive ways: encouraging him. Nate has easily played as well as anyone on the Knicks roster.

  5. Dan Panorama

    Nate is a long term keeper as long as D’antoni’s around. His game has improved by leaps and bounds since we drafted him and the new system really maximizes his strengths — getting to the basket, hitting open threes, and overplaying passing lanes for steals — and minimizes his defensive flaws. Also his attitude has been great. He’s been way more confident about letting his game speak for itself and he’s as focused as any player on the team. In his first couple of seasons he’d go out of his way to do something crazy, like a needless dunk attempt or a guarded jumper, to try and attract attention, but he’s way more under control this year.

  6. Owen

    Re the Bucks, they are getting very strong numbers from Luc Mbah a Moute. He has given them a big unexpected boost on defense and on the boards.

  7. TDM

    Great column, Thomas B. Who said that attorneys were bad at math?

    Regarding the Bucks game, I think the Knicks will have a much better showing this time around. It seems like the team really turned a corner after the first game against the Bucks. I’ve read a lot about the fact that the Knick’s wins come against teams with losing records. However, Milwaukee’s wins have come from games against Memphis (OT), San Antonio, Washington (OT), OKC, and of course, the Knicks. Additionally, the game against the Bucks was the worst performance of the season by Crawford, Duhon, Chandler, and Lee. For example, Craw had his 0-6 game, while Duhon was not distributing the ball as he has recently, and Lee had more PF than rebounds.

    On a related topic, Duhon will probably be compared to Nash often this season given the D’Antoni link. I was looking at the season stats – Duhon and Nash are both dishing out 7.4 assists per game, however, Nash has twice as many turnovers as Duhon (4.4 to 2.2). His game is very understated, but I am quite pleased with Duhon so far this season.

  8. Italian Stallion

    Speaking of Nash and Duhon……

    Has anyone ever done a study on what contributes to a PG’s assists over and above the player’s skills, minutes, and pace of game he plays at etc…?

    I remember watching some Nets basketball over the last few years and came away feeling that Jason Kidd would not get as many assists on some occasions if he didn’t have such good scoring athletes like Carter and Jefferson to dish to at times (especially over the rim for dunks etc…) while other PG’s in the league would get more if they did.

    There has to be some relationship between a PG’s assists and who he actually has the opportunity to pass to on his team.

    I haven’t looked at Duhon and Nash and tried to adjust their assists for anything, but I have a funny feeling there’s more going on than just pace and minute changes.

  9. Z

    For one day David Stern is the man in New York! LOL

    Garnett Suspended For Knicks Game

    Stu Jackson decides suspensions.

    Remeber Stu is 7th all time in winning% as coach of the Knicks (.536). Maybe he still feels a soft spot for his first employer? (Plus, he owes D’Antoni BIG after stealing the NBA championship from him a few years ago…)

  10. Hooped Up

    And me without my Jambalaya. All hail the one they call Stu!

    For one day David Stern is the man in New York! LOL

    Garnett Suspended For Knicks Game

    Stu Jackson decides suspensions.
    Remeber Stu is 7th all time in winning% as coach of the Knicks (.536). Maybe he still feels a soft spot for his first employer? (Plus, he owes D’Antoni BIG after stealing the NBA championship from him a few years ago…)

  11. Owen

    “On a related topic, Duhon will probably be compared to Nash often this season given the D’Antoni link. I was looking at the season stats – Duhon and Nash are both dishing out 7.4 assists per game, however, Nash has twice as many turnovers as Duhon (4.4 to 2.2). His game is very understated, but I am quite pleased with Duhon so far this season.”

    Nash is averaging an assist more per 36. His assist rate is at 37.6. Duhon’s is at 26.8%, almost exactly on his career average.

    Duhon is playing at the fastest pace in the NBA. Nash is playing at the 16th fastest.

    Nash is scoring 15.2 points per game on a ts% of 61.2%, but overall I would say Duhon has been better “so far” when you include steals and turnovers in the equation, if only by a whisker. Maybe not when you account for pace actually. His offensive rating is higher, and he is certainly the better defender.

  12. Ted Nelson

    I’m all for outside the box thinking, but Duhon better than Nash???

    Duhon isn’t even the best PG on the Knicks so far, that honor belongs to Nate Robinson. The Knicks are at -1.4 with Duhon on the court and +6 with him off the court. His defensive impact is positive (-1.9), but his offensive impact is decidedly negative (-8.8). I realize that +/- isn’t the end all and be all of anything (Randolph has a largely similar effect on the Knicks while Robinson and Chandler both have a highly positive effect…), but when the Knicks other 2 guards help the team more it’s hard to sit here and sing Duhon’s praises. I think he’s played well, but is he All-NBA???

    The Knicks eFG% is 49% with Duhon on the court and 57.3% with Duhon off the court plus the % of assisted FGs goes up with him off the court and Owen has pointed out the different in ast-rate, so I also have a hard time buying the argument that he’s a great (or anything better than average) playmaker. (In terms of offensive/defensive/overall +/-, eFG%, and assisted FGs, Nash has the opposite effect on the Suns in every regard.) As far as TOs you also have to consider that Nash’s usage rate is twice Duhon’s, it’s like comparing Mikki Moore to Pau Gasol. In terms of TO-rates Duhon still has a strong advantage over Nash, but not nearly as much as in terms of TOs per 36.

    To compare the assists Nash got in D’Antoni’s system isn’t even close: he never averaged fewer than 10.6 per 36 or an ast-rate below 44 under D´Antoni. His TOs have always been high.

  13. Italian Stallion

    I’m satisfied with Duhon’s play so far. I wish he had a little better of an outide shooting game because too many of our other outside shooters are streaky (or not that good to begin with), but I have no major complaints.

    As an aside, I do think D’Antoni will eventually need to go a little deeper into the bench than he did against the Mavs. Part of the reason we got domintaed late was probably the mental/intangible/experience/character issues (IMO the Knicks are still very weak mentally) that can tend to sway late close games (plus the Mavs are simply better), but part of it was that we were dead tired.

    When Jeffries comes back, that will add one more live body, but we still have too many almost useless players seeing little or no action. Even when they do play they are pretty useless.

  14. Frank O.

    Ten games in I think you have to give Duhon a break.
    He’s the newest guy on the team.
    Everyone else has played together for at least a year.
    So, not only did he have to learn the system – and run it – he had to learn the proclivities of the people around him. And regardless of what Robinson has done, I think a player that fights over picks is going to provide more to the Knicks in the long run than guys who run under picks.
    He’s also steadier. With Marbury in the background, Duhon has shown remarkable poise in what could be a very difficult situation.
    For those Knicks fans who haven’t seen this behavior before in a Knicks player, that’s called ‘leadership.’

    I think Duhon’s defensive skills will be much more apparent when the Knicks get Jeffries back, adding some needed length and athleticism in the paint.

    Nate still gets out of his game too often. You can’t have a point guard getting caught up in complaining all the time. He’s still erratic, as much as I love the guy. He’s a good energy guy off the bench. He’s a new look, a momentary jolt, and from time to time a guy that can carry a period or a half.

  15. Ted Nelson

    Frank O,

    I’m a bit confused by your comment. Most people are not only giving Duhon a break, but contending that he’s played better than Steve Nash so far this season.

    I believe I was the only one above to directly disagree with this. I specifically said that he’s played well, but I also noted that the Knicks have played better when he’s not on the court (a net of 6.9 points per 100 possessions). I don’t know what the causes of this are, but it’s a fact nontheless.

    Duhon may seem “steady” to you and Robinson “erradic” but I fail to see what that has to do with the quality of their play… Nate has played out of his mind so far this season and that’s very difficult for any reasonable person to deny: he’s above his career bests in most important categories (not TO-rate or DREB-rate). If this is about Nate vs. Duhon, Nate has scored 9 pts/36 more at a TS% that’s 45 basis points higher, outrebounded Duhon, his assist rate is barely lower (24.8 vs. 26.8), and his steals-TOs per 36 is positive (0.3) while Duhon’s is negative (-0.3).
    I think the two provide a nice compliment to one another, and like the situation of Duhon starting and Robinson coming off the bench (the Knicks current starting line-up is one of its best units). It’s reasonable to expect that Duhon will improve slightly as the season goes on while Robinson will regress or flatline at best. So far, though, I have to say that Robinson has played better no matter what the company line is.

  16. xduckshoex

    question for you guys, who is our best player this season so far?

    I’m going with Robinson, followed by Chandler. As great as the individual numbers put up by Randolph may look to some people, the Knicks are still a much better team with him on the bench.

  17. Thomas B. Post author

    question for you guys, who is our best player this season so far?

    I think you need to provide some context by giving us a definition for the word “best.” There are many factors to consider. You could look to raw production numbers (points boards ect), +/-, efficiency, minutes played, PER, per 36 minutes numbers, or Roland rating (whatever that is). You could also look at every 5 man unit played this season and determine through a weighted system, which player has given the most production in the top X number of 5 man units.

    Or you could just do what I do, put on an aluminum foil hat and wait for the cosmos to tell you that Chris Duhon has been the best player. His a/to ratio is good, he plays solid defense, and he has run an effective offense.

  18. Owen

    I don’t think Duhon is better than Nash. Duhon has posted a higher WS per 36, but just .01 higher so far this year. Basically the same. And Nash’s +/- is pretty spiffy…

  19. TDM

    Comparing solely this season’s numbers on a per 36 basis, I still think Duhon is outperforming Nash in the categories that matter for our team. Duhon dishes out 1 less assist per 36, however he also has 2 less turnovers per 36. Not to mention, he gets 1 more steal per 36 than Nash. Nash is the better offensive player no question. However, the Knicks are stacked with offensive players. I think Duhon is a better complement to the Knick’s strengths.

  20. mase

    “I think you need to provide some context by giving us a definition for the word “best.” There are many factors to consider.”

    who would your MVP thru the first 10 games be?

    id go with Duhon because of the “big” shots he has hit, his solid defense. I think he has been the key to our successful start.

  21. Italian Stallion

    It’s way too early for these kinds of statistical comparisons to have much meaning, but I’d still vote for Nash. IMO, there’s no doubt that Nash is the much better overall player, but the gap is probably not quite as large as it looks because of their relative defensive skills (something I wish we had better stats on).

  22. Z

    “As great as the individual numbers put up by Randolph may look to some people, the Knicks are still a much better team with him on the bench.”

    Yeah– they’d be even better if he was on the Clipper’s bench.

  23. Italian Stallion

    Latest back specialist news is that Gallinari is recommended to rest from 6-8 weeks instead of 4-6 weeks.

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