Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lakers 100, Knicks 94

New York Knicks 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 Los Angeles Lakers
Kurt Thomas, PF 13 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +11

That’s a pretty damn good backup four. The best idea Woodson had today (and there was not much competition for this title) was using Kurt on Howard when Gasol stationed himself away from the rim, allowing Chandler to stray off Gasol and help liberally. Thomas competed gamely in those stretches, hit his shots, and provided some help defense of his own. He and Camby put up a 12-7-1-2-1 in 21 minutes combined.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 43 MIN | 13-23 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 34 PTS | -7

Deserved better teammates today. Little else to say. Once the Lakers’ turned their attention to denying him position, space, and the ball, nobody else could do much to burn then.

Tyson Chandler, C 40 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -9

‘The whole “Pull your man out and sneak through the backdoor when he’s not looking! Finish alley oop! Profit!” act is perfectly adorable but, seriously, what’s your real plan? Oh. Um…yeah good idea. Do that. No way I’ll just be able to break up the pass every time. Try it. Oh, I got lucky that time. Keep trying, no way that I’ll be able to easily stop it every single time due to my unique combination of length, quickness, and hops. Definitely no need for a Plan B.’

-Dwight Howard

Jason Kidd, PG 34 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 6 PTS | -1

Don’t know how much of this falls on Woodson and how much (if any) has to do with Kidd not being assertive enough but on nights like this he really needs to be at the controls for stretches when Raymond Felton decides to try to play like he’s Derrick Rose. Everything Kidd did was fine (his help defense was actually excellent and he’s the only person who did anything to slow Kobe down) but there are things he didn’t do that could have made a difference.

Raymond Felton, PG 36 MIN | 5-19 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 10 PTS | -4

Really terrible today. Lots of bad ideas and lots of poor execution. It’s not an F only because he somehow managed to get through the game without any turnovers but this is largely because missed shots don’t count as turnovers. Missed 13 of his 18 TWO POINT attempts. At the start of the year he had success as a drive and kick creator and a spot-up shooter. Somewhere along the line, probably aided and abetted by Melo’s absences, he seems to have decided that it’s his job to create a lot of his own shots. Hopefully, on a team that spent the entire offseason collecting “veteran leadership” and employs both a 40-year-old “coach on the floor” and an “actual coach,” someone will disabuse him of this delusion. Soon.

Ronnie Brewer, SF 8 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -2

Oof. Ronnie is at roughly the “Milk was a bad choice” scene in the “Anchorman” plot of his Knicks’ career. Let’s hope it’s more “We’ve been coming to the same party for 10 years and in no way is that depressing” than “I immediately regret this decision” from here on out.

Steve Novak, SF 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -7

Hit his first three to open the second quarter and then never made another. A red and green tinsel-covered Christmas bummer.

Marcus Camby, C 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +3

Yes. More of this please. Needs a full-blown audition between now and the time either Sheed or Amare comes back so we can get the pecking order figured out in this frontcourt. Made more big plays in 8 minutes (a great pass to Melo, a vicious weak-side swat on Jodie Meeks) than Chandler did in 40.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +4

Not sure what the point is of having this guy on the team if he can’t get in when Felton plays like he did today. Depth only matters if you use it. His grade is really more on Woodson than on him.

J.R. Smith, SG 37 MIN | 10-23 FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 25 PTS | -18

Pretty clearly the best guard on the team right now and, yet, you can only say that with all the usual JR Smith caveats. His technical foul was both predictable and inexcusable. His hurried spinning fadeaway heave in the dying moments was lifted from a page of the Jamal Crawford handbook that I wish had been thrown into the fire around 2006. But his shotmaking and defensive effort both remain

Rasheed Wallace, PF DNP SORE LEFT FOOT MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |

Not a moment too soon.

Mike Woodson

In a season when he has pushed the right buttons on nearly every occasion and gotten more out of this group than I thought possible, he sure did put up a dud on Christmas. Systematically, foundationally, and bafflingly bad. Going up against a supersized Lakers team that his squad had run out of the building just 12 days prior with speed and shooting, made the head-scratching decision (an overreaction to Gasol’s return, I can only guess?) to try to beat them at their own game. To the extent that the goal of this approach was to slow down Howard and Gasol, he can claim some small measure of victory. But the cost was a team bereft of an offensive identity and — lacking Brewer and asking Melo to play far too much three — unable to stay in front of the Lakers’ perimeter players. Stayed with Chandler and Felton far too long on night’s when they couldn’t get it going and viable change-of-look options (Camby, Prigs, Brewer) were in evidence. And, seemingly, has begun to lose his players to a level of sniping at the refs after every iffy call that does not befit a 20-8 team. He’s had a great calendar year and, if this is my last recap before we ring in 2013, I can’t say I feel good about saying goodbye on this note. But this was a winnable game, the Knicks lost it, and there were things Woodson could have done to keep that from happening.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Breen and Van Gundy could do every national Knicks game from now until the day one of them retires from the business and I would not complain.
  2. Camby’s court awareness on both ends has become so, so good even as he’s lost his once otherworldly burst. He’s basically the exact opposite of what he was the first time the Knicks had him. This isn’t really surprising, of course, but it’s interesting to watch him play next to Kurt who is essentially the same player he was back then, just not quite as good.
  3. I love Melo’s apparent willingness to guard multiple positions but he’s just better at guarding post-oriented guys than perimeter players. Strong enough to handle all but the biggest fours (did a great job on Gasol today) but not really quick enough to guard most elite wings. All the more reason he should be playing the four as much as possible.

65 comments on “Lakers 100, Knicks 94

  1. Juany8

    http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/225204/Perkins_Thunder_Have_To_Turn_Off_TV_Stop_Reading_Articles_Refocus_On_Team

    Funniest thing I’ve ever read. Perkins cost the Thunder the Finals against the Heat, sucked against the Heat again today, and he’s telling his teammates they have to play better? How about not posting up…….. ever. Each Perkins post up is about the equivalent of Felton suddenly deciding he can take floaters from the 3 point line. I don’t know how Scott Brooks doesn’t pull him aside to point out that a Perkins post up is one of the worst offensive options in the entire league, much less on a team with the best offensive efficiency in the NBA.

    I continue to think Scott Brooks is going to fuck OKC’s chances of ever actually winning a title. He doesn’t design plays well, doesn’t make good in game adjustments (although to his credit he does make good in between game adjustments in general) and most notably, can’t actually get his players to play properly. Pretty sure any coach could take a core of Westbrook-Durant-Ibaka and make at least the WCF every year. If you can’t do something as stupefyingly obvious as benching or reducing Perkins’ minutes against the Heat in the Finals, you don’t deserve to be given the keys to a contender.

  2. max fisher-cohen

    Nice write up, Kevin. Felton is definitely playing terribly, but he’s not quite this bad. THe base problem is the shooting, but it seems to be carrying over. Guys aren’t as willing to pass when the threes aren’t all falling, and guys are turning down open shots ala kidd.

    It’s too bad we never got to see Lin play Melo and no Stoudemire. THe team would have been amazing IMO as he would have destroyed teams for giving him the space they’re giving Felton, and he wouldn’t have had to take so many outside shots with Novak or Smith playing out on the perimeter in Stoudemire’s place.

    The Knicks have still won 6 of their last 10, a 49 win pace and with an average margin of +0.5, but it’s been against some better teams — no premiere teams, but definitely above average comp. On the other hand, 7 of those games were at home, so it might work out to be average, especially considering how dominant NY has been at home.

    I think a big problem is kidd is just playing too many minutes for a 39 year old. 34 MPG? No way he keeps his legs. Brewer’s shooting woes too are a problem, but only a fool would have counted on brewer to sustain his strong early shooting. YOu just have to watch him shoot to see that he’s not a guy you want taking shots from more than like 12 feet out.

  3. massive

    Felton’s TS%/USG% combination is really scary and worrisome. I don’t know if it’s his hand as much as it’s his forcing shots early in the shot clock. What kills me most about him is he misses open looks. Sometimes I wish Brandon Jennings was a Knick because at least he will score 55 on you for going under the screen all game. What makes the P&R so deadly is the “pick your poison” options it gives the defense; either you leave a good shooter open, or you play off of a good roll man and give up an easy two at the rim. The NBA knows Tyson will finish at the rim, so he is getting the respect necessary for Felton to take wide open shots from midrange. Felton continues to miss these shots, which destroys the offense. And you never hear anyone talk about Felton as a defender because he can’t stay in front of anyone. The team needs Shumpert to shut down the guards Felton can’t handle. The team needs Stoudemire to take shots away from Felton. Raymond Felton has been nothing short of a disappointment as of recent.

  4. ruruland

    Nice recap, Kevin. Wish you’d write more.

    I would love to see the numbers across the league in re: contested vs uncontested jump shots.

    Part of the reason Steve Nash has been so incredibly efficient throughout his career is the threat of his passing, leading to uncontested shots.

    With Chandler, Melo and shooters, that’s what Felton is getting.

    I haven’t watched every game of Felton’s career, but I have to believe he’s getting more open looks than ever before. Most of his shots aren’t really contested at all.

    If Felton really can’t make these kinds of shots at much better rates, then obviously that turns into a really big problem. His handle, penetration and decision-making are all still very good.

    He doesn’t see things before they happen like Nash or Kidd, but he makes the right decisions most of the time. that’s why it’s really hard to get on his case…

    but yeah, if you could find/draft a really fundamentally sound, quick pg who knows how to come off screens (angles) make proper decisions AND can finish in the paint and on jumpers, then there’s literally nothing teams can do about….

  5. ruruland

    max fisher-cohen:

    The Knicks have still won 6 of their last 10, a 49 win pace and with an average margin of +0.5, but it’s been against some better teams — no premiere teams, but definitely above average comp. On the other hand, 7 of those games were at home, so it might work out to be average, especially considering how dominant NY has been at home.

    the hardest portion of th schedule is over.

    21 of the Knicks first 28 opponents are likely playoff teams….73%

    31 of the final 54 opponents are likely playoff teams….57%

    The Knicks have yet to lose to a sub-500 team. I’d argue that every loss has been to a team that will win at least 45 games (Brooklyn, Chicago, Houston, Memphis, Lakers, Dallas)

    the 90/70/50 route to 60 wins is still on target.

    Knicks record against bottom third teams (need to win 90%): 7-0

    Knicks record against middle third teams (need to win 70%): 10-7

    Knicks record against top third teams (need to win 50%): 5-1

  6. BigBlueAL

    I dont expect this team to win 60 games nor will I be disappointed if they dont. I would LOVE for them to get the 1 seed somehow over the Heat but honestly I dont see it happening since the Heat seem to be getting over their early season malaise. I believe they can possibly beat the Heat in a playoff series but it sure as hell will be alot easier to have faith in that happening if the Knicks would have homecourt.

    Regardless its still way too early in the season to be worrying about playoff seeds and the Knicks still are nowhere near being a finished product since neither Amar’e or Shump are back yet. January is a much easier month for them than this month has been so once the calendar turns to February we should have a much better feel for what their final win total could/should be.

  7. d-mar

    Felton started the season playing great and has been awful lately. Lin started the season playing awful and has been great lately. Do we really believe the Knicks would be that much better than 20-8 if you swapped them?

    I’m not ready to give up on Ray, by the end of the season he and point god Lin will probably be similar statistically.

    (oh and someone mentioned Brandon Jennings as an upgrade? Yuch)

  8. Juany8

    I think Lin is a better point guard than Felton actually, but Lin wouldn’t make any difference from Felton this year. You really want 3 guys that can’t shoot 3′s in the starting lineup?

    Also this “Lin has been great lately” needs to stop. Here is the statistical profile for his games the past 2 weeks:

    Washington he has 10 shooting attempts (8 FG, 4 FT) and 3 turnovers for 10 points plus 6 assists, which means he scored 10 points while using 13 possessions.

    Against Boston he had 6 shot attempts (which is wonderful from your second option by the way) and 3 turnovers for 5 points plus 7 assists, so he had 5 points in 9 possessions.

    Against Toronto he had 9 shot attempts and 3 turnovers for 7 points plus 2 assists, so he had 7 points on 12 possessions.

    Against the Knicks he had 17 shot attempts (15 FG, 4 FT) and 4 turnovers for 22 points plus 8 assists, for 22 points on 21 possessions.

    Against Philly he had 13 shot attempts (12 FG 2 FT) and 1 turnover for 18 points and 6 assists, so he had 18 points on 14 possessions.

    Against Memphis he had 14 shot attempts (12 FG 4 FT) and 2 turnovers for 15 points plus 11 assists, so he had 15 points on 16 possessions.

    Against the Bulls, he had 14 shot attempts (12 FG 4 FT) and 2 turnovers for 20 points plus 11 assists, so he had 20 points on 16 shot attempts.

    Adding it all up, it turns out he’s scored 97 points on 101 shot attempts while averaging 7.3 assists. He also happens to be shooting 5 for 21 on 3′s during those games. Some clever person might happen to go look at the schedule and realize the game before that was his 30+ point outburst against San Antonio, and that I’m cherry picking to fit my narrative. Only problem is that before that game Lin was on his way to losing his spot in the finishing lineup. He played under 30 minutes in the 3 games prior to that San Antonio game, 2 losses and 1 a 2 point win over the Lakers in which Toney Douglas was the best player on the Rockets.

  9. Juany8

    To be fair Felton has been much worse than that shooting lately, but there’s at least some chance his injuries are affecting him. Either way my point remains that replacing one mediocre for another that gets payed 3 times the amount and doesn’t actually fit what this team needs isn’t the answer.

  10. JC Knickfan

    d-mar:
    Felton started the season playing great and has been awful lately. Lin started the season playing awful and has been great lately. Do we really believe the Knicks would be that much better than 20-8 if you swapped them?

    I’m not ready to give up on Ray, by the end of the season he and point god Lin will probably be similar statistically.

    (oh and someone mentioned Brandon Jennings as an upgrade? Yuch)

    I believe Felton was signed already so we could have had both of them. Felton probably wins the Starter job based on Lin’s poor preseason play and Lin wins back job based on Felton’s chucking.

    You have admit we at least probably don’t lose 2 Houston games as there was no viable PG left if Rockets didn’t get Lin. Also Lin just went 20pt 11a on 8-12 shooting versus Bulls. If he could do it yesterday with Houston, I’m sure he couldn’t done it with Knicks last Friday. That sure looks better then Felton’s 9-21 21pts and 3 assists.

    Also would rather go into Playoff with Felton/Kidd/Prig at PG or
    Lin/Felton/Kidd?

  11. Bruno Almeida

    I have no problem with 3 guys who can’t shoot 3′s in the starting lineup, imo, as long as the team is balanced.

    the Thunder play Westbrook / Sefolosha / Durant / Ibaka and Perkins, and their best lineup is with Martin in place of Sefolosha… and only Durant and Martin are really threats from 3.

    and it has worked pretty well so far I’d say.

    also, with the way Felton is shooting, he’s not a threat and all the other teams know it… against the Lakers yesterday, D’Antoni’s tactic was clear: on every Felton penetration, give 100% effort on stopping Chandler’s roll and staying on the shooters, and give up the mid-range game for Felton.

    and we’ve seen how this works out for the Knicks.

  12. JC Knickfan

    @9 Juany8

    Knicks are 4-3 last 2 weeks.
    If break-down Lin’s last 2 weeks performance, why don’t you do Feltons? Then actually compare the two discuss if Knicks possible post a better record.

  13. Juany8

    JC Knickfan:
    @9 Juany8

    Knicks are 4-3 last 2 weeks.
    If break-down Lin’s last 2 weeks performance, why don’t you do Feltons? Then actually compare the two discuss if Knicks possible post a better record.

    I said Felton was a worse point guard, I just don’t think Lin would have helped at all, especially since he was fucking awful when the Knicks were rolling over the league. So maybe we’d be 5-2 in the past 2 weeks instead, we don’t win a ton at the beginning of the season though.

    As far as the other comments, how exactly would Jeremy Lin do better if all the shooters were covered and he was forced to shoot mid range shots? He shoots below 30 percent if he’s out of the paint according to hoop data. Felton’s numbers from that range are all over 35%. Lin is a piece of shit at what Felton is being practically forced to take, and I’m sure he would do wonderfully spotting up off Melo post ups. So if you assume that anyone but Derrick Rose is going to have a hard time getting to the rim against that type of defense, the guy needs to be able to shoot from mid range and 3, and Felton has been world’s better than Lin at that this season.

    As far as keeping them both, teams are no longer willing to soar into the luxury tax, period. OKC let Harden go over like $2 million per year, Dallas gave up on it’s title defense because they realized they had maybe 1 more year as a legit contender if they paid Chandler, the Lakers just gave away Odom…. Teams aren’t willing to sacrifice flexibility, not money. It doesn’t matter how rich these guys are since the real problem is upgrading the team in the future. Jeremy Lin was not worth losing all flexibility for the next 3 years, especially with a GM like Grunwald who’s shown an ability to find solid rotation players in all kinds of fun ways.

  14. Juany8

    Look I can easily list 15-20 point guards better overall than Felton, and I’d include Lin in there. The problem is that I don’t feel like going from the number 21 point guard to the number 18 is exactly going to make a big difference, and I think it would actually make zero difference since Lin is a terrible fit for this team. If you wanted to make a case for someone like Lawson or Lowry as an improvement… well no shit. There are a lot of point guards that would make this team better, pining over a possibly tiny upgrade doesn’t make sense to me.

    That’s not even asking the simple what if of how Lin would look with Felton’s hand injuries. If in the next 2-3 weeks Lin keeps improving and Felton keeps going to shit, then of course I’ll have to reconsider

  15. knicknyk

    Juany the Knicks don’t have any flexibility with or without Lin we all know this. We are in a poor cap situation without Lin. Having Lin wouldn’t have made it any worse. It would have made it better because we would have tradable assets. The Knicks right now are an old maxed out team with limited upside & a tiny window (this season is our best shot to be frank). Also if you are going to use the Felton is injured argument why don’t you use the Lin wasn’t fully healthy argument either in the beginning of the season also. It is pretty clear he wasn’t & seeing as how Houston is your second favourite team you should be able to see that. Daryl Morey said as much in an interview that Lin is just now starting to get back to optimal health & his acceleration has returned. Yes you could say that Lin had his surgery so long ago but the mental recovery is just as extensive as the physical. CP3 took 6 months of playing time until he was back to his old self after meniscus surgery. Frankly right now I think the mental aspect is really killing Felton with his hands.

    In other news this board is hilarious. In the beginning of the season people were on Felton so hard & now they have flipped to Lin. It is ridiculous. I have always said from the beginning that Lin was better & despite his early season struggles my opinion did not change. I should go back to the previous early season threads & read through the comments & have some laughs. Maybe copy & paste some so we can all see the flip flopping. I would start with ruruland. ;P

  16. Kevin McElroy Post author

    Arguing about Lin vs. Felton was interesting for a while, I guess, but it’s mostly pointless and a distraction from a bigger question, namely, “How should the Knicks be managing their backcourt minutes?” Lin isn’t on the team. Kidd, Smith, Prigs, and Brewer are. Shumpert will soon be back. Assuming a willingness to play Smith/Brewer at the 3 for maybe 24 minutes a night (although this becomes problematic when Amare’s return means more time for Melo at the 3) that’s 120 minutes for 6 players. The way Felton is playing right now, it seems crazy to give him 40 of those. So what’s the best way to split it up? This is a much more important concern than whether the Houston Rockets point guard would have made our team better or worse.

  17. Kevin McElroy Post author

    ethsurken:
    Recently it has looked like JR is a better PnR ball handler than Felton…

    I agree with this. Felton is playing like a scoring guard right now and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. JR Also plays like a scoring guard but at least he is one.

  18. Nick C.

    Perhaps this is a question borne out of ignorance. How is Prigioni penetrating and running pick and roll? My impressions of him are confined to moving the ball around the perimeter and the inbounds steals. If we want to swap him with Felton or when Amare comes back and runs with the 2nd unit the PnR either with Tyson or Amare would be a big part of most sets.

  19. Juany8

    knicknyk @16, Lin has gone from being the worst starting point guard in the league to a roughly average one. Want to know my position on this? It’s actually quite similar to yours. The Rockets fucked up with Dragic and ended up offering a ridiculous contract to Lin to make up for it, much like the Knicks fucked up the Lin offseason plan. So now the Rockets are stuck with a point guard who’s worse in literally every way from a guy the Rockets could have payed the same amount to, but didn’t because of something stupid like a player option. How the fuck am I supposed to see Lin as anything other than a hyped up average point guard?

    Lin doesn’t do anything at an elite level, and people are getting excited over a 2 week stretch during which Lin had a PPP of less than 1. Dragic is shooting a 56 TS%, has a few less turnovers and a few more assists, and he has a ton more responsibility than Lin, he actually shot better on the Rockets the past 2 years. Felton has some areas of his game where he is as good or better than Lin. Lin does not have areas where he is better than Dragic, like at all (maybe steals but they’re at best even defenders overall so who cares)

    Health concerns have been a problem for both Felton and Lin though, although Lin’s make me more worried about his long term health. The question then is, is Lin better now than Felton was before his hand injury? Could Lin get to the rim if defenses are playing off him even more than Felton? I don’t think you can emphatically answer yes to either of those questions, so there is no way he’s worth 8 million a year more. Especially since you’re wrong, the most problematic aspect of being over the cap is being hamstrung in trades, not signing players. All the clever moves the Knicks used to land Felton, Kidd, and Camby would suddenly be illegal. That’s the aspect of the new system that no one seems to get, you can’t trade to take on money if you’re in the luxury tax

  20. JK47

    It hasn’t been just two weeks of good play for Lin, it’s been double that– a solid month. Lin’s TS% over his last 15 games is .584. His eFG% over that span is .551. Those games span November 23 to December 25.

    In Ray Felton’s last month, he’s been a goddamned disaster, with a microscopic .425 TS% and .399 eFG%. They’re heading in opposite directions. Fast.

  21. Kevin McElroy Post author

    I don’t fault Felton THAT much for what he did with Melo out because he was asked to play a role that he’s mismatched with. I do, however, fault him for continuing to play that role now that Melo is back.

  22. showtime

    Please let’s chill about Felton and Lin. What I enjoy about both players is that they play with heart, and the trends for the moment happen to be at opposite poles. Felton is probably playing with a bad hand and Lin is beat up a bit as well–but I want them both to do well.

  23. Juany8

    JK47:
    It hasn’t been just two weeks of good play for Lin, it’s been double that– a solid month.Lin’s TS% over his last 15 games is .584.His eFG% over that span is .551.Those games span November 23 to December 25.

    In Ray Felton’s last month, he’s been a goddamned disaster, with a microscopic .425 TS% and .399 eFG%.They’re heading in opposite directions.Fast.

    Lin’s game against San Antonio was an outlier in every sense of the word. Harden wasn’t in, it’s the only game of the season in which Lin made more than 2 3′s, and nothing he’s done in any other game remotely approaches that. Take it away, and it turns out Lin was hot garbage before then, to the point that he was starting to lose major minutes to Toney Douglas. That’s the thing about averages in small samples, one big game bumps your score far too much. Remove the outlier, and Lin is well below 1 PPP in the 5 games previous to the post I gave above.

    There’s also the annoying little problem that the Rockets have been better this year with Lin on the bench. Guess which former Knicks guard has the best TS% on the Rockets :)

  24. Z-man

    JK47:
    It hasn’t been just two weeks of good play for Lin, it’s been double that– a solid month.Lin’s TS% over his last 15 games is .584.His eFG% over that span is .551.Those games span November 23 to December 25.

    In Ray Felton’s last month, he’s been a goddamned disaster, with a microscopic .425 TS% and .399 eFG%.They’re heading in opposite directions.Fast.

    This is misleading, since his last few games have been very very good and the ones earlier in the stretch you cite were not as good. Still, he’s playing well lately, no doubt about it. More importantly, the Rockets are playing well andf Lin is a big reason why. Kudos to him for the marked improvement from earlier on.

    Still not upset we didn’t match him, I think it worked out best for Lin and best for us. He’s in a great situation right now. In another situation, he might have been benched early on but in Houston he has had a chance to play through it.

    As to Felton, he is playing horribly right now. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt with his injured hands for the time being. He looked very solid up until the Heat game (the game after he got injured) and has dropped off a cliff since then. I still believe that they are roughly similar players when both are healthy. Clearly Lin’s knee is not a factor anymore, which was a legit concern when deciding whether to match, so Houston seems to have won on that part of the gamble.

  25. knicknyk

    Juany 21 once again it goes both ways. People are getting way to high off of Lin’s month of good play just like people are getting way to high off of his one month of struggles. It is ridiculous. The same goes with Felton.

    And I don’t understand this love affair with Dragic. He struggles to run an offense. Goran is a great scorer (but defensively he isn’t as good as Lin numbers back this up Felton is the worse of the three) but he lacks essential PG skills & has yet to shown the willingness to learn. He dribbles to much & doesn’t make quick enough decisions & the looks he sets teammates up with aren’t the best. The Suns score at a higher % with him not as the primary ball handler than they do with him as the primary ball handler, the ball just doesn’t move well. Dragic in my opinion is much better at the SG position I have always felt this even when he had a very identical hot stretch to Lin with 25 starts. Even Suns fans have been complaining about him saying he doesn’t make anybody better. Suns teammates complained about him also.

    From what I remember the luxury tax issues do not kick in, until his third year, he was a tradable asset that could have been moved. Also in that third year when tax does kick in, he was a large expiring contract that can be used to make big trade.It is going to be hillarious to me if/when the Knicks make off season moves (potentially off loading Amare) & these luxury tax issues are no longer a concern.

    And Lin doesn’t do anything at the elite level …..okay there agree to disagree on that one.

  26. JK47

    @25

    You’re being deliberately obtuse. Lin has played very well over 15 games. Don’t tell me the one San Antonio game is jacking up his stats, because it’s bullshit.

    Let’s take out that game, and look at Lin’s TS% and eFG% over the last month:

    TS%: .559
    eFG%: .540

    Yeah, he started slow, which is why his overall numbers are mediocre. And his slow start is why he was losing minutes to Toney Douglas. But over the last 15 games? He’s been very efficient and very good. To claim otherwise is blatant fanboism.

  27. knicknyk

    Juany8: ©

    I think it is hilarious Juany that you keep talking about Tony Douglas when you yourself have said 100 times that McHale is a terrible coach which he is. Even with Lin & Harden playing well, McHale is still a terrible coach. I could elaborate extensively on the numerous ways McHale has failed as a NBA coach starting with Lowry last year & extending to this season in the way he misutilized Lin & Harden in the beginning of the season (to be fair Lowry has had attitude problems in every team he has played for MEM, HOU, TOR) also (even Clyde Frazier & Houston commentators said that he wasn’t being used properly) And just like Ray is not healthy at all right now Lin was not healthy at all in the beginning of the season & I don’t think he is still 100% there yet. But please believe what you want to believe.

  28. ethsurken

    Juany8: Lin’s game against San Antonio was an outlier in every sense of the word. Harden wasn’t in, it’s the only game of the season in which Lin made more than 2 3?s, and nothing he’s done in any other game remotely approaches that. Take it away, and it turns out Lin was hot garbage before then, to the point that he was starting to lose major minutes to Toney Douglas. That’s the thing about averages in small samples, one big game bumps your score far too much. Remove the outlier, and Lin is well below 1 PPPin the 5 games previous to the post I gave above.

    You can’t remove a game from the sample because he did well. A lot of the recent posts have just been selective sampling. Let’s look at the whole picture.

  29. Brian Cronin

    I obviously was a big proponent of the “it is a no-brainer to match Lin” position and nothing I saw all year (even when Lin was struggling early on) gave me any reason to doubt that position, but come on, folks, it is over. Lin is not on the team. He is not going to be on the team. What’s the point of harping on it?

    That doesn’t mean that it isn’t interesting to discuss Lin in general (as obviously, the Rockets are a fascinating team right now) but I don’t see the point of going over what the Knicks could/should have done six months ago. What’s done is done. Let’s focus on the team that the Knicks currently have.

  30. knicknyk

    ethsurken: You can’t remove a game from the sample because he did well. A lot of the recent posts have just been selective sampling. Let’s look at the whole picture.

    You know what would be smarter. Stop flipping back & forth like a bunch of schizophrenics. Wait until the season is over. I am reading through some of the earlier posts where people were thrashing Lin & it is hilarious to me particularly when I am seeing people start back peddling now. I have always said Lin was the superior player & stuck to that no matter what, refuse to waffle on that even when he was clearly struggling. The truth of the matter is that Felton isn’t a good as he was playing before nor is he as bad as he is now he is average. Lin isn’t as good as he is playing right now nor is he as bad as he was when he started. I think Lin will average 14 & 7 ish by the end of the season with a better FG% & woeful 3 point shooting. And frankly those are impressive numbers for somebody with such inexperience as him. But Lin has skills that I would want for the Knicks over Felton any day & ten times on sunday that won’t go away. And people saying he couldn’t play with Melo are lying to themselves. Fans are more than welcome to disagree but the live time flipping back & forth after each game is tiresome. Things literally changed in one month 100% and it is laughable. I will die of laughter if things flip again next month.

  31. max fisher-cohen

    what’s sad is we never got to see Lin play with the Stoudemire-less lineup when Melo was happy. We’re complaining about the PnR forcing Felton into being a high usage player when the main concern with Lin was that we didn’t have enough shots for him.

    As far as whether it’s still worth comparing Lin to Felton, I think it absolutely is if it’s part of the bigger conversation about how the organization builds the team. The decision to let Lin go in place of 3 aging point guards with zero potential to improve is definitely part of way a of thinking that has plagued this team for over a decade: a general impatience with young players and over-reliance on vets from which there is no opportunity to get more than you pay.

    The team played way above itself in the first month thanks in part to hot perimeter shooting from 90% of the lineup. We’re settling back into what we always were: a lesser version of the pre 2011 Mavs teams. Our primary scorer isn’t as good, we lack the Marion-esque defensive stopper, and Jason Kidd is several years older.

    Our record will be better than we are because the East is just so terrible, especially with Bynum, Rose, and Granger all hurt — with every team other than NY and Miami a likely below .500 team in the west — and that makes it a good year to be an above average team, since were Miami to lose one of it’s big three, the pathway to the finals would be pretty clear.

    Certainly, the team has been OK the last 10 games and most very good teams have OK periods of the season, but when I pair that with the expectations I had going into the year and the disastrous state of the east, I’m back in that sense that feeling of helplessness I’ve had ever since the Melo trade: that we are a known quantity, built to fall short of a championship.

  32. Juany8

    Alright then let’s not cherry pick anything and look at the whole sample of work. Toney Douglas has a higher TS% than him this season after an incredibly awful start, and the Rockets play 7 points better when he’s on the court. Harden and Lin play worse when they’re on the court together, while Harden plays MUCH better with Toney Douglas than without him. No joke, Harden has better stats in EVERYTHING when Douglas is playing as opposed to Lin. Curiously Douglas is worse with Harden than without him, but the simple truth is that Toney Douglas was getting close to getting more minutes than Lin in the games leading up to the San Antonio explosion (in fact he did get more minutes in 2 of the 3 games before that game, and they had even minutes the third game). Harden getting injured might have saved Lin’s season…

    Also, in what world is Lin a great setup man? Dragic isn’t good either sure, they’re both scoring guards. Only difference is Dragic is the shit at scoring and can shoot well enough to play off someone like Harden, who can essentially take over the playmaking and let Dragic do his thing. Kind of how the Rockets play much better when Harden and Toney Douglas are in as opposed to Harden and Lin.

  33. Frank

    Brian Cronin: I obviously was a big proponent of the “it is a no-brainer to match Lin” position and nothing I saw all year (even when Lin was struggling early on) gave me any reason to doubt that position, but come on, folks, it is over. Lin is not on the team. He is not going to be on the team. What’s the point of harping on it?

    LOL – Brian, this board harped on the Melo trade for a good 18 months. It’s only been 1/4 of a season for the Lin thing. It’ll last at least until next year unless the Knicks somehow win the championship this year.

    Re: Felton, he’s obviously been awful. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that it’s injuries, because as much as we were all expecting him to regress to his career #s, he’s currently shooting much worse than his career #s so, it’ll get better.

    One thing I hope the knicks are talking to the officials about is defensive 3 seconds on the Felton/Chandler PNR. Dwight Howard literally was just standing in the restricted area for 5-6 seconds at a time yesterday — and Van Gundy kept on congratulating him for staying back on the PNR.

    Last thing – these possessions in crunch time during which it’s all Felton/Chandler PNR and Melo doesn’t even touch the ball? This cannot go on. Why no Melo/Chandler PNR? Especially with the way the Lakers were playing the PNR (daring the ballhandler to shoot while DH12 plays way back), it would’ve been good to see an additional wrinkle in there that the Lakers would have at least had to adjust to. Honestly, with Felton shooting the way he has been, I’d rather see sets emphasizing Melo than the PNR right now.

  34. BigBlueAL

    “Certainly, the team has been OK the last 10 games and most very good teams have OK periods of the season, but when I pair that with the expectations I had going into the year and the disastrous state of the east, I’m back in that sense that feeling of helplessness I’ve had ever since the Melo trade: that we are a known quantity, built to fall short of a championship.”

    A feeling of helplessness because you dont think this team can win a championship?? Seriously?? This being said after a tough loss in LA to a fully healthy Lakers team?? Must not be very fun to be a fan with your way of thinking.

  35. JK47

    It’s kind of surprising to me that Woodson has turned Jason Kidd into a full-time SG. The Knicks have either Felton or Prigioni on the court at all times. Kidd doesn’t have the size or quickness to play plus defense as a SG. His smarts allow him to make the occasional heady play on defense, but in my opinion Kidd’s presence as a SG playing 30 minutes a night is one of the main reasons this team has tumbled from the #6 overall defense to #17. He’s pretty slow when it comes to fighting through screens and has no ability to contain the dribble of younger, faster guards.

    Kidd played out of his mind early in the season but I think it’s time to be realistic about what he’s capable of contributing. When Shumpert returns, I’d like to see Kidd’s minutes cut to 25 or so per game, and for about half of those to be as backup PG, assuming of course that Shumpert is healthy enough to contribute. The Knicks will need Kidd in the playoffs and they’re playing him too many minutes right now.

  36. Kevin McElroy Post author

    Excellent post by JK47 @38. Dead on down the line. I know Brewer has regressed but he and Prigs should not both be playing single digit mins while Felton and Kidd are run into the ground.

  37. ruruland

    Frank: LOL – Brian, this board harped on the Melo trade for a good 18 months. It’s only been 1/4 of a season for the Lin thing.It’ll last at least until next year unless the Knicks somehow win the championship this year.

    Re: Felton, he’s obviously been awful. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that it’s injuries, because as much as we were all expecting him to regress to his career #s, he’s currently shooting much worse than his career #s so, it’ll get better.

    One thing I hope the knicks are talking to the officials about is defensive 3 seconds on the Felton/Chandler PNR. Dwight Howard literally was just standing in the restricted area for 5-6 seconds at a time yesterday — and Van Gundy kept on congratulating him for staying back on the PNR.

    Last thing – these possessions in crunch time during which it’s all Felton/Chandler PNR and Melo doesn’t even touch the ball? This cannot go on. Why no Melo/Chandler PNR? Especially with the way the Lakers were playing the PNR (daring the ballhandler to shoot while DH12 plays way back), it would’ve been good to see an additional wrinkle in there that the Lakers would have at least had to adjust to. Honestly, with Felton shooting the way he has been, I’d rather see sets emphasizing Melo than the PNR right now.

    Ron Artest was playing circa 2004 defense and the officials were allowing him to bear-hug Melo across the court. Artest was also doing a great job fighting through staggered screens to get Melo open.

    You always want Melo to have the ball down the stretch, the problem was getting it to him in a decent position.

    Right now Artest looks like the best wing defender in the game again, and he’s the reason I think the Lakers have a good chance of going all the way in spite of its coach.

  38. Juany8

    ruruland: Ron Artest was playing circa 2004 defense and the officials were allowing him to bear-hug Melo across the court. Artest was also doing a great job fighting through staggered screens to get Melo open.

    You always want Melo to have the ball down the stretch, the problem was getting it to him in a decent position.

    Right now Artest looks like the bestwing defender in the game again, and he’s the reason I think the Lakers have a good chance of going all the way in spite of its coach.

    See you say that, and then forget to mention that Artest is now coming off the bench because of that same coach. Is Steve Nash really going to average 35+ minutes in the first year of his contract so D’Antoni can save his job? And why does that scenario feel so familiar……

  39. Bruno Almeida

    Juany8:
    Alright then let’s not cherry pick anything and look at the whole sample of work. Toney Douglas has a higher TS% than him this season after an incredibly awful start, and the Rockets play 7 points better when he’s on the court. Harden and Lin play worse when they’re on the court together, while Harden plays MUCH better with Toney Douglas than without him. No joke, Harden has better stats in EVERYTHING when Douglas is playing as opposed to Lin. (…)

    look, this is pathetic argumentation, I’m sorry.

    aren’t you one of the guys in this message board that keeps talking about interaction effects all the time?

    so why conveniently ignore the obvious fact that:
    1 – McHale is in the conversation for top 5 worst coaches in the league.
    2 – this Houston team has been together for 27 games
    3 – Lin is 24, Harden is 23 and both are adjusting to a billion major changes (roles, status, contract, city, teammates, coaching staff, owners) for the first time in their career.
    4 – Harden’s skills obviously overlap with Lin quite a bit, while Douglas is a spot up shooter and nothing more, it’s obvious that if Douglas is shooting decently from 3 (and he is, 42%), the spacing will be better for Harden, while everyone knew that Lin would take a while longer to develop a 3 point game.

    and if you add it all, small sample size, Houston is trending upwards with Lin playing much better (and Harden still being great) while Felton, who’s 28 and has a track record of doing EXACTLY WHAT HE IS DOING RIGHT NOW, has dropped off a cliff.

  40. Bruno Almeida

    all that said, it’s obvious to me that matching Lin would have been a no-brainer, but that’s past… the question now should be: is this team a title contender with Felton, and if not, what can we do?

    I think this team is a title contender right now because of all the other pieces, and I think Shumpert will be a huge addition while Amare won’t destroy everything… but the thing that worries me right now is that I’d much rather have something like 20 other PGs in place of Felton.

  41. jon abbey

    I think the personnel will deploy itself very naturally once everyone is back, something like this:

    Chandler (30), Camby or Sheed (12)
    Melo (36), Amare (28)
    Brewer (14), Novak (14)
    Shumpert (24), Smith (30)
    Felton (28), Kidd (24)

    DNP: Sheed or Camby, Prigioni, Thomas, Copeland, White

    I’m expecting to see a lot of Prigioni and hopefully Copeland tonight, we’re going to need major contributions from the bench for the first time in a while to win this one.

  42. ruruland

    Juany8: See you say that, and then forget to mention that Artest is now coming off the bench because of that same coach. Is Steve Nash really going to average 35+ minutes in the first year of his contract so D’Antoni can save his job? And why does that scenario feel so familiar……

    Steve Nash is going to last longer because he’s been off his feet for a 1/3 of the season.

    MDA will screw up quite a few things in the playoffs, but when you have five guys as good as the Lakers have, who all get better in the post-season, there’s no doubt you can win in spite of him.

    They won’t play to their potential under MDA, but their potential is off-the-charts. They don’t need to play to their potential to beat any team in the league in a 7 game series.

  43. Brian Cronin

    I am amazed by how much D’Antoni is getting out of Artest. Artest looks the best he has in years. I have no idea why D’Antoni is succeeding where even Jackson couldn’t in motivating Artest to play like vintage Artest.

  44. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    I think the personnel will deploy itself very naturally once everyone is back, something like this:

    Chandler (30), Camby or Sheed (12)
    Melo (36), Amare (28)
    Brewer (14), Novak (14)
    Shumpert (24), Smith (30)
    Felton (28), Kidd (24)

    DNP: Sheed or Camby, Prigioni, Thomas, Copeland, White

    I’m expecting to see a lot of Prigioni and hopefully Copeland tonight, we’re going to need major contributions from the bench for the first time in a while to win this one.

    I’d replace Prigioni for Brewer with Amar’e in the lineup, when Amar’e becomes the middle dive man with the second unit.

    Brewer needs to get healthy because he’s key to beating the Heat in the playoffs. I’d take him out of the rotation until March.

  45. Brian Cronin

    LOL – Brian, this board harped on the Melo trade for a good 18 months. It’s only been 1/4 of a season for the Lin thing. It’ll last at least until next year unless the Knicks somehow win the championship this year.

    Ha! Fair enough.

  46. ruruland

    Brian Cronin:
    I am amazed by how much D’Antoni is getting out of Artest. Artest looks the best he has in years. I have no idea why D’Antoni is succeeding where even Jackson couldn’t in motivating Artest to play like vintage Artest.

    MDA is not motivating Artest. That guy is influenced by a whole range of personalities that exist in his mind.

    He thinks he’s the best wing in the league, and when he’s in this kind of shape and in the mood to prove it, he comes pretty close.

    People forget how good of a post-player he is — he can get his legs into bigs and open up offensive rebounding for his team.

  47. jon abbey

    agree that Artest can be great at times, but I think the question with him is how often can he still do that. national TV against Melo is one thing, a random Tuesday night against POR is another.

  48. knicknyk

    Juany8:
    Alright then let’s not cherry pick anything and look at the whole sample of work. Toney Douglas has a higher TS% than him this season after an incredibly awful start, and the Rockets play 7 points better when he’s on the court. Harden and Lin play worse when they’re on the court together, while Harden plays MUCH better with Toney Douglas than without him. No joke, Harden has better stats in EVERYTHING when Douglas is playing as opposed to Lin. Curiously Douglas is worse with Harden than without him, but the simple truth is that Toney Douglas was getting close to getting more minutes than Lin in the games leading up to the San Antonio explosion (in fact he did get more minutes in 2 of the 3 games before that game, and they had even minutes the third game). Harden getting injured might have saved Lin’s season…

    Also, in what world is Lin a great setup man? Dragic isn’t good either sure, they’re both scoring guards. Only difference is Dragic is the shit at scoring and can shoot well enough to play off someone like Harden, who can essentially take over the playmaking and let Dragic do his thing. Kind of how the Rockets play much better when Harden and Toney Douglas are in as opposed to Harden and Lin.

    Lin isn’t a great set up man? Really. He was one of the best in the NBA last season at setting up teammates for high % shots, shots at the rim that lead to FT;s or And 1′s or 3′s. The Knicks offense last year ran 12th in the NBA with his as the starting PG, the only other time it was better was when melo was on his hot stretch at the 4. He is doing the same thing this year I don’t even need to look at the numbers to know that this is nonsense. Dragic doesn’t know how to do any of that there is a reason why fans & teammates have complained that he doesn’t know how to run an offense. But whatever.

  49. Juany8

    Jesus I don’t get why it’s so hard to understand my argument. Lin is a better player than Felton, but he’s like the number 18 PG compared to the number 20, it’s not a big fucking difference. Lin has the potential to get better while Felton does not, so in a year or 2 it’ll probably be a bigger difference. My point is that Lin is not elite at ANYTHING and is fucking terrible at plenty of things. He doesn’t fit what this team needs at all, so I don’t think he would make the Knicks better at all this year, unless you’re talking about replacing Prigs with him instead of Felton.

    Bruno, all those little reasons you listed are exactly why I don’t want Lin. McHale is a terrible coach, but I don’t see why that excuses Lin to be worse at scoring and playing with Harden than Toney Douglas. Lin trending upwards means he’s now an utterly average point guard, I don’t know that I’d take the Lin that’s playing now over the Felton that was playing before his injuries on this Knicks team (after which he decided he suddenly had to shoot more….)

    That’s been the problem with all this, everyone has built in excuses for why Lin has sucked and they ignore the same excuses when they’re made with Felton. Felton had to adjust to a new system too. Felton doesn’t get to have the ball in his hands whenever he wants. Felton has to learn to play off Carmelo, and soon Amar’e. I do know for an absolute fact that Felton is not a third of as good as Lin, so he’s certainly a better value for his money, which means something in future trade scenarios.

    So is Lin better than Felton in a vacuum? Yes. Would he make the Knicks better? That’s debatable, I’d argue they’d be about the same and could easily see them getting worse. It’s never going to change the fact that neither player is anything special, and I’d much rather have a $3 million dollar mediocre player than a $8 million a year mediocre player.

  50. Bruno Almeida

    “Bruno, all those little reasons you listed are exactly why I don’t want Lin. McHale is a terrible coach, but I don’t see why that excuses Lin to be worse at scoring and playing with Harden than Toney Douglas”

    man, my post was entirely dedicated to pointing out stuff that might be exactly making Lin worse at scoring and playing with Harden.

    and you leave out the fact that Lin is 24 and has virtually no relevant NBA mileage, while Felton is already 28 and has shown repeatedly that he has no room whatsoever for improvement.

    I agree that Lin isn’t a major improvement over Felton RIGHT NOW, with the way both are playing in very different contexts.

    but what I’m arguing is that while Lin is in a sub-optimal spot and has the possibility to improve, Felton is at the absolute perfect spot for him and is still playing like dog shit.

  51. BigBlueAL

    I think its safe to say the Lakers could win the championship this season and ruru would say it was in spite of D’Antoni’s horrible coaching lol.

  52. Bruno Almeida

    and we would have no cap room and flexibility anyway with Amare’s contract on board, so why bother with the salary figures?

    99% of the title winning teams pay the luxury tax, and I couldn’t give less of a fuck about Dolan’s money, he stole ours for a long time already.

    and Lin was always going to be a tradeable piece, while who in their right minds would trade for Raymond right now?

  53. Bruno Almeida

    BigBlueAL:
    I think its safe to say the Lakers could win the championship this season and ruru would say it was in spite of D’Antoni’s horrible coaching lol.

    lol that’s true, now that the team is playing better it’s all because of Ron Artest :p

  54. Bruno Almeida

    and when it’s Anthony, it’s “amazing” how much Woodson motivates him… and with Artest, in no freaking way has D’Antoni influenced one tiny little bit lol

  55. Juany8

    Bruno,

    Injured hands aren’t exactly an ideal condition Felton was much better earlier on, and has in fact never shot this badly, so no this isn’t normal. Also…

    “Jesus I don’t get why it’s so hard to understand my argument. Lin is a better player than Felton, but he’s like the number 18 PG compared to the number 20, it’s not a big fucking difference. Lin has the potential to get better while Felton does not, so in a year or 2 it’ll probably be a bigger difference.”

    If we’re going to have a realistic discussion you can’t misrepresent my arguments, which are actually many of your arguments. Also, I don’t care how many times I have to say this, the problem with being over the cap is NOT a lack of ability to sign players. It’s not like the mid level was going to get you a great player as opposed to the mini mid level, and guys like Ray Allen and Shane Battier have been perfectly happy to take the smaller amount for a chance to play in a city they want on a contender. No the real problem is the restrictions on trades that happen. Teams like Dallas and the Lakers used to be able to take on big contracts from crappy teams in order to get better, they never cared about how much over the cap they were. After the new CBA, both made direct cost cutting moves to keep flexibility. Dallas got Tyson Chandler after being over the tax for years. That would no longer happen

  56. max fisher-cohen

    @BBA, To put it simply, my gauge for excitement level in regard to a team is that team’s likelihood of winning a title in the next, let’s say six years. If I was to rank teams on that likelihood, my rankings would go something like this:

    1) OKC (1-6 all legit title contenders this year)
    2) Miami
    3) Memphis
    4) LA Clippers
    5) San Antonio
    6) LA Lakers
    7) Minnesota (future superstar rubio, superstar love, intriguing supporting cast)
    8) New Orleans (future superstar Davis, youth, picks, cap space)
    9) Cleveland (future superstar Irving, youth, picks, cap space)
    10) Golden State (solid core, cap space)
    11) Houston (youth, budding superstar, cap space)
    12) Charlotte (cap space, picks, youth)
    13) Portland (Lillard, Batum)
    14) Utah (cap space, young talent)
    15) Denver (youth, picks, some bad contracts)
    16) Philadelphia (youth, bynum’s health)
    17) Atlanta (cap space, good contracts)
    18) Dallas (Dirk, cap space, aging core)
    19) Orlando (picks)
    20) Chicago (rose/noah core, Rose’s knee)
    21) Milwaukee (youth, unappealing location)
    22) Washington (youth, lottery, bad contracts)
    23) New York (solid Melo and Chandler core, aging supporting cast, lacking picks & youth, amar’e's contract, ownership content with 2nd rate team)
    24) Sacramento (Cousins, cap space, poor ownership)
    25) Detroit (lacking cap space, bad contracts)
    26) Toronto (Valanciunas, Lowry, bad contracts, unappealing location)
    27) Phoenix (mediocre & middle aged roster, LA’s draft picks)
    28) Boston (old, lacking cap space)
    29) Indiana (middle aged, Hibbert’s bad contract, Granger’s health)
    30) Brooklyn (overpaid aging stars, lacking cap space & picks)

    The parentheticals show reasons to worry and to be excited. The numbers above are pretty close to how psyched I would be for New York to be in each of the above teams’ situations.

    To make an analogy, it’s like the Knicks just got an open dunk when they were down 3 with 1 second left. Why should I be excited about that?

  57. Brian Cronin

    Max, the Knicks’ location on your list is just absurd. They are likely going to be the #2 seed in the East this year. So to say that the current #2 seed is the 23rd most likely team to win a title in the next six years is ridiculous.

    Also, Chicago and Boston are also way too low, especially Chicago.

  58. Juany8

    Brian Cronin:
    Max, the Knicks’ location on your list is just absurd. They are likely going to be the #2 seed in the East this year. So to say that the current #2 seed is the 23rd most likely team to win a title in the next six years is ridiculous.

    Also, Chicago and Boston are also way too low, especially Chicago.

    I thought it was joke at first, at least I laughed out loud reading it. Who cares if you have youth if none of those players are ever going to be on the level of Chandler or Melo? How is there no mention of front office level of ability? I’d take Sam Presti over the next 6 years over everything Washington, Sacramento, and Phoenix have combined.

  59. BigBlueAL

    Yeah its safe to say after that previous post Im not going to bother readind anything MFC writes on this site.

  60. max fisher-cohen

    No, the list wasn’t too carefully thought out, at least as far as current management goes. I was thinking more along the lines of moving the roster & assets to NY.

    I don’t see how my rankings are that absurd. In August, Hollinger and Ford’s future power rankings ranked the Knicks 20th, and their rankings include the weight of the Knicks being a great market. They were 29th in future cap space, 29th in future draft picks and 15th in players. The players rank is kind of low, and probably should be more like 7-12th, but their future hopes are near nil.

    This season will be the Knicks’ best more than likely until after my 6 year window is over. Stoudemire’s contract is just too big and bad for the team to overcome when they lack a true superstar, and the roster is too old.

    Maybe the Knicks make it to the conference finals this year, but that’s no more an achievement in this awful eastern conference than the Iverson Sixers or the Kidd era Nets. Did you ever really believe those times would win a title? If not, maybe you’re wearing orange and blue colored glasses.

    Juany: “Who cares if you have youth if none of those players are ever going to be on the level of Chandler or Melo?”

    If LA had said that when they traded for the Kobe draft pick, where would they be? What about the Spurs when they had the option to tank in duncan’s draft year? Yes, the vast majority of draft picks suck. However, you’re more likely to find the next MJ, LBJ or Duncan in your random lottery pick than for Carmelo Anthony or Amar’e Stoudemire to put up even one Lebron caliber season. You’re also more likely to have a chance @ recruiting one of those players via free agency if you actually have the cap space to pay them… or the draft picks to trade for them.

    If you find one, all you need is some prudence & wisdom and you’re likely to be a top 3 team. Without one, everything needs to be perfect, and you need great luck.

  61. Brian Cronin

    But the point is that even if you think that their realistic ceiling is Eastern Conference Finals (which is likely correct), just getting to the Eastern Conference Finals means that you have a better shot at winning the NBA Finals in the next six years than many, many other teams that have no realistic shot at making their Conference Finals in the next six years. Yes, they might make it there and yes, the Knicks’ future does not appear (stress appear – did anyone think Felton would be so bad last year that the Knicks would be able to get him for effectively chump change? Or that Brewer would be available for the minimum? Or that Rasheed freakin’ Wallace would be pretty good? Grunwald might surprise us in the future again) to be especially great (and yes, that was one of the reasons I thought that matching Lin was such a no-brainer) but the fact is that right here, right now, they are a realistic Conference Finalist and that has to mean that they have a decent shot at winning an NBA title, as we have seen many times, all you need to do is get to the Finals and who knows what crazy crap might happen. I mean, yes, if the Knicks were as bad as the 2004 Nets or the 2000 Pacers or the 2001 Sixers, then fair enough, but they’re better than those teams. They’re more similar to the 2009 (9, right?) Orlando Magic. A very good team that was not considered an elite team and was not given much of a chance at winning a title but they found a way to get into the NBA Finals and they were a point blank layup away from being up 2-1 in that series (they ultimately lost it 4-1) and who knows what happens if Lee makes that two-footer? Heck, remember what the odds were of the Mavericks winning the title back in 2011 when the playoffs began and they were barely getting out of the first round? Once you get to the Conference Finals, anything could happen. Getting there means that you are one of the few teams that realistically could win an NBA title. The Knicks very reasonably could get there, so to say that they are the 23rd most likely team to win an NBA Finals in the next six years just does not work.

    Philadelphia might (stress might) have a brighter future, but it is an extremely unclear one, so how could you project them to have a better chance at winning a title in the next six years? Charlotte, Portland, Atlanta, Orlando, Milwaukee, we know nothing of what their future will hold, so how in the world can we project them at having better odds at winning a title over a team that we know is a top team right now?

    When projecting chances of winning an NBA title in the next six years, you simply have to go with the teams that are the best right now first. And the worst part is that you did that for all the Western teams and then just abruptly decided to drop the Knicks from the rankings for no compelling reason that I can see.

    Chicago, by the way, is also playing without their best player who is young and is going to return this season. They were a #1 seed just last season with many of the same players, so when Rose returns, they should be a realistic title threat, as well, so should also be higher than teams like Charlotte who we know nothing about, future-wise.

  62. max fisher-cohen

    Brian Cronin: I mean, yes, if the Knicks were as bad as the 2004 Nets or the 2000 Pacers or the 2001 Sixers, then fair enough, but they’re better than those teams. They’re more similar to the 2009 (9, right?) Orlando Magic.

    This is where we differ. I do think NY is similar to that Orlando team in that they will have a big hole to dig out of when they do give up on their core because they have so much invested in aging players. However, I don’t think they’ve proven that they are closer to ORL than the 2001 76ers. You can’t look at 20 games where you had basically the entire rotation playing at levels that they’d never sustained across a season (or in Kidd’s case, several years) and treat that evidence the same as those west teams that’ve won 55+ games across seasons in a MUCH tougher conference.

    I didn’t just randomly choose to rank the Knicks lower. THey just have two disadvantages that most other competitive teams, with the exception of BKN, IND, CHI and BOS (all ranked lower than NY BTW) have. They are REALLY old, have no cap space, and gave away a potential lottery pick in the Melo trade. All those west teams I rank so highly, with the exception of LAL & SAS, have young stars who’re likely to at least sustain their high level of play for the next 6 years. The Knicks’ 3rd best player is Kidd, who is LIKELY to turn back into a pumpkin before the season is over. For that reason, I wouldn’t be surprised if, for example, a team like ATL finished ahead of NY in the standings this season.

    I understand your point about empty potential in the case of teams like ORL, WAS, MIL & Utah, and even POR, CHA & DAL, so I could see putting the Knicks around 15th or 16th, but it’s hard for to see them any higher, especially with only 30 games of evidence, the last 1/3 of which hasn’t been that impressive.

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