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Friday, October 24, 2014

Looking Back At The Knicks Last 10 Games

On December 18th, the Knicks suffered a embarrassing over time loss at the hands of the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. This was a gimme game, after coming off back to back defeats to the Celtics and Heat, and New York managed to give it away. In the 10 games since the Cleveland game, the Knicks have rebounded to go 6-4. However when you factor in how tough that span was, it becomes more impressive. Of those 10 games, 6 were on the road, including 3 against three of the league’s best teams: the Heat, the Magic, and the Lakers. New York dropped all three of those games, as well as their last one against Utah. However they won in Phoenix & Portland, and also had victories at home against Oklahoma, Chicago, and the Spurs. Other than the Pacers there were no easy games.

Looking back at those last 10 games, the Knicks were successful on both offense & defense. If you understand the Four Factors, you know that shooting (measured by eFG%) is the most important aspect of winning any single game. Seven times they shot better than 50% eFG, and six times they held their opponent under 50% (Miami shot exactly 50%, and are not included). When comparing the factors for each game, the Knicks won every one of their 6 games where they had the advantage in eFG%, and lost the 4 that their opponents shot better. In their 6 wins they had the turnover advantage 4 times, and the lead in rebounds and free throws only twice. In 3 of their 4 losses they forced more turnovers than they allowed, and only once did they hold the edge from the charity stripe.

Ironically the team has done half of their damage without one of their key players. Danilo Gallinari has been injured since January 2nd, right in the middle of this streak. Reclamation project Shawne Williams has picked up the slack averaging 26 minutes per game of that stretch. “Extra-E” has done his best Rooster impersonation, nailing 21 of 44 three pointers (47.7%) in that span. Also Bill Walker has begun to contribute. The Knick forward has seen double digit minutes in the last 6 games, after seeing only single digit minutes in the 6 prior. Like Williams, Walker has been hot from downtown nailing 20 of his last 37 (54%).

45 comments on “Looking Back At The Knicks Last 10 Games

  1. Nick C.

    I’m really impressed with the team. Before every stretch of “tough” games a win or two above the gimmes are predicted and again they produce a winning record with losses only to expected conference finalists and a possible one in Utah. A far cry from the infamous three losses in close or closish games to perhaps the Texas triangle that prompted David Lee to call it great ball or some such comment. That was where this club was under prior management and it really is amazing how far the clubb has come since the days of grabbing every less than the sum of their parts and reputation player available (Steph, Francis, Jalen Rose, Tim Thomas, Curry, Crawford, Zach, Jerome James head the list). Please don’t return to those ways by bringing in Melo who is a top of the line model of such a player. The team is good and the fan base is escatic. Please don’t listen to all the blowhards out there who can’t understand why 26 points on 22 shots and 8 FTA, or whatever it is, really is nothing to chase after.

  2. Thomas B.

    “If you understand the Four Factors, you know that shooting (measured by eFG%) is the most important aspect of winning any single game.”

    Really? So say I was a GM and I was asked about trading players with eFGs of .587 (Fields), .549 (Chandler), and .506 (Gallinari) for an older, more expensive player with a current eFG of .452 (career .476). That trade may not be conducive to winning games? Are you sure, because I keep reading that the trade will make my team a contender, and we all know a contender wins more games right?

  3. Frank O.

    Thomas B.:
    Really? So say I was a GM and I was asked about trading players with eFGs of .587 (Fields), .549 (Chandler), and .506 (Gallinari) for an older, more expensive player with a current eFG of .452 (career .476). That trade may not be conducive to winning games? Are you sure, because I keep reading that the trade will make my team a contender, and we all know a contender wins more games right?  

    HAHAHAHA

  4. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Ironically I had a paragraph in about how shooting percentage isn’t independent (and relies on a host of other factors), but scrubbed it because it didn’t fit with the flow.

  5. ess-dog

    “Reclamation project Shawne Williams has picked up the slack averaging 26 minutes per game of that stretch. “Extra-E” has done his best Rooster impersonation, nailing 21 of 44 three pointers (47.7%) in that span.”

    Actually much better than Gallo. Not to mention his smokin’ .694 eFG%. Whoa!!!

  6. Dan Panorama

    It’s just Jared Diamond in the WSJ, who is a historian (Guns, Germs and Steel is great) parroting Berri. But the numbers are just absurd — a core of Melo, Amare, and Felton, plus Gallinari would win 29 games? WTF? The Knicks matched or exceeded that already with a core of David Lee, Al Harrington, and Chris Duhon! If Denver is trading such a disastrously weak offensive weapon that he singlehandedly would knock 20 wins off the Knicks’ projected record, why have the Nuggets had a strong record for nearly his entire time there then?

  7. ess-dog

    Ultimately I think I’m against Melo mostly because of the fiscal bind it would put us in, but for a good idea of what Melo *could* do, look at his best year in terms of win shares, 2006 when he was 21. His WS48 was higher than Amare’s is right now, in fact, he’s generally at the level that Amare is this year in eFG and TS as well, but together, they could theoretically improve their scores somewhat. But also, look at the players that Melo was playing with in 2006:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/DEN/2006.html
    Pretty scrubby group not including Nene who was fairly average back then anyway.
    I don’t blame him for wanting out at this point. The Nuggs have done very little to support him. I would say if he takes a Lebron-type paycut, he would be worth looking into.

  8. Thomas B.

    Mike Kurylo:

    Ironically I had a paragraph in about how shooting percentage isn’t independent (and relies on a host of other factors), but scrubbed it because it didn’t fit with the flow.  

    (Quote)

    Well I’m sure it is good stuff. Share it.

    You can put 5 players with average eFG’s all of .535 on the floor and still not have them actually get to .535 the upcoming games. It is a dynamic game, defenses change, plays change, maybe your HPR is getting shut down and you have to work most high post stuff. That all factors in sure. And sure, trade player X with .458 eFG to team B and maybe player X finds ways to get easier buckets in the new setting. There is no crystal ball for that sort of thing.

    However, we know age is only going in one direction and we know cost is only going in one direction. So I tried to factor that in as well. Melo at his best eFG (.511 when he was 23 I think) still is a bit off what we are getting from Chandler at 23. That gives me pause.

  9. Jimmy C

    Looks like it all might be moot: http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/playerbreakingnews.asp?sport=NBA&id=929&line=149702&spln=1

    Not sure why Denver would be so vehemently apposed to Mayo. Sure the scuffle with Tony Allen probably didn’t help his image, but he’s undeniably talented and from all accounts gets along with all of his teammates. And it’s not like the Nuggets are stacked at the 2 spot, although with Afflalo and now Forbes it looks like they’re strong there.

    So it’s back to the NJ — Det — Denver fiasco.

  10. Count Zero

    Thomas B.:
    Really? So say I was a GM and I was asked about trading players with eFGs of .587 (Fields), .549 (Chandler), and .506 (Gallinari) for an older, more expensive player with a current eFG of .452 (career .476). That trade may not be conducive to winning games? Are you sure, because I keep reading that the trade will make my team a contender, and we all know a contender wins more games right?  

    Absolutely priceless!

    I have sacrificed a chicken, two goats, and a rabid chipmunk in the past week — all in what I now see is a misguided attempt to keep this deal from happening. ;)

  11. Jimmy C

    Brian Cronin: Thank you, OJ Mayo, for being a psycho!  

    I can just see JR Smith, Kenyon Martin, Chris Andersen and Al Buckets walking into Ujri’s office and being like “no no no man, you don’t want THAT nutcase.”

  12. flossy

    Jimmy C:
    I can just see JR Smith, Kenyon Martin, Chris Andersen and Al Buckets walking into Ujri’s office and being like “no no no man, you don’t want THAT nutcase.”  

    Right?! We’re Denver Nuggets, dammit. When we punch other players, we do it ON the basketball court before running away like little girls.

  13. Jafa

    I think Melo is the New York public’s rebound girl.

    We really wanted LBJ to go with our flashy new ride STAT. We could have made a great team, only we got the ride (payed big money for it but its running smooth and looking good) and we lost out on the girl to some guy living in Miami. So now were looking at Melo and saying to ourselves “She looks good too. She may not be a 10 like LBJ, but I’ll settle for a 7″.

    All the while, 3 other 9s are unavailable right now because they are dating other guys (DWill, CP3 and D12). What’s a Knick to do? Should we wait patiently until they possibly ditch their current partners or go with the 7 that really want to take a ride with us?

    Melo – Rebound Girl of the New York Knicks Fan. Enjoy!

  14. Count Zero

    And on the main topic, I just wanted to add that Hollinger should eat his words. After ranting about how the Knicks were going to fall back down to earth playing against good teams, they just went 6-4 over a .643 SOS stretch of ten games. And they did it with a +3.5 margin.

    Nice to see his own system now has the Knicks ranked at #8. :-) Probably a bit high realistically, but they certainly belong in the top 12 at this point.

  15. Frank O.

    You know, when Gallo got hurt, someone said – and it might have been me – that his injury could be a blessing for the Knicks because it would force them to look at a few other players off the bench to see what they have.
    And after playing the toughest schedule in the NBA over the last 10 games, they came through it 6-4, at the same time finding on their bench one of the best spot-up 3 pt shooters in the NBA in Williams.
    They might have lost to Utah, but Williams hit some clutch bombs.
    Walker also showed himself to be a very solid 3 shooter.
    Neither player was particularly good on defense. There were a host of missed assignments against Utah that had me pulling my hair out.
    Walker, in particular, seemed a disinterested defender at best.
    But for guys who are coming off the bench for limited minutes, they’re nice pieces.
    I think the Knicks’ bench is quite a bit deeper than many of us thought.

    Now, Mason is useless and the Knicks need to cut him. His is a wasted roster slot. May as well go out and get some D-league PG kid and give him a shot, because Mason simply can’t hit the rim, let alone the net.

    —-
    I remain non-committal on Melo. I would prefer that he come to the Knicks as a FA. I don’t want to see the Knicks lose such nice young talent.
    WC is very comparable to Carmelo.
    Landry Fields is one of the best all around rookies in basketball.
    And, while I have issues with Gallo and his consistency, I still think he will be a star in the NBA.
    But this is in Anthony’s hands. I think he’s crazy to go to the Nets. It’s a horrible team that would be blown up to get him, and it would take a long time for them to see what they have. So many questions.
    So I say wait. The Knicks’ hand gets stronger each day. If it works out and the Knicks can get him as an FA, or if they make a trade and don’t have to gut their roster, great.
    If it doesn’t work out, I’m fine.

  16. TheRant

    ess-dog: Pretty scrubby group not including Nene who was fairly average back then anyway. I don’t blame him for wanting out at this point.

    I’m just ideating here, so forgive me if this is just hot air.

    Why wouldn’t the Knicks let Melo go to the Nets or see if he wants to sign with us in the off season as a FA. And then, as Denver is crumbling in the coming month and looking to start over, just ask to trade Fat Eddy’s contract for Nene straight up? The salaries match and Denver will certainly be thinking about rebuilding (though perhaps they need someone to rebuild around).

    Seems that the real need is for a 5, not another small forward. And it still breaks my heart that we drafted Nene and sent him and Camby to Denver for a recovering McDyess, when we could have drafted Amar’e and held onto Camby. That would have been just a fine front line thank you very much. Layden, sheesh.

  17. Frank O.

    Oh, and the Knicks crush Sacramento tonight. No trap game. Good teams cruise against bad teams and win.
    The Knicks take this by 15.

  18. el-beau

    the boys are back in town, sort of.

    Wilson Chandler is still amazing and immaculate in good looks and skills. However, he seems to be unaware of his bountiful gifts. He needs to become more aggressive and really demand the ball.

    Amar’e needs to picture himself in Arizona. Now, this does not mean he should play for his former team. Rather, he needs to imagine playing against them. This environment breeds the stat. His shots are more precise.

    Landry puts the IQ in Quick. He’s smart and uses his brain to maximize positioning and shots. I hear Spike Lee wears his jersey number. I’m considering the same.

    We need to give a shout out to the Knicks bench. In place of Gallo, we’ve seen some excellent playing, foremost from walker and douglas. Go boys. Keep it up. And Gallo, feel better too but please stop wearing so much gel in your hair while watching games from the stands.

    That’s all for now. Shout outs to my boys – the bard and the scribe.
    xxxooo go knicks

  19. Die_Hard_Knick_Fan

    As enticing as the thought of Carmelo and STAT playing together is, I think there has been a forgotten addition that we still haven’t seen… Kelenna Azubuike. He was having an All Star season before injuring his knee. Knee surgeries are always different for everyone so who knows what kind of player he will be when gets back, but I would rather wait for a solid 5 player instead of losing Chandler and Fields. Chandler is playing like an All Star as far as I’m concerned, and Fields has so much basketball IQ it’s ridiculous. The team isn’t at Championship level yet, but getting rid of two or three young players with so much potential, just to get one player doesn’t make sense to me at this time. However, I do trust Donnie Walsh and I think he’ll end up making the right move.

  20. Z

    El-beau is the greatest part-time poster this blog has seen since Ken “The Animal” Banister went full-time.

  21. flossy

    Die_Hard_Knick_Fan: As enticing as the thought of Carmelo and STAT playing together is, I think there has been a forgotten addition that we still haven’t seen… Kelenna Azubuike. He was having an All Star season before injuring his knee. Knee surgeries are always different for everyone so who knows what kind of player he will be when gets back…  

    Unfortunately, I think Azubuike is due back the first week of never. It’s not a good sign when you start full-court scrimmages months late and promptly get pulled due to not being able to run or jump anymore. He’s in the last year of his contract and I highly doubt we’ll ever see him in blue and orange.

  22. Thomas B.

    Z:

    El-beau is the greatest part-time poster this blog has seen since Ken “The Animal” Banister went full-time.  

    (Quote)

    And the only poster named for a body part other than the honorable cock jowles.

  23. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Quick memo from MSG About D’Antoni’s show tonight:

    Wanted to pass along some info on tonight’s D’Antoni Show…it’s a funny one!

    Tonight at 6:30pm on MSG, “The Mike D’Antoni Show” hits the road with an all-new episode from Salt Lake City. The program opens with “7 Seconds or Less” as host Mike Breen tests Coach’s knowledge of Salt Lake City and the Utah Jazz.

    Coach then takes a closer look at the Knicks perimeter defense and explains how they keep the opposing team from getting into the paint. Keeping in the spirit of Salt Lake City, Coach discusses why John Stockton and Karl Malone were the best pick n’ roll combination in NBA history.

    During “In the Paint,” Coach gives his take on the coaching fraternity. He talks about coaches’ relationships on and off the court, and describes the influence his father and his former coach in Italy have had on his coaching style. He also talks about his coaching philosophy with his brother and Knicks assistant coach Dan.

    In “D-Mail,” which usually covers questions from fans, Coach gets a surprise and answers a celebrity video D-mail from the NY Giants’ Justin Tuck. And for the finale, “Photo Finish” features a picture of Coach, shirtless and holding the European Championship trophy, from his playing days in Italy. After taking some jabs from assistant coaches and players, Coach D responds “I still don’t understand why we had to play shirts and skins that game.”

  24. Z

    Thomas B.:
    And the only poster named for a body part other than the honorable cock jowles.  

    Brian Quinnett’s Left Nipple used to come around every once in a while too. (But I’m pretty sure el-beau is the only poster of the non-male gender this site has every enjoyed (or am I assuming too much here?))

  25. ess-dog

    Z:
    Brian Quinnett’s Left Nipple used to come around every once in a while too. (But I’m pretty sure el-beau is the only poster of the non-male gender this site has every enjoyed (or am I assuming too much here?))  

    I was assuming that you were assuming too much. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

  26. Frank O.

    Z:
    Brian Quinnett’s Left Nipple used to come around every once in a while too. (But I’m pretty sure el-beau is the only poster of the non-male gender this site has every enjoyed (or am I assuming too much here?))  

    You may be assuming too much.

  27. Jimmy C

    Mike Kurylo:
    “There you go kids, goggles are not fashionable.”  

    Really good interview. Just another example of how he’s got the right personality to thrive in New York. I honestly don’t think LeCon would’ve handled any of it nearly as well.

    And how about that wool suit? I want me one of those.

  28. flossy

    @31: From the annals of unfortunate press releases…

    “Wanted to pass along some info on tonight’s D’Antoni Show…it’s a funny one! ….. Coach then takes a closer look at the Knicks perimeter defense and explains how they keep the opposing team from getting into the paint.”

    Laff riot!

  29. Frank O.

    Can’t wait to watch the ball move tonight.
    Lot of guys hurting.
    wonder of D’Antoni gives TD a chance to get his shoulders right, limit Amare’s minutes to get his shoulder and calf right and sort of give guys like Mosgov some burn.
    I’m hoping for a big lead so the last 10 minutes or so they can try some bench players.

  30. ess-dog

    Kings have won 3 of their last 5. They’re not great but any team can win on any given night. I hope we don’t take them lightly…

  31. Robert Silverman

    Z: El-beau is the greatest part-time poster this blog has seen since Ken “The Animal” Banister went full-time.  

    Actually, in the early days, Ken “The Animal” Bannister was sometimes me writing, and sometimes my then-girlfriend. I can no longer recall why we didn’t just create separate accounts, but hey, we were a couple of nutty, crazy kids back in the day.

  32. Z

    I guess we have our answer then: Robert’s ex-girlfriend was the first documented female poster and not el-beau (unless, el-beau IS Robert’s ex-girlfriend, finally posting under her own username…)

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