Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Magic 111, Knicks 99

November 27th, 2010.  That was when the New York Knicks last found themselves below .500.

But unlike their recent, highly publicized skid, that night’s 99-90 home loss to the Hawks was viewed as the easily-excused hiccup between a cluster of 13 wins which had – for a fleeting moment – suggested the dawning of a new and exciting era in Knicks basketball.

Now, a full month into the Carmelo Anthony era, it’s the excuses that seem to be piling up as quickly as the Ls.

Lately, Amare Stoudemire has played the role of post-game oracle in this respect, offering up everything from “lack of experience / chemistry”  to the seemingly go-to “not enough energy” as a defeat’s justification du jour.

Tonight, Stoudemire need look no further than his own dismal stat line – 13 points on 6-20 shooting (including 1-3 from the stripe) and a team low +/- of -15 – for clues as to what to tell the legion of mics and cameras about this one.

The Knicks squandered yet another halftime lead and were outscored 32-21 in the final stanza, falling to the Magic for the third time this season 111-99. The loss dropped the Knicks to 34-35, a full 2 games behind Philadelphia and just 3 1/2 ahead of the 8th place Pacers.

Although they were down only 7 with just under 2 minutes remaining, fans were exiting the Garden in droves – as clear a sign as any that “wait until next year” is a mantra falling increasingly on deaf ears.

As in the previous two Magic losses, the Knicks were again unable to effectively contain Dwight Howard, who finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds, including 11-13 from the free throw line. (Some might gawk at that last line, but clearly Patrick Ewing has his young pupil channeling the former’s charity stripe prowess against his long-time employer: In three games against the Knicks this year, Howard has connected on 33 of 43 [77%] of his attempts.)

Despite an outwardly efficient 17 on 12 shots (including 3 threes), Chauncey Billups again struggled to find an offensive rhythm, hoisting up a pair of ill-advised bombs late in the fourth that each resulted in baskets at the other end for the Magic.

Meanwhile, Toney Douglas was once again a catalyst-to-no-avail – and an efficient one at that – banking 17 on 14 shots (including 3-6 from behind the arc) in spelling his elder off the bench.

In doing so, TD continued an impressive March run in which he’s averaging 16.8 points, 7 assists, and 3.4 three pointers per 36, to go along with a TS% of 58%. And while his assist numbers (he had but 1 tonight) may not reflect as much, his ability to probe the paint without coughing up the rock have improved noticeably. In whatever capacity that might be, such play from the young point is doubtless a good sign for the future.

Fresh off the pilot airing of The Andy and Landry Show, everyone’s favorite Stanford grad once again struggled against the Magic, against whom he’s averaged a paltry 3.7 points and 6.3 rebounds with an eFG% of 32%. Whether the result of the feared “rookie wall” or simply a matter of readjusting to new teammates, Fields’ recent struggles have mimicked those of the team as a whole – a testament to just how big a bellwether the precocious neophyte is to the new-look Knicks.

Ironically, the two things that have tended to go part and parcel with the Knicks’ recent string of losses – Melo’s ball-stopping and cheesecloth team defense – were largely absent on this night. Melo had perhaps his most well-rounded game in orange and blue, scoring 24 with a shiny TS% of 71% to go along with 5 rebounds, a season high 9 assists, and 2 steals.

Despite being guarded for much of the night by the very un-glue-like Hedo Turkoglu, Anthony continually found open cutters and weak side open shooters. But with Stoudemire struggling and Billups looking a step slow, Anthony may have chosen the wrong night to try and prove the trade naysayers wrong.

Indeed, at this point you can almost forgive Melo for thinking himself incapable of doing anything right.

To which there is only one real reply: welcome to New York.

201 comments on “Magic 111, Knicks 99

  1. John Kenney

    You have to think eventually they’ll, you know, start trying really hard all the time, right? Right? I’m talking about the hunger required for everyone to sacrifice part of their individual game to fit that of the team. We don’t have it right now.

  2. TheRant

    Melo’s ball-stopping and cheesecloth defense – were largely absent on this night.

    I was there. Believe me, there was plenty of isolation by Melo and total stoppage of ball movement. It was sad.

  3. tenebrous

    Below .500 – only for the 2nd time this season? Oh! Sorry. Great. What about the last 10 years or 38 years? How many times were they below .500?

    I’m beginning to think that Melo and Stat will never work. yeah they had some Nash Amare sighting in the last minutes, but hey not even cp3 can help.

  4. max fisher-cohen

    Milwaukee could at best end up with 8 more wins, putting them at 36-46. They have the tiebreaker with us, but it would still require the knicks to win only 2 more games for the rest of the season, a pretty monumental collapse. That would mean the Knicks closed out the season losing 13 of 15 and 16 of 19.

    I can’t see Charlotte making a run. They’re 4-10 since their trade and have a pretty tough remaining sched.

    Indiana only has 10 games left, but they have games against many cellar dwellers: sacramento, detroit twice, and Washington. We also play them again on April 10th. They could probably get up to 38 wins, and since or If things keep going as they have, that game could end up deciding whether we’re the 8th or 7th seed. Not only will that game matter in terms of record, but it may affect the tiebreaker (we’re 1-2 vs. Indiana. They have a slight edge in terms of conference record).

  5. John Kenney

    Toney Douglas, say what you will about him, is quickly becoming one of my favorite knicks if only because he constantly looks like he gives a damn.

  6. Ben R

    The thing I notice about both Melo’s and Amare’s defense is that they tend to give up once their beat. Melo is a pretty stout on ball defender but he doesn’t fight hard through screens or close out hard on open shooters or chase people down from behind on the break. (I saw Melo give up on two seperate chase downs tonight, and barely try to get over a Howard screen on a Hedo 3) Amare is a good shot blocker but he pulls up down low way too much, and is also bad at closing out on open jump shooters. (I remember a Bass play where he got by Amare and Amare just kind of backed off and Bass got an easy dunk, and we can all attest to the wide open 18 footers every PF gets against us)

    These are plays that seem lost, plays that seem like their effort would be wasted, the shot would still be made, the dunk would still happen, but maybe 1 out of every 10 times that hustle might make a difference, they might rush the shot or allow a block. That little bit of extra hustle would set a tone for the team, that every play counts, every second on the court is one in which you hustle.

    I don’t care if they have a five step head start you still need to chase your man down as if your life depended on it, you need to run at every three point shooter as if it was 3 seconds left of game 7, I don’t care how open they are.

  7. Brian Cronin

    I don’t get how Berger compared Kobe Bryant playing with Shaq as a rookie to Melo coming in to play with STAT or Lebron coming in to play with Wade. Of course the transition was easier for Kobe – he was a rookie and Shaq was one of the very best players in the NBA!! We’re supposed to be impressed that a rookie was able to “learn how to play” with someone like Shaq?

  8. Brian Cronin

    Also a shocking, rational article by Chris Sheridan:

    I mean, yeah, the general “it really doesn’t matter because they’re pretty much locked in to the #7 seed” argument is a fine one, but in the piece, Sheridan says the following:

    Amare Stoudemire had his worst game as a Knick (a season-low 13 points on 6-for-20 shooting) because he is so tired he looked dead on his feet.

    It should be noted that this was Game No. 14 in a month in which the Knicks are playing 18 games, with six sets of back-to-backs and three sets of four games in five nights.

    which is fair enough.

    But then he adds later:

    Why can’t D’Antoni run him and Stoudemire out there for the entire final 12 minutes? Especially since the Knicks need all the offense they can get, especially with the way they are playing (or not playing) fourth-quarter defense.

    Sooooo…Amar’e had his worst game because he’s exhausted, and your answer is to play him the entire fourth quarter?

    Huh?

  9. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    I mean, yeah, the general “it really doesn’t matter because they’re pretty much locked in to the #7 seed” argument is a fine one, but in the piece, Sheridan says the following:
    which is fair enough.But then he adds later:
    Sooooo…Amar’e had his worst game because he’s exhausted, and your answer is to play him the entire fourth quarter?Huh?  

    Well, you cant expect a Sheridan article to be perfect.

  10. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: I don’t get how Berger compared Kobe Bryant playing with Shaq as a rookie to Melo coming in to play with STAT or Lebron coming in to play with Wade. Of course the transition was easier for Kobe – he was a rookie and Shaq was one of the very best players in the NBA!! We’re supposed to be impressed that a rookie was able to “learn how to play” with someone like Shaq?  

    Yeah that whole comparison to Kobe thing I didnt care for. The thing about Melo needed to be humbled and growing from it was kinda interesting. After last Friday and all the stuff about him skipping the media it couldve gotten real ugly but Melo to his credit I guess has handled the media fine since then. Also say what you will but he has played well the last 3 games for the most part and has for now at least quieted all the criticism for both his on and off court behavior by playing hard and not acting/saying anything stupid.

    Baby steps.

  11. d-mar

    If the Knicks are going to get this turned around, it starts with beating the Bucks tomorrow and the Bobcats on Sat. If they play as hard as they did against Boston and Orlando, they will. And Stat needs to chug a couple of 5 hour energies before the game.

  12. Mike Kurylo

    TheRant: Clutch play from Felton and Chandler tonight.Just for the wrong team.  

    Remember Denver wins only count against great teams at full strength. And although the Spurs are one of the best teams in the league, they were without Tim Duncan. So in (Knick fan) reality the Knuggets are just 1-2.

  13. Mike Kurylo

    BigBlueAL: Also a shocking, rational article by Chris Sheridan:http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/columns/story?columnist=sheridan_chris&id=6252822  

    I know that some tend to paint all of the mainstream with the same brush, but I’ve found Sheridan articles to be rational at times. Although the tired excuse sounds like another rationalization from the top10ers. I mean, maybe Dwight Howard had a say in Amar’e’s bad game more than the schedule makers.

  14. CapB

    Dantoni needs to take a page out of the Pat Riley 1994 playbook and take this team to Vegas for a couple days to relax and let off some steam

  15. Brian Cronin

    Although the tired excuse sounds like another rationalization from the top10ers.

    Yeah, for the most part, they have convinced themselves so much that the Melo deal was a no-brainer for the Knicks that they have to come up with rationalizations for why it didn’t work out the way they figured (and has worked out the way a lot of us figured), as “maybe we were wrong” doesn’t look good in a column. Honestly, as far as rationalizations go, I prefer “they’re tired” a whole lot more than “D’Antoni is to blame!” I’ve given D’Antoni a whole lot of guff over the years, but the notion that he’s the reason the team isn’t playing well…such hogwash.

  16. Frank

    I was at the game last night – worst/deadest crowd so far this year.

    Anyway – not sure what TheRant was talking about. I think, at least from an offensive perspective, this was Melo’s best game as a Knick. He hardly forced anything, threw some great passes. In general, the ball movement was excellent until the 4th when Billups of all people tried to play hero-ball. 24/5/9 with TS 71 — that’s an LBJ stat-line against a very good defensive team.

    Billups’s +/- numbers etc. look pretty good overall. But he seems to turn the ball way too often, then doesn’t get back on defense leading to runouts for the opposition. And maybe the worst thing is that his “presence” as a vet but inability to guard point guards leads to a TD/Billups/Melo/STAT + either Extra E or Turiaf group in crunch time, which leaves Landry Fields on the bench. It can’t be a coincidence that we can’t get critical defensive rebounds in the clutch when our best rebounder (by position) is sitting on the bench. Or that we can’t seem to score in the 4th when the guy who has the highest 3 point % in the 4th is sitting on the bench.

    I am increasingly feeling that going forward, we should buy out Billups after the season. I think TD has shown enough in the last 3-4 weeks to tell me that he can be a starting PG for this team. If Melo can expand on yesterday’s performance and turn into a real distributor of the ball, then I think those two can be trusted to run the offense for the most part. If we buy out Billups, we’ll have hopefully around $9-10m in cap space — perhaps enough for Dalembert and someone like Pietrus? That would end our dreams of CP3/DWill/DH in 2012, but I’m not sure those are anything but fantasy at this point.

  17. Frank

    Meanwhile – that may have been the best game I’ve seen howard play offensively. It wasn’t just that he scored with ease – it was that he looked like he had 3-4 solid post moves and counters. Hakeem and Patrick have really done a job with him.

  18. Frank

    Sorry for the multiple posts-in-a-row — but forgot this part. Has anyone heard anything about Amare being hurt? He looked like an OLD man last night. Not just with his play — anyone can have an off-night — but even walking off the court at timeouts etc. he looked like a guy who is totally burned out. This really has been a brutal stretch of games (# of games-wise) and he didn’t get any sort of break over all-star weekend. Hopefully he can get some well-deserved rest at some point. I wouldn’t be surprised to see D’Antoni rest him a few games as the season comes to an end in preparation for the playoffs (assuming we don’t lose every game from this point forward).

  19. Brian Cronin

    I think it’s exhaustion more than an actual injury, Frank. I believe Simmons was writing about this months ago – that Amar’e was playing such big minutes he was bound to suffer later in the season.

  20. New Guy

    “Indeed, at this point you can almost forgive Melo for thinking himself incapable of doing anything right.

    To which there is only one real reply: welcome to New York.”

    Great line!

  21. Brian Cronin

    I am increasingly feeling that going forward, we should buy out Billups after the season. I think TD has shown enough in the last 3-4 weeks to tell me that he can be a starting PG for this team. If Melo can expand on yesterday’s performance and turn into a real distributor of the ball, then I think those two can be trusted to run the offense for the most part. If we buy out Billups, we’ll have hopefully around $9-10m in cap space — perhaps enough for Dalembert and someone like Pietrus? That would end our dreams of CP3/DWill/DH in 2012, but I’m not sure those are anything but fantasy at this point.

    As long as Paul/D-Will is a possibility, you can’t buy out Billups. And I think it’s a possibility still, so I wouldn’t buy out Billups. Plus, it doesn’t look good to promise you will pick up an option and then not pick up the option (again, though, it was an easy promise to make since they hope to deal him as part of a Paul trade).

  22. New Guy

    FYI, Toney Douglas’s recent stellar play has prompted Denver to demand he be included in the Melo trade retroactively. Dolan agreed, but only if we could throw in another 2nd round draft pick.

  23. Brian Cronin

    By the way, if the Knicks somehow do manage to deal Billups for Paul next year (along with Fields, Douglas, the 2011 pick, anything else New Orleans wants), I would imagine that they would buy him out, right? If so, how amazing of a pick-up would he be for a playoff team next year as a waiver wire pick-up?! To have a guy like that coming off your bench?

  24. New Guy

    When does Melo hear his first round of boos?

    My money’s on 2Q of Knicks/Bucks on Friday, when we’re down 17.

  25. Brian Cronin

    And maybe the worst thing is that his “presence” as a vet but inability to guard point guards leads to a TD/Billups/Melo/STAT + either Extra E or Turiaf group in crunch time, which leaves Landry Fields on the bench.

    Perhaps the most distressing thing about the Knicks is that Fields has gotten such less burn post-trade (only two less minutes per game, but it is bigger than that when you consider how the rotation has shrunk, so him getting less minutes when everyone is being pressed for more minutes stands out).

  26. jon abbey

    I think that Sheridan comment meant that Melo shouldn’t have been sitting for the first four minutes of the 4th, especially with Amare looking so bad, but it was worded badly.

    Mike Kurylo:
    I mean, maybe Dwight Howard had a say in Amar’e’s bad game more than the schedule makers.  

    Amare did score 60 points in 70 minutes combined in the first two Orlando games this year, and he himself said he was tired in the first quarter last night and he thinks that this is the most gruelling stretch he’s had in his career (this is a little hard to believe, but he did say it).

  27. Brian Cronin

    It does seem hard to believe, but I guess he is getting older, so each tough stretch would theoretically be a little tougher than the year before? Maybe?

    If that is the case, though, that sure doesn’t bode well for years 2-5 on the contract, right? That’s why a Paul or a D-Will would be so huge – it’s a lot less stressful when you’re just dunking in feeds from great passes (perhaps another reason he was never fatigued in Phoenix).

  28. Brian Cronin

    He was passing a lot more last night. That’s seems to be a good sign that he knows that he needs to adapt his game to fit the system.

  29. gbaked

    We just need to relax, man,” Anthony said. “We’re putting too much pressure on ourselves. We’re losing games that we know we should be winning. … We’re playing too tense out there on the court. I think we just need to relax and have fun. I don’t think there’s any fun in the game right now, and I think that’s something that we need to get back in the game.”

    How?

    “Everybody just relax,” Anthony said. “Go out there and just play basketball. Go out there and play the way you know how to play. These times ain’t gonna last forever. I’ve been through it before. I’m pretty sure a lot of people in this locker room have been through it. I’m not too concerned about that.”

    I think the fans need to follow this advice too. Myself included.

  30. Frank

    Brian Cronin: It does seem hard to believe, but I guess he is getting older, so each tough stretch would theoretically be a little tougher than the year before? Maybe?If that is the case, though, that sure doesn’t bode well for years 2-5 on the contract, right? That’s why a Paul or a D-Will would be so huge – it’s a lot less stressful when you’re just dunking in feeds from great passes (perhaps another reason he was never fatigued in Phoenix).  

    This really has been an unbelievably brutal stretch. Looking at the schedule, by this saturday they will have played 19 games in the last 31 days, or essentially a back-to-back 10 times in a row with just 1 off day. This is 2 games every 3 days, when the whole season is 82 games in 168 days, or 2 games every 4 days. Those rest days are crucial.

    I think going forward I’d like to see STAT limited to 30-34 min/game, and to see him play minimally the last week of the season assuming we are comfortably in the playoffs. I couldn’t care less what our final record is – I’m much more interested in STAT not looking 64 years old like he did last night.

  31. ess-dog

    I think not picking up Billups just might be the way to go. Douglas has been much better lately, and Walsh can use the Billups money to find some cheap contracts so we can actually have like, a full roster of players. I don’t think Billups will be that useful in a CP3 trade anyway since he’s not playing well. Or we can try and spend that money on a real big and either forget about CP3 or just try to do a straight up trade.
    Billups is just not the right point for this offense. TD can actually guard the Roses and Rondos of the league somewhat, so I would try to bring him along. I think eventually, he’ll be effective on the break.
    In the halfcourt, why not make Melo a point-forward? He’s going to just hold the ball anyway, we might as well have him direct traffic. I just can’t imagine a Melo/Stat pnr not working if they just practice it. Camp Toney and Fields out to shoot threes and have a guy like oh say, Marc Gasol, who can make the short jumper, on the weakside. If anyone tries to double, make them pay. Draft or sign another cheap pg to back up Toney and voila!

  32. hoolahoop

    Brian Cronin:
    Perhaps the most distressing thing about the Knicks is that Fields has gotten such less burn post-trade (only two less minutes per game, but it is bigger than that when you consider how the rotation has shrunk, so him getting less minutes when everyone is being pressed for more minutes stands out).  

    Fields has taken a few uncharacteristically bad shots the last couple of games. I think he’s finding it harder to fit into the flow of this offense and fears becoming irrelevant. Losing minutes doesn’t help.

  33. Mike Kurylo

    New Guy: When does Melo hear his first round of boos?My money’s on 2Q of Knicks/Bucks on Friday, when we’re down 17.  

    ‘Melo won’t be blamed until D’Antoni is gone. Again a large segment of the population thinks ‘Melo is a top 10 player, and that won’t change easily. So it only makes sense that the coach who doesn’t care about defense is at fault. I listened to ESPN’s broadcast yesterday, and that seemed to be what I was getting from Van Gundy, Jackson and the guys at the studio.

  34. hoolahoop

    carried over from last thread to keep conversation going.

    jon abbey says:
    March 24, 2011 at 1:23 am

    . . . Mozgov might have been this guy (let’s not forget D’Antoni barely played him when he did have him), and it is a hundred percent on Dolan for giving him away. why anyone would give him any of their money instead of doing all they can to force him to sell the team is beyond me.

    During the dark days of the marbury era I refused to go to knicks games with my buddies. The last couple of years I started going back. I was there for the last game of the old (new) knicks. Maybe it’s time to boycott again.

    Unfortunately, Dolan will never sell the knicks because his dad built a great business model – perfectly vertical.
    cablevision – owns distribution
    msg network – owns network
    msg – owns venue
    knicks/rangers – owns content
    msg video – owns production

    The entire cablevision company needs to be run by someone else to take Dolan out of the loop. Let’s face it, he’s not a sports guy or business guy who inherited everything.. . and doesn’t have a clue.

    To be honest, I know him personally from younger days. He’s a loner and a bit of an outcast.

  35. Frank

    Mike Kurylo:
    ‘Melo won’t be blamed until D’Antoni is gone. Again a large segment of the population thinks ‘Melo is a top 10 player, and that won’t change easily. So it only makes sense that the coach who doesn’t care about defense is at fault. I listened to ESPN’s broadcast yesterday, and that seemed to be what I was getting from Van Gundy, Jackson and the guys at the studio.  

    I actually think Melo has played reasonably well since coming here. HIS defense hasn’t really been the problem, a few bad rotations aside. As far as I can tell, transition, post defense, and defensive rebounding have been the problems. I tend to blame the guards for bad transition defense, Amare et al. for the post defense. Melo has given up a couple big O-rebs in the last few games, but he hasn’t been too bad.

    Last night, despite the loss — I really thought he played a great game. Very few (maybe only 1?) long two’s, moved the ball really well. If guys were hitting shots he could’ve had 12-13 assists. If he can play like that going forward, he may very well be a top 10 player.

  36. hoolahoop

    TD – He’s very athletic and plays intense, in-you-face- defense, but he makes a lot, A LOT, of bad decisions. If he’s running the show, the knicks are doomed. You can’t win consistently with a low basketball IQ, shoot first point guard.

  37. hoolahoop

    Mike Kurylo:
    ‘Melo won’t be blamed until D’Antoni is gone. Again a large segment of the population thinks ‘Melo is a top 10 player, and that won’t change easily. So it only makes sense that the coach who doesn’t care about defense is at fault. I listened to ESPN’s broadcast yesterday, and that seemed to be what I was getting from Van Gundy, Jackson and the guys at the studio.  

    Absolutley. Most fans don’t scrutinize games like we do, and assume Melo’s great, NBA analysts are geniuses, and it’s got to be Dantoni’s fault…. which at times I believe myself.

  38. cgreene

    How about taking some of the Billups $ and getting back either Felton for PG depth (he wants to be traded to be a starter) or make Wilson an RFA offer to be another versatile wing defender then use the other part of the Billups $ for big(s).

  39. hoolahoop

    To paraphrase Bill Russell, “Great effort is a talent”. Basketball IQ is also a talent. I always figured these two things were easy to teach and instill in players, but I’ve come to realize that’s not the case.

  40. hoolahoop

    For those keeping score.
    Knuggets 11-4
    lost to Orlando in Orlando in last few seconds.
    lost to Miami in Miami, fought tough all game.

  41. Frank

    hoolahoop: TD – He’s very athletic and plays intense, in-you-face- defense, but he makes a lot, A LOT, of bad decisions. If he’s running the show, the knicks are doomed. You can’t win consistently with a low basketball IQ, shoot first point guard.  

    Not entirely sure you can say that with any certainty. He’s started 7 games this year and we are 5-2. In his starts, he’s averaging 19 points and 7 assists and only 2 TOs per 36. We should bear in mind that while Billups was out, we were 4-2 with wins over ATL, UTA, NO, and MEM. In fact, if my math is right, we are 4-2 with Melo and TD starting, and 3-8 with Melo and Billups starting. We are talking small samples naturally, but I’m not sure Billups is helping us very much right now. I was very happy we got him but he is not fitting particularly well right now.

  42. Frank

    hoolahoop: For those keeping score.
    Knuggets 11-4
    lost to Orlando in Orlando in last few seconds.
    lost to Miami in Miami, fought tough all game.  

    by the way, can we please stop with the Knuggets talk and “keeping score”? These guys are not on the team anymore. It does no one any good to keep harping about the guys that are gone. We may as well wonder how good we would be with David Lee still around.

  43. hoolahoop

    Frank: These guys are not on the team anymore. It does no one any good to keep harping about the guys that are gone.

    Who’s harping? I’m celebrating.
    Besides, if the fans don’t care what decisions management makes, regardless how awful, and just play good cheerleader, what incentive would they have to improve?
    I’ve been wondering lately, do the knicks belong to Dolan or to NYC? I think to some degree the knicks are the property of “us”. When “we” make bad decisions, we should be evaluate and monitor so we can do better next time.

  44. KnickInSeattle

    As for buying Billups out, clearly making that decision prior to seeing what/how he does in the playoffs ( assuming we make it ;) ) is goofy.

    He’s won a lot in this league, over many years, and so he has a lot…a whole lot…of credibility.

    Sure he’s made some bad decisions on the court lately, but that pretty much describes the whole team.

    It may be counter-intuitive, but I think the day off today will help the whole team…not just rest, but time to reflect, remember what they’re good at, etc.

    I choose to be hopeful about Friday’s game and about the future in general!

    I’m not claiming that’s entirely rational, just that it’s more pleasant (for me).

  45. tenebrous

    Billups has the most on his shoulders, if you really think about it. He’s the elder and his nick name doesn’t help. Hence, he’s trying to be a hero, etc. I do like him off the bench when the game usually slows down. Last night was weird. I have no idea why he took those threes unless there was no time on the clock. And if anyone likes billups and TD on the court at the same time is not watching the game the same way I’m seeing it.

    Elo for pointforward. And than I can see Billups as a 2 other than that td and billups as a 2 is well hero time hoist up the three time.

  46. gbaked

    If we pick up billups can we not trade him? He would be a rather large expiring (assuming that still will hold some value) and its easy to imagine some team wanting him. As its been stated he still has a lot of respect in this league, and this little stint on the knicks wont kill that.

  47. Mike Kurylo

    Frank:
    I actually think Melo has played reasonably well since coming here. HIS defense hasn’t really been the problem, a few bad rotations aside. As far as I can tell, transition, post defense, and defensive rebounding have been the problems.I tend to blame the guards for bad transition defense, Amare et al. for the post defense.Melo has given up a couple big O-rebs in the last few games, but he hasn’t been too bad.Last night, despite the loss — I really thought he played a great game. Very few (maybe only 1?) long two’s, moved the ball really well.If guys were hitting shots he could’ve had 12-13 assists.If he can play like that going forward, he may very well be a top 10 player.  

    Last night he played pretty well. Made some nice passes that I didn’t think he had in him. But the Knicks treated his value like a top 10 player, and they’re not getting the kind of return they expected.

  48. KnickInSeattle

    @56. True enough. I’m still holding on to the idea that next season, after a full training camp and whatever changes Donnie makes, the Knicks will get more of the value they expected.

    After all, I can’t believe that evaluating a large long-term investment like his contract after less than 2 months makes much sense. Certainly it hasn’t gone as well as anyone hoped, but I don’t see that as a reason to believe that the current performance is indicative of future results. Consider, for example, that if the Knicks were undefeated since the trade, we’d all know that that streak would be more of an aberration than a sign of things to come.

    I’m not defending the trade per se, just suggesting that all is not lost.

    I noted early in the game that Melo was passing out of his isolations quickly if he didn’t get open, and he kept that up all game. Now, if the team would play 48 minutes…

  49. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    tenebrous: I would trade Stat and Melo for John Wall.  

    Yeah? Funny, because out of the 80 guards in the league who qualify for the leaderboards based on MPG, John wall ranks

    76th in TS%
    79th in eFG%
    77th in WS/48
    77th in Ortg
    74th in TOV%

    Sounds like the kind of player I want to build a team around.

    Don’t believe me? http://bkref.com/tiny/aGK50

  50. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Saying that John wall will “probably not be that great” is like saying that Sarah Palin “probably wasn’t experienced enough to be next-in-line for the presidency.” He’s awful. Athletic? Like few are — still, an awful basketball player.

  51. JK47

    I suppose if we want to talk about guys who are being paid like max players and not performing like one, we might as well look in the direction of the guy wearing #1. Amar’e is WAY off his career norms in pretty much every advanced stat category. His TS% has sunk to a very disappointing .566 and when you combine that with his career-high usage and pitiful defense you’ve got a player who is really, really overrated. If Stat plays like this for the duration of his contract we have very little chance of being a good team.

  52. nicos

    One thing I think you can say about Melo- at least thus far- is that while he does tend to hold the ball, if a cutter is open he is very willing (and very able) to pass the ball. He’s hit Turiaf underneath a bunch, and Amar’e as well. The other players do sometimes stop moving and watch when Melo gets the ball but that’s not on Melo- not only has he hit cutters but when the cutters have dragged help into the lane he’s made a bunch of cross court passes to the corner for open threes. Yes, he holds the ball more than you’d like but as long as the Knicks keep moving when he has the ball the offense shouldn’t suffer- defenses tend to stand around and watch when Melo gets the ball as well which is why all those quick hits to cutters have been so open.

  53. JK47

    Melo’s passing is fine; the man has been double-teamed for most of his career and knows how to pass to an open cutter. This team doesn’t stink because Melo won’t pass. There are many other reasons why the team stinks.

  54. ess-dog

    JK47: There are many other reasons why the team stinks.  

    Yes. They are in no particular order: Jared Jeffries, Shawne Williams, Shelden Williams, Bill Walker, Anthony Carter, Andy Rautins, Roger Mason and sometimes Rony Turiaf and Toney Douglas.

  55. BigBlueAL

    Are people here going to continue to criticize Melo for the rest of his career because he is not a “Top 10″ player?? So because most of the media thinks he is a “Top 10″ player but you dont no matter how well he plays he will always get ripped here??

    Saying he played “pretty well” last night is crap. He was by far the 2nd best player on the court behind Howard and quite frankly the Knicks shouldve gone to Melo way more than they did. Melo is a Knick and will be one for the forseeable future. I think the time for ripping him is done and we should just start focusing on his strengths and the fact that he is still a very, very good player.

    Its the same thing we went through with Amar’e at the beginning of the season. It took awhile for everybody here to get off his ass and stop with the David Lee love and come to accept that Amar’e is a very good basketball player and when he has a game like he did last night we just chalk it up to a bad night and not go on and on about how he is overpaid.

    Of course Amar’e and Melo have their flaws, lord knows even someone like me who defends them will rip them during game threads when they take a bad shot or play some bad D. But eventually its time to forget their salaries and instead of complaining that they are a bit overpaid and not as good as the media apparently thinks they are just appreciate the fact that they are 2 very good basketball players.

    Hell right now I sure as hell wish the Knicks hadnt made the trade but its not because of how bad or overpaid Melo is. The trade was a bad move for alot of reasons that we have gone over before and I know alot of blame is aimed at Melo for “forcing” the trade but he is still a very good player who has actually played very well for the Knicks since the trade.

  56. Ben R

    BBA – the reason why people go on and on about Melo not being a “top 10 player” is because we gave up assets and cap room as if we were getting a top 10 player. I know that’s not Melo’s fault and honestly I don’t blame our struggles on Melo or hate him because we are losing but ultimately we gave up a lot and in return we got a very good but not elite or franchise changing SF.

    Both Amare and Melo are great players both top 10 at their positions but neither is a top 20 player or even top 5 at their position yet both are getting max contracts, contracts that will cripple our ability to improve this team moving forward. It’s not their fault but it is the reason why we are struggling.

    Every advanced stat guy said Melo is not good enough to sell the farm for but people said once he’s in NY he will be better, he will change, the team will be greatly improved. He hasn’t changed, he’s the same player he was in Denver (technically a bit better actually) and he didn’t magically become a top 10 player and we are not winning and people are disappointed. I am not disappointed in him or his play, my disappointment is in the trade that brought him here and the contract we gave him. His play has actually exceeded my expectations.

  57. ess-dog

    I would say Carmelo is probably top 5 at his position. Maybe #4 or 5, probably just below Paul Pierce. Amare is probably a top 7 guy.
    I mean there’s a lot of room between the best players (Lebron, KG and Dirk) and our guys, but I’d say they rate fairly well in the league. Maybe Amare’s terrible defense pushes him down further, I don’t know. And certainly getting “bang for your buck” is an issue. Is it better or worse to pay LBJ money to Melo rather than paying Martell Webster money to Gallo?

  58. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank O.: I’m suffering from Knicks drama fatigue.  

    Yup. I’m ready to cash out and pick up league pass so I can watch good basketball. Some of us knew this trade was going to be a disaster, and don’t forget — we have four years of this to look forward to. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  59. BigBlueAL

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Yup. I’m ready to cash out and pick up league pass so I can watch good basketball. Some of us knew this trade was going to be a disaster, and don’t forget — we have four years of this to look forward to. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.  

    Yes because this will be the exact same Knicks team for the next 4 years. Knicks are dooooooooooooooomed.

  60. max fisher-cohen

    Here’s a question: Let’s say you were forced to build around Carmelo and Stoudemire. What 5 players would you put around them to make the best team? You have $19 million to spend (our space plus an MLE). But you can only spend up to $13 million on one player. Use players who are NOT on rookie contracts. Subtract their current salaries from the $19 million total. If you like, you can keep one or more of the current knicks at their current salary, even if they’re rookies. If they are a base year compensation player, you may use them but you must use their 2011/12 salary figure. Also, you are building to win NOW.

    Here’s my team:

    Point guard: Mike Conley ($6.5 million)
    Shooting guard: Landry Fields ($0.5 million)
    Small forward: Carmelo Anthony
    Power Forward: Amare Stoudemire
    Center: Joakim Noah ($10.0 million)

    Bench:
    Toney Douglas ($1.1 million)
    Shawne Williams ($0.9 million)
    Derrick Brown (0.9 million)

    It’s really really hard to build a deep team without luck/high picks in the draft. We would still have the problem of lacking any sort wing defender, but it’s hard to turn down Landry’s salary. Same goes for the rest of our bench. We really do have some solid players on the bench given what we’re paying them, and because of our salary situation, it’s hard to see us making many upgrades.

  61. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    BigBlueAL:
    Yes because this will be the exact same Knicks team for the next 4 years.Knicks are dooooooooooooooomed.  

    Has the front office made a “great” signing in the last ten years outside of the draft?

  62. BigBlueAL

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Has the front office made a “great” signing in the last ten years outside of the draft?  

    As long as the guy who was making most of those signings isnt making them again I have some hope. Of course unfortunately the guy signing those checks and paying those contracts is still around.

    But hold on if the Knicks didnt make the Melo trade they still would have had to make smart signings and decisions with the cap room so if you have no faith in the front office whats the difference then if they wouldnt have made the trade????

  63. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Because I doubt they would have committed $40M/yr over the next 3 (or is it 4?) to two overrated players.

  64. ess-dog

    Man we are so Effed. Why aren’t we playing Balkman more? Aside from him actually being decent, he’s one of the only guys we’ll have around next year. We should at least try him in the starting lineup.

    If we drop Billups (which I don’t think we will) I would love to get DeAndre Jordan as a center or maybe Chuck Hayes or Mbah a Moute. And maybe we can get another pg in the draft to help TD.

    The best we can do is something like Jimmer/TD, Fields, Melo, Stat, Jordan/Hayes.

    We have to pray for a league-wide salary rollback.

  65. knickterp

    People here act like the alternative to the Melo trade was satisfactory, i.e. we gave up our chance at the title to get two overpaid stiffs on our team. That’s ridiculous. “Cap space” and “assets” are…what, exactly? Without Melo, who were we going to sign with our cap space? More specifically, who were we going to sign with our cap space that would help Gallo and friends beat the Heat/Bulls/Celtics/Lakers? Remember, Lebron notwithstanding, nearly EVERY player in the NBA is overpaid when the time comes for them to hit the market–Gallo and Chandler included.
    The point is, we had to gamble that Melo’s game will change, that his play will improve. I still believe it will (there are signs of it, in fact), despite the apparent desire by some here to claim victory after 18 games. It’s a better bet than Gallo becoming Dirk, Fields becoming an all-star, and Chris Paul begging to join them in 2012. Because that’s what it will take to beat the Heat (gifted years of greatness b/c of Lebron’s decision) and the Bulls (incredibly fortunate winners of the D Rose lottery). I’m a Knick fan, not a Dave Berri/Darryl Morey/Knuggets fan. I’ll root for Melo, thanks. (And it would be nice if those advanced stats prove true on Landry Fields, b/c since the Melo trade his play makes them look wildly inaccurate.)

  66. JK47

    @84

    What now? What fantastic game scores are you talking about? He’s been under 5.0 more times than he’s been in double digits since the trade. I like Landry but he hasn’t been playing real well as of late.

    Melo had a 23.6 game score last night. The last time Landry Fields had one that high is never.

  67. knickterp

    @83
    If trading for Nene–and signing him to the necessary big money extension–was the key for us to beat the Heat, Bulls, Celts, etc. by adding him to Amare, Gallo, Chandler, Felton, and Fields (subtract whomever Denver wants to make the trade, I suppose), then I would guess the current Denver team, with Nene, Lawson, Afflalo, Felton, Gallo, Chandler, Martin, Birdman, Mozgov, Smith MUST make the Western Conference Finals at the very least for their season to be considered a success.
    That’s if Nene really is a star and difference maker.

  68. Owen

    Re 75

    Right now?

    Ty Lawson 1.65
    Chuck Hayes 2.3
    Jevale Mcgee 1.6
    Omer Asik 1.7
    Serge Ibaka 1.2
    Dajuan Blair 1
    Reggie Williams .762
    Landry Fields .473
    = 10.685
    +
    Eddy Curry 11276863

    “The point is, we had to gamble that Melo’s game will change, that his play will improve.”

    Why did we have to? We’re spending more money for the same number of wins. What’s good about that?

  69. Z

    cgreene: How about taking some of the Billups $ and getting back either Felton for PG depth (he wants to be traded to be a starter) or make Wilson an RFA offer to be another versatile wing defender then use the other part of the Billups $ for big(s).  

    I think it is all but certain that Billups will not be bought out this June. If we buy him out, we do not have that $13 million to spend on free agents. In reality we have $45 million in guaranteed contracts for next season as it is. That is for 6 players.

    Add another $2 million to pick up the non-guaranteed contracts of Fields and Rautins, along with the 2011 1st round selection.

    Add in the $3.5 buyout of Billups, which still gets applied to the cap, and you come out around $51 million, which leaves you right around MLE money going into the summer.

    Of course, with the new CBA no one really knows for sure, but in the most likely scenarios, Billups is far more valuable as a $13 million trading chip next February, even if he gets severely injured before the buyout window closes.

  70. max fisher-cohen

    1: Re 75Right now?
    Ty Lawson1.65
    Chuck Hayes 2.3
    Jevale Mcgee1.6
    Omer Asik 1.7
    Serge Ibaka1.2
    Dajuan Blair1
    Reggie Williams .762
    Landry Fields.473
    =10.685
    +
    Eddy Curry 11276863“The point is, we had to gamble that Melo’s game will change, that his play will improve.”Why did we have to? We’re spending more money for the same number of wins. What’s good about that?   

    Outside of hayes, those guys are all on rookie contracts (you’re breaking the rules!)

  71. NateRobinson

    The key is keeping draft picks in order to get cheap value. High picks give you production and the usually outplay their contract…

    During these struggles Billups has been nothing short of horrendous. TD had his TD moments but he did not force shots as often as Chauncey has and he was a better distributor. I cannot believe the amount of times our PGs are a second slow on a PnR and miss the open cutter.

  72. Mike Kurylo

    BigBlueAL: I think the time for ripping him is done and we should just start focusing on his strengths and the fact that he is still a very, very good player.

    I think you meant to post this on TKB, where you get a free set of Knick pom-poms with every 5th exclamation point.

    Seriously what’s the deal with the root for the team mantra? What’s the point in that? To only concentrate on our player’s strengths is to be willfully blinded to the facts. That’s great for my kids when I’m reading fairy tales, but honestly it gets boring real quick. (Especially when the frog stays a frog).

    knickterp: @83
    If trading for Nene–and signing him to the necessary big money extension–was the key for us to beat the Heat, Bulls, Celts, etc. by adding him to Amare, Gallo, Chandler, Felton, and Fields (subtract whomever Denver wants to make the trade, I suppose), then I would guess the current Denver team, with Nene, Lawson, Afflalo, Felton, Gallo, Chandler, Martin, Birdman, Mozgov, Smith MUST make the Western Conference Finals at the very least for their season to be considered a success.
    That’s if Nene really is a star and difference maker.  

    I see, so the measure of someone’s stardom is if the team makes the Conference Finals, then what happens when a certain Eastern Conference team trades for an alleged star & gets bounced out of the first round? Given your logic, should star player get demoted to mere starter rank?

  73. Owen

    My apologies. Anyway, Hayes is definitely the #1 value for money guy in the NBA right now. No coincidence he is playing for the Rockets, who are currently 38-34.

    “Seriously what’s the deal with the root for the team mantra? What’s the point in that? To only concentrate on our player’s strengths is to be willfully blinded to the facts. That’s great for my kids when I’m reading fairy tales, but honestly it gets boring real quick. (Especially when the frog stays a frog).”

    Co-sign

    And Anthony Randolph getting the start in Minnesota. Off to a good start….

  74. Mike Kurylo

    knickterp: @83
    If trading for Nene–and signing him to the necessary big money extension–was the key for us to beat the Heat, Bulls, Celts, etc. by adding him to Amare, Gallo, Chandler, Felton, and Fields (subtract whomever Denver wants to make the trade, I suppose), then I would guess the current Denver team, with Nene, Lawson, Afflalo, Felton, Gallo, Chandler, Martin, Birdman, Mozgov, Smith MUST make the Western Conference Finals at the very least for their season to be considered a success.
    That’s if Nene really is a star and difference maker.  

    I think the point with Nene is that he complements the players on this team better. That’s one thing that disappointed me most with the mainstream “analysis” of the ‘Melodrama. Not many people pointed out that Anthony wasn’t a good fit for either D’Antoni or Amar’e, because they were too busy screaming “the Knicks have to make this trade!!!!!”

    Hey I just earned a pom-pom!

  75. hoolahoop

    JK47: I like Landry but he hasn’t been playing real well as of late.

    That’s because Fields excels in a more intelligent basketball system. He has much less to do in an iso style offense when one guy holds on to the ball and is going to shoot even if he’s double teamed.
    Notice the cancer spreading. Billups taking ugly shots, and Fields was even taking ugly shots. Nobody likes watching one guy hog the ball and shoot every time he gets it.
    And one game does not make melo a changed man.

  76. hoolahoop

    knickterp: @83
    If trading for Nene–and signing him to the necessary big money extension–was the key for us to beat the Heat, Bulls, Celts, etc. by adding him to Amare, Gallo, Chandler, Felton, and Fields (subtract whomever Denver wants to make the trade, I suppose), then I would guess the current Denver team, with Nene, Lawson, Afflalo, Felton, Gallo, Chandler, Martin, Birdman, Mozgov, Smith MUST make the Western Conference Finals at the very least for their season to be considered a success.
    That’s if Nene really is a star and difference maker.  

    You miss the point. The knicks didn’t need a star. They needed a big, tough, strong, defending rebounder who would put guys on their ass when they came into the paint too often. And a good back-up point guard. That would be a team that could get past the first round and maybe further if they clicked. We were close to making that a reality.
    That’s why people here are upset. This trade has been an unmitigated disaster. It was the wrong deal done the wrong way for the wrong reasons.

  77. Robert Silverman

    Anthony Randolph v. Dallas tonight – 3 mins to go in the 2nd quarter.

    23 points (10-13 shooting), 6 rebounds, 2 steals. And he looks GOOD.

    Ugh. I hate it when I’m right.

  78. JK47

    hoolahoop:
    That’s because Fields excels in a more intelligent basketball system. He has much less to do in an iso style offense when one guy holds on to the ball and is going to shoot even if he’s double teamed.
    Notice the cancer spreading. Billups taking ugly shots, and Fields was even taking ugly shots. Nobody likes watching one guy hog the ball and shoot every time he gets it.
    And one game does not make melo a changed man.  

    I’ve said this many times here and the anti-Melo crowd responds with crickets, but I’ll try again.

    Assist Percentage as a New York Knick
    Danilo Gallinari 7.3%
    Wilson Chandler 8.0%
    Carmelo Anthony 16.1%

    Carmelo Anthony is a better passer than Danilo Gallinari and he is a better passer than Wilson Chandler. His assist rate exceeds Gallinari and Chandler’s COMBINED. Of course some of that is because Melo is double teamed a lot and he knows how to pass out of a double team.

    If you want to say Chauncey’s passing sucks, fine, fair enough. But the idea that Melo is a ball hog and never passes the freaking ball is demonstrably wrong.

  79. Owen

    Anthony Randolph 23-6 at halftime against the Mavericks on 13 shots with just one turnover…

  80. JK47

    Robert Silverman: Anthony Randolph v. Dallas tonight – 3 mins to go in the 2nd quarter.
    18 points (8-11 shooting), 6 rebounds, 2 steals. And he looks GOOD.Ugh. I hate it when I’m right.  

    How about Ant Rand’s last game, where he had 7 turnovers and 4 fouls in 24 minutes? Or the run of five games in which he shot 11 for 28? Funny how you only hear about AR when he has that good game one out of every five games.

    With the Wolves he has a .488 TS% on 26.2% USG% and a .013 WS/48. He’s been pretty bad.

  81. Ben R

    Melo is a better passer than Chandler or Gallo but the key to good ball movement is exactly that ball movement. Once Melo or Amare get the ball they hold it and they either force up a shot or get an assist. Rarely do they simply move it to another player and let the ball and the system find the open man.

    When the Knicks offense was working pre-trade the ball never stopped moving until a shot went up. Gallo didn’t hold onto the ball waiting for an opportunity to make a great pass, he simply moved it to a teammate if there was nothing immediately availiable.

    That is the key to great ball movement is trust. I trust that if I pass this ball to my teammate he will keep it moving and it will eventually find its way to an open man, maybe that will be me, maybe it won’t.

  82. bobneptune

    JK47:
    How about Ant Rand’s last game, where he had 7 turnovers and 4 fouls in 24 minutes?Or the run of five games in which he shot 11 for 28?Funny how you only hear about AR when he has that good game one out of every five games.With the Wolves he has a .488 TS% on 26.2% USG% and a .013 WS/48.He’s been pretty bad.  

    you neglect the fact randolph is 21 and should be playing in the ncaa tourney tonight, not his 3rd season in the nba!

    but, of course, no one can wait for a guy who is 21 with a mad skill set to develop, especially when he is the key bribe to get mn to swallow curry’s expiring contract.

    denver really got its cake and ate it too. not only did they get 3 rotation players, a 7 footer and 3 draft choices for a one way elite, hi volume scorer, they dumped a 14 million dollar contract on the nix and didn’t even have to swallow curry’s expiring. no…. we paid mn randolph to take curry off our hands! great deal.

  83. hoolahoop

    JK47: But the idea that Melo is a ball hog and never passes the freaking ball is demonstrably wrong.

    If you don’t think Melo is a ball hog, you’re seeing something very different than me. Listen to all the Denver fans, that’s all they say. Even George Karl said it.
    Melo is a great scorer and has nice smile, but he’s a ball hogging, ball stopping, chucker who plays lazy defense.

  84. CapB

    I have to agree with JK47. I dont see the ball stopping tendencies that Melo has are any different than most other nba players. If anything Amare has been much worse.

  85. CapB

    Im sorry but alot of you are overrating what previous guys did. Just because Gallo made a quick pass doesnt mean anything. Making the right pass is much better than making a quick pass. If that means holding onto the ball for a few seconds than Id rather have that.

  86. Brian Cronin

    Why aren’t we playing Balkman more? Aside from him actually being decent, he’s one of the only guys we’ll have around next year. We should at least try him in the starting lineup.

    My guess is that they will do some work with him over the summer and try to get him into the rotation, because, yes, it really makes no sense not to play him when his salary is locked into the cap for the next few years. The only way for the Knicks to relieve themselves of that salary is to trade him, and the only way to trade him is to give enough playing time to make him an attractive trade piece. And there is no way that Balkman playing big minutes in this system with this personnel would not look like an attractive trade piece. But I can understand D’Antoni wanting to give him a summer to really drill stuff into Balkman’s head.

  87. Brian Cronin

    Is it better or worse to pay LBJ money to Melo rather than paying Martell Webster money to Gallo?

    Worse.

    Unless paying LBJ money to Melo gets you Chris Paul/Deron Williams, in which case it is better, since Chris Paul/Deron Williams are both worth more than “LBJ money” (so is LBJ, of course), so it all evens out.

  88. Ben R

    I agree that Amare has just as many or more ball stopping tendancies as Melo. But whether Melo’s ball stopping is common or not isn’t the point, the point is ball stopping is bad for offensive continuity and he is a ball stopper, not really a ball hog I think that’s unfair, but definitely a ball stopper. As for the quick pass vs the right pass, the quick pass is almost always a good move while waiting for the right pass bogs down an offense and only seldomly pays off.

    In regards to Randolph I wouldn’t be surprised if in three years he is the best player we traded. I still think Gallo will probably be better because he is also really young but it wouldn’t surprise me if Randolph puts it together and is an perennial all-star.

  89. Brian Cronin

    14-18 for 31 points and 10 rebounds. With 11 minutes left in the 4th.

    And this guy couldn’t get off of the bench for the Knicks.

    Hell, forget this game, his stats in Minnesota before this game (where he has been getting sporadic minutes after not playing the whole year, so if you think that’s the “true” production of Randolph, well, I would disagree) would have been helpful to the Knicks.

    And he couldn’t get off of the bench. And by doing so, he ended up getting the Knicks nothing but getting Minnesota to take on Eddy Curry’s salary on their cap for half a season.

  90. JK47

    What the hell. Offense is not our problem. We’re scoring even more efficiently now than we did before the trade; that’s been proven with numbers and stuff. The problem is defense. All of this “ball stopping” talk is a complete red herring.

  91. hoolahoop

    CapB: Just because Gallo made a quick pass doesnt mean anything.

    I disagree.
    Moving the ball quick is important. At least that’s one philosophy.
    Some believe in the iso, slow the ball, watch me score philosophy.

    Go to youtube and watch video of Larry Bird. The second he got the ball he did something with it.

  92. Brian Cronin

    One annoying thing about looking at the Knicks this year, with the team, at best, not improving with the trade and at worst, getting worse is that the Knicks could have easily actually improved the team this year, without locking themselves into longterm big money contracts.

    They had the Eddy Curry contract. They had Randolph, who they were never going to play. There were guys they could get with those two assets that would have helped the team this year and not hurt them in 2012. Guys like Dalembert, who the Knicks could have (gasp!) actually gotten when their value was low (as Dalembert suddenly had the worst first half of his career and has since returned to his normal level of production). In fact, that was the big selling point early on for Melo – since he told the Nuggets he would only sign an extension for the Knicks, the Knicks could get him for less than a guy like Melo usually goes for. And instead, they ended up paying more than what a guy like Melo usually goes for!

    They decided to go with a trade that wouldn’t help them this year but could get them Chris Paul/Deron Williams in a year. So basically the same “don’t pay attention to this year, but be excited about the team in a year!” type of trade like the Z-Bo deal and the Crawford deal. And, as I’ve said a number of times, I can’t really blame them, as if they know something we don’t, obviously getting Paul/Williams makes this deal a winner, as Paul/Amar’e/Melo/9 scrubs is a great team. But it is a bit sad to see them have the opportunity to make this year’s team better, and to see them pass on it.

  93. BigBlueAL

    Mike Kurylo:
    I think the point with Nene is that he complements the players on this team better. That’s one thing that disappointed me most with the mainstream “analysis” of the ‘Melodrama. Not many people pointed out that Anthony wasn’t a good fit for either D’Antoni or Amar’e, because they were too busy screaming “the Knicks have to make this trade!!!!!”Hey I just earned a pom-pom!  

    Mike c’mon, be serious. The point is not about being a cheerleader. Its about rooting for the damn Knicks to win and not being thrilled when they lose because it apparently proves your point that the trade was horrible.

    Ive stated that I agree the trade was a horrible move but whatever it happened. I still want the Knicks to win, them losing doesnt make me feel any better because I thought the trade was a bad move at the time and I am being proven right.

    According to you, THCJ and a few others we shouldnt even bother watching or rooting for the Knicks now because they will suck for the next few years. Gimme a break. I LOVE that this site is not full of cheerleaders, hence the reason this is the only Knick blog I comment on and constantly check every day since I found it in 2008 during Isiah’s final couple of months as coach/GM. But again shit we are all Knick fans and its OK to you know root for the team and appreciate the positive aspects of our players once in awhile.

  94. Brian Cronin

    What the hell. Offense is not our problem. We’re scoring even more efficiently now than we did before the trade; that’s been proven with numbers and stuff. The problem is defense. All of this “ball stopping” talk is a complete red herring.

    I disagree.

    The Knicks’ biggest problem is defense, agreed. However, in trading for Melo, they knew they weren’t going to improve their defense, right? I mean, no one thought adding Billups and Melo would make them better on defense. No, their only hope was that adding Melo and Billups would make their offense so good that it would make up for their weak defense. Obviously, that hasn’t happened, as they’re basically the same offense now that they were before the trade (the improvement has been there, but it has been slight – it’s not like they’ve moved from 7th in the NBA). So that’s why offense is still an issue – the Knicks can’t be 7th in the NBA while having a defense that has dropped to 23rd in the NBA. Well, I mean, they could, of course, as they have, but it won’t work very well.

    So if adding Melo and Billups can’t even get the Knicks into the top five in the NBA in offense? That’s a bad thing. And part of it has been Melo’s play – he’s played fine, but no different than he’s played in Denver (probably slightly worse) and we were sold on the notion that he would get better playing in D’Antoni’s system. It hasn’t worked that way so far (and Amar’e and Fields have gotten worse). So yes, offense is still an issue, even if the Knicks are still a good overall offensive team.

  95. max fisher-cohen

    Randolph has not been good for Minnesota. Before tonight, he’d played 185 minutes for Minnesota. During those minutes, they were outscored by 60 points. He’s averaged nearly 4 turnovers/36, and his TS% has been .488. That’s pretty sad.

    If MDA had given him real minutes, I promise you we’d be moaning and groaning about him four nights out of five. That said, for the long term prospects of the Knicks, it would have been the best route. His stats still would have looked promising from a distance (steals, blocks, rebounding, along with occasional “promising” scoring outbursts), raising his trade value.

    Furthermore, it’s just so rare for a guy who has put up the kind of defensive numbers he’s put up when given minutes to not develop into a for-real NBA player.

    We had this discussion 100 times before when randolph was on our team. I know what’s coming in response: He must have been being a baby in practice. You hurt the team by playing an underperforming whiner over guys who perform now. I don’t think that makes sense for a team tracking for 40 wins; maybe for the Spurs or the Lakers, but not for a Knicks team that needed to get lucky, needed for prospects to payout hugely in order to get to a point where it had the amount of talent to win.

    This all goes back to the Jeffries trade and the Stoudemire signing. The first made it pointless for us to have another losing season (due to the draft pick swap), and the second obligated us to play to win now – stat would have been throwing a fit if after each 5 TO game from Randolph.

  96. daJudge

    Isn’t the Coach the only one at fault for not playing Randolph? Also, I’m not a cheerleader, but the negativity after 20 games is astounding to me. Is reading TKB and rooting for my team wrong? I guess those readers are just stupid rabble. I’m sorry and I really don’t mean to be critical, but this is crazy. Worse, it’s really elitist stuff IMO. I think one of you (Robert S.) was into Seinfeld allusions. This reminds me of the episode where George is volunteering to help an octogenarian and his attitude is so depressing that the elderly gent pushes George out of the way and leaves the diner. I used to love to read this site and comment here and there. I would tell my friends how substantive, measured and sincere the posts were. I’ll hop off now, see you all in the playoffs. Those that hate this team, don’t fret, your bets are hedged.

  97. max fisher-cohen

    I know I’m sort of posting like crazy here, but I feel like a lot of people are having trouble maintaining the boundaries between rooting and hoping, and analyzing. A lot of the people who were adamantly against the trade’s posts are highly caustic. SOME people rather than writing, “this trade hasn’t gone as planned for these reasons,” are writing stuff like, “Carmelo Anthony! Leader of men! Champion of stopping the ball! Victor of shooting against double coverage! CEO of the stupid foul!”

    There’s a lot of vitriol in the above sentence, a lot of anger, and people who may have or may continue to disagree with the statements within it are going to sense that that sarcasm is a personal attack, and so they come back with a similarly emotional response– usually a blanket statements against the “negative nancys” along the lines of “You people don’t give a crap about the Knicks,” and then the people who have expressed their disappointment with the team’s performance, whether sarcastically or in a more even toned manner, feel the need to respond, and the cycle continues.

    The thing is, I don’t think either of these kinds of posts are predominant, but because everyone is irritated by the losses, they stand out big time, so I think we all need to eat an ice cream cone and chill out when we feel the heat coming up.

  98. Mike Kurylo

    Brian Cronin:
    My guess is that they will do some work with him over the summer and try to get him into the rotation, because, yes, it really makes no sense not to play him when his salary is locked into the cap for the next few years. The only way for the Knicks to relieve themselves of that salary is to trade him, and the only way to trade him is to give enough playing time to make him an attractive trade piece. And there is no way that Balkman playing big minutes in this system with this personnel would not look like an attractive trade piece. But I can understand D’Antoni wanting to give him a summer to really drill stuff into Balkman’s head.  

    Balkman might play next year… if D’Antoni isn’t the coach. If Mike D sticks around, my bet is Balkman doesn’t see anything outside of tiempo prolongado de basura.

    BigBlueAL: Its about rooting for the damn Knicks to win and not being thrilled when they lose because it apparently proves your point that the trade was horrible.

    Just to clarify, I’m not thrilled when they lose. Honestly it hurts, and I hate it. I root for them heartily in my living room, but here it’s all about business. And I’m not going to shine a turd and call it gold. Otherwise I’d be working for the Knicks PR department.

    My main goal with this trade (and this site) is to speak the facts, the best I can. That’s why I can’t let the idiocy surrounding Carmelo go, because it’s still an on-going process. There’s so much false information and absurd theories abound. Watching last night’s game on ESPN was just as sickening as watching the Knicks lose.

  99. BigBlueAL

    You mean you dont love it when Mark Jackson yells “Hand down, man down!!”. lol

    Like I said I love this site and its mainly because of your unbiased analysis. I also love the discussions and most of the people here regardless if our opinions differ. Ive learned about advanced stats in basketball mainly because of this site and I am grateful for that. It just wouldnt hurt to once in awhile be happy when the Knicks win and not constantly remind us that the future is doomed because of the trade lol.

  100. Brian Cronin

    I dunno, when Melo and the Knicks had that hot stretch, Mike covered it well, didn’t he? He had a whole piece just about how well Melo was playing in that stretch (the one where they beat Miami, Atlanta, Utah and New Orleans). If things are good, it’ll get coverage here. But when the news is all about how this losing streak must be D’Antoni’s fault because the trade was obviously awesome, then the coverage is going to be explaining why that is not accurate.

  101. BigBlueAL

    I dont think Mike did the game recaps for those wins. (Im kidding, I dont remember who wrote the recaps. Actually I dont even check to see who wrote them most of the time lol).

    I guess I dont care what the national media says so it doesnt bother me that much if they are being stupid. Im used to it and expect nothing else for the most part. I read them for the news aspect and for their reporting and quotes they get from the players not for their analysis.

    BTW to be fair for as much as I like and have defended D’Antoni in the past he certainly doesnt get a complete pass for this losing streak. But he obviously doesnt deserve the majority of the blame.

  102. tenebrous

    Why John Wall? Well John Wall gets the most spacing I’v seen in a while. Actually sometimes, he gets so much spacing that I’v never seen before. Also, Rando is at 74 and last I check Rando is an ok player – they are very different though. MJ and Kobe never got or get the spacing I constantly see John getting. He would have been our savor. Having said that, can’t you imagine his little dance energizing the msg before everygame? How great would that be? Aside from Amare jumping up and down on the sidelines no one else is dancing on this squad. Yes, fields has a comedy show so that counts.

    John just gets crazy spacing. You need that in the playoffs.

    Someone said something about management. This is the worst management of the last _______ years. Draft young and keep for five years develop etc. Shouldn’t there be a way for teams to be able to trade rookies as well and not wait for 3 years?

    The way this trade went down the coaches should have switched spots too.

    what’s going on is not Amare’s fault. He is trying to accommodate. Somehow I get the feeling that he is about to finish this accommodating road. However, if Melo does become the pointforward 1. He can be better than LBJ bringing the ball up but 2. That will still force Stat to be a second in commend and work off of Melonwhen Stat is best at being the 1st in commend.

    My team would be:
    Stat
    Melo
    Cb
    Turi
    Walker

    Melo is not letting fields be fields. Yup it’s a conundrum.

  103. BigBlueAL

    tenebrous: Why John Wall? Well John Wall gets the most spacing I’v seen in a while. Actually sometimes, he gets so much spacing that I’v never seen before. Also, Rando is at 74 and last I check Rando is an ok player – they are very different though. MJ and Kobe never got or get the spacing I constantly see John getting. He would have been our savor. Having said that, can’t you imagine his little dance energizing the msg before everygame? How great would that be? Aside from Amare jumping up and down on the sidelines no one else is dancing on this squad. Yes, fields has a comedy show so that counts.
    John just gets crazy spacing. You need that in the playoffs.
    Someone said something about management. This is the worst management of the last _______ years. Draft young and keep for five years develop etc. Shouldn’t there be a way for teams to be able to trade rookies as well and not wait for 3 years?The way this trade went down the coaches should have switched spots too.what’s going on is not Amare’s fault. He is trying to accommodate. Somehow I get the feeling that he is about to finish this accommodating road. However, if Melo does become the pointforward 1. He can be better than LBJ bringing the ball up but 2. That will still force Stat to be a second in commend and work off of Melonwhen Stat is best at being the 1st in commend.
    My team would be:
    Stat
    Melo
    Cb
    Turi
    WalkerMelo is not letting fields be fields. Yup it’s a conundrum.  

    Im speechless right now…

  104. Owen

    “If I didn’t play the way how I played, I wouldn’t have gotten no max contract,” he said. “They can talk about whatever they wanna talk about me, because I got maxed. I’m a max player. Don’t get mad at me, because I’m telling you what’s real. One plus one is two, all day long, and it’s never gonna change. And that’s factorial.”

    -Stephon Marbury-

    I’ll shake the pom-poms and suspend my cynicism when the Knicks, as an organization, earn my trust back. It’s going to take a while.

    I’ll root for Melo when he plays the game in way that shows me he cares as much about getting a win as he does about getting the largest possible contract for himself and the most nationwide exposure.

    It’s regrettable, but as Knicks fan, the lesson I have learned is that you have to protect yourself. You have to be a little selfish. You have to manage your own expectations (with the help of some advanced statistics) rather than letting the media do it for you. I have tried that. It doesn’t end well.

    When I feel like the fans, the players, and the management all want the same thing, i’ll sing a different tune. But it hasn’t been that way for about 15 years.

  105. BigBlueAL

    15 years?? I know the late 90’s Knicks had some problems and stupid moments (the fight vs Heat in 97, the entire 99 season with JVG “hating” Camby, the whole Ewing out of shape and should he play if he is injured stuff and the power struggle with JVG and Grunfeld) but they did win for the most part and the players certainly laid it all on the line and played their asses off especially in the playoffs.

  106. hoolahoop

    I hate that term “troll” but, it’s true, I enjoy watching the knicks lose – when they play ugly, selfish, low IQ basketball. Then, they deserve to lose, and losing will be the only way to the light. That style of play is not worthy of the NY fans, or the prices they charge.

    I love the knicks when they whip that ball around the court searching for the open man, taking a high percentage shot. I love the knicks that athletically race the floor before the defense can set up. I love the knicks that play tough, rough, gritty defense. I love the knicks that always beat their opponents to loose balls and box out under the boards. That’s what the Boston Celtic do. I hate the Boston Celtics.
    NY is my city and the knicks are my team. Don’t make dumb trades and serve me an inferior product and expect me to say thank you.

    When melo plays with the heart of a champion, he’ll get the love.

    No pom poms for me.

  107. Owen

    BIgBlue – I would say 96-97 was the year our long slow demise began. We signed the first in a long long line of tremendously overrated scorers to gigantic contracts. And we swapped Anthony Mason for the markedly less productive Larry Johnson. They played hard, no question. But that was the beginning of the end of the period that made me really and truly love being a Knicks fan.

    I do think Max is right that there is a division on this board. There always has been. It’s not between people who are for the Knicks or against the Knicks. It’s a split between two different kinds of poster. One who fantasizes about being a player on the New York Knicks, a member of the team willing to give unconditional support to his comrades.

    And the other, who dreams about running the Knicks, who puts the long term success of the organization over any silly short term myopic emotional allegiances. Who use the board as a record of all the decisions they would have made, a trail of evidence of how much better things would have turned out if they had been in charge.

    It’s inevitable that those two perspectives would clash at times.

    :-) a late night theory…

  108. Z

    For months and months there was a debate on this site about whether the Knicks should trade for Melo or not. Why shouldn’t those who argued against it continue to voice their displeasure with the trade? Why shouldn’t they feel vindicated in their standing up to the tyranny of the mainstream media?

    There is an easy way to shut them up: Stop The Losing!

  109. Doug

    Z: One who fantasizes about being a player on the New York Knicks, a member of the team willing to give unconditional support to his comrades.

    And the other, who dreams about running the Knicks, who puts the long term success of the organization over any silly short term myopic emotional allegiances. Who use the board as a record of all the decisions they would have made, a trail of evidence of how much better things would have turned out if they had been in charge.

    It’s inevitable that those two perspectives would clash at times.

    :-) a late night theory…  

    Oh man, Owen are you ever in that first category! You never shut up about how you wish you were under the the lights of the Garden, playing before thousands of adoring fans. We have to hear it from you all time about how you’d be hauling down rebounds, taking efficient shots, drawing fouls and getting to the line, never turning the ball over, finding the open man, fighting through screens, and properly rotating on defense. Come on Owen, you’re not 11 years old anymore. Time to give up childish things. It’s time for you to start fantasizing about owning the Knicks instead, because you’re never going to wear that blue and orange :)

  110. Z

    @ 129

    Though I think you are right that 1996 was in many ways the beginning of the end for the Knicks, I don’t think management’s philosophy changed in 1996. It just happened to be the first time in a long time that they could go on a spending spree.

    You can just as easily say that trading Mark Jackson for Charles Smith was the point of departure. Or trading Rod Strickland for Mo Cheeks. Most moves, dating back to Al Bianchi, have been myopic to a degree (except the two involving Charles Oakley). It’s the nature of the “win now” mentality of NY.

  111. BigBlueAL

    Yeah but damn they won 57 games that season. They made the Finals in 1999 and won 50 games and made the Conference Finals in 2000. I mean shit obviously short of winning a championship what more do you want?? It was the most successful time in franchise history since 1973 (well starting in 1992-2000).

    You are telling me that heading into all those seasons you werent that excited and didnt think the team was that good and you knew that in a few years they would be horrible?? Granted statistically speaking those teams were nowhere near as good as any of Riley’s teams during the regular season but man if those teams stopped you from loving the Knicks than damn you got some high ass expectations lol.

    I mean I only started being a die-hard fan during the 1991-1992 season (did start following the team a bit starting in the 1989-1990 season) but from what Ive read the Knicks were not that good at all from the mid-70’s til Riley took over (aside from a few decent seasons in the 80’s) so its not like being a Knicks fan we should expect perfection or whatever you call it. I dunno, to each their own I guess :-)

  112. BigBlueAL

    Z: @ 129Though I think you are right that 1996 was in many ways the beginning of the end for the Knicks, I don’t think management’s philosophy changed in 1996. It just happened to be the first time in a long time that they could go on a spending spree.You can just as easily say that trading Mark Jackson for Charles Smith was the point of departure. Or trading Rod Strickland for Mo Cheeks. Most moves, dating back to Al Bianchi, have been myopic to a degree (except the two involving Charles Oakley). It’s the nature of the “win now” mentality of NY.  

    Charles Smith was the same age as Mark Jackson though. Doc Rivers was also part of that trade and was old but I dont think that was a win-now, screw the future trade.

    The Mo Cheeks-Strickland trade certainly was but again while I remember that trade when it happened I was still too young and not enough of a fan yet to care or realize the future ramifications of that trade. I just remember he killed the Celtics in Game 5 that season lol.

  113. Z

    BigBlueAL:
    Charles Smith was the same age as Mark Jackson though.Doc Rivers was also part of that trade and was old but I dont think that was a win-now, screw the future trade

    The Knicks had a big front line of Ewing and Oakley already. smith didn’t fit a need (sound familiar??) Their only guards at the time were rookie Greg Anthony, draft pick Hubert Davis, and the past-his-prime Rolando Blackmon. Sure, they got the aging PG Doc Rivers thrown into the deal (again, sound familiar??) but it was a downgrade at a position of need for a downgrade at SF (Smith was to replace Xavier McDaniel at SF but lost the starting spot to Tony Campbell). And then, of course, the Knicks gave Smith a six year extension.

  114. Thomas B.

    Anthony Randolph dropped 31 and 11 on the Mavs.
    Now I am not saying MDA is a stubborn idiot who probably should be fired.
    But I am saying MDA is a stubborn idiot who definitely should be fired.

  115. BigBlueAL

    Thanks to Z Ive gone back and looked at the 1992-93 Knicks and now I know why Hollinger has stated that the Knicks from that time might be the greatest defensive team ever.

    That season they lead the NBA in Defensive Rating with 99.7, the Sonics were 2nd in the league with a rating of 104.9. That is one helluva big difference between 1st and 2nd, might be the biggest ever from what Ive looked up. They also lead in defensive rebound% and they allowed an eFG% of .444 which of course was 1st, 2nd in the league was the Magic at .473.

    No comment on their offensive numbers…..

  116. Brian Cronin

    I do think Max is right that there is a division on this board. There always has been. It’s not between people who are for the Knicks or against the Knicks. It’s a split between two different kinds of poster. One who fantasizes about being a player on the New York Knicks, a member of the team willing to give unconditional support to his comrades.

    And the other, who dreams about running the Knicks, who puts the long term success of the organization over any silly short term myopic emotional allegiances. Who use the board as a record of all the decisions they would have made, a trail of evidence of how much better things would have turned out if they had been in charge.

    It’s inevitable that those two perspectives would clash at times.

    :-) a late night theory…

    I dunno, Owen, I think that’s probably a bit too sweeping of a generalization (and I’ve also never been a fan of ascribing motivations to people period). Of course, though, you do note that it is a “late night theory.” ;)

  117. Nick C.

    Considering that all the mainstream media are looking for other reasons for the teams malaise of late, it is to this site’s credit that it exits as a place where contrary viewpoints get out there, even if it is to a limited audience. But as a point: the genius Michael Kay yesterday was saying, they shouldn’t worry about Melo not being a good defender but let him do what does best which is score. He needs to get 35 points a game. If he got 20 shots he would definitely make 10 ior even 12 and with some FTs have 30-35. Other than this being demonstrably untrue based on a simple check of career FG% and math this sort of flat out stupidity goes unchecked and uncalled out to thousands if not millions of ears which sucks. So to be a place that stops thinks and doesn’t randomly say things without checking the facts first is not a bad thing and if it means that what the NYK brass did is not right to date than so be it.

  118. CapB

    Owen: BIgBlue – I would say 96-97 was the year our long slow demise began. We signed the first in a long long line of tremendously overrated scorers to gigantic contracts. And we swapped Anthony Mason for the markedly less productive Larry Johnson. They played hard, no question. But that was the beginning of the end of the period that made me really and truly love being a Knicks fan.
    I do think Max is right that there is a division on this board. There always has been. It’s not between people who are for the Knicks or against the Knicks. It’s a split between two different kinds of poster. One who fantasizes about being a player on the New York Knicks, a member of the team willing to give unconditional support to his comrades.
    And the other, who dreams about running the Knicks, who puts the long term success of the organization over any silly short term myopic emotional allegiances. Who use the board as a record of all the decisions they would have made, a trail of evidence of how much better things would have turned out if they had been in charge.It’s inevitable that those two perspectives would clash at times.
    :-) a late night theory…  

    i just dont get a quote like this. The 97 team could have very well gone to the finals, the 99 team did, the 00 team made the conf finals.

    They werent quick fixing, they wisely chose to restock around Ewing quickly. The biggest mistake they probably made was signing Chris Childs instead of Hardaway or Houston instead of Reggie.

  119. Nick C.

    Sorry but separate topic. The AR age theories are the same things wthat used to get posted here about Curry and Crawford. This ain’t baseball so I don’t think age matters as much as does actual NBA years of experience. Be that as it may it always makes me cringe becuase in the past it has proven to be pretty much a non-factor, unless there are examples out there that preak differently but Curry and Crawford were beaten to death here with that excuse and it never turned out to be true.

  120. max fisher-cohen

    Crawford was 24 when he came here. I don’t think you could make a sane argument that he would get that much better, but TBH, Crawford did get better, if only marginally.

    Curry was 23. Curry is that example of the rare beasts in terms of physical gifts, but who never cared to exploit them. If there was an all-world laziness team, Curry would be the starting center. He had to be that good at not caring to end up as bad as he was. I think the idea of bringing in Curry was a smart one on Isiah’s part. The place where he got duped was in giving up so many assets for Eddy. Yes, he’d shown problems with effort, but he was a worthwhile risk given his gifts. Who knows — maybe if he’d been on a team with more stability on the roster and in management, he may have turned out to be a much better player.

  121. Owen

    “I think the idea of bringing in Curry was a smart one on Isiah’s part.”

    Hurm….

    For real dog? Take a look…

    http://knickerblogger.net/the-eddy-curry-study/

    Re the beginning of the end, it’s just my opinion. I know we experienced success after 96-97. But I think the Allan Houston signing and essentially swapping Mason for Johnson (at double the cost) were landmarks. The first major decisions that showed a pattern of thought that continues to plague the franchise to this day, We didn’t want to win ugly anymore, so we tried to win by acquiring one dimensional scorers who played “attractive basketball.” It continues to this day and it isn’t working.

  122. max fisher-cohen

    that’s a cool article. Perhaps it wasn’t a brilliant move, but if you simulated the careers of players who looked like 23 y/o Eddy Curry 1,000 times, I think 500 of those times he is worth his contract, and only about 10 of those times is he as useless as he ended up being for us. What he isn’t worth is giving up the two picks we gave up. If we had given up only a couple of 2nd round picks, would anyone have doubted the move? Well, yes, but not very many people would have.

  123. Owen

    “but if you simulated the careers of players who looked like 23 y/o Eddy Curry 1,000 times, I think 500 of those times he is worth his contract, and only about 10 of those times is he as useless as he ended up being for us.”

    Max – I disagree. Strongly. Building your team around Eddy Curry was a horrible idea no matter what you gave up to do it, let alone giving up the farm.

    It would be hard to find comparables for Curry. How many players have seen their rebound rates drop in their first four years in the league?

    I think the only potential for a truly historic impact you could predict in Curry was the potential for him to do what he did in 06-07, when he was one of only two starting centers in NBA history to average less than 2 rebounds per turnover. (Daryl Dawkins 82-83 did it also)

    Here is another link.

    http://knickerblogger.net/the-eddy-curry-study-pt-ii/

  124. jaylamerique

    Brian Cronin: 14-18 for 31 points and 10 rebounds. With 11 minutes left in the 4th.And this guy couldn’t get off of the bench for the Knicks.Hell, forget this game, his stats in Minnesota before this game (where he has been getting sporadic minutes after not playing the whole year, so if you think that’s the “true” production of Randolph, well, I would disagree) would have been helpful to the Knicks.
    And he couldn’t get off of the bench. And by doing so, he ended up getting the Knicks nothing but getting Minnesota to take on Eddy Curry’s salary on their cap for half a season.   

    You really think his stats before this game would’ve been helpful? c’mon, he has a ts % under 50 and a usg at 25. He needs to stop shooting the ball. I actually think its his true production, the guy can’t shoot and he shoots too much for someone who isn’t good at it. That was his main problem with the knicks when he played, he shot the ball every time he got it.

  125. jaylamerique

    Thomas B.: Anthony Randolph dropped 31 and 11 on the Mavs.
    Now I am not saying MDA is a stubborn idiot who probably should be fired.
    But I am saying MDA is a stubborn idiot who definitely should be fired.  

    Thomas B.: Anthony Randolph dropped 31 and 11 on the Mavs.
    Now I am not saying MDA is a stubborn idiot who probably should be fired.
    But I am saying MDA is a stubborn idiot who definitely should be fired.  

    Weren’t you the same one that was critical of the AR deal over the summer. I think i remember you questioning his potential. the game is probably a fluke because he shot 14-20 from the field and he wont be doing that again.

  126. Nick C.

    Funny when you read these old articles how they are full of posts from more than one person criticizing KB for being negative. Not saying just b/c Curry wound up sucking, never improving, and Iasiah was proven again to be an incompetent idiot, that the Knicks will always suck etc. But it is interesting and brings to mind the Santayana quote.

  127. Brian Cronin

    You really think his stats before this game would’ve been helpful? c’mon, he has a ts % under 50 and a usg at 25. He needs to stop shooting the ball. I actually think its his true production, the guy can’t shoot and he shoots too much for someone who isn’t good at it. That was his main problem with the knicks when he played, he shot the ball every time he got it.

    Yes, because he rebounds and plays defense. Had the Knicks played him in the post like the T-Wolves do, he’d be basically Turiaf just a lot better. Instead, they played him on the perimeter, practically daring him to shoot (which, agreed, he’s not good at).

  128. tenebrous

    The problem with the Knicks/the east is not their play. The problem with it is that the rules of the game keep changing from minute to minute. You play a certain way you dont get called you play the same way again and you get called and vice versa. I can understand human error but calling the whole game tight and than letting them play at the end seems counter intuitive – something the Knicks are victims of. The league needs to stop rotating officials and keep them with certain teams – otherwise you play scarred of committing offensive f etc. Basketball doesn’t feel like basketball.

    I also believe the complaining would stop.

    It seems that on the west coast the games are just fun. Something the east doesn’t have the luxury of.

    Just think if you were playing and the calls kept changing. Would you be frustrated? Would you not? Somehow I think you would.

    Some consistency – or at least prior to the game – some instruction of how the game will be called etc.

    I forgot – we have not been in the playoffs for sometime now – but how are the games called there. Tight or loose? Still can’t remember.

    I know now I’m blaming the league and not the players but if you are the player how would this effect you? I’m gonna call him Melon from now on. Melon is right – the game is not fun. Why not? Well cause you have 3 refs that constantly judge you. It’s like walking on egg shells.

  129. Owen

    The reason people like Anthony Randolph is that he posted per 36 numbers of 16 and 11.5 with decent peripherals his rookie year. That was in a high pace environment and his efficiency left something to be desired, but he showed real potential.

    Randolph shoots too much. I can’t blame him though. When you look at the correlations between raw scoring (without regard for efficiency) and salary, it makes perfect sense to play the way he does. And I don’t think there is any question he can be an elite rebounder and above average defender, which the Knicks could use right now.

  130. jaylamerique

    Brian Cronin:
    Yes, because he rebounds and plays defense. Had the Knicks played him in the post like the T-Wolves do, he’d be basically Turiaf just a lot better. Instead, they played him on the perimeter, practically daring him to shoot (which, agreed, he’s not good at).  

    so if the knicks were daring him to shoot by playing him in the perimeter, why is he still shooting so much if he’s in the post now? I looked at the shooting chart from last nights game and 5 or 6 of his shots were from the outside. Its not a knicks issue, AR just likes to take jumpshots. the guy is putting up jeffries type shooting numbers but with the usg of an all-star level player. he kills an offense.

  131. jaylamerique

    Owen: The reason people like Anthony Randolph is that he posted per 36 numbers of 16 and 11.5 with decent peripherals his rookie year. That was in a high pace environment and his efficiency left something to be desired, but he showed real potential.
    Randolph shoots too much. I can’t blame him though. When you look at the correlations between raw scoring (without regard for efficiency) and salary, it makes perfect sense to play the way he does. And I don’t think there is any question he can be an elite rebounder and above average defender, which the Knicks could use right now.   

    i can blame him for shooting too much. players that can’t shoot shouldn’t be shooting. the Turiaf and jeffries types have learned this. Thats why he doesn’t get consistent playing time. You can’t play someone who doesn’t know their role on offense and thinks he has the green light every time he has the ball

  132. Brian Cronin

    so if the knicks were daring him to shoot by playing him in the perimeter, why is he still shooting so much if he’s in the post now? I looked at the shooting chart from last nights game and 5 or 6 of his shots were from the outside. Its not a knicks issue, AR just likes to take jumpshots. the guy is putting up jeffries type shooting numbers but with the usg of an all-star level player. he kills an offense.

    5-6 out of 20 shots when he scored 31 points? And you’re citing that as a problem? That’s a good percentage. Sure, I’d prefer it be less than 5, but to say that that is quibbling is an understatement.

  133. Owen

    “players that can’t shoot shouldn’t be shooting.”

    That’s the fan’s perspective. But a player who doesn’t shoot is unlikely to sign a big contract. Don’t shoot too much to get benched, but shoot and score enough to get paid. That’s the line a lot of young players are tiptoeing down. I don’t think Randolph has done it very well so far. But he might just get himself paid over the next twelve games. Going to be interesting to watch.

  134. jaylamerique

    Brian Cronin:
    5-6 out of 20 shots when he scored 31 points? And you’re citing that as a problem? That’s a good percentage. Sure, I’d prefer it be less than 5, but to say that that is quibbling is an understatement.   

    i am citing it as a problem because a player that isn’t a good jumpshooter shouldn’t take that many jump shots. If he shot his normal percentage from out there then his night wouldn’t have looked as good. I only brought the issue up in the first place because everyone chose to use this game as an example that AR is a star in the making. You guys have to be fair and look at all the games and not just pick and choose the ones that support your argument.

  135. tenebrous

    Yep! Great article by Sheridan. Really enjoyed reading it.

    jaylamerique:
    i can blame him for shooting too much. players that can’t shoot shouldn’t be shooting. the Turiaf and jeffries types have learned this. Thats why he doesn’t get consistent playing time. You can’t play someone who doesn’t know their role on offense and thinks he has the green light every time he has the ball  

    Turi is a great shooter. So is Balkman. However they both don’t get no burn. We would win 20 more games if Turi and Balkman start making taking and making shots. How funny is that with 2/3 superstars Turi and Balkman can be our savors. Take and make those shots Knick players.

  136. ess-dog

    What’s really annoying me is that the Rockets, who have been playing much better lately, are probably going to swap picks with us after all. So instead of getting a #15 or 14 pick we’ll get a #17. There’s no silver lining to the losing.

  137. max fisher-cohen

    Owen: “but if you simulated the careers of players who looked like 23 y/o Eddy Curry 1,000 times, I think 500 of those times he is worth his contract, and only about 10 of those times is he as useless as he ended up being for us.”Max – I disagree. Strongly. Building your team around Eddy Curry was a horrible idea no matter what you gave up to do it, let alone giving up the farm.It would be hard to find comparables for Curry. How many players have seen their rebound rates drop in their first four years in the league?
    I think the only potential for a truly historic impact you could predict in Curry was the potential for him to do what he did in 06-07, when he was one of only two starting centers in NBA history to average less than 2 rebounds per turnover. (Daryl Dawkins 82-83 did it also)Here is another link.http://knickerblogger.net/the-eddy-curry-study-pt-ii/  

    I don’t know. I still don’t really buy it. Here’s a comparison of Curry in his last Chicago year and several of the guys some knickerblogger folks think we should pay contracts to starting in the $8-$12 million range (Curry’s contract started at $8.5 million I believe). Seems to me there’s very little difference. Mike’s article highlighted the weak points of Curry’s game well, but when you balance it all out, no, he was never going to be Ewing or Ming, but he had a good chance at being as valuable Nene, Marc Gasol, or DeAndre Jordan, all of whom have made or probably will make something like what Curry made.

  138. Brian Cronin

    i am citing it as a problem because a player that isn’t a good jumpshooter shouldn’t take that many jump shots. If he shot his normal percentage from out there then his night wouldn’t have looked as good.

    15/20 of his shots were inside shots, right? So how much of an impact did the outside shots have on the overall game? Did he seriously hit all five of the outside shots? If so, then yeah, that is kinda weird.

  139. Brian Cronin

    What’s really annoying me is that the Rockets, who have been playing much better lately, are probably going to swap picks with us after all. So instead of getting a #15 or 14 pick we’ll get a #17. There’s no silver lining to the losing.

    That would definitely suck. What does their schedule look like compared to Memphis and New Orleans? Memphis is up 2 and New Orleans is up 3. Phoenix is only a game back of Houston, right? So they’re in the mix, too, I guess.

  140. Owen

    Jaylamerique – I don’t think we are jumping to any conclusions from a single game here. Anthony Randolph is 21 years old and a better player than Jared Jeffries. And he is going to put up some really gaudy numbers over the last 12 games of the season if he plays 36 minutes at the pf/c spot. Mark it down.

    Max – Eddy Curry was in his fourth year in the league when we traded for him. Players don’t generally improve from that point, as Mike’s article points out (and reams of statistics confirm.) All of the great centers were already dominant at that point.

    Gasol and Jordan are still only in their third year in the leagues. And they are both better already than Curry ever was. Nene was injured his fourth year but I think it’s fair to say that his numbers his fourth year playing a full season in the league blow Curry’s out of the water.

  141. ess-dog

    Brian Cronin:
    Worse.Unless paying LBJ money to Melo gets you Chris Paul/Deron Williams, in which case it is better, since Chris Paul/Deron Williams are both worth more than “LBJ money” (so is LBJ, of course), so it all evens out.   

    I love your optimism Brian, but I just don’t see us having a very good chance at all of adding another max player or even close to the max. There would have to be some fundamental changes to the cba in order for that to happen – which is possible – but not likely to necessarily favor our position.
    A salary reduction would clearly help, but what are the chances of the players union agreeing to that? Losing the midlevel would hurt us, not necessarily on the CP3 front. A lower cap and/or a hard cap would definitely hurt us. A franchise tag won’t help us unless Landry or Toney become all-stars (doubtful.)
    But let’s say it happens and we sign CP3 and s&t him for Fields and a draft pick. Assuming there’s still a midlevel, we’ll have 2-4 draft picks, 1 midlevel guy and Toney rounding out the roster.
    We could maybe have something like CP3/Matt Carroll/Melo/Stat/Jerome Jordan unless another rookie steps up.

  142. Brian Cronin

    A hard cap would help the Knicks in the short term (since the hard cap would require the salary cap to go up closer to $70 million).

    As for salary roll-backs, I don’t believe we’ve ever seen that (which is why Melo wanted his contract now), but we have seen the max contract reduced, and if that was the case and the most Paul/D-Will could get was, say, $15 million in their first year, then the $13.5 the Knicks could offer would look feasible, right? And all the Knicks need is for their offer to look feasible enough that New Orleans couldn’t risk Paul taking it, and therefore trading him to the Knicks for Billups, Fields, Toney, the 2011 first round pick and whatever flotsam that they want (while the Knicks take whatever New Orleans wants to dump).

  143. Owen

    Max – Check out today’s article at the WOW on Rudy Gay. Scoring is overvalued in the NBA. It’s a lesson the Knicks still, impossibly, haven’t learned.

    http://dberri.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/rudy-gay-teaches-the-memphis-grizzlies-a-familiar-lesson/

    “Scoring dominates player evaluation in the NBA. But the Rudy Gay story (like the Allen Iverson story and Carmelo Anthony story) demonstrates why this focus is misplaced. Players do not create shots in the NBA. Players simply take shots. Therefore, paying players maximum contracts to take shots from their teammates is not a good idea.

    The focus on scoring has led teams to pay players – like Gay, Melo, Iverson, Stephon Marbury (and Eddy Curry:edit), etc… — who do not produce many wins a great deal of money . It also gives players the incentive to focus more on their shot attempts than they do on winning. And since fans really care about winning (really, that’s what drives revenue), maybe NBA teams should start focusing on the factors that create wins (i.e. shooting efficiency and factors that get and keep possession of the ball for the team).”

  144. ess-dog

    Good point about the hard cap Brian, but I don’t see that happening. There would be way too much movement in the league.

    A max reduction would be nice for us though unwarranted since a guy like Lebron is severely underpaid as it is with the Zbo’s of the world making practically the same money as him.

    The other issue is how long will the league own the Hornets? Who knows what will happen with that situation? I doubt the league would do a trade with the Knicks or anyone else for CP3 which is fine and we’d get him in free agency. But maybe there will be a motion to dissolve the team or move it? It’s a big gamble.

    There’s also Deron but the Nets have a lot of money to spend and are really going to try and hold onto him.

    The other name I don’t hear much about is Jameer Nelson. He’s pretty good and could come cheaper (I think he has a player option in 2012.) And there’s always our good buddy Ramon Sessions….

  145. Brian Cronin

    The key to the max reduction, and why it is relatively easier to get for the owners, is that there is, say, what, 20 guys who should get paid more than the max? And there are 450 player in the NBA. So since a reduction in the max only affects a small percentage of the union, it’s easier to get it passed.

  146. ess-dog

    Owen: Max – “Scoring dominates player evaluation in the NBA. But the Rudy Gay story (like the Allen Iverson story and Carmelo Anthony story) demonstrates why this focus is misplaced.Players do not create shots in the NBA.Players simply take shots.Therefore, paying players maximum contracts to take shots from their teammates is not a good idea.
    The focus on scoring has led teams to pay players – like Gay, Melo, Iverson, Stephon Marbury, etc… — who do not produce many wins a great deal of money .It also gives players the incentive to focus more on their shot attempts than they do on winning.And since fans really care about winning (really, that’s what drives revenue), maybe NBA teams should start focusing on the factors that create wins (i.e. shooting efficiency and factors that get and keep possession of the ball for the team).”  

    Can KBers start a fund to buy billboard space by MSG and put this quote on it so Dolan can see it every day?

  147. d-mar

    Hey, Mike, can I make a suggestion for the site? An ex-Knicks daily update section, so that K-bloggers can see on a daily basis the consistently awesome stats that those players are producing, and then agonize about and bemoan the state of our awful team and its doomed and hopeless future. Whaddya think?

  148. Frank

    Back to the Anthony Randolph debate –
    The AR fans on this board have argued that his per-min stats show hall of fame potential (which may or may not be true) and that D’Antoni was obviously wrong for not playing him more (which is probably true).

    BUT — (and caveats to +/- definitely exist)

    I challenge anyone to find someone who is a hall of famer that has as terrible a +/- as Randolph has. He has played 2226 minutes in his career so far and is a a net -266 during that time. If you look at 82games, his team has been worse on defense with him on the court every stop along his short career. And it’s not like he’s replacing Tim Duncan in the lineup. He’s been on bad defensive teams his whole career, meaning that when he comes in his hall of fame level defense should significantly upgrade the defense.

    He obviously has amazing physical gifts. But this is now his 3rd coach that is giving him sporadic minutes. His teams appear to be worse with him on the court as opposed to off. Is it just a little bit possible that his per-min stats do not tell the whole story? Or that the sum of rebounds/steals/blocks does not equal your defensive presence?

    He may still turn out to be great – but this is already his 3rd NBA season on teams that are not very good. It’d be one thing if he were like Jermaine O’Neal – stuck in the mid-90s on a contending Portland team that couldn’t afford to let him learn on the job. he was with Don Nelson, who played Chris Webber 2400 minutes at age 20, and D’Antoni, who played Amare 2800 minutes in also his 3rd season.

    I guess my issue with this site sometimes is that the fervent advanced stats guys believe SO STRONGLY in their stats when it is obvious that the available tools are grossly inadequate especially when it comes to defense. Maybe, just maybe, what “mainstream” coaches think is actually right, and “advanced stats” are wrong.

  149. Mike Kurylo

    d-mar: Hey, Mike, can I make a suggestion for the site? An ex-Knicks daily update section, so that K-bloggers can see on a daily basis the consistently awesome stats that those players are producing, and then agonize about and bemoan the state ofour awful team and its doomed and hopeless future. Whaddya think?  

    No. I get lambasted for just mentioning them in an analogy.

  150. Brian Cronin

    He may still turn out to be great – but this is already his 3rd NBA season on teams that are not very good. It’d be one thing if he were like Jermaine O’Neal – stuck in the mid-90s on a contending Portland team that couldn’t afford to let him learn on the job. he was with Don Nelson, who played Chris Webber 2400 minutes at age 20, and D’Antoni, who played Amare 2800 minutes in also his 3rd season.

    Both Nelson and D’Antoni have established histories of burying guys that they don’t feel like playing.

    For instance, whatever we think of Al Harrington’s skills, he’s obviously good enough to at least play for a team, right? And yet Nelson buried him because he didn’t like him. Nate was the back-up point guard for a team in the NBA Finals last year – but during that same season, D’Antoni benched him for 12 games for…I still don’t know what (as Nate played the same way after the benching as he did before the benching).

    And the key is that despite Nelson obviously not liking Randolph, he at least played the guy, and he played well! And he played in the post. Then he comes to New York, he gets a little burn out of position (and “shockingly” sucks at it) and then gets buried. Minny picks him up and they mostly play him out of position, too, because their best player both
    A. plays the same position as Randolph,
    B. plays pretty much the entire game and
    C. they already saw what happened last year when they played Love and Jefferson together (Love and other post players don’t co-exist well).

    The only reason he’s getting burn now is because their All-Star power forward is hurt. If Love was healthy, they’d still be playing Randolph sporadically and out of position.

    Only once this season before last night has Randolph (as a T-Wolf) played as a post player, and it was his previous best game as a T-Wolf (a game Darko missed, so minutes in the post opened up). It is not a coincidence that his best games come when he starts as a post player. Up until now, he had been behind Anthony Tolliver on the depth chart! Anthony Tolliver!!!

    And by the way, another point of how ridiculous it was to look at his sporadic bench minutes as an indication of his actual abilities. Just this one game last night was enough to bump Randolph up to a .532 TS% and a .072 WS/48. When one game does that, you know your sample size is way small.

  151. CRJoe

    ess-dog

    The other name I don’t hear much about is Jameer Nelson.He’s pretty good and could come cheaper (I think he has a player option in 2012.)And there’s always our good buddy Ramon Sessions….  

    Now we’re talking… I think we should have learned from the Melo trade and the Heat that 3 stars together don’t make a team… If we could somehow turn the money that we could throw to a CP3 into a Jameer Nelson-Marc Gasol combo then we could be in contention, throw in a Landry rounding out the line up ad I think we would have a pretty sweet 5 man unit…

    We should be aiming to use the 2012 possible (key word) money in a combo of a quick point guard and a defensive middle man, not in another “star” and Eddy Curry at the 5….

  152. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The Heat have suffered because:

    1) Mike Miller was seriously injured, and has not played as well as he has in the past since his return. He is a great low-usage option for a team with two of the best slashers of the last twenty years.

    2) Bosh was not worth a max contract. Tyson Chandler would have been a perfect 3rd “star” for that team because, unlike LeBron and Wade, he does not need the ball in his hands to create value.

    3) The front office keeps signing terrible old players to “complement” the lineup. Juwan Howard is possibly the most overpaid player since he entered the league (look at his advanced stats — he’s average at best). Jerry Stackhouse should have retired five years ago. Ilgauskas is no longer of starter quality, and has not been for a few years now. Dampier is too old and merely average.

    4) Pat Riley should probably be coaching that team.

    Miami’s failure to be a 70-win team has nothing to do with the idea that three max players can’t coexist on the floor. The problem is that players who do not produce wins on a “max” level are given max contracts. How many wins do you think the Heat would have were it Dwight Howard instead of Bosh? Or even Tyson Chandler at $10M? Nene? Kevin Love?

  153. Caleb

    Off-topic, let me say a word about Derrick Williams…

    I haven’t followed college that closely this year, but the few times I saw Arizona he looks really good. Then he makes that spectacular block in the opening round. Then absolutely blows up against Duke last night…

    So I look at the stats — wonder how much a fluke his 5 3-pointers are – and this guy is shooting 60 percent (!) on threes for the season. More than a three per game. AND taking 8 free throws a game, in 30 minutes. And 8+ boards.

    By the look of it he is a better athlete than Kyrie Irving or Harrison Barnes or any of the other big names in the draft… too bad the Knicks don’t suck enough to get the #1 pick.

  154. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    John Kenney: If you want to know why Ric Bucher doesn’t value statistics… – http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/37546Have at. Those comments are…interesting… to say the least.  

    What an arrogant mouth-breather. Apparently he doesn’t realize how incestuous and conservative the professional sporting world is. Once you’re in, you’re in. That’s why Kevin McHale, Joe Dumars, Larry Bird, and Isiah Thomas all ran franchises with very little success (Dumars lucked out).

  155. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Caleb: Off-topic, let me say a word about Derrick Williams…
    I haven’t followed college that closely this year, but the few times I saw Arizona he looks really good. Then he makes that spectacular block in the opening round. Then absolutely blows up against Duke last night…So I look at the stats — wonder how much a fluke his 5 3-pointers are – and this guy is shooting 60 percent (!) on threes for the season. More than a three per game. AND taking 8 free throws a game, in 30 minutes. And 8+ boards.
    By the look of it he is a better athlete than Kyrie Irving or Harrison Barnes or any of the other big names in the draft… too bad the Knicks don’t suck enough to get the #1 pick.  

    Both he and Irving are going to be outstanding NBA players. The only thing that worries me about Williams is how few 3PA and AST he has. Seems to be quite a small sample when you only take 1.8 3PA/G. Still, that’s a good sign that he’s not chucking. I’m looking forward to Berri’s PAWS40 projections this year.

  156. MKinLA

    Slightly off-topic post (first time, long time):

    Gents in the know: In the NBA, do the coaches take the time to explain the basic concepts behind smart (statistical) basketball to the players?

    In other words, when a player jacks up a long two early in the shot clock, does anyone explain expected value to him? Is it clear to the players why taking it to the rack and getting fouled is so valuable?

    I can’t imagine the AAU coaches are explaining it. And most of these guys play only a year or two in college. So it’s on the NBA teams to break it down for them.

    Yet many players appear to behave instinctively, the way guys in a pick-up game do. Why? Whose fault is it?

    These questions go straight to the heart of the Anthony Randolph debate. I’m no coach, but I feel like I could have explained what he was doing wrong to him in a simple, easy to understand way with a paper and pencil in about 15 minutes. Why couldn’t MD?

  157. CRJoe

    @179
    1) Mike Miller is NOT a good player, he posted a 16.4 ppg and 6.4 rpg career line in the post-Gasol pre-Randolph Grizzlies. Yes, he is a hell of a shooter, but the Heat are not a completely healthy Mike Miller away from contention.

    2)I agree that Bosh is not a max contract player, but Chandler is not an upgrade over him, not even taking into consideration teams needs. Yes, Howard and Nene would make that team better, but that would mean they would have to start Juwan Howard at the 4, or I don’t know, Renaldo Balkman??? The point is, when you have 3 max contracts, the rest of the team is one decent player plus scrubs.

    3) Ditto, having that much money committed means that you have to fill holes with the Bibby’s and Arroyo’s of the world, even if you want to get young players you’re stuck with Chalmers’s and Joel Anthony’s.

    4)Probably, but we don’t really know if that would help, they’re “using” his playbook, even if Lebron doesn’t always run the plays.

  158. Caleb

    CRJoe: @179
    1) Mike Miller is NOT a good player, he posted a 16.4 ppg and 6.4 rpg career line in the post-Gasol pre-Randolph Grizzlies. Yes, he is a hell of a shooter, but the Heat are not a completely healthy Mike Miller away from contention.  

    I would say they are in contention whether Mike Miller is playing well, playing badly, injured or dead.

    Yes Tyson Chandler would be a better fit but Bosh was part of the package deal.

    The Head (sob!) are going to be fine… they are a strong team even with one of the worst benches ever… it will be easy to build a stronger supporting case. Heck, getting Haslem back at half-speed would make a big difference.

  159. jaylamerique

    John Kenney: If you want to know why Ric Bucher doesn’t value statistics… – http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/37546Have at. Those comments are…interesting… to say the least.  

    Bucher is one of the worst espn has to offer. He is a cheerleader for his favorite players. I remember reading him once, when he compared Lebron James to Vince Carter and T-Mac. I think it was Bucher that got this whole D-Rose Mvp thing.

  160. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Bucher is pretty terrible. He is at least a good writer, which is something. I hate it when a guy has opinions like Bucher and then can’t even write well. Bucher at least can write well.

  161. Brian Cronin

    And yeah, the Heat have the second-best margin of victory in the NBA. In year one of the “Big Three.” I’d take that in a heartbeat for the Knicks.

  162. tenebrous

    Owen: Max – Check out today’s article at the WOW on Rudy Gay. Scoring is overvalued in the NBA. It’s a lesson the Knicks still, impossibly, haven’t learned.http://dberri.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/rudy-gay-teaches-the-memphis-grizzlies-a-familiar-lesson/“Scoring dominates player evaluation in the NBA. But the Rudy Gay story (like the Allen Iverson story and Carmelo Anthony story) demonstrates why this focus is misplaced.Players do not create shots in the NBA.Players simply take shots.Therefore, paying players maximum contracts to take shots from their teammates is not a good idea.
    The focus on scoring has led teams to pay players – like Gay, Melo, Iverson, Stephon Marbury (and Eddy Curry:edit), etc… — who do not produce many wins a great deal of money .It also gives players the incentive to focus more on their shot attempts than they do on winning.And since fans really care about winning (really, that’s what drives revenue), maybe NBA teams should start focusing on the factors that create wins (i.e. shooting efficiency and factors that get and keep possession of the ball for the team).”  

    Good point. If the NBA changes their approach and allowed teams to pay each player based on their stats for that game with incentives for making the playoffs and winning in each round, maybe that would create less stress for the fans and perhaps better games and better ticket prices. Isn’t that really college basketball though? They should give it a try for 1 year and see how the players respond.

  163. Owen

    Re the heat – the haskem injury hurt them

    Re whether coaches talk to players about advanced stats. Some do, as the Michael Lewis article pointed out. Gerald Wallace has apparently started taking more three Pointers rather than long two pointers.

  164. max fisher-cohen

    Owen: Max – Check out today’s article at the WOW on Rudy Gay. Scoring is overvalued in the NBA. It’s a lesson the Knicks still, impossibly, haven’t learned.

    While Rudy Gay strikes me as an odd target for the commentary since his WP/48 has increased dramatically this year, I would never argue with the notion that you don’t overpay for guys whose main talent is eating up possessions. The automated WP website appears to be down, but I did find this charming chart.

    At 23, Curry still had at least a couple years left of increased numbers. Just looking at Mike’s #s from that old entry, you could have expected his rebounding to improve from 7.5 to 8 RB/40. Likewise, you could have expected his TOs to decline from 3.6 to about 3.3/40. His SBs woulda declined, but they were already nonexistent. 28 y/os during the 2009 season had on average a TS% that was 5% higher (3 additional percentage points), which would put Curry’s expected TS% now at 61.5%.

    Marbury career TS%: .528
    melo: .544
    Iverson: .518
    Gay: .533
    Curry: .581

    Despite Eddy’s steady decline, he’s still ranked 48th best all-time in TS%. And that’s why despite his putrid rebounding, passing, and shot blocking, WS/48 still ranked him as an above average player (similar to D. Jordan and Nene) in his final year in Chicago. Unfortunately, his WS/48 declined every year after that.

    So even if you want to argue that he was tremendously overpaid, you still have to concede that not even Berri could have predicted the disaster that Curry became. IMO, he projected to be a poor man’s Stoudemire: A highly efficient scorer who plays no D and does a poor job on the boards. Is that player worth a contract starting at $8.5 million? IMO it’s arguable, and at a minimum an excusable deal. What was inexcusable were the picks we gave up.

  165. tenebrous

    Mike Kurylo:
    No. I get lambasted for just mentioning them in an analogy.  

    Mentioning the players or their stats?

    Caleb: Off-topic, let me say a word about Derrick Williams…
    I haven’t followed college that closely this year, but the few times I saw Arizona he looks really good. Then he makes that spectacular block in the opening round. Then absolutely blows up against Duke last night…So I look at the stats — wonder how much a fluke his 5 3-pointers are – and this guy is shooting 60 percent (!) on threes for the season. More than a three per game. AND taking 8 free throws a game, in 30 minutes. And 8+ boards.
    By the look of it he is a better athlete than Kyrie Irving or Harrison Barnes or any of the other big names in the draft… too bad the Knicks don’t suck enough to get the #1 pick.  

    He’s really good. Maybe if NY votes for the fence to be built Arizona may sign some kind of agreement where Williams goes straight to NY.
    No but he is really good. I think he can give LBJ a run for his money.

    @183 there is a thing called defense in the NBA and instincts do not trump defense. Calculated and well thoughtout moves are what make it in the NBA.

  166. Frank O.

    Look, when the trade was being discussed I felt sad about Gallo and thought giving away Mosgov at the end was too much.
    But I thought, and still do, that Carmelo will play well eventually in this system. I also think Billups was the most important piece because he had championship experience and I felt he was a step up from Ray.

    But the further down the road we get, I have this terrible feeling that the Knicks before the trade would have improved, would have made the playoffs and would have given us some excitement in the playoffs, if not perhaps a first series win.
    There is something to be said for a basketball franchise being patient with young talent. And that Knicks team was very young and had the potential to improve with a good center and perhaps a good back up point. Then with a potential good draft, who knows?
    I watched Gallo again, and I was reminded by my wife that he is 22, and already he’s getting freakin’ huge. He ain’t the lanky kid we all first saw get mowed over by fat ass traylor. He’s a powerful 6’10 dude who can get to the rim whenever he wants, gets nine FTs a game and is an excellent FT shooter.
    WC is a dynamic athlete and has shown improvement each year.
    And Ray had heart.
    Mosgov was still a project, but I think he’s better than every center the Knicks send out there. And they are all young kids.

    I have this sneaky suspicion that if the Knicks had sat tight and tinkered rather than overhauled, that Knicks team could have been very good. With some luck, and emergent player, a key draft pick, and overall improvement among the key players who are very young, and that team might have made it to the eastern conference championship.

    Clearly, we’ll never know. Maybe the Amare-Carmelo thing works. Maybe Billups regains his step. Maybe they upset some folks.
    But I get exhausted reading all the sturm und drang here because there’s nothing to be done about it. To endlessly lament is useless.

  167. Frank O.

    I think assessing the performance of this team is fair game, however.
    Bitching about player performance, team dynamics, etc., that’s cool, but making those complaints in the context of the old team endlessly…gets us nowhere.

    I also think it is an over simplification to put this all on Melo. To whit:
    – Billups missing so many key games sets the team back.
    – Amare playing so many minutes and now so many games in such a short period is wearing him out.
    – Landry Fields has not yet learned how to adjust to the new players, and the emergence of TD as a scorer has hurt his minutes and maybe his confidence.
    – Team defense is still a problem, and likely will be a problem for some time as they figure out how to play together.
    – Amare and Carmelo still need to figure out how to play their games together.
    – The center situation, which was a problem before the trade, is a much bigger problem after the trade. As Doc Rivers noted, Amare can’t get to the basket with Jeffries there because Jeffries’ man will always be able to collapse on Amare without any consequences.
    – Back up point is still a question, although TD seems to have improved there.
    – Leadership also has become a problem. Before there was no doubt Amare was the leader. Now, it is unclear who is the leader. I still think Amare is the big dog, but he’s not asserting that right now.
    – D’Antoni’s player decisions sometimes leave me scratching my head. I know he’s trying to understand what he has. But it gives me pause that AR can do as well as he did last night, and the Knicks found no way to improve him when he played for them. While AR isn’t putting up great numbers, he’s doing more than Walker and Mason and a few others who got playing time over him. That’s on the coach.
    – Lastly, D’Antoni hasn’t taken control. It shows.

  168. jon abbey

    David West out for at least six months with a torn ACL, which is likely a real blow to the Nets’ hopes of keeping Deron Williams, as he was the best FA fit for them this year.

  169. Brian Cronin

    Wow, terrible news for West. Luckily for him, he still has the option of remaining in New Orleans and collecting his salary while recuperating.

    Also, terrible news for the Knicks’ chances of not switching picks with the Rockets, as I dunno if the Hornets can hold off the Rockets without West.

  170. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin: Also, terrible news for the Knicks’ chances of not switching picks with the Rockets, as I dunno if the Hornets can hold off the Rockets without West.  

    good point, Hollinger addresses this today. NO still has a 3 game lead with 10 to play, plus they win the tiebreaker. he puts their chance somewhere in the 60-70 percent range.

    dunno about NO trading Paul, maybe if he told them privately he definitely wasn’t coming back a la Melo.

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