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Friday, October 24, 2014

NYT: And Now, a Moment of Appreciation for Jeffries

In my latest New York Times Off The Dribble thingy, I pen a post-Valentine’s Day mash note to Jared Jeffries.

Jeffries fits right in with the above quartet – a player straight out of the Island of Misfit Toys. A former Indiana Mr. Basketball, he carried the Hoosiers to the final of the N.C.A.A. Tournament on his spindly shoulders and was picked 11th in the 2002 draft, but became an outright offensive liability upon turning pro. Driving the lane, he can resemble a giraffe on roller skates, arms and legs flying manically outward, seemingly without purpose. The possibility that he might dare to launch an open jumper often prompts groans from the Garden faithful.

Read the rest of my syrupy, overwrought adoration for good ol’ Jared here.

And since the new CBA requires me to write extensively about Jeremy Lin every single day, here are some musings over on ESPN

5. How long will this Linning winning streak last for the Knicks?

Robert Silverman, KnickerBlogger: As a devout student of the feckless entity known as “The Knicks,” I tend to, as Lin put it recently, “hope for the best and prepare for the worst.” My heart says this streak reaches the magic 8-ball, but my head says they cough one up to either of the league’s lesser lights at some point before Saturday, with some imp of the perverse like Gustavo Ayon breaking out to the tune of 25 points and 10 rebounds.

If you can’t git yerself enough Bob today, here’s a link to the whole article. (Be sure to turn off auto-play on the video or else you get 5 minutes of Stephen A. screeching and eating exactly zero cheezy doodles.)

 

44 comments on “NYT: And Now, a Moment of Appreciation for Jeffries

  1. chrisk06811

    it’s been quite a journey for JJ on these boards. everyone hated him when he was over-paid. Folks liked his hustle last year, when he came back for less $$. Then came the miss. Still, he won a few of us over this year again. But, then Jeremy said we should love him, so now we must. and we will.

  2. ephus

    I still wish he had converted that lay-up against the Celtics. Everything that you write about Jeffries is true, but it does not mean that he was a good signing at the MLE. At the veteran’s minimum, he is a useful glue guy, who provides defense, rebounding and energy.

  3. TheRant

    I think of him as the Charles Oakley of our time. If in fact Oakley had been a string bean, had been overpaid, let balls bounce off of his head, didn’t own the car washes, etc.

  4. chrisk06811

    Don’t forget that Charles Oakley scared the SHIT out of everyone he ever met. And he hangs with Jordan. Jeffries hangs with Jerome Jordan.

    I’m amazed at how little we know about Jeffries, which makes me want to make some up. for example……big, big Taylor Swift fan.

  5. Dance like Oak

    It’s an interesting question, whether we should root for players keeping in mind their salary cap hit. I’m not sure of the answer but I suspect it is a little unfair. Until charges taken are part of the box score, Jared will always be underrated. Which brings to mind a question, how much is each position actually worth. If JJ takes four charges he just stole four possessions, if he does that every game for a season, is it worth the MLE?

  6. ephus

    #5 — For each charge taken, it is not only a turnover, but also a foul on an opposing player. Two benefits from the foul: 1) Getting into the penalty earlier and 2) the opposing player is more likely to have to sit rather than fill his full rotation time. While I am sure someone has crunched the numbers on the value of getting into the penalty earlier, the value of forcing an opponent to sit depends on where that player fits on the pecking order of the opponent. Sometimes, there will be negative value in drawing the offensive foul (outside of the value of the turnover) — if the opponent taking the foul is replaced by a better player and the opponent is either already over the limit or the foul will not contribute to going over the limit. But roughly speaking, the value of taking a charge would be the expected point value of the opponent’s possession, plus the expected point value of the additional Knicks’ possession. I think a player whose entire value was in drawing fouls would have to average at least 8 per game to be worth the MLE. In other words, never going to happen.

  7. TheRant

    chrisk06811: I’m amazed at how little we know about Jeffries, which makes me want to make some up. for example……big, big Taylor Swift fan.

    Somebody anybody please give Taylor Swift a sandwich. Jeffries too.

  8. xcat01

    JJ has greater value than just taking charges and playing D. He is every players favorite teammate. Even JLin will mention Jeffries in the post game interviews. He is that player every winning team needs. The guy who will do the dirty work, drive on the floor, take the charge and play balls to the wall every single game. That’s why I was happy last year when MDA brought him back. There would be no LINsanity without JJ busting his butt to help the team win.

  9. cgreene

    Anyone happen to catch the Melo spot on Francesa? Curious to know if he’s still saying all the right things etc. There was some video of him after the game winner last night not so much “celebrating” with the team on the floor. I worry.

    About to get on a flt which will cause me to miss most of the game. Ugh.

  10. Z-man

    ephus: Two benefits from the foul: 1) Getting into the penalty earlier and 2) the opposing player is more likely to have to sit rather than fill his full rotation time. While I am sure someone has crunched the numbers on the value of getting into the penalty earlier, the value of forcing an opponent to sit depends on where that player fits on the pecking order of the opponent.

    Dude, offensive fouls are not counted as team fouls and therefore have no effect on getting into the penalty. Still, getting a player into foul trouble in addition to the turnover is big; also, some charges negate sure baskets.

  11. Frank

    cgreene:
    Anyone happen to catch the Melo spot on Francesa?Curious to know if he’s still saying all the right things etc. There was some video of him after the game winner last night not so much “celebrating” with the team on the floor. I worry.

    About to get on a flt which will cause me to miss most of the game. Ugh.

    I really think Melo will be fine. I don’t think he’d be human if he didn’t have a little bit of hesitation about how to deal with the new dynamic on this team. Even though Amare and Tyson were the “spiritual” leaders of the team, everyone knew the ball was going to be Melo’s hands at the end of the game. Now, it’s all different. But I think he’s way too smart to go Scottie Pippen on us.

    He’s definitely saying all the right stuff. I think we really should look at him as taking on the Kevin Durant role, whereas we always have been talking about him as taking on the Lebron James role. No one ever talks about Durant as being anything but a great player, yet all he does really well is score efficiently – Melo is actually equal or better than him (especially in ast%) at everything but scoring efficiently. This isn’t exactly a revelation – but Durant has always had Westbrook next to him and has had 50-60% of his baskets assisted on throughout his career. Now Melo, for the first time since early in his career, has what we think is a top-flight PG – I think we will see much less hero-ball, and even if we do, it’s not like they will be able to triple-team him with all the weapons on the floor.

    Add JR Smith and I think we will have something really scary good.

  12. max fisher-cohen

    Nice article, Robert. Jeffries’ trajectory as a Knick is less outright exciting than Lin’s, but its just as circuitous – the twists and turns just as surprising.

    I want to know though when are we going to get a sequel to my favorite all-time RS article, this? Maybe with your new journalist cred you could score an interview with Troy and ask him about his relationship with thuggish teens and canines.

  13. BigBlueAL

    cgreene:
    Anyone happen to catch the Melo spot on Francesa?Curious to know if he’s still saying all the right things etc. There was some video of him after the game winner last night not so much “celebrating” with the team on the floor. I worry.

    About to get on a flt which will cause me to miss most of the game. Ugh.

    When the game was over and Lin was waiting to be interviewed on the court you can see Melo going up to him and talking to him.

  14. villainx

    The three was great, but the game was tied, so as excitement goes, the likely worst case was overtime.

  15. xcat01

    Melo is going to be fine with JLin. I believe that he is actually looking forward to it. Now he can ditch the Point Forward crap that he didn’t like and now find his spots on the floor and let JLin feed him open looks. After the initial getting used to period, I expect Melo’s shooting% to go up significantly. When everyone is comfortable in this offense, the Knicks will be getting 60 – 70 ppg from Melo/Stat/T1000 and JLin will be a double-double machine. The biggest issue as was seen last night is how Stat and Melo will affect the defense.

  16. PC

    There are going to be times when Lin passes the ball to Melo on the wing and Melo looks to operate. Now, the key will be, does everyone stare at him (Amare, Fields and Shumpert) or do they set screens for one another and cut so as to maintain fluidity and be in a moving position to crash the boards?

    That’s not on Melo. And, frankly, that’s on Lin to bark at his guys and keep that offense moving. We knew what we were getting with Melo. Standing around and thinking in your head, “this guy is a jock” doesn’t do anybody any good.

  17. danvt

    Robert Silver-Lin. Silvermansanity! Dude, NYT and ESPN same day, Bravo and, truly worthy stuff.

    On Jeffries. If Stat goes 8-22, and plays defense like he did in the first half last night, basically escorting guys to the rim, we are better with Jared starting. I can’t believe I just wrote that.

    What’s up with Chris Palmer saying JLin will never be as good as Rondo? I mean, Rondo’s awesome but not without his flaws. That’s a little strident don’t you think? I think Rondo is a nice model as a possible ceiling for Jeremy.

  18. jon abbey

    I really think Rondo is one of the most underrated players in the league, even by Celtics fans. Lin will never be close to the defender Rondo is, I saw a game (last year?) where Rondo stepped up and shut down LeBron (!!!).

  19. d-mar

    danvt:
    Robert Silver-Lin.Silvermansanity!Dude, NYT and ESPN same day, Bravo and, truly worthy stuff.

    On Jeffries.If Stat goes 8-22, and plays defense like he did in the first half last night, basically escorting guys to the rim, we are better with Jared starting.I can’t believe I just wrote that.

    What’s up with Chris Palmer saying JLin will never be as good as Rondo?I mean, Rondo’s awesome but not without his flaws.That’s a little strident don’t you think?I think Rondo is a nice model as a possible ceiling for Jeremy.

    Rondo’s jump shot is horrid, and his free throw shooting abominable. J Lin has a decent shot and I’m assuming he will be an 80% FT shooter over time. Rondo gets more steals and rebounds, but I actually think J-Lin is a better passer. So I’m not sure Lin is that far from Rondo right now, of course, we only have 6 games to go by.

  20. Owen

    Rondo and Lin are completely different players I think. Rondo is a premier perimeter defender. Lin I think has shown he isn’t. Rondo is a not a scorer. Lin is, surprisingly, a scorer. It’s not usually scorers that sneak up on you.

    This article was excellent. Jeffries had one good year and then was either solidly mediocre or horrendous. It’s nice that we can learn to appreciate him again. We should be thankful for a guy who gave us a very special moment. The coining of the term “jeffrightened.”

  21. jon abbey

    Owen:
    We should be thankful for a guy who gave us a very special moment. The coining of the term “jeffrightened.”

    now that was definitely me. :)

  22. d-mar

    It’s a way overused cliche, but Jeffries does do all the things that don’t show up on the box score (beyond drawing charges) Watch him on defense when he’s on the floor, he flashes on screens, gets deflections, grabs loose balls, and is just a disruptive force that messes up the other team’s offensive flow.

    I’ve really grown to appreciate his effort, it’s just too bad he misses layups.

  23. danvt

    Dudes,
    One question on Lin’s contract status that didn’t get answered for me. Can anyone make him an offer that’s severely backloaded? Like 2 years for the MLE and then 10 mil, 12 mil, etc. I know we can match anything and go over the cap to do it, but don’t raises have to be by only certain allowable percentages?

  24. Brian Cronin

    Dudes,
    One question on Lin’s contract status that didn’t get answered for me. Can anyone make him an offer that’s severely backloaded? Like 2 years for the MLE and then 10 mil, 12 mil, etc. I know we can match anything and go over the cap to do it, but don’t raises have to be by only certain allowable percentages?

    I answered that! The answer is yes, they can backload the contract, provided that they are under the cap by the average salary (so they’d have to be under the cap $11 million if they want to offer a 4 years/$44 million contract).

  25. Robert Silverman Post author

    danvt:
    Dudes,
    One question on Lin’s contract status that didn’t get answered for me.Can anyone make him an offer that’s severely backloaded?Like 2 years for the MLE and then 10 mil, 12 mil, etc.I know we can match anything and go over the cap to do it, but don’t raises have to be by only certain allowable percentages?

    Brian Cronin did a dandy job of parsing the CBA complexities here: http://knickerblogger.net/the-contract-statuses-of-jeremy-lin-and-landry-fields/

    But in brief, yes. Some team can offer 5 million for the first two years and then 16 million for the last two — a poison pill-type deal. That theoretical team would have to be 11 million under the cap this off season (44 million total, averaged over 4 years) to make the offer. Even in that case, the Knicks would be allowed to match the contract, though they’d be setting themselves up for some mongo lux tax payments in 2014-15 with Tyson, Stat, Melo and Lin alone totaling 70 million.

  26. danvt

    Robert Silverman: But in brief, yes. Some team can offer 5 million for the first two years and then 16 million for the last two — a poison pill-type deal. That theoretical team would have to be 11 million under the cap this off season (44 million total, averaged over 4 years) to make the offer. Even in that case, the Knicks would be allowed to match the contract, though they’d be setting themselves up for some mongo lux tax payments in 2014-15 with Tyson, Stat, Melo and Lin alone totaling 70 million.

    Crap. I thought the first year dictated the next one, but I guess that’s only for max deals. I guess I didn’t study your article closely enough, Brian. I guess it’s some consolation that the cap hit is averaged throughout.

    Do you see anyone trying to pry him loose? Who has the space this offseason? Do you see us locking up before the end of the season? I’d be seriously considering that if I were the boy king. Maybe this is all in the article too…I thought I read it. It’s hard to remember. All the Lin stuff is making me dizzy. I hear there are Lin Studies programs popping up at Universities around the globe.

  27. rururuland2

    xcat01: Melo is going to be fine with JLin. I believe that he is actually looking forward to it. Now he can ditch the Point Forward crap that he didn’t like and now find his spots on the floor and let JLin feed him open looks. After the initial getting used to period, I expect Melo’s shooting% to go up significantly. When everyone is comfortable in this offense, the Knicks will be getting 60 – 70 ppg from Melo/Stat/T1000 and JLin will be a double-double machine. The biggest issue as was seen last night is how Stat and Melo will affect the defense.

    Melo SHOULD be able to free up more of his energy on the defensive end. Grappling for position every time down the floor against guys who don’t have to really work on offense takes it out of you.

    In 2008 when Melo was injured and played more of a back-seat to Chauncey Billups he played excellent defense most of the year.

    He’s not a freak endurance guy like Kobe who can create his shot every time down the floor and still play intense defense 50-60 percent of the time (and Kobe’s defensive effort is typically overstated).

    But playing him more off the ball, and more PnR, less wrestling on the wing will not only significantly increase his offensive efficiency but he’ll get better defensively.

    BTW, last time I checked Synergy stats Melo was having a good season defensively, and he’s always been a plus man defender.

    Amar’e is the problem.

    Here is Boeheim’s take on Carmelo working with Lin (not Fab Melo)

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7578967

  28. rururuland2

    Robert Silverman: Brian Cronin did a dandy job of parsing the CBA complexities here: http://knickerblogger.net/the-contract-statuses-of-jeremy-lin-and-landry-fields/But in brief, yes. Some team can offer 5 million for the first two years and then 16 million for the last two — a poison pill-type deal. That theoretical team would have to be 11 million under the cap this off season (44 million total, averaged over 4 years) to make the offer. Even in that case, the Knicks would be allowed to match the contract, though they’d be setting themselves up for some mongo lux tax payments in 2014-15 with Tyson, Stat, Melo and Lin alone totaling 70 million.

    Interesting. I think there’s going to be a lot of skepticism from GM’s out there on Lin being more “system-dependent” than other guys.

    Look at how Raymond Felton has crashed since leaving Ny (and Den I suppose).

    It would be hard to imagine that even with a luxury bill of 16 million or more for him, it would be bad for business given the myraid ways he’ll generate big revenue.

    For one, he’d be the key to future playoff runs. Just looking at potential gate receipts he’s probably worht it.

  29. PaulStreetBoy

    i was lucky enough to watch Mason in Istanbul, playing for Efes. everybody was curious when they first brought him as people were wondering if he is another dunking and blocking machine as that was what was expected from the American players at the time. i don’t think i was the only person who was surprised to see this burly,fat,overweight whatever you want to call it person, who did not even look like a athletic person, let alone a basketball player. we did not know much about him and his looks did not help.
    but boy, the way he filled in the center in defense and his quick feet in the offense and the ease he went to the hole was definitely impressive.
    yet his was not the best of the times for the team, which was used to the high flying Conrad McRae types. as the legend goes, the reason why he was sent home was that he took out a knife during a team meeting, trying to stab another player.
    just wanted to share the side story…

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