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Saturday, November 1, 2014

NYT: Anthony’s Olympic Play Bodes Well For the Knicks

Hi! So uh, sorry about the crickets here these last few weeks. However, very soon y’all will be privy to part of the reason some of us have been absent. We can’t give away much in the way of details, but it’s quite exciting, and we think you guys will enjoy it. For now, though, mum’s the word!

In the mean time, I wrote a piece for the Times’ Summer Games blog about Melo’s performance, and what it might mean for our ‘Bockers heading into next season:

At its current trajectory, the United States team’s run to the podium on Sunday – barring the near impossible – will be remembered as the golden conclusion to the Summer of LeBron.

After notching USA Basketball’s first-ever triple double (11 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists) in the team’s 119-86 win over Australia on Wednesday night, that only seems appropriate. As will any of LeBron James’s dynastic N.B.A. feats in the seasons to come.

But it has been the performance of another American – the only one, in fact, with whom James has shared both the bitter disappointment of Athens bronze and golden redemption in Beijing – that has Knicks fans hoping for a career-defining carry-over: Carmelo Anthony.

Click here to read the rest. Stay cool, people.

94 comments on “NYT: Anthony’s Olympic Play Bodes Well For the Knicks

  1. Gideon Zaga

    Man I think Woodson has got a big problem on his hands. I mean has any one thought of any realistic offensive scheme for this team. I was watching some old games today and I was taking note of the spacing, the synergies, basically everything other than the main action. My best conclusion is that someone’s got to come of the bench. Either Melo(not happening), Amare or Tyson. Those three are all great pnr partners. Melo excels in the pick n pop pnr while Amare n Tyson well we all know where they do their damage. Maybe we can be a play calling team like Boston, I dunno. I went back and looked at some old highlights of Felton and Amare and I tried to envision fitting Melo and Tyson in that situation and I think that will be a disaster or not a good scheme. In that scenario the paint was almost wide open with only Amare in there, everyone else was on the perimeter. So he has to play Novak at the 3 and Melo and Amare at 4 and 5. And that will be a wash defensively. He can play Tyson at 5, with say Kurt T at 4, Melo at 3, JR, Felton/Kidd. My favorite one will be like the 04 Nuggets like ruru said or 2001 sixers; play Tyson, with Camby, Melo, JR/Brewer, Kidd. Yeah and just turn defense into offense. I still haven’t found a case to make where we play our 3 frontcourt guys together and have good production. In one scenario Amare is the third wheel and in the other Melo is. Tyson seems so be the cog. So how would Woodson fix this.

  2. sidestep

    Woodson, as he’s said before, always goes with the stars. Because he puts total trust in veterans, is keen on managing the egos of stars, and he’s not going to bench someone that the FO gave a max contract to. Amar’e coming off bench does not seem like Woodson’s style, even though it makes total sense.

  3. thenamestsam

    Good read. I think the most encouraging thing for me has been how well he has shot from long range. For a large part of last year it seemed like he was struggling to make shots he normally makes. Especially after Linsanity, his inability to make that open wing jumper seemed like a big part of the reason his reintegration didn’t go smoothly.

  4. thenamestsam

    Interesting new Dwight rumors per Woj:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–lakers–magic-in-blockbuster-four-team-trade-talks-to-send-dwight-howard-to-l-a-.html

    Sounds too complicated to possibly ever work. Bynum, Gasol, Howard, Iggy and Afflalo all moving in the same trade is just too much trade to ever hang together. The big takeaway to me seems to be that the Lakers are now willing to move both Bynum and Gasol in a Dwight trade. If that part is true they should be able to work out a trade that lands him there eventually. That’s an awful lot to give up for a guy coming off back surgery.

  5. ephus

    Here is how that 4-way trade could work:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=8wbwba9

    Denver turns Afflalo, Harrington and 2 first round picks (own 2013 and Knicks 2014) into Iggy.

    Los Angeles turns Pau, Bynum and Blake into Howard and Orlando’s clutter (J. Richardson, C. Duhon and Turkoglu) and Harrington.

    Philadelphia turns Iggy into Bynum.

    Orlando turns Dwight Howard, Turkoglu, Richardson and Duhon into Pau Gasol, Afflalo, Steve Blake and two first round picks.

    It’s a steep price for the Lakers, but they could do the deal tomorrow. Orlando would get a clean cap in two years (and could turn Pau plus Glen Davis to Houston for cap space and picks, if they wanted). Denver would be committing to playing a big wing at the 2. And the 76ers would get their center of the future in Bynum.

    Does a Nash/Kobe/World Peace/Turkoglu/Howard core compete for the title for the next two years? If the Lakers think the answer is yes, they will pursue this deal (or some facsimile).

  6. Juany8

    Giving up Gasol and Bynum without getting back a solid SF is far too much for Howard. How the hell are the Lakers supposed to guard Westbrook, Harden, and Durant? Even if you say Dwight is that good at defense, nobody at the PF spot will be. They’re not going very far with Dwight and scrubs at spots 3-5…

  7. thenamestsam

    ephus:
    Here is how that 4-way trade could work:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=8wbwba9

    Denver turns Afflalo, Harrington and 2 first round picks (own 2013 and Knicks 2014) into Iggy.

    Los Angeles turns Pau, Bynum and Blake into Howard and Orlando’s clutter (J. Richardson, C. Duhon and Turkoglu) and Harrington.

    Philadelphia turns Iggy into Bynum.

    Orlando turns Dwight Howard, Turkoglu, Richardson and Duhon into Pau Gasol, Afflalo, Steve Blake and two first round picks.

    It’s a steep price for the Lakers, but they could do the deal tomorrow.Orlando would get a clean cap in two years (and could turn Pau plus Glen Davis to Houston for cap space and picks, if they wanted).Denver would be committing to playing a big wing at the 2.And the 76ers would get their center of the future in Bynum.

    Does a Nash/Kobe/World Peace/Turkoglu/Howard core compete for the title for the next two years?If the Lakers think the answer is yes, they will pursue this deal (or some facsimile).

    Informative as always. Is it possible for Philly to put in a 1st in place of one of the Nuggets 1st rounders? The trade as you’ve drawn it up seems like a bit of a steal for Philly (they need to get an inside presence somehow, and turning Iggy into a top 3 center is fantastic for them) and a little heavy for the Nuggets (dumping Harrington is phenomenal and Afflalo for Iggy is a nice upgrade, but 2 1st rounders is a lot).

    For the Lakers I agree it’s a steep price, but their primary goal is to remain always relevant. Grabbing Dwight ensures their post-Kobe future. I’m not sure they’re a real contender for the next 2 years, but with Dwight they will matter for the next 10. That’s what they get out of it.

  8. David Crockett

    Nice piece in the Times James. I could certainly see lots of explanations for post-Olympic upticks, not the least of which is learning to play without the ball (a first for many of these guys, random All-Star game aside). I do wonder though, do any players have post-Olympic swoons in the following season?

    As for the four way, I never pay attention to these things until they’re completed. Three and four way deals have the same fundamental problem. Their complexity shifts the balance of power to the least committed partners. The peripheral team or teams brought in to make the salaries match (or whatever) have every incentive to hold any deal hostage. It’s insanely hard to get those deals to work, and even when they do the press rarely has the details right a priori anyway.

  9. thenamestsam

    Juany8:
    Giving up Gasol and Bynum without getting back a solid SF is far too much for Howard. How the hell are the Lakers supposed to guard Westbrook, Harden, and Durant? Even if you say Dwight is that good at defense, nobody at the PF spot will be. They’re not going very far with Dwight and scrubs at spots 3-5…

    I’m not sure you can ever give up too much for a top 3 player in the NBA. It’s not just about how they compete with the Thunder. It’s about where your franchise stands for the next 5-10 years. With Dwight you will be a playoff team, and if you manage your team even decently you will be a contender. Every May there are playoff games in Staples and you don’t have to go into rebuild mode after Kobe hangs them up. If Dwight is committing his future there I don’t think you worry about how you handle a specific matchup next year (which by the way is also a huge problem for you as currently constructed). The long term value is too great.

  10. flossy

    Lawson/Iggy/Gallo/Faried/JaVale McGee, with Andre Miller, Wilson Chandler and Mozgov off the bench?

    That… could be a very fun team. Not a contender, but a blast to watch.

    The Lakers with Nash, Kobe, World Peace, Turkoglu and Dwight could either be very good or a total shitshow.

    The Sixers with Holiday, Nick Young, Evan Turner, Thad Young, and Bynum would be… okay? Probably still not better than the Knicks. I imagine they’d try to flip Hawes for some additional depth especially after having signed Kwame Brown.

    The Magic would be bad, but by design. If I were them I’d try to turn Gasol into more picks.

  11. ephus

    thenamestsam: Informative as always. Is it possible for Philly to put in a 1st in place of one of the Nuggets 1st rounders?

    Not in the near future, because Philly flipped its first rounder to Orlando next year. So they do not have a first round pick this year and cannot trade next year’s first round pick under the Ted Stepien rule.

    I am not sure how steep a price the two first rounders are, given that neither is likely to be a lottery pick (and Denver could lottery protect the 2013 pick). Houston only had to give up Chase Buddinger to get the #18 pick in this year’s draft, and that is probably a better pick then either of these would be.

    If Denver balks, the trade could be adjusted to have Philadelphia send D. Wright to Orlando for Glen Davis, with Denver giving Orlando only one pick.

    If Orlando did either version of this trade, I could see them flipping Gasol to Cleveland for Tyler Zeller, Varajao and expiring contracts (Walton and Gibson) plus one or two 2013 first round picks (Cleveland has their own, plus lottery protected picks from the Heat and the Kings). At that point, Orlando might even be below the minimum salary cap number.

  12. thenamestsam

    David Crockett:

    As for the four way, I never pay attention to these things until they’re completed. Three and four way deals have the same fundamental problem. Their complexity shifts the balance of power to the least committed partners. The peripheral team or teams brought in to make the salaries match (or whatever) have every incentive to hold any deal hostage. It’s insanely hard to get those deals to work, and even when they do the press rarely has the details right a priori anyway.

    I like this point, but that might be one reason this trade actually could work. What I mean is that even the peripherally involved teams in this trade are moving important pieces more than just matching salaries etc. For Philly, Iggy for a big has seemed like the next logical step for a while. For Denver combining a couple of their players in deals to get them a star (although Iggy probably falls a bit short of that, but they do get to dump Harrington) seems like what they need to do. The fact that none of the four partners are really peripheral might actually help this trade. It’s still obviously super unlikely though.

  13. thenamestsam

    ephus: Not in the near future, because Philly flipped its first rounder to Orlando next year.So they do not have a first round pick this year and cannot trade next year’s first round pick under the Ted Stepien rule.

    I am not sure how steep a price the two first rounders are, given that neither is likely to be a lottery pick (and Denver could lottery protect the 2013 pick).Houston only had to give up Chase Buddinger to get the #18 pick in this year’s draft, and that is probably a better pick then either of these would be.

    If Denver balks, the trade could be adjusted to have Philadelphia send D. Wright to Orlando for Glen Davis, with Denver giving Orlando only one pick.

    If Orlando did either version of this trade, I could see them flipping Gasol to Cleveland for Tyler Zeller, Varajao and expiring contracts (Walton and Gibson) plus one or two 2013 first round picks (Cleveland has their own, plus lottery protected picks from the Heat and the Kings).At that point, Orlando might even be below the minimum salary cap number.

    Thanks. I figured they couldn’t send the pick. You’re probably right about the picks not being that bad for the Nuggets. I guess it depends on how big of an upgrade they feel Iggy is over Afflalo.

    I agree that repackaging Gasol would be the right move. I think Houston might be interested as well. Although if they miss out on Howard they might decide on a total rebuild instead.

  14. Juany8

    thenamestsam: I’m not sure you can ever give up too much for a top 3 player in the NBA. It’s not just about how they compete with the Thunder. It’s about where your franchise stands for the next 5-10 years. With Dwight you will be a playoff team, and if you manage your team even decently you will be a contender. Every May there are playoff games in Staples and you don’t have to go into rebuild mode after Kobe hangs them up. If Dwight is committing his future there I don’t think you worry about how you handle a specific matchup next year (which by the way is also a huge problem for you as currently constructed). The long term value is too great.

    Only problem with this argument is that with the Nash and Kobe moves, the Lakers are clearly in “win now” mode. After Kobe and Nash retire, they are going to have NOTHING to build around except Howard. If they keep Bynum and Pau, at some point it’s conceivable that Pau at least nets them a couple of picks and maybe a solid veteran or 2. They’re also going to be stuck over the cap for several years if they take all of Orlando and Denver’s crap.

    As they stand, they upgraded one of their bigger weaknesses, which was the non existent point guard play they’ve put up with the last few years. Now all those double teams on Kobe and Bynum have 1 less player they can help off of, and Nash is capable of running plenty of offense on his own. Pau is still an attractive trade piece who they could trade to round out the roster with some youth and athleticism, but now that the Lakers have real depth in the front court, it’ll be easier to manage playing both Bynum and Pau optimally (Pau has some of the same issues as Amar’e in that a true center on the team is taking away his looks in the paint)

  15. ephus

    If the Lakers think that Howard/Turk gives them a better chance to win a championship over the next three years than Bynum/Gasol, they do some version of this deal, notwithstanding the valid long-term issued raised by Juanny8.

  16. thenamestsam

    Juany8: Only problem with this argument is that with the Nash and Kobe moves, the Lakers are clearly in “win now” mode. After Kobe and Nash retire, they are going to have NOTHING to build around except Howard. If they keep Bynum and Pau, at some point it’s conceivable that Pau at least nets them a couple of picks and maybe a solid veteran or 2. They’re also going to be stuck over the cap for several years if they take all of Orlando and Denver’s crap.

    My point is that given the choice between rebuilding around just Howard or Bynum and a couple of picks and a solid veteran or two I’d take Howard every time and twice on Sundays. With the superstar in place + an appealing city and a legendary franchise I think that would be a fairly quick rebuilding effort.

    As I see it the trade marginally weakens them in the immediate future but goes miles towards ensuring the quality of the team in the years 2015-2020. That’s a good move in my opinion.

  17. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If I were the Nuggets, I would absolutely give up Afflalo and some first-rounders for Iggy. The dude is an amazing SG (hard to come by) and would turn them into — dare I say it — a 55-win team if it means Harrington coming off the books. There’s absolutely no way that a core of Lawson, Iguodala, Faried, Koufos, and McGee win fewer than 50 games over the next three years, so why not give up some late first-rounders for a massive improvement at SG?

  18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy:
    Lawson/Iggy/Gallo/Faried/JaVale McGee, with Andre Miller, Wilson Chandler and Mozgov off the bench?

    That… could be a very fun team.Not a contender, but a blast to watch.

    If they stop playing Mosgov (he’s terrible) and play McGee and Koufos only, I think they’re a conference finals team. Plus, Harrington would be gone, right? So that makes them much, much better.

  19. er

    conference finals team seriously?

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: If they stop playing Mosgov (he’s terrible) and play McGee and Koufos only, I think they’re a conference finals team. Plus, Harrington would be gone, right? So that makes them much, much better.

  20. ephus

    Three thoughts on the potential for a Dwight Howard to LA trade:

    1. The rule of thumb is that whoever gets the best player in the trade, wins the trade. I think you have to take contracts into consideration in making that evaluation, but Dwight Howard on a 5 year/$120 million contract is by any measure a better player and better value than Bynum on his max deal or Gasol on his next deal.

    2. Since the Lakers are not going to be under the Apron for the next two years, they will not be able to do a sign and trade.

    3. They cannot trade Kobe on this contract, both because the fans would riot and he does not bring value for his $27 million/$30 million.

    So this LA’s one opportunity to bring in a superstar under the age of 30 in the next three years.

  21. Juany8

    I really like Iguodala, but the Nuggets haven’t been close to a top 4 team in the west the past couple of years, unless Iguodala starts making 3’s at a good rate, does he really make them that much better? He’s basically a better version of Afflalo, minus the floor spacing, and while I don’t like Harrington much they did nothing to replace his ability to score off the bench. The Nuggets are already a team lacking shot creation on offense, Iggy helps a bit with that but they can no longer space the floor as ridiculously as they used to unless they start using Iggy as a stretch 4 (and don’t rule this out with Karl as head coach)

  22. ephus

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: There’s absolutely no way that a core of Lawson, Iguodala, Faried, Koufos, and McGee win fewer than 50 games over the next three years, so why not give up some late first-rounders for a massive improvement at SG?

    Do you really think Koufos is a more important cog than Gallo? I can’t decide it this is:

    1. A typo — in which case we all make mistakes;
    2. An honestly held belief — in which case I cannot disagree more strongly; or
    3. Your latest piece of performance art.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  23. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    er:
    conference finals team seriously?

    Seriously. Iguodala is really, really good at basketball, and the Nuggets became a really, really good team when George Karl decided to play Faried, who is also really, really good at basketball, like a starter. Unlike the Knicks, who apparently will only be good if Amar’e and Carmelo both post career years, the Nuggets only need to get rid of Mosgov and Harrington, who are terrible basketball players, and they will be at least five games better next year. Then you add Iguodala? That’s a hell of a team.

  24. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ephus: Do you really think Koufos is a more important cog than Gallo?I can’t decide it this is:

    1.A typo — in which case we all make mistakes;
    2.An honestly held belief — in which case I cannot disagree more strongly; or
    3.Your latest piece of performance art.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    I meant to include Gallo in that list. And he had a pretty bad season last year, so, you know.

    Why am I a performance artist? Most of the contrary opinions on this site simply tell me that I can’t know anything about basketball if I think that Kawhi Leonard is better than Kobe, but there aren’t really any substantial arguments aside from “microeconomics is a pseudoscience” and “individual numbers are meaningless.” Why is my opinion invalid or indicative of some kind of trolling? Is it because I hold an unconventional opinion?

  25. er

    im absolutely flabbergasted, i mean granted hes a marked improvement over afflalo but he doesnt make that big of a difference on a team overall, hes almost a top level role player. Also Faried is an obscenely bad defender, so they need help there…..and still they need an act of god to make the conference finals in the west. What team are they beating in a series out west ?

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Seriously. Iguodala is really, really good at basketball, and the Nuggets became a really, really good team when George Karl decided to play Faried, who is also really, really good at basketball, like a starter. Unlike the Knicks, who apparently will only be good if Amar’e and Carmelo both post career years, the Nuggets only need to get rid of Mosgov and Harrington, who are terrible basketball players, and they will be at least five games better next year. Then you add Iguodala? That’s a hell of a team.

  26. Juany8

    ephus:
    Three thoughts on the potential for a Dwight Howard to LA trade:

    1.The rule of thumb is that whoever gets the best player in the trade, wins the trade.I think you have to take contracts into consideration in making that evaluation, but Dwight Howard on a 5 year/$120 million contract is by any measure a better player and better value than Bynum on his max deal or Gasol on his next deal.

    2.Since the Lakers are not going to be under the Apron for the next two years, they will not be able to do a sign and trade.

    3.They cannot trade Kobe on this contract, both because the fans would riot and he does not bring value for his $27 million/$30 million.

    So this LA’s one opportunity to bring in a superstar under the age of 30 in the next three years.

    The Knicks clearly got the best player in the Melo trade, and the players the Knicks gave up aren’t close in value to Bynum alone, much less Gasol and Bynum together (and of course, who can ignore WP superstar Matt Barnes!!! He’s leaving too!!!!) Howard is significantly better on defense than Bynum, but Bynum might start being the better offensive player by this year, and suddenly Bynum’s injury history doesn’t seem as much of a concern when you’re trading for someone coming off back surgery. Pau will still be a solid trade chip even next year, so if the current core is somewhat underperforming, they have a chance to retool the roster for next year. Dwight might be great for them in the long term, but Bynum is not that much worse, and they will have NO ONE around Howard in 2 or 3 years when Kobe and Nash are retiring/terrible for their prices

  27. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8:
    I really like Iguodala, but the Nuggets haven’t been close to a top 4 team in the west the past couple of years, unless Iguodala starts making 3?s at a good rate, does he really make them that much better? He’s basically a better version of Afflalo, minus the floor spacing, and while I don’t like Harrington much they did nothing to replace his ability to score off the bench. The Nuggets are already a team lacking shot creation on offense, Iggy helps a bit with that but they can no longer space the floor as ridiculously as they used to unless they start using Iggy as a stretch 4 (and don’t rule this out with Karl as head coach)

    1) The Nuggets did not have Ken Faried. He is by any metric an outstanding, team-changing basketball player.

    2) Lawson is a contract year and is entering his prime.

    3) The Nuggets were the #6 team in the superior conference this year. SRS of 6 in the entire league. Would have been better without…

    4) Al Harrington — a terrible basketball player.

    5) Iguodala isn’t just a better basketball player than Afflalo; he’s a massive upgrade. Lower shooting percentage, but better in every other aspect, including passing. Plus he’s known as a great defender.

    6) And this is the thing that really kills me about your post: the floor spacing. The Nuggets had the #3 offense in the league last year. Do you really think that “shot creation” is a problem for a team with the #3 offense in the league? And do you think that Iguodala, who absolutely smokes Afflalo in AST%, is going to make their team worse by not being a “floor spacer?” I don’t even think that floor spacing is a significant thing for most NBA teams. As I showed in the Harden/Westbrook video during the playoffs, a “threat” like Westbrook demands the same attention that most NBA guards get. It’s the NBA; you CANNOT leave people open. Some players…

  28. ephus

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Why am I a performance artist?

    I actually thought you took it as a compliment when I said that it seemed like you trained under Maria Abramovich. I take about 70% of your comments as genuine (if off-beat) expressions of your opinion as a basketball fan/observer. But about 30% of the time, you explode or disclaim in a manner that seems designed to particularly push the buttons of some of our regular posters. If you are not trying to couch your opinions to be inflammatory, you probably have been frequently surprised when friendships have blown up.

  29. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    er:
    im absolutely flabbergasted, i mean granted hes a marked improvement over afflalo but he doesnt make that big of a difference on a team overall, hes almost a top level role player. Also Faried is an obscenely bad defender, so they need help there…..and still they need an act of god to make the conference finals in the west. What team are they beating in a series out west ?

    They took a Lakers team with two seven-footers to seven games last season. Most statistical projections had them taking the series in six. And who cares if they had all “role players” last year? #3 offensive rating in the league on a team level. That should be proof that you don’t need a “star shooter” to operate a team offense efficiently.

  30. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I meant to include Gallo in that list. And he had a pretty bad season last year, so, you know.

    Why am I a performance artist? Most of the contrary opinions on this site simply tell me that I can’t know anything about basketball if I think that Kawhi Leonard is better than Kobe, but there aren’t really any substantial arguments aside from “microeconomics is a pseudoscience” and “individual numbers are meaningless.” Why is my opinion invalid or indicative of some kind of trolling? Is it because I hold an unconventional opinion?

    Because, despite your claim that you’re looking at data to inform your decisions, you actually willfully ignore most of what occurs on a basketball court. You ignore the difference between an assisted basket and a self created one. You ignore the difference in talent that allows Dwight Howard to take a lot more shots per game than Tyson Chandler, and you ignore that Dwight Howard is actually as efficient or more efficient than Chandler in every shooting area except free throws (and free throw attempts correlate more with wins than free throws made, Dwight is still adding value if he’s missing free throws).

    For some reason, if a player like Tyson Chandler adds a jumper to help with his team’s spacing (or even some damn post moves), you consider them worse since their general efficiency drops, even if every shot they take is a “good shot” (if Chandler “only” shot 60 TS% from 3-9 feet, would it really be a bad shot since he usually only takes 70+ TS% shots?) You willfully ignore that only 1 person on a team can have the floor at any given time, and that having a player who’s good at avoiding turnovers and finding teammates with the ball in his hands is generally creating more value than the guy shooting shots in the corner.

  31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ephus: I actually thought you took it as a compliment when I said that it seemed like you trained under Maria Abramovich.I take about 70% of your comments as genuine (if off-beat) expressions of your opinion as a basketball fan/observer.But about 30% of the time, you explode or disclaim in a manner that seems designed to particularly push the buttons of some of our regular posters.If you are not trying to couch your opinions to be inflammatory, you probably have been frequently surprised when friendships have blown up.

    Oh, I want to troll jon abbey all day and night. But I am a pretty awesome friend, thank you very kindly. Real life =/= message board persona.

  32. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: Because, despite your claim that you’re looking at data to inform your decisions, you actually willfully ignore most of what occurs on a basketball court. You ignore the difference between an assisted basket and a self created one. You ignore the difference in talent that allows Dwight Howard to take a lot more shots per game than Tyson Chandler, and you ignore that Dwight Howard is actually as efficient or more efficient than Chandler in every shooting area except free throws (and free throw attempts correlate more with wins than free throws made, Dwight is still adding value if he’s missing free throws).

    For some reason, if a player like Tyson Chandler adds a jumper to help with his team’s spacing (or even some damn post moves), you consider them worse since their general efficiency drops, even if every shot they take is a “good shot” (if Chandler “only” shot 60 TS% from 3-9 feet, would it really be a bad shot since he usually only takes 70+ TS% shots?) You willfully ignore that only 1 person on a team can have the floor at any given time, and that having a player who’s good at avoiding turnovers and finding teammates with the ball in his hands is generally creating more value than the guy shooting shots in the corner.

    And I don’t think that there are significant differences between most NBA players w/r/t shot creation. There are some players like LeBron and Nash who are exceptional at increasing teammate efficiency, but all NBA players (save the occasional Jared Jeffries) can take and make an open shot. The “auxiliary value” proponents on this site assume wild variances between play styles of basketball players. And while, yes, there are differences in play style, you’re not leaving 98% of players open in the corner, nor are you leaving a center unguarded in the paint. Even the worst offensive players draw attention.

  33. er

    The Lakers werent that good of a team last year, and were thoroughly embarrassed by OKC. Im not downplaying the Nuggets in that series they played almost perfect in a few games. I agree you dont need a star player to operate an offense effectively, but you 95% of the time need at least one elite offensive player to win big in the league.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: They took a Lakers team with two seven-footers to seven games last season. Most statistical projections had them taking the series in six. And who cares if they had all “role players” last year? #3 offensive rating in the league on a team level. That should be proof that you don’t need a “star shooter” to operate a team offense efficiently.

  34. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: They took a Lakers team with two seven-footers to seven games last season. Most statistical projections had them taking the series in six. And who cares if they had all “role players” last year? #3 offensive rating in the league on a team level. That should be proof that you don’t need a “star shooter” to operate a team offense efficiently.

    So they took a team that quickly got bounced in the second round to 7 games and that’s considered good? A team statistical analysis said they were SUPPOSED to beat? If anything, once you consider injuries (go back and look at Chandler’s game 1, when he had the flu) and opponents, the Knicks had a better playoffs than the Nuggets.

    Memphis, the Clippers, the Lakers, San Antonio, and OKC all had better teams last year, while Utah is a young team with lots ofroom for improvement. With some luck (injuries) sure they might make it to the WCF this year, but they’ll be creamed by either SA, the Lakers, or OKC whenever they face them at full strength. No matter how many rebounds Faried can get, he can’t defend shit, which means any chance they have of becoming a good defense involves Javale McGee playing the most difficult defensive position in the game at a Garnett like level. Maybe if they got Iguodala for free there would be cause for celebration, otherwise this probably improves them a game or 2 tops (and they still probably lose in the first round to the teams with “stars” that can shoot more than 8 times a game)

  35. ephus

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Oh, I want to troll jon abbey all day and night. But I am a pretty awesome friend, thank you very kindly. Real life =/= message board persona.

    If you want to “troll” people, you just might be a performance artist.

    If your “message board persona” is not your real life personality, you just might be a performance artist.

    If your response to pointed criticism is to occasionally, but not always, respond with a string of epithets, you just might be a performance artist.

    If you pick a screen name that is slightly inscrutible and slightly ribald, you just might be a performance artist.

    Not an insult, just an observation.

  36. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I think I contribute to the dialogue on this site. Maybe I’ll try harder to fit in and agree with everyone more. Thanks for your feedback; I will process it thoroughly and earnestly.

  37. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And I don’t think that there are significant differences between most NBA players w/r/t shot creation. There are some players like LeBron and Nash who are exceptional at increasing teammate efficiency, but all NBA players (save the occasional Jared Jeffries) can take and make an open shot. The “auxiliary value” proponents on this site assume wild variances between play styles of basketball players. And while, yes, there are differences in play style, you’re not leaving 98% of players open in the corner, nor are you leaving a center unguarded in the paint. Even the worst offensive players draw attention.

    You clearly did not watch Landry Fields last year. Nor do you seem to comprehend the difference in defensive level between a team like Miami and a team like Charlotte. It’s not that Miami, Boston, or Chicago has better one on one defenders (which they do) it’s that they use their athelticism as a unit to choke up on players and prevent easy shots. Considering most players in the NBA are only effective when taking certain types of shots (see: Novak in the Miami series) If there’s a sudden reduction in those types of easy shots, maybe the role player’s efficiency doesn’t change much, but he goes from shooting 6-8 60 TS% shots to 1 or 2 60 TS% shots. Since the offense would obviously prefer to get good looks, having players capable of influencing overall team shot distribution is essential. Players like Novak and Chandler aren’t that meaningful if the defense is preventing them from taking any shots, no matter how efficient they are in those shot attempts. Novak and Chandler have very little effect on team wide shot ditribution (they basically can’t have the ball in their hands for more than 2 seconds) which clearly affects the offensive ability of the team

  38. ephus

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I think I contribute to the dialogue on this site. Maybe I’ll try harder to fit in and agree with everyone more. Thanks for your feedback; I will process it thoroughly and earnestly.

    Please don’t change, at least not on my account. I really do value the performance art. Just sometimes (like when you accidentally left Gallo out of your list of the most important pieces in Denver) I do not know if you are doing it on purpose to get a rise out of people, on purpose because you have an unconventional view, or made a mistake.

  39. jon abbey

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    There’s absolutely no way that a core of Lawson, Iguodala, Faried, Koufos, and McGee win fewer than 50 games over the next three years

    the fact that they have Gallinari and Chandler makes this a little less ridiculous. just a little less, though.

  40. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: You clearly did not watch Landry Fields last year. Nor do you seem to comprehend the difference in defensive level between a team like Miami and a team like Charlotte. It’s not that Miami, Boston, or Chicago has better one on one defenders (which they do) it’s that they use their athelticism as a unit to choke up on players and prevent easy shots. Considering most players in the NBA are only effective when taking certain types of shots (see: Novak in the Miami series) If there’s a sudden reduction in those types of easy shots, maybe the role player’s efficiency doesn’t change much, but he goes from shooting 6-8 60 TS% shots to 1 or 2 60 TS% shots. Since the offense would obviously prefer to get good looks, having players capable of influencing overall team shot distribution is essential. Players like Novak and Chandler aren’t that meaningful if the defense is preventing them from taking any shots, no matter how efficient they are in those shot attempts. Novak and Chandler have very little effect on team wide shot ditribution (they basically can’t have the ball in their hands for more than 2 seconds) which clearly affects the offensive ability of the team

    But you’re attributing all of that value to the players with “diverse skills” instead of acknowledging that you can argue the “shot creation” thing either way. If Novak is so good at 3-pt shooting, wouldn’t his very presence on the floor make space for other players? And if Chandler is so good at getting pick-and-roll feeds and putbacks, wouldn’t that make the midrange/3-pt game much easier for his teammates since his defender has to drop to the rim all the time?

  41. jon abbey

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:if Chandler is so good at getting pick-and-roll feeds and putbacks

    only you think he’s good at this, the rest of us think he’s very efficient in a way that impacts the game minimally.

  42. knicknyk

    Gideon Zaga:
    Man I think Woodson has got a big problem on his hands. I mean has any one thought of any realistic offensive scheme for this team. I was watching some old games today and I was taking note of the spacing, the synergies, basically everything other than the main action. My best conclusion is that someone’s got to come of the bench. Either Melo(not happening), Amare or Tyson. Those three are all great pnr partners. Melo excels in the pick n pop pnr while Amare n Tyson well we all know where they do their damage. Maybe we can be a play calling team like Boston, I dunno. I went back and looked at some old highlights of Felton and Amare and I tried to envision fitting Melo and Tyson in that situation and I think that will be a disaster or not a good scheme. In that scenario the paint was almost wide open with only Amare in there, everyone else was on the perimeter. So he has to play Novak at the 3 and Melo and Amare at 4 and 5. And that will be a wash defensively. He can play Tyson at 5, with say Kurt T at 4, Melo at 3, JR, Felton/Kidd. My favorite one will be like the 04 Nuggets like ruru said or 2001 sixers; play Tyson, with Camby, Melo, JR/Brewer, Kidd. Yeah and just turn defense into offense. I still haven’t found a case to make where we play our 3 frontcourt guys together and have good production. In one scenario Amare is the third wheel and in the other Melo is. Tyson seems so be the cog. So how would Woodson fix this.

    Aside from an effective offensive scheme I also worry about Woodsons inability to make adjustments. I am confident that he will be able to coach us to our potential in the regular season. However, I worry about the post-season. I worry that Woodson will be out coached by Doc Rivers in the post season or even Spoelstra. We will see though. I have always had my concerns regarding Woodsons coaching ability.

  43. Gideon Zaga

    That’s exactly right. He never seemed to ever figure out Melo being fronted by MIA in the playoffs. I think sometimes things would be easier if the coaches had twitter or knickerblogger. A lot of people share ideas these days.

    knicknyk: Aside from an effective offensive scheme I also worry about Woodsons inability to make adjustments. I am confident that he will be able to coach us to our potential in the regular season. However, I worry about the post-season. I worry that Woodson will be out coached by Doc Rivers in the post season or even Spoelstra. We will see though. I have always had my concerns regarding Woodsons coaching ability.

  44. johnno

    I know that I am in the minority but I don’t think that Dwight Howard is anywhere near a “top 3 in the NBA” player. Top 3 physical specimens, yes. Top 3 players, no. I seriously can’t remember a single game in the last five years when the Magic were in a close game against a good team in the fourth quarter and Dwight Howard was the best player on the floor. He disappears in the fourth quarter more than just about any superstar I can think of. Top 3 players don’t do that even occasionally, never mind on a regular basis. If he played in the 90’s, he would have been the 5th best center in the league, if that (clearly behind Shaq, Hakeem, Robinson and Ewing).

    thenamestsam: a top 3 player in the NBA

  45. ephus

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: If Novak is so good at 3-pt shooting, wouldn’t his very presence on the floor make space for other players? And if Chandler is so good at getting pick-and-roll feeds and putbacks, wouldn’t that make the midrange/3-pt game much easier for his teammates since his defender has to drop to the rim all the time?

    Yes (to a degree) on Novak, but no (most of the time) on Chandler. Against most teams, Novak creates opportunities for his teammates because his man cannot leave to double. The Heat were able to free lance off of Novak because their rotations were quick enough to catch up to Novak before he could launch an uncontested catch and shoot.

    On Chandler, when he is involved in a PnR, he commands attention from his defender and from the corner defender who is going to rotate to cover the dive. But that is only a few seconds of most possessions. The rest of the time, Chandler is camped outside of the lane and his defender can double others. Chandler’s countermove is to dive to the front of the rim, but that does not work if there is not a passing lane. Chandler’s offensive rebounding numbers are likely also helped by the fact that he is often left loosely guarded, so it is hard to get a body on him when the shot goes up.

    The way to create unguarded shots is to force the defense to rotate and then move the ball to the open man. Post-up players can do this when they command double teams. Isolation players can do this when they beat their man off of the dribble. PnR and PnP either create an open shot or create rotations that lead to open shots. But when a player can be left unguarded in his ordinary offensive position, it makes it much harder for any of his teammates to get an open look.

  46. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: But you’re attributing all of that value to the players with “diverse skills” instead of acknowledging that you can argue the “shot creation” thing either way. If Novak is so good at 3-pt shooting, wouldn’t his very presence on the floor make space for other players? And if Chandler is so good at getting pick-and-roll feeds and putbacks, wouldn’t that make the midrange/3-pt game much easier for his teammates since his defender has to drop to the rim all the time?

    Actually you’re right, Novak’s efficient shooting probably does help his teammates with the ball open up the floor some. That actually goes back to my main point, that basketball statistics are all the result of complicated 5 man acitivies, so that any event tracked in a box score is almost always caused by several players, not just one. Seriously, how silly is it to insult points per game, but then use rebounds and turnovers per game like those numbers mean anything? Someone who is tremendous at boxing out will get a lot of rebounds on his own while also helping his team get rebounds in general (often by slowing down the opponent’s best offensive rebounder) Someone like Amar’e not only gets relatively few rebounds, he also gives up a bunch of easy opportunities for put backs and makes the team as a whole weaker.

    Considering how complex all these interactions are, simply assigning value in a normalized, linear way for every event that occurs will result in some massive error. For all the statistical analysis guys like Berri put on the internet, you NEVER hear them talking about error bars or standard deviations when looking at their stats. Considering an average is only meaningful if there’s a totally normal distribution of impact, a player’s season averages are practically meaningless.

  47. ruruland

    I will agree with THCJ on the idea that the Nuggets are going to be a fantastic regular season team, and as most of us who appreciate free-flowing up-tempo, a “blast” to watch.

    55 wins wouldn’t surprise me a bit. The Nuggets are building a classic George Karl team — incredibly deep and athletic, minus an inside-out half-court approach or half-court structure.

    Aflallo has long been an overrated defender, and Iggy would certainly be an upgrade (though folks like Owen often overvalue his defense)….

    Iggy’s ability as a passer in transition, combined with the most athletic frontcourt and the fastest pg in the league….. it wouldn’t surprise me if they were the most efficient offense in the league next season.

    The problem, much as it was the last two seasons in the playoffs, is in the half-court.

    Who was the Nuggets second most efficient offensive player in the playoffs last year? Cory Brewer.

    Two years ago? Al Harrington.
    —————————————————————-
    2011 playoff offensive rating vs OKC : 110.5, 99.9, 99.1, 110, 99,

    Denver regular season offensive rating: 112.5

    OKC regular season defensive rating: 107.2

    Denver regular season defensive rating: 107.3

    OKC regular season 111.2 rating:

    Allowed vs OKC: 114.5, 119, 102.3, 107.5, 108.5

    2010 Denver SRS: 7th 2010 OKC SRS: 9th
    —————————————————————–
    2011 Series vs LAL

    2011 Denver Offensive rating: 109.2

    2011 LAL defensive rating: 104.4

    Denver offensive rating in 7 game series: 95.6, 107.5, 113.6, 103.7, 110.3, 119.3, 102.6

    LAL regular season offensive rating: 106, Denver defensive rating regular season 106.2

    LAL offensive rating in 7 game series: 111.9, 111.8, 96.4, 108.4, 107.1,101.3, 113.2
    ——————————————————————
    Denver playoff performance relative to regular season performance

    Games above regular season offensive…

  48. thenamestsam

    johnno:
    I know that I am in the minority but I don’t think that Dwight Howard is anywhere near a “top 3 in the NBA” player.Top 3 physical specimens, yes.Top 3 players, no.I seriously can’t remember a single game in the last five years when the Magic were in a close game against a good team in the fourth quarter and Dwight Howard was the best player on the floor.He disappears in the fourth quarter more than just about any superstar I can think of.Top 3 players don’t do that even occasionally, never mind on a regular basis.If he played in the 90?s, he would have been the 5th best center in the league, if that (clearly behind Shaq, Hakeem, Robinson and Ewing).

    Is there any evidence to the disappears in the 4th quarter thing? I’ve never seen anything about his clutch stats being worse. On top of that focusing on just the offensive side of the ball when we’re talking about arguably the best defender and the best rebounder in the game is stupid.

    Look at Orlando’s roster and then look at where they placed defensively the last few years. Look at the roster of the team he took to the finals. If that doesn’t do it consider that he’s the best defensive player, the best rebounder, and that on offense he gets you 20+ points a night on efficient shooting while drawing constant double teams. That’s really not top-3?

  49. Jafa

    Every poster on this site brings something unique:

    ephus brings his knowledge of the CBA for which is invaluable

    HCJ brings unconventional and contrarian opinions which I enjoy reading (sans the curse words and personal attacks)

    ruruland brings analysis of his favorite player which, more often than not, jump starts debates that can get interesting

    Jon Abbey, Z, Zman, Carvan, etc bring a variety of diverse opinions. Lets not go changing our stripes. Only thing I wish is that we avoided getting personal with the arguments and resort to calling each other names and using profanity.

  50. Juany8

    johnno:
    I know that I am in the minority but I don’t think that Dwight Howard is anywhere near a “top 3 in the NBA” player.Top 3 physical specimens, yes.Top 3 players, no.I seriously can’t remember a single game in the last five years when the Magic were in a close game against a good team in the fourth quarter and Dwight Howard was the best player on the floor.He disappears in the fourth quarter more than just about any superstar I can think of.Top 3 players don’t do that even occasionally, never mind on a regular basis.If he played in the 90?s, he would have been the 5th best center in the league, if that (clearly behind Shaq, Hakeem, Robinson and Ewing).

    Mourning is probably the best comparison for Dwight from a talent perspective. Dwight’s numbers are helped enormously by the fact that there are very few players that can match up physically with him. Most teams in the league don’t have a way of preventing him from getting dunks without hard double teams. As soon as he faces a good post defender like Bynum or Chandler, however, his offensive value plummets. He can’t score on them consistently in the post, so he won’t get double teammed, which means he stops being a great offensive player and he basically turns into Tyson Chandler, closer to a top 15 player than a top 5 player. And at least Chandler will make his free throws lol

  51. Jafa

    About the Howard Trade – if that thing goes down as constructed, Denver and Philadelphia would be the biggest winners. For Denver, THCJ nailed it on the head:

    Iggy is an absolute upgrade from Afflalo
    Dumping Harrirngton is a plus, not just because he isn’t a great player, but also because he frees up playing time for their other young bigs

    For Philly, I love Bynum for them but wonder how Doug Collins will fare coaching this guy. It could work like the 2000-01 marriage between AI and Larry Brown, or it could blow up like…well every other season between AI and Larry Brown.

    The price the Lakers are paying for Howard now would be too high, after being able to get him for Bynum straight up just a few months ago. And for Orlando, the offers from Houston and Brooklyn are much more attractive that what they will be bringing in.

  52. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: Actually you’re right, Novak’s efficient shooting probably does help his teammates with the ball open up the floor some. That actually goes back to my main point, that basketball statistics are all the result of complicated 5 man acitivies, so that any event tracked in a box score is almost always caused by several players, not just one. Seriously, how silly is it to insult points per game, but then use rebounds and turnovers per game like those numbers mean anything? Someone who is tremendous at boxing out will get a lot of rebounds on his own while also helping his team get rebounds in general (often by slowing down the opponent’s best offensive rebounder) Someone like Amar’e not only gets relatively few rebounds, he also gives up a bunch of easy opportunities for put backs and makes the team as a whole weaker.

    Considering how complex all these interactions are, simply assigning value in a normalized, linear way for every event that occurs will result in some massive error. For all the statistical analysis guys like Berri put on the internet, you NEVER hear them talking about error bars or standard deviations when looking at their stats. Considering an average is only meaningful if there’s a totally normal distribution of impact, a player’s season averages are practically meaningless.

    But it’s the correlation that sells me on the metric. If player value fluctuated wildly, I’d agree.

  53. ruruland

    DENVER: games above regular season efficiency in playoffs: 3/12

    games (offensive) below opponents regular season defensive efficiency: 6/12

    Defensively:

    opponents above Denver’s regular season defensive efficiency: 7/12

    opponents above their own regular season offensive efficiency: 7/12

    In both seasons, Denver was ranked higher by SRS, considerably so in 2012 vs LAL (Denver was 6th, LAL 13th)

    So what explains Denver’s under-performance on offense in the playoffs. Why didn’t Denver’s opponents have this problem?

    Did the game change at all?

    How does a middling usage player like Iguodala, who is actually less efficient in the half-court than Aflallo, help Denver in the playoffs?

    (Iggy has a .494 career playoff TS)

    And THCJ, you just made the claim that Iggy’s “assists” are going to help Denver over Aflallo’s shooting efficiency, how is that not admittance of interaction effects or benefits?

  54. Jafa

    If the trade goes down, Denver could be in competition for the 3rd best team in the west, along with the Lakers, Clippers and Grizzlies.

    And ruruland @ 51, that fast pace and efficiency could get them into the second round before they ran into trouble (either against OKC or SAS) who may be better at playing that style than them. But what a matchup that would be. I would gladly pay money to see them go up against either of those teams.

  55. JK47

    One of Denver’s biggest problems last year was that they played horrendous perimeter defense. I can’t say I watched enough of them to say exactly why, but they were dead last in the league in 3PT allowed and dead last in 3PT percentage allowed.

    Does anybody have some insight into why they were so awful at defending 3’s? Because if they fix that problem they could be pretty damn good.

  56. knicknyk

    Gideon Zaga:
    That’s exactly right. He never seemed to ever figure out Melo being fronted by MIA in the playoffs. I think sometimes things would be easier if the coaches had twitter or knickerblogger. A lot of people share ideas these days.

    It wasn’t even just MIA fronting. It was also in the regular season against the Raptors, under Woodson. The raptors ran a zone defense and the Knicks had no response. I am confident that we can get out of the first round (barring any serious injury or total collapse) but I am unsure about our ability to get out of the second round of the post season. I think in the second round is where we will see problems. I just have serious doubts that Woodsons coaching will be able to maximize our talent in the playoffs.

  57. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: But it’s the correlation that sells me on the metric. If player value fluctuated wildly, I’d agree.

    Players rarely change roles because coaches recognize their skills. I would venture to guess that usage has a higher coefficient than efficiency. Ergo, a player like Novak is always going to be a one-dimensional shooter regardless of where he plays.

    Now, his overall value is going to be somewhat based on his teammates ability to make up for his deficiencies and maximize his strengths.

    Same thing with Chandler and all offensive limited role players.

    Shot creators/attention creators have the ability to maximize their teammates ability to make open shots or move off the ball on offense, just as, in theory, a great defensive player improves the overall defensive efficiency of his teammates as captured by “defensive rating.”

    Carmelo Anthony has always had very strong offensive +/- despite often not being in the top 3-4 in scoring efficiency on his team, and often has had higher +/- than his more efficient teammates.

  58. ruruland

    JK47:
    One of Denver’s biggest problems last year was that they played horrendous perimeter defense. I can’t say I watched enough of them to say exactly why, but they were dead last in the league in 3PT allowed and dead last in 3PT percentage allowed.

    Does anybody have some insight into why they were so awful at defending 3?s? Because if they fix that problem they could be pretty damn good.

    because their perimeter defenders aren’t that good. Lawson, Miller, Aflallo, and Gallo aren’t good outside. Brewer was their best perimeter defender last season, naturally.

    Iggy will help that and make their transition offense even scarier (they had the most transition attempts last year and were third in efficiency, if I remember correctly. The Knicks were superior in most half-court situations)

  59. ruruland

    Jafa:
    If the trade goes down, Denver could be in competition for the 3rd best team in the west, along with the Lakers, Clippers and Grizzlies.

    And ruruland @ 51, that fast pace and efficiency could get them into the second round before they ran into trouble (either against OKC or SAS) who may be better at playing that style than them.But what a matchup that would be.I would gladly pay money to see them go up against either of those teams.

    Denver’s undperformance last year against LAL should discourage most from predicting a clean first round.

    There are teams they can beat in the first round, but half-court teams with bruising interiors could easily beat them (LAC, Memphis, Utah)

    I wouldn’t even trust Denver with Dallas.

  60. er

    yea i have them maxing at 5 seed behind OKC,LAC,LAL,SA I feel like they will be in a battle for 6th with the Grizz

    Jafa:
    If the trade goes down, Denver could be in competition for the 3rd best team in the west, along with the Lakers, Clippers and Grizzlies.

    And ruruland @ 51, that fast pace and efficiency could get them into the second round before they ran into trouble (either against OKC or SAS) who may be better at playing that style than them.But what a matchup that would be.I would gladly pay money to see them go up against either of those teams.

  61. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: But it’s the correlation that sells me on the metric. If player value fluctuated wildly, I’d agree.

    The metric could just be designed for player value to be consistent. Going back to Novak and Chandler, any time that Novak shoots an open 3 or Chandler gets a good look at the rim, they’re going to have roughly the same efficiency. Having Melo pass the ball instead of Fields doesn’t change the type of shot, or the player’s effectiveness in making it. Since WP mostly looks at offensive efficiency, there isn’t much of a difference in individual value when Novak shoots 5 good 3’s a game as opposed to 2. On a team level, however, it’s very obvious which one is the preferable outcome.

    My point is that Novak can’t influence how many open 3’s a game he gets as much as a player like Carmelo can. Defense will willingly leave Novak open to prevent Melo from attacking, and Novak NEEDS to be open to be effective (he’s no Ray Allen running around screens) On a team basis, it’s advantageous to have Novak shoot as many open 3’s as possible, which means that a player capable of helping Novak get more 3’s is having a big impact on the offense, regardless of that player’s assist total.

    It’s not that surprising that a player’s WP correlates from season to season on a large scale because most players in the NBA are taking similar shots each season. If Novak played with Nash, the open 3’s he gets wouldn’t magically get easier or harder, and he wouldn’t suddenly gain the ability to rebound. Since WP cares a lot more about individual efficiency than total contributions, most players will stay the same over long stretches of their careers. Not to mention that the correlation for WP is noticeably worse when players switch teams. That alone seems to confirm my point

  62. er

    for 5th excuse me

    er:
    yea i have them maxing at 5 seed behind OKC,LAC,LAL,SAI feel like they will be in a battle for 6th with the Grizz

  63. Juany8

    JK47:
    One of Denver’s biggest problems last year was that they played horrendous perimeter defense. I can’t say I watched enough of them to say exactly why, but they were dead last in the league in 3PT allowed and dead last in 3PT percentage allowed.

    Does anybody have some insight into why they were so awful at defending 3?s? Because if they fix that problem they could be pretty damn good.

    Is it really surprising that a team with weak perimeter AND interior defenders is bad at defense? This question is kind of like asking how the Nuggets are going to make Faried bigger and longer, or Gallo faster and stronger

  64. ruruland

    Juany8: The metric could just be designed for player value to be consistent. Going back to Novak and Chandler, any time that Novak shoots an open 3 or Chandler gets a good look at the rim, they’re going to have roughly the same efficiency. Having Melo pass the ball instead of Fields doesn’t change the type of shot, or the player’s effectiveness in making it. Since WP mostly looks at offensive efficiency, there isn’t much of a difference in individual value when Novak shoots 5 good 3?s a game as opposed to 2. On a team level, however, it’s very obvious which one is the preferable outcome.

    My point is that Novak can’t influence how many open 3?s a game he gets as much as a player like Carmelo can. Defense will willingly leave Novak open to prevent Melo from attacking, and Novak NEEDS to be open to be effective (he’s no Ray Allen running around screens) On a team basis, it’s advantageous to have Novak shoot as many open 3?s as possible, which means that a player capable of helping Novak get more 3?s is having a big impact on the offense, regardless of that player’s assist total.

    It’s not that surprising that a player’s WP correlates from season to season on a large scale because most players in the NBA are taking similar shots each season. If Novak played with Nash, the open 3?s he gets wouldn’t magically get easier or harder, and he wouldn’t suddenly gain the ability to rebound. Since WP cares a lot more about individual efficiency than total contributions, most players will stay the same over long stretches of their careers. Not to mention that the correlation for WP is noticeably worse when players switch teams. That alone seems to confirm my point

    great post

  65. er

    You guys the west is going to be really rough this year. Pheonix has done a nice job to secure at least a playoff berth. A healthy wolves team should be in. And i also think Dallas will be better than people think so it will be interesting to see how the nuggs pan out in that conference

  66. EB

    Did Phoenix do something to offset losing nash? Because I don’t think they’re going to be that good.

  67. knicknyk

    er:
    You guys the west is going to be really rough this year. Pheonix has done a nice job to secure at least a playoff berth. A healthy wolves team should be in. And i also think Dallas will be better than people think so it will be interesting to see how the nuggs pan out in that conference

    In the west I see the top 4 teams in no particular order are OKC Spurs LAL LAC. Dallas and Memphis will make the playoffs. That leaves the last two spots to Minnesota most likely and Denver or Utah. I give the edge to Denver.

  68. ephus

    Juany8: . Defense will willingly leave Novak open to prevent Melo from attacking, and Novak NEEDS to be open to be effective (he’s no Ray Allen running around screens) On a team basis, it’s advantageous to have Novak shoot as many open 3?s as possible, which means that a player capable of helping Novak get more 3?s is having a big impact on the offense, regardless of that player’s assist total.

    Agreed that this is a great post.

    If Novak has not gained the ability to curl effectively off of screens, then I hope that Woodson utlizes Novak in some pick and pops. Running an effective pick and pop does not require nearly as much balance and coordination as rubbing off screens like Ray Allen or Reggie Miller. I would love it if Novak developed a “show and tell” move to get to an easy jumper (if not all the way to the rim) when he is run off of his spot by a hard-charging closeout.

    As a standstill shooter, Novak will likely be more effective in the regular season than playoffs. During the regular season, teams run their typical defense, which means rotating off of forwards on the perimeter in order to defend against isolations, post-ups and pick and rolls. Since Novak is a forward, he benefits from this default defense. During the playoffs, teams will calibrate their defense to the Knicks in particular. That means they will decide not to rotate off of Novak, or have plans to get back to him more quickly than other forwards on the perimeter.

  69. flossy

    Phoenix? Make the playoffs? Are you kidding? Dragic, Shannon Brown, Beasley, Scola and Gortat is not a playoff roster in the West.

  70. knicknyk

    Source: 30 team trade scenario where Dwight Howard ends up in LA. LeBron back in Cleveland, and Durant to Seattle. #Sarcasm

  71. thenamestsam

    flossy:
    Phoenix?Make the playoffs?Are you kidding?Dragic, Shannon Brown, Beasley,Scola and Gortat is not a playoff roster in the West.

    Yeah, I’m not seeing it with Phoenix. How are they better than last year’s Rockets team? They have Gortat I guess, but considerably less depth. Unless either Dragic or Beasley takes a big leap forward I can’t see how they’re going to be very good.

  72. ephus

    I expect Phoenix to be remarkably bad on defense this year. If they win more than 35 games with that roster, I will be shocked.

  73. er

    Hey maybe you guys are right about Phoenix, but i liked the moves they made to get a little younger. But yea they are a bit of a reach

    ephus:
    I expect Phoenix to be remarkably bad on defense this year.If they win more than 35 games with that roster, I will be shocked.

  74. Juany8

    So…. the Lakers just got Bynum for Howard straight up. The Magic seem to have gotten trash. I think the Lakers might have just won the title.

  75. Tony Pena

    Ephus – How come Bynum does not get more money if he stays with Philly? I thought this was always the case. Thanks!

    PS: Although it looks like a sideways move for LA, as always it’ll work out great for them I bet.

  76. BigBlueAL

    Pau stays with the Lakers, Orlando gets Al Harrington, Afflalo along with some young players and future picks (all from teams almost guaranteed to make the playoffs it seems). WTF is the point of that for Orlando??

  77. massive

    BigBlueAL:
    Pau stays with the Lakers, Orlando gets Al Harrington, Afflalo along with some young players and future picks (all from teams almost guaranteed to make the playoffs it seems).WTF is the point of that for Orlando??

    They got back 3 protected first round picks and a bunch of rotation players for Dwight Howard. The NBA is annoyingly consistent with ruining its competitiveness.

  78. JC Knickfan

    I don’t get Orlando trade either. Couldn’t Orlando go back Houston try squeeze better deal. All Houston 3 rookies perform well summer league. I believe they also have Toronto pick which probably in lottery and I think Houston willing take some Orlando bad contract like Hedo.

  79. BigBlueAL

    Plus Orlando doesnt even shed their bad contracts, only J-Rich and they are getting Afflalo and Harrington’s contracts!!

  80. BigBlueAL

    I know everyone now will be praising Philly but I dunno they got a weird roster. Lose Lou Williams, Iggy and Brand (plus Meeks too I think). They add Bynum, J-Rich, Nick Young, Dorrell Wright and Kwame Brown. Plus they re-signed Hawes so they definitely have an abundance of centers (but no real PF’s aside from Lavoy Allen) and wing players (though they lost their 2 best wing players). Gotta assume more trades coming for Philly after this trade is completed.

  81. DS

    Denver continues to kill it after the ‘Melo trade. Iguodala has a shorter contract and is much better than Al Buckets.

  82. yellowboy90

    BigBlueAL:
    Plus Orlando doesnt even shed their bad contracts, only J-Rich and they are getting Afflalo and Harrington’s contracts!!

    I think Harrigton’s final two years is non guaranteed or just partially guaranteed so its not that bad.

  83. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    BigBlueAL:
    Pau stays with the Lakers, Orlando gets Al Harrington, Afflalo along with some young players and future picks (all from teams almost guaranteed to make the playoffs it seems).WTF is the point of that for Orlando??

    According to ruruland, Al Buckets will be a great “shot creator” for the Magic.

  84. ephus

    Tony Pena:
    Ephus – How come Bynum does not get more money if he stays with Philly? I thought this was always the case. Thanks!

    He does. If Bynum waits until he is a free agent at the end of the season, he can resign with Philly for five years at the max salary with 7.5% raises – just under $100 million ($17.2/$18.5/$19.8/$21.1/$22.4). If he signed with anyone else, the most he could get is 4 years at the max with 4.5% raises – $73 million ($17.2/$18.0/$18.7/$19.5).

    What may be confusing is that if Philly tried to sign him to an extension before he becomes a free agent, they can only extend him for 3 years for around $55 million. That is a big reason for Bynum to play out the string.

  85. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8:
    So…. the Lakers just got Bynum for Howard straight up. The Magic seem to have gotten trash. I think the Lakers might have just won the title.

    Except Kobe’s one year older and will probably take 25 shots per game next year. Do you know that at a whopping 52.7% TS, he led the league in usage?

  86. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Except Kobe’s one year older and will probably take 25 shots per game next year. Do you know that at a whopping 52.7% TS, he led the league in usage?

    Did you know he’s never played with a point guard anywhere near Nash’s level? He’s won 5 championships dude get over it, he clearly knows how to play in the playoffs. If you really think the Lakers lost because Kobe was shooting a lot and not because they had a mediocre defense and Ramon Session passing up WIDE open jumpers, I don’t know what to tell you. The Lakers were a solid team last year that just fixed it’s 3 biggest weaknesses, 3 point shooting, pick and roll play for easy buckets, and a slow defense that couldn’t cover the pick and roll well. Howard pretty much fixes that alone, and Kobe, Artest, and Pau are at least slightly above average defensively (although Kobe’s All-Defense nod was a joke). Howard is also much more refined at passing out of double teams than Bynum, so the incredibly hard double teams Bynum faced in the playoffs will no longer work. If they somehow managed to replace Artest and Barnes with somebody good (Delfino is still out there no?) The Lakers are taking it this year.

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