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Thursday, October 23, 2014

NYT: Breaking Down Knicks-Heat

Looking at the Knicks-Heat through the prism of the four factors.

http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/27/breaking-down-knicks-heat/

64 comments on “NYT: Breaking Down Knicks-Heat

  1. Brian Cronin

    Interestingly, while the Knicks have had the second most turnovers in the NBA, they have also forced the second most turnovers in the NBA.

    That said, yes, being 4th in TOV% is a bad thing. It means they are the fourth worst team, turnover percentage-wise.

  2. d-mar

    I really, really, really don’t want to believe this:

    @Al_Iannazzone: Woodson just said it’s a strong possibility Chandler (flu) won’t play Game 1.

  3. Jafa

    As soon as we were paired up against Miami, I’ve been saying I was worried about fouls and FTs. And apparently the 4 factors agree.

    Shumpert has to limit his fouls on Wade. And the scary thing is Wade is very crafty and good at getting to the line.

    Melo has to attack LeBron and try to get him into foul trouble. Imagine in LBJ has to sit for 5 minutes or so because of foul trouble. That would be a God send.

    On the other hand, I fear Chandler may be in foul trouble too as LBJ and Wade are probably going to attack the lane in an attempt to get him out of the game. Last thing we want to see is highlights of those guys jamming in the lane with Chandler sitting due to foul trouble.

  4. Jafa

    d-mar:
    I really, really, really don’t want to believe this:

    @Al_Iannazzone: Woodson just said it’s a strong possibility Chandler (flu) won’t play Game 1.

    I don’t believe it. Quick, someone get him a tape of Jordan playing with the flu to inspire him to get out there and give it his all.

  5. Eternal OptiKnist

    Looking at @Al_Iannazzone’s twitter feed, Toney Douglas wasnt at practice cause of a virus. Reading the tea leaves, Douglas didnt play last night because he was sick…but he was on the bench and got Tyson sick….Toney Douglas kills the Knicks even when not playing!

  6. Brian Cronin

    Of all the players on the Knicks, Chandler is the player I’d least believe would sit out a playoff game because of the flu. I wouldn’t be surprised if he played in a game while vomiting. But sitting the game out? I just don’t see it.

    That isn’t to say that I would judge him harshly if he did sit out, as if he says he can’t play then I guess he can’t play, but I just don’t see it.

  7. Eternal OptiKnist

    Tyson really might have to be away from the team so as not to infect anyone else…i.e. not because he’s unwilling to play sick.

  8. Brian Cronin

    Tyson really might have to be away from the team so as not to infect anyone else…i.e. not because he’s unwilling to play sick.

    Yeah, that I can see. I can totally see him not practicing with the team or being around them, but when it comes to the actual game, I bet he shows up.

  9. Z

    d-mar:
    I really, really, really don’t want to believe this:

    @Al_Iannazzone: Woodson just said it’s a strong possibility Chandler (flu) won’t play Game 1.

    The stage is set for him to saunter out of the tunnel with a box of Kleenex in his hands, just before tipoff, and the Miami crowd (ie, Knick fans) to go crazy, carrying the Knicks to victory…

  10. thenamestsam

    Jafa:
    As soon as we were paired up against Miami, I’ve been saying I was worried about fouls and FTs.And apparently the 4 factors agree.

    Shumpert has to limit his fouls on Wade.And the scary thing is Wade is very crafty and good at getting to the line.

    Melo has to attack LeBron and try to get him into foul trouble.Imagine in LBJ has to sit for 5 minutes or so because of foul trouble.That would be a God send.

    On the other hand, I fear Chandler may be in foul trouble too as LBJ and Wade are probably going to attack the lane in an attempt to get him out of the game.Last thing we want to see is highlights of those guys jamming in the lane with Chandler sitting due to foul trouble.

    I don’t think the Heat will allow Lebron to get into foul trouble. He’ll only guard Melo the the extent that he’s not in foul trouble. As soon as he gets in any danger they’ll stick Battier on Melo instead. Not a great matchup for them but they know Lebron can’t sit for long in the playoffs. The Wade-Bosh combo has been surprisingly ineffective this year.

    We also saw in the last matchup that for long periods of the game they had Lebron on Melo, but having him mostly funneling him to help rather than playing him straight up. This strategy wasn’t very effective as they had multiple communications breakdowns, but it did have the effect of minimizing foul risk for Lebron.

    I’d bet Spoelstra combines those two tactics through the 1st 3 quarters and then really only has Lebron guard him straight up in the 4th.

  11. johnlocke

    Some turnover data — small sample size caveats..yada yada yada.

    Over the course of the 3 games against the Heat we committed 52 turnovers…19, 19, and 14 respectively.
    There is some good news and not so good news. The players atop our list of most turnovers over those games are in order: Amare (10, 2 games); Lin (8, 1 game); Davis (6, 2 games); Walker (6, 1 game) and Novak and Fields (4 a piece; 3 games).

    The good news first: Walker (atrocious passes) and Lin (1 horrible game, but still) are not playing against the Heat. Not dissing Lin just talking about turnovers.
    The bad news: Amare and Baron really need to cut down the turnovers for us to win the series….this also happens to be our 2 key pick and roll players.

    The number of turnovers relative to production from the combination of Baron and Amare will be a key stat to watch in the series.

  12. max fisher-cohen

    We should just have Chandler go out there and shoot phlegmy coughs on all the Heat players for the first five minutes, and then send him home.

  13. cgreene

    This Chandler business is kinda ruining my evening. Someone reassure me please. Why when these things happen to the Knicks does it always seem like they come true? Why can’t one time one of our injuries be better than expected?

  14. ephus

    If Chandler cannot go, then the Knicks absolutely have to play Amar’e at the 5 and ‘Melo at the 4. No way I want to see Jeffries/Jorts/Gadzuric trying to hold down the 5 spot. Keep ‘Melo on Lebron on defense, but try to get away with Smith (or Fields) playing defense on the Heat center.

  15. Owen

    Ruruland – Player pair data is no longer available publicly beyond what stat cube provides. In the glory days you could get an entire team matrix on 82 games, but no longer….

  16. Brian Cronin

    If Chandler cannot go, then the Knicks absolutely have to play Amar’e at the 5 and ‘Melo at the 4. No way I want to see Jeffries/Jorts/Gadzuric trying to hold down the 5 spot. Keep ‘Melo on Lebron on defense, but try to get away with Smith (or Fields) playing defense on the Heat center.

    Agreed, that does have to be the way to go (although I’m fine with Jeffries as the back-up 5).

  17. Bulleya1

    What is Jeffries status anyways? Is he healthy enough to get back to being a significant part of the rotation?

    If healthy, he may be a legit option for containing Bosh. Even Lebron for a bit if need be.

  18. Brian Cronin

    10-15 is fine, as Amar’e should be able to go 40, right? Plus 42 from Carmelo, so that’s 82 out 96 minutes at the 4-5 right there. So Jeffries just needs to play 14 minutes.

    Of course, it is better if Chandler is healthy.

  19. jon abbey

    it sure would confuse the hell out of some people’s narratives if Chandler had to sit in game 1 and we won, then he came back and we lost four straight. :)

  20. max fisher-cohen

    jon abbey:
    it sure would confuse the hell out of some people’s narratives if Chandler had to sit in game 1 and we won, then he came back and we lost four straight. :)

    I mean, a lineup of Shumpert, Smith, Novak, Melo and STAT is pretty damn explosive. There are a lot of hands there that could get hot, especially with all the spacing that team gets you. If we can score about 130 points, I don’t think the Heat could keep up despite our weak rebounding and defense.

  21. ruruland

    Owen:
    Ruruland – Player pair data is no longer available publicly beyond what stat cube provides. In the glory days you could get an entire team matrix on 82 games, but no longer….

    Thanks, Owen. Is Pelton managing his own data?

  22. Owen

    No, he doesn’t have access to it anymore I don’t think, just the stat cube stuff…

    “I used the site’s player-pair statistics to evaluate how the performance of teammates of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash changed with those players on the floor as opposed to on the bench. While 82games.com is no longer publishing detailed player-pair stats….”

  23. ruruland

    Owen:
    No, he doesn’t have access to it anymore I don’t think, just the stat cube stuff…

    “I used the site’s player-pair statistics to evaluate how the performance of teammates of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash changed with those players on the floor as opposed to on the bench. While 82games.com is no longer publishing detailed player-pair stats….”

    Stat cube is pretty great.

  24. BigBlueAL

    Apparently Woodson had LJ and Houston talk to the team about what they accomplished in 1999. I wouldve started crying if I were listening to them lol

    Also Melo is the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for April. Take that Owen!!!! lol

  25. ruruland

    BigBlueAL:
    Apparently Woodson had LJ and Houston talk to the team about what they accomplished in 1999.I wouldve started crying if I were listening to them lol

    Also Melo is the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for April.Take that Owen!!!!lol

    He was an all-star this year, too. Both are meaningless.

  26. JC Knickfan

    Bulleya1:
    What is Jeffries status anyways? Is he healthy enough to get back to being a significant part of the rotation?

    If healthy, he may be a legit option for containing Bosh. Even Lebron for a bit if need be.

    On my 5 minute drive from Subway station Glen Grunwald says he is playing, but minutes will be limited. He has Knee issue.

  27. JC Knickfan

    Brian Cronin:
    10-15 is fine, as Amar’e should be able to go 40, right? Plus 42 from Carmelo, so that’s 82 out 96 minutes at the 4-5 right there. So Jeffries just needs to play 14 minutes.

    Of course, it is better if Chandler is healthy.

    Good defense goes out the Window if get destroyed on the boards. With Amare at 5, Miami going chew us up there.

  28. ruruland

    Carmelo Anthony last 9 games vs Lebron James

    Melo: 48%, 57% ts/ 26.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3 apg, 2.9 tpg

    Lebron: 27.6 (55.7 ts), 4.2 tpg.

  29. d-mar

    I’m gonna be at MSG for Game 3 Thursday. Been a season ticket holder since the mid 80’s, and the loudest I ever heard the Garden was either the famous Starks dunk on MJ or LJ’s four point play vs. Indiana.

    But if we come back to NY tied 1-1 I think the roof may come off of the place, might be the loudest crowd ever.

  30. Z-man

    Just to put the season into proper perspective:

    D’Antoni Era: 18-24 (four losses for every three wins)

    Woodson Era: 18-6 (one loss for every three wins)

    If that soesn’t suggest that D’Antoni was a terrible coach for this team, I don’t know what does.

  31. Z-man

    While i’m on a roll, it is also worth pointing out that Woodson’s record was vs. a tougher part of the schedule. 18-6 translates out to around 50-16.

    Damn, I hope we make some noise in this series!

  32. Gideon Zaga

    I dunno about you guys, I’m not glad Chandler might not be playing tomorrow but I like that Woodson would be forced to match offense with offense. Plus I wanna see Amare/Melo on Bosh some. Can’t wait.

  33. Owen

    “Just to put the season into proper perspective:

    D’Antoni Era: 18-24 (four losses for every three wins)

    Woodson Era: 18-6 (one loss for every three wins)

    If that soesn’t suggest that D’Antoni was a terrible coach for this team, I don’t know what does”

    I mean, that’s true. I will say, we were a better team under D’Antoni than our record reflected, by efficiency differential. And if you had said we wold have 41 expected wins at the end of the season, I think everyone would have said that sounded about right.

    It’s a little mystery. Clearly coaches matter a great deal right? Yet, we ended up with a number of Ewins right in the 38-42 range that most of us predicted.

    Big game tomorrow!!!!

  34. 2FOR18

    The Heat are -900 (Knicks +600). They are by far the biggest favorite of the first round. Note that Indiana has the same odds over Orlando.

    By comparison, the Lakers are -220 to beat Denver. Considering the Lakers have home court, Vegas is giving Denver a good chance.

  35. 2FOR18

    2FOR18:
    The Heat are -900 (Knicks +600).They are by far the biggest favorite of the first round.Note that Indiana has the same odds over Orlando.

    By comparison, the Lakers are -220 to beat Denver.Considering the Lakers have home court, Vegas is giving Denver a good chance.

    lol please disregard the 2nd sentence in the first paragraph.

  36. Owen

    Never really understand how betting lines work. The -900 represents a 90% chance of the heat winning. The +600 represents a 14.4% chance of the Knicks winning.

    Is the difference between those two the spread?

  37. Z-man

    D’Antoni is a very creative “big picture” offensive coach, provided he has the right point guard and team. I saw his Suns a couple of times live, and they were absolutely beautiful to watch. And I know that his defensive indifference is a bit overstated. But there is absolutely no question that he did a poor job wih this team this year. Woodson is not Pat Riley or Phil Jackson, but he recognizes what this team essentially is and how important it is to insist on defensive effort at all times. I don’t know whether we should stick with Woody or go after Phil, but either way, this is not the 7-seed team that D’Antoni turned us into this year.

  38. Juany8

    Owen: http://www.theknicksblog.com/2012/04/27/threes-company-miami-style/

    Most people picked around the same number of total wins, but for totally different reasons. Many people looked at the many injuries on the team and clear weakness at point guard and realized the team was going to have a slow start, plus having very little depth in a shortened season was supposed to be a killer. At full strength, and with a training camp, even the team from the beginning of the year looked like it could push 50-55 wins in a regular season. Others, like THCJ, actually assumed everyone would be healthy and everything would go predictably as far as health, team makeup, and performance, which meant they saw a 36-30 record as the team’s ceiling instead of floor. That’s a rather significant difference in the way the same conclusion was reached.

  39. Juany8

    Owen:
    Never really understand how betting lines work. The -900 represents a 90% chance of the heat winning. The +600 represents a 14.4% chance of the Knicks winning.

    Is the difference between those two the spread?

    Vegas automatically keeps around 5% of all bets made. It’s how they always win and why the Odds add up to over 100%

  40. Owen

    Z-man:
    D’Antoni is a very creative “big picture” offensive coach, provided he has the right point guard and team.I saw his Suns a couple of times live, and they were absolutely beautiful to watch.And I know that his defensive indifference is a bit overstated.But there is absolutely no question that he did a poor job wih this team this year.Woodson is not Pat Riley or Phil Jackson, but he recognizes what this team essentially is and how important it is to insist on defensive effort at all times. I don’t know whether we should stick with Woody or go after Phil, but either way, this is not the 7-seed team that D’Antoni turned us into this year.

    Z-Man – I hear you, but I do think there are other ways to skin the cat.

    It would be interesting to look at the splits pre and post D’Antoni and see how much we actually improved on defense under Woodson. And then back Amare missing 13 games out of that. Although, wasn’t Woodson running the defense the whole time?

    It’s discussions like these that I think boil down why the advanced stats approach can seem so stupid at time. On the one hand, you have everything that has happened this season. On the other, you have the fact we won as many games as THCJ predicted and had as many Ewins as Brian Cronin predicted.

    Coaches mean everything, coaches mean nothing. This Knicks season certainly won’t settle the argument….

  41. max fisher-cohen

    Z-man:
    D’Antoni is a very creative “big picture” offensive coach…But there is absolutely no question that he did a poor job wih this team this year.Woodson is not Pat Riley or Phil Jackson, but he recognizes what this team essentially is and how important it is to insist on defensive effort at all times. I don’t know whether we should stick with Woody or go after Phil, but either way, this is not the 7-seed team that D’Antoni turned us into this year.

    Are we going to start this again? The defense is better, but a lot of it is people figured out how to shoot again. Like it’s a complete renaissance. Just looking at 3pt %, before the slash is under MDA this season, after the slash is under Woodson:

    Melo: 30.8% / 37.2%
    Shumpert: 26.4% / 35.7%
    Bibby: 26.4% / 40.6%
    Davis: 22.2% / 34.5%
    Smith: 28.6% / 36.4%
    Fields: 27% / 21.9%
    Douglas: 23.5% / 20%
    Novak: 47.9% / 47.8%
    Lin: 32.8% / 33.3%

    So every player but fields and douglas at minimum stayed the same but mostly got a TON better. Further, D’Antoni rightfully didn’t just give up on Fields and Douglas immediately. He gave them a chance to try to get their mojo back, and they were both terrible. Further, you had Bill Walker in the rotation before, a 32% 3pt shooter this year, who has been replaced by JR Smith, whose very nice numbers are above. Then you had Novak, who came in as filler and wasn’t discovered until midseason.

    I do think Woodson had one significant effect on the team, and that was that Anthony is playing his ass off while he wasn’t for much of the season. Maybe that has had some impact on the improved shooting, but a lot of the guys who are killing it now weren’t even on the team or in the rotation for much of MDA’s time here, and that wasn’t MDA’s fault so much as just the fact that you had returning players who had statistical collapses.

  42. ruruland

    Juany8: Vegas automatically keeps around 5% of all bets made. It’s how they always win and why the Odds add up to over 100%

    I’m going to be live betting the entire series ( I hope). It’s the most amazing thing ever.

    NBA is unique because of how dynamic the changes occur in real time. If you can start to pick up on certain things you can see who’s going to be hot, who’s in a slump, who’s about to make a run….

    So much fun, and the great thing about live betting is that if you’re good you can always make money–so many horrible lines simply because they don’t have the time to set them.

    The playoffs are so nerve-wracking for me, if I’m just sitting around and watching I start losing my mind. Plus, if things start going rotten I have a reason not to destroy the tube.

  43. ruruland

    Simmons:

    6. Carmelo Anthony

    Kenny Smith made the key point last night on TNT: Carmelo, LeBron and Wade came into the NBA together. Carmelo considers himself their equals. You aren’t beating Miami without one guy on the other team who says to himself, “Screw those guys, I’m as good as both of them” and carries himself accordingly. Dirk did it last June; Carmelo can absolutely do it in Round 1. Even better, he’s going to be defending LeBron (and vice versa) the entire time. When was the last time two superstars just went at it in a playoff series? What’s the ceiling here?

    Could there be some Larry-Dominique or Larry-Bernard potential here, when both guys just keep upping the stakes on each other? Could it head toward an MJ-Drexler or Hakeem-Robinson direction, with one guy grabbing the upper hand and inadvertently sending the other into a career tailspin? What about an MJ-Barkley direction, with one playing as well as he can possibly play and the other (in this case, it would have to be LeBron) saying, “Watch this,” and going a level higher? I’m prepared for anything. Just know that the surest wager of all time is Carmelo Anthony showing up for Round 1 this season. He’s ready. You can see it. Over everything else, it’s the best subplot of Round 1. Hands down.

    (And just wait until the MSG fans get involved …)

  44. Owen

    Well, Simmons also thinks that Afflalo is “(the best two-way 2-guard right now other than Wade and Kobe)” unless it’s perhaps Joe Johnson, who he thinks is a much worse defender than Afflalo.

  45. ruruland

    Owen:
    Well, Simmons also thinks that Afflalois “(the best two-way 2-guard right now other than Wade and Kobe)” unless it’s perhaps Joe Johnson, who he thinks is a much worse defender than Afflalo.

    It sure would be nice if you would get behind Melo and the Knicks for the playoffs.

  46. nicos

    Owen:
    Well, Simmons also thinks that Afflalois “(the best two-way 2-guard right now other than Wade and Kobe)” unless it’s perhaps Joe Johnson, who he thinks is a much worse defender than Afflalo.

    I’m guessing he’s leaving out Harden because of defense? The only other guy you might put in there is Paul George. It’s amazing how little talent there is at the two and three right now. At the three you’ve got 3 stars- LBJ, Durant, and Melo, two defense first guys in Deng and Iggy, and pretty much nobody else. And if Afflalo’s even in the discussion at the two that tells you how weak the position is. Seems like all the talent has migrated to the 1 and 4.

  47. Juany8

    nicos: I’m guessing he’s leaving out Harden because of defense?The only other guy you might put in there is Paul George.It’s amazing how little talent there is at the two and three right now.At the three you’ve got 3 stars- LBJ, Durant, and Melo, two defense first guys in Deng and Iggy, and pretty much nobody else.And if Afflalo’s even in the discussion at the two that tells you how weak the position is.Seems like all the talent has migrated to the 1 and 4.

    He said best 2 way starter, Ginobli is still better than all of those guys, including Johnson and Harden. Just from Simmons’ perspective, he’d probably add Ray Allen in front of Afflalo too, but Ray isn’t currently a starter. It’s a pretty weird comparison to make though.

  48. yellowboy90

    What’s really interesting is that in order to be a great 2 or 3 you have to be great on both ends but people rarely bring up the lack of D being played at the 4 positions by the so called top players. What great 4 plays on both ends now of days?

  49. Owen

    “It sure would be nice if you would get behind Melo and the Knicks for the playoffs.”

    Got to get behind my Nuggets too, now that we have a bet. Also, you don’t think much of Afflalo. I know you think he is really overrated defensively and a product of Melo on offense. So I thought it would be interesting for you to hear the SG’s take on him.

    Shooting guard is the shortstop of basketball. The lack of talent there is pretty amazing. With Wade and Manu having been injured and Kobe having the worst season of his career, this might have been the worst year for shooting guards ever in overall productivity….

    And I would say Millsap is the answer to your question about 4’s who are great on both sides of the ball. But its true, not many great defenders at PF….

  50. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Wade, Manu, and Harden are the best SG in the game. After that, there’s a significant drop off.

  51. ruruland

    Owen:
    “It sure would be nice if you would get behind Melo and the Knicks for the playoffs.”

    Got to get behind my Nuggets too, now that we have a bet. Also, you don’t think much of Afflalo. I know you think he is really overrated defensively and a product of Melo on offense. So I thought it would be interesting for you to hear the SG’s take on him.

    Shooting guard is the shortstop of basketball. The lack of talent there is pretty amazing. With Wade and Manu having been injured and Kobe having the worst season of his career, this might have been the worst year for shooting guards ever in overall productivity….

    And I would say Millsap is the answer to your question about 4?s who are great on both sides of the ball. But its true, not many great defenders at PF….

    He’s clearly not the product of Melo. We’ve seen him develop quite a bit this year.He plays well off penetration and in transition.

    He is really overrated defensively, and clearly not the third best shooting guard in the game. But he’s a good player. He shot the ball much better with Melo on the floor because he was a good shooter getting open shots.

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