## Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

# NYT: Most Important Game for the Knicks

In essence, that overtime win moved New York up one playoff spot. For the Knicks, upgrading to an even higher position will be a difficult task.

Sorting out the playoff picture in the N.B.A. isn’t always a simple proposition. Orlando is currently in the sixth slot, even though they have a better record than the fourth-seed Boston. The Celtics are in a higher spot by virtue of being a division winner–meaning if New York wants to move up in the seeding, their most attainable route is to pass the Celtics and take the Atlantic Division.

To determine the probability of a team winning any given game, a formula exists that factors the win percentage of both teams and the league’s home win percentage. Using this equation, I calculated the odds for each of the last 10 games for the Knicks and Celtics. Based on those probabilities, I ran 10,000 simulations of the remainder of the 2012 season for these two teams. The results were that New York won the division 10.8 percent of the time.

## 120 comments on “NYT: Most Important Game for the Knicks”

1. Kikuchiyo

It’s an interesting argument. I hope the Knicks beat the Celtics. But a different argument could be made that tonight is the “most important” game. If they win, they establish an edge on a team they might play in the first round. And, since the Bulls are young and fairly untested, I’d argue that psychology is a factor. (I would not make the same argument with the Celtics, who would just laugh at regular season losses.)

One might argue, too, that tomorrow is the “most important” game because, of course, they have to finish ahead of the Bucks or the Sixers.

But given the pool of variables surrounding these basically .500 teams, I’d say grab every win you can and just hold on.

2. Mike Kurylo Post author

@1

Obviously the Knicks need to win a lot of games to catch up to Boston, but that Boston one is significant because that’s the team they need to catch (duh). That the odds drop to nearly zero (2.7%) when they lose that game is pretty telling.

3. Mike Kurylo Post author

@1

I ran the simulation giving the Knicks a loss for tonight, and the odds only drops to 9%.

So yeah, that Celtic game is very important.

4. Mulligan

What about probability that Knicks make the playoffs, period? And how does is that impacted by a loss tomorrow night?

Seems to me you guys are talking about different issues (most important game for winning the division vs most important game for making the playoffs).

5. Caleb

Based on what we were saying yesterday, it seems about equally likely that the Knicks catch Boston, or catch Orlando. (3 GB Boston; 4 GB Orlando, but O-town playing worse and struggling with injuries). If Knicks have 10.8 percent chance for each, they have 20.5 percent chance for catching one of those teams.

The other huge game, obviously, is Milwaukee. If Knicks win that one, there’s almost zero chance the Bucks can catch us. If Milwaukee wins, it’ll be down to the wire, although the Knicks will have a game advantage and a slightly easier sked.

Of course, even if Knicks are mediocre and fall behind Bucks, Celtics AND Magic, they could make the playoffs as an 8-seed if Philly keeps slumping. We’re tied with Philly now, and own the tiebreaker.

6. JLam

Late in games when there was a time out in those close one possession games it was Woodson addressing the troops for last defense stand
I watched this when MDA was still head coach. He would be in the background and let Woodson draw out the defense play with less than 30 sec left

7. 2FOR18

JLam:
Late in games when there was a time out in those close one possession games it was Woodson addressing the troops for last defense stand
I watched this when MDA was still head coach. He would be in the background and let Woodson draw out the defense play with less than 30 sec left

Yeah, I noticed that also. I don’t think MDA was given a fair shake here. The Melo trade was clearly something he was against, and he kind of checked out when he saw the writing on the wall, but it was his job as a coach to get the most out of Melo and he failed at that.

8. jon abbey

the Milwaukee game is the most important one, they’re not catching Boston even if they beat them, and they’re certainly not catching Orlando.

9. ruruland

2FOR18: Yeah, I noticed that also. I don’t think MDA was given a fair shake here. The Melo trade was clearly something he was against, and he kind of checked out when he saw the writing on the wall, but it was his job as a coach to get the most out of Melo and he failed at that.

Wait, do you think it was a mistake by MDA to use Melo on offense like Erik Piatkowski?

Again, was Melo the only not giving the effort on defense, or does that go for pretty much everone else, too?

If he was the ONLY guy not giving the effort he is now, doesn’t that say a whole hell of a lot about Melo’s ability to impact a game defensively?

If he wasn’t the only one not giving full effort, then surely that says a whole lot more about MDA than his ability to manage just one player, don’t you think?

Does this still look like a honeymoon to anyone? Sure, there will be bad games. Sure, next year the team will have defensive lulls.

But they’ve discovered their identity — the kind that fits their personnel best. Players understand this.

No team MDA has ever coached has had a defensive identity and no team he coaches ever will.

Melo was man enough to admit he wasn’t playing with full effort. Maybe that’s an indication to some that he’s a complete idiot. Some people think Stan Van Gundy is candid, but they don’t call him stupid.

Maybe Melo was trying to make a point;maybe he was willing to make himself an even bigger target to prove it. Unless of course you think Melo is too stupid to understand how the media would treat his comments. Jokes on you if you believe that.

10. JK47

You know what’s kind of crazy?

Though this is supposed to be the worst season of Melo’s career, his WS/48 is the second best he’s ever had. The only season in which he’s had a higher score was 2005-2006. If he stays hot for the rest of the regular season he could easily have his career high this season.

11. 2FOR18

ruruland: Wait, do you think it was a mistake by MDA to use Melo on offense like Erik Piatkowski?

Again, was Melo the only not giving the effort on defense, or does that go for pretty much everone else, too?

If he was the ONLY guy not giving the effort he is now,doesn’t that say a whole hell of a lot about Melo’s ability to impact a game defensively?

If he wasn’t the only one not giving full effort, then surely that says a whole lot more about MDA than his ability to manage just one player, don’t you think?

Does this still look like a honeymoon to anyone? Sure, there will be bad games. Sure, next year the team will have defensive lulls.

But they’ve discovered their identity — the kind that fits their personnel best. Players understand this.

No team MDA has ever coached has had a defensive identity and no team he coaches ever will.

Melo was man enough to admit he wasn’t playing with full effort. Maybe that’s an indication to some that he’s a complete idiot. Some people think Stan Van Gundy is candid, but they don’t call him stupid.

Maybe Melo was trying to make a point;maybe he was willing to make himself an even bigger target to prove it. Unless of course you think Melo is too stupid to understand how the media would treat his comments. Jokes on you if you believe that.

LOL how is your Melo rant in any way relevant to my post? Seems like you’re becoming a caricature of yourself.

12. DS

jon abbey:
the Milwaukee game is the most important one, they’re not catching Boston even if they beat them, and they’re certainly not catching Orlando.

If the Knicks win again tonight and Miami beats Boston tonight. The Knicks will be two behind in Boston in the loss column with a chance to take the tie breaker in the Knicks/Celts game. I dare to dream.

13. Z

ruruland:
Does this still look like a honeymoon to anyone?…But they’ve discovered their identity — the kind that fits their personnel best. Players understand this.

It is funny how history seems to be repeating itself (at least so far). In 1999 the team was incorporating a bunch of new parts in an on-the-fly rebuild. They traded Starks and Oak for Spre and Camby, and it was a labored transition, to say the least. Sprewell had a broken ankle during the regular season, and Van Gundy benched Camby for a month because Camby asked to come out of a game “for a quick breather”.

The team lost 4 games in a row to fall out of the playoff picture with just 8 games left. Tension grew so bad that a shakeup was inevitable, and Van Gundy played the victim card and rallied the team around him.

Of course, the rest is well remembered Knick history– the team went 6-2 after the firing of Grunfeld, and snuck into the playoffs as the 8 seed, then went on a run not even the 1999 version of Ruruland could have dreamed of. And the next year they did come out with their new found identity and put together a 50 win season and a trip back to the ECF. So there is precedent to support what you say.

(But… That was the last time they’ve made it out of the 1st round, so that “identity” didn’t last long. (Had to bring some of Owen’s rain onto the parade :)

14. ruruland

Z: It is funny how history seems to be repeating itself (at least so far). In 1999 the team was incorporating a bunch of new parts in an on-the-fly rebuild. They traded Starks and Oak for Spre and Camby, and it was a labored transition, to say the least. Sprewell had a broken ankle during the regular season, and Van Gundy benched Camby for a month because Camby asked to come out of a game “for a quick breather”. The team lost 4 games in a row to fall out of the playoff picture with just 8 games left. Tension grew so bad that a shakeup was inevitable, and Van Gundy played the victim card and rallied the team around him. Of course, the rest is well remembered Knick history– the team went 6-2 after the firing of Grunfeld, and snuck into the playoffs as the 8 seed, then went on a run not even the 1999 version of Ruruland could have dreamed of. And the next year they did come out with their new found identity and put together a 50 win season and a trip back to the ECF. So there is precedent to support what you say.(But… That was the last time they’ve made it out of the 1st round, so that “identity” didn’t last long. (Had to bring some of Owen’s rain onto the parade :)

Did not know a lot of that. Thanks.

15. jon abbey

DS: If the Knicks win again tonight and Miami beats Boston tonight.The Knicks will be two behind in Boston in the loss column with a chance to take the tie breaker in the Knicks/Celts game.I dare to dream.

sure, dream all you want, but it’s likely we’d still lose the tiebreaker (division record) even with a win against BOS (tying the season series at 2). I think BOS is playing too well for us to catch them, maybe if we somehow go 9-1 or 10-0.

16. DS

jon abbey: sure, dream all you want, but it’s likely we’d still lose the tiebreaker (division record) even with a win against BOS (tying the season series at 2). I think BOS is playing too well for us to catch them, maybe if we somehow go 9-1 or 10-0.

Yeah, actually the Knicks are 4 games back in conf. games so they can’t just tie Boston. Thanks for spoiling my nice daydream.

17. 2FOR18

2FOR18: cgreene:

http://hoopshype.com/columns/rosen/stoudemire-and-lin-are-superfluous

I completely agree with the Amare section, but the Lin section is nuts.

The below quote is about as dumb as it gets:

However, it’s just as evident that New York’s point guard of the future could very well be Shumpert. This supremely talented rookie is a stopper on defense, can drive and finish, and is also a dangerous perimeter shooter. That said, his sometimes questionable decision-making and ill-advised shots are merely the sins of a stranger in paradise and will ultimately be corrected as he gains more experience.

At the same time, Toney Douglas is another youngster with a dynamic upside who’s also learning how to run an offense.

Where might that leave Lin? A third- or at best a second-string player. Indeed, the consensus among NBA scouts and perceptive hoop-o-philes is that Lin’s rightful place is backing up the trigger position.

18. ruruland

2FOR18: I completely agree with the Amare section, but the Lin section is nuts.

Agreed. Rosen is messing with you though. That’s what he does.

19. art vandelay

Z: It is funny how history seems to be repeating itself (at least so far). In 1999 the team was incorporating a bunch of new parts in an on-the-fly rebuild. They traded Starks and Oak for Spre and Camby, and it was a labored transition, to say the least. Sprewell had a broken ankle during the regular season, and Van Gundy benched Camby for a month because Camby asked to come out of a game “for a quick breather”.

The team lost 4 games in a row to fall out of the playoff picture with just 8 games left. Tension grew so bad that a shakeup was inevitable, and Van Gundy played the victim card and rallied the team around him.

Of course, the rest is well remembered Knick history– the team went 6-2 after the firing of Grunfeld, and snuck into the playoffs as the 8 seed, then went on a run not even the 1999 version of Ruruland could have dreamed of. And the next year they did come out with their new found identity and put together a 50 win season and a trip back to the ECF. So there is precedent to support what you say.

(But… That was the last time they’ve made it out of the 1st round, so that “identity” didn’t last long. (Had to bring some of Owen’s rain onto the parade :)

Yes, there are some definite parallels, but unfortunately there are juggernauts this season that simply didn’t exist in 99…Indiana and Miami were overachievers and not nearly as talented as Chicago and Miami this season….

I do agree, however, with the part that this team should be a 50-55 game winner next season barring more awful injuries to key components.

20. ruruland

jon abbey: sure, dream all you want, but it’s likely we’d still lose the tiebreaker (division record) even with a win against BOS (tying the season series at 2). I think BOS is playing too well for us to catch them, maybe if we somehow go 9-1 or 10-0.

8-2 gives you a chance. 9-1 should do it.

21. briand

2FOR18: The below quote is about as dumb as it gets:However, it’s just as evident that New York’s point guard of the future could very well be Shumpert. This supremely talented rookie is a stopper on defense, can drive and finish, and is also a dangerous perimeter shooter. That said, his sometimes questionable decision-making and ill-advised shots are merely the sins of a stranger in paradise and will ultimately be corrected as he gains more experience.At the same time, Toney Douglas is another youngster with a dynamic upside who’s also learning how to run an offense.Where might that leave Lin? A third- or at best a second-string player. Indeed, the consensus among NBA scouts and perceptive hoop-o-philes is that Lin’s rightful place is backing up the trigger position.

I mean, I love Shump, but have they even watched him try to play PG. Shump’s future is (hopefull) an improved J and a permanent spot as the 2 guard. And are they serious with Douglas? “Dynamic Upside.” Is this some sort of alternative universe?!?

22. gjknick

Kind of lost me at the “Toney Douglas is another youngster with a dynamic upside who’s also learning how to run an offense.” Just like I’m still learning how to throw that curveball that will get me to the starting rotation of the Yanks! PS. I’m 48 and give myself about equal chance of starting for the Yanks as I give Toney of becoming a real point guard.

23. ruruland

Remember, Atlanta is part of this too. They play Boston twice and Orlando. It’s likely that one of these 3 teams ends up with 28-29 losses (Under the assumption that the Knicks beat Atlanta and Boston). The only team that the Knicks won’t have the tiebreaker with is Boston, but they’re the team most likely to knock off Atlanta twice.

24. Mike Kurylo Post author

2FOR18: At the same time, Toney Douglas is another youngster with a dynamic upside who’s also learning how to run an offense.

I’m scared some confused soul might google “Toney Douglas dynamic upside” and arrive at my site looking for people espousing TD’s passing ability.

25. ruruland

The Hawks have 9 games left. Two against Boston, one against Orlando, New York, LA and Dallas — all battling for the playoffs.

They have a home and home against Toronto. 6 losses in those 9 games wouldn’t shock me a bit.

If the Knicks can manage 9 wins, Atlanta would only have to lose 5.

26. jon abbey

Shumpert is the starting SG going forward, although he will guard the PG a lot. Lin is still better off coming off the bench if they can find someone adequate to start and play 20-22 minutes, like a PG version of the role JR Smith’s been playing lately, although hopefully with a higher percentage of makes. :)

27. BigBlueAL

art vandelay: Yes, there are some definite parallels, but unfortunately there are juggernauts this season that simply didn’t exist in 99…Indiana and Miami were overachievers and not nearly as talented as Chicago and Miami this season….

I do agree, however, with the part that this team should be a 50-55 game winner next season barring more awful injuries to key components.

That Pacers team was very, very good. They won 58 games the season before and won 56 games the season after. They “only” went 33-17 during that lockout season (which is still a mid-50’s win pace) but swept their first 2 playoff series before playing the Knicks.

28. briand

More from the article: “Indeed, the consensus among NBA scouts and perceptive hoop-o-philes is that Lin’s rightful place is backing up the trigger position.”

Is that really the consensus? I thought that was kind of the consensus worst case scenario. I think most experts see him as currently a league average starter, with the potential for more.

29. art vandelay

BigBlueAL: That Pacers team was very, very good.They won 58 games the season before and won 56 games the season after.They “only” went 33-17 during that lockout season (which is still a mid-50?s win pace) but swept their first 2 playoff series before playing the Knicks.

The NBA as a whole was watered down that season….look at the 99 pacers’ roster, and compare it to Heat or Bulls’ roster from this season….not even close…..that pacers team played strong D I admit, and they performed well in the playoffs….but overall the east was pretty bad in 99….I mean the Knicks literally CRUSHED atlanta in the second round, and atlanta was what the 4 or 5 seed? The second option for the Pacers was an incredibly flaky Jalen Rose, and Smits if he could ever stay out of foul trouble. Sorry, but I think their record was inflated due to overall lesser competition compared to the NBA today.

30. gjknick

Not impossible, but not exactly likely. Finish strong, go 7-3, end up in the seventh spot anyway. Put some pressure on either the Heat or the Bulls in the first round. I would be OK with that and start getting ready for next year -see who we can keep and see if we can stay healthy. A full season of Lin, Shump, Melo, Amare, and TC with a bench of Jorts, Fields, Douglas, and maybe two of Smith, Novak, JJ. If they don’t have untimely injuries, if they don’t have some strange Dolan related karma, that could be a 3 seed and primed for a real run. This year is now about getting some confidence and momentum going into next year – unless something miraculous happens (sometimes it does) :)

31. BigBlueAL

art vandelay: The NBA as a whole was watered down that season….look at the 99 pacers’ roster, and compare it to Heat or Bulls’ roster from this season….not even close…..that pacers team played strong D I admit, and they performed well in the playoffs….but overall the east was pretty bad in 99….I mean the Knicks literally CRUSHED atlanta in the second round, and atlanta was what the 4 or 5 seed? The second option for the Pacers was an incredibly flaky Jalen Rose, and Smits if he could ever stay out of foul trouble. Sorry, but I think their record was inflated due to overall lesser competition compared to the NBA today.

They won 58 games the season before and took Michael Jordan’s Bulls to 7 games in the Conference Finals with the exact same roster they had in 1999. They were weaker in 2000 because of the stupid Antonio Davis for Jonathan Bender trade but still the 1999 and 2000 Pacers finished 1st in the NBA in offensive efficiency (they were actually not very good defensively).

32. 2FOR18

ruruland: Agreed. Rosen is messing with you though. That’s what he does.

Really? That’s weird. So the stuff about Lin/Shum/tddwtdd was tongue in cheek or something?

33. JC Knickfan

2FOR18: The below quote is about as dumb as it gets:

However, it’s just as evident that New York’s point guard of the future could very well be Shumpert. This supremely talented rookie is a stopper on defense, can drive and finish, and is also a dangerous perimeter shooter. That said, his sometimes questionable decision-making and ill-advised shots are merely the sins of a stranger in paradise and will ultimately be corrected as he gains more experience.

At the same time, Toney Douglas is another youngster with a dynamic upside who’s also learning how to run an offense.

This is TD 3 year in league and assist/40 (4-5) has stay about the same all 3 years. Knicks pick his option for another year, but court vision and ability to create shot for teammates will at best improve marginally next year. He can regain his form on offensive end, but given his size he can’t play 2-guard.

I’ve watch most games this year and Shump has played PG at times and his court vision and passing very poor for PG. If he going work on skill this summer it should be his shooting. If he improves that, he should be nice stalwart on Knicks for many years to come.

34. 2FOR18

Mike Kurylo: I’m scared some confused soul might google “Toney Douglas dynamic upside” and arrive at my site looking for people espousing TD’s passing ability.

lol that should be his new acronym: tddu

35. BigBlueAL

Its amazing to me that some people still are so hesitant to believe Lin is a good NBA player. He is not and very well may not become an All-Star type player but right now he certainly looks and profiles out to be a solid NBA starting PG. Thats good enough for me.

36. Frank

Great point by Frank O. in the last post re: the Bulls missing FTs at the end of the game. Were those “clutch” free throws? Does clutch exist? For those who say clutch doesn’t exist, and that players like Melo shouldn’t get extra credit for being “closers”, then you can’t argue that the Bulls choked. Because there’s no such thing as choking in crunch time if you don’t believe crunch time exists.

37. massive

BigBlueAL:
Its amazing to me that some people still are so hesitant to believe Lin is a good NBA player.He is not and very well may not become an All-Star type player but right now he certainly looks and profiles out to be a solid NBA starting PG.Thats good enough for me.

I think you’re setting the bar too low for Jeremy Lin. In his first real NBA action (940 minutes this season), he averaged 19.6 points/36 and 8.2 assists/36, with a WS/48 of .143. Over the entire 1,224 minutes he played in his career, those numbers are 17.3 points/36, 7.3 assists/36, and a WS/48 of .128. Lin’s number’s this year make him a notch or two below an All-Star, and I’m sure he’ll improve on these numbers next year, and we’ve yet to see him perform in the playoffs. I think he’ll be a top 7-10 point guard in the NBA in a season or two.

38. Frank

by the way, Owen said in the last thread that this team is finally starting to play like the 45-50 win team we thought they were. I’d disagree – since Woodson started coaching, we are 11-3. During that stretch, we have played one of the most difficult schedules in the league. Our Hollinger Power Ranking (FWIW) is up to #5 – and if that rating can be believed, the 5th best team in the league has historically been a 55-57 win team.

This team is very very good right now.

39. JC Knickfan

BigBlueAL:
Its amazing to me that some people still are so hesitant to believe Lin is a good NBA player.He is not and very well may not become an All-Star type player but right now he certainly looks and profiles out to be a solid NBA starting PG.Thats good enough for me.

He only play 26 games of non-garbage time in shorten lockout season. In those game posted 18/pg and 7.66/apg and 2nd best PER in 4qt but that’s only 32% of normal season. You really can’t sugar coat it, it’s very limited set games judge him by. If it’s an anomaly how he play, that sucks I’m because I thorough enjoy Linsanity. Plus Knicks really do need PG and backup PG for next year.

40. d-mar

Frank:
by the way, Owen said in the last thread that this team is finally starting to play like the 45-50 win team we thought they were.I’d disagree – since Woodson started coaching, we are 11-3. During that stretch, we have played one of the most difficult schedules in the league. Our Hollinger Power Ranking (FWIW) is up to #5 – and if that rating can be believed, the 5th best team in the league has historically been a 55-57 win team.

This team is very very good right now.

What I like most about this team since Woodson took over is we’ve had so few of those “they just weren’t ready to play” moments. I was getting sooo tired of hearing D’Antoni ‘s post game ” I don’t know what it was, we just were a step slow” or “Give them credit (the other team) they’re good”

Of the 3 losses post-D’Antoni, one was a wall to wall stinker (Toronto) one was a matter of the shots just not falling (Atlanta) and the most recent one involved 1 awful quarter (Indiana). Not too bad for 56 quarters of basketball.

41. gjknick

Plus Knicks really do need PG and backup PG for next year.

If you count on Lin for 32 to 34 minutes next year, do you bring back Baron. How he is performing and his health would led me to believe he wouldn’t get any big offers. Sign him cheap and if he doesn’t work out, say bye bye. Could be another off season gets him fully healthy and we get the benefits we hoped we would get this season. Back up plan would be Shump and Toney and sometimes stretching Lin’s minutes.

42. thenamestsam

Frank:
Were those “clutch” free throws? Does clutch exist?

I’ll add my .02 for whatever that’s worth. I think that the mental aspects of “being clutch” tend to be over analyzed and discussed in the NBA. All of these guys have faced immense competitive pressure and excelled under it in their lives in order to get to where they are. I don’t believe that Rose has been able to withstand the pressure all the way to NBA superstardom and then suddenly it becomes to much to bear and causes him to miss a ft. I think most of the time time what gets written about as variations in mental fortitude are the results of random variation and the 2nd factor I’ll address below.

The area that gets short shrift in discussions of this is that some people actually do have games that are better adapted for late game situations. Because basketball does change late in games. One, defenses get tighter, and two, manipulating the clock (either going fast or using the whole shot clock) becomes much more important. This places a premium on a specific skill set – ability to take and make difficult shots. Throughout much of the game a guy like Melo’s insistence on taking (and frequently making) difficult 20 footers is infuriating to me because there are better shots available. Down the stretch when defenses are tight and you frequently want to shoot either A.immediately or B. with 0 seconds left on the shot clock, the ability to make those shots becomes extremely valuable.

So I would say by my definition Melo is clutch, not necessarily because he has some inherent mental strength (I can’t really judge that), but because he has the perfect game for the way crunch-time basketball plays out. Those Bulls FT misses are much more likely to be random variance than any kind of choke in my mind.

43. massive

I hope we’d bring in a player like Ishmael Smith to be the back-up PG, or a veteran that used to be good, and wouldn’t have a problem being a back-up.

44. WeirdJohn

Nice article. I’d take a 1 in 10 chance to win the division any day. Especially with the up and down season NY has had.

45. 2FOR18

massive: I think you’re setting the bar too low for Jeremy Lin. In his first real NBA action (940 minutes this season), he averaged 19.6 points/36 and 8.2 assists/36, with a WS/48 of .143. Over the entire 1,224 minutes he played in his career, those numbers are 17.3 points/36, 7.3 assists/36, and a WS/48 of .128. Lin’s number’s this year make him a notch or two below an All-Star, and I’m sure he’ll improve on these numbers next year, and we’ve yet to see him perform in the playoffs. I think he’ll be a top 7-10 point guard in the NBA in a season or two.

Top 7 probably not, but top 10 is feasible.

Paul, D Williams, Rondo, Nash, Rose, T Parker, Westbrook, Irving, Curry, Rubio, Lawson

46. villainx

I say Lin is top 10-15, which if he keeps it up, is more than enough. If he’s around where Dragic and Session are, that’s amazing.

47. massive

I think he’ll be better than Lawson, and I expect Nash to retire soon. Parker might regress soon, too.

48. villainx

Or basically, Lin just has to defend well enough to neutralize a bit of the top 10 guards, stay even with the next 10, and exploit the teams with the bad point guards.

49. art vandelay

BigBlueAL:
Its amazing to me that some people still are so hesitant to believe Lin is a good NBA player.He is not and very well may not become an All-Star type player but right now he certainly looks and profiles out to be a solid NBA starting PG.Thats good enough for me.

That really is all this team needs…you should hear Stephen A. Smith talk about him (not that he knows a single thing about basketball as he purports)…he literally continues to call him a D-Leaguer and besides being a so-called flash in the pan makes him out to be no more valuable to the Knicks than maybe the Knicks City Dancers.

50. art vandelay

villainx:
I say Lin is top 10-15, which if he keeps it up, is more than enough. If he’s around where Dragic and Session are, that’s amazing.

If Lin is on par with Dragic and Sessions and assuming they keep the team together (maybe bring in a guy like Michael Redd to replace JR Smith, assuming he opts out, or Novak) and STAT is healthy and resembles even a borderline all-star type player (if never the same old STAT, even from 2010), then I think this team can seriously contend.

51. art vandelay

Frank:
Great point by Frank O. in the last post re: the Bulls missing FTs at the end of the game.Were those “clutch” free throws? Does clutch exist? For those who say clutch doesn’t exist, and that players like Melo shouldn’t get extra credit for being “closers”, then you can’t argue that the Bulls choked. Because there’s no such thing as choking in crunch time if you don’t believe crunch time exists.

Didn’t Rose miss 2 big free throws earlier this season in a Miami game that cost his team the game, then later against the Knicks, and I think he even missed a key free throw or two while in college on Memphis that cost his team perhaps the national championship, so I think this may now be starting to be a trend for him.

52. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

people forget that Lin has no fear. if he stays that way hell be amazing. first he doesn’t mind taking the big shot. he is a closer. he is smart. all i think he needs is to practice his shots and work on his left hand dribble in the off-season. to think Lin wont be an all star is crazy. he has tremendous upside.

53. jon abbey

Lin isn’t going to stay healthy unless he radically changes his game, and if he radically changes his game, the jury is out as to how effective he’ll be. we need someone to share the load at PG with him roughly evenly, and preferably to start over him, otherwise he will be hurt as often as not.

I was saying this before he got hurt this year, FWIW. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a NBA player whose style of play is as likely to lead to injury as Lin’s.

54. JK47

Lin sure looks a whole hell of a lot better than most of the PGs who have come into the league in the last 3-4 years.

In the last three drafts there have been four PGs I might rather have than Lin: Kyrie Irving, Ricky Rubio, Ty Lawson and Stephen Curry. And a couple of those are debatable.

PGs from the last three drafts who I would not trade Lin straight-up for: Jonny Flynn, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, Darren Collison, John Wall, Greivis Vasquez, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette, Reggie Jackson, Norris Cole, Isaiah Thomas.

55. villainx

It’s great that Lin could be an all star or play all star caliber game, but the Knicks don’t need him to be that. They need him to just be smart.

56. Spree8nyk8

If Lin were black and drafted first round out of Kentucky people would look at his numbers and project him to be a top tier pg. But he’s not so obviously he can’t be better than a reserve, or third string (really? have you watched him play?) player.

57. johnlocke

Mike,

When do you get the Woodson bald head / goatee as your avatar? Pringles is yesterday’s news!

58. jon abbey

Spree8nyk8:
If Lin were black and drafted first round out of Kentucky people would look at his numbers and project him to be a top tier pg.But he’s not so obviously he can’t be better than a reserve, or third string (really?have you watched him play?) player.

ugh, please stop with this reverse racist crap (“someone doesn’t like Lin, hence they must be racist”).

59. JC Knickfan

jon abbey:
Lin isn’t going to stay healthy unless he radically changes his game, and if he radically changes his game, the jury is out as to how effective he’ll be. we need someone to share the load at PG with him roughly evenly, and preferably to start over him, otherwise he will be hurt as often as not.

I was saying this before he got hurt this year, FWIW. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a NBA player whose style of play is as likely to lead to injury as Lin’s.

7 games under Woodson, Lin shots and usage already way down. With healthy Melo and Amare he not going to have this kind high usage beside maybe few games here and there for possible next 3 years.
He played in every game in his 4 year college. He stated never had surgery until this recent knee injury which already occurred before start season. This not a Brandon Roy scenerio here.
Yes , he possible going get a face fracture or broken nose for some hard drives. But my guess is if Lin continue to started on Knicks, he will be voted all-star game every year. He will start getting all-star treatment and the ticky-tack fouls calls.

60. Spree8nyk8

jon abbey: ugh, please stop with this reverse racist crap (“someone doesn’t like Lin, hence they must be racist”).

Nah Abbey, I’m not calling people racist. I’m not saying it’s because he’s asian. I’m saying he has a unique combination of detractions that lead people to feel that he can’t be as good as his numbers. He’s the wrong race, went to the wrong school, didn’t get drafted, didn’t play much for his first team, got cut twice. And now he’s putting up numbers and people think it’s fake. My point is that if those above circumstances didn’t exist and people were looking at his numbers as they are he would be projected much better. Steve Nash is white and he’s pretty good, so it’s not a simple race thing. I just think that people tend to look for reasons to deflate his numbers rather than the other case where people generally look at someones early numbers and assume he might get even better.

61. Spree8nyk8

I know my comments come off like that though, but it’s not really how I mean it. I’d never call anyone racist here. It’s much more than that with lin.

62. jon abbey

it’s not exactly the usage that’s my worry, although that’s part of it. it’s the way he controls his body, it’s both an effective way to draw fouls/get off shots and an exceedingly dangerous way to play in the NBA. it’s not the face fracture/broken noses that concerns me as much as it is more knee/ankle issues (unrelated to the current one).

63. jon abbey

Spree8nyk8: Nah Abbey, I’m not calling people racist.I’m not saying it’s because he’s asian.I’m saying he has a unique combination of detractions that lead people to feel that he can’t be as good as his numbers.He’s the wrong race, went to the wrong school, didn’t get drafted, didn’t play much for his first team, got cut twice.And now he’s putting up numbers and people think it’s fake.My point is that if those above circumstances didn’t exist and people were looking at his numbers as they are he would be projected much better.Steve Nash is white and he’s pretty good, so it’s not a simple race thing.I just think that people tend to look for reasons to deflate his numbers rather than the other case where people generally look at someones early numbers and assume he might get even better.

ok, that’s fair. I’m certainly very curious to see what he can do with a training camp under his belt, with the core of the team staying together, and with the league being able to prepare for his unusual game a lot better.

64. JLam

Some guys like S Smith says things just to be controversial. I don’t value his opinion very much.
Lin’s PER is extremely good in the 4th quarter He’s shown clutch plays and above average court vision
I don’t understand this “going to the left” stuff. Sure he favors the P&R off the right wing and more effective on that side But I seen him dribble and drive off his left hand to the rim and finish Crossover with left hand and score with both left and right hand about the same times

65. TelegraphedPass

No, Lin definitely has an issue going left. He’s shown incredible growth as a player and I think he can definitely work that up, but it’s pretty clear. I think he can finish well enough with either hand. He’s made some spectacular plays with his left at the rim. But he doesn’t drive left if he can avoid it. He’s uncomfortable in that situation. His shooting charts support that:

66. Will the Thrill

Look, unless we get someone who is close to as good at basketball as him (top 20 pg or better), this simply isn’t going to happen. You don’t bench one of your best players on a consistent basis to prevent him from injury unless he is injured. To think that Lin won’t get time while healthy because they want to protect him from his style of play is silly to me, especially when we have freakin’ BD and TD on the bench. Even if we did have Dragic or Sessions, I would still want Lin getting a lot more minutes because he is simply better. Wade plays a injury-prone style and his team doesn’t sacrifice his minutes or bring him off the bench because of this, and he has had wayyyy more injuries than Lin.

jon abbey: we need someone to share the load at PG with him roughly evenly, and preferably to start over him, otherwise he will be hurt as often as not.

67. JLam

Part of Lin’s style is the drive to the rim He’s going to get hurt with all the contact.
It funny I would have thought pass first PG like Rubio would less injury prone as he likes to dish it rather than to jam it to the rim.

68. massive

The Heat are really starting to piss me off. Does anybody else notice how ugly their offense is? It’s literally “stand around and watch LeBron” out there. They’re lucky that their athleticism allows them to reek so much havoc on defense and in transition.

69. ABG

Hello all–first post here. Seems like the time to offer a long treatise on Jeremy Lin!

It seems to me that the coverage on Lin tilts to one of two conclusions: either the relatively small sample size we saw during the seven game Linsanity run is conclusive and Lin is an All-Pro who was simply missed OR he is a borderline rotation player but no more.

Now, I understand that the most likely scenario doesn’t sell papers or draw eyeballs: Jeremy Lin will likely be a solid but not spectacular starting point guard. He’ll also be highly scrutinized and cost-effective for the next few years.

And I submit: Isn’t that enough?

Isn’t it enough to have a guy who can distribute the ball to Amare and Carmelo where and when they want it?

Isn’t it enough to have a guy who can knock down a reasonable percentage of spot up jumpers?

Isn’t it enough to have a guy who, while not a fantastic defensive player, gets in the passing lanes and has a knack for stealing the ball on double teams?

Isn’t it enough to have a guy who can fairly consistently break down the defense, see the court, and get the ball inside for a few easy buckets a half?

Does he have to be Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook or Rajon Rondo?

Personally, I’d sign for 14 ppg, 8 apg, 3-4 rpg, his 45/80/35ish percentages and smart decision making with some defense. And at a fraction of the cap room the aforementioned superstars are taking. And, as an added bonus, he makes the Bill Simmons crowd happy by being fun to watch, a good chemistry guy and generates excitement.

(1552 characters without mentioning his race–a new record)

70. JLam

Sixers might have an easier schedule but the rest of their games are on the road except for 2 or 3

71. TelegraphedPass

Random, but I just took a look at some of Jerome Jordan’s stats. I would love to see more of the kid out there. It’s an exercise in small sample size theater, of course, but Jerome Jordan has posted a 16.2% total rebound rate (just behind the Tyson) and a team-leading 4.9 block percentage in 81 total minutes. This kid fouls way too much for his time on the court, but those are really solid rotation numbers. I wish there were a way to see him get more burn out there, especially when spelling Chandler.

72. ruruland

massive:
The Heat are really starting to piss me off. Does anybody else notice how ugly their offense is? It’s literally “stand around and watch LeBron” out there. They’re lucky that their athleticism allows them to reek so much havoc on defense and in transition.

Some of us have been talking about that for months.

73. TelegraphedPass

@ABG

There are few here who disagree with your statement. I’d wager most of the posters here are wary of being too optimistic about Lin for fear of disappointment.

And welcome.

74. massive

ruruland: Some of us have been talking about that for months.

Well I’m glad to know I’m not going crazy. Just watching their offense makes me think Spoelstra’s days as coach are numbered. I don’t know how a team can win a championship with such a basic offense.

75. ruruland

ABG:
Hello all–first post here. Seems like the time to offer a long treatise on Jeremy Lin!

It seems to me that the coverage on Lin tilts to one of two conclusions: either the relatively small sample size we saw during the seven game Linsanity run is conclusive and Lin is an All-Pro who was simply missed OR he is a borderline rotation player but no more.

Now, I understand that the most likely scenario doesn’t sell papers or draw eyeballs: Jeremy Lin will likely be a solid but not spectacular starting point guard.He’ll also be highly scrutinized and cost-effective for the next few years.

And I submit: Isn’t that enough?

Isn’t it enough to have a guy who can distribute the ball to Amare and Carmelo where and when they want i

Nice post. That’s what I envision him being. He has the clutch/winning gene. He bounces back and learns quickly. He handles pressure extremely well.

I think he’s full of himself, too, which is good and bad. I wouldn’t be fooled by his soft-spoken niceties for the media. I think he’s a killer.

But he needs to learn how to run a team/orchestrate an offense.
That’s significantly more important that his per 36 numbers — it doesn’t have to mean assists

This team can win a championship, barring significant roster attrition or injury, if he learns that his job is to get everyone else around him going and score when needed. Sure, he’ll be most efficient that way (see Paul and Nash), but it’s what the good/great point guards do.

We haven’t seen that yet. Someone needs to teach him that. Chauncey would have been the perfect guy. It took him half a decade to figure it out, and he learned from a bunch of veteran guys.

Maybe it’s a coach. But it’s the one thing that will determine exactly how far this team can go.

76. massive

TelegraphedPass:
@ruru and massive,

To be fair, they are playing the best defensive team in the league. Anyone’s offense is likely to be disrupted by that squad. There have been times that Miami’s Flying Death Machine offense has looked superhuman as well this season.

I trust we’ve all seen the Truehoop take on Boston’s revitalized defense: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/40441/avery-bradley-matters-now

Even when they aren’t playing the Celtics, their offense looks the same. It’s just LeBron James is good enough to beat most NBA defenses. But consider that the Heat have let the Boston Celtics, 29th ORtg in the NBA, score 65 points in the 1st half. Their only Offensive 4 Factor stat above league average is eFG% at 11th in the league, and they’ve managed to dominate the Heat’s vaunted defense so far. The 2nd half of this game should be interesting.

77. Frank

Not to keep rehashing the Bulls 4 consecutive FT misses in the 4th quarter and the whole “crunch time is different” conversation, but did anyone actually consider how unbelievably rare it SHOULD be to have 2 80% FT shooters miss 4 consecutive FTs? The chance of each miss is 0.2, so missing 4 in a row is 0.2 to the 4th power – which equals 16 times in 10 THOUSAND groups of 4 FTs.

That stretches the bounds of statistical probability. Or we can just say that maybe these guys aren’t 80% FT shooters at the end of the 4th quarter in a tight game surrounded by crazy screaming fans ie. in crunch time.

78. ruruland

TelegraphedPass:
@ruru and massive,

To be fair, they are playing the best defensive team in the league. Anyone’s offense is likely to be disrupted by that squad. There have been times that Miami’s Flying Death Machine offense has looked superhuman as well this season.

I trust we’ve all seen the Truehoop take on Boston’s revitalized defense: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/40441/avery-bradley-matters-now

Bradley could quite possibly extend the C’s window and force them to re-sign Allen and KG. in the next couple of years the East could be as good of a conference as the NBA has seen in 20-30 years. Depending on what happens with NJ/Orlando.. League just keeps getting better.

Miami’s half-court offense leaves a lot to be desired at times. Bosh really should be a much bigger focal point.

They might be the best transition team in history though.

79. ruruland

massive: Even when they aren’t playing the Celtics, their offense looks the same. It’s just LeBron James is good enough to beat most NBA defenses. But consider that the Heat have let the Boston Celtics, 29th ORtg in the NBA, score 65 points in the 1st half. Their only Offensive 4 Factor stat above league average is eFG% at 11th in the league, and they’ve managed to dominate the Heat’s vaunted defense so far. The 2nd half of this game should be interesting.

good post.

80. TelegraphedPass

Yeah @89 I’ve seen the debate a couple of times whether Bron+Wade or Jordan+Pippen was a more devastating transition team. I’ve got to think it really might be Miami’s duo.

LeBron’s PPP and FG% in transition this year: 1.41 and 75%. WHAT IN THE WHAT?????

81. ruruland

TelegraphedPass:
Yeah @89 I’ve seen the debate a couple of times whether Bron+Wade or Jordan+Pippen was a more devastating transition team. I’ve got to think it really might be Miami’s duo.

LeBron’s PPP and FG% in transition this year: 1.41 and 75%. WHAT IN THE WHAT?????

wow

82. JLam

This is good preparation for the Knicks. In case of future playoff game. See how well we can play against Bulls with and without Rose.

83. ruruland

This Celtics/Miami game has been one of the best of the year. C’s are capable of taking any team.

84. art vandelay

ruruland:
This Celtics/Miami game has been one of the best of the year. C’s are capable of taking any team.

Yes, this looks like Celtics redux 2010…they look like a team on a mission and possessed…defensively they are best in the league still in my opinion when they want to turn it on….and if they can get their offensive humming and guys like stiemsmah, rondo and bradley knocking down open shots, they will an incredibly difficult out in playoffs.

85. 2FOR18

TelegraphedPass:
Random, but I just took a look at some of Jerome Jordan’s stats. I would love to see more of the kid out there. It’s an exercise in small sample size theater, of course, but Jerome Jordan has posted a 16.2% total rebound rate (just behind the Tyson) and a team-leading 4.9 block percentage in 81 total minutes. This kid fouls way too much for his time on the court, but those are really solid rotation numbers. I wish there were a way to see him get more burn out there, especially when spelling Chandler.

He was sent to the D league today. Does anyone know if they added anyone to replace him?

86. ABG

The Celtics are making the 7th seed look far more appealing. If you accept the premise that there’s a relatively equal (read: miniscule) chance of upsetting Chicago or Miami, you’d rather set it up to play the Indy/Orlando winner instead of Boston in round 2.

87. daJudge

ABG–nice post. I agree in most part. I am highly satisfied with Lin, particularly since he is our only One not named Baron. I agree with Jon insofar as he clearly places himself in harms way, like JJ and please contrast Stat. That’s part of why I love those guys. Let’s assume for arguments sake that Lin can stay healthy. I’m thrilled with him and I think he has a very high ceiling. It’s kind of like Shump. Shump plays balls out, has some flaws, but is very young, talented and willing. You can’t teach balls. Lin has the ability/potential to become a very talented passing bonafide point guard–he has vision, brains and even draws defenders. You can’t teach brains and balls. Shump has the ability/potential to become a bonafide talented 2, he can shoot, drive and his form is good and will improve. You know what, he also has a shooter’s mentality. I’m not even mentioning his D. We need decent back ups for both players and we’re set for at least a few years. I’m sorry if this post is rambling, but my grand kids are driving me absolutely nuts right now.

88. massive

The further away we get from Free Agency 2010, the more ludicrous it looks. Chris Bosh is making the same amount of money as LeBron James. Not only does LeBron make you look better on court, but he’ll get you overpaid just because you’re in the same free agency class as him.

89. d-mar

I’m sorry, Boston’s bench is just putrid. If Doc has to ride his starters the rest of the season to get the division title, how much are they going to have left for the playoffs?

90. ABG

d-mar:
I’m sorry, Boston’s bench is just putrid. If Doc has to ride his starters the rest of the season to get the division title, how much are they going to have left for the playoffs?

You know, this quote just made me realize the current incarnations of the Knicks and C’s make them a terrible matchup for us. The biggest problem Boston has is being unable to play their best five at the same time (Rondo/Bradley/Allen/Pierce/Garnett). But against us, they can do it with no trouble.

91. massive

The Heat really do piss me off. I’d bet any amount of money that they come out with a vengeance against us, but they decide to lay an egg TWICE against the Celtics.

92. 2FOR18

d-mar:
I’m sorry, Boston’s bench is just putrid. If Doc has to ride his starters the rest of the season to get the division title, how much are they going to have left for the playoffs?

They have Allen coming off the bench now, so that at least gives them a sick weapon. They have looked like the best team in the East for a few weeks now.

93. Z

ABG:
The Celtics are making the 7th seed look far more appealing.If you accept the premise that there’s a relatively equal (read: miniscule) chance of upsetting Chicago or Miami, you’d rather set it up to play the Indy/Orlando winner instead of Boston in round 2.

Beggars can’t be choosers :)

(and even if playoff jockeying was possible, there’s really no guarantee that the Celtics don’t end up as the #3 seed)

94. art vandelay

massive:
The Heat really do piss me off. I’d bet any amount of money that they come out with a vengeance against us, but they decide to lay an egg TWICE against the Celtics.

Maybe Lin being out will be a good thing against the Heat!

95. massive

There are so many better ways to spend \$110 million than Chris Bosh. Kevin Garnett is 10 for 13 for 22 points in 27 minutes.

96. massive

Z:
What time does this frick’n game start tonight? Did Chicago up and move to the Rockies?

9:45

97. 2FOR18

massive:
There are so many better ways to spend \$110 million than Chris Bosh. Kevin Garnett is 10 for 13 for 22 points in 27 minutes.

That’s what happens when players play GM. Imagine if they had T. Chandler instead of Bosh?

98. jon abbey

so, as I said just after it was posted, the premise for Mike’s piece became obsolete only a few hours later.

the most important three games of the season were the last Boston game (the one where D’Antoni should have fouled Pierce at the end of regulation up by 3), the prior Milwaukee game and tomorrow night against Milwaukee. the last Boston game looks like it won’t matter more than any other game down the stretch.