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Saturday, October 25, 2014

NYT: Shumpert’s Return Boosts Knicks’ Defense, Depth

Which 80s/90s Knick is Shumpert most similar to?:

Shumpert, whose delayed season debut comes after having major knee surgery last may, can give the Knicks two things they currently lack: a defensive boost and youthful exuberance. Shumpert is the youngest Knick by nearly 5 years. Four players on the current New York roster made their N.B.A. debut before Shumpert celebrated his seventh birthday. With Raymond Felton out with a broken finger, Jason Kidd has assumed the bulk of the point guard duties. Kidd, who will turn 40 before the regular season ends, is fourth on the team in total minutes played. Shumpert will provide much needed depth, which would result in more rest time for Kidd.

54 comments on “NYT: Shumpert’s Return Boosts Knicks’ Defense, Depth

  1. BigBlueAL

    Gerald Wilkins was a decent player for many years with the Knicks but I certainly hope Shump becomes a better player than him. During his last season with the Knicks in the playoffs (1992) I couldnt wait for him to sit and for Starks to enter the game lol.

  2. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Wilkins was a scorer who was a sieve on defense. Shumpert is a defensive wiz who isn’t really a scorer. Thought it was interesting that they were that similar, although GW had a higher volume. For Shumpert volume doesn’t matter. He just needs not be one of the least efficient scoring rotation players in the league.

  3. BigBlueAL

    Mike Kurylo:
    Wilkins was a scorer who was a sieve on defense. Shumpert is a defensive wiz who isn’t really a scorer. Thought it was interesting that they were that similar, although GW had a higher volume. For Shumpert volume doesn’t matter. He just needs not be one of the least efficient scoring rotation players in the league.

    Best part was the Cavs signed Wilkins after the 1992 season and when they played the Bulls during the playoffs in 1993 the TNT announcers during Game 1 were playing it up like Wilkins was signed specifically cause he could cover Jordan and give him problems since Jordan struggled vs the Knicks the previous year in the playoffs. They interviewed Jordan after the game and he talked about how Wilkins is a great defender and how he was brought to Cleveland specifically to cover him (I recently saw this on YouTube so thats how I remember this lol). Jordan scored 43 pts that game and famously hit the game-winner over Wilkins in Game 4 to finish the sweep.

    One thing they both definitely have in common is great athleticism. Wilkins wasnt quite his brother but he could run the floor and throw down some nasty dunks.

  4. bob cook

    I’ve had surprising confusion in entering a gravatar. This post is just to see if it shows up.

  5. flossy

    A commenter on the Times site asked a question which prompted me to look this up:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=pippesc01&y1=1988&p2=shumpim01&y2=2012

    Not an exact match, but Shump’s rookie season is very similar to Pippen’s in terms of minutes played, TS%, usage, passing states, general scoring volume and their PER and WS/48 numbers.

    If you want to be WILDLY optimistic about Shump’s future, a Pippen-like trajectory is about the best you could as for. Hell he’s about 6’8″ with the hi-top fade now too…

  6. johnlocke

    PErsonality wise Shump reminds me of a cross btw Chris Childs and Starks. On defense he’s probably closest to Clyde?

  7. flossy

    ruruland:
    Haha. Pippen had a 7-3 wingspan, about six inches longer than Shump.

    I was just kidding about the height thing, obviously Shumpert is smaller all-around and is decidedly a guard and not a forward. The comparison isn’t perfect but it’s an example of a great athlete/defender going from a below-average scorer as a role player to an elite all-around player. I’m certainly not suggesting Shump is headed to the HOF or anything but there is precedent for that kind of improvement.

  8. ruruland

    flossy: I was just kidding about the height thing, obviously Shumpert is smaller all-around and is decidedly a guard and not a forward.The comparison isn’t perfect but it’s an example of a great athlete/defender going from a below-average scorer as a role player to an elite all-around player.I’m certainly not suggesting Shump is headed to the HOF or anything but there is precedent for that kind of improvement.

    His measurables and college numbers are really similar to Westbrook.

  9. jon abbey

    flossy: I was just kidding about the height thing, obviously Shumpert is smaller all-around and is decidedly a guard and not a forward.

    it looks like he might be the starting SF once Felton is back so Melo can stay at PF and Kidd can stay in the starting lineup, that was what Berman said in the Post today.

  10. lavor postell

    jon abbey: it looks like he might be the starting SF once Felton is back so Melo can stay at PF and Kidd can stay in the starting lineup, that was what Berman said in the Post today.

    I like the potential of that lineup a lot.

  11. flossy

    jon abbey: it looks like he might be the starting SF once Felton is back so Melo can stay at PF and Kidd can stay in the starting lineup, that was what Berman said in the Post today.

    Shump can guard most smaller 3s, though frankly I’d rather see a more traditional Felton/Shumpert/Melo/Amar’e/Chandler starting five once Shump and Stat are back up to speed. Shump’s value is in locking down the other team’s best perimeter player, not guarding small forwards.

    I think Kidd and Prigioni should have their minutes limited down the stretch with an eye to the playoffs, and JR Smith is still a lot of firepower to bring off the bench. With Kidd, JR, Novak and Copeland you’ve got a ton of shooting to bring off the bench that can be used to mix and match for smaller line-ups.

    Playing Amar’e and Chandler together to start the game might make for some awkwardness on offense (though I stil believe it’s nothing that can’t be worked out with some practice and coaching, and it’s nothing compared to the offensive shitshow of Camby and Chandler), and it helps hide Amar’e’s shortcomings on defense. I hate the Copeland/Novak/Amar’e second unit frontcourts that just hemorrhage points in the paint.

  12. ruruland

    flossy: Shump can guard most smaller 3s, though frankly I’d rather see a more traditional Felton/Shumpert/Melo/Amar’e/Chandler starting five once Shump and Stat are back up to speed.Shump’s value is in locking down the other team’s best perimeter player, not guarding small forwards.

    I think Kidd and Prigioni should have their minutes limited down the stretch with an eye to the playoffs, and JR Smith is still a lot of firepower to bring off the bench.With Kidd, JR, Novak and Copeland you’ve got a ton of shooting to bring off the bench that can be used to mix and match for smaller line-ups.

    Playing Amar’e and Chandler together to start the game might make for some awkwardness on offense (though I stil believe it’s nothing that can’t be worked out with some practice and coaching, and it’s nothing compared to the offensive shitshow of Camby and Chandler), and it helps hide Amar’e’s shortcomings on defense.I hate the Copeland/Novak/Amar’e second unit frontcourts that just hemorrhage points in the paint.

    He started on Prince. I think he can be just as effective against small forwards as he is on point guards.

  13. flossy

    ruruland: He started on Prince. I think he can be just as effective against small forwards as he is on point guards.

    Prince is not much of a scorer, though as I said I do believe Shump can capably guard most SFs. But Melo can do good a job guarding the typical 3 when he tries, whereas there is nobody in our backcourt who can even approach Shumpert’s ability to keep fast guards out of the paint. Shumpert in the backcourt improves the perimeter defense and the interior defense by virtue of not forcing Chandler out of position all the time. Shumpert guarding 3s just doesn’t add as much value IMO. It’s just the result of playing small for the sake of playing small.

  14. jon abbey

    I think we all want Chandler/Melo/Shumpert/Felton starting (unless there are still some Felton haters out there), it’s who joins them that is the question. I think it might be Brewer if he was playing anything like he should be, but as it is, maybe Kidd is the best choice.

    I was a little distracted this week putting on concerts on Tues/Wed (the Tues one was reviewed in the Times yesterday, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/arts/music/keith-rowe-with-graham-lambkin-and-michael-pisaro-at-temp.html) and couldn’t focus on the Thurs game quite as much as I’d have liked to, but it seemed to me as if Shumpert’s defensive energy actually energized Chandler behind him for stretches, really nice to see.

  15. KnickfaninNJ

    The nice thing is That with any of the lineups mentioned above we have a great second unit. If Felton, Shump, Melo, Chandler and Kidd start for example, then you ha Amare and JR as the main scorers on the second with Prigione running the point and Nivak and Sheed or Copeland spreading the floor. I think that’s hard for another team to defend.

  16. ruruland

    KnickfaninNJ:
    The nice thing is That with any of the lineups mentioned above we have a great second unit.If Felton, Shump, Melo, Chandler and Kidd start for example, then you ha Amare and JR as the main scorers on the second with Prigione running the point and Nivak and Sheed or Copeland spreading the floor.I think that’s hard for another team to defend.

    Yeah, we’ve only begun to see how good this team will be.

    Camby, Felton and Shump are as important as Deng, Robinson, Gibson are to Chicago.

    I’d say all three of those guys are among the 8 best/most important players on the team.

  17. daJudge

    jon abbey, I’ll be checking out that music, of which I am completely unfamiliar. I play my guitar two hours a night and pen traditional ‘outlaw’ country songs. “Some would say they’re trite, but that’s allright, I think they’re OK”. Once I retire at 70 (14 years hence), that’s what I plan to do as a lifestyle. Always interested in new music to help my challenged ear and starved palate. Thanks for the information on what seems to be really neat stuff. Keep it up the good work and congrats.

  18. cgreene

    I much prefer to see Shumpert guarding guards. I’d take Kidd out and give Copeland (or maybe Brewer) the start at the 3. I’d have a 2nd unit of Kidd, Jr, Amare and hopefully Camby. Sign me up.

  19. ruruland

    cgreene:
    I much prefer to see Shumpert guarding guards.I’d take Kidd out and give Copeland (or maybe Brewer) the start at the 3.I’d have a 2nd unit of Kidd, Jr, Amare and hopefully Camby.Sign me up.

    I personally think Camby should start because those first 6 minutes often establish how aggressive an opponent is going to be in the paint.

    Sit down and watch the way offenses play like against good and bad interiors.

    If you establish that paint scoring and offensive rebounding attempts are rendered futile because of size/length/boxing-out, opponents will often stop attempting paint scores and offensive rebounds so to not waste energy, consciously or subconsciously, basic reward and reinforcement stuff.

    This was apparent in the Spurs game. I would slowly ratchet down my big rotation by going from Camby/Chandler to Ch andler/Amar’e to Amar’e/Melo or Copeland back to Camby or Chandler.

    Honestly, Chandler/Camby/Melo/Shumpert/Felton is how I’d start halves.

    Let the offense come off the bench when the game has flow.

  20. flossy

    I honestly think it’s absurd that Chris Copeland would ever start over Amar’e Stoudemire once the latter is fully healthy and back up to speed. Amar’e may not be a top 15-20 player anymore, but Chris Copeland is pretty much an NBA non-entity with no track record of sustained success or any significant experience befitting a team that wants to be a contender.

  21. maxwell_3g

    woodson’s #1 job is to make sure melo playas much as possible at the 4 position and that chandler and amare are staggered as much as possible. towards that end, i would go:
    first team- felton, shump, copeland, melo, tyson
    2nd team- prigs, kidd, smith, amare, camby/sheed

    i would consider kidd starting and shump off the bench if everyone played better that way (plus,the thought of shump and JR running around like maniacs with the 2nd unit is enticing). of course, novak gets to play with the second unit when the game dictates moving kidd to the 1 and JR to the 2. Brewer does not grt to play unless we no longer need to score to win

  22. ruruland

    maxwell_3g:
    woodson’s #1 job is to make sure melo playas much as possible at the 4 position and that chandler and amare are staggered as much as possible.towards that end, i would go:
    first team-felton, shump, copeland, melo, tyson
    2nd team-prigs, kidd, smith, amare, camby/sheed

    i would consider kidd starting and shump off the bench if everyone played better that way (plus,the thought of shump and JR running around like maniacs with the 2nd unit is enticing).of course, novak gets to play with the second unit when the game dictates moving kidd to the 1 and JR to the 2.Brewer does not grt to play unless we no longer need to score to win

    Why does Woodson need to make sure Melo plays at the 4????????

  23. cgreene

    ruruland: I personally think Camby should start because those first 6 minutes often establish how aggressive an opponent is going to be in the paint.

    Sit down and watch the way offenses play like against good and bad interiors.

    If you establish that paint scoring and offensive rebounding attempts are rendered futile because of size/length/boxing-out, opponents will often stop attempting paint scores and offensive rebounds so to not waste energy, consciously or subconsciously, basic reward and reinforcement stuff.

    This was apparent in the Spurs game.I would slowly ratchet down my big rotation by going from Camby/Chandler to Ch andler/Amar’e to Amar’e/Melo or Copeland back to Camby or Chandler.

    Honestly, Chandler/Camby/Melo/Shumpert/Felton is how I’d start halves.

    Let the offense come off the bench when the game has flow.

    If Woodson doesn’t have Shumpert guarding a player that is doing a lot of the other team’s ball handling it would be a terrible misuse of him as a defensive player. Shump is a ball hawk. Sure he can guard a bigger player in the post because he plays aggressively but that’s not at all where he is most disruptive. What he and guys like Bradley do is disrupt flow by not letting teams get into their offense by bothering the ball handler. That has to be Shump’s role.

  24. ruruland

    cgreene: If Woodson doesn’t have Shumpert guarding a player that is doing a lot of the other team’s ball handling it would be a terrible misuse of him as a defensive player. Shump is a ball hawk. Sure he can guard a bigger player in the post because he plays aggressively but that’s not at all where he is most disruptive. What he and guys like Bradley do is disrupt flow by not letting teams get into their offense by bothering the ball handler. That has to be Shump’s role.

    Of course, he’ll always guard the opponents best wing/guard.

    Most of the time that’s going to be a pg or sg where he’ll heat up the ball-handler and force the offense out of their timing and spots.

    Sometimes it means he’ll play a small forward. You want him on whatever player has the ball most. Detroit runs much of its offense through Prince.

  25. maxwell_3g

    ruruland: Why does Woodson need to make sure Melo plays at the 4????????

    lets see. we have been awdul for the past 10 years. we were awful last year with melo at the 3 and stat at the 4. this year, with amare out, melo moves to the four. the result is success that we have not had in 12 years and melo’s game going to new heights. other than the whole winning thing? i dont have any other reasons

  26. ruruland

    maxwell_3g: lets see.we have been awdul for the past 10 years.we were awful last year with melo at the 3 and stat at the 4.this year, with amare out, melo moves to the four.the result is success that we have not had in 12 years and melo’s game going to new heights.other than the whole winning thing?i dont have any other reasons

    Melo’s been more efficient than at any point of his career while playing the 3 this year!

    His game is much more like a traditional small forward than it’s ever been.

    The idea that Melo is more suited to play the 4 is a myth. Much of the time at the 4 he was not getting additional spacing from guys like Brewer.

  27. ruruland

    maxwell_3g: lets see.we have been awdul for the past 10 years.we were awful last year with melo at the 3 and stat at the 4.this year, with amare out, melo moves to the four.the result is success that we have not had in 12 years and melo’s game going to new heights.other than the whole winning thing?i dont have any other reasons

    there is very little evidence or reason to suspect Amar’e and Melo struggled last year because of the positions they played.

    Both struggled because of injuries/weight and the lack of a pick and roll threat, which Melo is feasting on with his 3-point shooting.

    Melo was great two years ago in a similar offense sharing the floor with Amar’e and a big, and while Amar’e struggled with Chauncey as the primary pg (because of his poor playmaking pnr play), Amar’e’s historically played quite well with real centers so long as that point guard was on the floor with them.

    The most efficient stretch of his career (near .700 ts on 26 usage !!) occurred after the Suns traded for Shaq.

  28. massive

    Melo is a three, and I don’t believe he’s ever played power forward for us. I liken it to NFL playbook packages. You can have 11 players on the field, but you can play an empty-back set, you can have an extra lineman on field, etc. Just because we played 5 players doesn’t mean one played the role of power forward.

  29. ruruland

    massive:
    Melo is a three, and I don’t believe he’s ever played power forward for us. I liken it to NFL playbook packages. You can have 11 players on the field, but you can play an empty-back set, you can have an extra lineman on field, etc. Just because we played 5 players doesn’t mean one played the role of power forward.

    Yes.

  30. maxwell_3g

    ruruland: Melo’s been more efficient than at any point of his career while playing the 3 this year!

    His game is much more like a traditional small forward than it’s ever been.

    The idea that Melo is more suited to play the 4 is a myth. Much of the time at the 4 he was not getting additional spacing from guys like Brewer.

    note, i am not suggesting playing melo at the 4 and brewer at the 3. brewer was opening space earlier in the season when hitting the 3, but that time is over. if it came down to brewer starting , iwould agree with starting camby instead. but yes, melo needs to be at the 4. that formula seemed to work pretty well for lbj and the heat last year, as well

  31. nicos

    massive:
    Melo is a three, and I don’t believe he’s ever played power forward for us. I liken it to NFL playbook packages. You can have 11 players on the field, but you can play an empty-back set, you can have an extra lineman on field, etc. Just because we played 5 players doesn’t mean one played the role of power forward.

    Yeah, it’s weird- he’s playing more or less the same role on offense as he’s always played except taking more threes. Opposing coaches match him up with their best defender, same as always- if he’s a four now offensively, then he’s always been a four.
    The only thing that’s changed is the spacing but as ruru has mentioned, playing Brewer isn’t really helping in that regard.
    I’ll be very interested to see how the Chandler/Amar’e, Melo frontline plays with Felton and Kidd. Felton created space/movement with penetration, Melo by drawing doubles, and Kidd (and Melo) by hitting threes throwing great skip passes from the perimeter- Amar’e should thrive as a cutter with those guys unlike the backcourts we rolled out last year.

  32. maxwell_3g

    massive:
    Melo is a three, and I don’t believe he’s ever played power forward for us. I liken it to NFL playbook packages. You can have 11 players on the field, but you can play an empty-back set, you can have an extra lineman on field, etc. Just because we played 5 players doesn’t mean one played the role of power forward.

    that post misses the point completely. i understand melo is a 3. but the thing about basketball is that the other team plays 5 guys as well. so yes, melo is a 3, but when we put a team out there with a 1, a 2, 2 3’s, and a 5, that means the other team needs to use their 4 to cover one of our threes, creating a mismatch. conversely, melo is generally strong enough to cover said 4. so fine, call melo a 3. call him a C3PO or a 007. i dont care. the point is that joining him in the starting lineup should be a 1, a 2, a 3 (who can shoot), and a 5.

  33. ruruland

    maxwell_3g: that post misses the point completely.i understand melo is a 3.but the thing about basketball is that the other team plays 5 guys as well.so yes, melo is a 3, but when we put a team out there with a 1, a 2, 2 3?s, and a 5, that means the other team needs to use their 4 to cover one of our threes, creating a mismatch.conversely, melo is generally strong enough to cover said 4.so fine, call melo a 3.call him a C3PO or a 007.i dont care.the point is that joining him in the starting lineup should be a 1, a 2, a 3 (who can shoot), and a 5.

    right, but Amar’e, for example, is going to be a much bigger match-up problem against traditional power forwards than Brewer is. Same thing happened last year. It wasn’t as though Fields was taking advantage of getting matched up with power forwards.

    Copeland is the one guy who can play the outside-in mismatch game against 4s, but doesn’t share much time with Melo.

    There has been very little advantage pairing Brewer with Melo.

  34. ruruland

    nicos: Yeah, it’s weird- he’s playing more or less the same role on offense as he’s always played except taking more threes.Opposing coaches match him up with their best defender, same as always- if he’s a four now offensively, then he’s always been a four.
    The only thing that’s changed is the spacing but as ruru has mentioned, playing Brewer isn’t really helping in that regard.
    I’ll be very interested to see how the Chandler/Amar’e, Melo frontline plays with Felton and Kidd.Felton created space/movement with penetration, Melo by drawing doubles, and Kidd (and Melo) by hitting threes throwing great skip passes from the perimeter- Amar’e should thrive as a cutter with those guys unlike the backcourts we rolled out last year.

    Amar’e seems to take advantage of Melo double-teams better than anyone else on the roster. He shows well or cuts, and Melo trusts him to catch and finish.

    Nene was at his best playing off Melo double teams, it’s no coincidence his numbers plummeted after the Melo trade and really haven’t come back since:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/h/hilarne01.html

    Amar’e is clearly a more talented and much more aggressive offensive player, so there’s no reason to believe that with a true fulcrum point guard, they’ll be one of the premier offensive combos as the season wears on.

    I still like him coming off the bench, but he should start getting 30 minutes.

    Melo does not miss Amar’e very often when they share the floor, which has basically been the case when they’ve played together.

  35. ruruland

    You know that Melo assisted Amar’e more than anyone else on the team last year, by a pretty good margin if I recall.

  36. massive

    maxwell_3g: that post misses the point completely.i understand melo is a 3.but the thing about basketball is that the other team plays 5 guys as well.so yes, melo is a 3, but when we put a team out there with a 1, a 2, 2 3?s, and a 5, that means the other team needs to use their 4 to cover one of our threes, creating a mismatch.conversely, melo is generally strong enough to cover said 4.so fine, call melo a 3.call him a C3PO or a 007.i dont care.the point is that joining him in the starting lineup should be a 1, a 2, a 3 (who can shoot), and a 5.

    Except the 3 he was on court with was Ronnie Brewer (who has been a 2 historically). You want to space the floor for Melo to create those favorable off-balance looks we were feeding off of early in the year. Brewer doesn’t space the floor any more than Amar’e would, and Melo thrived in spite of Brewer’s being a non-factor on offense. And Amar’e is just as much a threat to put in the floor and attack an opposing team’s 4 as anyone else who would be starting at the forward spot in place of him.

    You don’t need a 3 next to Carmelo Anthony to create a mismatch if Amar’e is on the floor. And I don’t want Melo taking a beating from 4s on a nightly basis anymore; it will wear him down over the course of the season. We’ve already seen what happened against Boston and Memphis, and I don’t want that happening anymore.

  37. BigBlueAL

    Bringing up Brewer as playing with Melo and not giving him spacing making the Melo at PF argument meaningless is not accurate. When the Knicks were playing great early on the closing lineup always had Melo with Chandler/Felton/JR and Kidd or Novak. Brewer would play what, 6 mins in the 1st and 3rd and thats it?? Heck at times he would barely play 3 or 4 mins before JR came in for the rest of the half/game.

    Im not saying its a must for Melo to play with only 1 big but to try to minimize its impact is shortsighted and basically disregards the success the Knicks had early in the season. Ive been calling for Amar’e to return and been looking forward to it for awhile and still believe his emergence is a huge key to the Knicks going far in the playoffs but the Knicks still should play plenty of minutes with Melo at PF whenever matchups dictate it.

  38. ruruland

    BigBlueAL:
    Bringing up Brewer as playing with Melo and not giving him spacing making the Melo at PF argument meaningless is not accurate.When the Knicks were playing great early on the closing lineup always had Melo with Chandler/Felton/JR and Kidd or Novak.Brewer would play what, 6 mins in the 1st and 3rd and thats it??Heck at times he would barely play 3 or 4 mins before JR came in for the rest of the half/game.

    Im not saying its a must for Melo to play with only 1 big but to try to minimize its impact is shortsighted and basically disregards the success the Knicks had early in the season.Ive been calling for Amar’e to return and been looking forward to it for awhile and still believe his emergence is a huge key to the Knicks going far in the playoffs but the Knicks still should play plenty of minutes with Melo at PF whenever matchups dictate it.

    Melo’s efficiency goes up with Brewer on the floor. Melo is just really good.

    http://www.nba.com/advancedstats/player-vs-player.html#Ronnie-Brewer-vs-Carmelo-Anthony|200758,2546;year=201213;season=r

  39. BigBlueAL

    Like maxwell said above its not that Melo needs to play PF because he cant score as well as a SF. Hell Melo could be listed as a PG or C and it doesnt matter he can and will score against anybody. But playing Melo with a big and 3 shooters makes it a bit easier for him and alot easier for the other guys on the court with him. Similar to the Heat with Lebron, he can score and do what he does regardless of who is on the court with him but they won a championship by playing him with Bosh and 3 perimeter players. They are struggling somewhat with that type of lineup this season due to defensive and rebounding issues but offensively they are still great when Lebron is on the floor with Bosh as the only big.

    I just think it is foolish to use any 1 lineup exclusively, whether its Melo playing with 1 big or 2. The fact is they can play either lineup and they should take advantage of that versatility especially now since Amar’e is back. Early in the season it made sense to only play with 1 big since Amar’e is out so with him back now it is up to Woodson to be flexible enough to use different lineups depending on certain matchups I believe.

    Anyway nice to see the Bulls lose tonight, that means every team in the East has at least 16 losses compared to the 13 for the Knicks except for the Heat. Will make next week’s first 2 games a bit easier to watch w/o having to panic much if the Knicks lose lol.

  40. ruruland

    BigBlueAL:
    Like maxwell said above its not that Melo needs to play PF because he cant score as well as a SF.Hell Melo could be listed as a PG or C and it doesnt matter he can and will score against anybody.But playing Melo with a big and 3 shooters makes it a bit easier for him and alot easier for the other guys on the court with him.Similar to the Heat with Lebron, he can score and do what he does regardless of who is on the court with him but they won a championship by playing him with Bosh and 3 perimeter players.They are struggling somewhat with that type of lineup this season due to defensive and rebounding issues but offensively they are still great when Lebron is on the floor with Bosh as the only big.

    I just think it is foolish to use any 1 lineup exclusively, whether its Melo playing with 1 big or 2.The fact is they can play either lineup and they should take advantage of that versatility especially now since Amar’e is back.Early in the season it made sense to only play with 1 big since Amar’e is out so with him back now it is up to Woodson to be flexible enough to use different lineups depending on certain matchups I believe.

    Anyway nice to see the Bulls lose tonight, that means every team in the East has at least 16 losses compared to the 13 for the Knicks except for the Heat.Will make next week’s first 2 games a bit easier to watch w/o having to panic much if the Knicks lose lol.

    I like 4-6 minute stretches of Melo and Amar’e at 4/5, but I’d like to see more traditional lineups to limit interior scoring on defense.

  41. Juany8

    ruruland:
    Lou Williams out for year.

    Harden 15-60 with 13 turnovers last three games.

    Don’t remind me, or point out the fact that Jeremy Lin got benched for Patrick Beverly in the second half, a player the rockets picked out of the scrap heap a few weeks ago. It looks like something is wrong with Harden specifically, he looks so much slower out there than a few weeks ago, which might have something to do with the Rockets ridiculous schedule in the past few weeks (today was their 4th game in 5th nights, they have 23 back to backs this season compared to Dallas’ 9)

  42. massive

    Juany8: Don’t remind me, or point out the fact that Jeremy Lin got benched for Patrick Beverly in the second half, a player the rockets picked out of the scrap heap a few weeks ago. It looks like something is wrong with Harden specifically, he looks so much slower out there than a few weeks ago, which might have something to do with the Rockets ridiculous schedule in the past few weeks (today was their 4th game in 5th nights, they have 23 back to backs this season compared to Dallas’ 9)

    He’s been playing 38.5 minutes a game, too.

  43. jon abbey

    Juany8: Don’t remind me, or point out the fact that Jeremy Lin got benched for Patrick Beverly in the second half, a player the rockets picked out of the scrap heap a few weeks ago. It looks like something is wrong with Harden specifically, he looks so much slower out there than a few weeks ago, which might have something to do with the Rockets ridiculous schedule in the past few weeks (today was their 4th game in 5th nights, they have 23 back to backs this season compared to Dallas’ 9)

    are you ready to concede on the minor back and forth we had a little while ago on teams in the West needing 50 wins to get into the playoffs? the way that Houston and Portland have been sliding is keeping the Lakers and Dallas alive.

  44. maxwell_3g

    ruruland: right, but Amar’e, for example, is going to be a much bigger match-up problem against traditional power forwards than Brewer is. Same thing happened last year. It wasn’t as though Fields was taking advantage of getting matched up with power forwards.

    Copeland is the one guy who can play the outside-in mismatch game against 4s, but doesn’t share much time with Melo.

    There has been very little advantage pairing Brewer with Melo.

    as i have said repeatedly, brewer should not be at the 3 in this scenario, unless he finds his stroke again. it should be copeland or shump. i say copeland

  45. maxwell_3g

    massive: Except the 3 he was on court with was Ronnie Brewer (who has been a 2 historically). You want to space the floor for Melo to create those favorable off-balance looks we were feeding off of early in the year. Brewer doesn’t space the floor any more than Amar’e would, and Melo thrived in spite of Brewer’s being a non-factor on offense. And Amar’e is just as much a threat to put in the floor and attack an opposing team’s 4 as anyone else who would be starting at the forward spot in place of him.

    You don’t need a 3 next to Carmelo Anthony to create a mismatch if Amar’e is on the floor. And I don’t want Melo taking a beating from 4s on a nightly basis anymore; it will wear him down over the course of the season. We’ve already seen what happened against Boston and Memphis, and I don’t want that happening anymore.

    guys, you are creating a straw man argument here. i have never said (nor has anyone on this board to my knowledge) that brewer should be at the 3 in this scenario. the offense looks awful with brewer and boils down to the iso melo show. that is obvious. brewer was hot early in the season, and the formula worked. we need cope. or shump, or whoever is hot (even novak) at the 3 in this scenario. ruru, i know you like amare. i dont really, but im rooting for him. but IMO, if he can be dominant, his dominance will be worth more as a 25 minute a night guy abolutely killing it as the centerpience of our second unit (with some time with melo as well) as ooposed to being a secondary scorer with the first unit. but yet, WE ALL AGREE….NO BREWER

  46. jon abbey

    actually, I think that we’d be best off if Brewer is a rotation player by playoff time, so I would keep trying to fix him and keep giving him consistent albeit minor minutes, assuming he is healthy (which might be dead wrong, since he looks awful).

  47. Juany8

    jon abbey:
    actually, I think that we’d be best off if Brewer is a rotation player by playoff time, so I would keep trying to fix him and keep giving him consistent albeit minor minutes, assuming he is healthy (which might be dead wrong, since he looks awful).

    I’ve been wondering about this too, it looks like something is totally off about him. It’s understandable that the 3 point shooting fell off, but this has been something more…

  48. Juany8

    jon abbey: are you ready to concede on the minor back and forth we had a little while ago on teams in the West needing 50 wins to get into the playoffs? the way that Houston and Portland have been sliding is keeping the Lakers and Dallas alive.

    And I will concede that point, partly because the Lakers don’t look like they’re getting 50 wins. Don’t count out a big trade by the Rockets however, they have a lot of space and some nice pieces.

  49. lavor postell

    Juany8: And I will concede that point, partly because the Lakers don’t look like they’re getting 50 wins. Don’t count out a big trade by the Rockets however, they have a lot of space and some nice pieces.

    No question on the Rockets.

    http://hoopshype.com/salaries.htm

    They have a ton of cap space and long-term flexibility. I believe both the backloaded contracts they gave Lin and Asik actually count on their cap as an even split over the 3-year terms of both their contracts. So as they both signed for 3-years, 25 mill it averages out to 8.33 mill against the cap each year. I wouldn’t be surprised though if they do nothing in order to preserve cap space to make a Howard run this summer.

  50. Brian Cronin

    . I believe both the backloaded contracts they gave Lin and Asik actually count on their cap as an even split over the 3-year terms of both their contracts.

    I used to think so, as well, but no, they count the same for the Rockets as they would for the Knicks (so they’re both $5 million this year and next and then $15 million each in year three).

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