Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NYT: Stoudemire as sixth man?

The title pretty much says it all. My case:

After failing a chemistry exam in a lethargic 98-90 loss to Cleveland, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire’s combined for an impressive 61-point, 22-rebound performance on Sunday – a 113-112 win over the Hawks – and provided a glimpse of what’s possible for the Knicks’ stars.

But can Anthony and Stoudemire do that consistently?

With the two stars thus far failing to mesh, there’s a growing sentiment that, with Anthony’s play at the four a promising development of late, Stoudemire – who had a quiet 10 points and seven rebounds against the Clippers Wednesday night – might be best suited to being the first Knick big off the bench.

Read the rest, and please don’t hurt me.

35 comments on “NYT: Stoudemire as sixth man?

  1. ruruland

    It’s probably a good idea. Will never happen.
    I actually think they’ll be pretty good in the playoffs together. They’re both relatively healthy….last year they were really good together because they were healthy.

    You can’t really marry the two together without a good point guard, but I think Davis can imitate one long enough to get Amar’e going.

  2. TelegraphedPass

    I wonder if Lin can develop into the type of PG who can successfully manage a Melo and STAT double-headed assault. Our starting PG for the future needs to know when to feed Melo, quickly see if STAT is in position to score, and create looks for both on the fly.

    I’m encouraged by Lin’s heavy time logged in the film room. He’s already shown the ability to create offense for himself and Tyson Chandler at an efficient pace. Can he add Melo and STAT to the mix and keep that offense humming?

  3. Owen

    http://www.nba.com/advancedstats/player-vs-player.html#Carmelo-Anthony-vs-Amar'e-Stoudemire|2546,2405;year=201112;season=r

    The Stat cube numbers are interesting. To me, Melo and Amare haven’t looked like a good fit all year.

    What’s interesting is that while Amare looks like basically the same player with Melo off the court as on, Melo is playing significantly worse with Stat out there.

    I think playing them together hurts our chances, but like Ruru, I don’t see them benching Amare….

  4. ephus

    It’s a bad idea, but not a bad substitution pattern. I think it makes sense to have Amar’e on the floor with JR Smith, Novak, Fields and a PG for a six minute (or so stretch) in the second half. Last night against the Clippers, that unit was really effective during the first four minutes of the fourth quarter. It’s really MDA ball, with shooters on the perimeter and Amar’e operating as the dive man on the PnR.

    If you figure Amar’e for approximately 32 mpg, that is 12. But he should still be the Knicks starting 4. Let him go to the bench in the first quarter, shifting ‘Melo to the 4 for the second half of the first quarter. For the rest of the first half, keep two of ‘Melo/Chandler/Amar’e on the court.

    I disagree with the idea that you need a strong PG to keep Amar’e and ‘Melo in the game together. They actually have had some really nice two-man-game action more than a few times. If you have ‘Melo as the ballhandler on the high PnR, you basically guarantee Amar’e a wide-open elbow jumper. If you run the side PnR with those two, you should get Amar’e finishing at the rim. Or, if teams start going under the STAT screen, ‘Melo should be getting wide-open 17′ foot jumpshots.

  5. Jafa

    Read your article Jim and the advanced statistics say you are correct. But as a fan this just rubs me the wrong way. Benching the one star that was willing to take on the challenge of New York when we were shunned by other top FAs and weren’t even a 0.500 team, and carried us like an MVP for half a season feels dirty. I know he’s now our 3rd best player, but even when Ewing was reduced to that role in the late 90s (with Houston and Sprewell leading the way), we still wanted Ewing out there in the starting line up (and Camby coming off the bench).

    I would hate for us to devalue him just as we are hitting our contending stride (not this year, but the next 3 years). It feels like dumping the girl you were with when you were a nobody for the higher social status girl now that they let you in the exclusive “contender” club.

    I know there is no quantitative basis for this argument, but I just don’t like it.

  6. ephus

    First Round Rotation:

    Melo (38 minutes)
    Chandler (36 minutes)
    Amar’e (32 minutes)
    Shumpert (38 minutes)
    Davis (24 minutes)

    Novak (14 minutes)
    JR Smith (30 minutes)
    Jeffries (10 minutes)
    Fields (12 minutes)
    Bibby (6 minutes)

    No time for Jorts/Gadzuric/Douglas unless dictated by foul trouble. Lin and Jordan should be inactive.

  7. Jafa

    ephus:
    I disagree with the idea that you need a strong PG to keep Amar’e and ‘Melo in the game together.They actually have had some really nice two-man-game action more than a few times.If you have ‘Melo as the ballhandler on the high PnR, you basically guarantee Amar’e a wide-open elbow jumper.If you run the side PnR with those two, you should get Amar’e finishing at the rim.Or, if teams start going under the STAT screen, ‘Melo should be getting wide-open 17? foot jumpshots.

    The only problem with this is that Melo does not seem too excited about being the initiator of offense for others. It’s one thing to get your shots off Melo (as in when he is double teamed he is a willing passer) but its another to ask Melo to run plays that create shots for others (MDA tried doing this early in the year and it didn’t work well). That’s why players that feed off others for offense (like STAT and Fields) don’t necessarily play well on offense with him. Chandler on the other hand can score off 2nd chance opportunities comfortably. And guys like Lin and JR who can create their own shots are not affected by playing with Melo.

  8. nicos

    That 5-1 stretch with Lin/Anthony/Amar’e included two wins over Indiana- not just the Philly win as the article stated.

    The problem with bringing Amar’e off of the bench is that he really needs to play with BD as it seems like he’s the only guy who can consistently get him the ball on the move. Fields has been pretty good running the pick and roll off of ball reversal but I’m not sure he can run it consistently as a first option. And as other posters have mentioned, Melo is going to be guarded by LBJ/Battier if we play Miami, Deng if we play Chicago regardless of whether Amar’e starts- Fields hasn’t shown the ability to take advantage of mismatches, JR would seem a better bet but using him as a starter really reduces both the offensive and defensive capabilities of the second unit which relies on him for shot creation and defensive energy. Judging from Woodson’s rotations, it looks like Amar’e’s going to play a lot of minutes with the second unit anyway, so why potentially tick him off going into the playoffs?

  9. Jafa

    ephus:
    First Round Rotation:

    Melo (38 minutes)
    Chandler (36 minutes)
    Amar’e (32 minutes)
    Shumpert (38 minutes)
    Davis (24 minutes)

    Novak (14 minutes)
    JR Smith (30 minutes)
    Jeffries (10 minutes)
    Fields (12 minutes)
    Bibby (6 minutes)

    No time for Jorts/Gadzuric/Douglas unless dictated by foul trouble.Lin and Jordan should be inactive.

    Wow! Only 14 minutes for Novak while JR gets 30? I want Novak on the floor more to hit those open shots and stretch Miami or Chicago’s defense. And I’m cringing at Davis for 24 minutes.

    Oh, and Shumpert won’t average that many minutes. He will almost certainly be in foul trouble a lot if he is chasing Wade or Rose.

  10. Brian Cronin

    If the Knicks play Miami (which sure looks likely at this point), then I dunno if you want to play Fields more than a couple of minutes. He has never looked good against Miami. Against Chicago, he has shown some real life, but even when he is playing well he stinks against Miami (in seven games in his career against this Miami squad, he’s shot .328 from the field and .273 from three).

  11. Robert Silverman

    TelegraphedPass:
    I wonder if Lin can develop into the type of PG who can successfully manage a Melo and STAT double-headed assault. Our starting PG for the future needs to know when to feed Melo, quickly see if STAT is in position to score, and create looks for both on the fly.

    I’m encouraged by Lin’s heavy time logged in the film room. He’s already shown the ability to create offense for himself and Tyson Chandler at an efficient pace. Can he add Melo and STAT to the mix and keep that offense humming?

    If the six games they all played together under Woodson are any indication, then yes, he can

  12. gjknick

    If Melo is busting it on D (especially against Lebron), then he can’t carry the load on offense for 40 minutes. Hopefully, STAT can carry some of that offensive load at times so Melo won’t be running on fumes at the end of the game. If Amare is playing 32 minutes, maybe he can be a focal poiint for the 16 minutes? Enough time that Melo can rest on the bench or play a less intensive role on the offense.

  13. Jim Cavan Post author

    Jafa: Read your article Jim and the advanced statistics say you are correct. But as a fan this just rubs me the wrong way. Benching the one star that was willing to take on the challenge of New York when we were shunned by other top FAs and weren’t even a 0.500 team, and carried us like an MVP for half a season feels dirty. I know he’s now our 3rd best player, but even when Ewing was reduced to that role in the late 90s (with Houston and Sprewell leading the way), we still wanted Ewing out there in the starting line up (and Camby coming off the bench).

    I would hate for us to devalue him just as we are hitting our contending stride (not this year, but the next 3 years). It feels like dumping the girl you were with when you were a nobody for the higher social status girl now that they let you in the exclusive “contender” club.

    I know there is no quantitative basis for this argument, but I just don’t like it.

    I totally understand this sentiment. I actually just had something of a disclaimer paragraph added, wherein I make clear that I’m not saying this should be a permanent solution. Given a full training camp, I still think the two can mesh.

    I love Stat, and I too admire him for taking on New York with the grace and confidence that he has. But let’s not pretend like that $100 million paycheck wasn’t the prime motivating factor in his decision. From my perspective, making that much money entails sucking it up and doing what’s best for the team. You can argue whether or not bringing him off the bench actually IS the most sound basketball decision, but assuming it is, he should be able to deal with it.

    But, like most everyone else, it’s a highly unlikely proposition.

  14. ephus

    Jafa: Wow! Only 14 minutes for Novak while JR gets 30? I want Novak on the floor more to hit those open shots and stretch Miami or Chicago’s defense. And I’m cringing at Davis for 24 minutes

    The reason for JR Smith getting so many more minutes than Novak is that Smith/Shumpert can be the backcourt while Davis is off the floor. I do not see (or want to see) Bibby getting more than 6 mpg. Shumpert/Fields is too weak on ball handling to be the backcourt. Douglas is in “break glass in case of emergency” mode. The return of Jeffries will eat into Novak’s minutes.

  15. Jafa

    Then Jefferies better come with a 45+% 3PT stroke or else we are going to have a tough time scoring points if Miami does not respect our shooters and packs it in. Otherwise, let Jefferies eat into Shumpert’s minutes. As a matter of fact, give Bibby and Fields zero minutes, make it an 8 man rotation and go from there.

  16. Jafa

    So to revise your rotation:

    Melo (38)
    Chandler (36)
    STAT (32)
    Shumpert (34)
    Davis (24)

    Novak (26)
    JR (34)
    Jefferies (16)

  17. daJudge

    Jim-I absolutely loved your article. Despite being a huge Stat fan, and frankly often taking a less than enlightened view of basketball’s machinations, I believe that the Knicks would be better off this year if Stat came off the bench. Possibly much better off. I can see Melo thriving with Chandler and Stat absolutely killing at the back up 5. It would cause hellacious match up problems in our favor. It’s also worth noting that Stat may simply not be a dominate 4 at this point. His defense is abysmal, rebounding average at best and he really doesn’t post. IMO, he takes a lot away from Melo and Chandler, to a lesser extent. Certainly his shot selection is good and he is efficient, but he kills the rhythm of the first unit. Instead, he could set the rhythm of the second unit. Of course this will never happen for the reasons cited by other bloggers. It really bothers me that you pay a guy $300,000 PER WEEK and you can’t ask (how about tell) him to come off the bench as a 6th man because the star needs to save face. Guess it never bothered Hondo. I also agree that next year could be different, assuming: 1. Lin healthy; 2. training camp; and 3. Stat healthy.

  18. ephus

    I enjoy Novak as much as anyone, but he has been effective because Woodson has recognized his talents and limitations. Novak is a GREAT catch and shoot threat from the 3 point line, who cannot ball handle, create his own shot or hit the offensive boards. He has been surprisingly effective on the defensive end — see last night’s game-saving deflection — and passable on the defensive boards.

    Miami creates much of its offense off of steals and transition. If the Knicks do not have two competent ball handlers in the game, they will gift Miami at least 10 points in transition. Taking all of the time away from Bibby means that you are committing to 24 minutes per game of Smith/Shumpert as the back court.

  19. Owen

    “The only problem with this is that Melo does not seem too excited about being the initiator of offense for others. It’s one thing to get your shots off Melo (as in when he is double teamed he is a willing passer) but its another to ask Melo to run plays that create shots for others (MDA tried doing this early in the year and it didn’t work well). That’s why players that feed off others for offense (like STAT and Fields) don’t necessarily play well on offense with him. ”

    While I am inclined to believe that Melo doesn’t look for Fields, the stat cube numbers don’t really show him playing much differently with Melo off the court. Same thing for Stat.

  20. ruruland

    Jafa: The only problem with this is that Melo does not seem too excited about being the initiator of offense for others.It’s one thing to get your shots off Melo (as in when he is double teamed he is a willing passer) but its another to ask Melo to run plays that create shots for others (MDA tried doing this early in the year and it didn’t work well).That’s why players that feed off others for offense (like STAT and Fields) don’t necessarily play well on offense with him.Chandler on the other hand can score off 2nd chance opportunities comfortably.And guys like Lin and JR who can create their own shots are not affected by playing with Melo.

    I disagree. Fields still gets a ton of great looks from Melo and with Melo in the game.

    The Knicks push the ball more when Melo is out because Smith and Shumpert are the ballhandlers — that has led to Fields getting transition baskets.

    But he gets great 3 looks and drive opportunities.

    STAT, to me, hasn’t embraced the second fiddle role with Melo. Nene was amazing playing the opposite side/weakside to Melo… we’ve seen glimpses of it with Amar’e, some weakside dunks and open jumpers, but you can tell he’s not really into not being the primary option.

  21. daJudge

    I sort of agree and disagree in part. First, I don’t think Stat has been healthy. Second, I don’t think he needs to embrace the role as so-called second fiddle. However, he needs to embrace the role as first unit power forward or second unit center.

    ruruland: I disagree. Fields still gets a ton of great looks from Melo and with Melo in the game.

    The Knicks push the ball more when Melo is out because Smith and Shumpert are the ballhandlers — that has led to Fields getting transition baskets.

    But he gets great 3 looks and drive opportunities.

    STAT, to me, hasn’t embraced the second fiddle role with Melo. Nene was amazing playing the opposite side/weakside to Melo… we’ve seen glimpses of it with Amar’e, some weakside dunks and open jumpers, but you can tell he’s not really into not being the primary option.

  22. nicos

    ruruland:
    STAT, to me, hasn’t embraced the second fiddle role with Melo. Nene was amazing playing the opposite side/weakside to Melo… we’ve seen glimpses of it with Amar’e, some weakside dunks and open jumpers, but you can tell he’s not really into not being the primary option.

    Based on what exactly?

  23. ephus

    My bottom line is that Stat should be starting and getting around 32 mpg. About 1/2 of that time should be Stat with at most one of ‘Melo and Chandler. When Stat is on the floor without either, he needs to have Novak and Smith out there to spread the floor and give him room to operate. When Stat is paired with Chandler, he is the primary offensive option. When Stat is paired with ‘Melo, they should be able to run an effective two-man game. But for the first 8 minutes and crunch time, I want Stat/Chandler/Melo all out on the court.

    The key to Stat’s effectiveness is his ability to make the wide-open elbow jumper. By my eyes, Stat was much more effective at that shot last year than this year. I would love it if anyone had the statistics to prove/disprove my observation. If Stat is hitting that shot, then he be really effective with ‘Melo at the 3/4, because his defender will not be able to cheat on the ‘Melo isolation or ‘Melo 1-3 PnR.

  24. yellowboy90

    I think Melo as the initiator will work good(and has at times) but only in spurts. He is willing to dish to chandler and make the pass in the corner. I do not think it will work that much when Amar’e is at the 4 unless he is knocking down his jumper but I do like the PnR game with Melo at the 4 and STAT at the 5.

    Bottom line is that healthy Melo and healthy STAT will work fine together but when one of them are not healthy their games just hurt each other.

  25. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I tend not to like the whole “Player X is the reason Team Y won” stuff period, because so much other moving pieces are involved in things like that. And it is thinking like that that got Nash two MVPs and Kidd nearly an MVP over Duncan (as if Kidd replacing Marbury was the only change the Nets did that year).

    However, there certainly is something to be said for the fact that the easiest way to get a good team is to have one really, really good player. I think we all do agree with that, I just think there’s debate over how much of an importance the other moving parts are with regards to roster construction. I think they play such a major role (like, say, the Knicks getting the worst point guard play in the NBA for much of the season) that I find it hard to compare players just on how their team did with them.

    Just like I don’t criticize Kevin Love for playing for a shitty team, so, too, I am not going to give Kobe Bryant extra credit for playing on really good teams for most of his career. Similarly, I don’t want to blame Melo for the Knicks’ early failures when the support was not there. At the same token, when the support does show up, I don’t credit Melo for that, either. He just gets blame and or credit based on how he’s played (which has been outstanding recently).

  26. Juany8

    I don’t mind Stoudemire getting in and basically getting the minutes that Fields was getting in the starting lineup, as well as time as the backup 5 with Melo and Chandler resting. As long as you basically bench Fields altogether, you can have either Melo and Stoudemire on the court at all times. Melo at the 4 wasn’t actually helping this team much, Fields sucked no matter who he was being guarded by and most teams were smart enough to simply place their best defender on Melo. Not to mention that Amar’e is a better rebounder then Melo is (he’s just worse relative to his position) so sliding Melo back to the 3 and having Amar’e at the 4 should solve some of the rebounding problems this team has had. The only problem is that Melo isn’t the best at guarding shooters that move a lot off the ball, but that shouldn’t be a problem against Miami.

  27. Juany8

    Stat and Melo actually score in pretty synergistic ways, both are effective cutters, offensive rebounders, and spot up shooters historically. Stat and Melo haven’t been able to consistently hit jumpers all season, and I personally think its a random coincidence that they never had a stretch where they could hit open jump shots at the same time. After Woodson became coach Melo simply could not hit a jumper, no matter how open and how much ball movement was involved, yet the looks were there and the team was blowing out some solid opposition, and Amar’e was amazing. As long as they can both hit their jump shots and are willing to move off the ball well, the offense can take turns running around either Melo or Stoudemire, which actually allows the other a chance to rest and take on less of a load.

  28. max fisher-cohen

    I’d like to hypothesize here that the only reason Melo and Amare went off together against Atlanta is because there was no Chandler. The conflict is floor spacing. Amare can play with Chandler, but not with Melo as well because the result is 3 guys who can’t shoot. Add to that the fact that our point guards are all subpar shooters, and the Knicks max out at 1 true floor spacer when their $50m trio are on the floor together. I think we can break this down to a simple formula. You need at least 2 floor spacers on the floor at all times.

    Novak and Smith are true floor spacers, so we’ll give them a floor-spacing value of 1.

    Davis, Shumpert, Anthony and Bibby are all below average 3 pt shooters but are at least capable of drawing some attention on the perimeter. We’ll count them each as 0.5 floor spacers. Fields is somewhere below subpar but above useless, so on good nights he gets to be a part of this list as well.

    Any lineup that has a floor spacing value of 2 or higher can work. Any other lineup is going to struggle.

  29. max fisher-cohen

    2FOR18:
    The game’s not tv in NY?

    It’s on TNT for some strange reason. Maybe they think it’s exciting to see if the Bobcats end up the worst team ever?

  30. 2FOR18

    Why isn’t the game on the other MSG station? I can see Clyde commentating, but no one can hear him.

  31. formido

    Brian Cronin: And it is thinking like that that got Nash two MVPs

    Nash deserved those MVPs. To pretend otherwise is to elevate something other than a player’s effect on winning as the deciding criteria.

  32. Owen

    Nash is an all time great offensive player. But it’s hard to even put him in the top 5 for MVP consideration in the years he won it….

  33. Brian Cronin

    Nash is an all time great offensive player. But it’s hard to even put him in the top 5 for MVP consideration in the years he won it….

    Exactly. I loves me some Steve Nash, but come on now.

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