Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Odds & Ends

  • Via TrueHoop, Childress talks about how things other than scoring matter over in Europe. Mainly how scoring is less important. Henry Abbott sums up the matter nicely:

    If it really is true — that little things that win games are more valued in Europe — then that confirms just about every negative stereotype of American basketball development. And it fits perfectly with the message from just about every new-breed statistical expert: That scoring is overvalued here, at the expense of other things that are hugely important but less obvious.

  • We’ll see how true this is, but the Post is talking about Marbury starting tonight against the Celtics. Of course they’re not sure where he’ll start. Anyone else get the feeling he’s like Costanza in the episode he keeps leaving things in women’s houses to get them used to him so they’ll feel more comfortable dating him? [To the tune of by Mennen] Marrrrrr-bury.

    It would make the most sense to start Marbury at shooting guard, replacing the struggling Jamal Crawford, who was 1 of 6 for four points. Or he could conceivably replace Quentin Richardson in a three-guard offense. D’Antoni has started a Chris Duhon-Crawford backcourt through the first five preseason games and feels it may be time to experiment with just two exhibition games left.

  • Ever wonder what Trevor Ariza is doing these days?
  • A blog that praises it’s GM? Could it ever happen here?
  • Kevin Pelton’s breakout candidates for 2009. And there’s one Isiah Thomas drafted small forward.
  • 95 comments on “Odds & Ends

    1. hoopinion

      In his most recent American basketball experience Childress didn’t play for an organization that appears to recognize the value of his primary skills: shot selection and offensive rebounding. Though there are certain to be some overlapping blind spots, I think it’s a bit of an exaggeration to equate the American basketball development system (which is rife for many, many legitimate criticisms) with the Atlanta Hawks.

    2. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

      Hoopinion – It may be that bad teams are generally poor at understanding this. Look at the Knick acquisitions over Isiah’s tenure: Marbury, Crawford, Randolph, Curry – talk about a blind spot for scoring volume…

    3. TDM

      I see Fazekas is #1 on the breakout candidates for 09 list. Did he get picked up by Denver? I wish the Knicks had picked him up instead of Grunfeld or Roberson.

      When is the deadline for the Knicks to get down to 15?

    4. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

      Speaking of Isiah SF draftees. Here’s a comparison between two of them at the same age.

      Player.........  AGE  G  MP    FGA  FG%    3PA  3P%  FTA    FT%  TRB  AST
      Trevor Ariza...  20  57  999   8.1  0.412  0.2  0.00  4.6  0.61  7.9  2.2  
      Wilson Chandler  20  35  685  12.7  0.438  1.6  0.31  2.8  0.63  6.7  1.7 
      
      Player.........  STL  BLK  TOV  PF    PTS  PER     TS%   eFG%
      Trevor Ariza...  2.1  0.4  2.2  3.6   9.5  11.8  0.468  0.414 
      Wilson Chandler  0.8  0.8  1.4  4.4  13.4  11.7  0.480  0.457
      
    5. Thomas B.

      Alan Hahn thinks like I do. Should I be afraid?

      Hahn on Marbury as a starter at the two, Robinson on the bench and Collins as a spot 3:

      “D’Antoni knows he needs a scoring guard at the two. Chris Duhon has quietly shown he has command of the offense and can also hit the open three. Nate Robinson is a valuable energy boost off the bench who really knows how to find his shots in this offense (26 points against the Nets on 8 of 13 shooting). Mardy Collins has earned a fringe spot in the rotation as a versatile player who can fill in anywhere from the 1 through the 3-spot”

      Thomas B said one day earlier:

      “I’d like to have Nate or Steph starting at the two, Steph is probably the best choice as we need Nate’s energy off the bench.”

    6. Ben R

      I like the idea of Marbury at the 2. He gives the starting lineup someone who can get into the lane. At this point I would also give Collins a try starting at the three. I cannot believe I am saying this but with Jeffries and Gallinari injured and Chandler playing the 4-5 I think Collins is our best option to play the three.

      My rotation at this point would be:

      Duhon
      Marbury
      Collins
      Chandler
      Lee

      Robinson
      Crawford
      Randolph

      I would then do my best to move Crawford and keep trying to move Randolph and when Gallinari and Jeffries come back they would take Crawford and Randolph’s place.

      Crawford is not at all fitting into this offense and looks absolutely lost out there. He has value so we need to move him before his value goes down. As for Randolph he is scoring okay but he disrupts the flow of the offense. When Randolph and Crawford sit the offense seems fluid and shots seem to come easily, when they are on the court both stop flow and either vanish or dominate the ball. Neither seems comfortable existing within this system.

    7. Ted Nelson

      Hoopinion,

      You have a point about the Hawks, but Childress also played for Mike Montgomery at Stanford and was a top recruit before he got there. The Hawks thing probably explains his surprise to play with teammates who are “winners.” Overall he’s not the most impartial judge, and probably justifying his decision a little. However, it’s hard to deny some of the points Abbott drew from the interview: points scored are overvalued in America (just look at the salaries or draft orders, even if it’s not taught there are perverse incentives that encourages high volume scoring: money and fame), and offense is generally more team oriented in Europe (due in part to the lower talent level).

      Abbott seems to be over-glorifying the European system to rip the American system, but his critique of US hoops is somewhat on.

    8. Italian Stallion

      AS long as Marbury is behaving himself and playing well, I see no reason to not start him over Crawford at the SG position. IMO, he’s the better player and I suspect that Crawford is not a key piece for the very long term anyway.

      I think the tricky choice is what to do with Chandler/Lee/Randolph??

      Chandler is playing so well for his age/experience level it would be foolish to not give him plenty of time so he develops as quickly as possible. It looks like D’Antoni likes him better at the 4 than the 3. That doesn’t shock me. When we first drafted Gallinari, I was a little concerned because it looked like two of our best prospects both played the 3. However, when I did some research on Chandler I found out that he was originally a 4 and was trying to convert to a 3 because he’s a bit undersized for a 4. At least we know that playing him at the 4 isn’t much of a stretch. That does complicate other matters a little though (assuming Gallinari comes back as a 3). We want to keep Randolph on the court partly because he is playing fairly well and partly because we want to keep his value up to trade him. In the mean time, we also need to keep Lee on the court because “for now” he is our best player. Throw in Jeffries (who D’Antonie also likes) and it starts to get difficult to find time for all these 4s even if we use them at the 5 too. A guy like Curry (whose value we would also like to keep high) is going to find himself very deep on the bench.

    9. Owen

      “because “for now” he is our best player.”

      For now and forever.

      Honestly, no one will be happier than me if Wilson Chandler develops into an above average player. But to me right now he still looks like any number of athletic swingman in the league who excite the fans but don’t produce a lot of wins.

      Julian Wright, Dorell Wright, Brandon Wright, etc etc etc…

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=wrighju01&y1=2008&p2=wrighbr03&y2=2008&p3=wrighdo01&y3=2008&p4=chandwi01&y4=2008

      Would you rather have Jamario Moon or Wilson Chandler? What chance is there that Wilson Chandler turns into, I don’t know, Gerald Wallace or even Trevor Ariza.

      And anyone who thinks Wilson Chandler can guard power forwards, like say Garnett, Brand, or Boozer is on crack.

    10. T-Mart

      Ok I’m all for thinking outside of the box with this small-ball lineup idea, but a starting 5 which includes Duhon, Robinson and Marbury, is absurd.

    11. T-Mart

      Why is Malik Rose not relegated to an Adam “thatsa some high quality H2O” Sandler role????? And did anyone just see Q’s turn around from the corner jumper that riccocheted off the side padding of the backboard????? Awful………… This is the first opportunity I’ve had to see the ‘new’ Knicks, and I have been excited to read everyones posts for the first couple of games, but right now they look awful, Isiah might as well be on the bench. I see no difference from last season.

    12. DRed

      17 points in the first quarter, capped by an airballed free-throw from Mardy. We look ready for the season.

    13. DRed

      On the last offensive possession Randolph ran to the corner, stood there like a statue for about 10 seconds, got the ball, and then bricked a 3. Ugh. The 30 win barrier might be hard to break again this year.

    14. T-Mart

      Zach Randloph shooting contested 3′s with 20 seconds left on the shot-clock, am I accidentally watching a dvr’d game from last season?????

    15. Owen

      First back to back of the year against the best defense in the league…

      Have we had a transition opportunity, don’t think so…

    16. jon abbey

      “First back to back of the year against the best defense in the league…”

      pssh, that’s irrelevant. what’s become clear over these two games is that we’re better without DLee. :)

    17. T-Mart

      Who is the old fat slob with the smoking hot date sitting behind D’Antoni, has anyone seen this lop-sided abomination. This is becoming a national epidemic.

    18. Duff Soviet Union

      Owen, considering that B. Wright’s PER is almost 6 points higher than Chandler’s and he’s younger to boot, I am not sure why you are comparing them. Wright isn’t even a swingman either, he’s a 4 all day long. Wright’s TS% was .583 to Chandler’s .480. That’s just a whole different level of effectiveness. He’s also an averageish rebounder for a 4 and not a bad shotblocker, while Chandler’s numbers in these categories indicate pure small forward. He could stand to pass the ball a little and his numbers have “small sample size theater” written all over them (376 minutes total last year) but him and Chandler aren’t comparable at all. I don’t think Ill Will’s comparable to Julian Wright either. I know they’re the same sort of style of player, but again Julian is just much more effective than Chandler.

    19. Ted Nelson

      I’m a bit crushed that Lee hasn’t continued his scoring output from the first few preseason games.

      Almost 70% of the Knicks made FGs were assisted against the Nets, against Boston it was just over 50%… but I guess that’ll happen against Boston’s D vs. NJ’s.

      Owen,

      “And anyone who thinks Wilson Chandler can guard power forwards, like say Garnett, Brand, or Boozer is on crack.”

      First, I have little hope for the Knicks’ defense in the short-term (I mean anyone who thinks Marbury–or Q, really–can guard SFs like LeBron, Marion, Melo, or Caron Butler is on meth… and anyone who thinks Jamal Crawford can guard anyone or Eddy Curry will guard anyone, well…) Second, would he really be THAT MUCH worse than Randolph/Lee? Maybe worse, but it’s not like those guys are all-defense.
      Personally, I think the Knicks will have to just give their best effort on D and get by outscoring bad/mediocre teams with the occasional upset. Whether Chandler at the 4 is best for the offense, I don’t know. It could get him more shots closer to the basket. He’s certainly been rebounding like a 4 this preseason.

      “But to me right now he still looks like any number of athletic swingman in the league who excite the fans but don’t produce a lot of wins.”

      Glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t think Chandler is a sure thing first ballot hall-of-famer… Interesting comparison–I especially like the last names–and interesting that Chandler only led the 4 in FGAs/36 last season. I do think Chandler’s is a position to develop a lot statistically this season, though. Where the 2 Wrights in Hollinger’s breakout sophmores???
      I didn’t realize how well Brandan and Julian played last season. Brandan is definitely in a position where his minutes should grow substantially, Julian also but to a lesser extent having to compete with Peja, David West, Posey, Mo Pete, and Butler. Two guys the Knicks should keep an eye on if they don’t get on their coaches’ good sides.

    20. Owen

      “Owen, considering that B. Wright’s PER is almost 6 points higher than Chandler’s and he’s younger to boot, I am not sure why you are comparing them. Wright isn’t even a swingman either, he’s a 4 all day long. Wright’s TS% was .583 to Chandler’s .480. That’s just a whole different level of effectiveness. He’s also an averageish rebounder for a 4 and not a bad shotblocker, while Chandler’s numbers in these categories indicate pure small forward. …………………”

      You know, I don’t really know any of the players involved in that post too well, I just thought it was funny that there were three tall lanky Wrights out there i found vaguely similar to Chandler. Point being, there are a lot of guys out there who look like Chandler, enough that I can name three Wrights drafted recently.

      I just don’t really feel enthused about Chandler yet. I prefer to get enthusiastic about numbers, even if they are skimpy like a bikini. With Renaldo Balkman you could at least point to his rookie season where he played 1000 minutes and posted nearly best in league (at his position) per minute averages in rebounds, steals, and blocks, plus a nearly league leading defensive +/-.

      Chandler has now slipped to a 48.3% fg% and 58% ft% for a ts% of 51.4 in the preseason, and that’s with a big game against a superbly mediocre bunch of Nets scrubs.

      Per 36 he is averaging, 11.16 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.67 steals, 1.67 blocks, 2.23 To’s playing at the fastest pace in the league probably.

      Balkman in real NBA action, playing at a below league average pace, posted 10 reb, 1.5 assists, 1.9 stls, 1.5 blocks, 1.7 turnovers per 36, and a + 9 defensive +/-. That was a rebound rate of 16.4%, which was better than Shawn Marion’s that year.

      I like the similiarity of their peripherals, but that is not what excites people about Chandler. People clearly like him because he will give you 19 points per 36 at a ts% of 51%. I feel Knicks’ fans should, if not know better, at least be slightly suspicious of this type of player.

    21. Italian Stallion

      First back to back of the year against the best defense in the league…
      Have we had a transition opportunity, don’t think so…

      I think this “back to back” issue could be more of a factor for the Knicks because the team is using this running offense. That may be true until all our players are as fit as they can get. I’d be curious to see some stats on the Suns in back to back games to see if it was an issue for them over the long term.

    22. Italian Stallion

      Owen,

      The thing that excites people about Chandler is that he can score inside and out, play defense, block shots, board, shows high levels athleticism from time to time, and reportedly has a very good work ethic. The stats he earned so far were generated after getting just a few weeks of play at the tail end of his rookie year and he showed steady improvement during that period.

      IMO, anyone with even a marginal insight into player development (as opposed to just looking at the same stats everyone else can see) is encouraged by his current level of performance given his limted playing time and age and the progress he has shown to date.

      No one is expecting him to up all-star numbers yet. As the season develops we should be looking for signs of him maturing and making better decisions with the ball. If he does that, his efficiency will improve, turnovers will down, and he may get a few extra assists here or there. Over the next couple of years, his skills may also improve.

      I doubt he’s going to be playing the 4 every night. He’s somewhere between a 3 and 4 and will play wherever D’Antoni thinks he’s suited on any given night. That’s why the crowd at the 4 is an issue.

      Ted,

      I know it was said sort of tongue in cheek, but I didn’t hear anyone say Chandler was a hall of famer.

      Honestly Guys,

      You are cracking me up. We finally have a versatile athletic prospect that seems set to develop into a solid starter for us for the long term and people are still longing for Balkman. LMAO

    23. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

      Chandler seems pretty similar to Ariza at the same age (see my comment above). Ariza is better with respects to rebounding/defense, but Chandler has a better offensive game including a three point shot. Last year at age 22, Ariza had a 16.1 PER with a 56.1 TS%. It’s possible that Chandler develops in the same way. However comparing him to Marion is way too ambitious. Marion at age 21 put up a PER of 17.1. Anyone think Chandler will approach that this year?
      Anyone even willing to wager that Chandler will even have a PER of 15 this year?

      As for his position, I think at this point it’s pretty clear he should be a SF. First off the Knicks have a ton of PF, and no SF. Secondly when Chandler plays PF, it means there’s an inferior defender at the 3. Duhon/Collins are good defenders at the guard spot, but they aren’t as effective when they’re giving up a few inches. But Chandler doesn’t seem to have the size to guard PF, and I think he suffers. He’s a productive rebounder/defender at SF, but I don’t think the team gets the same level of production from him at PF.

    24. Ted Nelson

      IS,

      Like Owen, I was trying to make the point that there are a lot of players like Chandler. Some will develop, others won’t. I like Chandler’s chances to develop for all the reason’s you mention, but you could probably say something similar about a player or two on every team. With his play so far this preseason, you’re right that the signs are pointing in the right direction for WC.

      Another point I was trying to make in several posts, but Owen makes more succinctly than I could, is that even if Chandler “develops” there’s a good chance he develops into a high-usage/low-efficiency scorer. After having stepped up his game in other areas (no idea what adjusting for pace would do to his stats this preseason, I mean obviously they’d fall but I don’t know how much), scoring efficiency is the biggest thing standing in the way of his development. That’s why I kept hammering home the point that he has to address it head on. Otherwise you end up paying $10+ mill per for a player who scores 17,18, 20 ppg but isn’t worth that money (at least he plays D).

      Finally, on Balkman vs. Chandler. I don’t know. I think Balkman’s generally underrated adn I love the guy, but I do believe work ethic is very important. It certainly seems like Chandler works harder. I wonder if getting cut by Denver might not be the best thing for Balkman: it’ll put his career in a do or die situation, and we’ll see what he’s made of.

      Overall I’m excited about Chandler, just not pissing myself. Balkman actually had a very good season (or at least 1000 minutes), which I think was also a reason to be excited.

    25. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

      BTW speaking of Balkman – where are all the Balkman detractors when someone mentions playing Collins? Mardy Collins’ offense makes Renaldo Balkman look like Dwayne Wade. In 1400+ career minutes Collins has shot 36%, 27% from three, and 59% from the line. If Balkman with his 51% TS% was hurting the offense, Collins’ 41% TS% is bricking it to death.

      Where are all the people that were in an uproar over the mention of Balkman or Lee because they lacked a jumper? Or does 5 preseason games absolve those 1400+ minutes?

    26. Ben R

      Mike K – I am a huge Balkman fan. I would much rather have Balkman starting at the 3 than Collins. I think Balkman will be at worst a valuable defensive specalist and at best a very good starter. If collins can even become close to Balkman I will be very happy.

      Unfortunatly Balkman is no longer a Knick and after a month of being unable to think about basketball without getting angry I have moved on.

      The only reason I advocated Collins at the three is because unlike Duhon, Marbury and Robinson he actually has the size to play it.

      Collins despite all his shortcomings is still better than Q who seems to be our only other option at the three, at least until Jeffries and Gallinari come back.

      Collins so far this preseason is shooting over 65% TS% with over 17 pts per 36. Richardson has a TS% of 44% with 16 pts per 36.

    27. TDM

      I wonder if the lack of energy last night was because of the back-to-back, or because D’Antoni put Marbury in the starting lineup and killed the chemistry?

      D’Antoni is already back-peddling saying that the roster shake up was not a good idea. Based on his statements, it would seem almost a certainty that Marbury will be coming off the bench when the season starts.

      I also read that Gallo is cleared for full contact play today. I still think they are rushing him back, and it didn’t help when I read Gallo’s quote today:

      “The pain is staying the same; it’s not getting much better.” Damn.

      No word on Chandler’s knee other than it is a mild sprain. MRI scheduled for today.

    28. Thomas B.

      I wonder if the lack of energy last night was because of the back-to-back, or because D’Antoni put Marbury in the starting lineup and killed the chemistry?
      D’Antoni is already back-peddling saying that the roster shake up was not a good idea. Based on his statements, it would seem almost a certainty that Marbury will be coming off the bench when the season starts.

      Hmmm. Very interesting look at Marbury’s return to the starting line up. You know, consipracy theorist would look at that game as the perfect storm of items stacked against Marbury’s success. This game was a back-to-back, against the best team in the East, with Marbury at 6’3 being asked to play the SF position, N8 was also inserted in the starting line up-a shake up, this was the first 3 guard line up attempt-a further shake up, Chandler was started at the 4 again-against Garnett?! If ever there was a situation where the odds were stacked against success, this was it. Veerrrry interesting, but stupid. :-)

      Still Marbury played better than I have seen Crawford play all preseason. You also cant deny that Marbury has good chemistry with N8 and DL. N8 plays very well when paired with Marbury. I would like to see Marbury get one more shot as the starting two in a Duhon, Marbury, Chandler (if knee is okay), Randolph, and Lee line up. Marbury is much better at getting to the hole than Crawford is (in terms of results, not ability. Crawford can shake off anyone he wants, but he settles for the pull up once he has the defender off balance. Marbury uses his size to get inside, then he can dish or take the shot.)

      I did not watch the game but I saw that PP was 0-7 from the floor. Bad shooting night, or good D from the Starbury?

    29. Caleb

      You are cracking me up. We finally have a versatile athletic prospect that seems set to develop into a solid starter for us for the long term and people are still longing for Balkman. LMAO

      Until we some evidence in real games, Balkman is still a much better player than Chandler, and if his head is on straight, a better prospect. Preseason numbers are almost meaningless, but if people are talking about Chandler’s #s, or Collins’ 65% TS…

      Here’s Balkman so far, in Denver:
      per-40:
      12 points
      9.1 rebounds
      2.3 assists
      1.7 TOs
      1.7 steals
      3.4 blocks

      TS% – 61.5

      On the other hand, he’s only played 70 minutes, missing two games with another ankle injury. And he still has the fouling issues — 12 fouls in those 70 minutes.

      I suppose there might be chronic physical problems, or he might be a head-case, but when he’s been on the court he’s been the same impact player he was in the limited minutes here. Sigh.
      TS% 61.5

    30. foliveri

      There were a lot of lineup changes. Marbury and Nate starting. Crawford getting benched. Curry being told he’s going to be a bench player. Lee coming of a sore ankle. Rose getting 20 minutes, plus.
      Some of the chemistry likely was going to suffer. And D’Antoni acknowledged as much after the game.

    31. Owen

      “The thing that excites people about Chandler is that he can score inside and out, play defense, block shots, board, shows high levels athleticism from time to time, and reportedly has a very good work ethic.”

      IS – It’s interesting that “score inside and out” is the first thing you mention.

      Look, what Chandler clearly wants to be is the last thing we need on this team. We have four players in Marbury, Crawford, Randolph, and Robinson, who have a proven ability to take 15-20 shots per game at a ts% around 51%.

      And that’s what Chandler is trying to be too. He wants to get paid.

      To me, the difference between him and Ariza is in the stat line. Chandler projects to take more fg’s and fewer ft’s and therefore have a much lower fg/ft ratio. For that reason, I really doubt we will see the same leap in ts% Ariza mustered. It’s extremely hard to be an efficient swingman unless you are either a great shooter or in the paint and at the line a lot. Chandler at this point doesn’t look he is going to be either of those things.

      It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. I hope I am wrong, but my batting average has been pretty good over the past couple of years….

    32. Italian Stallion

      BTW speaking of Balkman – where are all the Balkman detractors when someone mentions playing Collins? Mardy Collins’ offense makes Renaldo Balkman look like Dwayne Wade. In 1400+ career minutes Collins has shot 36%, 27% from three, and 59% from the line. If Balkman with his 51% TS% was hurting the offense, Collins’ 41% TS% is bricking it to death.
      Where are all the people that were in an uproar over the mention of Balkman or Lee because they lacked a jumper? Or does 5 preseason games absolve those 1400+ minutes?

      Where are they? I keep making the same point.

      They aren’t analyzing Chandler based on his entire record. They are analyzing him based on the fact that he didn’t get to play until late in the season last year and then showed steady progress. Given that he’s so young and inexperienced, they then concluded that there was good probability that his form over the last few weeks was a better indication of his eventual ability than his overall record (even though that was NOT assured). However, after they saw him in summer league they concluded that the probabilities he was actually improving had improved sharply. They improved further after watching him in pre season games and based on the evaluation of his coach.

      Many of us (myself included) hoped that Balkman would work on his game after his rookie season and come into camp with a better mid range game and as a better free throw shooter. He did not. He may have even gotten worse. Then we started to hear stories about bad habits, work ethic, etc… AS a result, the more probable outcome seemed to be that Balkman had already shown us close to as much as he’s ever likely to show us unless he matures and starts working hard again.

      Related…..

      IMO, this efficiency issue is more complicated than some people make it out to be. Any bozo can achieve a high efficiency if he refuses to take any outside or difficult shots. The problem is that he won’t score a lot of points and will put a greater burden on the other players on his team to take those shots. A team simply won’t always get easy shots. The more options there are the better off the team is.

      You can argue that very efficient players are behaving INTELLIGENTLY by only taking high percentage shots. But if part of the reason is that they know they can’t hit the ocean from outside or create anything for themselves other than when it falls into their lap, they should NOT get as much credit as an equally efficient guy that is creating for himself and that can score in a variety of difficult ways.

      To me, the better measurement of offensive ability is some kind of balance between efficiency and scoring.

      Between players of equal efficiency, I’d generally (but not always) prefer the one that scores more. The reason he’s scoring more is typically because he can maintain the same level of efficiency while shooting a greater variety of shots (greater difficulty, longer distance, requiring better athleticism, creating for himself etc…) than the other guy. He should be rewarded in some way for that greater offensive arsenal because he could easily raise his efficiency if he wanted to. He doesn’t because it would hurt the team to do so. He’s the better player.

      Between guys that score equally, I would certainly rather have the more efficient player. It suggests he’s making better decisions and/or actually has better offensive skills. His efficiency seperates him from his scoring equal and demonstrates that he’s a better player.

      The tricky comparison is when one is more efficient and the other scores more. I don’t think greater efficiency automatically translates into a player being the better offensively. As I suggested above, low scoring despite high efficiency sometimes translates into very poor offensive skills. IMO a player should NOT be rewarded for having terrible offensive skills just because he makes good decisions about when to shoot. There’s a balance between the two because teams need scoring and they need that scoring from inside, outside, with athletic ability, despite sometimes taking difficult shots etc…

      I don’t have any great ideas for a new kind of stat (a few that might help a little), but I value players offensively by looking at both scoring and efficiency of scoring in combination.

    33. Italian Stallion

      “The thing that excites people about Chandler is that he can score inside and out, play defense, block shots, board, shows high levels athleticism from time to time, and reportedly has a very good work ethic.”
      IS – It’s interesting that “score inside and out” is the first thing you mention.
      Look, what Chandler clearly wants to be is the last thing we need on this team. We have four players in Marbury, Crawford, Randolph, and Robinson, who have a proven ability to take 15-20 shots per game at a ts% around 51%.
      And that’s what Chandler is trying to be too. He wants to get paid.
      To me, the difference between him and Ariza is in the stat line. Chandler projects to take more fg’s and fewer ft’s and therefore have a much lower fg/ft ratio. For that reason, I really doubt we will see the same leap in ts% Ariza mustered. It’s extremely hard to be an efficient swingman unless you are either a great shooter or in the paint and at the line a lot. Chandler at this point doesn’t look he is going to be either of those things.
      It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. I hope I am wrong, but my batting average has been pretty good over the past couple of years….

      Owen,

      I understand what you are saying. I just think that both his skills and his decision making are likely to improve over the next couple of years (if he stays healthy). I don’t worry much about Crawford, Marbury and Randolph because they’ll all be gone when Chandler and hopefully Gallinari are peaking and we bring in some other new blood.

    34. Owen

      IS – Why don’t you google “usage and efficiency and apbrmetrics” and have yourself a long read….

    35. Count Zero

      IMO, this efficiency issue is more complicated than some people make it out to be. Any bozo can achieve a high efficiency if he refuses to take any outside or difficult shots. The problem is that he won’t score a lot of points and will put a greater burden on the other players on his team to take those shots. A team simply won’t always get easy shots. The more options there are the better off the team is.
      You can argue that very efficient players are behaving INTELLIGENTLY by only taking high percentage shots. But if part of the reason is that they know they can’t hit the ocean from outside or create anything for themselves other than when it falls into their lap, they should NOT get as much credit as an equally efficient guy that is creating for himself and that can score in a variety of difficult ways.
      To me, the better measurement of offensive ability is some kind of balance between efficiency and scoring.

      I agree. Take (just as an off the top of my head example) two guys known for their three-point shooting: Steve Kerr and Allan Houston.

      Kerr is known for that incredible .524 3PCT in 1994 (.527 overall). In that season, he took 170 threes, many of which were wide open looks thanks to MJ drawing so much attention. His TS% was .635 — he scored 674 points very efficiently.

      Houston on the other hand posted only a .396 in 2002 (.445 overall). Of course he took 450 threes and was the centerpiece on offense. He scored 1845 points that year, or nearly 3x what Kerr scored. His TS% was only .563 But taking the amount of carrying the offense he did into account, I’ll happily take the dropoff in efficiency.

      I don’t think anyone’s prepared to seriously argue they would rather build a team around Kerr than Houston, right?

      TS% is not the be-all-end-all it is sometimes made out to be. Not all missed shots are “bad” shots. Nobody shoots 100% even at the free throw line and sometimes passing up a shot that you only have a 55% chance of making results in a nice TS% for you, but puts an extra burden on your teammates. One of them ends up having to take an even lower percentage shot with a hand in his face as the shot clock winds down. Now if MJ and Pippen are on your side, that’s OK — but…most teams don’t have that luxury.

    36. Ben R

      I agree about efficiency not being the end all be all, but if your TS% is lower than the league average then you are not the one that should be helping your team by shooting more.

      If Chandler was shooting a TS% of 56% then no one would complain that he was taking alot of shots. The problem is that Chandler is shooting in the 51-52% range and that is not good enough to warrant 15+ shots per 36.

      So therefore Houston in 2002 shooting a TS% of over 56% was a great offensive player that year and really helped the Knicks while Randolph last year with a TS% of just over 51% was actually an offensive burden whose poor shots came at the expense of better shooters.

      That is the beauty of D’Antoni’s system if you play within it, it seems to maximize your shot attempts while keeping your efficiency up. That is why the players that are really buying in are posting such high TS% in the preseason. Duhon, Nate, Marbury, Zach and Mardy are shooting well over their career averages and Lee is shooting at about his already high average. Jamal cannot figure out when to shoot and is stuggling while both Richardson and Chandler are looking to shoot a little too soon. Richardson is just chucking while Chandler is moving too fast and seems a little nervous.

      If Chandler slows down a little bit, he always seems rushed with the ball, the good shots will become easier to recognize and his efficiency should go up. I truly believe that Chandler will end up closer to 54-55% this year and should be even better than that in a couple of years. I do not see a chucker in Chandler I see more of a player that shoots too much because he does not want to be too passive. I think he will calm down and stop forcing.

    37. Z-man

      Chandler seems pretty similar to Ariza at the same age (see my comment above). Ariza is better with respects to rebounding/defense, but Chandler has a better offensive game including a three point shot. Last year at age 22, Ariza had a 16.1 PER with a 56.1 TS%. It’s possible that Chandler develops in the same way. However comparing him to Marion is way too ambitious. Marion at age 21 put up a PER of 17.1. Anyone think Chandler will approach that this year?
      Anyone even willing to wager that Chandler will even have a PER of 15 this year?
      As for his position, I think at this point it’s pretty clear he should be a SF. First off the Knicks have a ton of PF, and no SF. Secondly when Chandler plays PF, it means there’s an inferior defender at the 3. Duhon/Collins are good defenders at the guard spot, but they aren’t as effective when they’re giving up a few inches. But Chandler doesn’t seem to have the size to guard PF, and I think he suffers. He’s a productive rebounder/defender at SF, but I don’t think the team gets the same level of production from him at PF.

      I don’t agree with your comparison. Ariza has had 2 advantages: since leaving the knicks, he has played for 2 much better teams, and he has been asked to do far less with those teams (as indicated by his mpg). Chandler is being asked to be a starting caliber SF, to play heavy minutes and to take on a significant scoring load. Based on what I saw of Ariza as a Knick, I would not trade WC for TA straight up because I don’t think Ariza could handle the prime-time role that WC is being asked to fill; on the other hand, I think WC on the Lakers or Orlando would do just fine in Ariza’s limited role. We don’t know yet where WC’s upside lies, but I think that at worst he will be a more prominent player than Ariza (i.e. closer to being a legit starter/ 30+ minute player).

      For the Lakers, he scored in single digits 11 out of 15 times and never scored more than 14 points. For Orlando, it wasn’t that much different.

      As I have said before, I don’t buy the argument that if a player’s minutes increase, his per minute stats will stay the same. There are reasons why coaches limit minutes for guys like Ariza and Balkman.

      On the other hand, I understand that WC is getting more minutes than he deserves because of how terrible we currently are at SF and C. The jury is out on whether he can handle the heavier burden and some of the stats are ugly thus far, but he seems to have a much more polished offensive game than Ariza had at this stage, along with a decent defensive and rebounding presence both down low and on the perimeter. More importantly, I think he is more of what the Knicks need a SF right now.

      Chandler, and everyone else, is being asked to fill the void in interior defense and to make up for the lack of a superstar offensive player by distorting the role he should be playing at his age and level of development. On the Celtics, for example, Pierce and Allen don’t have to worry as much about interior D and Perkins and Rondo dont have to worry as much about creating 15 shots a game. On the Knicks, Lee and Randolph are being asked to guard guys that either dominate them inside (e.g Howard), take them out on the perimeter(e.g. Nowitski) or both (e.g Garnett, Bosh). Chandler has the body type and athleticism/skill package to physically compete with most SFs in the league on both ends, unlike any other player on the team at their “preferred” position. That is what gives me hope that this “trial by fire” will help him develop beyond where the stats currently point to. I do not think that either Balkman or Ariza would do any better than Chandler will do this year on this team in this expanded role, assuming all are healthy. Alas, the knee…

      Lee really got destroyed by Powe (and Perkins?) last night. Was it Lee’s ankle, that those guys are as good as they looked, or just one of those nights?

    38. Count Zero

      I agree about efficiency not being the end all be all, but if your TS% is lower than the league average then you are not the one that should be helping your team by shooting more.
      If Chandler was shooting a TS% of 56% then no one would complain that he was taking alot of shots. The problem is that Chandler is shooting in the 51-52% range and that is not good enough to warrant 15+ shots per 36.
      So therefore Houston in 2002 shooting a TS% of over 56% was a great offensive player that year and really helped the Knicks while Randolph last year with a TS% of just over 51% was actually an offensive burden whose poor shots came at the expense of better shooters.
      That is the beauty of D’Antoni’s system if you play within it, it seems to maximize your shot attempts while keeping your efficiency up. That is why the players that are really buying in are posting such high TS% in the preseason. Duhon, Nate, Marbury, Zach and Mardy are shooting well over their career averages and Lee is shooting at about his already high average. Jamal cannot figure out when to shoot and is stuggling while both Richardson and Chandler are looking to shoot a little too soon. Richardson is just chucking while Chandler is moving too fast and seems a little nervous.
      If Chandler slows down a little bit, he always seems rushed with the ball, the good shots will become easier to recognize and his efficiency should go up. I truly believe that Chandler will end up closer to 54-55% this year and should be even better than that in a couple of years. I do not see a chucker in Chandler I see more of a player that shoots too much because he does not want to be too passive. I think he will calm down and stop forcing.

      Can’t argue with that.

      I guess my point is that we let Jamal and his career .513 TS% chuck it up at that rate the last two seasons, right? Despite that, we accepted him as an NBA starter coming into this season even after 8 full seasons of posting that crappy TS% number.

      So I’m prepared to cut Chandler some slack on that stat until such time as he’s proven that his shot selection won’t improve over time. I.e., his current .51 is only bad if it remains at .51 30 games into the season. If it steadily improves, I don’t want to cramp his style too much in the development phase because he could be a very athletic SF who plays at both ends. If it drops below .51, then I’d be the first one to sit him down till he grasps the situation so that he doesn’t turn into the SF version of Jamal.

    39. Ted Nelson

      Ben R makes a great point and says it better than I could. Not surprisingly I’ll add my 2 cents, though:

      WHY I USE TS% SO DAMN MUCH
      I think I’m most guilty of overusing TS%. There are a few reasons I use it so much.
      -First, it’s a convenient way to compare players. To compare 5 players or 50 players looking at every factor individually would take all day, to look at TS% for scoring efficiency, and PER or WP48 or Roland Rating for overall performance may be flawed, but it’s a whole lot easier and will generally be right.
      -Second, as I’ve said, I think the Knicks will stink on D and am willing to accept that if they are solid on O. The Wizards were the 12th offense in the NBA and the 24th defense last season, and were over .500.
      -Third, it’s important.

      WHY EFFICIENCY IS SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT
      The basis of advanced statistical analysis (and of the game of basketball) is that both teams in any given game will necessarily have the same # of possessions or a one possession differential. Therefore, to win a game you have to score more points than your opponent on each possession, and they, obviously, have to score fewer points per possession than you do.
      This is why I place so much emphasis on efficient scoring. To win a game your team must be more efficient that the other team, there are lots of details but that’s basically all basketball is about: you have to both outscore your opponent and keep them from outscoring you to win. Individual players make up your team and, therefore, must be efficient also.
      You only have to balance offense and defense to a certain point. If you’re the best offense in the league, your D could potentially be so incredibly, horribly bad that you’ll still lose most games. However, this is almost impossible and if you’re the best on one side of the ball and average on the other you’re going to be a 50, 60 win team. 2007-2008: (Warriors, 4th offense + 22nd defense = 47 wins; Wizards, 12th offense + 24th defense = 43 wins; Phoenix, 2nd offense + 16th defense = 55 wins; Utah, 1st offense + 12th defense = 54 wins).

      THERE IS NO TRADEOFF BETWEEN USAGE AND EFFICIENCY (well, there is one, but only for players who shouldn’t be shooting so damn much)
      Several people keep insisting that low usage players–especially bigmen–will necessarily have the highest TS%s, while high-usage players, perimeter players, and jump-shooters will necessarily have the lowest TS%s. This is certainly not the rule, and very easily proven wrong.
      If you look at the highest TS%s in the NBA for 2008 (available on Knickerblogger’s stats page under league leaders), the top 25 includes Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Manu, Kevin Martin, Mike Miller, Chauncey Billups, Ronnie Brewer (see even a guard who can’t shoot can make it), AK-47, Jose Calderon, Mike Dunleavy, Paul Pierce, Corey Maggette (all 12 of those perimeter players were in the top 25, that’s almost 1/2 the top 25 for those keeping score at home). There are also likely as many high usage bigs as low usage bigs in the top 25.
      TS% accounts for 3 pointers and FTs. So, for example, a player who shoots 50% on 2s is equal to one who shoots 33% on 3s. Getting to the line more often (and making a decent %) will also help you.
      If you take a guy like Mikki Moore or Andris Biedrins and give him 20 FGAs/36 minutes, his efficiency will almost definitely decline significantly (they’re both at like 8 FGA/36). That I agree with. However, not every bigman who shoots as infrequently as these guys is nearly as efficient, so they’re valuable players and relative “stars” in their own roles.
      BTW, the whole notion of “creating shots” is such BS. To “create good shots” is definitely a really important skill, but to create a shot in general all you have to do is have the ball in your hands and heave it towards the basket.

      SCORING EFFICIENCY TENDS TO STAY FAIRLY CONSTANT YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT
      An efficient offense will definitely make a difference in most cases, but not a humongous one. Take two 2007-2008 Celtics: Paul Pierce had a career high TS% of .599 while Ray Allen had a strong .584 TS%. These numbers are reasonable, however, given their averages over the past few seasons. In general, players tend to play within a certain range year in and year out regardless of the team, although most improve with time until they age and decline (not necessarily in scoring efficiency for good shooters).
      In general, fewer efficient players will play on bad offenses because they help their team offenses to be better.
      If you play on a bad offensive team, you do not have to keep shooting just because you’re the “star” or the “best option.” If you’re not efficient don’t shoot. Run an offense where the shots are shared fairly evenly. Move the ball, move yourselves, take open shots. It’s not rocket science. The belief that “the best option” should always take X shots per game is wrong. If Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph are your best options, you should put your 5 best players on the court and play team basketball. (This is what D’Antoni seems to be doing).
      At the end of the day, most teams are going to have to give minutes to an inefficient scorer or two, but I think you have to minimize their FGAs and/or use them in the most efficient way possible. These inefficient scorers better be doing something else for you in terms of ending opponents’ possessions without points (defense and DRebs) and/or ending your possessions with points (ORebs, passing/play-making, spacing/screens, diving for loose balls, etc.).
      Guys who can’t shoot and don’t get to the basket and/or draw fouls will by and large have low TS%s whether they play for good or bad offensive teams: take Jamal Crawford on the Knicks and Marco Bellineli on the Warriors.

    40. njhoop

      Just to take a momentary detour away from all this stat talk (which gives me a migraine), it is so refreshing to have a coach who is not trying to justify his own personnel moves and does what is right for the team (see Curry, Crawford, etc.) It just shows what a colossal mistake it was by Dolan (or any owner for that matter) to have the same guy making deals and coaching the team, and he was a crappy coach to boot. We actually have a merit system now, and that’s why fat Eddy will be getting a lot of splinters in his fat butt this season. Players will know PT will have to be earned.

    41. TDM

      Looks like the Bulls now have some interest in Zach Randolph:

      “A league executive said that the Chicago Bulls have interest in New York Knicks forward Zach Randolph to solve their low-post scoring problems, but don’t have a package that would interest New York.”
      http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AhQxQv9RF2QwgeMQc3UHBIvTjdIF?slug=aw-boardofgovernors102308&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

      Don’t have a package that would interest New York? Umm, how about Tyrus Thomas and Larry Hughes? How about Tyrus, Drew Gooden and cash? How about some picks?

    42. Thomas B.

      Gerald Wallace is on the block? I think I already know the answer to this, but I’ll ask anyway. Should the Knicks go after him?

      Pros Defense, rebounding, scoring ability.

      Cons Contract length, health concerns, sort of a Thomasesque move

    43. Owen

      Randolph to the Bulls? I love the sound of it. We can pay them back for the Curry trade.

      Wallace is a guy no one mentioned in the Chandler conversation. He actually scores efficiently 58%, 57%, and 55% ts% the last three years on 13 fga per 36 and 6 fta. To me, he represents exactly the kind of player I wish Ill Will would become. However, Wallace attacks the rim all the time. Chandler, to my eye, doesn’t do it as much as he should.

      Wallace is always hurt though….

    44. DS

      If the Bulls had offered shorter contacts than Zach’s and/or draft picks, the Knicks would have taken it.

    45. Thomas B.

      Looks like the Bulls now have some interest in Zach Randolph:
      “A league executive said that the Chicago Bulls have interest in New York Knicks forward Zach Randolph to solve their low-post scoring problems, but don’t have a package that would interest New York.”

      No package? Hell, I could write a song about what I’d take for Randolph.

      E-flat (up beat, with a little swing)

      Welllllll.
      There’s just about nothing I would not take in a Randolph trade,
      Nothing’s too much to undo the greatest mistake Thomas ever made.
      I’d take Gooden, Gordon, Thomas, Simmons, Noah, Hinrich, Hughes
      If Randolph we could lose, I’d take any players they choose.
      (Chorus)
      Randolph may be a 20-10 guy,
      but I won’t mind saying goodbye.
      He doesn’t play D and he dribbles too much,
      He kills the offense with bad shots and such.
      He has the sort of shot selection that brings you to your knees,
      Like when he takes those pull-up threes, oh trade him please, please, please.
      (end chorus)
      So if the Bulls want an option in the post
      You can have the player I hate the most.
      Not to brag and not to boast,
      but I’d trade Randolph for a ghost.
      So if they have a shorter contract or one that saves us cash.
      Send it to New York and we’ll ship his no D-playing ass.

      (big finish)

      I really mean it!
      For Randolph
      I’ll
      take
      Any-THIIIIINNGGG
      Oh yeah!

    46. Ted Nelson

      I doubt the Bulls are willing to include much young talent in a Randolph deal after refusing to do so in a Kobe, KG, or Gasol deal. I’d assume their offer is Larry Hughes straight up, or a package involving Andres Nocioni and/or Kirk Hinrich. Would assume they’re also asking for someone else back if they’re dealing two decent players in Nocioni & Gooden or Nocioni & Hinrich.
      Hughes would work towards the 2010 goal, but is injured right now and what’s the rush?
      Gordon can’t be traded for a few months, and is not someone I want to sign to the deal he’s going to be looking for next offseason.

      If nothing else, Paxson’s interst should really help the Knicks’ bargaining position with Memphis and anyone else intersted in Randolph.

      Gerald Wallace is good, would instantly be the Knicks best defender (right? I mean who’s the comp with Balkman gone?). Not sure who on the Knicks Larry Brown would let MJ take back, Crawford played well for him. Maybe a 3-way would work. Probably more so if LB hates the guy and sees a chance to screw the Knicks again. Guess it would depend on the deal. The Bobcats would probably want Lee, I vote no. Or maybe Chandler, Nate, and Malik Rose…
      The report says that LB had to stop MJ from trading him, which gave me the impression he had a trade in place…

    47. Thomas B.

      Thomas B is here every Thursday – try the veal – remember to tip your waitresses.

      Thanks everyone.

      Hey dont forget, I’ll be in the Catskills for three shows the weekend of the 18th. No minors at the 11:00 show please, it gets a little blue.

    48. jon abbey

      the Post is reporting that NY will not lock up either Lee or Robinson before the 10/31 deadline, so they’ll both be restricted free agents next summer.

    49. joeyd

      In his most recent American basketball experience Childress didn’t play for an organization that appears to recognize the value of his primary skills: shot selection and offensive rebounding. Though there are certain to be some overlapping blind spots, I think it’s a bit of an exaggeration to equate the American basketball development system (which is rife for many, many legitimate criticisms) with the Atlanta Hawks.

      i wouldnt discount cheldress’ time at stanford.

    50. TDM

      Allan Houston and Grunfeld were both cut this morning. Also, the Knicks picked up the option on Collins.

      Not quite sure what that means in regards to the final cut. The fact that they didn’t cut Roberson or PEJ makes me think maybe a buyout of Malik or James. Do D-League players count against the max number of players on the active roster? Can they designate PEJ to Reno and not make any additional cuts?

    51. jon abbey

      “Do D-League players count against the max number of players on the active roster?”

      yes, 15 including D-League (which I believe NY has never used).

    52. joeyd

      I see Fazekas is #1 on the breakout candidates for 09 list. Did he get picked up by Denver? I wish the Knicks had picked him up instead of Grunfeld or Roberson.
      When is the deadline for the Knicks to get down to 15?

      Fazekas was drafted in the 2nd round by dallas and rode the pine last year.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2007.html

      Who is the old fat slob with the smoking hot date sitting behind D’Antoni, has anyone seen this lop-sided abomination. This is becoming a national epidemic.

    53. TDM
      I see Fazekas is #1 on the breakout candidates for 09 list. Did he get picked up by Denver? I wish the Knicks had picked him up instead of Grunfeld or Roberson.When is the deadline for the Knicks to get down to 15?

      Fazekas was drafted in the 2nd round by dallas and rode the pine last year.
      http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2007.html

      Is there a point here? Although he has been limited in minutes, his stats project him out to be a very efficient player.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=fazekni01&y1=2008

      As far as second round players, we could use a few like Arenas, Rodman, Ginobili, Boozer, Rashard Lewis, Steve Kerr, Monta Ellis . . .

    54. joeyd

      Who is the old fat slob with the smoking hot date sitting behind D’Antoni, has anyone seen this lop-sided abomination. This is becoming a national epidemic.

      dont hate, congratulate

    55. joeyd

      I see Fazekas is #1 on the breakout candidates for 09 list. Did he get picked up by Denver? I wish the Knicks had picked him up instead of Grunfeld or Roberson.When is the deadline for the Knicks to get down to 15?

      Fazekas was drafted in the 2nd round by dallas and rode the pine last year.http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2007.html

      Is there a point here? Although he has been limited in minutes, his stats project him out to be a very efficient player.
      http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=fazekni01&y1=2008
      As far as second round players, we could use a few like Arenas, Rodman, Ginobili, Boozer, Rashard Lewis, Steve Kerr, Monta Ellis . . .

      The point is. . . . . .

      he wasnt available as a free agent if your comparing him to roberson or grunfeld. He was drafted. We drafted wilson chandler with in that draft.

      And yes, it is great to get lucky with a diamond in the rough, i actually think we have a few, lee, robinson, chandler, collins.

    56. joeyd

      Mike K – I am a huge Balkman fan. I would much rather have Balkman starting at the 3 than Collins. I think Balkman will be at worst a valuable defensive specalist and at best a very good starter. If collins can even become close to Balkman I will be very happy.
      Unfortunatly Balkman is no longer a Knick and after a month of being unable to think about basketball without getting angry I have moved on.
      The only reason I advocated Collins at the three is because unlike Duhon, Marbury and Robinson he actually has the size to play it.
      Collins despite all his shortcomings is still better than Q who seems to be our only other option at the three, at least until Jeffries and Gallinari come back.
      Collins so far this preseason is shooting over 65% TS% with over 17 pts per 36. Richardson has a TS% of 44% with 16 pts per 36.

      collins can never be like balkman. what balkman has, you have to be born with, cannot be learned.

    57. Reebok1303

      Two quick things.

      First, Ted Nelson, your post this morning about TS% was pretty succinct and excellently written – nicely done.

      Second, that song was absolutely outstanding Thomas B. It’s a hell of a lot better than the pop garbage I hear on my radio right now. I wish it would make it on to Truehoop so you could get some recognition for it. Bravo.

    58. caleb

      Fazekas was drafted by Dallas (2nd round), traded to the Clippers, who did not pick up his contract this year. Denver signed him and he’s on the roster.

      He was a topic on the boards last summer — I do think he has a chance at being a pretty good NBA player. Won’t be able to guard anyone, but in college and his very limited NBA minutes, has been a high-volume AND high-efficiency scorer, and a good rebounder.

    59. Italian Stallion

      IS – Why don’t you google “usage and efficiency and apbrmetrics” and have yourself a long read….

      I’ve already done a lot of reading and I’m sure I have a lot more to learn.

      So far, I think advanced level stats do a great job of giving you the tools you need to evaluate players. However, I think some things are very difficult to capture without a subjective and visual analysis of the player, his teamates, and what’s really going on on the court.

      For example:

      As a fan and casual observer, for years I thought that Allen Iverson was overrated. When I was introduced to advances basketball stats, I had an objective way to make my case. However, IMO, the stats weren’t telling the whole story either. They were overstating the case.

      Here’s what I mean.

      Sometimes I watch Iverson drive to hoop, draw 3 defenders, and then throw up a foolish and awkward shhot instead off looking for an open man. Foolish decisions like that (among others) impact his FG%, efficiency, and hurt his team

      However, what the stats don’t tell you is that when he does that, sometimes the extra defenders he tends to draw leave his teamates open to get offensive rebounds and extremely easy shots that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. It’s almost like he’s getting a different form of assist and contribution to his teamate’s rebounds that no one seems to notice or care about. So maybe some of his decisions aren’t quite as bad as they look even though they impact his personal stats unfavorably.

      I see endless examples of that that may be captured in team stats, but that IMO don’t always capture the value (or lack of value) of some players.

      So I personally think Iverson is overrated relative to his reputation in the media, but I think he’s more valuable than the advanced stats indicate.

    60. Caleb

      You don’t have to rely on intangibles and observation to test a theory like, “Allen Iverson helps his team by drawing lots of defenders.” Do the players around him get more offensive rebounds when he’s on the court? Do they shoot a higher percentage while he’s on the court? (by getting those easy putbacks) Etc.

      I don’t know the Answer – get it? get it? – but if he helps his team this way, it should be measurable.

      One problem gauging Iverson’s impact is that he plays so many minutes, and is so durable, it’s hard to get a “control” sample – enough minutes when he’s not on the court, to compare to the minutes when he is.

    61. Caleb

      p.s. obviously plus-minus tries to do this – and Iverson does not have great plus-minus numbers – but plus-minus isn’t definitive, for the reasons we’ve talked about here, more so because Iverson plays as many minutes as he does.

    62. teddd

      I see Fazekas is #1 on the breakout candidates for 09 list. Did he get picked up by Denver? I wish the Knicks had picked him up instead of Grunfeld or Roberson.When is the deadline for the Knicks to get down to 15?

      Fazekas was drafted in the 2nd round by dallas and rode the pine last year.http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2007.html

      Is there a point here? Although he has been limited in minutes, his stats project him out to be a very efficient player.http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=fazekni01&y1=2008As far as second round players, we could use a few like Arenas, Rodman, Ginobili, Boozer, Rashard Lewis, Steve Kerr, Monta Ellis . . .

      The point is. . . . . .
      he wasnt available as a free agent if your comparing him to roberson or grunfeld. He was drafted. We drafted wilson chandler with in that draft.
      And yes, it is great to get lucky with a diamond in the rough, i actually think we have a few, lee, robinson, chandler, collins.

      Actually, Fazekas was cut last year by Dallas so he’s been a free-agent several times over the past few months. So yes, the Knicks could have picked him up this past summer instead of Grunfeld or Roberson who were also free-agents. Which was his point.

    63. Z-man

      Allan Houston and Grunfeld were both cut this morning. Also, the Knicks picked up the option on Collins.
      Not quite sure what that means in regards to the final cut. The fact that they didn’t cut Roberson or PEJ makes me think maybe a buyout of Malik or James. Do D-League players count against the max number of players on the active roster? Can they designate PEJ to Reno and not make any additional cuts?

      From a strictly business perspective, I would cut Roberson or PEJ. Roberson is clearly a D-league caliber player and it makes the most financial sense to eat his minimal contract. PEJ is a young body, but not much more. He has very amateurish footwork and technique on both ends (travels and fouls galore) and probably won’t develop for 2-3 years, if at all. James is still over 7′ and maybe some team needs a backup center between now and January and will take on his pro-rated contract, or he could expend a couple of fouls at Howard or Yao after Zach, Lee and Curry pick up 3 each in the first half. Malik will be pretty useless when Jefferies gets back, but far less useless than Roberson or PEJ.

    64. Thomas B.

      the Post is reporting that NY will not lock up either Lee or Robinson before the 10/31 deadline, so they’ll both be restricted free agents next summer.

      Could Donnie have done that to make it easier to include either of them in a trade? If they are resigned now, would that make them base year compensation players and thereby harder to include in a trade?

      I guess Donnie may be thinking that he can move some, if not all three side of the Bermuda triangle of defense: Crawford, Randolph, and Curry. If so, then by doing that and foregoing the bird rights to Lee and Robinson, Donnie can sign LBJ/Wade/Bosh and let whomever he gets play along side Collins, JJ, and Chandler. Oh yeah, that will get us back into contention.

    65. Owen

      “Second, that song was absolutely outstanding Thomas B. It’s a hell of a lot better than the pop garbage I hear on my radio right now. I wish it would make it on to Truehoop so you could get some recognition for it. Bravo.”

      I agree. Although perhaps we don’t need to advertise to those GM’s who don’t read Knickerblogger how much we hate him.

      ;-)

      Re Fazekas – It’s a contrast with Chandler. They both have played extremely limited minutes. But Fazekas has in those minutes in the pros shown the same efficient, productive game he showed in college. I would have more enthusiasm for him now than Chandler. However, it’s pretty clear that Chandler is much further along the NBA development curb, at least in terms of management perception. And that I would think is only because of his scoring.

      Fazekas is getting cut by the Nuggets, btw…

      “However, what the stats don’t tell you is that when he does that, sometimes the extra defenders he tends to draw leave his teamates open to get offensive rebounds and extremely easy shots that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. It’s almost like he’s getting a different form of assist and contribution to his teamate’s rebounds that no one seems to notice or care about. So maybe some of his decisions aren’t quite as bad as they look even though they impact his personal stats unfavorably.”

      IS – I file these kind of comments under “just so stories.” You can make this argument about any player, in any situation, in order to defend someone whose play doesn’t readily seem to produce a lot of wins.

      Iverson had the best season of his life last year. He posted easily the highest ts% of his career (57.6). He played next to Carmelo. He played with Camby. They had tons of useful players on the bench. They had a Hall of Fame coach. And they won only 50 games. I think it has always been pretty clear that Iverson doesn’t have a huge impact on winning percentages. But it should be crystal clear now. I would bet they are going to have a very rough season unless Jr Smith has the explosion my fantasy team is waiting for.

      Re Handicapping = I actually bet my first horse race yesterday. there was some sort of massive carryover at one of the local tracks and I got involved with a pick six betting pool. We did not win.

      I read your analogy to horse handicapping. I think it’s fair to compare players to horses. But I think where your analogy is faulty is this. Chandler hasn’t run one race. He has run a lot of them already. In college especially, where his coaches were shocked he got drafted in the first round. I also think physical talent is much more important with horses than it is with players.

      I would also say that I don’t think Chandler’s performance last april was any kind of Secretariat moment.

      Really, a better analogy is basketball to poker. I have been meaning to put up a post about that. Hmmm….

    66. Z

      Great. I tune out for a few weeks, hoping that when I checked back in the Knicks would be worthy of paying attention to again. The only news I seem to have missed is that Mardy Collins, the worst player in the NBA last year (even worse than Q!) had his option picked up. The cherry on top of a wonderful offseason.

      Bye guys,

      See you next summer.

    67. jon abbey

      so even though three teams have now decided Fazekas wasn’t worthy of keeping on their 15 man roster in the last nine months or so, he still intrigues everyone? I’m way more bummed about Gerald Green, who was available and who’s doing well for Dallas in preseason.

    68. teddd

      so even though three teams have now decided Fazekas wasn’t worthy of keeping on their 15 man roster in the last nine months or so, he still intrigues everyone? I’m way more bummed about Gerald Green, who was available and who’s doing well for Dallas in preseason.

      so even though three teams have now decided Fazekas wasn’t worthy of keeping on their 15 man roster in the last nine months or so, he still intrigues everyone? I’m way more bummed about Gerald Green, who was available and who’s doing well for Dallas in preseason.

      Do you think that Fazekas would be the first player that failed to impress early in his career only to become a solid NBAer later on? You wouldn’t have to try hard to make a pretty extensive list. Not to mention that it’s much harder to ‘stick’ without the guaranteed contract being a 1st round pick gives you.

    69. Owen

      Interesting that they chose to retain Juwan Howard too. I don’t know, this is the team that thought bringing in Iverson would make them title contenders. But they do employ Dean Oliver, so there is at least one guy in the organization who understands basketball, I know that….

    70. caleb

      About Denver, I’m a Fazekas fan too, but they’re still a playoff contender, so the calculus of rookie vs. veteran on the roster is a little different than with us.

      Camby gone, but added Nene and yes, Balkman… plus big minutes for JR Smith… Kleiza still improving. Don’t know they’ll be much worse than last year, which was 50 wins.

    71. Ronnie

      Since when do starters sitting out preseason games get so much attention ? last year Marbury sat out a game in the preseason and we started Q and Crawford and nothing was made of it . Jefferies steeped in for Q at SF one game and nothing was made of it . It seems the beat writers are driving things trying to shake up what has been a drama free camp so far for according to knicks standards .

      Im not really worried about Crawford scoring points because last year it was a similar story but he was ready when the season started. Im much more worried about D’antoni’s adaptation of the offense to his personnel.In Phoenix he had a team full of spot up shooters who rarely got to the ft line while here he has a team full of scorers who can get to the foul line . You dont wont them settling for jumpshots you want each player attacking in situations that best suite there talents . I would point to the first three games of last year and try and create a hybrid of D’antoni’s style and what worked for the knick those games that allowed for the knicks to spread the ball around but for everyone to very effective .

    72. jon abbey

      “Do you think that Fazekas would be the first player that failed to impress early in his career only to become a solid NBAer later on?”

      being released by NBA teams three times in your first year and still becoming an impact player is pretty rare, I’d think (especially with no off-court issues). most guys get traded at least, three different teams have concluded that he doesn’t have enough value to make their top 15.

      also, people’s argument here is that he’s already an effective player if given a chance. the guys who bounce around and then catch on are almost always guys whose game strongly develops mid-career, the Ben Wallaces and Bruce Bowens and Matt Barneses of the world.

    73. Ted Nelson

      Ronnie,

      Good point about the media trying to cause trouble and invent drama every time D’Antoni sneezes, I guess they’ve just grown accustomed to writing a certain kind of story.
      I agree that the Knicks will probably be more effective with some of their players attacking the basket and drawing fouls, we’ll see what happens in that respect. Last year was a freak show for the Knicks and 2 of their 3 players who get to the line most frequently (Marbury and Curry, Lee being the other) didn’t play much, but Phoenix finished with the same (slightly more actually) FT/FG as the Knicks last season… they were both around the league median. Amare gets to the line more than any Knick.

      Jon,

      You might try at least looking at the stats before making claims based on them.
      Ben Wallace’s per minute stats for his first 2 seasons (197 and 1124 minutes, respectively) are very much in line with what you’d expect for someone who put up his career numbers. Bruce Bowen didn’t play more than 1 minute in an NBA season until he was 26 (so it’s impossible to say what he did before his mid-20s), but his per minute stats that year were also very much in line with his career numbers. As a 23 year old rookie Matt Barnes had a very similar season in per minute and rate terms to last season.
      I could see an argument that defense is more mental and takes longer to learn, but I’d think the potential on that side of the ball should have been obvious for all 3 and they bounced around because of their offense.
      So while like most young, inexperienced players those 3 improved with time and experience, their per minute stats were pretty indicative of their career stats.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=wallabe01&y1=1998&p2=bowenbr01&y2=1998&p3=barnema02&y3=2004

    74. jon abbey

      I don’t have time to look up stats every time I post here, sorry, so take my posts for what they’re worth or not worth based on that. I actually am kind of a Luddite when it comes to hoops stats, I prefer to mostly ignore them, to be honest.

      anyway, the first half of my post still holds. none of those guys got released three times in a year, and I think you’d be hardpressed to find anyone who did and later became a valuable contributor.

    75. TDM

      For what its worth, Fazekas was cut by Denver and it looks like he may sign with the Knicks’ D-League in Reno, where Fazekas played college ball.

      Also, Alan Hahn is reporting that the Pistons and Cavs are “monitoring” the Zach situation. Big Ben or Rasheed for Zbo straight up?

    76. joeyd

      D Lee and N Robinson to be restricted free agents.

      if they both hit the open market, one or both will be gone!!

    77. joeyd

      I see Fazekas is #1 on the breakout candidates for 09 list. Did he get picked up by Denver? I wish the Knicks had picked him up instead of Grunfeld or Roberson.When is the deadline for the Knicks to get down to 15?

      Fazekas was drafted in the 2nd round by dallas and rode the pine last year.http://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2007.html

      Is there a point here? Although he has been limited in minutes, his stats project him out to be a very efficient player.http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=fazekni01&y1=2008As far as second round players, we could use a few like Arenas, Rodman, Ginobili, Boozer, Rashard Lewis, Steve Kerr, Monta Ellis . . .

      The point is. . . . . .he wasnt available as a free agent if your comparing him to roberson or grunfeld. He was drafted. We drafted wilson chandler with in that draft.And yes, it is great to get lucky with a diamond in the rough, i actually think we have a few, lee, robinson, chandler, collins.

      Actually, Fazekas was cut last year by Dallas so he’s been a free-agent several times over the past few months. So yes, the Knicks could have picked him up this past summer instead of Grunfeld or Roberson who were also free-agents. Which was his point.

      I stand corrected

      strange a player so you would be allowed to be on the open market so often. I’ve always thought he was a good player, something must be going on in practice, because i dont see a reason to cut a 23 year old player with upside. especially when you can assign to the dleague

    78. Owen

      From Alan Hahn:

      “D’Antoni to read Top Ten on Letterman

      Mike D’Antoni will read the famous Top Ten list on the David Letterman Show this coming Tuesday. The subject of the list will be, “Top Ten New York Knicks Promises for the 2008-2009 Season.”

      [Cringe.]

      Let’s hear some ideas for the list.”

      Thomas B – This is a task made to order for you. There is actually one funny list somebody posted in the comments but i bet you can do better.

      Posted by LH:

      10) Stephon Marbury promises to stop driving home interns in his truck.
      9) Jerome James promises to wear dress shoes with his suit EVERY GAME.
      8) Jared Jeffries promises to stop taking advice from Terrell Owens
      7) Danilo Gallinari promises to stop telling women that his injury is not a bulging disc but a bulging di…, erm…yeah. Lost in translation… Moving on.
      6) Zach Randolph promises to stop telling people he used to play “Eddie Winslow” on Family Matters.
      5) Nate the Great promises not to let anyone “steal his sunshine”
      4) James Dolan promises to authorize a Lebron James bobble head give away day.
      3) Eddie Curry promises to refrain from using the term “practicing to” refer to playing video games
      2) David Lee PROMISES to sign a contract with the Knicks next summer….c’mon….
      1) Isiah Thomas promises to stay in Europe… “scouting” new talent.
      0) Mike D promises not to stop trying, take a buyout and run away laughing…

    79. griphook2008

      NEWS FLASH: Isiah rushed to hospital after apparently ODing on sleeping pills.

      no duh sherlock. there was already a blog post about it

    80. Italian Stallion

      IS said:

      “However, what the stats don’t tell you is that when he does that, sometimes the extra defenders he tends to draw leave his teamates open to get offensive rebounds and extremely easy shots that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. It’s almost like he’s getting a different form of assist and contribution to his teamate’s rebounds that no one seems to notice or care about. So maybe some of his decisions aren’t quite as bad as they look even though they impact his personal stats unfavorably.”

      Owen said:

      “IS – I file these kind of comments under “just so stories.” You can make this argument about any player, in any situation, in order to defend someone whose play doesn’t readily seem to produce a lot of wins. ”

      The difference is that 9-10 players don’t draw double and triple teams as often when they have the ball and go to the hoop. If you don’t double and triple him, he’ll score a much more efficient looking 30 points a night instead of doing what appears to be all the silly things we tend to donwgrade him for. Things like my example are factors for all players, just not as often with Iverson. Now keep in mind, I’m not actually defending him as the superstar the media makes him out to be. I’m just saying he has more value than his given credit for statistically because those little hidden things that happen in games are more of a factor for him than others.

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