Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Phoenix Suns 128 – New York Knicks 110 – Game Recap

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the tank.

Guys, this was such an amazing display of tanking prowess that I’m so proud of our guys. I mean, it was a bit too much on the nose at first. Lance Thomas as your first substitute? After he didn’t play for like a bazillion games? And after he’s Lance Thomas? But it didn’t look like it was enough. After all, these Suns had the worst record in the league prior to this game. We had to do better than that to tank effectively. And we did. We did. We come away from this game with a loss, and it was such a concerted non-effort that it’s becoming evident that this team is gelling. You can’t pull this loss without a collective focus.

Seriously: this is a bit depressing. Not the loss per se, which is (as we all – cough – know) good, but the watching experience is really marred by the multiple injuries to our youngsters. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that the only thing that’s worth watching this year is how the first- and second-year players behave, to see who’s a keeper and who’s not. Well, without Mitch, Zo and Dotson, we are a tad short in the excitement department. Knox is getting a biiit better, but it’s hard to bother getting warmed up for two guys who combine for 9 makes on 27 attempts in 67 minutes of play. You know well that I’m a Frank believer, but these should be the games you’re supposed to shine in. It’s hard to lose like this, apart from dreaming about ping-pong balls. I wished for a quality loss, I got the loss, I guess quality is for another time.

The good:

– I hope some GM is watching. Emmanuel Mudiay (32 pts, 6 rebs, 6 ast, -8 +/-) stuffed the stat sheet in many ways while scoring efficiently (32 pts on 21 shots). Perry should put this game* in an envelope and send it to everyone in the league, hoping someone bites. I know, I know. Emmanuel is improving – he really is. But does anyone really envision December Mud being the butterfly emerging out of the stinking cocoon that were his first three years in the League? 20/6/3.5 in 32 minutes on 48/37/84 (his December raw stats) are borderline all-star numbers in a vacuum. His defense is still non-existent, but everything is apparently in place to fool someone into thinking this is the starting point guard they need right now. I hope them fools aren’t us. That said, if you didn’t know any better it would be easy to root for this guy. He’s exuding confidence, getting to his spots, and passing the ball better, as in “making accurate passes”.

* without any mention about his three-point shooting form. This time one of his makes was described by Breen as “a deep floater… (two second pause to check the boxscore in silent bewilderment)… it was for three!”. I can assure it wasn’t pretty in any way.

The bad:

– We have a new aficionado of this portion of the recap. Trey Burke (4 pts, 2 rebs, 2 ast, -2 +/-) is playing like the version of Trey Burke that got kicked out of the League before last season. After his breakout (or swan’s song?) performance against Boston, he never shot better than 25% from the field in any of the subsequent six games he’s played. To be fair, he just got back from an injury. Also to be fair, four of those games were before the injury. His TS% has gone south of .500 and his WS/48 of 0.50 is mediocre (edit: his actual WS/48 is 0.050. I didn’t type a zero). Tonight was another display of ill-thought chucking from midrange. He’s also not being functional at all, in any lineup where he’s called to play. It’s interesting, however, that he’s a better defender than Mudiay, at least in terms of defensive positioning.

– Frank Ntilikina (9 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, -17 +/-) started with a bang, hitting a goofy running hook shot and his first two three-points attempts. After that, his game was a mess. Booker got the best of him, because even if Frank was able to stay in front of him in most cases Devin just found the right angles to ignore the defensive coverage. Playing with another ball-dominant player shuts down his confidence right after the first missed attempt. You can almost guess his thoughts while he dribbles the ball: “Should I shoot here? Maybe I won’t see the ball for another two minutes… maybe I should drive right… I got it! I’ll call a screener! But no, wait, I’ll probe a little the defense and pull up from the stripe! Or I can try and shoot a three, I was good at math, and 3>2… ok, no, I don’t know what to do, if I miss coach will be angry. I’ll just pass the ball to my right. Next time I will shoot no matter what!”. And sometimes he shoots no matter what, and his body isn’t ready. There was a sequence in the third quarter, with the game tied at 77, where he shot a midrange jumper, missed long, Vonleh got the board, passed to ball again to a wide open Frank in the high post, Frank thought too much and shot short. His shooting form is not consistent and the release looks weak. The guy’s playing scared again, and I hate it.

– Noah Vonleh (3 pts, 7 rebs, 1 ast, -18 +/-) looks like he’s probably running on fumes, which scares me a bit. You know I’ve been pretty vocal about his usefulness to the team, but what if he can’t sustain his production because of simply lacking stamina. He’s been notably much less adaptable on the court in the last two games, and his head is not there on the offensive end. I’d tell myself not to worry about him, but if he plays again a bad game on Wednesday I’ll start thinking that maybe he can’t be good Vonleh for more than 30 games. Who knows? I’m just panicking a bit that the only bright spot outside of our cost controlled assets is slipping a lot. I don’t know how he tallied a game-low -18 in exactly 18 minutes while Kevin Knox, who was good in the first but then vanished only has -2. Noah, get back soon. …well, now, thinking about it, this was exactly the right game for his to stink the bed. Is this tanking Vonleh?

Fun-sized bits:

– No THJ tonight! I didn’t miss him one iota. He’s become our next Melo, in that we’re counting the days until his contract his over while someone swoons over his 20+ ppg on .520  TS%.

– Courtney Lee was passable (12 pts, 4 reb, 5-8 from the field). It’s trade season, we need more from him to try and trade him.

– Kevin Knox is finding his footing. I liked the aggressiveness he used to corral an offensive rebound to put the ball back into the basket in the first quarter. I need to see him display that kind of motor day in and day out to feel like we didn’t completely struck out with his selection. Until then, I’ll try hard not to puke browsing his B-R page.

– Mario with the most useless 14 points ever. Anyway, we didn’t have much at stake by that point, so it’s okay if he plays a bit.

– Enes Kanter with another double-double without effort. Not “an effortless double-double”. A double double where he didn’t put effort into the game. The man breathes, eats and drinks double-doubles, but in the end it never works. His defense and mono-dimensional offense negate whatever contribution he makes to this team. I don’t doubt he has the ability to impact a few specific playoff games. As a player on a bad team, as a starter on a bad team, he’s completely pointless. On a (not) funny sidenote, he had the only block for the night among Knicks. Mitch, where art thou?

– Luke Kornet was out of sorts tonight. He never shot inside the arc and wasn’t a big defensive improvement on Enes, which says a lot.

– Lance Thomas with his usual useless night: just five boards and nothing else in 21 minutes. I’ve never seen such a black hole for stats before, not counting Jason Collins. His negative WS/48 is still better than Knox’s or Frank’s.

And now to Wednesday, where we’ll get crushed by the Sixers in atrocious fashion. Ping-pong balls are our new gods.

 

 

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115 comments on “Phoenix Suns 128 – New York Knicks 110 – Game Recap

  1. d-mar

    Can we give the Celtics $1 million and borrow Danny Ainge for a week? He’s the king of trading players away at their peak (Thomas, Bradley, Crowder, etc) and I’m sure he’d find some team willing to take Mudiay off of our hands, and then they can watch his inevitable regression to the mean.

    Unfortunately, I think our guys Mills and Perry are only thinking “How much do you think we’ll have to pay this new budding star?”

  2. vincoug

    Great recap as always Farfa but

    his WS/48 of 0.50 is mediocre.

    If Burke’s WS/48 were 0.5 he’d be having the greatest individual season in NBA history. His total WS on the season are 0.5 and his WS/48 are 0.05.

  3. mase

    if Isiah were gm we would be expecting a mudiay for a max;

    interesting to see what perry does here, he might make a nice sweeter for a lee move.

  4. Brian Cronin

    if Isiah were gm we would be expecting a mudiay for a max;

    interesting to see what perry does here, he might make a nice sweeter for a lee move.

    That’d be an amazing move.

    Yeah, we are really going to get to the nitty gritty of how good of a GM Perry is this season/offseason.

  5. Z-man

    The thing is I hate even this improved version of Mudiay. If you guaranteed me he would sustain everything he’s doing this year over the next three years, I still wouldn’t want him.

    Just playing devil’s advocate: Mudiay came into the league at age 19. He was obviously not ready to be an NBA player yet was given starters minutes based solely on draft position and hype. Now, at age 22, he is showing significant improvement. Yet his 6000+ minutes of play from age 19-21 continue to define who he is and will probably be for his entire career in the minds of most posters here. Why shouldn’t he be compared to other 22yo players who stayed in college until they were Mudiay’s age? Isn’t the assumption that the reason that they stayed in college was that they were not NBA ready and would have sucked had they come out at age 19?

  6. Z-man

    Obviously we shouldn’t offer him anything substantial, or let him get in the way of more impactful signings, but if he continues to produce at this level or better and can be had on the relative cheap (say, 3 yrs, less than $7 mill per year, i.e. Lance Thomas money) then the question becomes: how much of an albatross is his past production at his young age? I don’t have an answer, but I think it’s a serious question for consideration and shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.

  7. mase

    if a 25 year old Dinwiddie is getting $34m/3, I would think the market for mudiay is the same and could go up based on a higher ceiling maybe

  8. Farfa Post author

    Wait, Dinwiddie is actually good (third straight season with .100+ WS/48) and improved at a steady pace. Mudiay is much more likely to just be a fluke.

    (Strangely, though, PIPM is ranking Mudiay ahead of Dinwiddie, and both Mudiay and THJ are tied for 60th in the whole League for O-PIPM. Not sure I trust this stat as much as some others do)

  9. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @10

    There’s some weird valuations on every stat, I wouldn’t use that as evidence against the stat unless there was some critical mass of head-scratchers.

    The reason I like PIPM and RPM better is because they have better fit to RAPM than WS/48 and BPM and operate on +/- stats supplemented by box score priors rather than only box score stats (see https://fansided.com/2018/01/11/nylon-calculus-introducing-player-impact-plus-minus/ for more). Plus at least PIPM doesn’t have the MP weight that BPM has, which I think skews results in cases where MP are abnormally high or relatively low (Westbrook has the best BPM of all time in part because of his unprecedented minutes and usage load).

  10. Hubert

    Just playing devil’s advocate: Mudiay came into the league at age 19. He was obviously not ready to be an NBA player yet was given starters minutes based solely on draft position and hype. Now, at age 22, he is showing significant improvement. Yet his 6000+ minutes of play from age 19-21 continue to define who he is and will probably be for his entire career in the minds of most posters here. Why shouldn’t he be compared to other 22yo players who stayed in college until they were Mudiay’s age? Isn’t the assumption that the reason that they stayed in college was that they were not NBA ready and would have sucked had they come out at age 19?

    I don’t like the kind of player he is even at his peak. If you’re a PG whose strength is volume scoring, is bad on defense, and not good at getting his teammates involved, you better be Damian Lillard.

    Part of the reason he looks passable now is because he’s on a terrible team with no offense that lets him do whatever he wants. If you get good players around him, letting him do that is stupid.

  11. Farfa Post author

    @11

    Yes, but age is secondary to years of experience in the NBA. In their respective third season, Mudiay was posting -0.002 WS/48, while Dinwiddie was at 0.101. In their fourth, Mudiay is currently posting 0.078 WS/48. Dinwiddie was at 0.118.

  12. Farfa Post author

    There’s some weird valuations on every stat, I wouldn’t use that as evidence against the stat unless there was some critical mass of head-scratchers.

    Of course! I was just joking :)

  13. cgreene

    @13 that’s flawed logic. One can then assume if he was on a better team that he would have slightly lower usage, be in a more structured offense, and a higher % of his passes would be converted raising is AST% because he would be passing to better players. Therefore, there is an argument that his numbers would be better and role slightly different on a “better” team.

  14. mase

    @14

    the argument was based on lack of experience for mudiay having no college/china whereas Dinwiddie entered into the league at 21 with 4 years of college. that accounts for a learning curve one would assume

  15. cgreene

    Would be interesting to see what % of rookies/players in the league are 20 years old or younger graphed out over the last 20 seasons. Would help understand the validity of the data size in terms of being able to predict young players’ ability to improve over time. I, of course, am not the person to collect or graph this.

  16. Hubert

    I may be crazy but I think Dell Demps would do this trade:

    Pelicans get:

    Mudiay
    Hardaway

    Any team with an expiring contract gets:

    Solomon Hill (owed $13.2mm next year)
    Two second round picks from New Orleans

    Knicks get:

    Wesley Johnson (expiring)
    Elfriid Payton (expiring)
    The expiring contract from the third team.

    Here’s an example using Cleveland as the 3rd team:

    http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=y8gx4xra

  17. TheOakmanCometh

    Mudiay’s production this year also leans heavily on unsustainable jump shooting, just like Burke last year. The deep down organic improvement is far less than it appears. And his shooting form is so awkward that it seems completely implausible that he’s suddenly a genuinely good shooter.

    His likely destiny next season is fringe NBA player. That’s an improvement over where he was last year. It’s also worth a minimum salary, with a few extra bucks tacked on for upside. Giving him Dinwiddie money is insanity.

  18. Hubert

    One can then assume if he was on a better team that he would have slightly lower usage, be in a more structured offense, and a higher % of his passes would be converted raising is AST% because he would be passing to better players.

    Why would one assume any of that?

  19. mase

    Dinwiddie’s deal could become a great asset for the nets..had Dinwiddie waited till the offseason he probably couldn’t gotten a more lucrative contract

  20. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Mudiay’s production this year also leans heavily on unsustainable jump shooting, just like Burke last year. The deep down organic improvement is far less than it appears. And his shooting form is so awkward that it seems completely implausible that he’s suddenly a genuinely good shooter.

    His likely destiny next season is fringe NBA player. That’s an improvement over where he was last year. It’s also worth a minimum salary, with a few extra bucks tacked on for upside. Giving him Dinwiddie money is insanity.

    And his monthly splits:

    November, .541 TS% on 138 FGA/37 FTA
    December, .577 TS% on 138 FGA/41 FTA

    So we’re saying that his improvement is probable to be sustained and authentic… on the back of 138 FGA? That’s gonna be a no from me, dawg.

  21. Grocer

    I dunno. I get the point about time in the NBA and those numbers are much more reliable, but there’s definitely something to be said about both the development environment and age. Especially age.

    Mudiay has (mostly) shown steady improvement, just not enough to make him actually good yet. Will that continue? Maybe, maybe not. Clearly we shouldn’t give him a contract like Dinwiddie’s but he’s also not nearly as good. I don’t think he’s worth 7/yr either, and I suspect we’d be able to retain him for less.

    This really depends on a) how well he plays the rest of the season; b) if the Knicks can land Durant/Leonard/ect; and c) who else is available at what cost under what terms this summer. If there’s a better prospect for cheap then snatch that mofo up, but if it’s another selection of players who haven’t really done much then I figure we’re better off sticking with the one who we’ve seen progress from. The odds are long either way. You’re not gonna get a superstar off the scrap heap, but you might maybe (if you’re lucky) find a Dinwiddie at half the price or less. That’s a player worth having, but it’s also going to be a player in whom time will need to be invested.

  22. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If Mudiay puts up >.570 TS% for the rest of the year, I see a very good reason to give him 3/$15M. If he has a shitty January and regresses to where a reasonable person might expect him to, I hope that the optimists on this board have the strength to hold December and January with equal weight. Doubtful, but that’s what I hope.

  23. nicos

    November, .541 TS% on 138 FGA/37 FTA
    December, .577 TS% on 138 FGA/41 FTA

    So we’re saying that his improvement is probable to be sustained and authentic… on the back of 138 FGA? That’s gonna be a no from me, dawg.

    As that November .541 marks a huge improvement in and of itself so I’d say the sample size is 276 FGA and the Knicks don’t have to make any decision until the end of the year when unless Mudiay stops shooting altogether we’ll have a much bigger sample size to judge from.

    One can then assume if he was on a better team that he would have slightly lower usage, be in a more structured offense, and a higher % of his passes would be converted raising is AST% because he would be passing to better players.

    Why would one assume any of that?

    Do you really think he wouldn’t have more assists if he was passing to better shooters? Last night he made a nice pass to a wide open Hezonja under the basket who just flipped the ball over his head and missed but he was so wide open that he got his own rebound and put it in. He had a similar play where he hit Kanter in the lane and pretty much any other center would have just dunked the ball but Kanter had to gather and almost fell down- he drew a foul but if that was Capella it would have been an and one and an assist for Mudiay. The Knicks are 27th in the league in FG%- unless you think that’s due to Mudiay’s crappy passing (which maybe you do but you’d be wrong) I think its obvious he’d get more assists on a team that had guys shooting higher percentages. I doubt his TS% would be higher- I mean it really can’t get much higher than it already is given his shot chart- but his assist totals would have to improve.

  24. cgreene

    To be clear Ruru did not say that. His premise was that Carmelo would have a higher TS% due to being surrounded by better players. I am saying Mudiay’s AST% would be better by being surrounded by better players. Quite different actually. My assumption is that when one’s passes are received by better shooters then more of those passes will lead to converted shots. Nothing more. Hubert was arguing Mudiay was actually benefitting from being on a bad team.

    I’m not a even a Mudiay believer… yet.

  25. DRed

    Dinwiddie is an interesting player to compare Mudiay to-he’s a big scoring guard who is pretty shitty on defense despite his impressive frame. And Dinwiddie is now a pretty good NBA player. He also fucking sucked when he was 22. So maybe that’s a best case scenario for Mudiay. So the question is how much do you want to pay a guy in the hopes of ending up with Spencer Dinwiddie in 2-3 years?

  26. Grocer

    If Mudiay puts up >.570 TS% for the rest of the year, I see a very good reason to give him 3/$15M. If he has a shitty January and regresses to where a reasonable person might expect him to, I hope that the optimists on this board have the strength to hold December and January with equal weight. Doubtful, but that’s what I hope.

    If he ends up averaging .550 TS that’s still an big improvement over past production (previous best year average TS was .504). I’d be happier if he upped his AST% without an increase in TO% but you know. His teammates ain’t exactly hitting open jumpers. But yes, any desire to keep him around on the cheap is contingent on sustained play quality.

  27. DRed

    I guess what I’m saying is if he finishes the season playing like November Mudiay he’s worth 15 over 3 years to see if he can develop.

  28. Hubert

    Mudiay has low assist totals because he calls his own number and doesn’t pass, not because his teammates miss the great looks he’s setting up for them.

  29. thenoblefacehumper

    Two years ago, almost to the day, Derrick Rose had stumbled into a 56% TS or so and we were having this same conversation. Point being it’s probably wise to wait for the sample size to increase before buying your Mudiay jersey.

  30. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    To be clear Ruru did not say that. His premise was that Carmelo would have a higher TS% due to being surrounded by better players.

    Yes, but by how much?

    League-best FG% is .489 (GSW) and worst is Miami (.432). Knicks are down there in the cellar at #28. Do you believe that Mudiay would get a boost larger than 13% to his assist stats if he joined the Warriors?

    This does not include Ast’d FGA%, nor Ast’d 3PTr, nor any information about FTM/FGA, but it seems like a wild stretch to believe that Mudiay would see an increase from 6.7 per 100 poss. to something actually respectable for a PG.

    If you look at someone like Chris Paul, you’ll see that switching teams mid-career really didn’t affect his AST% all that much. It went down significantly when he joined the Rockets, who employ an infamous and extreme ISO offense (and still he managed to put up respectable assist numbers last year, as well as remaining an exceptional scorer — this year, not so much).

  31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Also, I was looking for some advanced stats on shots off passes, etc., and I found a APBRforum post by the legendary Italian Stallion (also a horse better, hey strato!) wondering what the FG% was on assisted shots.

    The first poster quite tersely gave him the answer: 100%.

  32. DRed

    Yeah Mudiay isn’t going to put up huge assist numbers without radically changing his game. It is probably worth noting that his assist rate is a career low this season. He’s generally been about average.

  33. Z-man

    I don’t think anyone here is saying that Mudiay has definitely turned the corner and is worth investing in at this point. I’m certainly not. The issue is at what point do you begin to discount his age 19-20 stats b/c he was clearly not at all ready for 4,000+ minutes of NBA PT (including 111 starts!) and judge him from that point onward?

  34. mase

    all it will take is a monster 40 plus point game from mudiay, which he is capable of(almost 30 pts its in the second half against Charlotte).

    at some point the past is in the past and he is not the same player, we are just not there yet the sample size is too small but I see a Kyrie -lite in the making

  35. Hubert

    The issue is at what point do you begin to discount his age 19-20 stats b/c he was clearly not at all ready for 4,000+ minutes of NBA PT (including 111 starts!) and judge him from that point onward?

    If he finishes the season at this level, we sign him to a very team-favorable deal, and he’s playing well through 20+ games next year, I’d never think about his first 4,000 minutes again.

    And team-favorable deal, to me, is a 2-3 year deal with an AAV of ~$4-5mm and only the first year is guaranteed. None of this 3-year $20mm+ 100% guaranteed nonsense.

  36. thenoblefacehumper

    I’m willing to believe Mudiay has improved. I think there will be some regression, but he’s not the -5 BPM player he was.

    The problem is, drum roll please, the win curve. The most optimistic possible projection for Mudiay is slightly above league average point guard (his stats right now are below that level, so he would have to improve even more). How much should a terrible team pay for, at best, a slightly above average point guard?

    A good team that has a weakness at the PG position (or just lacks depth in general) should take the risk and pony up. But for a bad team, what exactly is the value of going from 23 wins to 27 wins while damaging your long term flexibility?

    Of course there’s a number somewhere that could make sense, but Emmanuel Mudiay should and will go for the highest offer (the guy was looking at a return to China a few months ago). Should the Knicks be willing to make the highest offer, whatever it may be?

  37. Z-man

    One major flaw is that Mills has a propensity to bid against himself. Maybe Perry mitigates that somewhat, but that’s the real danger with Mudiay right now.

  38. nicos

    Mudiay has low assist totals because he calls his own number and doesn’t pass, not because his teammates miss the great looks he’s setting up for them.

    Frank in his 9 games as a starting point (post Burke/pre Mudiay): 5.5 assists/3.17 turnovers per 36, 19.5 usage. Mudiay in his 19 games as a starter: 5.4 assists/2.76 turnover per 36, 25.3 usage. Burke is averaging 5.3 assists/ 1.8 turnovers per 36 on the season with a usage of 25.6. I’d say Mudiay’s low assist totals are partly the fact that- like Frank and Burke- he’s not a great playmaker and partially Fiz’s system which has resulted in lots of iso-ball. His usage is a little high but given his solid TS% (.573 as a starter) it’s been beneficial to the team. Mudiay does have 4 straight games of 30+ assist % and is right at .30 with just about a 2 to 1 assist to turnover ratio for the month of December. As I said a couple of days ago I wouldn’t want to give him anything more than 3/15 unless he’s above .30 with at least a 2 to 1 (preferably 2.5 to 1 given that his TS is likely to drop) assist to turnover ratio. His floor game has been very good the last few games- we have more than half the season left to see if its sustainable. At the very least his improved play makes a trade for Wall pretty unlikely and if he sustains it for the year it makes maxing out Kemba (who I want no part of at 30m a year) unlikely as well- if Mudiay winds up with a TS% north of .550 and an assist rate around 30 I’d rather pay him Dinwiddie money than max Kemba (though signing neither might be the best option).

  39. Hubert

    I’d rather pay him Dinwiddie money than max Kemba

    I’d max Kemba 1000 times before I gave Mudiay $34mm.

  40. ptmilo

    I’m curious, would anyone who considers themselves a Mudiay optimist (not necessarily absolutely, just relative to Knickerblogger average) say no to trading him for the 41st pick right now? This is what Elfrid Payton went for last year in the same contractual moment.

  41. Z-man

    I would say yes to that only for cap/control reasons, but it would be a sell low kind of trade at his current level of play.

  42. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Just as a reminder we’re giving the 35th pick in the draft (possibly higher if we tank more) to Brooklyn because of that absurd Outlaw/Moultrie Philly salary dump. We lost a more valuable version of a late first and swap rights on another pick for 4m in savings on luxury tax payments.

    Thanks Phil!

  43. Grocer

    Also, I was looking for some advanced stats on shots off passes, etc., and I found a APBRforum post by the legendary Italian Stallion (also a horse better, hey strato!) wondering what the FG% was on assisted shots.

    The first poster quite tersely gave him the answer: 100%.

    Ha! That’s great. Did you find anything? I didn’t, but I didn’t look very hard either. Seems like useful info.

    Trading Mud for the 41st right now? If a team is interested in giving up a pick for him now it’d be best to take it because interest now would very likely mean competition resigning him this summer.

  44. Z-man

    The thing is, you can probably buy that pick, and the FO already gave up a pick for Mudiay hoping for exactly this outcome (improved play.) So it would take the FO admitting that it lost that trade, which seems highly unlikely.

    I think it’s reasonable to hold out hope that a better deal was possible right up to the deadline, and if nothing materialized, deal with the remaining options at the end of the season, including the QO possibility.

  45. Hubert

    I’d actually try to get more. Just because I think he’s shit doesn’t mean I can’t find a GM who is desperate.

    Someone is going to rip off Dell Demps. He needs a PG and scoring off the bench. I want Perry to convince him that Mudiay and Hardaway will solve his problems.

  46. rama, mayor of Realitytown

    The issue is at what point do you begin to discount his age 19-20 stats b/c he was clearly not at all ready for 4,000+ minutes of NBA PT (including 111 starts!) and judge him from that point onward?

    My whole point is that I wouldn’t want him EVEN IF HE MAINTAINED HIS RECENT PLAY. He isn’t a two-way player. We’ll never win a championship with him as our PG. Most of his improved play is pointzz (albeit moderately efficient), but that always gets paid, so there is no real chance for excess value.

    And yeah, I think there’s a serious risk of regression. But that really isn’t the main reason I am against it. The best version of Mudiay is still not good.

  47. nicos

    I’m curious, would anyone who considers themselves a Mudiay optimist (not necessarily absolutely, just relative to Knickerblogger average) say no to trading him for the 41st pick right now? This is what Elfrid Payton went for last year in the same contractual moment.

    I’d do it immediately if that picked can be used as a sweetener (probably with another second rounder) to move Lee or better yet Hardaway. If not, I’d wait til the trade deadline and see how the draft is looking- the Knicks 2nd rounder will probably be around 50 (most likely Houston’s pick) so I’d still probably do it.

    I’d max Kemba 1000 times before I gave Mudiay $34mm.

    Really? I said I’d give Mudiay Dinwiddie money only if he’s north of .550 and 30 assist % rather than signing Kemba. Mudiay has basically put up Kemba’s career year numbers in December (.577 TS% vs. .572, 30.4 Assist % vs. 27.4 though with a higher turnover % 13.3 vs 10.3) and you still can’t stand the sight of him. Do you really want to be paying Kemba 140m over 4 years- over the last three years he’s pretty much exactly what Mudiay has been as a starter this year with slightly higher usage and lower turnovers- is that worth an extra 110m million dollars?

  48. mase

    How many two way Pgs are there in the league?Few and far between.

    In fact we only have one two way player on the team and that’s kp maybe Dotson too but he doesn’t play enough.

    Talkin holding mudiay to a high standard

  49. Bruno Almeida

    @54

    It really isn’t about that. Curry, Lillard or Irving for example aren’t really two way players as their defense is clearly worse than the offense, but they are incredible offensive players, the same goes for Kemba Walker at a lower level.

    Paul, Lowry, Conley, Westbrook, Simmons, Jrue Holiday, Bledsoe and Fox are all two way players. So the best PGs in the game are either incredible superstar offensive players or two-way players.

  50. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    Also, I was looking for some advanced stats on shots off passes, etc., and I found a APBRforum post by the legendary Italian Stallion (also a horse better, hey strato!) wondering what the FG% was on assisted shots.

    I found the conversation.

    I think he was asking an interesting question, but used the wrong term. The question he probably meant to ask was “what’s the difference in FG% between when a player creates his own shot off the dribble compared to when he catches a pass and shoots (the successes being marked as an assist and the misses disappearing into oblivion even if it was a spectacular pass leading to a great shot or a miss with FTs)”.

    Horse players are an interesting lot. Most are even more argumentative than I am.

  51. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I get the arguments on both sides of Mudiay.

    Here’s what I sort of don’t get.

    When you add a few young players, you are hoping 1 or 2 provide a sustained upside surprise. That doesn’t happen all that often but it does happen. We more or less have two prospects right now. I’d say Mudiay and Vonleh are both playing better than their long term records indicated was likely. We don’t know if either will sustain it, drop all the way back, or most likely wind up somewhere in between and continue from there. However, we are supposed to be happy because we have 2 chances. Instead of writing them off or immediately trading them because of our projections, we should be hoping we are all wrong and got really lucky with one or both.

  52. wetbandit

    Because guys who all of a sudden shoot well from midrange sustain their level of play… coughRoseBurkecough.. we have a solid history of ignoring long-term stats for Optiknistic Recency Bias, it’s a big part of what we do here.

    Mudiay hasn’t shown himself to be a plus defender, 3 point shooter, distributor, or driver. Come the fuck on, I’d be so happy if we ‘lost out on a one-year flier’ and he went elsewhere.

  53. Z-man

    My whole point is that I wouldn’t want him EVEN IF HE MAINTAINED HIS RECENT PLAY. He isn’t a two-way player.

    This kind of assumes that he is a finished product at age 22-23. Is that a fair assumption? Are we assuming that about Trier? Vonleh? KP?

    In other words, it’s not a question of whether he will maintain his current production. The real question is: Is his improvement arc sustainable into the future or is it a statistical blip that will regress to a mean way below his current level of production, in effect starting that arc at a much lower point?

    It’s pretty much stipulated here that if both his floor and his ceiling is who he is right now, he’s worth around $3 mill per, tops, and probably isn’t worth signing at all in our situation, not even at the QO.

  54. ClashFan

    If the Knicks are seriously thinking of giving Mudiay a multi-year deal for whatever $ amount, I hope they are also now trying really hard to move THJ out. Play Frank with Mudiay a lot and see how the two of them work together, perhaps their games will complement each other.

    Mudiay and Frank could start, with Burke and Trier off the bench as a duo.

    But who in the world would take on THJ?

  55. ClashFan

    Wow, I think last night Breen said that Austin Rivers could see lots of playing time with Phoenix… but they just waived him!

  56. Jack Bauer

    Mudiay is allergic to defense despite his recent improved play.
    His cap hold, as I understand it, is far too high to retain him at a good value considering his best role is backup point guard.

    If adding him to Lee gets some team to give the Knicks back something don’t make them offer it twice.

  57. nicos

    My whole point is that I wouldn’t want him EVEN IF HE MAINTAINED HIS RECENT PLAY.

    This is what I don’t get. In December Mudiay’s put up a .577 TS%, 30.4 Assist%, 5.9TRB%, 13.3 TOV%, 26.6 usage. Kyrie’s career numbers are .569, 30.3, 5.8, 12.1, 29.1. One guy is a no-brainer max guy and the other you don’t even want on your team? Kemba last year was .572, 27.4, 4.9, 10.4, 27.4. No one expects Mudiay to continue to put up those numbers and I’d probably still trade him for a second round pick but the fact is he’s been playing like a pretty solid starter over the last 9 games and like an below average but okay starter since he moved into the starting line-up. I totally get not wanting to invest in a guy with his track record but to pretend his recent play hasn’t been pretty good by any standard just seems wrong.

  58. english_knick

    Eldridge Payton’s stats Lee-trade last year were a lot better than Mud’s so far this year, and on the back of a much better overall body of work. I strongly suspect the only GM who’d be willing to give up a pick for Mud is the GM of the team that already has him (and, indeed, already gave up said pick…)

  59. mase

    it takes 5 years to determine what a player is, Age of 22 in the midst of season 4 is still too early to judge.

    That’s the problem with this “fluke” label, it’s too early yet. Maybe he is a late bloomer.

    Fiz said in the beginning of the summer camp how quickly fans and scouts are ready to write a kid off at age 22 specifically talking about mudiay and he is right.

  60. latke

    Mudiay is basically doing what Burke did last year — making mid-range shots at an unsustainable rate:

    below data follows this pattern:

    18/19 FG/FGA, 18/19 FG%,, 17/18 FG%, League average FG%

    at rim
    46/84, .548, .560, .657

    3 to <10 ft
    14/30, .467, .336, .396

    10 to <16 ft
    24/48, .500, .358, .414

    16 ft to <3-pt
    19/33, .576, .338, .407

    3-pt
    27/81, .333, .320, .351

    He still can't finish around the basket. He still doesn't draw fouls. He still can't make threes. Very few guards are able to score at even a league average rate over an extended period without any of those skills.

  61. Bruno Almeida

    The point with Mudiay is that there are red flags all over.

    Bad defense with not much effort, a lot of jumpers that are falling, doesn’t get much to the line, not a great passer, contract year, he’s “finally in shape” specifically on this year.

    He’s been playing pretty well, it’s just very very soon to be sure that those red flags don’t mean much.

  62. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    It’s pretty much stipulated here that if both his floor and his ceiling is who he is right now, he’s worth around $3 mill per, tops, and probably isn’t worth signing at all in our situation, not even at the QO.

    You guys crazy if you think this is a fair or doable salary for this month’s Mudiay level of production. Even a $5M or $6M AAV would be a bargain. Trier just got signed for more than $3M. The NBA pays for points much more than for defense. I don’t know if he’s worth Dinwiddie’s $10M+ a year, but that is normal non star starter money. If Mudiay keeps up this level of play, and we get him on a multiyear contract for $6M AAV or less, we are doing so great I consider that outcome unlikely.

    And Jack, his cap hold is not a salary. The rookie scale doesn’t apply after next year. As long as we sign him for more than a year, it can be any figure the two sides agree on.

  63. Jack Bauer

    @70 thanks for the clarification on the cap hold/salary situation. We’ll have to wait and see what Perry/Mills do before we start second guessing.

  64. swiftandabundant

    For a stats based site a lot of people have a really unrealistic expectation about what players are supposed to be paid. I don’t want to throw a mountain of money at Mudiay but if he’s resigned for 3 years at 5 to 7 million a year, that’s a fucking bargain and everyone here knows that’s the truth but love to live in a fantasy world where its so easy to negotiate contracts where players are paid less than their peers and gladly accept team options.

    I see this all the time on here. Why didn’t they give him a team option? Probably because it was a non starter. How many contracts in the NBA are there right now where the team has an option on the next year for that player? I could probably count on two hands the number of players in this league that have contracts with team options. Players do not want them unless its someone like Billups where that final team option year is a pretty high number and they’d be cool with that extra year cause its a decent amount of money. Or its a guy like Mitchel who is a second round pick rookie or its someone who royally screwed up like he snorted cocaine during a game before shooting a free throw and his stock plummeted so much he has to accept it.

    Team options are not a normal thing in the NBA. At least, not anymore.

  65. Bruno Almeida

    You think signing Mudiay for 3 years 21 million is a fucking bargain after 10 good games, and the people saying “maybe we should wait a bit more and see before we declare he’s for real” are the unrealistic ones. Yup.

  66. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I don’t want to throw a mountain of money at Mudiay but if he’s resigned for 3 years at 5 to 7 million a year, that’s a fucking bargain and everyone here knows that’s the truth but love to live in a fantasy world where its so easy to negotiate contracts where players are paid less than their peers and gladly accept team options.

    With regard to objective reality, you might be the worst active poster we have.

  67. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    You think signing Mudiay for 3 years 21 million is a fucking bargain after 10 good games, and the people saying “maybe we should wait a bit more and see before we declare he’s for real” are the unrealistic ones. Yup.

    This is a complete misreading of what anyone said. We were discussing potential salaries for Mudiay if he maintains or comes close to maintaining this level of production. And you can reread the posts above and see that poster are talking about maintaining his level of production. For example, in the post I quoted ” if both his floor and his ceiling is who he is right now” was the qualification. That means he keeps up this level of production for the rest of the year and after that too. No one has said sign him now.

  68. Hubert

    Here’s what I sort of don’t get.

    When you add a few young players, you are hoping 1 or 2 provide a sustained upside surprise.

    This this is why you don’t get it. In any other year, you’d be right. When your goal is to tank, preserve cap space, and develop the young talent on long term contracts, this strategy is self defeating. You don’t want them in the first place bc if they hit they fuck up your primary and secondary and tertiary objective. So a) don’t acquire them, and b) if you do and they hit, cash in on them ASAP

  69. Brian Cronin

    This is a complete misreading of what anyone said.

    Here is what Bruno replied to:

    For a stats based site a lot of people have a really unrealistic expectation about what players are supposed to be paid. I don’t want to throw a mountain of money at Mudiay but if he’s resigned for 3 years at 5 to 7 million a year, that’s a fucking bargain and everyone here knows that’s the truth but love to live in a fantasy world where its so easy to negotiate contracts where players are paid less than their peers and gladly accept team options.

    Tell me where he said that it was a “fucking bargain” only “if Mudiay continues this level of play” or anything like that.

  70. geo

    i just watched a replay of the allen block – wow…

    oh man, when did the nets suddenly become so much better than us…

    ah, i see…sean marks and kenny atkinson came on board in 2016…

  71. Brian Cronin

    This this is why you don’t get it. In any other year, you’d be right. When your goal is to tank, preserve cap space, and develop the young talent on long term contracts, this strategy is self defeating. You don’t want them in the first place bc if they hit they fuck up your primary and secondary and tertiary objective. So a) don’t acquire them, and b) if you do and they hit, cash in on them ASAP

    Yep. It’s all about win curve. Reclamation projects on short term contracts are helpful for already good teams, not rebuilding teams. Rebuilding teams should be all about long term contracts.

    As a recent example, signing Bimack Biyombo to a one-year deal with a player option = Good idea if you’re a good team, terrible idea if you’re a bad team.

  72. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    This last year we were a 54 win, 2nd seed team that lost in the second round and a big reason we lost was because we had no answer for Hibbert. Bargnani was traded to us with that in mind. The goal of a championship is much closer in sight than it was last summer. And as the article states, its not really big hit on us and doesn’t hinder us after 2015 at all. The people who are against the Bargnani trade seem to ignore the fact that of all the players involved in that trade, Bargnani is clearly the best current player and we got him in that deal.

    Never forget who it is that’s telling you that you lack a grip on reality.

  73. Brian Cronin

    ah, i see…sean marks and kenny atkinson came on board in 2016…

    And Marks isn’t even that great! He’s just a competent GM in a league that tends to reward basic competence.

  74. geo

    i’m rooting for the guy, but, mud is completely covered in red flags…

    hopefully we’ll draft, trade for, or pick up a free agent point guard this off season…

    mud will be an interesting test for perry…

  75. geo

    oh yeah…watching the last couple of games it looks like knox is becoming our first/second option on offense when he’s on the court (he’s averaging about 17 shot attempts per over the last handful of games)…

    any one think there’s any chance this let’s fiz (finally) move timmy to the second unit (to help “lead” them) – and provide scoring off the bench?

  76. wetbandit

    Again, there is nothing worthwhile about Mudiay as a modern point guard. At least Frank’s got defense. Mudiay has no defense, 3-ball, driving ability, and is not a distributor.

  77. swiftandabundant

    And there it is. Jowles’ ultimate Trump card against me.

    I knew it was only a matter of time.

    But seriously…that was 5 years ago. Are you telling me that you’ve NEVER posted ANYTHING or said ANYTHING in real life in the last 5 years that didn’t turn out to be a dumb statement that was wrong?

    I got nothing but love for you. My point is just that posters like you love to live in a vaccum where a GM can sit down at the negotiating table and say to a player “look, your TS was only this the first 5000 minutes of your career and our projections show that at best you’ll top out as a back up PG, so we’re only going to pay you X amount and we have to put a team option on that.” You never consider the actual realities of contract negotiation, etc.

    Also, you said you would be fine with 3 years, 5 million a year for Mudiay if he keeps this up. I said I’d be cool with 3 years at 6 to 7 million. Why are you so reasonable but I’m so unrealistic? The numbers aren’t that different.

  78. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    But seriously…that was 5 years ago. Are you telling me that you’ve NEVER posted ANYTHING or said ANYTHING in real life in the last 5 years that didn’t turn out to be a dumb statement that was wrong?

    I have said so much dumb shit it’s hard to process. The issue that you’re the same brand of wrong, five years apart. Not good.

    I got nothing but love for you.

    I recognize that we share certain ideas about the current presidential administration and that is enough for me to respect your non-basketball opinions.

  79. Bruno Almeida

    @76

    Well, Brian already answered it, but I was referring to that specific post by swift where there’s no mention of “provided he keeps producing like this”.

    Seriously, we had Trey Burke LAST SEASON showing us how overall bad guards can have hot stretches, even as long as 30-40 games, where their shot is falling much more than usual.

    Trey Burke this season is shooting 44,1%, 31,8% and 41,1% on 3-10, 10-16, 16-3 point line respectively, and he was at 41%, 46% and 56% last season. Last season he shot 72,6% at the rim, this season it’s 53,5%.

    You can call me a hater or a pessimist or whatever, but I am 100% sure and I can guarantee Mudiay won’t be able to maintain over 50% fg% on 10 ft+ jumpers. Stephen freaking Curry has done that exactly once in his career. Steve Nash, one of the best shooters of all time, has done it once.

    More than a third of Mudiay’s FGA comes from 10 feet or more jumpers. It will come down. Then he’s simply a league average guard at best.

  80. ptmilo

    Cavs just win on a buzzer beating tip in that required two missed free throws by Oladipo on the same night Zion almost broke the backboard with his armpit. keep it rolling.

  81. Mike Honcho

    Is it the worst thing to have a league average guard as a backup? If it’s at 5 million/year for 3 years (or whatever), that’s hardly crippling, especially if we drafted Ja Morant. Of course, this assumes 1) we don’t get a big name free agent and 2) Mudiay maintains a reasonably high level of play despite the inevitable regression of those midrangers. If the end result of this season is not encouraging, we should just cut him loose. In any event, it is frustrating that we are kind of in a bad position if Mudiay actually improves.

  82. vincoug

    @91

    It’s not the worst thing it’s just not particularly useful. You can pick up a league average backup PG literally every year. There’s no use to us locking one up long term especially when that cap space can be used to sign better players or, ideally, loaned out to other teams for draft picks.

  83. JK47

    Yeah, the thing about Mudiay is that none of his peripheral stats have changed or improved. Free throw rate is the same, assist rate is the same, usage is the same, 3-point attempt rate is the same. His improved TS% this year is solely a result of him making more long two-pointers, which is a highly volatile stat. I mean, it’s pretty screamingly obvious.

    This is exactly the equivalent of a career .220 hitter who manages to hit .300 for a third of a season despite an unchanged strikeout rate or walk rate, because he has a super high BABIP. It’s not going to last.

  84. Z-man

    The question about Mudiay is less about what he’s worth and more about what he’s worth to a team in our situation. If he regresses, he’s not worth shit to anyone. But at his recent level of production, on a reasonable contract, he has more value in some situations than in others. It’s interesting to talk about the tipping point for various individuals here, and how that compares to our best guess about the tipping point for the Perry-Mills-Fizdale triumvirate. I’m in the “it’s a long season, wait and see” camp.

  85. Bruno Almeida

    @92

    Exactly, it’s pointless.

    As much as some would love to believe progression is linear for basketball players, it clearly isn’t. There’s probably an equal chance of Mudiay continuing his development and maintaining a similar level and him regressing a bit at least. If you sign him as a league average guard and it turns out he was only fit because of the contract year and suddenly he’s crap again, then you’re overpaying again for a bad player. If he maintains this level he’s fairly paid but still pointless as league average guards are available everywhere for this price. For it to be worth it he would have to outperform the league average, which means he would have to play even better than what already looks unsustainable.

    When you’re a bad team and you sign league average players to league average deals you stay a bad team, it’s very simple.

  86. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Nets gain another in the W column. Hawks (!!!) beat a team led by a $40M AAV man. Cavs… CAVS.

    I am loving this night.

  87. Donnie Walsh

    Jamal Murray comes up just 6 assists shy of matching Bob Cousy’s insane record of 19 assists in a half. (Murray assisted 13 of his teammates’ 27 field goals in the half).

  88. ptmilo

    I think we can all but turn off netswatch for good. They just don’t seem nearly bad enough for us to pick up five games on them, and they are trying to win.

  89. Donnie Walsh

    I think we can all but turn off netswatch for good. They just don’t seem nearly bad enough for us to pick up five games on them, and they are trying to win.

    It’s crazy (but predictable, I guess) that since the day that Garnett and Pierce played their last games for the Nets, leaving them with nothing but the costs of one of the most franchise crippling trades in NBA history, Brooklyn has won more games than the Knicks. (As trump might tweet: “So sad!”)

  90. ClashFan

    Yeah, but the Atlanta win over Washington might mean that they are one step closer to trying to unload John Wall on some dumb franchise…
    :-(

  91. Bruno Almeida

    The Nets are certainly finishing ahead of us, LeVert is also coming back sooner than expected it seems. If just one of the Bulls Hawks Suns Cavs group finishes better than us it’s a pretty damn good lottery position.

    I don’t see anyone above dropping, as the Wizards are likely not blowing up, as the Ariza trade probably shows, and the Hornets, Heat, Magic and the western teams are simply better.

  92. Owen

    A little late but excellent cap. You got a major chuckle right off the top laugh with….

    .I mean, it was a bit too much on the nose at first. Lance Thomas as your first substitute?

  93. Brian Cronin

    So wait, ATL wins, CLE wins and BKN wins.

    pinch me, please

    Yeah, what a great night for the tank. I am beginning to sort of kind of actually believe in this team’s tanking chances!

  94. rama, mayor of Realitytown

    Thing is, I don’t think Mudiay is a good decision maker. I don’t think you improve much as a decision maker with time. If the improvement in his TS is sustainable (highly unlikely, but let’s say it is), you just signed a shoot-first, no-defense PG for what is sure to be too much, simply because the majority of the decision makers in NBA front offices are as poor at it as Mudiay and will look at his pointzz, think he’s arrived, and offer him good money.

    I mean, if the question is Would you want Mudiay on Burke’s contract? …then I guess I’d have to think about it, but probably still no, because if he isn’t part of the long-term future, then why have him taking up space and keeping us from finding the guard we need?

  95. rama, mayor of Realitytown

    OK, that’s too far – Burke’s contract is awesome. If we had Mudiay as the backup point for 20 minutes a night at less than $2 mil per, that would be hard to argue with. And yes, there might still be upside there. I just wouldn’t want to pay for it – we’ve done that a lot, and I dunno, but losingest team in the NBA over 20 years….maybe it hasn’t worked out?

  96. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The only player not worth $2M is a guy who plays as bad as Hezonja/Bargnani/pre-2018 Mudiay but is over the age of 24. At that point, it becomes a waste of a roster slot more than it does a waste of salary.

  97. JK47

    When you suck and you’re at the very early stage of your win curve you shouldn’t really be giving a shit who your backup point guard is going to be. This team doesn’t even have a starting point guard, so it doesn’t make sense to think about who the backup is going to be. You can find a backup point guard when you’re pretty close to winning something, they don’t cost a lot. “Decent backup” is Mudiay’s ceiling, and I don’t think he’s likely to hit even that modest ceiling.

    He doesn’t fit here, not at his current contract status and with the Knicks’ current position in their win curve. Let some other hapless team pay to find out if he can keep hitting 58% of his 10-16 foot jumpers.

  98. Bruno Almeida

    @105

    The vision on some of those passes… damn.

    Also, Jokic is a top 3 MVP candidate and he’s averaging a career low ts% on similar usage, so there’s probably still room for improvement. What a ridiculous talent.

  99. DRed

    We’re less than two seasons out from the nuggets narrowly missing the playoffs because their coach took like 16 games to realize he should start the (by far) best player on the roster. Mike Malone makes several million dollars a year for his basketball knowledge.

  100. The Infamous Cdiggy

    @110 I have to disagree: this team needs backcourt talent, period. Starter and/or bench (and you’re right, we don’t have a certified starting point guard yet).

    I think that had the Knicks not amassed nearly 2-decades worth of shitty personnel moves, there would not be nearly as much anti-Mudiay sentiment because we would have more trust that the team would evaluate him properly stems. I get that.
    He’s also 22 years of age and showing concrete improvement – which currently isn’t hurting the tank. That’s a good thing. It’s also a good thing that we have still over a month and a half to see if Mudiay can sustain his improvements before the trade deadline.

  101. Z-man

    I ask the people saying that Mudiay’s ceiling is “good backup PG:” What did you think his ceiling was when we signed him? I’m pretty confident that he’s playing at a level way above that ceiling right now. PS I’m in that camp, too.

    Doesn’t mean that I think you are wrong right now, only that you (and I) were certainly wrong about him once already, and should therefore be a bit more careful about definitively judging his ceiling at this time. That’s why I’m in “wait and see” mode. I don’t want to be abjectly wrong about the same guy twice.

  102. Bruno Almeida

    @113

    The entire point of the “haters” is that 25 games is not concrete improvement. He has to sustain it for it to be concrete improvement.

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