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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

POLL: Which Team Would You Want The Knicks To Face?

With the playoffs a couple of weeks away, it might be a good time to think about who the Knicks might face up in the first round. Although teams don’t generally get to choose their opponent, you’ll get to chose who you think New York has the best match-up against.

BOSTON

The Celtics hold the number one seed, they’ve beaten New York twice already (2 more games left), and they’ve been a championship caliber team over the last few years. So why would the Knicks want to face them? Although Boston’s starting five of Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, and Shaq are HOF worthy, their bench could be a weak spot. Their top reserves are Glen Davis (12.5 PER this year), Jeff Green (12.8 PER), Nenad Krstic (13.1 PER), and Troy Murphy (6.1 PER) who are mediocre rounded players but none have incredible strengths that could spark a team in a critical playoff moment (as opposed to Perkins and Robinson who excel in certain areas). Considering the age of the Celtics, one injury could open the door for a hungry underdog team.

CHICAGO

The Bulls hired the mastermind behind the Celtics great defense, Tom Thibodeau, as their head coach. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that they have the league’s best defense. However all the top seeds in the East are in the top five on defense, and Chicago has the worst offense of the lot (19th). The Knicks have won both match-ups thus far, with one remaining. However of those victories the Bulls were not at full strength, missing Boozer in the first game, and Noah in the second. A New York-Chicago series would be a contest of opposites, with D’Antoni and Thibodeau using their diametrically opposed philosophies against each other. And as a bonus there will be plenty of flashbacks to the Jordan-Ewing clashes.

MIAMI

Yeah they suck at the end of games. Yeah their team is woefully imbalanced. Yeah nobody likes them. Yeah they cry. Yeah the Knicks are 2-2 against them during the season. Yeah it would be the sweetest of victories for New York to end Miami’s season. But don’t kid yourself thinking that the Knicks would have an easy time with the Heat. Miami has the best offense of the elite Eastern teams (6th), and their defense is a tad better (5th).

ORLANDO

So far the Magic have won both games against New York, and the Knicks biggest weakness (defensive minded center that can rebound) is Orlando’s biggest strength. On the other hand the Magic turned over their roster, and have only been 24-15 (.615) since their December 18th trade. The Knicks face up against Orlando twice more before the month is done, so this could be a better litmus test on how these two teams match-up against each other.

Which team does New York have the best chance of upsetting in the playoffs?

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142 comments on “POLL: Which Team Would You Want The Knicks To Face?

  1. Bruno Almeida

    I’d go for Orlando, because as insanely good as Dwight has been, they look like they’re one step away from either figuring it out, or self-destructing.

    and we gave them a pretty good game before Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson started hitting lucky shots all over the place, and that was without Chauncey in the last minutes.

  2. Caleb

    I voted Orlando for the same reasons Bruno did.. but I could be convinced to go for Boston, especially if Shaq is on the shelf. Which is starting to look like a decent possibility.

  3. TDM

    I voted Miami. I think the Knicks can get inside the big 3′s heads. This rivalry is only going to heat (no pun) up with Amare and Melo laughing about the teary-eyed Heat in front of a room-full of reporters. Not to mention the poetic end to this season if NY were able to knock off the Heat after everything that went on the past 3 seasons . . . gives me chills.

  4. gbaked

    I voted Miami.

    All 4 of those teams will be tough. I think beating South Beach will give me the best satisfaction, so thats who I would want us to play.

    I think the Celtics would be my last choice. They have some real good, playoff tested, champion players there… and we see time and again that playoff experience is really important. I want no part of a Garnett/Shaq playoff combo with our interior D… We saw last year that they save up for the playoffs, and there is no reason to expect them to slack off this year.

  5. marxster

    I voted for Chicago. We already beat them twice and that was without Melo and the new and improved defense. Just because Miami is a bit dysfunctional at the moment doesn’t mean they’re a bad team. They still got three of the best players in the game and god forbid they get on the same page when we’re supposed to play them in the playoffs, we’ll be in a bad place.

  6. d-mar

    To me it’s close between Orlando and Chicago, but I’d take the Magic. You use all 15 fouls between Turiaf, Williams and anyone else and just hack and frustrate Howard, and there’s really no one else on that team that scares me. You just have to stay at home on their 3 point shooters.

    I want no part of the Heat in the 1st round, it’s just inconceivable to me that any team with LBJ could get knocked out early. Put him with 4 scrubs (like he had with the Cavs) and they still go deep into the playoffs. And I also think they will put together a major winning streak before the playoffs.

  7. marxster

    Looking over the schedule, my bold prediction is that the Knicks will 11 and 9 over the next 20 games (that’s conservative). That would put us at .536.
    If the last two games indicate a slight progress and I give them an extra two wins, that would put us at .560. I don’t think that’s enough to catch the Hawks. In other words, we’d stay at the same spot (providing that Philly doesn’t pass us).

    I also predict that the Heat are going to pass Chicago. Thus, we would face Chicago in the first round.

  8. JK47

    The Heat have played the 2nd softest schedule in the NBA, their coach is kind of an idiot, they run a predictable offense, they have zero depth and they don’t seem to be very tough mentally. They’ve run up a gaudy record by crushing the weak sisters of the league but when it comes down to it they’ve got serious holes.

    I say Miami.

  9. njasdjdh

    You people are crazy.

    I think it clearly goes (in order from team I would most like to face to least) 1. Chicago 2. Boston 3.Orlando 4. Miami.

    I’m a believer in the theory that the reason the Heat struggle so much against the Celtics/Bulls are that they are the same defense, designed to stop the same offense (the Heat). I think our games against both clubs demonstrate that they have trouble handling ball movement, which, depending on what Melo does…we feature plenty. I’m most confident in facing Chicago because they are a bad offensive team. This is great because we are a bad defensive team and I think this matchup will mean we don’t get exposed on that end. Everything I’ve said about the Bulls applies to the Celtics as well, except their offense would be more difficult for us to handle IMO.

    As someone mentioned above, ORL’s strength is our weakness and so that terrifies me. I see D12 averaging 40-20. And MIA…I want no part of them as I see them dismantling us in 5 games because of the quality of their perimeter defense.

  10. Jim Cavan

    Orlando. As has been mentioned numerous times, they’re perpetually on the brink of self-destruction. Obviously Jared Jeffries isn’t a game-changer in terms of containing Howard, but he’d definitely be more useful than either Stat or Turiaf. As long as we communicate on D and close out on the shooters, Howard can have his 30 a game. Turkeyglue can’t hang with Melo and I don’t think Billups lets Nelson torch him that way again.

    Boston is just too battle tested, and I think Miami pulls it together before the end of the season. Don’t be surprised if Papa Riles comes downstairs and takes over. Chicago is gaining a pretty scary head of steam, and while we’re arguably improved and have beaten them twice already, we also haven’t seen them at full strength yet.

  11. misterma

    It’s hard to judge based on past performance because the team is so different, but I’m going to do it anyway and pick Chicago. The Knicks really hurt them from distance, and I think they can do it again. In second place I pick Miami since Melo seems to play well against LeBron and Chauncey will destroy whatever corpse they have playing point.

  12. Jafa

    Kevin McHale picks Orlando:

    http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/kevin-mchale-talks-knicks/?ref=basketball

    “I would say probably they might match up best with Orlando. Watching Orlando and just seeing them play and where they’re at, Orlando can go through some periods where they get funky offensively and I think the Knicks could pressure them offensively. Against the Bulls, they would struggle. I think the Bulls interior defense is really good. Derrick Rose is such an explosive point guard that he would give Chauncey problems. It would be interesting to see what happens with Miami on this stretch. I thought they were past their problems. But no one’s going to want to play the New York Knicks in a playoff series. When you have Amar’e, Carmelo and Chauncey on one team, they’re capable of beating anybody.”

    Nice to be labeled “the team no one wants to play in a playoff series”. By the way, I pick Chicago, as I believe Billups will give Rose lots of problems too and their offense can be as shaky as Orlando’s.

  13. dmull

    If we want to win, clearly Orlando or maybe Chicago. I wouldn’t be mad about having the chance to beat Miami though. Boston is far and away my last choice.

  14. Matt Smith

    Going to have to change with my gut instead of what I posted last night.

    I still think Miami is our best shot. With no real bigs for rebounding, I think it turns into who beats who on offense. They’ve got a better shot, but you never know how much Amare and Melo can turn it on. Plus, they both seem to care defensively when guarding stars (Amare especially has a chip on his shoulder with Bosh). Still a very uphill battle for NY.

    Going with Orlando second instead of Boston. It all really depends on whether they can hit their threes, since we NEED to double Howard – too strong for Jeffries and too long for Turiaf. I forget – did they have Howard on Amare last time? Our strategy just needs to revolve around getting Howard in foul trouble regardless… they’re very beatable if he gets 3+ before half.

    Changing my stance on Boston, both because they’re bigger than I realized and their vets handle the playoffs well. They don’t have the pressure of needing to perform as a new team with high expectations – they’ve met them already. But even their reserves – Davis, Kristic, maybe Murphy (who knows how he plays now) – can crush us on the boards, which worries me the most.

    Bulls are still my biggest fear. I’d predict an easy sweep for them. Don’t let either of our wins fool you – first they didn’t have strong inside scoring with Boozer, second they didn’t have strong inside D with Noah. We’re weak against both. And Asik and Gibson have been very competent. With Rose at the helm, they scare me the most.

  15. TheRant

    I voted Miami for the purely emotional reason that they have never, ever been able to get past the Knicks in the entire history of NBA playoff basketball, except for that sad little moment when they threw poor and defenseless Charlie Ward into the stands and then played us 11 on 6.

    Plus, the only thing more fun than watching LeBron and Wade as they start to crumble will be watching Coach Riley (yes, I am giving Erik Spoelstra between four and six more hours in his job as the Heat’s coach) contort himself as we send him packing one more time.

    Bite me, Mickey Arison.

  16. Jafa

    Matt Smith: Bulls are still my biggest fear. I’d predict an easy sweep for them. Don’t let either of our wins fool you – first they didn’t have strong inside scoring with Boozer, second they didn’t have strong inside D with Noah. We’re weak against both. And Asik and Gibson have been very competent. With Rose at the helm, they scare me the most.  

    An easy sweep? I mean, we are not the Indiana Pacers man. Do you know how we won the 2 games against them? Outside shooting! Nov 4: We shot 50% from the field and 67% from 3 point land. Dec 25: We shot 53% from the field and 55% from 3 point land.

    So tell me, how exactly were Boozer and Noah going to help them with perimeter D? That’s why they lost. Their rotations were not crisp, closeouts were late and we torched them.

    Now, if you want to make a case that replacing Galo’s 3 point shooting with Melo’s hurts, you may have a point. But replacing Felton’s 3 point shooting with Billups’ helps, so it evens things out. And we still have Toney Douglas, who comes to shoot against the Bulls and Fields how plays smart.

    If you want to make the case that the Bulls would win, then fine, you can make your point. But a sweep? Are you kidding me? A sweep? Only if we face Boston would I be worried about this.

  17. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    dmull: If we want to win, clearly Orlando or maybe Chicago. I wouldn’t be mad about having the chance to beat Miami though. Boston is far and away my last choice.  

    I’d say that if we want to win, we trade Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love and the T’Wolves’ 2012, 2014, and 2016 1st rounders. Maybe that’s just me, though.

  18. TDM

    @9:

    You’re contradicting yourself. You can’t say that the Knicks would compete better against CHI because they are bad offense, and the Knicks are bad defense; AND THEN, in the same post, say that we would lose to ORL because their strength is our weakness.

    Furthermore, the Heat do not just struggle against the Celts/Bulls – they struggle against playoff bound teams.

    The Heat are:

    0-3 against the Celts
    0-3 against the Bulls
    0-2 against the Mavs
    0-1 against the Lakers
    2-2 against the Magic
    2-2 against the Knicks (0-1 since Melo)

    Through March 6th, the Heat were 5-13 vs the top 10 teams.

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/nba1011.htm

    The next 10 games are going to decide Miami’s season – 8 of those games are against playoff bound teams.

    Frankly, I think the Knicks have the ability to beat any of these teams. BUT, I want to see them beat the Heat the most.

  19. Jafa

    And I think we are overstating Noah’s defense. He’s great, but he would be going against a great PF in Amare. You really think Noah can shut Amare down? I’m gonna look up Amare’s stats when playing against Chicago and get back to you.

  20. Count Zero

    As long as we don’t draw Boston, I think we can get past the first round. Not saying we’re favorites, but we wouldn’t be long shots against any of them.

    Boston seems too tough to me because of their physicality, their playoff experience, and their ability to really lock down on D. In a way it’s good to end up 6 or 7, because we could avoid them till the Eastern Finals — I am ever the optimist. :)

    If I had my choice, I would take Miami — they are going to be feeling a ton of pressure, and man it would be sweet to knock them out in the first round. If they fall behind in a first round series the monkey on their back is going to be King Kong sized.

  21. Jafa

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I’d say that if we want to win, we trade Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love and the T’Wolves’ 2012, 2014, and 2016 1st rounders. Maybe that’s just me, though.  

    How different is this from trading for or keeping David Lee? Put Lee in Minnesota and I think he does the same thing Love is doing right now. And I would not want this trade. Melo has his faults but I’d take him over Love for our team right now (especially since we don’t have Gallo and Chandler to fill the Melo void).

  22. dubisaweapon

    I am hoping and praying we get Miami in the first round. Here’s why:

    1. They’re the only one of these teams without any serious big men to contend with. Our biggest weakness is at the five, but there’s just no way Dampier and Anthony will be able to take advantage of that.

    2. We’re clearly superior at PG. Chauncey may be a step slower then he used to be, but I don’t see Chalmers or Bibby being able to exploit this like a Rondo, Nelson, or Rose could.

    3. Our bench may not be all that, but the Heat’s is just downright pathetic. Is it true they score the fewest PPG of any bench in the NBA?

    And then of course there are the intangibles that have already been mentioned…

    TDM: I voted Miami.I think the Knicks can get inside the big 3?s heads.This rivalry is only going to heat (no pun) up with Amare and Melo laughing about the teary-eyed Heat in front of a room-full of reporters.Not to mention the poetic end to this season if NY were able to knock off the Heat after everything that went on the past 3 seasons . . . gives me chills.  

    I couldn’t agree more. We’re talking about the second-coming of the Knicks-Heat rivalry, and to take round one in that battle would state unequivocally that “the Knicks are back.”

    I’d throw at least one more element into this: does anyone doubt that the Knicks nation would be out in full-force at American Airlines Arena? After watching Lebron get booed at the charity stripe last time around, I’m confident that we can decisively steal their home-court thunder.

  23. dubisaweapon

    TDM: Frankly, I think the Knicks have the ability to beat any of these teams.BUT, I want to see them beat the Heat the most.  

    Amen brother!

  24. Bruno Almeida

    @22

    well, Love is a much better player than Lee imo and the 1st rounders would make this an obvious trade, having 3 Minnesota 1st rounders is as good as it can be :p

    and I agree with some people who WANT Miami, because that would be a really awesome series with potential for historic developments, but Miami is much, MUCH more dangerous than Orlando… Miami has been struggling, but they still have the most talented player in the NBA and a top 5/10 guy to go with him, if they ever figure it out they’ll be much tougher than Orlando.

  25. ASyrett19

    @17
    I’d make the trade for Love only if we could find a way to get Anthony Randolph in the deal.

  26. ess-dog

    Great poll idea. I think most agree that Boston is probably the worst match up. And even though Orlando has some scoring issues, Howard and Nelson scare me.
    I like the Miami match up because 1. they lack any real big man which helps us and 2. Melo has historically fared well against LBJ. I do think the Heat will get it together before the playoffs though, and really, look how good the Cavs were last year and you have to believe that this LBJ team is much better. I think we could steal 2 maybe even three games from them.
    I still like the Chicago match up too because 1. we’re 2-0 against them and 2. Thibs could be a deer in the headlights come playoff time. They have a great center/point combo like Orlando, but I think we could take advantage of Rose’s youth and maybe force Noah to venture outside the paint with our smaller lineups.
    So yeah, on paper, the Heat seems like the best matchup but I think we can continue to play well against Chi-town too.

  27. Z

    Wow– I like the confidence! Sounds like we may be able to beat the Heat in the first round, the Magic in the second round, and hope the Bulls upset the Celtics along the line so we can beat Chicago in the ECF.

    Next poll question: who would we rather face in the finals: a) Spurs b) Lakers c) Thunder d) Nuggets

  28. Jafa

    Z: Wow– I like the confidence! Sounds like we may be able to beat the Heat in the first round, the Magic in the second round, and hope the Bulls upset the Celtics along the line so we can beat Chicago in the ECF.
    Next poll question: who would we rather face in the finals: a) Spurs b) Lakers c) Thunder d) Nuggets  

    Well, since were daydreaming, I would have to say Nuggets. Gallo vs. Melo for all the chips!!!

  29. ess-dog

    I would like to see another Amare vs. Spurs series. I think we match up well against them.

  30. Jafa

    Ladies & Gentlemen,

    Professor Hollinger thinks our very own DWTDD could become a household name by 2012. He is one of 10 players profiled.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/

    Does anybody have insider? Would love to read what he says.

  31. Nick C.

    Stupid me I picked Chicago. Boston doesn’t seem so formidable with Perkins gone. Krstic hasn’t been good since he tore up his knee and Shaq is intermittent.

  32. Matt Smith

    @ Jafa

    Here ya go:

    Toney Douglas, Knicks
    Apparently the “defense-optional” memo New York sends everybody never reached Douglas. On a team full of marginal defenders, Douglas’ ferocious D stands out even more, and his role is increasing now with 34-year-old Chauncey Billups unlikely to bear the insane minutes load that Raymond Felton did.

    He’s not a natural point guard and he’s a bit small for the 2, but at either spot he guards like crazy (witness the Orlando game last week, when Chris Duhon could barely get the ball across half court against him). Additionally, the Melo trade may benefit him by allowing him to play off the ball and spot up for 3s more, something he does quite well. He already has three 20-point games since the trade and he had only four such games before the trade.

  33. jaylamerique

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I’d say that if we want to win, we trade Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love and the T’Wolves’ 2012, 2014, and 2016 1st rounders. Maybe that’s just me, though.  

    you have seen Kevin Love play defense or try to play defense? I know Anthony isn’t good at that end but a bad defensive bigman is worse than a bad defensive player at any of the other positions. A kevin love team would get abused with the pick-roll even worse than we do now.

  34. Matt Smith

    Jafa: An easy sweep? I mean, we are not the Indiana Pacers man. Do you know how we won the 2 games against them? Outside shooting! Nov 4: We shot 50% from the field and 67% from 3 point land. Dec 25: We shot 53% from the field and 55% from 3 point land.So tell me, how exactly were Boozer and Noah going to help them with perimeter D? That’s why they lost. Their rotations were not crisp, closeouts were late and we torched them. Now, if you want to make a case that replacing Galo’s 3 point shooting with Melo’s hurts, you may have a point. But replacing Felton’s 3 point shooting with Billups’ helps, so it evens things out. And we still have Toney Douglas, who comes to shoot against the Bulls and Fields how plays smart.If you want to make the case that the Bulls would win, then fine, you can make your point. But a sweep? Are you kidding me? A sweep? Only if we face Boston would I be worried about this.  (Quote)

    Maybe an easy sweep was too strong, but I don’t think a sweep is impossible.

    Plus, I’m afraid I don’t buy your argument. You can’t just say ‘What we give up in 3s swapping Gallo for Melo we gain swapping Felton for Chauncey.’ They play two completely different positions! Gallo’s shots were created from open opportunities from running the pick and roll. Chauncey is ballhandling, so that’s out of the question. We’d have to run a completely different offense for that to make sense.

  35. Matt Smith

    You also referenced the only time Noah has guarded Stoudemire so far this season (aka while STAT has been a Knick). It’s been clear that the end of last season and this season has been Noah’s best defensively… he was only in his first two years the other times, on a mediocre Bulls team while STAT was in his prime.

    And did you see the numbers you posted? 67% and 55% from 3pt?? Do you really think that’s sustainable? If we need to post those numbers we’re doomed.

  36. Robert Silverman

    Matt Smith: Felton did.

    He’s not a natural point guard and he’s a bit small for the 2, but at either spot he guards like crazy (witness the Orlando game last week, when Chris Duhon could barely get the ball across half court against him). Additionally, the Melo trade may benefit him by allowing him to play off the ball and

    I’ve always been a big DWTDD fan, but that last sentence is really disingenuous. Yes, he has three 20-point games since the trade, but they’ve all come in games he started b/c Billups was out.

    Is Toney going to become a star? I’d say no, but a good combo guard off the bench. Yessir. A poor man’s Vinne Johnson seems like a reasonable comp. A better one might be John Starks – (Starks was 6’3″ at best, contrary to the 6’5″ he’s listed at) good, hustling defender, streaky outside shooter. Questionable b-ball IQ

  37. JK47

    It seems strange, but I’m not so sure the 2011 Heat are better than the 2010 Cavs.

    The Heat are 43-20 for a .682 winning percentage.
    The Cavs were 61-21 for a .743 winning percentage.

    The Heat would have to go 18-1 the rest of the way to match the Cavs’ win total from last year.

    The Cavs were #6 on offense and #7 on defense, while the Heat are #6 on offense and #5 on defense. That’s only a slight edge to Miami, and of course the Heat are slumping so they may end up ranking lower in offense and defense.

    The Cavs ranked higher in offensive eFG% while the Heat are better in FT/FGA. The two squads were similar in defensive eFG%. The Cavs were a better rebounding team. The two teams are pretty much a wash when you look at the four factors.

    It’s surprising, but it’s really kind of impossible to argue that this year’s Heat team is a real improvement over the LeBron Cavs.

  38. Jafa

    Matt Smith:
    Maybe an easy sweep was too strong, but I don’t think a sweep is impossible.Plus, I’m afraid I don’t buy your argument. You can’t just say ‘What we give up in 3s swapping Gallo for Melo we gain swapping Felton for Chauncey.’ They play two completely different positions! Gallo’s shots were created from open opportunities from running the pick and roll. Chauncey is ballhandling, so that’s out of the question. We’d have to run a completely different offense for that to make sense.  

    Matt, I’m willing to bet you a pair of tickets for a Knicks game next year that, barring injury to key players on the Knicks, the Bulls wont’ sweep the Knicks. So, if the Knicks win one game, you buy my a pair of tickets next season, and if the Knicks gets swept, I’ll buy you a pair of tickets.

    Care to take my wager?

  39. latke

    JK, I agree. I find it very annoying that people continually refer to the record of the Cavs of 2011 as evidence of how bad Lebron’s supporting cast was, while ignoring the Heat’s less-than-dominant play and the Cavs very dominant regular season performances (their 66 win season is the third most wins since Jordan’s second to last year w/ the bulls — one fewer than Dallas and LAL at their peaks).

    IMO, replace Bosh and Mike Miller with Varejao, Gibson, Mo Williams, and someone to replicate the 08/09 Ben Wallace (i.e. aging but not washed up defensive big — Marcus Camby?), and you have a 65-70 win team. The weakness at the one (Chalmers = bad offense, bibby/Arroyo = terrible defense) and incompetence at the five really kill this team.

  40. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    jaylamerique:
    you have seen Kevin Love play defense or try to play defense? I know Anthony isn’t good at that end but a bad defensive bigman is worse than a bad defensive player at any of the other positions. A kevin love team would get abused with the pick-roll even worse than we do now.  

    Kevin Love cannot give up as many points as he creates. The dude is an offensive juggernaut. Better than David Lee at his best, and he’s what, 23?

  41. Matt Smith

    Jafa: Matt, I’m willing to bet you a pair of tickets for a Knicks game next year that, barring injury to key players on the Knicks, the Bulls wont’ sweep the Knicks. So, if the Knicks win one game, you buy my a pair of tickets next season, and if the Knicks gets swept, I’ll buy you a pair of tickets.Care to take my wager?  (Quote)

    No thanks, not about to put at $250+ wager on the chance of losing one game.

    Although, consulting my old college logic textbook, me refusing that bet doesn’t make your argument any less wrong. :)

    Is there any reasoning behind Chicago’s lack of perimeter D aside from the two games they played against us without a full roster? Seems to me that Rose (of late – he’s gotten much better) and Deng are competent perimeter defenders. Even their poorer defenders – like Korver – defend well on the wings, according to Hollinger.

    Seems like the stats are on my side too. http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/CHI/2011.html

    1st in opp 3p% and 2nd in 3pa.

    As I said, maybe an easy sweep is too strong of a phrase, but if I had to pick a team to sweep us, it would be the Bulls.

  42. Matt Smith

    Robert Silverman: I’ve always been a big DWTDD fan, but that last sentence is really disingenuous. Yes, he has three 20-point games since the trade, but they’ve all come in games he started b/c Billups was out. Is Toney going to become a star? I’d say no, but a good combo guard off the bench. Yessir. A poor man’s Vinne Johnson seems like a reasonable comp. A better one might be John Starks – (Starks was 6’3? at best, contrary to the 6’5? he’s listed at) good, hustling defender, streaky outside shooter. Questionable b-ball IQ  (Quote)

    Yea I agree. Again, the issue with stats is putting them in context, which Hollinger sometimes refuses to do.

    Although people say that it takes a long time to learn the PG position – while that might be true, it seems like Douglas is more comfortable learning to be a streaky scoring option than the person that runs our offense.

    Also re: Starks’ height – he’s my favorite player, and I’ve met him before at one of his charity events. I’m 6’4” and he’s definitely a good inch taller than me. But I agree – bigger heart than brain on the court.

  43. Spree8nyk8

    jaylamerique:
    you have seen Kevin Love play defense or try to play defense? I know Anthony isn’t good at that end but a bad defensive bigman is worse than a bad defensive player at any of the other positions. A kevin love team would get abused with the pick-roll even worse than we do now.  

    Do not even bother answering THCJ, he’s a straight up hater. Don’t feed him.

  44. Spree8nyk8

    I’d pick chicago simply bc we have owned them. But honestly I don’t care who it is. I just don’t believe we are losing in the first round.

  45. Frank O.

    I vote Chicago because as good as Rose is, he’s still a rookie and he makes lots of turnovers and other mistakes and I believe the Knicks will exploit that.
    Also, I think in playoffs, it is exceedingly difficult if your top scorer is a PG.
    I also am not sure Boozer is as athletic as he once was, and that gives the advantage to the Knicks….

  46. DS

    Spree8nyk8: I’d pick chicago simply bc we have owned them. But honestly I don’t care who it is. I just don’t believe we are losing in the first round.  

    Not to single you out because lots of people picked the Bulls, but the Knicks beat them by only 8 two times. The first time Boozer was hurt (and Danilo and DWTDD had REALLY good nights), the second Noah was hurt. Also you may have heard something about us trading a few players since then.

    Anyhow, I vote for the Heat not necessarily because the Knicks beat them twice but because I think ending the Heat’s season is the most fun outcome we could hope for for this season and I don’t see that happening after the 1st round.

  47. DS

    DS: Also you may have heard something about us trading a few players since then.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to sound so sarcastic. And actually, I think our rebounding numbers have been better since the trade which would be really important against Noah and Boozer.

  48. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Spree8nyk8:
    Do not even bother answering THCJ, he’s a straight up hater.Don’t feed him.  

    When I do troll, though, I back it up with stats. Not this “but he’s a great fit in our system!” nonsense.

  49. dubisaweapon

    DS:
    I vote for the Heat not necessarily because the Knicks beat them twice but because I think ending the Heat’s season is the most fun outcome we could hope for for this season and I don’t see that happening after the 1st round.  

    Totally agree. We’re not winning a championship this season, but ending the Heat’s season would be sweet.

  50. Frank

    just read that article in slate referenced in the last thread, and the accompanying Berri link re: the possible over-emphasis on rebounds. Pretty interesting that the player that was most under-rated by “traditional” stats was Troy Murphy, who was a top 15 player by Berri’s stats. This is the same Troy Murphy who is famous for having played 640 games in the NBA with a combined 0.389 winning percentage and having never played in the playoffs in his 10 year career. And it’s not like the GSW team he played on had no talent — it had Mike Dunleavy, Jason Richardson, Antawn Jamison, Monta Ellis, Biedrins, the good Gilbert Arenas, and Baron Davis at various points. Heck, they even had Dean Oliver on that team (really!). And the Warriors went to their only playoffs in 17 years the very season after Murphy left the team. And the Pacers went on to win less than 40 games every year since Murphy came to them. Then he gets traded to the Nets, and now the Pacers are on the verge of making the playoffs.

    This may all be an amazing coincidence, but don’t you think a top 15 player in the NBA would BRING playoffs to whatever team he’s on, as opposed to having the playoffs avoid him like the plague?

  51. Spree8nyk8

    DS:
    Not to single you out because lots of people picked the Bulls, but the Knicks beat them by only 8 two times. The first time Boozer was hurt (and Danilo and DWTDD had REALLY good nights), the second Noah was hurt. Also you may have heard something about us trading a few players since then.Anyhow, I vote for the Heat not necessarily because the Knicks beat them twice but because I think ending the Heat’s season is the most fun outcome we could hope for for this season and I don’t see that happening after the 1st round.  

    The score of those games might have been 8, but neither of those games were really that close. Those games were won quite easily both times. And as far as that trade, we are better since that trade. Our differential shows it and our record against above .500 teams shows it.

    Like I said I don’t care who we play, I think we are beating any of them in the first round, although I think Orlando is the worst draw for us.

  52. Bruno Almeida

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    When I do troll, though, I back it up with stats. Not this “but he’s a great fit in our system!” nonsense.  

    such as saying Kevin Love is an “offensive juggernaut” and David Lee is crap, without any stats to back it up?

    yeah awesome.

    @topic

    does anyone think that Rasual Butler will contribute for the Bulls? I remember him being a pretty good 3pt shooter, the Bulls would have an even better bench if he’s worth anything.

  53. Bruno Almeida

    @54

    correcting myself, you didn’t say that Lee is crap, just that Love has been better than Lee’s best year, which is true, but not by that gigantic margin you implied.

  54. flossy

    I want Miami. I think that we actually match up incredibly well with them. Amar’e and Carmelo are perhaps the only combination of two players who can match or exceed the offensive output of LeBron and Wade. If there is ever a time that our two marquee players will be dialed in on defense, it’s against Miami in the playoffs. Our weaknesses (center, bench depth) are their weaknesses too. And as far as a 3rd wheel to complement the big two, I would SO MUCH rather have Chauncey Billups on my team than Chris Bosh. I mean, you really couldn’t ask for a more stark contrast as far as playoff experience and winning attitude are concerned. Bosh is a joke and Chauncey is the man, and moreover Bosh’s talents are so marginalized on the Heat that I think he is less of an impact player than Chauncey Billups could be once fully integrated into the offense.

    I also think it’s eminently possible that this year’s Heat is an inferior team to last year’s Cavs. Call them scrubs if you want, but the other players on the Cavs were role players whose games made an excellent complement to LeBron’s game. They performed their roles admirably and knew their job was to do the dirty work in support of LeBron. Miami, on the other hand, is a real-time demonstration of the law of diminishing returns (LeBron and Wade are too similar to be as individually effective as possible), and moreover Chris Bosh has been exposed as a talented player who nevertheless lacks the mental fortitude to be considered a star on the level of LeBron or Wade or even to complement them particularly well. And the rest of their team is terrible. And *all* the pressure would be on the Heat. We’d have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  55. Bruno Almeida

    @56

    I agree, I think the constant shuffling of lineups in Miami has killed the role players, they keep deferring to Wade and LeBron because they have no confidence at all.

    Arroyo began the season as a starter and has since been cut, Chalmers was mired to the bench and is playing 30mpg now, Joel Anthony and Zydrunas Ilgauskas have been on musical chairs all season long… even the “sharpshooter off the bench” position has been inconsistent, with Miller, House and Jones being shuffled around…

    at least on the Cavs, if you were a consistent role player, you knew what your role was and what you had to do to get playing time.

  56. hoolahoop

    Jafa: Ladies & Gentlemen,Professor Hollinger thinks our very own DWTDD could become a household name by 2012. He is one of 10 players profiled.
    http://espn.go.com/nba/Does anybody have insider?Would love to read what he says.  

    Granted, TD plays good defense, but his Offensive IQ is zero.

  57. hoolahoop

    JK47: The Heat have played the 2nd softest schedule in the NBA, their coach is kind of an idiot, they run a predictable offense, they have zero depth and they don’t seem to be very tough mentally. They’ve run up a gaudy record by crushing the weak sisters of the league but when it comes down to it they’ve got serious holes.I say Miami.  

    If this is how you would describe the pathetic Miami Heat (43-20) how would you describe the knicks?

  58. hoolahoop

    If Miami gets on a roll going into the playoffs they are going to be a force to be reckoned with. I hate the Heat, but I don’t understand how everybody is discounting them. Lately, Sportstalk pros are talking about LeBron like he’s a soft. I hate Lebron, but he’s one of the best player – ever.

  59. hoolahoop

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I’d say that if we want to win, we trade Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love and the T’Wolves’ 2012, 2014, and 2016 1st rounders. Maybe that’s just me, though.  

    That’s a much better fit, but melo will be here until he’s booed out of ny.

  60. hoolahoop

    Spree8nyk8:
    Do not even bother answering THCJ, he’s a straight up hater.Don’t feed him.  

    Stop acting like a friggin child. Every time someone has an opinion that’s not complimentary you get rude. The strength of this forum is it’s diverse opinion. Agree or disagree, be respectful.

  61. Z

    This is all very entertaining to read, but I think reality would be this:

    Miami 4 – NY 1
    Orlando 4 – NY 2
    Chicago 4 – NY 2
    Boston 4 – NY 1

    Some games closer than others… No shame in winning a playoff game after all this time. Can’t say I expect great things from this team, and a first round upset would be pretty great.

  62. jon abbey

    Kevin Love is rapidly closing in on Chris Bosh for the most overrated player in the league, his superb rebounding and outlet passing and solid 3 point shooting doesn’t erase the fact that his D makes Amare look like Mutumbo.

    sometimes I wish Dave Berri had a GM job so I could laugh at the team he assembled.

  63. Bruno Almeida

    jon abbey: Kevin Love is rapidly closing in on Chris Bosh for the most overrated player in the league, his superb rebounding and outlet passing and solid 3 point shooting doesn’t erase the fact that his D makes Amare look like Mutumbo.
    sometimes I wish Dave Berri had a GM job so I could laugh at the team he assembled.  

    But that’s blasphemy, advanced stats are the only thing that matter!

    Sarcasm aside, I think Love is an incredibly talented player, but he’s a wretched defender and his only focus on the defensive end is getting rebounds, which may be more detrimental to his team than the value of the rebounds he gets.

  64. JK47

    Interesting discussion about Kevin Love.

    The Wolves have terrible defenders all over the floor. They’re the worst in the NBA at FT attempts against, FT attempts made, and incredibly also last in FT% allowed, which is kind of an amazing feat if you think about it. It must mean that most of the time, they are fouling guards, who tend to have higher FT percentages.

    You’ve got Darko– 4.9 fouls per 36 minutes. Anthony Tolliver– 4.1 fouls/36. Corey Brewer and Beasley each average 3.5 fouls/36. Brewer is gone but some of his minutes are going to Anthony Randolph, who fits right in with his career average of 4.4 fouls/36.

    The only guy who DOESN’T foul all the time is Kevin Love– 2.0 fouls/36. He’s obviously very good at snatching rebounds whenever his teammates manage not to foul the shooter, but the Wolves are still merely an average defensive rebounding team. Other than Love, nobody on that team rebounds worth a damn, although I guess now AR might start snagging some. It’s a bit easier to rack up ridiculous rebounding numbers when none of your own teammates are fighting you for them.

    The Wolves are a pretty ridiculous team– their box scores and basketball-reference page are endlessly entertaining to read.

  65. BG

    Kevin Love may be the best rebounder in the league. He may also be the worst defensive big man in the league.
    In terms of who we play I would love to see us play the Heat in the first round. They are obviously very talented but when the games get tight late, as the playoffs almost always do, Miami struggles. I think this is because Lebron is such a great playmaker that he must have the ball at the end of the game. However he hears talk about the Heat not being able to finish games and decides he must take on the world at the end of the game. Thats not his strength. His great ability is to make others better. However he gets grilled when he doesn’t take the last shot ala vs the spurs when he passed to Donyell Marshall.

  66. jon abbey

    I voted for the Bulls, but I can see an argument for Miami also. Orlando I don’t see how we can match up with Howard, and Boston is the most experienced of the options.

    but like Z, I don’t really think we can take any of those teams to 7, maybe the Bulls because they’re less experienced.

  67. Bruno Almeida

    @66

    yes, the Wolves are incredibly bad, but these foul totals are probably much more a product of Love going for rebounds all the time, instead of contesting shots… Darko is obviously taller and longer than Love, but he’s averaging 3.2 blocks per 36 and has a 6.7% blk%, while Love averages an incredibly bad 0.4 blocks per 36 with 0.8% block percentage.

    Love is still very valuable, of course, but he could be much better if he was at least adequate on D.

  68. Frank

    i’m watching the heat get outplayed at home by portland so far — and wondering — if the heat underachieve in the post-season (ie. don’t make the NBA finals or at least the conference finals) — they really may implode over the next few seasons (relatively speaking of course). their whole team is based on 3 guys and a bunch of hangers-on who are willing to play for less money to win a championship. but we’ve already seen troy murphy go to boston to play this year even though he’d get a ton of minutes in the middle for miami. if the MLE goes away which it really might, they might be stuck. no draft picks, no salary cap space, and probably fewer guys willing to play for less.

  69. Will the Thrill

    The defense of Amar’e and Love would be horrendous. Just imagine what Howard would do to them, let alone Gasol and Bynum. When it comes down to it, there’s no way Love is pulling a rebound down over Howard in the playoffs, no matter how many he averages.

  70. Jim Cavan

    Asides:

    Bad News: Philly wins yet again

    Good News: Heat struggling with Blazers at home. Aldridge just clowning Bosh.

    Adding Wallace was huge for that team. They could make some noise in the playoffs if they can stay healthy.

  71. Caleb

    @72 In my alternate completely unrealistic universe I was hoping the Knicks would trade for Iggy instead of Carmelo. He – Iggy, that is – would be on my 2nd All-NBA team right now – he is consistently a top 10-15 player, IMO.

  72. daJudge

    I really thought Love would be a great fit for the Knicks, because of his rebounding and ability to stretch the offense by hitting the three. To be honest, I haven’t seen his game that much in the pro’s, but I was sort of obsessed with is game in theKnick’s prior system. I guess I’ll reassess based on the comments regarding his poor D. Obviously very important. Also, certainly the Knicks have plenty of offense and other guys who can stretch. I’ve always been a fan of players that play their position, so I guess a defense orientated 5, who can rebound and throw an outlet would be fine. Maybe JJ can kind of fill that role. I also think Sheldon Williams may make a bit of a difference. As far as match-ups, I think the Knicks can take the Heat, but it really depends on how all these folks are playing in a few weeks.

  73. Jim Cavan

    Iggy’s really been a mini-LeBron this year. I remember his and Wallace’s names being tossed around a little bit as possible alternatives before the deadline. I’m happy Melo’s here, but either one of those guys would have been a fun addition. Both of them can basically guard 3 — if not 4 — positions.

  74. JK47

    Man, the wheels are really falling off the Heat. Bosh gave them 7 points and 4 boards in 40 minutes, Joel Anthony had 0 points and 2 rebounds in 12 minutes and Erick Dampier had 2 points and 2 rebounds in 13 minutes. Their frontcourt is a freaking disaster. The bench had 8 points on 11 shots. At home.

    Schadenfreude overload.

  75. Caleb

    @76 I’m not gonna change my opinion on a dime so I will stick with my preseason call that Miami wins the East – but they aren’t making it easy, are they?!?

    Bosh has had a really weird season – a lot of the +/- and detailed analysis I’ve read seems to suggest he has been key – that the best on-floor combos are him + LeBron, or him + Wade. And in a way it makes sense; on offense LeBron and Wade largely cancel each other out because they do the same things are not great shooters.

    And yet – Bosh seems to have a lot of games like this where he’s just awful. I know LaMarcus Aldridge is a pretty tough matchup but he’s not Karl Malone, either.

    Still… as analysis goes, it was only when the Heat added Miller and re-signed Haslem that we all started holding our breath and thinking they might be all-time great and unbeatable. With Haslem gone and Miller struggling, they’re back to 3 Kings and the 9 dwarves. They really have zero margin for error. Unless Haslem and/or Millier get it together.

    I still can’t believe they couldn’t do better than a 2nd round pick for Beasley.

  76. Bruno Almeida

    I watched the whole Blazers – Heat game, and Bosh was absolutely pathetic, he seems really affected by the whole “oh my gosh, everybody REALLY hates us”, the pressure is getting to him.

    @73

    I love Iguodala too, he has been showing an incredible playmaking ability that I seriously didn’t know he had… but I think top 10 is a stretch, he’s still a terrible shooter.

  77. Frank

    I’m pretty sure I’m overreacting to the Heat losing their 5th in a row — but just looking into the #s –

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9147

    Miami is probably capped out until after the 2015-16 season.
    Through 14-15 season, they have LBJ, Wade, Bosh, Haslem, Mike Miller, and Joel Anthony under contract. Next year Eddie House will probably pick up his player option. They also have Dexter Pittman. That means it’ll be those 7, a #26+ draft pick, Minnesota’s slotted 2nd round pick, and a bunch of minimum salary guys.

    They have no 1st round pick in 2011, 2013, 2015.
    They have their own 2012 and 14 picks although Cleveland has the right swap with them (not happening).

    So the Heat are probably looking at the same team going forward several years unless they hit it big on Pittman or another very late draft pick.

    Schadenfreude indeed.

  78. BigBlueAL

    Philly is becoming a pain in the ass lol. Kudos to Doug Collins, he has that team playing great since December.

  79. TDM

    Jim Cavan: Asides:Bad News: Philly wins yet againGood News: Heat struggling with Blazers at home. Aldridge just clowning Bosh.
    Adding Wallace was huge for that team. They could make some noise in the playoffs if they can stay healthy.  

    You failed to mention Atlanta losing to the Lakers – another bit of good news.

  80. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Bruno Almeida: jon abbey: Kevin Love is rapidly closing in on Chris Bosh for the most overrated player in the league, his superb rebounding and outlet passing and solid 3 point shooting doesn’t erase the fact that his D makes Amare look like Mutumbo.
    sometimes I wish Dave Berri had a GM job so I could laugh at the team he assembled.

    But that’s blasphemy, advanced stats are the only thing that matter!

    Sarcasm aside, I think Love is an incredibly talented player, but he’s a wretched defender and his only focus on the defensive end is getting rebounds, which may be more detrimental to his team than the value of the rebounds he gets. Bruno Almeida

    Whatever it would be, it would probably be a million times better than Hall of Fame players Isiah Thomas and Kevin McHale. Berri might overpay for Kevin Love or David Lee, but how much would he really go, giving what the market would be for these players. Additionally his teams would have a bunch of solid fundamental players, since he values rebounding, scoring efficiency, and low turnovers. I don’t think he’d win a championship, but if you gave him a franchise player (LeBron, Howard, etc) he’d probably do a better than average job surrounding them with good cheap talent.

  81. New Guy

    Regarding our two wins vs the Bulls, we shot the lights out in the first game, and the second one was on Xmas morning. Not saying they don’t count, I just don’t see them as good indicators of the future. They are a tough matchup.

  82. jaylamerique

    Mike Kurylo:
    Whatever it would be, it would probably be a million times better than Hall of Fame players Isiah Thomas and Kevin McHale. Berri might overpay for Kevin Love or David Lee, but how much would he really go, giving what the market would be for these players. Additionally his teams would have a bunch of solid fundamental players, since he values rebounding, scoring efficiency, and low turnovers. I don’t think he’d win a championship, but if you gave him a franchise player (LeBron, Howard, etc) he’d probably do a better than average job surrounding them with good cheap talent.  

    overpaying no stars or 2nd tier players is the worse thing a team can do; that’s how you end up with michael redd type contracts. i think he could build a 42-45 win team but thats the worse place to be in the nba. not good enough to win a championship but to good to bottom out.

  83. tenebrous

    New Guy: Regarding our two wins vs the Bulls, we shot the lights out in the first game, and the second one was on Xmas morning.Not saying they don’t count, I just don’t see them as good indicators of the future.They are a tough matchup.  

    Great. A) Well we wanted to beat them from the get go – tired of hearing about Derik (the merik) rose B) Xmas is a large viewing all that shows is the ny likes the limelight/big games (plus hating the derik “the merik” rose and hence will wip these east teams when the real bball starts.

  84. tenebrous

    Robert Silverman: Not to feed a troll, but…The Merik?  

    Like the merik chart (nerve endings) everytime I c him play I want to throw up 1) he’s quiet but looks really mean like he won’t even think twice about eating ur kids for dinner – anyway just really mean looking no personality type

  85. Spree8nyk8

    I know I’m in the slim minority of people that think we will win our 1st rd series and I’m ok with that. But I really feel like the bigger the stage the better this team plays. So I havent really seen much reason to not believe.

    As far as how we will deal with things if there is no MLE, well we arent as bad off as Miami bc we have cap room in 2012, but I think we’d have to look away from a 3rd max guy and find 2-3 mid role guys instead. Also if they do hardcap it the NBA would have to make some sort of grandfather system or you’ll have a bunch of teams that cant make any adjustments, so I wouldn’t worry.

  86. Spree8nyk8

    hoolahoop:
    Stop acting like a friggin child. Every time someone has an opinion that’s not complimentary you get rude. The strength of this forum is it’s diverse opinion. Agree or disagree, be respectful.  

    ur right i apologize, i’m excitable sometimes. I’ll tone it down

  87. Max

    I voted Miami, I hated them in the ’90s I hate them now, I see them as the better matchup (Boston is too strong, Orlando destroys us with Howard, Chicago is clicking and is not the same team we beat in the previous 2 games), but there are still 20 games to play…
    By the way every opponent will be hard in a seven games series, even if I think that we scare everybody, we’re a “ticking bomb” team that on the right night could beat anyone (and yes, on the “definitely not so right night” could lose to anyone).

    Philly won again and for the second time in a row they got seven players in double figure (and nobody over 20 points), Collins must be coach of the year, they’re really sharing the ball and the team is very young.

    Memphis & Dallas are two good “checkpoint” to see where we are, expecially if Chauncey’s back.
    I like the fact that D’Antony was forced to use some bench players, Carter, Mason e S.Williams could be useful as we could not afford to play our starters 40 minutes a night and have them exausted in the playoffs.

    Ah, before I forgot: Gallo will be a free agent in the summer of 2012, he’ll come back to NY at a “love discount” price and then nobody could stop us.

    :-)

  88. Nick C.

    Caleb: @72 In my alternate completely unrealistic universe I was hoping the Knicks would trade for Iggy instead of Carmelo. He – Iggy, that is – would be on my 2nd All-NBA team right now – he is consistently a top 10-15 player, IMO.  (Quote)

    Really. Not that Iggy isn’t good but the metrics have this year as his best WS/48 @ 0.149 and TS .532 is good but not great. Is his defense that good or is he still continuing his 3D tear?

  89. Bruno Almeida

    New Guy:
    Um, so are we.We have 40 mil wrapped up in two players.  

    well, probably :p

    but we do have better role players than Miami and our 3rd guy’s contract expires in 2012, which might be pretty useful.

  90. flossy

    Nick C.:
    Really.Not that Iggy isn’t good but the metrics have this year as his best WS/48 @ 0.149 and TS .532 is good but not great.Is his defense that good or is he still continuing his 3D tear?  

    I think calling Iggy a top 10-15 player is a stretch, but there can be no doubt that he is criminally underrated. It doesn’t leap out of the box score but his defense really is phenomenal. The fact that he has never made an all-defensive first or second team (while Kobe has made it, what, ten times?) is unconscionable. He rebounds well for his size and his passing is every bit as good as Kobe or Wade (and way better than Melo, or Toney Douglas for that matter!).

    I also thought he would be just as good an addition to the team as Melo, and a better value when you factor in his smaller contract and willingness (I assume) to be the second banana. The thought of him flying up and down the court as a more-skilled Shawn Marion made my mouth water, but oh well. At the end of the day, if his jump shot wasn’t so ugly he would easily be one of the elite all-around players in the league… as it is, he isn’t too far off.

  91. Caleb

    Nick C.:
    Really.Not that Iggy isn’t good but the metrics have this year as his best WS/48 @ 0.149 and TS .532 is good but not great.Is his defense that good or is he still continuing his 3D tear?  

    I know he does not “stat-out” in the top 10 but we know those aren’t perfect! Part of my opinion is based on defense, which no one measures well – but IMO his impact is huge. Part of it is looking at the big picture – imagine Philly’s rosters without him the past few years, and I think – non-objectively, of course – you’re looking at 10+ games worse – close to the worst team in the league. If I’m right, that’s a big impact. Part of it is looking at his play during the World Champs, where he was one of the 3 or 4 key guys on that elite team. And part of it is that he’s so versatile. When his usage rate was lower, he had TS% up in the 58, 59 range. When they need him as a ballhandler, he does it – and meanwhile defends the other team’s top wing.

    Once you get past the top 6 or 7 players it is hard to make fine distinctions, but having his best season I think Iggy is in the next group.

  92. Caleb

    p.s. almost forgot a big thing – he plays a Joe Johnson-like amount of minutes – hasn’t missed a game in 4 years, averaging nearly 40 minutes per. For a guy with the responsibilities he has, that’s fantastic. Compared to other top wings, like – say – Paul Pierce or Ginobili, that’s an extra 400-600 minutes a year, playing your star and not a backup.

  93. dubisaweapon

    Frank: I’m pretty sure I’m overreacting to the Heat losing their 5th in a row — but just looking into the #s –http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9147Miami is probably capped out until after the 2015-16 season.
    Through 14-15 season, they have LBJ, Wade, Bosh, Haslem, Mike Miller, and Joel Anthony under contract.Next year Eddie House will probably pickup his player option.They also have Dexter Pittman.That means it’ll be those 7, a #26+ draft pick, Minnesota’s slotted 2nd round pick, and a bunch of minimum salary guys.They have no 1st round pick in 2011, 2013, 2015.
    They have their own 2012 and 14 picks although Cleveland has the right swap with them (not happening).So the Heat are probably looking at the same team going forward several years unless they hit it big on Pittman or another very late draft pick.Schadenfreude indeed.  

    From the looks of it, the Heat’s situation only gets worse as the big two-and-a-half get paid more each year through 2015-16.

    While plenty of people have criticized Lebron, DWade, Bosh, and Spoelstra, the construction of this team was ultimately done by Pat Riley. How much longer before he starts getting criticized?

  94. Nick C.

    Caleb – I follow your line of reasoning. Score one for the well rounded player. I also never thought about minutes even though in baseball PA and IP will make up for lesser rate stats.

  95. Bruno Almeida

    Caleb: p.s. almost forgot a big thing – he plays a Joe Johnson-like amount of minutes – hasn’t missed a game in 4 years, averaging nearly 40 minutes per. For a guy with the responsibilities he has, that’s fantastic. Compared to other top wings, like – say – Paul Pierce or Ginobili, that’s an extra 400-600 minutes a year, playing your star and not a backup.  

    one thing that has really impressed me on Iguodala this year is that he seems to have realized that he’s not a very good shooter, and that his role is that of a super defender / playmaker on offense.

    his assist% is a career high so far, his usage rate is the lowest of the last 4 years (since he became the star of his team) and with 31 games left, he has half the FG attempts he had last year and almost 1/3 the 3pt attempts, which makes a lot of sense with his bad percentages.

  96. Frank O.

    I am in the clear minority. I think the Knicks could do a lot of damage in the playoffs, as will the 76ers.
    These are two teams on the rise. The 76ers have improved greatly over the season. A very tough team and a tough out. I sense they will upset someone in the playoffs.
    The Knicks are a very dangerous team, especially as they grow more and more familiar.
    I see the Bulls as a very good team, but while Rose is their strength, he also can be a weakness. The Knicks are more athletic across the team and I think they will match up well against Boozer and Noah.
    Head to head, I think the Knicks are tough for the Bulls.
    Miami’s problem is that Lebron and Wade play a very similar game. A great weakness – aside from their bench – is they’ve turned Bosh into a wing player also. I have seen stories laying out how he has gone from 30 percent of all his shots being from the outside to 50 percent. Not good for him. I think the harder it gets, the harder Wade and Lebron will try to do more, and the more they do the more alienated their teammates become.
    In the end, Walsh appears to have put together a pretty balanced team of scorers and defenders. The Knicks are going to shock some teams.

  97. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I was reading an old thread and found this gem from well before the Carmelo trade:

    Frank O.: Carmelo announces on Conan he will only permit a trade to the Knicks if the they trade their entire team for him to show the love.  

  98. dubisaweapon

    Frank O.: I am in the clear minority. I think the Knicks could do a lot of damage in the playoffs.

    I got your back on this Frank. Let’s go Knicks!

  99. Matt Smith

    Frank O.: II see the Bulls as a very good team, but while Rose is their strength, he also can be a weakness. The Knicks are more athletic across the team and I think they will match up well against Boozer and Noah.
    Head to head, I think the Knicks are tough for the Bulls.
      (Quote)

    Could you elaborate? I really don’t follow. Rose might have weaknesses but his strengths by far outweigh them, which is why he’s the frontrunner for MVP right now.

    How do we match up well with Noah/Boozer? Amare is a matador on D and doesn’t enjoy boxing out for rebounds, and our other bigs are Jared Jeffries and Ronny Turiaf. Regardless of how well those last two could possibly do (and I’m very up about JJ right now), they’re not good matches against Noah/Boozer.

    And I don’t see how we’re by far more athletic… I could see it because our offensive is (was?) more movement-based whereas they run a halfcourt set, but I don’t see their players (except Boozer maybe) as unathletic.

  100. JK47

    The case against Chicago is something like this:

    Derrick Rose is in no way the MVP of this league. He’s a less efficient scorer than our own oft-maligned Carmelo Anthony, and while Rose does dish out some assists, he doesn’t do anything else particularly well. He’s pretty overrated.

    The Bulls’ defense is very good across the board, and they’re a tremendous rebounding team, even more so now that they’re fully healthy. The idea that they don’t defend the 3-point line is pretty ridiculous, considering they’re tops in the league in 3PT% allowed.

    But the offense… They’re 17th in eFG%, 19th in TOV% and 21st in FT/FGA. Other than Rose, they don’t have any competent ballhandlers, and they’re a mediocre 3-point shooting team. Their offense does not have a lot of finesse or variety, that’s for sure.

  101. New Guy

    Max:Ah, before I forgot: Gallo will be a free agent in the summer of 2012, he’ll come back to NY at a “love discount” price and then nobody could stop us.:-)  

    It’s a swell idea, but he will be a Restricted FA as long as Denver extends him a qualifying offer. So any “love discount” would likely be matched.

  102. Max

    New Guy:
    It’s a swell idea, but he will be a Restricted FA as long as Denver extends him a qualifying offer.So any “love discount” would likely be matched.  

    You’re absolutely right but let me dream a bit, I’m still licking my wounds for Danilo’s trade :-D

  103. Bruno Almeida

    @110

    Well, the x factor in this discussion for me is surely Luol Deng, he’s the player I fear most in the Knicks – Bulls matchup.

    He’s athletic enough to explore the driving lanes on our still bad half-court defense, and together with Rose and Noah to keep up with us if we try to run. He’s also a decent outside shooter, and has been a lockdown defender with length to really bother Carmelo into shooting those dreaded long jumpers.

    Rose obviously could kill our defense with his penetration, but he has been very inefficient shooting and is prone to going into superstar mode and ignoring his teammates… Amare has the upper hand on Boozer, and Noah could kill us on rebounding too, but sometimes he disappears on the offensive end.

  104. Jafa

    Spree8nyk8: I know I’m in the slim minority of people that think we will win our 1st rd series and I’m ok with that. But I really feel like the bigger the stage the better this team plays.So I havent really seen much reason to not believe.  

    Count me in as a member of that slim minority. And I think our real difference maker come playoffs is not even playing right now, and that would be Billups. I am infinitely more confident that we can win big games with him on the floor, and unless we see Boston in the 1st round, I think we can win.

  105. dubisaweapon

    Since a lot of us are chomping at the bit to face the Heat in the first round, I thought I’d pass along this link:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/TrueHoop/post/_/id/26150/too-much-bouncing-could-get-heat-bounced

    The one and only Dean Oliver breaks down the Heat’s offensive woes with tasty nuggets such as:

    “In the half-court, the Heat have the lowest rate of assisted layups in the league, and it isn’t close: Only 45 percent of their layups and dunks in the half court are assisted, while the next-worst team is at 54 percent and the league average is about 62 percent. The Celtics have 70 percent of their half-court layups assisted, and the Lakers 69 percent. Other than the Heat, the Bulls are the worst of the elite teams at 61 percent. “

  106. Spree8nyk8

    I mean basically when I look at this team. I think we have a shot to win most games if our big 3 is playing well (or at least 2 outta 3, with the 3rd one not killing us in the process). The X factor for this team is getting a good game out of any other player. Pretty much if we can get an 18+ game out of anyone else we tend to smoke our opponents. And Toney seems to shine in bigger games. Both games against Chicago he torched them. Bill Walker is capable of a big game here and there, same with ShawnE.

    idk, I mean honestly I’m so pumped for the playoffs it’s sick. And these guys having about 20 more games to really get it down is fantastic. I think they’ll really be clicking right around playoff time. And while I think Orlando is the worst matchup for us in the first round I still want them to get as high a seed as possible just because I think it’s better for them as a team. Closing the season strong would be huge. They are two losses back of ATL right now and I think they have an excellent shot of catching them. I know everyone thinks Philly is gonna pass us but their schedule turns pretty brutal over these last few games. I don’t see it happening which is why I was willing to bet anyone on it. I can easily see us in the five spot going into the playoffs.

  107. Robert Silverman

    Hypothetical: This off-season Riley calls up the Nugs and offers Bosh, Ilgauskas, and Chalmers for Nene and Felton. Who says no first?

  108. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank O.:
    I didn’t like them giving up Mosgov. Nothing new there.
    Not sure I get your inference…  

    Well, Anthony could have simply said (in private, of course), “I’m going to New York, and I want it to be the best possible team, so I’m not going to let them gut the team for me,” but of course, he did — for the money? Sure. But I’m sure ego had to do with it.

  109. Frank O.

    Matt Smith:
    Could you elaborate? I really don’t follow. Rose might have weaknesses but his strengths by far outweigh them, which is why he’s the frontrunner for MVP right now.How do we match up well with Noah/Boozer? .  

    Look, I’ve watched Boozer a lot lately. He is still a bull, but he’s not as athletic as he once was. I think Amare is a very, very tough match up for Boozer.
    I think Noah is a good big. He gets a bunch of boards. He’s an average shot blocker and takes maybe fives shots a game. He’s not a superstar. He’s good, but nothing, I think, to fear. I think defensively, Jeffries and Turiaf can offset him some.
    Rose is an elite guard, but he commits a bunch of turnovers and is young enough that he will make a fair number of crucial errors. I’ve watched him nearly blow several games in recent weeks.
    I think Billups’ experience will trump Rose’s scoring. Rose gets 7.7 assists per 36, and commits 3.5 TOs per 36. His TS% is .535 and eFG% is .478. I think he’s a bit overrated, frankly, because of his athleticism.

    Boozer and Noah are not as good a tandem as Amare and Carmelo in scoring. In fact, not even close. Boozer and Noah are way better rebounders, for sure. *shrug*
    The Knicks will suffer some on the boards, but they’ll score a lot.
    The Bulls are built for defense. It will be interesting.
    I just think the Knicks, with Billups at the helm, and some good defensive rotation players, will have enough to beat the Bulls, IMHO.
    We’re all speculating…

  110. Ben R

    Robert Silverman: Hypothetical: This off-season Riley calls up the Nugs and offers Bosh, Ilgauskas, and Chalmers for Nene and Felton. Who says no first?  (Quote)

    I actually think that’s a good trade for both teams. Personally I prefer Nene to Bosh but I think in a situation like Denver, Bosh is more effective. Chalmers is a better backup for Lawson than Felton, Felton will never be happy coming off the bench. If I was Denver I would insist on Miami taking Harrington. Maybe do:

    Nene, Felton, Harrington for Bosh, Miller, Chalmers

    That trade right there is a win win for both teams. Miami gets a starting 1 and 5 and Haslem can move right into Bosh’s slot and Denver gets rid of Harrington and gets a true #1 option and a true PF to let Mozgov and Andersen man the middle.

  111. Spree8nyk8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Well, Anthony could have simply said (in private, of course), “I’m going to New York, and I want it to be the best possible team, so I’m not going to let them gut the team for me,” but of course, he did — for the money? Sure. But I’m sure ego had to do with it.  

    Really? I mean how many people would leave that much money on the table? I mean Lebron and wade and bosh left a few million on the table, Melo would have had to leave more than twice what they would have left combined.

  112. dubisaweapon

    Robert Silverman: Hypothetical: This off-season Riley calls up the Nugs and offers Bosh, Ilgauskas, and Chalmers for Nene and Felton. Who says no first?  

    Honestly, if the Heat crash and burn this season (I’d say a 1st or 2nd round exit in the playoffs qualifies) how are things going to play out in the off-season? Bosh seems like the most likely suspect to get cut loose, but there’s also an argument to be made that he is a better compliment to either Lebron or Wade then they are to each other. It would be the height of poetic justice to see Lebron get traded.

  113. Frank O.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Well, Anthony could have simply said (in private, of course), “I’m going to New York, and I want it to be the best possible team, so I’m not going to let them gut the team for me,” but of course, he did — for the money? Sure. But I’m sure ego had to do with it.  

    I think Carmelo was probably juggling his desire to play for the Knicks and his desire to get $65 million now.
    I think that $65 million extension was the big bear in the room and ultimately forced Walsh to finally give in. And it appears in after action stuff that there was a sound chance that Carmelo felt he had to have the extension.
    We can all joke about millions of dollars because to us it’s monopoly money, but I imagine it is quite hard to walk away from $1 million, let alone tens of millions.
    My feelings in the end may be wrong about giving up Mosgov. Both teams seem to have benefited greatly from the trade and the Garden in alive in ways we all have not seen since the 1990s.
    And that much energy is likely to attract all kinds of talent to the Knicks.
    ‘m absolutely comfortable accepting the fact that I may be wrong. To think otherwise is unnecessarily prideful.:)

  114. Frank O.

    Ben R:
    I actually think that’s a good trade for both teams. Personally I prefer Nene to Bosh but I think in a situation like Denver, Bosh is more effective. Chalmers is a better backup for Lawson than Felton, Felton will never be happy coming off the bench. If I was Denver I would insist on Miami taking Harrington. Maybe do:Nene, Felton, Harrington for Bosh, Miller, ChalmersThat trade right there is a win win for both teams. Miami gets a starting 1 and 5 and Haslem can move right into Bosh’s slot and Denver gets rid of Harrington and gets a true #1 option and a true PF to let Mozgov and Andersen man the middle.  

    I think it is tragic how the Heat are wasting Bosh.
    Why would you ask Bosh to be a wing player, when you already have two of the best wing players in the NBA?
    It’s stupid.
    The biggest problem for the Heat is none of their big three are particularly strong outside shooters. The further out they get, the worse they are.
    Bosh is right. They need him to be in the paint more. Otherwise he is a very expensive accessory.

  115. citizen

    Robert Silverman: Hypothetical: This off-season Riley calls up the Nugs and offers Bosh, Ilgauskas, and Chalmers for Nene and Felton. Who says no first?  

    How do the Heat afford to renew both Nenê & Felton?

  116. Frank O.

    dubisaweapon:
    Honestly, if the Heat crash and burn this season (I’d say a 1st or 2nd round exit in the playoffs qualifies) how are things going to play out in the off-season?Bosh seems like the most likely suspect to get cut loose, but there’s also an argument to be made that he is a better compliment to either Lebron or Wade then they are to each other.It would be the height of poetic justice to see Lebron get traded.  

    Trading Bosh, however, would help the Heat fill out their supporting roster with better players, period.
    Cautionary tale for the Knicks should they get a bug and try to go after another BIG FA down the road.

  117. Frank O.

    Just as an indication of how much excitement the Knicks have generated:
    My wife and I now both shape our evenings around the games. Didn’t used to be that way. She was a casual fan of the Knicks. Now, they are must see TV. The NBA package has been well worth it. Perhaps it will be the gateway for her to watch other NBA games. :)

    BTW, Portland is really shaping into a nice team. They could upset some folks in the west.

  118. Spree8nyk8

    The package is great except for the fact that my crappy cable provider does not have league pass or NBAtv which is the reason I have league pass broadband, so all of the nbatv games are blocked and I have to use atdhe for those, sounds trivial but it’s a lot of really good games (like todays for example.)

  119. TDM

    Nevermind:

    Billups (thigh) will miss Wednesday’s game against the Grizzlies, Newsday’s Alan Hahn reports. (about 4 hours ago)

    Head coach Mike D’Antoni said Turiaf (knee) “looks like a go” for Wednesday’s game against the Grizzlies, the Bergen Record’s Steve Adamek reports. (about 3 hours ago)

    Head coach Mike D’Antoni said Walker “should be a go” Wednesday night when the Knicks take on the Grizzlies, The Bergen Record’s Steve Adamek reports. (about 3 hours ago)

  120. Frank O.

    Spree8nyk8: The package is great except for the fact that my crappy cable provider does not have league pass or NBAtv which is the reason I have league pass broadband, so all of the nbatv games are blocked and I have to use atdhe for those, sounds trivial but it’s a lot of really good games (like todays for example.)  

    Yeah, I remember you saying something about this the other night.

  121. Bruno Almeida

    @125

    I agree with you, but isn’t Bosh himself who earned the reputation of not wanting to be a low post banger? The “RuPaul of big men”?

    The way Bosh is speaking, someone might think he’s Kevin McHale and the Heat are using him badly.

    Of course, for the Heat it’s great that he’s willing to play closer to the basket when he did not earlier in his career, but he’s never been that type of player.

  122. Caleb

    Spree8nyk8:
    I mean Lebron and wade and bosh left a few million on the table.   

    I’ve pointed it out before, but they only left money on the table in the sense that they could have demanded more from Miami. That’s significant. BUT they are not making any less than if they’d taken the max from New York or Chicago – Florida’s lack of income tax makes up the difference. That’s why they picked the number they did, as sort of a compromise.

    I’m just sayin’!

    p.s. I agree that would be an interesting trade with Denver – it wouldn’t even hurt Miami to take Harrington. Nene would make them scary. The thing is, they’d probably want to flip Felton for a 3rd team – they really need to surround Wade & LeBron with guys who can shoot from outside. In theory, Miller and Chalmers aren’t bad but they have been underwhelming this season.

  123. Caleb

    Would Miami swap Bosh for Tyson Chandler & Roddy Beaubois? Or even Chandler + Barea? Or is that too extreme? Bosh is from Dallas so he might not even mind.

    Or this probably wouldn’t happen, but what about Bosh & Chalmers for Stephen Curry & Andris Biedrins?

    Or Steve Nash & Robin Lopez?

  124. Ben R

    I don’t know Caleb, I think Felton would fill the role of PG really well for Miami. He is a good 3 point shooter expecially when he gets open looks, I think his percentage is low because he forces a lot of shots. In Miami where he would be the fourth option I’m sure that wouldn’t be too much of a problem. He is a good defender and would bring toughness and grit to that team, which it could honestly use.

  125. Caleb

    Ben R: I don’t know Caleb, I think Felton would fill the role of PG really well for Miami. He is a good 3 point shooter expecially when he gets open looks, I think his percentage is low because he forces a lot of shots. In Miami where he would be the fourth option I’m sure that wouldn’t be too much of a problem. He is a good defender and would bring toughness and grit to that team, which it could honestly use.  

    He is a pretty good player so it’s not like they’d give him away but I don’t think he’s a great fit. Year-by-year his 3-point percentage is .358, .330, .285, .280, .385 and .326. He might do better in Miami, but over his career he’s been below average.

    On the other hand, they could say, “screw this inside-out shoot 3s approach – we are going to run up and down and play faster than anyone in the league.” Felton/Wade/LeBron/Haslem or Anthony/Nene would be killer in that kind of approach.

  126. Robert Silverman

    Here’s three more hypotheticals:

    1. Bosh to Golden State for Biedrins and Curry

    2. Bosh to Houston for Scola, Lowry, and Lee

    3. Bosh to Phoenix for Gortat, Childress and Aaron Brooks

    Basically, Miami could do very well by ditching Bosh and building an actual, you know, team rather than “The Golden Girls”

    (Not that I want to help Miami)

  127. hoolahoop

    Robert Silverman: Hypothetical: This off-season Riley calls up the Nugs and offers Bosh, Ilgauskas, and Chalmers for Nene and Felton. Who says no first?  

    Denver does not make that deal.

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