Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Protecting Tyson Chandler

A piece of expert analysis: The Knicks are taller and bigger this year.

Jason Kidd, James White and Chris Copeland are gone. In their place, the Knicks have added Tim Hardaway, Jr., Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani, and Jeremy Tyler, as well as a conceivably healthy Amar’e Stoudemire to start the year (knock on anything resembling wood) and a full season of Kenyon Martin.

The question of whether going from small ball to a more conventional lineup is prudent is up for debate. But the Knicks appear to be hoping that what they might lose from the offensive advantages of smaller lineup, they will gain from the defensive and rebounding advantages bigger lineups often produce.

Which leads us to a problem fewer people are talking about: the Knicks are relying too heavily on their injury-prone power forwards and centers to stay healthy.

Bargnani has played in less than 45% of possible games in the last two years. K-Mart, 35, hasn’t played 70 games since 2007-2008 (to be fair, he was in China for some of the lockout-shortened season. But the point stands.) Stoudemire’s injury woes don’t need much discussion. Tyson Chandler suffered a slew of injury problems at the end of last year, looking like a shell of himself in the playoffs.

Protecting Chandler should be of grave concern for the Knicks. The defensive genius is entering his 13th (not a typo) NBA season, and was obviously banged-up and worn down throughout much of last year. His 33 MPG the last two seasons are the highest of his career, save two seasons in New Orleans in his mid-twenties.

And while Chandler might be a one-dimensional offensive player, he is an awfully effective and important one for the Knicks. His elite true shooting percentages are well known — 67.1% last year and 70.8% the year before, good for tops in the league both years. But Chandler’s great offensive rebounding and tip-outs are just as important. Chandler’s 14.1% offensive rebounding rate ranked 10th in the league last year, far and away the best on the team.

If the Knicks hope to make another serious run at a title, they will almost certainly run up against Roy Hibbert’s Pacers, Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett’s Nets and/or Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer’s Bulls, demanding match-ups that should take a considerable physical toll on the soon-to-be-31 year-old.

For all their forwards, the Knicks have a treacherous situation at the 4 and 5, one that could put serious pressure on Chandler at a time when the Knicks should be decreasing, not increasing, his minute totals. K-Mart and Stoudamire have serious durability questions. Bargnani’s defensive problems and putrid defense rebounding rate (worst among all 55 qualifying centers last year!) make him a laughable option at the 5, if he even stays healthy. Tyler is a nice piece at the end of the bench, but can’t be trusted for anything more at this point.

To an extent, we saw this same movie last season. It seems prudent to note that the small-ball experiment was born more out of necessity than design. The Knicks went into the season with Chandler, Marcus Camby (who had a very nice 2011-2012 regular season campaign), Stoudemire, and a 39-year-old Kurt Thomas as bigs. Stoudamire was predictably hurt for most of the year (he played 29 games due to injury,) and Camby and Thomas were predictably ineffective (though I’d argue that Woodson unfairly buried the former.) It is easy to forget that the signing of Kenyon Martin last February was desperate, and one whose remarkably productive returns were a bit shocking.

Now, this isn’t to say the front office necessarily failed on the matter this year. The Knicks were and are extremely cap-strapped, and the free agent options were sparse. The team did well to improve the team on the margins with late-period signings like Beno Udrih and Tyler, a potentially important piece given his size and rebounding abilities. While the Bargnani trade was a mistake, it didn’t hamper the team’s ability to go after other targets.

But a relatively blameless front office doesn’t change the situation: Two injury-prone, poor-rebounding power forwards (Bargnani and Stoudemire); one brittle, veteran-minimum 35-year-old (Martin); and a D-leaguer fighting for a spot on the active roster (Tyler) is insufficient cover for Chandler. The coaching staff would do well to learn from last year and decrease Chandler’s minutes in the regular season. This will invariably lead to decreased rebounding and defensive efficiency rates. But, despite having an extremely deep roster at the moment, the Knicks are thin at the center position. And making sure they keep their defensive anchor in the middle rested and healthy is absolutely imperative.

246 comments on “Protecting Tyson Chandler

  1. KnickfaninNJ

    So our previous bigs were Chandler, Stoudemire plus Camby, Thomas and half a season of Martin.

    Our new bigs are Chandler, Stoudemire, and MWP, Bargnani, Tyler, a potential full season of Martin and perhaps CJ Leslie, depending on how you classify him.

    I would say that overall we have younger and better bigs this year. The problem seems to be that we don’t have a true center as a backup for Chandler, not that we don’t have enough players. That suggests that small ball will be the back up for Chandler, especially if Stoudemire continues to break down physically. I’m probably going to regret saying this halfway through the season, but this line up seems significantly more talented and younger than our front line last year. I’m looking forward to seeing what Woodson does with them.

  2. thenamestsam

    KnickfaninNJ:

    I would say that overall we have younger and better bigs this year.

    The problem is that among all those bigs who do you feel comfortable with anchoring the defense? MWP and Leslie are 3-4 hybrids. Bargs and Amare’s defensive issues are as well documented as anyone in the league. Bargs is decent 1 on 1 and Amare gets some forceful rejections on the weakside but if either of them is anchoring your pick and roll defense it’s going to be a layup line for the bad guys. Tyler looks to have talent and GG deserves the benefit of the doubt given how many minimum salary contributors he has found the last few years, but he has no NBA experience and help defense is almost always the hardest thing for young players to figure out. Same caveats apply to Leslie as well. If he has to play 25 or 30 minutes a night anchoring the D early on I think that would be a big issue.

    So while their are a lot of talented bigs (and hell, we can throw Melo in there too if we want) it’s almost entirely impossible to put together lineups you can be confident will be sound defensively that don’t feature one of Tyson and KMart, both of whom have their own health issues. If small ball is going to be the backup for Tyson then are you comfortable rolling with frontcourt lineups of Amare-MWP or Bargs-Leslie for 20 or 30 minutes a night when Tyson or KMart inevitably misses 5 or 10 games?

    I’m with Jonathan here. Unless the Knicks staff loves Tyler and thinks he’s ready to contribute from Day 1 I think a veteran defensive minded big is still a serious need on this roster. Personal choice: Earl Barron. I think 18 rebounds a night speaks for itself.

  3. custer

    thenamestsam: I think 18 rebounds a night speaks for itself.

    Emphasis on “a” night since that sterling average came on the strength of one game. Dude’s definitely a solid rebounder, but I’m loath to classify him as a defensive anchor.

  4. flossy

    I honestly think a Bargmar’e hybrid will be our back-up center. The 2nd unit will obviously not have the defensive fortitude of the starters, anchored by Chandler and probably Shumpert, but I think the idea will be to tread water with a smaller, higher-scoring frontcourt and pair Bargmar’e with one of MWP or Kenyon Martin so that there’s at least one person out there who knows what he’s doing on defense.

    Honestly, I’d prefer that scenario to playing Jeremy Tyler or someone of Earl Barron’s caliber any actual, non-garbage-time minutes at Center just for the sake of having someone who plays “big.” Small and talented is better than big and stiff, especially when it creates a change of pace that other teams will have to adjust to match.

  5. DRed

    custer: Emphasis on “a” night since that sterling average came on the strength of one game. Dude’s definitely a solid rebounder, but I’m loath to classify him as a defensive anchor.

    He was 4th on the team in WP48! How does he not start?

  6. KnickfaninNJ

    Defense is definitely a worry. I agree with flossy, except that I think that Woodson will probably try to always have either Chandler or Martin on the floor, so he doesn’t have to use the Bargmar’e hybrid.

  7. Mike Kurylo

    Here’s an interesting thought. Starting lineup should be Felton-Shump-MWP-Melo-Tyson. First quarter, Tyson gets two quick fouls. Who comes in? STAT? Martin? Bargnani? Tyler?

    STAT is likely to be a low minute count, and let’s face it, half the season he’ll be hurt. Tyler isn’t an option until 2014, because we know Woodson won’t trust anyone under 35 until mid-season.

    You have to figure it’s Martin, unless the other team isn’t really interested in scoring. But Martin is pretty old as well, and it’s likely he’ll be working with the trainers on some nights.

    So on those nights that Martin is hurt, who comes in? Yikes!

  8. george from brooklyn

    Completely agree that Tyson will be a key to the Knicks defensive performance this year. However, 2 significant factors will change this year.Tyson had the Olympics last year, a first of such activity for him, which doubtlessly had an impact on his late season performance and Woodrow played to win heavily during the regular season, remember the Knicks had great expectations. The Knicks biggest issues on defense last year where overwhelming PF’s, Boozer, Zbo, West and although not a perfect match, Metta is a nice piece here. In addition, Iman is back all year and if Woody wants to go “D”, he can finish games with Shump, Metta, JR- a solid 1/2/3 defender, or K-mart, ‘Melo and Tyson, and if necessary use ‘Melo as the late game point-forward. Barring any serious health issues, I think the additional of Andrea will be a bigger plus than at first thought, he obviously can shoot 3′s, opening the middle for Ray/Ty or Prigs/Ty PnR’s and for ‘Melo and on “D”, he only has to funnel guys to Tyson, he need not be a dominant defender. Tyler, THJr. and CJ don’t need to do much, get seasoning against also-rans, but the addition of a solid rebounder/shotblocker would be very nice.Like both Barron and Sims but Woodrow doesn’t seem to. Knicks surprise on the “up-side” !!

  9. flossy

    KnickfaninNJ:
    Defense is definitely a worry. I agree with flossy, except that I think that Woodson will probably try to always have either Chandler or Martin on the floor, so he doesn’t have to use the Bargmar’e hybrid.

    Just to be clear, my suggestion of Bargmar’e for back-up center means that Bargnani OR Stoudemire will probably play the 5 depending on health and match-ups. I agree that we’d need K-Mart or MWP to babysit them at the PF spot (I think MWP is more suited to small-ball 4 at this point in his career anyway) if Chandler is not in the game.

    Bargnani AND Stoudemire at the same time is a recipe for trouble. I’d give it a chance, but I have to think it will be such a nightmare on defense that it won’t get much play, but who knows.

  10. Frank

    Mike Kurylo: Here’s an interesting thought. Starting lineup should be Felton-Shump-MWP-Melo-Tyson. First quarter, Tyson gets two quick fouls. Who comes in? STAT? Martin? Bargnani? Tyler?

    Call me crazy/stupid, but unless someone with some upside really wows us, why not Kurt Thomas again? Perfect end of bench guy, semi-coach, won’t care if he doesn’t play. Not sure if he’s mad about being released at the end of the year, but since he was hurt and wasn’t going to play anyway he has to understand that.

    Also – whatever happened to James Singleton? We got a little excited about him before his trip back from China got canceled. Now we’re not interested at all?

  11. thenamestsam

    flossy:
    I honestly think a Bargmar’e hybrid will be our back-up center.The 2nd unit will obviously not have the defensive fortitude of the starters, anchored by Chandler and probably Shumpert, but I think the idea will be to tread water with a smaller, higher-scoring frontcourt and pair Bargmar’e with one of MWP or Kenyon Martin so that there’s at least one person out there who knows what he’s doing on defense.

    Honestly, I’d prefer that scenario to playing Jeremy Tyler or someone of Earl Barron’s caliber any actual, non-garbage-time minutes at Center just for the sake of having someone who plays “big.”Small and talented is better than big and stiff, especially when it creates a change of pace that other teams will have to adjust to match.

    I agree with you that small and talented is better than big and stiff, but the problem as I see it is that even as somewhat of a Bargs optimist I don’t actually think he’s talented in the role of backup center. Talented overall, yes. Used in essentially the Cope role in lineups that feature both rim protection and some alternate shot creation I think he can do good things both in terms of knocking down spot ups and being a pick and pop weapon. If you put him in lineups that can protect his weakness on the glass and in help defense (like a potential all bench lineup of KMart-Bargs-MWP-JR-Prigs) I think he can provide some secondary shot creation that was badly missing (especially in the playoffs).

    But as a backup center I honestly think he’s worse then Earl Barron. If we play something like a Bargs-MWP-THJ frontcourt I don’t think it’s going to be a change of pace that the other team has to adjust to. I think it’s going to be 3 straight layups for the other team, MSG booing and Woody calling timeout after making this face: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://cdn0.sbnation

  12. Mike Kurylo

    KnickfaninNJ:
    Defense is definitely a worry. I agree with flossy, except that I think that Woodson will probably try to always have either Chandler or Martin on the floor, so he doesn’t have to use the Bargmar’e hybrid.

    And when one of them is hurt?

  13. custer

    flossy: I honestly think a Bargmar’e hybrid will be our back-up center.

    Now I’m just sitting around at my office trying to imagine what a Bargnani/STAT hybrid would look and play like… Goodbye productivity

  14. custer

    Mike Kurylo: And when one of them is hurt?

    Pending our last signing it seems like that will just be one of this team’s major flaws. I think Woody may have to end up using an offense-only (or at least offensively oriented) lineup that tries to outscore the opposition until Chandler can get back on the floor.

    I imagine these stretches will lead to some of the most entertaining in-game threads of the season to say the least

  15. thenamestsam

    Mike Kurylo: And when one of them is hurt?

    Exactly. I feel like people are really overestimating how many games we can expect from Tyson+Kenyon next year. KMart last played 60 games in 08-09. One season of 70+ since 04-05. Two since 02-03. 65 games is an optimistic expectation for him. And Tyson has had his own issues as well. He’d had two very healthy years in a row prior to last year, but prior to that it looked like injuries were completely derailing his career. I’d say 70 games is a pretty fair expectation for him. So even with a little luck we might only get 130-135 games out of those 2 combined. If we don’t have a solid plan for games when one of those guys are missing it’s not going to be bad luck if and when we lose those games “due to injury”. It’s going to be a failure of planning.

  16. KnickfaninNJ

    Mike Kurylo: And when one of them is hurt?

    Then I worry. But I think Woodson might actually play Amare at the center and Bargnani and World Peace at the forwards. As I recall, Amare’s stats as a center aren’t as bad as typically perceived (I remember posts to this effect, but they were a while ago). I don’t know how that line up would work but it would be interesting to see it in practice.

    The basic problem is that really on Chandler, Kmart and Tyler are actual defensive centers. It would be good to fill our final roster spot with someone who is an actual center.

  17. flossy

    @11

    Well that’s why the caveat of needing a defensive specialist on the floor at the PF position in order for either Bargs or Amar’e to have a prayer at center.

    Frankly, it doesn’t really matter what “position” you give them–you could call Kenyon Martin the “center” and Bargnani or Stoudemire the “power forward.” It’s more about having one versatile, high-usage scoring big man paired with a more rugged, defensively savvy big man, preferably one who can direct traffic and guard multiple positions. K-Mart fits the bill, MWP is undersized but likewise would do in a pinch. Rebounding will be an issue (particularly when Bargnani is the offensive big), but every team’s second unit frontcourt has some warts.

    All in all, I’d take the combo of Bargmar’e + Kenyon World Peace at the 4/5 over any line-up that has Earl Barron in it. The key is to stay stocked with those versatile, multi-positional defending big men. The more of those types, even a very poor-man’s version (paging Jared Jeffries, please pick up the white courtesy phone), the better. Earl Barron, IMO, doesn’t qualify.

  18. flossy

    DRed: Come on, man-this is too easy.

    Oof, yikes. In all fairness, a lot depends on their ball-handling skills, at least as a precursor for taking it hard to the hole.

  19. er

    flossy:
    @11

    Well that’s why the caveat of needing a defensive specialist on the floor at the PF position in order for either Bargs or Amar’e to have a prayer at center.

    Frankly, it doesn’t really matter what “position” you give them–you could call Kenyon Martin the “center” and Bargnani or Stoudemire the “power forward.”It’s more about having one versatile, high-usage scoring big man paired with a more rugged, defensively savvy big man, preferably one who can direct traffic and guard multiple positions.K-Mart fits the bill, MWP is undersized but likewise would do in a pinch.Rebounding will be an issue (particularly when Bargnani is the offensive big), but every team’s second unit frontcourt has some warts.

    All in all, I’d take the combo of Bargmar’e + Kenyon World Peace at the 4/5 over any line-up that has Earl Barron in it.The key is to stay stocked with those versatile, multi-positional defending big men.The more of those types, even a very poor-man’s version (paging Jared Jeffries, please pick up the white courtesy phone), the better.Earl Barron, IMO, doesn’t qualify.

    Boy it would be awesome to get Jefferies back

  20. Z-man

    flossy: Oof, yikes.In all fairness, a lot depends on their ball-handling skills, at least as a precursor for taking it hard to the hole.

    Thought I logged on to TKB by accident…

  21. Z-man

    We really should focus on a BIG big, not another tweener. The one exception I would make is for Ivan Johnson, since he is a ’90s Knick waiting to happen.

  22. Z-man

    I have to say that too much was made of the Chandler injury last post-season. He wasn’t so hurt that it excuses how badly he was abused by Hibbert. He just doesn’t match up well with the likes of Hibbert, Lopez or Noah at his current weight and age. Hopefully he is training his ass off (or on!)

  23. Frank O.

    I think we can expect to see Amare play most of the season, particularly if they keep him on a minutes limit. I also believe they have started to manage his off season work out, which apparently had been fairly grueling. Amare is at an age where often less is more.
    Tyson’s problems, I believe, stem from his extended playing time during the Olympics in 2012. The Knicks have tried to limit his work in the off season as well, and I believe we’ll see that pay off.
    Plenty of teams play guys on restricted minutes and do it successfully, the most notable being the Spurs.
    I’m not suggesting this is the same situation; I’m only suggesting it is manageable.
    Amare and Bargs are not strong defenders, but they are significant offensive threats, providing the Knicks with great depth and offensive punch. Martin also will add defensive toughness, but it won’t require him playing a lot of minutes. Artest will add toughness and defensive presence that the Knicks have not had behind Melo.

    With Felton, Shump, Pablo, JR and Beno, frankly, we’ve got one of the best back court rotations we’ve seen in NYC in years. They’re tough, big, and all have good handling abilities.

    Yes, health will be a concern, but this may be one of the most adaptive teams we’ve seen in years.

  24. Frank O.

    In fact, Chandler probably is the only player on the club that plays only one position.
    Amare and Martin play the 5 and the 4.
    Bargs also the 5 and 4.
    Melo plays the 3 and 4
    Artest can play the 2, 3 or 4.
    Shump and JR can play the 2 or 3.
    Beno and Pablo play the 1 and 2

    That’s 10 players.
    Beyond that, the only way you see Hardaway, Leslie, Tyler or Barron getting any minutes is when people go down.

    This is a very good team that will cause match up nightmares for whoever they play.

  25. thenamestsam

    Flossy,

    Agree with you about a Kenyon-Bargs lineup. I have no problem with that and think it’s fine. As long as Bargs is protected defensively and on the glass he can make it work. Where we disagree I guess is on Bargs-MWP or Amare-MWP frontcourts. I think those are definite disasters waiting to happen. MWP can be used as a small ball 4 absolutely but he’s obviously going to be giving up size there and he’s only a decent rebounder to begin with. He needs to be paired with one of the real centers (meaning Tyson or Kenyon) when he plays imo. MWP-Bargs as a pairing is going to get hammered on the glass. All of which is fine when Kenyon and Tyson are healthy. It’s when one of them is hurt that you start getting into real trouble. And they are going to be hurt. Every team’s 2nd string guys have warts obviously but few teams have frontcourts so littered with obvious injury issues.

    That’s when Earl Barron (or his ilk) will have a chance to contribute on this team. Not every night certainly but I think there will be 25-30 games this year where we’ll need 10-15 minutes of passable center defense that is not currently represented on the roster. I actually don’t hate the idea of Jeffries being that guy instead of Earl for the record.

  26. mokers

    Good piece. I know that we have personally been talking about in on the blog, but I feel like this is something the media is completely missing the boat on, especially when it comes to Chandler’s minutes. If you wanted to flesh out the piece a little more, you could make some suggestions for who you would put in that place. And perhaps taking a look at the east and letting us know which matchups would be a problem with going small.

    I personally think Cole Aldrich would be fine. Not a lot on O and probably fouls too much, but is still relatively young. Unless GG pulls off another Euro out of nowhere signing, I am guessing the idea is that they are going to have Bargs play backup C and have MWP or Kmart take the second big. If Martin is injured, Melo gets that job.

  27. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank O.: This is a very good team that will cause match up nightmares for whoever they play.

    I strongly doubt that any team that finds Bargnani as their opposing center would call it a nightmare. Silently they will accrue a significant advantage in rebounding.

    In the last three seasons, he has four games with double-digit rebounds. This as a PF/C. Four.

  28. flossy

    thenamestsam: Where we disagree I guess is on Bargs-MWP or Amare-MWP frontcourts. I think those are definite disasters waiting to happen. MWP can be used as a small ball 4 absolutely but he’s obviously going to be giving up size there and he’s only a decent rebounder to begin with. He needs to be paired with one of the real centers (meaning Tyson or Kenyon) when he plays imo. MWP-Bargs as a pairing is going to get hammered on the glass.

    I mean for what it’s worth, Kenyon Martin is in no way a real center either. He’s 6’8″, weighs less than Melo, and is a considerably worse rebounder than Amar’e both by career Reb/36 and TRB%. He managed to basically replicate Tyson Chandler’s role on the Knicks over a very short spurt of games, but as far as this team is concerned, we have one legit center (Tyson) and then a handful of combo forwards/emergency centers with different skill sets: offensive (Bargmar’e) and defensive (Metta Mart).

    I am pretty confident we’ll just go with some rotation of those four, mixing and matching based on health and role, even if it means that rebounding is a liablity (Didn’t we bring Novak and Copeland off the bench last season? Couldn’t be much worse…). Those four are SO MUCH more talented and experienced than either our young project center (Tyler) or journeyman scrub like Earl Barron that it will more than make up for our lack of size. We should probably still sign SOMEONE tall for the end of the bench but hopefully he’ll never, ever play.

  29. Z-man

    Re: last year vs. this year, as the late, grating jon abbey pointed out last fall, too many one-way players last year, not to mention ancient mariners on their last wooden legs.

    The Clan of O’Challenged:

    Chandler (despite all-time great TS% numbers, took less jumpers last year than the GWB. Suffered from neckrophilia in playoffs; unfortunatley, Hibbert wasn’t dead)

    Prigs (prototypical pass-first-second-third PG)

    Shump (drove more tentatively than a geezer on the freeway)

    Kidd (was the geezer on the freeway; responded to repeated defibrillation early but died an agonizing death, jump shot first; then skipped the funeral and went immediately to the Dark Side)

    Kmart (suffers from tic and bric disorder)

    Camby (Despite occassional resurgence in vital signs, Team Coroner Woodson pronounced him dead on arrival, despite periodic resurgences in vital signs. Doctors haven’t pulled the plug yet. Don’t expect that Woody will get an invite to the funeral.)

    James “flight” White (aka Air Europe)

    The Cult of De-ficient:
    Novak (Merriam-Webster should pay RS for his avatar to put next to the phrase “one-trick pony.” Venus de Milo is a better defender..and dunker.)

    Copeland (Bill Russell next to Novak, but still woeful; Coming soon: Kirilenko and Copeland star in “Alien vs. Predator NBA”)

    Amare (He of little cartilage and less lateral quickness. If every team in the NBA had an Amare clone at C, Hakeem could play at 70)

    And our well-rounded (or better rounded?) players?

    Melo (married to LaLa, but often played D like Tinky Winky)

    Felton (“Bulldog” on both ends; problem is, bulldogs aren’t particularly athletic or fearsom. Neither are penguins)

    JR (the Anti-Prigs. Has the athleticism of an antelope, and the b-ball IQ of a canteloupe.)

    Rasheed (temporarily reanimated by Dr. FrankenWood; unfortunately, Igor brought him Abie Normal’s feet.)

    Kurt Thomas (moribund on arrival, died a hero’s death that would have make El Cid…

  30. Hubert

    Mike Kurylo:

    So on those nights that Martin is hurt, who comes in? Yikes!

    The answer to this question last season was Chris Copeland, so based on that I think the answer this year will be Bargnani.

    Gulp.

    On the bright side, those Copeland at the 5 lineups were shockingly effective in a small sample size.

  31. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I strongly doubt that any team that finds Bargnani as their opposing center would call it a nightmare. Silently they will accrue a significant advantage in rebounding.

    In the last three seasons, he has four games with double-digit rebounds. This as a PF/C. Four.

    Bargnani is not a center. Maybe he plays there in very small doses, but if he masters the Tyson tip-out, he can play a few MPG guarding the plodders and bricklayers at the 5. Mostly he’ll be a combo forward who will be assigned to the opponent’s worst offensive forward. And yes, if that forward is Evans or Faried, he will get killed on the boards. Hopefully he can defend those guys in the post, block a few shots, and score enough to make them pay on the other end.

  32. Frank O.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I strongly doubt that any team that finds Bargnani as their opposing center would call it a nightmare. Silently they will accrue a significant advantage in rebounding.

    In the last three seasons, he has four games with double-digit rebounds. This as a PF/C. Four.

    Right, but we’re not talking about Bargs in a vacuum. He might be out there most often with Chandler, who certainly would get the majority or boards, or he could be out there with Amare and Artest, in which case you may see Artest hitting the boards hard.
    But Bargs has range and can spread the floor, and, based on comments from players, is a highly skilled player.
    But he is a role player on a team that can play inside or outside, will have ample passing and good rebounders.
    Besides, I doubt you would see Bargs pulling 5 duty for longer than 5-10 minutes a game, given the line up.
    You have reasons to doubt Bargs; but there are reasons to believe that a new setting, with lower expectations and far less responsibility might be just what he needs to be more productive. Speculation, sure.
    But this is a pretty versatile team.

  33. Frank O.

    What up with jon abbey?
    I have now seen two comments suggesting he has moved on. what gives?

  34. Z-man

    Frank O.:
    What up with jon abbey?
    I have now seen two comments suggesting he has moved on. what gives?

    Banished for unmitigated criticism of the writers here.

  35. Keniman Shumpwalker

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I strongly doubt that any team that finds Bargnani as their opposing center would call it a nightmare. Silently they will accrue a significant advantage in rebounding.

    In the last three seasons, he has four games with double-digit rebounds. This as a PF/C. Four.

    It boggles the mind how little he rebounds. If you are 7ft tall and averaging roughly 33 minutes a night you have to try really hard to not hit double digits in rebounds more than four times over 3 seasons and 132 games played.

    I understand why his ORB% is low, given that he rarely played on the low-block, but a DRB% of around 14 is inexcusable. For comparison, STAT, an average rebounder for a 4, has a career DRB% of 19. I honestly feel like the 6’6″, 230lb center on my rec league team could play 33 minutes a night in the NBA and grab roughly the same % of defensive rebounds that Andrea has over the past 3 seasons.

    I can see Andrea carving out a nice niche for himself offensively if used properly (read spot-ups, PnPs, the occasional drive against a hard close-out and nearly ZERO ISOs) and increasing his efficiency #s in the process…but any lineup featuring Bargs in the front court W/O Tyson will get obliterated on the boards. Those lineups will have to protect the ball as well as we did at our best last year while also forcing a decent amount of TOs if they want to win the possession battle like we so often did last year.

  36. Frank O.

    Z-man: Banished for unmitigated criticism of the writers here.

    Ah. I had noticed him lashing out a few times when he took fire over his critiques.

  37. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Keniman Shumpwalker: It boggles the mind how little he rebounds. If you are 7ft tall and averaging roughly 33 minutes a night you have to try really hard to not hit double digits in rebounds more than four times over 3 seasons and 132 games played.

    I understand why his ORB% is low, given that he rarely played on the low-block, but a DRB% of around 14 is inexcusable. For comparison, STAT, an average rebounder for a 4, has a career DRB% of 19. I honestly feel like the 6’6?, 230lb center on my rec league team could play 33 minutes a night in the NBA and grab roughly the same % of defensive rebounds that Andrea has over the past 3 seasons.

    I can see Andrea carving out a nice niche for himself offensively if used properly (read spot-ups, PnPs, the occasional drive against a hard close-out and nearly ZERO ISOs) and increasing his efficiency #s in the process…but any lineup featuring Bargs in the front court W/O Tyson will get obliterated on the boards. Those lineups will have to protect the ball as well as we did at our best last year while also forcing a decent amount of TOs if they want to win the possession battle like we so often did last year.

    To finish this thought…every time I try and figure out what our optimal rotation is, I always end up with Bargs starting at the 4 owing to the need to pair him (or Amar’e, for that matter) with Tyson as much as possible. Having Bargmar’e coming off the bench TOGETHER and having significant minutes overlap would be a disaster defensively and on the boards. This is somewhat solved by having one of them start and the other come off the bench and play major minutes being protected by MWP and K-Mart (obviously, neither of these guys solve the rebounding issue but they will help mitigate the defensive deficiencies).

  38. Frank O.

    flossy: He was banned.This thread from last week turned into a debate/funeral of sorts:

    http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-not-so-2014-schedule/

    That was quite a read.
    I’d rather he not be banned, but jon did seem over the years like the kind of guy that the more you told him to stop the more he was likely to continue. lol
    I mean if being a dick was a crime, there’d be a few posters here with a long rap sheet. I think at least a few comments of mine have been deleted over the past five years or so.
    Anyway, looks like Erstwhile Records is offering a sale. You can visit jon there.
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/erstdist/erstdist-late-summer-sale/303133376490717

  39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank O.: But Bargs has range and can spread the floor, and, based on comments from players, is a highly skilled player.

    There’s no doubt about it that he is a highly skilled basketball player. A TS% of 54 in the NBA is a feat, and you can’t get there by being lazy (unless you’re Jamal Crawford, who apparently has never practiced during the off-season). The problem is that those small perceived changes in value (54% to, say, 57% — a difference of one extra shot made per 30) have exponentially increasing value as you get closer to the upper limits.

    The problem is that, like the Melo debate of ’11, the projection assumes that Bargnani can undo the flaws of the last seven seasons and turn into the less-flawed player that pretty much every coach in the league (maybe sans Popovich, who is a genius beyond all comprehension) thinks they can turn around. There appears to be less down-side to the Bargnani trade due to the capped-out situation, even though I think that 1st rounder could be highly important to the future of the franchise, as the Spurs have shown annually.

    The real down-side is in opportunity cost. Bargnani is probably going to be a terrible NBA player again this year. He will make a lot of shots, and miss a lot. He will grab some rebounds, and he will not grab a whole lot of rebounds. But whenever he’s on the floor, a player of equal or greater value could be out there. The cost of playing Mike Bibby, Toney Douglas, and Baron Davis was keeping someone like Jeremy Lin away from the court. It was through sheer luck that we got Linsanity. I’m afraid that Bargnani is:

    1) an empty use of salary slot
    2) a waste of playing time w/r/t production
    3) a detriment to other players’ development
    4) possessing the worst haircut on the Knicks since Gallo’s

    Is he skilled? Yes. To maintain 50%+ TS in the NBA, you have to be. But is he productive? We may be able to explain why he is not productive now, but does that mean that a solution is able to be implemented?

  40. Frank O.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:

    1) an empty use of salary slot
    2) a waste of playing time w/r/t production
    3) a detriment to other players’ development
    4) possessing the worst haircut on the Knicks since Gallo’s

    Is he skilled? Yes. To maintain 50%+ TS in the NBA, you have to be. But is he…

    Judging by what we see out there in the salary range the Knicks had to offer, he may not be all that wasteful.
    But you may be right.
    I’m not so upset that the Knicks took a risk on him, and his salary, pretty much like the rest of the team, sunsets in 2015.
    I think he’ll still have similar flaws, but most bench players are flawed. If he can play at say his 2010 and before level, that’s pretty nice coming off the bench. And he shoots brilliantly from the charity stripe for a big man, which also will be helpful. He’s never played on a team with scorers like Melo and Amare. I’m kind of interested to see what happens.

  41. Frank O.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    …productive? We may be able to explain why he is not productive now, but does that mean that a solution is able to be implemented?

    the cup is half full or half empty…we’re speculating.
    I think he’s an improvement offensively over pretty much any bench player not named Amare in the PF and C slots last year.

  42. mokers

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    The real down-side is in opportunity cost. Bargnani is probably going to be a terrible NBA player again this year. He will make a lot of shots, and miss a lot. He will grab some rebounds, and he will not grab a whole lot of rebounds. But whenever he’s on the floor, a player of equal or greater value could be out there. The cost of playing Mike Bibby, Toney Douglas, and Baron Davis was keeping someone like Jeremy Lin away from the court. It was through sheer luck that we got Linsanity.

    There is no doubt a lot of players that you would think could be better than Bargs in that role. It appeared we may have had one last year in Copeland,but the knicks did not have a lot of leverage to keep him.

    I think the debate on Bargnani comes down to:

    1. Could we have kept Copeland with only mMLE.
    2. Would keeping Copeland have been worth perhaps not getting Prigs and/or MWP?
    3. Would the pieces we gave up have been more effective than him?
    4. Would a better player have been available for the pieces we gave up?

    Personally, my answers are no, no way, perhaps, no. I would love to have heard some alternatives to acquiring AB with the assets the Knicks had. I don’t think Bargnani is going to push for a starting position, but I do think he can be effective off the bench if the coaches can limit his touches to what he is good at. I think that is possible since he will likely be the 2nd or 3rd scoring option most of the time depending on the personnel. But like you said, there is nothing saying that the Knicks will find that solution. If no solution is available, you have an expiring contract next year and it is completely off the books in 2015.

  43. Frank O.

    Frank O.: the cup is half full or half empty…we’re speculating.
    I think he’s an improvement offensively over pretty much any bench player not named Amare in the PF and C slots last year.

    Although Cope’s numbers were tremendous later in the year.

  44. TMal

    I think the starting 5 should be Tyson, Bargnani, Melo, Shump, Felton. Since Amare will be on minutes restriction bring him off the bench, I things Bargs is the type of player that needs to start to be effective confidence wise plus I just don’t like small lineups, I figure Woody can get on Bargs and Melo to rebound better. MWP off the bench is the way to go IMHO him and Melo starting would mean mismatches.

  45. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    TMal: I things Bargs is the type of player that needs to start to be effective confidence wise plus I just don’t like small lineups

    Do you have any evidence to support this claim? I’m not sure we can take “Bargnani needs to start to have confidence” as a reasonable assumption. What makes him different from other players? Is he mentally weak?

  46. thenamestsam

    flossy: I mean for what it’s worth, Kenyon Martin is in no way a real center either.He’s 6’8?, weighs less than Melo, and is a considerably worse rebounder than Amar’e both by career Reb/36 and TRB%.He managed to basically replicate Tyson Chandler’s role on the Knicks over a very short spurt of games, but as far as this team is concerned, we have one legit center (Tyson) and then a handful of combo forwards/emergency centers with different skill sets: offensive (Bargmar’e) and defensive (Metta Mart).

    I am pretty confident we’ll just go with some rotation of those four, mixing and matching based on health and role, even if it means that rebounding is a liablity (Didn’t we bring Novak and Copeland off the bench last season?Couldn’t be much worse…).Those four are SO MUCH more talented and experienced than either our young project center (Tyler) or journeyman scrub like Earl Barron that it will more than make up for our lack of size.We should probably still sign SOMEONE tall for the end of the bench but hopefully he’ll never, ever play.

    You’re definitely right about Kenyon not being a true C, I was optimistically assuming that he will be able to continue to do a reasonable Chandler impression in the games where he’s healthy. That’s clearly the role he has been returned to play. If he can’t then I think the need for a big is even more glaring.

    I guess it comes down to a fundamental disagreement about how important it is to have some size on the court. I think major minutes without Tyson or KMart on the court is going to spell major pain next year with the roster in its current shape. Hopefully we’ll get healthy seasons from Tyson and KMart and we’ll never know the answer.

  47. Unreason

    Like the article. This year I’m personally paying a group of noticeably attractive young people to sit courtside opposite the Knicks bench all season long wearing form-fitting “SAVE THE KNEES” t-shirts in the hopes of nudging Woodson to lose a couple more in the reg season so they might go a bit deeper into the playoffs.

  48. Frank O.

    you know, I get a little giddy with our lineup. I’m sure it’s just late summer optimism, but…
    My first five would be
    Chandler, Amare, Melo, Shump and Felton

    Second, you’d come small with JR and Artest, Bargs, Prigs and Udrih.
    KMart would get minutes at the 4 and 5.

    There are any number of interesting combinations you could bring…

    But I have a feeling Woodson would run Chandler, Melo, Artest, Shump and Felton.

    Then he’d use Amare and KMart to back Chandler, Bargs to back Melo, Shump would do time at the 3, as would JR.

    You can see a whole lot of interesting mixes

  49. KnickfaninNJ

    Frank O.: Although Cope’s numbers were tremendous later in the year.

    People keep saying this with respect to Bargnani, but it’s irrelevant. Once we signed Prigioni, Copeland was gone.

  50. Frank O.

    KnickfaninNJ: People keep saying this with respect to Bargnani, but it’s irrelevant.Once we signed Prigioni, Copeland was gone.

    No, you’re right. I wrote that because I said Bargs was an upgrade for the Knicks at the 4 or 5, except for Amare…and then had to qualify because Cope was very good late last year offensively.
    I realize we couldn’t keep Cope.
    I liked the Bargs pick up.

  51. Hubert

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    The real down-side is in opportunity cost. Bargnani is probably going to be a terrible NBA player again this year. He will make a lot of shots, and miss a lot. He will grab some rebounds, and he will not grab a whole lot of rebounds. But whenever he’s on the floor, a player of equal or greater value could be out there. The cost of playing Mike Bibby, Toney Douglas, and Baron Davis was keeping someone like Jeremy Lin away from the court. It was through sheer luck that we got Linsanity.

    I think the sheer luck was that we actually had a player at the end of the bench capable of having as much value as Lin did during that stretch. I’m ok with Bargnani costing CJ Leslie, Jeremy Tyler, and Tim Hardaway Jr the opportunity to provide a Jeremy Lin-type spark.

  52. Unreason

    flossy: Just to be clear, my suggestion of Bargmar’e for back-up center means that Bargnani OR Stoudemire will probably play the 5 depending on health and match-ups. I agree that we’d need K-Mart or MWP to babysit them at the PF spot (I think MWP is more suited to small-ball 4 at this point in his career anyway) if Chandler is not in the game.

    Do you think +defenders can really make up for -defenders? I’m skeptical. Especially in Woodson’s switch-crazy schemes, doesn’t success on D depend more on not having a weak link than on the sum of individual talents? Good offenses often only need to face one clueless/exhausted/hurt/lazy guy to get a great look. So players who are weak on man D but decent on team D (e.g. Prigs) are much less of a liability than ones with the reverse skill set (Amare). Awareness/instinct/effort/health > speed/quickness/strength/hops.

    The Knicks now have a core group with lots of experience playing together under Woodson. I think (hope!) that experience and incentives will improve everyone’s awareness and effort. Still, significant mpg with Bargmare at the 5 might be enough to keep them a middling D again this year despite having several plus defenders (Tyson, Shump, MWP, KMart, Leslie?). Covering for both Bargmare and Felton is a lot to expect.

  53. TMal

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Do you have any evidence to support this claim? I’m not sure we can take “Bargnani needs to start to have confidence” as a reasonable assumption. What makes him different from other players? Is he mentally weak?

    IDK really but I ASSumed I know what that means but him being a former #1 always being a starter, and already getting slammed as a possible bust in Toronto and we know NY media will be ruthless if he is soft. So I think let him warm up as a starter and then bring in Amare, Kenyon, MWP

  54. flossy

    thenamestsam: I think major minutes without Tyson or KMart on the court is going to spell major pain next year with the roster in its current shape. Hopefully we’ll get healthy seasons from Tyson and KMart and we’ll never know the answer.

    I agree. I think the plan is for there to be very few minutes played without one or the other. Another, similarly versatile defensive big man as K-Mart insurance is a priority, but at this point I doubt it’ll be in the form of a legitimate center. That’s why I mentioned Jared Jeffries as someone I’d welcome back to the Knicks, if only to play 15 mpg for the 20-30 games that K-Mart will probably miss. He’s not great or anything, but nobody we can afford to sign will be.

  55. flossy

    Unreason: Do you think +defenders can really make up for -defenders? I’m skeptical. Especially in Woodson’s switch-crazy schemes, doesn’t success on D depend more on not having a weak link than on the sum of individual talents? Good offenses often only need to face one clueless/exhausted/hurt/lazy guy to get a great look. So players who are weak on man D but decent on team D (e.g. Prigs) are much less of a liability than ones with the reverse skill set (Amare). Awareness/instinct/effort/health > speed/quickness/strength/hops.

    I absolutely thing that plus defenders can make up for minus defenders, particularly in a switch-happy system. What makes Tyson and K-Mart so valuable is their attention to team defense and ability to guard multiple positions in a system where the inherent switching demands that players guard multiple positions. A really elite, high-IQ multinational defender can make a massive difference.

    Think about it–the Knicks were a top 5 defense in ’11-’12 despite playing Amar’e and Carmelo a combined 3500 minutes and spending half the season with Mike D’Antoni as their coach. Why? I personally think it was Chandler’s superhuman efforts on defense that deserve a lot of the credit, and helped erase many of the constant mistakes made by the other 2/3 of our frontcourt.

    Obviously it’s great to have guys who are elite 2-way players, but since we don’t, I think there’s at least as much value to having a mix of players who are elite offensively or elite defensively, rather than a bunch of players who are just average on both sides of the floor. Elite offensive players demand double teams and create opportunities for everyone else on their team. Elite defensive players can singlehandedly disrupt the other team’s offensive sets and can cover for their less adept teammates.

  56. Unreason

    flossy: Think about it–the Knicks were a top 5 defense in ’11-’12 despite playing Amar’e and Carmelo a combined 3500 minutes and spending half the season with Mike D’Antoni as their coach. Why? I personally think it was Chandler’s superhuman efforts on defense that deserve a lot of the credit, and helped erase many of the constant mistakes made by the other 2/3 of our frontcourt.

    Very good point. Small caveats: Melo wasn’t really a minus despite some famous lapses in effort; Amare was out a lot; Woodson was helping with the D before he took over from D’a. But I still agree with your basic point. Much of the credit has to go to TC and that’s a good example of the impact a plus defender can have on a team with some obvious weak links on D. I hope that’s what we get to watch this year.

  57. ruruland

    Right, in fact, under Woodson, Melo was quite good defensively.
    He’s had plenty of stretches like that and most of them have come with decreased usage (he had his best defensive season in 08-09, which also happened to be a lower usage season largely because of upper body injuries)

    I think by providing more balance to the offense — and MWP/AB/Amare, Shump can provide that — you’ll get better defense from Melo at the 3.

    Also, Amar’e has improved quite a bit defensively under Woodson.

  58. ruruland

    Unreason: Do you think +defenders can really make up for -defenders? I’m skeptical. Especially in Woodson’s switch-crazy schemes, doesn’t success on D depend more on not having a weak link than on the sum of individual talents? Good offenses often only need to face one clueless/exhausted/hurt/lazy guy to get a great look. So players who are weak on man D but decent on team D (e.g. Prigs) are much less of a liability than ones with the reverse skill set (Amare). Awareness/instinct/effort/health > speed/quickness/strength/hops.

    The Knicks now have a core group with lots of experience playing together under Woodson. I think (hope!) that experience and incentives will improve everyone’s awareness and effort. Still, significant mpg with Bargmare at the 5 might be enough to keep them a middling D again this year despite having several plus defenders (Tyson, Shump, MWP, KMart, Leslie?). Covering for both Bargmare and Felton is a lot to expect.

    Bargnani is a good post defender. He’ll certainly be an upgrade over Copeland/Novak at protecting the rim, rebounding and defending bigger player. Copeland and Novak played about 65 percent of their minutes at one of the big positions last season.

  59. ruruland

    flossy: I agree.I think the plan is for there to be very few minutes played without one or the other.Another, similarly versatile defensive big man as K-Mart insurance is a priority, but at this point I doubt it’ll be in the form of a legitimate center.That’s why I mentioned Jared Jeffries as someone I’d welcome back to the Knicks, if only to play 15 mpg for the 20-30 games that K-Mart will probably miss.He’s not great or anything, but nobody we can afford to sign will be.

    I think Leslie is basically going to be an improved version of Jeffries at some point in the next couple of seasons.

    Jeffries was a pretty smart defender, so it may take some time.

  60. Jack Bauer

    Chandler – better rest him more

    Bargnani – can’t we wait to see how he plays before we proclaim it a “mistake” to trade for him ? We didn’t give up much that would help next year.

    Tyler – correction, he does have some NBA experience. He can contribute size, defense, and rebounding in limited minutes IF Woody will play him.

  61. Z-man

    THCJ, would you have said the same thing about Blatche last year? I know I’ve made this argument before, as have others, and you and others have made the “outlier” counter-argument.

    The point is, not every player has the “skills” to make a dramatic change in productivity after a change in scenery. Bargnani seems to be one of those players who can. Salary is pretty irrelevant here, so if the rub is a 20+ draft pick int he 2016 draft, doubtful we’re talking about a franchise changer.

    Who do you think Bargnani will be taking PT away from? I don’t think there is much risk of “opportunity cost” by playing him. If he’s keeping the next Steve Novak or Landry Fields on the bench, its a good thing.

  62. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Jack Bauer: Bargnani – can’t we wait to see how he plays before we proclaim it a “mistake” to trade for him ? We didn’t give up much that would help next year.

    We won’t know until it happens, but we can expect, given the last seven years of his productivity (or lack thereof), that he will be terrible again this year. I will eat crow all day long if he suddenly becomes even an average rebounder and/or shoots 58%+ TS.

    We gave up a first-rounder. That’s nothing to sneeze at. That’s a four-year guaranteed contract that essentially cannot be a waste. Even a poor player wouldn’t likely underplay such a contract. And of course, again, opportunity cost: I would wager that anyone you could find at picks 20-25 would be more productive, over four years, than Bargnani. He is an all-time dud.

    Did we give up much? No, but some on this board would argue that giving up ANYTHING for Bargnani is a waste of resources. He is an NBDL player.

  63. thenamestsam

    ruruland:
    Right, in fact, under Woodson, Melo was quite good defensively.
    He’s had plenty of stretches like that and most of them have come with decreased usage (he had his best defensive season in 08-09, which also happened to be a lower usage season largely because of upper body injuries)

    I think by providing more balance to the offense — and MWP/AB/Amare, Shump can provide that — you’ll get better defense from Melo at the 3.

    Also, Amar’e has improved quite a bit defensively under Woodson.

    C’mon man. Stat has played like 40 games for Woodson total. You’re telling me you can make a definitive statement about whether he’s improved defensively “quite a bit” based on 40 games scattered over 2 years?

  64. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: THCJ, would you have said the same thing about Blatche last year? I know I’ve made this argument before, as have others, and you and others have made the “outlier” counter-argument.
    The point is, not every player has the “skills” to make a dramatic change in productivity after a change in scenery. Bargnani seems to be one of those players who can. Salary is pretty irrelevant here, so if the rub is a 20+ draft pick int he 2016 draft, doubtful we’re talking about a franchise changer.
    Who do you think Bargnani will be taking PT away from? I don’t think there is much risk of “opportunity cost” by playing him. If he’s keeping the next Steve Novak or Landry Fields on the bench, its a good thing.

    My philosophy has been “find production, not talent.” There are plenty of NBDL and FA players who deserve a shot at NBA playing time. Bargnani is, to me, no better than playing Juwan Howard. You know what you’re getting out of him.

    Sure, a late 20s pick is likely not going to be a franchise changer, but it can help develop a core of players to put around those selected max-worthy guys. Ty Lawson and Ken Faried won’t win an NBA championship on their own. Neither will Chandler Parsons and Patrick Beverly. Still, putting them with Iguodala or Harden/Howard will keep you competitive without reaching a luxury tax or extended over-the-cap scenario.

  65. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: The cost of playing Mike Bibby, Toney Douglas, and Baron Davis was keeping someone like Jeremy Lin away from the court. It was through sheer luck that we got Linsanity.

    Well, it wasn’t really sheer luck. Grunwald signed him after the great Daryl Morey released him. So if he was shrewd enough to see that Lin had potential then, why is he wrong for seeing potential in Bargnani now? I know Bargs has a track record, but again, so did Blatche.

  66. nicos

    ruruland: I think Leslie is basically going to be an improved version of Jeffries at some point in the next couple of seasons.

    Jeffries was a pretty smart defender, so it may take some time.

    Among severely offensively challenged defenders I actually think he’s closer to Corey Brewer than Jeffries- He’s really thin and doesn’t look to have the kind of frame where he could comfortably carry the extra 15-20 pounds he’d need to play interior defense. I do think he could wind up being a terrific Paul George type of perimeter defender but he obviously has a long way to go.

  67. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: Well, it wasn’t really sheer luck. Grunwald signed him after the great Daryl Morey released him. So if he was shrewd enough to see that Lin had potential then, why is he wrong for seeing potential in Bargnani now?

    I don’t think there’s any evidence to suggest that Grunwald knew that Lin would be a starter in the NBA. I think he probably looked like a decent pickup, and it was by dumb luck — and I mean totally, unequivocally dumb — that he became what he is, which is a long-term NBA starter. I don’t think anyone knew about Lin until he started lighting people up.

    The NBA is full of talent evaluators who think they can turn shit to gold. I don’t think they’re often successful.

  68. ruruland

    thenamestsam: C’mon man. Stat has played like 40 games for Woodson total. You’re telling me you can make a definitive statement about whether he’s improved defensively “quite a bit” based on 40 games scattered over 2 years?

    I’d say that when Woodson first arrived and last year when STAT was healthy there were noticeable improvements in his defense.

    Doesn’t mean he won’t regress again, or that some other mitigating or intrinsic circumstance could further limit his effectiveness.

    But what I’ve seen from Amar’e the last two years were some pretty dubious mistakes accompanied by pretty solid, at times good, defensive play.

    His biggest weakness defensively is keeping his guy off the offensive board. But he was generally good on switches and pick rolls, actually hedged harder than any other big on roster last season and was a better rim protector than Tyson Chandler last year.

    So yeah, the improvement has been obvious, but doesn’t mean it’s permanent.

    There were struggles the last couple of years under Woodson, but most of those came when Amar’e was trying to get his legs back and learning the defensive calls, imo.

    It should go without saying that this is all pretty subjective, just my perception.

  69. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I don’t think there’s any evidence to suggest that Grunwald knew that Lin would be a starter in the NBA. I think he probably looked like a decent pickup, and it was by dumb luck — and I mean totally, unequivocally dumb — that he became what he is, which is a long-term NBA starter. I don’t think anyone knew about Lin until he started lighting people up.

    The NBA is full of talent evaluators who think they can turn shit to gold. I don’t think they’re often successful.

    I don’t know, a lot of people argued on this very board and after the fact that Lin should have been given more opportunities based on what he had shown in college/pro’s/d-league. In other words, it wasn’t that the Knicks were lucky Lin turned out, they were luck that no one else saw, perhaps blinded by stereotypes, what were obvious NBA skills.

  70. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: My philosophy has been “find production, not talent.” There are plenty of NBDL and FA players who deserve a shot at NBA playing time. Bargnani is, to me, no better than playing Juwan Howard. You know what you’re getting out of him.

    I don’t get the Juwan Howard comparison.

  71. ruruland

    nicos: Among severely offensively challenged defenders I actually think he’s closer to Corey Brewer than Jeffries- He’s really thin and doesn’t look to have the kind of frame where he could comfortably carry the extra 15-20 pounds he’d need to play interior defense.I do think he could wind up being a terrific Paul George type of perimeter defender but he obviously has a long way to go.

    Right, Jeffries was very thin and was always a combo 3-4, a bit longer than Leslie, without an offensive position. Jeffries guarded some post guys and some wing guys. More of the post guys later in his career.

    Jeffries made an impact in the NBA with his hustle and defensive acumen.

    Leslie will need to do the same early on. But certainly has better physical ability.

  72. Jack Bauer

    That draft pick they gave up for Bargnani is 2 years down the road, not to mention Denver had the rights to switch with us. So like I said, we didn’t give up much that would help us NEXT year. Crow may be served as I believe a change of scenery and a lesser role will bring out the best in Bargnani. A low risk move that could very well yield good dividends next year.

  73. SeeWhyDee77

    As much as I would love to see a Chandler-Melo-MWP-Shump-Felton starting lineup, it probably won’t happen. I think Woodson probably goes with a more “traditional” lineup and moves Melo back to the 3 an starts Bargnani..especially if Stat is good for 20 mpg. But..lets say he goes with my preferred starting 5 and brings Bargnani and Stat off the bench. They won’t play much together as Kmart will need to play to keep some sort of defensive continuity from 1st team to bench. But..if Woodson does start Bargnani at the 4(let’s be honest Stat I not healthy enough to start), there’s probably more defensive balance to the team as Kmart and MWP can guard the best offensive players while on the floor and allow JR, Udrih and Stat to do what they do best. Call me crazy but with as many defensive oriented guys on the roster who are actually good at it, I think it’s reasonable to see an uptick in defensive performance from guys like Stat, Bargnani and Udrih. And that will hopefully make them less of a liability within the scheme. Woodson comes from a defensive coaching background, I’m sure (err I hope) he can scheme well enough with the defensive talent on the roster that the lesser defensive lights don’t get exposed as much

  74. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I will eat crow all day long if he suddenly becomes even an average rebounder and/or shoots 58%+ TS.

    I’m not holding my breath on the rebounding thing, though I will point out that you could say the same thing about Steve Novak, who is the only player (Camby doesn’t count) we exchanged to get Bargnani.

    Now, if you take Bargnani’s abysmal ’12-’13 numbers as his new baseline, then clearly trading for him was a mistake no matter how you cut it because he barely had a pulse last year. However, if you write off last season as an anomaly (just 31 injury plagued games) and take his career numbers as his baseline, then getting his TS% up from .535 to closer to .580 would basically be a matter of eliminating one missed FGA per 36 minutes. I have to think that in a dramatically different role, with reduced minutes and likely reduced usage, on a team where he is not expected to shoulder anything close to the majority of the scoring burden, he might be able to eliminate the 1-2 shots per game that separate him from the more efficient scoring forwards in this league.

    And even if he can only raise his TS% to, say, .560, I’ll take someone who can post that TS% with a usage in the low/mid 20s over Novak’s .600 TS% on a paltry 13% usage. Hell, if Bargnani does nothing than revert to his career averages, his .535/24 TS%/USG numbers would be an improvement over what JR Smith gave us last season (.522/26).

  75. flossy

    ruruland: Jeffries made an impact in the NBA with his hustle and defensive acumen.
    Leslie will need to do the same early on. But certainly has better physical ability.

    This just sounds like wishful thinking to me. The knocks on Leslie coming out of college are 1) no jump shot 2) low basketball IQ 3) poor motor. Only one of those traits reminds me of Jared Jeffries.

  76. ruruland

    flossy: This just sounds like wishful thinking to me.The knocks on Leslie coming out of college are 1) no jump shot 2) low basketball IQ 3) poor motor.Only one of those traits reminds me of Jared Jeffries.

    I know. Leslie hustled in the summer from what I saw. It’s definitely wishful thinking haha. Low likelihood Leslie turns into NBA contributor.

  77. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I would wager that anyone you could find at picks 20-25 would be more productive, over four years, than Bargnani. He is an all-time dud.

    Through his first five seasons, Bargnani played 11,095 minutes, posted a USG of 23.7% and a TS% of .539. Only 44 other players in the history of the NBA have met or exceed those three categories over their first five seasons.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&type=totals&per_minute_base=36&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=N&year_min=&year_max=&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=5&age_min=0&age_max=99&height_min=0&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&is_as=&as_comp=gt&as_val=&pos_is_g=Y&pos_is_gf=Y&pos_is_f=Y&pos_is_fg=Y&pos_is_fc=Y&pos_is_c=Y&pos_is_cf=Y&qual=&c1stat=mp&c1comp=gt&c1val=11090&c2stat=usg_pct&c2comp=gt&c2val=23.6&c3stat=ts_pct&c3comp=gt&c3val=.538&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&c5stat=&c5comp=gt&c6mult=1.0&c6stat=&order_by=ws

    Obviously there’s more to basketball than playing a lot of minutes and taking a ton of shots while maintaining average efficiency, but… that’s a big part of it, yeah. I’m pretty sure not more than a handful, and maybe none, of those players were drafted after the 20th pick, so let’s not pretend like any random draft pick or NBDL player could do what Bargnani has done in his admittedly less than illustrious career.

    Bargnani may be a “dud,” but only relative to expectations for a #1 overall draft pick.

  78. flossy

    ruruland: I know. Leslie hustled in the summer from what I saw. It’s definitely wishful thinking haha. Low likelihood Leslie turns into NBA contributor.

    Hah yeah, to be honest I thought you wrote “will do the same early on” not “will NEED to do the same early on.”

  79. max fisher-cohen

    Jack Bauer:
    That draft pick they gave up for Bargnani is 2 years down the road, not to mention Denver had the rights to switch with us.

    the thing is, this argument could be made about a dozen players in the league — I’ll list five off the top of my head: Gerald Wallace, Hedo Turkoglu, Michael Beasley, Andris Biedrins. Everyone but Beasley has been better statistically in the last few years than Bargnani. Most of the teams that have the rights to these players would gladly bribe other teams to take them thanks ot their outrageous contracts.

    The Knicks themselves have bribed teams to take similar players such as Jared Jeffries and have given away better players such as jamal crawford and zach randolph.

    And let’s not downplay the value of hte pick. It’s almost definitely not a lottery pick, but it could very easily be in the 18-22 range. From 2007-11, Lawson, Teague, Collison, McGee, Hickson, Ryan Anderson, Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, and Kenneth Faried were all picked in that range. That’s 10 of 20 guys who are almost definitely more valuable than Bargnani.

    There are certainly counterexamples – guys who really did just need a change of scenery — although they are usually younger — and there are certianly reasons to believe Bargani has some skills that might mesh well with NY’s talent base.

    As far as the fact that it’s THREE years away, that is the worst part! Next year, we can be pretty confident both Denver and NY will be good. The year after that, probably the same, but in 2016 Denver has one contract on the books, and NY has two. What if the big free agents head elsewhere? It happened in 2010… Now there’s added pressure to spend money and win right away, and we might just sign Amar’e 2.0, or worse, Eddy Curry 2.0.

  80. ess-dog

    I still feel strongly that Melo will stay at the 4. Perhaps we can use Amare as a backup 5 and Kenyon will split time with Bargs at the 4.
    MWP will man the 3 with Shump as a backup. Now personally I would start JR and bring in Shump early if need be with Prig as the starting 1… But likely Woody will Start Shump and Ray. Either way, that a strong defensive team. Amare will eat up 2nd string centers and work well with Kmart. Bargs will not see that much time if everyone’s healthy, but will basically be a more well-rounded Novak off the bench, albeit, not as good a shooter.

  81. johnno

    max fisher-cohen: And let’s not downplay the value of hte pick. It’s almost definitely not a lottery pick, but it could very easily be in the 18-22 range. From 2007-11, Lawson, Teague, Collison, McGee, Hickson, Ryan Anderson, Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, and Kenneth Faried were all picked in that range. That’s 10 of 20 guys who are almost definitely more valuable than Bargnani.

    But even most of the good guys taken in that range take 2 or 3 years before they become significant contributors, so the 2016 draft pick probably won’t be a major player until 2018 — 5 years from now.

  82. max fisher-cohen

    ruruland:
    MFC, let me know if you want to write something closer to the start of the season.

    Sure. We can be like Hannity and and Colmes. Who do you want to be?

  83. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: Bargnani may be a “dud,” but only relative to expectations for a #1 overall draft pick.

    I think that if you take away minutes played, you’ll see a huge list of players who fulfill those criteria.

    The minutes played thing is directly tied to his draft status. He was a #1 pick, and with that comes expectations of playing time.

    If you factor in the all-time worst rebounding, you can make an argument that he is among the worst players in the history of the league.

    http://www.thenbageek.com/players/314-andrea-bargnani

    Again, if he were an SG, we’d be looking at probably a league average player, but he’s a PF/C, and with that comes the expectation that he should rebound and not make the smaller players on the floor work extra hard to pick up those boards.

    Stretch forward or not, those are all-time bad rebounding figures for a guy his height. He rebounds like a shooting guard.

  84. Z-man

    max fisher-cohen: It’s almost definitely not a lottery pick, but it could very easily be in the 18-22 range. From 2007-11, Lawson, Teague, Collison, McGee, Hickson, Ryan Anderson, Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, and Kenneth Faried were all picked in that range. That’s 10 of 20 guys who are almost definitely more valuable than Bargnani.

    Yes, some of these guys are very solid, yet some were/are very limited. Faried, for example, took less than one shot per game outside of 10 feet, and he’s an atrocious defender. Avery Bradley is one of the worst offensive guards in the league.

    There are numerous examples of guys becoming much more valuable in the right situations or turning their career around in the right situation. KB castoff Zach Randolph became a mainstay for a gritty Memphis team. KB castoff Jamal Crawford became a 6th man of the year candidate with the Clips. Better teammates, better role, better venue, maturity, etc. can turn an overpaid underachiever into a valuable role player.

    I also think that calling Bargnani a NBDL player is way over the top. I would bet that on a minimum contract, every coach/GM in the league would want him on their roster, including Pop and Morey; and a ton would gladly pay him the MLE. He is vastly overpaid, but that is irrelevant right now. The only question is: can he successfully play a significant and meaningful role on a contending team? It doesn’t have to be the role of a rebounder or a banger or rim protector or whatever predefined some observers feel he is obligated to play because he’s a “7-footer.” He just has to be some combination of Novak/Copeland/Camby/Thomas/Sheed that renders him a net plus for 15-25 mpg in a 7th-8th man role. Anything beyond that is gravy.

  85. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I think that if you take away minutes played, you’ll see a huge list of players who fulfill those criteria.
    The minutes played thing is directly tied to his draft status. He was a #1 pick, and with that comes expectations of playing time.

    That’s the thing, you can’t take away minutes played.

    Being able to play a ton of minutes, while shouldering an outsize portion of your team’s offensive workload and maintaining league-average scoring efficiency, is huge skill in and of itself. And to your point, if you reduce the MP threshold by more than half (to 5000 MP over seasons 1-5, not exactly a high bar to clear) the list grows to 73 players. In the history of the NBA. That is not somebody who can reasonably be considered among the worst players in the history of the league, or whose production (in real time, not on a per-minute basis) could be replaced by any old low draft pick or D-league player. It just isn’t, rebounding issues or no.

    Nobody is lauding Bargnani’s rebounding or claiming he’s some transcendent player, but this “all time dud” stuff is purely a function of his draft position. If he’d been picked 23rd he’d seem like a steal.

  86. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Stretch forward or not, those are all-time bad rebounding figures for a guy his height. He rebounds like a shooting guard.

    Again, this is false. It doesn’t matter how you rebound for your height, only for your role. Novak is 6’10″ and was a MUCH worse rebounder than Bargnani. So was Cope in the same, exact role that Bargnani is projected to play. He’s not a C or a PF, he’s a stretch 4. Maybe he is a below-average rebounder for that position, but that’s not the end-all. If he shoots 42% from 3, nobody will care much whether he is a lousy rebounder; if he shoots 30% from 3 and goes up to 8 reb/36, nobody (outside the WoW community) will care much about the extra rebounds.

  87. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    No one has ever put up such terrible numbers. WP48 doesn’t care about draft status. He is a terrible NBA player, worse than league average even by WS48.

  88. DRed

    “Obviously there’s more to basketball than playing a lot of minutes and taking a ton of shots while maintaining average efficiency”

    And that’s why sorting those results by declining WS is so funny. There’s a reason Bargnani is dead last out of those 44, and by a significant margin. He’s a decent scorer (a TS% 54 was below average for an NBA center last season, but a bit above average for a PF), but he’s bad at everything else. To this point in his career, he has sucked at playing NBA basketball.

  89. DRed

    Z-man: Again, this is false. It doesn’t matter how you rebound for your height, only for your role. Novak is 6’10? and was a MUCH worse rebounder than Bargnani. So was Cope in the same, exact role that Bargnani is projected to play. He’s not a C or a PF, he’s a stretch 4. Maybe he is a below-average rebounder for that position, but that’s not the end-all. If he shoots 42% from 3, nobody will care much whether he is a lousy rebounder; if he shoots 30% from 3 and goes up to 8 reb/36, nobody (outside the WoW community) will care much about the extra rebounds.

    Novak has averaged 44% from three, with 8.5 3PA per 36 minutes. Bargnani has hit 36% from three with 4.4 3PA per 36. Now, I can buy him shooting much better from 3 on almost double the attempts because he won’t be the number one option for defenses to focus on anymore. But Novak was generally playing instead of another small forward. If Bargnani, god help us, is backing up Chandler, we are proper fucked if he goes out there and hits 42% of his 4 three point attempts a game while playing no help defense and being one of the worst rebounding big men of all time.

  90. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Well, the season is 3 months away. We’ll just have to see if this “role” thing is a reality, or if we start inexplicably losing games on the boards. Time will tell.

  91. ruruland

    Z-man: Again, this is false. It doesn’t matter how you rebound for your height, only for your role. Novak is 6’10? and was a MUCH worse rebounder than Bargnani. So was Cope in the same, exact role that Bargnani is projected to play. He’s not a C or a PF, he’s a stretch 4. Maybe he is a below-average rebounder for that position, but that’s not the end-all. If he shoots 42% from 3, nobody will care much whether he is a lousy rebounder; if he shoots 30% from 3 and goes up to 8 reb/36, nobody (outside the WoW community) will care much about the extra rebounds.

    Yep.

    And as far as filling the role of stretch 4 the last 4 years, among stretch 4s, only Dirk and Ryan Anderson have better off-ball shooting profiles than AB. Bargnani has shot the ball better than Love, Bosh, Garnett, the whole list.

    Look at how similar Anderson and Bargnani’s raw shooting profiles are:
    http://hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Ryan%20Anderson

    http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Andrea%20Bargnani

    Both players average about 2.5-3 shots at the rim per game at roughly the same efficiency.

    Bargnani takes about 2-3 fewer 3-point shots a game, and with the injuries his percentage has taken a big hit, but he was a Ryan Anderson level shooter for most of his career.

    But that’s not the big difference.

    The difference is that Anderson takes about 4 fewer shots per game from between 3 and 23 feet.

    Bargnani has typically had a usage about 2-3 points higher than Anderson, which has been about the equivalent of 1.5 shots a game.

    Anderson’s offensive limitations have enhanced his “efficiency”, but I’d argue that in a usage environment more similar to Anderson’s, AB can definitely get into RA’s 57-58 ts.

    Naturally, last year, Anderson’s efficiency went down considerably and his usage up after leaving Dwight.

  92. ruruland

    DRed: Novak has averaged 44% from three, with 8.5 3PA per 36 minutes.Bargnani has hit 36% from three with 4.4 3PA per 36.Now, I can buy him shooting much better from 3 on almost double the attempts because he won’t be the number one option for defenses to focus on anymore.But Novak was generally playing instead of another small forward.If Bargnani, god help us, is backing up Chandler, we are proper fucked if he goes out there and hits 42% of his 4 three point attempts a game while playing no help defense and being one of the worst rebounding big men of all time.

    I would only play AB against cement footed centers like Hibbert.

    AB can change a series with the Pacers in a very positive way, but I’m certain he won’t be primarily used as a back-up center. I think he’ll be taking Copeland/Novak’s minutes. Copeland played a little 5 last year, but most of his minutes came at the 4.

  93. DRed

    flossy: That’s the thing, you can’t take away minutes played.

    Being able to play a ton of minutes, while shouldering an outsize portion of your team’s offensive workload and maintaining league-average scoring efficiency, is huge skill in and of itself.And to your point, if you reduce the MP threshold by more than half (to 5000 MP over seasons 1-5, not exactly a high bar to clear) the list grows to 73 players.In the history of the NBA.That is not somebody who can reasonably be considered among the worst players in the history of the league, or whose production (in real time, not on a per-minute basis) could be replaced by any old low draft pick or D-league player.It just isn’t, rebounding issues or no.

    Nobody is lauding Bargnani’s rebounding or claiming he’s some transcendent player, but this “all time dud” stuff is purely a function of his draft position.If he’d been picked 23rd he’d seem like a steal.

    And now instead of being 44th out of 44 by win share, Andrea Bargnani is 73rd out of 73. So let’s compare him to players who play his roll. He’s one of the worst players in modern NBA history at playing the Andrea Bargnani role, but this somehow makes him good? I don’t get it. If he had been picked 23rd he’d be playing in Europe or China right now.

  94. ruruland

    DRed: And now instead of being 44th out of 44 by win share, Andrea Bargnani is 73rd out of 73.So let’s compare him to players who play his roll.He’s one of the worst players in modern NBA history at playing the Andrea Bargnani role, but this somehow makes him good?I don’t get it.If he had been picked 23rd he’d be playing in Europe or China right now.

    He was playing the role of primary offensive option. There’s a long list of guys who became more efficient when their responsibilities decreased.

    Giving up the first was too much, we get it, but he’s still one of the most skilled 7-footers to ever come into the league, has improved his 1-1 defense quite a bit, has had prolonged stretches where he was dominant as a No.1 option, and has shot the ball quite well in his career for a stretch big.

    He could be totally unplayable, which may not mean anything, but he also has a chance to be good in a more limited role, and there’s an outside possibility he finally puts it all together offensively and is one of the better bench scorers in the league.

  95. yellowboy90

    ruruland: I would only play AB against cement footed centers like Hibbert.

    AB can change a series with the Pacers in a very positive way, but I’m certain he won’t be primarily used as a back-up center. I think he’ll be taking Copeland/Novak’s minutes. Copeland played a little 5 last year, but most of his minutes came at the 4.

    I’m on my phone and don’t feel like searchingfor the article but when Bargs played with Bosh he usually guarded the best post player. I am intrigued about him playing next to Tyson or Martin. Maybe his team D improves to slightly below avg. Maybe?

  96. ruruland

    DRed: And now instead of being 44th out of 44 by win share, Andrea Bargnani is 73rd out of 73.So let’s compare him to players who play his roll.He’s one of the worst players in modern NBA history at playing the Andrea Bargnani role, but this somehow makes him good?I don’t get it.If he had been picked 23rd he’d be playing in Europe or China right now.

    Sorry. 7-footers who are capable of shooting 40 percent from three and can create quality shots against close-outs are given a few more chances to develop than the vast majority of guys who enter the league.

  97. Z-man

    DRed: Novak has averaged 44% from three, with 8.5 3PA per 36 minutes.Bargnani has hit 36% from three with 4.4 3PA per 36.Now, I can buy him shooting much better from 3 on almost double the attempts because he won’t be the number one option for defenses to focus on anymore.But Novak was generally playing instead of another small forward.If Bargnani, god help us, is backing up Chandler, we are proper fucked if he goes out there and hits 42% of his 4 three point attempts a game while playing no help defense and being one of the worst rebounding big men of all time.

    Novak only shot 3′s because that was all that Novak can do.When he is left open from 3, he might be the single best offensive player in the league.

    But as I pointed out on a prior therad, look at his attempts per 36 int h eplayoffs last year, and hi actual minutes per game. He suddenly could NOT get open from 3 and was rendered a huge liability. Beyond making wide-open 3′s, there is not a single NBA skill that Novak is better at than Bargnani.

    But I would agree tht if Bargnani hits only 36% from 3 in his role with our team, and at the same time puts up similar numbers in other categories, he will contribute little to this team. That said, I can’t see him being worse in the playoffs than WP-fave Novak was for us. Or WP-fave Kidd, for that matter. Or WP-fave Chandler. Or WP-fave Camby. And let’s not forget that WP-fave Copeland was buried in the Euroleague from age 22-28 until he was discovered by Grunwald, you know, the same idiot who thought that Bargnani was worth trading Novak and some low-level picks for instead of signing Cope to a MMLE deal.

  98. ruruland

    yellowboy90: I’m on my phone and don’t feel like searchingfor the articlebut when Bargs played with Bosh he usually guarded thebest post player.I am intrigued about him playing next to Tyson or Martin. Maybe his team D improves to slightly below avg. Maybe?

    Go watch him on Synergy and read some of the good Raptors boards.

    He is not a good help defender for the most part, but is a GOOD 1-1 defender, and while he doesn’t grab rebounds, he does keep his man off the board.

    A guy like Amar’e will get more rebounds, but may be an inferior rebounder because he is so poor on box-outs.

    Perfect example. Last year Melo had a defensive rebound % lower than Bargnani’s career dreb %, but the Knicks had a higher dreb% with Melo on the floor at the 4.

    The Raptors were typically worse rebounding with AB on the floor, but AB was typically playing the 5 and the Raptors didn’t have the kind of wing rebounders the Knicks have.

    No one is saying a guy who both boxes out and rebounds is far more preferable, but d. reb % can often be misleading.

  99. yellowboy90

    I know it’s considered an inefficient shot but how does Beno, Bargs, & Melo mid-range game affect the O. Those shots may not be efficient but sometimes they are needed.

  100. Brian Cronin

    Grunwald, you know, the same idiot who thought that Bargnani was worth trading Novak and some low-level picks for instead of signing Cope to a MMLE deal.

    Grunwald got Bargnani because he could not re-sign Cope. Remember, Cope signed for more than the Knicks could offer.

    So whatever you feel about Bargnani, it was not that Grunwald chose him over Cope. He got him to replace Cope knowing that he would not be able to re-sign Cope. There was never an “either or” decision in Grunwald’s hands regarding the two players. If there was, I’d bet dollars to donuts Grunwald would have gone with Cope for $4 million rather than Bargs for $9 million and then used the Novak/Camby combo in a trade for a different player.

  101. Brian Cronin

    By the way, with the price of donuts being where they are, dollars to donuts is very close to becoming a useless phrase.

  102. massive

    Andrea Bargnani and Carmelo Anthony will be our starting forwards, but they will play different positions depending on what side of the court they are on. Bargs is a 3 on offense and a 4 on defense with the Knicks. Melo is our 4 on offense and a 3 on defense here. This move preserves our floor spacing and it keeps Melo from catching elbows and torn labrums over the course of the season. That is a part of these off season moves that nobody is really talking about. Healthy Melo vs torn labrum/bad knee Melo is the difference between the Celtics and Pacers series. The more healthy Melo we get, the better off this team is in the long run. Whoever we start next to Melo between MWP and Bargs doesn’t matter because both will guard the other team’s pivot. Melo got injured by Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, and David West/Roy Hibbert. We need to keep Melo away from them, and that’s what Bargs and MWP will do.

    I think we’re the 2nd or 3rd best regular season team in the East, and that we’re going to win anywhere from 51-58 games this season. All of the pieces make sense this year, but this should be the perfect experiment for the synergies vs statistics debate that takes place here on a daily basis. I can’t wait to see how things unfold.

  103. flossy

    DRed:
    “Obviously there’s more to basketball than playing a lot of minutes and taking a ton of shots while maintaining average efficiency”

    And that’s why sorting those results by declining WS is so funny.There’s a reason Bargnani is dead last out of those 44, and by a significant margin.He’s a decent scorer (a TS% 54 was below average for an NBA center last season, but a bit above average for a PF), but he’s bad at everything else.To this point in his career, he has sucked at playing NBA basketball.

    Right, well, nobody is making the case for him as some amazing stud player. The fact that he’s last in WS out of the 45 players to have ever put up his offensive numbers or better means nothing about whether he’s any good at basketball, except maybe relative to the other players on that list, a good portion of whom are Hall of Famers.

    So Andrea Bargnani is probably not destined for the Hall of Fame. Boy I miss Steve Novak already.

  104. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    No one has ever put up such terrible numbers. WP48 doesn’t care about draft status. He is a terrible NBA player, worse than league average even by WS48.

    That’s not an argument, that’s just a reiteration of your opinion.

  105. flossy

    DRed: And now instead of being 44th out of 44 by win share, Andrea Bargnani is 73rd out of 73.So let’s compare him to players who play his roll.He’s one of the worst players in modern NBA history at playing the Andrea Bargnani role, but this somehow makes him good?I don’t get it.If he had been picked 23rd he’d be playing in Europe or China right now.

    I think it’s been established that WP and WS don’t like him because of his poor rebounding relative to the role those metrics think he’s supposed to have on account of his height.

    And again, nobody is saying he’s a world-beater, but being dead last on a very select list of NBA players =/= sucking. If you sort the list of 45 by PER, he’s 2nd to last, right above Allan Houston. Terrible, terrible Allan Houston, who was just so bad at basketball. Right? Is that how this works?

  106. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: That’s not an argument, that’s just a reiteration of your opinion.

    I think the arguments have been made by WS48, WP48, PER, RAPM, ezPM, ASPM. You don’t agree with the stats? Okay, that’s cool.

  107. Z-man

    Brian Cronin: Grunwald got Bargnani because he could not re-sign Cope. Remember, Cope signed for more than the Knicks could offer.

    So whatever you feel about Bargnani, it was not that Grunwald chose him over Cope. He got him to replace Cope knowing that he would not be able to re-sign Cope. There was never an “either or” decision in Grunwald’s hands regarding the two players. If there was, I’d bet dollars to donuts Grunwald would have gone with Cope for $4 million rather than Bargs for $9 million and then used the Novak/Camby combo in a trade for a different player.

    Well, this is technically not true. GG could have offered the entire MMLE to Cope right from the get-go, which he almost certainly would have taken (I heard Cope interviewed right after he signed with the Pacers and he essentially admitted that) and THEN used Novak/Camby/draft pick combo to get another backup PG or C.

  108. Z-man

    The question isn’t, “Can Bargs rebound and shoot well enough to lift his WP48 out of the ‘worst 7-footer in history’ range. The question is, “Can Bargnani be part of a productive 5-man unit while he is on the floor, i.e., can the 5-man unit score, rebound, defend and protect the ball well enough to be a net positive for the team overall?”

    On offense, if his floor-spacing abilities (and he’s a decent post player) can create better scoring and rebounding opportunities for his teammates, or somehow lessen transition opportunities and shots at the rim on D, then it matters less whether his individual stats merit WP48′s approval.

    Which raises the question (beyond the question as to whether WP48 is valid at all): Can a player himself have a low WP48 but positively affect the WP48 of his teammates while he is on the floor?

  109. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I think the arguments have been made by WS48, WP48, PER, RAPM, ezPM, ASPM. You don’t agree with the stats? Okay, that’s cool.

    I was surprised to see you employ your favorite stat, PER, in any way to make your point, probably an unfortunate mistake since his PER for 4 straight years was 14.6, 15.5, 16.4 and 17.9. This would strongly support the notion that he is an above-average NBA player, not the worst ever.

  110. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I think the arguments have been made by WS48, WP48, PER, RAPM, ezPM, ASPM. You don’t agree with the stats? Okay, that’s cool.

    Again, that’s just a list of different metrics, not an argument. How does PER, for example, support the notion that any random D-League player or mid-20s draft pick could step in and replace Bargnani’s production? Or the idea that Bargnani has been among the “all time duds” or one of the worst NBA players ever?!

    The only concrete criticism you seem able to make is that his rebounding is below par, which is not a point of contention even among his supporters. It certainly doesn’t even come close to making him replaceable by virtually any pro-level basketball player or one of the worst NBA players ever.

    If you take the original list of 45 players (in the entire history of the league) who have met or exceeded Bargnani’s minutes load, usage rate and scoring efficiency through years 1-5, and control for those who got 8 or more TRB/36 (which I assume would be at least an acceptable level for you?), the all-time list shrinks to 16:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&type=totals&per_minute_base=36&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=N&year_min=&year_max=&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=5&age_min=0&age_max=99&height_min=0&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&is_as=&as_comp=gt&as_val=&pos_is_g=Y&pos_is_gf=Y&pos_is_f=Y&pos_is_fg=Y&pos_is_fc=Y&pos_is_c=Y&pos_is_cf=Y&qual=&c1stat=mp&c1comp=gt&c1val=11090&c2stat=usg_pct&c2comp=gt&c2val=23.6&c3stat=ts_pct&c3comp=gt&c3val=.538&c4stat=trb_per_mp&c4comp=gt&c4val=8&c5stat=&c5comp=gt&c6mult=1.0&c6stat=&order_by=ws

    I guess one could reasonably hope that a #1 draft pick would end up in that group, but the fact that he didn’t doesn’t make him one of the worst players ever.

  111. KnickfaninNJ

    Z-Man, that’s true only before the Knicks signed Prigioni. If you put Prigioni into the equation then the Knicks have Prigioni and Bargnani instead of Cope, Novak and Camby. Since it was actually a benefit losing Camby’s contract that means the Knicks chose Prigioni and Bargnani and a little extra future salary flexibility over Cope and Novak. Seems a good deal to me. You can always speculate we could have done better with the Camby and Novak pieces, but it’s not a bad thing to take a good deal when it’s there.

  112. Nick C.

    Flossy you are aware that your list includes no players from before the 3 point era? I’m not expecting you to calibrate to league average but when you repeat “history of the league” it seems a little odd.

  113. Z-man

    KnickfaninNJ:
    Z-Man, that’s true only before the Knicks signed Prigioni.If you put Prigioni into the equation then the Knicks have Prigioni and Bargnani instead of Cope, Novak and Camby.Since it was actually a benefit losing Camby’s contract that means the Knicks chose Prigioni and Bargnaniand a little extra future salary flexibility over Cope and Novak.Seems a good deal to me.You can always speculate we could have done better with the Camby and Novak pieces, but it’s not a bad thing to take a good deal when it’s there.

    That’s why I said that the knicks could have signed Cope and then used the assets to trade for a different back-up PG.

  114. Hubert

    Brian Cronin: There was never an “either or” decision in Grunwald’s hands regarding the two players.

    They’re *kinda* was. It was never straight up Copeland vs Bargnani, but there was a choice, and we often state that he didn’t have one.

    The thing is he made Prigioni his priority over Copeland.

    He could have offered Copeland the full mid-level over 2 years, which is technically less than what Indiana offered (by $135k) but probably would have gotten it done.

    Then he could have used that 2016 pick plus Camby or Novak to go shopping for a PG to replace Prigioni. (Camby and those 3 picks could have been attractive to Denver for Miller, or to Charlotte for Sessions, for instance).

    I’m not saying he made the wrong choice, but he did have a choice. We chose Prigioni & Bargnani over Copeland and shopping that draft pick for a PG.

  115. Hubert

    Z-man: Well, this is technically not true. GG could have offered the entire MMLE to Cope right from the get-go, which he almost certainly would have taken (I heard Cope interviewed right after he signed with the Pacers and he essentially admitted that) and THEN used Novak/Camby/draft pick combo to get another backup PG or C.

    Sorry, Z-Man. I should have read a few more posts before I typed up the same comment you had already written!

  116. DRed

    Z-man: I was surprised to see you employ your favorite stat, PER, in any way to make your point, probably an unfortunate mistake since his PER for 4 straight years was 14.6, 15.5, 16.4 and 17.9. This would strongly support the notion that he is an above-average NBA player, not the worst ever.

    No, that would strongly support the notion that he had a slightly above average PER over a 4 year stretch in his career.

    Nobody is saying Bargnani is the worst player in NBA history. He was certainly one of the very worst players in the NBA last season, but he was probably affected by his injuries. He’s certainly one of the worst rebounding centers in NBA history, but he can score a bit, and he’s played lots of minutes, which apparently means he’s good, because otherwise why would he be playing?

  117. Hubert

    massive:
    Andrea Bargnani and Carmelo Anthony will be our starting forwards

    Am I the only person who will be disappointed if Amar’e Stoudemire is healthy and isn’t the starting PF?

    Just because a guy is on a minutes count doesn’t mean he can’t start. Most teams employ a starter that plays 20-25 minutes a game. Hell, last year we had starters who played 8 minutes a game.

    Two reasons I want Amar’e to start:

    1. The production of Amar’e + Melo + Tyson when played together last season was excellent and rewrote the narrative from the year before that those three couldn’t play together. They also played well together down the stretch of the prior season under Woodson. I think the evidence is growing that they are an effective combination and I’d like to keep them together.

    2. I don’t know how to isolate the production of just two players, but my perception was that Amar’e and JR did not mesh well when they were on the floor together. Amar’e was often ignored in the post while JR did his thing. I don’t think having Amar’e play with JR is an effective combination.

    I also think it’s better for Bargnani to come off the bench. Whether we think he’ll be successful here or not, we all agree he was a failure in Toronto. The less pressure on him right away, the better, in my opinion. And with two European league veterans with similar styles to him on the 2nd unit, I think chances are greater he develops chemistry quickly there than on a first unit with Melo.

  118. Garson

    Hubert:

    2. I don’t know how to isolate the production of just two players, but my perception was that Amar’e and JR did not mesh well when they were on the floor together.Amar’e was often ignored in the post while JR did his thing.I don’t think having Amar’e play with JR is an effective combination.

    I agree with pairing Bargs with JR…

    When Novak was in the game with Smith, JR seemed to try and find Novak shots and made the extra pass to him on the 3 point line. Clearly Bargs doesnt have novaks range, however if you can develop a chemistry with JR, it should open things up for the rest of the team as JR can be a wonderful passer when intrested.

  119. DRed

    flossy: I think it’s been established that WP and WS don’t like him because of his poor rebounding relative to the role those metrics think he’s supposed to have on account of his height.

    And again, nobody is saying he’s a world-beater, but being dead last on a very select list of NBA players =/= sucking.If you sort the list of 45 by PER, he’s 2nd to last, right above Allan Houston.Terrible, terrible Allan Houston, who was just so bad at basketball.Right?Is that how this works?

    Those metrics don’t assign Bargnani a role based on his height. Bargnani plays power forward or center. Those are the players he guards, those are the players who come out of the game when he goes in. Bargnani is a significantly worse rebounder than the guys he replaces and the guys he guards (unless he’s playing Chris Copeland). His traditional rebounding stats suck. Ruru notes that Toronto rebounded at a lower rate when he was on the floor. When you’re giving up rebounds to the other team, you’re losing possessions. When you’re losing possessions, you’re losing points. In order to make up for that, you need to score more efficiently (or do some of the other things Bargnani doesn’t do) than the other team. Bargnani isn’t efficient enough of a scorer to make up for the possessions he gives away on the glass. That’s why he sucks. If we can change his role so that he becomes more efficient offensively, and if we play him with good rebounders and help defenders who don’t shoot he might be a useful player, but then he’d be in the role of shot creator again, and that’s apparently not the role he’s best at, although he also is one of the 44 greatest shot creators in NBA history or something. The arguments for Bargs don’t make a whole lot of sense to me. If you want to think we can make him better somehow, fine-that’s possible. But he’s been an awful…

  120. mokers

    Z-man: Well, this is technically not true. GG could have offered the entire MMLE to Cope right from the get-go, which he almost certainly would have taken (I heard Cope interviewed right after he signed with the Pacers and he essentially admitted that) and THEN used Novak/Camby/draft pick combo to get another backup PG or C.

    A couple of things. If the Knicks had offered the full mMLE, then another team could have offered him more and we couldn’t have done anything about it.

    But who is this PG that we trade for? Bargnani is a reclamation project and if he is terrible, he can sit at the back of the bench. It would help depth if he could play 25 minutes, but if he ended up playing the Camby/Thomas role, the roster could deal with it. There was no such luxury with the PG spot. Roll the dice and sign a PG who another team is desperate to get rid of? If they don’t pan out, there is a real problem with ball handling on the team. And there was no indication Beno was going to be available.

    Are there PGs you thought were available? Who? Knicks couldn’t receive any players in a sign and trade. There were really not as many options out there as people thought. I liked Cope but having the mMLE available for Prigs was the right move.

  121. mokers

    Hubert: Am I the only person who will be disappointed if Amar’e Stoudemire is healthy and isn’t the starting PF?

    Just because a guy is on a minutes count doesn’t mean he can’t start.Most teams employ a starter that plays 20-25 minutes a game.Hell, last year we had starters who played 8 minutes a game.

    Two reasons I want Amar’e to start:

    1. The production of Amar’e + Melo + Tyson when played together last season was excellent and rewrote the narrative from the year before that those three couldn’t play together.They also played well together down the stretch of the prior season under Woodson.I think the evidence is growing that they are an effective combination and I’d like to keep them together.

    2. I don’t know how to isolate the production of just two players, but my perception was that Amar’e and JR did not mesh well when they were on the floor together.Amar’e was often ignored in the post while JR did his thing.I don’t think having Amar’e play with JR is an effective combination.

    You are correct, it doesn’t matter who starts, but I think the big thing is that there are still some concerns with working Chandler/Melo/Amar’e. The coaching staff just hasn’t been great with it. But Amar’e's health is a big concern. people are talking 20 minutes a night. Perhaps he won’t be playing back to backs early.

    Like Massive said, you want to start Bargnani to keep Melo from having to bang in the post. Starting STAT doesn’t help with that at all.

    Re: JR. The problem is that JR was told to initiate the offense a lot. When he was scoring well, that wasn’t a problem, but when he started to force and have trouble finishing, it really showed. It’s good that JR added that to his game, but I think the Knicks want other people to be the primary ball handler at all times and with Melo/Felton/Prigs, that should be possible. More spot up 3s from…

  122. mokers

    More spot up 3s from JR and less dribbling is actually going to be better for everybody. Beno and Prigs will be able to find STAT in the post.

  123. Hubert

    mokers: You are correct, it doesn’t matter who starts, but I think the big thing is that there are still some concerns with working Chandler/Melo/Amar’e. The coaching staff just hasn’t been great with it. But Amar’e’s health is a big concern. people are talking 20 minutes a night. Perhaps he won’t be playing back to backs early.

    Like Massive said, you want to start Bargnani to keep Melo from having to bang in the post. Starting STAT doesn’t help with that at all.

    The concerns I have with Melo/Amar’e/Tyson is that the recent sample size of their success together wasn’t very large. I think this coaching staff has been great with that trio, actually. Nearly all the evidence that they can’t play well together comes from under Mike D’Antoni while playing with a horrendous backcourt.

    As to your second point, I do see the advantage of sparing Melo the banging in the post. I don’t know if it outweighs the advantage of having Amar’e and Andrea play with their most effective combinations. Hopefully a healthy balance can be struck.

    To start the season, though, with JR out, I would like to see how effective a bench unit of Prigioni/Udrih/Barngani would be. Stylistically, it seems like it would make sense.

  124. flossy

    Nick C.:
    Flossy you are aware that your list includes no players from before the 3 point era? I’m not expecting you to calibrate to league average but when you repeat “history of the league” it seems a little odd.

    Okay, make that “in Basketball-Reference’s historical database, since they’ve been able to calculate TS%.” I don’t think comparisons to players from 30+ years ago are all that relevant, and in any case there have been many thousands of players coming into the NBA since the start of the 80s, so being part of a group of 45 still seems significant to me.

  125. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: If you factor in the all-time worst rebounding, you can make an argument that he is among the worst players in the history of the league.

    DRed: Nobody is saying Bargnani is the worst player in NBA history.

    Hello? Anyone home?

  126. flossy

    DRed: If we can change his role so that he becomes more efficient offensively, and if we play him with good rebounders and help defenders who don’t shoot he might be a useful player, but then he’d be in the role of shot creator again, and that’s apparently not the role he’s best at, although he also is one of the 44 greatest shot creators in NBA history or something.

    Why even have this conversation if you’re going to willfully misinterpret the points made in Bargnani’s favor, and wish away the extremism of some of the charges leveled against him?

    Andrea Bargnani is basically an average NBA player when healthy. He has strengths and weaknesses that combine to make him more or less average. He has the offensive skill set to allow him to shoulder an outside share of his team’s scoring burden, over an absolutely massive sample of minutes, and maintain basically average efficiency. That is not something that can be dismissed–there are actually relatively few players who can do this, and it’s certainly not something that could be asked of any random D-leaguer or expected of any old player drafted in the mid-20s. The offensive skills that allow Bargnani to do this suggest that he could continue to do this for the Knicks; and perhaps become much more efficient with the reduction in both offensive responsibility and defensive attention accorded to him. The diversity of these skills will also prevent him from being neutralized a la Steve Novak.

    Defensively he’s not great and as a rebounder he’s downright bad. Most 7-8th men have some warts. Taken as a whole, he presents a more or less average player, which is not what you want from a #1 pick but is far from the “worst ever,” and fine for the role he’ll play. Play him with the likes of Chandler, Artest, Martin and Shumpert and his flaws may be disguised (as he in turn makes up for their problems…

  127. Nick C.

    flossy: Okay, make that “in Basketball-Reference’s historical database, since they’ve been able to calculate TS%.”I don’t think comparisons to players from 30+ years ago are all that relevant, and in any case there have been many thousands of players coming into the NBA since the start of the 80s, so being part of a group of 45 still seems significant to me.

    meh of the 236 players it lists with 11,000 minutes in their first five seasons he is 231 in WS, 112 in TSP (I guess that is average after all since they seem to start in the late 70s) and 70 in usage. Look he’s on the team so we have to root for him, but that doesn’t mean we have to try to contort numbers to make him out as being some kind of rare talent.
    antoherr example your 11,000 minutes if changed to 10,000 to account for players who maybe had an injury or eased into the league as rookies brings in Kobe, Stat, Brook Lopez, Walter Davis, Monta Ellis, Webber and Robert Parish to the list. I agree you may not find a d-leaguer who will 1) be given tons of minutes 2) toms of shots. Look at Jeremy Lin and how long it took to get him minutes and the apparent resentment there was after the fact. The problem is so to speak “giving 2000 minutes to Mike Bibby, Toney Douglas, Baron Davis etc.” redux that so many are concerned may happen here.

  128. DRed

    Bargnani isn’t an average player. Scoring at a league average level while bleeding possessions to the other team because you suck at rebounding isn’t good. Doing that while playing awful team defense is even worse. I don’t think taking a kinda high volume of shots that you make at league average efficiency makes up for being well below average at the rest of the game. Playing Bargs over an average center you’re getting fewer blocks, steals, assists, more turnovers and way fewer rebounds in exchange for league average points per shot on offense. There’s just no way that doesn’t hurt the team.

  129. flossy

    Nick C.: meh of the 236 players it lists with 11,000 minutes in their first five seasons he is 231 in WS, 112 in TSP (I guess that is average after all since they seem to start in the late 70s) and 70 in usage.

    Right, so of 236 players in the database who fit the minutes requirement, he’s top 3rd in usage and TS% and is ranked poorly by the metric we already know hates him because of his rebounding. I’m talking offensive production only here with that list. The fact that he’s a poor rebounder is not news.

  130. flossy

    DRed:
    Bargnani isn’t an average player.Scoring at a league average level while bleeding possessions to the other team because you suck at rebounding isn’t good.Doing that while playing awful team defense is even worse.I don’t think taking a kinda high volume of shots that you make at league average efficiency makes up for being well below average at the rest of the game.Playing Bargs over an average center you’re getting fewer blocks, steals, assists, more turnovers and way fewer rebounds in exchange for league average points per shot on offense.There’s just no way that doesn’t hurt the team.

    I would submit that scoring at league average efficiency while taking well above league average usage does not constitute scoring at a league average “level.” .540 TS% is a lot better at 28-29% usage than it is at 20% usage. Relieving the scoring and shot creation burden for the Tyson Chandlers, Steve Novaks and Kenneth Farieds of the league without straying into below average efficiency is legitimately helpful, and allows teams to play the WP darlings who contribute more than most in other areas of the game but can’t or won’t do their proportionate share of shot creation or possession usage on offense.

    That’s not something that’s valued by WP but I submit that it is, indeed, valuable. Valuable enough to merit a #1 draft selection or a $10+ million contract? No. But nobody is arguing that Bargnani wasn’t drafted to high or paid too much. Neither of those things are relevant now. The question is whether he can be a useful rotation player for the Knicks. You don’t have to think he’s god’s gift (I don’t!) to think he is at least capable of that.

  131. DRed

    flossy: I would submit that scoring at league average efficiency while taking well above league average usage does not constitute scoring at a league average “level.”.540 TS% is a lot better at 28-29% usage than it is at 20% usage.Relieving the scoring and shot creation burden for the Tyson Chandlers, Steve Novaks and Kenneth Farieds of the league without straying into below average efficiency is legitimately helpful, and allows teams to play the WP darlings who contribute more than most in other areas of the game but can’t or won’t do their proportionate share of shot creation or possession usage on offense.

    That’s not something that’s valued by WP but I submit that it is, indeed, valuable.Valuable enough to merit a #1 draft selection or a $10+ million contract?No.But nobody is arguing that Bargnani wasn’t drafted to high or paid too much.Neither of those things are relevant now.The question is whether he can be a useful rotation player for the Knicks.You don’t have to think he’s god’s gift (I don’t!) to think he is at least capable of that.

    I doubt it’s valuable enough to make up for all the points you give the other team by not rotating on defense and being a useless rebounder.

  132. flossy

    DRed: I doubt it’s valuable enough to make up for all the points you give the other team by not rotating on defense and being a useless rebounder.

    We’ll see.

  133. Nick C.

    Lazy question, but what is the league average TSP and where can you find it? I remember once looking and it din’t come up as easily (at all) at BBRef. I used this analogy in another context and got pooh pooed but you describe Bargnani in the same manner that an “innings eater” would be described in baseball. While I get that the high usage guy deflects the burden from the lower usage guys, so to speak, I still am leery about high usage guys because we start to get into the Isaiah teams if taken too far.

  134. flossy

    Nick C.:
    Lazy question, but what is the league average TSP and where can you find it? I remember once looking and it din’t come up as easily (at all) at BBRef. I used this analogy in another context and got pooh pooed but you describe Bargnani in the same manner that an “innings eater” would be described in baseball. While I get that the high usage guy deflects the burden from the lower usage guys, so to speak, I still am leery about high usage guys because we start to get into the Isaiah teams if taken too far.

    League avg TS% was .536 per hoopdata.com (http://hoopdata.com/advancedstats.aspx). Bargnani’s career TS% is .535.

    I get the comparison to the Isiah era, except it would be more apt if Bargnani was supposed to be one of our centerpieces, rather than just a rotation player on a very deep roster. If he plays 36 mpg and doesn’t improve, then yeah, we’ve got a problem, but that won’t happen short of a massive injury rash (and the Novak/Camby combo wouldn’t have been any more helpful).

  135. DRed

    Nick C.:
    Lazy question, but what is the league average TSP and where can you find it? I remember once looking and it din’t come up as easily (at all) at BBRef. I used this analogy in another context and got pooh pooed but you describe Bargnani in the same manner that an “innings eater” would be described in baseball. While I get that the high usage guy deflects the burden from the lower usage guys, so to speak, I still am leery about high usage guys because we start to get into the Isaiah teams if taken too far.

    You can find average TS% stuff at hoopdata. It’s sortable by year and position, which is nice.

    That analogy seems fair in terms of scoring, but there’s more to basketball than just scoring, and that’s why Bargs is a shit player.

  136. nicos

    Hubert: They’re *kinda* was.It was never straight up Copeland vs Bargnani, but there was a choice, and we often state that he didn’t have one.

    The thing is he made Prigioni his priority over Copeland.

    He could have offered Copeland the full mid-level over 2 years, which is technically less than what Indiana offered (by $135k) but probably would have gotten it done.

    Then he could have used that 2016 pick plus Camby or Novak to go shopping for a PG to replace Prigioni.(Camby and those 3 picks could have been attractive to Denver for Miller, or to Charlotte for Sessions, for instance).

    I’m not saying he made the wrong choice, but he did have a choice.We chose Prigioni & Bargnani over Copeland and shopping that draft pick for a PG.

    The problem is that Neither Camby or Novak were actually assets. And the Knicks had no way of using that first rounder in a trade without including one of those salaries due to being over the cap. Camby was owed, what 6 mil? So Denver/Charlotte would be paying that plus giving up a useful player for what might be a late first rounder and a couple of seconds and an old guy who was barely able to play last year. Not happening in today’s hyper cost conscious NBA. Same goes for Novak- useful guy but no one wanted him at that salary. To me, this deal was basically dumping two bad contracts (both GG’s fault to be sure) for one slightly less bad one and the hope that maybe Barg’s can at least get back to where he was a couple of years ago.

  137. Z

    flossy: nobody is arguing that Bargnani wasn’t drafted to high or paid too much.Neither of those things are relevant now.The question is whether he can be a useful rotation player for the Knicks.

    I know the size of Bargnani’s salary doesn’t technically matter because of the cap structure, etc, but I still think it is relevant that Dolan is paying almost as much tax for Bargnani next year that he was unwilling to pay for Jeremy Lin in that same year.

    People wonder why the “so-called” basketball experts don’t give the Knicks the benefit of the doubt when making their pre-season predictions? This is a perfect example. The Knicks don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt, and it is generally smart to bet against them.

  138. Nick C.

    Thanks for the hoopsdata tip guys. I guess the point of the thread was who will be taking up those minutes so Tyson doesn’t get beaten to the ground (and to a lesser extent at 4 so Melo doesn’t get pounded)? We all know some will be Bargnani and have differing degrees of comfort with that.

  139. KnickfaninNJ

    Nick C.: meh of the 236 players it lists with 11,000 minutes in their first five seasons he is 231 in WS, 112 in TSP (I guess that is average after all since they seem to start in the late 70s) and 70 in usage. Look he’s on the team so we have to root for him, but that doesn’t mean we have to try to contort numbers to make him out as being some kind of rare talent.
    antoherr example your 11,000 minutes if changed to 10,000 to account for players who maybe had an injury or eased into the league as rookies brings in Kobe, Stat, Brook Lopez, Walter Davis, Monta Ellis, Webber and Robert Parish to the list. I agree you may not find a d-leaguer who will 1) be given tons of minutes 2) toms of shots. Look at Jeremy Lin and how long it took to get him minutes and the apparent resentment there was after the fact. The problem is so to speak “giving 2000 minutes to Mike Bibby, Toney Douglas, Baron Davis etc.” redux that so many are concerned may happen here.

    Of course if you sort for players who played 11,000 minutes your going to get very good players in general because lousy players usually don’t get given tons of minutes. If you compare Bargnani to the best players in the league of course he looks bad. Average NBA players just don’t make this cut. From this post and the related ones I infer that any player who is worse than “Kobe, Stat, Brook Lopez, Walter Davis, Monta Ellis, Webber and Robert Parish” must be the worst player in the league according to this stat. That’s ridiculous. If GG gets even close to the quality “Kobe, Stat, Brook Lopez, Walter Davis, Monta Ellis, Webber and Robert Parish” in his trade for Bargnani, then the Knicks made out like bandits.

  140. flossy

    Z: I know the size of Bargnani’s salary doesn’t technically matter because of the cap structure, etc, but I still think it is relevant that Dolan is paying almost as much tax for Bargnani next year that he was unwilling to pay for Jeremy Lin in that same year.

    People wonder why the “so-called” basketball experts don’t give the Knicks the benefit of the doubt when making their pre-season predictions? This is a perfect example. The Knicks don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt, and it is generally smart to bet against them.

    Oh, for sure. I said it at the time of the trade for Bargnani, but the Knicks willingness to take on his salary pretty much removes all doubt that Dolan’s refusal to match the contract offer for Lin was motivated by anything other than personal animus. Not sure that has any bearing on the on-court merits of the Bargnani deal, but yeah, the team is owned by an idiot/a-hole.

  141. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    So much time on this board is spent arguing how some players make the game easier for other players.

    I cannot imagine any NBA scenario in which your PF being a terrible rebounder is okay for anyone else on your team. Since centers are usually fighting for boards on every possession (at least good ones do), why would you want your PG, SG, or SF to have to crash the boards more. Wouldn’t that be theoretically bad for transition defense?

    I also cannot imagine how a person could make an argument like, “He boxes out,” to demonstrate how his rebound totals don’t accurately represent his value on the glass. Is it true that some rebounds are a product of other players’ position and effort? Sure. But over the course of 11,000 minutes, at some point you have to attribute Bargnani’s woeful, all-time bad rebounding numbers to the player, not the system or the teammates.

    I cannot wait for November.

  142. Hubert

    nicos: The problem is that Neither Camby or Novak were actually assets.And the Knicks had no way of using that first rounder in a trade without including one of those salaries due to being over the cap.Camby was owed, what 6 mil?So Denver/Charlotte would be paying that plus giving up a useful player for what might be a late first rounder and a couple of seconds and an old guy who was barely able to play last year.Not happening in today’s hyper cost conscious NBA.Same goes for Novak- useful guy but no one wanted him at that salary. To me, this deal was basically dumping two bad contracts (both GG’s fault to be sure) for one slightly less bad one and the hope that maybe Barg’s can at least get back to where he was a couple of years ago.

    Camby wasn’t a bad contract. His contract was actually valuable because it was nonguaranteed in the second year.

    So if you offered Camby + a pick + $3mm to Denver for Andre Miller, Denver saves $8 million and gets a 1st round round pick for giving up Andre Miller.

    Not saying they would do that, or that we should want to. But if you’re dangling a 1st round pick, and you can dangle $3mm, and you can offer a contract that can be waived in year 2…I don’t know what the move is, but there is probably a move available for a backup point guard.

  143. nckev

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    So much time on this board is spent arguing how some players make the game easier for other players.

    Especially when the player being talked about doesn’t pass the ball. Bargs has a career Ast/36 of 1.5. If you are a league average efficiency scorer, why is it good to take a lot of shots? Pass the ball! The guy you’re passing to is most likely at least as likely to score as you are. I don’t understand why people think there is such a benefit to having a high usage, average efficiency guy on a team. Or do all of Barg’s shots come as the shot clock is expiring?

  144. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Hubert: So if you offered Camby + a pick + $3mm to Denver for Andre Miller, Denver saves $8 million and gets a 1st round round pick for giving up Andre Miller.

    Ugh, whether he’s still good or not, I could watch Miller play in the post all day long. I was watching Bargnani videos. Boy, does that dude love fadeaway 2-pointers one step away from the 3PT line. Give me some post play, please…

  145. KnickfaninNJ

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    So much time on this board is spent arguing how some players make the game easier for other players.

    I cannot imagine any NBA scenario in which your PF being a terrible rebounder is okay for anyone else on your team. Since centers are usually fighting for boards on every possession (at least good ones do), why would you want your PG, SG, or SF to have to crash the boards more. Wouldn’t that be theoretically bad for transition defense?

    I also cannot imagine how a person could make an argument like, “He boxes out,” to demonstrate how his rebound totals don’t accurately represent his value on the glass. Is it true that some rebounds are a product of other players’ position and effort? Sure. But over the course of 11,000 minutes, at some point you have to attribute Bargnani’s woeful, all-time bad rebounding numbers to the player, not the system or the teammates.

    I cannot wait for November.

    It’s true that a conventional power forward should get a lot of rebounds and Bargnani doesn’t. But most of the poster who are not anti-Bargnani, are suggesting he will play a role like a 3 on offense and only be a 4 on defense. This isn’t a conventional power forward role. His defensive rebounding stats aren’t that bad. It’s extremely unlikely Woodson will feature him in a classic PF role. So I don’t understand the relevance of your comment.

  146. flossy

    nckev: If you are a league average efficiency scorer, why is it good to take a lot of shots? Pass the ball! The guy you’re passing to is most likely at least as likely to score as you are.

    Pass the ball to whom, though? It’s easy to say “well there are a bunch of players on the Knicks with a TS% above .540 so why doesn’t he just pass to them” without considering the limitations of the low-usage/high-efficiency role players.

    Obviously it would be stupid for Andrea Bargnani to take a jump shot if Tyson Chandler is open under the basket for an uncontested dunk. But if Chandler is not open under the basket for an uncontested dunk, what good is his high TS%? Last season at the rim Chandler shot .656. Beyond 3′ from the goal that number plummeted to .398. If a team wants to make it a priority to prevent open looks at the rim for Tyson Chandler, they can do so pretty easily.

    Same with Steve Novak. Yeah, Novak was an extremely efficient scorer when shooting open 3s off the catch, but in any other situation he was completely helpless. So yeah, it would be dumb for Andrea Bargnani to shoot when a spot-up shooter like Novak stood unguarded in the corner, but how many unguarded corner 3s does Novak get?? You can’t just say “Novak is more efficient, therefore the Knicks would be better off if Bargnani passed the ball to Novak.”

    The value of someone who can maintain league average efficiency with a usage in the high twenties is that their ability to score is not purely situation, and not massively dependent on assisted baskets. There are only so many open dunks/3FGA available per game; somebody has got to take the more difficult shots. Bargs can score with average efficiency for 30 mpg on a high volume of attempts w/ increased defensive attention, allowing the lower usage offensive players to stay in their comfort zone and stay efficient.

  147. nicos

    Hubert: Camby wasn’t a bad contract.His contract was actually valuable because it was nonguaranteed in the second year.

    So if you offered Camby + a pick + $3mm to Denver for Andre Miller, Denver saves $8 million and gets a 1st round round pick for giving up Andre Miller.

    Not saying they would do that, or that we should want to.But if you’re dangling a 1st round pick, and you can dangle $3mm, and you can offer a contract that can be waived in year 2…I don’t know what the move is, but there is probably a move available for a backup point guard.

    I forgot that only part of Camby’s last year was guaranteed. Still 3.5m for a guy who you can’t count on for much of anything is a tough sell. Maybe Denver does bite if we kick in that extra money but I’d rather keep that 3m to possibly buy a late first rounder/early second than use it as a sweetener to get a guy that I think is probably worse than Prigs at this point in his career (Miller was godawful in the playoffs). Also an unmentioned part of the Bargnani trade was that it opened up another roster spot so GG was allowed to carry both Tyler and Leslie while still having room for Udrih and perhaps another big- if either of those young guys pan out the trade is going to look a lot better.

  148. Jack Bauer

    Well, after reading the above it’s pretty clear we can stop the search for the 15th guy on the roster, as by popular opinion and analysis we seem to already have him – Bargnani

  149. nckev

    flossy:
    The value of someone who can maintain league average efficiency with a usage in the high twenties is that their ability to score is not purely situation, and not massively dependent on assisted baskets.There are only so many open dunks/3FGA available per game; somebody has got to take the more difficult shots.

    Again, why does someone have to take more difficult shots, unless the shot clock is running out? Is that why Bargs has such high usage at average efficiency? Because he has to take tough shots to bail his team out after their offensive sets sputter and fail? If a very small percentage of his shots come with the shot clock winding down (anyone know how to find that data?) then does his high usage and average efficiency really benefit the team? If there is time left on the clock, then why not run a play to try and get that higher efficiency shot for a Chandler or Novak?

  150. er

    nckev: Again, why does someone have to take more difficult shots, unless the shot clock is running out? Is that why Bargs has such high usage at average efficiency? Because he has to take tough shots to bail his team out after their offensive sets sputter and fail? If a very small percentage of his shots come with the shot clock winding down (anyone know how to find that data?) then does his high usage and average efficiency really benefit the team? If there is time left on the clock, then why not run a play to try and get that higher efficiency shot for a Chandler or Novak?

    I think this applies more to Melo than Bargs. Many times last year the team would play hot potato for 18+ seconds and then just throw the ball to Melo. I doubt that with Bargs

  151. flossy

    nckev: If there is time left on the clock, then why not run a play to try and get that higher efficiency shot for a Chandler or Novak?

    Do you really think the Knicks don’t run plays to try to get shots for their low-usage, high-efficiency players? If all it takes is the decision on the part of an offense to run a play that creates an open dunk or three point shot, why *would* anyone attempt anything else?

    Defenses can make a conscious decision to deny those looks, that’s why. Chandler’s man can shadow him on the PnR to deny the lob. Novak’s man can refuse to help on penetration in order to stay within arm’s length of Novak.

    Those decisions, in turn, make it easier for the other 3 or 4 players on offense to get shots–for example, the open mid-range jumpers that come open for the ball-handler when opposing teams pack the lane to deny the lob pass to the dive man on the PnR.

    Now, those shots may not be as efficient as an open 3FGA or an uncontested dunk, but they are more efficient than a heavily contested shot around the basket or a 3 point shot with the defense draped all over the shooter. In order to get those nice, efficient, “ideal” attempts for the limited-but-narrowly-effective role players of the Chandler or Novak variety, other players have to be willing to take (and make) the shots the defense allows by choosing to deny the ideal attempts. That’s why our offense had real problems when Felton couldn’t hit a jump shot from 17′ to save his life. It’s not that he desperately wants to shoot from there, it’s that the defense gives him the option of taking an open shot or forcing the ball into a double-covered Chandler. Chandler won’t see single coverage until Felton can hit that shot. As a high-usage player, this is a burden that falls to you. Being able to do so at average or better efficiency is good.

  152. nckev

    flossy: Do you really think the Knicks don’t run plays to try to get shots for their low-usage, high-efficiency players?If all it takes is the decision on the part of an offense to run a play that creates an open dunk or three point shot, why *would* anyone attempt anything else?

    Defenses can make a conscious decision to deny those looks, that’s why.Chandler’s man can shadow him on the PnR to deny the lob.Novak’s man can refuse to help on penetration in order to stay within arm’s length of Novak.

    Those decisions, in turn, make it easier for the other 3 or 4 players on offense to get shots–for example, the open mid-range jumpers that come open for the ball-handler when opposing teams pack the lane to deny the lob pass to the dive man on the PnR.

    Now, those shots may not be as efficient as an open 3FGA or an uncontested dunk, but they are more efficient than a heavily contested shot around the basket or a 3 point shot with the defense draped all over the shooter.

    Right, these are better shots produced from running plays. That’s my point. Are you saying that these are the kind of shots that high usage, average efficiency players like Bargs are taking? Because if they are, then I would hope their efficiency should be higher than league average.

  153. DRed

    KnickfaninNJ: It’s true that a conventional power forward should get a lot of rebounds and Bargnani doesn’t.But most of the poster who are not anti-Bargnani, are suggesting he will play a role like a 3 on offense and only be a 4 on defense. This isn’t a conventional power forward role. His defensive rebounding stats aren’t that bad.It’s extremely unlikely Woodson will feature him in a classic PF role. So I don’t understand the relevance of your comment.

    His defensive rebounding stats are terrible. He’s consistently been one of the worst defensive rebounding bigs in the NBA.

  154. nckev

    I guess the point I’m trying to make is that a high usage, average efficiency scorer takes more bad shots when better alternatives are more than likely present. Take away the bad shots and they would be a lower usage, but more efficient scorer. How would that not be beneficial to their team? Unless they truly are taking all of their bad shots when the shot clock is running out.

  155. DRed

    Who is going to get the ball for the Bargnanis of the world if a player isn’t on the floor who can rebound? The presence of low usage, high efficiency, players who are good at rebounding free up the high usage players to take shots (often quite literally, by setting picks and whatnot).

    And the problem with Bargnani isn’t that he’s a bad rebounder. It’s that he’s basically the worst rebounder. He’s so bad at rebounding that he’d have to be really good at shooting to make up for it, and he’s not.

  156. flossy

    nckev: Right, these are better shots produced from running plays. That’s my point. Are you saying that these are the kind of shots that high usage, average efficiency players like Bargs are taking? Because if they are, then I would hope their efficiency should be higher than league average.

    Huh? An open mid-range jump shot is not high-efficiency, relative to open dunks or open 3s. It is a relatively effiecient shot, but sometimes it is the shot that is available when the “ideal” shots are taken away. Sometimes running a play doesn’t leave you with exactly the shot you want. Somebody still has to shoot, though, because the eFG% of a 24-second violation is .000.

    Players who are willing to take those (relatively) inefficient shots at as high a volume as is required, and are able to score at at least league-average efficiency despite not getting a lot of the “ideal” looks, is the oil that greases the wheels for all the nice,efficient dunks for Chandler and open 3s for Novak. Chandler doesn’t come open for dunks unless teams have to focus somewhat on stopping Felton’s inefficient (relative to Chandler’s dunks) mid-range jumpers and drives to the rim. Novak doesn’t come open for 3s without teams needing to double-team the inefficient (relative to Novak’s 3s) scoring of Carmelo Anthony.

    It’s not as simple as saying Player A should take fewer inefficient shots so that Player B can take more efficient shots. Sometimes Player B’s shots wouldn’t exist but for the willingness of Player A to take FGAs that are inefficient, at least relative to the ideal attempt for Player B. If Player A can maintain league-average efficiency, he spares Player B from having to do much besides execute ideal opportunities.

  157. flossy

    DRed: Who is going to get the ball for the Bargnanis of the world if a player isn’t on the floor who can rebound? The presence of low usage, high efficiency, players who are good at rebounding free up the high usage players to take shots (often quite literally, by setting picks and whatnot).

    Yes. Correct. This is how players with different skill sets can complement each other. I feel like we just had a breakthrough, folks!

    Tyson Chandler gets rebounds and sets picks for Melo, gaining the Knicks possessions and helping the high usage players get better looks. Melo takes the lion’s share of the offensive burden, to spare Chandler from having to ever dribble, attempt a hook shot, or a jump shot, or really anything other than 3-4 dunks every night.

    These player roles have a symbiotic relationship. Just as you can’t have a team full of Carmelo Anthonys, you likewise cannot have a team full of Tyson Chandlers. Andrea Bargnani is not as good as Carmelo Anthony, obviously, but he functions the same way within the team ecosystem. Obviously, he is an inferior version, but that’s what you get in exchange for Steve Novak, Camby’s contract and a pick in 3 years.

  158. DRed

    I get what you’re saying about his role in the ecosystem, but what you don’t seem to get is how useless he is at everything but scoring, and when you realize he’s not even that good at scoring, you’ve got yourself a very bad basketball player. Very bad basketball players don’t fit well into any ecosystem. It’s like the Knicks decided our problem last season was that we needed another shot creator and decided to solve it by getting the worst one they could find. Hey, we’ve got a shot creator-he’s not really that good at creating shots, and he’s terrible at everything else, so that will make the team better.

  159. flossy

    No. He is, actually, a pretty good offensive player. Average or better efficiency on very high usage with a high minutes load = good offensive player. It also augers well for improved efficiency in a reduced role. You’re acting like we’re starting out on the negative side of the ledger, offense considered, and going deeper into the red when rebounding and defense are factored in. That is plainly untrue. He is a good (not GREAT, those are not available in the bargain bin) offensive player who has been anything from a moderate net positive to moderate net negative when his total contributions are factored in.

  160. ruruland

    DRed:
    I get what you’re saying about his role in the ecosystem, but what you don’t seem to get is how useless he is at everything but scoring, and when you realize he’s not even that good at scoring, you’ve got yourself a very bad basketball player.Very bad basketball players don’t fit well into any ecosystem.It’s like the Knicks decided our problem last season was that we needed another shot creator and decided to solve it by getting the worst one they could find.Hey, we’ve got a shot creator-he’s not really that good at creating shots, and he’s terrible at everything else, so that will make the team better.

    It’s really hard to move any argument anywhere when one side repeats itself every post.

    That’s not even a criticism, its a perfectly obvious observation. And it’s not even as though DRed is subtly changing the way he says things.

    Not sure why were still speaking in generalities when I’ve shown that AB is a prolific stretch 4 shooter over the last 4 years, and has a shooting and finishing profile very similar to Ryan Anderson.

    AB takes a lot more midrange shots,which accounts for much of his higher usage.

    Its unlikely AB will be asked or in position to take the same kinds of shots in the Knicks different ecosystems.

    Thirdly, its not true that AB is horrible in every other aspect of the game. AGAIN, he’s a good individual defender and also bodies his man up after shots are up.

  161. DRed

    flossy:
    No.He is, actually, a pretty good offensive player.Average or better efficiency on very high usage with a high minutes load = good offensive player.It also augers well for improved efficiency in a reduced role.You’re acting like we’re starting out on the negative side of the ledger, offense considered, and going deeper into the red when rebounding and defense are factored in.That is plainly untrue.He is a good (not GREAT, those are not available in the bargain bin) offensive player who has been anything from a moderate net positive to moderate net negative when his total contributions are factored in.

    How do you know he’s been a moderate positive to moderate net negative when his total contributions are factored in?

  162. DRed

    ruruland: It’s really hard to move any argument anywhere when one side repeats itself every post.

    That’s not even a criticism, its a perfectly obvious observation. And it’s not even as though DRed is subtly changing the way he says things.

    Not sure why were still speaking in generalities when I’ve shown that AB is a prolific stretch 4 shooter over the last 4 years, and has a shooting and finishing profile very similar to Ryan Anderson.

    AB takes a lot more midrange shots,which accounts for much of his higher usage.

    Its unlikely AB will be asked or in position to take the same kinds of shots in the Knicks different ecosystems.

    Thirdly, its not true that AB is horrible in every other aspect of the game. AGAIN, he’s a good individual defender and also bodies his man up after shots are up.

    All the man bodying in the world doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if it doesn’t lead to someone getting more rebounds. Bargnani is an exceptionally terrible rebounder, despite putting his body on his man, and his teams generally rebound better when he’s got his long body pressing body sitting on the bench.

  163. bidiong

    Novak didn’t rebound either though. I don’t get why we’re hating on his rescinding skill when that’s not the skill he’s replacing. His job is to be Novak except be able to make the defender honor his ability to score other than being perfectly fed at the three point where he is being hedged. That’s it in a nutshell. You can’t just hedge on him being set up for three so the defense will be forced to play differently.

  164. dtrickey

    Twitter (and by extension ESPN) is reporting that Barron (Earl) is potentially coming back. Knicks need to just pull the trigger and he’ll be happy to sign for vet-minimum. He’s saying that he won’t listen to other offers until he knows the Knicks intentions.

    I would like to see him back to nicely round off the roster. Given the scorers in the 2nd unit all we need him to do is grabs some boards and bang around in the paint. I don’t believe he is that much of an offensive liability either like a few bigs stil on the market, although I’m not up on his offensive numbers.

  165. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ruruland: It’s really hard to move any argument anywhere when one side repeats itself every post.

    The arguments from the flossy/ruruland side seem to be, “The stats lie about Bargnani,” and I see no claims but broad generalizations about play-style and assertions that he takes a lot of late shot-clock shots.

    Talking about a 54% TS like it’s contributing to a team winning games is pretty silly. At any usage.

    At 100% usage, 54% is just about league average. Why would we praise a player for being perfectly average? Why do we assume that it’s hard for a 7’0″ player to get his shot off, especially when so many of them are not hard-fought post shots?

  166. Brian Cronin

    Well, this is technically not true. GG could have offered the entire MMLE to Cope right from the get-go, which he almost certainly would have taken (I heard Cope interviewed right after he signed with the Pacers and he essentially admitted that) and THEN used Novak/Camby/draft pick combo to get another backup PG or C.

    Presuming that Grunwald knew for sure that the MMLE would get it done (which I don’t think is a gimme when Cope ended up signing for more than the MMLE, but I’ll give it to you), it still wasn’t a matter of choosing Bargs over Cope. It was a matter of choosing Prigs over Cope. Grunwald clearly decided “If I can only keep one of Prigs or Cope, I’m keeping Prigs.” And he likely made the right call.

    But if either Prigs or Cope had second year options on their deals (which we know Grunwald tried to get with Prigs but Prigs wouldn’t accept and with Cope I think it was reasonable not to get a second year option since there was a very decent chance at the beginning of the season that Cope might be cut and if he was cut, then the second year becomes guaranteed automatically, so you should never give second year options to players you aren’t sure if they’ll make it through the season) then I don’t think Bargs is on the team right now.

    So I don’t think it was ever a “Bargs over Cope” choice by Grunwald, just that Bargs joined the team as a result of the actual “Prigs over Cope” choice by Grunwald.

  167. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Also, let’s not forget that the G in Bargnani is silent, and the word “Bargs” is one of the ugliest in the English language. Can we call him Andrea?

  168. Jack Bauer

    Bargs > Novak (very one dimensional, his defense and rebounding is nothing to brag about either ) + Camby ( didn’t play)

    The 1st round pick remains to be determined how valuable it ends up being (Denver has the right to switch places). I’m betting GG is right and it + the 2nd rounders isn’t a game changer vs. AB’s contributions for the next 2 years. Worst case his contract is gone by then. Despite all the negativity and stats quoted above it should turn out to be a good move.

  169. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: ©

    His Hoop Data and Synergy profile show him to be very good the last 4 years in certain ways.

    The Knicks may have the right usage environment for AB where he gets more good shots and less difficult,mid-range, low efficiency shots.

  170. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    * at 100% usage, 54% TS is a league-average offense

    Yes, but its more difficult to have league average efficiency the further away from league average usage you have.

    If you simply told AB to take half as many midrange shots a game, his usage would go down to league average and his efficiency would go above.

    The Knicks won’t need to explicitly tell AB that, but they will put him in positions, around really good spot-up creators like Melo, where he can cut down on self-created mid range shots and increase his spot-ups and off- ball shots.

    Understanding shot distribution is the key to understanding efficiency. Not every player can change his shot distribution, either because of a lack of skills/talent, or because of environment or “ecosystem.”

    Melo is one of the players one the league who can help redistribute more open spot-up shots for good spot-up shooters.

  171. iserp

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: At 100% usage, 54% is just about league average. Why would we praise a player for being perfectly average? Why do we assume that it’s hard for a 7’0? player to get his shot off, especially when so many of them are not hard-fought post shots?

    At 100% usage and average efficiency, AB would be the most amazing player ever. Your team would be at least 15th in offense, and you could choose 4 players to make it the most incredible defensive team ever (even with AB); kinda like Iverson 76ers around 2001.

  172. flossy

    iserp: At 100% usage and average efficiency, AB would be the most amazing player ever. Your team would be at least 15th in offense, and you could choose 4 players to make it the most incredible defensive team ever (even with AB); kinda like Iverson 76ers around 2001.

    Exactly. It’s so tiring hearing the Berri disciples say “I’m not hearing any arguments other than ‘the stats lie’” while willfully ignoring the the context for the efficiency numbers they seem to take as the only measure of offensive production.

    TS% can’t be read in isolation. You have to consider usage rate and real minutes load. Average efficiency on high usage is much more valuable than average efficiency on average usage. I’d even say that average efficiency on high usage with high MP can be more valuable to a team than high efficiency/high usage if its coming from someone like Copeland who played about 15 mpg in a very random sampling of only 800 career minutes total.

    It really baffles me that the Berri crew, as DRed did, could actually concede that high usage/avg efficiency scorers allow teams to give more minutes to the low usage possession creators he and jowles fetishize, and in the same breath claim that Bargnani is anywhere from terrible to the worst ever because he’s not a possession creator himself. As if we’d be better off trotting out five guys with .600 TS and 13% usage each. As if possession usage isn’t a NEED just as possession creation is, and that in that respect, Bargnani isn’t plainly an above average player.

  173. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: It’s so tiring hearing the Berri disciples

    I’m not going to respond to this, but you need to put a check on your tone there, buddy.

  174. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ruruland: The Knicks won’t need to explicitly tell AB that, but they will put him in positions, around really good spot-up creators like Melo, where he can cut down on self-created mid range shots and increase his spot-ups and off- ball shots.

    What will your explanation be if he doesn’t improve his shooting efficiency?

  175. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I’m not going to respond to this, but you need to put a check on your tone there, buddy.

    lol if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, i’m not sure what is.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: What will your explanation be if he doesn’t improve his shooting efficiency?

    and what will be your explanation if he does? blame it on outliers like you usually do?

    Truth is – there are TONS of examples of players whose efficiency changes either based on usage, shot patterns, or change of scenery. Just off the top of my head:

    David Lee
    Year / Team / TS% / Usage
    2007 / NYK / 65.2 / 14.9
    2008 / NYK / 60.6 / 15.6
    2009 / NYK / 59 / 19.2
    2010 / NYK / 58.4 / 23.8
    2011 / GSW / 54.9 / 21.2
    2012 / GSW / 54.9 / 26
    2013 / GSW / 56.1 / 23.2

    Shockingly, a super-high-efficient scorer suddenly became a tick above league average when his usage increased and his offensive system changed.

    Paul Pierce’s usage went down and his efficiency increased when Garnett/Allen showed up. Amare’s efficiency tanked when he left PHX and joined us, then went up in 12-13 when he basically completely reinvented his offensive game (ie. cut down on self-created midrange shots and basically took all his shots in the paint or at the rim). Ryan Anderson went from one of the most efficient/high usage stretch 4′s to basically just above league average after he left SVG and Dwight and joined a crappy team in NO. And I could go on and on.

    Sure, some guys stay the same no matter what they do. But some guys don’t – and the list of those guys is not short.

  176. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: It really baffles me that the Berri crew, as DRed did, could actually concede that high usage/avg efficiency scorers allow teams to give more minutes to the low usage possession creators he and jowles fetishize, and in the same breath claim that Bargnani is anywhere from terrible to the worst ever because he’s not a possession creator himself.

    It is exceedingly rare to see a PF at any usage with such horrid statistics elsewhere.

  177. Nick C.

    Frank: lol if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, i’m not sure what is.

    and what will be your explanation if he does? blame it on outliers like you usually do?

    Truth is – there are TONS of examples of players whose efficiency changes either based on usage, shot patterns, or change of scenery. Just off the top of my head:

    David Lee
    Year/Team /TS%/ Usage
    2007 / NYK / 65.2 / 14.9
    2008 / NYK / 60.6 / 15.6
    2009 / NYK / 59 / 19.2
    2010 / NYK / 58.4 / 23.8
    2011 / GSW / 54.9 / 21.2
    2012 / GSW / 54.9 / 26
    2013 / GSW / 56.1 / 23.2

    Shockingly, a super-high-efficient scorer suddenly became a tick above league average when his usage increased and his offensive system changed.

    Paul Pierce’s usage went down and his efficiency increased when Garnett/Allen showed up.Amare’s efficiency tanked when he left PHX and joined us, then went up in 12-13 when he basically completely reinvented his offensive game (ie. cut down on self-created midrange shots and basically took all his shots in the paint or at the rim).Ryan Anderson went from one of the most efficient/high usage stretch 4?s to basically just above league average after he left SVG and Dwight and joined a crappy team in NO. And I could go on and on.

    Sure, some guys stay the same no matter what they do. But some guys don’t –and the list of those guys is not short.

    I don’t know that today is the day to be “mocking” Ryan Anderson.

  178. Z-man

    Brian,
    I agree that it was Prigs vs Cope, but in making that choice it was decided that a backup PG of Prigs caliber at half the MMLE was preferable to a backup stretch 4 at the full MMLE. So indirectly, GG chose whoever assumed Cope’s role over Cope. He may or may not have been aware that Bargnani was available at that time. I doubt that he that Novak was the guy to fill that void. So its possible that we are both correct.

  179. Frank

    Nick C.:
      

    oh geez, I didn’t even realize that had happened. Not that I was mocking him anyway (just stating facts), but that’s really an awful story.

  180. Z-man

    While I am hardly a Berri fan, I would have to say that a 54 TS at high usage is in and of itself useless. Imagine Novak at a 54 TS and high usage. He would go 8 or 9 per 25 from 3 on a typical night and do nothing else, plus be a massive liability on the other end. That’s not an NBA player.
    So my argument is that Bargnani will do enough other things to make him an above average NBA player, even at a TS of 54 at a relatively high usage. If he doesn’t, then I would have to side with THCJ. I just don’t agree that its all about rebounding.

    Flossy and ruru, would you concede that Novak at a high usage TS of 54 is useless?

  181. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: I just don’t agree that its all about rebounding.

    It’s not all about rebounding, but I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask your PF to be a good rebounder. At least average! If you have Dennis Rodman as your starting PF, sure, it’d be okay to have Brook Lopez as your starting C, from a diminishing returns point of view (and WP48 is totally upfront that diminishing returns are a reality in the NBA).

  182. KnickfaninNJ

    DRed: His defensive rebounding stats are terrible.He’s consistently been one of the worst defensive rebounding bigs in the NBA.

    I couldn’t find a place that had the average DR% for a power forward so I compared him to Kenyon Martin, whom everyone here seems to agree is a good rebounder and power forward. KMart has a ORB% of 6.5 and DRB% of 19.1%. AB has an ORB% of 3.6% and a DRB% of 15.2. So on the offense he gets half as many rebounds as KMart, probably because he tends to play away from the basket. On defense he get 80% as many rebounds as Kmart. Of course, that number is not great, but I don’t think that’s terrible, especially since Kmart was once an all star player. AB scored 3 points more per 36 minutes which more than makes up for the 1 defensive rebound less per 36 minutes that he gets. Clearly on offense you want someone else doing the rebounding. But I stand by my statement that he’s not terrible at defensive rebounding.

    Stats are from Basketball-reference.com and are career averages

  183. flossy

    Z-man:
    While I am hardly a Berri fan, I would have to say that a 54 TS at high usage is in and of itself useless. Imagine Novak at a 54 TS and high usage. He would go 8 or 9 per 25 from 3 on a typical night and do nothing else, plus be a massive liability on the other end. That’s not an NBA player.
    So my argument is that Bargnani will do enough other things to make him an above average NBA player, even at a TS of 54 at a relatively high usage. If he doesn’t, then I would have to side with THCJ. I just don’t agree that its all about rebounding.

    Flossy and ruru, would you concede that Novak at a high usage TS of 54 is useless?

    I would argue that Steve Novak is so one-dimensional an offensive player that he literally could not get his usage into the high 20s and still remain employed by any professional team, much less maintain at least .540 TS%. Novak only takes one kind of shot, the open spot-up 3, and there are only so many of those any player can see per 36 minutes. If he were to double his shooting volume he’d have to either (gasp!) dribble the ball or start launching from 35′ out. Novak, in other words, is only efficient because he is low-usage, and he can only be low-usage because there are other players on his team who can make up for it by being very high usage at at least league-average efficiency.

  184. johnno

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: If you have Dennis Rodman as your starting PF, sure, it’d be okay to have Brook Lopez as your starting C,

    If you have Rodman as your starting PF, you darned well better be getting offense from somewhere else on the floor because you sure as hell won’t be getting it from the PF position…

  185. Keniman Shumpwalker

    KnickfaninNJ: I couldn’t find a place that had the average DR% for a power forward so I compared him to Kenyon Martin, whom everyone here seems to agree is a good rebounder and power forward.KMart has a ORB% of 6.5 and DRB% of 19.1%. AB has an ORB% of 3.6% and a DRB% of 15.2.So on the offense he gets half as many rebounds as KMart, probably because he tends to play away from the basket.On defense he get 80% as many rebounds as Kmart.Of course, that number is not great, but I don’t think that’s terrible, especially since Kmart was once an all star player. AB scored 3 points more per 36 minutes which more than makes up for the 1 defensive rebound less per 36 minutes that he gets.Clearly on offense you want someone else doing the rebounding.But I stand by my statement that he’s not terrible at defensive rebounding.

    Stats are from Basketball-reference.com and are career averages

    Per Hoopdata: last season, for PF averaging more than 20mpg, the average DRR was 19.2. Bargnani was at 13.2. Now, granted, that’s an injury plagued year and, as many have argued, he’s not REALLY a PF in the traditional sense. So if you take the same criteria but adjust for SF (15.8 AVG DRR), a closer approximation of Bargnani’s role, he was still below average last year. Granted, he was battling through injury but even if you take his career DRR, he’s a terrible rebounder for a PF and an average-to-below-average rebounder for a SF.

  186. KnickfaninNJ

    Keniman,

    Many thanks for the statistics. I would have to say they support DRed and you more than me. I am willing to ignore last season because we clearly traded with the idea that season was bad due to injury. But I would think that even if he’s mostly a SF he will be a PF on defense. So career defensive rebounding that’s much less than that of an average PF is bad. But I am a little surprised that by this yardstick Martin is also a below average defensive rebounder. I wouldn’t have expected that.

  187. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Keniman Shumpwalker: Per Hoopdata: last season, for PF averaging more than 20mpg, the average DRR was 19.2. Bargnani was at 13.2. Now, granted, that’s an injury plagued year and, as many have argued, he’s not REALLY a PF in the traditional sense. So if you take the same criteria but adjust for SF (15.8 AVG DRR), a closer approximation of Bargnani’s role, he was still below average last year. Granted, he was battling through injury but even if you take his career DRR, he’s a terrible rebounder for a PF and an average-to-below-average rebounder for a SF.

    I think it’s easy to see these numbers and not totally understand the significance of the difference between them. I don’t profess to have a perfect or even excellent understanding of them, but I think it’s easy to see “19 vs. 13 TRB” and say, “Oh, that’s not a big deal,” or “56 vs. 59 eFG%” and say the same thing.

    The analogy is crude, but here’s my take: the difference between having 19 or 13 dollars in your pocket is (usually) not a big deal. The difference between waiting 13 or 19 minutes for a train is (usually) not a big deal. The difference between a player who grabs 13 rebounds and a player who grabs 19 rebounds per 48 minutes is absolutely huge. If a team has a perfect distribution of 20-20-20-20-20 USG% from its five positions, each of those players missing only one additional two-pointers per game is a difference of ten points per game, which is the difference between a high-lottery team and a home-court-advantage-in-playoffs team.

    The argument for Bargnani MUST be that his rebounding is off-set by other elements of his game, or by the contributions of his teammates in his place. This, to me, is one of the most dangerous arguments regarding “fit” for a team to have. Bargnani’s terrible at a fundamental aspect of the game? Eh, it’s only 6 percentage points. How large could that…

  188. nckev

    I just crunched some numbers on usage vs efficiency for Novak. I took Novak’s career numbers and adjusted them based on minutes to match Bargs career numbers. Over an 81 game season, to match Bargs’ usage, Novak would have to have 592 extra “events” (for usage an event is a FGA, 0.44*FTA or a TOV). To be generous to Flossy’s argument, let’s say with increased usage Novak does not get to the line at a higher rate, and generous to me and say he doesn’t turn the ball over at a higher rate. He just jacks up more shots and all of those extra events come from FGAs. To have a TS% of 53.0% (Bargs’ career avg) at this new higher usage, Novak would have to score 570 points on those 592.3 extra shots. That’s 0.96 PPS. Look at the regular season last year, and you’ll see that of all qualified players poor Michael Beasley was the worst in the NBA with 0.99 points per shot link

    So, Novak could score at league worst efficiency on his extra shots and still match Bargs’ TS% at the same usage. That would make him better?

  189. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: The analogy is crude, but here’s my take: the difference between having 19 or 13 dollars in your pocket is (usually) not a big deal. The difference between waiting 13 or 19 minutes for a train is (usually) not a big deal. The difference between a player who grabs 13 rebounds and a player who grabs 19 rebounds per 48 minutes is absolutely huge.

    Right – except that the difference between someone who grabs rebounds at 19% TRB and 13% TRB is not necessarily 6% of available rebounds lost — because not all rebounds Bargnani doesn’t get will be lost to the other team – other guys pick it up sometimes. Like when Melo’s rebounding was off the charts when all our centers/PFs (Tyson/KMart/Rasheed/Camby) got hurt and he was starting next to Cope in the frontcourt. His rebounding percentages were off the charts when he became the main rebounder – ORB% of 13.2, DRB% 25.8, TRB of 19.4 — as compared with his reb% when he played next to a good rebounder in Tyson Chandler — (ORB% 4.3, DRB 15.4, TRB 9.6).

  190. Keniman Shumpwalker

    @208…
    I think it’s a HUGE difference, as you said, and while I am fully aware that traditional positional definitions have become more nebulous in the modern NBA, some basic facts haven’t changed. One of these facts is that, generally speaking, you really want your biggest guys to also be adept at rebounding the ball. That’s not to say that those rebounds can’t be found elsewhere, they clearly can, but they still have to be found somewhere if you want to consistently win the possession battle (obviously protecting the ball and forcing TOs is a big part of this as well and something we were excellent at last season).
    What worries me now is that, if you go through our roster, we only have two people with above average DRR from last season: Tyson and JR. Everybody else, for their position, was either average or below…or WAAAAY below, in the case of Bargnani. And this is with Hoopdata considering Melo a 3. At the 4, it’s even worse. So if Bargnani continues to be the kind of rebounder he’s been throughout his career with no significant uptick in offensive efficiency, then yeah, his minutes will be a net negative.
    That said, I lean towards the glass-is-half full crowd in regards to increased efficiency for Bargnani with a change in role and a decrease in USG%. I’m not sure whether or not that uptick can compensate for the possession disadvantage but it’s possible. If he eliminated 1 or 2 inefficient FGAs a game…

  191. Nick C.

    Yeah but Bargs is playing a position where he is expected to be a main rebounder. Melos #s went up when he was supposed to be one. To some extent it’s like a PG who can’t bring the ball up the court. Sure someone else can do it but, like the receptionist and answering the phone, it falls under your job description.

    Frank: Right – except that the difference between someone who grabs rebounds at 19% TRB and 13% TRB is not necessarily 6% of available rebounds lost — because not all rebounds Bargnani doesn’t get will be lost to the other team – other guys pick it up sometimes.Like when Melo’s rebounding was off the charts when all our centers/PFs (Tyson/KMart/Rasheed/Camby) got hurt and he was starting next to Cope in the frontcourt. His rebounding percentages were off the charts when he became the main rebounder – ORB% of 13.2, DRB% 25.8, TRB of 19.4 — as compared with his reb% when he played next to a good rebounder in Tyson Chandler — (ORB% 4.3, DRB 15.4, TRB 9.6).

  192. Frank

    Nick C.:
    Yeah but Bargs is playing a position where he is expected to be a main rebounder. Melos #s went up when he was supposed to be one. To some extent it’s like a PG who can’t bring the ball up the court. Sure someone else can do it but, like the receptionist and answering the phone, it falls under your job description.

    so actually Bargnani and Melo play the same position – PF.

  193. DRed

    Right. Just by being a reasonably tall, athletic person, you should get a number of rebounds just by playing the position of center or power forward. Somehow, Bargnani, despite being 7′ tall and extremely athletic for such a tall man, fails to get those rebounds. He’s a uniquely bad rebounder.

  194. flossy

    nckev:
    I just crunched some numbers on usage vs efficiency for Novak. I took Novak’s career numbers and adjusted them based on minutes to match Bargs career numbers. Over an 81 game season, to match Bargs’ usage, Novak would have to have 592 extra “events” (for usage an event is a FGA, 0.44*FTA or a TOV). To be generous to Flossy’s argument, let’s say with increased usage Novak does not get to the line at a higher rate, and generous to me and say he doesn’t turn the ball over at a higher rate. He just jacks up more shots and all of those extra events come from FGAs. To have a TS% of 53.0% (Bargs’ career avg) at this new higher usage, Novak would have to score 570 points on those 592.3 extra shots. That’s 0.96 PPS. Look at the regular season last year, and you’ll see that of all qualified players poor Michael Beasley was the worst in the NBA with 0.99 points per shot link

    So, Novak could score at league worst efficiency on his extra shots and still match Bargs’ TS% at the same usage. That would make him better?

    Okay so why doesn’t he do it? Seriously? He could make $11 million dollars per season. Why doesn’t Novak just double his shooting volume, since apparently he could barely have a pulse while taking all those extra shots and still equal Bargnani’s league-average scoring efficiency?

  195. Nick C.

    Frank: so actually Bargnani and Melo play the same position – PF.

    I don’t get it. You reference Melo’a #s going up when the primary rebounder was out. Did Melo really play/guard PFs exclusively or even primarily? I seem to recall reading here that Ronnie Brewer had positionally high reebound #s because he played PF role.

  196. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: Okay so why doesn’t he do it?Seriously?He could make $11 million dollars per season.Why doesn’t Novak just double his shooting volume, since apparently he could barely have a pulse while taking all those extra shots and still equal Bargnani’s league-average scoring efficiency?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq6Lp3FWjP0

    Because these are considered to be better events.

  197. nckev

    flossy: Okay so why doesn’t he do it?Seriously?He could make $11 million dollars per season.Why doesn’t Novak just double his shooting volume, since apparently he could barely have a pulse while taking all those extra shots and still equal Bargnani’s league-average scoring efficiency?

    That’s a good question, any answer would just be speculation, but that has never stopped me. My guess would be that a guy like Novak (nonathletic, 2nd round pick) would be ostracized by his coaches and teammates for jacking up ugly shots, while a #1 overall pick like Bargs gets the green light to shoot because he has “potential”.

  198. Frank

    Nick C.: I don’t get it. You reference Melo’a #s going up when the primary rebounder was out. Did Melo really play/guardPFs exclusively or even primarily? I seem to recall reading here that Ronnie Brewer had positionally high reebound #s because he played PF role.

    Who else would be playing and guarding PFs in a starting lineup of Felton, Prigs/Kidd, Shump, Melo, and Chandler?

  199. flossy

    nckev: That’s a good question, any answer would just be speculation, but that has never stopped me. My guess would be that a guy like Novak (nonathletic, 2nd round pick) would be ostracized by his coaches and teammates for jacking up ugly shots, while a #1 overall pick like Bargs gets the green light to shoot because he has “potential”.

    Oh, please. Why speculate when the answer is obvious? Steve Novak is so un-athletic and untalented at everything except taking wide-open three point shots that he’d make Mike Beasley look like Kevin Durant if he tried to match Andrea Bargnani’s usage. There’s a reason he’s never once gotten up to even average usage over almost a decade in the league while playing for what, five different teams? I’m not even going to look up how many teams, that’s how ridiculous this line of reasoning is.

  200. KnickfaninNJ

    Nckev I think you stated that you would keep turnover events the same percentage of his total events but maybe your math didn’t reflect that assumption.

  201. Nick C.

    Frank: Who else would be playing and guarding PFs in a starting lineup of Felton, Prigs/Kidd, Shump, Melo, and Chandler?

    You got me there. Really until they play we might as well be arguing vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

  202. nckev

    KnickfaninNJ:
    Nckev I think you stated that you would keep turnover events the same percentage of his total events but maybe your math didn’t reflect that assumption.

    By rate, I meant per minute. I did the same with free throws. I’m willing to bet the added free throws would more than make up for the added turnovers. I’ll try to calculate that later if I have time.

  203. nckev

    By “that” I mean holding per possession rates constant, rather than per minute for turnovers and free throws.

  204. max fisher-cohen

    @flossy

    First, unlike Shumpert, Novak takes contested three pointers. What Novak can’t do is put the ball on the floor. IMO in nckev’s example, Novak WOULD shoot badly enough to end up less efficient than Bargnani were he to pump his usage up to be his equal.

    Instead, he can pass to a guy who is capable of eating up possessions at somewhere near the league average. For NY, that guy is Carmelo. What would hte cost to the offense be if it was instead a much cheaper player like Nate Robinson or… Copeland? How many extra quality shots does Anthony’s scoring style get guys compared to a team with a less offense oriented team?

    Here’s how I see it:

    1) Basketball is a game of interdependencies. Yes, Novak needs a scorer to play off of, but Anthony also needs strong outside shooters in order to remain decently efficient.

    2) Just as role players often lose value when asked to become offensive centerpieces, big scorers often lose value when asked to become role players. Wade’s TS% with Lebron, for example is 57.2%. It was 57% in the 3 years before Lebron arrived. Bosh’s TS% dropped 1% despite massively lower usage.

    3) The term role player is badly misused. Anyone who scores less than about 15 PPG is labeled a “role player”, implying that somehow there is a multi-faceted quality to scoring a lot of points whereas all other skills are “simple.”

    4) We make the same criticisms of overarching metrics over and over, all of which basically add up to the statement, “these metrics can be gamed.” It’s not just “role players” who do the gaming though. Each of the following teams at least sustained their win% after losing a volume scorer: Denver & Anthony, Philly & Iverson, Orlando and McGrady, Stackhouse & Detroit, Washington & Arenas (when he got hurt), Milwaukee and Glenn Robinson.

  205. ruruland

    Bosh and Wade have higher efficiency with Lebron than they had prior, despite neither possessing a 3-pt shoot, which is the primary way to boost efficiency off the ball.
    So, wrong there.
    Also, both players are on the wrong part of the age/minutes curve, which has been one of your points of emphasis.
    Most high usage players who are immersed in lower usage environments see an increase in efficiency. The studies on this have been posted here many times. Dean Oliver’s skill curve shows that as well.
    I’ve posted a long list of players who were formerly high usage, who were on the wrong side of the age/minutes curve, who posted higher than career efficiency with lower usage.

    Famously, KG, Pierce, and Allen each set their career best in scoring efficiency together, well beyond their “primes”, each on reduced usage.

    There are a ton of issues with your volume scoring post. Many of those were trades were the other team received a lot of value and there many other factors that you neglected to mention. Oliver wrote about it when he first arrived at ESPN.

    The Knicks went 7-0 with Kenyon Martin replacing Tyson Chandler in the lineup, does that mean basically anyone could replicate Chandler’s efficiency/rebounding/WOW likeability?

    This is turning into another usage/efficiency/skills curve debate.

    You really think Melo, Copeland and Robinson are basically equal offensively based on each being somewhat equal in efficiency?

    Is there really any difference between high-20s usage and mid-30s usage?

    What do we do with turnovers?

    What comes first, the open shot, or the ability to create it?

    Melo had the highest scoring efficiency season of his career without another good 3-pt shooter in the starting lineup.

  206. ruruland

    Robinson: 54 TS, 12.6 to %, 25 usage

    Melo: 56 TS, 9.3 to %, 35.6 usage

    K-Mart: 583 TS, 13 RR, 3.4 blck rate
    Favors: 18 RR, 5.7 blck rate, 533 TS (with 8 percent higher usage than Chandler)
    Tyson Chandler: 19 RR, 671 TS, 3.0 blck %

    What’s the big difference when Martin and Favors are basically finishing at the exact same rates as Chandler at the rim, the difference being both guys taking more than JUST dunks?

  207. max fisher-cohen

    ruru: “Most high usage players who are immersed in lower usage environments see an increase in efficiency. The studies on this have been posted here many times. Dean Oliver’s skill curve shows that as well.”

    I didn’t say all volume scorers didn’t become more efficient, just that the increases in efficiency aren’t enough to make up for the diminished shot creation, so their overall value declines. Why pay Chris Bosh $17m to do what Paul Millsap could do for $9m, while also rebounding a lot better?

    As far as Bargnani goes, none of this really relates to the arguments many have made, which are that he has been miscast as a volume scorer just as Novak would be miscast as a volume scorer. That doesn’t mean I like Bargnani or think he’ll succeed, but hey…

    As far as Chandler goes, I’m not THCJ. I think he’s an example of a role player who games some advanced stats just as I feel there are volume scorers who game our perception of their value by putting up outwardly gaudy numbers and making spectacular shots while failing their teams in less remarkable but equally important aspects of the game.

  208. DRed

    ruruland:
    Robinson: 54 TS, 12.6 to %, 25 usage

    Melo: 56 TS, 9.3 to %, 35.6 usage

    K-Mart: 583 TS, 13 RR, 3.4 blck rate
    Favors: 18 RR, 5.7 blck rate, 533 TS (with 8 percent higher usage than Chandler)
    Tyson Chandler: 19 RR, 671 TS, 3.0 blck %

    What’s the big difference when Martin and Favors are basically finishing at the exact same rates as Chandler at the rim, the difference being both guys taking more than JUST dunks?

    http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Derrick%20Favors

    I’m pretty sure this means that Favors, at least, should stop taking shots unless they’re at the rim, because he’s terrible at it.

  209. Nick C.

    Ruru I think you have your #s wrong. Bosh in his last 5 years with Toronto had .582 TSP on 27.0 usage and with Miami is .571 on 23.4 usage. Wade was .568 on 33.7 usage in the 5 years pre-LeBron he went up to .572 (still .57 for you two digit fans) on 30.8 usage. It’s OK to concede someone was right about something, even though is is the internet. Your point may be correct but when the first thing you say is to call someone out as being wrong when he is not well it undercuts credibility.

  210. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Nick C.:
    Ruru I think you have your #s wrong. Bosh in his last 5 years with Toronto had .582 TSP on 27.0 usage and with Miami is .571 on 23.4 usage. Wade was .568 on 33.7 usage in the 5 years pre-LeBron he went up to .572 (still .57 for you two digit fans) on 30.8 usage. It’s OK to concede someone was right about something, even though is is the internet. Your point may be correct but when the first thing you say is to call someone out as being wrong when he is not well it undercuts credibility.

    One thing I do not trust is an individual’s ability to separate, via observation, all of the intangible factors or causal agents that can lead to increases and decreases in efficiency. Perhaps it is Wade’s age that has allowed him to stay at .568, when without LeBron he might be down in the Andrea Bargnani range of efficiency. All of this is idle speculation, though, just like speculating as to how Bargnani is great at boxing out but can never seem to get the rebounds that other players who box out do get.

  211. Hubert

    Does synergy track a teams’ DRB% when a certain player is on the court? I don’t see it on Basketball Reference or Hoopdata. If a guy is good at boxing out and helping others get rebounds (and I’m optimistic about Bargnani but I highly doubt that is true) it would show up in that statistic.

    Toronto’s overall DRB% is all over the map year to year, as is AB’s minutes played, so it’s hard to tell from that.

  212. Nick C.

    Frank:
    btw here’s a very interesting article about rebounding and Brook Lopez. Rebounding (and scoring, and pretty much anything in a 10 player dynamic sport) is more complex than it appears.

    http://hoopchalk.com/2013/04/16/why-cant-brook-lopez-rebound-he-boxes-out-too-much/

    I like the designated garbage rebound man title. Isn’t that something that had been suggested here with reference to David Lee?
    As for Lopez it did seem curious that, or patently obvious why, his rebounding, which was decent his first few years, nosedived when Humphries joined the team.

  213. massive

    The reason Bargs sucks at rebounding is because he lets the ball come to him instead of going to get it. Rebounding is notoriously about who wants it more, and he clearly doesn’t want to rebound. That and he has poor rebounding form from what I’ve seen. It’s like he rebounds in self defense because the ball was getting too cloe to his face. I wish I could make this stuff up, but that’s why I think he’s a 3 for us. I’m just hoping his rebounding can be covered up by a significant increase in his TS% and that his per 36 boards won’t be as bad for a 3 in terms of positional adjustment.

    This is all to say that I don’t know Bargs to be a good box-out guy. I mean it’s certainly feasible that a 7 footer would be able to keep other guys off the boards by standing there, but I can’t say he’s good at that aspect of the game. He looks extremely awkward as a rebounder.

  214. flossy

    The only relevant question about Bargnani’s rebounding and defense is “is he better at rebounding and defense than the player(s) he’ll replace, Steve Novak and Chris Copeland?”

    I think the answer is pretty obviously yes.

    Then it becomes a matter of whether his offense–historically high usage, average efficiency in high minutes with high versatility–can capably present an improvement on the contributions of Novak (high efficiency, miniscule usage, no versatility, small minutes load) and/or Copeland (high usage/high efficiency and seemingly versatile, but with a minutes load so tiny and random that it’s in adequate as a sample size).

    As I’ve shown before, a belief that Copeland could maintain his pts/36, usage and TS% while taking on the kind of average minutes load Bargnani has had over his career, is to assert that he is a top-15 offensive player in the NBA. That just doesn’t pass the laugh test. Much more likely is that if Copeland was a 30mpg rotation player he’d see a dramatic decrease in either usage and scoring rate, or efficiency.

    So in Bargnani, we have someone who is already a better rebounder/defender than the players he replaced and has the potential to either become much more efficient in a narrower or less-featured role in the offense (a la Novak) or at the very least can plausibly remain a high-usage volume scorer of average or better efficiency (probably the absolute best case scenario for the unproven Copeland had he been given Bargnani’s role on the Raptors).

    Anyway, the latter quality should not be overlooked on a team where Amar’e as the secondary high-usage scorer is notoriously unhealthy (though when healthy, obviously far superior to Bargnani), and the default 2nd options in Amar’e's absences (JR Smith or Felton) are wildly inconsistent and dreadful, respectively, when asked to up their usage into the high 20s. Moreover, when you consider that Bargnani made bringing back Prigs and signing MWP possible, it’s…

  215. flossy

    flossy: Moreover, when you consider that Bargnani made bringing back Prigs and signing MWP possible, it’s…

    A no-brainer. Didn’t want to leave you all in suspense.

  216. thenamestsam

    flossy:
    The only relevant question about Bargnani’s rebounding and defense is “is he better at rebounding and defense than the player(s) he’ll replace, Steve Novak and Chris Copeland?”

    Flossy I agree with you 99% but I do think it’s worth pointing out that I think part of the disagreement here is about whether he’ll actually be replacing Novacopeland. The Berri guys tend to treat Bargs much more like a center, while you (and I) think of him more as a “floor stretching” forward on offense. If the Knicks use him as a forward then yes he’ll basically be stepping into the Novacopeland role on D and O in which case his rebounding woes are much less of a worry. But that’s not exactly a given I don’t think. The current shape of the roster as discussed ad-nasueum up thread suggests that they may be planning on using him significantly more as a center. In which case he really wouldn’t be in the Novacopeland role. They occasionally used Copeland in lineups where he was the de facto center but only for extremely small minutes towards the end of the year. They definitely never did it with Novak. If they plan to use Bargs as a “center” in lineups like Bargs-Melo-MWP-Shump-Felton or whatever I’m not sure it’s fair to say that he’s replacing Novak, and only replacing a very small part of what Cope was used for.

  217. flossy

    thenamestsam: Flossy I agree with you 99% but I do think it’s worth pointing out that I think part of the disagreement here is about whether he’ll actually be replacing Novacopeland. The Berri guys tend to treat Bargs much more like a center, while you (and I) think of him more as a “floor stretching” forward on offense. If the Knicks use him as a forward then yes he’ll basically be stepping into the Novacopeland role on D and O in which case his rebounding woes are much less of a worry. But that’s not exactly a given I don’t think. The current shape of the roster as discussed ad-nasueum up thread suggests that they may be planning on using him significantly more as a center. In which case he really wouldn’t be in the Novacopeland role. They occasionally used Copeland in lineups where he was the de facto center but only for extremely small minutes towards the end of the year. They definitely never did it with Novak. If they plan to use Bargs as a “center” in lineups like Bargs-Melo-MWP-Shump-Felton or whatever I’m not sure it’s fair to say that he’s replacing Novak, and only replacing a very small part of what Cope was used for.

    True, though I think that both Amar’e and K-Mart (despite the latter being pretty short) are better candidates to replace Tyson Chandler at center than Bargnani. Those two would still be a downgrade from Chandler on the boards, but not that many teams get above-average scoring, rebounding and defense out of their 2nd and 3rd string centers, ya know?

    It’s certainly possible that some catastrophic combination of injuries to Chandler, Amar’e and Martin would make Bargnani or Jeremy Tyler or Earl Barron (?) our de-facto center, but at that point the Knicks would be so screwed anyway that Bargnani’s rebounding issues will be a drop in the bucket of misery.

  218. DRed

    It’s not ‘the Berri guys’ who think of Bargnani as a center/PF. It’s every basketball reference site I can find. That’s what he is. He has almost never played small forward, which is why you can’t compare him to Novak.

  219. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    DRed:
    It’s not ‘the Berri guys’ who think of Bargnani as a center/PF.It’s every basketball reference site I can find.That’s what he is.He has almost never played small forward, which is why you can’t compare him to Novak.

    But I bet he could. Just like there’s no problem with a 5’9″ SG in Nate Robinson. He moves like a SG. With that wingspan, can it really be that hard to stay in front of a 6’7″ SF?

  220. DRed

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: But I bet he could. Just like there’s no problem with a 5’9? SG in Nate Robinson. He moves like a SG. With that wingspan, can it really be that hard to stay in front of a 6’7? SF?

    I’d say it’s certainly worth a shot.

  221. thenamestsam

    DRed:
    It’s not ‘the Berri guys’ who think of Bargnani as a center/PF.It’s every basketball reference site I can find.That’s what he is.He has almost never played small forward, which is why you can’t compare him to Novak.

    In the past there is no doubt that he mostly played center. We’re talking about what he’s going to do next year though. That’s my point. The Berri guys on this thread are comparing him mostly to centers, saying his rebounding is atrocious, worst of any 7 footer, etc. All true. Other people are saying he’s not going to be playing center for the most part – even when he’s the tallest person on the floor (for example if him and K-Mart are sharing the court, he will really be a forward playing almost exactly the Novak role – an outside shooter on offense (though Bargs may have a larger role as well) who is a liability on D and on the boards, but no more so than Novak was.

    It’s a thing that’s in the future so there’s not much use arguing about it. Personally I think it will be a trainwreck if Bargs is used as the center, but that if they keep him in the Novak role then he should do fine (assuming he rediscovers his stroke to some extent).

  222. flossy

    Sounds like the Knicks are chatting up Hamed Haddadi, who, if nothing else, is absolutely massive and grabs rebounds like crazy.

  223. ruruland

    Nick C.:
    Ruru I think you have your #s wrong. Bosh in his last 5 years with Toronto had .582 TSP on 27.0 usage and with Miami is .571 on 23.4 usage. Wade was .568 on 33.7 usage in the 5 years pre-LeBron he went up to .572 (still .57 for you two digit fans) on 30.8 usage. It’s OK to concede someone was right about something, even though is is the internet. Your point may be correct but when the first thing you say is to call someone out as being wrong when he is not well it undercuts credibility.

    True or false, Bosh had a higher TSP in Toronto than he has had in Miami.

    MFC was wrong. How does that hurt my credibility? I get along with MFC and think he makes well-reasoned points that I disagree with all the time. It’s great. Makes for good back and forth.

  224. lavor postell

    ruruland: True or false, Bosh had a higher TSP in Toronto than he has had in Miami.

    MFC was wrong. How does that hurt my credibility? I get along with MFC and think he makes well-reasoned points that I disagree with all the time. It’s great. Makes for good back and forth.

    Can you post a split of Bosh’s shot distribution and percentages in Toronto and Miami?

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