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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Recap: Knicks 113 Kings 106

Well there are no ties in basketball so one team’s losing streak was going to end, for joy it is the Knicks that get back in the win column.

Yay!

Okay so it’s hard to convey sarcasm without the benefit of tone. I’m glad the Knicks won.  I am pleased to see them get a break out shooting night as a team.  The Knicks overcame a flat start (14 1st quarter points) and put up 99 points over the last 3 quarters of the game.  The Knicks put up a 60.5 eFG% paced by 27 each from Stoudemire (11-19) and Gallinari (4-8, 3-5).

Gallinari amasses his total by hitting 16/17 free throws, far and away the most from him this year (it’s 1am, I’m  not checking it right now but it does sound right).  Gallinari did put the ball on the floor a few times to draw contact.  He also let the King defenders just run into him on at least two set three point attempts.  Good for him. I’m not banking on this becoming the norm for Gallinari, but as good as he is from the line I wish he would draw this sort of contact more often.

Stoudemire played well and mixed things up between the drives and set shots.  His 10 rebounds and 2 blocks–one helping slow a King 4th quarter push–contributed to the win.  I should be happy with Stat. He had a reasonable 3 turnovers.  He only took one bad shot that I recall, and he had a perfect pass to a cutting Landry Fields for an easy two.  So why am I not pleased?  Well, Stoudemire still isn’t setting decent picks.  He barely initiates contact with the man he is to screen.  This doesn’t let the PnR develop as it should and it doesn’t take the defense off balance the way a good pick should.  Also when the Kings made their 4th quarter push, they did it with rebounding.  Stoudemire didn’t box out well.  This allowed DeMarcus Cousins and Carl Landry to get a few easy rebounds.  I know I’m nit picking here but we cant rely on a 60% eFG every night.  Furthermore, we won’t play young teams with zero interior defense every night. This team will struggle if it does not commit to rebounding and keeping turnovers down.

The Knicks had more turnovers (18) than assists (14). Felton’s 5 was no shock, but Fields’ 4 did raise my eyebrows.  I notice all of Felton’s during the game, but really only one of Fields.  I guess its that Fields does so many other things well (6/6 ft, 5 rebs, 2 assists, great cuts to the basket)  I tend not to focus on the turnovers or the -2 +/-.  Anyway, 4 turnovers is unusual for him and no cause for alarm just yet.

Toney Douglas looked like TDDWTDD tonight. Chandler took a back seat to Stoudemire and Gallinari on offense which I think is a good thing.  Have you noticed that D’Antoni’s roation is getting shorter?  Only 4 reserves tonight with two reserves combining to play 18 minutes. Mozgov got 6 minutes and Walker 12 minutes. Mason and Randolph logged DNP-CD’s.

I don’t know yet if Randolph is out of the rotation, though I questioned how long D’Antoni would use a player that can’t contribute on offense.  Randolph’s 27.6 eFG% and 32.5 TS%  makes me pine for the days of the Jeffrightened.  With the Kings’ small front line, the Knicks could get by without Randolph’s length, but the team will need Randolph’s size and rebounding (18.4 Reb-r, 12.1 per 36 min leads the team) if Mozgov is limited to less than 10 per game.  So either Randolph needs to improve his shot or there must be a modification to the D’Antoni rules.  Somebody wake me if either of those events comes to pass.  And you really will have to wake me because I’m turning in.

Good win and good night.

81 comments on “Recap: Knicks 113 Kings 106

  1. Brian Cronin

    A few notes…

    1. Gallo has had a decent year so far. He actually was at a WS/48 of .131, which would actually be his career high if the season ended today (only Fields and Turiaf are higher than him). And that was before tonight’s game. It is ridiculous to see the mainstream media pile on the guy. However, I admit that I was irritated by a seeming unwillingness on his part to take on a more dominant role on the team. He seemed too willing to let his teammates ignore him. When he is the featured part of the Knicks offense, they look really quite good on offense. Last night in Denver he stepped up and really seemed to demand the ball for much of the game. I liked that. And he did that again tonight for a lot of the game. I especially liked how he shrugged off a slow start. Gallo’s ability to drive to the basket is impressive, and best of all, he makes his free throws, making that a strong part of his game. In addition, he seems to be able to drive to the basket with a bit less of the reckless abandon that WC and Amar’e sometimes do.

    2. That said, Amar’e also had some strong drives to the basket. If he’s single-covered, just go for it, Amar’e, I have faith in you!

    3. However, going back to the Gallo thing, as the lead was evaporating, the Knicks did not even let Gallo touch the ball for most of the fourth quarter. It was extremely irritating. The Coach really needs to tell the other players to get Gallo the ball.

    4. I noticed someone in the comments take a shot at people criticizing Felton’s play as a point guard. Something like, “See! And people said the Knicks didn’t need a point guard like Felton!” That was weird, because the criticism the whole season has been that Felton has played pretty well overall, but what he has not done is play the point particularly well, and that continued today. He managed to complete a pick and roll with Amar’e, which was nice, but that was about it. Dude had 3 assists, 5 turnovers and took 15 shots while Gallo took 8. That’s no more of a 1’s game than anything Toney Douglas has done so far this year.

    5. Clyde continues to make me laugh. After the Knicks went up nine with over 2 minutes to go, he says that was the dagger. I was like, “Huh?! There’s plenty of time left!” and then the Kings score four straight points. It was weird.

    6. The Knicks problem is not that they’re taking too many threes, Mike Breen, it’s that they’re not making them at anywhere close to the rate they should be. Breen has latched on to “they take too many threes!” as something he repeats over and over again. Weird.

    7. Very efficient game by Wilson Chandler. Keep it up, WC!!!

    8. No Roger Mason, Jr.! Huzzah!

  2. latke

    “Well, Stoudemire still isn’t setting decent picks.”

    This has been a consistent problem that needs to be worked on, but I think the rebounding thing was mostly a fourth quarter problem and may have been a result of Stoudemire playing 40 minutes on the second night of a back to back.

    “but Fields’ 4 did raise my eyebrows. I notice all of Felton’s during the game, but really only one of Fields.”

    He got called for traveling twice, made a pass in traffic that was intercepted. Not sure what the other turnover was, but both the travels could easily have been noncalls. He’s been putting the ball on the floor a lot more, largely to good effect, so it’s inevitable that the turnovers will go up.

    “I don’t know yet if Randolph is out of the rotation, though I questioned how long D’Antoni would use a player that can’t contribute on offense.”

    Turiaf seems good for about 25 mins with the foul problems. If Amare plays 36, that leaves 44 mins at the 4/5. Even if we let Chandler play the 4 for 20 mins, far more than D’Antoni (rightfully) has been willing to play him there for, that still leaves 25 mins that have been going to Mozgov/AR. There’s really no one else on the roster to play up front unless you think A) Gallinari can play the 4 or B) Eddy Curry will ever play another game as a knick (or as an NBA player for that matter). I honestly don’t see why we wouldn’t give Curry a shot. That 73k auto repair bill isn’t going to pay itself. If he wants another shot in the NBA he’ll have to show something at some point this year. Of course if he is as fat as some have said he is, he probably isn’t going to give us much.

    “Furthermore, we won’t play young teams with zero interior defense every night. This team will struggle if it does not commit to rebounding and keeping turnovers down.”

    Agreed. This performance would probably have won us the game against the Wolves and maybe Houston, but probably not any of the other ones (I didn’t catch the G.S. game, so I don’t know about that one). Bottom line, it’s a lot easier to look good against a bad team, and we didn’t even look that good.

    Brian Cronin: That’s no more of a 1?s game than anything Toney Douglas has done so far this year.

    Douglas made a couple of really bad plays, passing to Stoudemire on the break when he had a full head of steam and two defenders behind him (resulting in a charge) and tossing a four foot pass into Amare in the post that the kings easily intercepted. These are mistakes that even Felton would not have made.

    Brian Cronin: Dude had 3 assists, 5 turnovers and took 15 shots

    It seemed like D’Antoni realized that he’s not doing a good job of breaking down the defense and then getting the ball moving. Fields and Turiaf seem to be taking larger roles as initiators of the offense. Hey, whatever works.

    One reason the assists numbers in general are lower too is the knicks feasted off free throws this game. We wouldn’t have had a lot of those free throws if not for strong ball movement.

  3. cwod

    I think I was trying to say that, even with Felton’s obvious limitations and struggles, the team’s point-guard play is somehow even worse when TD’s running things. At least, that’s how it has looked for the past couple of weeks. The guy has a nonexistent assist ratio and a negative pure point rating so far, even though he’s playing something like 12+ minutes each night at PG. I’m not saying the Knicks *needed* Felton exactly, I was just imagining how much more pain it would cause me to watch Toney as the full-time point guard.

  4. cwod

    Latke, I did notice that Fields and Turiaf took on a fair amount of responsibility in initiating the offense, which is probably a smart decision.

  5. Brian Cronin

    It seemed like D’Antoni realized that he’s not doing a good job of breaking down the defense and then getting the ball moving. Fields and Turiaf seem to be taking larger roles as initiators of the offense. Hey, whatever works.

    Totally agreed. Felton has played pretty darn well as a 2 this year, so if they can get 1-esque play from guys like Fields and Turiaf, that’s fine by me. However, it does seem like that at the end of the game they seem to let Felton be the traditional 1 and, besides the one great pick and roll with Amar’e, it does not seem to be working very well.

  6. nicos

    I didn’t really notice them trying to run the offense through Fields that much. Turiaf, absolutely- unfortunately late in the game Cousins just sagged off Turiaf back into the lane eliminating the back door cuts that had been effective earlier. Turiaf is a very good passer but you can’t consistently run the offense through him unless he’s willing to take (and make) the foul line jumper. With Turiaf unwilling to take that jumper and Sac. not really guarding him at times it was like playing 4 on 5, hence the stagnation. I thought Sac. also did a good job of keeping the ball out of Gallo’s hands late- I don’t think he was being ignored, they were just overplaying him and when he cut (as I mentioned) Turiaf’s man had sagged into the middle enough to keep him from getting the ball. I would like to see Gallo just run up to Felton, take the handoff and then have everyone clear out every once in a while- he’s been very good all season at getting to the basket but I think that’s more on D’Antoni than Felton.

  7. nicos

    Also- really sad to see another lost year for Greg Oden. As he’s a restricted free agent at the end of the year it’ll be interesting to see if someone rolls the dice and signs him to a decent offer sheet- you have to figure Portland would still match a really lowball offer- maybe if Turiaf opts out the Knicks might consider it- who knows?

  8. Brian Cronin

    It’s a very fair point to say that the Kings were trying very hard to keep the ball out of Gallo’s hands, nicos. However, isn’t that usually a hint that you should make a point of getting the ball to him? Teams overplay scorers, but their teams still make a point of getting them the ball. The Knicks didn’t seem to do so (and agreed, that’s on D’Antoni – I was especially irked when timeouts occurred in the fourth and nothing changed – I was actually hoping for D’Antoni to specifically run a play to get Gallo the ball).

  9. Brian Cronin

    And totally agreed on Oden. It’s a damn shame. Especially since it makes the Bowie/Jordan connection seem even more eerie.

  10. Frank

    Great night for Gallo, but there’s something I find interesting about Gallo and Felton this year —

    Felton’s numbers look great, but everyone says he is playing poorly.

    Gallo’s numbers look ok-good from advanced stats standpoint (TS/WS etc.), but it’s obvious to anyone watching that, except for a game or two, he has been one of the major problems with the NYK offense this year.

    Trouble is – I don’t think there have been stats invented that really look at the effect of player on others on the court. (have there?)

    Felton’s shooting well, handing out a reasonable number of assists etc. but it is clear he isn’t running the offense well.

    Gallo’s TS and WS look pretty good but his inability (until last night) to hit from deep has allowed teams to collapse on the middle and has disrupted the offense.

    Speaking of — Gallo’s night looks amazing (And it was) because he scored 27pts on just 8 shots – but those 8 shots are really deceiving since the vast majority of the 17 FTs were actually a result of shots that didn’t go in and so were not actually counted as shots taken – ie. he probably really took 16 shots. Is there somewhere to get points per possession used?

    Re: Felton – I don’t think we can underestimate the jolt it must be to go from Larry Brown’s slooooooooooow offense to D’Antoni’s pedal-to-the-metal offense. I think overall the offense has looked much more fluid the last two games – hopefully a sign of things to come.

  11. SeeWhyDee77

    Rooster livin on the foul line last nite…whoa..way to go kid! The team hasn’t quite jelled yet, but i’m lookin forward to seein some good ball from december forward. I think the team will get it together, but my biggest concern is Felton. Statistically he’s havin a good season, but he has got to run the P&R better. At 1st I just thought it was him gettin used to Stat and Rooster. But watchin him run the P&R last nite looked…awkward. Fields never ceases to amaze me. His bball IQ has got to be through the roof! I see why Mike D loves this guy so much. And it seems like he’s mentally engaged in every aspect of the game..I can’t recall a single brain fart from this kid all season long-though it’s bound to happen cuz he’s a rookie. Chandler’s havin a decent year, but he’s got to be trade fodder. I have no problem with movin him, AR and Curry’s deal in a package for someone to take the pressure off of Stat. None whatsoever. His outside game is deplorable, but yet he sticks to the perimeter. Maybe the 3 aforementioned players for Melo and a filler?

  12. Caleb

    Nice win. Good to keep things from snowballing.

    Turiaf is a great passer and could play a David Lee-like role directing traffic from the high post…

    I know I sound like his agent, but people are way too down on Randolph. An iffy preseason, an ankle injury and 89 minutes of game time and people are talking about him like he’s Chris Mills. I’ll still be surprised if in 3 years he isn’t the best player of the group on the roster right now, Stoudemire included. I worry D’Antoni will give his minutes to players with less game but more jump shot, but in the long I don’t think that will happen – he’s got too much talent. Shawn Marion wasn’t much of a jump shooter but in the end no coach could ignore him, even D’Antoni.

    I really hope Greg Oden has a career that’s more Walton than Bowie. That’s the best he can hope for, now. Hard to imagine the mental aspect of buckling down for another year of rehab.

  13. Frank

    Caleb:
    I know I sound like his agent, but people are way too down on Randolph. An iffy preseason, an ankle injury and 89 minutes of game time and people are talking about him like he’s Chris Mills. I’ll still be surprised if in 3 years he isn’t the best player of the group on the roster right now, Stoudemire included. I worry D’Antoni will give his minutes to players with less game but more jump shot, but in the long I don’t think that will happen – he’s got too much talent. Shawn Marion wasn’t much of a jump shooter but in the end no coach could ignore him, even D’Antoni.

    He IS totally brainless out there though – I can see why GSW got so frustrated with him. that goaltending play against the Nuggets ended up being the losing margin — a shot that had absolutely no chance of going in (one wonders whether it should have even been called that since it looked like it was going to be about a foot short). Mix that with his random 19 foot jumpers that barely draw iron…

    I worry that he’s this generation’s Stromile Swift or Eddie Griffin – ridiculous physical talents and 10c head. Still young though – hopefully some good coaching can prevent that outcome.

  14. Ted Nelson

    Brian Cronin: Gallo has had a decent year so far. He actually was at a WS/48 of .131, which would actually be his career high if the season ended today

    Up to .162 after that game. His TS% is up to .571. His 3P% up to 33%. 17.5 pts/36. 7.2 FTA/36…

    Brian Cronin: He seemed too willing to let his teammates ignore him.

    When you’re a young guy in a new country on a team with plenty of NBA vets… it’s got to be tough. David Lee did expand his skill set over the years, but he was also very willing to let teammates ignore him for years and he was an American 4 year college guy from a bigtime program. I think there has to be a team strategy involving getting the ball to the best scorers and running a coherent offense, rather than organized chaos under which the most aggressive scorers can shoot at will. If you’re not a PG (or at least someone who can bring the ball up and initiate the offense), there’s a fine line between your responsibility to assert yourself and your teammates’ and coach’s responsibility to get you the ball…

    Fraggle Harrington is on record saying all the Knicks hated Gallo his first two years… Tough as a 20, 21 year old to turn to a bunch of teammates who hate you and lay into them about not getting you the ball. Certainly someone like, say, LeBron might be capable of that. Gallo is not an uber-star, though, (maybe due to attitude, but also skill I’d say) and his game is much more reliant on getting the ball in the right spots within the offense. Or plenty of times he gets the ball and moves it along diligently, only to have the ball stop with a bad shooter taking a bad shot… Ideally he should not have to just chuck up the first possible shot knowing the ball will never find its way back to him and he better cherish it while he has it.
    This is a new season, but hard to expect a radical transformation from day 1. Especially since he’s been struggling with his shot.

    I’m not saying Gallo is perfect or guilt free for his passivity… just that I can’t put it all on him. I also know from experience that being a young guy trying to take a leadership role in your second language is a difficult task.

    Brian Cronin: Teams overplay scorers, but their teams still make a point of getting them the ball.

    Yeah. It’s a little trickier with Gallo than someone with more guard skills, but run him off a screen, or just give him the ball and see what happens. He’s usually pretty good about not forcing things, so chances are the worst that happens on most possessions you get him the ball is the offense re-sets or he misses a decent shot.

  15. Caleb

    Frank:
    He IS totally brainless out there though – I can see why GSW got so frustrated with him…. I worry that he’s this generation’s Stromile Swift or Eddie Griffin – ridiculous physical talents and 10c head.

    I don’t disagree – if you watch him on court for about one minute you are guaranteed to see something frustrating. But unlike Swift or Griffin, he does a ton of good things, too, and doesn’t seem to have any off-court demons to derail him.

    I know the sample size is so miniscule as to be almost meaningless, but so far he does have a better shot-block rate than Turiaf and a rebound rate 40 percent better than anyone on the team – right in line with his career #s. He’s got a good handle and the last two years he was in Wilson Chandler territory, efficiency-wise.

    As you say, he’s only 21, and as someone else said he has the tools you can’t teach. He’s only going to get better.

    This year is a new era for the Knicks, in that they’re actively trying to make the playoffs, win games, etc. – so I agree, there’s less rope to give to frustrating young players. But I still have a hard time seeing how the Knicks wouldn’t be better with 15 or 20 minutes of Randolph, in place of Timo and probably taking a few minutes from Chandler and the 2-guards.

  16. Ted Nelson

    Frank: Felton’s numbers look great, but everyone says he is playing poorly.

    Gallo’s numbers look ok-good from advanced stats standpoint (TS/WS etc.), but it’s obvious to anyone watching that, except for a game or two, he has been one of the major problems with the NYK offense this year.

    The difference is making shots. Gallo has been ice cold. That’s something that’s really variable and can be ascribed somewhat to “luck.” (It might not actually be luck and be a mechanical issue or injury… but from a fan’s perspective it’s basically luck in that we can’t explain it and if it changes quickly it just looks like luck…) So, the assumption is that Gallo’s shots will eventually start to fall at a higher rate. The rest of his game has been good. One hot shooting night last night made his season averages look decent. Another and they’ll be good.

    I don’t know if you are familiar with “batting average on balls in play” (BABIP) in baseball. Basically, a lot of it is thought to be luck. You have some fast or line-drive hitters who might have consistently high BABIPs season after season, but generally if a guy has an unusually high or low batting average and a correspondingly high/low BABIP… you can expect that he’s getting luck/unlucky. He might be getting a lot bloop singles and grounders that find the holes, or hard hit outs right at people and warning track shots.

    Frank: his inability (until last night) to hit from deep has allowed teams to collapse on the middle and has disrupted the offense.

    That’s also on Toney Douglas and Bill Walker and Wilson Chandler and Roger Mason. It’s not that teams were packing the middle. That’s a great thing if you can make your shots from outside. They are daring you to beat them with the three. That means that if you hit your 3s… you will beat them (or they will adjust once you start beatING them… then you have to adjust back).

    Frank: he probably really took 16 shots. Is there somewhere to get points per possession used?

    TS%. It doesn’t account for TOs, but you could easily add that into the formula… at which point you might also want to account for assists and OReb, and basically start to get to an offensive rating: “an estimate of points produced per 100 possessions.” This, of course, does not account for picks, passes that led to FTAs, passes that led to assists… etc.

    TS% = PTS/ (2*(FGA + 0.44*FTA)) The 0.44 is to account for not all FTAs ending a possession (1st shot, not double counting an and-1, Ts). You could actually track a player’s possessions used in one game, of course.

    Frank: I don’t think we can underestimate the jolt it must be to go from Larry Brown’s slooooooooooow offense to D’Antoni’s pedal-to-the-metal offense.

    I don’t really understand your point here… He’s been good in transition, so D’Antoni’s style is suiting him really well. Once the Knicks get stuck in the half-court, though, he’s largely back to the same mediocre PG he was for LB.

  17. kaine

    Gallo learned his skill in europe, where team play is stressed from the early age.
    nba basket for a lot of mediocre players is me (my money) first.

    if you watch players like bargnani, kirilenko or the first gasol suffered from the same problem: they play within the team concept.

    if they are lucky they end up in good teams where basket is played the way is meant

  18. Ted Nelson

    While I can understand why people aren’t thrilled with Felton, I also don’t think the Knicks need a perfect PG to get to .500. A .500 team has plenty of warts and necessarily ends up losing as many games as it wins. If the Knicks 3P shooters were making their shots, I think this would already be a .500-ish team… even with all the other problems they’ve had. If Felton is an All-Star PG, the shooters hit their shots and the Knicks are expected to win more games than they lose… this is necessarily more than a .500 team. Basically, if the shots started to fall I think Felton would be playing his part on a .500 team.

    Caleb: But unlike Swift or Griffin, he does a ton of good things, too, and doesn’t seem to have any off-court demons to derail him.

    THAT! I do think he needs to show a little more to earn minutes, but when you get him some run, some confidence, and tell him to stop taking so many long jump shots… he’s an immediately useful player. He will make some boneheaded TOs, but every player makes TOs. AR’s just stick out more. Last season his TO% was quite low, and this season he’s WAY below Timo and about in-line with Amare.

    So, I guess one could argue that when the Knicks aren’t hitting from outside and defenses are packed in… he’s not all that useful (don’t know what game this is through, but 82games.com has him taking 78% jump shots and only 6% dunks… that means he’s had about 2 dunks all season…). Once their shots start falling, though, AR can do a lot. He shouldn’t be out there with Turiaf in the frontcourt, though, but Amare or at least WC/Gallo. He and Turiaf are both (should both be) low-volume scorer who can use high-volume scorers to complement them. D’Antoni has mostly been subbing him in for Amare, when in reality he should sub him in for Turiaf/Movgoz. Get the kid out there in a role that’s actually suited to his talents, and don’t bench him because he failed in a role that was not suited to his talents.

  19. Thomas B. Post author

    Anthony Randolph has outplayed the Hollinger Draft rater from 2008. He put up a better PER than Hollinger’s prediction (8.9 I think) in each of his first two seasons. It is too early to talk about his PER this season (6.4). But JH said that Randolph would struggle to score and that his poor shooting numbers should be a huge red flag. It seems Randolph picked this year to be the player JH thought he would be.

    Randolph was able to beat the predicted PER the last two seasons by being a much better rebounder than anyone expected. He also looked better on offense in GS than he does now. He wasnt exactly good in GS, but he was way better than he is now. If his current offensive production was even near what he did in GS, he could easily take Mosgov’s minutes.

    The thing is that Randolph is exactly what i thought he would be: A great rebounder who will struggle mightily with his offense in this system. Randolph is awful outside the paint and much of the offense in this system comes outside the paint. Having said that, I’d still like to see if he can at least run the PnR well. Also he could do well on flashing to the basket with the help of a decent backdoor screen. Didnt that work well for Camby? Of course we need a few good screens for that to work. Also getting him out on the break might give him a few easy buckets. he doesnt need to put up 15 a night, but we need him to be better on offense than Chris Dudley.

  20. Caleb

    Thomas B.: …who will struggle mightily with his offense in this system. Randolph is awful outside the paint and much of the offense in this system comes outside the paint.

    While he is a bad jump-shooter, Randolph is not remotely a Chris Dudley or Jared Jeffries type. I don’t mean on potential, I mean right now. Last year he scored better than a point every two minutes (20.5 per 40) with a better TS% than Wilson Chandler has had 3 of the past 4 years.

    “In this system” is what jumps out. A good coach will recognize the problem is the system rather than the player, and put the player in position to succeed. i.e. don’t turn Randolph into a jump shooter.

    Obviously a lot of it is on AR; he needs to cut to the basket, get out on the break, hit the offensive glass. But he’s also a good passer with a good handle – plenty for a coach to work with, not to mention his strengths on D and on the glass.

  21. Thomas B. Post author

    Caleb,

    Agreed the staff has not put Randolph in a position to do well. That has to change because he is too good a rebounder not to be on the floor. We really need help with rebounding. If the rest of team is even shooting a decent eFG, his rebounding and blocked shots can make up for his below average offense. In three years now has making adjustments been something you associate with this coaching staff? I dont.

  22. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.: Anthony Randolph has outplayed the Hollinger Draft rater from 2008. He put up a better PER than Hollinger’s prediction (8.9 I think) in each of his first two seasons.

    Do you really want to go down the line of how guys have done compared to that rater since it came out? Let’s just say this: Russell Westbrook’s expected PER was right by AR’s: Westbrook = 11.91, AR = 11.78. Westbrook’s PER this season is like 25… He might be an All-NBA player this season…

    It fit very nicely to historical data, which is exactly what you would expect since he designed it using that exact same historical data. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since then it’s been only marginally useful. This season Fields did not make his top 35, Greg Monroe was #4… I can go on and on. Joe Alexander was one of this top guys in 2008, the same season Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook, Reggie Williams, and AR were listed as “riff raff” (literally, that’s what he called them) at the same position. Darrell Arthur was the 3rd best prospect in that class according to “the rater.”

    Basically, once you’ve played an NBA game that draft rater can be thrown out the window just like your draft position. It’s merely a projection. Once you’ve out- or under-performed it, it’s largely irrelevant. And anyone who doesn’t score a million points is total crap according to Hollinger’s PER metric, anyway, no matter how many shots they take to do it.

    Thomas B.: The thing is that Randolph is exactly what i thought he would be

    Thomas, with all due respect you did not *expect* AR to have an eFG% of .250 on inside shots this season or to take 78% jumpers. That is why he’s struggled so mightily. There was no reason in the world to *expect* that. I know you are tooting your own horn because you don’t like AR. However, to expect him to take 78% jumpers going into the season was not realistic after his first two seasons. (To expect him to miss the vast majority of those jumpers was realistic, of course. But no one who liked him was asking him to become a Gallinari style jump shooter…) He has suffered, IMO, from the packed-in defenses daring him to shoot over them and the fact that D’Antoni has substituted him in for Amare all season. A slow start to the season does not mean that the sky is falling.

    I also really doubt you predicted that none of Gallo, Walker, Douglas, Mason, Fields would hit over 33% of their 3s through 12 games. Or that WC would be taking 5.4 3PA/36… These are indirect causes of AR’s struggles, since defenses are daring the Knicks to beat them from outside and they can’t. If those guys are all shooting 40% and WC is taking less 3s, the Knicks are probably over .500 and AR is probably getting more inside looks.

  23. ess-dog

    Caleb:
    While he is a bad jump-shooter, Randolph is not remotely a Chris Dudley or Jared Jeffries type. I don’t mean on potential, I mean right now. Last year he scored better than a point every two minutes (20.5 per 40) with a better TS% than Wilson Chandler has had 3 of the past 4 years.“In this system” is what jumps out. A good coach will recognize the problem is the system rather than the player, and put the player in position to succeed. i.e. don’t turn Randolph into a jump shooter.
    Obviously a lot of it is on AR; he needs to cut to the basket, get out on the break, hit the offensive glass.But he’s also a good passer with a good handle – plenty for a coach to work with, not to mention his strengths on D and on the glass.  

    I think AR has been a victim of Chandler’s move to the 4. They have a similar low-efficiency game, but Chandler knows the system and is a trusted D’Antoni guy who is going to get minutes.
    AR on the other hand not only doesn’t know the system, he doesn’t really know any system!
    I think during his one year in college his coach was fired midway through the year. He never played more than one season in a row at the same high school. Then he went straight into the NBA and Nellie ball. The poor kid really hasn’t had a chance to learn the game. And still puts up good #’s (aside from shooting.)
    I just wonder if he’s going to get any good teaching at D’Antoni University either. I’m generally pro-D’Antoni, but he just isn’t a “teaching” coach like Larry Brown. He wants finished products to work with. That’s why I was originally puzzled by the G.S. trade.
    Who is going to teach this kid? Herb?
    I would love to hold onto him, but most likely, due to him playing Amar’e’s position and because of his struggles, I can see him being trade fodder at the deadline. If he was brought along with patience and coaching – the way someone like Favors likely will be – I think in a few years he could be a quality power forward or even a center in this league.

  24. Caleb

    @23 I mostly agree, and have the same worry, but it’s not like he needs extensive coaching and improvement to be useful – he could help right now – so I’m cautiously optimistic that he will avoid being buried (or traded in an ugly lopsided deal)

  25. Frank

    ess-dog:

    I just wonder if he’s going to get any good teaching at D’Antoni University either.I’m generally pro-D’Antoni, but he just isn’t a “teaching” coach like Larry Brown.He wants finished products to work with.That’s why I was originally puzzled by the G.S. trade.
    Who is going to teach this kid?Herb?

    I’ve heard this sentiment so many times but wonder whether anyone has any actual visual proof of this… Mike – from what you’ve seen in practices does D’Antoni do a lot of teaching?

    I think this idea that he can’t develop players is totally unfounded, or at least unsubstantiated. Young players like Stoudemire, Barbosa, and Diaw all flourished under him in Phoenix. And the list of players that he “wouldn’t play” are players like Marbury, Hughes, and Nate.

    And meanwhile, who did he have to develop? Look at this (pretty unbelievable) list of draft picks and other young guys made by the Suns around the D’Antoni era:

    03: Barbosa (in trade with SA) – interestingly the pick that PHX gave SA for Barbosa ended up turning into David Lee for us.
    04: Luol Deng – traded for cash and Bulls #1 pick which was traded for cash I think (or might have been Nate)
    05: Nate Robinson – traded with Q to NYK for Kurt Thomas
    05: Marcin Gortat – traded for cash
    06: Rajon Rondo – traded for CLE 2007 1st, cash
    06: Sergio Rodriguez – traded for cash
    07: Alando Tucker – could not stick in league
    07: DJ Strawberry – could not stick in league

    So who on this list was he supposed to develop/teach? They were ALL TRADED. The young players PHX didn’t sell to other teams were Barbosa, Diaw, and for one season, Joe Johnson – all these players did great for them.

    Meanwhile, if you consider Stoudemire was already on this team, if PHX just kept all their picks they could have fielded this lineup:

    PG: Rondo
    SG: Barbosa vs. Nate
    SF: Deng
    PF: Stoudemire
    C: Gortat

    not bad drafting, just very bad trading.

  26. Caleb

    Phoenix’ strategy of selling draft picks for $ is probably the stupidest, most short-sighted move the league has seen in the last 10 years. Cost them titles, IMO.

    As far as D’Antoni developing young players, you could look at Boris Diaw – a good athlete (not in Randolph’s class, though) who couldn’t shoot but had a nice all around game, was always slagged for being lazy and indifferent. D’Antoni turned him into a monster the year that Stoudemire was out…

    His game isn’t that similar to Randolph, but there are similarities and it makes the bigger point that D’Antoni has been willing to be creative in using players who were seen to be misfits.

    There’s also Shawn Marion, who never shot better than 34 percent on 3s under D’Antoni, but had the green light to jack them up and was an All-Star anyway. Not sure if this is encouraging or not.

    I don’t think he’s got a bias against young players (unlike, say, Larry Brown, who shoots himself in the foot repeatedly by going with older but less productive vets)… but I wonder if he isn’t too stuck on finding a “style” of play instead of adapting to the talent at hand.

  27. Garson

    Fields has quickly become my favorite Knick over the past 10 years.

    He just looks more intelligent and under control then all of our players which is very uncharacteristic of a Rookie.

    The question is… how high is his ceiling. His maturity definitly comes from 4 years of stanford however experts always say that a 22 year old in his scenerio has less upside then a 19-20 year old who came out early.

    I feel he can become a great role player on a good team. My only fear is that he is traded for anyone other then Paul or DWill.

  28. Ted Nelson

    I have no problem with trading AR, I just hope they don’t give him away at his lowest point and ignore his long-term value… I have faith in the org, though.

    Frank: I think this idea that he can’t develop players is totally unfounded, or at least unsubstantiated.

    It comes from his direct quotes that he does not want to develop players… His own words. People didn’t pull it out of the sky.

    That said, no I don’t think he’s some sort of awful “player developer.” Largely players are going to develop or not develop themselves. You can only spoon feed a player for so long, which seems to be at the heart of D’Antoni’s player development philosophy: don’t baby players or give young guys preferential treatment at the expense of wins (until the season is lost, like late last season).

    Like I said, I think this has its advantages because you can baby an Eddy Curry or Darius Miles (or player with no talent) all you want but eventually their true colors will come through. However, if it means giving up on a hard-working, talented, producing, promising players too early because they still need to learn the game, that’s detrimental to the organization.

    Amare was ROY before D’Antoni got there. D’Antoni stuck Barbosa in the rotation as soon as Frank Johnson was fired and never took him out. Diaw was 23 with a strong b-ball IQ, opened the season in the rotation and never looked back. Atlanta saw him as a PG and D’Antoni and/or Colangelo had the vision to see him as a frontcourt player.
    So, known of those guy struggled with b-ball IQ or horrific performance and required a great deal of patience/teaching. While babying them isn’t going to help most guys, AR looks like he could be an exception. Would really hate to see the Knicks give him away and him emerge elsewhere. A lot of it is up to Walsh, though, to not give AR away.

    Frank: not bad drafting, just very bad trading.

    Usually when a draft day trade is made the team receiving the pick makes the decision. It’s not usually that the pick is taken and then looked to be traded, it’s usually pre-arranged. Isiah took Nate. The Bulls took Deng. The Celts were looking for a trading partner specifically so that they could get Rondo.

  29. Ted Nelson

    Caleb: D’Antoni has been willing to be creative in using players who were seen to be misfits.

    But in those cases it’s paid immediate dividends… This time we have to see what kind of patience and maybe teaching skills he may have. With Diaw and Marion he simply put them in a position to use their skills. Atlanta saw Diaw as a perimeter player: he was originally drafted as a PG to complement Jason Terry and ended up as a 3… D’Antoni told him he was a bigman. His shot was less of a problem there, and almost became an advantage. Marion was already a budding star when D’Antoni and Nash got there, and just really shined with them. He had 2 PERs over 20 (never under 17) and a never had a WS/48 under .150 in 4 seasons pre-D’Antoni. He was already playing 3,000 minutes a season, 40 mpg.

    Wilson Chandler might be a better example. He got Chandler to stick to his strengths last season, before allowing him to shoot himself in the foot at will this season… Sort of a mixed bag.

    Caleb: There’s also Shawn Marion, who never shot better than 34 percent on 3s under D’Antoni, but had the green light to jack them up and was an All-Star anyway.

    I wouldn’t say he had the green light… or at least he didn’t abuse it. He was taking 3-4 per 36… usually the 5th or 6th 3P option on the team, which is what you might expect of a stretch-4. Wilson Chandler is taking 5.4, in contrast…

    For some combination of reasons AR is taking 80% jumpers… that’s got to stop. He’s also only making 25% of his inside shots, but that should stop on it’s own over time.

  30. Thomas B. Post author

    Ted Nelson:
    “Thomas, with all due respect you did not *expect* AR to have an eFG% of .250 on inside shots this season or to take 78% jumpers. That is why he’s struggled so mightily.”

    Actually I did. Over the summer I wrote a long response about Randolph. I noted I was not a fan of shot selection–far too many jumpers–or his ability to hit said jumpers. I said he was a great rebounder but that alone would not secure playing time in this system. So yes, he is exactly what i thought he would be: A rebounder who takes too many jumpers and struggles to score. Are you so desperate for a reason to write a 500 word post that you nitpick with me over an eFG%? The fact that he is struggling mightily when I said he would only struggle is not even worth bringing up.

    You are one of those guys who buys Star Wars on DVD then watches it frame by frame to determine whether Greedo shot first. Ted Nelson (in a prof Frink voice): “Ahem, yes well as you can see from the HDDVD freeze frame, Greedo shot .02233 seconds, or .000456 Par-secs, before Han Solo did thus leading most of you ignorANT people to conclude that Greedo shot first. However, .02233 seconds is below the human thresh hold for reaction time. At best it would take .04353 seconds for the light from Greedo’s blaster to reach Han’s eye, be RECognozed by the brain as blaster fire, and then for Han’s brain to send the signal to his fingers to fire. Therefore we must conclude that Han Solo fired BEFORE he knew that Greedo had fired upon him. Thereby proving to you stupid people, than Han in fact did intend to shoot first. Ahoy. Glayvin.”

    (Its a joke Ted, try not to take it too seriously)

  31. totti

    I’m not saying Gallo is perfect or guilt free for his passivity… just that I can’t put it all on him. I also know from experience that being a young guy trying to take a leadership role in your second language is a difficult task.
    +1 Ted

    Gallo learned his skill in europe, where team play is stressed from the early age.
    nba basket for a lot of mediocre players is me (my money) first.
    +1 Kaine

    btw, what a night for italian basketball!
    Barg 30pt
    Gallo 27pt
    Beli 17pt
    I watched the hornets-mavs game.
    CP3 et voilà! Which planet did he come from?
    Real deal.
    Istant contenders with him.

  32. ess-dog

    Btw, what a difference it makes to have Gallo firing on all cylinders.
    If he can get his shot back consistently and get around 10 ft’s a game, I love our chances for that last playoff seed.
    And even though I want Mozgov to do well (I bought the shirt) I agree that starting Turiaf was the thing to do. Not only is he playing well, but this team really needed another wily veteran to start out the game with – someone who can show how to give consistent effort and get on the younger players when they take a play off…

  33. Z

    ess-dog: If he can get his shot back consistently and get around 10 ft’s a game, I love our chances for that last playoff seed.  

    Hmmm. 10 FT/g would be 1 more than LeBron James averaged last year. It would put Gallo as the league leader. Not sure if it’s realistic to pin playoff hopes on that. Especially because once his shot starts falling (which it will), he’ll shoot it more and draw less fouls.

  34. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    My point is that looking at AR’s 89 minutes as a Knicks and saying “that’s what kind of scorer he is” is about as useful and accurate as looking at Gallo’s .328 3P% and saying “that’s what kind of outside shooter he is.”

    It’s a complete deviation from previous seasons. As a rookie he took 54% jumpers, and last season he took 56%. This season he is taking 78%… That is not nitpicking. It’s a ridiculously small sample and it deviates from his career numbers. It is virtually meaningless. If a mediocre hitter (say a .250 career hitter) goes 10-100 to start a season, doesn’t mean they’re now a .100 hitter. He’s still mediocre, just in a slump.

    Yes, I remember you said AR was not good because of his shot selection. However, you were not basing that off of taking 78% jumpers. You were basing that off 55%. He had hit around 60% of his inside shots over 2 seasons in GS, he is hitting 25% in NY. That’s not nitpicking. If someone came on the board and said “see I told you Gallo shoots too many 3s, he’s a bad 3P shooter because he’s 21-64″… they’d be laughed off the board. Similar principle.

    Yes, you were right that AR is not a good scorer and certainly not a good jump shooter. Yes, you said he’d struggle in this system because of a lack of jump shooting. But you did not predict he would struggle this mightily because it was impossible to think he’s hit only 25% of his inside shots and take only 22% (Chris Duhon last season took 23% inside shots and made 47%… you really thought AR would finish at the basket 1/2 as well as Duhon?). He’s hit about 33-34% of his jumpers and 58-68% of his inside shots in GS, you really said he was going to hit less than 25% of both with the Knicks? You really think he will continue to hit less than 25% of both for the whole season? If he’s taking 45% inside shots and converting on 60% of them and getting to the line (and rebounding and defending and not turning it over so much) you can live with the bad jumpers for stretches… When his TO% blows up to 20% and he can’t even get let alone make inside looks… yeah, he’s pretty useless. When the Knicks get their offense going and defenses have to respect their perimeter shooters and lose because the Knicks kill them from downtown, AR will be a useful player again.

    You have every right to say that you predicted AR would not live up to the expectations of most commenters, but not to say you thought he’s play like this. It would have been unrealistic to think he’d turn into a much worse Chris Duhon as a scorer and TO machine.

  35. Thomas B. Post author

    Ted,

    Thanks for taking the high road with my jokes. :-)

    “It’s a ridiculously small sample and it deviates from his career numbers. It is virtually meaningless. If a mediocre hitter (say a .250 career hitter) goes 10-100 to start a season, doesn’t mean they’re now a .100 hitter. He’s still mediocre, just in a slump.”

    But it is meaningful if this slump keeps him out of the lineup. Who knows if D’Antoni will call on him again. My point was that in spite of Randolph’s offensive struggles, we need his rebounding. I thought he could lessen his struggles by taking fewer outside shots. As you note, he has taken more of them. And he may have played his way out of the rotation. I hope not but maybe.

    I’m not harping on how bad his offense has been. I was not happy with what he did in GS, so even it he was doing that on offense I’d still complain about his shot selection. Even if he was back to 55% of his attempts being jumpers, I’d still complain.

    But my big concern was whether he had a high enough basketball IQ to find a way to play to his strenghts. So far he has not done that. I questioned whether he could change because he would have to do that to make it in this offense.

  36. Mike Kurylo

    Good point Thomas. If Randolph was shooting 70% right now, I don’t think he’d be on the outs looking in. Remember D’Antoni playing Larry Hughes when he was on fire? But when your reputation is clueless on offense and you follow that up with 27.6% eFG, then the coach is going to use that as a reason to toss you aside.

    It’s a lesson my wife taught me years ago. You can change yourself, but it’ll take a long time before other people will notice acknowledge that change. If your reputation is X, you’ll have to bend over backwards to overcome it. Perception is everything.

  37. Frank

    Ted Nelson: Thomas,My point is that looking at AR’s 89 minutes as a Knicks and saying “that’s what kind of scorer he is” is about as useful and accurate as looking at Gallo’s .328 3P% and saying “that’s what kind of outside shooter he is.”
    It’s a complete deviation from previous seasons. As a rookie he took 54% jumpers, and last season he took 56%. This season he is taking 78%… That is not nitpicking. It’s a ridiculously small sample and it deviates from his career numbers. It is virtually meaningless.

    Ted – my issue with this statement by you is that I think you fail to understand in what situations past statistics are applicable to future events. If there are real statisticians out there that disagree with me, please let me know — but to me, statistics look at past occurrences in a certain context/set of conditions, and based on that experience, can suggest or predict what is likely to happen (over time) in similar future occurrences in that same context. That is why actual clinical trials etc. are very carefully controlled for as many confounders as possible, and why results from uncontrolled trials are so unreliable.

    So in basketball terms, what statistics is to me is this: Player X shot 84% from the FT line on 1000 attempts, so over his next 100 attempts, he’ll hit somewhere between 80-90 FTs. Context= 15 feet from basket, ball, player, rim. Predictable, controlled.

    What it is NOT — is saying that AR shot 54% jumpers in Don Nelson’s system, so he is likely to shoot 54% jumpers in Mike D’Antoni’s system. Context = 2 completely different offensive systems. 2 completely different teams. 2 completely different coaches, 2 completely different roles for AR. Unpredictable, uncontrolled (as compared with his GSW situation).

    These are DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES. Imagine you saying that because Adam Morrison shot 50% from the the field and 43% on 3’s his senior year on Gonzaga, so that would predict that he would do the same in the NBA (actually was 37% and 33% in the pros). Obviously this is an extreme example, but one that is instructive. Just because you scored 24 ppg as a combo guard in college doesn’t mean you’d score 24ppg as a point guard in the pros. Just because you got 14 rebounds/game playing PF for slow-down Larry Brown doesn’t mean you’ll get 14 rebounds/game playing center for D’Antoni.

    So while I think you’re right that AR’s stats are probably just a blip that will settle closer to his career numbers as time goes on, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are not. That’s why I disagreed so vehemently with you when you completely dismissed Felton as an awful offensive player based on his body of work for Charlotte — maybe you will be proven right but his stats there do NOT necessarily predict what his production will be here. So far his #s here look like career bests in many categories with a sample size that is growing.

    See also: Shawn Marion pre/post PHX
    See: Charles Smith pre/post LAC
    See: Zach Randolph pre/post Eddy Curry
    See: Jamal Crawford pre/post ATL
    etc. etc. etc.

    I’m not trying to be nitpicky on you here — it just seems you are so sure of your (incorrect) interpretation of statistics that I felt compelled to respond.

  38. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.: I was not happy with what he did in GS, so even it he was doing that on offense I’d still complain about his shot selection. Even if he was back to 55% of his attempts being jumpers, I’d still complain.

    But if we were playing the way he did in GS he’d be a lot less likely to have played his way out of the rotation. His .521 TS% would put him ahead of Chandler, Walker, Douglas, Mozgov, and Mason, while his 18.5 pts/36 would put him above everyone besides Amare and WC. I wouldn’t want him shooting that much (not that I want WC shooting that much), but the skill is there. His 0.098 WS/48 would put him in the rotation and his PER would lead the team. As you say, it would be a matter of waining him off the jumpers… When he’s not scoring at all inside either, it’s not that simple. And at some point he probably is being told to take all those long 2s…

    Thomas B.: But my big concern was weather he had a high enough basketball IQ to find a way to play to his strenghts. So far he has not done that.

    He definitely hasn’t done that. Part of it is definitely on him. He’s made plenty of stupid decisions, but:
    A. Part of it comes down to circumstances. If he were out there with better players more often and people were making their outside shots, he’d be likely to get better looks.
    and B. He’s still rebounding and causing TOs at a really high rate, making some defensive stops, and an excellent outlet passer…

    Everyone makes some mistakes and TOs… I think people are so into the “AR is dumb” mentality at times that they ascribe mistakes he makes to his stupidity that they’d ignore or chalk up to luck/a momentary lapse were someone else to makes them. (For example… Felton makes a lazy one handed catch attempt that maybe cost the Knicks the game… AR does that and everyone would say it proves he’s an idiot.) Part of it is undoubtedly his wide eyes, general awkwardness, and lack of aggression… His sheepishness and hesitation makes him look dumb out there, even when he’s not doing anything.

  39. nicos

    Just a thought on Felton- People are saying his solid numbers aren’t an accurate reflection of how he’s run the team and while I agree to an extent I don’t think the numbers are that misleading. Yes, he’s failed in job #1 for this team- getting the ball to Amar’e on the P & R. In his defense Amar’e’s only really been rolling the last 6-7 games but he’s still struggled. What he has done on the P & R a lot is to dish the ball back out to the top of the key for open three pointers and the Knicks have been unable to knock those down. Felton’s assist% is a solid, if unspectacular 33% but given how poorly the Knicks have shot wide open jumpers it’s amazing that it’s that high. The Knicks’ designated jump shooters- Gallo and Douglas (who’s played a lot of minutes with Felton) are shooting .368 and .413 respectively. Add to that Chandler’s .437 (though more of his jumpers have been of the pull up variety rather than catch and shoot). These guys have missed a ton of wide open jumpers- if Gallo and Douglas had connected at anywhere near their career rates the Knicks would be .500 or better and Felton’s assist numbers wouldn’t just look solid- they’d be borderline all-star numbers. If Gallo starts knocking down shots consistently (rather than just getting to the line and Felton can find a way to get the ball to Amar’e even a little bit consistently on the P & R, his numbers are going to be very hard to ignore. I think most people had him pegged as a lower tier point guard coming in and I think his play has been at least average and I’m not sure you can expect any more than that. While the Knicks offense has been stagnant at times, how many guards are there who can single-handedly keep an offense moving? 5 or 6 (Nash, Paul, Williams, Etc…)? Add to that another 4-5 who can consistently get their own shot in tough spot better than Felton (Parker, Rose, etc…). I don’t think any of the guys the Knicks could realistically have acquired in the last couple of years- Ridnour, Lowry, Sessions, and even Jennings or Lawson would be playing any better. Sure it’d be nice to have an all-star at point guard but the so far this year no-one on the team has played All-Star caliber ball so you could say that about every position on the court.

  40. Ted Nelson

    Mike,

    The thing is, though, that AR isn’t even meeting expectations. If he were playing to his 09-10 stats or even career stats he’d be a lot less likely to be benched. I’m not saying he’s playing well or shouldn’t be benched. He’s playing abnormally awful. It’s not that D’Antoni thinks he’s X based on his reputation, it’s that he’s given him a chance and he’s been X-1000000000000000000… If D’Antoni thought he were X and he were playing at X level, he might be solidly in the rotation.

    Frank: my issue with this statement by you is that I think you fail to understand in what situations past statistics are applicable to future events.

    You already lost me… Why would you start commenting on information that statisticians have spent a lot of time researching with nothing to back you up but a few examples of career underachievers who stepped it up and some point or guys who fell off after their primes? You realize Crawford and Randolph weren’t in just one system before Atlanta/Memphis, right? You realize Shawn Marion was already a STUD before D’Antoni ever coached him, right? NBA player stats tend to be pretty consistent year-to-year and across teams. There are of course exceptions, but that’s the trend.

    Statistics cannot tell you for certain what will definitely happen in the future, they can give you an idea of what to expect to happen. It would take a ton of foresight to see AR taking 80% jumpers and hitting .214 of his jumpers, while hitting 25% of his inside shots… His past stats would not lead you to believe that was a likely outcome. It’s only 89 minutes, though, so it’s a pretty meaningless sample (well, not meaningless in that he blew a rotation spot, but statistically meaningless).

    Frank: What it is NOT — is saying that AR shot 54% jumpers in Don Nelson’s system, so he is likely to shoot 54% jumpers in Mike D’Antoni’s system. Context = 2 completely different offensive systems. 2 completely different teams. 2 completely different coaches, 2 completely different roles for AR. Unpredictable, uncontrolled (as compared with his GSW situation).

    The fact is that most players continue their shot selection across systems, especially when you have pretty laid back, fire at will coaches like Nelson and D’Antoni.

    There was no rational way to expect Anthony Randolph to take 80% jumpers in D’Antoni’s system… The guy is just an awful jump shooter. AWFUL. He hopefully will not continue that trend as the season goes on. The reason he is shooting so many jumpers is because defenses are not only sagging off him, but sagging off the entire team frontcourt when he’s on the court: Turiaf, Randolph, and Chandler… That’s the alignment he’s been playing most of his minutes with. Teams are packing the middle in the half-court because they know for a fact none of those guys can hurt them from outside but all of them will hurt them from inside. Doesn’t help that the backcourt of the unit AR is playing almost all his minutes with–TD and Walker–have zero combined playmaking skill and are missing all their jumpers too… It was a defense and transition line-up that D’Antoni tried, but it largely failed.

    Frank: These are DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES. Imagine you saying that because Adam Morrison shot 50% from the the field and 43% on 3?s his senior year on Gonzaga, so that would predict that he would do the same in the NBA (actually was 37% and 33% in the pros). Obviously this is an extreme example

    It’s beyond extreme… Jumping from the NCAA to the NBA is completely different than changing NBA teams. Players change NBA teams every single season. During the middle of the season even. If your theory were correct, their results would fluctuate dramatically from one system to another. They don’t. They’re pretty darn constant on the whole. Again, why make an impassioned and at times insulting argument with no data to back you up???????

    Frank: it just seems you are so sure of your (incorrect) interpretation of statistics that I felt compelled to respond.  

    It’s not my interpretation. It’s the accepted one. There will be examples of players who excelled in certain circumstances, sure. Was it the system or their prime? or luck? or motivation? Hard to say. On the whole, though, stats are going to remain fairly constant across systems. There was no reason to expect AR would take 80% jumpers unless you could predict who D’Antoni would play him with and how awful the outside shooting of the Knicks would be.

  41. Brian Cronin

    Wow, Gallo is now leading the team in WS/48 plus overall Win Shares.

    Damn, Amar’e, a .079 WS/48?!?! His career average is .182!!

  42. latke

    Ted Nelson: Everyone makes some mistakes and TOs… I think people are so into the “AR is dumb” mentality at times that they ascribe mistakes he makes to his stupidity that they’d ignore or chalk up to luck/a momentary lapse were someone else to makes them.

    I agree with this. Randolph seems to be better than Mozgov in every statistical category except TS% (in which they are both pretty wretched), most notably TOV%: Randolph’s is 19.8%. Mozgov’s is 32.8%. Both of these numbers are bad since Randolph and Mozgov are generally the worst offensive players on the floor whenever they’re out there and therefore shouldn’t be making plays, but statistically even if we discount his stats for the GSW, Randolph is the lesser of two evils. The only rationale I see for playing Mozgov over randolph is that his on ball defense may be stronger, but the Randolph’s higher block and steal #s should easily make up for that since the only area this team has truly thrived has been in transition.

    The key may be that the knicks have a true blowout somewhere along the line where Randolph can get out there and play for low stakes and show some things that he hasn’t had the minutes to show.

  43. Brian Cronin

    I agree that the key for Randolph is how he’s being used. If they let him play the Turiaf role, he can be effective (although even there he should cut down on the unforced errors, like trying to block a shot that was not going in). Can you imagine how pissed we would be if Turiaf took some of the shots Randolph has taken? But Turiaf hasn’t, so he’s been effective. But playing the two together almost forces Randolph into not playing the role he should be playing, which is Turiaf II.

  44. Z-man

    I was as big of an optimist with Randolph as anyone before seeing him on our team. I must say that my optimism is mostly gone. So far, I have been pretty dismayed by the absolute rawness of Randolph’s decision making and fundamentals, considering that he has played 100 or so NBA games. It seems that every good play (usually a rebound or a block) is followed by a 6th grade travel team-level mistake. To be fair, Mozgov is not much better but at least you can chalk it up to his NBA inexperience, and his struggles are not quite as surprising. If Mozgov is as raw after 100 games as he is now, I’d be way less optimistic about him in the short term as well (although he is older, he got a late start in b-ball and is new to the US, so he is entitled to a little more slack; besides, even though the C competition is much more wide open than PF, he’s been benched as well behind a career backup in Turiaf.) I almost wonder whether he would benefit from playing in Europe for a year or two.

    Anyway, neither guy looks like a rotation player at this point, unless they prove they can stay on the floor on the floor beyond very specific combinations of players in very specific game situations. Ironically, with Randolph, his “versatility” may be holding him back. If he can lock into a given role first (e.g shot-blocking and rebounding specialist at the 4-5 spots) and take 75% of his shots in close, maybe he can slowly work on the other areas without so much pressure not to fail.

    I also think Randolph is very much hurt by our deficiencies at the guard spots. He doesn’t move well w/o the ball or make good decisions with the ball. He’s sort of the anti-Fields. Imagine the player you would have if Randolph had the same mindset as Fields…move w/o the ball, don’t force the issue, shoot only high-percentage shots except for the occasional keep-em-honest jumper, etc. Will the benching work? Probably not in the short run.

  45. nicos

    Brian Cronin: Wow, Gallo is now leading the team in WS/48 plus overall Win Shares.
    Damn, Amar’e, a .079 WS/48?!?! His career average is .182!!  

    I’d say Gallo’s numbers are as misleading as Felton’s- he’s done two things well- get to the line (and not just last night but pretty consistently all season) and make free throws and he hasn’t turned the ball over. I’d argue his low assist number is completely trumped by the fact on the entire team only Timo has a lower assist %- easy to put up low turnover numbers when you rarely try to make a pass that might actually lead to a bucket (and this isn’t just a small sample size- he stunk last year too). And yes- his TS% looks very good but it’s been a solely a result of getting to line- like Felton failing to get Amar’e the ball in the P & R, Gallo has failed just as conspicuously in his designated role- knocking down open jumpers. His eFG may be misleadingly low as he has drawn some fouls on jumpers (two last night and two against Houston that I recall) but as the majority of his fouls have been drawn on drives it’s still pretty bad. Add to that the fact that while his man defense has been okay he’s been negligent in protecting the backcourt on numerous occasions and with the exception of the Denver game been invisible as a help defender and his rebounding, while slightly improved, is still decidedly average, that high win share number is as misleading as Chandler’s PER. That said, if plays with the same energy he has the last couple of games, I think he’ll wind up having the year everyone hoped he’d have- even if he’s not shooting 40% from three, I’d be surprised if he’s not up to around 37-38% by the end of the year- if he does that and keeps getting to the line he could wind up at something like 20ppg at .600+% TS- very good indeed.

  46. Frank

    Ted Nelson: If your theory were correct, their results would fluctuate dramatically from one system to another. They don’t. They’re pretty darn constant on the whole. Again, why make an impassioned and at times insulting argument with no data to back you up???????It’s not my interpretation. It’s the accepted one. There will be examples of players who excelled in certain circumstances, sure. Was it the system or their prime? or luck? or motivation? Hard to say. On the whole, though, stats are going to remain fairly constant across systems.

    I could just as well ask you to show me YOUR data that in this PARTICULAR circumstance– young player going to a new system, role undefined in both systems, position undefined in both systems– that your assumption is correct. I don’t care about a 27 year old player SF in his prime going from triangle team to triangle team playing the same position and role. I don’t care about a Theo Ratliff-types whose job no matter what system it is is to contest anything that comes close to him, while never shooting or handling the ball no matter what. I want to know where your data exists where a young player who has no position, no idea how to play pro basketball, goes from one system to another, then generates the same stats, shot distribution, etc. I care about Ron Artest going from super-strict Rick Carlisle in 2005 Indiana to fast-paced motion with Rick Adelman in 2005 Sacramento (hint: the stats look like 2 different players). I DO care about Shawn Marion, who within the same season went from a PER of 20–>17, TS of 59–>50, and whose WS/48 dropped by nearly 2/3 when he left D’Antoni and joined Pat Riley.

    I don’t really care about “accepted interpretations”. If we cared about “accepted interpretations” then we would be spending all our time talking about points per game and none of our time talking about TS%.

    This is my issue with your interpretation. Let’s even say that you’re right – that “on the whole” the stats stay constant — so then of course, AR’s stats should stay constant, right?. So what you are doing then is taking a cross-sectional sample of the entire player population of the NBA and expect your observation to apply to a very specific subset, thus your statement “They’re pretty darn constant on the whole”. That’s like saying 33% of the total age 18-80 US population has high blood pressure, then walking into a adult cardiologist’s office and expecting 2 out of 3 to have normal blood pressure. The population in the cardiologist’s office is completely different than the 18-80 population at large.

    That’s why Morey probably has 10000 shot charts of players’ shooting percentages from this particular spot on the floor against this particular defense in this particular quarter. Who cares what a player’s overall 3 point percentage is if he actually shoots 50% from the left corner, 75% from the right corner, and 20% from the wings and he is now shooting from the left corner?

    So that’s my point. I’m actually the one NOT making assumptions. My hypothesis is the null hypothesis – that we don’t know what to expect in this particular case, that his previous history at GSW may or may not have any bearing on what he does here. By saying that his stats should stay the same (also without any evidence as far as I can tell), you’re the one who is making an assumption.

    Now again — you are probably right – and his stats (especially the ones not particularly system- or role-based, like rebounds, blocks, certainly free throws etc.) will probably approach his previous numbers. But (as you often do), you completely dismissed Thomas B’s statement based solely on your own unsubstantiated assumption.

    To everyone else on the board – I’m sorry if this seems very nitpicky – but if we’re going to talk about statistics meaningfully, I feel like we need to understand WHEN they are useful, and what their limitations are.

  47. Frank

    Heck- even easier. Does anyone here know a certain all-NBA PF who used to get many of his shots on the receiving end of a PnR but now endlessly upsets the fans of his new team because the kind of shots he takes now are really different than those he used to take?

  48. JK47

    With regards to our mercurial forward Anthony Randolph: I know this is a stats-oriented blog, but… Stats, schmats. Getting into all of this minutae with a player who is only getting token minutes seems pretty silly. Maybe Randolph would be more effective with a bigger sample size. It doesn’t really matter.

    D’Antoni and the coaching staff gets to do something that we don’t: work with Randolph every day in practice. And I’m going to go ahead and guess that the guy is just as clueless in practice as he is during the actual games. The fact that Randolph’s minutes have declined to DNP-CD level makes me think that the guy isn’t exactly killing it in those practice sessions.

    Maybe D’Antoni knows what he’s doing. Let Randolph show he has a faint grasp of the game before sticking him into high-pressure situations.

  49. Ted Nelson

    Brian, Agreed re: 43.

    z-man, I agree with some of what you’re saying, but like a lot of other people you seem to overlook that AR played a lot better in GS. He’s already proven that he could keep his TOs down and score at least respectably. I would probably bench him too at this point, but I think there’s still plenty of reason for optimism.

    Frank: To everyone else on the board – I’m sorry if this seems very nitpicky – but if we’re going to talk about statistics meaningfully, I feel like we need to understand WHEN they are useful, and what their limitations are.  

    A. Who crowned you to talk for the rest of this board?

    B. What are your qualifications as an expert in statistics? I graduated first in my class majoring in economics, so while I’m not a huge expert I am certainly familiar with statistical concepts.

    Frank: I could just as well ask you to show me YOUR data that in this PARTICULAR circumstance– young player going to a new system, role undefined in both systems, position undefined in both systems– that your assumption is correct.

    Again, it is not my research. Those who have researched it have found that NBA stats stay pretty constant. This is not my opinion. I didn’t come up with it. It’s born out in the stats and reported by people who know a lot more about stats and basketball than I do.

    With a young player you do have a sample size issue. However, across two seasons AR was at least a 33% jump shooter and a 57-67% inside shooter while splitting his FGAs about 55/45 J/inside. He managed 18.5 pts/36 last season at those numbers, so it wasn’t that it was a low volume thing. It’s a LONG drop from there to 21% on Js, 25% on inside shots, only getting inside 22% of the time. From 4.1 FTA/36 down to 1.0. These are not likely to be his long-term numbers, and are likely to be a sample size issue. If this is his real ability he would make Mardy Collins look like Magic Johnson…

    You really thought going into this season it was reasonable to believe AR would take 80% jumpers and he would forget how to score close to the basket?

    Frank: I care about Ron Artest going from super-strict Rick Carlisle in 2005 Indiana to fast-paced motion with Rick Adelman in 2005 Sacramento (hint: the stats look like 2 different players).

    Seriously???? Seriously???? No. What stats are you looking at? His TS%, his usage, his ast%, his block%… all his rate adjusted stats have stayed the same. My only guess is that A. you are looking at the 7 games he played in 04-05. Do you know what sample size means? or B. you are being confused by pace… He was the same damn player in Indy and Sacto. He struggled for his first half season in Sacto, but there are any number of reasons that could have been. He was sent home by the Pacers for a couple months before being dealt, so he may well have returned way out of shape. He may not have shot a single basketball for 2 months and lost his touch. The next season he was right back to his career numbers.

    Marion is one example. But the exception can often prove the rule.

    Frank: I don’t really care about “accepted interpretations”.

    Accepted by the people who don’t talk about PPG. Accepted by the Hollinger’s, Berri’s, etc. Those kind of guys might disagree about a lot of things, but they both believe that stats remain relatively constant in the NBA or they would not bother devoting their lives to these stats.

    Frank: But (as you often do), you completely dismissed Thomas B’s statement based solely on your own unsubstantiated assumption.

    No. I dismissed Thomas B because he was tooting his own horn for going against the grain and saying that AR was worthless this summer. He went to pretty extreme lengths to say he was worthless. On the surface he might appear to have been right: AR has been worthless. However, it’s not the same AR from GS who has been worthless. That AR was not nearly as worthless. He was never the KG clone some people were hoping he was, but he was a useful player.

    Frank: This is my issue with your interpretation. Let’s even say that you’re right – that “on the whole” the stats stay constant — so then of course, AR’s stats should stay constant, right?. So what you are doing then is taking a cross-sectional sample of the entire player population of the NBA and expect your observation to apply to a very specific subset, thus your statement “They’re pretty darn constant on the whole”. That’s like saying 33% of the total age 18-80 US population has high blood pressure, then walking into a adult cardiologist’s office and expecting 2 out of 3 to have normal blood pressure. The population in the cardiologist’s office is completely different than the 18-80 population at large.

    NO!!!!!!!NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you reading my posts? Inside/outside is pretty general, but it’s not just look at TS%. There’s only so much real estate “inside.” No matter what system you’re playing in, a wide open lay-up is a wide open lay-up… AR has been missing wide open lay-ups. He’s been missing EVERYTHING. It’s basketball. You put a ball into a hole. A wide open jumper from the same spot on the floor in D’Antoni’s system is not different from Nelson’s. And, furthermore, those two coaches are guys who you can easily compare. He did not go from Larry Brown to Don Nelson.

    Frank: My hypothesis is the null hypothesis – that we don’t know what to expect in this particular case, that his previous history at GSW may or may not have any bearing on what he does here. By saying that his stats should stay the same (also without any evidence as far as I can tell), you’re the one who is making an assumption.

    So we just know nothing???????????? Just go into the future ignoring the past because it tells us nothing? Can’t project anything based on statistics? If he hit X% of shots from spot Y in situation Z for two seasons, that’s not a reasonable guess for how often he’ll hit them this season? We have to agree to disagree. There is a site, I think it was Ben R who uses it, that will tell you % from different spots. We will have to use that.

  50. Ted Nelson

    Frank: Heck- even easier. Does anyone here know a certain all-NBA PF who used to get many of his shots on the receiving end of a PnR but now endlessly upsets the fans of his new team because the kind of shots he takes now are really different than those he used to take?  

    Even easier: SAMPLE SIZE. There’s the sample, then there’s the size. Getting it?

  51. Ted Nelson

    Ted Nelson: A. Who crowned you to talk for the rest of this board?

    Oh, misunderstood your point. Still disagree. Still don’t understand why you’re acting like you know so much more than everyone else. So much more than people who have advanced degrees in statistics.

    You really think it’s reasonable to expect a guy who hit .578 of inside shots to go to 25% because the system changed? You don’t think it might be because defenses are packed in against the Knicks and just rotten luck/nerves over a 90 minute sample with a new team? 90 minutes is just over 2 games for a starter. Was Danilo having a few bad games a sure sign that he could not transition to this new system with these new teammates and that he had forgotten how to shoot?

    Anyway, I hope you have multiple advanced degrees in mathematics or economics to be going off so vehemently about how much more than everyone else in the world you know about stats.

  52. Doug Chu

    SHOW ME YOUR DATA! IF IT’S NOT SCIENTIFICALLY PEER REVIEWED I WILL IGNORE IT!

    SHUT UP! I AM MORE HANDSOME AND SUCCESSFUL AND I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!

    ted and frank you are both smart dudes but acting kind of like children right now. SMH.

  53. Ted Nelson

    Anyway, Frank, I think your point is really about Felton and not AR. I just don’t see how you can say that going from Don Nelson to D’Antoni would make you expect a guy to forget how to shoot a basketball, or even how to lay it in. How going from one wide-open system to another wold make a guy turn it over twice as much.

    I have already admitted on this site I may have been too harsh on Felton. Ben R (I think it was Ben R) did a good job of showing a. that his shooting really dipped for a 2 or 3 year period after college and his rookie season and before last season (which others had shown, but this season continues to the trend from last season) and b. that taking less long 2s and more 3s has helped him. Still doesn’t make him a great PG. Maybe he’s around the 15-20th best starting PG in the NBA, whereas I though he’s might be somewhere in the 20s. I also wouldn’t get too excited about his stats 15% of the way through the season and call it a career year. Maybe they’ll only get better, but maybe he’ll have a couple cold nights and they’ll fall off a bit.

    I think you have to consider circumstances (noise… such as Artest being a sociopath who was sent home after declaring he wanted to take a year off from basketball and devote himself to music before going to Sacto) and sample size more. And luck (which inter-relates with both circumstances and more so sample size). There are a few examples of guys struggling from one system to another or improving. But there are still general trends to consider when looking at an average player. You can reasonably expect X, and you’ll be right more often than not. In statistical models, that’s the goal: being right more often than you’re wrong.

  54. Z-man

    Ted, while I am down on Randolph right now, it is mainly in terms of what I had hoped for vs. what I have seen so far. Sure, he might play better if he starts hitting a few shots. I just don’t see a player that understands the nuances of the game, and I see that the maddening inconsistency he showed in his GS time is not about attitude or work ethic, but about a faulty understanding of how to approach the game. Again, I think the Landry Fields comparison is instructive. Not sure how to articulate the difference, but I’ll try. While both are athletic and versatile, Fields conforms to the needs dictated by the game situation, while Randolph plays as if the game should adapt to his mindset. It is hard to have such an inconsistent player in the rotation, especially when he seems so close-minded. If you look at his game-to-game stat, he had one relatively consistent good stretch, in the last month of his rookie year. By then, however, his team was a train wreck and there was no harm in playing him extended minutes. I doubt that he will have that luxury here until either someone in the front line gets hurt or D’Antoni gets fired. Unless, of course, he plays smarter in the limited time he gets while in the doghouse.

    BTW, I thought that, physically and talent-wise, Cousins looked very, very impressive. If (and a HUGE if) he gets his head screwed on straight, he can become a monster center.

  55. Frank

    So look – this was not meant to turn into a flame war on Mike’s board. My major issue is that while you are very quick to call out other posters’ perceived mistakes/misinterpretations, you can’t deal with it when others (me for instance) call you out on yours.

    Ted Nelson:
    B. What are your qualifications as an expert in statistics? I graduated first in my class majoring in economics, so while I’m not a huge expert I am certainly familiar with statistical concepts.
    Again, it is not my research. Those who have researched it have found that NBA stats stay pretty constant.

    So as Doug Chu seems to have deduced, I’m an academic physician and part of what I do is design clinical trials — specifically design trials in such a way that statistically/clinically significant findings are scientifically valid and as safe from confounders as possible. I’m not a statistician, but part of my work is to make findings acceptable/believable to statisticians.

    Ted Nelson:
    .
    You really think it’s reasonable to expect a guy who hit .578 of inside shots to go to 25% because the system changed? Y

    Actually I was referring more to shot distribution. You said in #34 that in the prior 2 years at GSW he shot 54% jumpers or so, and here he is shooting 78%. Shot distribution may be very different from system to system – see: NYK 3 pointers attempted/game (24) vs. Boston (13). Just because he shot 54% jumpers in GSW does not mean he will shoot 54% here. If he shoots 78% jumpers he will not see the floor much.

    Ted Nelson:
    Even easier: SAMPLE SIZE. There’s the sample, then there’s the size. Getting it?  

    As clever as your comeback is, even you know that’s not true. If Amare keeps shooting the same shots he is shooting now (ie. isolation drives into double/triple teams), he will NOT have a TS of 61.5+ when all is said and done. That’s why we keep talking about needing to get the PnR working again (as opposed to just waiting for his previous stats to rescue us). In this case, the system is even the same, but the players are different, which has led to a decrease in his efficiency. Coaching Felton up, not waiting for the law of averages, is what will get him back to his statistical norm of PHX. Amazingly, his TS now is just like it was his rookie season, before Nash and D’Antoni’s PnR came.

    Ted Nelson: So we just know nothing???????????? Just go into the future ignoring the past because it tells us nothing? Can’t project anything based on statistics?

    Not at all – I love advanced stats for basketball analysis, and I have to say that this site has really opened my eyes to the game. All I’m saying is that with a kid like AR, who has only 1 year of college basketball, a nutjob genius of a coach in Don Nelson for 2 injury plagued years, and now is on a team with a very different offense (yes they’re both fast-paced) — it is hard to know what to expect, and that whatever he did in GSW does not necessarily predict what he will do here. Same for Felton (although less so because he is a veteran), who is coming from a different system.

    Doug Chu: S!ted and frank you are both smart dudes but acting kind of like children right now. SMH.  

    I agree completely. Sorry everyone.

  56. Ted Nelson

    Frank: My major issue is that while you are very quick to call out other posters’ perceived mistakes/misinterpretations, you can’t deal with it when others (me for instance) call you out on yours.

    Frank, I actually feel I often admit fault when proven wrong. Again, I agreed with Ben R that I might have been too harsh on Felton as soon as the season started… He made valid, rational, statistically backed points. I agreed.

    However, you have told me that I have no idea how to interpret stats. Gone so far as to make a side note to the rest of the board that you felt it necessary to school me on statistics.

    Then, your entire argument revolves around the correlation between Ron Artest’s offensive systems being causation for his play. Do you not see several problem with that?
    1. If your argument is that you are so great with statistics that we should ignore the work of experts in the field to follow you, you might google “correlation” and “causation” at once and see what you find.
    2. Someone might have consulted Adelman in Houston before trading for Artest. Artest played under Adelman in Houston and his stats were pretty well in line with his career #s and career arc. So, it’s hard to argue that either Adelman didn’t like Artest in his system or that Artest was a different player in that system.
    3. Artest was not particularly young when traded to Sacto. You said you are only interested in young guys moving systems, and then the examples you provide are of two veterans.
    4. You make no effort to analyze the same factors you fault me for not analyzing in talking about Artest or Marion. You again assume correlation = causation, and are guilty of exactly what you are accusing me of by not considering where their shots are coming from. And… scoring efficiency is only one variable in basketball AND maybe the most unstable from year to year.

    Ideally would I have more in-depth stats than box score stats and 82games.com stats, and use them to examine what’s going on? Yes. However, the stats we do have summarize all the little things you’re talking about. Since I don’t have millions and millions of dollars in pocket change and already waste too much time with this hobby, I do not ever plan to spend the time and resources necessary to track where every NBA shot is taken and under what circumstances… I will rely on the big picture stats with some help for the 82games’ of the world.

    Frank: a very different offense (yes they’re both fast-paced)

    You’re not going to find a whole lot of offenses more similar to what D’Antoni’s trying to do. They both rely on transition and the 3, they both seem pretty hands off, and they both are willing to use players above their position slot to get more shooters on the floor. That’s at the most basic level. However, if two fairly similar offenses are so different according to you then it would follow that we can’t trust any data when a player changes systems.

    Frank: it is hard to know what to expect, and that whatever he did in GSW does not necessarily predict what he will do here.

    To a degree it does. He hit 33, 34% of jumpers. I don’t care what system that’s in, it would take a monumental offseason improvement for him to enter 2010-11 as Ben Gordon. Near impossible. It would also take a small sample, bad luck, etc. for him to look like Yinka Dare shooting the ball… yet he has.
    I don’t really know what you’re arguing, besides that you think I’m an idiot… You think that it’s a good idea for D’Antoni to stick with a system in which the best use of Anthony Randolph is to take 80% jumpers? Despite being a poor career jump shooter? If the system is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO important that it determines whether or not a player can make wide open lay-ups and generally be a competent professional basketball player, D’Antoni must be an even bigger idiot than me… My guess is he’s not, and he would actually prefer AR not take 80% jumpers.

    Frank: As clever as your comeback is, even you know that’s not true. If Amare keeps shooting the same shots he is shooting now (ie. isolation drives into double/triple teams), he will NOT have a TS of 61.5+ when all is said and done. That’s why we keep talking about needing to get the PnR working again

    I have barely talked about the pnr for a while. He just needs good looks, those don’t HAVE to come on the pnr. Maybe I am a total idiot on stats, but I actually bother looking at them rather than just jumping to conclusions with no statistical evidence. Since waking up against the Bucks, Amare’s TS% is 58.4 across 6 games. He’s only shooting 54% from the line the last 3 games… At his career FT% of 75.7… he’d be at a TS% of 60.5 for the last 6 games. Half the season to date. It’s very possible that he will overcome his early struggles and post a TS% around 60 for the Knicks.
    Again, I don’t see why you feel the need to attack me without even looking into what you’re writing about. When your argument is that I am incompetent with stats, ignoring stats hurts your credibility.

    Frank: ctually I was referring more to shot distribution. You said in #34 that in the prior 2 years at GSW he shot 54% jumpers or so, and here he is shooting 78%.

    What evidence do you have that D’Antoni expects bigmen who can’t shoot to take 80% jumpers???????????? This is, again, what I don’t get. Why do you feel the need to just attack me with no reason behind it????????? Let’s look at some comparable players to AR from D’Antoni’s previous teams: Marion, Diaw, Lee, Kurt Thomas maybe, Amare who he subs in for… Did any of those guys take 80% jumpers?
    You can do in-depth research if you feel like it, but:
    07-08 — Diaw: 60%Js, Marion: 50% Js, Amare: 53% Js (and that was the Shaq year that he played PF instead of C…)… heck, even Grant Hill only took 65% Js.
    Lee took 32% Js in 08-09 and 49% in 09-10.

    So, I don’t see why you have to attack me over a hypothetical point when I already knew that it wasn’t the case that D’Antoni wants his bigs taking 80% jumpers. He called Gallo the best shooter he’s ever SEEN and he takes 80% Js…

  57. Ted Nelson

    Z-Man,

    I agree that AR isn’t the smartest basketball player, but that’s been the scouting report on him since he was at LSU (and probably before that)… I don’t know why people expected KG or Camby. I can see expecting him to move in that direction, but even Camby was in Amherst at 21. KG is a HOFer freak.

    My opinion, based on statistical evidence from his two seasons in GS (which Frank thinks is totally worthless and maybe others do to), is that AR is not as bad as he’s played through 89 minutes. That 89 minutes is no sample to judge a player on. If he’s making shots at a higher rate and turning it over at a lower rate and getting inside more… you’re going to see a totally different ball player. You might not compare him to Landry Fields, but you might not be disappointed either. It’s harder to live with a stupid foul, goaltend, TO when a guy is at 32% TS% than at least a 50%+ TS%… (I’m talking as you watch the game as well as look at the stats… he misses a couple shots and a lay-up, then does something dumb and it’s just like why is that guy even out there??? He hits two of those shots and does something dumb and you might let it slide.) Felton and WC make a lot of dumb mistakes, for example, but people are more forgiving.

    Hard to call him closed-minded when D’Antoni himself called him “very coachable.” I have no idea, but I’ll go with D’Antoni unless someone has a contradictory quote.

    Landry Fields seems to have a fantastic b-ball IQ, but he’s also a full year older than Anthony Randolph. I really doubt Randolph will be Fields next season, but he might at least get back to being Anthony Randolph… and probably could be expected to improve by next season even if he weren’t playing so awfully… If you look at Fields junior season (same age as Randolph last season) and senior season
    (AR this season) he took a step forward.

  58. latke

    Ted Nelson: The stats suggest that Randolph will improve. We can’t say for sure from them, but it is likely that he will improve at least somewhat (and here are a lot of reasons).

    Frank: The stats suggest Randolph will improve. We can’t be sure of that (and here are a lot of reasons), but it is likely that he will improve at least somewhat.

    You guys seem to be having more of an argument about how to apply statistics than about Anthony Randolph, which is fine, but I figured I’d just point that out, but it is likely that he will improve at least somewhat.

    The bottom line IMHO is that Randolph is really young and there’s a lot of variability in young players. Channing Frye looked like the second coming of Tim Duncan for a minute, and then he fell apart and has resurrected himself into the second coming of Sam Perkins. Monta Ellis looked like an undersized chucker until last year. Before last year, everyone called GS stupid for the contract he got. Then there are players like Stromile Swift who look promising for a minute and then are out of the league not too long afterwards.

    There’s a lot to be said both good and bad about Randolph’s potential, but the bottom line is that he’s young and we really don’t know. As TN pointed out, 89 minutes isn’t a lot of time. As Frank pointed out, there’s a reasonable chance the extra minutes won’t do him all that much good. In any case, it’s not a bad idea to get him some minutes and find out.

  59. latke

    “but I figured I’d just point that out , but it is likely that he will improve at least somewhat.”

  60. Frank

    I don’t think you’re an idiot Ted. I actually like reading most of your posts. Like latke wrote above, my point was mostly semantic. What I don’t like is this entire conversation. It does no one any good– getting me irritated and making us both look petty and argumentative. I believe I’m right just as much as you think you’re right. So let’s just leave it to whoever is actually still reading to make the decision for themselves.

  61. ess-dog

    “Channing Frye looked like the second coming of Tim Duncan for a minute”

    I must’ve been in the bathroom.

  62. Z-man

    Well, as Clyde always says, good shooting is contagious… maybe Randolph will get heat up once everyone else starts shooting.

  63. Z-man

    Two winnable games coming up, we have to get at least one of them. Would be nice if we took both and came back home with some mojo.

  64. latke

    ess-dog: “Channing Frye looked like the second coming of Tim Duncan for a minute”I must’ve been in the bathroom.  

    Frye’s rookie year/36 minutes:
    18.4 pts, 9 rebounds, 1.1 block, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, TS% – 54%.

    Duncan’s rookie year/36:
    19.4 pts, 11 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, .5 steals, 3 turnovers, TS% – 57%.

    Duncan’s numbers are better, but Frye had an excellent rookie year, and if he had built on that, he projected to be somewhere in the range of a Chris Bosh to Pau Gasol caliber forward. Instead, he regressed for several years to the point that he almost didn’t get a contract after his rookie contract ended. He still hasn’t posted a PER anywhere near his rookie PER of 18.1.

  65. Brian Cronin

    I’m not the only one who would love to see Brent Barry cover Spurs highlights on NBA-TV, right?

    “Duncan with 20 and 10 and Tony finished with 25 points, which is how many times he sexted my ex-wife back in September.”

  66. Nick C.

    I don’t mean to retread old ground but on the P&R did anyone watch much of Phoenix…did Amare run it the same way??? I agree that he doesn’t exactly set a pick he just neighborhood and lolls. Oh and I wouldn’t give Felton a hard time on the lack of assists considering Gallo took 8 shots and 17 FT. Can’t get assists on FTs.

  67. Ted Nelson

    Frank: I believe I’m right just as much as you think you’re right.

    You believe that it is because of switching to D’Antoni’s system from Don Nelson’s system that AR is taking 80% jumpers and only hitting 25% of his inside shots?

    You believe that the system is set up for bigmen–Diaw, Marion, Lee, Amare, etc.–to take 80% jumpers?

    You believe Ron Artest never played for Adelman in Houston?

    You believe that Amare’s TS% is the last 6 games is not 58.4% and could be higher if he hit his FTAs?

    latke: As Frank pointed out, there’s a reasonable chance the extra minutes won’t do him all that much good.

    Even someone like Stromile Swift didn’t suddenly collapse to a 6.4 PER (just as a summation of his stats) player from one year to the next early in his career. Even Channing Frye has had two better seasons than his rookie year according to WS/48 and never fell to a TS% below .400 or a PER below 10. So, while those cases are examples that some players never use their athleticism to develop into consistent NBA players and some are inconsistent, they’re not examples of someone suddenly forgetting how to play basketball with no warning… which, if you believe these are AR’s new long-term stats, is what you’ve got to believe happened.

    I agree that Randolph isn’t necessarily destined for super-stardom. I never said he will produce EXACTLY the same same statistics he did last season in GS this season in NY, merely something within a reasonable confidence interval around those stats (would actually have expected improvement given his age…). However, the chances he forgot how to lay the ball in the basket and is now 1/2 as good finishing at the basket as Chris Duhon and that the cause of this is switching systems are right next to the chances Gallo forgot how to shoot… It would be an extreme outlier. Chances are it’s a function of sample size.

  68. ess-dog

    latke:
    Frye’s rookie year/36 minutes:
    18.4 pts, 9 rebounds, 1.1 block, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, TS% – 54%.Duncan’s rookie year/36:
    19.4 pts, 11 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, .5 steals, 3 turnovers, TS% – 57%.Duncan’s numbers are better, but Frye had an excellent rookie year, and if he had built on that, he projected to be somewhere in the range of a Chris Bosh to Pau Gasol caliber forward.Instead, he regressed for several years to the point that he almost didn’t get a contract after his rookie contract ended.He still hasn’t posted a PER anywhere near his rookie PER of 18.1.  

    Latke, you’re cherrypicking stats. Look at the actual full comparison:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=fryech01&y1=2006&p2=duncati01&y2=1999

    WS48 .109 for Frye at age 22. Dead average. WS48 .213 for Tim Duncan at age 22. Exceptional.

    Channing’s TS was probably highish and Tim’s lowish b/c of free throws. Channing was a stout .825 and Duncan was at .690. Also Duncan had more turnovers, probably because of a higher usage.
    Look at the assists, look at the blocks. Fry wasn’t a horrible rebounder, but Duncan was much better. And then there’s defense or Channing’s lack thereof.

    Plus, I remember watching the actual games and seeing a skinny chicken-necked kid getting dunked on repeatedly and I wasn’t thinking in my head “Yes, we’ve got Tim Duncan part 2!”

  69. rama

    Ted –

    I can’t resist: in post #56, you write, “I actually feel I often admit fault when proven wrong.” We had a lengthy debate (how unusual) in June or July about whether, should the Knicks trade for Melo, we should include Gallo or AR. (We agreed that it should in no event be both players.) You said that AR was a more complementary player to Amare because of his defense and rebounding; I said Gallo was a more complementary player because his outside shooting would open up the lane for Amare. You called me an asshole for persistently misunderstanding your point; I gave up on the back and forth since I didn’t really want to trade either player for Melo and his cap crushing future salary.

    So, er, since we’ve both seen and posted lots of comments about how difficult it is for Amare to get room near the hoop if the outside shooters aren’t hitting, and since you posted that Gallo should keep shooting (given his consistently high percentage in previous games) in order to open up the floor for Amare, who was consistently getting the ball in the wrong part of the floor…I don’t suppose you’d concede that maybe Gallo is the more complementary player, the one more essential in any trade consideration?

  70. Ted Nelson

    rama,

    I am/was definitely wrong through 12 games… but in the context I don’t think I was totally wrong. Wrong for my tone and behavior, but not necessarily my points. So I apologize for that.

    I think both complement him in different ways if they’re playing to their ability (definitely so far this season you are right since AR is so awful… and if Gallo continues to be a significantly better player going forward you would also be right).

    Part of my point was that an outside shooter is easier to find than the defender (I at least thought/think) AR is capable of being (also assuming his offensive #s are a lot closer to 09-10…). If TD, Walker, Felton, Fields, Mason are all hitting 35-40% of their 3s and WC is hitting like 33% and taking far less… Gallo’s outside shooting is less valuable. If someone had really stepped up when he was essentially given a couple games off and/or he hadn’t improved his overall game and was still merely a spot-up shooter and struggled again upon returning, maybe he finds himself in more of an AR situation at this point…

    Part of it was my assumption of how they’d do this season based on how they did last season. It was possible Gallo would drive more and draw fouls like he did in Italy, but hardly assured. He’s done it so far. It was also possible that AR would pick up where he left off and maybe even improve on his game… but obviously that hasn’t happened. I was just kind of looking at career stats/play and putting an informal confidence interval around them… assuming improvement to some degree for both young players.

    Before I knew that Gallo would step up as an all-around player through 12 games and AR would look like … I don’t know… crap… yeah, I thought AR might be a better compliment. This season? I think Gallo is much better.

    At this point, Gallo is playing well enough that I would really hesitate to trade him even straight-up for Melo… though I still might. Over the offseason I would…

  71. chrisk06811

    I’m tired of hearing the quote re. how Gallo’s teammates hated him. The quote came from friggen Al Harrington. Who cares. Gallo still played well last year and developed, despite the lack of love. That team is gone…..who cares what they thought? He’s a young player who coach gave the green light to shoot….players get jealous. It shouldn’t impact him at all.

    I’m assuming most of the team didn’t like Al Harrington. At least, any of them who actually liked receiving passes or someone else playing defense.

  72. Brian Cronin

    I’m tired of hearing the quote re. how Gallo’s teammates hated him.

    Is that still making the rounds in the mainstream media? That is annoying. I could see someone like Kay latching on to that.

  73. Z-man

    @72 Eloquent post, Ted.

    Agree with all, except that I don’t think Gallo has played as well as you imply through 12 games. By my count, he had two excellent games (Chicago, Sacramento) 5 so-so to good games and 5 lousy to horrific games. I will give him that the wrist was an issue early, but he was pretty bad vs. Houston and GS. He has played very, very well in the last two games, and hopefully that is more indicative of where he’s headed. Certainly, there is reason to hesitate trading him for Melo, although I probably still make that deal straight up. I would not hesitate to trade AR for Melo or anyone of perennial all-star quality.

  74. Ted Nelson

    Z-Man,

    I don’t really know much of anything about player consistency across games… To what degree are some players more inconsistent than others? To what degree does it matter? I don’t know.

    Gallo’s average stats are pretty good, though. He leads the team in WS and is tied for 4th in PER, despite the horrific outside shooting…

    I believe (again having done no research) that both to judge the 12 games and to project looking forward you have to look at what he did on an average night.

    One way or the other, he’s been infinitely better than Randolph overall…

  75. Z-man

    I see your point, and nobody is completely consistent, especially shooters. However, the more wildly inconsistent a player is, the harder it is to define his role and settle on a game plan, esp. if there aren’t somewhat interchangable parts to pick up the slack. That said, I do think that Gallo looks much better of late and that his wrist injury set him back a bit.

  76. rama

    The only reason I would’t trade Gallo OR AR straight up for Melo (with Curry’s contract thrown in, which is kind of like straight up) is that we’d have to PAY Melo. There’s no reason to give away young talent if you don’t lock in the player you trade for, but locking in Melo means a max contract, and I continue to believe that he’s just not worth it. A return to cap hell – no thanks.

    If we could sign Melo in the off-season for a Lee-like contract, sure, let’s do it! But someone is going to offer him a max deal and make that impossible.

    So, I wouldn’t trade any player for Melo, not because of any talent consideration, but pure financial consideration. Can’t build a championship team with both him and Amare signed to the max.

  77. Ted Nelson

    Z-man: However, the more wildly inconsistent a player is, the harder it is to define his role and settle on a game plan

    I would think consistency is positive, but at the same time a guy who has 2 great games for every 1 bad game and averages out to above good might help you win 2 of 3 games… a 54 win season. Just an example.

    rama: Can’t build a championship team with both him and Amare signed to the max.  

    I don’t have a strong feeling… but you can build a very good playoff team with both Amare and Melo. Right now the Knicks don’t seem to have that.

    At some point you can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It’s debatable at what point that is. The point where you can trade a big question mark like Anthony Randolph into a perennial All-Star while still keeping Amare, Gallo, Fields, Chandler, Douglas, Felton, Turiaf, Timo, Azu, all future picks, etc. is probably on the “do the trade” side of that point for me. You have a group that could develop into a contender, and you’re still well positioned in the trade market with youth and expirings. Would Denver actually trade Melo for AR? Doubt it, maybe if they know they are losing him.

    In free agency, keeping AR along with the rest of them, I absolutely would sign Melo. You really have a closing window before WC, Walker, Gallo, AR, Douglas, Fields, Williams, etc. will have to be re-signed or lost. You can go as far over the cap as you need to re-sign them, though, once you are capped out (assuming new CBA isn’t a whole new system). So at some point you may have to decide between holding out for Mr. Right and losing your young assets. If I can get a top 20 guy while keeping my young guys, I probably do it in the Knicks’ situation.

  78. Ted Nelson

    Sorry about the double post there.

    Also, rama, another thing to think about: what’s more valuable? A 100% chance at Melo or at best maybe a 33% chance at CP3, Dwight Howard, or Deron… At worst maybe a 3% chance (1/30).

    Say you rank Mr. Right at 100 and Melo at 75. You know you can sign Melo today (offseason 2011). 100% * 75 = 75. You figure you’re a serious contender in 2012, so you say maybe 25% chance at Mr. Right. 25% * 100 = 25. The value of Melo is a lot higher than the chance at Mr. Right under those assumptions. Obviously you can dispute those off-hand assumptions. Just saying that at some point a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush. Hard to calculate that point.

  79. rama

    I know what you’re saying about any potential Melo trade or signing, Ted. Still, we just plain need a great point more than a good wing. Gallo may or may not get the job done, but between him and Wil and possibly Buke, it’s just not a big need. Whereas, despite the decent play of Felton, he was signed for two years for a reason: in year 3, we’re hoping for either Deron or CP3. If signing Melo prevents us from getting one of them, then yes, it IS a mistake.

    Of course, we may not have a shot. Kind of depressing to see the Hornets doing so well, for that reason. But it’s a long season. Even February is a long way away, and I can’t see any serious action until then.

    Hard to calculate indeed. I just would like to see a title in my lifetime…

    (Can’t see Howard coming here.)

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