Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

115 comments on “Seven Seconds or Mess: Webisode 11

  1. blackriderx

    So… D’Antoni was too classy to put in Jerome James for some hack a Shaq minutes? Shaq did go 11-18 FT, but at the expense of Lee it seems.

  2. jon abbey

    I think he didn’t want to make Shaq mad, or Lee or Chandler could have paid the price a la Rodney Stuckey a few weeks back.

  3. italian stallion

    Shaq went Beast Mode that night! I’m sure Marbury can’t wait for Kobe to do the same against the Knicks tonight.

    Berman is reporting that he IS going to attend tonight. I hope he’s wrong.

    If he’s not, this is why so many people find Marbury so repulsive. It’s a Knicks/Lakers game and he just has show up and make himself the center of attention instead of allowing us and the media to enjoy and analyze the Knicks against one of the stars of the league and a potential NBA championship contender to see how we stack up.

    He’s either so stupid he doesn’t understand that many Knicks fans, most of his teamates, the Knicks organization, the comissioner, and many other teams in the league are going to be turned off by this or he does understand it and doesn’t care because he wants to be the center of attention even if it’s self destructive and disruptive.

    Either way, how can you defend a nincumpoop like this or possibly want him on your team. Hopefully, someone in the player’s union or someone with an IQ higher than a rock talked him out of it and suggested he go to another Laker game. Gee wiz, can’t we just chip in and give 25 him million to go to another country (better yet another planet).

  4. Gorky

    This new Marbury move makes me inexplicably angry at him. Why can’t he just go away? It’s not like it’s going to be a good game.

  5. jon abbey

    what would be awesome is if it somehow inspired NY to play the game of their lives and win. then afterwards, they could gather at center court, rip off their jerseys and show that they were all wearing t-shirts that said “FUCK YOU STEPH”.

    back to reality, LA 114-98. :)

  6. o_boogie

    How does Steph have enough juice to get courtside seats to the game. Put his a$$ in the noseblood behind the backboard. I bet LA thought putting him courtside would be a distraction to the NY, but hopefully that plan will backfire.

    Nate looking nice making Farmar look like an amateur.

  7. beanmaxz

    Harrington not having a great game, but everyone else is totally dealing. Can’t help thinking they’re going to hit a wall in the second half, but this is fun to watch.

  8. Matt A

    We’re like night and day when we can hit our shots. Last night we only lost by 8 and we shot like 13 percent from 3. If that goes up to 25 percent we win that game.

  9. beanmaxz

    We should be up by 16, given how poorly the Lakers are shooting, but we’ve had some bad sequences the last few times down the court.

  10. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Watching the game it was obvious that Shaq was having his way on offense, but on the other end of the court he seemed uninterested in defending his man on the perimeter. I thought the Knicks would try to take advantage of that. I’m also confused that the Knicks didn’t bring in James or Rose for a couple of fouls on the Big Aristotle.

    But I agree with Gian – it never seemed that Phoenix was going to lose control. I remember years ago fans on RealGM arguing how good the Knicks were in reality, counting all the games they lost by 3 points or less. Forget about mentioning that nobody wins all their close games, but the mark of a good team is the number of times they’re on the other side of these kinds of games. I look forward to having a group of players that will give me that feeling again.

  11. Matt A

    Amazing half. Lets see if the Knicks have the fortitude to keep it up even with a 15 point lead. The Knicks of old would fall apart but I think this team has too much resolve to let that happen. Wilson Chandler has been playing amazing defense.

  12. njhoop

    When we are hitting shots it is beautiful. And, we can’t get a call.

    Trying to be objective, it does appear we get no respect from the refs on the road. Some of those fouls were totally obvious.

    Boy, how many chippies did the Lakers miss?

    This game will probably still end in an L, but once again, give lots of credit to this team for showing up big time on the second night of a back to back.

  13. o_boogie

    It is HILARIOUS listening to Payton and Webber do halftime highlights for NBAtv; it is like a bunch of incomprehensible noise with a random word thrown in.

  14. beanmaxz

    I don’t like this small lineup in the third quarter — too many mismatches for them to take advantage of. Harrington just taking too many out of control shots.

  15. jon abbey

    it’s not even just the missed calls, it’s the cheap foul calls at the other end.

    the most lopsidedly reffed game I’ve seen in a long time, if NY somehow manages to hold on despite that, it’ll be a real miracle.

  16. nj hoop

    Wow, that lead disappeared in a hurry, which is not unexpected. Close game down the stretch, they have Kobe, we don’t, will be very tough to win now. But a great effort no matter what happens.

  17. Jcon

    This reminds me of all those NY-CHI games of the 90’s where no matter what the lead was you always feel Jordan lurking and we never get a call.

  18. njhoop

    Man, I’m loving this team, they never quit. Chandler and Lee calmly drain jumpers with the crowd in a frenzy. Go NY Go!

  19. Matt A

    Wow, I cant even watch the last 2 minutes of the game- cable went out- how ridiculous is this. Have to watch on gametracker- was Nates 7 foot shot a good shot?

  20. beanmaxz

    Looks like Duhon could have taken at least one more dribble before launching…but the lack of a timeout was the killer. Great game, even though moral victories are getting old.

  21. BigBlueAL

    Dont want to criticize this team after their great effort tonight, BUT I said it after the Bulls game and the same thing applies to tonight and last night, this team will almost never win a close game down the stretch vs good teams because they cant score when it matters w/o Crawford or Zach. Even tonight, Lee got bailed out and Nate got a lucky look at the corner 3 with the shot clock almost out.

    Again, I would NEVER go back and change the trades. But the trades took away their 2 best scorers whose only attribute that is missed is their ability to score late in games. Hopefully this team doesnt get discourage after these repeatedly deflating losses.

    Obviously though, LOVE the effort and havent had this much fun watching/rooting for the Knicks since 2000.

  22. Dan Panorama

    I can’t remember the last time I was this content after a loss. They really gave it their all and the contrast between this team’s heart and hustle versus the ones led by the in-attendance Stephon “Dick Move” Marbury was really on full display.

  23. njhoop

    Wow, what a heartbreaker. A couple of near steals by Harrington and Nate. What can you say? A 2-3 road trip, a chance to win in all 3 losses, I’ll take it.

  24. Matt A

    Thanks Gian. MSG just really ruined that game for me. Stay up till 1 AM for a great game and cant watch the last 2 minutes cause they cant install weather prevention tools cause they are paying Marbury to sit courtside. Friday night at Milwaukee, lets do it.

  25. jon abbey

    Can’t believe Harrington got the ball instead of Nate on the possession before Ariza missed the shot.

    yeah, this really hurt.

    Lakers made enough plays to win, but the refereeing in the first three quarters was blatantly unfair. ah, well.

    Nate is amazing, by the way. the Leon Washington of the NBA!

  26. Gian Casimiro (SSoM) Post author

    Dont want to criticize this team after their great effort tonight, BUT I said it after the Bulls game and the same thing applies to tonight and last night, this team will almost never win a close game down the stretch vs good teams because they cant score when it matters w/o Crawford or Zach.

    Crawford disappeared entirely down the stretch in some of the most significant close games this year. Dallas and San Antonio stand out most, and he was benched against Boston in the second half. Other than the Utah game, when has he asserted himself as the closer against a good team this year?

    Great game, even though moral victories are getting old.

    The Cleveland games. Don’t forget what a vastly superior team can do to you if you don’t compete.

  27. jon abbey

    yeah, that’s a ridiculous criticism. does anyone really feel more confident with Crawford at the end of the game over Nate? if so, not sure what that’s based on…

    the problem is depth and lack of options on the bench, as it’s been for most of the season. we miss Gallinari, we miss Mobley, we even miss Curry (!). seven guys in a rotation isn’t going to win too many nights, and it’s definitely going to take its toll over the course of the season. Lee had 12 boards in the first half, 2 in the second, for instance.

  28. Knicks fan in LA

    I was at the game tonight in LA- tough loss but the Knicks gave a lot of heart. Nate gave 110% and Chandler played some good D on Kobe. If they keep it up like the last 2 games even though they lost, the season will be alright.

    I wanted to post tomight because I had a close up view of the soap opera that just won’t end – Marbury’s world. He was right at courtside. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Don’t know if they showed that on TV. He sat there the whole night and texted on his Blackberry. He NEVER EVEN WATCHED THE GAME!! He is a supreme wierd dude. Like passing a bad accident that makes you look – I just had to keep looking over at him just to see if any good play peaked even a bit of interest in the guy – but no! Even in the last minute – he never was the least bit interested. He could have even cheered for the Lakers and it would have been more interesting. After I spotted him, I couldn’t help wondering what in the world this guy is thinking… then during halftime it was crystal clear when a pack of reporters surrounded him. He was very interested in giving a 15 minute interview to whomever would listen. The most surreal moment was seeing Q first out of the tunnel after halftime working on his corner shot with Steph only feet away surrounded by all the reporters. Needless to say they ignored each other. Even Spike who was sitting 20 feet from Steph seemed to ignore him too. Steph is really just surreal in his dysfunctional behavior in a way that few can ever match. I am curious to hear if Walsh or D’Antoni have anything to say about his visit to the game? Didn’t they tell him they would pay him his 22 million if he stay away from the club? They must have thought that telling him to stay away from MSG was enough, but they underestimated what a headcase this guy can be once again. Maybe the team needs a restraining order againt him wherever they go?

  29. Owen

    I saw this one out of the corner of my eye. Great effort, tough loss.

    A few thoughts.

    Harrington was not at this best. When I think of Al Harrington I think of 4-14 and that is what we got tonight.

    Nate played a great game. But on a crucial possession near the end of the game he committed a turnover, getting stripped by Fisher. He then got beaten down the court by Fisher because he wasn’t hustling back. Lee had to foul Fisher who made two free throws. Not a good play.

    David Lee hit a huge jump shot to tie the game in the last minute. Not that anyone will remember after a loss, but that was a stellar play. And to be fair, Wilson Chandler had a huge bucket as well with that foulline jumper. On the flipside for that duo, the Lakers dominated the boards in the second half. People take defensive rebounding for granted but I think the lack of a true pf and center out there really hurt us. Lee is a great rebounder but he needs some help.

    Still, I will take a moral victory. It was refreshing to see the Knicks in that position with the Lakers on the ropes, you have to admire their fire.

  30. o_boogie

    I love how during the interview Steph said he is “EARNING his money.” It is comical to hear the delusions that come out of his mouth.

    Some observations about the game:
    -LA ourebounded us 49 to 38
    -LA took 95 shots and we only took 81
    -Kobe had 0 fouls called on him
    -Jeffries got a DNP-CD (however after those back-to-back illegal screens he did against Phoenix I wouldn’t play him either)
    -We were 27-28 from the charity stripe!

    Most stats from the box score (FG%, rebounds, assists, steals, TO, FG attempts) indicate that the game shouldn’t have been that close. However, this game really shows how much of an x-factor the triple can be since we only lost by 2. Love the effort considering we are in the midst of a road trip and the second night of a back to back; it is only a matter of time before we start to get some of these close games.

  31. italian stallion

    At least it was another moral victory.

    I think we are going to have to get used to losing a lot of these close games against top teams for awhile. When you are the inferior team, you are going to lose more of them no matter how well you played for the first 3 quarters. In addition, some of it related to experience under fire, learning how to win…. Basically it’s psychological. We also really don’t have a high percentage shooter than can create for himself in the last minute or so when the team really needs a basket. We will in 2010 though. LOL

    At this point I think we have to be satisfied that not only is this team much improved on the offensive end because of the system, we are now improving on the defensive end. Chandler is a pretty solid defensively and getting rid of Crawford was an automatic plus.

  32. jon abbey

    “Jeffries got a DNP-CD”

    he’s hurt again, his leg. they say it’s not so bad and he shouldn’t be out too long, but it wasn’t really a DNP-CD.

  33. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Dont want to criticize this team after their great effort tonight, BUT I said it after the Bulls game and the same thing applies to tonight and last night, this team will almost never win a close game down the stretch vs good teams because they cant score when it matters w/o Crawford or Zach.

    Crawford disappeared entirely down the stretch in some of the most significant close games this year. Dallas and San Antonio stand out most, and he was benched against Boston in the second half. Other than the Utah game, when has he asserted himself as the closer against a good team this year?

    Exactly. Having Crawford meant we only had like a 25% chance of winning those games, because of his predictable and poor shot selection. No team having him shot their last second shots is going to be good in the clutch.

    The only thing I think the Knicks are missing from Zach/Jamal is depth at guard & rebounding. As Owen pointed out Lee is a strong rebounder, but he can’t do it on his own. The Knicks don’t have a second good rebounder. Too bad they gave up Balkman, who was a great rebounder for his position. It’s very obvious that they need a shot blocking/rebounding big man. Maybe there’s someone off of this roster we can grab:

    http://www.basketleague.be/team/stats/playerstats.phtml?team=1402

  34. Brian Cronin

    It’s pretty hilarious how long the Knicks have been playing with this depleted roster.

    I hope a fully staffed team results in some more victories.

    I wonder what Hollinger has the Knicks’ playoff odds at…

  35. italian stallion

    Owen,

    “David Lee hit a huge jump shot to tie the game in the last minute. Not that anyone will remember after a loss, but that was a stellar play”.

    I’ll remember it. IMO, this is what makes Lee a better player this year than last year.

    His stats last year relative to this year are only partially significant because there are so many one time and other factors contributing to them. He had a very unproductive stretch early this year when the bone spurs were bothering him (and some of his fans were already giving up on his development because his stats were down), Randolph is gone now and he’s picking up some of the rebounding slack, the Knicks are playng at a different pace, he has a great chemistry with Duhon on the pick and roll etc… It’s tough to quantify all that stuff exactly.

    However, what is clear is that last year when given that same exact shot he would often pass it up and the Knicks would wind up with a worse shot. This year, not only is he more willing to take it, he’s willing to take it at crunch time and knock it down.

    Something like that is not going to pad his scoring stats much and will probably even lower his eFG% a tad because it’s a lower quality shot that he usually gets around the basket. However, it’s the right shot to take because it’s better than the probable alternative and also makes it’s tougher on his defender to slack off him and double team other Knicks.

    Lee is playing great ball. He just needs some help on the defensive end because he’s often defending much bigger men as a C.

  36. njhoop

    “Lee is playing great ball. He just needs some help on the defensive end because he’s often defending much bigger men as a C.”

    Good point, he had to guard Shaq the night before.

    I was really impressed how Chandler played Kobe. Bryant really did not get one open look, or blow by him like he does to almost all defenders. And Lee did a nice job of showing the double on Kobe to get the ball out of his hands. Kobe got his as usual, but nothing was easy.

  37. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    I just watched the Knicks in 60 (my PVR failed to record the game) and I found it curious that Duhon took a 60 foot shot with 2.7 on the clock. There was enough to get it to at least half court, no?

    And isn’t Nate the team’s designated half court chucker?

  38. big_fella

    yeah, msg cut out for the last two minutes and i missed duhon’s shot. that’s weird.

    btw, hollinger devoted today’s free column on espn.com to our very own beloved Knicks and their amazing new coach. man, i miss the ny sun sports section. it was so great having guys like hollinger writing about local teams. (off topic, i wonder what tim marchman – my favorite ny sun baseball writer – is doing now).

  39. Greene

    Chandler showed that he has the potential to be one of the top defenders in the league. He let Kobe get by him one on one maybe twice last night. Very impressive. Is this nucleus enough to lure LeBron without another superstar? Starting to look like maybe. Sign Duhon.

  40. big_fella

    yeah, msg cut out for the last two minutes and i missed duhon’s shot. that’s weird.

    btw, hollinger devoted today’s free column on espn.com to our very own beloved Knicks and their amazing new coach. he seems to approve of the job d’antoni has done so far. and why wouldn’t he?

    man, i miss the ny sun sports section. it was so great having guys like hollinger writing about local teams. (off topic, i wonder what tim marchman – my favorite ny sun baseball writer – is doing now).

  41. Owen

    “Chandler showed that he has the potential to be one of the top defenders in the league.”

    Did he? I sort of struggle with a statement like that. Chandler may have looked good out there. And he did have a spectacular block. But Kobe had a very strong game, 28 points on 59% ts%, with six assists and only one turnover. You can play great defense and get beaten when your opponent is lucky, but I don’t know if last night was a case of that.

    And rebounding is a pretty big part of defending. Chandler had 2 rebounds in 38.5 minutes in a game where we got hammered on the boards.

    So far this year, the Knicks have been worse on defense with Chandler on the floor defensively and a lot better offensively. Sort of curious, I have to admit since you wouldn’t think it would work like that given Chandler’s mediocre ts%. As I always say, you can’t put much stock in those numbers at this point (or at any point really), but I have yet to feel that Chandler is even close to being a great defender. He certainly isn’t anything like Balkman, who posted big defensive differentials when he was on the Knicks.

  42. njhoop

    I just watched the Knicks in 60 (my PVR failed to record the game) and I found it curious that Duhon took a 60 foot shot with 2.7 on the clock. There was enough to get it to at least half court, no?
    And isn’t Nate the team’s designated half court chucker?

    Yeah, I noticed that too, but the announcers didn’t say anything. Also, there was no one anywhere near Duhon, so he could have done the “let the ball roll before you touch it” routine. Still would have been a very low % shot, but might actually be a 40 footer as opposed to a 60 footer.

  43. Greene

    “Did he? I sort of struggle with a statement like that. Chandler may have looked good out there. And he did have a spectacular block. But Kobe had a very strong game, 28 points on 59% ts%, with six assists and only one turnover. You can play great defense and get beaten when your opponent is lucky, but I don’t know if last night was a case of that.”

    Owen, you make some good points here. I think that I was really referencing a visual representation of his effort. It was very apparent that Kobe was having a difficult time shaking him especially in the first half. The fundamental problem that the Knicks have had on D is that they cannot stop penetration. The majority of Kobe’s damage came from outside and Breen commented several times on the high level of difficulty on the majority of Kobe’s makes. Unfortunately for Wil it was Kobe and he makes a lot of tough shots. Had Kobe been breaking down the D on penetration regularly my take is that the game would not have been nearly as close. I think he has the “potential” to be an excellent defender. And that actually had nothing to do with his blocks which were more spectacular than fundamental.

  44. jon abbey

    yeah, honestly, it seemed to me like Kobe scored pretty much whenever he wanted to. not that almost anyone in the league could stop him from doing that, but let’s not take too much out of the Chandler D last night.

    also, what’s happened to Chandler’s offense the last few weeks? some brutal shots, really tentative, he’s looking increasingly like a young Jared Jeffries.

  45. italian stallion

    also, what’s happened to Chandler’s offense the last few weeks? some brutal shots, really tentative, he’s looking increasingly like a young Jared Jeffries.

    I mentioned this last week.

    IMHO, Chandler is clearly not playing the same way now that he was late last year, in pre-season, or early this season. As some have mentioned, part of that may be related to defenses adjusting to him now that they know his game better, but IMHO it goes way beyond that. He doesn’t look as athletic or confident to me. Sometimes he even looks like a deer in a headlight.

    I think a few extra bad decisions etc… are to be expected from such an inexperienced player, but something else is amiss.

    He is either tired from all the minutes (he’s really just a rookie even though it’s his second season), he has a minor physical issue we don’t know about, or he lost his confidence after a couple of bad games and is just mentally off. Regardless, right now he looks like any other player. He’s not the same confident, very athletic, kid loaded with swagger that just needs to cut down on mistakes and bad shots. It’s too soon to rush to judgment because players often have ups and downs, but I would rather see the same kid I saw before having a few bad games than the lesser version I see now.

  46. D

    “The only thing I think the Knicks are missing from Zach/Jamal is depth at guard & rebounding. As Owen pointed out Lee is a strong rebounder, but he can’t do it on his own. The Knicks don’t have a second good rebounder. Too bad they gave up Balkman, who was a great rebounder for his position. It’s very obvious that they need a shot blocking/rebounding big man. Maybe there’s someone off of this roster we can grab:

    http://www.basketleague.be/team/stats/playerstats.phtml?team=1402

    “Marcus Williams might be released imminently, that seems like a nice fit for our empty roster spot”

    “When are we getting a real shooting guard?”

    Three calls for adding a player with our roster spot to fill a need-but at three different positions!

    When nate was hurt i thought the team desperately needed another guard who could play the 2 and back up the point for a couple of mins. Now looking at it as thin as the knicks are at guard, what would fill there biggest need is a rebounder/shot blocker who is big enough to play against the centers in the league. that would allow them to compete with teams with big front courts. Besides, if the knicks were desperate for a guard but didnt give Roberson any minutes

  47. Ted Nelson

    Lee took 26% jumpers last season and hit an eFG% of .405, this season he’s at 29% and .250. He scores less points off jumpers this season than last. I’m pretty sure that if he’s better this season than last it’s not his jump shooting. This season he’s not getting the ball in awkward situations as much, mostly because there’s a coherent offense in place that gets him the ball in situations where he can perform (taking advantage of the cutting ability, hands, and finishing ability that have been noted on this site his entire career) and because when he gets the ball and doesn’t shoot he doesn’t have to sit around awkwardly while his teammates do the same.

  48. Ben R

    I don’t think the Knicks really have alot of use for another bigman. Watching D’Antoni’s offense I think it needs four three point threats to open up the floor.

    If the Knicks pick up a true center, that would push Lee to the bench and in my opinion there are no centers availiable and very few in the league that would help the Knicks enough to make it benefical to move Lee to the bench.

    Both in New York and in Pheonix D’Antoni liked to have a hybrid forward at the four and only one true bigman in the lineup at most times. Lee is a true bigman, he is not a center but he is a traditional bigman and not a hybrid play on the perimeter forward. I doubt that D’Antoni would start Lee at the four and a true center at the five. Besides Pheonix almost won a championship with no true center and Lee is just as capable, if not more capable, guarding centers and rebounding than Amare was.

    The Knicks have become a solid defensive rebounding team, moving up to 18th and have been above average on the defensive glass since Lee went into the starting lineup. As for offensive rebounding, it is a shortcoming of the offensive style, often shooting before the offensive rebounders can get set. I do not think a true center would help much in that regard.

    I think we will always have some problems with larger frontcourts but I also think we can expoit their lack of speed and come at least close to equalizing it.

    I think the biggest need for the Knicks is at guard, not to play, but just to provide insurance against Duhon, Nate or Q getting hurt again. I would also say that Q is a true 2 guard and is better at the 2 where his size and rebounding are above average than at the 3 where he is undersized and just an average rebounder.

  49. David

    Ben R —

    That’s not quite right. THe Suns almost always had a backup big man (e.g. Brian Skinner, kurt thomas) who could get minutes at the 5 against big centers. I think the big issue down low for the knicks is not necessarily the starting 5 — which we’re not going to change anyway — but depth, and if we could get a strong, not too slow backup center, it would be nice.

    On the other hand, I agree that the big issue for the knicks on the boards is that they need to have + rebounders at the other positions. One of the things that made the 04-05 suns sing was that Johnson, Richardson and Marion were all such good rebounders.

    A few other things:

    1. We could go bigger and still keep 4 shooters on teh court if we moved Thomas to the 5, Lee to the 4, Harrington to the 3 and benched chandler. But we lose a lot of speed that way.

    2. I think our biggest need for this season is not for any one type of player but for anyone D’Antoni thinks is worthy of 10-15 minutes of run a night. The pieces we do use are actually pretty flexible — everyone plays two or more positions (except Duhon and even often guards opposing 2s when nate is in the game). The extended minutes are what worries me a bit.

    3. As a result, I think I would cheer us bringing in … anybody. I’d rather someone play the eddie house role that roberson was supposed to play, but if we end up bringing in Ewing the Younger, Taureen Green, Frank WIlliams, Some Guy Who Is Hooping it Up on the 4th Street Courts. As long as they fill a role and can get 10 minutes a game…

  50. italian stallion

    Lee took 26% jumpers last season and hit an eFG% of .405, this season he’s at 29% and .250. He scores less points off jumpers this season than last. I’m pretty sure that if he’s better this season than last it’s not his jump shooting. This season he’s not getting the ball in awkward situations as much, mostly because there’s a coherent offense in place that gets him the ball in situations where he can perform (taking advantage of the cutting ability, hands, and finishing ability that have been noted on this site his entire career) and because when he gets the ball and doesn’t shoot he doesn’t have to sit around awkwardly while his teammates do the same.

    As is often the case with you, you present stats to tell the contrarian story to want to tell, but the stats don’t tell the whole story.

    What those stats don’t tell you is exactly where those jump shots came from. A jumper from 8ft is classified the same as a jumper from 15ft, but clearly they aren’t. The stats also don’t tell you how many wide open jump shots he passed up on this year relative to last year because he lacked the confidence to take it.

    By his own admission, Lee said last year that he realized that he was hurting his team by passing up on so many wide open jumpshots. I see no evidence that’s the case this year and I’ve watched virtually every game this year (I saw it plenty last year). You actually have to look for it because the stats don’t record how many open shots you pass up on that ultimately lead to an even worse opportunity by one of your teamates (like last second chucks from Crawford).

    Of course his EFG% on jumpers is going to be lower than his typical baskets around the rim. That’s why guys like me continue to say that to get to the next level as a player, developing and improving that mid range shot would help.

    By year end, I feel confident that his EFG% on jump shots will be better than last year “adjusted for the actual difficulty of the jump shots in the sample” and he will make many more correct decisions to shoot. The sample size matters.

    Lee’s actual stats this year have been impacted by many things, but IMO his greater willingness to take wide open jumpers and hit them is an improvement in his game that is not being reflected properly in the higher level stats (at least yet).

    You are back on ignore.

  51. Owen

    “By year end, I feel confident that his EFG% on jump shots will be better than last year “adjusted for the actual difficulty of the jump shots in the sample”

    IS – I don’t understand what the above means. Tnere is no degree of difficulty bonus in basketball. If what you mean to say is that he seems be hitting more jumpers of late, that might be right. I think that since Randolph left he is making more, probably because he is shooting them from better spots.

    But Ted is correct. You can’t say Lee’s game has been improved by his jumpshooting until he actually starts hitting them at a decent rate, not unless you ascribe some sort of huge value to a missed jump shot.

    My theory has always been that the biggest effect of jumpshooting by frontcourt players is on their scoring averages and salaries, not on their team’s offensive efficiency. It’s very difficult to be an efficient offensive player taking 15 foot jump shots. The real returns in shooting are behind the arc and at the foul line. Mid range jumpers are basically the trash shots you take as a last resort.

    Look at David West. This year he has focused on getting to the line and converting there and has seen a huge bump in his ts% up to almost 57%, a career high and 3% higher than last year, despite a fg% that is only 1% higher. That comes from making .8 free throws more per game this year.

    “You are back on ignore.”

    Why the hostility? Totally unnecessary. Ted made a perfectly valid and very neutral comment. He also was posting here long before you arrived and long before me for that matter. We keep it civil here whenever possible, perhaps you could do the same.

  52. Nick C.

    I must me somewhere in betwwen the two camps.

    IS – if you are trying to say one certain possessions Lee taking a jump shot even with a 25% EFGpct is better than someone else having to chuck up a forced contested shot with say a 10% I agree. Otherwise, its just talking in circles.

    Owen-everythign you say is right, but not every possession offers either a feasible 3 point attempt, drive or dunk opportunity. The team has to do something and when and if an open shot presents itself it would be best in most situations to take it, especially when the clock gets under 5-7 seconds.

  53. Ben R

    David – Great points. I actually pretty much totally agree.

    I was responding to people because they made it sound like we needed a center to play major minutes. But if the Knicks picked up a true center, that is also fast running the court to play 10-15 minutes a game while Lee was on the bench that would be great. I think D’Antoni sees Jeffries in that role but I think there are alot of players that would be an upgrade over Jeffries. I think the Knicks could use two players, a true center to take Jeffries minutes and a deadeye three point shooting guard to come in 10-15 minutes a night and provide stability to our three point shooting.

    As for the rebounding thing we actually have above average rebounders at the one, two and three. Duhon and Nate are both good rebounders at the one, Richardson is a great rebounder at the two, and Chandler is good at the three. We could use bettter production rebounding from the four with neither Chandler or Thomas doing well enough and at the backup center position with Jeffries not being quite up to the task.

    I think it is those two positions (PF, backup C) hurting the Knicks on the glass but overall I do not see alot of solutions because I think D’Antoni’s style will always cause a negative rebounding differential regardless of personel.

  54. Frank
    You are back on ignore.

    IS – This is totally uncalled for. This is your last warning.

    Not that I’m IS’s designated defender or anything, and not to intrude on Mike K’s prerogative as admin of this board, but “you are back on ignore” is not exactly a ban-able offense, is it? Honestly, we’ve seen much more hostile things written on this board that haven’t gotten any response from admin. “Last warning”s for such mild talk makes me wonder whether this is a board I want to be a part of. Not that most of you would consider that a big loss.

    Owen-everythign you say is right, but not every possession offers either a feasible 3 point attempt, drive or dunk opportunity. The team has to do something and when and if an open shot presents itself it would be best in most situations to take it, especially when the clock gets under 5-7 seconds.

    This is precisely the point that I continue to try to make. Of COURSE teams would take uncontested layups and dunks, or shoot uncontested 3 pointers at every opportunity. But how does one GET that shot? By spacing, ball movement, good plays and execution. The only way you can get a defense to respect your spacing (which opens up lanes for driving to the hoop, kicking out to open shooters, etc.) is if you are able to threaten them from anywhere on the floor, which includes mid-range. And — I might be in the minority here but I doubt it — I’d much rather have an uncontested mid-range shot than a contested close shot from anyone other than Lee or Harrington or a contested 3 pointer. It’s easy to sit in a stats-cocoon and say that 3pointers and layups are the best, but as Nick said so eloquently, real games don’t always present those opportunities.

    And again to back up IS (which it seems like I usually do) — quality of shot (or degree of difficult or however you want to think of it) HAS to be important in evaluating someone’s offensive skill. Quality of shot, unfortunately, depends not only on the particular player’s skill, but also those of the players around him (both offense and defense) and of the offensive system — many confounding factors. And as of now (unless there is a stat of which I am not aware), there is no stat to measure this, as measures of pace etc. don’t seem to really fully embrace this idea. This “quality of shot” is a major confounding factor in evaluation of any offensive statistic, and is probably responsible for why all players seem to have one kind of career prior to playing for D’Antoni, then have career statistical years when playing for D’Antoni, and then fall off the stat map when not in that same system (see: Shawn Marion, Steve Nash). These players are still the same players, but obviously something is positively influencing their measurable stats that we are not measuring. I just wish the most stats-devoted posters here would acknowledge that there are many things that are not currently measurable and that someone’s eFG%, TS% or whatever is not the end-all and be-all of their offensive skill.

  55. Frank

    You are back on ignore.

    IS – This is totally uncalled for. This is your last warning.

    Not that I’m IS’s designated defender or anything, and not to intrude on Mike K’s prerogative as admin of this board, but “you are back on ignore” is not exactly a ban-able offense, is it? Honestly, we’ve seen much more hostile things written on this board that haven’t gotten any response from admin. “Last warning”s for such mild talk makes me wonder whether this is a board I want to be a part of. Not that most of you would consider that a big loss.

    Owen-everythign you say is right, but not every possession offers either a feasible 3 point attempt, drive or dunk opportunity. The team has to do something and when and if an open shot presents itself it would be best in most situations to take it, especially when the clock gets under 5-7 seconds.

    This is precisely the point that I continue to try to make. Of COURSE teams would take uncontested layups and dunks, or shoot uncontested 3 pointers at every opportunity. But how does one GET that shot? By spacing, ball movement, good plays and execution. The only way you can get a defense to respect your spacing (which opens up lanes for driving to the hoop, kicking out to open shooters, etc.) is if you are able to threaten them from anywhere on the floor, which includes mid-range. And — I might be in the minority here but I doubt it — I’d much rather have an uncontested mid-range shot than a contested close shot from anyone other than Lee or Harrington or a contested 3 pointer. It’s easy to sit in a stats-cocoon and say that 3pointers and layups are the best, but as Nick said so eloquently, real games don’t always present those opportunities.

    And again to back up IS (which it seems like I usually do) — quality of shot (or degree of difficult or however you want to think of it) HAS to be important in evaluating someone’s offensive skill. Quality of shot, unfortunately, depends not only on the particular player’s skill, but also those of the players around him (both offense and defense) and of the offensive system — many confounding factors. And as of now (unless there is a stat of which I am not aware), there is no stat to measure this, as measures of pace etc. don’t seem to really fully embrace this idea. This “quality of shot” is a major confounding factor in evaluation of any offensive statistic, and is probably responsible for why all players seem to have one kind of career prior to playing for D’Antoni, then have career statistical years when playing for D’Antoni, and then fall off the stat map when not in that same system (see: Shawn Marion, Steve Nash). These players are still the same players, but obviously something is positively influencing their measurable stats that we are not measuring. I just wish the most stats-devoted posters here would acknowledge that there are many things that are not currently measurable and that someone’s eFG%, TS% or whatever is not the end-all and be-all of their offensive skill.

  56. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    You are back on ignore.

    IS – This is totally uncalled for. This is your last warning.

    Not that I’m IS’s designated defender or anything, and not to intrude on Mike K’s prerogative as admin of this board, but “you are back on ignore” is not exactly a ban-able offense, is it? Honestly, we’ve seen much more hostile things written on this board that haven’t gotten any response from admin. “Last warning”s for such mild talk makes me wonder whether this is a board I want to be a part of. Not that most of you would consider that a big loss.

    I have a lot of duties with KnickerBlogger – and comment admin is my least favorite. I don’t keep a scorecard at home on who said what, but I know that the history between these two is not positive, nor does it reflect well on my site, which is an extension of myself. And it’s not the first time I’ve considered banned one or both of them. IS’ last line serves no purpose other than to insult another poster. And that I can’t tolerate.

    Like a sports ref, being a comment admin means I have to make a judgment call. I’m sure everyone’s line for what is tolerable varies greatly. This one crossed mine.

  57. italian stallion
    You are back on ignore.

    IS – This is totally uncalled for. This is your last warning.

    I’m not really sure what the problem is.

    I don’t have too much of a problem discussing things with most people even when we disagree. However, Ted has a extremely strong tendency to be contrarian for sake of being contrarian and to extend the conversations with extremely long never ending time consuming dialogues (especially with me). I don’t have that kind of time. So at this point I would prefer to not to discuss anything with him when we obviously don’t see eye to eye on the game or on the proepr use of stats to analyze basketball.

  58. italian stallion

    “By year end, I feel confident that his EFG% on jump shots will be better than last year “adjusted for the actual difficulty of the jump shots in the sample”
    IS – I don’t understand what the above means. Tnere is no degree of difficulty bonus in basketball. If what you mean to say is that he seems be hitting more jumpers of late, that might be right. I think that since Randolph left he is making more, probably because he is shooting them from better spots.

    Owen,

    I’ll try to explain.

    I think some people look at stats as a measurement of ability and/or contribution to WINS etc… I look at them as a measurement of “results” that are strongly correlated to ability, but that often require further analysis to understand the ability of the player and his contribution.

    When I look at David Lee as a player now, I “see” a guy that appears to have equal or greater skill than last year. IMO, the minor fluctuations in his various stats so far this year relative to last year are mostly related to things like pace, the Randolph trade, having Duhon at PG, the bone spurs that hurt his productivity for awhile, coach D/Antoni’s system, minutes, sample size etc…

    The one thing I see that is different is his willingness to take a 10ft-17ft jumper when he’s open andn should.

    I don’t expect those shots to have a significant impact on his stats long term. He doesn’t shoot that many of them. So over time they are unlikely to add much to his scoring per 36 or hurt his overall shooting efficiency much even though they are lower probability shots than those around the basket and the shorter jumpers he has always taken. However, IMO they DO make him a better player because taking them is usually the correct decision.

    The me, whether or not those shots are having a positive or negative impact on his stats or going in right now is more or less irrelevant because…..

    IMO…

    1. He’s almost certainly either a better outside shooter or the same as last year regardless of what the stats say so far. He’s a young player on the improve, worked hard on his outside shot, and is more confident in it. Anything else is related to the stuff I mentioned above.

    2. There’s almost no way he is passing up as many open outside shots of the type I am describing now as he was last year. I can’t recall being pissed off at him even once so far this year and I watch every game (and pre season).

    He is making better decisions now when he’s in that position. That’s what matters. The stats will work themselves out over time.

    I also think there is another way to look at it.

    Last year when Lee passed up on a wide open 12-15 footer (and caused me to curse at the TV), he often passed the ball to Crawford, Randolph, Qrich etc… instead. They often took a rushed and/or poor shot because of the clock or their own stupidity. That kind of poor decision by Lee was not reflected anywhere in his stats, but no matter how you slice it, it was a bad thing.

    It either means he made a poor decision by giving up a superior shot or he’s such a poor shooter that a chuck by one of the other Knicks was the better option. Both are bad and neither was reflected in his stats.

    That unwillingness to shoot also had an impact on the defender. That’s what he finally started figuring out last year and is why he worked on his shot over the summer and is shooting now when open. Defenders can no longer slack off him as easily and double team other players.

    Those things make Lee a better player this year.

    On your “degree of difficult” comment. There is an issue.

    If a player is very willing to shoot dunks, layups, and short jumpers, but totally unwilling to shoot longer jump shots (inside the 3 point line), he will typically wind up with a higher eFG% than if he takes the tougher 2 pointers also.

    If the following season he’s shooting the longer ones also, his eFG% might go lower. That is measuring a change in results, but perhaps not in skill. He could actually be a better shooter taking more difficult shots more often.

    You can’t be certain that eFG% is actually measuring SKILL correctly (or if a player is better) because all 2 pointers are counted the same. But some are definitely more difficult than others because of the distance, time on the shot clock at the time, who the defender was, number of defenders etc…

    For example….

    If a team gave me all short wide open jump shots I might wind up with a higher eFG% than Kobe Bryant because he usually draws the toughest defender on the team, is frequently double teamed but forced to shoot anyway because of the time on the clock, will take the tougher 2 pointers because it is correct for “him” to do so, etc…

    The key difference in my analysis vs. some others is that I am not trying to measure results only.

  59. Brian Cronin

    Hollinger’s chat today on ESPN was pretty funny – mostly Celtic fans bitching and moaning about him having the Cavs over the Celts in his power rankings.

    What’s amazing to me is the fact that, whether you agree with the ranking or not, the Celtic fans seem to think it is something personal (or as one fan put it – unprofessional even!) to argue that a 21-4 team (with a 13 point differential) is better than a 24-2 team (with a 10 point differential).

    It’s a straightforward argument in favor of point differential (with other factors worked in, of course, such as quality of opponents and stress placed on the last 10 games played) which, whether you subscribe to that theory or not, is pretty clear. So it is hilarious to read Boston fans read insults into it.

    In addition, the Cavs are currently 1st in Offensive Efficiency and 2nd in Defensive Efficiency, while the Celtics are 6th and 1st, respectively.

    Being first and second in offense/defense is a pretty darn good argument for being the best team right this second.

    And yet the Celtic fans are offended by the idea!

  60. Duff Soviet Union

    IS, no one else seems to have any sort of problem with Ted. Maybe the problem is you? Na, can’t be. And you of all people criticising anyone as being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian is just hilarious. Again, no one else seems to think of Ted this way.

  61. italian stallion

    IS, no one else seems to have any sort of problem with Ted. Maybe the problem is you? Na, can’t be. And you of all people criticising anyone as being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian is just hilarious. Again, no one else seems to think of Ted this way.

    I have no problem with Ted. Somewhere along the line it just became clear that we don’t agree on some aspects of basketball analysis and stats. That’s probably true of most people here. However, in my case it turned into a series of endless conversations with him that lead nowhere.

    Being contrary is not the problem. I admit I will usually only bother saying something when I have a different point of view because I see no value in saying the same things everyone else is aleady saying. Ted seems to be similar.

    However, I want to avoid endless conversations that go nowhere. Since Ted disagrees with me about a lot of things and seems to comment specifically on things I have to say quite often, I feel it is best that we ignore each other or that I ignore him. Nothing personal.

  62. Hug It Out, Bitches!

    If Obama and Hillary can bury the hatchet,

    And jon Abbey and Thomas B. can kiss and make up,

    Then there should be hope for Ted and IS too.

  63. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Owen,

    I’ll try to explain.

    … (endless conversation) …

    It’s like Zeno’s paradox argument against stats. Motion doesn’t exist because before you can get from A to B, you have to go half that distance. And half that distance. And half that distance… infinitely.

    So eFG isn’t valid because all two point shots aren’t equal. And if you parse it down to between close, inside, and jumpshot, they still aren’t equal because there are different variations between an open 8 footer and a covered 20 footer. And even if you parse it to the covered 20 footers they’re not all equal because not all of them will be the same (covered by Nate Robinson or Dwight Howard?) … infinitely.

    However motion exists because over the course of those infinite points the distance is miniscule. Same thing with something like eFG. Over the course of a few hundred shots, the variation in difficulty evens out, so they don’t really matter.

    I could argue ad infinitum that your observational methods are flawed. Are you re-watching the games in slow motion? Do you know what plays the Knicks are running? How can you tell if a player went out drinking the night before and didn’t get a good night’s sleep? How slippery is the ball? What’s the temperature in the gym? Maybe on the nights you saw Lee, the ball was slippery in a cold gym and he knew those were lower percentage shots?

    Any college freshman taking a psych or forensics class can tell you that human memory is one of the least reliable forms of evidence. That’s why we use numbers, because they are an objective source of information. Relying on observational skills helps fill in the gaps between the numbers, but using them as a source is largely faulty.

  64. Frank
    Owen,
    I’ll try to explain.
    … (endless conversation) …

    It’s like Zeno’s paradox argument against stats. Motion doesn’t exist because before you can get from A to B, you have to go half that distance. And half that distance. And half that distance… infinitely.
    So eFG isn’t valid because all two point shots aren’t equal. And if you parse it down to between close, inside, and jumpshot, they still aren’t equal because there are different variations between an open 8 footer and a covered 20 footer. And even if you parse it to the covered 20 footers they’re not all equal because not all of them will be the same (covered by Nate Robinson or Dwight Howard?) … infinitely.
    However motion exists because over the course of those infinite points the distance is miniscule. Same thing with something like eFG. Over the course of a few hundred shots, the variation in difficulty evens out, so they don’t really matter.

    But Mike — your using this last paragraph as evidence of the infallibility of TS/eFG is exactly the flaw in the reasoning of using advanced stats like TS% or eFG% like there is no difference between the shots that different players take, even over the whole season. I can see that reasoning being used to compare one player in one season from one year to the next in the same offensive system with similar teammates. Or maybe one player being compared against himself from the first 20 games of the season against the last 20 games. Or even comparing players like Marbury vs. Iverson who in their heyday had similar roles on their teams.

    But you can’t tell me over a whole season the “degree of difficulty” of Nate Robinson’s shots will match the degree of difficulty of Shaq’s shots. Nate will always be taking harder shots – every single time he shoots he is at a 1 foot+ disadvantage in height while inside — and every time he shoots outside he is almost by definition shooting a more difficult shot than 95% of the shots Shaq shoots over a season. So I don’t see how you can compare Dwight Howard or Shaq to Nate Robinson using the same statistic. Similarly, last year David Lee shot 74% of his shots from 2 feet away or less. That was a product of the way the offensive system used him. How can that possibly be compared to Nate, who because of the offense shot 76% as jumpers? In this setting, over the course of a few hundred shots, the variation in difficulty only becomes more robust — does NOT even out, and is a true confounding factor in evaluating the TS% or the eFG%. Free throw percentage, on the other hand, is a great stat — everyone shoots from the same place on the court with no interference.

    I agree with the prudent and smart use of advanced stats, but like any statistic, they are extremely prone to factors that are not controlled for or understood. There are many factors that do NOT even out over the course of a season, such as height, skill of teammates, coaching system, role in offense. If all the players in the league were 6’8″ and had similar skills and roles on their teams, then advanced stats might be the end-all and be-all — but we have Nate at 5’7″ and Shaq at 7’2″ and the Knicks of 07-08 with Isiah as compared with Popovich and the Spurs. Clearly the playing field is not level which is what is required for your theory above to be true. In my book.

  65. Owen

    Nick C – Look, if it’s the best possible shot, with time running down, Lee should take it. I don’t disagree. I just think that is a pretty tiny factor amidst every thing that happens on the basketball court to judge a player off of.

    IS – I have probably written well over 1000 posts pertaining to David Lee and his use, misuse, and abuse, or lack thereof, of a jumpshot. Let me say something different.

    Look, I understand your point. It’s the same thing you say every single time. You have written hundreds and hundreds of posts saying essentially one thing. That stats don’t tell the complete story. They don’t capture and tell you everything that has happened, why it has happened, and what will happen in the future. They explain a lot yes, maybe 90% or 95%, but they don’t get that last 5% or 10%. And yes, I understand, sometimes people like me are claiming 90% when really its 75%.

    I get it. Trust me. I have spent the last two years learning about basketball statistics, ever since I read Malcolm Gladwell writing about Allen Iverson in the New Yorker. I picked up the Wages of Wins then and found that Dave Berri had written about one of my least favorite Knicks. My interest in Eddy Curry led me here, where I found the Eddy Curry Study, which was a revelation to me at the time. From there I moved on to Basketball on Paper and APBR. I have spent an enormous amount of time thinking about this, reading about this, writing about this.

    One thing I have noticed, and I think this might come as a bit of a surprise, is that pretty much everyone in the stat community agrees with you. Yes, stats aren’t perfect. Yes, they have limitations. Yes, at times they are misleading. Which is in fact probably why everyone at APBR and elsewhere (GM offices) is constantly spending so much time trying to improve them.

    That said, my point would be this. At some point it just gets really frustrating, irritating really, to be told again and again that my way of thinking about things isn’t quite right. Especially here, which is a place called “the NBA’s premier analytical blog” for a reason, because it’s a safe haven for people who want to talk stats. With you, really, I feel it’s sort of a no win situation. I feel honestly there is nothing I can do to convince you. Frankly, I don’t think you want to be convinced or dare I say educated. All I can conclude from reading everything you write is that you just enjoy arguing with us statheads and telling us we are wrong. And it just doesn’t feel constructive. It feels like you think you have appointed yourself our watchdog, taking as your role the important responsiblity of keeping all us stat guys honest.

    But the thing is this. We don’t really need anyone to do that. We stat people keep each other honest. It’s kind of the scientific method part of it at work a little bit. That’s why very often stat people are going at each other tooth and claw, arguing bitterly over the limitations of various methods and approaches.

    Anyway, enough, I have basketball to watch…

  66. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Owen – I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Frank – “So I don’t see how you can compare Dwight Howard or Shaq to Nate Robinson using the same statistic. ”

    If Nate Robinson has to elude 5 guys to make an impossible shot its the same amount of points as if Shaq dunks over someone 6 inches shorter than himself. In the end no one looks back at the game and say well the Suns scored more points, but Al Harrington and Nate Robinson made so many tough shots that the Knicks should get the win.

    This isn’t gymnastics where you get credit for a tougher shot (save for a three pointer – which TS%/eFG% does account for). Hence why I didn’t appreciate Jamal Crawford much – he made the game more difficult with no reward for attempting more difficult shots.

  67. Frank

    Nick C – Look, if it’s the best possible shot, with time running down, Lee should take it. I don’t disagree. I just think that is a pretty tiny factor amidst every thing that happens on the basketball court to judge a player off of.

    I don’t necessarily think that taking the best possible shot with time running down is a tiny factor — I’d say that probably happens on 20-30% of possessions. So I think it was a negative thing last year that Lee kept on passing up open jumpers and passing out to other players with time often running down.

    That said, my point would be this. At some point it just gets really frustrating, irritating really, to be told again and again that my way of thinking about things isn’t quite right. Especially here, which is a place called “the NBA’s premier analytical blog” for a reason, because it’s a safe haven for people who want to talk stats. With you, really, I feel it’s sort of a no win situation. I feel honestly there is nothing I can do to convince you. Frankly, I don’t think you want to be convinced or dare I say educated. All I can conclude from reading everything you write is that you just enjoy arguing with us statheads and telling us we are wrong. And it just doesn’t feel constructive. It feels like you think you have appointed yourself our watchdog, taking as your role the important responsiblity of keeping all us stat guys honest.
    But the thing is this. We don’t really need anyone to do that. We stat people keep each other honest. It’s kind of the scientific method part of it at work a little bit. That’s why very often stat people are going at each other tooth and claw, arguing bitterly over the limitations of various methods and approaches.
    Anyway, enough, I have basketball to watch…

    I understand that this blog has attracted stats-loving posters for the most part, but it IS called Knickerblogger and not statsblogger. As such — and I hope I am not speaking out of turn here as a relatively infrequent poster– I think the back and forth between the stats and non-stats people here is actually healthy. Honestly Owen, if you took your post above and replaced each “statheads” with “non-statheads”, that could easily be IS writing it about you. You obviously have been posting here for a long time, apparently have read widely on advanced stats, write well-reasoned arguments for the most part, and have the support of most of the people here it seems, but I don’t think it gives you a monopoly on the truth.

    Owen – I couldn’t have said it better myself.
    Frank – “So I don’t see how you can compare Dwight Howard or Shaq to Nate Robinson using the same statistic. ”
    If Nate Robinson has to elude 5 guys to make an impossible shot its the same amount of points as if Shaq dunks over someone 6 inches shorter than himself. In the end no one looks back at the game and say well the Suns scored more points, but Al Harrington and Nate Robinson made so many tough shots that the Knicks should get the win.
    This isn’t gymnastics where you get credit for a tougher shot (save for a three pointer – which TS%/eFG% does account for). Hence why I didn’t appreciate Jamal Crawford much – he made the game more difficult with no reward for attempting more difficult shots.

    Yes, but each player is not on an island. In order for Shaq to dunk the ball effectively, he needs someone to pass it to him. In order for him not to be double- or triple-teamed, he needs players who can make the other team pay if they do that. How do you do that? You have guys like Nate Robinson who can shoot from distance. How do you keep guys from closing out blindly? By being able to shot-fake and by driving to the hoop. How do you keep guys from double teaming the driver? By being able to pass off to Shaq, who then dunks the ball. If the offense consisted of just Shaq dunking, there’d be 5 guys surrounding him in the post, and suddenly his dunk attempt becomes much less of a sure thing.

    So in my book, each kind of player is a necessary part — you need Shaq or David Lee to finish up close. You need Nate Robinson to be able to drive, dish, and shoot from deep. You even need Jason Kapono to sit in the corner and be a spot-up shooter that gets the ball off the drive/dish or pass-out from double in the post. But I’m just not 100% sold on using one or two stats like TS or EFG to compare their offensive worth. Perhaps the best way to do it (and maybe there is a stat like this) would be the TS% compared with similar player/position, with “similar player” broken down into various components such as “low-post player”, “jump-shooter”, or something more exotic, I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud.

  68. Owen

    Frank – I wouldn’t like this board as much as I do if it were only about stats and if it weren’t about the Knicks, who I have always loved. It’s great that there is a diversity of topics, personalities and opinions here. But at some point, the fact stats don’t capture absolutely everything gets tedious to hear. Especially considering that 1 in 10,000 people in the US could tell you what TS% is.

    Amazing game so far between Phoenix and Portland….

  69. Thomas B.

    If Obama and Hillary can bury the hatchet,

    And jon Abbey and Thomas B. can kiss and make up,

    Then there should be hope for Ted and IS too.

    I dont know about that. He didnt come to my birthday party. I’m still kinda bummed about that.

  70. Owen

    I don’t know if anyone out there is watching the Suns-Blazers game, but it’s been unbelievable. Brandon Roy has 50 points on 36 possessions used.

  71. Thomas B.

    Lets give IS a little room here. He did just have nuero surgery you know. Plus he is still a far cry from insanity that was iyamwhatiam. Come to think of it, I noticed IS here shortly AFTER iyamwhatiam was banned. Hmmmmmm.

  72. italian stallion
    Owen,
    I’ll try to explain.
    … (endless conversation) …

    It’s like Zeno’s paradox argument against stats. Motion doesn’t exist because before you can get from A to B, you have to go half that distance. And half that distance. And half that distance… infinitely.
    So eFG isn’t valid because all two point shots aren’t equal. And if you parse it down to between close, inside, and jumpshot, they still aren’t equal because there are different variations between an open 8 footer and a covered 20 footer. And even if you parse it to the covered 20 footers they’re not all equal because not all of them will be the same (covered by Nate Robinson or Dwight Howard?) … infinitely.
    However motion exists because over the course of those infinite points the distance is miniscule. Same thing with something like eFG. Over the course of a few hundred shots, the variation in difficulty evens out, so they don’t really matter.
    I could argue ad infinitum that your observational methods are flawed. Are you re-watching the games in slow motion? Do you know what plays the Knicks are running? How can you tell if a player went out drinking the night before and didn’t get a good night’s sleep? How slippery is the ball? What’s the temperature in the gym? Maybe on the nights you saw Lee, the ball was slippery in a cold gym and he knew those were lower percentage shots?
    Any college freshman taking a psych or forensics class can tell you that human memory is one of the least reliable forms of evidence. That’s why we use numbers, because they are an objective source of information. Relying on observational skills helps fill in the gaps between the numbers, but using them as a source is largely faulty.

    I don’t think you get me yet.

    1. A wide open short jumper is NOT the same as a 15-18 foot jumper with the best defender on the opposing team covering you, but some players shoot way more of those tough ones than others. It doesn’t all even out. The eFG% stats don’t tell you that. That’s a flaw. So if you want to try to improve your understanding, you can use observation. At a minimum, you’ll be able to indentify the extremes and come to a better conclusion.

    2. Without question, memory is quite flawed and also subject to emotion etc…. As since it is, using hard objective stats to supplement visual perceptions is a necessary part of any analysis of a player or team.

    I am not criticizing stats and never have. I have often criticized a specific stat because I didn’t think it reflected reality.

    I am advocating the use of stats, visual observation, and a subjective analysis of details that might have had an impact on the stats and observation (like short term injuries, trades, system changes, player development etc…) in order to address the weaknesses of any individual method and attain the most comprehensive and accurate view of a player or team.

    If you come to me with just a stat, I can see it too, but I am liable to disagree with it because of what I see.

    If you come to me with a visual observation, I am liable to disagree with it because the stats don’t support it.

    If you come to me with a stat and visual observation, I am liable to disagree because the stat and observation has beem impacted by short term issues that do not reflect the player’s skill and potential contribution.

    (by the way, that wasn’t an endless conversation. it was an endless post) ;-)

  73. Caleb

    the degree of difficulty argument makes no sense… Shaq’s shots ARE easier than Nate’s, which is the main reason his TS% is so high. That and the pretty jump hook :)

    Saying efficiency #s don’t reflect the complexity of play, varying types of shots, etc. is like saying the score doesn’t reflect how the team played. Sure – sometimes you play better in a loss, than you do in a win… but does it follow that won-loss doesn’t reflect how good the team is?

    And I have never run across ANYONE who doesn’t see a difference between easy shots and tough shots. Why certain people bring up that strawman is beyond me.

  74. italian stallion

    Owen,

    I understand and agree with everything you said.

    These thing gets repetitive when someone (like me) expresses a point of view and someone counters it with a stat that for one reason or another I believe falls into the 10%-25% category. So to make my point, I need to explain why I feel that’s the case. “Some” people consider that an attack on the stats (which I find indespensible) and others keep coming back with more amd more stats and missing my point. So it gets very repetitive.

  75. Owen

    “If you come to me with just a stat, I can see it too, but I am liable to disagree with it because of what I see.

    If you come to me with a visual observation, I am liable to disagree with it because the stats don’t support it.

    If you come to me with a stat and visual observation, I am liable to disagree because the stat and observation has beem impacted by short term issues that do not reflect the player’s skill and potential contribution.”

    So, if I may summarize:

    Whatever anyone says, you are liable to disagree.

    Correct?

  76. Thomas B.

    It’s like Zeno’s paradox argument against stats. Motion doesn’t exist because before you can get from A to B, you have to go half that distance. And half that distance. And half that distance… infinitely.

    I always had a problem with Zeno’s paradox because it presupposes the existence of infinity. Infinity is an abstract theory that cannot be proven. Any argument for the existence of infinity that relies on numerical argument is fundamentally flaw because numbers do not exist.

    Numbers are the only way to even explain the infinity as numbers can go on forever. But the only reason they can do that is because they do not exist. They are an abstract concept.

    For example: You are given a liter of fluid to drink, with the instruction that you must drink it all but you may only drink half of the fluid at a time. Applying Zeno’s paradox you drink 1/2 of a liter, then 1/2 of the remaining fluid leave 1/4 of the original amount, then 1/8, 1/16th, 1/32..ect. The theory is that you would never run out of fluid because there will half of the fluid will always remain.

    I disagree. That may work on paper if you use numbers because they are abstract. But 1 liter of fluid is not abstract. at some point in that fluid exercise you will get down to 1 molecule of the fluid-let say the fluid is water and there for the remaining molecule of water is H2O. What happen when you split that last molecule of water in half? It ceases to be water and hence you have consumed all the fluid even though numerically that should not have been able to occur.

    Infinity only exists in numbers. But anything that is corporeal or has mass is finite. Zeno’s paradox fails because if you are able to identify two points-A and B, then the distance between those two points is finite. There is an infinite amount of numbers between two points, but the space/mass between two points is finite. Therefore the distance can be traveled.

    I’ll prove it two you: Take a book-for those of you that own them ? and hold it out in front of you. Call the point the book is point A. If there is a clear path the ground, call the ground point B. Now drop the book. If the book makes it two the floor then it exposes the flaw in Zeno’s paradox. The book could not have gotten from point a to point b without first travelling half the distance between those two points, then half the distance between that point and the floor, then half the distance between that point and the floor, ect. Yet it reached the floor did it not?

  77. Frank

    the degree of difficulty argument makes no sense… Shaq’s shots ARE easier than Nate’s, which is the main reason his TS% is so high. That and the pretty jump hook :)
    Saying efficiency #s don’t reflect the complexity of play, varying types of shots, etc. is like saying the score doesn’t reflect how the team played. Sure – sometimes you play better in a loss, than you do in a win… but does it follow that won-loss doesn’t reflect how good the team is?
    And I have never run across ANYONE who doesn’t see a difference between easy shots and tough shots. Why certain people bring up that strawman is beyond me.

    What I’m saying is that it is difficult to compare two players with wildly different shot difficulty and role in the offense with exactly the same statistic. For instance– Carl Landry and Amare Stoudemire currently have exactly the same TS% (0.002 apart). Does that mean that if you had them both on your team you’d split the shots evenly between the two since they are equally efficient? So all I’m trying to say is that HOW you get to a particular TS% greatly changes how the TS% should be interpreted. David Lee having a TS% of 65% 2 years ago is worlds less impressive than Steve Nash having the same TS% 3 years running 04-06. David Lee’s TS% of 65% 2 years ago is way LESS impressive than Lebron’s TS% of 59% this year. At least to me it is. Like I mentioned above somewhere in another post, perhaps ratio of a certain player’s TS% to the average TS% of his particular position or role would be much more useful. That way you statistically realize that Chris Paul really is a better offensive player than Carl Landry even though his TS% is worse.

    So I maintain that when you are trying to rate a PLAYER, not a TEAM as you are in your example about playing better in losses than wins, you HAVE to see what goes into the genesis of whatever stat you are using — otherwise you see David Lee with TS or 65 and think he is a better player than and not trade-able for one Kobe Bryant, which a certain long-time poster with a name starting with an O and ending with an “wen” not so facetiously suggested last year.

  78. Ben R

    Frank the argument you you made about position is flawed. I went onto basketball-reference and looked at the active career leaders in TS% and all five positions are pretty evenly represneted. Here is the top 15:

    1. Brent Barry .6063
    2. Amare Stoudemire .6046
    3. Steve Nash .6029
    4. Dwight Howard .5958
    5. Yao Ming .5935
    6. Manu Ginobili .5906
    7. Shaquille O’Neal .5840
    8. Peja Stojakovic .5829
    9. Dirk Nowitzki .5819
    10. Carlos Boozer .5775
    11. Corey Maggette .5756
    12. Chauncey Billups .5745
    13. Andrei Kirilenko .5737
    14. Mike Miller .5732
    15. Ray Allen .5724

    As you can see all different types of players from 3pt specialists to low post centers are represented.

    What makes Lebron’s 59% TS% better than Landry’s 63% is not based on position but because LeBron helps his team more by using more possessions. So while the first 15 possessions that Landry uses are more efficient than the first 15 possessions LeBron uses the fact that LeBron uses another 15 possessions instead of delegating those to his less effficient teammates makes LeBron a much better player.

    A players true offensive worth is based on both the amount of possessions a player uses and the efficiency in which he uses them. Every possession a player uses that is more efficient than his average teammate is a well used possession. The further above average that efficiency is, the more helpful each used possession is. So while every possession Landry uses is better than the possessions LeBron uses the fact that LeBron uses twice as many possessions while still maintaining a well above average TS% makes him a much better player.

    As for shot difficulty it does not matter. The fact that Nate’s shots are so much more difficult than the average NBA players’ shots does not help the team. The only thing that actually mattters is the bottom line and a wide open layup is worth the same as a triple-teamed fade away twenty footer. So while the difficulty might speak to Nate’s skill it does not mean anything to the results.

    I know that is a bit conveluted but I hope I was clear.

  79. Owen

    “perhaps ratio of a certain player’s TS% to the average TS% of his particular position or role would be much more useful.”

    That is in fact part of the logic behind the WOW.

    One answer to your question is scoring volume. The difference between a Landry and a Stoudemire is that the latter scores 5 points more per 36 this year and scored 10 points more last year. That is a huge difference. And that encapsulates some of what you are talking about re different roles on the team. When Amare can score 25 points per 36 on a 60+ ts%, that is incredibly impressive.

    That said, I do think Carl Landry is an excellent player and I find it curious that he can’t get more time and that no one made him a better offer last year. Every stat you can find, including adjusted +/- will tell you that he was very effective last year. It’s pretty obvious when you watch him play as well I think.

  80. Frank

    blah – just accidentally closed the window where I made brilliant points.

    I guess to summarize:

    Agree that offensive efficiency should be based on a player’s outcome as compared with an average teammate.

    Can someone tell me what constitutes an individual possession? I’ve tried looking for it in a few places but can’t find a definition.

    Re: shot difficulty — obviously a layup counts the same as a triple teamed long jumper so one should always shoot an open layup. But my question is — why and how did the player get a wide-open layup? In the case of someone like David Lee, the reason he shoots such a high percentage is because, yes, he gets offensive rebounds, tips, and putbacks, but mostly because he makes himself available for uncontested shots off drive and dish, and also because he runs the pick and roll well with Duhon or Nate. But what would happen to those easy shots if it were, say, Mardy Collins, who can’t shoot anything past 4 feet running the point? What would likely happen is that Collins’s defender would play off him, sag into the lane obstructing passing lanes, and prevent Lee from getting his open shot. This same concept is exactly why the entire Suns team under D’Antoni fell apart when Nash sat down. And why this year Shawn Marion is shooting a TS 7-10% less than it was 2004-2007 under D’Antoni and with Nash. Has Marion suddenly lost all his offensive ability and become a worse-than-average offensive player? Did Elton Brand completely forget how to play basketball after coming to Philly from the Clippers? Probably not, but the stats tell a different story.

    My point is that teammates and systems matter, and that TS%, and really many statistics are highly confounded by them. And why looking at stats blindly, or even just 90-95% like Owen would say, to tell you how good a player will be in particular system is not valid.

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