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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Seven Seconds or Mess: Webisode 12

As Mike said earlier:

Looking over yesterday’s play-by-play, Denver was 24-32 on shots labeled “layup” or “dunk”. The Nuggets made 45 shots, which means nearly half were in the paint. That’s a staggering amount, and to make matters worse, D’Antoni decided to use a bigger starting lineup of Duhon, Chandler, Jeffries, Thomas, and Lee. Obviously that had no effect.

57 comments on “Seven Seconds or Mess: Webisode 12

  1. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Good point about Jeffries being a better help defender than on the ball stopper. I can see D’Antoni’s logic though. Use Jeffries’ length to disrupt Billups’ passing and still have a 6-11 guy on the floor to help on defense. Maybe leaving Duhon on Billups & move Jeffries to Jones or Martin would have made him more effective.

    I actually like the idea of using multiple forwards on the floor at once, but guys like Jeffries & Tim Thomas don’t exactly scream out tough interior defense. Imagine if it were Chandler, Ariza, & Balkman…

  2. Gian Casimiro (SSoM) Post author

    Remember how D’Antoni used to have Marion cover some of the better opposing point guards like Tony Parker? And how we used to think he was trying to hide Nash’s perimeter D? He doesn’t have to do that with Duhon but he’s having forwards cover PG’s anyway. I’m starting to wonder if it’s more about saving Duhon’s legs because of the minutes he’s logging.

  3. cavjam

    Good interior defense starts at the perimeter. Size inside doesn’t necessarily translate to good defense (I give you Wes Unseld and Ralph Sampson). Positioning and tenacity can somewhat make up for height. Size outside may actually be more important. Standing at point against an oppo 4 inches shorter, I can see the rotations develop, cutters before they’re clear, and the guy looming at the post’s shoulder waiting for the pass.

    That said, individual defense is easy to praise/criticize but it’s a bit misleading. Game-long defense is mostly a team effort. How many practices have Harrington and Thomas had? It’ll take a while before the defense comes reflexively. If ever it does.

    I understand the hopeful expectation exhibited earlier, that Curry will shore up the middle, but that’s sorta like forgetting that every time you eat at a certain restaurant you feel a bit ill. No matter how hungry you are, the curry still sucks.

  4. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Good interior defense starts at the perimeter.

    I agree that good defense starts on the perimeter, but I think the most crucial component is having someone in the middle to erase the mistakes. In other words if I had to improve the Knicks defense by adding only one player and I had my choice between vintage Bowen or vintage Wallace, I’d take the latter.

    Just take a look at the teams at the top & bottom defensively, and you’ll notice that most of the top teams have great defensive centers, and the ones at the bottom do not.

  5. Caleb

    Just take a look at the teams at the top & bottom defensively, and you’ll notice that most of the top teams have great defensive centers, and the ones at the bottom do not.

    The list is pretty clear. I would say big players are significantly more valuable than small players, in general, but especially on defense.

    Re: Curry’s impact, I know we should be careful-what-you-wish-for. And I know he’s not going to turn things around. But it’s all relative. And it can be situational. As someone pointed out yesterday, he at least would do a better job pushing big centers like Bogut away from the basket. Also, even if Curry is a below-average player, if he’s taking minutes from Jeffries, Tim Thomas and even Chandler, it may be a plus.

    Who would you say is the best perimeter defender that you’ve seen? My game memories only go back to the 80s, but I have to nominate Scottie Pippen. Talk about using a forward to crush opposing point guards (like Mark Price). When Pippen and Jordan were both rolling it was pretty unfair to the opposition. But Jordan only had to do it in bursts. And Pippen kept up that level for many years, as opposed to, say, Ron Artest. Michael Cooper was a similar but not quite as good version. I’d also nominate Dennis Johnson and Derrick McKey… And, in the realm of fantastic defenders who nonetheless didn’t block any shots, I’d throw in our own Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason.

  6. mase

    “I’m starting to wonder if it’s more about saving Duhon’s legs because of the minutes he’s logging.”

    i agree but why is duhon out there by himself?
    Its an unpopular opinion but we have a max contract guard on the roster who can at least back up Duhon, why arent we using him?

    true he’s a headcase and shoots too much but so dont a lot of guys in the rotation. also, to his credit, he came to camp in game shape and looked good in preseason. he gives us the SG we sorely need and a backup to Duhon.

  7. david

    Great comment on Jeffries. On the other hand, it was probably worth a shot — I’m not sure how else we would have defended billups.

    On the other hand, I just looked at the Charlotte roster — a team we are two up on in the loss column. They have much, much more talent than we do. It’s sort of amazing to look at how bad our players are, and even despite this losing streak, our record is not the worst in the league. There must be something to coach pornstache’s efforts..

    Also, in an aside, given that with an expiring contract, Charlotte can be a player in this year’s FA market (but can’t in 2010, at least if they resign Felton), what do you think of a Rose and Jeffries to Charlotte trade in return for Bell, Morrison and some filler. It would clear 2010 space for us, 2009 space for them and would give us a chance to see if SSOL can turn around the waste of space that is Adam Morrison.

  8. Caleb

    Just take a look at the teams at the top & bottom defensively, and you’ll notice that most of the top teams have great defensive centers, and the ones at the bottom do not.

    I was just peeking at the list… and there is a glaring exception. Portland, with Joel Przybilla AND Greg Oden, ranks worse than the Knicks in defensive efficiency (24th vs. 23rd)

    What is going on here?

    SF doesn’t seem to be the problem (Outlaw and Batum). Is Steve Blake that bad? Is Brandon Roy? Or maybe the culprit is LaMarcus Aldridge, whose pathetic help defense was highlighted on Gian’s awesome SSoM..

  9. Caleb

    what do you think of a Rose and Jeffries to Charlotte trade in return for Bell, Morrison and some filler. It would clear 2010 space for us, 2009 space for them and would give us a chance to see if SSOL can turn around the waste of space that is Adam Morrison.

    Bell & Morrison are filler, too, but I’d still do that deal in a heartbeat, just to clear Jeffries off the books. Charlotte might go for it, too. Jeffries looks like an LB kinda guy.

  10. PeteRoc

    The often-underestimated eliminate of the Bulls defense with Jordan and Pippen was how their length affected the way opposing teams ran their offense. To their credit, both were good on-the-ball defenders which helped tremendously, but if you re-watch the play-by-play, consider the following. First, on the very first play, Jeffries (given his length) should never have been doing the equivalent of face-guarding Billups in the corner. A good, quick defender with length, eg Scottie Pippen or Balkman if coached properly, would have started in help position (not necessarily under the basket)and likely would have deterred Carmello from penetrating in the first place. At worst, the length would have made the passing lane more difficult on penetration, which also disrupts the timing of the play or in this case the natural catch-release rythm by Billups.

    Help defense is what makes the Celtics so good. The coach can instruct the on-the-ball defender to force the ball handler in a particular direction knowing the help defense and length of guys like Garnett, Perkins, Powe, and Pierce will prevent an uncontested path to the basket as well as easy passing lanes for kick outs. The hope should be that Curry’s size obstructs what otherwise looks like an easy path to the basket. On the other hand, a smart team will simply do to Curry as was done to Oden in a prior play-by-play inllustration. That is…force Curry to be involved in high pick-n-rolls which brings him away from the basket, forces him to be a factor up-top (which he isn’t good at) and re-exposes the team to the same problem near the basket.

  11. Nick C.

    Unless my memory is wrong, another key was that Pippen, Jordan and even Grant were quick enough to get back after doubling. Typing this it makes no sense but perhaps someone else can better elaborate.

  12. Frank

    from SI.com:

    T-Wolves interested in Marbury?

    Crazy trade rumor: Rashad McCants and Sebastian Telfair of the Timberwolves to the Knicks for former Wolf Stephon Marbury.

    St. Paul Pioneer Press

    I’m not sure how that could ever possibly work under the cap but I’d do that in a heartbeat. McCants expires at the end of this year, Telfair after the end of next year. Not sure why the T’Wolves would ever consider that. Probably some writer just spouting off.

  13. Caleb

    Crazy trade rumor: Rashad McCants and Sebastian Telfair of the Timberwolves to the Knicks for former Wolf Stephon Marbury…
    I’m not sure how that could ever possibly work under the cap but I’d do that in a heartbeat.

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=509~130~987~2777~2417&teams=16~18~18~18~18&te=&cash=

    Marbury for Telfair, McCants, Jason Collins and Brian Cardinal. Everyone expires this summer except Cardinal and Telfair. Wolves save about $7 million, and clear $9 million in cap space next summer. That would be huge for them — going from $10 million in cap room to almost $20 million.

    Knicks get SOMETHING for Marbury – a decent backup PG. Pretty expensive, though. I’d push for more, like Minny’s (high) 2nd round pick. Or a future pick of some kind.

    You’re right though, it’s probably just a writer’s fantasy…

    Another version: Cardinal for Malik Rose straight up, with the Wolves throwing in Telfair and/or the pick(s).

  14. BK

    I was just peeking at the list… and there is a glaring exception. Portland, with Joel Przybilla AND Greg Oden, ranks worse than the Knicks in defensive efficiency (24th vs. 23rd)
    What is going on here?
    SF doesn’t seem to be the problem (Outlaw and Batum). Is Steve Blake that bad? Is Brandon Roy? Or maybe the culprit is LaMarcus Aldridge, whose pathetic help defense was highlighted on Gian’s awesome SSoM..

    Portland is a very funny case…among the highest in offensive efficiency, and among the worst defensively — they may have the biggest gap in the league. They have a lot of great athletes and reasonable size (Oden, Aldridge, Pryzbilla, Outlaw), but I’ve watched a lot of their games, and they are very soft inside.

    Fun, fun team to watch (especially Roy), but not a defensive juggernaut by any stretch of the imagination.

  15. Gian Casimiro (SSoM) Post author

    I’ll buy into the idea that Jeffries’ length causes some disruption for opposing point guards but I’m not going to act like Billups was taken out of his game, or that Nash was bothered by Harrington in Phoenix. Both of those teams won comfortably.

    My problem with Jeffries guarding point guards, and what I tried to show in this episode, is that a high pick and roll will result in two of our big men being taken out of the paint leaving the Tim Thomas’ and Al Harrington’s to contest shots. I don’t like that scenario.

    Also, Jeffries crashes the offensive glass as hard as Lee. That leaves him trailing on point guards giving the opposition a step on a team that can’t pick up ball handlers to begin with. I chose to leave it out but JR Smith literally went coast to coast three times in this game, and you saw what Billups did in this video.

    If we’re truly going to believe that Duhon is an above average defensive PG, despite his limited athleticism, then have him guard the point. If we’re going to believe in Jeffries’ intangibles and high basketball IQ, then make him a help defender. It just doesn’t make sense to me that D’Antoni is taking players out of their strengths. The same strengths he’s been using to justify these rotations.

  16. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Help defense is what makes the Celtics so good. The coach can instruct the on-the-ball defender to force the ball handler in a particular direction knowing the help defense and length of guys like Garnett, Perkins, Powe, and Pierce will prevent an uncontested path to the basket as well as easy passing lanes for kick outs. The hope should be that Curry’s size obstructs what otherwise looks like an easy path to the basket. On the other hand, a smart team will simply do to Curry as was done to Oden in a prior play-by-play inllustration. That is…force Curry to be involved in high pick-n-rolls which brings him away from the basket, forces him to be a factor up-top (which he isn’t good at) and re-exposes the team to the same problem near the basket.

    True, but to accomplish that the team would need to have a center that can score from the high pick & roll. It’s one thing to run it with Lee who is very good at catching & finishing around the basket and has a good enough jumper to keep defenses honest. Also a team has to be willing to use it (some teams don’t run it often).

    For instance I don’t recall the Knicks using the high pick & roll with Curry often. Actually there’s one time in my mind that they went to it on back to back plays and I think it worked on both (or perhaps there was a charge on the second one). But Thomas used Eddy almost exclusively on the blocks.

    Actually I’m curious how D’Antoni will use Curry (if at all).

  17. Owen

    Gian – Very nice, as always. I completely agree with your analysis here. Jeffries is better as a help defender. I love thinking outside the box, D’Antoni clearly loves it too, but a lot of it doesn’t work.

  18. italian stallion

    Wouldn’t trading Marbury for Telfair be sort of like trading Marbury for a Marbury light?

    Seriously, if Walsh winds up getting anything at all for Marbury his patience is going to make him look like a genius again since IMO that was his hope right from the start and why things were handled the way they were.

  19. d-mar

    When Jeffries tries to post up, why in God’s name do any of the other Knick players give him the ball? Is there a worse offensive player in the NBA?

  20. ess-dog

    Here’s where we blow it.
    It looks like Diaw’s auditioning for D’Antoni out there.
    Q: Does anyone rebound besides Lee?
    Gerald Wallace is really good, but why does he fall down so much?
    Nate sux. He’s only good when he’s fighting to become a starter. Once he gets the starting slot, he gets lax. Put him back on the bench.
    It’s getting hard to care about this team of rent-a-players.

  21. italian stallion

    D’Antoni looks like he’s about to have a cow. I can’t blame him. There really doesn’t seem to be a player on this team capable of executing under pressure other than perhaps Duhon. But since he’s not really a big offensive threat, it’s a huge problem. Young players can sometimes learn to cope better with seasoning, but in my chosen game there are clear cut winners and losers and they rarely change. D’Antoni talks about creating a winning culture etc… and I understand where he’s coming from and agree, but I’m not sure he has the players with the proper mental make up.

  22. italian stallion

    Maybe there’s hope yet for Chandler…

    He had a better night, but I’m starting to get worried that his “deer in a headlight look” and bad shot selection doesn’t reflect a rookie’s growing pains. It might reflect a lack of basketball IQ. I hope not, but he does some dumb things and after the fact doesn’t even seem to realize why.

    I’d hate to think that athletic talent is being wasted on someone that won’t be able to use it to it’s potential.

  23. italian stallion
    I’d hate to think that athletic talent is being wasted on someone that won’t be able to use it to it’s potential.

    You’re talking about over half of the league.

    That may be true, but I’m only concerned about the Knicks. I was a young fan when Reed, Frazier etc… won it all. I know how it feels to root for a great basketball team, but it has been so long the memories are fading.

  24. Caleb

    Maybe there’s hope yet for Chandler…

    Five shots from the charity stripe and zero from behind the 3-point line. Maybe the coach has had a word with someone. More nights like that and he’ll be fine.

  25. ess-dog
    Maybe there’s hope yet for Chandler…

    Five shots from the charity stripe and zero from behind the 3-point line. Maybe the coach has had a word with someone. More nights like that and he’ll be fine.

    Maybe he will turn into our new “go to guy”… I would rather see him barrel into the lane and get a charge call than have him throw up another 3. If he was just 2 inches taller, he’d be the quickest PF in the league. I think D’Antoni is trying to groom him to fit into the Marion role, we’ll see what happens, the skill set is somewhat different.

  26. Gian Casimiro (SSoM) Post author

    So they finished 4-10 this month. I know it’s frustrating and we wanted better, but when we looked at the schedule at the beginning of the month, this is pretty much what we expected. They let one slip against Minny but stole one against Detroit. About four or five good efforts against great teams. A road loss to Chicago. Thoughts?

    Also, last night Jeffries had 3 blocks, 3 steals, 4 offensive rebounds, but 3 turnovers. He got praise from the coaches during halftime and after the game. Thoughts on this as well?

  27. Nick C.

    As far as Jeffries goes, he really does a lot of good things but the ineptitude with the ball seems to overshadow all that and dominates your impression of him. Watching Jeffries makes you appreciate a low usage – high percentage player becuase Jeffies should be one except he tries to do much more than he is capable of doing. I’ve come around to the idea that if it is not quite a skill at least it is an asset for a player to refrain from doing things he cannot do.

  28. d-mar

    Jeffries is really one of those intangible guys, (as overused an expression as that is.) He was the one who tipped the ball to Duhon on the scramble play at the end, he keeps a lot of balls alive on the offensive end, and he is probably the best defender on the team. However, whenever he gets involved in the set offense, it’s a disaster, and for some reason, he can’t make a layup. It’s obvious D’Antoni likes him, as his minutes have steadily increased, and he was in over Harrington at the end yesterday. A tough guy to evaluate.

  29. Frank

    2 things —

    Jefferies is a pretty good one-on-one defender but he ALWAYS doubles unnecessarily (as does the entire Knicks team), leaving wide open shooters. Can’t even count how many times that seemed to happen last night, turning the worst offensive team in the NBA into a viable looking unit. And he shouldn’t EVER be allowed to shoot the ball. Maybe he’s allowed to dunk it. But only when he’s completely by himself.

    Second thing — interesting Bill Simmons article on ESPN.com today:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?section=magazine&id=3797805&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1

    Very much ties into the point I continually make, which is that relying too much on stats in basketball invariably is a confounded process considering all the OTHER things other than a player’s specific talents that go into the final numbers.

  30. Reebok1303

    Also pretty interesting:

    Agent: Ricky Rubio Likely To Skip 2009 Draft

    According to Rubio’s agent, Germa’n González, “it is a real possibility” that the Spanish point guard will not declare for the upcoming 2009 NBA Draft.

    The following is rough English translation, as González told to Marca, the Spanish nationwide daily sports newspaper:

    “We do not want it to go like other players who have left very high in the Draft and soon they do not play. The Americans have become crazy to have players there as soon as possible. The decisions will be taken based on which the European market also provides.”

    While González also said Rubio’s decision to remain in Europe is not final, Rubio’s € 6 million ($8.4 million USD) buyout could eventually cause him to stay. A complex renegotiation with DKV Joventut needs to occur in order to reduce the high costs (higher than even the salary of a no. 1 selection) of rescission.

    Despite talks of being a Top 5 pick in June, worries about Rubio’s NBA-readiness will likely cause him to forgo the NBA for at least another year.

    Here’s the link – http://slamonline.com/online/nba/2008/12/agent-ricky-rubio-likely-to-skip-2009-draft/

  31. Owen

    “I’ve come around to the idea that if it is not quite a skill at least it is an asset for a player to refrain from doing things he cannot do.”

    Very true. I often feel the same way about Jeffries. If he would just concentrate on rebounding, stealing, defense, and avoiding turnovers, he could be a valuable player. But he doesn’t.

    I can’t bear to read a Marbury blog.

    As for the Simmons piece, that probably deserves a post. It seems unbelievable to me that Simmons (and other popular sportswriters) don’t t seem to understand the concept of pace. Maybe they do, but there articles don’t reflect it. I think he watches how much player values change in fantasy and thinks it works the same in real life. It doesn’t Bill.

    Duhon, who he talks about at length in the article, has seen his assist ‘rate’ jump from from 26.5 to 30.9 and his turnover rate from 15.8 to 21.7. Same same but same.

    No one with an inkling about advanced basketball statistics could have written that article, that is for sure.

  32. Brian Cronin

    Very much ties into the point I continually make, which is that relying too much on stats in basketball invariably is a confounded process considering all the OTHER things other than a player’s specific talents that go into the final numbers.

    When I read that article, all I thought was that it was a great example of someone not understanding advanced statistics then making an uniformed diss of statistics.

    Unless, of course, the “stat-heads” he is referring to are those who somehow think that Fantasy League stats apply to real life. And I dunno if people like that even actually exist.

  33. Ben R

    I think Simmons sells Nash short. He has been a full time starter for nine years (including this year). In five of those years his team had the best offense in the NBA in two they had the 2nd best and in two including this year the 4th best offense. Nash is an exceptional offensive player, I would say the best in the league over the last 8-9 years. I agree he is not a good defender and because of that I agree that he did not deserve the MVP’s but to say he is nothing but another Mark Price is unfair.

    Also for all the talk about D’Antoni not coaching defense, this year Pheonix has dropped to 24th in the defensive rankings. Under D’Antoni the Suns were never worse than 17th and were as good as 13th at one point. On top of that the Knicks are 24th in the league on defense which is the best the Knicks have been since their last appearance in the playoffs in 03-04, and a huge improvement over 29th last year.

    I really like Simmons because he is often laugh out loud funny (the “first-annual atrocious gm summit” is one of the funniest basketball pieces I have ever read) but his “advanced” analysis of basketball is pretty much off base.

  34. Frank
    Very much ties into the point I continually make, which is that relying too much on stats in basketball invariably is a confounded process considering all the OTHER things other than a player’s specific talents that go into the final numbers.

    When I read that article, all I thought was that it was a great example of someone not understanding advanced statistics then making an uniformed diss of statistics.
    Unless, of course, the “stat-heads” he is referring to are those who somehow think that Fantasy League stats apply to real life. And I dunno if people like that even actually exist.

    Which part of his analysis do you think is wrong? Nash’s numbers HAVE dropped back to their pre-D’Antoni levels. And if you look at Mark Price’s stats from 87-95 they are scarily similar to Nash’s pre-D’Antoni.

    Stoudemire is playing a high level, though.

  35. Brian Cronin

    Off the top of my head (I could re-read the article, but what fun is that?)…

    1. Suggesting that stats don’t account for increased pace, which is absurd, as they obviously do – just not the stats you see in newspapers or Fantasy Leagues.

    2. “Stat-heads” specifically did not support Nash’s MVPs, and here, Simmons is assigning them a goodly portion of the “blame” for it.

    3. The notion that Nash, at 67 years of age, “returning” to the numbers he did as a younger man is somehow a knock on Nash. The guy put up very good numbers then and puts up very good numbers now.

    4. The notion that being similar to Mark Price is somehow a knock on Nash. Price was awesome.

    5. The idea that Stoudemire is not an All-Star level player anymore.

    I’m sure there are more, but the main one is the general “knocking statistics while ignoring the fact that advanced statistics explain pretty much everything he’s talking about.”

    I really do enjoy Simmons’ columns, though. He just doesn’t write about advanced statistics well. By the way, speaking of Simmons and advanced statistics – he is a good example of how far advanced stats have gone – when I first started reading him years ago, he used to mock Rob Neyer and Bill James’ stats a lot – now he uses them like every other right-minded person. And yet he sits there and repeats the same jokes he used to use against Neyer, only now against Hollinger (and yes, Hollinger has his issues – no doubt about it, but seriously, don’t let history repeat itself, Bill!).

  36. xduckshoex

    Did Simmons really say that no player has ever been a late bloomer like Nash was?

    What about Lenny Wilkens? Before the age of 30 his career highs were 16.7 points per 36 minutes and 5.7 assists per 36 minutes with his highest PER being 15.9. He has a break out season at the age of 30(18.6 points and 7.7 assists per 36, PER of 19) and continues to play at that level for the next 6 years.

    It just seems like Simmons had a conclusion and tried to find evidence to support it instead of just following the evidence to a conclusion, which is kind of disappointing because like Brian Cronin I tend to enjoy his columns.

  37. Frank

    Off the top of my head (I could re-read the article, but what fun is that?)…
    1. Suggesting that stats don’t account for increased pace, which is absurd, as they obviously do – just not the stats you see in newspapers or Fantasy Leagues.

    Well, it’s not just pace with Nash. FG% is down. TS%, while still awesome, is down. Assist rate is down. Turnover rate is up. The point I was trying to make is that systems matter and a player’s stats go up and down with the quality of teammates and system. And that should be taken into account when relying too heavily on “advanced statistics”.

  38. Brian Cronin

    I’d argue that Nash’s slight decline has more to do with him almost being 35 years old (and averaging over 34 minutes a game in his four seasons of his return to Phoenix) than the loss of D’Antoni.

    Still, though, I don’t mean to suggest that there is nothing to be said for outside influences affecting statistics. Specifically, Frank, I did not mean to imply that your conclusions were off-base or anything like that – just that Simmons’ column was poorly thought out.

    Sure, outside influences can affect statistics.

  39. jon abbey

    you guys are all missing the directly relevant part of that Simmons column, which is that we all know that playing in D’Antoni’s system is a draw for players, as it’s fun to play in, but it never quite occurred to me that the bulked up stats would be a draw too. if LeBron wants to make a run at Kareem’s most career points ever (in addition to obviously wanting to win titles, of course everyone’s primary objective, or at least most people), playing in D’Antoni’s system should really help.

    also, D’Antoni being the Coors Field of coaches was pretty funny, as was SSOL spelled backwards is LOSS.

  40. Owen

    “you guys are all missing the directly relevant part of that Simmons column, which is that we all know that playing in D’Antoni’s system is a draw for players”

    Jon – Didn’t we cover that pretty thoroughly when D’Antoni arrived? I feel like a lot of people here made that point. And I remember staking out a spot in the “coaches don’t really matter except if they can attract great players” camp. D’Antoni is a huge positive in that regard I think, I agree with Simmons on that.

    And I agree somewhat that Nash’s performance has dropped off quite a bit this year in a new system. But he is still very good. And when he was in Dallas he directed the best offense of all time, and in fact led the first or second best offense in the league for 7 years running I think.

    Simmons is a very entertaining writer, and I enjoy reading him, but it’s a difficult piece to swallow for someone who spends a lot of time thinking about advanced stats.

  41. jon abbey

    Owen, your excerpt of only half my sentence missed my point, I was saying we already knew the former, but I personally hadn’t considered the latter.

    a better example, which I thought of later, is that if LeBron wants to try to average a triple double for a whole season (I believe only Oscar Robertson has ever done that), he has a much better chance of doing that within the team concept while playing for D’Antoni than he would anywhere else. not a huge selling point, but something, and one that didn’t occur to me before the Simmons piece.

  42. jon abbey

    not to take too much enjoyment in other team’s woes, but the Clippers started Mardy Collins at SF last night.

  43. Owen

    Jon – You mean the fact that D’Antoni offers the chance to accumulate big stats? Yeah, I guess. I suppose that is an interesting new spin on DAntoni’s appeal. I don’t know, I think Lebron is always going to get enough shots. But in the SSOL there are enough shots to go around to make the 2nd and 3rd guy happy as well, which is where the real difference comes in. It’s much easier to attract a string section when they know they will have the opportunity to average 20 ppg as well.

    I did notice Mardy and his beautiful line. 1-5, with a rebound, an assist, a turnover, a block, and 3 fouls in 20 minutes. Way to fill the box score.

  44. ess-dog

    Happy New Year, fellow Knick Knerds!

    I think I like Mardy better as an sf actually (if he could get to the rim more often)… Jeffries played a lot better the other night, but he’s still pretty limited. He’s not really a center, but as a sf or pf, Balkman or Ariza would be better. Would it be possible for him to lift a few weights? Jeez.

    This might be cynical, but do you think players want to play for D’Antoni so their numbers will expand and they will then get bigger contracts later on? Or is he just more fun to play for?

    I think Curry is going to “audition” for Larry Brown when he gets back into the rotation. Hopefully he won’t screw it up, and we can gain some more cap space. Either straight up for junk, or a 3 way trade with the Warriors. If we could dump Q and Jeffries too, I would be ecstatic. I really think that if we can lose every contract that isn’t Lee, Nate, Gallinari and Chandler, we could pick up 3 excellent players or Lebron and another.

  45. TDM

    ESPN is reporting that Boston and marbury have mutual interest. I think I recall someone saying that if the Knicks hold on to marbury until a certain point in the season, and then cut him, he cannot play for another team on a playoff run. Anyone know if that is true? That seems to be the biggest leverage the Knicks have in getting marbury to come off his 20 mill. Also, the fact that he would then get to choose who he wants to play for, assuming of course, there are interested parties.

  46. Caleb

    ESPN is reporting that Boston and marbury have mutual interest. I think I recall someone saying that if the Knicks hold on to marbury until a certain point in the season, and then cut him, he cannot play for another team on a playoff run. Anyone know if that is true? That seems to be the biggest leverage the Knicks have in getting marbury to come off his 20 mill.

    Here’s the article.

    The deadline for playoff rosters is in March, I forget the exact date. So yeah, that’s leverage. I’m not surprised if the Celtics have interest but I don’t see any reason why Walsh would let Marbs walk to Boston (or anywhere), just to save a million bucks. So I don’t believe the “imminent buyout” rumors. Stuff like this — Celtics, Mavs, any team whose PG goes down in the next month – would all love to have Marbury. As much as he’s hated here, he has plenty of value (to anyone not paying him $20 million).

    Figure that Walsh will fully explore the trade options – like comment #15 – right up to the deadline. If the deadline passes and Marbs is still here and it’s strictly a matter of money, then we’ll see serious buyout talks.

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