Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Some Plays Count: Who Gets the Assist?

According to Wikipedia, “In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal, meaning that he or she was ‘assisting’ in the basket… Only the pass directly before the score may be counted as an assist.”

So check out this video from the Knicks/Heat game, and tell me who should get the assist.

206 comments on “Some Plays Count: Who Gets the Assist?

  1. jon abbey

    yeah, I talked about this at length here at some point, maybe last year. assists are usually pretty clear at least, this guy just screwed up, maybe because he was bored watching garbage time of a blowout. turnovers are the real issue, as they’re quite often in a grey area where they can be assigned to one player or another, and I think they’re often assigned incorrectly.

    the science of basketball statistical analysis can only get so far until the original plays that are being analyzed are recorded correctly.

  2. BigBlueAL

    Always was curious about steals. If I a player deflects a pass/knocks the ball loose from a player but someone else picks it up who gets the steal the guy who forced the steal or the guy who wound up picking up the loose ball??

  3. jon abbey

    rebounds too. Tyson Chandler used to tip out at least 5 balls a game to the perimeter for his teammates to corral, but I’m sure he got no credit there.

  4. Ted Nelson

    Very interesting clip. Surprised Nate didn’t spend 10 minutes whining to the official scorer :) I do remember you addressing this issue at length, Jon.

    Personally I’ve always thought it would interesting to develop a sort of second assist or some other passing metric, since good playmakers are supposed to be able to see a few passes ahead. The focus on assists may play a big role in the NBA’s obsession with the two man game (since per game stats = fame and fortune in the NBA: the incentive system is screwed up).

  5. Mike Kurylo Post author

    http://deadspin.com/5345287/the-confessions-of-an-nba-scorekeeper?skyline=true&s=x

    Although I think this was more of an error, than stat padding. I don’t think this invalidates statistical analysis (anymore than let’s say giving Jared Jeffries/Eddy Curry long term contracts invalidates all of visual analysis), but I think it’s something unique to the NBA. I can’t imagine the wrong player getting credit for a strikeout, walk, or put out in baseball. Nor can I see the wrong NFL player getting credit for a TD, reception, or interception. Perhaps the grey area would be tackles/sacks in the NFL – but that’s such a minor part of the game. In basketball rebounds and steals are so much more tougher to assign, and assists and blocks to a degree. But this is just flat out getting the guy wrong.

    I agree that the NBA should be looking closer into this. The only reason I caught this play was because I wanted to document Darko’s assists, only to find that one was not his. I heard that the NBA reviews every game for these kinds of errors, but google revealed nothing. Anyone?

  6. Kikuchiyo

    For assists, I’ve always thought that the passer should get credit if the shooter gets fouled and makes at least one free throw. (You can’t have an assist if no points are scored.) It’s a very important play to get players the ball in position to get fouled. Seems a shame when a great pass leads to a foul and no assist. What am I missing?

  7. d-mar

    “Tangent: Worst Teams of All-Time. We’re #15 and climbing!”

    Well, the other team heading towards oblivion is supposedly firing their coach after the Laker game tonight. I feel bad for Frank, he was dealt a lousy hand with all the injuries and he seems like a decent guy.

  8. Brian Cronin

    What’s startling to me is that none of the teams on that list won more than 15, and many of them won exactly 15 games.

    That’s weird.

  9. paul1355

    If Darko is going to get the assist then the NBA should make the rules like the NHL. Assist goes to Darko, Nate, and the basket goes to Danillo lol…I honestly think this was just a screw up as some posters said. If someone can make this clear boine head mistake then the NBA should take this more seriously. Messing up stats is unacceptable.

  10. Z

    Speaking of Darko, he was interviewed in the NY Post today. Here’s a quote (which is also relevant to the conversation going on on the previous thread) about his lack of playing time:

    “I already had enough bad experiences in the NBA, so I’m not going to cry about it. If he don’t play me, he don’t play me. I’m here…I learned in Detroit you can be Michael fucking Jordan in practice, you’re still not going to play in the game. They used to tell me in Detroit, show me in practice what you can do. I showed and I showed. But then I didn’t play. Practice is practice. The game is the game. Coach has his guys he wants to play he thinks is going to make this team a winning team.”

  11. SeeWhyDee77

    y’know…I appreciate the shots that Rooster is makin tonite, but I am so sick of watchin him hang arount the 3pt line waitin for a pass. I think D’Antoni screwed his game up by annointing him the best shooter he’s seen. Either that or his back is worse than reported b/c he uses the 3 pointer for scores almost exclusively.

  12. Gorky

    Top 5 3-pts made:
    *Danilo Gallinari
    *Channing Frye
    Danny Granger
    Mo Williams
    *Trevor Ariza

    * Knicks draft picks

  13. Owen

    Is Nate wearing leggings?

    I have to say, it’s refreshing when Jeffries takes a shot around the rim and it actually goes in…

    And Dejuan Blair is 4-6 with 7 boards and two blocks in nine minutes. He has been quiet of late though…

  14. Owen

    Yeah, I don’t know how he missed that…

    Great behind the back pass from J. Williams, I haven’t seen anything that pretty from a Knicks guard in, well, I don’t know how long…

  15. Ted Nelson

    Are you kidding me? Nate jumps up and down twice while getting back on defense after a sweet move and Breen and Clyde get on him twice for not getting back on defense???

  16. theinfamousjb

    Breen loves being a grumpy old man and repeating two things: acts that he deems unprofessional and telling us how officials are just trying to get it right. At one time he overreacted to everything Chris Childs did, now it’s Nate. Breen just goes after the easiest one to pick on. Perhaps he could fill in for Andy Rooney whenever he steps away from “60 Minutes.”

    The question is would Mike Breen complain about Garnett, LeBron, or other effervescent superstars if they were Knicks?

    On the other hand, Nate and maturity seem to be mutually exclusive terms.

  17. Ted Nelson

    “Nate should take 5 laps.”

    I disagree. My point was that Clyde and Breen are stupid. You make a shot and jump up and down in excitement… who cares. That’s who Nate is, and he went on to erupt after that. The Knicks need MORE enthusiasm, not less.

  18. Z

    “That’s who Nate is, and he went on to erupt after that.”

    I empathize with Breen, though, only because pretty much everything Nate does annoys me too. Even when he scores 25 pts in a quarter, I find it kind of annoying, considering the Knicks lost ground during the eruption Orlando put the game away pretty easily.

    Not Nate’s fault, of course– but guys jumping around in celebration on a team that is 3-13 and losing by double-digits at home in the 4th quarter–

    Kind of annoying.

  19. Ted Nelson

    I don’t find it annoying or immature. He wants it badly and he’s excited to be out there. Even when the game was over he still went for that steal, and he didn’t take the final shot which could have tied or broken the Knicks single quarter scoring record. If the entire roster played with the kind of passion Nate brings the Knicks would not be 3-14. It’s ok to be calm and professional when you’re good, when you’re a bad team you have to want it 10 times worse than the other team and give 10 times more effort.

  20. Owen

    I think Breen was hard on Nate because he took a shot too quickly near the end of the half, leaving time for Orlando to come down and hit a shot. It was a dumb play. Robinson makes dumb plays and does stupid things, but he is our best guard.

  21. Sandy

    not terribly upset with this loss. our offense was generally good and our defense was bad. tough to expect us to defend both inside and outside in the same game. we just have to hope orlando misses more shots in the next game. we also need nate and duhon performing at a high level. i also liked gallo tonight.

  22. Sandy

    we also simply need chandler to shoot less shots. he is shooting because he is open but he is open because he is shooting. somehow we need to distribute those shots around better. obviously more to gallo. im upset that hughes missed some shots, but most of the shots he took were good shots. he missed several layups and freethrow line jumpers. i hope he just goes and practices those.

  23. BK

    I’m all for extreme enthusiasm, and it was fine when Nate exhibited it last year because the team won or fought hard. Tonight I saw a great scoring run in the midst of a total inability to get stops in the fourth quarter. Breen’s criticism was too heavy-handed for me tonight, but he and Clyde are right: Nate is a total defensive liability. I’m not going to get too pumped up about pressing the opposing guards and going for steals with seconds left in garbage time if the guy can’t be bothered with paying attention to the small things that win games.

    With that said, if Nate really is back to form, then he can help this team. But I’d rather not see him alongside Lee and Harrington again (as they were in the fourth quarter tonight) because those are 3 of the worst defensive players in the league.

  24. Robert Silverman

    Tough one. I don’t care about the jumping up and down as much as the TO leading to a 3 by White Chocolate/5-point swing at the end of the first. That was just awful

  25. JK47

    Wilson Chandler stinks. He’s a “well-rounded” player in that every facet of his game is truly mediocre. It’s a sad commentary on our team that this guy is starting and playing 35 minutes a game. There are talented wing players all over the NBA, and we’re stuck with this stiff. Somebody please bust a cap in this miserable season.

  26. BK

    Here’s what a friend who was on press row tonight at the Garden posted on twitter toward the end of the game:

    “Nate Robinson picking up full-court with a minute left down 14 is comedy. Tragicomedy.”

  27. Z

    “I don’t find it annoying or immature. He wants it badly and he’s excited to be out there…If the entire roster played with the kind of passion Nate brings the Knicks would not be 3-14.”

    Yeah, I get that, and you are probably right. I don’t really think it’s that big a deal what Nate does with his energy. My only point was that I find Nate personally annoying, as I Mike Breen seems to as well. I’m not saying there is a good reason for it. I’ve just wanted to love Nate ever since he joined the team, but for some reason, despite his under-dog status, to really warm to him. I don’t hate him. I just wish I liked him.

  28. tastycakes

    I agree completely with Ted — Nate is one of the only guys who brings the competitive fire night to night, and I have no problem with his “antics.” I do have a problem with his occasional bone-head plays, but that’s Nate. I’d keep him over 9 or 10 other guys on this pathetic roster.

    I mean, Jared Jeffries? For god’s sake, just because he’s being paid like an NBA player doesn’t mean he should PLAY.

  29. Ted Nelson

    “we also simply need chandler to shoot less shots. he is shooting because he is open but he is open because he is shooting. somehow we need to distribute those shots around better.”

    Amen. WC wasn’t bad overall tonight, but there’s no need to have a Harrington Jr. on the court. One is enough. Having one black hole on the wing with a high usage rate is alright if he has a TS% around 55% (which Harrington does and did last season), but having two guys with a combined 0.00001% chance of passing the ball once they touch it on the court together is silly if the second guy has a career TS% of 50%… I would like to see Landry get a shot at WC’s minutes. His defense and nose for the ball might be at least as good and possibly better, but he could be a more efficient, low volume scorer.
    I guess I have to keep in mind personnel decisions when I evaluate D’Antoni’s rotation, though. Trading WC would save $2 mill next season, so you want to keep his minutes and per game stats high. Keeping Landry from ever seeing the court could allow the Knicks to sign him to another small deal this offseason.

    Gallinari still looks really hesitant. Just looking at his facial expressions I think at least part of it is confidence (or maybe he’s grimacing in pain…).

    BK,

    I don’t think Nate is any more of a defensive liability than the team in general. I’m really wondering where that’s even coming from. I don’t see what defense has to do with it (he was literally running down the court, waiting for the ball to be inbounded to pick up his man, and getting back on D while they were criticizing him for not doing so…) and none of the guys he was guarding tonight had particularly good games.

    Not only can he help the team, but he very well might be THE BEST player on the team. Certainly one of the best. That’s a sad statement, but last season I really think it might have been the case.

    Lee and Harrington is maybe the worst defensive frontcourt pairing in the NBA (besides maybe some of the other ridiculous pairings D’Antoni puts out there), but what coach would have those two at the 4 and 5 for such extended minutes? Most coaches (probably every other coach in the NBA besides maybe Don Nelson) would at least throw a Darko, Hill, or Curry out there for a few minutes to put a body on Howard and stop Anthony Johnson from just walking to the rim (that was only one play, but Reddick, Lewis, Carter they were all getting inside and meeting little resistance). Considering how undersized and out of position they are as a pairing I really can’t complain too much.

  30. Sandy

    i mean d. lee is so inept at altering shots its amazing…this guy will be in position but somehow he almost never touches the ball when it leaves the opponents hands. there are plays where i am simply amazed he didn’t spike the shot to the ground. he played ok d on howard, but he is tough to handle. d. lee is a good 4 in this offense with his ability to pass and move…but my question…is David Lee a net positive on the floor and worth signing for $8 mil and 4 years if we have the chance? i cannot decide yes or no on that and I am leaning towards no.

  31. ess-dog

    Didn’t watch this one, but what stands out from the box score is that we played a fairly good game – 50% from the field, 40% from 3pt, only 9 turnovers, Duhon even shot well – but Orlando is just better. Just a faster, more athletic, somewhat smarter team.
    If there was a way to move Harrington and Chandler for an expiring and a draft pick, I would do that in a heartbeat. Just removing that ugliness would make this team so much more watchable.
    Meanwhile, look how much better Larry Brown’s Bobcats have become. All with smart, active team players. Wallace being the closest thing to a star they have.

  32. Sandy

    before I forget, I am going to go out there and make a bold prediction that the Knicks get there first big win of the young season against Phoenix Tuesday night. The numbers are not in our favor (phoenix is ranked 1st in offensive efficiency and it is a tie on defense), but I think with a sampling of our last 5 games, our offensive efficiency numbers would be very different. i think we can continue this against a relatively poor defensive team and we will see a couple of big efforts from players hoping to win one for D’Antoni.

    NY 115
    Phoenix 108

  33. d-mar

    I was at the game, and every once in a while would glance at the team stats on the scoreboard. Midway thru the 4th qtr. we had TWO offensive rebounds. I understand that Howard sucks up a ton of boards just by being under the basket, but between Lee, Chandler, Gallo and Harrington they can only manage 2 off. boards? Pure hustle will at least get you a couple. As Clyde would say, one and done, which means if the Knicks aren’t shooting a high percentage, they have zero chance of beating anyone.

  34. Owen

    “Is David Lee a net positive on the floor and worth signing for $8 mil and 4 years if we have the chance? i cannot decide yes or no on that and I am leaning towards no.”

    Yes.

  35. jon abbey

    “I was at the game, and every once in a while would glance at the team stats on the scoreboard. Midway thru the 4th qtr. we had TWO offensive rebounds. I understand that Howard sucks up a ton of boards just by being under the basket, but between Lee, Chandler, Gallo and Harrington they can only manage 2 off. boards?”

    This seemed to be almost a conscious team decision tonight, as no Knick was within 15 feet of the basket for what seemed like dozens of different shots.

    I’m kind of shocked that Gallo is leading the league in threes made, it really seems like he could easily make twice as many as he does with consistent effort and a team commitment to getting him the ball enough.

    Sandy, how’s that playoff push going? :)

  36. Robert Silverman

    On the bright side, when Nate’s shooting this well, he certainly could be the carrot to get a contender to take Jeffries’ contract

    For example…The Lakers might be willing to consider a Jeffries + Nate for Farmar and Morrison deal. Especially considering the triangle doesn’t require a true PG.

  37. Brian Cronin

    Is David Lee a net positive on the floor and worth signing for $8 mil and 4 years if we have the chance? i cannot decide yes or no on that and I am leaning towards no

    Clearly yes.

  38. Sandy

    after the sac game, i gave up on the playoff push. now i am just looking for silver linings. but why clearly yes on david lee? maybe someone could break it down why he is worth that much, on both sides of the ball.

  39. Sandy

    let us say for example, that we cannot trade anyone, we get lebron and we have $8 million left to play with. should we go after a good point with that money or sign d. lee? i guess this would depend on the free agent market the following year.

  40. stratomatic

    Random thoughts

    Chandler – I don’t understand why he’s still starting and getting so many minutes. He’s a very inefficient scorer and either average or below average at everything else. He’s still young and clearly suffering from the aftermath of surgery, but he’s not playing well enough now to warrant all that time.

    Hill – I’d like to see Hill get some of Chandler’s minutes. We might have to suffer with an increase in rookie mistakes and bad fouls, but he’ll get more rebounds and blocks, score more efficiently inside, and has a good enough mid range game to provide the the floor spacing that D’Antoni’s system requires from a PF.

    Robinson – I like Nate’s enthusiam, but I can’t take the celebrations anymore. If it was just team oriented passion I could tolerate it better. But it comes off as a celebration of his “personal accomplishments” instead. I also think it’s pretty pathetic to be celebrating cutting the deficit from 15 to 12 when you are battling to not be as bad as the Nets instead of when you hit a key shot to give your team the lead in a critical game. The rest of the league is laughing at him and the team.

    Lee – I think it’s about time we realize that as efficient as Lee is on the offensive end and on the boards, he gives up that much or more on the defensive end. The excuse that he’s playing out of position doesn’t cut the must mustard with me. When he plays a big man they out muscle him and shoot over him. That’s excusable. But when he plays smaller men they blow right past him because he’s slower and less athletic. His adjusted plus/minus has been negative every year regardless of whether he played PF or C. There’s a reason for that. 50% of the game is defense and he’s bad at that 50%. He also has no mid range game yet. It’s not so much that I think an efficient inside scorng PF should be shooting from the outside. I think that’s something to avoid. However, you have to have be enough of a threat to knock down a wide open shot so the defense won’t sag off you. Lee is not there yet. Hopefully Hill will eventually become a better version of Lee.

    Gallo – He’s a great 3 point shooter, but he doesn’t do much else well yet. He’s young and coming off surgery. I think we have to be patient.

    All in all, while it’s very frustrating to watch this team, I think we have to be pateint with the devlopment of Gallo, Hill, Douglas, and Chandler. It takes time to build a team this way. It wasn’t so long ago that Larry Brown called Trevor Ariza “delusional” and Channing Frye was battling minor injuries that were hampering his development. Now both are playing a major role on very good teams.

  41. Z

    “should we go after a good point with that money or sign d. lee?”

    By “good point” guard I hope you mean somebody better than Chris Duhon… Which is difficult, considering Chris Duhon is probably the top free agent point guard available this summer.

  42. Owen

    From True Hoop: “….worth noting in that game: Marc Gasol was 13 of 18 from the floor for Memphis, with six assists, three steals and three blocks. If a Knick big man did that, they’d build a statue.”

    “why clearly yes on david lee? maybe someone could break it down why he is worth that much, on both sides of the ball.”

    Sandy – 8 million is not a huge salary in the NBA. That’s not that far above the mid-level exception. David Lee is one of the best offensive power forwards in basketball. For the next five years, you can book him for 18 points per 36 with a ts% of 58%+ and very good peripherals. He does all that with relatively low usage, meaning he doesn’t need the ball in his hands all the time, making him the perfect complement to a mega star like Lebron.

    On the defensive end he and his chicken arms are a liability at the center position, no question about it. But there are any number of serviceable big men we could put next to him to shore up our defense if we weren’t wedded to a run and gun style. Looking around the league you could have plugged cheaply into our hole at center (hypothetically). Marc Gasol, Brook Lopez, Kendrick Perkins, Joakim Noah, Brendan Haywood, Anderson Varejao, Chuck Hayes, Marcin Gortat, Chris Andersen, Ronny Turiaf, Joel Pryzbilla, etc etc..

    A major problem with playing at a fast pace is that while statistics scale up for pace, fouls don’t. If David Lee contested every shot the Knicks allow in the paint, he would foul out in 20 minutes. That is in fact a major reason why teams with great defensive big men generally play at a slow pace, to keep them on the court. i.e. At a slower pace and playing at power forward, I think Lee could play much better defense than he does now. He certainly was much better two years ago.

    I actually have been meaning to make the above point for a while, it’s a good one, glad I have it in writing, got there first…

  43. Owen

    “:His adjusted plus/minus has been negative every year regardless of whether he played PF or C. There’s a reason for that. 50% of the game is defense and he’s bad at that 50%.”

    That is incorrect. His adjusted +/- in 06-07 was the highest of any Knick in the last three years and good for 25th in the league. That was the year I said we shouldn’t trade him for Kobe.

    “Hopefully Hill will eventually become a better version of Lee.”

    Hopefully, Hill will become the defensive version of Lee. Unlikely though.

  44. stratomatic

    “That is incorrect. His adjusted +/- in 06-07 was the highest of any Knick in the last three years and good for 25th in the league. That was the year I said we shouldn’t trade him for Kobe. ”

    I’ve been unable to find good Adjusted +/- data for 2006-2007.

    I would say it’s more likely that was the noise commonly seen in adjusted +/- over shorter periods of time because he was negative last year, is very negative again so far this year, and was terrible in 2007-2008 also.

    http://basketballvalue.com/player.php?id=377&year=2007-2008

    Good point about pace and defense. I have never seen that insight in print.

  45. Ted Nelson

    Sandy, Owen, and Brian,

    I think Lee is clearly worth $8 mill or more as a free agent. However, if D’Antoni is still Walsh’s guy for the long-term then I don’t know if he’s worth it for the Knicks. He is a very good PF, but D’Antoni simply refuses to play him at PF. If you’re only going to have one bigman on the court at a time, I think you have to look for a better defensive center than Lee. Personally, I think the answer is just to put two bigmen out there (you know, like every other team besides the Warriors tend to do, and even Don Nelson does occasionally… I mean maybe the rest of the world is on to something…), but it seems very unlikely D’Antoni will do that.

    Stratomatic,

    I like your points about Chander and Hill, but then you pretty much lose me.
    I don’t think Nate Robinson is the reason the rest of the league is laughing at the Knicks.
    Owen already commented on the Lee thing, but where are you getting that information? He has hit 41% of his jumpers so far this season… Not amazing, but respectable. Not only was his adjusted +/- positive his first three years in the league, but the Knicks were a better defensive team with him on the court his second and third seasons. The correlation between D’Antoni’s arrival and Lee’s adjusted +/- falling is pretty unmistakable.
    I agree on Gallo and being patient, not so much with Chandler as the rest.

  46. Ted Nelson

    Sorry, I was not looking at adjusted +/-, but just standard +/-… I still think Lee was passable defensively as a PF.

  47. Owen

    Stratomatic -

    http://www.hoopnumbers.com/allAnalysisView?analysis=RAPM&discussion=False&leaders=True&year=2007

    I am not sure why 2006-7 is noise and the last two years isn’t. I would note that his box score numbers were much better 2006-7 than they were the last two years and his APM reflects that.

    Ted – His raw plus/minus was positive. However his adjusted +/- was negative the last two years according to hoopsnumbers. What that means I can never tell. Al Harrington, Zach Randolph, and Tim Thomas were high quality defenders according to the numbers…

  48. Thomas B.

    Re: Nate Robinson only celebrates himself.

    He clearly is happy with his own production, that much is clear. But I will not say that he isnt glad for his teammates when they get hot.

    see the following at 2:16.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxKEou4vPHk

    When was the last time another Knick got as hot as Robinson? Seriously, can you think of who and when?

    Say what you will about N8 he is almost always the first of the bench to give a flying chest bump to a teammate following an accomplishment.

    That said Clyde and Breen give him a hard time. At the end of the Orlando game Nate had the ball and was dribbling out the clock and I recall CLyde saying “I bet he shoots it.” I think Breen may have said “Yeah” or “he might.” Nate did not shoot and Clyde said “bets off.” They do give him a hard time but he does invite much of it.

  49. d-mar

    Alan Hahn has an interesting blog today about D’Antoni playing vets and not the youngsters.

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/the-knicks-fix-1.812055/time-running-out-on-expiring-players-1.1629034

    He basically agrees with what D’Antoni is doing, based on a tough schedule and letting players with expiring contracts show their stuff. I still think Hill and Douglas should get some playing time, even against elite teams. Last night we could not get a stop the entire 4th quarter, so defensively we couldn’t have done any worse. And since Nate was the whole offense, put those guys in and see what happens. You’re already down 10 points, so give it a shot.

    Anyway, I normally agree with Hahn and he is no doubt the best beat writer we have, but I don’t agree with playing vets only.

  50. Ted Nelson

    I find Breen and Clyde irritating and nonsensical to the point where I prefer to watch the games on mute. Laughing at/with Clyde is about the only reason to listen.

    The Hahn article is alright. His point is pretty much the conventional wisdom on the subject: play the vets until you fall completely out of contention and then play your young guys. That’s what every bad team does starting in high school.
    My reasoning for playing the rookies is because they actually might be better than a few of the veterans TODAY. They’ll make more stupid mistakes, but it’s not as if the Knicks’ veterans don’t already make a ton of stupid mistakes. Douglas, Hill, and Landry are all considered plus defenders, which few players currently in the rotation are. All three have scored efficiently in limited (garbage) minutes, which can’t be said for a lot of Knicks regulars. Maybe they get abused playing long minutes against the other teams’ starters, but why not find out (Douglas did get a chance).
    Here’s hoping that Duhon has gotten the kinks out so that we can put that issue to rest.
    On the other hand, the biggest reason I have for liking D’Antoni’s rotation as the best plan going forward: trade value. Maybe at least one or two of these guys can be traded for something of value before the season is over (especially important with Jeffries and Curry, but an expiring guy might bring in a future pick or something). Hahn might have something about treating players well leading to brand value with free agents, but I don’t think any FA would remember if the Knicks had bought out Larry Hughes when they were reportedly thinking about it (just an example, not saying they should have). Plenty of teams buy out overpaid veterans in the last year of their deals and Larry Hughes has been benched before (sadly he’s a good addition to the Knicks’ rotation).

    Retrenching around a set veteran rotation showed resilience and leadership on D’Antoni’s part, so that’s a plus. Once they reach 3-30 or so maybe he’ll decide to play the best players

  51. BigBlueAL

    Lately ESPN has been using Hubie Brown and Van Gundy together on their broadcasts. Dunno about most of you but I thoroughly enjoy their analysis. W/o Jackson there are not many jokes and just strictly basketball analysis/talk which is great coming from Hubie and JVG.

    I actually enjoy Breen for the most part although you cant blame him or Clyde for basically hating this team and having to cover it since they have been doing Knick games since the early 90′s, Clyde even before that, and am sure they are just as frustrated as we are having to cover this horrible team.

  52. Owen

    “I actually enjoy Breen for the most part although you cant blame him or Clyde for basically hating this team and having to cover it since they have been doing Knick games since the early 90’s, Clyde even before that, and am sure they are just as frustrated as we are having to cover this horrible team.”

    I like Breen too. I agree they are frustrated with the team and it’s showing.

  53. Z

    “I agree they are frustrated with the team and it’s showing.”

    They probably also know that they can say whatever the hell they want because no one is watching…

    (except us masochists here on KB.net, of course.)

  54. Ted Nelson

    They’ve got to be frustrated. I remember it being even more evident during the Isiah circus, if that’s possible.

    I don’t think Clyde and Breen are bad for announcers, but I still find them pretty intolerable. In general play-by-play is really formulaic (at least Clyde throws in some random SAT words) and announcers don’t know the first thing about statistical analysis. The only reasons not to mute, for me, are humor and insider info that fans aren’t privy to. (And if you’re watching a game alone and doing nothing else it can be pretty boring without the sound.) Craig Sager is great: his suits have made for some of the best comedic moments in the history of television (youtube craig sager if you haven’t seen them) and he gets you the players/coaches perspectives. (Kidding about Sager, sort of… 95% of the time I wonder why he’s on TV but then 5% of the time he gets made fun of and it’s worth it.)

  55. Robert Silverman

    We’ve been spoiled here in Knickville. Marv is/was a legend and Breen is first class. Listen to other team’s announcers sometime and you’ll hear how godawful they can be.

  56. BigBlueAL

    “We’ve been spoiled here in Knickville. Marv is/was a legend and Breen is first class. Listen to other team’s announcers sometime and you’ll hear how godawful they can be.”

    As somebody who regularly buys the NBA League Pass, I couldnt agree with you more.

  57. d-mar

    I think Breen does a great job; there’s a reason he’s picked to do national broadcasts. What I appreciate is that he rips the Knicks when they deserve it (a la Marv). I cringe when I see he’s not doing a game, because his backups call the game completely straight and never point out things like lack of effort, the crowd booing etc.

    Who would have thought that on December 1st the Knicks would have 1 home victory. Ugh.

  58. ess-dog

    Jeez, it’s come down to announcer discussions? What a sad state…
    W/r/t Lee, I don’t see how they don’t trade Lee this season by the deadline. Doesn’t trading Lee to a team like the Spurs for their 1st rounder or young point guard make sense? He would ok the trade since it’s to a contender, we would get a 1st rounder (albeit a low one) and we would still be free to sign him next year post-LeBron. He’s really our only asset that a team would want for a playoff push, let’s be honest. And we have Hill as a safety net if he goes for good. We’re almost forced to make this move. The other alternative is to try to package him with Curry/Jeffries, but then all we would get in return is an expiring… Walsh either has to make a move for more cap space or more assets.

  59. Frank O.

    Interesting to note that Hill’s PER is tied with Lee for best on the team at 21, as per Hahn today.

    I wonder…having Lee play at center puts him at a disadvantage on defense, but creates problems for the opposing center when Lee is on O.
    So, my question is, if Lee finally gets to play his position at PF, will his defense improve and his offense drop off a bit?

    I suspect, there is a chance of a little improvement on D and a little decline on O.

    Thoughts?

    Hmmmm. How will Owen respond…? :)

  60. SeeWhyDee77

    I like that line of thinkin ess-dog..I also think Walsh should try an peddle Duhon to the Lakers since they want a vet PG and are not enamored with Farmar. Hell, I’d even take back Morrison in that deal. But realistically they’d problee try to get us to take back Vujacic-which wouldn’t fly with Walsh.

  61. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.,

    It’s an interesting question. I don’t think his offense will necessarily suffer. He’s always been an efficient scorer. His usage has been steadily increasing since he last played PF, so that could be a factor. PFs might be more willing to contest his mid-range jumpers than Cs who have to protect the paint, and he’s taking 43% jumpers these days. He’s not really someone who relies heavily on putting the ball on the floor and blowing by people, though, and I think he’ll continue to move as well off the ball as he always has if he moves back to PF.
    It’s also not just that his defense might improve on PFs, but that the team defense would improve with a good help defender at the 5 spot.

    ess-dog,

    Lee may be the most attractive chip the Knicks might look to deal, but I think Nate, Harrington, and Wilson Chandler all have value (maybe Duhon, too, if he continues hitting a few shots once in a while).

    I would look to move Curry or Jeffries in a Lee deal before looking for a pick (ideally maybe you move one of them and get a pick). You have to take back close to as much salary as you send out in any deal involving Lee (over the cap you can’t take back more than 125% + $100k of what you send out). The Spurs, in your example, would have to give up Roger Mason and Ian Mahinmi or something like that along with George Hill. Then the Knicks are adding another $1 mill to the 2010 cap, when the goal is to create more space. Of course there are other teams out there who must be interested in Lee, probably more so any that would look to resign him. Last season I was totally against dealing Lee, but at this point I doubt the Knicks resign him because of how D’Antoni insists on using him.
    I would first look to trade Wilson Chandler–either with Curry/Jeffries or, more likely, for a future pick–since he represents over $2 mill against next season’s cap.

  62. Z

    “The Spurs, in your example, would have to give up Roger Mason and Ian Mahinmi or something like that along with George Hill. Then the Knicks are adding another $1 mill to the 2010 cap, when the goal is to create more space.”

    Ted– Lee is a BYC player, and therefore his salary match is only about $3.5 mil. A straight up for Mason or Bonner would work, or some combination of Bogans, Ratliff, Haislip, Hairston, Mahinmi, or Blair.

    (Wouldn’t it be poetic if Lee was traded for Blair!)

  63. Thomas B.

    I would not mind trading Lee to get a pick or two, the problem is finding the team willing to give up the pick. At first thought you’d look to a team that has multiple picks like Minny. But Minny is in an interesting position whereby they could have 3 first round picks or none if the numbers break right. I think the Minnesota picks are too much in flux to make them a solid trading partner.

    I’d see what OKC would offer for Lee. They could use a young rebounder and someone to play pick n roll with Westbrook. OKC has two picks this year–their own and the Suns’ pick. They also have expiring contracts. How about Lee for Etan Thomas, the higher of the two 2010 picks and the 2011 pick? Since OKC has a second pick in 2010 (Suns’ unprotected) they can trade the 2010 and 2011 picks to get Lee without violating NBA draft pick trading rules.

    For those of you who advocate Lee for a 2010 pick, keep in mind that the pick will eat some of the Knicks’ cap space in 2010. Nearly 5 million for the top pick no?

  64. Frank O.

    I bet Duhon would go over to LA and look like a very solid starter…*sigh*

    Also, Chandler’s trade value has greatly diminished in my book given how he is performing this year.

    Not sure Lee is worth trying to trade. His salary isn’t that big and you’re not going to get cap relief. The picks would have to be very good, and you don’t want to affect the cap in 2010. And the idea of Etan coming to the Knicks just makes me shudder.

    On Jennings, I realize I’m an late to the game on this, but the more I reflect on the fact that Walsh said he didn’t know enough about the guy, the angrier I get. I mean, how does an organization as rich as the Knicks not really know a player that has been playing ball consistently for years???
    Stunning, really, and an indictment of the Walsh era. He gets a lot of mulligans, but I’m not sure that is one of them. Whether you want a guard like Jennings or not, to say you simply didn’t know him is shocking.
    Hill’s PER is great so far, and his usage should increase, but he will need to really show improvement for me to feel better.

  65. Thomas B.

    “Etan coming to the Knicks just makes me shudder”

    Yes, I felt the same when J.R. Reid landed with the Knicks in 96 was it? Hey the next year we had LJ and I didnt mind 6 months of Reid so much.

    I’d deal with Etan Thomas for two picks. By the trade deadline we will be 10-44 anyway.

  66. Frank O.

    I’m also okay with packaging Lee, or Duhon, or Nate or Harrington in a deal to shed us of Curry or Jeffries or both.
    Bottom line, this season will be terrible regardless. I’ve pretty much given up on it, so I don’t mind mortgaging it to ensure we have extreme cap space for 2010…
    Most of these misfits will be gone next year anyway, and some of them could help another team make a playoff run.

  67. Frank O.

    You know, I was thinking after my last post, Thomas B., that if we can dump some of these guys, I could deal with Etan.
    So, I have to say, despite my trepidation, I agree with you. I can deal, so long as we can load up next year.

    Anyone see Piece posterize Bosh the other night??? :) Bosh looked a bit meek.

  68. tastycakes

    Seems to me like you move Lee only if it can also bring cap relief; i.e., if you can package a stiff like Curry or Jeffries alongside him.

    Lee + Jeffries for first round picks and expiring contracts?

    Not sure if Lee’s perceived value is high enough to swing something like that. Especially these days when everybody is trying to let contracts expire, rather than take on new ones.

    Also, teams will be reticent to trade for Lee because he’s an UFA at the end of the year. You don’t want him as a strict rental, especially if the price is steep. It will be hard to move him.

  69. tastycakes

    On Bosh — having a classic contract year, putting up monster #s for my fantasy team, and the Raptors still suck. I’d be very wary about giving him a big contract. He’s also frequently hurt.

  70. Ted Nelson

    Z, good catch. My understanding is that it’s even more complicated that that, though, and while the Knicks have to consider Lee’s value as 50% of his salary ($3.5 mill) the other team has to consider it as 100% ($7 mill). If my understanding is right then San Antonio, in the example, couldn’t take back Lee’s salary. Seems like it might be almost impossible to get the numbers to work unless you deal with a team under the cap, but maybe my understanding is incorrect. Would be very interested to find out.

    Thomas, OKC is a possibility since they are slightly under the cap (possibly making a trade easier if I understand BYC correctly) and might look to resign Lee as part of their core. Minnesota, I don’t think would be interested because they’re over the cap and they’ve got Jefferson, Love, and Ryan Gomes. Kahn has proven to be an outside the box thinker, though.
    The cap space is why I don’t think Lee for a pick is plan A. I would first look to partner him with Curry or Jeffries. Don’t know if the numbers can work.

  71. Ted Nelson

    The Raptors “suck” (hard to say that as a Knicks fan) because they are THE WORST defense in the NBA. That’s on Bosh as much as anyone (although, they are 6 points better defensively with him on the court than off it), but they are a bad defensive team overall. They are the 3rd best offense in the NBA, so if you pair Bosh with a few good two-way players I think you can build a contender around him. Of course, that probably includes a legitimate C, and I don’t know if D’Antoni would play Bosh and another bigman in the frontcourt together. He did welcome Shaq to Phoenix, but was forced out soon afterward. I wonder if he’d be open to that again or if that experience jaded him.
    The Raptors struggling does make Bosh the most likely bigtime FA to walk away, even if it means less money. The Knicks can’t guarantee they’ll compete, but they’ve got a clean slate. If Bosh resigns the Raps won’t be under the cap until 2013 or 2014, if then, and it’s not like FAs are lining up to go to Toronto.
    I do have reservations about making Bosh your franchise player, but he could be a great sidekick for a LeBron/Wade/Paul type all-world player or a good one-two punch with a Joe Johnson type.

    Frank,

    I agree about Chandler’s trade value. Some team might still be willing to give up a 2nd or future 1st and pay him $2 mill next season to see if he can put it together, though. Especially a team that shuns statistical analysis. I don’t know if that 2 mill will mean anything to the Knicks, but Jeffries + Chandler is almost equal to Curry.

  72. Z

    “Z, good catch. My understanding is that it’s even more complicated that that…”

    Good catch back at you!

    It is definitely more complicated than I thought. In fact, it’s next to impossible. (I had read over the summer that Lee’s agent was trying frantically to work out a sign and trade but his BYC status was making it difficult). I am beginning to understand why and it is because you are right– though Lee’s outgoing value is $3.5 million, his incoming value is $7 million, which makes it impossible to match up salaries without trade exceptions or third teams with cap space. And to be honest, I don’t even understand trade exceptions that well either, and usually just rely on the Trade Machine to tell me whether they can be used or not (and since Lee isn’t able to be traded until mid-December, I guess I’ll just have to wait…

  73. Mike Kurylo Post author

    If you want to understand BYC, read this from Larry Coon’s site:

    http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q73

    Basically trading BYC guys are difficult because they count differently for each team. The Knicks could only receive someone that’s worth $3.5M, but if the other team is over the cap, they treat it as the full $7M. Hence you can do one of two things. 1. Find another team under the cap. 2. Pile on enough contracts from both sides so that you’re within 25% + $100,000k. If my math is right, you need $11M in contracts for #2.

    Oh and one other kicker, Lee has to approve the deal.

  74. Ted Nelson

    Thanks for the explanation guys.

    Option #2 might work well with the Knicks’ goal of moving Jeffries and/or Curry. Something like Lee, Curry, and Duhon for Jermaine O’Neal works. Doubt if Miami has any interest in that deal, though. They’re the 10th defense in the NBA, so might not want to move their starting 5. While their #20 offense could use an upgrade, but JO has not been the problem.
    Miami could also work with some sort of Q-Rich, Haslem, Dorrell Wright combo, but the Knicks can’t take back Q-Rich and would need a third team (like half the league can’t take back Q-Rich after this offseason).
    Finally, and maybe most importantly, Miami probably wants to maintain cap space to complement Wade this offseason. Curry doesn’t really fit with that goal, unless they like Lee and Duhon so much they are willing to sit out an offseason where they could take runs at LeBron, Bosh, Boozer, etc.

    McGrady’s contract could be another possibility, but between the Rockets overabundance of PFs and Morey’s likely aversion to Curry…

  75. Ted Nelson

    Are those the Knicks or the Showtime Lakers? I know the Suns are a poor defensive team that play to the Knicks strengths (and one of the few teams the Knicks are actually bigger than) and that this probably won’t last, but it’s nice to be beating them at their own game and firing on all cylinders for once.

  76. tastycakes

    Is Jared Dudley going to win tonight’s Donte Greene Memorial Award for the role player who performs most like a star against the Knicks?

  77. Owen

    Dudley has been playing well against a number of teams this year. Picked him up briefly in a fantasy league…

    Not sure I recognize Larry Hughes, 10 assists in the first quarter, maybe that was he needed to do all these years, pass….

    The Knicks looked great there for a while but are coming back to the pack…

  78. BigBlueAL

    Gallo with 17 and 6 reb so far. Games like tonight that make you drool over his potential future.

  79. Z

    This is such a showcase half–

    Everyone is playing their absolute best.

    Fleeting no doubt, but great to witness just once.

  80. Z

    “If his potential future involved playing with a real PG or Lebron then Ill be horny….”

    Hughes is a real PG!!!

  81. Ted Nelson

    “The Suns have zero interior defense, kind of crazy…”

    Now we know what it feels like to be on the other side…

  82. Z

    “The Suns have zero interior defense, kind of crazy…”

    “Now we know what it feels like to be on the other side…”

    Yet somehow they have the best record in the league.

  83. daJudge

    Love the movement w/o the ball and the ball movement. Any way to quantify same? Can stats capture this aspect of the game? I hope Hughes continues to look for the pass. Even he looked surprised. Ted, is the Sun’s defense perhaps worse than the Knicks?

  84. Z

    “Love the movement w/o the ball and the ball movement…Can stats capture this aspect of the game?”

    Presumably good ball movement leads to baskets.

  85. Owen

    I think he means can stats capture how it makes you feel to watch a Knicks team play unselfish pass-first team basketball after a decade of Marbury and the like….

    And the answer is no, stats can’t capture that…

    Lol, look at me waxing philosophic, amazing what a 71 point half and some offensive rebounds can do…

  86. ess-dog

    ““Love the movement w/o the ball and the ball movement…Can stats capture this aspect of the game?”

    Presumably good ball movement leads to baskets.”

    Easily made baskets, friend. 55% from the field, 50% from three (thanks to scorching 4-5 from Danny Gallo.) Gee, all because of moving.

  87. Z

    That was the best half of Knick basketball I’ve watched in a llllllloooooong time.

    Not just offensively, but all around effort. Even when the shots stopped falling in the 2nd period, they kept hustling and doing everything else right.

    Let’s keep in up for 60 more games!

  88. ess-dog

    Jeffries with the block on Grant Hill and then he takes it to the hole? It is a full moon I guess…

  89. Z

    Hey– they ARE keeping it up!

    (I was fully braced for the Suns to score 15 unanswered to start the 3rd :)

  90. Owen

    Jared Jeffries is having the kind of game that makes his 6 million dollar contract look like a bargain…

  91. Ted Nelson

    Wow, Jeffries just might play well enough to get himself traded…

    ““Love the movement w/o the ball and the ball movement…Can stats capture this aspect of the game?”

    Presumably good ball movement leads to baskets.”

    Yeah, it’s included in offensive efficiency somehow. (Although you could be an efficient isolation offense, I think motion is generally more efficient.) As far as isolating it, I guess team assists is a proxy. I would be really interested to see someone do it, but I think you would have to record stats outside of the conventional box score to be perfectly accurate.

    The Suns’ D has been a little better than the Knicks’ on the season, but barely.

    The Knicks have played pretty smart.

  92. Ted Nelson

    I really like that Walsh and D’Antoni look stoic and intense despite the lead. Like they’ve been there before (which both have) and the Suns could erase this lead in about 3 minutes (which they could).

  93. Owen

    Lol, how long have you been waiting to make that joke? Hopefully, you will get to make it many times…

    That might have been the best sequence I have seen from the Knicks in years….

    Lee steals the ball, give and go with Duhon, dunk…
    Gallo stuffs Amundsen
    Duhon dishes to Harrington under the basket, beating the clock….

    I really feel so much better about life when the Knicks play like this…

  94. David Crockett

    Who are these people and what have they done with OUR Knicks? Blocked shots, strips, tough boards… seriously, who are these people?

  95. BigBlueAL

    Tweet from Fake D’Antoni tonight:

    “The latina Knicks City Dancer is the only person in the building hotter than Gallo right now.”

    LMAO

  96. tastycakes

    BTW, I’m listening to the Suns broadcasters (League Pass Broadband style) and they’ve repeatedly mentioned JJ’s reputation as a defensive stalward, etc., which I commented on earlier, and is fairly hysterical for somebody who watches more Knicks games than is good for his health.

    Anyway, just goes to show, that if he has that reputation anywhere, and then backs it up for a while, that might actually lead to him getting traded somewhere.

    Curry, on the other hand, ain’t going nowhere.

  97. Ted Nelson

    I don’t mean to be mean, but Dragic is so bad… I mean he’s a much better basketball player than me, but I’m not good at all. He was bad in Spain, too. When Steve Kerr talked about how excited he was for Dragic to come over and be their back-up PG, I was laughing so hard.

  98. Owen

    You know what I can’t wait for and didn’t happen tonight? The Knicks opponent have to call a timeout to cool the Knicks off. I thought it was going to happen. Been so long…

  99. ess-dog

    So let me get this straight…

    We get killed by last year’s worst team in the league, it’s over by the 3rd quarter…

    Now we kill this year’s best team in the league, it’s over by the 3rd quarter…

    huh?

  100. David Crockett

    Ted,

    my boy who lives in AZ–and is no Suns fan–tells me that Dragic is a good defender. I’ve not watched him play though. So I don’t know.

  101. SeeWhyDee77

    ok..we pretty much have the game sewn up..Donnie should be on the fone right now fielding calls about his new defensive stars who are also shooting well..lol

  102. ess-dog

    Alando Tucker looks pretty good. After an early flurry of smarts, Chandler has slid back into his funk. I really want him to be good but he just isn’t, damnit!

  103. SeeWhyDee77

    what a stat line by JJ..10pts, 5 boards, 4 assists, a steal and 4 blocks..If he can manage to give us the 5 boards, 3 or 4 assists, a steal and a block or 2 night in and night out somehow, our play on the court will be much better. But who am I kidding? This IS JJ i’m talkin about right? But wow..thas a helluva line for him tonite

  104. Ted Nelson

    Yeah, David, he is a good defender (as he showed.. athletic and good size for a PG), but I was just remember wondering why Kerr was so happy about getting Dragic. He’s actually playing pretty well this season, not badly. He seems to have improved a lot in the past couple seasons, but tonight was representative of how he played in Spain.

    tasycakes,

    I’m watching leaguepass too. Interesting to hear their take on the Knicks different players. Lee is rugged, Harrington is intense and a scorer, etc. One said he didn’t know Douglas had range, which is odd because he hit 40% in college…

    Lopez is raw and foul prone, but I was surprised we didn’t see him earlier. Bigmen give the Knicks such a hard time, he could have helped for a few minutes with starters even if he fouled out in like 10 minutes. Frye also didn’t get many touches…

  105. d-mar

    It’s really too bad they have 2 very tough road games coming up against Orl. and Atl. I think they could build on this, but those games will be very difficult to win. But, man, it was nice to completely enjoy a game from start to finish, and cool to see the Knicks starters having a chance to yuk it up on the bench – it always seems like it’s the other teams that get to do that.

    Tastycakes – ‘bizarro Knicks”, I love it!

  106. SeeWhyDee77

    Hill needs more time. The more and more I watch him, the more and more I like his game. He might jus prove his doubters (especially me) wrong. But I don’t like him as a center tho.. However, if he can gan 10 more pounds and keep his athleticism and activity level high, then he’d make a good center for D’Antoni

  107. Sandy

    thank you. thank you. i also do weddings.

    but seriously, more do to luck than anything. one thing of mention…even in limited time I did like Hill. His shots didn’t fall but he made several nice post moves, played decent d, rebounded, and blocked a shot. one thing…i hope he stops committing so early on defensive plays. i know he likes to attempt to block shots but it leaves his man very much open. he’ll learn that balance, hopefully.

  108. BigBlueAL

    Best win since beating the Celtics at home last season. Funnest win to watch since Crawford’s 52 vs the Heat in 2007.

  109. Ted Nelson

    He showed some things, but I was actually under-impressed with Hill. Usually he just comes out there for a minute of two at the end of a quarter and makes a couple of open jumpers, so you don’t see how raw he is. Missed a ton of inside shots and got the ball poked away left and right. Overplayed the ball on defense and left his man wide open inside a few times.
    I also would like to see him play more, and maybe some of that rawness disappears. I am excited about him, but it made me realize why D’Antoni hasn’t been playing him.

    I was impressed with Landry’s D. He was guarding the Suns scrubs, but seemed to make them miss a lot. Made a deep 3, too. I’m going to say he has a better career than Chandler, but who knows.

    Douglas looked pretty good, not much like a PG though.

    I really couldn’t believe that D’Antoni kept Nate on the bench all game, and then insulted him with the garbage minutes. I know Nate should suck it up and not take the garbage minutes personally, but it WAS an insult. He was maybe the Knicks’ best player last season and D’Antoni has been calling him out and screwing with him since preseason. I mean I shouldn’t be saying anything bad about D’Antoni after that game, but I was pretty taken aback. Duhon wasn’t completely and totally terrible tonight, but he was still bad.

  110. d-mar

    “I really couldn’t believe that D’Antoni kept Nate on the bench all game, and then insulted him with the garbage minutes.”

    Ted, I don’t think it was a big deal. Nate is a sparkplug off the bench when the Knicks are flat, and they never really were that whole game. I’m sure they’ll need Nate big time tomorrow night.

    Re: Lee – for all his flaws, I don’t think there’s a player in the NBA that is as adept with both hands as him. It’s not just layups, he tosses in bank shots from 3-4 feet with his right hand.

  111. SeeWhyDee77

    I agree d-mar, but for all his gifts he sure magnify’s his flaws by shooting as much as he does and by trying to create offense as often as he does. I do think he gets a bad rep as an athlete tho. Remember he did win the dunk contest at the McDonald’s game in HS. I’ve always liked Lee alot, but unfortunately he’s our best trade asset and Walsh should use him accordingly b/c we need so much help. If he were more of a defensive player I would almost boycott if we lost Lee. Seriously how many guys in the league can get u 10-12 ppg and 10-12 rpg as easy as Lee? That is the exact reason why walsh should use him as a trade asset

  112. Ted Nelson

    I do see a coaching reason not to play Nate: the Knicks were guarding Nash with a wing and a wing with their PG most of the game, which worked well. Nate can’t guard a wing the way Hughes or even Duhon can. So, that’s probably the biggest reason.

    I just think it was an insult to put him in with the scrubs. D’Antoni seems so set on alienating Nate and knocking him down a peg at every opportunity. Since camp he’s been ripping into him publically. It may have been a bit of a signal after Nate went one-on-one the whole 4th Q last game… He made almost everything, but it wasn’t a sustainable offensive game plan.

    Who knows, maybe Nate is still not 100% after missing a few games.

  113. Sandy

    hill was a but raw and jittery, but all bench players will be in limited time. given that, i liked what i saw from hill. d’antoni is not playing him right now because he has to keep the locker room stable and play the vets. once a trade wipes our 2 players from our rotation mid season, hill will get more burn. till then he will have to really fight hard in practice and the game. and im ok with that.

  114. jon abbey

    we’re playing better since D’Antoni cut down the rotation, dunno if that’s such a good thing in the long term, but a big win like this is always nice.

    here’s my amazing stat of the night: five of NY’s last six games have been against the NBA elite: Boston, @LAL, @Denver, Orlando, Phoenix, and they’ve scored exactly as many points as they’ve given up in those games thanks to tonight’s blowout and a couple of close losses. I don’t really think Phoenix is on the level of those other four, but they did have the best record in the league coming into tonight.

  115. Ted Nelson

    Good call on the win, Sandy!

    I mostly agree on Hill. Some playing time SHOULD take away most of the jitters and SOME of the rawness. He slows down and makes a couple of those close shots and it was a completely different game for him scoring wise: 4-7 for 8 points. The defensive rawness stuck out to me, though. Out of position quite a bit in a short stretch. The block (and maybe another play or two, don’t really remember) did show us the potential. He was physically overmatched on a few plays by Robin Lopez. Lopez is a legit NBA 5 in terms of size and athleticism, but I just hate being reminded that Hill is not a 5. Lopez was the one who looked raw against the Knicks starters, but about when Hill came in he started to assert himself a little.
    You’re probably right about him getting minutes later in the season. And he does seem to fight hard and fly around, which you can’t help but like. Between the block, the almost there post moves, 3 rebounds in 6 minutes (including a pure hustle offensive board), and the sweet mid-range J… I’m excited about his future.

    Jon, you are right that D’Antoni has the team playing a lot better the last few games. Most of those games, anyway.

  116. Owen

    Jon – That is a good stat.

    “Re: Lee – for all his flaws, I don’t think there’s a player in the NBA that is as adept with both hands as him. It’s not just layups, he tosses in bank shots from 3-4 feet with his right hand.”

    Lee is fully ambidextrous. He broke his left (dominant) arm and learned to play with his right.

  117. totti

    Best game from JJ and everyone else. I also put the accent on hughes’ game. Wow. and then blocks, assists, rebounds, ballsharing. Even harrington was wise. wow!

  118. Captain Merlin

    Toney Douglas has the face of a lioness.

    Darko hasn’t gotten any burn since his “Michael fucking Jordan” comment to the Post…not sure there’s any correlation there.

    I was rather disappointed not to see our dreaded savior get into this blowout, oh well.–what a pun.

    huzzah theyre usually less good at being bad defensively as us.

  119. ess-dog

    Guys…

    I had the weirdest dream last night. The Knicks were playing beautiful, fluid basketball. They were brimming with confidence, led by young Gallo but everyone else followed suit. Everyone was raving about the former Wizards and how we needed to resign them to larger contracts at the end of the season… all the while we were handily crushing Nash and Amare’s team in the Garden.

    And we were all happy.

    What a great dream.

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