Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SSoM Episode 10: Blazers vs Knicks

Mike and I have decided to post the videos on KB now to foster even more discussion about games. I would’ve posted last night but the game thread was going up, so here it is on an off night.

(Enjoy the new widescreen format.)

Great call by the coaching staff to attack Greg Oden. High PnR gets his shot blocking ability out of the paint and he simply isn’t quick enough to recover or match up against this style in general. I’m a bit surprised at LaMarcus Aldridge’s lack of effort, though. Joel Przybilla got all of the minutes from mid-third quarter on and changed everything defensively for Portland. It allowed them to get quicker while the Knicks got tired. Bad combination.

51 comments on “SSoM Episode 10: Blazers vs Knicks

  1. Owen

    Great stuff Gian, as always…

    The Vanilla Gorilla is the real deal. That was a huge block he had leading to the Fernandez three. He has always been a great rebounder and defender with very strong box score stats and excellent +/- numbers. I can remember arguing over the respective merits of Curry and Pryzbilla two years ago. I said then he would be a perfect low cost player to add to the Knicks and a huge upgrade on EC. i still feel that way, although I don’t see why Portland would ever let him go, and apparently he hates New York.

  2. caleb

    Nice highlighting Duhon’s good decisions.

    I think Oden will adjust; it IS a little shocking to see Aldridge so befuddled-looking, his 3rd year in the league.

    On top of everything, Przybilla is shooting 84% from the field this year. Once the Blazers are satisfied with Oden’s health, the vanilla gorilla will be an extremely valuable trade chip – or they could be super-ballsy and make a real blockbuster trade, like Oden & Fernandez for Dwyane Wade.

  3. T-Mart

    I realize this is way off-topic and not even current at this point. But does anyone else find it absurd that Sean Avery was suspended by the NHL for using the term “sloppy-seconds”, regardless of the context????

  4. Count Zero

    Nice highlighting Duhon’s good decisions.
    I think Oden will adjust; it IS a little shocking to see Aldridge so befuddled-looking, his 3rd year in the league.

    Agreed on both counts. Right now, I think Duhon looks like a major bargain at the MLE for 2. (I think D’Antoni got some special info from Coach K on that one.) And Aldridge looks completely lost on D.

  5. Caleb

    Right now, I think Duhon looks like a major bargain at the MLE for 2.

    yes – I liked the signing, thinking of Duhon as a solid stopgap and a good defender who would complement our team of chuckers.

    But he’s been a lot better than that. A month ago I would have been chewing over trade offers for guys like Sergio Rodriguez, or Mike Conley… but now, Duhon looks like he’ll have as good or better a career than either of them. Unless we land a Rubio or similar prospect in this draft, you have to at least consider the possibility of re-signing Duhon in 2010. That has some cap implications…

  6. ess-dog

    I think Rashard McCants is being made available by the Wolves. He could be a good stopgap at SG…

  7. Caleb

    McCants, maybe… what would you give up? The 2nd rounder we got in the Balkman trade? Or forget the pick; just expand it to trade Malik Rose for Brian Cardinal (saving the Wolves $7 million next year). I bet they’d jump at that, but we might do better than McCants in a similar Rose deal.

  8. ess-dog

    They could go for Curry… I mean, their starting center is Jason Collins. Aside from a center, I think what they would want is another 2 guard since Brewer is out for a while.

  9. Thomas B.

    Great work as always. I wrote in the Knicks’ Week in Advance that the HPR could be an effective weapon. It is good to see the Knicks make use of it-especially against a young defensive player like Oden. Aldridge’s defense was a bit of a suprise.

    If we only had two more effective bodies one of them in the front court, we could have taken this game. Oh well, still plenty of play left.

  10. Z

    “we might do better than McCants in a similar Rose deal.”

    What about Rose for Harpring and our 2010 pick back? Rose for Darko and Crittenton? Rose for Battie and Reddick? Rose for K. Thomas and a pick? E. Thomas and a pick? Claxton and a pick?

  11. Owen

    Duhon is a classic case of the kind of intelligent, fairly low cost free agent pickup you can make in the NBa. When we picked him up, it was usually argued that we were overpaying for his services. And given that he is a low-scoring point, and the NBA is obsessed with scoring, that was probably right.

    So far, he hasn’t been spectacular, but he has been very solid and well above average. I have his WP48 at .150 with .100 being average. Two years ago he was at .130. Last year he was slightly below average in a highly chaotic Bulls season.

    Duhon was a known commodity and he has performed pretty much exactly as you would expect looking at his career averages. His assist rate is marginally above, his turnover rate is marginally worse. His ts% is a lot higher than ever before, that would be the main difference I see, his scoring hasn’t moved at all. Really, as they say in various pars of the world, same same but same…

    I think we have a lot of time to assess whether to pick up Duhon for a long term deal in 2010. And we should use that time also to assess whether to pick up Nate. I am not convinced we can’t find a serviceable player for a lot less than the 8 million people around here seems to think he is worth.

  12. Dan Panorama

    “What about Rose for Harpring and our 2010 pick back?”

    They think that pick is going to be top 5 and they’re probably right. No way they’d make that deal after waiting this long for protections to expire.

  13. Z

    “How many games do we have to lose before we are all cheering for lottery position and not the playoffs?”

    Well, we’re already well ahead of last year’s win pace, and we were pretty much the worst team in the league last year and only managed the #6 pick. This year there seem to be many teams out west that are even worse than we were LAST year! So best bet is to try to improve as much as we can and then hope to sneak into the top 3 via the lottery.

    “time also to assess whether to pick up Nate. I am not convinced we can’t find a serviceable player for a lot less than the 8 million people around here seems to think he is worth.”

    $8 Million for Nate!? I don’t think so. Not in a recession. Not when the market for Ben Gordon (a comp who’s actually tall enough to play basketball) was pretty much non-existent last summer.

    If Nate wants $8 million he can go to Greece and join the circus.

  14. Caleb

    Yeah, I have Nate down at $5 million in my imagino-cap. Assuming he stays healthy and plays the way he started the year, I think he’ll get mid-level offers. On the other hand, if he limps around with a hamstring all year and averages 12 points, 3 assists… he’ll come a lot cheaper.

  15. Caleb

    The Wolves have Al Jefferson as starting center, with Kevin Love at PF. No Curry for them, unless All-Star weekend adds a pie-eating contest.

    I really would like to see Curry get on the court – with Randolph gone, EC is by far the biggest hurdle to rebuilding. I know we have another year-plus to do it, but he’s not gonna get traded, ever, as long as he’s sitting on the bench.

  16. Thomas B.

    The Knicks got Mobley who may never play again, but the Clips got Collins who never could play.

    I think we came out ahead on the deal.

  17. Gian Casimiro (SSoM) Post author

    Let’s see. Barbosa got a 5 year, 6-7 mil/year extension after a 19.9 pts, 2.9 rebs, 4.4 assts, 1.3 stl/36 min season. So far Nate’s posting 17.5 pts, 5.4 rebs, 5.1 assts, 2.1 stl/36 min.

    So factor in that they’re playing the same exact role and D’Antoni loves them both. But then take into account that the Suns were coming off a Western Conference Finals appearance while the Knicks are likely lottery bound. Nate’s size. 2010 cap conscious management. Nate’s constant arguing with the officials. Both are pretty wild on the court but I’d say that Barbosa has more composure. Anything else?

    All of that said, sounds like a similar contract is fair.

  18. Caleb

    Chad Ford’s Top 100 is up(dated)… Biggest shocker: Stephen Curry at #5. I loved his game watching the tourney – but wondered if I was going too far, calling him a top-20 or 25 pick. Now – top of the lottery. huh.

    The other good news is that Rubio’s stock is slipping (a little).

  19. Caleb

    re: Nate, I just don’t see teams lining up to give $40 million to a guy who’s 5’7. Fair or not, I think the mid-level is his ceiling.

  20. Owen

    Well, how good is Barbosa, really? To me, when you adjust for pace, and for the presence of three genuine superstars around him throughout most of his career, I don’t think he is really much more than an average player. We have all seen him play a million times, and he has been in the playoffs every year. But I think he is quite a bit overrated as a result. Being an average player is worth something. It’s better than what Nate has been prior to this year, which is certainly valuable. It sure beats below average. But I don’t think Barbosa is anything all that special.

  21. Gian Casimiro (SSoM) Post author

    I don’t follow college much but looks like another PG/combo guard dominated lottery at the moment. If that’s the case then dropping Nate in favor of Lee is an easy decision.

  22. Caleb

    Keeping Lee is a no-brainer, unless there’s a great trade offer. But if we can’t move Curry, I would be shopping Nate pretty hard. And Jeffries, too, but those are the only routes to clearing cap space.

  23. Thomas B.

    See Hollinger’s playoff odds? Knicks are dead last in the east with a 4.4% of making it.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/playoffodds

    How many games do we have to lose before we are all cheering for lottery position and not the playoffs?

    Okay this thing makes no sense to me. According to the cpu, the Thunder, under the worst possible circumstances, could end the season with three (3) wins. Okay they are 2-17 now, so they could go 1-62 over the next 63 games? So they could actually have a 62 game losing streak?! According to the cpu they will have a losing streak of at least 32 games if they win only one game over the next 63. Does that sound right?

    The Knicks could finish 16-66 (I just noticed the three 6s, scary. We dont have a towel boy named Damien do we?). We already have 8 wins so the cpu says it is possible to go 8 and 56 over the remaining 64 games?! WTF? We have lower odds than the Wizards who cant seem to do anything right.

    Does the cpu factor in coaching changes, and other events that cause dissaray? If the odds are based on how the team is playing right now, then Hollinger thinks the Knicks are the least effective team in the East. I just checked the Hollinger power rankings, they are last in the East. The problem with the Hollinger rankings is that they give too much credit to several bad losses lately. The two the the Cavs were really bad, but in terms of L’s they only count as two. To Hollinger’s cpu, two bad losses are worth more than 4 close losses, but in the real world that does not hold true.

    Team A is 2-8 with all 8 losses coming with a margin of less then 3 points and the 2 wins by a total of 4 points. Team B is 6-4 with four losses of no less than 25 points and 6 wins of no more than 3 points. Hollinger’s cpu considers the margin and factors that in, but does that really matter? Is a close loss better than a blowout? The wins a losses all mean the same thing, or am I way off on this?

  24. Brian Cronin

    Is a close loss better than a blowout? The wins a losses all mean the same thing, or am I way off on this?

    I think the argument is that yes, point differential is the most important thing, and that over the season, it will balance itself out (that is, a team that keeps getting blown out won’t keep barely winning games and a team that keeps barely losing games won’t keep doing so).

  25. Caleb

    The playoff odds (and range of win totals) are just basic statistical calculations, based on the power rankings. The power rankings are subjective, as to which factors are counted, and how each one is weighed.

    I don’t know the exact formula, but I do know that Hollinger puts a lot of weight on recent games. This makes some sense – what a team does in January probably says more about them, than what they did in November – but it’s also a journalistic device. If he weighted all games equally, the rankings would change very slowly and readers wouldn’t click on them nearly as often. Weighting recent games guarantees movement – fans click every day or two, to see how their team is doing. A 42-point loss will move you pretty fast.

    IMO, the heavy overweighting of recent games is a bit of a gimmick, but the predictive power of point differential is proven… a blowout loss (or win) is much more telling than a close game. There’s a lot of material — point differential predicts future performance better than won-loss.

    Hollinger’s formula does not account for injuries and off-court issues — just the scores, weighted for the competition.

    You could argue that we’re not the worst team in the East… Nate & Jeffries will come back, maybe it overweights last night’s game. But it’s also true that our record is a bit misleading – we’ve played a weak schedule and still have a negative point differential. We are bad!

  26. Duff Soviet Union

    Aldridge’s defense looked terrible in that video, but last year his defensive adjusted +/- was very good. +3.06, good for 22nd on that side of the ball, right between Pau Gasol (it amuses me when people say he doesn’t play defense) and Gerald Wallace. Either that’s a fluke, he’s not trying as hard this year or he’s doing something to mitigate is pick and roll defense.

  27. Z-man

    I am not liking Al Harrington’s game at all. He is sort of a poor man’s Zach Randolph.

    Is Jerome James actually physically unable to play? I was wondering why he did not get in to a 40 pt blowout when we only had 6 guys after Q was ejected.

    Speaking of Q, I am really sick of him. I would rather have Steph play all Q’s minutes than stomach any more of his BS. He bitched at Steph for not being a team guy(which was especially curious after he clearly stabbed Steph in the back before the season even started)yet he gets ejected in a game when his team has only 7 guys. What about his running his mouth re: Celtics fueling the 50 pt blowout early last year that set the tone for the season? For a guy who hasn’t nearly lived up to his contract since we got him, he sure has a lot to say.

    All the stuff about Steph’s effect on chemistry is hard to swallow. In July 2010, I’d be shocked if more than 3 current players are still in the rotation. Whatever chemistry, or lack thereof, exists now will not matter in 2 years. What are the chances that Q will be part of that chemistry? Why should his opinion matter now?

    Once translated into coherent English, everything Steph said the other day about how he was treated made sense to me. I still think he should have been the bigger person and played when offered, but I can totally understand why he refused.

  28. D

    Z-man,

    I agree- Q has been awful for his whole knick career and has no more leg to stand on then steph. I think the only reason he is not a priority for removal from the team is his contract ends soon. I think it was a bad idea to make him a captain. that should have gone to duhan or lee.

    i gotta say i agree with stephs side of the argument. why should he take a buyout and earn less than what his contract says. i think he was offering a 1 mil paycut figuring he would get it back from another team in a 1 year pro-rated min sal deal.

    i think the knicks were the ones who handled the situation poorly- walsh and dantoni clearly werent on the same page. he should have been bought out or given the tinsley treatment from the start of the season.

    my only guess is that they are holding out to trade him for a contract or contracts that expire next year to get draft picks or prospects. otherwise i can’t see how they wouldnt pay him his full amount for the roster spot.

  29. Gian Casimiro (SSoM) Post author

    Aldridge’s defense looked terrible in that video, but last year his defensive adjusted +/- was very good. +3.06, good for 22nd on that side of the ball, right between Pau Gasol (it amuses me when people say he doesn’t play defense) and Gerald Wallace. Either that’s a fluke, he’s not trying as hard this year or he’s doing something to mitigate is pick and roll defense.

    I haven’t watched him much but on these plays he’s staying at home on Harrington and just giving up the paint. He had to have seen that Oden was having trouble recovering from the screen. At the very least, his coaches would’ve pointed it out and told him to rotate better. But yeah, either way, I think we all expected more from him defensively.

  30. Ted Nelson

    Great breakdown. Nice to have some players who actually know the game in Knicks uniforms…
    That was one of the biggest problems with Isiah’s personnel decisions, and could be a big reason he evaluates unproven talent (draft, Doug Christie, Ime Udoka, Jackie Butler to some extent) well but fails at evaluating players with NBA experience. With unproven players you’ve just got to spot players with NBA ability, differentiating between NBA caliber players is a different skill.

    Random rant: I’m not a fan of the NCAA (corrupt forced labor) system, and you can easily argue that guys like Lee and Duhon would learn the game even if they jumped ship for the pros early while certain players might spend 4 years in college and not pick much up. However, within the current system the selection bias that leads some players to stay 3 or 4 years can sometimes favor taking a guy who stayed in school (although you can maybe just as easily pick up a steal who left school before his game developed, so it’s definitely not a rule). In the end, I’m heavily in favor of a more structured minor league system for the NBA: let the students play in the NCAA and the professionals play in the NBA minor leagues.

    I am not liking Al Harrington’s game at all. He is sort of a poor man’s Zach Randolph.

    The biggest reason I wasn’t thrilled about the Harrington rumors when they first started is that his game is similar to WC’s, although more polished, less explosive, with less potential. I don’t buy heavily into having a veteran in front of you impeeding your development, but I don’t really see the point of having both on the roster and if I had to go with one it would be WC.

  31. njhoop

    Agree about Harrington. He and Tim Thomas are classic NBA underacheivers, every once in a while they’ll get hot from 3 or throw down a ferocious dunk, but when all is said and done they don’t do much to contribute to a team’s overall success.

    On another topic, read about Shaun Ellis of the Jets marijuana and speeding and no insurance charge. Do you think sports fans will finally recognize that the NFL and not the NBA is the “thug” league? The NFL has always gotten a free pass because of its popularity, but between Plax, PacMan, etc. etc. they are way ahead of the NBA in the poor behavior department.

  32. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Gian great wrap-up!

    I have to say showing how Przybilla changed the game really shows how important defense is, especially having an adequate shot blocker. Hence why I tend to value players that can play D more than their stats show. (Although I do think steals are overrated, especially in terms of a player’s defensive value). Boy I long for the day when we can get someone in the middle that can block shots and deter the opposition from getting into the paint.

    Also I was just interviewed by the Hawks web site & they asked about the Duhon & the 7 Second Offense. I said he had great court vision and these plays illustrate that very well.

  33. Gian Casimiro (SSoM) Post author

    Perhaps we can sign one of these on the cheap. Players 28 years & younger with less than 20 minutes per game that average a high number of blocks per minute:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/tiny.cgi?id=DGDxv

    Anyone know what Jamal Sampson is doing this days? His rebounding was off the charts if I recall correctly.

    Three GSW big men on that list. It’s kind of annoying that we couldn’t get our hands on one in the Crawford trade considering Nellie never plays any of them.

  34. TDM

    Perhaps we can sign one of these on the cheap. Players 28 years & younger with less than 20 minutes per game that average a high number of blocks per minute:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/tiny.cgi?id=DGDxv
    Anyone know what Jamal Sampson is doing this days? His rebounding was off the charts if I recall correctly.

    In the team column, what does TOT stand for? Are there any currently unsigned guards or shotblockers that the Knicks could target if Mobley takes a med retirement?

  35. mase

    do knick fans prefer we made the lottery or the playoffs?

    i prefer to see a playoff run but only if we can get out of the first round!

  36. caleb

    Put me down for the lottery, but only if we make the top 3.

    We’re not making the playoffs, so I don’t think anyone has to worry about a 1st round blowout.

  37. T-mart

    Sorry to bring this up again, as no one was interested the first time. But Sean Avery was suspended for 6 games today for saying “sloppy-seconds”, people get suspended for 1 game after punching other players in the face in most sports. This whole thing is absurd.

  38. caleb

    This whole thing is absurd.

    If he‘d given ‘em the Shocker he’d be out for the season.

    I was thinking it’s weird that people are more outraged at Marbury than they are at Plaxico Burress for carrying a heater in his pants at the Latin Quarter. On the other hand, Burress is going to lose his paycheck over it, but that’s football for ya.

  39. njhoop
    This whole thing is absurd.

    If he‘d given ‘em the Shocker he’d be out for the season.
    I was thinking it’s weird that people are more outraged at Marbury than they are at Plaxico Burress for carrying a heater in his pants at the Latin Quarter. On the other hand, Burress is going to lose his paycheck over it, but that’s football for ya.

    As I said in an earlier post, football players have always gotten a free pass for outrageous behavior, while a majority of sports fans dismiss the NBA as “a bunch of thugs” I think it’s just a matter of popularity, football totally dominates the sports scene in the US, so people don’t want to hear anything bad about the players. Ignorance is bliss.

  40. TDM

    Just read Alan Hahn’s blog on Newsday – marbury may be bought out next week.

    “Critical update from a loyal Fixer and ESPN Radio announcer Jon Rothstein, who just called us with some news about the Marbury situation.

    A person close to Stephon Marbury told him that Marbury expects the situation with the Knicks to be resolved within a week. Marbury took the $1 million giveback offer off the table to push the Knicks to get something done, but it is believed he will return to the table with Donnie Walsh and the Knicks, along with his union counsel, Hal Biagas, and resume negotiations to complete the buyout process.

    Rothstein is also saying that Marbury intends to choose between the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics or Orlando Magic as his next destination. I will say here that Orlando sounds like a logical destination because Jameer Nelson has been somewhat disappointing this season and the Magic could use help in the back court.

    To my knowledge, the Heat and Celtics aren’t viable options. It is to my understanding that the Dallas Mavericks, who have moved Jason Terry to the bench and are starting Gerald Green, could also be in the mix.

    Rothstein, who is a well-connected basketball junkie and does a great job covering college hoops for ESPN Radio”

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