Similarity Scores, Part 1

Kobe Bryant is the next Jordan. Dwight Howard is the next Alonzo Mourning. Mardy Collins is the next Jason Kidd. Comparing two players allow us to communicate lots of information with a few words. If someone says that LeBron James is like Oscar Robertson, you would imagine LeBron being strong, versatile, agile, great, etc. Or perhaps that’s how you might picture the Big O, depending on how old you are.

Comparing two players is also useful when you’re evaluating players. Find a historical player similar to a youngster, and you have a good idea of how he might develop. However identifying similar players can be difficult and subjective. Is LeBron the next Jordan, Magic, or Robertson? In order to take some of the guesswork out of the equation, I’ve created a similarity score using statistics. Since per-game and accumulated stats are dependent on playing time and don’t adequately reflect a player’s skill level, I’ve decided to go with standardized (z-scores) per minute stats. Originally I used just about every stat the NBA officially keeps track of, but the results didn’t pass the smell test. It didn’t make sense for personal fouls to be worth the same as points. Therefore I decided to use weighted stats, and broke them into three categories.

The first and most important category is scoring. No other historically recorded statistic is more integral to a player’s worth. Some players are expected to run the offense and have a high number of assists, while others are on the floor primarily to rebound, but few do both. However just about everyone on the court is expected to score at some point or another. Even players that score infrequently or inefficiently should be more similar to those of the same ilk. Hence I made scoring worth approximately half a player’s comparison score.

Originally I had added many aspects of scoring, but I found that they tended to take away from the main focus: efficiency and volume. Oddly I also saw better results when I limited scoring to just three stats: TS%, eFG%, and PTS/36. Since the first two are compilations of different aspects of scoring, I feel justified leaving things out like free throw percentage or three pointers attempted. And the results seemed to get better when I gave more priority to the percentages, and less to points. This is due to a wider variety in efficiency than volume. Lots of players can average 20pts/36, but few can do it at 60% TS%. Currently TS% and eFG% are both worth twice as much as PTS/36.

I split the rest of the stats into two sections which I call (for lack of better terms) “Small Man” and “Big Man”. “Small Man” is worth about a third and consists of three parts: AST/36, STL/36, TO/36. I found that assists tend to separate contrasting players better, and ranked it equal to the other two combined. “Big Man” is worth about a fifth and is OREB/36, DREB/36, BLK/36 and PF/36. Rebounding combined (but not individually) is more valuable than blocks, and fouls are minuscule, but present.

In the end, I’ve come up with a system that although has subjective elements, should provide objectivity across the board. The similarity scores use the same equation for every player, so there isn’t any bias in that respect. In other words I could try to make Jamal Crawford more similar to Michael Jordan, but that would likely make other players that are more close to him get even closer. In future I may tweak the weights, but essentially the process is the same.

Since I plan on adding these to the report cards, let’s start with the guy I missed, Chris Duhon’s 2009 season compared to others at the age of 26.

z-Sum FLName POS Year Tm G PER TS% eFG% PTS TRB AST STL TOV
0.000 Chris Duhon G 2009 NYK 79 12.2 .570 .515 10.9 3.0 7.0 0.9 2.7
0.044 Vinny Del Negro G 1993 SAS 73 13.9 .563 .514 12.8 3.8 6.9 1.0 2.2
0.052 Brad Davis G 1982 DAL 82 14.5 .569 .524 13.7 3.1 7.0 1.0 2.2
0.096 Steve Henson G 1995 POR 37 12.1 .613 .564 11.3 2.5 8.1 0.9 2.8
0.101 Vern Fleming G 1989 IND 76 15.8 .572 .517 15.3 4.4 7.0 1.1 2.7
0.105 Rex Walters G 1997 PHI 59 13.0 .571 .543 13.9 3.7 3.9 1.0 2.1
0.107 Jacque Vaughn G 2002 ATL 82 13.1 .547 .498 10.5 3.3 6.8 1.3 2.2
0.116 John Crotty G 1996 CLE 58 13.0 .590 .482 10.0 3.2 6.0 1.3 3.0
0.117 Luke Walton F 2007 LAL 60 14.7 .551 .517 12.4 5.5 4.7 1.1 2.1
0.120 Sherman Douglas G 1993 BOS 79 13.5 .518 .504 11.5 3.0 9.5 0.9 3.0
0.121 Phil Ford G 1983 TOT 77 10.4 .525 .480 11.7 2.3 6.5 1.2 3.0

The first thing to notice is the z-sum table, which is the similarity score. The lower the number this is, the more similar the players are. Duhon is most similar to Del Negro and Davis, with a drop off to Henson & the others. So what does something like this tell us about Duhon? Looking over the list we see lots of mediocre players and no All Stars. So the chance that Duhon will develop into something superior to his current form is rare. As for the comparables, in two of the next three years, Del Negro would have his most productive seasons. And much like Duhon, Davis languished as a reserve before catching on in his 26th year. He would become the starter for the Mavericks, and ride out a few bad seasons until the team turned things around in the mid-80s.

Stay tuned for Part 2…

Crawford traded for Harrington

Rumors reported at the Knicks Fix and the New York Post. So what would these deals mean to the teams involved?

UPDATE: ESPN is reporting the deal is a Crawford for Harrington straight swap.

Crawford for Harrington

Does it work for the Knicks: Yes.

Walsh lavished tons of praise on Crawford when he arrived in New York, but who knows what he was really thinking. Obviously getting under the cap is a priority for the Knicks, so it’s possible that he’s willing to sacrifice Jamal for the greater good. Or it’s also possible that Walsh’s kind words were a way to increase his value so to trade him. Maybe watching Jamal’s inability to fight through anything resembling a screen up close soured Walsh on Jamal. The Knicks are deep at guard, and if they get desperate enough they can activate Marbury.

Does it work for the Warriors: Yes.

Harrington has been feuding with coach Don Nelson & has appeared in only 5 games this year, so the Warriors aren’t really losing anything by trading him. In Crawford they get another scorer, something Nellie can’t have enough of in his system. And Golden State is short a guard with Ellis’ injury. It’s possible that Nelson can get Jamal to improve his play, but even as-is he’ll help them out more than Harrington currently is

Malik Rose for Harrington

Does it work for the Knicks: Yes.

They’re not saving any cap here, since Malik’s deal runs out this year. But they’re getting a more serviceable player in Harrington. Rose is one of the smarter players in the league, but watching him trying to score in the paint with George Constanza’s ups has become almost comical.

Does it work for the Warriors: No.

It doesn’t make sense for Golden State other than slashing a year off Rose’s deal. Hoopshype has them at $39M next summer with Harrington, but they don’t have Ellis & Biedrins at $21M total. So they would be at about $50M next year – I’m not sure if that’s a big enough savings to dump Harrington. They would not benefit this year with this kind of deal. Unless the Knicks are sweetening the pot (and I don’t mean Mardy Collins), they could do a lot better than Malik Rose.

Quentin Richardson for Harrington

Does it work for the Knicks: Maybe.

Unlike Rose, Richardson is mildly useful, and the Knicks are paper thin at small forward. Richardson is actually shooting well (3P%: 38.6%, eFG%: 54.3%, TS%: 56.8) and can rebound (6.8 REB/36). However he seems to have lost his ability to create shots, and doesn’t score much (13.0 PTS/36). Harrington could play SF, but like his former coach Mike D’Antoni likes to play small, which means Harrington would probably see a lot of minutes at the 4 as well. Harrington would be an upgrade over Richardson, but it’s a lateral move.

Does it work for the Warriors: No, not really.

Richardson’s contract is almost as big, and just as long as Al Harrington. Is Quentin Richardson an upgrade over Al Harrington? So why is Golden State doing this move? Other than to dump Harrington for a semi-live body, beats me.

Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to the Clippers
Jamal Crawford to the Warriors
Cuttino Mobley, Al Harrington, and Tim Thomas to the Knicks

Does it work for the Knicks: Yes.

This would hurt the team this year, as the Knicks would be thin in the frontcourt. David Lee, Al Harrington, Wilson Chandler, Tim Thomas, Jared Jeffries?, Eddy Curry?, Danilo Gallinari?, and Jerome James? One thing is for certain – Lee’s rebounding would almost have to go up due to the lack of competition. The timing would be almost just right with Jeffries scheduled to come back from injury in the next week. And they would get enough players to offset the major minutes lost to Randolph & Crawford.

But from a salary cap perspective, this deal is nearly a home run. New York sheds nearly $29M in 2010 and the only overpriced contract would be Eddy Curry’s $11M (and perhaps Jared Jeffries $7M). It would be the first step toward respectability, and would be a major victory for Walsh to get rid of these contracts only a month into the season.

Does it work for the Warriors: Yes.

It’s the same deal as #1.

Does it work for the Clippers: Yes.

Los Angeles tried to extract a draft pick for taking Randolph’s contract off New York’s hands over the summer. It’s ironic that the Knicks appeared to be the desperate ones this summer, and the Clippers operating from a position of strength. However 11 games into the season, and the tables have turned.The Clippers are 2-9 with the league’s second worst offense. With their new acquisitions Baron Davis (29 yrs) and Marcus Camby (34 yrs) being on the downside of their career, the Clippers need to start winning now. Randolph will give Los Angeles some scoring and should compliment the defensively minded Camby & Kaman.

Knicks 2009 Season Preview Part II

Part I here.

GUARD (cont):

If you wanted to guess which Knick guard will gain the most under D’Antoni, it should be Nate Robinson. The diminutive guard was thought of as a novelty by his last two coaches, and Robinson has struggled to find court time. Over his 3 years he’s averaged only 23.0 minutes per game. But D’Antoni sees Robinson differently from the previous regimes, and was even quoted saying “I love the guy.” One of the knocks on Robinson is his maturity, but it seems that coach D’Antoni is willing to work on this issue. For instance Nate argues with officials too frequently, and D’Antoni tries to intervene either by distracting him with instructions or talking to the official on his behalf.

If the Knicks are willing to give Robinson more playing time then they might be pleasantly surprised with the results. A look at both Robinson and Crawford’s per game stats appear to show Crawford as a superior player. However when looking at their per minute stats, they are nearly identical with two exceptions. Robinson has higher per 36-minute rebounding (4.2 to 2.3) and fouls (3.6 to 1.6). The fouls are an indicator of Robinson’s immaturity, since the 5-9 guard foolishly tries to block shots (he has grand total of 8 blocks in 4783 minutes). On the other hand getting a Crawford-esque player who rebounds for a fraction of the cost would be a boon for the Knicks. It’s not far fetched to expect Nate to get 30 minutes per game this year.

A month ago, many NBA pundits (including this one) thought Stephon Marbury would be wearing another team’s uniform by now. However Knicks President Donnie Walsh publicly stated he doesn’t like to buy out players, and kept Marbury on the roster. Of course this gave Peter Vescey the greatest thrill of his life, being able to call out Newsday’s Alan Hahn for wrongly reporting the story a week before. For those not familiar with New York Newspapers, that’s like Ted Stevens calling John Ford immoral for accepting bribes. Anyway the team didn’t change their plan of making Chris Duhon the starter and Marbury will come off the bench. Stephon has been a starter his whole career (812 of 823 games), so this is new territory for both him & the team.

If Marbury can accept his role on the team, it would be a boost to the Knicks. His talent has never been questioned, just his commitment to winning. Marbury’s production over the last 3 years (average PER: 15.2) has tailed off from his peak years ’99-’05 (average PER 20.7), but he’s still a threat to go to the hoop and finish with his right hand. Even in an off year, Stephon took 36% of his shots from “inside”. And Marbury is able to knock down the three (career 3P% as a Knick: 34.8%). Of course with Marbury it’s always worth mentioning that Mr. Hyde is lurking around the corner. But if he can contribute off the bench for a full season without a major incident (on or off the court), consider it a big plus for Walsh and D’Antoni for keeping him around.

Last and least is Mardy Collins. At 6’6 the Temple alum is the Knicks best perimeter defender and a strong rebounder. Unfortunately that’s about all the former Owl is good at. Over his career he’s been a miserable shooter (TS%: 41.7%, eFG%: 38.3%, FT%: 26.6%, FT%: 59.2%) and not great at running the offense (4.4 AST/36, 2.9 TO/36). In the three point era, only 5 players have played more than 1400 minutes by the age of 24 with a TS% lower than 42.0%: DeSagana Diop, Mark Macon, Junior Harrington, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, and Mardy Collins. That’s not a good group for an aspiring point guard to be in. It goes without saying that Collins will have to be a more efficient scorer to continue playing professional basketball.

“Knicks will be good on D–dammit!” Oh, and glad to be back

The fishwrap is reporting that D’Antoni went on an “unsolicited diatribe” about defense prior to last night’s 110-104 win over Philly. The new coach is, perhaps understandably, a bit bristly over his Marbury-like reputation for defensive indifference. His Suns teams were more average than bad defensively, and at least some of the criticism levied at those teams came because more than a few commentators–ex-players among them–don’t know enough to adjust for pace.

Still, I’d be a bit surprised to see the Knicks end the season above the median in defensive efficiency. Duhon’s addition will certainly help but really, unless Mardy Collins buys a jump shot from somewhere, no single defender on this roster is the equal of Marion, Raja Bell, (a motivated) Amare, and perhaps not even an ancient Grant Hill from D’Antoni’s Phoenix teams. One of the things I’m most ambivalent about with D’Antoni is his almost Isiah-like penchant for delusion. I like that he sticks up for his guys, but I worry a bit about how much of his own BS he buys sometimes. I also worry a bit about his sensitivity to criticism in a season that isn’t likely to go all that well.

At any rate, this pre-season ought to be fairly interesting for the Knicks. I haven’t seen the team play yet, but my impression is that D’Antoni is trying to figure out his rotations in real time and get guys used to playing in the system together. So he’s intent on playing his core group deep into games. And although pre-season games aren’t super important all things equal, they are (imho) more important for teams that haven’t won much and for teams with new players or a new system. The Knicks are all of the above.

Ahhh… it’s good to be back paying attention to basketball again. Now that Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Delgado couldn’t haul that heap of bloated corpses comprising the rest of the Mets into the playoffs, and my beloved Seahawks are pissing away Mike Holmgren’s final season in spectacular fashion, it just feels right to shift my focus back to my other collection of lovable losers (present company excluded of course). I will be keeping an eye on Missouri and a surprisingly decent Arizona football team, but as far as I am concerned it’s GO NEW YORK GO NEW YORK GO!!

Aw c’mon!
Don’t give it to Curry there! You know he’s gonna turn it ov–
Well, get back on D! Don’t–
Well dammit if you’re gonna foul him don’t let him lay it up too! Jeez!

Good times. Good times…

Preseason

Although the season is still a month away, the Knicks preseason is almost upon us. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind until the season begins.

The Bubble Boys

With 18 players on the roster, there are definitely some players on the bubble. Let’s assume that Chandler, Crawford, Curry, Duhon, Gallinari, Jeffries, Lee, Marbury, Randolph, Richardson, and Robinson make the team. Jeffries will start the season on the injured list, and let’s assume Gallinari joins him (or ends up in the D-League). That leaves 3 spots on the 12 man roster, and 1 spot on the innactive roster for Collins, Ewing Jr., Grunfeld, Houston, James, Roberson, and Rose. If my math is correct, three of those players are going to be cut.

Of the veterans Rose is likely to make the team outright, and reports have Jerome James playing a lot in practice. With Walsh’s comments about his dislike of buying out players, it’s likely the team will play James or force him to retire due to injury. Mardy Collins’ can defend but do little else, and with Duhon on the roster the Knicks already have a perimeter defender. Meanwhile Allan Houston is pretending he’s 34 years old again, but unfortunately he was out of the league at that point of his career.

Of the youngsters, Roberson’s preseason play earned himself a guaranteed contract. With the trade of Balkman and the injuries to Jeffries and Gallinari, the Knicks are thin at small forward. This could be good news for Ewing Jr. However both players are far from a guaranteed spot, and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if both were cut. Dan Grunfeld could probably beat his dad in a one on one game, but probably not anyone else on the roster.

With a new regime, it’s hard to guess what the Knicks will do. My guess is that Rose, James, Roberson, and Ewing Jr. make the cut. They can stash Roberson or Ewing Jr. in the D-League or leave them inactive. But if the Knicks wanted to go young, they might jettison James/Rose for Collins. Or maybe they see the team too offensively heavy at guard (Crawford, Marbury, Robinson) and not enough defense (Duhon) and keep Collins instead of Roberson. Or they might want a smaller lineup and leave Ewing off in lieu of one of the guards. Definitely something Knick fans want to keep track of during the preseason.

The Starting Lineup

It’s obvious that Jamal Crawford will be the starting SG, and you have to think that Quentin Richardson’s familiarity with D’Antoni’s system gives him the edge at SF over the inexperienced Wilson Chandler. At point guard, the team has signed Chris Duhon and coach D’Antoni has been playing him exclusively as the first team point guard. However the Knicks have refused to buy out Stephon Marbury, and the Knicks starting PG of the last four and a half years is still on the roster. For Marbury to get his starting job he just needs to impress his new coach and win over his teammates that he’s alienated over the last few seasons. And President Ahmadinejad might join B’nai B’rith International.

As for the frontcourt, most likely the Knicks will start Zach Randolph, even if only to keep his trade value high. D’Antoni was experimenting with Jared Jeffries at center before Jeffries’ broke his leg, so it looks as if that spot is open for competition.

Ever since Mike D’Antoni was announced as the Knicks’ head coach, pundits have wondered out loud how Eddy Curry would handle the physicality of an up-tempo offense. Curry has been unable to practice due to an illness so you wonder if he’ll get enough practice to be ready by the start of the season. Most likely the Knicks will turn to David Lee to play alongside Randolph.

The Offense

There’s no question that D’Antoni’s offense was successful in Phoenix. The Suns finished either first or second in offensive efficiency in the years he was coach. But the question remains how the 7 second offense will work in New York. D’Antoni won’t have a single All Star to work with, where he had three with the Suns (including a two time MVP). Additionally the Knicks’ offense hasn’t been very good. They’ve only been above average on offense twice since 2000. This makes sense because the Knick offense has been stuck in the 90s with isolations and post scoring emphasis. It’ll be particularly interesting to see how Randolph, Crawford, Curry, and even Marbury responds. The preseason might shed some light on how D’Antoni’s offense will work with average players.

The Youngsters

It seems that during Isiah’s tenure the Knicks youngsters has been stuck behind veterans. Just about every draftee over the last 5 years has had to struggle to earn playing time: David Lee, Wilson Chandler, Renaldo Balkman, Nate Robinson, Randolph Morris, Mardy Collins, Trevor Ariza, Mike Sweetney, and Frank Williams. And it’s not as if New York has had a winning team in that time span.

If the Knicks are rebuilding then it makes sense for the kids to get a lot of run, especially in preseason. Most likely David Lee will win a starting spot, so he should be getting plenty of playing time. I’ll be curious how much playing time Robinson, Chandler, and Collins get, and how they perform inside the Knick offense. It’ll also be nice to get a look at Roberson, Ewing, and Gallinari to gauge their strengths against stronger NBA competition. That is if all these players are on the roster (and in Gallinari’s case healthy).

The Schedule

Oct. 8 Toronto Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ONT 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 10 Philadelphia Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 14 Philadelphia Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 17 Boston TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 New Jersey IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 Boston Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 24 New Jersey Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 7:30 p.m.

Knicks Sign Roberson

The Post is reporting that the Knicks have agreed in principle on a two-year deal with Anthony Roberson. (I always want to call him El Roberson, after the former Kansas State quarterback. Note: Anthony has nothing to do with El as far as I know.) What remains unclear is whether the second year of the league minimum deal will be a team option year. Since the signing puts the team one guaranteed contract over the limit other deals will be forthcoming, and this may spell the end for Marbury in NY. Certainly, one possible reading of Marbury’s interview on yesterday’s replay of the Knicks/Cavs game strongly suggests that he thinks he will be moved. “I just want to play, no matter where it is…” “It’s a business. I understand that…” Of course, even if Marbury thinks he’ll be moved that doesn’t mean he will be. The Knicks could clear a roster spot in any number of other ways. Donnie Walsh allegedly already passed up an offer from the Clippers; Zach Randolph for a second round pick in a straight salary dump. Presumably, he’s holding out for a bigger deal. (Interestingly, the Clips actually made that deal–only for Marcus Camby instead of Zeebo.) The Knicks are also widely thought to be entertaining buyouts for Jerome James (or perhaps an injury settlement) and potentially Mardy Collins (who incidentally looks a lot better–quicker–at the lighter weight). Malik Rose’s expiring contract could also potentially be a part of a pre-season deal. So, although this move does not absolutely spell the end of Marbury’s return to NY he may want to stop by the Post Office and pick up one of those “So, You’re Moving?” packets. They’re chock full of useful information, sometimes even coupons.

As for Roberson, it appears the Knicks see him as an end-of-the-bench shooter in the mold of an Eddie House. In that sense I have no specific issue with the signing on its own merits. As pointed out in a previous post, Roberson’s a shoot first (second and third) guard. His low assist rate (8%) and high usage rate (21.4%) make it a stretch to refer to him as a combo guard as the Post does (and as the MSG crew did during the telecast). Recalling his play at the University of Florida (on the same team as David Lee) I am reminded of the old Nike Basketball ad with Gary Payton and Jason Kidd where the pair show up at a boy’s house to confiscate his basketball because he refuses to share it. After dusting the ball for prints and finding only the boy’s, Payton says, “You ain’t even lettin’ the ground touch the ball!” That’s Roberson’s game–pure gunner. Fortunately, in his brief stints for Golden State and Memphis he has shot the ball reasonably well.

First Game Wrap Up

Gallinari:

He was downright awful in the first half. I went back to the play-by-play and compiled his stats at the half: 0-4, 3 TO, 1-1 REB, 3 PF, 1 AST, 0 BLK, 0 STL, 0 PTS

He had 2 turnovers and a foul in his first 3 minutes. He had two shots where he was forcing the action – wild up-and-unders that fooled no one. Gallo he didn’t really show any tenacity outside of the offense. There were a few occasions I felt he gave up on a ball that he might have dove for, and he didn’t do anything spectacular on defense. He made a couple of rookie mistakes, one being the cardinal sin of defense: fouling a player on a fast break and allowing him to make the shot.

Danilo showed positive signs in the second half, and ended with a decent line: 5-11, 4 TO, 4-2 REB, 5 PF, 2 AST, 1 BLK, 0 STL, 14 PTS

He gained confidence with a two handed dunk, and showed an accurate jumpshot. I have to give him credit for going to the hoop a couple of times as well. It’s hard to make assumptions of a player by one half of a summer league game, but I don’t think Gallo is going to be a regular contributor this year. And I’m fine with that, since the team drafted him for the future, not the present. There was enough to like about him, like how he came back from a dreadful first half. He showed ability and confidence. I think it’s going to take him a year before he learns the nuances of the NBA.

Wilson Chandler

Speaking of learning the nuances of the NBA, Wilson Chandler seems to have developed significantly from last year. Not only did he lead the team in scoring (11-21, 2 TO, 26 points) but he was seemingly omnipresent. Chandler had 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. When on the floor with Balkman the pair made the Knicks tough defensively, especially on the interior. They had a combined 4 blocks, about the number Zach Randolph would get in about 2 months. “Ill-Will” was certainly the Knicks best player on Monday.

Boxscore here: http://www.nba.com/summerleague2008/games/boxscore.jsp?gameId=1520800013

Renaldo Balkman

Balkman was his usual self, with not much change from last year. As always Balkman was great in pushing the ball up in transition, converted a few baskets around the rim, and played excellent defense. It didn’t bother me that he didn’t attempt a jump shot; what bothered me is that he didn’t make either of his free throws. Balkman would be fine without a mid-range game, but if he can’t hit free throws it really hurts his game.

Mardy Collins

The guy that I would cut in a second had a pretty good game yesterday. Unlike Balkman, Collins hit 8 of his 9 free throw attempts. And while I don’t expect him to go from 60% to 89% from the charity stripe, it’s nice to know that he probably has improved that aspect of his game. (Maybe he can show Balkman his technique.) Collins also hit his only three point attempt. Mardy’s game in the half court consisted of driving into the paint and trying to make things happen. It was a nice improvement, and if he can hit his free throws, an occasional three, and do a better job running the offense, there might be room on this team for him.

Anthony Roberson

Roberson was the surprise of the game. The 6-2 guard scored 22 points on 19 shots, but didn’t have a single assist. He reminded me a bit of Nate Robinson, minus the rebounding, passing, and childish demeanor. Roberson had two stints in the NBA for Memphis and Golden State, and his per minute stats show the same thing: decent scoring no passing. His efficiency (53.2 ts% and 52.6% efg) was good and his 1.5stl/36 was better than average. Quentin Richardson praised Anthony during the telecast saying the youngster was playing very well in practice. While a team could do much worse at the end of their bench, I’m not sure where he fits in on the Knicks’ roster. They have enough shoot first players at this point. On the other hand Roberson clearly has NBA talent, and the team roster might be very different in another year or two.