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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Bargnani / Amar’e Survival Guide

In case you haven’t heard already, the Knicks traded Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, two second-round picks, and what — if karma and justice exist in the universe — will certainly be the #1 overall pick in the 2017 draft in exchange for Italian forward and long-two enthusiast Andrea Bargnani.

The trade, for the most part, was panned, but that’s not important right now. What’s important is that we all collectively realize that the Knicks now have Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire on the same roster.

This is not a drill. This is real life.

It would seem preposterous that New York would surrender so many assets in exchange for Bargnani to only have him play 18 minutes per game off the bench. (Actually, now that I say that out loud I’m not sure.) Assuming that to be true, every minute that Bargnani plays in addition to those 18 sends like likelihood of Amar’e and Andrea sharing a frontcourt together skyrocketing. There are two and only two rational responses to this:

1. Sheer, unadulterated terror (if you’re a Knicks fan)
2. Never-ending violent laughter that may ultimately result in vomiting (if you aren’t)

Regardless, it’s pretty much an inevitability that Stoudemire and Bargnani will, at some point this season, both be on the court at the same time. Considering the bullet-riddled-sneakers of the Knicks, it will probably be way more than anyone is expecting. Thus, it would seem like a good idea to run through the remainder of the Knicks’ roster to try to piece together three other players that could share the court with the two aforementioned big men.

Attempt #1
Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert, Tyson Chandler

The basic premise is that neither Stoudemire nor Bargnani would be considered defensive stalwarts. In fact, they’d probably not be considered such in the WNBA. They are both rather tall, but when on defense neither seem to be particularly interested in doing things like “rotating,” “pursuing rebounds” or “acting like a live human being.” In an attempt to counter-balance, we surround them on the court by New York’s two best defensive players and their best defensive point guard.

Offensively, this lineup would likely be a train wreck. Bargnani would have to play small forward, where he provides neither the requisite foot speed nor floor spacing for the position. Without much shooting on the floor, Tyson Chandler’s best offensive skill (diving through the paint following a high screen) becomes far less valuable – the defense is much more willing to collapse on his first movement towards the rim. The result would likely be Prigioni or Shumpert creating their own (bad) shot off the dribble. And even with Chandler and Shumpert on the floor, Bargnani and Stoudemire would submarine the defense. No dice.

Attempt #2
Ray Felton, J.R. Smith, Tyson Chandler

So, we keep Chandler on the floor to give the defense SOME semblance of respectability, and we swap out Prigioni and Shumpert for Felton and Smith, hopefully to give some offensive creativity. However, like above, Bargnani just doesn’t give them what they need from their small forward, and spacing would still be an issue, especially when the ball is in J.R. Smith’s hands.

It just seems like it’s not possible to have Chandler on the floor with Bargnani and Stoudemire – Bargnani is only capable of providing value on offense if  he’s dragging a big man away from the paint. He’s not doing that when he’s a nominal small forward.

Attempt #3
Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Metta World Peace

Just kidding.

Attempt #4
Ray Felton, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler

I know what I just said, but for some reason this lineup intrigues me. Yes, it involves Carmelo Anthony at shooting guard, yes, Bargnani is still playing small forward, and yes, the defense would still be unacceptably bad, but there would be potential to create crippling confusion for the opposing defense. Teams will always cross-match to get the best possible defensive matchup against Carmelo. However, in doing so, there is likely to be a favorable matchup elsewhere – in this case, there would likely be a guard defending Bargnani. If Bargs has ANY semblance of a post-up gaBAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no, sorry, you’re right, I should just move on.

Attempt #5
Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Metta World Peace

(Evil, Maniacal Laughter)

Attempt #6
Ray Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony

Okay, so Chandler can’t be on the floor. Can we at least try to shoe-horn Shumpert in there, you know, just in case they want to resemble an NBA defense at any point?

While the sentiment may be strong, it actually turns out that the Felton-Shumpert-Carmelo triumvirate actually sported a net rating of -2.7 per 100 possessions last season, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say the elixir for that is not a heavy dose of Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani.

Attempt #7
Ray Felton, J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony

Okay, so, if we’ve given up the idea of somehow having Tyson Chandler or Shumpert on the floor, we’re resigning ourselves to the fact that regardless of who else IS on the floor, any lineup with the Amar’e-Bargnani combo at power forward and center is going to have a defensive efficiency roughly equivalent to the population of Indonesia. To remedy? Just try to outscore the other team.

So we put the three best offensive perimeter players on the floor. Carmelo would play as a nominal small forward, but would be used more as a power forward – playing as the roll man with Felton or Smith, posting up smaller defenders, (hopefully) taking advantage of Bargnani (hopefully) pulling his man away from the basket. Smith and Felton would be the primary ball-handlers, playing with three forwards who, at one point or another, displayed some ability to (a) set semi-effective screens, and (2) shoot from range.

The spacing issues from earlier attempts would be (somewhat) alleviated, and the unit seems to have a clear modus operandi – set a lot of screens and bomb threes or have Carmelo post up.

Let’s be clear, though: in all likelihood, this will not be a good lineup. The best lineups the Knicks employ this season will likely include neither Bargnani nor Stoudemire. The point of this exercise was to try to peer into the abstract to find a best-case scenario for the inevitable pairing. I did the best I could.

117 comments on “The Bargnani / Amar’e Survival Guide

  1. iserp

    Some points:

    – The draft pick we gave up is the worst one between NY and Denver in 2016, it can’t be #1.
    – I have seen both dumb and intelligent people defend the trade, and both dumb and intelligent people attack the trade. It is a controversial trade and there is no need to call any side ‘dumb’.
    – The problem with Stoudemire and Bagnani’s defense is help defense. They usually can held their own against their opponent, but if there is a P&R or any other ball movement, they lose their position. I think the best teammates you can put are the one who disrupt ball movement. So i would definitely put Prigioni and Shumpert with STAT and AB, and then you probably want to put Felton to play P&R with STAT.

    However, i’d rather limit this lineup and try to pair AB with Chandler and STAT with K-Mart.

  2. cgreene

    “The trade, for the most part, was panned by smart people and praised by dumb ones,…”

    After all the hemming and hawing over the writing and the comments for the last few weeks since the Jon Abbey debacle I’m shocked and disappointed that this wasn’t edited. So now the trolling is in the articles too???!! Ha

    I’ll let the others shred the actual article as well…

  3. er

    The trade, for the most part, was panned by smart people and praised by dumb ones, but that’s not important right now.

    WTF is this? You got the balls to write this, you better eat crow if it works out sir.

  4. KnickfaninNJ

    I agree that the “dumb” comment was out of place, especially as the editorial staff was complaining about the treatment staff writers were getting. Now the writers are giving half the commenters the same treatment.

  5. KnickfaninNJ

    On the line up question, I can’t imagine Stoudemire and Bargnani getting significant time together unless Anthony was injured or not on the floor. So that leaves out line up #7. Neither or them can defend guards, and you need a point guard, so the two guards should one point guard and Smith, one point guard and Shumpert or two point guards. The last position probably has to rebound, so that would probably be Martin or Chandler. Any line up that fits those parameters seems reasonable to me. It’s easy to imply that this will be a bad situation for the Knicks, but I am not so sure about that. Then you have Stoudemire playing Anthony’s role as a scorer, which he would be good at. You have a reasonable center and a stretch four. I expect reasonable offense from this lineup. Defensively, Chandler or Martin can make up for the lack of help defense by Stoudemire and Bargnani and the guards can hold their own. If you are talking this as a second string line up, it’s a pretty good one.

  6. Jim Cavan

    Nick C.:
    This is one of those get people arguing posts right?

    Yes.

    In my opinion, there’s a pretty big difference between a contextualized, tongue-in-cheek remark about a group of people who support the trade, and going after one individual — be they a writer or a commenter.

    That said, in the interest of all, the sentence has been edited.

  7. Kevin Udwary

    I don’t see why you wouldn’t play Bargnani at SF. If you put him at PF/C, then he’s just going to play on the perimeter anyways and kill you on rebounding. Play him at SF, with Amare and Kenyon and you have at least 2 average rebounders in the frontcourt. Defensively you may be pretty horrible, though. Start Prigs and Shump to try and minimize that. That’d be my choice for a second unit with Bargs and Amare.

    Although, I feel like my thought process is “how will Bargnani hurt us the least?” rather than “how will Bargnani help us the most?”.

  8. Z

    “it’s pretty much an inevitability that Stoudemire and Bargnani will, at some point this season, both be on the court at the same time.” -Jeremy Conlin

    This assumes, of course, that Amar’e Stoudemire will be on the court with anybody this season, which may or may not happen very much. I think brass added AB because of the # of minutes Amar’e is realistically expected to play.

    (And I’m not sure if I’m in the smart or dumb camp, but when it comes to the Knicks I’m a Fundamental Pessimist, and I approved of the Bargnani trade, so fit that into the opinion poll blanket analysis as fit)

  9. er

    Kevin Udwary:
    I don’t see why you wouldn’t play Bargnani at SF. If you put him at PF/C, then he’s just going to play on the perimeter anyways and kill you on rebounding. Play him at SF, with Amare and Kenyon and you have at least 2 average rebounders in the frontcourt. Defensively you may be pretty horrible, though. Start Prigs and Shump to try and minimize that. That’d be my choice for a second unit with Bargs and Amare.

    Although, I feel like my thought process is “how will Bargnani hurt us the least?” rather than “how will Bargnani help us the most?”.

    This is why i think he should start. He can hang on the perimeter and let melo work on the block. This will hopefully also force melo to drive more

  10. flossy

    I’m not sure I understand why Bargnani can’t play SF on offense. He couldn’t be a whole lot worse at standing in the corner and shooting the occassional open 3 than Iman Shumpert, who played a lot of SF last year and did mostly that. Sure, he won’t be an effective floor spacer if he shoots 29% from 3 again, but he also won’t get much burn unless he reverts to his career averages from downtown (so mid-to-high 30s). And I wouldn’t be so quick to laugh off the possibility that Bargs could be at least reasonably effective in the post against defenders who are 5″ or 6″ shorter, should the need arise.

    Regardless, we are talking about line-ups that will play together pretty infrequently. I wouldn’t start Bargnani at SF but for five minutes a night it’s worth a shot. I also think the all-scoring, all-the-time line up with Bargmar’e at the 4 and 5 would be worth a look as a short-burst change of pace unit.

    In any case, I just desperately want Amar’e to have a healthy and productive year.

  11. thenamestsam

    I think the bottom line is that if you think Bargs is as bad as the author of this post clearly does there really isn’t any situation in which you would want him to play at all, ever. Then when you pair him with another player he doesn’t seem to pair well with, obviously you’re going to have a really hard time finding appealing lineups.

    Criticizing his defense and rebounding are obviously fair. There has been talk that he has improved somewhat on defense but I’d be shocked if anyone who posts here has really watched enough Raptors games to state a strong opinion on the matter. But if the Bargs we get A.Can’t space the floor and B. Can’t score over a guard on occasion in the post then staple his ass to the bench because he won’t be doing much of anything at that point.

    But assuming we get a mildly functional Bargs, I do agree with the fundamental premise here that Bargs and Amare make an awkward pair. I’d guess there’s a very good chance that injuries resolve the issue of how to shoehorn them into a lineup together but otherwise I think the key is going to be what type of lineup the opposition is playing.

    A lineup like Tyson-Bargs-Amare-Felton-JR holds some interesting promise offensively. You can run a bunch of pick and roll, pick and pop action, you have some post presence with Amare, some late clock ability in JR. I’d say that holds promise although potential spacing issues exists if Amare and Bargs struggle with their strokes. Defensively the whole issue is Bargs on a wing. Other than that it’s a fine lineup defensively. Can Bargs guard a wing? Depends who it is. Thabo Sefolosha? Yes. Shane Battier? Probably. Lebron James? Uh, no.

  12. Jack Bauer

    Call me dumb (I’ve been called worse), but I think the trade will work out. Rational people cannot be upset that we traded Novak (can’t get his shot off if guarded) and Camby (Mr. DNP CD for about 78 games). The 2nd round picks are a total crapshoot for end of the bench fodder at best. So we are down to arguing about giving up a #1 pick 3 years from now that Denver has the right to switch with. While I’m not crazy about trading yet another #1 pick, this is likely to be in the 20’s and is 3 years from now. We can all agree that NY is in “win now” mode, so taking a chance on Bargnani makes sense especially given the cap restraints we are under. In addition his contract ends a year sooner than Novak’s so there is cap relief earlier if he sucks as bad as all the “smart” people think he will. We’ll see when the games start, but I believe AB will play much better with more talented teammates. If that makes me “dumb” so be it.

  13. ruruland

    Amar’e Stoudemire is not playing back-to-backs this season, meaning he will max out at about 60-65 games. It’s been reported that the Knicks plan to limit Amar’e to about 20-25 minutes a game.

    Tyson Chandler needs to have his minutes reduced. He played 66 games last year.

    If Tyson plays the same amount of games, and Amar’e plays 60, that opens 38 games in which the Knicks will need another big to step up and play 20-25 minutes.

    Mike Woodson is a defensive minded coach, regardless of his past success coaching defense. Both Steve Novak and Chris Copeland were taken off the floor last year because of their struggles to defend.

    There isn’t a mandate to play Bargnani. And if he isn’t effective, and doesn’t prove his value, there is absolutely no reason to believe he will play.

    It’s quite likely that most nights, Amar’e, Martin, Chandler, Melo, MWP get the frontcourt minutes.

    Last year, Novak and Copeland combined for 2500 minutes, a portion of which came after the outcome had been decided (a larger portion than the other rotation players.)

    Next season, the Knicks should get more minutes from Amar’e, Shumpert, and Kenyon Martin (more than Camby and Wallace played last season combined). I would anticipate Prigioni, THJ and MWP playing more minutes than Brewer, White and Kidd did last season.

    JR probably plays less, so I would guess that it about evens out in the back-court, with fewer minutes to go around in the frontcourt next year.

    Here is the point: There is no need to play Bargnani unless there’s an injury or the Knicks are playing on a back-to-back.

    Bargnani has a higher upside than Steve Novak. He’s a much better defender and rebounder, and much more versatile on offense.

    It’s more likely that Bargnani could positively impact a playoff series than Novak could. It was all but proven that Novak was a liability in the playoffs.

    Maybe the same is true of AB. But there is at least a chance it isn’t.

  14. JK47

    I really have a hard time believing Bargnani is going to be able to even replace the production of Novak and Copeland, never mind actually representing an upgrade. Novak and Cope played a combined 2500 minutes and shot a combined .424 from 3PT. The Knicks were 1st in the NBA in three pointers made and 5th in 3PT%, and I just have a very hard time believing they’re going to sustain that with their two most accurate long-distance shooters out the door, replaced by a guy coming off back-to-back seasons shooting around .300 from 3PT.

    The Knicks’ offense seems just about certain to me to be worse than it was last season. My only hope is that they make up some of that on the defensive end, and that the addition of MWP and a full season of Shump help the Knicks to bring down their eFG% allowed and defensive FT/FGA.

  15. Kevin Udwary

    ruruland:

    Here is the point: There is no need to play Bargnani unless there’s an injury or the Knicks are playing on a back-to-back.

    You’re ok with giving up a first round pick for that?

  16. Kevin Udwary

    Sorry screwed up my tags. My question is, if Bargnani is only going to play if there is an injury or on the back end of consecutive nights, then is he worth giving a 1st round pick up for? Couldn’t you find that guy for veteran minimum without giving up anything?

  17. Frank O.

    Rur makes a rational argument.
    I have to agree.

    I also am convinced that Amare will play as much as they allow him this year.

  18. mokers

    Not sure if this was supposed to be a serious piece or not. I enjoy reading new authors, but I think that if I am looking for insight, analysis and research I am more likely to find that at the Yahoo Contributor Network. If it was meant to be more tongue-in-cheek, I apologize in advance.

    I guess I am in the dumb side of the equation in this trade and I’m not even a huge fan of the trade. I just don’t think it was a terrible trade given the assets. If you had done some analysis on the assets involved, I think it would have been a much more interesting piece. The analysis of potential on-court performance doesn’t necessarily have to be tied to the quality of the trade. However putting together pieces of two arguments doesn’t necessarily make a coherent whole.

    For the possible lineups, it would have been interesting to use some of the lineup data at NBAwowy or 82games to get a little bit more depth to the article, no that “evil, maniacal laughter” doesn’t provide plenty of insight.

    It would seem preposterous that New York would surrender so many assets in exchange for Bargnani to only have him play 18 minutes per game off the bench.

    Or as some people would have said last year “It would seem preposterous that New York would surrender so many assets in exchange for Camby to only have him never come off the bench.”

    In other words, there is no guarantee Bargnani is going to get a lot of burn if he isn’t working out well.

  19. mokers

    Kevin Udwary:
    Sorry screwed up my tags. My question is, if Bargnani is only going to play if there is an injury or on the back end of consecutive nights, then is he worth giving a 1st round pick up for? Couldn’t you find that guy for veteran minimum without giving up anything?

    What would you give up to have the Novak contract off the books in 2015? What veteran minimum person was out there to do as you describe?

  20. bobneptune

    Kevin Udwary: Start Prigs and Shump to try and minimize that. That’d be my choice for a second unit with Bargs and Amare.

    With Rondo and Rose returning to the gaggle of quick pg’s in the league, and prigs being backstopped by Bargs and A’mare , the lols will ensue…..

  21. KnickfaninNJ

    It’s nice that Hassan Whiteside is a center. His scoring and blocks per 40 look great, but he gets a lot of fouls and turnovers. That may not matter so much if he comes of the bench and is expected to clog the paint. I can see him on the end of the Knicks bench, or at least invited to training camp.

  22. DRed

    JK47:
    I really have a hard time believing Bargnani is going to be able to even replace the production of Novak and Copeland, never mind actually representing an upgrade.Novak and Cope played a combined 2500 minutes and shot a combined .424 from 3PT.The Knicks were 1st in the NBA in three pointers made and 5th in 3PT%, and I just have a very hard time believing they’re going to sustain that with their two most accurate long-distance shooters out the door, replaced by a guy coming off back-to-back seasons shooting around .300 from 3PT.

    The Knicks’ offense seems just about certain to me to be worse than it was last season.My only hope is that they make up some of that on the defensive end, and that the addition of MWP and a full season of Shump help the Knicks to bring down their eFG% allowed and defensive FT/FGA.

    Remember, there’s no need to play a guy who is a much better defender and rebounder than Novak, who is much more versatile on offense, and is maybe the premier pick and pop stretch big in the NBA.

  23. Kevin Udwary

    mokers: What would you give up to have the Novak contract off the books in 2015? What veteran minimum person was out there to do as you describe?

    I find it really hard to believe that the best 3pt shooter in the league wouldn’t be trade-able going into the final year of his contract, if needed.

    I’m not going to pretend that I know how the Knicks are going to use Bargnani this season, but looking at the team I think we have a very obvious weakness, and that is rebounding. We have 1 above average rebounder on the team, Tyson Chandler, who will miss games. Bargnani is the worst possible C/PF you could pick up to try and fill that need.

  24. bobneptune

    Frank:
    Off topic but Alex Kennedy from Hoopsworld just tweeted out that the Knicks have expressed interest in Hassan Whiteside.

    So a quick search shows…Holy Cow. look at these D-League per-40 numbers!!!!

    http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Hassan-Whiteside-5660/stats/

    Having seen Whiteside play twice in college live, if he has anything left in his knees, I’d take a flyer on him in an instant. Before he tore his patellar tendon (and had a post surgical recurrence of patellar tendonitis) he was one of the most gifted shot blockers timing wise i’ve ever seen.

    He had a gift for waiting til the last moment and then launching off the floor with his pterodactyl-like wing span and swatting shots from everywhere.

    If he is healthy enough to play 12 minutes a game, he is precisely what the knicks need with defensive stiffs like A’mare and Bargs on the floor.

  25. KnickfaninNJ

    Kevin,

    No one on this board seems to think that Bargnani will play as a C/PF or that the Knicks got him to play that role. Trading for him didn’t diminish the Knick’s rebounding either, considering that he replaced Novak and Camby and the former wasn’t any better at rebounding and the latter didn’t play.

  26. Frank

    Kevin Udwary: I’m not going to pretend that I know how the Knicks are going to use Bargnani this season, but looking at the team I think we have a very obvious weakness, and that is rebounding. We have 1 above average rebounder on the team, Tyson Chandler, who will miss games. Bargnani is the worst possible C/PF you could pick up to try and fill that need.

    I’m not really sure that rebounding is our big problem. We were literally 4th or 5th in the league in defensive rebound rate depending on what site you go to, and that’s with Tyson missing 16 games and generally playing crappy for much of the year.

    We were worse in offensive rebounding, but that didn’t stop us from having the 3rd best offense in the league.

    Our defensive problems were a problem of eFG-against (8th worst in league) and fouling too much (8th worst FT/FGA-against). And remember — when we played Tyson/Amare/Melo together, we were a MONSTER rebounding team on both ends of the floor. So if we need to rebound the ball, we have the guys to do it.

    I for one think we will see Bargnani on the floor mostly with Tyson, using Tyson to protect him Andrea as he did Dirk. As to how the frontcourt minutes get divvied up– well, that’s why Woody get’s paid the big bucks.

  27. DRed

    KnickfaninNJ:
    Kevin,

    No one on this board seems to think that Bargnani will play as a C/PF or that the Knicks got him to play that role. Trading for him didn’t diminish the Knick’s rebounding either, considering that he replaced Novak and Camby and the former wasn’t any better at rebounding and the latter didn’t play.

    I do. I doubt we traded for him to make him play small forward.

  28. Frank

    bobneptune: Having seen Whiteside play twice in college live, if he has anything left in his knees, I’d take a flyer on him in an instant. Before he tore his patellar tendon(and had a post surgical recurrence of patellar tendonitis) he was one of the most gifted shot blockers timing wise i’ve ever seen.

    He had a gift for waiting til the last moment and then launching off the floor with his pterodactyl-like wing span and swatting shots from everywhere.

    If he is healthy enough to play 12 minutes a game, he is precisely what the knicks need with defensive stiffs like A’mare and Bargs on the floor.

    The D-league certainly isn’t the NBA, but averaging 18+ rebounds and 5+ blocks per-40 over 36 games in any league but high school playing against 5’6″ guys is something amazing.

  29. Kevin Udwary

    Frank: I’m not really sure that rebounding is our big problem. We were literally 4th or 5th in the league in defensive rebound rate depending on what site you go to, and that’s with Tyson missing 16 games and generally playing crappy for much of the year.

    We were worse in offensive rebounding, but that didn’t stop us from having the 3rd best offense in the league.

    Our defensive problems were a problem of eFG-against (8th worst in league) and fouling too much (8th worst FT/FGA-against).And remember — when we played Tyson/Amare/Melo together, we were a MONSTER rebounding team on both ends of the floor. So if we need to rebound the ball, we have the guys to do it.

    I for one think we will see Bargnani on the floor mostly with Tyson, using Tyson to protect him Andrea as he did Dirk. As to how the frontcourt minutes get divvied up– well, that’s why Woody get’s paid the big bucks.

    Last year Sheed, Camby and Kurt Thomas combined for just under 1000 min and all had a defensive rebounding rate above 20%. That’s gone now. Kidd is a well above average rebounder at the point, and his 2043 minutes are gone now. That’s 3000 minutes of above average defensive rebounding lost.

    Now, Kenyon will get more minutes, and he is at least an average rebounder, slightly above average last year. Amare is about average, too and will hopefully get more minutes. We added MWP and Bargs who are both horrendous rebounders in the offseason. It doesn’t look good to me.

  30. KnickfaninNJ

    DRed: I do.I doubt we traded for him to make him play small forward.

    Fair enough. But we already have Melo, Amare, and Metta World Peace as power forwards, assuming that Martin and Tyler are backups for Chandler. I think there’s more space at the 3 position for him, especially since we lost Novak. I would be very surprised if Woody didn’t try him at small forward in practice tosee what he can do.

  31. nicos

    Kevin Udwary: Last year Sheed, Camby and Kurt Thomas combined for just under 1000 min and all had a defensive rebounding rate above 20%. That’s gone now. Kidd is a well above average rebounder at the point, and his 2043 minutes are gone now. That’s 3000 minutes of above average defensive rebounding lost.

    Now, Kenyon will get more minutes, and he is at least an average rebounder, slightly above average last year. Amare is about average, too and will hopefully get more minutes. We added MWP and Bargs who are both horrendous rebounders in the offseason. It doesn’t look good to me.

    Well you also had 2500 minutes of Novak/Copeland’s awful rebounding which should be replaced by Bargnani and MWP’s slightly less awful rebounding. And if Shumpert rebounds anywhere close to how he did in the playoffs when he said he was making a concerted effort to get to the boards his increased minutes should take care of replacing Kidd’s production. Also, I’m guessing there should be fewer 3 guard sets (how much remains to be seen but if JR’s recovery is slower than expected it could be a lot) so that should make up some of the difference as well.

  32. mokers

    Kevin Udwary: I find it really hard to believe that the best 3pt shooter in the league wouldn’t be trade-able going into the final year of his contract, if needed.

    I’m not going to pretend that I know how the Knicks are going to use Bargnani this season, but looking at the team I think we have a very obvious weakness, and that is rebounding. We have 1 above average rebounder on the team, Tyson Chandler, who will miss games. Bargnani is the worst possible C/PF you could pick up to try and fill that need.

    I might be wrong, but he would still have a cap hold on him even before he was traded. But besides, the point being is that in the summer of 2015 you don’t want any salary on the books. If the knicks want that space available, Novak has to go before then.

    And I don’t think you are arguing against anybody when you say AB is a bad substitute to hold down the defense when Tyson goes down.

  33. johnno

    Frank: Tyson missing 16 games and generally playing crappy for much of the year.

    Where did this idea that Chandler “played crappy most of the year” come from? He was awful in the playoffs but, before getting hurt, he was leading the league in FG% and was top 5 in rebounding. He also made the All-Star team and was named first team all defense. I really don’t understand why he is getting so universally trashed this offseason. Until proven otherwise, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that his playoff (non)performance was due to injury and not due to his suddenly forgetting how to play professional caliber basketball.

  34. steveoh

    KnickfaninNJ:
    Kevin,

    No one on this board seems to think that Bargnani will play as a C/PF or that the Knicks got him to play that role.

    However, no one on this board thought that Copeland should have played so little, that the Knicks should have started Melo at the 3 in the Pacers series, that Kidd and JR should have kept playing in the playoffs and so on and so forth.

    So we don’t know how Woody is planning on using Bargs, even though it seems obvious to the rest of us. And that scares me.

  35. GHenman

    He has played C/PF his entire career. There is no doubt that’s what he’ll be playing for the Knicks. He is way too slow to play SF.

  36. KnickfaninNJ

    On defense, I can believe he will be guarding 4’s, and I don’t think he’s too slow for that. On offense is the question. It’s true what SteveOh said, that we don’t know how Woody will use him. I am hoping he gets a fair shot as a three, but time will tell. Woody, unlike us, will get to see him in practice, and then make up his mind.

  37. Z-man

    For the billionth time, Bargnani’s role is not to be a rebounder, but a multi-purpose stretch 4 in the mold of Gallo, Rashard Lewis, Turkoglu, etc., all of whome were poor rebounders even at their best. If the argument is that Bargnani is a poor shooter for a stretch 4, I can understand the skeptcism. Talking about his rebounding is like talking about Chandler’s post game. It won’t matter if he shoots well, and it won’t matter if he rebounds better if he shoots poorly. He was brought in because he is expected to score, and rebound and defend better than Cope and Novak (that shouldn’t be hard, even for Bargnani.). If he doesn’t score at a TS% of at least .560, he will be a bust. If he shoots at a TS of .580+, it won’t matter if he averages 3 reb/36, he will play a lot.

    By now, most people are on the record regarding the Bargnani trade, just like they were on the record after the Lin non-signing. Go back and read the ravings of the “smart” guys, many of whom crucified me because I had the audacity to suggest that it was “reasonable” to think that he was not worth the $25 mill plus a whopping luxury tax bill. And here we are a year later, and Lin has woefully underperformed, to the point that he is not even the best PG on his team by any statistical measure, and was outplayed by the immortal Patrick Beverley, a D-League call-up at a minimum salary. Oh, and the Knicks somehow have 3 PGs that are all better than Lin, and for less salary combined. OMG, how could we let him leave?? Dolan, you spiteful idiot, you let The Messiah slip through your fingers! How do you let a valuable asset slip away for nothing?

    Yes, that’s essentially what the “smart” people, most KB authors included, had to say about the Lindecision. And only a couple have had the humility to even suggest that they might have been wrong in retrospect.

  38. Z-man

    Many have gone on record with their opinion of the Bargnani trade, and we can refer back next year to see how smart the smart people really were, just like we can with Lin.

    My opinion has consistently been that it is at worst a lateral move with just as much benefit (salary cap flexibility in 2015) as cost (2 overpaid scrubs, a low first and 2 low seconds.) and at best a very good short term deal IF Bargnani shoots well enough to increase overall efficiency on the offensive end. He can’t possibly be a worse rebounder or defender than either Cope or Novak, the two guys he is essentially replacing. I am in the camp that role and situation matters, and that Bargnani has, from day 1, been in the wrong situation and role in Toronto.

    Preaching who is dumb or smart BEFORE the product of a trade has even suited up is beyond arrogant, especially for a writer with no track record around here.

  39. bobneptune

    Z-man: . Oh, and the Knicks somehow have 3 PGs that are all better than Lin, and for less salary combined.

    Really? 3 point guards better than Lin?

    The Knick’s pg situation is led off with Felton, he of the .069 WS/48 lifetime and the .087 WS/48 in 2013?

    Or maybe you meant Beno Udrih with the commanding .082 lifetime WS/48 and the sparkling .072 WS/48 in 2013?

    Or maybe you figure Prig’s numbers won’t tank when asked to play bigger minutes at 36 and have to play other than bench players.

    My point not being that Lin is the be all and end all or isn’t ‘overpaid’, but the notion he couldn’t play major minutes @ pg on the current knicks roster is just nutz.

  40. Z

    Z-man:
    By now, most people are on the record regarding the Bargnani trade, just like they were on the record after the Lin non-signing. Go back and read the ravings of the “smart” guys, many of whom crucified me because I had the audacity to suggest that it was “reasonable” to think that he was not worth the $25 mill plus a whopping luxury tax bill. And here we are a year later, and Lin has woefully underperformed, to the point that he is not even the best PG on his team by any statistical measure, and was outplayed by the immortal Patrick Beverley, a D-League call-up at a minimum salary. Oh, and the Knicks somehow have 3 PGs that are all better than Lin, and for less salary combined. OMG, how could we let him leave?? Dolan, you spiteful idiot, you let The Messiah slip through your fingers! How do you let a valuable asset slip away for nothing?

    Nice troll job, fellow Z-man! You hooked me :)

    Admittedly, I’m going by stats and not my eyes here, but I don’t see how the Knicks have 1, 2 , or 3 PGs they’d rather have than Lin.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=udrihbe01&y1=2013&p2=feltora01&y2=2013&p3=prigipa01&y3=2013&p4=linje01&y4=2013

    Especially when adjusted for age I don’t think anybody needs to admit they were wrong about anything 1 year later. (And, yes, Dolan is a spiteful idiot, as evidenced by the fact that he’s paying the same ridiculous luxury tax for Bargnani that he supposedly refused to pay for Lin!)

  41. Z-man

    For better or worse, I think it is highly likely that Lin would be last on Woodson’s depth chart, definitely no higher than third string ahead of Udrih.

    Regardless, the larger point is that many (especially you, if I recall correctly) thought that it was a no-brainer to sign him. Do you honestly still feel that way now? If you do, then that is nutz.

    BTW, Felton played with injured hands for much of the season, and his stats before and after he was injured were better, especially in the playoffs. Lin had a WS48 of a whopping 0.99 and disappeared in the playoffs.

    I’ll give you Udrih, but those extra .20 WS48 points are costing more than 4X what Udrih will earn this year, plus luxury tax. And I am not convinced that Udrih wouldn’t have had a higher WS48 had he played on the Rockets instead of the two bottom feeders he was stuck on last year.

    You didn’t mention Prigioni, another near-minimum signing.

  42. Jack Bauer

    Kevin Udwary: Last year Sheed, Camby and Kurt Thomas combined for just under 1000 min and all had a defensive rebounding rate above 20%. That’s gone now. Kidd is a well above average rebounder at the point, and his 2043 minutes are gone now. That’s 3000 minutes of above average defensive rebounding lost.

    Now, Kenyon will get more minutes, and he is at least an average rebounder, slightly above average last year. Amare is about average, too and will hopefully get more minutes. We added MWP and Bargs who are both horrendous rebounders in the offseason. It doesn’t look good to me.

    Miami was not a good rebounding team last year and things seem to have worked out ok for them….

  43. Z-man

    Z: Nice troll job, fellow Z-man! You hooked me :)

    Admittedly, I’m going by stats and not my eyes here, but I don’t see how the Knicks have 1, 2 , or 3 PGs they’d rather have than Lin.

    Especially when adjusted for age I don’t think anybody needs to admit they were wrong about anything 1 year later. (And, yes, Dolan is a spiteful idiot, as evidenced by the fact that he’s paying the same ridiculous luxury tax for Bargnani that he supposedly refused to pay for Lin!)

    Aw, and we were getting along so well! Come on, man, that non-matching blew you into oblivion for nearly a year. Looking back, was it really a bad deal? By any reasonable measure, it looks like savvy GMing in retrospect, and the hysterics then are not justified by the facts now.

    As to Bargnani, why are we so sure that was a dumb trade? Why is paying luxury tax for Lin more prudent than paying it for Bargnani? Why not withhold judgment until at least a couple of preseason games are played? Does Lin have more theoretical upside in the next 2 years than Bargnani? Clearly, players comparable to Lin (we could quibble about who is better, but they are certainly comparable) have been readily available, EVEN FOR HOUSTON! BTW, the same stats you look at confirm beyond a doubt that Lin was outplayed by a D-league minimum salary guy on his own team all year and in the playoffs.

    All I’m saying is that there are lots of rational reasons to hate Dolan. But the post-mortem should make it abundantly clear that not signing Lin isn’t one of them. Not admitting that you were wrong doesn’t change that. Regarding the Bargnani trade, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions in either direction is all I’m saying. This is not a franchise-wrecking Eddy Curry-type deal.

  44. Z-man

    Z: And, yes, Dolan is a spiteful idiot, as evidenced by the fact that he’s paying the same ridiculous luxury tax for Bargnani that he supposedly refused to pay for Lin!

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the salaries going out somewhat match Bargnai’s salary, resulting in only a nominal rise in Luxury tax payout? Not to mention Lin’s balloon payment and tax repercussions next year.

  45. Z

    Z-man: Aw, and we were getting along so well! Come on, man, that non-matching blew you into oblivion for nearly a year. Looking back, was it really a bad deal? By any reasonable measure, it looks like savvy GMing in retrospect, and the hysterics then are not justified by the facts now.

    Don’t worry, Z, I still love ya!

    Do I think that if the Knicks had Lin in 2012/13 instead of Felton that they would have beaten the Pacers and advanced to the ECF? No, I don’t. I think Felton recreated what was lost quite admirably. But, remember, the “Lin money” was used to bring in Marcus Camby as well, who thus begat Andrea Bargnani, who will make as much as Lin and cost as much tax to Dolan in the pivotal final year. So, there is still more than a tinge of bitterness that lingers on.

    And, look, I said earlier in this thread that I approve of the Bargnani trade. I think it is the right move to use Dolan’s competitive advantage ($!) to build a contender, just as it was, and still remains, the right move to have matched the Houston offer to Lin.

    It’s nothing against Carmelo Anthony, or JR Smith, or even Patrick Ewing for that matter, but those weeks of Linsanity were the most fun I’ve ever had being a fan of any sport. Ray Felton being a little better than expected and the Knicks making it out of the 1st round isn’t enough for me to let it go, sorry. I’d rather lose with Lin than lose with Felton, or Smith, or Anthony, and, though improved, I’m still pretty sure this team ends the coming season on a losing note.

    So, sure, I’ll give you the kudos you deserve for being a savvy fanblog poster, but at the same time I hope you understand the hysterics at the time, and can appreciate that it takes more than one season of Ray Felton (paid not all that much less over 4 years!) holding down the fort to make the dissatisfaction go away.

  46. Z

    Z-man: Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the salaries going out somewhat match Bargnai’s salary, resulting in only a nominal rise in Luxury tax payout? Not to mention Lin’s balloon payment and tax repercussions next year.

    Nope. Camby and Novak make a combined $4 million in 2014/15 (Camby was only partially guaranteed).

  47. DRed

    “Why is paying luxury tax for Lin more prudent than paying it for Bargnani?”

    Because Lin is a more productive basketball player who is several years younger.

  48. Z-man

    Z:
    …those weeks of Linsanity were the most fun I’ve ever had being a fan of any sport. Ray Felton being a little better than expected and the Knicks making it out of the 1st round isn’t enough for me to let it go, sorry. I’d rather lose with Lin than lose with Felton, or Smith, or Anthony, and, though improved, I’m still pretty sure this team ends the coming season on a losing note.

    So, sure, I’ll give you the kudos you deserve for being a savvy fanblog poster, but at the same time I hope you understand the hysterics at the time, and can appreciate that it takes more than one season of Ray Felton (paid not all that much less over 4 years!) holding down the fort to make the dissatisfaction go away.

    This is all very fair. And yes, I understand that it was hard to let Lin walk after the magical 2 weeks of Linsanity. I also understand the POV to rather lose with player X than player Y. As I said back then, I was as smitten with Linsanity as anyone, and would rather we had matched.

    But most people here were not saying that. They were saying that it was a terrible business decision and that matching him was a business no-brainer. They were saying that he was a much better player than Felton already. My point at the time was that there was a lot of risk involved (I’ll spare you a rehash of all the risk factors) and that there was not enough data to conclude that he was worth that kind of money. So I’m not saying that I was right in guessing that Lin would underperform and be easily replicable. I am saying that I was right in taking a “wait and see” approach before concluding that the decision was a bad one.

    And that is all I am saying re: Bargnani (as are you, I think!) Let’s wait and see before “panning” the deal or judging whether the people who feel one way or the other are smart or dumb.

  49. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Jack Bauer: Miami was not a good rebounding team last year and things seem to have worked out ok for them….

    This is not evidence that rebounding doesn’t matter. There are many ways to be a successful basketball team, but most of them involve scoring, rebounding, creating and maintaining possessions, and getting to the free throw line. Look at the 2004 Pistons. 20th in eFG%, 20th in TOV%. Does this mean that shooting and turnovers don’t matter?

    When Bargnani and J.R. start shooting north of 60% TS, we can say, “Okay, this team is essentially the 1984 Jazz, let ‘em shoot and run.”
    Until then, it’s going to be mediocre shooting with horrid rebounding, and they can’t win that way, box score haters be damned.

  50. Glew

    Z: Nope. Camby and Novak make a combined $4 million in 2014/15 (Camby was only partially guaranteed).

    Actually just fyi Camby was signed to make $3,383,773 in 14/15 and $4,177,208 in 15/16. Novak is getting $3,445,947 in 14/15 and $3,750,000 in 15/16. We also sign and traded Q i believe to something like 1yr 1.5. Not sure if that changes your view at all and I feel you on the sense that you wanted to win or lose with Lin but he just simply won’t produce/captivate like he did during Linsanity. If you remember we also played mostly non or fringe playoff teams during that streak. http://hoopshype.com/salaries/toronto.htm

  51. Frank

    johnno: Where did this idea that Chandler “played crappy most of the year” come from?He was awful in the playoffs but, before getting hurt, he was leading the league in FG% and was top 5 in rebounding.He also made the All-Star team and was named first team all defense.I really don’t understand why he is getting so universally trashed this offseason.Until proven otherwise, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that his playoff (non)performance was due to injury and not due to his suddenly forgetting how to play professional caliber basketball.

    Maybe “crappy” is too strong a word, but there is no question that he did not play as well as he did the year before. He did fine on the boards, and his efficiency was more than fine (btw do you know who led the league in TS% with a higher usage than Chandler? The immortal Ryan Hollins). But defensively? You can go back through the game threads if you want — just time after time guys shooting layups with Tyson standing by and watching. We were the 3rd WORST team in terms of opponent FG% at the rim last year after being 12th best the year before. Obviously you can’t pin that all on Tyson, but it’s pretty clear his rim protection was below his standards last year. Sure he had to cover for Melo and whoever else, but he just was not the same defensive force as he was the year before. In 11-12, he was arguably the 2nd best center in the league and possibly the best defensive center– last year I think it’s pretty clear that DH12, Gasol, Noah, Hibbert, Asik, Sanders, and maybe even Brook Lopez (!) were better defensively.

    I’m not saying that he can’t bounce back — clearly injuries were an issue last year especially near the end, and as always, it seemed like he had no backup and so could not go all out as much as he might have liked.

  52. Frank

    Z-man: And that is all I am saying re: Bargnani (as are you, I think!) Let’s wait and see before “panning” the deal or judging whether the people who feel one way or the other are smart or dumb.

    +100000000000000

    I think Grunwald has earned at least this much after uncovering Lin, Novak, Copeland etc. Even though the price paid was a bit much for my taste (although really not so much in the grand scheme), getting Bargnani after the last 2 seasons is definitely a “buy-low” move. At the end of the day, even if Bargnani is no good, we DID get rid of Novak’s 15-16 number (which to be fair was GG’s fault to begin with – no need to give Novak a 4 year contract last offseason). And the going rate for a salary dump is probably a late 1st nowadays.

  53. lavor postell

    Are we still debating the merits of not matching the Lin offer?

    Z:

    So, sure, I’ll give you the kudos you deserve for being a savvy fanblog poster, but at the same time I hope you understand the hysterics at the time, and can appreciate that it takes more than one season of Ray Felton (paid not all that much less over 4 years!) holding down the fort to make the dissatisfaction go away.

    Felton signed a 4yr, 14 mill offer with the last year being a player option. That is a far cry from 3 yrs, 25 mill with the last year being worth a toxic 15 mill. Even Bargnani’s 11 mill pales in comparison to that not to mention our pg depth is probably one of strengths of this team (at least offensively). Bargnani also plays a completely different position, so not signing Lin allowed us to move assets to address another need, though obviously if you think Andrea is an irredeemable steaming pile of shit basketball player you are not pleased.

    There needs to be something said about Lin being effective predominantly in a strictly high usage situation. If you match the Lin offer he is your starting point guard regardless of other options on your roster at that salary. We saw how he struggled starting next to Harden, another high usage player, last year because of his lack of intelligence and movement off the ball. His playoff performance was also a complete and utter disaster in which he made way for Patrick Beverley for the most part.

    Lin sure showed some signs of being able to adjust his game and playing next to Melo-STAT-Tyson down the stretch of the 11-12 season. The game at Philly in particular stands out, but those two weeks of Linsanity not withstanding, he was never worth the contract he was given. I think it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t just lock him up for 4 years, 24 mill because there is definitely upside there, but I’m way over that…

  54. johnno

    Frank: even if Bargnani is no good, we DID get rid of Novak’s 15-16 number (which to be fair was GG’s fault to begin with – no need to give Novak a 4 year contract last offseason). And the going rate for a salary dump is probably a late 1st nowadays.

    And if Bargnini turns out to be good (for the record, count me in the dumb camp that thinks that it was a good trade), we will all be saying, “Thank goodness GG agreed to slightly overpay Novak and Camby because, if he hadn’t, there is no way the Knicks could have come up with the right salary mix to acquire AB.)

  55. lavor postell

    Also just wanted to mention I was in Ann Arbor last weekend for the first football game of the year and I’m out at dinner last night rocking my Knicks flat brim as I only have the confidence to do after a full day of excessive drinking when our own Tim Hardaway Jr. walks in to the restaurant along with his agent Mark Bartelstein.

    He then approaches me as he’s walking to his table and says go New York which I acknowledge and mumble back to him as best I could. After I finish my beer I’m about to order another one, because fuck it why not, when my server brings one over to me before I even have a chance to order. She tells me somebody took care of it for me and before I have the chance to ask points over at his table and he gives me a little head nod. Just thought I’d share.

  56. Jack Bauer

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: This is not evidence that rebounding doesn’t matter. There are many ways to be a successful basketball team, but most of them involve scoring, rebounding, creating and maintaining possessions, and getting to the free throw line. Look at the 2004 Pistons. 20th in eFG%, 20th in TOV%. Does this mean that shooting and turnovers don’t matter?

    When Bargnani and J.R. start shooting north of 60% TS, we can say, “Okay, this team is essentially the 1984 Jazz, let ‘em shoot and run.”
    Until then, it’s going to be mediocre shooting with horrid rebounding, and they can’t win that way, box score haters be damned.

    I agree rebounding is important, perhaps very important (“No rebounds no rings” – Pat Riley). All I am saying is that just because the Knicks probably will be a below average rebounding team doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the upcoming season. There are ways to overcome it, which is where Woody comes in. And let’s be real they didn’t exactly lose Moses Malone by not having Novak and Camby for next year. Kidd’s rebounding might be missed, but he was running on fumes the last half of the season.

  57. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Jack Bauer: I agree rebounding is important, perhaps very important (“No rebounds no rings” – Pat Riley). All I am saying is that just because the Knicks probably will be a below average rebounding team doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the upcoming season. There are ways to overcome it, which is where Woody comes in. And let’s be real they didn’t exactly lose Moses Malone by not having Novak and Camby for next year. Kidd’s rebounding might be missed, but he was running on fumes the last half of the season.

    This is the argument I made when Amar’e and Carmelo joined the Knicks, and I’ll say it again. If you’re betting on players to suddenly get better because of a “system” change, you’re getting the wrong players. Bargnani has been a terrible NBA player by nearly every measure we have (except PER, because … you know), so expecting him to just “fill a role” is, in my opinion, as naive as it gets. I wouldn’t go into a transaction thinking, “Yeah, well I know [emphasis on KNOW] that X will be bad, but Y MIGHT be better.”

    And as I’ve said before, his lack of contribution will not be glaring. He’s a bad NBA player, but an amazing basketball player by other standards. He looks athletic and makes some really flashy plays. But it’s the difference between a few baskets a game that separates the cream of the crop from the average.

    You cannot tell the difference between a guy who hits 54/100 shots and one who hits 58/100 shots (you sure as hell can’t do it without recording “stats,” and you won’t notice when players on opposing teams get a few extra offensive rebounds each game because of Bargnani’s shitty defensive rebounding, but it will show up in the team’s point differential. It will be a silent killer.

  58. nicos

    Well he did have his most efficient offensive seasons playing off of Bosh so there’s a least a bit of evidence that a role change might be good for him. And as I stated above- as long as he’s taking Novak’s/Copeland’s minutes and allowing the Knicks to play less three guard line-ups then he might actually help the Knicks’ rebounding. If they use him as a 5 off of the bench, then yeah, he’ll be a killer but it won’t be silent because everyone will be killing him here on KB.

  59. Brian Cronin

    I still think he’ll end up basically playing Copeland’s minutes, which means we will see him at the 5 frequently as a “pull his man away from the basket” 5. I do think that the Knicks have enough players that they are going to be able to sort of make Bargs “earn” his minutes by first proving he can reliably hit the outside jumper.

  60. Frank O.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: This is the argument I made when Amar’e and Carmelo joined the Knicks, and I’ll say it again. If you’re betting on players to suddenly get better because of a “system” change, you’re getting the wrong players. Bargnani has been a terrible NBA player by nearly every measure we have (except PER, because … you know), so expecting him to just “fill a role” is, in my opinion, as naive as it gets. I wouldn’t go into a transaction thinking, “Yeah, well I know [emphasis on KNOW] that X will be bad, but Y MIGHT be better.”

    And as I’ve said before, his lack of contribution will not be glaring. He’s a bad NBA player, but an amazing basketball player by other standards. He looks athletic and makes some really flashy plays. But it’s the difference between a few baskets a game that separates the cream of the crop from the average.

    You cannot tell the difference between a guy who hits 54/100 shots and one who hits 58/100 shots (you sure as hell can’t do it without recording “stats,” and you won’t notice when players on opposing teams get a few extra offensive rebounds each game because of Bargnani’s shitty defensive rebounding, but it will show up in the team’s point differential. It will be a silent killer.

    It is fascinating how tiny the differences are between adequate and great. I don’t typically agree with ideological arguments, what’s your preferred measure, but this is a very compelling argument against the eyeball assessments…

  61. Z-man

    If Bargnani plays like he did in Toronto, you will be right. But he has tools to improve that others simply don’t have. Again, very much like Blatche.

    The under/over TS% for whether this was a good trade is probably something like .570 at a usage of over 20%. Any improvement in rebounding would be a bonus.

  62. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, that sounds about right. Which is the main concern, right? That for it to be a good trade he’d have to hit a career high in TS%. Hopefully it happens!

  63. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: This is the argument I made when Amar’e and Carmelo joined the Knicks, and I’ll say it again. If you’re betting on players to suddenly get better because of a “system” change, you’re getting the wrong players.

    Seems a little weird to get back on this old hobby horse after Carmelo just had his best season by pretty much every statistical measure.

  64. ruruland

    Incoming players:
    Bargnani 9.4 reb % (career)
    MWP 8.1 reb % (career)
    Udrih 5.4 reb % (career)
    THJ 7.6 reb % (career)

    Outgoing players who played at least 400 minutes:
    Kidd 9.3 rb %
    Copeland 8.1 rb %
    Novak 5.4 rb%
    White 6.5 rb%
    Brewer 8.2 rb%

    Novak was second among outgoing players in minutes played to Kidd, at 1600 minutes, more than Copeland and Brewer combined.

    I don’t see a massive decline rebounding there, not with the loss of Kurt Thomas (392 minutes) and Marcus Camby (250 minutes)

    Can Melo increase his rebounding? Of course.

    Shumpert had a 12.6 rb rate in the playoffs, can he rebound at a Kidd level next season?

    I don’t see reason to be concerned with the rebounding. It may go down some, but the defense will definitely improve with one of the better 2-4 defenders in the NBA, and the offense SHOULD improve for a variety of reasons.

  65. flossy

    And as for “getting the wrong players,” if you can name another player who we could have realistically acquired this summer in exchange for Novak, Camby, and what will probably be a low pick, someone who would have obviously been more useful to the Knicks in this coming season and beyond both on the court and against the cap, then I’d love to hear about it. I highly doubt the Knicks FO thinks Bargnani is manna from heaven. Rather, he is the best/has the most upside of anyone we could get in exchange for a pretty undesirable collection of overpaid 9th-12th men.

  66. Jack Bauer

    flossy:
    And as for “getting the wrong players,” if you can name another player who we could have realistically acquired this summer in exchange for Novak, Camby, and what will probably be a low pick, someone who would have obviously been more useful to the Knicks in this coming season and beyond both on the court and against the cap, then I’d love to hear about it.I highly doubt the Knicks FO thinks Bargnani is manna from heaven.Rather, he is the best/has the most upside of anyone we could get in exchange for a pretty undesirable collection of overpaid 9th-12th men.

    +100

  67. Robert Silverman

    Z-man:

    Yes, that’s essentially what the “smart” people, most KB authors included, had to say about the Lindecision. And only a couple have had the humility to even suggest that they might have been wrong in retrospect.

    I’m assuming you dangled a modifier there, and meant to indicate “only a couple” out of the vast sea of basketball punditry and not just specifically KB’s authors, because all of us have said in one forum or another that Felton did quite well and (to date) not signing Lin hasn’t proved as catastrophic as we estimated.

  68. DRed

    Say what you will about Jason Kidd, but at 40 years old he could still outrebound a 26 year old center. That’s both impressive and depressing.

  69. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy:
    And as for “getting the wrong players,” if you can name another player who we could have realistically acquired this summer in exchange for Novak, Camby, and what will probably be a low pick, someone who would have obviously been more useful to the Knicks in this coming season and beyond both on the court and against the cap, then I’d love to hear about it.I highly doubt the Knicks FO thinks Bargnani is manna from heaven.Rather, he is the best/has the most upside of anyone we could get in exchange for a pretty undesirable collection of overpaid 9th-12th men.

    When you evaluate Bargnani’s past performance the way I do, he wouldn’t be worth even an undrafted FA. He only has upside because his actual production has been putrid thus far.

    Giving up a 1st rounder — which is an extremely valuable asset in today’s NBA because of cap-friendly rookie contracts — is such a loss for the Knicks that I have a hard time wondering who could possibly say yes to such a decision.

    Yes, I think Bargnani is that bad. Even at his normal 0.050 WS/48 (which I think overvalues him because of the greater-than-WP48 team adjustment and higher emphasis on the assumption that volume scoring is inherently productive) he is a loss.

    The only thing that can happen is that he improves substantially. Not incrementally, but substantially. And for every Andray Blatche there are dozens of players whose productions stay exactly the same.

  70. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: http://www.thenbageek.com/players/215-carmelo-anthony

    I’m not sure which measures you’re using, but his per-minute numbers look awfully familiar.

    Oh please. He set career highs in ws/48, PER, led the league in scoring and posted an above avg TS despite leading the league in usage for one of the most injury ravaged teams in the league. Linking to a page that suggests any league average PF would have been twice as productive as Melo doesn’t change that in the slightest (and is frankly embarrassing). it’s one thing not to be a fan, but if you can’t even admit the objective truth that Melo had a pretty damn good season then you’re just hopeless.

  71. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: When you evaluate Bargnani’s past performance the way I do, he wouldn’t be worth even an undrafted FA. He only has upside because his actual production has been putrid thus far.

    Giving up a 1st rounder — which is an extremely valuable asset in today’s NBA because of cap-friendly rookie contracts — is such a loss for the Knicks that I have a hard time wondering who could possibly say yes to such a decision.

    Yes, I think Bargnani is that bad. Even at his normal 0.050 WS/48 (which I think overvalues him because of the greater-than-WP48 team adjustment and higher emphasis on the assumption that volume scoring is inherently productive) he is a loss.

    The only thing that can happen is that he improves substantially. Not incrementally, but substantially. And for every Andray Blatche there are dozens of players whose productions stay exactly the same.

    I’m not hearing any names…

  72. Z-man

    Robert Silverman: because all of us have said in one forum or another that Felton did quite well and (to date) not signing Lin hasn’t proved as catastrophic as we estimated.

    Well, Robert, I think saying it was “not as catastrophic as we estimated” is implying that it was still catastrophic on some level, sort of like when a hurricane falls short of catastrophic expectations but still does plenty of damage. I believe this grossly understates how far off the KB punditry was, at least to date. The hurricane turned out to be a passing shower which may have actually helped more than hurt.

    I will acknowledge, however, that the story is not over. Lin did show signs of becoming a better player towards the end of the year, and still has an (ourside) chance of playing very well with Howard in the fold.

    The larger point is that nobody should be so brazen as to predict that the Bargnani trade will turn out to be a disaster, especially any person took an off-the-hook stand on the Lin debate and won’t even acknowledge in retrospect that he/she was way over the top, if not dead wrong. It’s OK to be pessimistic, but unless you have a near-perfect track record, especially in the Grunwald era, show a bit of humility.

  73. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: The only thing that can happen is that he improves substantially. Not incrementally, but substantially. And for every Andray Blatche there are dozens of players whose productions stay exactly the same.

    I’m not disagreeing. I am only saying that the shrewder GMs will narrow down the odds by looking for certain things. Why was Blatche so putrid (worse than Bargnani, no?) and then all of a sudden such a potent asset for a contending team? First, he has a diverse offensive skill-set. Second, he has a physical/athletic advantage at his position. Third, he had played in a losing situation and was largely blamed for the losing because he never lived up to early expectations and was asked to do too much. Fourth, he is on the early side of his athletic prime.

    At some point, it becomes a gamble, and all GMs win some, lose some. In my opinion, Grunwald has done well enough for meriting at least some degree of a “wait and see” approach. I agree with flossy in @70, its not like you could have gotten an obviously good player for what we gave up. I think you overvalue bottom 1/3 1st round picks, since most of them never become NBA rotation players.

  74. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: it’s one thing not to be a fan, but if you can’t even admit the objective truth that Melo had a pretty damn good season then you’re just hopeless.

    I don’t think you understand that the difference between a 0.050 WP/48 and a 0.100 WP/48 player is likely a few points of TS% and a few extra rebounds and steals per game.

    If Carmelo didn’t take the shots he took, someone else would have taken them. The Knicks wouldn’t have played 5 on 4.

  75. Robert Silverman

    Z-man: Well, Robert, I think saying it was “not as catastrophic as we estimated” is implying that it was still catastrophic on some level, sort of like when a hurricane falls short of catastrophic expectations but still does plenty of damage. I believe this grossly understates how far off the KB punditry was, at least to date. The hurricane turned out to be a passing shower which may have actually helped more than hurt.

    I will acknowledge, however, that the story is not over. Lin did show signs of becoming a better player towards the end of the year, and still has an (ourside) chance of playing very well with Howard in the fold.

    The larger point is that nobody should be so brazen as to predict that the Bargnani trade will turn out to be a disaster, especially any person took an off-the-hook stand on the Lin debate and won’t even acknowledge in retrospect that he/she was way over the top, if not dead wrong. It’s OK to be pessimistic, but unless you have a near-perfect track record, especially in the Grunwald era, show a bit of humility.

    1. When I just wrote, “Not as catastrophic as we estimated,” I was being sarcastic/utilize dry wit, trying to point to the fact that I (and others) were making apocalyptic pronouncements. Let me put it more plainly. I and many others were wrong. We’ve said so here. We’ve said so at other sites.

    2. Like you said, I’d like to wait more than a year before assessing a trade. At various points the Melo trade, for example, has looked great and awful.

    3. Who exactly are you referring to when you keep bringing up people who “won’t admit they were wrong?”/hasn’t “shown humility”. Again, the writers here have all said they were wrong about Lin (and right/wrong about a host of other issues. We try to be humble about it, but we’re going to continue making predictions/evaluating deals.

  76. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: In my opinion, Grunwald has done well enough for meriting at least some degree of a “wait and see” approach

    Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani, Kurt Thomas, Quentin Richardson, Raymond Felton

    That looks more like “wait and had seen” to me. Those players aren’t variables, they’re known values.

  77. Z-man

    MWP (at slightly above vet’s minimum) and Bargnani (in exchange for Novak and Camby’s bad contracts) haven’t played a game for us yet, their value to our team is not known, and they did not increase our cap load at all. Kidd, Camby, Thomas and Q-rich are gone after 1 year. Felton is a decent starter on a 54-win team at a reasonable salary.

  78. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I don’t think you understand that the difference between a 0.050 WP/48 and a 0.100 WP/48 player is likely a few points of TS% and a few extra rebounds and steals per game.

    If Carmelo didn’t take the shots he took, someone else would have taken them. The Knicks wouldn’t have played 5 on 4.

    Who would have those shots, hmm? Jason Kidd, he of the sub .300 fg% for weeks at a time? Tyson Chandler, who attempted roughly one FG outside the restricted area evey two games? Ronnie Brewer, who, I can’t even finish that sentence with a straight face? Which .100 WP could have shouldered Melo’s share of the offense and done a better job?

  79. johnno

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I don’t think you understand that the difference between a 0.050 WP/48 and a 0.100 WP/48 player is likely a few points of TS% and a few extra rebounds and steals per game

    And I don’t think that you understand that the Knicks were 47-18 with Melo in the lineup and 7-10 without him in the lineup last year. I don’t care how many wins the “advanced” metrics say that he produced — it should be pretty obvious to even the most ardent anti-Melo folks that he had a really good year last year and, more importantly, was pretty valuable to the team.

  80. Z-man

    Robert Silverman: Again, the writers here have all said they were wrong about Lin (and right/wrong about a host of other issues. We try to be humble about it, but we’re going to continue making predictions/evaluating deals.

    Sorry, I must have missed it, and if so, I apologize for belaboring it. I have no problem with predictions and evaluations of deals, whether from the writers or the forum, so long as the tone is not absolutist and condescending, as it was with Lin back then and in this post before it was first defended, then edited .

  81. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    johnno: And I don’t think that you understand that the Knicks were 47-18 with Melo in the lineup and 7-10 without him in the lineup last year.I don’t care how many wins the “advanced” metrics say that he produced —it should be pretty obvious to even the most ardent anti-Melo folks that he had a really good year last year and, more importantly, was pretty valuable to the team.

    Maybe, but opportunity cost…

  82. KnickfaninNJ

    lavor postell:
    Also just wanted to mention I was in Ann Arbor last weekend for the first football game of the year and I’m out at dinner last night rocking my Knicks flat brim as I only have the confidence to do after a full day of excessive drinking when our own Tim Hardaway Jr. walks in to the restaurant along with his agent Mark Bartelstein.

    He then approaches me as he’s walking to his table and says go New York which I acknowledge and mumble back to him as best I could.After I finish my beer I’m about to order another one, because fuck it why not, when my server brings one over to me before I even have a chance to order.She tells me somebody took care of it for me and before I have the chance to ask points over at his table and he gives me a little head nod.Just thought I’d share.

    cool story.

  83. iserp

    The Honorable Cock Jowles
    You cannot tell the difference between a guy who hits 54/100 shots and one who hits 58/100 shots (you sure as hell can’t do it without recording “stats,” and you won’t notice when players on opposing teams get a few extra offensive rebounds each game because of Bargnani’s shitty defensive rebounding, but it will show up in the team’s point differential. It will be a silent killer.

    You are not fair to eye-test. Sure it is difficult to differentiate 54/100 and 58/100. But you can get a notion of good shots and bad shots. For example, you can tell before the ball exits Melo’s hand whether it has been a good shot or a bad shot. And problably, if you thought it was a good shot, it enters 70% of the time, and if it was a bad shot, it enters 30% of the time. So you can asses some other variables other than %TS, like if some teammate is using Melo to bail him out… or if Melo is taking a contested jump shot early in the clock (and the coach should warn him about those shots). Also, you can differentiate if Melo is better against certain defenders or not. You can tell whether Durant passed on certain shots for the glory of his efficiency stats and that was bad for his team. Those things don’t appear in %TS but are important.

    Eye-test might not the best efficiency indicator out there; but i think it is a good indicator of fit. I don’t think Bargnani is gonna make the Knicks much better or worse, he is a bad defender but a good fit; and all in all, he is another rotation player we can rely on, which is good, since last year we had so many injuries.

  84. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    iserp: You are not fair to eye-test. Sure it is difficult to differentiate 54/100 and 58/100. But you can get a notion of good shots and bad shots. For example, you can tell before the ball exits Melo’s hand whether it has been a good shot or a bad shot. And problably, if you thought it was a good shot, it enters 70% of the time, and if it was a bad shot, it enters 30% of the time. So you can asses some other variables other than %TS, like if some teammate is using Melo to bail him out… or if Melo is taking a contested jump shot early in the clock (and the coach should warn him about those shots). Also, you can differentiate if Melo is better against certain defenders or not. You can tell whether Durant passed on certain shots for the glory of his efficiency stats and that was bad for his team. Those things don’t appear in %TS but are important.

    If you can do all of these things accurately in each given moment and then store them to tabulate them and analyze them, you, my friend, are a fucking super-genius and you should not be wasting your time posting on Knickerblogger.com. I’m not kidding. You are asking the human brain to do things that are nearly impossible to do.

    Also, there’s no such thing as a “good shot” or a “bad shot.” That’s a false dilemma. There are inefficient shot attempts, but it’s a spectrum, not predetermined values.

    And I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a whole lot of bricks from NBA players in shooting competitions. That’s with no defense. What makes you think that a “good shot” would be 70% and a “bad shot” would be 30%?

    And what makes you think that Durant passes on inefficient shots because of the “glory of his efficiency stats?” Journalistic anecdote? Message board chatter?

  85. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I don’t think you understand that the difference between a 0.050 WP/48 and a 0.100 WP/48 player is likely a few points of TS% and a few extra rebounds and steals per game.

    If Carmelo didn’t take the shots he took, someone else would have taken them. The Knicks wouldn’t have played 5 on 4.

    I get your overall point, but consider these factors:

    1) The Knicks overall TS as a team was 55 last year. Melo’s was 56. So on average shots not taken by Melo were less efficient.

    2) The Knicks offense was 5 points / 100 possessions better with Melo on the floor even with his usage being 34+. This beneficial effect persisted (to varying degrees) regardless of who was on the floor with him. At least on quick checks at nbawowy.com, there was no combination (that played any sort of significant minutes) that scored better with Melo off the floor.

    3) At the end of the day, your offensive impact HAS to be measured by whether your team’s offense was better with you or without you. Whatever WoW and thenbageek.com say, those are MODELS and not what actually happened. If models were all that mattered in this world, we wouldn’t have had the Great Recession, flash crashes, etc. Models are just predictions.

    Very difficult to suggest that Melo didn’t have a great year (at least offensively). Could he have been better? Sure. Could he have passed more? Sure. Could he have taken fewer pullup J’s in isolation? Sure. But overall impact was obviously positive.

  86. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And what makes you think that Durant passes on inefficient shots because of the “glory of his efficiency stats?” Journalistic anecdote? Message board chatter?

    Durant has actually said this in interviews – that if he’s having an inefficient night, he’ll pass up end of quarter shots, etc. So if his own words are “journalistic anecdotes” then I guess yes, “journalistic anecdotes”.

    And by the way – don’t think that the “advanced stats” movement in the sports press hasn’t gone unnoticed by NBA players and their agents. You can game the advanced stats movement just like you could the “dumb stats” movement.

  87. johnno

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I don’t think you understand that the difference between a 0.050 WP/48 and a 0.100 WP/48 player is likely a few points of TS% and a few extra rebounds and steals per game

    This also points out one of the big problems with relying exclusively on statistics and ignoring context. For example, let’s say that a guy takes 20 shots a game and normally hits 50%. However, let’s say that, during the season, there was a 10 game stretch during which he was playing hurt and, instead of hitting 10 out of 20 shots, he only hit 5 out of 20 shots. That 10 game stretch would decrease his shooting percentage from 50% to under 47% for the year, which would have a dramatic impact on his win shares, wins produced, etc. It completely ignores that he was terrific for 72 games and underperformed in 10 games when he was hurt (and probably should not have been playing at all).

  88. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    johnno: This also points out one of the big problems with relying exclusively on statistics and ignoring context.For example, let’s say that a guy takes 20 shots a game and normally hits 50%.However, let’s say that, during the season, there was a 10 game stretch during which he was playing hurt and, instead of hitting 10 out of 20 shots, he only hit 5 out of 20 shots.That 10 game stretch would decrease his shooting percentage from 50% to under 47% for the year, which would have a dramatic impact on his win shares, wins produced, etc.It completely ignores that he was terrific for 72 games and underperformed in 10 games when he was hurt (and probably should not have been playing at all).

    Good point, and I think trying to figure out the distribution of a player’s performances would be interesting. Sort of a game-by-game tracker. Still, unless you have specific information about injuries, it’s going to be hard to extract the “accurate” narrative from the noise.

  89. flossy

    flossy: Who would have those shots, hmm?Jason Kidd, he of the sub .300 fg% for weeks at a time?Tyson Chandler, who attempted roughly one FG outside the restricted area evey two games?Ronnie Brewer, who, I can’t even finish that sentence with a straight face?Which .100 WP could have shouldered Melo’s share of the offense and done a better job?

    Hello out there? Still not hearing an answer on this one, Jowles. Can I take that to mean you believe the Knicks would be substantially better with Josh McRoberts (.99 WP/48) getting all of the minutes that went to Carmelo Anthony (.44 WP/48)? Is that what you meant by opportunity cost? Missing out on ol’ McBob?

  90. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank: I get your overall point, but consider these factors:

    1) The Knicks overall TS as a team was 55 last year. Melo’s was 56. So on average shots not taken by Melo were less efficient.

    2) The Knicks offense was 5 points / 100 possessions better with Melo on the floor even with his usage being 34+. This beneficial effect persisted (to varying degrees) regardless of who was on the floor with him.At least on quick checks at nbawowy.com, there was no combination (that played any sort of significant minutes) that scored better with Melo off the floor.

    3) At the end of the day, your offensive impact HAS to be measured by whether your team’s offense was better with you or without you. Whatever WoW and thenbageek.com say, those are MODELS and not what actually happened. If models were all that mattered in this world, we wouldn’t have had the Great Recession, flash crashes, etc. Models are just predictions.

    Very difficult to suggest that Melo didn’t have a great year (at least offensively). Could he have been better? Sure. Could he have passed more? Sure. Could he have taken fewer pullup J’s in isolation? Sure. But overall impact was obviously positive.

    Still, 56% vs. 55% is not exactly a huge margin. Considering that Chandler provided huge value in limited shot attempts, the Knicks had some truly awful chuckers on the books.

    Would the Knicks be a better team with Carmelo injured all year? Almost certainly not. Would the Knicks be a better team without his $19.45M on the books and with all those draft picks back? I don’t know. Ask the Nuggets how they’ve been doing.

  91. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: Hello out there?Still not hearing an answer on this one, Jowles.Can I take that to mean you believe the Knicks would be substantially better with Josh McRoberts (.99 WP/48) getting all of the minutes that went to Carmelo Anthony (.44 WP/48)?Is that what you meant by opportunity cost?Missing out on ol’ McBob?

    Anthony didn’t have a 0.044 WP48. He played SF, too. Do you think that Josh McRoberts earns his stats less than Carmelo Anthony does? That somehow players rebound harder against the one 6’8″ guy than they do against the other 6’10” guy?

    I know that you’re all worked up and bothered all the time — like in literally every post you make — but you might want to go take a walk and do some deep breathing in a paper bag. It might help.

  92. iserp

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Also, there’s no such thing as a “good shot” or a “bad shot.” That’s a false dilemma. There are inefficient shot attempts, but it’s a spectrum, not predetermined values.

    Really? let’ say that Melo pump fakes and then shots, and one of these things happen.

    – The defender bites the fake, Melo shots comfortably. When i see this, i’d say it is a high percentage shot.
    – The defender holds, and the contests Melo real shot. I’d say this is a low percentage shot.

    I think i don’t have to be a genius to distinguish that before Melo’s shot goes off. And i also can be aware that there are defenders that are swayed more easily than others. I cannot compound this into a number (Well, maybe i could, but nobody’s gonna pay me for that), but it works. Not all shots are the same, so you can get some information just classifying them. The problem is not that eye-test does not work… the problem is that it is hard to quantify. Now, SportVU and all these technologies will help automatizing what you would have to do just just by eye.

  93. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Not all shots are the same. Yes, that is what I said. But it is a spectrum of expected efficiency, and that is what is hard to ascertain.

  94. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Anthony didn’t have a 0.044 WP48. He played SF, too. Do you think that Josh McRoberts earns his stats less than Carmelo Anthony does? That somehow players rebound harder against the one 6’8? guy than they do against the other 6’10? guy?

    I know that you’re all worked up and bothered all the time — like in literally every post you make — but you might want to go take a walk and do some deep breathing in a paper bag. It might help.

    This is classic straw-man stuff here — as if you think flossy was really talking about how hard someone rebounded against Melo or McRoberts. He was talking about the laughable idea that McRoberts creates more wins per 48 minutes than Melo does. It’s just ridiculous. Just look at this list of players that WP48 thinks produce more wins than Melo:
    http://www.thenbageek.com/players?direction=desc&positions%5B%5D=PF&sort=%22WP48%22

    Tyler Hansbrough?
    Tristan Thompson?
    Udonis Haslem!?!?!?
    Thaddeus “Chucker” Young?
    Lamar “Cokehead” Odom?
    Earl Clark?

    And re: Melo playing SF — if one can believe 82games, they have Melo logging 80% of his minutes in the 12-13 season at PF. So I don’t think WP can hide behind that.

  95. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank: This is classic straw-man stuff here — as if you think flossy was really talking about how hard someone rebounded against Melo or McRoberts. He was talking about the laughable idea that McRoberts creates more wins per 48 minutes than Melo does. It’s just ridiculous. Just look at this list of players that WP48 thinks produce more wins than Melo:

    See, I don’t think it’s laughable. If McRoberts is completing productive plays on the basketball court, he’s achieving a certain level of production.

    You say that it’s a straw-man, but then you say, “WP48’s conclusion is just laughable.” You’re begging the question.

  96. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Anthony didn’t have a 0.044 WP48. He played SF, too. Do you think that Josh McRoberts earns his stats less than Carmelo Anthony does? That somehow players rebound harder against the one 6’8? guy than they do against the other 6’10? guy?

    I know that you’re all worked up and bothered all the time — like in literally every post you make — but you might want to go take a walk and do some deep breathing in a paper bag. It might help.

    Hah, I’m hardly worked up, just a little incredulous at your logical acrobatics.

    Did you even read the NBA geek link you posted? The one that lists Carmelo as a PF (the position he played last year) and gave him .044 WP48 last season?

    Perhaps I’m just dense, but that suggests to me that Josh McRoberts (he of the .99 WP48) was substantially more productive on a per minute basis than Carmelo Anthony. If that’s not the case, would you care to explain it? If that is the case, can you please defend it (and without dissembling about salary–WP48 suggests McRoberts is better regardless of cost)? Because that assertion beggars belief and I don’t think a single other poster would agree that the Knicks would have won more games with McRoberts taking Carmelo’s minutes.

  97. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: See, I don’t think it’s laughable. If McRoberts is completing productive plays on the basketball court, he’s achieving a certain level of production.

    You say that it’s a straw-man, but then you say, “WP48?s conclusion is just laughable.” You’re begging the question.

    I need you to write with a straight face that you think the Knicks would have won 57 games last season if Josh McRoberts was the starting PF playing 2500 minutes rather than the 54 they won with Melo as the starting PF. Because that’s what the difference in WP48 would suggest.

    Seriously, do you think Felton, Kidd, Shumpert, McRoberts, and Tyson is the starting lineup of a 57 win team?

  98. Frank

    oops – JR suspended for 5 games for substance abuse. Wonder if it’s the cocaine Rihanna was talking about during the playoffs.

  99. flossy

    It’s one thing to question whether Carmelo is (as the general consensus goes) a top 10 player, worthy of a max contract, deserving of a perennial all star berth, etc. There are perfectly reasonable arguments to be made that he is overrated at least by those standards.

    But when you adamantly insist on the legitimacy of a metric that has Carmelo Anthony being less than half as productive on a per minute basis than even a generic league average player at his position, that’s when you start to sound, frankly, totally delusional. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would take McRoberts over Carmelo. I’m sure Daryl Morey, dork Elvis himself, would choke on his own tongue laughing over that one. I’m not “worked up,” I genuinely feel bad for anyone who can’t take a step back and admit the fallibility of their ideology even against all reason and in the most extreme cases.

  100. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: But when you adamantly insist on the legitimacy of a metric that has Carmelo Anthony being less than half as productive on a per minute basis than even a generic league average player at his position, that’s when you start to sound, frankly, totally delusional. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would take McRoberts over Carmelo. I’m sure Daryl Morey, dork Elvis himself, would choke on his own tongue laughing over that one. I’m not “worked up,” I genuinely feel bad for anyone who can’t take a step back and admit the fallibility of their ideology even against all reason and in the most extreme cases.

    Carmelo Anthony did not play PF for 100% of his minutes last year. That tool provides the ability to adjust raw WP48 with position-adjusted WP48. Furthermore, you still don’t seem to understand what “half as productive” means. It doesn’t mean that McRoberts shot 50% and Carmelo Anthony shot 25%. The range of values between all NBA players is quite narrow, and slight changes in per-minute productivity mean huge differences in WP48. As I’ve said, the difference between a 65% TS shooter and a 55 TS% shooter is sometimes one additional 2-pointer a game, and that’s the difference between a 0.300 WP48 player and a 0.100 WP48 player. This is not an absurd concept. Isn’t it crazy how LeBron James can contribute to wins three times as well as the average player, yet he’s not scoring three times the points or collecting three times the rebounds? It’s amazing, I know, but that’s how marginal value works.

    All reason? I don’t feel the need to respond to such short-minded and fallacious arguments. I certainly don’t feel the need to respond to the “laughingstock” defense. Feel bad for me.

  101. flossy

    A .100 WP48 player contributes twice as much to his team’s success on a per minute basis as a .050 WP48 player. That’s pretty cut and dried. And if you honestly, truly believe that Josh McRoberts (whose TS was 4 percent worse than Carmelo btw) is the former and Melo is the latter, then I do feel bad for you, because either your understanding of basketball is fundamentally broken in some way or you feel compelled for reasons of ideological partisanship to defend any result of the WP model no matter how obviously wrong. I suspect it’s the latter, since you don’t seem to have the courage of your convictions to explicitly say that even at equal salary, any NBA team would be better off giving PF minutes to Josh McRoberts instead of Carmelo Anthony despite the fact that WP48 doesn’t leave much room for interpretation on that point.

  102. Frank

    I don’t think flossy said that Melo scored 2x as many points or was twice as efficient. He just said twice as productive. You’re the one that assumed that’s what he meant.

    If you don’t have an answer for the question, just say so. Don’t hide behind “I don’t need to answer that”. It’s obvious you don’t have a satisfactory answer to whether Josh McRoberts starting at the 4 would lead to a 57 win team rather than a 54 win team.

    And btw Melo played 80% of his minutes at PF. That’s not 100% but its still the vast majority of his minutes.

    Look- I think WP is interesting. I think it makes a good point that some guys may be over or undervalued. But this crusade you’re on just makes you look ridiculous. IMHO.

  103. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank:
    I don’t think flossy said that Melo scored 2x as many points or was twice as efficient. He just said twice as productive. You’re the one that assumed that’s what he meant.

    If you don’t have an answer for the question, just say so. Don’t hide behind “I don’t need to answer that”. It’s obvious you don’t have a satisfactory answer to whether Josh McRoberts starting at the 4 would lead to a 57 win team rather than a 54 win team.

    And btw Melo played 80% of his minutes at PF. That’s not 100% but its still the vast majority of his minutes.

    Look- I think WP is interesting. I think it makes a good point that some guys may be over or undervalued. But this crusade you’re on just makes you look ridiculous.IMHO.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers were 29th in the league in 2011-12 with a .463 eFG%. Carmelo Anthony’s eFG% was .463. There is no usage in which I can call that efficient scoring. You have to believe that Carmelo Anthony makes everyone around him substantially more efficient to think that his shooting efficiency is okay. WP48 does not hold that assumption, and neither do I. You do. What do you want me to say? Do you want me to laugh at the (reasonable) assumption that I hold?

    Josh McRoberts is not a good scorer either, but his stats are not magically inflated because he is Josh McRoberts and he is not on Sportscenter (ever) and he doesn’t shoot a lot. I don’t think that NBA teams treat him like a scrub because he is in the NBA and, yes, he can score the basketball. I know this because I see it in the box score. Your assumption and mine do not match up. What do you want me to do? Do you want me to laugh at the (reasonable) assumption that I hold?

  104. Frank

    It’s interesting that you choose eFG when it’s convenient for you and TS when you want to make a different point. Why don’t we use the
    metric that matters- Melo had the highest usage on the team that had the 3rd best offense in the NBA. Somehow despite having the same eFG as the Cavs the Knicks had a great offense. Maye it has something to do with free throws- not counted in EFG. Or maybe having a very low turnover rate- not counted in eFG.

  105. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank:
    It’s interesting that you choose eFG when it’s convenient for you and TS when you want to make a different point. Why don’t we use the
    metric that matters- Melo had the highest usage on the team that had the 3rd best offense in the NBA. Somehow despite having the same eFG as the Cavs the Knicks had a great offense. Maye it has something to do with free throws- not counted in EFG. Or maybe having a very low turnover rate- not counted in eFG.

    I don’t have team TS% values. In 2011-12, the Knicks were 7th in FTM/FGA (0.227), but I’m guessing that had something more to do with Tyson Chandler’s ridiculous .611 FTM/FGA (on 355 FGA) than Anthony’s .358 (on 1025 FGA).

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