Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Expected

Sometimes a commenter makes an point that inspires an article. I could have written this in the comments section, but I think it deserves an post of it’s own. Yesterday BigBlueAL wrote:

Look I have praised David Lee alot this season because he has improved his offense alot in terms of hitting that baseline jumper a bit more consistantly and being able to drive more often w/o getting his shot sent into the stands. But his numbers to me are a huge reflection of this system and Randolph being traded. Defensively he is still horrible and is not going to be anywhere near worth what his salary will most likely reach if you are trying to put together a championship caliber team.

Again I like David Lee and dont like ripping him, but please he is not a starting PF on a championship team. He is what his and Nate’s role should be, 20-25 minute players who bring energy off the bench. Those players are very important on good teams, but they are easier to find than go-to, superstar type players which is clearly what the Knicks are lacking and have lacked since Houston/Spree were together.

Unlike baseball where I have vast knowledge of sabermetrics and such in basketball I dont look at stats beyond the basics as much as I should, although being an ESPN Insider I do like reading John Hollinger and becoming more aware of more analytical basketball stats.

I have a theory on why David Lee is underrated from a visual perspective. Two of the things he does well are “expected”: rebounding and finishing around the hoop. Every time the other team misses a shot you expect your team to get the rebound. So when David Lee comes flying in to secure the rebound, it’s expected that the he does it. It’s not an act that is remembered or noted because it’s counted upon. Compare this to when Jamal Crawford sinks an impossible shot. Those memories usually stick in someone’s mind because of the rareness of the act. Yet most people don’t remember when Crawford misses a shot, since missing a shot is commonplace and an expected result.

But watching last night’s game against the Thunder, down the stretch Lee’s defensive rebounding was excellent. If you were concentrating on him, it was amazing watching his positioning and tenacity. There were a few rebounds that I don’t think any other Knick (or most big men in the league) would have secured. I honestly don’t think the Knicks would have been in yesterday’s game at the end if it weren’t for Lee’s rebounding.

The same goes for his inside scoring. Fill in the blank in the following sentence: Chris Duhon drives the lane and is double teamed, so he passes to an open David Lee who…

{Have your answer?}

Depending on your imagination you might say:
* dunks the ball.
* makes a reverse left handed layup.
* draws the foul for 2 shots.
* makes the buckets and draws the foul.

Now fill in the blank on this sentence: Chris Duhon drives the lane and is double teamed, so he passes to an open Jared Jeffries who…

{Have your answer?}

This time your answer will probably differ from Lee and you might say:
* fumbles the pass.
* blows the layup.
* scores with a nice finger roll (Jeffrightened style!).

Depending on the player you would have a different result. Yet Lee doesn’t seem to get credit for being able to catch a pass in traffic and score around the hoop. It’s because it seems to be such an easy act that it’s expected that he does so. Yet few players in the league can be as successful Lee, when performing this action. Now if you think I’m using a strawman argument with Jeffries, then replace Lee with Chandler or Curry. Chandler is more likely to take a turnaround jumper instead of going inside and isn’t very likely to draw a foul. Meanwhile Curry is more apt to either fumble the ball or commit an offensive charging foul.

David Lee’s rebounding and efficient inside scoring (without turning the ball over) is valuable because there aren’t a lot of players in the league that do those things at such a high level. That makes him a valuable starter level player, even with his defensive shortcomings. Hence why the Knicks have entertained so many offers for Lee from other teams. Of course everything depends on context, he would need to be paired with a strong defensive center. But as for Lee not being a good starter on a championship team, don’t you think the Spurs would love to have him on their team right now? Currently their PFs are Matt Bonner, Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto (who pushes Duncan to PF).

However, the more relevant point I’m trying to make is that it’s hard to catch these things with the naked eye. As Michael Lewis wrote in Moneyball:

One absolutely cannot tell, by watching, the difference between a .300 hitter and a .275 hitter. The difference is one hit every two weeks. It might be that a reporter, seeing every game that the team plays, could sense that difference over the course of the year if no records were kept, but I doubt it. Certainly the average fan, seeing perhaps a tenth of the team’s games, could never gauge two performances that accurately-in fact if you see both 15 games a year, there is a 40% chance that the .275 hitter will have more hits than the .300 hitter in the games that you see. The difference between a good hitter and an average hitter is simply not visible-it is a matter of record.

Similarly observers might not be able to differentiate between a player has a TS% of 60 and one that has a TS% of 55. And the value of player who averages 11.7 reb/36 might not be noticeable. But it’s undeniable that these stats correlate to winning, more than the naked eye would believe. To make an analogy to baseball David Lee might be the .280 hitting shortstop with a handful of few home runs, but has a strong .OBP, hits a lot of doubles, and doesn’t make a lot of errors (but maybe doesn’t have a lot of range or a great arm). For decades things like OBP, SLG, etc. were not valued by generations of baseball fans. And much like baseball, unless you’re looking at the advanced stats, you might not be able to see the value David Lee gives a team.

104 comments on “The Expected

  1. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Note to BigBlueAL – I hope you’re not offended that I used your comments. The juxtaposition of your baseball/basketball views just inspired these ideas. And I’m inclined to agree that Lee’s defensive shortcomings might make him less valuable than his stats might indicate. Nonetheless I feel until you put Lee’s scoring and rebounding in the proper light, it’s hard to make that adjustment.

    BTW Thank you for the compliments on the site. It’s much appreciated.

  2. Frank

    Totally agree. I’m not necessarily one of the Lee-lovers here but I am continually amazed by how well he positions himself for both scoring opportunities and rebounds. Especially when you compare him to players such as Harrington or Curry, who are taller and more athletic. I’d love to keep Lee at $10MM/year but I’m just not sure whether a lineup like:

    PG: Duhon at mid-level (or Nash at mid-level)?
    SG: Nate? at $6MM. Or maybe 2nd-tier 2010 FA?
    SF/PF: Chandler
    SF/PF: Lebron
    PF/C: Lee
    Bench: Gallinari, Curry, Jefferies

    is good enough to get it done in 2010 and beyond.
    As opposed to:

    PG: Duhon at mid-level (or Nash at mid-level?)
    SG: Nate at $6MM
    SF/PF: Lebron
    SF/PF: Chandler
    PF/C: Amare or Bosh
    Bench: Gallinari, Jefferies, etc. (Assuming Lee and Curry need to be moved together to clear Curry’s contract for 2010).

    Call me crazy but I’d rather have team 2 than team 1. Bosh is a great rebounder, Amare less so, but Lebron and Chandler are excellent rebounders for their positions so it’d be less of an issue.

    That being said, if Donnie does some forecasting and thinks Dwight Howard might actually be get-able in 2011 when Jefferies and Curry come off the books, I’d rather have him than either Bosh or Amare. Still don’t know whether we’d have enough space to keep Lee in that scenario though.

  3. jon abbey

    I disagree with that Michael Lewis quote, I think most serious baseball fans watch their teams 150+ games each season and have a sense not only of the difference between a .300 and a .275 hitter, but a much more nuanced sense of how likely they are to come through in different situations.

    on an unrelated note, I thought briefly last night (based on a review) that Michael Lewis had used an article I wrote for Time Magazine in 1996 in his new book, but it turned out that wasn’t the case (as the ensuing mini-crash wasn’t one of the four ones he covered).

    back to Lee, I think there’s a lot of truth in that. I recall in the heyday of Patrick Ewing, it was often surprising to see his numbers at the end of the game. it was easy to forget some of the shots he made since you were so used to seeing them go in.

  4. ess-dog

    Lee is starting to resemble Kevin McHale: not sexy but smart enough to beat you to spots. An innate sense of the game. His defense is a little worrisome still. He played great D against the Celts, but had a tougher time agains OKC. I think if you build the right team around him, he’s a keeper (i.e., add an athletic shot-blocking center who can score like Bosh.) He’s getting to where he can hit the open J, his timing on the pick and roll is outstanding, and the positioning on rebounding is almost best in the league. I think, based on his growth, that he could add shotblocking to his tool bag and maybe a baby hook to boot.

    Also, do you think Denver would do this:

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=26~1002~2444~990~2782&teams=18~18~18~7~7&te=&cash=

  5. italian stallion

    I’ve come to the conclusion that certain types of players will always generate strong opposing views depending on whether the people discussing them are more stats oriented in their evaluations or more visual/chemistry oriented in their analysis and have a lot of practical experience playing the game.

    The two types are:

    1. Moderate scoring, low usage, but highly efficient players that do some other thing well (like either rebound, block shots, play especially good defense, get assits etc..)

    2. High scoring, high usage, athletic, “go to” guys whose EFG% is not nearly as impressive as some of the other players in the league that score less.

    It seems to me that both camps spend a lot of time trying to point out the shortcomings of other methods of evaluting players (including stats guys arguing among each other about their own models) that they miss the obvious fact that there are shortcomings and strengths all these things whether they are statistics, visual skills, team chemistry analysis, actual experience playing the sport or competing at a high level etc…

    I know I often use my experience with horse racing to make a point, but I see the exact same thing all the time.

    There are speed handicappers, trip handicappers, class handicappers etc…. and they spend so much time debating and arguing the merits of each method, they never bother drawing on the strengths of each method into a comprehensive approach that actually explains many of the things that none of the individual methods can cope with well on their own.

  6. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    I disagree with that Michael Lewis quote, I think most serious baseball fans watch their teams 150+ games each season and have a sense not only of the difference between a .300 and a .275 hitter, but a much more nuanced sense of how likely they are to come through in different situations.

    I think a lot of people think they could tell, but they probably can’t. You most likely think you can, because their stats are constantly being reinforced in your head. Every time the batter steps to the plate, his stats are flashed on the screen. In the boxscore, they now put his BA next to his name. Just about every fan could go up & down their roster & tell you, with close approximation, each player’s batting average. But is this because they can sense it or those numbers are being constantly reinforced in their mind.

    I’ll give you a perfect example of this. I’ve been playing softball with two different groups for a few years now. I know just about everyone’s tendencies (pull, power, spray, speed, etc), but I’ll be darned if I could tell you anyone’s batting average. And we play much less than 162 games a year.

  7. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    It seems to me that both camps spend a lot of time trying to point out the shortcomings of other methods of evaluting players (including stats guys arguing among each other about their own models) that they miss the obvious fact that there are shortcomings and strengths all these things whether they are statistics, visual skills, team chemistry analysis, actual experience playing the sport or competing at a high level etc…
    I know I often use my experience with horse racing to make a point, but I see the exact same thing all the time…

    I did mention the shortcomings of Lee. Do you actually read the articles/comments anymore or do you just come here to let everyone know that you bet on horses?

  8. italian stallion

    Mike,

    I don’t disagree with anything you said about Lee. To be honest I’d rather not debate this kind of stuff anymore because it’s not going to change anyone’s mind, it’s time consuming, and I consider myself in the middle on these issues (just not in the middle on a stats oriented blog).

    Read what you said here:

    “But watching last night’s game against the Thunder, down the stretch Lee’s defensive rebounding was excellent. If you were concentrating on him, it was amazing watching his positioning and tenacity. There were a few rebounds that I don’t think any other Knick (or most big men in the league) would have secured. I honestly don’t think the Knicks would have been in yesterday’s game at the end if it weren’t for Lee’s rebounding.”

    You basically admitted that you used your visual skills to verify the stats and determine how valuable a rebounder etc… Lee can be. So perhaps your assumption that someone else not using stats can’t see some of these same things is not correct.

    To begin with, the presumption that all people have equal visual skills is false. Visual skills are both a natural talent and something that can be developed with time and experience.

    In horse racing, there are people with stratospheric IQs that can calculate the most sophisticated pace and speed figures that can’t tell the difference between a 5K claimer and the best horse in the country when watching them run. There are also people that can visually see talent, pace, mild acceleration, how close to its max a horse is running etc…. but can’t do much more than basic arithmetic.

    I’m sure those same kinds of talents/skills come into play in basketball too even though I am not experienced or skilled enough at either to know.

    In horse racing though, the very smartest guys draw on the expertise and techniques of people that have talents and skills that they do not possess to maximize their results.

    OK, I’ll drop this and go back to my gambling at AQU today. I have a horse later in the day with my top figures that was also visually impressive. ;-)

  9. Thomas B.

    The thing with lee right now is that he alone is the entire front line. He is does the duty – especially on the defensive glass – of both the center and the PF. For example in last night’s game there were a couple of boards he could not get cleanly because two Thunder front court players were battling with him for the board. Had the Knicks fielded and effective second front court rebounder, that person would (should) have boxed out one of the players that crashed Lee. Or that other rebounder would have drwn one of the Thunder off Lee.

    Now my initial reaction to Lee losing the rebound -in the heat of the game mind you- was “Ow c’mon, get the damn rebound.” But now that I think about why he lost the rebound, I’m not upset. He needs help up front. Curry is a poor rebounder but the other team would have to at the least keep a body near him.

    Sure Lee’s D looks bad at times when he is the only frontcourt player making an attempt at rotating to stop penetration. He is also playing center and giving up 3 inches most nights.

    Look at Lee’s PF help since he Randolph was traded. Of Chandler, Harrington, and Thomas, I’d say Chandler was the best rebounder of the group. And none of that group boxes out. Chandler and to a lesser extent Harrington get some rebounds via effort. Thomas dose not even bother. JJ helps a bit on defense and the boards but he is such a zero on offense that the defense can leave him and bring more defenders in the lane.

    Keep in mind that Lee has led the team in rebounding in 18 of 19 games since Randolph was traded. Who else on this team could do that? Many of us spend so much time wanting Lee to be what he is not that we forget just how valuable he is.

    I say give Lee his 60 million over 6 years. We can still get a top tier free agent in 2010, then after JJ and Curry come off the books we go after another top tier free agent in 2011.

  10. jon abbey
    I disagree with that Michael Lewis quote, I think most serious baseball fans watch their teams 150+ games each season and have a sense not only of the difference between a .300 and a .275 hitter, but a much more nuanced sense of how likely they are to come through in different situations.

    I think a lot of people think they could tell, but they probably can’t. You most likely think you can, because their stats are constantly being reinforced in your head. Every time the batter steps to the plate, his stats are flashed on the screen. In the boxscore, they now put his BA next to his name. Just about every fan could go up & down their roster & tell you, with close approximation, each player’s batting average. But is this because they can sense it or those numbers are being constantly reinforced in their mind.
    I’ll give you a perfect example of this. I’ve been playing softball with two different groups for a few years now. I know just about everyone’s tendencies (pull, power, spray, speed, etc), but I’ll be darned if I could tell you anyone’s batting average. And we play much less than 162 games a year.

    yeah, I was going to bring that up, but I think it’s superseded by my (I guess implicit) point that pure batting average isn’t a very telling stat anyway.

    anyway, you and I disagree about this type of thing all the time, and I can only really say what’s true for me, not for the world as a whole. I’m pretty sure even Michael Lewis would admit there are exceptions to his general rules.

    on another note, Kevin McHale was one of the best post scorers of all time. for all his strengths, David Lee is not starting to resemble Kevin McHale (thankfully for whoever he’s dating).

  11. italian stallion
    It seems to me that both camps spend a lot of time trying to point out the shortcomings of other methods of evaluting players (including stats guys arguing among each other about their own models) that they miss the obvious fact that there are shortcomings and strengths all these things whether they are statistics, visual skills, team chemistry analysis, actual experience playing the sport or competing at a high level etc…I know I often use my experience with horse racing to make a point, but I see the exact same thing all the time…

    I did mention the shortcomings of Lee. Do you actually read the articles/comments anymore or do you just come here to let everyone know that you bet on horses?

    Mike,

    I agreed with your analysis of Lee.

    Do you actually read anything I have to say or are you so programmed to attack anyone that doesn’t think that stats alone are the way, light and truth that you can’t have a conversation.

    Seriously, I think you take some comments WAY too personal.

    I said IMO there are shortcomings to visual skills and shortcomings to stats, but if you use a more comprehensive approach and draw upon the strengths of each, you can sometimes overcome those shortcomings and former better opinions.

  12. Sid_Rissi

    Although I agree with most of what you said, I remember if a player delivers in the clutch much more than whether he hits an extra base hit every 2 weeks. Arod, I am looking at you.
    Lee is a complimentary player, he is not a go to guy. He does the little things well, his defense sucks as you said. that’s why I think he is replaceable. As much as I love his work ethic, the knicks need a lot of help and he is the only chip they got to acquire that clutch player.

  13. ess-dog
    I disagree with that Michael Lewis quote, I think most serious baseball fans watch their teams 150+ games each season and have a sense not only of the difference between a .300 and a .275 hitter, but a much more nuanced sense of how likely they are to come through in different situations.

    I think a lot of people think they could tell, but they probably can’t. You most likely think you can, because their stats are constantly being reinforced in your head. Every time the batter steps to the plate, his stats are flashed on the screen. In the boxscore, they now put his BA next to his name. Just about every fan could go up & down their roster & tell you, with close approximation, each player’s batting average. But is this because they can sense it or those numbers are being constantly reinforced in their mind.
    I’ll give you a perfect example of this. I’ve been playing softball with two different groups for a few years now. I know just about everyone’s tendencies (pull, power, spray, speed, etc), but I’ll be darned if I could tell you anyone’s batting average. And we play much less than 162 games a year.

    yeah, I was going to bring that up, but I think it’s superseded by my (I guess implicit) point that pure batting average isn’t a very telling stat anyway.
    anyway, you and I disagree about this type of thing all the time, and I can only really say what’s true for me, not for the world as a whole. I’m pretty sure even Michael Lewis would admit there are exceptions to his general rules.
    on another note, Kevin McHale was one of the best post scorers of all time. for all his strengths, David Lee is not starting to resemble Kevin McHale (thankfully for whoever he’s dating).

    Well he doesn’t have the height or the reach to be a post scorer on McHale’s level, but the rest of his game… and speaking of which, it’s surprising that Lee hasn’t developed any post moves yet despite pretty good leaping ability and on-court intelligence. His game seems to be more based on ball movement than 1-on-1 advantages.

  14. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    italian stallion – Right. I used visual observation to backup the statistics. So why would you write your first comment about how statistical people tend to miss visual evidence?

    Do you ever add anything tangible to the discussion, or do you just like to argue?

  15. italian stallion

    Mike,

    My original comment was an observation that certain types of players tend to be controversial when people discuss their value. IMO they seem to fall into two categories. Lee at one end and Allen Iverson at the other end. I thought that was pretty consistent with your view that visual people tend to under rate Lee. IMO, they also tend to over rate AI. However, the opposite may also be true. AI might be under rated by some stats guys.

    I was trying to identify both the cause and solution to these debates.

    IMO, it’s basically a methodology debate.

    IMO some things can be measured better than they can be seen and some things can be seen better than they can be measured. So depending on which camp you are in and what you are looking at, you will often come to different conclusions.

    That’s more or less an impartial observation.

    However, I do believe in general that both camps tend to get so dug in on their positions, they refuse to open themselves up to what the other side has to say and offer.

    That’s the real contribution I was trying to make.

    I didn’t mean that it a personal attack, but you do seem to take everything I have to say that way.

    On a blog where everyone worships AI because of his athleticism and scoring, I would probably point to some efficiency stats as a counter to their visual observations.

    I don’t consider my view that a comprehensive approach is best as something that should upset anyone.

  16. DRed

    I think arguing about whether or not Lee is a ‘go-to’ player or a ‘complementary’ player misses the point. David Lee is a good player. Maybe the only good player the Knicks have. Trading him for another good player doesn’t solve the Knicks main problem, which is their lack of good players.

  17. cgreene

    Mike, great post on the value of Lee. My colleague at work and I have been discussing this all morning. (By the way I stand in the really good visual understanding with less of an understanding of advanced stats category of commenters and saw exactly what you saw last night and in previous games which is Lee’s ability to rebound in traffic.)

    I wanted to add a couple of thoughts to the post:
    1) Maybe I am missing something and I know that 99.9% of the time the athlete will decline. Why not offer Lee a deal for less than his market value say $40M over 6 years and offer him an ETO after year 3 (after we have whatever FAs we are going to get in 2010) and then we can re-up with him and he will have his Bird rights so we can pay him over the cap or let him go? At least make him the offer NOW so we see if we can keep him.
    2) What we can’t figure out is who else is on the team in after 2010. No one has done a post on what the entire roster might look like within the cap boundaries for 15 players. Do a version with Lee and w/o Lee.

    PS: Howard Beck of The NYTimes wrote an interesting piece about how Curry and Lee’s situations were very inter-related.

    Anyway. Thanks.

  18. Frank

    So is there something personal between you two that we don’t know about?

    As usual I will back IS on this little tiff. Mike has said several times before in other threads that observation is a very poor way of measuring an event, that those of that believe in using observation to inform our opinion should go read forensic textbooks. So that’s fine– I can accept that point of view. But in the Lee example above you use your visual observations to support your point, which in essence what IS and others have done at times to support their points about, say Chandler and Curry for instance. IMO You can’t have it both ways– essentially insult people who watch the game and use what they see to judge players, then come back and do the same thing as they’re doing to support your favorite player when it suits you.

  19. italian stallion

    IMO, if the Knicks had two all stars people wouldn’t spend so much time discussing Lee. The discussion would be limited to whether or not resign him and for how much, but it wouldn’t be seen as a critical decision. He gets so much attention because he’s the Knicks best player.

    Robinson also gets a lot of attention, but at best he’s a good 6th man.

    It understandable though. The team sucks and if we discussed Curry, Jeffries, Rose, Roberson, QRich etc… we’d all want to throw up.

  20. italian stallion

    Frank,

    >So is there something personal between you two that we don’t know about?<

    Not from my side.

    I tend to be a contrarian. I’ve never seen the value in saying the same things that everyone else is already saying. It’s sort of cultish. Sometimes, “devil’s advocates” are unpopular on message boards. I’m obviously wearing out my welcome here despite good intentions and a love of the Knicks.

    At least someone gets me. ;-)

  21. jon abbey

    “Do you ever add anything tangible to the discussion, or do you just like to argue?”

    why haven’t you banned him yet? I’ve been entirely skipping over his posts for weeks, they just clog discussion unnecessarily.

  22. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    So is there something personal between you two that we don’t know about?

    As usual I will back IS on this little tiff. Mike has said several times before in other threads that observation is a very poor way of measuring an event, that those of that believe in using observation to inform our opinion should go read forensic textbooks. So that’s fine– I can accept that point of view. But in the Lee example above you use your visual observations to support your point, which in essence what IS and others have done at times to support their points about, say Chandler and Curry for instance. IMO You can’t have it both ways– essentially insult people who watch the game and use what they see to judge players, then come back and do the same thing as they’re doing to support your favorite player when it suits you.

    Wait a second. I’ve always said that a person needs both observational and statistical evidence. It’s Italian Stallion that’s polarizing the groups. Look at his first comment. He paints two groups of people, ones that only look at stats and the other that only uses their eyes. He says both are blind to their own flaws.

    But this isn’t true. Over the last few years I’ve done both. I’ve watched at least 95% of all Knick games + other team’s games + playoff games. Doesn’t that alone mean I value observational evidence? Hell it would save me thousands of my own personal hours to just pick up the boxscores the next day. So why do I do that?

    Because I believe that observational analysis has merit. Do I think that it has flaws? Yes. Do I think stats has its own flaws? Yes.

    Maybe I concentrate more on the flaws of observation because if I don’t then who will? What percentage of people that cover the NBA have a basic understanding of pace or TS%? I’m waiting for the day when I turn on PTI and someone is telling Wilbon that maybe there’s a problem with only observing the game.

    Hey I do this in other areas/sports. In football I’m not particularly stat savvy. Hence I go to sites like footballoutsiders.com to get their statistical analysis. I can make my own or easily find observational analysis in a thousand other places. I go to FO to find out what I’m (and other people) are probably not seeing with their own eyes.

    Why wouldn’t I want someone that watched the games AND understands the stats? If you were investing your money wouldn’t you want someone that has a feel for the market & the ability to research it statistically OR would you rather have the guy from Mad Money?

  23. italian stallion

    “Do you ever add anything tangible to the discussion, or do you just like to argue?”
    why haven’t you banned him yet? I’ve been entirely skipping over his posts for weeks, they just clog discussion unnecessarily.

    There is no need to ban me. I can eventually tell when a group doesn’t appreciate my point of view because it isn’t consistent with the generally accepted ideas within it. I’ll stop posting.

    To be honest, I thought that promoting a blending of ideas and techniques would increase the quality of analysis and discussion if it wasn’t rejected and taken as a personal attack on a more statistical method of evaluating players and teams.

    Sorry if you guys feel that I clogged up space and didn’t contribute etc…but that wasn’t my intention.

    I’ll try to find a group that uses advanced stats as a tool and part of a broader analysis of players and teams where I can be more comfortable and appreciated instead if trying to create converts here.

  24. jon abbey

    “If you were investing your money wouldn’t you want someone that has a feel for the market & the ability to research it statistically OR would you rather have the guy from Mad Money?”

    that’s a bad example, I bet you’d have made a lot more money with Cramer over the last 20 years than you would have with most other people. I’ve personally been out of the market since 2000, but when I was in, I found his columns (on thestreet.com and in New York magazine then) easily the most insightful of anything available. like anyone, you don’t take his recommendations blindly (and they’re often short-term, I doubt that study you linked is especially nuanced) and you adapt them to your own positions and perspective.

    his TV personality is pretty awful, though, I think it was a mistake for him to ever do that.

  25. milt
    I’ve come to the conclusion that certain types of players will always generate strong opposing views depending on whether the people discussing them are more stats oriented in their evaluations or more visual/chemistry oriented in their analysis and have a lot of practical experience playing the game.

    I keep seeing this comment here and on other stats-heavy sites, and it’s really starting to bug me. Why do you assume that the average stathead basketball fan has less experience playing/watching the game? Any basketball statistician will tell you that watching (and, more importantly, understanding) the game is absolutely crucial. No matter how sound your method is, your conclusions are meaningless without observation to back them up.

    Hollinger is often accused of only looking at the numbers, but it’s obvious from his comments – especially in the Basketball Prospectus books, which were a one-man job – that he watches as many or more games that writers who go just on what they see. Also, he has an incredible record in spotting under-the-radar players before they start putting up huge numbers, and over-the-hill players before their game collapses.

    For an even better example, Kelly Dwyer’s game commentaries show that he understands the nuances of the game better than just about anyone. Even so, whenever he uses stats to support his case, there are always howls of derision by people who think they know the game better because they don’t bother trying to understand the numbers.

    That’s not to say that all statistical analysis is useful – Dave Berri’s basketball research contains the kind of fallacies, unsupported claims and general obscurantism that would be totally unacceptable in any other field.

    Still, it really annoys me that so many hoops fans think that their opinions are based on personal observation, when a lot of the time they’re a combination of prejudice, hometown bias and countless years of exposure to terrible basketball analysis.

  26. Thomas B.

    You can not look at stats in vacuum and you can not watch games with out the benefit of advance stats. Stats and observation form a symbiotic relationship. Each fills the gap in information left by the other.

    For example, there was a game in the NCAA this year where Stephen Curry, who averages 29 ppg was held scoreless in 32 minutes. Now just looking at the box score you can’t figure out why that happened because box scores don’t have a column for the number of minutes a player is double teamed. Curry was doubled the entire game even when he did not have the ball. Box scores (stats) don’t tell you everything. Stats are an end sum. The product of what occurred, but stats only capture that which is recorded. Watching the game tells you something about what the stat sheet contains.

    Conversely, no person can watch everything that goes on in every game. Sure, you might watch 1 or 2 games in which Anthony Randolph plays well and conclude that we should trade Lee for him. But the stats show you much of what you are not able to see for yourself. Sure Randolph was a beast the one game you watched but the stats say long term he is a poor passer and poor shooter.

    People come up with a theory based on an observation, and then they go and see if the numbers back up what they observed. That is how it works.

  27. italian stallion

    Mike,

    This will be my last comment, then I promise I will go for good.

    You and others may use observation, but an awful lot of time was spent criticizing my and other visual and other non-statistical observations. Some people also often took any comment pointing out the weaknesses of stats very personally. That’s what lead to most of the problems.

    I could just as easily have come to the table saying the same exact things as everyone else and been another useless poster (maybe even popular).

    Instead I tried to stress things I thought weren’t being accounted for properly by stats alone.

    I talked about Chandler’s work ethic, athleticism, age, inexperience last year and in college, visual signs of improvement etc… because they were positive qualities that IMO were not yet fully reflected in his stats and long term potential.

    I tried to point out things like Lee being hurt for 5-6 games early this season and how that negatively impacted his stats for this year in the short term, but how that could/would easily reverse itself when/if he recovered.

    I tried to point out the interrelationship between Zach and Lee being on the court at the same time and how it might impact Lee’s rebounding rate after the trade.

    I noted that Curry might improve out of the double and triple team if the Knicks didn’t have all bricklayers from the outside – explaining that it’s a chicken and egg situation. Curry was in a very bad position a couple of years ago despite “also” lacking in passing skills.

    I talked about Balkman’s weakness from the outside not being adequately reflected in his stats and how it might be exploited by a smart team (playing 5 againt 4). Now we just saw a similar thing with the Knicks in Boston (which you wrote about).

    Whatever topic was being discussed, I tried to come to the table with some kind of insight not already reflected in the stats that were being used, that might be important, and that could change the perception.

    It’s not my fault if some people took some of my comments as an attack against stats or a personal attack and it became hostile or personal. That’s on them.

    All I ever tried to do was point out things I thought would enhance the analysis beyond just the numbers, defend and promote my reasons for doing so, and also learn a few things about the numbers too.

    I apologize for any inconvience.

  28. Z

    “What we can’t figure out is who else is on the team in after 2010. No one has done a post on what the entire roster might look like within the cap boundaries for 15 players. Do a version with Lee and w/o Lee.”

    cgreene– Caleb posted this back in November (the evening of the Crawford/Randolph trades). Lee’s price seems to have gone up $2 mil/year since the post, but it is still useful in looking 18 months ahead…

    http://www.knickerblogger.net/?p=1055

  29. cgreene

    Thanks, Z.

    What about the early offer to Lee with an ETO? Why is that a bad idea?

    The blog is ruined by this stupid argument

  30. Z

    “What about the early offer to Lee with an ETO? Why is that a bad idea?”

    Is there a precedent you have in mind? Verbal agreements tend to get people screwed over. Not sure if Lee would go for one. The Knicks aren’t exactly a reputable franchise of late. His run with team has seen some pretty shitty days. Why would he take less to stay here?

  31. Owen

    IS – Fare thee well.

    Jon – Probably predictably, I disagree about Cramer. Vehemently. But that would be a pointless argument and hopelessly off topic.

    Thomas B – Good comment.

  32. bb10451

    New York Knicks

    Incoming Players
    Josh Howard
    Salary: $9,945,000 Years Remaining: 2
    PTS: 18.2 REB: 5.2 AST: 1.7 PER: 16.40

    Brandon Bass
    Salary: $826,269 Years Remaining: 1
    PTS: 7.6 REB: 4.1 AST: 0.4 PER: 13.13

    Outgoing Players: Eddy Curry, David LeeDallas Mavericks

    Incoming Players
    Eddy Curry
    Salary: $9,723,983 Years Remaining: 2

    David Lee
    Salary: $1,788,033 Years Remaining: 1
    PTS: 14.8 REB: 11.1 AST: 1.9 PER: 18.25

    Outgoing Players: Josh Howard, Brandon Bass

  33. Kobayashi

    When postulating future personnel moves, shouldn’t the Knicks focus on getting the most for their money? If we can keep Lee for the right price, why would that be a bad thing?

    Also, why is there so much debate about keeping Lee for 8-10 million but not about keeping Nate for 5-6 million? Wouldn’t be a lot easier to get someone that reproduces what Nate does for a lot less than 6 million, than to find someone that replaces what Lee does for 10 million?

  34. Roshi

    I’m totally onboard with the fact that Lee is a generally underrated player, despite being poor on defense. With that said, though, would anyone not take Durant, Green, and Westbrook over him if you were drafting from the Knicks and OKC. Without a doubt, our starting 5 has to be the worst in the league. I wonder what Dantoni could do with OKC’s roster?
    By the way, I know i’m not a regular contributor here, but it’s one thing to boot people for making off-topic/in bad taste comments, and quite another to run them off for expressing an unpopular opinion regarding the Knicks. Likewise, it’s cruel to post that you completely skip over certain people’s posts. Quality control should not equal forced conformity.

  35. ess-dog

    Do you think the Cavs would do this:

    Marbury for Szerbiak, Pavlovic (or E. Snow) and J.J. Hickson (or a draft pick)?

    They need another player for a playoff push.

    As for Curry, Jeffries, and Q… I think they are all movable. Anyone who is out on the floor is movable (ergo NOT Jerome James.) It’s just a matter of what Walsh will settle for / take back in a trade. And as far as Lee, someone stated ‘overpaying’ for Lee… I think that’s what it would take to move an otherwise productive, cost efficient player. I think it was Abbey that said ‘we can always sign a 2nd max player in 2011.’ You should set a precedent of remaining loyal to players that improve and reward your team. It’s good karma. That being said, if someone wants to OVERPAY (I’m looking at you Chirs Wallace) Walsh has to jump on it. So… what is overpayment for Lee?

  36. jon abbey

    “Jon – Probably predictably, I disagree about Cramer. Vehemently. But that would be a pointless argument and hopelessly off topic. ”

    hehe, good to know! like I said, I’ve been out of the markets since 2000 (cashing out entirely near the peak), so I haven’t paid such close attention since then, and I do think it was a mistake for him to ever go on TV regularly.

    back on topic, has anyone yet posted that we actually don’t have an open roster spot according to today’s Post, because the Mobley situation is far from resolved as it relates to the league?

    “I think it was Abbey that said ‘we can always sign a 2nd max player in 2011″

    I did not, I believe that everyone from this roster will be gone in 2010-2011 except Chandler and Gallinari (and it kills me that I can’t write ‘Chandler and Westbrook’ in that sentence). I believe this is Caleb’s position, but I’m not sure which stars will actually be available in 2011.

    as for that Cavs thing, Marbury is hardly the Cavs’ missing piece, I doubt they’d sign him if he was a free agent, let alone trade for him. he wasn’t good anymore before he got hurt, and he hasn’t played in an actual game for a full year now.

  37. Frank

    By the way, I know i’m not a regular contributor here, but it’s one thing to boot people for making off-topic/in bad taste comments, and quite another to run them off for expressing an unpopular opinion regarding the Knicks. Likewise, it’s cruel to post that you completely skip over certain people’s posts. Quality control should not equal forced conformity.

    Roshi- I agree completely. It’s like this board has turned into the Bush White House where only people who agree with each other are allowed to talk. What happened to civil discussion? I know I’ve been on IS’s side this whole time, and I’ll continue to be by saying that some people, most notably our host blogger Mike K. tend to snap or be dismissive of posters when they either criticize what he posts or disagrees with what he says. It seems like just about on every thread there is at least one instance of “You’re wrong, this was covered by (insert crappy retrospective study that actually doesn’t prove what you think it does), end of discussion” when in fact NOTHING in the analysis of this great game is definitive. Or there comes a hail of “do you post just to annoy other people”, or “why don’t you ban him because I don’t like reading his posts”. And yet when IS says “You are on ignore”, which by any account is a mild infraction (if at all) several threads ago, he was threatened with banning. There is clearly a double standard favoring those people that agree with the consensus opinion here.

    The blog is ruined by this stupid argument

    I’d much rather have a discussion about the Knicks also, but isn’t this an important “argument”/discussion to have, ie. how do you respond/treat posters who don’t think the same way you do? If Mike et al. want to only talk to people who think only the same way as they do, Mike may as well password protect the site — which is his prerogative as the host.

    I’m sure no one will miss me here as I am also a relatively infrequent poster, but I also am considering at least never posting here again. I read thejetsblog, theknicksblog, some of the realgm blogs, and on no other board do I see the intolerance for truly dissenting opinion (ie. not just differences in opinion re: whether David Lee looks better in blue or brown, which is the class of many of the “discussions” here) as I do here. It’s not that people are shouted down– that’s no big deal. Discussion between strong opinions is good. It’s the condescending and dismissive tone (the famous “you should read about statistics, you might learn something” for instance) that is used which essentially transmit to reasonable posters that “you’re ignorant, your post is not even worth discussing”.

    To be clear — this is a problem with a minority of the posters here. I really enjoy reading posts from the vast majority of the contributors.

    Reactions are welcome. If this post is ignored I’ll be disappointed I guess.

  38. BigBlueAL

    Note to BigBlueAL – I hope you’re not offended that I used your comments. The juxtaposition of your baseball/basketball views just inspired these ideas. And I’m inclined to agree that Lee’s defensive shortcomings might make him less valuable than his stats might indicate. Nonetheless I feel until you put Lee’s scoring and rebounding in the proper light, it’s hard to make that adjustment.
    BTW Thank you for the compliments on the site. It’s much appreciated.

    Not offended at all!! This is why I love this site, for a Knicks fan its great to have a site that has lively debates like this and not stupid shit-talking like on Marc Berman’s blog. Like I said as a Yankees fan there are many fan sites like this on the net, but I love the Knicks as much as the Yankees and its great as a fan not living in NY to have a site to talk Knicks basketball with other Knicks fans.

    I think the main point about David Lee really is at what salary is it worth keeping him at???? As someone mentioned, if his salary becomes too high I would rather trade him to have enough cap room in 2010 to sign 2 max players, BUT I would certainly LOVE to have him on the team for the future as well. I think it is more of a monetary value than anything else, especially in the NBA considering the salary cap.

    I think everyone assumes Nate will stay because he shouldnt command much more than a few million a year because everyone views him for what he is, a 6th/7th man who brings energy and scoring off the bench for 20-25 minutes per game. I view Lee the same way, but obviously his value has sky-rocketed and rightfully so with the type of season he is having.

    So to me the real debate is how much money is he worth and how would re-signing him affect the salary cap in 2010???? Of course in the perfect world the Knicks somehow find a way to trade Curry and Jeffries making it easy to re-sign both Lee and Nate and still have enough cap room for 2 max players, but thats wishful thinking….

  39. cgreene

    “What about the early offer to Lee with an ETO? Why is that a bad idea?”
    Is there a precedent you have in mind? Verbal agreements tend to get people screwed over. Not sure if Lee would go for one. The Knicks aren’t exactly a reputable franchise of late. His run with team has seen some pretty shitty days. Why would he take less to stay here?

    Not a verbal agreement. A contract for $40M for 6 years with an Early Termination Option after 3. If Lee’s value is the same or better he exercises the option and the Knicks are the team that can pay him most because he has his Bird rights and if they don’t make the offer he can go someplace else and get his $10M or $12M per year. If his value stays the same or goes down or he doesn’t want to risk leaving NY because we are on the cusp of something good after get the 2010 FAs then he doesn’t exercise and he stays a Knick for 3 more years.

    Why doesn’t this work?

  40. Caleb

    I considered writing this note privately, but would rather it be a public comment.

    I am disappointed by the banning of IS. As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t agree with much that he says. His posts are often long versions of the same thing: “if only people understood that you need to watch games/per-minute numbers mean nothing/coaches love Chandler/stats are only part of the picture/basketball players are like horses, etc. He is often oblivious that other people DO understand his argument, but don’t agree. He rarely offers evidence to support his contentions.

    But why does that merit a ban? Even on a subject as relatively unimportant (yet fun) as this, it’s a marketplace of ideas. If some people – like Frank – think IS is brilliant, well, who is anyone to say they’re wrong? Those who find his posts compelling, can enjoy them. Those who find them a waste of time, are free to skip past.

    The argument could be made that the comments section is an extension of the main articles, and as such it is more an editorial feature than a typical “comments” section. In this view, the editor (KB) picks and chooses the writers he thinks make the site a good experience for other readers. In that case, banning a poster/writer is no different than not picking up some guy’s contract. It’s choosing your staff. But I don’t think that’s the spirit of the IS move.

    I’ve worked at various websites and a standard debate is whether the comments section should be moderated or not. (Compare CNN.com vs. Abcnews.com and you’ll see what I mean). I support having a moderate section 100%, but in my view, a ban should come only for truly antisocial behavior, posts that embarrass people connected with the site or posts that seriously diminish the reading experience of others. I don’t think even IS’ most longwinded post ever rose to that level.

    p.s. Love the new preview on the comments.

  41. ess-dog

    I considered writing this note privately, but would rather it be a public comment.
    I am disappointed by the banning of IS. As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t agree with much that he says. His posts are often long versions of the same thing: “if only people understood that you need to watch games/per-minute numbers mean nothing/Balkman sucks/”stats are onlypart of the picture”/you can learn a lot by watching horses” etc. He is often oblivious that other people DO understand his argument, but don’t agree. He rarely offers evidence to support his contentions.
    But why does that merit a ban? Even on a subject as relatively unimportant (yet fun) as this, it’s a marketplace of ideas. If some people – like Frank – think IS is brilliant, well, who is anyone to say they’re. Those who find his posts compelling, can enjoy them. Those who find them a waste of time, are free to skip past.
    The argument could be made that the comments section is an extension of the main articles, and as such it is more an editorial feature than a typical “comments” section. In this view, the editor (KB) picks and chooses the writers he thinks make the site a good experience for other readers. In that case, banning a poster/writer is no different than not picking up some guy’s contract. It’s choosing your staff. But I don’t think that’s the spirit of the IS move.
    I’ve worked at various websites and a standard debate is whether the comments section should be moderated or not. (Compare CNN.com vs. Abcnews.com and you’ll see what I mean). I support having a moderate section 100%, but in my view, a ban should come only for truly antisocial behavior, posts that embarrass people connected with the site or posts that seriously diminish the reading experience of others. I don’t think even IS’ most longwinded post ever rose to that level.
    p.s. Love the new preview on the comments.

    Noone’s banning him are they? This escalating violence has got to stop…

    also… Denver traded a player for a pick in 2015, obviously clearing out for a trade. Bets on for who/with who?

  42. ess-dog

    “Jon – Probably predictably, I disagree about Cramer. Vehemently. But that would be a pointless argument and hopelessly off topic. ”
    hehe, good to know! like I said, I’ve been out of the markets since 2000 (cashing out entirely near the peak), so I haven’t paid such close attention since then, and I do think it was a mistake for him to ever go on TV regularly.
    back on topic, has anyone yet posted that we actually don’t have an open roster spot according to today’s Post, because the Mobley situation is far from resolved as it relates to the league?
    “I think it was Abbey that said ‘we can always sign a 2nd max player in 2011?
    I did not, I believe that everyone from this roster will be gone in 2010-2011 except Chandler and Gallinari (and it kills me that I can’t write ‘Chandler and Westbrook’ in that sentence). I believe this is Caleb’s position, but I’m not sure which stars will actually be available in 2011.
    as for that Cavs thing, Marbury is hardly the Cavs’ missing piece, I doubt they’d sign him if he was a free agent, let alone trade for him. he wasn’t good anymore before he got hurt, and he hasn’t played in an actual game for a full year now.

    Maybe not the ideal piece for the Cavs, but at only the cost of bust players, a low draft pick AND they can dump him at the end of the season if they want… doesn’t seem too risky to me.
    And they’ll get a lot of free Starbury workout tapes…

  43. Frank

    I Even on a subject as relatively unimportant (yet fun) as this, it’s a marketplace of ideas. If some people – like Frank – think IS is brilliant, well, who is anyone to say they’re. Those who find his posts compelling, can enjoy them. Those who find them a waste of time, are free to skip past.

    Caleb– that’s all I’m really saying. I don’t necessarily think IS is brilliant although I do tend to see his point more than some others on this site. I just think being able to have a civil discussion without insulting people — I just think that’s an important part of any forum. It’s almost better to be ignored than ridiculed, especially when IS clearly has spent time thinking about whatever his points are. And especially when the ridicul-er’s arguments may have no more merit than the ridicul-ee’s.

  44. taggart4800

    My Views on Lee are this:-

    He is undoubtably a very good player but i think his numbers are flattering his actual ability.
    Right now he is THE guy inside on this Knicks roster. He has gained the big man title through his own hard work and in reality by default. There is no other member on the roster able to challenge for that title.
    Right now he commands the paint for the knicks but there are very few fans that could say we dominate teams inside. We are still a ‘perimeter’ team that plays pretty poor defense.
    We have to realise that currently Lee is no more than a proficient inside performer on a team with that is genarly poor in this department.
    i agree firmly with franks comments at the start of the thread and furthermore would say take lebron out of the equation and we are still stronger than with Lee as the ‘Go-to-Guy’.
    I think we should capitilise on his trade value when we have a chance whether it is now or in the future after he resigns. If now then the low contract value may get us a high draft pick. Thabeet although his numbers aren’t huge surely has more potential than a slightly undersized Big Man.

  45. Caleb

    I believe that everyone from this roster will be gone in 2010-2011 except Chandler and Gallinari (and it kills me that I can’t write ‘Chandler and Westbrook’ in that sentence). I believe this is Caleb’s position, but I’m not sure which stars will actually be available in 2011

    .

    Yes, it’s my position. I would not be surprised if those are the only two left, but think there’s a good chance Lee & Robinson stick. Harrington, Q and Tim Thomas make way too much money to be re-signed. Probably Duhon, too. The only way he stays is if he signs an extension this summer, at a pay cut.

    If we manage assets well (trade for picks), we could have a reasonably deep team going into 2010. If we still have David Lee or a comparable player, and add a superstar, we’re pretty good. Add another in ’11 and watch out.

    Adding two superstars in ’10 (instead of one + Lee) might make the 2010-2011 team a little better, but uses up all our ammo and probably isn’t good enough, unless Gallinari or the ’09 pick turns into a star. Worse, it’s hard to see any superstar, much less two of them, wanting to sign with a team whose only players are Chandler, Gallinari and the ’09 pick.

    p.s. Hard to say yay or nay on Gallinari until he plays.

    I said in June that my vote was Mareese Speights and he hasn’t done anything to change my mind. Westbrook looks good on defense, but I’m still not sold on the offense. Coming out of UCLA, everyone said he couldn’t shoot and would struggle running the point. Lo and behold, he has a TS% of 49.8 and an assist/TO ratio of 1.5 to 1. I’m sure he’ll improve but that’s a long way to even be average on offense. Good rebounder, though, and an impact defender for sure. I think he was drafted high because everyone is looking for the next Rondo – super-quick, athletic PGs. (or Devin Harris). But Westbrook looks to be a poor man’s Rondo, at best.

    I liked Green coming out of college, but he looked like a real bust last year. Fortunately for him he’s really turned it around — one of the most improved 2nd-year players in the league. Now he looks like a pretty good player(mainly by cutting turnovers and raising 3-point shooting from 28% to 40%). Even so, I think I’d still rather have our own David Lee.

    And Durant – you can see why he’s hyped, and I’d love to have him, but the ceiling doesn’t look anywhere close to what it was when he came out – all those projections on how he would change the game a la Jordan or Elgin Baylor.

    Durant put up otherwordly numbers in college; Then Mike Beasley came along and put up even better ones. Now the consensus #1 is Big-12 power forward Blake Griffin. After those last two, shouldn’t there be at least a little red flag over Griffin’s head?

  46. Caleb

    he wasn’t banned, he banned himself (which I doubt, but we’ll see).

    I get the impression he was asked to resign. But yes, there was something Nixonian about his farewell.

  47. BiggieSmalls

    This thread reads like it came from a Soviet Polite Beureau

    The way IS was run outta should make you want to take a shower.

  48. ess-dog

    This thread reads like it came from a Soviet Polite Beureau
    The way IS was run outta should make you want to take a shower.

    Let’s not go overboard. One blogger got annoyed with another blogger. It happens.

  49. Roshi

    According to Hollinger, Westbrook has a higher PER than either Rose or Mayo thanks to better pts per min, assists per min, and better fg%. I would say that his ceiling is far greater than a ‘poor man’s Rondo’ as Caleb suggests. Often, I think the success of rookie’s is largely determined by their situation. Rondo lucked into being on a great team, in which all he had to do was set up Garnett, Pierce, and Allen. This allowed him to focus on what he does best: defend and take the ball to the basket. I don’t think i’m going out on a limb by saying that had Rondo been drafted to the Knicks, he would be much less highly regarded. Westbrook on the other hand has been dumped onto a hopeless team and yet has still put up respectable numbers, especially lately, making OKC look respectable in recent games. ‘Pound for pound’, i think that Westbrook is the better prospect than Rondo.

  50. Caleb

    Rondo is FA in 2011, just as garnett and pierce contracts expire, I think.

    Roshi,
    I do think rondo would be regarded less highly if he were on knicks, but I don’t think he’d be a worse player.

    We’ll see what happens with westbrook – that ts is awful, rondo’s was never that low and now is 60+. Also much better playmaker. Westbrook didn’t even play PG at UCLA.

    But I’m with jon – either would look good in Orange and Blue.

  51. 2010
    I believe that everyone from this roster will be gone in 2010-2011 except Chandler and Gallinari (and it kills me that I can’t write ‘Chandler and Westbrook’ in that sentence). I believe this is Caleb’s position, but I’m not sure which stars will actually be available in 2011

    .
    Yes, it’s my position. I would not be surprised if those are the only two left, but think there’s a good chance Lee & Robinson stick. Harrington, Q and Tim Thomas make way too much money to be re-signed. Probably Duhon, too. The only way he stays is if he signs an extension this summer, at a pay cut.

    There is no way Q and Thomas stay-they suck.
    Harrington and Duhon are both playing like they want to stay. i could see harrington taking a lower salary to stay in nyc (he wont be able to get what he is making now anyway) and i could see duhon taking the midlevel again in 2010 after the other players are signed going over the cap. I could also see Nash doing the same thing-NYC guy, dantoni, try to win a ‘ship with a superstar. The way duhon has been playing all season, i think he could make a lot more than the mid level if he wanted to.

    <If we manage assets well (trade for picks), we could have a reasonably deep team going into 2010. If we still have David Lee or a comparable player, and add a superstar, we’re pretty good. Add another in ‘11 and watch out.
    Adding two superstars in ‘10 (instead of one + Lee) might make the 2010-2011 team a little better, but uses up all our ammo and probably isn’t good enough, unless Gallinari or the ‘09 pick turns into a star. Worse, it’s hard to see any superstar, much less two of them, wanting to sign with a team whose only players are Chandler, Gallinari and the ‘09 pick.

    in 2010, they will still be able to go over the cap to sign a mid level player and as long as they are smart and dont sign one this year, they can use their bi-annual exception to add someone. neither are huge contracts, but you should definately be able to add a vet who wants to play on a team with 2 superstars (or one and lee) and either way should be competitive.

    i dont think we need chandler, galinari, and 2009pic to all be amazing, but they better all be in the rotation or we are in trouble.

  52. Z

    If Italian Stallion was banned today, it’s too late. The damage is done. He’s already chased away Ted Nelson who, along with Caleb and Ben R., has been my favorite contributor to this site.

    Like jon, I also find myself “fast forwarding” over most of IS’s posts, not because they were written by the male horse from Italy, but because they were long and often repetitive (and I fast forward over most of the monotonous stat talk anyway). But I assume people come to this site for varying reasons, and Frank may not be the only one who appreciated IS’s views. Unlike PoliceClyde and IYAMWITIAN who were clinically insane, IS was more of a pest in the mold of Jersey J or the fat kid– annoying, and not realizing he was wasting a lot of time posting long arguments to people who made clear they either didn’t accept them or didn’t care.

    “There is no need to ban me. I can eventually tell when a group doesn’t appreciate my point of view because it isn’t consistent with the generally accepted ideas within it. I’ll stop posting.” -Italian Stallion, January 7th, 2009 – RIP

    I’m a bit surprised it took him this long to “eventually tell” that the governing power of this site “didn’t appreciate his point of view”. I guess it only goes to prove this point: “Do you actually read the articles/comments anymore or do you just come here to let everyone know that you bet on horses?”

    And speaking of banned people: it seems KB has banned one of my pseudonyms from back in the pre-registration days. I’m not sure what his offense was, but I’m sure he committed many over the years. Like Italian Stallion, Renaldo Balkman’s Agent won’t be posting here anymore…

  53. Z

    “Not a verbal agreement. A contract for $40M for 6 years with an Early Termination Option after 3. If Lee’s value is the same or better he exercises the option and the Knicks are the team that can pay him most because he has his Bird rights and if they don’t make the offer he can go someplace else and get his $10M or $12M per year.”

    I don’t think his agent would ever let this happen. He’s not a veteran. He’s been playing for his first contract. HIs value is as high now as it’s likely to ever be. If he can get $60 mil from another team over $40 mil from the Knicks his agent will get it. It’s not like the Knicks have shown him any reason to stay. The team has been a dysfunctional mess for his entire tenure. Seriously– one of the most pathetic four consecutive years of any franchise in any sport in history.

  54. 2010

    If the only guys on the roster are Galinari, Chandler, and the 09 pic theres room for 2 max contracts and still 14 mil in cap room.
    then you can add the mid level and the biannual exception and min contracts.

    its like Caleb said: its going to come down to how we manage our assets.

    it remains to be seen if he can remove curry and jefferies contracts, or add aditional prospects or picks.

  55. 2010

    I dont think presti is getting enough credit for the job he is doing. he now has 3 draft pics this season-his, denvers, magic and two next year-his, suns.

    plus his team is in a good cap position for next year and in 2010 and his team is full of tradeable players.

    the best part are the 3 young good players for a core:durant, westbrook, green

  56. Z

    “I like David Lee and dont like ripping him, but please he is not a starting PF on a championship team.”

    He’s worse than Sumaki Walker? A 38 year old AC Green? A 37 year old Ho Grant? Rick Mahorn?

    Seriously, it’s the guys playing next to the PF that win the championships. Lee does everything that championship PF do. It’d be nice if blocked more shots. His D isn’t as bad as people seem to think. Good D is done as a team. If you substitute Lee for Oak on the ’93 Knicks I don’t think think their D would suddenly be bad. As it is with this team, everyone looks bad on D.

    Lee is definitely in the class of PF of Otis Thorpe– a key part of Houston’s ’94 championship. To say he’ll never be a starting PF on a champion is silly.

    (That said, I’d still trade him for draft picks…)

  57. jon abbey

    I dont think presti is getting enough credit for the job he is doing. he now has 3 draft pics this season-his, denvers, magic and two next year-his, suns.
    plus his team is in a good cap position for next year and in 2010 and his team is full of tradeable players.
    the best part are the 3 young good players for a core:durant, westbrook, green

    is he the one who’s drafted all those worthless centers in the first round, or was that a prior administration?

  58. rama

    I’ve been reading the blog for a long time. Used to be on the NYT Forum, a fun place with lots of room to talk about more than just bball…though smart comments on bball were the core of it, of course. Anyway, generally good stuff, petulant self-bannings aside.

    I do think this Lee debate is revealing — just as revealing as who he’s compared to. McHale? Are you joking? Just because they’re both white doesn’t mean a damn thing about their skills. Lee is an athlete and a positional rebounder. He doesn’t have McHale’s post game or anything remotely like it. But he’s got loads more hops and quickness than McHale, Bird, etc etc. He isn’t whatever white player you’re looking for. He’s closer to Shawn Marion than anyone else I can think of…you laugh? Go compare stats. Lee’s are way better — though it doesn’t indicate defense, of course.

    He has limitations: while he now has an outside shot, he has few if any post moves. His weak D could quickly become average if he were playing PF instead of C so much, but it isn’t great. That said, his positives are huge. From a statistical point of view, go look at the efficiency ratings on NBA.com and tell me who the players are ahead of him (at #21 or so). Those are all very good players — and by the numbers, he is a very good player.

    But beyond the numbers, from an observational point of view: He hustles. He’s a top rebounder (which, by the way, has NOTHING to do with the D’Antoni system and everything to do with blocking out and anticipation — just watch him sometime). He finishes around the hoop. He makes smart plays, like that amazing outlet pass after pulling down a rebound in the Celtics game. He doesn’t have attitude, doesn’t need the ball to be happy. In short, he’s a winner. He carries himself like one. And if we want to sign any top free agent in 2010, you can damn well bet they would love David Lee to be a complementary player. “You’ll rebound, and pass me the ball, and get me some assists when I drive and dish, without complaint? Thanks, bro.”

    Besides: we actually Lee on the team, as opposed to the POSSIBILITY of LeBron or Bosh or whoever.

    P.S. On a recent search I came across Balkman’s site. Has anyone ever seen this???

    http://balkmanrules.blogspot.com/2008/02/deadline-deals.html

  59. BigBlueAL

    I would like to say that my saying Lee isnt a championship caliber starting PF was probably written the wrong way. OBVIOUSLY next to a dominant C like Shaq, Hakeem and Ewing he would be a great fit (although Oak would knock him around so much it would be a joke, and Mason would get such deep post position on him he would wind up in the 1st row as Mase lays it in). Sorry couldnt resist taking a shot at him compared to Oak/Mase!!

    What I meant is in today’s game there really arent any old-school type C’s anymore for him to play alongside, so I was more comparing Lee to Duncan/Garnett/Bosh/Amare and even younger guys like Al Jefferson.

    Again in some ways I wish I hadnt posted what I did if only because I dont like criticizing Lee and having his critics come out. I like Lee alot and again hope he does stay and be part of the team once/if they reach a championship level. But if his salary gets to a point where keeping him would hinder our chances of landing a couple of studs in 2010, he wouldnt be worth the money to keep around.

  60. cavjam

    But beyond the numbers, from an observational point of view: He hustles. He’s a top rebounder (which, by the way, has NOTHING to do with the D’Antoni system and everything to do with blocking out and anticipation — just watch him sometime). He finishes around the hoop. He makes smart plays, like that amazing outlet pass after pulling down a rebound in the Celtics game. He doesn’t have attitude, doesn’t need the ball to be happy. In short, he’s a winner. He carries himself like one. And if we want to sign any top free agent in 2010, you can damn well bet they would love David Lee to be a complementary player. “You’ll rebound, and pass me the ball, and get me some assists when I drive and dish, without complaint? Thanks, bro.”

    I’m not given to hyperbole but… most astute analysis in the written history of Western Civilization!

    In fact, if we had five guys like that we’d have what’s called a team. Yes, I’m looking at you, Q.

    Lee impresses with how much he improves during the off-season. This is the hallmark of dedication and professionalism.

    Besides: we actually Lee on the team, as opposed to the POSSIBILITY of LeBron or Bosh or whoever.

    Actuality supersedes potentiality. Hope is a fine thing to get one through despair, and plans are far better than no plans, but tomorrow doesn’t exist. When LeBron decides to stay in the mistake by the lake, having won a championship there, DWade decides to stay in paradise and Bosh decides to go play with Kobe in L.A., will there be naught for Knicks fans but wailing and gnashing of teeth?

    P.S. On a recent search I came across Balkman’s site. Has anyone ever seen this???

    http://balkmanrules.blogspot.com/2008/02/deadline-deals.html

    If this is really Balkman writing (I read a few other posts as well) he’s either truly multitalented or he’s got a mistress of irony English major girlfriend. Thanks, rama.

  61. marxster

    Hey guys,

    I’ve been a frequent visitor here but haven’t posted much. I have to say though that this hostile mood here today is a bit disappointing. Can’t just get along? It’s basketball we’re talking here.

    Anyway, my take on Lee is that I think we should try to keep this guy. Besides the numbers that we’ve been discussing lately, the guy has never let off his intensity and seems to try his hardest every single night. Now, you may say that that’s what he’s supposed to do because that’s his job and he’s getting paid for it. But how about Curry, who keeps snacking away even though he gets way more cash? What about Marbury who never really struck me as someone that’s trying hard? The list goes on with guys that just don’t try hard enough.

    I think Lee is the kind of player we want in NYC and rather then trying to get better by constantly bringing in new guys maybe we should try to keep the ones that are promising.

    I’m curious, what kind of salary can Lee command? If we manage to cut lose Curry, wouldn’t it be possible to keep Lee?

  62. marxster

    Hey guys,

    I’ve been a frequent visitor here but haven’t posted much. I have to say though that this hostile mood here today is a bit disappointing. Can’t we just get along? It’s basketball we’re talking here.

    Anyway, my take on Lee is that I think we should try to keep this guy. Besides the numbers that we’ve been discussing lately, the guy has never let off his intensity and seems to try his hardest every single night. Now, you may say that that’s what he’s supposed to do because that’s his job and he’s getting paid for it. But how about Curry, who keeps snacking away even though he gets way more cash? What about Marbury who never really struck me as someone that’s trying hard? The list goes on with guys that just don’t try hard enough.

    I think Lee is the kind of player we want in NYC and rather then trying to get better by constantly bringing in new guys maybe we should try to keep the ones that are promising.

    I’m curious, what kind of salary can Lee command? If we manage to cut lose Curry, wouldn’t it be possible to keep Lee?

  63. david

    To move things away from the bickering…

    What is the statistical evidence that Lee is a bad defensive player? Don’t get me wrong: watching him, I think he’s a bad defensive player, too small to guard the post well and not quick enough to guard 3s. On the other hand, whiel he doesn’t block shots, he does guard three positions, seems to try hard etc. I also remember him doing a good job, improbably, on Yao last season.

    I know defensive stats other than the obvious recordables — blocks, steals — are less developed and harder to come by than offensive stats, but has anyone analyzed opponent EFG when Lee is on the court v. when he’s not. It wouldn’t surprise me terribly if he overperformed relative to visual impressions on defense as well as offense. But it also wouldn’t surprise me if it went the other way….
    =

  64. Nick C.

    From 82 games on/off court the points per possession with him off the court goes up from 109.5 to 110.1, EFG allowed goes down from 49.2 to 47.9, def. rebounding goes down from 72.8% to 69.6% so it’s a mixed bag but nothing overwhelming wither way unless I am understating the effect of 1.3 EFG and 3% reb.

  65. Frank

    I dont think presti is getting enough credit for the job he is doing. he now has 3 draft pics this season-his, denvers, magic and two next year-his, suns.
    plus his team is in a good cap position for next year and in 2010 and his team is full of tradeable players.
    the best part are the 3 young good players for a core:durant, westbrook, green

    I think Presti’s brilliant — the team sucks so far this year but as you noted, the core is there. I thought he deserved votes for GM of the year a year or two ago for his brilliant handling of Kurt Thomas situation — Traded a future conditional second-round pick and cash to the Phoenix Suns for forward Kurt Thomas and the first-round picks of 2008 and 2010. Then, he traded Thomas to the Spurs for another 1st rounder. I think it came out to a 2nd round draft pick and some amount of cash for 3 1st rounders — late 1st rounders but 1st rounders nonetheless. If Donnie can do even half of that with some of our expirings I’ll be impressed.

    Re: Lee’s defense — I think he’s adequate, probably average to slightly below average — not a huge difference maker in either direction, as Nick C’s stats above seem to support. It’s only because whoever is next to him in the frontcourt is terrible that his deficiencies are more noticeable IMO. He ends up covering a superior offensive player more than I think he should.

    I do think it’s a major mistake to compare him to Oakley, who was an equal rebounder but a far superior individual and help defender than Lee is. That being said, if Lee can develop a 15-18 foot jumper like Oak did later in his career, then he’ll really be a complete player.

    I’ve posted a few times in the past that I thought Lee’s ceiling was something like a middle-class Carlos Boozer, which by all means is pretty darn good. If we use Boozer’s contract (signed a few years ago though) as a comparison, the $10MM is probably appropriate. I know I posted above that I thought I’d rather have a 2nd max player than Lee, but I forgot to take into account that we’d have the extra $8MM (max contract $18MM – Lee’s $10MM) to sign another player. In that light I guess I really am on the fence about whether we should trade him or not. If we can get Lee for $10MM and use the rest of it on someone like Mike Miller, maybe that would be better. So we could start:

    PG: Duhon
    SG: Mike Miller
    SF: Chandler/LeBron
    PF: Lee/Gallinari
    C: Curry/Lee
    Bench: Nate, Jefferies, 2009 draft pick etc.

    That seems like a pretty good mix to me. Still not a good defensive team especially in the middle, but better than what we have now. Offensively a nice mix of high and low usage players. Still not sure whether it’s better than:

    PG: Duhon at mid-level (or Nash at mid-level?)
    SG: Nate at $6MM
    SF/PF: Lebron
    SF/PF: Chandler
    PF/C: Amare or Bosh
    Bench: Gallinari, Jefferies, 2009 pick etc.

    but it’s not that far off I guess.

  66. bselig

    wasn’t fond of westbrook pre-draft but that 78% ft suggests that he can shoot from the outside, which should give him more upside than rondo. might never be a 3pt sniper but neither are many top guards

    eric gordon also has impressed as of late, assuming the scoring load for the injured baron davis

    galinari registered some of the most pathetic minutes in knicks history earlier this year (yea he’s injured)

  67. italian stallion

    Mike did not ban me. I am leaving voluntarily. Don’t hold that against him.

    It also wasn’t me that ran off Ted (if that’s even the reason he stopped posting) or that caused all those long repetitive posts some of you don’t like.

    I would have been happy to make my point and go away, but typically one or more people took it as a personal attack on their methodology, the ideas they hold dear etc.. and responded (sometimes in a hostile manner). So the conversation continued.

    Now I will grant you that coming to an “advanced stats blog” to point out all the limitations, problems, and exceptions with stats is not a good way to win friends and influence people. It’s also not a good way to find people that are sympathetic to your point of view. That’s not what I was looking for.

    In a place like this it is highly likely that you will find bright people that you can learn from and that might be open to finding flaws in their own thinking so that they can improve it. I didn’t expect to find such defensive and aggressive behavior because I didn’t fit in. Unfortunately, I have seen the same thing on other stats oriented blogs with other people.

    The problem is/was that “some people” (obviously not all) feel hostile towards me because I am the contrarian, devil’s advocate etc… saying the things they don’t want to hear, don’t want said, or that occasionally have merit and conflict with their desired neat view of game.

  68. ess-dog

    I’ve been reading the blog for a long time. Used to be on the NYT Forum, a fun place with lots of room to talk about more than just bball…though smart comments on bball were the core of it, of course. Anyway, generally good stuff, petulant self-bannings aside.
    I do think this Lee debate is revealing — just as revealing as who he’s compared to. McHale? Are you joking? Just because they’re both white doesn’t mean a damn thing about their skills. Lee is an athlete and a positional rebounder. He doesn’t have McHale’s post game or anything remotely like it. But he’s got loads more hops and quickness than McHale, Bird, etc etc. He isn’t whatever white player you’re looking for. He’s closer to Shawn Marion than anyone else I can think of…you laugh? Go compare stats. Lee’s are way better — though it doesn’t indicate defense, of course.
    He has limitations: while he now has an outside shot, he has few if any post moves. His weak D could quickly become average if he were playing PF instead of C so much, but it isn’t great. That said, his positives are huge. From a statistical point of view, go look at the efficiency ratings on NBA.com and tell me who the players are ahead of him (at #21 or so). Those are all very good players — and by the numbers, he is a very good player.
    But beyond the numbers, from an observational point of view: He hustles. He’s a top rebounder (which, by the way, has NOTHING to do with the D’Antoni system and everything to do with blocking out and anticipation — just watch him sometime). He finishes around the hoop. He makes smart plays, like that amazing outlet pass after pulling down a rebound in the Celtics game. He doesn’t have attitude, doesn’t need the ball to be happy. In short, he’s a winner. He carries himself like one. And if we want to sign any top free agent in 2010, you can damn well bet they would love David Lee to be a complementary player. “You’ll rebound, and pass me the ball, and get me some assists when I drive and dish, without complaint? Thanks, bro.”
    Besides: we actually Lee on the team, as opposed to the POSSIBILITY of LeBron or Bosh or whoever.
    P.S. On a recent search I came across Balkman’s site. Has anyone ever seen this???
    http://balkmanrules.blogspot.com/2008/02/deadline-deals.html

    jesus, the original discussion was the quiet things that Lee did well on the court. I’m not saying that he’s the same player as McHale, just that the way he positions himself for rebounds is skill that very few have perfected, McHale being one of them. They also share a good ability to start the offense with the outlet pass (another underrated skill) and to work the pick and roll. They’re obviously not the same player. Sheesh. What’s with the jump to the “similar because they’re white” comment? Now I could do the same to you and say, ‘when was the last time Lee hit a 3-ball like Marion can?’ but I get what you’re saying with the Marion comparison and I’m going to leave it at that.

  69. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    I apologize for the manner in which I handled the Italian Stallion matter. Z, jon abbey, and a few others that contacted me by email were right. I had the chance to ban IS a few times in the past few months, and I failed to do so. Mike “the comment section administrator” should have done it before Mike “the guy who likes to comment at KB” got annoyed at IS. While regular users are allowed to lose their cool, as the founder of KB I don’t have that luxury. So I apologize for acting in such a manner.

    Caleb, I respectfully disagree with your view on the matter. (And for full disclosure IS wasn’t banned nor asked privately to leave yesterday – however today he will be banned). Wikipedia defines Internet Troll as “someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.” Clearly IS, a self described contrarian, fits into this description. I’m sure we could have a hearty discussion on this, but I’d rather not do it here. There is a link at the top of the page, where you (or anyone) can reach me by email. If anyone wants to discuss the matter further we can do it without disrupting the discussion about basketball.

  70. jon abbey

    one more meta-comment before moving on: it’s a lot harder to ignore someone in this format than it would be if it was a multi-threaded discussion forum (a format I hope Mike moves to by the 2010-2011 season).

    one thing that is remarkable about Lee is his spatial sense, where he is, where the ball is, etc. he had a play a few games ago where Duhon was driving, flipped an air ball over the basket, and somehow Lee moved into position not just to catch it, but to redirect it in the reverse direction for a layup, quite impressive. I’m still in the camp that his stats slightly overrate him, and I’d be OK with moving him in the right deal, but he does seem to be pretty easily our best player at this point (although probably the single worst ‘best player’ on any team in the league, he shouldn’t be blamed for that).

  71. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    re: multithreaded discussion – you find the wordpress plugin and I’ll look into it.

    The other option is to have a discussion board that is hosted here as well. However I’ll need a bunch of moderators if I go that route.

  72. ess-dog

    Other people that need to be banned:

    1. cavjam – for obviously being a cavs fan, probably from Cleveland i.e. “the mistake on the lake.”

    2. Kobayashi – you know the discussion will eventually turn to wieners.

    3. Frank – in danger of being eaten by Kobayashi.

    4. mase – for stealing my favorite rapper’s name.

    5. DRed and cgreene – for copywrite infringement on JLo.

    6. jon abbey – for inflamatory non-use of the letter “h”.

    7. Thomas B. – for obvious reasons.

    8. Caleb – for being the bizarro jon abbey.

    9. ess-dog – for being too good-looking.

    10. 2010 – for being Mike K.’s ATM pin number (whoops, sorry Mike!)

  73. Frank

    For those that are not interested in discussing this banning issue, please skip this post. For those who are concerned about this forum remaining an open discussion, please read on.

    Mike — Like Caleb – I thought about writing a private email, but I do care enough about this forum to post this publically, because I think it’s important.

    Respectfully of course, I disagree with your decision to outright ban IS. I understand he’s pseudo-self-banning himself but for you to forbid him from posting seems inappropriate. No surprise as I’ve been in his corner the whole time.

    I would, respectfully of course, posit that it has rarely been IS that has raised the emotional tenor of the discussions — if you look at just this thread, he writes things in a rather detached unemotional way, and then gets RESPONDED to in a rather inappropriate emotional fashion when it seems reasonably clear to me (and others judging by some of the posts above) that all he is doing is disagreeing with the consensus opinion. He just writes what he’s thinking, and then is accused of not writing anything tangible, or of wasting everyone’s time. Maybe he doesn’t phrase things in the best way, but I have never gotten the impression that he is out to attack anyone, at least initially before he in turn gets attacked.

    Like Caleb noted above, if you don’t want to read his opinion, then just skip it. But rather than skip it, some posters respond very forcefully to what he writes. In my opinion, it’s the responses to him that are made “with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.”

    For instance, look at the exchange that started this whole thing:

    It seems to me that both camps spend a lot of time trying to point out the shortcomings of other methods of evaluting players (including stats guys arguing among each other about their own models) that they miss the obvious fact that there are shortcomings and strengths all these things whether they are statistics, visual skills, team chemistry analysis, actual experience playing the sport or competing at a high level etc…
    I know I often use my experience with horse racing to make a point, but I see the exact same thing all the time…

    I did mention the shortcomings of Lee. Do you actually read the articles/comments anymore or do you just come here to let everyone know that you bet on horses?

    Now honestly, who wrote the inflammatory thing here? (Hint: IS wrote the first thing, Mike wrote the 2nd).

    So I guess my questions are:
    - is the banning because he doesn’t agree with what you think and likes to write about it? If it is, then BiggieSmalls’s assertion that this is the Soviet Politburo is really not so far off.

    - is the banning because you think that he disrupts the normal flow of the blog? If so, then fine — I might’ve just private mailed him and send look, I think this and this and this rather than attacking him in public. But to my eye, it looks like he wrote something, you picked a fight, he responded (really in a mild and conciliatory way), and you banned him for it. And then jon abbey and the rest piled on in a bully in a playground fight sort of way.

    OK I’m done. Back to real basketball conversation.

  74. BiggieSmalls

    In the end it is Mike’s Blog.. If he wants to have a forum where everyone thinks and writes the same thing then it is his prerogative.

    Perhaps if that is the goal he should go to a completely moderated forum where comments are approved before posting.

    Whatever.. It is a shame because there are some interesting discussions that come from this blog. If it is all stat heads patting each other on their backs there is really less reason to stop by.

  75. Thomas B.

    Other people that need to be banned:

    6. jon abbey – for inflamatory non-use of the letter “h”.

    7. Thomas B. – for obvious reasons.

    8. Caleb – for being the bizarro jon abbey.

    Wait a minute, I rank BELOW jon abbey on the should be banned list?! Talk about adding insult to injury.

    You know, if you can get past my shameless self praise, countelss tpyos, and odd sense of humor (see shameless self praise), I am actually a very nice poster/writer to have around.

  76. 2010

    ess-dog- pretty funny.

    Mike,
    I like this blog and appreciate the work you do running it and i appreciate the usually thoughtful discussions on the site by the other posters and commenters.

    i agree a format change might be helpful. with the current setup, often all discussion takes place on the latest 1 or 2 threads. i often feel that my post or other posts are off the topic of the main thread but there is no other place to post things.

    i often go to other teams blogs to get their viewpoint on trades/players. i particularly like the format of blazersedge.com because it has a main page of commentary i believe by the host and then an area to comment on that post and a separate page to post on other topics. check it out if you get a chance.

    this is not a knock on your site, ill enjoy it either way, but it might be a way to improve. just a suggestion.

  77. 2010

    Couple random thoughts:

    Why doesn’t another team (especially in the northwest division) pick up miles on a 10 day contract and play him 2 games so his contract is on Portland’s books. Even if the team has to cut someone to open the roster spot to do it?

    Why doesn’t Portland pick up miles so they can keep him on the bench or pay him to stay away so they can keep the cap space? Isn’t giving up a roster spot and paying a min contract worth 9 mil in cap space?

    Why hasn’t the league ruled on Mobley’s situation? Isn’t this unfairly harming the knicks ability to win games? (or make 2 for one trades)

  78. Ben R

    Though I do not agree with alot of his opinions I will miss IS because he (almost) always seemed to be polite even when the target of personal attacks. I know he tended to reapeat himself a bit and made generalizations about “statheads and non-statheads” but I still think he added to the conversation. I also only tend to post when I disagree with a statement because simply agreeing is not very produtive. I hope his rather rash banning can be overturned and he chooses to return.

    Mike – I have you to thank for getting me interested in advanced stats and have been enjoying this blog since you were railing for more minutes for Sweetney, but I find this situation and the subsequent treatment of IS disappoiting. I will not attack you because I do not think it is a coincidence that you run one of the best sports blogs on the internet and I love the disscusions you foster, but I hope you step back and really look at the way this whole thing has transpired and see things that could have been handled better.

  79. Caleb

    Yahoo has a good explainer on the Miles situation. Bottom line: it’s a near-certainty that some team will pick him up (to screw the Blazers) and the league probably wouldn’t let Portland sabotage it by picking him up off waivers – not while they’re still collecting insurance on his being disabled.

  80. Z

    “And then jon abbey and the rest piled on in a bully in a playground fight sort of way.”

    I guess I’m “the rest” in this statement. It’s funny because jon and I are probably the least stat-oriented posters on this site. I’ll just add, in KB’s defense, that, this particular thread aside, Italian Stallion has been a detriment to the site for long-term loyal visitors and contributers. KB gave him several outright warnings and months and months of subtle suggestions that if he didn’t change the way he posted he’d be banned. IS demonstrated an unwillingness to listen.

    KB didn’t just arrive at this banning based on this thread. If I had a day to spend on this post I’d find some of the more heated exchanges between IS and Ted Nelson, a respected long-time contributer. It was a toxic environment and I was disappointed that IS was the last man standing in the feud.

    jon and Thomas B. had a similar cat fight, but they were able to cool themselves off in a day without the police getting involved (the way reasonable people are able to do). IS demonstrated no interest in adjusting his behavior to make this the cordial site it was before his arrival (which I think coincided, somehow, with the drafting of Danillo “Italian Stallion” Gallinari (could they be the same Italian Stallion??)).

    As for you, Frank, you are clearly an ass-faced moron too for posting on a site that clearly hates your guts.

    I’m kidding, of course. I actually agree with you (and IS) on stats. I’d just rather listen to you say it than IS because you have a frontal lobe that makes useful and cordial conversation possible.

  81. Z

    “And then jon abbey and the rest piled on in a bully in a playground fight sort of way.”

    I guess I’m “the rest” in this statement. It’s funny because jon and I are probably the least stat-oriented posters on this site. I’ll just add, in KB’s defense, that, this particular thread aside, Italian Stallion has been a detriment to the site for long-term loyal visitors and contributers. KB gave him several outright warnings and months and months of subtle suggestions that if he didn’t change the way he posted he’d be banned. IS demonstrated an unwillingness to listen.

    KB didn’t just arrive at this banning based on this thread. If I had a day to spend on this post I’d find some of the more heated exchanges between IS and Ted Nelson, a respected long-time contributer. It was a toxic environment and I was disappointed that IS was the last man standing in the feud.

    jon and Thomas B. had a similar cat fight, but they were able to cool themselves off in a day without the police getting involved (the way reasonable people are able to do). IS demonstrated no interest in adjusting his behavior to make this the cordial site it was before his arrival (which I think coincided, somehow, with the drafting of Danillo “Italian Stallion” Gallinari (could they be the same Italian Stallion??)).

    As for you, Frank, you are clearly an ass-faced moron too for posting on a site that clearly hates your guts.

    I’m kidding, of course. I actually agree with you (and IS) on stats. I’d just rather listen to you say it than IS because you have a frontal lobe that makes useful and cordial conversation possible…

  82. Frank

    As for you, Frank, you are clearly an ass-faced moron

    I’m starting to become suspicious that my wife is posting under the name “Z”.

    Seriously though — this may seem schizophrenic of me to say but I do overall want to compliment Mike again on this site — I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I really love coming to this site and think it’s the best sports blog out there, in spite of the recent bickering lately. I don’t really think the site needs any change in format that would make it easier for people to ignore certain posters. So even though I’ve been hammering him for the last 2 days, I would like to thank Mike also for running this joint.

    (and no, this isn’t just a prophylactic message to prevent being banned!)

  83. Ben R

    Back to Basketball:

    I can say with alot of confidence that most of the people here would rather have LeBron + Bosh over LeBron + Lee, but it is not that simple. What if we move Lee and then fail to sign anyone of note in 2010. How many free agents in 2010 are actually going to be better than Lee – two, three, five? What is the chance we will sign two of those players especially considering there will be 10+ teams all bidding for their services and we will have a pretty mediocre team.

    Also why not first try and move Jeffries or Curry and then have enough room to keep Lee and still chase after two max free agents. We have other, less valuable, assets in Nate, Gallinari, Chandler and our 2012 pick. Why not try a package of Nate or our 2012 pick plus Jeffries for a player like Cardinal, Etan Thomas, Kenny Thomas, etc. There are other ways to solidify our 2010 caproom that does not involve moving Lee.

    I really think Lee should be the last asset we move since he is the only one, who is already good and not simply banking on their “potential”.

  84. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Now honestly, who wrote the inflammatory thing here? (Hint: IS wrote the first thing, Mike wrote the 2nd).

    So I guess my questions are:
    - is the banning because he doesn’t agree with what you think and likes to write about it? If it is, then BiggieSmalls’s assertion that this is the Soviet Politburo is really not so far off.

    - is the banning because you think that he disrupts the normal flow of the blog? If so, then fine — I might’ve just private mailed him and send look, I think this and this and this rather than attacking him in public. But to my eye, it looks like he wrote something, you picked a fight, he responded (really in a mild and conciliatory way), and you banned him for it. And then jon abbey and the rest piled on in a bully in a playground fight sort of way.

    OK I’m done. Back to real basketball conversation.

    You’re right. I was the inflammatory person in your example. Hence why I apologized for my behavior. I was wrong to respond in that manner.

    And to answer your question he was banned because he continuously disrupted the flow of discussion here. Again I refer back to the definition of an internet troll – someone who purposely inflames others. I think IS fits this description.

    It wasn’t right to ban him at this time, and I’m ashamed that it went down this way, but there were numerous times when it was deserved.

    And as another FYI – In the past I have tried to deal with people who were on the verge of being banned by email. Both times I received profane laced emails. Not to say that IS would do the same, but that’s why I don’t do it anymore.

  85. Frank

    Ben R – I think the most we can hope for is that Curry comes out and plays like Curry of 2006 — ie. badly from an advanced stats standpoint overall but still showing the ability to score on just about anyone down low. In the current situation I don’t think anyone will take Curry (especially with his heart condition) or Jefferies off our hands unless a significant asset, whether it’s 1st round picks and/or Lee, is included.

    It is a good point you make though – we have no guarantee that any of the FA’s will be coming here. In fact they may use us like FA’s in baseball use the Yankees – just to drive up the market. The cap makes that harder to do, I guess. Well, that’s what Donnie gets paid the big bucks to figure out.

    Actually I guess the best case scenario is that Curry suddenly learns how to pass, and moves his big butt to get rebounds, thereby making him a feasible part of a post-2010 team. I see little chance of that, although I must admit I’ll turn over reasonably often from the so-called National Championship game (that does not include the only undefeated team in NCAAFB) to see what Curry looks like tonight.

  86. ess-dog

    Back to Basketball:
    I can say with alot of confidence that most of the people here would rather have LeBron + Bosh over LeBron + Lee, but it is not that simple. What if we move Lee and then fail to sign anyone of note in 2010. How many free agents in 2010 are actually going to be better than Lee – two, three, five? What is the chance we will sign two of those players especially considering there will be 10+ teams all bidding for their services and we will have a pretty mediocre team.
    Also why not first try and move Jeffries or Curry and then have enough room to keep Lee and still chase after two max free agents. We have other, less valuable, assets in Nate, Gallinari, Chandler and our 2012 pick. Why not try a package of Nate or our 2012 pick plus Jeffries for a player like Cardinal, Etan Thomas, Kenny Thomas, etc. There are other ways to solidify our 2010 caproom that does not involve moving Lee.
    I really think Lee should be the last asset we move since he is the only one, who is already good and not simply banking on their “potential”.

    Agreed about waiting to see if we can move Q, Jeffries and/or Curry before worrying too much about Lee. The Nuggets just made multiple maneuvers and gave up a draft pick to get Johan Petro. JOHAN PETRO! Sure he was cheap at 2 mil for a year, but c’mon! I can honestly say that a team will get more out of Q., Jeffries or Curry than they ever would from Petro. So I guess what I’m saying is that there are teams out there for these guys. Playoff bubble teams. It’s up to Mike D. to make these players look good and Donnie to ship these guys out for short contracts, that’s all. And if he can get a draft pick too, god bless him.

  87. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    (and no, this isn’t just a prophylactic message to prevent being banned!)

    Frank, I was so close until I read that line…

    But more seriously I would never ban someone for their viewpoint. If I did jon abbey would have been gone long ago for his early Curry love, and Owen wouldn’t have survived his first hour. :-)

  88. d-mar

    I know this is off of the 2 topics that dominate this board (banning of posters and D Lee) but I thought this was really funny.

    From Berman in the NY Post:

    “Some players were giggling in the locker room Tuesday night after a game in which they fell behind by 23 points, the largest lead the Thunder has owned this season.”

    From Hahn in Newsday:

    “Coming off a big game against Boston to have a let down like this?” Nate Robinson said as he dressed in a somber Knick locker room after the game.

    So which was it “giggling” or “somber”? I tend to believe Hahn, as Berman loves to dump on the Knicks.

  89. BigBlueAL

    I know this is off of the 2 topics that dominate this board (banning of posters and D Lee) but I thought this was really funny.
    From Berman in the NY Post:
    “Some players were giggling in the locker room Tuesday night after a game in which they fell behind by 23 points, the largest lead the Thunder has owned this season.”
    From Hahn in Newsday:
    “Coming off a big game against Boston to have a let down like this?” Nate Robinson said as he dressed in a somber Knick locker room after the game.
    So which was it “giggling” or “somber”? I tend to believe Hahn, as Berman loves to dump on the Knicks.

    You know I thought the exact same thing. Nowadays how can anybody believe anything Berman says anymore….

  90. jon abbey

    “I don’t really think the site needs any change in format that would make it easier for people to ignore certain posters.”

    that’s not the main reason a multi-thread forum would be preferable. multiple threads allow you to address ongoing situations over time (I could have posted in the Mobley thread yesterday instead of having my note that we don’t actually have an open roster spot lost in the hubbub) and to revisit old discussions when they become relevant again.

    “If I did jon abbey would have been gone long ago for his early Curry love”

    heh, I can’t say I’m proud of that, but it was never love as much as it was an inability to believe that the best post scorer in the entire league (which he was two years ago, far and away leading the league in points in the paint) was an overall negative. I came around to reality before last season started, FWIW.

  91. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “I don’t really think the site needs any change in format that would make it easier for people to ignore certain posters.”

    that’s not the main reason a multi-thread forum would be preferable. multiple threads allow you to address ongoing situations over time (I could have posted in the Mobley thread yesterday instead of having my note that we don’t actually have an open roster spot lost in the hubbub) and to revisit old discussions when they become relevant again.

    I agree. The site has changed much since it’s inception, and I felt a forum-style commenting might be a good way to go. I’m looking into some options now. Not sure how difficult it’ll be to implement such a change.

    “If I did jon abbey would have been gone long ago for his early Curry love”

    heh, I can’t say I’m proud of that, but it was never love as much as it was an inability to believe that the best post scorer in the entire league (which he was two years ago, far and away leading the league in points in the paint) was an overall negative. I came around to reality before last season started, FWIW.

    Two things:
    1. I’ve found that the things you say on this site can come back to haunt you. But in the end it’s good to remember the past.

    2. I think I’ve come full circle on Curry. Ok I never thought he would be a great player, but I really think D’Antoni’s system will fit him better than any other. Curry should have never been a go-to guy, but rather a third or fourth option. And I think Chris Duhon will help as well.

    The one area that Curry could possible improve is his turnovers. And I think by not being the focal point that could still happen. I know he has huge flaws but I think he could be a good reserve center.

    Also I hope he plays well so the Knicks can trade him and get rid of that salary! :-)

  92. Frank

    jon abbey if it makes you feel any better, I still have hope for Curry. Here’s what was written today about him in Hoopsworld:

    “As for D’Antoni’s expectations, they’re pretty simple. He isn’t concerned with minutes at this point, he just wants to see relentless effort from his big man.

    “He just wants me to go hard while I’m out there, and that’s the main focus right now,” says Curry. “We’re just trying to get me to where I need to be. He wants me to go out there for how ever long I can go at a time and go as hard as I can.”"

    I feel like if the effort is there, he can be productive. It’s just when he’s lazy that he’s a complete waste of space. Maybe the way to handle him is playing him 10 minutes a game with a quick hook whenever a lack of effort is shown. I can’t imagine he really wants to be thought of as a Jerome James, sitting his lard-ass on the bench and collecting money. Although I’d be happy to do that.

  93. Caleb

    I think D’Antoni’s system will be great for Curry, because of its “7 Seconds or Less” focus. Get him the ball before the defense has time to collapse on him. He should be able to shoot an even higher percentage (almost every player D’Antoni has coached has had a career year) – and, even more, avoid the double- and triple- teams that lead to so many turnovers.

    Amid the wreckage last year, he actually did improve his turnover rate.

    The rebounding will never improve, and I think he is the worst-rebounding center in the league (those hands). And neither will his defense, but as was mentioned a few weeks back, he might be a defensive upgrade in short spells against centers who are too big for lee.

    Like everyone, I’m mainly hoping we can move him – but in the meantime, he has the potential to be a decent contributor, maybe even a bit more.

  94. Owen

    “he just wants to see relentless effort from his big man.”

    Yes, yes. Relentless effort from EC. Sure.

    For my part I am excited to see Curry back on the court because bashing him is practically my raison d’etre. I really miss it. It gets boring cooking DLee’s waffles every morning, running baths for him, washing his car, etc. I need another outlet.

    Re Berman – I get a consistent feeling he is terrible. Am I wrong about this? It seemed to me that he was 65% responsible for the whole Marbury thing. His reporting was so slanted. Being a beat writer is hard, and its possible that the Knicks organization has gotten the writers it deserves, but still, I don’t like him….

    And Ted Nelson, please come back….

  95. Thomas B.

    “jon and Thomas B. had a similar cat fight”

    Sure, jon and I had a spat and I’m sure we will continue to disagree but we each knew when to let it go. And I like to think we have gained something close to mutual respect for each other since then.

    The thing about an argument is knowing when to let it go and move on to the next thing. While I did not mind IS, he did not seem able to say “OK how much longer can I argue this point?” No, he was not abusive but the totality of his actions could well fit the definition of trolling. IYAMWATIAM was a broken water main, IS was the pinhole leak that went on and on. Over time the pin hole leak can be just as damaging.

  96. TDM

    I actually remember a board in July where a discussion seemed to go on for days over whether JCraw used the word “monotony” correctly. I guess the “ban” button wasn’t working that week.

    On another note, I was watching the Warriors/Lakers game last night. I wasn’t a fan at first, but Anthony Randolph was pretty impressive. He reminded me of a young Lamar Odom in that he has guard-like skills for such a tall guy.

  97. jon abbey

    I didn’t agree with Ted Nelson much, but if it’s true that IS drove him away (pretty likely, I just didn’t notice) and someone has an e-mail for him, they should let him know that IS is gone now.

    the thing about Curry is he’s an outlier in so many ways, all of them bad except scoring in the post. but if anyone can bring out his sole strength while hiding his myriad weaknesses, it’ll be D’Antoni, who I seriously think is up there for Coach of the Year at this point (probably not in reality, but in my book).

  98. Ben R

    I have been a long time Curry apoligist and I still think in the right situation he could be valuable. I want him gone and I think there is a decent chance D’Antoni can make him look really good and then we can move him. I think I lost what little hope I had for him as a Knick when he showed up so totally out of shape even though we had a new coach and a much more positive apmoshere in the locker room.

    As for his rebounding, I argued this ad naseum back in the day so I will keep it brief, he is a solid offensive rebounder and his lack of defensive boards seems to come more from deferring to his teammates then surrendering rebounds to the other team. Also even with all his well documented shortcomings on the glass he is still better than Chandler, Harrington, Thomas or Jeffries.

    Also Curry’s career average of 7.5 per 36 while bad is not that much worse than:

    LeMarcus Aldrige – 7.7
    David West – 8.3
    Brad Miller – 7.8
    Nene Hilario – 8.3
    Dirk Nowitski – 8.5
    Rasheed Wallace – 7.3
    Antawn Jamison – 7.8
    As you can see Curry’s rebounding numbers are not that far off some very well respected bigmen. I could make a much longer list if I included the Mark Blount’s and Mikki Moore’s of the world.

    Bottom line is Curry’s rebounding if anything would help the Knicks because he is better than anyone on the Knicks not named Davis Lee. My real question mark and in my opinion a much bigger weakness than rebounding is his terrible defense, if D’Antoni can hide that enough to make Curry tradable we need to erect a D’Antoni statue, ala Jordan in Chicago, right outside MSG.

  99. jon abbey

    just speaking for myself here…

    my intention was never to be disruptive, repetitive, or to mess up the flow of the board.

    yet you’re still somehow here, spouting the same gibberish over and over and over and over…

    From time to time people are going to come to this board that use stats, but see them as having significant limitations or that try to analyze and use them in different ways. Some of them are only going to participate when they feel like that have something new/different to say. It’s not necessary for you or others to agree with everything they say, but encouraging a less arrogant and/or hostile approach towards them from the community would minimze the potential for a problem and enhance the probability that some people might learn something new instead of turning it into a pissing match.

    since this still doesn’t seem to be clear, there was no innate philosophical problem with you. pretty much everyone here is ready to listen to intelligently formed and stated alternative viewpoints. your posts are way too long, usually add very little, often derail any existing discussion, and you repeat the same points endlessly, as you’ve done again here. you force people to either ignore your statements (thus implicitly accepting them as true) or to spend way too much time explaining the same simple things to you over and over and over. I don’t think anyone here thinks you’re a bad person, but I’m also pretty sure this isn’t the community for you (as you seemed to recognize quite clearly yesterday).

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