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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Importance Of Being Melo

Let’s just get this out of the way right now. Carmelo Anthony, as we know him and in general, is an overrated product of the 2003 NBA Draft rivalry. Talented, yes, but overrated with an underline.

If he were drafted in 2002 or 2004, he’d be judged in better balance, but as of right now, his reputation is based upon the mythology of his amateur career in high school, and how he (impressively) led Syracuse to a NCAA title. But no other player in recent years has been given the superstar label so easily coming out of the Draft, save for John Wall, who is struggling mightily. His collegiate national championship was well-earned and his Olympic success is clear, but his work as an NBA player is as promising as it is flawed, and those are the only sides of his coin as a player in the league.

Analysts always talk about his outside shooting sweetness and his rebound rate, which are impressive, but they always fail to mention that he’s more singularly-faceted than anything. He’s basically the same player that he was at Oak Hill. That’s a failure in evolution.

And so now he’s a star player for the New York Knickerbockers. He wanted New York and now he has New York in the palm of his hands, and he’s not capitalizing with his play and the scrutiny is getting to him. He’s not a great team player. Not that he’s a bad team player, but just that his play is sub-standard for non-All-Star-laden teams. If you notice, he shines on the Olympic teams, because of his singularity of skills; he’s asked to be the shooter/scorer and nothing else. Also, because he knows that he has 11 other players that rival his skill set, he actually makes it worth a damn to elevate his play and defer; in the NBA season, because he overvalues his skills and (in-)ability to actually take over games, he sells out his teammates by isolating in nearly every single position.

He’s like a Terminator with a bad CPU — he needs reprogramming, but he won’t go back to Skynet for updates. He’s offline.

In order for the Knicks to survive as a winning basketball team, it must be clear that Melo starts his game from scratch. Make the right pass, shoot the good shot, keep the offense in flow, because we now know that he was breaking the flawed, but effective D’Antoni offense when Jeremy Lin was inserted. We know that Melo was a major reason that Amar’e Stoudemire stopped playing like an All-Star since his arrival (and former coach Mike D’Antoni was a huge factor in that as well). It’s not too surprising that the Denver Nuggets took off once he was gone – Melo bogs an offense down, and he can bog an NBA team down, too. For all of George Karl’s multiple sins as a petty, poorly communicative head coach, when he intimated that Melo wasn’t particularly inspired and upset rhythm of the team, it’s proven to be a truth in New York…sadly.

The time is now for Melo to show and prove. He has little time left. If he doesn’t do what he was brought to do, he will be cast aside and seen as another failure of the New York Knicks system. Another star player who failed to make good in The Big Apple. If he disrupts the Jeremy Lin phenomenon further (already in effect), heads will roll and his will be the one all clamor for.

Make no mistake that the team is clearly imperfect.

Stoudemire is clearly not producing and his athleticism not nearly as bouncy; Lin is like a rookie and is still learning the go-arounds of the NBA game; J.R. Smith has been…J.R. Smith; and the team is sort of a hodge-podge of young and old that is trying to translate skill into wins. Melo isn’t the root of all the Knicks’ problems, but he’s become an on-court problem, and it’s hurting everyone that’s playing in a Knicks uniform.

For most of the season Tyson Chandler has led the Knicks, giving them a formidable defense. But Chandler has taken New York as far as he can. D’Antoni has departed in shame and there are no more scapegoats to take the blame. The ball is in Carmelo Anthony’s hands to live up to his reputation. And if there is any doubt about Melo being able to change for the better, he may be better elsewhere.

245 comments on “The Importance Of Being Melo

  1. garfangle

    I don’t understand why Woodson would ditch Lin the way he has when though he struggled a bit, he wasn’t the reason for the six game losing streak. Moreover, his numbers (PER, game score) were still decent compared with the alternative in Davis. If the Knicks miss the playoffs I suspect Lin will go the free agent route and try to hook up with D’Antonio if he gets another job.

  2. garfangle

    One more thing. Why would D’Antoni hire a coach in Woodson whose game philosophy so differs from him? It would be like in the NFL replacing Mike Martz with Mike Ditka.

  3. Mike Kurylo

    @2 D’Antoni didn’t hire Woodson. Also I think it would be Martz hiring Brian Schottenheimer, considering Woodson isn’t really a defensive coach. Rather he just has a different philosophy.

    IMO Woodson was hired as D’Antoni insurance, I think “Defensive coach” was just a cover.

  4. TelegraphedPass

    I’m a bit confused about how many people scream Melo is overrated. Is he not the most polished and complete wing scorer of his generation? It would be more accurate to say scorers in general are overrated.

  5. garfangle

    TelegraphedPass:
    I’m a bit confused about how many people scream Melo is overrated. Is he not the most polished and complete wing scorer of his generation? It would be more accurate to say scorers in general are overrated.

    I guess the problem is one of efficiency than scoring. Of course you can put up as many shots as you like and have a nice point total, but if you are make lousy shots, rather than appropriate shots, you’ll probably lose more than win over time.

  6. Spree8nyk8

    I really don’t care that MDA is gone, but I do care about the reason because I think Melo and possibly Amar’e both tanked. And I’m not sure if I can root for players that did that. I’ve never felt this way about this team in my entire life, and now it seems like Woodson is going to kill off Linsanity completely. And for what? Because these two jackasses put themselves before the team? I really hope I’m wrong and that it isn’t true. But it sure seems to be accurate. And if it is, I hope Lin gets to leave this place and go somewhere that he won’t be treated like that. He deserves better teammates than these two guys.

  7. Gideon Zaga

    Such well written nonsense, don’t worry like I said fans jump on everything, one day Dirk was a choker, soft and couldn’t play defense (still can’t) and now he is well he is something else, be prisoner of the moment. I can’t wait to see what you’ll write when the team improves and makes a good run. Yeah I’m sure you’ll credit someone else. Gimme a break with this Bleacher report.

  8. Frank

    Mike Kurylo:
    @2 D’Antoni didn’t hire Woodson. Also I think it would be Martz hiring Brian Schottenheimer, considering Woodson isn’t really a defensive coach. Rather he just has a different philosophy.

    IMO Woodson was hired as D’Antoni insurance, I think “Defensive coach” was just a cover.

    I think Woodson came with the pedigree of Bob Knight, Red Holzman, and Larry Brown, which equals attention to detail and defense. Wasn’t he considered Larry Brown’s defensive assistant in Detroit, much like Mike Brown was in SA with Pop? Making Atlanta an above average defense is pretty impressive with a bunch of subpar defenders and knucklehads like Josh Smith. It’s true though – he is about as opposite from D’Antoni in coaching style as anyone. Pretty sure his hiring was nail # 42 in MDA’s coffin, with Melo being nail #s 1-26 and Walsh’s departure being 27-41.

  9. PaulStreetBoy

    thanks Sandy, very good article.

    Melo is a good player, but it is clear that he never delivered the promise, which is wrongly inflated in the first place. yet there is a window for him and we all know how those windows close really fast.

    i loved Linsanity, i hated the Melo trade. yet for this team to be successful as currently assembled, we need Melo. is Lin the PG of the team that will start every single offense with Melo at the elbow or the post? i am not very sure. it may in fact diminish Lin as a player, cause that’s not the kind of play in which he succeeded. but then is Baron – the Bearded Devil – Davis that PG? well that’s yet to be seen. he did not show us that he can score from Melo kick-outs in such plays. he shooting like -25% or something since he came back.

    i support Knicks, since i moved to NYC some 9 years ago. although this is not the most fun group to watch, it is definitely the most talented one. for some stupid reason, i still think that this group has a better upside than it shows on the floor. what if Pierce’s 3 did not go in, or if Melo scored in that last attempt in Boston? i am sure we will be having a much different conversation right now.

  10. NY2MIA

    garfangle: I guess the problem is one of efficiency than scoring. Of course you can put up as many shots as you like and have a nice point total, but if you are make lousy shots, rather than appropriate shots, you’ll probably lose more than win over time.

    Am I wrong in interpreting based on your definition that Kobe Bryant (career fg 45%), Paul Pierce (44%), Russell Westbrook (43%), Danny Granger (44%) are all overated?

  11. Eternal OptiKnist

    I think what often happens is that skill is mistakenly thought of as synonymous with leadership. A good example of this is probably Lebron James being clearly the best player on his team, however, Dwayne Wade is most certainly the leader. I think the issue with Melo lies in who he is as a person. I’ve caught alot of heat for it on this board, but he really does give me severe douche-chills. He strikes me as the type of guy that gets along great with other superstars, but not with ‘regular’ players…i see him looking down on his lesser teammates. If he were to hang out with other superstars of the league, i think he’d be the one they make fun of alot…if they all were going to hang out somewhere, they’d make him drive. Despite legit skill, he strikes me as an insecure person and an awful teammate. So while his skill is not overrated, his ability to lead and inspire is DRASTICALLY overrated. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your team captain…click at your own risk…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlJx2xGaUco

  12. Caleb

    Frank: I think Woodson came with the pedigree of Bob Knight, Red Holzman, and Larry Brown, which equals attention to detail and defense. Wasn’t he considered Larry Brown’s defensive assistant in Detroit, much like Mike Brown was in SA with Pop? Making Atlanta an above average defense is pretty impressive with a bunch of subpar defenders and knucklehads like Josh Smith.

    I am not anti-Woody and the coaching change was probably inevitable – all things run their course – but for the record, the conventional wisdom on Woody was wrong. His Atlanta teams ranked higher on offense than defense almost every year. They just played slow.

    You could argue the point, but I might say there was more defensive talent in Atlanta (Smith, Horford, Johnson, real-size centers like Collins & Pachulia) than D’Antoni did in Phoenix. The results were similar.

    Atlanta
    2004-2005 13 wins O-19th D-28th
    2005-2006 26 wins O-17th D-26th (The Joe Johnson era begins!)
    2006-2007 30 wins O-28th D-22nd
    2007-2008 37 wins O-17th D-17th
    2008-2009 47 wins O-10th D-11th
    2009-2010 53 wins O-3rd D-13th

  13. Caleb

    NY2MIA: Am I wrong in interpreting based on your definition that Kobe Bryant (career fg 45%), Paul Pierce (44%), Russell Westbrook (43%), Danny Granger (44%) are all overated?

    I would not be looking at fg% but points per shot or TS%.

  14. KnicksFanInVA

    LOL He thanked himself at the ESPYs? We thought Lebron was a narcissist.

    Eternal OptiKnist:
    I think what often happens is that skill is mistakenly thought of as synonymous with leadership.A good example of this is probably Lebron James being clearly the best player on his team, however, Dwayne Wade is most certainly the leader.I think the issue with Melo lies in who he is as a person.I’ve caught alot of heat for it on this board, but he really does give me severe douche-chills.He strikes me as the type of guy that gets along great with other superstars, but not with ‘regular’ players…i see him looking down on his lesser teammates.If he were to hang out with other superstars of the league, i think he’d be the one they make fun of alot…if they all were going to hang out somewhere, they’d make him drive.Despite legit skill, he strikes me as an insecure person and an awful teammate.So while his skill is not overrated, his ability to lead and inspire is DRASTICALLY overrated.Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your team captain…click at your own risk…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlJx2xGaUco

  15. TelegraphedPass

    NY2MIA: Am I wrong in interpreting based on your definition that Kobe Bryant (career fg 45%), Paul Pierce (44%), Russell Westbrook (43%), Danny Granger (44%) are all overated?

    Which is exactly what I was going to say. We’re all well-aware how inefficient Melo has been this season, but even counting this one he’s been a more efficient scorer for his career than every name on that list.

  16. sisterray

    All true — but this same point could have been made a month ago, or at the beginning of the season, or before we even traded for him.

  17. Eternal OptiKnist

    There’s nothing wrong with dialing back Lin’s role, as we’d all agree…he is basically a rookie! Maybe its media spin, but it seems like everyone is going out of their way to say how much his role will be diminished in favor of veteran play. Making Melo and Stat more productive, i agree is necessary..we’re paying them alot and they are talented. I just hope we don’t begin catering to the whims of Baron Davis. Killing the confidence of your furture point guard so that you can help your histocially lazy, underachieving veteran PG can audition for his next contract is ridiculous to me.

  18. NY2MIA

    Caleb: I would not be looking at fg% but points per shot or TS%.

    That’s one way of looking at it but I am referring to the definition provided by the poster I quoted. Not to call the poster out which is not my intention but to point out that this is the kind of misleading analysis and recent narrative on Melo’s career.

  19. TelegraphedPass

    Caleb: I would not be looking at fg% but points per shot or TS%.

    Great point. He stands behind those names in that regard but not by so much that he becomes inefficient. Unless you believe those players were bordering on inefficient.

  20. Eternal OptiKnist

    KnicksFanInVA: LOL He thanked himself at the ESPYs? We thought Lebron was a narcissist.

    Wait…not everyone has a picture of themselves standing next to Jesus in their house?

  21. TelegraphedPass

    Guise, you’re right. It’s too bad Shaq was such a narcissist. It really got in the way of his ability to win rings. What a poor leader.

  22. Rich

    The problem with Melo isn’t efficiency, the problem is he brings one skill and one skill alone to the table. That ‘s not enough to be considered a “super star” and certainly not enough to be running off coaches.

    I looked at the names above, and I bet most people (including myself) would have considered Carmelo a better player than Paul Pierce or Westbrook. Yet, Paul Pierce has had FOUR seasons with a higher PER than Melo has ever had. Westbrook is now working on his second. Obviously Kobe has had many seasons with a higher PER than Carmelo has ever had. That’s because these players bring more to the table, or at least did at one point in their careers, namely, all three of them play vastly superior defense to anything Anthony has ever tried to play.

    Oh, and Anthony’s outside shot has long been overrated. Anyone realize that LeBron James, a guy who many say isn’t a good shooter, has a career 3p% above Carmelo’s? And that’s while shooting more than an extra three a game?

    Which brings me to my last point. For too long Anthony has been considered the best pure scorer in the league, but there are no stats to back that up. At what point has he been better than James at putting the ball in the net at an efficient rate? Or before that Kobe? Or now Durant? And this is his one calling card, and even that comes at a disservice to his team because, more than those other guys, he bogs down his own team’s offense.

  23. Eternal OptiKnist

    TelegraphedPass: Guise, you’re right. It’s too bad Shaq was such a narcissist. It really got in the way of his ability to win rings. What a poor leader.

    LOL, keep telling yourself that you don’t need leadership to get a team to accomplish great things. If you look back at the last 20 NBA title teams, i bet you each one was lead by a guy who had the personality to lead…a guy that inspired his teammates and made them better…likely didn’t have 150 tats and had a low propensity for appearing on televsion shows that bragged about how much crap they have. I also assume they don’t have pictures of themselves standing next to Jesus.

  24. ephus

    There are at least two separate issues: (1) dialing back Lin’s role and (2) dialing back the role of the PG position.

    On #1 – I think it would be useful to dial back Lin’s role. He is – essentially – a rookie who has never faced this level of competition before. Since the initial two week burst, he has been good but not great. Scouting reports have caught up with him. He frequently gets caught in the air without a plan, and also gets stuck in the lane without a route to rim or a passing lane. He takes a huge pounding when he penetrates. 24 – 30 minutes per game makes sense.

    On #2 – Woodson clearly is going to take a lot of the decision-making away from the PG – whether it is Lin or Davis. ‘Melo and Amar’e are going to isolate. In order for Lin to be productive, he will have to shine as a spot-up shooter or slasher once ‘Melo draws the double team.

  25. DS

    Good article on Woodson:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/sports/basketball/coach-now-calling-the-shots-and-anthony-and-stoudemire-will-take-them.html

    GREAT Woodson fan page… http://www.facebook.com/Woodsonity

    ….filled with pictures and fun facts. For example, did you know that in the 1979 Pan American Games USA Basketball team Woodson led a team — that also included Kevin McHale, Isiah Thomas [uh oh! b/w that and Indiana there's a connection for Frank Isola to latch onto], and Ralph Samson — in scoring?

  26. TelegraphedPass

    Eternal OptiKnist: LOL, keep telling yourself that you don’t need leadership to get a team to accomplish great things. If you look back at the last 20 NBA title teams, i bet you each one was lead by a guy who had the personality to lead…a guy that inspired his teammates and made them better…likely didn’t have 150 tats and had a low propensity for appearing on televsion shows that bragged about how much crap they have. I also assume they don’t have pictures of themselves standing next to Jesus.

    Oh, I was unaware that tattoo density correllated with leadership, you cultural elitist.

  27. DJ Caliber

    …”because he overvalues his skills and (in-)ability to actually take over games, he sells out his teammates by isolating in nearly every single position.

    He’s like a Terminator with a bad CPU — he needs reprogramming, but he won’t go back to Skynet for updates. He’s offline.”

    LOL that is so funny but true!

  28. Eternal OptiKnist

    TelegraphedPass: Oh, I was unaware that tattoo density correllated with leadership, you cultural elitist.

    You’re right, we will soon have a president with a tattoo on his neck

  29. Gideon Zaga

    Same could be said of Michael .Jordan and last time I checked he was still the greatest. I’m not saying looking down on teammates is good but you can’t use that to critique leadership skills. I agree that Melo is a douche, i saw it in the last game when he went .to the bench and took Jerome Jordan’s seat. But Jordan punched teammates and during his Hall of fame speech, he bashed his high school coach who he invited to be present and also bashed his kids for being lucky. The guy basically said look at me now. And that’s the guy we call the legend, the greatest. So come on, I could care less about a guy’s personality its all about wins and losses. That’s why people like the tebows but at the end of the day like we say in nascar, the nice guys finish last.

    Eternal OptiKnist:
    I think what often happens is that skill is mistakenly thought of as synonymous with leadership.A good example of this is probably Lebron James being clearly the best player on his team, however, Dwayne Wade is most certainly the leader.I think the issue with Melo lies in who he is as a person.I’ve caught alot of heat for it on this board, but he really does give me severe douche-chills.He strikes me as the type of guy that gets along great with other superstars, but not with ‘regular’ players…i see him looking down on his lesser teammates.If he were to hang out with other superstars of the league, i think he’d be the one they make fun of alot…if they all were going to hang out somewhere, they’d make him drive.Despite legit skill, he strikes me as an insecure person and an awful teammate.So while his skill is not overrated, his ability to lead and inspire is DRASTICALLY overrated.Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your team captain…click at your own risk…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlJx2xGaUco

  30. JLam

    Bibby played under Woodson with the Hawks. I’m sure he get more minutes. Lin likely will get less minutes.

  31. garfangle

    ephus:
    There are at least two separate issues: (1) dialing back Lin’s role and (2) dialing back the role of the PG position.

    On #1 – I think it would be useful to dial back Lin’s role.He is – essentially – a rookie who has never faced this level of competition before.Since the initial two week burst, he has been good but not great.Scouting reports have caught up with him.He frequently gets caught in the air without a plan, and also gets stuck in the lane without a route to rim or a passing lane.He takes a huge pounding when he penetrates.24 – 30 minutes per game makes sense.

    On #2 – Woodson clearly is going to take a lot of the decision-making away from the PG – whether it is Lin or Davis.‘Melo and Amar’e are going to isolate.In order for Lin to be productive, he will have to shine as a spot-up shooter or slasher once ‘Melo draws the double team.

    I dislike the “he’s a rookie” talk because the only way he can get better is to play. We know what Davis is and if you are a JLin fan you hope he becomes much more. You can’t do that by sitting him in crunch time.

  32. TelegraphedPass

    I don’t believe Melo to be a particularly strong leader, but words cannot describe how disgusting it is to me to see people stereotype these players. As if somebody who has tattoos couldn’t possibly be a good leader. As if somebody who indulges in their wealth couldn’t be a champion. As if the greatest players of all time made their reputations on being humble. It’s honestly really sad how some posters disparage Melo’s character as if they knew him.

    Have we all forgotten Shaq’s Superman bed? Or that he left Orlando because they were unable to pay him as much as Penny Hardaway?

    How about Rick Barry’s lavish house? Didn’t keep him out of the Hall of Fame.

    I’m disappointed.

  33. massive

    JLam:
    Bibby played under Woodson with the Hawks. I’m sure he get more minutes. Lin likely will get less minutes.

    Yeah, he played Bibby before he played Toney Douglas. That made absolutely no sense to me.

  34. massive

    Efficiency and effort are Melo’s problems. Why? Because Kevin Durant is the same player as Melo (or at least they offer the same things), except Durant is more efficient and plays harder.

  35. JLam

    One thing Melo and Lin have in common is devotion to Christianity. Who would have thought Melo has a pic of himself and Jesus in his home?

  36. TelegraphedPass

    Eternal OptiKnist: You’re right, we will soon have a president with a tattoo on his neck

    You’re right, we will soon have a President who’s Jewish.

    The public is loath to elect a president who doesn’t fit their image of what a leader looks like. Kind of like you are loath to believe a tatted player could be a strong leader.

  37. Gideon Zaga

    Yeah but most of the leaders you speak of were not necessarily their best players, Derek Fisher was the true leader of the Laker Championship teams, you can say David Robinson on the Spurs, even Ray Allen on the Celtics. So yeah the rah rah guys were never the real leaders, they were just leading scorers.

    Eternal OptiKnist: LOL, keep telling yourself that you don’t need leadership to get a team to accomplish great things.If you look back at the last 20 NBA title teams, i bet you each one was lead by a guy who had the personality to lead…a guy that inspired his teammates and made them better…likely didn’t have 150 tats and had a low propensity for appearing on televsion shows that bragged about how much crap they have.I also assume they don’t have pictures of themselves standing next to Jesus.

  38. Eternal OptiKnist

    Gideon Zaga: Same could be said of Michael .Jordan and last time I checked he was still the greatest. I’m not saying looking down on teammates is good but you can’t use that to critique leadership skills. I agree that Melo is a douche, i saw it in the last game when he went .to the bench and took Jerome Jordan’s seat. But Jordan punched teammates and during his Hall of fame speech, he bashed his high school coach who he invited to be present and also bashed his kids for being lucky. The guy basically said look at me now. And that’s the guy we call the legend, the greatest. So come on, I could care less about a guy’s personality its all about wins and losses. That’s why people like the tebows but at the end of the day like we say in nascar, the nice guys finish last.

    Leadership is about inspiring people, driving them to perform, making them better. Jordan pushed his teammates and put alot of pressure on them..he was relentlessly demanding but i don’t think he looked down on them. He inspired confidence in them. They trusted him as a leader. Now he wasn’t always kind…but that came from him being demanding (not of the ball, but of them working hard); i’d venture a guess that while they always didn’t like his aggressiveness, they respected and admired him. The sense i get is that Melo’s teammates and coaches resent him. Every quote out of Denver is of the we’re-happy-he’s-gone nature. Don’t deny it…its true. He seems to be concerned with himself more than leading a team…more than winning.

  39. TelegraphedPass

    Eternal OptiKnist: Leadership is about inspiring people, driving them to perform, making them better. Jordan pushed his teammates and put alot of pressure on them..he was relentlessly demanding but i don’t think he looked down on them. He inspired confidence in them. They trusted him as a leader. Now he wasn’t always kind…but that came from him being demanding (not of the ball, but of them working hard); i’d venture a guess that while they always didn’t like his aggressiveness, they respected and admired him. The sense i get is that Melo’s teammates and coaches resent him. Every quote out of Denver is of the we’re-happy-he’s-gone nature. Don’t deny it…its true. He seems to be concerned with himself more than leading a team…more than winning.

    Not often that I completely agree with Gideon Saga. This is revisionist history at its finest. Other players disliked Jordan. He looked down on everyone except for Scottie, who was the only teammate capable of keeping up with him in practice. Of course they all respected him, but painting him as a saint who “inspired confidence” in his teammates is a gross exaggeration.

  40. Eternal OptiKnist

    TelegraphedPass: You’re right, we will soon have a President who’s Jewish.The public is loath to elect a president who doesn’t fit their image of what a leader looks like. Kind of like you are loath to believe a tatted player could be a strong leader.

    LOL, yes…clearly the same argument. Listen pal, don’t get caught up in the tattoo thing, its an example…i knew that one would be polarizing. But yea, show up to work looking like the birdman, I’m sure you will be CEO in no time.

  41. flossy

    Spree8nyk8: I really don’t care that MDA is gone, but I do care about the reason because I think Melo and possibly Amar’e both tanked.

    Curious to know why you think this of Amar’e. I think it’s a given that Melo basically phoned it in to help usher MDA out the door, which is gross, but not unexpected. But Amar’e and MDA have a long relationship, Amar’e has been one of his more vocal supporters, and Amar’e has also been playing better over the past two weeks (hell he’s virtually the only player on an upward trajectory at the moment). He’s not a very good ISO player, so I don’t know what he’d stand to gain from Woodson’s offense.

  42. Caleb

    I thought I would list Melo and some other big name scorers, in terms of TS%, a good measure of scoring efficiency. These are all perimeter guys – no Howard, Gasol, etc. – and all have very high usage numbers.

    I added the “3rd best season” line to get a better sense of where the player usually is, instead of cherry picking the best season or putting a lot of weight on the rookie and soph seasons when these guys were 18 or 19 – those averages drag down the career #s. (although including 3d best looks bad with Westbrook, who’s only in his 4th season).

      Best season

    James .620
    Durant .609
    Granger (!) .584
    Wade .583
    Bryant .580
    Melo .568 (although he was .575 for New York last year, despite MDA’s best efforts to destroy his game)
    Westbrook .546

      3rd-best season

    James .591
    Durant .587
    Wade .577
    Granger .571
    Bryant .563
    Melo .557
    Westbrook .491

      Career

    Durant .580
    James .569
    Wade .567
    Granger .563
    Bryant .555
    Melo .543
    Westbrook .515

    There’s a pretty clear pecking order. One thing I might say – not just based on this – is that comparing achievement with reputation, Kobe might be the most overrated player of the last several years.

    It’s pretty clear LeBron James is in another league, and Wade in another league below him. In this group, they easily contribute the most in non-scoring areas – defense, boards, passing – as well as being the most efficient and almost-most efficient scorer, respectively. Durant is well above the others as a scorer, and with his recent rebounding surge, is an MVP-candidate most years (not this one!)

    Granger is better than I thought.

    Melo is similar to Bryant, although just behind in most areas. He’s a worse defender, but great rebounder for his position.

    For most of his career he’s been a terrific offensive player – but in terms of overall value, yeah, I’d say he’s been…

  43. Gideon Zaga

    Yep but that’s what I keep telling you and most on this board, Dont Be Prisoner of the Moment. Yeah you say that now about Jordan. The same will be said of Carmelo if he wins Championships. Kobe called his team mate Smush Parker a bum. What an asshole he was then. He was caught on video insulting Bynum and asking for him to be traded. But look at his rep now, no one mention these. Now tell is that what a true leader should do yet Kobe is even sometimes considered a coach on the floor. Upon all the bitterness that’s come on Carmelo and Lebron from their former teams they wouldn’t think twice about taking them back if the possibility sprung up in the next minute.

    Eternal OptiKnist: Leadership is about inspiring people, driving them to perform, making them better.Jordan pushed his teammates and put alot of pressure on them..he was relentlessly demanding but i don’t think he looked down on them.He inspired confidence in them.They trusted him as a leader.Now he wasn’t always kind…but that came from him being demanding (not of the ball, but of them working hard); i’d venture a guess that while they always didn’t like his aggressiveness, they respected and admired him.The sense i get is that Melo’s teammates and coaches resent him.Every quote out of Denver is of the we’re-happy-he’s-gone nature.Don’t deny it…its true.He seems to be concerned with himself more than leading a team…more than winning.

  44. flossy

    Frank: Making Atlanta an above average defense is pretty impressive with a bunch of subpar defenders and knucklehads like Josh Smith.

    I don’t know about that, Al Horford is a very, very good defensive player and Josh Smith is a freak athlete whose bone-headedness seems to occur mostly on offense.

  45. Eternal OptiKnist

    TelegraphedPass: Not often that I completely agree with Gideon Saga. This is revisionist history at its finest. Other players disliked Jordan. He looked down on everyone except for Scottie, who was the only teammate capable of keeping up with him in practice. Of course they all respected him, but painting him as a saint who “inspired confidence” in his teammates is a gross exaggeration.

    Get me quotes of anyone on the Bulls expressing the sheer fucking gigginess that George Karl and the gang showed after Melo left when Jordan left.

  46. Z

    TelegraphedPass:
    I don’t believe Melo to be a particularly strong leader, but words cannot describe how disgusting it is to me to see people stereotype these players. As if somebody who has tattoos couldn’t possibly be a good leader. As if somebody who indulges in their wealth couldn’t be a champion. As if the greatest players of all time made their reputations on being humble.

    I’m disappointed.

    It’s not that stuff. It’s the smirking at missed free throws, the enjoyment of losing to PaulPierce at the last second, and the on court tantrums when Landry Fields and Jeremy Lin choose to run the coach’s offense over his own.

    Plus the way he demanded a trade to NY, forced them to gut their team to get him, took a max contract to ensure it would take a lot of luck to surround him with talent, then blamed everybody else.

    It has nothing to do with tattoos and pictures of himself with Jesus and Ruruland. The guy is hard to root for, and the article is right: He needs to be better than he is to win NY over.

  47. flossy

    Who the hell cares whether players liked Michael Jordan?? If Melo had 1/4 of the talent of Michael Jordan we wouldn’t be having this conversation! Kobe Bryant shares all the same issues as Melo on offense and is an a-hole to boot but he was an elite defender for many years and has been a huge part of five championship teams.

    Nobody would care about whether Melo smiles too much or looks down on his teammates or any of that collateral crap except that he’s shooting 40%, playing his usual bad D and the Knicks are awful.

  48. garfangle

    Looking at the shot selection of Lin where is is at his most productive attacking the basket and weakest at perimeter shooting, I fear his stats will suffer, not because he isn’t a smart player but because the times he will be allowed to shoot will be not the best opportunities for him or the team. Meaning he’ll probably shoot when he is forced to shoot, like when the clock is winding down instead of when at more opportune times.

  49. Gideon Zaga

    Oh I’m glad you mentioned this but remember that this debate is void of any animosity toward you, I actually enjoy your posts. I wish you could watch NBA TVs Open Court program where they have their analysts who are former players tell stories from their playing days. Iremember one time on the program Kenny Smith told a story about when the Houston Rockets played the Bulls at home, and as they got off their team bus, Jordan’s limo rolled by and he got out with a cigar in his hand and after he blew into their faces, asked the players who was guarding him tonight. During the game Jordan counted backwards to the face of the opposing guard from 40 each time he scored, he scored 42 that night. What a douche.

    Eternal OptiKnist: Get me quotes of anyone on the Bulls expressing the sheer fucking gigginess that George Karl and the gang showed after Melo left when Jordan left.

  50. garfangle

    garfangle:
    Looking at the shot selection of Lin where is is at his most productive attacking the basket and weakest at perimeter shooting, I fear his stats will suffer, not because he isn’t a smart player but because the times he will be allowed to shoot will be not the best opportunities for him or the team.Meaning he’ll probably shoot when he is forced to shoot, like when the clock is winding down instead of when at more opportune times.

    To clarify: I’d be happy if Lin attempted 9-10 shots per game rather than 15-16 shots per game, because I think he’d be more productive in that role rather than have all the pressure put on him to make critical buckets.

  51. ephus

    Eternal OptiKnist: . If you look back at the last 20 NBA title teams, i bet you each one was lead by a guy who had the personality to lead…a guy that inspired his teammates and made them better…likely didn’t have 150 tats and had a low propensity for appearing on televsion shows that bragged about how much crap they have. I also assume they don’t have pictures of themselves standing next to Jesus.

    Let’s look at the past 20 champions:

    2011 Dallas – Best player -Dirk – Tagged as too slow, too soft, no defense and a choker before last year. Contemporaneous press stated that Tyson Chandler was the locker room leader. NO.

    2010 Los Angeles – Best player – Kobe – At least some tattoos. Brutal on his teammates (especially Bynum). Don’t think he gets the “inspired teammates” points. NO.

    2009 Los Angeles – See 2010 – NO.

    2008 Boston – Kevin Garnett – Garnett, Pierce and Allen did a great job of creating a team dynamic. YES.

    2007 (2005, 2003, 1999) San Antonio – Tim Duncan – Great leader, discretely placed tattoos. YES

    2006 Miami – Dwayne Wade/Shaq – Dwayne Wade was a great player, but the idea that he was the insipirational leader is nuts. Pat Riley was the motivating force on that team. NO

    2004 Detroit – Rasheed Wallace – Lots of tattoos, first among equals, led to major upset of heavily favored Lakers NO

    2002, 2001, 2000 Lakers – Shaq – Shaq may have been the Most Dominant Ever, but he was furthest thing from an inspirational leader who made others better. His battles with Kobe over his lack of discipline are legendary – NO

    1998 (1997, 1996, 1993, 1992, 1991) Bulls – Michael Jordan – Great player whose leadership style involved bullying and fist fights – NO

    1995 (1994) Rockets – Hakeem – Great player, no visible tattoos. YES

    So, in the past 20 years, at most five of the twenty teams were led by inspirational leaders…

  52. DS

    Shaq and MJ may not have been likable guys, but I don’t think you can entirely discount their ability to lead by example, reel in difficult teammates, etc. I don’t think you can say their teams depended on other players for leadership can you? Correct me if I’m wrong.

  53. TelegraphedPass

    Yeah, the problem here is that for obvious reasons player personalities get re-written after they win titles.

    Kobe demanded and almost completed a trade to Chicago, but at the last minute backed out because he was afraid losing their key pieces would make his chances of winning a title slim.

    Pierce was considered a bit of a failure because of his inability to win in Boston. He was also arrogant and declared himself the best player in the world, when in truth he probably never was. Insert Rondo, Ray, and KG: Pierce is considered a champion and a winner.

    I like flossy’s look at it. Honestly, this conversation doesn’t happen if Melo is playing like he did last year. But with failure comes overanalysis of one’s shortcomings.

  54. dogrufus

    TelegraphedPass:
    I’m a bit confused about how many people scream Melo is overrated. Is he not the most polished and complete wing scorer of his generation? It would be more accurate to say scorers in general are overrated.

    Kevin Durant exists

  55. NY2MIA

    I looked at the names above, and I bet most people (including myself) would have considered Carmelo a better player than Paul Pierce or Westbrook. Yet, Paul Pierce has had FOUR seasons with a higher PER than Melo has ever had. Westbrook is now working on his second…P></blockquote

    PER while a decent statistical measure doesn't tell the full story just like any other measure including FG%. It's virtually impossible to incorporate or control for the countless variables and situationals that occure with every play. For every proponent of PER, there is a detractor. Although decent as sports measurements go, PER is prominent because its pushed by ESPN, but it has its flaws (you can Google for reasons). Point is that its difficult for these measures to explain or control for elements that impact or influence events on the court. Degrees of difficulty, quality of teammates, health, roles, etc., don't factor into these stats.

    Dirk Nowitzki, as great a player (albeit considered "one dimensional") as he is, has a greater career PER than Bird, Kobe, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dwight Howard, and other greats. Is he really more efficient than those others? That's debatable and can't be settled just with stats, IMHO.

  56. TelegraphedPass

    Look at someone like Steve Nash. Great leader, no? Great player. Half of one of the greatest pick and roll tandems of all time. One of the greatest shooters ever. Two time MVP (and probably shouldn’t have been, but whatever).

    Despite these qualities (and a distinct lack of tattoos) Nash has yet to win a title. He very possibly will retire ringless. Sometimes it just shakes out that way. The mid-2000s Suns (underrated in many circles) were a very strong team. But they were unable to cross the finish line.

    Do we judge Nash as a loser? Or a bad leader? Is he a future Hall-of-Famer?

  57. Garson

    ephus:

    2004 Detroit – Rasheed Wallace – Lots of tattoos, first among equals, led to major upset of heavily favored Lakers NO

    Like the rest… but i think you can make a argument that Billups was the leader on that team. he gets a Yes from me

  58. dogrufus

    NY2MIA: Am I wrong in interpreting based on your definition that Kobe Bryant (career fg 45%), Paul Pierce (44%), Russell Westbrook (43%), Danny Granger (44%) are all overated?

    TS% > FG%

  59. Gideon Zaga

    I actually finally got that link to work, guess you know my age by now, but come on Optikinist, how old are you if I may ask. Im sure Carmelo looks at the video today and laughs. He was just being a kid. I’m somewhat disappointed since I thought very highly of your character on this blog. How can you use a 5 year old video to analyze the kid’s leadership skills. He was a kid, now he’s man. Unfortunately you will forget all this when he starts winning. See how people dislike Michael Vick, but remember this the same dog lovers will forget everything if he wins a championship.

  60. TelegraphedPass

    dogrufus: Kevin Durant exists

    Kevin Durant bucks the trend in the hardest way. Most wing scorers favor Melo/Kobe/Pierce numbers. Most wing scorers aren’t in excess of 6’9″ though.

  61. TheRant

    Here’s a random note with potential insight into the Knicks management this week:

    I watched only the Q4and then the highlights of the Knicks/Portland game, so I thought I would go back last night and watch the whole opera, with pre- and post-game, and see what Clyde was wearing.

    In the middle, they cut to Glen Grunwald, who is normally not a press guy but quite composed and unflappable. And in the middle of his Q&A, he lets loose a bombshell Freudian slip:

    Talking about the team’s performance, Grunwald meant to say “Mike [D'Antoni] was as frustrated as anybody….”

    But Grunwald actually said in the press conference was “Mike was as frustrated with anybody.” Oops.

    I’m surprised nobody wrote about it. Maybe nobody noticed it?

    So much for anyone saying it wasn’t D’Antoni up against Melo and Dolan. Not that we didn’t know that.

  62. Spree8nyk8

    flossy: Curious to know why you think this of Amar’e.I think it’s a given that Melo basically phoned it in to help usher MDA out the door, which is gross, but not unexpected.But Amar’e and MDA have a long relationship, Amar’e has been one of his more vocal supporters, and Amar’e has also been playing better over the past two weeks (hell he’s virtually the only player on an upward trajectory at the moment).He’s not a very good ISO player, so I don’t know what he’d stand to gain from Woodson’s offense.

    I mean honestly I’m not going to say my reasoning is very good where it comes to Amar’e, the only thing I can say is that i found it curious that all of a sudden his jumper had a dead eye, and he was able to stay in front of someone defensively. He seemed to go from a stiff to nearly back to form in a night. Of course it would take a bigger sample to see it, and maybe I’m wrong. It just makes me sick all of the arguments I’ve had with people backing Melo during Linsanity saying “are you kidding Melo isn’t like that, he’s gonna fit in, he’s a team guy, why would he wanna do something dumb like ruin this?” And you know what? He turned right the fuck around and did exactly that. Killed it with a flawless victory and a fatality to boot. I’m ashamed of myself for being so naive.

  63. TelegraphedPass

    dogrufus: Kevin Durant exists

    Ahhh, I see your point. You’re arguing that Durant is a better scorer than Carmelo. Most likely true, but I’m not sure it’s that simple. Melo is a better post scorer than Durant. Durant gets bodied off the block by almost everyone. Melo’s footwork in the post is superb. It’s part of why I consider him so complete. I’m not saying he’s a better scorer than Durant by any means, but his polish and ability has become somewhat underrated recently. Melo makes a stronger argument than many would give him credit for.

  64. Gideon Zaga

    6/9 3/4 boarderline 6/10

    TelegraphedPass: Kevin Durant bucks the trend in the hardest way. Most wing scorers favor Melo/Kobe/Pierce numbers. Most wing scorers aren’t in excess of 6’9? though.

  65. bobneptune

    TelegraphedPass:
    I’m a bit confused about how many people scream Melo is overrated. Is he not the most polished and complete wing scorer of his generation? It would be more accurate to say scorers in general are overrated.

    he may be underrated as a scorer, but he is certainly very overrated as a basketball player.

  66. Ben R

    One big thing about Jordan’s leadership is his work ethic. For what I’ve heard he was always the hardest worker on those Bulls teams. He was the first to show up at practice and the last to leave. When the greatest player in the world, a guy making $30 million a year is setting that kind of an example it raises the entire team regardless of whether he was a jerk. Also his will to win was unquestionable and he did not blame his teammates for losses he just worked harder.

    My problem with Melo is he thinks he’s bigger than the team and he’s not. If he was as good as Shaq or Jordan then him being a jerk and breaking the offense while still shitty would at least be backed up with results and wins. Unfortunately he acts like he is great when he is merely good and hurts the team. No one resented Jordan because they all respected his game so much, when you are that good and work that hard you garner a little wiggle room when it comes to listening to coaches and being a “nice” guy. Melo has not earned the right to act like a primadonna.

  67. Gideon Zaga

    Amare lost 10 of his 20 off season pounds during allstar break and I’m thinking he’s 5lbs less now. Amare was just bad timing. I think he would have played better to offset Melo plus if he doesn’t get injured last year in the playoffs, Dantoni probably gets an extension, Thank God.

    flossy: Curious to know why you think this of Amar’e.I think it’s a given that Melo basically phoned it in to help usher MDA out the door, which is gross, but not unexpected.But Amar’e and MDA have a long relationship, Amar’e has been one of his more vocal supporters, and Amar’e has also been playing better over the past two weeks (hell he’s virtually the only player on an upward trajectory at the moment).He’s not a very good ISO player, so I don’t know what he’d stand to gain from Woodson’s offense.

  68. Nick C.

    TelegraphedPass: Using either as an end-all argument is lazy.

    But not as lazy as failing to comprehend why the person posted that or what it means much less taking the time to figure it out before posting.

  69. TelegraphedPass

    Nick C.: But not as lazy as failing to comprehend why the person posted that or what it means much less taking the time to figure it out before posting.

    Take the cape off. I understand why he was posting that. However, judging the skill of these players by career TS% isn’t the way to go. I don’t think that was his intention. I was adding to his comment, not going at his throat.

  70. er

    Kevin durant is about 6’11 he is the tallest player on the thunder…if u saw the 3 point contest he’s taller than love who is a legit 6 10 and I’ve seen him next to ibaka and he looks down to him as well so he is more of a dirk without a post game imo and more athletic

  71. Ben R

    Every time I hear a quote from Woodson about this new offense utilizing Amare and Melo more it makes me cringe. We’re going to get slower and uglier as an offense and hinder the development of our young players (Lin, Fields, Shumpert) in the process.

    My soul hurts a little everytime I think that this is it, this is the next three years, Melo Isos, Amare’s lazy defense and the squandering of our promising young players in order to properly stroke our stars egos.

  72. dogrufus

    TelegraphedPass: Kevin Durant bucks the trend in the hardest way. Most wing scorers favor Melo/Kobe/Pierce numbers. Most wing scorers aren’t in excess of 6’9? though.

    Yeah, and that’s why he’s a superstar. Superstars buck the trend of being average.

    Whatever his physical advantages it doesn’t change that he is better than Melo in pretty much every way possible, including dominating one-dimensional Melo in the one dimension he’s supposed to be great at.

    So let’s please have a moratorium on calling Melo the best/purest/coolest/neatest scorer in the league when there are at least five guys who are, have been, and probably always will be clearly better.

  73. dogrufus

    TelegraphedPass: Using either as an end-all argument is lazy.

    Yes, so instead of numbers with a basis in reality let’s use platitudes about Melo being the best/purest scorer in the league when none of the available information suggests he’s even top 5.

  74. TelegraphedPass

    er: Kevin durant is about 6’11 he is the tallest player on the thunder…if u saw the 3 point contest he’s taller than love who is a legit 6 10 and I’ve seen him next to ibaka and he looks down to him as well so he is more of a dirk without a post game imo and more athletic

    Durant, unless he grew and didn’t tell anyone, is likely just under 6’10″. Love is not a legit 6’10″: He was just under 6’8″ before he was drafted.

  75. NY2MIA

    bobneptune: he may be underrated as a scorer, but he is certainly very overrated as a basketball player.

    If this is true, and since we like throwing around stats as end-alls, then it’s safe to say, based on career PER’s (the most prominent of stats these days), that Rick Barry, Kevin McHale, Bob Cousy, Walt Frazier, Bill Russell, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, Pete Maravich, Isiah Thomas, James Worthy, and many other greats were overrated players?

  76. rrude

    Not only is Melo an offense-only player but he’s not even an all-around great offensive player. He can only thrive in particular situations. Apparently only in certain systems or sets. Whatever else that means, he is most definitely not a max player in this league.

    Also, while I realize athleticism is an ill-defined and cliched term, he doesn’t look that athletic to me (compared to, say, Shumpert who I think everyone would agree embodies athleticism). He seems deliberate and not that quick. Which means either he has a great shooting touch, is crafty and smart (good post-up play could qualify), or he doesn’t score. I worry that after aging another couple years he’s essentially Antoine Walker. (Or that he’s not that far off now…)

    The New York Knicks, where pseudo-stars go to flame out. Thank you James Dolan for your peerlessly stupid leadership.

  77. Gideon Zaga

    The problem is we are on the outside looking in. Just like with stories and history. Truth is, the truth is not what you believe. During the lock out I was curious to see what our team was doing and I asked one of my younger employees who happens to be a Melo fan, if he was training in shape and getting ready for the season. The kid showed me some summer league videos, some pics of Melo doing MMA work outs with tires and some video of his wife talking about how Melo trained 3x daily. Obviously I was impressed, but not naive to know that this could have been PR nonsense. So the truth is we don’t know but after these guys win Championship the same people who kill them write stories about their work ethics. I remember this in my days with Magic after he’d won multiple championships and choked in the finals. The paper read “Trajic Johnson” the next day. So yeah truth is not what you hear.

    Ben R:
    One big thing about Jordan’s leadership is his work ethic. For what I’ve heard he was always the hardest worker on those Bulls teams. He was the first to show up at practice and the last to leave. When the greatest player in the world, a guy making $30 million a year is setting that kind of an example it raises the entire team regardless of whether he was a jerk. Also his will to win was unquestionable and he did not blame his teammates for losses he just worked harder.

    My problem with Melo is he thinks he’s bigger than the team and he’s not. If he was as good as Shaq or Jordan then him being a jerk and breaking the offense while still shitty would at least be backed up with results and wins. Unfortunately he acts like he is great when he is merely good and hurts the team. No one resented Jordan because they all respected his game so much, when you are that good and work that hard you garner a little wiggle room when it comes to listening to coaches…

  78. TelegraphedPass

    dogrufus: Yes, so instead of numbers with a basis in reality let’s use platitudes about Melo being the best/purest scorer in the league when none of the available information suggests he’s even top 5.

    I didn’t at any point imply that true shooting percentage isn’t a useful measurement. Melo’s TS% is worse than Pierce and Kobe because he has been a poorer free throw shooter and 3 point shooter. From the field he has been comparable. Why are you taking shots at me? What mindless platitudes did I use? Has Melo not been a better post scorer than Durant? I’m confuzzled and hurt.

  79. Caleb

    TelegraphedPass: Take the cape off. I understand why he was posting that. However, judging the skill of these players by career TS% isn’t the way to go. I don’t think that was his intention. I was adding to his comment, not going at his throat.

    The point of the list is that Melo is a really good scorer (at least, up to this year) but a ways behind the very best… and the rest of his game is only ok. Going into this year I would probably list at least 20 or 25 players I’d rather have (not even getting into salary)… and if he plays like he has in 2011-2012, he’s probably not even an average starter. THCJ would say I’m going easy on him but Melo is one of the 5- or 10 most famous players in the league, so I think it’s pretty safe to call him overrated.

  80. Gideon Zaga

    Yep Love is more Like 6’9 or under. iremember this too.

    TelegraphedPass: Durant, unless he grew and didn’t tell anyone, is likely just under 6’10?. Love is not a legit 6’10?: He was just under 6’8? before he was drafted.

  81. er

    I don’t agree with the system thing he had like 4 coaches in denver and he thrived on all those systems as well as olympics…
    He has the most complete offensive game in the league. I think his biggest problem is judgement he tskes too many difficult shots.. if he eliminated. Those shots I’m sure his fg % wpuld be closer to 47 48 for his career

    rrude:
    Not only is Melo an offense-only player but he’s not even an all-around great offensive player. He can only thrive in particular situations. Apparently only in certain systems or sets. Whatever else that means, he is most definitely not a max player in this league.

    Also, while I realize athleticism is an ill-defined and cliched term, he doesn’t look that athletic to me (compared to, say, Shumpert who I think everyone would agree embodies athleticism). He seems deliberate and not that quick. Which means either he has a great shooting touch, is crafty and smart (good post-up play could qualify), or he doesn’t score. I worry that after aging another couple years he’s essentially Antoine Walker. (Or that he’s not that far off now…)

    The New York Knicks, where pseudo-stars go to flame out. Thank you James Dolan for your peerlessly stupid leadership.

  82. Caleb

    TelegraphedPass: I didn’t at any point imply that true shooting percentage isn’t a useful measurement. Melo’s TS% is worse than Pierce and Kobe because he has been a poorer free throw shooter and 3 point shooter. From the field he has been comparable. Why are you taking shots at me? What mindless platitudes did I use? Has Melo not been a better post scorer than Durant? I’m confuzzled and hurt.

    We’re not talking about a player like Steve Novak, who is slotted in there for 15 mpg to use one particualr skill – we’re talking about a guy who is a focal point.

    it might be useful to say: Shumpert is a terrible offensive player but makes a real impact on D, or Baron is a terrible shooter but a great passer, or whatever, but if we’re comparing scorers, we compare scoring – not just one part of it.

    I mean, breaking it down is useful in a descriptive way – to understand what kind of player Melo is – but not so useful in measuring value.

  83. TelegraphedPass

    Caleb: The point of the list is that Melo is a really good scorer (at least, up to this year) but a ways behind the very best… and the rest of his game is only ok. Going into this year I would probably list at least 20 or 25 players I’d rather have (not even getting into salary)… and if he plays like he has in 2011-2012, he’s probably not even an average starter. THCJ would say I’m going easy on him but Melo is one of the 5- or 10 most famous players in the league, so I think it’s pretty safe to call him overrated.

    Oh, yeah, I totally agree. I think I have been a bit misunderstood. I don’t claim Melo is the best scorer. I just feel like he’s very complete and is having a down year. That’s all I said. And that he competes in the scoring category more than some people give him credit for. I never loved Melo. I didn’t love him playing under DA. But i’m not gonna crucify him or pretend to understand his psyche either. That’s all I was going for.

  84. Caleb

    NY2MIA: If this is true, and since we like throwing around stats as end-alls, then it’s safe to say, based on career PER’s (the most prominent of stats these days), that Rick Barry, Kevin McHale, Bob Cousy, Walt Frazier, Bill Russell, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, Pete Maravich, Isiah Thomas, James Worthy, and many other greats were overrated players?

    Can you interpret?

  85. Caleb

    TelegraphedPass: Oh, yeah, I totally agree. I think I have been a bit misunderstood. I don’t claim Melo is the best scorer. I just feel like he’s very complete and is having a down year. That’s all I said. And that he competes in the scoring category more than some people give him credit for. I never loved Melo. I didn’t love him playing under DA. But i’m not gonna crucify him or pretend to understand his psyche either. That’s all I was going for.

    Well, I too hope he gets back to the level he’s played at in the past. It’s one thing to argue about whether you can build a team spending $40 million a year on 2010-era Melomare, but if it’s the 2012 version (or worse), we’re screwed for the next few years.

    Hoping it’s just a fluky year, with rough stretches and injuries magnfiied by the compressed lockout schedule.

  86. Caleb

    er:
    I guess they have low pers

    You can’t calculate PER without TO data which wasn’t around during a lot of those careers so I dunno!

    I know Isiah’s career #s aren’t nearly as good as you’d see in your memory.

  87. NY2MIA

    Caleb: Can you interpret?

    Sure.

    #69- “he may be underrated as a scorer, but he is certainly very overrated as a basketball player.”

    Melo’s career PER > Rick Barry, Kevin McHale, Bob Cousy, Walt Frazier, Bill Russell, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, Pete Maravich, Isiah Thomas, James Worthy, and many other greats. While just .03 lower than Steve Nash.

  88. NY2MIA

    Caleb: You can’t calculate PER without TO data which wasn’t around during a lot of those careers so I dunno!I know Isiah’s career #s aren’t nearly as good as you’d see in your memory.

    Please read my post #56. There are many things not accounted for in advanced metrics, which is why slinging stats can be manipulated to fit anyone’s argument.

  89. TelegraphedPass

    NY2MIA: Sure. #69- “he may be underrated as a scorer, but he is certainly very overrated as a basketball player.”Melo’s career PER > Rick Barry, Kevin McHale, Bob Cousy, Walt Frazier, Bill Russell, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, Pete Maravich, Isiah Thomas, James Worthy, and many other greats. While just .03 lower than Steve Nash.

    Cooz, Russell, and Pistol Pete should probably be omitted from this list. Also, their time period was different. A couple years after the 3 point line was introduced, Zeke was one of the top 3 point gunners in the league at under 30% (I believe). PER gets warped across time periods. But I agree with your overall point. We should spend much more time analyzing at these stats than we sometimes do.

  90. Gideon Zaga

    I think the argument about offensive vs defensive vs complete is quite an interesting discussion. Ben Wallace is or by now was a great Defensive player, so was Dikembe, Rodman and Bruce Bowen but they were never considered top of the League. On the other hand let’s look at the great offensive players Iverson, Rose maybe, Melo, Durant, Dirk, I could add Benard King, Kareem, Karl Malone. And then the next group is the guys who bring on Both ends Kobe, Jordan, Lebron, who knows what Wilt was, Dr. J, Hakeem and the likes. Now to the question of value, I think it depends on what kind of team you want to build. To say that Chandler covers Amare’sdeficiencies on defense is also reverse of saying Amare covers Chandler’sdeficiencies on offense. So yeah to me they are both quite valuable. The how much is the real question. I do however wish we had as much defined advanced stats for defense as we seem to have for offense.

  91. Eternal OptiKnist

    ephus: Let’s look at the past 20 champions…

    Effective leaders are not always well-liked. I bet you there were tiems that players wanted to kill coaches like JVG, Larry Brown…but the players respect the work ethic, discipline, commitment to the team and winning. Just like players who lead their teams…they may not be liked because they demand excellence, but they are respected, followed and their play is elevated to be as high as possible. In my opinion, that gives Jordan an emphatic YES, might still be tough with Kobe. Plus you ignore my other criteria of # of tattoos and embarrassing MTV cribs appearances :) I clearly have won this argument :)

  92. Caleb

    NY2MIA: Sure.

    #69- “he may be underrated as a scorer, but he is certainly very overrated as a basketball player.”

    Melo’s career PER > Rick Barry, Kevin McHale, Bob Cousy, Walt Frazier, Bill Russell, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, Pete Maravich, Isiah Thomas, James Worthy, and many other greats. While just .03 lower than Steve Nash.

    PER can’t even be calculated for a lot of those players, because the league wasn’t counting TOs.

    For whatever it’s worth, it’s obvious PER is slanted towards offensive players since it doesn’t do much to measure defense. i.e. if Melo’s PER is the same as Scottie Pippen, we’d say Pippen is a lot better because he’s a terrific defender. (Someone else can look up the actual #s).

    Before I even get this posted, people will have also pointed out that PER rewards volume shooting, i.e. if you take an extra 10 shots and miss them all, your PER goes up. It’s a more complicated debate than that so people can run with that in another thread.

    But if PER overvalues anyone, it’s big-time volume scorers, like Melo. And even by PER, Melo has only cracked the NBA’s top 15 once. (#13, 2009-2010).

  93. Caleb

    NY2MIA: Please read my post #56. There are many things not accounted for in advanced metrics, which is why slinging stats can be manipulated to fit anyone’s argument.

    That’s a pretty lazy argument. Stats can be manipulated, therefore ignore them. The point is that PER could have been invented by Carmelo Anthony’s agent, it so emphasizes the things he does, and even there he does not measure as an elite player.

  94. er

    I think the problem ppl have wth melo is that he is helliva talent bit he doesn’t always make the right play and does spme things quite effeciently and he sux on d his problem is that he has only bern able to put it all together. In a coue seasons

    Caleb: PER can’t even be calculated for a lot of those players, because the league wasn’t counting TOs.

    For whatever it’s worth, it’s obvious PER is slanted towards offensive players since it doesn’t do much to measure defense. i.e. if Melo’s PER is the same as Scottie Pippen, we’d say Pippen is a lot better because he’s a terrific defender. (Someone else can look up the actual #s).

    Before I even get this posted, people will have also pointed out that PER rewards volume shooting, i.e. if you take an extra 10 shots and miss them all, your PER goes up. It’s a more complicated debate than that so people can run with that in another thread.

    But if PER overvalues anyone, it’s big-time volume scorers, like Melo. And even by PER, Melo has only cracked the NBA’s top 15 once. (#13, 2009-2010).

  95. TelegraphedPass

    Gideon Zaga: I think the argument about offensive vs defensive vs complete is quite an interesting discussion. Ben Wallace is or by now was a great Defensive player, so was Dikembe, Rodman and Bruce Bowen but they were never considered top of the League. On the other hand let’s look at the great offensive players Iverson, Rose maybe, Melo, Durant, Dirk, I could add Benard King, Kareem, Karl Malone. And then the next group is the guys who bring on Both ends Kobe, Jordan, Lebron, who knows what Wilt was, Dr. J, Hakeem and the likes. Now to the question of value, I think it depends on what kind of team you want to build. To say that Chandler covers Amare’sdeficiencies on defense is also reverse of saying Amare covers Chandler’sdeficiencies on offense. So yeah to me they are both quite valuable. The how much is the real question. I do however wish we had as much defined advanced stats for defense as we seem to have for offense.

    So much this. I think Ben Wallace may have been the best player on that Pistons team. Defense is woefully underrated. So much more difficult to quantify, though.

  96. limpidgimp

    Eternal OptiKnist: I just hope we don’t begin catering to the whims of Baron Davis. Killing the confidence of your furture point guard so that you can help your histocially lazy, underachieving veteran PG can audition for his next contract is ridiculous to me.

    I share the same sentiment, but it is not Woodson’s goal to develop players like Lin who are going to stay. Woodson is auditioning to be head coach. He himself is not even long term, so he certainly does not have the luxury of thinking of player development from a long term perspective.

  97. max fisher-cohen

    Eternal OptiKnist:
    I think what often happens is that skill is mistakenly thought of as synonymous with leadership.

    To me, most of great leadership comes from just playing hard on both ends of the floor.

    The problem with how most people evaluate players is that we treat it like a dunk contest. We take the top 5 plays each player makes a night, and then we rate them in terms of difficulty. Melo makes very difficult plays. He has his jab step jumper, he has his ballerina like spin move to the rim, and yes, he makes some nice passes. These top 5 moves show that a player has the skill to be great, but they only make up a small portion of the player’s overall performance. In fact, when a player finds himself taking such difficult shots, even if he makes some of them, it may be just as indicative of his potential as of his poor decision-making. Westbrook is similar. You see him crash his way through three defenders for a crazy layup, but you don’t see the other 3 times he did that and turned it over. You don’t see KD open at the 3 point line.

    ephus: So, in the past 20 years, at most five of the twenty teams were led by inspirational leaders

    if anything, this list just confirms that the best way to be a great team is to have a top five in terms of efficiency volume scorer, and give him the ball. If you don’t have that, as the knicks don’t, you have to play team ball.

    Caleb: Going into this year I would probably list at least 20 or 25 players I’d rather have

    I agree that in a vacuum Melo is in that 20-25 range, but in terms of this team’s needs last year, he probably wouldn’t crack the top 75.

  98. Eternal OptiKnist

    Gideon Zaga: I actually finally got that link to work, guess you know my age by now, but come on Optikinist, how old are you if I may ask. Im sure Carmelo looks at the video today and laughs. He was just being a kid. I’m somewhat disappointed since I thought very highly of your character on this blog. How can you use a 5 year old video to analyze the kid’s leadership skills. He was a kid, now he’s man. Unfortunately you will forget all this when he starts winning. See how people dislike Michael Vick, but remember this the same dog lovers will forget everything if he wins a championship.

    Gidster, I’m sad to hear that I have disappointed you; but i’ve got to call it as i see it. I’m not a 50-year old lamenting the NBA is full of thugs or anything like that…its not coming from that point of view. I’m 33. I like to think of myself as a good judge of character. I’m not fooled by the dumb geek glasses he wears now…the Melo i hear speaking in postgame, etc is the same one i see in the video. I don’t care how young you may be, if you have a picture of you and Jesus together you clearly have issues. I mean, if you ARE going to stand next to Jesus..at least rock a robe and some sandles..so funny he’s in his basketball gear! The fact that the guy in the video pushed his coach out is laughable to me. I’ve said it 1000 times, i hope i’m wrong about him…that he’s a swell guy and his team rallies around him and they win. I will be happier than anyone.

  99. ephus

    max fisher-cohen: To me, most of great leadership comes from just playing hard on both ends of the floor.

    +1. This is where ‘Melo can improve the most, and it is entirely in his control. If ‘Melo puts out the energy that he did on the 2008 Olympic team, he can be an elite level player.

  100. Gideon Zaga

    The problem is not that stats can be manipulated, the problem is that stats are flawed. To rely on them to tell the whole story is just as wrong as relying on your eyes to tell the story and thats the reason for my neutral bias. Advanced stats in itself are not that advanced as they are now because of the fact that so many variables are not accounted for. At the end of the day they are nothing but simple and complex averages.

  101. Eternal OptiKnist

    Gideon Zaga: Kenny Smith told a story about when the Houston Rockets played the Bulls at home, and as they got off their team bus, Jordan’s limo rolled by and he got out with a cigar in his hand and after he blew into their faces, asked the players who was guarding him tonight. During the game Jordan counted backwards to the face of the opposing guard from 40 each time he scored, he scored 42 that night. What a douche.

    I think thats awesome. Man that guy sure had an ability to intimidate his opponents…I bet his TEAMMATES LOVED IT!

  102. Caleb

    max fisher-cohen:

    I agree that in a vacuum Melo is in that 20-25 range, but in terms of this team’s needs last year, he probably wouldn’t crack the top 75.

    Strangely enough, at this point we need someone to step up and be a scorer. Our super-efficient players – Tyson and Novak – are lights out at what they do, but they don’t have the skills to ramp it up and shoot 15 or 20 times a game. Neither Lin or Davis is going to rack up a high TS%. The Knicks need someone to carry the offensive load – take a lot of shots at good efficiency. Melo, Stoudemire and conceivably J.R. Smith are the only candidates. The reason we have so underachieved is that none of these guys are playing at a high level offensively, much less an elite level.

  103. Gideon Zaga

    Great come back haha. Well I really hope for the good of the team that you’re wrong about him. At least give him this, he seems haplily married and is good father. But keyword: seems.

    Eternal OptiKnist: Gidster, I’m sad to hear that I have disappointed you; but i’ve got to call it as i see it.I’m not a 50-year old lamenting the NBA is full of thugs or anything like that…its not coming from that point of view.I’m 33.I like to think of myself as a good judge of character.I’m not fooled by the dumb geek glasses he wears now…the Melo i hear speaking in postgame, etc is the same one i see in the video.I don’t care how young you may be, if you have a picture of you and Jesus together you clearly have issues.I mean, if you ARE going to stand next to Jesus..at least rock a robe and some sandles..so funny he’s in his basketball gear!The fact that the guy in the video pushed his coach out is laughable to me.I’ve said it 1000 times, i hope i’m wrong about him…that he’s a swell guy and his team rallies around him and they win.I will be happier than anyone.

  104. TelegraphedPass

    Though it seems obvious, I feel I need to point out that the correllation between previous champions and tattoos directly relates to the growth of hip hop in urban culture. Obviously, many players have grown up in locations where hip hop culture is dominant. Previously, it wasn’t as popular to get as inked up as these players are. Associating tattoos with personality flaws is at best ignorant. At worst it’s terribly offensive.

  105. NY2MIA

    Caleb: PER can’t even be calculated for a lot of those players, because the league wasn’t counting TOs. For whatever it’s worth, it’s obvious PER is slanted towards offensive players since it doesn’t do much to measure defense. i.e. if Melo’s PER is the same as Scottie Pippen, we’d say Pippen is a lot better because he’s a terrific defender. (Someone else can look up the actual #s). Before I even get this posted, people will have also pointed out that PER rewards volume shooting, i.e. if you take an extra 10 shots and miss them all, your PER goes up. It’s a more complicated debate than that so people can run with that in another thread. But if PER overvalues anyone, it’s big-time volume scorers, like Melo. And even by PER, Melo has only cracked the NBA’s top 15 once. (#13, 2009-2010).

    So, if you’ve read my posts than you probably see that we agree on the deficiencies of overvalue placed on individual measurements. And I did mention that PER has its flaws. Defense is even more difficult to quantify because the impact of a players disruption of the opposing teams offensive effectiveness is not measured outside of steals and blocks and maybe one or two other variables. So we resort to the eye test, subjectivity, media narratives, etc. In Melo’s case, while we all agree he’s not great and maybe not good. I think he’s underrated for his defense. Does he appear as lacking effort defensively at times, sure. Is he horrid? Not sure. My subjective eyes don’t see him getting lit up by the player he defends each night. When devoid of defensive stats, we resort to subjective analysis, i.e. body language and other non-quantitative perceptions (smiles to much) that contribute to this narrative and leads to a label that sticks or groupthink. He’s certainly not a great defensive player but I don’t buy he’s poor either.

  106. Gideon Zaga

    Yep and you only love it because he won. Same way you’ll love Melo when he wins. Thats all I’m saying.

    Eternal OptiKnist: I think thats awesome.Man that guy sure had an ability to intimidate his opponents…I bet his TEAMMATES LOVED IT!

  107. Eternal OptiKnist

    TelegraphedPass: Look at someone like Steve Nash. Great leader, no? Great player. Half of one of the greatest pick and roll tandems of all time. One of the greatest shooters ever. Two time MVP (and probably shouldn’t have been, but whatever). Despite these qualities (and a distinct lack of tattoos) Nash has yet to win a title. He very possibly will retire ringless. Sometimes it just shakes out that way. The mid-2000s Suns (underrated in many circles) were a very strong team. But they were unable to cross the finish line.Do we judge Nash as a loser? Or a bad leader? Is he a future Hall-of-Famer?

    Not sure why you wouldn’t consider Nash a great leader; I always thought his teammates raved about him being like a coach on the floor and bringing out the best in them. I was just using championship winners as a quick reference. There were many great leaders who couldn’t get their teams over the hump. I’m lamenting the fake-leader who happens to be the team’s best player but is about themselves… slefish to the detriment of their teams. Examples..Marbury? Iverson? You know, the type of guy who might have a picture of themself standing next to friggin Jesus! Don’t lie, you could see..

  108. TelegraphedPass

    @113 Per Synergy Sports, Melo has been a pretty decent defender. He’s allowing .88 points per possession, which isn’t as awful as his rep. This doesn’t account for the Knicks switching defense, but a couple points (his great defense in isolation) look solid.

  109. Gideon Zaga

    Well said! And I cosign 100%.

    NY2MIA: So, if you’ve read my posts than you probably see that we agree on the deficiencies of overvalue placed on individual measurements. And I did mention that PER has its flaws. Defense is even more difficult to quantify because the impact of a players disruption of the opposing teams offensive effectiveness is not measured outside of steals and blocks and maybe one or two other variables. So we resort to the eye test, subjectivity, media narratives, etc. In Melo’s case, while we all agree he’s not great and maybe not good. I think he’s underrated for his defense. Does he appear as lacking effort defensively at times, sure. Is he horrid? Not sure. My subjective eyes don’t see him getting lit up by the player he defends each night. When devoid of defensive stats, we resort to subjective analysis, i.e. body language and other non-quantitative perceptions (smiles to much) that contribute to this narrative and leads to a label that sticks or groupthink. He’s certainly not a great defensive player but I don’t buy he’s poor either.

  110. Caleb

    @113 We don’t totally disagree; the whole reason I brought in TS% was to point out that even by the most favorable stats, Melo is overrated. it’s a conservative argument.

    I am always less certain talking about defense because as you say the measures are pretty rough. But what there is, like +/- and defensive rating, say Melo is not good (on D).

    Subjectively, I have a different opinion than you. From what I see, he does a solid job going mano a mano (especially when it’s a high-profile matchup, like LeBron), but he’s oblivious to everything else. He fails to switch, never helps, practically gets hit in the head by opponents passes because he’s not looking and generally contributes to defensive breakdowns.

  111. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Eternal OptiKnist:
    There’s nothing wrong with dialing back Lin’s role, as we’d all agree…he is basically a rookie!Maybe its media spin, but it seems like everyone is going out of their way to say how much his role will be diminished in favor of veteran play.Making Melo and Stat more productive, i agree is necessary..we’re paying them alot and they are talented.I just hope we don’t begin catering to the whims of Baron Davis.Killing the confidence of your furture point guard so that you can help your histocially lazy, underachieving veteran PG can audition for his next contract is ridiculous to me.

    I think the Baron Davis comments might be a bit too strong, but I can definitely see your point.

  112. Eternal OptiKnist

    TelegraphedPass: Though it seems obvious, I feel I need to point out that the correllation between previous champions and tattoos directly relates to the growth of hip hop in urban culture. Obviously, many players have grown up in locations where hip hop culture is dominant. Previously, it wasn’t as popular to get as inked up as these players are. Associating tattoos with personality flaws is at best ignorant. At worst it’s terribly offensive.

    This is true…Hip Hop wasn’t big in the 90s. Lets look at the potential winners for this year, shall we? OKC..leader? Durant..covered in tats like a yakuza? no. MIA…leader? Wade..looking like birdman’s brother? no. Bulls…leader? Rose..does he look like a damn atlas? no. I think its fine that some players are plastered with them…great, glad you enjoy them, they just don’t tend to be team-leaders…there’s a 5 or 6 tat max. :) It sucks when you lack any refuting data…i hate that feeling.

  113. The Infamous Cdiggy

    TelegraphedPass:
    Though it seems obvious, I feel I need to point out that the correllation between previous champions and tattoos directly relates to the growth of hip hop in urban culture. Obviously, many players have grown up in locations where hip hop culture is dominant. Previously, it wasn’t as popular to get as inked up as these players are. Associating tattoos with personality flaws is at best ignorant. At worst it’s terribly offensive.

    +100

  114. NY2MIA

    Caleb: That’s a pretty lazy argument. Stats can be manipulated, therefore ignore them. The point is that PER could have been invented by Carmelo Anthony’s agent, it so emphasizes the things he does, and even there he does not measure as an elite player.

    So we have a difference in our philosophy towards an issue, then call my argument lazy because you disagree. The irony. I won’t condescend your pretentious condescension but I will say again, if you’ve read my posts all I’ve been trying to say is that metrics quoted so often don’t tell the full story. Neither do your own deceiving eyes.

  115. TelegraphedPass

    @115 Of course I consider Nash a great leader. My point is that being a leader doesn’t inherently bring rings. Kobe and Shaq weren’t necessarily great leaders during the 3-peat. There are so many factors that go into winning a title. And it’s entirely possible to satisfy all of those factors and not win. Narratives are spun based on stereotypes and wins, and I fundamentally disagree with a lot of those.

  116. Eternal OptiKnist

    Gideon Zaga: Yep and you only love it because he won. Same way you’ll love Melo when he wins. Thats all I’m saying.

    Nah…i hated it…im a knick fan! But if i was playing ball and there was a guy on my team who could do that before a game..totally intimidate his soon-to-be-opponent, then go out on the court and destroy said person?…that would be awesome! If satan played point and led us to a chip I’d be thrilled. I dont care who it is…I just want to see the KNICKS…win!

  117. Caleb

    NY2MIA: So we have a difference in our philosophy towards an issue, then call my argument lazy because you disagree. The irony. I won’t condescend your pretentious condescension but I will say again, if you’ve read my posts all I’ve been trying to say is that metrics quoted so often don’t tell the full story. Neither do your own deceiving eyes.

    I haven’t written anything suggesting you can tell a full story with one particular statistic.

    Anyway. I don’t mean to make it personal – I’d welcome a counter-argument to anything I put up there.

  118. Gideon Zaga

    Frankly we don’t know what Steve Nash has in his living rokm. A-Rod was rumored to have a picture of himself half man half horse on the ceiling of his bedroom. I may be tredding deadly when I say this but since I had an African American father and have an Asian mom I think I’m in the right, look at most of these players, most of them grew up poor and without father figures. Once they come into money is it a surprise that they tend to come off as show offs and weak mentally. I mean look at the lottery winners no matter their race, i heard somewhere that 95% of them lose it all by showing it off. I’m sure most of us would want to show off if we grew up the same way. This was just to say there are deeper issues than just being full of themselves. And I think this has nothing to do with them being great leaders. I think we should be as very objective when talking about the persona of these players. Its sports and once you bring race, preference of creed or religion into it. It gets complicated.

    Eternal OptiKnist: Not sure why you wouldn’t consider Nash a great leader; I always thought his teammates raved about him being like a coach on the floor and bringing out the best in them.I was just using championship winners as a quick reference.There were many great leaders who couldn’t get their teams over the hump.I’m lamenting the fake-leader who happens to be the team’s best player but is about themselves… slefish to the detriment of their teams.Examples..Marbury?Iverson?You know, the type of guy who might have a picture of themself standing next to friggin Jesus!Don’t lie, you could see..

  119. Ben R

    The reason why Melo lacks leadership is because he lacks self awareness. When things go wrong he tends to look outward for problems rather than inward. He has clearly shown in his time with D’Antoni and his time with Karl a real unwillingness to take criticism and adapt. He seems to always know best, the years of experience that Karl and D’Antoni brought didn’t matter, his way is better.

    I actually think this is the thing that has kept him from being great. He has all the tools and talent to be a top 5, top 10 player but he refuses to listen when people try to tell him there is a better way. D’Antoni didn’t want to turn him into Marion or Q-Rich or anything else D’Antoni wanted to show him he could still score lots of points but it didn’t need to be so difficult. When Melo bought into this offense he scored easily he just wasn’t in control of when he scored.

    Karl constantly had the same problem and eventually just bargained with Melo, play my way two-thirds of the time and then you can go ahead and iso and do your thing the rest of the time. Karl and D’Antoni weren’t trying to steal Melo’s joy, they weren’t trying to hurt his stats they were trying to show Melo there is an easier way, play within a team concept, accept that your teammates can help you and everybody wins, but Melo wouldn’t and won’t listen.

    Now we have Woodson who seeing the writing on the wall has to bow to Melo’s will and instead of trying to make Melo better. It’s clear, cross Melo and he will bury you, D’Antoni has much more of a pedigree than Woodson and he has to know that Melo will bury him just as fast.

  120. JK47

    I think Lin might play better again now that he is not being asked to run SSOL. It seemed like he was at his best early on when he was just playing his game and not trying to run a very specific system with a bunch of guys who are ill-suited to play that system.

    D’Antoni was going to run that system regardless of personnel, and the end result this season was an awful lot of guys having career worst seasons efficency-wise.

  121. Eternal OptiKnist

    Gideon Zaga: Frankly we don’t know what Steve Nash has in his living rokm. A-Rod was rumored to have a picture of himself half man half horse on the ceiling of his bedroom. I may be tredding deadly when I say this but since I had an African American father and have an Asian mom I think I’m in the right, look at most of these players, most of them grew up poor and without father figures. Once they come into money is it a surprise that they tend to come off as show offs and weak mentally. I mean look at the lottery winners no matter their race, i heard somewhere that 95% of them lose it all by showing it off. I’m sure most of us would want to show off if we grew up the same way. This was just to say there are deeper issues than just being full of themselves. And I think this has nothing to do with them being great leaders. I think we should be as very objective when talking about the persona of these players. Its sports and once you bring race, preference of creed or religion into it. It gets complicated.

    Never said anything about race…whoa there…i’m black. That birdman from denver? be a great role player..or great overall player…but he aint leading me anywhere…unless its off a cliff.

  122. NY2MIA

    Caleb: I haven’t written anything suggesting you can tell a full story with one particular statistic. Anyway. I don’t mean to make it personal – I’d welcome a counter-argument to anything I put up there.

    Okay. I can dig that, but be sure you consider that when you argue using TS%, etc. then claim the man is overrated. What’s the overrated threshold? He’s not the best, maybe not top five (forget what he thinks of himself), but he’s a superior talent in his prime who’s got a lot to prove, but not overrated IMO. Maybe much maligned.

  123. TelegraphedPass

    http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/83190052.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF8789215ABF3343C02EA5480D6C2B6B6C9FA1B4EBBA0C617144EFC866EEDD54EDE1259E

    Regardless of economic upbringing, we have seen many players show out once they come into money. That’s Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry, for those who don’t recognize right away.

    GZ, I think you’re walking in dangerous territory. I agree that these players’ upbringing had a serious effect in their life, but “weak mentally” is *really* harsh.

  124. Gideon Zaga

    Never said you did and race wasn’t the focal point of my response but I understand that you saw red. And Birdman was the first player to come out of the D league into the nba , I’m sure that spells leader in him.

    Eternal OptiKnist: Never said anything about race…whoa there…i’m black.That birdman from denver?be a great role player..or great overall player…but he aint leading me anywhere…unless its off a cliff.

  125. Degree_Absolute

    Z: It’s not that stuff. It’s the smirking at missed free throws, the enjoyment of losing to PaulPierce at the last second, and the on court tantrums when Landry Fields and Jeremy Lin choose to run the coach’s offense over his own.

    Plus the way he demanded a trade to NY, forced them to gut their team to get him, took a max contract to ensure it would take a lot of luck to surround him with talent, then blamed everybody else.

    It has nothing to do with tattoos and pictures of himself with Jesus and Ruruland. The guy is hard to root for, and the article is right: He needs to be better than he is to win NY over.

    Truth.

    And I think this puts into perspective why Amare has gotten (more or less) a free pass this season. We didn’t trade anyone to get him and he still came to the Knicks. If Melo had gone the same route as Amare, the criticism would almost definitely be more muted. Unfortunately, for everyone (except Melo’s agent?) that is not how history played out and Melo’s own selfishness (forcing the Knicks to trade for him midseason so he could get the NY spotlight and the extension) is to blame.

  126. Gideon Zaga

    Sorry if that’s how you read it, but what I meant to say was ” they come off or are perceived as mentally weak” but not that they are.

    TelegraphedPass:
    http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/83190052.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF8789215ABF3343C02EA5480D6C2B6B6C9FA1B4EBBA0C617144EFC866EEDD54EDE1259E

    Regardless of economic upbringing, we have seen many players show out once they come into money. That’s Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry, for those who don’t recognize right away.

    GZ, I think you’re walking in dangerous territory. I agree that these players’ upbringing had a serious effect in their life, but “weak mentally” is *really* harsh.

  127. Eternal OptiKnist

    Gideon Zaga: Never said you did and race wasn’t the focal point of my response but I understand that you saw red. And Birdman was the first player to come out of the D league into the nba , I’m sure that spells leader in him.

    No, i know, i know…forget race…don;t worry, im not getting caught up in that aspect of it. Birdman being the 1st player to come out of the d-league means that he’s got skills that could help a team. Sorry man…i see all that ink, and believe its a reflection of someone a bit imbalanced and not capable of being an effective leader.

  128. JK47

    It’s been easy to ignore since the team has been losing, but Amar’e has been playing with pretty deadly offensive efficiency lately. His TS% in his last six games have been:

    .604
    .597
    .765
    .455 (d’oh)
    .663
    .751

    For a while there it seemed like the guy was putting up a sub-.500 TS% every single night, so this is somewhat encouraging.

  129. Gideon Zaga

    To me tatoos are a reflection of youth not imbalance. Seeing how my well balanced peers that have them, got them in their younger years and would’nt get anymore now.

    Eternal OptiKnist: No, i know, i know…forget race…don;t worry, im not getting caught up in that aspect of it.Birdman being the 1st player to come out of the d-league means that he’s got skills that could help a team.Sorry man…i see all that ink, and believe its a reflection of someone a bit imbalanced and not capable of being an effective leader.

  130. Gideon Zaga

    And that’s why I .said he’s about 15lbs lighter on his feet and bad timing for Dantoni.

    JK47:
    It’s been easy to ignore since the team has been losing, but Amar’e has been playing with pretty deadly offensive efficiency lately.His TS% in his last six games have been:

    .604
    .597
    .765
    .455 (d’oh)
    .663
    .751

    For a while there it seemed like the guy was putting up a sub-.500 TS% every single night, so this is somewhat encouraging.

  131. limpidgimp

    Just a note about stats: the lockout broke down a lot of the continuity assumed by accumulated stats. Dirk, for example, was in bad physical shape when he came out of the lockout, so his previous stats weren’t indicative of his realizable output, not until he got back into shape. And Amar’e, by his own account, had never been away from basketball for so long, and was not in the shape he was used to being in, and he has been working to shed pounds since then. There may be other factors, such as just aging and his old injuries coming back to nag, but post-lockout Amar’e should have a separate stat sheet. I don’t know how this discontinuity has affected Melo, if at all significantly, but in terms of context, I just wonder how meaningful it is to apply his old stats to THIS Melo. This is a weird season.

    And the frenzied post-lockout schedule probably affects rookies like Lin in the worst way, not because his body can’t keep up with the compressed schedule but because there are fewer practices to rehearse plays, and to adjust and know his teammates. In effect, rookies such as Lin are going in there not just with limited real-game experience but also limited rehearsed-game experience.

  132. TelegraphedPass

    Gideon Zaga: Sorry if that’s how you read it, but what I meant to say was ” they come off or are perceived as mentally weak” but not that they are.

    Reread it. Missed that my first time around: My bad. Yeah, I don’t like how we judge these players’ mental state sometimes.

  133. Degree_Absolute

    Eternal OptiKnist: No, i know, i know…forget race…don;t worry, im not getting caught up in that aspect of it.Birdman being the 1st player to come out of the d-league means that he’s got skills that could help a team.Sorry man…i see all that ink, and believe its a reflection of someone a bit imbalanced and not capable of being an effective leader.

    I think broad generalizations are dangerous because there will always be someone that breaks the mold.

    That said, the premise that every single culture is worthy of the same respect, reverence or place in society is just unrealistic. Cultures rise and fall all the time due to the imbalances (good and bad) inherent in each one.

  134. Caleb

    Gideon Zaga:
    And that’s why I .said he’s about 15lbs lighter on his feet and bad timing for Dantoni.

    Just for fun since we were throwing around PER before… Melo has topped out at 13th in league PER ranking, otherwise between 16 and 33 (except 55th this year)… In Amare’s best seasons, he was 3rd (2007-2008) and 4th (2004-2005)… although he’s been up and down a lot more than Carmelo.

    To me, Amare in his prime was an all-timer on the offensive end, even if the rest of his game was mediocre or worse.

  135. TelegraphedPass

    Degree_Absolute: I think broad generalizations are dangerous because there will always be someone that breaks the mold. That said, the premise that every single culture is worthy of the same respect, reverence or place in society is just unrealistic. Cultures rise and fall all the time due to the imbalances (good and bad) inherent in each one.

    VERY very dangerous territory. Who then judges which cultures deserve preference in society? This is the basis for some really horrific tragedies in human history.

  136. TelegraphedPass

    Caleb: Just for fun since we were throwing around PER before… Melo has topped out at 13th in league PER ranking, otherwise between 16 and 33 (except 55th this year)… In Amare’s best seasons, he was 3rd (2007-2008) and 4th (2004-2005)… although he’s been up and down a lot more than Carmelo. To me, Amare in his prime was an all-timer on the offensive end, even if the rest of his game was mediocre or worse.

    Supported by the fact that he was the other half of one of the greatest PnR duos of all time. Devastating.

  137. er

    amare also had nash dumping him the ball…im sure that helps

    Caleb: Just for fun since we were throwing around PER before… Melo has topped out at 13th in league PER ranking, otherwise between 16 and 33 (except 55th this year)… In Amare’s best seasons, he was 3rd (2007-2008) and 4th (2004-2005)… although he’s been up and down a lot more than Carmelo.

    To me, Amare in his prime was an all-timer on the offensive end, even if the rest of his game was mediocre or worse.

    Caleb: Just for fun since we were throwing around PER before… Melo has topped out at 13th in league PER ranking, otherwise between 16 and 33 (except 55th this year)… In Amare’s best seasons, he was 3rd (2007-2008) and 4th (2004-2005)… although he’s been up and down a lot more than Carmelo.

    To me, Amare in his prime was an all-timer on the offensive end, even if the rest of his game was mediocre or worse.

  138. dogrufus

    TelegraphedPass: I didn’t at any point imply that true shooting percentage isn’t a useful measurement. Melo’s TS% is worse than Pierce and Kobe because he has been a poorer free throw shooter and 3 point shooter. From the field he has been comparable. Why are you taking shots at me? What mindless platitudes did I use? Has Melo not been a better post scorer than Durant? I’m confuzzled and hurt.

    Yes, Melo’s TS% is worst than Pierce and Kobe’s because he’s worse from the line and from three. It is no less true to say that Melo’s TS% is lower because he doesn’t score the ball as efficiently. Melo does not get a gold star for having FG% near Pierce or Kobe’s when his efficiency is typically well below. TS% is not the end all, but it is pretty damn important, and it is orders of magnitude more important that FG%.

    How good do you think Monta Ellis is? After all his FG% is usually pretty close to Kobe’s!

  139. cgreene

    Ben R:
    Every time I hear a quote from Woodson about this new offense utilizing Amare and Melo more it makes me cringe. We’re going to get slower and uglier as an offense and hinder the development of our young players (Lin, Fields, Shumpert) in the process.

    My soul hurts a little everytime I think that this is it, this is the next three years, Melo Isos, Amare’s lazy defense and the squandering of our promising young players in order to properly stroke our stars egos.

    I have been an avid reader and occasional poster on this blog for 3 or 4 years. I certainly don’t have the in depth credibility of some of the people here especially the writers. But it’s comments like this one and even some of Robert’s recently that I think have brought this community to a low point. Hampering the development of Lin, Shumpert and Fields? How about putting them in a greater position to succeed? Shumpert was forced because of MDA’s rigid system dogma to play in a role earlier this season for which he was completely unsuited. A better coach would have edited their approach knowing the personell were not in place to run what the coach wanted. It’s schizophrenia around here. Shumpert’s role in the offense SHOULD BE REDUCED!! He’s a bad outside shooter. All anyone does around this blog in game threads is complain about what a bad shooter he is. Now all of a sudden his growth is getting stunted so we can get the ball on offense in the hands of (for better or worse) our best offensive players??? MDA’s offense was predicated on shoot-if-your-open philosophy with BAD SHOOTERS ON THE FLOOR. When Shumpert is on the floor he should be a 4th or 5th offensive option. Period. I love Shump. Want him to succeed. Think his D is inspiring and needed but this kind of conclusion jumping is absurd. Maybe Woodie leanred a thing or two this year about offense from MDA that he can apply. Jeez. Take a breath, people.

  140. Frank O.

    Saw this coming:

    From NY times
    With Mike Woodson now the head coach of the Knicks, the change in style changes the entire equation for Jeremy Lin.

    Lin emerged in Mike D’Antoni’s system, which played to his strengths of the pick-and-roll and a free-flow offense.

    Woodson wants to run his offense through Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

    “Woody’s inclination would not be to play him,” said a person who has worked with Woodson.

    Lin could lose the starting job to Baron Davis, who has been in the NBA for more than a decade and is a better defender.

    Toney Douglas could also get another chance under Woodson, as he has always been a very good defender even while struggling to grasp D’Antoni’s system

  141. Brian Cronin

    I think we need to see what Woodson does first before we judge him on it. He could change things up, or he could just do what Alvin Gentry did and essentially continue to run a version of D’Antoni’s offense.

  142. Caleb

    er:
    amare also had nash dumping him the ball…im sure that helps

    Probably some, but hard to tell. Most of the key guys Nash played with in Phoenix did not play anywhere else during their primes, so it’s hard to compare and get a picture of how much he helped (or didn’t).

    Joe Johnson’s numbers didn’t suffer when he went to Atlanta, at least not compared to how much is usage rate went up.

    You could look at Grant Hill, who held off decline for longer than you’d expect. Is that Nash, I dunno.

    Amare dropped about 5 points in TS% when he came to New York, which is big, but at the same time his usage shot up from 22 to 27 so that’s a good part of it… and part could be a physical decline, which is more obvious this year.

    My personal opinion is that players don’t have a big effect on other players (making them better or worse), but if anyone did it would be Stevie.

  143. er

    +230000

    cgreene: I have been an avid reader and occasional poster on this blog for 3 or 4 years.I certainly don’t have the in depth credibility of some of the people here especially the writers.But it’s comments like this one and even some of Robert’s recently that I think have brought this community to a low point.Hampering the development of Lin, Shumpert and Fields?How about putting them in a greater position to succeed?Shumpert was forced because of MDA’s rigid system dogma to play in a role earlier this season for which he was completely unsuited.A better coach would have edited their approach knowing the personell were not in place to run what the coach wanted.It’s schizophrenia around here.Shumpert’s role in the offense SHOULD BE REDUCED!!He’s a bad outside shooter.All anyone does around this blog in game threads is complain about what a bad shooter he is.Now all of a sudden his growth is getting stunted so we can get the ball on offense in the hands of (for better or worse) our best offensive players???MDA’s offense was predicated on shoot-if-your-open philosophy with BAD SHOOTERS ON THE FLOOR.When Shumpert is on the floor he should be a 4th or 5th offensive option.Period.I love Shump.Want him to succeed.Think his D is inspiring and needed but this kind of conclusion jumping is absurd.Maybe Woodie leanred a thing or two this year about offense from MDA that he can apply. Jeez. Take a breath, people.

  144. TelegraphedPass

    dogrufus: Yes, Melo’s TS% is worst than Pierce and Kobe’s because he’s worse from the line and from three. It is no less true to say that Melo’s TS% is lower because he doesn’t score the ball as efficiently. Melo does not get a gold star for having FG% near Pierce or Kobe’s when his efficiency is typically well below. TS% is not the end all, but it is pretty damn important, and it is orders of magnitude more important that FG%.How good do you think Monta Ellis is? After all his FG% is usually pretty close to Kobe’s!

    Monta Ellis is a gifted scorer. I don’t particularly like his game. I never thought he was an All-Star.

    I get that TS% is a more useful measure of efficiency than FG%. Never argued that. I was implying that specifically looking at how these players score and their role in the offense is just as important.

  145. TelegraphedPass

    Melo has been a more efficient post scorer than Kobe and has been under-utilized in that regard. These things matter.

  146. d-mar

    cgreene: I have been an avid reader and occasional poster on this blog for 3 or 4 years.I certainly don’t have the in depth credibility of some of the people here especially the writers.But it’s comments like this one and even some of Robert’s recently that I think have brought this community to a low point.Hampering the development of Lin, Shumpert and Fields?How about putting them in a greater position to succeed?Shumpert was forced because of MDA’s rigid system dogma to play in a role earlier this season for which he was completely unsuited.A better coach would have edited their approach knowing the personell were not in place to run what the coach wanted.It’s schizophrenia around here.Shumpert’s role in the offense SHOULD BE REDUCED!!He’s a bad outside shooter.All anyone does around this blog in game threads is complain about what a bad shooter he is.Now all of a sudden his growth is getting stunted so we can get the ball on offense in the hands of (for better or worse) our best offensive players???MDA’s offense was predicated on shoot-if-your-open philosophy with BAD SHOOTERS ON THE FLOOR.When Shumpert is on the floor he should be a 4th or 5th offensive option.Period.I love Shump.Want him to succeed.Think his D is inspiring and needed but this kind of conclusion jumping is absurd.Maybe Woodie leanred a thing or two this year about offense from MDA that he can apply. Jeez. Take a breath, people.

    Well said sir, a good counterbalance to the constant drone of “our stars stink, the sky is falling.” Doesn’t anyone remember all the missed open shots by Fields, Shumpert, et al before Linsanity? That’s a big reason we lost a lot of winnable games, not because Melo was hogging the ball.

  147. NY2MIA

    cgreene: I have been an avid reader and occasional poster on this blog for 3 or 4 years. I certainly don’t have the in depth credibility of some of the people here especially the writers. But it’s comments like this one and even some of Robert’s recently that I think have brought this community to a low point. Hampering the development of Lin, Shumpert and Fields? How about putting them in a greater position to succeed? Shumpert was forced because of MDA’s rigid system dogma to play in a role earlier this season for which he was completely unsuited. A better coach would have edited their approach knowing the personell were not in place to run what the coach wanted. It’s schizophrenia around here. Shumpert’s role in the offense SHOULD BE REDUCED!! He’s a bad outside shooter. All anyone does around this blog in game threads is complain about what a bad shooter he is. Now all of a sudden his growth is getting stunted so we can get the ball on offense in the hands of (for better or worse) our best offensive players??? MDA’s offense was predicated on shoot-if-your-open philosophy with BAD SHOOTERS ON THE FLOOR. When Shumpert is on the floor he should be a 4th or 5th offensive option. Period. I love Shump. Want him to succeed. Think his D is inspiring and needed but this kind of conclusion jumping is absurd. Maybe Woodie leanred a thing or two this year about offense from MDA that he can apply. Jeez. Take a breath, people.

    I agree. We need to see how it plays out. Woodie was known for ISO’s but also for a flex offense with a lot of off the ball movement which could actually help someone like Shump and Fields. Most current NBA teams run flex or a variation so let’s relax on the slower tempo. Hell, all non D’Antoni systems will be slower.

  148. Brian Cronin

    Everyone can chill out with the personal attacks (and that includes stuff about the players. I don’t want to see anything like “Eff this player or eff that player”).

  149. Degree_Absolute

    TelegraphedPass: VERY very dangerous territory. Who then judges which cultures deserve preference in society? This is the basis for some really horrific tragedies in human history.

    Really??? Stating facts about the world is dangerous territory??? Boy are you naive. Cultures and subcultures are judge one another all the time. Is this good or bad? No idea. Is it reality? Absolutely.

    Cultures (and subcultures) aren’t static. They bleed and bend into one another. Culture is by definition learned behavior and the cultures (and subcultures) that appeal to the most people become dominant. That is the great thing: you may be born into specific one, you are under no real obligation to stay with it (at least in the US).

  150. Nick C.

    TelegraphedPass: Melo has been a more efficient post scorer than Kobe and has been under-utilized in that regard. These things matter.

    Do you have the synergy numbers on that or is this personal observation?

  151. Owen

    Man, what a strange thread. Classic Knickerblogger mixed with the kind of conversation I remember from college….

    I liked the post and definitely agree that Melo is both overrated and now fully in a put up or shut up situation.

    Really excited to be at the Garden to see what unfolds. It is regrettable though that the soap opera drama of the Knicks has been more compelling than their play on the court of late. I definitely blame Melo for that, on both scores.

  152. TelegraphedPass

    TS% doesn’t take into account the difference in the way players score from the field. That’s essentially my critique. It favors players who are better 3 point and foul shooters, but doesn’t distinguish between how a player scores inside the line. If a player (like Carmelo) shows an ability to score in several creative ways inside the 3 point line, it doesn’t affect his TS% by nearly as much as simply being a better shooter from range or from the charity stripe.

    In a way, this makes sense because 3 pointers are numerically worth more than other shots. But it also doesn’t take into account how many different ways a player can score. That variety is what gives Melo a superior career FG% than Pierce and Kobe (as they were used in an example). So if you NEED two points, isn’t Carmelo a comparable offensive option?

  153. ephus

    er: Dantoni was the most stubborn coach i have ever seen

    How quickly they forget Isiah Thomas (who tried to make the playoffs by force feeding Eddy Curry even after opponents had figured out how to defend his (limited) array of post moves) and Larry Brown (who wore out his welcome in seven cities because it was his way or the highway).

    If we move beyond the Knicks, I would vote for Terry Porter’s attempt to turn the post-MDA Suns into a half-court slowball team, despite the presence of Steve Nash.

  154. TelegraphedPass

    Nick C.: Do you have the synergy numbers on that or is this personal observation?

    Melo – .99 points per possession in the post on 47.6 FG%. Turnover rate of 9%. Occupies 11.6% of his possessions.

    Kobe – .88 points per possession on 41.2 FG%. Turnover rate of 10.8%. Occupies 19.4% of his possessions.

  155. flossy

    er: amare also had nash dumping him the ball…im sure that helps

    Definitely, I think that’s why Hakim Warrick has turned into an absolute beast in Phoenix

  156. Brian Cronin

    I think the one skill that Melo has that he is legitimately better than the rest of the NBA is that he is likely the best “bad shot” shooter in the NBA. Kobe Bryant, for instance, takes a lot of bad shots but he does not hit them at as good of a rate as Melo.

    As we saw from watching Jamal Crawford play for years (also one of the best “bad shot” shooters in the NBA) is that there is definitely some use for a team for a player to be a contextually good “bad shot” shooter. This is because at the end of games, sometimes the only shot you can get is a bad shot. So having someone like Melo who is the best at that particular skill is valuable.

    However, being the best at that skill doesn’t mean that he’s efficient at it. He’s not. After all, at the end of the day, it is still a bad shot. He’s just better at it than other players. It is sort of like a “Value Over Replacement Level Bad Shot Shooter” thing, where his ability to make crazy ass shots at, say, a 47% clip is X percentage points better than what his replacement would do (let’s say STAT).

    So there’s real value there. It is real value that gets grossly overrated, though, because it typically takes place at the end of the game and you remember it more because it came at the end of the game. But it definitely has real value to that.

  157. TelegraphedPass

    Degree_Absolute: Really??? Stating facts about the world is dangerous territory??? Boy are you naive. Cultures and subcultures are judge one another all the time. Is this good or bad? No idea. Is it reality? Absolutely. Cultures (and subcultures) aren’t static. They bleed and bend into one another. Culture is by definition learned behavior and the cultures (and subcultures) that appeal to the most people become dominant. That is the great thing: you may be born into specific one, you are under no real obligation to stay with it (at least in the US).

    Please don’t call me naive. But yes, I agree with your overall observation. Just because cultures judge each other often doesn’t make it right (and I fully understand that you’ve said as much.).

    I just philosophically disagree with the notion that we should continue to judge other cultures to the extent that we so often do. I don’t think you’re necessarily wrong. I simply would prefer that we allow this cultures to exist without passing judgement on certain characteristics (ex.: tattooed players cannot be leaders)

  158. max fisher-cohen

    @TelegraphedPass TS% measures how much value a player gets out of the possessions he uses. In basketball, the team that scores the most points per possession almost always wins (turnovers and offensive rebounds being the only other factors that play any role). If Carmelo Shmanthony shot the same FG% as Carmelo Anthony and was the same in all other ways except that three more of his makes came from distance, Shmanthony would be the better player.

  159. flossy

    TelegraphedPass: TS% doesn’t take into account the difference in the way players score from the field. That’s essentially my critique. It favors players who are better 3 point and foul shooters, but doesn’t distinguish between how a player scores inside the line. If a player (like Carmelo) shows an ability to score in several creative ways inside the 3 point line, it doesn’t affect his TS% by nearly as much as simply being a better shooter from range or from the charity stripe.

    No, it simply punishes players who take inefficient shots. Dwight Howard can’t hit a free throw or a 3 to save his life and scores at .600 TS% year after year. If a player finds “creative” ways to take a lot of low percentage two-point attempts his TS% will typically reflect that.

  160. JK47

    @150

    You make lots of good points here.

    This team sucked at running D’Antoni’s system. Not enough reliable shooters and not enough ballhandling. This team is simply ill-suited to play a fast-paced, pass-crazy, shoot-immediately-if-open type of offense. The end result is lots of turnovers (2nd worst in the NBA) and a weak eFG% because you’re encouraging terrible 3-point shooters to fire away without conscience.

    The first thing this team needs to do is slow down the pace and cut down on the turnovers. This is the easiest, most direct way for them to improve their weak offensive performance. The team also needs to improve its overall shot selection. Too many threes attempted by too many horrendous three point shooters. The only guys on this team who should be regularly shooting threes are JR Smith and Steve Novak. Everyone else should be shooting them very sparingly. We’re 4th in 3-pointers attempted but 25th in 3-point shooting percentage. Gee, why does our offense suck so bad?

  161. Nick C.

    My problem with Woodson is what he is saying seems to not comport with either what has transpired over the last year or what the stats tell us. Other than the Linsanity blip the team has been geared to Melo and Stat and has been underwhelming. This season, particularly Melo, their effieciency is poor. Melo TS .502 EF% .435, Amare .528/.472, Lin .545/.480, Fields .527/.510, by comparison ____ .389/.367, Diddy .381/.365, Swish .487/.468, Shump .461/.425, Jared.496/.439. Anyway I just see Woodson’s comments as being very hidebound and “get off the porch” like. D’Antoni was a stubborn guy but Woodson’s comments are just as stubborn in the opposite direction. Worse they come off as “they’ve done it before so we’ll just stick with that now stop bothering me”. If I didn’t have to suffer thru ten years of bringing in one underefficient volume scorer who does little else I might buy this as “well duh” common sense logic on Woodson’s part. But I have and am leery of that line of thought which may be smaamrt or blaming Melo for the failures of Marbury, Rose, Crawford, Zach, Tim Thomas, Curry, etc.

  162. TelegraphedPass

    @Brian Agreed. I also think the idea that he is historically “low-efficiency” is overstated. Of middling-efficiency, sure, but history has shown you can win a title or two with a player like that on your team. Unfortunately, STAT isn’t Pau Gasol and Melo has been dreadful this year.

  163. Brian Cronin

    Are the Knicks seriously 4th in the NBA in threes attempted? Wow, I really had no clue. I thought they were taking a lot less of them this year. I guess that’s a perfect example of the visual failing an observer.

  164. Degree_Absolute

    Frank O.: “Woody’s inclination would not be to play him,” said a person who has worked with Woodson.

    I am not really sure what to make of this. Does “not..to play him” mean not to start him or to make him the 15th man again?

    Honestly, I have no real problem with reducing Lin’s minutes or even having him as the 6th man, but straight-up benching our best PG (statistically) for the one of the worst PG’s (statistically) in the league? Dear Lord… does he even want to keep the job?

  165. flossy

    Brian Cronin: So there’s real value there. It is real value that gets grossly overrated, though, because it typically takes place at the end of the game and you remember it more because it came at the end of the game. But it definitely has real value to that.

    True. But good bad-shot shooters rarely keep it holstered until the end of the game. And you could argue that there would be fewer closer games i.e. less need for end-of-game heroics if teams just looked to score with efficiency from the opening tip.

  166. Brian Cronin

    True. But good bad-shot shooters rarely keep it holstered until the end of the game. And you could argue that there would be fewer closer games i.e. less need for end-of-game heroics if teams just looked to score with efficiency from the opening tip.

    Agreed. But no matter what style you play, you’re bound to be in close games sometimes, and that is where guys like Melo definitely come in handy. Then again, it is where Jamal Crawford also comes in handy, and no one wants any part of him because the rest of his game is awful.

  167. TelegraphedPass

    flossy: No, it simply punishes players who take inefficient shots. Dwight Howard can’t hit a free throw or a 3 to save his life and scores at .600 TS% year after year. If a player finds “creative” ways to take a lot of low percentage two-point attempts his TS% will typically reflect that.

    Oh absolutely. But Dwight is put in a position to generate good shots around the rim on almost every offensive possession. Melo was asked and decides to take several threes and spot up jumpers. He is historically poor at converting those. But the mere pressure of him taking the shots spaces the offense, though unfortunately for him and us he doesn’t turn that pressure into points.

    Dwight is never asked to shoot from the outside. His role on offense is different, and his TS% rejoices because of it.

    I suppose my point is that Melo’s current (previous?) role has negative effect on his TS%, but if he took other shots he could be more efficient. Melo’s best attributes don’t fit well in DA’s system.

  168. Degree_Absolute

    TelegraphedPass: Please don’t call me naive.

    Sorry for the name-calling. I thought you were trying to Godwin me or something.

    I think we agree on most points in this particular area.

  169. Frank

    Even if we go to Iso-Melo, maybe it’s not such a bad thing, aesthetics aside. Seriously – it is not like we are a good offense right now. It’s been documented by a few writers that even during Linsanity, it was the DEFENSE winning for us, not really the offense, which was just average during that stretch.

    We can have some sort of morality discussion about what is “good” offense and what is “bad” offense, but at the end of the day, there are many ways to skin a cat. We had the 5th most efficient offense in the league last year while playing the 2nd fastest pace, but we have almost a completely different roster this year, with the difference mostly being our PG situation has been in flux the entire year. We had the 5th best turnover ratio in the entire league last year probably because we had Felton playing the best ball of his career, and then Billups at PG. This year we’ve had the keystone kops playing PG until Linsanity, and have the 2nd WORST TO ratio, which along with our crappy 3 point shooting, is the biggest problem with the offense. Just think how much better our O and D ratings would be if we even had an average # of turnovers (since some significant portion of those TOs turn into easy transition points).

    I really liked MDA as a coach, and it sounds like he is a good man that didn’t deserve what went on here for the last 3+ years. But there is definitely something to be said about running your offense through guys that are bona fide scorers even if they are not playing the PG position. That doesn’t mean Melo and Amare take all the shots and it doesn’t mean that every possession turns into a one-on-one iso. But even so, in 09-10 (the last year of Woodson’s ATL run), 17.3% of all the possessions were taken as “iso” shots. The Lakers took 14.8% of all possessions as iso that year on their way to the title. This year OKC takes about 15% iso shots while being the Synergy’s #1 offense. Not that different.

  170. Caleb

    Mike, are you planning on changing your avatar or will it live on in memoriam?

    How about this one?

    (I thought I was totally original until I spotted the NBA doppelgangers site as i was photo-surfing).

  171. cgreene

    Degree_Absolute: I am not really sure what to make of this.Does “not..to play him” mean not to start him or to make him the 15th man again?

    Honestly, I have no real problem with reducing Lin’s minutes or even having him as the 6th man, but straight-up benching our best PG (statistically) for the one of the worst PG’s (statistically) in the league?Dear Lord… does he even want to keep the job?

    Or the Marc Berman is trying to start a fire. Here are the direct quotes from Woodie on Lin after today’s practice.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/14496/woodson-lins-my-starter

  172. TelegraphedPass

    Degree_Absolute: Sorry for the name-calling. I thought you were trying to Godwin me or something. I think we agree on most points in this particular area.

    No problem. I know what you were getting at, and mostly agree.

  173. JK47

    @181

    “But no matter what style you play, you’re bound to be in close games sometimes, and that is where guys like Melo definitely come in handy.”

    This strikes me as kind of a fallacy. Maybe if you don’t rely on inefficient scorers in the first place, you won’t have so many close games to worry about. Is Melo’s “clutchiness” a net positive when you factor in his general inefficiency? Not really in my opinion.

  174. BigBlueAL

    Funny thing is many people here complained after the trade last season that the Knicks became too much Melo-Iso and Billups crazy 3pters yet the offense was the best in the NBA after the trade.

    Of course it helped that last season Fields/TD/Shawne/Walker all shot great from 3pt range. Also I think we all underrated Billups and his positive impact on the offense. Of course the defense was beyond awful so there was that lol

  175. TelegraphedPass

    ephus: In other news, Wu-Tang is about the children.

    WU TANG IS FOR THE CHILDREN! WE TEACH THE CHILDREN, Y’KNOW WHAT I MEAN??

  176. art vandelay

    @181: You mentioned Melo´s prowess in close game situations and the added utility he provides and being able to hit big shots at the end of tight games, but what I have noticed this season for the Knicks is a scarcity of said close-game situations. I have league pass broadband and I watch a number of teams´ games and it seems as if just about every game, for example, Toronto is in an exceedingly close game (which they inevitably find a way to lose) whereas NYK has played 13 games decided by 5 points or fewer of the 43 (record = 5-8) they have played.

    I am wondering if SSOL lends itself to more lopsided scores (in one direction of the other) due to the disproportionate number of 3-point fields goals taken and how being hot or not one given night (as we have seen for years with these Knicks) can by itself decide the team´s fate. A slower-paced system with fewer high-risk plays (likely fewer TO´s under Woodson) and more post-ups therefore should, in theory, lead to less variability in score results and thus closer games, thereby taking advantage more of Carmelo´s lack-game talents/skill set than did SSOl.

  177. max fisher-cohen

    Frank: Even if we go to Iso-Melo, maybe it’s not such a bad thing, aesthetics aside. Seriously – it is not like we are a good offense right now. It’s been documented by a few writers that even during Linsanity, it was the DEFENSE winning for us, not really the offense, which was just average during that stretch.

    The offense was average (in other words, much better than earlier in the season) with Jared Jeffries, Bill Walker, Novak and Iman Shumpert replacing the minutes of Anthony and Stoudemire. That to me is way more of a revelation than the improved defense. Anthony and Stoudemire make $40 million, and most of that is for their offense. Walker, Jeffries, Novak and Shumpert make something like $5 million combined. Two of those guys are defensive specialists. This is the equivalent of putting Battier and Coles into the Heat lineup instead of James and Wade and watching their offense improve.

  178. limpidgimp

    cgreene: Or the Marc Berman is trying to start a fire.Here are the direct quotes from Woodie on Lin after today’s practice.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/14496/woodson-lins-my-starter

    Every sports writer has the same Woodson quotes to recycle and repackage in a story. Leave it to drama queen Marc Berman to make it sound like there’s a huge rift in the team and radical demotion for Lin.
    For all the changes that Woodson is going to make, there is still more continuity than not. He was, after all, already part of the coaching staff before he became the interim head coach, and the players know D’Antoni’s system better than anything else, so it’s not going to all radically change overnight.

  179. nicos

    max fisher-cohen:
    if anything, this list just confirms that the best way to be a great team is to have a top five in terms of efficiency volume scorer, and give him the ball. If you don’t have that, as the knicks don’t, you have to play team ball.

    The thing we do have one but it’s not Melo. Even without Nash, if you’re talking about volume scorers, the only guys last year with better numbers than Amar’e were LBJ, Wade, Durant, Kevin Martin, Dirk, and Howard. So he was almost top five despite starting and ending the year poorly. Yes, he comes with a caveat- he needs a point guard who can get him the ball on the move but if you have that, and now the Knicks have two, you’ve got your efficient high volume scorer. As long as Chandler is healthy you can hide Amar’e's miserable defense for the most part (though whether you can hide it enough to win a championship is debatable). Unfortunately, while Amar’e on the move is great, iso-Amar’e is not so I’m praying Woodson continues to run plenty of pnr’s and not just give him the ball at the elbow and ask him to go one on one.

  180. TelegraphedPass

    @196 It’s possible. The turnovers should come down, Melo and STAT’s scoring should improve as long as they are getting shots where they feel comfortable. The Knicks have been fairly dependant on injections of scoring from JR Smith and Steve Novak. Hopefully this newish offense makes their scoring an added bonus.

  181. ephus

    The next 30 hours are really important to the rest of the season. Two wins over Indiana and the Knicks are squarely back in the playoff hunt.

    With two losses, the odds on the Knicks making the playoffs will fall below 33%.

    A split (most likely outcome) would preserve the status quo.

    I hope that ‘Melo and Stat look to Chandler to punish Hibbert when he doubles/helps. With the brace off in the last two games, Chandler has been much more effective catching the ball in traffic. If the Pacers key too much on stopping ‘Melo, I think we could see a 20+ point night from TC.

  182. Frank

    @192 – just looking at last season’s stats – post-ASB we averaged only 12.8 TO/game which would have been best in the league over a full season. This year – 16.7 TO/game despite playing a somewhat slower pace. Figure our average efficiency is basically 1.0 PPP so 4 more points per game if there are ~100 possession in a game – that’s the difference between being the #21 offense in the league (0.994 PPP) and #7 offense in the league (1.034 PPP). That’s not even taking into account how that might affect our defensive efficiency.

  183. New Guy

    Speaking of narcissistic Melo quotes (well, we were 120 comments ago…I’m late). My favorite was from last year’s ASG when he was being interviewed on the bench:

    “I’d like to take my hat off to me, for how well I’ve handled everything.”

    (Not saying it means anything, it was just very funny and has become a catch phrase among my Knicks fan friends.)

  184. limpidgimp

    Eternal OptiKnist:
    I think what often happens is that skill is mistakenly thought of as synonymous with leadership.A good example of this is probably Lebron James being clearly the best player on his team, however, Dwayne Wade is most certainly the leader.I think the issue with Melo lies in who he is as a person.I’ve caught alot of heat for it on this board, but he really does give me severe douche-chills.He strikes me as the type of guy that gets along great with other superstars, but not with ‘regular’ players…i see him looking down on his lesser teammates.If he were to hang out with other superstars of the league, i think he’d be the one they make fun of alot…if they all were going to hang out somewhere, they’d make him drive.Despite legit skill, he strikes me as an insecure person and an awful teammate.So while his skill is not overrated, his ability to lead and inspire is DRASTICALLY overrated.Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your team captain…click at your own risk…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlJx2xGaUco

    Since we are playing the game of reading character through the posters players have up in the house, Baron Davis hangs with “Training Day” and “Scarface” posters. “Of course, everybody got Scarface. Scarface is my man though.” Melo and Jesus in a “puddle of blood” is arguably more gangster.

  185. Count de Pennies

    Just curious:

    Anyone here know if the share price of MSG stock has “corrected” back to its pre-Linsanity level?

  186. Tufumbo

    Seeing as we’re stuck with Melo for better or worse, someone on that coaching staff should sit him down and talk about Paul Pierce’s career arc. Pierce was essentially the same type player melo is now, all about his offensive numbers. Critics said he couldnt win the big one, didnt play defense, couldnt and wouldnt co-exist with Allen and Garnett. Now 4 years later Pierce is a future HOF with a complete all-around game. The only way the Knicks are winning a title with Melo is if he plays the kind of game Pierce does. My hope is that Melo somehow figures it all out and develops a game that mirrors Pierce (perhaps even better offensively). Pierce’s defense, passing and overall command of the game is something i dream about carmelo one day having and until that day comes theres a low ceiling on this team

  187. NY2MIA

    cgreene: Or the Marc Berman is trying to start a fire. Here are the direct quotes from Woodie on Lin after today’s practice.http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/14496/woodson-lins-my-starter

    Typical Berman and NY media trumpeting inacurracies and taking statements out of context to perpetuate agendas and the villain narrative. I urge folks to view Woodsons’ post practice interview yesterday and read the tabloids today and see how the media stretches a bit. How about this poll in the daily news today:
    Who do you think should start at point guard for the Knicks?

    1- Jeremy Lin, he’s been the only reason to watch the Knicks
    2- Baron Davis, the veteran is a better fit in Woodson’s offense
    3- Carmelo Anthony, just let him bring the ball up the court

    Notice the wording? Pulling on emotions.

    So Melo and soon to be Woodson are the victims of the villain narrative. Famous line in Scareface seems apropos here: “You don’t have the guts to be what you want to be. You need people like me. You need people like me…so you can point your f*&^ing fingers…and say, “That’s the bad guy.”

    How about this http://www.observer.com/2012/03/linsanity-over-new-york-times-03162012/

  188. Frank

    Tufumbo:
    Seeing as we’re stuck with Melo for better or worse, someone on that coaching staff should sit him down and talk about Paul Pierce’s career arc. Pierce was essentially the same type player melo is now, all about his offensive numbers. Critics said he couldnt win the big one, didnt play defense, couldnt and wouldnt co-exist with Allen and Garnett. Now 4 years later Pierce is a future HOF with a complete all-around game. The only way the Knicks are winning a title with Melo is if he plays the kind of game Pierce does. My hope is that Melo somehow figures it all out and develops a game that mirrors Pierce (perhaps even better offensively). Pierce’s defense, passing and overall command of the game is something i dream about carmelo one day having and until that day comes theres a low ceiling on this team

    Maybe Melo just needs a Doc Rivers-like coach, who is comfortable absolutely just calling people out, and a teammate he respects as much as Pierce respects Garnett. I think we have the 2nd one already – I get the feeling he very much respects Tyson. Is Woodson the guy to get through to him? Don’t know.

    There’s been a fair amount out there now about D’Antoni’s famous non-confrontational stance. We remember it when he froze out Nate without saying anything to him. Obviously Marbury too. Some guys probably respond to that, others probably need someone to get in their face.

  189. Gideon Zaga

    Hahahaha i remember. I take my hat of to myself.

    New Guy:
    Speaking of narcissistic Melo quotes (well, we were 120 comments ago…I’m late).My favorite was from last year’s ASG when he was being interviewed on the bench:

    “I’d like to take my hat off to me, for how well I’ve handled everything.”

    (Not saying it means anything, it was just very funny and has become a catch phrase among my Knicks fan friends.)

  190. Ben R

    If you notice though in Boston Rondo is the man. He controls the ball and sets up the offense. Not Pierce. In the iso-joe offense the PG rarely set things up which puts a lot more decision making pressure on your big scorers and with both Melo and Amare’s tendency to go 1on1 or even 1on2 you have a problem. Especially since I don’t know if there is a worse iso big man in the NBA than Amare.

    Rondo is the player that balances Allen, Pierce and Rondo plus they won with defense so a little iso ball or inefficent play is glossed over by playing great d.

  191. Gideon Zaga

    +1, maybe ruru can shed more light on this. Always wandered why Kobe got along with Melo so well. One is in your face and one is passive aggressive. Hahah guess opposites still attract.

    Frank: Maybe Melo just needs a Doc Rivers-like coach, who is comfortable absolutely just calling people out, and a teammate he respects as much as Pierce respects Garnett.I think we have the 2nd one already – I get the feeling he very much respects Tyson. Is Woodson the guy to get through to him? Don’t know.

    There’s been a fair amount out there now about D’Antoni’s famous non-confrontational stance. We remember it when he froze out Nate without saying anything to him.Obviously Marbury too. Some guys probably respond to that, others probably need someone to get in their face.

  192. Frank

    Ben R:
    If you notice though in Boston Rondo is the man. He controls the ball and sets up the offense. Not Pierce. In the iso-joe offense the PG rarely set things up which puts a lot more decision making pressure on your big scorers and with both Melo and Amare’s tendency to go 1on1 or even 1on2 you have a problem. Especially since I don’t know if there is a worse iso big man in the NBA than Amare.

    Rondo is the player that balances Allen, Pierce and Rondo plus they won with defense so a little iso ball or inefficent play is glossed over by playing great d.

    Fair point – I do hope that we end up running a hybrid of MDA’s offense and whatever lower-risk stuff Woodson wants to run. It would be a waste if we didn’t use great PNR roll guys like TC and Amare.

  193. TelegraphedPass

    I think the offense absolutely needs Jeremy Lin to be active and aggressive. Lin is scoring at a 46% clip in isolation, garnering a PPP of .92. His turnovers are obviously dragging his PPP down, but that FG% and his ability to draw fouls is big.

    Melo has shown a strong ability to score in the post. STAT has shown a strong ability to score off of cuts. This can fit really well together. If Melo is drawing a double team from STAT’s man in the post, his solid passing ability should give Stoudemire some good looks at the rim on the move. That combination should be pretty solid on offense. If the opposing SG comes over to help, JR Smith could really punish them.

    Mix that up with iso possessions for Lin, especially against poor defensive PGs and teams without a rim-protecting center and the offense can really hum. Every time the defense focuses too hard on the Melo/STAT combo, Jeremy can drive in and hopefully not turn it over.

    These are quick thoughts. What do you guys think?

  194. Gideon Zaga

    Nooooo!!! The only reason it works is because Doc runs countless plays for those 3, the advantage is that Rondo runs them and attacks the many broken plays. MDA runs a one play sytem high screen and roll and that play believe it or is for Lin/the pg.

    Ben R:
    If you notice though in Boston Rondo is the man. He controls the ball and sets up the offense. Not Pierce. In the iso-joe offense the PG rarely set things up which puts a lot more decision making pressure on your big scorers and with both Melo and Amare’s tendency to go 1on1 or even 1on2 you have a problem. Especially since I don’t know if there is a worse iso big man in the NBA than Amare.

    Rondo is the player that balances Allen, Pierce and Rondo plus they won with defense so a little iso ball or inefficent play is glossed over by playing great d.

  195. TelegraphedPass

    ARGH!! Was looking at the wrong numbers. Lin is scoring at much better 1.05 PPP on a 47.8% clip. So yeah. Point still stands.

  196. TelegraphedPass

    TelegraphedPass: ARGH!! Was looking at the wrong numbers. Lin is scoring at much better 1.05 PPP on a 47.8% clip. So yeah. Point still stands.

    In iso, as before.

  197. ephus

    Just read elsewhere that Woodson’s biggest change in practice was to run more cross-screens for Amar’e and Chandler and more downscreens to free up ‘Melo. I would love to see the Knicks have TC run a downscreen for ‘Melo to get him the ball at the elbow, followed by Chandler jab-stepping as if he was going to clear out and rolling back to the basket. Given Hibbert’s tendency to try to help on defense, I think that action gets a few easy baskets for TC.

  198. JK47

    The Knicks’ offense has actually been quite good lately. Look at the team’s O-rating in the last bunch of games:

    vs POR 129.9
    vs CHI 105.6
    vs PHI 98.9
    vs MIL 117.9
    vs SAS 105.8
    vs DAL 90.7
    vs BOS 105.8
    vs CLE 127.5

    The Knicks’ season O-Rating is 102.3, so it’s obvious that the offense has gotten much better of late. Yet we lost 6 of these 8 games. The problem is, the defense has gone in the tank. Mainly this is a function of our opposition– we had a very soft schedule early in the season and the poor opposition was making our defense look better than it is. At one point this season we ranked 5th in defensive rating and we’ve slipped pretty quickly to 9th.

  199. Ben R

    I know Melo loves the elbow but it is a bad place to initiate offense from. If you drive you are attacking the teeth of the defense with no spacing and if you shoot it is the worst shot in basketball the long 2 and if you post you are starting too far from the basket which makes it easy to help.

    It is much better to either initiate from the 3 point line to give clear open lanes to the basket if their tight or three pont shots if they sag or on the low block to draw defense in or score quickly.

  200. TelegraphedPass

    JK47: The Knicks’ offense has actually been quite good lately. Look at the team’s O-rating in the last bunch of games:vs POR 129.9vs CHI 105.6vs PHI 98.9vs MIL 117.9vs SAS 105.8vs DAL 90.7vs BOS 105.8vs CLE 127.5The Knicks’ season O-Rating is 102.3, so it’s obvious that the offense has gotten much better of late. Yet we lost 6 of these 8 games. The problem is, the defense has gone in the tank. Mainly this is a function of our opposition– we had a very soft schedule early in the season and the poor opposition was making our defense look better than it is. At one point this season we ranked 5th in defensive rating and we’ve slipped pretty quickly to 9th.

    It’s coincided with injuries to Jeffries and Chandler, so that may be a factor. Which sucks. Hope they can get beack to full strength soon.

  201. Tufumbo

    Ben R:
    If you notice though in Boston Rondo is the man. He controls the ball and sets up the offense. Not Pierce. In the iso-joe offense the PG rarely set things up which puts a lot more decision making pressure on your big scorers and with both Melo and Amare’s tendency to go 1on1 or even 1on2 you have a problem. Especially since I don’t know if there is a worse iso big man in the NBA than Amare.

    Rondo is the player that balances Allen, Pierce and Rondo plus they won with defense so a little iso ball or inefficent play is glossed over by playing great d.

    Now Rondo is the man but for the past few seasons when they made their deep playoff runs Pierce was THE guy. He did everything. Played great defense on LBJ when he was in Cleveland. This season when the Celtics were struggling and rondo was out Pierce came back from injury and immediately started dominating games posting 20-8-8 stat lines, running the show and carrying his team to wins. We all saw what happened when Melo was forced to orchestrate the offense. I just want him to reach the point Pierce is at. He can take 7-12 shots score 17 pts and dominate a game. How many times has Pierce taken over a game when the Celtics needed it and everyone in the building knew he was gonna shot (90% of the time that step-back elbow jumper). Im not asking for him to become kobe or lebron or durant. Pierce’s game is something that should be very attainable for someone of carmelo’s talents

  202. TelegraphedPass

    Ben R: I know Melo loves the elbow but it is a bad place to initiate offense from. If you drive you are attacking the teeth of the defense with no spacing and if you shoot it is the worst shot in basketball the long 2 and if you post you are starting too far from the basket which makes it easy to help.It is much better to either initiate from the 3 point line to give clear open lanes to the basket if their tight or three pont shots if they sag or on the low block to draw defense in or score quickly.

    I think the idea intimated was that Melo would feed the cutting Chandler before his defender realizes what’s going in. Hopefully it doesn’t end in a shot for Melo from that location: As you said, it is usually a bad look for most players (not for Bosh, though).

  203. ephus

    TelegraphedPass: I think the idea intimated was that Melo would feed the cutting Chandler before his defender realizes what’s going in. Hopefully it doesn’t end in a shot for Melo from that location: As you said, it is usually a bad look for most players (not for Bosh, though).

    +1. That is exactly what I meant. This set should work particularly well if Novak is at the 4 and Smith is at the 2, with each spacing the floor for corner 3s. You want to put the pressure on Hibbert to decide whether to double/hedge on ‘Melo or stay with TC.

  204. flossy

    TelegraphedPass: I suppose my point is that Melo’s current (previous?) role has negative effect on his TS%, but if he took other shots he could be more efficient. Melo’s best attributes don’t fit well in DA’s system.

    Then what did George Karl do wrong? Melo’s TS% has never been elite and that’s despite coming from an offense that was built around his talents.

  205. ephus

    Another play that makes a lot of sense against the Pacers is the Amar’e/’Melo PnR. David West is not a good PnR defender, and ‘Melo has been doing a good job of hitting Amar’e as he cuts to the basket.

    There are definitely things that Woodson can do to combine the threat from ‘Melo in the mid-range with Stat and/or Chandler moving towards the basket.

  206. ephus

    Another big question, does JR Smith’s hot hand in the last fifteen minutes against Portland carry over? If yes, I would love to see Smith feeding ‘Melo in the post.

  207. er

    great fuckin quote

    New Guy:
    Speaking of narcissistic Melo quotes (well, we were 120 comments ago…I’m late).My favorite was from last year’s ASG when he was being interviewed on the bench:

    “I’d like to take my hat off to me, for how well I’ve handled everything.”

    (Not saying it means anything, it was just very funny and has become a catch phrase among my Knicks fan friends.)

  208. cgreene

    Dirk initiates the Mavs offense from the elbow all game. It beat the Heat in the NBA finals with the same center and versatile wings.

  209. ephus

    Tufumbo: Especially since I don’t know if there is a worse iso big man in the NBA than Amare.

    Biedrins, Pachulia, Noah, Varejao, every other defense-first big.

  210. ruruland

    Brian and Mike, at the end of the year I’d like to write a post on this topic. You don’t have to run it on the site if you don’t like it, I’ll just post it in the comments section. It’s something I’ll actually put some time into, as opposed to these quick comments I write. I really appreciate people’s thoughts on this but they aren’t giving anywhere near the complete picture.

  211. hoolahoop

    If Melo’s plays the rest of his contract as a team player and intense defense in order to exonerate himself as a primadonna coach killer, then Dantoni did his job.

  212. ephus

    cgreene:
    Dirk initiates the Mavs offense from the elbow all game.It beat the Heat in the NBA finals with the same center and versatile wings.

    And Dallas frequently runs the downscreen to free up Dirk at the start of that play.

  213. ruruland

    flossy: Then what did George Karl do wrong?Melo’s TS% has never been elite and that’s despite coming from an offense that was built around his talents.

    Would you say .573 over 95 games is elite?

    Melo should have been putting up much better efficiency numbers in Mike’s offense. He’s been horrible this year and some of it I’m not sure I can explain or understand.

    But, at the end of the day, I think it has something to do with how Melo thinks.

  214. ruruland

    hoolahoop:
    If Melo’s plays the rest of his contract as a team player and intense defense in order to exonerate himself as a primadonna coach killer, then Dantoni did his job.

    He was starting to come back to life defensively in the second quarter two days ago. If you watch possession by possession, you can see how good he can be on that end when he chooses to be.

  215. ruruland

    Ben R:
    I know Melo loves the elbow but it is a bad place to initiate offense from. If you drive you are attacking the teeth of the defense with no spacing and if you shoot it is the worst shot in basketball the long 2 and if you post you are starting too far from the basket which makes it easy to help.

    It is much better to either initiate from the 3 point line to give clear open lanes to the basket if their tight or three pont shots if they sag or on the low block to draw defense in or score quickly.

    That’s entirely dependent on personnel. Gosh, so much to say about this… I’m going to hold off for now and talk about it during or after the game.

  216. Ben R

    ephus: Biedrins, Pachulia, Noah, Varejao, every other defense-first big.

    I would actually say they’re better iso scorers because they know not to try. Plus I’ve seen Pachulia iso in the low post and Noah took the ball to the rim on a couple isos against Amare last time we played Chicago. But thats not really fair though because Amare would be pretty good at isos if he had a defender as bad as himself defending him.

  217. Nick C.

    TelegraphedPass: Melo – .99 points per possession in the post on 47.6 FG%. Turnover rate of 9%. Occupies 11.6% of his possessions.

    Kobe – .88 points per possession on 41.2 FG%. Turnover rate of 10.8%. Occupies 19.4% of his possessions.

    </bloanks.
    Thanks for the info. What really pisses me off is that Kobe is always considered the best last shot shooter yet when the data was out on 82 games Melo crushed the field.

  218. Nick C.

    I seem to recall several years ago Karl said something to effect of going “bully ball” with Melo when things bogged down. Maybe not at the same time Melo said something about “bully ball” being hard in the body. Am I misremembering and what exactly were they talking about?

  219. ruruland

    Nick C.:
    I seem to recall several years ago Karl said something to effect of going “bully ball” with Melo when things bogged down. Maybe not at the same time Melo said something about “bully ball” being hard in the body. Am I misremembering and what exactly were they talking about?

    Karl often spoke about Melo as the “horse” he would ride when other parts of the offense weren’t functioning well.

    Grappling with his defender most possessions has had an effect before, guys have to match Melo physically so it’s typically a 36 minute wrestling match between Melo and whatever guys he’s playing that night.

    You’ve got to have other things you can do and there are plenty of other things this offense can do.

    I’, pretty sure it was Eric Snow who came up with “Bully Ball” after getting beat up trying to guard him in Cleveland in ’06.

  220. Nick C.

    He doesn’t seem to do that much anymore. Probably a conscious decision to save himself physically or is it just a last resort as your Karl quote implies.

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