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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Knicks’ Backcourt Conundrum

The Knicks have evened up their series against the Indiana Pacers 1-1 as the scene shifts to Indy for Games 3 and 4. While New York rang up a convincing blowout victory in Game 2, the distribution of minutes is growing into a legitimate concern. For reasons unknown, Mike Woodson hasn’t utilized Iman Shumpert and Pablo Prigioni for extended minute, despite the fact that they’re playing some  of the best basketball on the entire squad.

Browsing through the on/off ratings in this postseason I found that of players that have played at least 150 minutes thus far, Prigioni and Shumpert have had two of the leading three greatest positive impact by a Knick on the team’s performance. With Prigs on the floor, the Knickerbockers own a NetRTG of +24 and with Shump a +12.4. Separating the two is Tyson Chandler with a +14 impact.

What is the cause of this uptick in productivity? For one, Prigioni and Shumpert are the two best perimeter defenders on the team. Iman’s defense has been the meat and potatoes of his basketball since the second he draped a Knicks jersey onto his ridiculously athletic 6’5″, 212-pound frame. Although he struggles at times when chasing players off the ball and on the offensive end, his one-on-one defense as a second-year player coming back from a brutal ACL tear has been stupendous. To add on to his astounding play in isolation, his hands have never been more alert and active, reaching into passing lanes and throwing a serious wrench into the opposing team’s offensive sets.  Shump’s been especially adept in this Pacers series at coming over from the weak side to strip one of Indy’s bigs at the foul line.

Prigioni doesn’t have Shump’s athleticism, but his game is built on craftiness and peskiness,and while Prigs won’t out-run many guards in the league, he has the stamina to pressure them from one end of the court to the other; his feisty pursuit of the basketball just as much of hindrance as Shump’s speed to the ball.

And it’s not all defense we’re seeing from the ‘Bockers’ dynamic duo. To our surprise, they have been two of the most reliable long-distance marksmen on the team. Pablo Prigioni has made 47.6% of his threes in the Playoffs and Iman Shumpert 46.2%. Prigioni has long been known to be a terrific distributor, but during the season he had turnover troubles, giving the ball away in 27.1% of his possessions. In the postseason he’s made the easier and smarter pass, and  his TOV% has dropped to just 12.9%.

Want more? Iman has made it increasingly difficult for opposing defenses to match up with the Knicks’ small ball scheme with calmer and more controlled drives to the basket. With Carmelo Anthony feasting on the slower fours guarding him, opponents have been trying to “hide” said burly interior player on Shumpert while having a quicker small forward check Anthony. With Shumpert finishing deftly at the rim and locating cutting bigs when the defense rotates, opponents have to pick their poison. Notice Shump’s shooting percentage right at the basket during the regular season compared to during the Playoffs.

 

Regular season

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Playoffs!

T8BAuDs

 

 

So, the question remains: Why aren’t Shump and Prigs getting more minutes? Iman Shumpert has averaged 29 minutes per game in the postseason and Prigioni just 22.1 minutes a night; fourth and seventh in MPG despite being arguably the fourth and fifth most important Knickerbockers in this playoff run. One counter-argument could be that there aren’t any players ahead of them whose minutes could justifiably be cut, but I’d retort…

J.R. Smith and Jason Kidd have played 31.9 and 24.9 minutes a night during the postseason, despite the fact that they’ve ranged from adequate to atrocious. Smith, the Knicks’ second leading scorer this year, has a shooting percentage line of 34-30-68. 34% from the field, 30% from downtown and 68% from the charity stripe. The only Knick to fare worse ? Jason Kidd, who has made just 3 of his 21 field goal attempts.

The Knicks have an infuriating habit out of deviating from what’s worked in this postseason, and it cost them a sweep in the opening round and home-court advantage in the second round. If they hope to reach the Eastern Conference finals, Mike Woodson has to cede floor time to actual postseason contributors instead of sticking with “his guys”/waiting for a return to form from J.R. and Kidd that may never arrive. If not, this postseason may be over much sooner than any of us would like.

106 comments on “The Knicks’ Backcourt Conundrum

  1. johnlocke

    He’s missing shots and he’s not playing well from an offensive standpoint,” Woodson said of Smith, who is averaging 31.9 minutes per game in the playoffs. “I think he’s giving us a lot defensively. And that’s why he’s staying out there on the floor because he’s holding his own defensively and he’s rebounding some for us at his position.

    “But he is and has struggled offensively. And it’s my job as the coach and my staff and his teammates, we’ve got to get him out of this funk and get him back to playing like we know he’s capable he’s playing.”

    My question: Why is Kidd getting a pass. I don’t think he’s capable of hitting anything anymore

  2. Glew

    I’m fairly sure they were talking in regards to all things pertaining to JR not the teams as a whole

    johnlocke:
    He’s missing shots and he’s not playing well from an offensive standpoint,” Woodson said of Smith, who is averaging 31.9 minutes per game in the playoffs. “I think he’s giving us a lot defensively. And that’s why he’s staying out there on the floor because he’s holding his own defensively and he’s rebounding some for us at his position.

    “But he is and has struggled offensively. And it’s my job as the coach and my staff and his teammates, we’ve got to get him out of this funk and get him back to playing like we know he’s capable he’s playing.”

    My question: Why is Kidd getting a pass. I don’t think he’s capable of hitting anything anymore

  3. Douglas

    Call this me being easily trolled or a case of “SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET” but this breakdown of Game 2 by BBallBreakdown infuriates me.

    http://youtu.be/n8QhaxFNnT8

    Coach Nick refuses to give the Knicks any credit because he doesn’t like Carmelo or JR’s game. I had a creeping suspicion before, but now it is confirmed form e.

  4. prezs2reprsntme

    @4 lol i wouldnt stress. He definitely isn’t taking context into alot of those analysis. The one where West powered to the hoop for FT was right after a knick play where he thought he was fouled — he was gonna barrell to the hoop by any means necessary … had nothing to do with bad defense. the next one he showed has kenyon not playing up on David West (“bad”)…even though david west was one step inside of the 3 pt line, and going to shoot the worst shot in bball, outside if his own range (which he did, and missed). Silly stuff.

    A surprising number of people who “analyze” for sites dont seem to understand the Knicks recipe for success (its merits aside).

    The knicks aren’t a defensive powerhouse bc theyre not athletic/young enough to do that for 4 qtrs…but they can do it for the 4th (3rd best 4th qtr DEF in regular season).

    They shoot and pass well (usually *knocks on wood*)

    And most difficult to understand for some knuckleheads, they likely average a higher FGA differential than any other team in the NBA, by a large margin, thx to rebounding and taking care of the ball. Since this doesn’t neatly fit into “defense,” all the analysts see is middling defense and good offense, not timely defense + ball control + possession control.

  5. BigBlueAL

    The Knicks could win it all this season and almost everyone will call it a fluke. Haters annoyed me during the season but at this point screw them. Knicks won 54 games, had a great start and an even greater finish to the regular season which included a 13 game winning streak. They went 3-1 vs the Heat, swept the Spurs and won in OKC. They beat the “tough” Celtics in the 1st round.

    Let everyone keep hating, it will make the Knicks continued success this season that much sweeter for us fans.

  6. nicos

    Douglas:
    Call this me being easily trolled or a case of “SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET” but this breakdown of Game 2 by BBallBreakdown infuriates me.

    http://youtu.be/n8QhaxFNnT8

    Coach Nick refuses to give the Knicks any credit because he doesn’t like Carmelo or JR’s game. I had a creeping suspicion before, but now it is confirmed form e.

    He completely ignores the fact that the Pacers are an inside-out team and the Knicks basically didn’t allow them to catch in the deep post at all, meaning they shut down their preferred sets and forced them to take shots they didn’t want to take even if a few of them were open. And just as importantly in regard to that run is the fact that the Knicks SCORED 36 POINTS IN LESS THAN A QUARTER against the best defense in the league.

  7. DRed

    y’all meed to chill. It’s a great time to be a knicks fan.

    Any idea how Tyson has managed our second best net rtg?

  8. ruruland

    I basically have no willpower. That last thread was to hilarious and I can’t do the lurking thing.

    That coach Nick breakdown was so awful I had to flame him on Twitter and post here. Seriously, it’s not just the selective editing, you can see plenty of clips where he compliments a team that does not close out hard on a bad shooter in order to deny some other action or aspect of the offense.

    Secondly, the Jason Kidd “playground defense” line is seriously ignorant. Kidd is great at giving a driver a step and reaching from behind. A lot of great defensive players in league history have done that.

    It’s not by the book, by if you have the hands and timing, it’s pretty effective.

    Shit, Paul George plays from behind the ball-handler all the time!

    Tyson Chandler should close out on a Roy Hibbert 18-footer? Who the fuck is this guy?

    Does he somehow not realize that the entire Pacers defense is built on Roy Hibbert not closing out on mid-range shooters and playing goalkeeper?

    And no clips of the Knicks offense during that stretch? The Pacers are a sloppy offensive team. For them to make ballhandling errors in those situations is not all that surprising.

    If the Pacers give up off. efficiency of the 12 they’ve given the Knicks so far, they have zero chance of winning this series — it won’t be competitive.

    Somehow the 36-4 run emboldened coach Nick to claim that the pacers will “dominate” the series.

    I mean…..

  9. ruruland

    DRed:
    y’all meed to chill. It’s a great time to be a knicks fan.

    Any idea how Tyson has managed our second best net rtg?

    His screening is one of the biggest keys to the series. He won’t be getting many rebounds because he’ll be faceguarding Hibbert like Melo normally does with power forwards.

    Tyson was very average in game one and pretty good last game. His biggest job is denying deep post position while staying active on drivers — it’s not an easy task.

    His numbers won’t look very good, but the Pacers have absolutely no answers to Chandler’s ability to screen and Hibbert’s inability to help the screened player.

    Why only Dylan Murphy of P+T recognized this so far when there are about 20 mainstream “x and o experts” is pretty baffling to me.

    Some of us said before the series that the Pacers would be a better matchup for the Knicks than the Celtics were because of 1. David West cannot matchup with anyone outside of Jason Kidd and 2. Roy Hibbert’s pnr defense.

    Knicks have posted 104 and 124 offensive ratings and haven’t got it going yet.

    If Melo ever finds his shot, he can seriously step into wide open pull-up threes at the spot of his liking every play unless the Pacers start sending extra help. If they do that, it’s definitely curtains.

    Knicks are getting ridiculous amount of open pull up jumpers, and yet somehow the Knicks defense, the No.1 rated uni in the playoffs, is the focus.

  10. ruruland

    Interesting stuff from Herring, per usual. Seems to have found correlation between Melo’s unassisted basket attempt % and team’s 3pt percentage.

    When team is making threes around him, it goes down. Pretty much fits with what we saw last year (and most of Melo’s career, though yes he does force things at times even if team is playing fluidly, but probably much less)

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324744104578470940541505734.html?mod=WSJ_NY_LEFTThirdStories

  11. nicos

    DRed:
    y’all meed to chill. It’s a great time to be a knicks fan.

    Any idea how Tyson has managed our second best net rtg?

    Isn’t it funny that +/- never gets mentioned in the Lillard/Drummond thread (Lillard’s was far superior to Drummond’s) but it’s suddenly worth mentioning when a WP favorite is involved. Also, is there a site that tracks playoff WP?

  12. lavor postell

    Haven’t been posting much during the playoffs because it’s impossible to stay sane during games and draw rational conclusions from them. I will say that I think the Knicks win this in 6.

    I really hope Woodson backs up his talk about benching JR if he’s bricking it up in Indy. Kidd really needs to give up a major share of his minutes to Prigioni and Shumpert needs to take some of bad JR’s minutes. I really would like to see a Prigs-Shump-Good JR-Melo-Chandler lineup.

    Also not to jump the gun, but Shump has some serious two-way potential. In the modern game with the small lineups a player like Shump who can credibly guard the 1-4 positions is extremely valuable. Not saying he’s going to be a perennial All-Star, but he definitely has the potential to get there once or twice.

  13. ruruland

    So, a little night research. Knicks finished with 15th lowest to % in regular season history.

    They were able to generate 278 more true shots than their opponents over course of season, or roughly 3.3 more shots per game. Pace adjusted, that is simply amazing.

    Consider that the Nuggets, the best offensive rebounding team in the NBA, only generated 103 more shots than their opponents despite averaging about 6 more possessions a game than the Knicks.

    The Heat and Thunder both had fewer shots than their opponents.

    The only team better than the Knicks at creating more shot opportunities? Not coincidentally, the Grizzlies, who had 382 more true shot attempts than their opponents at an even slower pace than Knicks.

    Think 4.7 more attempts at basket gives you a decent shot of outscoring opponent?

    In the playoffs, the Knicks are averaging 10 more true shots at the tin per game (despite being out-free throwed by 3,8 per game)!!

    http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/team/_/stat/differential-per-game/sort/avgFieldGoalsAttemptedDifference

  14. Frank

    lavor postell: Also not to jump the gun, but Shump has some serious two-way potential. In the modern game with the small lineups a player like Shump who can credibly guard the 1-4 positions is extremely valuable. Not saying he’s going to be a perennial All-Star, but he definitely has the potential to get there once or twice.

    Yeah I am in full-on ShumpLove mode right now. It’s not just that he’s playing well on both sides of the ball – it’s just how efficiently he’s playing on both sides too. It was always very strange to me how badly he was around the basket during the season – now it’s become reasonably clear that he just wasn’t back to himself athletically until recently. For the season he finished shooting only 40.9% in the restricted area — in the playoffs he’s up to 57.1%. And in terms of shot distribution, he’s taking 70% of his shots at the rim or behind the 3 point line (making 46% from 3 point range also) – which is basically the same as James Harden, king of efficient shot distribution, did over the regular season.

    ON defense, he has been undeniably more aggressive on the ball, with just a 7% increase in his foul rate – while increasing his steal rate by 22%.

    From NBAwowy – -his net ratings are really impressive:
    Shump on-court PPP = 1.073, PPP-against 0.943 (Net +0.13)
    Shump off-court PPP = 0.982, PPP-against 0.996 (Net -0.014)
    = a net +14.4 points/100 poss

    Even better? Shump + Prigs on the floor together
    On together: PPP 1.072, PPP-against 0.789 (Net +0.283)
    Off together: PPP 0.862, PPP-against 0.937 (Net – 0.075)
    = a net + 35.8 points/100 poss when both are on the floor.
    (only 100 minutes played together in post-season– WHY IS THAT?!?!?!!?)

  15. Frank

    btw Prigs by himself has a ridiculous +/- for the playoffs – he’s a +24.1 points/100 poss just by himself. Yet has only played 155 minutes over 8 games. This needs to change.

  16. flossy

    It’s now been about 150-something minutes of playing time since Jason Kidd has scored a single point.

  17. Hubert Davis

    Conundrum????

    A conundrum is difficult to solve. This is fucking obvious. When JR is inhibiting the offense and a lead built on the play of others is dissolving, JR should sit.

    Conundrum solved.

  18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank: Even better? Shump + Prigs on the floor together
    On together: PPP 1.072, PPP-against 0.789 (Net +0.283)
    Off together: PPP 0.862, PPP-against 0.937 (Net – 0.075)
    = a net + 35.8 points/100 poss when both are on the floor.
    (only 100 minutes played together in post-season– WHY IS THAT?!?!?!!?)

    Don’t question it. Woodson’s obviously better than you at optimizing his players.

  19. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Douglas:
    Call this me being easily trolled or a case of “SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET” but this breakdown of Game 2 by BBallBreakdown infuriates me.

    http://youtu.be/n8QhaxFNnT8

    Coach Nick refuses to give the Knicks any credit because he doesn’t like Carmelo or JR’s game. I had a creeping suspicion before, but now it is confirmed form e.

    That analysis looked totally reasonable to me.

  20. jon abbey

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Don’t question it. Woodson’s obviously better than you at optimizing his players.

    heh, I would love to see you coach a team and lose 120-40. obviously not every coach utilizes his guys ideally, but your constant mocking of every one who doesn’t WP-optimize is pretty laughable.

  21. flossy

    You guys. Not a single rookie in NBA history has ever had a TS% of .595 or higher, an AST% of 27 or higher, and an offensive rating of 115 or higher until…

    Drumroll please…

    PABLO PRIGIONI! Move over Andre Drummond, I think we all know now who was really robbed in the ROY vote.

  22. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    jon abbey: heh, I would love to see you coach a team and lose 120-40. obviously not every coach utilizes his guys ideally, but your constant mocking of every one who doesn’t WP-optimize is pretty laughable.

    I would love to see an NBA team play without a coach for a game. That would honestly thrill me.

  23. jon abbey

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I would love to see an NBA team play without a coach for a game. That would honestly thrill me.

    how would substitutions be made? guys would pull themselves when they were winded? that wouldn’t work too well for the bench guys who want more minutes.

  24. Juany8

    jon abbey: how would substitutions be made? guys would pull themselves when they were winded? that wouldn’t work too well for the bench guys who want more minutes.

    Shot distributions and play calls would also be amusing. Would any teams run plays beyond simple pick and rolls and isolations? Who would control time outs? Do players just call them whenever they feel tired but don’t want to go to the bench? It would be quite the spectacle to be sure, like watching a chicken run around with it’s head cut off.

  25. Count de Pennies

    Juany8: Shot distributions and play calls would also be amusing. Would any teams run plays beyond simple pick and rolls and isolations? Who would control time outs? Do players just call them whenever they feel tired but don’t want to go to the bench? It would be quite the spectacle to be sure, like watching a chicken run around with it’s head cut off.

    Even better still would be to see how a team sans coach would fare against an opponent coached by, say, NBA COY and WP bete noire George Karl.

  26. er

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Dude, I will take play-by-play analysis (however brief) over analysis like: “In Game 2, both were at their pesky best, flitting into driving lanes and muddling the Pacers’ sets.” ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

    right….36-4 isnt analysis enough. PG with 7 TOs etc…..but big bad coach Nick saying MEH is great analysis.

  27. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: Shot distributions and play calls would also be amusing. Would any teams run plays beyond simple pick and rolls and isolations? Who would control time outs? Do players just call them whenever they feel tired but don’t want to go to the bench? It would be quite the spectacle to be sure, like watching a chicken run around with it’s head cut off.

    Oh, total bullshit. So much bullshit! I love it.

    1) Player substitutions would be the only difficult task. Time-outs are a matter of strategy that could be easily managed by principle. Do you think that point guards don’t know when a time out is likely to be called during a game? Hell, I can guess when a time out is likely to be called.

    2) Do you REALLY think that NBA players like Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups need some short guy on the sidelines telling them what play to run? Do you REALLY believe — I mean, seriously, because I am in total fucking awe here — that NBA coaches are that much more knowledgeable about the game of basketball than the average NBA player, especially backcourt players who have logged tens of thousands of hours of organized basketball in their lifetimes? I mean holy shit, man. That is fucking absurd.

  28. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    er: right….36-4 isnt analysis enough. PG with 7 TOs etc…..but big bad coach Nick saying MEH is great analysis.

    36-4 is not analysis, dude. It’s not fucking analysis. It’s the outcome. It’s the consequence of actions on the fucking court. Analysis, in this case, is trying to determine what discrete actions or events led to that outcome. 36-4 is not fucking analysis. You sound like jon abbey with his “at least plus/minus actually records something real” bullshit.

    From what I saw in that video, the Pacers had a huge number of open looks that resulted in no basket. That does NOT mean that the Knicks played good defense.

    Who played good defense in this video? The rim?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np8fV-T_M0s

  29. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy:
    You guys.Not a single rookie in NBA history has ever had a TS% of .595 or higher, an AST% of 27 or higher, and an offensive rating of 115 or higher until…

    Drumroll please…

    PABLO PRIGIONI!Move over Andre Drummond, I think we all know now who was really robbed in the ROY vote.

    Prigioni rated very well according to WP48. You might be onto something there, guy.

  30. Keniman Shumpwalker

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Dude, I will take play-by-play analysis (however brief) over analysis like: “In Game 2, both were at their pesky best, flitting into driving lanes and muddling the Pacers’ sets.” ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

    Of course, one is more comprehensive than the other. But that doesn’t mean that that’s not exactly what they were doing. If you watched the game, you shouldn’t need a play-by-play video breakdown showing you that Kidd and Prigs disrupted drives and cut off passing lanes off of traps.

  31. er

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: 36-4 is not analysis, dude. It’s not fucking analysis. It’s the outcome. It’s the consequence of actions on the fucking court. Analysis, in this case, is trying to determine what discrete actions or events led to that outcome. 36-4 is not fucking analysis. You sound like jon abbey with his “at least plus/minus actually records something real” bullshit.

    From what I saw in that video, the Pacers had a huge number of open looks that resulted in no basket. That does NOT mean that the Knicks played good defense.

    Who played good defense in this video? The rim?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np8fV-T_M0s

    Lmao dumb ass when a team can’t shoot it actually does make a diff. And yes you are right it 36-4 isn’t analysis it’s a result bravo professor, I misspoke and you ripped me a new one yay!

  32. lavor postell

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: 36-4 is not analysis, dude. It’s not fucking analysis. It’s the outcome. It’s the consequence of actions on the fucking court. Analysis, in this case, is trying to determine what discrete actions or events led to that outcome. 36-4 is not fucking analysis. You sound like jon abbey with his “at least plus/minus actually records something real” bullshit.

    From what I saw in that video, the Pacers had a huge number of open looks that resulted in no basket. That does NOT mean that the Knicks played good defense.

    Who played good defense in this video? The rim?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np8fV-T_M0s

    Please explain to me why David West taking a 20 footer close to the top of the key is a bad result? Especially funny since he also gives Martin a bad for a previous attempt where he was tight on West and contested his lay up attempt off the drive which missed.

    Clearly Indiana could have scored lets say maybe 10 more points and they still wouldn’t have been in the game. Also why don’t we examine how the Knicks offense absolutely shredded the Pacers’ vaunted defense during that time period?

    The fact of the matter is no matter how good you are defensively more often than not you try and give up the looks to your opponent that you’re most comfortable allowing. I’d much rather force the Pacers into perimeter jump shooting rather than crowding up on them and allowing space in behind the defense to exploit, particularly with the age of many guys on this team that probably can’t sustain that kind of in your face defensive mindset for a full 48.

    Also please tell me how Kidd poking the ball loose from George is a meh? Hasn’t be been doing this for years?

  33. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Oh, total bullshit. So much bullshit! I love it.

    1) Player substitutions would be the only difficult task. Time-outs are a matter of strategy that could be easily managed by principle. Do you think that point guards don’t know when a time out is likely to be called during a game? Hell, I can guess when a time out is likely to be called.

    2) Do you REALLY think that NBA players like Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups need some short guy on the sidelines telling them what play to run? Do you REALLY believe — I mean, seriously, because I am in total fucking awe here — that NBA coaches are that much more knowledgeable about the game of basketball than the average NBA player, especially backcourt players who have logged tens of thousands of hours of organized basketball in their lifetimes? I mean holy shit, man. That is fucking absurd.

    No I believe that when you bring a bunch of men together and fail to establish any kind of clear cut hierarchy, you’re going to have massive problems getting them to play for the good of the team. Someone who believes childish myths like “you can just add up NBA players together to make a team regardless of context!” Might not appreciate that NBA basketball is vastly more complex than even college basketball, and that is in turn a whole different game from playground basketball.

    I could see a credible argument for a player coach, I do think Chauncey Billups and Steve Nash would do a good job of designing offensive plays for their teams. Good luck figuring out what to do with all the lottery teams lol, I wonder how the Bobcats offense would look like in that scenario.

  34. jon abbey

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:

    2) Do you REALLY think that NBA players like Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups need some short guy on the sidelines telling them what play to run? Do you REALLY believe — I mean, seriously, because I am in total fucking awe here — that NBA coaches are that much more knowledgeable about the game of basketball than the average NBA player, especially backcourt players who have logged tens of thousands of hours of organized basketball in their lifetimes? I mean holy shit, man. That is fucking absurd.

    not every team has a Billups or Nash, but what’s especially hilarious about this post is that Scott Brooks is your favorite coach/whipping boy, the same Scott Brooks who has presumably logged tens of thousands of hours of organized basketball at PG.

  35. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Keniman Shumpwalker: Of course, one is more comprehensive than the other. But that doesn’t mean that that’s not exactly what they were doing. If you watched the game, you shouldn’t need a play-by-play video breakdown showing you that Kidd and Prigs disrupted drives and cut off passing lanes off of traps.

    Memory is infallible. I forgot. Whoops!

  36. Hubert Davis

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Oh, total bullshit. So much bullshit! I love it.

    1) Player substitutions would be the only difficult task. Time-outs are a matter of strategy that could be easily managed by principle. Do you think that point guards don’t know when a time out is likely to be called during a game? Hell, I can guess when a time out is likely to be called.

    2) Do you REALLY think that NBA players like Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups need some short guy on the sidelines telling them what play to run? Do you REALLY believe — I mean, seriously, because I am in total fucking awe here — that NBA coaches are that much more knowledgeable about the game of basketball than the average NBA player, especially backcourt players who have logged tens of thousands of hours of organized basketball in their lifetimes? I mean holy shit, man. That is fucking absurd.

    I’m in full agreement with this. 100% complete agreement.

    I don’t know how many of you watch soccer, but this is basically how they run their sport. The managers drill everything in practice and shout instructions from the touchline but really it’s up to the players to execute the offense and the defense. And it is SO MUCH BETTER.

    Basketball should be a fluid game with no stoppages. Just a running clock. Coaches should be able to make substitutions and talk to their team at halftime. And it would be up to the players on the court to figure it out.

    That would be a much better version of the game than this micromanaged stuff we see.

  37. mcliff05

    ruruland: So, a little night research. Knicks finished with 15th lowest to % in regular season history. They were able to generate 278 more true shots than their opponents over course of season, or roughly 3.3 more shots per game. Pace adjusted, that is simply amazing. Consider that the Nuggets, the best offensive rebounding team in the NBA, only generated 103 more shots than their opponents despite averaging about 6 more possessions a game than the Knicks. The Heat and Thunder both had fewer shots than their opponents. The only team better than the Knicks at creating more shot opportunities? Not coincidentally, the Grizzlies, who had 382 more true shot attempts than their opponents at an even slower pace than Knicks. Think 4.7 more attempts at basket gives you a decent shot of outscoring opponent? In the playoffs, the Knicks are averaging 10 more true shots at the tin per game (despite being out-free throwed by 3,8 per game)!!http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/team/_/stat/differential-per-game/sort/avgFieldGoalsAttemptedDifference

    Great stat. Our to% constantly gets overlooked becuase nba analysts deem our shot selection as inefficient. But even if shoot 40% on 10 extra shots per game thats a net 8 points per game (assuming all two pointers). Good to have you back Ruru. Dont let dogtrollrufus scare you away

  38. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    jon abbey: not every team has a Billups or Nash, but what’s especially hilarious about this post is that Scott Brooks is your favorite coach/whipping boy, the same Scott Brooks who has presumably logged tens of thousands of hours of organized basketball at PG.

    Any player who lacks an eidetic memory will not be able to tell the difference between a 54% eFG shooter and a 58% one. Not even with thousands of hours of experience.

    My point is that basketball motion doesn’t just come to a halt because there’s no dude on the sidelines shouting things at the players. Basketball is intuitive. When there’s a clear lane, you drive the ball. When you’re open, you shoot. When there’s a pick, you use it, or you spread out.

    I’m no NBA player but I sure as hell don’t need a coach to tell me how to set a screen when a ball-handler calls for it.

  39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: I could see a credible argument for a player coach, I do think Chauncey Billups and Steve Nash would do a good job of designing offensive plays for their teams. Good luck figuring out what to do with all the lottery teams lol, I wonder how the Bobcats offense would look like in that scenario.

    It would look awful. Like it already does.

  40. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    mcliff05: Great stat.Our to% constantly gets overlooked becuase nba analysts deem our shot selection as inefficient.But even if shoot 40% on 10 extra shots per game thats a net 8 points per game (assuming all two pointers).Good to have you back Ruru.Dont let dogtrollrufus scare you away

    Who’s overlooking TO ratio? I’m pretty sure that was the first thing I learned about when I came to this site.

    Oh, basketball “experts” are downplaying it? Shit. I might want to rethink my position.

  41. Keniman Shumpwalker

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Any player who lacks an eidetic memory will not be able to tell the difference between a 54% eFG shooter and a 58% one. Not even with thousands of hours of experience.

    My point is that basketball motion doesn’t just come to a halt because there’s no dude on the sidelines shouting things at the players. Basketball is intuitive. When there’s a clear lane, you drive the ball. When you’re open, you shoot. When there’s a pick, you use it, or you spread out.

    I’m no NBA player but I sure as hell don’t need a coach to tell me how to set a screen when a ball-handler calls for it.

    Sure but that removes the possibility of emotions getting in the way of good judgement, basic human error, etc. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be possible for an NBA team to put together a near flawless performance without a couch shouting instructions from the sideline, but that does not prove with any sort of certainty that an NBA head coach has no use, no value, or in some way hinders the intuitive flow of a basketball game.

  42. mcliff05

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Who’s overlooking TO ratio? I’m pretty sure that was the first thing I learned about when I came to this site.Oh, basketball “experts” are downplaying it? Shit. I might want to rethink my position.

    Only talking about game commentators and tv analysts. Present company excluded.

  43. Hubert Davis

    If it weren’t for THCJ stating this opinion I think we’d all be in agreement.

    You ever see a basketball game where the coaches just let the players go in the final two minutes and the players just go at it? Aren’t those 1000 times better than the ones where there are 7 timeouts in the last minute?

    THCJ is right on this. Basketball is not meant to be played the way it is. Everything you think the players need can be drilled into them during practice.

    Again, the soccer example. Systems are put in place during down time. Players run it during the matches. They are as complex and intricate as a D’antoni offense or a Thibodeu defense. And the players can run it without the middle-manager reminding them what they need to do every 5 minutes.

    Basketball coaches are a pox on the game and their roles should be minimized as much as possible.

  44. lavor postell

    Hubert Davis:
    If it weren’t for THCJ stating this opinion I think we’d all be in agreement.

    You ever see a basketball game where the coaches just let the players go in the final two minutes and the players just go at it?Aren’t those 1000 times better than the ones where there are 7 timeouts in the last minute?

    THCJ is right on this.Basketball is not meant to be played the way it is.Everything you think the players need can be drilled into them during practice.

    Again, the soccer example.Systems are put in place during down time.Players run it during the matches.They are as complex and intricate as a D’antoni offense or a Thibodeu defense.And the players can run it without the middle-manager reminding them what they need to do every 5 minutes.

    Basketball coaches are a pox on the game and their roles should be minimized as much as possible.

    Soccer also is because of the size of the field a much more fluid game. Goals are also not being scored nearly as often as baskets are exchanged and there are less overall stoppages in play in a basketball game. You really think if they allowed soccer managers to take timeouts and such that Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn’t be taking one every
    time his team gave up a goal?

    Or when he takes off a left winger to put in an out and out striker late in the game looking for a winner the team wouldn’t function better with a better understanding of what he wants from the positionally both offensively and defensively? How many times have you watched a soccer match and a team struggles after making a substitution because players are not sure what their roles are.

    Also timeouts aren’t used simply for strategic purposes. Often times you take a timeout to make a substitution and give guys a chance to catch their breath.

  45. lavor postell

    On that note are we saying that a coach like Popovich doesn’t add value to his team?

  46. Hubert Davis

    lavor postell: Soccer also is because of the size of the field a much more fluid game.Goals are also not being scored nearly as often as baskets are exchanged and there are less overall stoppages in play in a basketball game.You really think if they allowed soccer managers to take timeouts and such that Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn’t be taking one every
    time his team gave up a goal?

    Yes, I do think a soccer coach would take a TO as much as possible during a game. Which is why I’m glad they can’t. NBA coaches shouldn’t be able to, either.

  47. Hubert Davis

    lavor postell:
    Or when he takes off a left winger to put in an out and out striker late in the game looking for a winner the team wouldn’t function better with a better understanding of what he wants from the positionally both offensively and defensively? How many times have you watched a soccer match and a team struggles after making a substitution because players are not sure what their roles are.

    Very few. I mean, almost rarely does this happen.

  48. Hubert Davis

    lavor postell:
    Also timeouts aren’t used simply for strategic purposes.Often times you take a timeout to make a substitution and give guys a chance to catch their breath.

    So players have to sit more. Big deal. You know what that does? It makes it more of a team game and less of a superstar-driven game. Don’t we all like team games?

    You know who is the epitome of all this? Red Holzman’s Knicks. I watched that 1973 game 5 they ran on MSG a couple weeks ago. You think Red was micromanaging those guys? Hell no. They just played.

  49. Hubert Davis

    Basketball the sport is meant to be played fluidly, without stoppages, and by creative players who think on the court.

    Basketball the business requires stars to sell the public and stoppages to air commercials.

    That’s the only reason it’s the way it is. We would all love basketball so much more if there were just 2 halves and a running clock and coaches had less of an impact.

  50. lavor postell

    Hubert Davis: Very few.I mean, almost rarely does this happen.

    Ok that was actually the shittiest way of making my point. Do you think a manager would like to take a time out if allowed after an opposing team’s substitution to make a tactical adjustment?

    I’ve definitely seen teams struggle to adjust when the opposition makes a substitution of their own. Often times that can be the decisive moment in a match.

  51. lavor postell

    Hubert Davis:
    Basketball the sport is meant to be played fluidly, without stoppages, and by creative players who think on the court.

    Basketball the business requires stars to sell the public and stoppages to air commercials.

    That’s the only reason it’s the way it is.We would all love basketball so much more if there were just 2 halves and a running clock and coaches had less of an impact.

    If that’s the case then you’re definitely right.

  52. Hubert Davis

    lavor postell:
    On that note are we saying that a coach like Popovich doesn’t add value to his team?

    Of course he does. Is Jose Mourinho any less valuable because he can’t call time out?

  53. Hubert Davis

    lavor postell: Ok that was actually the shittiest way of making my point.Do you think a manager would like to take a time out if allowed after an opposing team’s substitution to make a tactical adjustment?

    I’ve definitely seen teams struggle to adjust when the opposition makes a substitution of their own.Often times that can be the decisive moment in a match.

    OK I see what you’re saying now.

    Yes, that happens. More often, than not, though, the opposition has a move to make to counter it.

    If they don’t, then they didn’t prepare well and they’re not well coached. Poppovich is the kind of guy whose team would have a counter to the counter. D’Antoni is the kind of guy whose team would get unlocked after a smart substitution.

    It doesn’t make coaching any less important. It’s just a matter of drilling your players during practice vs instructing them during a game.

  54. lavor postell

    Hubert Davis: Of course he does.Is Jose Mourinho any less valuable because he can’t call time out?

    I think most managers would love the ability to get 2 chances a half to bring the team in and make any necessary adjustments. Maybe for as the paying spectators this would suck, but I really find it hard to believe teams wouldn’t benefit from that. If the argument is would it be enjoyable if there were a lot less stoppages then I definitely agree with that. Maybe the solution isn’t eliminating coaches, but significantly reducing the amount of timeouts to like 2 full timeouts and one twenty per half.

  55. Frank

    Honestly, this whole coaching argument is just stupid. The vast majority of what a coach does is done in practice, not necessarily in in-game adjustments — although the greats are really good at that too. Do you think Thibodeau’s defenses are amazing because he knows how to call in-game plays? Obviously not – it’s because he drills them in practice 2486703496 times on how they want to do things. It’s because he has attention to detail, understands his personnel’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the strengths/weaknesses of the opponent.

    What does a team without a coach look like? It looks like the All-Star game. Or the Olympics before the US started taking it seriously.

    THCJ always makes this argument that coaches don’t matter, but then has caveats that coaches like Pop and Phil Jackson DO make a difference. So then, really good coaches DO make a difference. Just because there are a lot of replacement-level coaches doesn’t mean that there aren’t terrible/awful coaches that drag their teams down and amazing coaches that may make their teams much better.

    And on that subject – the great coaches are great at X’s and O’s, but are also great at personality management and getting players to buy in. It’s like teaching — sure, maybe some kids would be awesome at 100% self-learning, but most require someone that can inspire them, guide them, excite them. Imagine a self-taught class with 15 students and no teacher. These students have been students most of their lives, and the material’s all in a book or website somewhere. But are they going to do better with someone to guide them, or just free-for-all?

  56. thenamestsam

    Seems like there’s two arguments going on here simultaneously. One is whether basketball might be a more aesthetically pleasing game with less coach interaction. That seems obviously true to me. To me, one of the greatest pleasures in sports is that when I watch soccer I know exactly what time the game will be over (to within 3-4 minutes) and that there are no commercials during the run of play. Both are glorious for fans and terrible for selling products (which is why the teams all have sponsors on their jerseys). That would be an obviously positive change in my eyes, but not one that is forthcoming.

    The second argument is whether coaching has value. This is a COMPLETELY different debate. The reality is that regardless of whether you enjoy the amount of influence coaches are allowed to have on the game, it is the way it is. Coaches are put in a position to have a huge impact and I believe the best ones do. It’s extremely hard to prove empirically because coaches (especially the best ones) rarely change teams, but the players think they have a big impact and the GMs clearly think the same thing. That doesn’t make it true, but I think the burden of proof is certainly on someone saying that coaching has no impact, and an argument like “I’m no NBA player but I sure as hell don’t need a coach to tell me how to set a screen when a ball-handler calls for it” shows a serious lack of understanding of the complexity of the best NBA offenses.

  57. Hubert Davis

    Frank, I was assuming he meant coaches don’t matter as much during games. If he meant they don’t matter at all, and what they do between games isn’t important, than I’m sorry I agreed with him.

  58. chrisk06811

    The only reason Priggy didn’t win rookie of the year is because Lawrence Frank is an idiot.

  59. Juany8

    Hubert Davis:
    Frank, I was assuming he meant coaches don’t matter as much during games.If he meant they don’t matter at all, and what they do between games isn’t important, than I’m sorry I agreed with him.

    Yea you got carried away in a side argument lol. I actually fully agree with you and love the soccer example, the game would be a lot more fluid with less timeouts and silly stoppages, especially at the end of games. THCJ was trying to argue that coaches don’t matter at all. That you could just throw a bunch of players together and they would figure it out. In your own post you outlined why this was not the case, the managers don’t need to be micromanaging in games because they do so between games. The coaching occurs in practice, the counters and plays discussed at half time. This is very different from having no leadership at all

  60. Juany8

    thenamestsam:
    Seems like there’s two arguments going on here simultaneously. One is whether basketball might be a more aesthetically pleasing game with less coach interaction. That seems obviously true to me. To me, one of the greatest pleasures in sports is that when I watch soccer I know exactly what time the game will be over (to within 3-4 minutes) and that there are no commercials during the run of play. Both are glorious for fans and terrible for selling products (which is why the teams all have sponsors on their jerseys). That would be an obviously positive change in my eyes, but not one that is forthcoming.

    The second argument is whether coaching has value. This is a COMPLETELY different debate. The reality is that regardless of whether you enjoy the amount of influence coaches are allowed to have on the game, it is the way it is. Coaches are put in a position to have a huge impact and I believe the best ones do. It’s extremely hard to prove empirically because coaches (especially the best ones) rarely change teams, but the players think they have a big impact and the GMs clearly think the same thing. That doesn’t make it true, but I think the burden of proof is certainly on someone saying that coaching has no impact, and an argument like “I’m no NBA player but I sure as hell don’t need a coach to tell me how to set a screen when a ball-handler calls for it” shows a serious lack of understanding of the complexity of the best NBA offenses.

    I love knowing exactly how long a soccer game is going to take. It’s a shame I can’t watch good ones live because of work lol

  61. Hubert Davis

    Juany8: Yea you got carried away in a side argument lol. I actually fully agree with you and love the soccer example, the game would be a lot more fluid with less timeouts and silly stoppages, especially at the end of games. THCJ was trying to argue that coaches don’t matter at all. That you could just throw a bunch of players together and they would figure it out. In your own post you outlined why this was not the case, the managers don’t need to be micromanaging in games because they do so between games. The coaching occurs in practice, the counters and plays discussed at half time. This is very different from having no leadership at all

    As Rick Perry would say… “Oops.”

  62. Hubert Davis

    Juany8: I love knowing exactly how long a soccer game is going to take. It’s a shame I can’t watch good ones live because of work lol

    That really is an attractive feature.

  63. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    thenamestsam: The second argument is whether coaching has value. This is a COMPLETELY different debate. The reality is that regardless of whether you enjoy the amount of influence coaches are allowed to have on the game, it is the way it is. Coaches are put in a position to have a huge impact and I believe the best ones do. It’s extremely hard to prove empirically because coaches (especially the best ones) rarely change teams, but the players think they have a big impact and the GMs clearly think the same thing. That doesn’t make it true, but I think the burden of proof is certainly on someone saying that coaching has no impact, and an argument like “I’m no NBA player but I sure as hell don’t need a coach to tell me how to set a screen when a ball-handler calls for it” shows a serious lack of understanding of the complexity of the best NBA offenses.

    So you can make your argument through anecdote and “common sense,” and then the burden’s on me to disprove your anecdote common sense.

    Baseball found out that the thousands of scouts that they employed were overvaluing traits based on anecdote and common sense, and then it turned out that they were largely wrong (about things like stolen bases, strikeouts, and batting average, for starters).

    What makes you think that pro basketball is better off?

  64. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: Yea you got carried away in a side argument lol. I actually fully agree with you and love the soccer example, the game would be a lot more fluid with less timeouts and silly stoppages, especially at the end of games. THCJ was trying to argue that coaches don’t matter at all. That you could just throw a bunch of players together and they would figure it out. In your own post you outlined why this was not the case, the managers don’t need to be micromanaging in games because they do so between games. The coaching occurs in practice, the counters and plays discussed at half time. This is very different from having no leadership at all

    I’m not saying that they don’t matter at all. In fact, I think they matter a lot. But not for the reasons you think they do.

    I don’t think they matter much w/r/t in-game strategy.

    I do think they matter in playing time selection and personality management. You can think of a coach as an effective arbitrator: removed from the situation of actually touching the ball in the game, he can make in-game decisions without fear of disrupting “team” chemistry. I.e. J.R. Smith playing like shit and getting less playing time. I am sure that it’s easier for Woodson to bear the responsibility for that decision than it is for Chris Copeland or Iman Shumpert. Even Carmelo Anthony wouldn’t like to make that decision, and he could be criticized for helping to make it.

    So yes, there is a value in having a coach. My point is that when it comes to in-game basketball matters, the largest impact is in substitutions.

  65. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Here’s one:

    Player A, who is the “star” player, gets his fifth foul. There are 12 minutes left in the game.

    Coach substitutes for Player A.

    Player A sits until there are six minutes left. Player A then cautiously plays the final six minutes without fouling.

    The coach has ensured that Player A will play a maximum of six minutes of those potential 12. It is possible that the player could have played all 12 minutes without fouling.

    Why does the coach insist that the last six minutes of the game are more important than the previous six minutes?

    —————————————-

    There are circumstances that complicate these kinds of decision (like if a smaller player is guarding a larger player and is fouling more often than normally), but most of the time, those decisions appear to be based on one factor: personal fouls at the time of substitution.

    And how about football coaches and fourth downs? Football has invested millions of dollars in intelligence and strategy, yet few coaches, even those with the “right” personnel to efficiently convert fourth-down plays, will cede control to analytics. Common sense prevails. In that case, the “go for it” strategy has been supported by an enormous amount of empirical evidence, yet it hasn’t been sufficiently argued to make it the norm on the football field.

    Again, I ask: What makes you so sure?

  66. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Prigioni rated very well according to WP48. You might be onto something there, guy.

    Do you think he’d have played as well if he played 38 mpg for 82 games? Why not? His stats over 1200 minutes were good. Why not play him 3000? Can you think of any reasons?

  67. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: Do you think he’d have played as well if he played 38 mpg for 82 games?Why not?His stats over 1200 minutes were good.Why not play him 3000?Can you think of any reasons?

    Raymond Felton is better at basketball?

    Nah, that can’t be.

  68. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Raymond Felton is better at basketball?

    Nah, that can’t be.

    No, you’re right, we probably should have asked a 35 year old who has never played a full NBA season to just go hard for 3000 minutes. You see, if a player plays well in 20mpg, you know he can handle 40! Andre Drummond, Pablo Prigioni… doesn’t matter. It’s science!

    I’m sure giving 40 mpg to a point guard with an 11% usage rate wouldn’t have impacted the offense at all. Hell, I’m sure Prigioni could have doubled his shooting volume as well as his playing time and seen no drop off in scoring efficiency. Right? We are talking about robots here, after all.

    If only Mike Woodson hadn’t forgotten how to optimize professional basketball players sometime between playing 20,000 minutes of NBA ball and becoming a head coach. If only we had Chauncey Billups coaching this team. If only, if only…

  69. Juany8

    Fair enough, I do think actual in game strategizing is overrated, but that is very different from not having a leader. I do like the soccer system, wher the manager can’t sit there and micromanage every little thing his team does for the next 20 seconds of play.

  70. mokers

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Oh, total bullshit. So much bullshit! I love it.

    1) Player substitutions would be the only difficult task. Time-outs are a matter of strategy that could be easily managed by principle. Do you think that point guards don’t know when a time out is likely to be called during a game? Hell, I can guess when a time out is likely to be called.

    2) Do you REALLY think that NBA players like Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups need some short guy on the sidelines telling them what play to run? Do you REALLY believe — I mean, seriously, because I am in total fucking awe here — that NBA coaches are that much more knowledgeable about the game of basketball than the average NBA player, especially backcourt players who have logged tens of thousands of hours of organized basketball in their lifetimes? I mean holy shit, man. That is fucking absurd.

    If Damian Lillard had to call timeouts and run plays, would he be ROY?

  71. jon abbey

    DVRs have made it so you can watch every sport just like soccer, basketball games take 60-90 minutes and are much more enjoyable if you skip all the commercials, halftime, 95 percent of the FTs, any official reviews, etc. I honestly don’t know how I watched thousands of games before the DVR existed.

  72. flossy

    mokers: If Damian Lillard had to call timeouts and run plays, would he be ROY?

    I’m sure Lawrence Frank would have found away to ruin everything.

  73. flossy

    mokers: If Damian Lillard had to call timeouts and run plays, would he be ROY?

    But in all seriousness, you’re asking that question of someone who insisted that starting PG is not a more complex role to master than a center who makes 3/5 dunk attempts every night in 20 minutes.

  74. Hubert Davis

    jon abbey:
    DVRs have made it so you can watch every sport just like soccer, basketball games take 60-90 minutes and are much more enjoyable if you skip all the commercials, halftime, 95 percent of the FTs, any official reviews, etc. I honestly don’t know how I watched thousands of games before the DVR existed.

    Yeah, but, you have to wait. And it totally messes up your twitter feed.

  75. Hubert Davis

    By the way, no one else is annoyed that JR: 1. Is playing like shit, and 2. Is being reported at clubs nearly 2-3 times a week during the playoffs?

  76. mokers

    flossy: But in all seriousness, you’re asking that question of someone who insisted that starting PG is not a more complex role to master than a center who makes 3/5 dunk attempts every night in 20 minutes.

    Yeah, I love watching Lillard play. Not sure if he is a true point or would be beter as a 2 guard, but being asked to play that many minutes and control the ball that much as a rookie is very difficult. I can’t keep the award away from him just because Lawrence Frank is an idiot.

  77. thenamestsam

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: So you can make your argument through anecdote and “common sense,” and then the burden’s on me to disprove your anecdote common sense.

    Baseball found out that the thousands of scouts that they employed were overvaluing traits based on anecdote and common sense, and then it turned out that they were largely wrong (about things like stolen bases, strikeouts, and batting average, for starters).

    What makes you think that pro basketball is better off?

    You don’t understand why the burden of proof is on the person making the extraordinary argument? Everyone in basketball accepts that coaching, including the in game strategy part of it is very important. That doesn’t make it true, but it does make it the baseline assumption. So far you haven’t offered a single reason to think that it isn’t true except things like “Do you REALLY think that NBA players like Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups need some short guy on the sidelines telling them what play to run?” If that isn’t making your argument through anecdote and common sense then kindly explain to me what it is.

    When sabrmetrics came along in baseball Bill James didn’t prove his point by saying “Do you REALLY think stolen bases are important?” He realized that the burden of proof was on him if he wanted to make the claim that the way things had always been done was wrong.

    If we’re evaluating things from a Bayesian perspective it makes no sense to start with the prior that coaching strategy doesn’t matter, because everyone inside the game thinks it does matter. Conventional wisdom can be wrong, but its conventional for a reason. Your prior is that it does matter and only VERY convincing evidence should convince you otherwise. On the contrary your prior in general seems to be that conventional wisdom is incorrect. Your logical world is all backwards.

  78. BigBlueAL

    Hubert Davis:
    By the way, no one else is annoyed that JR: 1. Is playing like shit, and 2. Is being reported at clubs nearly 2-3 times a week during the playoffs?

    Cant blame him if he is at clubs hanging out with Rihanna. Forget being annoyed, I feel like giving him props lol.

  79. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Hubert Davis:
    By the way, no one else is annoyed that JR: 1. Is playing like shit, and 2. Is being reported at clubs nearly 2-3 times a week during the playoffs?

    I’m EXTREMELY annoyed, though not at all surprised. I have a buddy who is literally hugging JRs nutsack 24-7, thinks he’s incredible. I have consistently told him that JRs immaturity would show up in the playoffs, no matter how many great stretches he had during the regular season. Told him that it’d be next to impossible to win a championship with JR as your 2nd or even 3rd banana (especially when your top banana is also a conscience-free gunner). I haven’t heard from this buddy of mine since the game 3 elbow. Side note: not sure why I keep calling them “bananas”.

  80. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    thenamestsam: Your prior is that it does matter and only VERY convincing evidence should convince you otherwise. On the contrary your prior in general seems to be that conventional wisdom is incorrect. Your logical world is all backwards.

    No. My prior is that conventional wisdom is not necessarily correct. It is not that conventional wisdom is incorrect.

    There’s lot of evidence to show that valuing offensive rebounding and efficient scoring is more important than volume scoring, yet Brook Lopez is a near-max player. My prior is that if we have measurements that show that Faried is a dominantly efficient player

    I am willing to look at players like Leonard, Drummond and Faried as exceptionally good basketball players because of event outcomes as recorded in box scores. The conventional wisdom says that those players are “role players” and thus don’t deserve consideration in the top tier of NBA players. I don’t see any evidence that supports those claims aside from “Do you even watch the games?”

    Conventional wisdom says that if Lillard played 3000 minutes and Drummond played 1200, it’s because Lillard deserved to play 3000 minutes and Drummond deserved to play 1200 minutes. I don’t submit to that idea whatsoever.

  81. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: No. My prior is that conventional wisdom is not necessarily correct. It is not that conventional wisdom is incorrect.

    There’s lot of evidence to show that valuing offensive rebounding and efficient scoring is more important than volume scoring, yet Brook Lopez is a near-max player. My prior is that if we have measurements that show that Faried is a dominantly efficient player

    I am willing to look at players like Leonard, Drummond and Faried as exceptionally good basketball players because of event outcomes as recorded in box scores. The conventional wisdom says that those players are “role players” and thus don’t deserve consideration in the top tier of NBA players. I don’t see any evidence that supports those claims aside from “Do you even watch the games?”

    Conventional wisdom says that if Lillard played 3000 minutes and Drummond played 1200, it’s because Lillard deserved to play 3000 minutes and Drummond deserved to play 1200 minutes. I don’t submit to that idea whatsoever.

    There is literally no evidence on earth that shows Faried is a dominant player. Correlations aren’t proof of anything

  82. flossy

    Juany8: There is literally no evidence on earth that shows Faried is a dominant player. Correlations aren’t proof of anything

    Especially when you fall back on “because of event outcomes as recorded in box scores,” as if NBA scorekeepers are impartial and statistical categories like rebounds, assists, turnovers etc. aren’t a) subject to real-time interpretation and b) incomplete and sometimes downright inaccurate records of what actually transpires on a basketball court.

  83. thenamestsam

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: No. My prior is that conventional wisdom is not necessarily correct. It is not that conventional wisdom is incorrect.

    There’s lot of evidence to show that valuing offensive rebounding and efficient scoring is more important than volume scoring, yet Brook Lopez is a near-max player. My prior is that if we have measurements that show that Faried is a dominantly efficient player

    I am willing to look at players like Leonard, Drummond and Faried as exceptionally good basketball players because of event outcomes as recorded in box scores. The conventional wisdom says that those players are “role players” and thus don’t deserve consideration in the top tier of NBA players. I don’t see any evidence that supports those claims aside from “Do you even watch the games?”

    Conventional wisdom says that if Lillard played 3000 minutes and Drummond played 1200, it’s because Lillard deserved to play 3000 minutes and Drummond deserved to play 1200 minutes. I don’t submit to that idea whatsoever.

    Yeah, this has nothing to do with whether coaching has value EXCEPT in the sense that you’re basically saying that because people know nothing about how to appropriately value basketball players (based on flimsy evidence) that is also good proof that people know next to nothing about basketball strategy. Which is to say that your argument basically boils down to “Here’s a place where conventional wisdom is wrong (in my opinion) so that means conventional wisdom is probably also wrong in this other place”. Which is exactly what I said before. Your prior is that conventional wisdom is wrong. You live in a logically upside down world where authority is ALWAYS wrong unless it can show a linear regression “proving” that it’s right.

  84. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    thenamestsam: Yeah, this has nothing to do with whether coaching has value EXCEPT in the sense that you’re basically saying that because people know nothing about how to appropriately value basketball players (based on flimsy evidence) that is also good proof that people know next to nothing about basketball strategy. Which is to say that your argument basically boils down to “Here’s a place where conventional wisdom is wrong (in my opinion) so that means conventional wisdom is probably also wrong in this other place”. Which is exactly what I said before. Your prior is that conventional wisdom is wrong. You live in a logically upside down world where authority is ALWAYS wrong unless it can show a linear regression “proving” that it’s right.

    Wait. So because all of the NBA experts think that Kobe is the 2nd best SG of all-time, the burden of proof is on me to show that he’s not? Total fucking bullshit, my man. Fuck right off with that nonsense.

  85. jon abbey

    flossy: Especially when you fall back on “because of event outcomes as recorded in box scores,” as if NBA scorekeepers are impartial and statistical categories like rebounds, assists, turnovers etc. aren’t a) subject to real-time interpretation and b) incomplete and sometimes downright inaccurate records of what actually transpires on a basketball court.

    could not have said this better myself, nicely done.

  86. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Wait. So because all of the NBA experts think that Kobe is the 2nd best SG of all-time, the burden of proof is on me to show that he’s not? Total fucking bullshit, my man. Fuck right off with that nonsense.

    How could he be, when the legendary Thabo fucking Sefalosha posted a higher WP/48 this season than Kobe Bryant ever has? Right? Am I getting the hang of this?

  87. thenamestsam

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Wait. So because all of the NBA experts think that Kobe is the 2nd best SG of all-time, the burden of proof is on me to show that he’s not? Total fucking bullshit, my man. Fuck right off with that nonsense.

    I know you like to obfuscate whenever possible but that’s a much more specific claim then “NBA coaching strategy has no impact” and certainly I don’t think “all NBA experts” think that Kobe is exactly the 2nd best SG of all time.

    But I would certainly say that in your evaluation of Kobe Bryant the appropriate prior would be “he’s one of the greatest NBA players of all time” since that’s what everyone believes. The burden of proof to convince yourself that Kobe Bryant is not the 2nd greatest SG of all time would still be quite low. After all, that is not a very strong claim. You could easily believe Kobe Bryant to be the 3rd greatest SG of all time while only altering your assessment of him very slightly. The burden of proof to convince youself of something like Kobe Bryant was actually not a good NBA player would be much, much higher because that is much further from the appropriate prior.

    It should be simple to see why the claim that NBA coaching doesn’t matter is much closer to the 2nd claim from above. Given that all NBA experts agree that it is very important that should be our prior. A weak claim such as “NBA strategy is less important than commonly believed” might not require much evidence to believe. However an exceptional claim such as the one you’re making, which goes completely against any reasonable prior should take very strong evidence to convince us. You have so far provided no evidence other than “conventional wisdom often fails”. Do you care to?

  88. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I honestly have no idea why you think that an appeal to authority constitutes a “prior” in this case. The layers of fallacy among experts are no less thick than in laymen.

    You can keep telling me that consensus should persuade me, but it’s not going to happen. There’s no reasonable argument to be made for highly subjective and often erroneously objective player valuation when the difference between an NBA starter and an NBDLer is three or four missed baskets per 100.

  89. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I honestly have no idea why you think that an appeal to authority constitutes a “prior” in this case. The layers of fallacy among experts are no less thick than in laymen.

    You can keep telling me that consensus should persuade me, but it’s not going to happen. There’s no reasonable argument to be made for highly subjective and often erroneously objective player valuation when the difference between an NBA starter and an NBDLer is three or four missed baskets per 100.

    He’s not saying it has to convince you. You seem to be under the impression that anyone actually cares about what your opinion is. No, the point thenamestsam is trying to make, which you keep attempting to step around by cussing a lot (big surprise by the way) is that to convince other people of your fantastical claims, it is ENTIRELY, 100%, INDISPUTABLY your responsibility to provide proof for these claims. Until you do so, there is absolutely no reason for another logical person to take you seriously.

    I can come here and say I just KNOW Aliens are real, and that anyone who disagrees is just an idiot who’s been duped by experts that can’t agree on whether or not Pluto is a planet. Who cares what they think, they’ve been wrong plenty of times and are obviously too stupid to understand the data coming in from outerspace. So I say Aliens are real, and anyone who disagrees needs to disprove my conclusion….

    And that’s not how logic works. WP is one of the most obnoxiously shitty statistical models I have ever seen in my life. It is an abject failure at making predictions, there is not a single moderately intelligent basketball mind that agrees with the conclusions, and yet its proponents defend the conclusions with a fervor usually seen in crazed cult members. Horoscopes tell you more about basketball than WP

  90. thenamestsam

    THCJ,

    Juany basically covered it, but I’ll just add that consensus opinion is actually a generally excellent prior. You don’t agree with that statement because as I’ve said several times now, you live in some kind of strange logical world were experts are more likely to be wrong than right. You’re not unique in that respect. Many people want to believe that the experts are always wrong. It makes them feel special like they have a secret that nobody else knows. It’s the same attitude that makes crap like Infowars popular. Everything is a conspiracy. Everyone is lying to you.

    But I don’t understand why you repeatedly deny having that attitude and then say something like “The layers of fallacy among experts are no less thick than in laymen”. Appeal to authority is not a logical fallacy on its face. It’s actually an extremely effective rhetorical technique because while authorities can be wrong, the definition of expertise is that they have special skill and knowledge in the area in question. I AM NOT AT ALL SAYING THAT YOU SHOULD ACCEPT CONSENSUS, but that if you want to dispute an opinion that is held by 100% of experts, than such an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.

    You are not only failing to meet that threshold, but even the lower one of any evidence. You’re saying that anti-consensus should be treated as prima facie equal with consensus. That we should treat the two claims of “The Earth is round” and “The Earth is cubic” as equally valid until we go into space and see for ourselves. This is logically nonsense.

  91. Juany8

    thenamestsam:
    THCJ,

    Juany basically covered it, but I’ll just add that consensus opinion is actually a generally excellent prior. You don’t agree with that statement because as I’ve said several times now, you live in some kind of strange logical world were experts are more likely to be wrong than right. You’re not unique in that respect. Many people want to believe that the experts are always wrong. It makes them feel special like they have a secret that nobody else knows. It’s the same attitude that makes crap like Infowars popular. Everything is a conspiracy. Everyone is lying to you.

    But I don’t understand why you repeatedly deny having that attitude and then say something like “The layers of fallacy among experts are no less thick than in laymen”. Appeal to authority is not a logical fallacy on its face. It’s actually an extremely effective rhetorical technique because while authorities can be wrong, the definition of expertise is that they have special skill and knowledge in the area in question. I AM NOT AT ALL SAYING THAT YOU SHOULD ACCEPT CONSENSUS, but that if you want to dispute an opinion that is held by 100% of experts, than such an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.

    You are not only failing to meet that threshold, but even the lower one of any evidence. You’re saying that anti-consensus should be treated as prima facie equal with consensus. That we should treat the two claims of “The Earth is round” and “The Earth is cubic” as equally valid until we go into space and see for ourselves. This is logically nonsense.

    Good post, I like the “Earth is cubic” example

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