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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Last 2010 Game Thread

Well fans, another season in the books. It’s a bittersweet moment, the season didn’t turn out as optimistically as us Knick fans hoped. But the team is finally on the verge of turning a corner. For the first time in more than a decade there is hope, although that moment won’t arrive until July. And of course the next game that counts for the Knicks won’t come until late Fall. So grab a cold one, kick back and enjoy!

67 comments on “The Last 2010 Game Thread

  1. Thomas B.

    Well said. Let’s kick some dirt in Toronto’s eye tonight. Looking forward to the start of the new era as long as that includes a center that plays defense.

  2. KNCIKS2010

    Love what Hollinger said about the Knicks today
    “The Bulls will face Charlotte, and while Bobcats coach Larry Brown said his team will compete, I don’t think he’s going to be sending Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson out there for 44 minutes like he did during most of the regular season. Meanwhile, the Raptors host a New York team that gave up on the season a couple of years ago. Toronto needs both a win and a Chicago loss to snatch the No. 8 seed from the Bulls; it’s likely to only get one of the two.”
    HAHA

  3. ess-dog

    I don’t agree with Legler’s assertion. If you go by PER (just one marker but a solid one), Harrington has had his best season ever. Jeffries has had his best season since 2006. Chandler has gained roughly a point in PER in each of D’Antoni’s two years. And of course he mentioned Lee and Gallo. 5 guys with major minutes plus great flashes from newbies like Walker, Sergio, and TD.
    The only disappointments (if you can call them that) are Hughes: he has pretty much consistently been below average his whole career aside from his magic 2004-5 season. And of course the Duhon debacle, but D’Antoni revived him the year before (he went from a point above his career PER average to a point below.) Nate was actually playing a point better the previous year with D’Antoni (his best year I think), but just hasn’t been the same player this year.
    And the defense was really only awful after the Jeffries trade. Before that weren’t we like 16th, 17th, or 18th? Something like that?

  4. Caleb

    I think the column is ridiculous. As we’ve talked about before in this space, a) D’Antoni’s teams perform fine on defense – at least, no worse thatn you’d expect with the talent; and b) players win, not coaches – IMO it’s hard to argue that the team has underperformed (with the exception of the first month of this season).

    It does raise an interesting worry — reality aside, do players around the league perceive D’Antoni as ignoring defense? And, if they do – does it really make it less likely that they would sign as FAs? That’s O’Connor’s argument, and for all I know it is true – but I don’t see any actual reporting in the piece, just speculation.

    I think part of this is D’Antoni’s public persona – he likes to joke around and almost embrace the stereotype that his style is totally loose, wide-open, no D… I am all for a coach with a sense of humor – I don’t need a serious lecture on basketball tactics at the press conference. But IF players take it as Mike D. not caring, I guess it could hurt recruiting.

    My guess – the stars have seen enough up-close, on the Olympic and World teams, to form an opinion without depending on sportswriter speculation.

  5. Caleb

    p.s. One example of the “public persona” – D’Antoni saying it’s not his job to teach. O’Connor takes it literally, and says it’s a problem. If you look at reality, player development seems to be a big strength on the D’Antoni teams – virtually every player he’s had on a roster, if they played, had a career year. Whether it’s teaching skills or just putting players in position to succeed, he does it well.

    p.p.s. I think the last I saw we were 15th in offense and 26th in defense. But not any worse than we were in the IT era — I just don’t think the personnel is there to defend well. Phoenix was better defensively when D’Antoni was there — there’s just no objective reason to say that his teams are bad on D.

  6. Brian Cronin

    O’Connor once wrote a good column.

    I think.

    It has been so long I can’t remember.

    Since then he has been a second-rate Mike Lupica, which is like an actor being a second-rate Stephen Baldwin.

  7. NateRobinson

    Brian Cronin: “Since then he has been a second-rate Mike Lupica, which is like an actor being a second-rate Stephen Baldwin.”

    Oh no you dih’ int!

    I have to agree to disagree with that column. D’Antoni was asked err payed to coach whatever team he was left with to play its best possible. This team is full of average players that would’nt crack a guest appearance on a blowout. And like the average players this team is full of, it will struggle to be consistent, hence the weekly first quarter failures.

    I have no clue if its solely on Mike D’s shoulders but the team did consistently fail to rotate on defense. Which was one of the worse things to watch day in and out.

    But hell, I got traded what do I care…

  8. BigBlueAL

    ESPNNY.com has the worse set of writers they could have possibly put together. I mean after the Yankees lost on opening night vs the Red Sox you wouldve thought they were doomed to lose every game the rest of the season. I read that article and naturally as a guy who has defended D’Antoni so far I thought it was absolutely idiotic and stupid. Im really beginning to think the only writer who covers the Knicks who has a clue is by far Hahn.

  9. BigBlueAL

    BTW read the comments on the article, some are freakin HILARIOUS. I commented twice early on of course defending D’Antoni and Walsh :-)

    Also I had to defend Gallo and some people actually said he wont ever be as good as Eric Gordon and that you can tell Gallo wont ever be good because of his body language.

  10. rohank

    Come on BBA you know better than to comment on an ESPN article… most quacks that comment over there have no idea what’s going on. I couldn’t even make it through all the comments.

    The main reason I signed up for/comment on this site is because it’s the only one i’ve ever found where almost everyone who posts knows what they’re talking about and/or think about things intelligently.

  11. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, if it weren’t for this site and Replacement Level Yankees, I’d have absolutely nowhere to talk about sports intelligently.

    There are good writers out there, at least, like Keith Law and Kelly Dwyer (plus others – Henry Abbott is good, of course, as well is Hollinger most of the time).

    But good blogs for comments? Not very many.

  12. BigBlueAL

    Well only down 9 at half, Gallo did eventual make some shots to finish with 13 at the half. Bulls look like they will win in Charlotte anyway.

  13. Ted Nelson

    The thing is, as you allude to Caleb, in a lot of cases perception = reality. All the commentators/analysts always refer to how D’Antoni is a bad defensive coach and those guys are mostly former NBA players… doubt their opinions are much different than current players. The LeBron quote about eating and sleeping defense, I think that came in reference to D’Antoni… as in he doesn’t (that’s how the author presented it anyway), is really powerful. Bosh is allergic to defense, so the perception definitely might help us with him.
    Seriously, though, it was interesting to see this opinion–even if it was expressed that well–after all the stuff about how D’Antoni is a basketball god who will magically attract LeBron and every other NBA All-Star ever born to the Knicks.

    In general I agree that his teams have played to their defensive talent at worst, I look at pace adjusted offensive efficiency and not PPG, and he does seem to care about defense most of the time. However, the one obvious example of him not caring about defense someone could point out is that he played Lee at the 5 all season and didn’t really bother to try anyone else there–sliding Lee to the 4–until the last dozen games with Earl Barron–who isn’t much of a defender himself. Jordan Hill and Darko rotting on the Knicks bench and then playing when they got traded–even though Darko still stinks and plays for an even worse team now–definitely makes it look like D’Antoni was ignoring defense.

    “My guess – the stars have seen enough up-close, on the Olympic and World teams, to form an opinion without depending on sportswriter speculation.”

    One worry: is he the sort of “offensive coordinator” for the Olympic team? That might just feed the perception that he is an “offensive genius” (as LeBron apparently called him) but doesn’t care about D: if when he’s coaching these guys on the Olympic team all he talks about is offense because that’s his job and he never really mentions defense because that’s someone else’s job.

    “IMO it’s hard to argue that the team has underperformed (with the exception of the first month of this season).”

    They underperformed my expectations from BEFORE the season. D’Antoni was also the coach during that horrific start, so it’s not like he can blame that on someone else (to me not having you team ready to go after a whole offseason to prepare is really bad… an example of where a coach can have a negative impact). He kept them from falling apart all season like the Nets/Wolves, but 29 wins on the season is a disappointment to me based on the most realistic, unbiased expectations I could muster: they would win as many games as last season, which was also a bit disappointing of a season.

    “there’s just no objective reason to say that his teams are bad on D.”

    If you only look at per game numbers, which is what most people do in a state of ignorant bliss.

  14. Ted Nelson

    “Jordan Hill and Darko rotting on the Knicks bench and then playing when they got traded–even though Darko still stinks and plays for an even worse team now–definitely makes it look like D’Antoni was ignoring defense.”

    Then again, the counter-argument is that it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to claim he ignores defense when he played Jared Jeffries so much. Jeffries was clearly not out there to shoot the ball. You could also argue Jeffries was being showcased, but D’Antoni has loved Jeffries since his introductory press conference.

  15. Robert Silverman

    I feel a certain touch of pride at having watched to the bitter end – a badge of (dis)honor, if you will

  16. BigBlueAL

    Well guys hopefully the nightmare is finally over. Next Knick Game Thread should hopefully be full of optimism and excitement….

  17. daaarn

    Well another crappy season comes to a close. Not much to say except that there had better be some positive changes this offseason. Until free agency [or if we buy a late 1st rounder] kicks into full swing, I think I’ll take a breather from the Knicks [thank God for the Yankees]. See y’all in July.

  18. Z

    “Since then he has been a second-rate Mike Lupica, which is like an actor being a second-rate Stephen Baldwin.

    Oh, so he’s like Daniel Baldwin.

  19. Brian Cronin

    Oh, by the way, one last little “F U” to us fans – the Clippers win combined with the Knicks loss now means that the Knicks no longer even have the #9 spot in the lottery anymore – they finish the season tied with the Clippers at #8.

    So there will be a coin flip to determine if their “set” position is #8 or #9, and as for the lottery, the Knicks go from having 17 chances out of 1000 to having 23 chances out of 1000.

  20. jon abbey

    why is that an F U? it’s not even our pick, who cares? I’m just happy it’s not #2 or #3, which it easily could have been.

    along those lines, I think the D’Antoni criticism is silly (although I do have some issues with him, which we’ve discussed in depth here for a while now). NY has decidedly less talent than NJ, I think they overachieved by maybe 5 or even 8 games in terms of wins this year.

  21. Brian Cronin

    why is that an F U? it’s not even our pick, who cares? I’m just happy it’s not #2 or #3, which it easily could have been.

    If it not even the Knicks’ pick and you don’t care, why are you happy that it is not #2 or #3?

    And if you are, indeed, happy that it is not #2 or #3, note that being tied for #8 gives the Knicks a better chance of the pick being #2 or #3 than if they were still #9, hence my tiny bit of annoyance.

  22. Ted Nelson

    I’m not really worried about where Utah is picking either. Someone pointed out earlier in the season that it’s theoretically better to have Utah, a Western Conference team, with a top 3 pick than an Eastern Conference team. The Nets are a team you especially want to fall out of the top 2–after Wall, Turner the draft is a little more wide open to me (Favors? Johnson? Cousins? Who is #3?)–since they are in the Atlantic. New Jersey, Washington, Detroit, Philly… could argue it’s good for the Knicks if the Jazz or another Western team leapfrog those teams.

  23. jon abbey

    Brian, I’m going to guarantee you right now that that’s not a top 3 pick. feel better?

  24. Ted Nelson

    Jon,

    I have to strongly disagree that the Knicks have less talent than the Nets. I actually find that ridiculous. The Nets won 2 more games than the Knicks last season then proceeded to give away Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson. If the Knicks had given away Lee and Chandler, how would their season have gone? Would Nate and Gallo have carried the team to 30 wins? I would agree that the Nets underachieved: they only won 12 games. The Knicks didn’t make many changes to a team that won 32 games last season. The talent level hasn’t changed radically from a team Isiah won 33 games with in 06-07. I feel veryd strongly that the Knicks did not overachieve compared to their talent level this season.

    The two biggest D’Antoni related problems I see are a lack of creativity and an overabundance of stubbornness when it came to 1. replacing Duhon in the rotation and 2. getting two bigmen on the floor. He had options on the roster in both cases with Nate and Toney and even Hughes, and with Jordan Hill and even Darko. In both cases he never gave it a shot for more than a few minutes or until it was way too late. Hill was clearly being misused in NY: he took 60% jumpers whereas he’s taking 36% jumpers in Houston. His efficiency has spiked in Houston. Not getting much out of Nate, arguably his second best player, and not playing him many minutes was generally a problem that you can put on D’Antoni and not the roster. Sandbagging the guy who was your second best player the previous season is generally not going to help you win games, and is totally inconsistent with the treatment Duhon has gotten. I can see why you don’t play rookies over veterans in a lot of cases, but over the course of the season it’s become pretty obvious that Douglas is a better player than Duhon (maybe not a better PG) and that Hill was good enough to get minutes on the Knicks.

  25. Ted Nelson

    @33

    I can’t imagine your guarantee means anything to Brian, no offense. The Bulls won the lottery from the #9 spot in 08. Portland won 32 games and got it in from the 6.5 spot in 07. Toronto was 5 in 06. Bucks were 6 in 05. It’s very possible the Knicks pick could get into the top 3, though not likely. Orlando was the last worst team to get the #1 pick in 04, and that’s just the #1 not the top 3.

  26. jon abbey

    Ted, I disagree with your first paragraph but one thing I’ve learned this year is that you have way more energy than me to argue these things back and forth, so I’ll stand down.

  27. jon abbey

    and I know about all of those. I’m guaranteeing it won’t happen with the NY/Utah pick this year, feel free to laugh at me if I’m wrong.

    but I won’t be. :)

  28. Ted Nelson

    Jon,

    I’d be interested to hear what you disagree with and why.

    The Nets effectively had two NBA players and a bunch of D-Leaguers/end of the bench guys (Humphries is a PER warrior, Boone is ok but 3rd or 4th bigman material at best). The Knicks had far more quality depth. That’s not to say that the Knicks were good or wildly underachieved, I just think they did not overachieve for their talent level. Look at the teams around them in the standings: Clippers, Pacers, Sixers, Pistons, Warriors, Kings. Do the Knicks necessarily have less talent than those teams?

    As far as achievement vs. talent level: The Nets didn’t have any aces in the hole like Robinson and Hill who the coach made a conscious decision not to play despite having above average NBA talent for two guys who clearly have below average NBA talent in Duhon (especially this season, which became obvious early in the season, but even on his career) and Jeffries. (Can say the same thing about Douglas until the end of the season.) Not that PER is everything, but if you look at their season PERs Robinson and Hill would be #3 and #4 on the Knicks (#5 and #2 in WS/48), yet D’Antoni did what he could to get rid of them. The exact people involved aside, it is not advisable to sit better talent behind worse talent. That’s one of the biggest impacts a coach can have, and a negative one. If you want to win basketball games, you play the best players. (And I don’t buy the whole “he had to get veterans with expiring contracts minutes” line since he benched Hughes multiple times, Darko didn’t play, and House isn’t playing much. The only guys he really did that for was Duhon.)

  29. Owen

    Ted – I am thinking that what Jon would say is that all the dross on the bench doesn’t really matter. A healthy Devin Harris and Brook Lopez are better than anything we have as building blocks. Don’t know if I agree, but I see that argument…

  30. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Ted,

    I’m glad you brought that article to my attention, as it is a perfect case for a future Freshman Composition class to study when it comes to making claims without providing sufficient evidence.

    While I do agree with O’Connor’s claims of D’Antoni’s failures, it is only in this thread that we see support (and since O’Connor himself did not provide that support, I’ll give his article a D+ for effort).

    I’ve had the same issue with D’Antoni that you’ve had: his commitment to overvalued, inefficient players, while benching efficient players with little justification (although that wrong-basket shot by Nate certainly should count, somehow). It’s frustrating to watch these decisions be made in a seemingly arbitrary way.

  31. Ted Nelson

    Owen,

    Thanks for stepping up for Jon. I don’t see Lopez as better than Lee right now. He’s big, but he’s not a defensive presence at this point. Maybe in a couple years, ala Bogut. Even that’s questionable. He’s not nearly the rebounder Lee is. He’s less efficienct on the same usage. But he’s only 21, so maybe he’s a better “building block” going forward. Right now I’d say he’s worse or at best equal.

    Harris would be better than any Knicks perimeter player if he were healthy, and better than Lopez probably. I don’t know if how you way injury in an over-/under-achieving analysis. Even with a healthy Harris, who I’d put at #1 then and Lopez #2, the drop off to the Nets next best player is huge. After Lee the Knicks had Harrington, Robinson/Walker, Gallinari, maybe Chandler, Douglas, Hill/S-Rod&T-Mac all probably better than Dooling or Lee or Boone or Humphries or Simmons or whatever weak Net you want to say was their 3rd best player.

    I would agree that the Nets underperformed (they were the worst offense in the league and won 12 games), but I’d say they were still a 20-25 win team.

    THCJ,

    Let’s just say that I wish it were mandatory for both every person who covers the Knicks in the media and every person employed by the Knicks to read the Layman’s Guide to Advanced Stats or similar. That would be a good place to start in solving the problems of both O’Connor and D’Antoni.

  32. jon abbey

    yeah, honestly I don’t care enough to argue.

    do all of the Amare Stoudemire haters out there realize that he always gets better as the season goes along? check out his monthly splits. I know he’s a sieve on D, but I think I’d still rather have him than Bosh or Lee as a LeBron sidekick.

  33. ess-dog

    Well at least no more Duhon, no more Harrington, no more Hughes, no more Nate flexing and screaming when we’re down by 30, hopefully no more corpse of T-Mac, no more fat Eddy-oh-whoops-well no more pretending Eddy will ever play again anyway…
    Just 4 or 5 athletic guys that all play hard and are under the age of 24. A couple of 2nd rounders to round out the bench. And hopefully 2 or 3 extraordinary vets.
    Next year will be awesome!

  34. SeeWhyDee77

    OK..hear the crazy person out. Now, I’m not sayin forget LeBron..obviously if he’s willing to give us serious consideration then DW would be stupid not to go after him. What i’m suggesting that it is not the end of the world if he says no. Here’s my idea..if we allow Rooster to grow into the 4 spot, then with Chandler’s improvement-we are damn good at the 3 & 4. We also have passable options at the point in Sergio and Douglas. So then we would need a 5 and a 2 rite? Go hard after Wade, and if Bynum is healthy-go after him as well using Lee as bait. A starting lineup of Bynum, Rooster, Chandler, Wade and Sergio is not bad in the east. Now b4 yal call me certifiably insane, this is just one theory if LBJ says no. Also, with this scenario, we also will have cap room in ’11 if Chandler and our PG’s don’t pan out..Melo and CP3 should be available by then. So I guess the question would be is Bynum and Rooster and Chandler enuf to make Wade leave Miami? Problee not, but it’s worth a shot. I wouldn’t consider the other “big time 2 guard”, Joe Johnson, in this scenario b/c Wade is a top notch defender-something Joe Johnson is not. I guess the moral behind this idea of mine is that we will be ok regardless of who signs becuz we will have 2 years of cap room if DW continues to play his cards rite. Also, I keep hearin Thibodeaux’ name poppin up, any chance we can hire him as an assistant b4 another team gives him a head coachin job? That would be awesome. I have my issues with Mike D, but in reality-he’s the perfect coach for us rite now, especially since we haven’t had offensive potential in AGES..we jus need to find a way to incorporate solid defense into the picture.D’Antoni’s brilliant offensively and stubborn enuf to get his point across to over pampered wanna be stars..I like that. Sometime he goes too far or lets certain “stars” get away with murder, but he generally does a good job with his troops. I’m excited about our prospects this offseason an next…

  35. ess-dog

    I think what Jon and Owen are saying has some merit if only because positionally, NJ has an advantage on us having “above average” starters at the 1 and the 5. Let’s say NJ gets Evan Turner in the draft. Imagine a lineup of Harris, Turner, Lebron, Bosh and Lopez.
    Or if they get Favors, Harris, Wade, Lebron, Favors and Lopez. It really favors NJ that the big free agents in 2010 are swingmen or power forwards. The Knicks? Not so much. We’ve been a team of 6’8″ guys for years. Of course, NJ might have to go for Wall and look to trade Harris while his stock is down. And they also need a coach.

  36. BigBlueAL

    If we get Lebron, I could care less who they get between Amare or Bosh if they can get either one. Now if they cant get Lebron I would prefer Bosh because he is a much better rebounder and Im not sure how good Amare would be w/o a great PG like Nash or someone like Lebron/Wade setting him up. Bosh looks like he is a much better scorer at getting his own shot which would be necessary if he is being paired with say Joe Johnson or just coming to the Knicks by himself w/o another max FA.

  37. Ted Nelson

    @42 Jon,

    I wouldn’t call it arguing so much as discussing. If you’re going to come on and make bold one sentence statements it’s nice to know what’s behind them. You can go to any sports website and get emphatic one liners with nothing backing them up, this is one of the best places to actually get an intelligent discussion. If I wanted to read that the Knicks are really an 11 win team and the only reason is because I say so, I’d just read Bill Simmons.

    @45 ess-dog,

    The issue is not whether the Nets are better positioned going forward, but whether they were more talented this season than the Knicks.

  38. Ben R

    It seems most people think Amare is a much better option than resigning Lee. I am not sure. Lee is a much better rebounder, a better passer and this year scored almost as much, almost as efficiently as Amare with Duhon as his primary point guard. Lee is also younger without a massive knee surgery in his past. Lee will be cheaper and it would also be nice to stay with the homegrown player.

    I think Lee is the fourth best FA this year when you take into account he is younger, cheaper and less injury prone than Boozer, Amare and Johnson.

    Since Lee is our free agent we can retain him with a $10.5 million cap hold and then if we verbally agree to an amount sign the rest of our free agents first and then go over the cap signing Lee.

  39. kaine

    Amare has more swagger , strength and winning experience than bosh

    bosh (rupaul I remand you) is a ball clogger…unfit for the dantoni style…

  40. jon abbey

    yep, Ted, you’re right. I just have no interest at this point of the season in spending more time analyzing terrible teams like NY and NJ when I’m already mostly burnt out on hoops and trying to muster all the excitement I can for the playoffs.

  41. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    kaine,

    What do swagger and winning experience have to do with playing ability? As noted on this forum before, a hard Amare dunk is worth as many points as a David Lee layup.

  42. kaine

    It affects your ability to perform under great pressure , and affects the teammates. bosh, sadly, doesn’t have leadership skills…he’s weak, and too concerned about his stats, contract and public image. he lacks the killer istinct

    4 years ago, bargnani’s rookie year, Toronto with a decent team went to the playoffs against the Nets. The nets had a good core but didn’t have anyone in the paint.

    bosh was dominated by mikki friggin moore…he’s weak, soft, and selfish.

    not the recipe for a winning team.

    he’s good, but not championship good. and I fear his body is not that healthy

  43. Garson

    The great Marc Berman today mentioned a sign and trade with Lee for Paul… Sounded like a plausable scenerio for both teams as the hornets have up and coming collison to replace paul with and the knicks need a Point…

    When could this possibly happen?

    I strongly feel that if we can get just one respectable star then the rest will follow. I know that LBJ doesnt need a point however until i see him in uniform , a deal like this cannot be ignored.

  44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    kaine,

    You make a number of subjective observations (weak, concerned with states, lacks instinct).

    What leads you to believe that Bosh lacks the psychological acuity to deal with high-pressure situations? Do you think that many professional athletes would make it to the big leagues if they couldn’t handle competitive stress?

    Refer to:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29

  45. Ted Nelson

    “I just have no interest at this point of the season in spending more time analyzing terrible teams like NY and NJ”

    Fair enough.

    “Amare has more swagger , strength and winning experience than bosh”

    I think swagger counts more if you’re a rapper.
    Seriously, though, Bosh’s game is very similar to Lee’s and he’s been the center piece of some good defensive teams. He’s low TO, high usage, high efficiency, and a solid passer… someone you want to have the ball in his hands. His game is different from Amare’s, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a “D’Antoni player.”
    The next season in the playoffs–07-08–Bosh did pretty well against Orlando and Bargnani played absolutely horribly (I mean historically bad: his PER was 5.2 and his WS was negative). Orlando has that one big guy who is a little better than Mikki Moore. You can’t look at 5 or 6 games and say that this is who a player is. Last season in the playoffs Amare did about as well in the first round as Bosh did against NJ. Last time I checked Amare didn’t have any rings, either, not that I think that’s all that important in evaluating a player.

    @ 48 Ben,

    I think you’re selling Amare a little short. I don’t know if he or Lee or Bosh is a better option, but Lee did not score almost as much as either this season. Lee’s usage was 23.8, while Amare’s was 27.3 and Bosh’s was 28.7. It’s a bit like saying Toney Douglas scored almost as much as Lee. I don’t know how much of it is due to Nash, but Amare can flat out score.
    With all this cap space I’m not about being a homer. I like Lee a lot, but if he got more money elsewhere he’d leave so why should the franchise go above and beyond to keep him? Lee’s Bird Rights only become an advantage if the Knicks want to sign him to a deal starting above his cap hold. If you are right that his hold is $10.5 million–I think it’s 12 based on #30 http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm–and the Knicks give him maximum annual increases, a deal starting above 10.5–say 11–would total $66.55mm for 5 years (13.3 per) or $83.325 for 6 years (13.9 per). At that point he’s not substantially cheaper than the other options. If you want to give Lee a deal that averages 10 to 10.5 million you can start him at 8 or 8.5 and give maximum increases. You can give him a 6 year deal averaging over 11 by starting at 9. Starting at 9.5 gets you a 6 year deal averaging 12.

  46. Ted Nelson

    “Bosh’s game is very similar to Lee’s and he’s been the center piece of some good defensive teams.”

    BIG MISTAKE. I meant to say good offensive teams.

  47. Ted Nelson

    And, Kaine, I’m not saying Bosh is a better or worse option than Amare. I’m just saying that it’s not clear. With Amare you have a one-dimensional guy and you have to wonder a. how he’ll adjust as he loses athleticism and b. how he’ll play post-Nash. With Bosh you have to wonder if he can keep up his production from this season. I don’t even know if this was his best season–or 07-08–but it was better than his career numbers. Maybe he’s entering his prime or maybe it was a fluke year.

  48. ess-dog

    Well the “clutch stats” page seems to back kaine up somewhat:

    http://www.82games.com/0910/CSORT6.HTM

    Bosh shooting a paltry .383 in crunchtime while our hero Mr. Lee is shooting a macho .680.

    Bosh scores more in crunchtime which leads me to believe that he forces a bunch more shots.

    It’s amazing that Paul is so high (.507) on this list despite being a guard and logging so many minutes. I think I would shit for a week straight if we somehow got him, but it doesn’t seem very realistic.

  49. Ted Nelson

    That is interesting about Bosh’s clutch shooting. Doesn’t look pretty. His clutch FG% was better last season, but still not very good: .458. Of course, FG% is a thoroughly worthless stat. Bosh is getting 17.8 clutch FTA (per 36? 48?) and hitting 89%, while Lee is getting 2.1 and hitting 66%…….. I do really feel like Lee gets dicked by the refs, but it is what it is and that’s not a small difference. Last season Lee got 5.6 and Bosh 18.3. Stoudemire gets 9.6 this season and last.

    I calculate that Bosh’s clutch TS% this season is 57.2%. Not equal to what Lee has done, but not bad. When you consider that we’re talking about a small sample size and Bosh’s FG% has fallen 80 points from last season while Lee’s has jumped 180… might be pretty meaningless.

    I’m not trying to be a cheerleader for Bosh, just trying to look at the numbers critically.

  50. Thomas B.

    Other than the lottery, it seems the draft order is set. Any ideas on who the Knicks should take with the two (?) second rounder picks? I don’t see a Dejuan Blair hanging about this year. DO you think they can be packaged with something to move back into the 1st round? Would we even do that since 1st rounder take more cap space than 2nd rounders?

  51. Ricky_J

    I’d never heard of this rule before, From ESPN:

    “”Should Plan A fail, or should the Knicks go after one max player and two $8 million players, they will have one trick up their sleeve. Those two $8 million players would be able to sign contracts with $2 million bonuses for making the playoffs. In salary cap parlance, those are known as ‘unlikely’ bonuses — unlikely because the Knicks did not make the playoffs this season. And it is to the Knicks’ benefit that two of the other likely heavy hitters in free agency, Chicago and Miami, cannot offer playoff bonuses because that money would be considered ‘likely’ to be earned, and thus would count against those teams’ caps.””

  52. ess-dog

    “Since Lee is our free agent we can retain him with a $10.5 million cap hold and then if we verbally agree to an amount sign the rest of our free agents first and then go over the cap signing Lee.”

    Is this true? If so, that would be fantastic. Is this how and why Walsh factored Lee’s 2009 salary? There must be a limit as to how much we can go over the cap w/ a cap hold, right?

  53. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    It’s an interesting question whether the late 1st or 2 2nds (38 & 39) is more valuable. My first reaction is 2 2nds. Not only are the contracts unguaranteed–doesn’t count against the cap and if the guy stinks you can cut him–but you also take two shots instead of one. Your odds with either 38 or 39 are probably substantially lower than with 28 or 29, but maybe not when you double the late 30s odds. Both the 28 and the 38 are probably more likely not to be meaningful NBA contributors than they are to be, so that’s why I would say (off hand) take two shots. I would have to actually look at what your average 28 pick vs. 38 pick did. And maybe try to project who might be there at each pick this year a little, not that that’s always easy to do. If I were someone like Walsh who has been in the NBA for decades, actually, I would keep track of all my draft boards and then I could project how the player I would have theoretically drafted at all the spots historically would have done.

    Chances are the Knicks can keep their picks and just buy a first rounder if they feel confident they can absorb that $ plus keep Bill Walker. Never know, but pretty much every season at least one or two 1sts are sold. If they have to decide between Walker and a late first which do they do? My guess is Walker, but I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do or not. (Not implying it isn’t, I really don’t know: Walker has been great as a scorer but otherwise pretty mediocre. He looks like he can stick on a roster for a while, but do you take the chance you get a real steal in the draft? I guess you wait and see what picks are for sale and who is on the board.)

    Ricky,

    Interesting. I had never heard that either.

  54. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog,

    Since the Knicks have “Bird Rights” they can go as far over the cap to sign Lee as they please. That’s partially how their payroll was consistently above $100mm when the cap was half that (along with JJ MLE signings). However, as I mention in #55, that only comes into play if the Knicks want to sign Lee to a contract with a first year salary over $10.5mm (I am under the impression the hold is actually 150% of his 2010 salary or $12mm). His cap hold means they have to leave at least $10.5mm or $12mm under the cap in signing free agents or renounce him to get rid of the hold. If they renounce him they forfeit his bird rights and cannot go over the cap to sign him, though they could still re-sign him with left over cap space (not 100% sure if they can still go with the 10.5% increases should they renounce him or have to go down to the 8% level you can give to another team’s free agent). I am no expert, but that’s my understanding.

  55. ess-dog

    Cap now officially projected at $56.1 mil. Great news. That’s basically 2 max guys and keeping Walker if I’m not mistaken.

  56. Brian Cronin

    Correct, they can now afford Walker.

    Actually, I think they might be able to pick up Giddons’ option, as well (the Knicks have about $1.7 in cap holds that would come off the books in exchange for the 2 Max Free Agents and Giddons and Walker, so that’s $1.7 plus the $600,000 or so that they would have left under the cap once they signed two max free agents (the 2004 Draft people, Lebron, Wade and Bosh, can max out at $16, 850,000 per).

    ETA: Oh, and we have a new thread up on the cap news!

    http://www.knickerblogger.net/3581/some-good-news-for-a-change-projected-cap-for-2010-11-to-be-56-1-million.html

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