Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Melozoic Era, Statistically Speaking

When it comes to the Melo trade, there’s probably one thing everyone can agree on: the on-court results are a mixed bag. A thrilling win over Miami, blowout wins over New Orleans and Utah and a tough road loss to the Magic, but also a pair of embarrassing defeats to Cleveland and the latest stinkers against Dallas and Indiana.

At 6-6, the Knicks of the Melozoic Era (kudos to Jim Cavan for coining the phrase) have a worse record than the previous version. Subjectively, they’re disjointed and inconsistent. They’re not sharing the ball. They clamp down on D… except when they don’t. Is it a few problems, or a lot of them?

As usual,  the numbers clear up the picture.

Pace Rank Offensive Efficiency Rank Defensive Efficiency Rank
Pre-Melo Knicks 98.7 2 107.6 9 107.1 24
Melozoic Knicks 97.0 7 111.5 1 110.0 30

As Mike D’Antoni has modified his beloved SSOL scheme, the Knicks have turned – ironically – into a parody of a Mike D’Antoni team: all O, no D.

Some common complaints are unwarranted. The Knicks may or may not be uglier to watch, or more selfish, but there’s not much to complain about when they have the ball. Since the trade, their offense is the best in the league.

On the other end of the court – peeeeee-uw.  I can hear it now:  “Can you imagine how bad they’d be without DPOY candidate Jared Jeffries?”

The picture is muddied by Chauncey Billups missing five of the 12 games, but if anything a healthy Billups should make the trends stronger. Billups is one of the most efficient offensive players in the league, but the Knicks D isn’t much helped by his taking minutes from Toney Douglas.

None of this is shocking, but the effect has been more dramatic than most expected. Were Chandler, Gallinari and Felton that good on the defensive side? Is Melo that bad? Is it just a lack of practice time?

Quibble if you must over whether Renaldo Balkman deserves some burn, but D’Antoni has already thrown solid minutes to Jeffries and even Anthony Carter. It’s hard to envision big improvements through different personnel. A healthy Ronny Turiaf would help, but unless the Knicks find something to reverse their defensive collapse, the first round playoff series is likely to be short.

A note on the details: as I started doing the math, I discovered that different sources count posssessions differently, which – obviously – affects the efficiency numbers. I went with posession totals from Hoopdata, which gave me final calculations almost identical to ESPN and John Hollinger. That let me compare apples to apples in the rankings. If you see a slight difference – a tenth of a percentage point or two – blame it on the possession data. Here’s a game-by-game chart: Knicks 2010-2011 game log . You can see how bizarre an outlier was our latest Miami win.

90 comments on “The Melozoic Era, Statistically Speaking

  1. misterma

    Great post. I’ll have to pay more attention to that end of the floor. I’ve been railing at Melo’s ball-stopping ways on O, but I guess I should have been railing at his non-ball-stopping ways on D.

    Non-ball-stopping. It’s a thing.

  2. d-mar

    Man, the Melo piling-on is hitting an all time high. Now you have Avery Johnson saying he’s glad the Nets didn’t get him. I guess a 5 game winning streak has him feeling all warm and fuzzy about his squad; he also said he’s positive D-Will will stay with the Nets. And of course George Karl can’t stop trashing his former star on a daily basis.

    I hope Melo takes all this personally.

  3. Owen

    Great post –

    But how exactly did you calculate offensive efficiency? Just an average of per game numbers? When I run the numbers for the Nuggets over their first ten games post Melo (don’t have last nights game up) I get an offensive efficiency of 112.5.

  4. Owen

    Actually correction, I get 111.4 and a defensive efficiency of 97.82 for the Nuggets post-trade, not including Atlanta last night….

  5. Nick C.

    @2 – to be honest he brought this on himself by creating the Melodrama. He could have kept his mouth shut a/k/a Jeter but he chose not to.

  6. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Owen: Actually correction, I get 111.4 and a defensive efficiency of 97.82 for the Nuggets post-trade, not including Atlanta last night….  

    I want to interpret that data for y’all:

    1) Cuz they have more heart from losing their star player.
    2) Cuz George Karl is rallying the troops.
    3) Cuz they’re playing gritty basketball.
    4) Cuz Ty Lawson just hasn’t burned out yet.
    5) Cuz the shots are just falling right now.
    6) Cuz of all the haters.
    7) Cuz their new players haven’t had to “gel” as much as the Knicks’ acquisitions.
    8) Cuz Nene is playing for his contract, so he’ll return to being an average NBA player next season.
    9) Cuz of a small sample.
    10) Cuz they’re in the “right system.”

  7. ess-dog

    Yeah Denver’s looking pretty good. Let’s see how they do against ORL/MIA but they’ve got good cheap players, cap room and a team that defends. No stars though, lol.
    But seriously, I think most of us here before and after the trade, would’ve taken Nene over Melo, even if the $$ was equal.
    It’s easy to play Monday morning QB, but it would’ve been nice if Walsh had been able to do the Melo deal on his own. I think it’s clear that Dolan stepped in and fudged things up so that we gave up way too much.
    Just think, if we’d have had an inkling of Utah/Deron waiting in the wings, we could’ve played it even tighter to the vest.
    But the past is the past. We have 4 good starters and if we just get an efficient 4/5 who plays great post defense, we might be as good as the Nuggets soon, lol. But seriously, that’s a 4 seed. I think this team can be a 4 seed for the next 3 or 4 years, which is pretty good. Something crazy would have to happen to put us in the Chicago/Boston realm though. A lopsided trade or an amazing draft pick.

  8. Doug

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I want to interpret that data for y’all:1) Cuz they have more heart from losing their star player.
    2) Cuz George Karl is rallying the troops.
    3) Cuz they’re playing gritty basketball.
    4) Cuz Ty Lawson just hasn’t burned out yet.
    5) Cuz the shots are just falling right now.
    6) Cuz of all the haters.
    7) Cuz their new players haven’t had to “gel” as much as the Knicks’ acquisitions.
    8) Cuz Nene is playing for his contract, so he’ll return to being an average NBA player next season.
    9) Cuz of a small sample.
    10) Cuz they’re in the “right system.”  

    Does your use of “y’all” and “CUZ” mean that you’re being sarcastic?? That was so cool.

  9. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Your disdain for my use of words I say in real life makes you way cooler. Nothing like hip condescension, bro. See? I can do it too.

  10. thepalerider

    I was at the Knicks vs. Mavericks game and I think they made a huge mistake letting Brewer go. He looked every bit Jeffries equal on defense but he actually had some offense ability.

  11. Jim Cavan

    Great work Caleb, really helps put things in a clearer perspective.

    Clearly offense isn’t the problem, aside from isolated (no pun intended) wrinkles that I actually do believe will be worked out over time. But we kinda knew offense wouldn’t be a problem. Billups, Stat and Melo have been around the block, and they know how to play. It’s a matter of instinct more than anything. Guys who over-think every move on offense tend to have pretty short shelf lives.

    Defense is another matter. On defense, you not only have to be instinctive, but you have to both think and communicate in a way that is in a way harder and more difficult than it is on offense. This is why they’re struggling: they haven’t learned how to effectively communicate. I would argue that it takes elite players more time to gel defensively than it does on offense.

    It’s like the “mini societies” we had in elementary school, where we’d be given money and have to come up with services or products to sell. Our teachers didn’t just give us the money and say “go”. They had to give us parameters and guidelines. In the same way, we can’t just expect D’Antoni to say “defend” and expect it to happen. They need guidelines and parameters, preferably from an expert in the field.

  12. Caleb Post author

    @3-4 I should have been a lot more clear – this only looks at the Knicks, not the Nuggets.

    For efficiency I just divide points by posessions, multiply by 100. Possessions (or game-by-game pace) varies a bit depending on which site you use – as many as 3 or 4 per game, in some cases – which changes the efficiency results. But, it doesn’t affect the trends one way or the other. Why that number varies is a question for another day…

  13. Caleb Post author

    If I had to venture a guess as to why the Nuggets have flourished while the Knicks have struggled a bit, I would say the Nuggets had other players who could replace what Anthony did – take a lot of shots and score well. See J.R. Smith, Harrington, Lawson.

    The Knicks, on the other hand, gave up their best defenders and had no one to replace them. No Jared Jeffries doesn’t count.

  14. JK47

    Very interesting look at our offensive/defensive efficiency numbers.

    Why has our defense gotten worse? Is it an issue of personnel? I don’t really think so. We traded away three players who had logged substantial minutes– Chandler, Gallo and Felton. Felton’s defense, I feel, is a bit overrated. In his place many of the of the PG minutes have gone to Toney Douglas, who I think most of us would agree is a better defender than Felton. On the whole I don’t think PG defense has been substantially worse since Chuckin’ Ray left town.

    Chandler and Gallo are both decent defenders, but I wouldn’t say that either of them is a massive defensive upgrade over Melo. But Chandler and Gallo had the benefit of playing for a couple of years in D’Antoni’s system, so I do think we were getting better team defensive play from Gallo/Chandler than we’re getting with Melo. Does Melo have it in him to play at least Wilson Chandler-level defense? I really do think so. Melo does not have a reputation as a great defender, but he does not have a reputation as a completely horrible defender either.

    The other guy who has gotten additional minutes has been Jared Jeffries. Jeffries’ supposed terrific defense hasn’t made much of an impact if we’re ranked 30th in defensive efficiency since the trade. I think it’s time to go in a different direction with JJ. I’d like to see Amar’e slide to center and give Shelden Williams some of Jeffries’ minutes. Shelden can play some D and grab some rebounds and he can’t possibly be as inept on the other end as Jeffrightened.

    So, overall, I don’t think our defensive personnel has gotten all that much worse. I think it’s a question of these guys getting to know each other and playing coherently on the defensive end. A true badass post defender (coughFariedcough) is something we’re obviously gonna need though. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  15. Michael Cline

    “But seriously, I think most of us here before and after the trade, would’ve taken Nene over Melo, even if the $$ was equal.”
    _______________

    Uh…no. I wouldn’t mind having a player like Nene, especially on this team, but for equal money? Are you serious?

  16. cgreene

    Kendrick Perkins on D:

    “One thing I learned about being a good defensive team is that your two big men have got to be on the same page at all times,” Perkins said. “If you have two bigs who can guard a pick-and-roll or lock up the paint, that’s what makes a defensive team.”

    Think that goes to our point about needing a defensive C. Would have LOVED to have gotten Perk in the off season this year. Thought he would be perfect!

    ps: I think the Celtics lost the NBA championship with that trade. I think they would have won with Perkins. No way they beat Lakers without him.

  17. Mike Kurylo

    ess-dog: Yeah Denver’s looking pretty good. Let’s see how they do against ORL/MIA

    Are you just going to keep going down their schedule every few days? Yesterday it was ATL/ORL/MIA. Now that Denver beat Atlanta, it’s only ORL/MIA?

    And the chance of any team beating ORL/MIA with both games in Florida are slim. New York is 2-4 against them overall, with 2 more games against the Magic (by the end of this month).

  18. Frank

    @2 – I hope all these quotes are going right up on Melo’s bulletin board somewhere. I actually think last game was one of his best offensive games with us. Took 20 shots, most of them in the flow. Hopefully this piling on is the best thing that ever happened to him — make him look in the mirror and decide how he wants to be perceived around the league – as a chucker/scorer only or as a guy who legitimately gets mentioned as a top 5-10 player.

    Sad as this sounds, I really think Shelden Williams needs more minutes. He probably is our only bonafide low-post defender at this point. Turiaf is ok but fouls too much.

    Did anyone read the article by Zach Lowe about why our defense is so bad? Here it is in case anyone hasn’t:

    http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2011/03/16/this-just-in-the-knicks-stink-at-defense/#more-6661

    The fouling thing really stands out to me – and that seems to me to be about footwork, anticipation, and positioning. Footwork and positioning can be coached, but apaprently we don’t do that.

    according to something i read on twitter, yesterday’s practice was 100% on defense. I sort of think that going forward, 90% of practice time should be devoted to defense. this team can score on anyone anytime. unfortunately, the converse is true too.

  19. ess-dog

    Michael Cline: “But seriously, I think most of us here before and after the trade, would’ve taken Nene over Melo, even if the $$ was equal.”
    _______________Uh…no. I wouldn’t mind having a player like Nene, especially on this team, but for equal money? Are you serious?  

    Hm, I kind of meant Melo at Nene money but I see what you’re saying. Not sure I want anyone at 20 mil a year except LBJ.

  20. Nick C.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/h/hilarne01/gamelog/2011/Why is it that Nene’s scoring efficiency has stayed sky-high after the Carmelo trade? I thought Carmelo improved everyone around him.  (Quote)

    I was going to ask that question in general about Denver. You beat me to it. Did someone post how Denver’s defense/100 is pre-post?

    You would like to think these losses are smacks in the face but I don’t know that the world works like that.

  21. Owen

    Count me among those who thinks nene is better than Carmelo straight up. Nene is unbelievably efficient on offense and not a slouch defensively. He is probably the fifth best centrr in basketball after howard, gasol, horford, and, well, I don’t know. Quality centers are scarce. Quality power forwards are not.

    Would anyone here not take Al horford over Carmelo? That’s exactly the kind of guy we should have targeted to pay 12-14 million per.

    And there are a fair number of guys worth max money. Paul, Howard lebron wade durant for starters. Amare and Mel definitely aren’t….

  22. latke

    Owen: Count me among those who thinks nene is better than Carmelo straight up.Nene is unbelievably efficient on offense and not a slouch defensively. He is probably the fifth best centrr in basketball after howard, gasol, horford, and, well, I don’t know. Quality centers are scarce. Quality power forwards are not.Wouldanyone here not take Al horford over Carmelo? That’s exactly the kind of guy we should have targeted to pay 12-14 million per.  

    I’m not sure if I would have preferred Nene, because our roster would still be really thin, but I definitely would rather have offered Nene all our cap space in the summer and kept gallinari, Mozgov and randolph.

    Best players who have the size to be legit centers in NBA

    1) Howard
    2) Pau Gasol
    3) Aldridge
    4) Duncan
    5) Bogut
    6) Love
    7) Chandler
    8) Noah
    9) Nene
    Al Jefferson, Camby, Okafor, Marc Gasol, Bynum, Ibaka, Gortat, McGee, Perkins, Varejao, Hibbert, Haywood. After that it’s all crap.

    Then you’ve got guys who can play center but really should be power forwards: Brand, Scola, Bargnani

  23. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Nick C.:
    You would like to think these losses are smacks in the face but I don’t know that the world works like that.  

    If you’re referring to everyone involved in “pulling off” the Carmelo trade, well, I don’t know. Hubris is an omnipresent thing. I quote Kenny Powers: “All of my successes depend on me.” Some believe that you can turn horseshit into diamonds with the right attitude and manipulation. Professional sports typically don’t work like that. Sure, you may see marginal improvement in most player, but only a select few (M.J.’s self-developed 3-point shot in the mid-90s comes to mind) can turn themselves into drastically better players by will alone.

    I look at a player like Josh Smith and see, quite clearly, that his improvement came not necessarily from focusing on fundamentals, but simply not doing what he was bad at — 3-pointers. That’s good coaching: the ability to identify a player’s skill set and say, “This is what you’re good at; this is what you’re bad at. Now do this, and don’t do this.” Again, speculation, but D’Antoni seems to have been trying to fit a square peg into a round hole during his entire tenure as a Knicks coach. Carmelo’s never been a good three point shooter, yet he has the green light. Amar’e isn’t a huge mid-range threat, but he’s got the green light. Jared Jeffries is not a good basketball player, but he’s on the floor.

    This is a convoluted way of saying that people in elite, competitive fields typically lack self-awareness. Michael Lewis showed us that MLB scouts were so embroiled in their beliefs that they were mostly unable to see new ways of approaching player evaluation, and until they caught up, a small-market team was able to dominate their division. The same kind of thing is happening in the NBA right now.

  24. Ben R

    I would take Horford or Nene over Amare or Melo. Both Amare and Melo are good players but they are both somewhere in the 15-30 range of the top NBA players and they are both getting paid like they are top 10.

    Bill russel said “Hustle is a talent because not everyone does it”. Melo and Amare don’t hustle. They are very good players without it but they are who they are. You don’t sign Wade and then complain that he doesn’t get 10 rebounds a game, or sign Howard and complain he isn’t making more 3 pointers. Melo and Amare have both been in the league a long time so who they are is not some new kind of discovery. Neither is a good defender, this isn’t changing if it was easy to change it would have already happend. It’s the same with rebounding. If all it took was hustle to average 10-11 rebounds per 36 and be a great defender then every fringe NBA big man would be a poor mans Dwight Howard.

    Rebounding is a skill, Defense is a skill, Hustling is a skill. If all Amare and Melo had to do was try harder to become fantastic defenders don’t you think they would have done that already.

    Amare is a poor defending, average rebounding, very efficient high volume scorer who is a bit turnover prone. It’s who he was in Pheonix it’s who is here.

    Melo is am average defending, good rebounding, above average passing, medium efficiency high volume scorer. It’s who he’s always been and it’s who he’ll continue to be.

    These things aren’t changing I don’t know why people expect them to be different then they’ve ever been. They are who they are.

  25. Owen

    Latke – good list. So the question is how many players on that list would you rather have for the next three years rather than Carmelo straight up? And how many when you consider salaries.

    Given injuries and other factors my answer to the first question would be maybe 10-11 while on a per dollar basis it would be all but three or four of them.

  26. KnickfaninNJ

    I looked at NBA.com and found that Jeffries has played eight games for the Knicks and Carmelo twelve, and a couple of Jeffries games (I think) involved few minutes. I know the sample size is very small, but I would be intersted in whether defensive efficiency was any better with Jeffries alongside Melo than with just Melo. (although the overall number is so bad, it can’t be great for any reasonable sized subset).

  27. Frank

    @27 – Just to be fair:

    Since his age 23 season, Melo has been a 35% 3 point shooter. That’s pretty good. He SHOULD have the green light. In fact, except for one total outlier season for MJ (where he shot 43%), Melo has been a much better or at least equivalent 3 point shooter than Jordan was. Considering he takes about 3 3′s per game, the difference between his career percentage of 35% and a “good” 3 point shooter’s percentage of 40% is one made 3 every 20 shots, or a made 3 about once every 6-7 games. The real value of him shooting them is that 1) he can make them, and 2) if he shows the ability and desire to shoot them, it changes the way the defense has to play him. Which opens up driving lanes, passing lanes, etc. So he SHOULD shoot them. This is not a square peg round hole situation.

    Re: Amare – I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Amare might be one of the best mid-range jumpshooting big men in the game right now. I actually think he should shoot more 3 pointers (maybe 2-3 per game) considering he is shooting 47.6% on them this year. And Amare’s jumper has been a mid-career improvement.

  28. Nick C.

    27 – I was more referring to the team to get their head out of their … which brings us to post #29 and hustle. Would it kill them to chase after balls in their direction, be aware that a ball is likely to come by and on and on

  29. ess-dog

    Ben R: Melo and Amare don’t hustle.   

    I don’t know about Melo, but Amare is known for dogging it on defense during the season and really turning it on during the playoffs. He has good abilities on both sides of the floor when he wants to use them. It is a pretty long season after all. I’m not saying that excuses loafing on D during the season, but that is what we’ve seen and hopefully he can turn it around in the playoffs.
    Also, you would think he would now be more inclined to play defense despite being in foul trouble because of Melo being around to help with scoring. I would rather him foul out every game and just play good defense all game.

  30. Ben R

    Centers who I would take over Amare and Melo regardless of money:
    Howard
    Gasol
    Horford
    Noah
    Nene
    Bynum (maybe not because of injuries)
    Love (not really a center, more of a PF)

  31. latke

    Owen: Latke – good list. So the question is how many players on that list would you rather have for the next three years rather than Carmelo straight up? And how many when you consider salaries.Given injuries and other factors my answer to the first question would be maybe 10-11 while on a per dollar basis it would be all but three or four of them.  

    I’d say after Nene there’s a distinct drop off, so the top 10 I would probably take. Top 9 I think are no brainer swaps. Things really drop off in terms of talent after that though. The top ten all rebound, can defend against muscle and mobility, and all have some offensive game. Everyone after that is missing one of those ingredients or is just not that good in any of them. For the price though I’d take Ibaka and Gortat as well. Marc Gasol is about to get a big payday, so I have to leave him out.

  32. Frank O.

    I’m not so sure Douglas is such a great defender. 82games.com has him at a -1.5 in productivity v. his opponent.
    And he’s only getting 1.7 steals per 36, which is modest, given the amount of attention he gets for steals.
    Personally, I think his risk taking on defense is a cause for great concern because often his opposite is breaking down the Knicks D.
    Overall, the Knicks are a big block team because the perimeter defenders are atrocious. His size also is a negative at 6’2, especially at the Deuce.
    Not sold on TD getting nearly 30 minutes per game as he has since the Felton trade. He’s more like a 15 minute guy to me.

  33. Brian Cronin

    Centers i wouldnt package with Camby to get Mcdyess:

    1. Nene

    I still can’t get over the fact that all three of the principals of that trade are still contributing in the NBA, but none for the Knicks. They didn’t even get any of McDyess’ good years!

  34. latke

    Brian Cronin:
    I still can’t get over the fact that all three of the principals of that trade are still contributing in the NBA, but none for the Knicks. They didn’t even get any of McDyess’ good years!  

    If I remember correctly, he did look really good in the 2002 preseason. I remember feeling very excited. Then his knee went out again.

  35. d-mar

    Wow, I guess you guys have run out of derogatory comments for Melo, so now you’re throwing Amare under the bus?? You’d rather have Nene or Horford? Do me a favor, substitute one of those 2 for Amare from the beginning of the season, and say with a straight face that we’d have a better record today. This thread has turned into one of the most negative I’ve seen in a long time, you have every right to question the Melo trade, but for all Amare has done for this franchise since he got here, he deserves much better treatment.

  36. Brian Cronin

    I’d take Amar’e over Nene or Horford (though it is close with Horford – Horford is really, really good).

  37. ess-dog

    d-mar: Wow, I guess you guys have run out of derogatory comments for Melo, so now you’re throwing Amare under the bus?? You’d rather have Nene or Horford? Do me a favor, substitute one of those 2 for Amare from the beginning of the season, and say with a straight face that we’d have a better record today. This thread has turned into one of the most negative I’ve seen in a long time, you have every right to question the Melo trade, but for all Amare has done for this franchise since he got here, he deserves much better treatment.  

    I think the argument was originally Nene rather than Melo and then became a slew of bigs to put next to Amare rather than Melo, so yes still hating on Melo, but generally, still on board with Amare.

  38. tenebrous

    The simple fact remains – the difference between these new teams and the 80′s, and even the 90′s teams, is that jumpshooter seemed like were smarter and shot only on two occasions: 1) if the shot clock was ending and 2) if they saw a rebounder in the board vacinity or at the least, slashing to the basket before they make the shot. Knicks don’t do that. They all stay on 3 point land (not withstanding Fields) and wait for the ball to drop.
    Point being – don’t shoot first and expect a rebounder to approach. Shoot only and if you see a rebounder giving you the ok to shoot. My theory is that this will increase shooting percentage and rebounding percentage. The Knicks just stand around and wait for the long rebound. When a shooter just shoots without having rebounders in position (see above) and misses the defense has a hand up on boxing out the new (oh my ?, I gotta get this rebound and if I don’t I’ll be benched) slashers

  39. tenebrous

    d-mar: Wow, I guess you guys have run out of derogatory comments for Melo, so now you’re throwing Amare under the bus?? You’d rather have Nene or Horford? Do me a favor, substitute one of those 2 for Amare from the beginning of the season, and say with a straight face that we’d have a better record today. This thread has turned into one of the most negative I’ve seen in a long time, you have every right to question the Melo trade, but for all Amare has done for this franchise since he got here, he deserves much better treatment.  

    I think what they are trying to indicate, and if not them than me, is that Amare is Amare when Melon Willson Chandler or the opposite: Elo is Elo when Amare is K Martin or Birdman.

  40. latke

    d-mar: Wow, I guess you guys have run out of derogatory comments for Melo, so now you’re throwing Amare under the bus??

    I was talking about Melo not Amare. We’ve seen Amare play well for long stretches. I’m not convinced that ‘Melo will.

    since trade:
    amare: +23
    carmelo: +9

    ‘Melo was way ahead until he decided beating Dante Jones 1 on 1 was more important than beating Indiana. He was on fire in that last Indy game and could have had a very VERY efficient 22 points. Instead he ended with a decently efficient 29. I mean, that’s melo in a nutshell to me. Top 3 offensive skills. Still kind of a baby.

  41. Doug

    Watching Morehead State… Kenneth Faried’s second jump is ridiculous. It’s like he’s a video game character tapping the B-button.

  42. Owen

    D mar – don’t know how amare got into the discussion. Certainly pre op amare had a ceiling nene can’t touch. But these days I dont think there is all that much to choose between them. We are going to get to see what kind of win total melo, billups and amare can put together. It shouldn’t be much different than what nene melo and billups put up; which was 50 wins in a stacked conference.

    It’s been said before but the real difference maker for the knicks has been fields not amare. Without fields we would be a 40 win team and you’d believe me when I said amare is overrated post microfracture. With fields the amare savior meme has been crazy hot.

  43. knickterp

    I think the strongest point made was that Amare–like most “stars” in the NBA–paces himself in the regular season and then turns it on in the playoffs. For example, I might want Nene or Horford for a March game against the Pacers. But I want Amare for a May game against the Magic. Living out here in LA, it seems to be an annual rite of spring when the Lakers tread water, play listlessly, and fans start getting nervous. Then Kobe amps it up when it counts… (And remember Boston’s regular season last year?)
    I actually think this is Chicago’s achilles heel. Thibodeau has them playing full-bore every night (they seem to have big leads every game, don’t they), and I’m sure that being a super-intense guy he is screaming about “effort” at all times. When things go bad, as they might in the playoffs, I can see the players tuning him out (see every Scott Skiles coaching stop). D’Antoni is the exact opposite. So let’s see what happens in the playoffs.

  44. tenebrous

    Amare is a jumpshooter. He is a real 2 in a 5 body. What the folks that train him need to do, in the next how many practices they have, is put him in a corner and have learn how to play one on one (lookup mj and koby). Stat doesn’t know how to play one on one. No finess etc. Can stat beat any player one on one (without offensive fouls)? Not sure. He needs to learn the one on one game. This will allow him to be more creative in getting to the basket as well as dishout the ball. He will also commend double teams. The reason he was great with the Suns as a dominate bigman is because he had so much dancing help with Nash.

    Elo is a true 3. Don’t know what Elo needs to do except maybe have La La at more games and/or understand that seven seconds or less mean you to Elo.

  45. knickterp

    Re 54–Yeah, Kobe’s awful. Good sample size too. I’m so grateful Jerry West wasn’t our GM to trade for his draft rights so long ago.

  46. BigBlueAL

    Funny part about all of Denver’s cap room is that it comes from Nene, JR Smith and Kenyon Martin becoming FA’s along with Chander plus Afflalo being restricted FA’s.

    Its not as easy as saying wow Denver is so young now and good plus has all this cap space!!!! They are going to have some tough decisions coming up soon. They are not going to be able to keep this same team and add much to it. Not to mention Gallo becomes restricted next off-season.

  47. Doug

    tenebrous: Can stat beat any player one on one (without offensive fouls)? Not sure. He needs to learn the one on one game.

    Stat beats guys one-on-one facing up all the time.

  48. jon abbey

    Faried looks like Reggie Evans, all boards and nothing else. too small to be a primary post defender and raw/bad on offense. no, thank you.

    (yes, I am writing him off after watching him for a half :) )

  49. BigBlueAL

    Also Faried suffers from asthma too. Not sure if its that big a deal but might be something that could hurt his draft stock maybe??

  50. Owen

    Haven’t seen faried too much but seem like he would be a nice gamble where we are drafting.

    Looks like a freakish athlete, and doesn’t look at all like Evans, totally different body type. Kind of like balkman on steroids

  51. totti

    The best blog, the most intelligent
    shaken by waves of emotional disappointment and fatalism.
    Come on, knicks fans…

    I am sure, the knicks can beat anyone in the east, i’m really is.
    Billups will be great, role players will follow. melo and amare will occasionally defend. The knicks can be the surprise of the east.
    The nuggets can be the surprise of the west.
    The magic of the trade.

  52. BigBlueAL

    jon abbey: they’re both 6? 8?.  

    Right but Faried looks longer and certainly alot more athletic. Although Evans is long too but just not as explosive looking as Faried.

  53. flossy

    I would add a younger, more athletic Reggie Evans to this team. In a heartbeat. Hell, considering the way our big men rebound I’m starting to lust after Evans himself. But yeah, I’m down with Faried. Who else is there? Fredette? What.ever.

  54. JK47

    Reggie Evans is Kenneth Faried’s floor. His ceiling is Dennis Rodman.

    Faried does more than just board– he blocks shots and he plays defense like his life is depending on it.

  55. Robert Silverman

    I’ve been on the Faried bandwagon since last year (and not to pat myself on the back, I’ve been gaga for Jimmer Fredette since last March too). I really hope KF is around for the Knicks pick at 17-18.

  56. Frank

    I think Reggie Evans is exactly what we need right now. Instead we have Jared Jefferies — same offensive skill, worse defensive skill (at least against bigs), much worse rebounder. I’d be up for Faried coming.

  57. BigBlueAL

    The first 2 days of the tourney never ceases to amaze (not counting the new First 4 crap that started this year).

  58. Ben R

    Owen: D mar – don’t know how amare got into the discussion.

    I think I brought him in. I just think you cannot criticize Melo without talking about Amare. They overlap so much that I think the reason getting Melo hasn’t helped us much is that we already had an offensive focal point in Amare and Melo is redundant. Neither player brings much besides offense to the table and both are poor defenders so it’s not that Melo or aMare are bad it’s just we don’t need them both, especially not at 20 mil each.

    d-mar: Wow, I guess you guys have run out of derogatory comments for Melo, so now you’re throwing Amare under the bus??

    When is criticizing our players off-limits. People couldn’t throw Felton under the bus soon enough and he played harder and gave up just as much for this team as Amare, Lee gave us five good years yet people crucified him. Amare is a good player and I’m happy he’s a Knick but he has major flaws and I don’t think it is out of line to point them out. It’s not an attack on Amare to say I would rather have a top 5 center, of which Horford is and Nene is close, than Amare. I would rather have Wade than Fields but that is no slight on Fields.

  59. tenebrous

    Doug:
    Stat beats guys one-on-one facing up all the time.  

    And I hope he continues doing that. Having said that, the man doesn’t even know how to dribble, dance, shake-n-bake, and demand double and triple teams at all times. My theory is also that wants he learned how to dribble he might learn how to defend. Dribbling makes you more athletic and less of a brut. Imagine if Stat had a little finess – he could be scoring 40 every game. Why? Because he would be going to the line more times so maybe 50 every game. Stat is probably a worst dribbled than even that dude that scored 100 in an NBA game. With Nash Stat played above the rim and didn’t really need to dribble (see mj, koby, lb, elo, wade). I love when Stat comes off a curl and makes the shot (Andy is great at that – probably better than Ray Allen. Don’t know why MikeD don’t use Andy on that) Anyway Its beautiful to watch. Having said that – On the Knicks Stat is sometime in iso and hence put him in a corner and teach him to dance. Maybe have Elo teach him to dance $17M is $17M.

  60. tenebrous

    But both elo and Stat should be playing together against one another one on one in practice. No hard fouls but some trash talking, defense and dancing around. If nothing else, they can at least fire eachother up and help eachother improve.

  61. tenebrous

    Last one: how about fields and Andy one on one, shelden and jef, one on one, billups and Douglass one on one, turi and balkman/shawne one on one, Carter and dbrown … Etc etc etc …

  62. ess-dog

    tenebrous: But both elo and Stat should be playing together against one another one on one in practice. No hard fouls but some trash talking, defense and dancing around. If nothing else, they can at least fire eachother up and help eachother improve.  

    OK I give up. Why is he “elo”? Because he doesn’t play any M? Is it like a weird avi Lee thing that I don’t understand?

  63. nicos

    I have to say I’m a bit baffled by all of the Nene love. I like him, he’s a very, very efficient medium volume scorer. But… he’s a poor rebounder for a center (8.4 per 36 career 13.4% while Amare for comparison is at 9.2 per 36 and 14.5%) and while he’s not a bad defender he’s pretty average- he’s nowhere near a Noah or Tyson Chandler. And unless I’m mistaken he’s been on the same team that hasn’t been able to get out of the first round as a certain Knick who shall go unnamed. Is he going to be worth the 11-12 million he’s going to get? Probably, if he stays healthy, but if he’s your best or even second best player you have no shot at a championship.

  64. Robert Silverman

    ess-dog:
    OK I give up.Why is he “elo”?Because he doesn’t play any M?Is it like a weird avi Lee thing that I don’t understand?  

    Don’t feed the troll.

  65. Robert Silverman

    thepalerider: I still say we should have kept Brewer.I’m shocked no one is really talking about this.Why let him go?  

    Yes – Brewer’s a better prospect/player than Mason/Walker/Brown (the guys he’d take PT from) – but if we’re talking the 10th-11th guy in the rotation, you’d rather have a “happy to be here”/less-talented guy than someone pouting.

    And yes, this is all speculation on my part

  66. Owen

    “Is he going to be worth the 11-12 million he’s going to get? Probably, if he stays healthy, but if he’s your best or even second best player you have no shot at a championship”

    That’s exactly how I feel about Amare and Melo. But the opportunity cost of employing them is the possibility of Paul or Williams. You could win a title paying nene 11-12 and having him be your third best guy. You can’t win a title paying your third best guy 20 million.

  67. nicos

    thepalerider: I still say we should have kept Brewer.I’m shocked no one is really talking about this.Why let him go?  

    His agent also represents Amar’e and (maybe more importantly) Shawne Williams- most likely just a favor to him to get his client playing time in a contract year and you hope he returns the favor by getting Shawne to sign a reasonable contract for next year. Bottom line is as bad as Brewer is on the offensive end (and given he can’t defend the post) he wasn’t going to see more than 10-12 minutes a game anyway.

  68. ess-dog

    Owen: “Is he going to be worth the 11-12 million he’s going to get? Probably, if he stays healthy, but if he’s your best or even second best player you have no shot at a championship”That’s exactly how I feel about Amare and Melo. But the opportunity cost of employing them is the possibility of Paul or Williams. You could win a title paying nene 11-12 and having him be your third best guy. You can’t win a title paying your third best guy 20 million.  

    Took the words right outta my mouth.

  69. tenebrous

    ess-dog:
    OK I give up.Why is he “elo”?Because he doesn’t play any M?Is it like a weird avi Lee thing that I don’t understand?  

    It’s just my preferrence. what is M? Who is Avi? Or who is Avi Lee? Anyway elo is shorter and faster to write. When he’s a Melo he takes too long to shoot. When he’s Elo it’s faster. Plus elo kinda reminds me of the word halo. Regardless, I personally like an Elo than a Melo on my team.

  70. Nick C.

    Is it too late to jump on the Faried bandwagon? Next question. How different would he be than Shelden Williams, who gets no burn?

  71. KnickfaninNJ

    Weirdly enough, I just realized by these numbers the Knicks got more offensively than they lost defensively. I wasn’t expecting that from the trade, but it’s a hopeful sign. I had thought, like many of you, that Melo wouldn’t improve our offense much because it was already good.

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