Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Three Days of Practice

True leaders gone,
Of land and people.
We choose no kin but adopted strangers.
The family weakens by the length we travel…

– “Three Days” by Jane’s Addiction

Yesterday after last night’s post game interview, Mike D’Antoni said the team had three days of practices to figure out what’s wrong before the next game against Indiana. Clearly at 1-9 the team needs a shakeup, so I thought as Knick fans we could discuss what changes you’d like to see come Wednesday.

The 2009 Knicks gave up 110.8 points per 100 possessions and were ranked 23rd. This year they are allowing 109.4, which is ranked 21st. So the defense is about the same as last year, which is what everyone expected. Doing the same comparison on offense shows a serious decline from 108.1 (17th) to 100.2 (25th). Scrutinizing the offensive 4 factors reveals the team’s main weakness. Their eFG has dropped from 50.3% to 47.7%. Other than that, the team has done slightly better with regards to turnovers, and slightly worse at rebounding.

So with those statistics in mind, I think it’s clear who needs to sit. Chris Duhon (29.2% eFG, 36.7% TS) should be at the top of the list, and in fact I’d lobby for him to receive his first DNP on Wednesday. In D’Antoni’s offense, the point guard is critical to the team’s success, and Duhon is the main culprit to their scoring woes. Duhon’s decline is baffling, because players don’t normally decline without reason. Perhaps there’s either a lingering injury or some off-court matter that is causing his putrid performance.

In his place I would play the rookie Toney Douglas. For all the talk of the Knicks passing on drafting Jennings, Lawson, and Blair, Douglas is quietly having a good November (21.1 pts/36, 59.8% eFG, 60.7% eFG). His assists are low, but perhaps that’s because he’s been more of a shooting guard in the offense (2.1 to/36, 1.5 ast/36). Handing the offensive reigns over to him, even if Douglas looks to score first, couldn’t be any worse than what Duhon is doing.

Next to Douglas would be Danilo Gallinari (58.4% eFG, 62.3% TS), David Lee (54.8%, 57.0%), and Larry Hughes (53.3%, 58.6%). Which leaves one spot open. Currently Wilson Chandler has been filling that role, but his shooting has been really bad as well (42.0%, 44.8%). In fact his three point percentage is at a point that he should just really stop taking them (21.9%). Unfortunately there isn’t another Knick who is shooting well enough to be a clear candidate to take his place. So my choice would be Darko Milicic. While Darko isn’t going to help the offense, he doesn’t take a lot of shots and he’ll theoretically help the team defensively.

A lineup of Douglas, Hughes, Gallo, Lee, and Darko should be decent enough defensively without sacrificing too much offense (unlike if they played Chandler and Jeffries). It would end the small ball lineup D’Antoni craves, and give the Knicks a little more size. Shifting Lee to PF would benefit him defensively, Douglas and Hughes would make a strong back court, and Darko could help with penetrators in the paint.

Nate Robinson would be the 6th man to provide scoring off the bench. If Curry were ready, I would use him in a center platoon with Darko, perhaps giving Jordan Hill some minutes there too. This would keep New York in a more traditional alignment for most of the game. And the rest of the minutes can be split between Chandler and Harrington. Actually the latter could earn a DNP in my book, if the Knicks can replace Lee in another way. All Harrington contributes is scoring, and this year his shooting has been substandard (44.2% eFG, 51.3% TS). Which means Harrington isn’t giving the team anything. Visually he’s been unbelievably selfish on the court taking just about every possession he can get his hands on.

Well that’s my take on the Knicks rotation. What’s yours?

98 comments on “Three Days of Practice

  1. irvin

    The case of Wilson Chandler is worth a post of its own (perhaps you had one, I don’t know. I’m a newcomer to your excellent blog!).

    It has been 3 years of people repeating the notion that he will be a star someday, in spite of Chandler never putting a string of 3 good games together.

    Now, he can’t even score. He misses all his 3-point attempts, he misees the little jump shots and he very seldom drives to the basket. He also looks a tiny bit overweight (his face reminds me of Winky Wright, the boxer). He has regressed a lot under D’Antoni. What’s going on? How many games or entire seasons before we conclude he is not a rookie any more and that we may have seen the best of him?

    *************
    At this point, D’Antoni must demand that Gallinari take at leat 20 shots per game. I cringe every time Harrington gets the ball and blatantly ignores an open Gallinari. The kid looks lost standing behind the 3-point arc waiting for a pass that never comes.

    The Knicks are not as bad as D’Antoni’s irrational coaching makes them. What about firing his assistants? What is Herb Williams good for? Who’s in charge of the defense?

    A total mess.

  2. Z-man

    Harrington has been really disgusting to watch. I don’t recall ever seeing a more selfish player. He just doesn’t seem to trust his teammates at all and doesn’t get the importance of getting everyone else going. Considering his preseason statements about being this team’s leader, I couldn’t be more outraged at his selfishness. He needs to be benched, period.

    Chandler is again being but in a position where he is bound to fail. I think he should be put in a position where he is playing on the weak side and closer to the basket, or clear goals should be established for him (like getting 2-3 offensive rebounds and 3-4 assists per game, and taking no more than 10 shots.) I don’t mind when he takes wide-open 3′s later in the shot clock, but jacking them up at will is just not going to work for him. The other parts of his game are acceptable for a 21 year old.

    I have never been sold on Duhon, and have felt all along that the decline after his initial success last year was due to the league adjusting to him. He just doesn’t have the skill to adjust back. He is what he is, a servicable back-up point guard. Again, too much has been asked of him. Thank goodness he’s in a contract year.

    Re: Douglas and Hill, does anyone really think we’d be much better off with Lawson and Blair right now rather than Hill and Douglas? Is Lawson that much superior to Douglas so far? Put Douglas on the Nuggets and I guarantee you his assist numbers would be higher. Hill is not the rebounding machine that Blair is, but Blair doesnt have the 15-20 ft game and shot-blocking potential that Hill does either. Hill will not be a bust and may wind up being very good. He is raw, but what I’ve seen so far convinces me that there’s a player in that long, athletic body waiting to emerge. He is showing skill on the offensive end inside and out, and while foul-prone, he has a defensive presence and energy. He has to start getting more time, the sooner the better. More generally, we may not have maxed out in this draft, but I really can’t complain too much about what I’ve seen from the rookies so far.

    I agree that Gallo needs to play a more diversified game on the offensive end. He is actually a good offensive rebounder and has a decent post game. He has not shown much of a dribble-drive game or a pick and roll game, but how can he with Harrington and Lee dominating those areas?

    I really don’t know what to say about Jeffries and Darko, they are both so lacking in certain areas that whatever they give you generally comes at a high price. Both probably should get 15-20 minutes of playing time.

    Hughes is just so maddeningly inconsistent and doesn’t seem able to adjust to his own inconsistencies. That pull-up jumper he got swatted away in crunch time the other day was emblematic. I guess we have no choice but to play him at the 2 vs. bigger guards, but it is not usually a winning proposition.

    The biggest disappointment to me so far is Nate. He has really not had any impact at all during these first few games, even before the injury.

    And then there’s Eddy. Assuming he is a rotation player and is close to his 2006-07 form, what implications does that have for the rotation? In a perfect world, he opens things up for everyone else and everyone’s game improves as he draws double teams. More realistically, adjusting to his presence might just break the mindset that has the team underachieving thus far. Clearly guys like Duhon and Chandler are spiraling into a confidence vacuum, adding to their woes. Maybe the shakeup of incorporating Eddy will help.

    All this being said, I basically agree with your take, Mike, we have nothing to lose (other than more games) at this point. In essence, let’s play the guys that are likely to be here next year and see what we got. Harrington and Duhon are not necessary to endure if we are going to lose anyway.

  3. d-mar

    Mike K., Z-man – good take on where we go from here. I remember a discussion on this board a few weeks ago where some of us wondered why Harrington has never become a star given his offensive abilities. I think that question has been resoundingly answered. I’m actually a little higher on Hughes than you guys, I know he has his 1-7 nights, but he does bust his butt on D and how many guys on this team can say that? I’d keep him in the rotation along with the guys you suggested.

    I also want to say thank goodness for this site and thanks Mike for keeping it going. After abominations like last night, it helps to go on Knickerblogger and find kindred souls and vent a little. And I’ve always been impressed with the level of intelligent discourse. I dream of the day when we can discuss Knicks’ playoff opponents and matchups instead of figuring out who sucks the least on this god-awful team.

  4. Mike Kurylo Post author

    irvin – you’re definitely new here. Although the commenters seem to be split on Chandler’s potential, there’s a sizable portion that feel he’ll be lucky to be an average NBA starter.

    z-man – I’m not sure about putting Chandler on the weak side. The weak side seems to get a lot of open looks from three. I think what he really needs is to slash to the hoop at every opportunity. He’s actually looked good when he’s doing that.

    Speaking of which, I watched some highlights from the Hawks game yesterday, and Crawford seemed to be venturing into the paint and going towards the hoop. Could it be he finally found a coach/system that is forcing him away from his weakness? Although I still have the under on his TS% at 55%.

  5. Knicks10

    When the Knicks offense stops being all about shooting 3s and more about taking it to the basket, creating easy shots and drawing fouls, then they might at least compete offensively…

    As for the defensive end. Clyde put it best last night. Teams are comfortable coming into the Garden. Defense is an attitude and willingness. The Knicks don’t display either.

  6. Z-man

    “I’m not sure about putting Chandler on the weak side. The weak side seems to get a lot of open looks from three. I think what he really needs is to slash to the hoop at every opportunity. He’s actually looked good when he’s doing that.”

    I have noticed that when he drives, he often runs into a turnover of some sort unless he clearly beats his man. Late in yesterday’s game, for example, he went across the lane to his left, didn’t see the help coming and ran right into an offensive foul.

    His 3-pt percentage last year was 32% on 4 shots per game, not great but not terrible either, so I don’t mind when he takes an open 3 especially late in the clock or in the set offense after the ball has been swung around.

    Either way, the big problem for me is the sheer volume of shots he takes. If he is taking only 9 (and better) shots and 2-3 (wide open) threes, the team can absorb his percentages from last year (and hopefully they would go up just by virtue of him being more selective.) He just can’t be taking more shots than Gallo, Nate, Lee or even Hughes.

  7. Count Zero

    Your lineup is precisely what I would go with at this point. You have nothing to lose by starting Douglas in place of Duhon, and even if Darko is bad, at least Lee won’t be quite as exposed on the defensive end.

  8. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. – but yours was only about 100 words. And no song lyrics either!

    And yore speeling is jusst a whee bit botter thin mines.

  9. chrisk06811

    I just spent 30 mins on the trade machine trying to find a taker for Harrington for a contract and a pick, and I can’t find anything that works. 19ppg and i can’t figure out how to give him away.

    Why can’t Lee rebound? Did they change the size of the lane or something?

    I guess the bright spot is that lee and nate only signed for 1 yr each, because neither are a bright spot right now.

    I say get curry back, slow it down a bit and let him play. maybe an interior presence gets gallo some open 3′s. standing by the line waving his arms at Al like he’s on fire isn’t doing it.

  10. George From Scottsdale

    Mike, your analysis is right on. There are really 4 issues with this “team”, used very loosely, the players, system, coaching, mentality.PLAYERS- the K’s actually have a fine young core. Let’s start Douglas, Chandler, Darko, Lee and Gallo, against a team with a “super star” you might start Hughes over Gallo. I would make Chandler the focal point of the O, make him drive to the basket even if he has to force the action and reduce his 3 output.N8, Hughes and Hill, and if Eddy can do anything, come off the bench. If N8 continues his antics, he sits! Landry gets “junk” time and Duhon, JJ and Al are out of the rotation completely. Duhon and Al can’t come back and JJ is useless.SYSTEM- SSOL is nothing more than “fast-break” b-ball but let’s get back to it! RUN every play, even on made baskets! on defense, stop the switching on every play, if Lee is covering a shooter on the perimeter, we have a problem! the reason to start Darko is to “funnel” every play toward him. COACHING- MD is a poor coach and we see it “up close” every day!He was “clueless” here in PHX on D and he hasn’t learned anything in NYC. Every team shoots 55+% or better against the K’s and that’s no accident. He has yet to develop any players on any team, please don’t mention Diaw or Bell, they’re bit players and for some reason he’s even shut down, SSOL with this team, the only offense they can win with ???MENTALITY- as much as this team is missing a “go to” player, they are missing a “leader” a la Oak or Johnson. Someone needs to put an opponent on his “a**” the next time they attempt an easy lay-up, even if they get tossed! Let Lee pick on the other team’s “star” and then set the tone for all future Knicks games. Thanks, the ‘ole ball caoch !

  11. cgreene

    I concur with all sentiments about how nice it is to be able to come here and commiserate. I also like how we have some serious grammarians around here too to keep our writing honest (-;

    I basically agree with everything mentioned related to the starting lineup as well. Lee stays because of his offensive efficiency.

    Here’s what concerns me the most. It is D’Antoni. When in Phoenix he said his job was not to “develop players” but actually that is what separates the great coaches from the good ones. Tactically these coaches are all very close. They know the game. They have the systems they like to play (although great ones also change systems based on personnel) Some are a little better at in game decisions than others. But the best get the most out of their players. To me no one was better at that than Riley. D’Antoni does not have his players playing to their potential. I understand that bringing in D’Antoni is supposed to attract LBJ and others because they know him and like him. BUT if we don’t get the top level star our problems become compounded because our young guys aren’t “developing”.

    So, sure. Let’s start Douglas and put Hill in the rotation. But do we have the right guy to teach them? Jackson, Pop, Riley, Brown even Karl. These guys stay around because they are great teachers. Remains to be seen if D’Antoni has that teaching quality. Maybe Mike caught lightning in a bottle in Phoenix with Nash surrounded by great athletes but the whole “system” is not sustainable.

    I leave with this example (more tactics than teaching). Gallo is the best or at least most talented player on the team. We have all complained countless times about his need to have the ball more. We know enough basic basketball to know there are a few ways to get it to him more. He posts up with a smaller player on him (which he usually has because he plays the 3 at 6’10″). You run the PNR with him as either ball handler or screener. Or you iso him (which we know D’Antoni won’t do)… Doesn’t D’Antoni know this too? And couldn’t he call for one of the first 2 options each time? Someone help me understand.

    Sorry for the ramble…

  12. cbrooklyn

    question….since HARRINGTON is DW’s “guy”, does he attempt to bring Al back next year?..even @ a cheaper price? they seem to have a close relatioship, and he has given him every contract he has had in the NBA….would any other team even want him? He is the classic definition of a “CHUCKER”..NO concept of team play whatsoever!!

  13. KNCIKS2010

    This matter has become truly ridiculous, I was at the game last night and the lack of effort was horrible. Duhon played like he was about to sh** himself and Chandler just never seems to be in the game. Jordan Hill played with amazing effort, and his play was likable and exciting, if you want to look towards the future (2010) and even now, I guarentee you it would be better to have Hill out there rather than Chandler. People are upset with Harrington but he’s showing an enormous amount of effort and the will to win. The ideal lineup for me would be.
    PG- Tony Douglas (but a limited amount of shots)
    SG- Larry Hughes
    SF- Gallo (HE SHOULD BE OUR GO TO GUY!!!!!)
    PF- Hill
    C- Darko/Lee
    I personaly can’t wait for the return of Curry, you must remember, when you put the personal life and all the criticism behind him, Curry can be a very good and sometimes excellent basketball player.

  14. cbrooklyn

    I also agree that Dantoni has to take SOME of the blame for this…at what point does he realize that the run and gun system IS NOT WORKING!! It seems like EVERYBODY has the “green light” to shoot, and the one handed lack luster passing is gut wrenching to watch every game!! Maybe some DEFENSIVE drills and Passing drills over the next 3 days may help…is defense and passing coachable?

  15. Mike Kurylo Post author

    I’m not ready to throw D’Antoni over the bridge just yet. Obviously this isn’t the ideal team for him, but how many other coaches would be able to produce a winning team out of this lot? D’Antoni took a bad team that fit him in Phoenix, and turned it into a juggernaut. Bad coaches don’t win 54-62 games over a 4 year span. This team just doesn’t fit D’Antoni, and I’ll be the first to admit there isn’t a lot to work with.

    If you want to blame someone other than the players, I think you have to look one level up from D’Antoni at Walsh. This lineup could have been: Lawson, Hughes, Gallo, Lee, Gortat with Blair coming off the bench along with Nate & Chandler. Lawson and Blair would help the offense, while Gortat could anchor the defense. Instead Walsh decided to hold his cards, ignore the numbers, and go with his scouts. How’s that working out?

  16. SeeWhyDee77

    …sigh..I’ve been sayin this on various sites for a while now. Part of me kinda expected this b/c we basically returned the same over-acheiving squad from last season, which is why I wanted Walsh to make moves now instead of next offseason. But on the other hand, the shooting woes should subside, and that seems to be one of our biggest problems this season. Defensively, let’s face it-we’re hopeless unless Curry learns to play D an rebound and Milicic gets more run. This season is a wash yal, so why doesn’t D’Antoni play the rooks more? I know he’s startin to give them minutes, but he should have been doin that from jump. Everybody’s criticizin Chandler, and I will to-even tho I think he has some value. My idea of letting him develop has been confused with the idea of choosin him over Lebron here. So before I speak my mind on Chandler, let me clarify. I am saying let the young talent develop instead of depending on Lebron possibly signing. Bottom line is this-if we sign LBJ, he’ll be all we have. Chandler plays better as a 3 than he does as a 2, so why not add pieces around Will and Gallo as opposed to just addin LBJ to a bunch of players he can’t play with? IF we have the money to build a squad around LBJ, then we’d be stupid not to. If LBJ is the grand plan, then trade Chandler now. Walsh is not willing to do that so, we almost have no choice but to let him develop. Now…right now Chandler sucks-big time. I like him, but it seems like he has no b ball IQ, and I believe sandy brought this up in an earlier thread. His strength is not hoistin up long jumpers, but he continues to do so. Good players play to their strengths..I wonder who told Will he was a good shooter? He is also playin worse defensively this season than he did last season. He’s too good for that. Al Harrington is being Al Harrington..enuf said about that rite? That dude amazes me…big and strong enuf to be a terror starting in the post, but he wants to play like a guard-amazing. David Lee is takin too many shots, his strength is not creating offense. He can score, but not good enuf to take as many shots as he does. I don’t know what to say about Duhon, I think he’s hurt still or something. I know he can’t possibly be THAT bad of a player. Overall, I think Chandler and Harrington are killing us on the floor, and D’Antoni is killing us with his coaching. He’s brilliant offensively, but he has the dumbest scheme defensively. Switching? Every game, Duhon ends up guarding a big frequently. How does that work? I think the season is gonna get better becuz at some point someone other than Rooster has to start makin shots. But I think 2 things Coach must do, is give Harrington a structured role in the offense like putting him on the high post or something and lettin him operate from there; and comin up with a better defensive scheme. It wouldn’t hurt for him to include plays that allow Chandler to slash more. That would be a good start

  17. ess-dog

    It’s going to take a long time t get Chandler’s value back to just what it was this offseason. I think he should take 2 weeks for an intensive workout/rehab. He just looks awful. His decision making was always suspect but his athleticism always buoyed him. He needs to get that back so that he can make the proper cuts and have the hops to get to the hole and stay in front of his man on D.
    Plus, where do you play him?
    He’s really a slashing small forward. He’s not a 2 guard. He can get by as a power forward, but that’s not ideal for us. I’d rather have Gallo at pf. A line up of Douglas, Nate, Chandler, Gallo and Hill is probably the closest thing to a run-gun D’Antoni lineup we have. Al, Jeffries and Duhon have to sit. Lee could be a great 6th man. Give Landry a shot. Let Curry and Hughes try to help a bit.

  18. Owen

    “I think you have to look one level up from D’Antoni at Walsh. This lineup could have been: Lawson, Hughes, Gallo, Lee, Gortat with Blair coming off the bench along with Nate & Chandler. Lawson and Blair would help the offense, while Gortat could anchor the defense.”

    I forgot about Gortat. Definitely add him to the list of big-uglies we could have gone after to shore up our defense (if we were less wedded to the 7SOL philosophy.)

    I have to say though, I am shocked our defense isn’t the worst in the league.

    And great post, the KB staff is really delivering of late, I have to say…

  19. mase

    I dont know but this is my lineup, I think Lee is the 6th man and harrington 7th
    My 5:
    Douglas
    Nate
    Hughes
    Chandler
    Gallo

    Yes Gallo is my center! (We actually go without a center with this lineup) but he can defend centers with his height and force them to guard him on the outside opening up the middle for our 4 guard llineup…. This lineup gives us a great speed attack on offense and our most versatile defenders on the perimeter( we get killed in the middle but that’s going to happen with Lee or Milic)
    Anyone else like it?

  20. Z-man

    “Anyone else like it?”

    Sorry, Mase, not me. Gallo is foul prone as it is and wouldn’t last long in the center spot. I like Gallo at the 3 in a big lineup and the 4 in the smaller one.

    Let’s assume that Curry is finally ready to play, I mean really play. In 2 weeks, I predict the lineup will be:
    Curry, Lee, Gallo, Chandler, Douglas
    Off the bench; Hughes, Harrington, Nate, Duhon, Jeffries
    Spot Duty: Darko, Hill

    I personally would start Hughes or Nate over Chandler, and would phase out Harrington and Jeffries and give Hill and Curry more and more time. Unless Harrington has a revelation (or a lobotomy) and starts passing the ball.

  21. BigBlueAL

    Check out Nate’s latest tweet which was his first one in over a month:

    “Man yall talk way too much garbage….shut yall mouths…”

    LMAO he must be getting a shitload of tweets ripping him and the team. Surprisingly I havent been one of them.

  22. Robert Silverman

    Wait, how were we supposed to get Marcin Gortat? Orlando matched Dallas’ offer. He was a restricted FA – they’d have matched Walsh’s as well.

  23. jon abbey

    Brandon Jennings has 53 with a few seconds left, breaking the alltime opponent record for GS with 29 in the 3rd quarter, and Lew Alcindor’s Bucks rookie record for a game (51).

  24. SJK

    Brandon Jennings had more points tonight (55) than Jordan Hill has minutes played all year long (35)… wow. seriously? We deserve Lebron for all this suffering.

  25. greatscott

    Walsh did not have a “feel” for Jennings’ game. Walsh has a feel for Rubio’s game. Walsh said he was going to contact Kahn about Rubio again.

    The Timberwolves are also off to a 1-9 start, and Kahn has written a desperation letter and said, “We are 1-9, having lost nine in a row. Our record was to be expected(?)….It has been hard for us to sustain a running game without our best rebounder, Kevin Love, and with Al Jefferson still not all the way back from his ACL knee injury.”

    Perhaps Kahn could use Jordan Hill and Wilson Chandler to go along with the 4 PG’s he drafted for the rights to Rubio. Rubio will be a Knick eventually.

    A (desperation) Letter from Kahn:
    http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=958496&sid=9782adc7d85a62ad99e11a0d82431497

  26. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Jennings being great is bad, but I honestly am more irked at Lawson and Blair, because while I would have been fine if the Knicks had drafted Jennings, I can’t say that he was someone I was clamoring for, unlike Lawson and Blair.

    Lawson and Blair seemed like no-brainers that they would succeed in the NBA while Jennings seemed more of a question mark – the talent was obviously there, but I don’t think any of us knew that he was going to put it together like this.

  27. ess-dog

    “I don’t think any of us knew that he was going to put it together like this.”

    Yeah, who would have reason to believe that the most highly lauded high school player since LBJ would be any good? Obviously a raw, third year post player w/ poor stats who wasn’t even ranked in the top 100 his senior year should be taken ahead of him.

    This team is a disaster, and I agree with Mike that D’Antoni’s not to blame, it falls on Walsh. Perhaps some people are fine with the switch from Isaiah’s horrible moves to Walsh’s mediocre moves, but I’m not. We deserve better.

  28. jon abbey

    “I don’t think any of us knew that he was going to put it together like this.”

    we needed a PG desperately, and he went just after we picked. yes, I preferred Lawson personally, and if Walsh had gone that way, I would not be complaining about Jennings now. my criticism is not taking a PG with Lawson and Jennings both still on the board, and no, Toney Douglas is not really making me feel much better about it.

  29. DS

    ess-dog – My sentiments exactly.

    I posted something in the Eddy Curry thread from the Times that said that Walsh had said he passed on Jennings because he hadn’t gotten the chance to familiarize himself with Jennings’s game! I hope that is a misstatement because a GM should be familiar with every potential top 10 pick. They even say that this is due to the fact that he was playing in Italy, the very country that their previous lottery pick had been playing. It’s especially irksome because the Bucks are winning (I’m sure Skiles and the rest of the roster deserve some credit).

    On a side note, I saw that Noah is leading the league in boards. It’s bad day in terms of what could have been.

  30. Sandy

    This is a joke. How many people actually could have predicted Jennings would have been this good. He had serious attitude and ego problems heading into the draft and his stats in Europe were far from stellar. Hill has barely had time and we are calling him a bust. Jennings also has the ball in his hands 95% of the time while Hill has to bust his ass just to get a touch on the ball. Comparison at this point is irresponsible and impossible. Obviously Jennings is off to a hot start, but proclaiming Hill worst than the other points drafted after him does not make sense because he has barely gotten minutes and he doesn’t get the ball in his hands a lot.

  31. Sandy

    also with david lee potentially leaving, who was gonna be our power forward? if lee does leave next year (which I wouldn’t be too upset with”) we now have a versatile big to develop. considering duhon played decent last year and that lee might have been gone before the year started, i think a big was also an immediate concern. i, also, am a little bit concerned that hill’s college stats weren’t that impressive. but to say choosing hill over the rest of the field was such a shocker is just not true.

  32. daJudge

    MK–great post with sound reasoning. I totally agree with Z-man at post 25 in the event Curry comes back in shape. I would not start Chandler and would also go with Hughes. From the little that I have seen of him, Hill needs more time. Harrington is trying hard, but is not playing team ball, which has been pointed out many times. I do have a problem with the coaching. I don’t believe that even a decent coach force fits a system around players who do not have the skill set to succeed in that system. IMO, at a minimum, a highly competent point guard (see, Jon Abbey, above) is an absolute under D’Antoni’s system. Of course, good outside shooting is also needed. These Knicks do not and have never had these qualities for many, many years. To me, it’s on the coach to craft a team that can compete based on their concrete skills, not some abstract, non-existent wish list. I know these Knicks aren’t very good, but at least maximize what you have. For example, there is no reason why these Knicks can’t play gritty defense, set hard picks, throw proper outlet passes, fight through screens, draw fouls, etc… I’ll go far out on a limb—I think the team has been forced into a style they simply cannot play and this confuses them offensively and drags them down effort wise.

  33. irvin

    Sandy wrote:

    “Comparison at this point is irresponsible and impossible. Obviously Jennings is off to a hot start, but proclaiming Hill worst than the other points drafted after him does not make sense because he has barely gotten minutes and he doesn’t get the ball in his hands a lot.”

    Well said.

  34. Sandy

    Although to backtrack a little, Hill usage rate, 26.1, is close to Jennings usage rate around 30. Hill has a ridiculous PER around 30 right now! How could you guys be possibly regretting this pick.

  35. irvin

    D’Antoni’s coaching leaves a lot to be desired. A perfect example is his inisistence that Duhon stay as the Knicks PG. In doing that, he is hurting the team. It is not like Duhon is on a 6 or even 10 game bad streak. Duhon has not played well for more than 50 games! There is something definitely wrong with the guy, because he seems to be trying, but the skill is just not there.

    Bottom line is that, for some reason, all the starters are playing worse by the day and D’Antoni seems unwilling or unable to notice. Chandler has never been great or consistent, but he is now getting worse by the day, greatly diminishing any trade value. Lee is playing no defense whatsoever and his rebounding is off. Jeffries is absolutely useless out there, while Darko – a bit better than Jeffries – has been put in the dog house by D’Antoni for no apparent reason.

    Maybe D’Antoni is forcing his (flawed) style on players who can’t play that style with any effectiveness. It’s really discouraging to see the Knicks play like a bunch of high school kids. There is no passing, there is no penetration, there is no defense. All they do shoot misguided (in every sense!) 3-pointers for no apparent reason.

    Where is the coaching?

    Welsh takes the blame for this mess in today’s NY Post article. But if he is telling the truth, that he is the one responsible for this mess, how come D’Antoni is calling his players “zombies”? Isn’t he supposed to know that it is Walsh’s fault?

    Somebody is lying to us here…

  36. astrasberg

    I have a few points to make about what I’ve read here:

    1) It’s taken eight years to get to this point. Starting with end of Ewing’s run and acquiring Howard Eisley and Shannon Anderson, the Knicks have stunk and worse under Isiah — been hopeless.

    Walsh to his credit got rid of guys who people thought nobody would want last year: Jerome James, Randolph and Crawford, and hopefully he can continue to clear the books for 2010. But it’s not just about 2010, being under the cap give the team flexibility to get real players not just other team’s cast offs. Getting under the cap is when the real building starts or we can continue to live for the short term gains that Isiah provided. How’d that work out for the team?

    Look Isiah got five years as GM, Walsh deserves at least three.

    I agree I would have liked to the Knicks to take Lawson and Blair, though Jennings I wasn’t as sure about. People were high on Curry too, and he hasn’t been lighting it up. This is one area where the Knicks (and Walsh) need to do better, but come on.

    It’s ten games into the season, it’s way to early to judge if this is a good class or not. Gallinari looks like he could be a valuable player going forward, maybe not a stud, but an important player for a good team, Douglas has looked like he can contribute as well. And while the jury is still out on Hill, I don’t think you can say he’s a bust based on these ten games.

    And yes it’ll suck to watch our first round pick go to Utah, sigh, thanks Isiah, but that’s more of the trash from the past that needs to be let go it.

    2) D’Antoni is a good coach, think Phil Jackson could win with these jokers? Seriously? D’Antoni won 50+ four years in a row, his system works, but watch the Knicks, is anyone running the system? Do they ever fast break?

    3) I don’t get the love of Darko? Sure he’s a nice role player, a player who has a skill this team sorely needs, but we’re his forth team in 7 or 8 years. This guy is not going to turn the season around by any means even if he’s the best defensive center in the league.

    This team sucks, and it’s disappointing because it doesn’t have their first rounder next year. But at least Walsh and D’Antoni are professionals, they have a plan and are sticking to it. It’s hard to be patient after eight years in the wilderness, but there is hope if we can only take a breath and not hold these guys accountable for the sins of the past.

  37. Sandy

    I have a couple of thoughts on the rotation right now.

    If we start playing the young guys right away, with a lineup of Douglas, Hughes, Chandler, Gallo, and Lee, with Hill as the 6th, we are probably setting ourselves up for a 20 win season. I am a little worried with handing the keys to the kingdom to the rooks so early. If they are guaranteed minutes and given starting playing time, do you think that they might also become complacent? Also, forcing them to play against the 1st units of other teams may affect their performance and erode confidence at such an early stage of their career. I don’t know if we have the kinds of rooks who can handle that kind of pressure.

    The only was we get ourselves back to 32 wins (which I believe is necessary to keep our draft pick from being john wall) at this point is to get our veterans performing at or near the level they were performing last year. Benching them and starting a youth movement will kill their confidence, spark dissent, and could be a poor atmosphere for our young guys. We need the vets out there and working hard. We need to fix our system, work through our problems, and bring the rookies along slowly. I know this is not a popular opinion but i think there is some merit too it. I too want to see our rookies exceed, but I want them to really earn it and not get it by default.

  38. irvin

    It is not about playing the rookies only, Sandy. I agree with most of what you say.

    However, it is not about the players only. It is about the coaching.

    Short examples: why doesn’t D’Antoni DEMAND that Harrington shares the ball with others? Why doesn’t D’Antoni DEMAND that Gallinari gest the ball more often, so that he can start producing more in accordance with his potential?
    Why doesn’t D’Antoni DEMAND that Chandler drives to the basket more often, instead of settling for those jumpers he frequently misses? Why doesn’t D’Antoni bench Duhon after 50+ straight bad games? Why doesn’t D’Antoni realize the Knicks – not great shooters – can’t possibly win when opponents are scoring 120 points on a regular basis?

    Those are coaching decisions, and dismal, inept coaching is making a bad, limited Knicks team look much worse than they are.

  39. Knicks10

    So Jennings scores 55. Can he be a point guard or is he another J Crawford?

    Hill, the little he has played, has played well!

  40. Sandy

    That’s a good point, idk. Maybe we need to go back and look at what things are team did last year to have limited success. Number 1 in my opinion is getting Duhon and Lee back on track and moving the ball.

  41. danvt

    Mike,
    I agree that Douglas should start but your assertion that Duhon should get a DNP is arrogant and silly. You need to think whether something like this could or should ACTUALLY HAPPEN before publishing. You need to think about what would happen if it happened. There’s like 70 games to go. What does our guard rotation become? Douglas, Robinson, and Hughes? Is Chandler gonna play PG? Benching Duhon is a dumb knee jerk reaction reminiscent of an irate late night caller to WFAN. You know better. We need Duhon to play and play well. What other options do we have? We traded Mardy Collins, remember? Duhon has been horrible, but he won’t continue to be this bad. Like it or not he’s going to be in there for probably close to 30 minutes per game. It’s up to the coach to get him productive again. Ditto Harrington. He has skills. Chandler can’t stay this bad either. The coach needs to utilize his players skills. This has been the main failure. Seven seconds or less with a bad shooting team is a nightmare. So many long caroms and fast breaks on the other end. In Phoenix it was fluid. In NY it is forced. They just look like they have no plan at all out there. So, confident players like Hughes and Harrington end up taking it upon themselves.

    I am really disapointed in D’Antoni the coach and Walsh the GM. Passing on Jennings now is obviously A CATASTROPHE! I tuned in to watch him and Steph Curry battle last night and he, in my opinion, and that of Jalen Rose on ESPN, is the clear front runner for ROY. We also could have had Von Wafer on this team. Does anyone else feel nervous about these guys having their hands on our cap space next summer?

    My fix is to get a coach that works intelligently and a GM that doesn’t tell players before the season starts that they’ll be gone next year (and who, of course, makes intelligent decisions with the present roster). Lame duck players don’t play unselfish basketball.

  42. Mike Kurylo Post author

    “Wait, how were we supposed to get Marcin Gortat? Orlando matched Dallas’ offer. He was a restricted FA – they’d have matched Walsh’s as well.”

    Oh yeah, you’re right. Good catch.

  43. Sandy

    From danvt:

    “Benching Duhon is a dumb knee jerk reaction reminiscent of an irate late night caller to WFAN. You know better. We need Duhon to play and play well. What other options do we have?”

    agree.

    “My fix is to get a coach that works intelligently and a GM that doesn’t tell players before the season starts that they’ll be gone next year (and who, of course, makes intelligent decisions with the present roster).”

    disagree.

    there are choices that D’Antoni can make to improve play for sure, but the again his players make the plays. Wouldn’t that also be a knee-jerk reaction after 10 games? D’Antoni improved our win total by 9 games last year with a similar roster. He will sort this team out and he is also one of the best coaches for attracting free agent talent. You can question some of Donnie’s picks, but he has done what he has said he would do and now we have tremendous cap flexibility which a step you need to take to build a contender.

  44. Mike Kurylo Post author

    “On a side note, I saw that Noah is leading the league in boards. It’s bad day in terms of what could have been.”

    Gee who’da thunk he’d be good?

    “Hill has barely had time and we are calling him a bust. Jennings also has the ball in his hands 95% of the time while Hill has to bust his ass just to get a touch on the ball. Comparison at this point is irresponsible and impossible. Obviously Jennings is off to a hot start, but proclaiming Hill worst than the other points drafted after him does not make sense because he has barely gotten minutes and he doesn’t get the ball in his hands a lot.”

    Exactly. Remember Jennings is a 19 year old, who knows how bad he’ll be by Hill’s age? There are a lot of 30 year olds in the NBA, and being in that age group I have to tell you it’s tough to guard these young kids. They’re so fast.

    Also PGs develop much quicker than PFs. I mean a PF has to learn how to jump AND block shots, while point guards just give the ball to someone else and let them do all the hard work. If we’re judging players on how much court time they receive, we may not know how good Jordan Hill is for years.

  45. Mike Kurylo Post author

    “I agree that Douglas should start but your assertion that Duhon should get a DNP is arrogant and silly. You need to think whether something like this could or should ACTUALLY HAPPEN before publishing. You need to think about what would happen if it happened. There’s like 70 games to go. What does our guard rotation become? Douglas, Robinson, and Hughes? Is Chandler gonna play PG? Benching Duhon is a dumb knee jerk reaction reminiscent of an irate late night caller to WFAN. You know better. We need Duhon to play and play well. What other options do we have? We traded Mardy Collins, remember? ”

    The benching of Duhon doesn’t need to be for the rest of the season. I think a game or two on the bench contemplating what the heck is wrong with him might snap him out of the funk. Certainly better than just giving him 33 minutes a night and praying for divine intervention. And if you replace benching with giving him 5-10 minutes a night, then I’m fine with that as well.

  46. d-mar

    Jennings’ 55 continues our season of Knick fans in purgatory:

    -Heading for a 20 win season without our lottery pick
    - Noah leading the league in boards
    – Channing Frye suddenly becoming a 3 pt. marksman
    – Jamal Crawford actually shooting at a high percentage (and I’m very happy for the guy, BTW)

    I guess the list goes on – Ariza, etc. Someone above was right, after all this misery, we deserve LeBron!

  47. tastycakes

    Remember Brandon Jennings shit-talk video tape that came out after the Knicks passed on him? Lots of reasons to dislike the guy. Dropping a double-nickel (with 5 boards and 5 assists) is damned impressive. Not to mention: his team is winning. The *Milwaukee Bucks* are 5-2 and playing great defense. So yeah, color me surprised. I didn’t watch the guy play in Italy, but let’s face it, he has arrogant me-first scoring point guard written all over him. Will be a great story if he turns into a big star. (And yet another reason to hang out heads in shame for totally failing in this draft).

  48. Z-man

    It is fair to say that Jennings was not on the top of the list on this site. Most of the talk was about Lawson, Curry and Rubio. So if you can’t pull up a post during the pre-draft period where you specifically lobbied for drafting Jennings, second-guessing Walsh on that is pretty lame. Lawson is another story, although there was no guarantee that if we drafted Lawson, Blair would be available.

    Besides, I think it’s a joke to presume that we’d be better off in the long run with Lawson and Blair than with Hill and Douglas at this point, and even more of a joke in the short run. Stephan Curry has sucked so far, does that mean he is a bust pick?

    Re: Blair vs. Hill, are the stats thus far so glaringly different? If fact, Hill’s look better in most areas:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&=b&p1=blairde01&y1=2010&=h&p2=hilljo01&y2=2010&=&=:

    With Lawson vs. Douglas, both are impressive, although TD is clearly looking more like a shooting guard. That doesn’t mean that his assist total won’t improve; but to make it seem like one is vastly superior to the other is silly. And Lawson was an injury-prone 5’11″.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&=l&p1=lawsoty01&y1=2010&=d&p2=douglto01&y2=2010&=&=

    IMHO, the hand-wringing about the draft on this site is really out of control.

  49. ess-dog

    “This is a joke. How many people actually could have predicted Jennings would have been this good. He had serious attitude and ego problems heading into the draft and his stats in Europe were far from stellar. Hill has barely had time and we are calling him a bust. Jennings also has the ball in his hands 95% of the time while Hill has to bust his ass just to get a touch on the ball. Comparison at this point is irresponsible and impossible. Obviously Jennings is off to a hot start, but proclaiming Hill worst than the other points drafted after him does not make sense because he has barely gotten minutes and he doesn’t get the ball in his hands a lot.”

    It’s not black or white. I think everyone’s liked what they’ve seen out of Hill in the regular season thus far. And I think he could be a good rotation player in the Dale Davis mold.
    But it’s not about making sure you get a player who’s not awful, but about getting the BEST available player, and very few people here or at the Garden during the draft thought Hill was the best available player at #8.

    “also with david lee potentially leaving, who was gonna be our power forward? if lee does leave next year (which I wouldn’t be too upset with”) we now have a versatile big to develop.”

    You contradict yourself here (though I know most of us have a love/hate relationship with Lee.) It really doesn’t matter who plays power forward this year – Al, Gallo, Chandler could all play there. And p.f. is arguably the deepest spot in the league and a deep position in 2010 (Amare, Dirk, Boozer, Bosh.) Point guard is a very tough position to fill… who was the Knicks last all-star point guard?

    I really wish Walsh had gone ahead and hired Mullin or someone younger to evaluate talent. To me, it seems like Hill had a good workout (a horrible thing to go by in scouting) and Walsh saw him as “value” and a “good fit”. And as far as Douglas, I think Mike D. just got a tip from coach K. and ran with it (much better than going by a workout, anyway.) And so there you have it. I still am going to root for the guys we have, it’s nothing personal. I just think Walsh could’ve done his job better in regards to the draft. He’s great at pinching pennies and shedding contracts, but I’m REALLY not sure about the talent evaluation at this point.

  50. taggart4800

    This is completely my own opinion as there aren’t stats that can quantify intelligence and mentality. But in my search to find something that resembling positive i have watched just about every interveiw that is posted online and i don’t think D’Antoni is a poor coach. I think his man management is perhaps poor. If you listen to Harrington speak it genuinely sounds as if he thinks he is the answer to the teams problems and that he is an elite player in the league that deserves all star recognition. He just oozes arrogance. It reflects in his play. Nate has these tendencies too.
    Duhon is not playing anywhere near what he is capable but i think it is on D’Antoni to instill a little of this arrogance in Duhon. It is almost impossible for a player to be in the league as long as Duhon, play college ball and start as PG and not be able to shoot 3′s from the top of the key and finish layups. When you hear him interviewed he is too submissive. Both he and D’Antoni at least say the right things in interveiw and seem to recognise the inadaquacies in the team. However he does need to change his attitude and become the leader of the team. I know i will get crucified for that! But he is D’Antoni’s guy and therefore should be the leader. Furthermore at least he is somewhat articulate. Some of the developmental problems of this team i think stem from the fact they are all JUST talented basketball players incapable of learning a system and i think D’Antoni’s system, rightly or wrongly, requires more players than just the point guard to be offensively aware. To hear Chandler interviewed is to understand why he is limited. I must say that some of David Lee’s Interveiws don’t exactly fill me with confidence either. whether he has had any scrap of fight beaten out of him but he sounds as though he is going through the motions. Whereas Nate and Duhon do seem to have this keeness in their eyes that does encourage me. I see the same from Douglas which reflects in his play. He is enthusiastic.
    Anyway… let the abuse begin
    But i beleive D’antoni is a good coach, perhaps lacking in the ability to motivate his point guard at the moment, that is trying to work with a roster of unintelligent players.
    (And yes there are plenty of grammatical and spelling errors in there i’m sure)

  51. taggart4800

    Have actually just read that last post and its virtually incoherent! Sorry to anyone who has attempted to read it…

  52. SJK

    I would just like to point out that no one expected us to be good this year. We have a bad team with bad attitudes. This is not D’Antoni’s fault or Walsh’s fault. Walsh has been making moves that all work towards the summer of 2010 and don’t hurt our team that much. The only thing we can argue about him doing wrong is the draft. I think getting Douglas at 29 was a steal, regardless of who else we could’ve gotten, and Hill has only played 35 nba minutes. It’s impossible to tell how he will pan out. The reason we are so bad is on the players. Everyone is just playing for themselves, which is to be expected considering how many people are in contract years. We need SOMEONE to step up and be a leader of this team… This year is going to suck, but everything is going according to plan thus far. We just need to fast forward to 2010

  53. astrasberg

    I guess my point isn’t that Walsh & D’Antoni are perfect or have a perfect record so far, but rather that it’s way to early to be coming to any judgement on their tenure leading the Knicks.

    This was a horrible team two years ago with little prospects for the future. We’re still a horrible team, but at least there seems to be a plan in place and a professionalism that didn’t exist in the past five years. Progress is being made, maybe not as quickly as we or they would like, but still I think there has been progress — getting rid of Randolph, James, Crawford, generally clearing out the cap hell of Isiah, adding Galinari, letting Lee play, possibly Douglas….

    Did Walsh blow this draft? Possibly…. Is it made all the worse by the fact we don’t have a pick next year, without a doubt. But they’ve only been in charge of the sinking ship that is the Knicks franchise for less than two years, you can’t expect them to be perfect, and you can’t expect them to clean every mistake of the past overnight, it’s going to take time.

  54. danvt

    “So if you can’t pull up a post during the pre-draft period where you specifically lobbied for drafting Jennings, second-guessing Walsh on that is pretty lame.”

    Wrong. I’m not the GM. He obviously saw something in Gallo and was able to figure it out from a different continent. That’s his job, and his quote in the Times that he didn’t know about Jennings is that of an old and tired man whose time has come and gone. BTW, prospects might reconsider the European basketball route now as it’s obvious that Brandon’s teammates and coaches were holding him back last year. Apparently, the same thing is happening to Jeremy Tyler in Israel.

    “Stephan Curry has sucked so far, does that mean he is a bust pick?”

    Absolutely not, and he sure did not suck last night (yes, I actually watched the game). Hey, it’s too early to judge any prospect right now but Jennings’ 55 points in willing his team to a comeback win is pretty compelling. He was not hogging the ball either. He came back after HIS 29 POINT 3RD QUARTER and continued to make the ball sing around the perimeter. He played a tremendous all around game.

    Look, nobody expected miracles from NYK this year but we expected better than no hope at all after 10 games. My thesis is that falls in the lap of the coach and GM.

    “The benching of Duhon doesn’t need to be for the rest of the season. I think a game or two on the bench contemplating what the heck is wrong with him might snap him out of the funk. Certainly better than just giving him 33 minutes a night and praying for divine intervention. And if you replace benching with giving him 5-10 minutes a night, then I’m fine with that as well.”

    The problem is, are you really helping him with this strategy? You’re into advanced stats. Duhon has not historically been this bad. Don’t you think he’s due for an outstanding game or two simply as a regression to the mean? We might actually win a game when it happens. Not playing guys does not help them, IMHO. Douglas has played well enough to start but we definitely lose a game where Duhon plays 5-10 minutes or less.

    I read a great post on this site last season where the Knicks lack of success was attributed to lack of interior defense. While there’s more to it than simply that, I think scapegoat-ing guys who’ve not shot well is overly simplistic. I’ve long thought that Lee is out of position at center, so, I’ll roll with Darko, Lee, Gallo, Douglas, and Robinson as starters but we can’t alienate rotation guys any more than has already happened.

  55. d-mar

    Re: Jennings, as much as it would have absolutely been really exciting to see him in a Knick uniform this year, there is no guarantee what his career will look like. Someone a few forums back brough up the careers of Marbury, Kenny Anderson and Damon Stoudamire as examples of guys who looked like they were destined for big things and really turned out to be just good and with the additional baggage of questionable attitudes and judgment.

    Re: D’Antoni – I guess one way to judge him would be to look at the true overacheiving teams right now and put their personnel up against the Knicks:

    Bucks 5-2 (w/o Redd)
    Pacers 4-3 (w/o Dunleavy and Murphy)
    Kings 5-4 (mostly w/o Kevin Martin)

    (I left out the Thunder because I know we’d all change rosters with them in a heartbeat) Is our personnel really that much worse than these teams? OK, maybe worse, but 1-9 worse? I know people will come back with Jennings, Grainger,etc. but as big a D’Antoni supporter as I’ve been, I’m starting to become a doubter. The blowouts are what really concern me, the Nets, as bad as they are (and undermanned) are competing almost every night. I know it’s up to the players to motivate themselves to some degree, but the coach needs to accept responsibility also, esp. when they don’t even show up to play.

  56. d-mar

    And one more thing on D’Antoni, Mitch Lawrence in the Daily News makes a great point about the 2000 Magic, a team of expiring contracts looking to get under the cap. Doc Rivers coached them to a 41-41 record and won Coach of the Year honors.

  57. jon abbey

    Duhon:

    “Don’t you think he’s due for an outstanding game or two simply as a regression to the mean?”

    or he’s just cooked, he’s a legendary party animal who was never especially talented.

    D’Antoni:

    I could care less about the W/L record, the point is that NY doesn’t look like they’re trying on either end. the talent level doesn’t matter, anyone can move their feet and right now NY is not doing that, for whatever reason.

  58. BK

    >>all the starters are playing worse by the day and D’Antoni seems unwilling or unable to notice.<<

    Irvin, there's a site called 82games.com that has statistics for the most used five-man units for D'Antoni coached teams over the last few years (Knicks and Suns). You might want to check it — D'Antoni has been a positive libertine with his lineups this year, constantly mixing and matching because so little is working right. This goes against his past tendencies of maintaining a shorter, more stable rotation: with the Suns, his two most frequently used units played over 1000 minutes every season except the one where Shaq was acquired. Last year, the Knicks' top 2 five man units didn't even total 600 minutes.

    So he definitely notices how poorly his putative starters are playing. Whether anything can be done with this motley crew is another story. I think coaching can only do so much, unless he scraps his style and lets the ball-dominant volume scoring guys get all the shots (which is sort of how many games at the end of last season played out — Nate and Al one-on-one and everybody else stands around, with DLee picking up some garbage once in a while).

    As far as Jennings, it's funny how Jordan Hill has quickly become Darko to Jennings' Wade, Lawson's Anthony, and Blair's Bosh after ten games. I won't beat this subject into the ground again (since I can count on my daily dose of Lawson-Blair updates with every new comment thread on Knickerblogger), but with regards to Jennings, people forget his agent pulled him from the green room on draft night because there was a feeling he might really slip in the draft. When Jennings was drafted tenth, we were treated to the comical sight of Jennings having to quickly put on a suit and rush to the Garden to make an awkward entrance from the back of the stage.

    I loved watching Jennings play last night…really amazing performance, just one of those special things that makes the game so much fun to watch. But I'm not losing sleep over not drafting him, because lots of people were wrong about him (wonder how Kahn feels about the PGs he drafted and the ones he sent off to other teams). The Hill pick may end up being another Frederic Weis, but I'll wait for more of the season to pass before I render that verdict.

  59. Z-man

    “Wrong. I’m not the GM.”

    That’s my point. Right now, Jennings is playing like a potential ROY, although Blake Griffin has yet to emerge. So why wasn’t he picked before Thabeet, Harden, Curry, Rubio, etc.? GMs have their job and credibility on the line and Jennings was viewed by many to be a crap shoot. According to every account I read, he did not especially impress in Europe and was thought to have an attitude problem. He was not seen as a pure PG either. If Milwaukee doesn’t take him there, maybe he drops a few more spots. Most every GM in the league passed on Blair at least once, some (including DW) more than once. Hindsight is 20-20, but Walsh’s perspective was shared by other GMs.

    ” And I think he could be a good rotation player in the Dale Davis mold. But it’s not about making sure you get a player who’s not awful, but about getting the BEST available player, and very few people here or at the Garden during the draft thought Hill was the best available player at #8.”

    First, show me the GM that has picked at least 10 draft picks and always got the best available player in hindsight. Walsh measures up pretty well in this regard. Gallo, for example, wasn’t the consensus #6 pick, and still has a long way to go to surpass some picked after him, but most of us are happy with him now that his back is better. I think Hill has already shown he has far more offensive potential than Dale Davis. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that Hill has already impressed many detractors with what he has shown thus far. Why are you and others assuming his ceiling is Dale Davis after a handful of cameos so far?

  60. daaarn

    I thought I had already steeled myself for the disaster this season was going to be, but it still hurts [it doesn't help Jennings exploded for 55]. I second the suggestion for just throwing caution to the wind and experiment w/ putting some of the young/new guys into the starting lineup. We can’t possibly do worse at this point.

  61. Mike Kurylo Post author

    “So if you can’t pull up a post during the pre-draft period where you specifically lobbied for drafting Jennings, second-guessing Walsh on that is pretty lame.”

    From June…

    http://www.knickerblogger.net/1981/pre-draft-link-o-rama.html#comment-276918

    “Well, I think it is highly likely that we’ll be picking from one of these three barring any Donnie miracles: Jordan Hill, Jrue Holiday, or Brandon Jennings.”

    Jennings. You’d have to think that D’Antoni can get the most out of PG, and Jennings has the highest upside.

  62. Mike Kurylo Post author

    And for full disclosure, I might have taken Lawson anyway… this is from a few days before the other one.

    http://www.knickerblogger.net/1956/pre-draft-knicks-cap-update.html#comment-276802

    I think an interesting question would be who are you rooting the Knicks get? Right now my list would be:
    Rubio
    Lawson
    Blair
    Curry
    Thabeet
    Calathes

    and my least wanted list:
    Flynn
    DeRozan
    Jordan Hill

    I’m down on Thabeet, because NY would have to trade up for him. And I’d rather have Rubio. Blair and Calathes would mean trade downs or a second first rounder.

  63. danvt

    “Someone a few forums back brough up the careers of Marbury, Kenny Anderson and Damon Stoudamire as examples of guys who looked like they were destined for big things and really turned out to be just good and with the additional baggage of questionable attitudes and judgment.”

    Still, a talent upgrade for us though, no? Though I don’t dislike Hill.

    “Most every GM in the league passed on Blair at least once, some (including DW) more than once. Hindsight is 20-20, but Walsh’s perspective was shared by other GMs.”

    Amen, I guess you can’t really BLAME Walsh for passing on him (Jennings or Blair, I mean). Still, Jennings was just f-ing brilliant last night and this is killing me right now. I guess I was hoping that when Walsh got here he’d have some magic and pluck a guy like that. Pat Riley found Mason and Starks and they turned out to be better than Xavier McDaniel and Rolondo Blackmon. Look at what Wafer was able to do on a very good Rockets team last year. I think we’re coming up short in our scouting right now and I was at least hoping that we’d be doing a good job of that this season.

  64. iserp

    “BTW, prospects might reconsider the European basketball route now as it’s obvious that Brandon’s teammates and coaches were holding him back last year.”

    I think that is pretty arrogant. No way an european team will tank a season for giving minutes to a foreign rookie who shoots badly. The team risks sponsorship, not playing in the euroleague, or even going down to an inferior league.

    In Europe, rules are different than NBA and you don’t play so often. Defenses are sturdier, it is harder to drive to the basket, and sheer athleticism won’t do that much for you. Do you think that his coach was holding him back when he was shooting just 35% (20% from 3), really?

    Maybe Brandon wasn’t really into his team; but i say he got the minutes he deserved. BTW, his bad euro season makes me think he is not a team player, will he keep the good plays when he has to share the ball with decent teammates?

    At Best: Iverson 2.0
    At Worst: Marbury 2.0

  65. danvt

    “I think that is pretty arrogant. No way a european team will tank a season for giving minutes to a foreign rookie who shoots badly. The team risks sponsorship, not playing in the euroleague, or even going down to an inferior league.”

    Well, I don’t know exactly what happened over in the Europe last year but certainly a lot of people were wrong about Jennings. So, for whatever reasons he did not help his draft status by playing there.

  66. theinfamousjb

    While the metrics have Jordan Hill slightly outperforming Blair, the fact remains Blair was a second rounder and Hill was a lottery pick with substantial guaranteed money coming to him, and it would not be a trade of one for the other. The point is Blair could have been gotten along with a higher quality backcourt player, where the Knicks are woefully poor.

  67. James

    The Jennings situation was really complicated to sort out. On the one hand, he was the top ranked or second best recruit coming out of high school, a guy with freak athleticism and point guard skills. It’s possible that without the European experience weighing him down, he would have gone in the top 5 he had been allowed to enter out of high school. He would certainly have been mentioned as having one of the highest ceilings, a label which seemingly only got thrown around for Griffin and Rubio.

    But then he struggled in Europe but it wasn’t simply that he got chances and struggled or looked awful in practice and didn’t deserve to see the floor. It was a very messy situation. For one, he didn’t even get to the play point guard. I saw a few of his games, he mostly stood around in the corner and when he did get the ball, it looked like he was too anxious to do something. Basically he looked like a point guard who was used to having the ball all the time suddenly having to adjust to rarely having the ball. Then half way through the year, the head coach gets fired and replaced by a guy who didn’t believe in him as much. Throughout it all, he supposedly kept working hard, was outstanding in practice, complained one time at the end of the season, but for the most part didn’t embarrass himself through his behavior. You can’t say that about his behavior during the workout process with his comments about Rubio and skipping out on a Euro pre draft camp which many talent evaluators had gone to specifically to see him.

    At draft time, there were too many unknowns about him but that only rules him out for say a top 5 pick. With the eighth pick in a weak draft when you need as many homeruns as possible, the gamble on his kind of talent should have been taken.

  68. iserp

    Just saying that some players may not translate well to european leagues, and then it is not coaches fault.

    It’s true that he tanked his draft status by coming to play to europe (and for him that’s a lot of $ less). Not sure if it was good for him from a basketball viewpoint since he had little playing time. However, maybe not being regarded as a superstar for a year helped him to mature and work hard to be better. Sometimes, being heralded as the next great thing can get into someone’s head (Marbury…)

  69. Robert Silverman

    I was as pissed by our picks post-draft as any of y’all (Sorry about the excessive alliteration) The problem w/comparing Hill/Douglas v. Lawson/Blair is that the latter are both playing for good teams w/set rotation, all-stars, and solid vets. Lawson/Blair have both looked very good but who knows how they’d perform if thrust into the quagmire that is the ’09 Nix.

  70. Thomas B.

    Does it matter at all the Jennings drops 55 on the Warriors? This is the team that let Dhon drop 20 dimes, let grab 20 boards, ect… I’m not trying to take anything away from the guy; 55 by a rookie on anyone is just well dope. I’m just asking.

    I was not all that high on Jennings. I worried about his attitude. If I recall I posted something like “Stephon Marbury on Jennings: ‘The force is strong in this one.’ I wanted Curry, would have been pleased with Lawson, or Holiday. I think I would have liked Jennings over Hill though. Anyway, Walsh took Hill. I dont know why on this team, he didnt take a risk on a guy with higher upside, but I giess he thinks he may not live long enough to see Holiday blossom. Oh well.

    Mike can we get a repost of the reactions to the selection of Hill from the draft night chat? How about the reactions to Jennings? We can see what people had to say when each pick was made. You know because memory can get hazy over time.

  71. Z-man

    Jennings. You’d have to think that D’Antoni can get the most out of PG, and Jennings has the highest upside”

    That’s why Mike K. do what Mike K. do.

    “While the metrics have Jordan Hill slightly outperforming Blair, the fact remains Blair was a second rounder and Hill was a lottery pick with substantial guaranteed money coming to him, and it would not be a trade of one for the other”

    At the time, we al thought that if Blair was not taken at #8, no way he’d be around for our second pick. That GM after GM passed on him underscores the fear factor in taking him. Just about every mock draft had him going in the 15-25 range, and I don’t recall anyone thinking he’d be around until the second round.

    Now, I was one of the “stupid” ones who said we should take him at #8, and was pissed that we passed on him twice. But, having lived through the Frederic Weises and Mike Sweetneys of days past, I can live with who we wound up with, it seems that both will be at worst pretty decent players and at best, who knows?

  72. Owen

    “Mike can we get a repost of the reactions to the selection of Hill from the draft night chat? How about the reactions to Jennings?”

    here you go…

    “But the oddities didn’t end there. The Knicks, in desperate need of a guard, took 6-11 forward Jordan Hill with the 8th pick. New Yorkers seemed stunned by the move. Some of the non-profanity laced comments from the KnickerBlogger chat session from draft night:”

    Lee: lock your doors.. we may have a riot.
    Thomas B: Even stern was like..wait what?
    Dan Panorama: listen to the boos!
    BigBlueAL: Channing Frye part 2
    Owen: There goes David Lee
    Dan Panorama: no one wants jordan hill, who would we even trade him for???
    Thomas B: Okay when the 1st thing you say is wingspan…..
    jon abbey: there had better be a trade in the works
    Brian Cronin: this is so not cool

    And here was Caleb (all too scarce on the board of late for my taste)

    “Sigh.

    Maybe we took him for a trade, knowing he is the highest “ranked” prospect out there. Like Minnesota did.

    Milwaukee… Phoenix… maybe a few others, love him.

    Not looking good, though.”

  73. Robert Silverman

    And Jordan Hill sounds like the name of an incredibly attractive/blindingly stupid woman on the E! Network. (Not that I watch E! or anything…perish the thought!)

  74. daJudge

    (1) Perhaps the harshest indictment is that the Knicks needed a guard. Once Rubio and Curry were gone and there were other’s left, they picked a PF. Whatever. Since the horse is out of the barn, the die be cast, etc…., we should at least see if our lottery pick can play. What’s the downside? And, if D. Lee leaves next year, maybe we have a decent young PF. (2) BTW, Duhon would be fine as a back up PG, but it’s really obvious that he’s not a starter, particularly in this system. If he were just feeding the ball to the post, sure, he’d be fine. Maybe Curry helps a bit there. Even Ed Sherrard had lots of assists. (3) One last point—given the Knick’s obvious direction this year, aside from the heartache of watching the games, can we agree that that number of wins this year is irrelevant. Do you really think that a top shelf free agent (whoever) is going to make his decision based on the Knick’s record this year? I think not. Simply for argument’s sake, if that premise it true, what should we do the rest of this year other than shedding onerous contracts?

  75. TheRant

    >>Do you really think that a top shelf free agent (whoever) is going to make his decision based on the Knick’s record this year? I think not.

    daJudge,

    A top shelf-free agent (and are there really *any* of them on the market in July 2010? ) certainly won’t make a decision solely on record. If they are under age 28, they’ll be thinking a few years forward.

    But Miami is playing well and (I believe) also has some cap space. So Chris Bosh (as but one example) would certainly be more likely to join Wade and Beasley on a winning team than to step into our swamp and hope that we could *also* nab a capable 2 guard. Dontchathink?

    P.S. Your apostrophe is too early on Knicks’ — respekt.

  76. DS

    “’On a side note, I saw that Noah is leading the league in boards. It’s bad day in terms of what could have been.’

    Gee who’da thunk he’d be good?”

    You had Noah pegged to lead the league in rebounds? That’s why you’re the best. I missed that post.

  77. Owen

    DS – Mike wrote a post about Noah last year and about trading Lee for him. Don’t know where to find it though I can find references to it on google.

    Noah was already very good last year and was one of the outstanding statistical prospects in his draft, just behind Durant, Horford, and Oden (ok, and Fazekas.)

    Last year, he was the best player on the Bulls in my estimation. This year, people are going berserk over him after that statement game the other night, but really the only major difference is the extra 8 minutes per game he is playing. His rebound rate is only up from 18 to 20.5 (and it’s a small sample of games). Scoring is up from 10 to 13 per 36, scoring efficiency down microscopically, turnovers up, steals down.

    As often happens, perception has changed much more than production.

  78. Ted Nelson

    Duhon’s play has been inexplicably bad thus far, but what’s with all the “I told you so” responses. Duhon is not great, but this has been a small sample size and he has clearly been a more efficient scorer than this for five seasons. He hasn’t suddenly been “exposed” in his 6th year in the league. Either he’s toast (as Jon Abbey says) or he’s in a funk.

    “Why can’t Lee rebound? Did they change the size of the lane or something?”

    Lee is rebounding well on the defensive glass (http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/l/leeda02.html). It’s the offensive glass that’s killing his overall rebound rate because D’Antoni has decided to concede the rebound after the Knicks take shots.

    “Hindsight is 20-20, but Walsh’s perspective was shared by other GMs.”

    The fact that they get into group-think mode and all make poor decisions doesn’t excuse it. I would compare ignoring advanced statistical analysis today to ignoring Europe 10 years ago: most teams are ignoring it, so the few that are ahead of the game have a huge advantage. I don’t really mind the Knicks draft, though, personally. Getting Marcus Landry as a FA might cap it off as a solid step back to respectability for the Knicks (hopefully).

  79. Ted Nelson

    “Someone a few forums back brough up the careers of Marbury, Kenny Anderson and Damon Stoudamire as examples of guys who looked like they were destined for big things and really turned out to be just good and with the additional baggage of questionable attitudes and judgment.”

    I missed that discussion. It’s a really small sample size, but Jennings has scored the ball 10 times more efficiently than those 3 as rookies. We’ll see if he can keep up the 59% TS% for the whole season, but if he can than he does something none of those three ever did: score extremely effectively. He also has scored at a really high volume through 7 games. If this sample is indicative of Jennings career then any Iverson comparison will seem laughable because Jennings will be so much better than AI. As a playmaker he looks weaker than Marbury and Stoudamire so far, but who knows.

    Personally, I was strongly against drafting Jennings. At this point I’m preparING to admit I was wrong, but am certainly holding out to see if this is for real. While so far the stats don’t support the Marbury and co. comparison, I agree with the premise. Jennings play in Europe was a big reason I didn’t want the Knicks to take him, but more so it was a perceived bad attitude.

    It’s inexcusable for Walsh to say he wasn’t watching Jennings in Europe. You’re a lottery team and he’s a lottery prospect, keep an eye on the guy. Maybe he’s just blowing smoke and purposely trying to make himself look like an old fool.

    “BTW, prospects might reconsider the European basketball route now as it’s obvious that Brandon’s teammates and coaches were holding him back last year.”

    This is a pretty bold statement.
    First, I think prospects and NBA teams will look more favorably on Europe as a proving/training ground if Jennings can keep up this level of play.
    As far as why Jennings played poorly in Europe last season I agree with iserp that there are a lot of things to consider. 1. Virtus Roma is not an NBA minor league team. Their goals are to win basketball games and sell tickets, not develop American teenagers. 2. Jennings did get a chance to play. He didn’t play well. 3. The game is different over there. Despite those differences a 59% TS% NBA player should still light it up over there, though. 4. Jennings may have learned a lot and improved a lot both in Europe and over the summer.

    “I really wish Walsh had gone ahead and hired Mullin or someone younger to evaluate talent.”

    This has got to be a joke right? Please tell me you are kidding? Mullin is a better talent evaluator than Donnie Walsh? Walsh has a very long track record in Indiana. You don’t need to look at one draft and call him a bad talent evaluator. He was a great drafter in Indiana. Built a contender through the draft, then turned around and rebuilt it on the fly without missing the playoffs through young talent he evaluated and ended up with a contender again. What did Chris Mullin do in Golden State? Was it Mullin who drafted Patrick O’Bryant?
    I don’t think Walsh is the problem so much as D’Antoni is.

    “I think it’s a joke to presume that we’d be better off in the long run with Lawson and Blair than with Hill and Douglas at this point, and even more of a joke in the short run.”

    I don’t think it’s a joke at all. Those two have played very well on playoff teams. They’ve forced their ways into good rotations. I like Hill and Douglas both, but it’s certainly not a joke in the long-run to want Lawson and Blair. In the short-run it would seem to be a joke to want Hill and Douglas over Lawson and Blair based on performances to date…
    The numbers to date are fairly useless for any analysis because the sample size is so small. We can talk about what they have done, but we can’t assume the few minutes they’ve played so far are completely indicative of their whole season.

  80. Frank

    “Duhon’s play has been inexplicably bad thus far, but what’s with all the “I told you so” responses. Duhon is not great, but this has been a small sample size and he has clearly been a more efficient scorer than this for five seasons. He hasn’t suddenly been “exposed” in his 6th year in the league. Either he’s toast (as Jon Abbey says) or he’s in a funk.”

    Actually, I feel like Duhon has been pretty horrible for a while. We gave him a pass on the 2nd half of the 08-09 season because he was tired and achy from too many minutes, but as usual, it’s tough to overcome the stats. Just looking at pre- and post-All-star break last season –

    51 games pre-break = 11.6 Pt/36, 7.4 A/36, 2.6 TO/36
    27 games post-brk = 9.3 pt/36, 6.0 A/36, 2.97 TO/36

    10 games in 2009 = 6.9 pt/36, 6.2 A/36, 2.3 TO/36

    So really, he’s played well for roughly 1/2 a season, and been seriously below average for 1/2 a season. It basically comes down to opposing defenses taking away the PnR with Lee. As soon as they did that, he’s been bad. And now he can’t even hit open jumpers. And he’s below average defensively. It all equals possibly the worst starting PG in the NBA. Good thing D’Antoni’s system isn’t predicated on strong PG play. Oh wait…

  81. d-mar

    Isola reports today that Jeffries was running with the 1st team in practice for defense and that Chandler may be demoted to the bench. Jeez. didn’t we try that already? How about D’Antoni picks 5 names out of a hat and starts them? Our first quarters couldn’t get any worse.

    Besides Duhon’s regression to the worst PG in the NBA, I think the play of Chandler is the most alarming development this season.

  82. Mike Kurylo Post author

    http://www.knickerblogger.net/1756/pre-draft-camp-mock-and-draft-thoughts-part-i-the-top-15.html#comment-276224

    Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) May 14, 2009 at 12:07 pm
    “A high end trade scenario for Lee would maybe be Tyrus Thomas and another contract?”

    How about David Lee for Noah and Tim Thomas? I believe the team can reacquire him after July 1st, which is about when they can trade David Lee (RFA can’t be traded until ~ July 9th). Shores up that hole at center.

    But I’m not the only one that’s liked him. If you site google Joakim Noah, lots of people have been hoping to get him for a few seasons now. Guess it’s too late.

  83. DS

    “As often happens, perception has changed much more than production.”

    Fair enough. I appreciate that by several measures Noah’s the same player as last year.

    But KB also wanted the Bulls to throw in Tyrus Thomas before he was willing to forfeit an older D Lee who we may lose to free agency anyway.

    If your perception of him six months ago was the same as today, wouldn’t you have forked over Lee without demanding Thomas? Unless your contention is that Paxson is more attuned to perception than productivity and you think we could scored have realistically scored both of them.

    As far as leading the league in ‘bounds, the list of names of players that have lead the league in rebounds (granted, over 82 games, not just 9) consists of only names like Howard, Garnett, Wallace, Mutumbo, Webber over the past 10 years. If he were able to join that list, can’t you acknowledge that you would have at least some additional respect for him even if his “rate” has only changed marginally?

  84. Owen

    “But KB also wanted the Bulls to throw in Tyrus Thomas ”

    That was Tim Thomas up there, not Tyrus Thomas…

    And yes, if Noah leads the league in boards, I will definitely be impressed…

  85. DS

    “That was Tim Thomas up there, not Tyrus Thomas…”

    Oh man, yes it was, sorry. Owen, you should be there the next time KB interviews Walsh. Just kidding.

  86. Ted Nelson

    Frank,

    You’re ignoring efficiency. You can’t compare Duhon’s start this season to the 28 games he played post All-Star break last season. And he hasn’t been good or bad for a season, but for 5+ NBA seasons now. The trend over the 379 regular season games he played before this season was pretty clear: not good, but not this bad.

    Duhon’s biggest problem this season has been his TS%. His assists, TOs, steals, rebounds, 3PAs, FGAs, and FTAs per minute are mostly in line with or above his career averages (except of course offensive rebounds because of D’Antoni’s master plan of giving up the offensive glass). The lack of points scored is not because he’s taking fewer shots, but because he’s making almost none of them.

    Post break last season Duhon’s TS% was 55%, above his career mark (to date) of 52.3%. So far this season his TS% is 36.3%… We’re talking Mardy Collins bad. In fact, Mardy has never even posted a TS% that low over a season (37.8% is his low).

    So, yes, Duhon’s production regressed to the mean after a red hot start (if 50 odd games can be called a start) last season. That does not, however, explain why he’s been so horrendous this season through 10 games. Four possible explanations are 1. he’s injured, 2. he’s got something going on off the court, 3. he partied all offseason and didn’t work on his game at all, and 4. it’s just a bad run of games and he’s due to break out of it (though with 1/8th the season gone that’s getting less likely).

  87. Frank

    Ted,
    I really hope Duhon gets it back — I really do. And presumably, some of the wide open jumpers he is missing now will go down eventually. Nate had a horrible stretch for about a month last year and ended up bouncing back strong. So I have hope.

    But in your 4 possible explanations you missed one — that the league has caught up to him. Regardless of all the “studies” showing more minutes do not change productivity (hopefully we won’t need to go into that discussion all over again, and into my thinking that it’s a bunch of hooey), nothing exposes a limited player like more exposure. No one puts together real game plans for a guy playing 20 minutes a game like he was playing in Chicago, especially when the offense really went through backcourt guys like Ben Gordon, Hinrich, etc.. But when he and DLee were running circles around the league at the start of last season, the gameplanning started. And so by the 2nd half of the year (coinciding with the Knicks nosedive), his play dropped off. Similarly, this year the easy PnR Lee dunks of 2008 have been totally absent because the book on Duhon appears to be to let him shoot or let him drive, but don’t let him make the bounce pass to the guy rolling to the basket. He will miss up close because he’s a horrendous finisher, and he’s not a great shooter from deep. For Pete’s sake, he has an eFG of 33% from “close” according to 82games whereas the league average is ~60 according to hoopdata.com, and 5’11″ guys like Lawson are shooting 55% from there. Is there such a thing as a shooting slump from 2 feet? Those are just layups!

  88. Ted Nelson

    Frank,

    The league “catching up” to Duhon MAY have been the reason his second half of last season was worse than his red hot first. (Even then, did it really take teams 50+ games to “catch up?” It’s probably at least part of the explanation, but I also think he was just playing way over his head.) My whole point though, is that Duhon is not suddenly a different player from his career. He just can’t buy a shot. The rest of his game is very similar. He’s a career 36% 3P shooter (never below 34.8% for a season) who is shooting 21% so far from 3. Did teams really decide after 5 seasons that it’s finally time to “catch up” with Duhon’s 3P shooting? Because he’s playing 34 mpg compared to the 26 mpg he averaged in 4 seasons in Chicago (a difference of 8 mpg, his career high in Chicago was 29 mpg, or 5 mpg different) that they’d stop him from making 3 point shots? If this were the case don’t you think they’d have done it earlier and don’t you think they’d apply this magic anti-3P defense to other players as well?

    Duhon hit 37.6% of his 3s after the All-Star break last season, so again I don’t think there is any comparison to be made to this season.

    His finishing skills are weak, period, but not as bad as he’s shown this season either. Maybe he’s got a Chuck Knoblauch/Rich Ankiel type thing going on…

  89. rama

    Actually, I posted a trade last year of Lee/Jeffries for Noah/Hughes. I figured we’d rid Chicago of a problem (something they wanted, which we did anyway), give them a player they’d want (Lee), and get 2010 cap relief, a two-guard (since we were thin at that position, still are) and a similar player to Lee with a higher defensive upside (Noah). Lee is a better offensive player, and i thought we’d miss that, but we so badly needed (and still need) interior D, Noah seemed like a better choice.

    I can’t recall who told me to stop dreaming, the Bulls would never make that trade. They were probably right, though they were desperate to get rid of Hughes. It’s amazing to me that a player I saw as cap relief is actually our best option at the 2 right now. To go back to the theme of the thread, I would totally start him and “DWTDD.” And Gallo, Lee, and Darko, just as Mike has it. I don’t know why Darko isn’t getting more minutes, but we’re getting killed inside; how much worse than every other option can he be????

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