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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tonight’s 4 Factors (vs MIL, 11/30/07)

After each game this season, we’ll be taking a look at what the four factors have to say about the game– how the winner won and the loser lost. For an intro to the four factors, see A Layman’s Guide to Advanced NBA Statistics.

Knicks defeat Bucks, 91 – 88

	Pace	Eff	eFG	FT/FG	OREB%	TOr
MIL	87.0	101.1	49.4%	14.1	21.6	13.8
NYK		104.6	51.3%	17.1	21.6	14.9

The formula for tonight’s win was a lukewarm offense combined with a solid defensive effort. The offense was underwhelming given that the Bucks are defensive slouches, allowing 111.1 points per 100 possessions coming into the game. The Knicks actually shot pretty well from the field, bucking a season-long trend (45.5% eFG, 27th in the league), and kept their TOs down to acceptable levels. But they also had a meek showing from the free throw line and had an unusually weak offensive rebounding effort (paging David Lee).

On another night against a decent defense this game is likely another frustrating loss. But the mediocre offense was enough because of the defensive effort. The Bucks came into the game with an above average offense fueled by a platoon of perimeter shooters, a formula usually spelling doom for New York’s D. But they managed to hold the Bucks to their season average eFG%, while also not sending them to the line and thwarting their usually strong offensive rebounding (29.5 o-reb%, 8th). Not exactly an effort reminiscent of the Spurs, but for one of the league’s worst defenses, it’s a strong effort.


4 factor stats were acquired using the ESPN4Factors script by Cherokee of the ABPRmetrics board. Firefox users can use this script (after installing the Greasemonkey extension) to see 4 factor stats automatically displayed in all NBA boxscores on espn.com.

72 comments on “Tonight’s 4 Factors (vs MIL, 11/30/07)

  1. Eddie Franklin

    Oh. My. God.

    The Knicks won a game. Not only that, but they did so with a fourth quarter comeback in which they showed some effort and heart.

    Contract extension for Isiah!

  2. Brian Cronin

    The saddest thing about the Knicks right now is that, as of this second, they’re two games out of the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

    Man, how can the East continue to be this bad?

  3. Z

    Balkman played 17 minutes. Lee played 12 minutes. Nate sat the whole game.

    Man, this is a game I wish we lost. It validates what the team was doing out there, which doesn’t deserve validation. Coming off a 50 point humiliation they came out flat, fell behind by sixteen, didn’t really correct anything that they did wrong in Boston, and then pulled it out because the Bucks are bad and the Knicks decided to play D when it counted.

    I’d like to be happy for the win, but this win will contribute to more losses in the near future.

  4. Gmal

    Kenny Smith was on fire last nite, he hit every point that is wrong with knicks- Lack of trust, heart and effort, play with your head, and togetherness. Curry, Zach, Marbury and Crawford, these are me first gotta have the ball type players that IMO don’t compliment each other and should be seperated yet last I looked they are the starters and the most often used combination, Isiah, we are 5-10 can you smell the coffee?
    I think Zach deserves a little slack, so far in 15 regular season games he does bring something to the table, he can hit the midrange jumper, effort and can board. Zach no doubt has some weaknesses but curry is going into his 3rd year here and the daily 25 min and 3 rebounds has me saying I’ve seen enough, put him on the second unit, give lee or balkman more time and let me see what Morris has.

  5. dave crockett

    I wonder what the +/- was with Marbury? Part of me feels like it was no coincidence that the overall quality of play picked up with him off the floor.

  6. john r.

    i agree with dave crockett. marbury is a negative element. i like the way jones is thirsty and plays hard, he has shown this every time he is on the floor.

  7. Owen

    Stephon Marbury, -13, Fred Jones + 18.

    I left in the third and missed the comeback. What I did notice before I left was that Zach is an entirely different player when allowed to operate near the basket rather shooting pigeontoed 19 footers.

    This whole thing with Curry and Randolph, it has to stop.

  8. Mr. Black

    It wasnt just having Marbury off the floor that helped. Thomas wisely benched the ineffective Curry. With Curry out, Randolph could actually find room in the post. Also, Crawford seems to differ to Marbury. With Marbury off the floor Crawford was free to take more shots and control the ball. I think Curry’s absence is more influential than Marbury’s.

  9. Eduardo

    Even though a good part of me feels sad to waste a 6’11 strong center, the better part strongly pushes for letting him go, while he has some market (I wish?) value. I can’t come to terms with the fact that such a big guy won’t make an effort to rebound and block… he’s a total waste of space. And to think we gave Chicago 1 billion 1st picks for him.

  10. z-man

    My take on recent developments:

    1) Don’t sweat the Celtic game. I think in the long run it was a good experience for the Knicks in that it revealed fundamental, but correctable issues with both individual players and the team. First of all, the Knicks missed at least 10 good,makeable shots in the first quarter. The problem was compounded by major defensive lapses, most notably by Jamal (he let Rondo get off to a great start to build the lead until the Big 3 got heated up) and Eddy, who takes no pride in protecting the basket. Once the missed shots piled up, it became a mental thing and they took a well-intended but selfish approach of “let me be the one to get us going.” The fact that they went down by 50 rather than 20 was probably based more on Q’s trash-talkin’ and the devastating letdown of the first quarter than anything else.

    That being said, there is no excuse for Eddy Curry’s and to a lesser degree Zach’s fundamental disconnect with the notion of protecting the basket. Curry showed glimpses of what he could be against Utah. Zeke no doubt is on to this and I like the way he is handling it. Sadly, DLee is not the answer, as his offensive game is even worse than it was last year (is it more mental or physical? Now he is missing layups and dunks!) I hate to say it, but where’s Randolph Morris?

    I am thinking more and more that as Jamal goes, so goes the team. He s definitely the best passer on the team and his hot streak is the primary reason we beat the Bucks. If Jamal could play like that every night, the game opens up for everyone. Steph and Q are breaking down physically and are lousy passers. Fred is even more streaky than JC. Somehow it comes around to Eddy again, for being such a poor offensive rebounder when Jamal’s and other’s shots are not falling.

    Here’s what I recommend:
    1) IT should demote Mardy and bring up Morris.
    2) IT should abandon the “inside-to Eddy first” offense immediatey and tell Eddy that if he wants to stay on the court and get the ball, he has to earn it with help defense and offensive rebounds.
    3) IT should keep yanking anyone who gets away from the team ball concept, especially on help defense. Players must start making other team pay physically for attacking our basket.
    4) IT should run a couple of screen and roll for 15-18 footers in the second quarter for DLee to try to get him some confidence with that shot. If he can’t develop this, he’ll never be more than a 20-min player on a good team unless they have a Celtic-like Big 3. If you can make free throws, you can usually shoot too. It would help if Curry and Randolph bailed him out with offensive rebounds when he misses, like DLee does for them.

  11. jon abbey

    “I am thinking more and more that as Jamal goes, so goes the team. He s definitely the best passer on the team and his hot streak is the primary reason we beat the Bucks. If Jamal could play like that every night, the game opens up for everyone.”

    this is why I’d like to see Crawford start at PG until we get a real PG (presumably in the draft). Balkman can start at SG, and Marbury can come off the bench.

  12. Owen

    Jon – I agree with that. If Jamal Crawford shoots 57% ts% from the field, its a much different team.

    Z -Man- What’s with banging on DLee? He hasn’t gotten 25 minutes since the monster game he put up in Sacramento. Is that his fault? I imagine how different things might be going if DLee had put that rebound he got at the end of the game in for the win…

    He is shooting 55.9% ts% from the field this year. not quite what he did last year, but he has been inching up since the Phoenix game. Averaging 12.6 rebounds per 40. Again not quite what he did last year, but almost.

    He came in last night and had 5 rebounds in 12 minutes, including three offensive rebounds. That isn’t all that bad.

    They aren’t using him like they did last year. He played off Curry then, leaving him free to cut to the hoop and move off from the ball. This year they are using him as a Curry substitute (it seems to me), posting him up to leave Zach to his customary slot shooting 18 footers.

    As topsy turvy as the season has been for him, as and as badly as they used him, DLee’s numbers are heading back towards what he did last year. 17 points per 48, 15 rebounds. What more do you want from him?

  13. Frank O.

    I agree that the team seems to shadow Crawford’s performance. I, however, do not wish to embrace this because Craw is one of the streakiest shooters in the NBA. The fact of the matter is he is a 40 percent shooter.
    I’d rather not tie the fortunes of this team to a career 40 percent shooter. (He’s going at a 41 percent clip this year, so far)

    I think Lee and Balkman and Robinson are getting screwed.
    Lee was seen as untradeable and now he’s getting even fewer minutes. That has to be demoralizing. He played 30 min per last year and was productive as hell.
    His reward: reduced time.
    This is a classic case of how not to bring along a young talent. Every team in the NBA would find a way to foster growth in a player like that.
    Instead, Zeke is trying to make something of a less productive role player, Jones, a player no team seems to want, and who on his best night may get 10 points.
    Additionally, Zeke is playing Curry who is getting something like 5 rebounds a game, plays little or no D, and has scored 7 pts, 4 pts, and 8 pts in each of the last three games.
    Lee will get you a double double almost every night with 30 minutes.

    Amazing.
    Robinson could easily be a better version of Crawford, scoring about as much, with a better shooting percentage, get more rebounds and even play far better defense simply because he tries.
    The height different is not an issue because Crawford doesn’t use his height on defense. And Robinson’s maturity issues can’t be much different than Crawford’s disinterest on defense and poor, poor shot selection.
    Balkman is clearly a better defender and rebounder than Q. And Q isn’t shooting particularly well. Without his shooting, the Knicks have a lesser, fatter version of Balkman.

  14. jon abbey

    “Robinson could easily be a better version of Crawford, scoring about as much, with a better shooting percentage, get more rebounds and even play far better defense simply because he tries.”

    this is a common misperception here. while the stats may lead one to believe that, Robinson is incapable of getting his own shot anywhere near as easily as Crawford, and certainly can’t put a team on his back offensively as Crawford did just last night (21 points in the second half). he’s a good secondary offensive player, but if the other team is geared to stopping him, it’s pretty easy to do so. if the other team is geared to stopping Crawford, it’s still very difficult to prevent him from getting quality looks if he wants them, it’s just a question of him hitting them.

    yes, he’s obviously incredibly streaky, but he’s also the only perimeter guy we have consistently capable of creating his own shot, which is why he always gets the ball at the end of games (side note: was I the only one at the end of last night’s game to answer Gus Johnson’s note that ‘Crawford has seven game-winning shots in his career’ with ‘and how many has he missed, 40?”).

  15. geoff

    due to limited exposure to him, can someone give me a little background on Fred Jones? I just don’t know much about him. I just watched some youtube highlights of him, so of course what I just saw a guy who takes it to the hole and dunks all over people. I’m sure that’s not what he really is. Can I get a little background and opinions on him, other than that IT drafted him?
    Thanks

  16. cwod

    “‘Robinson could easily be a better version of Crawford, scoring about as much, with a better shooting percentage, get more rebounds and even play far better defense simply because he tries.’

    this is a common misperception here. while the stats may lead one to believe that, Robinson is incapable of getting his own shot anywhere near as easily as Crawford, and certainly can?t put a team on his back offensively as Crawford did just last night (21 points in the second half). he?s a good secondary offensive player, but if the other team is geared to stopping him, it?s pretty easy to do so.”

    I don’t think this changes anything. I think, if Robinson replaced Crawford, he’d still shoot a higher percentage than JC, esp. from three, rebound more, turn it over less, and play something closer to actual defense. I’m not sure what being able to create his own shot has to do with that, particularly those last three things.

  17. jon abbey

    “I?m not sure what being able to create his own shot has to do with that”

    because the Knicks don’t have anyone capable of creating shots for other people.

    “I think, if Robinson replaced Crawford, he?d still shoot a higher percentage than JC, esp. from three, rebound more, turn it over less, and play something closer to actual defense.”

    I think his shooting percentage would drop decidedly and he’d get abused at least as much on D, dunno about the middle two.

    the point is that, given this current roster (which almost definitely isn’t going to change in any major way this season), the best way for NY to win games is to keep giving Crawford 36-40 minutes a game and hope he’ll be less streaky. Robinson doesn’t have nearly as much upside, as much as I like him off the bench.

  18. big_fella

    i liked the lineup that ended the game . very similar to the lineup that knickerblogger suggested be the starting limeup. crawford, jones, q-rich, dlee, and randolph. a nice balance of guys that do different things, rather than playing all of the me-first players together at once.

  19. z-man

    Owen,

    I am not banging on Lee, but please dont bring up shooting % as a measure of whether he can really shoot. Almost all of his points are off of feeds for dunks or on close in put-backs. Occasionally he makes a decent post move or drive. He NEVER hits anything from beyond 5 feet. If you noticed the last couple of nights, he has had his shot blocked or been goaded into a turnover because he has no confidence in an open 10-12 footer, much less 15-18 feet. I’m talking OPEN!! I wish I had more confidence in him being the answer so that Curry would be benched unless he does more DLee-like things, especially offensive rebounding. I specifically said that if Curry and Zach were better O-rebounders for their size, Lee wouldn’t be so afraid to shoot. Haven’t you noticed that when he does try to shoot, he short-arms everything? So, when you have Lee, Balk and EC (and to a lesser degree, ZR) in the frontcourt, teams play zone and force the guards to shoot or drive into the teeth of the zone. There is also no space for the bigs to operate inside. There is no good team in the league that doesn’t have power forwards (and in Balk’s case, small forwards) that cant knock down open 15 footers. You must have heard Clyde talk over and over about DLee’s needing to make that shot. What is so frustrating is that he improved his foul shooting, so it’s not a hand-eye coordination problem. It’s too bad because he can get that shot everytime down. DLee has been compared to Bobby Jones of the Dr. J Sixer teams (are you old enought to remember him?) The big differene is, Jones consistently hit that shot. Isiah needs to force-feed him 2-3 plays per game to take that shot and build his confidence, and o-rebounds are more likely when other players know it is coming. Players have way more confidence shooting when they feel like their misses will be put back and when they feel they will score the next time down. You can see that the zone defense gives them fits, especially when Lee and Balk are out there together and Jamal isn’t going off.

  20. Owen

    Jon – I don’t know about Robinson and Crawford. I think Crawford has proven he is an inefficient scorer in the NBA, without offering much else. We don’t really know about Robinson, but the signs were positive last year. Even last night, with his good half and all, Crawford scored 25 points on 26 possessions. Better maybe than what the rest of the team would offered, and with admirably low turnovers and 3 steals to boot, but not a great offensive game. That’s a ts% of just 48%.

    Z-Man – I couldn’t care less if Lee can hit a 12 footer or an 18 footer. He has proven ability to score at about an average level for a power forward (18 points per 48) at well above average efficiency. Combine that with his ability not to commit turnovers, and his superb rebounding, and you have a very valuable player. You don’t need to be a great scorer in the NBA to be a valuable player, although if you want to be paid a huge salary it sure helps.

    People always talk about the inability to hit a jump shot being a shortcoming of Lee’s, but that’s just crap. (A consistent theme as well in my oeuvre here at Knickerblogger). The problem is not with Lee. He is a power forward. He isn’t supposed to be taking jumpshots. That’s the job of the shooting guards. At the end of the day, Lee seems to get blamed for not being able to make up for the obvious shortcomings of our three starting perimeter players, Richardson, Crawford, and Marbury. That doesn’t make any sense.

  21. Gmal

    Frye was a good midrange shooter in college never developed a low post game.
    Nate don’t know about his college stats but hasn’t picked up the fundamentals of pt guard play.
    Lee and Balkman – great energy/defensive guys in college, haven’t progressed offensively at all.
    Morris and Chandler, I seen them once in garbage time.
    It’s ironic but true the great players usually can’t coach.

  22. carey

    Isiah needs to set a rotation. Last season, they really started to play well after the suspensions and injuries forced Isiah to play a smaller rotation, and the players had clearly defined roles.

  23. NGLI

    I don’t know why everyone’s so hard on Crawford.

    Despite his obvious shortcomings, he’s among the best in the league at getting his shot off in traffic, and he’s a decent clutch player. Who else is going to take the last shot? Steph? Curry?! Seems like everyone but Jamal and Zach Randolph is scared to screw up in the last 2 minutes of the game.

    Even if he shoots 40% from the field, I think this stat is misleading. He consistently gets to the freethrow line, and knocks them down when it counts. He’s hit more crucial freethrows and gamewinning shots than any other Knick.

    Coming off the bench on a good team, he could be a serious candidate for 6th man of the year. For the Knicks, I agree with Jon Abbey: play him 40 minutes, and hope he gets hot.

    As for Nate, he’s never going to be a starter in this league. He’s simply too short to create his own shot consistently. He fast, he’s got a good handle, and he’s got an impressive J, but he’d get pounded by the D if he played 30 minutes a game; he’d have two assists and more turnovers than Iverson and Melo combined. He’d probably be best suited to coming off the bench for the Suns, where he’d get plenty of open 3’s and fastbreak opportunities. Jamal is simply a better halfcourt player than Nate.

  24. z-man

    Owen,

    Carlos Boozer, Rasheed Wallace, Rashard Lewis, Chris Bosh, Mikki Moore, Kevin Garnett, Antonio McDyess, just to name a few, can all consistently hit that shot. That is why Lee’s ass is nailed to the bench for 25-30 minutes a game, and would be on any good team unless they have 3 studs on offense. We have NO studs on offense, and therefore any weaknesses in role players like Lee are exposed by the starters on other teams. David has noone to blame but himself for excessive pine time. Your use of a meaningless stat actually makes my point. His points are primarily against backup players and he makes it harder for primary scorers to score because his man can drop off him to help defend either post players or penetrating guards. Do you ever hear tv/radio analysts, mostly former NBA players and coaches, refer to the trumped-up stats you do? I’m sure any of them would think your statement about not caring less if a power forward can shoot when left open from 15-18 feet is silly. He doesn’t have to be a go-to guy, just shoot well enough to keep the defense honest, like Kurt Rambis, Horace Grant, Charles Oakley, Robert Horry, P J Brown, John Salley, and on and on. Until he can do that, nobofy should complain about him spending half the game on the bench. I would love for him to be worthy of 40 minutes a night, but even Isiah, who I think loves the guy (didn’t consider trading him despite his marketability) knows he can’t handle it becaude of his offensive deficiencies. I agree with you about Steph, Jamal and Q, but those guys are seasoned players who are what they are. I am not blaming Lee for their faults, just pointing out that they are not responsible for his either. I also suggested ways for Isiah to help him get there, but you did not comment on them because you obviously dont think Lee has a weakness that affects the team.

  25. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    I think you are totally wrong on Crawford.
    He was 10 for 24 last night and had four free throw attempts.
    So what that he creates shots… The fact that he “creates shots” in traffic or whatever someone wrote is ridiculous.
    At 40 percent, I wish he would create fewer shots.
    How is creating his own shots and missing them more useful than a guy who can create his own shots, and or reliably spot up and knock down 3s at a higher rate and consistency. And as for getting abused defensively, Crawford routinely is giving up as much or more to the other team’s SG than he’s getting. I bet if we looked, we’d find that the opposing 2 was knocking down as much if not more than Crawford because he gets abused routinely.
    I’m sorry jon, Robinson could do better and not seem like he was trying. Crawford is an empty uniform on D.
    And the types of shots he’s creating are low percentage heaves.

  26. caleb

    Weighing in on David Lee… that he doesn’t have a jump shot is almost irrelevant. He’s a good offensive player without one. Among other things, he’s made more free throws than Randolph, in barely half the minutes. Add the passing, the lack of turnovers, the efficiency…

  27. caleb

    As for Crawford… it’s fairly true that as he goes, the team goes. (he’s led the team in minutes played, or close to it, the last three years).

    But that’s not a good thing! We are a bad team!

    Crawford is at best a mediocre starter. His faults are well-documented and at age 27, 7 years in the league, there is no reason whatsoever to think that he’ll improve.

    Robinson is more of a mystery, but has been a better offensive player the past two years, and not dramatically worse on defense (that would be impossible).

    Of course, making either of those guys the starter and letting Balkman start at the two (in effect swapping Marbury’s minutes for Balkmman) wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  28. caleb

    Here’s another offer for the Bulls… we send Randolph & Morris for Noah, Duhon & PJ Brown. Do they buy?

  29. z-man

    Caleb,

    Comparing Randolph to Lee is unfair because Randolph has a different role altogether than Lee although they basically play the same position. Randolph has to assert himself offensively and score when the defense knows he is going to try to score. Everybody expects 20 points per night from Randolph and he has been delivering more often than not (his % is too low, but that’s what happens when you can’t hang around the baskets dunking garbage like Lee has the luxury of doing. I wish someone would look at all 15 games this year and tell me what Lee’s % was when needing to make an offensive move. Do you guys not see the travels, offensive fouls and bricks that result virtually every time he does, unless someone bails him out with a foul (which is a stupid play considering that he almost always misses if you just stay in front of him). Aside from scrappy putbacks, the only offense he has is off of passes from penetrating guards (usually JC or NR) when Lee’s man drops off to double. If Zach was free to do that and didn’t have to score otherwise, his numbers would be as high as Lee’s. Not to mention that any of the elite power forwards would utterly destruct Lee if he had to play them for 40 minutes, which he wouldn’t get due to foul truble as he tried in vain to stop them from scoring at will. DLee’s offensive stats are almost entirely due to him being an afterthought in the other team’s defensive game plan. I love the guy but get frustrated with people that think that part of the solution is to play him starter’s minutes. It is ironically because of the flaws of his teammates that he would not be effective as a 35-40 minute player unless his offensive game evolves.

  30. z-man

    Caleb,
    I hate the deal. Would like to see Morris play a bit, he looked good in preseason and summer league, and EC is stinkin’ up the Joint, especially on D. It kills me because he definitely has the ability (the block on Deron was awesome and perfectly timed help defense.) Don’t forget how young Zach is…he ahs looked pretty solid and energetic and has upside on D if properly coached. Isiah needs to get these guys to protect the basket and yank guys when they don’t. Except against Boston, the 3-point D has improved.

  31. njhoops

    Agree with what someone said about Curry – the idea that he’s our franchise player, go to guy is done. I like Eddy as a person and wanted it to work (like it sort of did last year) but our force feeding him in the post inevitably leads to turnovers and deficits. Run the offense through Zach and let Crawford free lance a little and we’ll be much better off. In fact, don’t start Curry and limit his minutes to 15-20.

  32. Luke

    Crawford is not routinely getting outplayed by sg’s especially not this year .What has happened is that sometimes the knick forget they even have a sg and go away from him for too long of a stretch.

    When they have called plays for him and ran him off those curls within the offense he has delivered but they cant even stick to the game plan for more than few plays and that falls directly onto the lack of leadership at the point guard slot.

    As for Nate doing what Crawford is capable of …..not by any stretch of the imagination.

    Some guys just have the ability to score in ways that impact games.Nate can do it but nearly at the clip Crawford can and not against basically anyone .

    Highly inconsistent but what players not going to the HOF excels amist constant chaos.How do you excel at a role that constantly changing not yearly but weekly depending on what mood your pg is in ?

    AS for defensively hes been quite good the last 3-4 games.I think too much criticism is based off of reputation than actually whats happening game to game .

    Last night against the Bucks Redd started 1-3 with Crawford on him and he that first 3 with a hand in his face.When Crawford left Redd got a couple of baskets against jefferies and when Crawford returned Redd scored but not at some insane clip and he wasntjust getting wideopen shot after wideopen shot.Even kenny smith kept saying tough shot because on several baskets Crawford had a hand in his face and Redd still made the shot.

    Again Ive seen much better defensive intensity and play out of Crawford this season then Ive seen… EVER.This was the third straight knicks win that hes had a big steal in the 4th.But considering most in the preseason had him as the 4th-5th most important knick when do the questions of where are these players and what are they doing come into play?

  33. jon abbey

    1) the Bulls aren’t trading with NY, we’ve been down that road too often.

    2) I don’t care that much about Lee not having a jumper, I do care about him being abused on his post moves time and again recently. how many times did the Bucks block his shots at the end of that game, 3?

    3) Crawford: all shots aren’t created equal, especially when you have no real PG. Jamal generally is the one given the ball when the shot clock is running down, that’s a very different quality of shot from one earlier in the shot clock, and one example of how stats can be deceptive. if Nate was given the ball in those situations, I think his shot would be blocked more often than not.

  34. TomV

    “3) Crawford: all shots aren?t created equal, especially when you have no real PG. Jamal generally is the one given the ball when the shot clock is running down, that?s a very different quality of shot from one earlier in the shot clock, and one example of how stats can be deceptive.”

    Anyone with two eyes and a brain can understand this argument.

    But anyone with two eyes and a brain that works can look at the stats to see that Crawford’s percentages are actually at their best when the shot clock is low. So you can’t appeal to his creating shots at the end of the clock to explain his bad percentages. One example of how two eyes and a brain can be deceptive, and how stats can rectify that deception.

    http://www.82games.com/0708/07NYK3A.HTM

  35. jon abbey

    I wasn’t blaming his bad percentages solely on that, and looking at those numbers is interesting. he’s a remarkably stupid player, but the fact remains that he needs to get the most minutes at the guard position as this team is currently assembled (IMO, of course).

  36. Owen

    Z-man – True Shooting Percentage is not a trumped up stat. It’s the best stat for judging a player’s scoring ability. It aggregates 2 and 3 point field goals with free throws and tells you in short, how often does a player turn his teams possessions into points.

    League average last year was 52.2 I think. My basic rule of thumb is that you cannot be considered a great scorer in the NBA if your ts% is below league average. It’s a good rule I think. Right now, Crawford is below that mark. He usually has been in his career because he doesn’t shoot well from three and because he doesn’t get to the line nearly as often as he should. As a scorer, you have to get to the line a lot to be effective. It’s much easier to score shooting 80 percent from the foul line.

    And while broadcasters don’t refer to ts%, they unquestionably should, since its a much more comprehensive and valuable statistic than fg%. It actually was originated by Mike Dunleavy when he was a broadcaster back in the eighties I believe.

    Zach Randolph has a ts% of 47.6% so far this year. I think he is a better player than that. I think its mostly caused by his being forced into a lot of outside shooting by Curry’s presence in the blcok. There may be power forwards who are outside shooters, Randolph is not one of them. He should be stapled on to the block and left to score there, where he can actaully be an above average scorer. Caleb, btw, your over on him shooting 54% ts% this year is not looking good…

    Jon – It’s a little boring to be agreeing with you. But it’s true, Lee has looked quite disjointed at times in the post, and trying to be an autonomous offensive player in general. Pretty much every turnover he has committed this year has come from him trying to do things he didn’t attempt last year. Part of me wants to seem him try to develop his game. But most of me thinks it should just be avoided. To hell with it, screw the jumpshot. Let’s confine Lee to being an average scoring PF off of garbage points, let’s let him rack up a league leading ts%, while being one of the best offensive rebounders in the NBA, and while committing hardly any turnovers. I am cool with that.

    And say what we will about Jamal, who does have te ability to at least get a shot off, but he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to hit the game winning shot last night if Lee hadn’t rebounded his first miss…

  37. z-man

    Jon,

    Didn’t you (and owen) ever play the game? If so, you know that if you can’t hit a jumper, your defender will lay off you and dare you to drive. If he respects your J he has to play up, making it easier to drive around him. This is part (but not all, as I elaborated on earlier) of what is wrong with Lee not being able to shoot free throw length shots except when he is shooting free throws. If i’m coaching against the knicks, my strategey re: Lee is: keep him in front of you and let him shoot anything beyond 5 feet so that you can easily help on others or box him out.

  38. jon abbey

    yeah, Lee got some big rebounds late in that game. also, his outlet pass to Fred Jones after Redd’s miss under 5 seconds was brilliant and not mentioned enough.

    of course, the Knicks might have already been ahead if Lee could have finished one or two of those moves in the post. :)

  39. jon abbey

    z-man: mine (and Owen’s, I believe) point is that it shouldn’t ever be an issue, as Lee should never be that far away from the basket on the offensive end with the ball.

    yes, obviously it’d be nice if he could consistently hit a jumper, that’s true for every single person in the league. but I don’t think it’s the main thing he needs to focus on right now, I’d like to see him get better at finishing inside, at least back to where he was last year.

  40. Owen

    Jon – I was going to say it was two enormous rebounds, I saw the tape of the end, and the outlet was awesome as well, 100% correct…

    Z-man – Proud to say I was the captain of my high school basketball team, even if we sucked. I actually outrebounded that Bucks guy Gadzuric in a game, although he outdunked me 10-0 before I fouled him out.

    But I can also say that when you reach the point in an argument where you have to refer to your own playing experience, it’s probably not a good argument

    Lee’s jumpshot may not command respect. But he is a much tougher cover than any other player on the Knicks. You can’t leave him unguarded on the offensive end. If you do, he will rebound pretty much many missed shots. And he also is really good at positioning himself for easy buckets, as well as getting fouled. Last year at least, he was the last guy on the team you would want to leave to double team someone. That’s why Curry’s numbers were so much better when he played with Lee i think, as Ben R frequently notes. Basic point, shooting is not the only way to be a potent threat on the offensive end.

    But in general, I really don’t think about the game like you seem to, as a series of one-on-one matchups between players. I definitely think a great offensive rebounder like Lee, just by virtue of his rebounding, has an enormous impact on a game. Teams have to worry much more about Lee’s rebounding than Crawford’s shooting.

  41. Owen

    Edit: Lee hasn’t been quite the threat he was last year, I agree with that Jon.

    edit: “rebound many missed shots:

    And I probably should have said they have to worry at least as much as about his offensive rebounding as Crawford’s shooting.

  42. CMAC

    I don’t know how you guys come up with this Crawford for president this. He is a loser the worst loser in the NBA. Not only that he doesn’t play defense. He should be the first one to go on the team. I would rather have someone playing defense instead of him. Just to say it again HE IS THE BIGGEST LOSER IN THE NBA.

  43. CMAC

    I don’t know how you guys come up with this Crawford for president thing. He is a loser the worst loser in the NBA. He doesn’t play defense, doesnt put the effort in the game. He should be the first one to go on the team. I would rather have someone playing defense instead of him. Just to say it again HE IS THE BIGGEST LOSER IN THE NBA.

  44. Ben R

    Jamal is good at shooting incredibly difficult shots. The problem is he is forced or chooses to do it too often. Watch the Suns, Mavs, Jazz Spurs, etc and you see teams that do not need their players to take off balance incredibly difficult shots because they move the ball and wait for good shots. That is where Crawford is not very good and Nate is much better. When it is an open jumper or an open lane Nate is better at either making the jumper, making the layup or getting to the free throw line.

    I wish Randolph could not shoot the outside shot because maybe then he would stop trying. He is only hitting 33.8% of his jumpers, and David Lee for all the talk of how bad his jumper is is hitting 37.5% of his. Neither is very good but at it but at least Lee makes sure jumpers are only 26% of his total shots while they account for 58% of Zach’s. Lee despite stuggling this season is still shooting a TS% 8% higher than Zach while having an assist rate of twice as high and turnover rate 2/3 of what Zach’s is.

    As for Zach vs Curry, I do not think it is close. People say that if Zach played inside he would be better than Eddy but inside Zach is shooting 58.3% and Eddy despite stuggling the last couple of games is converting inside shots at 66.9%. Also Zach and Eddy are averaging almost the same amount of points per 40 but Zach is taking 4.4 more shots and turning the ball over 1.5 times more often. As for protecting the paint Curry is averaging 0.9 blks per 40 which is bad but Zach is only averaging 0.2 blocks per 40 which puts him behind every single Knick except Nate and Steph. Crawford is blocking more shots than Zach!

    Zach should be traded because he cannot play with Eddy and even at his best is not nearly the inside player that Curry is. Neither can play defense but I again would take Eddy becasue at least he runs down the court, how many times has Zach been too busy complaing to cover his man. As for rebounding the only thing Zach has going for him, I think a front court with both Balkman and Lee makes up for Curry’s weakness.

    Curry is not great but at least he is not harmful. Zach Randolph has only managed to shoot 50% or better in 4 games out of 12 while Curry has only shot 50% or better in 13 out of 15 games. Randolph has 3 or more turnovers in 9 of his 12 games while Curry has only had 3 or more turnovers in 4 out of his 15 games.

    Randolph is a liability and between him and Richardson I groan when either of then hoist up a jumshot becasue most of the time neither is going in. Their jumpshooting is the difference between our near top 10 offense last year (at least until Lee and Crawford went down) and our 26th ranked offense this year, because Marbury, Crawford and Curry are all shooting the same TS% as last year.

  45. Owen

    Zach has been a rebounding monster. He is averaging almost two more offensive rebounds per 40 than Curry. If you let Randolph operate closer to the basket, I think he would shoot around the 53.7% he offered last year, which isn’t that far off the 57% Curry is at this year. Two offensive rebounds per game is a huge edge between two players.

    I don’t really care if it’s Curry or Randolph. Well, I do disagree with you actually, I think Zach is the better player, though he hasn’t been thus far as a Knick. But I dislike them both, and the combination of the two of them on the floor together is absolutely toxic, I get nearly epileptic every time they have a defensive series together.

  46. Ben R

    Zach has been a monster on the glass but he has been really really bad everywhere else. Over 4 turnovers per 40, TS% of less than 50% and I think Isiah actually went out and found the one bigman who is a worse defender than Curry.

    As for getting rid of Curry and moving Zach inside his TS% would increase but very likely his rebounds would go down because he would be playing next to Lee, a great rebounder, instead of Curry. Also playing inside makes players more turnover prone and he is already averaging more than 4 so I hate to think. On top of that our guards are bad at feeding the post so most likely Randolph would eventually float back to the outside to insure he gets is 20 shots a game and his TS% would would slide right back down.

    Also Randolph is coming off a couple of his best games shooting wise so his TS% is at a season high while Curry is coming off of his worst couple games this year so his TS% is at a season low. Curry’s will climb back up toward 60% and Randolph’s should return to the 45% he has had most season.

    I would say get rid of them both but I really like Lee and if he is our PF we need a scorer at the C position and I do not think we could get low post close to Curry or Randolph in a trade so unfortunatly we are stuck with one of the two to pair with Lee and far and away Curry is the choice.

    Owen what is better, Randolph getting 2 more offensive rebounds and having 4.4 more missed shots and 1.5 more TOs or Curry’s 2 less offensive rebounds while scoring the same amount on 6 less possesions.

  47. jon abbey

    it’s an incredible measure of the team that you can make a serious case for either starting guard being more toxic, and same for either post player. at least the fifth starter is a loudmouth never was, who Colangelo moved at exactly the right time. maybe all those head pounds have gotten to him?

    ladies and gentlemen, your 2007-2008 New York KNNNNIIIIIICCCCCCCKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

  48. Ben R

    jon abbey – great point I would not fight to keep a single one of our starters. The funny thing is the worst one is Q who I really liked last season. He cannot hit the side of a barn this year. At least Jeffries and Balkman know not to shoot jumpers, Q keeps heaving them up as if his elbow will all of a sudden be better.

  49. Owen

    “Owen what is better, Randolph getting 2 more offensive rebounds and having 4.4 more missed shots and 1.5 more TOs or Curry?s 2 less offensive rebounds while scoring the same amount on 6 less possesions.”

    Well, to invoke WOW stats to answer that question…

    Randolph = .211 Win Score per minute
    Curry = .153 Win Score per minute

    Curry had a few strong games, but overall Randolph has been better, although both are below the average for big men, which is .225 per minute.

    I think there is a good chance that Randolph will end the year above average, and that Curry will be below average, which is why I put up that bottle of Cristal for Jon. I hear what you are saying about Lee and Curry working well together. Lee doesn’t look good guarding even Bogut last night, he isn’t a pure post defender. But I think it would be a mistake to choose Curry over Randolph. If we could ever get a respectable defensive center, say Hibbert, we would be much better off with Lee, Randolph, and Hibbert, than Lee Curry Hibbert. Basically, any defensive center would make Curry obsolete, a point I have been making for almost a year now, yes, even the vanilla gorilla joel pryzbilla….

  50. Ben R

    I actually like Pryzbilla but regardless I think the problem with pairing a defensive center with Lee is that we would have no scoring in the post and would have to become a jumpshooting team, which with this team would be really bad. Almost every good offensive team has one starting bigman with a usage of over 20. So if you paired Lee with a defensive center we would have to rely on Crawford, Marbury and Q to score our points.

    I also think that if we had a good defensive/rebounding player to pair with Lee and someone else the better someone else would be Curry because with two strong rebounders you do not need the third one to be a strong rebounder, and Curry is a better scorer which is what you want in the third part of the Lee/defensive bigman/scorer trio.

    The problem with Randolph is he is neither a good defender or a good scorer, so he does not fill any role well, especially if we have Lee filling the energy/rebounder role. Curry has huge faults but at least he is very good on the offensive end. Randolph is bad on the defensive end and merely average at the offensive end, his offensive rebounding is the only thing keeping him from being bad on both ends.

  51. Ben R

    Also WOW in my opinion grossly over rewards rebounders and the fact that Randolph is only .5 better when it comes to WOW, (a stat that usually has Curry as one of the worst players in the league) just shows how much better Curry is this year.

  52. Owen

    Ben – Fair enough. A lot of people think that about the WOW (though I do not.) Bottom line, I would much rather have a legitimate defensive center than Curry. The offense we can figure out without Curry, but we will never be able to play solid defense with him.

    I think Randolph’s failings on defense, though more reprehsible to the degree they involve lack of effort, are not as severe as Curry’s. Randolph grabs a lot of loose defensive rebounds. He does this very well in fact. And that cuts down on opponent’s opportunities. And it is much more the responsibility of a center to play defense than a power forward, imho.

    I think our offense would be alright without Curry if Randolph played down in the block. And our defense would be a lot better without Curry.

    But good defensive centers don’t grow on trees…

  53. Ben R

    Owen – I would rather have a good defensive center than either Curry or Randolph but if I had to choose between the two I choose Curry. Also if Curry goes and Randolph starts he will be playing center which would be much worse than Curry because he is even worse at weakside defense and the overall team defensive responsibilities that centers have.

    Lee should be our power forward. We need a center to play next to him. Randolph is not a center, he is only 6’8″ and has no vertical jump. Curry is at least a true center and can defend centers in the post.

    Also the two big weaknesses of Curry on the offensive end have improved greatly this season. Curry’s turnovers are way down, he is averaging 2.7 turnovers per 40 and has a turnover rate of 13.0 which is better than average for a center. Also since his bad start shooting free throws, 4 for 16 in his first three games he has shot over 70% since and has only one game in which he shot under 50%.

    Also Curry seems to be defending the paint better lately, two blocks against both Utah and Milwaukee. Too soon to tell if it is an abberation or a sign of things to come but its nice to be hopeful.

    So in my world we would have a three man rotation of Lee, Curry and then a player like Wallace or someone like that. In fact we should trade Randolph for Wallace and one of the bulls young players (Thomas, Noah or Duhon). They are desperate maybe they would do it. I would love Thomas he is going to be a great defender, but Noah would not be bad and Duhon would give us some defense from the PG position. Either way a three man rotation of Wallace, Lee and Curry seems pretty good to me.

  54. z-man

    Owen,

    I have watched almost every knick game since the Walt Bellamy days. David Lee is the worst shooting PF from beyond 5 feet that I have ever seen on the knicks given his playing time and fan appeal. I gave you a long list of PF’s that can do what he can’t, which is hit the open 15 footer. Your excusing him for this makes you a basketball idiot.

  55. Owen

    Ok, I am a basketball idiot. Bravo. Well argued.

    Ben – I propose we table the discussion, to be resumed at the thirty game mark…

    Although I really doubt the Bulls would do that trade. Wallace hasn’t really been the problem, Hinrich and Gordon have been awful, and that is most of it, imho….

  56. Ben R

    Owen – I agree we should table the discussion. I hate to admit it but I am a bit of a Curry fan. I like low post players and he might be the best in the league. Terrible at everything else but probably the best low post player in the NBA. Especially now that his turnovers are down and his FT% is up. I truly believe that with the right guards around him he could be a dominant player.

    Hi my name is Ben and I am an Eddy Curry Apologist.

    Also I have been hating Zach’s game, everytime he touches the ball I cringe. Those jumpshots and turnovers trying to split the double team just kill me.

    z-man – First the hyperbole is a little over the top and we should try and keep things civil.

    Plus Lee with his “horrible shot” is hitting jumpshots at an efg% of 37.5%. That is better than Zach (33.8% on jumpshots), Richardson (35.1% on jumpshots), Jones (35.1% on jumpshots) plus not surprisingly every other Knick except Marbury (44.2%), Nate (51.2%) and Crawford (48.6%). (I did not include Morris and Chandler because they have played so little)

    So while Lee does not have a great jumpshot he is not the worst ever, in fact I can name three PF’s on the Knicks right now that have worse shooting from outside 5 feet – Randolph, Rose and Jeffries.

  57. Kiyaman

    This Knick Team is in desperate need of Strategy, it can not live on just individual player talent for a WIN (The Knicks crunchtime WIN over Bucks).

    The strategist coach is there in Herb Williams with Mark Aquire & Hann as his sidekicks. The Team Stats will improve, certain players stats will change for the better of the team with a set Team-Strategy. If this Knick-Team used a Strategy-System then it would be easy to comment on an individual players performance. But it dont! so it becomes hard to bash a single players performance on offense or defense when every play is a surprise play that was not prepared in practice or strategically put in a system inwhich each player knows what position to fall into to complete this play. The Knicks starting-5 players look terrible on a 3 on 2 or a 2 on 1 fastbreak. This need to be changed.

    Only thing is Herb will not put up with Marb & Craw not executing his way and will Bench the two players on the spot for either Nate, Collins, and Jones defensive efforts in crunchtime.
    How Coach Herb Williams would react to Eddy Curry performance is unknown, but with Rookie Randolph Morris on stand by Curry would have to get his act together quick if Herb Williams was the Knick Coach.
    These are the things that may bother Isiah Thomas with Herb Williams being the Knicks interim Head Coach. However ….
    The time is right for Herb Williams to take over as the Knicks Head Coach having Owner Dolan on his side to prevent Isiah from leaning on him for benching any of Isiah favorite players. This way Isiah could get back to his G.M. Job because he Flunked and Failed as the Knick Head Coach on that Plane incident with Marbury (for not benching Marbury for 5 to 10 games without pay, graded Isiah Thomas a “F” as a Head Coach.) .

    Coach Herb Williams style of strategy-coaching will WIN games and let us Fans know our prime weakness from WINNING games…

  58. z-man

    I apologize, Owen, will be more civil. However, I stand by my critique of Lee. I love him in his role a 20-30 minute off-the-bench energy guy, but do not think he is a starting calibre PF in this league and won’t be until he learns how to shoot. The fact that Lee, a third year pro now, is getting so little time despite his rebounding prowess, energy and defensive commitment speaks for itself. That’s why IT has to play ZR and EC even though they play such uninspired D. Do you honestly think he is more than that?

    Ben, ZR has a decent shot and although he takes it too often, he still needs to be defended out there. That keeps his man out of the middle so that if he passes (too rarely) there is room for guard penetration. Rose will also confidently take that shot and hit it enough to merit defensive concern, but the comparison is moot because he is clearly not in the rotation and is a 5-10 minute guy at most. JJ is a scrub and more of an oversized 2 or 3, not a PF. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw Lee make a shot beyond 10 feet, has he made any this year?

    Do you guys think Lee should get more minutes? If yes, how? I will watch him more carefully on O in the next few games to see what his man is doing or how he does against the zone. I would ask you guys to do the same. Fair enough?

  59. njhoops

    A little perspective re: our beloved team….

    There is no reason for any Knick fan to be happy about where we are right now, but we also need to keep things in perspective after only 15 games. 1) The only games we have lost that we should definitely not have lost are Miami, and maybe GS and Sac. The Boston game was an embarassment for sure but counts as one loss as far as I know 2) Miami is 4-11 and the Bulls are 4-10. The rest of the east other than Bos. Orl. and Det. are muddling around .500. The Nets are playing badly and were lucky to not lose to Philly and have back to back horrible home losses, with Frank’s job in jeopardy.

    I want to stress one thing before all you posters go on the attack: I am far from convinced that this team can put any kind of run together at this point. BUT, they have shown signs (Den. Utah, comeback against Milw.) that they’re not a complete lost cause. In a week if they go out and get killed by the Suns and the Nets and struggle against Philly, I will humbly return to this forum and pronounce this team DOA. But let’s all calm down a little and see what happens

  60. Owen

    “Do you guys think Lee should get more minutes?”

    Lol, yes, absolutely. The fact DLee is getting less time than he did last year speaks not for itself, but for the fact that Isaiah is a total nincompoop. Last year, when Lee was getting 30 minutes per bofore he got hurt, the Knicks were almost a 500 team. He had the best adjusted +/- by far on the team. Without a jumpshot, he was clearly the best player by a huge margin, and mostly on offense. The Knicks were 9 points better on offense last year with Lee on the court last year, they were 2.6 points worse with Curry on offense. Looking at the stats its pretty clear why that is the case. Lee generates so many second opportunities, converts so efficiently, and turns the ball over so little, while passing well, that his net offensive impact, when he is playing well, is much more significant than Curry’s.

    Randolph actually had a better adjusted +/- than Lee last year, although I think that has something to do with the extra minutes he played, but he can be an effective player, Curry hasn’t shown that yet in his career…

    IMHO of course, an opinion I have been voicing for a year now….

  61. cwod

    “However, I stand by my critique of Lee. I love him in his role a 20-30 minute off-the-bench energy guy, but do not think he is a starting calibre PF in this league and won?t be until he learns how to shoot. The fact that Lee, a third year pro now, is getting so little time despite his rebounding prowess, energy and defensive commitment speaks for itself.”

    Does it? I think it says more about Isiah’s idiocy than anything wrong with Lee’s game. This is the same coach who was starting Jerome James last season.

    “Ben, ZR has a decent shot and although he takes it too often, he still needs to be defended out there. That keeps his man out of the middle so that if he passes (too rarely) there is room for guard penetration.”

    I think this is part of what people are saying. The whole fact that ZR loves his jumper is what costs the Knicks potentially higher-percentage shots. This results in numerous lost opportunities each game, which make for an incredibly inefficient player. At this point, people know Randolph can make that shot on occasion, and as others have argued, he really should spend most of his time in the low post, where he’d be able to score at a much higher rate.

    “Rose will also confidently take that shot and hit it enough to merit defensive concern.”

    I have never seen Rose make that shot. In fact, he has only made four FGs all season in 22 attempts. I know you’ve been bringing up how much you’ve watched the actual games, but seriously, Rose has an efg% of 18% this year.

    “I honestly can?t remember the last time I saw Lee make a shot beyond 10 feet, has he made any this year?”

    Someone already cited Lee’s stats on hitting jumpers, an efg% of 37.5%, which is better than any non-guard on the team.

    Like everyone has said over and over again here, the ability to hit a jumper is vastly overrated in the NBA, especially for big men. I actually cringe whenever I see Rasheed Wallace launching long threes.

  62. Wizzle

    NJhoops – All statistics aside, and being patient to see what happens with the SUNS and JERSEY is not the main problem. The main issue is that we have a fool for an owner who makes horrible personnel decisions.

    Even if we do ‘ok’ this week and say win 35 games this year, where does that get you? Only place I can think of is mediocrity land.

    The key is making Dolan sell the team to an owner who doesnt take media scrutiny personally and actually cares about he product on the hardwood. The only thing Dolan cares about making sure the KNICKS PR dept is doing their job spewing out MSG propoganda on how good they are and leveraging the storied past of the KNICKS for redundant shows on MSG. If they dont their act together, we will only the past memories of this franchise to fondly think of as we watch the dolans drag the knicks to new lows that I dont think I can stomach anymore.

  63. Mr. Black

    Do I think Lee should get more minutes.

    I am of two minds on the subject. Yes, Lee should get more minutes any time that Curry does not provide consistent scoring. As I have stated many times on this site, Curry is a one trick pony. His one trick is scoring in the low post. When he does not bring that one trick to the game, there is no need to have him on the floor. Even when Lee’s struggles to score in the paint (he has been blocked alot this year, has he lost some lift?) and on jumpers, Lee brings solid rebounding and he stays in front of his man. He is also a pretty good passer, both from the post and on outlets. So Yes, Lee should get Curry’s minutes any time Curry cant score because when Curry isnt scoring he is a zero for the team.

    Lee should get more minutes as a member of the second team AND the second team should get more minutes as a unit. The Knick’s second unit of Balkman, Jones, Lee and Robinson. Gives the Knicks a unit that can push the ball, run the court and play high energy (if not effective)defense. The second unit has been a big part of the 5 wins this team has. Lee should be one of the anchors of the second unit and the entire unit should see more floor time.

    On the other hand….

    No, Lee should not get more minutes if he has to play the three. He is not quick enough to keep up with most SFs in the NBA. He doesnt have enough of an outside shot to remain an effective offensive weapon while Curry and Randolph are the post scorers.

  64. jon abbey

    njhoops, the bigger problem is our “formula” for success. on the rare occasions they play well (Denver and Utah specifically), it’s one on one offensive play and risky D that gets the occasional turnover and even more dunks against. it’s like a Paul Westhead/Phoenix/GS offense, except with two post players, a starting SF almost always incapable of hitting a shot, and a couple of starting guards who are well below average at passing. it’s entertaining when it all clicks, but percentages say that’s not going to happen very often.

  65. njhoops

    Jon Abbey:
    I hear you, but to me it comes down to lineups. Less Curry and more Lee and Jones for instance. When Isaiah occasionally pushes the right buttons,like having Jones and Lee in the game against Milwaukee, the results can be impressive. However, with that being said, in a lot of ways, I’m as skeptical as any fan, because when you think about it, there are very few teams, if any, in this league that are “gimmes” for a team like the Knicks. I guess my point was we’re not the absolute dregs of the NBA (as TNT would have you believe.)

  66. jon abbey

    nope, but we are the dregs of the Eastern Conference. I don’t think there’s another Eastern team I wouldn’t trade rosters with, even Miami has Wade.

  67. njhoops

    I think that’s a little extreme – would you take the Wizards roster with a constantly injured Arenas and zero low post presence? Or the Pacers?

  68. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “keep giving Crawford 36-40 minutes a game and hope he?ll be less streaky.”

    I agree to let Crawford play 40 minutes a game, but that’s because the more the Knicks lose, the better. Maybe we can find more minutes for Malik Rose too.

    And can we obsess more about David Lee’s lack of a jumpshot? There are a ton of fundamental flaws on our team. The difference is that Lee is actually productive with his. I think it’s even worse to know all you have to do is keep Lee of the boards and not foul him under the rim, and it seems that no one’s been able to do it.

  69. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “I agree to let Crawford play 40 minutes a game, but that?s because the more the Knicks lose, the better. Maybe we can find more minutes for Malik Rose too.”

    Let me clarify. If we’re giving Crawford 40 minutes a game in the hopes that he’ll be different, then I think we’re fooling ourselves. I think he’s shown some improvement this year, but I don’t think he’s changed enough to give him the keys to the team. Just because the rest of the team is just as (or more) dysfunctional doesn’t mean JC gets a free pass.

    I think my frustration stems from seeing the same team on the floor doing the same mistakes. I’m tired of Curry not rebounding. I’m tired of Crawford missing 8 shots a game. I’m tired of Marbury’s antics. But most of all I’m tired of losing with the same team & the same excuses. I’d rather lose giving 30+ minutes to Lee, Robinson, and Balkman. At least there’s the chance that one of them will prove to be more than a 24 min guy, and the chance that this team will start to win games.

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