Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tonight’s 4 Factors (vs SEA, 12/12/07)

Knicks lose to Sonics, 117 – 110

	Pace	Eff	eFG	FT/FG	OREB%	TOr
SEA	95.0	123.2	61.1%	22.2	22.2	12.6
NYK		115.8	50.5%	14.7	40.4	14.7

The Knicks finally got their act together on offense. Unfortunately, they also had perhaps their worst defensive performance of the season as well, considering the competition. Seattle had been 29th in offensive efficiency coming into the game, scoring less than 100 points per 100 possessions. And yet they came onto the Knicks home turf and blew the doors off, scoring 7 points per 100 possessions more than the average offensive output of the NBA-leading Dallas Mavericks.

Folks, sorry to bail so soon, but I think this is my last installment of the 4 factor game reviews for this season. With more than a quarter of the season gone, the Knicks have shown they are at the bottom of the NBA barrel. They have the 26th worst offense, the absolute worst defense, and the worst Pythagorean expected win % in the league. It’s no fun writing about how bad they are after each game, and it’s probably no fun reading about it either. Here’s to the lottery.


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.

104 comments on “Tonight’s 4 Factors (vs SEA, 12/12/07)

  1. dave crockett

    Thanks for all your work Tom, but it is hard to come up with different ways to say this team stinks night after night.

    The team has quit, and there’s little point in firing Isiah now. Well, except the whole “he’s an embarrassment to the franchise, the league, and the game” thing. But why risk stumbling onto someone who might inspire marginally better play and cost the team ping pong balls in June–especially if you don’t care about the fans?

    This team is in a pretty miserable state and it doesn’t promise to get any better any time soon. :(

  2. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, thanks, Tom.

    I do have to agree, through no fault of your own, these babies are basically becoming as repetitive as all get out.

    “The Knicks sucked – again.”

    “The Knicks sucked – AGAIN.”

    So annoying.

    Thanks again for all the work, Tom!

  3. Walter Q. Bottomsworth

    Does anyone feel like there’s some sort of “Major League” sub-plot lurking below the surface? Maybe Dolan’s trying to move the franchise to Tampa Bay.

  4. PrezIke

    Great work, Tom, and can’t blame you for stopping now. Appreciate all of the data analysis you’ve done, as I think it has contributed to the collective b-ball intelligence of Knick fans, rather than added to the clutter of rhetoric and hack driven banter we can often be left with elsewhere.

  5. Brian K.

    who gives a flying f*ck about offense? defense was what won us games back in the days.
    this team needs heart and toughness to play better defense, and that’s something everyone(almost) on this team will never have.
    gotta get rid of bums and start over. it’s still not too late. i can stand another 2-3 years of losing if this team starts going into a right direction(starting with firing of zeke).

  6. Brian K.

    who gives a flying f*ck about offense? defense was what won us games back in the days.
    this team needs heart and toughness to play better defense, and that’s something everyone(almost) on this team will never have.
    gotta get rid of bums and start over. it’s still not too late. i can stand another 2-3 years of losing if this team starts going into a right direction(starting with firing of zeke.

  7. retropkid

    but you have to admit, Zeke is great at drafting guys…look at how much Robinson, Balkman, and Chandler contributed last night as proof…oh wait, excuse me, I guess none of them did much at all…

    But they are still young! Oh wait, Durant is 19…our guys have four or five years on him…hmmm…

    “oh wait” — the rallying cry for this season’s Knicks…I can’t wait for Zeke to be out of NY once and for all.

  8. flitzy

    The thing no one ever talks about is that from here till forver when u think of isiah, you will think of all this sh*t, how bad he has screwed up so many times post playing career, not hat he was an unbelievable point guard/leader.. Could you imagine jordan, bird, magic, dumars, any other player from that era with a big name screwing up so bad where u dont think of them as a player?? its unreal

  9. carl tropper

    There is one thing left to say. Dolan has done the un-doable.
    He has destroyed a flagship team with fanatic fans.
    He belongs in some sort of hall of fame dedicated to people
    like him.
    Only no one else would qualify.
    He stands alone.

  10. Frank O.

    Thanks for the four factors. It has run its course.
    Yesterday I wrote that Durant was probably going to get 30+ points because our defense is so porous.
    Turns out Crawford did take 22 shots last night, and made 50 percent, which is unusual, although four foul shots is ridiculous for a guy taking that many shots.
    But the Knicks let a team that has a weak offense to score 117 in the Garden.
    Balkman, who shut down Durant during the summer, was screwed to the bench. I wrote about that yesterday, too. Either his injury has kept him there or Isiah has grown frustrated with his fouling, which seems stupid.
    Crawford’s inability or unwillingness to defend is utterly killing this team. It’s not just Curry and Randolph who suck on D. That weakness is exacerbated when guards give up on defense. Crawford simply lets his man go when faced with a pick. Then guys like Lee, who at least try, look like they are getting schooled by guys like Durant.
    and Curry and Randolph don’t really try.
    As a result, they can’t stop anyone.

    This team smells.

  11. Mr. Black

    David Stern approaches the podium.

    Stern: “With the second pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select…wait this can’t be right. Did I get the right envelope?”

    Thomas: “Yes, that correct.”

    Stern: “Okay then, the New York Knicks select, Omer Asik of Istanbul, Turkey. Omer is not here.”
    http://www.nbadraft.net/admincp/profiles/omerasik.html

    Thomas: “We are very excited about this player. We felt we had to take him now because our sources tell us that Boston was considering taking him with the 60th pick in the draft. Since we traded our second round pick, we felt we had to get the player we wanted now.”

    Dan Patrick: “Well, any reaction to this pick guys?”

    Greg Anthony: “…….”

    Steven A. Smith: “……..”

    Bayless: “What the phuck just happened here?”

    Dan: “Skip, were live here.”

    Bayless: “No, this is some kind of joke. This didn’t just phucking happen. I’m being “Punk’D”, right?”

    Smith: “…….”

    Dan Patrick: “Well, lets go to Sam Presti, General Manager of the Supersonics who have the third pick. Sam, any reaction?”

    Sam (laughing hysterically): “I can’t belive what I just saw. We were all set *snicker* to take *choke* Omer, but Thomas beat us *snicker* to the punch *laughs*. We’ll just have to settle for Derick Rose.” (Wipes tear from eye)

    ————
    Laugh now. But tell me you don’t fear that this couls ACTUALLY HAPPEN!

  12. CMAC

    Great post Mr. Black I was thinking about writing about that subject too, good job it’s funny but just like Metallica says “sad but true”

  13. Luke

    As per usual Frank passes up the big picture to focus blame on Crawford.Crawford and Randolph played great games but they got little help outside of lee.Its funny that you didnt mention Nate and I wonder why ?Could it be he was 5-17 off the bench ? He made 2-3 shots in the first half and decided he was no longer trying to be a point guard and shot the rock almost everytime he touched it.I know he was he was excited to get extended minutes with Q’s injury but that was too much old Nate last night and not enough new nate .

    As for defense the way you rag on Crawford is hilarious when its not his defense that killing the knicks but the knicks defensive scheme developed by Isiah that simply doesnt have the knicks bigs do what every other team in the league requires of their bigs .

    You watch teams like the Bulls,Spurs,and Cavs and you see their bigmen turning those ballhandlers towards the sideline and then hustling back to their own men .Every team in the league either doubles the ballhandler period like what teams do with Crawford or Marbury or they hedge it .The knicks do neither an this a noticeable and easily exploitable weakness in the knciks defense.They are not game planning Crawford going under the screen but that the knicks bigmen dont hustle and dont hedge on screens so keep your dribble and you can get into the lane .In the nba all ANY guard needs is ONE STEP and they can get into the lane .

    Crawford goes over the screen more now than he ever has but still goes under it too much but that beats the alternative which is getting caught on the screen with no help defense and the guy going flying down the lane.

    The Bigmen are normally the best at directing the defense as they normally have the best view of the entire floor they normally set the guard up with how they are gonna play certain situations.If the guard know they are gonna hedge everytime they can go over the pick and just make sure they recover to their men so the defense can rotate and reset.

    Last night the reason Lee got dunked on was because he was hesitant to leave Thomas who he left open a previous play to double Durant and no one rotated over to pick up Thomas .He made that shot so the next play lee hesitates and doesnt commit all the way as soon as he should and by not forcing him to pick up that dribble he alowed him all the to basket for the dunk using his weak hand .

  14. Tom T

    “The thing no one ever talks about is that from here till forver when u think of isiah, you will think of all this sh*t, how bad he has screwed up”

    I’m also surprised that nobody is talking about what isiah is going to do after he inevitably gets the boot. He is going to air all of his dirty laundry and do everything he can to trash the Knicks in a effort to salvage his legacy. It’s going to get extraordinarily ugly.

  15. Mr. Black

    Frank O. and CMAC,

    Thanks for the feedback and I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    I am trying to use humor to deal with the pain. I am also trying to prepare myself for just how crazy this could get. CMAC is right, it is funny and sad because it is true. Things really could get that bad.

    Most of the time the silver lining of a horrid season is a great draft pick. But things have been so bad for the Knicks that I cant escape the feeling that we are going to find a way to pass up OJ Mayo, Derrick Rose, or Mike Beasely with a top two pick.

  16. Frank O.

    Luke:

    First, you make a couple good points.
    - You are right that the Knicks’ big men don’t hedge on screens.
    - And if they were to hedge, the help defense sucks so badly that whoever hedges, his man is free because the Knicks don’t rotate.
    This is a failure by Isiah to recognize his team?s weaknesses and adjusting.

    Having said that, given that the Knicks by design don’t hedge, and typically don’t double, the guard must go over the screen, not under.

    But Crawford is different. Sometimes he goes under, and sometimes he literally stops and gives up on the play. Hedging doesn?t help if the defending guard gives up. A hedge is a temporary holding action to create time for the guard to get back into position.
    Also, Crawford doesn’t body up on defense, he doesn’t hustle on defense, he doesn’t hand check on defense. He is a freakin’ MATADOR.

    Now, comparing Robinson and Crawford, a couple of important points you choose to ignore.
    - Crawford is 27, almost 28, and has played in the league since 2000.
    - Lifetime, he is barely a 40 percent shooter, which is horrible.
    - This year, he’s shooting 39 PERCENT! And he gets 40 minutes burn.

    Conversely,
    - Robinson is 23, has been playing only since 2005.
    - He is a career 41 percent shooter, but only with 17 minutes burn. Admittedly, not great.
    - He’s only shooting 36 percent this year, but a large part of that was because he’s been playing through a hamstring injury.

    The point is if you have a guy that plays 40 minutes, taking 15 to 20 shots a night, and is only hitting 40 percent – 30 percent from 3pt – he’s killing you. Robinson basically is doing the same thing, with less experience, admittedly less height, yet he has shown an ability to improve. He, by no means however, is a panacea.

    To recap, in my view:
    - Crawford shoots too often, inconsistently, and on the whole, poorly.
    - He takes too many jump shots, meaning he doesn?t get to the line enough.
    - He dribbles too much, meaning he isn?t getting his teammates involved.
    This translates in to wasted, inefficient possessions over the entire game because he?s out there all night.
    But it doesn?t end there. On defense:
    - He plays little to no defense, causing the team defense to break down virtually every possession.
    As a result, defenders that already are weak are further exposed. And say what you will about big men, good defense starts at the perimeter.

    So how is it that such an inefficient player gets to dominate the ball and take as many shots as he takes?

    Robinson had an off night. He got 25 minutes for the first time in a long time and made some dumb decisions. But he is coachable and has shown improvement, generally, when he gets some burn. We saw what he could do with time during the summer.

    Crawford is a veteran in his prime still making rookie mistakes.
    No one doubts that on any given day he can go off and get hot.
    But if the Knicks are to begin to win, it will not…it cannot…be on the back of a guy that plays like Crawford.
    Crawford reminds me of John Starks, a career 41 percent shooter, 34 percent from 3pt, who was incredibly streaky and could take over games – in a good way and a bad way.
    But when he was with the Knicks, he was not the first option or the second option on offense.
    And Starks played defense.

  17. Caleb

    I’m not too worried about the lottery… we’ll do just fine there.

    Until then… yuck.

    Crawford, Curry, Randolph, you can’t single out anyone. We have exactly one good defensive player on the team, and he is injured. This ain’t gonna get (much) better.

  18. Caleb

    Starks is an interesting comparison… the shooting stats are very similar. Of course, as you point out, John was a terrific defensive player and he also led NBA shooting guards in assists at least once. His assist: TO ratio was always better than 2 to 1 – point guard numbers.

    It’s funny – if Crawford ever dialed down the stupid shots and played defense, he could be a terrific rotation player on a good team. But, like you say, he’s almost 28 years old, less than 3 years younger than Marbury. No reason to think he’ll get better.

  19. Donald Trump

    A thought triggered by the comments re Zeke’s legacy…

    Thomas removes himself as coach and puts in someone unbelievable like Mark Aguirre. Dolan goes along with this because he’s already committed to not canning Thomas…Aguirre doesn’t cost the team any more money…it’s at least an attempt (at what I don’t know).

    Thomas then recedes into the gm spot where he trashes the players but survives to make the picks in the 08 draft.

  20. Owen

    Here was my favorite bit from Vecsey today, echoed my comment from yesterday, then suggests something might happen that I have been dreaming about for more than a year now, although to be honest, I don’t really know how much it will help….

    “…Isiah was absolutely right that there is more instinctive loyalty in the heartland. New Yorkers just won?t put up with this wretched basketball.

    Thomas didn?t get on the fans Wednesday, having witnessed the same game they saw. Seattle, coached by P. J. Carlesimo, displayed the kind of ball movement that New Yorkers consider their birthright.

    ?We had enough effort,? Thomas said after the game. ?We didn?t have enough good play. We didn?t have smart play.? He also suggested very strongly that the lumbering Eddy Curry might be spending more time on the bench.”

  21. Hudson River

    I hope there is no steroid use in basketball…

    Guilty:
    Bobby Estalella, Jason/Jeremy Giambi, Benito Santigo, Gary Sheffield, Randy Valverde, David , Larry Bigbie, Brian Roberts, Jack Cust, Tim Lacker, Josias Manzanillo, Todd Hundley, Mark Carreon, Hal Morris, Matt Franco, Rondelle White, ROGER CLEMENS (INCLUDING CHARGES AS A SUBDISTRIBUTOR) Andy Petite, Chuck Knowblauch, Jason Grimsley, Gregg Zaun, David Justice, F.P. Santagelo, Glenallen Hill, Mo Vaugn, Denny Neagle, Ron Villone, Ryan Franklin, Chris DOnnels, Phil Hiatt, Todd Williams, MIGUEL TEJADA (JUST TRADED TO THE ASTROS), Paul Lo Duca, Kevin Brown, Paul Byrd, Jose Canseco, Jay Gibbons, Troy Glaus, Jose Guillen, Gary Mathews Jr., John Rocker,

  22. jon abbey

    Owen, in my world (one that involves buying the Post and Times every day), when you use the surname ‘Vecsey’ in relation to the NBA, you mean Peter.

  23. Owen

    10-4. Won’t happen again.

    Does the fact that it’s George mean Curry is more or less likely to be seeing less time out there?

  24. jon abbey

    less than if Peter or another Post writer wrote it, certainly. the Times sports section is an ongoing joke, especially considering what those columnists’ salaries must be.

  25. Frank O.

    MIke Wise used to be pretty good covering the NBA for the Times, but he went to the Washington Post.

  26. njhoops

    Speaking of headlines, did you see this one:

    “Knicks players indicted in estrogen scandal”

    So that explains everything!

  27. JK47

    Crawford may be similar to Starks with respect to shooting percentages, but Starks was the far superior overall player. Cue up a tape of the mid-90′s Knicks and watch the way Starks and Harper harrass opposing ballhandlers. Starks worked his tail off on defense. Starks was also a better passer and ballhandler.

    One side effect of the miserableness of the Knicks is that I’ve become far more interested in college hoops this year. I will be eagerly watching the progress of the top lottery pick-type players.

  28. Z

    “the way Starks and Harper harrass opposing ballhandlers.”

    You mean the way they stuck a stiff arm into the ball handler’s side and didn’t allow them to move?

    Crawford could try that, but I don’t think it will get him much except for 6 quick fouls.

  29. JK47

    Starks was extremely tenacious when it came to fighting through screens. Crawford is a joke in this regard.

  30. Luke

    Frank:

    Crawfords screen play is based on the type of help he feels hes gonna receive .In other words its a confidence issue .Players who believe their bigs are gonna do whats needed get over those picks while players who dont go under.Handchecking is illegal Frank and hes not overtly strong so bodying up really shouldnt be what he is doing.He should be using his length(6’11 wingspan) and quickness against defenders.Im not saying hesa stud defnder or will ever be but hes light years ahead of where he was when he arrived but weve been so bad this year its basically overlooked.

    Age has nothing to do with as evident by Durant dropping almost 40.When given the chance youve got to produce and I dont have anything against Nate but last night was a chance for him to get his role expanded and earn back some minutes from Jones.

    I recall the sixers going to the finals with a player shooting 40%. Its not good but lets be real here Crawford didnt come into the season as the #1 or #2 option heck most didnt want him #3 either but hes forced into this position because the players ahead of him dont deliver and its been this way for the past few years .Weve got to be the only fans who seemingly every year is blaming a 3rd or 4th option for the woes caused by the anchors inability to get the job done .

    Your recap is interesting but it doesnt seem to take into account a players role on the team.

    So far this year when Crawford has gotten plays called for him like the curls plays hes shot good percentages but when the knicks havent been executing their offense well and he has to manufacture something the percentages drop.

    He can get to the line more but its not gonna happen often when youre receiving the ball 27 ft away from the basket with under 10 seconds left .There are no players who could consistently get bailed out with ft’s when the offense is putting them in that position. Again alot has to do with what the team is asking you to do .

    I dont where this he is dribbling too much comes from.He rarely holds the ball alot unless hes running the clock out at quarters .When has the ball hes normally either feeding the post or looking to score .One of our big problems is we dont have many skilled passers or wingmen offensively and Crawford is the best at both .You add that into bigmen who are always out of place or maybe even dont know the plays and the offense is now breaking down.Crawford apparently has the responsibility of being the bailout guy which is why he plays so much.

    If the knicks were efficient on offense with Crawford then he wouldnt play so much but the coaches know where the breakdowns are coming from thats why he stays on the floor.Any other high caliber sg in the league would not be happy about having to throw the ball into the bigs most of the game only to have them not do anything else well offensively when they dont have the ball.

    I just dont see a Allen or Redd being happy receiving the ball after plays constantly breakdown being forced to go one on five to get a shot off.

    Crawfords shot selection is much better but what hes doing so far THIS year is a direct result of the struggles of Curry,Randolph,and Marbury to carry the load .

    Defensively hes the only knick that was winning his matchups through the first ten games .Their were no breakdowns or offensive explosions by anyone he was guarding.Now that doesnt mean hes a stud but he hasnt been nearly a liability every possession like you are claiming.

    Crawford isnt making a ton of mistakes but he certainly is having to play too big of a role but why is that ?its because the “better” players arent pulling their weight.

    I tend not to look at stats alone but the role given the player by a team.It seems that alot of the comments are not based on whats going on game by game but on a players rep.In your original comments you said not enough ft’s for twenty shots but he actually drove to the basket last night but for you to get ft’s the whistles have to blow.

    Starks was erratic playing around consistent anchors if you gave Crawford those same anchors he would look much better than hes been looking. Sines hes been here weve had confusion from the top down.He was a pg until we traded for him so knowing what we know about the knicks the last 4 years I find it hard to heap so much blame on someone I know is a 3rd or 3th option at best.

  31. JK47

    Starks was erratic playing around consistent anchors if you gave Crawford those same anchors he would look much better than hes been looking.

    I can’t really speak much about “ifs” but I know from watching basketball games that John Starks was a very good defensive player and that Jamal Crawford is very poor. It’s a question of effort and priorities. Starks was a blue-collar guy who fought his way into the league from the CBA (before Isiah destroyed it). He knew he had to play defense or he was gonna get sent back to Palookaville. Crawford gets 38 minutes a night whether he attempts to play defense or not.

  32. Caleb

    Luke, to the extent you think we’re picking on Crawford… I’ll agree that it’s not his fault that the rest of the team sucks. Sure, he’d look better as a 15-minute player than a 40-minute player.

    But this, really?

    “Any other high caliber sg in the league would not be happy about having to throw the ball into the bigs most of the game.”

    Are you calling JC a high-caliber shooting guard?

    His defense has been awful for seven years, even if it was okay for 10 games.

    And saying he’s the best passer on the Knicks is like giving a shout out to the best nightclub in Salt Lake City.

  33. Sly Williams

    Part of Isiah’s quote from after the game:
    ?I definitely believe there?s a tremendous amount of talent in that locker room,? Thomas said. ?It?s unfortunate their record is not showing it. I know New York is not a very patient place for the New York Knicks, but you definitely have to be patient in a situation like this.?

    Again, Isiah distances himself from any blame. They have talent, but they don’t have the record – and the fans aren’t patient. He refuses to take responsibility.
    In 9 days, he will have been with the team for 4 full years. Four years of incredible patience by the fans.
    Isiah had no patience for draft picks to mature, he had to have a ‘star’. He had no patience for Larry Brown. But to him, our 4 years is not enough time. He thinks we are the problem, or the players are. F him! He has used up our patience.

  34. Z

    You nailed it Sly.

    “He had no patience for Larry Brown.”

    I’m pretty sure if Isiah had simply stepped back and let Brown rebuild the team the way he was hired to do we’d have more than 6 wins right now.

    Larry looks better and better everyday. You know he’s loving this…

  35. brian quinnett's left nipple

    why would we draft derrick rose or eric gordon when we already have jamal crawford and stephon marbury?

    and michael beasley? c’mon now, we already have zach randolph.

    seems repetitious to me.

    we should draft in the lottery that 7’6″ guy from unc-charlotte. we don’t have one of those.

  36. Paul Stevens

    Hey Tom, if the Knicks are too difficult to turn your talents to, why not start looking at the Toronto Raptors. At least they are a fun team to watch, and they have any number of interesting angles, being a collection of role players who regularly play over their heads.

  37. jon abbey

    people (not just you) focus so much on these overachieving role players on Toronto, but if NY had a superstar like Bosh to build around, our role players would look better also.

  38. Owen

    Jon – What do you make of Calderon (who I have on my fantasy team)? I feel like it’s pretty much impossible to post 174 assists and 29 assists with a 57.7% ts% without being a pretty solid player. He was good last year too. So was Parker, who was in the top 20 in adjusted plus minus. Moon, who knows, probably overachieving, though I have him on my team also, so I hope not. But I think it’s fair to say that Toronto has done a lot of things right. They are certanly getting a lot more out of Ford than we are getting out of Marbury and his max contract.

  39. jon abbey

    I don’t watch Toronto too much. besides our laughable losers, I’ve mostly been watching Western teams, GS, Phoenix, Portland, some New Orleans, some Orlando, some Boston, some Chicago, some Cleveland. and I haven’t spent much time with stats so far, it’s a long season and I’ll see plenty of them by the end.

    anyway, I’m not saying that Toronto’s role players aren’t good, what I’m saying is that if you replaced Bosh with Curry or Randolph, they wouldn’t be nearly as productive. if you’re playing with a superstar, you don’t need to do nearly as much to be effective, because the star commands so much attention and energy from the other team. if NY somehow got LeBron tomorrow, the weaknesses of the other players would magically evaporate quite a bit, IMO. the problem is that we have no best player, so the deficiencies are all very obvious.

  40. Z

    “if Larry Brown looks ?better and better everyday?, why hasn?t anyone else hired him to coach?”

    I can’t answer that, but it could be his health.

    Or he’s rich and old and emotionally scarred by his last job.

    Or it can be that he is an impossible personality to work with.

    Either way, there was a power struggle over the franchise in 2006 between Isiah and Brown. Isiah won and the franchise is worse off for it.

    I’m not saying Brown would have us headed for the Semi finals this year, or that he even would have stuck around this long on his own accord. But there’s no way we’d be as bad as we are right now. His track record promised it.

  41. jon abbey

    Brown has absolutely no track record as a GM. again, Brown was the one behind the Jalen Rose and Steve Francis acquisitions, so scarily this team could actually possibly be worse off if Isiah had been fired and Brown given both jobs (if he even wanted that, not sure that was ever really clear).

  42. retropkid

    Larry Brown had a pretty stellar career overall, post-playing days…you can knock him for a few things along the way of course, including his tenure in NY and his job-hopping…the game may have passed him by (see NFL, Washington Redskins — Joe Gibbs…).

    Zeke’s post-playing days resume makes Larry look like Red Auerbach and John Wooden rolled into one…

  43. Kiyaman

    Being a good GM means that he has done a good job of putting a team together. It is more than picking a couple of sleepers out of the draft. Crappy team and last years #1 can’t get off the bench? Sean Williams would be playing a lot, I bet. I guess he blew that one. If he has ANY chance of being known as a good GM, this team, as he has constructed it, must make the playoffs this year. Failure to crack 40 wins after 3 years means he has been an abysmal failure. In addition, it is not like the team is poised to explode with a number of young studs on the bench……F as a coach, D as a GM. See ya.

    Zeke should make an announcement saying he has Evaluated this team by coaching it and he is needed more upstairs to get things right. And give the Head Coaching Job to Herb Williams, with Mark Aquire & Hann as the assistant coaches to do as they please with this team because in the middle of January everyone job in New York is up for jeopardy if this team dont produce, especially the coaching staff.

  44. Kiyaman

    We (Knicks) are 6-15 headed into Chicago to play the 7-13 Bulls.
    Los Vegas outcome is the Bulls by 5.

    Knick-Fans are so down right now that they are disappointingly angry about the Season Opener of having Curry & Zach to lead them to the Postseason Games. They are saying that Zach Randolph is much better than Eddy Curry.
    When Knick-Fans take a look at the New Young Portland TrailBlazzers without Zach, they will see the Blazers Standings are at a 10-12 record with a 5 game WINNING Streak.

    Both Curry & Zach have the same Problem.
    They dont work well with their Frontcourt Teammates on positions or time the space they could cover with their teammates on offense or defense.
    When you time your position space you know when your completely covered or when your not, or what teammate defender should be close to you, or what teammate should be in back of you to add help defense.
    Having your SF (Q.Rich) and your PG (Marbury) defenders always near the paint on an offensive low post play designed for the C or PF does not help the “one on one” play down low.

    Both Marbury & Crawford have the same Problem.
    They both dribble the ball one-two many dribbles before they pass the ball, plus all their passes are televised by using two-hands to pass the ball.
    They both should be leading the league with inaccurate passes when they throw a one-hand pass that ussually lead to a turnover.
    The two dont have a first-step move to out beat any of their defenders, and it look like they never practice their dribble jumpshot move averaging 38% on FGA.

    The above Four Knick Players had these same PROBLEMS on their previous teams.
    So trading for these high price players mean you have to have a good “Coaching-Staff” that will correct these problems, or eliminate or add on certain Talents & Skillz to each individual player to best fit within this Knick roster (with their teammates talents & skillz).

    What we Knick-Fans been watching for the last 4 seasons with the Knicks are every new individual player that comes to the Knicks by way of trade, the Knick-Team had to change-up to “Fit-In” with this “one new individual” players talents & skillz. When it supposed to be the New Player changing his style of play to “Fit-In” and add-on to the Knicks style of play.

    You could recall this happening with the trade for: Marbury & Penny, Tim Thomas, Baker, Crawford, Q.Richardson, Curry & Davis, Jalen Rose & Francis, and now Zach Randolph.
    When is the Knicks Head Coach and his Coaching-Staff going to “Design an Offense & Defense Plan” to play too (and stick with it untill each player buy into it.) …

  45. Kiyaman

    Larry Brown track record is terrible after having a WINNING season with all his teams.
    That’s why he is unreliable and never stayed long on any team that he coached. He does his best to KILL the hands that feed him, whether they are his players, coaching-staff, or the head of the organization.
    Who recall Larry Brown as the Nets Coach? when his selfish act seen the opening at a college with so many Star-Players on the Team and up and Quit on the NBA Nets in Midseason to go and coach in the NCAA.

  46. Frank O.

    Luke:
    Crawford is a supremely flawed player getting a top billing because his team sucks. It was a similar situation in Chicago.
    You are right that the other four pillars are flawed and ineffective in important aspects of the game.
    But blaming other players on the court for Crawford’s deficiencies seems silly.
    How is it that Crawford’s “confidence” suffers because of the other defenders on the court? I have seen no lack of confidence when he heaves up fade away threes or crazy running jumpers when his team breaks down offensively.
    Crawford has always been a soft defender. I think one of the main reasons for his weak defense is that he is one of the physically weakest guards in basketball. Durant could set a pick on Crawford that would stop him in his tracks. It’s not his lack confidence in others on D that is the problem. Weakness in other players doesn’t prevent Balkman or Q from trying. Even Marbury has more gumption on defense.
    No, I think each Knicks player is responsible for his own failings.
    Crawford would not get 20 minutes a night on a good team. Guys that shoot 40 percent and don’t play defense don’t start in this league, unless their team is terrible.
    The only way those guys start is if they deliver wins. Crawford does not deliver wins, as evidenced by the records of the teams he’s played for in his career.
    As for dribbling too much, it is widely known, and easily seen, that Crawford holds onto the ball too much. Things are what they are.
    It also is widely understood that offensively he would be very good, if he would force the issue and get to the line. His +/- would improve radically if he got to the line more.

    Last point on Crawford:
    Look, I realize you are correct in citing the flaws of Eddy Curry, Zach Randolph, and the rest of these misfits.
    But every team should have a different expectation for PGs and SGs.
    They are the field generals. They are the players that run the offense, make the passes and facilitate big men.
    Most every big man in the NBA is unable to function properly on the basketball court without a guard getting the ball to them in the right situation, in the right time and place.
    Good guards are smarter, often more athletic, certainly quicker and more versatile than the other players on the court.
    And good – not great – just good guards learn how to exploit the strengths of their big men and the weaknesses of the opposing defense.
    Crawford does not do either particularly well.
    There are things that Curry and Randolph do exceptionally well. Both are killer, 60 percent-type scorers on the blocks. It is the guards’ job to get the ball to those high percentage scorers in those positions because it is the most efficient way to score.
    It also is the guards’ job to coach those big men if they are failing to get into the right position, or if they are making mistakes. How often do you see Crawford ? or Marbury for that matter ? dribble and direct the big me, pointing ?Go here? kinds of gestures. Good, not great, good guards offer those kinds of directions.
    I?ve even seen Tony Parker occasionally direct Duncan. The most extreme example of this was when Magic used to direct Vlade Divac.
    Crawford does none of that. And increasingly, it is Crawford that is running the Knicks’ offense.
    Crawford after eight years hasn’t figured out how to be a field general. He hasn’t learned to exploit the strengths of his big men.
    He quits on defense because he lacks discipline and will. He exhibits the same traits on offense. He has no discipline, and lacks the will often to attack a defense and force contact. He’s often content to walk the ball up stand a foot or two behind the arc and heave a three that forces virtually every Knicks fan to shout, “No!”
    What’s worse, Marbury has similar issues. These guys are selfish, undisciplined and, frankly, not that bright. And as with most teams, as the guards go, so goes the team.

    I watched a lot of Robinson over the summer. When he was running the Knicks offense, his passing was smart, he ran the offense, and showed some smarts. He knew when to shoot and when to dish. Obviously, it was against inexperienced competition, but he showed the capacity. If Crawford can?t be a complete player in his position, the Knicks needs to go in another direction.
    Guards are too important to be one-dimensional.

  47. jon abbey

    “Sean Williams would be playing a lot, I bet. I guess he blew that one. ”

    Sean Williams got drafted before NY’s choice, not sure what this means.

  48. Ray

    Ok…lets get rid of Isaiah and lets get Jerry West on the line. Make a call to Van Gundy to come back as coach to bring back some defense and direction. West will make a couple of moves that wil get us right back into playoff contention. Its not too late.

  49. jon abbey

    yeah, Memphis really became a superpower under West, same with Houston under Van Gundy.

    the grass is always greener when there’s no smiling weasel on it…

  50. Frank O.

    What makes you think Van Gundy would want to work for moron Dolan again?
    I mean, part of the reason he was miserable in NY was because of the abusive fat-ass.
    There are a lot of good executives who will not come to NY because they see what a dolt Dolan is.
    This will be the legacy of this regime: no one worth anything will want to work here until Dolan is relieved, of daddy sells the team.

  51. Frank O.

    Okay, this is just freakin’ annoying.
    In the NY Post, Curry says of himself:
    I feel good on defense, but ultimately it’s the coach’s decision. I feel comfortable, but maybe [Thomas] sees something different over there. He’s the coach and I’ve got 100 percent confidence in what he’s doing.”
    On what planet is it possible for Curry to feel good on defense?
    He’s had two blocks since December 2, or 131 minutes of basketball.
    He’s had one steal since NOVEMBER 14, or 14 games.
    He’s had one double digit rebounding game THIS YEAR, and averaging only 3.4 defensive rebounds per game.
    Even by Eddy Curry standards, this is HORRENDOUS!

    His statement alone reflects such a disconnect with reality, it is no wonder this team and Curry specifically is so bad.
    If you don’t realize there is a problem – and I don’t know how this is possible if the coach is telling you you’re not getting it done defensively – you can’t fix it.

    This statement alone should guarantee he gets benched.

    I ranting and spitting, I realize, but this about puts me over the top.
    Let’s revisit that quote from Eddy Curry again about how he is doing on defense:
    I feel good on defense, but ultimately it’s the coach’s decision. I feel comfortable, but maybe [Thomas] sees something different over there. He’s the coach and I’ve got 100 percent confidence in what he’s doing.”

    I’m just flabbergasted.

    Yeah, he’s comfortable. He looks like he’s in his recliner eating chips and dip as guards and forwards swoop in and dunk in their house.

  52. DNM

    Frank O., did you read the article where Berman is reporting that IT plans on using more zone to cover Eddy’s defensive deficiency?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but everytime we’ve played zone, we’ve gotten severly burned by outside shooters.

    This is IT’s plan on changing things up? Zone?

  53. flitzy

    Honest proposal, who wins a game right now?

    the current knicks or the 1999 knicks….i say the 99 knicks by about 20

    Patrick Ewing
    Latrell Sprewell
    Allan Houston
    Larry Johnson
    Kurt Thomas
    Charlie Ward
    Marcus Camby
    Chris Childs
    Chris Dudley
    Ben Davis
    Herb Williams
    Rick Brunson
    David Wingate

  54. Mr. Black

    well of course the 1999 knicks win. That team made it to the finals. I think you should put an asterisk next to Ewing since he was injured. That might make some difference.

  55. Z

    “well of course the 1999 knicks win.”

    I think he means if the two squads played today.

    But that is a game that even the 2007 Knicks would win…

  56. Mr. Black

    Wait, so he meant the Current knicks agianst the 1999 roster TODAY?

    So a 45 year old Ewing, a 37 year old Sprewell, 36 year old creak kneed Houston, and the rest v. the current group of NBA ready players?

    Hmmm. What’s the spread? Current Knicks giving 2 and 1/2 points.

  57. Frank O.

    Ewing would score 30. There would be no one to stop him in the paint.
    And Sprewell would break down the perimeter defense at will. And Camby would clearly have 16 to 20 rebounds.
    And Kurt Thomas would do something at the end of the game, set a viscous pick, make a midrange, to help the old Knicks beat the new…wait, that was last game.

  58. Z

    “Wait, so he meant the Current knicks agianst the 1999 roster TODAY?”

    I think I’d rather see a matchup between this current team and the team that took the court opening day of the 2003-2004 season.

    Houston
    Van Horn
    K. Thomas
    Ward
    McDyess
    Anderson
    Eisley
    The Vin Man (Baker)
    Dikembe
    Dermar
    Doleac
    Harrington
    Sweetney
    F. Williams
    Weatherspoon

    This would be Layden’s final product before getting axed vs. Isiah’s final product before getting axed (!)…

  59. Owen

    I just want to single out Eddy Curry at the 10 minute mark of the second quarter for recording the worst defensive play all time. Allows Kirk Hinrich a completely uncontested layup.

    Lee is getting outplayed by Noah….

  60. Z

    “Eddy Curry at the 10 minute mark of the second quarter for recording the worst defensive play all time.”

    Then he gets a dunk rejected by Nocioni…

  61. Owen

    Gus had a lot of comments from Curry, about how he get in sync with Curry. Ask about the rebounding and apparently “Curry didn’t really have an answer for that…” I would continue to summarize, but my bile is rising….

    Knicks look bad tonight, getting crushed on the boards, but we are in it down three…

    Jon – Calderon had 16 assists and two turnovers tonight….

  62. Z

    Owen– I’m watching the Chicago feed and you’ll be happy to hear the commentators have had nothing but good things to say about your boyfriend. (They’ve even noted he’s one of the best rebounders/minute in the league!)

  63. Z

    As thrilling as Jared Jeffries hitting a mean-looking 3 at the end of the half is, I’ve wasted enough of my friday night watching.

    Good luck in the second half…

  64. TheMC5

    Owen: Claderon is a top 10 PG in the league. As a Raptors fan, I find it baffling that TJ Ford continues to start ahead of him (when he’s healthy). Not only are his numbers as good or better than Ford’s, but impact on team play is about as stark as in Phoenix when Barbosa takes over at the point for Nash. It goes from an incredibly fluid offense with a lot of ball/player movement and wide open shots, to a game of one-on-one with Ford and whoever is guarding him.

  65. xduckshoex

    I would take it further and say Calderon is a top 5 PG in the game. Nash and Paul are the only ones I would place above him without question, as I think Kidd has fallen off quite a bit so far this year.

  66. Mike The Knick Fan

    I think that if the fans really wanted to see Isiah fired they shouldn’t chant “Fire Isiah” That just makes him look like he is standing tall and Dolan loves seeing that .

    Start a chant saying “Sexual Harrassment” and he will be gone in 15 minutes. Imagine that going out over Dolans airwaves Priceless

  67. Z

    It’s too bad Ty Thomas was suspended for the game tonight. It would have been nice to see what we’ll be missing.

    (Since the Bulls got to see what they’re missing out on in Curry)

  68. Kiyaman

    Luke, your absolutely right about Crawford, his overall perfomance is suspect. He is not a Starter, or a decent bench-player. He is to soft to play defense and way to soft on offense. His entire NBA Game is a Spot-Shooting Role-Player you bring off the Bench in the 4th quarter when your oponent have to foul him to stop the clock (he shoots 85% FT).
    Why is Crawford the First Option on the Knicks Offense? we lost 5-straight games with Crawford being the first option, shooting 6-22 or 7-22 (His NBA career is 37% FG, and thats when his team is not under pressure to score.).

    Q.Richardson is another BIG-Suspect, there was a good reason why the Clippers resigned two players and let Q.Rich walk as a free-agent. The Phoenix Suns could not wait to unload Q.Richardson, they gave us their first round pick to take Q.Richardson off their hands. And us Knick-Fans been watching Q,Richardson in his third season as a Knick why both Teams did not want him on their roster. This guy stinks on Offense & Defense. Only giving us two months of decent B-Ball since he arrived as a Knick (the start of last season).

    Here’s the KICKER! We went and made two BIG Media trades for Curry & Zach, two players that dont play a bit of DEFENSE and they could not do anything to help the Knicks beat Rookie Durant Seattle Sonics…

  69. Owen

    What began long ago with the Eddy Curry Study, is I think finally beginning to come to its inevitable conclusion….

    From the article by Howard Beck….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/15/sports/basketball/15knicks.html?_r=1&ref=sports&oref=slogin

    My favorite parts were….

    “Before the game, Coach Isiah Thomas admitted for the first time that Curry might never become the defending, rebounding, dominating franchise center that he once envisioned.

    ?There?s certain things that he probably won?t ever be good at doing,? Thomas said. ?We want to just make sure that he keeps doing the things that he knows how to do well.?”

    “Asked about Curry?s strength, Thomas said: ?Scores. Scores well. He may not ever be a great defender or a great rebounder. But he?s a great scorer, and we?re going to use that.?

    And Curry: ?I?ve got to always believe that I can be better than what I am,? he said. ?And that goes for the defensive end of the ball, too. I?m athletic enough to impact the game at both sides. It?s just a matter of going out and getting it done.?

  70. hotdamn

    CURRY ON THE BLOCK!!! It’s sweet music to my ears. I don’t care who we get for him – he needs to go. I just wish IT would start playing Chandler instead of Jefferies. Give the guy a chance, it can’t get any worse than it’s been.

  71. Z

    Chandler got some PT last night, and was part of the squad that came back from 16 in the 4th to make a game of it. The Bulls announcers said of him: “This guy will be a really good player.” I hope they’re right.

  72. AJJA

    I read a rumor on SI.com that IT is thinking about including Curry in a a deal for Ron Artest. Artest is one of the best defenders in the league and that is our weak spot so I’m all for this. Curry won’t be dealt straight up for Artest and I’m afraid IT will include Lee or Balkman which I think would be a terrible idea b/c Lee and Balkman are our best defenders.

  73. Z

    I should have added that Chandler’s contract is eligible to be traded as of today, so it’s no wonder Isiah finally got him on the court for some real minutes…

  74. JAMES DOLAN

    Knick fans are such a fickle bunch, you Would have “the sky is falling!” as your team motto!

    Isiah is a good leader and the players respect him BESDIES he is a hall of famer!

  75. Capt. Merlin

    The rumors of artest trades were exciting about 6 years ago, and around the time of the brawl when it seemed like we could get him for peenies on the dollar my interest peaked, but now hes not completely the same player used to be and is on the clear downside of his career

  76. L.A.

    Z – your observation that Chandler got some playing time because he can be traded now is really scarry because it is probably true. I was just thinking last night that he looked pretty good and was one very, very small thing to be happy about with regard to the current Knicks. Now, I realize that Isiah is up to something that is guaranteed to sink this team even further into the abyss.

  77. Joe

    Hello All Disgusted, Miserable, Die-Hard Knick Fans,

    Sunday December 30th 2007
    11:00 AM (Noon Game)

    Protest in front of MSG to OUST ISIAH.
    The time has come to raise our voices.

    Knicks vs. Bulls (Sure to be another pitiful loss!)

    email: joeyvworks@yahoo.com

    Step up and push to get Isiah removed!

  78. Z

    “Now, I realize that Isiah is up to something that is guaranteed to sink this team even further into the abyss.”

    Yeah– there was a debate on this site several weeks ago about whether firing Isiah now would really make much difference. One argument in favor of an immediate dismissal is that as long as he is both GM and coach he has his finger on the trade button. Since he appears dug in for a fight (“’till death do us part”) he may be looking to do a short term fix trade to show Dolan a little “significant improvement” which would help him and absolutely nobody else.

    If Dolan refuses to fire him, he better put all trading powers into the hands of a neutral third party…

  79. L.A.

    What will it take for Isiah to get the boot?

    There has been a lot of great analysis here about the specifics of all the bad moves he has made, but even if Dolan can’t comprehend all of it, he has to recognize one simple fact – Isiah has had years to remake the team. Throughout that time they have had the highest payroll in the league and have been at the bottom of the league in wins. What else does he need to know?

    Isiah has an endless string of excuses:
    -Year 1 :I inherited a bad team
    -Year 2: It was Larry Brown’s fault
    -Year 3: The injuries hurt us
    -Year 4: It’s the fans fault

    Add to that a lost sexual harasment suit and it is a total disaster. Isiah has shown he cannot manage big ego/bad personality guys – so forget the thought of getting Artest (unless Dolan thinks Artest will run into the stands again and quiet the NY crowd from booing one by one).

    Maybe one day Isiah will snap and go after Dolan the way Spreewell went after Carlisimo and that will get him fired. I wonder if that will be enough.

    Maybe somone here can give me their thoughts on why in the world Dolan has kept Isiah so long?

  80. Caleb

    I wouldn’t be that down on Artest, except that 2 of the 4 players who might be part of our future (Lee, Balkman, Chandler & I guess Nate) play the same position… and it’s the one spot on the floor where we don’t need a defensive upgrade.

    I also would rather be trading Zach than Curry (longer contract, takes Lee’s minutes, even older)… but I guess you have to start somewhere.

    Hard to imagine what Sacto would have to offer (THe only thing that would make a little sense for us would be a straight-up trade – Curry for Artest – and maybe trade Ron-Ron later, towards the trade deadline, in a separate deal.

    As crappy a GM as Isiah is – it’s hard to see him giving up much for Artest. He didn’t like him when they were in Indy, and his contract runs out this year. If Ron really wants NY, and we really want him… we can wait until summer.

    That said… if we can dump any of our post 2009 deadweight contracts (Curry, James, Randolph, Crawford, Q, Jeffries) for an expiring contract – I’m all for it.

  81. njhoops

    Good one Z, where was Red Klotz tonight?

    Should we take anything from this win? They actually played some D, (including a rare sighting of help D!), moved the ball, etc. but of course the Nets are almost as dysfunctional as they are. Unless they put together a few more wins against Indy and Cleve., it’s the same old same old. But it’s still nice to beat J Kidd and NJ and not see those usual stupid smirks on the sidelines as they beat up on us.

  82. Brendan

    I wouldn’t take much from this win. The Nets are an atrocious team in the front court where the Knicks’ stength is, so it was always a matchup advantage for NY- whatever you think of Curry and Zbo, they’re lightyears ahead of Collins and company. Throw in Vince Carter declining to give two nights effort in a row (he was excellent against the Cavs, driving the ball instead of taking jumpers), and there’s your story- one bad team edges another.

  83. Z

    “The Nets are an atrocious team”

    Other than the first Knick win against the Nets, the only other Nets game I’ve tuned into this season was the Clippers-Nets game earlier this week. Half way through the 4th quarter the Clippers’ radio guy said “I’m just gonna call a spade a spade here– the Nets are a terrible basketball team”. This guy watches Clippers games for a living, so he should no one when he sees one…

  84. Ben R

    Hey with this win we are only three games out of the last playoff spot. I told you guys we just needed to give Isiah time. Things are turning around as we speak. It is a great time to be a Knicks fan.

    If the fans would just cheer like they did tonight our team would be unstoppable. I hope the fans get it together so we can make a playoff push. Go Knicks!!!

  85. Ray

    I heard about the trade for Artest too and you know what….if Artest will come in here and provide some lockdown D that will be a big plus. If Curry goes we need a real defensive center in his place. Just someone who will block shots and rebound. That it. Zack can score…Jamal can score….Artest can score….MArbury can score. They only need to whip that ball around and find the open jumpshot. Even if D. Lee goes…Balkman can step right in and not only get rebound but he can also block shots if given the opportunity. They ned to get Morris off the bench too….hes a really good player…but dont trade Chandler. We do need to get rid of Q Rich…hes absolutely meaninging less playing ball for us. No contribution at all like Jason Collins for the Nets.

  86. Brian Cronin

    I just don’t think IT, even an IT who thinks that he needs to win badly to keep from getting fired (which, by the way, he might not even think IS the case), will trade Lee still.

    Chandler, certainly.

    Balkman – perhaps.

    But I think Lee is currently about as untouchable as it goes (that being said, watch him get traded tomorrow).

  87. Ben R

    I am really woried that we might not get rid of Isiah before he decides to “improve” this team by making some trades. Some players that have played well in the past like Balkman and Nate are in Isiah’s doghouse. That means they might be throw ins ala Ariza and Frye. I would be slightly disappointed if we traded Nate but I would be really upset if we traded Balkman.

    Also I am worried that Isiah might trade Curry because if he does that means Zach is here to stay. While I would not mind seeing both gone, if we get rid of one it needs to be Zach, because if Isiah trades Curry it still will not make Lee a starter because Isiah is going to want a true center starting. Also I do not want years of Zach jacking up fadeaway 18 footers.

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