Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Trail Blazers 105, Knicks 90

New York Knicks 90 Final
Recap | Box Score
105 Portland Trail Blazers

Sigh. That one was fun for a while We’re ditching the grades tonight because it’s really late and I have to be up in about five hours, but I’ll try to use this free-form prose to properly describe our current state—a slow boat to Nowheresville.

It started out oh-so gloriously. Then again, before tip off, after learning that Chandler wouldn’t (thank [insert Deity] wouldn’t be playing, I was pretty sure the Knicks would wind up with one of two outcomes—they’d either miraculously rally behind a woefully undermanned squad and unexpectedly stomp the bejeezus out of the Blazers, or they’d get whupped in a manner that would be more or less indistinguishable from the last two autodefenestrative outings.

Welp, we kinda got both.

For the First 16-odd minutes of game play, life was but a merry dream. Kurt and Kenyon and Marcus and Jason and all the “No Court for Old Men” players were rolling like a creaky and Ben Gay-slathered but seriously well-oiled machine. Kidd and Felton fed PnR cutters with aplomb (even if Camby’s layups seemed oddly precarious and unnecessarily difficult for a long-armed man nearly seven feet tall), Shumpert’s jumper was looking particularly wet, Martin was finishing at the rim and providing dilligent defense, Thomas’ slow-enough-to-possibly-affect-the-earth’s-rotation pump fakes and mid-range heaves were finding the bottom of the net, Prigioni was jumping into passing lanes and displaying his usual passing fancy, they were limiting their own turnovers, forcing Portland into a gaggle of gaffes, and they were gang-rebounding to make up for Tyson’s absence (piano solo)…and then there’s Maude! All of this culminated in a nifty 41-28 advantage at the 7:54 mark of the 2nd quarter.

On the Twitter machine, the huddled masses were positively giddy. Maybe after days of terrible news regarding mangled, fluid-filled joints that both did and did not require treatment and a general attitude among players and management alike towards the medical profession as a whole that would make even the most rigid, devout, unflinching Christian Scientist pull back and say, “Wait a sec, Dood,” we, the long-suffering fanbase would discover a twenty dollar bill nudged in the pocket of an ancient pair of unwashed jeans—not a great, lifestyle-and-tax-bracket-altering gift, but enough to make one smile during was has to be (I’ve said this before. I’ll probably say it again) the absolute nadir of this slow, interminable drift towards irrelevance of a season.

But like those selfsame Christian Scientists say, to name illness is to give it power (A Freudian would say to say the disease out loud disempowers it. Basically you’re boned either way.), and perhaps the sea of upturned faces caused the fragile illusion of a start to the game to crumble, their oh-so-palpable desires proving far too burdensome for this ill-thought-out Rube Goldberg device composed wholly of complimentary pieces to maintain any structural integrity. Houses without foundations, y’all.

From there on out, Portland changed up and began trapping on the pick and roll, outside shots clanged off the rim miserably, J.J. Hickson started to throw his weight around on the offensive glass and Damian Lillard proved nigh-unstoppable (as anyone who’s been paying attention all year would have predicted.

For the next quarter and a half, Portlandia went on a 22-8 run to end the half (including 13-0 over the final 3:43) and 49-22 by the time they rang the bell to start the final stanza. Some more nauseating numbers? Take a deep drink of this ipecac: the New Yorkers were 0 fer 8 from downtown and a brutal 5-27 from the field overall. That’s not good, right? No Bob, it isn’t. Part of it is that they were settling for outside shots (there was an odd back-and-forth between Craig Sager and Chris Webber about whether the Knicks should be shooting more treys at the half [Sager: Yes, Webber: No]. The Knicks listened to the guy whose suits are visible from deep space.

Of course, this being the ‘Bockers, we couldn’t just curl up in a fetal ball and die. There was J.R. Smith, who, when allowed to be the be all and the end all of a team’s offense, if nothing else, will provide a thrilling ride, both in it’s dizzying highs and major-head-trauma-inducing lows. It’s like being in the passenger seat of a car without breaks: It’s certainly thrilling but you know that inevitably it’s just hazardous to your health.

But J.R. got hot in the way that few who are not J.R. can, leading to a 14-2 spurt to start the final quarter, bringing the Knicks back within four. A few ghastly, unforced turnovers made short work of the hope that this ramshackle pack of plucky spinsters could eke out a victory (Hope /h?p/ Transitive Verb: to desire with expectation of obtainment. Noun: The sharpest, cruelest knife in fate’s kitchen drawer.) and the Blazers copied off the paper from those Warrior and Nugget kids sitting near them and routinely beat the Knicks down the floor, strolling to the rim for layups or hitting trailing gunners for bombs galore.

A few more things and we’ll call it a night (morning).

Dame Lilliard, mang. He’s good. Granted, any point guard with basic motor skills has been able to eviscerate the Knicks this year, but there’s something thrillingly sudden about his game. That is to say, he seems so in control and understated – playing within his lane, as that LeBron guy said – that when he does produce a blank verse-inspiring, balletic/poetic burst to the rim, it seems idiopathic, as if it arose out of nowhere, and all the more delightful. Like I said, real good.

Raymond Felton. If you’d like a rundown on why the Rose City residents reacted like a pack of snarling, feral, rabid jackals whenever Penguin Man touched the rock, Friend-of-the-Blog Danny Nowell has a swell rundown here.

Suffice it to say, this was something of a prove-my-doubters-wrong-type game for Ray and he didn’t. There was a smattering of everything that made the phrase, “Feltdown” a popular one in coffee shops and bacon and maple donut-serving artisanal restaurants throughout the Pacific Northwest—dribbles that went bounding off his flippers, wild, out of control passes that ended up in the opposing team’s mitts, and ghastly, off-balance, contested 20-foot heaves that, even when they went in, made Red Holzman spin like a top in his grave. 4-12 from the field, 3 dimes and a near-team low -20 for the night.

He’s having pretty much the same year this year as last and it’s more or less in line with his career numbers. I get that he pissed off a particularly provincial group of people with his piss-poor play and possibly acted like a complete dick while doing so.

These people wanted blood. It’s a level of vitriol I haven’t seen since the first time Pat Riley returned to MSG as the coach of the Heat. It was like Orwell’s Two Minutes Hate, but stretched out for two and a half hours. Riley, though, was an evil, treacherous, Machiavellian shit. Ray was/is just a mediocre-at-best point guard having a sub-par season (sort of) so I’m still a little bit at a loss as to explain the vehement, unrelenting rage that was evinced last night.

The best way that I can explain it is that part of it is that, for a franchise that has suffered so many injustices – passing on Jordan for the oft-injured Sam Bowie, a sad re-boot of Walton’s feet disintegrating and then compounding those mistakes by tripling down on an equally fragile, supposed-to-be-generational-big in Greg Oden, again passing on a true superstar in Durant, they’ve decided to focus their enmity on something they can name – our man Ray.

But that may too much armchair psychology. It’s also possible that the Felt-hate, which has been talked about and analyzed and allowed to fester for a while now, became a self-generating meme. That is to say, the idea of hating Felton engendered the actual emotion. People talking about it made it true and converted more followers and who talked about it and on and on. Such that, when he actually dared to waddle on the court, it had grown in to an uncontrollable behemoth.

Either that or they just don’t like the bulldog-y little mofo.

And, of course, as I write this, we’ve learned that Kenyon Martin suffered a shin contusion of some sort, because it’s not a Knick game without bodies dropping faster than the Battle of Stalingrad. I’ll fill in the rest: No MRI because doctors are vessels for evil spirits. He’s listed as day-to-day, with a possible amputation in the near future. I’m not even mad at this point. I’m not mad at Woodson or the team for understanding or utilizing modern medicine or Dolanwald for constructing a roster based on an implosion model. I’m not even sad at the loss of a year that started with so much promise and joy turning horribly into what all the wise wags said would be another first-round exit. It’s no fun being Cassandra. I just feel drained and tired. I’ve said repeatedly that I’m going to take these games less personally. That I was going to be a fan without being a fanatic and like a recidivist criminal or a serial philander, I keep going back on my word. I’m sure I’ll be there, hoping against hope, on Sunday.

Let’s just look at Earl’s dunk and end it there. Sigh.

<3 U Earl

105 comments on “Trail Blazers 105, Knicks 90

  1. Robtachi

    I think I’ve settled on the ultimate evaluation that the Knicks have just not really assembled a particularly good roster around Melo. Obviously that is in part to their financial limitations in doing so, but it’s mainly that outside of Melo and Tyson, this is a roster comprised just about entirely of guys who need everything to be breaking right for them to be an effective supporting cast. Too many guys who are one-dimensional, so when that one thing isn’t going so well and the machine isn’t perfectly oiled, they are purely a detriment to the overall game. The byproduct of that is, as soon as the supporting cast stops, y’know, supporting, Melo starts to shoulder far too much of the burden of success which, frankly, is not when he is even close to at his best. His game deteriorates, and his body literally deteriorates, taking a physical pounding every game from not just the possessions he uses, but from bringing the ball up, working that much harder to free up his teammates for open looks when they are not very good at doing it themselves, etc. USG kind of only tells part of the story. Melo has been ground into paste gradually over the course of the season because there’s not enough around him to help him stay whole. His failing is that despite the negative effect it has on his game and the Knicks as a whole, he (and Woodson) just keep pounding away with the same ferocity and futility and, as I said, a team being THAT Melo-centric, or basically any player-centric, is just not going to sustain success. The model is theoretically one that can work, with just one star-caliber talent and a defensive anchor being supported by a diverse cast, but the Knicks sort of half-assed that model and instead of getting a truly diverse cast of role-players to surround them, they got a bunch of different sized and shaped limbs and tried to cobble together a doppleganger. They’re essentially a crappier put together version of the Bulls with Rose.

  2. Robtachi

    That said, injuries have fuckin’ killed ‘em this year, whether that was to be expected or not.

  3. Spree8nyk8

    We jumped the shark when we signed Amar’e, our problems begin and end with that contract. The rest of the roster is redeemable with offseason moves but until they can deal with the elephant contract in the room it isn’t going to matter.

  4. sidestep

    So what’s the verdict about playing Melo at the 4 spot? Is the physical cost of playing that position worth the better production?

  5. Mr.RIGHT

    Basically There GUARD play has been abysmal (even when they were winning) with the exception of when Prigs is playing his limited minutes and when Kidd was hot early in the season … FAT RAY has been a HUGE Disapointment and downgrade from Jeremy Win … Shump needs to cut his hair and get rid of that silly kid & play eraser head hair do// or something he’s the reverse of Sampson he gets weaker to more profound his hair is .. but in all seriousness Shump also has been a disapointment

    * they were hurt by Amare’s injury he was playing great & gave an inside presence

    * Melo needs to post up grab more bounds and pass out the hole

    * the guards need to get Chandler the ball more he is capable of high % 20 pts every night and to draw fouls

    * DEFENSE (less shooting from JR & Felton more passing inside to the paint)

  6. Spree8nyk8

    Seems pretty clear to me, these guys rallied together and went into camp 3 weeks before the rest of the league so they could jell, it gave them a nice head start on the league and that led to a fast start, but then teams started catching up. After that we no longer had the edge that we had, we were figured out rather easily, injuries kicked in. And that is really that. We have given away every ounce of our youth and replaced it with broken down has beens.

    You would think on a team that found Lin on a scrap heap they would have learned that hungry youth trumps the once weres of this league. Shameful that they didn’t.

  7. jon abbey

    Hollinger’s odds on us winning the division down to 49 percent, at least no one has actually died on this road trip. yet, anyway.

  8. Frank O.

    The write ups get better as the Knicks play worse.
    I know this is weird, but there nothing quite so funny as the angst of our freelancing recapper.
    It’s like the sort of strange humor I find in someone getting hit in the nuts. Never fails to set off the giggles.
    I remember playing tennis once with my friend Adam, many, many years ago and with his back turn to get a new ball, I lightly tossed a ball to him that bounced, perhaps five times, and at the last moment he turns and the ball strikes him ever so lightly in the nuts. To this day, the memory of that dramatic exhale of shock and pain, and the eventual writhing collapse to the ground never fails to bring tears from controlled giggles to my eyes.
    Bob and Jim angst is pure gold and makes the Knicks’ failures so much more interesting.
    Of course abbey thinks it all sucks, but in some strange way, that too makes it all the more enjoyable.
    My season now consists of these recaps because the poor play is only enjoyable in this form.

  9. ephus

    I must officially retire my mantra. It is not a great time to be a Knick fan. The last three weeks have felt like 1985. That’s not a good thing.

    Knicks will make the playoffs. Before the season, I said par for the year was winning the first round. Tough to see this team beating Boston or Chicago in a 7 game series.

    Damn!

  10. bobneptune

    Robtachi:
    I think I’ve settled on the ultimate evaluation that the Knicks have just not really assembled a particularly good roster around Melo.

    Of course, there is a very good reason for that. Melo wanted the pre new cba max of ~19 M first year vs the new cba max of 30% of cap or ~ 17.4 M a year.

    So, in order to get Melo more money, any tradable asset had to go along with multiple picks wnhen he could have come for no assest lost. And hence, a lousy, geriatric supporting cast.

    Contrast that with Lebron, Wade and Bosh who gave up the short end money (signed for starting salaries ~ 13.5M) to have a chance at professional immortality.

    And of course, Dolan needed a “star” to fill his building.

  11. Jp

    the best thing that happened during last night’s game was that no matter how shorthanded we are, jame white should NEVER play.

  12. RicanKnick

    Did Earl traveled in that dunk? 1.2.3 steps…I loved K-Mart spin…yada yada yada! *I can’t think clearly* :’(

  13. ephus

    To defend ‘Melo on his contract demand, he and CAA were facing tremendous uncertainty about what the new CBA would look like when they were acting in the Winter of 2011. They could not know that they delta would only be around 20% of salary. The biggest thing that ‘Melo did to hurt the Knicks was his wink-and-a-nod to the Nets. Because ‘Melo gave Denver at least two possible trade destinations, the Denver GM was able to play the Knicks and suck out all of their tradable assets.

    I’m not unhappy about trading Gallo, W. Chandler, Mozgov, Felton and picks for ‘Melo and Chandler (which is what the deal dissolves to). And I do not think those tradable assets would meaningfully change the prospects today. If ‘Melo and STAT are injured, the Knicks are sunk until 2014-15.

  14. Owen

    “I think I’ve settled on the ultimate evaluation that the Knicks have just not really assembled a particularly good roster around Melo.”

    This is true. The best possible scenario for Melo would be a team like Indiana. Swap him for Granger and they would be pretty dangerous. Best defense in the NBA (or close) and a high usage scorer to fill in the gaps in their offense.

    The model for Melo should be the Iverson Sixers, who surrounded AI with a bunch of tough-as-hell defensive/possession specialists.

    Put Melo out there with 4 great defenders and you might have something workable. But Feltdown doesn’t really fit that profile….

  15. JC Knickfan

    ephus:
    Knicks will make the playoffs.

    hmmmm Knicks have 14 game lead on Toronto for 9th spot in EC. I think it’s safe bet that they will. The real question is can they hold on to win ATLANTIC division and be at least the 4th seed.

    19 games left
    12 +500
    7 -500
    10 away
    9 home

    I guessing we finish 9-10
    Record 47-35

  16. stratomatic

    I think the entire premise of “building around Melo” is the major PROBLEM for this franchise now.

    This is not Melo “hate”. It’s objective analysis as a fan.

    He’s simply not good enough to be the max player you build around and win a championship unless you get extremely lucky by getting sensational value on some of the other players.

    These are just some of the players that IMO are clearly better than him when 100% in no special order.

    1. James
    2. Durant
    3. CP3
    4. Howard
    5. Wade
    6. Bryant (granted he makes way more)
    7. Harden

    Then there’s a long list of others that IMO are either better or similar (based on my model) that are making less than max.

    There will always be a bunch of teams getting way better value at the top giving them a huge advantage. You can’t win that way. It’s that simple. The cap prevents it.

    The way to win is to get GREAT VALUE for each cap dollar and slowly roll them up into higher quality GREAT VLAUE. The way to do that is generally to avoid the “name scorers” (like Melo) that are almost always overvalued and try to find other dynamite players that do other things for less money (Tyson Chandler for example). The other way is to accumulate draft picks, draft well, and get great value on young players on rookie contracts.

    Melo’s best chance of winning a championship is going to come when he’s older and takes a secondary role (and salary) behind a legitimate superstar. He can’t carry a team, but he gets paid like he can. It’s that simple.

    Of course, making matters worse is that Amare gets paid like a superstar also but he’s not the player he used to be and is at the age when players start breaking down a little more often (especially one with a history of breaking down)

  17. Owen

    Yeah, agreed.

    The truth about Melo is that he is far closer to being average than he is to a guy like Durant, James, or Paul. Using WS/48 he is about as close to the real second tier stars in this league as he is to average. He splits the difference. He isn’t a bad player. He is pretty good. But certainly not good enough to carry a legitimate championship contender. And it’s not like that wasn’t perfectly clear when we acquired him, which is why banking on him as a championship cornerstone was pretty silly. He also isn’t young.

    I think Melo would be perfect on the Pacers though. Surrounded by tough defenders for whom he can carry the scoring load,

    And I agree about his future. I think his best case is what happened with Paul Pierce, (a better player but similar), who basically lucked into Garnett, Allen, and Rondo, and made the most of it.

  18. stratomatic

    Yes. Pierce is the PERFECT example. IMO Pierce was a better version of Melo a few years ago. But it’s exceptionally difficult to build a team like Boston unless a few players are willing to take less money, which is the opposite of what Melo did in coming to NY.

  19. Juany8

    The argument has never been that Melo is an absolute top player (although he was playing like one before injuries set in) the comparison has always been that he was around Pierce’s level. Pierce didn’t do much without KG, Allen, and Rondo. If we were to hypothetically assume that Melo is the perfect equal of 2008 Pierce, would you say a Felton, Jr, and Chandler are as good as KG, Allen, and Rondo? Amar’e has become a pure albatross at this point, he clearly cannot stay healthy enough to be counted on long term (vividly remember the same thing happening to Yao Ming) Is that really Melo’s fault?

    Chris Paul, the superduperstar we all love, has won the exact same number of playoff series as Melo, and he’s had WS monster Tyson Chandler on his team, as well as a pretty damn solid player in David West. Last year he had Blake Griffin and a solid supporting cast and got swept out of the second round. Maybe the simple fact is that Lebron and a dominant big man (of which there are none currently in the NBA with Dwight Howard sucking) are pretty much the only players that can carry a team to a title by themselves. Saying Melo is not as good as Lebron, or even guys like Chris Paul and Kobe, is not a terrible indictment of him as a player. With guys like Eric Gordon, Roy Hibbert, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol, and Chris Bosh making max money or close to it, I’d say that Melo actually provides solid value on his contract.

  20. jon abbey

    I don’t think the real goal was ever to be a championship contender. it was to create a team just like we have now, a 45-55 win team that will make the playoffs and maybe win a round or two and sell plenty of Dolan’s obscenely overpriced tickets. kudos to Dolan and crew on accomplishing that, which is why we should all be boycotting those fuckers.

  21. Zanzibar

    Sure we look like we should be on the road with the Harlem Globetrotters right now but is the outlook really that gloomy if Melo is healthy? JR’s started to take the ball strong to the hoop in lieu of those step-back jumpers, his defense and passing has improved, and he could arguably be a top 5 SG next season. Chandler does have a baby hook and if he works on it and a 10 ft jumper in the off-season he becomes the player THCJ says he already is. Camby’s game is not predicated on athleticism so you team him with Chandler and we have a top 5 defense. He has a tradeable contract if he cannot stay healthy. How do you think a lineup of Chandler/Camby/Melo/Smith/Jrue Holiday would fare? Denver went to the WCF with a unit not all that dissimilar to this one. If Shump continues to improve over the remainder of the season, we might be able to package him and Felton or Prigioni (along with Gadzuric-like contracts if required) to land some help at PG. Amare gives us 20 minutes/game as a backup.

    The straw man arguments about Melo are starting to become tiresome. No one is arguing that he is in the same category as James or Durant. Paul is a great player but do you really think we’d be that much better if you substituted him for Felton and then substituted a middling SF or PF for Melo? If we had Paul/Melo/Chandler, everybody would be singing a different tune. How does Melo indirectly get blamed for Amare’s 25m sinkhole contract?

  22. max fisher-cohen

    I think you can win a championship with Melo. You just can’t win a championship Miami Heat style, which is the model New York is following (and will likely try to follow again in 2015). In order to win a title just with free agents, you have to have the very best free agents because those are the only ones who give you a lot of value over their cost.

    If you don’t have Lebron or maybe Howard and Chris Paul, and you don’t have a few good players on rookie contracts, you will never win. Your only hope is to build a team full of undervalued assets or at least very YOUNG assets that in the long term may grow to be more valuable than their contracts. There is ZERO room for error or bad luck. Not only do the pieces have to be great finds but they have to complement each other, to make each other better.

    To a degree, NYK accomplished this. Chandler, Kidd and Melo are a good combination, and JR is a very good value as a 6th man. If Kidd was just a couple years younger, those four IMO could be a foundation for a championship team. The problem is Kidd is older, Stoudemire is a poor fit, a major health liability, and way overpaid, and Novak and Camby and Felton are all just bad values. Yes, even Felton, who IMO is not worth much more than a minimum contract. This is natural. Free agency sucks. It’s damn hard to find any good values.

  23. Garson

    The model that they are following is clearly that of the Mavs.

    Aside from the fact of a roster that resembles the Mavs championship team, they are building around Melo with Aging vets looking to strike lightning in a bottle.

    The Problem with this route is that your not getting better with time however regressing . That was a reason why i was against letting Lin walk… he was the only shot of improvement through Semi – youth. (excluding Shump)

  24. Nick C.

    If people feel that with LeBron in Miami the ECF is the Knicks ceiling than this is the Ewing era all over. The only difference, and it is a big one, is that every year I felt that the Knicks were going to win. I was not thirteen either. For a month or two, when they were beating Miami by 20 and SA etc., I’ll be honest I thought these Knicks had a shot. That ship has sailed. Next year Sheed and Kidd will be a year older and may not even be back. Other than Shump and the possible draft pick I’m not sure there is anyone that will be better than this year. Melo might be healthier, Chandler might be more engaged, JR gets to the .570 TS and um what else. Compared to the past decade the second round or beyond is wonderful, but compared to the hype and all the machinations it seems like “really that’s it.”

  25. Duck d'Anjou

    Dear Robert S:

    You write, “wholly of complimentary pieces.” Surely you mean, “wholly of complementary pieces.” I can forgive you almost anything.

  26. stratomatic

    Juany8:
    The argument has never been that Melo is an absolute top player (although he was playing like one before injuries set in) the comparison has always been that he was around Pierce’s level. Pierce didn’t do much without KG, Allen, and Rondo. If we were to hypothetically assume that Melo is the perfect equal of 2008 Pierce, would you say a Felton, Jr, and Chandler are as good as KG, Allen, and Rondo? Amar’e has become a pure albatross at this point, he clearly cannot stay healthy enough to be counted on long term (vividly remember the same thing happeningto Yao Ming) Is that really Melo’s fault?

    Chris Paul, the superduperstar we all love, has won the exact same number of playoff series as Melo, and he’s had WS monster Tyson Chandler on his team, as well as a pretty damn solid player in David West. Last year he had Blake Griffin and a solid supporting cast and got swept out of the second round. Maybe the simple fact is that Lebron and a dominant big man (of which there are none currently in the NBA with Dwight Howard sucking) are pretty much the only players that can carry a team to a title by themselves. Saying Melo is not as good as Lebron, or even guys like Chris Paul and Kobe, is not a terrible indictment of him as a player. With guys like Eric Gordon, Roy Hibbert, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol, and Chris Bosh making max money or close to it, I’d say that Melo actually provides solid value on his contract.

    1. I don’t think Melo is “all around” as good as peak Pierce was.

    2. Rudy Gay and Eric Gorden are other perfect examples of terrible value for overrated scorers.

    3. IMO, peak Gasol, peak Zach Randolph (who is not really having a peak year), and Bosh are all better than Melo (yes even Bosh).

    The point is not to criticize Melo. I am stating a simple fact that it’s hard to build a championship with an overvalued player.

  27. stratomatic

    Garson:
    The model that they are following is clearly that of the Mavs.

    Aside from the fact of a roster that resembles the Mavs championship team, they are building around Melo with Aging vets looking to strike lightning in a bottle.

    The Problem with this route is that your not getting better with time however regressing . That was a reason why i was against letting Lin walk… he was the only shot of improvement through Semi – youth. (excluding Shump)

    I agree.

    The difference is that Marion is generally underrated, Kidd was younger, Dirk is (or at least was) better than Melo, and Jason Terry has a few Bball IQ points that JR doesn’t have.

    Peak Dirk was a great player. Even though he was already in a bit of decline, he proved he could pump up for the playoffs and deliver a few more rounds of greatness.

  28. Owen

    “Paul is a great player but do you really think we’d be that much better if you substituted him for Felton and then substituted a middling SF or PF for Melo? If we had Paul/Melo/Chandler, everybody would be singing a different tune. How does Melo indirectly get blamed for Amare’s 25m sinkhole contract?”

    We would be much better if we had Paul and Matt Barnes rather than Melo. And people want to play with Paul more than they want to play with Melo. Paul barely shoots the first half of every game.

    It’s true that Amare’s contract screws everything up. And I agree that the object is not to criticize Melo. I think the criticism of him on this site is really just a byproduct of the fact some people here still think he is a top 10 player in the NBA. I also agree that Dolan is the major problem long term.

    I will say, anyone who argued against trading Stat if we had the chance at the deadline for Dudley or whatever, well, yeah…..

  29. Z-man

    I’m not jumping off the bridge yet, this is a very tough stretch and we were expected to struggle. Obviously the blowouts are tough to stomach, but the games vs. OKC and Miami are much better indicators of who we are and can be.

  30. bobneptune

    ephus:
    To defend ‘Melo on his contract demand, he and CAA were facing tremendous uncertainty about what the new CBA would look like when they were acting in the Winter of 2011.They could not know that they delta would only be around 20% of salary.

    I’m sorry, I have to call BS on this overused excuse.

    The NBA is a star driven league and the player’s association is run by the stars and their agents. There was about a zero chance of Tellem, Fegan, et al ever allowing a cba to be signed with the top players taking a massive haircut. It was never gonna happen.

    Dolan wanted a star in february, not july because he needed a 51% price increase for his expansion. Melo wanted all of “his” money. Lebron, Wade and Bosh signed for 13.5 M apiece and get to play for championships for a far as the eye can see.

    Had Melo (and Dolan) waited the Knicks could have keep their picks and players Melo could have signed in the Curry/Azibuike expiring slot, they would have had players to trade for chandler/gasol/mc gee/Jordan/Howard to play center and still had another 12 million expiring the following year with felton and the pharoh expiring.

    Plus, they would have retained the ability to jettison amar’e, should he have gone bad, as he has.

    But… greed is good.

  31. Brian Cronin

    I’m not jumping off the bridge yet, this is a very tough stretch and we were expected to struggle. Obviously the blowouts are tough to stomach, but the games vs. OKC and Miami are much better indicators of who we are and can be.

    I am not particularly worried either (well, not so long as Melo and Chandler are healthy for the playoffs, that is), but I am curious as to why you think that the games vs. OKC and Miami are better indicators of who the team is than the Denver and Golden State games. The OKC game, in particular, struck me as fluky since it was based entirely on JR getting really hot.

  32. d-mar

    Brian Cronin: I am not particularly worried either (well, not so long as Melo and Chandler are healthy for the playoffs, that is), but I am curious as to why you think that the games vs. OKC and Miami are better indicators of who the team is than the Denver and Golden State games. The OKC game, in particular, struck me as fluky since it was based entirely on JR getting really hot.

    I think what Z-man is referring to was the defense in the OKC game, which was about as good as it’s been in the last few months.

  33. AnonymousODG

    stratomatic:
    Yes. Pierce is the PERFECT example.IMO Pierce was a better version of Melo a few years ago. But it’s exceptionally difficult to build a team like Boston unless a few players are willing to take less money, which is the opposite of what Melo did in coming to NY.

    “Better version of Melo” Paul Pierce’s ’09-10 season: 18 pts, 4 reb, 3 assists a game.

    stratomatic: 1. I don’t think Melo is “all around” as good as peak Pierce was.

    Pierce has had 5 seasons where he averaged 25+ ppg at .444%, along with 6.6 reb and 3.9 assists… way back in ’00-’03 and ’05-’07.

    Melo has had 7 seasons where he averaged 25+ ppg at .465%, along with 6.5 reb and 3.1 assists… in ’05-08, ’09-11 and ’12-13.

    Ladies and gentlemen, your New York Knicks’ fans.

  34. AnonymousODG

    Owen:
    “Paul is a great player but do you really think we’d be that much better if you substituted him for Felton and then substituted a middling SF or PF for Melo? If we had Paul/Melo/Chandler, everybody would be singing a different tune. How does Melo indirectly get blamed for Amare’s 25m sinkhole contract?”

    We would be much better if we had Paul and Matt Barnes rather than Melo. And people want to play with Paul more than they want to play with Melo. Paul barely shoots the first half of every game.

    I thought it was understood that Paul only wanted to come to New York to play with Melo. Where did this notion that Paul would have come to New York to play with STAT come from? Or that he would demand far less money than Melo? You guys do understand that Paul’s holding out on a 5-yr $110 million extension, right?

  35. BigBlueAL

    The past 2 seasons the Knicks had awful stretches late in the season followed by a great stretch heading into the playoffs. As long as Melo and Chandler are back by the time the team returns home on Wed I am cautiously optimistic that will happen this season too considering the team was playing pretty good before this road trip.

    I still expect them to win the division and finish 3rd in the East.

  36. AnonymousODG

    BigBlueAL:
    The past 2 seasons the Knicks had awful stretches late in the season followed by a great stretch heading into the playoffs.As long as Melo and Chandler are back by the time the team returns home on Wed I am cautiously optimistic that will happen this season too considering the team was playing pretty good before this road trip.

    I still expect them to win the division and finish 3rd in the East.

    Yeah, we may have lost 4 of the last 5, but prior to that, we won 5 of the last 6.

    Beating the Nets out for the #3 spot will come down to the 2 Boston games and 2 Atlanta games.

  37. d-mar

    BigBlueAL:
    The past 2 seasons the Knicks had awful stretches late in the season followed by a great stretch heading into the playoffs.As long as Melo and Chandler are back by the time the team returns home on Wed I am cautiously optimistic that will happen this season too considering the team was playing pretty good before this road trip.

    I still expect them to win the division and finish 3rd in the East.

    I concur. The Nets have 11 road games and 7 home games left, including 8 straight on the road. The Celts (who are a longshot to win the Atlantic anyway) have been terrible on the road this year and still have 9 left. We probably won’t win 50 games this year (and it sucks to have to say that) but I don’t think anyone else in the Atlantic will either, so a 3rd seed wouldn’t be all that bad considering all the injuries.

  38. BigBlueAL

    d-mar: I concur. The Nets have 11 road games and 7 home games left, including 8 straight on the road. The Celts (who are a longshot to win the Atlantic anyway) have been terrible on the road this year and still have 9 left. We probably won’t win 50 games this year (and it sucks to have to say that) but I don’t think anyone else in the Atlantic will either, so a 3rd seed wouldn’t be all that bad considering all the injuries.

    Yeah, I would really love for this team to win 50 games because it has been such a rare feat in franchise history. Ive stated this has been the best team since the 2000 Knicks who won 50 and reached the East Finals but the 2001 team the following season did win 48 games so they had a pretty good regular season too but unfortunately lost in the 1st round to the Raptors thanks to not having an injured LJ and the entire Camby sister hostage thing after Game 1.

    But at this point I really dont care if this team wins 50, 48 or 46 games as long as they win enough to win the division and get the 3rd seed.

  39. Owen

    Anonymous, on this board raw points, rebounds, and assists are looked at askance. You have to pace adjust, do it on a per 36 basis, etc……

    If you do so, Melo’s numbers aren’t that impressive.

    Pierce on the other hand, and this is what Strat was referring to, played 80 games and posted a .201 WS/48 at the age of 33 in 10-11.

    Melo has been in the league 11 years and his peak is .160 so far.

    Melo hasn’t been as good as Pierce. Gaudy scoring totals and raw stats sure, but Peak Melo, which is last year right now, is a cut below peak Pierce.

    AnonymousODG: “Better version of Melo” Paul Pierce’s ’09-10 season: 18 pts, 4 reb, 3 assists a game.

    Pierce has had 5 seasons where he averaged 25+ ppg at .444%, along with 6.6 reb and 3.9 assists… way back in ’00-’03 and ’05-’07.

    Melo has had 7 seasons where he averaged 25+ ppg at .465%, along with 6.5 reb and 3.1 assists… in ’05-08, ’09-11 and ’12-13.

    Ladies and gentlemen, your New York Knicks’ fans.

  40. AnonymousODG

    Owen:
    Anonymous, on this board raw points, rebounds, and assists are looked at askance. You have to pace adjust, do it on a per 36 basis, etc……

    If you do so, Melo’s numbers aren’t that impressive.

    Pierce on the other hand, and this is what Strat was referring to,played 80 games and posted a .201 WS/48 at the age of 33 in 10-11.

    Melo has been in the league 11 years and his peak is .160 so far.

    Melo hasn’t been as good as Pierce. Gaudy scoring totals and raw stats sure, but Peak Melo, which is last year right now, is a cut below peak Pierce.

    In other words ignore everything that proves how dimwitted comparing Pierce to Melo is. I’ve read enough on this board to understand that what I just posted is meaningful, illustrative, basic and damning when it comes to certain posters’ proclivities in pointing out who has a more complete game. So I’m not going to dignify your comment about “gawdy” raw stats. The more appropriate context — if that’s really what you’re trying to force here — is comparing the relative supporting casts Melo has had the benefit of (or lack thereof) with Pierce’s. Good luck with that.

  41. Owen

    Illustrative, basic, and damning?

    Really? Not even going to dabble in a few advanced stats, or pace adjust them? The only thing that matters is who you play with?

    Here is something I just noticed. Paul Pierce’s career true shooting % average matches Carmelo’s all time best season of 56.8% in 07-08.

    Damning?

    I guess you are a Melo guy who thinks he is just a few roster moves away from being the best player in the NBA.

    i remain a skeptic….

  42. AnonymousODG

    Owen:
    Illustrative, basic, and damning?

    Really? Not even going to dabble in a few advanced stats, or pace adjust them? The only thing that matters is who you play with?

    Here is something I just noticed. Paul Pierce’s career true shooting % average matches Carmelo’s all time best season of 56.8% in 07-08.

    Damning?

    I guess you are a Melo guy who thinks he is just a few roster moves away from being the best player in the NBA.

    i remain a skeptic….

    And Melo’s PER (21.7) was higher than Pierce’s (19.7) in his “magical” ’10-11 season. And when adjusting per 36, Pierce never averages 25 ppg whereas Melo still does multiple times over, and Pierce actually rebounds less to boot. You want to continue trading posts aimed at cherry-picking advanced stats because it’s more “sophisticated” to deflect from the obvious?

  43. Z-man

    Brian Cronin: I am curious as to why you think that the games vs. OKC and Miami are better indicators of who the team is than the Denver and Golden State games. The OKC game, in particular, struck me as fluky since it was based entirely on JR getting really hot.

    Because I think that we have another level to go to, and thse games showed that. Also, we are more of an EC slow-it-down team and regular season games vs. run and gun WC teams don’t matter much come EC playoff time.

    Some teams peak during the regular season and then get exposed in the playoffs because they don’t have another gear to step up to. Chicago seems like that kind of team unless Rose comes back. Denver and Houston, and young teams in general, are susceptible to this. On the other hand, teams like the Knicks, Celts and Mavs may have another gear to go to.

    I agree, though, that depending on JR and his single-digit B-Ball IQ for anything is a very iffy proposition. Felton isn’t playing so well either. Nor is Shump, Novak, or, well, OK we just suck.

  44. Z-man

    Camby looked pretty good yesterday, so that’s a positive. And K-Mart looked servicable, though thosw were some ugly-ass FTs he took.

  45. Zanzibar

    “I think the criticism of him on this site is really just a byproduct of the fact some people here still think he is a top 10 player in the NBA.” (Owen)

    Yes, I agree that’s part of it but I also think Melo’s seemingly nonchalant attitude and the circumstances surrounding the trade with Denver color people’s perception of his value. I’m happy to have him on the team because in the 4th quarter of playoff games against tougher defenses I want a player who can create an efficient shot for himself or draw a double-team. That is a relatively rare skill and a primary reason imo why so many good regular season teams struggle in the playoffs. I believe he is a top 5 player in that regard and I honestly don’t really care all that much whether he rates overall in top 10 or top 20. If somehow we could take Amare’s salary and get 2 non-geriatric WP darlings at PG and PF – well then I think we would have a real shot. Of course that window closed a long time ago.

  46. Owen

    Happy to continue trading posts. PER is a stat which rewards shot creation. It doesn’t really matter whether you make shots or not, above a 33% threshhold, the more you take the better you look. Ray Felton could go out and shoot 12-30 and that would be a positive from the perspective of PER. Which means in my opinion, it isn’t a very good stat, especially for evaluating guys like Melo, who are volume shooters but not particularly efficient.

    While it is obvious that Carmelo has scored more ppg than Pierce in his career, i don’t think it’s obvious that PPG is the best way to evaluate players. You have to look at efficiency. And in that area Pierce is a rung above Melo. He has been a more efficient scorer as measured by true shooting %. And that has been true both with KG, Rondo, and Allen and without.

    Melo is a volume scorer with a career ts% that’s basically a tick above league average for his career. Maybe 1.5%. Not sure what league average is for his career. But over roughly the same time period, also as a primary scorer, Pierce is another 2% higher. It seems like a small difference but in the NBA, when you are talking about the leading scorers on a team, that’s a big difference.

    But we can agree to disagree. Had enough Melo-dramas this week….

    “And Melo’s PER (21.7) was higher than Pierce’s (19.7) in his “magical” ’10-11 season. And when adjusting per 36, Pierce never averages 25 ppg whereas Melo still does multiple times over, and Pierce actually rebounds less to boot. You want to continue trading posts aimed at cherry-picking advanced stats because it’s more “sophisticated” to deflect from the obvious?”

  47. max fisher-cohen

    Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler pretty much singlehandedly (quadruple handedly?) carried the Hornets to 56 wins in the one season they were healthy together. Would Paul have come here? I don’t know, but that doesn’t really matter. The choice the Knicks had was between hoping a true superstar became available and they could get him, or giving up and building a team built to peak at around 50 wins and a playoff series win or two. They chose the latter.

    To me, however, the latter is damn near as bad as what Isiah did. Yes, it’s fun to watch the team win, and it’s reassuring to know that some of these guys have trade value, but the downside is that when Isiah’s teams were sucking it big time, there was constant pressure to do things differently. With this team, Dolan could wander through 3 more years of 40-50 wins without making any dramatic changes.

    If they wanted Anthony to pair with Paul, then they should have traded Stoudemire right away for as much cap space as they could get, allowing them to offer Paul a maximum deal. They might not have been able to add a big right away, but as soon as the pieces acquired for Stoudemire expired, they would have had $10m-ish to play with.

  48. nicos

    I’d say Melo and Pierce are pretty comparable- Pierce’s numbers are better but he had multiple years where his teams didn’t even make the playoffs. Yes he played on some godawful teams but the east was pretty godawful in a lot of those years- an 8 seed shouldn’t have been out of reach. Both had pretty similar playoff success pre-Garnett and both were dogged by pretty much the same complaints- Pierce’s defense was better in his first couple years but he was accused of dogging it a lot in those last 3 years before the big three and definitely of “not making his teammates better” as well. You want to give the edge to Pierce, fine but they’re certainly in the same ballpark.

  49. Owen

    If we could translate Amare into two even marginally above average guys I think that would be awesome…

    But I think just unloading Stat period at the deadline this year, when reportedly there was interest, was something we should have done without hesitation. We should have given him away if it was possible.

    Zanzibar:
    “I think the criticism of him on this site is really just a byproduct of the fact some people here still think he is a top 10 player in the NBA.” (Owen)

    Yes, I agree that’s part of it but I also think Melo’s seemingly nonchalant attitude and the circumstances surrounding the trade with Denver color people’s perception of his value. I’m happy to have him on the team because in the 4th quarter of playoff games against tougher defenses I want a player who can create an efficient shot for himself or draw a double-team. That is a relatively rare skill and a primary reason imo why so many good regular season teams struggle in the playoffs. I believe he is a top 5 player in that regard and I honestly don’t really care all that much whether he rates overall in top 10 or top 20. If somehow we could take Amare’s salary and get 2 non-geriatric WP darlings at PG and PF – well then I think we would have a real shot. Of course that window closed a long time ago.

  50. AnonymousODG

    Owen:
    Happy to continue trading posts. PER is a stat which rewards shot creation. It doesn’t really matter whether you make shots or not, above a 33% threshhold, the more you take the better you look. Ray Felton could go out and shoot 12-30 and that would be a positive from the perspective of PER. Which means in my opinion, it isn’t a very good stat, especially for evaluating guys like Melo, who are volume shooters but not particularly efficient.

    While it is obvious that Carmelo has scored more ppg than Pierce in his career, i don’t think it’s obvious that PPG is the best way to evaluate players. You have to look at efficiency. And in that area Pierce is a rung above Melo. He has been a more efficient scorer as measured by true shooting %. And that has been true both with KG, Rondo, and Allen and without.

    Melo is a volume scorer with a career ts% that’s basically a tick above league average for his career. Maybe 1.5%. Not sure what league average is for his career. But over roughly the same time period, also as a primary scorer,Pierce is another 2% higher. It seems like a small difference but in the NBA, when you are talking about the leading scorers on a team, that’s a big difference.

    But we can agree to disagree. Had enough Melo-dramas this week….

    Translation: we only get to look at the advanced stats I like, despite invoking them as if they were some sort of ace card, and Pierce actually becomes less of a complete “all around” player when adjusting for pace, and if I were to take this whole Pierce peak TS% and WS/48 as the end-all-be-all, I’d end up concluding he was far better than Westbrook ever was, so I just better stop.”

  51. Owen

    “To me, however, the latter is damn near as bad as what Isiah did. Yes, it’s fun to watch the team win, and it’s reassuring to know that some of these guys have trade value, but the downside is that when Isiah’s teams were sucking it big time, there was constant pressure to do things differently. With this team, Dolan could wander through 3 more years of 40-50 wins without making any dramatic changes.”

    +1

    that’s exactly where i am at.

    And I don’t really see how Melo doesn’t get re-signed to another max contract for his 32-36 years. Which I feel comfortable saying in advance would be a really bad idea. Let me just get out ahead on that issue in case anyone was wondering where I stood.

    Unfortunately, the appetite at MSG for starting over and losing attendance and cash flow isn’t everything we championship obsessed Knicks fans would hope for it to be…

  52. Owen

    Well, I just don’t think raw PPG really counts as an advanced stat. If you have advanced stats of your own to consider, I am all ears.

    And I totally understand where you are coming from re trying to end an argument with an advanced stat. I do think though they are a far better place to start the discussion than ppg.

    Regarding Westbrook, he is a young player who this year is putting up numbers that look pretty similar to Pierce’s best numbers by the advanced stats I like. This year he is at .190 WS/48. And he has a reputation as very good defender which would give him a bump as well. And he came into the league very raw. If you said you thought Westbrook will have a better career than Pierce I would say that’s definitely possible.

    AnonymousODG: Translation: we only get to look at the advanced stats I like, despite invoking them as if they were some sort of ace card, and Pierce actually becomes less of a complete “all around” player when adjusting for pace, and if I were to take this whole Pierce peak TS% and WS/48 as the end-all-be-all, I’d end up concluding he was far better than Westbrook ever was, so I just better stop.”

  53. AnonymousODG

    Owen:
    Well, I just don’t think raw PPG really counts as an advanced stat. If you have other advanced stats, or stats period to bring to the table, or anything else, I am all ears.

    And I totally understand where you are coming from re trying to end an argument with an advanced stat. I do think though they are a far better places to start the discussion than ppg.

    Regarding Westbrook, he is a young player who this year is putting up numbers that look pretty similar to Pierce’s best numbers by the advanced stats I like. This year he is at .190 WS/48. And he has a reputation as very good defender which would give him a bump as well. And he came into the league very raw. If you said you thought Westbrook will have a better career than Pierce I would say that’s definitely possible.

    Other advanced stats? You already completely disregard PER. Which, quite frankly, is a far better measure of who the better “all around” player is. I’m not going to bother trying to convince someone otherwise.

    And had I only focused on ppg, whilst ignoring rebounding and assists, your protestations concerning the relevancy of TS% might be cogent. But I didn’t.

    As for this brief conversation, the goalposts have moved from defending who the better all around player is, to cherry-picking who the more efficient shooter is. And I never cared to discuss the latter. The answer to the former is quite obvious, and it becomes even moreso when it comes to advanced statistics, as shocking as that might be to some.

  54. ruruland

    Owen:
    Well, I just don’t think raw PPG really counts as an advanced stat. If you have advanced stats of your own to consider, I am all ears.

    And I totally understand where you are coming from re trying to end an argument with an advanced stat. I do think though they are a far better place to start the discussion than ppg.

    Regarding Westbrook, he is a young player who this year is putting up numbers that look pretty similar to Pierce’s best numbers by the advanced stats I like. This year he is at .190 WS/48. And he has a reputation as very good defender which would give him a bump as well. And he came into the league very raw. If you said you thought Westbrook will have a better career than Pierce I would say that’s definitely possible.

    You aren’t all ears, dude. Laughable.

    These are indisputable facts:

    1. Melo has the Synergy profile of an amazing scorer, very near the efficiency on most play types of the top 5-10 most efficient, above average usage wings/guards.

    2. Melo has the highest usage in the NBA.

    3. Melo creates a high volume of extremely efficient offensive plays that aren’t isolations.

    4. The number of isolation plays Melo is involved in takes his usage well above any other player in the league, and also decreases his efficiency well below what someone with his profile should have.

    All that is left to argue and consider are the following:

    What is the opportunity cost to Melo’s isolations? to determine that, we have to consider the situations he takes his isolations vs players on floor, vrs shot clock etc.

    We must also ask ourselves this: Do Melo’s isolations lead to double-teams and are they a form of efficient offense for teammates when he passes out of the wing?

    Owen has failed to accept the facts.

  55. ruruland

    Owen:
    Well, I just don’t think raw PPG really counts as an advanced stat. If you have advanced stats of your own to consider, I am all ears.

    And I totally understand where you are coming from re trying to end an argument with an advanced stat. I do think though they are a far better place to start the discussion than ppg.

    Regarding Westbrook, he is a young player who this year is putting up numbers that look pretty similar to Pierce’s best numbers by the advanced stats I like. This year he is at .190 WS/48. And he has a reputation as very good defender which would give him a bump as well. And he came into the league very raw. If you said you thought Westbrook will have a better career than Pierce I would say that’s definitely possible.

    Owen, get on my level for once. I’m not “data mining” here.

  56. Owen

    I don’t put any stock in PER at all. But i think even PER will tell you Pierce is better than Melo. Slightly so at the same stage in his career, 20.5 to 21.4.

    Pierce has also finished in the top ten in the NBA in PER twice in his career. Carmelo hasn’t managed that yet.

    But again, PER isn’t a great stat. But if that and raw stats are the stats you look at we will just have to agree to disagree….

  57. Will the Thrill

    I guess technically PER is an advanced stat, but it is not very advanced and isn’t viewed as being a very accurate measure of a players value anymore.

    AnonymousODG: Other advanced stats? You already completely disregard PER.

  58. ruruland

    Owen:
    I don’t put any stock in PER at all. But i think even PER will tell you Pierce is better than Melo. Slightly so at the same stage in his career, 20.5 to 21.4.

    Pierce has also finished in the top ten in the NBA in PER twice in his career. Carmelo hasn’t managed that yet.

    But again, PER isn’t a great stat. But if that and raw stats are the stats you look at we will just have to agree to disagree….

    Why does Melo score so efficiently in so many areas at above-average usage?

  59. AnonymousODG

    And here I thought we were talking about Pierce at his peak in the magical ’10-11 season where he had a lower PER than Carmelo’s (which wasn’t even his peak season).

    The goalposts, they be moving.

  60. Owen

    “Melo has the Synergy profile of an amazing scorer, very near the efficiency on most play types of the top 5-10 most efficient, above average usage wings/guards.”

    Well, respectfully, what do you mean “most play types?” Why not all play types? I hate to bring up data mining again but could we at least get some disclosure as to which play types you are leaving out of this analysis?

    And I understand you put a tremendous amount of stock in Melo’s ability to perform well in certain common offensive set points. But the net result is also pretty important. Lets just start with the basic stuff. Kevin Durant shoots 8% better from the line and gets there more frequently. What kind of TS% would Melo have if he shot as well from the line, in transition, and from three?

    And as for Melo’s usage, and his ability to isolate. Look, no doubt he can operate well in some situations and take a lot of shots. But it doesn’t really matter much if you are barely above league average, does it?

    What exactly is Melo worth if you add him to a bunch of guys who all score at league average?

  61. BigBlueAL

    The Pacers are fighting for their lives to beat the Lakers at home with Kobe on the bench after going scoreless in the 1st quarter and not playing again.

  62. Owen

    I miss league pass a lot. Next year…..

    Maybe Dwight has a little left in the tank. Blake and Jamison too….

  63. BigBlueAL

    Owen:
    I miss league pass a lot. Next year…..

    Maybe Dwight has a little left in the tank. Blake and Jamison too….

    Unlike what many think here maybe D’Antoni can coach a little too.

  64. ruruland

    Owen,

    Let’s break this down again because it doesn’t seem to be penetrating here.

    These are not “some” situations. These are the most common play types for Melo and most NBA wings.

    Melo is 4th in the NBA pick and roll ball-handling with 156 plays.
    Melo is 15th in the entire league in post scoring efficiency with 252 plays.
    Melo is No.1 in the league in pick and roll scoring as the roll man.
    Melo is 24th in scoring off screens.
    He is 28th in offensive rebound efficiency.
    He’s 47th in isolation scoring, which still puts him in the 12th percentile .
    He’s 72 in spot-up scoring, which puts him in the 18th percentile.

    These play types make up more than 70% of his shots.

    He even ranks very high in “other” but is more middling in transition and cuts.

    However, both transition and cuts are higher-efficiency shots, and Melo has higher than average usage in every play type, including those two.

    His scoring efficiency is higher than average in every single category.

    His usage is higher than average in most categories.

    Again, the reason his overall usage is so much higher than everyone else’s is primarily because his isolation is so much higher than everyone else.

    However, if we reduced his isolation attempts down by 30 %, giving him about 20 % of plays isolation, which is still above average, he would still have high usage but his efficiency would also be much higher (essentially you would be taking out about 2 shots game that Melo shoots at 35-36 %).

    The question we have to ask ourselves is why does Melo take so many isolation shots?

    Does it hinder or help the offense? Does the threat of the isolation shot lead to double-teams and open shots around the perimeter. Is it a form of shot-creation for others, especially with a starting unit that lacks the ability to create shots.

  65. Nick C.

    Ruru that’s the million dollar question. Does Melo take more isolations because he is stuck doing so to bail out the team or because that’s just how he is?

  66. ruruland

    Owen:

    And as for Melo’s usage, and his ability to isolate. Look, no doubt he can operate well in some situations and take a lot of shots. But it doesn’t really matter much if you are barely above league average, does it?

    What exactly is Melo worth if you add him to a bunch of guys who all score at league average?

    First, enough with the euphemisms. Melo doesn’t merely score “well,” in most scoring plays, he scores at an elite level.

    Second, Durant shouldn’t really be compared to anyone, even Lebron. Melo has a much higher usage, yes, and is close in quite a few scoring categories, but Durant is really in his own league in terms of Synergy profile and overall scoring efficiency.

    Melo has a better Synergy profile, however, than many of the league’s most efficient players wings and guards.

    And we are getting to the bottom of this debate, as phrased in your seeming rhetorical question, which was “But it doesn’t really matter much if you are barely above league average, does it?”

    Yes, I think it does. Synergy is the key to understanding the usage vs efficiency debate.

    Again, we know that Melo scores at a very efficient rate in the only known categories for which a basketball player can score.

    Inherently, some of these plays are more efficient across the league and sport than others, at least for the individual taking the shot (which doesn’t answer the question of how they create shots for others)

    You and others pose the question: Melo doesn’t create efficient shots at high volume?

    That is false, and easily demonstrably so.

    Their are also inherent limitations in creating these kinds of shots at even higher usage, with a few exceptions.

    Which gets us back to isolations as a form of creating shots for others.

  67. Owen

    “The question we have to ask ourselves is why does Melo take so many isolation shots?”

    Why does he take so many shots. Because that is how you get paid in the NBA. Simple as that.

    This is a concept Knicks fans understand. It was taught to us by Stephon Marbury.

    “If I didn’t play the way how I played, I wouldn’t have gotten no max contract,” he said. “They can talk about whatever they wanna talk about me, because I got maxed. I’m a max player. Don’t get mad at me, because I’m telling you what’s real. One plus one is two, all day long, and it’s never gonna change. And that’s factorial.”

    I give Melo credit for being a better player than Starbury. He scores in volume with a low turnover rate. But he doesn’t score efficiently compared to real superstar scorers.

    I know you want to get in the weeds and show us through synergy that if something just fell right Melo’s efficiency could explode. And I applaud that optimism.

    But I can’t think of a player who has scored with such mediocre efficiency and the suddenly made that kind of leap at the age of 30.

  68. ruruland

    Nick C.:
    Ruru that’sthe million dollar question. Does Melo take more isolations because he is stuck doing so to bail out the team or because that’s just how he is?

    Well, we have some interesting evidence in that regard.

    I can get into examining usage lineups later and how the really low usage high efficiency players fared after leaving Melo and seeing their usage go up (and efficiency plummet) In other words, melo’s high usage vis-a-vis isolations seems to have a positive impact on teammates efficiency..

    The one time Melo played with a teammate who had a usage over 25%, Allen Iverson, Melo’s usage went down to a career low level, and his efficiency went to a career high level (prior to the 3-point shot being a big part of Melo’s shot mix).

    We don’t have Synergy numbers for that time, but judging by assist rates on baskets made, it’s clear that Melo’s isolations went down when paired with another high-usage player.

    Not coincidentally, Allen Iverson also had a career high in efficiency AND a career low in usage when paired with Melo.

  69. ruruland

    Owen:
    “The question we have to ask ourselves is why does Melo take so many isolation shots?”

    Why does he take so many shots. Because that is how you get paid in the NBA. Simple as that.

    This is a concept Knicks fans understand. It was taught to us by Stephon Marbury.

    “If I didn’t play the way how I played, I wouldn’t have gotten no max contract,” he said. “They can talk about whatever they wanna talk about me, because I got maxed. I’m a max player. Don’t get mad at me, because I’m telling you what’s real. One plus one is two, all day long, and it’s never gonna change. And that’s factorial.”

    I give Melo credit for being a better player than Starbury. He scores in volume with a low turnover rate. But he doesn’t score efficiently compared to real superstar scorers.

    I know you want to get in the weeds and show us through synergy that if something just fell right Melo’s efficiency could explode. And I applaud that optimism. .

    Owen, you still don’t seem to understand that the problem here is how the issue is framed.

    Melo is more efficient than his raw numbers because he is taking a much larger percentage of shots in the offense as a means of shot creation for others.

    He is both making up for the inherently low usage of his teammates.

    Consider this: We not only know that the majority of teammates Melo has played with had an increase in efficiency playing with Melo, more importantly, we know that Melo’s consistently had a large positive offensive impact via +/-…

    In fact, he’s had that large positive on-court impact when the players behind him were actually more efficient scorers by the raw numbers.

    This is not a riddle. It actually makes perfect sense.

    Melo is an extremely unique player.

  70. Nick C.

    I believe the idea is Melo or other Iso players take the burden f the sub-efficient shots upon themselves because sometimes that’s all there is left to take and/or because the attention leaves and efficient shot for a teammate.

  71. Owen

    Ruru – These are all fair points. But they really qualify as anecdotal evidence nothing more. At least when set against 10 full years of data now.

    Don’t you think if Melo had the ability to score efficiently he would have shown it by now over a significant sample?

    And I know, Nate Silver did a study.

    But Tyson Chandler posted a 67% ts% in Dallas and 62% and 63% in NOH. It’s not like you can explain his skill at scoring efficiently by pointing to Melo.

  72. ruruland

    Owen:
    I mean, just look at Harden? Is he not getting double teamed all the time?

    Yes, he does get trapped in the pick and roll and he’s the game’s best pick and roll player.

    He also has a wealth of shot-creators around him, players that can create off the dribble when Harden is trapped, that do not necessitate Harden creating his own jump-shot because of significant handicaps in the offense around him.

    Harden benefits from multiple players who can attack seams created by traps in the high pick and roll.

  73. ruruland

    Nick C.:
    I believe the idea is Melo or other Iso players take the burden f the sub-efficient shots upon themselves because sometimes that’s all there is left to take and/or because the attention leaves and efficient shot for a teammate.

    That, and the threat of isolation shots also draw attentions. it’s a form of shot-creation for the entire team.

    But in order for that threat to exist, the isolation must be used.

  74. ruruland

    Owen:
    Ruru – These are all fair points. But they really qualify as anecdotal evidence nothing more. At least when set against 10 full years of data now.

    Don’t you think if Melo had the ability to score efficiently he would have shown it by now over a significant sample?

    And I know, Nate Silver did a study.

    But Tyson Chandler posted a 67% ts% in Dallas and 62% and 63% in NOH. It’s not like you can explain his skill at scoring efficiently by pointing to Melo.

    I’m telling you that a) Melo is a distinctly unique player for the reasons we’ve discussed b) that his efficiency is actually disguised by him taking shots at a volume no other NBA player takes, which is necessitated by the inherently low usage players he’s been surrounded by with HIS entire career with the exception of Iverson in 2007.

    In the future, when a more balanced team is built around Melo in the next rebuiuld, so long as his skills don’t atrophy, Melo’s statistical value will rise as his usage burden is reduced, but his actual value will likely decline.

  75. Z

    ruruland: Owen, get on my level for once. I’m not “data mining” here.

    I don’t quite understand why you want to engage Owen every thread about the same boring stuff. Owen wasn’t even responding to you about the data-mining. He was having a conversation with somebody named The AnonymousODG (or was that you too?).

    It seems that the only thing that eclipses your love for Carmelo Anthony is your bizarre hatred for Owen. Neither of which make the conversations here terribly interesting, IMO. He’s not going to be convinced Carmelo Anthony is good for the Knicks until he’s convinced that the Knicks are good with Carmelo Anthony. That’s just the way it is. Save your carpals.

  76. ruruland

    That being said, I think now that Amar’e has the ability to self-generate shots, we could see Melo’s usage and need for isolations drop in the future, so long as he gets in lineups with Amar’e.

    Prior to this year, Amar’e was largely reliant on shots being created for him, which largely could not be created for him because of the lack of pnr point guards.

    That lead to the same dynamic of Melo needing to create that’s he’s been in most of his career.

    That dynamic changes with the post-post-world Amar’e, allowing Melo to exchange isolations shots for more efficient shot types, largely off the ball or in pnr, where he is great.

  77. ruruland

    Z: I don’t quite understand why you want to engage Owen every thread about the same boring stuff. Owen wasn’t even responding to you about the data-mining. He was having a conversation with somebody named The AnonymousODG (or was that you too?).

    It seems that the only thing that eclipses your love for Carmelo Anthony is your bizarre hatred for Owen. Neither of which make the conversations here terribly interesting, IMO. He’s not going to be convinced Carmelo Anthony is good for the Knicks until he’s convinced that the Knicks are good with Carmelo Anthony. That’s just the way it is. Save your carpals.

    It’s actually a fascinating discussion because we are talking about underlying assumptions made by very influential people in the basketball community. We are actually talking about how the game works.

    Feel free to jump on another thread and post on the new topics that other, more creative members seem to generate on a daily basis. I heard James Dolan owns the Knicks and that they are playing poorly right now.Also, Mike Woodson’s substitution patterns and switching defense.

    We can also talk about past transactions. That’s a new one.

  78. Owen

    “I’m telling you that a) Melo is a distinctly unique player for the reasons we’ve discussed b) that his efficiency is actually disguised by him taking shots at a volume no other NBA player takes, which is necessitated by the inherently low usage players he’s been surrounded by with HIS entire career with the exception of Iverson in 2007.”

    Well, his efficiency is disguised very well.

    And to me the simplest answer to why he takes so many shots is that
    A. he really isn’t great at anything else
    B. It gets him paid

  79. ruruland

    Owen:
    “I’m telling you that a) Melo is a distinctly unique player for the reasons we’ve discussed b) that his efficiency is actually disguised by him taking shots at a volume no other NBA player takes, which is necessitated by the inherently low usage players he’s been surrounded by with HIS entire career with the exception of Iverson in 2007.”

    Well, his efficiency is disguised very well.

    And to me the simplest answer to why he takes so many shots is that
    A. he really isn’t great at anything else
    B. It gets him paid

    No, it’s not disguised well at all. It’s right there in plain view.

    He’s not “great” at anything else. I’d agree. But I think he could be very good in other areas if his offensive workload was reduced. He’s at least average in most categories.

    There’s actually a positive correlation in his career with increased production in others with decreased scoring.

    b. that’s a horribly simplified way of looking at things.

  80. Owen

    “He’s not “great” at anything else. I’d agree. But I think he could be very good in other areas if his offensive workload was reduced. He’s at least average in most categories.

    There’s actually a positive correlation in his career with increased production in others with decreased scoring.”

    You have to understand how we Knicks fans feel about this argument. Some of us anyway. Isiah basically put this theory into practice for five years.

    Take one volume scorer, add another. Reduce their usage. And synergy. They only take the good shots. They have more energy on defense. They can focus on the little things. Etc.

    I can tell you how that works out in practice.

    It’s a shit sandwich.

  81. Owen

    “Yes, I think it does. Synergy is the key to understanding the usage vs efficiency debate.

    Again, we know that Melo scores at a very efficient rate in the only known categories for which a basketball player can score.”

    But if he scores at such an efficient rate in the only know categories in for which a basketball player can score, as you say, well then why isn’t his ts% higher?

    That’s the argument right? TS% is a flawed statistics, while Synergy, is correct? The aggregate data hides the true picture?

    It’s hard to know what to say to that. I am not really sure if that’s exactly what you mean, or if I am misunderstanding you.

    But I really doubt Synergy is as comprehensive as you think it is if it suggests that Melo is one of the most efficient offensive players in the NBA.

    I mean, he has taken 1300 + true shots this year. Is Synergy really covering every single one?

  82. ruruland

    Owen:
    “He’s not “great” at anything else. I’d agree. But I think he could be very good in other areas if his offensive workload was reduced. He’s at least average in most categories.

    There’s actually a positive correlation in his career with increased production in others with decreased scoring.”

    You have to understand how we Knicks fans feel about this argument. Some of us anyway. Isiah basically put this theory into practice for five years.

    Take one volume scorer, add another. Reduce their usage. And synergy. They only take the good shots. They have more energy on defense. They can focus on the little things. Etc.

    I can tell you how that works out in practice.

    It’s a shit sandwich.

    The problem is that Melo already has a history of doing it, not just in the Olympics, where his defense and effort have long been lauded, but on different teams in Denver.

    Shoot, last year when Woodson took over and Lin and Amar’e were in the lineup Melo played some great defense (and his usage was largely reduced), better than he has this year for the most part.

    When you look at those Knicks teams, none of those players demonstrated an ability to play defense over any stretch of time.

    That’s the difference. There’s no doubting Melo has demonstrated at different points of his career both the desire and ability to play defense for multiple game stretches, a few periods of multiple-month high level defense, like in 2008-09, where once again his usage was lower, especially early in the year when Billups and Nene both had higher than normal usage for an extended stretch.

  83. Owen

    Again, I just feel like you are making excuses for a guy, eleven years into his career. Great players don’t need these excuses made for them.

    And from what I remember of Lin and Melo it was a perfect example of that shit sandwich I was talking about. Melo, to my eye, didn’t look comfortable playing off the ball at all. It seemed totally foreign to him. And maybe with good reason. How many back cuts has this guy made in his life? He has probably had the ball in his hand on the wing on 30-35% of possessions on every team in his life before hitting the NBA and pretty close since then. Playing team basketball is not exactly something that comes naturally to him.

    Melo is good. I just don’t think he will ever be great.

    And i don’t think the extra usage he offers is worth much at all. Certainly it’s not something to build your house on.

    And that is all I have for the night….

  84. ruruland

    Yes, Synergy has every single play for every single player in the entire league. It’s used by teams in the NBA. Do you really doubt either of those things? If so, you should do some cursory research. Just a quick google search will do.

    If not, you still don’t understand what I’m saying. TS% is not a flawed statistic on its face.

    Synergy tells us how a player scores. It allows us to break down what the aggregate data, like the TS%, is telling us.

    This is the critical question:
    “But if he scores at such an efficient rate in the only know categories for which a basketball player can score, as you say, well then why isn’t his ts% higher?”

    This is due to: shot distribution and shot volume.

    Melo scores way above average in most shot categories. Heck, he’s well above average as an isolation scorer.

    But he has the most isolation shots in the entire league on a per minute basis, not even adjusted for the Knicks slow pace.

    ****Despite that, he still has higher than average shot volume in other shot types, not adjusted for pace. So it’s not as though he can’t create other really efficient shots at high volume. *****

    His TS% is lowered because of the sheer volume of isolation shots he takes.

    But as we can deduce, a simple reduction in isolations would allow Melo to be much more efficient (on the surface, by measure of TS%) while still being well above average in usage.

    He just wouldn’t be able to lead the league by two percentage points in usage.

    By this weekend, I will show you what Melo’s TS% would be if we reduced his usage to say, 28.7% (Which is Harden’s) from his current usage of 34.1 %.

    The isolations are the asymmetrical aspect of Melo’s shot distribution, which is the shot type that can be lowered without proportionally lowering other shots.

    We could take Melo’s usage down to Harden’s level, and he would still average more isolations than harden.

  85. ruruland

    Owen:
    Again, I just feel like you are making excuses for a guy, eleven years into his career. Great players don’t need these excuses made for them.

    And from what I remember of Lin and Melo it was a perfect example of that shit sandwich I was talking about. Melo, to my eye, didn’t look comfortable playing off the ball at all. It seemed totally foreign to him. And maybe with good reason.How many back cuts has this guy made in his life? He has probably had the ball in his hand on the wing on 30-35% of possessions on every team in his life before hitting the NBA and pretty close since then. Playing team basketball is not exactly something that comes naturally to him.

    Melo is good. I just don’t think he will ever be great.

    And i don’t think the extra usage he offers is worth much at all. Certainly it’s not something to build your house on.

    And that is all I have for the night….

    I’m not saying Melo is in the league of great players like Durant who can have extremely high usage and extremely high efficiency, or players like Lebron who can be great in every year with extremely high usage.

    I’ve never claimed he is great at that level.

  86. ruruland

    Owen:
    Again, I just feel like you are making excuses for a guy, eleven years into his career. Great players don’t need these excuses made for them.

    And from what I remember of Lin and Melo it was a perfect example of that shit sandwich I was talking about. Melo, to my eye, didn’t look comfortable playing off the ball at all. It seemed totally foreign to him. And maybe with good reason.How many back cuts has this guy made in his life? He has probably had the ball in his hand on the wing on 30-35% of possessions on every team in his life before hitting the NBA and pretty close since then. Playing team basketball is not exactly something that comes naturally to him.

    Melo is good. I just don’t think he will ever be great.

    And i don’t think the extra usage he offers is worth much at all. Certainly it’s not something to build your house on.

    And that is all I have for the night….

    I’m not saying Melo is in the league of great players like Durant who can have extremely high usage and extremely high efficiency, or players like Lebron who can be great in every area with extremely high usage.

    I’ve never claimed he is great at that level.

  87. Owen

    Well, it’s basketball, not a chemistry experiment or a mixology class. Unfortunately. I would love to see your Melo cocktail.

    Really, I’d love it if we could tinker with things so easily. I would love to see how David Lee’s defense looks like next to a legit center. The only center he ever played with was Eddy Curry. And he has spent five straight years as the primary interior defender on his team. Which is really a joke. Does that make him good on defense?

    I learned to revise my opinion of Lee. And I would bet someday you will do the same with Melo. Certainly, I would offer pretty handsome odds of him clearing the .200 WS/48 mark. But the best bet the change in your opinion won’t happen tonight. A very solid wager that would be…..

    Bon soir, it’s been fun….

  88. ruruland

    And obviously, if Lebron James isn’t a max player, then there’s no way Melo should be.

    But I will guarantee you one thing that I know for an absolute certainty.

    Injuries aside, Melo’s extension will be long and very team friendly, especially up-front, allowing the Knicks to possibly go after two max players, depending on what happens with Chandler.

    Melo will have made close to half a billion dollars in total by the time this contract is up.

    He wants to win in New York, he wants to have leave behind a positive legacy, and there’s no way he’s going down as the next A-Rod of New York, as unfair to A-Rod that might have been.

    Going after another big contract or going somewhere does nothing for CAA’s brand, nothing for Melo, Melo’s legacy and Melo’s brand, and nothing for the Knicks and the Knicks brand.

  89. ruruland

    Owen:
    Well, it’s basketball, not a chemistry experiment or a mixology class.Unfortunately. I would love to see your Melo cocktail.

    Really, I’d love it if we could tinker with things so easily. I would love to see how David Lee’s defense looks like next to a legit center. The only center he ever played with was Eddy Curry. And he has spent five straight years as the primary interior defender on his team. Which is really a joke. Does that make him good on defense?

    I learned to revise my opinion of Lee. And I would bet someday you will do the same with Melo. Certainly, I would offer pretty handsome odds of him clearing the .200 WS/48 mark. But the best bet the change in your opinion won’t happen tonight. A very solid wager that would be…..

    Bon soir, it’s been fun….

    Hey, there’s nothing wrong with the idea of putting Lee by a really solid defense center, and to see that some of his ineffectiveness in the paint historically is caused by the lack of help up-front.

  90. jon abbey

    ruruland:
    And obviously, if Lebron James isn’t a max player, then there’s no way Melo should be.

    But I will guarantee you one thing that I know for an absolute certainty.

    Injuries aside, Melo’s extension will be long and very team friendly, especially up-front, allowing the Knicks to possibly go after two max players, depending on what happens with Chandler.

    Melo will have made close to half a billion dollars in total by the time this contract is up.

    He wants to win in New York, he wants to have leave behind a positive legacy, and there’s no way he’s going down as the next A-Rod of New York, as unfair to A-Rod that might have been.

    Going after another big contract or going somewhere does nothing for CAA’s brand, nothing for Melo, Melo’s legacy and Melo’s brand, and nothing for the Knicks and the Knicks brand.

    what would really be ideal is if the Clippers flame out in the playoffs, Paul decides he wants to come team up with Melo and his old buddy Chandler after all, and CAA makes it happen.

    (and yes, I understand the cap, but players can sign for whatever they want. this would be JR Smith on a much greater level.)

    anyway, I can dream about that for a few months, as it’s a lot better than this reality.

    (although, letting Lin go would make a helluva lot more sense to everyone if it turned out that Paul was coming to town a year later…)

  91. ruruland

    My guess: Paul signs a three year deal with a player option in the third year so he can do just that if the Clippers core doesn’t work out. We all know about the wedding toast and Melo’s relationship with Paul, but remember that Melo said this summer Paul would be in New York in a few years. Most people shrugged it off. So there’s not only the CAA, the friendship with Melo and Chandler, but JR Smith, too.

    Chris Paul and Melo are the Godfather’s of Smith’s daughter, Demi, fwiw.

    My guess is that Melo’s extension would probably be in the 10-13 million range in the first few years, and if Paul and Chandler were to sign for that same amount like the Heat trio did (at least took less than market value), and the Big three in Boston did, the Knicks could add a max player to those three.

    Who could be the fourth player to join the older three?

    Kevin Love is a free agent then, and would make a ton of sense. So would Al Horford or Andre Drummond.

    Imagine a starting lineup of Paul, Shumpert/Smith, Melo, Love/Horford and Chandler to go up against a re-loaded Heat squad?

    Batum will also be a free-agent, and the Knicks could overpay for him. But if Paul signs and the Knicks have a big three in place, is there any doubt they will have their pick of whom to give a max to?

    Like I said, the next rebuild in 2015 is the big one, and just like it was for Pierce, Garnett and Allen, it’ll likely be the last chance for guys like Melo and Paul to form a team that can beat these other super-powers.

    Just watch and see how long Paul’s new contract is for. That should tell you everything.

  92. Owen

    “Like I said, the next rebuild in 2015 is the big one, and just like it was for Pierce, Garnett and Allen, it’ll likely be the last chance for guys like Melo and Paul to form a team that can beat these other super-powers.”

    A half a billion dollars is a lot of money.

    If the Knicks end up with Paul, Melo, Horford and Chandler you won’t hear me complaining ever again….

  93. bobneptune

    ruruland:

    Like I said, the next rebuild in 2015 is the big one, and just like it was for Pierce, Garnett and Allen, it’ll likely be the last chance for guys like Melo and Paul to form a team that can beat these other super-powers.

    You really didn’t write that, did you? I marvel at the mental gymnastics fans will jump through to justify a position.

    We tanked 2 seasons to set up for 3 quazi max players and when panic set in, gave the ranch so melo didn’t have to go through the mental anguish of not knowing whether he would make 19.5 M or 17.5M?

    Now, we have to live through 2.5 more seasons of this with no flexibility to do what? Replay the same drama, only this time building a dream team around Chandler (entering his 15th season in 15-16) Melo entering his 13th season and Paul then entering his 11th? All with an assload of milage on them since they entered the nba after high school, one and 2 years of college.

    And we’ll have to give these guys 4 years plus moving forward? And only if melo decides to play for 13 million, when he already turned down a better choice than that before he forced the denver trade.

    And this fantasy also stipulates Paul will rather play with melo in his 13th season and chandler in his 15th than griffin and de andre jordan squarely in their primes.

    Did Lewis Carrol write this post?

  94. AHouston20

    Owen:
    Again, I just feel like you are making excuses for a guy, eleven years into his career. Great players don’t need these excuses made for them.

    And from what I remember of Lin and Melo it was a perfect example of that shit sandwich I was talking about. Melo, to my eye, didn’t look comfortable playing off the ball at all. It seemed totally foreign to him. And maybe with good reason.How many back cuts has this guy made in his life? He has probably had the ball in his hand on the wing on 30-35% of possessions on every team in his life before hitting the NBA and pretty close since then. Playing team basketball is not exactly something that comes naturally to him.

    Melo is good. I just don’t think he will ever be great.

    And i don’t think the extra usage he offers is worth much at all. Certainly it’s not something to build your house on.

    And that is all I have for the night….

    I think it’s more that you take one stat (WS/48) to be the end all be all to judge a players greatness, and sometimes seem to refuse to take anything else into consideration, than there needs to be excuses made for Melo. No ones saying Melos as good as Lebron or Durant or Paul, it seems that RuRu is just wondering why you don’t acknowledge or take into consideration anything else.
    There is are more advanced metrics that love Melo. The president of SportsVU in a podcast with Zach Lowe at Sloan called Melo a great player and mentioned that Melo has the highest effective FG% of his passes over the last 3 years indicating that when he passes the ball he puts his teammate into a great position to score. Basically there is more context to basketball than simple box score counting stats. PER has flaws but so does WS or WP

  95. AHouston20

    Basically I don’t get how you can say PER is terrible you can’t use it to judge a player- And then be like look at his WS/48, player x is clearly better than player y- Like WS/48 or WP doesn’t have any major flaws

  96. Owen

    Never responded

    Look, PER is a stat whose flaws I understand. It’s clear from the formula. You will have a higher PER the more shots you take as long as you clear a 30% threshold for 2 point fg’s and 31.4% for three point field goals.

    Which is a ridiculous baseline in an NBA where one of the worse teams in history still put up 95 points per 100. (Bobcats – 2011)

    Basically, it greatly overvalues volume scoring and is built on an assumption that there are huge variations in scoring efficiency n the NBA, when in fact it’s a pretty tight distribution. If Melo doesn’t take 25 shots the rest of the Knicks probably are still going to score about a point per possession, and that’s without Amare and Chandler.

    Again, if you can explain why Win Shares / 48 isn’t a vastly superior measure of player performance, I am all ears.

    And i should say, all linear weight metrics have flaws. They don’t include a lot of defense value most importantly. But there are other tissues too. But by and large, they are a very good starting point for discussion.

Comments are closed.