Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Using Sarcasm, Here’s Some Great News

David Lee out for at least a few more weeks.

Again, kudos to Dave Crockett for rightly saying at the time, “This is a lot more serious than they’re acting if it is what they say it is,” which at least made me brace myself at the time for missing Lee for a lot of games.

It is never good, though, when your players think they were mishandled by the team trainers, which Lee seems to believe, thinking that he was asked to train too soon, not giving his leg time enough to heal.

This isn’t helping, not with this tough stretch of games coming up!

68 comments on “Using Sarcasm, Here’s Some Great News

  1. KnickerBlogger

    Interesting analogy. “But it is Lee’s loss that might be the greatest, because he plays Robin to Eddy Curry’s Batman, cleaning up the boards and providing the Knicks with an abundance of energy as the team’s sixth man.”

  2. dave crockett

    To quote a great American journalist:

    I’ve been to Viet Nam, Beirut, and Iraq, and I can say without hyperbole, this is a million times worse than all of them combined.

    — Kent Brockman (“Kamp Krusty” episode)

    Interestingly Brian, from a PR standpoint the Knicks did precisely what football teams do. They use a strategy where they give periodic reassessments that kinda make the wait seem shorter. First they’ll estimate 2-4 weeks, then 4-6, finally 6-8. And it’s 6-8 for pretty much everyone.

    Now in this instance I don’t think NY was being dishonest per se, since it sounds like the condition was incorrectly diagnosed at first. But the impact is kinda the same. They’re saying 2 more weeks in this story. At this point they probably know it’s more like 4 more weeks.

  3. jon abbey

    man, who knew at the time that his dominant performance in the Rookie/Sophomore game would basically mark the end of his season? four weeks from now leaves four games left in the regular season.

  4. Owen

    Damn. That sucks. DCrockett did have it right, much to my chagrin.

    I don’t know if I am more dumbfounded by the comparison of Curry to Batman, or Lee to Robin.

  5. Michael Zannettis

    I’m insulted for Batman that he’s compared to a man that can’t play defense.

    On the other hand, I’m insulted for Lee who is thought of as “only” a sidekick. If Lee was a superhero, he’d be The Martian Manhunter. Not going to carry the Justice League, but glad you have him aboard to do all the dirty work.

  6. Owen

    Really excellent post on the Knicks by Dave Berri over at the Wages of Wins.
    http://dberri.wordpress.com/2007/03/13/the-curry-scoring-illusion/

    He examines a number of topics. Should Isaiah have been resigned?

    He also asks what we should make of Curry’s transformation into a so called “star” this year, . He shows that the real reason his scoring has jumped this year is because his minutes have increased from 25 to 36 minutes. In fact, holding his minutes constant, his scoring would only have increased by .7 points, so his scoring rate has been essentially unchanged. However this year he has been worse on rebounds, blocks, steals and turnovers, relative to his averages last year.

    Finally Berri addresses the Knicks improvement this year. He attributes nearly all of it to three players, David Lee, Q Richardson, and Renaldo Balkman. They have accounted for roughly 24 wins. while being paid ten million collectively.

    So, according to his analysis, the other 107 million of payroll has produced just five wins.

    He says there is some hope for the knicks that combination of Francis and Balkman can make up for the loss of Lee.

    Interesting piece I think.

  7. DMull

    ^I look forward to giving that a read later Owen. One note is that I believe most people realize Curry’s scoring is up because of the minutes, but that’s the point – this year he’s actually been able to stay on the court. Interesting that the other averages are down. Maybe he’s not quite used to the extra minutes?

    Unfortunately, props to Dave, as soon as I read this I remembered someone kept bringing up that it would take longer on this board.

  8. Charles

    About Eddy Curry’s improvement: While Eddy’s per-minute stats are relatively equal, they do not begin to tell the whole story. Unlike last year, Eddy Curry is often doubled-teamed and even triple-teamed this year. Many teams are starting to resort to this tactic even before a pass is thrown to him. This often opens up lanes for other players and begins the start of ball movement that reaches an open man — even if Eddy doesn’t even touch the ball. Even without garnering assists Eddy has a role in breaking down defenses and as a result you are starting to see more open look jumpshots from Marbury and Q. Even with the same per minute scoring average, any player who ascends to the level of garnering double-teams makes all of his teamates better. If Eddy Curry hasn’t actually improved, then opposing coaches would play him the exact same way they did last year… but they don’t. And that should tell us what we need to know about his improvement.

  9. Dan Panorama

    By the way, we shouldn’t take it for granted that if Curry averages x per minute, we could just play him more minutes and get the predicted result.

    Well yeah that’s fine if we’re dealing with robots. But last year and in most of his years with the Bulls it wasn’t a matter of choice – either fouls or fatigue limited Curry to no more than 25 or so minutes. This year is different – he’s in the best playing shape of his career and his offensive fouls have dropped dramatically as Aguire’s tutoring in the post has allowed him to avoid them with smart agile play. The fact that he’s playing 36 instead of 25 minutes speaks to a major breakthrough in his game and isn’t just due to the coach’s choices.

  10. dave crockett

    It sucks to have been right about David Lee unfortunately.

    As for Curry’s scoring being a function of increased minutes, ditto Dan Panorama. Berri–and I haven’t looked at the link yet–doesn’t offer much of a criticism here. We already knew Curry was hella efficient from the floor. He just couldn’t stay on the floor for the reasons Dan mentions. He has improved his ability to stay on the floor this season primarily by cutting down on fouls iirc.

    Although Curry is already really efficient, on way he could improve his offensive efficiency is at the FT line. With his stroke he should be shooting in the mid 70s. He’s not Shaq, Mutombo, or even Duncan where he has some sort of hitch that makes you just cringe upon release. There’s nothing wrong with Curry’s stroke. He’s rarely off left or right, almost always short or long. That typically means balance is poor. If you look at his set up his knees are practically locked and his feet are too close together when he shoots.

    For a guy that delivers pretty much all of his value in the form of scoring–and I think the Wages approach makes this undeniable–he needs to shoot a better FT%.

  11. Owen

    One way to frame the question: What team in the NBA would trade their big man for Eddy Curry straight up. In the Eastern Conference I can barely think of a team that would make that trade, which is sort of unbelievable, given it’s the worst conference in the history of sports. But go through the list.

    Celtics – Jefferson – No
    Nets – Krstic – No
    Sixers – Dalembert – No
    Raptors – Bosh – NO!
    Hawks – Josh Smith – No
    Bobcats – Okafor – No!
    Miami Heat – O’neal – No!!
    Orlando Magic – Howard – No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Washington Wizards – Haywood/Thomas – Maybe
    Bulls – Wallace – No
    Cavaliers – Ilgauskas – Naybe (injury issues)
    Detroit Pistons – Webber-Mohammed – No
    Indiana Pacers – Oneal – No
    Milwaukee Bucks – Bogut – No

    In the Western Conference, maybe
    Portland, Aldridge/Magloire Probably
    Seattle Wilcox/Collison Maybe
    Clippers Kaman Probably

    So as i make it there are six teams in the NBA that would trade their starting big man for ours.

    I suppose it is a small triumph that Curry can stay on the floor for thirty six minutes a game, but honestly the numbers show that he hasnt helped us at all out there. He hasnt produced a win yet this season. I don’t know if you can really call it a major breakthrough. The jump Lee made from last season to this one, that was a MAJOR breakthrough. He went from a promising rookie to one of the most productive players per minute in the NBA. Curry? Not so much.

    Beyond the scoring rate issue, Berri’s main point, is basically the same as Knickerblogger’s point in the Henry Abbott post. Curry is statistically well below average as a center. His free throw shooting percentage really takes away from his field goal percentage, and all of his auxiliary stats are quite terrible relative to other centers. This is especially true in the most important categories, rebounding and turnovers. He probably is the worst rebounding center in the NBA, and he is second in turnovers to Dwight Howard. There are actually six players on his own team who rebound at a better rate than Curry. While he is better than the alternatives, Cato and James, compared to most centers in the league he just isn’t that good.

  12. jon abbey

    you’re deluded by your numbers, dude. NJ, Philly, Washington, Cleveland all would make that deal in a second, probably a few others of those too.

    “He hasnt produced a win yet this season.”

    not in your hallucinatory world anyway. any chance you can keep this to your fanboy gushing on your hero’s site, and leave the basketball analysis to those with a more nuanced grasp of the game?

  13. jon abbey

    “it?s the worst conference in the history of sports.”

    this is hyperbole also at this point, I think. clearly the 3 best teams are in the West, but the 6/7/8 spots are better in the East, both conferences have only six teams over .500.

    the other two major sports were also both thoroughly lopsided this year, AFC over NFC and AL over NL, in both cases, the 4 or 5 best teams were in the same half, even though St. Louis somehow won the World Series.

  14. Charles

    Owen, i have looked at your list and I find it very hard to believe that you have watched these other big men in action.

    The only centers in the east that wouldn’t be traded for Curry straight-up for Curry are Shaq, Howard, and Okafor. Everyone else would love to exchange Curry for their center. Even if Chicago had a do-over they would give up aging Ben for emerging Curry. As for Bosh and J. O’neal they are power forwards and don’t belong in the center discussion.

  15. jon abbey

    and FWIW, Curry played Howard and Okafor fairly even cumulatively this year (getting abused in a few games, abusing them in a few games, a couple pretty even), although I’d trade him for either of them also.

  16. Owen

    More nuanced grasp of the game? Lol. Alright. You can defend Eddy Curry if you like, and talk about the double teams he commands. The numbers are all out there. They all point to the same conclusion. And considering what Knickerblogger said in his Henry Abbott post, I am hardly alone in thinking that statistics can measure Curry accurately as a player. If you want to defend the position that the Knicks have improved this season because of Curry rather than Lee, thats fine with me.

    Just to be nettlesome, I will take up your proposition that those other teams would make a trade in an instant.

    Brendan Haywood averages seven rebounds per game and is playing 12 minutes less per game than Curry. He also averages three times as many blocks as Curry. I doubt the Wizards would prefer Curry to the interior presence the duo of Thomas and Haywood provides, considering the offensive firepower they have with Arenas, Jamison, and Butler.

    I know that Ilgauskas is a much better player than Curry when he is fully healthy, which he rarely is, and it seems from a cursory glance he is still better than Curry when he isnt. He outrebounds Curry, despite playing eight fewer minutes per game. He has blocked 82 shots to Curry’s 34 (lol), and even has 12 more steals. And he has notched 85 assists against 103 turnovers, which is a damn sight better than the 53/203 Curry has put up so far. The Cavs also play Gooden and Varejao at the center. Gooden is obviously much better than Curry. Varejao from a quick glance looks like a better player also. He averages 6.8 rebounds per game in 24 minutes and actually has notched the same number of assists 53 as Curry while only committing 51 turnovers. He has more blocks than Curry, and just about twice as many steals, with 53 The Cavs are winning right now and will be very dangerous in the playoffs because they are currently ranked fourth in defense in the NBA (and of course they have Lebron.) What do you think having Mr. Half a Block Per Game manning the middle for 36 minutes would do to their D?

    Dalembert is a surprisingly good player this year. I would definitely rather have him than Curry. I think that Philly has shown by going 20-20 over the last forty games that they are a much better team without Iverson and perhaps a better team now than the Knicks. Dalembert Miller and Igoudala are the reason why. He is an intimidating defensive presence, a much better rebounder, and commits far far fewer turnovers. One way to look at it is that he has 100 more blocks than Curry this season while committing almost 100 fewer turnovers. He has just nine less assists and more steals.

    I grant you the Nets would probably take Curry over Mikki Moore, although I was watching him yesterday night against the Hornets and he canned four outside jump shots. You ever seen Eddy Curry score outside the paint? Nah, me neither. Anyway, would the Nets be right to make the swap. Based on this year’s numbers I am not so sure. I say that and laugh. Curry for Moore? But Moore’s numbers are actually quite a bit better than Curry’s this year. He rebounds at a better rate, blocks more shots, commits fewer turnovers, more steals, etc. And right now he is playing major minutes. I dont know if that is really Moore, or having Kidd, Carter and Jefferson on the floor with him. One of the critiques I posted over at the WOW, one I havent gotten an answer to, was “how do you explain that Mikki Moore is now an above average player for the Nets.” Kristic is a handy player, or was before his acl injury. He also outrebounds Curry on a per minute basis,blocks shots at a much higher rate, and before his injury had 46 assists against 52 turnovers, which isnt too bad for a center. I admit Jason Collins is a terrible player, one of the few centers who Curry would actually be an upgrade on.

  17. Rick

    “He has blocked 82 shots to Curry?s 34″

    While I agree with your post, think about it like this:

    Eddy Curry has .55 bpg over the course of 62 games.

    Ilgauskas has 1.37 bpg over the course of 60 games.

    Considering that the league average for fg% is 45%, those 48 blocks have saved, as a ROUGH estimate, about 21 FG from being made. Also keep in mind that blocks don’t always end up with a change in possession. But assuming that they always are (I’d like to see the numbers on that), that’s 42 points over the course of the whole season. 0.7 points per game. Is that even worth noting? Does that increase his value that much?

  18. Count Zero

    Owen: For someone who seems to be hanging his hat on a sabermetrician’s view of the NBA, your posts are just chock full of subjective nonsense. To wit, this post on “who would trade their C for Curry straight up” is just your subjective opinion and has no basis in reality unless you talked to each of these GMs directly and asked them their opinion. (And even then, you couldn’t be sure they were being honest.)

    I would say that the GMs of NJ, Boston, Washington and Cleveland would all make that trade in a heartbeat. Moreover, I would bet you that Miami would give it serious thought. (Hmm…clear O’Neal’s contract…get younger…we aren’t going to repeat without D-Wade anyway…) But they couldn’t do it anyway because the numbers don’t balance — in fact most of these trades couldn’t be done without other players being thrown in to balance the payrolls, so how could you even posit them?

    In fact, the entire theory that this is a valid way of evaluating talent is flawed because trades aren’t made solely to get a better player (unless you’re Isiah). If that was the case, almost no one would ever be traded because no one is going to knowingly take the worse player. Trades are balanced by your team’s NEED (e.g., d-rebounder, stopper on d, outside shooter, etc.) which may outweigh who is the “better” player.

    I read Berri’s article — in addition to it being complete subjective opinion under the guise of objective statistical analysis, it’s either downright wrong or patently obvious. As pointed out, per-minute extrapolation is dangerous — in fact, at Curry’s offensive efficiency numbers, holding per-minute steady after a 40% increase in PT would actually be considered a huge success! Most players’ efficiency would have dropped off dramatically with that increase.

    Sorry to say it — but I think Berri and his analyses are all pretty much crap. Not because I’m against the use of stats, but because he’s using them in flawed ways to support pre-conceived ideas.

  19. Owen

    alright, saw there were a few responses, but am going to post this anyway.

    Any GM that traded Curry for Howard would be shot on sight. Howard is a player who actually is developing into a great center this year. Okafor is more in the Bill Russell mode, and I would also much much rather have him than Curry.

    In Howard, you are talking about a guy who might eventually develop into one of the top centers ever to play the game. He averages five rebounds more per game than Curry. While He is the only center in the league who has committed more turnovers (243) than Eddy, he also has twice as many assists and almost 91 more blocks.

    Okafor is also a much much better rebounder than Curry at 11.7 per game. Before getting injured, he had 168 blocks in 55 games, which just squeeks past Curry’s 34. And again, more assists and steals in those 55 games (63 and 48) and far far fewer turnovers (98 versus 203.

    Using Win Score lets test your claim about Curry heads up with Okafor and Howard. The formula is:

    (Points + Rebounds + Steals + ?Assists + ?Blocked Shots ? Field Goal Attempts ? Turnovers – ?Free Throw Attempts – ?Personal Fouls) / Minutes = Win Score per Minute

    Curry v Okafor
    Jan 31 WS/min
    Curry -4.5/40 had four rebounds in this game
    Okafor 12/32 had fifteen rebounds
    (schooled doesnt quite cover it)

    Jan 12
    Curry 6.5/42
    Okafor 20/42 ten blocks, 3 steals, nine boards
    schooled again
    Dec 20
    Curry 11/47 11/15, but 7/12 ft. 3to,no sts or blks
    Okafor 11.5/50
    pretty even
    Curry v Howard

    Feb 20
    Curry 11/39
    Howard 21/42
    schooled
    Curry 9.5/39 10/13fg,7/14ft,six rbd,0 sts/blks
    Howard 8.5/34
    pretty even

    So, Charles, it looks like Curry got comprehensively schooled three times, and played even twice against his two “peers.”

    As for Ben Wallace, I grant you he isnt playing as well as he has in years past. He is still WAY better than Curry. If you are the Bulls and you hope to do well in the playoffs this year, there is absolutely no question who you would rather have. Ben Wallace is a guy still capable of putting up lines like what you see below, something Curry will never approach in his life I am very sure.

    Bulls vs. Milwaukee. 12/15/06
    Ben Wallace
    48min,10pts,27rbds.3stls,6asts,3blks,(5-8fg)1to,(0-0ft)
    Win Score 35

    Bulls Vs. Cleveland, Feb 22, 2007
    Ben Wallace
    44 min, 6-8 FG, 2-2 FT, 19 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 7 blk, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 14 points
    Win Score 31.5

    For a list of the top ten raw Winscore games this far this season through 2-11-07 see:

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pEljacEWZTbAykdMjR0eBTg

    If Curry ever puts a game like that up, I might start to become a believer.

  20. Brian Cronin

    I’ve said it before, Owen, but again, while this is not me saying “Man, Wages of Wins and WinScores are not good!” or anything like that, but when you have people specifically pointing out to you that they disagree with the stat you’re using, it’s not going to help to keep using that same stat to argue the point with them!

    “I don’t think WinScores accurately judge Curry’s abilities.”

    “No, but you see, his WinScore was really low here.”

    That just doesn’t work! Just please, take a page from Hollinger’s book. He has had a lot of people showing skepticism towards his team ranking system, as it has placed San Antonio ahead of Dallas for a couple of weeks now, and when he answers a question like “I think your team ranking system unfairly rates Dallas,” he doesn’t respond, “No, but you see, the system ranks them second, so it must be right,” he actually breaks down the stat and explains why the stat makes sense.

    People might still disagree (they do with Hollinger – heck, I’m not even sure if he’s right), but at least it would be a real dialogue.

    You did that a bit earlier, when you examined some of the reasons why an Ilgauskus or a Dalembert were more valuable players. I didn’t agree, but I could at least see some of the logic you were using to make your decision, besides “They’re WinScores are higher! Duh!!!”

  21. Owen

    Honestly, in a thread that begins Using Sarcasm I felt free to stretch the statistical viewpoint a bit. But to be fair, I dont know how far I really am stretching it. I dont know what GM’s would do with Eddy Curry and obviously its a hypothetical.

    But I do think my main point is valid. There are at least twenty teams for whom Eddy Curry, from the viewpoint of winscore, would not constitute a performance upgrade at the center position.

    Count Zero, you are right about blocks not really being worth that much. Steals are worth twice as much in the win score formula, as are points, rebounds, attempts, and turnovers.

    If you want to defend the position that its ok to have a center who blocks fewer shots than the third string small forward on his own team (Renaldo Balkman), thats fine with me. Personally, I tend to think that is something of a deficiency.

    Ilgauskas’ advantages over Curry stem not from blocks but from his better rebounding, and better assist/turnover ratio. He isn’t a terrific player but he is still better. It makes sense to me also that blocks correlate in some way to defensive efficiency, but Berri claims this isnt true.

    I confess I wasn’t really thinking payroll issues. It is a subjective evaluation. But would I trade Shaq for Curry. Well, he did help win a championship for the Heat last year. Alonzo Mourning is still pretty good too.

    I submit that no team featuring Eddy Curry will ever win a championship, unless he has vintage Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and maybe Emeka Okafor playing around him.

  22. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    Owen,

    If you make an argument that says, “Eddy Curry’s a bad basketball player. Look at his WinScores,” and then other folks counter that by saying Winscores aren’t the be all and end of analysis, it doesn’t help your argument to then provide MORE WinScore-based support — it’s a tautology. Is Eddy a sub-par rebounder/defender/passer at this point in his career. Yup. You don’t need statistical analysis to understand that. Just watch one game.

    But the thought that Cleveland wouldn’t trade an aging Ilgauskas (in a theoretical world w/o a cap) is ludicrous. So would Wash. for Haywood. So would Atlanta for Zaza Pachulia (J-Smoove is a small forward, hoss). So would Toronto for Nesterovic. So would the Nets for Collins (Krstic is a PF, hoss). And on and on…In fact, (in this theoretical world) Curry would be snatched up by everone except the teams w/O’Neal, Yao, Howard, Okafor, and possibly Camby.

    Now you can say, “Those GM’s would be dumb. Look Eddy’s WinScores for pete’s sakes!” But here, in the real world, GM’s don’t use WinScores to evaluate talent. You can say “I’d trade Curry for pretty much any other Center in the league”. But it’s clear that the rest of the management-types in the NBA wouldn’t. And once again we’re left with your tautological argument that WinScores are the ONLY way to evaluate players.

  23. jon abbey

    ah, silly rabbit. here’s one example to try to help you see the error of your ways…

    Feb 3 (you left out the date here):

    Curry 9.5/39 10/13fg,7/14ft,six rbd,0 sts/blks
    Howard 8.5/34
    pretty even

    Howard piled up any numbers he got in this game in garbage time, after the game was over. the Knicks won the game wire to wire (this was game 1 of the Jerome James experiment.) let’s check the game story for a second, shall we?

    “The 6-foot-11, 285-pound Curry hit 10 of 13 shots against a variety of defenses, none of which slowed him from getting to the basket. Orlando tried playing Curry straight up, switched to a zone, then went back to man-to-man, but never found a solution.

    “We had no answer for Eddy Curry,” Magic coach Brian Hill said. “He did pretty much whatever he wanted to do.”

    The only way the Magic could stop Curry was to foul, which they did a lot. All-Star center Dwight Howard had five fouls and his backup, Darko Milicic got six trying to deal with Curry.

    “He’s one of the few guys in this league where you have to change what you do to deal with him,” said Magic forward Pat Garrity, who was part of the zone defense that failed to stop Curry. “He’s just so strong and has such good moves that you can’t play him straight up and be successful too much.””

    everyone here is aware of Curry’s deficiencies. you don’t fully grasp his strengths, and you’re too blinded by the numbers to see them.

  24. Paul

    Owen, you obviously put a lot of thought and preparation into these posts, but I think the numbers are really misguiding you in your valuation of these other centers. I don’t put as much stock in the numbers(at least in basketball, baseball would be different) as you seem to so I won’t go over a point by point refutation, nor would I as it’s applying a false set of rigid standards that just don’t apply to the game. Stats definitely have their place in the decision-making going on, but they’re not the end-all/be-all you’re painting them as.

    You’d seriously rather have Ben Wallace on the Knicks over Curry? Mikki Moore is comparable? Looking at the landscape of the center situation across the league, I’d rank Curry much higher than you do. Just going down your list of Eastern centers:

    Jefferson – They’re both in the same “still young and raw but with great upside” boat

    Kristic – Advantage Curry. You’re telling me the Nets wouldn’t love a legit threat in the post?

    Dalembert – Curry. While he’s upped his performance after AI, I’d say many of the same knocks Curry endured while with the Bulls apply here, while Curry seems to have improved his work ethic and attitude by worlds.

    Bosh – Bosh takes this one, but I’d still feel comfortable throwing Curry against him. I guess we’ll see tonight.

    Josh Smith – ..what’s he even doing here? Zaza is their center. And if you’re taking Zaza over Curry…I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on everything you say.

    Okafor – While an excellent defender, I’d say Curry’s edges him out with his offensive contributions. Both great young talents, however.

    Shaq – Running out of diesel, but I’d give him another year, maybe two, before he’s no longer one of the top 5’s in the league.

    Howard – I agree with you here, though Howard is still maddeningly inconsistent. He’s still young you say? Does Curry have grey in his cornrows?

    Wizards – I’ve always wanted Etan as a backup here, but to put either him or Haywood up as better players? It’s good to see you take the team’s needs into account here, though.

    Wallace – Oh god what are we even talking about here. Even ignoring how well our guys have rebounded against the league as a whole, he just might be the best player who only plays half the game. Curry here, again.

    Ilgauskas – Z has the skills and body and would win this comparison, if he didn’t have feet of clay. It’s almost as depressing to think about as Griffey Jr’s string of injuries and potential lost.

    Pistons – Nazr/Webber? Over Curry? I was actually sad to see Nazr go, since he was decent. That would be the key word here: decent. He played out of his mind compared to what I saw while he was here when he was in the playoffs for the Spurs, but then every former Knick tears it up for another team in the playoffs, only to show why we traded them the following year. Webber’s career has experienced a renaissance in his hometown, but you can’t simply mash these two together and put them on the Knicks and expect them to do as well as you would think. This is the same as that Wizards comparison above.

    JO – At this point in their careers, I’d take Curry without even looking back.

    Bogut – Bogut is actually a pretty good traditional center. It’d be interesting to see how Milwaukee drafts if they end up in the top 3 in the draft, considering Bogut didn’t do too well when shifted out of his natural C position.

    This has already become much longer and wordier than I was planning on, so to sum it up, Curry measures up pretty damn well at his position imho. He’s no Yao or Duncan(who’s effectively a 5, even if Elson/Oberto guard) or Shaq or even a Bosh. Yet. He’s still young, has come into this season with a renewed commitment to the game, and has scads of potential still untapped. The typical big man woes, like passing out of the double team, taking care of the ball by playing big instead of making himself 6′ while holding it, etc are all easy fixes, and I expect he’ll improve by leaps and bounds again next summer. I don’t need Curry to grab 27 rebounds once in a while to prove he’s legit as a centerpiece big man to me.

  25. Paul

    Dammit, looking over my post, I realized I only caught one of the mistakes in the listings. I’d have to include Varejao/Z for the Cavs(still Curry), JO’s more of a forward, though with the surfeit of big men on that roster like Foster and Murphy they all share time, I’m embarrassed I didn’t catch Bosh as I don’t even think he LIKES to be called a center when it’s really Rasho there, Detroit with their platoon of bigass F/C’s, and I somehow mixed up Collins with Kristic. Yeah, I don’t know how that happened either.

    I need to spell check these things before I post. Sorry about that.

  26. Owen

    Ok, good comments all. I accept I am being tautological. And excuse me for battering you with WinScore.

    Jon – Good point. But six rebounds, 7/14 ft is still bad for forty minutes.

    Ken – Excellent points.

    Paul – Thanks. I did work on these, as dumb as they are :-). Excellent post from you.

    If you guys want to defend the position that Eddy Curry is a really great player whose contributions on the basketball court cant be measured by statistics, that is fine with me. Or say that he will develop, which he may, again fine. I will continue using statistics to defend the position he is in fact well below average, and probably wont improve a great deal. The main point? Scoring points efficiently but doing nothing else well doesnt win games in my book.

    Paul- Will respond later

  27. Owen

    A response to Jon about Curry’s Orlando game.

    I appreciate Coach Hill’s comment. Curry did go 10-13 in that game. He did play well. I would say his success in drawing fouls was negated by the fact he went 7-14 from the line. And I would say that collecting only six rebounds, with no steals or blocks, is about as bad a forty minutes you can have and still score 27 points.

    AI looked at that box score. The Magic did not lose that game because of Curry, The guys in that game Eddy Curry was defending: Howard, Battie, and Milicic were 16-29 from the field.

    The guys the rest of the Knicks were defending Turkoglu, Bogans, Nelson, Reddick, and Arroyo, combined to shoot 13-55.

    Jon- Would you accept that when your 1-3 positions shoot 23.6% from the field, it might not be Eddy Curry who deserves credit for the victory?

  28. jon abbey

    “I would say his success in drawing fouls was negated by the fact he went 7-14 from the line.”

    but you would be wrong. he drew two fouls on Howard almost immediately, he had to sit, and he never was a factor until the game was basically over.

    “Would you accept that when your 1-3 positions shoot 23.6% from the field, it might not be Eddy Curry who deserves credit for the victory?”

    no, the fact that Howard was in foul trouble most of the night meant they had no inside threat until Darko got going late, and thus it was a lot harder for the above guys to get open looks.

  29. jon abbey

    am I the only one with a really bad feeling about tonight? no Crawford, no Lee, Q was doubtful last I heard, Toronto kills us even when we’re healthy, the Isiah hoopla and the slow schedule lately, I think we’re looking at a wire to wire blowout. hope I’m wrong…

  30. Owen

    Jon I hope you are wrong too.

    The Magic went 13-55 because Howard wasnt in the game? Maybe.

    My response to Paul.

    I wish I had reversed it. Asked would you be happier if this guy was playing for the Knicks instead of Curry?

    P.Jefferson – They?re both in the same ?still young and raw but with great upside? boat.
    O.Jefferson is a much better rebounder. Doesnt score quite as efficiently, fewer turnovers, more blocks. This is only his third year in the NBA, It’s Curry’ sixth.

    P.Kristic – Advantage Curry. You?re telling me the Nets wouldn?t love a legit threat in the post?

    O.Pre-ACl injury I thought Krstic was developing very nicely. I watch a lot of Nets games. He is more of a euro-center. Nice range. Honestly I dont think they would rather have Curry, especially with the three scoring threats they already have on the floor in Kidd, Carter, and Jefferson. Mikki Moore was fairly sarcastic but I am not joking that he has a nice little jump shot.

    P.Dalembert – Curry. While he?s upped his performance after AI, I?d say many of the same knocks Curry endured while with the Bulls apply here, while Curry seems to have improved his work ethic and attitude by worlds.

    O.I agree Curry has improved over his attitude. Playing for Isaiah, who anointed him the next coming, how couldnt he? I dont attack Curry personally in any way. I think he does the best he can, despite not really having a real love for the game or the necessary athleticism. However, Dalembert since AI left has shown he is a very legitimate player. While Curry did go 10-12 the last time they matched up, my basic position is that I would rather have a guy playing center who rebounds, shoots efficiently, plays defense, and doesnt commit 200+ turnovers.

    P.Bosh – Bosh takes this one, but I?d still feel comfortable throwing Curry against him. I guess we?ll see tonight.
    O.Dont even kid. Bosh is a much, much better player than Curry, Its not even close. And he is still growing. He may not be a pure center. I dont care, He is going to be one of the premier frontcourt players in the NBA for years to come. Do think the same about Curry? And would you honestly not rather have Bosh playing for the Knicks? Dont even jest my friend. You would that trade in a hot second.

    P.Josh Smith – ..what?s he even doing here? Zaza is their center. And if you?re taking Zaza over Curry?I think we?re just going to have to agree to disagree on everything you say.

    O. A bit of a stretch I admit. He is their premier frontcourt player I think. And I would rather have a Knicks team with him on it than Curry. Josh is a better rebounder, many more blocks, fewer turnovers, more assists, and absolutely killed me last night in my fantasy league.

    P.Okafor – While an excellent defender, I?d say Curry?s edges him out with his offensive contributions. Both great young talents, however.

    O. This is exactly where I part ways with most of the Curry supporters on this board. So what if he averages almost twenty points per game shooting 58%? Everything else he does on the court hurts the knicks. His turnovers are off the charts, his goddamn assist to turnover ratio is .25 for crying out loud. He blocks a shot once a week. He grabs four less rebounds per game. You would be nuts to take Curry over Okafor, and if he were on our team we would be breezing into the playoffs. Okafor is like Mourning and Mutombo, two guys who Curry should never be mentioned in the same breath with.

    P.Shaq – Running out of diesel, but I?d give him another year, maybe two, before he?s no longer one of the top 5?s in the league.

    O.Fair enough, but for the next two years then he will be a million times better than Curry. Speaking of running out of diesel, yawn…

    P.Howard – I agree with you here, though Howard is still maddeningly inconsistent. He?s still young you say? Does Curry have grey in his cornrows?

    O. I agree he is inconsistent. He also will end his career I believe as one of the top ten centers in NBA history, Not there yet.

    P.Wizards – I?ve always wanted Etan as a backup here, but to put either him or Haywood up as better players? It?s good to see you take the team?s needs into account here, though.

    O. Thanks, I thought it was a good point to. If you look at what they are getting in terms of rebounding and defense from those guys, I cant see how they would be happier with Curry. How would Curry play in an offense with Bulter, Jamison, and Arenas. You honestly going to run the offense through Curry like the Knicks do?

    P. Wallace – Oh god what are we even talking about here. Even ignoring how well our guys have rebounded against the league as a whole, he just might be the best player who only plays half the game. Curry here, again.

    O. As with Okafor, you and I have to part ways on Wallace. Only plays half the game? He isnt playing as well this year, but he is still a dominant force. I watched a Bulls game recently, every time somebody tried to shoot around Wallace it looked like they had been hit by a taser on the release. Wallace has been one of the top five players in the league the last five years, no question. You say below who needs a guy who puts up a 27 rebound game. Who doesnt? I can tell you one thing, the Knicks will have to go into seven overtimes before Curry ever has 27 rebounds. His career high is 15.

    P.Ilgauskas – Z has the skills and body and would win this comparison, if he didn?t have feet of clay. It?s almost as depressing to think about as Griffey Jr?s string of injuries and potential lost.

    O. I agree he doesnt look good, he suprisingly he is still crudely effective. He still rebounds and defends better and commits many fewer turnovers. He has excellent passing touch and honestly I think the Knicks would be a better team with him this year and maybe even next. After that I would worry about still being able to get replacement parts from the Soviet Bloc.

    P.Pistons – Nazr/Webber? Over Curry? I was actually sad to see Nazr go, since he was decent. That would be the key word here: decent. He played out of his mind compared to what I saw while he was here when he was in the playoffs for the Spurs, but then every former Knick tears it up for another team in the playoffs, only to show why we traded them the following year. Webber?s career has experienced a renaissance in his hometown, but you can?t simply mash these two together and put them on the Knicks and expect them to do as well as you would think. This is the same as that Wizards comparison above.

    O. This is a bit of a tough one. Who plays center for the Pistons anyway? If its Webber, i think he is a better player, he certainly has been over his career, and is playing like one right now. I dont know what you get from him. I might not take him for Curry, if only because of my memories of Larry Johnson. Mohammed? I dont know. Mcdyess ditto. Getting a little bit tired of looking at stats. My gut feeling is you put Curry in the middle of that defense and it destroys that team. Maybe they would make this trade though. I dont have any problem with comparing Curry to a platoon of centers. And I still dont think the Wizards would be better with Curry. He isnt a good enough passer. It would drive Agent Zero crazy to get the ball thrown at his feet all the time.

    P.JO – At this point in their careers, I?d take Curry without even looking back.

    O. That’s kind of ridiculous. I would take JO in an instant over Curry. JO is a star player in this league. He is a complete player, a better rebounder and shot blocker, and a guy who has been the backbone of very successful winning teams. He was the main guy on a team that won 61 games 2-3 years ago. I would a million times rather have him as our starting center. The WOW actually had a very interesting post about the decline of the Pacers here. Not JO’s fault.

    http://dberri.wordpress.com/2007/01/08/should-jermaine-o%e2%80%99neal-be-unhappy/

    P.Bogut – Bogut is actually a pretty good traditional center. It?d be interesting to see how Milwaukee drafts if they end up in the top 3 in the draft, considering Bogut didn?t do too well when shifted out of his natural C position.

    O.This is just Bogut’s second year in the league. This is Curry’s sixth. I think Bogut is a better player than him right now, barely. He is a very good passing center, he has more assists than turnovers. He rebounds better also. His foul shooting is atrocious though. They are fairly close. I would take Bogut though. Cheaper. Bogut was abusing Curry and Lee when he played us also. Nice moves.

    Alright, thats it. I retire. Its been an interesting back and forth. I just found something on this website called the Eddy Curry Study, going to go read that and find illumination. It starts by saying he is a bad rebounder and probably wont improve. Should be a good lesson in rhetoric for me…

    For those of you who are about to rip this to shreds, well, go ahead, lol….

  31. Brian Cronin

    It’s almost like the big men got used to David Lee doing so much of the grunt work FOR them, so without him, they’re lost.

  32. John

    Of the many things wrong with the Knicks here are a few, in no particular order:

    – No one feeds Curry in the post well. When they do get him the ball, it often takes too long, with the feeder staring at Curry for three seconds, projecting the pass to everyone on the court. Tonight he had nine shot attempts.

    -When Curry is double or triple-teamed, he doesn’t pass out of the double team well enough, which often leads to turnovers when he is eventually stripped or gets called for an offensive foul trying to back down a defender. This is partially his fault, as he is not an astute passing big-man (like Shaq, which albeit, is very rare). The rest of the blame goes to other players who don’t move enough without the ball. The latter is inexplicable as other players would have open shots galore in this scenario, or at least could refeed the post when the opposition switched back off Curry. If Curry was able to moderately improve his passing skills, and was surrounded with spot-up 3-point shooters (e.g. Brent Barry, Robert Horry, Eric Piatkowski, Jason Kapono, James Jones, etc.) that would make teams pay for doubling and tripling him, the half-court offense would be a serious threat.

    -The interior D is non-existent, which is a personnel problem courtesy of Isiah the GM. I can’t think of a championship team that has won over the last two decades without above average Interior D. Previous finals winners had: Alonzo and Shaq, Duncan, the Wallaces, Shaq, D. Robinson, Olajuwon, to name a few. I’m not convinced that the combo of Lee and Curry (or Curry/Frye, Curry/Rose, or [gasp] James/Curry) can provide the type of defense needed to win consistantly. Even when Curry was paired with Chandler, a rebounding/shotblocking monster, the Bulls were average at best.

    All of these points have been addressed in greater and more lucid detail previously on this site, I just felt the need to vent after another disapointing loss.

  33. DMull

    Good points John.

    Couldn’t agree more about the interior D…everyone always talks about how we need a perimeter stopper, but I’ve always felt that you need an interior presence if you want to have a legit defense. It’s just too tough to stop guys from penetrating on a consistent basis – very few guards in the nba can do this.

    The guards are terrible at getting it in to Curry. Part of the reason Crawford was better was because of his length. Made it easier for him to get a good angle…but the guards need to swing the ball and allow Eddy to re-post…neither Steve or Steph has really mastered this. It is something they can and should learn though.

    I fear our playoff birth went out the window with Lee’s injury.

  34. Kevin

    As to Curry’s 9 shots, yes too few, but add in 6 TOs, and 11 FTs. That’s 20 possessions Eddy ended. Oh and one assist.

    Biggest problem last night – nobody could stop Ford. Ford was in the paint all night kicking the ball out. The Raptors shot so well because they were wide open.

  35. Nicholas Chivily

    Reading the post Toronto game posts and watching the game was Crawford really the only one competent at feeding Curry in the post? I know Curry got an alley oop or two a game from Jamal but I thought Steph still ran the show and consequently did most of the post feeding. Granted Francis looks like he’s freelancing but that’s been his game all career.

  36. DMull

    Yeah, Craw was definitely the best Knick at feeding the post…Steph is OK at it, Francis is pretty bad.

    On top of not being able to stop Ford. Leaving their big men wide open at the 3-point line despite them making one after another killed us. How many assists did Ford get running the high screen and roll with one of the Euro big men fading behind the arc and shooting an uncontested three?

  37. Owen

    Win Scores – Toronto vs New York

    New York
    Q. Richardson .5/9
    J. Jeffries 7.5/40
    E. Curry -4.5?40
    S. Francis 3.5/40
    S. Marbury 16/44
    M. Rose 5.5/24
    N. Robinson 1.5/11
    C. Frye -4/12
    R. Balkman 5.5/15
    M. Collins 1/1
    Toronto
    J. Garbajosa 12/33
    C. Bosh 13/39
    R. Nesterovic .5/22
    A. Parker 10/33
    T.J. Ford 11.5/38
    A. Bargnani 8.5/35
    K. Humphries -5/5
    J. Calderon -2.5/5
    J. Dixon -.5/14
    M. Peterson 0/4
    J. Graham 3/6

    Uggh. Once again, a fine fifteen minutes from Balkman. And another nice game from Steph.

  38. Owen

    I noticed something looking at the box score for the game last night. Eddy Curry actually had the same number of turnovers as rebounds. I looked through his stats this season and noticed that his turnover total has equaled or exceeded his rebound total 13 TIMES THIS SEASON.

    That got me thinking….

    Yahoo already has the Eddy Curry Line. I think we should push this kind of statistical innovation and introduce a new statistic for the player pages, the rebound to turnover ratio. I compiled a loose list of many of the best frontcourt players in the NBA who are listed at the C position.

    Where Curry has an advantage in Assists, Stls, or Blocks, I will make a notation.

    Rbd/TO
    Curry 445/219=2.03 54ast27st,34blk
    Yao 305/124=2.46 st(3.95 in 2005-6)
    Mourning322/106= 3.03 st,ast
    Blount 384/126= 3.04
    Howard 798/246= 3.24
    Pachulia441/135= 3.26 blk
    Gasol 407/124= 3.28 st
    Stoudemi626/178= 3.5
    Magloire326/93 = 3.5 st, ast, blk
    JO 549/154= 3.56
    Moore 314/85 = 3.69 ast
    Kaman 443/119= 3.7 ast
    Miller 327/88 = 3.7 stl, blk
    Duncan 683/182= 3.75
    Shaq 181/48 = 3.77 24 games
    Bogut 561/145= 3.87
    Bosh 544/139= 3.91
    Okur 456/103= 4.4 blks
    Boozer 648/142= 4.56 blks
    Ilgauska486/103= 4.72
    Garnett 779/160= 4.86
    Wilcox 480/98 = 4.9
    Dalember602/120= 5.02 ast
    Dampier 461/89 = 5.18 ast,stl
    Mohammed220/41 = 5.36 ast,stl, blk
    Haywood 418/77 = 5.43 ast
    Jefferso631/113= 5.58
    Biedrins630/103= 6.12
    Camby 615/94 = 6.54
    Okafor 657/97 = 6.77
    Chandler773/105= 7.36
    Foster 525/66 = 7.96 ast, blk
    B Wallac674/81 = 8.32
    Mutombo 437/36 = 12.13ast,stl 18 mins per game

    I look at this and honestly I am gobsmacked.

    Curry is the only big man in the league other than Yao who is below 3 on this metric, and Yao was almost at 4 last year.

    Not only is he the only below 3, he is in danger of going below 2!

    This would be my best evidence to defend the case that Curry might be the least productive starting center in the NBA.

    Has there ever been a star frontcourt player in the NBA who averaged 2 rebounds per turnover?

  39. jon abbey

    has there ever been a person as dull as you?

    one thing I never got about turnovers as a stat is that they’re almost always totally attributed to one person, when quite often it’s a combo effort. for this reason, I don’t take them quite so seriously, certainly not the word of God that Owen seems to.

    obviously Curry turns the ball over too much, again no insight here. did it ever occur to you that some of that might be due to the awful spacing of his teammates, so that defenses can swarm him with no fear?

  40. T-Mart

    Have to get to K-Mart. 400 Oak Street. Have to get to K-Mart. Of course I don’t have my underwear. I’m definitely not wearing my underwear. These are not boxer shorts. Mine are boxer shorts. These are Hanes 32. My boxer shorts have my name and it says Raymond. Gotta get my boxer shorts at K-Mart. K-Mart! Boxer shorts. K-Mart!

  41. Paul

    Rebounds to turnovers? That’s one of the most random indices I’ve ever seen.

    Owen, man. Numbers have a place in analysis of the game, but EVERYONE else is telling you what they’re telling you for a reason. jon abbey’s just a jerk about it.

  42. T-Mart

    Didn’t think that was that obscure, am I getting too old or am I too young to be throwing around obvious Home Alone Quotes this day and age???

  43. Paul

    T-Mart: But I stopped wetting the bed two months ago.

    Damn now I get it, but that was pretty obscure. :o

  44. Mel

    to me getting the value of this new and improved curry is pretty simple.

    last year according to this site the knicks had the nba’s 24th best offense .

    This year the knicks are ranked 10th, that to me says alot about how effective getting the ball to Curry has been. Its more than a little sad that something thats very easy to see (curry’s improvement) has been under such scrutiny , he has flaws but overally he much more solution than problem, the team has a focus and a direction and they are more fluid and more importantly more effective.

  45. jon abbey

    best quarter of the season? maybe I’m forgetting one, but that one has to be in the running, considering the opponent and importance of the game…

  46. Brian Cronin

    Jon, the importance of the game factor is huge, as it would basically be hard to consider any previous game as important as whatever the latest one is, when you’re in the middle of a playoff run. Take that out of the picture, and I would pick the third quarter against the Clippers, when Marbury outscored the entire Clipper team and the Knicks turned a ten point deficit into a six point lead.

    But wow…a BLOWOUT. When’s the last time the Knicks blew a team out?!

  47. Dan Panorama

    Since when do the Knicks get steals, blocks, and fast breaks? And 9 turnovers! That’s like half our average.

    Balkman is one of those players who I just am always happy to see on the court…he doesn’t always explode like this but he never detracts from the team either.

  48. jon abbey

    yeah, Balkman is pushing Lee for my favorite Knick, even with his inability to hit a jumper or FT. best rebounder in the league at his height? where are all the idiots who slammed Isiah on draft day and all summer now?

  49. Brian Cronin

    To be fair, Jon, and believe me, I was probably Isiah’s biggest defender on draft day, regarding Balkman, but the fact remains that a good deal of Isiah’s critics that day argued that, even presuming Balkman WAS good – that Isiah could have gotten him without using a #20 pick. I think Isiah legitimately believed Phoenix was going to take him with #21, but if you don’t think so, then it perhaps was a reach for Balkman at that pick, considering the Knicks had the #29 pick, as well.

    That being said, the majority just ripped the pick period, so yeah, to those folks – Balkman is good, people! :)

  50. Owen

    Brian – It would have been nice to perhaps have picked up Marcus Williams. To be honest I am not sure how good he is. The best two rookies available after Balkman I think were still available after we got Collins, Millsap of Utah and Smith from Minnesota. Maybe not Smith, but many people think that Millsap has been the most best rookie in the league after Roy.

    Knicks are now 3-0 when Balkman plays thirty minutes, the first two were close contests, including that Utah game, so these were not garbage time minutes. He is a winner I think.

    What a great game, three steals, two blocks, no turnovers. He had a winscore of 20.5/34, or .606, which is just a phenomenally efficient and productive game considering he went 1-6 from the line. Those four offensive rebounds were very nice too. I think pretty much everyone has agreed for a while now he should be getting more minutes, good to see it finally happy. I would like to see a lineup of Marbury/Francis, Q, Balkman, Lee, and Frye/Curry.

    The Knicks managed to do it without Eddy Curry too, who once again went out and commited more turnovers than he collected rebounds. He had a winscore of -4/16. Whoever said they would take curry for bosh, lol…

  51. jon abbey

    “the fact remains that a good deal of Isiah?s critics that day argued that, even presuming Balkman WAS good – that Isiah could have gotten him without using a #20 pick.”

    quite possibly, but there’s no way to know for sure. also Isiah didn’t know he could sign Jeffries at that point, and there was a real need at SF and no other options, it was a very thin draft. obviously we could use a pass-first PG, but we also had/have three guys ahead of him on the depth chart who aren’t going anywhere.

    but, yeah, the point is that the critics who slammed the pick mostly just had no idea about Balkman. my friend who’s a Florida fan said he beat them almost singlehandedly twice last year. Bill Simmons, who I generally like, said early this year that taking Balkman over Rondo was the biggest mistake Isiah has made in his Knicks tenure. good call, dude.

  52. Dan

    If we are able to play Francis, Q, Balkman, and Lee, we would probably get an offensive rebound on half of our misses.

  53. Dan Panorama

    By the way, I know his name is mud here but Jeffries has been as advertised for the last week or two…he’s been putting up some real solid efforts and looking more comfortable in his role.

  54. Steve D.

    After a little numbers crunching I did the other day, in games in which Balkman plays 20+ minutes he averages just under 8 rpg. Pretty good for a player his size. His performance today is nothing new if you watch enough games. He has a great nack for getting steals and somehow is always in the right place at the right time. Such as his offensive board and kick out last week at the end of the Wizards game that saved us. Without David in the line up Balkman provides a great spark off the bench and gives that hussle that is certainly needed. I really enjoyed seeing him at the top of that 1-2-2 zone we had working for a while in the third quarter. He ended up with a block or two, a steal, and some fast break buckets. I hope Isiah can bust that out in the future. Balkman’s length is perfect for that top position

  55. Gmal

    I’m not an Curry fan, needs improvement on rebounding, shot blocking, passing just to name a few things. Despite all of that if he’s so bad then why does he constantly draw double and triple teams.
    Some one said that stats are like
    a bikini,they reveal a lot but not everything. problem Curry poses for everyone is that he can back you in or face up and get to the middle of the lane with right or left hand.
    I don’t know what we gotta do to get A. Law but he’s the man! He’s projected at around 16-18pick(hoopshype)

  56. jon abbey

    “stats are like a bikini,they reveal a lot but not everything”

    ha!

    I think one issue is the difference between points in the paint and points from the perimeter. they all count the same (obviously), but you can maybe make a case that it’s somewhat analogous to rushing yards/passing yards in football. rushing yards/points in the paint tend to take more of a physical toll on the defense, as well as help to set up the outside shooting/passing game. just something I thought of the other day, I think it’s reasonably legit.

  57. KnickerBlogger

    jon, the problem with that analogy is establishing the run is just a cliche. See: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/index.php?p=3

    So in 2002, at least, the axiom that teams need to establish the run early to win did not hold true. Some teams won by running early. Other teams won without running early. It also appears that teams with high rushing totals aren?t necessarily establishing their running game from the first snap onwards ? but when a winning football team has a high rushing total, it is very likely they got many of those yards while running out the clock.

    While in basketball the points in the paint might lead to more fouls, I’m not exactly sure that points in the paint are any more important than any other type. (At least in the half court set).

    Also I don’t buy that Mark Jackson’s departure led to 10 more wins for the Knicks. In his last year in NY, the Knicks were #1 overall on defense. The next year, NY was still #1 on defense, but dropped from 11th on offense to 20th. Of course if the Knicks kept Jackson that year, we wouldn’t have suffered through Charles Smith.

    Oh and speaking of Charles Smith, anyone see Jeffries blow that layup in transition today? It wasn’t that he was wide open, but once he evaded that last defender he just had to lay it in the hoop. I hope if the Knicks go to an important Game 5, Jeffries is no where near the court in the final seconds.

  58. Owen

    This was the fifth game for the Raptors in seven days. Might explain why the Raptors looked so flat.

    Paul said above he probably would take Bosh, but would “feel comfortable throwing Curry at him.”I guess a more conventional way of measuring the gaining and maintaining possesion side of the basketball ledger is:

    (rebounds + steals – turnovers)= net possessions

    Over the past five games Chris Bosh had 54 rebounds, five steals, and four turnovers. So he was a plus 55 in net possessions, for an +11 ppg

    Eddy Curry over his last five games collected 30 rebounds, had 1 steal, and committed 19 turnovers for a net possessions gained of +12. Thats just a huge difference. 11 ppg versus 2.4 ppg.

    I know you guys dont like the Wages of Wins, but there is an excellent chart there comparing Curry to the average center across all categories, and as this is a statistically oriented blog I am going to post it (is that the second time?)

    http://www.wagesofwins.com/Curry63.html

    Forget about the Wins Produced and Win Score, its still pretty illuminating if you look at the regular numbers. His possessions gained per 48 minutes for instance is 5.6, while the average center nets 10.8.

    I also noticed he is actually closing in on Andre Iguodala for third place on the turnovers list, very exciting stuff, he’s just one back at the moment. If we work the ball into him in the post enough he may even catch Steve Nash (11.8 apg), who only leads him by five turnovers.

    Lol, its a pretty toxic combo; worst rebounding full time center in basketball, nearly third most turnovers in the league at any position.

  59. Nicholas Chivily

    I see Curry’s points (I would guess it’s per 48 minutes) are not the most he’s ever had and not out of line with his past performance. The eyes say he has improved ove rtime here but the numbers say he was just as productive as a Bull. Interesting that his FT go up by two to three per game with Knicks. NY favoritism or something else?

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