Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Viewing a season through the lens of an albatross

To nail down a few facts: In the 2012-2013 NBA regular season, Amar’e Stoudemire played 29 of 82 games (35%) and started none of them. When active, he played 23.5 minutes per game. In the playoffs, Stoudemire played four games, averaging just over eight minutes a game and posting a 9.9 PER.

Stoudemire also had the 3rd highest salary in the NBA this year at $19,948,799.

Despite appearances, my goal is not to drive the readers of this site to rage-induced violence. Rather, it is to posit that the success of the 2012-2013 Knicks was a minor miracle.

The NBA features 30 teams competing over scarce resources. The NBA salary cap is stringent and restrictive, ensuring a (fairly) level playing field. In this cap system, there are two main ways to get a leg up towards building an elite team.

1) Enjoy an elite player on a rookie deal (i.e. Kyrie Irving, Paul George)

2) Get an honest-to-goodness bargain contract from a guy who outperforms his deal (i.e. Rajon Rondo, Danny Green, Jared Dudley.)

(There is a third way, the LeBron-Heat way, which is to have a special superstar player who exceeds max value. LeBron James’s services might be worth more than $75 million in an open market system, but the salary cap precludes that kind of payday. End digression.)

By that same token, of course, the surest way for a team to put itself at a competitive disadvantage is to overpay for a player. Put simply, due to Amar’e’s awful contract, the Knicks found themselves as perhaps the most structurally disadvantaged team this year before the season even started. (Sidenote: the best competing candidate is the Chicago Bulls, another remarkable success story, who paid Derrick Rose $16.4 million not to play a single game.)

And the Knicks — unlike the Cavaliers (Irving), Pacers (George), Nuggets (Ty Lawson), Warriors (Steph Curry), and others — did not have a player who fits the 1st criteria, either. That the Knicks won 54 games and were the second-best team in the Eastern Conference while effectively throwing away $20 million in precious cap money isn’t just surprising. It’s virtually inconceivable.

So what were the front office and personnel developments that made up for Amar’e’s albatross?

– J.R. Smith, $2.8 million: For all their gaudy regular-season offensive totals, the Knicks had 3 players who could consistently create their own offense this year – Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton, and J.R. Smith. In an offense heavily predicated on floor spacing, driving-and-dishing, and 3-point shots, Smith’s importance was paramount. Sure, J.R. drove Knicks fans up a collective wall since elbowing Jason Terry. But paying less than $3 million for the 6th Man of the Year who puts up 18 a game and is perhaps the best bad-shot maker in the league is an unquestionable bargain. By way of contrast, Smith’s PER and minutes played this season were most comparable to Josh Smith, a player who earned $13 million this year and is angling for a max contract.

– Raymond Felton, $3.5 million: The team’s aggressive floor general perhaps best proved his value when the team floundered in his absence. Felton greatly improved his 3-point shooting this year and has a remarkable ability to finish at the rim. But he was also a crucial engine to the Knicks’ small-ball offense, feeding 3-point shooters on drives-and-dishes and teaming up with Tyson Chandler to become a major pick-and-roll threat.

– Iman Shumpert, $1.6 million: Iman Shumpert is the closest thing the Knicks had to a player in the 1st criteria, as Shumpert is on a team-friendly rookie contract. Shumpert, though, is no star (yet) and only averaged 22 minutes per game in just 45 regular-season games. But, as he particularly showed in the playoffs, Shumpert’s active hands, phenomenal footwork, and great anticipation on defense, and his emerging ability to shoot the corner 3 at a tremendous clip, made him worth more than his paltry earnings.

– Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland, rookie minimum: I’d say more, but I don’t think I need to. If the Knicks had beaten the Pacers, fans on this site might have gone so far as to create a Super PAC to get Mike Woodson to play these two guys more.

– The development of Carmelo Anthony, efficient superstar: Carmelo improved 3.7 PER points from last season (4th best PER in the NBA this season and his career-high by 2.6 points), bumped his true shooting percentage from 52.5% to 56%, scored 6 more points per game, increased his 3-point shooting percentage by 4.4 percentage points, and became an unstoppable offensive force at the power forward position. People can debate whether Carmelo’s improvements were a result of his growth as a player or good personnel around him. What cannot be disputed is that, while getting paid a very similar salary to last year, Anthony emerged as brutally efficient force and had the best season of his career.

The above developments amounted to great work by the Knicks front office and coaches, and are the major reasons why the team was arguably the biggest surprise in the league. But ultimately, the team had glaring holes, the type of holes that derail good-but-not-great teams and teams that have made a front office blunder too big to recover from.

Listen, I’m not trying to say that this series against the Pacers wasn’t winnable. J.R. Smith inexplicably reverted into a 32 percent shooter in the playoffs. Tyson Chandler was obviously not 100 percent at any point during the Celtics or Pacers series. The active, physical, and floor-spacing Jason Kidd died sometime in March. Mike Woodson had an unspeakably awful series — refusing to go small and make the Pacers come out of their comfort zone; failing to find the floor-spacing offense that made the Knicks unique; rewarding inefficient performances from Smith and Kidd while sitting Prigioni (39.6% from 3), Steve Novak (42.5% from 3), and Chris Copeland (42.1% from 3); over-helping and over-doubling in the post, etc. It is likely that the Pacers series would have been quite different had the Knicks improved in any one of these areas.

But building an elite NBA team is very, very hard, and the Knicks have made it harder on themselves than basically any other team in the league. Sports are by nature unpredictable, but it would be a statistical anomaly for the Knicks to be a truly elite team until Amar’e’s contract expires or he gets dealt. It’s just too steep of a mountain to climb with too much dead weight.

An NBA roster is an extremely delicate machine with very little margin for error. Before a game was even played this season, the Knicks effectively blew a $20 million dollar hole in their machine. We should just be thankful that, in May, they were still operating.

186 comments on “Viewing a season through the lens of an albatross

  1. chrisk06811

    This isn’t fair to Amare at all. Here are our win totals for the 6 yrs before he signed: 29, 32, 23, 33, 23 33. We had to sign a big name FA that year our of the LeBron, Bosh, Joe Johnson, Amare group. Nobody else took our $$. You can argue that we shouldn’t have signed a non-insured deal, but the result would have been no Amare, and who would we have had?

    That first year, he averaged 25 ppg, was 2nd team all NBA and brought us back to relevance. We won 13 more games than the year before; our first winning season in 10 years. More importantly, he made us relevant again. And, we absolutely loved him.

    More importantly, he was instrumental in getting Melo here. No Albatross, probably no Melo.

    You mention some of the other bigtime injuries this year; Rose, Rondo, Love, Danny Granger….all making lots of $$. You are 100% correct that we overcame better than any of those teams, besides maybe IND, where Granger only made 2/3 of what Amare did.

    I know he had a pre-existing injury that made his contract risky. That didn’t make it a bad deal. That would be like calling Derrick Rose a pussy because he didn’t return as quick as Shump.

    My understanding is that even without Amare’s deal, we wouldn’t have that much flexibility….we would not have that $19M to spend on free agents. We would not be under the cap, but we would be under the luxury threshold. We would have a higher mid level, and we’d be able to sign and trade. but, who would we sign and trade?

    I don’t think your intention was to Amare bash; your point is the front office worked miracles to offset the lack of production from that $19M, and you are 100% right there. But, to call it a bad deal just is false. You can go back and void it, void the turnaround, void one of the best years by a knick ever, void getting melo. it’s complicated. Plus, he’s like 1/8th Jewish, whatever that means.

    My understanding is that even without Amare’s deal, we would have limited…

  2. jon abbey

    16-13 in the regular season with him, 38-15 without him.
    1-3 in the playoffs with him, 5-3 without him.

  3. flossy

    jon abbey:
    16-13 in the regular season with him, 38-15 without him.
    1-3 in the playoffs with him, 5-3 without him.

    It’s cute that you keep quoting these numbers like they mean anything.

  4. chrisk06811

    The fact that it didn’t work out with Amare in the lineup when he came back from injury this year doesn’t mean that the contract we signed him to 3 years ago was a bad deal.

  5. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Why is a Knickerblogger writer using PER?

    MIKE K. WHERE ARE YOU. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME.

  6. bocker84

    jon abbey: 3 in the playoffs with him, 5-3 without him.

    I don’t get it…so it’s Amare’s fault we lost to Indy? With any of the starters our record in this year’s playoffs is 6-6… not terribly impressive by any means of the imagination.

  7. flossy

    They don’t mean anything. Unless you are willing to blame Amar’e for the fact that, in the months of Jan/Feb when the Knicks went 13-11,

    a) Our starting PG missed half the games played due to injury
    b) Iman Shumpert shot 29% from the field
    c) Jason Kidd managed a whopping 30% from the field
    d) JR Smith lit it up to the tune of 39% from the field
    e) Melo had his two worst shooting months of the season, going 41% from the field over those two months.

    So aside from Tyson Chandler, who took a whopping 5.6 FGA per game, the entire Knicks rotation couldn’t shoot at all during the majority of the games Amar’e played. I suppose that’s his fault?

    I suppose it’s also Amar’e's fault that Sheed, Camby and Kurt were totally worthless and K-Mart hadn’t been signed, so most of the minutes Amar’e played were backing up Chandler and “anchoring the defense” of the 2nd unit with no other plus defender on the floor?

    It’s funny (by which I mean asinine) how you give THCJ shit about interaction effects and the invalidity of systems like WP that apportion shares of team success to individual players, and then turn around and lay ALL the blame for the team’s record at the feet of someone who came back after injury to play less than 24 mpg, trying to fit back into a system designed around his absence amist a roster hobbled by injury and mired in a shooting slump.

    Yeap, that sure is meaningful.

  8. knicksfan1

    This is the best written article that I have ever read. Please post more often. Do you write articles on any other sites? So much great information and so accurate. Truer words have never been written.

  9. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Why is a Knickerblogger writer using PER?

    MIKE K. WHERE ARE YOU. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME.

    Does Mike K. ever respond to these bitchy entreaties for him to shut down any discussion that doesn’t pay due deference to the One True Metric™?

  10. thenamestsam

    There’s reasons to be skeptical about the meaning of the single player W-L numbers, but it’s also worth noting that this is the 2nd year in a row with this pattern. Last year 14-5 without Amare, 22-25 with him. Just saying.

  11. jon abbey

    flossy:

    It’s funny (by which I mean asinine) how you give THCJ shit about interaction effects and the invalidity of systems like WP that apportion shares of team success to individual players, and then turn around and lay ALL the blame for the team’s record at the feet of someone who came back after injury to play less than 24 mpg, trying to fit back into a system designed around his absence amist a roster hobbled by injury and mired in a shooting slump.

    heh, it’s cute how it gets you pissed every time. I’m not laying all the blame for anything at anyone’s feet. I’m just pointing out a fact, and as thenamestsam just pointed out, it’s now a two year fact.

    so over two regular seasons, 38-38 with Amar’e, 52-20 without him. many things around him change, yet that remains constant.

  12. ephus

    If Amar’e is not healthy, the Knicks will be hampered by $20 million in dead cap space. I do not think that is unduly harsh, it’s just true.

  13. stratomatic

    jon abbey:
    it’s cute that you keep dismissing them like they mean nothing.

    I think it might make more sense to measure his own productivity while on the court instead of speculating on whether the Knicks record with him and without him was significant.

    When I do my “team ratings stats” there are often long stretches where teams underperform or overperform expectations even when adjusted for home/away, quality of competition, and scheduling issues. There’s an element of randomness to the results over 20 – 30 games even when you try to account for everything, let alone nothing

    I saw enough of Amare this year to think that last year was a total aberration caused by the lockout (out of shape), back issues, and the death of his brother. As soon as he found his rhythm this year, IMO he was good enough in that stretch to think he could average 25 per 36 minutes at close to a 60 TS% if he was the #1 scoring option.

    The problem is that he won’t be the #1 scoring option on a team dominated by Melo and that’s the only thing he does at above average levels.

    He’s a total waste on a team with Melo even though despite having less scoring versatility than Melo he’s the BETTER SCORING OPTION when healthy.

    Also, Amare is so fragile at this point it’s hard to know how many minutes/games you’ll get next year.

    Point being Amare’s ability to score is not the problem. It’s his health and the idiocy of trying to combine him Melo.

  14. stratomatic

    jon abbey: heh, it’s cute how it gets you pissed every time. I’m not laying all the blame for anything at anyone’s feet. I’m just pointing out a fact, and as thenamestsam just pointed out, it’s now a two year fact.

    so over two regular seasons, 38-38 with Amar’e, 52-20 without him. many things around him change, yet that remains constant.

    You do realize that there were significant stretches where the Knicks AND Denver were demonstrably better without Melo even after adjusting for schedule, home/away etc..

  15. jon abbey

    I actually think that there is a strong argument to be made that an efficient post scorer does not really help you in today’s NBA, of course depending on your other personnel. a TS% doesn’t factor in the opportunity cost of getting him the ball, not being able to get him the ball and wasting a good chunk of the clock doing so, etc.

    so Amar’e did play well for his skill set this year, I don’t really disagree with that. I still think there’s a good chance the team is better without him, as currently constructed, just as I think there’s a good chance GS is better without David Lee.

  16. jon abbey

    stratomatic: You do realize that there were significant stretches where the Knicks AND Denver were demonstrably better without Melo even after adjusting for schedule, home/away etc..

    I’m not saying this proves anything definitively, but Amar’e clearly hurts a team more than he helps at the 5, and if Woodson insists on playing Melo at the 4, there really isn’t much of a role left for him to help the team.

  17. AvonBarksdale

    He has to carry all the losses this time took when he played for like 5-10 minutes most of those games and even when i saw him tearing shit up for a brief moment in that game at MSG versus the heat, coach pulled him out and we lost the game. He was having a great game and he could hit every single one of shots including his mid range game and not be a total novak on defense and the coach would still have pulled him. I admit when he bobbles the ball inside the paint leading to an unforced turnover, it’s nauseating but can you blame the guy he only gets five-10 minutes to have an impact and is getting melo money to put the ball in the basket…

  18. flossy

    jon abbey: I’m not saying this proves anything definitively, but Amar’e clearly hurts a team more than he helps at the 5, and if Woodson insists on playing Melo at the 4, there really isn’t much of a role left for him to help the team.

    Except that Carmelo could easily play the 3. The Melo/Amar’e/Chandler trio played great together this year in limited minutes. Literally the only problem with Amar’e's play this season was that he had to be our back-up center out of necessity.

  19. stratomatic

    jon abbey: I’m not saying this proves anything definitively, but Amar’e clearly hurts a team more than he helps at the 5, and if Woodson insists on playing Melo at the 4, there really isn’t much of a role left for him to help the team.

    I agree there is no role for him on this team if you have Chandler at the 5 and want to play Melo at the 4.

    I think Chandler and Amare could figure it out (as Howard and Gasol started to after awhile).

    I think Amare at the 5 with a defensive minded, rebounding 4 could work.

    But you clearly could never have Amare at the 5 with Melo at the 4 because that would be a comedy of defensive lapses and no rebounding.

  20. chrisk06811

    Flossy….totally agree w/ your point. The funny thing is, had JR shot 39% / Kidd 30% vs IND, we likely would have won.

  21. jon abbey

    flossy: Except that Carmelo could easily play the 3.The Melo/Amar’e/Chandler trio played great together this year in limited minutes.Literally the only problem with Amar’e’s play this season was that he had to be our back-up center out of necessity.

    that’s great, except that Woodson pretty much refused to play Melo at the 3 all year, no matter what personnel were around him. assuming he will continue to be the coach (which he will), unless he changes his mind about this (possible), it’s a bad fit.

  22. stratomatic

    I’d like to say something in defense of Wins Produced. I’m not sure why it gets such a bad rap here.

    1. Granted, it breaks down at the extremes of usage (in both directions). For example, it probably underestimated the negative impact of the loss of Westbrook on OKC because the team is mostly made up of low usage non scorers that couldn’t fill the scoring gap at average efficiency.

    2. It doesn’t fully measure individual defense

    But generally speaking, IMO it’s vast improvement over all the other publicly available metrics like PER, NBA efficiency, Win Shares, and Plus/Minus that suffer from some of the same weaknesses on defense but dramatically overrate volume scoring.

    I think the idea should be to look at WP and make some minor mental adjustments at the extremes of scoring usage that vary depending on the makeup of the rest of the team.

    I would rather be approximately correct than precisely wrong until such time that some elite Vegas gambler (like Haralabos Voulgaris) releases a better system for public consumption.

    The rest of it is that public perceptions about the value of scoring are simply WRONG.

  23. flossy

    jon abbey: that’s great, except that Woodson pretty much refused to play Melo at the 3 all year, no matter what personnel were around him. assuming he will continue to be the coach (which he will), unless he changes his mind about this (possible), it’s a bad fit.

    Melo at the 4 was the result of Amar’e's injury and STAT was the presumptive starter going into training camp. Woodson took a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to working Amar’e back into the rotation, which was prudent since you can’t really overhaul your entire offense midway through the year. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Amar’e can (and should) return to the starting line-up if healthy:

    Lineup / Minutes played / Knicks TS% / Opponent TS%

    1. Melo and Tyson / 1978 min / .542 / .539 (Knicks + .03%)
    2. STAT and Tyson / 344 min / .580 / .547 (Knicks + 3.3%)
    3. Melo/STAT/Tyson / 255 min / .590 / .577 (Knicks + 1.3%)
    4. STAT and Melo / 444 min / .555 / .585 (Knicks – 3%)

    The only one of those combinations that doesn’t work is Amar’e at the 5 and Melo at the 4, to which everyone in the world would say “duh.” Amar’e also never had the benefit of playing with K-Mart for more than, what, one game? And no, 20 minutes total in the playoffs doesn’t count.

    In order to make their offense work without Amar’e, the Knicks had to take and make the most 3 pointers of all time. Unless you are sure we can replicate that result, I think it stands to reason that giving more minutes to someone who joined LeBron and Durant as the only players to post better than .630 TS% with a usage of over 25 (and this was while recovering from an injury, in an offense that had no real role for him) would be a good idea.

  24. Z-man

    Funny how two components of the game are completely dismissed over and over again: defense (especially on the interior) and offensive post play. Memphis and Indiana are examples of how critical those aspects of the game are. Miami needs these less because they have LeBron and a solid overall supporting cast, and San Antonio has a well-balanced roster with Tim Duncan as the coach on the floor (and by the way, he provides post play and interior D.) Yes, you can have less of these things, but not at the cost of balance. Otherwise, if you run into the wrong team, you get exposed.

  25. stratomatic

    flossy: This is doubly hilarious coming from the fanatical proponent of a metric that ranks Thabo Sefalosha over Kobe Bryant and Ronnie Brewer over Carmelo Anthony.

    Miiiiiike, why doesn’t anyone agree with meeeeee?

    First off, the model does not say that Ronnie Brewer is a BETTER player than Melo. That’s a common misunderstanding of how it works.

    This is what it really says.

    It says that Ronnie Brewer does a couple of things better than the average SG (that’s who he is compared to). So if you play him at SG and have enough scoring at the other positions, he adds value.

    It says that Melo does several things worse than the average PF, so if you choose to play him at PF you lose enough value in some areas that it offsets his scoring and on a net basis he doesn’t add much value.

    The key issue here is the assumption the model makes on the ability to replace scoring. It assumes most teams are built in a way that makes average efficiency scoring easy to replace (because they are and it is). Each player can theoretically take just a couple of extra shots per game and retain close to average efficiency (TS% of 50% is the Wins Produced Standard to add value which is not high).

    However, if you don’t have any scoring, adding Ronnie Brewer to your team would be a disaster despite the things he does well.

    Similarly, if you don’t have any scoring (other than JR SHIT), subtracting Melo would be a disaster.

    Its at those extremes where it fails, but the misunderstanding is related to positional adjustments and the general overrating of scoring.

    You should bookmark this explanation because it’s the only unbiased
    one that actually gets it right…if I do say so myself. :-)

  26. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ^^^^ This, exactly.

    This is why the positional adjustments make sense. You expect a PF to perform certain roles on the court (rebound) that you do not expect from a PG. That means that when you play Carmelo as a 4, even though he might raise his rebounding totals, he is likely not going to get as many offensive rebounds as an average PF, and he loses value. Does he make up for value in other areas? Sure. He’s not awful (although he was in the Boston series, like historically bad). But the assumption in WP is that basketball is a fairly consistent game w/r/t strategy and outcomes and that it’s not unreasonable to ask a center to play close to the basket so he gets more offensive rebounds (i.e. Chandler is better than Brook Lopez or Andrea Bargnani) because offensive rebounds are good and 20-foot set shots are not.

    Any statistical system will break down at the extremes. No one would argue that five Carmelos would beat five Ronnie Brewers. But that’s not NBA basketball, and we shouldn’t judge the metric accordingly.

  27. DRed

    Watching 5 Carmelos try to decide which one would take all the shots would be hillarious.

    And who says Kevin Durant didn’t deliver in the clutch this year?

  28. iserp

    stratomatic: It says that Ronnie Brewer does a couple of things better than the average SG (that’s who he is compared to). So if you play him at SG and have enough scoring at the other positions, he adds value.

    I think that is a very narrow minded way to see it. We are used to 5 positions in basketball PG, SG, SF, PF, C; but we should look more at roles: distribution, 3pt Shooting, post offense, post defense, help defense, rebounding …

    Any team on the court should accomplish all those roles. If Dirk is able to score 3pt, then you don’t need 3pt from your “SG”, and so, you can put a Ronnie Brewer who is good at rebounding. So he shouldn’t held Dirk to the same standard as Kenneth Faried, for example.

    All in all, you need to sum the good qualities of all your players. In that sense PER is just a metric that sums the good things that happen in the box score; it is not too”advanced”, but it is an improvement on raw data. PER values increased shooting even at a bad rate, because if you shoot a lot without increasing your turnovers, well, that is usually good. Perhaps not good when you are shooting 35% on a 60% usage, but well, if you use PER you have to acknowledge its limitations and take that into account. I’d love that WoW sites would do the same, but it looks (to me) that WP48 people are too ambitious with their metric and dont want to acknowledge their limitations. It is kind of a fantasy: just number that predicts your contribution to the wins to your team; and somehow, its proponents don’t try hard to see where it fails, the other way round, they try hard to prove it is correct! That is totally unscientific behaviour.

  29. iserp

    DRed: And who says Kevin Durant didn’t deliver in the clutch this year?

    I didn’t watch OKC, but people were baffled at his 4th quarter production…

  30. flossy

    I’m sorry, can you explain how Kobe Bryant’s .152 WP/48 (as a SG) compared to Thabo Sefalosha’s .230 WP/48 is not clearly and unambiguously proposing that Thabo was vastly better than Bryant on a per-minute basis this year?

    Can you explain how Carmelo, with a .044 WP/48, was less than half as productive on a per-minute basis than the generic, league-average PF? Does that make even one iota of sense to you?

    For that matter, does it make any sense that Carmelo, who led the league in usage and took 6x 3FGA per 36, is evaluated on the same terms as Reggie Evans (.240 WP/48!!!) because they both technically play the same “position?” How utterly moronic is that? Would the Knicks have been vastly better off playing Reggie Evans 38 minutes a night?

    I mean, come on–you can talk your way around the outliers and make excuses for the flaws in the system, but that’s you talking–not the metric. For all the bellyaching about how a player can inflate their PER by just taking as many shots as possible, there are dozens of similar complaints to be lodged against WP, like the fact that players can inflate their WP to the detriment of their team by refusing to take anything but the easiest shots available (Tyson Chandler), or by neglecting to play any defense in favor of getting as many rebounds as possible (David Lee). There are plenty of other cases against WP, like the fact that it uses the obviously antiquated notion of “position” as a stand-in for a player’s role, or that it takes the impressions recorded in a box score at face value when we all know those numbers are subject to human error.

    Probably the biggest problem with WP, though, is that Berri evangelists like THCJ are unbearably obnoxious and rigid in their insistence that they’ve got a monopoly on The Truth.

  31. d-mar

    DRed:

    And who says Kevin Durant didn’t deliver in the clutch this year?

    You’re kidding with this comment, right? Durant was horrible in the 4th quarters and OT of the last 2 games vs. Memphis, but seems escaped the scorn of the sports media because he didn’t have Westbrook at his side.

  32. DRed

    Carmelo’s not really a 4. We all know that. He’s not guarded by 4s. We all know that. But using Carmelo to guard other 4s means we’re giving up shot blocking and rebounding and some help defense. There’s a definite cost to playing him that way. Nobody is arguing that you should rely on one stat in a vacuum. A metric is only one tool you can use to help evaluating a player.

    Whatever position he plays, Carmelo Anthony isn’t a superstar and is severly overpaid. I’d take Reggie Evans at 1.2 million as my 4 every day over Carmelo Anthony at 19 million.

  33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: Probably the biggest problem with WP, though, is that Berri evangelists like THCJ are unbearably obnoxious and rigid in their insistence that they’ve got a monopoly on The Truth.

    And they don’t. But PER is totally fucked and Mike K. has written posts about it in the past. There’s no use for it on this site.

  34. d-mar

    I think the Knicks could prosPER if they were better able to improve their PERformance in the 4th quarters of hyPERcompetitive games. Would cause all of us to PERspire less and be more chipPER.

    And I believe that 100 PER cent.

  35. mokers

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And they don’t. But PER is totally fucked and Mike K. has written posts about it in the past. There’s no use for it on this site.

    It seems that Knickerblogger is open to people who can write thoughtfully. I am sure if one of the WP fans wanted to take the time to write an article with a similar theme using WP as the basis, they would happily oblige.

    The article was a good place to start a discussion. There will be many months and many more places to start other discussions before the next season.

  36. er

    DRed: Carmelo’s not really a 4. We all know that. He’s not guarded by 4s. We all know that. But using Carmelo to guard other 4s means we’re giving up shot blocking and rebounding and some help defense. There’s a definite cost to playing him that way. Nobody is arguing that you should rely on one stat in a vacuum. A metric is only one tool you can use to help evaluating a player. Whatever position he plays, Carmelo Anthony isn’t a superstar and is severly overpaid. I’d take Reggie Evans at 1.2 million as my 4 every day over Carmelo Anthony at 19 million.

    smh

  37. KnickfaninNJ

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Why is a Knickerblogger writer using PER?

    MIKE K. WHERE ARE YOU. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME.

    You can make a reasonable argument that PER doesn’t always represent a player’s overall value, but I think it probably correlates pretty well with what GMs pay for, i.e. with salary, so I think the use in the post above was fair.

  38. Glew

    DRed: Carmelo’s not really a 4. We all know that. He’s not guarded by 4s. We all know that. But using Carmelo to guard other 4s means we’re giving up shot blocking and rebounding and some help defense. There’s a definite cost to playing him that way. Nobody is arguing that you should rely on one stat in a vacuum. A metric is only one tool you can use to help evaluating a player. Whatever position he plays, Carmelo Anthony isn’t a superstar and is severly overpaid. I’d take Reggie Evans at 1.2 million as my 4 every day over Carmelo Anthony at 19 million.

    If you took reggie over melo and played the last season over we would be in lottery

  39. Z

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And they don’t. But PER is totally fucked and Mike K. has written posts about it in the past. There’s no use for it on this site.

    I’m not sure why you think Mike would come to your defense in dismissing PER on this site. Mike has used PER more than any other metric to compare player values, as far as I can remember. Off hand, there was the GOTME series ( http://knickerblogger.net/gotme-part-iii-shooting-guard/ ), and also this quote from his Layman’s Guide to Advanced Statistics:

    “Trying to create a player’s total worth using a single number isn’t highly reliable. But if you need to use one, you can try PER, Wins Produced, or +/-. Each has their strengths & weaknesses and are only good to begin a discussion, not end one.” -Mike K.

  40. DRed

    You cant say we’d be in the lottery if we took Reggie over and ignore salary. We would have had 18 million to spend as well.

  41. Owen

    Another day, another Wins Produced argument…..

    Amare should never have been signed. It was clear at the time. It’s clear now. Melo would have come here without Amare. He would have been more likely to come here I think. Not that I want him here…

    It’s been clear from the start that Melo and STAT are a terrible combination. I don’t know how many times I have written the phrase “the two most duplicative players in the NBA” on this site. It’s humorous to think that we argued over whether we should keep Amare or ship him out for Dudley back when he was playing well.

    He is an albatross and I don’t think there is really anyway around him until his value as an expiring kicks in. Even then, I don’t know. But we have managed to win without him and hopefully we will continue to do so….

  42. MJG1789

    DRed:
    Carmelo’s not really a 4.We all know that.He’s not guarded by 4s.We all know that.But using Carmelo to guard other 4s means we’re giving up shot blocking and rebounding and some help defense. There’s a definite cost to playing him that way. Nobody is arguing that you should rely on one stat in a vacuum.A metric is only one tool you can use to help evaluating a player.

    Whatever position he plays, Carmelo Anthony isn’t a superstar and is severly overpaid.I’d take Reggie Evans at 1.2 million as my 4 every day over Carmelo Anthony at 19 million.

    Then go be a Nets fans. But first check out their boards, where their fans want to strangle WP superstar Evans.

  43. Owen

    That’s interesting. I know a few Nets fans. And Evans is, to a man, their favorite player. I would in fact say fan favorite has been a word I associate with Reggie Evans pretty strongly across his entire career, along with journeyman and bruiser. No one works harder on the court, that is for sure….

    MJG1789: Then go be a Nets fans. But first check out their boards, where their fans want to strangle WP superstar Evans.

  44. KnickfaninNJ

    DRed:
    Carmelo’s not really a 4.We all know that.He’s not guarded by 4s.We all know that.But using Carmelo to guard other 4s means we’re giving up shot blocking and rebounding and some help defense. There’s a definite cost to playing him that way. Nobody is arguing that you should rely on one stat in a vacuum.A metric is only one tool you can use to help evaluating a player.

    Whatever position he plays, Carmelo Anthony isn’t a superstar and is severly overpaid.I’d take Reggie Evans at 1.2 million as my 4 every day over Carmelo Anthony at 19 million.

    If you did something similar at every position so that all your starters were paid $1.2M then your team, including rookies and everything would probably have a total payroll of maybe $15M. You would indeed have a fantastically efficient team because they might win thirty games in a season and set a record for wins per salary dollar. But who wants to win 30 games in a season?

  45. Hubert

    Owen:
    Another day, another Wins Produced argument…..

    ’s humorous to think that we argued over whether we should keep Amare or ship him out for Dudley back when he was playing well.

    You mean Iman?

    I don’t recall an Amar’e for Jared Dudley swap being discussed.

  46. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And they don’t. But PER is totally fucked and Mike K. has written posts about it in the past. There’s no use for it on this site.

    Good job ignoring every substantive point in my post in favor of putting words in Mike Kurylo’s mouth. As Z pointed out, Mike doesn’t seem to be nearly as dogmatic about this matter as you are, and nobody but you consistently makes these bitchy appeals to the site moderator to enforce some ideological ban on referecing certain methods of player evaluation that you find personally distasteful, as if this were Berriblogger.net

  47. flossy

    DRed:
    You cant say we’d be in the lottery if we took Reggie over and ignore salary.We would have had 18 million to spend as well.

    Yes, $18 million that would immediately need be spent to replace the scoring that Reggie “11% usage” Evans can’t provide.

  48. Hubert

    By the way, there are too many stupid people running NBA teams for Amar’e Stoudemire to be untradeable. You just need to find the right fool.

  49. er

    Owen: That’s interesting. I know a few Nets fans. And Evans is, to a man, their favorite player. I would in fact say fan favorite has been a word I associate with Reggie Evans pretty strongly across his entire career, along with journeyman and bruiser. No one works harder on the court, that is for sure….

    yes i know some too. They love his effort, but hate the fact that he played more than 17 mins a game

  50. thenamestsam

    Owen:

    Melo would have come here without Amare. He would have been more likely to come here I think. Not that I want him here…

    I personally have always been curious also as to the origin of the “Melo wouldn’t have come here without Amare” thing that gets thrown around constantly. Yes, the franchise still had a fairly tremendous stench on it when Amare came here, and for that reason I like many others will always be appreciative to Amare, because in about a half a season he did away with a lot of that and got people excited about the Knicks again.

    But I think NYers were hurt that summer that LBJ turned us down when so many of us really expected that he was going to become a Knick, and it was specifically the backlash against LBJ that led to a lot of the talk that it took someone with courage, heart, etc. to be the first one to come here. And that is what eventually led to the genesis of the “without Amare, Melo doesn’t come here” thing. Because before the rejection all that the talk never really existed to my knowledge. The default assumption was always that cap space plus the chance to play in New York was an excellent recipe for signing free agents, which seems pretty damn logical to me. And it doesn’t seem like rejection by Lebron is really enough to logically alter that paradigm (after all, he did reject us in favor of an extremely excellent alternative), but is enough to emotionally alter it.

    So basically what I’m saying is that I think saying “Melo would never have come without Amare” stems from an emotional reaction to being rejected by Lebron, but not from any rational place. I don’t know if it’s possible to predict specifically what Melo would have thought without Amare, but I really think we would have gotten a star player in the next year or so, Amare or not.

  51. knicksfan1

    I think this article is 100% accurate and the points are so well put together. The Honorable Cock Jowles is an idiot and is probably really a Boston Celtics fan. He also is most likely 42 years old and lives with his parents in their basement.

  52. er

    Also saying any max player is overpaid is stupid in the simplest terms. Roy Hibbert is a max player, why? Simply because in the open market more than one team is willing to max out on him.

  53. ruruland

    Well, Flossy owns this thread. Kudos.
    I agree with him again. I posted Amar’es lineup
    data three threads back.

    I’ll briefly summarize: 1) Amar’e has historically had a near inversely positive impact (+\-) as a power forward as he has had a negative one as center, with the exclusion of 2010. This disparity was most pronounced in 2009 with Phoenix, but was very strong again this year. 2) lineup data from this season shows that the Amare at PF was better than virtually all of the Knicks small ball lineup 5) The Melo, Chandler, Amare combo not only had a 59 TS, but a 31 o reb % an 81 d reb% and a 117 offensive rating.

    Melo and Amare have worked really well as a 3/4, and really poorly as a 4/5.

    Melos playmaking rises dramatically with Amare in the game and his usage drops, which eventually leads to increased efficiency.

    Prigs, Shump and Chandler would seem to create an ideal
    synergy around Melo/Amare lineups.

    And no, the only way they are redundant is that they score the ball really well. Their skill sets aren’t ideal complements, but Prigs, Shump and Chandler would make it work extremely.

    If healthy, Amare and Melo can be one of the three best offensive tandems in the game.

    And by inserting Amare at power forward, the Knicks improve their defensive rebounding at two positions.

    Amare made strides last year defensively and Melo has had his best defensive seasons at the three. They won’t be great, but when surround them with three low usage, efficient players that complement them offensively and are solid defensively, it won’t matter much.

    I don’t think people realize how good Amare was on offense last season. On a per minute basis, it might have been his best considering the drop in assisted baskets.

    He was still excellent on cuts (finding and moving to open spots on floor) and great in PnR while adding a dominant post game.

    He’s arguably the most complete scoring big in the NBA, and only guy who moves for layups when…

  54. Owen

    “So basically what I’m saying is that I think saying “Melo would never have come without Amare” stems from an emotional reaction to being rejected by Lebron, but not from any rational place. I don’t know if it’s possible to predict specifically what Melo would have thought without Amare, but I really think we would have gotten a star player in the next year or so, Amare or not.”

    Again, I don’t want Melo here. But there is no question he was coming no matter what. He wanted to be in New York. And what goes for Melo goes triple for Chandler. Stat didn’t matter.

    I would have shipped Iman out to get rid of Amare’s contract, in three seconds. Iman is a nice player and i love his haircut and general mien, but he is not a potential superstar or in anyway the kind of talent that should stand in the way of restructuring our cap situation.

    Although at the time, people said we are screwed capwise even if we trade STAT. Which is really a sobering though, not sure if it’s true….

  55. flossy

    thenamestsam: So basically what I’m saying is that I think saying “Melo would never have come without Amare” stems from an emotional reaction to being rejected by Lebron, but not from any rational place. I don’t know if it’s possible to predict specifically what Melo would have thought without Amare, but I really think we would have gotten a star player in the next year or so, Amare or not.

    Can you think of another example of a perennial All-Star forcing a trade from a consistent playoff team to a team that hadn’t made any noise in the playoffs for a decade and didn’t field any other star-quality players? I think there’s a perfectly rational reason to think he wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with that situation were it not for another star player legitimizing the franchise. It’s easy to say “we’d have gotten another star if not Amar’e,” but who? Someone had to be first.

  56. jon abbey

    ruru, none of that matters if Woodson won’t play Melo at the 3 for more than a few minutes per game, and he’s shown no signs that he will, as I keep saying to you.

    and Shumpert is a potential All-Star, all of the pieces are there. not sure how anyone can watch NY night in and night out and not see that, but there are a lot of things I don’t understand.

  57. flossy

    Owen: But there is no question he was coming no matter what.

    Do you have any basis for this assertion other than your own deep-seated sense of correctness?

  58. DRed

    Flossy, yes we’d have to replace most of Melo’s scoring. But my point is you could do that with 18 million.

  59. DRed

    As for Amare, it’s unrealistic to expect him to hold up physically. He’s a very good scorer if healthy, but he’s probably not going to be healthy. It sucks, but that’s the reality.

  60. max fisher-cohen

    chrisk06811: This isn’t fair to Amare at all. Here are our win totals for the 6 yrs before he signed: 29, 32, 23, 33, 23 33. We had to sign a big name FA that year our of the LeBron, Bosh, Joe Johnson, Amare group. Nobody else took our $$. You can argue that we shouldn’t have signed a non-insured deal, but the result would have been no Amare, and who would we have had?

    I really don’t understand this logic. It’s like saying, “Well, I need to get to California at some point in my life, but right now I only have enough money to pay for gas to Kansas. I should quit my job and get in my car right now and leave.” The Knicks easily could have waited another year. Yes, they’d been awful for a long time, but they’d also been taking that exact philosophy — “we need to bring in a star now!” for a decade, and that was the exact cause of their mediocrity.

    The more 25+ y/o players you have on contracts that are for as much or more than what they are worth, the less likelihood you have that your team will improve.

    You can go back in time and see that the strategy would have worked had NY committed to a 4 year rebuild rather than a 2 year rebuild and never made single trade — by 2009, they would have David Lee, Channing Frye, LaMarcus Aldridge, Joakim Noah, and Danilo Gallinari. Swap Lee or Aldridge for a guard, and you have a 3 all-star starting lineup with a 4th guy who has a good shot of being an all-star before all is said and done.

    Even better, everyone but Lee, Frye and Aldridge would still be on a rookie contract. If you assume Lee is paid $8m as he reportedly wanted before taking the a one year deal as an RFA and subsequently being signed and traded to GSW, and the total NY salaries in summer 2010 for those 5 guys is about $28 million…Now you sign your star (or 2). Now you have a title contender.

  61. thenamestsam

    Owen:
    “So basically what I’m saying is that I think saying “Melo would never have come without Amare” stems from an emotional reaction to being rejected by Lebron, but not from any rational place. I don’t know if it’s possible to predict specifically what Melo would have thought without Amare, but I really think we would have gotten a star player in the next year or so, Amare or not.”

    Again, I don’t want Melo here. But there is no question he was coming no matter what. He wanted to be in New York. And what goes for Melo goes triple for Chandler.

    I would have shipped Iman out to get rid of Amare’s contract, in three seconds. Iman is a nice player and i love his haircut and general mien,but he is not a potential superstar or in anyway the kind of talent that should stand in the way of restructuring our cap situation.

    Although at the time, people said we are screwed capwise even if we trade STAT. Which is really a sobering though, not sure if it’s true….

    The Knicks cap situation to the best of my understanding is essentially zero flexibility over the next two years, but they’re completely clear after that. I don’t think that really constitutes being screwed given that the team we’re locked in to is a 54 win division champion. Trading Shumpert in an effort to clear cap space before that would be extremely short sighted in my mind.

  62. Hubert

    If I’m not mistaken, the Knicks never took a “hide Amar’e Stoudemire on defense” approach this past season, similar to the way Indiana hides West and Memphis hides Randolph.

    Would be worth a shot. We’ve seen Melo guard 4′s well enough.

  63. flossy

    DRed:
    Flossy, yes we’d have to replace most of Melo’s scoring.But my point is you could do that with 18 million.

    Well $18 million seems to be the going rate for players who can lead the league in usage while maintaining above-average scoring efficiency, so we’re right back at square one.

  64. Hubert

    If I’m not mistaken, the Knicks never took a “hide Amar’e Stoudemire on defense” approach this past season, similar to the way Indiana hides West and Memphis hides Randolph.

    Would be worth a shot. We’ve seen Melo guard 4′s well enough.

    flossy: Can you think of another example of a perennial All-Star forcing a trade from a consistent playoff team to a team that hadn’t made any noise in the playoffs for a decade and didn’t field any other star-quality players?I think there’s a perfectly rational reason to think he wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with that situation were it not for another star player legitimizing the franchise.It’s easy to say “we’d have gotten another star if not Amar’e,” but who?Someone had to be first.

    Deron Williams.

    And Melo was willing to go there, too, so it’s a fair bet Owen is right even though he has no evidence.

  65. Hubert

    flossy: Can you think of another example of a perennial All-Star forcing a trade from a consistent playoff team to a team that hadn’t made any noise in the playoffs for a decade and didn’t field any other star-quality players?I think there’s a perfectly rational reason to think he wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with that situation were it not for another star player legitimizing the franchise.It’s easy to say “we’d have gotten another star if not Amar’e,” but who?Someone had to be first.

    Deron Williams.

    And Melo was willing to go there, too, so it’s a fair bet Owen is right even though he has no evidence.

  66. thenamestsam

    flossy: Can you think of another example of a perennial All-Star forcing a trade from a consistent playoff team to a team that hadn’t made any noise in the playoffs for a decade and didn’t field any other star-quality players?I think there’s a perfectly rational reason to think he wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with that situation were it not for another star player legitimizing the franchise.It’s easy to say “we’d have gotten another star if not Amar’e,” but who?Someone had to be first.

    I don’t know if he would have forced his way here, but players don’t have to force their way to your franchise necessarily. The Nets traded for Deron at the same time (regardless of how he has played since he was certainly considered a superstar at the time) and even if Melo hadn’t forced his way to the Knicks are we sure there was a better offer on the table from somewhere else? I think the Knicks paid pretty much full price for Melo.

    Yes, someone had to be first, but in retrospect is there a reason we think that’s a big deal other than the fact that people keep making it a big deal? Before Lebron we all believed that cap space and the chance to play in NYC gave us a shot at perhaps the most coveted FA of all time. We didn’t get him, but we did sign a legitimate superstar. Why? Because of money and the chance to play in NYC. And yet despite the fact that we had just managed to attract a superstar because of those two factors we somehow all collectively concluded that exact things that just allowed us to sign a star weren’t enough to sign the next star and that the next star only came because of the first one. Where’s the logic in that?

  67. flossy

    Hubert: Deron Williams.

    And Melo was willing to go there, too, so it’s a fair bet Owen is right even though he has no evidence.

    Try again. Deron Williams did not force a trade to the Nets. In fact, he looked nearly suicidal for most of his first season there.

  68. flossy

    Hubert:
    Here’s another one: Shaquille O’Neal to the Lakers.

    Try again. Not only did he not force a trade, but the Knicks and Lakers are not compariable. Shaqsigned with a team that had made the playoffs the two seasons prior and had gone to the Finals only 5 years prior at the end of a decade of dominance. Nobody in the franchise was eating vaseline or sexually assaulting their limo drivers.

  69. flossy

    Hubert:
    Also Kareem to the Lakers.

    Dude. Get a grip. That was 10 years before Carmelo Anthony was even born. If that’s the closest relevant example to the hypothetical situation where Carmelo Anthony willingly forces a trade from a perennial playoff team to play for a scandal-plagued and talent-deficient franchise with no other star players, I think you’ve proved my point for me. It is just not a thing that happens, especially in the wake of LeBron, Wade and Bosh teaming up together.

  70. DRed

    flossy: Well $18 million seems to be the going rate for players who can lead the league in usage while maintaining above-average scoring efficiency, so we’re right back at square one.

    The idea, obviously, is to replace Carmelo with players with different skillsets.

  71. Hubert

    Kareem:

    The 73-74 Lakers won 47 games, then dropped to 30-52 in 74-75 and featured this roster that Kareem forced a trade onto after winning 60 & 59 games with the Bucks:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/LAL/1975.html

    Shaq:

    The Lakers from 91-96 won one playoff series. The best player on the roster was Nick Van Exel. Shaq was a perennial contender on Orlando and left to go to LA. You think because he did it as a free agent instead of forcing a trade it invalidates your thesis?

  72. Hubert

    What about the part where Melo was willing to go to Brooklyn? Who was going to join up with there?

  73. flossy

    Hubert:
    What about the part where Melo was willing to go to Brooklyn?Who was going to join up with there?

    What about the part where that was an obviously ploy to prevent the Knicks from allowing him to make it to free agency? That rumor had an intended audience of one: James Dolan.

  74. flossy

    Hubert:
    Kareem:

    The 73-74 Lakers won 47 games, then dropped to 30-52 in 74-75 and featured this roster that Kareem forced a trade onto after winning 60 & 59 games with the Bucks:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/LAL/1975.html

    Shaq:

    The Lakers from 91-96 won one playoff series.The best player on the roster was Nick Van Exel.Shaq was a perennial contender on Orlando and left to go to LA.You think because he did it as a free agent instead of forcing a trade it invalidates your thesis?

    Lakers made the Finals in 91, made the playoffs in 92, made the playoffs in 93 and made the playoffs in 95. The Knicks had not one a single playoff GAME in 10 years prior to Amar’e signing with the team and their only All-Star in recent memory had lost his mind and started eating vaseline before washing out of the league.

    The Lakers in the early 90s and the Knicks of the ’00s are just. not. comparable.

  75. Hubert

    So if the Knicks hadn’t pulled the trigger, he was either re-signing with Denver, or risking what he thought at the time was $30 million by not having a deal before the CBA?

    Yeah, you own this thread.

  76. max fisher-cohen

    Steve Nash would be another although I don’t think he was considered a true superstar at the time he joined Phoenix.

    Chris Paul went to a Clipper team that had just gone 32-50…

    True superstars just don’t switch teams that often while in their primes. Let’s say the top 20 players now over 27 (thus having had a couple chances to switch teams) of the last 2 decades are

    Robinson, Duncan, Stockton, Malone, Nowitzki, Wade, Jordan, Pippen, Ewing, Olajuwon, Lebron, Paul, Shaq, Garnett, Howard, Barkley, Mourning, McGrady, Ming, Nash

    The only ones to switch teams while they were considered top 5 players were Lebron, Paul, Barkley, McGrady, Shaq. Of those 5, Lebron, Barkley, Paul and McGrady all left teams that were in bad shape with little prospect of improvement. Shaq was really the only one to leave a great situation. Shaq was also the only one to join a bad team — Paul possibly as well although the Clips were “up and coming”.

  77. Hubert

    flossy: Lakers made the Finals in 91, made the playoffs in 92, made the playoffs in 93 and made the playoffs in 95.The Knicks had not one a single playoff GAME in 10 years prior to Amar’e signing with the team and their only All-Star in recent memory had lost his mind and started eating vaseline before washing out of the league.

    The Lakers in the early 90s and the Knicks of the ’00s are just. not. comparable.

    They are much more comparable than you realize. The early 90′s Lakers were headline-grabbing, attention-seeking laughing stocks.

    Bringing up the 91 Lakers when talking about the team Shaq joined in 96 is about as relevant as me bringing up Ewing’s Knicks in relation to Melo.

  78. Hubert

    max fisher-cohen:
    Steve Nash would be another although I don’t think he was considered a true superstar at the time he joined Phoenix.

    I thought of him but he kind of got rejected by his own team, right?

  79. Hubert

    Here’s the thing: The Knicks embarrassed themselves from 2002-2007. But we’ve always been a premier destination for stars. We’ve just been too incompetent to acquire them.

    Once Donnie Walsh came in and started to clean house, it was inevitable that we would be able to attract someone. So what, it wasn’t LeBron? Someone was going to want to play here if we were sitting here with a ton of cap room, some quality young guys, and a coach who at the time had a sterling reputation.

    This notion that no one would have come here without Amar’e Stoudemire is a disservice to the culture change that started in 2007 when Donnie replaced Isiah. If we had been patient, I am confident someone would have been willing to play here. If Chris Paul was willing to go to the Clippers, I’m fairly sure he would have played for the Knicks even if we didn’t have Amar’e Stoudemire.

    But the Knicks felt they needed to make a splash in the summer of 2010, when they should have just rolled over and taken another swing the next summer.

  80. flossy

    Hubert: If Chris Paul was willing to go to the Clippers, I’m fairly sure he would have played for the Knicks even if we didn’t have Amar’e Stoudemire.

    You mean the Clippers team that has a younger version of Amar’e Stoudemire in Blake Griffin? Okay…

    Let me just repeat this one more time. Carmelo Anthony absolutely would not have forced his way to a Knicks franchise that hadn’t won a playoff game in 10 years and didn’t boast a better player, than, who? David Lee if he’d stayed? Danilo Gallinari? Not in a million years.

    Nobody who considered themselves in the same class as LeBron and Wade would ever think “I’ll show them! I’ll go to a team that totally sucks and do it all by myself!” The desire to team up with other stars was the dominant idea driving all this player movement–an idea that was explicitly referenced at Carmelo Anthony’s own freakin’ wedding. By “other stars” I mean people like 5x All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire–NOT Danilo Gallinari.

  81. johnno

    DRed: You cant say we’d be in the lottery if we took Reggie over and ignore salary. We would have had 18 million to spend as well.

    No they wouldn’t. Even if they traded Melo straight up for Evans, the Knicks would still be over the cap. A starting lineup of Chandler, Evans, Shumpert, Prigioni and Felton would have struggled to score 50 poihts a game against the Celtics and would have had a decent chance of getting shut out by the Pacers…

  82. DRed

    “Amare changed the culture” is an obvious after the fact justification for foolishly signing a player that anyone reasonably should have known wouldnt hold up for 5 years.

  83. johnno

    flossy: I mean people like 5x All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire

    It’s a shame that people are forgetting how great a player Amare was a couple of years ago.

  84. thenamestsam

    flossy: You mean the Clippers team that has a younger version of Amar’e Stoudemire in Blake Griffin?Okay…

    Let me just repeat this one more time.Carmelo Anthony absolutely would not have forced his way to a Knicks franchise that hadn’t won a playoff game in 10 years and didn’t boast a better player, than, who?David Lee if he’d stayed?Danilo Gallinari?Not in a million years.

    Nobody who considered themselves in the same class as LeBron and Wade would ever think “I’ll show them!I’ll go to a team that totally sucks and do it all by myself!”The desire to team up with other stars was the dominant idea driving all this player movement–an idea that was explicitly referenced at Carmelo Anthony’s own freakin’ wedding.By “other stars” I mean people like 5x All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire–NOT Danilo Gallinari.

    Then explain Amare’s decision to come here.

  85. jon abbey

    thenamestsam: Then explain Amare’s decision to come here.

    NY gave him an extra year that no one else seemed to want to, good call by the rest of the league.

  86. nicos

    thenamestsam: Then explain Amare’s decision to come here.

    The Knicks still had the cap space for another max guy- Amar’e knew that eventually someone else (and I’m sure he hoped it was LBJ) would be joining him.

  87. DRed

    Amare was a great player on the Suns. Hell, he was terrific for us just a couple of months ago. But he can’t stay healthly, and when we signed him that outcome was very likely. i have a lot of respect for Amare-he seems like he works his ass off. He’s fun to watch when he’s healthy. But the contract we gave him was dumb from day 1, and was very representive of the Jimmy Dolan Knicks.

  88. elikint

    Nice words out of Cope that he “never was that guy” in Europe to go to the highest bidder. So, who knows, he may take less money to stay in NY.

  89. thenamestsam

    bidiong:
    Amaré came because we were the only team willing to give him max money.

    jon abbey: NY gave him an extra year that no one else seemed to want to, good call by the rest of the league.
    </blockquote

    Right, I get this although I think it's a little speculative. He signed very early in the process. If he had held on until LBJ/Wade/Bosh made their choices I don't think it's out of the question that a team left in the lurch like the Cavs or Nets would have maxed him out. Also, I'm just saying the argument that "No star would ever come here without another star already in the fold" which everyone is so quick to make about Melo ignores a pretty substantial piece of evidence, which is that a star actually did come here in spite of the state of the organization and in spite of the fact that the roster was headlined by Gallinari.

    nicos: The Knicks still had the cap space for another max guy- Amar’e knew that eventually someone else (and I’m sure he hoped it was LBJ) would be joining him.

    Okay, but this argument would have applied every bit as much to Melo if Amare wasn’t already in the fold with the exception of the LBJ part. Why is Amare willing to sign in the expectation that another star would be added to him but Melo is only willing to sign if there is a star already on the team?

  90. Eternal OptiKnist

    The way the new CBA turned out, the Amare contract was just fine given the amnesty provision. What made the contract an albatross was using the amnesty on Billups for Tyson. Now, i will admit that i was ready to give Grunwald hand-release for getting Tyson…but, i knew that the upside was nothing compared to the potential downside. It’s just unfortunate that it happened and not only that but happened so damn fast.

  91. Hubert

    flossy: You mean the Clippers team that has a younger version of Amar’e Stoudemire in Blake Griffin?Okay…

    Let me just repeat this one more time.Carmelo Anthony absolutely would not have forced his way to a Knicks franchise that hadn’t won a playoff game in 10 years and didn’t boast a better player, than, who?David Lee if he’d stayed?Danilo Gallinari?Not in a million years.

    Nobody who considered themselves in the same class as LeBron and Wade would ever think “I’ll show them!I’ll go to a team that totally sucks and do it all by myself!”The desire to team up with other stars was the dominant idea driving all this player movement–an idea that was explicitly referenced at Carmelo Anthony’s own freakin’ wedding.By “other stars” I mean people like 5x All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire–NOT Danilo Gallinari.

    Because you say so, right?

    I guess James Harden signed a max deal in Houston instead of testing free agency because he thought Jeremy Lin was a superstar.

  92. flossy

    Hubert: Because you say so, right?

    I guess James Harden signed a max deal in Houston instead of testing free agency because he thought Jeremy Lin was a superstar.

    I can’t think of a player whose situation is less comparable to Carmelo Anthony than Harden.

  93. max fisher-cohen

    flossy: You mean the Clippers team that has a younger version of Amar’e Stoudemire in Blake Griffin?Okay…

    Yes, Blake Griffin on a rookie contract, which allowed the Clippers (with Paul’s input) to bring in Caron Butler ($8m/year), Jamal Crawford ($5m), and Odom ($8m) in addition to the already signed big contract for Deandre Jordan. Stoudemire’s contract = Crawford + Odom + Griffin with some change

  94. nyk8806

    Looks like Stern just awarded the Cavs their second installment of the LeBron consolation prize.

  95. Hubert

    flossy: I can’t think of a player whose situation is less comparable to Carmelo Anthony than Harden.

    He’s not a superstar who went to a team w no other superstar in the age of the big 3? Or did Jeremy Lin’s arrival in Houston change the culture of the Rockets and pave the way for Harden to join them? I suppose Morey can finally justify the Lin contract. It got him Harden.

    You asked for examples. You got them. You’re picking them all apart, but the fact is superstars in their primes have gone to teams w no other stars and no recent success.

  96. Brian Cronin

    What’s hilarious is how the Cavs are showing how building through the draft doesn’t always work, either. They got one great player and a whole bunch of “okay” players with their high drat picks and now are drafting first in one of the worst drafts ever (for top tier talent, that is).

  97. DRed

    Its very hard to build through the draft when you do stupid shit like drafting Tristan Thompson with the 4th pick.

  98. Brian Cronin

    Imagine if they picked Kawhi Leonard! I still can’t believe he fell out of the lottery.

  99. EB

    1) The article doesn’t misrepresent Amare’s contract. The article is about how Amare’s contract hobbled the Knicks THIS YEAR. The article makes no claim as to whether or not the Knick’s should have signed Amare when they did.

    2) PER is a statistic, one in which has more correlation to value than ppg. Therefore, the statistic is valid especially since critics of Melo point out his low standing in the statistic which should favor him. Jonathan Topaz also augments PER with shooting efficiency numbers.

    3) WP does not contextualize its output. If you look at WP it clearly states Melo is worth x wins which is lower than Ronnie Brewer’s value of Y wins. It takes the person looking at the stats to contextualize the numbers and by itself WP has flaws.

  100. DRed

    The Cavs also took Dion Waiters 4th last year. The Cavs dont know what they’re doing. This is the same franchise that couldn’t find pieces to play with the best basketball player to come along in 20 years.

  101. ruruland

    DRed:
    The Cavs also took Dion Waiters 4th last year.The Cavs dont know what they’re doing. This is the same franchise that couldn’t find pieces to play with the best basketball player to come along in 20 years.

    Yeah, it took them a few years to surround him with shooters, but they generally had teams that spaced the floor and defended extremely well around him.

    Getting the other superstar…..

  102. kronicfatigue

    Signing Amar’e was a ruse designed to make the Knicks look like they were closer to a championship than they were. People see a 40-45 win team with a superstar’s name (I said name, not talent) like Amar’e and think they are just one superstar away from being championship caliber. Fans bought into it, and Dolan jacked up ticket prices. Melo bought into it, and demanded a trade (and Dolan jacked up ticket prices again). But that doesn’t make it true. A 35 win team that is young and has cap flexibility could be in a better position.

    Amar’e was about appearance. About moving past the “rebuilding” phase. But now they’re close to being in the same position as before him. Kidd and Camby were names, but were they talent? At this point they’re a negative on the team.

  103. ruruland

    Three man combinations

    2013: Melo, Amar’e and Chandler: +9.1 (Chandler alone was a +3.3)

  104. Will the Thrill

    Spurs are totally dismantling the Memphis defense with ball movement and player movement. I am willing to bet the same thing would happen if they played the Pacers, also. Not too sure about Miami though.

  105. d-mar

    Spurs are just demoralizing Zach Randolph, he’s something like 4-20 so far in this series. It’s got a long way to go (remember they had a 2-0 lead on OKC last year) but the Spurs are just too damn smart and disciplined and are just taking it to Memphis.

    And honestly, how many notches below Chris Paul is Tony Parker? Maybe zero?

  106. Will the Thrill

    In their current roles, I think they are on the same level. I think that Parker’s greatness is more dependent on the system that Pop has in place, while Paul can almost make anything work. For example, I think Parker on the Knicks would certainly be a step up from Felton, but he wouldn’t be able to do what he does now in San Antonio. Paul, on the other hand, would work for a slow paced/grind-it-out team and for a fast paced team imo

    d-mar: And honestly, how many notches below Chris Paul is Tony Parker? Maybe zero?

  107. flossy

    Hubert: He’s not a superstar who went to a team w no other superstar in the age of the big 3?Or did Jeremy Lin’s arrival in Houston change the culture of the Rockets and pave the way for Harden to join them? I suppose Morey can finally justify the Lin contract. It got him Harden.

    You asked for examples. You got them.You’re picking them all apart, but the fact is superstars in their primes have gone to teams w no other stars and no recent success.

    No, that’s a terrible example. Harden didn’t force a trade to Houston. His former team wouldn’t give him the max money he (in retrospect, obviously) deserved and they decided to trade a top-15 player rather than pay the luxury tax. He’d have probably signed with any one of a dozen teams different teams had he been traded somewhere else and offered a max extension, and he absolutely would have stayed with OKC had they offered to pay him what he’s worth.

    Melo left a team that had built their entire franchise around him specifically, and explicitly, to join up with Amar’e on the Knicks and build a super team to rival the Heat. No Amar’e, no super team, just inheriting responsibility for franchise that up to his signing had virtually nothing going for it for an entire decade.

  108. johnno

    DRed: Its very hard to build through the draft when you do stupid shit like drafting Tristan Thompson with the 4th pick.

    It’s hard to build through the draft, period. You have to really stink and be lucky enough to (a) win the lottery (only a 1 in 4 chance if you have the worst record in the league) and (b) win it in a year when LeBron James is the best player available and not in a year when Andrew Bogut or Andrea Bargnani is the the best player available. How do you think poor Bobcats fans feel? They just sat through two horrendous years and what do they have to show for it? Last year’s number 2 pick in a draft with exactly 1 franchise player and the number 4 pick in a draft with maybe 0 franchise players.
    I recently saw a list of all of the players drafted number 2 over the last 25 years. I wish I could remember all of the names but there were a whole lot more Darko Milicics, Hasheem Thabeets and Stromile Swifts than there were Kevin Durants.

  109. johnno

    flossy: Harden didn’t force a trade to Houston. His former team wouldn’t give him the max money he (in retrospect, obviously) deserved and they decided to trade a top-15 player rather than pay the luxury tax.

    Speaking of building through the draft, when the Thunder traded Harden, I said that I thought that they had outsmarted themselves because they had read their own press clippings about how brilliant they were at working the draft. They seemed to have the attitude that they found one Harden, so they’ll simply find another. Let’s see what happens but I think that it will be a long time before they find another Harden in the draft.

  110. jon abbey

    Harden went third overall, not sure how much credit anyone can get for a pick that high.

  111. Bison

    DRed:
    The Cavs also took Dion Waiters 4th last year.The Cavs dont know what they’re doing. This is the same franchise that couldn’t find pieces to play with the best basketball player to come along in 20 years.

    Cleveland itself might have had something to do with players wanting to avoid it at all cost. Wasn’t this the city whose river got so polluted that it caught fire?

  112. Brian Cronin

    “Flops are bad, except at the end of a playoff game when they draw a flagrant foul.” Good job, NBA!

  113. Brian Cronin

    Harden went third overall, not sure how much credit anyone can get for a pick that high.

    Tyreke Evans was a flashy option at the time. Rubio, too.

  114. Brian Cronin

    15-2 run by the Grizzlies, helped by some awful shot attempts by the Spurs and also by, of course, Tony Allen flopping to draw a flagrant foul.

  115. Brian Cronin

    What a brilliant use of the foul to give by the Grizzlies. Wow. Really strong work, fouling with 3.3 seconds to go.

  116. Brian Cronin

    Angry Pop is always fun. I guess he thinks they should have called a timeout if they weren’t getting a good look.

  117. Brian Cronin

    True, but I don’t think a guy just recently complaining about not getting enough playing time would be willing to retire.

  118. ruruland

    I’m not sure why it’s so hard to understand that the most likely way the Knicks improve is with a guy who posted a 190 WS and was one of the 10 best scorers in the game actually playing more games and more minutes.

  119. Bison

    Brian Cronin:
    True, but I don’t think a guy just recently complaining about not getting enough playing time would be willing to retire.

    That’s my read of Amare’s character too: he loves the game too much. What inducement could we offer him to retire? A minority stake in the Knicks?

  120. Bison

    ruruland:
    I’m not sure why it’s so hard to understand that the most likely way the Knicks improve is with a guy who posted a 190 WS and was one of the 10 best scorers in the game actually playing more games and more minutes.

    Only if he’s healthy. What odds would you offer?

  121. ruruland

    Bison: Only if he’s healthy.What odds would you offer?

    IDK. But there’s reason to be hopeful.

    He did not regress physically after the first debriment surgery.

    He has now had one debriment on each knee. His right knee held up just fine after the surgery.

    He went through a rigorous off-season last year without physical setbacks.

    There is no indication that his injuries he suffered in 2011-12 have resurfaced or are in any way related to the knees.

    The knee debriments were anticipated after micro-fracture. Everyone knew they’d be coming. But I would assume there’s a shelf-life for those knees after debriment just as there was after microfracture surgery, or else Amar’e wouldn’t be saying what he is saying.

    Remember,the debriment surgeries were the accumulation of all the wear and tear after microfracture surgeries.

    I would guess there’s a decent chance Amar’e is in the clear with his knees for another 1-2 years.

  122. Bison

    The knees are not Amare’s only problem. He’s had troubles with his back; these ailments tend to recur.

    Amare’s explosive style is his fundamental problem as he ages. He has shown no indication that he’s able to acquire the skills that will let him play a slower style and still succeed, as Tim Duncan has.

    So let’s retire him.

  123. BigBlueAL

    The only thing I will say is the Knicks to me need to go into the off-season already knowing what type of team they want to be next season. They need to know if the plan is to keep Melo at PF or if they will be going back to a regular lineup. They cant just randomly sign guys and go into training camp letting it sort out by injuries.

  124. Z

    I think I’d rather have $19,000,000 in my pocket than “a decent chance Amar’e is in the clear with his knees for another 1-2 years”; however, I don’t think that retired players come off the cap. Amar’e certainly isn’t going to forego the final $40 mil he is owed, is he?

  125. Brian Cronin

    If a player files retirement papers, his salary comes off of the books. But the player has to give up the salary.

    So, yeah, obviously, it will not happen here. Even if Amar’e didn’t’ want to play anymore, he wouldn’t chose to forgo $40 million.

  126. yellowboy90

    Is Amar’e knees a candidate for the type of surgery Kobe and bynum had? If I was Amar’e I would search out info from the best in the world.

  127. Robtachi

    Apparently the Knicks are already approaching an agreement with J.R. somewhere on the order of 4 years, $20 million, in concert with the Early Bird Rights they hold on him.

    Playoff dud or not, that’s a pretty sweet deal, and a tremendous show of loyalty on J.R.’s part. They still need a more reliable second option…

  128. Brian Cronin

    Hell, for that deal, I’d be fine them giving JR’s mom the last roster spot.

    Good for JR. I mean, obviously, the “sacrifice” is tempered a bit by the fact that no one was going to offer him more than that on the open market anymore, but still, locking himself in for the third and fourth year is huge.

  129. MeloDrama

    I remember watching crunch time of one of the Nets/Bulls playoff games. Thibs had Nate guarding Gerald Wallace, all of a foot taller. Of course the Nets went to him repeatedly. And everytime Wallace made his move, a second defender bullrushed him. Cause that second defender was “guarding” Reggie Evans, so he basically was free to roam around however he wanted.

    The moral of this story: LOL Reggie Evans, he’s not an NBA starter and you’re playing 4 on 5 offensively with him.

  130. ruruland

    Hey Strato, you realize that Melo had the equivelant of a 590 TS with Durants turnover rate and a 600 TS with Hardens ?

    Damn right he was efficient this year.

    Imagine what he could do over a larger sample if you reduced his isolations by 5-10 % by using Amare in the starting lineup?

  131. Brian Cronin

    Great question by Simmons. If you’re the Cavs, would you turn down DeMarcus Cousins for the #1 pick?

  132. ephus

    Bison:
    What if we got Amare to retire?Wouldn’t his salary come off the cap?

    No. The only way his salary comes. Off the cap is if he retires as physically unable to play. If the league doctors concur, the player’s salary comes off the cap starting 12 months after the retirement.

    If the player tries to make a comeback (see Roy or Miles), the salary is restored to the cap once he appears in 10 games.

    So, there is nothing that could take Amar’e's salary off if the cap for ext year. And it is highly unlikely it could be removed for the last year of the contract.

  133. Brian Cronin

    I dunno, ephus, I think if the player is willing to forgo the money, the money can come off the cap. It just doesn’t come into play often since, well, you know, who wants to give up the money.? Rasheed Wallace, however, did do that with Boston and they got the money back (they used it to sign Shaq).

    If there’s a buyout, then it does affect the cap, but if the player takes no money, I believe it can come off of the cap.

    I guess the new CBA could have changed things.

  134. ephus

    Brian. Here is what Larry Coon’s cbafaq.com says about retirement. It seems that if Amar’e not only retired but refused the money that he would be entitled to if he left for medical reasons, his salary would come off of the cap. Odds on that seem to be zero, unless Dolan launches a hare-brained scheme to replace the money under the table.

    http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q61

  135. Brian Cronin

    Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong, I agree that the odds are nil on it actually happening. Just noting whether it could happen even in some theoretical universe where a guy would walk away from that much money (and then have to agree to not play for another team for a year).

  136. flossy

    Bison:
    The knees are not Amare’s only problem.He’s had troubles with his back; these ailments tend to recur.

    Amare’s explosive style is his fundamental problem as he ages.He has shown no indication that he’s able to acquire the skills that will let him play a slower style and still succeed, as Tim Duncan has.

    So let’s retire him.

    Are you serious? Did you not watch any of his games this year? For one thing, he showcased an entirely new set of back-to-the basket post moves that were incredibly effective. That’s not a skill set that depends on elite athleticism. Hakeem had his best scoring season at 30.

    The fact is that when Amar’e is on the court, he’s still a very, very good player. The only question is how much he can stay on the court.

  137. flossy

    yellowboy90:
    Is Amar’e knees a candidate for the type of surgery Kobe and bynum had? If I was Amar’e I would search out info from the best in the world.

    Haha I would not use Bynum as an example of a positive outcome from a medical standpoint. But maybe Kobe would be willing to share his black magic.

  138. Hubert

    Part of the key to Amar’e next year is bringing back Kenyon Martin so he never, ever has to play center.

    I don’t know what kind of offers he’s going to get. Based on his play you would think he could get something more than the veteran’s minimum, but he didn’t improve his play much from the year before and he was unemployed for 2/3 of the season.

    If we have to use our mini-MLE on him, I would imagine that means we lose Chris Copeland. In a vacuum I’d rather use our mini-MLE on Copeland. But to win next year, Martin is probably more valuable.

    Glen Grunwald has done an amazing job uncovering these gems (Novak, Copeland, Extra E, Lin), but would it kill a guy to sign them to two year deals in case they pan out???

  139. jon abbey

    flossy:
    The fact is that when Amar’e is on the court, he’s still a very, very good player.

    NO. HE. ISN’T. he is a very efficient scorer when he can actually get the ball and get a shot up, which is a largely unnecessary/unhelpful skill in today’s NBA. he is dreadful at everything else.

    basically he is a thinner, more likeable Eddy Curry (who led the league in points in the paint by a wide margin at least one of his seasons in NY). yeah, I went there.

  140. flossy

    jon abbey: NO. HE. ISN’T. he is a very efficient scorer when he can actually get the ball and get a shot up, which is a largely unnecessary/unhelpful skill in today’s NBA. he is dreadful at everything else.

    basically he is a thinner, more likeable Eddy Curry (who led the league in points in the paint by a wide margin at least one of his seasons in NY). yeah, I went there.

    LMAO! How fucking dense are you, seriously? 22+ PER, .190 WS/48. .630 TS% on 25% usage. 22 and 8 per 36. That is a GOOD PLAYER. Do you know how often Eddy Curry put up numbers like that? Never in his entire career, not even close, that’s when.

    Saying that high-volume, high-efficiency scoring is unnecessary and even unhelpful makes you sound fucking retarded. The fact that that statement is blatantly untrue should be self-evident, especially when you’re talking about someone who is both a top-10 roll man on the PnR and top-10 post scorer.

    Those numbers include all the games when he was rusty coming back from injury. They show he can be an elite scorer despite not actually featured in the team’s offense. If he’s able to play 28-30 mpg for 60ish games, he will absolutely, no question, be a huge asset to this team. The only question is how much he can play, not whether he can play well. Playing well is pretty much a given.

  141. flossy

    flossy: LMAO!How fucking dense are you, seriously?22+ PER, .190 WS/48..630 TS% on 25% usage. 22 and 8 per 36. That is a GOOD PLAYER.Do you know how often Eddy Curry put up numbers like that? Never in his entire career, not even close, that’s when.

    Saying that high-volume, high-efficiency scoring is unnecessary and even unhelpful makes you sound fucking retarded. The fact that that statement is blatantly untrue should be self-evident, especially when you’re talking about someone who is both a top-10 roll man on the PnR and top-10 post scorer.

    Those numbers include all the games when he was rusty coming back from injury.They show he can be an elite scorer despite not actually featured in the team’s offense.If he’s able to play 28-30 mpg for 60ish games, he will absolutely, no question, be a huge asset to this team.The only question is how much he can play, not whether he can play well.Playing well is pretty much a given.

    And moreover, whether or not you think I’m right, if you’re a Knicks fan you’d better fucking pray that I’m right because the only way the Knicks improve upon this season is if Shumpert takes an absolutely massive leap forward and/or Amar’e is healthy enough to play 1,800 mintues (30 mpg for 75% of our games). My money is on the guy with two newly cleaned-out knees who has already been an All-Star six times in his career. If Kenyon Martin could be productive into his early 30s after multiple microfracture surgeries and Antonio McDyess could play 1,800 mins at the age of 34, so can Amar’e.

  142. jon abbey

    heh, you’re adorable. yes, it would be nice if you were right, but unfortunately you aren’t. you know another time you called me names? when Amar’e went out in March and I said we might be better off without him. I was right then, by the way.

    oh, and hey, look, the team was better without him:

    http://www.82games.com/1112/1112NYK.HTM

    and there are plenty of ways for NY to be better next year without Amar’e: Chandler could actually show up all season, their backup PG could be alive, Shumpert could continue his growth as you said, JR could show up in the playoffs, etc, etc.

  143. Z

    jon abbey: basically he is a thinner, more likeable Eddy Curry (who led the league in points in the paint by a wide margin at least one of his seasons in NY). yeah, I went there.

    That’s actually not such a bad observation. Maybe even one that deserves it’s own article. Not only are their contributions similar when playing, the void similar when injured, and the salary cap poison similar, but Curry actually did all that for HALF the price.

    flossy: LMAO!How fucking dense are you, seriously?22+ PER, .190 WS/48..630 TS% on 25% usage. 22 and 8 per 36. That is a GOOD PLAYER.Do you know how often Eddy Curry put up numbers like that? Never in his entire career, not even close, that’s when.

    Amar’e, 2013: .637%TS; 12.4%reb; 13.4to 25%usg
    Curry, 2006: .604TS; 14.1%reb; 18.1to; 25%usg

    (*Curry, played 1200 more minutes that year.)

  144. jon abbey

    and this is an era where post scoring from big men has become rarer and rarer, in large part because it is hard for it to be an overall asset. if you had Shaq in his prime, that is one thing, but that guy doesn’t exist now. one reason NY led the league in fewest turnovers was that they weren’t trying to force the ball into the post for most of the season, because Amare wasn’t there. I’d be curious to see team turnovers in games with him and without him, for starters.

  145. flossy

    jon abbey:
    oops, those were last year’s numbers, they were actually better with him this year, sorry:

    http://www.82games.com/1213/1213NYK.HTM

    Yes, he was better this year. As ruruland pointed out, Melo/Amar’e/Chandler were +9 per 100 this year. And I think it’s pretty obvious that this season was hardly ideal circumstances.

    11-12 does’t count. Back injury, lockout season and weird schedule, coaching change, death in the family–just forget it.

  146. flossy

    Z: That’s actually not such a bad observation. Maybe even one that deserves it’s own article. Not only are their contributions similar when playing, the void similar when injured, and the salary cap poison similar, but Curry actually did all that for HALF the price.

    Amar’e, 2013: .637%TS; 12.4%reb; 13.4to 25%usg
    Curry, 2006: .604TS; 14.1%reb; 18.1to; 25%usg

    (*Curry, played 1200 more minutes that year.)

    Yeah, and he had a .84 WS/48 and 17.0 PER and his TS% was still 30 points lower than STAT. If the best you can do to rationalize an Eddy Curry comparison is the show that in the best season of Eddy Curry’s career he still didn’t play as well as Amar’e did in between two knee surgeries, I think I can rest my case on that one.

  147. flossy

    jon abbey:
    heh, you’re adorable. yes, it would be nice if you were right, but unfortunately you aren’t. you know another time you called me names? when Amar’e went out in March and I said we might be better off without him. I was right then, by the way.

    Amazing, you really don’t understand that correlation does not equal causation.

  148. Z

    flossy: Yeah, and he had a .84 WS/48 and 17.0 PER and his TS% was still 30 points lower than STAT.If the best you can do to rationalize an Eddy Curry comparison is the show that in the best season of Eddy Curry’s career he still didn’t play as well as Amar’e did in between two knee surgeries, I think I can rest my case on that one.

    One can look at WS and PER and draw conclusions, but I don’t think one should rest a case on it. Jon’s point is that Amar’e only does one thing particularly well, which is score efficiently in the paint. That makes him not much different than Eddy Curry (when Curry actually played). Both were horrible rebounders. Both turned the ball over too much. Both were bad defenders. Both spent a lot of time getting paid to watch basketball. Both had salaries that destroyed the teams cap flexibility.

    What shouldn’t be ignored in the comparison is that Eddy Curry did make the Knicks better when he played (at least he made them suck a little less). The problem wasn’t that Curry was bad. It was that he was one-sided, expensive, and often injured. For these reasons I think jon makes a relevant observation.

  149. flossy

    jon abbey: I’d be curious to see team turnovers in games with him and without him, for starters.

      

    The Knicks turned the ball over 12.9 times per 100 posessions with Amar’e on the court this season. Without him, 11.2 per 100 possessions.

    The fun thing about having a scorer who can use more than 25% of his team’s possessions while maintaining a superhuman TS% is that it is absolutely worth it to force the ball into their hands in scoring position even if it means 1.7 more TOs per 100 (a number that would obviously come way down if Amar’e got more reps with the 1st team and Felton hadn’t been injured for half his games).

    Just in case you’re wondering, the only other two players who maintined a TS% as high as Amar’e with a usage of 25% or higher were LeBron James and Kevind Durant. The Heat turned the ball over 12.6 times/100 with LeBron on the floor and the Thunder 13.8 times per/100 with Durant on the floor.

    You see, when you have two elite scorers on the court instead of one, you don’t have to just make safe swing passes around the perimeter and pray that your team can make the most three pointers of all time.

    You know what possessions don’t result in a turnover? When JR Smith dribbles the ball for 15 seconds and then chucks up a contested 20 footer. The more times the Knicks try to get the ball to Amar’e in the deep post instead of relying on garbage basketball, even if it marginally increases our chances of turning the ball over, the better.

  150. flossy

    Z: For these reasons I think jon makes a relevant observation.

    Except the comparison falls flat under even the most cursory scrutiny. Eddy Curry was a good post scorer, sure, but he had nowhere even close to Amar’e's ability to score as the dive man on the PnR, or with a mid-range jump shot. Amar’e is a dominant scorer in multiple ways–there is really no other big man playing who can claim to be both a top-5 PnR dive man and top-5 back-to-the-basket post player, in addition to the ability to step out to 15-18 feet to hit a jump shot. The idea that that kind of versatility and efficiency wouldn’t be a boon to our offense is just mind-bogglingly dumb.

    Neither Amar’e or Curry are/were be dominant individual rebounders, but the Knicks shot up to #1 in the league in DRB% when Amar’e rejoined the team this season and he is absolutely a better rebounder at the PF position than Carmelo Anthony.

    Neither Curry nor Amar’e were good defenders, but has been discussed ad nauseum already in this thread, Amar’e is only a critical liability on defense when he is played at Center without any other defenders in the frontcourt. That’s a strategic mistake that is easy to correct. Any time he played alongside Chandler, Amar’e was HUGE net positive this season–and again, this season was under adverse circumstances by any objective outlook.

    Comparing Amar’e Stoudemire to Eddy Curry is like comparing Carmelo Anthony to Al Harrington. The only way the Curry comparison is relevant is that he and STAT both missed a lot of games, but this whole discussion rests on the assumption that Amar’e will be able to at least play ~1,800 minutes on some sort of Tim Duncan minutes managment plan. Jon Abbey is trying against all reason and evidence to say that even if Amar’e were 100% healthy, we’d be better off giving him the Marbury treatment and just permanently…

  151. flossy

    flossy: we’d be better off giving him the Marbury treatment and just permanently…

    cont.

    … permanently benching him for the betterment of the team. Which is, in a word, fucking retarded.

  152. jon abbey

    yeah, I don’t agree with any of that, but honestly I’m sick of talking about the Knicks for now, so I will stop.

  153. jon abbey

    heh, I missed you calling me fucking retarded, that’s nice. you can keep pulling Amar’e's individual numbers out, but that doesn’t actually make him a helpful player given NY’s other personnel. unless I’m reading these wrong, NY was better on both offense and defense without him this year:

    http://www.82games.com/1213/12NYK16.HTM#onoff

    and no, correlation does not equal causation, but that doesn’t mean the two never overlap either.

  154. jon abbey

    and Amar’e hasn’t done shit as the dive man on the pick and roll or on mid-range jumpers for two seasons now. he’s not the guy he was in Phoenix, even if he’s healthy. he was very efficient this year when he actually got the ball and got shots up, I just continue to think efficiency (as generally measured) is wildly overrated.

  155. flossy

    jon abbey: and no, correlation does not equal causation, but that doesn’t mean the two never overlap either.

    So let’s just assume that they do in this case, because Jon Abbey said so a million times? If you’re suggesting that correlation does equal causation, the burden of proof is actually on you demonstrate why, rather than just repeatedly stating the correlation over and over again as if it becomes more meaningful the more times you say it. So feel free to do that, or maybe just STFU. Either one would suffice.

  156. Z

    flossy:
    Comparing Amar’e Stoudemire to Eddy Curry is like comparing Carmelo Anthony to Al Harrington.The only way the Curry comparison is relevant is that he and STAT both missed a lot of games

    You and jon seem to have some kind of history that predates this conversation, which I don’t want to get involved in, but something seems to be clouding your objectivity a bit re:Amar’e.

    Personally, I don’t think it would help the Knicks to banish Amar’e, a la Marbury. But Amar’e's production/$ is a serious problem for the team, both this year (as this article does a good job of pointing out), and going forward. Players decline in their 30s. Players with injuries decline even faster in their 30s. That is the general tend. Sure, he could pull a McDyess (who managed to play in more games in his 30s than he did in his 20s!), but McDyess is clearly an exception and hoping for Amar’e to follow suit has a high probability of leading to disappointment.

    Obviously, there aren’t many options out there except to hope that Amar’e improbably recovers his health and maintains his production during an age when most players start to lose both.

    Let’s pretend that the Knicks still held their amnesty card. If you were Grunwald, would you NOT use it on Amar’e this summer??

  157. flossy

    Z: Let’s pretend that the Knicks still held their amnesty card. If you were Grunwald, would you NOT use it on Amar’e this summer??

    Oh, of course I would, but not on the basis of his on-court performance. When healthy he’s still a stud on the basketball court, his problem has been staying healthy.

    He’s clearly overpaid for the amount that he’s been able to play, but I don’t care about that–we’d still be over the cap even if Amar’e's contract just magically disappeared, and being able to spend the full vs. mini MLE doesn’t make much of a difference.

    Obviously from a team construction standpoint, having $20 in payroll sitting on the bench is bad. No argument there. What Jon has argued is that the Knicks actually benefit from Amar’e's absence, and that even if healthy, Amar’e is a net negative when he’s on the court and we’d be better off without him.

    In light of the numbers Amar’e managed to put up this season between knee surgeries, that opinion is so unbelievably wrong-headed it beggars belief. The Knicks (and their fans) should desperately want Amar’e to play as much as possible. The problem, to date, is that he can’t play enough to justify his salary, not that he isn’t good when he does play.

    So counting on him to pull a McDyess is really the best option we have, and while McD’s career might be the exception that proves the rule, Amar’e is also an exceptional athletic specimen even in the context of the NBA, and has recovered from injuries that would have ended many other careers a long time ago. If he can continue to work on his jump shot and hone his post moves I see no reason why he can’t be an elite offensive player into his 30s–it’s just a question of how many minutes he can play and what his role will be.

  158. jon abbey

    flossy: So let’s just assume that they do in this case, because Jon Abbey said so a million times?If you’re suggesting that correlation does equal causation, the burden of proof is actually on you demonstrate why, rather than just repeatedly stating the correlation over and over again as if it becomes more meaningful the more times you say it.So feel free to do that, or maybe just STFU.Either one would suffice.

    haha, you’re really a freaking asshole, huh? the burden isn’t on me to do shit, this isn’t the Supreme Court, it’s a hoops discussion board where every thread sinks into the abyss after a few days.

    the burden is actually on Amar’e to prove he can make this team better, I would like to see that as much as anyone, but I am not holding my breath.

  159. jon abbey

    sure, I don’t care. one thing I learned definitively this year is that real world results contrary to people’s previously held opinions generally don’t change their minds at all. Owen still thinks that Chandler is a better player than Melo, etc, etc, etc.

  160. ruruland

    Jon, Flossy brought this up before, but just as with Melo and Linsanity last year, the majority of Amare’s playing time coincided with the Knicks worst shooting slump of the season.

    And as Flossy mentioned, the bulk of STAT’s minutes came on the second unit where he was the feature piece alongside, Novak, Copeland…lineups fraught with defensive holes.

    So, yes, his on/off are quite misleading.

    The Knicks performed better w/Chandler, Amare and Melo than they did with the majority of small ball lineups w/ Chandler and Melo.

    Think about it Abby….. The Knicks would be replacing Jason Kidd in the starting lineup. While J Kidd is a wonderful team defender, there’s no way you can argue his positive contributions compare to STATS.

    Inserting Amar’e into the SL improves your rebounding at both ends, it improves your rim protection and size in paint, it hurts your PnR and perimeter defense. I’d say you come out about even with that switch.

    Offensively, there’s no comparison. What it allows you to do is put Melo into his most optimal offensive plays. Amare developed into such an incredible self shot creator, you can largely reduce Melo isolations unless provided a truly compelling mismatch.

    Frankly, the chemistry between Melo and Amare was great last season. Amare seems to be the one guy Melo can trust to catch the ball on the move, and one of Amar’e great skills is his vision and sense of space.

    I think the more Amare plays, the more willing of a passer hell become.

    He and Melo can actually complement one another quite well on offense. Amare can cut and space if Melo has a mismatch, and Melo can do the same because eventually strong doubles will come.

    Granted, you need three solid defensive players that are competent offensively.

    I feel Prigs (if he returns) Shump and Tyson would do quite well around Amare, Melo.

  161. jon abbey

    I would like to see it, and I would LOVE to never see Jason Kidd suit up again in blue and orange.

  162. Bison

    ephus: No. The only way his salary comes. Off the cap is if he retires as physically unable to play.If the league doctors concur, the player’s salary comes off the cap starting 12 months after the retirement.

    If the player tries to make a comeback (see Roy or Miles), the salary is restored to the cap once he appears in 10 games.

    So, there is nothing that could take Amar’e’s salary off if the cap for ext year. And it is highly unlikely it could be removed for the last year of the contract.

    I’m not convinced that there’s no way for the Knicks to benefit from Amare’s retirement, but thanks for chiming in.

  163. Bison

    Brian Cronin:
    Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong, I agree that the odds are nil on it actually happening. Just noting whether it could happen even in some theoretical universe where a guy would walk away from that much money (and then have to agree to not play for another team for a year).

    Might not even be theoretical if the Knicks get creative. That’s why I used the word “inducement” earlier.

  164. ephus

    Bison,

    What you call inducement, the NBA would call “circumvention”. That leads to lost draft picks and voided deals. See Minnesota & Joe Smith.

    Knicks have to figure out how to make the team work with Amar’e's salary on the cap.

  165. Bison

    flossy: Are you serious?Did you not watch any of his games this year?For one thing, he showcased an entirely new set of back-to-the basket post moves that were incredibly effective.That’s not a skill set that depends on elite athleticism.Hakeem had his best scoring season at 30.

    The fact is that when Amar’e is on the court, he’s still a very, very good player.The only question is how much he can stay on the court.

    An occasional good move is not an arsenal. Even Dwight hits a hook shot once in a while. Amare will need much more if he intends to slow down and still succeed.

  166. Bison

    ephus:
    Bison,

    What you call inducement, the NBA would call “circumvention”.That leads to lost draft picks and voided deals.See Minnesota & Joe Smith.

    Knicks have to figure out how to make the team work with Amar’e’s salary on the cap.

    Maybe, maybe not. Not all rewards are monetary. The Knicks just have to learn what Amare really wants.

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