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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Who on the Knicks WOULD you trade for Kobe Bryant?

I figure you folks really enjoy the topic, so let’s at least try to get it into its own entry, rather than hijacking poor Nate Robinson.

Would you trade David Lee, Zach Randolph and Renaldo Balkman for Kobe Bryant and spare parts?

Would you trade Lee and Balkman for Kobe?

Would you trade Randolph and Balkman?

Who WOULD you be willing to trade to the Lakers for Kobe Bryant?

Who would the LAKERS be willing to take on the Knicks for Kobe Bryant (probably no one, but that is neither here nor there, as clearly the public relations value of a player almost never equals the player’s actual value)?

Okay, attac….wait, I mean, discuss!!

104 comments on “Who on the Knicks WOULD you trade for Kobe Bryant?

  1. Scott D

    Without looking at the cap, (i’m) in a hurry,I would trade Stephon,Nate,Jeffries or Rose, and either Lee or preferably Balkman.
    That is probably in the area of a salary match(estimate)

  2. Scott D

    Ooooops,

    I forgot to throw in James Dolan and Isiah Thomas
    for Phil Jackson and Jeannie Buss!!!!

  3. Ben R

    I think the best trade the Knicks should offer the Lakers that would both keep the Lakers competative and not leave the Knicks weaponless would be:

    Randolph, Crawford, Jones, two first round picks and a couple of our young guys (not Lee) for Kobe and Radmonivic.

    I do not think it is nearly enough but that would be about the best we could and should offer. The Knicks would not send out both Lee and Randolph because it would leave them with no PF and the Lakers with too many. I think from both a PR perspective and to make up for Kobe’s scoring, the Lakers would prefer Randolph. I also do not think the Lakers would demand Balkman because if they got either Lee or Randolph it would move Odom to his natural position and leave them with both Odom and Walton at SF and leave no room for Balkman.

    Many of us on this board do not care much for Crawford’s game but I believe that Phil Jackson likes Crawford and would probably want him included to give them a decent starter at the SG position.

    On top of that we would take Vlad’s bad contract and give them a solid backup SG with an expiring in Jones. Throw in one of our rookies (Chandler, Morris or Nichols) and one of our young guards (Collins or Nate) and we are gving alot of talent compared to other trades for disgruntled superstars. (Baron, Iverson, Shaq, Garnett, Allen, McGrady, Carter)

    It is not even close to fair but much better than what they got for Shaq, especially considering they took on a terrible contract in Grant and Butler was coming off a terrible sophmore season. Also as far as I know their only choices outside the Western conference are us or Chicago and while Chicago could offer alot more I do not think they would dismantle their team, who has a solid chance to win the East, just to get Kobe.

  4. Frank O.

    Ben R. seems to be on the right track.
    I also admired his analysis about why Curry seemed unproductive, but probably wasn’t because of his mating with Lee.

  5. Caleb

    Frank O., I think you are missing the point of the analysis – which is not that Lee hurt Curry’s numbers, but that Curry’s plus-minus looks bad because – unlike other Knicks – he rarely shared the court with Lee, the team’s best player.

    The Knicks were worse with Curry on the floor, but (at least in this simplified analysis) it wasn’t because Curry was so bad; it was because 2/3 of the time he was playing with a David Lee-less unit.

    The other noteworthy part of Ben’s comment related to turnovers – it is pretty striking that Curry turned the ball over less as a 21-year-old, than as a 24-year-old, and it looks like an indictment of Marbury and the other Knick guards.

    THat said, Eddy’s rebounding numbers are still abysmal and his defense isn’t good, either. (though I disagree with Owen’s opinion that he is virtually the worst defensive center in the league).

  6. Caleb

    I’d rather put together a package for Andrew Bynum…. not sure any realistic Kobe trade would leave us with enough ammo for a title run. But in the spirit of brainstorming:

    I’d offer Curry, Crawford, Richardson and Collins or Nate.

    If Lakers balk (they would) I’d offer Randolph instead of Curry.

    I’d be willing to put Balkman in that deal, but somehow think the Lakers would prefer Randolph.

    I think I’d even put David Lee in there… Sorry, Owen.

    So I guess my final, top offer would be (Lee or Randolph) + (2/3 of Curry, Crawford and Richardson) + (Nate or Collins)…

    Or, maybe, Lee & Marbury. (if we could get Farmar or Crittenden back, to not be completely PG-less).

    The deals I would avoid would be trading Lee & Randolph at the same time, or Lee & Balkman, which would leave our defense in complete tatters.

    As well as bringing in a fantastic player, almost all these trades would allow us to dump long, bad contracts.

  7. Owen

    Hmmm, the lotto numbers are still not out. This makes the second time in my life I have played the lotto. The stathead in me hates myself for doing it…

    One quick note. Lee and Curry were on the court for 1013 minutes. While that wasn’t a large percentage of Curry’s minutes I guess, it was sixty percent of the minutes Lee played last year.

    And since we are on the subject of Lee’s minutes, if you asked me what the strongest objection to my argument is, I would say sample size. !700 minutes of superb play from Lee is not enough evidence to turn down a trade for one of the three best shooting guards in the league. It’s possible that Lee comes back next year and plays like Varejao, by which I mean well above average but not close to elite. And in that case I will have a serious amount of egg on my face.

    But even a lineup of Marbury, Bryant, Q, Randolph and Curry, with Balkman etc off the bench, would probably not make for a better team than the Bulls, Cavs, or Pistons. Lebron is as good as Kobe, and the combination of Ilgauskas, Gooden, and Varejao would kick in the teeth of Randolph and Curry. That is a seriously underrated frontcout.

    In Chicago, Loul Deng is emerging as a terrific player. This will come off as another shocking statement, but Kobe wasn’t a lot better than Deng last year. I am not sure if its fair to compare their statistics directly, since Deng is a true small forward, but they are fairly close it wouldn’t surprise me, if Deng ends up being as good as Kobe very soon, like two years from now. His +/- was almost as good as Kobe’s last year, fwtw, and he is only 22.

    I like Anthony’s trade, but the lakers would never accept it. I think probably the minimum one could imagine would be Randoph, Balkman, and Crawford plus change for say Kobe and Vlad,

    In the final analysis though it comes down to Curry. It’s very difficult to work around the fact that he can’t rebound, play defense, pass, or protect the ball.

    If this one is getting stale, perhaps this would be another topic for consideration at some point…

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=thenbasalloverpaidteam&prov=tsn&type=lgns

  8. Hudson River

    I would trade each and every player on the Knicks, including our practice facility to the Lakers in exchange for Kobe Bryant. This includes as many picks as we are allowed to give. I don’t even like the guy but he’s really *&%*&^$*ing good.

  9. Ben R

    Owen – I agree Lee falling back to Earth is definatly a big concern but even with that risk I would have to think hard about moving him and would not move both him and Randolph because moving both would leave us in terrible shape at the most productive position in basketball.

    Also my argument about Curry’s time with and without Lee was not based on how many minutes Lee played with Curry, because Curry played many minutes with every player because he was on the court almost three quarters of the time. It was about the percentage of minutes he played with Lee and the percentage of minutes the team played without Curry but with Lee. When Curry was on the court Lee was there a little more than 1/3 of the time but when he wasn’t on the court Lee was there about 2/3 of the time which means that for every three minutes Curry played Lee played 1 minute and for every three minutes Curry sat Lee played 2 minutes. So if Lee is the best Knick, which we both agree he was by a wide margin, it would make sense that since he played 2/3 of the minutes that Curry was off the court and only 1/3 of the minutes he was on the court that Curry’s +/- would be a negative one.

    I still argue that Curry is an above average offensive player and better than Randolph. Even with his high turnover rate he averaged more points per possesion than Randolph. For every 20 possesions used up Curry scored 18.9 pts with 0.8 asts while Randolph scored 17.2 pts with 1.6 asts, while Curry had more turnovers (3.6 vs 2.3) Randolph had more missed shots (7.4 vs 5.1). I think overall their production last year was about even on the offensive end (Curry more points, Randolph more Assists). Their defense is also both poor and I would say close to equal, but if I had to choose I would lean towards Curry because he defends a less productive position and seems less shaky man to man.

    The only thing that I would say Randolph has definitivly over Curry is his rebounding. Even with that I would say Curry is more valuable because he plays a less replacable position and pairs with Lee (our best player) better.

  10. ScottD

    Does anybody believe that this team could ever win with Marbury at the point?
    He would be the main piece in the deal if I were the GM.
    Unfortunately,not LA or anybody would want him,at least until his deal is closer to expiration.

  11. Dave

    Whoever they want. Put Eddy Curry in there to start with, maybe Jamal Crawford and you’d figure either Lee or Balkman would be involved. They’ll want a first round pick we must have one left over still. Maybe they want Nate (hopefully) or Q could be a throw in to let them get rid of Radmanovic’s salary. Add Morris to the mixer as a possibility also.

    Big payment big time talent. Keep Zach, Zach and Kobe are enough to get the playoffs. Add Steph half the youngsters will be left. That’s a tough team to beat that you can build around.

  12. Z

    “Zach and Kobe are enough to get the playoffs.”

    I wonder if the Lakers are kicking themselves for not bringing in Randolph. If Kobe and Randolph were the one-two punch that could get it done, wouldn’t they have just traded Kwame and Bynum to the Blazers? That’s a way better offer than Frye and Francis. Maybe at the time they thought they were going to get KG or JO. Still, I think the pairing of Kobe and Randolph and nothing else are too weak defensively.

    Caleb– I think the Lakers would be crazy to turn down your offer for Bynum. You have basically opened up the entire Knick roster for Kupchack to choose from (I’m guessing your not declaring Marbury untouchable…) in exchange for Bynum and anybody else that makes salary match up.

    I’m not saying it’s a bad offer at all– but the problem on that one probably isn’t on the Laker’s side but on Isiah’s.

    Plus, I kmow you and the Laker’s management is extremely high on Bynum, but have you watched him play? He’s not a terribly exciting presence. I know he’s young but in the games I’ve seen he hasn’t shown any signs of dominance at the 5. For this reason Lakers fans don’t love him nearly as much as management does. Aren’t you a bit worried Knick fans would react the same, especially if you were GM and your name was associated with the trade?

    Again, I’m not saying it would be bad for the Knicks at all. I just don’t see how Isiah could lay it out there…

  13. danvt

    I was going by just dan in earlier posts. I’ve been the guy defending Jamal and also possibly thinking Renaldo for an allstar player.

    As to Kobe, he made LA a playoff team by himself. I do think he’s better than Lebron and that’s not a swipe at Lebron. He can rise up, way up, from three range. He’s supernatural. He scored 82! So in a most ways, “mother, may I”

    If all our young players are so good why don’t we trust that Zach will be the missing puzzle piece and go from there? It’s clear that with our thirst for Artest and now Bryant talk we, in our collective psyche, feel that there’s something missing, and I’m only talking making the playoffs. We want a championship.

    Blowing up the team and building around Kobe perfect, and I would trade anything, accept I worry about his age. Remember how long it took to get competitive with Ewing. The window would be shorter with Bryant, and we would be starting over, because we would be giving up 2 or three top of the rotation players and a pick.

    Somehow I don’t think we’re getting anywhere until we draft that kind of player or if Lebron falls into our lap. We are in this purgatory of not good enough and not bad enough. Bryant in trade scenarios, probably doesn’t change our ultimate fate much but I’d still do it, I mean, if it was there you’d really have to.

  14. greg

    how about Curry, Lee, Crawford (or Q-Rich / Jeffries), Nichols, Nate, a first rounder & cash for Kobe + Rad?

    leaves Knicks with Starbury, Kobe, Q, Balkman, Randolph with Dickau, Jones, Collins, Rad, Jeffries, Rose & JJ off the bench

    looks stronger than the current laker squad

    then if we can do Dickau, Jones and Balkman for Artest – I think we can have a nice tight 8 man rotation

  15. thefatkid

    The Knicks simply don’t have the assets to make a play for Bryant. Bryant won’t be traded unless something seriously dramatic happens. He’s simply too good of a player and too important to the Laker franchise. Trading Bryant would be akin to the Cavaliers trading James. Such a trade simply won’t take place.

    The crux of the matter is that the Knicks really don’t need a player like Bryant to contend for a championship. The Pistons have already proved rather nicely that having a number of very good players is a suitable substitute for having a star or two. If Isiah Thomas continues to improve the team at his current pace, it’s entirely possible that the Knicks could have a truly outstanding roster by the 2009-2010 season. And at that point Bryant will be on the decline of his career.

  16. Mikerbocker

    Z – I think Caleb’s suggested offers were for Kobe not Bynum.

    Does anybody think Chicago might be interested in Randolph? Maybe we could get back one or two of their young players plus some lousy contracts. Haven’t checked it out on the trade machine, just an idea, since they need a low post scorer and it seems like Randolph would look pretty good next to Ben Wallace. And that would open up the starting PF spot for David Lee.

  17. daniel

    I think the Lakers if they are smart enough to trade Kobe now, which I doubt, would be interesested in Lee and Balkman, and another player the Knicks don’t have- Luel Deng comes to mind…..So I’d imagine any trade with the Knicks- not an impossibility btw, as ESPN NBA reporter Chris Sheridan has said that he still sees Kobe being moved by the Lakers this summer and he actually sees the Knicks the likeliest spot.

    So the Knicks would need to orchestrate a three team team deal – and Randolph or Curry would be sent to that third team (probably Randolph) and then you trade Lee and Balkman to the Lakers along with the other player- maybe Ben Gordon….

    This trade is beyond a no brainer for he Knicks, by nearly any means you get Kobe Bryant – he’s the best player in the NBA and would be the best player the Knicks have ever had—would change the energy of the organazation, and would make them very competitive in the Eastern Conference

  18. daniel

    Thefatkid,

    I doubt highly that this Knick team will compete for any championship in 2009-10 or beyond. Nice pieces, but they are unproven and have never even had a winning season, never even had a kind of winning season….The Pistons are a good team (not a great one) who have good proven players who have played well with each other on a high level- a very unusual team to be that competitive without a superstar- rarely happens, almost never – in fact look at the last, I don’t know, 20 champions….The Pistons one championship (which easily could not have happened, they would have lost to NJ in the playoffs that year if Kidd didn’t get hurt, and the Lakers totally combusted) is the only superstarless one I can think of…

    So anyway, you certainly trade Lee and Balkman to get Kobe, you take “chances’ like that for a chance at real glory…..

  19. Matthew

    I don’t think it’s possible, simply because NBA GMs overvalue scoring, and no Knicks are attractive scorers (except Curry, but he seems to be the one scorer on the planet that is justifiably criticized for not doing anything else).

  20. HOZ THE KNICK

    FORGET GUTTING OUR TEAM OUT 4 KOBE WE JUST NEED 2 LAND ARTEST 4 SPARE PARTS AND I GURANTED WE WILL B A TOP 3 TEAM IN THE EAST NEXT YR JUST LOOK AT US ON PAPER AND I SAID PAPER BUT IF ISIAH DOES A GOOD COACHING JOB AND OUR TEAM JELL TOGETHER WERE GOING 2 B DANGEROUS 1 THROUGH 15 WE HAVE A HECK OF A ROSTER THATS PREPARED 4 INJURIES THIS SEASON A LOT OF TEAMS WILL DREAM 2 HAVE DEPTH LIKE US..
    LETS GO N.Y

  21. Frank O.

    Caleb:
    You’re right that Lee had a positive impact on Curry. But I suspect also that Lee was more productive while Curry was on the floor.
    I don’t think many player would have been effective playing with some of the Knicks scrubs. They were god aweful terrible.
    I have been making the point all along on this board that Marbury was one of the worst low post passers I have ever seen, which seems odd, since I also have said he is not a bad point guard. He’s average. I think his development has suffered partly because he isn’t that bright and partly because teams needed him to do so much.
    Crawford seemed a much better passer to Curry.
    I think Curry also is terrible on D. Any part of the game that requires energy, he’s terrible. I fear it’s a heart issue. And athlete of his physical makeup shouldn’t be as lethargic as he seems sometimes.
    I practically fell out of my seat to see Owen acknowlegding that the body of Lee’s – and indirectly, Balkman’s – work is limited enough to make his numbers somewhat questionable.
    I also was floored that he acknowledged that he could have egg on his face next year, although for all our sakes I hope he is right.
    I again find myself in agreement with Ben R. about Curry. I would take him over Randolph. Character is a big issue and Curry is a good guy and from what I can tell well liked. Randolph is a cancer.
    Curry’s size and athleticism is hard to ignore, and he is a bigger more powerful man than Randolph, and I think slightly younger.
    Curry seems equally productive, but I just have a feeling that his rebounding will improve. But he hasn’t shown it yet. Jury is out.
    But his offensive skills, his shooting percentage, I think will only make him better in time.

    The Knicks should try for Kobe and nothing should be off the table, but if we could keep Lee or Balkman, it would be best.
    I suspect, though, that a second team might be needed, and hopefully one in the west.

  22. xduckshoex

    Randolph or Curry.

    Balkman or Lee.

    Richardson or Crawford.

    Ideally it would be Curry, Balkman and Crawford, but if I’m the Lakers I would push for Randolph, Lee and Crawford.

  23. caleb

    My trade suggestions above are Kobe offers, not Bynum.
    BUT I think a preferable strategy would be angling for a Curry/Crawford for Bynum deal (or some variation), as we were talking about a few days ago.

    I’m blogged out and anyone who thinks it would be a good idea to trade Randolph, Lee & Balkman for Kobe, is not even talking the same language here. All I can say is — do you want to be the 2006-2007 Lakers?

    The Knicks won’t be great this year – my guess is they sneak into the playoffs as a 7 or 8 seed – but I’d much rather root for a team with 4 or 5 promising young guys, than have the same record while we play one superstar and a bunch of losers — with no cap room, no draft picks and no hope for the future.

    Our depth is an underrated factor this year. Except at the point, we can withstand injuries at any positions, and even if 2 or 3 guys fall flat on their face, we should have a decent 8 or 9 player rotation. To give that up for a 45-win Kobe-led team, with no hope of getting better the next year…

    (if we traded the 3 guys mentioned above, for Kobe, we would not be a .500 team)

  24. daniel

    Caleb, are you saying Curry and Crawford for Bynum?

    Why would that be a good trade? The Knicks would by thinner than they are now, and despite his substantial flaws, Curry is certainly more productive than Bynum is now, and one can still see that Curry could become a better defender and all around player if he put in the work….If indeed the Lakers decided they had to move Kobe and accepted a Lee, Balkman Randolph trade or three team trade that saw those players leaving – sorry, the Knicks would have to do tha trade. Lee is a nice player and Balkman is too, but there is no way to be certain they will develp that much further. The team, at this second would be Kobe, Curry, Marburry, Crawford, Richardson, Collins, Chandler, Nate, Jeffries, etc.

    A starting lineup of Stephon, Kobe, Richardson, Jeffries, Curry – (maybe a trade to upgrade at power forward could improve the Jeffries spot)

    Sorry, I’d take that lineup for this Knicks team – just would, and the Knicks would too. I think they’d be better than last years Lakers team, in a weaker conference, and would make the team, with its mega pay roll and everything wrong with it, relevant in a exciting way.

    I’d love to keep Balkman if it would be possible – but probably not realistic, but anyway, that is a must, must trade if it actually could happen – which is highly unlikely anyay.

  25. xduckshoex

    “…and despite his substantial flaws, Curry is certainly more productive than Bynum is now, and one can still see that Curry could become a better defender and all around player if he put in the work.”

    Two things: Curry was not much more productive than Bynum last year, and while Curry’s production has flatlined since his second season, Bynum’s is still on the rise.

    Also, I think that when a player has played 6 complete NBA seasons it’s time to stop talking about what they could be and just accept what they are.

  26. rob

    leave the team the way it is. they haven great young talent and i believe they will show the nba and ny fans that they can win. Kobe is great but u need a team too win! Kobe knows that! He won’t ever win a ring a again!

  27. caleb

    Andrew Bynum is headed for Jermaine O’Neal territory, for better or worse. Tell me in 3 years if I’m wrong.

    Or in 5 minutes, more likely.

  28. caleb

    p.s. I meant that Bynum will be a Jermaine O’Neal-like player (probably a better passer, though).

    Funny thing is – JO is probably the most likely guy he gets traded for. Unless, of course, it’s Kobe who goes.

  29. Kenneth

    I would trade anyone for kobe but what i think the lakers might do is Eddy, Jamal, and Lee (I would trade stef but i heard L.A really doesn’t want him.)

  30. Jersey J

    If you guys think David is the best player on the team you all need your head examined.

    Just because a player is a hustle player doesn’t mean they are the best on the team. For once forget plus minus and just think logically. If Lee was the best player on the team he would start. Coaches are not in the business to sit productive players on the bench. David is one dimensional and we all know it. If he isn’t rebounding can he create his own shot? Does he make other people on his team better?

    I like David and all but I understand basketball. You need player to come off the bench and be productive and that?s Lee. The Cavs have the same type of player in Varejao and I don’t see Cav fans saying he’s the best player on the team.

    (Only in NY !!!)
    We are known to inflate the value of people. The funny thing is, if you look at Lee’s numbers from last season and compare them to Jarid’s last year in Washington the numbers are identical. One season doesn’t make a career.

    Since this blog is known for its immature statements and conclusion I have another on for you.

    Mikki Moore was the best Net because of his plus minus.

  31. Owen

    Kenneth – That would leave us with a front court of Randolph, Jerome James, Randolph Morris and Kelvin Cato. Say what I will about Curry, but he is better than the alternatives lurking on the Knicks bench.

    Xducks – I would like to co-sign on everything you post. Curry was not more productive than Bynum. And the lakers certainly got much more production from the center position than the Knicks did. They didn’t win 42 games getting less from Brown and Bynum than we got from Curry/James/Frye. Curry scores more than Bynum on a slightly higher ts%, but is worse in every other respect other than personal fouls. And crucially, he is 20 and improving. It’s actually really difficult to argue that Curry was even better than Kwame Brown, who is a below average player, but who at least gives you rebounding and defensive production, and who actually sported a relatively good +4.5 on court/off court last year. I wouldn’t read too much into that number, but it’s a big contrast with Curry’s =2.

  32. Owen

    Actually, Brown isn’t a much better rebounder than Curry, just .7 per 48 more. His two assists more per 48 probably have a little to do with Kobe, but he has always been a better passer. And the extra steal and 1.4 blocks, and 1.8 less turnovers help too. He definitely is a better athlete and defender. Not a great player, below average definitely, but if he came back here with Kobe, in a trade that involved Curry, we might not lose all that much at the center position.

  33. Jersey J

    Curry’s number were 19pg 7boards a game

    Bynum numbers 7pg and 5boards.

    What are you guys smoking. Also when they played each other Curry Killed him. It wasn’t even close.

    You are all stupid!!

  34. Owen

    Actually, Brown isn’t a much better rebounder than Curry, just .7 per 48 more. His two assists more per 48 probably have a little to do with Kobe, but he has always been a better passer. And the extra steal and 1.4 blocks, and 1.8 less turnovers help too. He definitely is a better athlete and defender. Not a great player, below average definitely, but if he came back here with Kobe, in a trade that involved Curry, i don’t see how we get less wins at the center position if we can find a way to make up for the extra minutes EC played.

  35. Jersey J

    I have one more comment for you guys. Did anyone ever think about the corraltions between great rebounders all being terrible offensive players.

    Rodman
    Mutumbo
    Lee
    Oakley (most of his career)
    Varejao
    Chandler
    Dwight Howard
    Camby

    These guys are great offensive rebounders because teams sag off of them because they can’t put the ball in the ocean from outside 5 feet.

  36. Owen

    Jersey J – Compare the numbers that the Lakers got from Bynum and Brown to the numbers we got from Curry/James/Frye. The Knicks did not have an advantage at the center position last season.

    Varejao and David Lee play similar roles. Varejao is a nice, above average player. People seem to think that the Cavs made the finals simply because of Lebron, but the fact of the matter is that they had an excellent trio of frontcourt players who know how to play defense in Varejao, Ilgauskas, and Gooden. They weren’t the fourth best defensive team in the league because of Lebron.

    But re Lee and Varejao, looking at their numbers, in what is certainly an apples to apples comparison, you can see why Lee generates some excitement. His stats are much much better. He has a 12.5% advantage in ts%. That is an enormous difference. And he has a three rebound edge in rebounding, with an advantage in offensive rebounding. Also, one assist more. Varejao is a better defender, and he has more blocks and steals and fewer turnovers, though he commits more personal fouls, but overall, Lee has a huge edge.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm.cgi?req=1&cum=0&p1=varejan01&y1=2007&p2=leeda02&y2=2007

    Your argument about bench players is strange. Lee played a little more than five minutes less than the putative star of the Knicks, Eddy Curry. Is that really any reason to think he is the worse player?

    And would you really say that Manu Ginobili isn’t the second best player on the Spurs, and in fact one of the best players in the league, because he came off the bench last season?

  37. Owen

    Jersey J – Did you ever think that offensive rebounders help their team’s offensive efficiency tremendously without actually scoring much?

    You would be nuts to take Eddy Curry over any player on that list.

    Tyson Chandler may be a terrible offensive player, but the Hornets were 4.4 points better on offense with him last year. The Knicks were 2.6 points worse on offense with Curry. Think about that. Eddy Curry, stud offensive center, made our offense worse when he was on the court.

  38. Jersey J

    First you can’t compare three people to one. Your first argument was the Lakers are better off at the center position but you are comparing Curry against 1 center and 2 forwards. This make no sense. Stop looking at TS ratings and think basketball.

    One more note for over 25 games this season James and Curry started together.

    Also David, did play some center this year so why isn’t he reflected in your team center comparision

    I can even remember Balkman playing center when the knicks were playing small ball early in the season.

    We as fan need to understand the TS rating are used by agents to generate value for players. That was always the intent for this tool. If you ever talk to and agent he will tell you that in the days of MJ they were other player in the league that had better rating then Jordan. (Rodman, David Robinson, Oakley, Derrick Harper)

    I guess these player we better then the great MJ

  39. Jersey J

    And your correct they do have value. In the past we called them roll players. Players that did one thing really well(rebound or shoot).

    Chuck Daley once said about Rodmen that if you put him on a team with enough scorers he would be an allstar but if you put him on a team with little offense he will be out of the league in 3 years.

  40. Ben R

    “And your correct they do have value. In the past we called them roll players. Players that did one thing really well(rebound or shoot).”

    Lee does more than one thing very well. Lee was one of the best rebounders in the league, plus he had the 2nd highest TS%, plus he had a solid Assist ratio, played good (but not great) defense and despite yours and other’s claims made his teammates better. In fact Curry played better with Lee than any other Knick. (Curry had his highest pts per 48, and highest efg% with Lee on the court)

    In fact there is only one stat that Lee has that is below average and that is usage rate.

    A Knick that really only did one thing well was Curry and that was shoot, everything else was below average. I still thing Curry has value as an offensive weapon but Lee is a much better all around player than Curry, so maybe it is Curry and not Lee that is in fact the one-dimentional roleplayer.

    “We are known to inflate the value of people. The funny thing is, if you look at Lee?s numbers from last season and compare them to Jarid?s last year in Washington the numbers are identical. One season doesn?t make a career.”

    Lee last year per 40 minutes:
    14.4 pts – 13.9 rbs – 2.4 asts – 65.2% TS%
    Jeffries last year in Wash per 40 minutes:
    10.0 pts – 7.3 rbs – 2.1 asts – 50.0% TS%

    I do not see how their numbers are indentical or even close. Lee beats Jeffries in every catagory, by a wide margin in most.

  41. Owen

    Jersey – I might agree about Lee being a role player if he did only one thing well. But he did two things incredibly well last season. He was one of the very best rebounders in the league and he was second in the league in scoring efficiency. And eh wasn’t bad at avoiding turnovers either.

    How you can even compare Jared Jeffries to Lee I don’t know. Have you looked at their numbers?

    You can’t call a player with numbers like Lee who plays 30 minutes per game a role player. Given, how one dimensional Curry is I would actually say he is much more of a role player than Lee. It’s simply a reflection of how much people overvalue scoring that we don’t.

    Also, I don’t know what you are referring to re TS rating. When I say ts%, I mean true shooting percentage, which is a composite of fg and ft shooting which tells you how efficiently a player used possession to score points. Perhaps you mean Win Score or Wins Produced per 48.

    And actually, thank you for bringing up Cherles Barkley. He was a fantastic basketball player and probably the kind of player we should hope Lee might turn out to be.

    Check out their stats at the same age.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm.cgi?req=1&cum=0&p1=leeda02&y1=2007&p2=barklch01&y2=1987

    Barkley’s numbers are better of course. 10 more points per 48 with a slightly higher ts%, a small edge in rebounding, a big edge in assists, more blocks, an edge in steals. But Barkley also committed 3 more turnovers per 48 which negates is advantage somewhat in other departments. Barkley was more of an offensive force, and a better player, but looking at the stats it’s not unreasonable to argue taht Lee has some Barkley potential. And Barkley is certainly a player you would never have traded for Kobe Bryant.

    Finally, Rodman was a great great player. Chuck Daly is a total idiot if he said that. The Worm was by far the best player on the Bad Boys championship teams. Its not even close. He was also the second best player on the best team of all time. When he joined them in 95-96 he transformed them from the best team in the league into the best team of ALL TIME. They had an efficiency differential that year of 13 #@%^ing points. No other franchise has ever had a team with a differential over ten for a season. That was possibly the best acquisition of all time.

    Call Rodman a role player if you like, but there is no question he was one of the all time great power forwards.

  42. Ben R

    Owen – go to 82games.com and look at their player pairs it shows the statistics for every player and how they played with every other player.

  43. Ted Nelson

    “Since this blog is known for its immature statements and conclusion I have another on for you. Mikki Moore was the best Net because of his plus minus.”

    Don’t know where this blog is known for immature statements, but, actually, Jason Kidd led the Nets in +/-. Saying Jason Kidd is the best player on the Nets is not such a ridiculous staement, is it? Mikki Moore’s +/- would be tied for 5th on the team. I wouldn’t advicate looking only at +/- to decide who the best player on a team is, but among the guys who led their teams in +/-: Kidd, Tim Duncan, Kobe, Nash, Billups, Garnett (more or less did b/c Bracey Wright only played 114 minute), Luol Deng, LeBron, Dirk, Rashard Lewis (similar to Garnett)…

    No one is claiming Side Show Bob to be the best player in Cleveland because they have LeBron James. If the Knicks had LeBron, no one would be claiming David Lee was the best player on the team either.

  44. brook hardy

    I am one of the few who is not an Eddie Curry fan, he can score some points and does finish better now, but he still can not block shots, move his feet on defense, and lacks any outside game or for that matter any power real close to the basket at the few times he gets offensive rebounds. He will be another Marvin Webster and equal in ability! With all the good big men in camp-Lee, Morris, Chandler, Randolph, Jeffries and Blackman, the Knicks can unload Mr. Unmotivated Underachiever for Kobe or artest. (though I like Crawford, he needs to go also, he is not needed now). I also feel the Knicks need to keep Jerome James as a more used back-up. Malik Rose may still be an asset as an assistant coach/player on ready.

  45. brook hardy

    Forgot to add Quentin Richardson needs to also be put in a trade immediately, too many players up front! Owen will be a star in the NBA

  46. BrooklynKnicks

    I agree with Jersey J that sometimes bloggers on here put too much emphasis on TS ratings and not enough on boxscores and what they are seeing with their eyes.

    We fans also forget that the team is also a business. And trading for Kobe is good for business.

    We would instantly be in the spotlight again and gain national TV coverage(I believe the team gets money for that). MSG will be sold out, road games should be sold out(more money for the team), Kobe Knicks jersey and other merchandise will be hot sellers(team gets a percentage), and what a weapon against that other team that might end up in Brooklyn(both basketball and business wise).

    Oh…and along the way we should get into the playoffs and win a game or two or three or…(playoffs mean more money for the team).

    So, if I ran the Knicks, everybody on the roster is open to the Lakers. We know they won’t take the two JJ’s, Marbury, Rose, or QRich. They need Curry or Randolf, not both. I don’t think they want Crawford because of his contract although I think he would be very good in the Triangle Offense.

    So, it looks like the youngers of their choice, the two expiring contracts and a scoring big is what the Lakers will end up with.

    Chicago is not willing to gut their team for Kobe because they are a playoff caliber team that can possibly emerge out of the East. The Knicks are nowhere close to that right now so it’s worth the gamble to them. It is a total win-win situation basketball and business wise for the Knicks.

    All of this, of course, assumes Kobe does a Vince Carter and force LA to make such a drastic move.

  47. Z

    “And Barkley is certainly a player you would never have traded for Kobe Bryant.”

    Really? I’d trade Barley for Kobe. Barley was an imperfect franchise player who only made one legitimate run at a championship (and that season his team almost lost in the first round to an 8 seed).

    There are players from Barkley’s era that I wouldn’t trade for Kobe, but the Round Mound himself I would not rule untouchable. He was a 6’5″ overweight power forward. Kobe’s a perfect physical specimen. Even without hindsight, “you” would have to make that trade.

    Since Kobe to the Knicks trade talk is about as far fetched as Barkley for Kobe trade talk, I just thought I’d comment on it.

    Karl Malone for Kobe anyone?

  48. thefatkid

    ?People seem to think that the Cavs made the finals simply because of Lebron, but the fact of the matter is that they had an excellent trio of frontcourt players who know how to play defense in Varejao, Ilgauskas, and Gooden. They weren?t the fourth best defensive team in the league because of Lebron.?

    This couldn?t be farther from the truth. Gooden is one of the worst defensive power forwards in the NBA and Ilgauskas? man defense is fairly bad. Only Varejao could be deemed an above-average defender and that?s only because of his weakside and off-ball skills. His man defense still needs improvement.

    The Cavs were one of the better defensive teams in the NBA because of perimeter defense. The Cavs defended the 3-point shot extremely well and did a good job of playing team defense. That team has an abundance of strong perimeter defenders while Donyell Marshall is the only big I would consistently label a good defender.

    ?And would you really say that Manu Ginobili isn?t the second best player on the Spurs, and in fact one of the best players in the league, because he came off the bench last season??

    He?s certainly not one of the 10 best players in the league. For that matter, neither is Pau Gasol.

    ?Tyson Chandler may be a terrible offensive player, but the Hornets were 4.4 points better on offense with him last year. The Knicks were 2.6 points worse on offense with Curry. Think about that. Eddy Curry, stud offensive center, made our offense worse when he was on the court.?

    This doesn?t indicate something to you about the validity of that information? You think the Hornets were a better offensive team with Tyson Chandler, who cannot shoot, post-up, pass, dribble, or initiate any form of offense? Have you considered the possibility that the better offensive players on the Hornets usually played with Chandler while the inferior offensive players played without him?

    ?Finally, Rodman was a great great player. Chuck Daly is a total idiot if he said that. The Worm was by far the best player on the Bad Boys championship teams. Its not even close. He was also the second best player on the best team of all time. When he joined them in 95-96 he transformed them from the best team in the league into the best team of ALL TIME. They had an efficiency differential that year of 13 #@%^ing points. No other franchise has ever had a team with a differential over ten for a season. That was possibly the best acquisition of all time.?

    This is how we know that you decidedly overvalue rebounding. Rodman was a great rebounder, but now you?re suggesting that he was better than Isiah Thomas, better than Joe Dumars, and better than Scottie Pippen?

    “Karl Malone for Kobe anyone?”

    What I want to hear is Dennis Rodman vs. Kobe Bryant.

  49. Owen

    Lol, I agree with you on that Z, there is no trade that will happen, and thank goodness, since there is not realistic trade that would help the Knicks.

    Re Barkley and Malone, Kobe honestly doesn’t compare. It really isn’t close. Those guys were all-time greats, as their statistics bear out. Kobe isn’t even the best shooting guard in the NBA right now, arguably not even the second best. Statistically speaking, you cannot prefer him to Wade or Ginobili, and if you look at championships and what not, you can’t really prefer him there either. What Wade did with Shaq was more impressive than what Kobe did. And What Manu has done in San Antonio is also just as impressive as anything Kobe has done. They have been equally good second bananas.

    If it isn’t clear, I don’t understand the idolization of Kobe. :-) He is a very good basketball player, but the hype far outruns reality. People compare him to Jordan, but he falls ridiculously short of that standard.

    I will speak WOW for a second. Set aside your objections and just take it as a statistical formula that compares players who play the same position, i.e. apples to apples. The best season Kobe has had was 02-03, where he posted a .270 and produced 19.1 wins. That’s a really good performance, but not exceptional.

    http://www.wagesofwins.com/Kobe9707.html

    Dywane Wade has already posted a mark better than Kobe’s best career showing in 05-06. And he was on track to do so again last year. Barring injury, he has to be considered the best shooting guard in the NBA, if what he did in the NBA Finals wasn’t evidence enough.

    Anyway, the WORST full season Jordan had was a .288 at age 23 when he produced 19.7 wins. Other than that, the mark he posted in his rookie year, a .348 was the lowest mark until age 33 when his performance started to decline. Kobe’s mark this year was almost identical to what Jordan did in his last year as a Bull, which was easily his worst year in Chicago.

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

    Kobe seems to be considered by many on this board to be one of the all time greats, a player who even exiting his prime will be capaple of lifting us to the championship, even if hasn’t come close to doing it in LA since Shaq left. It just seems really silly to me. So far he clearly falls well short of the all time great standard. His reputation is where it is because Jerry West got him on the cheap and he won three titles paying with Shaq. He is a flashy, prolific scorer, which people like He scored 81 points once. But really, he isn’t someone I would even begin to think of choosing to build a team around.

  50. Jersey J

    Not to pull the race card but I do believe that if Lee was black he would just be another good player on a bad team.

    If anyone has an open mind I can even prove it. Name another player in history that only played 125 games in 2 NBA season with a career average on 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds with this much fan fare.

    You can even argue that Frye’s numbers are just as good. In the same 2 years he average 10.8 points and 5.6 rebounds but he played 137 games. The again Frye was black.

    Lee fans please keep in mind that he only played 58 games last season.

    And to prove the racist point a little further how can David Lee be the best knick when he not even the best forward on the knicks. Please everyone forget the baggade and take a look at Zach’s numbers compaired to Lee. Zach played 4 more minutes a game and put up 12 extra points in those minutes.

    Enough with this David Lee for President BuLLS**T

  51. Owen

    Jersey – Look at the per minute numbers, and Look at Randolphs shooting efficiency, and then post a new comment. Or just read what i have written probably a hundred times on this board.

    David Lee –

    Highest rebound rate in the NBA on the Knickerblogger league leader stat page

    Second highest TS%.

  52. Knickfan

    Jersey J

    All, I would like to introduce a new rating system called the Common Sense Rating. Here we actually rate players based on (you got it) Common Sense.

    Please respond if you want to know how your favorite play rates in the CS system.

    Here we also discuss the term roll player and how it applies to 80% of the NBA.

  53. Owen

    I wouldn’t say Gooden is a good defender, but he is a good player overall. Ilgauskas and Varejao are excellent defenders. I think Varejao probably is one of the best power forwards in the league defensively. But basically, I think my point is correct no? The Cavs team was more than Lebron, who really didn’t have a stellar regular season.

    Manu Ginobili’s numbers last year were better than Kobe’s on a per minute basis. He plays better defense, even if Kobe has the potential to match him in that respect. I think he has demonstrated that he is clutch as all get out. He has been the go to guy at the end of games for a championship team also. Really, I am happy to hear any argument why Kobe is a lot better than Ginobili, but they are difficult to make.

    Kobe was very productive last year, in your sense of the word, and you might give him the edge over Manu in that respect only. He played more minutes with less help. But as I said above, if I had my choice of shooting guard, it would definitely be Wade, then either Manu or Kobe.

    BTW, I don’t know where Gasol came into this. He is a good player, don’t know about top ten though.

    Re Tyson Chandler, I think really what the number reflects is the fact that he had more offensive rebounds than anyone else in the NBA last year. They captured 4.5% more offensive rebounds when he was on court, which is a big boost. That’s a stat for you. Total offensive rebounds. Also, Chris Paul was out for a big chunk of the season. Who else do they have down there? Dsvid West? He was injured a lot also. Same for Peja.

    Re Rodman, yes, he was certainly a much much better player than Isaiah. Pippen and Rodman, actually I don’t know. Pippen’s stats were hurt by Jordan. Diminishing returns. During the hiatus, he posted ridiculous numbers. But Rodman won five championships with two different teams, and while he was fairly two dimensional, he was so good as a rebounder and defender that he was certainly a very elite player. Putting it in terms you can understand, the guy averaged 18.7 rebounds per game for Detroit. That’s ludicrous. And really, if I had to pick the best point guard in Detroit Pistons history, I think Chauncey Billups will give him a run for his money when all is said and done. Isaiah Thomas was obviously an excellent palyer, but statistically speaking not an all time great I don’t think. The guy topped a ts$ of 53% exactly once and was only at 51.6% lifetime, which is Iverson territory. And he took a lot of shots. Without Rodman and Laimbeer and their offensive rebounding, the Pistons wouldn’t have been very good.

    Long story short, Rodman in his prime was a fantastic player.

  54. thefatkid

    I still think you?re overrating the Cavs big men, but the point is salient. The Cavs, despite having a thin team in terms of talent, have an effective crew of veterans. I?d liken them to the 02-03 Knicks. They?ve been built in a similar fashion and suffer the same ills but the Cavs just so happen to have LeBron James. Were it not for James, Ferry would have been likened to Scott Layden years ago.

    As to the Ginobili question, he?s undoubtedly an efficient, well-rounded player. But this is where you have to ask questions regarding role and overall production. Is efficiency really a fair judgment basis for comparing a number 3 scorer to a franchise player? Bryant?s aggregate production dwarfs Ginobili?s by such a large margin that I really don?t think it?s much of a comparison. I?d liken it to the All-Star version of the Crawford v. Robinson debate.

    If I had my pick of any shooting guard, I?d have to go with Bryant. While Wade was a beast for Miami?s championship run, Bryant is simply on another level as far as tenacity and competitiveness. I?m still in stitches about the Smush Parker inbounds story. With something resembling a supporting cast, Bryant would be lethal.

    I just brought Gasol into this as a complete non sequitur because he?s also in the PER top 10 and I feel he?s a vastly overrated player.

    Regarding Chandler, his ?improvement? to the Hornets offense in the form of offensive rebounding is something I have to take issue with. Possession theory means that a missed field goal attempt followed by an offensive rebound is a non-event. However, observers, and all other statistical measurements, know this not the case. The offense is missing shots and therefore less efficient. Possession theory essentially gives free shots, which doesn?t concur with any other standard metrics.

    Now you?ve just gone crazy with the TS% and rebounding stuff. Isiah Thomas was the absolutely heart and soul of those Pistons teams and the backbone. Without Thomas at the point, those teams would have been a complete unmitigated disaster. Rodman was just much a complementary player and, while he was a great rebounder, what you?re suggesting is akin to suggesting Ben Wallace was more important to the Pistons than Chauncey Billups.

  55. Owen

    In case you haven’t noticed, I am not really one to cite PER. We WOW folks, and the PER folks, it’s kind of like the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons.

    “missed field goal attempt followed by an offensive rebound is a non-event. However, observers, and all other statistical measurements, know this not the case. The offense is missing shots and therefore less efficient. Possession theory essentially gives free shots, which doesn?t concur with any other standard metrics.”

    No, this is incorrect. The missed shot is debited from the player who took it. This is offset on the team ledger by the credit to the player who got the rebound. Then they take another shot and see what happens.

    I absolutely do think Ben Wallace wsa the best player on that team. Billups was outstanding as well of course.

    I understand how you feel about Bryant, but I would love to see you justify it statistically. After all this, i feel a bit cheated to have you start citing “tenacity and competitiveness,” and have you fall back on the old “heart and soul” argument. That makes you seem like a regular fan and not the pathbreaking statistical innovator I took you for.

    I don’t know, you are probably right, maybe Manu doesn’t have very much “heart and soul” and competitiveness. Actually, hold up, let me consult the members of the 2004 Olympic team on that one first and get back to you.

  56. Rafa

    Owen,

    Did you say that Kobe was not so good as Luol Deng? LUOL DENG? Are you crazy man? Have you seen the game lately? Kobe plays in the Western with a buch of role players and took his team to Playoffs.
    Deng plays with Wallace, Hinrich, Gordon, Nocioni. A better defensive team with only one good guy offensively, Gordon.
    Kobe for every one except Curry. Let’s be real, Kobe is better than anyone. If we could keep lee + Balkmann will be great, but I guess the Lakers will as for them (both i guess). But, IT’s KOBE.

  57. Owen

    I think I said I thought Kobe wasnt that much better than him last year, and that I thought Deng would be the better player two years from now. Given how old each will be at that point, and what kobe’s nba odometer will look iike, that doesn’t seem like to much of a reach.

    Also, value for money, I think Deng is the better option going forward. Would you rather have Deng at ten million per, or Kobe at 18?

    I wonder what calculation the Bulls are doing. What is the proposed trade scenario?

    Some people think Randolph, Lee, and Balkman would be a fair trade here. To me that sounds sort of like a Gordon, Deng, Thomas, trade.

    Hmmm, may have to go to blog a bull and get an answer there.

    BTW, given how people talk about Curry on this board, and I mean the optimists on the issue, one would think that the perfect trade at this point would be Eddy Curry for Ben Wallace. We get a defensive rebounding center, they get a scoring center to help their offense. Who thinks the Bulls, even if there wasnt the heart issue and Eddy’s history with the team, would contemplate that trade?

  58. Frank O.

    Owen, Caleb, et al
    The discussions on this board are happening on two seperate plains.
    One is a purely statistical plain, where analysis is done using a series of formulas as tools, the validity of which is somewhat speculative. Reading the debate on PER and WOW and whatever else among the stats gurus is akin to listening to economists arguing about the state of the economy. Numbers are being bent to satisfy the perception of those who create the formulas.
    On the other hand, there is the other debate plain, which is governed more by what is seen on the court, coaches and fans making determinations based on, yes, some statistics, but also talent, i.e., competency, speed and quickness, and even fire, desire, and will.
    Coaches balance statistical analysis with what they see on the court.
    It’s one reason why one team hands Kobe the ball and says create, while another makes Lee their sixth man and runs no plays for him and allows him to create opportunities where he can.
    Both have valid missions and responsibilities, but they are evaluated on aggregate performance. Lee coming from the bench was a 10-10 guy. For a sixth man, that is outstanding.
    And yet, he didn’t win the sixth man award for last year.
    I think examining the statistics, using the various formulas out there is a fantastic exercise.
    But any scout of talent, any coach that hears this debate on WOW and PER where Ginobili is rated higher than Kobe is just funny, because Ginobili couldn’t hold a starting spot on his own team because he was inconsistent early in the year, let alone be considered a better player than Kobe Bryant. The Spurs found Ginobili performed better off the bench, functioning under the radar a little.

    I think you guys are ideologues, and, I suspect, if these decisions were left up to you, you would probably act differently than you currently argue.
    If the Knicks could get Kobe for Lee and Balkman, and you didn’t make that trade – basing your decisions on statistics derived from 54 games from one guy, and another that is even more speculative because his minutes were so limited – you’d simply be fired, or at least you’d have a worse reputation than Isiah as a GM because Dolan might not fire you…

  59. Matthew

    I think some people here undervalue minutes played. You don’t help your team if you’re sitting on the bench. It doesn’t matter if it’s your fault (for fouling too much, for example) or your coaches fault (for undervaluing your contribution). You’re not helping your team if you’re on the bench.

  60. Ted Nelson

    Frank-

    I realize that the arguments often become all stats vs. all observation. However, I don’t think that they are mutually exclusive. They complement one another. Stats can validate or invalidate what you’ve observed. It’s the old you could watch an entire baseball season and not distinguish the .200 hitter from the .300 hitter, let alone the .280 from the .300.

    On the other, you might observe something that explains why a certain player’s numbers look as good as they do: player x shoots a great % because Nash or Kidd is getting him the ball in perfect position to score (he still deserves some credit for being in the right spot).

    In a team game, however, I don’t know if I agree with the argument that player x is clearly better because he has no one around him while player y is worse because he’s on a great team. Especially when it comes to Kobe, who seems to be far from the ideal teammate or person. Kobe might be far more talented and capable of a much better performance than Manu (not saying he is or isn’t) but if he’s constantly chucking the ball rather than working with his less than stellar teammates and coasting on defense maybe his performance over the course of the year wasn’t as good as Manu’s (again, not saying it was or wasn’t).

    Anyway, that’s a quick response because I dont have much time, maybe I can come up with something better later.

  61. Caleb

    Agree that no one statistical measure is the be-all, end-all. Neither is just plain scouting, or reading per-game stats. You want to look at a variety of factors, and see if the various signs point in the same direction.

    The fact that basketball is a team game makes its statistics harder to interpret… and I would never point to one statistic and say it clearly differentiates the best player in the league from the 5th best, or an all-star level player from just a good player. (It’s like a margin of error, e.g. I think Lee is a better player than Randolph, but it’s a reasonable debate). On the other hand, statistical analysis is great for discerning huge differences between the way a player is perceived, and his actual performance.(Adam Morrison, Eddy Curry, David Lee, Tyson Chandler, etc.)

    Also important is the common-sense test. But I see that test differently than many people here.
    Not to rag on Eddy Curry – I don’t think he’s horrible – but we talk about him a lot, because there’s such a huge gap between how he is viewed by mainstream basketball fans, and his measurable impact on the court. (team points, team defense, wins) If he really is a great player, or very good player, where is that effect on the teams he plays for?

    “On the other hand, there is the other debate plain, which is governed more by what is seen on the court, coaches and fans making determinations based on, yes, some statistics, but also talent, i.e., competency, speed and quickness, and even fire, desire, and will.”

    No one disputes that some players have more fire, or will, intangibles or any of the other things you mention. I just believe that those attributes are already accounted for by the statistics, i.e. the on-court performance… they’re not something you factor in later, like, “Kobe scored 40 tonight and we’ll give the Lakers another 3 bonus points because he showed so much intensity, and another two because he’s so quick off the dribble.” He scored those 40 BECAUSE he has those attributes. The statistics reflect what the player actually does.

  62. Caleb

    “I think some people here undervalue minutes played. You don?t help your team if you?re sitting on the bench. It doesn?t matter if it?s your fault (for fouling too much, for example) or your coaches fault (for undervaluing your contribution). You?re not helping your team if you?re on the bench.”

    Why doesn’t it matter if it’s the coaches fault? Isn’t that the point of a website like this one, a chance for fans to second-guess the decisions made by the team’s management?

    Otherwise it’s a totally circular argument, like saying Crawford deserves to be the starter because he is the starter.

  63. Z

    “I am happy to hear any argument why Kobe is a lot better than Ginobili, but they are difficult to make.”

    Owen– I used to think you were outside-the-box with your extolling of David Lee and the WoW guy and might be on to something that I had never considered. It turns out, though, I think you have locked yourself so tightly into a purely statistical box that you can’t make it out in time to catch any games and only rely on the numbers at the end, interpreted by some other guy.

    Seriously, I like most of the things you say, and find myself on your side in most of these debates you’ve been going through. But some things you argue invalidate the good points you make.

    Theoretically, if the NBA disolved today and a draft was held and you had first pick you’d spend it on David Lee. And if Manu was available with your second pick (he would be) you’d take him next. You’d be the laughingstock of the new league and the fans would call for your head.

    In fact, if all the players of all time were available in this fantasy draft you’d take Jordan with your first pick and Lee with your second. Manu with your third? Maybe…

    Amen to Frank O.

  64. Owen

    Z – This isn’t really a WOW thing. Look at these numbers and tell why Kobe was better than Ginobili last year. Just raw stats. Yes, Kobe scores on higher volume, but his ts% is 2.9% less. Thats a significant difference. Ginobili has advanteage in rebounding, and I think defending, and his plus minus is better.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm.cgi?req=1&cum=0&p1=bryanko01&y1=2007&p2=ginobma01&y2=2007

    Ginobili has all the championship pedigree. He was the best player in Europe, he was won two titles here with Duncan just like Kobe. And he led the Argentinian team to gold in 2004 against a lot NBA players who people on this board would say were better than him. To me its difficult to make the argument that Kobe is much better than him. I think honestly that’s one of the more reasonable points I have made.

    And re my being unreasonable, I don’t know. It’s probably true. Given I am the one that started this Kobe/Lee brouhaha here, I do feel like I need to defend myself a bit vigorously, and maybe I go to far at times.

    I think my big problem here is that a player could have the exact same statistics as Kobe, and everyone would still conclude that Kobe was better. That’s just how it seems.

    Re why Ginobili doesn’t play as much, I think its simple. The spurs know they don’t need to play him 40 minutes per game to get into the playoffs, like the Lakers need to do with Kobe. The Spurs know Manu is injury prone. So they don’t play him as much. But if you switched Manu and Kobe, I think the Lakers would make the playoffs, and the Spurs would win the title.

    I have to go out, rush job, but will respond in full later.

  65. thefatkid

    ?No, this is incorrect. The missed shot is debited from the player who took it. This is offset on the team ledger by the credit to the player who got the rebound. Then they take another shot and see what happens.?

    This seems more like an endorsement for my point than a repudiation. On a team basis, offensive rebounding manages to sweep poor shooting under the rug under possession theory. The typical inverse relationship between FG% and offensive rebounding is important.

    I can?t say I agree with you about Wallace. I?d argue that Okur was as effective as Wallace, if not more so, while there was certainly no substitute for Billups. The departure of Okur was a tremendous blow to that team. But we all know why Okur is no longer in Detroit, right? Mehmet Okur, meet Trevor Ariza.

    Regarding Bryant versus Wade, it?s really a wash that comes down to personal preference. Wade is more of a combo-guard while Bryant is more of a pure off-guard. Wade is probably the better passer and playmaker while Bryant is the better scorer and perimeter shooter. You?re choosing between two All-NBA players though, which is why I?m comfortable falling back on ridiculous arguments like ?Bryant is clearly mentally imbalanced enough to be like Jordan while Wade makes funny commercials and smiles too often.?

    Owen is right about Luol Deng in the sense that he?s roughly what the Knicks need at this point. A player like Deng, Josh Howard, Tayshaun Prince, or even Danny Granger is what the Knicks really need. Ridiculous trades for Bryant aren?t in the works, but acquiring a solid young SF (read: Not crazy Ron Artest) is essential.

    Ben Wallace is much less attractive than Curry, Owen. Wallace is grossly overpaid and, at 33, declining rapidly.

    With the Bryant/Ginobili debate, you have to consider aggregate output a major factor. I honestly don?t believe Ginobili is capable of the sort of per game numbers Bryant puts up. And the difference in per minute production is fairly negligible aside from scoring, where Bryant dominates. The only real advantage Ginobili has over Bryant is that he?s a better perimeter shooter. And the superior perimeter shooting may be solely attributable to the Arenas/Crawford phenomenon. That is to say, Bryant is a good shooter but he?s forced to take so many absurd circus shots that his percentages have really suffered.

    As far as the Lee/Bryant debate is concerned, I don’t consider it a very interesting discussion. Aside from a purely academic standpoint, it doesn’t even remotely pass the laugh test and it’s a strange basis for comparison. However, given that a number of people seem to prefer Lee to Randolph, I’d like to discuss that topic further as it seems more interesting and germane.

  66. Caleb

    “This seems more like an endorsement for my point than a repudiation. On a team basis, offensive rebounding manages to sweep poor shooting under the rug under possession theory. The typical inverse relationship between FG% and offensive rebounding is important.”

    That’s sort of the point — most fans and analysts (and you, maybe) undervalue the offensive rebounder, and are overly forgiving of the guy missing all the shots.

  67. Matthew

    “Why doesn’t it matter if it’s the coaches fault? Isn?t that the point of a website like this one, a chance for fans to second-guess the decisions made by the team’s management?

    Otherwise it?s a totally circular argument, like saying Crawford deserves to be the starter because he is the starter.”

    I’m saying it doesn’t matter to the outcome of the game. The reason a guy sits on the bench a lot doesn’t affect the game. If there are two hypothetical players and player A is a little bit better than player B, but player B gets to play a lot more often than player A because he’s close friends with the coach and player A doesn’t get along with the coach, well then you have the case where player B is contributing more to his team’s wins than is player A. Fair or not.

    My point was that some people totally disregard playing time in player evaluation. It’s a factor, it’s up to you as to how much of one, but it’s a factor.

  68. Owen

    TFK – Lol. You would argue Okur is a better player? Where is the argument then? Just saying something is not the same as arguing it. Below are the respective numbers for that year. Okur is the better scorer, which isn’t hard of course. and he wasn’t exceptional at that. Wallace was better in most every other respect. 3 more rebounds per 48. Two more blocks. 1.2 more steals. 1.2 less turnovers. 1.7 less personal fouls. And, oh yeah, he was first team all defense that year, so a check in the off box score category also.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm.cgi?req=1&cum=0&p1=okurme01&y1=2004&p2=wallabe01&y2=2004

    Okur is an average center. He can rebound. I would be delighted to have him here rather than Curry. But he is no Ben Wallace. Big Ben has been an elite player for the last ten years. He is indisputably in decline. But even in decline, I would rather have him out there for the Knicks for the next two years. Teams with Ben Wallace on them don’t finish 25th in the league on defense.

    Re Wade and Bryant, you said:

    “Wade is probably the better passer and playmaker while Bryant is the better scorer and perimeter shooter.”

    It’s not like you can’t evaluate this by looking at the stats. I mean, nothing could be simpler than comparing how well players score. Career numbers. Wade averages 30.4 points on a TS% 56.6. Kobe has averaged 32.4 points on 55.5% ts%. So, really, I wouldn’t say Kobe is the better scorer. They are at least equal, and I would give the nod to Wade for being 1% better in ts%. i don’t know you could conceivably give Bryant the nod because his style doesn’t require him to miss so many games. That’s legitimate. But Wade has been better at the job of actually scoring on basically identical volume and playing the same minutes per game.

    Did I say the Knicks needed Deng? I hate to be right about something I didn’t say. FWIW, SF and PF are the only positions the Knicks dont need nelp.

    Re Kobe again, it’s not in fact true that his scoring percentage, his ts% that is, has suffered from having to take circus shots. Its actually improved since Shaq left, as a quick look at the stats will tell you.

    I have to cop to the fact that I didn’t realize that Manu only played 28 minutes per game last year. Matthew, you are absolutely right, minutes played do matter a good bit. If you were building a team and you had a choice of Manu, but he can only play 28 minutes per game, or Kobe who can play 40, and the backup for both is the same average player, I would choose Kobe. You would get more production from the SG position with him. Of course Manu gets paid 8 million dollars less. And for eight million dollar you can pay find a pretty decent 20 minute per game SG backup. But definitely, the ability to play 40 minutes per game is a very important aspect of Kobe’s game.

    FK – Re Randolph. My knock on him is that he is supposed to be a great scorer, and he isn’t. His career TS% is 51.9%. Jamal Crawford’s is 50.9%. And given that Randolph is a frontcourt player, its even less impressive. Randolph’s main value is not his scoring. It’s his well above average rebounding for a PF. And that’s something we already have in spades.

    I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment re his scoring efficiency. His career numbers are dragged down by his rookie season and his injury season, where he posted a dreadful 48.3. But his highest mark so far has been 55.5, which would put him 80th in the league last year. His turnovers aren’t a point of strength either, even if his rate isn’t terrible. We have problems in that respect and I dont think he will help.

    One more thing, just to infuriate you, how about that good ole defensive mastermind Sam Dalembert. Anyone here who wouldn’t prefer to have him as our center? His numbers were pretty good last year actually. He only played four minutes per less than Curry last year. His TS percentage is just 2% less than Curry’s. He does score ten points less per 48. But he gives you 4.5 more rebounds per 48, same assists, 2.3 more blocks, and two less turnovers. And he is a legitimate defensive presence, although his impact on the offensive end was much more impressive, at least that’s what trudging through the murk of 82games yielded. Probably his offensive rebounding. The Sixers were only 1.8 better on defense, but given Curry’s -5.3, that would be a fantastic change. All in all, he seems to be the kind of center who could really help the Knicks. Who thinks Curry is better than Dalembert?

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm.cgi?req=1&cum=0&p1=dalemsa01&y1=2007&p2=wallabe01&y2=2007&p3=curryed01&y3=2007

    Caleb – You were of course 100% right about what you said in your response to Frank.

    Frank – Lee didn’t win the Sixth Man Award because he only played 3/4 of the games. And I currently like the theory that Lee didn’t start because he wanted Lee to win the award, which was a serious possibility if he had played the entire season. Btw, those almond pancakes, um, they are my specialty, family recipe…

    Z – As I said above, I may take per minute stats a bit far at times. Really, the fact that Kobe plays 40 minutes per game is a significant advantage, though somewhat negated by his salary. However, Manu is not chopped liver.

    Re Starting a franchise with Lee – There are a lot players who were nearly as productive or more so on a per minute basis, who played a lot more minutes than he did, and who have shown they can do it over many seasons in the NBA. Sample size is important, and if Lee comes back and posts a 55 ts% and rebounds like clark kent, well you will hear an ominous silence on my end.

    Until that happens, I think the case for Lee has a few aspects. He is extraordinarily efficient. He is underappreciated. He is young. Crucially, and hopefully, he won’t be that expensive to sign to a long term deal. He wants to be here in New York. He is the perfect player to pair with any high usage star if and when we exit salary cap hell. The scenario I envision is paying the duo of Balkman and Lee 13-15 per, find a legitimate max contract guy (i.e. not Melo), and then see what you can get for the other 40 million or whatever it will be a few years down the line. Pick up another rookie or two, or a veteran who wants t win. Make a run for the title. It’s not happening with Kobe in the next couple of years.

    Also, I just like Lee better. Kobe is a walking circus, he is an #$@hole, possibly a rapist, certainly an Hall of Fame egomaniac. Who needs that on the Knicks?

  69. Owen

    I should have said above that Isaiah didn’t start Lee because he wanted him to win the sixth man award.

    And I realized Manu was a 28 min per game player last year. What I didn’t realize was the he has never averaged more than 30 minutes per game in his career.

  70. Jesse

    I don’t really post here too often, but I love the stats side of basketball. After reading through as much of the thread as possible I’ve got some comments.

    1) As far as the original intent of the thread, I think you protect Curry, and either Balkman or Lee. That’s probably about it. (This assumes you want Kobe)

    2) For all the things Kobe is, a few of these posts go overboard stating he’s not that good. He’s certainly one of the top SG’s in the league, and potentially of all time. Unfortunately he’s not a great teammate (from all reports).

    3) In one post it was stated that Kobe was obtained cheap and won 3 titles with Shaq (implying Shaq was the main reason) and this statement was used as part of an argument that Wade was better than Kobe?

    4) Owen, in his 2nd to last post, made a typical mistake in looking at stats. He looked only at numbers in isolation when comparing Curry to Dalembert. Let’s assume that Dalembert really will get you 4.5 more boards, 2 more blocks, and 2 less turnovers. He also scored roughly 10 pts less per game. So let’s assume he provides approximately 8.5 more possession per game than Curry. At the Sixers FG% from last season, that would produce approximately 10 points per game.

    This makes the argument at best a wash. We can’t look at wins, because both teams were bad. But, we can look at other stats. The Knicks were, by some measure, the 4th best rebounding team in the league, Philly 24th. The Knicks outrebounded Philly by about 4 boards per game. Doesn’t this lead to the logical conclusion that Dalembert got all the boards because he had to? Curry on the other hand, wasn’t particularly hurting the team by being an average rebounder, since that was one of the team’s strengths.

    5) Knock Curry for being a poor defender and shot blocker. But the fact that he is an average rebounder is a non-issue on this team. And, anyone who knocks Curry under rates his offensive prowess. Curry was one of the most, if not the most dominant post player in the league last year on offense. If you are looking for reasons why the Knicks offense was worse with him on the team, look no further than the Knicks eFG% of 41% on jump shots. Maybe it was the other players missing shots that caused the problem. When Curry goes out, there’s no post presence, so the perimeter players drive more, and therefore score more efficiently. Personally, I’d rather have better shooting guards than give up a scoring threat like Curry.

  71. Owen

    “a few of these posts go overboard stating he?s not that good”

    2) I didn’t say Kobe wasn’t a great player. I have said throughout that he is one of the three best shooting guards in the NBA. In absolute terms, i.e. Wins Produced, he was actually the most productive shooting guard in the NBA last year. That’s TFK’s definition of productive, (see – I can learn.)

    However, shooting guards are generally far less productive than centers and power forwards, its a short supply of tall people thing, so he is at a disadvantage in that respect.

    I have also said that he is not anything close to a once in a generation player like Jordan and Magic who are the best to ever play their positions in the modern statistical era. He has never been remotely as good as Jordan.I also said he is not better than Wade, which I don’t hear anyone arguing. Nor on a per minute basis is he as good as Manu, though 12 minutes per game extra is certainly worth something. The guy also gets paid 18 million per and is entering his 11th year in the league and is a total jackass according to some. He calls himself the Mamba for crying out loud. (that’s a joke you Kobe lovers)

    3) What Wade accomplished was (insert qualifier of choice), much more impressive than what Kobe accomplished. In 05-06 Wade was a much better performer than Shaq. He was, in that year, indisputably the best player on an NBA championship team. Kobe can’t say that. As good as he was during the Lakers run, Shaq was better.

    4-5) I made a typical mistake? Lol, I think my forte is the atypical mistake (and blueberry almond pancakes cooked fresh just like David likes em)

    First of all, Curry is not an average rebounder. He is a well below average rebounder. The average center collects 12.4 rebounds per 48 minutes. Eddy Curry collected 9.6 last year. The average center commits 2.8 to’s per 48. EC committed 5. So over the course of 48 minutes (not a game), Curry generates 5 less possessions than the average center. This is a big difference.

    Relative to a fairly good center like Dalembert, the difference is a bit bigger. On the Gaining and Maintaining Possession front (G&M), Dalembert was at 10.9 (13.9 – 3). With Curry at 4.6, that’s a net advantage of 6.3. Point Dalembert. Maybe more than a point actually. Msybe like 6.3 points.

    Interestingly, Dwight Howard and Tim Duncan are both at 11, the same as Sam. Ben Wallace I believe is the best at 12.8, no. lets see, yeah, there you go, David Lee 14.1, but he is not a center, wait, ok right, yep, that fortress of offensive ineptitude, Tyson Chandler, G&M= 14.8 per 48. I don’t know who leads that actually….

    Now, His extra 2.3 extra blocks are worth something also. Let’s say they are worth 1.15 more possessions. And lets add the .3 less steals, So on this metric, lets call it G&M+, Curry is 7.7 possessions worse over 48 minutes than Dalembert.

    But Wait! Hold Your Horses! Curry scores ten more points per game more than Sam D! He is most dominating offensive force in the deli aisle, um, paint!

    Hmmm…. (narrator pauses to reflect)

    You know, he actually takes 4.5 more shots and 6 more fta’s than Dalembert. That’s effectively 7.5 more shot attempts he is using.

    Hmmm, if Sam took those shots and fts’s and scored as his usual rate, he would score only about a point or so less for his team than Curry does for his. And then you would then have a center who scores as much as Curry while generating 7.7 possessions more per 48. You would basically have Tim Duncan minus the four extra assists per 48. (and minus being one of the best off box score defender in the world) Awesome! Sam Dalembert is actually one of the best centers in the NBA!

    Er, wait. Sam Dalembert is a terrible offensive player. He doesn’t know what the hell to do with himself once he has taken his 15 shots/fts per 48. He collapses and rolls up into a ball. His testicles shrivel up. He just doesn’t know how to manufacture his own shot, and lacks the necessary heart, soul, grit, determination and general will to win. (Actually, he only scores one point less than the average center per 48 and scores more efficiently than average.) In truth, there is no way he can handle those extra 7.5 scoring opportunites per 48 that Curry manfully shoulders.

    And those shot attempts just disappear right. The same thing happens to them that happens to the rebounds Curry fails to prevent the other team from getting. That is why Curry is so much better! The shot attempts he is taking, they wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for those awesome cornrows and that not so sleek but oh so chic, scoring sea-lion physique.

    No, wait. Hold up. Those extra attempts. Just because Sam doesn’t take them and Eddy Curry does…um… Yeah, you know what. Sam has teammates. And I think they actually sort of, in a way “generate” those shots for him, by which I mean take them instead. Those guys are actually pretty good at generating shots, they managed to “generate” an extra 23 shots per game when Iverson left, or something like that. (ballpark)

    But wait, they are less efficient at scoring than Sam is, and he is 2% less efficient than Eddy Curry for that matter. Disaster! Well, wait a minute, yeah. Not that much of a difference actually. AI (i.e. the AI who is actually an excellent basketball player) takes two shots, (56.2 ts%) Korver takes two, (56.9 ts%) Willie Green takes 2 ((45.8 ts% lol roftlmaoahts%), Andre Miller (that unheralded but way better than Iverson point guard) takes one (52% ts%) and Shavlik Randolph makes a technical foul shot . And they score some points. Let’s say they do it at a 53.5% ts%. (I don’t know what the number is actually, but for arguments sake.) So on the extra 7.5 opportunities that they are shouldering for Sam, who just isn’t high usage enough to carry the load, the rest of the team nets 4 points. assuming Sam doesn’t sneak in there and grab an offensive board and give them a second chance.

    Now Curry with his extra 7.5 opportunities and the enormous ballsack required to shoot them, unlike that wimpy Fugee, scores 4.53 points on those extra opportunities.

    And that’s what it boils down to basically. That is the Eddy Curry Scoring Advantage. That is the gooey man-cream filling inside what I like to call the Big Turnover, but what I also sometimes refer to, in frustration, after the ball deflects off EC’s meaty palms once again, the Trade Our Future For a Crappy 8 million $ Turnover Prone Center With a Heart Condition Shit Sandwich. It’s the T@OF*FAC8!M$T^P!C#aH^CSS for short. That’s 5 possessions less than average in G&M, 7.7 less possessions than Dalembert in G&M+, bad defender, and half a point to i don’t know 1.5 points (when you consider all 22 shots he takes at 60% ts%) more per 48 than what Dalembert and the three blind mice on the 76ers can do with 22.6 scoring opportunities per 48.

    Did I mention he sucks horribly at defense?

    Lol, ok, I got a bit carried away there. Tell me, honestly. Have I made a typical mistake with my (slightly satirical (but in truth hopefully respectful)) analysis? It’s entirely possible.But that I think is more or less how it works. That is why this man, this misunderstood, paint dominating wunderkind who still makes his offense worse, should not be the future of our franchise. The bottom line is that his scoring helps us much less than everything else he does poorly hurts us, relative to other centers in the league, a lot. And it hurts me too.

    It may be the Knicks still managed to rebound well, though the numbers certainly don’t show that on the offensive end and I dont even begin to buy that theory. We certainly did turn the ball over a lot. We were 29th in the league in turnovers.

    Really it’s going to be awesome in New York for the next decade, if you CurryHeads convince IT to lock him down so that he can man the paint for the rest of his career we will have:

    The House That A-Rod Built,
    The House That David&Jose Built
    And there, in the heart of New York,
    Shining like a beacon of liberty to Fast Food Nation,
    THE MOST FAMOUS ARENA IN SPORTS….

    …..Eddy Curry’s Pastry Shop!!!!!!

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    If you want to read a good post about why Eddy Curry has been a well below an average center, try:

    http://dberri.wordpress.com/2007/03/13/the-curry-scoring-illusion/

    Or just look at this chart

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

    This would be a good time to remind the world that if Eddy Curry is, through dint of some divine miracle, an above average center next year in extended minutes according to one Professor David J. Berri of Cal State Bakersfield, there will be a bottle of Kristal on Jon Abbey’s doorstep in time for him to celebrate our getting knocked out of the playoffs. Where are you Jon btw?

    And actually, I am going to up the ante a little bit. In the event of either the second coming or Eddy Curry’s being above average in over 2000 minutes in the NBA, I will take the entire Knickerblogger staff to Duane Park Patisserie for all you can eat turnovers to celebrate the end of a glorious era.

  72. thefatkid

    Owen, I?m not suggesting that Okur was better than Wallace on that team. I?m suggesting that Okur was just as effective as Wallace. Okur gave the team an offensive threat that could still rebound and block shots. He was essentially the perfect change-of-pace player to substitute for Wallace. The stats don?t reflect him being better than Wallace because he wasn?t better. This, combined with the fact that Brown hated his game and never played him, results in the stats being terrible for Okur. But Billups had no effective replacement, which is a major part of why he was the most important player on that team.

    As for Okur as an average center, what are you using for an average? Okur was an All-Star and he?s one of the best centers in the NBA. Your unabashed love for Wallace only further confirms my belief that you overvalue rebounds tremendously and undervalue scoring.

    Regarding Wade and Bryant, you?re strictly using per minute stats to the exclusion of per game stats. Has Wade ever scored 30 PPG, yet alone 35+ PPG? Bryant shot the three point ball much better than Wade and he?s a significantly more accurate shooter than Wade. Wade only shot an eFG% of 40.3 on jumpers, which is hideous for a guard. Bryant shot a much more respectable 46.7%.

    ?Did I say the Knicks needed Deng? I hate to be right about something I didn?t say. FWIW, SF and PF are the only positions the Knicks dont need nelp.?

    I?ll lay claim to that one then. And I know you don?t believing in scoring, but actually SF and PF were the Knicks? two worst positions last season by a large margin. There was very little production from either of those spots while opponents still managed to produce quite well against Knick forwards. In case you?re wondering, opponents were least productive at the center position.

    ?Re Kobe again, it?s not in fact true that his scoring percentage, his ts% that is, has suffered from having to take circus shots. Its actually improved since Shaq left, as a quick look at the stats will tell you.?

    His TS% has risen since the departure of Shaq because he?s taken more three pointers and more free throws. He?s actually improved his three point shooting as well, but he could be a much better shooter if he wasn?t taking circus shots.

    Randolph is a great scorer because of the points he puts up and the variety of ways he?s capable of doing so. You don?t put up 23.6 PPG in the NBA without being a great scorer. And for all the pundits who complain about Randolph being only a post player, he shot jumpers for an eFG% of 41.7, which is better than Wade.

    Regarding Dalembert and Curry, I?ll take Curry every time. If Dalembert is making his team so much better with his offensive rebounding and Curry making his much worse with his lack thereof, why is the difference between the two a miniscule 0.5 a rebound per game or 1.2 rebounds per 48 minutes? And why are the 76ers one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA while the Knicks are one of the best? Furthermore, why have Curry?s teams always been among the best rebounding teams in the league?

    Regarding the ?historical construct chart?, I wrote this last time and I think it?s still apt:

    ?The argument is based on a major flaw. If you constructed an ?average center? for each year of the past 25, you?d find that the 06-07 incarnation of this amalgamation is incredibly weak relative to historical results. The center position is currently at one of its weakest states in NBA history. Usage of historical data means Curry is being compared to David Robinson more often than Francisco Elson, which is unfair and not an accurate representation of current facts.

    Historically, Curry isn?t a great center. He certainly doesn?t compare favorably with Ewing, but in today?s NBA he is a great center. He enjoys a dominating advantage over his counterparts, which is essential.?

    Furthermore, you?re condemning Curry based on two completely arbitrary formulas that indicate very little. I?d never use G&M for anything and Win Score is only important if you view the change of possession as paramount.

  73. Owen

    Lol, no more drinking and posting for me, funny last night, but in the cold light of day…

    “Randolph is a great scorer because of the points he puts up and the variety of ways he?s capable of doing so. You don?t put up 23.6 PPG in the NBA without being a great scorer.”

    Career TS%

    J. Crawford 50.9%
    Z. Randolph 51.9%
    S. Marbury 52.9%

    You can’t be a great scorer without scoring more efficiently than ZR does. It’s as simple as that.

  74. Matthew

    Utah have a gem in Millsap, I just hope they realize it and trade Okur before they make the mistake of letting Millsap go into free agency and get paid by another team.

  75. Jesse

    Owen,

    That was quite a response! I wasn’t directing the Kobe comment directly at you. I just think it odd that people question whether the Knicks should make an attempt at acquiring him considering he is one of the top players at his position in the nba.

    As for the stuff about Curry, I’m sure your numbers are quite correct. I’m also convinced that Curry is a much better center than Dalembert, and part of the reason is I think it’s easier to find a player like Dalembert than Curry. It’s just my opinion after watching the NBA for roughly 30 years. Curry is unusual in terms of his interior offense in the current league.

    I think stats, at any level, are important and interesting, but so is scouting. I think people forget that. There’s one very good reason why Curry is a better center than Dalembert, and that is his highly efficient post scoring. If Dalembert was on the Knicks they would become what they were a few years back. A jump shooting team that lived and died, mostly died, from the outside. Without a legit inside threat, it becomes very difficult to win in basketball.

  76. IDST!

    I espn Trade Machined this one: Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, and $$$ for Kobe!!! Win- win 4 both teams. Starting line-ups:

    Knicks

    C Eddy Curry
    PF David Lee
    SF Renaldo Balkman/ Quentin Richardson
    SG Kobe Bryant
    PG Stephon Marbury

    Lakers: C Kwame Brown, PF Zach Randolph, SF Lamar Odom, SG Jamal Crawford, PG Derrek Fisher

  77. Owen

    “Curry is unusual in terms of his interior offense in the current league.”

    That’s true. Only Yao Ming matched (and exceeded) Curry’s volume and ts%.

    That said there have only been two seasons since the NBA started recording turnovers, in which a center who played more than 500 minutes averaged less than 10 rebounds per 48 and 5 turnovers or more. (Darryl Dawkins 82-83)

    I know the fact Eddy Curry is historically bad at the skill of gaining and maintaining possession doesn’t mean anything to you. Having spent 30 years watching the NBA, you understand that scoring is pretty much all that matters. But I am going to throw it out there anyway.

    Also, re Dalembert and Curry, I would note that Dalembert is only marginally less efficent than Curry at 58% ts%. Also, this might surprise you, but the 76ers were a better team than the Knicks last year, and were a better than .500% team after the Iverson trade, even without the “legit inside threat” that Curry provide.

    IDST! What does your name stand for? I love your trade idea. That is a trade that would be awesome for the Knicks. And the idea of the Kobe and Lee on the floor together makes me tingle. But it’s not going to happen.

  78. Owen

    Also, before you choose Curry over Dalembert, check this out:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/h2h.cgi?req=1&playoffs=N&p1=dalemsa01&p2=curryed01

    Quick Summary. Dalembert has played Curry 14 times. In two of those games, he played lsss than 10 minutes. In the remaining games, his teams are 11-1.

    Curry, amazingly, has a .4 edge in assists. He also has a sizable advantage in personal fouls. He has an 8 point edge in points scored. And he is worse in every other respect. That includes a 3 rebound advantage, 3 blocks more, a slight edge in shooting efficiency, and a 1.3 edge in turnovers.

    It’s anecdotal I know, but I love that feature over at basketball reference…

  79. IDST!

    Owen, I look at the stats and I still take Curry without a second thought. Dalembert is a formidable devensive stopper who will tally garbage points off of rebounds and alley-oops, BUT, he has no post moves! This past season, after all the injuries to the Knicks’ perimeter players, I saw Eddy Curry doubled, tripled, and even quadroupled-teamed!!! That won’t happen to Dalembert… ever. So, I say that to say this… Eddy Curry is a problem for any opposing defense and is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.

  80. IDST!

    continued-
    With that said, you pair him with a perimeter superstar who knows how to get the most out of his big man (with talent) in Kobe Bryant, a shooter in Q-Rich, a rebounder in D-Lee, a all-out hustler in Balkman, and a scoring PG who’s becoming more team oriented in Marbury and sky’s the limit.
    Defense is a mindset that can be taught and learned. You can’t teach atheleticsm. It’s either there or it’s not and kudos to Isiah for understanding that. As for Kobe becoming a Knick via the aforementioned trade scenario, if he holds out, it’s a done deal. Chicago would not have enough pieces left in place for consideration.

    I Don’t Switch Teams!

  81. thefatkid

    ?That said there have only been two seasons since the NBA started recording turnovers, in which a center who played more than 500 minutes averaged less than 10 rebounds per 48 and 5 turnovers or more. (Darryl Dawkins 82-83)?

    But Curry only averaged 4.97 turnovers per 48. Seriously though, why does it matter whether Curry grabbed 9.6 RP48M or 10 RP48M? And exactly how many centers have scored more points, or more PPM, than Curry?

    ?I know the fact Eddy Curry is historically bad at the skill of gaining and maintaining possession doesn?t mean anything to you. Having spent 30 years watching the NBA, you understand that scoring is pretty much all that matters. But I am going to throw it out there anyway.?

    And Dennis Rodman was the greatest player ever at G&M. Think that statistic might penalize ballhandlers and scorers while rewarding niche rebounders? I?ll just throw this out there: there?s a strong inverse relationship between PPG and G&M, just as there?s a strong inverse relationship between APG and G&M.

    ?Curry, amazingly, has a .4 edge in assists. He also has a sizable advantage in personal fouls. He has an 8 point edge in points scored. And he is worse in every other respect. That includes a 3 rebound advantage, 3 blocks more, a slight edge in shooting efficiency, and a 1.3 edge in turnovers.?

    I?m completely unsure as to why you?d use P48M stats in this case. Clearly Dalembert was playing 25 MPG against Curry for a reason: he was committing 4.1 PFs during that time. Per 48M, Dalembert had 8 fouls while Curry was at 5.1. How is that not a massive determinant in your analysis? Curry clearly outplayed Dalembert and kept him on the bench.

    As far as what they did when matched up, Curry took 7.1 free throws PG (thanks for the fouls, Sam!) against Dalembert?s 1.9 and scored 15.1 PPG against Dalembert?s 8.1. Rebounding was actually remarkably similar, with 7.4 RPG for Dalembert and 7.1 RPG for Curry. Dalembert did win the blocks and turnovers, but the ridiculous difference in PPG more than compensates.

    It?s glaringly obvious that Curry crushed Dalembert in their individual matchup but the 76ers won due to better contributions from the rest of the team. Against the Bulls, Kenny Thomas generally played out of his mind against the crypt-keeper Antonio Davis, while Iverson always added a whole slew of points. Against the Knicks, Webber, Iguodala and Miller did the damage.

  82. jon abbey

    “Where are you Jon btw?”

    waiting for the season to start, watching the Yankees and the US Open, and running my business. I don’t see the point in these endless circular arguments anymore, I’d prefer to wait and see how this team actually does rather than hypothesize about it before any more games are played. I will say a few things:

    1) the Lakers aren’t trading Kobe Bryant for anyone until at least next offseason. I think the chances they move him then are still close to zero, but we’ll see.

    2) I still think it’s a bad mistake to treat turnovers by an individual like it’s some kind of gospel written in stone. I’ve seen so many cases where the person who deserved the turnover wasn’t the one charged with it, or it was a combined team error and it’s attributable to one guy.

    3) for the people who are largely looking at the bottom line (wins) to judge Isiah (the always exceedingly rational Ted, for instance), I think this is the first year that we can really judge that (speaking only for myself, of course).

    so, 45 wins this year, no excuses (barring a cluster of catastrophic injuries), or Isiah gets a big black mark on his record in my book. do I think that we’ll actually win that many? not really, no.

  83. Owen

    TFK – Ok, help me with some math here. I tried up above, and maybe I got it wrong. You seem handy with a calculator.

    We know that per 48 last year Eddy Curry had a ts% of 60.3 and took 22.65 shots, if you count two ft’s as one shot. This resulted in 26.6 points for the Knicks.

    We know that Dalembert took 14.6 shots per 48, on a ts% of 58.

    We know that because Dalembert isn’t as good offensively as Curry, the other Sixers have to shoot the remaining shots. Their ts% was 53% overall for the season. But if you back out Dalembert’s contribution, let’s say they shoot the remaining shots at 52% ts%.

    Now. How many more points did the Knicks score than the Sixers on those 22.6 shots per 48? What is the huge advantage the Knicks reaped, leaving turnovers and offensive rebounds aside, from having such a dominating interior offensive presence?

  84. thefatkid

    Owen, I’m not sure I understand what you want, but I’ll do my best.

    Knicks: 53.94%
    Curry: 60.45%
    Knicks – Curry: 52.55%
    Knicks – Lee: 53.16%

    Sixers: 52.98%
    Dalembert: 58.09%
    Sixers – Dalembert: 52.39%

    It would seem Curry made the Knicks 1.39% better in TS% while Dalembert 0.59% better. Or, stated differently, Curry’s benefit to his team in TS% was roughly 237.4% more than that of Dalembert. Likewise, the effect of Curry on increasing the TS% of the Knicks’ offense was roughly 180% greater than the impact of David Lee. Does that answer your question?

  85. Owen

    Lol, not quite, but that helps a bit.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm.cgi?req=1&cum=0&p1=dalemsa01&y1=2007&p2=wallabe01&y2=2007&p3=curryed01&y3=2007

    Curry shoots 60.3 ts% – scores 26.6 points on 22.65 shots.

    Sam D shoots 58 ts% – scores 16.6 points on 14.6 shots

    76ers shoot 52.39 ts% – score 8.43 points on 8.05 shots

    The Knicks score 26.6 points
    The Sixers score 25.03 points

    So the Eddy Curry scoring advantage, properly tallied, over what Dalembert and the Sixers produce, is 1.57 points per 48.

    Dalembert, however collects 1.2 offensive rebounds more per 48 though. This translates into 1.2 more shots. At a 53% ts%, since Dalembert can and does shoot his offensive rebounds, this translates into 1.27 points more points for the Sixers.

    So Curry’s offensive advantage is now down to .30 points per 48.

    However Eddy also commits 2 more turnovers per 48 than Dalembert. Now, in the course of taking the 8 shots that Dalembert can’t take, and that Curry does, the other Sixers will commit turnover. The Sixers as a team committed 1 turnover for every 5.1 shots they took. So, in the course of taking 8 shots, they commit 1.57 turnovers. That’s .4 less than Curry. That’s .4 less shots, and essentially, a cost of .4 point against Curry’s ledger.

    So, net, the Sixers are .1 points better per 48 with Dalembert than the Knicks are with Curry.

    That’s how I think about these things. I honestly don’t know if it works exactly that way, I get the numbers wrong sometimes, so correct me if I didn’t do the math right. And obviosuly, basketball is dynamic. But what the numbers say is that being a great interior defender like Curry without being a good offensive rebounder, and without protecting the ball, means not making your team much better offensively than a stiff like Dalembert.

    Alright, time to watch some football….

  86. Ben R

    Owen – A better test is if we replaced Dalembert with Curry on the Knicks. If we did that and Dalembert still used 15.5 possesions per 40 like he did on the Sixers then he would use 8 less possesions than Curry, to make up the difference we will replace those eight possesions with that of the average Knick possesion minus Curry for the remaining 8.

    Curry Total 23.5 Pos:
    22.2 Pts 4.1 To 1.0 Ast
    Dalembert 15.5 Pos + NY-Curry 8 Pos:
    19.8 Pts 3.5 To 2.4 Ast

    So in 23.5 Possesions Curry scores 2.4 more points, and gets 1.4 less assists, while causing 0.6 more turnovers. (since an assist is worth about one point over a simple pass and the negative value of turnovers is already built into his used possesions) Curry has a +1 point advantage over Dalembert(with other NY players picking up the slack).

    Curry vs the average NY player
    Curry 23.5 Pos:
    22.2 Pts 4.1 To 1.0 Ast
    NY-Curry 23.5 Pos:
    16.5 Pts 3.0 To 4.0 Ast
    Again Curry is better than the average Knick player. He scores 5.7 more points and has 3.0 less assists while having 1.1 more turnovers. That gives Curry a +2.7 advantage over the average Knick.

    As you can see Curry makes up for his turnovers by converting a much higher percentage of his shots. Curry is a good offensive player and if he can get his turnover rate and free throw percentage back to where it was in Chicago he will be a great one and his dominance over the average Knick or a center like Dalembert will be even more pronounced.

  87. Owen

    Ben –

    I am not sure your numbers are right. I don’t understand them anyway. How does Curry get 1.4 less assists for instance? They have the same assist number. I do see what you are doing combining turnovers into the possession equation. Will run the numbers by hand per 48 and see what I think.

    Also, does that 1 point advantage Curry has over Dalembert take into account the extra offensive rebound Dalembert would capture per 40 for the Knicks? That would result in an extra point and make their impact equal, right? So then you would have basically the same offensive impact, would leave you with a far superior player on the defensive, someone who rebounds better and blocks a lot more shots.

    Isn’t that right?

  88. thefatkid

    Owen, TS% already takes free throw attempts into account, so I’m not sure what you’re trying to do. Why are you creating an arbitrary FGA number and then making bizarre inferences to create statistical comparisons?

    As I’ve already explained, if you’re interested in measuring each player’s impact on TS%, you can see what their contributions did for their team’s respective offenses.

    If you wanted to see Dalembert matched up against Curry, we’ve already gone through that scenario as well. I think the numbers speak for themselves.

    I understand that you’re interested in finding some way of proving Dalembert more valuable than Curry, via statistics. But manipulating data is an arbitrary fashion is not exactly a sound method for analysis.

  89. Ben R

    Owen – The 1.4 more assists that Dalembert (with the Knicks making up the slack) would get is because during the 8 possesions the Knicks are having to “make up” they have an assist rate of 16.9, which is the average assist rate of all the Knick possesions not used by Curry.

    About the offensive rebound, the difference per 40 (which is what I based all my calculations on) is actually 0.8, which is worth about 0.7-0.8 points, so you are right that makes the offensive cotribution about equal, or at least within 0.2-0.3 points per 40, but that is assuming that the extra 0.8 offensive rebounds that Dalembert gets come from taking the rebound from the other team and not from a teammate. So I would value that 0.8 extra offensive rebounds per 40 at no more than an extra 0.5 points but still, I admit that is less than a one point difference.

    But I think that Dalembert’s defensive contributions are exaggerated, he is a great weakside shot blocker but is a fairly poor man defender as reflected by the 17.0 PER he allowed opposing center’s to get this year. So while he is a much beter shot blocker than Curry, Curry is a better man defender and only allowed his man a 15.8 PER against him. Dalembert is at best an average defender, and at worst actually worse than Eddy.

    Also while Dalembert averaged more rebounds than Curry he did so on one of the worst rebounding teams in the league and would most likely see his rebounding contribution diminish if he played on a great rebounding team like the Knicks.

    With all that said I still like Dalembert and while I would not take him over Curry I still think he is an above average center. The big reason why I prefer Curry is that hehad a career high turnover rate and a career low free throw percentage and Dalembert had a career high in TS% and FT%, and the second lowest turnover rate of his career, yet Curry was still the better offensive player. If Curry can return to his previous form in regards to turnovers and free throw percentage the offensive differerence would not be close at all.

  90. Owen

    TFK –

    Just tell me how many more points Curry scores for the Knicks then Dalembert and the Sixers do. Then back out 1.2 points for Dalembert’s offensive rebounding, and the difference in turnovers committed, and tell me why it doesn’t make sense that Curry doesn’t actually have a huge impact offensively compared to a player like Dalembert.

    And this is, again, totally leaving out defense, wehre Dalembert 2.9 more rebounds, .3 more steals, and 2.3 more blocks.

    Dalembert is the better player by a large margin.

  91. thefatkid

    Owen, I don’t do that sort of statistical analysis. If you want to assign arbitrary weights to various statistics in order to produce meaningless single number stats, be my guest. I’ll happily explain the flaws in your method if you like, but I’m hardly going to produce my own faulty analysis.

    Clearly we like to look at different things. I place significantly more emphasis on offensive statistics than you do and you value possession statistics more.

  92. Caleb

    Posesssion statistics ARE offensive statistics.

    ftk, this is getting weird. I mean, you are sharp with numbers, you think about what statistics represent but you are allergic to the word “posession.”

    I (briefly!) thought more about the baseball comparison. Plate appearances are a good analogy to possessions; if an inning were the right analogy, a basketball team would get the ball back after a score, like we do it in playground 3-on-3.

    “Possession theory” shouldn’t be controversial – it’s just a necessary tool for calculating a rate, rather than an actual number — calculating batting average or slugging percentage rather than the number of hits.

    I think you are defensive because you think it’s inherently an either-or argument. Not necessarily. Hits are a decent statistic; they tell you, among other things, whether a player was durable enough to play a lot of games, and whether his fielding skills (or home run power, or speed) were enough to keep him in the lineup. Measures of total production, including per-game stats, are perfectly valid and useful, e.g. telling you at a glance is this player a starter, a primary scorer, etc.

    BUT… there are many reasons many (most) people on this board prefer rate (i.e. possession-based) statistics. Some of them:

    1. Per-minute stats stay fairly constant as minutes increase, or decrease. There is an element of truth that yes, players only get more minutes if they play well and earn more minutes. a) That’s a limitation of any stat — more so if you’re talking PPG; a player can’t score more unless he’s playing well enough to be in the lineup. b) If there were any significant tendency for “role” players to do worse when they get more minutes, it would be apparent, since coaches do in fact test guys who don’t pan out, players are pressed into larger roles by injury, etc.

    2. Per #1, possession-based stats enable you to make comparisons between full and part-time players.

    3. Possession based stats are more precise, and provide much more detail. Per-game stats tell you, above all, who gets playing time. If you only look at total points scored, the conversation is over. If you want to understand what factors went into scoring those points – which skills are most valuable, what types of offenses (or defenses) are most effective, etc., you have to analyze possessions.

  93. Owen

    Ben – Glad you agree more or less…

    At this piont, an analysis gets very complicated. You are right, it’s true that Curry’s 9.6 rebounds per 48 was well below his career mark of 10.4, And his mark in 05-06 was above it by the same margin at 11.1. So that is a huge drop off there with increased minutes played. It’s also true his turnovers skyrocketed.

    There seems to be some sort of basketball quanta for Curry. It’s a consistent pattern. When one thing goes up, another falls. Last year his scoring and minutes went up, and his scoring efficiency stayed the same, but his rebounding and turnovers got much worse. A .4 difference per 40 in offensive rebounding is a real cost, relative to what he was offering the year before. No matter how you spread Curry around the court, it seems you end up with a below average player. And I think this has a lot to do with the fact that he just isn’t a great athlete.

    Dalembert’s rebounding numbers, on a bad rebounding team, were actually worse than his career average last year, and significantly worse than what he posted the two years before that. So, I don’t ihink his numbers were inflated by being no a bad rebounding team. He is, has always been, and always will be a much better rebounder than Curry.

    It is true that his TS% was at a career high, but he was only 1.3% above his previous high and 2% above his career average.

    I should say, fwiw, that I am definitely influenced in my analysis by the fact that Wins Produced tells me that Dalembert has been above average every year of his career, something WP tells us Curry has never been, and a bottle of Cristal says he won’t be next year.

    I also struggle mightily to believe Dalembert is a weaker defensive center. That just seems ludicrous to me from what I have seen from him in college and the pros. Curry has made the Knicks 5.3 points worse on defense both years he has played here! And he made all his Bulls team worse as well. That is definitely statistically significant. Dalembert has made his team better on defense every year in the league, although as his minutes increase his defensive impact seems to be decreasing. Last year it was only 1.8.

    In sum, statistically speaking, I just dont see the argument for Curry over Dalembert. You can’t make one on past performance. It can only be on potential.

  94. thefatkid

    ?I (briefly!) thought more about the baseball comparison. Plate appearances are a good analogy to possessions; if an inning were the right analogy, a basketball team would get the ball back after a score, like we do it in playground 3-on-3.?

    Teams don?t get the same number of plate appearances by any measure. Teams always get the same number of innings. Likewise, teams always have roughly the same number of possessions.

    ??Possession theory? shouldn?t be controversial – it?s just a necessary tool for calculating a rate, rather than an actual number ? calculating batting average or slugging percentage rather than the number of hits.?

    It?s a necessary tool for converting a time-based contest into a turn-based contest. This is done because current statistical methods struggle with the concept of a time-based game as most have been developed for a turn-based game, which is far more conducive to statistical analysis.

    ?I think you are defensive because you think it?s inherently an either-or argument.?

    I dislike the concept because I feel it makes too many compromises in the name of producing simplified answers.

    ?And I think this has a lot to do with the fact that he just isn?t a great athlete.?

    Curry isn?t a great athlete? He has more fluid movements than some guards and his quickness and leaping ability are quite good. For a man his size, he?s an athletic freak.

    ?I should say, fwiw, that I am definitely influenced in my analysis by the fact that Wins Produced tells me that Dalembert has been above average every year of his career, something WP tells us Curry has never been, and a bottle of Cristal says he won?t be next year.?

    This is because you?re working within the framework of an arbitrary statistical construct. You can afford to make that sort of bet because you know Curry won?t beat Dalembert when the statistical comparison is geared towards Dalembert?s skills and against those of Curry. You might as well be betting on blocks.

    ?I also struggle mightily to believe Dalembert is a weaker defensive center.?

    This is probably because Dalembert blocks shots and makes impressive plays from the weakside. In man situations, he gets abused and commits too many fouls, as you saw when he was matched against Curry. Of course, since few centers are capable of much of anything on offense, is on-ball defense really important or relevant? Does it matter that Curry treats him like a ragdoll?

    ?In sum, statistically speaking, I just dont see the argument for Curry over Dalembert. You can?t make one on past performance. It can only be on potential.?

    The argument is quite easy to make, actually. You could argue that Curry dominated when they were matched up against one another. Alternatively, you could claim that Curry?s massive advantage in offensive categories outweighs the advantages Dalembert enjoys in defensive categories and turnovers.

  95. Caleb

    “It?s a necessary tool for converting a time-based contest into a turn-based contest.”

    While it has running clock, basketball is also a turn-based contest. One team gets the ball, then the other team gets the ball. Repeat.

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