Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Wolves 112, Knicks 103

view of a road sign saying panic button

Before the game I took a gander at my stat page to see what the Knicks were up against. The Timberwolves seemed to be their typical pathetic selves, ranked 30th on offense and 25th on defense. Most of the four factors were below average, far below average. That is except for one notable exception, rebounding. Prior to tonight’s game, Minnesota ranked 2nd in offensive rebounding, 8th on their own glass.

So it should not have been a surprise to see the Twolves dominate New York on the glass. In the third quarter with Amar’e Stoudemire on the bench due to foul trouble, it seemed that Kevin Love grabbed every Minnesota miss. With Mozgov occupied with Darko Milicic, New York had Wilson Chandler on Love. And for the most part that match-up on the glass looked like a high schooler facing off against grade schoolers. Love set a Minny record with 15 rebounds in the 3rd quarter, three shy of the NBA record (Nate Thurmond in 1965). By the game’s end he also set the team record for total rebounds with 31.

New York squandered a 21 lead in the 3rd quarter, and Minnesota eventually took the lead in the 4th quarter with 9 minutes left and went on to victory. In addition to being out-muscled and out-hustled on the glass, the Knicks shot poorly (44% eFG). Five New Yorkers had more shots than points, Chandler (17 points, 19 fga), Amar’e (14 pts, 15 fga), Douglas (10 pts, 9 fga), Mozgov (0 pts, 2 fga), and Randolph (0 pts, 2 fga). Although Chandler shot poorly, he did contribute with 5 blocks and 7 assists. And Felton (22 pts, 13 fga, 8 ast), Fields (16 pts 14 fga, 9reb, 3 stl), and Gallo (25 pts, 17 fga, 5 reb) saw their good nights wasted in the losing effort.

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65 comments on “Wolves 112, Knicks 103

  1. bouncerpr

    Where do I begin. How do you have a 21 point lead to the timberwolves and loose by 9????? Totally unacceptable, for the team, for the coach and for the franchise…. I’m really starting to believe that we really did get cursed by trading Pat Ewing…. But seriously why is wilson shooting so much???, why can’t Felton run the p&r???? And why can’t every other player on the team including Amare, play like Fields…. The worst lost this year I hope!!! Won’t be watching Sunday against the rockets, to see another L to a bad team… I truly hope we can get it together soon because if not some changes are coming… and they might not be for the best…

  2. BigBlueAL

    Brilliant. SportsCenter leads off not only with Kevin Love highlights but an interview with him as well. I think its time to turn off the TV and go to bed, have to wake up early anyway.

  3. iluminati

    SSOL gets exposed again. The problem is that the system leans on taking shots so quickly so often than it’s a difficult system to slow down. Throw in the fact that the team rarely presses, and teams can come back in a hurry. People wonder why the p&r wasn’t running, but if you’ve seen PHX during the D’Antoni era, you’d see why. When a team gets cold in the SSOL style, they tend to keep shooting in a hurry, and rarely break down into a structured set. When it works, you can score in bunches, but when it breaks, it IMPLODES. Add in D’Antoni’s known disdain for offensive rebounds (See http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/bucking-a-trend-grizzlies-hit-the-offensive-boards/) and games like this will just happen from time to time.

  4. latke

    iluminati: SSOL gets exposed again.The problem is that the system leans on taking shots so quickly so often than it’s a difficult system to slow down.Throw in the fact that the team rarely presses, and teams can come back in a hurry.People wonder why the p&r wasn’t running, but if you’ve seen PHX during the D’Antoni era, you’d see why.When a team gets cold in the SSOL style, they tend to keep shooting in a hurry, and rarely break down into a structured set.When it works, you can score in bunches, but when it breaks, it IMPLODES.Add in D’Antoni’s known disdain for offensive rebounds (See http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/bucking-a-trend-grizzlies-hit-the-offensive-boards/) and games like this will just happen from time to time.  

    I think your analysis of SSOL is spot on, and I think that’s the reason you saw those super-fast runs by the wolves in each of the first three quarters, but you’ll note that the knicks were up 7 entering the fourth, and at that point they abandoned SSOL. Here’s a breakdown of the knicks 4th quarter possessions:
    1: Turnover by Stoudemire, 6 seconds on shot clock.
    2: Chandler miss, 2 seconds on shot clock.
    3: Douglas miss, 9 seconds on shot clock.
    4: (offensive rebound) Fields missed 3, 15 seconds on shot clock.
    5: Gallinari charge
    6: Stoudemire blocked, 8 seconds on shot clock.
    7: Stoudemire jumpsuit good, 14 seconds on shot clock.
    8: Chandler fast break layup, 18 seconds on shot clock.
    9: Stoudemire blocked, 6 seconds on shot clock.
    10: Felton blocked, 19 seconds on shot clock.
    11: Felton miss, 8 seconds on shot clock.
    12: Stoudemire miss, 10 seconds on shot clock.
    13: Gallinari missed 3, 10 seconds on shot clock.
    14: Stoudemire miss, 10 seconds on shot clock.
    15: Stoudemire layup good, 11 seconds on shot clock.
    16: Chandler miss, 7 seconds on shot clock.
    17: Chandler three good, 6 seconds on shot clock.
    18: Felton blocked after minny foul resets SL, 16 seconds on shot clock, 16 second possession.
    19: after knicks jump ball, stoudemire jump shot good, 9 seconds on shot clock.
    20: Stoudemire miss, 16 seconds on shot clock.
    21: Gallinari fouled in the act, 18 seconds on shot clock.
    22: Chandler fouled, 14 seconds on shot clock.

    The average length of possession is 13.4 seconds. I hardly call that D’Antoni ball. I call that slightly faster than average basketball. It’s not that SSOL offense requires all possessions to be that fast, but I’d expect an average of around 10 or so. Also, note who’s shooting in the fourth:
    8/22: stoudemire
    5/22: Chandler
    3/22: Felton
    3/22: Gallinari
    1/22: Douglas

    More than most offenses, a great deal of SSOL is predicated upon a balanced offense. Everyone has to be a threat, and everyone has be willing to shoot when open (or keep the ball moving when not). The 4th quarter was clearly not SSOL in any way shape or form, and that IMO is why the knicks were annihilated in that quarter.

    Here’s the thing: Teams didn’t just allow Stoudemire to dunk his way to four straight seasons of 60%+ TS%. Any team with half a brain would rather give up an open three than an open dunk. Stoudemire’s dunking marathon comes from the fact that Nash piloted the team, and the way he piloted the team was to direct shots to the exterior until teams were so effing terrified of the rapid barrage of three pointers that were coming there way, that they stopped hedging on pick and rolls. Then AND ONLY THEN did Nash pinpoint passes into Amare’s able hands.

    Clearly this whole process was somewhat beyond Stoudemire’s comprehension, and, terrifyingly, perhaps it was somewhat beyond D’Antoni’s as well, because this team continues to treat Stoudemire as though he is capable of just dunking from anywhere on the court. Beyond that, the Felton and Chandler have this fascination with the fact that they are the scorers on this team, and mistakenly believe that that role suggests that when the going gets tough, they absolutely must shoot. This is a blatant failure to communicate on the part of D’Antoni, because he clearly understands that that is not the way his system works.

    Damnit.

    From now on, perhaps I will end all my annoyingly long posts as such.

    Damnit.

  5. nicos

    Yes, the offense wasn’t great but they lost this game because they gave up 61 points in the second half to a terrible offensive team by not rebounding the basketball. After the Knicks went up by 21 in the third they gave up 19 second chance points- pretty much giving back their entire lead. Gallo managed all of one defensive rebound during that stretch and that came with 10 seconds left. Chandler got absolutely killed by Love (as you’d expect) but has to better if he’s going to play a lot of 4. D’Antoni should have at least tried Timo on Love and let Chandler guard Darko during the third. They might also have tried a big line-up with Amar’e, AR, Chandler, Gallo, and Felton- D’Antoni’s going to have to realize that sometimes this team is going to have to win the game on the defensive end and screw offensive spacing to get some stops.

  6. Shad0wF0x

    It’s not like we were scoring that well in the 4th anyway (16 vs 32). I would have put a bigger lineup of Timo/Amar’e, AR, Chandler as the Wolves’ front line. Anything that would increase the chances of a getting a defensive rebound. A part of playing defense is to stop them from getting offensive rebounds in the 1st place.

    “Here’s the thing: Teams didn’t just allow Stoudemire to dunk his way to four straight seasons of 60%+ TS%. Any team with half a brain would rather give up an open three than an open dunk. Stoudemire’s dunking marathon comes from the fact that Nash piloted the team, and the way he piloted the team was to direct shots to the exterior until teams were so effing terrified of the rapid barrage of three pointers that were coming there way, that they stopped hedging on pick and rolls. Then AND ONLY THEN did Nash pinpoint passes into Amare’s able hands.” – latke

    I agree with you completely. It’s the same situation in football when the running game opens up the passing game and vice-versa. When the team is running yards well, it makes it more likely that the defense will play a man to man. In terms of basketball, the defenders wouldn’t want to leave hot 3-point shooters wide open.

  7. iluminati

    latke:
    I think your analysis of SSOL is spot on, and I think that’s the reason you saw those super-fast runs by the wolves in each of the first three quarters, but you’ll note that the knicks were up 7 entering the fourth, and at that point they abandoned SSOL. Here’s a breakdown of the knicks 4th quarter possessions:
    1: Turnover by Stoudemire, 6 seconds on shot clock.
    2: Chandler miss, 2 seconds on shot clock.
    3: Douglas miss, 9 seconds on shot clock.
    4: (offensive rebound) Fields missed 3, 15 seconds on shot clock.
    5: Gallinari charge
    6: Stoudemire blocked, 8 seconds on shot clock.
    7: Stoudemire jumpsuit good, 14 seconds on shot clock.
    8: Chandler fast break layup, 18 seconds on shot clock.
    9:Stoudemire blocked, 6 seconds on shot clock.
    10: Felton blocked, 19 seconds on shot clock.
    11: Felton miss, 8 seconds on shot clock.
    12: Stoudemire miss, 10 seconds on shot clock.
    13: Gallinari missed 3, 10 seconds on shot clock.
    14: Stoudemire miss, 10 seconds on shot clock.
    15: Stoudemire layup good, 11 seconds on shot clock.
    16: Chandler miss, 7 seconds on shot clock.
    17: Chandler three good, 6 seconds on shot clock.
    18: Felton blocked after minny foul resets SL, 16 seconds on shot clock, 16 second possession.
    19: after knicks jump ball, stoudemire jump shot good, 9 seconds on shot clock.
    20: Stoudemire miss, 16 seconds on shot clock.
    21: Gallinari fouled in the act, 18 seconds on shot clock.
    22: Chandler fouled, 14 seconds on shot clock.The average length of possession is 13.4 seconds. I hardly call that D’Antoni ball.I call that slightly faster than average basketball.It’s not that SSOL offense requires all possessions to be that fast, but I’d expect an average of around 10 or so.Also, note who’s shooting in the fourth:
    8/22: stoudemire
    5/22: Chandler
    3/22: Felton
    3/22: Gallinari
    1/22: Douglas

    I don’t think that Chandler and Felton feel that they have to score. From what I watched, the impression I got was that Stoudemire is “The Man”, and that’s why they forced him the ball so much with 3-4 guys in the lane. What was even more disturbing is that no one tried to spot up off of this. The threes were there to be taken if they moved, but the Knicks’ wing players were spectators.

    Also, rewinding back to Phoenix, especially during those epic series against the Spurs, the same thing happened with the offense. They would bog down, throw it to Grant Hill or Boris Diaw in the extended post or have Nash wing it, usually to disastrous results.

    Finally, how much of SSOL do you think is predicated off of Euroball tendencies? If you notice in Euroball, the tendency isn’t is strong to run either off of rebounds or made shots. As a result, you can get away with not pressing and still being able to set up your defense, since they aren’t attacking those holes on a regular basis. I wonder if SSOL is optimized for the Euroball context, not realizing that a talented NBA team will attack more, even if they aren’t a run-and-gun team per se, simply because they can spot to opportunity and are willing to take advantage.

  8. massive

    I’m already looking towards tomorrow against Houston. No Yao, and no Aaron Brooks, and we’re home. If we lose, then I’m losing hope on the season.

    It was good to see Gallo go off for 25 points. But Wilson Chandler scored 17 points on 19 shots for a TS% of .418. Amar’e? 6 for 15 with a TS% of .429. That killed us. Add in Kevin Love’s best game of his career (which he will never repeat or best), and we really had no shot. I was pissed to see us blow a 21 point lead, but I mean we’re supposed to struggle right? I know one thing is for sure; we need rebounding and play-making on this team. Its hard to be a good rebounding team when your best rebounder isn’t in heavy rotation. I think Anthony Randolph could have equalized Kevin Love, and we would have been looking at an entirely different game.

  9. danvt

    I’m having a hard time right now. I drank the Kool-Aid and now I see that we’re pretty much just as bad as we’ve been at any time this decade. Poundings by mediocre teams (Bucks) and embarrassing losses to very bad teams (Wolves, Sixers). Unbelievably stupid turnovers, missed assignments on defense, poor team rebounding, terrible shot selection, bad ball movement. It’s like the Larry Brown year. It’s as bad as Duhon/ Harrington. I can’t tell you how painful it was to watch my beloved David Lee come into the Garden and pound us. Walsh has left us one good player short of a good team. Now we’re waiting for Carmelo and my guess is that, rather than wait for him to be an FA, we’ll give up a whole boatload to Denver and still be bad. We should have given David his money and kept him and paired him with Amar’e. Donnie says they wouldn’t have been able to sign Felton if they did that. Randolph has been a non factor, though he may get better (and definitely will the second we trade him). Turiaf is a career backup and not a difference maker and injury prone and already hurt. Azabuike better be a difference maker but can anyone really expect that after a decade of disastrous personnel decisions?

    Yes, we have money to add a good player once Fat Eddy sunsets, but, who is gonnna want to play for us? This just SUCKS! I can’t believe I’m out of hope so soon. I really can’t believe I feel this way nine games into the season.

  10. d-mar

    A week in the life of a long suffering Knicks fan:

    Philly 106 NY 96 Awful loss, but hey, it’s only one game in a long season, right?

    Milw. 107 NY 80 Complete destruction by the Bucks, but hey, it’s a road game against a playoff team that we were probably going to lose anyway

    GS 122 NY 117 Bad loss, but an entertaining game where the Knicks made a stirring comeback. And we’ve got 2 very winnable games coming up

    Minn. 112 NY 103 You know what? We suck!

  11. massive

    Maybe we’ll have a better week next week? The season is still in its early stages, and Toronto beat Orlando in Orlando last night. I think we can turn it around. Maybe I’m just being naive.

  12. Sly Williams

    “You know what? We suck!”
    I’m wondering about the Knicks current plan, since losing out on Lebron. It isn’t building through draft picks (2012 pick gone and 2011 can be switched by Rockets in McGrady trade). In the next couple years, the top free agents are very old (other than Carmelo). Are they planning on a 1 or 2 year run with Duncan, Nash, Garnett, JR Smith, and Carmelo? That seems like the most logical direction, as of now, even though it will be very difficult to fit those guys under the cap.

  13. jaylamerique

    massive: I’m already looking towards tomorrow against Houston. No Yao, and no Aaron Brooks, and we’re home. If we lose, then I’m losing hope on the season.It was good to see Gallo go off for 25 points. But Wilson Chandler scored 17 points on 19 shots for a TS% of .418. Amar’e? 6 for 15 with a TS% of .429. That killed us. Add in Kevin Love’s best game of his career (which he will never repeat or best), and we really had no shot. I was pissed to see us blow a 21 point lead, but I mean we’re supposed to struggle right? I know one thing is for sure; we need rebounding and play-making on this team. Its hard to be a good rebounding team when your best rebounder isn’t in heavy rotation. I think Anthony Randolph could have equalized Kevin Love, and we would have been looking at an entirely different game.  

    yah he might have but playing AR would have left us unable to score. that was our main problem after the T’wolves came back. we had no offense. Atleast with chandler he is a threat. also if played AR than stat would have had to guard beasley.

  14. Peter87

    Well, I’m as disappointed as anyone so far this season, I had high hopes too. But, incurable optimist as I am (as any Knicks fans left standing must be!) I have to look for bright spots:

    We blew a huge lead against a bad team

    but how many times in recent years have we even had a huge lead?

    Meager comfort, perhaps, but better than nothing…

    seriously, you statistics buffs out there, in how many games last year did we have a 20+ point lead?

  15. ess-dog

    That loss sucked, but I’m gonna give us to at least game 15 or 16 the gel as a team before I completely wipe my hands of this group.
    I hope this is a wake up call that we just can’t have a Chandler/Amar’e frontcourt out there. Moz and Turiaf are far from ideal, but they should get the job done.
    As for Randolph, why did we even trade for him if we aren’t going to play him? He’s just losing trade value by getting 5-10 minutes here and there. And we really could’ve used his rebounding last night. So what if he can’t score? Don’t let him shoot! There are 4 other players on the floor that can score.
    (calming down)
    Again, I’m not going to panic yet since we still clearly haven’t settled on a rotation or even starters yet, but count me against the Wil/Amare frontcourt. In fact, I would just like Wil to play less in general. 25 min a night is fine for him off the bench.

  16. Z

    Sly Williams: I’m wondering about the Knicks current plan, since losing out on Lebron.It isn’t building through draft picks (2012 pick gone and 2011 can be switched by Rockets in McGrady trade).In the next couple years, the top free agents are very old (other than Carmelo).Are they planning on a 1 or 2 year run with Duncan, Nash, Garnett, JR Smith, and Carmelo?That seems like the most logical direction, as of now, even though it will be very difficult to fit those guys under the cap.  

    Those guys aren’t free agents until 2012. Don’t think Walsh will sit on cap space next summer to save room for a few 35 year olds. And if those guys are looking to take cheap deals to play for contenders, I don’t think we qualify.

    Plan is clear. Play with what we got; sign Melo in off season if new CBA allows it; hope Amar’e and Melo are enough to win.

  17. Owen

    Didn’t see the game. But the box score makes the point that there is more than one way to win a basketball game. You can do it on the boards.

    The main thing that pops out from the box score was yet another strong performance from Landry Fields. I saw him play against the Warriors the other night. I don’t think I have ever seen a more heady player. He just has an incredible knack for doing the right thing out on the court. And he is a lot more athletic than he looks.

    It’s bizarre to say, but Landry is looking like the best player on this team right now and is dangerously close to becoming my new David Lee. He posted yet another positive plus minus last night, bringing the Knicks point differential with him on the floor to +7.

    So, at least there is something to get excited about.

  18. ess-dog

    Owen: Didn’t see the game. But the box score makes the point that there is more than one way to win a basketball game. You can do it on the boards.
    The main thing that pops out from the box score was yet another strong performance from Landry Fields. I saw him play against the Warriors the other night. I don’t think I have ever seen a more heady player. He just has an incredible knack for doing the right thing out on the court. And he is a lot more athletic than he looks.
    It’s bizarre to say, but Landry is looking like the best player on this team right now and is dangerously close to becoming my new David Lee.He posted yet another positive plus minus last night, bringing the Knicks point differential with him on the floor to +7.So, at least there is something to get excited about.  

    Agreed. I know he’s a rookie, but the offense should go through him rather than a highly inefficient Chandler (although I have to give Chandler credit for his 7 assists last night.)
    I still believe that Gallo will step up too. Fields, Gallo, Stat and a consistently average Ray. That’s all we’ve got.

  19. Z

    Owen:
    It’s bizarre to say, but Landry is looking like the best player on this team right now and is dangerously close to becoming my new David Lee.  

    I think I called “Owen + Landry Fields = Forever” back in the predictions thread to start the season… (right around the time I was predicting a 46 win season!)

  20. Z

    Statistically, I’d think people would be pretty happy with Ray Felton so far. Stat-heads decried his signing, but 16, 8, and 4 on a TS% of .590 is a lot better than those people expected from him.

    Of course, non-statistically, he’s been a disaster because he can’t run the pick and roll, which makes the entire offense fall apart.

    Could this be a case where stats DON’T paint a useful picture of a player’s worth?

  21. JK47

    Meanwhile, Melo is really playing pretty brilliantly so far. Career highs in eFG%, TS%, REB%, PER, WS/48. He could easily be sulking and phoning it in, but instead he’s playing the most efficient and productive ball of his career.

  22. hoolahoop

    Kevin Love got 31 boards because he wasn’t boxed out. Fundamentals. BOX OUT!
    I’m throwing in the towel on D’antoni. And take Walsh too. I’d give D’antoni three more games to turn this thing around, or bye bye. New GM, new coach. Let’s restart this engine before it’s too late.

  23. Sly Williams

    Z:
    Those guys aren’t free agents until 2012. Don’t think Walsh will sit on cap space next summer to save room for a few 35 year olds. And if those guys are looking to take cheap deals to play for contenders, I don’t think we qualify.Plan is clear. Play with what we got; sign Melo in off season if new CBA allows it; hope Amar’e and Melo are enough to win.  

    Yes, they would have to collect them over the next 2 years. If you are right, then trading draft picks for McGrady was a terrible deal, because Melo and Amare are not enough to contend for a title – no matter how much hoping is involved.

  24. totti

    Illuminati,

    The knicks play the opposite of eurostyle.
    Celtics, Jazz, Blazers, Spurs, all of these team and some others play a type of basketball quite similar to top euro teams.

    To an average european supporter like me, the way knicks play is completely unacceptable.

    To the promoters of this blog:

    please, start a “fire dantoni now” campaign before it’s too late

  25. Z

    Sly Williams: If you are right, then trading draft picks for McGrady was a terrible deal, because Melo and Amare are not enough to contend for a title – no matter how much hoping is involved.  

    Look, everyone would rather have Jeffries, Hill, our 2011 pick, and our 2012 pick right now. We didn’t do the McGrady trade just to free up room to sign Ray Felton and Tim Mozgov, though. If LeBron or Wade was here playing along side Amar’e, I don’t think you’d have a problem with Walsh trading the picks. He went all in and came up bust.

    The question is, moving forward, can the Knicks get back in the game? The answer is, of course, yes, but it will take a lot of work mixed with a lot of luck (something the Knicks have had none of for quite a while). Grunfeld was able to find Starks and Mason in the bargain bin. Walsh seems to have found Landry Fields there, which is great. He’s also managed to diversify the Knicks investment portfolio, so to speak, by collecting a roster-full of young, inexpensive players (Gallo, Randolph, Mozgov, Rautins, Walker, Fields). If any of them “mature”, the future becomes infinitely brighter.

    But I don’t think the plan is to resort to collecting 35 year olds. Duncan, Nash, and Garnet are all under contract until 2012. At that time I think there will be younger, better players available, if there is cap space to spend. But a lot will happen before we get there. Injuries, trades, lockouts, contractions, the end of the Mayan calendar, etc…

    Perhaps the McGrady trade will go down as a great stain on the legacy of Donnie Walsh. But there is still a good chance that, in the final end, it won’t.

  26. JK47

    Heat fans are already calling for Bosh to be traded and Spoelstra
    to be fired. They’re wondering whether Eddie House can be a starting PG. If this Heat team ends up failing it will be almost as satisfying as the Knicks succeeding. I love reading Heat blogs after they lose.

  27. Sly Williams

    Z:
    Look, everyone would rather have Jeffries, Hill, our 2011 pick, and our 2012 pick right now. We didn’t do the McGrady trade just to free up room to sign Ray Felton and Tim Mozgov, though. If LeBron or Wade was here playing along side Amar’e, I don’t think you’d have a problem with Walsh trading the picks. He went all in and came up bust.The question is, moving forward, can the Knicks get back in the game? The answer is, of course, yes, but it will take a lot of work mixed with a lot of luck (something the Knicks have had none of for quite a while). Grunfeld was able to find Starks and Mason in the bargain bin. Walsh seems to have found Landry Fields there, which is great. He’s also managed to diversify the Knicks investment portfolio, so to speak, by collecting a roster-full of young, inexpensive players (Gallo, Randolph, Mozgov, Rautins, Walker, Fields). If any of them “mature”, the future becomes infinitely brighter.But I don’t think the plan is to resort to collecting 35 year olds. Duncan, Nash, and Garnet are all under contract until 2012. At that time I think there will be younger, better players available, if there is cap space to spend. But a lot will happen before we get there. Injuries, trades, lockouts, contractions, the end of the Mayan calendar, etc…
    Perhaps the McGrady trade will go down as a great stain on the legacy of Donnie Walsh. But there is still a good chance that, in the final end, it won’t.  

    You sound defensive, which I don’t understand. I wasn’t criticizing anyone – I was trying to figure out what the Knicks plans are. Either way, if the Knicks continue to lose for years, Dolan is more to blame than Walsh.

  28. iluminati

    totti: Illuminati,The knicks play the opposite of eurostyle.
    Celtics, Jazz, Blazers, Spurs, all of these team and some others play a type of basketball quite similar to top euro teams.To an average european supporter like me, the way knicks play is completely unacceptable.To the promoters of this blog:please, start a “fire dantoni now” campaign before it’s too late  

    You misunderstood what I meant. My point was that the SSOL mindset was built to counter the Eurostyle, not be a part of it. (And for the record, I would throw the Celtics and Blazers in the Eurostyle bin.) SSOL is designed around the strengths and weaknesses found in European teams. My point was that using those tendencies in the NBA will only go so far because of how teams attack offensively in the US as opposed to Europe.

  29. Z

    Sly Williams:
    You sound defensive, which I don’t understand.I wasn’t criticizing anyone – I was trying to figure out what the Knicks plans are.Either way, if the Knicks continue to lose for years, Dolan is more to blame than Walsh.  

    Not really trying to be defensive. You said “trading draft picks for McGrady was a terrible deal” to which I agreed “perhaps the McGrady trade will go down as a great stain on the legacy of Donnie Walsh”, while at the same time laying out what I think is the Knicks plans are. (Uh oh– now I really am being defensive :)

  30. massive

    Even though we’ve lost this one, I feel like we can correct these errors. I don’t know what happened to the offense, but I feel like they completely abandoned what they were doing that got the a 21 point lead in this first place. We got off to a hot start by working the ball around, then the Wilson Chandler show started, which is when everything went to hell. I really don’t think we’ll end up doing this again, as we did beat a good Bulls team, and blew out a better team (than the Timberwolves I would say) in Washington. I really hope this is just a funk we’re in. We got Philly, Milwaukee, Golden State, and Minnesota all in the same week, and lost to all of them. In my opinion, we should be 6-3, and 5-4 being the worst case scenario (the game against Golden State could have gone either way). 3-6 is really tough to digest, but its still early in the season. Let’s just hope we’re 4-6 by tomorrow evening, and Wilson Chandler takes less shots.

  31. ess-dog

    “I think that’s part of the charm.” Mike Kurylo

    Excellent sales pitch. I bought the shirt. I’m feeling a lot better about Mozgov right now than Pringles if that says anything…

  32. totti

    To tell you the truth illuminati,
    once i got accustomed to nba level, it has been since very difficult to me to watch european games with the same passion then before.
    But even if italian basketball seems so poor to me now, i swear that any italian first league team plays better then knicks.
    I really think that knicks can be 8-25 by the end of december, if any major changes won’t occur.

    You don’t deserve this, real knicks fans
    how many promises not mantained

  33. rrude

    Seems like we are one Carmelo away from being in essentially the same position we were in before we cleared the cap space, before Donnie and D’Antoni took over. Some huge contracts to fatally flawed players. Limited draft picks in the near future. A lot of players that don’t seem to listen to the staff and continue to make the same boneheaded plays over and over.

  34. Brian Cronin

    A lot of players that don’t seem to listen to the staff and continue to make the same boneheaded plays over and over.

    That’s my problem with the brain trust. I’d like to believe that what they are consistently doing is not what D’Antoni wants, but how can I believe that, when it keeps happening? Who is to say that they are not listening to the staff? The staff might be the very root of the problem (I hope they are ignoring the staff, because that is at least theoretically correctable).

    What I think the Knicks really need to come to terms with is that Amar’e is a great player, but not the guy you want to run your offense. Chandler is a very good player, but not the guy you want to run your offense. Felton is having a great year, scoring-wise, but he also doesn’t seem to know how to run an offense. Douglas, also, is more of a 2 than a 1.

    So who does that leave to run the offense?

    I think it really has to be Gallo. I’d say Fields, but there is a .00006% chance of that happening, so next best is Gallo. When he ran the offense last night, it looked really good. Gallo is the type of scorer who will actually look for the best shot, and if it is not him, he will start moving the ball. He’s not going to get a lot of assists in this way (because he is not a good enough passer to, like, throw a perfect pass toward the basket), but the ball will move and eventually someone is going to get a good look.

    Plus, if Gallo runs the offense, he might, you know, actually touch the ball during the fourth quarter. 3 touches in the entire fourth quarter (and one of them was a bogus charge call) and he got a positive result on one of them (fouled)!

  35. totti

    Rrude,

    not correct,

    Two years ago knicks won 30 and payed the most in the league,
    today they still win 30, but they pay 50 mil less.

    If the knicks stand a chance in near future, it is only due to their renewed financial flexibility

  36. ess-dog

    THANK GOD

    Chandler is going back to the bench. MozGod back in. At least we can lose with some dignity and some hard russian fouls.

  37. massive

    @38,

    WOO!! I’m hoping he’ll lose some (5-7) minutes behind this too. For all the good things he does (rebounds, defense, and passing yesterday), somebody as inefficient as him shouldn’t be taking 15.9 shots a game (18.8 per 36).

  38. latke

    first quarter average length of possession (excluding offensive rebounds): 11.1 seconds. So they were a couple seconds faster in that first quarter than in the fourth.

    However, if you break the quarter into runs, the knicks had their biggest lead of the quarter after 5 minutes at 19-8. The average length of possession in that time span was 9.2 seconds. That’s what SSOL looks like, and it works when the knicks play in that system. The actually continued to really push the ball for a few more plays, but Fields blew to relatively easy shots around the rim. Perhaps these two easy misses were too discouraging, because SSOL stopped then, and the Wolves made their run.

    The final 14 possessions of the quarter we had three turnovers — important to note is that these turnovers were not from pushing the ball. They happened with an average of 9 seconds remaining on the shot clock. Additionally, our high efficiency scorers — gallo and fields — stopped shooting. Fields had one shot (a make at the end of the quarter), and Gallo did not take a shot or commit a turnover. D’Antoni subbed him out (not sure why…) with nearly 5 minutes left in the quarter, then subbed Fields out for Mozgov about a minute later. In the 3 1/2 minutes that both were out, the Knicks were outscored 11-5. D’Antoni must have recognized the problem, because he subbed Fields and Gallinari back in, but the real problem is that D’Antoni seems unable to convince/teach the roster to stick to the speed and intensity that consistently gets them leads.

  39. rrude

    Brian Cronin:
    That’s my problem with the brain trust. I’d like to believe that what they are consistently doing is not what D’Antoni wants, but how can I believe that, when it keeps happening? Who is to say that they are not listening to the staff? The staff might be the very root of the problem (I hope they are ignoring the staff, because that is at least theoretically correctable).

    Either horn of the dilemma is troubling. If they are coached not to pass to each other, not box out, etc., that’s deeply disturbing. If they are simply not doing what the staff would prefer, that’s still a huge problem. The staff can’t communicate or can’t exercise discipline, or the players just aren’t bright enough to get it.

    What concerns me is that this is the way the players have played for Isiah and D’Antoni. It feels like a cultural issue with the whole organization. An attraction to certain types of players. An atmosphere of unprofessionalism within the business as a whole. An unwillingness to rebuild the more patient way. Something.

    totti: Rrude,not correct,Two years ago knicks won 30 and payed the most in the league,
    today they still win 30, but they pay 50 mil less.If the knicks stand a chance in near future, it is only due to their renewed financial flexibility  

    The premise of my comment was if we sign Carmelo we will be saddled with two max contracts to players that are flawed in significant ways.

    And this speaks to my point above. Carmelo is exactly the sort of player the Knicks organization gravitates towards. Scorers who don’t offer much else, particularly not defense and leadership intangibles.

    I have been pleasantly surprised by aspects of Amare’s game (including some of those intangibles), but the fact is he needs an alpha player to play off of.

    I hope if the team continues to play this poorly, the FO starts collecting assets and does not make a move for a Carmelo-type player. The former is how you rebuild, the latter is the same failed strategy that a number of NYC sports teams have tried for years, including the Knicks.

  40. Brian Cronin

    And this speaks to my point above. Carmelo is exactly the sort of player the Knicks organization gravitates towards. Scorers who don’t offer much else, particularly not defense and leadership intangibles.

    I generally agree, but while I do think Carmelo is immensely overrated, he’s still a lot better than, say, Stephon Marbury. So I wouldn’t say he’s the exact sort of player that you’re talking about. To wit, I think he’s a better player than Amar’e.

  41. totti

    RRude,

    put in this way, i agree with you.
    Melo does not make a lot sense if Paul won’t follow. Just look at denver before billups.

  42. Z

    rrude: Carmelo is exactly the sort of player the Knicks organization gravitates towards. Scorers who don’t offer much else, particularly not defense and leadership intangibles.  

    No. The Knicks gravitated to LeBron James. He just didn’t gravitate back.

    I’m sure the Knicks want some one with Carmelo’s scoring ability and Bill Russell’s defense and leadership intangibles. That player doesn’t exist though, so they have to make the best out of what the real world has to offer.

    It’s not like the Knicks are the only team that would want Carmelo Anthony on their team. That WAS the case during the past 10 years. Allan Houston, Shandon Anderson, Howard Eisley, Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry, Steve Francis, Jalen Rose, Malik Rose, Zach Randolph, Jared Jeffries… These were all players with exorbitant contracts that NOBODY else in the league would touch.

    Amar’e and Carmelo are legitimate max players that the Knicks would have to actually compete against other teams to obtain. They are imperfect, but so is every other player in the league. Amar’e has actually shown himself to be a team leader and a defensive presence, which is one of the big surprises of the year. To say we’re the 2001-2009 Knicks again if we add Carmelo is hopelessly pessimistic, unless you have other players in mind that you’d rather spend the money on and if so, who?

  43. nicos

    latke: first quarter average length of possession (excluding offensive rebounds): 11.1 seconds. So they were a couple seconds faster in that first quarter than in the fourth.However, if you break the quarter into runs, the knicks had their biggest lead of the quarter after 5 minutes at 19-8.The average length of possession in that time span was 9.2 seconds.That’s what SSOL looks like, and it works when the knicks play in that system.The actually continued to really push the ball for a few more plays, but Fields blew to relatively easy shots around the rim. Perhaps these two easy misses were too discouraging, because SSOL stopped then, and the Wolves made their run.The final 14 possessions of the quarter we had three turnovers — important to note is that these turnovers were not from pushing the ball.They happened with an average of 9 seconds remaining on the shot clock.

    But you have to factor in that they were able to run early because they forced a couple of turnovers and grabbed some long rebounds. In the fourth they weren’t forcing turnovers and weren’t getting any rebounds- tough to push the ball under those circumstances.

    Brian Cronin:

    So who does that leave to run the offense?
    I think it really has to be Gallo.

    While I wouldn’t mind seeing Gallo get the ball more at the top of key Like Chandler does esp. late, you can’t run the offense through Gallo. Does he make a nice pass every once in a while? Sure, so does Chandler, so did AH, etc… The fact of the matter is the guy’s assist % is very poor for a wing player. The ball may not stick in his hands the way it does in Chandler’s but 9 times out of ten Gallo’s just moving it to the next guy on the perimeter- his passes rarely get anybody a good shot. He hasn’t shown the court vision or the handle to really run an offense. Add to that the fact that over 80 % of Gallo’s jumpers are assisted- Put the ball in his hands at the top of the key and you take away his jump shot and make him almost exclusively a driver. He’s been effective drawing fouls while driving but he drives with his head down every bit as much as Chandler- he will get to the line but he’s not going to be creating offense for anyone else. Is it possible he could grow into the role? Maybe, but at the moment he’s light years away from being a point forward.

    You want to take the ball out of Felton’s hands your next best option is probably Turiaf who’s been a much better passer than Gallo- get him the ball at the free throw line and let him try to find cutters. Maybe set some screens for Amar’e off the ball to get him moving towards the basket rather than relying on just the P & R or iso’s.

  44. ess-dog

    I think we pretty much see what we have at this point. We just have to get the players to understand their roles and learn to play together.
    -Felton can’t run the p’n’r’ in the half court set with Amare. Have Gallo or Fields do it.
    -Amare needs the ball as close to the basket as possible with the lane cleared.
    -Good three point shooters should shoot three pointers (that’s NOT you Wilson.)
    -We need someone who can defend the post playing next to Amare in the frontcourt.
    -AR should focus on rebounding, defense and scoring NEAR the basket in transition.
    Once these parameters are in place, we just need to grow and learn and take our lumps for a while.
    What annoys me is a complete disruption of the initial lineup where we have a more traditional center to suddenly having Amare as the center and last year’s shooting guard as the power forward.
    I want some composure, D’Antoni. Don’t act like your job hinges on each game.

  45. nicos

    Brian- Sorry if that came out too dismissive- I do agree that they have to do something to get Gallo more involved in the offense late- Gallo putting his head down and driving is as good (if not better) an option as Amar’e doing the same thing as Gallo doesn’t have four guys watching him and waiting to rotate. And it’d be great to see the ball wind up in Gallo’s hands as often as it’s wound up in Chandler’s- the TS% would certainly improve but I’m not sure they’d be any less stagnant in terms of ball/player movement.

  46. d-mar

    @45 Z, well said. Any team in the NBA (other than maybe the Heat, Celtics and Lakers) would give their left nut to get Carmelo. Sure, he’s flawed, but who isn’t? You cannot compare giving max contracts to STAT and possibly Melo to prior Knick acquisitions like the one’s Z listed.

    I also cannot believe that people are now questioning the McGrady trade. Let’s say Donnie didn’t make that move, right now we’d still have Jeffries and Hill (who are getting almost no minutes in Houston, BTW) and still have our picks in 2011 and 2012. So at the end of this season, we have little cap room left but still have our draft picks. If we somehow make the playoffs this year, which a lot of us thought was acheivable, our pick will be in the mid teens. The idea was always to go after 2 max guys, just because LeBron didn’t come here doesn’t make it a flawed strategy going forward.

  47. latke

    rrude: I hope if the team continues to play this poorly, the FO starts collecting assets and does not make a move for a Carmelo-type player. The former is how you rebuild, the latter is the same failed strategy that a number of NYC sports teams have tried for years, including the Knicks.  

    This is a blog article I wrote from way back when Iverson was on the trading block with the Sixers about the value of young talent, and I think it’s a good starting point for my feelings about building a winner: http://maxonespn.blogspot.com/2006/12/hello-and-ai.html

    The TL;DR argument is that for every young promising player that blooms into a superstar, there are 15 guys who end up being simply “good”, another 10 who end up being rotation players, and then 5 more who end up out of the NBA due to either injury, mental issues, or just never fulfilling their promise.

    Young talent is really not worth as much as it might seem.

    However, there is an apparent flipside to that reality, and that’s the fact that mostly because of Bird rights it is damn near impossible to get a de facto superstar to switch teams. Now, we had the Lebron fiasco this summer, and we’ve had teams like recently Boston and back in the 90s the Houston team with drexler, olajuwon and barkley where superstars in decline come together to try to make one last run, but the thing you have to remember is that drexler and barkley went to Houston to play with Olajuwon, a player drafted by Houston. James and Bosh went to Miami to play with Wade, again, a player drafted by Miami. Wade and Olajuwon had already proven that they could be centerpieces on championship level teams even without a team full of superstars.

    The only occasion of a real superstar switching teams in free agency and joining a mediocre team was O’Neal. What many might not remember is that the Lakers were set to be way over the cap that summer, but because they had players with reasonable contracts, they were able to move those players for value (including the draft pick that became Kobe Bryant) and at the same time open up cap space. What this points towards is that cap space itself is not the critical thing. The critical thing is maintaining a roster full of players who are likely to remain tradeable throughout the length of their contracts. This has been a trademark of Walsh’s tenure with the Knicks. Even Stoudemire’s big contract should remain relatively tradeable throughout most of its length.

    What all this really points towards though is that the second key strategy to get a superstar is making early decisions on young players. This is an ongoing practice that begins before the draft and continues for the first few years after their draft (before they hit 24-25 and lose the label of “young talent”). If you can identify the difference between a good but flawed young talent and a young talent that has the real potential to be a superstar, a player that can carry a team, then you can win in the game of the lottery. Trade those young players in their rookie contracts or trade draft picks to move up or down in drafts in order to get the player that you believe has this potential. A great example of this is the Blazers trading up in the 2006 draft for Brandon Roy. They gave up the 7th pick (Randy Foye) and scraps to move up that one pick so they could have the player they wanted. The knicks were in a similar situation in the 2009 draft. Walsh correctly identified Stephen Curry as the player to get in the second half of the lottery, but he failed to move up in the lottery to assure he got that player. THe result was Jordan Hill, who we all know, even in the best case scenario, will never be half the player that Stephen Curry is right now.

    The Knicks are again in that situation right now. They have a bunch of young players who range from simply tradeable to valuable: Douglas, Chandler, Gallinari, Randolph, Fields, Walker, Mozgov. The Knicks could likely trade Fields right now (or at least in December when his contract becomes tradeable) for a top 15 pick in the draft. Perhaps if he keeps up his strong play all season he could be moved for a top 10 pick. Each of the other players on that list could likely be moved for a pick somewhere in the first round.

    This, of course, is all moot if you believe that the knicks already have the main pieces to a winning team, that that one free agent next summer is going to transform this team into a true competitor. The wrong logic though, the logic that sent the knicks into salary cap hell, was a fear-driven focus on the notion that we had committed so much money to a team that there was no turning back. That was the mentality that brought Antonio McDyess, Jared Jeffries, Jerome James, and Steve Francis to a team that clearly was still not going to be a competitor even if they turned their careers around. I imagine the knicks’ GM rationalizing, “We’ve dug ourselves this deep… I know it’s a long shot that McDyess/Jeffries/James will turn us around, but the alternative is to tear this apart and start over! How will I explain that?”

    Damn

  48. rrude

    Gravitating towards Lebron was a no-brainer. It’s what you do when that fails that matters. I don’t agree that Carmelo is a better player than Amare, just a better shooter.

    While I am not so pessimistic to think that Carmelo would not help us win more games–although if no one learns to pass or box out he might not–I think that committing a huge portion of our salary cap to him and Amare does not put the Knicks in the top 4 in the conference and into contention for a ring.

    I am just tired of watching terrible basketball from the team I root for. It worries me that no moves seem to change the result. I don’t see Carmelo as a culture change player.

  49. latke

    rrude: Gravitating towards Lebron was a no-brainer. It’s what you do when that fails that matters. I don’t agree that Carmelo is a better player than Amare, just a better shooter.
    While I am not so pessimistic to think that Carmelo would not help us win more games–although if no one learns to pass or box out he might not–I think that committing a huge portion of our salary cap to him and Amare does not put the Knicks in the top 4 in the conference and into contention for a ring.
    I am just tired of watching terrible basketball from the team I root for. It worries me that no moves seem to change the result. I don’t see Carmelo as a culture change player.  

    I think it’s fair to say that carmelo would be better at doing what Amare has been trying to do for the knicks so scoring for himself off isos.

  50. rrude

    Yeah, but why is that the offense of choice? That’s really where this started is questioning why we keep repeating the mistakes of the past.

  51. BigBlueAL

    Watching the end of the Jazz-Bobcats game. I understand Chris Paul is clearly the best PG in the NBA but Deron Williams is pretty damn freakin good too.

  52. hoolahoop

    rrude: What concerns me is that this is the way the players have played for Isiah and D’Antoni. It feels like a cultural issue with the whole organization. An attraction to certain types of players. An atmosphere of unprofessionalism within the business as a whole. An unwillingness to rebuild the more patient way.
    ….

    And this speaks to my point above. Carmelo is exactly the sort of player the Knicks organization gravitates towards. Scorers who don’t offer much else, particularly not defense and leadership intangibles.

    And there you have it. Well said.
    Carmelo is not the answer. What this ball club needs is new ownership. . . . and only one person can trade the owner.

  53. KnickfaninNJ

    It pains me to say this, but Charles Barkley might have been right when he said that the Nets would be better than the Knicks (and it’s not because I have anything against the Nets). I worried when he said it, because I think he can be just a loud mouth sometimes, but he’s often right. And now I am still worrying. The thing is, I doubt he said it because of anything about SSOL or D’Antoni; he was probably just judging the overall talent levels of the two teams.

    Of course the Knicks have some talented players, but other teams do too. Look at Minnesota realistically for a moment. I agree they aren’t a very good team. But they have Love and Beasley as talent. We have Stoudemire and Gallinari. After that both teams have a mix of people, none of whom stand out in memory if you’re not a fan of that particular team. So I think maybe both teams are comparable. And the final score shows that. This also means the Knicks will probably struggle all year, unless some youngsters really bloom. And it means it probably isn’t D’Antoni’s fault, at least not totally his fault.

  54. Z

    latke: However, there is an apparent flipside to that reality, and that’s the fact that mostly because of Bird rights it is damn near impossible to get a de facto superstar to switch teams. Now, we had the Lebron fiasco this summer, and we’ve had teams like recently Boston and back in the 90s the Houston team with drexler, olajuwon and barkley where superstars in decline come together to try to make one last run….The only occasion of a real superstar switching teams in free agency and joining a mediocre team was O’Neal.  

    I think that with LeBron, Bosh, Amar’e, and Boozer, 4 multi-allstars, all in their prime, all changing teams, throws out the old conventional wisdom that teams can’t buy other team’s superstars. (Plus, Shaq wasn’t the only historical precedent. A bad Orlando team wooed Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill; Phoenix rebuilt in a day when they wooed Steve Nash; Atlanta pried Dikembe Mutumbo from Denver; Detroit signed Chauncey Billups to lead them to a championship. Rashard Lewis, Baron Davis, Elton Brand, Gilbert Arenas were all tent-pole players with their former teams and left via free agency with little regard for upward mobility wins wise).

    The best way to rebuild is to win the lottery in a can’t miss year (1984, 1985, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2003). That takes more luck than skill, though, and rolling dice in the draft hasn’t really yielded any more championships than free agency has.

    The most effective way of obtaining superstars to win championships with is actually via trade– expiring contracts for disgruntled stars. Gasol, Garnett, Allen, Shaq in Miami, Drexler in Houston (who arrived in HOU via trade, not free agency :)

    And I agree that the key is in identifying the star vs. the over-paid (or soon to be overpaid) mediocre talent, and that cap flexibility is the key to executing the rebuild.

  55. latke

    Z:
    I think that with LeBron, Bosh, Amar’e, and Boozer, 4 multi-allstars, all in their prime, all changing teams, throws out the old conventional wisdom that teams can’t buy other team’s superstars. (Plus, Shaq wasn’t the only historical precedent. A bad Orlando team wooed Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill; Phoenix rebuilt in a day when they wooed Steve Nash; Atlanta pried Dikembe Mutumbo from Denver; Detroit signed Chauncey Billups to lead them to a championship. Rashard Lewis, Baron Davis, Elton Brand, Gilbert Arenas were all tent-pole players with their former teams and left via free agency with little regard for upward mobility wins wise).The best way to rebuild is to win the lottery in a can’t miss year (1984, 1985, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2003). That takes more luck than skill, though, and rolling dice in the draft hasn’t really yielded any more championships than free agency has.The most effective way of obtaining superstars to win championships with is actually via trade– expiring contracts for disgruntled stars. Gasol, Garnett, Allen, Shaq in Miami, Drexler in Houston (who arrived in HOU via trade, not free agency :)And I agree that the key is in identifying the star vs. the over-paid (or soon to be overpaid) mediocre talent, and that cap flexibility is the key to executing the rebuild.  

    The Hahn piece is smart, especially in regard to Felton. Amare is not out there make decisions. He’s out there to finish. His struggles are only symptomatic of the fact that felton isn’t getting him the ball in position to score. I have to disagree w/ Hahn though about the third quarter. The knicks had good looks in the 3rd. They just missed them. Chandler did miss a lot of shots in that quarter, but a lot of them were open. Likewise, Randolph missed a couple of open 18 footers that he could have made. The real problem that quarter was that Love seemed to rebound every Minnesota miss, but I would wager that if we’d played the 4th quarter as we played the 3rd with the sole exception of doing a better job of rebounding the ball, we would have won.

    As far as players leaving teams — most of the guys you list were not superstars when they left their teams. Arenas, Brand, Lewis, and Arenas were never the kind of top five talents that you need at least one of to be a contender. They are similar to Stoudemire in that they are were all-stars, but they weren’t the kinds of transcendent players that almost all contending teams have. Nash became one, but if he had stayed in Dallas would he have ever been an MVP? I doubt it. Likewise, McGrady’s numbers were not that good for Toronto. He nearly doubled his scoring the next year, and his 3pt% jumped from 28% to 35%. I see it more as a case of Orlando doing a nice job of evaluating the potential of a then 21 year old defensive ace/slasher.

    The kind of players I’m talking about getting are few and far between. The list in the NBA right now goes something like this: Durant, Lebron, Wade, Howard, Bryant, and Chris Paul. Sitting right there on the fringe are players like Brandon Roy (when healthy), Tim Duncan and Steve Nash (at their current ages) and Deron Williams.

    The Grant Hill example is good though, and I have to concede they do make me question the cap space thing a bit. However, even with Hill, the list of free agent coups is a short one, and as you say, trading for a disgruntled star seems the best option, and the only thing you have to do to do that is try to build a roster full of players that have trade value, something you should be doing anyway.

    Regardless, I give the Knicks ten more games to show some progress. SSOL is a tough system because it demands a kind of controlled chaos, and it can be hard to tell the difference between that and plain old chaos. If Felton can learn to read the defense and make the right play, and Chandler can reign in the threes, I think we will be that 40-45 win team we hoped we would be early on.

  56. Z-man

    This part of Hahn’s article states perfectly what I’ve been thinking about Felton…that even though his shooting numbers are very acceptable considering his career numbers and our preseason concerns, that his deficiencies as a passer are being exposed. Even though he gets 5-10 assist a game, he just doesn’t seem to have good PG instincts, and the problem is magnified because we don’t really have a backup PG. I hope this is an issue that Walsh is feverishly working on.

    “His stat line suggests he had a strong game, with 22 points and nine assists with four turnovers and two steals in 40:30. For most of the game, he owned Sebastian Telfair (scoreless in 36:50). But the mark of a great point guard, one who is clearly in charge of his offense, is in what he does in crunch time. What he does when his team is in desperate need of a basket.

    What he does when the franchise’s big dog isn’t getting the bone.
    His stat line suggests he had a strong game, with 22 points and nine assists with four turnovers and two steals in 40:30. For most of the game, he owned Sebastian Telfair (scoreless in 36:50). But the mark of a great point guard, one who is clearly in charge of his offense, is in what he does in crunch time. What he does when his team is in desperate need of a basket.

    What he does when the franchise’s big dog isn’t getting the bone.
    Felton went 1-for-7 in the second half (0-for-1 from three) with three assists and five points. Under his watch, the Knicks have blown late leads (Portland, Philadelphia) and the offense has been incongruent. Felton has been all hustle, but no flow. And, again, his main responsibility has to be to feed the beast and Stoudemire, is emaciated.

    Think back to when Mark Jackson first arrived. His presence turned Patrick Ewing into a superstar. Why? Because Jackson knew when and how to get it to The Franchise Player. He seemed to make it a personal mission.

    Felton knows how to score, but so far he hasn’t shown an ability to be the kind of floor general the Knicks — and D’Antoni — needs. This team needs someone who can recognize situations and get the offense under control when it starts to stray. And this system, with the perpetual green light and so many open looks from the outside as a result of ball movement and motion, can stray very quickly.”

  57. Brian Cronin

    Seven Seconds or Less, the offensive system D’Antoni ran in Phoenix (where players would try to score in the first seven seconds of the shot clock)

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