2011 Preseason: T-Wolves 106 Knicks 100

Knicks lost to the T-Wolves in Paris, in what was a dreadful shooting night for the team. Gallo managed only 7 points on 13 shots, while Raymond Felton contributed 4 points on 6 shots. Another aspect that sunk New York was rebounding. Minnesota grabbed 18 offensive rebounds, and no Knick had more than 6 defensive rebounds (Turiaf & Mason).

Defensively the team wasn’t awful, save for a few lapses here & there. The Knicks had 8 blocked shots, with two each from Turiaf, Mozgov, and Roger Mason Jr along with single efforts from Gallinari & Rautins. Timo continued his foul-happy play, earning 6 in just 14 minutes of play. Although he was the recipient of a pretty dish under the basket from Rautins. The end of the bench played pretty well, especially Fields & Douglas. Both combined for 25 points (on 18 shots) and Douglas harassed the lupines all over the floor.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

112 thoughts to “2011 Preseason: T-Wolves 106 Knicks 100”

  1. Looking at the painful numbers, I can’t believe we lost by only six. The 30-strong imbalance in rebounding, Gallo’s pitiful three-point shooting, the fact that Felton had more TO’s than assists, the fact that Chandler holds the 2-spot but scored very little.

    What did we do correctly?

  2. TheRant: What did we do correctly?  

    Played the T-Wolves… Seriously, though, it’s pre-season and a game in Paris, I’m not really worried about it.

  3. Thanks for the summary, MIke. I have the game on DVR, but now I can delete it and get 2 hours of my life back.

    I did look at the box score, and man is it ugly. I just hope we can avoid these kind of stinkers when the games count.

  4. I actually was encouraged by the game – I saw a lot of good things. The main surprise – and this is just one pre-season game, but still, the ingredients seem to be there – is that we may actually be a GOOD DEFENSIVE TEAM. Not just passable, not just “not terrible,” but GOOD.

    1) TD was all over the place, steals, deflections, general harassment. He was one notch TOO aggressive on D, but mostly he was great.
    2) We have a lot of height, and some attitude. There won’t be a clear path to the basket without some pain involved…for the first time in a long time.
    3) Even though Gallo had an awful game, he worked hard on D and tried to rebound, which was a good indication that he sees himself as being able to affect the game with more than his (missing) 3-ball.
    4) Mozgov, as we have all discussed, is going to foul often and stupidly all season, but he is a gifted athlete – not just “not a stiff,” but a gifted athlete. Once he learns some basics about positioning and anticipating, he’s going to be very good. He is big, mobile, and has good timing.
    5) Ill Wil really is a very good defender, and plays within himself on offense.

    So, my conclusion from this second pre-season game (from which you shouldn’t draw too many conclusions), is that we will still be in the top half of the league on offense, but we will also be in the top half of the league on defense.

    Negatives? Well, there were plenty. Felton remains a concern. Gallo was Bad Starks. Amare couldn’t get on track. But:

    1) Either/both Amare and Gallo will play better 90% of the time. They won’t each stink in the same game very often. Which is good, because when they both stink, we’re going to lose most of the time.

    2) AR can be a positive factor if he learns to play within himself. I bet D’Antoni lets him keep shooting from outside this preseason. AR obviously thinks he can make those shots; he looks like he can’t. It’s a smart move to say, OK, keep shooting – but if (when) you continues to miss and the regular season rolls around, you’ll have to give that up and focus on your strengths – which are many. The kid has excellent body control and a soft touch around the hoop, and does look like he can be a force on D.

    3) Those were good second-round picks; I expected nothing from Rautins, ever, yet he looked like he can play. Nice dishing, wasn’t overmatched on D, has the great J as advertised. And Fields tried a little too hard this game, but in general looks like he’s destined for the rotation. I’m surprised and encouraged.

    My single real concern (because I expect Felton to be better once the he learns his teammates better) remains the rebounding. Ted argued it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I don’t see why not – if the Knicks get killed on the boards, they’re going to lose much of the time. I believe their defense will keep them in games (seriously!), and Amare gives them a chance to win close games (stars get calls), but if they can’t box out and narrow the rebound margin, they’re in trouble. Being outrebounded by 5, no big deal. Being outrebounded by 15, well, forget it.

  5. And one other thing: Mason better become automatic from 3, or else he’s riding the pine.

  6. I only saw snippets of this game, but Felton’s play is worrisome. I assume it’s just a vet rounding into form, but he seems very Duhon-esque in that there’s no part of his game that seems to stand out as something he does well. Not a great passer, a so-so defender, can’t finish at the hoop, can’t hit from outside.

    Icky so far

  7. I think there is something troubling in that perhaps D’Antoni’s system puts an emphasis on “getting back” on defense in favor of getting the offensive rebound. This was suggested last year, and I’m wondering if it has credence. I didn’t watch the game today, so I don’t know for sure if that looked like the case.
    I’m not worried about the shooting – that will come and I’m glad that people are clearly not afraid to work on shots in game situations.
    It really does seem like we need one more player that does multiple things well, right?
    I can see why the Fernandez rumors don’t let up – despite Wil playing well, we could still use more outside shooting, ball handling and passing. Fernandez is good at these things.
    It does seem like Turiaf, despite his other weaknesses, will come in handy with his post passing. Especially with Wil starting. Once you bring in Mason or Fields to get more passing, then you can bring in Mosgov.
    I really hope Mosgov improves but I’m not going to count on it.
    On offense, aside from fast breaking, we just have to get Gallo and Amare the ball in good spots – that’s all. I have no problem living and dying by those two this year.

  8. The big problem with the rebounding today was you generally had both the 4 & 5 challenging everything in the paint at the same time, leaving the glass open for offensive rebounds. Of course, the overaggressiveness also led to a parade to the free throw line for the Wolves. If the Knicks want to challenge everything then both Gallo and Chandler (and whoever else is playing the 2 & 3) are going to have to make a concerted effort to get to the boards and box out. My guess is that they’ll scale back on the aggression- I’d rather see four fewer blocks & eight fewer offensive rebounds given up than I saw today.
    I did think Rautins played really well in very limited minutes. After his summer league showing I thought there was no way he’d ever crack the rotation- I still think he’s a long shot to earn consistent minutes- but he didn’t look overmatched on defense (though this was the Timberwolves) and while he wasn’t being asked to initiate the offense, he did a really nice job moving the ball and hit his 3s. Mostly I was impressed by his effort level-seemed to be playing flat out without being out of control which is exactly what he’s going to have to do if he wants to have a decent career.

  9. DISCLAIMER: The outcome of the game was not Rooster’s fault becuz the whole team looked a lil tired to me.
    On the Gallinari Interview board I expressed concern over the amount of 3’s he took in the 1st game. This game is a great example of why I had that concern. Simply put, the kid’s a great shooter but he’s not gonna always hit at a 40-50% clip on his 3’s. Therefore a player with his talents needs to become more versatile offensively. Or at least use more of his arsenal more consistently. 13 shots, 8 of ’em 3’s. No FT’s. As long as Stat’s healthy, Stat’s gonna be great for us on offense. But Rooster, in my eyes, is gonna be just as important as Stat on offense. We cannot afford for him to be one dimensional. But like I said, the whole team looked kinda tired so this maybe a fluke game, and it is only preseason. Hopefully Mike D will stay on him like Parcells did with his best players..sorta. Or like LB did with AI maybe a better description..er maybe not lol. But yal get what i’m tryina say rite? And i apologize if there’s any typos cuz i’m not proofreading..had a “minor” procedure done on mine neck this mornin an i’m still kinda out of it.

  10. BTW..when I say the team look a lil tired..i’m referring to the shots chosen and the elevation on offense for the most part. The team did give some effort on D.

  11. One more thing..I kinda like Chandler. I like his his 2 way versatility. Long and strong enuf to play the 2,3, and 4. Athletic enough to make teams pay at either position. He is an underrated defender. Which is why I think he should come off the bench with AR and TD…imagine the defensive spurts with those 3 gettin after it. And I don’t understand why Chandler isn’t enough to pry Fernandez from Portland. His game seems to be a better fit in Portland. Of course if a trade like that is done, we will lose alot of versatility and have a serious glut at the 2-as Azu’s problee 2 short to play the 3 on a consistent basis. And Rudy’s a ball mover and way better shooter than Chandler-and problee as good or even better athlete than Chandler. But he really sucks at defense. That said I don’t see why Mike D is so high on him. With a (hopefully) healthy and productive Azu and Mason-with Fields behind them, do we really NEED Fernandez? I mean, am I the only person that thinks we can get by without him and use Chandler in a better trade?

  12. “The Knicks will miss having David Lee.”

    Im sorry but its nice seeing other teams drive to the basket and get their shots blocked/altered or knocked on their ass. The defense in the paint is night and day over what they have had the past few years.

    They aint gonna miss his offense obviously so if you are implying they will be missing his rebounding they were a bad rebounding team with him anyway. At least this year they might still be a bad rebounding team but at least they will be protecting the paint 500X better than they did last year.

  13. I agree BBA..in a way. I think we will miss Lee becuz he was the only one rebounding. And he was the 1st all star we have had that we actually got a chance to watch grow from rookie to centerpiece. But I’m pretty sure with the addition of AS and AR we’ve pretty much doubled Lee’s value. And I haven’t even mentioned Mosgov and Turiaf. Aside from the so so effort from Felton, the effort on D from the perimeter to the paint looks to be worlds better. And we actually have guys who make effort at blocking shots and pushin guys around.

    rama: I actually was encouraged by the game The main surprise – and this is just one pre-season game, but still, the ingredients seem to be there – is that we may actually be a GOOD DEFENSIVE TEAM.Not just passable, not just “not terrible,” but GOOD.1) TD was all over the place, steals, deflections, general harassment.He was one notch TOO aggressive on D, but mostly he was great.
    2) We have a lot of height, and some attitude.There won’t be a clear path to the basket without some pain involved…for the first time in a long time.
    3) Even though Gallo had an awful game, he worked hard on D and tried to rebound, which was a good indication that he sees himself as being able to affect the game with more than his (missing) 3-ball.
    4) Mozgov, as we have all discussed, is going to foul often and stupidly all season, but he is a gifted athlete – not just “not a stiff,” but a gifted athlete.Once he learns some basics about positioning and anticipating, he’s going to be very good.He is big, mobile, and has good timing.
    5) Ill Wil really is a very good defender, and plays within himself on offense.So, my conclusion from this second pre-season game (from which you shouldn’t draw too many conclusions), is that we will still be in the top half of the league on offense, but we will also be in the top half of the league on defense.  

    yup..my thoughts exactly. Hell, Mason even gave effort on D…if we hold on to Chandler and Fields gets some run when Azu gets back-then the defensive potential will make us look like SVG’s Knicks in comparison to the D we’ve been playin in recent years. I see loads of defensive ability with Azu, Chandler, TD, Felton, AR, Mosgov and Turiaf. Even Stat and Fields have defensive ability..maybe not enuf focus but they have the ability. Thats 7 players on the roster who SHOULD be able to make a difference on D. What’s so great about having that kinda defensive potential is all of those guys, with the exception of Turiaf, bring something to the table on offense that should keep opposing defense threatened enough to allow us to have a top 7 offense. I think a top 7 offense and a defense in the top half of the league will translate into a better than .500 record easy in the east. I almost forgot the fact that Rooster’s an underrated defender. Not great but very capable. If only Stat can find a way to hit the boards just a little bit harder…bring that average up to 10.2 a game…

  14. SeeWhyDee77: . And he was the 1st all star we have had that we actually got a chance to watch grow from rookie to centerpiece.  

    what I meant to say was the 1st all star we’ve had IN A WHILE that we actually had the pleasure of watching grow….lol did I mention I have all kindsa meds runnin thru my system? lol..i’m gonna call it a night

  15. They will miss Lee’s overall play, not just rebounding. Stoudemire: 0 blocks, 2 rebounds and 4 turnovers. Moz: 2 blocks but 6 fouls in 14 minutes. Great job.

  16. It obvious that it is not even worth debating with you greatscott. Your last comment says it all.

  17. I think that a lot of patience will be asked to us this year.

    if the team as a whole is serious about defense, players will be more tired on offense, especially in the first months.

    but the team is talented, young, deep and motivated.

    life is good

  18. How are the Knicks not going to miss David Lee? The guy was an awesome player, of course they’re going to miss him. It’s not like they’re even suggesting that the guys they got from the Warriors are better (or even as good) as Lee is (Randolph has the chance, of course, but at the moment he certainly is not as good as Lee). That deal was not about upgrading the team in 2010-11 but about conserving cap flexibility while adding movable young parts (important siince the Knicks are rebuilding). Had they re-signed Lee instead of signing Amar’e, they’d have the flexibility, but they wouldn’t have the young movable parts.

    They know that they’ll miss him, but whether Amar’e is better than him or not, the Knicks are in a better roster/cap situation with Amar’e and the return on the Lee deal than they would have been had they re-signed Lee instead of signing Amar’e.

    So saying they’ll miss Lee really isn’t saying much, but yes, the statement “The Knicks will miss David Lee” is certainly true (just like how a person could rightfully say in 1999 that “the Knicks will miss Charles Oakley” without the Camby/Oakley deal being a bad deal), and does not call for any potshots at Lee .

  19. Robert Silverman: I only saw snippets of this game, but Felton’s play is worrisome. I assume it’s just a vet rounding into form, but he seems very Duhon-esque in that there’s no part of his game that seems to stand out as something he does well.

    Duhon and Felton couldn’t be more different. Felton is a good passer that will run the offense, but is an inefficient low volume scorer who will give you some defense, and was brought here on a 2 year deal…

    Oh darn.

  20. I can hardly be upset at this game, not just because it is the 2nd preseason game and we have 10 new players, but it is at the end of a whirlwind European tour with untold distractions. We found out some what we needed to know and confirmed some things we already knew:

    My conclusions thus far:

    Mozgov is good but foul-prone
    Fields is a great 2nd round pick
    Rautins can be an end-of-bench guy
    Felton is not that good
    We need to work on rebounding
    Douglas has improved his PG skills
    Everyone else is pretty much as advertised

    I think we can also assume that Minny has improved, but again, it is preseason in Europe and they beat the Lakers too.

  21. I watched about 1/2 the Milan game and about 2/3 of the Twolves game, and is it just me or are they hardly ever running the pick and roll? I see it occasionally but it didn’t look anything like Nash+Amare where it seemed like they ran it 75% of the time. Are they just trying out new stuff?

    Amare looks pretty good going to the hole on his own, but he’s so much better getting the ball on the move.

    Meanwhile I am not so worried about their performance in Paris – they looked exhausted, the floor sucked, and D’Antoni seemed more interested in getting everyone on the floor for a look than in winning the game.

  22. Frank:

    D’Antoni seemed more interested in getting everyone on the floor for a look than in winning the game.  

    He specifically said he was trying to win the Italy game, but for the rest of the preseason he was going to try out more players. And that’s a good thing, esp. for a coach who can’t see more than 8 guys down the bench.

  23. Robert Silverman: I only saw snippets of this game, but Felton’s play is worrisome. I assume it’s just a vet rounding into form, but he seems very Duhon-esque in that there’s no part of his game that seems to stand out as something he does well. Not a great passer, a so-so defender, can’t finish at the hoop, can’t hit from outside.

    What form is he rounding into? He’s been Duhon-esque for 5 seasons. He’s not good, but the hope is that he’s not awful and this system plays to his strengths as a quick athlete with a good b-ball IQ. I don’t think the Knicks possibly could have made a more Duhon-like signing this offseason or any other offseason than Felton.

    ess-dog: I think there is something troubling in that perhaps D’Antoni’s system puts an emphasis on “getting back” on defense in favor of getting the offensive rebound. This was suggested last year, and I’m wondering if it has credence.

    I don’t think it was just suggested, I think it’s a fact. When you see 4 of 5 guys running back on defense as soon as the shot goes up… probably not a coincidence. Maybe they will play more conventional line-ups this season, but with a running team as good offensively as Phoenix this strategy made a lot of sense… Chances are the shots going in and chances are the other team is going to try to run with you.

    SeeWhyDee77: Simply put, the kid’s a great shooter but he’s not gonna always hit at a 40-50% clip on his 3?s.

    Somtime’s he’ll hit 80% of them in a game… He’s clearly proven that his long-term 3P% is around 40%. So, yes, some nights he’s going to hit under 40% and that will be balanced out my the night where he hits over 40%. I would also like to see him become more versatile, but guys like Reggie Miller and Peja have been very valuable offensive players on very good teams without much versatility.

    SeeWhyDee77: Or like LB did with AI maybe a better description..er maybe not lol.

    My impression was that LB pretty much stayed off AI and let him do whatever he pleased. Didn’t have to practice and was allowed to take all the terrible shots he wanted…

    SeeWhyDee77: I kinda like Chandler.

    It’s preseason, but I’m definitely encouraged.

    SeeWhyDee77: But he really sucks at defense.

    Why do you say that? I would call him a pretty average NBA defender.

    BigBlueAL: They aint gonna miss his offense obviously

    I wouldn’t be that sure about that. He was the best passer on the team last season. They ran their offense through him. His b-ball IQ is high and he’s very skilled. As Brian says, how can the Knicks not miss him?

    SeeWhyDee77: Hell, Mason even gave effort on D

    His defense is one of the things he’s known for, along with his shot…

    Frank: D’Antoni seemed more interested in getting everyone on the floor for a look than in winning the game.  

    I think that’s called the pre-season…

  24. I’m going to hope that Felton was thinking too much out there yesterday. Clearly he should have been attacking the rim more. He was going against Luke Ridnour for god sakes. He needs to go straight to the hoop and dish or perfect his floater and pull up jumper.
    Not as concerned about the pick and roll. It’s only one part of the halfcourt game and it will come around. And if we were to somehow get Rudy, he would help with the p’n’r.
    Felton really needs to focus on beating the other pg off the dribble and instigating action. I’m so sick of the halfcourt sets where we just throw it around the perimeter! That’s the easiest thing to defend. All the rules in this league point to a team needing a guard that can quickly get in the lane and make a decision. Sadly, I think our best perimeter player at getting into the lane might be Fields. Felton (and Douglas) should have the speed and quickness to do this but he also needs the decision making…

  25. Ted..when I say Rudy sucks at defense I am thinkin of 2 things:
    1) I am comparin his defensive ability to the guy he’ll most likely replace-Chandler. And the fact that he will problee only play 1 position in NY.
    2) He’s very…frail for lack of a better word. What is he 180 lbs? IMO, I don’t think he’s strong enough to guard today’s 2’s or quite quick enough to guard 1’s.

    Maybe I’m wrong though. I just think with the way the team is currently constructed that Fernandez is a bad move. At this point Chandler is a better player offensively and defensively, even without an outside game like Fernandez. But the messed up part about it is both players are better fits on the other team. BUT..as I said earlier I think Azu’s too short 2 play the 3 consistently and we will lose alotta versatility by losin Chandler. Mike D’s focus is offense so I understand why he would want Fernandez. As currently constructed, I can see the knicks having a solid defense and a better offense-and that’s better for playoff aspirations.

  26. Yesterday Felton kept doing the same thing over and over: dribbling really fast and in a really straight line, usually straight into a defender or two, and quickly kicking the ball out to whoever was free, regardless of their positioning. I get that we’re trying to play SSOL, but the offense just looked incredibly spastic and ineffective when the ball was in Felton’s hands.

    SSOL should not be “run the ball up the court as fast as possible and shoot the first 18-foot jumper that is available.” We were bad yesterday because it was all low-percentage jump shots. As a result, we never got to the free throw line. No easy points for us.

    Hopefully this game will be a learning experience because we were doing pretty much everything wrong.

  27. ess-dog: He was going against Luke Ridnour for god sakes.

    Plus the T-Wolves interior defenders don’t exactly inspire fear…

    SeeWhyDee77: Ted..when I say Rudy sucks at defense I am thinkin of 2 things

    I don’t think he’s a particularly good defender (and definitely considerably worse than Wilson Chandler, who I’m warming to more and more), but I just don’t think he’s that bad either. I think a lot of it comes from the “European guys can’t defend” stereotypes.
    As far as bulk, I just don’t think too many 2-guards are going to body him or post him up consistently… You’re not even allowed to touch someone as a defender on the perimeter and a lot of two guards run around looking for Js and rely on quickness more than strength. He’s got good height and solid length for the position and is a solid athlete.

    SeeWhyDee77: I just think with the way the team is currently constructed that Fernandez is a bad move. At this point Chandler is a better player offensively and defensively, even without an outside game like Fernandez.

    I’m sort of 50/50. One thing to consider beyond play is that WC is a free agent after this season and is in line for some sort of a large raise with the risk of being overpaid if he puts up 15 ppg or better again, which is where I lean towards Rudy. Rudy is on his rookie deal this season and next. His free agency will coincide with Chris Paul and Dwight Howard’s, while WC’s contract would eat into the cap space to get them (although you could also argue for using him in a s&t if his deal is a good value).

    Certainly WC is a better defender. Offensively I think it’s hard to say he is clearly better. At best maybe he is as good. Rudy scores more efficiently and is a better playmaker. As far as fit, again, I’m 50/50. WC fits better defensively (because he is better), and might fit just fine offensively as a slasher if he continues to play within himself. At the same time… this is an offense that relies heavily on outside shooting and the Knicks lack it. Rudy can bomb 3-pters at a 40% clip and likes a running system (played for the fastest paced team in Spain). $ also figures into fit.

    SeeWhyDee77: I think Azu’s too short 2 play the 3 consistently

    I’m not that worried about height, especially on the wing. Especially since the Knicks have two 6-10/6-11-ish SFs in Danilo and AR. But overall height is not my biggest concern with an individual basketball player. In 08-09 Azu played 34% of the Warriors minutes at SF and 18% as SG, and they were a better team with him at SF.

    Part of the Knicks thinking on Rudy has got to be (assuming they’re as hot for him as the media makes it out) that he’ll max-out in D’Antoni’s system and improve on his rookie season… which is pretty reasonable… and part of it has also got to be the contracts.

  28. General comment and a bit late, but… I don’t really understand all the concern with the loss to the T-Wolves. I mean it’s not what you want to see and some flaws were definitely exposed/issues raised, but it’s preseason. The Knicks were up 20-12 when Amare and Danilo came out in the 1st. None of the T-Wolves starters had a + +/-. The Knicks played every single guy on their bench. Danilo and Amare combined for 41 minutes. The T-Wolves also beat the Lakers, by 19, and I’m not that worried about the Lakers despite their 0-1 preseason record and blow-out loss to the Wolves.

  29. OK Ted…well here’s the question then. If a trade for Rudy happens and it involves Chandler, how do Rudy, Azu, Mason and Fields all fit in? Me personally, I like AR at the 4 and 5 and Rooster at the 3 and 4. I think that is where they ar most dangerous. AR could problee play the 3, but he’s way more effective at the 4 & 5. Hence my concern with losing Chandler for Rudy. Chandler’s a natural 3 who can play the 2 and 4. Azu’s a natural 2 who has played the 3 somewhat effectively in Nellie ball. I will say this in Azu’s defense, he does have longer arms than Quentin Richardson does, and Q pretty much holds his own at the 3. Like I said, Rudy’s problee a better fit in NY than he is in Portland. But, and I don’t wanna over-value Chandler, I think ppl are undervaluing Chandler. All he’s ever done is get better ever since he’s been in the league in all phases of the game. Which is surprising since he was one of those “WTF??” draft picks that came outta nowhere. Rudy? Not so much. Maybe its McMillan’s system that caused him to regress, but I just think Walsh can get better value for Chandler. Now, when u bring contracts into the picture, it makes even more sense to swap WC for Rudy. Now that I think about it..it may not be ppl under-valuing Chandler. I think what it really is is Portland over-valuing Rudy. And that’s what bothers me.
    Another question for u Ted, who do u rate as the better defender? Azu or Chandler? I’m not quite sure Azu will board or challenge and even block shots like Chandler does. I just think acquiring Rudy would tip the scales too far on the offense side for the team.I think we have enough offense now and a nice balance with defense. I gotta admit though..it would be nice to see how Rudy fits maybe on that 2nd unit helpin TD move the ball..

  30. SeeWhyDee77: If a trade for Rudy happens and it involves Chandler, how do Rudy, Azu, Mason and Fields all fit in?

    A. I don’t share your concern. In fact, I think the rotation is lopsided already and needs another guard more than another wing. There is some depth at G, but not a whole lot of quality. The only Knicks G I really like at his position is TD at 3rd guard/combo-guard. Like I said, though, I’m 50/50 WC/Rudy.

    B. If the Knicks keep Chandler, how do he and AR fit in? D’Antoni wants to take more 3pt attempts per game than any team, and between WC, AR, Amare, and Felton he’s got 4 rotation players who aren’t good outside shooters. You’re going to get maybe 2 or 3 combined 3s from those 4.

    C. I like Roger Mason and don’t have a problem if he earns a rotation spot, but he’s also not en essential piece. He can compete with TD for the 3rd guard role, but if he loses that (which I think/hope he will) he’s competing with Rautins for the 5th guard role. Landry Fields is someone we’re all high on, but he’s a rookie. He still has to earn his rotation spot, and I see more overlap between he and WC than he and Rudy anyway. Azu has to prove he can return from injury and be effective.

    D. If the Knicks are not planning to re-sign WC after the season anyway, it may behoove them to trade him at some point in-season. (Could also try to keep him on a one-year deal or hope a s&t situation emerges… or re-sign him and eat $5-9 mill in cap flexibility.)

    SeeWhyDee77: Chandler’s a natural 3 who can play the 2 and 4.

    And the Knicks have Gallo playing 30-40 minutes there. Behind him they have plenty of options between AR, Azu, and Fields to pick up the remaining 8-18 mpg.

    SeeWhyDee77: Azu’s a natural 2 who has played the 3 somewhat effectively in Nellie ball.

    I disagree. Maybe he has the height of a 2-guard, but he’s a wing player who can play either position. No one is going to mistake him for a bring-it-up, make plays for others guard (he’s a worse playmaker than WC). If his knee isn’t 100%, he may struggle to defend guards as well.

    SeeWhyDee77: I think ppl are undervaluing Chandler. All he’s ever done is get better ever since he’s been in the league in all phases of the game.

    He was still a pretty average player last season, at best, even after 3 seasons of improvement. I agree that he could have a break-out season, but you can’t expect teams to bank on that.

    SeeWhyDee77: I just think Walsh can get better value for Chandler.

    Like what? Maybe a late-ish first rounder, but is your average late 1st rounder going to be a 6-6 guard who can hit 60% TS% and 7.2 3P/36 at 40%?

    SeeWhyDee77: Maybe its McMillan’s system that caused him to regress

    Even when he regressed he was as good offensively as Chandler (and, again, the Knicks would be placing a bet that he can rebound to rookie form anyway and beyond plating for D’Atoni instead of McMillan), but plenty of guys have off-years. One step backwards doesn’t mean you can’t take a step forwards again, and incremental improvements every season don’t guarantee Chandler will ever break out.

    SeeWhyDee77: I think what it really is is Portland over-valuing Rudy. And that’s what bothers me.

    I don’t know exactly what his value is or what Portland thinks it is. He’s a heck of a shooter with a good overall game, though, and that’s a valuable role player for a contender like Portland. They have him locked up for 2 more seasons, and can always trade him next offseason instead of coming off of what might be a down year: trade high instead of low. They’re asking for a pick(s), apparently, and not a guy who will be a back-up for them and they’ll have to re-sign to a big contract this coming offseason… which makes some sense. Rudy’s shot his trade value to hell by saying not only that he doesn’t want to be a Blazer, but that he wants out of the NBA immediately. Not many teams are likely to pay much to take the risk he stays around and stays happy.

    SeeWhyDee77: Another question for u Ted, who do u rate as the better defender? Azu or Chandler?

    Chandler, I would say, but I’m not 100% sure.

    SeeWhyDee77: I’m not quite sure Azu will board or challenge and even block shots like Chandler does.

    There’s no need to speculate.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=chandwi01&y1=2010&p2=azubuke01&y2=2010

    Azu rebounds as well as WC, and blocks about as many shots to boot. If he returns from the knee injury at close to 100%… there’s your answer. Doesn’t mean they are equal as defenders, but as rebounders and shot blockers they pretty much are.

    SeeWhyDee77: I just think acquiring Rudy would tip the scales too far on the offense side for the team.I think we have enough offense now and a nice balance with defense.

    Like I said, I’m 50/50. Tipping the scales towards one side or the other is not a bad thing. The Suns were the #1 offense, #23 defense, won 54 games, and made the Conference Finals in the WC. The Bucks were the #23 offense, #2 defense, and won 46 games. Houston was well balanced at #16 offense, #17 defense, and won 42 games.
    I think Rudy-for-WC might be a trade-off of defense for offense that works out for the Knicks. I have a lot more hope that they can be a top 10 offense than defense, but who knows. Right now I am a bit concerned about whether they can get enough shooters on the floor to run D’Antoni’s offense. He could adjust, but I really doubt he will.

    SeeWhyDee77: it would be nice to see how Rudy fits maybe on that 2nd unit helpin TD move the ball..  

    I would look more at a rotation than 2 units, but Rudy would also look good with any Knicks unit since he can hit the 3 and several of their key players cannot.

  31. I saw D’Antoni’s press conference after the game and he said Felton was playing too fast yesterday.

  32. FC Barcelona upsets the Lakers 92-88 in a game the Lakers sure looked like they tried to win. Ricky Rubio with 0 pts, 3 asts and 4 to’s.

  33. Yea Ted..I see what ur sayin. Maybe Walsh should move Chandler considerin he’s pretty much a lock to start at the 2 this season which should up his value. Now if Azu comes back healthy, that should change considerin Mike D’s penchant for changing rotations. Which is why Mike D should (at least I think so) start Mason at the 2 for the rest of the preseason jus to see how well the starters can space the floor with another shooter out there to start the game. So that he/we know how we would look when Azu comes back. That way Chandler becomes more of a role player as opposed to a 15-17 ppg scorer who takes bad long 2’s and 3’s. But at the same time..if the team is trying to get Rudy that bad then maybe Chandler should start and enhance his value. It really is a tough call I guess. But Ted I think ur dead-on about Rudy in Mike D’s offense. I guess i’m a lil old school and I lean towards defense. But nevertheless I think this team will work well with Chandler or Rudy. I guess with the SSOL u can never have too many shooters especially with Amare..but will he pass to them enough? But with future add on’s in mind, then I say if Rudy for Chandler is available he should do it. Hopefully the defense doesn’t drop off too much. 1 thing I definitely don’t wanna see is AR getting minutes at the 3. Stick him at 4 & 5 and let him grow and use his unique skill set from those spots. I do think Rooster’s destined to be a Nowitzki type, although I don’t wanna pigeon-hole him. So pretty soon the team will have a 4/5 glut.

  34. BigBlueAL: Ricky Rubio with 0 pts, 3 asts and 4 to’s.  

    He definitely didn’t have a good game, but I can also say that he didn’t play particularly poorly. His one 2-pt attempt he got to the basket for a wide open lay-up, which he obviously missed… not good that he missed it, but he is going to make that more often than not. He had at least one 3PA go in and out on him. Those two shots go down and he’s got 5 points on 5 FGAs for a pretty average night.

    He doesn’t force any shots, and I view that as a positive while most NBA fans/”analysts” seem to view it as a negative. Sure, he’d be a better prospect if he were a better scorer, but he’s not. If you watched that game you can see the quality of teammates he’s playing with. There are 7 guys on Barca who were selected in the NBA draft. And Lakovic maybe could have been too were he a few inches taller. Rubio is not a scorer on that team and would be benched if he forced the issue more (in part because he doesn’t have great scoring skills, but he is a 40% 3P shooter). I would like to see him be a little more aggressive getting to the basket and FT line, but he’s good off the dribble and it may come as he matures physically.

    He did a pretty good job of running the offense. He hit Navarro for some wide open looks that the sharp-shooter missed. He did force some passes that were TOs. He flew down the court and looked good in transition. He was able to drive and dish with pretty good success. His defense looked fine, but it was mostly on Derek Fisher and Steve Blake… not exactly CP3. I wasn’t unimpressed with his performance. As he matures physically I think he’ll become a very good player. I know it’s getting a bit old, but he still hasn’t turned 20.

    Pete Mickael is a beast. Former Knick… could have used him the past few years.

  35. I didnt mean it as a slight on Rubio, I didnt see the game I just looked at the box score. Ive been pretty impressed by Rubio when I have seen him play. I mentioned during the World Championships that I think he is overrated if people think he can step into the NBA right now and be a Top 5 PG but I think if/when he comes over he will eventually be a Top 10 PG which is very good and worthy of the hype for the most part.

  36. Quietly, under the LeBron, etc. radar, Blake Griffin has returned to the Clips. From the preseason video I looked at so far, he should be fun to watch. Looks like the real deal.

  37. This is interesting:

    http://realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/69469/20101008/nuggets_scout_favors_nets_remain_confident_in_offer_for_melo/

    You have to believe that Melo would be working with Denver on this if the Nuggs are taking the time to send scouts out.

    I won’t be sad if we don’t ultimately get him, but it’s a curious story.
    Despite his flaws, I would like to see AR play the 3 some. I think he can ultimately be as good as Melo, in different ways. I just really thing he will be a Josh Smith type: a guy with multiple tools.

    I’m trying hard not to overreact to the pre-season, but I’m just not sure Gallo will ever be closer to Larry Bird than Jason Kapono. Which is fine, but not as a starter. Even if he develops a post game as he’s been saying he has, it still really makes him more of a pf. Him at sf forces us to have more of a slasher at the 2, whereas AR would probably allow us to use a spot up shooter/defender at the 2.

    I mean, really the need is for a great point guard – or any seasoned, 2nd great player really – so we can make the jump to the next level.

  38. Good points, BBA. The line does say a good amount Rubio (especially following the WCs), but I was just trying to put some context around it all.

    Z-man: Blake Griffin has returned to the Clips.

    Yeah, that story was a bit lost this offseason… but I guess no one knows/knew exactly what to expect.

    ess-dog: Despite his flaws, I would like to see AR play the 3 some. I think he can ultimately be as good as Melo, in different ways. I just really thing he will be a Josh Smith type: a guy with multiple tools.

    Josh Smith plays the 4 for Atlanta… I don’t really get why you want AR at the 3 specifically. He’s a strong rebounder, very good shot blocker, interior defense potential with great versatility, piss poor outside shooter, ok handle but not great… He looks and smells like a 4 in today’s NBA to me. Big men are scarce. Why waste a potentially plus bigman on the wing, where solid talent is a dime a dozen? (for example, Gallo, WC, Azu, Fields, Walker, Mason…). I think AR can play the 3, but I don’t see why he has to be there.

    ess-dog: I’m just not sure Gallo will ever be closer to Larry Bird than Jason Kapono. Which is fine, but not as a starter.

    Yeah, I guess Reggie Miller and Peja were not good starters… Oh, what? Reggie is a HOF player and Peja was the best offensive player in the NBA one season? Oh, yeah… maybe a great jump shooter (TS% .600 on an above average usage… which Kapono has never done in his career… one season above .561 TS% and one season above average usage) with a solid overall game can be insanely valuable to an offense. There is a whole lot of space between Bird and Kapono where Gallo could fall. He’s already better than Kapono.

    ess-dog: Even if he develops a post game as he’s been saying he has, it still really makes him more of a pf. Him at sf forces us to have more of a slasher at the 2, whereas AR would probably allow us to use a spot up shooter/defender at the 2.

    How about Gallo at one forward spot and AR at the other? Seems like their games complement each other very well… I think there’s plenty of room for both in the rotation.

    Anyway, if your slasher comment is correct… Wilson Chandler is a slasher and is the Knicks 2-guard… I don’t think you “need” a slashing 2 next to Gallo, but the Knicks have one. With Turiaf/Timo, Amare, AR, and Felton the Knicks would need Reggie Miller at the 2 to be a decent shooting team. The SG will be the only outside shooter on the team. That’s just not D’Antoni’s strategy/style. I do think AR can play the 3–especially on defense–but it might come a lot of the time with TD, a SG, Gallo, and Amare. That way you get some shooters on the court.

    ess-dog: I mean, really the need is for a great point guard – or any seasoned, 2nd great player really – so we can make the jump to the next level.

    I think the need is for patience… Yes, more talent is a good thing. There’s already good talent on the roster, though, and a lot of it is young and developing. A good PG or even an average PG would be a step up, I don’t think a “great” one is essential, though obviously it would be better than good. At this point, I think we have to see what we’ve got on the roster… how they play together, who steps up, what the holes/deficiencies are… then see what opportunities emerge down the road.

  39. Ted,
    Aside from my concern about the point guard position, my next worry about this team is that our three best players are power forwards. I don’t think it’s necessarily a question of patience. Reggie Miller and Peja would be a fine ceiling for me in regards to Gallo, but those players essentially played at the sg/sf positions – if Gallo could play the 2 all would be well. Maybe Rashard Lewis is the best comparable to Gallo – and he’s a pretty good player – but he creates negative matchup problems for the Magic at power forward sometimes. This is something they’ve said they will try to correct by playing Lewis at the 3 more.
    Maybe Gallo will be a fine three, I don’t know. I think he can mostly defend the position alright, as can AR. On offense though, AR seems to be better at ball-handling/driving/passing than Gallo.
    The other option is to play Randolph at center – something I’m not completely opposed to since D’Antoni is used to playing with non-centers at center and Timo definitely won’t be ready for full minutes anyway.
    As far as improving either of the guard positions, there’s not much in free agency. Maybe we go after Tony Parker next year? That should in all likelihood, be an improvement over Felton. At sg, there’s not much: Caron Butler, Jason Richardson, and our old friend Jamal Crawford. Maybe someone will step up and claim the 2 spot this year, I don’t know. But I would be surprised if Chandler plays well enough that we decide to re-sign him at a market contract.
    In conclusion, this year I think we have to comfortably find a way to play 3 power forwards at once in order to even sniff the playoffs.

  40. ess-dog: Aside from my concern about the point guard position

    Largely shared, though I’m high enough on TD that I hope at least short-to-medium-ish-term he steps up and eats into Felton’s minutes. Maybe he steps up as a long-term starter or at least 6th man.

    At the same time not 1 of last year’s conference finalists had a lottery pick at PG. In fact, only 5 of 12 50 win teams had a lottery pick starting at PG. It is the easiest position to fill in the NBA. Why the Knicks have been so awful at finding passable PGs under Walshtoni… I have no idea. They insist on overpaying these brainy North Carolina college guys with no game.

    ess-dog: my next worry about this team is that our three best players are power forwards.

    I’m not worried. Not even a little bit. I view it as a strength since each has a unique, but valuable skill set. All 3 can play together on the court, or they can play in a rotation.

    ess-dog: Reggie Miller and Peja would be a fine ceiling for me in regards to Gallo, but those players essentially played at the sg/sf positions – if Gallo could play the 2 all would be well.

    Reggie Miller is not a direct comparison because he was a 2-guard, but their games are not totally dissimilar: point is that a pure jump shooter can be very valuable to an offense and have a HOF career. Peja, though, is a pretty good comparison. Peja is roughly the same size as Gallo and the 3 is/was his ideal position on both sides of the ball.

    ess-dog: Maybe Rashard Lewis is the best comparable to Gallo – and he’s a pretty good player – but he creates negative matchup problems for the Magic at power forward sometimes. This is something they’ve said they will try to correct by playing Lewis at the 3 more.

    Yeah, Rashard Lewis is a natural 3 that the Magic play at the 4. He played mostly the 3 his whole career in Seattle. I would say, though, that he creates as many positive match-up problems as negative ones. The Magic are trying to change things to get over the top from serious contender to champion, the Knicks are just trying to get into the playoffs.

    Basically, there are 2 types of “‘tweeners.” There are the guys that can’t play any position and the guys that can play multiple positions. Gallo and AR both seem to be the positive kind. Amare is the same between the 4 and 5.

  41. ess-dog: Maybe Gallo will be a fine three, I don’t know.

    Yeah, to date and at this point he is a 3. He’s shown very little indication that he’s a 4. He doesn’t rebound like a 4. He spends 90% of his time on the perimeter offensively. Why is he a 4? Maybe he outgrows the position and/or improves other aspects of his game, but right now he’s a 3. The similarity with Peja Stojakovic is striking.

    ess-dog: On offense though, AR seems to be better at ball-handling/driving/passing than Gallo.

    And Gallo is roughly 8,000,000 times better as a shooter. I don’t really agree, though, as I think Gallo is a sufficient passer at this point with the ability to improve. I just do not understand why you are so set on having a slasher at the 3 and a shooter at the 2. Why you define position so rigidly in the first place. Certainly D’Antoni does not.

    ess-dog: As far as improving either of the guard positions, there’s not much in free agency.

    Again, patience. There is little opportunity to sign a free agent (an impact one) until after this coming season. The Knicks have done a good job of assembling depth with upside. They may very well not need a big-time guard in free agency. Sure, an upgrade over Felton would be nice, but overpaying Parker for his decline years may well not be worth it. The strength of this team is in the front-court and the wings, and they may only need passable guard play to be a good team. Sure, getting CP3 would be awesome but they might not need him.

    You don’t have to sign a big ticket free agent to improve a position. In fact, it’s often the worst way to improve a position as you often overpay in free agency. Knicks have a lot of in-house options. They have good trade pieces. They have a pick in this coming draft. There will be plenty of bargain bin free agents. They’re in a good position where they shouldn’t have to rush into overpaying someone in desperation, though this offseason might be the time to do so before AR and Gallo hit free agency. Similar to how the Blazers went after Hedo and Miller when they did.

    ess-dog: In conclusion, this year I think we have to comfortably find a way to play 3 power forwards at once in order to even sniff the playoffs.  

    Again, I disagree with that assessment. They all *can* play PF. I don’t think it’s Gallo’s optimal position by a LONG shot, though. Not at this point. You keep saying AR is a 3, but now he’s a 4? In reality neither Gallo and AR is really developed enough to decide their ideal long-term position: I would just call both “forwards.” And Amare has played as much 5 in the West as 4. All 3 are very different players with complementary strengths. It’s D’Antoni’s job to figure out how devise a strategy to get those strengths to work together. That is the Knicks core and their best chance of becoming a contender in the coming years revolves around playing all 3 of those guys together. Maybe one or more can be traded/let go down the road, but I doubt any of the 3 is at his peak trade value right now between Gallo and AR’s need to develop and Amare’s contract.

  42. I don’t understand the infatuation with Parker next year.

    He is clearly on the decline, doesn’t shoot well from the 3 ( in abundance anyway), will ask for tons of dough and more importantly PAUL AND D WILL ARE AVAILABLE IN 2012.

    with our current team of assets and young blood, signing parker would all but kill our chances to even trade for Paul or Deron… Let alone sighing them in 2012.

    Say no to parker

  43. “The similarity with Peja Stojakovic is striking.”

    That Kings team was one of the most balanced Finals team on offense in the history of the NBA. Only Doug Christie was considered a defensive player. The current Knicks team doesn’t have that kind of scoring balance. And yes, Gallo would fill a similar role to Peja, although it does appear as if he’s trying to improve his rebounding.

    “I just do not understand why you are so set on having a slasher at the 3 and a shooter at the 2. Why you define position so rigidly in the first place.”

    This I never said. I just think the team needs ‘balance’ in general. With the current starting 5, I just don’t see a player that can consistently get to the rim off the dribble which every good team has (see: Kobe, Pierce.) Maybe Chandler or Felton will surprise in this regard, but it’s not very likely. I’m just saying that Randolph might be an improvement in getting to the basket were he to play the 3, and Gallo’s 3 pt shooting could be replaced. Did you know that Jamal Crawford shot the three at the same clip – .381 – last year as Gallo and only made 20 less threes? Azu for instance could bring the same kind of outside threat were he healthy.

    “Similar to how the Blazers went after Hedo and Miller when they did.”

    Didn’t they win 4 less games the year after getting Miller? And we know about Hedo. Yes, free agency is a crapshoot, but so is the draft. I’m pretty happy with our recent free agnecy/draft selections (not going to mention Hill.) I the evidence supports Walsh going after big ticket guys as opposed to mid-level players via free agency (not sure about Felton either.)
    Re: Tony Parker, he was injured last year and only played around 50 games. He’s 27. He should rebound and have 3-4 more good years. Sure at the max, signing him would be crazy. But at 12 mil or so…. who knows? I’m also totally happy to wait for Paul or Williams, but what’s the window on Amare? He’s a year older than Parker…

    “In reality neither Gallo and AR is really developed enough to decide their ideal long-term position: I would just call both “forwards.” And Amare has played as much 5 in the West as 4. All 3 are very different players with complementary strengths. It’s D’Antoni’s job to figure out how devise a strategy to get those strengths to work together. That is the Knicks core and their best chance of becoming a contender in the coming years revolves around playing all 3 of those guys together.”

    THIS makes sense. Would love to see all three on the court at once if they are as different and complementary as you claim. Gallo and AR are clearly the guys with the upside to take us where we want to be as a team – although I wouldn’t count out Chandler completely. Either in tandem with a big jump from Gallo or on his own, a good improvement from Chandler (as a starter) could be what sneaks us into the playoffs. Stranger things have happened. I know you focus on rotation vs. starters, but there’s no reason our best guys (Gallo, AR, STAT) can’t average 30-35 minutes a game which will account for at least some time where they are all on the court at once. But if there’s a way to get a better balance via the trade market by mid-season, I’m not at all averse to trading any of these players (and no, I’m not even talking about getting Melo.)

  44. Garson: I don’t understand the infatuation with Parker next year.

    I don’t agree with it, but I understand it… He’s an NBA champion, celebrity, and high volume scorer, so of course the MSM loves him.

    He is a good player, but I agree that he’s most likely going to be overpaid.

    Garson: with our current team of assets and young blood, signing parker would all but kill our chances to even trade for Paul or Deron… Let alone sighing them in 2012.

    The question is whether you mortgage the present and future for a free agent again… Neither NO or Utah is going to be in a rush to trade their franchise player if they don’t *have* to, and neither is going to have a shortage of suitors via trade or free agency. Maybe the Knicks will have a shot at one or both, and maybe they won’t…

    If the current group of Knicks is as good as we hope, next offseason might be the optimal time to sign a free agent. WC is up for an extension and AR and Gallo come due the next season. Timo has an option for the 3rd year. The Knicks could be in a position like the Blazers in 2009 where they can use their cap space now to add talent before extensions took/take them over the cap. If his price is reasonable Tony Parker could be the Knicks’ Andre Miller. I’m sure Pritchard would have preferred CP3/Deron to Miller, but did what he felt was the best thing given the situation. A lot will obviously depend on what the Knicks’ young guys show this season and who is available via trade/free agency.

    While Parker’s contract might be an impediment to getting a CP3/Deron, the Knicks could still piece together a package with 2012 expirings and young assets if they were available via trade and then look to move Parker.

    Then again, there’s definitely an argument for going all-out after CP3/Deron. Especially since the Knicks have some nice young talent that they can re-sign if they strike out.

  45. “That Kings team was one of the most balanced Finals team on offense in the history of the NBA. Only Doug Christie was considered a defensive player. The current Knicks team doesn’t have that kind of scoring balance.”

    I am not comparing the whole teams, I am comparing Gallo to Peja. Peja has also had a good year in NO (pathetic given his contract, I know… would hope Gallo sustains it longer than Peja) and 1/2 a season in Indy.

    No one is asking the Knicks to seriously contend for the title in the next couple of years. Again, patience… They need to walk before they run. Wildly best case scenario they make the playoffs this season, homecourt next, and then start to contend… CP3 or someone via trade next offseason and maybe it’s even a little quicker. This season, though, there’s (almost) no hope of serious contention. Let’s see what we’ve got and hope it’s good.

    The Knicks do have decent offensive balance on their roster (they’ve got good shooters, good slashers, and good interior scorers… ball movement is more of a question: not a gigantic concern, but it is a key). They also have decent defensive balance. It’s about making the pieces work together/figuring out which pieces do work together, which are superfluous/bad players, and what the needs/holes are.

    ess-dog: I just don’t see a player that can consistently get to the rim off the dribble which every good team has

    Who did that on your most balanced offensive starting 5 of all-time in Sacto?

    Amare will get to the rim at will and WC is a heck of a finisher. Felton should be able to get inside and finish… because he’s a mediocre shooter, so if he’s not doing that he’s doing nothing. TD is a heck of a driver. AR is a heck of a finisher. Fields maybe.
    The current starting 5–Felton, WC, Gallo, Amare, Turiaf–lacks outside shooting a lot more than the ability to get to and finish at the rim.
    The hope has also got to be that AR continues to improve and is a key part of the rotation whether starting or off the bench this season or at least down the road.

    ess-dog: Did you know that Jamal Crawford shot the three at the same clip – .381 – last year

    Did you know that he’s never done that before? He’s been in the NBA nine seasons and done that once. Gallo has been in the NBA two seasons and done it twice. See the difference?
    D’Antoni doesn’t just want one guy who can shoot on the court, he wants several. He wants Azu doing it, and TD doing it, and Gallo doing it, and Walker doing it, and Felton to do it (cough, cough), and WC and AR improving their outside shots. He wants to shoot more 3s than any team in the NBA.

  46. ess-dog: Didn’t they win 4 less games the year after getting Miller?

    Are you really serious? Do you know how many injuries the Blazers had last season?
    Anyway, my point is about the long-term strategy… the Blazers are now capped out long-term (as the Knicks may be with AR/Gallo/WC/Timo/Azu/TD/etc.). Since, like the Knicks, they have an unlimited budget they saw a way to play with house money in the 2009 offseason that would not be available to them again for years to come. They might not have been dying for Andre Miller (heck, they tried for Hedo first), but they basically got him for free.

    ess-dog: I the evidence supports Walsh going after big ticket guys as opposed to mid-level players

    What evidence?

    ess-dog: what’s the window on Amare?

    He’s got a 5 year contract. Knicks have to do what’s in their best interest and not rush things around a good All-Star player who is not a top guy. Bigmen generally age a whole lot better than 6-0 PGs with mediocre jumpers who rely heavily on their quickness and have logged a lot of NBA miles like Parker, anyway.

    ess-dog: there’s no reason our best guys (Gallo, AR, STAT) can’t average 30-35 minutes a game which will account for at least some time where they are all on the court at once.

    ? Yeah, I specifically said that I don’t know why you are worried about them overlapping and that THEY SHOULD be on the court all at once. That’s the team’s core.

    A rotation comes into play if all 3 are “bigs” (play the 4 and/or 5). You need 96 mpg between the 4 and 5. Say neither AR nor Gallo can play the 3 long-term. With a 3 man frontcourt rotation they’d average 32 mpg each.
    I do believe both can play the 3–at least for stretches certainly and in the short-term certainly–so with another 20-40 minutes from Turiaf and/or Timo and/or True Center X… and 20-40 mpg from Gallo and/or AR at the 3 you’ve got 1/2 or 4.7 of a rotation.

    NBA teams just don’t play the same 5 guys together in shifts all the time, which is why I don’t like to look at “units.” The first few minutes of a game aren’t any more important than the other minutes, so that’s why I don’t like to look at starters.

    ess-dog: But if there’s a way to get a better balance via the trade market by mid-season

    It would be tough to find better balance.
    -Amare is a beastly interior scorer with a decent mid-range J and solid rebounding. He can defend the 4 or 5 about averagely. Has the body to bang a bit.
    -Gallo is one of the best outside shooters in the world. The rest of his game is at least solid, but we’re still waiting to see exactly what he can/will do.
    -AR can defend all 5 positions on the court. He’s a very good finisher. He can handle the ball well for a big and averagely for a wing. Potential as a playmaker. Strong rebounder. Offensive game still a bit undefined.
    The balance is incredible. If you move Gallo for Melo you’re lacking outside shooting. If you trade AR for Melo you’re lacking defense and rebounding. Could be that Melo is a talent upgrade (depends how DG/AR develop), but I wouldn’t call him a balance upgrade.

  47. Let’s just agree that we shouldn’t do anything until we see what we have in Gallo and AR.

    And I realize there is little hope of serious contention this year, but not making the playoffs should be a disappointment, no?

    re: slashing to the rim, I should’ve said a ‘perimeter player’ and yes it’s possible that Felton, Chandler and eventually Azu can fill that need.

    re: 3 point shooters, exactly my point. We have some that can fill the void if we were to trade Gallo, at the 2 and the 3.

    “He wants to shoot more 3s than any team in the NBA.”

    have never heard this explicitly, and doesn’t seem like a goal that has anything necessarily to do with winning, but we will see.

    “what evidence?”

    that max guys (that are worth the max) are more worth the money they make than mid-range guys. For instance, Amir Johnson for 7 mil a year? John Salmons for 9 mil? Are these guys worth close to half what Lebron will get? Not likely.
    I know this argument favors waiting for CP3, and I have considered a possible move for Parker, but I do think Parker would be movable if had for a reasonable contract.

    “A rotation comes into play if all 3 are “bigs” (play the 4 and/or 5)”

    I said all three were power forwards. Both Amare and AR have flat out said in the media that they are power forwards. Gallo seems to think he’s just a “basketball player” from what I read, so who knows where he fits? I like his attitude, but we have to see results.
    And AR *could* play the 5, but he rarely if ever has.
    Last year, we had 5 guys who averaged 30-37 minutes not including Barron’s 9 games: Lee, Harrington, Duhon, Chandler, Gallo. Then you had Hughes and Jeffries off the bench averaging 25. This gives you reason to believe that if a player is coming off the bench for D’Antoni, then he is getting less minutes than a ‘starter’. And your better players should play more than your worse players right? That leads you to believe that a David Lee or an Anthony Randolph should be more likely to start AND get more minutes than an Eddie House or a Roger Mason.
    So I’m sorry but it’s not ridiculous to say that there is a roster imbalance if the positions of your best players *likely* will lead to one of them not starting and/or getting less minutes than a lesser player.
    Unless you don’t believe that Randolph is as good as other players like Turiaf, Mason, Chandler or others, but I would disagree.
    But again, I’m fine with throwing all of them out there, positions be damned, if it works.
    But you can’t tell me the starting lineup you’ve named – Felton, Chandler, Gallo, Amare and Turiaf isn’t sorely lacking in rebounding, passing and even a little weak on shooting?

  48. Btw, there is a discussion on Theknicksblog about the distinct lack of “slashing ability” from Chandler and Gallo and why Fernandez would improve that, so it really isn’t out of left field.

    OK just for fun, let’s say you do the deal for Melo: Curry, two 1st rounders and Gallo. Maybe Douglas will cost you for that 2nd first rounder. And lets say the also demand Fields to make it semi-realistic. Then you turn around and trade Chandler plus a 2nd rounder for Fernandez.

    Felton
    Fernandez
    Melo
    Amar’e
    Timo/AR

    bench:
    Turiaf
    Mason
    Walker
    Azu
    Rautins

    Rebounding is still a weakness, but you have a legit 2nd and 3rd scoring option, despite a weaker bench. I would really question whether you do the Melo trade if you have to include AR… then your bigs rotation is really hurting.

    It’s still not a championship team, but it’s a 4 or 5 seed in the east that would be fun to watch. And maybe it leads to CP3?

    Of course this leads to the grander argument of whether we should build to go against the Heat asap or to build to compete 5 or 6 years from now…

  49. ess-dog: Btw, there is a discussion on Theknicksblog about the distinct lack of “slashing ability” from Chandler and Gallo and why Fernandez would improve that, so it really isn’t out of left field.

    I don’t follow (or know anything about) that blog, but if they think Rudy is a better slasher than WC they don’t know much about basketball… Rudy takes about 90% jumpers, while WC takes about 60%.

    ess-dog: Felton
    Fernandez
    Melo
    Amar’e
    Timo/AR

    I think it’s been pretty well established at this point that the Nuggets are not trading Melo for one of Gallo/AR, and maybe not even for both. They may back down as the season goes along, but every indication we have is that’s the case right now. Rumors have been that they will not even answer Donnie Walsh’s phone calls…

    ess-dog: It’s still not a championship team, but it’s a 4 or 5 seed in the east that would be fun to watch.

    I don’t think it’s an improvement at all. It might be a worse team. Rudy is an inferior player to Gallo. You’re losing quite a bit of defense in WC and AR.

    ess-dog: Of course this leads to the grander argument of whether we should build to go against the Heat asap or to build to compete 5 or 6 years from now…  

    The Knicks should build to make the playoffs this season and contend down the road. That is how they are built. Every indication we’ve had is that Portland is not offering Rudy for WC and Denver is not offering Melo for Gallo (and if they are it will likely cost the Knicks AR as well and a pick they get for WC). These are fantasy situations right now, trading Gallo and WC for Melo and Rudy. And I thought you wanted to see what the Knicks have before making trades…

  50. #51 “Gallo is one of the best outside shooters in the world.”
    Maybe he will be but he was 44th in the league in 3 pt.%, 24th among guys with at least 100 makes. And he was pretty average last year after the first month or so of the season when teams made started making a concerted effort to get out on him. Is he capable of 40+% while maintaining a high volume? Probably, but until he does it…

  51. nicos: #51 “Gallo is one of the best outside shooters in the world.”
    Maybe he will be but he was 44th in the league in 3 pt.%, 24th among guys with at least 100 makes.And he was pretty average last year after the first month or so of the season when teams made started making a concerted effort to get out on him.Is he capable of 40+% while maintaining a high volume? Probably, but until he does it…  

    I would still call him one of the best outside shooters in the world. Certainly would say that he’s an excellent 3P shooter.

    He took the 2nd most 3PAs in the entire league last season, so you can pretty easily argue that if he takes out 9 poorly chosen 3s over the course of the season and still have taken the 2nd most 3s in the NBA by a comfortable margin while hitting 40% of his 3s.

    38% over the course of a season isn’t that much different from 40%. 38% vs. 40% even on the huge volume he took would mean 9 3s over the season, 0.1 3s per game. And that was one season. His long-term 3P% might well be 40%. He hits a few more 3s against Chicago on 12/22 and Charlotte on 1/7 and he’s at 40% for the season and the Knicks don’t win any more games. Even if you took 2 games they lost where he shot terribly from 3, and there were plenty, the Knicks would not move up even one spot in the EC standings.

  52. Yeah but it goes the other way too- the difference between 38% and 36% is a few good shooting nights. I just think that his shooting dipped once teams started staying at home on him- 36.5% on threes from November on (though there were probably some health issues associated with that decline as well). I guess the bottom line is there are at least 5-6 guys (if not 8-10) I’d rather have shooting a 3 than him but I guess in the grand scheme of things even if he’s #11 he’s still one of the best shooters in the world. And more importantly, while I’d say guys like Korver, Miller, and Morrow are probably better pure shooters than Gallo, I’d rather have Gallo than any of them.

  53. “Rudy is an inferior player to Gallo.”

    Not right now he isn’t – especially if you go by Berri. Fernandez had a poor year last year, but he did have a serious injury. The assumption is that Gallo will improve and become better than Fernandez (something I agree with somewhat) but this is far from a given.
    I think if you include AR in the Melo trade, it’s debatable whether we get significantly better – I think we will really need AR’s rebounding this year.

    “These are fantasy situations right now, trading Gallo and WC for Melo and Rudy. And I thought you wanted to see what the Knicks have before making trades… ”

    Right. That is why I premised the post with “just for fun”. I could try to be more realistic I suppose. Perhaps it would take Toney Douglas and a 1st or 2nd rounder to get Fernandez. That would be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s hard to call your 3rd guard untouchable. Maybe Walker and a 1st would do it? I think a Felton/Fernandez/AR or Gallo/Stat/Timo lineup could be as effective as one without Melo eventually.

    It’s not like I have a man-crush on Rodolpho, but I think having a 2nd guard on the floor that can really move the ball and move without the ball would be pretty helpful for this offense. And we are heavy on frountcourt players right now. The only true guards we have are Felton, Douglas, Rautins, and Mason and I’m not entirely comfortable with any of them.

  54. Damn, am I the only one working today?

    Speaking of TKB, they just posted their official team preview – although Randolph is inexplicably missing:

    http://www.theknicksblog.com/2010/10/09/tkbs-2010-11-knicks-preview/#more-18756

    I do think that how well we do this year relies so much on the starting guards moving the ball around (Felton with the pick and roll, and Chandler driving more to the rim.) Amar’e is Amar’e. At worst case, Gallo still has his excellent outside shooting even if he doesn’t improve in other areas, and the centers should at least protect the rim and hopefully help Amar’e with rebounding.

    Randolph, Douglas, Walker and Fields at the top of their games will also help in these areas.

    Can’t wait for the season to tip off…

  55. That article at the knicks blog is low on facts and is poorly written… Is all the stuff over there that weak?

  56. Was at the open practice today. If one thing stood out it was Fields. Looks like he can do a bit of everything and he is very physical.

  57. cgreene: Was at the open practice today. If one thing stood out it was Fields. Looks like he can do a bit of everything and he is very physical.  (Quote)

    That’s what we need. This whole D’Antoni “7 seconds or less” or whatever is already starting to wear thin. It doesn’t take any kind of genius to figure out that we need size, strength, athleticism and defense above all.

    Seriously, if D’Antoni doesn’t have this team playing defense by the end of this season and we’re losing games 115-105 in the playoffs, I want this dude out of town.

    I’m tired of losing, man. This team has 2 (two!) championships in its history. That’s not acceptable. We need to be physical. We need to play defense and we need some serious, hungry, hostile athletes on this team. We don’t need to play pretty and be the Phoenix Suns of the Eastern Conference.

  58. Sparks with Starks:

    I’m tired of losing, man. This team has 2 (two!) championships in its history. That’s not acceptable. We need to be physical. We need to play defense and we need some serious, hungry, hostile athletes on this team. We don’t need to play pretty and be the Phoenix Suns of the Eastern Conference.  

    Amen Sparks…amen. Fortunately we have guys who can play D most likely to be a big part of the rotation. So the question is…is there gonna be enough focus from the coaches to make it matter?

  59. I was at the open practice also — a few thoughts:

    1) the guy who stood out to me was Mozgov. That guy is huge and very very active. He had a bunch of blocks, offensive rebounds, and dunks.

    2) the guy who didn’t stand out to me was Gallo. Didn’t shoot particularly well, mostly happy to play around the perimeter.

    3) Other guys who looked quite good – Roger Mason was hitting everything. Fields and Rautins look like they have a good connection. Rautins actually shot the ball well too.

    4) Amare again had very little in terms of assisted baskets, similar to what I saw in the preseason games. A lot of his offense was him taking the ball to the hoop. I hope that changes and they run a lot of PnR with the best PnR finisher in the game.

    5) Is that really what they do during practice? Run around and play 3 on 3? I assume a lot of this was for the fans so they did mostly scrimmaging, but I saw zero coaching out there. If that’s how D’Antoni runs practice normally, I sort of understand why we’ve only average 30 wins since he got here.

  60. SeeWhyDee77: Amen Sparks…amen. Fortunately we have guys who can play D most likely to be a big part of the rotation. So the question is…is there gonna be enough focus from the coaches to make it matter?  (Quote)

    Yeah, with D’Antoni, you gotta wonder. Maybe we should call him just ‘Antoni until he gets this team playing serious ball on BOTH sides of the floor. What’s really hard to take is to see freaking Beantown playing serious ball these last few years. I hate to give any Boston team credit, but you have to. That team is just a bunch of winners. They play the right way and they just make it brutally hard to beat them. Hopefully we get a Paul Pierce type guy (‘Melo?) and then everybody else on the team (well, ‘Melo too) needs to really take some serious pride in their D. That’s the only way we’re going to do this.

  61. Melo would not solve the team’s defensive problem. If Amar’e plays PF (as he should) and Mosgov learns to cut his foul problem down a bit, the team might actually stand a chance against the multiple teams with multiple 7-foot PF/C players.

  62. Call me crazy but I really don’t think Melo would solve much period becuz we already have a guy who replicates him in Stat. And if I had my pick, I’d rather have a dominant scorer at the 4 than at the wing. Yea Melo would make us better I suppose, but I just don’t think those 2 would make a great pairing until one becomes a better passer and defender. Maybe Felton has a good season and can be traded in a package for CP3. They talk a good game out there in how they wanna make him happy, but lookin at his team-I don’t see it. A great P&R pg is a better option than Melo IMO, especially if its D-Will or CP3. And for some reason I can’t shake the thought of goin after Iggy. But he has 4 more yrs at 12/per so that’s a bad move too. But man!! Wouldn’t it be awesome to see Stat and Iggy runnin up an down the court and makin plays? In any case..the coaching staff needs to take advantage of the defensive talent on the roster. We have more than enough offense to compete in the east right now..as long as Rooster doesn’t become one dimensional.

  63. As noted time and time again on this board and others, having Melo would not make many teams better when he comes with a $17M cap hit. He’s a high-usage scorer without outstanding, or even great, efficiency. He’s not due to drop his usage rate at any location other than Miami or L.A. (and even there I’m sure he would clamor to approach his career average of 19 shots per 36).

    He’s not an exceptional rebounder and he doesn’t assist, steal, or block well, either. Very flashy player (and my, am I impressed by some of his highlight reel passes), but not worth the price tag. Like David Lee, his strengths were much easier to magnify when he was still on rookie salary.

    Chris Paul, on the other hand, would be the ideal candidate for the open PG spot in 2012, and I’d guess that there aren’t many who’d rather give up assets for an overrated volume scorer than ride out the rookie contracts and potentially add an All-NBA 1st team PG in a couple seasons.

  64. I like D-Will better than CP3. I just think come playoff time you want that size and strength and I’d hate to see our point guard get physically dominated in an important series. Didn’t some guy with Denver (now with the Pacers, I think) really bother Paul a couple of years ago with physical play. D-Will, OTOH, would make a perfect playoff point guard, sort of like a much improved version of Derek Harper.

  65. Sparks with Starks: I like D-Will better than CP3. I just think come playoff time you want that size and strength and I’d hate to see our point guard get physically dominated in an important series. Didn’t some guy with Denver (now with the Pacers, I think) really bother Paul a couple of years ago with physical play. D-Will, OTOH, would make a perfect playoff point guard, sort of like a much improved version of Derek Harper.  

    This is a fair point, but more important IMO is the fact that he missed half of last season with a torn meniscus — that is, a tear in the cartilage that keeps your femur and tibia from grinding against one another. That’s a bit scary to me in a player that is a superstar due in part to his quickness (unlike Deron Williams). Adding to that fear is that the recovery time for a torn meniscus is 6-8 weeks. It took Paul 8 weeks to come back, and he was not the same player (40% fg% — 10% below his career average, 10.3ppg, 10.8p/36 – more than 10 points below his career average) and the hornets ended up deactivating him after only like 3 weeks. So far in preseason (obviously not a huge indicator) he hasn’t looked like he’s had the same impact as other players. He was a team high (low?) -37 in plus/minus in the game tonight against Orlando.

    Healthy though, Chris Paul may be smaller, but I think he is significantly more talented than Deron Williams. Look at the roster for the 07/08 Hornets: http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/NOH/2008.html

    You may have forgotten, but that team won 56 games!!! Chris Paul had us believing that Tyson Chandler was actually good. David West miraculously bloomed into a good player (after 2 mediocre seasons) as soon Chris Paul arrived. Seriously, I think that team would have been lucky to win 30 games without Paul.

  66. latke: So far in preseason (obviously not a huge indicator) he hasn’t looked like he’s had the same impact as other players.

    should read “had the same impact as before the injury”

  67. Sparks with Starks:
    That’s what we need. This whole D’Antoni “7 seconds or less” or whatever is already starting to wear thin. It doesn’t take any kind of genius to figure out that we need size, strength, athleticism and defense above all.Seriously, if D’Antoni doesn’t have this team playing defense by the end of this season and we’re losing games 115-105 in the playoffs, I want this dude out of town.

    I don’t care whether we lose 115-105 or 75-65; but i think that now, D’Antoni has talent around him that fits his style of coaching. We should be much better now.

    I would feel more confident with Deron Williams than with CP3. Somehow i believe Deron could pull the P&R with Amare more systematically and with more efficiency; he is a little better outside shooter; and he is more durable. I know that CP3 has been better statistically, but i am not sure if that would translate into more wins in the Knicks.

    However, this is all hypothetical, we would need a good season from our trade bait (Gallo, AR, Chandler,… could happen), and a bad season for Utah or New Orleans (I think it will happen, at least for one of the two…), that their GMs decide to trade them (unlikely, with another season under contract, they may try to improve the team and make them happy…) and ours should be the best offer on the table (again unlikely, Portland, Orlando and other teams would jump with everything they have, even if we have a good season from Gallo and AR,…). I would be really happy with either, specially if we are able to package Felton instead of Curry to make salaries match, and we are able to sign Melo in FA. First things first, let’s see how this team plays together; it is also really unlikely, but if we are talking about dream scenarios, Gallo may start playing like Nowitzky, then no way we trade him.

  68. RE: CP3 vs D-Will
    Both great players, no doubt. CP3’s injury shouldn’t deter him too much. Remember when Nash came outta college and he was super athletic? Well more athletic than we thought he would be at least. When he couldn’t use his great quickness to his advantage as often, he became a smarter more effective player. Jason Kidd..shell of his former self right now, but still wildly effective. Derek Harper-never athletic but also crazy effective. So I don’t think it would bother CP3 as much when he loses a lil quickness. But his size does bother me. Even still, i’d rather have him than D Will, though I wouldn’t be mad with havin either one. The difference between the 2 is D Will pretty much has to be more of a scoring threat to have a huge impact on the game. Whereas CP3 has the court vision and passing skills of Nash and Magic. U can’t go wrong with either PG though. D-Will would make a devastating P&R with Stat..problee a more devastating combo than CP3 and Stat. So I guess u would hafta go with who fits the team better personnell-wise. Which would problee be CP3. Ponder this though…Sparks said earlier that we don’t hafta play pretty and become Phoenix of the east. Grabbing CP3 would problee make the team just that..whereas we could get more physical at the point of attack with D Will. I know it sounds like i’m playin both sides of the fence here..i’m just tryina make an argument on both sides becuz either would be a great option.
    For me..bein a PG by trade lol and bein a huge fan of Stockton and Magic…CP3’s the pick. He’s a PG body and soul. D Will’s more of a scorer but still a great PG. But he’s more a “Guard” than a PG, y’know? And when it’s all said and done the “PG” is the engine so it’s a matter of which type of lead guard u feel comfortable with

  69. ess-dog: “Rudy is an inferior player to Gallo.”

    Not right now he isn’t – especially if you go by Berri.

    I do not “go by Berri,” and I would say that right now he is at least as good as Rudy: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=gallida01&y1=2010&p2=fernaru01&y2=2010

    ess-dog: I think if you include AR in the Melo trade, it’s debatable whether we get significantly better – I think we will really need AR’s rebounding this year.

    Maybe their demands come down as time goes on, but right now it seems doubtful Denver will trade Melo for just Gallo.

    ess-dog: Perhaps it would take Toney Douglas and a 1st or 2nd rounder to get Fernandez. That would be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s hard to call your 3rd guard untouchable.

    You don’t have to be untouchable not to be traded for Rudy Fernandez… I like Rudy, but he’s not more than a 3rd guard himself. I would hesitate to move TD for Rudy, because I like TD a lot (and am not happy with Felton as a starting PG) and he’s controlled for an additional season. The other issue with Rudy is that he’s on record saying he does not want to be traded within the NBA and instead wants to be released from his NBA contract immediately to return to Spain. Do you give up a bunch of assets for a guy who doesn’t want to be here and leaves at the first possible opportunity?

    ess-dog: I think having a 2nd guard on the floor that can really move the ball and move without the ball would be pretty helpful for this offense

    Rudy is a smart player, but his ast% is hardly better than Wilson Chandler’s.

    Frank: the guy who didn’t stand out to me was Gallo. Didn’t shoot particularly well

    Given that he’s shot very well for two seasons, you think that might be the sample size?

    Frank: I sort of understand why we’ve only average 30 wins since he got here.  

    Because they’ve had 30 win talent? You do realize that open practices are also open to other team’s scouts, right?

  70. Sparks with Starks: Maybe we should call him just ‘Antoni until he gets this team playing serious ball on BOTH sides of the floor.

    I’m not D’Antoni’s biggest supporter, but are you familiar with defensive efficiency? Every time your team uses a possession, the other team gets the ball. If you use your possessions quicker, the other team gets the ball more. I’m not accusing D’Antoni of being a great defensive coach, but he did have some above average defensive teams in Phoenix. I am of the strong belief that the players dictate results to an infinitely higher degree than the coach.

    Sparks with Starks: What’s really hard to take is to see freaking Beantown playing serious ball these last few years.

    You realize they have 3 HOFers, and 5 above average starters right? That the guy who was probably the Knicks’ 2nd best player–Nate Robinson–struggled to stay in their rotation… They have infinitely more talent than the Knicks had last season. They still have significantly more talent (in all likelihood, depends how some young Knicks do).

    Sparks with Starks: Hopefully we get a Paul Pierce type guy

    I’m not sure why you would single out Paul Pierce instead of KG, if you have to single one guy out. The Celtics have tremendous defensive talent throughout their roster, though.

  71. I share the concerns about his long-term health (while admitting I am completely ignorant in that regard), but I think people are seriously undervaluing CP3. He is MUCH, MUCH better than Deron Williams when healthy. He is very possibly THE BEST PG ever to play an NBA game. Even though he was a shell of his usual self last season, CP3 was *still* significantly better than Deron.

    Deron Williams is a very good PG (and might have more long-term durability), but CP3 is incredible.

    Whoever said that Deron Williams is a better jump shooter is incorrect. CP3 is a far better jump shooter. Check out the stats on 82games.com.

    Whoever said CP3 is going to get pushed around… are you serious? Did you see what he did in the 07-08 playoffs?

    Sparks with Starks: D-Will, OTOH, would make a perfect playoff point guard, sort of like a much improved version of Derek Harper.  

    There’s no guess work involved… both guys have literally been to the playoffs. You can see how they’ve done at http://www.basketball-reference.com

  72. Given that he’s shot very well for two seasons, you think that might be the sample size?
    Because they’ve had 30 win talent? You do realize that open practices are also open to other team’s scouts, right?  

    OK, leaving the Ted Nelson condescending-ness aside, here are my points:

    1 – I remain high on Gallo, but was really looking forward to him showing something in his game other than 3 pointers. Yes, he’ll shoot 3’s, but I saw zero post game, zero taking the ball to the hoop, zero passes to set other people up. What I DID see was contested shots missed, uncontested shots missed, and a lot of passing the ball around the perimeter. Clearly he is a good shooter, but it is not too much to ask to see something else, ANYTHING else. Yes, it may be that he just didn’t feel like it that day and didn’t shoot well. But that was my impression after watching him for nearly 2 hours.

    2 – Re: the practice – I DID put the disclaimer that maybe the whole open practice was for the fans. BUT — this is what I would like to see in any practice, open or not. I’d like to see some teaching. I’d like to see someone take someone aside and tell them what they did right and wrong. I’d like to have someone stop a play and correct a defensive or offensive problem. I’d like some structure. Instead, it was a bunch of guys running 3-on-3 for 80% of the practice, and then some contrived shooting games.

    If you read about how Rex Ryan or Belichick run practice (I know it’s a different sport), they budget every minute of practice for every player so that it is a high yield learning practice. They work on game situations etc. This was exactly the opposite.

    And yes, I know other teams can come and scout. But do you think working on basic pick and roll defense is really something other teams can learn from? Jump shooting form? Boxing out? For Pete’s sake, the Jets had camera crews in every practice this summer and it has not seemed to bothered them so far. For D’Antoni, he’s been in the league long enough that every team knows what he runs — it’s just the execution that matters, and you get execution by practicing the right way.

    Again, it is likely that this was not like a real practice, that this really was an introduction to the fans etc. So if that’s the case, then whatever. But it looked like a middle school practice out there yesterday.

    And re: the 30 win talent — that may be true — I gave Walshtoni a break the last 2 years because I know the endgame was 2010 and later. But I can’t say the Knicks had much worse talent than the Bucks, yet they made the playoffs.

  73. Speaking of — can Mike K. give us any insight as to other practices he has been to? Do they actually work on stuff or are they just running around like schoolkids?

  74. Ted Nelson: I share the concerns about his long-term health (while admitting I am completely ignorant in that regard), but I think people are seriously undervaluing CP3. He is MUCH, MUCH better than Deron Williams when healthy. He is very possibly THE BEST PG ever to play an NBA game. Even though he was a shell of his usual self last season, CP3 was *still* significantly better than Deron.Deron Williams is a very good PG (and might have more long-term durability), but CP3 is incredible. Whoever said that Deron Williams is a better jump shooter is incorrect. CP3 is a far better jump shooter. Check out the stats on 82games.com.Whoever said CP3 is going to get pushed around… are you serious? Did you see what he did in the 07-08 playoffs?There’s no guess work involved… both guys have literally been to the playoffs. You can see how they’ve done at http://www.basketball-reference.com  (Quote)

    But what about the 2009 playoffs? Dahntay Jones got up in Paul’s grill and make life miserable for him. I think he said in the offseason after that that he was working on getting stronger so he doesn’t get bullied again. But I think there’s only so much he can do so that would be a concern I would think as far as making him the pg of the future. Again, that’s only comparing him to D-Will and a few others. I just always have a preference for size and athleticism at every position. Undersized players, no matter how skillful, worry me.

  75. Frank: was really looking forward to him showing something in his game other than 3 pointers.

    I would also like to see him diversify/improve his game, but I think he can be a very valuable player with only marginal improvements in areas other than perimeter shooting. I don’t really expect him to become a good driver (lacks quickness) or to necessarily develop much of a post game (maybe post up smaller wings on occasion). Improvement would be great, but a medium-case scenario and those are not going to become big strengths. His value is as a shooter unless he is a best case scenario for improvement.

    I don’t write off too much on the back injury… take rebounds: QRich has always been a strong rebounder despite back problems.

    Also, while they may have looked like they were just running around–and maybe they were, I have no idea and wasn’t even there–you have to consider that D’Antoni might have them in defined roles (not the first time Danilo has practiced with him) and/or might have told them not to tip off certain elements of their game plan. I’m just not comfortable jumping to conclusions about strategy with no insight.

    Frank: I’d like to see someone take someone aside and tell them what they did right and wrong.

    There are different coaching (/leadership) styles. I’m not D’Antoni’s biggest fan–I don’t dislike him, I just don’t worship him like some seem to–but he’s had some success and is very well respected. Donnie Walsh has been around the NBA long enough and around enough head coaches to know if someone is incompetent or doing things completely out of the norm.

    Frank: But do you think working on basic pick and roll defense is really something other teams can learn from? Jump shooting form? Boxing out?

    They’re in the middle of training camp and might well have been told to go out there and have fun (either directly or implied through the coaching staff taking it lightly). You might learn as much from what a guy does when no one is telling him what to do-how he learns from his mistakes and how he carries himself and how he plays–as you will from barking down his throat after every play. Clearly D’Antoni does not just let everyone do whatever they want, or he would not have benched his 2nd best player last season.

    Football, like you said, is different. Coaching is huge in the NFL. Coaches literally call in every play on both sides of the ball. Being able to recognize what is going on before the snap can be as important as reacting after it. Working as a unit is huge and individual accomplishments can often be largely attributed to teammates. Basketball is more of an individual sport and more reactionary. The clock doesn’t stop after every single play. I have no idea what D’Antoni was or was not trying to accomplish in this or any other practice, but I would just let the results speak for themselves instead of speculating.

    There have been plenty of successful basketball coaches, so I don’t see the reason for comparing him to a coach from a different sport. Rather than look at Rex Ryan or the US Women’s Figure Skating coach, how about Phil Jackson or Red Auerbach or Rick Adelman or whoever? If it’s common practice for NBA coaches to run nothing but scrimmages at open practices… your problem is not so much with D’Antoni as the system.

    Frank: But I can’t say the Knicks had much worse talent than the Bucks, yet they made the playoffs.  

    I would SERIOUSLY disagree with this. The Knicks WERE a better offensive team than the Bucks last season: they had more offensive talent and *were* better. The Bucks were 23rd offensively and the Knicks 17th. The Bucks, though, had infinitely more defensive talent and experience. The Knicks had only a couple of good defensive players in their rotation at any point last season. Their primary frontcourt was David Lee and Al Harrington…

  76. Sparks with Starks: But what about the 2009 playoffs?

    Paul’s postseason averages are still better than Williams’ best postseason performance. 09 was bad, but it’s a limited sample size. A few shots go down and it’s a different story. Or maybe a few teammates step up when the Nuggets try to take away their only playmaker…

    I’ll be interested to see what Deron does with Al Jefferson replacing Boozer, and would have especially been interested if they replaced AK with Diaw… which doesn’t exactly look likely anymore. That’s a big step down in the talent level around him. Both Boozer and AK are roughly as good as Deron. AJ and Diaw have not been on their careers. Paul has not had the same level of teammates.

    Sparks with Starks: Dahntay Jones got up in Paul’s grill and make life miserable for him.

    It was a bad performance by Paul, no doubt. I don’t know exactly what happened.
    For one thing, Paul played twice as many minutes as Jones, so that explanation doesn’t really fly unless you have a breakdown of Paul v. Jones and Paul v. other defenders.
    If you have two decent wing players they’re going to make the Nuggets pay for putting a Billups on one of them. The only wings who played substantial minutes for NO in that series were Posey and Rasual Butler. Both shot the ball well–and might have Paul to thank for some open looks–but didn’t do much else. Billups can stand in front of them and while they might shoot over him they can’t do much else to exploit the mismatch. While they’ve both had solid careers, those guys are bench players on most NBA teams.

    Sparks with Starks: Undersized players, no matter how skillful, worry me.  

    If you have two players with the same skill level and one is taller, sure… that height should probably translate statistically, though, if it’s allowing the player to do more on the court. If one player is twice as good as the other player, though, I would probably overlook height. Nate Robinson is a smurf next to Mardy Collins, for example, but I know who I would take on my team. Deron is a very good player, but the difference between him and a healthy CP3 is enormous. It’s somewhere between LeBron v. Brandon Roy and LeBron v. Joe Johnson… http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=willide01&y1=2010&p2=roybr01&y2=2010&p3=jamesle01&y3=2010&p4=paulch01&y4=2010
    Like looking at Dwight Howard v. Carlos Boozer.

    Paul’s height does worry me long-term, due to a long track record of short careers for guys under 6 foot. In acquiring one or the other I would definitely consider that, but short-term I’d take Paul is a heartbeat if I felt his knee was healed for the time being.

    Sparks with Starks: I just always have a preference for size and athleticism at every position.

    Chris Paul isn’t athletic? He sure fooled me…

  77. Ted

    Just to clarify, I meant size AND athleticism. I wasn’t saying Paul’s not a great athlete.

    Fair points about the statistics in the playoffs, although I think we all know they can be misleading. I think Dahntay Jones’ physical play on CP3 in that series was probably a response to the 2008 playoffs. In other words, the guy is so skilled and talented that if you LET him play, he’ll absolutely light you up. Dahntay just stuffed him, took him out of his game with physicality. Not the first time that’s happened. Look at what Boston can do to people. And maybe Dahntay Jones could’ve done the same thing to D-Will. But I just like D-Will’s chances of holding up under that type of physical pressure because of his size.

  78. Sparks with Starks: Just to clarify, I meant size AND athleticism. I wasn’t saying Paul’s not a great athlete.

    I know, but I think you’re being awfully picky when you say you want a decent All-Star over the greatest PG of all-time because he’s bigger (only 2 inches taller). Out of skill, athleticism, and size I’d call size the least important ingredient. I do think Paul’s knee is scary, but otherwise he’s just incredible. Isiah Thomas is about the same size and won a couple of rings. Iverson is about the same size and made the finals as a SG. Tony Parker is not much bigger and he’s got a few rings. The Spurs also won with Avery Johnson at PG. Rajon Rondo is not tall or big, though he is very long. Derek Fisher is just awful and the only listed at 6-1; the Lakers still have won 2 straight. There’s just no evidence to me that having a big PG helps you win. The NBA right now is actually set up for quick PGs.

    The Knicks also need to actually get to the playoffs before they worry about advancing, let alone winning a title. Chris Paul will help them win more regular season games than Deron, and I’d argue more post-season games too.

    Sparks with Starks: But I just like D-Will’s chances of holding up under that type of physical pressure because of his size.  

    You’re not even allowed to tough another player on the perimeter these days, so I don’t know if that’s the case. The Heat won a title on the strength of their undersized SG Wade living at the FT line.

    And again, Paul had very little help on that team… it was basically him, spot-up shooters, Tyson Chandler as a dive man… no one else who could make something happen on their own… you cut out the heart and the body dies. Knicks already have a devastating scorer in Amare who also commands attention. Considering that he missed most of the next season, maybe Paul’s knee was already giving him problems. That Nuggets team frontline of Nene, K-Mart, and Chris Andersen going up against David West, Tyson Chandler, and Sean Marks also allows for a lot of help on Paul since none of those 3 is a playmaker. Also, again, Jones played literally half the minutes CP3 did in that series… why wasn’t he good in the other half the minutes? Anthony Johnson was too much for him to handle also? There are just too many possible explanations to definitively say “Dahntey Jones shut down CP3 and would not shut down Deron.”

  79. Ted

    You make good points and I completely agree that statistics can be misleading, even though I think you have to acknowledge that the steep drop-off in Paul’s production from 1 playoffs to the next has to be a cause for concern. (Again, D-Will’s playoffs stats have never been as stellar as Paul’s in 2008, but they’ve never dropped off. On the contrary, they got better last year compared to the previous year across the board (PER, TS%, eFG%)). Denver was specifically targeting Paul in that series. They knew if they could disrupt him and his comfortable rhythm that they could completely dismantle the Hornets and that’s exactly what they did and Paul did not have an answer for it. I remember Scott’s quotes afterward and he basically was saying that Jones’ defense crossed the line, but you have to be prepared for that in the playoffs and be able to perform in spite of it. That’s what the great players do. I think CP3 acknowledged that after the series by talking about his plans to get stronger so that type of (borderline dirty) play wouldn’t affect him again. I also think he’s been spurred on by some comments by Rondo (a small guard who also supports your point about small quick guys being effective, by the way) so I’m pretty sure the guy’s a winner. The fact he wants out of NO and that New York is one of his preferred destinations shows that.

    On a side note, I have to disagree with your point about physical play not being allowed anymore. Even without the hand-checking of the past, there are other ways for defenders to get physical with an opponent (as happened in that Denver-NO series) and we all know there’s a big difference in how the refs will call games from the RS to the playoffs.

    At the end of the day, if the Knicks have a chance to get both and opt for CP3, I’ll instantly become his biggest fan, even though I’ll have that doubt in my mind about how he’ll perform in the playoffs until he proves me wrong.

    Also, I have to agree with Nick C. We’re going to need a helluva lot more out of Paul than 2 playoff appearances, one of them a terrible one that ended with a 50-point blowout in the last game, before we start calling him the greatest pg of all time.

  80. Actually, correction, that 58-point blowout was in the second to last game of that series. Paul actually had a couple of good games in the series, but in that pivotal game 4 at home he had 4 points and 6 assists in a 121-63 loss.

  81. Nick C.: Not to drag this out more, but when did Chris Paul become the greatest PG of all-time???  

    Obviously hard to compare players across eras, but through his first 4 seasons CP3 was as good as any PG. Ever.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=paulch01&y1=2009&p2=johnsma02&y2=1983&p3=roberos01&y3=1964&p4=stockjo01&y4=1988

    Oscar Robertson is the only one I can think of that may have been better.

    There’s also the discussion of longevity vs. productivity. Paul will be hard pressed to play until he’s 40 like Stockton did. If you look at Paul through 24 (including his “bad” 09-10 season) he’s as good or better than the other 3 greats (who I selected somewhat arbitrarily, but strike me as the best) through their 31 year old seasons (when Magic retired and also a nice number where you might be losing a step). No one knows how long CP3 can do it for, but so far he’s been as good as anyone. Ever. Even if he is never the same player again, for 4.5 seasons he was as good as any PG. Ever.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=roberos01&y1=1970&p2=paulch01&y2=2010&p3=johnsma02&y3=1991&p4=stockjo01&y4=1994

    You can make arguments for a few other guys, too, but CP3 is clearly (IMO) in the discussion. Especially when you consider that his teammates have been no where near Magic’s and he hasn’t had a Karl Malone.

  82. Sparks with Starks: I think you have to acknowledge that the steep drop-off in Paul’s production from 1 playoffs to the next has to be a cause for concern.

    Definitely something was wrong, but it was 5 games. One of which was very good, a couple were decent, and at least one was just awful. When he gets back to the playoffs again, will he be the All-World player he was in 08 or the terrible player he was in 09? My guess is the former.

    Sparks with Starks: Denver was specifically targeting Paul in that series. They knew if they could disrupt him and his comfortable rhythm that they could completely dismantle the Hornets and that’s exactly what they did and Paul did not have an answer for it.

    You’re changing back and forth between an individual and a team. They dismantled the Hornets, and Paul had no answer for it… no. The Hornets had no answer for it. Paul almost single handedly played that series and single handedly won a game. When you tried to take Deron Williams out of a game… there were two players on his team who are as good as he is: Boozer and AK. Okur was another good one. Millsap. Chris Paul mostly had a bunch of Kyle Korvers, who was Deron’s 5th or 6th or 7th best teammate. You still haven’t even acknowledged this.

    Sparks with Starks: even though I’ll have that doubt in my mind about how he’ll perform in the playoffs until he proves me wrong.

    He already proved you wrong in 2008.

    Sparks with Starks: Also, I have to agree with Nick C. We’re going to need a helluva lot more out of Paul than 2 playoff appearances, one of them a terrible one that ended with a 50-point blowout in the last game, before we start calling him the greatest pg of all time.  

    Winning games is not an individual stat, but a team one. There’s no need to look at how a player’s team did to judge him.

  83. Thanks Ted. I remember his #s were crazy good, but too soon. It may be moot but Magic and Stockton did not really become “themselves” for several years. Anyway Paul or Deron would be welcome additions to any fantasy Knick teams. I’m still LeBronned out to contemplate and discuss hypothetical superstars in MSG in the future.

  84. Ted

    Basketball is the most “individual” of all the team sports, so a true star in this league is expected to be able to carry a team. Maybe not all the way to a championship, maybe not even enough to win a series, but certainly better than having your team just be completely dismantled in the first round with multiple double-digit losses (one of them a 58-point loss at home!) against a team that wasn’t even championship caliber.

    Yeah, something was wrong all right and Paul was part of the problem. So he does have something to prove. He played great in 2008 and he played poorly by his standards in 2009. I’m sure he would admit that and take his share of the blame for that debacle. Hopefully, if he does play for the Knicks he’ll redeem himself for that in a big way and help us get back to the finals.

  85. Sparks with Starks: so a true star in this league is expected to be able to carry a team.

    I understand that this is an expectation that a lot of people have, but I find it to be an ignorant and unjustifiable one. There are millions of examples, but look at KG. His team success has mirrored the quality of his teammates–which has fluctuated pretty widely–even though he’s been pretty much the same player year-to-year. Did he really get 50x better upon arriving in Boston, or did his teammates? Kobe is another example of this.

    Sparks with Starks: Maybe not all the way to a championship, maybe not even enough to win a series, but certainly better than having your team just be completely dismantled in the first round with multiple double-digit losses

    Again, #1 is quality of teammates. Why didn’t KG’s Wolves have hardly any playoff success, but his Celtics have? Is that really on KG or is it on the quality of his teammates? Why did the Lakers miss the playoffs in 05 and then get knocked out in the 1st round of 06 and 07? Did Kobe get *way* better, or did his teammates?

    #2 Chris Paul has lead the Hornets to 56 and 49 win seasons. He did lead them out of the 1st round in 2008 against perennial contender Dallas and to game 7 against perennial contender SA.

    Sparks with Starks: against a team that wasn’t even championship caliber.

    They went on to dismantle the Mavs in similar fashion (4-1) and make the WC Finals. I guess Dirk is also useless. I’ll probably take Okur over him because of his size.

    The Jazz have been knocked out 4-1 or 4-0 each of the past 4 seasons, and Deron Williams hasn’t been able to use any of his size or “star-power” magic to stop it…

    Sparks with Starks: Yeah, something was wrong all right and Paul was part of the problem.

    I never said he played well. He didn’t. I said put some context around it. Analyze the situation. Don’t jump to conclusions about what you expect a star player to be able to do.

  86. This is just all semantic nitpicking. I made it clear that no player can be expected to even carrry a team to a win in a series, let alone to a championship all by himself, so I hardly think I said anything “ignorant.”

    Good point about Deron also not lifting the Jazz up more in the playoffs. Competitor that he is, he’s probably not satisfied with those results.

    I guess what it comes down to is that those (like you) who see Paul as some all-time great pg think that it’s incredible that he’s done as well as he has without a phenomenal teammate. Arguably D-Will had a better teammate in Boozer than anyone Paul has played with in NO. I just don’t see there being that much difference between them, but you’ve got me thinking about how well the Celtics have done with Rondo, so I’ll keep that in mind to make me more optimistic if the Knicks get Paul.

  87. Sparks with Starks: those (like you) who see Paul as some all-time great pg

    I don’t think that. I know that based on his statistics. It’s a totally objective thing. It has almost nothing to do with my opinion or judgement.

    Sparks with Starks: I just don’t see there being that much difference between them

    Look at their stats.

    Sparks with Starks: I made it clear that no player can be expected to even carrry a team to a win in a series,

    What you said was: “so a true star in this league is expected to be able to carry a team.” Chris Paul has carried the Hornets, but I think failing to separate individual play from team results is ignorant.

    Ignorant, by the way, was not meant as an insult or even directed at you. Every single “analyst” paid vast sums of money to wap on ESPN thinks the same thing.

  88. OK, I did check out the stats and I found some interesting things.

    By the way, Mike said to look for “per 40-minute” stats I believe but I found only “per-36 minute” stats on Basketball Reference.

    I was surprised to see that Paul is a significantly better rebounder than Deron. I’m not sure what would explain that. Better fundamentals? Better instincts?

    Anyway, Paul was better across the board in career regular season stats except for 3-point shooting percentage and even there Paul was better last season, when he even shot over 40% for the first time, though he only played 45 games. D-Will’s career edge in eFG% also won’t last if Paul continues to shoot so well from 3-pt. land in the future.

    So I can concede that I was judging Paul too harshly based on that one series. However, I’m still going to say he has something to prove because that 2009 playoff series was just one of the most brutal things I can recall. By the way, Karl said he suspected Paul had to have been playing hurt because he wasn’t his normal “slippery” self. Paul said he was fine, but maybe he’s just a guy who doesn’t make excuses.

    OK, now I think I’ve used up my alotted portion of bandwidth for players who don’t play for the Knicks and maybe never will!

  89. I was at the game in paris, i was there for gallo. I follow him since his youthness. For sure i’ve seen a player without any back issues and he actually moves like before the injury.

    So, if he’s healthy, he has no more excuses: he has to step up his game in order to become the player he was drafted for. A fantastic, young, all around player at 6.10, who at twenty years old was already a star in europe. A player always capable of create something good for him or teammates, with high IQ for the game, very mature. Now, if it was a thing in his game overseas he was not famous for, this was undoubtedly his outside shooting.

    To me it is a no brainer: if he’s fully healthy, he should be a star this season, otherwise it will be a failure.
    For sure i don’t like at all seeing him stationary at the 3 points line. This is not gallo.

    Maybe ha would have just needed a good old coach à la popovich….

  90. Whoever said that Deron Williams is a better jump shooter is incorrect. CP3 is a far better jump shooter. Check out the stats on 82games.com.

    I said that Deron was little better 3pt shooter. Looking at Basketball-Reference, Deron is .361 shooter that makes 3.1 attempts a game. CP3 is a career .353 shooter that attempts 2.4 threes a game. That’s what i meant about Deron being a better 3pt shooter, and i believe it is correct. Last year, CP3 had a better 3p%, but he also played less games, and i consider it a fluke.

    I agree that as a 1-man team, CP3 is better than Deron. However, i feel that Deron would compliment better the team we have here, and i am more confident in having a deadly P&R with him and STAT than with CP3 and STAT.

    A Deron vs CP3 debate could be similar to the typical Kobe vs LeBron debate. Both LeBron and CP3 are better statistically, both are said to have a worse team than Deron and Kobe, both carry more responsabilities in their own team; however Deron & Kobe win more, and are said to be very complimentary to their teammates. Meanwhile, Okafor & Shaq struggled to make the same impact they used to, next to CP3 and LeBron.

    So, CP3 is statistically better, but i have an irrational feeling, only slightly supported by some observation (i watch the NBA very little, it is usually at very late hours in Spain), that Deron would be better in this Knicks team than CP3.

  91. iserp:A Deron vs CP3 debate could be similar to the typical Kobe vs LeBron debate. Both LeBron and CP3 are better statistically, both are said to have a worse team than Deron and Kobe, both carry more responsabilities in their own team; however Deron & Kobe win more, and are said to be very complimentary to their teammates.

    I don’t think I need to remind you that it is not Deron and Kobe who wins more, but their teams. Those teams have consisted of:

    Carlos Boozer in his prime
    Andrei Kirilenko in his prime
    Pau Gasol in his prime
    Andrew Bynum entering his prime
    Lamar Odom at the end of his prime
    Shaq in his prime

    Quick: name one player (aside from the reanimated corpse of Shaquille O’Neal) who Paul or James has played with who deserved a max contract. Go!

    Antawn Jamison? Tyson Chandler? A 32-year-old Peja?

    Remember that when Kobe was missing the playoffs in the mid aughts, no one would have called him a “complement to his teammates.” If he weren’t recently gifted a 7-foot All-NBA PF/C, he would have been what James is purported to be: a stat-hustling loser. And how dumb would that have been?

  92. “only slightly supported by some observation”

    Damnit Iserp, don’t you know this is basically an invitation for Ted to verbally accost you??

    Seriously though, Paul is better but I would take whoever of those two is available and not look back.

    If we are “stuck” with a core of Deron-Melo-Amar’e by 2012 I’ll be perfectly happy. Although I still don’t think we win a championship unless Kobe gets old enough and one of the Heat trio gets badly injured…

  93. …although honestly, I think I’d rather sandwich AR in between Deron/Paul and Amar’e, even with him being so young.

  94. Did you know that Kobe Bryant’s better statistical season came when he had the worst teammates? Well, i don’t believe that your team needs to suck to be a great player.

    Why did Shawn Marion turn from a Max contract player in Phoenix to a MLE guy in Dallas? He is not that old. Would Shawn Marion be a Max contract next to LeBron or CP3?

    (As a quick aside, i am not saying that Kobe makes his teammates better, that’s outright false, i am just saying that he is complimentary to his teammates)

  95. totti: I was at the game in paris, i was there for gallo. I follow him since his youthness. For sure i’ve seen a player without any back issues and he actually moves like before the injury.So, if he’s healthy, he has no more excuses: he has to step up his game in order to become the player he was drafted for. A fantastic, young, all around player at 6.10, who at twenty years old was already a star in europe. A player always capable of create something good for him or teammates, with high IQ for the game, very mature. Now, if it was a thing in his game overseas he was not famous for, this was undoubtedly his outside shooting. To me it is a no brainer: if he’s fully healthy, he should be a star this season, otherwise it will be a failure.For sure i don’t like at all seeing him stationary at the 3 points line. This is not gallo.Maybe ha would have just needed a good old coach à la popovich….  (Quote)

    Maybe he showed more in terms of ball-handling, penetration in Europe than he has in the NBA. I hope you’re right that he can be an above-average player in terms of those skills, but it seems those are areas in which he needs to show a lot of improvement.

  96. Sparks,

    To be fair i did not see a future star so far in gallo developing. It seems to me that he regressed with his game, a lot. If it’s due to the injury or to the huge difference in terms of height and speed between nba and eurozone, i don’t know. What i know is that players usually develop their own skills and sometimes add some others. In this case it seems that gallo developed a 3 points game but forgot completely how to drive, to assist, to command, once his strenghts. If he won’t be able again to drive, to have a midrange game, to assist, he will never be a star but only a good 3 points specialist.

    So, sparks, you see, certainly i was sure he could be a star in nba, but now, after two years, i only see a 3 points specialist with big heart and not the all round player he was.

  97. I agree totti.

    I mean look at these two plays – Gallo both driving to the basket with the ball and cutting to the basket without the ball:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N30FRZ8HGQ&p=07AB10BE3266F924&playnext=1&index=11

    My theory is that he just doesn’t have the speed to make these cuts against NBA small forwards on a regular basis. As a “stretch” power forward, I think we would see more of this part of his game.

    If you look at his “breakout” Denver Nugget game on the other hand, practically every score is a 3 pointer against an “average at best” defender in Melo. The only player he beats on the sideline is Birdman (about 2/3’s through the clip) who is clearly a pf/c:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QpC9nxY0Lw&feature=related

  98. @105
    Larry Bird is but one example of an all-time great sf who was not that speedy; Kukoc, Mullin, Vandeweghe, Schrempf, and Peja are all guys that weren’t speedy but were very successful in the NBA. Gallo has the physical tools to be an all-star and as good or better than any of these guys except Bird, he just needs to adapt/expand his game somewhat. Whatever he lacks in speed he makes up for in length. He doesn’t have to become a PF to be a highly effective NBA player. He has the tools to score more from inside, and I would be very surprised if his game doesn’t become more diversified this year and beyond.

  99. I’m taking my kids to the game tomorrow, can’t wait to get a closer and more meaningful look at our guys against some real competition. Mozgov starting vs. one of the O’Neal’s? Should be fun!

  100. “Why did Shawn Marion turn from a Max contract player in Phoenix to a MLE guy in Dallas? He is not that old. Would Shawn Marion be a Max contract next to LeBron or CP3?”

    1. Marion was never worth his max contract in the first place.
    2. Marion is 32 years old. That’s not old? For a player that relied almost exclusively on his incredible athleticism?
    3. If Marion isn’t close to all-star level playing next to Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki, playing next to LeBron or CP3 isn’t going to make him one either.

  101. totti: For sure i don’t like at all seeing him stationary at the 3 points line. This is not gallo.

    Maybe ha would have just needed a good old coach à la popovich….  

    The NBA game is different than the European game, both in style and level of competition. I think you make some good points, but you also have to accept that he *might* be nothing more than a very good spot-up shooter in the NBA. He wasn’t a great shooter in Europe, but he absolutely has been in the NBA. He was a great driver in Europe, but he absolutely has not been in the NBA. Maybe it changes, but if not he’s still a valuable NBA player for his shooting and decent all-around game.
    I don’t think D’Antoni as a coach limits what his players can do offensively. I think Pops is an amazing coach, but would Danilo really have more freedom in his offense than D’Antoni’s? I would say less.

    iserp: Last year, CP3 had a better 3p%, but he also played less games, and i consider it a fluke.

    They also take a lot of jumpers that are no 3-pters… That’s why I say to look on 82games.com where they track eFG% on all jumpers, not just 3-pters. It is hard to call it a fluke when Paul has been as good or better than Deron as a jump shooter while taking more jumpers than Deron for 3 straight seasons… probably more likely that Paul has improved his jump shot.

    iserp: however Deron & Kobe win more,

    No, Deron and Kobe do not win more. The Jazz and Lakers win more. They are not “said to have” better teammates. They DO have better teammates. There’s no debate there. Are you really going to tell me that Varajao is as good as Gasol or Anthony Parker is as good as Artest? Are you really going to tell me that David West is as good as Boozer or James Posey is as good as AK?

    iserp: Deron would be better in this Knicks team than CP3.  

    If you are a better player by a WIDE margin, you are better for any team. It’s not a close difference between Paul and Deron… it’s huge.

  102. iserp: id you know that Kobe Bryant’s better statistical season came when he had the worst teammates?

    This is not true. He had the worst PER and worst WS/48 (which is dependent on wins, but not entirely) he ever had from his 21 to his 30 year old season the year the Lakers failed to make the playoffs in 04-05.

    Look at Kevin Garnett and tell me his teammates didn’t matter in going from a 32 win team to a 66 win NBA champion… He really improved that much in one season? It was really about the way he “complemented his teammates?” His PER actually went up slightly his first season as a Celtic compared to on a bad Minnesota team…

    iserp: Why did Shawn Marion turn from a Max contract player in Phoenix to a MLE guy in Dallas?

    I don’t know what your point is, but you do realize he spent time in both Miami and Toronto in between and was never a max worthy player in either of those stops either right?

    totti: If it’s due to the injury or to the huge difference in terms of height and speed between nba and eurozone, i don’t know

    I think it’s a whole lot more about the move to the NBA.

  103. Ted Nelson: I think you make some good points, but you also have to accept that he *might* be nothing more than a very good spot-up shooter in the NBA.

    Hadn’t read your later comments when I wrote this.

  104. Ok, my point is that given 20 players, you can make 2 teams that both are playoff teams, and you can make (with the very same players) two teams that go to the lottery.

    I talked about Shawn Marion to point out how much a Max Contract is perception. Why Stephon Marbury turned bad and Steve Nash turned good? They changed teams and their value changed. A player’s value depends a lot about what players are surrounding him. And not necessarily better players increase your value (unless you are saying that STAT has always been better than Nowitzky)

    Gasol has always been a great player; but now he is regarded as a better player in the Lakers. Why? wins of course. But what about Antwan Jamison, was he bad? he averaged 20 points and 9 rebounds for the wizards before arriving in Cleveland, a normal season for him; but next to Lebron, he played worse. Gasol next to Bryant played as always. Is playing next to LeBron a handicap? well, perhaps. What about CP3?

    Let me say it in other words. You have to pick players for your NBA dream team, who do you pick, Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain?

    Ted, the season next to that one, Kobe posted its highest PER, around 28, and more importantly, played healthy the full season (unlike the season before, i might be mistaken, however. Somehow, dominating the ball as he did, he got more points/assists/… , now he is starting to defer (although not as much as he should) to his teammates, he gets worse stats, but he wins; LeBron has already said he won’t defer, but of course, he will try to average a triple double; will he win? who knows? we have a season to see how statistical measurements translate from a team to another. Actually, we are seeing one of the most extreme cases ever. I believe that Deron would translate into more wins in the knicks; perhaps he won’t get as many points / assists / rebounds as CP3, but the team is what matters. Of course, i don’t have anything to support this; but you don’t have to act all outraged, stats aren’t the whole truth.

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