2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Timberwolves

Wait, the Knicks still play basketball games? It’s been so long since they last played, I wasn’t sure if the season was over.

Anyhow, this should be a really fun game tonight as the two best rookies this season, Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis, face off against each other.

I’d love to see them get Porzingis more involved early on. I want to see him really take it to Towns. Let’s see some real head-to-head play!

I also want to see Porzingis get physical with KG because, well, come on, why wouldn’t you want that? Get in his face, KP!

So let’s go Porzingis and friends!

EDITED TO ADD: Erik Judd wanted to share this piece of Photoshop awesomeness…

CWY74P5UEAAl6oU

198 replies on “2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Timberwolves”

Will have to wait for the picture I wanted to post. Can’t do it in comments apparently

The different when O’Quinn is on the floor compared to Seraphin is so stark and so nice to see

Wiggins defense might be the most overrated thing in the NBA

Right? That whole “Will Wiggins be an MVP or ‘just’ Melo?” article was so nuts. How about he becomes just a plain ol’ good player first before we start talking about whether Melo is his freakin’ floor!!!

Will have to wait for the picture I wanted to post. Can’t do it in comments apparently

You can e-mail me, Erik, and I can add it to the post! Or put it into the comments for ya.

Yay, Vujacic is still ahead of Grant in the rotation.

It is super important to win this game and keep this team ahead of #12 in the conference.

Hey Brian, check your twitter for my crudely done Porzingod photoshop. Once I got the idea to do it I was committed to trying despite my technical limitations

Carmelo Wiggins being let down by his teammates inability to finish his assists

I am legitimately unsure which one you’re talking about. Well done.

The one who is 3-11

But you just know he’s going to be a star in the future. I’m all for giving young players leeway, but there’s a huge difference between saying, “He’s so young that he still has time to put it together” and saying “He is young, so he will put it together and be at least as good as an All-Star.”

Hey Brian, check your twitter for my crudely done Porzingod photoshop. Once I got the idea to do it I was committed to trying despite my technical limitations

‘Tis added!

I have to admit that Seraphin really is good at taking the chair out from under players posting on him and it’s really funny to watch

Btw, did anyone else notice how the Bucks followed up their victory over the Warriors with a loss to the Lakers?

It’s weird, KP is winning the match-up but…well, you know….neither is exactly playing inspiring basketball out there.

I say it a lot, but it’s because it is true – when Thomas plays well, it changes the whole complexion of the team.

It’s weird, KP is winning the match-up but…well, you know….neither is exactly playing inspiring basketball out there.

I dunno, I’ll take 5 blocks in a half. Although, I understand your point.

Yeah if this is how Melo ages I’ll take it as a not awful development. Here’s to hoping that he’s a fine wine sort of player.

The bad thing about the Knicks blowing out this game is we won’t get to see Swatzingis break the Knicks record for blocks in a game.

I’d like to hear the PA announcer say different names for Porzingis like we do here. Like he should have just announced Kristaps Slamzingis!

These teams are playing about as well as you would expect them to, given their respective records.

Top 3 Knicks scorers all-time is Ewing, Clyde and Willis Reed. 4th is actually Allan Houston and if he wouldnt have gotten hurt he wouldve easily passed Reed and most likely Clyde too.

Since Allan Houston was brought up earlier, Afflalo is definitely the best Knicks guard at posting up since Houston. They seem to have similar games actually, just that Afflalo as good a shooter as he has been during his career he’s no Allan Houston from the 3pt and FT line.

Melo’s teammates do an awful job of feeding him in the post. So many times he gets great post-up position but they don’t get him the ball.

Since Allan Houston was brought up earlier, Afflalo is definitely the best Knicks guard at posting up since Houston. They seem to have similar games actually, just that Afflalo as good a shooter as he has been during his career he’s no Allan Houston from the 3pt and FT line.

-OHH.. never for get the one legged Anfernee Hardaway. Our best player in the Nets Knicks playoff. That guy can post up well despite his health

Really gotta love that play by Gallo.

As much as I shit on him, he does at least play hard.

Afflalo always looks like he just got off the phone with his kid’s Principal and found out he was suspended from school for 3 days.

we got lucky KG and Miller didnt play tonight and Prince is off.

good news man, somebody invented the iphone and we can turn south dakota bedrock into oil. how was your nap?

anythought on him?
R. Rubio 9 Pts, 10 Reb, 12 Ast, 8 Stl

– Stats would not have been as good if we had anyone else but Calderon playing point guard.

forgive me but i love porzingis and he’s probably the 2nd best player in this draft but towns is very clearly the best player… my god is he gonna be good….

What a great FT training session for the Knicks. No wonder they’re ranked 2nd in FT percentage. Also, when did Kobe play for the Knicks and change his name to Aaron Afflalo.

Porzingis getting the last word against Towns with that beautiful block

Yeah, saying Towns is clearly the best rookie in this class is not a knock on KP at all. Towns is going to be a monster.

Before today’s game, Towns attempted 17 3pts. Today, he was 2-4 from 3. Towns is definitely trying to make a statement against the second best rookie in his class. Towns-KP battle will truly be a delight to watch for the next decade. I wish that Porzingod would recover from his shooting slump and show why he is the most dangerous rookie!

Saying that KAT is better than KP on the basis of this game is premature. KP was way off tonight and still had a huge impact. It’s impossible to tell right now which of the two is closer to his ceiling. I would rather have KP at this moment because I think he is further from physical maturity than Towns and therefore has more upside. But I’ve always had a thing for the underdog, so it’s hard being objective. Whatever, I hope they both become all-time greats and have classic battles for the next 20 years.

DRed – thank you so much for the laughs tonight. Especially 54 and 82 – dunno why I just chortled at those more than others.

Whatever you’re drinking, drink more of it.

Since Allan Houston was brought up earlier, Afflalo is definitely the best Knicks guard at posting up since Houston. They seem to have similar games actually, just that Afflalo as good a shooter as he has been during his career he’s no Allan Houston from the 3pt and FT line

Ummm I think you are forgetting about T-Mac 😉 ha ha ha

2011 Pre Melo Landry Fields was the Knicks’ best shooting guard since Allan Houston. I don’t think that’s debatable. Either him or 2013 Jason Kidd before March.

Point being, let’s let Afflalo have a slump first.

I’m worried about closing out games. We haven’t learned how to step on the neck.
The KP / KAT battles are going to be epic for decades. I wish KG played.
Melo was a star. Afflalo came out firing!

Melo last night — the closest he’s ever looked to LBJ IMHO.
His second quarter was just beautiful. Sucks that we missed a couple shots in the 4th that could’ve given him the triple double, but he didn’t seem to care.

Towns = BEAST offensively but I didn’t see so much in terms of defensive impact from him.

really interesting quotes from Fisher last night about them trying to figure out KP at the 5 and how their signings over the offseason did not take into account that KP would be ready so soon to play serious minutes at center.

I know Fish wants the second unit to be run and gun, but you have to wonder whether the team would be better off starting KP, Melo, Lance, Gallo, Calderon and having Lopez and Afflalo stabilize that second unit. Or you can even sub out Afflalo 5-6 minutes into the 1st quarter so he’s still a “starter”. I think having Lopez/KOQ/Afflalo/Grant would be pretty nice.

It’s just been a few games but Lopez sure feels like a square peg in a round hole at this point.

This probably goes in the category of “no way this happens” but what do people think about Lopez + Calderon for Hibbert + Lou Williams? Maybe have LA add in a pick swap and/or some 2nd rounders?

LA would get Lopez who is a real NBA center at a (very) reasonable cost for 3 more seasons.
A good vet in Calderon to mentor Clarkson and Russell.
And the trade would not really hurt their long-term cap outlook. They’d most likely spend more than Lopez’s contract to land a reasonable center.

We would get Hibbert who can do some rim protection with the second unit and will be gone after the year. Lou Williams isn’t great but we desperately need some scoring (and foul-drawing – career FTA/FGA of 0.4) punch off the bench. And he’s on a very reasonable 3 year $7MM AAV contract. We’d pick up about $13MM more in 2016 cap space for a total of probably ~$32MM.

I think it’s a reasonable trade and realistic. It assumes that after this year we will play Porzingis more at center. It’s not an exciting deal, but on balance I would be in favor of it. What might dissuade LA is that they would lose cap space next year and they egotistically think they can attract any free agent they want. I’m not sure that’s true, but if they want to go the free agent route, they will probably look to keep all the cap space they can.

I think if I let Lopez go I’d rather rent Noah for a year. The only problem with a noah for lopez trade is Lopez staying in the east and goint to a system that will fit him. It kind of makes since for Chicago since Pau is likely leaving and Gibson possibly leaving too. Lopez can grow with Jimmy as they look to rebuild quickly.

Noah can’t score but he can still rebound and pass his tail off.

Has Hibbert fallen that far? I haven’t really been paying attention to him out there.

If the guy who single-handedly ruined the best Knicks season of this century has regressed to a 2nd unit rim protector, that would just rub salt in an old wound.

Let’s not overestimate KP’s readiness to play the 5 for big minutes at this stage. He’s still a fragile kid and having him bang with the biggest, strongest guys in the league for 30 minutes a night is asking for trouble. I like the way he’s being used just fine.

Crazy idea. Let’s not trade anybody right now and see what a team that’s outperforming Vegas’ expectations does.

Has Hibbert fallen that far? I haven’t really been paying attention to him out there.

If the guy who single-handedly ruined the best Knicks season of this century has regressed to a 2nd unit rim protector, that would just rub salt in an old wound.

Well, he’s averaging pretty much career lows in many categories, and he’s only on a 1 year deal. Can’t imagine he is considered part of the Lakers’ future. He’s even slower than Lopez, which is really saying something. His cap hold is more than Lopez’s contract, so it’s not even like he could help them by waiting until after FA signing to re-up.

Actually I’m not sure whether this is a good enough haul for Lopez. His contract is going to look downright cheap in a year.

Crazy idea. Let’s not trade anybody right now and see what a team that’s outperforming Vegas’ expectations does.

that sounds generally ok but trade season is starting and we obviously need better guard play.

but yes – Lopez may have a lot more value later in the year, or even this summer as teams start looking at how crappy this class is after Durant.

Frank, I agree we need to improve our guard play, but I think we’re looking at best marginal moves via trade right now. I don’t think I’d trade some of our core pieces unless we’re talking about a drastic upgrade for a guy that’s locked up long-term.

I feel like finding an underrated and cheap guy a la shved might be a better way to go. One guy I am thinking of is Tony Wroten. Looking at his stats, his shooting numbers leave something to be desired for but potentially they are worse than they appear as he is on the sixers which don’t lend to easy scoring opportunities. He is just coming off injury and on the final year of his rookie deal (2.179M with QO of 3.2M), he has elite athleticism. His per 36 numbers before getting injured last year- 20pts, 3.5 rbs, 6.3 asts, 1.9 stls. Guy can probably be had for cheap maybe Early and a future 2nd? who knows what the sixers are looking for almost every player seems to be available.

i like the porzingis at 5 at melo at 4 although i think it might be a bit much to play that combo too many minutes…

what’s really hurting us is our offense and the culprits are melo and lopez so shifting roles a bit could see a decent sized boost… i think generally lopez will be fine but obviously he’s not very good in the post and he’s shooting way too much in that spot which is tanking his efficiency which made him pretty valuable on that end…

we obviously need better guard play

There’s a simple way to improve guard play without resorting to terrible deals like Lopez for Lou Williams. Give most of Calderon’s and Vujacic’s minutes to Grant. Grant is +3.4 on the season and Calderon is -7.1. We know Calderon is lousy, we know that Grant should be a fine mid-range shooter based on college, and his 3ball is a question mark. If he shoots 30% from 3, he’ll be in the same category as Westbrook, Wall, Rubio, Rondo. Like all rookie 1s, he’ll struggle but he’ll be better than Calderon. Sample minutes across 1 and 2 positions: Gallo(32), Afflalo(30), Grant(24), Calderon(10).

In terms of trades, Lopez is and will be a terrific contract. People forget he posted WS/48s of .150 and .176 and is 27yo. The only reason for the drop-off is the Triangle which no other team plays. If Phil has evangelical commitment to the Triangle (which appears to be the case), he should eventually trade Lopez and Grant. Our starting lineup next season: Galloway/Afflalo/Melo/KP/Pau or Noah and bench of KOQ, Hernangomez, Lopez trade piece, Grant trade piece. I don’t like that strategy but it is the best given the constraint of players who fit his system.

Grant has been extremely unwilling to shoot, though, and teams are backing so far off of him. This is why I’m willing to give Fisher the benefit of the doubt here. I trust he is trying to teach him something and that benching him has more to do with developing him than it does thinking he needs veterans to win.

Apropos to nothing, my mind randomly drifted to the possibility of us missing the playoffs, miraculously winning the lottery, and handing Ben Simmons to Denver as part of the Melo trade. I mention this not to be sadistic but because I’m astonished that we didn’t even get top 1 protection. How hard is that?

So I took a second and looked it up…

Our 2016 pick and all the picks Brooklyn foolishly gave up to Boston are the only unprotected draft picks currently outstanding in the entire NBA. Literally every team in the entire league put some level of protection on their picks except for the two nincompoop franchises in NY (although, in our defense, we seem far less nincompoopish these days).

Think about it: would Ujiri or Ainge ever have balked at those trades if NY or BK insisted on top 1 or top 3 protection? Of course not. How did that ever happen? It’s mind blowing. Of all the crimes, not even bothering to get protection in case you luck into a future #1 pick is the least excusable of all.

But I digresss.

Grant has been extremely unwilling to shoot, though, and teams are backing so far off of him. This is why I’m willing to give Fisher the benefit of the doubt here. I trust he is trying to teach him something and that benching him has more to do with developing him than it does thinking he needs veterans to win.

Bingo. I really don’t like Vujacic and he clearly sucks, but he the offense has run so much better with him and Galloway over Galloway and Grant simply because he knows what the fuck he’s doing. Grant is making a massive adjustment from running an uptempo, spread PNR where he controlled everything to Triangle. He’ll be better than he’s been recently, but sitting and watching for a few games can be useful instead of throwing him out there and him chucking cross court passes 5 feet over guys’ heads. Fisher doesn’t exactly keep guys out of the rotation forever.

Fisher doesn’t exactly keep guys out of the rotation forever.

Well, unless their name rhymes with Bleanthony Shmearly.

Apropos to nothing, my mind randomly drifted to the possibility of us missing the playoffs, miraculously winning the lottery, and handing Ben Simmons to Denver as part of the Melo trade

Well that was traded for Bargnani, which was previously a swap. Denver would have still netted us a lottery pick.

ur 2016 pick and all the picks Brooklyn foolishly gave up to Boston are the only unprotected draft picks currently outstanding in the entire NBA. Literally every team in the entire league put some level of protection on their picks except for the two nincompoop franchises in NY (although, in our defense, we seem far less nincompoopish these days).

oh man and if you go back to 2013 and read people like ruruland, Z-man and co. defending the trade, it gets even more hilarious

“DO U REALLY THINK THAT THE KNICKS ARE GOING TO BE ANYTHING BELOW A 3 SEED IN THE EAST SMDH”

2011 Pre Melo Landry Fields was the Knicks’ best shooting guard since Allan Houston. I don’t think that’s debatable. Either him or 2013 Jason Kidd before March.

Sorry, but I find it hard to believe that a guard who can’t create his own shot could be the “best” at anything. Sure, he found all of those backdoor cuts for alley-oops and was a terrific rebounder, but does that really win you basketball games?

if the knicks are not going to lay Grant they need to upgrade from sasha asap. Try to get a Neal, Bayless, or Sessions type player.

Also, I do not get how the offense look better with a player who shoots under 30%.

Bingo. I really don’t like Vujacic and he clearly sucks, but he the offense has run so much better with him and Galloway over Galloway and Grant simply because he knows what the fuck he’s doing. Grant is making a massive adjustment from running an uptempo, spread PNR where he controlled everything to Triangle. He’ll be better than he’s been recently, but sitting and watching for a few games can be useful instead of throwing him out there and him chucking cross court passes 5 feet over guys’ heads. Fisher doesn’t exactly keep guys out of the rotation forever.

Vujacic has been a net minus player every season in the NBA except the first one. Calderon’s been a net minus the last 5 seasons. Grant/Galloway is better on defense than Galloway/Vujacic. That tandem is also better in generating transition buckets. Just start the offense with a Lopez/Grant high PnR and the offense will be better. Grant/Galloway have been our most effective 2-man combination so far this season. The Grant/Galloway/Lopez/Melo/KP lineup blew away the opponents with a staggering +29 per 100 poss in 18 minutes. Limiting Calderon/Vujacic minutes is the only chance we have of being consistently competitive against the better teams. The worst thing to do is to panic every time a rookie guard makes a bad turnover.

I say lets go crazy. Calderon to LA for Lance and Pablo. Pablo takes over for Calderon and Lance takes Sasha place.

lol.

@Zanzibar

I don’t disagree man. Sasha is not a good basketball player and he shouldn’t be here after this year I hope. All I’m saying is that when he’s in even though his ability to finish plays sucks our offense operates smoothly and that Grant if he does the same things will be much improved because he’s simply a better basketball player and has got more ability than Sasha.

He’s not panicking every time Grant makes a mistake. We’ve actually played better since Grant has sat on the bench and Galloway has become the primary ball handler off the bench. It’s very possible that’s a coincidence, but in Grant’s case I do think just watching from the bench for a few games can be beneficial. If he’s still getting DNP-CD’s in a few games I’ll be right there with you.

I liked Grant coming out of college, but again he seems like kind of a weird fit here. He’s a probing guard who excels with the ball in his hand, so you get the feeling that the system is kind of hampering him. He’s 23 and one of his biggest strengths was supposed to be his NBA readiness, so his lack of production and reduction of minutes is a bit concerning. Let the dude freelance a little bit, run some pick and rolls. Mix it up, be less predictable on offense. Baaah.

I thought the whole point of “system basketball” was going out and getting guys who fit in well with the system and thus getting extra marginal value out of them, but Grant and Robin Lopez seem to be two players who are floundering in it.

Also, I do not get how the offense look better with a player who shoots under 30%.

I said it operates more smoothly, because he actually knows what he’s supposed to do in the offense and makes quick decisions. He sucks at finishing anything he creates, but the quality of what he generates isn’t the problem as much as him not being able to do anything productive with it. He’s a net negative because he can’t shoot, finish at the rim or play defense, but he doesn’t beat you with mental mistakes and poor decision making which is exactly where Grant needs to improve.

No one defended the trade straight-up, phony. There was obviously a huge and incredibly unnecessary imbalance of value even if AB was able to play to his ceiling.

What I argued was that there were aspects of AB’s game — namely his previous 3-pt shooting and efficiency in pick-and-pop and spot-ups — that could have made him a solid floor spacing big despite his glaring defensive and rebounding issues.

I thought the whole point of “system basketball” was going out and getting guys who fit in well with the system and thus getting extra marginal value out of them, but Grant and Robin Lopez seem to be two players who are floundering in it.

There are plenty of PNR options within the Triangle. Grant has no idea how to get there or when to use them. There’s the two man game on the weak side which can either be a PNR, dribble hand off, backdoor lob or a straight post up. There’s also a PNR option on the strong side after the ball is entered in to the post between the post player and the man that fills the corner. There’s even a high PNR option which the Knicks are struggling to produce mostly because they aren’t familiar enough as a unit to get to that option.

RoLo is suffering because all the dribble hand offs and PNR he gets to run is with Calderon who refuses to ever attempt to thread the needle to the roll man or to run tight enough off the dribble hand off to effectively create space unless teams are just willing to concede a mid-range jumper to him.

If Grant improves and he still doesn’t get minutes with RoLo I would be way more upset than I am about the situation currently.

1. I have a sneaking suspicion that Lopez is hurting a little and we aren’t hearing about it. I was at the game last night and he was lumbering around like something wasn’t right.

2. Melo’s last 2 games have been among his best back to back sequences since he’s been a Knick. Even though he didn’t have a great shooting night last night, he scored when they needed a bucket and did so much more. I’m really happy with the way he’s starting to play.

3. Towns got the best of KP last night because his shot was dropping and KP’s was not. Other than that it was probably a wash. But I thought Towns had the advantage mentally. He wanted to attack KP when he had the ball. KP was more reluctant when Towns was guarding him. If Towns can keep shooting like that and stretch out to 3 consistently, yikes!

4. KP has some minor issues with his footwork. A few times he maneuvered himself into a good position for a shot, but then wound up being awkwardly planted and taking a flat shot.

5. It’s just a matter of time before we are playing KP at the 5 consistently. This is another thing that gives me pause about Fisher. He was talking about how they haven’t worked out the offense with KP at the 5, but it’s clearly way better than with Lopez already. It’s the Lopez offense that is the problem, but I don’t even blame that all on Lopez. They keep giving him the ball 20 feet from the basket and expect something good to happen. The Knicks passed really well at times last night, but so much about the Triangle sucks I can’t even begin… And Fisher keeps talking down P&R. It’s just ridiculous.

Also the Knicks have been using KP more in drag screens in semi-transition like the Lakers did with Pau and Kobe. Our main problem again here is that we don’t have ball handlers that can really take advantage of that and KP really sucks at setting screens right now.

What I argued was that there were aspects of AB’s game — namely his previous 3-pt shooting and efficiency in pick-and-pop and spot-ups — that could have made him a solid floor spacing big despite his glaring defensive and rebounding issues.

Yeah, but you were definitely 100% wrong. You are the master of the hypothetical, my man.

Grant’s issues the last 7 or 8 games he played went far beyond shooting %. He basically had a 1:1 assist to turnover ratio and his defense took a step back as well. And while Sasha is objectively terrible, he’s the one guard on the team that plays with the correct pace to run the triangle- he makes quick passes and constantly moves without the ball. If the guards who were actually capable of scoring and defending played with his pace the team would be much better off.

Well that was traded for Bargnani, which was previously a swap. Denver would have still netted us a lottery pick.

Technically no. Toronto gets the lesser of the two picks in the swap. So if we had top 3 protection on the swap and landed the #1 pick, there would be no swap until the next year, and then Toronto would get the lesser of the two picks that year. And we should have put top 1 protection on toronto, too, anyway.

Regardless, RuRu and Zman may have been bullish on the knicks future at the time but no one defended not bothering to protect the picks. That’s indefensible. I mean, it’s pretty much gross negligence to not add top 1 or top 3 protection. It’s like a doctor using the same needle all day.

My arguments weren’t made in support of the trade, nor was I saying that AB would be able to play that way. I’ve always admitted when I was wrong. But once again, however, you conveniently forgotten or failed to acknowledge that I was merely presenting a case for his potential skills and positive impact, not in any way making guarantees or predictions.

I understand you don’t appreciate nuance, but I see the sport of basketball as a still yet-to-be fully understood and improperly quantified activity, whereby trying to gain an understanding of what some see as past anomalies and using those case studies to try to find new ones is more interesting than the servile existence of parroting NBA Geeks.

Strato, Melo is 4th among SF in RR and 6th in apg.

He’s looking really comfortable in the triangle and anticipating where he can find cutters/feeding deep post-ups. The offense is well suited for his passing skills, as Melo ISN’T a driving passer, but is very capable of finding players at a stand-still or off pnr.

KP is not just going to be the best player Melo’s ever played with, but the most compatible, too. There is nothing forced about their on-court chemistry. And as KP develops, perhaps as a 5 next year, the two together at the 4 and 5 will be one of those synergistic star combos in the game — as they’ll both be adept with or without the ball in their hands, both commanding doubles, and able to play a devastating two man game. Most great combos aren’t as diverse, and actually suffer from diminishing returns.

Melo’s game is built to age extremely well. Right now his shooting numbers are down from a couple of years ago, but he’s also not getting the spot-up looks he got when the Knicks formerly had a modicum of penetration and roll threat. His career splits — which take into account the myriad styles of offense he’s played in, many with even less spacing and which were less conducive to efficient opportunities — also suggest a heater regression is coming soon.

The Knicks are much closer to being really good than most people think — another two-way wing and a penetrating two way guard will dramatically reduce the percentage of bad shots the offense is forced to take. With AA, Melo, and likely KP, you have a core of guys who convert good looks at an extremely high rate. KP gets almost NO easy opportunities of penetration.

Given the surplus of solid 2-way wings and athletic guards, filling those needs next off-season seems highly likely, even if it’s taking a couple of fliers on unproven players, like the aformentioned Tony Wroten.

It was easy to look at AB’s past, especially his most recent past, and predict he’d maintain that course. I don’t see why you guys are fishing for credit there.

Some of us DID guarantee that Bargnani was going to fucking suck. So there’s that.

Not to take anything away from your analysis, but that was like picking American Pharoah to win a race against one of those central park nags. 🙂

Some of us DID guarantee that Bargnani was going to fucking suck. So there’s that.

And oh, I am thankful for it. I just remember Owen getting the “yeah, but” treatment from our resident sophist and the rest of the “bullish” posters, who seem to conveniently disbelieve that a guy with stats that bad could — shockingly — be actually that bad.

Batum is the kind of creative, ball handling wing player that would help us take a jump IMO, especially given his ability to play and defend both wing positions. Generally speaking we need a guard or wing that can drive from the wing on the strong side inside of only looking to make the strong side post entry and finish at the rim on the weak side from the top of the key in the two-man game.

If Phil would rather spread the money around some combination of Bazemore and Clarkson would be great this summer and provide us with some much needed athleticism and finishing ability at the rim off the bounce. Clarkson in particular seems like an ideal Triangle fit at both guard spots at 6’5 with a 6’9 wingspan.

Again, no one doubted the likely outcome of the trade, but we did suggest that there was a possibility/opportunity for AB’s previously demonstrated skills to manifest in a new situation and with a return to health.

Batum is obviously playing for a max, but a Clarkson, Galloway, Batum, Melo, KP core would be unreal.

Grant’s issues the last 7 or 8 games he played went far beyond shooting %. He basically had a 1:1 assist to turnover ratio and his defense took a step back as well.

If you look at the 4 recent losses – Bucks, Kings, Mavs, Jazz – he played 48 minutes, 20 of which were with Seraphin/no Melo (no PnR partner) and 7 of which were with Melo/Seraphin (no PnR partner) and then a bunch of 1 and 2 minutes stints in a variety of ridiculous lineups. A PnR guard needs a PnR partner to be effective and most of the time one was not on the floor.

There are plenty of PNR options within the Triangle. Grant has no idea how to get there or when to use them.

Isn’t this more a coaching issue where they are not focusing on PnR in the Triangle like Stratomatic indicated?

Again, no one doubted the likely outcome of the trade, but we did suggest that there was a possibility/opportunity for AB’s previously demonstrated skills to manifest in a new situation and with a return to health.

http://knickerblogger.net/a-rebuttal-why-the-andrea-bargnani-trade-is-a-great-move-for-the-knicks/

There is no other way the Knicks could have gotten a player of AB’s skills w/out giving up Shump, Melo or Chandler, and that’s robbing Peter to pay Paul.

ok that is just crazy but do you

To pretend Bargnani is void of high-level skills for a guy his size disqualifies you from making intelligent commentary on the trade.

wait a sec did you just

Clearly he is one of the mast versatile offensive bigs in the game, how he is utilized and how his shots are apportioned will largely determine how his numbers look.

no stop are you serious

If he’s healthy he can surely return to the form he had for four years, and he won’t be in a situation where he’ll have to force anything (hopefully).

the implication that he was good at some point in the past which is just like are you serious

A late first round pick in 2016 who probably isn’t going to be given time to develop given that the Knicks are going to presumably be throwing out an All-Star lineup and patching together solid veterans around it?

lol dude

Bargnani’s skills potentially allow the Knicks to better utilize the spacing he helps create.

ooh that qualifier tho

They are very similar statistically. Gallo is a solid defender, however, I’m not sure Woody can coax solid out of Bargnani, but I think a winning environment and a leadership hierarchy will force him to exert himself more. He’ll be better than the guy he’s replacing.

http://img.gawkerassets

Let’s not act like RuRu ever would’ve said before the trade that giving up a 1 for AB would be a good idea. After the trade was done, he wanted to be optimistic, and to his credit he did a lot of digging to find stats and evidence that AB was actually good at something. God knows how hard it must have been to find that. Maybe if Woodson knew half as much about his player as RuRu did, he might have been utilized better and would have sucked marginally less. It was a wildly optimistic argument, but it was well thought-out and researched. I know, I drank the kool-aid. I hated the trade but thought AB could do better for us in a limited role.

The lesson I hope RuRu learned is that you should never start with your judgment and then look for supporting evidence, because he (and I) ignored a lot of evidence in order to believe that AB may not be a disaster.

Last I checked, Tony Wroten is terrible. Like a poor man’s Michael Carter-Williams, who is himself bad. That wasn’t a sarcastic “last I checked”, I haven’t looked at his numbers or seen him play in a while, but wasn’t he essentially Philly’s tank commander?

The Lakers are almost certainly matching anything on Clarkson. They have the money and they need the youth+production. The only guys I’d give the max to this offseason are KD and Whiteside, but I could probably live with Batum as well. He’s really good.

A late first round pick in 2016 who probably isn’t going to be given time to develop given that the Knicks are going to presumably be throwing out an All-Star lineup and patching together solid veterans around it?

That’s kinda funny, though. Only someone new to the Knicks would ever presume we’d throw out an all star lineup.

Isn’t this more a coaching issue where they are not focusing on PnR in the Triangle like Stratomatic indicated?

Yes, to some extent I agree it’s a coaching issue, but if you notice they are cycling through more options frequently now and Fisher has allowed Calderon, Galloway and Grant more leeway in running PNR. For example, Grant is running PNR as the ball handler on 32.9% of possessions when he’s playing which is more than players like Jimmy Butler, Isaiah Thomas, Stephen Curry, Jeremy Lin, Ty Lawson, Deron Williams, Lebron James, Manu Ginobili, Paul George, etc. The main issue is that Grant is extremely turnover prone in these situations and turns it over at the 10th highest rate among players that have played at least 12 games and are the ball handler in PNR on at least 20% of their possessions.

Both Jose and Grant are handling the ball in PNR at over 30% frequency of their possessions, but they are posting a shitty .66 and .65 PPP respectively in those situations.

We are also generating way more corner 3’s this year, 25.9% of all our 3PA’s (10th best rate in the league), than we did last year, 18.7% of all our 3PA’s (27th in the league).

TL;DR all I’m saying is those options are there for them and they are being given the freedom to utilize it, but they are really sucking at doing so.

My main beef is that Calderon is such a pussy decision maker in PNR that the best thing that happens when he runs it with RoLo is he sets himself up for a mid-range jumper and Grant isn’t being given a chance to run it with RoLo who is easily our best roll man and has consistently been among the best in the league.

It’s definitely painful to watch at times, but I think the offense is way ahead of the robotic, mindless Triangle we ran at times last year. Last night especially they did a way better job of creating the mismatches they wanted within the offense.

To pretend Bargnani is void of high-level skills for a guy his size disqualifies you from making intelligent commentary on the trade.

Haha, that one was directed at me

After the trade was done, he wanted to be optimistic, and to his credit he did a lot of digging to find stats and evidence that AB was actually good at something.

See, now this is exactly the kind of thing a lot of us find very irritating: this warped fanboi-ism that forces you to twist yourself into pretzels trying to make the argument that Andrea Bargnani is a beneficial player to have on your NBA team. Before Bargnani was traded to the Knicks his entire career had been a flaming dumpster fire, even his “good” seasons. He was terrible in the box score, terrible to the eye test, was well known as an awful defensive player of epic proportions, was known to have a crappy attitude, was constantly hobbled by injuries and just generally was a black hole of basketball misery in an irrefutably large sample of 13,000+ minutes. I don’t care how you cherry pick his stats, Andrea Bargnani was perhaps the most well-established terrible basketball player in the world. His tenure at the Knicks only cemented his place in the terrible player pantheon.

I don’t care about re-litigating this argument and I don’t have any “pride” about being right about it. It was not rocket science figuring out that Andrea Bargnani was a terrible idea.

@173 ok, jeez, we get it, you were right and others were wrong about the Bargnani trade. How about we move on?

Oh, and btw, epic copy and paste job, bravo!

@Lavor Nice stats! Synergy? You should write some articles for this site drawing on data from Synergy. The low PPP does surprise and disturb me. His turnovers don’t bother me so much because you would expect them to decline as he gains experience and he still has a 1.8 dime/turnover ratio which is fine for a rookie PG at this stage. Calderon and Lopez should never be on the floor together and I really would like Lopez/Grant to be paired more often. Much of Grant’s performance is due to steep learning curve for a rookie PG, but I also feel like Fish is making matters much worse by not placing Grant and Lopez in the best position to succeed and help the team. If this is a conscious decision related to the Triangle, then Phil should trade them and we will have plenty of takers given their ages and contracts. Indeed that could have been Phil’s plan in signing Lopez: let’s determine if he’s able to adapt to Triangle and, if not, he will be an attractive trade chip.

I was way off to try to rationalize or downplay trading the 1st rounder, though I know I had acknowledged the stupidity of that many times.

The crux of my argument was that the Knicks were trading Bargnani for Novak, who had proven to be completely useless in the playoffs.

I was arguing that AB would essentially be replacing Novak’s minutes, and therefore it was most appropriate to compare them to one another then instead of comparing AB to other centers or power forward or whatever arbitrary position designation Berri-ites use as the foundation of their methodology and analysis.

In that context, the arguments I made were solid, even if they were rooted in a low probability outcome, one which I also acknowledged, but was concealed in the context of constructing a persuasive argument.

AB had a season with an above average WS, had previously good TS.

I argued that with a change in shot distribution–one that actually occurred in his first year with NY–he could achieve good TS, and in combination with the other things he did BETTER than Novak, be a value adding addition.

JK, I was simply making a contrarian argument against a near consensus view, as I often do. Who else predicted not just the Knicks run in ’12, but more importantly, precisely how they did it?

I find it amusing that someone making an argument for a minority POV would be so unsettling to you.

I still give him credit for finding the only pro-Bargs argument possible. You know how hard it is to make a plausible argument that Andrea Bargnani might not suck? 100% of us bracing for Bargnani to blow would have been a boring blog.

JK, I was simply making a contrarian argument against a near consensus view, as I often do.

He finally and conclusively admits that he is a pure sophist. I love this thread.

@173 ok, jeez, we get it, you were right and others were wrong about the Bargnani trade. How about we move on?

Everyone knows I was right about that trade. Even Z-man was off the Bargnani Bandwagon by the end of preseason.

My issue is that I won’t let the spin artist spin his own prediction history, which it’s pretty clearly written out in that thread. He says things like, “Again, no one doubted the likely outcome of the trade, but we did suggest that there was a possibility/opportunity for AB’s previously demonstrated skills to manifest in a new situation and with a return to health,” and then ignores that he absolutely advocated for it (“hey, that 1st round pick is going to be useless anyway, right?”)

That’s not sophistry. It’s not disingenuous, and you’re cherry-picking from a single thread, not that what you’ve c+p’d is an ABSOLUTE ADVOCATION.

Prediction history?

I’ve had some big misses and some big hits, but I’ve always tried to present new arguments. Again, not sophistry.

Anyone can pull a prediction off a website, which you seem very insistent to get credit for…that’s really boring to me.

I’d rather present the same boring Four-Factors-in-individual-players argument over and over than try to invent new ways to trick people into thinking that I’m some kind of team composition genius. You’re not, bro.

You seem to imply that I’ve written that, which I haven’t, which makes me wonder why then you’d write it if you didn’t yourself think it at some level.

Much of your work on this board has been (1) Carmelo apologism and (2) fact-manipulation by presenting conjecture about what does and doesn’t work in team basketball. In the very quotes above, you talk about how if we don’t see Bargnani’s unique gifts and his opportunity to synergize with the Knicks team, we are unqualified to discuss his value. If you’re going to do the sophistry thing, just own it. I love that you admitted it in this thread, just like I admit that I start with stats as a baseline and then come up with arguments from those stats, as opposed to insisting that they’re just fundamentally wrong because they can’t explain Bargnani’s value as a pick-and-pop player between 15 and 18 feet, etc.

Some people start with one or more models that estimate player productivity (Wins Produced, PER, Win Shares, Adjusted +/-, Boxscore +/- etc…). They then analyze that player’s teammates, skill set, and fit separately as a next step.

Some people do a skills inventory for each player first. Then they analyze teammates and fit separately as a next step.

I think the biggest mistakes are made by people in camp #2 because they have no objective mathematical way to value player skill inventory in overall value.

That’s why some people look at Bargnani and see a player with a broad range of skills without understanding how badly he translates those skills into actual value.

That’s why they look at Melo’s extremely broad range of skills and think he’s a superstar even though his actual value is significantly below that.

Knicks win. Blockzingis goes nuts. DRed on fire.

AND a Bargnani flashback?

Christmas done come early.

I fished what’s below from the vault. I was wrong about the value of the pick we lost but otherwise fairly on point.

And one final note, say what you want about Bargs but at least he made being bad pretty funny. It really brought the best out of Cavan, Silverman, McElroy, Kurylo et al….

From October 14, 2013
Giving up a first round pick was totally inexcusable. There is no way you can justify it. It was a gross blunder that is very likely to hurt the Knicks as badly as many of our other draft pick trades. .

I also hate the way Bargnani plays basketball. Call me crazy but I don’t see the appeal of a seven footer who plays like he is 6’5. And i see little reason to believe he will improve on his numbers from Toronto.

More broadly, The Bargnani deal speaks volumes about two things. First, how little the player acquisition model has changed in the last 13 years at MSG. Second, how deluded management is about our current and future prospects.

The Knicks have focused on acquiring one dimensional scoring playmakers for the last 15 years. It hasn’t worked. And the Bargnani deal showed that kind of thinking is alive and well. The Chandler deal is now looking more and more like a total anomaly. MSG also continues to underrate the value of draft picks, a strategy which hasn’t paid off either. You can win without them, it’s true. But it makes it a lot harder.

Regarding the future, the deal shows that management thinks we are at a spot in the win curve where it’s worth giving up a first for an upgrade. But we aren’t. We were a 54 win team in a historically weak Eastern Conference and we are capped out. The Heat and the Bulls are going to be much better than us this year. The Nets and the Pacers look better too. Our ceiling right now is probably the fourth best team in the East with a fair bit of a downside. We aren’t contenders. It’s fine for fans to hold out hope but it’s troubling from management.

Finally, a clear signal from the Barg deal was that MSG thinks it will re-sign Melo. It sharply devalued the option to not re-sign Chandler, Amare, and Melo and rebuild with a draft pick and cap space.

And it’s very easy to argue that it’s that kind of course which is the fastest way to build a genuine contender.

(2) fact-manipulation by presenting conjecture about what does and doesn’t work in team basketball.

I am really fine with a poster presenting hypothesis that will be empirically tested along the season, and check whether they become true or not. It is engaging, even if he is not correct.

I am not fine with a poster presenting dogmas who has not been scientifically tested as the truth; and when they do not work he just states: “The player has declined”, “The coach is an idiot”, “it has been a statistical fluctuation of whole year”. For example, when Drummond started to shoot a little more and went from the best player of the world to shit, when landry fields was top 10 player, or when Thaddeus Young was removed of every player with skill and his numbers dropped. I do not learn anything with this approach.

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