Knicks Morning News (2015.12.31)

  • [New York Times] Injury Woes Hit Warriors’ Title Defense (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 06:57:27 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors’ NBA title defense has been hit by a spate of injuries to their players, an issue they did not have to grapple with in their triumphant previous season.

  • [New York Times] Lack of Curry Leaves Flat Warriors With No Stomach for Fight (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 06:24:28 GMT)

    The Dallas Mavericks took full advantage of Stephen Curry’s absence with a lower left leg injury by bolting to an early 17-point lead on the way to a 114-91 victory over the Golden State Warriors at American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

  • [New York Times] Sixers Surprise Kings for 2nd Win in 3 Games (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 06:12:43 GMT)

    Ish Smith scored five of his 18 points over the final 3 1/2 minutes and Jerami Grant made three late free throws to help lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 110-105 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] McCollum Helps Trail Blazers Knock Off Nuggets 110-103 (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 05:51:40 GMT)

    C.J. McCollum scored 29 points, Allen Crabbe had 20 and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 110-103 on Wednesday night for their third consecutive victory.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan Scores 34 as Raptors Edge Wizards 94-91 (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 05:45:41 GMT)

    The Toronto Raptors had their regular starting lineup together for the first time in weeks, and DeMar DeRozan took care of the rest.

  • [New York Times] Butler’s Tip-In Gives Bulls 102-100 OT Win Over Pacers (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 05:24:36 GMT)

    It was a broken play, and the result made the Chicago Bulls’ night.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Nets Collapse Against Magic; Warriors Fall Flat as Stephen Curry Sits (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 05:23:46 GMT)

    Nik Vucevic had 20 points and 9 rebounds, and Orlando rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the visiting Nets. In Dallas, the Warriors were routed as Curry sat out with a bruised leg.

  • [New York Times] Curry-Less Warriors Blown Out by Barea, Mavs 114-91 (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 05:15:31 GMT)

    Even if Klay Thompson had been making shots with Stephen Curry sidelined by a leg injury, the other half of the Splash Brothers knew Golden State would have a hard time winning.

  • [New York Times] Towns, Wolves Hold Off Short-Handed Jazz, 94-80 (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:51:35 GMT)

    Karl-Anthony Towns had just finished overpowering the overmatched Utah Jazz, looking every bit the No. 1 overall pick the Minnesota Timberwolves made him last June.

  • [New York Times] Charlotte Forward Jefferson to Undergo Knee Surgery (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:39:28 GMT)

    Charlotte Hornets forward Al Jefferson is to undergo surgery for a right knee injury and is expected to miss around six weeks, the team announced on Wednesday.

  • [New York Times] Aldridge’s Double-Double Helps Spurs Rout Suns 112-79 (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:09:49 GMT)

    LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 12 rebounds and the Spurs routed the Phoenix Suns 112-79 on Wednesday night for their 19th straight home win to start the season.

  • [New York Times] Bryant ‘s Double-Double Carries Lakers Past Celtics, 112-104 (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:27:39 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles in likely his final game in Boston, leading the Lakers to a 112-104 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Redick Scores 26 as Clippers Hold Off Hornets 122- (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:03:34 GMT)

    J.J. Redick scored 26 points, Austin Rivers added a season-best 22, and the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Charlotte Hornets 122-117 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Magic Rally in 4th Quarter, Down Nets 100-93 (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 02:57:44 GMT)

    Nik Vucevic had 20 points and nine rebounds, and the Orlando Magic rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-93 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Warriors’ Curry to Miss Game in Dallas With Leg Bruise (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 01:18:50 GMT)

    Golden State star Stephen Curry has a bruised lower left leg that sidelined him for Wednesday night’s game at Dallas, and could keep him out for the second day of a back-to-back in Houston.

  • [New York Times] Cleanthony Early of the Knicks Is Robbed and Shot in the Knee After Leaving a Queens Strip Club (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 00:45:28 GMT)

    A group of men converged on his cab after he left a strip club, the police said. They stole his cash, gold caps on his teeth, an iPhone and metal chains and shot him in the knee.

  • [New York Daily News] J.R. Smith defends Early, NBA players’ right to go out (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:49:41 GMT)

    Ex-Knick J.R. Smith, now with the Cavaliers, voiced that it’s his right — and NBA players’ rights — to have a good time.

  • [New York Daily News] Early being shot another bad incident from Knick’s life (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:42:52 GMT)

    Before he was a Knick, Cleanthony Early stood on the court inside Koch Arena at Wichita State and talked about tragedies in his life.

  • [New York Daily News] After teammate shot, Carmelo makes plea for gun control (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:12:51 GMT)

    In the wake of a teammate being robbed and shot by masked thugs, Carmelo Anthony made a plea for gun control.

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: Cleanthony Early shooting makes Knicks a tougher sell (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 00:22:18 GMT)

    First, Chris Copeland was stabbed outside a Manhattan nightclub. Then fellow NBAer Thabo Sefolosha had his leg broken by a N.Y. cop.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Knicks Daily Links: Thursday (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 05:39:18 EST)

    Knicks Daily Links: Thursday

  • [New York Post] Nets: ‘Pray’ for Cleanthony Early and remember, he was the victim (Thu, 31 Dec 2015 00:51:41 -0500)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — After Knicks Cleanthony Early was shot in his right knee while leaving a Queens club early Wednesday morning, players from the crosstown rival Nets expressed shock and sympathy for the young forward. "It's very unfortunate, because in a perfect world you should be able to go anywhere that you want to as…

  • 50 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2015.12.31)”

    Here’s to hoping Derrick Rose is playing against us tomorrow night.

    He’s 3rd-worst in the league in RPM, ahead of only…. Ty Lawson and Emanuel Mudiay. Wow.

    I was really encouraged by how the offense looked against Detroit — a team that is on the rise and has an above average defense (#12). We’ll see if that’s for real or not. Seemed like a lot more PNR.

    Derrick Rose broke his face and said he was seeing double. He can’t shoot at all. I know correlation != causation, but the Bulls continuing to run him out there is insane

    Hey Frank, I think you have the wrong blog, this is CSI-Knickerblogger (-:

    I was checking out the box score from last night’s Bulls-Pacers game and saw that Paul George was 7-20 with 5 turnovers. Recently, an ESPN writer suggested that George is the MVP of the NBA for the season thus far, so I decided to compare him to our beloved Melo.

    TS George .552, Melo .527
    Rebounds George 7.5 Melo 7.5
    Assists George 4.0 Melo 3.6
    Turnovers George 3.8 Melo 2.7

    Obviously, neither TS is very good, and George has a reputation as a great defender (though overrated IMO), but the point being there’s not a huge difference between the two statistically this season. And George is being touted as an MVP candidate while Melo is still looked at by many as the same old selfish ball stopper.

    Just sayin’….

    You can read lots of quotes from Rose and various lamestream media members saying something like “seeing double no longer an excuse”. Uh, what? That’s not only still an excuse, its a really fucking good excuse.

    Melo is at least arguably playing better than PG this season. And neither guy is playing anywhere near MVP level. But remember before the lamestream media turned on Melo because J Kidd fell off a cliff and Tyson Chandler got hurt, he finished 2nd or 3rd in the MVP race with stats that weren’t particularly MVP worthy. How? He scored points for a team that exceeded expectations. The Knicks were better, but PG gets a boost for coming back from a hideous injury

    Obviously, neither TS is very good, and George has a reputation as a great defender (though overrated IMO), but the point being there’s not a huge difference between the two statistically this season. And George is being touted as an MVP candidate while Melo is still looked at by many as the same old selfish ball stopper.

    There’s not a huge difference between a .552 and .527 TS%? Hmm. Okay, I’ll bite.

    2016 Team TS%

    #4 — Hawks .553

    #21 — Celtics .527

    Nah, not much of a gap, there.

    There’s not a huge difference between a .552 and .527 TS%? Hmm. Okay, I’ll bite.

    2016 Team TS%

    #4 — Hawks .553

    #21 — Celtics .527

    Nah, not much of a gap, there.

    You’re right, big gap, just like in the standings, where the Hawks are a massive 2 games ahead of Boston.

    Here’s how small the gap is between .552 and .527 — I think that most people would agree that Melo gets a bad whistle. If he got one more call every two games (i.e. 16 calls in 31 games), and hit 85% of the foul shots, his TS% would be just under .550. In other words, it’s a pretty small difference.

    The difference is that George is shooting 41% from the field while shooting 39.6%from 3

    Melo is at 34.5% from 3

    So you guys must agree that there’s basically no difference between melo’s shooting efficiency and MCW’s at 50.1

    Well, Jose Calderon is rockin’ a TS of .595 and Kent Bazemore .592, so I guess I’d take either of them over Melo or Paul George.

    Melo beats PG by WP, PG has a higher WS. So what do you prefer? Overvalued rebounds and made up positional assignments designed explicitly to screw over Carmelo Anthony, or a system that favors players on teams with a good defense? I’m not sure there’s one easy answer

    Happy New Year to all of you!

    This was my first full year of posting semi-regularly rather than just lurking and reading. I’ve enjoyed it!

    Sorry I missed the Cleanthony-inspired risk management discussion.
    A book KBers might like that provides excellent context for that topic is The Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker.
    Gist: The world is getting much less violent. Data supporting that statement are clear and consistent across many time scales: centuries, decades, years. That trend seems very surprising/wrong to many largely because social norms for tolerable levels of violence have decreased.

    IMO our ideas about public safety, public health, and what responsible adults do to manage risks – e.g. how Cle “should” have behaved – are also greatly affected by changing standards. “Child abuse”, for example, was an almost unknown concept – in terms of public health monitoring and media coverage – until the 1950’s. Our ideas about the risks a responsible parent tolerates their child being exposed to have changed tremendously since then. Management of risks both real (traffic accidents, tobacco, alcohol, and obesity) and dubious (a near infinite list), went from an afterthought a few decades ago to a constant preoccupation today.

    Am I saying it’s overprotective to want to curb Cle’s clubbing? “Don’t worry. The world is safer than you think.” No I’m not. Cle and his peers, young Black men, are more likely to die from being shot than for any other reason. Period. And about 4 times as many are hospitalized from gun injury as are killed. And they are most likely to get shot in cities, late at night, in places where other young men gather and drink or get high.

    He’s a young man, not a child, but if Cle were my son, you bet your ass I’d be in his ear like a freakin hornet drilling home the message to stay away from situations like the one he was in. Just like I’d tell him to wear a seatbelt, don’t smoke tobacco, drink in moderation, and stay physically active. If I were his same-aged friend, unfortunately, I’d probably be urging him to hit the club and stay out, but that would…

    if Cle were my son, you bet your ass I’d be in his ear like a freakin hornet

    I’m totally with you. If it was my kid I would have made sure he was ok and then killed him myself. The thing is, unfortunately he isn’t my son. Too bad because I’d be planning a nice retirement if he was. So, we at KB are cle(anthonye)arly not in a position to judge (see what I did there?). Though, weighing in on a blog isn’t really judging. We just sort of hypothesize about what might be going through a young savant’s head as he walks the mean streets of Maspeth. Maybe he lacks judgement. I mean, it sure seems like a possibility given the circumstances, but of course I don’t know all the circumstances. Maybe his girlfriend loves that bar and insisted on a night cap at like 3:30 AM. Again , not judgin’ just wondrin’.

    I saw something somewhere on the internet (perhaps not the most reliable source) which said he was there for a friends birthday party.

    You’re right, big gap, just like in the standings, where the Hawks are a massive 2 games ahead of Boston.

    So… because… the Hawks… are two games ahead of Boston… a substantial gap in scoring efficiency… doesn’t matter… because… something… for some reason… and something else… uh… what

    Am I getting all of this?

    Here’s how small the gap is between .552 and .527 — I think that most people would agree that Melo gets a bad whistle. If he got one more call every two games (i.e. 16 calls in 31 games), and hit 85% of the foul shots, his TS% would be just under .550. In other words, it’s a pretty small difference.

    It’s not a small difference. I just showed you that it’s not a small difference. It’s an important difference, and most importantly, it is a difference. It doesn’t matter what you think Melo’s efficiency should be. It matters what it is. And it is not .552.

    Well, Jose Calderon is rockin’ a TS of .595 and Kent Bazemore .592, so I guess I’d take either of them over Melo or Paul George.

    Hell fucking yes I would take Kent Bazemore for $2M a year instead of Melo’s bloated-ass contract at $23M+. Hell. Fucking. Yes. Do you see how well that dude is playing this year? That is exactly the kind of player you want on your team.

    I’ve been told that stats are for losers. I don’t personally prescribe to that school of thought, but some dude on the internet told me that once.

    You’re right, big gap, just like in the standings, where the Hawks are a massive 2 games ahead of Boston.

    You see, there is this other thing in basketball called “defense” that is separate from that thing called “scoring.”

    Hell fucking yes I would take Kent Bazemore for $2M a year instead of Melo’s bloated-ass contract at $23M+. Hell. Fucking. Yes

    Straw man. You can’t get an even swap here. If both are of equal value . U take Melo stop it

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! WISHING ALL THE BEST TO ALL OF YOU AND THE BOYS IN ORANGE AND BLUE!!

    Good luck to my Jets, too! And the Mets!

    I love when Jowles uses contract value to determine who a better player is.

    @22 I just re-read the thread and I can’t for the life of me find where you showed that there’s a big difference between .552 and .527. I saw where you showed that two teams rank differently in TS%, but then another guy pointed out that it has made virtually no difference in their records. By the way, did you know that Melo is averaging 40% more rebounds and 30% more assists per 36 than Bazemore? But I guess the only stat that matters is TS%…which is weird because I remember loads of other posts in which you seemed to say that rebounds were the most important stat, or was it assists that were important?

    @22 I just re-read the thread and I can’t for the life of me find where you showed that there’s a big difference between .552 and .527. I saw where you showed that two teams rank differently in TS%, but then another guy pointed out that it has made virtually no difference in their records.

    Look, it’s really straightforward. Melo has scored 680 points this year. If he had a 55.2% TS, he’d have 712 points on the same number of attempts (FGA and FTs). That comes to about a point a game in net benefit.* A point a game in the NBA is worth around 3 wins on the year using the pythagorean method. So if you changed nothing about the Knicks except to give Melo Paul George’s 55.2% TS (before it went up to 56% last night), the Knicks would go from 36 to 39 expected wins. I don’t know how much more it would be worth to turn Melo’s defense into Paul George’s, but I know I would take it in a heartbeat.

    *There is a small counter-benefit to the 23% of misses that result in ORBs from a lower TS%, but it’s too small to affect the math above.

    @33 — if a guy can raise his TS% by .8% with one good game, doesn’t that kind of prove that 2.5% is a pretty small difference? Re: Melo’s defense — the advanced stats show that Melo is having a great year defensively.
    Translation of comment 31 — if Melo is good at it, it is not at all important; if Melo is bad at it, it is absolutely critical.

    @33 — if a guy can raise his TS% by .8% with one good game, doesn’t that kind of prove that 2.5% is a pretty small difference?

    You’re confusing two things. The volatility of TS% doesn’t mean that 25 point differences aren’t important. A baseball pitcher can lower his ERA from 4.20 to 3.65 with one shutout 1/3 of the way into the season. Does this mean these differences in ERA don’t matter? No, what it means is that (1) past performance may not be very predictive if the sample isn’t big enough (2) the distribution of performance might be lumpy as opposed to spread out. Those are just features inherent in thinking about any kind of performance over relatively short periods. Neither of those factors affect the basic point, though: that 25 points of TS over the course of an NBA season really, really matters to success. The right retort to .552 vs. .527 isn’t “that difference is insignificant” as much as “well, for now.”

    if a guy can raise his TS% by .8% with one good game, doesn’t that kind of prove that 2.5% is a pretty small difference?

    Paul George yesterday had a .870% TS on .28% USG.

    Easier said than done

    @35 — you’re probably correct that “well, for now” is the proper retort. If you ignore Melo’s worst game this year, his TS% for the rest of his games is about .542. In only 30 games, some stats are too volatile to put too much stock in. By the way, how crazy are some of us that we are posting on Knicks blogs at 1,4 and 6 in the morning on New Years Eve when we should all be watching Honeymooners reruns on channel 11.

    It should be noted that Melo’s current TS% is lower than it had been (last season he was injured in Game 2, so I am ignoring it.)

    Assuming Melo’s TS% goes up to his career average of 54%, Melo and Paul George seem very similar to me right now in terms of overall impact. Although both are technically small forwards, their games are different; George is more SG-like, Melo is more PF-like. The main difference is that PG is 5 years younger. But if they switched teams, my guess is that it would not have much impact for either team.

    We’ve arrived at the point that most of Melo’s surplus value is derived from his rebounding and playmaking ability, because he’s not even scoring at league average efficiency so far. Probably not that meaningful at this point, but it is kinda funny.

    Also, Knicks-Memphis is shaping up to be a real doozy. Matt Barnes is a shithead, but saying he’s in the “triangle offense w/my ex & snitch” actually made me chuckle.

    Honestly the league should let the Oakman be the special guest referee for this game.

    Ironically, for their careers, Melo and George have nearly identical TS%, assist rate, rebound rate and block rate. What’s really weird is that, despite Melo’s being more PF- like and George more SG-like, Melo is playing 75% of his minutes at the 3 while George is playing 75 % of his minutes at the 4.

    @34

    Well in Jowles’ world the only statistics that matter are TS% and WP. Nothing else is relevant to the discussion of what makes a good player.

    I especially liked the time when the Spurs signed notorious, inefficient, useless piece of shit gunner LaMarcus Aldridge and Jowles was basically like “well, it’s the Spurs so it’s a good a signing because reasons”.

    ptmilo – On point.

    I think there was plenty of reflection on the fact that the Spurs signing Aldridge was, in effect, a shot across the bow of all the stat types who have sniffed at his low efficiency in the past. (myself included). It’s definitely been a very interesting lab experiment so far.

    Personally, I’d be more than happy to give their FO the benefit of the doubt. In fact, my dream as a Knicks fan for the last 20 years is to have a GM I can put that kind of faith in. Still not quite there yet, the performance of Lance Thomas notwithstanding….

    The East is big man…

    I’m hoping with a little more time on the court Melo brings his TS% up some more. All the Knicks are missing some pretty good looks so far this year. It will be beautiful if some of these guys can start making them. I’m figuring Melo will be one of the first to start doing that.

    Lamarcus isn’t exactly setting the league on fire as a spur. Maybe his presence has turned Kawhi into a legit MVP candidate, but otherwise they over paid for him (in a vacuum)

    LMA, PG and Melo are very similar, each with significant strengths and weaknesses. What makes LMA a good fit in SA is that he’s not “the man” there, even though he’s the highest paid. Many Melo-bashers here have argued that Melo could never be “the man” on a championship team. The same can be argued about LaMarcus. The difference is, he is now on a team that complements him well. Melo has never been in that position. He has been the clear top banana on every team he’s been on. Maybe with a “just right” team he could pull it off (he did get to the WCF with a good but not great supporting cast), but that ship has probably sailed. Same for LMA.

    In George’s case, he’s still developing, so I’m not sure whether he’s capable of being an alpha dog on a champion. I think he’s probably on a very similar career trajectory as Melo, but PG has the potential to be better.

    I think Melo to Dominique comparisons are somewhat fair, and George’s best case is Scottie Pippen. All are borderline top bananas, but not ideal in that role.

    @Z-Man and DRed

    I agree with basically everything you guys said, but point is that it’s fairly obvious LMA has had a very positive impact on an already excellent San Antonio team that has taken them to another level. He’s a good player like he’s always been despite the fact his TS% and WP are less than ideal and goes to show that there’s a lot more to evaluating players.

    I agree with basically everything you guys said, but point is that it’s fairly obvious LMA has had a very positive impact on an already excellent San Antonio team that has taken them to another level. He’s a good player like he’s always been despite the fact his TS% and WP are less than ideal and goes to show that there’s a lot more to evaluating players.

    new thread

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