How Many Games Will the Knicks Win?

OK folks, time to put up or shut up. Predict how many games the Knicks will win, and let everyone know the exact amount in the comments.

Wanted: Post links to predictions of the Knicks from other sources! I’m curious what other people are thinking about the Knicks.

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Mike Kurylo

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

84 thoughts to “How Many Games Will the Knicks Win?”

  1. I picked 37 games in WRG’s prediction pool, and I’ll stick with it. (I guess that’s my contribution for the links to other sources) I don’t have faith that Isiah will give major minutes to Lee, Balkman, or Robinson, even to save his own skin.

    Also, for the first time ever, I’m going to start up a KnickerBlogger.Net game chat. I’m openly stealing the idea from, which you can occasionally find me on Sunday afternoons. Of course my participation depends on the participation of a certain 6 month old that’s been teething.

    Chat Link:

  2. 42 Wins. We’ll be tied with another squad for the final seed, and it will come down to head to head records.

    We go out in 5 games in the first round against Boston/Detroit.

    Every blog on ultimateknicks has compiled user predictions over the past week, but I’m too lazy to give you the links. Sorry.

  3. i have the knicks going 42-40 and winning the 7-2 matchup in the first round. we have to be optimistic. if the game against the celtics showed anything, this team can and will play up to its ability. off the topic but why is the game on sun at 6 and not 7:30, messes up me watching colts pats game bc im going to the knicks game and getting my free hat

  4. 45 wins. I think Randolph means and extra 10-13 wins to this squad. Jeffries’ injury means one less forward to take time from Lee and Balkman, at least for the first few weeks. Since Lee and Balkman are better players at each end of the court, I think we won’t get off to the same slow start we did last year. Also, I dont expect Randolph to get off the the slow start that Frye did at PF last year. Last season’s poor start was due to three factors.

    1) The Knicks played more games in the first 6 weeks of the season than any other team, the majority of them on the road.

    2) The forwards got off to very slow starts. Jeffires was injured and Frye was MIA.

    3) Stephon Marbury was not in top shape to start the season.

    Each of those three issues have been addressed this year (I hope). I expect better production from the forwards, we get started with a nice home stand, Marbury looks to be in good shape.

    Mike K,

    I hope you are wrong about Thomas not giving significant minutes to the second unit of Lee, Robinson, Balkman, and Collins. I think that second unit can really do some damage. It will give us a diffrent look and creat matchup problems. Besides this group plays better D than the starters.

    I expect this team to stay near .500 all season and take advantage of some soft spots in the schedule. There is a stretch of games between Nov 13 and Nov 29 that really concerns me. But if we can come through those nine games with 4-5 wins, then I think the team will be alright.

    I’m wearing my favorite Knicks warm-up and I’m letting my boy stay up to watch the game. He is 20 months old and I want him to witness the start of a new era of Knicks dominance (I hope).

  5. I was actually thinking they were going to be worse than last season, as I’ve been pretty disappointed by all that has happened in the preseason. Eddy Curry has been turning the ball over at a ridiculous pace and Jamal Crawford looks awful. If those two were traded, my outlook would be much better. However, I do agree with Mr. Black in that Randolph is much better than Channing Frye, which should show us immediate dividends. As Marbury would say, he’s “youthier.” Ah well, hopefully this means the last season under Isiah.

    Can we start a “bring back Jeff Van Gundy” rally?

  6. What’s to be lost from aiming high? 45 wins. The preseason showed that they at least CAN play defense if they so choose, ie. versus Boston and Philly. And I think the second unit this year is going to be a much more concentrated force than before. Very few teams have the depth to deal with it. At the very least, this team will be a handful for their opponent.

  7. The Knicks are still very mediocre. Marbury and Curry is just not a good nucleus to build a franchise around. The Knicks have some nice complementary pieces but you can’t win in the NBA without superstars, and the Knicks damn sure don’t have any of those.

    It’s the same old same-old.

  8. Having been a Knick fan since before the Debusschere trade in 68, I find it ludicrous that we’ve come to the point where making the playoffs constitutes a sign of success. Isaiah has been rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic throughout his four years at the helm, the Dolans cannot accept the notion that one needs to clean house to achieve cap room and subsequently BUILD a team with the right parts.

  9. 500 ball 41-41 and make playoffs.

    doesnt mean they’re good though.. need to get rid of Isiah to make that leap….

  10. I didn’t realize I had so many optimistic readers. Or is that a majority of the pessimists have abandoned following the Knicks before the season even started?

    Mr. Black – thanks for the linkage – gives me a lot of reading material for tonight.

  11. Argy,

    I dont go as far back as you do. My fandom started when Mark Jackson was drafted and went on to become rookie of the year. I remember “Knicks on 9.” As such, I have not seen a Knicks’ chamionship in my lifetime.

    I think the team is in a much better position to win than it was when IT arrived. I think slow sustained improvement is the key. This is the same approach we have seen in teams like Dalls and Phoenix. A ten win improvement each season puts this team on pace to contend for a title in 2009-2010.

    For all the squads flaws, you cant tell me that in terms of overall talent this team is very far behind the Cavs. The Cavs have James, who is much better than any Knick by far. However, the Cavs have little else at the other key positions. Outside of LBJ there is not a player on the Cavs that is better than the Knicks starting five. If the Cavs could find a way so can we.

    We have a well balanced, deep squad. Sure we lack a superstar talent, but one superstar plus 8 role players doesnt get you a ring (see Lakers and Cavs). However, you can win with a well balanced, deep team that lacks a true superstar. A perfect example of this is Detriot.

    The 2004 Pistons did not have a superstar. They had several very good players and a commitment to playing together. I think Isiah has put together a team that is similar (hear me out). The Pistons strenght was clearly defense and rebounding, I know the Knicks dont have that. But in terms of overall balance we are close.

    Curry v. B.Wallace
    Each player is a one trick pony but they each perform the trick very well. Wallace was all D, Curry is all O.

    Randolph v. R.Wallace
    Near mirror images I say. Randolph is probably the better rebounder, Wallace has more range but each bring an good amount of nastiness to the PF position. Each can create match up problems.

    Richardson v. Prince
    Prince gets the nod here. But Q is not that far behind. Q has better range than 2004 Prince. Q is a better offensive option overall while Prince plays better D.

    Hamilton v. Crawford
    Crawford has all the talent to play a Hamilton like game but for whatever reason he does not. hamilto is not a great defender but few notice because of the system. Hamilton is more consistent but Crawford is more explosive. If Crawford can improve shot selective and get to the rim, he wont be far behind.

    Marbury v. Billups
    Each player uses his physical gifts to punish smaller points. All things being equal, marbury has is the better talent, but Billups is in the perfect system for his skill set.

    Knick reserves v. Pistons

    Knicks get the nod here. Pistons did not have much outside of Mcdyess and maybe Hunter. Knicks are much deeper. Lee, Balkman, Collins, and Robison can do more that the 2004 Piston reserves.

    Thomas v. Brown
    Though it is to his own detriment, larry Brown is one of the best basketball minds of his time. He got his team to buy into defense, rebounding, and taking quality shots. If Thomas can get his team to do the same we could be right there.

    X factor

    Detriot had a great X factor that got the team to play as a team. That being defense and rebounding. It became infectious and all the players seemed to buy into the approach. This occured because the team had a defensive leader with a strong enough personality to command the same energy from others.

    I dont see a player like that on the Knicks. This is why they are not at the level of the Pistons. Someone needs to step up and lead the Knicks. We need a player that can show the rest of the team how to win. If a player steps up and says “if you play like i play we can win”, and the team starts to win, then the rest of the team will follow. I just dont know who on the Knicks can do that.

    Before you tell me how crazy i am for comparing the knicks to the pistons, let me just say i know it is a stretch. I just think that a team can win without a true superstar or two. if the team is balanced and plays hard, then the lack of superstars can be overcome.

    The Knicks have the pieces we just need that thing to bring it together.

  12. I am going to be optimistic and say 41-44 wins because we were almost on pace for that last year when Lee, Crawford and Q went down, and we added Randolph, instead of Frye and hopefully Rose, added better depth at the 2 and 3 with Jones and Chandler and have another year of improvement for Lee, Robinson and Balkman.

    With all that said there are alot of reason that does not happen like if Lee sees his minutes decrease or if Balkman does not see at least 20-25 minutes a game, if Lee gets hurt again, or if Crawford or Marbury decide they are the focal points. I can keep going on.

    But I am a fan and will be optimistic because I like seeing my heart ripped out year after year.

  13. Start with 31 wins, if we play the same as last year.

    Some reasons the Knicks will be better…

    1. Randolph getting minutes that went to Frye & Rose. I don’t think Zach is awesome, but those guys were so bad – I’m willing to say this is worth 8-10 extra wins.

    2. Balkman getting minutes that went to Q, Jeffries & Crawford. This is tougher to predict… since Balk is more an unknown, he’s coming off an injury, and Q was pretty good… but I’m guessing 2-4 extra wins.

    3. Better health/depth. If Nate keeps improving, and Jones, Chandler and Morris offer anything, this could be an extra 3-5 wins.

    ADD: 13-19 WINS (call it 16)

    Factors making us worse:
    1. Law of diminishing returns. The simple fact that Zach is shooting more, means fewer shots for the other players – most of whom have little value when they’re not shooting. Subtract 2-3 wins.

    1A. No one loses more touches than Curry. Beyond that, he’s coming off his best year, and now he’s hurt. Subtract another 2 wins, at the center position.

    2. Q will get hurt. He was the 2nd-best player on the team last year, and I don’t think he’ll play as much or be as (relatively) healthy. Subtract 1-2 wins.

    3 The East is improved. Don’t freak out – everyone plays everyone else, anyway – but it probably means a few more games against truly good teams. Let’s say 2-3 fewer wins.

    SUBTRACT: 9-12 WINS (CALL IT 10)

    Optimist’s wildcard:

    I didn’t mention David Lee. He’ll be terrific again, but probably won’t get much more than the 30mpg he did last year. And, I won’t be shocked if he returns to earth a bit. But if he does maintain the 2006-2007 level, and stays healthy, it could mean a lot – maybe 3 or 4 more wins.

    Pessimist’s wildcard:
    Marbury’s not a bad guy, just an aging PG with bad knees. He had such a bad year last year, I’m willing to hope he won’t do even worse, but he might. And if he gets hurt, we’ll be like the Hawks last year.

    Bottom line: 31 + 16 – 10 = 37.

    If everything goes right: Lee & Balkman are the real deal, Marbury turns back the clock, everyone stays healthy… I could see a 45-win season. There’s a lot of depth; unless Marbury goes down for an extended stretch, I’d be surprised if we’re not as good as last year.

  14. Mr. Black, there is one huge difference between Joe Dumars’ Pistons and Isiah Thomas’ Knicks: the Pistons were greater than the sum of their parts, because the parts were complementary. The Knicks are actually less than the sum of their parts because the pieces don’t fit together.

    Some of the comparisons you make are really way off, to be honest. Jamal Crawford is not even in Richard Hamilton’s dimension as a basketball player. Ditto the current Marbury vs. 2004 Chauncey Billups. It’s not even close– Billups is better on both sides of the ball. One team has five very good defenders in its starting lineup and the other team has zero.

    Your argument is that you can win in the NBA without a superstar– the Pistons are the exception to the rule. Look at every other past NBA champion:

    Spurs: Duncan
    Heat: Wade/Shaq
    Lakers: Kobe/Shaq
    Bulls: Jordan
    Rockets: Olajuwon
    Pistons: Isiah
    Lakers: Magic
    Celtics: Bird
    76ers: Dr. J

    So, other than the 2004 Pistons, every other NBA champion since 1980 has had at least one surefire Hall of Famer on the team. I’d say it’s pretty tough to win championships without at least one superstar.

  15. 34 — Curry and Randolph will not play well together no matter what Isiah believes. And his stubborn refusal to admit it will ensure that he puts a non-optimal rotation on the floor to start every game.

    I’m with jon abbey — if Marbury and Curry hit the DL before December and stay there all year, maybe we win 40.

  16. A good example of the Curry fantasy..

    “Curry v. B.Wallace.. Each player is a one trick pony but they each perform the trick very well.”

    If you swapped today’s Eddy Curry into that lineup, the Pistons would have been at least 10 games worse. Their value isn’t even close.

    “Randolph v. R.Wallace”

    Factor in D. Lee, and I’d give the Knicks a slight edge. Slight.

    “Richardson v. Prince. Prince gets the nod here. But Q is not that far behind. Q has better range than 2004 Prince.”

    Even as a rookie, Tayshaun was a better 3-point shooter than Q’s career mark (.363 vs. .255).. But agree, not a huge edge overall. Don’t forget, Tay played 82 games and Q will be lucky to make 50.

    “Hamilton v. Crawford. Crawford has all the talent to play a Hamilton like game but for whatever reason he does not.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    “Marbury v. Billups… All things being equal, marbury has is the better talent, but Billups is in the perfect system for his skill set.”

    Maybe in 2004, but today’s Marbury isn’t in the same league.

    “Knick reserves v. Pistons. Knicks get the nod here. Pistons did not have much outside of Mcdyess and maybe Hunter. Knicks are much deeper..”


    Just at the center and point guard positions, the Knicks are probably 20 games worse than those Pistons. Even if you give them a slight edge for everything else (debatable), it’s not hard to see why Detroit was NBA champ and the Knicks will struggle to win 40.

    “One team has five very good defenders in its starting lineup and the other team has zero.”

    Sad, but true.

  17. “I didn?t realize I had so many optimistic readers. Or is that a majority of the pessimists have abandoned following the Knicks before the season even started?”

    The “optimists” are all predicting 40-45 wins and a first round playoff exit. I like to call that pessimism.

    I’ve believed the Knicks to be playoff bound to start each of the past three years. 2004-2005 I thought the Knicks had a really good shot at gettingdeep into the playoffs at the start of the season. Then with Larry put in charge, thought we’d be playing ball in May. Last year, with the Brown storm settled, I thought the team would be very competitive.

    There is absolutely no reason for me to think the Knicks will show “significant improvement” this year by any one’s standards other than Dolan’s.

    I think the Knicks will win more games this year than last year, but it will be at the expense of winning games next year and the year after. Since the “optimists” are all hoping to simply squeak into the 7th or 8th seed, I think that these extra wins will be poorly spent.

    Isiah has already got his excuse for when the team fails to achieve: “Q missed too many games to injury”.

    Mr. Black– you are optimistic. Have you tried comparing the Knicks to the 1983 Sixers? (Lee and Ivaroni are strikingly similar– they’re both tall white guys…).

    Seriously though, if the Knicks play D like the 2004 Pistons the team will win the east. I’ll believe it when I see it. If the Knicks play D like the 2006 Knicks they won’t make the playoffs.

    I think you should put your son to bed early tonight so you don’t turn him into a LeBron James fan.

  18. I vacillate.
    My background is in journalism, so I naturally try to take varying positions in an attempt to establish a well-rounded point of view.
    I don?t know how effective it is, but it?s how I think.
    I found Mike K.?s approach the other day very effective: optimistic and pessimistic.

    And with the Knicks, the parallel to that approach is offensive and defensive.

    On offense the Knicks could be devastatingly good. They have two dominant, 20-pt per game, low post scorers, who will be effective, and the Knicks have creative, slashing guards that can break defenses down. Here?s how I see it:
    1. Curry plays only on the block, while Randolph is more fluid and able to play up to 15 feet out effectively. Randolph also is effective facing up rather than with his back to the hoop. Of the two, however, Randolph is mostly likely to maintain his scoring levels. Curry will drop back some.
    2. Curry and Randolph will benefit most when the other is off the floor because of David Lee. He is a high-energy attacker of the hoop, who plays well without the ball and is a strong rebounder. Both Randolph and Curry will be better big men when Lee is out there.
    3. All three Knicks big men have good-to-great scoring percentages: Randolph 47 percent, Curry 57 percent and Lee 60 percent.
    4. Crawford, Robinson, Marbury, and Q all can put the basket in the bucket and any one of them can score 30 on any given night. Let?s just hope they don?t try. None of them have good shooting percentages, so if they are your top scorers, you?re in trouble. Crawford goes 40 percent, Marbury and Richardson 41 percent and Nate 43 percent.
    5. The Knicks should control the boards in most match ups. Lee and Randolph will average between 10-12 bounds each, while Curry could get 8-9. Even Robinson has the potential to grab 6-8 rebounds. Controlling the glass means second opportunities and transition baskets.
    Offensive drawbacks.

    1. Passing into the post and out of the post. Knicks guards have been terrible getting the ball into the post and Curry is equally horrible passing out. That could mean a perfect storm of turnovers. This is where Robinson and Collins could help the Knicks more than the other guards. Robinson?s passing is crisp when he penetrates and when passing into the post.
    2. Four starters that need the ball in their hands to be productive could cause a problem of balance on the offense that can only be offset by bringing in the subs quickly and often.
    3. Poor shot selection. Let?s face it: Marbury and Crawford are ?dumb? stewards of the Knicks offense. If I have to watch another Knicks game decided by a fall away 20-footer with nine seconds remaining, or a prayer jumper from the corner with 20 seconds on the shot clock, I?ll scream.

    Having said all that, I find it hard to believe the Knicks could average less than 101 per game, which should win them a fair amount.

    On the other hand, there is the defense, or lack of?
    All five Knicks starters are average-to-bad defenders. That means the Knicks, like last year, will lose a lot of games down the stretch simply because they have no stoppers, no real shot blockers and the perimeter defenders are soft, to put it lightly. The Knicks haven?t had a perimeter defender willing to go over a pick since Charlie Ward?think about that. Here?s how I see it:

    1. Speaking of perimeter defense, the Knicks just suck. Marbury and Crawford switch off too quickly, give up on driving defenders, and handle picks like Jerry Seinfeld confronting the soup Nazi.
    2. Internal defense. Randolph has the will, but is about as effective as a blind man crossing Broadway and 96th without a seeing-eye dog. And Curry hacks like a 56-year-old lawyer playing Saturday morning pick up.
    3. The Knicks? two best defenders: Balkman had a stress reaction in his ankle; and Q has a bad back that has forced him to miss a lot of basketball coupled with about 10-15 unwanted extra pounds. Enough said.
    4. Help defense is a huge problem with this team. There is hardly any weak side assistance. I so miss Camby stuffing a shot from the weak side. The Knicks do not talk well, lack a defensive leader, like Charles, and Knicks starters are about as committed to defense as Britney Spears was to her kids. It?s a disaster.

    One the other hand?
    1. The Knicks? second team is defensively better than our first team. This could be a blessing if Zeke can effectively juggle their minutes. And there are so many high energy, athletic, hungry guys on the Knicks bench, i.e., Balkman, Lee, Jones, Robinson, Collins, Chandler, and even Jeffries, Zeke could cause helter skelter ala Kentucky under Rick Pitino, pressing and forcing turnovers. It could be very exciting. Of course, this is Zeke we?re talking about. A thinking man?s coach he is not. I mean his first response to a guy that went 0-9 was that he should shoot more?I?m having John Starks playoffs PTSD flashbacks.

    The Knicks second team is what might save this team from itself this year. The second team offers balance on offense and hope on defense.
    Still, those starters are going to get 30 minutes each. And a lot of damage could be caused in 30 minutes.

    In short, if Zeke shows some development as a coach, he?ll effectively use the second team as a catalyst on offense and on defense.
    For a while I was thinking a shortened bench was a good idea. Now, I?m more into running 10 guys out there throughout, making sure that Lee and Balkman get 32-35 minutes, and completely benching Rose, James, Jeffries, with Chandler and Morris fighting for the scant few minutes that remain.
    If they do that, I suspect they could be a better than .500 team, maybe 43-45 wins.

  19. Z-

    “I think you should put your son to bed early tonight so you don?t turn him into a LeBron James fan.”

    LOL. That is the funniest thing I’ve read on these posts in days.

    Tell you what, if we have a typical 2006 first quarter, where we end up down by 15, we can both go right to bed.

  20. Mr. Black:
    And that’s the first team problem.
    That happens because our first team isn’t as sound as our second team

  21. Frank O.

    I agree but this team is different than last years opening night team. Frye was not much of a defender or rebounder at the PF last year. That further exposed Curry’s weakness on rebounding and defense. The fact that Zach actually goes for the rebound will be a big difference. Zach gets about double the defensive boards that Frye was getting. Think about it, last year your starting 5 and 4 average about 12 boards (7 for curry 5 for Frye). KG does more than that alone.

    Also, Randolph will keep the defense honest. When Frye started off ice cold, defenses could easily double up on Curry. With Frye on the perimeter, he could not help on the offensive glass and give us second shots.

    A source of the Knicks poor D was giving up second shots. I think we will cut down on that this year.

  22. turning your kid into a LeBron fan might be OK, as I still believe he has the best chance to be the next legit franchise player for NY after three more years in Cleveland, so in the summer of 2010 when he’s an unrestricted free agent. the most likely possible road to a title is continuing to assemble pieces like Lee and Balkman and a PG in next year’s draft to best complement LeBron. a tough thing to count on, and still three years away, but sadly probably the best chance we’ve got to win a title.

  23. Hmm, very good thread.

    Re the pistons and the knicks, sort of shaking my head. Chauncey Billups has been a million times better than Marbury. And Ben Wallace was a genuine superstar for that team. He really wasn’t one dimensional at all. He was a thoroughly multidimensional player who lacked only one skill, scoring. He was outstanding in every other respect. Curry and R. Wallace. lol.

    I agree with Jon Abbey,(who is in very little danger of getting his bottle of Cristal it looks like.) That’s the long term view I have had for a while. You have to look towards adding a genuine superstar when Curry’s contract winds down to pair with relatively cheap, but very undervalued assets like Balkman and Lee, who would pair perfectly with a James or Wade. Balkman could play two guard with as much as Lebron handles the ball. Lee could clean everything up. They will all be in their physical prime, age 28. Thats the only scenario I can be optimistic about.

    Really, the brutal truth is that its about January 25th of the long cold winter of the New York Knicks. If it were the Second World War, the Germans would be on the outskirts of Stalingrad. Its still too early for someone, Gandalf the Orange perhaps, to appear and cry, “I come to you at the turning of the tide.”

    All i can say is that if we all ever blog to see the Knicks get good again, we will really have earned it. .

  24. 44 wins…it’s more fun to be an optimist at this point. Balkman and Lee and Nate should get more minutes at the expense of Q, Jeffries and Steph, and me thinks Curry and Randolph will mesh. Isiah will find the best rotation quickly since he’s on the hot seat.

  25. Owen,

    Shaq was the superstar center of 2004. Ben Wallace was a very good defensive player, thats all.

    Superstar big men should not shoot in the low to mid .400 from the field and only slighty better (.495) from the FT line. He was the best defensive center in the game but he was no superstar. KG pulled down more boards, three times the assists, more than double the points, and had comparbale blocks per night.

    Ben Wallace is not in the class of Shaq and Garnett, at least not in 2004. He is a great player but he is no superstar.

  26. “I don?t have faith that Isiah will give major minutes to Lee, Balkman, or Robinson, even to save his own skin.”

    It’s really depressing that you’re probably right about this.

  27. “LeBron– a tough thing to count on, and still three years away, but sadly probably the best chance we?ve got to win a title.”

    It’s worth the wait…

  28. 40 wins

    a dismal first half turns into a blistering second half charge that leaves the team just shy of the playoffs.

  29. Mr. Black – Lol, Do you know who else had a 49% ft% that year? Yup, Shaq.

    Kevin Garnett was the best player in basketball for five years between 2000-5. He wasn’t Jordan good, but he was pretty amazing and clearly the best player, statistically, in the NBA.

    So Wallace could have fallen short of that standard and still been a superstar.

    If you look at these stats comparing Shaq and Wallace, you can see they were very comparable. Wallace has the edge on Shaq in every non-scoring category, often by a large margin. Per 48, he was .8 rebounds better, 1.6 steals better, 1.9 turnovers better, and 1.9 pf’s better. And he was clearly the better defensive player.

    Also, his Pistons team that year was better than the Lakers on efficiency differential.

    It’s not a stretch at all to call him a superstar, despite his inability to score.

    Alright, lets go Knicks…

  30. “Curry v. B.Wallace
    Each player is a one trick pony but they each perform the trick very well. Wallace was all D, Curry is all O.”

    Well not really. Wallace does rebound well on the offensive end. What does Curry do on the defensive end that’s comparable? Curry would either have to be a good rebounder, shot blocker, or ball hawk on the defensive end to make that kind of link. By the end of 2004, Wallace had been DPOY twice, All-NBA 3 times, and a 2 time All Star.

    Saying Curry is equal to Ben Wallace is like saying finger painting is similar to the Sistine Chapel. One is on a fridge, the other on a ceiling.

  31. I know it’s not really the format of this site, but it’d be cool to somehow have game threads, and maybe one ongoing general NBA thread (where I can note things like Jason Collins being a candidate for MIH (Most Improved Hair).

  32. I’m cool with having game threads. I love how Replacement Level Yankees do theirs – but that really wouldn’t work for the Knicks (as there would be, like, four plays in the time it takes to write up one), would it? Mike’s chat idea is probably better, but I understand that people really do like the idea of being able to reply to stuff later on (AND the permanence of a thread rather than a chat).

  33. And while losses as a whole are unimpressive, I think that was a pretty decent loss. On the road against a pretty good team.

  34. Did the thread thing tonight with KB. It was awesome. Definitely recommend it.

    Would be great if it were in-house, but it worked fine tonight…

  35. “Saying Curry is equal to Ben Wallace is like saying finger painting is similar to the Sistine Chapel. One is on a fridge, the other on a ceiling. ”


  36. KG= Superstar

    Wallace= One trick pony.

    Wallace is all d no o. Curry pulled in only 1 fewer offensive board per night than Wallace did last year. If Wallace’s 3 offensive boards can count as offense then Curry’s 5 defensive boards and 1 block count as defense. Is it great? Of course not. It is subpar just like Wallace’s offense. That was my point. I never said Curry was better than Wallace or of equal value. I said they are each a one trick pony. Say whatever you like but you will never be able to find a significant offensive contribution from Wallace. Hence, ONE TRICK PONY!!

    BTW Saint Wallace sure looked good against PHI last night. Lets see what did the “superstar” do? Hmmm…

    24 minutes 0 for 3 from the floor, 4 rebounds but 3 of them were offensive so that makes up for the lack of scoring right Mike K? 2 blocks, 2 dimes.

    What did Eddy do? 34 minutes, 18 points, 7 boards but only one offensive what a bum, 1 block, 1 dime, 1 turnover.

    Yes the clear winner tonight is Wallace. Those 3 big offensive rebounds were what got Chi town the win, oh no wait they lost? How could that be they have a superstar at center?!

    Now that is sarcasm.

  37. “Knicks get the nod here. Pistons did not have much outside of Mcdyess and maybe Hunter.”

    mcdyess wasn’t on the pistons that year. how could you forget the great half-season he put in with the knickerbockers?

  38. That’s quite the straw man, Mr. Black. Almost every mention of Wallace has centered around his peak, but your response to that is to use his worst season as a starter as an example of his overall quality. And I don’t think anybody is trying to argue that Ben Wallace is STILL a superstar, but rather he WAS one in Detroit when they were at their peak so your sarcasm really didn’t accomplish much, it just sidesteps the point.

    The strangest thing is that with all of his alleged shortcomings on offense, his teams are usually better on the offensive end while he is on the court, which says to me that he is definitely doing something right. It’s too often for it to be a coincidence.

  39. PER is a good short hand measurement for player value, other than defense (other than blocks and steals). Curry and Wallace have identical career PERs (16.3) and Wallace has a higher single season PER (18.6-17.5). As this measurement overvalues bad defensive players like Curry, and undervalues good ones like Wallace – it is clear to me that Wallace has been a distinctly more valuable player than Curry.

    Based on talent, I predicted the Knicks for over 45 wins in 2007-08. If they hired Rick Adelman as coach, when he was available (and supported him, see Brown,L.), they would easily win over 50 games with this roster. Only horrible coaching and management could cause this team to miss the playoffs.

  40. mcdyess wasn?t on the pistons that year. how could you forget the great half-season he put in with the knickerbockers?

    Yeah, remember that? When we traded that pick for McDyess instead of drafting Amare Stoudemire?

    McDyess did have a couple of awesome pre-season games though.

  41. Mr Black – What Xducks said…

    Z – Yeah, amazing, 3 fouls in zero minutes.

    Looking through the boxscore

    Q looked really bad last night. -1 WS in 35 minutes.

    Very strong game from Crawford. 9.5 WS in 38, (8-8 ft!). Looked quite good.

    Z-Bo – 23 shots from the perimeter, 1-2 ft. 9.5 WS in 40. Above average by a hair. That many jump shots is not the recipe for efficient scoring. Hit some tough jumpers. Great rebounding, including five offensive boards. Matador defense.

    Curry – Only one turnover. He had a block and an assist. 7 boards. Overall a below average game though. 0-5 at foul line really hurts. If he goes 3-5 there, he is above average for the game. As usual, Curry has trouble having a complete game.

    Marbury – .5 in 31 minutes. Very poor game. Had a horrible defensive lapse too. Was arguing with the ref over a call, and allowed his man to glide in for a wide open transition bucket. Those things matter in a game you lose by 4 point. (well they always matter of course) Really disgusting lack of effort though.

    D Lee – Um, 23 minutes? What is IT thinking? WS of 10. Had trouble at the beginning, but then got his rhythm. Looked really really good on offense. Had a couple of great post moves.

    Nate – Had a great game. 10.5 WS in 27 minutes. Looked great. Played so much better than Marbury. 4-5 from three.

    Fred Jones – played good d, but his stat line is a ghost town for 9 minutes. 1 rebound 2 to’s.

    I suppose it was a good loss, but it would have been a better win. The Cavs don’t look all that good. They miss Varejao and Pavlovic.

  42. My impressions from last night.

    The good first:

    Curry looked pretty unstoppable on the block last night and took care of the ball very well. As good as Randolph is, it is clear that Curry is just a dominant post player. He also blocked a shot and looked like he made a bit more effort on the defensive end in general.

    Randolph has a pretty jumper. Not sure if he can keep that up. He made a nice pass to Curry for an easy lay-in. Great rebounder despite never getting more than 6 inches off the ground.

    David Lee – where did all these post moves come from? Agree with Owen, needed more than 23 min.

    Nate – was fantastic. He needs 30 min a game if he’s going to play this well all season.

    Jamal – played under control, only threw up a few off-balance prayers that seemed to all go in anyway. Great block on Larry Hughes and he had a nice steal or two also.

    the BAD

    Defensive rebounding, especially near the end. Granted, some of those rebounds were just long rebounds that CLE would have gotten even if the Knicks were boxing out. But our strength should be our rebounding with Curry, Z-Bo, Lee, and Richardson, and it wasn’t.

    Q’s defense – can hardly blame him but LeBron is just to big and quick for him. I know Balkman got 3 quick fouls but in the 4th when leBron was just going crazy, I think it was worth a shot to put him back in. He’s the only Knick (other than maybe Jefferies) who is long enough and has enough foot speed to possibly keep up with King James.

    Marbury – all around a miserable game. For a guy who gets to the rack so often he is terrible finisher. He must have missed 3 or 4 layups last night. And he was so lazy on defense, we can probably attribute at least 8-10 points just on him being lazy or pouting.

    Fred Jones – I’m sorry, but this guy is useless. What good D? I didn’t see him do anything useful at all. He’s too small to guard a 3 and too slow to guard a 1 or 2. I would much rather have seen Balkman get those 9 more minutes.

    Curry – he had an entire offseason to work on FT and comes up with a goose egg – inexcusable. That being said, I don’t see how Owen says he played a below-average game. He looked pretty dominant to me. Offense was good, defense was passable, rebounding was passable (Except for 1 offensive rebound he gave up to Z near the end), didn’t turn the ball over… if we can get this + 60% FT from him he’s an all-star in my mind.

    Free throw shooting in general was miserable.

    All in all I think they played reasonably well. They played the Eastern Conference champions to the wire on the road and after CLE / LeBron got embarrassed by Dallas the other day. I’ve got some hope for this season…

  43. Frank – Curry may have looked like a dominant low post scorer. He did start 7-10. But he finished 9-16 and 0-5 from the line. That’s the equivalent of shooting 9-18.5 from the field for a ts% of 48%. While I agree that it looked like dominant scoring, it definitely wasn’t. Robinson and Crawford were much more “dominant” scorers with ts%’ of 68 an 59.5% respectively in the game. He actually rebounded ok, and didn’t commit turnovers, which was good.

    Re Curry being below average, that’s just my WOW talk. The average center produces .225 x 32 = 7.2 units of WS in 32 minutes. So Curry was below average in that sense, fwiw.

    I agree about his FT shooting. Given how many ft’s he shoots, Curry could increase his value A LOT by shooting ft’s at a better rate. If he had shot, say, an ambitious 75%, last year his ts% would have jumped from 60% to 64%. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but it would have made a big difference. A big reason Lee was so much better last year was his jump in ft% from 60 to 80%. Not that I am fickle, but I wouldn’t love Lee nearly as much if his ft% reverted to 57%.

    Re Fred Jones – KB and I were doing the live thread. I remember we both noticed him making a few good defensive plays. However, overall I agree, he didn’t play well or look good overall. Just trying to be positive.

    offensive rebounding was key. We actually had 2 more offensive boards than the Cavs. 15 to 13. However, they seemed to take advantage of their second chance opportunities by turning them into points better than we did. Would love to see a stat detailing how much they scored off second chances to confirm that that impression correct….

  44. Owen – I agree that Curry needs to make his FT’s and 0-5 is pretty terrible but I expect him to shoot 65% or so this year which if he had tonight would have given him a solid 58% TS%.

    But overall I thought he looked good. Until the Cavs started manhandling him in the 4th he was playing really really well. The one turnover makes me much happier than the 0-5 on free throws makes me sad. I also thought he brought a little more on the defensive end than last year but that is probably more wishful thinking than fact.

    The main thing about Curry is watching him he seems almost unstopable alot of the time. Even against a good defensive team like Cleveland they had very little answer for him. He changes the whole game when he is playing well like most of tonight.

    I thought he looked much better than Zach tonight. Zach shot alot of contested 18 foot jumpers that went in. Those are not going to fall every night and I would like to see Zach atttacking the basket more or passing out of those situations. A contested midrange shot is rarely the best shot an offense can get.

  45. Mr. Black- I appreciate your optimism, but let’s be realistic.

    1. The Pistons were a 50 win team for 2 seasons before 2003-2004. In fact, they were a 50 win team before anyone besides Ben Wallace was on their team. They were already playing like a team. They were alreay a top 8 defense and top 16 offense for two seasons before 2003-2004. Joe Dumars can just construct a basketball team.

    2. Comparing individual “talent” on a basketball team doesn’t make much sense. To do so it would make sense to look at how each player fits their role, rather than looking at overall “talent.”

    3. Billups has had a better career than Marbury but he has less talent?

    4. A big difference between Sheed and Z-Bo is that Sheed is a very good defender.

    “Say whatever you like but you will never be able to find a significant offensive contribution from Wallace.”

    There’s this thing called a pick. It’s a very effective way to get a shooter open, and a lot of successful offenses rely heavily on their bigmen to set them.

    I don’t disagree with your point that he’s not and never was a KG level superstar, I don’t think anyone does, but I do disagree that he’s completely useless offensively. Having a bigman who sets picks, passes well, doesn’t cough it up or force shots much, and grabs an above average number of offensive boards can be pretty valuable to the overall efficiency of an offense.

    Anyway, the Pistons weren’t a good offensive team in 2003-2004, they were the 18th best offense in the regular season. They were, however, the 2nd best D in the league. This seasons Knicks don’t have the talent to be the league’s 2nd best D, they don’t have the playoff experience to make it out of the East, and it’s not likely that their opponent in the finals would turn from a basketball team with 4 Hall of Famers into a soap opera.

  46. Ben R – Totally agree about Zach. You are right, he hit a lot of very tough shots. He could easily have been 7-23. Honestly, This whole idea of having your power forward shooting jump shots all game, it doesn’t sound good to me. It just is not an efficient way to score points.

    In his defense though, it doesn’t seem to hinder his offensive rebounding.

    Ft% shooting is a huge source of offensive efficiency. When your PF is only taking 2 fts in 40 minutes, and he got those late in the fourth quarter, that spells trouble to me. This game seems to be indicative of why Randolph has such a low career ts%. He plays power forward like a shooting guard, but without the slashing to the basket.

    Re Wallace – I think people severely underestimate the value of offensive rebounding and turnovers. Per 48 minutes, in 03-04, not his best year either, Wallace had 1.8 o rebounds more, and 3.1 turnovers less than Curry. That is a huge offensive impact. That’s 1.8 more shots the Pistons take compared to the Knicks, basically 1.8 points. Curry is taking shots for the Knicks that other Pistons take for Wallace in effect. So that isn’t a real 3.1 difference in turnovers. But there is a big advantage there for the Pistons still, give how much less turnover prone their shot takers were than Curry. So say the Pistons, net commit 2.1 turnovers on top of Wallace’s. That’s still an advantage of 2.8 points for the Pistons on offense, i.e. 1.8 from the possessions created by extra rebounds, and 1 point created by turnovers not lost. Thrown in the extra assist, the picks, and that is a steep hill for Curry to climb using his offensive efficiency alone.

    Really, looking at the numbers, it’ very easy to make the case Wallace is the better offensive player also. It sounds weird I know, considering how bad Wallace is shooting the ball and at the ft line, but to me the numbers tell that story.

    Also, look at their +/- numbers.

    The Pistons were 2.3 points BETTER on offense with Wallace in 03-04

    The Knicks were 2.6 points WORSE on offense last year.

  47. Stating the obvious (but mostly unspoken so far), we lost the game on the defensive end. The offense was sharp. Curry and Randolph were fine together, Nate was great, and Crawford was efficient for a night. We didn’t even turn it over much (how often is Curry only going to have 1?)

    But on the other end, the Cavs shot way over 50 percent and even better from 3-point range. That’s a bad omen. Can’t single out anyone – the perimeter was terrible, but then they had to sag in because the bigs didn’t protect the basket. I expect more of the same, all year.

    It was very discouraging to see Lee get shafted. I wonder how the game would have gone if he had replaced Curry (or Randolph) for 10-12 more minutes.

    I assume Balkman barely played only because he’s not recovered from the injury. Maybe by December he can be the impact player our defense needs. Q certainly didn’t make a case for himself.

  48. To make a general comment on Ben Wallace… I think the main offensive skill that’s underrated is the ability to NOT screw things up, i.e. turn it over. First, do no harm. Wallace lets other players make plays (and is a solid passer), and doesn’t give it to the other team.

    Curry turns it over more than any player in the league – which takes him from being a great offensive player, to just a bit over average. Factor in the lack of defense and being the worst rebounding center in the NBA, and it’s clear he should play a smaller role.

    If he could cut down the turnovers…

  49. You are sort of right Caleb. The big difference in the game was the fact that the Cavs were 12-22 from three. As i think you usually point out, or is it Ben, that was our big flaw last year.

    On the offensive rebounding front, from the play by play, searching for offensive rebound, I found the Cavs were 7-13, with a two three pointers, off their second chance points. Of course, I find the Knicks were 5-8. For some reason a lot of the Knicks purported 15 offensive rebounds don’t show up in the play by play. Do tips count as offensive rebounds. Anyone know how that works?

  50. And by sort of right, I should have said almost completely right. About Balkman, 3 fouls in about 45 seconds. Not the injury holding him back it seems, unless it was causing the fouls….

  51. Owen – While I totally agree that Wallace in his prime was much better than Curry, I still think Curry was a better offense player by a rather wide margin.

    The +/- differentual is not due to Wallace improving the offense but due to the fact that Wallace played over 2300 minutes with Billips, Prince and Hamilton and when he left the floor quite often they did too.

    Also I think Detroit was able to hide his offensive problems because all 4 other starters were at least above average on offense. I do agree that Wallace was a better offensive player than Curry was a defensive player because Wallace was a good offensive rebounder and a good passer.

    But lets not look at stats and lose focus on what Curry does in fact bring on offense and what Wallace fails to bring.

  52. “Q certainly didn?t make a case for himself.”

    I don’t think we should pass judgment on Q after one game of guarding the best player in the world. There is nobody that LeBron can’t make look bad on D.

    The problem last night wasn’t stopping LeBron. It was stopping Gibson. The perimeter D was as bad last night as it was last year, the year before, the year before…. It’s the only aspect of the game that the Knicks need to improve to win more games. I guess it’s not something you can improve in the offseason without changing the roster.

    Marbury was standing under the basket while Gibson was shooting wide open threes; Gibson would give the ball up, relocate two feet away from where he was, get the ball back and shoot an open 3!; Marbury was running a clinic on how not to defend a hot shooter. (Starks used to be in Reggie’s pocket for quarters on end denying him the ball. It was all effort, nothing else. What was he doing, saving himself for the offensive end? Gibson is no Reggie…)

    But at least Isiah benched Marbury at the end in favor of Nate. That showed that PT will be earned.

    Offensively, this team doesn’t have many problems (especially when the turnovers are down and the freethrows are dropping). But they are going to be losing shootouts on the road a lot.

  53. Z – you are absolutly right about the defense on Gibson. That is our biggest weakness on the perimeter. When the great outside shooter is one of the main focal points like Joe Johnson or Ray Allen we do a pretty good job by glueing someone to them and making every shot at least somewhat contested. (think the Seattle game last year)

    But when the outside shooter is the third or fourth option we constantly cheat off to help double and all of a sudden a mediocre player like Gibson or Damon Jones last year, scores a career high and beats us.

    We need to learn that when a player is hot from the outside we need to make defending them a priority even if they normally only average 6 points a game.

    I do not mind us giving up 40+ to Lebron, he had in my opinion one of the most complete games I have seen him have, attacking the basket and then sinking threes when his man sags off, he was almost unguardable last night.

    Lebron did not beat us, Gibson did. If we had stopped Gibson in the fourth quater we would have won. There is no excuse for letting Daniel Gibson shoot 8-12 with 24 points.

  54. I know there is a desire to be positive, but I can’t tonight.
    I didn’t watch the game in a traditional way. I watched on line with basically a written description of each play, who was shooting or rebounding and who got the assists. Also from where the shots were falling.
    It was clear to me that perimeter defense killed us. Gibson was virtually unguard for great periods of the game, and that falls on Marbury most of all. He was absolutely horrible. How is it that you have two big men scoring nearky at will, and instead of pounding the ball into them, he’s trying some tough shots and missing layups?
    Marbury has been playing like this through the preseason. Robinson clearly was the better player.
    And then how is it that Lee gets only 23 minutes, while Zach is on the court for 40? Lee is one of your better players, and you get him 23 minutes?
    And how is it that a nobody guard, Jones, manages to get inside the rotation when he is having virtually no impact on the game?
    Balkman’s timing is clearly off, and he isn’t ready to play yet.
    Crawford scored a lot of points, but did he play any D?
    As I said in an earlier post on this thread, the knicks will score quite well, but if they are giving up 110 points to a team missing two starters, East champs or not, you’re in big trouble.
    I’m sorry, after six years of terrible basketball, there are no good losses. I’m tired of pathetic defense. I watched Ewing clips for about 20 minutes yesterday and I was reminded of what it was like to watch a defensively committed team. Chest bumping, shot blocking,shirt grabbing, punishing defense.
    This is not an all star game where defense is soft and shooters are able to shoot where ever and when ever they like.
    Gibson should have had a guard on him DENYING him the ball. How can the knicks let him bury four threes in such a short period?
    Lebron should have been fouled, hard, when ever possible, if for no other reason than to make him flinch a bit.
    Jones basically is on the knicks for defensive intensity. How is it that he put forth a listless effort?
    Marbury will be on the bench if Robinson continues to out play him. That can’t happen soon enough. Marbury actually gave up a basket in transition because he was arguing a call again. I mean, that happened last year…How is a veteran player letting that happen? I mean, even Robinson knows not to do that. Marbury is a moron.

    I realize this is game one, but it’s a game the Knicks should have won. They had a team coming off a thrashing, without two of their best players, and they couldn’t hold them down.
    If Isiah doesn’t see a problem with the defense as currently constituted, with Crawford and Marbury and Q on the perimeter, the Knicks are going to lose a lot of games.
    If the other team plays just a lick of defense, they will outscore the Knicks.

  55. i’m going with 44-47 wins this season .

    solely based on 2 factors , on offense i expect them to be a top 10 team in efficiency and over the past 11 years 100 out of 110 team that finished in the top 10 in that stat went to the playoffs. 9 of those 10 teams that didn’t make were basically outside shooting “win by the trey, die by the trey” teams the lone exception was the 2003-04 blazer team ironically lead by the zach randolph but that team was just a horrible gouping of players , so bad raheed was playing the 3 and he was traded at mid season anyway , just a squad of pure turmoil.

    i also expect the defense to be pretty poor , just not poor enough to offset their offense , they finished 25th overall on defense last season I expect slight improvement just because their defensive players should for the most part have either better seasons(jeffries, blakman , collins) or just not burden the knicks with their poor play (james and malik rose) and i expect crawford to have a better season defensively or he can be pulled which really couldn’t happen much last season due to lack of guard depth.

  56. “But when the outside shooter is the third or fourth option we constantly cheat off to help double.. Lebron did not beat us, Gibson did.”

    Our perimeter defense IS terrible, but the reason they sag off so much to double-team, is because Curry & Randolph couldn’t guard a hamburger between them. If we had a strong interior defender, the perimeter would tighten up. Last night, if they hadn’t sagged off Gibson, LBJ might have taken it to the hoop more and scored 60.

  57. Mel – you’ve made one of the more convincing cases I’ve seen, for why we might be a decent team. I hope you’re right.

  58. I like that the season started with a 4 point play against us after Marbury punched Daniel Gibson in the balls.

    It couldn’t have been scripted any better.

  59. “Last night, if they hadn?t sagged off Gibson, LBJ might have taken it to the hoop more and scored 60.”

    That’s better. 15 more points for LeBron and 24 points less for Gibson is a net gain of 9 points. It’s easier to keep Gibson from scoring 1 point than to keep LeBron from dropping 60.

    I don’t even think they were sagging. On one of the shots Marbury was standing under the basket and sprinted out when he realized that Gibson might actually shoot that wide open three pointer. Maybe it wasn’t his man at the time, but whoever was at fault sure made Marbury look bad.

    “Lebron should have been fouled, hard, when ever possible, if for no other reason than to make him flinch a bit.”

    Frank O.– since you didn’t see the game you missed Nate denying LeBron from dunking with a good, hard, clean foul. It was a textbook example of fouling a guy to keep him from scoring. Too often guys on the Knicks last year would make the token foul only to have the offensive player score anyway, and one. It got Nate respect, both from me, and from LeBron too, who acknowledged the effort when he got up.

  60. Z:
    I’m glad to hear at least one Knicks player had some balls.

    Marbury and Crawford are powder puffs.

  61. Z, you may be right that it’s better to shut down the peripheral players, and make the star beat you. That was the Riley/Van Gundy philosophy. And hey, whatever we’re doing now isn’t working.

    But my point was that Randolph & Curry weren’t a “dominating force” just because their offensive numbers were good. The cream filling in the middle of our D creates a ripple effect.

  62. My main man Starbury didn’t have it last night, he’s still more accurate than Dave Price when it comes to predicting the weather. At least Crawfish n Tiny did bring IT. Once Ro Balkman is back at full strength we’ll have the answer on D to wing players like Kobe, Lebron, Pierce, Wade, etc….Down low we have the best scoring tandom in the league. A team reliant on its bigs like San Antonio, Phoenix, Houston, Utah, or Detroit will have a lot of trouble because their bigs are sure to get into foul trouble. 47-55 wins if D Lee plays 30 min. a game, 42-50 if he plays 24 a game. 5th seed in the Eastern quest for the ‘chip.

  63. I think they’re gonna go .500 and fight for the 8th seed.

    That being said, the Curry-Randolph tandem looked far better the other night (I only caught the first half) than I expected.

  64. based off 1 game gotta say that this team is improved. Last year they would usually be 15 points down in 1st quarter.

    that being said .500 is probably where they end up and the 8th seed. the things that haven’t changed are poor perimeter defense, curry’s lack of rebounding and defensive shot blocking presence and most importantly – no pure pt grd.

    PLAY the you young guys all year long.

  65. Mike,

    I’ve been thinking about the statistical breakdown of the team and, statistically, it doesn’t look good. I mean a leopard doesn’t change it’s eFG%. Is that what you’re sayng?

    The only thing about the way people read stats that I have a problem with is that they are not focused enough on the anomolies. Was there someone in the last five years who made a freakish leap in any category? Certainly, precipitous drop offs in per minute efficiency happen all the time as players age. I’d like to see more focus on the exceptions to the rule.

    If the Knicks win this year it will be a statistical anomoly. I’d like to think that anomolies like that occur all of the time.

    Knicks win 44 games this year.

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