Knicks 2011 Season Preview – Centers

With the Knicks 2011 season almost upon us, it’s time to analyze the roster. Usually teams have some stability from one year to the next, but New York has only a third of the players returning. How New York is going to perform is more of a mystery than previous years. This year I’ll look at each position and attempt to address the critical question for those players.

Centers: Is there a quality NBA starting center here?

Prior to the preseason, it was thought that the Knicks would open the season with Ronny Turiaf as the starting center. Unfortunately Turiaf’s preseason play has been less than spectacular, averaging a pitiful 4.4 pts/36, 7.0 reb/36, and 2.3 to/36. Mozgov scores more (13.4 pts/36) but his rebounding (6.7 reb/36) and turnovers (3.0 to/36) are actually worse. The young Russian also features the propensity to commit foolish fouls (6.7 pf/36) at a rate that would make Jerome James proud. With the possibility of them averaging 30 to 40 minutes a night, you have to be concerned with the production the Knicks will get out of the five spot.

New York’s center dilemma brings up another area of concern: rebounding. Even if Amar’e stays at power forward, the Knicks are going to have a serious problem on the boards this year. Turiaf has been a poor rebounder his whole career, and Mozgov, for all his size, didn’t rebound well in preseason. The only player on the roster who has historically rebounded at a high level is Anthony Randolph. Unfortunately he isn’t likely to see enough minutes this year to make a dent in New York’s main deficiency. The Knicks haven’t been strong on the glass during D’Antoni’s tenure, and it seems that again this year they’ll be punting one of the four factors away, no matter who is playing center.

Which Knick center will be of NBA-starting caliber quality this season?

  • Timofev Mozgov (72%, 186 Votes)
  • Neither (22%, 58 Votes)
  • Both (3%, 8 Votes)
  • Ronny Turiaf (3%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 259

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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).

53 thoughts to “Knicks 2011 Season Preview – Centers”

  1. I think that the team just needs what we’ve needed the past few years. A big body to do the dirty work and lean on ppl an push them around a lil so Stat won’t hafta do it. Unfortunately Eddy Curry is our biggest body, but he’s also our most lazy and inept big at this point. If Walsh can find a 3rd center who will play that role, it will be a major coup becuz I really doubt that a platoon of Mosgov and Turaf will last all game. Turiaf is kinda fragile and an offensive liability. Mosgov is a foul machine. I love what those 2 guys bring to the team, however. If Walsh can find a 3rd center then that would save Stat from playin alot at the 5. I’d love to see Curry get his act together and Mosgov reduce the fouls. If that happens Walsh could get more value for Curry, and we’d problee have the perfect center to play in Mike D’s system in Mosgov. The kid’s got some real ability. No not a 20 and 10 guy, maybe a 13 and 8 with 1.5 bpg…and that’s more than enough as long as we have a healthy Stat.

  2. Mike Kurylo: Just realized I totally forgot about Curry. Not that it really matters muchOpening Day Meet-Up!  

    True…lol..Curry…well…as far as lost causes…umm let’s just say that the producers of Lost would have LOVED to have his act

  3. not sure if this is the right place for this (and Mike, feel free to delete this if inappropriate) — but… I bought season tickets for this year planning on splitting it into 4ths, but one of our 4 groups backed out, leaving the 3 of us in the lurch with a bunch of games that we can’t go to. Is anyone interested in a 1/4 share of season tickets (2 tickets, center section 312, row N, seats 1-2 aisle, face $74/ticket)? would come with proportional playoff rights. We were splitting the games up evenly (numbering each game 1-4 in sequence). Or if not, I’d be willing to sell the tickets singly…

  4. The Knicks are a better team than last year.
    I think Felton, flawed as he is, is an upgrade over Duhon.
    I think TD will be an improved player as a part time 1 and part time 2.
    I think Amare is an upgrade over Lee. I also think if the Knicks can keep games close in the end, Amare is the kind of talent that can win those games. I’m not sure Lee was that kind of player consistently. I’m sure there will be those that differ on that point.
    I think Fields is a much better player than people thought because the PAC 10 was devalued. He put up great numbers in college, is a polished player and will be a tough defend for other teams at the 2.
    I think WC off the bench will be an interesting energy guy who can score an defend with good size and versatility. I like him as a sixth man.
    Mosgov is a question, but it looksto me like he will be a solid defender who has some offensive skills. If the Knicks can get him to clean up his defense and hit the boards, he will be strong deterrent in the paint.
    I think Gallo will have a huge impact up or down for the franchise.
    If he matures the Knicks are a solid playoff team.

    But as good as the offense looks, based on the numbers Ted posted @45, the defense is where this team improves a lot.
    The Knicks will defend the paint and the perimeter better than last year. The key for them, and what may define this season, is whether they can defend their boards, an issue that caused some concern in the preseason. Part of that may be the fact that the first team did not play long minutes.

    But defense is going to be the defining issue this year. They have a guy that can get 30 points and 10 rebounds, when they need it. They have supporting players who also can score, and score in bunches.
    But if their defense shows an ability to limit penetration (something that killed them last year) and they can defend the long bombs, it will serve as a real catalyst for the kind of offense D’Antoni runs, and the scorers the Knicks have.
    If they can keep opponent scoring to 100 or less, this could be a nice season indeed.

    I don’t mind a little optimism to start the year. Frank O.

  5. I’ve been pretty encouraged by Timo though he’s very much a work in progress. His instincts on offense are very good- I am worried by some of the trouble he’s had finishing inside and the few times he’s been pressured on the perimeter he hasn’t responded well but I think he’s already pretty close to average for a starting center offensively and definitely has the potential to get better. Can he stay out of foul trouble enough to log 25+ minutes a night? I don’t know. I do think he’ll wind up being okay if not great on the boards. Turiaf’s not great offensively but he’s certainly better than he’s shown in the preseason- 11.1 points per 36 at .560 TS% for his career and while a poor rebounder he is an above average passer and very good shotblocker. In short- he’s a very solid back-up but probably not someone you want playing 30+ minutes a night. I think if he and Timo can combine for something like 15, 8+, and a couple of blocks in 36 minutes of work (letting Amare and AR pick up the rest of the minutes at the 5) I’d be very happy.

  6. @8 — I love it. Not to call the guy an All-Star before he logs his first NBA minute, but Fields reminds of David Lee as a person (even though their games are very different) and thus, I think the sky is the limit for him; Fields was a productive player in a big-time college program, was picked in the 30-40 range in the NBA draft, is intelligent, and will seemingly work hard to iron out the wrinkles in his game… all of which reminds me of the departed Lee.

  7. I would say that defense is almost entirely missing from the analysis, even though you can argue the 5 is the most important position defensively. Timo and Turiaf look not just passable (an improvement in and of itself), but actively good. Poor rebounding takes away from this a bit, but I’ll probably sacrifice 2 or 3 reb/36 (vs. average-ish C) for strong man and help defense from my 5. The Andrew Bogut’s and Al Horford’s and Bynum’s who routinely kill the Knicks for career games are going to have a harder time, as are quick guards and other penetrators who also have feasted on the Knicks for years.

    I’ve been saying this for a while, but Gallo averaged almost 8 reb/36 in the preseason. If you get that from your 3/stretch-4, that takes pressure off your bigmen. Amare is pretty average and the Knicks guards should pick up a bit of slack too. I think as much of the rebounding gap will be strategy related as personnel related.

    Frank O,

    I share your optimism.

    The offense was middle of the pack and defense was bottom last season, so defense should be easier to improve (though either/both/neither could be the one to take a step forward).

    I wouldn’t concentrate on PPG allowed. It doesn’t tell you anything. If the Knicks are able to run a lot, they’re going to give up a lot of PPG. They could still be a good defense. More important is pts/possession.

  8. So Fields is the starting SG for now and AR might miss the game tomorrow after spraining his ankle. Mozgov also injured today during practice bruising his hip but he should be able to play and start tomorrow.

  9. Ted:
    You’re right, of course. The 100 points thing was a pre-Knickerblogger synaptic lapse. :)

    What I like about this team is there isn’t a big drop off when you get to 6,7,8, and 9 off the bench.

    Fields getting the nod is a big wake up call for WC. He’s had every opportunity to be a starter.

  10. I wouldn’t concentrate on PPG allowed. It doesn’t tell you anything. If the Knicks are able to run a lot, they’re going to give up a lot of PPG. They could still be a good defense. More important is pts/possession. Ted Nelson

    LOL. The only people that harp on PPG and PPG allowed seem to be the ones that get paid to cover the sport. Maybe that should be COL.

    as for the team for the first time since Zeke started his wheeler dealer BS I am excited or at least not down on the squad, which maybe why I was so curmudgeonly re: the Felton analysis.

  11. Knicks picked up Da’Sean Butler after Heat cut him.
    The AR ankle is the one he injured before. That could be bad.

  12. I like the new starting five but it’s a pretty young group. I would’ve liked one more seasoned vet in the lineup but the fact is, good vets are pretty scarce. Felton at 26 is our second oldest starter. There’s a lot of weight on Amar’e to lead this crew. I hope he’s up for the challenge.
    It will also be a big adjustment for Fields. It’s hard for any rookie to start right out of the pipe, even John Wall. I’m sure Fields will see limited minutes since we have so much depth at the position – probably around 25 min a night.
    Hopefully Chandler can be a steady hand off the bench. Whether Gallo or Fields are struggling or if Stat just needs a breather, it would be nice if he could provide the consistency he showed during this preseason games.
    It’s crazy how versatile our top 3 bench guys are: Douglas, WC and Anthony. And then Walker who appears to basically be the good version of Eddie House. It will be a learning process for them, but we’ve got some nice tools finally. Damn, I really hope we get this first win in Toronto…

  13. Frank O.: Knicks picked up Da’Sean Butler after Heat cut him.
    The AR ankle is the one he injured before. That could be bad.  

    Wait, did the Knicks sign De’Sean Butler? If so, did they release Williams? I can’t find a link to that anywhere

  14. I feel like, from watching pre-season, summer league, and whatever media we’ve been shown so far that the Knicks bigs actually have a lot of potential defensively, that there is actually an emphasis on defense this year by D’Antoni. It starts with the coach, and no matter what players you have, that intensity comes from the coach. I’m impressed with a lot of the ‘skills’ all of the Knicks players possess this year. The entire roster has a talent upgrade, basically. There’s more overall skill from just about every single player. All of them bring multiple dimensions.

    The players are:
    More athletic
    Have higher ceilings
    The shooters have another year – Chandler shot well in pre-season, and that’s encouraging.
    There’s a solid superstar
    More athletic
    More athletic
    More athletic

    This list above is exactly how I feel about the Knicks, and precisely what we hear from the coaching staff, the media, and the players themselves. They mention athleticism multiple times in just about every article, interview, coach chats, or “mic’ed up”s.

    That being said, there is only one characteristic about the Knicks that trouble me the most. The USE of the quality that they keep boasting. Amar’e Stoudemire is the only Knick player that I’ve seen that has an intensity. When he wants to stuff the ball, you can see from his movement, his actions, his demeanor. When he does stuff it, you see the speed and power.

    My biggest concern with the Knicks happen to be their 5 (Randolph and Mosgov, if you consider Randolph a ‘5’). None of them seems to bring any sort of intensity. Turiaf seems to get ‘mad’ but obviously lacks the tools and talent to really be intense.

    Anyone else notice that:
    Mosgov is a good shotblocker
    Randolph is a good ball handler
    Mosgov has pretty good offensive instincts on the PnR and can pass
    Randolph runs and leaps like a Gazelle
    And finally, both of them very often have an opportunity to make the arena just explode with cheers if they could just get a little bit pissed off, and throw down that thunderous dunk?

    If anything, I wish both of them could be a little bit meaner, instead of laying the ball up as if they’re unsure how to play big.

  15. So the season is about to start… here are my (pretty random and quickly thought) predictions.


    1. Orlando 64-18

    A deep team anchored in the best center in the league is bound to have the best record in the regular season. Playoffs will be a different matter.

    2. Miami Heat 57-25

    Injuries and a shallow bench will prevent Miami from having a better record. And they’ll need a little time to figure out how to play at the beginning of the season

    3. Atlanta Hawks 51-31

    This team hasn’t really changed a lot; their players are pretty durable and i predict a similar season as last year. However, if they do anything with Jamal Crawford, this result may change.

    4. Boston Celtics 50-32

    As usual, they won’t care too much about the regular season. Their team is very deep for a nice RS, but they are old and injury prone. If KG is really healthier this season, they may have a better record, but i doubt it.

    5. Milwaukee Bucks 46-36

    With their new additions, Milwaukee consolidates the place he got last year; but i don’t really see how Maggette and Gooden put them over the top. Now that Ridnour is gone, it is going to be harder to control Jennings; but hopefully for them, he will improve his shot selection and leave the scoring duties to his teammates.

    6. New York Knicks 44-38

    Kool Aid, Kool Aid, i love the Kool Aid! Amare is a beast, and i am optimistic with this young team.

    7. Chicago Bulls 43-39

    Boozer is in, but also Hinrich is gone. Joakim Noah is nice, but i don’t see an all-star center there. SG is a weak position. Boozer is already injured. All in all, i don’t see them specially improved; however, D. Rose and/or Noah might take the next step and prove me wrong.

    8. Cleveland Cavaliers 39-43

    I believe they will take pride in getting a playoff spot. They have a really good collection of role players that should be very coachable. They may need someone who creates his own shot to work properly, though. Sessions will surprise lots of people.

    9. Indiana Pacers 38-44

    I have them missing the playoffs once again. With Darren Collison they will be more balanced this year, but i see some lack of talent to reach the playoffs.

    10. Philadelphia 76rs 35-47

    Unlike Indiana, Philly has lots of talent, but their players hardly fit one with another.

    11. Washington Wizards 32-50

    I have a hard time imagining the Wizards on the playoffs, as some writers have them. John Wall is still a rookie, and there are lots of question marks everywhere. And i don’t think Arenas can keep his head straight.

    12. Charlotte Bobcats 31-51

    The team lost talent, and i can’t see Larry Brown keepen Stephen Jackson motivated for this season. This may turn ugly around the all-star break.

    13. New Jersey Jets 26-56

    They can’t be as bad as their record last year. Devin Harris and Brook Lopez will have a little more help this year with Troy Murphy, and i believe their record last year was misleading.

    14. Detroit Pistons 24-58

    Rodney Stuckey isn’t starter quality. Rip Hamilton is a year older. I am still wondering why Ben Gordon doesn’t have more minutes. T-Mac might be done. And they have a problem with the C position (unless Greg Monroe steps up from the beginning). This is going to be disappointing for them.

    15. Toronto Raptors 14-68

    I just don’t see the talent in this squad. Bargnani might be good offensively. Jose Calderon hasn’t played well since 2 years ago and Jarret Jack isn’t good enough to involve the rest of the team in the game. And outside those 3, i don’t see very little talent in the team.


    1. LA Lakers 62-32

    If they don’t have too many injuries, they will be fine. They’re a bit deeper this season.

    2. Portland Trailblazer 56-26

    If they don’t have too many many many many injuries, they should be fine. They’re talented and deep, and have the pieces to pull a trade at the deadline.

    3. Dallas Mavericks 53-29

    Caron Butler will play better this season, after half a year playing together. Tyson Chandler will be a nice pickup. They are a bit old, but if Nowitzky logs minutes as usual, they’ll have this kind of record.

    4. San Antonio Spurs 50-32

    Popovich will take care of Duncan’s minutes, and Manu will be injured at some time in the season. However, Tony will be healthier this season, and Splitter will offset TD’s minutes.

    5. Oklahoma City Thunder 49-33

    I just don’t see how can they make another step. Pretty much they did everything right last season, and didn’t have any injuries.

    6. Utah Jazz 47-35

    I think Al Jefferson for Boozer is little downgrade (although Millsap+AJ will work better than Boozer+Okur), but they also lost some role players. Kirilenko will be a key player, if he gets injured, Utah will be in trouble due to their weak bench.

    7. Memphis Grizzlies 44-38

    Their starting lineup was great last year, but had a weak bench. They have addressed that problem in the offseason, and i see them in the playoffs. Zach’s contract status might be problematic for them, they will have to decide whether to extend him or deal him at the deadline. An extension might be too pricey for them and might end up dealing him for nothing.

    8. Denver Nuggets 43-39

    Injuries and the loss of George Karl late in last season proved this team is quite fragile. If you add the distraction around Anthony (even if he stays) and i don’t see them winning as much as last year.

    9. Houston Rockets 42-40

    Last playoffs spot in the west are going to be a crapshoot, son anyone in the 7-11 range i have listed here might take them. I have the Rockets out. It depends a lot on Yao’s health, but i am a bit skeptic right now.

    10. LA Clippers 42-40

    On paper the team looks very good; but Davis is a question mark and Griffin is a rookie. If everything goes right, they will be in the playoffs.

    11. New Orleans Hornets 40-42

    Chris Paul is a great player. David West and Okafor are nice players, but the rest is pretty underwhelming. Unless CP3 can do to Ariza what Nash did to Shawn Marion i don’t see them going far (and frankly, Ariza doesn’t have Shawn Marion’s talent)

    12. Golden State Warriors 36-46

    Curry-Lee should be a reliable way to get points. Ellis will still get his shots, and their defense will suck as usual. But i think they are going to be very good offensively.

    13. Phoenix Suns 30-52

    I am a bit wary to put this team so low, but without an interior presence that takes it to the hole and draws double teams, their shooters are going to suffer.

    14. Minnesota Timberwolves 22-60

    Michael Beasly is a nice addition, but this is still a team under construction. They’re very young and with potential, but they still have to figure out how to play, who is their go-to guy and who is the leader on the floor.

    15. Sacramento Kings 21-61

    Meanwhile Tyreke Evans keeps being the PG of this team, they will suffer. I also see DeMarcus Cousins playing heavy minutes; although good for developing him, i foresee lots of rookie mistakes and TOs. All in all, they will be the last team in the west, but not because of lack of talent.

  16. Landry fields will help the rebounding. He has high energy and he gets to the ball. Starting against Toronto is actually one of the better options for a rookie at the 2. The Raptors have the young, poor shooting Derozan and Weems. Then the old poor shooting Barbosa to contend with. Barbosa may not even play much with a sore right wrist. Fields was no worse in the summer and preseason that Derozan was in his first season, so I think Fields has a chance to do well. Fields’ last two years in the Pac-10 were better than DeRozan’s lone year.

    The Knick frontline should have its way with the Raptors, but we shall see.

  17. Frank O.: Knicks picked up Da’Sean Butler after Heat cut him.
    The AR ankle is the one he injured before. That could be bad.  

    I’m also not finding any evidence of the former. Links??

  18. Not sure what to make of this story about the illegal workouts that Isiah’s guy Rodney Heard was involved in. They’re denying everything but there’s way too much there for it to be totally false. Gotta love how Isiah is the gift that just keeps on giving.

    Sounds like there is no precedent for any draft pick forfeiture though — so hopefully it’s just more of Dolan’s money.

    Re: Fields starting – I love it — looks like this team is turning more into a meritocracy, where guys like Curry sit no matter their draft status and contract, and guys who bust it like Fields and TD get major burn.

  19. ess-dog: But you-know-who is predicted to be the 2nd best rookie in the class of 2010. Pretty unbelievable, even if he’s anywhere close to that. How did so many teams miss on this kid?  

    It’s encouraging, but #3 is Jeremy Evans and #5 is Luke Harangody… I find it hard to take his metric too, too seriously. He’s also got Chris Andersen as a top 5-10 player in the NBA a lot of years… Someone should probably let Denver know.

  20. I’ll make a prediction. Tonight, on the first play of the game, LeBron’s season ends when he drives the lane and runs into an angry Shaq. Heat go 39-43.

  21. I am really getting increasingly skeptical about Anthony Randolph. So far he has been exactly as advertised: occasionally brilliant, usually frustrating and more than anything else, brittle. He’s young and has upside and yadda yadda, but you can see why this guy isn’t considered that great a trade asset.

  22. JK47: I am really getting increasingly skeptical about Anthony Randolph.So far he has been exactly as advertised: occasionally brilliant, usually frustrating and more than anything else, brittle.He’s young and has upside and yadda yadda, but you can see why this guy isn’t considered that great a trade asset.  

    i agree with you. i personally think he’s overrated on this site. the guy can’t shoot, only goes left and is pretty easy to defend if you back off of him and let him shoot. He seems to float in games also.

  23. From the Times article on Fields being named the starter.

    The Knicks opened the preseason with Wilson Chandler as the starting shooting guard. He played well, but his best position is power forward.

    Howard Beck will not give up on trying to start the “Chandler is best as a power forward” meme! It’s kinda funny.

  24. How did so many teams miss on this kid?

    He was a bad pick. He was not even on Chad Ford’s Top 100 players!! Ergo, he sucks.

  25. As for the illegal workout stuff, I don’t think it’s a big deal. At worst, Dolan will have to spend some money in fines.

  26. Man do the celts look good so far. Let’s see what happens when lebron goes into freight train mode. Celts have so much front court depth they will be very tough. Shaquille, jermaine, big baby, Garnett, perkins when he comes back.

  27. Yep, nice ball movement by Boston. If they’re healthy in the playoffs they are going to be scary.

    Miami aren’t playing good, too much 1-on-1 against one of the best teams in help defense. It seems they’ll need time to play as a team. However, some of those shots should have gone inside, they are being a bit unlucky.

  28. Tough loss for Miami. They got close in the end; but what really matters is that they were outplayed for long stretches.

    In the end, Miami played better when LeBron did his thing and just assisting some 3pt shooters. Bosh went unnoticed, and it wasn’t a good game for Wade (maybe he isnt fully recovered from injury)

    I guess this will temper the expectations around Miami a little bit; they’ll improve as the season goes by.

  29. the heat need better shooters. House and Jones were left open constantly and couldn’t know down shots. it’s also apparent that Amar’e was the best pf in the free agent market this past summer

  30. Brian Cronin: From the Times article on Fields being named the starter.
    Howard Beck will not give up on trying to start the “Chandler is best as a power forward” meme! It’s kinda funny.  

    Berman’s caught it too. On Chandler today he wrote: “Plays many positions but masters none. A natural power forward, doesn’t have shooter’s mentality for SG position.”

    It all started last year when D’Antoni said he thought Chandler was a natural 4 without ever really explaining it, or following up on it by playing him there.

  31. “it’s also apparent that Amar’e was the best pf in the free agent market this past summer”

    I agree completely.
    After watching Bosh play today (and I know it was a bad game), I think the biggest difference between him and Amar’e is that STAT just plays a lot stronger. Bosh is not as good at finishing in heavy traffic, and settles for jumpers too much. I think he’s really going to take a back seat role this year. Needless to say, I’m glad we got Amar’e

  32. I’ve been fairly down on the heat all along. They will be good, how could they not be, they have the best player in the nba but Wade is not a great fit next to LeBron, neither is Bosh. Both are players that are best at creating their own offense. But LeBron is the best in the NBA at creating his own points why would you want anyone else orchestrating the offense. Bosh’s talents are wasted in a role that for long stretches will be a glorified dump off man. There are alot of players less talented than Bosh that would be just as effective in the role they are using him in.

    As for Wade, his talents are also wasted. Except for the 12 minutes LeBron is on the bench you do not want Wade controling the ball doing his thing, you want LeBron doing that. Off the ball Wade is still a good player but hardly the all-nba player he is with the ball in his hands. Pippen fit well with Jordan because his greatest strengths were things other than scoring, he did not need the ball to be effective. Wade and Bosh’s greatest strengths are scoring and on a team with LeBron those skills will be underutilized.

  33. The problem with Bosh to me is the way he scores. He scores basically by just going ISO all the time and holding the ball forever before scoring. He can shoot so he should be able to get a bunch of spot-up jumpers with the Heat, but he seems lost playing off the ball.

    Seems to me like A’mare would be a much better fit with LBJ/Wade because for the most part he scores quickly. He gets the ball in a good spot and attacks immediately plus he is obviously excellent at getting himself in perfect positions to score off the ball and in the PnR. I didnt see one PnR tonight involving Wade/LBJ with Bosh.

    Also that offense is no different than the unimaginative offense Mike Brown ran in Cleveland. Its a shame D’Antoni didnt get to coach that trio. lol

  34. Yeah, through one game, at least, Bosh looked pretty much useless, especially since their likely “best” lineup involves him playing the 5, which he both hates doing and looks pretty bad doing.

    But Lebron/Wade/3-Point Shooter (eventually will be Miller)/Haslem/Bosh at the 1-5 is still likely their best crunchtime line-up.

  35. Berman’s caught it too. On Chandler today he wrote: “Plays many positions but masters none. A natural power forward, doesn’t have shooter’s mentality for SG position.

    Well, I’ll be damned. I guess I shouldn’t give Beck a hard time, as obviously he is succeeding with his meme!

  36. I thought after 5 minutes against Garnett at a Boston pre-season game Chandler was back at SG and D’Antoni pooh-poohed the idea of Chandler playing much 4 or did I imagine this.

  37. It’ll be very interesting to see how Spoelstra tries to get these guys to play together. From the beginning most of us thought the “whole” of Miami Thrice was going to be less than the sum of Lebron + Wade + Bosh, and game 1 didn’t disprove that at all. As much as I hate anything Boston, I have to admit that Ainge did a masterful job putting that team together. Rondo the distributor/defender, Allen the sharpshooter, Pierce the slasher, Garnett the enforcer/low post scorer, and a host of strong low-usage (at least at this point in their careers) centers to knock people over.

    Bosh looked REALLY lost yesterday.

    Meanwhile, Miami shot 40% from 3 yesterday — it’s not like they missed a whole bunch of open shots that Mike Miller would have hit. I think Boston’s defense is just really really good.

  38. Ben R: Wade and Bosh’s greatest strengths are scoring and on a team with LeBron those skills will be underutilized.  

    I think the Heat will figure it out. It was one game. How many nights will Wade and Bosh score 21 pts on 27 shots combined? Even if they’re not the perfect, most incredible ever fits next to LeBron they’re not going to have a TS%s of 34 on the season… Even if their combined TS% was 50 the Heat would have won that game.

    In Cleveland–where LeBron was surrounded by spot-up types who “complemented” him–when a defense contained LeBron or he was a bit off, the offense was completely stagnant. This season, if you take away LeBron one or both of the others will step up most nights. You’re talking about a lot of efficient points between the 3 of them most nights.

    Wade is an All-Defense guy and an excellent passer. Which were also Pippen’s strengths. He’s always dominated the ball, but I don’t know if that means he *has* to dominate the ball to be effective. If Pippen was playing on a borderline playoff team his usage likely would have gone up, too. His 2 highest usage seasons were with MJ retired. Wade’s not going to become Reggie Miller all of a sudden, but the three of them should learn to live together over time: move the ball, move themselves, get easy buckets. Boston is also a Finals team and strong veteran defense.

    Bosh showed good rebounding ability last season and is a good passer. But if they’re well integrated into a coherent, fluid offense having 3 guys who can beat you off the dribble is not a bad thing. They should learn to score quicker without holding/dominating the ball, but even if they don’t they’re going to win a lot of games if they all match their career efficiencies.

    When Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers are playing, that’s going to help too. Carlos Arroyo is barely in the NBA (I think Chalmers will earn Arroyo’s minutes over time… I mean why do you have a traditional ball-control PG with both LeBron and Wade on the court, and especially a bad one… If Chalmers gets back to where he was as a rookie he gets a few minutes, Miller gets a bunch when he’s back, maybe James Jones still gets a few). Eddie House isn’t a 27 mpg guy… I mean he wasn’t even that on the Knicks last season.

    Plus, while I think they can compete for the title this season and have as good a chance as any team, next season they’ll probably have added one of the top MLE guys in the NBA… probably a big. They still have their 2011 1st rounder, which gives them another shot at adding talent. Scoring/shooting type combo-guards are usually pretty plentiful around the late 1st/early 2nd area…

    BigBlueAL: Also that offense is no different than the unimaginative offense Mike Brown ran in Cleveland. Its a shame D’Antoni didnt get to coach that trio. lol  

    I do question whether Spoelstra is the right guy. Maybe he is, but I think the Big 3 have to be actively encouraged not to dance around holding the ball. An offensive guy rather than defensive might be a better fit. Right now this team’s strength is on offense, though they can be a decent D as well.

    I don’t know how likely it is given his age and personal situation in LA, but this this job reeks Phil Jackson…

  39. Frank: I have to admit that Ainge did a masterful job putting that team together. Rondo the distributor/defender, Allen the sharpshooter, Pierce the slasher, Garnett the enforcer/low post scorer, and a host of strong low-usage (at least at this point in their careers) centers to knock people over.

    I think you might be giving Ainge too much credit… I mean the team does fit together really, really well but I think it’s more likely that he just made what he viewed as the best moves at the time and it worked out that way. He inherited Pierce, and players the caliber of KG and Allen just happened to be available on the trade market when he had a ton of marketable assets (and he does get credit for assembling those assets, even if pretty much every single one is a bust since… at least he gets credit for convincing people they were good). Rondo was a guy some thought had lottery talent (and some obviously didn’t… I was hoping the Knicks would take Marcus Williams more than Rondo, though I don’t think I would have minded Rondo) still available in the 20s and Perkin started his senior season as a likely #2 overall pick behind LeBron before sliding. Again when you have players the caliber of JO and Shaq available for the money they’re making and most GMs want in.

    For the Heat, on the other hand, their franchise player’s 2 buds wanted to come play with him. One happens to be the best player in the world and maybe ever, the other just a perennial All-Star bigman. If those 3 were really set on playing together, the Heat’s move might have been all or none. Rebuild while watching the Big 3 dominate for the Knicks or someone.

    Frank: Meanwhile, Miami shot 40% from 3 yesterday — it’s not like they missed a whole bunch of open shots that Mike Miller would have hit. I think Boston’s defense is just really really good.  

    Meanwhile All-NBA players Wade and Bosh had a combined TS% of 34… A lot of that does go to the Celtics D, but even against the Celts I doubt that happens much. 50% TS% from those 2 and the Heat win that game.

  40. Anyone else notice that the Heat looks far more smooth and fluid when LeBron or Wade are on the bench? Bosh is basically horrible against good teams.

    Remember when Bosh declared he is ready to be “The Man” on the team? Yea, pretty much the only way he can get any stats.

    Anyone else think the Miami Cavaliers? The difference is you have a backup LeBron when he needs to have a breather, similar to that of the Olympic team. Remember when Wade had to come off the bench?

    Boston played a pretty terrible game. Garnett had an uncharacteristic 7 TOs himself. Miami has at the rim playmakers, but the problem is their stars are at the rim finishers. Just watching the game last night had a playground feel to it.

    My mother running would put Bosh to shame in a man contest.

    Man I have too much hate for the three lone rangers.

  41. By the way, I meant Boston had a pretty terrible game compared to what they usually have. And really, Dr. Jack telling me that the Heats defense was the cause is a joke.

    Also, I meant the Heat looked more smooth when LeBron was on the floor, OR Wade was on the floor. I think they would have been better as a combination of 2 out of the 3 of their guys and a shooter like the way Ray Allen is.

  42. Sorry guys. I thought I saw someone say Butler had been picked up. In my haste I didn’t notice it was offered as a question as in: should the Knicks pick up De’Sean Butler.
    My bad.

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