Knicks Get Blown Away

From the evening into the night, New Yorkers were greeted with some unpleasant weather. Along with heavy rain, the wind was relentless, so much that my office mate woke up this morning needing to repair one of his windows. Although the Knicks were 1500 miles away, it’s like they felt the wrath of the storm. Dallas blew them away in Texas, 127-109 yesterday.

The game was a laugher from early on. In the first quarter the Mavs went on a 12-0 run, and followed that up in the second quarter with a 14-5 run. New York’s defense let them down, as Dallas shot a healthy 56.9% eFG%. I forget the exact quote, but one NBA coach said that you can look at the schedule and cross off X games, because the team just wont get up for those. Last night’s nationally televised game was one of them.

* Landry Fields had a decent game, save for one awful possession where he drove baseline and attempted a shot (seemingly) over the backboard. He had 19 points on just 9 shots. For the month of March he’s averaging 14.1 pts/36 with a robust 70.1% ts%.

* ‘Melo had an inefficient night, managing 18 points on 5 of 15 shooting. He chipped in with 5 dimes, but his ts% was only 49.8%.

* Amar’e picked up his 16th technical, but I’m at a loss to say exactly what it was for. My guess is that it gets rescinded, otherwise he’ll be suspended a game.

* Like Fields, Toney Douglas is enjoying some good looks at the basket this month. His ts% is a robust 67.4%, and his 44.7% 3p% has raised his season average to 36.0%.

* Is Roger Mason back? In his last 5 games he’s hit 6 of 13 three pointers (46%) and is managing 18.8 minutes per game. Despite his downtown shooting, he looks over matched on the court. The effort is there, but Mason’s defense is suspect. He get beaten off the dribble too often. Behind him on the depth chart Andy Rautins has seen next to zero playing time (and he looked awful the last time he stepped on the court) and you have to wonder if he’ll ever get a chance to play under D’Antoni.

* If Anthony Carter isn’t doing fantastic things on defense, he’s hurting the team. Last night’s box score: 2 pts, 1-4 fga, 2 to, 0 ast. For New York, he’s averaging more turnovers (1.8 to/g) than assists (1.5 ast/g). Combine that with his 47.4% ts%, and you see why he needs to be effective on the defensive end to break even.

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Mike Kurylo

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

110 thoughts to “Knicks Get Blown Away”

  1. * ‘Melo had an inefficient night, managing 18 points on 5 of 15 shooting. He chipped in with 5 dimes, but his ts% was only 49.8%.

    Yeah it was a really tough game. Sad that it had to come right after the Memphis game which may have been one of his best as a Knick–ball hogging on the second to last possession, and bad defense on Randolph aside.

    These sort of games happen to teams every year, even the best teams. The Knicks did it to the Spurs a while back. So I’m not making too big a deal of this.

  2. The Knicks obviously had no legs last night. They tried, overplayed some things on defense and got pounded in the paint.
    Their board work was pretty weak, although some of the deep offensive rebounds off of long shots would have been hard for any defending team to get.
    Coupled with the fact that Dallas was angry for being called soft by their coach, the lack of energy overall was a recipe for disaster.

    I think also it is only a matter of time before our guards are exposed. You can handle it for a few games, but in time, Carter and Mason are going to show the cracks that keep them on the bench. Getting Billups back will help a lot.
    Not having legs kills shooters the most, and Carmelo just didn’t have the range last night, nor did most of the other knicks’ shooters. Amare was the only guy up to the task.
    There was a point when they made a surged and cut a 20+ point lead to 11, but you could see the effort was paper thin. These guys played seven games in 10 days, and most any team will wilt against a giant like Dallas at home under those circumstances.
    I think the three wins before this loss were more indicative of this team’s capacity. This game is crumpled up and thrown away as an anomaly.

  3. “The game was a laugher from early on.”

    Yup. The Knicks were up 6 – 0, holding the Mavs scoreless for 3 minutes. (That was when I turned the game off, figuring it was over…:)

  4. I look forward to the 6th seed for the next four years. Eat it, haterz.

  5. morenonsense: Remind me again why we bought out Corey Brewer?  

    because he “has terrible win shares/48” apparently.

    apparently also, the game is played on a computer screen.

  6. Tired legs notwithstanding, last night’s contest taught us exactly nothing that we didn’t already know.

    This Knick team just matches up very poorly against teams with superior interior length. This bunch could play a ten game series with the Lakers and would be lucky to win one of them. I suspect the same would be true of Dallas as well.

    That’s why I see Miami as the ideal first round matchup as opposed to, say, the Bulls. I’d much rather face the bloated corpses of Joel Anthony and Erick Dampier than the likes of Noah and Asik. Its’ also why I dream of Dwight Howard as my ideal-but-probably-never-gonna-happen free agent while others are longing for Paul or Williams.

  7. jon abbey:
    good point, it’s not like Dallas kicked our asses before the trade also. oh, wait…  

    Right, because the circumstances before and after the trade are exactly the same. Nothing like a new CBA to sober you up about this Chris Paul-cuz-of-Melo’s-bloated-contract fantasy.

  8. jon abbey:
    good point, it’s not like Dallas kicked our asses before the trade also. oh, wait…  

    The Mavs are 2-0 against both Boston and Miami, they’re obviously a great team.

    But yeah, let’s make every tread about Carmelo Anthony, how the future sucks for this franchise and the Nuggets will win 5 straight titles now that they don’t have Carmelo dragging them down.

  9. The proprietors of this site should just go ahead and change the name of this blog to Itoldyouso.net. That name would be a more accurate reflection of what has been the majority of content here in the Melo era.

    Most of the post-game commentary of late seems to be centered around Melo, his performance (or lack thereof), as well as how the players traded away for him might be faring in the Mile High City.

    A good showing by Melo and/or a subpar outing by the Knuggets invariably lead to a hearty round of chest-thumping from the Melo acolytes.

    A poor performance by Melo and/or a strong game by the Knuggets typically result in a chorus of “Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah… we wuz right” from the Melo haters.

    Sure there’s the odd post now and again about the Knicks’ other players, the overall big picture – that sort of thing – but they tend to get drowned out by the shouting matches that frequently flare up between the pro and anti Melo camps.

    I suppose I’m just an old fart who has spent most of his life watching sports to, y’know, see how things ultimately play out on the field/court. I’m just not used to this newfangled way of rooting in the Internet age in which one stakes out a strong position, makes it an indelible part of one’s online “brand,” and then carefully watches each game in search of any evidence that can be used to bolster that position/brand.

    //end old guy rant

  10. I’m with #2 and #7 above. Last night’s loss was all but inevitable. I mean really — if they had won that game on the road last night, I would have started to think we could win an NBA ring this year. Funny how some expectations have risen over the past couple of weeks.

    They’ve played well on this trip overall, beating two playoff teams. You have to love the showing by TDDWTDD while Billups has been out, and I am encouraged by ‘Melo’s willingness to share the ball lately although I was against the trade all along.

    Yes, we need a legit post defender to really be a title contender — but we already knew this prior to last night’s game. All in all the last two weeks have made me more optimistic about the Knicks, not less so.

  11. @cock jowles. lol. really? come on really? sir i think you need to go on the denver blog site and post. They would obviously love you there. haha.

  12. how factual is the report that corey brewer asked to be bought out and has the same agent as Amare? I hadn’t heard that…

    After watching last night’s game, if that isn’t true I would say we made a big mistake cutting Brewer. I’m beginning to seriously question some of D’Antoni’s personnel choices (Randolph/Brewer/Azubuike being the main ones, though I don’t know what happened on Kelenna, maybe someone could enlighten me)

  13. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Nothing like a new CBA to sober you up about this Chris Paul-cuz-of-Melo’s-bloated-contract fantasy.  

    HCJ:

    I’m not a hater, so let’s just get that out there before anything else.
    But how is anyone supposed to take you as anything but a naysayer when you say jack as the Knicks run off a three game winning streak without Billups, Turiaf and Walker, three key rotation players, but then start to sing of doom when they lose the back end of a road back and back, and the seventh game in 10 days…and their starting point is still not playing?
    I contend that if this game occurred the night before or four days ago, or Billups were reasonably healthy, the outcome would have been considerably different.
    I mean, if the efficiency of Melo over the last two days was not relevant enough for you to come out and express surprise or at least pleasure that he was playing efficiently and sharing the ball, then how is it credible for you to howl about seeds and long term prospects and Melo when the Knicks drop a predictable loss to one of the very best teams in all of basketball?

    Personally, I could give two craps about what you write lately because it’s so predictable and so…emotional. I’m sure you couldn’t care less what I think. But this behavior seems beneath you. I mean, you’re not some schmuck, as far as I can tell.
    So, I get it that you’re upset about the beloved .500 team Walsh inc. traded away for Anthony and Billups and some pieces.
    I get it that Denver hasn’t tanked since Melo left, but I didn’t expect them to tank. I personally thought they got very good value for Melo and Billups, and, hence, expected Denver to play well.
    What I don’t get is this repetitive, predictable, kind of shallow sniping that seems like child-like argumentativeness, IMHO.

  14. Count de Pennies: The proprietors of this site should just go ahead and change the name of this blog to Itoldyouso.net. That name would be a more accurate reflection of what has been the majority of content here in the Melo era.Most of the post-game commentary of late seems to be centered around Melo, his performance (or lack thereof), as well as how the players traded away for him might be faring in the Mile High City.A good showing by Melo and/or a subpar outing by the Knuggets invariably lead to a hearty round of chest-thumping from the Melo acolytes.
    A poor performance by Melo and/or a strong game by the Knuggets typically result in a chorus of “Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah… we wuz right” from the Melo haters.
    Sure there’s the odd post now and again about the Knicks’ other players, the overall big picture – that sort of thing – but they tend to get drowned out by the shouting matches that frequently flare up between the pro and anti Melo camps.
    I suppose I’m just an old fart who has spent most of his life watching sports to, y’know, see how things ultimately play out on the field/court. I’m just not used to this newfangled way of rooting in the Internet age in which one stakes out a strong position, makes it an indelible part of one’s online “brand,” and then carefully watches each game in search of any evidence that can be used to bolster that position/brand.
    //end old guy rant  

    Excellent

  15. count de pennies=Cock jowles psychiatrist

    great point, way to delve in the mind of a chronic hater.

  16. @25 Thanks. That’s too bad, I think he would have fit in well with us. You basically could alternate Fields and Brewer at the 2 spot (I know Brewer’s big for a 2 but…) and you’d always have a hustle/defender type guard on the floor, something I think is a staple of every contending team. I like D’Antoni’s style but I just don’t believe in putting 5 scorers on the floor, it just does not work. Brewer would have basically been a skinny version of Shawn Marion during his Suns days, without the ugly shot that somehow goes in all the time.

    I think if you’re going to put ‘Melo and Amar’e on the floor at the 3 and 4, you have to commit to making the 2 and 5 spots defensive-focused, regardless of their scoring abilities. It’s all about balance for me.

  17. #13: Well stated

    Frank O.:

    I get it that Denver hasn’t tanked since Melo left, but I didn’t expect them to tank. I personally thought they got very good value for Melo and Billups, and, hence, expected Denver to play well.  

    To go along with this statement, I think the one sentiment that few if any has expressed is that, just maybe, this ends up being a good trade for BOTH teams. How refreshing would that be, eh? Sure, we live in a time of pennies-on-the-dollar trades and “who won/who lost” trade rhetoric, but isn’t a trade, in principle, *supposed* to benefit both parties equally?

  18. I’m not getting these feelings of regret over losing Corey Brewer.

    Sure, dude had a nice game against us… but the way things played out, I’d bet if I wrapped my broke-down, 54-year old carcass in a Mavs uni I could have taken it to the rack (and grabbed one or two offensive boards as well) against the Knick D last night. It was just one of those games.

    More to the point, what qualities does Brewer posses that this team did not already have? Did we really need another committed perimeter defender with a limited offensive game when we already have someone like Balkman? And, while it may be too soon to say, it appears the Knicks may have gotten another, cheaper, Brewer-clone in Derrick Brown ten minutes after Corey was bought out. Those guys aren’t THAT hard to find.

    It’s safe to say, based on how little burn Balkman has gotten in his Knick career V2.0, that the offensively challenged Brewer would have had a similarly difficult time cracking the rotation. Players who can reliably (or semi-reliably) stick a three are far more important in D’Antoni’s system. Kudos to Brewer and his agent to sniffing out a situation in which he could actually get playing time. At the end of the day, the defensively-minded Carlisle’s system is a much better fit for Brewer’s gifts than that of the offensively focused D’Antoni.

  19. Did you just call out your “haters?”

    Youtube is that way until you get over yourself.

    I sincerely wish that was the only use of “haters” by posters on this site recently. I, too, would be pleased if that word disappeared.

  20. Here’s my thing, I don’t think Balkman can guard guards. He’s more in the mold (physically) of a Shawne Williams, which in my opinion is likely why he hasn’t and will not get any time for D’Antoni.

    Further, my big point is I think D’Antoni is being stubborn with his system. Until the Melo trade, he had molded his team around the system, and it worked pretty well. After the ‘Melo trade, he has to realize that the players no longer fit the system, at least as well as they did before. And considering ‘Melo is here to stay, a little give as to how much focus he places on defense or defensive-minded players would serve the team well. I think he ought to show a little more willingness to adapt to his players, and utilizing Brewer would have been a good start.

    Also, you have to remember we held up the ‘Melo trade slightly just to get Brewer, and then immediately cut him. What was the point of that? I’d prefer to have him on the court than Roger Mason, too. When Billups comes back the lineup will look more normal, but for now I’m confused by D’Antoni’s personnel decisions.

  21. Right now there are just too many guys in the rotation who stink. Jeffries and Turiaf are a pretty weak combo at the 5, Roger Mason is a liability on defense even when his shot is falling and Anthony Carter’s 15 minutes of fame are about up. That’s 65 minutes of floor time last night to guys who are basically 12th-man types.

    We have Amar’e, Melo, Billups, Fields, Douglas and Extra E; those 6 guys are good pieces. The rest of the roster just isn’t very good. I think the Jared Jeffries experiment is failing; I don’t care how good his position defense is– he gives it all back by never grabbing a rebound and forcing us to play 4-on-5 on offense for over half of the game. I’d rather roll with Shelden Williams but D’Antoni just lurves Jeffries for some unfathomable reason.

    We’ll have those 6 pieces next year, the keys will be adding another quality piece through the draft and addressing the gaping black hole at the 5 with some low-budget solutions. Take our 6 quality rotation players and add, for example, Kenneth Faried through the draft and Jeff Foster through free agency and then maybe we’ve got something cooking. Right now, there are too many scrubs getting minutes. A deep team like Dallas can just make us look silly.

  22. What was the point of that?

    They thought that they could flip Brewer for a need (because so many other teams seemed to be interested in Brewer), but when no one offered anything (note that Brewer cleared waivers, so it was not like any team desperately wanted him) the Knicks felt they had no use for him, and since he was going to be gone after this year anyways, they did him a favor and cut him so he could get a deal from another team now (presumably his agent let the Knicks know that it was a Western team he was going to sign with – I doubt the Knicks would have been as helpful if it were the Celtics).

  23. Bill Walker is an NBA rotation player, too. Heck, so is Turiaf. It’s not like Turiaf wasn’t getting minutes everywhere else he played. Turiaf averaged nearly 20 minutes a game for a team that made it to the NBA Finals!

  24. Mike Kentz, not sure what you’re talking about. D’Antoni has been playing Jeffries, Turiaf, Carter, Mason, all of those guys are quite offensively challenged.

    again, it’s the funniest thing in the world that Carmelo Anthony was the one who finally got D’Antoni to change his rigid ideas about how the game should be played and finally focus on D.

  25. Brian Cronin: I sincerely wish that was the only use of “haters” by posters on this site recently. I, too, would be pleased if that word disappeared.  (Quote)

    The words ‘haters’ and ‘trolls’ have been thrown around a little too frequently as of late. That is one of the great things about this site in that differing viewpoints are expressed, and ideas are debated (usually with advanced stats as support) without sophomoric name calling.

    That said, I think the KNicks as currently constructed are unbalanced, and are going to continue performing against teams like the Mavs in similar fashion. These problems aren’t new to the Knicks, in fact, they were the same before the trade for Melo. The Knicks needed a true starting center, and a backup point guard. While TDDWTDD has performed admirably over the past few games without Billips, the Knicks still have a huge hole in the post. Because of that, their game is predictable and one dimensional. It seems like most of our rebounding is coming from our SG/SFs – which I perceive as a big problem.

  26. I personally think Turiaf sucks. He doesn’t rebound, doesn’t give you anything on offense and his position defense is way overrated. He’s slow, can’t jump… I like the beard and all, but I really don’t dig the guy’s game.

  27. @35, D’Antoni is playing those guys because he has no choice. As soon as we get a real big man, turiaf and/or jeffries are gone. and as soon as billups comes back, carter will get about 5-10min a game at most. also, i’m not sure if you meant to include mason, cause he is considered a solid 3-point shooter and ppl say his only good quality is the offense he brings when on the court.

  28. On the Brewer situation; I respect that the Knicks cut him b/c it was the classy/smart thing to do (smart to portray yourself as a team that players will respect and want to play for after years of isiah/dolan), but I still think that Coach should have found room for him in the rotation. He’s better than mason, he’s better than balkman, he’s better than walker. I’m not saying he will ever be a good shooter, but look who he was playing with in Minn… its not like he was getting a ton of open looks b/c there was nobody else on that team to concentrate on. He’s quick enough to guard PGs, long enough to stick with SFs. Great glue guy, who maybe, just maybe, gets a more reliable shot if NY with proven scorers on the team. Lets see if that happens in Dallas. Either way, he should have gotten some burn on the court. If all of these really smart organizations wanted to pick him up, I think that’s a good indication that we should have kept him.

  29. Comment #13 belongs in the hall of fame of basketball blog-commenting.

    On another note, Amare Stoudemire is a horrible defender. Of course, we all already know that, but I’m not sure we ever acknowledge how epic-ly bad he is at defense. He posted a -23 last night, by far the worst on the team, and most of that wreckage was on the defensive end. The one fourth quarter run we had that cut it to 11 came with Amare on the bench. When he got back in, the lead stretched back out. I’ll cut him some slack because he was playing hurt and obviously he’s tired from the brutal schedule. But its not like it started last night.

    There’s no good metrics for defense, but Amare’s on court/off court this year is +6 on the defensive end. There’s just soooo much room for improvement for him defensively – if he could go from atrocious to merely bad, he would vault into the top 10 in the league in overall +/-, since he’s off the charts offensively.

  30. also i understand TDDWTDD is toney douglas, but what does it stand for? sorry, i’m new to this board…

  31. also i understand TDDWTDD is toney douglas, but what does it stand for? sorry, i’m new to this board…

    “Toney Douglas Do What Toney Douglas Do.”

    It’s something he said his rookie year during his first Summer League post-game interview. It was so ridiculous that it caught on as his catch phrase.

    Do note that the exact phrase was “I just do what Toney Douglas do.”

  32. Mike Kentz: also i understand TDDWTDD is toney douglas, but what does it stand for? sorry, i’m new to this board…  

    “Toney Douglas Do What Toney Douglas Do.” He said it during Summer League (or preseason) before his rookie year. You know, like, “Toney Douglas is gonna do what Toney Douglas do.” Brilliance of Rickey-like proportions.

  33. TDDWTDD = “Toney Douglas do what Toney Douglas do.”

    I believe it’s based on a actual statement famously uttered by the man himself.

  34. FWIW, the list of players who’ve played more than 1,000 minutes who have a defensive +/- > +6:

    Stephen Jackson
    DJ Augustin
    Derrick Rose
    Keith Bogans
    Monta Ellis
    David Lee
    Darren Collison
    Deron Williams
    Travis Outlaw
    Amare Stoudemire
    Kevin Durant
    Russell Westbrook
    Andrea Bargnani
    Al Jefferson

    Some surprising names, but mostly guys who are notoriously bad defenders. I normally think of Captain Jack, Durant, and DWill as excellent defenders.

  35. outoftowner: There’s just soooo much room for improvement for him defensively – if he could go from atrocious to merely bad, he would vault into the top 10 in the league in overall +/-, since he’s off the charts offensively.  

    It’s even more amazing when you consider what a huge upgrade Amar’e is defensively over his predecessor, David Lee.

    For awhile this season, I was more than happy with Stat’s atrocious play of the defensive end because it seemed a refreshing change from Lee’s non-existent D. But now that memories of Lee have faded a bit, I find myself getting increasingly annoyed with that aspect of Amar’e’s game.

  36. The real question is what the hell is Keith Bogans doing starting then? Do you mean less than +6 b/c unless I misunderstand the higher the + number the better and a negative would be bad?

  37. Count: At the beginning of the year I thought Amare was a defensive upgrade over D Lee too. But now I’m not so sure. Maybe the memory of Lee is fading.

    Nick: I meant bigger than +6, by which I mean worse. I don’t get why the Bulls don’t just start Korver, maybe he’s even worse defensively.

  38. The Infamous Cdiggy: To go along with this statement, I think the one sentiment that few if any has expressed is that, just maybe, this ends up being a good trade for BOTH teams.

    THe problem with this statement is that if the two teams are equally good now, then it is a huge coup for Denver, who won in the non-immediate categories: financial flexibility and youth. We need to be a top 4 seed in the east next year and have some reasonable chance at making the finals in order for this trade to work out. I think that’s not out of the realm of possibility, but it’s also far from a certainty.

    JK47: I think the Jared Jeffries experiment is failing;

    Disagree. Jeffries’ defense on Nowitzki was about the only good thing we had going. Nowitzki was 7/21 I believe. The problem was that with Jeffries guarding Dirk, Amare had to guard the centers. Haywood and Chandler combined for 8 offensive rebounds. IMO this was MDA’s biggest tactical error. There’s no reason why he couldn’t have put out a lineup of Douglas, Melo, Jeffries, Stoudemire, Shelden Williams. This would have fixed the matchup problems that destroyed us. TD on Beaubois, Carmelo on Kidd, STAT on Marion, Jeffries on Dirk, Williams on Haywood.

    I know the reason MDA didn’t do this is because he liked the mismatch with Chandler/Haywood guarding amare, but he has to realize that the reason you bring in two guys who earn their check with offense is that you have to trust that they’ll be able to exploit anyone who defends them.

    I’m not saying this would have led to a win, but it definitely would have mitigated the o-rebounds issues that plagued us, allowing us to exploit their misses by getting out on the break.

  39. outoftowner: Some surprising names, but mostly guys who are notoriously bad defenders. I normally think of Captain Jack, Durant, and DWill as excellent defenders.

    I’m not surprised at Durant’s inclusion on this list. Aside from the occasional block he gets helping out on the weak-side, I’ve always thought of him as a piss-poor defender.

    Not that I have any desire to re-open this whole can o’ worms again… but one of the things that’s long puzzled me on this site is the generally high regard for Durant vis a vis Melo. They’ve long struck me as being remarkably similar players. Looking at knickerblogger’s very own stats page, I see that Durant has a better PER (23.6 to 21.6) and TS% (58.7 to 54.7) while Melo boasts superior rebound (12.5 to 10.8) and assist (9.8 to 9.3) rates. The two players’ usage and TO rates are roughly the same. Both are defensively challenged.

    Based on those numbers, Durant does look to be the better player. But the difference between the two is not as great as how they are perceived on this site. Durant is frequently lauded as one of the games true “superstars” while Melo’s inclusion in the ranks of “superstar” is the subject of endless debate here.

  40. The praise for Durant came after his last season. That Durant, at age 22, is a better player than Carmelo Anthony now is significant. That Kevin Durant at age 21 was much better than Carmelo Anthony and then went out and dominated the World Championships, that was an even bigger deal.

    Durant has definitely taken a step back this year, but at age 22, to be this good, that’s huge. And if you’re picking a team to build around, you have to give his age 21 season a lot of weight.

  41. You know what I don’t get? The “Miami should have done something other than signed Chris Bosh” stuff. That’s silly, since they needed to get Chris Bosh to get Lebron. It wasn’t like Lebron would have come to Miami without him, so it’s just a non-starter as an argument. Now that they have Lebron locked in, sure, maybe they should consider dealing Bosh, but they had to get Bosh.

  42. @52

    Agreed; given the choice between just those two, I’d easily choose the 22 y.o. KD over the 26 y.o. Melo to build my team around.

    However, were I given the choice of ALL the players in the league, both of those two would be waaaay down on my list. I’d take a rugged interior defender i.e Howard or a first class PG i.e Paul, D-Will (or even Durant’s far more valuable teammate, Westbrook) over a defensively challenged, one-dimensional volume scorer any day of the week.

    Which I suppose is the same thinking used by Kevin Pritchard (as well as any of the 31 other GMs in the league had they been in the same position) when he selected Oden over Durant with the #1 pick in 2007. Yeah, with the benefit of hindsight, it looks like one of the all-time great draft day blunders. But it was also the correct decision at the time.

  43. KnickInSeattle: @53…good news.
    Does the technical count reset for the playoffs?  

    Yep. Everyone goes back to zero and STAT can get up to 7 tech’s before he’s suspended

  44. outoftowner: Count: At the beginning of the year I thought Amare was a defensive upgrade over D Lee too. But now I’m not so sure. Maybe the memory of Lee is fading.Nick: I meant bigger than +6, by which I mean worse. I don’t get why the Bulls don’t just start Korver, maybe he’s even worse defensively.  (Quote)

    gad am I retarted + 6 means they give up 6 more a game. So embarrassed. I guess it’s time for the weekend.

  45. Brian Cronin: I don’t believe the Knicks could get him for the playoffs anyways, Todd.  (Quote)

    I think you are correct, but it could have still helped us with regard to seeding. I’d much rather end up as the 5th or 6th seed instead of the 7th or 8th.

  46. JK47: I think the Jared Jeffries experiment is failing; I don’t care how good his position defense is– he gives it all back by never grabbing a rebound and forcing us to play 4-on-5 on offense for over half of the game..  

    Seriously???
    The Knicks are 4-2 since his arrival, and in that time – last night is a throw away game, IMHO, given the fatigue factor for the entire team – that defense has been notably better.
    And by almost everyone’s admission, Jeffries has done and excellent job anchoring the D.
    I strong disagree that anyone could conclude the Jeffries experiment is a failure.

  47. Bruno Almeida:
    because he “has terrible win shares/48? apparently.apparently also, the game is played on a computer screen.  

    This is ironic, considering the Knicks don’t really use statistical analysis.

    However this comment smacks of pure trollism. Off-topic? Check. Factually incorrect? Check. Poor use of language? Check. Instigating for no good reason? Check.

  48. Not sure how I feel about this:

    Utah general manager Kevin O’Connor revealed to Donnie Walsh this week that Deron Williams could have ended up with the Knicks had they not completed their trade for Carmelo Anthony.

    O’Connor targeted the assets of both the Nets and Knicks under the assumption that one of the two teams would lose out on Anthony and be interested in a Plan B.

    O’Connor revealed that several other teams contacted the Jazz about trading for Williams, but neither the Knicks or Nets inquired.

    “(O’Connor) called me just to say sorry about (not getting) Melo,” Billy King said by phone on Wednesday. “We talked about that, and he made another proposal not including Deron. I countered with something including Deron. He said, let me think about it, then he countered another way, then said, ‘let me talk to the owner and let’s talk in the morning.’ He calls in the morning and says, ‘we’ve got a deal.’”

    O’Connor was asked how he formulated his plan.

    “I thought Denver did their shopping online, so to speak. When they investigated everything that they investigated, I was following suit. And I thought the three things that we needed were to get a good young player – a good, big, young player if we could. To get a point guard that could keep us competitive, which I think we did obviously. Tonight was an exception.

    “And then hopefully to get some draft picks. We fulfilled all of those things going forward. When we looked around the league at quote-unquote ‘destination points,’ I didn’t see anything that was a better deal than this. I think the assets that both the Nets and Knicks had were things that intrigued us (one source close to the situation says the Jazz likely would have insisted on Knicks rookie guard Landry Fields being part of the deal).”

    Read more: http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/212062/OConnor_Had_Always_Planned_To_Contact_Loser_Of_Carmelo_Race#ixzz1GKSXZIqW

  49. Not sure how I feel about this:

    I just don’t see what the Jazz would have taken for Deron Williams. I think the Nets just put so much out there that the Jazz basically said, “Wow, we should go get that” and I don’t believe they were thinking that about the Knicks’ offer (the Knicks’ offer was much better for “win now,” but the Nets’ offer was better for long term winning).

  50. @64 I agree.

    We all know JJ is an offensive liability, and statistically he has been disappointing on both ends of the floor. But anecdotal evidence (FWIW) would tend to support the theory that his defense and ball hawking is helping a team which really doesn’t need offense from a fifth player on the court. Not saying I’m convinced he should be starting, but I’m not wholly convinced he shouldn’t be either.

    I wish to see a larger sample…

  51. yeah, that O’Connor statement makes no sense. if he really believed that both NJ and NY had enough possible assets to get D-Will and he still waited for the Melo deal to be done instead of letting NJ and NY both know D-Will was available and starting a bidding war there, then he should be fired immediately.

  52. latke:
    THe problem with this statement is that if the two teams are equally good now, then it is a huge coup for Denver, who won in the non-immediate categories: financial flexibility and youth. We need to be a top 4 seed in the east next year and have some reasonable chance at making the finals in order for this trade to work out. I think that’s not out of the realm of possibility, but it’s also far from a certainty.
      

    Not sure I agree. Look, I had my reservations about what the Knicks gave up in the trade (one guy -Mosgov- too many, Dolan’s involvement). And I definitely understand that some people question whether Melo is the caliber of player that is worth the gamble this team is taking in trying to set itself up to eventually being a championship contender. But we can agree that this isn’t trading multiple draft picks (including 1st rounder-lottery picks) for a center who had career averages of 11.8 ppg and 4.9 rpg plus an irregular heartbeat. And the best part, I believe, is that our top players aren’t sunk costs – even if you believe Amare and Melo are overpaid, they have enough value, and are young enough, that if these moves DONT put us in line to acquire the talent we need to make us title contenders in two years, we can flip em and get good value in return. Of course, that will require some good front-office decision-making, and someone who is capable of making such decisions.

  53. Count de Pennies: The proprietors of this site should just go ahead and change the name of this blog to Itoldyouso.net. That name would be a more accurate reflection of what has been the majority of content here in the Melo era.

    While this might be true of the comments, I don’t think it’s at all reflective of the posts. So why would you direct the comments to the proprietors, when you are really speaking to the other commenter.

    Secondly, I think the “Itoldyouso” goes both ways. The pro-‘Melo crowd is here for the same reason. Otherwise why would they come to a site that is so obviously anti-Melo (as you imply) when there are other sites that are much more fitting with their position? Unless of course they are so certain of their stance that it’s only inevitable that they will be vindicated, and hence giving them their own “Itoldyouso” moment.

  54. JK47: Dave Berri says Landry Fields is better than Durant. Quite a bit better, actually.  

    We better not make that trade straight up of THCJ will REALLY flip!

    The Mavs are a serious title contender this year, by any measure. Nobody, but nobody in their right mind feels that way about the Knicks at this point. Only an idiot would actually have expected us to beat them on their home court in the fourth game of five nights without our starting PG. We have absolutely no physical presence inside, a backup 2 masquerading as a starting PG, a rookie starting at the 2, and a bench that is at best borderline rotation caliber on the top teams.

    What I don’t get is that guys like THCJ are acting like there is a preponderance, or even a bunch, of posters that actually think this team is a serious contender as constructed. Even the staunchest advocates of the trade didn’t say that. Let me ask you, did you expect the Knicks pull Landry Fields, Shawne Williams, and even Mosgov out of their ass this year? Why can’t they do that again?

    Is Dallas a train wreck after all the crazy deals that they made in the past several years? On the other hand, Portland stayed more conservative, and were ahead of where the pre-trade Knicks were five years ago. What have they accomplished since in terms of title contention?

    The notion that we are impossibly capped out and can’t improve this team for the next 4 years is nothing more than a pessimistic guess. In the meantime, the trade is done, and can’t be undone. Maybe we won’t be anything but a 6th seed, but was there a guarantee we would be better if we didn’t make the trade? The point is, we’ll never know, so why not move on to things that are real?

  55. yeah, that O’Connor statement makes no sense. if he really believed that both NJ and NY had enough possible assets to get D-Will and he still waited for the Melo deal to be done instead of letting NJ and NY both know D-Will was available and starting a bidding war there, then he should be fired immediately.

    Agreed. Honestly, I don’t even know why he’s making the statement now. What purpose does it serve?

  56. It’s good to hear some real arguments. It’s true, this is an “advanced stats” based site, so if you get pissed when people take an anti-Melo position based on his WS48 for instance, all I can say is don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.

    And to THCJ, try to throw out some more numbers. It is interesting that Melo’s WS48 is EXACTLY the same as it was in Denver so far, so I’d like to hope there’s some merit to PER.

    Jeffries is awful. He doesn’t seem that bad to the eye (except for the layups) but his numbers are terrible since he’s gotten here. Not that he maybe doesn’t deserve a bit more of a chance. But Turiaf’s numbers are still decent. His rebounding is only a little worse than Jeffries but he’s so much more efficient on offense. If he could only stay healthy…

    I’d say we have 4 or 5 good players. I still don’t include Shawne. He’s a average 8th man. I just hope we can draft another Fields. Or even bring Jerome Jordan in next year.

    And for those of you who care, Brewer and Barron wouldn’t have made a difference. Just not sure where these extra-awesome cheap new players are going to come from next year.

  57. Mike Kurylo:
    While this might be true of the comments, I don’t think it’s at all reflective of the posts. So why would you direct the comments to the proprietors, when you are really speaking to the other commenter.Secondly, I think the “Itoldyouso” goes both ways. The pro-’Melo crowd is here for the same reason. Otherwise why would they come to a site that is so obviously anti-Melo (as you imply) when there are other sites that are much more fitting with their position? Unless of course they are so certain of their stance that it’s only inevitable that they will be vindicated, and hence giving them their own “Itoldyouso” moment.  

    Mike, if you read his post, he does not imply that the site is anti-Melo. I quote:

    Most of the post-game commentary of late seems to be centered around Melo, his performance (or lack thereof), as well as how the players traded away for him might be faring in the Mile High City.

    A good showing by Melo and/or a subpar outing by the Knuggets invariably lead to a hearty round of chest-thumping from the Melo acolytes.

    A poor performance by Melo and/or a strong game by the Knuggets typically result in a chorus of “Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah… we wuz right” from the Melo haters.

    Sure there’s the odd post now and again about the Knicks’ other players, the overall big picture – that sort of thing – but they tend to get drowned out by the shouting matches that frequently flare up between the pro and anti Melo camps.

    Don’t really see how it’s taking sides…

  58. Mike Kurylo: I think the “Itoldyouso” goes both ways. The pro-’Melo crowd is here for the same reason. Otherwise why would they come to a site that is so obviously anti-Melo (as you imply) when there are other sites that are much more fitting with their position?

    I don’t think I implied that this site was “obviously anti-Melo.” I think there’s been enough sniping from the pro-Melo folks to where the scales are pretty much evenly balanced. In fact, I endeavored to say as much in my earlier post when I wrote:

    Count de Pennies: A good showing by Melo and/or a subpar outing by the Knuggets invariably lead to a hearty round of chest-thumping from the Melo acolytes.

    To clarify, I have no dog in this hunt, being neither pro-Melo nor anti-Melo. If anything, I was more in tune with the anti-Melo crowd before the trade and was not happy when it finally did come to pass.

    Now, I did enjoy the back and forth between the two camps on this site before the trade went down. It was an interesting argument; many good points were made. But as Z-man said, the trade is now a fact of life; Melo now wears the blue and orange. I just don’t see the need to continue fighting that battle at this point. Whether I – or anyone else – believe the trade to have been a good decision or a silly one is now immaterial. I, for one, am content to put aside whatever misgivings I may have had going in, embrace Melo as a Knick, and watch to see how it all works out.

    Hey, I don’t mind the contentiousness; a spirited debate is the lifeblood of blogs such as this. My earlier post was simply one man’s expression of weariness over the continued, incessant flogging of one tired old nag who spit the bit on the backstretch. Let’s find us some fresher horses, shall we?

  59. The problem isnt people being anti-Melo. The problem to me is once the trade happened the anti-Melo people seem to be at times openly rooting for the Knicks to lose and especially for Melo to play bad as if to make their point better. We are all supposedly Knicks fans here so the basking in the glow at times of a Knicks loss or whenever Melo has a bad game is the irritating part to me.

    The pro-Melo crowd at least is rooting for the Knicks to win games now and enjoying the current team and not bitching about the team potentially not being a title contender in 2013 due to the trade. The Knicks are finally in the playoffs and with a team good enough to potentially make some noise this season yet the anti-Melo crowd could care less because apparently the team is now 100% doomed to never come close to winning a title solely due to trading for Melo.

    I admit Im someone who is just happy to have a pretty good team to root for now and happy to have 2 very good/great players in Amar’e and Melo who are still young and are players who will be fun to watch and root for in the next few years. Considering how almost impossible it is to win a championship in the NBA and considering how bad and how big a joke the Knicks have been for the last 10 years I will happily enjoy the next few years of at the very least rooting for a solid playoff team who hopefully will give us some fun playoff runs in the process.

  60. BigBlueAL: The problem isnt people being anti-Melo.The problem to me is once the trade happened the anti-Melo people seem to be at times openly rooting for the Knicks to lose and especially for Melo to play bad as if to make their point better.We are all supposedly Knicks fans here so the basking in the glow at times of a Knicks loss or whenever Melo has a bad game is the irritating part to me.The pro-Melo crowd at least is rooting for the Knicks to win games now…   

    Good points, BBA. It is human nature, though. A lot of the Americans who insisted that if Obama got elected he was going to run this country into the ground are still actively rooting against him, and thus against their own country. Just the way people are programmed…

    Maybe it’s time for Knick fans to follow the words of the great philosopher Stephen Stills… If you can’t be with the one we love, should love the one you’re with.

  61. Here’s the thing re: melo arguments. From my perspective, you have people on both sides who make it into a “better now/before” issue. How many comments were there after melo’s game winner about how gallinari and chandler would never have made that shot? That’s just as much indicative of having not moved on as the kind of stuff we hear from no-melo folks. You can’t make a comparison like that and then get upset when someone comes back with “maybe with gallinari and chandler we wouldn’t have been in that position to begin with.”

    So, people from both ends are opening up the then vs. now stuff, and I have to say I sense a lot more of a witch hunt mentality from the go-melo crowd (i.e. making it personal, questioning a person’s team loyalty) than from the no-melos.

    That said, I think Z and CSN are right – it’s probably healthier to embrace what we have, but I think it’s not only unhealthy but also unfair to try to bully people into taking that perspective. If you don’t think it’s a topic worth discussing, don’t respond and don’t incite the discussion by bringing up your own comparisons.

  62. Z-man:
    We better not make that trade straight up of THCJ will REALLY flip!The Mavs are a serious title contender this year, by any measure.Nobody, but nobody in their right mind feels that way about the Knicks at this point.Only an idiot would actually have expected us to beat them on their home court in the fourth game of five nights without our starting PG.We have absolutely no physical presence inside, a backup 2 masquerading as a starting PG, a rookie starting at the 2, and a bench that is at best borderline rotation caliber on the top teams.What I don’t get is that guys like THCJ are acting like there is a preponderance, or even a bunch, of posters that actually think this team is a serious contender as constructed.Even the staunchest advocates of the trade didn’t say that.Let me ask you, did you expect the Knicks pull Landry Fields, Shawne Williams, and even Mosgov out of their ass this year? Why can’t they do that again?
      

    I actually did call the Landry Fields drafting a “steal,” and predicted him to a be a solid NBA player. I didn’t anticipate his value to be so high — keep in mind that WP is position adjusted, so when Fields grabs 11 boards, his value relative to the average SG is sky-high. (I actually view him as more of a ‘tweener, so I think Berri overrates him quite a bit. Still a great player, though.) Mosgov was terrible as a Knick by any objective measure: PER, TS%, eFG%, WP, WS all have him as a poor NBA player. Anyone who argues contrarily to not one, but ALL advanced statistics, should probably get his head checked for Isiah Syndrome. Shawne is an enigma, and unlike these weird “But what if Carmelo plays in ____’s system!” arguments, he actually had personal issues that certainly could have affected his performance on-court. Don’t know, but more possible than this “Well, NeNe just wasn’t good enough for…

  63. Count and others—I agree whole heartedly. Perhaps a discussion of who we can get to plug the hole at Center is more productive. The other thing is a practical point. Let’s say for argument’s sake that getting Melo was a terrible move (of which I strongly disagree) and the Knicks do poorly this year. Even if that were true and you can’t move passed that, why not change allegiance and root for another team, say Denver? It makes more sense than watching a team that makes you miserable and you don’t like very much. If you can’t move beyond the trade when the team is doing relatively well and is headed for the playoffs, imagine how bad it will be if they start tanking. I’m not being facetious here, it just seems so counter-productive to basically root for and identify with a team and players you disdain, except for Landry Fields. Unless the pleasure is actually derived from continually pointing out that the trade was bad. To me, that’s just plain weird.

  64. You have been recognized by me and other for the Landry call, great job on that. Moz’s overall stats were terrible, but he would surely help us right now, he was playing much better before the trade and he is at the very least a big body to put in front of Tyson Chandler/Brendan Haywood for 10-15 minutes. Nobody, but nobody, had Shawne pegged for the impact he has had this year, which is a critical rotation player (he may have made Gallo expendable all by himself).

    Th larger point is that it is not logical to conclude with the “certainty” that you do that this team is “doomed to 6th seeds and early playoff exits for the next 4 years” or that anything significant beyond what we already know can be discerned from this year. Walsh made the following low-risk off season moves:

    Drafted Andy Rautins, meh
    Drafted Landry Fields, a colossal steal
    Drafted Jerome Jordan, who knows?
    Signed Mozgov, jury still out
    Signed Shawne Williams, critical rotation player

    So even if only 2 of these moves have met your standards, why is is so inconceivable that Walsh can repeat that or even surpass it?

    This is not even to mention the possibility of trading Fields or Shawne or TD, or striking gold with a mid-late first round pick.

    Remember, I was not a fan of the deal on its face, but to conclude with such certaintythat the deal has wrecked our chances for multiple deep playoff runs in the next 4 years is way over the top of “reasonable” pessimism.

  65. daJudge: Count and others—I agree whole heartedly.Perhaps a discussion of who we can get to plug the hole at Center is more productive.The other thing is a practical point.Let’s say for argument’s sake that getting Melo was a terrible move (of which I strongly disagree) and the Knicks do poorly this year.Even if that were true and you can’t move passed that, why not change allegiance and root for another team, say Denver?It makes more sense than watching a team that makes you miserable and you don’t like very much.If you can’t move beyond the tradewhen the team is doing relatively well and is headed for the playoffs, imagine how bad it will be if they start tanking. I’m not being facetious here, it just seems so counter-productive to basically root for and identify with a team and players you disdain, except for Landry Fields.Unless the pleasure is actually derived from continually pointing out that the trade was bad.To me, that’s just plain weird.  

    Respectfully, I don’t like this logic either, it sounds like “America, love it or leave it” stuff to me. First, there is no litmus test for contributing to this site, other than Mike K’s troll-meter. Second, if there is no heated debate, the site becomes boring. I don’t mind going at it with deal-haters and the “I told you so” types, so long as they don’t jump off the troll-cliff. PS Mke K, I thought your criticism in #65 was excessive, at least in a vacuum. Just sayin’.

  66. Thank you for the response Z-man. I don’t mean my comments that way. It just seems crazy/irrational (to me) to be so negative when the Knicks are playing relatively well and finally going to be in the playoffs. It’s like the whole David Lee thing times ten. I’m not saying the negative commentators are trolls (for the most part) and I’m not saying “love it or leave it.” I can however see where you get that though from my post. I just think that continuing to focus on this particular issue, i.e., “I told you so..” either way, btw, is pointless. I also honestly question how one can root for a team which they don’t really like. I do think that the “i told you so” position can elevate itself over being a fan.

  67. “I do think that the “i told you so” position can elevate itself over being a fan.”

    Agreed, and unfortunately true in both sports and politics. I don’t like the extremism in either direction. It bugs me when people stop listening completely and the dialogue devolves into a meaningless pissing contest between petulant know-it-alls. Thankfully, most here are not that extreme. For example, I thought that THJC’s response to my criticism in #81 was fair and measured, whether I disagree with him or not, either on the specifics or generally.

  68. Z-man: Remember, I was not a fan of the deal on its face, but to conclude with such certaintythat the deal has wrecked our chances for multiple deep playoff runs in the next 4 years is way over the top of “reasonable” pessimism.  

    If the next CBA eliminates the MLE and institutes at the very least a harder cap, the Knicks chances of improving their position in an already-stacked Eastern Conference are unbelievably slim. Here’s a summary of the Knicks’ lost draft picks over the next three years:

    2011 first round draft pick to Houston
    Houston has the right to swap their own 2011 1st round pick with New York’s own 1st round pick so long as New York’s 2011 1st round pick is not the 1st overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft.

    2011 second round draft pick to L.A. Lakers
    New York’s own 2011 2nd round pick to the L.A. Lakers. [L.A. Lakers – New York, 6/25/2009]

    2012 first round draft pick to Houston
    New York’s own 2012 1st round pick to Houston (top 5 protected in 2012, top 5 protected in 2013, top 5 protected in 2014, and top 5 protected in the 2015 Draft). If Houston does not receive a 1st round pick from New York by the 2015 Draft, then New York will convey their own 2015 2nd round pick and 2016 2nd round pick to Houston.

    2012 second round draft pick to Phoenix
    New York’s own 2012 2nd round pick to Phoenix (top 55 protected in the 2012 Draft). If New York’s own 2012 2nd round pick is in the top 55 picks, then New York’s obligations to Phoenix shall be extinguished.

    2014 first round draft pick to Denver
    New York’s own first round draft pick to Denver in the ?First Allowable Draft?. (The First Allowable draft shall be the draft that occurs two years following the year in which New York satisfies its existing obligation to convey their own 2012 protected first round draft pick to the Houston Rockets from the trade involving…

  69. Z-man–With re: politics, by analogy, I may not support our government’s middle east policy, but I will always support our troops.

  70. That’s right, fellas. Our next two drafts are gone. Dolan would have to buy first-rounders, which, at best, are what — last six picks?

    Dolan does not have a track record of picking the “best available player” based on advanced statistics. Rautins had a great TS% in college, and Fields was maybe the second-best player (statistically) from his draft class, but what about the previous year’s draft? Passed on Lawson and Blair, the latter of which was very clearly the best PF prospect after That Dude on the Clips Who Jumps Higher Than LeBron James. In fact, Blair might have been the best rebounder (as what, a sophomore?) in NCAA history. The reason so many teams passed on Blair was, what, his height? (Ben Wallace?) His scary knee prognosis? (A second-round pick at a whopping $500k/yr?) That’s not a smart basketball decision.

    As I’ve said dozens of times on this board, risk is the most important factor in these decisions due to the league’s guaranteed contracts and the difficulty in maneuvering when over the cap. And there is no objective measure that could persuasively argue that the Carmelo signing (as well as the Jeffries trade last year) was not marked by a great deal of risk. (PER might be Carmelo’s only saving grace, and as I’ve argued, one can increase his PER by simply taking more and more shots and making them at a rate far lower than league average (something like 33%/25% 2PT/3PT) — that enough dismantles its validity to me.

  71. Pessimism, in this case, is wholly warranted by several factors:

    1) We do not own a first-round pick until 2013.
    2) Our maxed SF is an average efficiency shooter and, in his seven years in the league, has never demonstrated offensive or rebounding proficiency.
    3) Our point guard, while efficient, is 34 years old with an expiring contract.
    4) Our backup point guard is a SG.
    5) Over 60% of the cap is given to two players.
    6) The new CBA may prevent a third max FA and over-the-cap signings.
    7) There is no true center on the team.
    8) Jared Jeffries and Anthony Carter are two of the worst offensive players in the league, and unless they can diminish their counterparts’ efficiency down to their own abysmal levels, they are hurting the team with their ineptness.
    9) James Dolan is still running the team.

    Aside from pointing to Carmelo’s team success and the “common knowledge” that he is an all-NBA caliber player, what are the positives of the situation?

  72. First, we have a 1st round pick this year, as it is likely that Houston will decline the swap, or even if they do, there won’t be much difference in the position. So, we have at the least:
    2011: 1st round pick
    2012: 2nd round pick
    2013: 1st round pick
    2014: 2nd round pick
    We have also a management that is willing to buy picks (Toney Douglas and Jerome Jordan came via that route, no?

    Second, why do you think that the Eastern Conference is already stacked for the next 4 years? Chicago is the only team that looks stable going forward.

    Boston is aging
    Orlando has one superstar and a bunch of bad contracts
    Miami has many the same problems we do
    Atlanta? Who knows?

    We have no idea what the final CBA will look like, so hard to say how things will pan out.

  73. Re@90
    #1 not really true, we have either our own or Houston’s, really makes no difference.
    #2 Melo is the among the best rebounding SFs in the league, and is in the beginning of his prime
    #3 Even at 34, Billups is the best PG we have had since, who, Clyde Frazier? Mavs have Jason Kid at PG and are a erious contender. Lakers have Derek Fisher at PG.
    #4 What makes you conclude that 1 1/2 year pro TD can’t be effective as a PG? Since the trade, he is averaging 15 ppg on 54% shooting and over 40% from 3, 3 rpg and most importantly, 6 apg with under 2 to’s in 30 mpg, so per 36 min stat are even better. I’ll take that from my back-up pg on any team, and he has actually started 6 of those games. Then there’s his D.
    #5 One of those players is an MVP candidate in the middle of his prime. The other is a guy you absolutely have no faith in, so I won’t bother rehashing the bulk of posts, clearly there is no chance of winning you over.
    #6 May or may not, who’s to say with certainty right now?
    #7 Undeniably true. The question is, how much of a true center do we need and can we get won? Again, remains to be seen.
    #8 Jeffries and Carter are stopgaps who we have no commitment to, so who cares? Carter might not even play when Billups returns. They have no bearing on the next 4 years at all.
    #9 Well, you got me on that one…

  74. re: #4, Billups is thought of as an excellent PG mentor (ask Ty Lawson), so that is even more reason for optimism re: TD at PG

  75. But why is Amar’e an MVP candidate? Because he joined a shitty (though high-profile) team and turned them (with help from one of the best rookies of all-time) into a mediocre team?

    Also, Carmelo is NOT one of the best rebounding SFs in the league. That is factually incorrect.

    http://www.wagesofwins.com/DurantMelo03030910.html

    He averages 0.4 more REB/48 than league average for a SF.

  76. The Honorable Cock Jowles: But why is Amar’e an MVP candidate? Because he joined a shitty (though high-profile) team and turned them (with help from one of the best rookies of all-time) into a mediocre team?

      

    Well, whether you personally think it’s deserved or not, Amar’e is an MVP candidate. And I love Landry as much as the next guy, but WoW notwithstanding, he is NOT one of the best rookies of all time. He may be one of the better 2nd round picks in recent memory but best all time? Really? better than say Wilt Chamberlain or Russell or Kareem or Jordan or Oscar Robertson or Bird or Magic? Hell, Bells Bellamy averaged 30 pts and 15 rebounds as a rookie. I hear you on the problems w/the Melo trade going forward but your argument loses steam when you throw out grandiose statements like that

  77. Then certainly Melo has shown “proficiency” in rebounding, if not to the level I stated…

    Let’s chill on Landry, on most teams he’s not starting, and on some, not getting many minutes. Love him, though.

  78. PS, if he’s truly one of the best rookies of all time, that’s even more cause for optimism, right?

  79. Z-man: Then certainly Melo has shown “proficiency” in rebounding, if not to the level I stated.

    Still, he’s going to make $22M to be an average-efficiency shooter, average rebounder, average defender, etc. His value is predicated on the notion that advanced stats can’t assess what Sportcenter anchors can.

  80. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Still, he’s going to make $22M to be an average-efficiency shooter, average rebounder, average defender, etc. His value is predicated on the notion that advanced stats can’t assess what Sportcenter anchors can.  

    Again, this is a pessimistic view. Paul Pierce was an average-efficiency shooter until age 27 and became significantly more efficient after that. In fact, his efficiency at age 26 was pretty terrible, and he is more efficient now than ever. Why are you so sure that Melo won’t improve his efficiency in the same way?

  81. Okay, so his value is predicated on his potential to become a great player instead of being one now. That’s awesome, too.

  82. Yeah, it is a gamble, like most high-profile trades. The question is, how much of a gamble? Melo, at worst, will be what he is right now, a very good player whose perceived value and salary are higher than his actual value, but who can likely be dealt at any time for a pretty good package in return at any point in the next 4 years if he doesn’t work out as planned. At best, as he matures with age, on a bigger and more demanding stage where anything less than a title run would be considered a failure, with a hungry franchise player on his team, he works on his approach to the game on both ends and gets better. He certainly has the physical talent and skills to become a great player if he wants to.

    In the end, we agree that it is a risky move; where we part ways is in how big of a risk it is. I will admit that if we don’t make at least a trip to the finals in the next 4 years, I will be very disappointed. If any of the players/draft picks we traded away turns out to be a HOFer (as Melo will surely be) then I will be even more disappointed.

    I’m wondering what it will take for you to change your mind on this deal. Will it be enough for Melo to improve to the level that you think defines a great player? If he stays the same but the team makes it to 3 conference finals and loses once in the NBA finals, would that qualify as a success? Lay it out there so we can look back on this exchange in 2015.

  83. I do agree that his value remains quite high (unlike Jayson Werth or Jerome James, signed to unmovable contracts), but it still doesn’t warrant the price the Knicks paid for him. If the Nuggets could have gotten more for him, they would have.

  84. Also, conference finals is above my expectations for this team. Given the distribution of talent in this league, making it to even one conference final is an accomplishment (although the Suns and Mavs can’t seen to shake my view of them as “failures”). A 55-win season would be a success (there’s a very good chance, in my mind, that they won’t break 50 wins next season, whereas the Nuggets could be a 60-win team). Chris Paul would be a success. I just don’t see it happening.

    I think the way to winning is losing in the NBA — Spurs, Celts, Magic, Cavs (up ’til last year, of course), and the Thunder were all built around a couple pieces that were acquired as flukes (Duncan) or a result of years of awfulness (Thunder).

    I don’t know. I’m gonna ease up on the hate, but I still think it was a bad deal, especially in the long-term.

  85. Did I really just read that the Nuggets could be a 60 win team next season??? That would make them better than this year’s Lakers, Mavs, Heat, Celtics, Bulls… better than everyone but the Spurs. Let’s get real here. That is not happening in a million years.

  86. I might be wrong, but they could have as much as $17M in cap space this summer. Just sayin’.

  87. flossy: I think the way to winning is losing in the NBA — Spurs, Celts, Magic, Cavs (up ’til last year, of course), and the Thunder were all built around a couple pieces that were acquired as flukes (Duncan) or a result of years of awfulness (Thunder).

    This is very true, but once we signed Amare, we committed ourselves to winning. The problem is, (and I’m not saying this is what I think will happen, just that it’s not out of the realm of possibility) let’s say we win 47-52 games each of the next two seasons. Billups left/retired in 2012 and douglas did a decent job of replacing some of his value, and we also brought in a couple other decent talents.

    It’s the summer of 2013, and we’re absolutely capped out with no prospect of cap space until stat/carmelo expire. The team has clearly peaked. I just can’t see Dolan ever allowing any GM to trade stat and carmelo. We know NY management will never cash in on ‘melo’s perceived value, so there’s no use in taking it into account.

    flossy: Did I really just read that the Nuggets could be a 60 win team next season???That would make them better than this year’s Lakers, Mavs, Heat, Celtics, Bulls… better than everyone but the Spurs.Let’s get real here.That is not happening in a million years.

    post melo nuggets: 7-2
    SOS so far: .499
    average margin: +12.33

    Their margin of victory (the best predictor of team success) is nearly double that of the best in the NBA, so even if you say they’re hot, they could cool down quite a bit and still be the best team in the league according to any of the stat based team rankers (that’s why hollinger has Denver at 6th best team in the league now).

  88. flossy: That’s a lot of money, with nobody to spend it on.Just sayin’.  

    its all gonna go to their own players most likely. Afflalo, Chandler and Nene are all expiring. If they do well in the playoffs, they’ll probably resign those three and that’ll take all their cap room.

  89. @108: Forgive my if I’m not convinced yet. I don’t doubt the Nuggets are a good team as-is. But you cannot seriously believe that just a nine game sample is indicative of anything, much less that by standing pat this summer (i.e. resigning their own players) the Nuggs are anything close to a 60 win team next year. The freakin’ defending champions won’t scratch 60 wins this year. Let’s be a little realistic.

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