Knicks Morning News (2015.03.24)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks fall to free-agency target Marc Gasol, Grizzlies (Tue, 24 Mar 2015 05:38:43 GMT)

    How long will it take Marc Gasol to figure out his pending free agency? And are the Knicks part of his thought-process?

  • [New York Times] For an Elite Girls’ Basketball Team, the Same High Standards Amid New Challenges (Tue, 24 Mar 2015 09:00:02 GMT)

    The writer, who chronicled the Christ the King girls’ basketball team’s season 16 years ago for Newsday, returned for an update.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Smother Wizards in 3rd Quarter for 107-76 Win (Tue, 24 Mar 2015 06:01:49 GMT)

    Closing in on the NBA’s top playoff seed, the Golden State Warriors have been at their best.

  • [New York Times] LaVine Leads Timberwolves to 106-104 Overtime Win vs Jazz (Tue, 24 Mar 2015 04:34:52 GMT)

    Rookie guard Zach LaVine scored 27 points, including two 3-pointers to force overtime, and the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied past the Utah Jazz 106-104 on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Short-Handed Knicks Fall to the Grizzlies (Tue, 24 Mar 2015 03:37:22 GMT)

    Memphis clinched a playoff berth and cracked 50 wins for the third straight season by beating the lowly Knicks.

  • [New York Times] Harden Scores 44, Rockets Pull Away From Pacers 110-100 (Tue, 24 Mar 2015 03:14:14 GMT)

    James Harden found all the cracks in Indiana’s defense Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Bulls Clinch Playoff Spot With 98-86 Win Over Hornets (Tue, 24 Mar 2015 03:07:49 GMT)

    Nikola Mirotic scored 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, and the Chicago Bulls clinched a playoff spot with a 98-86 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Randolph Helps Memphis Beat New York Knicks 103-82 (Tue, 24 Mar 2015 02:38:09 GMT)

    Zach Randolph scored 23 points, Marc Gasol had 21 and the Memphis Grizzlies clinched a playoff spot with a 103-82 win over the New York Knicks on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Owner’s Grandstanding Confronts Nets With a Dim Future (Tue, 24 Mar 2015 02:09:52 GMT)

    The Nets moved to Brooklyn bragging that they would own the city, but the mediocre reality has been disappointing and has often been at the expense of young talent and draft picks.

  • [New York Times] Turner Has Triple-Double, Celts Beat Nets 110-91 to End Skid (Tue, 24 Mar 2015 02:07:58 GMT)

    Evan Turner had 19 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics beat the Brooklyn Nets 110-91 on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak that had dropped them out of playoff position.

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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).

    111 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.03.24)”

    1. Great article about Kawhi Leonard’s defense on grantland.com. It will never happen, but damn I would love to have him on the Knicks.

    2. “12 points per game would not cut it in New York, that’s for sure.”
      You are right in that some people will expect him to be a 20+ ppg guy, which is not his game (at least so far). He’s averaging 15.9 this year, but that’s not why he’s so valuable. I, for one, would be happy if he scored 12-13 a game and was the best wing defender in the league (which I think that he is). If he became an efficient 17-20 point a game guy, that would be a bonus. A lot of people on the site are clamoring for the Knicks to try to get Draymond Green. Kawhi Leonard is who Draymond Green might become if he keeps working and improving. The only thing is that Leonard is 1-1/2 years YOUNGER than Green.

    3. My feeling is he would not be up to the task of becoming Duncan or Parker. 12 points per game would not cut it in New York, that’s for sure.

      Duncan OR parker? yeah, sure. Kawhi right now averages 17.9 pts per 36. Tony Parker’s career average is 18.8 / 36. For their entire careers, Parker is @ 55% TS and Kawhi is at 58% at 14.9 per 36. So Kawhi needs 3.9 / 36 of marginal, higher usage point making to be equal to Parker. That would only require a marginal TS% of 46%. So unless you think Kawhi would get less efficient on those last 3.9 points than Ricky Davis and Antoine Walker, Parker has no scoring advantage. Oh, and Kawhi is one of the best five defenders in the league while Parker is a clear minus defender. They aren’t in the same ballpark. You’re blinded by the ball.

    4. If people think Leonard is going to be a go-to-guy in the classic sense of the word, I suppose they’re mistaking.

      But there’s no sense in looking for a go-to-guy in Kawhi. Leonard is far, far better than that. A go-to-guy is something you better have if you don’t have a system that puts a premium on teamwork, intelligence, craftiness. In the 2015 NBA, you don’t need to have a scorer as your best player (unless he is a super efficient one, which, ok, resolves the debate). But if we are honest, that was true even in 2004. And 1970, and 1973 (and we should know that), and in other years too.

      The need for a primary scorer is an American tenet of basketball that in Europe doesn’t really exist. The primary scorers (inefficient as they might be) are a by-product of the need to appeal to large masses who go “ooh” and “aah” when the ball goes through the rim repeatedly when shot by the same guy. That means that pointz = dollars. What’s worst, many coaches (ex basketball players) seem to think the same way. But basketball is not only that. Have you seen the Hawks?

      So yes, Kawhi would be worth every penny of the max anywhere (barring injuries and stupid coaches).

    5. But aren’t they carrying different loads. Leonard seems to carry much of the load defensively. That too takes physical and mental focus, like running, anticipating, being in the right place etc. We forget that sometimes I think. If your give team gives up less points than the other team does it wins every time. We really cannot go LCD every time.

      If the argument is Duncan and Parker have done it for years and years which makes them proven while Leonard has for 2 so he is not, it is correct but more semantics than anything.

    6. My “bigger picture” point is that as a player, Parker has delivered day-in and day-out for San Antonio. He has carried the load and been one of the “franchise” guys, like Duncan.

      These are just words. Words that would better apply to a Papa’s Johns franchisee at a Rotary Club awards dinner than to objectively analyzing a player’s value. Only Dave Berri thinks that everything important about measuring NBA productivity can currently be quantified. But the alternative is not mere assertion.

    7. Also: Spurs with Kawhi this year are 35-16. Without him they are 9-9. How’s that for carrying the load?

    8. It’s not that clear-cut, to be honest: is Leonard (defensive prowess and all) a better player than Harden?

      I don’t know, but I know I’d rather have Harden on my team any day of the week. Houston Rockets would not be the same if we replace Harden with Leonard.

      I wrote this in my previous post:

      In the 2015 NBA, you don’t need to have a scorer as your best player (unless he is a super efficient one, which, ok, resolves the debate).

      So the Harden comparison was already excluded. But would you prefer… hmm… Kyrie Irving to Kawhi Leonard? Or LaMarcus Aldridge to Kawhi Leonard? I wouldn’t.

    9. If people think Leonard’s overall play and production will not match a max salary (with all the accompanying expectations) when outside Popovic’s system, I would agree with them.

      Again, it depends on what people expect from max players. >20ppg for a wing/guard? >1orpg for a big guy? Or wins produced (in the literal and arythmetic sense of the word)? I say Kawhi would never disappoint anyone searching for wins.

    10. These are just words. Words that would better apply to a Papa’s Johns franchisee at a Rotary Club awards dinner than to objectively analyzing a player’s value. Only Dave Berri thinks that everything important about measuring NBA productivity can currently be quantified. But the alternative is not mere assertion.

      COTY 2015

    11. I would gladly take the “consolation prize” of Draymond Green for max money, but honestly I don’t see him or Leonard going anywhere.

    12. I thought Dolan is paying 1 gazillion dollars to Melo to “carry the load”.

      They already tried also to hire two guys to “share the load”. Amare and Melo. And was awful even with both healthy.

      We need guys that can do other things than shooting.

      And yes, those “complementary players” can be max players

    13. Heh, no smoothing might actually favor teams who hold RFA rights, especially if someone signs them to a offer sheet. Anyway I think Leonard and Butler, and to some extent Green (it would become a certainty only if he won DPOY) will not sign offer sheets, and will not sign a multiyear contract in 2015. I think they will happily sign for the QO and then go cash in coming 2016.

    14. We need guys that can do other things than shooting.

      I agree, first of all we need guys that can actually send the ball through the net.

    15. PS: a small forward is expected to score.

      By our current popular thinking, yes. By smart people, it’s not so clear cut. I’d prefer MKG to Jeff Green.

    16. If Kawhi Leonard is worth the max, why isn’t Langston Galloway worth the max? Galloway is already scoring 11 points a game, with little NBA experience, and the points are not garbage points. He shoots off the dribble nicely and can drive to the basket. He’s an excellent defender. These are the qualities cited in posts in this blog for giving Leonard a max contract. Maybe Galloway is not quite as good as Leonard, but he has more potential for improvement, and if your goal is to get players who are excellent value for the money and display two way NBA games, he meets that goal.

    17. I hate this board sometimes, and today’s drivel is really not helping

    18. The only reason I mentioned Draymond Green instead of Kawhi is that I think there’s a 20% chance of getting him while I think there’s only a 5% chance of getting Kawhi. Kawhi is the superior player. Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to imagine we will end up with him. Also unrealistic to imagine we’ll end up with Draymond, but slightly LESS unrealistic, as he isn’t as irreplaceable to the Warriors as Kawhi is to SAS, and resigning him at the max creates more of a problem for the Warriors than signing Kawhi does for SAS.

      Either would be fantastic, Kawhi more so. Kawhi and Towns and I might start thinking we actually do have a chance for a championship in three years.

    19. It’s far more likely that the Dubs pay a smart team in picks to take David Lee’s contract than fail to max out Draymond. Which is the kind of move we should make, but probably won’t.

    20. Luke – you may want to refer to the description of this blog above: “Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.”

      You’ve got the Knicks part. But you might want to gather some data indicating the efficacy of the “tried-and-true eye test.” Unless the eye test you refer to is that chart with the big E on it.

    21. although sometimes there are dumb people who think they are smart because they can quote dubious stats from places catering to their lack of common sense to manipulate opinion

      “lack of common sense”

      Thread’s over, folks. Go home. Everything that could be said has been said.

    22. Some of the most respected members of this “statistical family” were singing the praises of Cole Aldrich while the “eye-test” experts laughed at them. When the stats-backed fans of Cole saw him play meaningful minutes, it became obvious that the numbers were quite misleading.

      Except he’s actually been playing pretty well recently. I know that doesn’t fit into the bizarre narrative you’ve been peddling since you got here but it’s true.

    23. If Kawhi Leonard is worth the max, why isn’t Langston Galloway worth the max?

      I was waiting for the punchline. Alas, it never came.

    24. If Kawhi Leonard is worth the max, why isn’t Langston Galloway worth the max? Galloway is already scoring 11 points a game, with little NBA experience, and the points are not garbage points. He shoots off the dribble nicely and can drive to the basket. He’s an excellent defender. These are the qualities cited in posts in this blog for giving Leonard a max contract. Maybe Galloway is not quite as good as Leonard, but he has more potential for improvement, and if your goal is to get players who are excellent value for the money and display two way NBA games, he meets that goal.

      OMG, I didn’t think that I would see something worse than Knicks fans arguing to resign Bargnani but I was wrong.

    25. To recap arguments made on this board about the value of the “eye-test” vis a vis stats:
      The difference between a very good 3 point shooter (40+%) and an average 3 point shooter (~34%) on similar usage is about 6 percentage points. The eye test cannot accurately differentiate the percentage difference in these shooters unless you have already seen that stats. So it goes for the difference between average and elite in most other statistical categories. I will take that as given. As such, the eye test is very bad for determining a player’s production and the value arising from it; stats are much better for that–this, however, doesn’t mean that the eye-test is useless. The eye-test can do all sorts of wonderful things: we can see a player’s body language throughout the game, their style of game, their athleticism, “upside”, the basics of their defense etc. What the eye-test is–or should be–used for is as explanatory scaffolding for the stats: stats can’t tell us why an elite shooter is elite, but the eye-test can: it gives us insight into their game and so helps explain the stats. But the eye-test isn’t really that useful, strictly speaking, without first looking at the numbers. Stats tell you if–the eye test (and technological developments like SportVU) tell you how. When you do player analysis properly, the stats are explantorially prior to the eye-test determinations and occupy a relatively privileged argumentative position that would require a lot of “eye-test data” to undermine.

      Furthermore, just because there’s controversy over how to properly quantify and delineate these advanced statistics does not mean there is thereby no fact of the matter; it merely means that the statisticians have their work cut out for them and we should approach each new metric with an eye for critique and improvement. I will, however, take most any advanced stat over eye-test platitudes like “carrying a team, night in, night out”.

    26. “It’s far more likely that the Dubs pay a smart team in picks to take David Lee’s contract than fail to max out Draymond. Which is the kind of move we should make, but probably won’t”
      I hadn’t thought of this angle before. Taking on Lee for a year and getting some other assets like picks for doing so is not a bad idea. Lee is still a very valuable offensive player — and a good fit for the triangle. If the Knicks draft Towns, he and Lee could potentially play together and Towns could help cover for Lee’s defensive deficiencies. The Warriors had a good defense with him playing big minutes last year. If it works well, the Knicks can re-sign Lee next year; if not, they can let his contract expire and use the cap space in 2016.

    27. Sorry for “peddling” the “bizarre narrative” that states Cole is, indeed, a pretty bad player…

      It’s not just that, dude. It’s everything. Your larger point is that Cole, Novak, Landry Fields, and more all fit some kind of pattern that proves how stupid everyone (except you, of course) is. It all comes together to form one big incoherent argument that falls on deaf ears because it makes no sense.

    28. Also Cole is pretty decent and undermines the arguments of eye-test faithful more than it helps them. No one was really arguing that he was elite–we were arguing that if he keeps up even a semblance of his per/ 36 production he’d be a good value at the minimum and a decent-to-great choice as starting center. None of these statements have been proven false by his play.

      The eye-test revealed some of his limitations (poor conditioning), but this shouldn’t lead to us declaring that Cole is bad but rather that he has limitations in his game that he needs to work on–the stats still show he’s a good player, and the eye-test data isn’t going to change that until the stats themselves change.

    29. Most people who were advocating for Cole Aldrich were not saying he is a great player, they were saying he was somebody who deserved more minutes based on his career stats– somebody who was worth taking a look at, considering the alternatives were known piles of suck such as Jason Smith. It turned out that playing Cole major minutes revealed a serious flaw– his conditioning sucks. As a backup center, he fits the bill pretty well though– he’s the best rebounder on the team by a mile, and the excellent rebounding gets his WS48 up to .097, or roughly league average. Play him 15 minutes a game and he’ll give you some decent value.

    30. It’s the other way around: numbers (stats) are very useful as a powerful complement to the initial impression provided by the eye test.

      The eye-test is good, maybe, for determining candidates for investigation (“steph curry seems like a really good shooter! let’s check out his basketball reference page!”) but the eye-test has nothing to say on whether DeMarre Carroll or Draymond Green is the better 3 point shooter (it’s Carroll) and never really could in a rigorous way without first seeing the stats. The eye-test ought not make comparative determinations of quality for easily quantifiable stats (i.e. not defense)–maximally the eye-test should merely remark that someone (on offense) seems really good, seems operating as a defeasible notion: when we look at the stats, we may reevaluate our judgments, recognizing that any eye-test judgment is always already provisional. Carmelo is a good case in point of this: he seems like a top 5-10 player by eye test (and by basic box score stats), but his production is actually far poorer than the eye-test suggests (though not as bad as many on this board make it out to be).

      The basic idea is that the initial eye-test impression is only good insofar as it leads you to look at the stats to really determine whether or not this player is as good as she seems. This does not mean that eye-test evidence ought to be accorded the same argumentative value as statistical evidence (at least offensively) when we are talking about production. Causally, the eye-test is prior in the phenomenology of good basketball analysis, but when it comes to the normative judgment, the stats are argumentatively privileged.

      None of this is meant to imply that qualitative analysis is unimportant–merely that stats, quantitative data, are the core on which good basketball analysis is built.

    31. Even though I never said that, I would agree that those are bad players, even if the stats can be manipulated to say otherwise to people who only look at certain numbers, missing the big picture.

      Is it really that difficult to see what we have in front of us?

      You tell everyone they’re “missing the big picture” because they don’t agree with your arbitrary evaluations of players. When they point out that argument has no actual basis in reality and is just centered around calling people stupid, you accuse them of resorting to “personal insults.” God forbid people use statistical analysis to debunk your drivel, then they’re dreaded members of the “statistical family.”

      You’re like the old version of THJC and Ruru’s baby that only inherited that bad traits of both.

    32. meant to say in my prior post that the eye-test is maybe good for determining exceptional candidates for investigation.

    33. Compared to an average NBA center, Cole is better at defensive rebounding, offensive rebounding, assists, turnovers, shot block blocking and steals. Per the rim protection #s at Nylon Calculus, he is 19th in the league in terms of saving points at the rim (obviously 19th is too specific, but if you read that as slightly above average, I think that’s fair). He seems to have conditioning problems, and he very clearly should never attempt 17FGs in an NBA game, but how do you figure he sucks?

    34. They have all been wrong about Cole. He is not a bad player, a journeyman bouncing around the NBA. He is a stats monster, a good player hampered by poor conditioning. If he ever gets in shape, you will see!

      Yes, when have multiple teams ever been wrong about a player? Have you seen how bad that Whiteside guy has been for Miami? How about the French kid in Utah? What a stiff, thank God we didn’t draft him instead of Tim Hardaway Jr. Jeremy Lin sucks too. So does Langston Galloway. And Patrick Beverley while we’re at it. Teams are never wrong in their initial evaluations of players. Ever.

    35. “Excellent rebounding” is 5.5 RPG when he is the only one going for rebounds

      He’s also only averaging 16 minutes per game, genius. Extrapolate that out to 36 minutes, and that’s 12.2 rebounds per 36, and that’s on a team that plays at a pace that’s as slow as molasses. He has a 28.2 DRB%, which is higher than Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler, Andrew Bogut, Nicola Vucevic, Anthony Davis, et cetera et cetera.

      And he’s not the only one going for rebounds– I would expect some of the dudes on the other team are going for them as well.

    36. I’d just like to point out that it’s pretty weird to use Cole Aldrich as the example of the player that the “statistical family” got wrong and the eye test scouting perspective got right when he was a freaking lottery pick. A more honest evaluation of the situation would admit that NBA scouts also though that Cole had what it takes to be a solid starting C if he could just get his ass in shape. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like that’s ever going to happen, but it’s not like everyone always knew this guy was a scrub except for the WP/48 freaks.

    37. Oklahoma, Houston, Sacramento and New York

      This isn’t exactly a murderer’s row of talent evaluators with the exception of houston.

    38. The same way all his teams figured he sucks.

      The same way all those teams figured out Hassan Whiteside sucks.

    39. The same way all his teams figured he sucks.

      Oklahoma, Houston, Sacrament, New York. They all came to the conclusion he sucks.

      Woodson was not wrong on this one.

      How is that? Tell me how you, Oklahoma, Houston, Sacrament and New York came to the conclusion that Cole sucks.

    40. Numbers suggest Calderon’s contract is perfectly fine, too. Hardaway’s numbers are great for a player making so little money.

      You really just showed how little you actually know about statistical analysis, because no decent statistics suggest either of those things.

    41. Should the Knicks offer Cole 10M per for 4 years on the condition he gets in shape? That would be the best way to secure a top-15 center in the NBA at a reasonable price. At least, that’s what the numbers suggest, right?

      Jeez, talk about straw men. Ain’t nobody saying Cole is a top 15 center, dude. I think at most people are saying that Cole isn’t too shabby as a 15 minute per game backup center on a minimum contract.

    42. Cole showed up this season out of shape. My first thought was surprise that a guy looking to get a foothold in the NBA would show up like that. My second thought was, after this guy is out of the NBA, boy, is he going to get big.

      Cole had one of my favorite plays this season on the knicks. I forget who, but some big threw a punch/shove at him after a play, and was looking to mix it up. In the midst of the one sided scuffle, Cole turned his back and walked away, calm and confidently.

    43. Hardaway’s numbers are great for a player making so little money.

      Which ones? Hardaway is bad at shooting, playing defense, passing the ball and rebounding. I would like to determine who in the NBA sucks and who does not suck. What criteria should I use? Playing time? Dion Waiters is obviously a player who does not suck. He was drafted high (check-GMs liked him). He played big minutes in Cleveland (check). Oklahoma City traded for him (check). He’s playing solid minutes for OKC, a playoff caliber team (check).

    44. Then, why isn’t he better than the average NBA center?

      It’s probably due to his 12 percentage point drop in TS% from last year–the poor conditioning has remained constant and wouldn’t be a good explanation for cole’s regression. But what do we stat heads know? Clearly the eye-test can tell us the same thing without the obfuscation of data.

      A good way to explain (but not identify) cole’s TS% dropping precipitously would be that he found himself as the starting center on the worst team in the league at a time when all of its scorers were injured and so decided to work on his skyhook to inefficient results. That’s a half-decent eye-test analysis. Saying he’s bad because [content] without any back up doesn’t even qualify as eye-test.

    45. Until he got injured Wesley Matthews was put forward as a major target for free agency. He went undrafted. The Pistons front office selected Darko Milicic 2nnd in the draft over Melo, Bosh and Wade while being the same group of people that put together a Championship team that would go on to make conference final after conference final. Do we really want to play this silly game?

    46. If he has better numbers than the average NBA center, it means he is at worst top-15. work the numbers out. Not that difficult.

      I take it you were not a statistics major?

    47. If he has better numbers than the average NBA center, it means he is at worst top-15. work the numbers out. Not that difficult.

      An average NBA center. Not an average NBA starting center. There are 30 starting NBA centers and then each team has pretty much two other centers on the roster, so that means there are what, like 90 centers in the NBA?

    48. If he has better numbers than the average NBA center, it means he is at worst top-15. work the numbers out. Not that difficult.

      I realize this is all very simple, but if you’re going to ignore Cole’s awful TS% you’re missing a fairly big reason why he’s not a top 15 center even on a rate basis.

    49. If he has better numbers than the average NBA center, it means he is at worst top-15. work the numbers out. Not that difficult.

      He has wayyyyy worse shooting numbers than a top 15 (or league-average) center, at least this year. Also league-average doesn’t mean league average among starters– it means league-average at your position. that encompasses way more than 30 data points. So these would be reasons why cole could have better numbers in most categories and still be only league average–his shooting sucks this year. I will say that WS/48 kind of punts on defense, so it’s likely undervaluing cole and overvaluing offensively efficient centers who play poor individual defense, so another reason why cole is “no better than league average” is due to our choice of stat to frame the discussion. I think cole’s good when he’s not put in a position to take 15 shots a game like earlier in the year. So far, there’s nothing that’s really proved that notion wrong.

    50. Captain Luke

      March 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Jeez, talk about straw men. Ain’t nobody saying Cole is a top 15 center, dude. I think at most people are saying that Cole isn’t too shabby as a 15 minute per game backup center on a minimum contract.

      DR said it.

      Quote:

      *****************
      “Compared to an average NBA center, Cole is better at defensive rebounding, offensive rebounding, assists, turnovers, shot block blocking and steals. Per the rim protection #s at Nylon Calculus, he is 19th in the league in terms of saving points at the rim (obviously 19th is too specific, but if you read that as slightly above average, I think that’s fair). He seems to have conditioning problems, and he very clearly should never attempt 17FGs in an NBA game, but how do you figure he sucks?”
      *****************

      If he has better numbers than the average NBA center, it means he is at worst top-15. work the numbers out. Not that difficult.

      I don’t think the categories listed are exhaustive. We are missing TS% and all the other scoring ones that some here feel are the be all and end all in player evaluation. So my math has him at better than top fifteen, assuming the average center is only limited to the starters and not the 1-2 backups per team, at some but not all categories.

    51. A combination of eye test plus statistical analysis. It’s still the best, most accurate manner

      What sort of statistical analysis should I do? Andrea Bargnani does really well in minutes played. That means he’s better than, say, Cole Aldrich, right?

    52. “DR said it.”
      Yeah, but DR has a major man-crush on Cole and, thus, a major blind spot, so, even though he usually makes a lot of sense, you can’t take anything that he says about Cole Aldrich literally. It’s kind of like looking at an objectively ugly baby and quoting the mother as saying that the baby is beautiful. You have to discount what the mother says.

    53. “There is no way of ‘objectively analyzing a player’s value'”

      You realize that saying that is tantamount to rejecting stats or player evaluation entirely right? All basketball analysis would be Protagorean and there’d be no decent explanation for why some front offices are routinely more successful than others. Or why some players are better than others. There has to be, minimally, some fact of the matter on player quality to explain how some teams are better than others. If there’s a fact of the matter, it implies that there is a coherent way of objectively analyzing player quality. This is where the stats/eye-test debate comes into play. But if you reject what you rejected in that post, there’s no point in arguing with anyone over anything.

      If you renege that statement:
      Very few people on this board have ever argued that eye test is useless–whats being argued is the relative value of advanced stats vis a vis eye-test/box score stats in determining player quality. given the dismal record of the eye test/box score stats and the decent record of advanced statistical analysis, im favoring stats as the more successful of the two. Another thing is that the eye-test is always being misused by “common sense” demagogues such as yourself, giving it a bad reputation where none is deserved, so long as it’s used properly. Box-score stats, however, are pretty irredeemable.

    54. What sort of statistical analysis should I do? Andrea Bargnani does really well in minutes played. That means he’s better than, say, Cole Aldrich, right?

      Totally different skill sets, but similar calibre players.
      But I know, it’s cool to like Cole and hate Bargnani.

    55. I think that’s exactly what DRed feels: Cole is, at least, top-15 among NBA centers.

      Um, HE JUST SAID that Cole’s shitty TS% keeps him from being a top-15 center, EVEN ON A RATE BASIS.

    56. If your team functions better on both ends of the floor when Lou Amundson takes your minutes you’re not very good no matter what your rebound rate is. A guy who can only play 15 minutes a night isn’t a decent anything- he’s a fringe player. Maybe Cole gets in shape and maybe Boogie Cousins stops jacking up 17 footers but they’ve both been in the league long enough that I wouldn’t count on either.

    57. Totally different skill sets, but similar calibre players.

      What allows you to compare players with totally different skill sets and arrive at a decent estimate of their overall value, hoolahoop? What are you basing your conclusion on?

    58. This is crazy. All the numbers (except current TS) say that at a minimum salary and 15 minutes a night, Cole is a great backup center. There is no evidence to say he “sucks” except the eye-test, since off-balance hook-shots look bad. But the freaking point is that he is a better center than anyone on the current Knick roster, AND he is a better center than anyone on the roster at a LEAGUE MINIMUM SALARY.

      Would I bet he’ll get in shape? Nope. But based purely on existing information, I’d gladly pay the minimum salary to keep him as a backup and smile the whole time I’m signing the contract. If he got in shape, maybe I’d be pleasantly surprised and find he was a better than average center, period. But even exactly as it is, he should have been playing at least 15 minutes per game from the beginning of the season. And THAT is what everyone was saying. We HOPED he would be great in a larger role; we KNEW he would be good in a modest backup role.

      And he was and is.

    59. Totally different skill sets, but similar calibre players.

      What allows you to compare players with totally different skill sets and arrive at a decent estimate of their overall value, hoolahoop? What are you basing your conclusion on?

      Cole does things that Bargs doesn’t do (rebound!, defend the paint). And Bargs does things things that Cole can’t (dribble and score outside of three feet from the rim).

      When I select guys for Sunday pick-up softball, I can choose a power hitter who hit’s home runs, but can’t run or field for shit. Or, I can take a singles hitter who plays decent center field. Both guys are usually picked about 6 – 8th. Neither much better than the other. There are other guys that are much better. . . and much worse.

    60. A decent back-up should be able to play more than 20 minutes a night without coughing out a lung. As I said- the team’s been better with Lou Amundson on the court (much better rotation defender and doesn’t clog the lane on offense) and that should say it all. I have no problem with Cole (or Amundson) on a minimum salary as the 12th-15th guy but I’d like my back-up to actually be able to play starters minutes if necessary.

    61. I think Towns and Russell would be really nice foundation pieces. I’m excited to draft Towns and acquire Russell from the Lakers for Carmelo Anthony.

    62. Cole showed up this season out of shape.
      But, here’s the thing. Now, he’s in shape. This is Cole.

    63. Cole does things that Bargs doesn’t do (rebound!, defend the paint). And Bargs does things things that Cole can’t (dribble and score outside of three feet from the rim).

      Except Cole does some of those things quite well. He’s a good rebounder and a good shot blocker. Bargs doesn’t score well. He’d be below average in efficiency if he was a small forward. Bargs is bad at the things you seem to think he’s good at, and I think we agree he’s terrible at the things he’s bad at. So while comparing NBA players to rec league softball players is not perhaps the most rigorous analysis, I think you’re comparing a no glove power hitter to a guy who is fast but takes bad routes to the ball, isn’t good at actually catching and who also sucks at hitting.

    64. There is a punch line to my post. It’s not that Galloway is better than Leonard. He isn’t, and Leonard is worth a larger salary. But Galloway is a much better deal. What I see on this board is that posters constantly want to get the hot player of this season and then hope that we can play below market for him. We can’t afford a team full of max players, we need inexpensive young guys who get better. But the clamor here is to get Leonard, not to retain Galloway. I would rather retain Galloway. His shooting percentage isn’t as good at Leonard’s but he’s a guard and threes are a larger part of his game. His three point shooting percentage is actually better than Leonard’s, and is better despite that fact that he’s on a much worse team that has no well known scoring threat that will occupy the defense, unlike San Antonio, which has Duncan and Parker to distract the defense from Leonard. Leonard gets more rebounds, but less assists, which is understandable since he’s a forward and Galloway’s a guard. Leonard is a better defender, I am sure, but does this really make him worth fifteen times as much as Galloway? Galloway is not bad at all on defense, after all. Leonard is still a role player, (although one who is young enough to improve considerably), so I think twice about giving him a max salary.

    65. I think Towns and Russell would be really nice foundation pieces. I’m excited to draft Towns and acquire Russell from the Lakers for Carmelo Anthony.

      Agreed. But that would be like a Ewing dream come true.

    66. Reminds me of Camby’s most recent return to NY, when a lot of people defended the move by citing a completely obscure, meaningless stat: he was the best NBS per-minute rebounder the previous season!

      Being the best rebounder in the NBA on a rate basis is neither obscure nor meaningless, especially when you have played lots of minutes in the NBA and been one of the best rebounders in basketball for your entire career. That number is a piece of evidence that strongly suggests you are good at getting rebounds. Marcus Camby, despite being an injury riddled shell of himself his last season on the Knicks, was actually still a good rebounder. His offense just totally collapsed and he couldn’t stay healthy.

    67. Except Cole does some of those things quite well. He’s a good rebounder and a good shot blocker.

      I don’t hate Cole. I like him in a limited role. I think he could be a decent backup center on decent team.
      Honestly, I actually like most guys on this team. . .
      Except for one guy that makes a boat load of money and plays like he’s in a schoolyard with no respect for his teammates.

    68. There is a punch line to my post. It’s not that Galloway is better than Leonard. He isn’t, and Leonard is worth a larger salary. But Galloway is a much better deal. What I see on this board is that posters constantly want to get the hot player of this season and then hope that we can play below market for him. We can’t afford a team full of max players, we need inexpensive young guys who get better. But the clamor here is to get Leonard, not to retain Galloway. I would rather retain Galloway. His shooting percentage isn’t as good at Leonard’s but he’s a guard and threes are a larger part of his game. His three point shooting percentage is actually better than Leonard’s, and is better despite that fact that he’s on a much worse team that has no well known scoring threat that will occupy the defense, unlike San Antonio, which has Duncan and Parker to distract the defense from Leonard. Leonard gets more rebounds, but less assists, which is understandable since he’s a forward and Galloway’s a guard. Leonard is a better defender, I am sure, but does this really make him worth fifteen times as much as Galloway? Galloway is not bad at all on defense, after all. Leonard is still a role player, (although one who is young enough to improve considerably), so I think twice about giving him a max salary.

      Great post.

    69. Totally misleading in the absence of more meaningful data that can change the entire picture…

      His offense just totally collapsed and he couldn’t stay healthy.

      That changes the picture, doesn’t it? That’s the type of data numbers won’t provide for you when you are just cherry-picking stats in order to defend a position far from reality.

      The year before his last stint with the Knicks Camby played around 1300 minutes. He sucked on offense (because he was Marcus Camby), but he was a fantastic rim protector and the best rebounder in the NBA, as well as blocking lots of shots, getting an above average number of steals, passing well, and generally doing Marcus Camby things. If he’d provided roughly the same production he would have been a spectacular backup to Tyson Chandler, providing the rebounding and help defense that Knicks team lacked when Tyson was gone. Everything in Camby’s career suggested he’d be a useful player for the Knicks, with the obvious warning that Marcus was old, and old players are not reliable, because they tend to collapse very rapidly whenever the end comes. What about Camby’s career told you that he was about to fall off a cliff?

    70. What about Camby’s career told you that he was about to fall off a cliff?

      Presumably nothing at the time. But since it is three years later and we know what happened, well you know how that story goes.

    71. Not true.

      He had a very misleading Total Rebound Pct placement at #1, the way Tyson Chandler was NBA best in True Shooting Pct and Offensive Rating.

      Josh Smith had a #1. Defensive Win Shares rating.

      Camby was 20th in the NBA in total rebounds despite averaging only 23 minutes a game. I’m not sure what you think was misleading about his total rebound pct placement. Dude was a very good at getting rebounds.

      Tyson Chandler was #1 in the NBA in TS% because a ridiculously high percentage of his shots went through the basket. He was #1 in ORTG for the same reason. Tyson was a very efficient player on offense that season. People in 2012 were not saying Marcus Camby was a good pick up only because he had the highest overall rebound percentage in the NBA-they were saying it was a good pickup because the Knicks were going all in that season, because Camby had been good for something like 15 seasons beforehand, and because he was a great fit for the role we were hoping to have him play. He got old real fast and it didn’t work. I’m not sure what you think this teaches us about how to use statistics to evaluate NBA players.

    72. The problem with models that try to measure the value of players with a single number is that it seems to be very difficult to get the weights for each skill correct.

      PER seems to overweight high usage low efficiency scoring.

      WP48 seems to overweight high efficiency low usage scoring (it doesn’t seem to punish the inability to score much at all)

      WS seems to overrate mediocre players that play on very good teams and underrate great players that play on bad teams.

      They all have a problem with individual defense.

      THere are other minor issues also.

    73. Except he’s actually been playing pretty well recently. I know that doesn’t fit into the bizarre narrative you’ve been peddling since you got here but it’s true.

      Yeah…. been playing lights out for a Zamboni! Watch St Cole get posterized by the offensively challenged (but top defender) Nerlens Noel:

      http://www.nba.com/sixers/video/games/sixers/2015/03/20/0021401021-nyk-phi-play7.nba

      This is why St. Cole is an end of the bench player in the NBA…. he has no lateral movement. The Zamboni union is dismayed. Never had and lateral movement…. never will and he doesn’t do anything else well enough to command PT. Plus he’s an amazingly out of shape pillsbury doughboy white guy…..lol at the greek chorus.

      And as far as Kawhi is concerened he = a young Scottie Pippen and other than the Brow and Curry, he is the young player I would build my Franchise around if I could. /[THREAD]

    74. An extended rehash of the Marcus Camby trade was definitely not on my list of expected topics for the day!

      The problem with models that try to measure the value of players with a single number is that it seems to be very difficult to get the weights for each skill correct.

      Some might argue that it’s because there is not “correct” weight for each skill. Depending on the team context, role, other players, opponent etc. some skills will be more important and some skills will be less important. That’s why I’m very wary of any of the single value statistics.

      Still not sure how you can argue that a guy who rebounds the highest percentage of shots when he’s on the floor isn’t a good rebounder though…

    75. This is why St. Cole is an end of the bench player in the NBA…. he has no lateral movement.

      Even with no lateral movement, opponents that he is defending at the time shoot 4% worse at the rim than they do against other NBA players…
      Don’t you think that if people were blowing by him every possession this number would be worse than the average player?

    76. The same way all those teams figured out Hassan Whiteside sucks.

      The willful ignorance on this board sometimes amazes me. The is zero corrolation between Whiteside and Cole. Whiteside came out of Marshall as a leaping freakish shotblocker with amazing timing with no offensive game. His entire game was predicated on freakish athleticism.

      Whiteside injured a patellar tendon (pretty important to leapers) in October of 2010 of his rookie season and the injury was misdiagnosed and it took til March 2011 to have surgery. By his own admission it took him 13 months to “feel good” again. He then bounced around the D-league, China and Lebanon for 2 years

      http://www.sactownroyalty.com/2011/6/20/2233003/hassan-whiteside-injuries-and-responsibility

      He struggled with the knee for a few years until he regained his freakish athleticism. Cole has no athleticism to “regain”, He is useless both offensively and defensively outside of the restricted area because he cannot move at all. He’s fine around the basket on both ends of the floor, but is an enormous liability outside of that and everyone not in love with slow fat white guys accepts that.

      Whiteside was a freakish athlete who sustained a severe injury and bounced around regaining his athleticism. The only team that made a mistake was Memphis. They had him this season and didn’t keep him, but they did have a couple of other pretty good big men.

    77. Since both Jason Smith and Amar’e hold their opponents to a lower shooting % at the rim than Cole then nobody must be blowing by them either.

    78. Even with no lateral movement, opponents that he is defending at the time shoot 4% worse at the rim than they do against other NBA players…
      Don’t you think that if people were blowing by him every possession this number would be worse than the average player?

      You will note I mentioned in post 113 he is ok in both O + D restricted areas. Unfortunately for him, the NBA floor is 94 feet long and he is pretty useless (as shown when defending the offensive juggernaut Nerlens Noel!) around the rest of it, hence his limited utility even though one can parse out some stats selectively where he is ok.

    79. But Cole is actually productive. He can’t be a starter for conditioning issues (which is pretty damning for a professional athlete, but sill), but as a 15-20 minutes center off the bench he does a pretty good job. Why are we even debating this?

    80. Since both Jason Smith and Amar’e hold their opponents to a lower shooting % at the rim than Cole then nobody must be blowing by them either.

      Cole crushes Jason Smith (obviously, some of this is positional) in terms of % of shots at the rim that are contested, and contests a significant amount more than Amare. The argument is that Cole is a particularly awesome defensive player-I don’t think he is by eyetest or stats. Cole is pretty good at protecting the rim, and not very good at getting out to contest big guys shooting jump shots. In some match-ups, that will really burn you. Generally, though, it’s okay, because the number of really good shooting NBA centers is pretty small.

      But hey, he got dunked on by Nerlens Noel, so there you go.

    81. This is really some of the dumbest, lowest caliber conversation on here I’ve seen on here in quite a long time.

    82. You can always rip apart a player’s game and point to what he’s good at or what he’s bad at in specific areas of offense or defense. There are bad matchups for almost everyone. But aren’t we interested in the “NET VALUE” of what a player does well and poorly.

      I don’t claim to be an expert on defense, but on a net basis the stats seem to suggest that Aldrich is pretty good on defense. Defense Box Plus/Minus certainly suggests that given virtually every other Knick is terrible on that stat (granted it’s flawed, but there aren’t many good defensive stats).

      I think his real problem is on offense. He’s been inefficient this year on low usage. He’s been terrible. He’s been better in the past, but not this year.

    83. Anytime you have someone producing something for your team at the minimum is a win. Can we discuss something else?

    84. Losing to Philly is important. It will pretty much lock up the #2 lottery spot.
      Minny is taking this tanking thing therioulsy, though.

    85. I read somewhere earlier that simulations have us at over 70% to have the worst record, which seems about right. Two game “lead” in the win column with this few games left is actually pretty huge.

      Unfortunately our remaining schedule is pretty easy. No games left against the West after tomorrow, and of our last 10 after that, only Chicago, the Wizards and the Hawks have winning records. Thankfully for us, the Celtics, Nets and Pacers are all still in the thick of the Eastern race, so you’d hope they will be focused for those games. We also have the Bucks in there, so that’s 8 games that I’d at least lightly pencil in as losses. As long as we lose at least 7 of those, that leaves the Sixers, Magic and Pistons as the really easy games. Hopefully lose 2 out of 3 of those, and even if Minnesota loses out we’d still be tied for worst record.

    86. Anytime you have someone producing something for your team at the minimum is a win. Can we discuss something else?

      What production? Cole ranks 68th out of 73 centers in espn’s real +/- (and he’s in the bottom ten offensive players in the league according to that mysterious stat). He has the worst net +/- on the team- and yeah plus minus is “meaningless” but I challenge you to find a decent player whose +/- numbers are as bad as Cole’s- he’s been just as shitty as everyone else on the team and just as worthy a candidate to be waived in favor of taking a flyer on a d-league guy as Bargs or Smith. Well maybe not just as worthy but still pretty worthy. And I advocated starting him at the beginning of the year- as much because I was not a big fan of Dalembert as anything else- but he’s just sucked. He’s a good rebounder who’ll block a shot or two but he’s been a disaster on offense and doesn’t move his feet well enough to be an effective defender- if you can’t rotate and recover as a big then you’re not going to be a good defensive big in today’s NBA no matter how well you can guard your man in the post. I’ll repeat it again- the Knicks have played better with perennial 12th man Lou Amundson on the court than with Cole- he’s no bargain at any price.

    87. According to real plus/minus Cole has been our best defensive center, and is 39th overall. If you’re going to use that as your stat, you can’t say Cole is some sort of unplayable trainwreck on defense.

      He has sucked on offense this year, though.

    88. According to real plus/minus Cole has been our best defensive center, and is 39th overall. If you’re going to use that as your stat, you can’t say Cole is some sort of unplayable trainwreck on defense.

      For the record Amundson’s been solidly better (1.95 vs. .75- he’d be 22 on the center list) but he’s listed as a power forward. I don’t think Cole’s an unplayable train wreck on defense- he’s an unplayable train wreck on offense who isn’t nearly good enough to make up for it on the other end. You want to make the case that he’s an average defensive center if you’re including back-ups- fine- His defensive rebounding alone probably gets him close to average but I still think he’s too slow on the perimeter to be a real plus on that end.

    89. Side note on Cole and fatigue. It’s slightly interesting to note that Cole’s career #s in games where he has played at least 20 minutes are actually better than games where he has played less than 20 minutes.

      20+ TS 58.2% Reb/36 13.0
      0-20 TS 51.3% Reb/36 11.4

      This is hardly definitive for many reasons, a big one being that if Cole is kept in the game for longer stints when he is playing better, these numbers will be biased toward the 20+ category. It would be more interesting to see how Cole plays within games to better answer this question. Still, the numbers don’t immediately support the conditioning theory. It’s not obvious that an explanation is even needed for his worse performance this year, aside from mere volatility.

      Despite the relative predictability of NBA performance, 1000 minutes is still a small sample size that contains a lot of noise. It could well be true that his previous #s are too good to be true, and this year’s numbers are a bit worse than the expected norm. It’s funny to watch him grabbing nylon after like 90 seconds on the court, but conditioning may be that big a deal. Probably Cole is what his still small career numbers currently indicate: a passable backup big.

    90. Which is more amazing — that, at the end of this long season, we’ve been reduced to arguing over how good/bad Cole Aldrich is, or, at the end of this long season, so many of us still care enough to bother having the argument?

    91. Seriously, 132 comments today. That’s more than the # of comments that playoff game threads have gotten (the few that there have been this century).

      A priori, it’s great to see so much action during the dog days of a miserable season. Upon closer look, though, the action is just misleading noise, since it’s basically a monologue about a trade from the Gruneald era, a 3rd string center, the value of the eye test, and other stuff that was boring the first time around and just plain tedious here in 2015.

    92. Oh God, Isiah Thomas is on TNT. Bring back Chuck! Hell, I’d rather listen to Reggie Miller and Chris Webber

    93. Which is more amazing — that, at the end of this long season, we’ve been reduced to arguing over how good/bad Cole Aldrich is, or, at the end of this long season, so many of us still care enough to bother having the argument?

      I’d argue with your use of the “amazing” and insert “pathetic”.

      Based on more than a couple of comments by Phil, my fear is that he’s going to trade the knicks pick, probably for some esoteric combination of “triangle” guys.

    94. He also said he wasn’t going to trade it when he last talked to the press. I’m hopeful.

      Jackson said he hopes to find a future franchise player in the draft who can help the Knicks for the next 10 years.

    95. I really want to be Enes Kanter’s agent. This guy knows how to accelerate off the on ramp. When was the last time someone had 15 & 10 in the first quarter?

    96. What always impresses me when I watch Kawai play, is how disciplined he is, taking good shots and sharing the ball. Guys with his athleticism have a tremedous propensity to run amuck, especially on a team like the knicks.
      I attribute this to Popivich demanding it, and Kawai being a good student. If he goes to another team, I think we’ll see a different Kawai.

    97. @130

      Thanks for the analysis, ptmilo. Especially interesting as it runs counter to the eye test.

    98. Small sample size, of course, but Kanter has been really goodfor OKC. I’d be willing to bet this high level of production (.606 TS, 20.4 pts/36, and a .219 WS/48) will taper off, but, like milo said, this man is gonna fool some poor team into maxing him out and then be stuck with a .54 ts big man with horrid defense. What are the odds it’s the Knicks?

    99. What a comeback by the bucks and an awesome 3 by Middleton for the win. I just hope the Knicks can pull him out of Milwaukee.

      re: RFA’s I saw something that the cap may go up to $105m in 2017. How will that affect RFAs this year and next year? Will 15 RFAs be more inclined to sign 3yr deals with an option after yr 2? Will 16 RFAs be more likely to play out the year on their QO?

    100. The $105 million report is pretty speculative, so I don’t think players will adjust their plans based on it. The $90 million cap is almost an absolute, though, so that will affect things.

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