Knicks Morning News (2015.05.11)

  • [New York Times] Top Seeds in Both East, West in Trouble Trailing Semis 2-1 (Mon, 11 May 2015 07:45:10 GMT)

    First-year coach Steve Kerr knows a crucial moment in the playoffs, so he understands exactly the test his Golden State Warriors face trailing Memphis 2-1 in their Western Conference semifinal.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Rout Rockets 128-95 to Take 3-1 Series Lead (Mon, 11 May 2015 05:12:01 GMT)

    DeAndre Jordan scored 26 points, surviving Houston’s intentional-foul fest in the first half, and the Los Angeles Clippers won 128-95 on Sunday night to take a 3-1 lead and put the Rockets on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference semifinals.

  • [New York Times] Jordan Pushes Clippers Closer to First Western Final (Mon, 11 May 2015 04:47:56 GMT)

    Center DeAndre Jordan’s double-double led the Los Angeles Clippers to the brink of a first Western Conference final with a 128-95 win over the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center on Sunday.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Roll to a 3-1 Series Lead on Rockets (Mon, 11 May 2015 03:55:11 GMT)

    DeAndre Jordan scored 26 points as Los Angeles put Houston on the brink of elimination.

  • [New York Times] LeBron Changes Play, Hits Jumper at Horn to Beat Bulls (Mon, 11 May 2015 01:03:15 GMT)

    LeBron James hit a jumper from the corner at the buzzer to give the Cleveland Cavaliers an 86-84 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, tying the Eastern Conference semifinal series at 2-2.

  • Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

    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).

    21 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.05.11)”

    1. Re: Hack-a-Shaq, I’d like to weigh in.

      The concept of fouls and free throws was invented to penalize rough play by offering the fouled person an opportunity to earn points withoug being defended; 15 feet is pretty arbitrary, but unlike the extra point in football, it has held up pretty well.

      Now, the Hack-a Shaq to the extreme has the bizarre consequence of actually rewarding teams for fouling.

      However, this is not the only egregious twist of the “free throws for fouls” logic. In college, the end of just about every close game is decided on the free throw line. Somewhat the same in the NBA, but it is rare that the parade to the FT line is so pronounced. I think in college, the players are generally not as good at shooting FTs.

      A simple (and I think pretty elegant) solution for both issues is to give the fouled team’s coach the option of geting 1 FT + the ball (same as an illegal defense, except that the fouled player still has to shoot) rather than shooting 2 FTs (on 3-point attempts, 2 FTs + the ball or 3 FTs.)

      My premise is that fouling should ALWAYS be considered a penalty, ESPECIALLY at the end of games. By doing this, Hack-a Shaq becomes, in essense, an illegal defense, which frankly, it should be.

      This idea is hardly novel. It is already used for fouling a player off the ball in the last 2 minutes, and for fouling a player before the ball is officially inbounds.

      If you want to make it so that teams think twice about choosing the 1 FT + ball option, make it so that they must inbound the ball in the front court (I hated that rule change anyway.)

      Thoughts?

    2. Z-Man, that’s the rule change I have suggested as well (I’m pretty sure I’ve posted about it on here). However, I doubt that the NBA would go for it because of how dramatically this would change end game situations. Instead of the series of quick fouls followed by attempts to score quickly that you have now you’d have one team just eating the majority of the clock with the other team wanting to force a steal, but knowing that fouling is incredibly costly.

      Personally I would be in favor of the change as I find the way it works now not only long and tedious, but also too different from the way the first 47 minutes is played. The counterpoint is that I think the NBA sees it as a positive. Not only does it lead to more opportunities for late game drama, but it leads to tons of stoppages with juicy commercial break opportunities with a captive audience.

      The other solution I like is “Any foul that does not constitute a legitimate attempt to make a basketball play is two shots and the ball”. It gets directly to the heart of what we want to be “allowed” (in the sense of being a common foul) and what we want to forbidden. The argument against that one that I’ve heard is it puts too much discretion in the refs’ hands but that’s what they’re there for. If they can’t be trusted to use their discretion then fire them and find a ref that can be trusted

      This brings up a side note of my least favorite thing in all of basketball which is when they do a three minute review to determine whether a guy is standing next to or behind the dribbler in a clear-path situation when you can tell instantly 100% of the time whether a foul was intended to stop a clear path dunk or not. Focus more on getting the spirit of the rules right and then let the refs interpret them.

    3. I seem to recall back in the 80s or earlier the bonus included three to make two for shooting fouls.

    4. A simple (and I think pretty elegant) solution for both issues is to give the fouled team’s coach the option of geting 1 FT + the ball (same as an illegal defense, except that the fouled player still has to shoot) rather than shooting 2 FTs (on 3-point attempts, 2 FTs + the ball or 3 FTs.)

      I think this idea has been thorwn around here a couple of times. I like the idea though. It prevents that tedious 5-10 minutes it takes to play out the final 30 seconds of a game, and would offer better quality finishes, as fans would get teams (in theory) attempting better defensive setups late in games.

      This brings up a side note of my least favorite thing in all of basketball which is when they do a three minute review to determine whether a guy is standing next to or behind the dribbler in a clear-path situation when you can tell instantly 100% of the time whether a foul was intended to stop a clear path dunk or not. Focus more on getting the spirit of the rules right and then let the refs interpret them.

      I would personally like to see a time limit, say 1 minute for the refs to review. If they can’t conclusively decide one way or another, just defer to the original call. I think if you can’t clearly determine something in the first couple of viewings, you’re not going to get it after watching the same play for 5 minutes.

    5. Another interesting idea I saw on twitter was for all off-ball fouls the ball handler would shoot the FTs, or alternately the fouled team could decide between the ball handler and the fouled player. That’s a pretty minimalist change that wouldn’t impact much outside of the Hack-A strategies and doesn’t seem like much of a stretch. Basically it’s the kind of change I could actually see the NBA considering.

    6. 1. That would seem to be a pretty simple solution, thenamestsam

      2. I feel like Atlanta didn’t miss a shot in that first half.

    7. I started following basketball in 1966 at age 8. I remember the 3 to make 2 rule well. In fact, all defensive fouls resulted in at least 1 foul shot. Things changed around 1981. Another weird thing I remember from that era was the “backcourt foul” which was equivalent to a shooting foul all the time. And with no 3-pointers, each FT was that more valuable. There was also no such thing as a “loose ball foul,” i.e. all fouls were either offensive or defensive.

      In researching the dates, I was reminded of the issue with teams fouling a team trailing by 3 with a few seconds left in order to minimize the chances of a 3-pointer tying the game. This is another situation where the option of a shot plus the ball eliminates that dubious strategy from consideration.

      Even making the “off the ball” foul worth 1 shot and possession for the entire game would be an improvement. At least Hack-a-Shaq would only be tried at the end, and only if the bad FT shooter had the ball.

    8. For anyone blissfully holding out optimism about the secret PJAX analytical chops soon to be revealed, I advise not checking out the recent third grade analysis he just retweeted in putative support of his silly claim that 3 point shooting doesn’t work in the playoffs, presumably because the Dubs are down 2-1.

    9. The Knicks are undefeated when scoring more points than their opponent.

      #realstatstalk

    10. For anyone blissfully holding out optimism about the secret PJAX analytical chops soon to be revealed, I advise not checking out the recent third grade analysis he just retweeted in putative support of his silly claim that 3 point shooting doesn’t work in the playoffs, presumably because the Dubs are down 2-1.

      That’s beautiful. Miserably, stupidly beautiful. So simple. So wrong.

    11. awwww, paulie piercie chokie!

      Funny thing is, he actually choked on BOTH shots!

    12. Yeah, I think he might have been too open. You can see a clear hesitation before the shot.

    13. I think 1 FT + ball is a little too much for “off the ball” fouls, because “off the ball” fouls happen by accident as well and having the ref decide if the foul was intentional or not feels too arbitrary.

      I think an easy solution would be to let the team who got fouled have the option to reject FTs and just get the ball with a clock reset whenever a foul is committed. It eliminates all end game fouling to stretch the game and eliminates hack-a strategies.

    14. I like choice, because being in the “penalty” should indeed be, well, a penalty.

    15. Incidentally for those who can’t afford twitter, here was Phil’s actual question:

      NBA analysts give me some diagnostics on how 3pt oriented teams are faring this playoffs…seriously, how’s it goink?

      I’m not going to post a link to the answer he retweeted because someone may read it and still ask what’s wrong with it, and I don’t want to be sad. The simplest answer to the question:

      1. In the first round of the playoffs, the team with the higher regular season 3 point shooting attempt rate won six of the eight series.

      2. The four highest 3 pt shooting rate teams in the NBA all advanced to the second round, as did #7 and #8. In contrast, only two teams with even a below average 3PA rate are still alive.

      3. One of those two below average 3PT rate teams was Washington. Washington significantly changed its offense in the series against Toronto and actually shot 3s at a higher rate than the Raptors, and also higher than the NBA average, in contrast to their regular season #s.

    16. I think an easy solution would be to let the team who got fouled have the option to reject FTs and just get the ball with a clock reset whenever a foul is committed. It eliminates all end game fouling to stretch the game and eliminates hack-a strategies.

      So you’d have teams who basically just have to inbound the ball and protect it. Boring way to end the game, like kneeling in football.

      I like the idea where the ball-handler can take the shots in the place of the off-ball foulee, but you’re right that it slows the game down at the end.

    17. Warriors in 6
      Clips in 5
      Bulls in 7
      Hawks in 7

      And then we’ll have one awesome conference final and one fugly conference final.

    18. I think the simplest solution to Hack-a-________ (provided that you think it is something worth changing) is to give the team the option to take the ball out rather than take foul shots on off the ball fouls when the fouling team is over the foul limit. This would not affect anything other than Hack-a-____ strategy. It wouldn’t change anything else, including end of the game strategy, as you already have to foul the guy with the ball to force end of the game free throws. Off the ball fouls leading to free throws are rare outside of Hack-a-____, so it really wouldn’t be a big deal.

    19. I agree, Brian. I also agree with Jowles that any solution that essentially ends games with a whimper, but intentionally fouling off the ball should never be a viable strategy.

    20. IMO, the key “questions” about 3 point shooting are about variance, how you get your 3s, and the differences between defenses in the regular season and playoffs. .

      Two teams play 3 games. One shoots a lot of 3s (the slightly superior offensive team) and the other doesn’t. In the first game, the 3 point shooting team shoots 35 3s, makes 18, and wins handily. In the next 2 games, the other teams defends the 3 point line better, reduces the number of 3 point attempts, and lowers their efficiency. It wins 2 tightly contested games.

      The stats will show that the 3 point shooting team had a higher TS% for the series. The problem is the volatility has them down 2 games to 1.

      Phil is NOT saying that you shouldn’t be shooting 3s. He’s saying the 3s have to come from an inside out offense that will generate more consistent quality 3 point shots, otherwise they can be defended by superior defensive teams and lead to high volatility.

    21. I don’t think Phil meant to contain all of what you just said in a 140 character tweet

    Comments are closed.