Knicks Morning News (2015.08.05)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks sign Kevin Seraphin to 1-year, $2.8M deal (Wed, 05 Aug 2015 01:58:11 GMT)

    The Knicks turned to a frontcourt free agent with the last of their extra money, inking center Kevin Seraphin.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Jazz’s Dante Exum Hurts Knee (Wed, 05 Aug 2015 04:02:06 GMT)

    Exum, a Utah point guard, injured his left knee while playing for the Australian national team against the Slovene national team in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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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).

    202 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.08.05)”

    1. Re: Seraphin, I like this quote:

      “We stay on him because we know how good he can be, and I think sometimes he doesn’t realize how talented he really is,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal told the Washington Post in January. “I tell him all the time, ‘I’m going to give you the ball, and in my opinion no one can guard you in the post.’?”

      He might be a nice triangle option down low, sort of a poor man’s Greg Monroe. Of course, he’ll have to learn how to pass, which seems like his biggest fault.

    2. So, now that we used the room exception, does that mean that for the rest of the year, barring trades, we are limited to minimum contracts? In other words, can we go over the cap without making a trade?

    3. This is decidedly not Melo’s team. He is the highest paid player, but this is Phil’s team.

      ……Blank Stare.

      I’m with Clyde. Melo will eventually want out because it isn’t his team.

      Clyde never said that.

      I’m in the camp of those fellows who believe Melo’s brand of play limits teams.

      There is no way to qualify your “camps” thoughts. Stats have actually shown otherwise.

      It is not Melo’s team when they play the triangle.

      So the Lakers werent Kobe’s team? Jordan? Shaq?”

      er,

      One would think you’ve intentionally copied the interrogative style of Ted Nelson…only not as grounded in fact, IMHO.
      Phil pointedly stated he did not consult with his only max player when constructing virtually an entire team. Melo has not embraced the triangle yet. He’s never shown effective leadership, and often is prone to breaking out solo.
      I can easily infer from Clyde’s veiled (he works for Phil and the Knicks) comments that he believes Melo will ask out, which can realistically only be achieved by trade, since the Knicks would not buy out someone and, therefore, get no value back. See how I did that? Inference.

      A similar system, in which Melo played all of 40 games, doesn’t mean Kobe, Shaq and Jordan are comparable to Melo. Melo has played eight seasons and achieved little in terms of team success. Of the three players you mentioned, Kobe and Jordan had already won three championships by their 8th year and Shaq had three by his 9th. In all three cases, via advanced stats, they are superior to Melo.
      It’s a great marketing ploy to put Melo in that conversation, but it’s a giant reach.
      Never mind tho, to er(r) is human.

    4. Players take ownership of teams.
      This certainly may become Melo’s team; right now he’s barely played with anyone on this roster. Indeed, there were reports from people around him that he was unhappy with the Porzingis draft, and since he has said positive things about Prozingis. It is a team constructed by Phil for Phil’s system and Melo had no input.
      I would argue that ‘Melo’s’ teams have not performed well on the whole, but would cheer loudly if he suddenly developed into a leader who embraces a system and plays within that system and the Knicks become a playoff team.

    5. if he suddenly developed into a leader who embraces a system and plays within that system

      How many years now has this been hoped of Melo? Every?

    6. I was away all day yesterday er, so I am catching up:
      I said,

      “I think Melo, I worry, will retard development of these players as he tries to reassert himself after his injury.”

      You said:

      “This makes no sense. Its Melos team, the rookies have to fit in and grow off of his game. Thats how this works right?”

      As I’ve said above, there is no evidence at this point this is Melo’s team; he’s played very few minutes with these guys, and certainly none with this squad. It will take time to see if he takes ownership.
      Rookies are developed by their coaches within a system. If your star player – I believe Melo is a star player – breaks from the system and the coaches wishes routinely, it sends a message to rookies that a) the star doesn’t fully believe in the system, b) doesn’t fully respect the coach, and c) that perhaps they shouldn’t fully buy the system or the coach either.

      I don’t believe players should be automatons, certainly. But I have seen reasonable arguments from NBA players and Phil himself indicating Carmelo hasn’t been a team leader to date.
      This ESPN article lays out some of this, quoting Chauncey Billups and also blind quoting Phil speaking to season ticket holders. http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-knicks/post/_/id/61839/billups-knicks-shouldnt-count-on-melo-to-lead

      Phil’s comments suggesting that someone needs to step up and fill the leadership void would indicate to me that he believes the team lacks leadership right now. The one good season the Knicks had with Melo, he played with vets who were leaders: Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas.

      Is Melo the Knicks’ best player? Yes. Will Melo play hard as hell? Yes. Will he play hurt? Yes. Is he a great competitor? Yes. I don’t question his ability or is work ethic. Is he the guy to shape a team in his image and drive it? Not so far. Being the best player on a team doesn’t translate into best…

    7. Melo has played eight seasons and achieved little in terms of team success. Of the three players you mentioned, Kobe and Jordan had already won three championships by their 8th year and Shaq had three by his 9th. In all three cases, via advanced stats, they are superior to Melo.
      It’s a great marketing ploy to put Melo in that conversation, but it’s a giant reach.
      Never mind tho, to er(r) is human.

      So we are going to do the championship arguement now? I guess KD,Chris Paul etc aint shit, this is what his 8th year? No chip. Carmelos biggest fault was that his team was too good. He was never in the lottery to gain the complementary pieces in Denver. Those teams in LAL and CHi were loaded. I am just comparing roles, you are smart enough to see that.

      As for it being Melos team what i mean is that they will only go as he goes. I never said anything about him being a leader in the Jason Kidd sense, im saying the offense flows through him. In that sense its his team, he is the hub of the team no matter how much you would like to downplay it.

      “If your star player – I believe Melo is a star player – breaks from the system and the coaches wishes routinely, it sends a message to rookies that a) the star doesn’t fully believe in the system, b) doesn’t fully respect the coach, and c) that perhaps they shouldn’t fully buy the system or the coach either. ”

      Is this a projection?

    8. if he suddenly developed into a leader who embraces a system and plays within that system

      How many years now has this been hoped of Melo? Every?

      Bklnboy,

      I agree with this sentiment. But I’m trying to be fair. He could become that guy, however unlikely.
      er contended that this team is Melo’s team. So far there is nothing to indicate that is true other than he is the best player on this team.
      My fear is it does become Melo’s team, and history has shown us that that would mean the Knicks will be mediocre at best.

      In arguably Melo’s best team year, the 2008-2009 Nuggets, he was not the best player on that team. Billups was the more efficient scorer, as was Nene. Of course, Melo dominated in USG%.

    9. So we are going to do the championship arguement now? I guess KD,Chris Paul etc aint shit, this is what his 8th year? No chip. Carmelos biggest fault was that his team was too good. He was never in the lottery to gain the complementary pieces in Denver. Those teams in LAL and CHi were loaded. I am just comparing roles, you are smart enough to see that.

      er,
      fair enough. But I also believe I noted that statistically he also did not hold up well, in terms of efficiency, compared to those guys. And each one of those players were vocal, obvious leaders.

    10. As for it being Melos team what i mean is that they will only go as he goes. I never said anything about him being a leader in the Jason Kidd sense, im saying the offense flows through him. In that sense its his team, he is the hub of the team no matter how much you would like to downplay it.

      er,
      okay.

    11. In arguably Melo’s best team year, the 2008-2009 Nuggets, he was not the best player on that team. Billups was the more efficient scorer, as was Nene. Of course, Melo dominated in USG%.

      Is the best player just the most efficient one? Where has Nene’s efficiency gone since he left that Nuggets team?

    12. If your star player – I believe Melo is a star player – breaks from the system and the coaches wishes routinely, it sends a message to rookies that a) the star doesn’t fully believe in the system, b) doesn’t fully respect the coach, and c) that perhaps they shouldn’t fully buy the system or the coach either.

      I prefer to view this as history informing the future. Under George Karl, D’Antoni, and Woodson, he had trouble embracing the system when the coaches deviated from his preferred style of play.
      As has been shown on this site time and time again, after about 26 years of age, players are what they are. Not that there are no exceptions, but on the whole Melo is going to be the Melo we have seen.

    13. I do not share optimism that Melo will become a leader. In reality, I think HE needs to follow someone. He needs someone that yells at him when he decides to go Iso. I think he needs someone that yells at him to play defense. Is he the most talented player on the team? Yes. Does he have heart and desire? Yes. Is he a leader? Not close. A leader would have publicly come out and supported the top draft pick instead of working behind the scenes. A leader would have shown up to summer league. A leader would have gotten all the youngsters together already to help guide them on what to expect as a player coming into camp. As far as I know, he’s done none of that. Maybe he sent Zinger a text message…maybe not.

      Melo’s role on this team is to play at a Allstar level out of the box. We need him to be atop the scoring leader board through 2015. We need that to elevate his trade value. Maybe then a team in the hunt will find a way to match up salaries and trade a bunch of #1 picks to the Knicks. We need him to be the best trade bait he can be. And if not this year, next.

    14. Under George Karl, D’Antoni, and Woodson, he had trouble embracing the system when the coaches deviated from his preferred style of play.
      As has been shown on this site time and time again, after about 26 years of age, players are what they are. Not that there are no exceptions, but on the whole Melo is going to be the Melo we have seen.

      Disagree here. Ruru showed the stats in Denver when Melo had a good point guard he was very efficient. Dantoni was an idiot, and I think that Melo played his best ball of his career under the Goatee, so im not sure where you are going there.

    15. Can I add my 1.5 cents? Frank and er, u both are making very valid points. ER, u are 200% right in saying the team will go as far as Melo takes them. And Frank, your assessment that the team is Phil’s and not Melo’s is also 200% correct. Therein lies my frustration. Melo is a great player. Lots of great players haven’t had much postseason success. Melo has the ability to make the triangle his a la Kobe and Mike. He hasn’t. Hell..he hasn’t made a team truly his yet. He’s been the best player physically for sure. But in the NBA he has yet to take the bull by the horns being the supremely talented player that he is. No one could ever argue that the Knicks weren’t Ewing’s when he played. There was no doubt. His fingerprints were all over the great Knick teams of the 90’s. I don’t see that with Melo. I see Phil’s prints. It looks like to me, that Phil is calling Melo out by constructing the roster the way he has. Everyone has to play off of Melo, Melo is the most tenured and accomplished, so Melo HAS to lead. He HAS to take the reins. This is a different kind of challenge for Phil, as he’s never had to force a player to be the best, so to speak. Perhaps that’s why he never wanted to coach the team. He always has pushed the right buttons to bring the best out of the great players he’s had. But this time around it feels like he’s trying to push buttons to get a great player to really lead the troops into battle. Which in the end is the same as bringing the best out I suppose, but very different for Phil nonetheless. Look at the types of players assembled around Melo. Better IQ, albeit with less talent than even last year’s squad. Good soldiers who will make the right play more often than not. Those guys will follow directions of the coach. Now’s the time for Melo to assert himself and be the player folks think he can be. But if he doesn’t, I can’t see Phil wasting another season on him just for the sake of having a “star”.

    16. A leader would have publicly come out and supported the top draft pick instead of working behind the scenes. A leader would have shown up to summer league. A leader would have gotten all the youngsters together already to help guide them on what to expect as a player coming into camp. As far as I know, he’s done none of that. Maybe he sent Zinger a text message…maybe not.

      Is that you Frank Isola?

      My question is why is Carmelo Anthony the only one being held to these standards? I havent seen any other star do all of these things, also we dont know what goes on behind the scenes. Smh this is sad

    17. In arguably Melo’s best team year, the 2008-2009 Nuggets, he was not the best player on that team. Billups was the more efficient scorer, as was Nene. Of course, Melo dominated in USG%.

      Is the best player just the most efficient one? Where has Nene’s efficiency gone since he left that Nuggets team?

      Iserp,
      On that team, I would posit that Billups was the best all around player and he was the leader.
      Nene’s performance after that year is another subject. I did not compare Nene’s career to Melo’s. But in that year, I believe Nene was the better overall player because Melo suffered from over use. Nene played 300 more minutes than Melo mostly because Melo missed 11 more games, his TS% was more than 100 percentage points higher, and an eFG% 34 percentage points higher. He had 1.5 rebounds/36 more. Melo averaged 7 points more/36, on twice as many shots/36.
      Did Melo have a very good year? Yes. Incidentally, Melo had his best playoffs that year, in what has been a modest playoff history in terms of performance (His playoff stats far underperform his career stats).

    18. Yes. Incidentally, Melo had his best playoffs that year, in what has been a modest playoff history in terms of performance (His playoff stats far underperform his career stats).

      Yeah because they got the 2 seed and didnt have to face the western powerhouses like the previous years in the first round.

      04-08 first round matchups
      Minny
      Sas
      Lac
      Sas
      LaL

    19. Disagree here. Ruru showed the stats in Denver when Melo had a good point guard he was very efficient. Dantoni was an idiot, and I think that Melo played his best ball of his career under the Goatee, so im not sure where you are going there.

      er,
      Melo was efficient for him.
      You recall Woodson got fired after 2013-2014 when it became a Melo-centric team. The Knicks were 37-45 the year after Kidd and Thomas and Rasheed and Camby left. It was pretty well documented throughout that year the lack of leadership that team had. A lot went wrong, but there was tension between Woodson and Melo.

    20. RE: My last comment:

      I said all of that to say that on paper this team favors Larry Brown’s EC Champion Sixers. I’m not sure if AI was a better leader than Melo, so I’m going to assume that those two had the same flaw. Fine players lacking in the leadership department. On that Sixers squad, AI happily carried the load because not only could no one stop him, he had a coach who put him in a position to succeed, and he had heady role players around him. We don’t know yet if Fish is that kind of coach, being the neophyte that he is. But it looks like the rest is in place for Melo. If Melo stays healthy and plays well, and the team makes a deep postseason run- no one will complain. So I guess the biggest wild card on the team is Coach Fisher. The onus should probably be more on him than Melo. Unfortunately, this is only his 2nd year coaching. But, if he can get through to the team, including Melo- this team can have some success. Of course there is this HUGE obstacle in Cleveland to deal with..

    21. You recall Woodson got fired after 2013-2014 when it became a Melo-centric team. The Knicks were 37-45 the year after Kidd and Thomas and Rasheed and Camby left. It was pretty well documented throughout that year the lack of leadership that team had.

      You keep arguing against yourself. I never doubted that. But it wasnt that simple. The Chandler, JR Smith and Stoudemire injuries wrecked that team. Melo had his best statistical year. Im not sure if there was tension with him and the coach but i know there was with the coach and JR and Shumpert. Chandler played and acted pretty poorly as well

    22. My question is why is Carmelo Anthony the only one being held to these standards? I havent seen any other star do all of these things, also we dont know what goes on behind the scenes. Smh this is sad

      er,
      I think people often make the mistake of equating best scorer with team leader or team ownership (it’s Melo’s team).
      I really think this is unfair as well, but I believe this is caused by folks who make the incorrect assumption that a great scorer should be the fait accompli team leader as they do in Melo’s case.

      He is not Lebron or Kobe or Michael or Scotty or Magic or Bird or Duncan or Clyde or, god help me, Zeke, etc.
      I believe when he has played with leaders, his teams are successful. When he is needed to be the leader, his teams struggle.
      The mistake of the Knicks is that they haven’t been good at finding leaders. They go for shiny objects or make desperate grabs at the best players available who are willing to come to NYC. Certainly that is not Melo’s fault. He is what he is: an elite scorer. I think that chances are better than not that unless he is on a team with a bonafide great player/leader he’ll never hoist a championship trophy.
      He’s comparable to a Bernard King and a bit better than Dominique. Very good company, but not champions.

    23. You keep arguing against yourself. I never doubted that. But it wasnt that simple. The Chandler, JR Smith and Stoudemire injuries wrecked that team. Melo had his best statistical year. Im not sure if there was tension with him and the coach but i know there was with the coach and JR and Shumpert. Chandler played and acted pretty poorly as well

      er,

      One could argue you make a lot of excuses for Melo. Great leaders find ways to win. That Knicks team collapsed. Lebron played for several very mediocre Cavs teams and led them to better than .500 records.
      Injuries are part of the game. Part of Chandler’s attitude was related to Melo’s style of play, as well as with others.

      Again, the only reason I focus on Melo is because there are folks who constantly speak with reverence about his play and elevate him to a leader when I believe he is not suited to that role.

    24. …and perhaps at the heart of my opinion of Melo is the trade.
      A leader, who wants to play for a team, doesn’t create an environment in which he forces the team to cut its own throat to get him, when by just waiting he could have gone to the Knicks at a far lesser price to the team, and therefore leaving himself with a roster in far better condition to win.

      It was short-sighted judgment on both his and the Knicks’ part.
      But this is just history…

    25. One could argue you make a lot of excuses for Melo. Great leaders find ways to win. That Knicks team collapsed. Lebron played for several very mediocre Cavs teams and led them to better than .500 records.
      Injuries are part of the game. Part of Chandler’s attitude was related to Melo’s style of play, as well as with others.

      Again, the only reason I focus on Melo is because there are folks who constantly speak with reverence about his play and elevate him to a leader when I believe he is not suited to that role.

      You are out there man. So you say Melo isnt a good leader etc, then compare him to Lebron James? Just the best player since Jordan…ok then. Also what you just said about Chandler is literally an excuse.

      …and perhaps at the heart of my opinion of Melo is the trade.
      A leader, who wants to play for a team, doesn’t create an environment in which he forces the team to cut its own throat to get him, when by just waiting he could have gone to the Knicks at a far lesser price to the team, and therefore leaving himself with a roster in far better condition to win.

      It was short-sighted judgment on both his and the Knicks’ part.

      Yeah that was like 4.5 years ago. The Knicks mismanaged the team after that trade. But whatever, keep holding your grudges. #Stay Me7o

    26. @16 – No. I ain’t Frank Isola ;) Other superstars, the leaders at least, do the things I said.

      For instance, Kobe on Russell: http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2015/6/27/8858009/kobe-bryant-la-lakers-dangelo-russell.

      For instance LeBron at Summer League http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/07/lebron-james-drains-shot-while-sitting-courtside-at-summer-league

      I’m not going to go into all the examples but it’s what I expect of a leader. It starts by showing up. Melo has proven time and again that he’s about his brand and the money. Oh, and I’ve been his biggest supporter – until this off-season. I’ll be patient and see what happens when camp breaks but I expected more from him off the court.

    27. ER – by showing up and sitting next to his coach. I can go down the list of stars that showed up. Melo wasn’t one of them.

    28. On the one hand we can blame Melo for “forcing” the trade but on the other hand, Dolan clearly stepped in while Donnie was playing poker. Nets were all ready going after Deron so most likely Denver would have caved and we could have kept Mosgov and/or the pick. And a smart GM/owner would have seen that Fields was a flash in the pan and would have negotiated to trade Fields, whose value was at the highest right then. Imagine if Donnie had been allowed to continue negotiations on his own without Dolan and had managed to keep Mosgov (who I clearly remember being thrown in at the last minute) and given them Fields instead of the draft pick.

      That means either a very good back up for Tyson OR we just keep developing Mosgov.

      There is a scenario where we make the Melo trade, keep Mosgov at least, let Billups pick up the option but don’t amnesty him and save it for STAT a year later and have way more flexibility and going forward.

    29. by showing up and sitting next to his coach. I can go down the list of stars that showed up. Melo wasn’t one of them.

      IT WAS LAS FUCKING VEGAS. let me know when they go to the Rocky Mountain Revue or the summer league in Omaha.

      I can go down the list of stars who didnt show up too. What does it prove?

    30. Yeah I don’t see how Melo not being at Vegas means anything especially since he is recovering from knee surgery. If we’re talking about what is best for The Knicks, Melo spending time in the gym getting strong and in shape and getting back into basketball form is the best thing for the Knicks.

    31. Also, Tyson Chandler might have been right that the team needed to play better team ball in the Pacers series but he was also getting his ass handed to him every night by Hibbert, so it was a little hypocritical for him to passive aggressively call out Melo, who was playing with a torn shoulder. A shoulder that got torn because JR Smith had to elbow Terry and get suspended, which extended the Boston series. Woodson could have played Cope more (and Novak too). To blame Melo for that series is kind of stupid.

      Dang I sound like such a Melo apologist. I’m not. He’s got flaws but I think the hate on the guy is over the top sometimes. If we want to trade him, we’ll have plenty of teams who will want his services.

    32. I can go down the list of stars who didnt show up too. What does it prove?

      Showing up proves little but not showing up smelled like a mini-revolt. He’s let mouthpieces like Stephen A do his whining for him and when he got backlash, he threw Stephen A under the bus saying “he’s not upset”.

      It’s not the one thing he did or didn’t do, it’s the collection of all his actions and non-actions taken together that paint a picture of a me-first player. It’s why he played in the All-star game when he should have had surgery. It’s why he forced Denvers hand to move him to the Knicks. I can go on and on with examples but what I expect of a team leader is make the others around him better. He’s just a great scorer.

    33. Yeah I don’t see how Melo not being at Vegas means anything especially since he is recovering from knee surgery. If we’re talking about what is best for The Knicks, Melo spending time in the gym getting strong and in shape and getting back into basketball form is the best thing for the Knicks.

      If he was in the gym or another country, I could understand but (jeeze, I hate quoting Isola) how does this smell?

      While Carmelo Anthony was at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in L.A., the Knicks Summer League entry was playing in Las Vegas.

      Isola on Melo missing summer league

    34. Showing up proves little but not showing up smelled like a mini-revolt. He’s let mouthpieces like Stephen A do his whining for him and when he got backlash, he threw Stephen A under the bus saying “he’s not upset”.

      Thanks Deepthroat. You have uncovered the conspiracy……

      It’s why he played in the All-star game when he should have had surgery. It’s why he forced Denvers hand to move him to the Knicks.

      Is he going to be ready for the season?

      I can go on and on with examples but what I expect of a team leader is make the others around him better. He’s just a great scorer.

      You sound like Buddy Ryan.

    35. I’m not sure why we continue to compare low and high usage players in any context, Frank O.
      Perhaps one could argue that Nene was better in his role than Melo was in his, but to say Nene was better than Melo? C’mon.
      It was a symbiotic relationship, but one far more dependent on Melo being the focal point of the offense, than Nene being able to capitalize on the attention Melo demanded.

      Nene was a critical component of the ’08, ’09 and ’10 Nuggets, a guy who was great in a few areas offensively, and just good enough on defense to make it work.

      Nene is a complementary offensive player, and in his prime, one of the best in the league.

      But just like Afflalo, when Melo was traded and Nene’s usage climbed up, his efficiency went down at almost the same ratio, inversely.

      Nene w/Melo
      ’08: 645 TS/18 usage
      ’09: 631 TS/16.5 usage
      ’10: .685 TS/18.6 usage

      Nene w/out Melo
      ’10: 597 TS/19.4 usage
      ’11: 573 TS/22.6 usage
      ’12: 538 TS/23.4

      Aaron Afflalo w/Melo
      ’09: 576 TS/14 usage
      ’10: 631 Ts/ 14.4 usage

      Aaron Afflalo w/out Melo
      ’10: 571 TS/18.1 usage
      ’11: 584 TS/19.1 usage
      ’12: 527 TS/ 22.5 usage

      A couple years ago I interviewed one of the original analytic gurus, Dean Oliver, for knickerblogger, and who worked for the Nuggets through most of the Melo years. He alluded to some of the positive impacts Melo creates for teammates on offense: http://knickerblogger.net/an-interview-with-dean-oliver/

      He called Melo a top 20 player in the NBA just a few years back, according to his models.
      But the bottom line, as Oliver points out, is how well the blend of skills interact with one another.
      And in that respect, when considering the value of Melo, consider the following:
      1) Denver was able to make the playoffs every year despite having Kenyon Martin on a max deal for 7 seasons.
      2)Denver was able to make the playoffs every year despite never…

    36. er,

      Our conversation centered around Melo. I didn’t excuse Chandler. I described how and why he got to that place.
      As for picking Lebron, he is the best illustration of how leadership and talent lift teams.
      I could have picked Dwayne Wade. I could have picked KG. I could have picked Tim Duncan. I could have picked Steve Nash. I could have picked Dirk. I could have picked Durant. or Kobe.
      anyone one of whom have had more accomplished teams and careers.

      But using your logic, I can’t use them because they were great as well.
      You make my point for me. He has not yet shown himself to be a leader of successful teams.

    37. But using your logic, I can’t use them because they were great as well.
      You make my point for me. He has not yet shown himself to be a leader of successful teams.

      YES EXACTLY. These are some of the greatest players of all time. Who are you arguing with?

    38. Melo has never played with another bona fide superstar.

      Allen Iverson had the most efficient season of his career playing alongside Melo, but was 32 at the time, and out of the league two years later.

      Denver traded for Chauncey Billups when he was 33! While his game aged extremely well, and he remained an offensive machine, he was nowhere near the player he was in his prime in Detroit, having lost almost all of his quickness defensively.

      Shoot, Melo took the Knicks to the ECF despite the getting close to ZERO production from a max salary, and the team’s second best player, Tyson Chandler, disappearing in the playoffs.

      There are other things I can remind everyone of, but Melo’s value remains very high and it’s very likely we haven’t seen the best team he’s played on, given some of the bad decisions and bad luck his teams have been riddled with in the past.

    39. When did Melo take this team to the ECF? I don’t seem to remember that. I do remember going to the ECF in 2000 and losing to the Pacers.

      I don’t why you’re putting Afflalo’s numbers up there. His TS% peaking the year Melo was traded and then having the 2nd best TS% in his career being the year after Melo was traded doesn’t seem to bolster your argument.

    40. Most players that showed up in Vegas either work out in Vegas or showed up the last day when they were in town for the players choice award.

      According to Kristaps Melo texted him after he was drafted and Jerian sayed he talked to Melo after he was drafted and they met up together in NY.

      I’m not really a fan of doing things just for show so if you handle your business behind close doors its all good.

    41. @42

      Melo lives in LA. Why you clocking the man in the offseason? Isola

      1) $124 M.
      2) See #1.

      He doesn’t have to do anything but play basketball. The only point I’m making is that he’s not a leader. Prove to me he is. Don’t go making me find proof of every statement. I can but haven’t the time.

      Melo has never played with another bona fide superstar

      How many superstars are there? We’ll get into a semantics war and arguments about how good each player listed was in the years he played with Melo, etc. If you ask me, there is 1 superstar in the NBA: LeBron. Go ahead. The rest are all-stars. There are 24 all-stars picked every year so what about Tyson Chandler in 2013? There’s your one example.

      Chandler was an

    42. This whole leader thing is stupid. Some players play and lead by example, some lead vocally,some do both. So what. The purpose of team building is to build a coalition of all different of personalities and playing styles.

    43. For me, this is not rocket science.

      Put Melo’s stats alongside all the legitimate superstars in this league like James, Durant, Davis, Harden, Paul, etc.. and it’s clear he’s nowhere near as valuable. The gap is so large he’s not even in the conversation. That means at best he’s in the second tier of all stars.

      After that you start getting into debates about usage/efficiency, his attitude, whether he’s a team oriented player, whether he’s a good leader, his defense, etc… Even if you come down on the most positive side of every one of those debates, that means he’s very good, but nothing special.

      I think most unbiased people would argue that he’s on the negative side of neutral for most of that list including usage/efficiency because more than a few of the poor shots he takes are self inflicted wounds and not the result of playing with bad teammates.

      There’s simply no freaking way this guy is a hugely valuable player. There’s no evidence of it whatsoever except when the team is built with him as the only scorer. Then he becomes essential. But with any kind of balanced team build, he’s a good player, but there are a LOT of better players.

      If you can’t see that, it’s hard for me to comprehend how someone can be that biased unless you are his agent, his wife, his son, or his mother.

      I gamble on games and have heard the analysis of advanced stats people that gamble huge amounts on games. One of the angles people used to play was betting on Melo’s team when he was OUT because his value was so overrated for a long time.

    44. I think that’s clear, but what’s interesting is that the East really doesn’t have a lot of legit superstars (outside of the Cleveland trio), so I think Melo really does still look like roughly a top five player in the East. Melo, since he has discovered the three-pointer, has been a very valuable player. Maybe not a clear cut “top five in the conference” player, but still, a damn fine player. I still didn’t want the Knicks to sign him and I’d prefer he leave, but that’s because of his age and the position the Knicks are currently in. If the Knicks were closer to being title contenders, I’d love to have this version of Melo on the team. That’s why I think he made a lot of sense for better teams like Houston and Chicago.

    45. Put Melo’s stats alongside all the legitimate superstars in this league like James, Durant, Davis, Harden, Paul, etc.. and it’s clear he’s nowhere near as valuable. The gap is so large he’s not even in the conversation. That means at best he’s in the second tier of all stars.

      dont think anyone is arguing against this?

      There’s no evidence of it whatsoever except when the team is built with him as the only scorer.

      How do you explain his olympic success?

    46. Melo’s value remains very high and it’s very likely we haven’t seen the best team he’s played on, given some of the bad decisions and bad luck his teams have been riddled with in the past.

      This is exactly what people miss when talking about Melo. He has never been on a team as good as other successful stars have enjoyed. Never. When you are relied on as much as he has been, your usage increases, and your efficiency decreases. And thus your “advanced” stats look worse. Especially when you’re losing. How far would LeBron, Durant, Chris Paul, etc., had gone if they were on a team with Felton/Shumpert/JR/X/CryBabyChandler (I AM NOT SAYING MELO IS AS GOOD AS THESE GUYS). Further, maybe, but not by much. He never had a Bosh/Wade, or a Westbrook/Ibaka, or a Blake/DeAndre, or Parker/Ginobili/Kawhi, or a Garnett/Allen/Rondo. Come on, guys.

      I also have an issue with people blaming Melo for “lack of leadership.” He has always had a good work ethic, will play through pain, and is a player-favorite. He may be quiet, and he may not be as vocal or as much of an enforcer as others, but personality is personality. He’s a good guy, I think, and has never proven otherwise.

    47. How do you explain his olympic success?

      His role in the Olympics was to play off legitimately great players that are more than willing to pass.

      There are probably 50 players in the NBA that would put up terrific scoring and efficiency stats as part of a team of superstars that’s willing to give to up the ball to the open player.

      Look, no one is saying he sucks. His own scoring is simply not as valuable as the upper echelon of scorers in the NBA (even though it’s valuable) and the rest of his game is average plus or minus a little. When you net it all out he’s meh+.

    48. @57 the problem i have is his teammates. Look at Lebrons effeciency in the finals. Explain the difference please.

    49. “His role in the Olympics was to play off legitimately great players that are more than willing to pass.

      There are probably 50 players in the NBA that would put up terrific scoring and efficiency stats as part of a team of superstars that’s willing to give to up the ball to the open player”

      This sounds unfair to me.

    50. Shoot, Melo took the Knicks to the ECF despite the getting close to ZERO production from a max salary, and the team’s second best player, Tyson Chandler, disappearing in the playoffs.

      I must have missed that year when Melo took the Knicks to the Eastern Conference Finals. I guess I was asleep or something.

    51. @57 the problem i have is his teammates. Look at Lebrons effeciency in the finals. Explain the difference please.

      The difference is one of degree.

      Melo has rarely been on a team as decimated as the Cavs were during the finals. Also, playoff defense tends to tighten up and Golden State is a great defensive team with a great set of defensive players that could specifically take turns on James. It was the perfect storm.

      There have been times in NY where Melo had too much of the load on himself and his efficiency suffered. However, that has not been the normal state of affairs. To argue that his efficiency might be better if he played with a superstar is not persuasive to me. That’s probably true of every NBA player that doesn’t get to play with James, Durant, or any other legitimate superstar scorer and/or playmaker.

      I think you started from the proposition that you like Melo and would like to make the case that he’s better than his biggest critics say. Now you’ve dug into your position and I think no amount of debate could persuade you otherwise.

      I started from the proposition that I may bet on or against his team when he’s out, back from an injury, traded etc… I had to take the emotion out of my analysis to the best of my ability. I wanted to know how much he was actually worth. I concluded it’s a variable, but it’s well below the stars of the league and generally overrated by the public and media.

    52. Melo has rarely been on a team as decimated as the Cavs were during the finals.

      This is incorrect. for 2 reasons.

      1 The Cavs were not decimated. They were missing 2 players.
      Moscov, Thompson, Jr, and Shumpert are right up there with starting 5s Lebron has played with in Cleveland.
      2. See the 2011 NYK and 2012 NYK playoff teams.

      I think you are starting from the proposition that you like Melo and would like to make the case that he’s better than his biggest critics say. You’ve dug into your position.

      This i agree, with. But others on the other side have done the same, so i dont see a difference.

    53. I think the whole “leadership” thing is kind of silly. The leader of a team is usually just the best player. If he’s really good and the team wins, people think he’s a great leader. I don’t think it has much to do with mental fortitude, or charisma, or politics, etc.

      Take Ewing for example. He was the “leader” of the 90s Knicks as the team’s only consistent all star and go-to player. But Ewing wasn’t very vocal, spoke only in cliches, made ill-advised predictions, and was very selfish (when he got injured during the finals run in 1999 he actually said to the team: “win me my ring!”). Did The 90s Knicks not win a championship because Ewing was a bad “leader”? No. It was because other teams had better players than him and his teammates. So I think the leadership debate with regard to Melo is more about him not being a great player than not being a great leader.

      That said, though, I will go on record saying that I don’t like Carmelo Anthony and I’m not really sure why that is. I have every reason to want to like him and to root for him. When the Knicks traded my favorite player for a psychopathic strangler, it took me all of 12 seconds to fall in love with Sprewell and forget about Starks (and Spre wasn’t even playing well his first few months). I’d barely ever seen Carmelo Anthony play while he was in Denver, and I had no opinion of him whatsoever before he came to NY. Maybe it was the way he arrived in NY, with Dolan doing his Dolan-thang, or the whole D’Antoni/Lin stuff. But I didn’t warm to him early on, either on the court or in public appearances off of it, and I never developed much of an interest in rooting for him outside of just hoping the team won the games that he played in. So, I don’t know, maybe there is something chemical between people that connects them beyond simple rational choice theory. I guess I’m open to it :)

    54. Melo has rarely been on a team as decimated as the Cavs were during the finals

      Haha. Decimated Cavs = Melo’s old teammates, +/- Thompson/Chandler.

    55. @Donnie, yeah you are like alot of people who are Knick fans. I appreciate your analysis. We are all humans.

    56. Melo continues to be such a polarizing figure. I think the debate has shifted, though. Now, the issue is whether having Melo on the roster will promote or hamper the ascendancy of the Knicks in the next few years, and as such, is a referendum on Phil’s (or Dolan’s?) decision to give him a long-term essentially max deal in the current cap climate.

      I think both sides have valid points about Melo’s value based on his history. But at the same time, this is truly a new situation for him and for the team. There are so many possible outcomes that I can’t imagine feeling too attached to any of them. So much depends on how well this group of guys develops and gels, and whether we will have a relatively healthy Melo going forward.

      My guess is that by the middle of the year (barring season-killing injuries), this team will resemble the Amare-led, pre-Melo team that was middling but super fun to watch. They will probably be something like 16-25 by then, but showing signs. Beyond that, it’s pretty murky, but I expect that Melo will play very well and get lots of good press, just like Amare did before the Melo trade. After that, it all depends on how fast Grant, Zinger, O’Quinn and even Williams develop, or whether a couple of low-visibility roster moves jump-start the team.

      On the other hand, if 2-3 key players get hurt and Melo is still healthy, things could get ugly fast and other teams might seduce Melo into waiving his no-trade clause.

      One thing that I feel confident will NOT happen is that we gut the team to sign a second star, like we did back then. That in and of itself is reason for cautious optimism about the direction of the team.

    57. Both Ewing and Melo were/are elite players at their positions and among the very best players the Knicks have ever had. The biggest difference in stature between the 2 is, no one argued whether it was Ew’s team or not. He set an example and the rest of the team followed suit. On nights where he wasn’t as effective, the rest of the team played Knick ball. In Melo’s case, I’m pretty sure he sets an example, after all he is a consistent all star and widely recognized as elite. But since he’s been a Knick (the only time I’m concerned with), I haven’t seen the team follow his lead. Even STAT had the team follow his lead in year 1 of his tenure. Now..Melo’s “problem” may have been related to timing and injury. As far as I’m concerned, the roster as currently constructed is the best chance to see the team follow Melo’s lead. He’s definitely gonna hafta wait until the 4th quarter to break the offense to lead by example. I think that’s a big reason why folks say he doesn’t buy into the offense and doesn’t lead well. He breaks the offense too early. That can be viewed as a lack of faith in the system. This is year 2 in the system however, and he does have heady role players around him. So he should be more effective. Don’t get me wrong, Melo has made some bad decisions in these past 4-5 seasons, starting with forcing his way to NY instead of waiting for free agency. But no one should really be arguing how good he is. Numbers and peers don’t lie after all. Maybe this is the year we see Melo’s leadership shine. Regardless of his method. And one more thing: Ewing also had a strong coach and Charles Oakley helping hold guys accountable. And nobody fucked with Oak. So we’ll see how everything looks on the floor. I have a feeling we’ll all be pleasantly surprised even though expectations may have to be tempered.

    58. 1 The Cavs were not decimated. They were missing 2 players.
      Moscov, Thompson, Jr, and Shumpert are right up there with starting 5s Lebron has played with in Cleveland.

      Those guys are not scorers.

      The offense was decimated. They were missing both their #2 and #3 scorers and the only real playmaker they have beside James. That’s why James’s usage had to skyrocket and GS could lock down and keep his efficiency well below its norms.

    59. On a side note Happy Birthday to Patrick Ewing. The 1989-90 Knicks was the first team I paid attention to and followed as a little kid and that was Ewing’s best season. Riley’s Knicks made me a die-hard fan but Ewing’s individual greatness in the couple of seasons before Riley took over laid the groundwork for my Knicks obsession. Ewing still is and always will be my favorite Knick ever. Happy Birthday Big Fella!!

    60. For me, this is not rocket science.

      Put Melo’s stats alongside all the legitimate superstars in this league like James, Durant, Davis, Harden, Paul, etc.. and it’s clear he’s nowhere near as valuable. The gap is so large he’s not even in the conversation. That means at best he’s in the second tier of all stars.

      After that you start getting into debates about usage/efficiency, his attitude, whether he’s a team oriented player, whether he’s a good leader, his defense, etc… Even if you come down on the most positive side of every one of those debates, that means he’s very good, but nothing special.

      +1

    61. er,

      Most adjusted plus/minus stats keep track of a player’s value without distinguishing for the specific skillsets of the players you are on and off the court with. I try to keep track of certain players based on the individual skill sets of their teammates.

      Here’s what I mean.

      On a team with somewhat balanced scoring Melo’s value might be X.

      On a team where all the other scorers are hurt, Melo’s efficiency drops but his value to the team is much higher. Pure box score stats would say his value was lower because his efficiency dropped, but the team is totally dreadful without him when the other scorers are hurt and he’s off the court.

    62. @71 I came of age in the 93 Playoffs. I was the only 5 year old glued to Marv Albert. I just remembered the announcer PA-TRICK EWING. It was awesome. Happy Bday Pat.

    63. Here’s what I mean.

      On a team with somewhat balanced scoring Melo’s value might be X.

      On a team where all the other scorers are hurt, Melo’s efficiency drops but his value to the team is much higher. Pure box score stats would say his value was lower because his efficiency dropped, but the team is totally dreadful without him when the other scorers are hurt and he’s off the court.

      Cant you say that for any scorer?

    64. @IAmDPick
      Knicks and Thanasis Antetokounmpo finalizing two-season, partial-guaranteed deal, source said.

      And that pretty much seals up the roster, barring a Travis Outlaw/Wear-type situation in training camp.

    65. Sure, but he’d still count as one of the 15 players on our roster, even if assigned to the D-League. (Last year, he hadn’t yet signed an NBA contract, so we didn’t have to give him a roster spot.)

      C: Lopez/Seraphin/Amundson
      PF: O’Quinn/Porzingis/Williams
      SF: Anthony/Early/Thomas
      SG: Afflalo/Vujacic/Antetokounmpo
      PG: Calderon/Grant/Galloway

      To quote Norman Dale, this is your team.

    66. 1 The Cavs were not decimated. They were missing 2 players.
      Moscov, Thompson, Jr, and Shumpert are right up there with starting 5s Lebron has played with in Cleveland.

      Those guys are not scorers.

      The offense was decimated. They were missing both their #2 and #3 scorers and the only real playmaker they have beside James. That’s why James’s usage had to skyrocket and GS could lock down and keep his efficiency well below its norms.

      For his career or for the 2015 playoffs because wasn’t his efficiency already below his norms before Irving went out?

    67. Cant you say that for any scorer?

      I would say so. It was not meant as a knock. It was just meant to communicate how I’ve tried to measure Melo’s value. I did the same thing with Derrick Rose (when he was healthy), Monta Ellis, Russell Westbrook, Rudy Gay and other controversial scorers that might be overvalued in the gambling lines in some circumstances but undervalued in others.

    68. For his career or for the 2015 playoffs because wasn’t his efficiency already below his norms before Irving went out?

      I don’t remember off the top go my head, but I think his efficiency was down for the year (maybe injuries, new team and offense etc…).

      In general, it’s not unusual for efficiency to drop in the playoffs because you are playing the better teams and defenses. In this case I was referring to the finals.

    69. I would say so. It was not meant as a knock. It was just meant to communicate how I’ve tried to measure Melo’s value. I did the same thing with Derrick Rose (when he was healthy), Monta Ellis, Russell Westbrook, Rudy Gay and other controversial scorers that might be overvalued in the gambling lines in some circumstances but undervalued in others.

      So i guess your point is that you dont value players whose best asset is scoring unless its at a KD level? Fair enough, but i think we have reached the point in basketball analysis to where scoring is underrated, until it happens to Lebron :)

    70. Based on including positions where they will see at least 25% of their playing time, I could see:
      C: Lopez
      PF/C: O’Quinn, Seraphin, Amundson, Porzingis
      SF/PF: Anthony, Williams
      SF: Early, Thomas
      SG/SF: Afflalo, Antentokuonmpo
      SG: Vujacic
      PG/SG: Calderon, Galloway
      PG: Grant

    71. , Durant, Davis, Harden, Paul, etc.. and it’s clear he’s nowhere near as valuable

      Saying he’s not an MVP candidate is not gonna get much argument even from staunch melo fans. lol.

      Then saying:

      That means at best he’s in the second tier of all stars.

      and following that later with

      he’s very good, but nothing special.

      is interesting. So if you’re not an MVP level superstar, and are in the tier below that, you’re nothing special, is the implication.

      Personally, that seems a bit weird to me. Sure, some players are ALWAYS going to be in the mix for MVPs. Others are less perennial MVP candidates and a biiiit more dependent on situation (Nash/Amare in PHX, Dirk with the super mavs, arguably curry now).

      Even if you put melo below these situational MVP/1st team guys (which I think is defensible but not by any means a given, since each of them generally have fairly obvious glaring flaws in their games), to say that such a player is nothing special is a bit silly. There are numerous hall of famers who fit that very description, some of which played WITH transcendent no doubt MVP HOF elite super stars, some who never had that chance.

    72. Ah yes..It is Ewing’s birthday. His Hoya years and early Knick seasons were nothing short of spectacular! I still don’t think he gets enough credit for being a dominant player mainly because he ran into the great Hakeem Olajuwon, Jordan, Robinson and Duncan. That’s a helluva mountain to climb to be a champ. To this day the Garden’s chant for Patrick Ewing is an all time great chant to me. I remember being at the Garden a few times between ages 17-20 and hearing it. That placed ROCKED. It was incredible.

    73. SG: Afflalo/Vujacic/Antetokounmpo
      PG: Calderon/Grant/Galloway

      I’m very, very surprised we haven’t gone for another guard. We are so, so thin in the backcourt. For those keeping score at home that is:

      Two guards who were NBA players at the start of last season, one of whom will be 34, and missed half the games last year.

      One guy who was an undrafted rookie last year. Acquitted himself well on a terrible team, but still has plenty to prove.

      Two rookies, a late first rounder and an early second rounder, one of whom is exceptionally raw.

      And Sasha Fucking Vujacic, who couldn’t get minutes in Spain last year and had to leave to go to Turkey, where he apparently played in a league for which I literally am unable to find stats on the internet. Which seriously does not bode well.

      That is seriously paper thin. Somebody remind me again why we gave Lance Thomas a guaranteed deal?

    74. So i guess your point is that you dont value players whose best asset is scoring unless its at a KD level?

      er,
      Weird how KD’s scoring is allegedly on another level according to everyone who doesn’t play against Melo, huh? LOL KD is awesome, but he can’t attack a defense in as many ways as Melo. He’s definitely a better shooter though. Melo is a flat out deadly scorer. Inside, outside, drawing fouls, putting the ball back up quickly after an offensive rebound..you name it- he can do it all scoring-wise. KD’s not quite there yet, but his proficiency at what he does well makes up for what he doesn’t do. People need to stop selling Melo short as a scorer.

    75. @86 – we are thin in the backcourt but a team as bad as us last year… we are going to have some deficiencies…. i’d imagine afflalo, galloway, calderon and grant will do a lot of the heavy lifting which i think is fine unless we get an injury or if galloway calderon and grant all either get hurt or fall flat…

      we’ve managed to accumulate alot of players who don’t rebound well also… and along with the scoring is going to be a really big area of concern heading into the season… we’ll see how it shakes out…

    76. we are thin in the backcourt but a team as bad as us last year… we are going to have some deficiencies…. i’d imagine afflalo, galloway, calderon and grant will do a lot of the heavy lifting which i think is fine unless we get an injury or if galloway calderon and grant all either get hurt or fall flat…

      The thing is we will get an injury. You can’t expect to go through an NBA season without an injury to a single one of your top four guards, particularly when one of them is as old and injury prone as Calderon (over 70 games just 4 times in 10 NBA seasons). That just isn’t being realistic.

      And as excited as we all are to have some young talent on the team, not many rookies are truly productive NBA rotation players. If we’re being really honest, the odds aren’t much better than 50-50 than Grant is ever a solid rotation guard, let alone next year. I know everyone (myself included) has already penciled him in as a starter for the next 10 years, but most mid to late first rounders simply don’t make it.

    77. KD is awesome, but he can’t attack a defense in as many ways as Melo. He’s definitely a better shooter though. Melo is a flat out deadly scorer. Inside, outside, drawing fouls, putting the ball back up quickly after an offensive rebound..you name it- he can do it all scoring-wise. KD’s not quite there yet

      Kevin Durant is better in, literally, every single offensive category except Orebounding.

      PER(+3.5); TS% (+5.5%); FTr(+5%); Ortg(+8); OWS(+7.4)

      The gulf offensively between Durant and Anthony is significantly large. They line up together about as well as Karl Malone lines up with Derrick Coleman.

    78. It’s like you traded all your furniture for a pleather couch, knocked out a wall to get it in your living room, rebuilt the wall (it’s never coming out) and then spent the last four years trying to convince people it’s a high-end designer authentic leather couch.

      This board’s collective stupidity re: Carmelo is astounding.

    79. I’m not a basketball “expert” but I do know that the person who calls everybody else stupid should usually take the time to look in the mirror.

    80. Melo may not be as great as his supporters here believe he is but he isnt as bad as his detractors here believe either. He isnt a Top 10 player in the NBA but he also isnt an average player. He is a very good player who has actually improved his offense since becoming a Knick (thanks to his 3pt shooting) and after the whole Linsanity issue played his ass off under Mike Woodson. He certainly has been a very polarizing figure since joining the Knicks but he has also given us alot of pretty fun, awesome moments. Im very curious to see how he and the team in general plays this season. Could be another disastrous season or a pretty fun season to watch.

    81. KD’s not quite there yet as a scorer? Compared to Melo? I don’t even know how to wrap my head around that. The guy who throws the ball into the basket with astonishing efficiency is somehow not “there yet” compared to the guy with the 100 points lower TS%. I mean, just, wow. That is one of the more dubious assertions I have ever seen on this blog.

    82. KD is awesome, but he can’t attack a defense in as many ways as Melo. He’s definitely a better shooter though. Melo is a flat out deadly scorer. Inside, outside, drawing fouls, putting the ball back up quickly after an offensive rebound..you name it- he can do it all scoring-wise. KD’s not quite there yet

      @94 hes saying Melo is more versatile which is an argument that can be had. No one said anything about efficiency.

    83. “This board’s collective stupidity re: Carmelo is astounding.”

      He-e-e’s BACK!!

    84. The dogmatic dissenters have always parroted Berri and Berri alone. That accounts for almost every debate on this board, and we’ve done this particular one a few hundred times.

      When the Knicks got off to that great start in ’12-13, Ronnie Brewer had a significantly higher WP48 than Melo through about a 1/3 of the season.

      Brewer shot only corner 3-pointers, didn’t handle the ball, wasn’t guarded by the defense, but he grabbed a couple steals per48, and was an obnoxiously good rebounder for a “shooting guard.”

      Now, what the marginal value of those rebounds was, whether they were contested or uncontested, was never really considered because it wasn’t accounted for in a box score.

      The fact that the Knicks were better with Brewer on the bench, when there was a gargantuan difference between he and Melo’s +/- despite both players starting, was dismissed.

      The fact that Brewer was traded mid-season (when he was still more valuable by WP48 than Melo despite significantly fewer minutes) was soon relegated to the end of the bench and OKC and then couldn’t get another NBA job, is completely meaningless to these people.

      Ronnie Brewer >Carmelo Anthony is just another way down the WP rabbit hole.

      The fact that we have Dean Oliver, the father of advanced basketball statistics, doing an interview for this site and flat-out saying Melo is a top-20 player, or the analysis Kevin Pelton and Nate Silver have done on Melo’s impact, among others, or the fact that Daryl Morey has always coveted Carmelo Anthony, none of it means a god damn thing to these people.

    85. @97

      Melo vs. KD. Not even going to engage.

      Coward ;)

      The KD vs Melo debate as scorers is interesting. My gut tells me to call it a toss-up. They are very different offensive players. Apologies to the stat-heads. Let’s throw out 2013-14 for both but…

      Durant was the PPG leader in 2013-14 Melo was 3rd.
      Melo was the PPG leader in 2012-13. Durant was 2nd.

      It’s a worthy debate.

    86. Durant was the PPG leader in 2013-14 Melo was 3rd.
      Melo was the PPG leader in 2012-13. Durant was 2nd.

      It’s a worthy debate.

      It may be a worthy debate for somebody somewhere, but not here in a place that out per game stats to bed about nine years ago.

    87. Stratomatic

      “I gamble on games and have heard the analysis of advanced stats people that gamble huge amounts on games. One of the angles people used to play was betting on Melo’s team when he was OUT because his value was so overrated for a long time.”

      Melo in by year: 43-39, 47-28, 44-36, 37-28, 47-30, 45-21, 45-24, 29-21, 14-13, 29-27, 47-21, 35-41, 10-29,

      Melo out by year: 2-5, 0-2, 8-9, 3-2, 9-7, 8-5, 3-4, 0-1, 7-3, 7-7, 2-4, 7-36

      Melo in (427-358) 54%
      Melo out (56-85) 39.7 5

      That’s the difference between 44 and 32 wins.

    88. The dogmatic dissenters have always parroted Berri and Berri alone. That accounts for almost every debate on this board

      I rarely hear Berri’s name invoked here these days. There’s only one dogmatic Berri poster I can even think of now that Owen’s liberalized his views. But that is moot because Berri metrics aren’t the only ones that say Durant is a better offensive weapon than Carmelo. Every metric in the known universe says it.

      And that’s what I don’t understand about Anthony and his supposed versatility as a scorer: why doesn’t it show up in any metrics, including the ones that value volume and “shot creation” like PER? He’s not elite offensively in those metrics either. Which makes his elite offense kind of like Bigfoot: we’ve seen it with our blurry eyes, so it must exist, even though there’s no physical evidence left behind.

    89. I’m not comparing Melo to Durant. Durant is a top 25 all-time great with a chance to move up on that list. Melo is not in Durant’s class, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be considered great by the end of his career.

      Melo’s versatility DOES show up in metrics. Synergy has had him ranked in the top 70, 80, 90 percentile in the many different modes of scoring. since its inception.

      He’s a great spot-up shooter, an elite isolation and post-up score, surprisingly effective as both a pick and roll ballhandler and roller, better than you think in transition and offensive rebounds.

      There is now flaw in his offensive game. There are very few players who excel in every aspect of the game on offense.

      It’s the utilization as an isolation player that depresses his overall efficiency. Now, where this gets complex is that his utilization as an isolation player depresses his individual efficiency, but creates open shots for teammates.

      If you simply reduced his isolation shots to create a usage in the high 20s, his TS would be pretty close to 600.

      However you want to look at it, when Melo is on the floor, the offense is elite. That has been the case every year of his career with every kind of surrounding cast.

      When you consider his low turnover rate, Melo’s pretty damn efficient. When a guy that’s getting 1.2, 1.3 ppp on 355 of your possessions and creates great opps for others as the focal point of your offense, you’re going to have a really good offense, which is what he’s provided throughout his career.

      Durant, Lebron, Paul, Davis? No.

      But he’s still really, really good.

    90. To those of you who are being called stupid because you think that Melo is a star — the guy making the comment is the same guy who made the ridiculous comment yesterday that he’d rather have Wes Matthews on one Achilles than Melo, last year argued that Jordan Hill was “awesome at basketball” and ridiculed anyone who disagreed with him despite the fact that, based on his contract, not a single GM in the league thinks that Hill is that “awesome,” and has argued that Tiago Splitter is some kind of superstar and that LaMarcus Aldridge is an overrated low efficiency volume scorer, yet his beloved smartest team in the league pretty much gave Splitter away so that they could sign Aldridge. I wouldn’t be too offended if this guy ridicules your basketball acumen…

    91. Tim Duncan was far more versatile on offense than Shaq. Who would you rather have on a given offensive possession?

    92. Donnie, you’re out of your element.

      Melo’s PER rank
      2014: 20th
      2013: 9th
      2012: 4th
      2011:28th
      2010: 16th
      2009: 13th
      2008: 33rd
      2007: 20th
      2006: 19th

    93. Again, no one (perhaps except GoNY) is claiming that Melo is a better scorer than KD.

      Berri folks pretty quick to the strawman tonight

    94. Some good robust debate here today.

      Given the stats heavyweights are throwing down, I think I’ll stay clear on that front ha ha. It is fascinating to observe just how polarising Melo is; with both sides of the fence having very valid points. Regardless of how well he plays for us, I feel that it is going to take a chip for him to be considered a great Knick.

      I think some of the leadership stuff has been blown out of proportion. If you actually read the Billups article, he refers to Melo as not being a vocal leader, as opposed to leading with his style play and production. That’s the best way Melo can lead: buy into the system and play at an ALL-Star level. He doesn’t blast Melo for not being a vocal leader, but suggests he would be better suited to have a J Kidd kind leader on the team. For my mind, just because a superstar isn’t a vocal leader doesn’t diminish their value. Hell, Udonis Haslem was captain in Miami in the first few years of the Big 3, which goes to show leadership can come in many forms.

    95. As for the leadership angle, I don’t really give a shit about melos leadership or lack thereof. Dude is overpaid, but it is what it is right now. The Knicks future has much more riding on Melo’s health and ability to age very gently than it does on his rah rah ability

    96. It’s pretty simple when it comes to Melo. Post a TS% of 60+, score 25+ per 36, keep the turnover rate reasonable and the defense passable. And then we can talk about considering him in the inner circle of NBA stars. It’s never happened and almost certainly won’t but I would be the first to give Melo his props if he posted those kind of numbers.

    97. Again, no one (perhaps except GoNY) is claiming that Melo is a better scorer than KD.

      Berri folks pretty quick to the strawman tonight

      It’s not a straw man. It’s what was actually being debated when you showed up.

      And nobody brought up Berri.

    98. Donnie, you’re out of your element.

      Melo’s PER rank
      2014: 20th
      2013: 9th
      2012: 4th
      2011:28th
      2010: 16th
      2009: 13th
      2008: 33rd
      2007: 20th
      2006: 19th

      Maybe, but I don’t consider “Top 33” to be elite.

    99. Why .600 and why 25 ppg?

      Why not 575 with a 9% turnover rate?

      His ppp in 12/13 and 13/14 was right there with James Harden, who you revere.

    100. Donnie, his average rank in that span is 17th. There are between 350 and 400 players who qualify every year, putting Melo in the 95-96th percentile.

      Being in the 95th percentile is how you get into an elite, Ivy League school.

    101. Man, whacked out post today.
      Can’t we just all agree that Melo is “pretty good” and move on? In fact, he’s one of our only 2 above average starters, so I’m going to try and enjoy that about him lol.
      I can’t stand that we still have to start Calderon. Maybe the Vucevic move was to make Calderon look good by comparison?
      Assuming either O’Quinn or Williams can be an average-slightly above average player, I think we’ve got a super solid 34 win team.
      Sadly, I still won’t have a jersey I can buy my kid. None of these guys are a safe lock to be around more than 2 years.

    102. Sadly, I still won’t have a jersey I can buy my kid. None of these guys are a safe lock to be around more than 2 years.

      Just buy him a throwback Ewing or Frazier jersey ha ha.

    103. @ Donnie no one was debating KD vs Melo

      Really? Not even Totes McGotes when he wrote in #87: “KD is awesome, but he can’t attack a defense in as many ways as Melo. He’s definitely a better shooter though. Melo is a flat out deadly scorer. Inside, outside, drawing fouls, putting the ball back up quickly after an offensive rebound..you name it- he can do it all scoring-wise. KD’s not quite there yet” or GoNyGoNyGo when he added: “The KD vs Melo debate as scorers is interesting. My gut tells me to call it a toss-up”?

    104. Donnie, his average rank in that span is 17th. There are between 350 and 400 players who qualify every year, putting Melo in the 95-96th percentile.

      Being in the 95th percentile is how you get into an elite, Ivy League school.

      I don’t think that’s the greatest analogy. But I’ll give you that there are 24 allstar spots each year, so being 17th does put Anthony squarely “in the second tier of all stars”, which is where Stratomatic placed him back in comment #51. Whether that is “elite” or not I think is open to debate. Personally, I think elite should mean more than being in the top 9-33 of your most forgiving metric. But when we squint, I think we can always see the things we’re looking for, myself included.

    105. I mean, come on, ruru’s even giving us that Melo’s not in the same class as the top guys in the NBA.

      I’m totally fine with “really, really good” for Melo. I’m sure DW is, as well. He just isn’t in the elite top level of the NBA. Which is not an insult of the guy.

      Luckily for Melo and the Knicks, most of the elite top level of the NBA is in the Western Conference.

      Honestly, I’m currently more concerned about whether Melo will return to his previous high level than comparing him to a higher level. Dude’s 31 and coming off a significant knee injury. I just want him to come back to his level of play from 2012-13 and 2013-14.

    106. @111

      Again, no one (perhaps except GoNY) is claiming that Melo is a better scorer than KD.

      Not even me. I just said it was a good argument. I was arguing that Melo was not a good leader.

    107. It’s like you traded all your furniture for a pleather couch, knocked out a wall to get it in your living room, rebuilt the wall (it’s never coming out) and then spent the last four years trying to convince people it’s a high-end designer authentic leather couch.

      This board’s collective stupidity re: Carmelo is astounding.

      Hahaha!

    108. I agree with ruru is a very good player. I think there is no conversation in which KD and Melo are equal. I hope Melo has a great year and I hope the Knicks get better.
      I suspect Melo will want a trade before the year is out.

      He will tire of the narrative that he has never taken a team to a championship. In an era when players can force trades to be with other very good players, I believe he’ll avail himself of this tactic.

      I don’t think this discussion is stupid; but there are zealots here so some views will be extreme.

      ruru,

      do you think Melo’s teams fall apart when he is not in because he becomes too much of a team’s offense? His career usage is around 31.
      Also, I agree his isolation work retards his efficiency. But it’s not that his team calls for isolations all the time, right? He has a propensity to isolate himself as well.
      I mean, if Melo has a fatal flaw it is the overuse of isolation plays, IMHO.

    109. Donnie, his average rank in that span is 17th. There are between 350 and 400 players who qualify every year, putting Melo in the 95-96th percentile.

      Being in the 95th percentile is how you get into an elite, Ivy League school.

      I’m in the 92nd percentile on chess.com. Yet I’m pretty sure I’m not in the same paragraph as ChessNetwork or KingsCrusher, nevertheless Nakamura, Anand, or Magnus.

    110. OK I just looked up Tennis ratings and someone named Edik Streltsov is the 17th ranked player. Anyone think of him as elite?

      Very good player? Yes. Up there with Djokovic, Federer, or Murray (or even Wawrinka or Nishikori)? Nope.

      I think that aptly describes Melo. Very good player, but he sticks out like a Streltsov when lumped in with the best.

    111. I feel like people are arguing with themselves. No one said melo is the elite of the elite. Hes upper echelon. Thats all that was said.

    112. Streltsov is the 17th ranked player. Anyone think of him as elite?

      You damn right hes elite. Just because you dont know him thats your problem. Do you know how many people try to play tennis professionally?

    113. Elite means different things depending on the situation. Is he elite compared to LeBron? No. Is he elite compared to roughly 90-95% of the league? Yes. Maybe not 95%, but if the whole league went up for draft for teams for one year he would be drafted in the top 10% of players every time.

    114. To be in the top 10% of the nba you have to be a top 45 player
      To be in the top 5% you have to be top 23

    115. 1% is top 4.5

      So yeah Melo is not a 1%. Hes not in Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates land, but he is firmly in Elon Musk, Rupert Murdock land

    116. The real rap on Melo is his basketball IQ (not that he’s dumb on a Bargnani level, just in his inability to nearly always make the most efficient play at the right time and to bring the best out in his teammates.) He is as talented of a pure scorer as any player in the league, and probably a better situation defender than he is given credit for. He just makes poor decisions that water down his efficiency. The heroic plays he makes in the 4th quarter often disguise the inefficient plays he made in the first 3 quarters.

      This is certainly reflected in his synergy stats. While he is among the best at “making” statistically inefficient shot choices, he doesn’t quite get that they are still inefficient shot choices, even when made at a comparatively high level. If he’s hitting 51% of his mid-range jumpers, that’s still a TS% of 51, so it should still be down the list of shot choices, but it’s often his first option.

      He’s played for several coaches and systems, but his TS% has never gotten up to an elite level. As such, while he is an aesthetically elite player, he has never been one statistically…as pointed out, not even by PER.

      He is at a crossroads right now. The clock is ticking on his career and he’s only sniffed the finals from the distance of one competitive WCF appearance. It’s pretty clear at this point that if he has to be a big part of the “brain” of the team, that team can only go so far…especially when he eats up a third of the cap as the supposed #1 guy.

      Can Phil’s zen mind-tricks finally get through to Melo? It’s an open question. The odds are against it, but there is an outside chance. It depends on how much he truly wants to win here in NY. The only way he can be a winner here is to buy into what Jackson is selling…hook, line and sinker.

    117. By that, I mean that he needs to be coached with the gloves off. If he doesn’t listen, call him out. If he pouts, bench him. It totally has to be “my (Phil’s) way or the highway” with him.

      This is where having Fisher as head coach can be problematic. I think Kerr, for example, would have clashed more readily with Melo. Fisher, it seems, is more of a player’s coach who will avoid stirring the pot. On the other hand, maybe his low-key approach will bring Melo along. Definitely will be interesting to see how Fisher handles it when Melo inevitably diverges from the team/triangle concept.

      This may be the brilliance of Phil’s gamble on Melo. He is now in the driver’s seat. He is showing that he is willing to say anything about anybody to the media. He has already fired shots across the bow at Melo when SAS was mouthing off: “Melo is our favorite son, but it’s a team game.”

      If Melo starts the BS that he did with D’Antoni (and I was not a fan of MD, but he did preach the team concept), the hope is that it won’t work. Phil will protect his TRUE favorite son (Fish) and blow Melo away in the media battle. Melo will then be left with some tough choices: 1. shut up and adapt, 2. force a trade, 3. try to get Dolan on his side and force an ouster, 4. reluctantly stay put and watch what’s left of his prime unfold without playoff success.

      That’s the challenge for Phil. He would be best served by manipulating Melo into a more efficient, more team-oriented player whose presence benefits, and is benefitted by, his current teammates. If he does that, I have no doubt that Melo can be a truly elite player (again, or for the first time, depending on your POV.)

    118. Semantics at play! I’m a much more conservative evaluator than most.

      Superstar = Top 5 players: LeBron, Curry, Harden, Davis, Westbrook
      Star = Next 20-30 players: Melo is an Allstar if healthy but no longer a starter. Durant is a starter and might be a superstar. I took my superstars from the MVP voting. I might not have Westbrook up there. If healthy I put Durant there. Melo is a star but ranked out of the top-10 even when healthy.

      He is an elite scorer but otherwise flawed.

    119. I’m in the 92nd percentile on chess.com.

      Humblebrag.

      Chess.com is an open chess site. Anyone can play there. If you include everyone who plays basketball at the Y, etc., Melo is way above 92nd percentile. And I’m not even a fan of his.

    120. Thanks for bringing me back to high school.

      That’s why I went to an all nerd high school.

    121. Take this link.
      http://bkref.com/tiny/v02Qd

      It’s all player seasons of the last 3 years with TS% above 54.5 and pts/36 above 24. Looks like Carmelo Anthony is right there with everyone else. Then sort by TS% or WS, and Melo goes to the bottom with Boogie, Klay Thompson, and 52 year old Kobe Bryant.

      Notice that the top slots are all LeBron, Durant, Curry, and Harden. AD also makes his first appearance just outside of those 4.

    122. @143 first off thats a great list. Second there are alot of repeats of names so it makes it look like the list is bigger than it is. There are only 11 unique players on that list of 16 entries. Only Melo, KD, LBJ and Harden are on there more than once. If you sort by FG% harden is dead last.

      Your list is a list of elite, so i dont understand the point that you were trying to prove?

    123. @144

      Well, first if you’re familiar with Bill James, you’ll know the “make a list” fallacy. Carmelo Anthony looks like an elite scorer depending on how you parse the lines. Why did I arbitrarily draw the line at 54.5% ts% and 24 pts/36? Why not 56.5% and 20 pts/36? Then ‘Melo falls off the list and you get Kyrie Irving and Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, among others.

      Second is that even if we draw the lines favorably to Melo, it makes it seem like he’s in the same group as LeBron and Durant. But sort the list and it’s pretty easy to notice the gap between the truly elite and Melo.

      Granted looking at this, all we’re talking about is individual scoring. It’s like arguing if Edik Streltsov has an elite serve. There’s more to tennis than just one aspect, just like there’s more to basketball than just individual scoring.

    124. Just curious, but do you think on other NBA stat blogs they’re calling their non-elite players as elite? Is Cavsstats having a discussion on Kyrie Irving being an elite scorer? KingsGambit talking about the eliteness of Boogie?

      We can’t be the only ones out there.

    125. The national media has definitely embraced the Boogie Cousins is an elite player narrative. He went to the all star game. His teams don’t win not because he’s a turnover machine who wastes possessions bricking mid range jumpers instead of destroying helpless defenses on the block, but because (stop me if this sounds familiar) his supporting cast lets him down, he’s had the wrong coaches, and maybe he hasn’t yet learned to be a leader.

    126. My Sicilian is pretty elite. Like in the sense that I can play lots of variations out until about move 4 and then I accidentally pin my own queen and knock the board over and yell, “Yeah, well Carmelo Anthony isn’t good at defense either!” and my opponent goes, “Yeah but he’s an elite scorer,” and I quit chess indefinitely.

    127. @146 ok that’s fine and valid.

      @147 I don’t see anyone arguing here that Melo is a top 5 player. He is what he is. Top 10% of players that’s elite in some eyes and not elite for others

    128. Actually, Mike, what you demonstrated is that it’s pretty damn hard to average above 24pts/36 and to have a TS% of over 55%. Only players in the conversation of “elite players” make the list. He is also near the top of that sort in usage and by far the best in turnovers vs. possessions used. He’s near the top in offensive rebounding. So while PER, WS and TS% don’t bear him out so well, other things do.

      Also note that his 2 best years are wrapped around last year’s LeBron. Does that mean that at his best, Melo is similar to LeBron’s current level of performance, at a league-leading usage? I’m good with that.

    129. @151 thats why i was confused by the post. Thats a great list. 11 players have done that over the last 3 years.

    130. Yeah, everybody does seem to be in agreement with Carmelo not being a top player. We seem to be arguing over the definition of elite. Since there’s no universal model to follow, I’ll go with the “NCAA March Madness Guide” which would put him outside of the “elite” and on the cusp of being “sweet”. (Is calling Melo “sweet” fair?)

    131. thats why i was confused by the post. Thats a great list. 11 players have done that over the last 3 years.

      And that means what?

      He is also near the top of that sort in usage and by far the best in turnovers vs. possessions used

      I imagine that’s connected to him having fewer assists than anyone on that list who isn’t named Anthony Davis.

    132. And that means what?

      Of player seasons of the last 3 years with TS% above 54.5 and pts/36 above 24. 11 players have done that.

      I imagine that’s connected to him having fewer assists than anyone on that list who isn’t named Anthony Davis.

      Lol. Way to use context with a stat. Thought that wasnt allowed here.

    133. He’s an elite talent who too often does not play at an elite level, mainly due to his own decisions. Mike K and Jowles probably agree with this.

      What they probably do not agree with is that he’s capable of changing his decision-making at this point in his career. The facts are squarely on their side of this argument. Anything opposing this argument is based on hope, and nothing else. We HOPE that given the management change and the fact that he is on the back nine of his career, Melo embraces the same philosophy he does when he plays USA ball, despite not having stars surrounding him.

      As I said at length above, it’s really up to Dolan. If he truly turns Phil loose on Melo’s brand, good things will happen for the Knicks…either Melo will improve his approach (and I think he becomes elite by any measure if he does) or he will be marginalized to the point that he absolutely has to demand a trade.

    134. Z-man,
      Comment #137
      Excellent assessment.

      Mike’s commentary as well.
      A very good scorer, but not among the elite, and a modest defender.
      Here’s hoping he puts together a strong, and efficient year ala Z-man’s description – taking efficient shots rather than being good at inefficient shots.
      Perhaps having some smart veterans and some good young talent will lift the Knicks’ overall bball IQ.

    135. USA Melo played an awful lot like NBA Melo when team USA wasn’t playing some hopelessly overmatched scrub country.

      Of player seasons of the last 3 years with TS% above 54.5 and pts/36 above 24. 11 players have done that.

      Right-so what?

    136. Right-so what?

      I dont know what you are looking for. Mike created the table, thats what it says. Do with it what you want.

    137. I think the point Mike was trying to make is that you can manipulate a search to make Melo appear to be the same type of player as LBJ, Harden, et al, but a closer look shows you he’s not. That’s not a list that shows greatness, it’s a list that several great players are on. I guess Mike can correct me if I’m wrong.

    138. So upcoming season is going to be a triangular circus of
      Dolan/Eli
      Melo/Lee
      Phil/Clint

      Does Melo know by now that he’s has got no chance?

    139. Actually, Mike, what you demonstrated is that it’s pretty damn hard to average above 24pts/36 and to have a TS% of over 55%.

      Here’s another list: http://bkref.com/tiny/zZRnG

      Players with 24+ pts/36 and ts% UNDER 56.5%: Melo, Westbrook, Boogie, and Wade.

      So it’s actually much harder to average so much scoring volume WITHOUT being (here’s that word again) elite with regards to efficiency.

      What they probably do not agree with is that he’s capable of changing his decision-making at this point in his career. The facts are squarely on their side of this argument. Anything opposing this argument is based on hope, and nothing else. We HOPE that given the management change and the fact that he is on the back nine of his career, Melo embraces the same philosophy he does when he plays USA ball, despite not having stars surrounding him.

      I’d say it’s possible that he changes. There are enough players that have improved their efficiency under a new coach/team. Jamal Crawford comes to mind. Has been under 53.0% ts% only once since leaving NY (POR), despite being on the wrong side of 30. Was only above that once in a full NYK season.

      But it’s partially up to Melo and partially up to the coach. And I’ll say that I’d give Melo the doubt in that equation. Good luck finding a coach that can live up to his end of the bargain.

    140. 161 straight comments in this thread on Melo.

      I don’t know why some of you guys want to trade him, this site would become a ghost town.

    141. Who the hell is Lee and Clint?

      I think the point Mike was trying to make is that you can manipulate a search to make Melo appear to be the same type of player as LBJ, Harden, et al, but a closer look shows you he’s not. That’s not a list that shows greatness, it’s a list that several great players are on. I guess Mike can correct me if I’m wrong.

      Thats fine, i agreed with him if you see my earlier post. I just stated the empirical data from that list. I made no judgements. I said its a good list, thats it. Dont know why that irks you so much

    142. Of player seasons of the last 3 years with TS% above 54.5 and pts/36 above 24. 11 players have done that.

      So this tells us that’s a rare feat, but that doesn’t mean it’s a feat that is extremely conducive to winning. Obviously we know at the LeBron/KD/Curry/Harden levels of efficiency it is extremely conducive to winning, that’s just elementary. At Melo’s more middling efficiency it becomes a lot less clear.

      There was an article here a while back (forget who wrote it, sorry) that essentially compared Melo to a pitcher that threw a ton of innings at a slightly better than average ERA. I like the comparison a lot. Melo maintains slightly above average efficiency at very high usage/volume. The fact that he can do that might be impressive in the sense that not a lot of players can, just like not many pitchers could pitch 250+ innings or so, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re still scoring baskets/giving up runs at a rate that isn’t all that special.

      A pitcher like that would definitely have plenty of value, but if you had a choice between having that pitcher at one of the highest salaries in the game or not having him at all, there’s at the very least a good chance you’d think that money could be better allocated. Maybe between two pitchers who couldn’t throw as many innings, but had better ERAs. In Melo’s case, it could certainly be argued that a team is better off with multiple players who don’t score with as much volume, but do so more efficiently.

    143. http://bkref.com/tiny/JGjtO

      Here’s a search of player-seasons since 2000 of over a 30% with a TS% of .560 or above. It’s a very elite list. The only non-consensus HOFer on that list is Arenas, and maybe Amare.

      Change the sort to a TS% below .560:

      http://bkref.com/tiny/mlB8e

      Quite a few new players show up: Stackhouse, Webber, Baron Davis, Ben Gordon, etc.

    144. So Carmelo is a rare player. That doesn’t make him highly productive.

      If anything, that rarity should suggest that a team does not need a high volume scorer to be successful.

    145. ZMan those are intresting. Id say that Gilbert was a top 10-12 player for a couple years

    146. Where that pitcher comparison falls flat is that it only takes into account the scoring aspect of Melo’s game. Pitchers only have to be concerned with pitching, whereas basketball players like Melo should theoretically do other things too. So in that sense the workhorse pitcher might be more valuable to a baseball team than Melo is to a basketball team (with the obvious caveat that that’s a very difficult comparison to make).

    147. Here’s a search of player-seasons since 2000 of over a 30% with a TS% of .560 or above. It’s a very elite list. The only non-consensus HOFer on that list is Arenas, and maybe Amare.

      Why 56% and 30%? Why not 56.5%?

      I changed it to ts% of 60%, usage of 25% and minutes to 2500. Guess who shows up?

                                             
         
      Rk             Player  Season USG%  TS%
      1        LeBron James 2012-13 30.2 .640
      2        Kevin Durant 2013-14 33.0 .635
      3        Kevin Durant 2012-13 29.8 .647
      4        LeBron James 2009-10 33.5 .604
      5        James Harden 2014-15 31.3 .605
      6       Dirk Nowitzki 2006-07 28.9 .605
      7        Kevin Durant 2009-10 32.0 .607
      8        LeBron James 2013-14 31.0 .649
      9       Stephen Curry 2014-15 28.9 .638
      10   Amare Stoudemire 2007-08 28.2 .656
      11   Amare Stoudemire 2004-05 28.3 .617
      12      Dwight Howard 2010-11 27.2 .616
      13      Dwight Howard 2008-09 26.1 .600
      14      Stephen Curry 2013-14 28.3 .610
      15    Shaquille ONeal 2002-03 30.2 .602
      16       James Harden 2012-13 29.0 .600
      17       James Harden 2013-14 27.8 .618
      18       Kevin Durant 2011-12 31.3 .610
      19   Amare Stoudemire 2006-07 25.8 .637
      20      Dirk Nowitzki 2010-11 28.2 .612
      21      Dirk Nowitzki 2013-14 26.9 .603
      22   Amare Stoudemire 2009-10 27.3 .615
      23           Yao Ming 2008-09 26.2 .618
      24       Kevin Martin 2010-11 29.6 .601
      25         Eddy Curry 2006-07 25.5 .603
      
    148. Why 56% and 30%? Why not 56.5%?

      You could do this all day. Anyone can pick whatever variables they want to go by

    149. The only non-consensus HOFer on that list is Arenas, and maybe Amare.

      Is Anthony a consensus hall of famer? I don’t really follow the hall of fame and their process much, so I’m not arguing, just asking. Seems to me like he’s on the cusp. Guys of his ilk are both in (Wilkins, King) and others are out (Aguirre). I imagine legacy is based largely on two factors: scoring volume and playoff success. He has the former going for him, but not the latter. Is his spot cemented? First ballot?

    150. Ah, the time 20 year old Eddy Curry led the NBA in TS%. That rock-handed tub of wasted talent really was pretty good at scoring.

    151. Is Anthony a consensus hall of famer? I don’t really follow the hall of fame and their process much, so I’m not arguing, just asking

      Yeah based on precedent alone.

      2X Olympian Gold
      10+ All Star
      most likely 25-30k points

    152. PPP 2012-2014

      FWIW
      Melo: 1.13
      Harden: 1.13
      Durant: 1.20
      James: 1.22

      When turnovers are considered, Melo is not “slightly above average”!! Not even close.

      The most efficient offense in the NBA the last 3 years is the Los Angeles Clippers. They have averaged 1.12 points per possession. Melo averaged 1.13 prior to last year, according to NBA wowy.

      Melo is more efficient on the possessions he uses than the most efficient offense in the league.

      The league average PPP the last three years is about 1.06, (an offensive rating of 106). Melo is worth 7 more points per 100 possessions than the average offensive player.

      That’s WAY above average. It’s not off the charts like Lebron, Durant, and Paul, but it’s at the end of the chart.

      1.002, 1.033, 1.032, 1.05, 1.07, 1.03, 1.12, 1.05, 1.06, 1.10, 1.01, 1.05, 1.06, 1.06, 1.055, 1.02, 1.08, 1.07, 1.04, 1.06, 1.09, 1.10, 1.05, 1.09, `1.05, 1.08, 1.087, 1.03

    153. What is Melo’s value to an NBA offense?

      Year, +/-, O-Rating
      ’14-15: +12.5, 107.9
      ’13-14: +6, 109.4
      ’12-13: +5.7, 113.4
      ’11-12: +2.1, 105.5
      ’10-11:+2.7, 114
      ’09-10: +4.3, 113.5
      ’08-09: +7.5, 113.5

      When Melo is on the floor, regardless of teammates/synergies etc., you can bank on having a really good offense.

    154. @er..was making a extrapolation of Z-man’s take on Phil/Dolan/Carmelo = Clint Eastwood/Lee van Cliff and Eli Wallach in The good, the bad&the ugly. Cementery scene. Four eyes on Cliff as he knows he’s gone….

    155. Mike, there is a huge difference (bell curve-wise) between 25% and 30+% usage, you know that. You are actually helping to make my points, which are:

      1. Only HOF-level talents are able to maintain a solidly above league-average TS% at the high extremes of usage. Melo is clearly one of those talents, as only he, Bryant, LeBron, Durant, Wade, and O’Neal have done it at least 4 times. This makes him an elite offensive talent, albeit the least efficient in that group.

      2. It is exactly those 5-10 superfluous usage points that separate Melo from being in the LeBron/Durant/Wade discussion. Three of Melo’s 4 seasons on that list are in the top 17 in usage. Ironically, his best statistical season was a year that he led the league in usage! That’s what I was essentially saying in my long-winded posts above, and what Jackson has not-so-subtly hinted at. Melo needs to take 3-4 of his less efficient shots a game to move him up the list. It’s not an insurmountable obstacle. He just has to want to do it.

    156. Mike, there is a huge difference (bell curve-wise) between 25% and 30+% usage, you know that. You are actually helping to make my points, which are:

      1. Only HOF-level talents are able to maintain a solidly above league-average TS% at the high extremes of usage. Melo is clearly one of those talents, as only he, Bryant, LeBron, Durant, Wade, and O’Neal have done it at least 4 times. This makes him an elite offensive talent, albeit the least efficient in that group.

      Again you can draw the lines wherever you want. What you’re doing is making the greatest possible group that Carmelo Anthony can fit in. I did it with Eddy Curry. Yet I wouldn’t argue that Eddy Curry belongs with them because as you can see there are few players that can maintain a 60% ts% on 25% usage. And I can argue that it’s just about as large gap between 56% ts% and 60% ts% on the bell curve when you’re at that high of usage over 2500+ minutes.

      I won’t argue that Carmelo Anthony is an above average scorer. Very high usage. Above average efficiency. But let’s not pretend he’s in the same category as Bryant, James, Durant, etc. Because if he is, then so is Cousins. And then you don’t really have a group of elite players. Rather you have a group of players that score a lot at a pretty good efficiency.

      Again I think the list of players with a usage of 30%+ and a TS% of LOWER than 56.5% is telling. Basically these are guys that can score a lot, but aren’t terribly efficient. Because most guys with that high of a usage score at an elite efficiency.

      The workhorse ace of a pitcher is a great analogy for Carmelo Anthony.

    157. Right, but it’s not that easy.

      It’s very easy to demonstrate that Melo taking 3-4 less of those shots would have a huge impact on his personal efficiency.

      It’s also easy to demonstrate to Melo that there are 3-4 completely unnecessary mid-range shots he takes every game where a pass would have been a much better option. Of course, this gets pointed out to Melo every year, and it’s not as though he doesn’t know the difference between a good and bad shot.

      But in real a competition, there are far more factors involved. Is Melo in a rhythm? Score, situation, defender. Does he trust his teammates at that particular time?

      Does a mid-range shot create something else later in the game?

      Ultimately, the way to decrease these kinds of shots is to surround Melo with teammates who can create offense. Now that Melo’s off-ball game has fully developed, there’s no question he can embrace an off-ball role, which he couldn’t as much earlier in his career because he hadn’t developed a reliable 3-point shot.

      I’m not sure the team this year will have that, but perhaps the year after.

    158. Again you can draw the lines wherever you want

      Whats avg TS? Whats avg Usage?

      For example if Avg 55TS% on 15% Usage, wouldnt shooting average TS% on twice the usage be a feat?

    159. “…when a player decreases his usage by 1%, his efficiency increases roughly by 0.2 (in offensive rating), while increasing his usage by 1% decreases his efficiency by 0.2.”

    160. Whats avg TS? Whats avg Usage?

      I just calulated from 2014-15

      Avg Ts% was .530
      Avg UsG% 18.444

      if somesones Ts% was 0.565
      and Usg% was 30

      They shot 6.56% better than avg Ts%
      and had 62.66% higher USG rate

    161. @190
      That was by far the best statement on the topic by him that I’ve read. Really good. Thanks for the link.

    162. @190 I can see that comparison. Like the “Big Game” moniker = gaudy PPG scoring numbers

    163. One of the reasons Melo’s TO% is decent relative to other big scorers is that he doesn’t make as many passes to teammates. When you are trying to make plays for others (you know, make them better) it causes an extra TO here or there. A better way of measuring value relative to usage is to look at scoring efficiency, TO% and Assist%.

    164. That doesn’t matter. I can not pass all I want and still turn it over. Also wasn’t Melo at the top of the TO list not just “decent” as you say. I love to see the rationalization of his numbers when it doesn’t suit you. A stat is a stat. Stop trying to make sense of it to suit you. Just like when others could say Melo would have as good a Ts% as KD if he took 3-4 less bad shots a game. It doesn’t matter. The stat is the stat. Also I’m soooooo sick of the “make teammates better “thing. It’s so childish and stupid. How the fuck can you make someone better? You can make the game easier for your teammates, which can be done on numerous ways. Melo clearly makes the game easier by just being on the court.

    165. @er,

      It is you that are rationalizing everything.

      When a player gets the ball, he can do 3 things with it to end his possession of it . He can shoot it, pass it, or turn it over. To not consider AST% is to not consider one of the 3 things that are a critical part of usage. Melo does not pass the ball as much as many of the top players. That’s partly why his TO% is lower than many other top players. You can see this by looking at pure spot up shooters that almost never pass. They don’t turn the ball over much, but they also don’t get many assists because they don’t create for others. Great play makers have a high AST%, but they also often have a higher TO%.

      You make teammates better by getting high quality assists. The efficiency of assisted shots tends to be higher than unassisted shots. So if you get a lot of assists, you are making your teammates better by raising their efficiency.

    166. Ive said this before but man I wish this site was around during the Riley/JVG years. The debates we couldve had back then with those players and teams wouldve been beyond epic lol.

    167. You make teammates better by getting high quality assists. The efficiency of assisted shots tends to be higher than unassisted shots. So if you get a lot of assists, you are making your teammates better by raising their efficiency.

      No that’s called being a good point guard. Did shaq make his teammates better by being a dominant force down low or by avg 6 assists a game? It’s a complex game

    168. Why are we still arguing how good Melo is? To say that he’s not at least very good if not great would be erroneous. Cmon! Now..if you want to say that he hasn’t been successful or his method is not the most efficient, then you will get no arguments from me. Just because his NY teams have been stripped down or injury riddled and lacking the right players around him, it doesn’t mean that he’s not effective. He’s not LeBron and never will be. Nor should he try. There’s plenty of things that he can do better, and as a Knick fan, my hope is this is the year that he does better with the types of players around him. I hate to sound like a Melo apologist, but some of the criticisms against Melo are over the top. Jeez..people talk about him like he’s a scrub!! If someone doesn’t like Melo, that’s fair. Say you don’t prefer him as a player and why, then move on. Once the conversation about Melo carries on for too long, it begins to venture into ludicrosity with people juxtaposing their dislike with his numbers and overall effectiveness. Would we say that Bernard King, or ‘Nique weren’t great players? Getting to the Finals has a lot more to do with circumstance than people realize. For instance, someone as talented as Barkley should have been in the Finals every year. Ditto for Grant Hill or T Mac or Iverson. Or Payton and Kemp. Malone and Stockton. As far as LeBron carrying a team of seemingly rag-tag players to the Finals..’Bron is just otherworldly. Add that to the fact that his circumstances were right (weak EC, shooters on the perimeter, guys who knew and accepted their roles), then of course his team is gonna get to the Finals. And I’m not absolving Melo either. As a Knicks fan, I expect him to be better. I’ve seen what he can do. I expect it to be done perennially as a Knick, even if the rest of the team doesn’t follow suit. But enough of the “Melo isn’t that good” angle please. It’s just not true.

    169. “Again you can draw the lines wherever you want. What you’re doing is making the greatest possible group that Carmelo Anthony can fit in.”

      This is a weak argument, Mike. You know as well as anybody that there is a very steep dropoff in players who qualify between a usage% of 25 vs 30, and even between 30 and 32. There’s a line in there somewhere, so please don’t play the “arbitrary” card.

    170. This discussion is hilarious. Statistics can prove anything – even the truth.

      I’m genuinely curious about Melo this year. I really am. Jeeze, lets excise 2014-15 from the history books please. It never happened.

      Basketball is a team sport and unless the pieces fit together well, everyone looks bad. Imagine how Melo would have looked if Bargnani and Stoudemire played defense. I’m not singing his praises but I’m not dismissing the argument that his awesomeness has not had a chance to be displayed properly yet.

      From what I’ve seen the man can score at will. He can take over. What he can’t do well are the intangibles. He doesn’t have court savvy and does not make others around him better. As it is said, “When Anthony gets the ball, everyone stops and watches”. He doesn’t lead verbally or on the court. Maybe he should watch some video of LeBron who forces his teammates to get involved with his passing and inspires his teammates to crash the boards and form a defensive wall with his fierceness and tenacity. Those are the qualities that elevate a player from to elite status. I don’t need TS% or WS to see that.

      “You can hear it” – Gus Lobel, Trouble With the Curve.

    171. there is a very steep dropoff in players who qualify between a usage% of 25 vs 30, and even between 30 and 32

      This is also true, and at Melo’s age coming off of injury- it worries me. But Melo has always been in great shape his whole career so maybe he heals well and can keep up his usual high level of play and usage. I’d still rather for him to be a better all around player and use his teammates a little more, but if he comes back healthy and able to play like he did a few years ago- I’ll take that. Doesn’t seem likely, unfortunately.

    172. Stratomatic,

      Great point about melo and his TO% v. His AST%.
      But even that doesn’t fully capture it because not all passes lead to assists. I get a sense that once the ball finds him, far more often than not, it leads to a shot. Period. He’s not a guy that passes much.

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