Knicks Morning News (2016.09.22)

  • [NYPost] The insight into Phil Jackson’s Zen that Derrick Rose will learn
    (Wednesday, September 21, 2016 6:24:28 PM)

    There shouldn’t be any surprises for Derrick Rose playing in a Phil Jackson program. The new Knicks point guard has the perfect counsel in his agent, B.J. Armstrong, the philosophical former Bulls point guard who played under Jackson from 1989-95 and won three NBA titles. Armstrong, 49, has been Rose’s agent since his rookie year,…

  • [SNY Knicks] Jennings played at the West 4th street court on Tuesday
    (Wednesday, September 21, 2016 7:35:21 PM)

    New Knicks PG Brandon Jennings stopped by the famed ‘cage’ on West 4th in Manhattan on Tuesday.

  • [SNY Knicks] Hornacek’s modern triangle could be perfect offense for today’s game
    (Wednesday, September 21, 2016 10:25:25 AM)

    Jeff Hornacek’s modern triangle offense could be the perfect offense for today’s style of play

  • [SNY Knicks] Rose: Knicks are ‘most talented team I’ve played on’
    (Wednesday, September 21, 2016 8:33:03 AM)

    Derrick Rose called the New York Knicks the “most talented team I’ve played on” in an interview with the NBPA.

  • [NYTimes] Entire Indiana Fever Team Kneels During Anthem Before Playoff Game
    (Thursday, September 22, 2016 2:38:22 AM)

    The gesture came in the wake of police shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, and many other professional athletes have joined either side of the protest movement.

  • [NYTimes] Wolves Preparing for Life Without Kevin Garnett
    (Thursday, September 22, 2016 6:27:36 AM)

    Kevin Garnett has watched two of his few contemporaries that were remaining in the NBA walk out the door.

  • [NYTimes] Catchings’ Career Ends and Fever Kneel in Anthem Protest
    (Thursday, September 22, 2016 6:24:44 AM)

    The new WNBA playoff format began with a protest and ended with Phoenix and Atlanta advancing.

  • [NYTimes] AP Source: Timberwolves Working on Kevin Garnett Buyout
    (Thursday, September 22, 2016 1:42:36 AM)

    A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Minnesota Timberwolves are working on a buyout with Kevin Garnett.

  • [NYTimes] Pacers Expect Addition of Teague to Provide Different Look
    (Wednesday, September 21, 2016 8:31:10 PM)

    Larry Bird always thought the Indiana Pacers needed to score more often.

  • [NYTimes] Bosh: I Had Clots, Heat Doctors Thought My Career Was Over
    (Wednesday, September 21, 2016 3:37:15 PM)

    Chris Bosh was dealing with more than one blood clot earlier this year, and said Wednesday that he felt written off when Miami Heat team doctors advised him that the situation would likely be career-ending.

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    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).

    43 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.09.22)”

    1. I hate to beat up some more dead horse, but I have a dumb question about win shares. It’s not trolling, and I am honestly interested in this subject on all sides. Yesterday we were talking about that graphic Jowles posted, and the idea was debated, hey look, these guys are shooting at the 3, these guys at the rim, and Melo is good all-around, but would be better if he chose more efficient shots. Ok…

      What if he didn’t? And some coach either (a) started calling plays for open players, oftentimes Melo, or (b) just told him, hey no more mid-rangers, you’re shooting 3’s and near the rim only. Wouldn’t this skyrocket his win shares and true shooting? I won’t go into specifics about the variables in the formulas, but assuming their team is competitive, it looks like yes. I mean look at Melo’s advanced stats from 2013, and they’re damn good, with an over .30 usage.

      On that topic- We tend to look a whole lot at win shares when evaluating a player, some very often say it is much superior to the ‘eye test.’ Now, what if we took a great player, say LeBron or Curry, and put them on a shitty team, filled with Iman Shumpert, Landry Fields, and Lou Amundson. These guys shoot a lot, probably pretty efficiently even when doubled, too, but can’t compete with a whole team. Wouldn’t their win shares and true shooting plummet? If that’s true, how reliable is win shares and wouldn’t that mean we SHOULD look at, or develop, other stats?

      Does win shares overestimate (or underestimate) an individual’s stats when on a good team that wins (or loses), in a way regardless of their own contribution?

      That’s my problem with evaluating Melo. Very few top-20 or so players (he was at some point in his career at least top-20) have had as bad a supporting cast as he has had. I’m aware that he picks tougher shots, but I’m also aware that defenses haven’t had a lot of other guys to focus on.

    2. In other words, for win shares: just because a team sucks, and A keeps playing with this shitty guy B, doesn’t mean A isn’t a good player. And for true shooting: just because a team’s plays suck, and player A keeps jacking up shots when doubled because everyone else sucks, doesn’t mean A isn’t a good shooter.

      I don’t mean this to be a Melo conversation, but a WS conversation.

    3. Wouldn’t their win shares and true shooting plummet? If that’s true, how reliable is win shares and wouldn’t that mean we SHOULD look at, or develop, other stats?

      I don’t like using win shares very much for this reason, but I think true shooting is very different, especially for those guys. Even when Curry was on a “bad team” his efficiency was great. Same with Lebron. There are just some guys that are that fucking good that their surrounding talent doesn’t prevent them from posting crazy high efficiency on very high usage.

      Win shares has it’s uses, but I think it’s limited in how descriptive it really is. I think the more specific advanced metrics and efficiency stats are better than the “all-in-one” stats which try to capture a player’s entire value in one round number. They have a use for sure, but I’m just not a huge fan of them myself.

    4. The data indicates that it really doesn’t matter very much who your surrounding cast is. Basketball players are astonishingly consistent relative to athletes in other sports and pretty consistent on an absolute basis when you adjust for things like age, pace, minutes, and injuries. Adding usage as an explanatory factor doesn’t help nearly as much as you would think. Players, especially higher usage guys who have big samples of attempts every year, are, in my mind, astonishingly consistent.

      Look at Kobe Bryant’s ts% numbers. For his first fifteen season he was within a band of 54.4 -58%. Ten of those seasons were within a band from just 54.4 to 55.2.

      That’s pretty astounding consistency across a wide range of different teammates. Carmelo isn’t that dissimilar. He was crappy his rookie year but he’s been in a band between 52.5 to 56.8% his entire career since.

      Kevin Durant has been between 57.7 and 64.7 since his second year and has put up marks of 63.5, 63.3 and 63.4 in the last three season.

      Let me just add all the caveats, there is a lot more to basketball than TS%, etc etc etc. Not every player has as stable a role as Durant or Kobe or Melo. etc etc etc. Taking a ton of shots probably reduces volatility for stars relative to the low usage three point shooter types, etc etc etc.

      Still, there is generally a surprisingly small range in scoring efficiency for a ton of players. And usage doesn’t explain it all that well.

    5. And as for Win Shares, they are a tool. Every box score metric has it’s issues but most serve as a far better shorthand for value than the typical default, which is points per game.

    6. I dunno about all that. You can see a true super-elite player like LeBron or Curry, and sure they will elevate a team by themselves and stay at the same levels, more or less.

      Look at JR Smith. From the Knicks, .075 and .085 WS/48. Then at Cleveland, .124, and .111. His TS went from .508, .522, and .527 with the Knicks to .565 and .542 with Cleveland.

      JJ Redick: As a journeyan, he had WS/48 of .091 with Orlando in 6 seasons, .078 with the Bucks, then .147, .134, and .154 with the Clippers.

      Even Steph Curry went from .077 to.128 and steadily rose to .318 over the next few seasons.

      Kyle Lowry went from journeyman .140 to .196 with Boston last year.

      I don’t think WS is independent of the team at all, except for a few elite cases.

    7. I don’t think WS is independent of the team at all, except for a few elite cases.

      It’s not, but it seems to be much more independent then you think.

    8. Well, I was discussing true shooting percentage. With Win Shares having a team defensive adjustment there is a wider scope for teammates to impact numbers given all the different ways to slice up team defensive performance into individual ratings.

      But players with big enough roles to reduce the small sample size problem really don’t change “that” much as they move from context to context.

      Re JR, I think he’s actually been astonishingly consistent overall. Of his his 11 post rookie seasons he has had a WS/48 between .120 and .126 in 7 of them. That’s kind of ludicrously consistent performance for a guy as batshit insane as Pipe.

    9. JJ Redick: As a journeyan, he had WS/48 of .091 with Orlando in 6 seasons, .078 with the Bucks, then .147, .134, and .154 with the Clippers.

      The crescendo of the replication scandal means it’s a lot harder to get away with this shit in peer reviewed journals like Knickerblogger. Redick’s WS/48 with Orlando was in fact 0.13.

    10. Re JR, I think he’s actually been astonishingly consistent overall. Of his his 11 post rookie seasons he has had a WS/48 between .120 and .126 in 7 of them. That’s kind of ludicrously consistent performance for a guy as batshit insane as Pipe.

      Especially for a player who blows as hot and cold from game-to-game, week-to-week, month-to-month like him.

    11. Decent article, but I audibly scoffed at this:

      When Doc Rivers admits that having three max players on the payroll makes it hard to find complementary pieces, and when history suggests that a max-level point guard isn’t necessary for a title, you can’t help but wonder whether the Clippers would’ve been better off the past three years with a cheaper point guard and a chunk of cap space to use on role players, instead of Chris Paul at 30 percent of the cap.

      Big fan of Lonzo Ball and Ntilikina, though we’re not going to be in a position to grab those guys, barring some seriously bad injury luck and/or a surprise Melo trade (not happening)

      Edit: Looks like Ball is projected to go 14. I bet he’ll be higher by the time the draft comes around, though.

    12. If we pick in the 15-25 range and miss Lonzo Ball I’d be quite happy with Grayson Allen (even though as a UNC fan I hate him)

      If we get a nice early 2nd rounder I’d take a good look at Justin Jackson, Jaron Blossomgame, and Aleksandar Vezenkov (we need a young backup SF to develop.)

    13. We need to wait and tank for the 2027 draft. There’s this 7-year old in Indiana that’s just amazing! He’s 4’8″ tall already.

      Jeeze. I can’t believe we’re talking 2017 draft when the 2016-17 hasn’t even kicked off!

    14. I think it’s a good thing to talk about in the summer doldrums considering that we’ve endlessly rehashed at most 4 different topics for the last few months.

      It’s less contentious and more fun to speculate about this than it is to speculate about just how bad D-Rose is going to be.

    15. @ lavor, picking this up from yesterday. Life intruded.

      We were almost middle of the pack defensively last year (18th per Hollinger’s DefEff, which is just points per 100 possessions against), a point behind Chicago at 15th, 2 behind Charlotte at 9. We sacrificed midrange shots to keep opponents from scoring at the rim and the 3-line (top ten opponent FG% at every range other than 10-15 ft where we were 4th worst). This year we’re going to have the same basic advantages and issues defensively – excellent rim protection via twin towers, poor perimeter defense. Lee is an upgrade, but Holiday is a downgrade and I don’t see how Rose or Jennings are suddenly going to become average defenders. So I think it likely we’ll run a similar defense this year, funneling penetration to our bigs while keeping open 3 looks to a minimum. Assuming Noah stays healthy we’ll be marginally better, but that’s not enough to elevate us much past average.

    16. Ws isn’t too volatile when it comes to all in one metrics even between teams I believe it’s one of the more consistent metrics. If anything it probably overrates players on bad teams who can shoot as much as they want.

      LeBron had been on some pretty bad teams and still manages to put up good numbers.

    17. Re: defense

      I remember reading an article several years ago that said whoever Calderon guarded would put up numbers similar to Steve Nash on average. This was in Calderon’s prime and when Nash was winning MVPs.

      Rose can’t be worse than that (though in fairness, Bargs was the defensive anchor on his team).

    18. @Grocer

      If Noah is healthy we’re not going to be playing that conservative style where we just conceded wide open mid-range shots and constantly because our center isn’t mobile enough to show higher on any basic PNR. That’s the fundamental difference between healthy Noah and any form of RoLo. If you have RoLo you’re going to struggle in PNR defense unless your guards are ball hawks, which definitely wasn’t the case. If you have Noah, he’s good enough to contain penetration without conceding the pocket pass to his man.

      So again it boils down to whether or not Noah is healthy, but I think we have huge difference in how we’re valuing Noah’s defense even in that scenario so we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that.

    19. I don’t think WS is independent of the team at all, except for a few elite cases.

      It’s okay if you believe it, but that doesn’t make it real.

    20. I think I’m probably in on the over, but that’s my problem in a nutshell. 41 wins for this team would be a very bad result for this season and that’d be over the over/under line.

    21. Dude, he’s a pundit. I’m glad you think he spends as much time thinking about the Knicks as we collectively do, but he doesn’t. I promise you that we have dissected this roster more than any national writer or pundit, Zach Lowe included.

      If you think this can be reasonably projected as a 50-win team, you are out of your fucking mind. If Porzingis starts scoring 25 a game on 60 TS%, all bets are off. But that’s unlikely to happen this season, so we should be happy at 35-40 wins.

    22. If you think this can be reasonably projected as a 50-win team, you are out of your fucking mind. If Porzingis starts scoring 25 a game on 60 TS%, all bets are off. But that’s unlikely to happen this season, so we should be happy at 35-40 wins.

      Hahaha. What’s with the ifs?

      I see exactly 50-32 Porzee and Melo will be better than they were last year simply by having better teammates. Then you can factor in the boost from Noah.

    23. Wet bandit is right, WS is team dependant. It has to be so mathematically because the team’s number of wins is in the formula. So if a player goes from a team with few wins to one with a lot of wins and has similar usage his WS will go up like JR’s did. His true shooting percentage went up too, which suggests that teamy environment can make a difference to that too. But for that to go up he really has to shoot better, but for WS to go up, he doesn’t have to play any better at all.

    24. Hell, the Knicks can win 60 games. They can even win 80 (they only have to play the Warriors twice, after all)!

    25. Wet bandit is right, WS is team dependant. It has to be so mathematically because the team’s number of wins is in the formula. So if a player goes from a team with few wins to one with a lot of wins and has similar usage his WS will go up like JR’s did. His true shooting percentage went up too, which suggests that teamy environment can make a difference to that too. But for that to go up he really has to shoot better, but for WS to go up, he doesn’t have to play any better at all.

      Sure, but the teammates on the good team will take up lots of WS and the teammates on the bad teams will take up very few WS. WS doesn’t automatically increase for a player on a better team.

      For JR’s TS%, some would call it change in environment, others would call it streak shooting, then others still would call it Cleveland’s lack of nightclubs.

    26. Sure, but the teammates on the good team will take up lots of WS and the teammates on the bad teams will take up very few WS. WS doesn’t automatically increase for a player on a better team.

      Actually either result is probable but most likely more wins = higher W/S simply for the fact that there are more wins. If the same exact team wins 5 more games in a subsequent season…..all 5 of those wins are not going to 1 player most likely

    27. Dude, he’s a pundit. I’m glad you think he spends as much time thinking about the Knicks as we collectively do, but he doesn’t. I promise you that we have dissected this roster more than any national writer or pundit,

      JVG to THCJ: Do you know who I am? I’m Jeff Van Gundy. I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders.

    28. Owen, usage may not matter in terms of whether lo-usage or hi-usage guys stay in a narrow range. However, usage most certainly does explain why the Chandlers of the world can consistently put up ultra-high eFG% and TS%. If Chandler went up to a 36% usage, does anyone think his TS% would remain at 70%ish? Or even above 50%?

    29. JR put up the 7th best WS/48 of his career on the Cavs. Some combination of injury, disinterest and maybe lack of quality teammates led to him sucking the last two seasons on the Knicks, but he didn’t become a radically better player on the Cavs.

    30. JR plays like an idiot when he’s on a rudderless team where nobody cares, like the Knicks of the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons. On a “real” team where there are reasonable expectations on him he’s a solid .120 WS48 player.

    31. It’s not JR caring more, it’s just math. He played almost the same, but there were more wins to allocate because the team was better.

    32. My understanding is that WS calculations have nothing to do with actual wins. If KAT puts up .2 of a win statistically, he gets credit for that even if the rest of the team didn’t do enough get an actual win.

    33. JR plays like an idiot when he’s on a rudderless team where nobody cares, like the Knicks of the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons. On a “real” team where there are reasonable expectations on him he’s a solid .120 WS48 player.

      I agree with this statement, but of course you have to look at the types of shots he was taking here in the Triangle and the kinds of shots he’s been taking in Cleveland.

      NYK — %Unassisted FG 2013-14 –> 46.5
      CLE — %Unassisted FG 2015-16 –> 28

      NYK — % FG that were 3’s 2013-14 –> 50.3%
      CLE — % FG that were 3’s 2015-16 –> 60.2%

      NYK– % of FGA that were taken off zero dribbles –> 43.7%
      CLE — % of FGA that were taken off zero dribbles –> 54%

      NYK — % 3’s that were “open” or “wide open” –> 38.3%
      CLE — % 3’s that were “open” or “wide open” –> 43.9%

      In other words, he was playing with Lebron James in Cleveland, and wasn’t playing with Lebron James in New York.

      And I’m sure he tried harder and that there were fewer clubs in Cleveland. But at the end of the day, when you’re shooting wide open catch and shoot 3’s all day long, your efficiency will increase.

    34. Right, but at the same time his assists and his FTr cratered because he wasn’t doing other things he was good at (getting to the rim and creating shots for others). Playing with a bunch of good players didn’t change JR into something the wasn’t. They were just able to take good advantage of one of his skills.

    35. Z-man,

      I’ve tried looking up the actual formula several times in the past year or so. Each time I find the same thing. The original formula was developed for Baseball and explicitly started with the number of wins a team had during the season. The formula was adapted for Basketball, supposedly using the same principle, but the new formulas vary from place to place and, even when given, are hard to understand the rationale of, even though they supposedly follow the same principle as the original formula but with tweaks

    36. KFiNJ, I also noticed that there is no site that translates single-game data into Win Shares or Wins Produced box-score style. It would be very interesting to total up WS or WP and compare with the actual final score. Are there cases where Team A blows out Team B but Team B has a higher WP or WS score than Team A? If yes, that suggests that something very significant is missing from those formulas. They may still be useful, but no more so than other catch-all stats, like advanced +/- stats or PER.

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