Knicks Morning News (Monday, Apr 02 2012)

  • [New York Daily News] MSG withholds injury Lin-fo until after tix sold (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 05:38:41 GMT)

    The Knicks were eventually going to get around to revealing the troubling results of Jeremy Lin’s MRI but certainly not before last Wednesday.

  • [New York Daily News] Depleted Knicks keep eye on ‘D’ goal (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 03:09:19 GMT)

    It has been an exhausting and costly two weeks for the Knicks. You could practically hear the players exhale in the locker room following their win over Cleveland.

  • [New York Times] On Basketball: Without Lin, Knicks Back at Point of Disarray (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 07:00:10 GMT)

    Arthroscopic knee surgery will probably end Jeremy Lin’s breakout season, leaving the Knicks approximately where they were two months ago: a jumbled, banged-up mess.

  • [New York Times] Stephon Marbury Leads Beijing Ducks to Chinese Title (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 06:11:10 GMT)

    Stephon Marbury was putting up huge numbers for the champion Beijing Ducks as the Knicks confronted the loss of the playmaker Jeremy Lin.

  • [New York Times] Rondo Has Triple-Double as Celtics Rout Heat (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 06:28:38 GMT)

    Rajon Rondo had a triple-double and the Boston Celtics handed Miami its biggest loss of the season, pulling away for a 91-72 win over the Heat on Sunday.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Stomp Bulls; 1 Game Back for Best Record (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 06:26:32 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, Kevin Durant added 26 points and 10 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder used a dominating third quarter to beat visiting Chicago.

  • [New York Times] Lakers Beat Warriors 120-112 Behind Bryant’s 40 (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 05:36:54 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant needed 11 seconds to make his first basket, then he hit his second and a few minutes later another. No way was the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar going to struggle for a second straight game.

  • [New York Times] Aldridge Leads Blazers to 119-106 Win Over Wolves (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 03:51:49 GMT)

    LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points in his return after missing one game with a sore left elbow, leading the Portland Trail Blazers to a 119-106 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Dudley Scores 21 to Lead Suns Past Tired Hornets (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 03:42:49 GMT)

    Jared Dudley scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and the Phoenix Suns beat the weary New Orleans Hornets 92-75 on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Granger Has 32 as Pacers Top Rockets 104-102 in OT (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 02:28:02 GMT)

    Danny Granger scored 32 points, including two free throws with 15.7 seconds left in overtime, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Houston Rockets 104-102 on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Bargnani Scores 18 Points as Raptors Beat Wizards (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 01:11:52 GMT)

    Andrea Bargnani scored 18 points, Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan each had 15 and the Toronto Raptors beat Washington 99-92 Sunday night, their fifth straight home victory over the Wizards.

  • [New York Times] Lawson’s 25 Leads Nuggets Past Howard-Less Magic (Mon, 02 Apr 2012 01:11:51 GMT)

    Ty Lawson scored 12 of his 25 points in the second half and Arron Afflalo added 22 points as the Denver Nuggets beat the short-handed Orlando Magic 104-101 Sunday night.

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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).

    186 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (Monday, Apr 02 2012)”

    1. The news that the deadline for playoff tickets was Wednesday explains why Lin was more or less AWOL from the media until Saturday. The more things change the more they stay the same. Dolan’s checkbook first the product second.

    2. Looks like JLin had injury for while now. With Lockout and having non-guaranteed contract he was still fight for job. This doesn’t bode well for long-term career.

      http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/doc_lin_timetable_could_shorten_6AqDUehSRc4hv2YGaUaZhL

      “A chronic tear — opposed to an acute tear — means Lin had the problem for at least six months. Hsu said the massive minutes he played during a lockout-condensed schedule likely exacerbated symptoms.”

    3. My apologies if someone else has already linked to this Lin/Knicks article on Grantland:

      http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7764300/what-next-chapter-jeremy-lin-story

      My main takeaway is the below quote. If I’m the Nets I do this just to f–k with the Knicks, and as an attempt to be relevant:

      “The Arenas provision states that Lin’s salary must be roughly $5 million for the first two years, but it also allows for a team to put in a four-year offer sheet with an average salary that matches the remainder of their cap room. For example, if the Nets lose Deron Williams and decide to bring Linsanity to Brooklyn, they can offer somewhere in the neighborhood of four years, $56 million, with about $46 million backloaded into the last two years of his contract.”

    4. The one thing the Knicks cannot do with Lin is sign him to a one-year Qualifying Offer. After next season, the Knicks would not have the Gilbert Arenas exception and could not offer more than the MLE. If Lin outperforms next season, he would be an Unrestricted Free Agent and the Knicks would not be able to offer anything more than the MLE.

      Best outcome for the Knicks that I could plausibly see is Lin signs a two-year extension for the full MLE.

    5. ephus:

      Best outcome for the Knicks that I could plausibly see is Lin signs a two-year extension for the full MLE.

      best outcome I could see is that the Nets really make a ridiculous offer like that and NY lets him go, locking the Nets into basketball irrelevance for a while.

    6. Lin may be smart, courageous, talented, hardworking and humble, but I think it’s a mistake to hinge the future of the franchise on him. The knicks should still be a looking for a better PG.

    7. Not sure there is a better combo of talent/price out there at the position than Lin if he can be gotten for a 2-3 year extension at mid level. Seems like he is a pretty quality player. Steve Nash at the same price? Sure but that seems like a pipe dream at this point. What else is out there? And please dont use a trade scenarion involving Amare or Melo to get Deron bc it ain’t happening.

      One thing I will say though is that I think there is no reason at all why the Knicks shouldn’t take $ risks and go all in on players for the next 3-4 years. We should absolutely be in Win Now mode. To be clear I am not saying that this team is a contender. Most likely it isn’t. But we are locked in with Amare/Melo/TC as our core. So we should spend like heck (even if that means over investing with Lin or someone else) to take this group as far as it can go right now. I am all for seeing this same group together again with a core of Lin, Amare, Melo, TC, Shump and hopefully JR with a chance of JJ and Novak go at it again for a full year with Woody.

    8. Another positive with giving lin the contract is that i feel due to his extreme fan appeal , he is always a nice trade pawn.

      Dude can fill up seats, get sponsorships and of course play some high level ball.

    9. Billy King should be fired, IMO. He has already traded away 3 consecutive 1st round picks, and will likely have only Gerald Wallace to show for it.

    10. massive:
      Billy King should be fired, IMO. He has already traded away 3 consecutive 1st round picks, and will likely have only Gerald Wallace to show for it.

      Unless there was a Dolan/Melo scenario (although has that ever really been confirmed?) Maybe the “dynamic” Prokhkorov was pushing for the D Will deal after seeing all the attention paid to Melo by the media

    11. hoolahoop:
      Lin may be smart, courageous, talented, hardworking and humble, but I think it’s a mistake to hinge the future of the franchise on him. The knicks should still be a looking for a better PG.

      The last I checked, we lost our coach because our franchise hinges on Carmelo Anthony. I highly doubt that the Knicks can find a better, long term solution at PG than Jeremy Lin at this point. We don’t have a draft pick this year (and Kendall Marshall is coming out), and a Deron Williams sign-and-trade is rather improbable.

    12. d-mar: Unless there was a Dolan/Melo scenario (although has that ever really been confirmed?) Maybe the “dynamic” Prokhkorov was pushing for the D Will deal after seeing all the attention paid to Melo by the media

      I guess, but why on earth would you trade a top 5-10 pick in this year’s draft for a declining Gerald Wallace? If Billy King made any of those moves here, we’d all be proclaiming him to be the next Isiah Thomas.

    13. massive:
      Billy King should be fired, IMO. He has already traded away 3 consecutive 1st round picks, and will likely have only Gerald Wallace to show for it.

      Wallace can opt out as well, so they won’t even have him around for much longer.

    14. Knicks are cap out next 3 year anyway beside for Nash I don’t see any better FA option then Lin. Any deal 3 year under would not affect cap situation. Who give crap a if Knicks have pay luxury tax keep next 3 years.
      We not keeping Bibby so of course go out sign another PG. Maybe we buy 2nd rd for 3 million and draft best PG available.
      Knicks executed TD option for next year already. Given how he played surprised we are keeping him.
      BD – per48 Baron got highest turnover rate this year. Would you try to retain him?
      We probably could get Raymond Felton again at league min.

      http://www.hoopsworld.com/2012-nba-free-agents

    15. jon abbey: best outcome I could see is that the Nets really make a ridiculous offer like that and NY lets him go, locking the Nets into basketball irrelevance for a while.

      totally agree- the danger with “messing with the Knicks” in terms of having Lin sign an offer sheet like that is that the Knicks may just decline to match. Then you have you have a $23M/year commitment in years 3-4 in a lower-cap league for a player who has played 20 something games at a high level in his career. Not going to happen.

      The only teams I can see putting an offer out there are teams who:

      1) don’t have an obvious PG right now that they have a commitment to – narrows down to the Lakers, Mavs, Utah, Toronto, the Heat, NJ assuming DWill leaves, Portland, Sac, Phoenix, Orlando, and New Orleans.

      2) Out of those, the Lakers and Heat are in luxury tax territory so won’t be able to offer even the full MLE. The Mavs are going to target and probably get DWill. I can’t see Utah wanting Jeremy Lin. Toronto might but they are not rich enough to give an offer that the Knicks would consider not matching. Portland is in rebuilding mode, not in overpay-for-Jeremy Lin mode. Sac already has Isiah Thomas and Jimmer at PG. Orlando is probably too unsettled to make an offer right now. And NO is a mess.

      So really – the only team I can see really wanting Lin enough to make an offer is the Nets – and I really just can’t imagine them doing it. I feel like Lin probably won’t get any serious offers (much like when David Lee was a RFA), especially with this injury.

    16. jon abbey: best outcome I could see is that the Nets really make a ridiculous offer like that and NY lets him go, locking the Nets into basketball irrelevance for a while.

      If the Nets make a ridiculous offer for Lin, I see that as a lose/lose. If the Nets remain horrible, that does not help the Knicks other than keeping one team out of the playoff mix. At the same time, the Knicks do not have any prospects to bring in a FA point guard who will perform at Lin’s level. Steve Nash is not coming to NY for the MLE.

      Lin knows that he cannot get above the MLE from any team for the next two years. I hope that the Knicks can bring him back at that price, without having to guarantee anything beyond that time.

    17. ephus: If the Nets make a ridiculous offer for Lin, I see that as a lose/lose.If the Nets remain horrible, that does not help the Knicks other than keeping one team out of the playoff mix.At the same time, the Knicks do not have any prospects to bring in a FA point guard who will perform at Lin’s level.Steve Nash is not coming to NY for the MLE.

      Lin knows that he cannot get above the MLE from any team for the next two years.I hope that the Knicks can bring him back at that price, without having to guarantee anything beyond that time.

      Well – if Lin decided to leave, I actually think Nash WOULD come to the Knicks. Where else could he go with a better situation? He would be wasted in Miami with Lebron and Wade being the primary ball handlers. He fits this Knicks team perfectly.

      I am still holding out hope that Lin will actually sign for less than the MLE. He has expressed an interest in bringing back the entire team, but that can’t even begin to happen unless we have part of the MLE left over to resign either Novak or Jefferies, both of whom have outperformed vet’s minimum contracts. JR could potentially stay for the 2.5M option he has (unlikely as it may be), Landry’s signing is doable regardless of the cap. One of Novak and Jefferies could sign for the biannual exception, but the other will be stuck with the minimum unless Jeremy is willing to sign for substantially less than the full MLE.

      Again – my assumption is that Lin will make more than his salary each year in endorsements, so it’s not like this is his only source of income.

    18. Frank: Well – if Lin decided to leave, I actually think Nash WOULD come to the Knicks. Where else could he go with a better situation? He would be wasted in Miami with Lebron and Wade being the primary ball handlers. He fits this Knicks team perfectly

      Denver and Dallas both have the cap space to make him an offer significantly beyond the MLE. I could easily see Nash signing a two year contract in either location. I also could see Phoenix re-signing Nash, particularly if they sign KG once he becomes a free agent. Put them each on two year contracts, and you have a relevant team in Phoenix.

    19. Well you could give Lin more years less $ per year. So you could feasibly give Lin a 4 year $18M deal starting at $3M which leaves $2M of your 2012 mid level left to help with getting back at least JJ OR Novak. That would be a nice deal for a guy who is getting lots of other $ ops in NYC, wants to stick with the team and was about to be out of the league making $800k… oh and has a torn meniscus/arthritic knee.

      Also JJ might have some Mike Woodson love that keeps him here as they both went to IU. I think the Landry/Lin/JJ clique is pretty tight too.

    20. ephus: Denver and Dallas both have the cap space to make him an offer significantly beyond the MLE.I could easily see Nash signing a two year contract in either location.I also could see Phoenix re-signing Nash, particularly if they sign KG once he becomes a free agent.Put them each on two year contracts, and you have a relevant team in Phoenix.

      Denver has hitched their wagon (appropriately) to Ty Lawson. I don’t see them spending more for Nash. Dallas is going to get D-Will – why would they also go for Nash? And if reports can be believed about Phoenix, Nash is not so happy that Sarver/Babby did not agree to sign Boris Diaw for the playoff push. And I REALLY don’t see Garnett ending up in Phoenix. Garnett will go to a team that has a realistic shot at a ring, not a team just hoping to get an 8 seed.

      Both Nash and Garnett are in the ring-hunting-don’t need the biggest contract in the world stage of their careers. While there’s no room here for Garnett with our starting frontcourt making $60M/year, Nash would fit perfectly if somehow J-Lin got away. Not to mention that Nash lives here in the offseason.

    21. btw- with Miami’s recent slide, we are now the #4 defense in the league (ahead of Miami) at Hollinger’s site, B-R, and hoopdata. That is a truly amazing thing to write.

    22. Nash and Lin would be a great pair, that would be best for us and honestly best for both of them. not sure there’s a way to work that financially, but that is the best-case scenario IMO.

    23. jon abbey:
      Nash and Lin would be a great pair, that would be best for us and honestly best for both of them. not sure there’s a way to work that financially, but that is the best-case scenario IMO.

      definitely, that could really push us to a next level… yesterday Nash wasn’t scoring, but he was incredible distributing the ball as usual, 14 assists and 3 turnovers…

    24. No young player in the history of the league has ever turned down more years AND more money to stay with a team. Stop thinking Lin will take less money to stay with Knicks.
      From a financial perspective, Lin made $136 million for MSG in his first week. Yes majority of it was stock price, but Lin doesn’t resign there will be big drop stock price. You know who biggest shareholder is.
      If Net backload 4 deal, which horrible for our cap situation in 2016, Knicks probably still will match it. He been cashcow and Dolan probably wouldn’t want lose him even with limited body work and injury.
      Nets losing D-will and giving Lin a crazy contract I think will be worst possible situation for us. I don’t want lose our cap flexibility in 2016.

    25. I hate to be the bearer of bead news, but the Knicks aren’t going anywhere until they get rid of Melo. It might be possible to win a championship with a healthy Amare, but I think it’s going to be really tough to win one with Melo as the primary scorer and both Amare/Melo taking up all the cap space.

      Melo is simply not an efficient scorer. The higher his usage, the worse the chances of winning it all even if it produces a great personal stat line. A handful of very good games does not make a career. We have close to decade to look at.

      The way to win in the NBA is with both a very good defense and a highly efficient offense. Leaving defense aside, a great offense requires efficient scoring. That means each player has to have some very high quality scoring strengths (TS of 60% or better) and focus on those as much as possible.

      This team should have been focusing on getting more touches for Chandler & Amare at the rim, Novak spot shooting, Lin/Melo at the rim and at the FT line, Fields slashing, cutting and in transition, etc…

      Once Melo adds high usage jump shooting into the mix we are simply transferring superior shot options away from other players to him. That’s dumb basketball. But he’s a dumb basketball player and most of the media and fans don’t quite grasp that the game has some flexibility in shot options etc… They just look at PPG and see Melo scoring more points and hitting more shots than before. They don’t notice that Melo shooting more because Amare isn’t there taking better shots (as he was when he finally got in shape), that Chandler/Novak may be getting fewer touches etc…

      We all know that Melo and D’Antoni were not a good fit and it can easily be argued that D’Antoni was not flexoble enough or committed enough to defense. But he IS a GENIUS at creating efficient offense and getting players to improve their personal efficiency. If he couldn’t get to Melo no one can. Get ready for several more years of 1 and out.

    26. cgreene:
      OUr 2016 cap flexibility is an absurd thing to be discussing.

      yeah, by then hopefully we’ll be ok, after our albatrosses expire…

      but then again, we thought the same thing would happen with Marbury, Curry and all the other terrible contracts.

      I disagree many times with Bill Simmons, but he was right on track with the “Knicks will regret not saving the amnesty clause to use on Amare”.

      not that we had much of a choice (we REALLY needed Chandler and it was worth it), but now Amare has bum knees, a bad back and we’re stuck with him for a long, long time.

    27. the only thing D’Antoni is a genius at is getting (some) people to believe he’s an offensive genius. the rest of that post reads like it’s from January, it’s honestly not very connected to reality.

      people who talk about dumping Melo act like there are better alternatives just waiting out there, and there really aren’t. anyway, he’s not going anywhere, so if you really can’t stand him, I recommend rooting for another team for at least the next few years.

    28. @27

      I kinda agree, but I think it is valuable to have one (and not more than one) high volume scorer, IF he plays defense and takes efficient shots… I’m ok with a high volume scorer who can reliably get to the free throw line and take (and make some) tough shots.

      but for that, Melo needs to play better defense over an extended period of time, and keep his TS% at the very least over .570… if he does that, with great defenders (Chandler, Shumpert, Jeffries) and efficient scorers around him, he could win a title.

      the problem is, Melo has never been able to do it for his entire career, and our other scorers are either incredibly injury prone (Amare), or inefficient scorers (Smith, Baron, Shumpert)…

      we need a perfect storm of good and very, very improbable things all happening at the same time to be a title-winning team.

    29. jon,

      With all due respect, D’Antoni’s record of getting individual players to produce a lifetime top TS% that subsequently falls again when they leave him (and/or his system) is several miles long.

      This season was an aberration that resulted from a combination of the lockout, Amare being out of shape, being forced to use TD at PG early in the season (TD was clearly the worst starting PG in the entire NBA and probably in the bottom few in the entire NBA at that time), and using Melo ineffectively because he did not fit and would not buy in to trying to change his game. There are lots of things to complain about when it comes to D’Antoni, but creating efficient offenses is not one of them.

      You did have one valid point.

      I do dislike Melo. I enjoy rooting for a different type of personality and different type of player. I disliked Isiah and Marbury also. But that has nothing to do with my objective analysis of the Knicks chances with him as the centerpiece of the offense.

      I agree that there aren’t many options for a trade and it’s very unlikely that Dolan would want to admit his folly and make a move anyway. IMO, it could be fixed, but it won’t. Again, that doesn’t change my objective analysis that this team will not win with him as the centerpiece of the offense.

      That statement is no different than me saying some of the Knicks teams under Isiah weren’t going to be able to win, but for different reasons. I still rooted for them and hoped I was wrong. I just never was & I won’t be wrong this time either.

      For Melo to win a championship, he’s going to have to take a reduced role in the offense, focus on the things he IS great at, or get really lucky to be hooked up with some gigantic talents. Unlikely. So my expectations are that we are a first/second round and out team for the foreseeable future.

    30. stratomatic with all due respect did you just emerge from under a rock? We’ve discussed these things to death weeks ago.

    31. @30

      I agree with you, but sustaining TS% of 57% or better would require him making adjustments that so far he seems incapable or unwilling to make even though they could be explained to a reasonably bright 13 year old CYO player that would then follow instructions.

      Some players are just like that. Whether it’s a conscious decision to take marginal and bad shots because they know PPG is what gets you paid in the NBA or because they lack the intellectual capacity to make good shot selection judgements given their own skill set and the time remaining on the clock is somewhat of a mystery to me, but it is what it is and few players change.

    32. Doug:
      Melo’s not going anywhere. We have to live with his strengths and weaknesses.

      I know these things have been discussed to death, but if we want to win a championship IMO they are the only thing that matters.

      Whether Lin signs in NY or not is of minor concern to me. He’s probably a marginally EV+ player with some upside. I love him and want him to play in NY as long as the price is reasonable, but it won’t matter much in the grand scheme of things if he moves on and we sign some other marginally EV+ PG for similar money.

    33. on top of everything else, Melo’s shot selection has been a lot better lately.

      also, something no one seems to mention is that the better your defense is, the less efficient your offense needs to be. this is how Philly made the Finals with a one man offense of Iverson. with the defense that we have, guys like Melo and JR Smith become much more valuable than they would on a run and gun team.

    34. stratomatic: I know these things have been discussed to death, but if we want to win a championship IMO they are the only thing that matters.

      actually if you want to take this line of reasoning, pretty much nothing has mattered since LeBron passed on NY.

      OKC, MIA and probably CHI aren’t going anywhere, and it’s pretty unlikely we’d ever be in that category, barring a string of miracles and maybe a few plane crashes of other teams.

    35. Lol stratomatic sounds like a parody of the Melo hate posts from earlier in the season. Just realize many of the EXACT same things were said about Paul Pierce and Dirk for years and Melo is close to their equal in terms of talent. If anyone’s point about Melo is that he’s not a top 5 player and that you need someone in the top 5 to win a ring, then I guess there’s no point in the Knicks even bothering for the next decade since all those players have been locked up for the foreseeable future.

      That being said, At this point I really just want some statistically oriented person in this site to give me some empirical proof that TS% is the correct way to determine a player’s offensive value. I really don’t get how people are that ok with reducing a player’s contributions to a single number that is 100% meaningless without proper context (pro tip: every statistic you will ever see in your life is meaningless without context). Through that logic, in a possession where all 5 players touched the ball, only the one who takes the final shot gets any action recorded, which means that all the positive and negative things every other player did in an offensive possession get completely ignored. Personally I doubt that any stat that ignores most of what happens in an offensive possession is a valid way to determine offensive production, but I’m willing to listen to a legitimate argument that doesn’t involve plotting one number against the other (pro tip: correlation does not imply causation and, therefore, linear correlations NEVER serve as proof for an argument)

    36. amen, my brother.

      something else I keep meaning to post: there is decided value in a player who drives to the basket, draws the defense, and even though they miss the shot, it’s an easy putback/follow for a teammate. the only stat that registers this is +/-, which also has plenty of issues, but at least it is connected to everything happening on the court.

    37. The sad part is, the Nets have such little chance to be relevant that it makes sense for them to pay a marginal player like an All-Star if they know it can guarantee them revenue and attention. I fully expect them to offer him that deal. And every single person who reads this blog knows that Dolan would match it no matter how many poison pills that contract had.

    38. stratomatic:
      jon,

      With all due respect, D’Antoni’s record of getting individual players to produce a lifetime top TS% that subsequently falls again when they leave him (and/or his system) is several miles long.

      So is Carmelo’s, according to RuRuLand

    39. I don’t get how the entire D’Antoni argument doesn’t get thrown out the window when you look and see that Nash led the most or second most efficient offense in the league over a decade with or without D’Antoni. D’Antoni’s offense has a long history of improving a point guard’s numbers because his offense is literally “everyone stand around and space the floor while the point guard does whatever he wants”. Point guards in this league are all skilled players, you give them that kind of absolute freedom and they are fully capable of putting up streaks of 20 point games or high assist ratios and the like. Even Steve Nash admitted D’Antoni’s offense wasn’t fit for every team on a recent podcast, it just so happens that offense works really well when you have one of the best offensive point guards of all time running it for you. Of course, one of the best offensive point guards of all time is capable of running ANY offense reasonably well, so again it is hard to see what makes D’Antoni so valued…

    40. @36

      His shot selection has been a little better because he’s playing Melo ball which is good for him and his personal efficiency but it also shifting shots away from superior alternatives.

      @39

      IMO Melo is not even in the conversation with guys like Dirk/Durant as offensive players. Dirk is high on the “all time” list. I also think Pierce is a better offensive player because he’s a legitimate EV+ weapon from outside the arc. Melo is EV- from out there. The latter isn’t much of an issue though because he seems to prefer to be even more EV- by taking long 2s instead.

      TS% is not the only thing that matters, but it’s a great way to measure the combination of shooting ability and shot selection.

      @40

      Driving to the basket and drawing fouls is the one thing Melo is great at. If he scored 15-20 a game by getting a few baskets at the rim, 7-8FTs, and an occasional jumper when it was appropriate, he could become a much more valuable player. He won’t.

    41. stratomatic:
      @36

      His shot selection has been a little better because he’s playing Melo ball which is good for him and his personal efficiency but it also shifting shots away from superior alternatives.

      yeah, I don’t think you’re really watching the games, or maybe you’re clouded too much by Melo-hate to really see what’s happening.

    42. All I know is that while playing “Melo ball” and being re-committed to playing stifling defense (which you can plainly see by simply opening your eyelids during any of their recent games), the Knicks are 9-2, and it hasn’t necessarily been against a cupcake schedule like during Linsanity.

      Name me one team in the NBA that is not better or at its best when its best player has the ball in his hands with frequency.

      stratomatic:
      @36

      His shot selection has been a little better because he’s playing Melo ball which is good for him and his personal efficiency but it also shifting shots away from superior alternatives.

    43. The idea that somehow Carmelo Anthony is the X-Factor keeping the rest of this roster from reaching its championship potential is salacious, ludicrous, preposterous and downright ridiculous, if I may Jackie Childs at you all for a moment.

      Take Melo out of the lineup and what do you have, even assuming a healthy Amar’e and Lin? A pretty good defensive team that still has two overlapping pick and roll bigs and is an offensive weapon or two away from contention.

      Whaddya know? Sounds like you need someone like Melo. The only thing standing in the way of the Knicks being a contender with Melo on the floor is Melo himself, and lately, and for significant flashes of his short Knicks career, he’s shown he can hit his potential to be a game-changing, team-on-his-shoulders type player.

    44. The Knicks’ problem is not Melo, per se, but rather that its three best offensive players don’t complement each other as a trio.

      The good thing about that is that you can take out 1 of the 3 players without any noticeable drop-off and you can take out 2 out of the 3 without killing the team ((this is all presuming that Baron Davis is your point guard and not Toney Douglas, of course).

      The bad thing about that is that you shouldn’t be able to take out 1 of your 3 best offense players without any noticeable drop-off in the team’s offense. Especially when two of them make $20 million each.

      So that overlap is the problem, not any one specific player. It’s just poor roster construction on offense. Melo’s fine. Amar’e is fine. Lin is fine. However, together they add up to less than the sum of their parts, which is why you can subtract two of them and still have a decent offense (and in the four games we’ve seen so far, only the Orlando game has been anything outside of “decent offense”).

      On defense, though, the roster is constructed well. They got what makes good defenses hum, a dominant defender in the middle plus a dominant defender on the perimeter (heck, that’s how the Spurs rolled for years – Duncan in the middle and Bowen on the perimeter. It is what the Bulls have with Noah in the middle and Deng on the perimeter). And when Jeffries is healthy, an excellent post and perimeter player!

      So the team can win based on its defense. All it needs is a decent offense, and they can get a decent offense with only 1 of their 3 star offensive players playing (as they had during Linsanity, where the offense was “meh” but the defense was excellent and what they have now).

    45. Juany8:
      Lol stratomatic sounds like a parody of the Melo hate posts from earlier in the season. Just realize many of the EXACT same things were said about Paul Pierce and Dirk for years and Melo is close to their equal in terms of talent. If anyone’s point about Melo is that he’s not a top 5 player and that you need someone in the top 5 to win a ring, then I guess there’s no point in the Knicks even bothering for the next decade since all those players have been locked up for the foreseeable future.

      that’s the point, for me, Melo isn’t a top 5 player even if he gets paid like one.

      obviously, the same arguments have been made about Dirk, Pierce and so on, you’re right, but they have made adjustments, and Melo still hasn’t.

      IF he makes those adjustments, then we agree on everything… but he hasn’t, and my point of view is that he’s less likely than Dirk to make those adjustments because he’s a far less efficient shooter and not as smart as Dirk has shown himself to be throughout the years.

    46. Have you guys seen the Bucks schedule this week??

      Tonight they are at Washington then they have 3 home games the rest of this week vs Cleveland, Charlotte and Portland. Yikes.

    47. Bernard King once again was not selected for the Basketball Hall of Fame. This is a travesty. Induct Bernard Now!

    48. Have you guys seen the Bucks schedule this week??

      Tonight they are at Washington then they have 3 home games the rest of this week vs Cleveland, Charlotte and Portland. Yikes.

      While scary, I dunno, a 2 and 1/2 game lead at this point in the season is pretty big. That Memphis loss for them was huge. I am pretty confident the Knicks will hold them off.

    49. Bernard King once again was not selected for the Basketball Hall of Fame. This is a travesty. Induct Bernard Now!

      The Basketball Hall of Fame is just a joke. Why the NBA does not have their own Hall of Fame is a complete mystery to me. Then King would have a real chance.

    50. We’l be lucky to still be in the 8th spot by the end of the week.

      BigBlueAL:
      Have you guys seen the Bucks schedule this week??

      Tonight they are at Washington then they have 3 home games the rest of this week vs Cleveland, Charlotte and Portland.Yikes.

    51. Looking at the schedule, I think we should still be one game ahead of the Bucks by the end of the week:

      Bucks now 24-28 will go 3-1 and be 27-29..
      Knicks now 27-26 will go 1-3 and be 28-29
      Boston now 30-22 will go 1-4 and be 31-26
      Philadelphia now 29-23 will go 2-2 and be 31-25

      Anyway, I still think Knicks keep 8th spot by end of the season, Boston takes the 7th and the sixers take back the Atlantic to finish 4th.

      Will the Thrill:
      We’l be lucky to still be in the 8th spot by the end of the week.

    52. Brian Cronin: While scary, I dunno, a 2 and 1/2 game lead at this point in the season is pretty big. That Memphis loss for them was huge. I am pretty confident the Knicks will hold them off.

      The 2.5 game lead does look pretty good right now, but there’s at least a decent chance that most or all of that evaporates this week. They should really win their next 4 and there’s a decent chance we’re going 1-2 or worse this week even if we keep playing pretty well with our tough schedule. It’s getting to be serious crunch time and the Knicks schedule is really tough. If the Bucks do pull even or get their noses in front the pressure on the Knicks is going to ratchet way up. It will be interesting to see how they respond.

    53. If Knicks go 6-7 including beating Bucks in last 13 games, Buck have go 9-4 to tie us. As long we beat Bucks, I don’t see them getting 8th seed.

    54. Brian Cronin: The Basketball Hall of Fame is just a joke. Why the NBA does not have their own Hall of Fame is a complete mystery to me. Then King would have a real chance.

      I can understand a Hall of Fame that does not include Bernard King, but that would be limited to around 40 players. I just cannot fathom how HOF voters could believe that Jamaal Wilkes deserves enshrinement ahead of Bernard King. Although Wilkes won four titles, he was far from being a dominant player on any of those teams: 1976 Warriors (Rick Barry), 1980 Lakers (Kareem & Magic), 1982 Lakers (Kareem & Magic) and 1985 Lakers (Kareem, Magic & Worthy). Yes, Bernard had a substance abuse problem, but even with that, he surpassed Wilkes in every aspect of the game.

    55. Yeah, the problem with the Bucks is that they are in a position where they have to more or less win all of their games against beatable opponents. They can’t have a single misstep. And when you’re talking about a team that is currently four games under .500, that is a difficult proposition. And as JC Knickfan points out, the Knicks can play sub .500 basketball and still make it hard for the Bucks to catch them. Obviously, though, the next game against Milwaukee is, to quote Donald Trump, yooooooooooge. If the Knicks lose that, they lose the tie-breaker. And that would be berry berry bad.

    56. I can understand a Hall of Fame that does not include Bernard King, but that would be limited to around 40 players. I just cannot fathom how HOF voters could believe that Jamaal Wilkes deserves enshrinement ahead of Bernard King. Although Wilkes won four titles, he was far from being a dominant player on any of those teams: 1976 Warriors (Rick Barry), 1980 Lakers (Kareem & Magic), 1982 Lakers (Kareem & Magic) and 1985 Lakers (Kareem, Magic & Worthy). Yes, Bernard had a substance abuse problem, but even with that, he surpassed Wilkes in every aspect of the game.

      The problem is that, again, we’re talking about the Basketball Hall of Fame, not the NBA Hall of Fame, so Wilkes gets major credit for his amateur excellence. King was great in college, too, of course, but Wilkes was part of the UCLA team that won 88 straight games! He gets a major boost from those years. Which is why we need an NBA Hall of Fame! We can’t keep letting these great college players make it into the Hall of Fame when better NBA players are stuck at home. Just have a College Basketball Hall of Fame and an NBA Hall of Fame!

    57. Brian Cronin: The problem is that, again, we’re talking about the Basketball Hall of Fame, not the NBA Hall of Fame, so Wilkes gets major credit for his amateur excellence. King was great in college, too, of course, but Wilkes was part of the UCLA team that won 88 straight games! He gets a major boost from those years. Which is why we need an NBA Hall of Fame! We can’t keep letting these great college players make it into the Hall of Fame when better NBA players are stuck at home. Just have a College Basketball Hall of Fame and an NBA Hall of Fame!

      Brian – I think you agree with me that Bernard deserves induction over Jamaal Wilkes. My point is that even if you consider college careers, Bernard deserves enshrinement (for leading the Ernie & Bernie show) but Wilkes does not. The UCLA Bruins were almost entirely carried by Bill Walton during Wilkes’ time at UCLA. No matter how you slice it, Bernard King > Jamaal Wilkes!

    58. King was a better NBA player, for sure, but Wilkes was likely a better college player. His greatness was just masked by the fact that Walton was even better. Remember Wooden’s great quote about Wilkes? When asked what his ideal player was (this was more than a decade after Wilkes graduated from UCLA), Wooden said, “I would have the player be a good student, polite, courteous, a good team player, a good defensive player and rebounder, a good inside player and outside shooter. Why not just take Jamaal Wilkes and let it go at that.” Heady praise.

      But my point is that it is absurd to compare college greatness to NBA greatness. There should not be a “North American Male Players” committee. There should be a “North American Amateur Male Players” committee and a “North American NBA Players” committee. That’s if you want to have a shared Hall of Fame in the first place, of course, which I personally don’t think is a good idea

    59. Brian Cronin:
      Yeah, the problem with the Bucks is that they are in a position where they have to more or less win all of their games against beatable opponents. They can’t have a single misstep. And when you’re talking about a team that is currently four games under .500, that is a difficult proposition. And as JC Knickfan points out, the Knicks can play sub .500 basketball and still make it hard for the Bucks to catch them. Obviously, though, the next game against Milwaukee is, to quote Donald Trump, yooooooooooge. If the Knicks lose that, they lose the tie-breaker. And that would be berry berry bad.

      What sucks about that Bucks game is its the 2nd of a back-to-back for the Knicks with the first game being at Chicago. Bucks dont play the night before (although they host OKC 2 nights before).

    60. What sucks about that Bucks game is its the 2nd of a back-to-back for the Knicks with the first game being at Chicago. Bucks dont play the night before (although they host OKC 2 nights before).

      Heck, you’d almost think that they would be better off punting the Chicago game and resting their guys for the Milwaukee game. Of course, they shouldn’t actually do that (as you have to play to win every game when you’re in the shape the Knicks are in), but I imagine it would pop into Woody’s head at some point.

    61. By the way, isn’t it funny how Boston and the Knicks both moved their “not quite a point guard” defensive dynamo into the starting lineup as the 2 guard and saw immediate dividends?

      I imagine we’ll see many years of Bradley and Shump fighting to see who is the best perimeter defender in the Eastern Conference.

    62. Yes, and the Bucks only have about 8 games they should be favored in left on their schedule…the scary thing is looking at their schedule they seem to have consistently beat the teams they should beat (unlike us early in the season) and have only lost 4 games they should have theoretically won (Charlotte – 1st game of season, Sacramento, Toronto and Detroit)

      JC Knickfan:
      If Knicks go 6-7 including beating Bucks in last 13 games, Buck have go 9-4 to tie us.As long we beat Bucks, I don’t see them getting 8th seed.

    63. Brian Cronin: I imagine we’ll see many years of Bradley and Shump fighting to see who is the best perimeter defender in the Eastern Conference.

      Luol Deng and LeBron James both are still in the Eastern Conference.

    64. hey guys, I just want to say this year’s Knicks team is the best I’ve seen in a long time and if everyone was healthy, I really thought they had a real shot at winning the whole thing. It’s too bad with all the late season injuries they may even miss the playoffs! The thing is I don’t see how this team can get better next year. JR, Novak, Davis, Jeffries may all be gone. Novak would be hardest to replace, then Jeffries. How can this team be better next year?

    65. ephus: Luol Deng and LeBron James both are still in the Eastern Conference.

      I agree on James, but not on Deng… Bradley and Shumpert are way more disruptive than Deng right now, and they (specially Shumpert, cause he’s taller) can play the “Tony Allen” role, guarding the other team’s best player, be it a PG, SG or SF.

      Deng can’t guard Point Guards and isn’t strong (like James) enough to guard good Power Forwards.

    66. dragonpavilion: How can this team be better next year?

      dragonpavilion

      1. Full season of Jeremy Lin. The Knicks struggled through 25 games with no point guard, and Baron Davis — in his current iteration — is competent at best. Jeremy Lin, if healthy, has the ability to break down defenses and set up perimeter shooters.

      2. Full season of Shumpert at SG. I expect that Shumpert will be a passable offensive player next year, while continuing to give lock-down defense.

      3. Full season of Amar’e. I know that Amar’e’s health is questionable, but if he could stay healthy for a full season, he still has strong offensive skills (as he showed post-ASG).

      4. The return of Landry Fields’ jumpshot. We all know that Fields was accurate but slow during his rookie season. During the offseason, he changed his mechanics to get his shot off more quickly. This offseason he will try to combine quickness with accuracy.

      5. Jorts to the rescue. Josh Harrelson has demonstrated decent post defense and rebounding, but little outside shooting since his return from a broken wrist. If he can regain his touch from the corner, he will be more useful.

      6. Carmelo Anthony regains his offensive touch. We have started to see the return of Carmelo Anthony’s offensive game. He certainly can produce at a higher level than he has this season.

      None of these six improvements are certain for next season, but each is at least possible. If all 6 happen, the Knicks are serious contenders.

    67. Iguodola is also a superior defensive presence, as of now. Part of defense is respect from the refs, so that you do not get called for ticky-tack reach-in fouls. I think that Shumpert should be more effective next season because he will get the benefit of the doubt more often, but Iguodola, Deng and James all have much strong reps.

    68. Boy here we go again with Stratomatic…….

      Did you really just say you can only win championships if pretty much everyone is around 600 TS?

      Championship teams highest usage player TS
      2003 Spurs: Duncan 564
      2004 Pistons: Billups 550
      2005 Spurs: Duncan 540
      2006 Heat: Wade 577
      2007 Spurs: Parker 572
      2008 Celtics: Garnett 588
      2009 Lakers: Bryant 561
      2010 Lakers: Bryant 545

      If Amar’e is healthy we’ve already seen that he can be 600 +ts with Melo…. That gives you two extremely efficient bigs alongside Melo.

      And about this notion that Melo’s 560ish (and better) TS is somehow a bad thing with the offense. The most efficient offenses in the league the last ten years have been in the 555 to 580 at the upper range (Suns who didn’t play defense) If we’re looking at a guy with really high usage who sits around 560-570, which he’s done before and will do again, AND if properly utilized can improve the TS% of his teammates, that’s a really good thing.

      Are you really arguing that this team, when healthy, can’t be among the most efficient in the NBA?

      Let me remind you that Melo played on much less talented teams that were top 10 in TS and top 5 in offensive efficiency with Melo as an extremely high usage players. Do you understand that those Denver teams were more efficient offensively than the NBA champions in ’09, and were a hair off in other years?????

      The reason that team could never make it over the top was because it lacked an inside presence who could distract shots at the rim and control the boards….. Melo has that now. And this current team not only is going to be better defensively than any team Melo has ever played on, but it has a chance, when healthy, to be more efficient than the elite offensive teams Melo played on.

      You really couldn’t be more wrong on this.

    69. @71 The way I understood Dragon’s question is how they can improve from the team we saw briefly post-Woodson where everything was at their best. Several of your answers deal with the team playing the way they did during that stretch over the course of the whole year. That would give them a better record obviously, but not necessarily make them a better team than they were at that point.

      You hit the nail on the head for the most part in terms of talking about the young players. The key is going to be for at least one of those guys to take a significant step forward. Either Landry or TD regaining their shot would be huge. If either of them does it, one or both of them could be very valuable off the bench next year and offset the (possible) losses of Baron/JR. Lin and Shump (particularly Shump) both have plenty of room to improve their games also. An improved shot for Shump and some better decision making for both would be a major boon. And I’m not a fan of Jorts’ game, but I do think he’s capable of becoming a competent 4th big in this league and he can help replace potential losses in the front court.

      Basically the team can get better the way most teams get better. Young players take a step forward. Add in more cohesion (especially on offense) and I think this can be a very good team next year even if some talent does leave for greener pastures.

    70. I’m wondering if Strato believes the Bulls aren’t contenders considering Rose TS are historically lower than Melo’s….. and it’s not like that team can make up the difference to the extent the Knicks can on offense.

    71. Luol Deng and LeBron James both are still in the Eastern Conference.

      Oh sure. I was talking about the future. As you know, defensive perimeter players don’t age particularly well. Just look at Gerald Wallace and Shane Battier. Both used to be dominant perimeter players and now both are roughly average defenders now.

      So when Deng and James are in their decline phase, Shump and Bradley will be in their prime.

      Also, I just love watching guys like Shump and Bradley play when they really just disrupt their opponent’s game so much. It’s like they are bulldogs. I love it.

    72. @73

      I agree that TS% isn’t that important (as stratomatic says), but all the teams you cited were defensive juggernauts, except for the Heat.

      all the superstars you mentioned were also incredible defenders (Parker and Billups weren’t, but their team’s defense was incredibly good with the Spurs system, and Prince / Wallace on the Pistons).

      if what you say happens, and Melo goes back to his usual .560 TS%, that’s good enough already… IF he plays defense like Duncan, Garnett or Wade do.

      right now, he’s neither shooting as well as those guys nor playing defense like them… I think the shooting numbers will get better eventually, but elite defense over a sustained period of time? I’m not confident about that, unfortunately, specially together with Amare and his usual matador defense.

      for next year, with Shumpert and Chandler, we can afford Amare’s terrible defense, but we need strong contributions by both Melo and Lin on that end of the floor, and if they’ll commit to that (or if they are able to do it) is yet to be seen.

    73. @77

      and if Melo isn’t able to play defense on Garnett / Duncan’s level, he needs to have a really high TS% on the other end to compensate for that, and .560 won’t do it.

    74. Brian Cronin:
      Yeah, the problem with the Bucks is that they are in a position where they have to more or less win all of their games against beatable opponents. They can’t have a single misstep. And when you’re talking about a team that is currently four games under .500, that is a difficult proposition.

      FWIW, Milwaukee has won their last nine against non-playoff teams, they haven’t lost one since mid-February, and the last four have been by an average of 27 points (!!!).

    75. Boston big 3 is being gutted next year. We will have starting lineup of

      Lin
      Shump
      Melo
      Amare
      Chandler

      We are going win Atlantic Division and be the 4th seed at least. We should win first round and be competitive in 2nd. Hopefully the GM will found more magic in FA area and pickup a solid bench. If Lin and Shump progress I thinking our best chance win it all is in 2014. Our big 3 will all 30 and over in 2015. They could also be discontent about getting a contract.

      Melo will 28 and 29 next 2 year and I expect him go back to what I call his ‘Normal’ shooting numbers. He still should be in his prime and I can expect him play defense like been playing recently.

      Of course Amare scaring one in equation. He will be 31 in 2014 I don’t what will get out him.

    76. I actually expect the Wiz to give the Bucks a tough battle tonight, even though they’ve only won 2 of their last 7, all but one of their losses was a down to the wire affair. They actually seem to care, which for that team, is saying something.

    77. Juany8:
      Lol stratomatic sounds like a parody of the Melo hate posts from earlier in the season. Just realize many of the EXACT same things were said about Paul Pierce and Dirk for years and Melo is close to their equal in terms of talent. If anyone’s point about Melo is that he’s not a top 5 player and that you need someone in the top 5 to win a ring, then I guess there’s no point in the Knicks even bothering for the next decade since all those players have been locked up for the foreseeable future.

      That being said, At this point I really just want some statistically oriented person in this site to give me some empirical proof that TS% is the correct way to determine a player’s offensive value. I really don’t get how people are that ok with reducing a player’s contributions to a single number that is 100% meaningless without proper context (pro tip: every statistic you will ever see in your life is meaningless without context). Through that logic, in a possession where all 5 players touched the ball, only the one who takes the final shot gets any action recorded, which means that all the positive and negative things every other player did in an offensive possession get completely ignored. Personally I doubt that any stat that ignores most of what happens in an offensive possession is a valid way to determine offensive production, but I’m willing to listen to a legitimate argument that doesn’t involve plotting one number against the other (pro tip: correlation does not imply causation and, therefore, linear correlations NEVER serve as proof for an argument)

      Hall of Famers Rick Barry and Dolph Schayes weigh in on Carmelo Anthony …
      http://www.gazette.com/sports/carmelo-136082-colorado-forgotten.html

    78. When you consider that the Knicks are going to have 2 All-Defense level performers in Shumpert and Chandler it is entirely possible that they can have a pretty elite defense, especially in the playoffs when rim protection is the most important part of defense. Miami is not going to be able to score in the half court against this defense, not with Melo being an excellent guy to guard Lebron with. A series with the Heat will come down to how many contested jumpers Wade and Lebron can make and how well the Knicks limit their mistakes throughout the game. Unless Fields gets stuck guarding Wade at any point of course, then it will be a quick sweep.

    79. Juany8:
      Unless Fields gets stuck guarding Wade at any point of course, then it will be a quick sweep.

      Bill Walker was supposed to practice today and hopes to be back in a week or so, I’m hoping that he can bump Mrs. Fields from the rotation.

    80. Schayes listened to Knicks fans rejoice when the Anthony trade was announced in February, 2011. He did not join the rejoicing.

      “I never liked to watch Carmelo play,” Schayes said. “The ball always stopped with him.”

      Schayes still watches most Knicks games. He keeps waiting to see a new, improved version of Anthony.

      “Let’s just say he’s got to grow up,” Schayes said. “That would be the key. Once he grows up …”

      that’s the idea…

    81. and good to know that 84 year old Dolph Schayes is a go-to guy for quotes about today’s NBA. I guess James Naismith was unavailable.

    82. jon abbey: fixed that for you.

      I don’t like him either, he’s been terrible this year and shouldn’t be starting, I agree to all of that.

      but to say that if he gets to guard Wade at ANY POINT the series will be a quick sweep is a little bit too much, isn’t it?

      so we should just glue Novak to the bench against Miami too, right, because if he gets to guard LeBron at any point it will be a quick sweep?

      and many people would argue, with pretty well based arguments, that Fields isn’t even that terrible of a defender (and surely much better than Novak or Bibby).

    83. jon abbey:
      and good to know that 84 year old Dolph Schayes is a go-to guy for quotes about today’s NBA. I guess James Naismith was unavailable.

      does it really matter if he’s 20, 40 or 84, if he says something good?

      it’s painfully obvious that Melo’s issues aren’t related to talent or athleticism, but to the mental part of the game, and that’s what Schayes is talking about.. it’s not supposed to be an indictment on Melo, just an opinion (and one that makes a lot of sense and has been a pretty common point of view).

    84. Bruno Almeida: I don’t like him either, he’s been terrible this year and shouldn’t be starting, I agree to all of that.

      but to say that if he gets to guard Wade at ANY POINT the series will be a quick sweep is a little bit too much, isn’t it?

      so we should just glue Novak to the bench against Miami too, right, because if he gets to guard LeBron at any point it will be a quick sweep?

      and many people would argue, with pretty well based arguments, that Fields isn’t even that terrible of a defender (and surely much better than Novak or Bibby).

      Wait so Wade and Lebron are going to be playing all 48 minutes? Shump, Melo, JR, Jeffries, and even Davis are all better options to guard them, why in the world would Fields be allowed anywhere near Wade? Also saying Fields is a better defender than Novak or Bibby isn’t saying much, there’s a reason the Spurs had no problem dumping Novak before the season, and I doubt they regret the choice

    85. Juany8: Wait so Wade and Lebron are going to be playing all 48 minutes? Shump, Melo, JR, Jeffries, and even Davis are all better options to guard them, why in the world would Fields be allowed anywhere near Wade? Also saying Fields is a better defender than Novak or Bibby isn’t saying much, there’s a reason the Spurs had no problem dumping Novak before the season, and I doubt they regret the choice

      pretty close to that, LeBron averages 43.6 mpg for his career on the playoffs and Wade is at 40.5…

      Fields is a bad defender, but if the series is a quick sweep it won’t be only because he defended Wade on some stretches.

    86. Melo has been killing it in recent games in all aspects of the game, criticism of him at this precise point in time from any Knick fan is absurd.

      and yes my man Juany8 is prone to exaggeration, but let’s not forget that less than a week ago there were some arguing here for Fields over Shumpert, so you could also say that the love for Fields is just so laughable.

    87. by the way, the last time Fields hit a 3 was in the Sixers game that ended up getting D’Antoni fired. he’s 0-12 in the 12 games since then.

    88. jon abbey:
      Melo has been killing it in recent games in all aspects of the game, criticism of him at this precise point in time from any Knick fan is absurd.

      and yes my man Juany8 is prone to exaggeration, but let’s not forget that less than a week ago there were some arguing here for Fields over Shumpert, so you could also say that the love for Fields is just so laughable.

      I think both radical arguments are wrong, Fields is neither a starter in this league nor a d-leaguer, he’s a decent backup 2-3 who can, on some nights, provide nice scoring and rebounding, and that’s it.

      and let’s see about Melo, if he sustains this form I will be extremely happy.

    89. one more: Fields is 6-40 from 3 point range in the last 31 games now, that’s almost a full half season (this year). that is mindboggling.

    90. at any point? What if it were for 5 minutes of game 2? What if it were for 3 minutes of game 3? C’mon man you obviously hate Fields for some reason. Notice how nobody was talking about how he is soooooo bad defense when we was shooting the ball well last year. Sure he can’t stick with quick 2’s (which would be Wade), but as Bruno said, it’s a little ridiculous to assume a sweep because Fields is guarding him at any point. I would assume a sweep because the Heat have Wade and James, and we have Melo and Amare, instead.

      Juany8: Unless Fields gets stuck guarding Wade at any point of course, then it will be a quick sweep.

    91. pretty sure that was mostly an exaggeration to try to be funny. context, people.

    92. Bruno Almeida: does it really matter if he’s 20, 40 or 84, if he says something good?

      it’s painfully obvious that Melo’s issues aren’t related to talent or athleticism, but to the mental part of the game, and that’s what Schayes is talking about.. it’s not supposed to be an indictment on Melo, just an opinion (and one that makes a lot of sense and has been a pretty common point of view).

      Great! Now that Hall of Famers Rick Barry and DOLPH SCHAYES have weighed in, I finally know what to think about Melo!

      If it’s a pretty common view, why bring it up at all?

    93. Hey!!! Boys.
      Lin alreqady had his surgery; there is a picture of him in his hospital bed on the espn post.

    94. We know Fields can’t shoot this year. The coaches “re-tooled” his shot in the summer and it clearly didn’t work. He has been downright bad this year without that ability to shoot and this has led to him turning the ball over (by trying to find alternatives). If he can never find his shot again, I don’t see him ever getting major minutes again, but if he does, he will definitely see meaningful minutes for any team in the NBA.

      jon abbey:
      one more: Fields is 6-40 from 3 point range in the last 31 games now, that’s almost a full half season (this year). that is mindboggling.

    95. Doug: Great! Now that Hall of Famers Rick Barry and DOLPH SCHAYES have weighed in, I finally know what to think about Melo!

      If it’s a pretty common view, why bring it up at all?

      It’s just a quote, that’s all, it’s not the end of the world.

      they’re entitled to an opinion, just like we all are, and you’re free to disagree and think something is irrelevant.

    96. pretty sure that was mostly an exaggeration to try to be funny. context, people.

      True, but context is also important when the “exaggeration to try to be funny” comes only at the expense of certain repeated targets.

    97. The funny thing is that you guys (mainly you and Juany) don’t believe stats to be particularly useful and rely almost purely on your eyes to determine a player’s value AND you let this value be skewed by your “favorite” players and ones that you root for the most.

      jon abbey:
      pretty sure that was mostly an exaggeration to try to be funny. context, people.

    98. Bruno Almeida: It’s just a quote, that’s all, it’s not the end of the world.

      they’re entitled to an opinion, just like we all are, and you’re free to disagree and think something is irrelevant.

      My opinion is that their opinion is nice to know but irrelevant.

      Do you think otherwise? If so, why?

      If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find out what Bob Petit and Dr. J have to say about Melo.

    99. “Just realize many of the EXACT same things were said about Paul Pierce and Dirk for years and Melo is close to their equal in terms of talent.”

      Not going to argue this, just simply state it’s ridiculous to compare Melo to Dirk. And why do you always use the word “talent.” Why not just use the word production.

      Melo and Pierce is a more plausible comparison and so far it’s fair to say that Pierce’s peak was way better than anything Melo has produced.

      Color me troubled with Melo’s recent emergence. Yeah, I know he has a groin injury and definitely he gets points for playing really well through it. But the recent hot stretch has done little to allay my fears that Carmelo can’t operate with other scorers out there with him.

      The fact he is so comfortable out there without Lin and Stoudemire just doesn’t seem like a huge positive to me.

      But it’s great we are winning. Who knows, maybe something happens to Rose or Lebron and we luck into a reasonable first round matchup…

    100. Bruno Almeida:
      @73

      I agree that TS% isn’t that important (as stratomatic says), but all the teams you cited were defensive juggernauts, except for the Heat.

      all the superstars you mentioned were also incredible defenders (Parker and Billups weren’t, but their team’s defense was incredibly good with the Spurs system, and Prince / Wallace on the Pistons).

      if what you say happens, and Melo goes back to his usual .560 TS%, that’s good enough already… IF he plays defense like Duncan, Garnett or Wade do.

      right now, he’s neither shooting as well as those guys nor playing defense like them… I think the shooting numbers will get better eventually, but elite defense over a sustained period of time? I’m not confident about that, unfortunately, specially together with Amare and his usual matador defense.

      for next year, with Shumpert and Chandler, we can afford Amare’s terrible defense, but we need strong contributions by both Melo and Lin on that end of the floor, and if they’ll commit to that (or if they are able to do it) is yet to be seen.

      Look, this team hasn’t been elite defensively just because of Shumpert and Chandler.

      In fact, the Knicks defense has been better with both of them off the floor. Now, of course they are huge reasons why the Knicks are a top 5 defensive team this year, but I really think you’re overlooking how good a defender Melo has been the last few weeks, and how overstated his defensive weaknesses are even when he’s not balls-out committed.

      Melo can come close to having the impact Kobe BRyant does on defense. So your argument is totally false. The Knicks have the rim-protecting big that those other championship teams have… In fact, defensively, they can compete with any team right now…

      Also, Amar’e was playing at an above average level defensively pre-injury, certainly better than Boozer.

    101. Will the Thrill:
      The funny thing is that you guys (mainly you and Juany) don’t believe stats to be particularly useful and rely almost purely on your eyes to determine a player’s value AND you let this value be skewed by your “favorite” players and ones that you root for the most.

      I am always willing to change my opinions, but I could not have been more right about Shumpert and Fields so far.

    102. Doug:

      If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find out what Bob Petit and Dr. J have to say about Melo.

      heh, did you miss my James Naismith joke?

    103. Owen:
      “Just realize many of the EXACT same things were said about Paul Pierce and Dirk for years and Melo is close to their equal in terms of talent.”

      Not going to argue this, just simply state it’s ridiculous to compare Melo to Dirk. And why do you always use the word “talent.” Why not just use the word production.

      Melo and Pierce is a more plausible comparison and so far it’s fair to say that Pierce’s peak was way better than anything Melo has produced.

      Color me troubled with Melo’s recent emergence. Yeah, I know he has a groin injury and definitely he gets points for playing really well through it. But the recent hot stretch has done little to allay my fears that Carmelo can’t operate with other scorers out there with him.

      The fact he is so comfortable out there without Lin and Stoudemire just doesn’t seem like a huge positive to me.

      But it’s great we are winning. Who knows, maybe something happens to Rose or Lebron and we luck into a reasonable first round matchup…

      Way better is a huge overstatement. Didn’t have an offensive rating above 110 until his seventh year. Years 21-26 Melo has a TS% advantage.

      Pierce has a higher WS/48 because of the steals, but Melo played on better defensive teams to be sure.

    104. Bruno Almeida: It’s just a quote, that’s all, it’s not the end of the world.

      they’re entitled to an opinion, just like we all are, and you’re free to disagree and think something is irrelevant.

      SHould I bring up quotes from guys saying Melo has played like one of the top 5 guys in the game?

    105. Bruno Almeida:
      Schayes listened to Knicks fans rejoice when the Anthony trade was announced in February, 2011. He did not join the rejoicing.

      “I never liked to watch Carmelo play,” Schayes said. “The ball always stopped with him.”

      Schayes still watches most Knicks games. He keeps waiting to see a new, improved version of Anthony.

      “Let’s just say he’s got to grow up,” Schayes said. “That would be the key. Once he grows up …”

      that’s the idea…

      Also, it should be noted that Rick Barry has tried to tear down every guy in the league from Lebron and Kobe to Michael Jordan back in the day. He’s a jealous, vindictive curmudgeon of the highest order….

    106. Nene with yet another DNP tonight, where are all the people who were telling us how great he was in the offseason?

    107. Ahh, yeah.

      Pierce posted a .159 ws/48 through his first nine seasons. Melo is at .127. And then Pierce rattled off four more seasons better than anything Melo has posted to date.

      I don’t love linear metrics as much as I used to, but I think they make a strong case here. As I have said before, I think Pierce is the ceiling for Melo. Melo isn’t as good a passer and he is isn’t as good a three point shooter. He may get there but I don’t see any signs as of yet….

      And this btw is a classic piece of sophistry. It’s almost like you believe that if you argue it long enough on a popular Knicks board you might get people to actually start believing Melo is a plus defender.

      “….but I really think you’re overlooking how good a defender Melo has been the last few weeks, and how overstated his defensive weaknesses are even when he’s not balls-out committed. Melo can come close to having the impact Kobe BRyant does on defense. So your argument is totally false”

      Here’s my Amazon recommendation for you…

      http://www.amazon.com/A-Rulebook-Arguments-Anthony-Weston/dp/0872205525

    108. “Nene with yet another DNP tonight, where are all the people who were telling us how great he was in the offseason?”

      He has plantar fasciitis. Still think he is very good (maybe not great) when uninjured….

    109. Owen:
      Ahh, yeah.

      Pierce posted a .159 ws/48 through his first nine seasons. Melo is at .127. And then Pierce rattled off four more seasons better than anything Melo has posted to date.

      I don’t love linear metrics as much as I used to, but I think they make a strong case here. As I have said before, I think Pierce is the ceiling for Melo. Melo isn’t as good a passer and he is isn’t as good a three point shooter. He may get there but I don’t see any signs as of yet….

      And this btw is a classic piece of sophistry. It’s almost like you believe that if you argue it long enough on a popular Knicks board you might get people to actually start believing Melo is a plus defender.

      “….but I really think you’re overlooking how good a defender Melo has been the last few weeks, and how overstated his defensive weaknesses are even when he’s not balls-out committed. Melo can come close to having the impact Kobe BRyant does on defense. So your argument is totally false”

      Here’s my Amazon recommendation for you…

      http://www.amazon.com/A-Rulebook-Arguments-Anthony-Weston/dp/0872205525

      thank you for saving me the time to answer that claim.

      how is my argument totally false when you claim Melo CAN have the same impact as Kobe defensively?

      I’ve said it once and I’ll repeat, call me when he shoots well and plays defense hard for an EXTENDED period of time, and I’ll be ecstatic to agree with you.

      and I didn’t post the Schayes quote because he’s Dolph Schayes, but because I think he’s right on track.

      if it was Doug, Jon Abbey or anyone else who said it, I’d agree and quote it too.

    110. jon abbey:
      Nene with yet another DNP tonight, where are all the people who were telling us how great he was in the offseason?

      he’s injured, come on.

      and by the way, he has been absolutely awesome with the Wizards so far, in 6 games he’s averaging 17.7 ppg, 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, shooting .545 (with a .581 TS%) and a 22.6 PER.

    111. Melo can play great D when he wants, and I do think he has been in recent weeks. look at what he’s done to guys like Ryan Anderson and Ilyasova recently, taking them out of the game entirely.

      he’s also been rebounding well (although guys really should not get credit for a board off their own missed shot), and has an impressive 22 steals in the last 15 games.

    112. Bruno Almeida:

      and by the way, he has been absolutely awesome with the Wizards so far, in 6 games he’s averaging 17.7 ppg, 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, shooting .545 (with a .581 TS%) and a 22.6 PER.

      awesome, maybe they can extend his deal a few more years. I’ve never been a fan, he’s not as good as his numbers make him look.

    113. jon abbey: awesome, maybe they can extend his deal a few more years. I’ve never been a fan, he’s not as good as his numbers make him look.

      I’m not his biggest fan, I think he’s a poor defender and his contract is too big, but unfortunately there are very few good Centers in the league, and they will command huge contracts.

      but it doesn’t change the fact that you are basing your arguments on the fact that you don’t like him, instead of analyzing what he’s actually doing on the court.

    114. “Melo can play great D when he wants”

      When he wants?

      The time to play great defense is not when he wants. It’s all the time. Am I crazy? Is that an unreasonable standard for a max contract player?

      Look, I think we can argue about whether he is an average defender or a below average defender. But no one is ever going to confuse Carmelo Anthony with a plus defender. He just isn’t that guy.

    115. jon abbey: heh, did you miss my James Naismith joke?

      lol, I thought I would add on to it by paralleling Bruno’s 70’s star + 50’s star pairing.

      Owen: Here’s my Amazon recommendation for you…
      http://www.amazon.com/A-Rulebook-Arguments-Anthony-Weston/dp/0872205525

      Isn’t it a little patronizing to say he should go read a textbook on persuasive writing?

      Bruno Almeida: if it was Doug, Jon Abbey or anyone else who said it, I’d agree and quote it too.

      lol, no you wouldn’t have. Otherwise you could have just quoted one of Owen’s posts and called it a day. You found that Denver Post article and linked it for a reason.

    116. Owen:
      “Melo can play great D when he wants”

      When he wants?

      The time to play great defense is not when he wants. It’s all the time. Am I crazy? Is that an unreasonable standard for a max contract player?

      Look, I think we can argue about whether he is an average defender or a below average defender. But no one is ever going to confuse Carmelo Anthony with a plus defender. He just isn’t that guy.

      Eddy Curry could be thin if he wanted too.

    117. Owen: Is that an unreasonable standard for a max contract player?

      I think the “max contract player” standard is unreasonable. On an open market with no constraints, Lebron, Howard, CP3, and Wade could get $40-50 million per year. They are severely undervalued on a max contract.

      Melo is probably fairly assessed in the $20-25 million AAV range.

    118. Doug:

      lol, no you wouldn’t have. Otherwise you could have just quoted one of Owen’s posts and called it a day. You found that Denver Post article and linked it for a reason.

      lleepar posted it on #83, that’s why I saw it and commented on it.

      I have agreed with Abbey and ruruland on numerous times.

    119. Owen:
      Ahh, yeah.

      Pierce posted a .159 ws/48 through his first nine seasons. Melo is at .127. And then Pierce rattled off four more seasons better than anything Melo has posted to date.

      I don’t love linear metrics as much as I used to, but I think they make a strong case here. As I have said before, I think Pierce is the ceiling for Melo. Melo isn’t as good a passer and he is isn’t as good a three point shooter. He may get there but I don’t see any signs as of yet….

      Explain how the Knicks are a top 5 defense this year. You must do this while acknowledging that the defense has been better with Melo on the floor than Shumpert and Chandler, and that Melo has one of the lowest points allowed per possession in the NBA (better than both of them)….

      Assuming you believe Stoudemire has been a poor defender this year and is generally a poor defender, it’s really hard to make the argument that Melo isn’t a plus defender…….

      Kobe isn’t what he was defensively at 2,24,25, 26, 27… This will be the sixth time in Melo’s career he’s played on a top 10 defense, and it will be the 8th time he’s played on a defense in the top 13.

      Also, there was clearly a reason I compared Melo and Pierce from when they were ages 21-26. Melo’s career numbers, just like most guys (including Kobe, Durant etc al) who come out early and play a ton of minutes, look a lot worse…..

      Their numbers in those seasons are quite comparable. The biggest reason Pierce has a higher WS/48 during those years is his steal percentage, which as you should know, is not necessarily indicative of good defense.

    120. d-mar:
      I actually expect the Wiz to give the Bucks a tough battle tonight, even though they’ve only won 2 of their last 7, all but one of their losses was a down to the wire affair. They actually seem to care, which for that team, is saying something.

      Never mind

    121. Bruno Almeida: lleepar posted it on #83, that’s why I saw it and commented on it.

      I have agreed with Abbey and ruruland on numerous times.

      I didn’t realize you weren’t the original poster. Sorry.

    122. Doug: I think the “max contract player” standard is unreasonable. On an open market with no constraints, Lebron, Howard, CP3, and Wade could get $40-50 million per year. They are severely undervalued on a max contract.

      Melo is probably fairly assessed in the $20-25 million AAV range.

      I’m sorry, but how is that an argument?

      we can talk all we want about hypothetical open markets, but the fact is that there is a cap restriction on the NBA and Melo gets paid the same as those superstars you mentioned, without giving back the same type of production.

      it would be awesome if players actually got paid what they were worth, but that’s not the way it happens… Melo has to be assessed according to the real standards, to the fact that the Clippers, for example, pay the same amount we pay to Carmelo and receive better performance.

    123. The way a max contract forces Lebron to be paid the same as Joe Johnson doesn’t mean that Joe Johnson’s real value decrease proportionally to what Lebron can be paid. It doesn’t mean he should be worth $14 million and Lebron $20 million.

      In other words, the players’ actual values in an unrestricted market do not change. Any owner in the league would be willing to pay Lebron $50 million a year. That is his real value.

      It just means that Joe Johnson’s value is $20 million and Lebron’s *should be* twice as much.

    124. Owen:
      “Melo can play great D when he wants”

      When he wants?

      The time to play great defense is not when he wants. It’s all the time. Am I crazy? Is that an unreasonable standard for a max contract player?

      Look, I think we can argue about whether he is an average defender or a below average defender. But no one is ever going to confuse Carmelo Anthony with a plus defender. He just isn’t that guy.

      Most guys who are considered great defenders, especially those who carry significant offensive burdens, take a lot of plays off on defense. Kobe is a 4th quarter defender and has been that way for years and years.

      Speaking of specious arguments, what evidence do you have that Melo hasn’t been a plus defender this year?

      We both know +/- isn’t going to get you anywhere, not when the Knicks two best defenders look bad there….. Melo’s sysnergy stats are really good, his Opp PER is really good, he’s logging 35 mpg on an elite defensive team when he’s playing alongside Landry Fields, Jeremly Lin and AMar’e Stoudemire for Christ sake.

    125. jon abbey:
      Melo can play great D when he wants, and I do think he has been in recent weeks. look at what he’s done to guys like Ryan Anderson and Ilyasova recently, taking them out of the game entirely.

      he’s also been rebounding well (although guys really should not get credit for a board off their own missed shot), and has an impressive 22 steals in the last 15 games.

      If Melo wasn’t credited for getting boards off his own misses, instead making the original shot as opposed to making it on the second attempt, he’d merely be an average offensive rebounder at his position but his TS% would skyrocket.

      He has great quick hops, and can almost always beat interior defenders on a second jump.

    126. Doug:
      The way a max contract forces Lebron to be paid the same as Joe Johnson doesn’t mean that Joe Johnson’s real value decrease proportionally to what Lebron can be paid. It doesn’t mean he should be worth $14 million and Lebron $20 million.

      In other words, the players’ actual values in an unrestricted market do not change. Any owner in the league would be willing to pay Lebron $50 million a year. That is his real value.

      It just means that Joe Johnson’s value is $20 million and Lebron’s *should be* twice as much.

      that makes a lot of sense and I agree with you, from an economic standpoint, but unfortunately the fact is that our cap space is ruined because we pay 2 guys money they might “deserve”, but is not as compensating as the same amount of money paid by the Clippers (or less than that, in Miami’s case).

    127. Nick C.:
      The news that the deadline for playoff tickets was Wednesday explains why Lin was more or less AWOL from the media until Saturday. The more things change the more they stay the same. Dolan’s checkbook first the product second.

      Yes, that was such an easy deduction, given Dolan’s character. And when I did deduce that MSG had crass commercial motives, some people here refused to see it, preferring to continue assassinating Lin’s character (“he’s a pussy for sitting out a mere sore knee!”). Let these people be condemned to watch reruns of Stephon Marbury’s games for the rest of their lives.

    128. Bruno Almeida: I’m not his biggest fan, I think he’s a poor defender and his contract is too big, but unfortunately there are very few good Centers in the league, and they will command huge contracts.

      but it doesn’t change the fact that you are basing your arguments on the fact that you don’t like him, instead of analyzing what he’s actually doing on the court.

      You’re looking at what, a 6 game sample? The fact is that from the moment Carmelo was traded Nene’s efficiency has plummeted. He’s always been high-maintenance, injury prone, and soft half the time, and he’ll never be more than an average 3rd option or efficient 4th option on a good team.

      He’s a really solid player when motivated and in a good situation though. I just wouldn’t bet on him staying healthy. He wouldn’t be a guy I’d look at seriously as part of a rebuilding foundation.

    129. ruruland: You’re looking at what, a 6 game sample? The fact is that from the moment Carmelo was traded Nene’s efficiency has plummeted. He’s always been high-maintenance, injury prone, and soft half the time, and he’ll never be more than an average 3rd option or efficient 4th option on a good team.

      He’s a really solid player when motivated and in a good situation though. I just wouldn’t bet onhim staying healthy. He wouldn’t be a guy I’d look at seriously as part of a rebuilding foundation.

      I agree with the ending, he’s not a great player for a rebuilding team and he’s injury prone.

      but how in hell is a 6 game sample size for Nene a bad argument, while “Melo has been playing better defense lately” is a good one?

      I was just pointing to the fact that Jon didn’t even know that Nene was injured and actually playing well on a very limited sample size, and was criticizing him anyway.

    130. Bruno Almeida: that makes a lot of sense and I agree with you, from an economic standpoint, but unfortunately the fact is that our cap space is ruined because we pay 2 guys money they might “deserve”, but is not as compensating as the same amount of money paid by the Clippers (or less than that, in Miami’s case).

      Right, but you have to come to grips with the fact that there are only 5-6 true max guys anyway… And the more usage you give an efficient guy, the more likely you are to get less value per dollar on his next contract.

      What you have with Melo is a guy capable of (he’s done it before) at playing at a really high level… never elite level….. but at a high usage a level that maybe 10-12 guys can get to at most.

      So it’s hard to know what the value of that is because you’re never going to be able to get the true max bargain elite player…. Just like everyone elese, you have to get lucky….. And by golly the Knicks got incredibly lucky with Lin, possibly Shumpert (and JR and Novak moving forward)..

      That’s why I have such a hard time figuring out why these arguments are going on now.

    131. Bruno Almeida: I agree with the ending, he’s not a great player for a rebuilding team and he’s injury prone.

      but how in hell is a 6 game sample size for Nene a bad argument, while “Melo has been playing better defense lately” is a good one?

      I was just pointing to the fact that Jon didn’t even know that Nene was injured and actually playing well on a very limited sample size, and was criticizing him anyway.

      Because Melo has been playing not just “better defensively” he’s been playing close to elite defense the last 3 weeks or so. It’s not the first time in his career he’s done that, and it is something he’s done in the playoffs before.

      In the right culture, similar to the one he had with Chauncey, Martin and Karl, he’ll give that to you over an entire season, injuries notwithstanding.

      Culture is so important to the performance of virtually every guy in the league, with only a handful of exceptions (guys who through charisma and personality set the tone or provide the culture)….

      Lebron is now playing the best defense of his career in Miami. Pierce did it in a new culture .The list goes on and on.

    132. ruruland: Kobe isn’t what he was defensively at 2,24,25, 26, 27… This will be the sixth time in Melo’s career he’s played on a top 10 defense, and it will be the 8th time he’s played on a defense in the top 13.

      If you want to give Melo credit for his team’s performance, then you have to blame him as well. This will also most likely be the 7th time in 9 years that his team performed at or below expectations in the playoffs. Outside of 08/09, his teams have a net total of 8 playoff wins. Overall, his teams are 18-38 in the playoffs.

    133. Bison: Yes, that was such an easy deduction, given Dolan’s character. And when I did deduce that MSG had crass commercial motives, some people here refused to see it, preferring to continue assassinating Lin’s character (“he’s a pussy for sitting out a mere sore knee!”). Let these people be condemned to watch reruns of Stephon Marbury’s games for the rest of their lives.

      WHere do people get this idea that the Knicks wouldn’t have been able to sell out the playoffs with the Lin news? Secondly, why would the Knicks intentionally postpone Lin’s surgery just so that they could be ensured selling tickets for this season (not that that makes any sense in the first place). You’re giving up a critical week in Lin’s recovery, which might make the difference between making the second round and not……

      A lot more money would potentially be made by the Knicks making the second round, then giving themselves much less of a chance at the second round so to sell more tickets for the first.

      The most plausible scenario is that Lin didn’t know if he was going to continue to play on the knee or have surgery until he tested it out after the one week.. I believe just what he said.

    134. @146

      I wasn’t arguing or comparing the quality of Nene’s play to Carmelo’s recent play, only that you sometimes use very limited sample sizes to talk about trends, about something you think it’s bound to happen.

      so why is it absurd to use a limited sample size when it comes to Nene?

    135. ruruland: Explain how the Knicks are a top 5 defense this year. You must do this while acknowledging that the defense has been better with Melo on the floor than Shumpert and Chandler, and that Melo has one of the lowest points allowed per possession in the NBA (better than both of them)….

      Why does the defense improve enormously when Melo is off the court?

      Points given up per 100 possessions: 102.3 when Melo is on; 99.6 when he’s off.

      See how slippery statistics can be?

    136. max fisher-cohen: If you want to give Melo credit for his team’s performance, then you have to blame him as well. This will also most likely be the 7th time in 9 years that his team performed at or below expectations in the playoffs. Outside of 08/09, his teams have a net total of 8 playoff wins. Overall, his teams are 18-38 in the playoffs.

      right on point.

      if Melo is credited with the improvement of the team, why shouldn’t he be blamed for that terrible losing streak, for example?

      so far in his career he hasn’t done much more than Tracy McGrady did in his career, and McGrady gets killed by everybody.

    137. max fisher-cohen: If you want to give Melo credit for his team’s performance, then you have to blame him as well. This will also most likely be the 7th time in 9 years that his team performed at or below expectations in the playoffs. Outside of 08/09, his teams have a net total of 8 playoff wins. Overall, his teams are 18-38 in the playoffs.

      I’m not giving Melo credit for those defensive teams per se. To be a really good defensive team you have to have most of your guys on the same page. Melo had some struggles with team defense at times, but was always one of if not the second best man defender (behind Kenyon Martin) year-in, year-out.

      Melo has had playoff struggles to be sure. But he’s also had some really bad luck in terms of critical teammates missing with injury. Also, he played on teams that were generally set up to win full court games. Without shooting or penetration from teammates for most of his playoff career, Melo faced, I would argue, as much if not more defensive attention than any guy in the league….

      That was especially true in his break-out third season against the Clippers. I’d love to post the video of Melo’s touches in that series because it was often three guys. If memory serves his teammates hit below 20 percent of their open 3 pt attempts.

      That’s why the Nuggets went out and took a risk on JR Smith the next season (who Karl benched in the playoff against the Spurs)….

      Melo had, IMO, one really bad, inexcusable playoff series — that was against LA in ’08. A lot of issues that year.

      Outside of that he’s played on teams that really struggled to space the floor in the half-court, void of a second playmaker, and he also faced great defenses virtually every year.

    138. Sorry to interrupt the Melo discussion (question: if you stacked up all the pro and anti Melo posts over the past year, would they reach the moon?) but this week coming up is probably make or break for the Knicks as far as the playoffs go. They need to somehow go 2-2 over the next four, because the Bucks have 3 games coming up that are as close to gimmes as you can get (Cleveland, Charlotte and Portland) We may find ourselves on the outside looking in by the time the week is over.

    139. Bison: Why does the defense improve enormously when Melo is off the court?

      Points given up per 100 possessions:102.3 when Melo is on; 99.6 when he’s off.

      See how slippery statistics can be?

      That was exactly my point. Stay with it. I have no doubt that Shumpert and Chandler are the team’s two best defenders, but they also have similar +/- defensive profiles.

    140. “Right, but you have to come to grips with the fact that there are only 5-6 true max guys anyway…”

      I have come to grips with that. And the solution to the issue is not to give a max contract to Melo. It just isn’t. It’s to use all the leverage of being the premier team in the premier media market in the world to get one of those six guys who are grossly underpaid on a max contract into a Knicks uniform.

      Why the Knicks are a top 5 defense I don’t know. But it’s not because of Carmelo Anthony.

    141. Owen:
      “Right, but you have to come to grips with the fact that there are only 5-6 true max guys anyway…”

      I have come to grips with that. And the solution to the issue is not to give a max contract to Melo. It just isn’t. It’s to use all the leverage of being the premier team in the premier media market in the world to get one of those six guys who are grossly underpaid on a max contract into a Knicks uniform.

      Why the Knicks are a top 5 defense I don’t know. But it’s not because of Carmelo Anthony.

      You cannot try to lecture me and then provide these polemics whilst being unable to even attempt an argument as to the idea that a) Melo is either average or below average b)the Knicks are an elite defensive team.

      The trade happened more than a fucking year ago. You’ve dedicated hours upon days trying to convince everyone that Melo isn’t worth a max contract. There isn’t a soul who says he’s as valuable as the 5-6 elite, but you continue to harp and grind away every time you show up here.

      The team is playing really well despite battling more injuries than any of the other playoff teams, has shown the potential to be a contender moving forward (even with significant room to improve purely based on pst performance), and this is all you can talk about when you show up here?

    142. this is my impossible wish. i wish i could trade amare for Anthony Davis from Kentucky. can we trade amare for the first pic in the draft just saying lol.

    143. ruruland:
      The trade happened more than a fucking year ago. You’ve dedicated hours upon days trying to convince everyone that Melo isn’t worth a max contract. There isn’t a soul who says he’s as valuable as the 5-6 elite, but you continue to harp and grind away every time you show up here.

      The team is playing really well despite battling more injuries than any of the other playoff teams, has shown the potential to be a contender moving forward (even with significant room to improve purely based on pst performance), and this is all you can talk about when you show up here?

      agreed for once i say let the past stay there and let melo enhance his game with woodson. the only problem is i don’t see woodson staying as the coach. imo this would be knicks best chance for a championship next year. keep this current team and add someone from the draft and maybe let go some one dimension players, like Novak, Jeffries.

    144. Is anybody watching the National Championship Game? This Jeff Whithey kid has the potential to be a poor man’s Tyson Chandler if he ever learns how to finish consistently and not force his offense.

    145. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Terrence Jones are taking the fun out of this one. There’s nobody who can neutralize them.

    146. I can’t speak for Owen, but for me, it seems virtually impossible that the Knicks win a championship with Melo and Amare on max deals. As a fan of the team, while I want them to succeed in the short term, I can’t ignore the sense of this impossibility, so really all I can hope for (and isn’t that all this jabbering on this board is? Hoping?) is that some cosmic event will force the Knicks to build a team properly. I tend to agree with Brian Cronin that the topic only leads to the same arguments repeated ad absurdum, but I lack the willpower to not jump in on them now and then. :-)

    147. max fisher-cohen:
      I can’t speak for Owen, but for me, it seems virtually impossible that the Knicks win a championship with Melo and Amare on max deals. As a fan of the team, while I want them to succeed in the short term, I can’t ignore the sense of this impossibility, so really all I can hope for (and isn’t that all this jabbering on this board is? Hoping?) is that some cosmic event will force the Knicks to build a team properly. I tend to agree with Brian Cronin that the topic only leads to the same arguments repeated ad absurdum, but I lack the willpower to not jump in on them now and then. :-)

      If Lin continues to improve while on the MLE, and Amar’e and Melo get back to what they’re capable of doing (and every contender’s championship hopes is contingent on their top guys playing like they’re capable) *with Chandler, aren’t those four guys at what, 56-57 million, close to what you’d get or better (in many cases much better) for the same price for every top 4 outside of Miami and OKC???

      Because there’s no way you’re going to duplicate what Miami and OKC have.

    148. max fisher-cohen:
      I can’t speak for Owen, but for me, it seems virtually impossible that the Knicks win a championship with Melo and Amare on max deals. As a fan of the team, while I want them to succeed in the short term, I can’t ignore the sense of this impossibility, so really all I can hope for (and isn’t that all this jabbering on this board is? Hoping?) is that some cosmic event will force the Knicks to build a team properly. I tend to agree with Brian Cronin that the topic only leads to the same arguments repeated ad absurdum, but I lack the willpower to not jump in on them now and then. :-)

      Do you feel that this could be the best team that Amar’e and Melo have each played for if it’s healthy next year (assuming you retain JR)? Considering that each have gone to the conference semifinals on less talented teams in a more difficult conference (and each were a break or two away from facing an inferior EC team in the Finals) how does that vibe with the notion that you can’t get (in absolute terms) make it all the way???

      This model succeeding (max contract guys to second-tier superstars) is completely dependent on lucking out with a cheaper player. The Knicks, for all intents and purposes, have lucked out with Lin.

      If this was pre-Lin, I’d be with you. He literally changes everything.

    149. Re: max contracts/the Knicks’ chances of winning a championship

      In my opinion, we currently have a player worth a max contract on the books in Tyson Chandler. His uber-efficiency scoring the ball, his great rebounding, and tremendous defense make him worthy of a max contract. If Tyson can keep up this level of play for the next 2-3 years with Lin developing into a top 7ish PG, we’ll have addressed the two toughest positions in the league to fill, which are also the Heat’s weaknesses. It’s not crazy to think that a healthy Lin, Shumpert, Melo, Stat, and Chandler can win a championship in two years (especially with Wade turning 30 a few months ago).

      It’s possible that Melo won’t be the clear-cut 2nd best player on the team as early as next season, which blows a hole in the “New York cannot win a championship with Carmelo Anthony” theory. Melo making that much money is only a problem if it means that the Knicks can’t get a better player. The Knicks already have 1 player better than him, and it’s possible that Lin could be better than him as early as next season (3rd year jump). Having Melo as a 3rd option, no matter what the cost, is a good thing. The Knicks already lucked their way into Tyson Chandler (to some extent), Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak, JR Smith, and Iman Shumpert (again, to some extent). In the end, it’s luck that takes you to a championship in the NBA, and the Knicks’ luck is turning around.

    150. but seriously have u seen this kid davis play the game mad rebounds 3 blocks a steal and 4 assists hes a beast

    151. ruruland: Do you feel that this could be the best team that Amar’e and Melo have each played for if it’s healthy next year (assuming you retain JR)? Considering that each have gone to the conference semifinals on less talented teams in a more difficult conference (and each were a break or two away from facing an inferior EC team in the Finals) how does that vibe with the notion that you can’t get (in absolute terms) make it all the way???

      This model succeeding (max contract guys to second-tier superstars) is completely dependent on lucking out with a cheaper player.The Knicks, for all intents and purposes, have lucked out with Lin.

      If this was pre-Lin, I’d be with you. He literally changes everything.

      while i agree that this is an impressive team compared to the teams they been on before, there is 1 mute point; the level of championship teams is much better now, then for their respective teams.

    152. @ruru, it’s not so much a matter of the overall accumulation of talent, which would be pretty high if Lin continues to improve — enough to be on par with the best teams in the league. It’s compatibility. They now have 3 guys who need the ball to be at their max value. That was always my biggest issue with going for Melo, that and the fact that NY likely could have gotten him for a lot less. If I was a Pacers fan, I would have been pleased if they added Melo because he fits a need. The only reason melo gets attacked is because of the chronology of it. If Melo had come in 2010 and we’d traded for Amar’e, people’d be bitching and moaning about STAT.

      I prefer Stoudemire over Melo because of his higher career efficiency and now because Melo’s trade value is higher, but that’s a quibble when compared to my above concern.

    153. the point is, will Amare ever be healthy again?

      can we safely assume that he’ll ever be as effective as he once was, now with bum knees and a bad back?

      I’m sorry, but I think the best he’ll be from now on is a good, yet unreliable, 2nd or 3rd option.

    154. do i think the knicks can win with this team yes, but i think they need to keep Coach Woodson. he has been able to maximize this lineup with toughness and respect from his players. personally i don’t think anybody including Phil Jackson can do this with this current squad. There is to many Chiefs not enough Indians. again i t think if Woodson keeps himself as the only chief then this team will steam roll any team when healthy, enough games, and practice with each other. this is one time when i say this squad with the right chemistry and coach Woodson would be beastin.

    155. I don’t trust Woodson long term, definitely, and would absolutely hate if we miss the chance to get a better coach (if Phil Jackson or somebody else becomes available) to keep him.

    156. Owen:
      “Right, but you have to come to grips with the fact that there are only 5-6 true max guys anyway…”

      I have come to grips with that. And the solution to the issue is not to give a max contract to Melo. It just isn’t. It’s to use all the leverage of being the premier team in the premier media market in the world to get one of those six guys who are grossly underpaid on a max contract into a Knicks uniform.

      Why the Knicks are a top 5 defense I don’t know. But it’s not because of Carmelo Anthony.

      The Knicks have given major minutes to a bunch of players who are supposedly terrible defenders:

      Carmelo Anthony 1433
      Amar’e Stoudemire 1428
      Jeremy Lin 940
      Steve Novak 721
      Toney Douglas 562

      Yet there they are, 4th in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing less than a point per possession. Tyson Chandler, Jared Jeffries and Iman Shumpert must be the most otherworldly, superhuman defenders in the history of the NBA to make up for the 5,000+ minutes played by such supposedly shitty defenders.

      Or maybe those Knicks who we tend to think of as poor defenders really aren’t so bad after all.

    157. Why does everyone think that Lin is a bad defender. He was the PG during Linsanity, the streak in which we won solely because of defense, he is extremely disruptive creating steals and causing havoc with doubles in the post, and is a solid on ball defender. He is no Shumpert or Rondo but I think people need to stop with the Lin is a bad defender line.

      I think the same, to a lesser degree with Fields. Last year he was a bad defender, this year I would say he is average, maybe even slightly above average. He is a good on ball defender and also create lots of steals. He is not great at chasing through screens but now with better rotations he doesn’t get exposed and the team covers on screens. Overall I think against bigger 2’s and 3’s he is a good defender, against smaller 2’s and combo guards an average to slightly below average defender.

      Overall on this team:
      Great defenders:
      Chandler
      Jeffries
      Shumpert

      Good defenders:
      Smith
      Lin
      Jorts
      Melo (lately at least)

      Average defenders:
      Davis
      Fields

      Bad defenders:
      Amare
      Novak

    158. @172 i would agree with the list except i would switch Davis with Lin. Davis is a much better on the ball defender than Lin, better fighting through screens, and a beast in the low post against small forwards and shorter.

    159. Don’t forget Landry Fields on that list, he is capable of losing a series in minutes with his defense HAHA.

      JK47: The Knicks have given major minutes to a bunch of players who are supposedly terrible defenders:

      Carmelo Anthony 1433
      Amar’e Stoudemire 1428
      Jeremy Lin 940
      Steve Novak 721
      Toney Douglas 562

      Yet there they are, 4th in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing less than a point per possession.Tyson Chandler, Jared Jeffries and Iman Shumpert must be the most otherworldly, superhuman defenders in the history of the NBA to make up for the 5,000+ minutes played by such supposedly shitty defenders.

      Or maybe those Knicks who we tend to think of as poor defenders really aren’t so bad after all.

    160. Bruno Almeida:
      the point is, will Amare ever be healthy again?

      can we safely assume that he’ll ever be as effective as he once was, now with bum knees and a bad back?

      I’m sorry, but I think the best he’ll be from now on is a good, yet unreliable, 2nd or 3rd option.

      I’m not convinced of that by any means. Will he ever be as good as he was with Nash and at his physical peak? No. Can he still be the most efficient high usage scoring big man in the NBA and a solid defender in a defensive culture? I’d say absolutely. We’ve seen that since Woodson took over. His bulging disk has nothing to do with his other injuries and really isn’t a long-term concern.

      His TS% in his last 12 games ( coinciding with the drop in wieght), has been well above 600.

      Last 12 games TS%: 604, 597, 765, 455, 663, 751, 405, 694, 684, 599, 505, 723…….

    161. JK47: The Knicks have given major minutes to a bunch of players who are supposedly terrible defenders:

      Carmelo Anthony 1433
      Amar’e Stoudemire 1428
      Jeremy Lin 940
      Steve Novak 721
      Toney Douglas 562

      Yet there they are, 4th in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing less than a point per possession.Tyson Chandler, Jared Jeffries and Iman Shumpert must be the most otherworldly, superhuman defenders in the history of the NBA to make up for the 5,000+ minutes played by such supposedly shitty defenders.

      Or maybe those Knicks who we tend to think of as poor defenders really aren’t so bad after all.

      This is exactly right. Melo’s reputation has always been off. In fact, it was just a couple months ago Karl was talking about how Melo is a really good defender. Sure, he was inconsistent, and it took years to develop, but right now the guy is one of the better small forward defenders in the NBA — not with Lebron, or Deng, but in that next class.

      Amar’e has been above average sans D’Antoni. I think Lin does a really nice job off the ball at times, and Fields is actually a good team defender ( and poor man) defender.

      Being a top 5-8 defensive team is sustainable the next few years.

    162. Lebron, Deng, and Iggy are the only 3s I’d consider suubstantially better defensively than Melo (enough to make an actual impact)

    163. Garson:
      Another positive with giving lin the contract is that i feel due to his extreme fan appeal , he is always a nice trade pawn.

      Dude can fill up seats, get sponsorships and of course play some high level ball.

      as long as he can come back and be productive (14pts/7-8apg), you can add part and see where the MLE can be very good value for him.

    164. If we’re talking about the way Melo has recently played defense, I’d add definitely add Marion, Josh Smith (if he counts a SF) and Tony Allen to the list and depending on what you mean by “enough to make an actual impact”, I’d add Batum, Pierce, Ronnie Brewer, Trevor Ariza, Kirilenko and Rudy Gay.

      Then there are guys who are probably his equal in Gerald Wallace, Thaddeus Young, Stephen Jackson, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Battier.

    165. max fisher-cohen:
      @ruru, it’s not so much a matter of the overall accumulation of talent, which would be pretty high if Lin continues to improve — enough to be on par with the best teams in the league. It’s compatibility. They now have 3 guys who need the ball to be at their max value. That was always my biggest issue with going for Melo, that and the fact that NY likely could have gotten him for a lot less.

      Are Lebron and Wade compatible, or do they both need the ball to be effective?

      Seems to me that Harden, Durant, and Westbrook have virtually identitical skill-sets, more or less. Durant is better off screens, Harden is the best passer while Westbrook is the best slasher….

      I’d argue that the Knicks trio is the most diverse of any of the other top offensive trios outside of Boston, San Antonio, while comparable (from a synergy perspective) with LA. You have an inside-out wing who can play 3 with Amar’e at 4 and 4 with Amar’e or Chandler at 5. He’s a double team creator, post/iso specialist who is also effective running 3/5 and 3/4 pick and rolls, and can be effective as the screener with Lin. That seems like a really good complement to pick and roll specialists like Lin and Amar’e– if Nene and Anthony Carter can be really effective weak-side attack players on Melo post-ups, Amar’e and Lin can be great. We’ve already seen it.

      While Melo or Lin will never be the catch and shoot players that Harden and Durant are, which makes up for their duplicative skills, prior to this year Melo was an above average 3 pt shooter 3 of the last 4 years. given Lin’s ability to threaten defenses with his slashing and first-step, he should be able to develop into a similar kind of 3pt shooter.

    166. max fisher-cohen:
      If we’re talking about the way Melo has recently played defense, I’d add definitely add Marion, Josh Smith (if he counts a SF) and Tony Allen to the list and depending on what you mean by “enough to make an actual impact”, I’d add Batum, Pierce, Ronnie Brewer, Trevor Ariza, Kirilenko and Rudy Gay.

      Then there are guys who are probably his equal in Gerald Wallace, Thaddeus Young, Stephen Jackson, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Battier.

      Right, I guess now we’re talking abou speciliasts. Marion is a hybrid 3 who guards a lot of positions, so I suppose I’d cede that one….

      Young plays a lot of 4. disagree on Jackson and Wallace, huge recent drop-offs with those guys. Smith is a 4.

      George is really good but plays 2. Haven’t seen enough of Leonard. Battier, yes. Brewer is more of a 2 and having seen a whole lot of him with Utah I actually disagree and think he’s overrated.

      Batum and Ariza are really hyped long defenders, never really that impressed with either of them– maybe they’re better than Melo, but not enough to make a huge difference. I mean, Portland has struggled on defense despite playing a strong defensive pg, Batum, Wallace, and the length of Aldridge and Camby (prior to trade)

      AK is nothing like he was 4-5 years ago. I’ll grant you Pierce…. Not all that big on Gay but he can block shots….

      Artest is still pretty good when he wants to be, too. (and the Lakers got him to defend Melo)

    167. I absolutely love the argument that Melo has not won much in the playoffs. Chris Paul has done absolutely fantastic huh? He did win one playoff series when he had Tyson Chandler and David West on his team, other than that he’s mostly lost to teams in the first round that didn’t exactly advance far afterwards (including getting embarrassed by the Nuggets one year).

      Also, I find it pretty funny that people are ok with letting Fields guard Wade for more than 4-5 minutes a game, if that, which means he absolutely could not start or ever play with Baron. Somehow I’m the biased one for realizing he can’t guard anyone that can move off the ball? Just because you personally like Fields doesn’t mean he’s a good player, or that anyone else has to like him, and I cannot think of one rational explanation for why Fields should play this year based on what he has shown so far. Even John Hollinger was able to statistically predict Fields would be mediocre based on his performance from last year, a nice 40 game streak means nothing in the NBA.

    168. Add Mbah A Moute to the list of guys clearly better than Melo on D. To me the biggest difference between Melo and Iggy, LBJ, et al is that those guys are not only better man defenders, they’re vastly better help and transition defenders as well. Melo can play pretty good man defense- even when his effort is good he plays a little too much with his hands and not his feet- but solid nevertheless. However, a fully engaged Melo is still not a great help defender nor a good transition defender either. If LBJ is a 10 then Melo at his absolute best is maybe a 7 and that’s being generous (and he’s never been at his absolute best for a full season).

    169. Juany8: Even John Hollinger was able to statistically predict Fields would be mediocre based on his performance from last year, a nice 40 game streak means nothing in the NBA.

      Did Hollinger predict Fields would completely lose his ability to shoot?

      That’s the core reason for Landry’s awfulness. Had he experienced even a minor regression in his shooting numbers – say to 30% from three, 70% FT, he’d have a decent enough season considering his improved slashing ability.

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