Knicks Morning News (Monday, Sep 10 2012)

  • [New York Times] Second-Half Rally Lifts Liberty Past Sparks (Mon, 10 Sep 2012 05:30:08 GMT)

    Cappie Pondexter had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Liberty (12-17) beat the Los Angeles Sparks, 73-71, in Newark.

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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).

    34 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (Monday, Sep 10 2012)”

    1. Denver anyone?

      But this makes sense. What do Grunny, Woody and Zekey have in common? And don’t say they have nice short form names.

    2. On the one hand, my rational side says that this isn’t a big deal. For one, the Knicks have almost nothing for Zeke to mess up in the near term. No cap space, no draft picks, and limited tradeable assets. It looks to me like the team we have now is mostly the team for the next three years (outside of some tinkering), for better or worse. Secondly, Isiah has supposedly remained a factor behind the scenes, so bringing him back in an official capacity doesn’t really make much difference if he already had influence.

      However, emotionally this is a punch in the gut. The Lin decision was upsetting to me, and all the talk of people giving up their allegiance led me to a lot of ruminating on the nature of fandom, etc. One of the strangest things about it (in my opinion) is how one-sided the relationship frequently is. We invest so much emotionally in a team, enough that many of us frequently refer to the team itself as though we were on it, when they (primarily) think of us simply as customers of a product they sell. Intellectually, I know that the organization doesn’t “care” about the fans outside of whether and how much money we make them. But a move like this, which thrusts so boldly in the face of the fans how little of a fuck Dolan cares about what any of us thinks, how much he takes for granted our loyalty no matter what he does, how brazenly he serves us whatever shit he feels like cooking, knowing that we will swallow it, that kind of move still stings. For the second time this summer I feel like an idiot for being a Knicks’s fan. I can’t justify rationally on any level. I wish the games would just start already.

    3. When the Knicks declined to match Houston’s offer sheet to Jeremy Lin, I was done with the Knicks as a fan. Then after the anger subsided, I started to second guess myself. Maybe I overreacted– maybe this team might still be worth rooting for.

      But then the name “Isiah Thomas” resurfaced, and all of a sudden I stopped second guessing myself and started to feel really great about switching my allegiance to the Lakers. Poking the fanbase in the eye once wasn’t enough for James Dolan– he had to go ahead and poke the other eye while he was at it. Those of you who still root for this sick joke of a basketball team after all of this, God bless you all.

    4. good luck with d12 and kobe should be a fun season

      JK47:
      When the Knicks declined to match Houston’s offer sheet to Jeremy Lin, I was done with the Knicks as a fan.Then after the anger subsided, I started to second guess myself.Maybe I overreacted– maybe this team might still be worth rooting for.

      But then the name “Isiah Thomas” resurfaced, and all of a sudden I stopped second guessing myself and started to feel really great about switching my allegiance to the Lakers.Poking the fanbase in the eye once wasn’t enough for James Dolan– he had to go ahead and poke the other eye while he was at it.Those of you who still root for this sick joke of a basketball team after all of this, God bless you all.

    5. thenamestsam:
      The Lin decision was upsetting to me, and all the talk of people giving up their allegiance led me to a lot of ruminating on the nature of fandom, etc. One of the strangest things about it (in my opinion) is how one-sided the relationship frequently is. We invest so much emotionally in a team, enough that many of us frequently refer to the team itself as though we were on it, when they (primarily) think of us simply as customers of a product they sell. Intellectually, I know that the organization doesn’t “care” about the fans outside of whether and how much money we make them. But a move like this, which thrusts so boldly in the face of the fans how little of a fuck Dolan cares about what any of us thinks, how much he takes for granted our loyalty no matter what he does, how brazenly he serves us whatever shit he feels like cooking, knowing that we will swallow it, that kind of move still stings. For the second time this summer I feel like an idiot for being a Knicks’s fan. I can’t justify rationally on any level. I wish the games would just start already.

      Quoted for the mother fucking truth. This is exactly what’s led me to respond to a relative’s rabid Bronx fandom with, “You’re a consumer, not a Yankee.” And no owner in sports, not even Art Modell or the guys who frack to finance the Thunder, cares less for its fans than James Dolan. It’s a fucking toy to this guy, and any emotional investment in the outcome of the Knicks’ fortune is a product of an adolescent fantasy that probably needs to be reexamined.

      Like I said, I love the game. I love playing and watching pickup games at the university gym, and I love seeing the supreme athleticism at the highest levels. I’m just done rooting for a uniform, done being duped by the idiots in the MSG front office.

    6. thenamestsam,

      Stop doing this to yourself man. I am now a curious spectator of the Knicks, no more emotionally or financially invested.

      I thought a renaissance was about to begin when Walsh came in after Thomas, and as imperfect as Walsh was, he was far better and seemed to be setting a foundation for future competitiveness. Then Dolan stepped in, forced some moves and effectively put a ceiling on this teams future success. Now I root for the Nets (I live in Brooklyn) and I’m giving them my emotions and money right now until the Russian starts acting like Dolan.

      I’ll wait to see what direction this team goes in 3 years (after this set of players see their contracts expire and we possibly have a clean slate) to reevaluate the emotional and financial commitment.

    7. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Quoted for the mother fucking truth. This is exactly what’s led me to respond to a relative’s rabid Bronx fandom with, “You’re a consumer, not a Yankee.” And no owner in sports, not even Art Modell or the guys who frack to finance the Thunder, cares less for its fans than James Dolan. It’s a fucking toy to this guy, and any emotional investment in the outcome of the Knicks’ fortune is a product of an adolescent fantasy that probably needs to be reexamined.

      Like I said, I love the game. I love playing and watching pickup games at the university gym, and I love seeing the supreme athleticism at the highest levels. I’m just done rooting for a uniform, done being duped by the idiots in the MSG front office.

      One little thing I have to weigh in on… The Thunder’s owner’s don’t frac wells to finance the Thunder. The entire energy industry fracs to sustain this country’s energy infrastructure. Until you’re willing to do away with cars, airplanes, and air conditioning, it’s pretty hypocritical to judge the Thunder’s owner’s, or anyone else in the energy industry. Solar and wind energy are laughable alternatives, Nuclear energy is the only energy source out there that’s even remotely suited to replace oil, and Nuclear plants have just as many long terms health concerns.

    8. I can’t speak for others, but for me the Zeke thing is not a big deal at all. Sure, I would prefer if he were not part of this team. From my view though, whether Stat plays D is much, much more significant. Whether Melo grows is even more important. Whether Chandler stays healthy is critical, but that Camby signing was nice, right? Of course, whether they have a functional point is key. I also know that Dolan is very rich and was born that way. Many people are jealous of those that are rich, particularly in this environment. I say, good for him. I certainly wish I were. But you know what’s funny, I love my life and I would never trade places with Mr. Dolan (maybe saving’s accounts). I know many hate both of them, but it’s not like they’re pedophiles or even felons and sometimes the venom and animus approaches that here. IMO, this is unwarranted or, minimally, highly exaggerated. There are many reasons to fall out with this franchise. I guess I just do follow the Knicks, come hell or Isiah, and that’s my bottom line. Just me—fan for over forty.

    9. In non Isiah news……
      @HowardBeckNYT Knicks have signed forward John Shurna of Northwestern. One year deal, partial gurantee.

    10. Ive become completely numb to all Isiah rumors. From what Ive read he is not in the running to become MSG president or an asst coach which are the only 2 jobs left to be filled so whatever. If Dolan the idiot wants to sign him to an official consultant job or whatever screw it, as Melo likes to say “it is what it is.”

      Interesting reading more about Scott O’neil and how he was apparently vehemently opposed to bringing Isiah back in any capacity and was against letting Lin go (although it seems it was more from a PR and advertising sense than in a basketball sense from his perspective).

    11. massive:
      THCJ, can you link this year’s draft’s PAWS/40? I’d like to see how Shurna measures up.

      Keven Pelton called him a Steve Novak clone.

    12. If he’s between Rivers and Perry Jones, he’s not worth an NBDL slot. I still can’t believe how badly the Hornets botched their second pick. Rivers is going to be terrible.

    13. Look at this post from wagesofwins re: the 2010 NBA draft and try to guess how reliable I think PAWS40 is.

      http://wagesofwins.com/2010/06/24/the-paws40-story-before-the-2010-nba-draft/

      The best under-the-radar player from that draft is probably Avery Bradley, and he came in LAST in PAWS40.

      The top 5 players by PAWS40 included two guys who were obvious high lottery picks no matter what system you used (Demarcus Cousins, Evan Turner). The other 3 (Damion James, Cole Aldrich, and Brian Zoubek) are tearing up the league. Ooops I mean the other thing – sitting on the bench.

      I feel probably justified in saying, at least for the 2010 draft (which WAS a bad draft), that Yahoo’s mock draft drafted better than PAWS40.

      Looking back at various websites to find PAWS40 for other draft years (not so easy to find – wagesofwins has taken down most of their draft articles from before 2010 unless I just don’t know where to look)- it doesn’t really seem to me that PAWS40 has any great upper hand over any other draft strategy. Lots of misses, some impressive hits, basically equal to monkeys throwing darts.

      Re: Shurna – considering this team still needs shooting, bringing in a Novak clone seems fine to me. Certainly wouldn’t rule him out based on whether or not PAWS40 likes him.

    14. Frank:
      Look at this post from wagesofwins re: the 2010 NBA draft and try to guess how reliable I think PAWS40 is.

      http://wagesofwins.com/2010/06/24/the-paws40-story-before-the-2010-nba-draft/

      The best under-the-radar player from that draft is probably Avery Bradley, and he came in LAST in PAWS40.

      The top 5 players by PAWS40 included two guys who were obvious high lottery picks no matter what system you used (Demarcus Cousins, Evan Turner). The other 3 (Damion James, Cole Aldrich, and Brian Zoubek) are tearing up the league. Ooops I mean the other thing – sitting on the bench.

      I feel probably justified in saying, at least for the 2010 draft (which WAS a bad draft), that Yahoo’s mock draft drafted better than PAWS40.

      Looking back at various websites to find PAWS40 for other draft years (not so easy to find – wagesofwins has taken down most of their draft articles from before 2010 unless I just don’t know where to look)- it doesn’t really seem to me that PAWS40 has any great upper hand over any other draft strategy. Lots of misses, some impressive hits, basically equal to monkeys throwing darts.

      Re: Shurna – considering this team still needs shooting, bringing in a Novak clone seems fine to me. Certainly wouldn’t rule him out based on whether or not PAWS40 likes him.

      Dude, why are you using playing time as an indicator of being a “good” player? Juwan Howard played in the NBA this year.

      Also, Bradley’s not very good, aside from being a “great” defender (who does not get steals)

      http://www.thenbageek.com/players/11-avery-bradley

      He’s not the worst player in the league, and he’s got room to improve, but saying that PAWS40 is a bad system because 1) some high-ranked players don’t get PT and 2) sometimes…

    15. We’re back to your tautologies again:

      1) Player X is great because my stat system says so

      2) Player Y would be great except that his coach won’t play him. It’s the coach’s fault (even when it’s Greg Popovich) that he can’t see the genius of PAWS40/WP48 etc. It certainly couldn’t be that some players generate “false positives” for being a good player

      3) Player Z that isn’t predicted to be good by PAWS40/WP48 isn’t a good player no matter what anyone else says because he’s not good by PAWS40/WP48

      This is like the Wall Street bailout — heads THCJ wins, and tails every other stat system loses.

      Look, in 2010, PAWS40 had a 60% MISS rate on the the top 5 players (I would categorize Zoubek, Aldrich, and Damion James as misses).

      In 2009 the top 5 PAWS40 were Dejuan Blair, Blake Griffin, Ty Lawson, Ahmad Nivins, and Lester Hudson. I know you love Blair, but Blair can’t even be trusted to play more than 22 min/game in the reg season and more than 4.5 min/game in the WCFs for probably a top 5 coach in NBA history in Pop. For the #1 ranked guy in your scoring system, that qualifies as a MISS. The #1 ranked guy should be an All-Star caliber guy, not a bench guy that can’t even get off said bench in the biggest series of the season.

      So that means that in 2009 PAWS40 had a 60% miss rate.

      How is this a good system again? GMs are fired for making one or two bad high lottery picks.

      I’ve said it 100 times and I’ll say it again – just because a system can predict one or two Ty Lawsons doesn’t mean that it should be forgiven for predicting greatness for Nick Fazekas, Ahmad Nivins, Lester Hudson, Brian Zoubek, Hassan Whiteside, etc. Like Bill Clinton just said, even a broken clock is right 2x/day.

      And re: Bradley – he’s a GREAT defender even if he gets away with fouling constantly (like Shump). And he’s turned into a very reliable 3 point shooter (41% for year). IMHO the Celts win the ECFs if Bradley is playing.

    16. There’s too much nonsense in that post to even sift through. You’re assigning binary values to players who haven’t even played yet. Why do that? And why assume, as you do, that I think they are great players despite not logging significant playing time? The data do not exist and the projections are inconclusive. If your idea of MISS verification is that a bunch of NBA head coaches know better than I do about minute allocation, you must have missed the part where George Karl played Al Harrington and Timofey Mosgov as much or more than he played Kenneth Faried. Faith in perceived expertise, I’d call it. Total horseshit, also.

      “PAWS40 had a miss rate of 60% in the top 5. Also in 2010.” You are saying absolutely nothing. My opinion has been that PAWS is a fuckload better than whatever analysis NBA scouts are using (cough cough points per game), and that basing decisions that are naively based on PAWS would lead to a better team than choosing players (like Austin Rivers) who have terrible stats but “good” attributes like a “sick crossover” and “extreme [confidence],” which is how some Yahoo or ESPN.com writer described Rivers’s upside.

      And again, Nick Fazekas is a dominant player on the level he’s been allowed to play at. Do you really have that much faith in the decision makers at the NBA level? You know that the Sixth Man of the Year award goes, each and every year, to the bench player who scores the most points per game? You know that Juwan Howard and Antawn Jamison still get playing time? That a GM recently traded the farm for Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford, and Steve Francis, then signed Jerome James to a 5 year, 8-digit contract? Do you really think that “experts” in sports are legitimately “experts,” with some high degree of cognitive and visual efficiency that makes them better than predictive statistical models, even if the models are not ideal?

    17. ruruland:
      Bam. Frank’s back

      Held out as long as I could. Feels good. =)

      OK here goes:

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: You’re assigning binary values to players who haven’t even played yet

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: …basing decisions that are naively based on PAWS would lead to a better team than choosing players (like Austin Rivers) who have terrible stats but “good” attributes like a “sick crossover” and “extreme [confidence],

      Anyone else see the contradiction here?

      First, at some point a reasonable person would accept that if a player can’t even get into a game for an undeniably GOOD coach, that that player might not be that good. For every 1000 of these players, there might be 1 Jeremy Lin. But we’re talking about statistics here, not the 1 extreme outlier.

      Second, the fact that someone dominates at the college level (or even NBDL level) does not mean he will dominate at a higher level. I currently dominate my 2 year old in bball, does that mean that will hold as he gets wiser/stronger/faster (like what happens to competition when players go from college to NBA). For some players yes, for other players no. For Nick Fazekas, no. (cue THCJ reporting to me Fazekas’s WS/48 or WP48 = a tautology).

      Third – I like Faried a lot, but something tells me there is something about him that might not show up in WP48. Like, for instance, that he was the 370th ranked defensive player in the league by Synergy (math math math 30 teams x 12 active players = 360 players). And Harrington was (somehow!?!?) the 46th ranked player in the league.
      The spread probably isn’t really that wide, but that’s probably more than…

    18. Here’s the thing THCJ: If PAWS40 is missing with it’s top 5 even more than the actual draft does, there’s no way to really defend the system. Some of the top 5 players don’t even get playing time, and those who have haven’t shown a single sign of being average starters in the NBA, much less potential stars. DeJuan Blair was supposed to be near as good as Griffin, one of them just got an absolute max contract and has made all star games every year he’s played, the other got benched for Boris Diaw by the best coach in the league.

      What you also seem to purposely miss is that I’m sure half this board would actually agree with you that guys like Bradley and Austin Rivers shouldn’t be high picks. I don’t think they are trash players, but I have tremendous doubts about Rivers’ ability to produce in the NBA. Flashy scorers like Jamal Crawford do get a dumb amount of attention, especially from the media. The problem is that most of the “busts” frank mentioned don’t lack flashy scoring, they lack any ability to play defense. Seriously, out of the top 5 for 2009 AND 2010, not one of those players would even be considered an average defender at this point in this career, nor will they ever be close to elite, no matter how much they practice. So even assuming that high offensive efficiency and rebounding numbers are the primary ways to derive value from the box score, you totally miss out on half of what a player will be required to do in the NBA. And impact cannot be boiled down to a context free count of shots made vs. shots missed, or total rebounds gathered. So there’s that

    19. Let’s also consider the fact that teams picking in the top 5 are usually there because they have crappy management. Guys like David Kahn aren’t in the same stratosphere of basketball understanding as guys like RC Buford and Sam Presti, and just because they all have the job title NBA GM doesn’t mean most of them are actually very competent. Billy King did a horrendous job in Philly and then gets a new job IMMEDIATELY after.

      Basically, you can’t discount “basketball experts” because some of the people being paid to make basketball decisions are terrible at it. What you do is look at what the GOOD basketball people are doing. Any one of Poppovich’s actions is more indicative of proper basketball analysis than Vinny Del Negro’s entire career.

    20. I hate arguing against Faried, because I do like him a lot by the way. I just like him less than I disagree with THCJ.

      Fourth – and I can’t emphasize this enough even after having written this 5x in the past — a team’s draft list is the culmination of scouting/stats/intuition. Some guys are better at it than others. Even the best GMs have swung badly and missed. Some of that is just being a bad judge of talent, and probably a lot of it is just bad luck/circumstances.

      The most blatant bust of the 2009 draft was obviously Hasheem Thabeet – a pick made by Chris Wallace who was also the architect of one of the most laughed-at trades in NBA history (Gasol trade). But in retrospect, Wallace doesn’t look all that dumb now for that Gasol trade does he, now that Marc Gasol has turned into a top-flight center? Anyway, let’s say that Wallace’s draft rankings for 2009 were like this (I’m pretty sure they weren’t, but just for argument’s sake):
      1) Griffin
      2) Thabeet
      3) Harden
      4) Rubio
      5) Lawson
      6) Curry
      7) Taj Gibson
      8) Blair
      9) Jrue Holiday
      10) Darren Collison

      MAN – 9 out of the top 10 guys on his list are really spot on. Unfortunately, the one mistake he made came at the spot he picked. That’s just bad luck. If he had the #3 pick, maybe whoever has the #2 pick takes Thabeet and Wallace picks Harden and looks like a genius. JUST like Presti picking Durant – if he has the #1 pick rather than the Blazers, maybe he takes Oden and HE’S the unlucky one.

      GMs only have 1 chance to look good, and if they miss, they look like idiots. Guys who publish draft rankings look great if they somehow ranked a guy a little higher than he was taken, and that guy turned out to be good. They can be wrong 60% of the time, but if those 40% were really good, WOW!

      And re: Isiah – we really should just move on re: his trade/FA history. Comparing WP48 to the worst GM in recent memory is like shooting fish in a barrel. Try picking on someone actually good.

    21. Frank: Held out as long as I could. Feels good. =)

      Third – I like Faried a lot, but something tells me there is something about him that might not show up in WP48. Like, for instance, that he was the 370th ranked defensive player in the league by Synergy (math math math 30 teams x 12 active players = 360 players). And Harrington was (somehow!?!?) the 46th ranked player in the league.
      The spread probably isn’t really that wide, but that’s probably more than…

      When you see Blair and Faried dominating PAWS40 and WP48 while being considered only decent players (neither plays a ton of minutes, and Poppovich at least knows how to set his rotation better than anyone here) isn’t it time to start looking at why that discrepancy exists? Like the fact that they are defensive sieves that can’t score without a teammate’s help? Or that neither can space the floor, an increasingly important offensive skill set in today’s NBA? Their rebounding is amazing, and that certainly has value, but the hall of fame rebounders are all there because they were also elite defenders, grabbing rebounds isn’t as important as preventing your opponent from getting inside the paint

    22. Am I the only one who thinks it’s funny that, when I click on “Knicks Morning News,” the only newsworthy thing about my team apparently is that Cappy Poindexter scored 21 points? Whew! I don’t know how I would have made it through the day without that information…

    23. Avery Bradley is really good, he blossomed sometime in the middle of last season (not coincidentally around the time Ray Allen got hurt and he got a shot for real minutes) and shouldn’t really be judged on any of his numbers before that.

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