Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Mar 03 2012)

  • [New York Times] Knicks Look for Way to Combine Lin and Davis (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 07:06:17 GMT)

    As Baron Davis is working off the rust, Coach Mike D’Antoni can make sure Jeremy Lin does not become overworked.

  • [New York Times] Zollie Volchok, 95, SuperSonics’ Showman President, Has Died (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 05:24:06 GMT)

    Mr. Volchok was a one-time theater manager and entertainment promoter who helped the Seattle franchise set attendance records and win an N.B.A. title.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Celtics Beat Nets for Third Straight Win (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 06:00:37 GMT)

    Paul Pierce had 27 points and 8 assists as Boston beat the Nets, 107-94, to climb above .500.

  • [New York Times] Suns Rally to Beat Clippers 81-78 (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 06:41:28 GMT)

    Jared Dudley scored 22 points and made two crucial free throws in the final minute as the Phoenix Suns rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 81-78 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Masked Mamba Gets 38, Lakers Hold Off Kings (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 06:14:29 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant scored 38 points in his second straight big game in a protective mask, and the Los Angeles Lakers blew most of a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter before holding on to beat the Sacramento Kings 115-107 Friday night in their highest-scoring performance of the season.

  • [New York Times] Harris, Jazz Snap Heat’s 9-Game Win Streak (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 05:17:29 GMT)

    Devin Harris converted a three-point play with 4.5 seconds left and the Utah Jazz snapped the Miami Heat’s nine-game winning streak with a 99-98 victory on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Grizzlies Marc Gasol Finally Steps Out of Big Brother’s Shadow (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 04:45:44 GMT)

    When you are seven-feet tall and a National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star it seems inconceivable Memphis Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol would live in anyone’s shadow.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Roll Past Bobcats, 102-72 (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 04:14:42 GMT)

    Tony Parker scored 15 points, and the San Antonio Spurs overwhelmed the Charlotte Bobcats in the second half for a 102-72 victory on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Lawson, Afflalo Lead Nuggets Past Rockets (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 04:11:44 GMT)

    Ty Lawson had 22 points and a career-high 15 assists, Arron Afflalo scored 16 of his 17 points in the second half and the Denver Nuggets rallied to beat the Houston Rockets 117-105 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Surprise Mavericks 97-92 (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 04:56:38 GMT)

    Chris Kaman had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Jarrett Jack hit a key basket down the stretch and the New Orleans Hornets beat the Dallas Mavericks 97-92 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] 76ers Top Warriors 105-83 on Chamberlain Night (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 03:44:35 GMT)

    Lou Williams scored 25 points, and Elton Brand had 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 105-83 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday in the 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Top Nets for 3rd Straight, Move Above .500 (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 03:23:40 GMT)

    Paul Pierce had 27 points and eight assists, and the Boston Celtics got back above .500 with their third straight win, beating the New Jersey Nets 107-94 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Radmanovic, Hawks Rally Past Bucks, 99-94 (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 03:23:42 GMT)

    Vladimir Radmanovic made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 11.9 seconds remaining and the Atlanta Hawks rallied in the final period to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 99-94 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Gay Scores 23 Points as Grizzlies Beat Raptors (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 02:59:49 GMT)

    Rudy Gay had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol each scored 21 and the Memphis Grizzlies beat Toronto 102-99 Friday night, their sixth straight victory over the Raptors.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Mapping the N.B.A. (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 08:12:09 GMT)

    Basketball geekdom starts to move beyond the numbers.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Jeremy Lin Bowls for Charity (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 02:16:06 GMT)

    Fans and news media, still ever-hungry for new factoids on all things Jeremy Lin, got another morsel at Friday night’s 13th Annual Knick Bowl on Pier 60 of Chelsea Piers.

  • [New York Times] Critic’s Notebook: The Lin Songs Remain the Same: They Fall Short (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 02:26:31 GMT)

    Plenty have tried to create a theme song for Jeremy Lin in the weeks since Linsanity began, proving how quickly the combination of extreme fandom and low barriers to entry can create a glut.

  • [New York Times] Bulls Trample Cavaliers 112-91 (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 02:56:39 GMT)

    Luol Deng scored a season-high 24 points and Derrick Rose added 19 as the Chicago Bulls won their fifth straight, 112-91 on Friday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were without rookie guard Kyrie Irving.

  • [New York Daily News] Lin-side game helpingALL Knicks draw more fouls (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 04:46:18 GMT)

    J eremy Lin’s emergence has increased television ratings and merchandise sales. But Linsanity’s biggest impact has been on the court.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks must pass chemistry test (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 03:17:32 GMT)

    Chemistry class was in full swing at the Knicks’ practice facility in Greenburgh on Friday afternoon. Jeremy Lin and Baron Davis were paired together on the court at the same time. “Might happen in the game,â? Mike D’Antoni said. “Might have both of them in.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks coach D’Antoni is Melo fellow (Sat, 03 Mar 2012 03:12:23 GMT)

    Jeremy Lin may have saved the Knicks’ season, but ultimately their success, or failure, this year still falls on the shoulders of their best player. Carmelo Anthony feels it and Mike D’Antoni knows it.

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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).

    151 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Mar 03 2012)”

    1. no one is saying it, but the potential Lin/Baron pairing seems like a way to try to get Melo and Amare going, by pairing them with 2 PGs at the same time. otherwise it doesn’t make much sense to me, given all of the other guys who need minutes.

    2. I don’t know if it makes that much sense to utilize a PG tag team in the backcourt given our lack of a 3rd PG option and time to play him with our depth. What I mean is that in a shortened season like this, it is critical that we spell Lin some minutes, which Davis will provide, giving us quality minutes while Lin gets needed rest. If they play together a lot, I am afraid that will mean Lin plays more minutes than he otherwise would, and since Davis is coming off back injury, he may not be able to provide the minutes necessary to play with Lin and then when he is off the court…and if we have to play another minute this season with neither of those 2 on the court, god help us all!

    3. The Knicks are finally fun to watch for the first time that I can appreciate and there is no question they have the talent to become a championship contender and the team is really coming together.

      But I can’t help but feel that, during these next two weeks only, there might be a chance to trade for Dwight Howard (by offering Melo) and a chance to get out from Amare’s contract (by trading for Deron Williams) As much as I like the team and understand moves would upset the chemistry, guys like Howard rarely become available and Amare’s contract could look (even more) awful next season if he continues this decline. Anyone else thinking this way?

    4. Faried is truly a beast, another awesome game.

      @1

      well, we can go to very small lineups to do that, it could work… we could play Lin / Baron / J.R / Melo / Chandler, that could be a pretty good lineup, with Shumpert also getting minutes at 2 and 3.

      if Amare keeps playing the way he is right now, I see no reason to not give Melo minutes at the 4 in some matchups… he could destroy slower PFs like Boozer or Brand.

    5. I know it probably makes no difference but I would at least like to see Amare try going back to the old goggles. Couldn’t hurt! I would also like to see him play more minutes (10-15 a game) at the 5 in a small lineup configuration, say, Amare, Melo/Novak/Jorts, JR/Novak/Fields, Shump and Lin/Baron.

    6. “Owen, I have a question for you….in a sport where the very top players are thoroughly aware of how they fare against each other, why do the other top players respect Melo so much?”

      Short answer, I don’t know.

      Long answer?

      I don’t think other players evaluate each other holistically. I think their opinions are largely driven by the ability to score points. I think that’s how basketball culture is structured.

      They share that trait with NBA GM’s. As I am sure you know from my rants, salary is driven primarily by points per game. Relative to that, every other statistic has a very small impact. Rebounds matter. Blocks somewhat. But FG% has a very small impact, free throw shooting, turnovers are steals don’t matter at all. Raw scoring without regard for efficiency is by far the dominant factor.

      That’s still the most interesting thing I have read in all my years of advanced stat hobbying.

      My crackpot theory is this. There are NBA games. And then there is a game within the game. A competition between players to maximize their own self interest. What the data shows VERY CLEARLY is that if you want to get paid in the NBA, you should try to score and you shouldn’t worry about whether the shots go in. A corollary to that is you should keep your coach happy so he doesn’t throttle your playing time.

      Where I think Melo really excels is the game within the game. And honestly, I kind of respect him for it. He has parlayed an NCAA title (and a college season in which he really was amazing) and above average but not elite NBA talent into a long max contract and worldwide fame.

      To finish, here is Marbury on the topic.

      “If I didn’t play the way how I played, I wouldn’t have gotten no max contract,” he said. “They can talk about whatever they wanna talk about me, because I got maxed. I’m a max player. Don’t get mad at me, because I’m telling you what’s real. One plus one is two, all day long, and it’s never gonna change. And that’s factorial.”

    7. @6

      the Marbury quote really says it all… for all the talk that GM’s are “specialists”, they’re mostly pretty bad decision makers… or even worse, they act out of desperation, thinking that they need to get “star” power on their team to please the fans or some stupid owners.

      the incredible number of dreadful contracts in this past decade shows that talent evaluation is a rare trait in the NBA… a league where Rashard Lewis gets maxed and Gilbert Arenas signs a 100+ mi contract after a huge injury is obviously going to consider Carmelo Anthony a top 10 player.

    8. and also, Kobe’s comments a while ago about how Melo should keep shooting and keep doing what he wanted to, shows how many players approach the game… stats are for geeks who never played the game, while real players have done it in the court, that’s what many guys think.

    9. Ditto

      Bruno Almeida:
      and also, Kobe’s comments a while ago about how Melo should keep shooting and keep doing what he wanted to, shows how many players approach the game… stats are for geeks who never played the game, while real players have done it in the court.

    10. Re max contracts, the other side of it is that the salary cap makes is so that the top 5-10 players in the league are grossly underpaid. There is also the marketing perspective. Max guys put fannies in the seats and sell merchandise.

      Personally, I don’t see the parallel between Melo and the two guys you mentioned: Lewis and Steph. Lewis never had the star power of Melo, and Steph was well known for being a challenging personality on and off the court. The Knicks are in the same conference with two powerhouse teams (3 if you count the Celtics, who now are in decline) and needed a game-changer type of move to keep up with the Jones’s.

      I think the bad contracts are the ones you give to “fringe all-stars” in the 1/2-3/4 max range, guys like Lewis, Zach, Jamal, Caron Butler, Baron Davis (Clips, not us), Al Harrington, and yes, even David Lee and Gallo.

      STAT at the max was a gamble we took in the LeBron sweepstakes. We partially lost that gamble, but with some decent drafting and clever low cost signings, plus the playing out of the amnesty clause, we’re back in business as a legit “on paper” threat. We finally got some of the luck (Lin) that Boston (the KG deal), LA (the Gasol deal), SA (the Duncan draft) Chicago (Portland passing on Jordan, winning the Rose sweepstakes) OKC (Portland passing on Durant), have had. STAT is the financial albatross, because nobody would want him for the money he’s getting paid. If we put Melo on the block, I guarantee that several teams would line up for him. In that sense, Melo is unlike Marbury or even Houston, who nobody else would have traded for once they got the max. Melo is a much more sound investment.

    11. Bruno – Obviously, I agree. And there are tons of other data points that show you NBA gm’s are as flawed as the rest of us. For instance, making the final four has a huge impact on your draft rank. But only if you come out of college the same year. If you stay in college and don’t make it back, you lose the bump.

      I mean Jonny Flynn got drafted sixth right? He still has a job in the NBA. Something has to be messed up….

      I don’t pretend to understand the culture. But it’s pretty crucial. And there is a lot going on beneath the surface of the box score. That’s actually why I loved that Chris Paul podcast. He basically said, you know what, I could score as many points as I want. I dominate the ball. But I have to keep my teammates happy.

      He also talked about the midrange game. He pointed out that in his first couple of years, he got to the line much much more. He also got banged up a ton doing it. So he developed a midrange game. That I think is the reason so many stars like Melo and Kobe love the midrange shots. It keeps them healthy.

      You can see that progression in the numbers, it’s very interesting. His FT’s have dropped from a high of 6.3 to 4.0 per 36 this year. It’s not a coincidence either that his box score productivity peaked the same year as his fta. (at least measured by win share per 48)

      He also makes an interesting argument for the “crunch time” guys. He notes that he plays completely differently at the beginning of games in order to get his teammates involved. What I read into that was, I got to give my teammates a chance to get theirs, then I do what it takes to win the game.

      Which really is fodder for those who think the end of the game matters more. Maybe it does. Maybe that’s when star players actually try the hardest.

      Anyway…

    12. I’m going to be a bit of a hypocrite here, because I’ve been calling for an end to the “we gave up too much for Melo” “I wish we were the Nuggets” whining. But I thought Sheridan nailed it:

      “None of us can tell the future. We don’t know if things will work out. But consider that almighty “C” word: Ceiling. It dares you to imagine the best-case scenario. And if you do that, with this Knicks roster, they’re easily better than the pre-Melo version.That doesn’t mean that the Knicks didn’t overpay for Anthony. They did. But at the end of the day, in pro basketball, you trade five quarters for a dollar bill, because the pieces required to make that dollar bill worth more are a dime a dozen. In less than one year, Glen Grunwald proved that. You may have also missed another age-old adage being proven: Real recognizes real. Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Baron Davis, Steve Novak and Mike Bibby all came to play in New York because they believed that they could help StoudeMelo get to the next level. Few, if any of them would have signed on in New York if not for James Dolan doing whatever it took to get Anthony.

    13. 305 MP
      23.7 PER
      .607 TS%
      .574 eFG%
      .228 WS48

      Guess who? (Hint: It’s a rookie, but it’s not Iman Shumpert.)

      The argument Owen’s made about the effect of volume scoring on culture and perception is an argument I made during the Carmelo trade frenzy. It’s a self-perpetuating system so long as the inflated perceived value of volume scoring pervades all levels of basketball.

      And on the subject of LeBron’s pass: One can do the armchair psychology all he wants, saying that he “shrinks” from pressure situations, but that would be utter nonsense. The perception of that play is totally dependent on Haslem’s ability to make shots. He probably makes that shot about 50% of the time. If he makes the shot, LeBron gets a couple days of being the “consummate teammate” and the “modern Magic Johnson in his unselfish, efficient play.” Instead, the guy he passed to, who is also an NBA player (meaning he’s among the best 300 basketball players in the world), missed the shot, and it’s somehow a knock on LeBron’s mental fortitude. Totally ridiculous.

    14. yeah, Paul’s got just the right attitude, that’s a really smart guy, one can realize that by the way he talks… he shows a deep understanding of the game.

      what crushes me about Melo is that while we hear Paul saying that he could score a billion points, but he’d rather set up his teammates and pick his spots, Melo has the “Kobe” attitude: I’ll get what’s mine and that will help my team.

      @10

      well, if you compare Rashard’s numbers in his last 3 Seattle seasons and his first at Orlando, and Carmelo’s numbers, they are pretty similar to say the least…

      both never topped .160 WS48 (Lewis reached .160 twice but never higher, Melo never did it) and the scoring and shooting numbers are pretty similar, with Melo having a higher usage rate and Lewis the higher TS% (because he’s a better 3pt shooter).

      I agree, Melo is perceived as much more of a star than Lewis was at the time, but there’s just no statistical evidence that shows Melo as being a much better player than Lewis was during those 4 years.

      Melo got his first big contract after 4 years in the league, and Rashard got his after 3 years of good, but not elite, play.

    15. d-mar:

      You may have also missed another age-old adage being proven: Real recognizes real. Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Baron Davis, Steve Novak and Mike Bibby all came to play in New York because they believed that they could help StoudeMelo get to the next level. Few, if any of them would have signed on in New York if not for James Dolan doing whatever it took to get Anthony.

      Sheridan’s a moron.

      February 24, 2005: Traded by the New York Knicks (as a 2006 2nd round draft pick) with Vin Baker and Moochie Norris to the Houston Rockets for Maurice Taylor.

      June 28, 2006: Drafted by the Houston Rockets in the 2nd round (32nd pick) of the 2006 NBA Draft.

      August 6, 2008: Traded by the Houston Rockets to the Los Angeles Clippers. Houston received the right to swap 2nd round draft picks in 2011 but did not do so.

      September 23, 2010: Signed as a free agent with the Dallas Mavericks.

      January 5, 2011: Waived by the Dallas Mavericks.

      February 8, 2011: Signed two 10-day contracts with the San Antonio Spurs, then signed a contract for the rest of the season.

      December 19, 2011: Waived by the San Antonio Spurs.

      December 21, 2011: Signed as a free agent with the New York Knicks.

      Yeah, out of all the teams in the league that would have gladly given him the MLE, he chose NYC because of two ball-hogging superstars. Let’s be real, here. His stock was not very high. He was a few steps above Jeremy Lin in terms of “wantedness” before the season started. And as we’ve discussed over the last few threads, Chandler was about to sign with Monta Ellis and Steph Curry before the Knicks upped the ante (more money). Baron Davis was (or is) coming off a major back injury. J.R. Smith has a history of being a bad seed, and had a much better chance of starting than on, say, the Lakers.

      Sheridan’s got a job that establishes him as an “expert,” but…

    16. @12

      and I’m sorry, but “real” does not recognize “real”… if it happened that way, then why did those guys chose to come to NY instead of going to the Clippers or the Lakers, who both have much more recgonized “stars” in Paul, Griffin and Kobe than the ones we have?

      there is a lot more involved in those decisions than simply “well, they recognize Melo and Amare are incredible and wanted to come here”.

      Kobe has five rings and Paul will probably end his career as a top 3 PG EVER, while Melo and Amare combine for 0 rings and 0 finals appearances.

    17. @16 how many finals appearances and rings does Paul have?

      And THCJ, you’ve really gotta stop calling everyone who doesn’t agree with you a “moron” it’s really childish and tiresome.

    18. Yeah, that is classic journo-babble. Construct the narrative after the fact around established storylines and stars when in fact they have been basically irrelevant.

      The bottom line of this season is that without Jeremy Lin, and I guess without an injury to Andrew Bogut, we don’t make the playoffs. As it is, it’s still in doubt.

      And our big star has been basically irrelevant so far.

      We are +27 for the season with Melo on the court. We are +1 with him off the court.

      The major difference makers have been three guys who talent evaluators failed to deem worthy of a first round pick and Tyson Chandler.

    19. d-mar:
      @16 how many finals appearances and rings does Paul have?

      And THCJ, you’ve really gotta stop calling everyone who doesn’t agree with you a “moron” it’s really childish and tiresome.

      he’s at the very least a top 5 PG ever, and potentially a top 3… and the best teammate he ever had is David West, not exatly the kind of talent that gets you to the finals.

      are you really making an argument that Paul is comparable to Amare or Carmelo?

    20. D-Mar – You think it’s fair to judge Chris Paul on not being able to take New Orleans to a title. Seems a bit of an old fashioned perspective.

      Kobe landed in his rookie year on the same team as the best center of the last 20 years in his absolute prime.

      What would Kobe’s career look like if he had started in Charlotte with Matt Geiger as his center?

      You think he would have five titles right now?

      Just for the record, Tyson Chandler was pretty awesome on those Hornets team, even if David West got a lot of credit….

    21. Owen:
      D-Mar – You think it’s fair to judge Chris Paul on not being able to take New Orleans to a title. Seems a bit of an old fashioned perspective.

      Kobe landed in his rookie year on the same team as the best center of the last 20 years in his absolute prime.

      What would Kobe’s career look like if he had started in Charlotte with Matt Geiger as his center?

      You think he would have five titles right now?

      Hey I didn’t bring up titles as a way to judge a player, see post 16.

    22. “Hey I didn’t bring up titles as a way to judge a player, see post 16.”

      lol, fair enough.

    23. Owen:
      “Hey I didn’t bring up titles as a way to judge a player, see post 16.”

      lol, fair enough.

      what I intended to show with Kobe’s rings is the perception of “who’s real” in the NBA…

      if you think players go to team A instead of B because team A has a “real” player, then how in the world is Kobe not a more “real” player than Melo or Amare?

      I don’t think titles are a proper way to judge players, but that’s the common sense argument, much like Sheridan’s.

    24. lol his best teammate ever was David West. Did Tyson Chandler magically disappear the year they got to the second round? Of course, Chris Paul needs like 4 statistical superstars other than himself to get more than a playoff round win. But hey, real super stars like Kevin Love have been leading the Timberwolves to the NBA’s worst record for years now, because rating players by efficiency alone isn’t as reductionist and crude as rating them by total contributions.

      Also, while many front offices are absolutely terrible at evaluating talent (you don’t need to know WS/48 to know Ben Gordon wasn’t worth a $50 million dollar contract or that Rashard Lewis deserved half the money he got at most), even the most consistently great and statistically oriented have shown large interest in the players we have on our roster. I’m a rockets fan, Morey might be the best gm in the league at mining value from players, and he had a trade for Amar’e done, back before he joined New York, and only didn’t follow through because Phoenix wanted to waive Amar’e’s physical. Otherwise he’d be in Houston right now. Morey went after Melo even without a guarantee that he’d sign in Houston long term, but the Nuggets weren’t interested in Luis Scola and Kevin Martin. If Carmelo became fully available tomorrow, quite a few intelligent, winning teams would be willing to part with significant assets to get him (unfortunately the same can no longer be said of Amar’e) and no, Ryan Anderson for Carmelo would not be enough for the Knicks to move him lol

    25. “what I intended to show with Kobe’s rings is the perception of “who’s real” in the NBA…
      if you think players go to team A instead of B because team A has a “real” player, then how in the world is Kobe not a more “real” player than Melo or Amare?
      I don’t think titles are a proper way to judge players, but that’s the common sense argument, much like Sheridan’s.”

      Alright, alright, I think we are all good. Not sensing a huge amount of disagreement….

    26. The Honorable Cock Jowles: The Honorable Cock Jowles says:
      March 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm
      305 MP
      23.7 PER
      .607 TS%
      .574 eFG%
      .228 WS48
      Guess who? (Hint: It’s a rookie, but it’s not Iman Shumpert.)

      Yeah, if he keeps this up, he might become the next Landry Fields! Oh, wait…

      Seriously, Faried is a good player and PAWS 40 predicted it. That said, are you seriously going to contend that Faried would have been a better draft pick for this team as it is currently constructed and will be for the next 5 few years than Shumpert? (Shump had a pretty good PAWS 40 score, if I recall.

    27. d-mar:
      @16 how many finals appearances and rings does Paul have?

      And THCJ, you’ve really gotta stop calling everyone who doesn’t agree with you a “moron” it’s really childish and tiresome.

      No professional writer should be using post hoc fallacies to make his claim. He’s either a con artist or an idiot. You choose.

    28. BTW, Jowles, I have seen you trash PER as a measure countless times. Curious that it’s OK to use it when it supports your point…

    29. You know, Fields has had a pretty sparkling +/- this year, (insert caveat about how it’s an unreliable measure), +119 with him on court, -91 with him off.

      I agree about our drafting this year. It was right out of the Dave Berri handbook. Both Shumpert and Harrelson rated out really well by PAWS.

      I don’t fault them for taking Shump. He does fit a desperate need. But I would have taken Faried too.

    30. Z-man: Yeah, if he keeps this up, he might become the next Landry Fields!Oh, wait…

      Seriously, Faried is a good player and PAWS 40 predicted it.That said, are you seriously going to contend that Faried would have been a better draft pick for this team as it is currently constructed and will be for the next 5 few years than Shumpert? (Shump had a pretty good PAWS 40 score, if I recall.

      Well, considering that Amar’e only getting worse, and he’s 30, yes I would. Novak can’t rebound, so he’s essentially a 6’10” SF, and Fields is efficient enough to be a 35 MPG player on this team. Plus, Faried is 22, so a rookie contract gets you through much of his prime.

      Is Iman a good pick? So far, I guess. His defense is outstanding, so his awful, awful offensive play is mitigated, somewhat. But Faried is an absolute steal for the Nuggets. We’re not talking about potential with Faried. He’s already shown himself to play at the level of an above-average NBA starter. Iman might become one. In terms of risk, Faried was a better option.

      Or better yet, you buy another pick and take both of them. Instead of dropping $80M on an aging former superstar with a bad knee, you go for this low-risk, high-reward mid-to-late round draft picks and see if you can put together a core for a playoff contender with $12M/year in rookie contracts. What’s wrong with that idea?

      And Faried would be a great fit on this team. With him and Chandler crashing the boards, the second chance opportunities would be unsurpassed. And given the need to drop more bodies in the paint to prevent that kind of O-board domination, kicking the ball out to our perimeter guys would be easy.

    31. Z-man:
      BTW, Jowles, I have seen you trash PER as a measure countless times.Curious that it’s OK to use it when it supports your point…

      I think PER is bankrupt, but my point is that it doesn’t matter which metric you use: Faried is a steal. You could be a volume-scoring lover (like half of this board is) and be unable to deny his rookie greatness.

    32. Z-man:
      Would you trade them straight up right now? I sure as hell wouldn’t.

      Faried for Amar’e? Yes, I’d trade them straight up, even at the same salary. Faried’s eight years younger and is clearly the stronger offensive threat, even if most of his shots come from 3 feet out. But if we were to get an extra $14M in cap room AND get Faried? How could you say no to that?

    33. @24

      Tyson Chandler has been MUCH better on his Dallas year and this year than he ever was in New Orleans… he’s had a .218 WS48 in Dallas and has a .242 WS48 right now with the Knicks.

      in his best season while in NOH, he had a .172 WS48 and a lower TS% (.632, compared to .697 last year and the utterly insane .731 he’s averaging right now).

      and yes, a lot of teams would gladly take Melo… but if they think he’d be the number 1 superstar on a title team, they would be as wrong as the Knicks were.

    34. and yes, I would instantly trade Faried for Amare, and if we could somehow get Faried + Gallo for Amare + something else, it would be one of my favourite trades ever.

      we would be easily a top 5 defensive team with Faried and pretty much the best rebounding front court in the league.

    35. that Sheridan paragraph is dead on. he uses the disclaimer “few, if any” before that list which makes it completely accurate. the lamest thing about THCJ’s incessant “look at me” posting here in recent months is that he refuses to admit that he was wrong and that NY was able to build depth around their two pseudo-superstars incredibly quickly.

      I watched some Faried last night, he seems to be the kind of player that “advanced” stats wildly overrate, like when Landry Fields was ranked 8th in the entire NBA by Berri last year. he stands under the basket, waits for Lawson to penetrate, and occasionally gets a wide open dunk. I didn’t see him do anything special on D, he looked like a young, taller Reggie Evans.

      Lawson on the other hand looked incredible, close to a one man offense down the stretch with Nene and Gallinari out. 15 assists! he made Lowry look bad repeatedly.

    36. @36

      that’s insane, really.

      Reggie Evans has a career .501 TS%, even with a really small usage rate, and Faried is over .600 right now, how is that comparable?

      Evans has a career .080 WS48, while Faried is over .220………

      I don’t know if those numbers are sustainable, but even if they regress A LOT he’d still be a MUCH better player than Evans ever was.

    37. Abbey, the Knicks are 18-18, and only because of a fluke playing time allocation that never would have happened had their “depth” in Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas not fizzed out within 25 games.

      Do you really think that the Knicks have demonstrated some kind of brilliant roster planning? They took the “safe bets” in Amar’e and Carmelo and have relied on “out of nowhere” talent like Fields, Novak, and Lin to hit .500 by March! That’s success?

    38. and if having Lawson is what makes Faried so good, Evans played 2 years with the almighty Carmelo Anthony and still sucked on offense, and he’s now playing with CHRIS PAUL and still sucks.

    39. Bruno – I think you’ll catch a lot of flak around here citing WS/48 quite so liberally. That’s not quite the way to use the statistic. Not quite as simple as that. Hopefully, I can put that in there before you get a vintage Jon Abbey tongue lashing…..

      That said, I do think Faried is really really good. And I would swap him for Amare in a flash, mostly because Amare-Ryan Gomes good, as I read in a paper last night.

      Jon – I have to agree with THCJ. As I said above, I think it’s hard to argue our “success” this year has anything to do with Melo and Amare. It’s three guys not drafted in the first round and Tyson Chandler.

    40. heh, you called Fields talented, good one. 8th best player in the league, 11th best player on the Knicks. :)

    41. Owen:

      Jon – I have to agree with THCJ. As I said above, I think it’s hard to argue our “success” this year has anything to do with Melo and Amare. It’s three guys not drafted in the first round and Tyson Chandler.

      yes, that’s the point. the argument until really recently was that there was no way we’d be able to put nearly enough talent around those two contracts, yet it’s happened in half a season.

    42. @40

      thanks for the tip Owen, but I think using WS/48 constantly is still better than saying a player is bad because “he can’t create his own shot”…

    43. jon abbey: yes, that’s the point. the argument until really recently was that there was no way we’d be able to put nearly enough talent around those two contracts, yet it’s happened in half a season.

      the point Owen and THCJ make is that it’s not BECAUSE of Melo and Amare that we built talent, it’s despite them…

      all 30 teams had a chance to get Fields, Novak or Lin, but they chose not to, while the Knicks decided to take a chance.

    44. The problem with a Chandler Faried front court is the diminishing return value in having two players with the exact same skill set. It is better to put a shooter on the floor at the four, like amare is capable of being, than two guys who need to be under the basket to score. Their rebounding is fairly redundant and I’d rather just move harrelson into the starting lineup to space the floor with chandler, opening up the lane for lin melo et al.

    45. Bruno Almeida: the point Owen and THCJ make is that it’s not BECAUSE of Melo and Amare that we built talent, it’s despite them…

      Amare’s advanced stats prior to the knicks were exceptional so I don’t think you can fault us signing him for what we did.

    46. EB:
      The problem with a Chandler Faried front court is the diminishing return value in having two players with the exact same skill set. It is better to put a shooter on the floor at the four, like amare is capable of being, than two guys who need to be under the basket to score. Their rebounding is fairly redundant and I’d rather just move harrelson into the starting lineup to space the floor with chandler, opening up the lane for lin melo et al.

      I agree that it might be a problem, but Chicago won 3 titles with Longley + Rodman as their front court, and neither could score from more than 3 feet away.

    47. Bruno Almeida: the point Owen and THCJ make is that it’s not BECAUSE of Melo and Amare that we built talent, it’s despite them…

      all 30 teams had a chance to get Fields, Novak or Lin, but they chose not to, while the Knicks decided to take a chance.

      yes, and the point I’m making is that people wrote here a thousand times that it would be impossible to put talent around those two contracts. whether Amare/Melo have been superstars or scrubs is irrelevant in this context; this line of arguing has been proven wrong in a remarkably short period of time.

    48. @46

      EB, I agree about Amare, I liked the signing at the time and thought it was a pretty smart move… if he played like he did in Phoenix, we’d have a true max player… unfortunately, other issues have come up and it hasn’t been the case.

    49. @30 That is fantasy. The reality is that STAT is here, and he’s going to play. We have Chandler doing everything that Faried does, and even better.

      Re: Fields, what are you basing your contention on? Certainly not any stats from his last 50 games. You and others keep harping on his first 50 or so NBA games, but did you bother to check that Fields was a poor FT shooter and a mediocre 3-pt shooter in 4 years at Stanford? And now, in less than 10 games worth of minutes, Faried has established himself as already better than the average NBA starter? Well, Fields was the next John Havlicek last year at this time. Then he spit the bit in the playoffs to a degree I have never seen before. His FT% is slightly above Wilt-Shaq levels. Yet, you give him a total free pass and still think of him as a 30mpg player on a contender. Yet STAT is done, despite having just turned 30 and coming off a 7-month layoff.

    50. Bruno Almeida: I agree that it might be a problem, but Chicago won 3 titles with Longley + Rodman as their front court, and neither could score from more than 3 feet away.

      fascinating, it’s almost as if when you have the greatest player of all time, he can mask other’s deficiencies.

    51. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Faried for Amar’e? Yes, I’d trade them straight up, even at the same salary. Faried’s eight years younger and is clearly the stronger offensive threat, even if most of his shots come from 3 feet out. But if we were to get an extra $14M in cap room AND get Faried? How could you say no to that?

      I meant Faried for Shumpert.

    52. jon abbey: yes, and the point I’m making is that people wrote here a thousand times that it would be impossible to put talent around those two contracts. whether Amare/Melo have been superstars or scrubs is irrelevant in this context; this line of arguing has been proven wrong in a remarkably short period of time.

      I agree 100% with you, but you got to agree with me that it’s much harder to find good contributors when you have 38 million commited to 2 guys instead of having cap room.

      the line of arguing does make sense, even if it was, in this case, not what eventually happened.

    53. 1) Melo is a talented and capable scorer
      2) That Melo is a talented and capable scorer is not reflected in advanced statistics because of his poor shot selection
      3) If Melo is more selective with his shots he will have better advanced stats
      4) Melo has shown a propensity to take better shots since coming back into the lineup

      5)Melo will have a good statistical year according to advanced stats

      My line of reasoning on Melo and why I disagree with him not being worth the contract

    54. jon abbey: fascinating, it’s almost as if when you have the greatest player of all time, he can mask other’s deficiencies.

      well, isn’t Anthony a true superstar, worthy of a max contract and a top 5 player in the league? shouldn’t he be able to mask other’s deficiencies too, if not as well as Jordan did, but on a pretty good level?

      strangely, he hasn’t been able to do it…

    55. Bruno Almeida: I agree 100% with you, but you got to agree with me that it’s much harder to find good contributors when you have 38 million commited to 2 guys instead of having cap room.

      no, especially when your holes are mostly in the backcourt and you have the specific situation you have in NY currently. it took less than half a season to find an entire guard rotation (Lin/Shumpert/Smith/Davis).

    56. Bruno Almeida: well, isn’t Anthony a true superstar, worthy of a max contract and a top 5 player in the league? shouldn’t he be able to mask other’s deficiencies too, if not as well as Jordan did, but on a pretty good level?

      strangely, he hasn’t been able to do it…

      I have never said anything along these lines here, and have never thought Melo was a top 5 player, in Denver or here.

    57. jon abbey: no, especially when your holes are mostly in the backcourt and you have the specific situation you have in NY currently. it took less than half a season to find an entire guard rotation (Lin/Shumpert/Smith/Davis).

      Part of this is admittedly because of the lockout, but I’d also say I liked our chances with Walker, Fields and Douglas at the beginning of the season who if nothing else could shoot.

    58. jon abbey: no, especially when your holes are mostly in the backcourt and you have the specific situation you have in NY currently. it took less than half a season to find an entire guard rotation (Lin/Shumpert/Smith/Davis).

      so finding Jeremy Lin out of nowhere is a reliable strategy? or getting a player like J.R Smith for the minimum on an incredibly specific situation (lock out season, a guy coming from China in february) reliable?

      all role players in this league have very clear deficiencies, but the true great ones have one or two really good abilities… Duncan played with Bruce Bowen and Fabricio Oberto, and he was able to mask their deficiencies… Kobe and Shaq did it with Fisher and Rick Fox, the Celtics Big 3 with Perkins and Rondo, the Kobe and Gasol Lakers with Fisher, Ariza and Artest…

      the problem is Carmelo and Amare, not the role players around them.

    59. Is anyone else watching the Knicks Dallas game replay on NBAtv? Just watched Jeremy and Novak nail 4th q 3’s!

    60. Bruno Almeida: the problem is Carmelo and Amare, not the role players around them.

      You can make that case now but at the beginning of the season it was the reverse, at least for Melo until he got hurt. Back when he had a WS/48 over .2 he was unbelievable and singlehandedly carrying the team, after getting hurt he was an obvious detriment to the team with his horrid shooting, hurting almost as much as he helped in the beginning

    61. EB: You can make that case now but at the beginning of the season it was the reverse, at least for Melo until he got hurt. Back when he had a WS/48 over .2 he was unbelievable and singlehandedly carrying the team, after getting hurt he was an obvious detriment to the team with his horrid shooting, hurting almost as much as he helped in the beginning

      well, Amare was pretty wretched even then, but I agree on Carmelo.

      if he can play consistently like he did on those games, I’d gladly change my opinion and support him as a max player.

      let’s hope he does, even if I think it’s unlikely.

    62. Bruno Almeida: if he can play consistently like he did on those games, I’d gladly change my opinion and support him as a max player.
      let’s hope he does, even if I think it’s unlikely.
        

      1) Melo is a talented and capable scorer
      2) That Melo is a talented and capable scorer is not reflected in advanced statistics because of his poor shot selection
      3) If Melo is more selective with his shots he will have better advanced stats
      4) Melo has shown a propensity to take better shots since coming back into the lineup
      5)Melo will have a good statistical year according to advanced stats
      My line of reasoning on Melo and why I disagree with him not being worth the contract or at least better than he is currently performing

    63. Bruno Almeida: so finding Jeremy Lin out of nowhere is a reliable strategy? or getting a player like J.R Smith for the minimum on an incredibly specific situation (lock out season, a guy coming from China in february) reliable?

      There is no strategy that is “reliable.” Go one way and you can be either the Thunder or the T’Wolves. Go the other way and you can be the Mavs or the Magic.

      The Knicks built a big 3 front line and hoped they could find guards and bench specialists on the cheap. They did. There’s no arguing that it was luck, any more than other successful teams have had luck that has made their “strategy” look good. The strategy worked.

      Bottom line, who is closer to a championship right now, the Knicks or the Nuggets?

    64. Z-man: There is no strategy that is “reliable.” Go one way and you can be either the Thunder or the T’Wolves.Go the other way and you can be the Mavs or the Magic.

      The Knicks built a big 3 front line and hoped they could find guards and bench specialists on the cheap.They did. There’s no arguing that it was luck, any more than other successful teams have had luck that has made their “strategy” look good.The strategy worked.

      Bottom line, who is closer to a championship right now, the Knicks or the Nuggets?

      I don’t really think either are really close to a title, as I’ve argued before, neither team is a title team in my opinion.

      but yes, I don’t think you’re wrong saying that New York might be closest than Denver to a title.

      what I was arguing is that even though no strategy is 100% reliable, there are strategies that have been proven to be more succesful than others in times past.

      San Antonio’s MO (and the Thunder’s, for that matter) has been pretty succesful and less dependant on lucky breaks than other styles (like Boston’s “get a big 3 and hope all other pieces fit” or trying to build a team entirely through trades and free agency).

    65. @65

      to complement, what the Knicks did was go all-in on a strategy that relied on finding a couple of lucky breaks along the way, and thankfully we got those (Lin, J.R Smith, Novak).

    66. Bruno Almeida:
      San Antonio’s MO (and the Thunder’s, for that matter) has been pretty succesful and less dependant on lucky breaks than other styles (like Boston’s “get a big 3 and hope all other pieces fit” or trying to build a team entirely through trades and free agency).

      yes, two overall #1 picks (Duncan. Robinson) or three top 4 picks (Durant, Westbrook, Harden) is a brilliant “MO”.

    67. jon abbey: yes, two overall #1 picks (Duncan. Robinson) or three top 4 picks (Durant, Westbrook, Harden) is a brilliant “MO”.

      if we haven’t traded all our high lottery picks on stupid deals, we could have had those top 4 picks too.

    68. I’m not sure that anyone can argue that the Knicks haven’t been abject to fill out the roster because they obviously have. But I agree with Bruno that it was because of the quirky off-season, rather than due to any foresight. If someone wants to point out other examples from the past that’s fine. Lin and Novak off the waiver wire seems to be a very rare thing indeed. I guess that no amnesty means Billups would still be here but Baron and Tyson would not. Anyhow isn’t it better to be arguing about this than the merits or lack thereof of the teams of say 3-7 years ago.

    69. This is great, keep it coming guys, wish I could join in on the fun but this warm california sun makes it impossible to type on this tablet. I woukd like to add that this Melo conversation and the fact that its on-going to the extent that both sides cant agree seems to me there’s actually something there and the facts may not be that obvious. However, great conversation as always guys.

    70. Bruno Almeida: San Antonio’s MO (and the Thunder’s, for that matter) has been pretty succesful and less dependant on lucky breaks than other styles (like Boston’s “get a big 3 and hope all other pieces fit” or trying to build a team entirely through trades and free agency).

      OKC was INCREDIBLY lucky! If Portland takes Durant #1, where is OKC now? Not a single player from that draft has become a superstar other than Durant. Meanwhile, Boston won a title, went to a game 7, and has been a force since the trade. And it is worth mentioning, for the 1000th time, that Pierce and Melo were virtually the same player at their respective pre-trade ages.

    71. I don’t disagree that SA has been very well managed in the Duncan era, but none of it matters much if they don’t luck into Duncan because Robinson was hurt for a full season.

      and Presti/OKC is probably the best front office in the league, but the only gem they’ve really unearthed has been Ibaka.

      anyway, as Z-Man said, every approach needs a heaping helping of luck. last year’s Dallas team was lucky that they were handed Tyson Chandler for peanuts. the point here is that when an approach succeeds as quickly as NY’s seems to have, maybe there’s not as much luck involved as it seems.

    72. Bruno Almeida: if we haven’t traded all our high lottery picks on stupid deals, we could have had those top 4 picks too.

      and if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle. who cares at this point? ancient, unfortunate history at this point.

    73. Boston and Miami’s get a big three at all costs seemed to work pretty well and it appears to be going well for the knicks too, so I’m not sure that it would be wrong to go out and get the big three and fill in the empty spaces.

      Filling in the empty spaces isn’t too difficult. Just looking at a bell curve you know there are plenty of mediocre players without much talent difference between them.

    74. jon abbey:
      I don’t disagree that SA has been very well managed in the Duncan era, but none of it matters much if they don’t luck into Duncan because Robinson was hurt for a full season.

      and Presti/OKC is probably the best front office in the league, but the only gem they’ve really unearthed has been Ibaka.

      anyway, as Z-Man said, every approach needs a heaping helping of luck. last year’s Dallas team was lucky that they were handed Tyson Chandler for peanuts. the point here is that when an approach succeeds as quickly as NY’s seems to have, maybe there’s not as much luck involved as it seems.

      about OKC, that’s definitely an understatement.

      Oden was pretty much a consensus #1 pick by the GMs in the league, and everybody scolded Presti for drafting “a guy that couldn’t play PG #4 overall” (Westbrook) over guys like Love and Brook Lopez, and for drafting Harden over Curry, Evans or Rubio.

      Durant was a really easy choice, but neither Westbrook or Harden were.

      also, would San Antonio be able to win a title without draftin Manu Ginobili 57th overall and Tony Parker 28th overall? yes, they lucked out on the Duncan lottery, but they found 2 legitimate stars in the draft in the bottom of both rounds, that’s awesome decision making (and obviously, some luck, I agree with you that it’s necessary)

      they wouldn’t win anything without Duncan, but it’s pretty fair to presume they wouldn’t have won 3 titles on this decade without Parker or Manu.

    75. jon abbey: and if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle. who cares at this point? ancient, unfortunate history at this point.

      it isn’t relevant right now, but we do have to look to history for precedents of what constitutes a title squad and what doesn’t.

      if historical analysis is futile, than why bother discussing anything at all?

    76. I totally agree and Dallas continues to get lucky this year even after parting ways with their championship role players, heck even though it hasn’t worked out yet they got the sixth man of the year for free. Something that was by product of a chain reaction that allowed us to get Lin, thanks to David Stern.

      jon abbey:
      I don’t disagree that SA has been very well managed in the Duncan era, but none of it matters much if they don’t luck into Duncan because Robinson was hurt for a full season.

      and Presti/OKC is probably the best front office in the league, but the only gem they’ve really unearthed has been Ibaka.

      anyway, as Z-Man said, every approach needs a heaping helping of luck. last year’s Dallas team was lucky that they were handed Tyson Chandler for peanuts. the point here is that when an approach succeeds as quickly as NY’s seems to have, maybe there’s not as much luck involved as it seems.

    77. Nick C.: Lin and Novak off the waiver wire seems to be a very rare thing indeed.

      Rare? I disagree. Novak was out there for the taking because nobody wanted him. He was hardly a secret. He played pretty extensive minutes one year and put up pretty good numbers. His skillset was not valued as much in other systems. Lin was also not an unknown; he had played NBA minutes. Other teams could have grabbed him, or we could have grabbed someone else. Low-cost, high-yield players are overlooked more than people think. And, as THCJ points out, the stats were there on Lin. The reason why Lin was available is that there are not as many teams desparate for a PG than for other positions.

    78. I was clamoring for Westbrook for months here, even when people thought he wouldn’t go in the top 10, so not too impressed with that pick. Harden was a good pick, but having the #3 overall pick certainly helps.

    79. Fact is u can argue both sides of the strategy . Heck Sacramento has had how many top 10 picks and they still suck. But you can also argue that the big 3 strategists are on a roll right now Boston, Miami and now us.

      Bruno Almeida: if we haven’t traded all our high lottery picks on stupid deals, we could have had those top 4 picks too.

    80. jon abbey:
      I was clamoring for Westbrook for months here, even when people thought he wouldn’t go in the top 10, so not too impressed with that pick. Harden was a good pick, but having the #3 overall pick certainly helps.

      all that means is that you are a good talent evaluator, and so is Presti… and being a good GM is very, very rare in this league.

    81. It’s hard to tell what THCJ and Bruno are even arguing. Are you saying the Knicks still aren’t good and expectations should be low bc Melo and Amare aren’t max guys regardless of our ability to suddenly fill out the roster? Are you saying that we are good but it’s only bc of the luck of finding JLin off the scrap heap and JR and Baron in a strange economic circumstance? Are you saying that our management got lucky but other team’s are just better run? Seriously, what is the thesis and what is the conclusion? Everyone knows how you feel about Melo.

      If we want to look at luck all we have to do is rewind 20 years of history of the Knicks when we plucked not one but 2 eventual 6th men of the year in Starks and Mason off the scrap heap. Luck matters.

    82. Re Parker and Manu, the luck is in that nobody else took them first. Same with Durant (actually there was a sizable minority that thought Durant was the better pick.)

      As to the virtue of playing for the top pick in the draft, ask Rick Pitino about the Duncan draft and the virtues of banking on the #1 pick. Ask Miami about the virtues of having the best odds of the 2007 while the Bulls had less than a 2% chance of winning that lottery.

      If San Antonio is drafting at #2 ahead of the Bulls instead of Portland, maybe they don’t get Jordan.

      It is not luck when you bank on other teams missing out on talent. You still have to pounce on guys when they become available.

      Luck is always involved.

    83. cgreene:
      It’s hard to tell what THCJ and Bruno are even arguing.Are you saying the Knicks still aren’t good and expectations should be low bc Melo and Amare aren’t max guys regardless of our ability to suddenly fill out the roster?Are you saying that we are good but it’s only bc of the luck of finding JLin off the scrap heap and JR and Baron in a strange economic circumstance?Are you saying that our management got lucky but other team’s are just better run?Seriously, what is the thesis and what is the conclusion?Everyone knows how you feel about Melo.

      If we want to look at luck all we have to do is rewind 20 years of history of the Knicks when we plucked not one but 2 eventual 6th men of the year in Starks and Mason off the scrap heap.Luck matters.

      I can speak for myself only… my argument is that no matter how many good role players we find, we’re not going to be a title team because the team pays a lot of money to 2 guys who don’t deserve it.

      and it’s not only luck, Grunwald should really be praised for doing an awesome work, he’d be a candidate for executive of the year in my opinion… but the Knicks organization in this decade made the decision to follow a route that depends on a lot of luck to work out, and it still hasn’t truly worked out.

    84. Which really is fodder for those who think the end of the game matters more. Maybe it does. Maybe that’s when star players actually try the hardest.Anyway…

      Uh, yeah. I’d would venture to say star players usage sky rockets in final five minutes (that can be verified with 82games.com clutch stats). Defense is playing a lot harder, too. That’s not intuitive it’s as obvious as the sky being blue.

    85. Bruno Almeida: I can speak for myself only… my argument is that no matter how many good role players we find, we’re not going to be a title team because the team pays a lot of money to 2 guys who don’t deserve it.and it’s not only luck, Grunwald should really be praised for doing an awesome work, he’d be a candidate for executive of the year in my opinion… but the Knicks organization in this decade made the decision to follow a route that depends on a lot of luck to work out, and it still hasn’t truly worked out.

      Well, do you think a triumvirate of Amar’e, Melo and Lin is worth 41-45$ mil?

      Maybe not if Amar’e doesn’t pick it up. Maybe we should look at their total production at the end of the year.

      Let me ask you this, what model works for up-ending the Heat or Thunder? I mean, we’re looking at 3-5 year window when those teams are likely to be dominant.

      “Championship team” is only relevant to being able to beat those teams. I think in some years past this current team is a championship team. I actually think it will be capable of beating the Heat or Bulls, unlikely but capable.

    86. Owen: Yeah, that is classic journo-babble. Construct the narrative after the fact around established storylines and stars when in fact they have been basically irrelevant. The bottom line of this season is that without Jeremy Lin, and I guess without an injury to Andrew Bogut, we don’t make the playoffs. As it is, it’s still in doubt.And our big star has been basically irrelevant so far. We are +27 for the season with Melo on the court. We are +1 with him off the court. The major difference makers have been three guys who talent evaluators failed to deem worthy of a first round pick and Tyson Chandler.

      If you think making the playoffs is still in doubt, injuries notwithstanding, I have even less respect for your basketball acumen (I respect many of your arguments, however).

      Chandler is a -35 this year and he’s played every game with Lin (Melo hasn’t, before Lin arrived his +/- was much higher).

      If we all agree that Lin’s production has basically been a miracle, can we not also acknowledge that the pre-LIn pg production which had to have been historically bad, was also pretty unusual (in that no one could have expected it to be that bad, just as no one could have expected Lin to emerge as he has).

    87. Bruno Almeida: I can speak for myself only… my argument is that no matter how many good role players we find, we’re not going to be a title team because the team pays a lot of money to 2 guys who don’t deserve it.and it’s not only luck, Grunwald should really be praised for doing an awesome work, he’d be a candidate for executive of the year in my opinion… but the Knicks organization in this decade made the decision to follow a route that depends on a lot of luck to work out, and it still hasn’t truly worked out.

      What route to building a championship team doesn’t rely on luck?

    88. ruruland: Well, do you think a triumvirate of Amar’e, Melo and Lin is worth 41-45$ mil?

      Maybe not if Amar’e doesn’t pick it up. Maybe we should look at their total production at the end of the year.

      Let me ask you this, what model works for up-ending the Heat or Thunder? I mean, we’re looking at 3-5 year window when those teams are likely to be dominant.

      “Championship team” is only relevant to being able to beat those teams. I think in some years past this current team is a championship team. I actually think it will be capable of beating the Heat or Bulls, unlikely but capable.

      when you add Lin, who’s probably worthy of at least the full MLE right now, yes, than that’s a fair amount, even if Amare looks right now as the weakest link of the trio.

      that’s a great question… I do think our hopes lay on whether Carmelo can become Paul Pierce v2.0 or not.

      if he does, then it’s conceivable that this team, with the right role players and a great defense around him could challenge for the title.

      but for that to happen, we need to get rid of Amare… his skillset is kinda redundant with Carmelo being the go-to guy on the mid-range game (and even working on the pick and roll) and Chandler as the main pick and roll guy, and he’s always been an average rebounder and terrible defender.

      that’s why I said I’d trade him for Faried straight up, because it would give us a potential elite rebounder and defender on a rookie contract and free up cap space to resign J.R Smith, Lin and go after someone else who can score in the front court with the 20 million from Amare’s contract (shouldn’t be that hard, a guy like Carl Landry, who recently signed for 1 year, 8 mil should be enough).

      I see no way for this team to compete if we aren’t an elite defensive team, and with Amare that’s never going to happen, no matter how well Chandler,…

    89. Bruno Almeida: I can speak for myself only… my argument is that no matter how many good role players we find, we’re not going to be a title team because the team pays a lot of money to 2 guys who don’t deserve it.

      and it’s not only luck, Grunwald should really be praised for doing an awesome work, he’d be a candidate for executive of the year in my opinion… but the Knicks organization in this decade made the decision to follow a route that depends on a lot of luck to work out, and it still hasn’t truly worked out.

      I would argue that the consensus here is close to 100% that we have had bad management for over a decade. That’s easy. I also think that majority would agree that compared to other stars that Melo is a level below and that Amare is currently playing far worse than even that. As far as contending for a title that seems to be something that is still quite difficult to ascertain. The Bulls, Heat and Thunder are the prohibitive favorites. Outside of that the league is fairly wide open and it would appear that our talent and depth could match that of any other team in the league besides those three. A lot of that depends, frankly, on one guy. Carmelo. He is 27 years old. If he plays at a level that is equal to his peak career (not better just equal to) level then the Knicks could plausibly contend with their depth and improved D. Some on this board (ruruland) believe that this is inevitable. Some (you, Owen, THCJ) do not think that his level and his style will lead to title contention. My opinion is that I THINK that if he does we can contend. Whether he will? I don’t know but his game definitely seems off this year post injury. He is very inconsistent. I will say that the payroll issues that you guys continuously bring up are less of a factor. Of the 3 big contracts we have only 1 of them is bad. The Chandler and Melo deals…

    90. ruruland: What route to building a championship team doesn’t rely on luck?

      some routes rely more on luck than others, but yes, naturally, all of them rely somehow on getting breaks.

    91. Z-man: Rare? I disagree.Novak was out there for the taking because nobody wanted him.He was hardly a secret. He played pretty extensive minutes one year and put up pretty good numbers. His skillset was not valued as much in other systems. Lin was also not an unknown; he had played NBA minutes. Other teams could have grabbed him, or we could have grabbed someone else.Low-cost, high-yield players are overlooked more than people think. And, as THCJ points out, the stats were there on Lin. The reason why Lin was available is that there are not as many teams desparate for a PG than for other positions.

      You could have just thrown Starks and Mason in my face. There are still proportionately not a lot of major rotation players on teams that go deep. Bowen, Malik Rose and Elie come to mind. Look at the recent Knicks: Nichols, Dermarr Johnson, Bill Walker, Barron , Bender, Randolph Morris, Jackie Butler, Qyntel Woods, there’s a lot more that don’t pan out.

    92. (cont)

      are market. We also have some very efficient deals. The payroll isn’t the issue to me.

    93. one thing that Melo detractors never seem to remember is that since the road to a title clearly goes through LeBron, having one of the very few guys in the league who gives him problems head to head is a big plus.

    94. jon abbey:
      one thing that Melo detractors never seem to remember is that since the road to a title clearly goes through LeBron, having one of the very few guys in the league who gives him problems head to head is a big plus.

      do we really know that?

      because if we consider last night as an example, we might reach the conclusion that Devin Harris gives LeBron’s head problems too.

    95. Bruno Almeida: do we really know that?

      because if we consider last night as an example, we might reach the conclusion that Devin Harris gives LeBron’s head problems too.

      way way too dumb to respond to, come on.

    96. Faried is legit, THCJ, Owen or whoever else follows the Paws…

      He’s going to be really good even without a basketball skill…. ridiculous athlete, motor and timing.

      How could you not agree with premise of trading Amar’e for just a run of the mill pf, which would allow you to re-sign Novak, JR and Baron.

      Let’s hope he has one good run left because he can’t be moved now.

    97. jon abbey: way way too dumb to respond to, come on.

      that was a joke, I’m sorry if you’re incapable of understanding it.

    98. Bruno Almeida: do we really know that?because if we consider last night as an example, we might reach the conclusion that Devin Harris gives LeBron’s head problems too.

      Uh, the 40-7-6 game with the game-winner Melo had on Lebron two years ago?

      He’s had some other really outstanding games in the past when the two have guarded each other.

      Melo gives Lebron more problems than anyone else in the league.

    99. On Faried- I like him but don’t think he’d be a good fit here w/Chandler. Hard to run the pnr with two guys on the floor who can’t/won’t shoot from outside of 5 feet as you’re always going to have an extra defender in the paint. I also wonder if he can play at the same energy level if he had to play starters minutes, esp. over the course of a full season- he’s a freaky athlete so it’s possible but he’s also clearly undersized at the four and you have to wonder if he can stand up to the constant banging- not too many guys his size have. I’d also say that he’s not a great defender right now- misses lots of rotations, three-quarters the post way too much, etc… but some of that is typical rookie stuff that you can clean up. I think his rebounding and his weakside blockshot ability will more than make up for what he’ll give back by being undersized. To me right now he’s a smaller Kris Humphries- nice complimentary piece.
      Faried over Shumpert- given how little back-to-the-basket play there is in today’s NBA I think having a genuine lock-down on-the-ball defender, especially one who can guard multiple positions is incredibly valuable. And I think Shumpert can improve his offensive numbers- particularly in that 3-9 foot range where he’s been horrible. If he could finish better in the lane and just stop shooting so many jumpers, both doable, then I’d prefer him to Faried.

    100. What bothers me is we have a ten year legacy of acquiring overrated scorers in New York. Allen Houston was efficient but did nothing else on the court. Marbury was Factorial. We mortgaged our future for Eddy Curry who led the league in points in the paint but otherwise was one of the worst players in the league.

      And to my eye, in acquiring Melo and Amare, we went out and made exactly the same mistake again.

      I want the Knicks, for twice, because they did sign Chandler, to go out and actually acquire superstars who grade out as elite players. I want the guys we get to be no doubters.

      What we should have done is built slowly, around Gallo, Lawson, and a few other guys until Paul, Deron, and Howard became available and then sign guys who we all can agree are premier talents.

      I read the paper on synergies that Juan posted. I don’t understand the math. And I freely admit there is evidence for either side of this argument in it. Specifically, the idea of synergies itself, which fundamentalists don’t think matter much at all.

      But it was crazy to read in that paper that by their statistical plus minus method Gallo rated out better than Melo And that a synergistic trade that would have benefitted two teams would have been swapping Amare (in Pho) for RYAN GOMES.

      I don’t care what method you use. I don’t care how shitty the model is. If it comes out saying it’s plausible to trade you for Ryan Gomes, you don’t deserve a max contract.

      But that’s what we did.

      Honestly, it’s frustrating to be Knicks fan. We make the same mistakes over and over again. We had a decent thing with Gallo and our team last year that might have been special if we drafted Lawson. But we blew it up.

      Things aren’t as bad as they once were. It’s actually fun to be a Knicks fan. I am loving the Linsanity. I count my blessings honestly after the despair the Eddy Curry trade caused me.

      But Amare and Melo are never going to be a championship core.

    101. cgreene: Some on this board (ruruland) believe that this is inevitable. Some (you, Owen, THCJ) do not think that his level and his style will lead to title contention. Whether he will? I don’t know but his game definitely seems off this year post injury. He is very inconsistentP>

      In 90 games from December ’05 to (pre-Iverson) January ’07, Melo had a TS% of 57.3%
      Given his sky-high usage that was ovbiously a dominant, elite phase.

      I’ve explained what happened during the Iverson years, and that when Billups arrived Denver built it’s half court offense around Melo isos (with a great deal of success), which led to a decline in scoring efficiency, but helped build an excellent half-court offense.

      Those 90 games were the result of two things 1)Melo playing in an up-tempo system with a pass-first point guard 2)Melo’s game maturing.

      Melo’s never played in an up-tempo system with a penetrating, pick and roll point guard. The kind of opportunities you saw Melo have on the weakside against Cleveland he’s never consistently had before. And that’s just the beginning. It’s just scratching the surface (and that goes for the team, too).

      That’s why I’m 100% confident that he’s going to put up career efficiency numbers in this situation (comparable TS to Durant but with much better assist/to numbers).. And without the possession to possession grappling on the wing, he’ll have the energy to be a really good defender again.

      Boston is going to be one of those statement games. One of the games where the team takes moves up the NBA totem pole and starts to believe in how good it is.

      I think Dallas and or San Antonio will be much the same.

    102. ruruland: Uh, the 40-7-6 game with the game-winner Melo had on Lebron two years ago? He’s had some other really outstanding games in the past when the two have guarded each other.Melo gives Lebron more problems than anyone else in the league.

      Outside of Pierce, I should say. At least in the past.

    103. nicos: On Faried- I like him but don’t think he’d be a good fit here w/Chandler. Hard to run the pnr with two guys on the floor who can’t/won’t shoot from outside of 5 feet as you’re always going to have an extra defender in the paint. I also wonder if he can play at the same energy level if he had to play starters minutes, esp. over the course of a full season- he’s a freaky athlete so it’s possible but he’s also clearly undersized at the four and you have to wonder if he can stand up to the constant banging- not too many guys his size have. I’d also say that he’s not a great defender right now- misses lots of rotations, three-quarters the post way too much, etc… but some of that is typical rookie stuff that you can clean up. I think his rebounding and his weakside blockshot ability will more than make up for what he’ll give back by being undersized. To me right now he’s a smaller Kris Humphries- nice complimentary piece.Faried over Shumpert- given how little back-to-the-basket play there is in today’s NBA I think having a genuine lock-down on-the-ball defender, especially one who can guard multiple positions is incredibly valuable. And I think Shumpert can improve his offensive numbers- particularly in that 3-9 foot range where he’s been horrible. If he could finish better in the lane and just stop shooting so many jumpers, both doable, then I’d prefer him to Faried.

      I think that’s a fari analysis.

    104. @102

      wow, didn’t know about the Amare – Gomes thing…

      and well, I agree with everything you said.

    105. Owen, how do you explain the Nuggets of ’08 reaching the WCF, and really outplaying the Lakers in 4 of the 6 games?

      Was Melo not a part of that core? Was he not the focal-point of every defense that went up against them, the one guy who tilted the court and created double-teams that allowed a bunch of weakside guys to flourish?

      Was his 25 PER in those playoffs not indicative of a guy who can be the best player on a championship caliber team?

      What did you think of his 42-17-6 without Billups and Amar’e in last years playoffs against a top defense? Was that a performance reminscent of Allan Houston, Gallinari or Eddy Curry?

      What about the 42 points and 18-25 shooting he had the previous year against the Jazz in the playoffs, a series in which he was once again the clear-cut best player until the Jazz’ hack and grapple defense begin to wear him down by game 6 (a series in which he created everything for himself)?

      What about his playoff performance in the ’06 series against the San Antonio Spurs, another great defense team focused on Melo, even applying off-ball double teams. (he still had a .585 TS in that series against that defense)

      Does Melo’s performance in these games remind of you Allan Houston, Eddy Curry, Gallinari and Stephon Marbury?

      You know, Amar’e was pretty outstanding in that first game against Boston before the injury? He’s been an outstanding playoff performer.

    106. Bruno Almeida: if we haven’t traded all our high lottery picks on stupid deals, we could have had those top 4 picks too.

      As bad as the Knicks were last decade only once did they have a draft pick higher than 6th and that year they didnt own their pick (believe the Bulls had it, 2nd overall). Building through the lottery only works if you are extremely lucky.

    107. BigBlueAL: As bad as the Knicks were last decade only once did they have a draft pick higher than 6th and that year they didnt own their pick (believe the Bulls had it, 2nd overall).Building through the lottery only works if you are extremely lucky.

      well, if you go through that route you really need to do it like OKC did, bottom out completely… the Knicks never did that.

      even though the teams were terrible, Isiah and Dolan always thought they we’re a move away from being real contenders.

    108. Bruno Almeida: well, if you go through that route you really need to do it like OKC did, bottom out completely… the Knicks never did that.even though the teams were terrible, Isiah and Dolan always thought they we’re a move away from being real contenders.

      And that’s what, with great selections and lucking out in the lottery, still a 6-year plan at the minimum?

      If this team is what it should be, how long would it take to build it to this point if you went the lotto route?

    109. ruruland: And that’s what, with great selections and lucking out in the lottery, still a 6-year plan at the minimum?

      If this team is what it should be, how long would it take to build it to this point if you went the lotto route?

      we’ve been on a 10-year plan already that has totally sucked.

      the lottery route is not available to us anymore, now we’ve got to stick to the choices we’ve made… and for me, that means hoping Carmelo becomes a better player, trading Amare for whatever we can get and build around Melo, Lin, Chandler, Shumpert, Fields, Novak and whoever we get from Amare.

    110. btw, for those of you who keep saying STAT is 30, he is 29…and turned 29 in November 2011….he was actually 28 just prior to start of season.

    111. For the 1001th time, Pierce and Melo had nearly identical stats at age 27. Pierce’s stats improved dramatically after the big 3 trade. Jon Abbey has mentioned several other examples. Look at Pau Gasol’s WS48 before and after he was on the Lakers.

      Melo is not Eddy Curry. He’s not Allan Houston. He’s not Rashard Lewis. He’s not Gilbert Arenas.

      He’s also not LeBron James or Dwight Howard either.

      Whatever he is, he’s ours, and he deserves a chance to win all the doubters over. And starting now, he’ll get that chance. The Melo era is just starting. I, for one, am ready to embrace and enjoy every minute of it. PS he looked good on Wednesday!

    112. Amare is going nowhere. Better deal with it. He is not being traded, certainly not in a salary dump.

    113. Sometimes I feel like we forget that managerial decisions don’t happen in a vacuum independent of one another…yes, getting JR and Baron on low-money figures may have been part and parcel of the lockout-shortened season and somewhat of an anomaly, but I am sure mgmt. weighed the likelihood of acquiring such talent prior to amnestying Billups and acquiring Chandler…JR Smith is a Leon Rose CAA client, much like Melo, so I am sure they were clued into whether he would likely come on board before….and I am sure they always have a decent degree of intel on CAA clients since the agency practically is running MSG now…so I have to think Grunwald and the powers that be going into this season and maybe even since the Melo trade had some idea that restocking the roster may not be as difficult as maybe we all thought…and like them or hate them, Melo and STAT have been excellent thus far at recruiting said role players, so their value goes beyond simply what they do on the court as they attract other players (e.g. Tyson Chandler et al)….the list goes on and on of players who wanted to come here who didn’t even get the chance (Tony Parker, Cp3) due to extraneous reasons but who would never have even considered NYK prior to summer 2010.

    114. Clearly I think this team has come together as a combination of both luck and skillful management, as is really always the case for winning basketball teams: in our case I think we have really been lucky in whom we have NOT acquire more than whom we did, and what that meant for future acquisitions. For example, imagine if Joe Johnson had accepted our max contract, sheesh!!! Or, even if Shawne Williams had come onboard we likely wouldn’t have gone after Novak….or if any combination of him, Barea or Jamal Crawford had accepted the $2.5M room exception, then there is likely no JR Smith here.

    115. Again, Tyson Chandler was signing with Golden State until the Knicks outbid the Warriors. You simply cannot credit his signing to “recruiting.” Smith and Davis, sure, but not Chandler (and even with Davis, he was recruited by Chandler, not Amar’e or Melo).Chandler was just a smart bet by management after they determined that it was highly unlikely that the Knicks were going to get Paul or D-Will (and they knew the odds were always against them getting Howard), so since they couldn’t lock down a star point guard they figured they would instead lock down a star center. It was a very good idea by the Knicks (if risky for this season, because of having to cut Billups and depending on ____ for a season), but it was not Amar’e and Melo recruiting Chandler. We heard stories all summer about Melo’s relationship with Paul. We heard stories all summer about Paul’s relationship with Chandler. We never heard a word about any friendship between Chandler and Melo (or Amar’e). Because there wasn’t one. I mean, they weren’t enemies or anything like that, but this is not the case of Lebron James convincing his pal Chris Bosh to come with him to play with their third pal Dwyane Wade.

      In general, MAX players tend to have their pick of where to go. Players like Chandler go where the money is. Now if the money is similar between two teams, then of course, they’ll go with teams like the Knicks. It is not that Amar’e and Melo’s presence here had zero impact. Heck, Golden State noted that they did not even bother trying to slightly counter-outbid the Knicks because they figured that Chandler was all in with the Knicks as soon as the Knicks initially outbid the Warriors (although the Warriors could not have increased the Knicks’ bid by more than another $500,000 a season – it wasn’t like they could have offered him a MAX contract).

      But the main selling point with Chandler was money. Or else he would never have agreed to sign with Golden State, a team that was worse than the Knicks and in a tougher conference. I am not discounting the notion of recruitment. I believe it does play a role. It just didn’t play a role with Chandler.

    116. and after all, the Warriors suck, why would Chandler want to play with Ellis and Curry hogging the ball and playing 0 defense?

      obviously NY was a better basketball opportunity… the “Melo and Amare recruited him” angle would work if he had offers from teams which offered a better chance at a title, like if Miami or Boston had made offers, but it wasn’t the case.

      it’s like saying Chuck Hayes really wanted to go to Sacramento, as if he had 30 offers and could pick any team he wanted.

    117. Ruruland – We were three years into the six year plan when we pulled the trigger on Amare. If we had stayed the course and drafted slightly smarter along the way we could have been in position to snag Paul or Howard in 2012, maybe both. What we did instead is position ourselves to be the Atlanta Hawks. Perennial second to third tier team with a punchers chance of surprising a better team….

      “Owen, how do you explain the Nuggets of ’08 reaching the WCF, and really outplaying the Lakers in 4 of the 6 games?”

      They outplayed them in 4 of 6 games but lost 4 of 6 games?

      Look, I understand Carmelo has had some great series and some great games. He has been on some very good teams too, although it’s arguable if he deserves all the credit for those teams being good just because he was out there taking the most shots.

      Melo’s peak performances ARE amazing. if he played to his peak level all the time we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But you can’t measure a player by how well he performs at his absolute best. As high as his highs are, his lows are pretty low.

      His amazing 18 win score in game 2 of that Lakers series was followed by 5 games in which he scored 126 points on 126 poss. while topping the 5 rebound/assist barrier once.

      And even his high in that series, the type of game upon which we could dream….

      That’s not far off what Lebron is averaging this year. He is posting a 15.5 Win Score per 40 right now. Melo at a playoff peak, and yes using a crude box score method no doubt, is 15% better then Bron on a normal night.

      Tell me Derrick Rose and Deron Williams are better than Chris Paul, I will say, look the box score stats disagree. But it’s close enough, and defense is inscrutable enough, that its possible.

      With Melo, the gap between him and other similar players is flat out gigantic from a box score perspective. The APM and SPM numbers agree. And defense? Well, you tell me. Does his defense even it up?

    118. OWen,
      “What we did instead is position ourselves to be the Atlanta Hawks. Perennial second to third tier team with a punchers chance of surprising a better team….”

      How do you know that this current team is a second or third tier team? I’m not sure how you configure the tiers, but I think this team is capable of beating the Heat, Bulls and Thunder.

      I don’t care how you build a team, the absolute best you can hope for is to build a team that has a chance to beat one of those three teams in a series. It’s virtually impossible to build a team that’s better than those three teams as currently configured.

      I have no doubt they’ll be better than any teams the Hawks have had in recent years. (they maxed out at 53 wins and averaged about 44 the last four years when the conference was much weaker. This team is considerably better than that in my approximation)

      Let’s give this team time to see where they stand.

    119. Owen: With Melo, the gap between him and other similar players is flat out gigantic from a box score perspective. The APM and SPM numbers agree. And defense? Well, you tell me. Does his defense even it up?

      Your taking a problem which is largely situational and giving it as disposition. Sure Melo does not have the numbers but we can largely attribute that to the number of bad shots that he takes. D’antoni and the knicks as constructed are a different environment than Denver, I see no reason why he shouldn’t raise all the different advanced stats that you talk about.

    120. ruruland: I don’t care how you build a team, the absolute best you can hope for is to build a team that has a chance to beat one of those three teams in a series. It’s virtually impossible to build a team that’s better than those three teams as currently configured.

      This is important to remember despite the fact that Melo and Stoudemire may not be top 5 players in the league, but players who are rarely come onto the free agent market or look to change teams. Certainly its been a little different recently but there is no way we can know when a player better than Melo was going to come onto the market.

    121. “How do you know that this current team is a second or third tier team? I’m not sure how you configure the tiers, but I think this team is capable of beating the Heat, Bulls and Thunder.”

      I don’t know. How could I? It’s just my opinion. But I really don’t think they are even competitive with those three.

      And I see them as being worse than a bunch of other teams, including both LA teams, the Spurs, the Mavericks, and Orlando. The Knicks are solidly in the tier below with a bunch of other teams from Philly, to Boston, to Denver, etc….

    122. EB: Your taking a problem which is largely situational and giving it as disposition. Sure Melo does not have the numbers but we can largely attribute that to the number of bad shots that he takes. D’antoni and the knicks as constructed are a different environment than Denver, I see no reason why he shouldn’t raise all the different advanced stats that you talk about.

      This is the sort of thing that Owen and I agree on: the argument that this system should increase his efficiency is an enormous investment of limited resources on a huge risk. There’s no evidence aside from “Mike D’antoni’s teams, which, prior to the Knicks, always had Steve Nash running the point. The lone exception is the 2003-04 Suns, which were 21st out of 29th in the league in offense. Next year marked Nash’s arrival, and they jumped to the best offense (in efficiency) in the league. So do we want to attribute D’antoni with that team’s successful offense? Perhaps in part, but Nash’s arrival has to be the primary change.

      So yeah, D’antoni may know what he’s doing with good offensive parts, but does that mean that the Knicks should lock 30% of their limited resources into a player whose shooting statistics were always good, but never elite, simply because he seems the type of player who could thrive in D’antoni’s “system”?

      The point I always try to make is that 1) don’t invest money in players whose advanced stats suggest they are not yet great players and 2) try to find undervalued assets (Faried, Fields, Blair, Lawson, et al.) in the draft because they will allow you to make questionable decisions with free agent money while putting a solid core together through trial and error. Don’t go for “eye-tested potential” alone. Faried was worth $3M in a purchased pick. His stats suggested his current play.

      By the way, Josh Selby is a trainwreck…

    123. Owen:
      “How do you know that this current team is a second or third tier team? I’m not sure how you configure the tiers, but I think this team is capable of beating the Heat, Bulls and Thunder.”

      I don’t know. How could I? It’s just my opinion. But I really don’t think they are even competitive with those three.

      And I see them as being worse than a bunch of other teams, including both LA teams, the Spurs, the Mavericks, and Orlando. The Knicks are solidly in the tier below with a bunch of other teams from Philly, to Boston, to Denver, etc….

      The Knicks can beat the Heat and the Bulls. Hell, the Bobcats can beat those teams, too. (Kemba Walker might be AI 2.0, but without the character issues.) Whether they can beat them in a seven game series is an entirely different matter.

    124. Owen: “How do you know that this current team is a second or third tier team? I’m not sure how you configure the tiers, but I think this team is capable of beating the Heat, Bulls and Thunder.”I don’t know. How could I? It’s just my opinion. But I really don’t think they are even competitive with those three.And I see them as being worse than a bunch of other teams, including both LA teams, the Spurs, the Mavericks, and Orlando. The Knicks are solidly in the tier below with a bunch of other teams from Philly, to Boston, to Denver, etc….

      I have a feeling you’ll have a distinctly different impression after the next two weeks.

    125. God damn you guys are depressing.
      So much arguing.
      Personally, I love this team’s make up. I think they will explode on the league in the second half. They’ve already won 9 of the last 12.
      We have scorers and glue guys. We have lock down defenders and a deep bench. We have two very good field generals. And we have one of the more dominant defensive and offensively efficient centers in the game.
      We have remarkable balance and depth. We can run so many different looks out there, few teams will know what to do.
      None of this would have happened had Amare not brought his portfolio to NYC. Amare beget Melo. They brought Chandler. That trio landed Smith. And we are relatively young.
      An embarrassment of riches, and this board kvetches. Folks, the milk is spilled. Get over it. It’s okay to be happy. Really, it is. Most teams win because of talent and a fair amount of luck. Get over it.

    126. What I meant to say in 123 was that D’antoni’s offensive success should not be attributed to the coaching alone. He had an awful year (including offensively) in the year before Nash came, so I’d rather make a causal argument that focuses on Nash’s utter greatness as a shooter and passer rather than D’antoni’s ability to make anyone a great shooter. (Nash was a fantastic shooter in Dallas; look it up.)

      Is it possible that D’antoni is actually the genius behind Nash’s success, even though Nash was awesome before Phoenix? Yes. Of course it is. But that argument is hard to substantiate and if you plan on making a personnel decision based on it, you’re playing with a high risk situation. That has no place in a billion-dollar business.

      Dave Crockett is the business expert, here. I’d love to read a Crockett article about risk in business as it relates to NBA FO decisions.

    127. Bruno Almeida:
      money brought Chandler here, I

      in other words, saying that Amare and Melo brought Chandler to NY is the same as saying they are better than Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, which is, to say the least, not impressive.

      for all we know, Chandler had two big offers, and he chose the one who paid him more.

      if Dallas had given him the money we did, he would be there.

    128. Frank O.:
      God damn you guys are depressing.
      So much arguing.
      Personally, I love this team’s make up. I think they will explode on the league in the second half. They’ve already won 9 of the last 12.
      We have scorers and glue guys. We have lock down defenders and a deep bench. We have two very good field generals. And we have one of the more dominant defensive and offensively efficient centers in the game.
      We have remarkable balance and depth. We can run so many different looks out there, few teams will know what to do.
      None of this would have happened had Amare not brought his portfolio to NYC. Amare beget Melo. They brought Chandler. That trio landed Smith. And we are relatively young.
      An embarrassment of riches, and this board kvetches. Folks, the milk is spilled. Get over it. It’s okay to be happy. Really, it is. Most teams win because of talent and a fair amount of luck. Get over it.

      I agree that Amare garners more worth by just coming here at all after we were the laughingstock of the league. Sure it was really about the money and security, but it was still a big jump and he gave last years team a dynamic that put NY basketball back on the map – Melo or no Melo. I will always be grateful to him for that. But ultimately, we need a better player to team with either of those players to become a real contender. Actually, adding Nash would be our easiest move – we have the parts and he’s money with our coach. But Dolan will never give up the Lin money. But Nash, Melo, Stat (with Nash), and Chandler is a tough, tough core.

    129. The Honorable Cock Jowles: What I meant to say in 123 was that D’antoni’s offensive success should not be attributed to the coaching alone. He had an awful year (including offensively) in the year before Nash came, so I’d rather make a causal argument that focuses on Nash’s utter greatness as a shooter and passer rather than D’antoni’s ability to make anyone a great shooter. (Nash was a fantastic shooter in Dallas; look it up.)Is it possible that D’antoni is actually the genius behind Nash’s success, even though Nash was awesome before Phoenix? Yes. Of course it is. But that argument is hard to substantiate and if you plan on making a personnel decision based on it, you’re playing with a high risk situation. That has no place in a billion-dollar business.Dave Crockett is the business expert, here. I’d love to read a Crockett article about risk in business as it relates to NBA FO decisions.

      Why does it have to be either or?

      Seems like there was an ideal synergy; they both “made” each other to some extent.

    130. Owen, Denver led the Lakers for something like 75% of the series (minutes).

      They had an 8 pt fourth quarter lead in game 1 and lost by 2 (Kobe got an phantom call with 30 seconds left to give lakers lead and then Denver screwed up the inbounds)

      Denver held an 8pt lead going into the fourth quarter against LA in game 3 and lost (Kobe hit 3-4 unbelivable shots)

      Denver held a fourth quarter lead in game 5 and lost. They each blew each other out once.

    131. Honestly, I’m selling OKC making the Finals. Their continuity offense stinks, they are way too iso-oriented and they don’t have anyone who can consistently get the ball in the five feet and in area. Westbrook does so much of his damage in transition, is really not a good PnR guy, and is basically a mid-range shooter in the half-court.

      Their is just too much burden on their 3 guys to create all the time. Nothing comes very easy in the half-court.

    132. With Cleveland and Milwaukee losing left and right the Knicks can lose every game the rest of the season and still make the playoffs lol.

    133. jon abbey:
      I don’t disagree that SA has been very well managed in the Duncan era, but none of it matters much if they don’t luck into Duncan because Robinson was hurt for a full season.

      Obviously the plan wasn’t for Robinson to get hurt-but I lived in San Antonio that year, and they didn’t even try to win after he went down. The spurs went from 59 wins to 20. The Admiral was great, but he wasn’t that great. The Spurs were clever enough to see that the smart play was to go into the tank, get a high draft pick, and then go back to work the next year. They wound up getting lucky in the lottery, but San Antonio is a well run team, and those teams get lucky more often than poorly run ones.

    134. DRed: Obviously the plan wasn’t for Robinson to get hurt-but I lived in San Antonio that year, and they didn’t even try to win after he went down.The spurs went from 59 wins to 20.The Admiral was great, but he wasn’t that great.The Spurs were clever enough to see that the smart play was to go into the tank, get a high draft pick, and then go back to work the next year.They wound up getting lucky in the lottery, but San Antonio is a well run team, and those teams get lucky more often than poorly run ones.

      that’s it, you’ve said it perfetcly.

      you need luck to build a good team, but good, smart management puts a team in position to get lucky breaks more than bad, dumb ones.

    135. With Cleveland and Milwaukee losing left and right the Knicks can lose every game the rest of the season and still make the playoffs lol.

      Yeah, I was noticing that the other day that they have a lot of room in the standings. Awesome. It is good to have the security of knowing a tough streak doesn’t mean missing out on the playoffs. Hopefully that’s not an issue and they can move up the standings, but still, the leeway is great to have.

    136. Can someone breakdown what is really happening with Amar’e? He’s shooting a lot more jumpers than usual this season but why? Is it because Chandler stays in the lane and Amar’e is forced to play as a power forward and not a center like last year? Is it because Amar’e got injured? No good pick-and-roll point guard (before Lin), change in the offensive system, etc, etc?

      I would go through and watch all the tape again but, alas, my schedule got much busier…

    137. Isn’t it amazing that Owen and THCJ assume Melo can’t improve, but constantly praise Chandler as a superstar? His first season above a .200 WS/48 was last year in Dallas. Out of the nine seasons before that, only two had a WS/48 above .160, and the 2 seasons before he got to Dallas he averaged a .117. Or how about Ryan Anderson, who went from being a forgettable bench player in New Jersey with a .09 WS/48, to a top 10 superstar in a few seasons after being a throw in during the Vince Carter trade? Paul Pierce has already been mentioned a few times, and he’s been through literally every criticism Melo is going through.

      Also, contrary to some people’s belief a max contract is not solely for top 5 players. The truth is the top 5 players in the league are vastly underpaid and therefore a huge value for their teams. The problem is that there usually aren’t too many top 5 guys in the league, and that 2 such players are on the same team. A top 20 player is pretty much going to cost a max contract, the bottom 20 guys are simply properly payed instead of vastly underpaid. On that note, I don’t think Amar’e is deserving of a max contract, and never really was even when he played in Phoenix. Unless you’re on Dirk’s level offensively, you need to play defense and rebound as a big man.

    138. jon abbey:
      no one is saying it, but the potential Lin/Baron pairing seems like a way to try to get Melo and Amare going, by pairing them with 2 PGs at the same time. otherwise it doesn’t make much sense to me, given all of the other guys who need minutes.

      To me this seems like they are simply experimenting with ways to overcome the trap on Lin. Put another ball handler out there that can drive the ball. Maybe it’s not but that’s my guess.

    139. Frank O.:
      God damn you guys are depressing.
      So much arguing.
      Personally, I love this team’s make up. I think they will explode on the league in the second half. They’ve already won 9 of the last 12.

      lol, you say this as if it’s new frank :)

      I think they are going to ratchet things up in the second half as well. They seem extremely bonded right now, you have a second unit that is embracing each other as being a great unit, which means to me that people are happy with their own roles on the team and they aren’t worried about the minutes they aren’t playing. I think that our bench will be the reason why we succeed or fail. We went from having no bench to having a bench that can increase leads or cut into deficits. I’m giddy about this team right now, and I think 2 months from now they are going to be a few gears higher, and even if this particular year is not the year for them. I think over the next few seasons they are going to evolve into a team that can get it done.

    140. Spree8nyk8: lol, you say this as if it’s new frank :)

      I think they are going to ratchet things up in the second half as well.They seem extremely bonded right now, you have a second unit that is embracing each other as being a great unit, which means to me that people are happy with their own roles on the team and they aren’t worried about the minutes they aren’t playing.I think that our bench will be the reason why we succeed or fail.We went from having no bench to having a bench that can increase leads or cut into deficits.I’m giddy about this team right now, and I think 2 months from now they are going to be a few gears higher, and even if this particular year is not the year for them.I think over the next few seasons they are going to evolve into a team that can get it done.

      You should be.

      Right now I’m trying to find a team they remind me of.

      They can honestly get top 10 production out of five positions.

      Tomorrow is one of those statements games up-and-coming teams have against their old bullies.

      Now is a great time to win some money on the Knicks. Vegas doesn’t know quite what to do with them.

      Bodog has them at -4.5.

      Tomorrow is going to be fun, not quite as fun as the next two weeks though.

    141. damn I was hoping for a better line than that. Guess I’ll be teasing that game.

    142. Spree8nyk8:
      bodog has them at +2, not sure what you were looking at.

      Oh, you’re right. That looked off to me because everyone else had them at 2. (I just did a google search and it was for last year’s game in March).

      I’m going to just stick with SportsBook.

    143. Juany8:
      … The problem is that there usually aren’t too many top 5 guys in the league,

      LOL How many are there? About 7? I like the mathematical rigor ;-)

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