Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, Apr 03 2012)

  • [New York Daily News] Lin shows face online after surgery (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 01:59:56 GMT)

    The Knicks confirmed Monday that Jeremy Lin had undergone successful surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks plan to grin and Baron it (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 01:57:38 GMT)

    For the first month of the season, before Linsanity hit Broadway, the Knicks were wondering if Baron Davis would be able to recover from a back injury and guide this team to the playoffs. Now, they will have to find out.

  • [New York Times] Davis Still Thinks He Can Lead Knicks to Playoffs (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 05:30:10 GMT)

    With Jeremy Lin having surgery, the Knicks are now wholly dependent on Baron Davis at point guard for the final 13 regular-season games.

  • [New York Times] Bucks Gain Ground in Race for Final Playoff Spot (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 03:53:27 GMT)

    Brandon Jennings scored 17 of his 19 points in the third quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled within two games of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot with an unsightly win over the host Washington Wizards.

  • [New York Times] Reggie Miller Highlights Hall of Fame Selections (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 03:24:14 GMT)

    The five-time All-Star Reggie Miller and the longtime coach Don Nelson were chosen for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday.

  • [New York Times] Kentucky Fans Tone Down Celebrations After NCAA Win (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 09:34:45 GMT)

    Kentucky basketball fans were far more sedate when they took to the streets to celebrate the school’s eighth NCAA championship on Monday, a stark contrast to the violence that followed the semi-final win over Louisville two days earlier.

  • [New York Times] Kings Upend Timberwolves 116-108 (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 04:54:37 GMT)

    Tyreke Evans had 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and the Sacramento Kings topped the slumping Minnesota Timberwolves 116-108 on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Millsap Helps Jazz Top Blazers to End Skid at 3 (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 04:44:21 GMT)

    Paul Millsap had 31 points, including a go-ahead dunk with 1:11 left, and pulled down 11 rebounds to help the Utah Jazz snap a three-game losing streak with a 102-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Kentucky Tops Kansas to Win NCAA Title (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 09:34:43 GMT)

    Kentucky overcame an uncharacteristically tepid performance by red-hot freshman Anthony Davis to defeat Kansas 67-59 on Monday to win the national basketball championship for the eighth time.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Win 6th in a Row, 94-75 at Mavericks (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 03:39:31 GMT)

    Randy Foye had 28 points with a career-high eight 3-pointers and the Los Angeles Clippers won their sixth consecutive game, 94-75 over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night for their longest winning streak in two decades.

  • [New York Times] Grizzlies Win 94-88 to Snap Thunder’s Streak at 6 (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 02:54:28 GMT)

    O.J. Mayo scored 22 points, including a key 3-pointer with 17 seconds left, and the Memphis Grizzlies prevented Oklahoma City from tying for the NBA’s best record by beating the Thunder 94-88 on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Dragic Scores 21 as Rockets Rally Past Bulls 99-93 (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 03:54:49 GMT)

    Goran Dragic scored 21 points, Luis Scola added 18 points and 12 rebounds, and the Houston Rockets rallied to beat Chicago 99-93 Monday night, giving the Bulls back-to-back losses for the first time this season.

  • [New York Times] Lin Has Surgery, Posts Pictures From Hospital (Tue, 03 Apr 2012 00:21:35 GMT)

    Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has had surgery on his injured left knee, and posted a picture on Twitter of himself recovering in his hospital bed.

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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).

    131 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, Apr 03 2012)”

    1. The first post of Lin on his hospital bed, http://sbn.to/HPNTfM.
      I had the same operation when I was 71, and I recovered in less than a week. But of course I was not an NBA player, just a normal retired professor. We Chinese heal fast.
      I have faith that Lin will be back on the MSG court against the Lakers on the 25th, and start Linsanity 3.0 to save Woodson’s job. :-) :-)
      Cheers!

    2. I would like to raise a point about all the people that say that Nash made D’Antoni. The system worked with Duhon, the system worked with Felton, and the system has worked with Lin. The real problem about D’Antoni system is not that he needs a good PG, it is that requires only one big man in the middle (offensively). So, when you are trying to use together Stoudemire and Chandler in his system…. well, you can’t. You don’t get value offensively from Stoudemire if Chandler is already there… and STAT is a bad player defensively. But it worked when David Lee was alone in the middle, or STAT was alone in the middle; or when Jeffries was with one of them, because JJ won’t contribute offensively anyway, but he is a plus on D.

      D’Antoni couldn’t adapt to have a traditional C and a traditional PF next to him. That has been the biggest problem we had earlier this year, not the PG situation. (If you look at his system, it really is 1 PG, 3 SF, and one PF-C, and it works… but that’s not the team we have)

    3. man, I have a feeling that this Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be an incredible NBA player, he could be Iguodala redux… he was clearly on another level on the court last night, as Davis was too on defense.

      if he develops a 3 pt shot he’ll be an insane player.

    4. @2

      How does Jeffries + STAT/Lee work but not Chandler + STAT/Lee? Is it because of positioning?

    5. Does anyone else see Anthony Davis’ career arc possibly going like Patrick Ewing’s? Ridiculous shot blocker and rebounder in college, not called on to do that much offensively, develops an offensive game in the NBA, perennial All Star? (Although hopefully for Davis’ sake, he gets a supporting cast!)

    6. Well, this year under D’Antoni, Chandler was the one playing the P&R and STAT was creating space on the perimeter. Other years, STAT or D-Lee were the ones in the P&R meanwhile Jeffries hanged around the perimeter more often.

      Maybe Jeffries is a bad jump shooter, but can try from time to time, so he is still able to drag a defender to the outside, meanwhile Chandler can’t do anything resembling that.

    7. Bruno Almeida:
      man, I have a feeling that this Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be an incredible NBA player, he could be Iguodala redux… he was clearly on another level on the court last night, as Davis was too on defense.

      if he develops a 3 pt shot he’ll be an insane player.

      I don’t think Anthony Davis will be the same beast in the NBA that he was in college. He’s too thin, and his frame (really narrow shoulders) suggests that he won’t be able to pack much muscle onto that frame. If he’s too thin, he won’t really be much of a post defender. He also doesn’t have the perimeter skills to play the 3 at the NBA. I don’t much for him outside of another Marcus Camby.

      Kidd Gilchrist, on the other hand, should be really good in the NBA. He has a super high motor, a good skill-set, crashes the offensive glass, is extremely athletic, and is a pretty good defender. The only thing that would keep him from being good, would be his lack of a perimeter shot. His college TS% of .570 does bode well for him.

    8. iserp:
      I would like to raise a point about all the people that say that Nash made D’Antoni. The system worked with Duhon, the system worked with Felton, and the system has worked with Lin. The real problem about D’Antoni system is not that he needs a good PG, it is that requires only one big man in the middle (offensively). So, when you are trying to use together Stoudemire and Chandler in his system…. well, you can’t. You don’t get value offensively from Stoudemire if Chandler is already there… and STAT is a bad player defensively. But it worked when David Lee was alone in the middle, or STAT was alone in the middle; or when Jeffries was with one of them, because JJ won’t contribute offensively anyway, but he is a plus on D.

      D’Antoni couldn’t adapt to have a traditional C and a traditional PF next to him. That has been the biggest problem we had earlier this year, not the PG situation. (If you look at his system, it really is 1 PG, 3 SF, and one PF-C, and it works… but that’s not the team we have)

      The problem wasn’t because of having a true 4 and 5 playing together. The problem was Carmelo’s unwillingness to play within the system. Whether he realized it or not, he was sabotaging the offense by ruining the spacing.

    9. Iserp’s point strikes me as absolutely right — the key to the SSOL offense is providing space for the high pick and roll. Two bigs ruins that. The real key to those Phoenix teams was Marion, who played like a 3 on offense, clearing space for the Nash/Amare pnr, but could d-up and rebound like a 4 (or close to it). And could run the floor.

      Interestingly, I think that Kidd-Gilchrist translates into a very similar player — better as an undersized 4 than a bullyboy 3. If he goes to the Cavs or Wizards or another pg/one big team, we might get a chance to see him play like the old school Marion.

    10. Massive — the best the MDA offense ever looked in new york was with both amare and melo both out, during Linsanity. Not to say that Melo’s refusal to play within the offense wasn’t a problem too, but D’Antoni’s system needs spacing that the amare/chandler pairing didn’t provide…

    11. Also, Massive — isn’t saying someone translates into a Marcus Camby type saying their career will be a success. Not a game changing one, but Camby has had an outstanding career, better than most #1 or #2 picks (better career than say the 1st picks in 89, 90, 91, 94, 95, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 05, 06 and 07 have had or are likely to have.)

    12. massive: The problem wasn’t because of having a true 4 and 5 playing together. The problem was Carmelo’s unwillingness to play within the system. Whether he realized it or not, he was sabotaging the offense by ruining the spacing

      But last year it worked with Melo … and it is not like this year he didn’t try to space. It’s been like this all the time with D’Antoni. What happened when they brought Shaq to Phoenix in the middle of the season?

    13. massive: The problem wasn’t because of having a true 4 and 5 playing together. The problem was Carmelo’s unwillingness to play within the system. Whether he realized it or not, he was sabotaging the offense by ruining the spacing.

      Why do people dislike Melo so much? Notice that this team is easily winning without Stoudemire again (as they were during Linsanity, and who was better Jeffries or Bill Walker?) Why does he not get a ton of hate, even though he was playing far worse than Melo earlier in the season, AND he also dramatically improved his defensive effort after D’Antoni left?

      Iserp was right, in D’Antoni’s system Amar’e and Melo basically became slashers and shooters since there’s only going to be one big guy running the pick and roll with whoever the point guard is, and Chandler couldn’t shoot. Melo, Amar’e, and Chandler don’t fit together in D’Antoni’s offense (Melo didn’t fit at all, but again it’s a coaches responsibility to adapt to his players). The point people miss about D’Antoni is that having a system that requires players to “fit” is a weakness, not a strength. Phil Jackson had absolutely no problem watching Kobe and Jordan “break” the offense to jack up ridiculously difficult shots pretty much whenever they wanted, and his “system” won 11 championships with people like Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher playing the point. That was the beauty of the triangle, it actually made everyone’s scoring easier while still having the flexibility to play people to their strengths. Unless anyone thinks Kobe would have been ok with sitting in a corner waiting for Lin to make a play, D’Antoni’s offense only works out for the point guard, the roll man, and spot up shooters.

    14. david:
      Iserp’s point strikes me as absolutely right — the key to the SSOL offense is providing space for the high pick and roll.Two bigs ruins that.The real key to those Phoenix teams was Marion, who played like a 3 on offense, clearing space for the Nash/Amare pnr, but could d-up and rebound like a 4 (or close to it).And could run the floor.

      Interestingly, I think that Kidd-Gilchrist translates into a very similar player — better as an undersized 4 than a bullyboy 3.If he goes to the Cavs or Wizards or another pg/one big team, we might get a chance to see him play like the old school Marion.

      I can’t find myself in agreement with this. Nash, J-Rich, Grant Hill, STAT, and Robin Lopez were in the WCFs two years ago with two true bigs. They were running D’Antoni’s system, and had the #1 offense in the league that year (115.3 ORtg), with the Hawks as a distant 2nd (111.9 ORtg). The system was not the problem here, and I refuse to believe that. The problem with D’Antoni is that he could not motivate this team, not that the system didn’t work.

    15. david:
      Iserp’s point strikes me as absolutely right — the key to the SSOL offense is providing space for the high pick and roll.Two bigs ruins that.The real key to those Phoenix teams was Marion, who played like a 3 on offense, clearing space for the Nash/Amare pnr, but could d-up and rebound like a 4 (or close to it).And could run the floor.

      Interestingly, I think that Kidd-Gilchrist translates into a very similar player — better as an undersized 4 than a bullyboy 3.If he goes to the Cavs or Wizards or another pg/one big team, we might get a chance to see him play like the old school Marion.

      I actually like Kidd-Gilchrist better than Davis, a ceiling above players like Marion and Gerald Wallace is easily reachable if he develops a consistent jumper, and he already seems like he has a great attitude. Davis seems to me more like a super sized Jared Jeffries than anything, he’s a lot skinnier than Camby was/is and has pretty much no offensive game. He’s a hard working kid and might be a pretty nice player because of his shot blocking, I just don’t know if he’s a franchise changer

    16. We Chinese heal fast.

      Your lips to God’s ears. It’d be awesome to have Lin back for the playoffs (yes, Jim Mora, I am talking playoffs!).

    17. massive: I can’t find myself in agreement with this. Nash, J-Rich, Grant Hill, STAT, and Robin Lopez were in the WCFs two years ago with two true bigs. They were running D’Antoni’s system, and had the #1 offense in the league that year (115.3 ORtg), with the Hawks as a distant 2nd (111.9 ORtg). The system was not the problem here, and I refuse to believe that. The problem with D’Antoni is that he could not motivate this team, not that the system didn’t work.

      Robin Lopez didn’t play in the playoffs until the WCF. They were starting Frye, who was a 3 point threat. Lopez also has far more range than Chandler, he can actually take jump shots and space the floor. Also…. that wasn’t D’Antoni, Alvin Gentry was willing to do things like be flexible and play a deep bench.

    18. Juany8: Why do people dislike Melo so much?

      I don’t hate Melo, Melo is actually one of my favorite basketball players in the league. However, it was clear that he was at odds with D’Antoni and didn’t want to run his system. He’s been playing in a very similar under a different coach, and the offense hasn’t been compromised since. The system wasn’t the problem, it was D’Antoni not having the support of his players.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/sports/basketball/anthonys-return-has-hurt-the-knicks.html

    19. Juany8: Robin Lopez didn’t play in the playoffs until the WCF. They were starting Frye, who was a 3 point threat. Lopez also has far more range than Chandler, he can actually take jump shots and space the floor. Also…. that wasn’t D’Antoni, Alvin Gentry was willing to do things like be flexible and play a deep bench.

      Robin Lopez played 67 out of 82 games that season, and they were still the #1 offense in the league. D’Antoni was playing the bench 10 deep this year, and the Knicks were having success on offense with Jeffries and Chandler in the middle, and both guys have about 7 feet of consistent scoring range between the two. I would argue that spacing from the 2 and 3 spots is more important than the spacing at the 4 or 5 spot in this offense. Remember, Melo and Fields are our starting wing players, and neither are consistent scoring threats from beyond the arc (when they were both very good last season as Knicks). I don’t believe the problem was the offense or anybody fitting, but it was that D’Antoni couldn’t get them to buy in.

    20. Juany8: Why do people dislike Melo so much? Notice that this team is easily winning without Stoudemire again (as they were during Linsanity, and who was better Jeffries or Bill Walker?) Why does he not get a ton of hate, even though he was playing far worse than Melo earlier in the season, AND he also dramatically improved his defensive effort after D’Antoni left?

      Iserp was right, in D’Antoni’s system Amar’e and Melo basically became slashers and shooters since there’s only going to be one big guy running the pick and roll with whoever the point guard is, and Chandler couldn’t shoot. Melo, Amar’e, and Chandler don’t fit together in D’Antoni’s offense (Melo didn’t fit at all, but again it’s a coaches responsibility to adapt to his players). The point people miss about D’Antoni is that having a system that requires players to “fit” is a weakness, not a strength. Phil Jackson had absolutely no problem watching Kobe and Jordan “break” the offense to jack up ridiculously difficult shots pretty much whenever they wanted, and his “system” won 11 championships with people like Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher playing the point. That was the beauty of the triangle, it actually made everyone’s scoring easier while still having the flexibility to play people to their strengths. Unless anyone thinks Kobe would have been ok with sitting in a corner waiting for Lin to make a play, D’Antoni’s offense only works out for the point guard, the roll man, and spot up shooters.

      Jackson’s system would not work, either, if one of the points of the triangles decided he wanted to be somewhere else on the court and went to Point B when his teammates were expecting/depending on him to be in point A. It’s not about players fitting the system, it’s about them running it. Melo refused to run it. That is part of the answer to your first question.

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

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

      The Knicks have played the easiest schedule in the NBA. Adjusting their points per possession for that fact suggests they are not a top 5 defense. And frankly, I don’t think their efficiency differential is reliable either at this point.

      Their best defensive stretch was without Melo. Chandler, by reputation the 2nd best defensive center in the NBA, joined the team this year. So did Shumpert, considered at least on this board to be one of the best on ball defenders in the NBA. And Melo has made no discernible statistical impact on defense.

      That would be my response to the Carmelo defensive renaissance argument

      As for harping and grinding, no need for it. As long as you concede that Melo is grossly overpaid on a max contract and is basically a slightly above average NBA rotation player we will have no disagreements. It would help if you could also frequently mention that by his own admission he withheld maximum effort this year, potentially costing us a playoff spot. Also, if you could stop making preposterous claims, e.g. Melo is a top 5 wing defender, a more efficient scorer than James Harden the rest of the way, etc that would be awesome.

      Look, I understand you want to turn Knickerblogger into an extension of the Carmelo Hype Machine, and that’s cool. Just be aware, some of us statistically inclined folks are going to persist in being killjoys until Carmelo actually turns into the superstar you imagine him being….

    22. The problem with D’Antoni’s system (this year) was it brought too much attention to two unpopular facts:

      1) Carmelo Anthony is a bad shooter.

      2) Tyson Chandler runs the PnR better than Amar’e.

      The system actually did what it was supposed to do/what it always did: it found the best players to run it, and produced tremendous benefit to their production. When it turned out not to be the guys we were paying the most money to, that’s when the problems began.

    23. This is not about the Knicks….so I won’t go on too much. But seriously, Anthony Davis is one of the best prospects to come out of college in a long, long time. The fact that he’s playing at this level having gone through an 8 inch growth spurt in just over a few years is insane. The guy almost averaged about 5 blocks a game as a freshman, Jeffries averaged about 1 block a game at Indiana and shot 45% from the field. Davis, as a freshman shoots 62%. At worst, he’ll be a monster on the defensive end ala Tyson Chandler. He has the athleticism and fluidity to develop a few good post moves down low and already has a competent hook shot. This guy will be a beast!

      Juany8: I actually like Kidd-Gilchrist better than Davis, a ceiling above players like Marion and Gerald Wallace is easily reachable if he develops a consistent jumper, and he already seems like he has a great attitude. Davis seems to me more like a super sized Jared Jeffries than anything, he’s a lot skinnier than Camby was/is and has pretty much no offensive game. He’s a hard working kid and might be a pretty nice player because of his shot blocking, I just don’t know if he’s a franchise changer

    24. The problems began when we started losing to the likes of the Bobcats and other NBA bottom-dwellers

      New Guy:
      The problem with D’Antoni’s system (this year) was it brought too much attention to two unpopular facts:

      1) Carmelo Anthony is a bad shooter.

      2) Tyson Chandler runs the PnR better than Amar’e.

      The system actually did what it was supposed to do/what it always did: it found the best players to run it, and produced tremendous benefit to their production.When it turned out not to be the guys we were paying the most money to, that’s when the problems began.

    25. Damning indeed. It always seems like ESPNNY is always behind what’s being discussed on this board by at least a week if not more. Another thing I noticed is that when defenders go at him, it’s like their eyes get bigger and their confidence increases (similar to Novak) versus a player like Shump that makes them really uncomfortable. He’s going to need to fight that much harder to get the target off his back on the defensive end. Offensively, I don’t know what to say. He can’t shoot and when he does drive he gets fouled, but he can’t shoot FTs. If he was a decent FT shooter, his slashing game would be fine, but alas he’s not.

      Frank:
      Wow – this is a great article from ESPN-NY about Landry Fields’s decline and also how bad his defense is.These are pretty damning numbers.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/15827/opening-tip-whats-happened-to-fields

    26. Owen:

      The Knicks have played the easiest schedule in the NBA.Adjusting their points per possession for that fact suggests they are not a top 5 defense. And frankly, I don’t think their efficiency differential is reliable either at this point.

      Their best defensive stretch was without Melo.Chandler, by reputation the 2nd best defensive center in the NBA, joined the team this year. So did Shumpert, considered at least on this board to be one of the best on ball defenders in the NBA. And Melo has made no discernible statistical impact on defense.

      That would be my response to the Carmelo defensive renaissance argument.

      To be fair Owen- you call yourself one of “us statistically inclined folks” yet you provide no statistics of your own to back up your claim. If we’re not a top 5 defense based on strength of schedule, then what are we? 6? 7? 24? I would actually argue the opposite. We were BARELY a top 10 D during the easiest part of our schedule, and have been climbing the rankings as our SOS has increased. So maybe over the last 1/3 of a season we’re actually a top 3 D.

      And FWIW- our best defensive stretch has happened under Woodson, which has also been all with Melo. Which best defensive stretch were you talking about?

      Defensively – Melo is -no joke- the BEST post-up defender in the entire league. Synergy says he gives up 0.39 PPP (on a small sample size of 36 possessions) on post-ups. Players have shot 3/20 against him in the post. By comparison, LBJ gives up 0.95 PPP in the post with players shooting 9/15 against him. Melo is just outside the top 50 in iso defense as well (0.65 PPP). Overall synergy ranks him 70th out of 400-some players. Synergy doesn’t account for team D, but since Woodson has come on, we are literally the best D in the NBA despite the SOS of our last 25% being 0.528. So Melo’s team D can’t be that bad.

    27. Owen

      Some of us actually appreciate what Ruru does here. Regardless of whether or not we agree with everything he says, it’s nice to hear other opinions on the teams players. It isn’t as if he has no support for his claims. The idea that you elite “statistically inclined” folk hold all the knowledge and those who voice support of Melo don’t get advanced statistics is ignorant. There is more than one way to look at the stats. Ruru and others don’t use the same lens you do. It doesn’t mean advanced stats are foreign or that we don’t understand them.

    28. Owen: Look, I understand you want to turn Knickerblogger into an extension of the Carmelo Hype Machine, and that’s cool. Just be aware, some of us statistically inclined folks are going to persist in being killjoys until Carmelo actually turns into the superstar you imagine him being….

      To continue — I think it is fair to say that ruruland maybe overhypes Melo. But I think it’s also fair to say that you have some sort of a vendetta against him — the bizarro ruruland if you will. The real truth is somewhere in the middle.

      Look – we have always known that Melo is a good defender when he’s trying. There are all kinds of moral arguments about why he doesn’t try all the time etc. Obviously we all wish he had the defensive motor of Wade/Lebron etc. But right now he IS trying and he’s playing good defense.

    29. Melo has had a poor season I think everyone agrees with that. Having said that, he’s been playing better as of late. In either case, I don’t think Melo will be the x-factor that drives the difference between winning and losing. The difference will be how Novak, JR Smith and Baron Davis play. Looking at win/loss splits these 3 are the players with the widest gaps btw when we win and when we lose. We need these guys to step up if we are going to win. If they don’t, unless Melo turns into Kobe Bryant in his prime overnight, what he does won’t make as much of a difference. If the debate is about the Knicks winning and not just scoring debate points, then we should really be debating the ability of Baron, Novak and JR to play consistently well, and not spend so much time on Melo.

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

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

    30. Frank:
      Wow – this is a great article from ESPN-NY about Landry Fields’s decline and also how bad his defense is.These are pretty damning numbers.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/15827/opening-tip-whats-happened-to-fields

      And yet I “hate” Fields for wanting him benched even though I’ve been saying the same thing the article says for weeks. Defensive stats aren’t exactly perfect of course, but if TS% is good enough to define offensive performance then I don’t see how defensive rating is any worse. Preventing someone from scoring is the equivalent of scoring yourself.

    31. TelegraphedPass:
      Owen

      Some of us actually appreciate what Ruru does here. Regardless of whether or not we agree with everything he says, it’s nice to hear other opinions on the teams players. It isn’t as if he has no support for his claims. The idea that you elite “statistically inclined” folk hold all the knowledge and those who voice support of Melo don’t get advanced statistics is ignorant. There is more than one way to look at the stats. Ruru and others don’t use the same lens you do. It doesn’t mean advanced stats are foreign or that we don’t understand them.

      +1000. It’s pretty funny that the “statistically inclined folk” Owen is referring to are actually the most close minded people when it comes to using stats. Only the numbers they deem important are worth discussing. Also, every scientific field relies heavily on visual observation and on becoming at expert at differentiating important details even when there are no numbers involved. There is literally nothing on earth that can be fully defined from a mathematical perspective, so to pretend anyone has done so with something as complex as basketball is naive at best. Especially when that mathematical formula results in WS lol

    32. johnlocke: Melo has had a poor season I think everyone agrees with that. Having said that, he’s been playing better as of late. In either case, I don’t think Melo will be the x-factor that drives the difference between winning and losing. The difference will be how Novak, JR Smith and Baron Davis play. Looking at win/loss splits these 3 are the players with the widest gaps btw when we win and when we lose. We need these guys to step up if we are going to win. If they don’t, unless Melo turns into Kobe Bryant in his prime overnight, what he does won’t make as much of a difference. If the debate is about the Knicks winning and not just scoring debate points, then we should really be debating the ability of Baron, Novak and JR to play consistently well, and not spend so much time on Melo.

      Re: Kobe in his prime

      His most efficient shooting year was the ’06-’07 season:

      .580 TS%, .502 eFG%, 8.2 TR%, 25.5 AST%, 1.8 STL%, .9 BLK%, 10.9 TOV%, 33.6% Usage Rate

      Melo last season in New York:

      .575 TS%, .510 eFG%, 10.6 TR%, 15.3 AST%, 1.7 STL%, 1 BLK%, 9.4 TOV%, 31% Usage Rate

      He has displayed the ability to play at Kobe’s level offensively before. Defensively, several people have made the point already that he is not so much of a sieve to destroy a team, and that he may actually be a good defender in certain situations. I don’t think the idea that you can’t win a title starting Melo is accurate.

    33. And yet I “hate” Fields for wanting him benched even though I’ve been saying the same thing the article says for weeks. Defensive stats aren’t exactly perfect of course, but if TS% is good enough to define offensive performance then I don’t see how defensive rating is any worse. Preventing someone from scoring is the equivalent of scoring yourself.

      You just completely dismissed defensive rating as a stat, like, two days ago.

    34. TelegraphedPass: Re: Kobe in his prime

      His most efficient shooting year was the ’06-’07 season:

      .580 TS%, .502 eFG%, 8.2 TR%, 25.5 AST%, 1.8 STL%, .9 BLK%, 10.9 TOV%, 33.6% Usage Rate

      Melo last season in New York:

      .575 TS%, .510 eFG%, 10.6 TR%, 15.3 AST%, 1.7 STL%, 1 BLK%, 9.4 TOV%, 31% Usage Rate

      He has displayed the ability to play at Kobe’s level offensively before. Defensively, several people have made the point already that he is not so much of a sieve to destroy a team, and that he may actually be a good defender in certain situations. I don’t think the idea that you can’t win a title starting Melo is accurate.

      Melo is also much bigger than Kobe and can therefore defend power forwards on some switches, which shouldn’t be totally ignored. Defense isn’t rated on a curve, in general bigger players just have much more of an impact than smaller players. It’s really not ridiculous to see Melo at a Paul Pierce level overall unless you personally know him well enough to know he is incapable of making mental adjustments. Since I’m pretty sure most people on this board don’t know Melo personally, it’s kind of weird to see them making definitive statements about the man’s character.

    35. Brian Cronin: You just completely dismissed defensive rating as a stat, like, two days ago.

      I also dismiss TS%. I just find it strange that some people believe in TS% but not defensive rating. Any stat that ranks Melo as a better defender than Lebron is questionable though, and I think Melo is a pretty good defender.

    36. ruruland: [If] Amar’e and Melo get back to what they’re capable of doing…

      Just wondering, has there ever been a player who showed significant statistical decline from ages 28-29, only to revert to mid-20s form in their 30s? (that’s areal question, not a sarcastic one– I can’t imagine it happens very often, and I’m curious to know if there is any precedent for Amar’e to do that (and no, Amar’e did not set his own precedent by having a few good games in a row before breaking down:)

    37. massive: The problem wasn’t because of having a true 4 and 5 playing together. The problem was Carmelo’s unwillingness to play within the system. Whether he realized it or not, he was sabotaging the offense by ruining the spacing.

      Ruining the spacing? Uh, no. The problem was that for about 1/3 of the season, the part in which we played the worst basketball, D’Antoni insisted on having him play “point forward,” a bad idea with predictably bad results. Hey, let’s have our chunky 6’8″ scoring wing try to play point guard and then get all pissed at him when he’s not good at it, then blame him for “ball-stopping” and “ruining the spacing.”

    38. I also dismiss TS%. I just find it strange that some people believe in TS% but not defensive rating. Any stat that ranks Melo as a better defender than Lebron is questionable though, and I think Melo is a pretty good defender.

      But there’s no syllogism between accepting TS% and accepting defensive rating. You can dismiss both. So it seemed odd to see you accept defensive rating today.

    39. If you are comparing Kobe in his prime to Melo by looking at TS% and pointing out that Melo “isn’t a sieve on defense”, I’m not really sure where to start….sorry. In either case, you commented on the one the sentence that had the least to do with my overall point

      TelegraphedPass: Re: Kobe in his prime

      His most efficient shooting year was the ’06-’07 season:

      .580 TS%, .502 eFG%, 8.2 TR%, 25.5 AST%, 1.8 STL%, .9 BLK%, 10.9 TOV%, 33.6% Usage Rate

      Melo last season in New York:

      .575 TS%, .510 eFG%, 10.6 TR%, 15.3 AST%, 1.7 STL%, 1 BLK%, 9.4 TOV%, 31% Usage Rate

      He has displayed the ability to play at Kobe’s level offensively before. Defensively, several people have made the point already that he is not so much of a sieve to destroy a team, and that he may actually be a good defender in certain situations. I don’t think the idea that you can’t win a title starting Melo is accurate.

    40. TelegraphedPass: Re: Kobe in his prime

      His most efficient shooting year was the ’06-’07 season:

      .580 TS%, .502 eFG%, 8.2 TR%, 25.5 AST%, 1.8 STL%, .9 BLK%, 10.9 TOV%, 33.6% Usage Rate

      Melo last season in New York:

      .575 TS%, .510 eFG%, 10.6 TR%, 15.3 AST%, 1.7 STL%, 1 BLK%, 9.4 TOV%, 31% Usage Rate

      He has displayed the ability to play at Kobe’s level offensively before. Defensively, several people have made the point already that he is not so much of a sieve to destroy a team, and that he may actually be a good defender in certain situations. I don’t think the idea that you can’t win a title starting Melo is accurate.

      You just took a 27 game snippet (one which was an outlier in a larger pool of data, no less) and compared it to an 82 game performance (one which is consistent year over year) in order to force the conclusion that Melo and Kobe are comparable offensively.

      And 10 posts prior you complained that the Melo supporters don’t get enough credit for being statistically inclined.

    41. johnlocke: If you are comparing Kobe in his prime to Melo by looking at TS% and pointing out that Melo “isn’t a sieve on defense”, I’m not really sure where to start….sorry. In either case, you commented on the one the sentence that had the least to do with my overall point

      It wasn’t a direct message to you. It was an opinion I wanted to share with the entire board. I begun by stating exactly what I was responding to.

      I posted several stats, not just TS%. Like juany8, I take issue with using TS% as the barometer of offensive skill. I used it as a point of reference, unless somebody believes Kobe had a more efficient year to use as example?

      I’m not certain why you are seemingly unwilling to believe Melo can perform at a similar level as Kobe Bryant.

    42. New Guy: You just took a 27 game snippet (one which was an outlier in a larger pool of data, no less) and compared it to an 82 game performance (one which is consistent year over year) in order to force the conclusion that Melo and Kobe are comparable offensively.And 10 posts prior you complained that the Melo supporters don’t get enough credit for being statistically inclined.

      I used that sample because it was the most recent one prior to this year. Players evolve over time. It isn’t as if Melo is expected to regress to 2004. If he does revert to his better performances, I’d expect it to somewhat resemble his most recent postings.

      Would you rather I use Denver ’07-’08? It was closer to a full season and his performance was similar.

    43. Kobe ’06-’07 (77 GP): .580 TS%, .502 eFG%, 8.2 TR%, 25.5 AST%, 1.8 STL%, .9 BLK%, 10.9 TOV%, 33.6% Usage Rate

      Melo ’07-’08 (77 GP): .568 TS%, .511 eFG%, 11 TR%, 16.1 AST%, 1.7 STL%, 1 BLK%, 12.7 TOV%, 30.2% Usage Rate

      So Melo has performed at a similar level more than just his stretch in NY last year. At least statistically.

    44. Brian Cronin: But there’s no syllogism between accepting TS% and accepting defensive rating. You can dismiss both. So it seemed odd to see you accept defensive rating today.

      Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear earlier, I don’t buy into defensive rating or TS% as comprehensive measures of a player’s value/efficiency on that end. Most people who happened to be arguing in favor of Fields, however, seemed to be doing so mainly on the basis that his TS% was higher than JR and Shumpert’s, and they glossed over any defensive deficiencies mostly because there were no numbers to talk about. Now that there are some defensive numbers, to me it would follow logically that anyone who defended Fields’ because of his TS% should be appalled by his defensive rating. I didn’t need a defensive rating to see that he is terrible at keeping up with players off the ball and around screens, which is a huge problem since that’s what most shooting guards in the league tend to do.

    45. TelegraphedPass: It wasn’t a direct message to you. It was an opinion I wanted to share with the entire board. I begun by stating exactly what I was responding to.

      I posted several stats, not just TS%. Like juany8, I take issue with using TS% as the barometer of offensive skill. I used it as a point of reference, unless somebody believes Kobe had a more efficient year to use as example?

      I’m not certain why you are seemingly unwilling to believe Melo can perform at a similar level as Kobe Bryant.

      To be fair, Kobe has a level of passing that’s up there with anyone in the league (I know people won’t agree with this but I personally think he’s a better, if less willing, passer than Lebron). Melo is a pretty good playmaker, but the level of offensive genius a team led by Kobe could reach is a little outside of Melo’s capacity so far. Pierce is a much more realistic and attainable goal, and there is no question a team can wing a championship with a Paul Pierce level player as the offensive centerpiece, especially since Chandler takes care of the defense.

    46. “To be fair Owen- you call yourself one of “us statistically inclined folks” yet you provide no statistics of your own to back up your claim. If we’re not a top 5 defense based on strength of schedule, then what are we? 6? 7? 24? I would actually argue the opposite. We were BARELY a top 10 D during the easiest part of our schedule, and have been climbing the rankings as our SOS has increased.”

      I am not sure exactly how to use our league worst .93 points below average SOS number to adjust our defensive rating. Not sure what the scale is there. Do you think it’s unreasonable to suggest that facing the worst slate of opponent’s in the league might make our defensive rating a little deceptive at this point?

      I’d also be curious to see what our numbers looked like if you threw out our best win and worst loss. I think our 42 point victory against the Blazers on the second night of a back to back is messing with the numbers a little bit.

      “Look – we have always known that Melo is a good defender when he’s trying.”

      Scratching my head at that comment. So, you are saying he doesn’t always try? And this is a max contract superstar we banked our future on?

    47. By the way, my issue with TS% emerges. TS% measures a players efficiency at converting field goals, free throws, and 3s. eFG% measures a players efficiency on field goals if 3s are weighted for their extra value.

      So if Melo’s posting a better eFG% in my most recent comps to the Bean but a lower TS%, the fall must primarily come from his FT%. Except FTs attempted have more value than just conversion! They usually come as a result of drawing fouls. Melo has historically attempted more FTs per game than Kobe, but unfortunately converted them at a lower rate. Does that damn his skill on offense? Kobe is just a comp here because others brought him up and he has won 5 titles.

    48. Z: Just wondering, has there ever been a player who showed significant statistical decline from ages 28-29, only to revert to mid-20s form in their 30s? (that’s areal question, not a sarcastic one– I can’t imagine it happens very often, and I’m curious to know if there is any precedent for Amar’e to do that (and no, Amar’e did not set his own precedent by having a few good games in a row before breaking down:)

      This seems too simple. When did Amar’e show this significant statistical decline? This year? Surely the factors we’ve all bounced around are worthy factors: lockout, no PG at all for weeks, brother’s death, and even coaching change. The back injury is worrying, of course, but Amar’e’s bursts just before the injury ARE valid markers that there has been little decline in his case. I’m not making excuses for Amar’e, and I am concerned about his progress. It just seems wildly unfair to argue that he needs to revert to his mid-20’s form. He needs to return to LAST YEAR’s form.

    49. Frank:
      Wow – this is a great article from ESPN-NY about Landry Fields’s decline and also how bad his defense is.These are pretty damning numbers.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/15827/opening-tip-whats-happened-to-fields

      Great article. Landry has become a head case. Personally, I believe all the changes have messed up hs head.
      I agree with the way Woodson is handling him. In a playoff push there is little time for coddling. You also can’t give up on the kid.

      I’m exhausted by the Melo-drama. I think the site has been invaded to a degree by Melo-boosters.
      I like Melo. He’s ours for better or worse. But I side with Owen that he’s over-paid and not yet an elite player. I believe he could be, but he doesn’t appear to have the mental make up to be one. The greats come prepared. The greats don’t, by their own admission, under perform intentionally. Melo’s behavior, again not my contention, but by his own admission, has jeopardized the playoffs.

      There is a reason Amare is widely admired. He came to New York when no one else would. When they needed him to be dominant, he was dominant. He’s not a good defender. But when healthy, his is one of th emost formidable PFs in basketball. He was shaping into form recently, and his play was elevated again. The back issues are too bad.
      But he’s a guy that lifts others, and I admire him for that.
      Melo could learn a lot from watching Amare, IMHO.

    50. My point on my post, which I took down, is that Kobe hasn’t been a very efficient scorer historically. That’s not his strong suit. He excels in every other aspect of the game though. And he has been a much better player at pretty much all phases of his career than Melo has ever been. I am not a fan of Kobe’s but I would be happy if Carmelo could put up that kind of production…

    51. Davis actually has a pretty decent offensive game for a 6-10 college freshman who was just 6-3 two years ago. He’s got a nice jumper (didn’t really display that in the National Championship), a solid jump hook in the post and he can catch anything thrown at him around the rim. Also, he might look skinny, but so did Kevin Durant coming out of college, and that didn’t stop him from turning into the guy he is now. On defense he’s the perfect combination of smart and athletic. He rarely bites on pump-fakes, and he lets his opponent release the ball before he goes up and throws it into the fifth row of seats. I just can’t see not taking him with the number one pick.

      I love Kidd-Gilchrist, too. I think he could turn into a perennial all star and I would think long and hard about drafting anyone other than Davis ahead of him.

    52. Kikuchiyo: This seems too simple. When did Amar’e show this significant statistical decline? This year? Surely the factors we’ve all bounced around are worthy factors: lockout, no PG at all for weeks, brother’s death, and even coaching change. The back injury is worrying, of course, but Amar’e’s bursts just before the injury ARE valid markers that there has been little decline in his case. I’m not making excuses for Amar’e, and I am concerned about his progress. It just seems wildly unfair to argue that he needs to revert to his mid-20?s form. He needs to return to LAST YEAR’s form.

      Actually last year’s form was his normal form, the only difference is that Amar’e was asked to be a bigger part of the offense and had to start ISOing and taking jumpers farther from the basket. His percentages from different sections of the floor didn’t change much, but when any player starts taking a higher ratio of jumpers to layups, no matter how good he is at those jumpers, their total efficiency will drop. I don’t think it’s fair to fault Amar’e for filling the role his coach asked him to fill so his lower TS% wasn’t a result of diminished skill, just a different role on offense.

    53. Owen: My point on my post, which I took down, is that Kobe hasn’t been a very efficient scorer historically. That’s not his strong suit. He excels in every other aspect of the game though. And has been a much better player at pretty much all phases of his career than Melo has ever been.

      See, that’s where I disagree. I agree that Kobe hasn’t been very efficient. But he was efficient enough to win 5 titles. He played on great teams, obviously, but his TS% didn’t knock his teams out of contention. Melo’s shouldn’t either.

      And as I said, I don’t think TS% is the determining factor of a player’s efficiency on offense.

      I also disagree that Kobe has been much better for his career, for similar reasons.

    54. TelegraphedPass:

      Would you rather I use Denver ’07-’08? It was closer to a full season and his performance was similar.

      I would rather Melo supporters make their case without twisting statistics to try to make it look like Carmelo Anthony today is as good as Kobe Bryant in his prime.

    55. Gamecockerbocker:
      Davis actually has a pretty decent offensive game for a 6-10 collegefreshman who was just 6-3 two years ago. He’s got a nice jumper (didn’t really display that in the National Championship), a solid jump hook in the post and he can catch anything thrown at him around the rim. Also, he might look skinny, but so did Kevin Durant coming out of college, and that didn’t stop him from turning into the guy he is now. On defense he’s the perfect combination of smart and athletic. He rarely bites on pump-fakes, and he lets his opponent release the ball before he goes up and throws it into the fifth row of seats. I just can’t see not taking him with the number one pick.

      I love Kidd-Gilchrist, too. I think he could turn into a perennial all star and I would think long and hard about drafting anyone other than Davis ahead of him.

      Kevin Durant is expected to be a shooter though, he didn’t really need to be that strong. Unless Davis can shoot, will he be able to post people up when he’s that skinny? Will he be able to guard people like Bynum and Dwight Howard at all? He did grow recently and has plenty of room to improve, but at some point I don’t know if I’d want to take a number 1 pick who is a project from both a physical and skill point of view. I have no doubt he’ll be a pretty good player, but I think Camby might be his ceiling right now and I’m not sure I’d call Camby a franchise changer.

    56. New Guy: I would rather Melo supporters make their case without twisting statistics to try to make it look like Carmelo Anthony today is as good as Kobe Bryant in his prime.

      I don’t consider myself a “Melo supporter” and I think that rhetoric is divisive. I’m just a Knicks fan who disagrees that Melo is quite as terrible as others make him out to be. I feel sometimes that my thinking isn’t respected by certain posters because of that opinion. I do use box scores and advanced stats. I watch every game I can. I never thought Melo was a top 5 player in the league, but I also never thought he needed to be.

      I don’t see how I’m twisting statistics. I’m trying to comply with other poster’s opinions. Someone said the sample size was too small, so I found a larger one. It’s simple as that. I’m not paid to do this and I have no ulterior motive. I’m just not going to join the dogpile.

    57. New Guy: I would rather Melo supporters make their case without twisting statistics to try to make it look like Carmelo Anthony today is as good as Kobe Bryant in his prime.

      Comparing one of Melo’s seasons to Kobe’s best season is “twisting statistics”. TelegraphedPass isn’t even making the point that Melo’s statistics make him as good as Kobe, if I understand correctly he values the fact that Melo is capable of consistently drawing double teams and of scoring against any kind of defense. He’s just putting up the statistics to show that Melo isn’t that far off from Kobe from that perspective, which makes it ridiculous to say that there is statistical evidence that you can’t win with Melo making about $5 million less than Kobe.

    58. Gamecockerbocker:
      Davis actually has a pretty decent offensive game for a 6-10 collegefreshman who was just 6-3 two years ago. He’s got a nice jumper (didn’t really display that in the National Championship), a solid jump hook in the post and he can catch anything thrown at him around the rim. Also, he might look skinny, but so did Kevin Durant coming out of college, and that didn’t stop him from turning into the guy he is now. On defense he’s the perfect combination of smart and athletic. He rarely bites on pump-fakes, and he lets his opponent release the ball before he goes up and throws it into the fifth row of seats. I just can’t see not taking him with the number one pick.

      I love Kidd-Gilchrist, too. I think he could turn into a perennial all star and I would think long and hard about drafting anyone other than Davis ahead of him.

      yeah, Kidd-Gilchrist will be a beast, he’s not going to be the #1 overall because Davis physical abilities are way too out of this world for him not to be the #1.

      I wouldn’t mind at all getting the number 2 pick on this particular draft, elite defenders who have shown the ability to score efficiently are a very, very rare commodity.

    59. Bruno Almeida: yeah, Kidd-Gilchrist will be a beast, he’s not going to be the #1 overall because Davis physical abilities are way too out of this world for him not to be the #1.

      I wouldn’t mind at all getting the number 2 pick on this particular draft, elite defenders who have shown the ability to score efficiently are a very, very rare commodity.

      I haven’t watched him much, but what about Andre Drummond? His physical abilities are absurd too, is he a possibility? I still think Kidd-Gilchrist will be the best player in this draft, but he really isn’t someone you take number 1 when there are skilled 7 footers available.

    60. Juany8: Kevin Durant is expected to be a shooter though, he didn’t really need to be that strong. Unless Davis can shoot, will he be able to post people up when he’s that skinny? Will he be able to guard people like Bynum and Dwight Howard at all? He did grow recently and has plenty of room to improve, but at some point I don’t know if I’d want to take a number 1 pick who is a project from both a physical and skill point of view. I have no doubt he’ll be a pretty good player, but I think Camby might be his ceiling right now and I’m not sure I’d call Camby a franchise changer.

      I still think Davis can become a franchise player. I made the comparison to Ewing earlier, which I know is a stretch, but Patrick coming out of college was a little on the slender side and really didn’t have much of an offensive repertoire. And we know how he developed. And who currently in the NBA is able to guard Howard and Bynum? Sure, they’ll be able to push Davis around a little, but he’s incredibly quick for a guy his size, and will get his on the offensive end as well. I just think the sky is the limit for this kid.

    61. “See, that’s where I disagree. I agree that Kobe hasn’t been very efficient. But he was efficient enough to win 5 titles. He played on great teams, obviously, but his TS% didn’t knock his teams out of contention. Melo’s shouldn’t either.

      And as I said, I don’t think TS% is the determining factor of a player’s efficiency on offense.

      I also disagree that Kobe has been much better for his career, for similar reasons.”:

      I don’t think TS% is the be all and end all. But it’s a pretty important tool for evaluating a guy who takes more shots than anyone else on the team.

      And I hate to defend Kobe. I have made the point that he somehow is mentioned as a top 5 all time player despite grading out as the second best player on his own team by WS/48 for almost every year of his career. But Melo can’t even sniff Kobe’s jockstrap at this piont.

      Things may change on that front but I doubt it. Paul Pierce is still Melo’s ceiling….

    62. Juany8: I haven’t watched him much, but what about Andre Drummond? His physical abilities are absurd too, is he a possibility? I still think Kidd-Gilchrist will be the best player in this draft, but he really isn’t someone you take number 1 when there are skilled 7 footers available.

      I’m not completely sold on Drummond, but his physical tools are insane. He’s an. ATROCIOUS. free throw shooter which worries me and his motor isn’t quite as high as you’d like for a player with his gifts, but he looks to be some sort of blend of Amar’e Stoudemire and Dwight Howard. Not that he’ll be a blend of their best abilities, but he has similar potential. His defensive potential is seemingly limitless. He guards ferociously without fouling a ton. And he’s a target for lobs. Post game is decent, considering his youth, but far from polished. There is upside there, though.

      He’s huge with soft hands. I expect him to flourish if he’s drafted by a team with a good PnR point guard. Needs to fix that free throw issue though.

    63. Kikuchiyo: This seems too simple. When did Amar’e show this significant statistical decline? This year?…It just seems wildly unfair to argue that he needs to revert to his mid-20?s form. He needs to return to LAST YEAR’s form.

      Amar’e has never been a good defensive player, or a good rebounder, or a good passer, or a good ball handler. The only thing he has ever been great at is efficient scoring. Last season his efficiency was down considerably from his Phoenix days, and this season it is down even more. That represents a significant statistical decline. over a 100+ game period. If Amar’e reverts back to his 28 year-old season, that would be good, I suppose, but not exactly the player that we bought out of Phoenix.

      (But the question I was asking, is, once a player begins a statistical drop off in their late twenties, is there a precedent that that player reverts back to the producer he was pre-decline? (I’m not saying it can’t happen…. I’m just wondering if it ever has.))

    64. Juany8: I haven’t watched him much, but what about Andre Drummond? His physical abilities are absurd too, is he a possibility? I still think Kidd-Gilchrist will be the best player in this draft, but he really isn’t someone you take number 1 when there are skilled 7 footers available.

      I understand the qualms about Davis as I agree that he has definite weaknesses that he needs to improve, and Drummond does have essentially limitless potential but there is a very real chance that he’s a complete bust. It seems like people look at the first pick differently just because its the first pick and so they feel like you have to get a superstar, so they’d rather pick on upside and ignore probability. Your philosophy shouldn’t change just because its the first pick. You still have to include probability in your assesment. I think Davis’ ceiling is higher than Camby, but part of the reason he’s a slam dunk #1 pick is because his probability is so high.

      In my opinion Davis is as likely to be at least a good NBA player as just about anyone I’ve ever seen come out of college. How good is still up for discussion, and you can argue his ceiling isn’t great, but his floor is extremely high. He could walk into an NBA game tomorrow and his shot blocking and rebounding are going to let him hold his own. His on the ball defense may be somewhat suspect (he’s not currently strong enough), but in today’s NBA how many back to the basket centers are there who are capable of really exploiting that? 2? 3? Ability as a help defender is so much more relevant in 90% of matchups for centers and he’s going to be one of the best help defenders in the NBA immediately. And the amount of development he has shown just this year in his offensive game makes me think he’s going to be at least good, potentially great on that end as well.

    65. @65 I actually see more of a Mark Aguirre comp for Melo to be more accurate. Aguirre’s skill in the post for a SF was phenomenal. Their game looks very similar to me.

      I get what you’re saying as far as Melo not being in Kobe’s league. I disagree, but I see where you’re coming from. I don’t think he needs to be for this team to contend, and that’s more what I’m getting at. He’s somewhere in the vicinity, and that’s what NY needs from him.

    66. Owen:

      I am not sure exactly how to use our league worst .93 points below average SOS number to adjust our defensive rating. Not sure what the scale is there. Do you think it’s unreasonable to suggest that facing the worst slate of opponent’s in the league might make our defensive rating a little deceptive at this point?

      I think you missed my point. We were a top 9 or 10 defense when we were playing an easy schedule. Our defensive ranking has been improving at the same time as our schedule has gotten more difficult – exactly the opposite of what you would expect if our good rating was due to our weak schedule. So our CURRENT defense may even be better than 4th in the league (and of course it is – we’re the #1 defense in the league since Woodson started in a sample size that is not so small anymore in this short season).

      And re: Melo trying or not trying on defense – obviously we want him to try all the time, and obviously a max player SHOULD try all the time. You are attacking a straw man (as usual). But that doesn’t change the fact that he may indeed be having a “defensive renaissance”. Maybe this trying season and the whole ugly situation with MDA is what it has taken to show him that. Or maybe he’ll go right back to trying every 3rd game. Who knows? That’s why we watch. The past does not always predict the future when you have actual people that can change their behavior (did I get that from Minority Report?).

      btw I have a feeling that a lot of players (hopefully including Melo) will on retrospective review have had an “outlier” season this year. This schedule has been crazy. It is likely/possible that some players just require more recovery time to be at their best physically and mentally, and this year has not allowed that.

    67. Juany8: Kevin Durant is expected to be a shooter though, he didn’t really need to be that strong. Unless Davis can shoot, will he be able to post people up when he’s that skinny? Will he be able to guard people like Bynum and Dwight Howard at all? He did grow recently and has plenty of room to improve, but at some point I don’t know if I’d want to take a number 1 pick who is a project from both a physical and skill point of view. I have no doubt he’ll be a pretty good player, but I think Camby might be his ceiling right now and I’m not sure I’d call Camby a franchise changer.

      I know he’s really tall and long, but right now he’s listed on a lot of draft boards as a PF. Which doesn’t really help my case about him being skinny not really mattering, I guess. I’m serious when I say the kid has a nice mid range shot and I’ve read a bunch of KG comparisons… Whether that’s fair or not will take a while to figure out, but a guy as great on defense as he is, who can play competent offense and dribble the ball well enough to bring it up the floor if he has to (he did that a ton against full court presses during the Big Dance) coming straight out of his first year of college… I think he can be a franchise changer… especially for the Bobcats.

    68. RE: Unibrow

      He also seems to have great bball IQ. He knows when to be aggressive and look for his shot and when it isn’t necessary. I loved how quickly he pulled up for that jumper last night when he had the space. There was no indecision there; he had the shot so he took it.

      There’s a lot to like about the kid. His NBA position likely depends on where he’s drafted. I think he has the ability to put on weight and be a productive center if he’s drafted by the Bobcats. BTW a Biyombo+Unibrow frontcourt would have roughly all the blocks.

    69. examples of players who declined in mid/late 20s, recovered (at least somewhat) in late 20s/early 30s: Steve Nash, Zach Randolph, Larry Johnson, Marcus Camby, Elton Brand, Ray Allen, Rasheed Wallace

    70. “I think you missed my point. We were a top 9 or 10 defense when we were playing an easy schedule. Our defensive ranking has been improving at the same time as our schedule has gotten more difficult – exactly the opposite of what you would expect if our good rating was due to our weak schedule. So our CURRENT defense may even be better than 4th in the league (and of course it is – we’re the #1 defense in the league since Woodson started in a sample size that is not so small anymore in this short season).”

      Look, maybe we are the best defensive team in the NBA. It’s possible. I am just skeptical given how soft a schedule we have played. Also, in an 11 game sample, the 28-75 with 23 turnovers the Blazers put up is weighing pretty heavily….

    71. Oh there’s no doubt that Davis will be an absolute force defensively, I’m just wondering if that’s enough to qualify him as a franchise changer. I mean there’s no chance he’s going to be as good as Chandler is he? And just two years ago Chandler was on the Bobcats being swept in the first round by the Magic. Considering Drummond has limitless potential and that Kidd-Gilchrist looks like a lock to be at least as good as someone like Marion, I think there’s at least a solid argument for him not going number 1.

    72. Juany8:
      Oh there’s no doubt that Davis will be an absolute force defensively, I’m just wondering if that’s enough to qualify him as a franchise changer. I mean there’s no chance he’s going to be as good as Chandler is he? And just two years ago Chandler was on the Bobcats being swept in the first round by the Magic. Considering Drummond has limitless potential and that Kidd-Gilchrist looks like a lock to be at least as good as someone like Marion, I think there’s at least a solid argument for him not going number 1.

      An argument can definitely be made, but I just think he’s not that far away from being as good on offense as he is on defense. And when his offense catches up he’ll definitely be a franchise-face type of player. I don’t know if he can be as great as chandler is on defense, but he can definitely be way better offensively.

      But I really do like Gilchrist a ton, and since I live 2 hours away from Charlotte, I wouldn’t mind all that much if the Bobcats got the 2nd pick instead of the first if they take him.

    73. Remember this guy?

      http://www.sportsmemorabiliabaseball.com/my_files/image/00047.JPG

      NBA franchises apparently have begun to employ these new kinds of employees called “strength and conditioning coaches” who apparently know how to teach people to lift, pull, and push things that are really heavy. Apparently, the “stress” put on the neuromuscular system makes the muscles “grow” by “adapting” to increased weights, and the people who do all of this lifting, pulling, and pushing somehow grow larger. Also, they have this other new kind of employees called “nutritionists” who apparently know what kinds of foods these guys should eat (and how much) to make their muscles get all sorts of big.

      Not sure what kind of devil’s play is going on there, but it’s fair to say that Anthony Davis may be compelled by his employer to speak with one or both of these kinds of people, and may grow larger as a result.

    74. TelegraphedPass:
      @53 What is your point on your statement directed at me?

      No. It is more broad. I wrote it not having read all the way to your posts.
      But I’m speaking to the broader Melo debate, which I think should end. Just my opinion. I kind of wish on these more controversial issues we ad a thread to folo

    75. That was specific to that issue. Otherwise these debates begin to drive me away.

    76. Limitless potential with 30% from the free throw line?

      Juany8:
      Oh there’s no doubt that Davis will be an absolute force defensively, I’m just wondering if that’s enough to qualify him as a franchise changer. I mean there’s no chance he’s going to be as good as Chandler is he? And just two years ago Chandler was on the Bobcats being swept in the first round by the Magic. Considering Drummond has limitless potential and that Kidd-Gilchrist looks like a lock to be at least as good as someone like Marion, I think there’s at least a solid argument for him not going number 1.

    77. There is a big difference between saying Melo is not terrible and saying he’s as good as or even close to Kobe in his prime. I think Melo is a very good player in this league, but I think even ruruland would agree that Melo is not in Kobe’s class and definitely not in his prime.

      On the defensive end, in his prime Kobe was a versatile, GREAT lock-down defender and multiple-time All-NBA First Team Defender. He could and still does defend positions 1 – 3. Melo in the prime of his career has been a decent to good but inconsistent defender. His effort over the last 10+ games has been excellent…Kobe performed at that level (including in the playoffs) for multiple seasons.

      Using Hollinger’s PER which is a fairly good assessment of production offensively, comparing Melo to Kobe is not really close.

      Kobe in his prime
      ’05: 28.11
      ’06-’07: 26.13
      ’07-’08: 24.09
      ’08-09: 24.46

      Melo’s best seasons:
      ’05-’06: 22.1
      ’06-’07: 22.2
      ’07-’08: 21.29
      ’08-’09: 19.09
      ’09-’10: 22.29

      The difference between their best seasons is about 6 points. This is huge. To highlight this, excluding Lebron who is in his own stratosphere this season, a PER difference of 6 points, is a ranking difference of about 25 spots/players this season. Looking at the averages, is a less but still substantial difference.

      TelegraphedPass: I don’t consider myself a “Melo supporter” and I think that rhetoric is divisive. I’m just a Knicks fan who disagrees that Melo is quite as terrible as others make him out to be. I feel sometimes that my thinking isn’t respected by certain posters because of that opinion. I do use box scores and advanced stats.

    78. Frank O.: No. It is more broad. I wrote it not having read all the way to your posts.But I’m speaking to the broader Melo debate, which I think should end. Just my opinion. I kind of wish on these more controversial issues we ad a thread to folo

      I was speaking to Owen, who has since taken down his post. It wasn’t directed at you.

    79. That is probably one of the more under-rated parts of his game is his IQ. It’s tremendous for his age, especially when compared to a Drummond. To me Drummond has high upside and also a really low downside, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the 2nd coming of Kwame Brown. If Anthony Davis does not improve (which is quite unlikely) his down-side is a competent NBA starter.

      TelegraphedPass:
      RE: Unibrow

      He also seems to have great bball IQ. He knows when to be aggressive and look for his shot and when it isn’t necessary. I loved how quickly he pulled up for that jumper last night when he had the space. There was no indecision there; he had the shot so he took it.

      There’s a lot to like about the kid. His NBA position likely depends on where he’s drafted. I think he has the ability to put on weight and be a productive center if he’s drafted by the Bobcats. BTW a Biyombo+Unibrow frontcourt would have roughly all the blocks.

    80. @82 Those numbers are disengenuous. The PER numbers are inflated because in ’05 Kobe played 40.7 mpg. In ’06 he played 41 mpg. In ’07 he played 40.8 mpg. In ’08 38.9 mpg. In ’09 36.1.

      Melo never played more than 38.2. He also attempted significantly fewer shots per game in his span.

    81. max fisher-cohen:
      examples of players who declined in mid/late 20s, recovered (at least somewhat) in late 20s/early 30s: Steve Nash, Zach Randolph, Larry Johnson, Marcus Camby, Elton Brand, Ray Allen, Rasheed Wallace

      Thanks! Interesting list. It does offer some hope that Amar’e can be, if not the Phoenix Amar’e, better than he has been for the past 18 months. (I’d say Brand represents the best hope for Amar’e, as he appeared to be washed up with a horrible contract, and he turned productive again.)

      Camby, Randolph, and Wallace were never terribly consistent to begin with, so it’s hard to say they declined then reverted back.

      And Larry Johnson was, frankly, exactly what we don’t want Amar’e to become: hJohnson was highly paid, but was never really all that good. He declined consistently every year and was out of the league by 31. (he was on the Knicks books for $20,000,000 for 2 years after his retirement!)

    82. This is my problem with advanced stats. It seems people are starting to think that they replace the box score as points of reference when discussing a player’s production. There is so much that goes into deciphering a players impact. Simply pulling PER because it’s a solid estimate of a players production and then using it to say “Clearly player A is lightyears ahead!” is wrong in so many ways. Advanced stats are powerful tools, but it does us no good to use them poorly.

    83. Juany8:
      Oh there’s no doubt that Davis will be an absolute force defensively, I’m just wondering if that’s enough to qualify him as a franchise changer. I mean there’s no chance he’s going to be as good as Chandler is he? And just two years ago Chandler was on the Bobcats being swept in the first round by the Magic. Considering Drummond has limitless potential and that Kidd-Gilchrist looks like a lock to be at least as good as someone like Marion, I think there’s at least a solid argument for him not going number 1.

      I think he can be a lot better than Chandler potentially. His offensive game is already more advanced than Chandlers I think and he has taken huge steps forward in that department in just the last 12 months. Remember that due to his huge growth spurt he wasn’t really a post player until the last couple years, so his low post moves have way fewer reps than most comparable prospects. He already flashes very fluid hooks with both hands and a jumper that is much better than Chandlers. He probably won’t be great around the basket initially because of the strength issue but he has very good hands, sick athleticism and he will get bigger (Tyson wasn’t exactly built in his pre-NBA days). Offensively I think he can become a 20-25 ppg guy who is a matchup nightmare, able to step out to 15 ft when teams put true centers on him and able to take anyone smaller than that inside easily. Basically I see his ceiling as Kevin Garnett with even better defense.

    84. Owen:

      Look, maybe we are the best defensive team in the NBA. It’s possible. I am just skeptical given how soft a schedule we have played. Also, in an 11 game sample, the 28-75 with 23 turnovers the Blazers put up is weighing pretty heavily….

      Just for kicks – I calculated the Knicks’ defensive efficiency during the Woodson era both counting and not counting the portland game:

      With Portland game – 949 points given up in 1037 poss = 91.5 pts/100 poss

      Without Portland game – 870 points given up in 939 poss = 92.7 pts/100 poss.

      SOS over that time – combined (current) record of 276-302 (0.477).
      FWIW – the 76ers currently lead the league in defensive efficiency over the whole season with a 94.9.

      So – fair point to Owen – during this Woodson streak, the Knicks have played a relatively easy schedule (mostly thrown off by CLE, DET, TOR games).

    85. All the teams in the East play easy schedules because the bottom 6 teams are so horrible. The Top 6 teams in defensive efficiency are all from the East while only 2 teams (Bulls and Heat) from the East are in the Top 10 in offense.

    86. Ok…..PER strives to measure a player’s per-minute performance, while adjusting for pace.

      So Kobe should be penalized because he can play more minutes and still be productive?

      Look at the PER numbers, including this season where a 33 yr old Kobe is having a better season than Melo. Kobe’s both playing more minutes and taking more shots and shooting more efficiently.

      Finally Kobe’s average PER across his entire career is a full 2 points higher than Melo’s best season. And we haven’t even talked about the other half of the game where it’s really not close. Melo is a good player, a top 20-25 player in this league, but please don’t say he’s as good as one of the ten to fifteen best players of all time without stronger evidence.

      TelegraphedPass:
      @82 Those numbers are disengenuous. The PER numbers are inflated because in ’05 Kobe played 40.7 mpg. In ’06 he played 41 mpg. In ’07 he played 40.8 mpg. In ’08 38.9 mpg. In ’09 36.1.

      Melo never played more than 38.2. He also attempted significantly fewer shots per game in his span.

    87. Should we also disclude the games missed by Chandler, Jeffries and Shumpert and throw out the contests where the Knicks were playing 4 in 5. Can’t believe a self proclaimed “stat guy” is making this argument. Disgusting

      Owen:
      “I think you missed my point. We were a top 9 or 10 defense when we were playing an easy schedule. Our defensive ranking has been improving at the same time as our schedule has gotten more difficult – exactly the opposite of what you would expect if our good rating was due to our weak schedule. So our CURRENT defense may even be better than 4th in the league (and of course it is – we’re the #1 defense in the league since Woodson started in a sample size that is not so small anymore in this short season).”

      Look, maybe we are the best defensive team in the NBA. It’s possible. I am just skeptical given how soft a schedule we have played. Also, in an 11 game sample, the 28-75 with 23 turnovers the Blazers put up is weighing pretty heavily….

    88. Looking at box scores you still can’t prove that Melo is as good as Kobe in his prime…. what evidence do YOU have? Your evidence was largely based on TS% and did not account for the defensive end of the game? You can’t ignore usage when discussing TS %, that’s why PER is more instructive than the stats you threw out. What box score stats are you referring to? PPG, Assts per game, steals per game? Kobe leads in all those stats too..Melo has the edge in rebounds, but he’s a small forward. what’s your point?

      TelegraphedPass:
      This is my problem with advanced stats. It seems people are starting to think that they replace the box score as points of reference when discussing a player’s production. There is so much that goes into deciphering a players impact. Simply pulling PER because it’s a solid estimate of a players production and then using it to say “Clearly player A is lightyears ahead!” is wrong in so many ways. Advanced stats are powerful tools, but it does us no good to use them poorly.

    89. We’re throwing out the 42 point quarter to Indiana, right?

      Frank: Just for kicks – I calculated the Knicks’ defensive efficiency during the Woodson era both counting and not counting the portland game:

      With Portland game – 949 points given up in 1037 poss = 91.5 pts/100 poss

      Without Portland game – 870 points given up in 939 poss = 92.7 pts/100 poss.

      SOS over that time – combined (current) record of 276-302 (0.477).
      FWIW – the 76ers currently lead the league in defensive efficiency over the whole season with a 94.9.

      So – fair point to Owen – during this Woodson streak, the Knicks have played a relatively easy schedule (mostly thrown off by CLE, DET, TOR games).

    90. ruruland:
      Should we also disclude the games missed by Chandler, Jeffries and Shumpert and throw out the contests where the Knicks were playing 4 in 5. Can’t believe a self proclaimed “stat guy” is making this argument. Disgusting

      I was just about to rag on you about hos disclude isn’t a word, but according to Dictionary.com it actually is a word meaning “disclose”. You learn something new every day. Anyway I think you meant exclude.

      I do agree with you that excluding only positive outliers is probably not a good way to go about things, especially without a good reason. If Owen’s point is that our defensive efficiency is propped up by a few outrageously strong games it might be interesting to take the median of our game by game defensive efficiency numbers and compare them to the medians for other teams. Does that data exist?

    91. johnlocke: Ok…..PER strives to measure a player’s per-minute performance, while adjusting for pace. So Kobe should be penalized because he can play more minutes and still be productive? Look at the PER numbers, including this season where a 33 yr old Kobe is having a better season than Melo. Kobe’s both playing more minutes and taking more shots and shooting more efficiently. Finally Kobe’s average PER across his entire career is a full 2 points higher than Melo’s best season. And we haven’t even talked about the other half of the game where it’s really not close. Melo is a good player, a top 20-25 player in this league, but please don’t say he’s as good as one of the ten to fifteen best players of all time without stronger evidence.

      You’re missing my point. I never said he was better today. That much is obvious. Melo is having the worst season of his career in most ways.

      You compared what you determined to be their best years. But you ignored the fact that Kobe played more minutes (don’t say Kobe can play more minutes. The fact is that Kobe did. There is no evidence to suggest Melo was incapable of playing more minutes.) AND took significantly more shots, which inflated his PER. As I said, shooting more efficiently doesn’t equal better offense because it doesn’t take into account the Melo attempted more free throws. So even if he converted them at a lower rate, thus reducing his TS%, he still had more opportunities to convert them which is a greater benefit for his team. Additionally, Melo has a higher career FG% than the Bean, indicating that that efficiency mark may be a bit misleading. Kobe is a better 3 point shooter and free throw shooter but doesn’t attempt as many FTs per game. So Melo has shot better from the field but is being penalized a bit unfairly for his FT% and average 3 point shooting.

    92. ruruland:
      Should we also disclude the games missed by Chandler, Jeffries and Shumpert and throw out the contests where the Knicks were playing 4 in 5. Can’t believe a self proclaimed “stat guy” is making this argument. Disgusting

      But he’s right.

    93. I’m firing off from my iPhone but I’ll be on the grammar/syntax/made up word lookout moving forward…I’ll go back and look individual game defensive efficiency when I have chance.

      thenamestsam: I was just about to rag on you about hos disclude isn’t a word, but according to Dictionary.com it actually is a word meaning “disclose”. You learn something new every day. Anyway I think you meant exclude.

      I do agree with you that excluding only positive outliers is probably not a good way to go about things, especially without a good reason. If Owen’s point is that our defensive efficiency is propped up by a few outrageously strong games it might be interesting to take the median of our game by game defensive efficiency numbers and compare them to the medians for other teams. Does that data exist?

    94. johnlocke: Looking at box scores you still can’t prove that Melo is as good as Kobe in his prime…. what evidence do YOU have? Your evidence was largely based on TS% and did not account for the defensive end of the game? You can’t ignore usage when discussing TS %, that’s why PER is more instructive than the stats you threw out. What box score stats are you referring to? PPG, Assts per game, steals per game? Kobe leads in all those stats too..Melo has the edge in rebounds, but he’s a small forward. what’s your point?

      I’m NOT arguing that Melo is better than Kobe in his prime. PER is not more instructive. PER rewards players for taking shots. Kobe took over TWENTY SEVEN shots per game in ’05-’06. Unsurprisingly, he posted the highest PER of his career – 28. You know who never posted a PER of 28? Larry Bird. He also never took anything remotely close to 27 shots per game.

      You’re playing me as if I’m missing something as far as the value of PER and I’m not. You can’t pull PER out and use that as an indicator of one player being better or more efficient than another.

    95. The idea that Melo doesn’t exist in Kobe’s universe because of PER (which rewards him for shots taken even more than made) and TS% (which is useful but it doesn’t tell you who is the more effective offensive player) is false to me. I keep getting responses that treat me as if I’m a moron because I disagree with the lens through which you look at their stats. You ask what evidence I’m using? I already posted my evidence earlier! I cite multiple seasons through which Melo shot better from the field. I maintain that TS% doesn’t explain the value of generating more free throws, which begins to balance shooting slightly poorer from the field. I explained my issue with PER as a measure of the better player. Why do you continue to act as if I haven’t cited evidence to support my opinion that Melo has become somehow underrated and Kobe is being vastly overrated?

    96. *which begins to balance shooting poorer from the charity stripe

      My indignance has made me embarassingly error-prone. Apologies.

    97. Your basic point and how all this started was this… Kobe won championships, therefore the Knicks can win a championship with Melo because Melo has displayed the ability to play at Kobe’s level offensively (We disagree) and Carmelo has not been a sieve on defense.

      My main argument has been and still is that looking at the DEFENSIVE side of the argument, Kobe is far and away a superior player to Carmelo in his prime, and therefore is a far better player. He wasn’t a good player but a great one on that end. Secondly, even looking at the offensive numbers Kobe has PRODUCED at a greater level than Melo using PER as a proxy. If you want to argue that Melo would have too if he took as many shots…fine. However, Kobe has averaged 19.6 shots over his career and Melo has averaged 19.2 yet their career PERs are not close.

      I’m not saying PER is the stat to end all stats, but you really can’t trot out TS% to make an argument that Melo is as good offensively as Kobe was in his prime. The burden of proof is really on you to be honest. If that were the case Tyson Chandler would be having the greatest offensive contribution in the league by far.

      Larry Bird’s career PER coincidentally is the same as Kobe’s. Finally, the only reason we’re on this topic is b/c you took a post I wrote mentioning that this whole focus on Melo is really not useful and that we should be focusing on Davis, JR and Novak if we care about wins. We can agree to disagree.

      TelegraphedPass: PER is not more instructive. PER rewards players for taking shots. Kobe took over TWENTY SEVEN shots per game in ’05-’06. Unsurprisingly, he posted the highest PER of his career – 28. You know who never posted a PER of 28? Larry Bird. He also never took anything remotely close to 27 shots per game.

      You’re playing me as if I’m missing something as far as the value of PER and I’m not.

    98. ruruland:
      How is that not an outlier and Portland is? You’re joking, right?

      No, I’m not joking. There’s a difference between an outlier and a bad quarter, just like there’s a difference between correlation and causation.

    99. Btw- I have never called anyone a moron on this board. I think this is board has some of the most intelligent Knicks discussion on the web, which is why I finally decided to participate. I really have no vested interest in whether Melo is better than Kobe or vice versa…but if you throw out a statement that Melo is as good as Kobe then I really think there needs to be some strong rationale for that…just as if you’d said Melo is as good as Larry Bird or Magic or Jordan. Just my opinion.

      TelegraphedPass:
      The idea that Melo doesn’t exist in Kobe’s universe because of PER (which rewards him for shots taken even more than made) and TS% (which is useful but it doesn’t tell you who is the more effective offensive player) is false to me. I keep getting responses that treat me as if I’m a moron because I disagree with the lens through which you look at their stats. You ask what evidence I’m using? I already posted my evidence earlier! I cite multiple seasons through which Melo shot better from the field. I maintain that TS% doesn’t explain the value of generating more free throws, which begins to balance shooting slightly poorer from the field. I explained my issue with PER as a measure of the better player. Why do you continue to act as if I haven’t cited evidence to support my opinion that Melo has become somehow underrated and Kobe is being vastly overrated?

    100. re “I maintain that TS% doesn’t explain the value of generating more free throws, which begins to balance shooting slightly poorer from the field.”

      You do get credit for hitting free throws in ts%. It’s calculated by dividing points by possessions used, with a .44 adjustment on fta to account for and-ones and technicals.

      PER is a rate stat similar to WS/48 or WP/48. You don’t get credit for extra minutes played.

      I don’t like PER as a stat because, as mentioned, it rewards you for taking shots as long as you convert above a 33% threshold. While that is in line with how contracts are handed out in the NBA, it doesn’t represent to me the reality of how basketball games are won. I definitely prefer WS or WP.

      That said, I think PER tells the same story here as any other linear metric would about Kobe and Melo. Kobe is a ton better. PER would tell a different story about Melo’s career than other metrics though, valuing his shot creation much more highly.

      Re the debate over how good a defense we have, not sure why it’s disgusting to suggest that our strength of schedule might make our defensive rating a little deceptive at this point. We have played the easiest schedule in the NBA.

      Frank = Interesting stuff. I am curious, basketball reference has the Sixers at 97.5 points per 100 this year. How exactly are you calculating your numbers? And how did you run the numbers for the Woodson era? Off of hoopdata?

    101. @johnlocke I’m not trotting out TS% to argue that Melo is as good as Kobe. That would be nonsensical, as Melo’s TS% is historically lower. I’m saying there is no strong evidence that says Kobe is significantly superior to Melo. Adding to that, as you recognized, I’m making the point that there isn’t any reason to believe Melo (or his contract) will somehow impede the acquisition of title contention in NY.

      I don’t believe Kobe was a particularly great defender, and I think he stole spots on those All-Defense teams, but as I don’t care to spend time debating stats that are very difficult to assess. We both understand that NBA advanced statistics haven’t progressed to a satisfactory point with regard to defensive ability, so a case is tough to make on that end. I certainly believe it’s possible that Kobe was at one point a great defender, but like his “clutch” reputation I think it may be overstated.

      Kobe’s variance in his shot attempts is skewing the PER thing a bit. Early on, Kobe was not a starter and it was several seasons before he started really taking shots in volume. At his zenith, he was taking an insane amount of shots and had an enormous usage rate. Melo, by comparison, came into the league a starter and has always attempted about the same number of shots per game. If you look at their prime years, you can really see the difference in volume.

      And I do appreciate you not calling anyone such names. I never said you did, however, it felt at times as though I was being treated as such for “not understanding advanced stats” which I felt was unfair. I do not, for the last time, argue that Melo is as good as Kobe. My point is that when you dig in, you can see that Melo is closer than he was given credit for. I argue that they exist in the same plane.
      I certainly respect your opinion as well. As you said we simply disagree on the matter.

    102. I don’t like PER as a stat because, as mentioned, it rewards you for taking shots as long as you convert above a 33% threshold.

      Yeah, that’s why I don’t like PER either. You shouldn’t have a stat that has a glaring, obvious “no doubt about it” weakness like PER does. Wins Produced also had some major errors in it that I believe they have tried to address this season, so until I’ve seen how that bears out, I also stay away from Wins Produced. That’s why I like Win Shares. I get the idea of thinking that a stat like Win Shares overrates role players on good teams, but if you want a shorthand player evaluation system to compare similar players, then I think Win Shares is your best bet. By the way, despite his long shooting slump, Win Shares likes Melo just fine this season. He doesn’t have great numbers, but he still rates out pretty well, and I imagine he’ll end the season even higher. Also, do note that, to its credit, Win Shares has picked up Jared Jeffries’ sudden emergence as a really good player. As for the others, Fields is on the way down in WS/48 while JR Smith and Shump are on their way up.

    103. @108 I actually mean that more free throws attempted likely means more fouls drawn, which benefits the whole team. Are you saying that the formula recognizes and rewards players for attempting more free throws? If so, then my apologies.

    104. New Guy: No, I’m not joking.There’s a difference between an outlier and a bad quarter, just like there’s a difference between correlation and causation.

      I can’t believe this. What statistical backing do you have to distinguish a game composed of four quarters to be an outlier rather than one quarter of a game not being an outlier?

    105. New Guy: No, I’m not joking.There’s a difference between an outlier and a bad quarter, just like there’s a difference between correlation and causation.

      maybe you don’t remember, but the quarter he’s talking about was even more of an outlier than the Portland game, as it came after NY was up by 30 after 3.

      really you shouldn’t throw out the whole Portland game, just the 4th quarter of that and the 4th quarter of the Indiana game, since both of those were total garbage time.

      anyway, no matter how you measure it, the recent defense has been great, and a solid chunk of that is Melo. I’m not especially pro- or anti- Melo, but he’s been playing great recently.

    106. I’m not especially pro- or anti- Melo, but he’s been playing great recently.

      No doubt about it. Heck, I don’t think Owen would even contest that.

    107. Owen:

      Re the debate over how good a defense we have, not sure why it’s disgusting to suggest that our strength of schedule might make our defensive rating a little deceptive at this point. We have played the easiest schedule in the NBA.

      I see we’ve reached the point,Owen, where we have to go back and post what you said because you’d rather not acknowledge your poor arguments (the outlier against Portland argument is absolutely absurd. I’m not even convinced it’s a true statistical outlier. This idea that it’s an outlier, not because of the final numbers, but because it was the 4th game in 5 nights, is an even worse…. The Knicks have played more 4 in 5 than they have faced.)

      let’s see where the Knicks total defensive ranking is after this very difficult stretch of games where the Knicks SOS win % will likely rise above .500.

      I think you’re really overstating its effects, however, considering that many of the teams ahead and just behind the Knicks in defensive efficiency have similar SOS.

    108. Brian Cronin: No doubt about it. Heck, I don’t think Owen would even contest that.

      I’m utterly convinced that he would have if you hadn’t mentioned it. It was going in that direction.

    109. I just noticed Kobe has been SUCH a poo poo garbage three point shooter this season. This is unrelated to really anything, but I marvel most games at how poorly Melo has been shooting this year. Kobe is shooting a lower percentage but attempting over 5 (FIVE) (CINCO!!!) per game! How is this allowed to happen?

      Again, it has literally nothing to do with the previous Melo comparisons. I just noticed as I was looking over Kobe’s career numbers.

    110. johnlocke:
      Your basic point and how all this started was this… Kobe won championships, therefore the Knicks can win a championship with Melo because Melo has displayed the ability to play at Kobe’s level offensively (We disagree) and Carmelo has not been a sieve on defense.

      My main argument has been and still is that looking at the DEFENSIVE side of the argument, Kobe is far and away a superior player to Carmelo in his prime, and therefore is a far better player. He wasn’t a good player but a great one on that end.

      Why is so hard for people to admit Melo is playing (really) good defense? All of these sort of euphimisms like “he’s not a sieve”, and he’s “actually trying” are incredibly back-handed ways of covering up for specious arguments.
      I also find it interesting that the self-righteous stats-are-everything people would never allow other’s arguments based on a guys reputation or what people say about him to pass the smell test.

      yet they’re very willing to support the idea that Kobe was a great defensive player because he was on the All-Defensive team a few times.

      I know that Kobe was a very good defender in his athletic prime. I don’t need stats or what other people think to form my opinion about what I see. he was surely one of the better wing defenders in the NBA. But he had struggles, too. He’d get torched. Melo can be and is a pretty good one in his own right. Maybe never at Kobe’s level, but not so far off that it make a significant difference, not when the Knicks can make up that smaller difference with better defenders around Melo than Kobe had…

    111. Kobe Bryant an all defensive player few times? I considering him 2nd best SG all-time. Really injustice to put him and Melo in same boat.

      All-Defensive 1st Team
      2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2000
      All-Defensive 2nd Team
      2002, 2001

      Melo – Never been all-Defensive team.

    112. Those words to the effect of “Carmelo has not been a sieve” were Telegraphedpass’s words. I’ve acknowledged time and again that Carmelo is playing excellent defense as of late.

      My argument regarding Kobe being a great defensive player is based on what I’ve seen. Tied to that assumption is that head coaches are relevant professionals to ask who the top defensive players in the game are which provides added support to what I’ve seen.

      I have never argued that Melo “can’t be” a good defender. He has shown he can be at times, including in the latest stretch of games. As a Knicks fan, I hope that Melo quiets the critics who point out his inconsistent defensive effort are an indicator of his future performance on that end. Historically, his effort on that end has been inconsistent, based on what I’ve seen and what he’s said and I’m sure you’d agree.

      Melo has the skills, feet, hands and size to be a consistently good defensive player and in the All-NBA defense conversation if he really puts his mind to it. I hope he does.

      I really don’t get how I am disparaging Melo by saying he’s not as good as Kobe in his prime on defense or offense and especially not on defense. If that is what the debate is about then once again, I agree to disagree.

      ruruland: Why is so hard for people to admit Melo is playing (really) good defense? All of these sort of euphimisms like “he’s not a sieve”, and he’s “actually trying” are incredibly back-handed ways of covering up for specious arguments.
      I also find it interesting that the self-righteous stats-are-everything people would never allow other’s arguments based on a guys reputation or what people say about him to pass the smell test.

      yet they’re very willing to support the idea that Kobe was a great defensive player because he was on the All-Defensive team a few times.

      </blockq

    113. JC Knickfan: Kobe Bryant an all defensive player few times? I considering him 2nd best SG all-time. Really injustice to put him and Melo in same boat.All-Defensive 1st Team2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2000All-Defensive 2nd Team2002, 2001Melo – Never been all-Defensive team.

      Oh, you mean like how he made First Team over Tony Allen and Iggy last year? Or the previous year, when he made First Team over Dwyane Wade? Or the year before that, when he made it over Wade again and Shane Battier and Ron Artest?

      The All-Defense team selections are extraordinarily biased.

    114. ruruland: Why is so hard for people to admit Melo is playing (really) good defense? All of these sort of euphimisms like “he’s not a sieve”, and he’s “actually trying” are incredibly back-handed ways of covering up for specious arguments.

      Because our defence improves greatly when Melo is off the court? As I mentioned in a previous post, we give up 102.3 points per 100 possessions when Melo is on, and only 99.6 points when he is off.

      Now that is over the whole season, when Melo (by his own admission) was slacking off much of the time. His defensive play has improved somewhat lately, but who knows how long he will keep it up. The probablility is that a slacker like him will eventually start slacking off again.

    115. jon abbey: maybe you don’t remember, but the quarter he’s talking about was even more of an outlier than the Portland game, as it came after NY was up by 30 after 3.

      really you shouldn’t throw out the whole Portland game, just the 4th quarter of that and the 4th quarter of the Indiana game, since both of those were total garbage time.

      anyway, no matter how you measure it, the recent defense has been great, and a solid chunk of that is Melo. I’m not especially pro- or anti- Melo, but he’s been playing great recently.

      I don’t think Owen said we should throw out the Portland game. Just that it made the Woodson Era stats harder to interpret. When I said “he’s right”, I was agreeing to the point that Owen actually made, not the point that RuRu imagined he made and reacted to.

    116. The Knicks have been dominating defensively the last 10 games. That is the truth.

      I think though if we looked at the season for the best 10 game defensive stretches on the year, the Knicks’ stretch would not be #1. That’s the thing about cherry picking stats. You can cherry pick for whatever side you endeavor to support.

      For example, I could point out that NYK is 17th in defensive efficiency against playoff teams.

      Or I could cherry pick stats from ten game periods for other teams…

      For example, in their 10 games from New Year’s Eve through January 16th, the Sixers allowed an average of 82.4 ppg and allowed a TS% of 49.4 and forced 16.2 TO/game.

      Chicago had a similar streak, allowing 78.8 PPG on 48.8% TS% and forcing 13 TO/game.

      In the Knicks’ last ten, they’ve allowed 87 PPG, on a TS% 50% and forced 16.6 TO/game.

      The Knicks’ edge in forced TOs can be largely attributed to the fact that they are 3rd in pace whereas Chicago and Philly are both bottom 5.

      I could cherry pick reasons for the strong play — the coach being fired, the embarrassment that missing the playoffs would cause to our “superteam”. Etc, etc. It doesn’t really matter. The Knicks are playing really well now. But ten games is very far from conclusive. Take the good with the bad – NY is a very good defensive team without a doubt, but they are not the best in the league.

    117. ruruland: I can’t believe this. What statistical backing do you have to distinguish a game composed of four quarters to be an outlier rather than one quarter of a game not being an outlier?

      No one said either one was an outlier. Read what people write before you respond to them.

      Owen: “I am curious what our numbers look like without the Portland game.”

      You: “You disgust me”

    118. Yeah, what Max said. I am not saying we haven’t played great defense. I am just leery, for a number of reasons, to make any strong conclusion about our defense off our last eleven games.

      And I think it’s a little strange that the top 5 defenses in the NBA are in the Eastern Conference right now. I just don’t think you can really make the standard assumptions about efficiency differential numbers given how the schedule has played out (i.e. with more intra-conference play) and what the league offensive numbers have been so far this year. It’s not a normal year.

      If the season were to end today, the Sixers would be the best defense of all time by points per 100. To me, it makes a lot of sense that that would deserve an asterisk next to it….

      I agree you can’t put much stock in All NBA Defensive team awards. You have to be a pretty good offensive player to merit consideration, outside of the center position. But I do think Kobe was an excellent defender. And I will be surprised if Melo ever makes the cut.

      Time to queue up Synergy and see what the fuss is about….

    119. Bison: Because our defence improves greatly when Melo is off the court?As I mentioned in a previous post, we give up 102.3 points per 100 possessions when Melo is on, and only 99.6 points when he is off.

      Now that is over the whole season, when Melo (by his own admission) was slacking off much of the time.His defensive play has improved somewhat lately, but who knows how long he will keep it up.The probablility is that a slacker like him will eventually start slacking off again.

      Defense is better with Shumpert and Chandler on the bench, too. Like I posted yesterday in response to this exact same post.

      And everyone improved their energy post-trade, making everyone slackers.

    120. New Guy: I don’t think Owen said we should throw out the Portland game.Just that it made the Woodson Era stats harder to interpret. When I said “he’s right”, I was agreeing to the point that Owen actually made, not the point that RuRu imagined he made and reacted to.

      This is exactly what Owen was implying: The Portland game was an aberration that made the Knicks defense look better than it really is. Straightforwa

    121. New Guy: No one said either one was an outlier.Read what people write before you respond to them.

      Owen: “I am curious what our numbers look like without the Portland game.”

      You: “You disgust me”

      Straightforward inference. owen was clearly implying the point I responded to, and he hasn’t disagreed.

    122. ruruland: Defense is better with Shumpert and Chandler on the bench, too. Like I posted yesterday in response to this exact same post.

      Citation?

      My skepticism of your claim comes from the following data, which again is from 82games:

      Points given up per 100 possessions:

      Chandler: 100.4 when on; 102.4 when off.
      Shumpert: 101.6 when on; 100.6 when off.

      In Shumpert’s case, the difference is small enough to be in the noise. But Chandler’s numbers contradict your claim, and coincide with common sense.

      So what numbers are you using?

      Melo’s numbers (102.3 conceded when on; 99.6 when off) confirm that he’s been slacking for much of the season, as he has admitted. So the likelihood is that he will slack off again, as soon as it suits him to do so. This is just one of several reasons why so many people are not his fans.

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