Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, Aug 07 2012)

  • [New York Times] Basketball | Final Pool Game: U.S. Basketball Team Beats Argentina in Unfriendly Battle (Tue, 07 Aug 2012 08:22:04 GMT)

    The mutual distaste between the American and Argentinian men’s basketball teams manifested itself with shoves, elbows and heated exchanges, and the United States won to clinch its group’s top seed.

  • [New York Times] Basketball: Tempers Flare as U.S. Sweep Past Argentina (Tue, 07 Aug 2012 01:35:39 GMT)

    A nasty, bad-tempered joust with Argentina’s basketball team woke up the sleeping giants from the U.S. on Monday, spurring them to a 126-97 victory that earned a top-seeded berth in the quarter-finals.

  • Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

    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).

    63 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, Aug 07 2012)”

    1. I’ve found it interesting in this tournament to see how far Kobe has fallen. I think it’s pretty revealing watching the NBA’s elite playing next to each other game after game because that kind of elongated side-by-side comparison gives a larger sample for “eye-test” comparisons than we typically get.

      And that comparison has not been flattering for Kobe. The guy doesn’t look like he belongs on the same court with most of the team USA players. Terrible defensively and offensively he relies overwhelmingly on the officials. He’s taking shots that have no hope of going in, relying on getting the bail-out call. Every possession he uses (with the exception of open spot-up threes) would be better off used by someone else. He’s almost a liability at this point and I think team USA would be better off with a 3 and D type who knew his role.

      It’s going to be interesting watching the Lakers this year. Kobe might be the 4th best player on that team and unless Nash falls off a cliff they’ll almost certainly be better off using Kobe as a secondary or tertiary offensive weapon. Based on last year’s Lakers and this team USA I’m not sure he can handle that.

    2. Thought the same thing. I know it will never happen, but I wish they’d run Iguadola out there instead. Paul-Iggy-Durant-LeBron-Chandler would be our best unit, IMO.

    3. Ditto to #1 and 2. I was sitting watching the Argentina game with my son, and we both remarked that Kobe was the only player on the US that was forcing up his own shot, and he did it repeatedly. Here he is on the court with the best players on the planet, and he’s trying to take his man one on one every time he gets the ball. Completely ridiculous to do that with all the talent around him.

    4. New Guy:
      Thought the same thing.I know it will never happen, but I wish they’d run Iguadola out there instead.Paul-Iggy-Durant-LeBron-Chandler would be our best unit, IMO.

      Agree 100% on Iggy. They always look good when he’s on the floor and he really should be playing more. It seems like in spite of the pledges to change 4 years ago the US hasn’t abandoned the philosophy of picking and playing the biggest stars. Inevitably (given how players becomes stars in the current NBA system) this leads to a team that is incredibly long on shot creation, but woefully short in other areas.

      For example, I’m not an anti-Melo guy and I don’t mean to rag on Melo, but what purpose does he serve on this team? In my opinion, on talent he deserves to be there, as he is one of the 12 “best” available Americans. But his particular skill set isn’t needed on this team. He’s about 5th in line to create offense most of the time, and if he’s not doing that what value is he providing above someone like say Kawhi Leonard (who would play better defense)?

      They happen to have a talented enough generation to get away with it, but continuing to build a team without thinking about roles will get them in trouble eventually.

    5. thenamestsam: I don’t mean to rag on Melo, but what purpose does he serve on this team?

      Gotta disagree big time on this one. ‘Melo has provided post defense, post scoring and spot-up shooting off the bench. He has actually performed like the player Kevin Love is supposed to be. When ‘Melo allows the offense to come to him (as he has in London), he is a devastating force.

    6. thenamestsam:

      For example, I’m not an anti-Melo guy and I don’t mean to rag on Melo, but what purpose does he serve on this team? In my opinion, on talent he deserves to be there, as he is one of the 12 “best” available Americans. But his particular skill set isn’t needed on this team. He’s about 5th in line to create offense most of the time, and if he’s not doing that what value is he providing above someone like say Kawhi Leonard (who would play better defense)?

      They happen to have a talented enough generation to get away with it, but continuing to build a team without thinking about roles will get them in trouble eventually.

      Coach K called Melo his second most versatile player behind Lebron. In the 2008 Olympics his biggest impact was his physicality on defense at the 4 . Let’s not forget he was one of the best post defenders in the NBA last season.

      He has a higher per minute rebound number than Durant, the starting four man. And he’s scoring about as efficiently as Durant is, with more physicality on defense.

      So why is Durant on the team?

      He’s scoring more per minute than anyone else in the Olympics, and he’s doing it extremely efficiently obviously.

      Melo has used very little of his ability to create shots.

      He’s playing the role that a guy like Leonard would play in the NBA, he’s just doing it much more efficiently.

      He’s been the consummate role player and his spot up shooting has been off the charts good.

    7. thenamestsam:

      They happen to have a talented enough generation to get away with it, but continuing to build a team without thinking about roles will get them in trouble eventually.

      Many players with the skills and talent of Carmelo can become quality spot-up shooters and role players if that’s what they;re asked to do…..

      Now, as ephus mentioned, Team USA uses Melo a little bit more than an NBA would use the average role player.

      Melo is posting up and creating shots for others at times as he does in the league, but has mostly played a stretch 4 or at times, stretch 5. It’s one reason why this team has been better offensively than the greatest team ever assembled

      Luckily, Melo has made off-ball the major focus of his off-season, and he’s never committed this kind of time to it (though he’s made steady progress in his career in catch and shoot and extending his range, but much of the first 5-6 years of his career was spent developing his iso/post-up game as he was the center of the offense)

      Kobe has not been able to adapt his game, and frankly I think it’s because he’s older and his habits, skills and mindset are much more hardwired. He’s never played with a drive and kick pg, and never really played in a system that used him off the ball. Melo has some, at least.

    8. ruruland: Coach K called Melo his second most versatile player behind Lebron. In the 2008 Olympics his biggest impact was his physicality on defense at the 4 . Let’s not forget he was one of the best post defenders in the NBA last season.

      He’s scoring more per minute than anyone else in the Olympics, and he’s doing it extremely efficiently obviously.

      Melo has used very little of his ability to create shots.

      He’s playing the role that a guy like Leonard would play in the NBA, he’s just doing it much more efficiently.

      He’s been the consummate role player and his spot up shooting has been off the charts good.

      It’s true that his offensive play thus far has been excellent, but I think that is mostly due to an unsustainable hot streak on catch-and-shoot jumpers. Melo is a good catch and shoot player, but his shooting has been Novak-ian so far. I don’t think he can keep it up.

      To my eye his defense has been pretty mediocre so far. As you say he does a pretty good job in the post considering how undersized he is at times, but as you’d expect from a guy whose normal position is SF he looks lost as far as help defense.

      I agree that he’s basically playing like a more efficient Leonard (with obviously inferior defense), but basically all of the efficiency is because of torrid 3-point shooting. Do you think Melo is a better open 3-point shooter than Leonard? What does synergy say about that?

      My point wasn’t to turn this into a conversation about Melo specifically (although I should have known that would inevitably happen) but to make the more general point that if we’re picking players because of their ability to create shots (aka because they’re stars) but they’re not going to use that ability on the team (as we agree Melo isn’t) then that process of picking players is inherently flawed.

    9. ephus: Gotta disagree big time on this one.‘Melo has provided post defense, post scoring and spot-up shooting off the bench.He has actually performed like the player Kevin Love is supposed to be.When ‘Melo allows the offense to come to him (as he has in London), he is a devastating force.

      Again, I didn’t mean to make this about Melo specifically (see above) and I agree that he’s playing well. But I still think my main point stands. As you say he’s providing post defense, post scoring, and spot-up shooting. And for the most part he’s great in those areas. But the reason he was chosen for the team is because he’s a great shot creator, which is a skill that he’s not really using now. The reason the USA is getting away with this is because the stars of this generation (including Melo) are talented enough that their secondary skills are good enough that they can play well as role-players. The question is whether it makes more sense to pick stars and try to fit them in as role players or just to pick the best role players.

    10. Sam — I think ‘Melo is a great fit for this team precisely because he is not being asked to create his own offense. When he plays off of the ball, he is a great weakside shooter and unstoppable in the low post. If the Knicks can facilitate the offense this coming season without going iso-Melo and allow him to spot up and/or post-up, he will be one of the most efficient players in the league.

      USA Basketball actually did a much better job of roster-assembly since 2008. Including Iggy, Kevin Love and Chandler was a move away from ASG rosters and towards putting together a coherent team.

      On Kobe, he actually adjusted his game once already, moving towards post-ups in the last five years. I would not be surprised if he thrives with Steve Nash as the lead ball-handler, which will allow Kobe to move off of the ball and establish strong post position.

    11. I’m amazed that anyone has anything bad to say about Melo right now…
      I mean, objectively speaking, you’d have to work real hard to find fault in his play.
      If he could play this well in the coming season, and at least he’ll be fit coming in, the Knicks will be much improved.

    12. Jafa:
      Granger says Pacers are the 2nd best team in the East (we all know who #1 is):

      http://blogs.indystar.com/pacersinsider/2012/08/05/pacers-granger-believes-theyre-the-second-best-team-in-the-east/

      Interestingly, of the 4 teams the article identifies are in the running for 2nd best team in the East (Brooklyn, Boston, Indiana and New York), Granger only mentions Brooklyn as a potential threat to the Pacers for the #2 spot.

      Granger freakin’ hates the Knicks. I’m not surprised.
      Frankly, his team will be very good next year.

    13. To make it simple, if you limit ‘Melo to being a version of Kawhi Leonard (or Novak, Korver, Ryan Anderson, etc.), ‘Melo has demonstrated that he will execute those limited tasks much better than any of the alternatives. ‘Melo provides outside shooting as strong as any of the gunners, and his post play on both ends of the court far outstrips any of the others. And, at least in the Olympics, ‘Melo is enthusiastic about playing that role.

    14. Jafa:
      Granger says Pacers are the 2nd best team in the East (we all know who #1 is):

      http://blogs.indystar.com/pacersinsider/2012/08/05/pacers-granger-believes-theyre-the-second-best-team-in-the-east/

      Interestingly, of the 4 teams the article identifies are in the running for 2nd best team in the East (Brooklyn, Boston, Indiana and New York), Granger only mentions Brooklyn as a potential threat to the Pacers for the #2 spot.

      I wouldn’t be suprised if Brooklyn struggles to get 45 wins. The only good defender on that whole team is an aging Gerald Wallace. Deron Williams hasn’t been all that good since he left Jerry Sloan (Boozer hasn’t done very well either) and Joe Johnson is also getting older. Unless Brook Lopez lives up to his idiotic contract (he is a solid offensive player at least) The Nets are just a bad team, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bulls do better even if Rose doesn’t come back

    15. Frank O.: Granger freakin’ hates the Knicks. I’m not surprised.
      Frankly, his team will be very good next year.

      Frank O.,

      I don’t know. Granger hates the Heat as well but he showed them respect by saying his team would be the 2nd best team in the East, instead of “the best”. Also, imagine the amount of negative PR the Knicks would get if Donny Walsh’s new team (also he’s former team but you get the idea) goes farther than then Knicks this year.

    16. Frank O.: I’m amazed that anyone has anything bad to say about Melo right now…I mean, objectively speaking, you’d have to work real hard to find fault in his play.If he could play this well in the coming season, and at least he’ll be fit coming in, the Knicks will be much improved.

      I think ‘Melo is performing this well because he is being asked to do less. He is not responsible for triggering the offense, and he is not being asked to create his own shot from 18’. If Woodson gets the rest of the offense running to the point where ‘Melo willingly limits his game to the things he is doing so well in London while putting out Olympian effort, he and the Knicks will prosper.

    17. ephus:
      To make it simple, if you limit ‘Melo to being a version of Kawhi Leonard (or Novak, Korver, Ryan Anderson, etc.), ‘Melo has demonstrated that he will execute those limited tasks much better than any of the alternatives.‘Melo provides outside shooting as strong as any of the gunners, and his post play on both ends of the court far outstrips any of the others.And, at least in the Olympics, ‘Melo is enthusiastic about playing that role.

      This is what linear statistics never seem to understand. It’s not that Leonard is in any way better on offense than Melo, it’s that Melo is asked to do much more regularly (some of it is his own bad decisions too). Melo is also an elite passer, especially when playing as a power forward, and most role players simply can’t come close to his playmaking ability. His shot creation is also useful depending on the matchup, it’s not like he’s bad at it even if he’s not Chris Paul.

      Melo has been pretty fantastic these olympics, it’s pretty obvious he has the talent to get serious minutes on the team. He is just a super versatile player

    18. Juany8: I wouldn’t be suprised if Brooklyn struggles to get 45 wins. The only good defender on that whole team is an aging Gerald Wallace. Deron Williams hasn’t been all that good since he left Jerry Sloan (Boozer hasn’t done very well either) and Joe Johnson is also getting older. Unless Brook Lopez lives up to his idiotic contract (he is a solid offensive player at least) The Nets are just a bad team, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bulls do better even if Rose doesn’t come back

      I would be shocked if the Bulls, without Rose, did better than the Nets this year. They have a top 5 PG and a top 5 SG on their team and play in the wide open East where, in my opinion, only the Heat and Celtics are a lock for a top 4 seed.

    19. ephus:
      Sam — I think ‘Melo is a great fit for this team precisely because he is not being asked to create his own offense.When he plays off of the ball, he is a great weakside shooter and unstoppable in the low post.If the Knicks can facilitate the offense this coming season without going iso-Melo and allow him to spot up and/or post-up, he will be one of the most efficient players in the league.

      USA Basketball actually did a much better job of roster-assembly since 2008.Including Iggy, Kevin Love and Chandler was a move away from ASG rosters and towards putting together a coherent team.

      On Kobe, he actually adjusted his game once already, moving towards post-ups in the last five years.I would not be surprised if he thrives with Steve Nash as the lead ball-handler, which will allow Kobe to move off of the ball and establish strong post position.

      I mostly agree in terms of offensive fit. I don’t think that makes him a great overall fit. By far the offensive skill he’s using the most is spot-up shooting. He’s been amazing so far. Is he actually an elite spot-up shooter? Personally, I don’t think so. If someone with the synergy data wants to show otherwise I’d be very interested to see it. My point being that while he is obviously more than capable of doing the offensive job he has been assigned, it’s not clear to me that he’s doing it at a significantly higher level than a number of other NBA players could be doing it. Once you factor in the lack of fit on defense (I give Melo a lot of credit for being willing to bang with the bigs, but defensively as a “center”, he’s obviously weak) I don’t see this as an ideal fit.

      I think it’s fair to say that team selection has improved somewhat, but I’m not sure any of the 3 guys you highlighted as examples make it without injury trouble.

    20. Melo is 15 for 25 from 3pt range, 15 for 26 from 2pt range and 12 for 15 from FT line. He is also 4th on the team in rebounding (3rd in defensive rebounding). Doing all this in 15 mins/g. He is not exactly just spotting up from 3pt range doing his best Steve Novak impersonation.

    21. BigBlueAL:
      Melo is 15 for 25 from 3pt range, 15 for 26 from 2pt range and 12 for 15 from FT line.He is also 4th on the team in rebounding (3rd in defensive rebounding).Doing all this in 15 mins/g.He is not exactly just spotting up from 3pt range doing his best Steve Novak impersonation.

      Very true, but basically all of the value is being generated by the 3 point shooting. 15 for 26 isn’t all that great on 2s considering the competition. For comparisons sake, the other swingman/frontcourt bench players 2-pointer numbers:

      Love: 16-19
      Iggy: 8-9
      Harden: 9-12

      Melo stands out because his 3-point shooting has been amazing.

    22. Joe Johnson, a top 5 SG? I’d rather have Harden, Wade, Ginobili, Bryant, Paul George, Tony Allen, Kevin Martin, and Ray Allen over Joe Johnson. I’d even take Gordon Hayward over Joe Johnson.

    23. thenamestsam: Very true, but basically all of the value is being generated by the 3 point shooting. 15 for 26 isn’t all that great on 2s considering the competition. For comparisons sake, the other swingman/frontcourt bench players 2-pointer numbers:

      Love: 16-19
      Iggy: 8-9
      Harden: 9-12

      Melo stands out because his 3-point shooting has been amazing.

      One thing you’re missing, if Melo is having to defend bigger post players, it means someone even worse would be taking his place if he wasn’t on the team. Maybe if Dwight Howard Bynum, , Chris Bosh, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin were all healthy and ready to go. Since they are not, Melo’s ability to defend the post pretty well has been invaluable. If anything Kevin Love should be kicked, Melo’s basically doing all the things you’d expect Love to do while playing far better defense and being able to run the break with the other freak athletes.

    24. Considering Melo is going up against PF’s and C’s most of whom don’t have a shot at the NBA I’d expect much better production from inside the two point line. How is he not blowing by these guys to get to the basket? Or is he missing wide open 2pt shots?

    25. massive:
      Joe Johnson, a top 5 SG? I’d rather have Harden, Wade, Ginobili, Bryant, Paul George, Tony Allen, Kevin Martin, and Ray Allen over Joe Johnson. I’d even take Gordon Hayward over Joe Johnson.

      Lol let’s not overexaggerate, Johnson is still better overall than guys like Martin and both the Allens. He’s an above average defender and can pass and shoot at a high level, it should help him that he’ll rarely be asked to be the primary playmaker on the team. Still, the first 4 guys you listed, plus someone like Eric Gordon, are all clearly better players. Considering SG is likely the weakest position in the league, being a top 10 SG means very little for total wins.

    26. And honestly, Melo hasn’t been doing anything too different from what Kevin Durant does over an 82 game season. The only real difference would be Melo is a better post player while KD is a better fast break scorer. Otherwise, the assisted, open jumpers is pretty much how KD makes a living. Then again, the Knicks don’t have an catalyst the caliber of Russell Westbrook, which is why Melo operates out of isolation more than KD. Otherwise, I’d say they’re about as talented as each other. KD just has two phenomenal offensive teammates in Westbrook and Harden to ease the scoring load, boosting his scoring efficiency.

      My point is that Melo needs to (and can) play more like KD and less like Kobe, but that’s all dependent on how good his teammates (Felton, JR and Amar’e) are this year.

    27. Juany8: Lol let’s not overexaggerate, Johnson is still better overall than guys like Martin and both the Allens. He’s an above average defender and can pass and shoot at a high level, it should help him that he’ll rarely be asked to be the primary playmaker on the team. Still, the first 4 guys you listed, plus someone like Eric Gordon, are all clearly better players. Considering SG is likely the weakest position in the league, being a top 10 SG means very little for total wins.

      I guess, but I’d still rather have Harden, Wade, Ginobili, Bryant, Paul George, and Eric Gordon over Joe Johnson. And he’s owed $80 million over the next 4 years. He’s a good basketball player, though.

    28. thenamestsam: Again, I didn’t mean to make this about Melo specifically (see above) and I agree that he’s playing well. But I still think my main point stands. As you say he’s providing post defense, post scoring, and spot-up shooting. And for the most part he’s great in those areas. But the reason he was chosen for the team is because he’s a great shot creator, which is a skill that he’s not really using now. The reason the USA is getting away with this is because the stars of this generation (including Melo) are talented enough that their secondary skills are good enough that they can play well as role-players. The question is whether it makes more sense to pick stars and try to fit them in as role players or just to pick the best role players.

      Why would you not pick the best NBA players who also have tremendous secondary or role player skills?

      Say Lebron and CP3 get in foul trouble, I’d say Melo, Harden or Williams is your best bet to create shots from there. Westbrook is on the floor for his defense and transition ability (which does create shots)

      Secondly, how are you going to tell say, Carmelo Anthony he’s not making the team over Leonard when you have 5 or 6 NBA stars?

    29. ephus:
      To make it simple, if you limit ‘Melo to being a version of Kawhi Leonard (or Novak, Korver, Ryan Anderson, etc.), ‘Melo has demonstrated that he will execute those limited tasks much better than any of the alternatives.‘Melo provides outside shooting as strong as any of the gunners, and his post play on both ends of the court far outstrips any of the others.And, at least in the Olympics, ‘Melo is enthusiastic about playing that role.

      Because they’re winning. This is what I’ve said from day one.

      Notice the difference between how Kobe and Melo play. Who is playing selfishly and who is fitting in?

      It’s no coincidence that Melo is enjoying coming off the bench and playing a more limited role… He doesn’t feel as though he has to do anything more.

      That hasn’t been the case for him in the NBA, and most of the time he’s been right.

    30. I think the nets are going to be fun to watch. They will score pts, that’s for sure. Yes, they aren’t great on D, but Wallace is solid, and Deron can play D when he wants to, and Humphries can certainly rebound on both ends. I love Marshon Brooks. I think they will play a lot of small ball, because after Lopez, they have nobody taller than six-nine……that’s what scares me. This would be a great team for chris anderson to end up on, if we don’t sign him.

      I’m not saying I’m a fan, or the will win it all, but they will be 45+ wins good, and they will be fun to watch during commercials……and they have Marv. I miss Marv.

    31. ephus: I think ‘Melo is performing this well because he is being asked to do less.He is not responsible for triggering the offense, and he is not being asked to create his own shot from 18?.If Woodson gets the rest of the offense running to the point where ‘Melo willingly limits his game to the things he is doing so well in London while putting out Olympian effort, he and the Knicks will prosper.

      Look, Melo is not going to have a 70% TS or whatever ungodly number he has now.

      Durant is not going to get all spot-ups on the Thunder, either.

      However, if we can see Melo’s total isolations drop from 35 % of his shots to a more Durant/Lebron like 22-25% of his shots, and use the leftover shots on assisted attempts, then it’s hard to project Melo’s efficiency being under the .560 range ( I think we’ll likely see 570-580 next year)

    32. Jafa:
      Granger says Pacers are the 2nd best team in the East (we all know who #1 is):

      http://blogs.indystar.com/pacersinsider/2012/08/05/pacers-granger-believes-theyre-the-second-best-team-in-the-east/

      Interestingly, of the 4 teams the article identifies are in the running for 2nd best team in the East (Brooklyn, Boston, Indiana and New York), Granger only mentions Brooklyn as a potential threat to the Pacers for the #2 spot.

      No they aren’t. In no particular order Heat at 1. Celtics and Knicks a toss up for 2 and 3. Pacers and Nets a toss up for 4 and 5.

    33. EB:
      Considering Melo is going up against PF’s and C’s most of whom don’t have a shot at the NBA I’d expect much better production from inside the two point line. How is he not blowing by these guys to get to the basket? Or is he missing wide open 2pt shots?

      He’s had some nice short range pull-ups, but he’s being asked to spread the floor and team’s aren’t closing on him.

      The second area where he’s been outstanding is as the roll man, either popping, finishing or getting fouled.

      The last three years Melo’s been close to Amar’e in terms of roll man efficiency. And if he’s playing 4 with Camby on the floor, I think we’re going to see a big increase in these kinds of plays with he and Kidd/Felton/Shump/JR.

      Melo’s pick and roll offense has substantially improved the last 4-5 years, both as ballhandler and roller..

    34. chrisk06811: I miss Marv

      When I think of the many sins of the Dolan era, the exile of Marv is one of the biggest. Mike Breen is a fine announcer, but he should have been paired with Mark Jackson in the swamps of Jersey, while Marv and Clyde described the exploits and failures of the ‘Bockers.

      If anyone has a link to Marv’s description of the dog with the cigarette outside of MSG (IIRC, “always so sad to see a dog who has taken up smoking”), please post.

    35. thenamestsam:

      I think it’s fair to say that team selection has improved somewhat, but I’m not sure any of the 3 guys you highlighted as examples make it without injury trouble.

      Out of the last 3 years, two years ago he was superb in spot-ups, top 30 I believe in both Denver and New York. In the other two years he’s been merely good. But when you throw in cuts he’s elite or close to elite all 3 years. He’s one of the NBA’s most efficient “cutters.”

      However, I think he’ll be back in that elite class this year given the time and emphasis he’s put on it this off-season.

      last off-season he primarily worked on pick and roll ballhandling, and was one of the better pick and roll scorers in the league.

      Secondly, I don’t see the lack of fit issues on defense. He was outstanding guarding 4’s last year and has been most of his career.

      Power forwards aren’t hurting Team USA, it’s been guards. And secondly, are there any stretch 4s in the league who double as rim protectors?

      I just don’t get it, but I suppose I never will on this topic.

    36. massive:
      Joe Johnson, a top 5 SG? I’d rather have Harden, Wade, Ginobili, Bryant, Paul George, Tony Allen, Kevin Martin, and Ray Allen over Joe Johnson. I’d even take Gordon Hayward over Joe Johnson.

      Really? Joe Johnson give you all the scoring that Ray Allen and Kevin Martin give you with better play making and defense. I’d put him neck and neck with Ginobili and Harden, if not slightly better, with Wade and Bryant ahead of him. Tony Allen? Gordon Hayward? Paul George? Are you serious?

    37. thenamestsam: Very true, but basically all of the value is being generated by the 3 point shooting. 15 for 26 isn’t all that great on 2s considering the competition. For comparisons sake, the other swingman/frontcourt bench players 2-pointer numbers:

      Love: 16-19
      Iggy: 8-9
      Harden: 9-12

      Melo stands out because his 3-point shooting has been amazing.

      Iggy gets a lot of transition dunks, same with Harden. I don’t recal either taking a self-created 2pt shot in the Olympics.

      Melo’s mostly been a trailer on the break.

      And uh, Durant is 9-23 on 2s. is he a good offensive player?

    38. Ruru,
      As I’ve said about five times now it’s not specifically about Melo. I’m not a Melo-hater. Not even close. On talent he deserves to be there, and he’s been playing amazing so far. I’m not even arguing against his being there. Pretend I never said the word Melo, which I never should have, because seemingly everyone on here has a complex about his name, one way or the other. If you write “Melo ate a turkey sandwich for lunch” half the commenters are ready to have his head and the other half are ready to call you a hater.

      I was simply saying that picking stars, which is the same as saying picking players for their shot creation ability, is not a good way to pick a team. You write “Why would you not pick the best NBA players who also have tremendous secondary or role player skills?” The answer to me seems obvious. If you need role player skills, you pick a player with the best role player skills. In my eyes it’s not necessarily true that star players also make the best role players.

      It’s definitely sometimes true. If I needed a center exclusively to bang the boards and play defense I’d pick Dwight Howard, even if he never touched the ball in the post. But it may not be a star player. I happen to think that a lot of the time it’s not a star player. That seems to be the heart of our disagreement.

    39. ruruland: Iggy gets a lot of transition dunks, same with Harden. I don’t recal either taking a self-created 2pt shot in the Olympics.

      Melo’s mostly been a trailer on the break.

      And uh, Durant is 9-23 on 2s. is he a good offensive player?

      This is exactly what I’m talking about in #41. I simply pointed out that Melo’s 2 point percentage isn’t actually that great given the quality of the competition, which is true and somehow apparently I’m saying Melo isn’t a good offensive player. Take a deep breath dude.

      I could easily have substituted the words Durant for Carmelo above. The only reason I didn’t is because I believe more in Durant’s outside shooting being sustainable. We’ve seen him shoot this level off the ball for a whole season in the NBA. Carmelo has never had the opportunity to do that. We know Durant is an elite catch-and-shoot guy. That’s why he fits well on this team. Carmelo might be. If he is, then feel free to substitute Durant for Melo in every above comment if it will make you feel better. As I’ve said it’s not about one specific guy.

    40. Chris Mannix doesn’t understand why Team USA is quote “always playing five guys out on the perimeter and not using any of its post-up players or going inside…… including Melo, who’s made a living of post-ups the last ten years.”

      Remember what he wrote about Melo during the MDA fallout?

    41. thenamestsam:

      I was simply saying that picking stars, which is the same as saying picking players for their shot creation ability, is not a good way to pick a team. You write “Why would you not pick the best NBA players who also have tremendous secondary or role player skills?” The answer to me seems obvious. If you need role player skills, you pick a player with the best role player skills. In my eyes it’s not necessarily true that star players also make the best role players.

      Right, but you were specifically talking about Melo not being a good fit. Who else would you have substituted in his place if not Durant?

      Yes, sometimes role players are better fits than stars when they can’t play a certain role, but Melo has played it exceedingly well. As have all the stars outside of Kobe Bryant.

      Most star players have the ability to be role players. And even if they’re are quite as good at doing a limited number of role player things, it’s not as if they don’t provide at least some of their star talents that role players cannot.

      You think Leonard is going to average 18 ppg on extremely high efficiency in less than 20 mpg while banging with the opponents 4 defensively?

      I think you have to talk about specific star player deficiencies in this argument.

      Kobe has not played within the offense and his defense, especially against Manu, has been poor.

    42. And Melo’s defensive numbers were actually better than Leonard’s this year. I’m not sure why anyone thinks Leonard was a good defender- his synergy numbers were very mediocre (I seem to recall Pruiti calling him the anti-Bowen in part because his defense wasn’t very good). Maybe it’s confirmation bias- he came into the league with a defensive rep so people assume he’s a good defender when the numbers certainly suggest he isn’t.

    43. nicos:
      And Melo’s defensive numbers were actually better than Leonard’s this year.I’m not sure why anyone thinks Leonard was a good defender- his synergy numbers were very mediocre (I seem to recall Pruiti calling him the anti-Bowen in part because his defense wasn’t very good).Maybe it’s confirmation bias- he came into the league with a defensive rep so people assume he’s a good defender when the numbers certainly suggest he isn’t.

      the Berri crowd doesn’t use Synergy, or they certainly wouldn’t still be championing Faried.

    44. ruruland:
      So, why is Durant a better fit than Melo? Why not talk about him?

      Because Kevin Durant is better at playing basketball than Carmelo Anthony is.

    45. Frank O.:
      I’m amazed that anyone has anything bad to say about Melo right now…

      No one did. RuRu is just acting like someone did.

    46. On a different note, has anyone else found Deron Williams’ play frustrating as hell? I’m extremely unimpressed, particularly with his decision making. Not an international PG.

    47. New Guy: mely unimpressed, particularly with his decision making. Not an international PG.

      Yes to a degree. I never thought he was as great as people have lauded him to be. Perhaps because I never really watched him during his Utah days. I gained some respect for his game in the Lin v. Williams II game where he was absolutely lights out. I have to say that I been much more frustrated by the play of Westbrook. He so frequently seems out of control and appears to force up outside shots early in the possession. He is clearly very athletic and an excellent defender but I think the dude really needs to calm down and dish the rock to better shooters when in the half court. I would really have a hard time rooting for this guy at this point in his career.

    48. I think we’re getting this Melo on the Olympic team and Melo on the Knicks argument wrong. Both scenarios are very different almost night and day. Typically almost all the guys on the roster except say Love, Iggy and Davis are all shot creators. Melo is as good a shot creator as any of the guys but when u have 5 shot creators on the court someone’s gotta do the dirty work. Saying that Melo’s abilities should be limited to maximize his talents on the Knicks is fools gold because he doesn’t have a cp3/deron/lebron type capable of creating shots and even good spot up shooting as Kobe, Durant and the others present. It’s not as easy as oh he is good role player on the Olympic team so we should turn him into a role player on the Knicks. That’s what MDA did last year and we all know what happened. Melo will get open shots on the Olympic team because all the other four guys have the potential of being doubled but on the Knicks come on, Melo’s defender no matter who he is will never ever leave him to double some one else except maybe Amare. Very complex basketball theories are working here so it’s not just a matter of Melo becoming Marion or Novak as most of you suggest. The Knicks won’t prosper if you limit him. It’s actually the opposite, do what Denver did, unlimit Melo and Limit everyone else and add good defense. Yes you’ll become the Iverson Sixers but at least they went to the finals.

      ephus: I think ‘Melo is performing this well because he is being asked to do less.He is not responsible for triggering the offense, and he is not being asked to create his own shot from 18?.If Woodson gets the rest of the offense running to the point where ‘Melo willingly limits his game to the things he is doing so well in London while putting out Olympian effort, he and the Knicks will prosper.

    49. Jafa: Really?Joe Johnson give you all the scoring that Ray Allen and Kevin Martin give you with better play making and defense.I’d put him neck and neck with Ginobili and Harden, if not slightly better, with Wade and Bryant ahead of him.Tony Allen? Gordon Hayward? Paul George?Are you serious?

      I’ve never known Joe Johnson to be a good defender. And he’s not an efficient scorer (at least not for his career) despite shooting over 36% from 3 for his career. He’s a good playmaker and he can create his own shot (even though you don’t want him to), but that’s about it when it comes to him.

      I’m considering production vs cost, but I’m being extremely generous. Joe Johnson is worth closer to $8 million a year than the $20 million a year that he’s being paid. For his price tag alone, there are a bunch of much cheaper guys who are much more cost effective.

      And he’s nowhere near as good as Harden or Ginobili. He’s closer to a declining Kobe Bryant than he is to those two.

    50. New Guy:
      On a different note, has anyone else found Deron Williams’ play frustrating as hell?I’m extremely unimpressed, particularly with his decision making.Not an international PG.

      No Flex. Still a very good player, but that opened up his game (the middle of the defense). I wouldn’t expect his scoring efficiency to return to Utah days.

      No one talks about that.

      He’s always been aggressive point guard, more so than Paul, and I think part of it is he plays at a different pace than Paul and can’t get into it on limited possessions.

    51. The flex aided Williams scoring efficiency in two ways. One, Williams actually was involved in some of the motion off the ball, and would get 1-2 back-door layup attempts a game.

      Second, because there are so many back and cross screens in the flex, the help defense often has its back turned to the ball.

      This is pretty clear in Williams’ short range efficiency: http://hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Deron%20Williams

    52. jon abbey:
      Grunwald continues to impress me with the role players he targets (along with CAA’s help), now he seems to be after Lou Amundson, who I think would be a great addition at this point:

      http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/23151/knicks-interested-in-lou-amundson

      I think they are going to wait as long as they possibly can with Kenyon. Amundson and Andersen are both superb back-up plans, and either one will work if the Knicks are forced to act quickly.

      Andersen’s legal issues are bullshit. He was set up by an underage female who misrepresented herself and preemptively sent him pictures.

      Birdman is one of the truly great guys in the game, and with all he’s been through, he’s not going to fuck it up like that. He was probably the most popular player with the ladies back a few years ago.

    53. Gideon Zaga:
      Saying that Melo’s abilities should be limited to maximize his talents on the Knicks is fools gold because he doesn’t have a cp3/deron/lebron type capable of creating shots and even good spot up shooting as Kobe, Durant and the others present. It’s not as easy as oh he is good role player on the Olympic team so we should turn him into a role player on the Knicks. That’s what MDA did last year and we all know what happened. Melo will get open shots on the Olympic team because all the other four guys have the potential of being doubled but on the Knicks come on,

      I hear you Zaga, but there’s a significant difference between Toney Douglas/Mike Bibby and Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd.

      Let’s remember that it’s been a really long time since Melo’s played with a strong passing point guard who could create some off-ball shots for him.

      Think about this for a second, even with Jason Kidd’s assists percentage slipping to 28% last year, it was still higher than the 25-26% of Chauncey Billups assisted % with Melo.

      Chauncey was the consummate scoring point guard, much more of a combo guard than a point guard.

      Before Billups, Melo played with Iverson, and most know his reputation as the anti-pg scoring guard.

      Iverson topped out with an assist percentage of 28, and ap36 lower than Kidd’s last year.

      Felton’s assist percentage and assists per 36 are higher than Billups and Iverson, which is why I think Melo will likely get his assisted basket attempts back to around 50-60 like it was when he played with Andre Miller.

      He did not have a reliable 3pt shot when he played with Andre Miller.

      So, it’s not as though he’s going to eliminate his post-ups and isos, but he should reduce them by a healthy amount, which should likely make each aspect of his offensive game more efficient.

    54. ephus: When I think of the many sins of the Dolan era, the exile of Marv is one of the biggest. Mike Breen is a fine announcer, but he should have been paired with Mark Jackson in the swamps of Jersey, while Marv and Clyde described the exploits and failures of the ‘Bockers. If anyone has a link to Marv’s description of the dog with the cigarette outside of MSG (IIRC, “always so sad to see a dog who has taken up smoking”), please post.

      I have to disagree here. Marv not only was involved in one of the tawdriest sex scandals I can remember, he also bailed on the Knicks at a critical point in one of the ’90s playoff series, coming off like he was actively rooting against them (OK for a national announcer, not for a MSG employee.) He was my idol growing up with the Willis/Clyde Knicks, but I was not sorry to see him go at that point. Breen is better than him now anyway.

    55. jon abbey:
      Grunwald continues to impress me with the role players he targets (along with CAA’s help), now he seems to be after Lou Amundson, who I think would be a great addition at this point:

      http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/23151/knicks-interested-in-lou-amundson

      If the bump in Amundson’s TS% at Phoenix is mostly a Nash effect, that’s really something.

      Year Team TS%
      2006-07 PHI .412
      2007-08 PHI .472
      2008-09 PHO .530
      2009-10 PHO .562
      2010-11 GSW .452
      2011-12 IND .438

    56. This is a quality blog there…best in last two months.Good job guys. Thank you.

    57. Gideon Zaga: It’s not as easy as oh he is good role player on the Olympic team so we should turn him into a role player on the Knicks. That’s what MDA did last year and we all know what happened.

      I agree that it is not so simple, but the idea is to allow Felton/Kidd/Prigioni attack the defense so that ‘Melo can catch the ball in a position to score, instead of iso-Melo where he is trying to create his own shot. And last year, MDA tried to make ‘Melo a point forward, where he was triggering the offense to set up opportunities for others.

      On Marv:

      If Dolan had fired Marv after the sex scandal, I would have understood. But MSG stood by him then and for another five years. It was only when Marv criticized some awful efforts by the Knicks in 2004 that he was terminated.

    58. ephus: If Dolan had fired Marv after the sex scandal, I would have understood. But MSG stood by him then and for another five years. It was only when Marv criticized some awful efforts by the Knicks in 2004 that he was terminated.

      Fair enough, I had soured on him way before then, not because of the scandal but frankly, I thought he was full of himself, lost any sense of loyalty to the team, and was a shell of what he was in the 1960’s-’70s. He continues to be the best radio play-by-play guy for basketball I have ever heard…the current guys (even Dedes) are terrible by comparison, only Breen was in the same league.

    59. slovene knick: This is a quality blog there…best in last two months.Good job guys. Thank you.

      I enjoy your occasional check-ins, slovene, and the euro perspective you provide.

    Comments are closed.