Knicks Poll: Win Streak Real or Fake?

With the Knicks winning both of their last 2 games, the second in convincing fashion, I’m curious how KnickerBlogger Nation feels on the recent trend. [Oh and check out the excellent recaps by Jim & Robert of the last two games, if you’re not up to snuff.]

The recent Knicks win streak ...

  • ... means whatever. Just make a Shumpert T-Shirt already! (45%, 146 Votes)
  • ... means nothing against hapless opponents. (36%, 119 Votes)
  • ... means the team is back! (19%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 328

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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).

104 thoughts to “Knicks Poll: Win Streak Real or Fake?”

  1. I’m glad they won, but I’m not convinced the team is for real until they beat another quality opponent. The 11th-16th of this month should provide a good indicator of where this team is at.

  2. We’re bad if we consider 2 wins a “winning streak”, xD. Perhaps Philly is the team that should be asking if they are for real…

  3. I agree with Duck – too early to say. Shump does really seem like a great fit at pg in this new Melo offense though. He doesn’t hold the ball too long but can also drive and dish. And he gets the ball to Amare in the paint. Amare should be taking him out lol!
    He can also shoot the three and defend. I was holding out hope we’d get Nash next year but both he and Melo hold the ball for so long, I just don’t know if that’s the best fit. If we could get a Grant Hill type at sg we’d be all set. But maybe Landry will come around?

  4. They both count as wins.

    The D is better….no question about that. Amare is playing better. I was impressed they did so well on the back end of a back to back. Balkman is finding his place, Bibby is making folks guard him. We just blew a team out while Melo was happy dishing and scoring in the teens. Good things are happening. We should be exposed vs. a good PG, but we just played John Wall.

    Now, Charlotte again…hopefully the plan is for some chandler / balkman elbows on on Diaw this time.

    As for the shirt…..I’m thinking a big SHUMP on the front, and another on the back would do?

  5. It’s still early in this weird, abbreviated no-training camp season, so things are probably gonna be herky-jerky for a while. Some of the improvements are quite tangible though. We’ve apparently removed the weakest player in the rotation (Toney Douglas) and replaced him with a guy (Shump Shump) who has been very promising on both ends of the floor. It’s hard to fathom just how bad TD has been– .398 TS% and defense that could best be described as “woeful.”

    It’s hard to know exactly what this team is truly going to look like until we see what Baron Davis can bring to the table. If Baron can simply play like he did last season, he will allow us to play a completely different style of game offensively. Baron had a 41.2 AST% last season and ranks 19th in NBA history in that category. The current leader on the Knicks in AST% is Carmelo Anthony at 26.8.

    Baron will find the open man and make creative passes, and he’s no slouch defensively. A Baron-Shump backcourt should generate lots of steals and fastbreak opportunities and should be a significant upgrade over the Douglas-Fields backcourt on both sides of the ball.

  6. We won’t be able to say “the team is back” until we have a steady rotation and consistent results night after night. The Knicks’ problem all last season and so far this season hasn’t been an inability to beat tough opponents from time to time, but an inability to come into every game prepared to fight on both ends of the court. When ball movement and defense cease to be pleasant surprises and become just part of what watching a Knicks game is all about, then we can celebrate having our team back. I think that’ll take at least another week or two at earliest.

  7. No, the wins really happened. The Knicks have tremendous amount of talent – enough to take them deep into the playoffs. Maybe enough to win a championship this year.
    Their success hinges on how well they play as a team. As long as guys want to put up big numbers in the box score, or think they can do it alone, this team is doomed. But, if they have faith and trust in each other, this team can be unstoppable.
    Melo is the straw that stirs this drink. Like it or not, everything hinges on how much of a team player he’s going to be. So far, I give him a D in this category. If Melo moves the ball and uses his talent to get everybody playing better, we’ll see winning basketball. To the extent he excels at this, so go the knicks. If Melo plays the role of the human basketball vacuum, the knicks will struggle to squeak into the playoffs and be quickly dismissed. . . just like what happened in Denver.

  8. I see this more as a progression. They have the talent to get by weak opponents now, and the more familiar they get with each other, the better they’ll play. I have a feeling this season will play out like this: by the 42nd game you’ll go to your favorite website and be surprised that the knicks are 10 to 15 games over .500. It won’t feel like they’re a very good team, yet. But you’ll begin to realize the talent means something in the NBA.
    They’ll drop a few games in a row here and there, but they’ll also have several streaks of winning six or seven games straight.

  9. A lot of fans, including in this forum, said we had to get Melo. Well, we got him. And because of the way Melo, and Dolan, played their hand, it took a lot to get him. Well, he’s here now and the weight of the team rests largely on his shoulders. He getting a bulk of the payroll and we gave up valuable assets to bring him here. So, there’s no blame that should be thrown on Bibby or Fields or TD.
    If Melo can’t play well with others, don’t blame the others. Sure, this message board over hyped Fields early in the season, but he just didn’t forget how to play basketball when Melo got here. There’s a direct correlation to how he, Amare and the rest of the team are struggling. The irony is, Melo is the most skilled player on the team. He has to believe that winning is all that matters, and that moving the ball and playing vicious defense are required to that end.
    If he kicks it out to Bibby and he misses a three pointer, that doesn’t mean you don’t pass to Bibby anymore. That’s the opposite of trust in your teammates. It means you tap him in back of his head and tell him he’s going to knock down the game winner. Then pass to him in crunch time with two seconds remaining when you’re triple teamed and watch him bury it. That’s trust. That’s winning basketball.

  10. The most promising thing the last two games is the new Amare.

    1 – He’s rebounding MUCH more aggressively – total RR 18, 15, and 15 the 3 games since he returned.

    2 – He’s passing again. First 4 games played – 0.5 assists/game. Last 2 games = 6 assists. His assist ratio was a career low the first few games after having a career high of 9.2 last year. It was 19.5 in the last game.

    3 – Getting to the rim again – last 3 games he had 7, 7, and 8 shot at the rim, closer to his career averages.

    Granted the last 3 games were against 3 of the worst defensive teams out there. But still… promising signs.

  11. ok in a lockout shortened season, with a new defense and defensive coach, with new team mates and new mindset, i think its fair to say this win streak is a smoke screen for more bad games to come. its just going to take time, im just praying that the team and the coaching staff dont panic when things go bad again, i hope they dont rush guys back from injury and pump up the minutes of our marquee players. i think for us knick fans this season will be like that 10 Celtics, play abysmal in the regular season, and then explode in the playoffs. Go NY!

  12. hoolahoop: Their success hinges on how well they play as a team. As long as guys want to put up big numbers in the box score, or think they can do it alone, this team is doomed. But, if they have faith and trust in each other, this team can be unstoppable.

    and ironically, if they play together as a team they will all have big numbers.

  13. On a side note, dont forget to vote Melo n Amare into the All star game. this is so exciting, we r finally gonna have multiple all stars on the Knicks. Might be just a dream Mr dolan.

  14. The Knicks aren’t going to be good, but they are good enough to beat up on some crappy teams. Loved this quote from Mike D in that WSJ article. While I don’t think D’Anatoni is any great shakes as a coach I like the sense of humor….

    “This week, coach Mike D’Antoni was asked whether the Knicks will scale back on three-point shooting since they were making a dreadful 32% of their long shots. D’Antoni pointed out that the team shot around 30% inside the 3-point line. He joked that what the Knicks need to do is not shoot at all.”

  15. Please explain your thoughts on why the Knicks aren’t gonna be good.

    Owen:
    The Knicks aren’t going to be good, but they are good enough to beat up on some crappy teams. Loved this quote from Mike D in that WSJ article. While I don’t think D’Anatoni is any great shakes as a coach I love the sense of humor….

    “This week, coach Mike D’Antoni was asked whether the Knicks will scale back on three-point shooting since they were making a dreadful 32% of their long shots. D’Antoni pointed out that the team shot around 30% inside the 3-point line. He joked that what the Knicks need to do is not shoot at all.”

  16. hoolahoop: because of the way Melo, and Dolan, played their hand, it took a lot to get him. Well, he’s here now and the weight of the team rests largely on his shoulders. We gave up valuable assets to bring him here. If he kicks it out to Bibby and he misses a three pointer, that doesn’t mean you don’t pass to Bibby anymore. It means you tap him in back of his head and tell him he’s going to knock down the game winner. Then pass to him in crunch time with two seconds remaining when you’re triple teamed and watch him bury it. That’s trust. That’s winning basketball.

    I can’t remember a more well-written post that describes how we feel about Melo. After losing out on Lebron, as great as Amare was as plan B-1, we needed a B-2…another superstar to create a “big whatever” to keep up with the Miami Joneses. I’ll go out on a limb and say most of us wanted him. The how-we-got-him put the pressure squarely on his shoulders. Part of it is a bit unfair, i mean last year’s pre-melo team had more success than any Knick team in some time; but because we’d been so putrid under Isiah, it wouldn’t have taken much..he’s a legit star, go get him..i co-sign. But we could have had him for a bag of balls and that kills me. He and Dolan over-played their hands..its a fact; neither is very smart. That said, I accept things as they are and I’m excited about the future. Why? we’ve got telent..and telent wins if channeled properly.

  17. Continuing my previous rant :) I know there is alot of hate for D’antoni, but not from me. I appreciate that he made the years leading up to Summer 2010 palatable and watchable in the worst of times. The man was well-paid, but could have been very well paid elsewhere..his stock was high. As much of an analyst as i am, i don’t really have time/patience to do my own advanced BBall stats as you all do..i read what you write and take it as fact (trust my teammates, lol). But I know what my eyes and ears tell me. I can see that this is a coach and a team that wants to figure it out and do whatever it takes to win…they WANT to meet the expectations placed on them. I saw the offense and defense in the washington game..yes the wiz suck donkey d..but what i saw was real and its a sign of things to come. We CAN play D, we CAN move the ball..put your faith in your coach..it will work. Pressure and expectations for these two stars is exactly what they need. They’re no longer in their shit markets that will coddle them to the point the mayor sings songs begging them to stay. This is NY..where you wanted to be..where people work hard..where WE are paying you to do a job and we don’t like being cheated, robbed or lied to..our honeymoon lasts only so long without results. I COULD NOT have been happier with the boo-ing at MSG the other night. To me it spoke to Melo and Amare loud and clear “rock your dumb hipster glasses and bowties, build your stupid “brands” and leverage everything NY has to offer…but know this…its a two-way street pal..yes..we called you ‘pal’. Simply being a star won’t cut it. We have SUFFERED more than any other team in this league the last 10 years. We dont care if you score 60 points..wins are the only thing that counts. Now go do it.” I love New York.

  18. Wow!!! This sounds like it’s straight out of the Times, the Post or the Journal. Best piece I have read today. Unfortunately I disagree with u shout Dantoni, he doesn’t strike me as a think out of the box kinda guy such as a Doc Rivers or a Nate McMillan or a George Karl. I just think he has no excuse to underachieve this season. LIke in all things there are coaches and there are coaches.

    Eternal OptiKnist:
    Continuing my previous rant :)I know there is alot of hate for D’antoni, but not from me.I appreciate that he made the years leading up to Summer 2010 palatable and watchable in the worst of times.The man was well-paid, but could have been very well paid elsewhere..his stock was high.As much of an analyst as i am, i don’t really have time/patience to do my own advanced BBall stats as you all do..i read what you write and take it as fact (trust my teammates, lol).But I know what my eyes and ears tell me.I can see that this is a coach and a team that wants to figure it out and do whatever it takes to win…they WANT to meet the expectations placed on them.I saw the offense and defense in the washington game..yes the wiz suck donkey d..but what i saw was real and its a sign of things to come.We CAN play D, we CAN move the ball..put your faith in your coach..it will work.Pressure and expectations for these two stars is exactly what they need.They’re no longer in their shit markets that will coddle them to the point the mayor sings songs begging them to stay.This is NY..where you wanted to be..where people work hard..where WE are paying you to do a job and we don’t like being cheated, robbed or lied to..our honeymoon lasts only so long without results.I COULD NOT have been happier with the boo-ing at MSG the other night.To me it spoke to Melo and Amare loud and clear “rock your dumb hipster glasses and bowties, build your stupid “brands” and leverage everything NY has to…

  19. D.:
    Wow!!!This sounds like it’s straight out of the Times, the Post or the Journal. Best piece I have read today.Unfortunately I disagree with u shout Dantoni, he doesn’t strike me as a think out of the box kinda guy such as a Doc Rivers or a Nate McMillan or a George Karl. I just think he has no excuse to underachieve this season. LIke in all things there are coaches and there are coaches.

    you must not have seen the knicks play in 09-10 when Duhon sucked and the offense was run through D.Lee as a point-forward. if thats not out of the box than i dont know what is.

  20. Since they almost got beat by the Wizards, I’ll be surprised if they go 33-33.

  21. So after 3 long-winded posts, my vote is the team is back with a BIG caveat. I think there are still tough times and bad losses to come. I sold as many of my season tickets early, knowing the team would struggle out of the gate. I think the things that we saw in the “win streak” are real..but i’m not concerned about keeping a streak going and dont care too much if it does. I’d be happier in the longrun if they lost next 5 games from here while running the offense, moving the ball and learning the defense. Going 3 and 2 with Melo playing the you-all-suck-i-will-save-you ball, Amare forcing into doubles and turning it over and sieve defense leading to 120-118 score wins sends us backwards. The worst thing that can happen to someone when they go to Atlantic City and play blackjack for the first time..is split kings and win.

  22. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Since they almost got beat by the Wizards, I’ll be surprised if they go 33-33.

    My forecast going into the season was 35-31 and I’m two games off the pace. I was being conservative..especially early. I would be so pissed with 33-33! I love sports.

  23. We traded one good player (Gallo), a draft pick and a lot of filler to get Melo– and, let’s not forget we got Chauncey Billups in that deal too, who was converted into Tyson Chandler. Gallo is having a nice season, but Mozgov is probably a career backup center, Wilson Chandler is not currently in the NBA and Ray Felton is sucking big time in Portland. We also moved Anthony Randolph, who has found yet another situation in which he can’t get playing time.

    From a big picture standpoint, we are replacing Mozgov with Tyson Chandler, Felton with Baron Davis and Gallo with Carmelo Anthony. If you guys think we were going to win anything with the Anthony Randolph/Ray Felton/Mozgov dream team you are nuts.

  24. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Since they almost got beat by the Wizards, I’ll be surprised if they go 33-33.

    You might have noticed a lot of teams that are expected to be good have struggled to open the season.
    This is unplowed earth, this schedule, is likely to be rocky.

  25. Yep I did and he decides to do the same this year with Melo as point forward. Now is that insanity or what, doing the same thing over and over again and having little results. Now that is not even thinking out of the box, that is just mind boggling my friend.

    jaylamerique: you must not have seen the knicks play in 09-10 when Duhon sucked and the offense was run through D.Lee as a point-forward. if thats not out of the box than i dont know what is.

  26. D.: Wow!!! This sounds like it’s straight out of the Times, the Post or the Journal. Best piece I have read today. Unfortunately I disagree with u shout Dantoni, he doesn’t strike me as a think out of the box kinda guy such as a Doc Rivers or a Nate McMillan or a George Karl. I just think he has no excuse to underachieve this season. LIke in all things there are coaches and there are coaches.

    I totally understand your feelings on D’antoni..I could not site here and say his bad rep on defense is unwarranted. My fandom with the Knicks started in ’92, I’m a defense guy..i get it. That being said, this is a site that is driven by data and solid analysis. Anyone who understands who understands research and the scientific method knows that any experiment needs to be run with least amount of variables possible. If you are all true data-ites which I know you all are NOT ONE of you can argue that this season is the start of the real “D’antoni experiment”. Love him or hate him, you know he hasn’t had a real chance with a full team that will be around for a full season. I know nothing is more gratifying than watching a prediction come true, but temper that desire…see where this team is on Feb 15th. I may be wrong and they will suck and it may be D’antoni’s fault but he’s more than earned this chance and you all know it.

  27. By the way, has anyone had the recurring wet dream of JVG coaching this team next year?? I know it’s not full of defensive studs, but if defense is desire and effort, one could only dream of of him patrolling the sidelines, hanging on to the leg of Kevin Garnett as he spars with Amare Stoudemire. It is a good dream, albeit one that requires several pairs of clean slacks.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLnWf1sQkjY&feature=fvsr

  28. If the previous game was a harbinger of things to come then the Knicks are for real. There was ball movement, effort on defense, serious board-crashing, Amar’e starting his move and passing out of it rather than barreling into three people, and a number of other positive signs. I’m fine with Melo going ISO when it’s smart, i.e. when they had Prince guarding him one-on-one and Melo easily backed him into the post and hit a J over the top (albeit with an odd whistle thrown in).

    If the previous game was because we were facing the Pistons, then perhaps not. Then again, blowing out the Pistons is still a step up from losing to or barely beating teams that are just as bad, if not worse.

  29. See this is what I don’t get about some of the guys on this site. You make all these excuses about Dantoni and how his teams don’t play defense or he doesn’t have defensive personel. I remember the rose and bulls defense arguement on this site during the lockout and how I argued that the bulls defense like the Celtics was more on coach Thib, than on the personel. As I argued that Pierce and rose were not known as defensive studs until coach Thib arrived. Now since I believe that the advanced stat gods reside on this site, someone please explain to me why after the Melo trade, with the same personel that couldn’t play an ounce of defense with Dantoni, that same personel with George Karl ranked higher in defense in Denver. I agree with you if JVG returns this team will stress defense more than offense. I don’t like Dantoni just not for his offensive tactics but most of all for his lack of creativity on defense. It’s as if he woke up one day and said the 4 guys will play offense and we’ll have Jefferies handle defense.

    Eternal OptiKnist:
    By the way, has anyone had the recurring wet dream of JVG coaching this team next year??I know it’s not full of defensive studs, but if defense is desire and effort, one could only dream of of him patrolling the sidelines, hanging on to the leg of Kevin Garnett as he spars with Amare Stoudemire.It is a good dream, albeit one that requires several pairs of clean slacks.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLnWf1sQkjY&feature=fvsr

  30. Like they say when you actually win, you lose. Even though we blew them out, the team got outscored in the 4th quarter and scored with only 17 points but thank God that the pistons suck and only scored 23 or our defense was better. Although I think our 39 points 2nd quarter was the main factor, I mean 39 points, almost 40 points in a quarter are u kidding me. It’s time for us to get a defensive culture because this team can score and can score in bunches. And that’s where Mike D’antoni comes in, I mean Mike D’antoni? Defense?? no I guess not. Hopefully we’ll live to see.

  31. Frank O.: You might have noticed a lot of teams that are expected to be good have struggled to open the season.
    This is unplowed earth, this schedule, is likely to be rocky.

    Look at the Wizards’ point differential. They’re terrible. The Knicks are sitting at a whopping +0.8, which should give them 34 wins on the season. And after approximately 1300 possessions, I’m ready to say that our team is as mediocre as I expected them to be.

    They might not be so bad without Toney D. on the floor, but they sure as hell aren’t going to win 40 with Mike Bibby or an injured Baron Davis.

  32. D.:
    See this is what I don’t get about some of the guys on this site.You make all these excuses about Dantoni and how his teams don’t play defense or he doesn’t have defensive personel. I remember the rose and bulls defense arguement on this site during the lockout and how I argued that the bulls defense like the Celtics was more on coach Thib, than on the personel. As I argued that Pierce and rose were not known as defensive studs until coach Thib arrived. Now since I believe that the advanced stat gods reside on this site,someone please explain to me why after the Melo trade, with the same personel that couldn’t play an ounce of defense with Dantoni,that same personel with George Karl ranked higher in defense in Denver.I agree with you if JVG returns this team will stress defense more than offense. I don’t like Dantoni just not for his offensive tactics but most of all for his lack of creativity on defense. It’s as if he woke up one day and said the 4 guys will play offense and we’ll have Jefferies handle defense.

    Is this really hard? The Knicks were a below-average, but not awful, defensive team before the trade; they proceeded to trade basically all of their competent defenders (especially Chandler and Felton) to Denver and got worse. Denver was (IIRC?) also below-average, but with a number of competent defenders (Birdman, Martin, Afflalo); they traded one of their worse defenders in Melo (and an aging one in Billups) and so they got better on defense.

  33. Since I was the one that posted the Keith Bogans rumor the other day, I felt obligated to post the Berman note that it was a bogus rumor.

    From Berman: “There was no truth to an Internet report the Knicks were on the verge of signing free-agent shooting guard Keith Bogans, in the wake of Toney Douglas’ right shoulder injury. The Knicks had inquired about Bogans a few weeks ago, but nothing came of it and instead they obtained point guard Jeremy Lin, who would have had to be cut for Bogans to be signed.”

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/opposing_scouts_want_better_garden_Eodbp6pPbuqUfo1m6IO4nI#ixzz1izKtsA70

  34. JK47:
    We traded one good player (Gallo), a draft pick and a lot of filler to get Melo– and, let’s not forget we got Chauncey Billups in that deal too, who was converted into Tyson Chandler.Gallo is having a nice season, but Mozgov is probably a career backup center, Wilson Chandler is not currently in the NBA and Ray Felton is sucking big time in Portland.We also moved Anthony Randolph, who has found yet another situation in which he can’t get playing time.

    From a big picture standpoint, we are replacing Mozgov with Tyson Chandler, Felton with Baron Davis and Gallo with Carmelo Anthony. If you guys think we were going to win anything with the Anthony Randolph/Ray Felton/Mozgov dream team you are nuts.

    That’s still not quite the point.

    Here is the sticking point with me: Melo was asked if he would re-sign in Denver if he wasn’t traded about a week before the trade, and he said he would give it a lot of consideration.

    If you want to be in NY on a great team, that’s not the answer you give. You say no. You’re allowed to do that without getting the Knicks in trouble for tampering because all you’re saying is that you aren’t staying where you currently are, and it takes the leverage away from the Nuggets. Melo chose the answer that gave the Nuggets ALL of the leverage, which is why the Knicks ultimately gave up too much for him.

    It’s also not as simple as you are making it because I don’t think anybody believed that the Knicks were sticking with Felton, Chandler and Gallo and trying to win a title with them, but it gave them assets they could use to fill holes. It gave them flexibility. The Knicks problem at that point would have been that they had too much talent on their roster and needed to move it to fill in some gaps like interior defense; now their problem is that they have massive holes in their roster and no assets…

  35. xduckshoex: That’s still not quite the point.

    Here is the sticking point with me:Melo was asked if he would re-sign in Denver if he wasn’t traded about a week before the trade, and he said he would give it a lot of consideration.

    If you want to be in NY on a great team, that’s not the answer you give.You say no.You’re allowed to do that without getting the Knicks in trouble for tampering because all you’re saying is that you aren’t staying where you currently are, and it takes the leverage away from the Nuggets.Melo chose the answer that gave the Nuggets ALL of the leverage, which is why the Knicks ultimately gave up too much for him.

    It’s also not as simple as you are making it because I don’t think anybody believed that the Knicks were sticking with Felton, Chandler and Gallo and trying to win a title with them, but it gave them assets they could use to fill holes.It gave them flexibility.The Knicks problem at that point would have been that they had too much talent on their roster and needed to move it to fill in some gaps like interior defense; now their problem is that they have massive holes in their roster and no assets…

    too much talent?!! that team was struggling to be .500 after their 13 game winning streak

  36. Felton, a capable defender?? U r kidding right. Since you dont know what u are talking about, im not going to to entertain by responding to the rest of your post. But I will say this about your post “capable “, and that’s the key word. Still doesn’t explain why they didn’t play defense and still doesn’t answer my question.

    yoda4554: Is this really hard?The Knicks were a below-average, but not awful, defensive team before the trade; they proceeded to trade basically all of their competent defenders (especially Chandler and Felton) to Denver and got worse.Denver was (IIRC?) also below-average, but with a number of competent defenders (Birdman, Martin, Afflalo); they traded one of their worse defenders in Melo (and an aging one in Billups) and so they got better on defense.

  37. @37

    But we also got another asset in that trade, and it turned out to be a huge one: Chauncey Billups and his amnesty-able contract. We used this asset to secure an amazing interior defender who has the side benefit of leading the NBA in TS%.

  38. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Look at the Wizards’ point differential. They’re terrible. The Knicks are sitting at a whopping +0.8, which should give them 34 wins on the season. And after approximately 1300 possessions, I’m ready to say that our team is as mediocre as I expected them to be.

    They might not be so bad without Toney D. on the floor, but they sure as hell aren’t going to win 40 with Mike Bibby or an injured Baron Davis.

    It’s still too early to draw conclusions. All the stats prior to this year were based on the idea that there was a summer league for rooks and a preseason schedule to work out kinks. They have had none of that and a lineup overhaul.
    There is no real statistical analysis that anyone should be comfortable with this early in a truncated season. Statistics in the NBA are notoriously imprecise to begin with, without having to calculate so many new unknowns and unknowables. 1300 possessions only sounds like a lot, but it is a fraction of the roughly 15,000 possessions this team will have before the season is done (an extrapolation on the number of possessions to date). Indeed, that total number could increase beyond my extrapolation once the offense starts clicking and the number of possessions conform more closely to a D’Antoni norm, which I believe is a bit higher than the current average. Either way, it is too early to know. Whatever assessment you are making is as good as throwing darts at a board five feet from you, blindfolded.
    Right now we’re all going on gut. My gut says this team has enormous talent, two through five, and the rest will get sorted out. It is an enviable team for most of the NBA, and to be pessimistic now is a bit ridiculous.

  39. my friend scored us free seats to tonight’s game, whoo! that means I am relying on the collective Knickerblogger populace to start tonight’s game thread correctly. if I only had a SHUMP SHUMP t-shirt…

  40. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Look at the Wizards’ point differential. They’re terrible. The Knicks are sitting at a whopping +0.8, which should give them 34 wins on the season. And after approximately 1300 possessions, I’m ready to say that our team is as mediocre as I expected them to be.

    I assume you’re not old enough to have kids, but if you do, I would hate to be your kid. We have played 8 games with 2 new starters and a bunch of injuries. How about withholding judgment for about 5 minutes?

    While we’re looking at small samples, here’s one for you.
    In our last 7 quarters we have outscored the (admittedly crappy) opposition by 40 points (184-144). We held Detroit and Washington to Offensive Efficiencies of 87 and 93 points/100 poss. How many wins would that equate to?

  41. Denver team defensive efficiency with Melo/no Knicks

    2003: 9th
    2004: 6th
    2005: 8th
    2006: 9th
    2007: 6th
    2008: 8th
    2009:16th

    2010: Billups (defense allowed 3.5 more when on court, Billups as a (-1.6 overal)
    2009: Billups (defense allowed 2.8 more ppg with him on fllor, only a +1.3 ppg overal)
    2008: billups (defense allowed 4.9 more ppg with him on floor)

    This has much more to do with Ty Lawson than anything else. However, Denver’s defensive efficiency is right in line with what they were doing pre-Billups.

  42. No, we barely beat the Wizards and that’s all Jowles needs to know. We might as well not even play the rest of the games because we’re locked in to this level of performance for this season and probably for the rest of eternity.

  43. JK47:
    No, we barely beat the Wizards and that’s all Jowles needs to know.We might as well not even play the rest of the games because we’re locked in to this level of performance for this season and probably for the rest of eternity.

    sometimes I wonder if even he takes himself seriously.

  44. JK47:
    We traded one good player (Gallo), a draft pick and a lot of filler to get Melo– and, let’s not forget we got Chauncey Billups in that deal too, who was converted into Tyson Chandler.Gallo is having a nice season, but Mozgov is probably a career backup center, Wilson Chandler is not currently in the NBA and Ray Felton is sucking big time in Portland.We also moved Anthony Randolph, who has found yet another situation in which he can’t get playing time.

    From a big picture standpoint, we are replacing Mozgov with Tyson Chandler, Felton with Baron Davis and Gallo with Carmelo Anthony. If you guys think we were going to win anything with the Anthony Randolph/Ray Felton/Mozgov dream team you are nuts.

    Will the Melo trade lamenters please re-read the above post and just move on? I’d like to think this discussion will have to end at some point, but I’m afraid that at some point Melo will have a bad stretch (as ALL players do) and then the cries for “Wilt” Mozgov and “Magic” Felton will start up again.

  45. I do think these last two games show how much better this team could be with even average guard play. TD has been as bad as any guard in the league this year and Fields has struggled as well. Swapping in Shumpert for TD and Bibby showing some life has made a big difference (and Fields was much more active against Detroit as well). Shumpert looks far more like an actual point guard than I thought he would- I’m especially impressed at how under control he is when he gets into the paint. If Fields can recover his three point stroke and help spread the floor the Knicks will be fine.

  46. Frank: I assume you’re not old enough to have kids, but if you do, I would hate to be your kid.We have played 8 games with 2 new starters and a bunch of injuries.How about withholding judgment for about 5 minutes?

    While we’re looking at small samples, here’s one for you.
    In our last 7 quarters we have outscored the (admittedly crappy) opposition by 40 points (184-144).We held Detroit and Washington to Offensive Efficiencies of 87 and 93 points/100 poss.How many wins would that equate to?

    Actually, according to ratemyprofessors.com, I’m a pretty cool guy. If you think my condemnation of THE KNICKS’ FRONT OFFICE’S BONEHEADED MOVES has any relevance to my ABILITY AS A PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE UNDER MY IMMEDIATE CARE, you are… well, I don’t want to get banned for what I’d call you. You can work it out.

    I’m looking at the whole season. Why not include the last 8 quarters? Why not the last 9? Take the whole season.

    Are you actually attributing the Knicks’ mediocrity to a lack of summer league? Do you know how few people are affected by summer league? Who? Fields? Shump? Jorts? Wow, that must be the reason that almost everyone outside of Melo and Chandler are playing poorly.

    And preseason? If that’s the case, why are the Clippers sitting at 4-2? They’ve got two young frontcourt players playing with two new point guards. Is this really your argument?

    And Detroit and Washington played poorly? MY GOODNESS WE MUST BE GREAT. This is supposed to be a contender for the Eastern Conference Finals, and you’re talking about the Wizards and Pistons, two of the worst teams in the league? Come on, man!

  47. JK47:
    By this same logic the Philadelphia 76ers should be NBA champions.

    I don’t think that Hawes can keep up this level of play, but if he does, they’ll be a top-3 seed behind the Heat and Bulls. They are playing unbelievably well right now, and if you want to do the whole “But they don’t have a star player!” thing, you’re missing the point of efficient play. Their point differential is unreal right now, and pythagorean wins don’t lie. You can argue all you want, but point differential has such a high correlation you’d be wasting your time. Fact.

  48. d-mar: Will the Melo trade lamenters please re-read the above post and just move on? I’d like to think this discussion will have to end at some point, but I’m afraid that at some point Melo will have a bad stretch (as ALL players do) and then the cries for “Wilt” Mozgov and “Magic” Felton will start up again.

    I think there are very few people on here that didn’t salivate at the thought of having Melo on this team (me among them….i wanted him and i’m happy we have him). Our aquisition of him still generates so much discussion and here’s why. You bought a muscle car that you wanted SO badly..you know all the stats, how it looks, the color…you love it and it’s great. Your good friend helped you negotiate the sale because he lives the town you got it from. But the day after you spend you’re hard-earned money on it, you find out you could have gotten it for almost free. Not that you paid a ton for it or too much by conventional standards…but you could have paid almost nothing! It makes it seem like a bad deal. You’d be pissed, in general and mostly at your friend…its hard to look at the car the same and smile…you resent it in a way. All this anger and resentment builds and builds because its winter and the car is in the garage; you got the car at the end of the summer…you only drove it once or twice and even notice some rust here and there. But then winter is over and Spring comes…you take it out for that first windows-down spin and realize again why you wanted it so bad…how it bas-ass it is, the exhaust note, the rugged charm…the f-ing speed..and you begin to remember that even though you paid more than you HAD to, it was still probably a fair price. Then it hopefully gets you laid (nba title).

  49. This is the way I see it.

    The Knicks post Melo trade were approximately a .500 team (a hair better).

    Chandler > Turiaf
    Billups > Douglas
    Douglas > Bibby
    Shawne Williams = Harrelson (different but similar value)

    On a net basis, I don’t see such improvement there. We added Shumpert, but many teams added quality draft picks (some better some worse).

    The real killer is that Douglas and Fields haven’t been playing near as well as in the past.

    We may be 4-4 and have a positive point differential, but that’s only because we’ve had one of the weakest schedules in the entire NBA. Even the win against Boston is tainted because Pierce was out. So far Boston had been mediocre anyway – even with Pierce.

    Unless Douglas and Fields snap out of their funk or Shumpert delivers a huge upside surprise, this team is going to struggle a lot against anyone good and could even wind up being sub .500.

    We gutted the team for Melo and further eroded the depth this year.

  50. Let’s please get along… Forget the mumbo jumbo with Moz, Felton, Gallo, etc… There’s one player that we all miss regardless of our feelings on the Melo trade… It’s Wilson Chandler… there’s nothing we can do about it… let’s just end it there…

  51. While i don’t always agree with what THCJ says, i’ve got to admit that i often see sound logic that i just don’t WANT to believe. Is hard to be objective sometimes..because objective often sucks. I WANT my team to do well, and THCJ, i have to assume that since you spend a good amount of your time with us here..you do too. My sense is that you hope that you’re wrong and we have success. There’s some things I wish would have gone down a bit different with management because after all our crappy years, the team we have now is going to be ours more or less for the next 4 years…so you hope its as perfect as it can be…and i totally understand THCJ for lamenting if its not…he doesnt want to waste our “one shot” being mediocre. Per my screen name, i’m going to wait for the real data to roll in…and stop prognosticating…its not worth it…its 66 games in a few months..it’ll all be over before you know it and we’ll very quickly see what we have. My advice to you THCJ is to enjoy the positive thoughts of what could be…if the team is horrible at the end of the season, thats too bad….we’ll all be disappointed right there with you…why not enjoy positive hope while it lasts..be pissed and depressed if it doesnt materialize. Go KNICKS…I believe in you…i will watch every minute of every game and cheer and cry and drink heavily as i’ve done for the last 20 years!

  52. Maybe Spencer Hawes has overnight become the best center in the NBA. And maybe James Harden is a far superior player to Dwyane Wade. Or maybe things regress to the mean a little bit, I dunno.

  53. who is this dude. Howard is that you. I enjoy your posts so much. Love that muscle car anology, I think the problem with Knicks fans is that we have been used to mediocrity from this team for so long that even if we get a lebron, we will still not accept the good of it. Hope their winning ways will change that.

    Eternal OptiKnist:
    While i don’t always agree with what THCJ says, i’ve got to admit that i often see sound logic that i just don’t WANT to believe.Is hard to be objective sometimes..because objective often sucks.I WANT my team to do well, and THCJ, i have to assume that since you spend a good amount of your time with us here..you do too.My sense is that you hope that you’re wrong and we have success.There’s some things I wish would have gone down a bit different with management because after all our crappy years, the team we have now is going to be ours more or less for the next 4 years…so you hope its as perfect as it can be…and i totally understand THCJ for lamenting if its not…he doesnt want to waste our “one shot” being mediocre.Per my screen name, i’m going to wait for the real data to roll in…and stop prognosticating…its not worth it…its 66 games in a few months..it’ll all be over before you know it and we’ll very quickly see what we have.My advice to you THCJ is to enjoy the positive thoughts of what could be…if the team is horrible at the end of the season, thats too bad….we’ll all be disappointed right there with you…why not enjoy positive hope while it lasts..be pissed and depressed if it doesnt materialize. Go KNICKS…I believe in you…i will watch every minute of every game and cheer and cry and drink heavily as i’ve done for the last 20 years!

  54. Why are you all forgetting about Baron Davis? The guy has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to be at least a top 15 point-guard in the league.

    His bad rep comes from situations where he was on a terrible team with a guaranteed contract and got fat / disinterested. This is not one of those situations.

    When he comes back, there is going to be an adjustment period and then the team is going to be awesome. Mark my words.

  55. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Look at the Wizards’ point differential. They’re terrible. The Knicks are sitting at a whopping +0.8, which should give them 34 wins on the season. And after approximately 1300 possessions, I’m ready to say that our team is as mediocre as I expected them to be.They might not be so bad without Toney D. on the floor, but they sure as hell aren’t going to win 40 with Mike Bibby or an injured Baron Davis.

    I wonder if you felt similarly about the Heat last year when they were 8-7 after 15 games…

  56. I think people also aren’t realizing how easy it should be for us to upgrade the backcourt, if not this season, then in the offseason. we got a chance to see how much better the starting front court looked when playing with one real guard (Shump Shump) against Detroit, just wait until we have Shumpert and Baron there, or Shumpert and Nash, or whatever.

  57. Baron Davis ranks 19th all-time in AST%. The dude can pass. Last season a supposedly unmotivated Baron Davis playing on lousy teams managed a 41.2 AST%, easily above his career average. Unless he’s a complete cripple he should give us a level of play at least equal to the dearly departed “Magic” Felton.

  58. and not just any assists, to again quote the Hollinger piece that should give us all of us not named after penii hope:

    “I did some research on assist quality this summer, and in their player comments I mentioned that LeBron James and Chris Paul don’t grade out particularly well in this assessment (see James’ comment for more).

    But you know who does? Would you believe … Baron Davis????

    It’s true. Davis had the most valuable assists in the league last season, and it wasn’t even close. Among players with at least 300 assists, Davis’ average assist was worth .841 points, well ahead of the league average of .667. And lest you think that was all from having Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan slamming down dunks, consider that Davis’ assist value didn’t change at all after the trade to Cleveland. More than half of Davis’ assists were layups or dunks, according to Hoopdata.com, compared to the league average of 38 percent; conversely, only 26.3 percent of his dimes were “bad” assists that led to 2-pointers away from the basket.”

  59. @64

    Nice. And even if all the assists WERE just from Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan slamming down dunks, that would be fine too, since we have Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, two guys who are pretty good at slamming down dunks.

    Our problems thus far have been obvious: atrocious play from Toney Douglas and Landry Fields. Toney D has a WS/48 of -.035. Landry Fields’ number is .025. If we get a negative combined win share number out of our starting backcourt, then yeah, we’re going to be pretty freaking terrible. I don’t personally see that level of suckitude continuing.

  60. Of course I want the Knicks to win. And I think I’ve used this analogy before, but trading for Melo was like taking the hot girl with a long string of cheating as your girlfriend and praying that maybe in these circumstances she’ll be faithful. You know, analyzing each situation in which she cheated and saying, “Well, it wasn’t her fault, there.” Eventually either she breaks her pattern (as Melo apparently has, this year) or she lets you down. The difference is that you can break up with a cheating girlfriend and keep most of your stuff. Melo’s got what, four years and $70M left? That’s hard baggage to get rid of.

    I’m not mad that we have Amar’e and Melo. I’m mad that we have them at 60%+ of our salary cap and believe that they’re going to be the pieces to carry the team to a championship. And I don’t know about y’all, but I’m tired of watching a losing team. I’m old enough to remember the Nineties.

  61. @66

    “Melo’s got what, four years and $70M left? That’s hard baggage to get rid of.”

    Actually, no it isn’t. I think the Knicks would have a pretty easy time trading Melo if they wanted to.

  62. With Baron, i’m using the Jedi Mind Trick on myself. I’ve managed to completely block out his presence. For me, its as if he doesn’t exist. Then, if he gets healthy, and is the second coming of Jesus, then i’ll be happy and it’s gravy. But every time I hear “but guys, we’re still without Baron Davis…wait ’till he comes back”, i cringe. I hope you’re all right, but I don’t want to get my hopes up about him in any way, shape or form because if we continue to stumble, I’ll start to count on him and if he doesn’t work, i’ll be not only upset, but feel monumentally stupid. I just think of people other than Knick fans pointing, laughing and saying “did you really think the guy from Reading Rainbow with an Abe Lincoln beard and pot-belly was going to save your season?” So join me…forget he exists…stop bringing him up, just let his dick heal and when he’s healthy we’ll see what we have. Until then…stop reminding me he’s alive.

  63. I just ordered NBA League Pass since the free preview ended last night and after reading all the horror stories about activating League Pass Broadband I did it in like 5 seconds lol.

    BUT I ordered it through my cable provider since I watch the TV League Pass so maybe thats why it went smooth for me?? Since this year it comes with Broadband as well I figured I might as well activate it if anything for the archives since from late February to end of season I will miss many of the week night games (at least miss first 3 quarters, usually get home in time to watch 4th quarter of 730 starts).

    At quick glance certainly doesnt seem as user friendly and as good as MLB.TV though. But looking forward to be able to watch replays of any game whenever I want on my laptop.

  64. The Honorable Cock Jowles: And I don’t know about y’all, but I’m tired of watching a losing team. I’m old enough to remember the Nineties.

    Whether or not this team wins a championship remains to be seen (and I have serious doubts), but one thing is clear–this team will not be any more or less of a “losing” team than the teams of the ’90s, which, I’m sure you will recall, made the playoffs repeatedly and won zero championships. If anything we are headed toward the same fate of a few deep playoff runs resulting in near misses.

  65. JK47:
    @66

    “Melo’s got what, four years and $70M left? That’s hard baggage to get rid of.”

    Actually, no it isn’t.I think the Knicks would have a pretty easy time trading Melo if they wanted to.

    He’ll be 28 by the end of the playoffs. You think his value keeps up as he approaches 30?

  66. JK47:
    @37

    But we also got another asset in that trade, and it turned out to be a huge one: Chauncey Billups and his amnesty-able contract.We used this asset to secure an amazing interior defender who has the side benefit of leading the NBA in TS%.

    Contract-wise, Billups was essentially traded for Eddy Curry, whose contract expired in June. We would have had the same cap space and would not have had to use the amnesty clause to get there. We would not have been able to sign Wilson Chandler though.

    By the way, Gallo is looking like he might be breaking out. So far this season his WS/48 is .200 — All-Star territory.

    IMO one reason D’Antoni teams have traditionally been bad at defense is because MDA has used Amare at center a lot. This gamble has been really effective as last year the Knicks were +88 net points with STAT at center and -26 with him at power forward. If you extrapolate that out to per game basis, that’s the equivalent to the Knicks outscoring opponents by about two more points per game with him at center than with him at power forward. As far as wins go, those extra two points are worth about 5 wins over the course of an 82 game season.

    Unfortunately, playing STAT at center means you’re going to struggle on defense, but if it leads to more wins, then of course you do it.

  67. Hey THCJ, i see what you’re saying and can’t say that i don’t have similar thoughts…the cheating girlfriend analogy is pretty good. As excited as i am about the season, i want to, like you, make the most of our our opportunity and i have my trepidation about whether we will. At this point, i say why worry? Enjoy the hope..enjoy what could truly be a good season and if it sucks, deal with it..but at least enjoy the time for hope and optimism..if we are going to suck in two months we at least have that.

    JK47: @66I think the Knicks would have a pretty easy time trading Melo if they wanted to.

    I think i agree with JK on this. On sheer star power alone, there are several teams that would line up to trade (we did..and competed for his services). Even if you don’t like him (and i do like him), he’s a star..and stars are BIG TIME assets in this league. Thats why i dont get too down about what we gave up for him. You could turn him back into Gallo/Felton/Moz in a heartbeat, IMO.

  68. flossy: Whether or not this team wins a championship remains to be seen (and I have serious doubts), but one thing is clear–this team will not be any more or less of a “losing” team than the teams of the ’90s, which, I’m sure you will recall, made the playoffs repeatedly and won zero championships.If anything we are headed toward the same fate of a few deep playoff runs resulting in near misses.

    I will take 9 straight seasons of reaching at least the 2nd round of the playoffs every season including reaching 4 Conference Finals and making the NBA Finals a couple of times as well.

    Of course I would take 1 NBA championship over all that :-)

  69. The Honorable Cock Jowles:

    I’m looking at the whole season. Why not include the last 8 quarters? Why not the last 9? Take the whole season.

    Are you actually attributing the Knicks’ mediocrity to a lack of summer league? Do you know how few people are affected by summer league? Who? Fields? Shump? Jorts? Wow, that must be the reason that almost everyone outside of Melo and Chandler are playing poorly.

    And preseason? If that’s the case, why are the Clippers sitting at 4-2? They’ve got two young frontcourt players playing with two new point guards. Is this really your argument?

    And Detroit and Washington played poorly? MY GOODNESS WE MUST BE GREAT. This is supposed to be a contender for the Eastern Conference Finals, and you’re talking about the Wizards and Pistons, two of the worst teams in the league? Come on, man!

    You look as if you are merging you Franks. I’m Frank O. The other is just Frank. You guys appear to have history.
    But regarding the summer league, yes, it matters as a part of a team’s preparation for the coming season.
    The clips and the 76ers, among others, are performing well, while several playoff teams, the Lakers, Mavs, Memphis, and Celts, are seeing uneven play. Few if any of those teams have replace literally half their roster as the Knicks have.
    I am suggesting that adding new players into a mix, without a lot of playing time together (remember also that the team was shaken up late last year with the Melo trade) will also negatively impact veterans players…
    I think if you are inclined to believe the Knicks are going to suck, for whatever reasons, then you are likely to see this as some kind of failure or mediocrity.
    Otherwise, it’s not insensible to feel a team that has undergone great tumult will take some time to adjust.

  70. D.: who is this dude. Howard is that you. I enjoy your posts so much. Love that muscle car anology..

    Oh thanks man, I’m glad you enjoyed my thoughts. I don’t know who Howard is, but i’m not him. I’ve been mostly a reader for the last year, but I got so impatient with the lockout and all, i needed to talk Knicks with somebody. You guys are the best..this is like group therapy. I just hope i don’t deter from the true point of the site which is to be more true analytics (which i enjoy reading).

  71. jon abbey:
    and not just any assists, to again quote the Hollinger piece that should give us all of us not named after penii hope:

    “I did some research on assist quality this summer, and in their player comments I mentioned that LeBron James and Chris Paul don’t grade out particularly well in this assessment (see James’ comment for more).

    But you know who does? Would you believe … Baron Davis????

    It’s true. Davis had the most valuable assists in the league last season, and it wasn’t even close. Among players with at least 300 assists, Davis’ average assist was worth .841 points, well ahead of the league average of .667. And lest you think that was all from having Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan slamming down dunks, consider that Davis’ assist value didn’t change at all after the trade to Cleveland. More than half of Davis’ assists were layups or dunks, according to Hoopdata.com, compared to the league average of 38 percent; conversely, only 26.3 percent of his dimes were “bad” assists that led to 2-pointers away from the basket.”

    I remember someone who watched last year posted to this site saying Davis was back to his old form and playing very well. One would think a talented passer will love this front line.

  72. jon abbey:
    I think people also aren’t realizing how easy it should be for us to upgrade the backcourt, if not this season, then in the offseason. we got a chance to see how much better the starting front court looked when playing with one real guard (Shump Shump) against Detroit, just wait until we have Shumpert and Baron there, or Shumpert and Nash, or whatever.

    There is a lot to feel good about. I think a lot of folks on this site are coping with PTSD that manifested from the last decade of Knicks balling.

  73. Frank O.:
    The clips and the 76ers, among others, are performing well, while several playoff teams, the Lakers, Mavs, Memphis, and Celts, are seeing uneven play. Few if any of those teams have replace literally half their roster as the Knicks have.

    Lakers – lost their third-best player, Lamar Odom, to the…
    Mavs – lost their second-best player, Tyson Chandler (are you surprised, there? Chander had a top-3 shooting efficiency season while being a “defense/rebound” specialist)
    Memphis – lost Zach Randolph, their best player
    Celts – injured Paul Pierce, old-as-hell Garnett, starting Jermaine O’Neal at center

    Are any of those “slow starts” surprises?

  74. if the bottom line is winning titles or you’re a loser (which I think is more understandable the farther and farther we get from 1973), then what we should be endlessly talking about is Donnie Walsh’s inability to land LeBron. that was the way to a title, this is just which kind of Eastern Conference playoff loser do you prefer.

  75. The Knick’s problem is that their supporting cast is garbage, not their core 3 guys. I’ve seriously never seen guard play as bad as the Knick’s has been this season (other than SHUMP ShUMP of course). Literally all they had to do was move the ball in transition, get the team into its offense, make open 3’s, and play hard defense. Instead we have Toney Douglas getting repeatedly torched on defense then dribbling with his head down for a pull up jumper on offense. We have Landry Fields passing up wide open 3’s and getting lost on every screen that every 2 guard in the league ever goes over. We have Bill Walker as perhaps the rotation player with the lowest BBall IQ in the league. Mike Bibby is a corpse at this point. This is the biggest problem with the Knick’s strategy of just throwing away depth and draft picks to acquire it’s core. They need players exactly like Shumpert to provide support and depth for the core, but they simply don’t have the means to acquire those players at this time. When they do fill out the team in a year or 2 (and perhaps hire a coach more interested in little details like a defensive system) they have a core as good as any in the league and will definitely contend for a championship. This season the problem isn’t Carmelo and Stoudemire, but that their backups are Jorts and Bill Walker….

  76. Z-man: I wonder if you felt similarly about the Heat last year when they were 8-7 after 15 games…

    I’ve heard this argument a lot about our slow start and I don’t buy it. The way the Heat turned it around is they started focusing on defense and became one of the best defenses in the league. The fundimental problems in their offense over those first 15 games didn’t ever really improve. The only real offensive improvement was due to offense created by their renewed focus on defense.

    I look at our core offensive problems and I don’t see clear ways to become a top 5 offense. We should improve with better play from Fields and Douglas, the return of Shumpert, and the addition of Davis but I see us maxing out around the top 10. That is me being very optimistic. I think that is kinda best case with Melo and Amare as our core. Thr problem is with Melo and Amare as our core what is our best case defensively 15th, 16th.

    So let’s say everything works out perfectly, we get it together offensively and our defense becomes passable. What are we then? 3rd, 4th, 5th seed long term. That’s not the end of the world but we sold our souls, jettisoning young likeable talent and draft picks to bring in no defense, me-first “superstars” just to be a number 3 or number 4 seed. We could have been a number 3 or 4 seed with our old core and still have draft picks and upside.

    We will probably get better but we will never compete with the Miamis and Chicagos of the world as long as we get medicore (Melo) and poor (Amare) defensive efforts from our best players.

  77. @81 – That was a great article. Before I read that I was checking out the Knicks numbers on Synergy Sports.

    Melo is scoring exactly 1 point per possession. He produces 1.41 points per possession in spot up situations and 1.38 points per possession as a pick and roll ball handler. He produces 0.79 points per possession in isolation. The problem? He spends more time in isolation than he does as a pick and roll ball handler or spot up shooter combined. If that’s not an argument for more pick and roll and more ball movement I don’t know what is.

    And as a team, they produce 0.91 points per possession. The P&R ball handler produces 0.93, the roll man produces 1.19. On isolation plays, the Knicks produce 0.69 points per possession.

    Hopefully this kills the idea that Melo trying to do it alone is helpful for the Knicks. The numbers clearly indicate that it’s actually dragging down both his and the teams offensive efficiency.

  78. I totally agree with Juany8. I think some posters are focussed on the team’s strengths and see them as weaknesses. The strengths just don’t exist in a vacuum.

    I think the hot girl Melo analogy is a bit off. Whatever you think of Melo’s playing, he is one of the most talented BB players in the world. So yeah, he’s a “hot girl” in an uber sort of way. However, he has worked very hard to achieve his level of skill. He did not get where he is by just flaunting some genetic gift. The cheating part is presumably his tendency to chuck. The analogy is unfair because there is no data to suggest that he would be inefficient in a system where he doesn’t need to be a primary scorer, or at least has complimentary scorers. Time will tell, but I see him as a player who works hard on the glass, posts up, is never afraid of contact and, unlike others on this team, is not afraid to take a tough shot because people will criticize him or whatever. He is the closest thing to Bernard that we have ever had. BTW, Bernard did some chucking too, but he was killer. Does anyone honestly think Melo will not pass to his teammates if it is a viable option?

  79. Ben R: I look at our core offensive problems and I don’t see clear ways to become a top 5 offense. We should improve with better play from Fields and Douglas, the return of Shumpert, and the addition of Davis but I see us maxing out around the top 10.

    We were a top 10 offense with Ray Felton and Gallo complementing Amar’e. Pretty sure that Baron Davis, even at half speed, plus Carmelo Anthony and Stoudemire will get us back in the top ten offensively without much trouble.

  80. daJudge,

    The “cheating” bit of that metaphor refers to Melo being overvalued on the whole, not just his medium-efficiency, high-usage shooting.

    And “The analogy is unfair because there is no data to suggest that he would be inefficient in a system where he doesn’t need to be a primary scorer, or at least has complimentary scorers” is a real cheapshot at his teammate Nene, who posted the 20th most efficient shooting season in league history last year.

    I mean, the guy was playing next to Lawson, Nene, and Billups, who are all tremendously efficient shooters. When did he ever lack complementary shooters until now?

  81. flossy: We were a top 10 offense with Ray Felton and Gallo complementing Amar’e.Pretty sure that Baron Davis, even at half speed, plusCarmelo Anthony and Stoudemire will get us back in the top ten offensively without much trouble.

    At this point in his career I don’t believe that Davis will be a huge upgrade over Felton, and since Amare is less effective with Melo and our new offense, it negates most of the offensive improvement we gain by switching Gallo for Melo.

    I think us being a top ten offense and matching the offensive output of last years team is definitely attainable but that’s still not good enough considering we will never be able to really compete defensively.

  82. @81 – That was a great article. Before I read that I was checking out the Knicks numbers on Synergy Sports.

    Melo is scoring exactly 1 point per possession. He produces 1.41 points per possession in spot up situations and 1.38 points per possession as a pick and roll ball handler. He produces 0.79 points per possession in isolation. The problem? He spends more time in isolation than he does as a pick and roll ball handler or spot up shooter combined. If that’s not an argument for more pick and roll and more ball movement I don’t know what is.

    And as a team, they produce 0.91 points per possession. The P&R ball handler produces 0.93, the roll man produces 1.19. On isolation plays, the Knicks produce 0.69 points per possession.

    Hopefully this kills the idea that Melo trying to do it alone is helpful for the Knicks. The numbers clearly indicate that it’s actually dragging down both his and the teams offensive efficiency.

    Frank posted similar stats awhile back and yeah, it sure does make it seem extremely simple (and annoying in that the fix seems so simple, too).

  83. We’re #13 in offensive rating right now, and that’s with Toney Douglas and his sub-.400 TS% ranking second on the team in FGA. Toney Douglas is shooting .268 from three and Landry Fields is shooting .208. Bill Walker is sitting at .316. These are all guys who can hit the outside shot– they just haven’t done it yet. If you’ve watched the games you’ll know a lot of those were wide open looks.

    Carmelo Anthony currently leads the team in both assists and assist percentage. Carmelo Anthony, the 6’8″, 230 pound small forward, is our team leader in assists. That’s how awful our backcourt has been. Fortunately we have a player who will eventually join the team who ranks in the top 20 in NBA history in assist percentage. The problems we are seeing so far on offense are extremely fixable. Defense is another story.

  84. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Lakers – lost their third-best player, Lamar Odom, to the…
    Mavs – lost their second-best player, Tyson Chandler (are you surprised, there? Chander had a top-3 shooting efficiency season while being a “defense/rebound” specialist)
    Memphis – lost Zach Randolph, their best player
    Celts – injured Paul Pierce, old-as-hell Garnett, starting Jermaine O’Neal at center

    Are any of those “slow starts” surprises?

    May i ask why you accept excuses for those teams (injuries, lost players) but not for the Knicks (no Amare or Iman or Jeffries, roster shakeup, etc. )

  85. Z-man: I wonder if you felt similarly about the Heat last year when they were 8-7 after 15 games…

    Except THCJ wasn’t talking record, he was talking point differential. The Heat were 8-7, but all the wins were blowouts and most of the losses were last-second plays where they got bad bounces. They had the best differential in the league 15 games in. They also had an insanely hard opening schedule. When the schedule and their luck balanced out, they started winning. We, on the other hand, have had a very easy opening schedule and a point differential commensurate with our record.

  86. Also, I don’t think missing Amar’e is that big a deal. Balkman would be an excellent choice to take those injury minutes, especially given how infrequently he’d need to shoot the ball to be efficient.

  87. Ben R: I’ve heard this argument a lot about our slow start and I don’t buy it. The way the Heat turned it around is they started focusing on defense and became one of the best defenses in the league. The fundimental problems in their offense over those first 15 games didn’t ever really improve. The only real offensive improvement was due to offense created by their renewed focus on defense.I look at our core offensive problems and I don’t see clear ways to become a top 5 offense. We should improve with better play from Fields and Douglas, the return of Shumpert, and the addition of Davis but I see us maxing out around the top 10. That is me being very optimistic. I think that is kinda best case with Melo and Amare as our core. Thr problem is with Melo and Amare as our core what is our best case defensively 15th, 16th. So let’s say everything works out perfectly, we get it together offensively and our defense becomes passable. What are we then? 3rd, 4th, 5th seed long term. That’s not the end of the world but we sold our souls, jettisoning young likeable talent and draft picks to bring in no defense, me-first “superstars” just to be a number 3 or number 4 seed. We could have been a number 3 or 4 seed with our old core and still have draft picks and upside.We will probably get better but we will never compete with the Miamis and Chicagos of the world as long as we get medicore (Melo) and poor (Amare) defensive efforts from our best players.

    Melo played with Allen Iverson and Denver was a top 10 defense twice, nearly top 5…Second year they did that with Nene, Camby, and Martin missing 70+ games

  88. JK47: We’re #13 in offensive rating right now, and that’s with Toney Douglas and his sub-.400 TS% ranking second on the team in FGA. Toney Douglas is shooting .268 from three and Landry Fields is shooting .208. Bill Walker is sitting at .316. These are all guys who can hit the outside shot– they just haven’t done it yet. If you’ve watched the games you’ll know a lot of those were wide open looks.Carmelo Anthony currently leads the team in both assists and assist percentage. Carmelo Anthony, the 6’8?, 230 pound small forward, is our team leader in assists. That’s how awful our backcourt has been. Fortunately we have a player who will eventually join the team who ranks in the top 20 in NBA history in assist percentage. The problems we are seeing so far on offense are extremely fixable. Defense is another story.

    Not really. Shumpert and Chandler are good enough for top 10 in efficiency.. Melo’s played the majority of his career in a top-10 defense. There are some holes, but the defense is going to be significantly improved from last year….This team is just getting going.

  89. The Honorable Cock Jowles: daJudge,The “cheating” bit of that metaphor refers to Melo being overvalued on the whole, not just his medium-efficiency, high-usage shooting.And “The analogy is unfair because there is no data to suggest that he would be inefficient in a system where he doesn’t need to be a primary scorer, or at least has complimentary scorers” is a real cheapshot at his teammate Nene, who posted the 20th most efficient shooting season in league history last year. I mean, the guy was playing next to Lawson, Nene, and Billups, who are all tremendously efficient shooters. When did he ever lack complementary shooters until now?

    IDK,vast majority of his career. He didn’t share many minutes with Lawson, Nene missed hundreds of games during Melo’s career and he would only take perfect shots (his passivity taking shots often put teammates in tough position) and Billups’ efficiency is a result of showing contact and transition pull-up 3s.

  90. THCJ–Thank you for the response. Your point is well-taken re: Nene and maybe perhaps my “complimentary shooters” point. However, Melo was still intended to be an attack 3 and I don’t think he was coached to take less shots or move the ball more. I think the shooter’s mentality is required at times. I do want him to share more, but I do not want him to lose that aggression and fearlessness. Do you know what I mean? It is really important and rare when coupled with his scoring ability. Having said that, his game will certainly improve if he continues to learn to share, but judiciously. Hey, Magic Johnson was probably my favorite player not named Clyde or Bernard. My point is that the distinction between being a selfish chucker who hurts the team and being a fearless scorer who doesn’t get the yips with 1 second left is not that clear. It also is a function of maturity and players do change and develop. So do promiscuous hot girls sometimes, perhaps at the worst possible time! (just a joke). The other thing is, and I think you said it in a post, why are we always trying to fit the square peg into the round hole?

  91. daJudge: THCJ–Thank you for the response. Your point is well-taken re: Nene and maybe perhaps my “complimentary shooters” point. However, Melo was still intended to be an attack 3 and I don’t think he was coached to take less shots or move the ball more. I think the shooter’s mentality is required at times. I do want him to share more, but I do not want him to lose that aggression and fearlessness. Do you know what I mean? It is really important and rare when coupled with his scoring ability. Having said that, his game will certainly improve if he continues to learn to share, but judiciously. Hey, Magic Johnson was probably my favorite player not named Clyde or Bernard. My point is that the distinction between being a selfish chucker who hurts the team and being a fearless scorer who doesn’t get the yips with 1 second left is not that clear. It also is a function of maturity and players do change and develop. P>

    good post

  92. ruruland: Not really. Shumpert and Chandler are good enough for top 10 in efficiency.. Melo’s played the majority of his career in a top-10 defense. There are some holes, but the defense is going to be significantly improved from last year….This team is just getting going.

    Source on Denver’s defensive rankings? I’ve got them outside of the top 10 for most of Melo’s time there, peaking at 8th(twice).

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