NY Daily News: Coach Tom Thibodeau hoping new format gives Knicks a shot at playoffs

Not a whole lot of news, so this is what we’ve got. From Stefan Bondy:

Just based on the number of openings, the Knicks have a greater chance this season at competing for a playoff spot. And Tom Thibodeau hopes his club takes advantage of the new format.

The league has adopted the play-in structure for 2020-21, which means the Nos. 7-10 seeds in each conference will hold a round-robin tournament after the season. One spot is guaranteed to either the No. 7 or 8 seeds, so it’s really a competition between three teams for the final playoff position.

“I think it makes it interesting,” Thibodeau said. “Obviously where we are, hopefully we’ll have a shot at that. It’s something that we have to work towards.”

The Knicks are again expected to fall into the lottery following a quiet free agency season, but finishing in the top-10 is certainly easier than the top-8. The format, which was first used over the summer in the Orlando bubble, is geared toward keeping more teams involved in the playoff race while dissuading tanking. Of course, the Knicks have been so bad lately that they haven’t finished in the Eastern Conference’s top-10 since 2014.

So it’ll require improvement from Thibodeau’s squad just to elevate into the play-in games.

“For us the important thing is to confront what the facts are. So we have a lot of ground to make up,” Thibodeau said. “We’ve got to work each day to close that gap. if we do that good things will come. There has to be the proper amount of patience, but sometimes too much patience isn’t a good thing. So we’ve got to move this thing along and everything has got to be about the team. Sacrifices have to be made. We have to figure out, develop our plan, and then we’ve got to work our plan.”

Again, it’s a slow newsday and the last thread had too many comments.

Since we have to have all poll content, here we go:

Do you think that the Knicks will make it into the Round Robin Tournament?

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219 thoughts to “NY Daily News: Coach Tom Thibodeau hoping new format gives Knicks a shot at playoffs”

  1. to write a case series report in May in a big journal that I have no right publishing at in general.

    nice work wetbandit…I can only imagine how crazy your year must have been…

    how are you holding up? how are your co-workers holding up?

    I hope yourself and all the other health care folks are able to keep the country going for at least another year or so…

    in a couple of years our focus may need to shift to looking after some of the health care folks whom were adversely affected by trying to do their job during two years of a pandemic…

  2. Voted no on this because I’m hoping that we bottom out and get top 4 pick in what’s supposed to be a pretty loaded draft.

    Returning to the conversation from the last thread, I really don’t understand the hate about the Quickley pick. He’s supposed to be a good defender so he isn’t just a 3-point specialist and just because some mock drafts had him available later doesn’t mean he would have been. There’s a shocking amount of agita about this guy here and I really don’t get it.

  3. I think we’ll hit the 9th or 10th seed…the schedule though could get really crazy for some teams who are missing their stars…

    thankfully, our team isn’t loaded down with a while lit of superstar players :)

    the play-in “tourney” should be fun to watch…

  4. I voted no because I mean obviously, but I do think it could be pretty close. I expect the covid-related weirdness of this season to largely serve to flatten the differences between teams, and let’s face it, 10th in the East isn’t exactly a high bar. Combined with the fact that the season is shorter than usual, both increasing variance and leading to less time for teams to separate themselves and it wouldn’t surprise me if we’re still hearing about a “playoff chase” until very deep into the season.

  5. Dolan’s Razor compels me to vote yes, as I think Thibs + the current bunch could squeak in to the 10th seed and thus technically have a chance of being a “playoff” team. There’s no way Thibs buys into tanking any games, so we’re almost certainly going to pick up marginal wins against other teams tanking or teams decimated by Covid.

  6. Voted yes because I’m a homer. I don’t think we should try and make the playoffs, but I do think it would be fun and that we’re being underrated.

    vincoug: Returning to the conversation from the last thread, I really don’t understand the hate about the Quickley pick. He’s supposed to be a good defender so he isn’t just a 3-point specialist and just because some mock drafts had him available later doesn’t mean he would have been. There’s a shocking amount of agita about this guy here and I really don’t get it.

    Like 90% of what we do is debate fringe NBA players. This isn’t a shot at Frank either, we’re currently debating who to cut between Spellman, Iggy, & MKG (obviously you keep Iggy, but there’s little chance he turns into anything). We’ve debated the merits of almost every second round pick we’ve taken and even who we sign on 2-ways.

    The other point is that we now have like 8 or so Kentucky players signed to contracts between the NBA & G-League. There’s some worthwhile players in the mix, but it hardly makes you think we’re picking these guys solely on the merit.

    If Quickley was #1 left on the board there, then I have no issue with the pick. But there were other players available this board was fond of, Tyrell Terry for one.

  7. I just don’t see any way we can get to #10 when Atlanta and Detroit went out and spent a bunch of money this offseason. I also can’t see any team being demonstrably worse than us, though I think us, Cleveland, Chicago and OKC will be this year’s cellar dwellers, along with maybe Minnesota. We’re in a good position to tank for one more year and then sign a bunch of players in 2021/2022 if, say, Obi and RJ actually show some promise.

    I think Quickley was somewhat underrated, and he has more secondary skills than his box score reflects. Not much–he’s not a diamond in the rough or anything, but I think he should’ve firmly been in the late first early second discussion on the merits. He’s a shooting guard who can shoot the lights out, pass a bit, d a bit, and give you 4 rebounds a game. He’s not Steve Novak at the 2, I think. So I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to compare him to a field goal kicker, though of course me and djphan might just disagree in our assessment of Quickley in general.

  8. Barring significant injury or covid weirdness, the top 7 East playoff seeds from last season seem like locks to make the playoffs in one way or another. The Wizards, Hornets, and Hawks all significantly upgraded their rosters on paper, certainly more than we did. So if you take health concerns out of the equation — admittedly a very big if — then the Knicks make it to the round-robin tournament only under the following conditions:

    1)RJ and at least one other prospect takes a significant leap forward from last season, and/or one or both of Obi and Quickley is much readier to play at a high level as a rookie than we are expecting.

    and/or:

    2)Thibs and his staff are just so good at their jobs that the whole turns out to be much greater than the sum of the parts, and we are able to outscheme and outhustle our way past more talented clubs night after night.

    We saw how much better the team played when Miller replaced Fizdale, and I feel comfortable in calling Thibs a much better coach than Miller. So it’s not impossible that we get some combination of both things. But the odds still seem very long if you can remove health as a consideration.

  9. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada: Detroit went out and spent a bunch of money this offseason.

    Detroit spend a lot of money. It doesn’t mean they got much better. Jerami Grant & Plumlee is not exactly an awe-inspiring frontcourt duo. They’re almost certainly worse than either Drummond or Wood who they had last year.

    Their success really depends on how much Blake Griffin has left in the tank. I suspect it isn’t much.

    Alan: The Wizards, Hornets, and Hawks all significantly upgraded their rosters on paper, certainly more than we did.

    I suspect LaMelo Ball will have significant growing pains and shoot CHO out of a lot of games. Despite Hayward being a big improvement over Batum, I’m really down on Ball in the near term.

    I’m in the minority, perhaps a minority of 1, but I think Westbrook is done. He may be better than Ish Smith was last year, but I don’t expect WAS to jump up in the win column as much as people think they will.

  10. Alan:
    Also, we’re all just shrugging off the PG-13 contract extension?

    This is actually big news with implications for trade possibilities and FA next year. Likely means Kawhi isn’t opting out (not clear he would anyways) which is one less superstar for us to swing on and miss.

    I didn’t see it reported anywhere until you pointed it out.

  11. Alan:
    Also, we’re all just shrugging off the PG-13 contract extension?

    I mean despite all the jokes Paul George is still one of the, what, 10-15 best players in the league? And he’s “only” 30. It’s a big scary salary number, but this is the cost of having Paul George on your team, take it or leave it, because somebody else will give it to him. And if you’re the Clippers and having Paul George on your team means you also have Kawhi on your team and are one of the two or three favorites to win the title for the next few years it’s a pretty obvious choice.

  12. The Bucks, Celtics, Heat, Sixers and Nets are virtual locks for 5 of the top 6 seeds.

    Toronto is a good bet for #6. Hawks have a legit shot at #6 or higher, much improved roster and young players are a year older

    After that it becomes dicey and much depends on health, player improvement, and possibility of dysfunction.

    Pacers: decent, not great starting lineup, dubious bench
    Wizards: could be interesting if Westbrook returns to MVP-type player
    Hornets: all depends on LaMelo, who will likely suck but you never know
    Magic: same ol’ Magic, pretty much

    The odds are that all 11 of those teams are ahead of us but none of them are that far from the lottery if everything doesn’t go just right.

    That leaves the Knicks, Bulls, Cavs and Pistons. Barring any dramatic roster moves, we’ll be in the Delete-8 once again.

    With all that said, I voted yes because if you can’t be optimistic the day before the first preseason game, when can you be? This is our last day for fantasy unencumbered by fact.

  13. Voted No, and please for the love of God don’t win in this particular year. It will be very Knicksy to be in the top10 for 4 consecutive seasons and when a generational draft comes along, be like 12 or something.

  14. How does the lottery interact with the play-in tournament? If you make it into the play-in but lose are you still a lottery team or are you a playoff team?

  15. Returning to the conversation from the last thread, I really don’t understand the hate about the Quickley pick. He’s supposed to be a good defender so he isn’t just a 3-point specialist and just because some mock drafts had him available later doesn’t mean he would have been.

    I think the talk of him being a good defender is stretching it…. it’s hard to distinguish yourself as a defender when you’re a guard in college and quickley didn’t exactly wow in that regard…. there’s nothing really specific anyone is pointing to… it is pure speculation based solely on the fact that he got picked in the first rd and you gotta fill out an article other than ‘he shoots 3s’….

  16. I think we’ll make it. I think a few players are going step up, we’ll get better coaching, and we are not done making moves to improve the team. There are going to be a few changes once they get to evaluate the players they have and know what they need.

    I’m more interested in the starting lineup when the season starts.

    I think RJ is extremely likely.

    Payton is very likely, but I don’t think it’s a mortal lock.

    I’d love to see Obi win the job, but I can’t imagine a rookie without a summer league and full camp getting the nod over Randle when Randle is the highest paid player on the team and was the #1 option last year.

    Robinson is likely, but I’ve heard Nerlens is playing really well.

    After that it could go in a few directions.

  17. How does the lottery interact with the play-in tournament? If you make it into the play-in but lose are you still a lottery team or are you a playoff team?

    I believe it locks in at the record pre-tournament. So you could get a team who makes the playoffs and still picks #6 in the draft (and even higher if lottery luck is in their favor).

  18. Deeefense: I’m more interested in the starting lineup when the season starts.

    Posted it in the last thread, but Thibs says he expects the lineup and rotation to stay in flux for awhile even after the season starts. It’s not that surprising given the new team, coach, and short preseason.

    Also, Thibs was asked to pick the players who came into camp in the best shape and he singled out Quickley, Obi, Knox, & Randle. This after he said not everyone was in shape as part of the reason he didn’t want to settle on a starting lineup too soon.

  19. Brian Cronin: I believe it locks in at the record pre-tournament. So you could get a team who makes the playoffs and still picks #6 in the draft (and even higher if lottery luck is in their favor).

    This means the 10th in the East has a worst record than the last in the West, right? Is this likely to happen?

  20. From the last thread….

    Early Bird:
    Thibs says that Quickley, Obi, Randle, & Knox are the ones who came into camp in the best shape.

    Yeah, and when a coach does that publicly, and doesn’t hedge, it’s both praise and a call-out. A bar was set.

  21. Early Bird: Also, Thibs was asked to pick the players who came into camp in the best shape and he singled out Quickley, Obi, Knox, & Randle.

    So Dennis Smith Jr. is in the best shape of his life but that doesn’t put him in the top4 players in best shape. Pretty funny!

  22. This means the 10th in the East has a worst record than the last in the West, right? Is this likely to happen?

    Oh sure, it’s unlikely, just noting it is possible.

  23. Thanks Geo… I think healthcare is kinda in a weird spot right now, and has been for a few months- hospitals are significantly less sick with COVID, and yet our offices are still only now reaching 80% of pre-COVID numbers- things are just… dystopian. Walking through a waiting room with half the chairs taped is still weird to me.

    Also, I think the mask-wearing and much increased electronic medical recording we have to do (this isn’t new, but in the past 2 years exploded) really, REALLY, impacts the patient-doctor relationship. That, together with uncertainty over what the heck is happening with healthcare in general, COVID regulations, EHR notetaking to please CMS taking upwards of 30% of your day, yearly 10% cuts in reimbursement (when pharma/HMOs get increased, those assholes), the explosion of prior authorizations needed for every single drug, procedure, and visit, I mean…. many doctors are retiring early, leaving, or just burning out. And all this at a time when the senior citizen demographic is also exploding, diabetic and other health issues exploding…. it ain’t lookin’ good.

  24. cybersoze: So Dennis Smith Jr. is in the best shape of his life but that doesn’t put him in the top4 players in best shape. Pretty funny!

    Lol, yeah. But I don’t read too much into Thibs saying it.

    I agree with Go NY, that he likely wants to praise Knox & Randle for their conditioning but he also has ulterior motives which aren’t clear.

    He could be trying to pump up their trade value or calling out other veterans.

    I’m 100% sure DSJr would still dominate Randle and especially Knox in any basketball-relevant athletic testing.

  25. As for the poll. I voted no, but it doesn’t mean they can’t. Nothing is set yet but I see the Knicks as one of the least talented teams in the NBA. Talent wins. Thing is, talent levels can change in an instant with trades and whatnot, but as of today, I have my doubts.

  26. Did the knicks sign Skal Labissière and have it go completely unnoticed, even by the saddest, mot knicks-news deprived people on earth?

    (normally a 23 year old with a career 15pts/9rebs/1.4blks /36 avererage would generate weeks of conversation here. But, I guess Frank Ntilikina has lowered the bar here KB)

  27. Wetbandit I wish I had the words to thank you sufficiently. We’re all in debt to you guys right now. I can only hope when this is all said and done we find a way to pay it.

    I’m a little surprised people are so optimistic/pessimistic that we can finish in the top-10. Milwaukee, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Toronto are stone cold locks to finish ahead of us.

    Unless I’m missing something, Indiana didn’t lose anyone essential to their ~50 win (prorated) team last year and might get back a healthy Oladipo.

    Atlanta is just way better than us. We were essentially of the same quality last year, and we’ve since shed Morris while they traded for Capela and then went on a spending spree. I could actually see them working their way into the top 5 with enough luck.

    What Washingotn is doing from a long-term perspective is a different matter but I see no way they aren’t better than the Knicks next year.

    Charlotte, like Washington, might not be smart but they have far more certified rotation players than we do. Even assuming LaMelo has a rough learning curve (I’m optimistic long-term but his rookie year could get ugly), they have some interesting pieces and can throw out decent looking lineups.

    Sure, any number of things could happen but that applies to us just as much as it does these teams. I think the odds are overwhelmingly against us being in the top-10.

  28. Did the knicks sign Skal Labissière and have it go completely unnoticed, even by the saddest, mot knicks-news deprived people on earth?

    I think I did a quick post saying he was a decent flyer

  29. I voted yes. Call it Knick fairytale belief or madness but I believe with a competent coach and some new young (hopefully hungry) players i think the 9th or 10th spot is reachable. Plus, i think if we sneak into the playoffs our players would see what playoff basketball looks like and even if they were to get bounced 1st round (which i would bet good money on) they would gain valuable experience.

  30. Just want to add in that (aside from the first few weeks when we were all chipping in) I work in a specialty that has nothing to do with the ER and respiratory disease- please aim your thanks to those that worked their asses off in a time when they seriously did not know if they were going to die from the virus and working on the front lines. (and I think it’s criminal how the same hospital admins, HMO folk, and politicians would ‘thank our heroes’ then go ahead, lobby and sign bills cutting their pay, in the same year, but this isn’t the focus of this thread)

  31. I should couch all my statements about us making the “playoffs” with the disclaimer that I would put at least 10 teams above us if I were setting betting odds.

    I’m just saying we aren’t that far off from a 10 seed. I’m skeptical that CHO & Was have improved much, but I’d still bet on them finishing above the Knicks if I had to put money on the line.

  32. thenoblefacehumper: I think I did a quick post saying he was a decent flyer

    We mentioned Labissiere a thread or 2 ago. Idk, he doesn’t shoot enough 3s to be viable at PF & his numbers aren’t good enough to play at C in a league flooded with Cs. We just signed Nerlens as a backup for $5M/1yr.

    Like TNFH said, he’s a decent flier but doesn’t seem worth much.

  33. @djphan

    I wouldn’t say that people are just making stuff up about Quickley being a good defender. There’s at least some (noisy) numbers that back it up. Here are some synergy stats taken from https://theathletic.com/1526279/2020/01/11/right-place-right-time-immanuel-quickley-quietly-developing-into-a-defensive-stopper/:

    Per Synergy, Quickley was the only Cat who earned an “excellent” defensive rating last season, ranking in the 89th percentile nationally.

    Sean Vinsel of HoopsInsights crunched the numbers and discovered that when Quickley has been on the floor the last two seasons, excluding garbage time, Kentucky’s defense has improved in three key areas: points per possession allowed, 3-point percentage allowed and opponent turnover rate. This year the Cats are giving up 0.87 PPP, 29 percent beyond the arc and creating a 20 percent turnover rate with Quickley on the floor. It’s 0.90 PPP, 33 percent from 3 and a 15 percent turnover rate without him.

    He also helps Richards and fellow big man EJ Montgomery stay out of foul trouble by keeping drivers out of the lane. Last year Richards fouled on only 7 percent of possessions with Quickley on the court and on 12 percent of possessions without; Montgomery fouled 6 percent of the time with and 9 percent without. Furthermore, opponents shoot it worse when Quickley is in the game, partly because they’re forced to work deeper into the shot clock to get off an attempt — passing the 20-second mark almost 10 percent more often.

    Not all of these stats mean that much, and he doesn’t appear like a noteworthy defender by his box score stats, but his Synergy stats match up with various eye test reports of him being solid in those unquantifiable ways (vocal, hands in passing lanes that don’t lead to steals, pressuring a defender in a way that leads to no turnover but a bad possession) that often mark good defense. I don’t think it’s grasping at straws to be optimistic about his defense.

  34. Sure, any number of things could happen but that applies to us just as much as it does these teams. I think the odds are overwhelmingly against us being in the top-10.

    I mean I voted no too but the fact that the 10th team you mentioned is Charlotte kind of says it all I think. You don’t have to be so optimistic to see the Knicks above them.

  35. I mean I voted no too but the fact that the 10th team you mentioned is Charlotte kind of says it all I think. You don’t have to be so optimistic to see the Knicks above them.

    I think people are letting the stupidity of the Hayward contract affect how they view Charlotte’s prospects for next season specifically. Rozier-Graham-Hayward-Washington-Zeller is, well, 5 guys whose place in the NBA isn’t questionable. Then you have whatever LaMelo, Bridges, and VCJ can bring you off the bench. I like Bridges and VCJ’s chance of at least being rotation worthy next season but I guess YMMV on that one. .500 wouldn’t shock me.

    I didn’t even mention Orlando because I guess it’s fair enough to think Isaac’s injury and losing Augustin could make them close enough to us but they should presumptively be ahead of us too.

  36. thenoblefacehumper: I think people are letting the stupidity of the Hayward contract affect how they view Charlotte’s prospects for next season specifically. Rozier-Graham-Hayward-Washington-Zeller is, well, 5 guys whose place in the NBA isn’t questionable. Then you have whatever LaMelo, Bridges, and VCJ can bring you off the bench. I like Bridges and VCJ’s chance of at least being rotation worthy next season but I guess YMMV on that one. .500 wouldn’t shock me.

    I didn’t even mention Orlando because I guess it’s fair enough to think Isaac’s injury and losing Augustin could make them close enough to us but they should presumptively be ahead of us too.

    Yeah I mean I agree with you. I think maybe the strongest case is less specifically about Charlotte (I think Lamelo may redefine the limits of tank commander-ing, and I say that as someone who likes him as a prospect) and more just that it’s not easy to make a case that any team in the league (Cavs maybe excepted) is significantly worse than the Knicks.

    To finish in 10th they need to finish at least 2nd among the group NY, Orlando, Charlotte, Washington, Detroit, Cleveland. I can’t tell you exactly which two teams will be above them but I’m pretty confident their odds of being 2nd or better in that group is <50%. I'm just saying it's not exactly the stiffest competition.

  37. thenoblefacehumper: I think people are letting the stupidity of the Hayward contract affect how they view Charlotte’s prospects for next season specifically. Rozier-Graham-Hayward-Washington-Zeller is, well, 5 guys whose place in the NBA isn’t questionable. Then you have whatever LaMelo, Bridges, and VCJ can bring you off the bench. I like Bridges and VCJ’s chance of at least being rotation worthy next season but I guess YMMV on that one. .500 wouldn’t shock me.

    I didn’t even mention Orlando because I guess it’s fair enough to think Isaac’s injury and losing Augustin could make them close enough to us but they should presumptively be ahead of us too.

    I’m with you on Hayward. He’ll make them a lot better.

    I just think LaMelo is going to be unbelievably bad this year and still play starter’s minutes because his counting stats are going to pop. He’ll undo a lot of what Hayward adds on both sides of the Ball, so to speak.

  38. Not all of these stats mean that much, and he doesn’t appear like a noteworthy defender by his box score stats, but his Synergy stats match up with various eye test reports of him being solid in those unquantifiable ways (vocal, hands in passing lanes that don’t lead to steals, pressuring a defender in a way that leads to no turnover but a bad possession) that often mark good defense. I don’t think it’s grasping at straws to be optimistic about his defense.

    that’s the problem with unquantifiable things… how do you know that these things are actually making an impact to a defense instead of just coloring your judgement? you can’t…

    i also think these things aren’t projectable… he could be doing intangible things on defense in college… that also doesn’t mean that it will continue in the pro’s… this is a sliding scale… it’s just like offense…. if they are going to be really good in the nba… they should be really really good in college…. and it should be really obvious… and how is it obvious? well rebounding, steals and blocks are quantifiable ways to show some aspects of defense…. but also the eye test…. it shouldn’t be a question that they will be a good defender in the pro’s….

    synergy stats to me aren’t really informative… these are miniscule samples in college in an environment that have wild variations on defensive schemes…. the heavy use of zone makes any sort of synergy stats in college not only inherently noisy.. but not very projectable to the pro’s.. pnr’s themselves are not even similar either..

    playing defense in teh nba is a different beast.. from pgs to centers it takes a long time for a player to develop proper defense in the nba… it’s not only a scheme thing but it’s also trying to keep up with the best athletes in the world.. it’s tough to predict who does but generally if you’re really athletic and already causing to’s or blocking shots you have a head start…

  39. thenamestsam: To finish in 10th they need to finish at least 2nd among the group NY, Orlando, Charlotte, Washington, Detroit, Cleveland.

    I think you’re missing CHI who may very well finish ahead of us too.

  40. @djphan

    I think I agree with all that–I don’t want to lean too heavily on what are noisy Synergy numbers. I’m not *confident* that Quickley will be a good defender, because his box score proxies aren’t super great. But I’m not really pessimistic either, since pretty much every scouting report I’ve read on him praises his defense. As far as I can tell there hasn’t been any qualitative analysis of his defense that is negative. Surely that militates at least a little bit against the story his mediocre box score stats tell, right? We may differ on whether that’s enough to be optimistic, but I think there’s at least there’s good reason to think that he’s more likely to defy his box score than, say, Malik Monk, who was a mortal lock to be a bad defender coming out of college despite a similar defensive stat profile to Quickley.

  41. We were like 3 games off the 10th seed when last season ended. If we’d been competently coached from the jump we might have been the 10 seed. The bar is pretty low in terms of competing for the 10 seed most years. A team will have to be really bad to be out of the hunt most of the season (Not saying we can’t pull that off either)

  42. ok let’s thing about this for a minute and i’m not positive on the answer to this either…. so this isn’t rhetorical….

    which defenders in the nba are much better defenders than their box score numbers would indicate? ppl who had low stls, rebounds and blocks…

    i count bruce bowen and dennis rodman…. and then i’m drawing a blank….

  43. that’s the problem with unquantifiable things… how do you know that these things are actually making an impact to a defense instead of just coloring your judgement? you can’t…

    djphun is out here making immanuel kant puns on hanukkah you know it’s 24 hrs to game time

  44. djphan:
    ok let’s thing about this for a minute and i’m not positive on the answer to this either…. so this isn’t rhetorical….

    which defenders in the nba are much better defenders than their box score numbers would indicate?ppl who had low stls, rebounds and blocks…

    i count bruce bowen and dennis rodman…. and then i’m drawing a blank….

    Battier was basically 1 steal and 1 block pg, and a dismal rebounder. 1 steal and 1 block is okay but the stats definitely don’t scream great defender.

  45. Steals and getting to the hoop are pretty good indicators of athleticism. Athleticism isn’t the sole determinant of defense but is usually a prerequisite for good defense.

    My guess is that Quickley is going to wash out of the league because he’s not an NBA athlete.

    You need to shuffle your feet and rotate quickly enough to be a good defender in the NBA. Ironically, Quickley probably can’t.

    Also, I object to pronouncing Kant the same as Can’t.

  46. Well, one thing to say before I start this exercise is: I think “much better” is too strong a requirement for the point I’m making. If Quickley grades out as an near elite or elite 3 point shooter and and an average NBA defender, he is a rotation piece, and that’s a hit at 25 (even if it was bad process, which I can’t really say, given that we don’t know how much interest there was). So it seems like we shouldn’t be looking for players who had mediocre box scores but elite defensive contributions, but rather defenders with poor to below average box score indicators for their position who actually grade out as average or better defenders. I think we have one on our team: his name is Frank Ntilikina. Some other players I have in mind: Langston Galloway, Mbah a Moute, Alex Caruso (who is now quite a good defender, but started out as fine and grew into it), PJ Washington, year 2 Isaac Bonga, Joe Ingles.

    Re: your original question, off the top of my head: Andre Roberson; Late-career Brook Lopez (not elite, but now pretty good); Bam (again not elite but pretty good and better than box score). I’m sure there are more. In any case, I agree that the vast majority of players with bad box score indicators flame out, especially once you start hitting the late first. But if you believe the eye test reports, there’s reason to think Quickley might be one that bucks that trend. Not strong reason–I wouldn’t bet money on it. But it tempers my initial impulse to label it a bad pick and move on.

  47. I think maybe the strongest case is less specifically about Charlotte (I think Lamelo may redefine the limits of tank commander-ing, and I say that as someone who likes him as a prospect)

    Fully agree that LaMelo could break every statistical model there is with his badness as a rookie, and I’m similarly optimistic on him long-term. I just think Charlotte is clearly trying to make a playoff push this year, so they’ll bench him more often than not in favor of their competent guards if/when he has a .390 TS%.

  48. cybersoze: So Dennis Smith Jr. is in the best shape of his life but that doesn’t put him in the top4 players in best shape. Pretty funny!

    LOL. This one of those times when I wish this forum had a “Like” button for me to click.

  49. I think the things mentioned in synergy stats should be considered, as it is widely accepted that box-score stats are also noisy. Players who chase blocks or steals are often overrated by those stats. Players who set great screens, box out, go over screens, hedge well in the PnR, etc., etc., maximize PPP stats for their team and minimize PPP stats for the other team, without any credit in the box score.

    Ultimately, successful scouting should look at both the numbers and the visual evidence behind the numbers. Is someone jumping passing lanes and digging steals out of the post on double-teams at a high rate but also getting backed-doored by ball-watching, getting torched by 3pt shooters while going under screens and being a step slow on defensive rotations? In the scouting video I posted re: Quickley, they showed several examples of how he blew up possessions by getting skinny, hedging, and staying in good defensive position to force a lower percentage shot.

    As to Malik Monk, having this conversation at #11 is usually a lot more consequential than at #25. Looking for gems late in the first round requires finding those guys who don’t jump off the page statistically (would have been drafted higher) and avoiding guys who have the statistical profile but whose film/synergy stats raise serious questions about transferability to the NBA.

    No doubt that box-score stats are critically important, and if you had to choose, they would be more reliable in a vacuum than synergy stats in a vacuum. But it really isn’t an either-or situation. Both are very valuable.

  50. Jowles, I watched Queen’s Gambit and enjoyed it but didn’t think it was great. I think two things contribute to its popularity that aren’t relevant to you. One is that for people who don’t know anything about competitive chess the chess stuff can be fascinating. I recall you once said you were good at chess so you probably know more about it than most. Two, it has a satisfying ending, one that improves my enjoyment of it. You’ve only reached episode four, so you’re not there yet.

  51. I also bristle at the loose pejorative connotation of “eye test” that is thrown around here sometimes. To me, eye test in the negative context is when you make judgements based on either watching games recreationally or looking at one-sided highlights. Same as listening to the conventional wisdom spouted by talk show hosts. OTOH, making judgments based on detailed video analysis, or using synergy-based stats when the sample is reasonably , should not be dismissed as “eye test” chatter when the findings are not aligned with the box-score numbers. And I’m not saying that anyone is doing that here. Only that we now have lots of incredible way to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate players that go beyond box-score based stats, and we should utilize all of them without bias or prejudice.

  52. There once was a fellow named Kant
    Who went on philosophical rants
    My name’s not the same
    As that man of the fame
    It’s not that I Kant, it’s just can’t

  53. One way to figure out who the best and worst defenders are is watching game film all day for every team, but that would be a bit time consuming and not worth the trouble unless you know all the plays and are getting paid Thibs money. :-)

    IMO, another way “for fans” is to listen to what the opposing players and coaches are saying. They do watch film all day and experience the defense of other players. They know who is giving them trouble, who is taking away their best moves and shots, who is taking away their best plays etc.. and who they can easily beat. That kind of stuff comes up in conversations and interviews.

    When you are watching you can also supplement that a bit by watching for some obvious clues.

    If opposing teams are constantly targeting player “X” for a pick and roll or other plays, it’s because they know he’s a bad defender and they will have an edge.

    If opposing teams are running isolations against player “X” it’s telling you he is bad and they know they have an edge.

    If other teams are targeting player “Y” for a pick and switch trying to get him OFF their star player it’s because he’s giving that star player a lot of grief.

    Sometimes it just screams at you and you can see very bad or very good. It’s the stuff in the middle that’s harder to see clearly.

  54. Well I just wrote a 2000 character explanation of why the depiction of chess (namely the rapid-fire nature of her games) is just horrendously bad, and in a way that acts against the very themes of the show (being trapped in one’s own mind), but again, that’s only a small part of the equation for me. The direction is absolutely not my cup of tea. It’s a poorly-written show with flimsy thematic continuity that uses flashy period-piece set and costume design (with laughably bad CGI at times) to distract from the mediocrity elsewhere.

    I’m going to finish the show but so far, it’s a dud. No judgment if you like it. Just not at all for me, including the incoherent mental-health, sexism and racism shit that they threw in for topical relevance. And you know I take all of those things seriously. I just think the show has a facile approach to it all.

    I feel like Donnie Walsh right now.

  55. Some other players I have in mind: Langston Galloway, Mbah a Moute, Alex Caruso (who is now quite a good defender, but started out as fine and grew into it), PJ Washington, year 2 Isaac Bonga, Joe Ingles.

    ok so i think you misunderstood… quickley was at 1 steal per 40 .. 0.1 blocks…. and 4.6 reb …

    those are quite poor numbers that were eclipsed in the pro’s by everyone on that list… i think the more apt comparisons are players who had really bad stock and reb #s and wind up being ‘good’ on defense… because it’s a tough ask to say that quickley will wildly overperform his stock and reb in the pro’s…

    that leads us to guys like bowen… and rodman… and ok maybe battier… klay thompson…

    so i’m trying to find some precedent or heuristic for quickley… and i don’t think defense is a skill that you can be bad at everything else on the basketball court but you can be good in which led me to that question… it’s not like 3p shooting … and even shooting you generally need to contribute somewhere else on the court in order ot have a lasting career…

    defense to me is highly correlated with alot of other things that show up in the box score…. except in some rare instances… and i’m not saying it’s impossible for quickley to be that… but i don’t see any compelling evidence to say that it’s likely… and to say it’s remotely possible isn’t exactly a high bar…

    the question is where’s the alpha? what would indicate that quickley outperforms traditional defensive metrics beyond random dumb luck? and i’m willing to bet there can be qualitative factors that could show this… i just can’t haven’t seen it attached to quickley…. what most of the qualitative analysis misses is repeatability and projectability…. because in the nba doing it once or twice doesn’t cut it over 82 games.. .you need to do it ALOT… and to do it alot you need to have clear demonstrated ability either on the box score or with your eyes…

  56. I think the things mentioned in synergy stats should be considered, as it is widely accepted that box-score stats are also noisy.

    this is not even remotely true so really just stop talking about things you haven’t even tried to understand…..

  57. djphan: this is not even remotely true so really just stop talking about things you haven’t even tried to understand…..

    Sure thing, asshole.

  58. djphan’s dickishness aside, this conversation is about whether Quickley can be a “not terrible” defensive player, not about whether he can be Bruce Bowen or Dennis Rodman.

  59. I am clueless as to Quickley’s defense, but one thing is apparent. He got way better as the season went on and not only earned himself a starting position after beginning the year on the bench, he was SEC player of the year. So his annual stats are misleading. He was playing way better at the end. There were quite a few players drafted a lot higher than him that were in that conference and he beat them all out for that award. He had to be doing something very right at the end of the season and I doubt he was terrible on defense if he earned that award.

    If he has some play making instincts and skills like he says, I can’t wait to see him on the court with Frank. One dynamite shooter, one dynamite defender, and two decent playmakers.

  60. Sure thing, asshole.

    i might be an asshole if i attacked your integrity or character… i was just rude…

    and i’m not sorry about it in case you were curious about it…

  61. djphan: i might be an asshole if i attacked your integrity or character… i was just rude

    Correction then, I meant rude asshole.

  62. Z-man, do I need to send you to the principal’s office?

    BTW meant to say I wrote a 2000 character post and it vanished. So–

    djphun is out here making immanuel kant puns on hanukkah you know it’s 24 hrs to game time

    hahahahahaha

  63. Mitch posted ‘where the loyalty at SMH’ on his instagram-I hope it’s something in his personal life!

  64. Let’s compare Quickley’s numbers to two combo guards we’re quite familiar with–Frank and Langston. I think we can safely ignore blocks, since none of these guys are D Wade in that arena–they all blocked sparingly enough per 40 for that to barely register in their overall defensive contribution. Modulo blocks, Quickley’s numbers are pretty similar to Galloway’s sophomore year and Frank’s final year abroad:

    Quickley: 5.1 TRB per 40, 7.4 TRB%, 1.1 STL, 1.6 STL%
    Galloway (sophomore to control for age): 5 TRB per 40, 7.5 TRB%, 1.2 STL per 40, 1.7 STL%
    Frank: 4.2 TRB per 36, 1.5 STL per 36 (no percentages on BREF for internatonal).

    Those numbers are really not that far away from each other. Quickley getting eclipsed by .1 stl per 40 by Galloway is not a reason to be pessimistic about him vis a vis Galloway. And you can project some improvement in defense if Quickley adds anything to his frame at all in a way you couldn’t with Galloway. Couple that with consistently good qualitative reports by scouts, coaches, and draft analysts, and you have at least some reason to believe, beyond dumb luck, that Quickley will be in the ballpark of average defense at his position. Is it a strong case? No, but I think it’s strong enough to think he’s not a field goal kicker of a pick. It just comes down to whether your eye test prior for him is strong or not. Mine is stronger than yours, so I think he has a better shot than you think, but I recognize here that our priors are just diverging and we’ll simply have to wait a week and see.

  65. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Z-man, do I need to send you to the principal’s office?

    As I often tell my students after “educating” them subsequent to a transgression..I’m getting older and will completely forget about this by tomorrow…unless something happens to remind me of it…

  66. I only made it through 2 episodes of Gambit because it felt ridiculously cliched and maudlin, but I obviously didn’t give a proper go of it.

    Feels a little like knicksmas eve tonight. I hope Saint Thibodeau brings me a legit point guard this year.

  67. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada:
    Let’s compare Quickley’s numbers to two combo guards we’re quite familiar with–Frank and Langston. I think we can safely ignore blocks, since none of these guys are D Wade in that arena–they all blocked sparingly enough in per 40 for them to barely register in their overall defensive contribution. Quickley’s numbers are pretty similar to Galloway’s sophomore year and Frank’s final year abroad:

    Quickley: 5.1 TRB per 40, 7.4 TRB%, 1.1 STL, 1.6 STL%
    Galloway (sophomore to control for age): 5 TRB per 40, 7.5 TRB%, 1.2 STL per 40, 1.7 STL%
    Frank: 4.2 TRB per 36, 1.5 STL per 36 (no percentages on BREF for internatonal).

    Those numbers are really not that far away from each other. Quickley getting eclipsed by .1 stl per 40 by Galloway is not a reason to be pessimistic about him vis a vis Galloway. And you can project some improvement in defense if Quickley adds anything to his frame at all in a way you couldn’t with Galloway.Couple that with consistently good qualitative reports by scouts, coaches, and draft analysts, and you have at least some reason to believe, beyond dumb luck, that Quickley will be in the ballpark of average defense at his position. Is it a strong case? No, but I think it’s strong enough to think he’s not a field goal kicker of a pick.

    Maybe, but don’t expect Bowen or Rodman whatever you do…

  68. ahh…hannukah…brisket is roasting and the chateuneuf du pape 2008 is open and breathing…waiting for kickoff…

    on queen’s gambit-

    likes – cinematography…thought I was watching a Tim Burton movie at times, the costumes (with the exception of the cowboy hat on that one dude), the soundtrack (they elevated the volume level whenever the songs came on) and the acting from the lead and the adopted mother were real good…

    cons – chess scenes, handling of the addiction theme, as mentioned above some bad CGI in Mexico City scenes…

  69. @silky,

    You may not want to look at Galloways other stats, but Galloway’s other years in college blow Quickley’s steal numbers out of the water. Galloway appears to have had one of his worst college years his sophomore year.

    And although I don’t expect Galloway or Quickley to block shots, it’s still been used as an important indicator of athleticism in college. Galloway didn’t block a ton of shots but he did average .5 blocks or more and Quickley averaged .1.

  70. @Early Bird

    I don’t mean this rhetorically: are you looking at different stats? Langston’s junior and senior years are 1.5 and 1.2 steals per 40 respectively, and his TRB per 40 were 4.1 and 4.5. I don’t get how that’s “blowing Quickley out of the water”. Langston’s freshman year was genuinely better in those respects. But I figure the best point of comparison is when Quickley was drafted, which is his sophomore year. So it wouldn’t fit to compare 22/23 year old Langston to 21 year old Quickley. If the argument is about y1 y2, then you may have a point. But still, how much different are their defensive profiles, according to the box score stats? My point is that there are some recent players who are ballpark average defenders who had a pretty similar profile to Quickley. I don’t think the difference is stark enough here to detract too much from my point. Mileage may vary I guess.

  71. So, (1) I’m looking at per 100 stats because college tends to be noisier when it comes to pace.

    (2) yeah, Galloway’s freshman stats blow Quickley’s out of the water.

    (3) College career numbers for Galloway are noticeably better than Quickley’s numbers. Maybe not blow out of the water, but steals, rebs, and blocks are all higher for Galloway per 100 possessions for their college careers.

    It’s also worth pointing out that Quickley wasn’t their go-to stopper on the perimeter. So he wasn’t out there defending the A1 option every night.

    I don’t hate Quickley and there’s reasons to be optimistic about his defense, but there’s a lot more red flags to me.

  72. Also, if you’re looking at the point the 2 players are drafted then you should include their freshman year. If not, then you’re ignoring half the data points you have about the 2 players.

    So after yr 2, you’d expect that Galloway’s true stls/100 poss is closer to 2.4 and Quickley’s closer to 1.5. In per 40 (since sometimes that’s easier to think about), Galloway is at 1.6 stls/40 and Quickley is at 1 stl/40. That’s a meaningful difference.

  73. ***I feel like Donnie Walsh right now.***

    You’ll be happy to know that I started the Queens Gambit with my wife and 4 minutes and 22 seconds into it I looked over and her eyes were closed, so I turned it off and went back to reading Vonnegut.

  74. I watched Queens Gambit. I liked it but it’s not OMG! It was good. It kept my wife interested, which is amazing.
    The one thing about it is that I’ve started playing chess again. I’m OK, not good. My chess.com rating is now 1206 which puts me at the low end of intermediate and I think that’s fair. After 7 games and I’m 5-2-0. If you play and are rated, what’s your rating?

    As for Quickly, I’m going into the season hoping he can get some 3pt shots off the bench. As a first round pick in a flat and deep mediocre quality draft, I’m 6th man ceiling is the ceiling I expect. Maybe we’ll be surprised. Who thought Mitch would be as good as he is?

    BTW, the other day I asked “How many Knicks could start for a really good team?” Then I provided the Nets as an example. Then, karma has a way, I saw or heard something about the ESPN top 100. That’s really what I was getting at, about with the question. These would be the top 3 or 4 players for an average team. Well, I did the analysis, to see how many players, by team, were in the top-100 of the ESPN. Yes, it is totally subjective and I’m sure you’ll all have disagreements with the list. I just wanted to see how the Knicks fared compared to others. Here is the breakdown of how many players each team placed in the ESPN top-100:

    6: BKN LAL
    5: IND LAC MIA NOP UTA
    4: ATL BOS HOU MIL PHI POR SAS TOR
    3: DAL DEN MIN PHX WAS
    2: DET GSW MEM ORL SAC
    1: CHA CLE NYK OKC

    Seems like a pecking order to me, or close to it.

  75. DRed:
    Mitch posted ‘where the loyalty at SMH’ on his instagram-I hope it’s something in his personal life!

    I wonder if Thibs named Noel the starter for tomorrow’s game.

  76. BTW, I also gave the teams a value for the total rank of the players in the ESPN top-100 using roto type values. So the #1 player is worth 100 points and the #100 is worth only 1. Then I totaled by team. Yeah, even more subjective, but is illuminating. Here’s what I got:
    MIA 288
    BKN 286
    BOS 276
    LAL 275
    NOP 267
    POR 257
    MIL 247
    TOR 242
    IND 232
    UTA 228
    PHI 226
    LAC 225
    DEN 221
    PHX 219
    HOU 187
    WAS 184
    DAL 178
    GSW 150
    ATL 144
    MEM 128
    MIN 118
    ORL 82
    SAC 81
    OKC 63
    CHA 56
    DET 49
    CHI 48
    SAS 47
    CLE 37
    NYK 9

  77. i do think blocks numbers are informative.. especially with galloway…

    no one is immune from a good narrative regarding a player… and as long as we keep expectations within a sane range there’s always room for an optimistic take for any player before they play a sufficient sample of games….. i’ve certainly advocated for that for all our picks.. even frank and knox at the onset…

    but if quickley is sub 40% of his 2p attempts… and i imagine he’s not going to take too many if he’s going to outperform there… then it’s also probably going to lead to a sub 1 steal per 36 as well and we’re probably looking at a dead fish at that point… he could shoot 45% from 3 and he wouldn’t be able to stick…

  78. As I often tell my students after “educating” them subsequent to a transgression..I’m getting older and will completely forget about this by tomorrow…unless something happens to remind me of it…

    I’m going to use this at some point in the future, most likely more than once…

  79. Well Mitch is the intelligent choice, which isn’t usually the case with these types of rankings, which tend to be pointz-driven. He’s clearly a superior player to Randle by the numbers…or at least was last year.

  80. I like that djphan is holding their ground more lately, opening up…honestly, I feel like I’ve gotten to understand them better in the last few weeks than in the previous years…

    I’m a little jealous of all the non-caps and ellipsis formatting stuff, but, I’ve learned to live with it…

    always knew they were really good at young player evaluation (following what’s going on in high school ball is pretty dedicated)…also that they’re super organized and dedicated to facts…more interesting now to read other thoughts with more context behind them…

    waiting now to get more takes on djphan’s food and music views…

    reminds me of when I first noticed milo was much more than simply poetic, super smart and humerous…

    interesting to see a more competitive side of folks, we all have it…

  81. Well Mitch is the intelligent choice, which isn’t usually the case with these types of rankings, which tend to be pointz-driven. He’s clearly a superior player to Randle by the numbers…or at least was last year.

    Yeah, exactly why I was pleasantly surprised!

  82. I’m not even sure why everyone is so worried about Quickley’s defense at this point. If you look at some of his shooting numbers down the stretch of his last season it’s possible we have stolen a freak shooter. Pair him with Frank when he’s ready and we’ll be fine.

    https://ukathletics.com/news/2020/3/10/mens-basketball-quickley-wins-sec-player-of-the-year-cal-named-coach-of-the-year.aspx

    During the 20-game stretch of scoring in double figures, Quickley is averaging 18.6 points to go along with 4.6 rebounds per game and 50 3-pointers while shooting 47.2% from long range. He poured in a career-high 30 points at Texas A&M and sunk a career-best eight 3-pointers to become the first UK player with 30 or more points since Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 30 on Jan. 30, 2018, vs. Vanderbilt. He’s also the first player with back-to-back 25-plus-point games since Monk from Feb. 25-28, 2017. The eight 3s tied Monk, Jamal Murray and Eric Bledsoe for the most 3-pointers in a game during the Calipari era.

    What those stats don’t fully reveal is just how clutch Quickley has been. He’s become Kentucky’s go-to scorer late in games, breaking the will of more than a handful of opponents with daggers from beyond the arc and clutch free throws.

    Two of the best examples were at LSU and at home vs. Florida. He scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the second half in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which included making all five field-goal attempts and dishing a pair of assists. At home vs. Florida, he scored 22 points in the second half, including 20 of Kentucky’s 28 points when the Wildcats fell behind 40-33. He finished with a game-high 26 points vs. the Gators.

    Over the course of UK’s eight-game winning streak in February, in the second half alone, Quickley averaged 14.9 points, shot 56.4% from the field, 57.7% from 3-point range and 93.3% from the charity stripe.

  83. DRed:
    Mitch posted ‘where the loyalty at SMH’ on his instagram-I hope it’s something in his personal life!

    I wonder if the five agents he’s fired in 3 years are thinking the same thing?

    pepper:
    i think it was Mitch at 92…

    Yeah, it was Mitch.

  84. nicos: I wonder if Thibs named Noel the starter for tomorrow’s game.

    pepper:
    i think it was Mitch at 92…

    Jokes on ESPN, Mitch isn’t even the best center on our roster. That or the Knicks are incompetent, but what’s the chances of that being true?

  85. Mitch is the way more talented and impactful in spurts, but he’s even greener than Nerlens Noel. We have no idea how much he has improved since last year, but it would not shock me if Thibs started Nerlens for awhile unless he feels pressured to start Mitch because he’s the presumptive starter and future C of the team. It’s possible someone outplays RJ in camp too but RJ will still start even if that happens.

  86. Thing is the last 2 years in OKC Noel has fouled every bit as much as Mitch and has turned the ball over far more. He’s not exactly a savvy vet.

  87. Thing is the last 2 years in OKC Noel has fouled every bit as much as Mitch and has turned the ball over far more. He’s not exactly a savvy vet.

    Yep. If Noel is the starting center, that is…not a good sign. Certainly not the end of the world, of course, but not a good sign.

  88. Game On!

    Its only preseason, but I cannot wait to enjoy some Friday night basketball. Looking forward to some KB analysis of reality. And a glass or two of my favorite whiskey…

  89. “Tonight’s game will be the most over-analyzed irrelevant game ever!”

    Well, given that Thibs *might* be our first semi-competent coach with good cred in eons, his rotations will tell us a lot, even in a totally useless game. I’m frankly more terrified than excited, but that’s classic Knicks PTSD. Maybe Thibs will start Mitch and Obi and we will go gaga, or it’s Payton-Rivers-RJ-Randle-Noel and we will puke collectively. Who knows?

  90. Thing is the last 2 years in OKC Noel has fouled every bit as much as Mitch and has turned the ball over far more. He’s not exactly a savvy vet.

    I’m not talking about just fouls and TOs. There’s a reason Nerlens has never been able to really break though as a starter and that’s a big part of it. However, Mitch is often clueless on both sides of the ball. He looks lost. He makes up for it with spectacular plays that catch your eye, but he has to get a lot better at being in the right place at the right time and doing the right things. It’s probably partly because he didn’t play any organized ball for a year. But if he’s the same player now, Thibs may have a stroke between him and Nerlens and want to bring back Taj. lol

  91. I believe this is the case but can someone confirm this.

    If a team is 9th or 10th, makes the play-in tournament, wins and makes the playoffs, they are still considered a lottery team, right? Its based on regular season record, not if they make the playoffs.

    So a team could be the 10th seed, win the play-in tournament and make the playoffs, and still possibly get a high lottery pick if the ping pong balls bounce their way, right?

  92. Well, given that Thibs *might* be our first semi-competent coach with good cred in eons, his rotations will tell us a lot, even in a totally useless game.

    Not really. He’s said that he doesn’t expect to figure out the rotation until the early part of the regular season. He’s done this before when taking over a team, and things are more fluid than usual with the extremely truncated offseason and preseason. If he rolls out, say, a Payton/Bullock/Burks/Randle/Noel starting 5 tonight, that doesn’t mean they’ll be the starters by the time the season begins, or once we’re a few weeks into the season. He’s gonna throw a lot of things at the wall to see what sticks. So we should overreact to nothing — unless it’s someone playing well in a meaningless game, in which case, go nuts, everybody.

  93. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    Tonight’s game will be the most over-analyzed irrelevant game ever!

    If Toppin can’t defend anyone, Quickley is missing everything, Randle drives into a brick wall with a spin move and turns the ball over more than once, Frank doesn’t shoot when he’s wide open, bricks when he does, and looks like he’s in a coma when he misses, Knox is being Knox, RJ misses 4 straight free throws etc… I think we can safety go into tank mode after game 1 of the pre season. lol

  94. djphan: this is not even remotely true so really just stop talking about things you haven’t even tried to understand…..

    I mean this in the nicest way lest you come after me too, but what qualifications do you have to be the top-notch scout you purport to be? I mean, if you are Walt Perrin’s burner account, then I would look at your posts in one way, but if you are a guy who played varsity basketball 1 year with Obi Toppin at Ossining High School and so fashion yourself a basketball expert, then, well, it’s another thing.

  95. Re: Quickley – if he turns out to be a slightly better shooting Langston Galloway then that is a major win at the 25th pick. My inclination is they picked him because of their familiarity with him, his apparently ridiculous work ethic (ie. more likely to reach his full potential), and because he has an easily translatable elite skill. He’s physically the right size for a guy who wants to guard the 1 and 2, can shoot the lights out, and at the very least will try hard on defense. Seems like a great kid – I hope he gets some run tonight so we can see what he’s like.

    by the way – one thing I am quite happy about re: the 2020 Knicks draft is that we don’t have to project whether these guys will be able to shoot the basketball – no “if he learns to shoot, he’ll be amazing!” dreams — both these dudes can put the ball in the basket efficiently.

  96. Thibs is probably not only still trying to figure out the pecking order at each position, he’s probably also still trying to figure out the right combinations of players to put on the court. We are probably going to see a lot of different combinations. We have some players that are similar on a net basis, but with different flaws. Trying to create a lineup where the pieces fit and you have the best players on the floor is not going to be very easy unless the rookies are really good right from the start or one of our young players has come back a much more complete player and can take over one of the spots.

  97. Alan: Not really. He’s said that he doesn’t expect to figure out the rotation until the early part of the regular season. He’s done this before when taking over a team, and things are more fluid than usual with the extremely truncated offseason and preseason. If he rolls out, say, a Payton/Bullock/Burks/Randle/Noel starting 5 tonight, that doesn’t mean they’ll be the starters by the time the season begins, or once we’re a few weeks into the season. He’s gonna throw a lot of things at the wall to see what sticks. So we should overreact to nothing — unless it’s someone playing well in a meaningless game, in which case, go nuts, everybody.

    The thing is, at the very least he should pay a bit of lip service to long-suffering fans. Given that he hasn’t determined a starting lineup, there is absolutely no benefit to starting a veteran lineup. He should know that fans are desperate to see the kids play. He should know that getting the fans on his side in today’s social media driven world is a good side to err on when making otherwise inconsequential decisions. If he starts Noel over Mitch in game #1, that would be a very bad PR move with absolutely no real benefit.

  98. The coach will probably experiment tonight but I’d think that if anything the short preseason and season are an incentive to zero in on your packing order early.

  99. He did say some players are not in NBA shape yet and that could affect his rotations, so I don’t think we can conclude anything about who’s the starter long term. But we will be able to get an idea how the new guys play.

  100. Tonight will be about more than just the basketball part, where Thibs and the coaches evaluate and the players. It’s also about making statements, chemistry and communication. Noel starting sends a message to Mitch. Same goes for all the battles. Can Randle and Toppin share the floor? What point guard emerges? Who shows energy. Yeah, totally overanalyzed game tonight LOL.

  101. I voted yes.

    I said this a few weeks back… you can do all the roster analysis you want, but the team that finishes 10th is likely going to be the team that is dumb enough to want to. And I see us being dumb enough to make a 10th place finish a priority.

  102. If he starts Noel over Mitch in game #1, that would be a very bad PR move with absolutely no real benefit.

    If his goal is to light a fire under the ass of a kid with bottomless talent and questionable motivations, that is more valuable than the PR win of starting an all-kid lineup. Don’t get me wrong: no lineup would make me happier than, say, Frank/RJ/Burks/Obi/Mitch (I’d put Iggy at the 3, but I’m also not greedy), but I do think there are legit basketball reasons (at least on the mental end of the game) for starting Noel, at least in the short term.

  103. Z-man…Hahaha. Like Thibs gives a flying fuck about the social media world or how something looks from a PR perspective.

    Mitch should be handed nothing and work for a starting role. I don’t care if he holds the record for field goal percentage. He is still extremely raw and there are signs that his head isn’t totally into the game.

    So you signed a cheap contract and feel underpaid? Guess what. That’s what happens when you skip college and take a year off from playing organized ball and are drafted in the second round. The fact that he was given a guaranteed 4 year deal as a second rounder as a rookie is unusual and more than most second rounders can ever be guaranteed. You want to make bank? Prove you can be a starter on a good NBA team. Stop fouling so much and work on the fundamentals of the game. Taking 3’s in an empty gym is cool and all but its not what Mitch needs to immediately work on to become an NBA starter.

    I’m not trying to be harsh. I want him to succeed. But I feel like some fans want to handle him with kid gloves because he’s been the one area of hope we’ve had these last 2 years. But its put up or shut up time for Mitch. He is our most valuable trade chip right now. If he doesn’t improve, it would not necessarily be a horrible move to trade him for something that in theory would be more valuable than what Mitch is showing us now.

  104. jowles! the rml-690c has arrived in time for obi’s debut and allowed the ups freight guy to show off an impressively diverse repertoire of motherfucker synonyms. thank you very much for your recommendations. however the self assembly button is missing, so please clear some time.

  105. I should also add regarding Mitch. If he does pout or acts upset with not starting right away, I really hope the fans and the media don’t overreact.

    The Knicks have Mitch under team control this year and next year as well. So if we don’t offer him an extension right now, we can offer him one later. Its not like we have to immediately start looking to trade him or lose him for nothing.

    People can pout or be upset and then when they think about it later, realize they were wrong and be humbled by the experience. Especially someone who is still very young. So even if he gets upset, it doesn’t mean the relationship with The Knicks is now damaged beyond repair. There is a tendency these days to overreact to everything that happens and demand something be done about it right away. But real life and real time doesn’t work that way. So I hope the fans will be patient with him and with The Knicks if things appear shaky at first because he isn’t starting.

  106. Alan: If his goal is to light a fire under the ass of a kid with bottomless talent and questionable motivations, that is more valuable than the PR win of starting an all-kid lineup. Don’t get me wrong: no lineup would make me happier than, say, Frank/RJ/Burks/Obi/Mitch (I’d put Iggy at the 3, but I’m also not greedy), but I do think there are legit basketball reasons (at least on the mental end of the game) for starting Noel, at least in the short term.

    Agreed, but Mitch is a special case (as the rankings shown above suggest, he was the only player in the top 100). If you alienate him with his touchy persona and on his shitty contract you will surely lose him, and the fans and press would turn on him for that. You can make the “light a fire” point in game 2 of preseason and beyond just as effectively. Knicks fans haven’t seen the team play in over 9 months and he is the best player on the team and a fan favorite. I think lighting a fire could backfire in a big way.

  107. I get what Swift is saying but I also see it from Mitch’s perspective. For all his foibles, he has been consistently productive in his minutes, and yet it seems like the team consistently looks to marginalize him. You can say he hasn’t earned anything yet, but he has certainly earned his spot at least as much as anyone else on the team, and yet it’s pretty clear that the organization doesn’t value him like that. RJ comes in, is handed a starting spot as a rookie, stinks up the joint, but his spot as a starter is never questioned, and the organization treats him as a centerpiece in significant part because he was the #3 overall pick. Mitch, on the other hand, is out here breaking Wilt’s records and gets a pat on the head and a promise that he can start once he learns to act like a big boy. How would you feel?

  108. There are zero indications that Mitch came into camp out of shape or is being a bad soldier. In fact, he apparently put on 15 pounds of muscle. As others have pointed out, he played as well or better than Noel in pretty much every aspect of the game. Just about everyone here has criticized previous coaches for bringing him off the bench. Sure, Thibs can do whatever he wants and it isn’t a huge deal. I just think it’s not worth the PR hit, and there are other ways to light that fire.

  109. Holy shit! You went big and I love it. Are you bolting it down? At 530 lbs., do you even need to!?

    So here are some tips; forgive the redundancy if I’ve said this before. If you’re installing this in a garage, remember that they are often a little sloped, so make sure that your toes are below your heels however you are squatting. When I first positioned my squat rack in my garage, I was facing uphill, and my knees never felt good about it.

    Buy yourselves a pair of squat shoes each, the cheapest that Adidas or whoever makes. (No frills needed.) Your squat form will be deeper and safer from the elevated heel. It’ll also help with benching, bent-over rows, and virtually any lift save deadlift, which you can do in non-compressible shoes like Chucks, or barefoot (my preference). A few sets of resistance bands will also be nice, since you have the little nubs at the bottom to hook them on. You’ll also find them useful for doing band-assisted pull-ups, unless you’re a freak and can do them without any training.

    Having two stations will make it easier to lift together, too. Lady Jowles and I are the same height at 5’10”, so it’s pretty easy for us. Not so much for my sister-in-law’s family, where they range from 6’6″ to 5’7″. One of you can do barbell squats in the front while the other uses the SSB elsewhere.

    Hell of a purchase, and will be either an heirloom or will retain its value indefinitely. I can make a burner email if you want help setting up a program or troubleshooting your form. Starting Strength or Stronglifts 5×5 is a good place to start. 531 is also outstanding and fairly simple. We’ve been on the the Boring But Big template for about five months and my unathletic ass just deadlifted 410 at bodyweight 160. Slow and steady growth with any of the above. Hell of a purchase!

  110. I mean this in the nicest way lest you come after me too, but what qualifications do you have to be the top-notch scout you purport to be?

    i’m not a top notch scout… i never claimed to be. i have done a lot of work on the draft for the last at least 6 years and most of my contributions here have been draft related….

    the stuff i’m talking about i’ve posted about before so i try not to repeat myself too often… when i haven’t i’ll show my work…. but the stuff about 2pt% and other box score metrics and the like i’ve posted at length about in the past… it’s not even my work…. it’s basically ed weiland’s model except he stopped a few years ago…. i’ve continued it for my own entertainment and i share it but i also talk about everyone else’s draft model and different way to talk about prospects… because just like with election modeling … it’s usually a variety of models that have the most predictive value…

    these are my opinions… if it seems like i speak authoritatively on it it’s only because i have conviction on certain thhings after many hours pouring over film… dissecting the numbers and applying things .. this is fun for me… you don’t have to trust me.. but if you say something false and i have something from my experience that can show otherwise… i’ll show you why you’re wrong… without attacking your integrity or character… these are just opinions… no one has the right to be correct on everything…. including me…. but if i’m wrong.. i would like for you to show me instead of hanging onto an opinion.. that generally means asking questions and trading perspectives…

    this stuff over box score metrics being noisy in terms of draft projections is a really comical idea and i only need to point to both ed weiland’s model and layne vashro’s model (who got hired by the nuggets a few years ago) to show that this is a stupid idea… maybe ppl have missed it but this stuff has been covered at length so if i need to show you.. i will.. but it really is stupid….

  111. thenamestsam:
    I get what Swift is saying but I also see it from Mitch’s perspective. For all his foibles, he has been consistently productive in his minutes, and yet it seems like the team consistently looks to marginalize him. You can say he hasn’t earned anything yet, but he has certainly earned his spot at least as much as anyone else on the team, and yet it’s pretty clear that the organization doesn’t value him like that. RJ comes in, is handed a starting spot as a rookie, stinks up the joint, but his spot as a starter is never questioned, and the organization treats him as a centerpiece in significant part because he was the #3 overall pick. Mitch, on the other hand, is out here breaking Wilt’s records and gets a pat on the head and a promise that he can start once he learns to act like a big boy. How would you feel?

    Yeah, golden boy RJ can’t do any wrong…if Thibs doesn’t start Mitch on merit, would he have the guts to bench RJ for Bullock or Burks on merit?

    Now its possible that Mitch or his agent said or did something to merit a response, but beyond that there is absolutely no reason to start Noel in game 1 of preseason ahead of Mitch.

  112. djphan: i’m not a top notch scout… i never claimed to be. i have done a lot of work on the draft for the last at least 6 years and most of my contributions here have been draft related….

    the stuff i’m talking about i’ve posted about before so i try not to repeat myself too often… when i haven’t i’ll show my work…. but the stuff about 2pt% and other box score metrics and the like i’ve posted at length about in the past… it’s not even my work…. it’s basically ed weiland’s model except he stopped a few years ago…. i’ve continued it for my own entertainment and i share it but i also talk about everyone else’s draft model and different way to talk about prospects… because just like with election modeling … it’s usually a variety of models that have the most predictive value…

    and I’m sure this was done with the same mathematical acumen utilized in discussing brandon clarke or determining that half of thibs’ career was in min…

    caveat emptor

  113. RJ was the third pick in the draft.

    I know this is a stats based blog but while RJ might have had a bad rookie season production wise, he doesn’t really “play the wrong way.” He doesn’t commit silly fouls or go for the flashy play on defense rather than the right one. RJ doesn’t check out of the game like Mitch sometimes does. Its not just about production.

    I would also NOT just give RJ unlimited minutes like he was given last year. He should probably still start but a shorter leash from time to time might be good for him. But again, there is a difference between a player being bad because they miss open shots and player who is making fundamental mistakes. If anything, Mitch’s all ready great skills in scoring shows his potential and his lack of reaching it so far.

    But yeah, RJ should get yanked if he’s missing FT’s!

  114. swiftandabundant: RJ was the third pick in the draft.

    I don’t think that entitles him to more leeway than a guy who outplayed him by light years last year and is far more likely to be a critical piece on a contender at this point. Bottom line is, both should start preseason game 1.

  115. At the end of the day, this site is all about heuristics and eventually we have to make conclusions or predictions based on those imperfect tools. It’s fine! And djphan doesn’t have a wholly fucked worldview that pervades his basketball analysis, unlike some other posters who not only believe they’re an expert basketball analyst, but also a journalist, historian, epidemiologist and constitutional law scholar. djphan made some claims about a fantastic young player in Clarke and I’m looking forward to badgering him about it as I once did another beloved longtime poster when he made some claims about a certain shitty Italian tall guy. It’s fine!

    Don’t get bent out of shape about it. Just wait for him to be wrong and make him eat crow when he is proven to be just that. It’s fine!

  116. and I’m sure this was done with the same mathematical acumen utilized in discussing brandon clarke or determining that half of thibs’ career was in min…

    this appears to be in english but i dont understand it….

  117. He was saying that you did a bad job at counting (Clarke isn’t as old relative to his comps as you thought he was, Thibs didn’t coach in MIN as long as you claimed he was). The fact that you underestimated the age gap in nearly every case shows a pretty clear (and undue) bias against Clarke, IMO. Especially since you didn’t revise your prediction much when confronted with the corrected information.

    swift, consider this: Jokic was the 41st pick in 2014, Mudiay was a lottery pick in 2015 for the Nuggets. Do you think Mudiay should have been entitled to more playing time than Jokic by virtue of his draft slot?

    Some fallacies to look out for with RJB:

    1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IKEA_effect
    2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost#Overoptimistic_probability_bias
    3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_effect
    4) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escalation_of_commitment

  118. Every young player is different. Some need a longer leash to build confidence others need a shorter one to build discipline. There isn’t one single way to handle a young player but obviously I think most people want everyone to be treated the same.

    That being said, I know my post was harsh! I probably would have started Mitch more last season and it sucks that half of his career has been playing under Fizdale. I just think a little (just a little) tough love might be good for him. His potential is limitless but he does some silly stuff that should be easily correctable that keeps him from reaching that potential and those mistakes seems largely mental.

  119. Anybody else see that an Egyptian Billionaire has 5% ownership in MSG and that it may climb to 6.3% in March, which would make him the 3rd largest shareholder in the company?

    I know this isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s a glimmer of hope right?

  120. swiftandabundant: But yeah, RJ should get yanked if he’s missing FT’s!

    I’m not trying to make this a shit on RJ thing. I do think that taking a whole bunch of shots you’re not capable of making at a decent clip is as fundamental a basketball mistake as committing a silly foul, but I understand many coaches don’t see it that way.

    I’m just saying try to see it from Mitch’s perspective. He’s made nothing in his career compared to these guys who come in as 1st round picks, and yet he’s outplaying them on the court every day. And still, in spite of that he can’t get the organization to see him as their equal, or really to show that they value him at all. I mean Frank ties his shoes properly two games in a row and people start writing paeans to him but with Mitch it seems like so much of the organization’s focus is always on the things he’s not doing.

  121. He was saying that you did a bad job at counting (Clarke isn’t as old relative to his comps as you thought he was, Thibs didn’t coach in MIN as long as you claimed he was). The fact that you underestimated the age gap in nearly every case shows a pretty clear (and undue) bias against Clarke, IMO.

    i asked you afterwards… what changes? if you think it was a huge shift i don’t agree with that… and even if you want to discount every one outside of 3 years then we’re still including a signficant amount of bigs… that list wasn’t comprehensive either… we left out a lot of folks….

    and i still haven’t gotten an answer on that which is why you still are misinterpeting….

  122. this might be a bit embarassing but i’m going to do it anyway since this might be fun and we’re still technically in the offseason:

    here’s my 2015 nba board (taken from a different board):

    1. karl anthony towns
    2. d’angelo russell
    3. justise winslow
    4. jahlil okafor
    5. emmanuel mudiay
    6. willie caulie-stein
    7. delon wright
    8. myles turner
    9. bobby portis
    10. christian wood
    11. frank kaminsky
    12. kelly oubre
    13. cliff alexander
    14. stanley johnson
    15. cameron payne
    16. rondae-holis jefferson
    17. montrezl harrell
    18. jordan mickey
    19. rakeem christmas
    20. richaun holmes
    21. rj hunter
    22. KRISTAPS PORZINGIS
    23. derrick marks
    24. tj mcconnel
    25. robert upshaw
    26. jerian grant
    27. seth tuttle
    28. chris mccullough
    29. kevon looney
    30. vince hunter

    here’s the actual nba draft:
    https://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2015.html

  123. i asked you afterwards… what changes? if you think it was a huge shift i don’t agree with that…

    Well, did you not subtract two years from Capela’s age? Do you see a difference between Capela’s first year getting PT at 21 (-0.4 BPM, .553 TS% on 16 USG%) and Capela at 23 (3.4 BPM, .650 TS% on 19 USG%)?

    Turns out that time and age make a big difference for professional athletes. We’re not going to relitigate that argument because ultimately, you think a very bad wing at 19 is a better long-term bet than a very good role-player stretch 4 at 23. And no amount of arguing is going to budge either of us since your assessment is based on future production and positional scarcity and mine is based on recent performance and what we can extrapolate from those wildly different rookie years (in position, age and production).

    Not interesting in spending more keystrokes on it. We have 72 more games to use as data this year. I’m looking forward to it.

  124. djphan: this stuff over box score metrics being noisy in terms of draft projections is a really comical idea and i only need to point to both ed weiland’s model and layne vashro’s model (who got hired by the nuggets a few years ago) to show that this is a stupid idea… maybe ppl have missed it but this stuff has been covered at length so if i need to show you.. i will.. but it really is stupid….

    Sloppy analyis aside, here’s the rub. The debate over the usefulness of box-score based metrics is largely about the noise in the stats. If there were no noise, We wouldn’t have had the raging debates over first WP, then WS, then BPM, then Synergy-based stats. I triggered you by suggesting that you were a non-learner…which applied to some defenders of WP back in the day. The absolutism in your statement above is clear evidence of that. You are so stuck in your own conclusions that you dismiss Silky’s synergy-based data as: “that’s the problem with unquantifiable things… how do you know that these things are actually making an impact to a defense instead of just coloring your judgement? you can’t…” The thing is, the stats he referred to actually are quantifiable! They just aren’t in the box score! Just like blocks and steals and offensive vs. defensive rebounds weren’t in the box score way back when.

    If Synergy analysis shows that Frank blows up the high PnR at the point of attack, resulting in a measurably lower PPP when he’s on the floor relative to other defenders in that position, that doesn’t show up in the box score. Does that make him a bad defender because he didn’t get a steal or a block? Is that not quantifiable?

  125. swift, consider this: Jokic was the 41st pick in 2014, Mudiay was a lottery pick in 2015 for the Nuggets. Do you think Mudiay should have been entitled to more playing time than Jokic by virtue of his draft slot?

    A lot of things is life aren’t determined by merit. IMO, it shouldn’t be that way, but it often is.

    Your example is extreme, but in the case of a high draft pick or even if management makes a high profile trade for name player they will often give that player some benefit of the doubt for awhile to save face. When new management comes in it can change.

  126. looks it’s obvious you’re pretty tied to this… the clarke thing is just one of the many positions i had in the draft… as i’ve been open to on my results… i don’t get it right all the time….

    what’s more important to me is the process… and the process on average should net you better results than.. say nba gms… or the hive mind of kb… that’s what i’m trying to steer the conversation towards….

    if you want to be right… no one is stopping you from being the king of your kingdom…. if you want recognition you really don’t have any control over that and really not worth pursuing….

    if you want a better process… then feel free to engage….

  127. Well, did you not subtract two years from Capela’s age?

    and for the record i did not….. lest we go over the same precision requirements that i’m getting blasted for and start applying it to folks here….

  128. The #BarrettBros will have the last laugh. My only issue with the #ClarkeCousins is don’t tell me a guy with 88 3PA over 4,025 minutes of NCAA/NBA basketball is a good 3 point shooter. Especially when the guy is 24 years old already.

  129. Bottom line is I am happy to have an authentic debate with you or anyone here about any of this stuff. Just keep it real, get off your high horse, and keep an open mind. If you can’t do that, at least don’t do the inexcusably sloppy shit that Jowles referred to in his post above. I’ve personally learned a ton from posters here, and some of those lessons came with many lols attached (as Jowles likes to remind me of, alas he’s had him moments too). I’m happy to learn from you, and to put any bad blood behind us. It’s up to you.

  130. Are you bolting it down? At 530 lbs., do you even need to!?

    not gonna bolt it down. i consider evading the eventual toppling to be a critical part of my regimen. i also have a very flat place for it. if i ever get the slinger extension i suppose i’ll bolt it down.

    Buy yourselves a pair of squat shoes each, the cheapest that Adidas or whoever makes.

    thank you i will do this. although no one will ever know outside of this tiny room of frankophiles.

    We’ve been on the the Boring But Big template for about five months and my unathletic ass just deadlifted 410 at bodyweight 160.

    thank you i will never do this.

    You’ll also find them useful for doing band-assisted pull-ups, unless you’re a freak and can do them without any training.

    i have a door frame pull up bar in my home office which, along with opening new tabs, has been about 115% of my workout routine for the past year and also the year before that when i had no excuse. so i can do 15 pull ups with a dumbbell between my knees but i couldn’t squat or deadlift rory sparrow (kinda lame i couldn’t think of lighter knick than that offhand).

  131. i haven’t seen where it was confirmed that mitch’s instagram post is about him not starting tonight…right now it seems like people reading the tea leaves…but…if it was and it is deserved…it’s not a good look for him…he’ll probably get the same minutes (or at least dictate it with his ability to stay out of foul trouble and/or not get winded after a few fast breaks) either way…

  132. If Synergy analysis shows that Frank blows up the high PnR at the point of attack, resulting in a measurably lower PPP when he’s on the floor relative to other defenders in that position, that doesn’t show up in the box score. Does that make him a bad defender because he didn’t get a steal or a block? Is that not quantifiable?

    first…. this is not what we were discussing we were discussing COLLEGE SYNERGY stats…. and COLLEGE synergy stats are highly noisy for the purpose of nba projection….. college teams on average run zone about half the time…. do you want to guess how often nba teams run zone? news flash.. it’s not half…

    second…. we’re dealing with already small samples in college…. how many free throws did markelle fultz shoot in his college career? it’s 168… how many 3pt’ers? 126…. that’s basically 2 and half months worth of games in the pro’s…. so when you take 126 and slice up those attempts into synergy and ask.. how many catch and shoot 3pt’ers did he get? it’s going to be a lot less… but let’s be generous and say 80….. how many of those would have come off screens? well if college teams are playing zone half the time it would be at most half…. so you have 40 3pt attempts to judge someone’s 3pt shot attempts off a screen… when you look at these synergy stats are you even looking at the sample you have?

    third….. a pick and roll in college is not the same as in the pro’s… ieveryone sags into the paint… virginia famously has a whole defense that revolves around this….. nobody in the nba does because everyone hits 3s…. if you’re good at the pnr in college doesn’t mean you’re going to be good in the pro’s… and nobody shows how it’s projectable… they automatically assume it is… well… i’m asking… how?

    z-man… can you show me where synergy stats informs nba performance? or were you just talking out of your ass?

  133. ptmilo:
    Are you bolting it down? At 530 lbs., do you even need to!?
    (kinda lame i couldn’t think of lighter knick than that offhand).

    jared harper…at least until he gets cut next week…

  134. ptmilo:

    also the year before that when i had no excuse.so i can do 15 pull ups with a dumbbell between my knees but i couldn’t squat or deadlift rory sparrow (kinda lame i couldn’t think of lighter knick than that offhand).

    Louis Orr?

  135. The #BarrettBros will have the last laugh. My only issue with the #ClarkeCousins is don’t tell me a guy with 88 3PA over 4,025 minutes of NCAA/NBA basketball is a good 3 point shooter. Especially when the guy is 24 years old already.

    If he hadn’t taken a single 3PA last year his TS% would’ve been .680, so it’s not like he’s relying on a fluky 3PT shooting performance to buoy his efficiency.

    Any way you slice it, he was phenomenally productive as an NBA player, to say nothing of being a rookie.

  136. I felt a moment of hope creep into my thinking because I like Double-T as a coach.
    I’ve gotta watch that. MSG is where unicorns and dreams go to wither and die.

  137. djphan: first…. this is not what we were discussing we were discussing COLLEGE SYNERGY stats…. and COLLEGE synergy stats are highly noisy for the purpose of nba projection….. college teams on average run zone about half the time…. do you want to guess how often nba teams run zone? news flash.. it’s not half…

    This means nothing in terms of the analysis we’re talking about…in fact, it makes box score stats even noisier regarding blocks, rebounds and steals…

    djphan: second…. we’re dealing with already small samples in college…. how many free throws did markelle fultz shoot in his college career? it’s 168… how many 3pt’ers? 126…. that’s basically 2 and half months worth of games in the pro’s…. so when you take 126 and slice up those attempts into synergy and ask.. how many catch and shoot 3pt’ers did he get? it’s going to be a lot less… but let’s be generous and say 80….. how many of those would have come off screens? well if college teams are playing zone half the time it would be at most half…. so you have 40 3pt attempts to judge someone’s 3pt shot attempts off a screen… when you look at these synergy stats are you even looking at the sample you have?

    So you’re saying that analysis beyond the box score stats is meaningless, e.g. whether even in limited opportunities whether a player gets skinny around screens or doesn’t, whether they get caught ball-watching or not, whether they box out effectively, whether they can effectively body up bigger, stronger players, etc., you know, the kind of stuff that is in any detailed analytic report is effictively useless, correct? Is that what you are saying? That guys like Schmitz and Pearlman are wasting their time? Sure, I get it now.

  138. The Honorable Cock Jowles: If he hadn’t taken a single 3PA last year his TS% would’ve been .680, so it’s not like he’s relying on a fluky 3PT shooting performance to buoy his efficiency.

    No my friend, you do not get to back off your stance about his 3PT% now when you championed him as a 42% shooter after like 40 attempts. There’s a chance he indeed gets that together and the early returns are encouraging, but the sample size is entirely too small for that to be seen as a bona fide skill. I’m also not seriously attacking your point of view and ultimately agree with you that he’s a valuable player whether or not the shooting comes around. I’m just a lot less bullish on how valuable he actually is.

    I think it’s obvious that Brandon Clarke is a power forward, and short of some elite passing ability he’s going to need to shoot more than 1.1 3PA to stay on the floor long term. I don’t want to make this a discussion about whether or not Brandon Clarke will be better than RJ Barrett because they are very different prospects at very different points in their development, but I’ll say this:

    1) RJ Barrett’s season was right in line with De’Aaron Fox’s and Dennis Smith JR’s first seasons as far as productivity. It’s basically a coin flip at this point which way he goes from this point.

    2) Brandon Clarke will absolutely be a valuable contributor in the NBA, but I’m not willing to anoint him the next Draymond Green or Shawn Marion just yet.

    3) If you gave me a choice, I would absolutely still take RJ Barrett. I think minus the power forward brigade and with some accountability around Payton and Randle in the form of a real NBA coach, you’ll see a better RJ Barrett this winter.

  139. djphan: third….. a pick and roll in college is not the same as in the pro’s… ieveryone sags into the paint… virginia famously has a whole defense that revolves around this….. nobody in the nba does because everyone hits 3s…. if you’re good at the pnr in college doesn’t mean you’re going to be good in the pro’s… and nobody shows how it’s projectable… they automatically assume it is… well… i’m asking… how?

    This is a total strawman argument, no one made that assumption. But even if there are only 20 samples that are comparable of what one would face in the NBA, are they worth considering? Are there definitive answers to the question in the box score? (hint: there aren’t)

    djphan: z-man… can you show me where synergy stats informs nba performance? or were you just talking out of your ass?

    How long have synergy-based stats been widely available across the NCAA? My understanding is that it is a relatively new technology and analysis of draft pick performance based on synergy-based data is in its infancy. Is that not true? Can you show me a synergy-based draft analysis that is further off than any of the box-score models you rely on? (look at your own 2015 board…yikes!)

    Put differently, can you explain why players with nearly identical college box score stats at draft time have widely varying outcomes in the NBA? Is there something beyond the box score stats that can be derived from quantitative film analysis? I am intrigued by that possibility. You apparently aren’t.

  140. Off topic, but I was listening to today’s episode of The Lowe Post and Zach Lowe was talking with Kirk Goldsberry about a potential Harden trade. Essentially, because of the Bam extension the Heat will have to offload a bunch of their talent in order to land Giannis, and that includes Tyler Herro, so doing it now for James Harden wouldn’t be the poor use of assets it may appear to be.

    I’m sure they’d rather send Tyler Herro to OKC so they can have the swagtastic backcourt that is SGA and Herro instead of off-loading him to a Eastern Conference team, but if there were ever a time to use a combination of cap space and future draft capital it would be to add a 21 year old Tyler Herro to your roster. I don’t even think the kid is the 8x all star the bubble makes him out to be, but he’s one of the Kentucky guys you’d want and talented players like Herro don’t get salary dumped every day.

  141. No my friend, you do not get to back off your stance about his 3PT% now when you championed him as a 42% shooter after like 40 attempts.

    Citation needed.

    There’s a chance he indeed gets that together and the early returns are encouraging, but the sample size is entirely too small for that to be seen as a bona fide skill.

    Sure. I agree. The sample is too small to call it a real skill. But the shot attempts did happen.

    I’m just a lot less bullish on how valuable he actually is.

    He’s under contract for ages 24, 25 and 26 at $3.2M AAV. Even if he were a perfectly average player (which would require him to be one of the worst defenders in the league, since he is one of the most efficient scorers in the entire league), he would be a steal at $3.2M a year. Obviously you want legit max players, the 10 or so players who are still underpaid on a supermax contract (AD, LeBron, peak Curry, peak Durant, Kawhi, Giannis, Harden et al.), but man, value? We’re talking about value at $3M a year? C’mon.

    1) RJ Barrett’s season was right in line with De’Aaron Fox’s and Dennis Smith JR’s first seasons as far as productivity. It’s basically a coin flip at this point which way he goes from this point.

    I’d like to have had Fox on the Knicks (especially over Ntilikina just 3 slots behind him), but let’s not act like he’s had some sudden ascent to superstardom. He’s a bad shooter from 3 and from the free-throw line, the best player on a bad team. Meh.

    2) Brandon Clarke will absolutely be a valuable contributor in the NBA, but I’m not willing to anoint him the next Draymond Green or Shawn Marion just yet.

    Okay.

    3)

    The tank continues!

  142. One more thing as far as comparing RJ vs. Mitch and their playing time.

    Last year was RJ’s rookie year. It was Mitch’s second year.

    Last year we had like 8 other bigs on the roster. Who was RJ’s competition at the SG/wing spot in the rotation? Payton was hurt to start the season too, so the guard rotation in general last year was super weak. The number 3 draft pick who plays SG and can be a secondary playmaker on a team bereft of guards and PG’s is going to get a shit ton of minutes. I don’t think that really qualifies as RJ getting special treatment while Mitch is in the doghouse. They don’t play the same position. They’re not even overlap positions. One is a front court player on a team full of front court players and the other is a backcourt/wing player on a team bereft of options there.

    I suspect RJ will still start but his minutes could most definitely go down this year because there is now more guard and wing depth on this team than last year.

  143. swiftandabundant: Last year we had like 8 other bigs on the roster. Who was RJ’s competition at the SG/wing spot in the rotation? Payton was hurt to start the season too, so the guard rotation in general last year was super weak. The number 3 draft pick who plays SG and can be a secondary playmaker on a team bereft of guards and PG’s is going to get a shit ton of minutes. I don’t think that really qualifies as RJ getting special treatment while Mitch is in the doghouse. They don’t play the same position. They’re not even overlap positions. One is a front court player on a team full of front court players and the other is a backcourt/wing player on a team bereft of options there.

    You’re just gonna diss Iggy Brazdeikis like that?

  144. I like me some Iggy and want to see him get some burn. I wish he had been allowed to play with the big boys last year but alas, Fizdale and Mills had no idea what they were doing.

  145. It’s a bit ominous that Iggy is a complete non-entity in media clips and Thibs commentary, Has he been mentioned even once?

  146. Hubert:
    I said this a few weeks back… you can do all the roster analysis you want, but the team that finishes 10th is likely going to be the team that is dumb enough to want to.And I see us being dumb enough to make a 10th place finish a priority.

    Oh thank you, man. I was going crazy seeing everybody here saying that we have a chance to go for the 10th place, and talking about it like a good idea. This draft is packed, we tanked for 4 seasons but never got what we needed, because of bad tanking (Frank, Knox) and bad luck (RJ), so we should tank one more time to try to get a real tier-1 prospect.

    There’s a joke people tell here that goes like this:
    In a psychiatric hospital surrounded with 100 walls, says one patient to the other ‘man, want to escape from here with me tonight?’ and the other says yes. Then during the night they start climbing the walls, and when they reach 99 one of them says ‘man, i’m tired’ and the other replies ‘me too, let’s go back and try tomorrow’.

    Well, the Knicks will be one of these patients if they go for the 10th place! And probably the other patient is Chicago!! :D

  147. So you’re saying that analysis beyond the box score stats is meaningless, ….. Is that what you are saying? That guys like Schmitz and Pearlman are wasting their time? Sure, I get it now.

    i’m saying what i said… college synergy stats are meaningless towards nba projections.. where are you getting that everything else is meaningless?.. i am not purely a by the numbers guy … college numbers are just informative.. they inform the future… but they do not tell you the future like a crystal ball…. this is no different than election modeling.. election models aren’t meant to pinpoint national popular vote margins to a T..

    but you cannot ignore the numbers… you cannot be a purely qualitiative analyst and get better results … and most qualitative analyts do rely on the numbers they just rely on the wrong ones…

    How long have synergy-based stats been widely available across the NCAA?

    so then why are you claiming synergy based stats count for something when you don’t know what they count for?

    Put differently, can you explain why players with nearly identical college box score stats at draft time have widely varying outcomes in the NBA?

    i go over it many times in just about every one of my posts… this has happened a lot in the draft over the last 5 years so i have no idea why you think this is some new question that i never talk about….

    I’m happy to learn from you, and to put any bad blood behind us. It’s up to you.

    after offering this to you many times after dropping it myself many times.. all you had to do was recognize that you stepped over the line and apologize.. I gave you that choice and you prefer that i reciprocate….

    you know what you need to do.. until that happens… i have no problem shoveling all the shit you dumped onto me .. i don’t like it but if you want me to just take verbal abuse all the time.. no.

  148. swiftandabundant:
    I know Barrett had a bad rookie season but come on, my man. Barrett is not as bad as Mudiay and Robinson is not as good as Jokic.

    A lot of these debate come down to people valuing players differently.

    I like Mitch and Clarke a lot, but I think some people overrate them.

    I think RJ had a disappointing rookie season, but I think he was better than some people give him credit for.

    That doesn’t make me right, but if you aren’t on the same page with the values it’s more difficult to agree on who should have been drafted, who should play etc..

    I used to have that debate with the Wins Produced guys all the time. They’d identify some prospect that scored very well on their model that was going to be selected in the late 1st round or 2nd round. They’d be screaming about how stupid everyone in the NBA is. The kid would come to the pros, score really well on their model again as a pro but rarely get playing time. Then they’d again be screaming about how stupid everyone in the NBA is. The thought that their model was measuring the same things incorrectly in both college and the pros never crossed their minds or was immediately rejected.

  149. hey jowles… what odds would you give me on clarke vs rj total value on their next contract and how much would you wager?

  150. ***If a team is 9th or 10th, makes the play-in tournament, wins and makes the playoffs, they are still considered a lottery team, right? Its based on regular season record, not if they make the playoffs. So a team could be the 10th seed, win the play-in tournament and make the playoffs, and still possibly get a high lottery pick if the ping pong balls bounce their way, right?***

    The way I read it was that if the 10th seed gets into the playoffs, they become the 8th seed, and are thus out of the lottery. But it is vague.

  151. Lots of interesting stuff in this Athletic article by Vorkunov (who used to write stuff here, right?!):

    https://theathletic.com/2248347/2020/12/11/knicks-immanuel-quickley-kevin-knox/

    Brief synopsis for those who don’t have a subscription, specifically re: Thibs and offense
    basically said that the NBA now is mostly 4 and 5 out with centers that can shoot 3s
    specifically. And more about how opening up space in the lane makes it easier for drivers and cutters, and then kickouts for corner 3’s.

    He is certainly saying all the right stuff. Let’s see if he follows through or if we have two non shooting bigs in the game all the time.

    Also makes you think they specifically targeted Spellman.

  152. djphan: you know what you need to do.. until that happens… i have no problem shoveling all the shit you dumped onto me .. i don’t like it but if you want me to just take verbal abuse all the time.. no.

    Fair enough. I apologize for any gratuitous and unnecessary language I used towards you, or for anything that went beyond my opinion on your analytical takes into the realm of character. I have no reason to believe that you are anything but a nice and kind person outside of this forum. Is that sufficient?

  153. i’ll take it.. thank you….

    and for the record… we can call opinions.. dumb.. unfounded… biased… all we want…. but i will always respect you and anyone here as a person… we all deserve that…. even on the internet…. and everyone has something to offer to one another…. even ted nelson…. i give everyone here the benefit of the doubt that they mean well even if they make a mistake…. and i thank everyone here for putting up with my obnoxious writing style… but i’m not here to be right.. i’m here like the rest of you are…

    to cope…

  154. hey jowles… what odds would you give me on clarke vs rj total value on their next contract and how much would you wager?

    Why would I ever agree to such a thing? Do I really need to take you through this? Is Terry Rozier better than Seth Curry because he got more money in the summer of 2019?

    1) lottery picks get paid
    2) cap and roster situations vary widely
    3) PPG gets paid, even in today’s NBA
    4) guards and wings get paid in today’s NBA

  155. swiftandabundant: One more thing as far as comparing RJ vs. Mitch and their playing time.

    I didn’t really mean to make a point that was specific to RJ at all. My point was about Mitch, rightfully in my eyes, feeling like the organization doesn’t value him. I put RJ out there as a point of comparison but it’s not that central point. To the extent that part of Mitch’s lack of playing time last year was about how crowded the front court was, a significant part of that was because when the organization made their free agency decisions they didn’t seem to be worried about blocking him, or about where his playing time was coming from. But at the time, okay, he was coming off his rookie season, and it was mostly only the nerds on this board who were saying that he seemed like a pretty special talent.

    But it’s not just the nerds anymore; it’s now the general consensus that he’s the Knicks best player – see the ESPN rank above. So 22 years old, widely considered the teams best player, hoping to get paid soon for the first time in his career, and the team is starting a $5M a year veteran that they just grabbed in free agency ahead of him. Of course he’s upset! I know I would be.

  156. So I’m still trying to understand all the Iggy love. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the biggest end-of-bench rooters there is. I loved Lin way before Linsanity (going back to GSW; he’s probably my only positive hit). I was only mildly ashamed of my fanboi feelings for the mop-headed energizer bunny. Langston was my man just for the name. Hell, I even love Frank… But for Iggy, yes he scored 20 pts/g last year but he shot .344 from 3 and .687 from the foul line. Not exactly tearing it up, efficiency-wise. In all seriousness, is there something I’m missing? I’d actually love to get on the Iggy train, but I’m struggling to find the ticket money.

  157. They’d identify some prospect that scored very well on their model that was going to be selected in the late 1st round or 2nd round.

    Like Kawhi Leonard?

    Barrett is not as bad as Mudiay

    Yeah, he is.

  158. So, besides me and Hubert, who’s on team tanking? And who’s on team go-for-the-10th-place?

  159. Is Terry Rozier better than Seth Curry because he got more money in the summer of 2019?

    i mean technically his future value is actually a lot higher yes…. that doesn’t mean he’s ‘better’… but yes age 25 rozier is worth more than age 29 (seth) curry…. it’s close curry might better now but you have a lot of choices if you want better than rozier now….

    and that’s not an actual offer btw… i was half kidding on that… i wanted to see how sure you were on this clarke thing…. because i think you’ll find it’s really not going to take all that much to be wrong on this….

  160. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA to both points. TECHNICALLY Rozier COULD become a “BETTER” player than the all-time leader in 3PT% efficiency… ok! The Barrett argument makes A LOT more sense now.

    And yeah, it’s gonna be fun. I look forward to the spin. There’s, like, no chance you’re coming out looking smart on this one, man. Sorry.

    i wanted to see how sure you were on this clarke thing

    I’m very sure. I’m just not ready to let the Vlade Divacs of the world determine, through a crude metric like salary, which one of us “wins” the bet.

  161. “And more about how opening up space in the lane makes it easier for drivers and cutters, and then kickouts for corner 3’s.”

    Man, will I be glad when people move on from the idea that basketball can only be played one way. Talent matters more and execution probably just as much as style of play. The level of athleticism and individual skill has never been higher in NBA history but it gets boring as hell watching practically the same game over and over.

    Mike

  162. I won’t pretend I know enough about coaching or psychology or whatever to weigh in fully on the merits, but I am pretty confident that some “tough love” strategy as applied to Mitch will not achieve what it is supposed to achieve and in fact will backfire enormously.

    Part of this is just good old fashioned Dolan’s Razor, but additionally thenamestsam is absolutely right that it’s a bit of a ridiculous posture to take with someone who has clearly earned the job on the merits and is your best young piece. To put it simply, why Mitch? He probably feels like he’s being singled out based on bizarre, unfounded judgments about his character.

    Obviously there are holes in his game. To me, it’s basically an admission that your coaching staff doesn’t know what it’s doing if you can’t give him the playing time he’s due and develop his game simultaneously. There are far more examples of young players getting better as they were playing than there are young players getting better while benched.

  163. re: Iggy – he’s a young guy who looks like he can do the dribble + pass + shoot thing. He did shoot 39% from 3 and 77% from the line in college. Wasn’t a passer in college (0.8 assists/g) but had 3 assists/g in 33min/game in G-league.

    we’ll see – they’ve got a lot of guys that have to be evaluated. I don’t think it’s a huge issue if they end up letting him go, although truthfully I think he has a better shot of being a useful player than Knox does based on how poorly Knox has done with the chances gifted to him so far.

  164. Iggy has a cool name and a slight outside chance of being a decent scoring piece off the bench. He’s also done pretty well at every level he’s played at, so I hope he gets a shot in the big leagues. It’s not like we’re so talent-rich that we can’t afford to throw him a few minutes a night until he proves he’s not up to snuff.

  165. In any case, I see Quickley’s defense as a good test case, as his synergy performance is much rosier than his box score stats…let’s keep in mind that the argument is whether he’ll be at least a slightly below average defender at worst, not whether he becomes the next Bruce Bowen. The argument stemmed from whether taking someone who could do nothing but shoot 3’s e.g. Quickley is a good move at #25. There were those who said no because that makes him Steve Novak, those who said yes because that’s the most important single skill in today’s NBA, and those who said not-so-fast, look at his synergy numbers. There is also the argument of whether he was overdrafted because Rose is all about Kentucky basketball which raises major red flags about his overall judgment with regard to drafting and acquiring players. We’ll see how things go…as a Knicks fan I’m rooting hard for him and for Rose looking like a genius in retrospect.

  166. Man, will I be glad when people move on from the idea that basketball can only be played one way.

    You realize that the game hasn’t always been about pace-and-space, right? 13 years ago, the Spurs beat the Cavs 75-72 in a Finals game. Ten years later, the Cavs, led by the very same player as ten years prior, hung 86 on the Warriors — in a half.

  167. I won’t pretend I know enough about coaching or psychology or whatever to weigh in fully on the merits, but I am pretty confident that some “tough love” strategy as applied to Mitch will not achieve what it is supposed to achieve and in fact will backfire enormously.

    It also just seems to me like you’re giving the organization a lot of unearned credit if you look at the consistent pattern of them seemingly under-valuing Mitch and then take the most recent example and conclude that it’s all part of a developmental plan. Isn’t the simplest explanation here that they just still don’t value him that highly?

  168. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA to both points. TECHNICALLY Rozier COULD become a “BETTER” player than the all-time leader in 3PT% efficiency… ok! The Barrett argument makes A LOT more sense now.

    he’s already played more minutes than seth curry has and already has a better season than what he’s put up…. do you think it’s a blow out? i’m not sure why that’s funny….

  169. let’s keep in mind that the argument is whether he’ll be at least a slightly below average defender at worst, not whether he becomes the next Bruce Bowen.

    this is where there is a consistent misunderstanding…. it’s not that they would turn into bruce bowen… it’s that players with poor defensive stats turn into anything resembling a good defender…. bruce bowen is considered good with poor defensive box score metrics….

    is there anyone else? is devin booker considered a good defender? jj redick? kelly olynk? aaron afflalo?

  170. he’s already played more minutes than seth curry has

    First you ask if I want to measure the production of two players based on their future contract value, and now we’re going to evaluate players based on playing time!? Andrew Wiggins has played 33% more minutes than anyone in his draft class — must be the best player! Is Frank Kaminsky better than Montrezl Harrell? Kuzma better than Adebayo? Collin Friggin’ Sexton better than Mitchell Robinson!?

  171. Ominous sign: The vet Obi says has helped him the most? Julius Randle. Also slightly ominous to hear him say that he hasn’t gotten a single leak out dunk in practice- something he feasted on at Dayton.

  172. The argument stemmed from whether taking someone who could do nothing but shoot 3’s e.g. Quickley is a good move at #25. There were those who said no because that makes him Steve Novak, those who said yes because that’s the most important single skill in today’s NBA, and those who said not-so-fast, look at his synergy numbers.

    Yeah, that’s an important distinction, as it became a whole other argument than what was actually being discussed at the time, which was exactly as you noted.

  173. djphan: this is where there is a consistent misunderstanding…. it’s not that they would turn into bruce bowen… it’s that players with poor defensive stats turn into anything resembling a good defender…. bruce bowen is considered good with poor defensive box score metrics….

    is there anyone else? is devin booker considered a good defender? jj redick? kelly olynk? aaron afflalo?

    The root of the argument is whether Quickley will become good enough beyond being a pure 3-pt specialist to justify a #25 pick ahead of others that were available. I’m a “proof is in the pudding, one case at a time” kind of person…especially when by definition, a #25 pick is unlikely to stick around in the NBA for very long. The question hinges on his defense…is he good enough to be a net plus in a legit NBA rotation. So for the purposes of that argument, “good” simply means “not terrible” as in Malik Monk terrible (I bring him up since he’s been compared to him in some scouting reports.) Although Malik Monk is a bad example since he has been terrible as a 3-pt shooter and has had off-the-court issues complicating things.) By boxscore-based metrics, he projects to be terrible on D. By Synergy-based metrics, he passes the smell test in several categories that are associated with lower PPP while he’s on the floor.

    There isn’t a single predictive model based purely on college box-score stats that eliminates gross retrospective errors in draft order vs. NBA performance. Some are better than others, and even those show wide yearly variations. What accounts for these year-after-year variations? Does Quickley’s synergy stats counterbalance some of what his lack of steals and blocks suggest? I’m certainly open to the possibility that they don’t, and Quickley’s PPP-based defensive positives don’t translate. But to me, it’s certainly worth keeping an open mind about.

  174. First you ask if I want to measure the production of two players based on their future contract value, and now we’re going to evaluate players based on playing time!? Andrew Wiggins has played 33% more minutes than anyone in his draft class — must be the best player!

    i didn’t say that… rozier has played more minutes at age 25 than seth curry has at age 29… and given the production is somewhat close… curry probably has an edge in overall career value but again rozier put up a season that curry hasn’t yet at a much younger age…. is it really a shock that rozier probably does get more money at age 25 than curry does at age 29…

    is it really that crazy? i don’t think so…

  175. Okay, thanks for the Iggy update. I’ll stop soiling his good name. Since I still have a couple of hours to make unsubstantiated claims, I will say I’m rooting for Quickley especially hard. I also just learned that there are a whole array of foods one can make in the microwave that I didn’t realize one could when I tried to find a new nickname for him based around the idea of dishes being cooked speedily that way.

  176. And for the record, I was much higher on Tyrell Terry and would have been fine with some others that were passed over…and the Kentucky fetish is a bit nauseating. That said, this is strictly about whether Rose fucked up or not. I think the jury is out….you seem to be confident that according to box score metrics his defense is predicted to be so bad that unless he’s like Trae Young on O he’s likely to be a dime-a-dozen bust, i.e. a waste of that pick.

  177. My understanding is that one of the reasons steals plus blocks are considered pretty valuable in projection models for college players generally (not just in terms of defensive projection) is because they’re pretty good measures of baseline athletic talent. Like the idea is if you have the size and athletic ability to play your position in the NBA you should be getting a decent number of steals and blocks just by feasting on the kids who are going to go on to be dentists and car salesman. It seems like there are other reasons to worry about the same thing with Quickley (his numbers around the rim specifically) so my suspicion is that if he doesn’t make it, that will be why – the NBA is a tough league and if you’re 6’3″ and not a freak athlete it’s really tough.

    I don’t foreclose on the possibility at all though. I think it’s funny that Seth Curry came up in an unrelated conversation in this thread though because I think he’s sort of an interesting comp as a guy who is a “1-skill” shooter but at about Quickley’s height (lots of the guys who “just” shoot are significantly taller). Curry it seemed like wasn’t valued early in his career but more and more it seems like the game is moving towards a world where that kind of player can be valuable.

  178. I’m so stupidly excited and feel like such an idiot about it. Preseason basketball sucks! Knicks basketball sucks! Knicks preseason basketball is the lowest form of professional basketball! Still though what can I say, 9 months to the day since we last saw our Knicks in action. To a starving man even a shit sandwich looks good I guess lol

  179. On defensive stats- ppp against adjusted for opponents expected ppp (rather than expected for the league at large- some guys get much tougher assignments than others) must be out there. While that’s still not perfect it would seem to be the best place to look for man defense. It’s tough in college because talent level between conferences varies so widely but in the NBA for what DJphan was looking for- guys who don’t get box score stats but are good defenders- that would seem to be the best place to look. Is such a thing publicly available?

  180. Completely agree. It’s like catnip for me at this point. I’m a sucker like that.

    thenamestsam:
    I’m so stupidly excited and feel like such an idiot about it. Preseason basketball sucks! Knicks basketball sucks! Knicks preseason basketball is the lowest form of professional basketball! Still though what can I say, 9 months to the day since we last saw our Knicks in action. To a starving man even a shit sandwich looks good I guess lol

  181. My understanding is that one of the reasons steals plus blocks are considered pretty valuable in projection models for college players generally (not just in terms of defensive projection) is because they’re pretty good measures of baseline athletic talent.

    it’s a proxy for lots of things not just defense…. not everyone with good stock/reb #s are good defenders… but it does look like most good defenders have good stock/reb#s…

    in other words… def box score… in the grand majority of cases.. is a prerequisite…. much like how 2p% is for every player… the thing that ed weiland’s model does well is pick out really really good players and really really bad ones… and the reason for that is that really really bad players generally don’t show up in the box score and don’t last very long because of it… you can do a lot of low impact things that might matter but eventually it has to filter into something tangible…. it’s very hard to hide from that….

  182. But if you’re judging pro defense based mostly on blocks and steals all you’re really saying is that guys who get blocks and steals in college tend to get blocks and steals in the pros. Do blocks and steals in college correlate with the kind of ppp against stat I mentioned above?

  183. Quickley’s favorable Synergy stats include opponent 3p% which is notoriously meaningless at the NBA level. So, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to view that as favorable to Quickley in projecting him as an NBA defender.

    There’s certainly lots to like about Quickley, but the fact it doesn’t show up in the boxscore is troubling. Join that with Rose’s Wildcat-spree, the general consensus that he didn’t belong as a top-30 pick, and it certainly doesn’t appear that he drafted him on the merits.

    There’s a baseline of athleticism required to play in the NBA. If you’re a guard who can’t pick up more than 1 steal game, you likely don’t meet that baseline requirement.

    Again, this isn’t about Quickley’s defense. It has predictive value for overall NBA outcome. If you aren’t an NBA athlete, you can’t score, pass, rebound, or play defense.

  184. djphan: you can do a lot of low impact things that might matter but eventually it has to filter into something tangible…. it’s very hard to hide from that….

    Yes, but you have far too strict a definition of tangible. Reducing the expected percentage of a shot is clearly tangible, yet not reflected in any box score metric.

    It’s also a bit bizarre to treat a steal as the zenith of good defense, when it’s anything but — and conversely treat the lack of a steal as something below good defense, when it’s anything but.

    There are sensible ways to model “percentage impact” defense, but they’re very noisy and doing it for particular individuals is almost impossible, absent lineup data. There’s just very little you can glean from a boxscore from 1978 beyond teams that were good at holding opponents to low FG percentages. Virtually impossible to attribute that to individuals other than by some extremely noisy minutes breakdown.

    The thing with steals and blocks is that the existence of the data has made it that the data points are given much too much credence, simply because the data exists. That’s a premise/analysis fail.

  185. nicos: But if you’re judging pro defense based mostly on blocks and steals all you’re really saying is that guys who get blocks and steals in college tend to get blocks and steals in the pros. Do blocks and steals in college correlate with the kind of ppp against stat I mentioned above?

    We’re not looking at NCAA steals and blocks to predict NBA steals and blocks. We’re looking at NCAA steals and blocks because they predict overall outcome. It’s not entirely clear what drives this outcome, but there’s reason to believe they do a good job of approximating athleticism that’s prerequisite to thrive in the NBA.

    No one on this board is trying to predict NBA steals and blocks.

  186. E: The thing with steals and blocks is that the existence of the data has made it that the data points are given much too much credence, simply because the data exists. That’s a premise/analysis fail.

    It’s given the credence we give it because there have been studies showing that steals and blocks predict NBA outcomes. This has nothing to do with treating steals and blocks as indicators of good defense. Generally, they’re considered as a signal of superior athleticism among college peers.

    There is no such study showing that good synergy numbers correlates with NBA success.

    Combined with the Quickley’s inability to get to the rim, his poor steal numbers are a giant red flag that says he isn’t an NBA player.

  187. Remember writing here a few months ago about a University Study on “Defense wins Championships”where it was proved statistically that steals/blocks are not so critical on a good team D.
    Was trying to prove that Frank’s D was Top even w/o box score back up.
    I remember…

  188. But if you’re judging pro defense based mostly on blocks and steals all you’re really saying is that guys who get blocks and steals in college tend to get blocks and steals in the pros. Do blocks and steals in college correlate with the kind of ppp against stat I mentioned above?

    i’m not sure if it correlates to ppp… but it does correlate to overall value… the below is just one piece of work on the subject:

    https://medium.com/unpluggd-mag/the-relationship-between-steal-rates-and-nba-success-fbc8d668e9fa

    at the nba level:

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-hidden-value-of-the-nba-steal/
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/steals-are-predictive-but-are-they-that-important/

  189. Early Bird: We’re not looking at NCAA steals and blocks to predict NBA steals and blocks. We’re looking at NCAA steals and blocks because they predict overall outcome. It’s not entirely clear what drives this outcome, but there’s reason to believe they do a good job of approximating athleticism that’s prerequisite to thrive in the NBA.
    No one on this board is trying to predict NBA steals and blocks.

    True but if you’re evaluating overall outcome based on box score metrics and those box score metrics have steals and blocks as an important input on the defensive side of the ball then there is definitely some feedback looping there. How relevant is it, I honestly don’t know, but it’s not an unreasonable question to ask.

  190. And your first starting lineup, per Berman:

    PG: Payton
    SG: Burks
    SF: Barrett
    PF: Randle
    C: Noel

    Gentlemen, start your anger!

  191. This lineup would have fallen into the “highly likely” column. Mitch sitting, Elfrid to organize.
    I would say, right now, that this lineup is my favorite for opening night.

  192. Alan:
    And your first starting lineup, per Berman:

    PG: Payton
    SG: Burks
    SF: Barrett
    PF: Randle
    C: Noel

    Gentlemen, start your anger!

    Wow. At least Barrett isn’t playing SG anymore.

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