Quick Reaction: Magic 102, Knicks 93

Orlando Magic 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 39 MIN | 9-27 FG | 14-16 FT | 8 REB | 5 AST | 33 PTS | +4

This time yesterday, it was still uncertain whether the ankle sprain that kept Melo out of the Oklahoma City game (It was either a basketball game or a snuff film — I couldn’t quite tell) would find him bench-tied for today’s matinee match up with the Magic. But after a torrid, 20-point first half, it was clear that such concerns were for naught. Better still, Melo did an effective job of distributing early, connecting on a number of lovely skip passes to wing and corner alike. The second half, however, was a different story, as Anthony went all witch’s tit with a 4-14 encore. Worse, Melo again tweaked his ankle late in the fourth quarter, though he managed to finish the game.

Amare Stoudemire, PF 22 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -12

At multiple intervals during this game, I thought I’d taken a time machine to 2015, to watch a 33-year-old, twilight-doomed Stoudemire employ his new M.O.: Get two quick fouls in the first quarter, sit remainder of first quarter; get third foul thirty seconds into second quarter, sit rest of half; get fourth foul less than a minute into third quarter, sit rest of quarter; look excellent on four possessions down the stretch; lose (also: grab two rebounds). At this point I’m not exactly sure what to think of Stoudemire’s latest string of games. Ugly and terrifying. That’s all I’ve got. And not necessarily in that order.

Tyson Chandler, C 34 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -6

You really couldn’t have asked for more out of the Knicks’ linchpin in this one. Sure, he only nabbed eight rebounds and scored a mere four points, but his defense on Dwight Howard (eight points, 10 rebounds) – particularly in light of D12’s Chamberlainian 45-point, 23-rebound beasting of the Warriors last Thursday – was nothing short of phenomenal.

Landry Fields, G 31 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 6 PTS | +8

Landry who? You mean Carl Landry? Landry Jones? I don’t know who…. Oh Landry! Yeah, he played in this game. Snark aside, Fields actually started off well, connecting on a few early, aggressive takes to the tin. A team high +8 notwithstanding, however, Fields made a pair of critical boners down the stretch: Getting called for charging with the team still up two, then airballing a three pointer a few possessions later. He’s hand-washing J.J. Reddick’s Axe-scented jock as we speak.

Iman Shumpert, G 33 MIN | 3-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | 0

(E-min Shumpert, according to Magic TV play-by-play guy David Steele.) The pugnacious rook remains inconsistent on offense, although he did hit a pair of key threes in the fourth quarter to help temporarily keep the Magic at arm’s length. All the while, Shump’s aggressive, no-plays-off defense hopes to change his team’s fortunes on the perimeter, where the Knicks today bared their disastrous cheesecloth tendencies to a T.

Mike Bibby, PG 10 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -8

Fun fact: According to David Steele, Mike Bibby is in his fourth season out of Arizona State. Neat!

Jared Jeffries, PF 25 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -2

Give Jeffries huge props for holding down the Dwight fort with Chandler on the bench. Jeffrightened also managed to tally six points, which by my calculations puts him at four points for the season. Seriously, remember last year when we were often forced to throw Shawne Williams on D12 for extended stretches? Me too.

Toney Douglas, PG 22 MIN | 4-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -15

You know things are bad for Douglas when we treat a 12-point (on 4-12 shooting), zero assist performance as some kind of renaissance. True, Toney looked slightly more comfortable and confident with his decision making, in the same way I would look slightly better at walking if I managed to climb a flight of stairs after repeatedly tripping on the first step and breaking my face. TD’s just not there yet.

Bill Walker, SG 10 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -11

(A “defensive-minded player,” according to David “Don’t Call me Sage” Steele). Bill Walker had one rebound and no points in ten minutes. Something tells me there’s bad energy in dreads that look like cat turds.

Josh Harrellson, F 13 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -3

Speaking of Extra E, remember when we were all really sad that he wouldn’t be coming back to jog casually to the corner and shoot uncontested threes? Well don’t look now, because everyone’s favorite denim shorts enthusiast is 9/17 from deep the last five games – with most of those coming from said corner – and is shooting an ever-improving 34% on the year. Once again the beneficiary of early burn thanks to Stat’s foul woes, Harrellson put in another solid, no-nonsense performance. As a matter of fact, he’s so no-nonsense, I think I’ll go house a 30-rack of Busch with him right now.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Entering the game, the Knicks were giving up a league-worst 39% from downtown — including an astonishing 49% in losses. The Magic, meanwhile, came into MSG the NBA’s most prolific three point shooting team. In an unusual case of irresistible-force-meets-empty-space, the Magic – and a 7-13 Ryan Anderson in particular – eviscerated the Knicks from deep, hitting on 17 of their 35 attempts. For as much as the Knicks’ defense has improved (thanks mostly to the interior presence of Chandler), their perimeter play continues to be an absolute abomination. Whether they’re getting glued to screeners or lazily closing out, it’s a weakness that has all but rendered Chandler’s post presence moot.
  2. Tangential to that first point: Ryan Anderson ate us without chewing today, netting a career high 30 points in the process. Stat and Jeffries were by equal turns wholly ineffective in staying with the sweet-shooting big. Why, then, was Renaldo Balkman’s seat once again coated with kush resin? You have to think Balkman and his pterodactyl wingspan would’ve done a more serviceable job of bothering Anderson than either of the aforementioned fours.
  3. The Knicks need better guard play. Also, smoking meth is bad for your teeth. Baron Davis Bobblehead Night can’t come soon enough.
  4. Like their piss-poor play on the perimeter — at this point, they’re allowing more switches than a 70s key party — the Knicks bowed to predictability on the boards, where the Magic (ranked 10th in rebounding rate entering Monday’s game) out-bounded the the 21st ranked Bockers by eight.
  5. Despite attempting 11 more free throws — and making 15 more — than the Magic, the Knicks ended up losing by nine. Pretty sure I’ve found better recipes for success on the back of Ramen packets.
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Jim Cavan

Beyond his KnickerBlogger roots, Jim's work has appeared at ESPN.com, Grantland, The Classical, and the New York Times. He is currently working on a biography of Robert Silverman, entitled "Clownin' and Astoundin.'" Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.

99 thoughts to “Quick Reaction: Magic 102, Knicks 93”

  1. Jim, you’ve been one of the few bright spots on the diseased parrot fish that’s been the Knicks 2011-12 campaign. The peanut gallery gives you an A+.

  2. Thanks, Jake. It’s funny, I was so unbelievably torqued after this game, I didn’t even know if I could do the recap. But something about just saying the first smartass thing that comes to mind and venting like that eases the pain almost immediately. Although it’s little more than temporary relief….

  3. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    hahahahahaha

    …I’m still right.

    what are you right about exactly? because honestly every single player in the league is flawed. if your thesis is that Melo can never be part of a title team, then that is true just as much for LeBron and Howard and Paul and Durant and Rose to date. and just to be clear, no, I don’t think Melo is as good as any of those guys.

    seriously, please spell out your thesis for me, because I don’t know what the fuck you keep gloating about.

  4. I know it didn’t have anything to do with the corpse formerly named Landry Fields, because you and Berri couldn’t have been more wrong there.

  5. It’s all in the god-damned over-switching!!!… TDDWTD but Jorts just knows how to ball. Would like to see more Novak and Jordan. Balkman? Meh. It would mean that at some point Jeffries, Fields and Balkman would be on the court, at the same time, playing for the same team. I’m good. Unless we had Dwight and Lebron as the other two in that lineup.

  6. Tony Pena:
    It’s all in the god-damned over-switching!!!

    this was ridiculous in the second half, time after time after time, the same exact thing. UGH.

  7. back to Cock-y: if your thesis is that this team will never win a title, no one is impressed. most teams never win titles. if your thesis is that the team would have been better off not trading for Melo, that’s certainly arguable, but then there’s most probably no Chandler either, and I don’t know what there is to gloat about anyway. do the Nuggets have rings that I didn’t notice?

    and even if this plan fails miserably (which we won’t know until at least after next season is done), still, so what? I don’t see a single shred of evidence that any major mistakes have been made since Walsh botched the 2009 draft. if that’s your thesis, then I couldn’t agree more.

  8. still guessing:

    if your thesis is that Melo and Amare are nothing special, Melo is doing just fine and Amare was second-team All-NBA just last year. the issue is that there’s almost nothing around them and Chandler except the raw talent of Shumpert. if your thesis is that we’d have a lot more talented players with no Melo deal, probably true, but would we have Tyson Chandler then? if your thesis is that we never should have signed Amare, then you’re living in a wildly alternate reality that I can’t really argue with, because neither you nor I have any idea what the team would look like now in that case.

  9. jon abbey:
    back to Cock-y: if your thesis is that this team will never win a title, no one is impressed. most teams never win titles. if your thesis is that the team would have been better off not trading for Melo, that’s certainly arguable, but then there’s most probably no Chandler either, and I don’t know what there is to gloat about anyway. do the Nuggets have rings that I didn’t notice?

    and even if this plan fails miserably (which we won’t know until at least after next season is done), still, so what? I don’t see a single shred of evidence that any major mistakes have been made since Walsh botched the 2009 draft. if that’s your thesis, then I couldn’t agree more.

    Speaking of hypocritical Nuggets shenanigans, I saw a Nuggets fan holding a “Ringless” sign during the Miami/Denver game at LeBron. Are they unaware of the fact they’ve NEVER won a title in the history of their franchise? Actually, they have yet to make it to the finals since 1975 when they lost to Dr. J in the ABA.

    Just an observation, carry on.

  10. We have Melo, he is going to Iso and he is going to attack double and triple teams. Let’s embrace that and surround him with defensive players who can finish at the rim and get offensive rebounds.
    Shumpert, Balkman, Melo, Jorts, Chandler

    Bring Douglas, Fields and Jeffries off the bench and build the Iverson sixers.

    When Melo is on the court all Amare does is hurt our defense. Melo prefers not to play with teammates who need the ball anyway so let’s give him his wish, he can shoot 40 shots a game with that lineup and we can grind out low scoring wins.

    Trade Amare for cap space and just play defense first.

  11. Ben R:
    We have Melo, he is going to Iso and he is going to attack double and triple teams. Let’s embrace that and surround him with defensive players who can finish at the rim and get offensive rebounds.
    Shumpert, Balkman, Melo, Jorts, Chandler

    Bring Douglas, Fields and Jeffries off the bench and build the Iverson sixers.

    When Melo is on the court all Amare does is hurt our defense. Melo prefers not to play with teammates who need the ball anyway so let’s give him his wish, he can shoot 40 shots a game with that lineup and we can grind out low scoring wins.

    Trade Amare for cap space and just play defense first.

    You still need a natural Point Guard for that to be successful. I think Shump will be a nice NBA player, but at the 2 guard. It will be nice when B Diddy returns and the Knicks can slide Shump over.

  12. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    It really is disheartening to have Balkman play so well in extended garbage time and then not get a single minute in a game that he could have really helped against Anderson.

    At the very least Balkman is an upgrade over Walker and Bibby. I find it really frustrating too.

  13. In Landry’s defense, I blame that 3 on 2 fastbreak charge on Stoudemire for giving him the ball in that sequence. And….that’s really all I can defend him for this game.

  14. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    It really is disheartening to have Balkman play so well in extended garbage time and then not get a single minute in a game that he could have really helped against Anderson.

    Balkman would probably have given Anderson multiple 4-point plays.

  15. I’m not sure about the thesis we wouldn’t have Chandler if we didn’t trade for Melo.. I seem to remember we had cap space before we got Melo, so maybe we could have just hired him. That’s not to say he would have signed under those circumstances.. Who can know about that?

  16. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    It really is disheartening to have Balkman play so well in extended garbage time and then not get a single minute in a game that he could have really helped against Anderson.

    Jeffries is going to take whatever minutes Balkman may have gotten. And while Balkman is very energetic, I think Jeffries is definitely a better defender- On offense Balkman is much better in transition can finish at the rim but isn’t as active a screener as Jeffries so I’m not sure you get enough back on offense to get him out onto the floor.

  17. Shad0wF0x:
    In Landry’s defense, I blame that 3 on 2 fastbreak charge on Stoudemire for giving him the ball in that sequence. And….that’s really all I can defend him for this game.

    He’s a guard, not a big man- he had a couple of steps to pull up and get under control so that’s no excuse. He should have been pulling up before Amar’e even passed him the ball and either taking a foul-line jumper or getting the ball back to Amar’e for a wide open 12 footer. There were two guys in the lane and he just ran one of them over. At least in Shumpert’s case he was trying to draw a foul (though still an awful play). Both those botched fastbreaks really hurt.

  18. I thought Jeffries played great on the defensive end, being disruptive, scrambling for loose balls, and drawing charges (does any other Knick know how to do that?) I wish he knew how to finish around the basket though, because he gets so many opportunities in the limited minutes he’s out there.

  19. Also, I know it’s impossible to guard Howard one on one for a whole game, but if the result of every double team is a 3 pointer, I’ll play hack-a-Dwight, as ugly as it is to watch. Even if you foul him and he makes the basket, it”s still probably only going to be 2 points, as opposed to “3 point goal, 3 point goal by Ryan Anderson, and the Magic lead…”

  20. NYK was next to last in 3P% allowed before this game today and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re dead last after this debacle. Some of that is because we have poor perimeter defenders, but the coaching has to get at least some of the blame. We are so easily flummoxed by simple screens out by the 3 point line– our guys switch every time and they get burned over and over and over again. Against a team that has a good stretch 4 like Ryan Anderson we are particularly doomed.

    We’re doing better at stopping dribble penetration and the interior defense is obviously vastly improved but the switching… the switching… I’ll be seeing it in my nightmares.

  21. d-mar:
    Also, I know it’s impossible to guard Howard one on one for a whole game, but if the result of every double team is a 3 pointer, I’ll play hack-a-Dwight, as ugly as it is to watch. Even if you foul him and he makes the basket, it”s still probably only going to be 2 points, as opposed to “3 point goal, 3 point goal by Ryan Anderson, and the Magic lead…”

    that was the thing, it wasn’t even double teams most of the time, it was just bad switching.

  22. I’m not sure about the thesis we wouldn’t have Chandler if we didn’t trade for Melo.. I seem to remember we had cap space before we got Melo, so maybe we could have just hired him. That’s not to say he would have signed under those circumstances.. Who can know about that?

    I call complete BS on the thesis that the Knicks wouldn’t have Chandler if they didn’t trade for Melo. I think the odds are quite strong that if they didn’t do the Melo trade then they likely would have gotten Chandler, either in addition to trading for D-Will or CP3 or just as an independent move (again, Chandler was ready to sign with Golden State, for crying out loud!), as they’d have been able to sign Tyson Chandler before re-upping Wilson Chandler (they’d probably still have had to do the Turiaf deal, though, to make room). Hell, even if they missed out on Chandler, they would have been significantly improved with just adding Dalembert to the pre-Melo team.

  23. that was the thing, it wasn’t even double teams most of the time, it was just bad switching.

    On the switching topic, that’s gotta be Woodson’s fault, right? He used lots of switching in Atlanta and the current batch of switching has started with his hiring, so we can reasonably presume that it’s his idea to do all the switching, right?

  24. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): On the switching topic, that’s gotta be Woodson’s fault, right? He used lots of switching in Atlanta and the current batch of switching has started with his hiring, so we can reasonably presume that it’s his idea to do all the switching, right?

    but switching a lot does make sense when you have a 6’7” SG and an uber-athletic 4 like Josh Smith…

    however, I just can’t believe that Woodson / D’Antoni are dumb enough to think that switching Bibby, Walker or TD to guard Ryan Anderson on the perimeter is a good idea, if that is the case then we’re doomed until there’s a coaching change.

  25. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): I call complete BS on the thesis that the Knicks wouldn’t have Chandler if they didn’t trade for Melo. I think the odds are quite strong that if they didn’t do the Melo trade then they likely would have gotten Chandler, either in addition to trading for D-Will or CP3 or just as an independent move (again, Chandler was ready to sign with Golden State, for crying out loud!), as they’d have been able to sign Tyson Chandler before re-upping Wilson Chandler (they’d probably still have had to do the Turiaf deal, though, to make room). Hell, even if they missed out on Chandler, they would have been significantly improved with just adding Dalembert to the pre-Melo team.

    it’s all so hypothetical, and you’re assuming we actually had the assets to trade for Williams or Paul, which I think is doubtful. I also don’t know if Knicks management goes after Chandler unless they already have Melo, I tend to think no.

  26. In the bizarro NBA, Knicks are locked into the 8th playoff spot, 1 game ahead of Boston and 1/2 game behind Cleveland (oh and the Heat are 6th)

    The point being that it’s still way too early to make pronouncements about the long term viability of a team after 12 or so games.

  27. it’s all so hypothetical, and you’re assuming we actually had the assets to trade for Williams or Paul, which I think is doubtful. I also don’t know if Knicks management goes after Chandler unless they already have Melo, I tend to think no.

    They definitely go after him if they get either CP3 (the lock of all locks) or D-Will. If they didn’t get either of those two (or Melo as a free agent), their next move would have been for a defensive center (Walsh said more than once that they’d look for a defensive center last season in a trade if they couldn’t get Melo) and Chandler was the best one out there in the offseason.

  28. In the bizarro NBA, Knicks are locked into the 8th playoff spot, 1 game ahead of Boston and 1/2 game behind Cleveland (oh and the Heat are 6th)

    The point being that it’s still way too early to make pronouncements about the long term viability of a team after 12 or so games.

    Agreed, the Knicks are super lucky that the East has so many bad teams. They’re definitely one of the 8 best teams in the East.

  29. So just looking at the game log, Melo was 2-6 with 2 turnovers and Douglas was 1-4 in the 4th quarter.

    I understand that Melo was gimpy, but TD just cannot be allowed to play in a close game like that. We also fouled a bunch in the quarter.

    This was a winnable game. Again, not impressed with D’Antoni.

  30. ess-dog:

    I understand that Melo was gimpy, but TD just cannot be allowed to play in a close game like that.We also fouled a bunch in the quarter.

    so who’s your fifth guy? D’Antoni tried Fields, but he was too awful to keep in.

  31. @30-31, Yes the switching is a classic Woodson technique, the basketball nerds always lambasted him for it down here in Atlanta. IMO he only has a rep as a “defensive” coach because he’s a Larry Brown protege – the Hawks always rated higher on offense than defense, and the D got better when Larry Drew took over. You can look it up!

  32. @23/25 I would agree that Jeffries played pretty well today, but overall, I don’t think he’s a better defender than Balkman, and the less said about his offensive game, the better. He can’t even finish dinner.

    Of course I know D’Antoni disagrees.

  33. “We have Melo, he is going to Iso and he is going to attack double and triple teams. Let’s embrace that and surround him with defensive players who can finish at the rim and get offensive rebounds.”

    That’s the sensible thing to do. Kind of like Iverson’s Sixers, with Hill, Mckie, Mutombo, Lynch, Kukoc etc… I don’t think that’s likely to be a recipe for greatness, but it would have made us a better team. Instead we paired him with the most duplicative player possible.

    I wish Balkman would get more burn too. Balkman is definitely in that Sixers junkyard dog/Riley Knicks mould. And I don’t think Jeffries is a better defender. Balkman has shown already that he has the stuff to be a super elite defender in this league. His defensive +/- the one year he got real rotation burn was off the charts. But I guess the majority of fans can’t really get behind him, let alone D’Antoni and Dolan. Strange, I love watching him play, and I kind of think Knicks fans would love it if he were just let loose to play his role….

  34. You’d a thunk George Karl would be his kind of coach. Not sure who that coach would be. In a weird way, I might say Phil Jackson. Although he likes bigs who can shoot…

  35. Yeah, I would have thought that about Karl. Balkman may never find that coach, it’s a different league now too…

    Also, Jim, fantastic wrap up…..

    That bit about Fields washing Redick’s Axe scented jock was really funny…

  36. Phil Jackson would be good with Balkman because he is one of those coaches that’s okay with undisciplined players so long as they produce (Rodman, Artest, Bison Dele, I’m sure there are others). Karl and D’Antoni tend to be more hardasses with players. They’re both fairly stubborn coaches period, really.

  37. this one was a little spottier for me but still superior overall, the line I most loved was:

    “In an unusual case of irresistible-force-meets-empty-space”

    it’s funny because it’s true…

  38. I think ‘Melo can be coach by pretty much anyone, although whomever that may be will need a large amount of patience and tolerance. I never saw Karl to be a guy with a tremendous amount of either, he never put up with ‘Melo’s bullshit.

  39. jon abbey: so who’s your fifth guy? D’Antoni tried Fields, but he was too awful to keep in.

    Therein lies the problem, but maybe Bibby who can at least shoot?

    Speaking of which, why are we not picking up more guards? Lin’s not cutting it? Drop him and get Ish Smith or Keith Bogans. We clearly need back court contributors asap. I know Baron should help but we need more than that, sadly.

  40. Although I haven’t read any of the previous posts ahead of me, so if you’re talking strictly about Balkman, then disregard anything I just said.

    All I saw was Karl and immediately insinuated everyone was speaking of ‘Melo.

  41. ess-dog: Therein lies the problem, but maybe Bibby who can at least shoot?Speaking of which, why are we not picking up more guards? Lin’s not cutting it? Drop him and get Ish Smith or Keith Bogans. We clearly need back court contributors asap. I know Baron should help but we need more than that, sadly.

    Agreed! Asking Shump to play out of position as a rookie creates more pains then pleasures. Bibby is nothing like his former self, and he hadn’t even scored at MSG until today.

    If Baron can come back like the way he did in Cleveland last season, the Knicks will be a tough team to beat. I also really enjoy the idea of Bogans, nothing wrong with nabbing another defender.

  42. I said it a week or so ago, I can’t imagine that Bogans could be worse at Fields’ role than Fields is right now. I asked my Bulls fan friend about him and he confirmed what I thought, he can play still, just there were three guys ahead of him now who could all pretty much only play SG and were better fits for the rest of the roster: Hamilton, Korver, Brewer. I’m not saying you should release Fields, but give someone else a shot. even with Baron and Shump Shump, they will need 25-30 minutes from backups.

    some sick steals by my boy Shump Shump tonight (how soon they forget?), the one coming around the outside followed by the behind the back assist to Melo I had to rewind three times (I liked the pogo stick after Melo’s shot rolled in). I believe he’s still second in the league there, behind just CP3.

  43. What’s the general consensus on how Fields has gone from 2nd round wunderkind, actually mentioned as a ROY candidate to complete shite? Is it just confidence? The league figuring him out? Melo? It’s just unbelievable how we are now talking about sitting his ass on the bench for the good of the team.

    Could we really have given the Nuggets Fields instead of Gallo? I think I’m gonna cry.

  44. According to the Magic broadcast, they said Shump wasn’t yet eligble to be on the steals per game list. He added though that Shump would be right up near the top.

    Had a Magic blogger tweet me today, “Really impressed with Shumpert defensively so far.” He’s impressing tons of people of the Knicks fan base, and others.

  45. that was the first time Shumpert didn’t get up at least 10 shots, just 9. he’s like Joe Dumars with Vinnie Johnson’s shot selection… :)

  46. d-mar:
    What’s the general consensus on how Fields has gone from 2nd round wunderkind, actually mentioned asa ROY candidate to complete shite? Is it just confidence? The league figuring him out? Melo? It’s just unbelievable how we are now talking about sitting his ass on the bench for the good of the team.

    Could we really have given the Nuggets Fields instead of Gallo? I think I’m gonna cry.

    Confidence, he looks unsure out there.

  47. As Knick fans we can at least hold on to the irrational belief that Baron Davis can significantly improve the team when healthy. What the hell do Celtic fans have to hold on to??

  48. Through 1/13, Stoudemire this season is on average a -10. Harrellson is a a +21.7. Why? Because he plays defense and spreads the floor. If every shot a player takes is a jump shot, we’d have been better off paying Kurt Thomas $20 million than Amare. Thomas shoots 56% from there, while Amare shoots 32%.

    This is why I don’t understand the people opposed to trying to run pick and roll with Amare. It’s the only opportunity this team has of being a good offense. Melo is a better player, yes, but if STAT is not involved in the offense while Melo is on the floor, we should just move him to the bench and let Harrellson start. Let him play with the second unit where he can be the main guy on offense and where he can play center. BD might improve the situation (mainly by doing exactly this — playing PnR with STAT), but we can do this right now.

    Because I was sick of the “we have no point guard, so we can’t feature STAT PnR” argument, I decided to do a little research.

    In the 8 games Nash missed from the 06/07 season through STAT’s last year in Phoenix, not counting STAT’s 2 injury riddled seasons, Stoudemire averaged 25.25 points with a True Shooting Percentage of 57%. He played with some bad point guards in those games: Mostly Marcus Banks (who is flat out terrible) and Leandro Barbosa (who is basically a better version of Douglas), and in one game, Goran Dragic, who showed flashes that season (maybe because of Stoudemire?), but has been pretty bad otherwise.

    That means it’s not the point guard that makes STAT great. It’s a help, but it’s no barrier. Seeing as reducing Chandler’s minutes would be beneficial, and seeing as Fields and Douglas play much better in that system, and seeing as we invested an enormous amount of $ in the guy, we need to play in the system where BOTH our stars can be successful, not just one.

  49. latke: Thomas shoots 56% from there, while Amare shoots 32%.

    “From there” = on midrange jumpshots. Not to mention Thomas plays great defense.

  50. Jim, thanks for the cool recap. Always love it. This is the last time I will raise it and then I will leave the topic, but how ’bout a grade for the coaching staff/game plan? I’m not asking for some stupid knee jerk stuff, but maybe a grade and some interesting observations every six games or so. I think it would be not only fair, but relevant at this point. As an aside, if the Knicks are going to switch as a rule, they be better playing a zone. The Coach stated previously that hey did not have enough time pre-season to institute a zone. I would much prefer to see a tough man to man, but there are D problems, particularly with Landry/Stat. They don’t play a tough man to man. Perhaps a zone could be effective now that we have Chandler.

  51. latke – I don’t think anyone on this board is against running the pick and roll with Amare. There must be a reason we’re not running it but I for one would love to see it. My worry is that with Melo pretty much forcing us to play his style there is no room for the Amare pnr. With that said right now I think Jorts actually helps this team more than Amare.

    Melo isn’t going to play diversion for an Amare based offense. I saw Fields pass up giving it to Melo on an iso and Melo was pissed. This is Melo’s team he expects and demands that ball on the elbow almost everytime down the court do you really think he is going to sit idly by as we run the offense through someone else.

  52. daJudge:
    Jim, thanks for the cool recap. Always love it.This is the last time I will raise it and then I will leave the topic, but how ’bout a grade for the coaching staff/game plan?I’m not asking for some stupid knee jerk stuff, but maybe a grade and some interesting observations every six games or so.I think it would be not only fair, but relevant at this point. As an aside, if the Knicks are going to switch as a rule, they be better playing a zone.The Coach stated previously that hey did not have enough time pre-season to institute a zone.I would much prefer to see a tough man to man, but there are D problems, particularly with Landry/Stat.They don’t play a tough man to man.Perhaps a zone could be effective now that we have Chandler.

    Personally, I think a grade for the coaches is a great idea. Unfortunately, we’re using a template from ESPN, so I’m not sure how easy / kosher it would be to alter it. Believe me, I’ve tried making my own weird portraits and “Z” grades and everything, but don’t know enough about HTML to make it look good.

    As for a zone defense, I definitely think it can be effective in certain situations against certain teams. I think we even ran it for a quick spell in the first half against the Sixers, if I’m not mistaken.

  53. Ben R:
    latke – I don’t think anyone on this board is against running the pick and roll with Amare. There must be a reason we’re not running it but I for one would love to see it. My worry is that with Melo pretty much forcing us to play his style there is no room for the Amare pnr. With that said right now I think Jorts actually helps this team more than Amare.

    Melo isn’t going to play diversion for an Amare based offense. I saw Fields pass up giving it to Melo on an iso and Melo was pissed. This is Melo’s team he expects and demands that ball on the elbow almost everytime down the court do you really think he is going to sit idly by as we run the offense through someone else.

    You’re right, Jorts is playing well right now and Amare isn’t. Looking forward to seeing Jorts vs. KG or Elton Brand in the playoffs, should be quite a battle.

  54. Orlando played true to form, they have been killing everyone from 3. They were just uncanny today (the Turkoglu bank was the dagger for me), and we didn’t help matters much with the poor switching and helping. Our play against the zone at the end of the game was troubling, playing Novak instead of Fields might have been a good idea. Until we break through from 3, we are gonna see lots of zone at the end of games. Baron is not a great 3-pt shooter, so he may only help so much.

  55. Fields cant find a field (not sure if he knows where the basket is) (he sees it, he knows its there, but he also sees the stars the he (according to tradition) mus pass to) Novak on the other hand doesnt care (or at least doesnt seem to care) and this is what the stars do need

  56. It’s not crazy to think Baron will help a lot, because of who he’s replacing. Assuming his back is ok, of course. I mean, 50 TS% is pretty bad but it’s a lot better than what we’re getting now! (Big) bonus: he can pass the ball.

    I also wouldn’t get that worked up about Amare, he’s just in a slump, but he’s also 29 years old and obviously 2 years into his career decline. One place where Berri and Hollinger agree (I think) is that player performance peaks around 24 or 25… Amare should hold out ok because he can shoot, but he was never a really good rebounder so by the last year of his contract here he could look like Robert Horry.

    Did I just say that?

  57. latke:

    This is why I don’t understand the people opposed to trying to run pick and roll with Amare. It’s the only opportunity this team has of being a good offense. Melo is a better player, yes, but if STAT is not involved in the offense while Melo is on the floor, we should just move him to the bench and let Harrellson start. Let him play with the second unit where he can be the main guy on offense and where he can play center. BD might improve the situation (mainly by doing exactly this — playing PnR with STAT), but we can do this right now.

    Because I was sick of the “we have no point guard, so we can’t feature STAT PnR” argument, I decided to do a little research.

    In the 8 games Nash missed from the 06/07 season through STAT’s last year in Phoenix, not counting STAT’s 2 injury riddled seasons, Stoudemire averaged 25.25 points with a True Shooting Percentage of 57%. He played with some bad point guards in those games: Mostly Marcus Banks (who is flat out terrible) and Leandro Barbosa (who is basically a better version of Douglas), and in one game, Goran Dragic, who showed flashes that season (maybe because of Stoudemire?), but has been pretty bad otherwise.

    Several times during the game, either Melo or TD had Amare rolling down the lane, with a fairly easy pass to make — but either they didn’t see him or they decided not to pass to him. The lack of PG instincts is what hurts here, because as someone mentioned a few threads ago, Amare really doesn’t set hard stationary picks — he likes slipping the screen to blow past his defender. That requires a pinpoint, perfectly timed pass to get it to him, and our PGs aren’t used to it yet. The reason, I think, Melo runs the PnR with TC more often is that he has more time to think and observe the play, because of the solid screen.

    That said, I’m confident Baron will make a huge…

  58. d-mar: You’re right, Jorts is playing well right now and Amare isn’t. Looking forward to seeing Jorts vs. KG or Elton Brand in the playoffs, should be quite a battle.

    I am looking forward to seeing Jorts vs Brand and KG more than I’m looking forward to seeing Amare fail to close out on their jumpers. Amare is a much much better offensive player but Jorts even as a rookie is a far superior defensive player. I for one love to see solid defense with limited offense more than great offense with lazy or dumb defense.

    I was actually kinda relieved when Amare picked up his fourth foul early in the third because it meant we had Jeffries and Jorts in there instead.

    I am sick of bad defense. Amare, Walker and Fields need to be limited until they can play with at least a little bit of defensive presense. I have a little hope for Fields because he is a smart player who is just a little physically slow but hopefully with better team defense he will eventually be able to adjust. Walker and Amare are hopeless everytime there is a switch, pick or rotation. Walker just floats away from his man and I don’t think I’ve seen Amare successfully close out on a jumpshot this season, not once.

  59. Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15):
    You can’t expect Baron to be the way he was in Golden State, expecations can’t be too high for Baron (I know that is unrealistic thinking).He will indeed help a vast amount, as Caleb said: He can pass the ball.

    The good thing is, we don’t need him to be like the GSW Baron — he can’t be dominating the ball with the roster we have. What he can give us, and I think it’s realistic to think this, is a ballhandler who can drive and create good and easy shots for others, as well as run the PnR with Amare and Tyson. Oh, and hopefully he can be a better defender than Fields is. (If this is unrealistic, that’s pretty sad.)

    I’m just as disappointed with Stat’s performance this season so far, and I’m really hoping playing with Baron gets him more opportunities to receive the ball with a running start to the basket. (I wouldn’t mind seeing some alleyoops from BDiddy either.)

  60. Ben R: I am looking forward to seeing Jorts vs Brand and KG more than I’m looking forward to seeing Amare fail to close out on their jumpers. Amare is a much much better offensive player but Jorts even as a rookie is a far superior defensive player. I for one love to see solid defense with limited offense more than great offense with lazy or dumb defense.

    I was actually kinda relieved when Amare picked up his fourth foul early in the third because it meant we had Jeffries and Jorts in there instead.

    I am sick of bad defense. Amare, Walker and Fields need to be limited until they can play with at least a little bit of defensive presense. I have a little hope for Fields because he is a smart player who is just a little physically slow but hopefully with better team defense he will eventually be able to adjust. Walker and Amare are hopeless everytime there is a switch, pick or rotation. Walker just floats away from his man and I don’t think I’ve seen Amare successfully close out on a jumpshot this season, not once.

    Do you really think Amare’s defense is the reason we’re 6-7? Or is it the ball stopper Melo? It’s our absolutely horrendous guard play, plain and simple, stop blaming Amare and Melo because they’re paid a lot.

  61. Ben R: latke – I don’t think anyone on this board is against running the pick and roll with Amare. There must be a reason we’re not running it but I for one would love to see it. My worry is that with Melo pretty much forcing us to play his style there is no room for the Amare pnr. With that said right now I think Jorts actually helps this team more than Amare.Melo isn’t going to play diversion for an Amare based offense. I saw Fields pass up giving it to Melo on an iso and Melo was pissed. This is Melo’s team he expects and demands that ball on the elbow almost everytime down the court do you really think he is going to sit idly by as we run the offense through someone else.

    of course he has no problem with this.. he did for one and a half years with iverson. he did it on every team he’s played on that had a offensive player as good or better than him, from Team USA onward.

    The problem is that no ballhandler outside of Melo is running anything that resembles a pick and roll with Amare. That’s not Melo’s fault.

  62. Caleb: You’d a thunk George Karl would be his kind of coach. Not sure who that coach would be. In a weird way, I might say Phil Jackson. Although he likes bigs who can shoot…

    Phil Jackson would be incredible for Melo. Karl didn’t like Melo from the beggining. Karl was the exact opposite of what a good “Melo-coach’ would be.

    I’ve always thought that Melo would do well with a guy who he has to respect, like Jackson, or a discplinarian/defensive oriented coach.

    he had issues with Larry Brown, but he was 19. I think Larry Brown would be great. KArl is the exact opposite of the kind of coach Melo works with.

    If you can decreae the offensive burden on Melo some and get a highly-respected defensive coach, Melo can be a fantastic defender and help set the culture of the team. He’s done it before.

  63. triplewgf: The good thing is, we don’t need him to be like the GSW Baron — he can’t be dominating the ball with the roster we have. What he can give us, and I think it’s realistic to think this, is a ballhandler who can drive and create good and easy shots for others, as well as run the PnR with Amare and Tyson. Oh, and hopefully he can be a better defender than Fields is. (If this is unrealistic, that’s pretty sad.)

    I’m just as disappointed with Stat’s performance this season so far, and I’m really hoping playing with Baron gets him more opportunities to receive the ball with a running start to the basket. (I wouldn’t mind seeing some alleyoops from BDiddy either.)

    That is all very logical, and realistic expectations. Have you met Knicks fans recently? You don’t think they’re expecting a version of GSW Baron? I was in Daily Dime Live earlier just observing and some of the expectations were simply ridiculous.

  64. Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15): According to the Magic broadcast, they said Shump wasn’t yet eligble to be on the steals per game list. He added though that Shump would be right up near the top.Had a Magic blogger tweet me today, “Really impressed with Shumpert defensively so far.” He’s impressing tons of people of the Knicks fan base, and others.

    he’s the most impressive defensive guard/wing I have seen in a long time. A few moments where he goes under screens and has mental errors. But his ball pressure, lateral movement, length, aggressivenes and anticipation led me to believe he can be the best on-ball defensive guard in basketball. I think he can be better than Rondo in a few weeks if he figures a couple things out.

    if he can ever become just an average shooter, he’ll be an all-star. I think he’d be incredible paired with a running point guard…. But everyone on this team would be a lot better, Melo included.

  65. Ben R:
    latke – I don’t think anyone on this board is against running the pick and roll with Amare. There must be a reason we’re not running it but I for one would love to see it. My worry is that with Melo pretty much forcing us to play his style there is no room for the Amare pnr. With that said right now I think Jorts actually helps this team more than Amare.

    Melo isn’t going to play diversion for an Amare based offense. I saw Fields pass up giving it to Melo on an iso and Melo was pissed. This is Melo’s team he expects and demands that ball on the elbow almost everytime down the court do you really think he is going to sit idly by as we run the offense through someone else.

    That’s what worries me most though: that D’Antoni pushed for a more motion based offense, and Carmelo pushed for his own isolations, and MDA backed down.

    As far as missing the roller goes, it’s psychological I think. I feel like if Dragic, Barbosa and Banks can do it, so can Douglas or Shumpert.

    And as far as Amare being past his prime goes, if he can’t be a roll man anymore, then he’s not even close to a $20 million dollar man. More like a $5 million dollar man. He plays no defense, is a below average rebounder, is a bad defender, mediocre passer, has a weak post game, and has a bad handle. His one plus skill will be his shooting. We’ll be paying Brad Lohaus (with bonus inflated ego) $20 million in 2012.

    But I don’t buy that. Amare was great before the trade and has been in steady decline since. The more the style of play has shifted towards Melo ISOs, the more he’s suffered. He may be getting worse, but he’s not this bad.

    Maybe it’s a slump. I’m probably just overreacting, but from watching the game, I see all the shortcomings I saw last year in the early season, before the team started playing PnR.

  66. I don’t understand doubling Howard EVERY TIME down the floor. Isn’t that why we got Tyson Chandler? We could have just put Amar’e (or every other defender) on him and doubled him and he would be forced to pass the ball up. It seems like D’antoni was more focused on not giving Howard a big game than stopping the team as a whole. He had to have noticed that 3 points are worth more than 2. Right?

  67. Will the Thrill:
    I don’t understand doubling Howard EVERY TIME down the floor.Isn’t that why we got Tyson Chandler? We could have just put Amar’e (or every other defender) on him and doubled him and he would be forced to pass the ball up.It seems like D’antoni was more focused on not giving Howard a big game than stopping the team as a whole.He had to have noticed that 3 points are worth more than 2. Right?

    Tim Legler talked about a game he played against the Magic back in the 90’s, he said, “we let Shaq get his 48, but we won because we played him straight up and covered all their shooters.”

  68. I definitely agree with you, latke. The isos are hurting this team because there is exactly one player on this team who thrives in them. If we got the ball moving, and ran more pick and rolls, it would not only get Amar’e going but it would give other people more opportunities for easy baskets. It is just a matter of the guards being able to find him and the team (Melo) buying into the strategy. My dream would be for Melo and Amar’e to run the pick and roll, but for some reason he only runs it with Chandler, maybe because he is more adapt at catching lobs.

    latke: But I don’t buy that. Amare was great before the trade and has been in steady decline since. The more the style of play has shifted towards Melo ISOs, the more he’s suffered. He may be getting worse, but he’s not this bad.

    Maybe it’s a slump. I’m probably just overreacting, but from watching the game, I see all the shortcomings I saw last year in the early season, before the team started playing PnR.

  69. Exactly. I mean if we didn’t obtain Tyson Chandler to be able to guard the scoring big men in the league without the need for a double team, what did we get him for? Anyone can be the defend a guy who gets doubled every time he touches it (because he has to give the ball up, mainly to an open Anderson).

    Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15): Tim Legler talked about a game he played against the Magic back in the 90?s, he said, “we let Shaq get his 48, but we won because we played him straight up and covered all their shooters.”

  70. I can only imagine how terrible Shumpert would be if he didn’t have the steals going for him. Forcing turnovers is huge, but the kid’s been awful across the board. TS%, EFG%, WS/48, PER, WP/48… you name it, he’s well below league average.

    But neither you nor I can tell the difference between a guy shooting .40 EFG and .55 EFG with the naked eye/memory recall. Jon Abbey apparently can, but we’re all overrating this guy WAY too much.

    He’s got a lot of work to do before he has a rookie season like Fields had.

  71. Given just how bad the point guard play has been even a fat, disinterested, L.A. Clipper-level Baron Davis will be an improvement. He’s certainly going to push the pace if nothing else which I think will help everybody- Melo included. And while I don’t think Amar’e’s ever going to be that 65% TS guy again- he not physically the same guy- he still has been pretty effective on the rare occasions he’s gotten the ball in the lane and even if Davis isn’t the best p n r guard, he absolutely can get Amar’e the ball on those quick flashes into the lane. Worst case scenario with BD is we’re pretty much where we are now. Best case, we actually start running something that resembles SSOL.

  72. @53 There are definitely confidence issues with Fields. In addition to simply not getting the same shots he was getting last year his free throw percentage has dropped 17%.

  73. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I can only imagine how terrible Shumpert would be if he didn’t have the steals going for him. Forcing turnovers is huge, but the kid’s been awful across the board. TS%, EFG%, WS/48, PER, WP/48… you name it, he’s well below league average.

    But neither you nor I can tell the difference between a guy shooting .40 EFG and .55 EFG with the naked eye/memory recall. Jon Abbey apparently can, but we’re all overrating this guy WAY too much.

    He’s got a lot of work to do before he has a rookie season like Fields had.

    Even with the naked eye his shooting has been pretty bad but given the relatively small sample size it’ll take a month or two to reduce the impact of those back-to-back Philly/Memphis games on his numbers. And he had no summer league, little training camp, an injury right off the bat, AND is being asked to do a heck of a lot more playing the point than Fields who played off the ball (and was often left wide open early on until he proved he could knock down the three). On the plus side, he has made some defensive mistakes but I think even you’d agree he has all-defensive team type talent. I wouldn’t make any judgements on him until he moves off of the ball when BD takes over the point.

  74. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I can only imagine how terrible Shumpert would be if he didn’t have the steals going for him. Forcing turnovers is huge, but the kid’s been awful across the board. TS%, EFG%, WS/48, PER, WP/48… you name it, he’s well below league average.

    But neither you nor I can tell the difference between a guy shooting .40 EFG and .55 EFG with the naked eye/memory recall. Jon Abbey apparently can, but we’re all overrating this guy WAY too much.

    yeah, he’s no Landry Fields. now answer my question from the start of the thread, thanks.

  75. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/shumpim01.html

    Anyone see anything in the advanced stats that would support an argument that Shumpert is good? I see nothing. Small sample size, true but that is all we have. So if all we have says bad, why are we high on him?

    Compare Shumpert’s numbers to this guy’s.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/f/farieke01.html
    or this guy’s
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/smithno01.html

    The best thing I can say is that Shumpert is not Marcus Morris.

  76. @85
    Faried’s played all of 19 minutes and at least some of that, if not all, was in total garbage time. Smith’s played 32 minutes. Shumpert’s had three pretty good games- that’s three more than either Faried or Smith neither of whom has actually played anything more than spot minutes in a game yet. He’s also had a couple of average/okay games, and two absolutely awful games. He’s played a bunch of his minutes at a position he’s probably not ready to play at the moment and even a casual observer can see that his impact on the defensive end goes beyond steals. You want to draw conclusions go right ahead but I’d say those comparisons are pretty ridiculous at this point.

  77. defense?

    Thomas B.:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/shumpim01.html

    Anyone see anything in the advanced stats that would support an argument that Shumpert is good?I see nothing.Small sample size, true but that is all we have. So if all we have says bad, why are we high on him?

    Compare Shumpert’s numbers to this guy’s.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/f/farieke01.html
    or this guy’s
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/smithno01.html

    The best thing I can say is that Shumpert is not Marcus Morris.

  78. Thomas B.:

    Anyone see anything in the advanced stats that would support an argument that Shumpert is good?I see nothing.Small sample size, true but that is all we have. So if all we have says bad, why are we high on him?

    really? this is so easy, because the “advanced stats” aren’t always right. in fact I think they’re wrong so often in both directions that they confuse as much as they illuminate.

    also, he’s nine games into his NBA career, and he’s playing out of position because his team is desperately thin. he is getting virtually no help from the rest of the guards, starting and bench, the other team’s guards can key on him no matter who else is alongside him.

  79. nicos:
    Given just how bad the point guard play has been even a fat, disinterested, L.A. Clipper-level Baron Davis will be an improvement.He’s certainly going to push the pace if nothing else which I think will help everybody- Melo included.And while I don’t think Amar’e’s ever going to be that 65% TS guy again- he not physically the same guy- he still has been pretty effective on the rare occasions he’s gotten the ball in the lane and even if Davis isn’t the best p n r guard, he absolutely can get Amar’e the ball on those quick flashes into the lane.Worst case scenario with BD is we’re pretty much where we are now.Best case, we actually start running something that resembles SSOL.

    Yeah, I noticed last night that the Knicks are really disinclined to run. Hopefully we’ll see BD leading the break, with Melo and Shump running the wings and Amare trailing the play. As someone said, it might not be lob city, but at least… Lob Ville?

  80. Also- you want some advanced stats that say Shumpert’s good? Head over to Synergy and check out his defensive stats- I compared him to Rondo, Paul, Rose, Westbrook, and Tony Allen- all considered very good defenders- at least Rondo, Paul and Allen are all considered elite defenders- and Shumpert was second to only Rondo in point allowed per possession and second to only Paul on turnovers forced. He’s been playing elite-level defense so far. So on one side of the ball he’s been D-league and on the other, All-NBA. You can argue the glass is half empty but you can’t argue that there’s nothing in the glass at all.

  81. jon abbey: really? this is so easy, because the “advanced stats” aren’t always right. in fact I think they’re wrong so often in both directions that they confuse as much as they illuminate.
    also, he’s nine games into his NBA career, and he’s playing out of position because his team is desperately thin. he is getting virtually no help from the rest of the guards, starting and bench, the other team’s guards can key on him no matter who else is alongside him

    I really like Shumpert, he looks like he is going to be a fantastic defensive player, he’s already pretty darn good. But his offensive game has some real problems.

    His bad shooting tendencies from college have carried over so his low TS% is not surprising at all. He is not a pure point so his bad A/TO ratio is also not surprising. Shumpert so far seems both statistically and visually the player we all expected with probably more defensive upside than we realisitically thought he had.

    Shumpert seems to want to change his shooting habits so that might be fixable and his numbers on free throws and set jumpers tell me he is a good shooter he just takes bad shots.

    I think the numbers so far on Shumpert tell the offensive story perfectly he so far has been pretty poor offensively. Defensive numbers never tell the whole story so on paper he looks worse than he is because the numbers underrate his defense but his offense has been as poor as the numbers show it to be. I don’t see the flaw in “advanced statisitics” here.

  82. nicos – great points, I agree completely. The problem is with most advanced stats that we see they focuses on the offensive side which as you said has been putrid but his defense alone makes him a net gain for the Knicks and his offense can only improve.

  83. Ben R: I really like Shumpert, he looks like he is going to be a fantastic defensive player, he’s already pretty darn good. But his offensive game has some real problems.

    His bad shooting tendencies from college have carried over so his low TS% is not surprising at all. He is not a pure point so his bad A/TO ratio is also not surprising. Shumpert so far seems both statistically and visually the player we all expected with probably more defensive upside than we realisitically thought he had.

    Shumpert seems to want to change his shooting habits so that might be fixable and his numbers on free throws and set jumpers tell me he is a good shooter he just takes bad shots.

    I think the numbers so far on Shumpert tell the offensive story perfectly he so far has been pretty poor offensively. Defensive numbers never tell the whole story so on paper he looks worse than he is because the numbers underrate his defense but his offense has been as poor as the numbers show it to be. I don’t see the flaw in “advanced statisitics” here.

    I just think they’re pointless at this point in time, for all the reasons listed above, but again, I prefer sins of commission to sins of omission (passing the ball like a hot potato every time=Landry Fields).

    after 40 games with Baron or any other semi-competent guard by his side, if his numbers are still bad, then I’ll admit there’s some truth there, but right now what I see is a guy with almost unlimited potential (offensive too), and one who’s fulfilling a fair amount of that nine games into his NBA career.

  84. jon – If Shumpert had a good track record with efficiency and shot selection I would agree but he was a chucker in college and the fact that he has been a chucker thus far does scare me a little even with the small sample size and poor situation. He says the right things and seems coachable so I have high hopes as well but Crawford said the right things and seemed coachable and never stopped chucking.

    I actually don’t mind sins of omission. I like low usage players and while Landry needs to shoot more, if his shot is in fact being reworked and is still a work in progress passing on outside shots is probably a good thing, same with Jeffries or Balkman or Tyson do we really want them chucking up 20 footers.

    I like players who know their role and don’t try and do too much, there are times you have to shoot but I think this team as a whole could pass up bad shots a little more often than they do.

    I know you have developed an almost pathological hatred for Fields but I think he still has a lot of potential and will find his shot again he made 86 3’s last year and 103 in college he hasn’t simply forgotten how to shoot. Defensively if we could help him on screens he could be okay, he is a little slow on 2 guards but I think with a better defensive scheme and tighter rotations he will be passable.

  85. Shumpert is really more of a 2 guard or a change of pace point guard off the bench than he is a point guard. Point guards don’t exactly get to shoot a lot of spot up jumpers and Shumpert is just not capable of taking pull up jumpers at this point. That being said, I think his absolutely worst case scenario is about a Tony Allen type, incredible defense with some crazy athleticism and decent spot up shooter. I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily an amazing player, but it would actually be a pretty good fit for this team as long as he can start making spot up 3’s and we start running on the break with a real point guard.

  86. The problem with Fields is that the thing he’s omitting is his primary role on the team- his first job is to hit the open three. Against Orlando he took one jump shot in 31 minutes and airballed it. You can literally count the number of jumpers he’s made in the last 10 games on one hand. I don’t think he’ll continue to shoot this poorly but he was also a 34% shooter from three in college- .337 in his senior year – so I’m not convinced his shooting from last year wasn’t a fluke either. The trouble is he’s also a poor ball-handler and passer: his turnover % is second to only Jared Jeffries among regulars which, when you consider how lightly defended he is and how little he’s asked to do with the ball, is inexcusable. He’s been a little better defensively lately but he’s still a guy you have to make allowances for on that end. Basically, he needs to put up the kind of numbers he put up last year if he’s going to get 30+ minutes a night because he gives you absolutely nothing that doesn’t show up on a stat sheet.

  87. @86. Well I would say that all of Shumpert’s floor time is garbage time according to his production.

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