Tonight’s 4 Factors (@ DET, 11/21/07)

After each game this season, we’ll be taking a look at what the four factors have to say about the game– how the winner won and the loser lost. For an intro to the four factors, see A Layman’s Guide to Advanced NBA Statistics.

Knicks lose to Pistons, 86 – 98

	Pace	Eff	eFG	FT/FG	OREB%	TOr
NYK	85.0	101.2	48.8%	10.0	32.4	17.6
DET		115.3	53.9%	21.1	27.5	10.6

Not the world’s most encouraging game. But, it wasn’t quite as bad as recent performances. The offense wasn’t good– right at NY’s season average, against a Pistons team that has been slightly below average defensively– but “not good” is a vast improvement over where the offense has been lately. The eFG% and TO rate were decent, if not outstanding. But a weak effort at the line didn’t help things along.

The D was about as bad as it has been, if not slightly worse. The Pistons’ offensive efficiency was a bit higher than both their season average and the average offensive efficiency allowed by the Knicks.

So it wasn’t a blowout, thanks to an offense that was tepid rather than putrid. Seems that this is about as good as things get nowadays. The Knicks must take advantage of a struggling Chicago team this Saturday, or else with the following games against Utah and Boston we’re looking at a losing streak that would likely extend to at least 11 games.

4 factor stats were acquired using the ESPN4Factors script by Cherokee of the ABPRmetrics board. Firefox users can use this script (after installing the Greasemonkey extension) to see 4 factor stats automatically displayed in all NBA boxscores on

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18 thoughts to “Tonight’s 4 Factors (@ DET, 11/21/07)”

  1. I thought they’d be able to keep it closer (and lose, of course, but still – keep it closer).

    It IS pretty funny that it is quite difficult to pick out a team in the NBA right now who I think the Knicks COULD beat.

  2. Clyde made a good point last nite, your defense is as good as your weakest link. all of the guards now can’t defend but the issue is Curry who doesn’t defend can’t make penetrators pay or at least change their shots let alone come up with a key stop. Lets look at his stats: 26 pts 5 rebounds 1 block 1 assist in 37 min. These are 2 guard type stats that don’t cut it for the 5 spot.
    He scores his points but doesn’t complement the other players on offense or defense(tyson chandler, frye and now zack). Now lets change the stats around and say Curry gets 20 rebounds 5pts and distributes the ball, 3 blocks what would the outcome be? I think its a much more competitive game, we’d have more offensive attempts, guards defensive weakness could be neutralized somewhat and IMO the game would be competetive.

  3. Gmal – Curry’s not at all the problem. I admit he is not a good defender but he is not even the worst one on the starting lineup. Both Randolph and Crawford are worse defenders than Curry. So it is not Curry’s fault we are a terrible defensive team, though he is by no means helping us defensively.

    Also Curry is the only player on the starting lineup that is at least playing above average offensively and he actually playing extremely well on the offensive end.

    So I do not know how you can single out Curry when he is playing better than Crawford and Randolph on both sides of the floor and has been our best player on the offensive end.

    Clyde is only somewhat right about the weakest link argument anyway. Good defensive teams can hide one poor defender if the rest of the team plays hard team defense, like Chicago two years ago with Curry as the center, or Detriot with Rip as the SG, or SA with Barry as the SG.

  4. yes, what’s hilarious (in a pitiful way) is Curry is actually one of the better defenders in our starting lineup right now. I mean, he’s still one of the very worst in the league, but he’s better than Marbury and Zach.

  5. jon – I am still of the belief that if built around him, Curry could be the primary scoring option on a very good team.

    I think a front court of Balkman, Lee, and Curry could be very productive for a long time.

    What we desperatly need is reliable guard play. Crawford is a mess on defense and has three bad offensive games for every one great one. Marbury while ranging from outstanding defensivly like on Martin in the second half of the Kings game to horrible like on Nelson in the Orlando game is just about the worst PG at feeding the post I have ever seen.

    Crawford, Marbury, Randolph and Q are a mess. They all nedd to be benched or moved. (Q should just be sat until he is healthy enough to be productive) If we could do that I think a starting lineup of Robinson, Collins/Jones, Balkman, (or Jeffries if Balkman’s out) Lee and Curry would be preferable to our current lineup, because at least that lineup would be okay defensively and frankly could not be much worse offensively.

    I think the only way to really right the ship is to move Randolph soon, while he is still leading the NBA in rebounds, for a better either 2 guard or point guard and staple Crawford and Q to the bench.

    This team is an unbelievable mess and the fact that they are not even playing hard, like they did last year, means we are in real trouble. We need to fire Isiah and then make lazy players with no fire, like Randolph, accountable for not running back on defense or trying to split the double team while still 20 feet from the basket.

  6. Since the Knicks have been horrible offensively most of the season, why do you compare their offense to their season averages and then say it is ‘tepid’, isn’t it basically just as bad as it has been all year?

  7. Ben R, having Lee and Balkman on the floor doesn’t work, neither can shoot the ball beyond 10 feet, defenses will collapse around Curry and he cant pass or make good decisions. It will help on the defense side though.

    This offensive scheme is all stupid to me I just don’t get it, since curry came marbury’s game has gone way down, he is a slasher, shooter then passer, he can’t defend so he needs some one to cover up his mistakes ala Mutombo in 04. Add Zach and we have a 20mill per year offensively skilled guard who dribbles down and passes into the bigs, how hard is that to defend? Is it any wonder he was -18 and billups was +36 last nite. this twinky tower offense didn’t work last year with Jerome James(7 games) and isn’t working this year with Zach. Sometimes its comes down to what you individualy want to see in a player. I would rather have a Ben Wallace, Omeka Okafor type center, unleash Marbury.

  8. Gmal – Even at his peak Marbury was not a terribly efficient offensive player. Only once in his career has he had a TS% of over 54%. He is not a good enough scorer to be a viable 1st option on a team. Only twice in his career has he been on a team that was even in the top half of the league in offensive efficiency. The first time was his 2nd year when he played on the 8th most efficient offense and was the third leading scorer behind both Gugliatta and Garnett, and the other time, in his first full year in New Jersey, he was the leading scorer on the 11th most efficienct offense.

    Every other year he has played on an offense that ranked in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency. He has also lost a step and probably cannot carry a time for a whole season scoring 20+ anymore even if we wanted him to.

    Also while Balkman does not have an outside shot, at least he knows not to shoot it from the outside, and Lee’s jump shot while much worse than the rest of his game is not too bad in fact he is shooting a higher efg% on jumpshots this year than Q, Randolph, Marbury or Jones. Also Curry has consistantly played his best basketball next to Lee. Curry scored 3 more points per 40 and shot 5% over his season average next to Lee last year.

    So right now the only Knicks that are shooting an efg% of over 40% on jump shots are Robinson, Crawford, Morris and Chandler. So since almost no one on the Knicks seems to be able to hit a jumper consistantly we might as well play players who can defend like Balkman, Jeffries, Collins, and Lee.

  9. For what its worth I would rather have a healthy Okafor or an in their prime Mutumbo or Wallace to Curry as well.

    But I would also prefer Curry to Randolph any day of the week.

  10. I think we all understand that we are trying to see how these very limited pieces work for the knicks this year. We’ve lost 7 or 8 straight and counting with the offense being as much of a problem as the defense. Having Curry as the first option got us 33 wins last year and it aint looking good so far this year. Marbury’s 1st year if I recall we had 37 wins. I don’t care much for marbury’s game but I’m stuck with him this year and I’d like to utilize whatever talents he has into a scheme that works for the knicks. Having him dribble the ball down so that the defense can get set and then force feed it to the curry or zach is seriously not working since about 2/3 of last year.
    Last thing about the defensive players like lee and balkman, while they may occasionaly shut down other players it ain’t happenin on a consistant basis, there is no defense without a complete team defense and right now we don’t have that and thats on Zeke.

  11. gmal – I agree that our offense is not working at all this year but I do not think that is Curry’s fault. The reason why our offense started failing the last third of last year is because we lost Crawford, Richardson and Lee to injuries and we had no one who could hit a jump shot.

    This year since the first three games no one on the Knicks shy of Robinson has been able to hit a jumper. So we are having the same problems. Add to those problems Randolph shooting a TS% of 44% while leading the team in shots and you have a very bad offense.

    Curry has actually reduced his turnovers and has only 2 bad pass turnovers all season, so his passing has improved. Watching the Knicks it is amazing how many open three pointers we miss.

    As for Curry’s rebounding it is pretty bad but actually better than Gasol, Okur and Harrington and we are a very good rebounding team, the only thing we do consistantly well in fact, so we seem to be able to play around it.

    What we cannot play around is poor shooting and turnovers, two things that Curry does not hurt our team in.

  12. people need to stop passing judgment on what Balkman’s done so far this year, he missed all of training camp and hasn’t really been a hundred percent most of the games he’s played so far. also, he was the key to the one real win we’ve had so far.

  13. I feel like the Knickerblogger-morale-o-meter has hit rock bottom concurrently with Team Titanic 2.0. It’s probably because everyone knows there’s no way in hell Chris Mullin is going to enter Chernobyl. But I figured SOMEONE would have commented. Doesn’t Owen have some kind of derivative sabermetric potential-GM wage of wins algorith calculation or something.

  14. Chris Mullin is not a good GM, even though one guy handed him Baron Davis and another handed him Jackson/Harrington for Dunleavy/Murphy. he’s the one who signed Dunleavy, Murphy and Adonal Foyle to those ridiculous contracts to begin with, not to mention Derek Fisher. if Stephen Jackson wasn’t as insane as Artest, GS would still be eating those Dunleavy and Murphy deals.

    Colangelo, Donnie Walsh, even Jerry West, those are all decidedly better choices, but it’s a moot point anyway as GS isn’t letting Mullin go anywhere.

  15. if someone is foolish enough to take a job working under jim dolan, then why would we want him running our basketball team?

    i know, a catch-22, but still.

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