Tonight’s 4 Factors (@ NJN, 12/5/07)

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 defeat Nets, 100 – 93

	Pace	Eff	eFG	FT/FG	OREB%	TOr
NYK	87.0	114.9	53.0%	45.5	10.3	11.5
NJN		106.9	45.7%	41.4	31.4	14.9

Another Knick win powered mainly by the offense, but in a bit of an unusual way this time. The offensive rebounding, usually powerful, was almost non-existent. The shooting from the field was very good but not out of this world. Credit the very strong offensive performance primarily to a fantastic showing at the FT line (30 FTM on only 66 FGA) and great ballhandling (season low 11.5 TOr, including only two TOs in the second half). Do not expect to see many games like this this season.

The D seems adequate enough, and indeed the Knicks had a better defensive performance than their season average (112.5 pp100). But considering the circumstances it was a weak effort. The Nets have awful offensively this season, scoring only 100.3 points per 100 possessions, and tonight they just happened to be missing the straw that stirs the drink, Jason Kidd. The bulk of the blame goes to too much fouling, allowing the Nets as monstrous an impact at the FT line as the Knicks themselves had. But the Knicks also did a poor job protecting the offensive glass and forcing TOs from the league’s most turnover prone team, even though (again) they were without their primary ballhandler. Tally it all up and it’s another pretty poor defensive effort by the Knicks, first appearances to the contrary.

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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64 thoughts to “Tonight’s 4 Factors (@ NJN, 12/5/07)”

  1. I sold your wife a book at the new Barnes and Noble in Tribeca and she said you have this blog so i promised to leave you a note tonight. I was actually at the game in Jersey and it was great. I think the main difference was Fred Jones hitting some timely shots exactly when we needed them at different point in the game. There was also some consistent ball movement. Q-Rich is looking more active lately too. Seems like hes striving to make a difference. I can go on and on and on. Love the blog…we be leaving many posts or ya. Please stop by the store. Take care.

  2. was this victory as impressive as it seems? i know the nets were down a kidd. but they still got two of the big three. and the knicks were down two “main” men.

  3. Although the Nets have given us a lot of trouble in the past…and as much as I savor beating them…beating them without Kidd isn’t all that much of an accomplishment. Nice win. But the Nets haven’t been all that impressive this year as is – let alone without their best player. I’ll take it though, hopefully we can get something going here.

  4. No Kidd, Marbury, Curry = advantage NY.

    If any one of these guys played, the Knicks lose this game.

  5. Saw first quarter only but I will say that the starting five after just 2 minutes looked more fluid on both ends and it may be because of no kidd but IMO its because of no curry or marbury. What crawford does is give you the ability to attack the basket on drives from left and right side of the court. Marbury will almost always drive from the left side and that makes him predictable and the whole offense as well because he has the ball in his hands majority of times. Nets probably win this game with Kidd playing simply because he is that much more valuable to his team. stats aside why this coaching staff can’t see that certain players when you mesh them together produce a better TEAM is just inexcusable.
    Did I see Lee hit a midrange? All that Lee and Balkman need is confidence when they’re shooting.

  6. Must say that Crawford looked much more comfortable at the point than even Marbury does. I thought he distributed well, didn’t take TOO many bad shots, and pretty much let the offense come to him. 29 points on 17 shots is not bad at all.

    Don’t know why Isiah doesn’t play Nate though — the offense especially for most of the 3rd quarter was just ugly beyond belief. I know Fred Jones hit some big shots but he was a foot short on some of his wide open 3 pointers.

    Might need to trade Curry — I like him but Randolph looked so much more comfortable by himself in the post. Between ZBo and Q we have pretty good post up options. Curry trade will never happen while IT is here though.

    Does anyone take uglier free throws than the Nets? My God that was ugly.

  7. Mr. Black – You owe me two imaginary units. And we are putting you up on the wall of bad predictions for the day. Williams, Allen, and Magloire tried but they only got one off Lee…

    Lee didn’t have a dominating performance, but he was solid. He didn’t look particularly good trying to guard Jefferson and Carter, but he managed.

    Randolph looked great. Put this down as a game that shows what he can do when allowed to operate in his comfort zone. Love the one turnover. LOVE the three steals. Very impressive game statistically actually, even without a big rebound total….

    Crawford, other than a ridiculous turnover in the first half, was excellent. Posted a ts% of 60%.

    Balkman has fouling issues…

    Robinson, 7 points, 2-3. 2-2 ft, quick hook, he had a -1, maybe he deserved it, don’t know…

    Good win, they looked ok out there for once….

  8. Ray – glad to have you on board. Good to see that my guerrilla campaign is bringing in new fans. You may want to check out A Layman’s Guide to Advanced NBA Statistics. We like a little bit of numbers to go along with our eyes.

    And yes that game was a shallow victory without Kidd. I think Kidd is a great player, but I can’t stand him when he faces the Knicks. I don’t like the Nets, because they’ve given New York such a smackdown in the last few years. I prefer them as the lovable Yinka Dare losers.

  9. Last night’s game was telling. From a broad view, I like Jamal, Zach, and Lee as the big 3. Curry should simply add some inside scoring off the bench, and Steph can definitely still serve some purpose (why he refuses to play a Billups-like game is beyond me). I understand that Jamal can’t be relied upon to perform like he did every night and that the game would not have been so rosy had Kidd played, but the knicks did not look sloppy on offense, nor as feeble on D as usual, nor did the offense completely freeze for a long stretch of the game.

  10. Owen,

    I deserve it. Honestly, I hoped that noone would notice.

    I should have checked the Nets’ injury report before taking either of those over/unders. I had no idea the entire front line was injured. If I knew that DL would up against Collins I would set TS% at 80%.

    The two units are in the mail.

  11. Not sure what’s up with Balkman – if he’s not as good as we thought, if he’s still struggling with health (that’s my guess) or if the refs are keeping him on a tight leash.

    And David Lee… not spectacular, but 13 points on six shots is pretty impressive, along with his otherwise solid performance.

  12. When Crawford manages a good TS% we have a much better offense. He took 12 free throws last night that is the secret. When he gets to the line 8+ times a game he is a very good offensive player when he does not he is a liability.

    Also I still only saw Randolph attack the basket a couple of times almost all his points came on his midrange jumper he was just making them last night. I do not think his good game was because of more room but because he had a hot hand.

    Balkman has looked a step slow since returning from his injury. I do not know if he is still banged up or if it is mental but he does not have the same abandon he had last year and at the beginning of the season.

    Fred Jones had a pretty solid game, he just needs to start sinking his free throws, his career FT% is 82% yet he is right at 60% this year. If he can do that I think he can be a pretty solid player for us this year, because he attacks the basket and gets to the line and can hit an open three if he needs to.

    While Lee did not have a great game he was solid and we just look better when he is on the floor. I want him to start very much but unlike most of you I want Randolph not Curry to come off the bench.

    Nate should play more because he really is a good offensive player and he could be a great spark when our offense goes through the dry patches it seems prone to. I would love to see Balkman replace Q and have Jones and Nate off the bench backing up the 1, 2, and 3.

    This victory does not mean much, the Nets without Kidd are a bad team. The odd thing is that with Randolph and Lee playing most of the game we were outrebounded by a wide margin, 10% oreb% is really bad.

  13. it wasn’t just Kidd, they were missing Marcus Williams and Darrell Armstrong, their top three PGs. I kind of think we lose if any of those three play, but I’ll definitely take the win, as I said last night.

    Lee looked better last night, more explosively aggressive when attacking the basket. he still isn’t rebounding like last year, though, when he seemed to be on every loose ball.

  14. You know, this was a very unusual game, as the comments above indicated. Our TS% as a team was 100/ 2(66+(.44×37)= 60.7%. Very good for the Knicks. And very few turnovers. And no Curry and Marbury.

    Using the miracles of CBS Sportsline shot chart. It shows Randolph went 5-10 on his jumpers. And in the play by play it says he made four layups. If the extra shot that doesn’t show up was also a layup, that would mean five layups and five jumpers. Three of his misses were inside of ten feet. And three of the jumpers he made were from the foul line. He made 2-4 from beyond 17 feet, hot hand as you say…

    If he is going to be taking jumpers, let it be from the foul line, where he is at least a credible threat to go to the hole and get fouled when he uses a pump fake, rather than a credible threat to dribble it off his knee impersonating a swingman. Anyway, I do think Randolph looked more comfortable without Curry on the floor. But it could just be coincidence…

    It is amazing we only got 3 offensive rebounds and gave up 11. But I will exchange offensive rebounds for a team that shoots 60.7 ts% while committing 11.5 turnovers per 100 any day…

  15. Owen,

    As long as we are talking about bad predictions; have you seen Hollinger’s “Playoff Predictor”? Here is the link…

    It seems that the Knicks chance of making the playoffs is 1 in 7. I dont think the Knicks are that bad. I think they have dealt with a lot of turmoil to start and a somewhat tough schedule. But the schedule gets better the last two months of the season. If the teams stays healthy and begins to play together, they can make the top 8.

    The Knicks have a chance to leapfrog a few teams.

    (1) The Nets will stuggle if they have to trade Kidd.

    (2) The Bucks are still up in the air.

    (3) The Wizards are paper thin and have no post scoring, ditto the Bulls.

    (4) Hawks are the Hawks.

    (5) Miami stinks and likely will not get it together.

    (6) We will know by sunday whether this team is better than the Sixers.

    Anyway, looking forward to the comments on Hollinger’s predictor.

  16. “Randolph looked more comfortable without Curry on the floor.”

    Randolph is more comfortable when Curry is out. Lee is more comfortable when Randolph is out. Jamal is more comfortable when Marbury is out.

    This is why chemsitry matters and if there was a stat that measured chemistry the Knicks would be at the bottom.

  17. I was wrong. The Knicks dont have a 1 in 7 chance of making the playoffs, they have a 1.7% chance of making the playoffs.

    The problem with this sytem is that it take a look at the team, as it is today, and prorates that over the rest of the season. I think all understand the flaws with that logic. The system does not account for injuries, trades, coaching changes, ect. I am not sure that strength of schedule is factored in as well. The Knicks’ easiest part of the schedule is in the last two months of the season. We can pick up alot of ground during that time. I’m not sure that Hollinger’s predictor takes that into account.

    The predictor tells us that in 5,000 simulated seasons, the best record the Knicks can have is 41-41. Okay, I can buy that. But the predictor also says that the worst the Knicks will do is 15-67. Oh really. We have six wins today and the team could only win nine more the rest of the season. I presume that the projected record of 28-54 represents the mean, or maybe the median, he doesnt make that clear. Meanwhile, the Celtics’ worst season is 51-31 with the best being 77-5. Something is wrong with that. The Celts are going 77-5. They havent been tested on a west coast swing and they failed to beat to two good teams they played.

    The predictor would be more fun if it reevaluated every 10 games.

  18. Mr. Black – I would take 55-1 on the Knicks making the playoffs. I don’t know if I would take 20-1 though.

    I think the Bulls will be there in the end. I think Cleveland will be there in the end. That means one spot for five teams. It doesn’t really look good for our Knicks.

  19. “Randolph is more comfortable when Curry is out. Lee is more comfortable when Randolph is out. Jamal is more comfortable when Marbury is out.

    This is why chemistry matters and if there was a stat that measured chemistry the Knicks would be at the bottom. ”

    the flip side to this, in all seriousness, is that NY is better off than most teams when any of those guys are out (meaning Curry, Marbury, Randolph specifically).

    I was thinking last night that it might make sense to give guys entire games off, especially on back to back nights, let Curry play 40 minutes one night and sit the next, Randolph sit the first and play 40 minutes the next.

  20. “I was thinking last night that it might make sense to give guys entire games off, especially on back to back nights, let Curry play 40 minutes one night and sit the next, Randolph sit the first and play 40 minutes the next.”

    That is really not a bad idea, Jon.

    It’s outside the box, which this team needs to be. $100 million payroll may not be able to buy much of an NBA team, but it does buy the luxury of redundant depth.

    I’d like to see this current team implement this plan. It keeps guys fresh and would cost us nothing.

  21. I like that idea as well. I would also add that I would instruct Curry and Randolph to be a little more physical on defense, knowing that if one gets in foul trouble they have an emergency replacement on the bench waiting. One game we play Curry and Randolph backs him up in cases of fatigue and foul trouble, the next we switch roles. Just never, ever play them together unless injuries make it necessary.

  22. I wouldn’t worry too much about the Hollinger Playoff Predictor just yet. It’s heavily based on Hollinger’s Power Rankings. Those rankings make more sense later in the season, but they can be skewed by a small sample size.

    For example, if you took out the Boston loss (and who wouldn’t want to do that), the Knicks’ average scoring margin deficit drops by a considerable amount. They would move up about 7 spots in the rankings just by dropping that one game. This would give the Knicks a 21% chance of making the playoffs. If you removed the Nuggets loss as well, which is also arguably an outlier considering it was after a 2OT game and back-to-back etc., the Knicks would have over a 50% chance of making the playoffs.

    I know, I know. If my grandmother had balls, she’d be my grandfather and those two horrible losses did happen as much as we might wish they did not. The bigger point is that the sample size is too small now to give them the effect that Hollinger’s rankings and playoff predictor do.

    That said, Hollinger’s rankings do have interesting information in them. According to his strength of schedule measure, the Knicks’ opponents thus far have the seventh highest cumulative winning percentage. Over the last 10 games, the Knicks’ opponents have had the highest winning percentage. That doesn’t even factor in home/road and back-to-back games.

    It may be a touch early to push the panic button.

  23. “I like the idea of playing Randolph and Curry 28 minutes and Lee 36?.”

    the problem with this is that players tend to play better if they play 35-38 minutes (this is based solely on my own observations), which is why going all or nothing with those two might work better. Isiah would never do it, but it did occur to me last night, so I thought I’d share.

    and I’m sticking to my preseason position that this team would be better if Marbury was just sent home and left there, unless Crawford gets hurt.

  24. “All that Lee and Balkman need is confidence when they?re shooting.”

    You’ve been listening to too much Clyde.

  25. ?’I like the idea of playing Randolph and Curry 28 minutes and Lee 36?.’

    The other problem with this is that they need to share the court and each gets in the way of the other. Jon’s way effectively gets each player utilized minutes. The more I think about it, the more I like it.

  26. please what could we stop the lee 36 mins bs and Z our payrolls not 100 million anymore please keep up

  27. I tell you what, we can definitely get a win against Philly next game. They are still trying to figure things out over there. I would like to see Q-Rich continuing to be be active and what ever happpened to David Lee and BAlkman working on their jumpshots?

  28. What strikes me is how much the Knick?s performance is dependent on Crawford. They have won one game when he didn?t score 20 or more, and are 5-3 in games when he has. That sort of indicates that they need a really strong offensive performance from a pathologically streaky shooter in order to compete?which says nothing good about the team.

  29. The most obvious difference to me last night was the agressive and consistent defensive rotation, especially against VC. Zeke almost killed us with switch to zone that led to 2 Nachbar 3’s. Liked ZR’s hard fouls in the paint, he’s got toughness, though inconsistently.

    I noticed Lee has hit an open 15 footer early in the last 2 games. His problems used to be more mechanical than mental but his form looks much better lately. He should keep doing this in first half until he develops confidence. Without this he can’t be an effective starter on our offensively challenged team. (Balkman on the other hand has terrible shooting mechanics, as evidenced by his FT shooting.)

    In watching Nash and (not) Kidd, it’s clear that we lack that guy that gives role players the confidence to shoot and makes them better all-around shooters. Lee is getting blocked more not because of a lack of lift but because his offensive moves are predictable now that he’s not a secret anymore. The NBA is about adjustments and the league has adjusted to him. He needs to adjust back before he can be an effective starter unless there are superstar types around him. Sadly, the leadership void on the Knicks, he’s pretty much on his own. He is also a bit of a tweener defensively, smaller than many PF’s and slower than many SF’s.

    I think that ZR has to be on the floor 35-40 every night, whatever his flaws, he’s a gamer that’s not afraid to lose and that has an uncanny nose for the ball in crunch time. Lee’s minutes have to come from Curry and to a lesser degree from QR. Curry’s playing time should be totally dependent on rebounding and defense. Clearly we can score without him. I would tell him “I don’t care if you foul out in 10 minutes, you have to contest every shot in the paint and box out on every rebound on both ends or you’re sittin’.”

    Considering that I was very skepical about keeping him at Demetrius’ expense, I am very impressed by Fred Jones, he seems like a pro’s pro, fearless, crafty and quietly gives 110% effort. Did you notice how Nate’s antics were muted last night? Maybe Zeke is on to something with the freeze-out and watching Fred take his minutes will do Nate some good.

  30. Why is it obvious to EVERYONE other than the smiling weasel that Randolph and Curry cannot play together? People said it at the time of the trade, and it has only been borne out to be true. I said it before on this site (not going to troll through my posts to find it) and I’ll say it again – Curry’s best case is to play 18-20 minutes as a backup to Randolph, to provide instant offense against other teams’ second units. Lee and Randolph make a much more imposing front line, and have diverse games that complement each other (one plays defense, the other doesn’t), as opposed to Curry and Randolph, who duplicate each other. Moreover, it is beyond clear that Randolph is a far superior player to Curry, even though he is somewhat of a black hole in the post.

    The smiling weasel thinks like Dolan – he is right, everyone else is wrong, and he will continue with his wrong-headed plan until he is carried out on a stretcher. Dolan’s problem is deluding himself into thinking the smiling weasel can dig himself out of the hole he has dug.

    Geez – everyone makes mistakes. Why is it certain people’s personality traits never to admit it and move on? It shows an astounding lack of intellectual dexterity. When you dig yourself into a hole, man, stop digging!!

    And z-man – you are right, Fred Jones can ball. He deserves the minutes over the punk-n8-tious one.

    One final thought – as I watched the game last night, the only thing I could think of was “liberation!” Without Curry and Marbury, everyone else was liberated –

    Randolph was liberated to stop having to feed Curry in the post, and play his own game;

    Crrawford was liberated to play his own game, and just look out for his own shot (as ill-advised as they may be sometimes);

    Lee was liberated, given minutes to just play his all around game;

    Fred Jones was liberated off the splinters;

    and finally, he won’t acknowledge it, but

    the smiling weasel was liberated from having to make so many bad decisions during the game.

    LIBERATION! Now just get rid of Curry and Marbury, and let’s make the playoffs!

  31. Great insights into Hollinger’s playoff predictor, Marc.

    I wonder why Hollinger debuted it so soon, then?

  32. birchnbrook – I know I might be alone on this but I think Curry is actually the superior player, at least for our team, than Randolph.

    Both Curry and Randolph do one thing well and then everything else fairly poorly. Randolph is a great rebounder but does nothing else particually well. Curry is a great low post scorer but does nothing else particually well.

    Neither player is what you would call well-rounded, except in the physical sense, both are poor passers (Zach’s a little better), both are turnover prone (except Curry’s are way down this year), both are terrible defenders, and both are prolific scorers (over 20 points per 40 career averages).

    That leaves really only two aspects in which they differ:

    Rebounding and Scoring efficientcy.

    Zach is a much better rebounder (10.7 per 40 career average to Eddy’s 8.5 per 40 career average)

    Curry is a much more efficient scorer (Career TS% of 58.5% to Zach’s 51.2%)

    So the question is which is more important to the Knicks right now. I would say with Lee at PF and Q and Balkman at SF the scoring is much more important than the rebounding.

    To futher the rebounding argument the Knicks were better at both offensive and defensive rebounding last year before Randolph came.

    Also for all the talk of Randolph as an inside scorer he takes alot of jumpshots. At first I though it was becasue Curry was pushing him outside but when I looked closer I found out that was not true. Last year with no one else down low Randolph took 59% of his shots from outside and only 41% inside. This year he is taking 57% from the outside and 43% inside. So Curry has not forced Randolph to play any more outside than he did last year, in fact Randolph is playing even more inside this year. Curry on the other hand has taken 79% of his shots from the inside both this year and last year.

    So since our teams biggest weaknesses on offense are turnovers and efg% it makes sense that we start Curry because he has our best efg% (57.2%) and less turnovers per 40 (2.7) than Randolph who has an efg% of 45.5 and 3.9 turnovers per 40.

    I cannot say if he is better overall but I know Eddy is better for the Knicks.

  33. Dave Berri just came out with his 20 game review of the Atlantic Division.

    Lee is ranked 10th in the division in performance, but his numbers are down substantially, but he is still way above average. (.226). Randolph is below average at .082 (average is .100) and Curry is at .015, so Jon, it’s not looking good for you and your bubbly.

    Here was his brief wrapup on the the Knicks.

    “And then there are the Knicks. The Knicks, as their record and efficiency differential indicate, are not a good team. Not only does this team lack many productive players, those productive players are not as productive as they were in the past. Specifically, David Lee, Zach Randolph, Quentin Richardson, and Renaldo Balkman are not as productive as each was last season.

    If these players return to form, the Knicks will probably win enough to save the job of Isiah Thomas. In other words, the bar is apparently set so low for Isiah, that if this collection – which is not that good – returns to form people might mistake this for progress.”

  34. What is encouraging is that we have improved at home and that we have beaten a couple of pretty good teams at full strength. What is not is that zeke is thus far boxed in to playing guys that don’t deserve to play based on defensive effort, and we dont have a leader in the starting lineup who has the status/balls/game to demand this. Jamal is the closest we have to this, but he is too nice to push Curry and Steph around. I see an inkling in Zach, he seems to elevate his game in crunch time. Fred may help here too if his game remains strong enough to merit major minutes. I sense that Isiah is on to this and is going to push buttons

  35. I like how quickly Isiah has buried Mardy Collins (who I guess is hurt now, but I don’t think that is the reason) once it became clear he really wasn’t ready to play. I hate that he hasn’t given Chandler and especially Morris a chance to contribute yet.

  36. Sweep Philly this weekend!! We haven’t started better than 8 – 11 since the days of Moochie Norris and Vin Baker.

  37. “Z our payrolls not 100 million anymore please keep up”

    The 2007-2008 Knicks will cost Jimmy D. more than $100,000,000.

    The luxury tax at the end of the year will make this team ultimately cost well over $100 million for the product on the court.

    (besides: player salaries + sexual harassment damages = exactly $100,000,000.)

    Since the original statement was not in the context of the salary cap, but rather in the context of the quality of the product that Knick $$$ have bought, it would even be fair to factor in Isiah’s salary, plus Brown and Wilkins, since they are also still being paid for their services to the organization.

    I’ll stick with the $100 million assessment of the team, though it is actually much more.

  38. your a joke when you speak of salary cap you speak about players contract not coaches whose contracts haven’t is still being paid not lawsuits nothing other that those. Just like all these other Knickerbloggers you guys try to add all this extra info/stats to make you look intelligent lets stop the BS stats and get to the bottom line ALL OF OUR PLAYERS ARE ONE DIMENSIONAL AND HAVEN’T GEL. for those who need stats to see that check our records for the past few seasons

  39. Brian-

    Thanks for the compliment. To answer your question, I think the problems with the playoff predictor are most magnfied in connection with the Knicks because most teams, needless to say, don’t have such an unbalanced loss to skew the numbers of the small sample.

  40. “your a joke when you speak of salary cap”

    Like I said, I wasn’t speaking of salary cap. Please keep up.

  41. “Steph?s playing tonight. what do you guys think about how that affects our chances of winning? I?d say that takes it from about a 55 percent chance to about a 40 percent chance.”

    A priori, I’d give the Knicks a 40% chance of winning on the road against anybody with an equal or worse record. Since it’s the Sixers, with Marbury, I’d expect the Knicks to lose, but wouldn’t be shocked if they won. I’ll say they have 35% chance of winning and will be surprised if they pull it out. Same with tomorrow, as it is a back to back. I’ll guess I’ll be happy with a split, but wouldn’t be shocked by a sweep. I think, in the end, after two closely decided matches, they’ll split.

  42. Jon – I am going to answer that from the stats, not from my heart. Marbury is our most productive guard still. We have to play him…

    Sly – Saw that. Hilarious. Also saw that post on Dwight Howard at True Hoop. Feeling very validated about my comments last year re Howard….

  43. “It may be a touch early to push the panic button.”

    To compete for the East the Knicks may have to go about 45-20 from here on out. That’s not likely to happen.

    Not that there is a panic button that needs to be pressed.

    Since the only goal is to make 8th seed and lose 1st round, that is still realistic, despite the 2-9 start.

    Still, there’s not much at stake this season, except positioning for future playoff runs. I think the team will ultimately surpass last years win total, but that is not exactly “significant improvement”.

  44. “Jon – I am going to answer that from the stats, not from my heart. Marbury is our most productive guard still. ”

    yeah, this is a problem with “the stats”, IMO.

  45. You catch that, David Lee was a pallbearer for Steph’s father? That might be my favorite Lee factoid of the year…

  46. “Will be a good few days to reevaluate the Curry v Dalembert argument we had here once too? ;-)”

    12 pts, 7 reb in about 10 minutes. Not bad, Dalembert.

  47. Lee looked good tonight, but I think I figured out the difference from last season. last year, pretty much any ball he got his fingers on, he inhaled, and this year, he has a ton that he gets his fingertips on and ends up losing. I wonder if he lost just a tiny bit of athleticism from the surgery, but that tiny bit was what was making the difference in a fair amount of cases. what do you think?

  48. Jon – Dangerous thing to do, asking me what I thought of Lee when I have a few drinks in me…

    I only saw the first 20 minutes tonight. Right at the beginning, I was thinking that exact thing. Last year, he had superglue on his hands. He almost couldn’t do wrong it seemed. This year it hasn’t quite seemed the same. Out of the blocks in Philly, he was flailing, having to tip balls to teammates, getting blocked, etc…

    But then suddenly he was 3-5 with 5 rebounds, or something like that.

    I think for me its a perception thing. Last year I was deep in the throes of a major league mancrush. Sudden, surging infatuation. I had no preconception of him, and he came out of nowhere, doing all the things we now know he can do, but without me expecting them. It was all upside, I didn’t really notice when he didn’t do those things, and celebrated when he did. (you guys getting a Harlequin feel to that paragraph?)

    This year, I find myself noticing when he doesn’t do what I now know he is capable of. I am literally sweating at the beginning of games, gotten very critical…

    But really, the numbers are there on him. His performance is coming closer and closer to projections. Not there yet. But honestly, when you factor in a bit of rust, the fact he has played out of position at both center and small forward quite a bit, the fact he has had to adjust to Randolph, it’s very difficult to find fault with his play.

    At the end of the night, he ended up having a truly vintage Lee game. 7-10 shooting, 11 rebounds, 3 steals, two turnovers, one assist, for a superb winscore of 16.5 in 32 minutes. He had two shots blocked, so he only actually missed one shot all game, a perimeter jumper right at the beginning. (cough up two more imaginary units btw Senor Black.) And most tellingly In a game the Knicks lost by 11 he posted a -1 in 32 minutes. Randolph was -18 in 27. This is pretty consistent with the Lee from last year. When Lee was on the court the Knicks broke even. He had a 50% win %. They were an average NBA team. Without him, they were much worse.

    Really, looking at every line, Lee has basically had one really bad game, against Phoenix, in which he posted his only negative winscore of the season, -1.5 in 26 minutes. (Randolph -3 tonight). But he has been positive every other game.

    So, I think I am back to home plate. Lee is the only really good basketball player on the Knicks.

  49. “So, I think I am back to home plate. Lee is the only really good basketball player on the Knicks….” other than maybe Balkmam, who hasn’t been quite his old self, though its bizarre he has not broken 30 minutes…

  50. “I wonder if he lost just a tiny bit of athleticism from the surgery”

    Did Lee have surgery or did he rehab the ankle injury without the knife. I thought he rested it, the strengthened it. Either way, you are right jon– Lee does seem a half a quarter steo slower than he did last year. Still putting up good numbers though– good enough for Owen to not dump his mancrush in favor of Sam Dalembert full time…

  51. DL wasn’t back on the court until August, or close to it… so probably still working his way back to shape. I guess we’ll see if it comes back.. hope it’s not one of those Starks injuries that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but really changed the guy’s career.

  52. His impact on the team’s play is also still undeniable. When he wasn’t in the game last night and we had our **cough venerable cough cough BS cough** twin towers in the game, the team was not competitive. They were within 5 at the end of the 3rd quarter with Lee having played most of the big minutes. Then Isiah inexplicably took him out at the start of the 4th quarte. And the team proceeded to be down by 10 within 4 minutes of his not being in the game. Ok I guess Im splitting hairs with a small point differential like that, but Im sure everyone agrees that over the last 2 years if we all got a $1 for everytime a noticeable difference in team play because of Lee was cancelled by Isiah taking him out of the game and causing you to want to pull your hairs out one by one, none of us would have have any financial problems.

  53. another thing I was thinking last night, they showed a shot of Steph on the bench chattering away to Curry and Zach. now we’ve all heard Marbury talk, and we know how insane/incoherent he comes off as, so I wonder if him just sitting on the bench and talking is an unnecessary distraction for the rest of the team.

  54. Good point, they show shots of that often on the bench. Ive definitely wanted to be a fly on the wall of Curry and Randolph’s mind while this is going on.

    I wonder if the old lady jive-translator chick from Airplane would even be able to figure out what dialect of coneyislandese Marbury speaks. Oh stewardess! I speak jive. Jus’ hang loose, blood. She gonna catch ya up on da’ rebound on da’ med side.

  55. hey trade curry and starbury for E. Brand LA Clippers get a shot blocker and rebounder here soon !! he be our new 10 million dollar man

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