The Knicks before and after January 1st: a case study of the 2013 New York Knicks

03jan2013---carmelo-anthony-e-amare-stoudemire-vibram-durante-o-facil-triunfo-dos-knicks-sobre-os-spurs-1357291059968_956x500

Perception is a funny thing. It can play tricks on you. Make you see what’s not there based on earlier experiences. When Amar’e Stoudemire came back from yet another injury the expected result for the New York Knicks would be: better shooting, less rebounding, poor defense.

That’s not exactly what happened.

In the games before Stoudemire’s return, the Knicks scored 1.123 PPP (Points Per Play). Since January 1st, New York has 1.106 PPP. (with Stoudemire playing and Carmelo Anthony on the bench that number drops to 1.004 and without Melo and Tyson Chandler, but Stoudemire in it plummets to .982).

Even with Amar’e’s nice shooting, New York’s eFG went from  51.7% to 51.4%. Not a huge drop, but it shows that the Knicks are shooting poorly with Stoudemire on the team.

You think eFG% is not enough? TS went from 55.1% to 54.9%/. We can’t see a huge letdown, but it gives us a blueprint of why the Knicks are scoring less.

In the beginning of the season, the Knicks were beating teams by taking care of the ball. With 11.8 turnovers per game, it was hard to score from the team’s mistake. New York turns the ball over 13.4 times a game. Partly because Stoudemire loves to leave the ball hanging in front of him, ripe for a PG quick hands.

In a 100 possessions 10.7 of the Knicks’ 3 pointers were assisted. Now 9.7 are. Of course JR Smith’s and Steve Novak’s slumps are partially to blame, but the Knicks are not moving the ball as well since STAT came back.

Before January 1st New York stole 9.5 balls in 100 possessions. In 2013 that number dropped to 8.

Here’s what made my eyes jump out of its sockets: everybody know Stoudemire can’t box out to save his life. Often beaten to position by lesser players I assumed the Knicks would have less rebounds with him.

In 100 possessions Knicks used to grab 43.7 rebounds. Now they are grabbing 48.1. That caught me by surprise. As the video above shows (and you can see by following him on defense during games he is constantly lost and letting opponents get between himself and the rim).

Not surprising is the fact that opponents are shooting better from inside the arch. 2PT% in 100 possessions went from 48.6% to a whopping 51.7% (eFG went from 50.6% to 50.9%). One of the biggest reason Knicks are having trouble.

Some off New York’s fans look at his improved offense (Amar’e IS having the best shooting season of his career so far with 67.5 eFG%) and want him to start or be featured more on the team.

Am I saying Stoudemire is ruining the Knicks? No. Stats show that, since he came back, New York is struggling to get back into gear. The Stoudemire-Melo duo is working better than it used to. First, get the defense back to where it was before January 1st then, and only then, you can talk about Stoudemire gaining more minutes.

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Knickstape: Wu-Tang Clan comin’ atcha

knickstape3

“I must tell you that the clan is a danger to the public, but still for many man just to heat of the name feels them with hate and loathing. But why they never harmed anyone. I’m afraid they did. During the past. There is something I want you to do. First, I’ll tell you about their styles and clan techniques the main style is…” 5 Deadly Venoms

When the New York Knicks announced that Jason Kidd would miss the first game against the Brooklyn Nets (let’s ignore the fact that the Nets been around for awhile and play into the “this is a new team” trope) I figured out that the Knicks reminded me of a line from Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple”. They are formed like Voltron and Jason Kidd is the head. Without it’s head, the Knicks lost to the Nets after one overtime.

During a Knicks comeback, I realized not only Jason Kidd is the head, but, the Knicks are the Wu-Tang Clan.

Like Wu, the Knicks are a gathering of different personalities with one goal in mind.

As I stated before, Kidd is the GZA. He may not be the leader in people’s mind but he is very much the head, the brains, of the operation. Without Kidd, as the first game in Brooklyn proved, the Knicks are lost.

And that dagger last night was a liquid sword

Tyson Chandler is the RZA. De facto leader. All around culture changer. Like the RZA made the Wu into a better group with his Kung-Fu samples and all around great music, Chandler improves the Knicks with his defensive leadership.

Method Man is, of course, Carmelo Anthony. Hitting you from every angle, Melo can crossover from Small Forward to Power Forward like Tical can move from Rap to a more R&B, Radio friendlier jam. Of course, both are the most well know of the bunch.

More than just being a bit chubby (hey, dude shed a lot of pounds) Raymond Felton is Raekwon the Chef. Not only is his mid session, but Felton’s game is thick. his repertoire of Pick and Rolls with Chandler, and the way he is amazing people while he cooks up another Knicks offensive possession.

Ghostface Killah was “on some know you see me know you don’t” style, as method Man pointed out. Like Ghostface, Ronnie Brewer started the season hot, now you see him, and kinda vanished, now you don’t. But, Brewer kept and keeping on and is an important addition to the Tape’s defense, even if he lacks, most times, in the offensive end.

Like Inspectah Deck, Pablo Prigioni will sit there, watch you play yourself and steal the ball from, you as soon as it is inbounded. If you are not an avid Wu fan, you can sleep on the Rebel INS skills. And, if you don’t follow basketball closely, you might not realize what Prigs brings to the Knickstape.

U-God is probably the least know Wu-Tang member. Like him, Steve Novak is not on par, recognition wise, with his fellow Tapers. Stevie Knicks is most known for his 3 point stroke,
U-God for his bass heavy voice.

Masta Killa wrote in his biography, “I know I seem serious and quiet to a lot of the fans. That’s because I take my work seriously. It’s not a game. The Clan and I work hard to give you the best.” That can sum up Sheed in so many ways. Quiet to most reporters, Sheed comes alive once he is out there, playing. He works hard for the team and won’t accept failure.

J.R. Smith is the Ol Dirty Bastard. There ain’t no father to their style. Like ODB, J.R. will do something crazy and you will like. It’s not what he does, but how he does it. Not much method to the madness, both can be successful beyond expectations, or burn the team.

<object width=”640″ height=”360″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/MjyBnf1BpvU?version=3&amp;hl=en_US”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/MjyBnf1BpvU?version=3&amp;hl=en_US” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”640″ height=”360″ allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”></embed></object>

Like the Wu, the Knickstape has many more members. Some of them don’t have time to shine their brightest. Some, are returning from injury. Trying to make the whole bigger than the individuals is the key for each to find glory.

But, Knicks fans must remember: practice leads to perfection. It’s easy to want to jump off a ledge every time something goes wrong. After years and years of bad teams, worst results, Knicks fans are ready to set the ship on fire at every wrong turn.

Except, this is a different team. It has been a long time since New York had a team that just won’t quit. Fighting until there isn’t any more fight left. THAT is what this team is made of.

“You people are all trying to achieve the impossible. That’s exactly what we’ve done. But, you’ll fail and you’ll all die. If we die the next generation will fight them too and the one after them for as long as they must and eventually we shall succeed.”  4 Assassins a.k.a. Marco Polo

Share
Posted in Music, NBA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carmelo Anthony is in the conversation for MVP, time referees treat him as such

New York Knicks’ Small Power Forward, Carmelo Anthony, is in the conversation for league MVP this season. Yes, it’s early. No, I’m not saying he WILL be MVP. But, ignoring the fact that Anthony is playing like a MVP candidate is allowing pre-conceived notions of Melo’s style of play to blur your vision to what he is doing now.

And I’m not alone in this one. Tyson Chandler, Knicks’ Center and defensive culture changer, agrees.

“He should be at the top of the race right now,” Chandler said. “We’re playing the best basketball, and he’s playing all over the floor on both ends.”

Melo MVP is being talked about here for example.

But, it’s about time referees treated him as such.

Antonhy always looked for physical contact. Bully ball is what his style of played is called. Melo will try to outmuscle opponents. Now, that he is a power forward, he is looking for contact even more than he was used to.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking for bailout call or made up calls.

But, it’s no secret that, in the NBA, the whistle tends to help starts. So far, Anthony hasn’t been treated as a star. Not even when it’s a questionable call.

The final minutes of the loss to the Dallas mavericks made it clear. A charge call, while Melo hit a circus shot, and a punch by Chris Kaman, that went uncalled, made it clear.

Carter might be moving. I don’t believe he had position before Anthony. It would’ve been a blocking foul on Carter. But, even if he was there in time, it was a close call. Can you see Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or even Dwyane Wade or Deron Williams, getting the same call if they were Melo?

Shawn MArion’s block was clean, but Kaman’s punch to Melo’s jaw? C’mon! Still can’t believe refs let that one go.

Those calls changed Anthony’s attitude in the last play. Instead of cutting to the basket, trying to get a lay up or, at least, a foul and two free throws, Melo decided to pull up midway. Since no calls were being made, can’t fault him on that decision. The ball slipped his hands, Mavs won.

After the game, Anthony didn’t blame the referees, but knew he didn’t get the calls he should’ve.

“At this point, there’s no need to cry over spilled milk,” Melo said. “It is what it is. I’m not going to keep complaining about the same thing over and over. If they call it, they do. If they don’t move on.”

Share
Posted in NBA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Perfect Storm – Carmelo Anthony vs the San Antonio Spurs

Melo Hustle

It was the perfect storm. With the New York Knicks falling behind by 89-77. With Tiago Splitter killing inside. Carmelo Anthony was not shooting well. As usual, the Knicks Small Power Forward was not getting respect from the referees, getting pounded without calls being made – for real, about time he gets some respect.

Everyone was waiting for Melo to pout, complain, not get back on defense. Everyone was waiting for Melo to shoot the Knicks out of the gamed, trying to get into a groove. Trying to beat an excellent defensive scheme devised by Gregg Popovich.

What happened was the exact opposite. Anthony put his head down, chased loose balls, fought for rebounds, battled heavier, bigger guys down low, played tough D.

But, mainly, Melo moved the ball. Although he only had three assists, he was superb in making the ball go around.

Time and time again, he found open teammates or got the hockey assist. Only forcing shots when he felt he had room enough.

Anthony fought for loose balls on the floor, chased after loose balls out of bound, hustled for rebounds.

Those are the reasons that made a lot of Knicks fans say that a game where one of NBA’s made only nine points was his best game as a Knick.

Here’s to Carmelo Anthony and the new New York Knicks. Hope they keep up this style of play. It’s a thing of beauty.

Some examples below:

Melo fights Blairs for rebound. Saves possession on offense

Melo notices the double team coming and quickly passes to Jason Kidd who finds Ronnie Brewer wide open for a 3 pointer

Melo goes up for the shot, but sees Chandler, open for the dunk and 1

Kidd steals the ball, finds Melo on the fastbreak. Usually, Melo would pull up for 3. Instead, fakes the shots, gets inside and gets the hockey assist for a JR 3 pointer for the lead

Great D by the Knicks. Melo hustled back to guard Leonard’s would be open 3. Shot clock violation. Melo pumps fist in excitement.

To finish the game, Melo guards Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard at the same time. Forces bad shot by Leonard.

Share
Posted in NBA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New York Knicks might be better with Thomas as a starter

Don’t look at me like that STAT. You’d still play starter minutes.

Let us, for a moment, imagine that we live in a world without ego. Where a player will do what’s best for the team, not what he feels he must. Where a coach won’t be afraid of a player’s salary and bench him for the good of the team.

Are you in that utopian world yet? Now, open your mind and let this sink in: Amar’e Stoudemire’s latest injury might help the New York Knicks in the long haul.

Breathe. Reread that sentence. Ready? Let’s move forward.

With that injury, the Knicks might have a temporary starting five of Raymond Felton, Ronnie Brewer, Carmelo Anthony, Kurt Thomas and Tyson Chandler.

And, with Kurt, New York’s already great defense and poor rebounding have every chance of improving.

Old Man Kurt is still a tough defender. His numbers last season support that.

Kurt’s PPP (Points Per Play) are usually much better than Stoudemire’s. On post ups, Kurt gave up .6 PPP, good for 11th in the NBA, Stoudemire gave up .78, 96th.

On spot ups, Kurt’s man had .73 PPP, 25th, Amar’e’s had .96, 217th.

Overall, Kurt gave up .72 PPP, Stoudemire gave up .83 PPP. 29th and a 166th respectively.

If Stoudemire accepted that reality, he could come off the bench. Joining J.R. Smith in that 2nd unit, he could wreak havoc on adversary defenses.

Of course, that would mean giving up on the Melo-Amar’e experience. But, judging by the way it went, it would be better to limit the minutes they are together on the court. That would open up the paint and elbow for both of them.

Share
Posted in NBA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discount Triple Check!!!

Steve Novak goes 7/7 from the three point line.

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New uniforms for the Thunder, Knicks and Heat? UPDATE: Lakers and Rockets

A few months ago, a source told me that the NBA would be giving the teams scheduled for games on Christmas day would get a monochromatic look, much like the all black Heat uniform.

Usually, people can hack and leak the new uniforms encoded on the game NBA 2K13. It happened with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s third uniform. The misspelled THUDNER should be fixed with a patch before it’s officially in the game:

“THUDNER”? Let’s just ignore that

Now, OKC’s Christmas uniforms leaked:

“It doesn’t say THUDNER again, does it guys?”

Now, the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat had their Christmas day uniforms leaked. The Knicks will be wearing an all orange, with blue outlines, and the Heat have a reversed all black uniform.

That will NOT change my mind. Still not a fan of the monochromatic look

UPDATE: The Lakers’ and the Houston Rocket’s Christmas uniforms also leaked. Kobe Bryant’s picture also provides us with a better look at the Knicks’ uniforms:

The Heat will face the Thunder and the Knicks plays the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas and the Rockets will play against the Chicago Bulls.

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NBA is back. Media Day is upon us

Finally we can stop writing about what ifs and focus on the season ahead of us. Before they could put the ball on the ground and start practicing, teams had to go through Media Day. Below, the most important points from each team.

ATLANTIC DIVISION

Philadelphia 76ers:

  • The Sixers started Media Day with some bad news: Andrew Bynum still hasn’t recovered from his knee injury. Bynum has a bruised knee and will require more rest. Somewhere, Lakers fans laugh.
  • Mike Moore will be a part of training camp.

Boston Celtics:

  • Doc Rivers said the Celtics will play small ball whenever possible. He hopes this will take advantage of mismatches.
  • With the addition of Jason Terry, Chris Wilcox, Courtney Lee and Jeff Green the Celtics are looking to run.

Brooklyn Nets:

  • Joe Johnson believes the Nets can win the title this season.

    Deron Williams wearing the new uniform for the Brooklyn Nets

 

New York Knicks:

  • After an amazing Olympic Games, Carmelo Anthony is ready to try new things. “It’s time to trust my teammates”. Melo talked about not trying to score 35, 40 points every night and trying to get Amar’e Stoudemire in rhythm.
  • Raymond Felton showed up in great shape. The Point Guard los 20+ pounds.

    Raymond Felton

  • “Young teams don’t win championships”, Mike Woodson.
  • Knicks showed up with slightly different jerseys. The numbers appeared thicker and with a blue outline.

Toronto Raptors:

  • Raptors are excited about Kyle Lowry. They hope Lowry can lead the team’s offense.
  • Landry Fields worry the Raptors. They hope they can have the Fields that can hit an open shot rather than the missing open layups one.

CENTRAL DIVISION

Chicago Bulls:

  • The Bulls announced Tom Thibadeau’s extension. The new contract is for 4 years, US$20M.
  • Again, Luol Deng will skip wrist surgery. He believes he can play every game without it and doesn’t want to miss games recovering.
  • Point Guard Derrick Rose said he is scared of cutting on his knee.

Cleveland Cavaliers:

  • Cavs added Justin Holiday to the training camp roster.
  • Wine & Gold classic will happen on October 6th.
  • “My hand is 100%”, said Kyrie Irving, ignoring what The Simpson said on “Homer at Bat”.
  • Dion Waiters showed up in better shape.


 Detroit Pistons:

  • Terrance Williams and  Jonny Flynn will be part of Detroit’s training camp.
  • Pistons feel like they can get to the Playoffs this season.
  • Will Bynum said he’s used to Lawrence Frank’s system.

Indiana Pacers:

  • Paul George hopes to have an All-Star season.
  • Frank Vogel will try to, again, use a 10 man rotation. The coach said it helped players rest last season.

Milwaukee Bucks:

  • Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will miss training camp. He’ll keep resting his knee.
  • “Nobody wants it to work”, said Brandon Jennings on a Jennings/Monta Ellis back court, but Milwaukee’s Point Guard promised they will sacrifice anything to win.
  • Defense will be a priority for the Bucks.

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

Atlanta Hawks:

  • Isma’il Muhammad is a Hawk.
  • Josh “The ATLien” Smith promised he will not shoot as many 3 pointers this year. The forward said he will be “mid range, shawty”.
  • Devin Harris believes speed will be the secret behind the Hawks’ success.

Charlotte Bobcats:

  • Mike Dunlap said no starting job is guaranteed.
  • After a bad season, Tyrus Thomas hopes to get back on track.

Miami Heat:

  • Dwyane Wade still experiencing problems with his knee. The franchise is worried about his health in the long-term.
  • Chris Bosh will not try to add muscle to his frame. Bosh said he will never be able to bulk up.
  • Often injured Rashard Lewis said he’s ready to show the Heat his range.
  • James, oddly enough, loved the anti-flop rule.
  • James hopes to spend more time in the post-up.

Orlando Magic:

  • Glen Davis said the Magic are like “a baby learning how to walk”.
  • Al Harrington still no 100% after staph infection.
  • Rebuilding is a forbidden word in Orlando.

Washington Wizards:

  • With John Wall’s injury, the Wizards announced Jannero Pargo.
  • Brady Beal said Nenê is the biggest prankster in the team. “He hasn’t called me by my first name”, he added saying that the Brazilian Center calls him Rookie.

PACIFIC DIVISION:

Warriors:

  • Stephen Curry promised he will play the first game of the season.
  • Brandon Rush hopes to be a started but is “OK” with coming of the bench
  • Andrew Bogut may not play in the beginning of the season.

Clippers:

  • Chauncey Billups is in the final stages of his recovery.
  • “I used to hate Chris Paul. I used to hate playing against Chauncey Billups”, Lamar Odom, making friends.
  • Blake Griffin is working on his mid range shot.

Lakers:

  • Chris Douglas-Roberts will be a part of the Lakers’ training camp.
  • “Lakers still MY team”, Kobe Bryant.
  • Dwight Howard hopes to play in the season opener. Presents “Jeremy Lin figure” for his back. “I’m at 85%”.

Nash, Howard, Bryant, Gasol, Peace

Suns:

  • Suns hopes to change their playbook to add Luis Scola and Jermaine O’Neal. They hope to hove more plays in the paint.
  • Michael Beasley is expected to commit to the team. Play defense and team ball.

Kings:

  • DeMarcus Cousins and Thomas Robinson hope to prove doubters wrong.

NORTHEAST DIVISION

Nuggets:

  • Nuggets displayed their new uniforms. Heavily inspired by the old rainbow uniforms this ones miss the mark by a long shot. They’ll wear it 18 times, including the first games of the season.
  • “I despise the Lakers”, coach George Karl.
  • “I think we are the best team in the West”, Ty Lawson, from an alternate reality, apparently.

Timberwolves:

  • Coach Rick Adelman said the Wolves will be a better team this season.
  • Brandon Roy hopes he can show he learned that there is more pieces to a team than the stars.

Thunder:

  • James Harden hopes to have an extension by the beginning of the season.
  • Eric Maynor can get back to full contact practices.
  • #LetWestbrookBeWestbrook.

Blazers:

  • Only thing wrong with the Blazers’ new uniforms? Logo above PORTLAND makes it look busy. Otherwise, love it.

Jazz:

  • Enes Kanter lost a bunch of weight.
  • Paul Millsap believes the team is in the right direction.

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

Mavericks:

  • DJ Mbenga and Tu Holliday will be a part of Dallas’ training camp roster.
  • Dirk Nowitzki sais he is in much better shape than last season.
  • Rodrigue Beaubois is expected to take over Jason Kidd’s role.

Rockets:

  • Houston needs Marcus Morris to be a Small Forward not a Power Forward and put behind his rookie season.
  • Small ball will be the way to go.

Grizzlies:

  • Chris Wallace believes this is the best team in the history of the franchise.
  • Rudy Gay is talking revenge after being left out of Olympics roster.

Hornets:

  • Eric Gordon Will not be ready for training camp. Expected to start the season.

Spurs:

  • Tony Parker might still wear the goggles.
  • Eddy Curry will be a part of San Antonio’s training camp roster.
  • DaJuan Blair lost weight.
  • Parker and Manu Ginobili are rested even after London 2012.
Share
Posted in NBA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is the fight against ads in NBA jersey over?

As most people know, the NBA plans on having sponsors… No! Let’s call it what it is: advertisment. The NBA plans to sell ad space on their jerseys. Some disturbing information for those who want to see the NBA’s uniforms staying clean came up in a recent survey on the NBA Fan Forum – a forum where the NBA allegedly asks fans for their opinions.

First, the League had a research that asked how fans felt about ads in their beloved teams uniforms. Assuming that survey went as bad for the NBA’s aspirations as the one that was quickly taken down from their homepage they changed the line of questioning.

Three weeks after the original survey, asking how fans felt about ads on jerseys, they changed their tune. Now, the NBA asked HOW BIG the ads could be, making it seem like ads on jerseys  is a foregone conclusion.

Another interesting twist come with the pictures the NBA presented as examples. In those pictures, the NBA lago vanishes, making way for the adidas logo and, on the other side, the ad:


It’s not like the franchises need the money to survive. If you go by reports, in the first year of the new CBA, 20 teams are making a profit. It’s not like ticket, NBA LEague Pass, products prices will go down with ads.

The NBA loves to use soccer as an example. Soccer have sponsors for one main reason: TWO 45 MINUTES HALVES WITH NO BREAKS DURING EACH HALF.

Also, the NBA is the most forward thinking of the American leagues. If they profit enough, what is to stop the NFL and, eventually, the MLB to follow suit?

The NBA is the most international of American leagues. It’s already ingrained in the world’s culture. I urge those who care about sports and don’t want to see their teams turned into a NASCAR looking thing to keep emailing the deputy commissioner Adam Silver at asilver@nba.com  - you can even copy and paste the e-mail I sent, here – and keep using the hashtag #NoUniAds on Twitter.

Let’s fight against this until the end.

Thank You. #NoUniAds

Share
Posted in NBA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cavs and the Mayan Calendar = Biggest party ever(????)

So, while most of you will be on your bunkers waiting for the end of the world, the Cleveland Cavaliers have something else planned. On December 21st, 2012 – yes, when the Mayans predicted the World will end – the Cavs planned the biggest party in Cleveland.

When the team host the Indiana Pacers, fans will be part of the Mayan Calendar Survivors Night.

Because nothing says party like Ohio and Indiana.

I mean, the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame IS in Cleveland, right?

I can already see someone taking the end of the World seriously and, drunk on 8 bucks beer, breaking into the court and.. and… well, I’ll shut up now, this is a family oriented blog, you know?

Share
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment