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I would just like it to be known that the tweet above was totally sarcastic.

2 years, 1 month ago on Tomorrow Never Knows


 @peterL "When does the per minute argument end? Projecting out numbers (which is what you are doing when citing better per minute) is always a risky business. Would Davis sustain his efficiency with more minutes? Maybe or maybe not. Would Lillard's efficiency rise if he got more rest? Maybe or maybe not. "


In Basketball on Paper (, Dean Oliver showed that per-minute production generally stays the same with increased minutes. 


"Why not say that Drummond should win it? Didn't he have a higher PER than Davis (I know you didn't reference PER, but I'm using it for arguments sake) He's got more rebounds, better TS% and eFG%, more blocks (less points, steals and god that FT%). Of course he played even less than Davis (about a third less), but again, where do you draw the line? "


I don't know where exactly I drew the line, but Drummond was past it. Lillard's played ~1000 more minutes than Davis, but ~1500 more than Drummond, who hasn't been in any hurry to come back. Maybe if he'd continued to play, and play as well as he had, I might have gone with him. But he didn't, and I didn't. 

2 years, 1 month ago on Drive and Dish: The League's Best 3-and-D Guys


 @RobGrebel We're working on that for the next one, Rob.

2 years, 5 months ago on Podcast Paroxysm: The Season is Upon Us, and so is Hurricane Sandy


 @kavika6 The Spurs, like every other team, are in the preview. Page 112.

2 years, 6 months ago on The Hardwood Paroxysm 2012-2013 Season Preview Guide


 @Kate_C I think the Pacific and Southwest are probably the two best teams, mostly because they seem like real starting 5's with clearly delineated roles for everyone. But I also wouldn't bet against LeBron right now, so I think I'd take the Southeast to win, even if they might have trouble guarding Gasol/Howard and Dirk/Duncan. How the hell do Pau or Dirk guard LeBron on the other end? I feel much more comfortable with Bron checking them than the other way around.


As much fun as the Northwest roster is, I don't think they have the defense to hang with the other teams, even with Iggy. Northwest/Atlantic would be a really fun clash in styles, almost like a Denver/Boston game.


And Central is pretty clearly the weakest team. I struggled to come up with a five-man unit for that one.

2 years, 7 months ago on I Got 5 On It


 @tayottt1 Last thing, re: "I presume that years of mediocrity and Dolan-inspired mistakes have made you a bit jaded to the extent that you don't fully see when the Knicks make tangible improvement."


I've acknowledge twice now that I think they have improved, but only marginally so and that my reason for talking so much about the negatives of the offseason is merely that I think they could have done more with the money they spent and made a more marked improvement.

2 years, 7 months ago on SWAGMOSIS: The Value Of Vets, Knicks & Nets And So Much More



In your 2nd response, I'd take issue with the necessity of going 10 deep with quality players to be considered a deep team. if you can go 7 deep of quality players with 2 or 3 average or slightly below, why isn't that considered a deep team? I think that would take your 4-team list and double it or more. Additionally, just because guys like the ones you mentioned might be overpaid relative to their production - and they are - does not mean they can't credibly play minutes in the NBA. I'm no big fan of any of them, but they're certainly rotation-level players. Over the course of a long season, it's important to have those kind of guys that can play minutes, like you said.


Lastly, I wanted to go back and address this: "With the Knicks we KNOW the product we are getting."


I think this perfectly plays into the questions I had about veteran experience. You seem to value the certainty of KNOWING what you're getting pretty highly. I think that the certainty of being a pseudo-Eastern Conference contender is not good enough, and that's why I would have preferred that the Knicks sign players of similar quality to the ones they did but that also had the upside for more. At this point, we know what Kidd, Felton, Camby, Thomas, etc. are. We have years of evidence showing us what they can and can't do. Is that certainty valuable? I guess to some, and clearly to you, but I value other things more highly, and that's what led Amin and I to this discussion.


As constructed, I believe these Knicks are set up to be a mid-playoff seed for the next few years, and stand almost no chance of unseating the Heat barring injury because they're a poor stylistic matchup and they can't really adapt to Miami's new small-ball normal.


Maybe that makes me, as you say, a cynical Knicks fan, but I'm just trying to evaluate my team without the rose-colored glasses that many Knicks fans seem to see them through. I try to be as objective as I can (except when it comes to Paul Pierce). I do have opinions on players, and I clearly have negative ones about many of the moves from this offseason, so I tend to highlight those in my writing, but it's not as if I think the players they signed have no value or skills. I know they do, but when everyone else is talking them up and I have a more pessimistic view of things based on evidence of my own, I'm going to constantly be talking about negatives rather than positives, and that makes me seem cynical.


I hope this response is more productive than my last one, which really just came off as condescending.

2 years, 7 months ago on SWAGMOSIS: The Value Of Vets, Knicks & Nets And So Much More


F @tayottt1 First, let me apologize for the tone of my previous response. It came off much more condescendingly than I intended it to.


Secondly, I think what this really comes down to is that we're looking at everything in entirely different ways. For instance, you keep comparing Kidd's WS/48 to backup PGs, whereas I'm saying that it was below average compared to the rest of the league, just like his PER. You also clearly value WP/WP48 as a measure of production. I don't value it very highly. I don't think I'm overvaluing usage, rather I believe I'm doubting the value a metric that overvalues low usage.


As it relates to Point No. 1 above, just because the Knicks were one of the teams in the program described by Zach in his piece does not mean that Carmelo (or any other player) will ultimately definitely put what they learn into practice. We've known for years that isolation, fade-aways and long-twos are inefficient, yet Carmelo (and many other players) continue to pound out those types of plays with abandon.


As for Kidd's defense, players tend to have low defensive ratings when they play on good defensive teams. Playing on top-10 Mavericks defenses the past two seasons certainly helped Kidd in that regard. And I can't believe I'm saying this because I absolutely hate when people do it to me, but anyone who watched Kidd play defense last season or the season before could see that he could barely contain any point guards, let alone the speed demons like Rose, Westbrook, Lawson and the rest. He's much more suited to guard 2s these days, but unfortunately with Shumpert hurt the Knicks don't really have anybody to guard point guards for the first half of the season unless you play Kidd with Felton and are confident in Felton's defensive abilities. (I think at his best he's solid, but usually slightly below average)


I don't hate Kidd. I don't doubt that he has value. I know he does. His passing does, his leadership does, even his VETERAN EXPERIENCE does. I just think there were players of better or similar quality available - likely for the same amount of money - that had upside to be even more impactful over the next few years, whereas Kidd is likely to only get worse as he hits his 40s.


Point No. 2 above - I think you're misunderstanding me yet again. I did not say "THE CAVS AND WIZARDS WILL BE BETTER THAN THE KNICKS." I said they are young teams with some good players that have the upside to improve going forward. Whether or not they hit that upside, like you said, remains to be seen. But the upside is there.


I further didn't say that the Knicks only have one season to contend. I said that many of their core pieces are older and therefore more likely to decline than to get better, so this coming year could very well be the best season for this current group that will be here for the next few years. Kidd and Camby are 38/39. Melo, Amar'e and Tyson are all pushing 30, and while still in their primes now, while likely start to decline between now and 2015. Felton is 27 or 28, and as we know, has really only been above average for 54 games in his nearly 600-game career. Novak is 29. The only players 26 or under on the team are JR Smith and Shumpert. There's not exactly much room for many of the guys on the team to get better. Within the next two or three years, they're all likely to start (or continue) declining, with the probable exception of Shumpert.


There's also a difference between being older than the youngest teams in the league (this is where Miami lies) and being an old team (Boston). I think the Knicks swung too far towards the latter this offseason, especially since the league is continually getting leaner, quicker and more versatile. The Knicks got older, slower and more positionally rigid. You'd like for Melo to be able to play some 4, since he excelled there last season, but now he's blocked by Amar'e, Novak, and even Camby in some lineups I'm sure. They further don't really have someone in their guard rotation who can play the 3 for longer than small stretches of the game when they do go to Melo at the 4. Brewer is probably the best bet, but you lose a lot of spacing on offense if you run him out there with, say, Felton and Shumpert in the backcourt. Not much shooting in that lineup. This is a large part of the reason why I thought they should have gone after a shooter at the backup PG spot.


Point No. 3 - I believe there are two considerations in contracts: per-year dollar value; and length. The per-year value for Novak was great. If you can get the best shooter in the league (which is what he was last season) for $3.75 million per year, that is a fantastic deal. Guaranteeing him four years was, to me, a mistake, for among other reasons the loss of cap space three years down the road. It also ate into the cap space in year 3 that could have been used to sign Lin. There's also the fact that the Heat completely erased him from the series in the playoffs. What if more teams catch on and play him the same way? Then we've burned nearly $4 million per year on a shooter who can't get his shot off and has no value on defense, rebounding or passing. That's why it's best to limit deals for 7th/8th/9th men like that to a year or two.

2 years, 7 months ago on SWAGMOSIS: The Value Of Vets, Knicks & Nets And So Much More


 @tayottt1 Again you have misunderstood and mischaracterized nearly everything I said.


"Your other argument notes that Kidd was only good because of Dirk..."


That was in no way my argument, mostly because I said that Kidd was not good at all, so I'm not sure how I could have said he was only good because of Dirk. What I said was that his on-court/off-court numbers were only good when he shared the court with Dirk, as evidenced by the Mavs' 103.7 O-Rtg when Kidd was on the floor with Dirk, compared to their 95.9 O-Rtg when Kidd was on the court without Dirk. What this means to show is that he didn't really have a positive effect on their offense, unless he shared the court with the Mavs' best offensive player, which likely means it wasn't really Kidd having a positive impact on their offense, it was Dirk.


"the number of spot-up shooters and ball handlers they possess (Felton, Melo, Novak, JR)."


If the Knicks are counting on Felton to be a spot-up shooter, they are in a whole lot of trouble. He's a 32% 3-point shooter for his career. And in his non-New York career, he's never been an above average point guard with the exception of his last season in Charlotte. Melo, outside of the Olympics, has never been willing to be a spot-up shooter. He wants to isolate and break his man down, which means Kidd is relegated to being a spot-up shooter on offense. That's a waste of his still-very good passing talent, which is probably the only high-level skill he has left.


"I'm not arguing whether Kidd had his worst season or not. I'm arguing that he is a great back up option. The avg back-up PG was paid ~3.2m last season while avging <.100 WS/48 and I'll be darned if JKidd isn't worth the price of admission..."


And I'm disagreeing. I also, like the series of emails indicated, care much for whether he is "worth the price of admission." I want him to be productive on the court, and I think there were options for similar dollar amounts that would have produced more.


And while highlighting was Kidd brings offensively, you've neglected the other side of the court, where Kidd is below average at best, and likely to get torched by the league's best point guards just as he did in Dallas' first round loss last season.


"I've already stated my reasoning for why the Knicks should likely be a top four team. You haven't earnestly refuted it."


The only reasoning you've given is this: "...because of their depth they will likely be a top 4 team in East for the next couple years while still being a premier destination." There are plenty of deep teams in the league. Depth alone doesn't guarantee you a top-4 seed. I've earnestly refuted your contention that they'll be top-4 seed yearly by giving you 6 other teams who think the same way about their prospects, along with two more that should be on the rise over the next few seasons. With the Knicks being the oldest team of that bunch outside the Celtics, this season is likely to be their best in the next 3-4, so if they do not get a top-4 seed this year, it probably won't happen with this group.


"There have been much more abominable contracts given within the last couple of years."


So? Because there have been worse contracts, we should not care about an unnecessary outlay of money? The Knicks claim to have let Lin walk over dollar concerns. Why guarantee Novak a third or fourth year then? Why give Felton a (essentially, with the player option) four-year deal? Why guarantee a 39-year-old Kidd three years at $3 million per? If you only give Kidd 2 years, that's about $6 million less in luxury tax you're paying in the third year of Lin's bloated deal. Why did they have to make any of the Novak, Kidd, Felton/Thomas, Camby moves before knowing exactly what Lin's contract was going to be? Novak wanted to be here and there couldn't possibly have been other suitors willing to offer Felton 4 years or as much money as the Knicks gave him.


I do think the Knicks made a couple of good moves in the offseason (Brewer for the minimum, bringing Smith back cheap, Camby), which you'd know if you read my Knicks offseason review on this site. To do so, you can click my name at the top of the post and scroll through my archive.


"The Knicks have been maligned justly for screwing up the Lin/Felton scenarios, but they've gotten no credit for actually having gotten better."


I'm pretty sure I also said that they will be better, but only marginally so, and that I just think they could have done a better job with their money this offseason. If I haven't already, I just did.


"I would personally take WP48 which has much more correlation to actual success."


That will happen when you regress a model against winning percentage. The whole purpose of doing that is so it more closely correlates to winning, but the downside is that the regression means it's not a wholly accurate representation of the box score stats it says it measures. There are plenty of weaknesses with WP/WP48 (some of which I listed in my previous response), just as there are with PER. For my money, I like PER better. If you want to use WP, go ahead, but I wouldn't, for the reasons I eludicated in my previous response, among others. It entirely ignores the interrelatedness of events on the court, gives sole credit for every box score stat to one person, and unrealistically values low usage players. Those are just the biggest criticisms, but there are plenty more.


So as I said earlier, it appears you're using a measure of production that I do not feel accurately reflects reality (again it is the only statistical measure I know of to think Kidd was above average last season) to determine that Kidd is still good, which doesn't really do much for me. The rest of your claims you are mostly just misinterpreting what I've said, relying on Felton and/or Melo to become things they have never been throughout their careers, and dismissing giving unnecessary dollars on the basis of their being worse dollars doled out in the league. I'm sorry, but I can't get behind any of that.

2 years, 7 months ago on SWAGMOSIS: The Value Of Vets, Knicks & Nets And So Much More


 @tayottt1 I think you misinterpreted what I said a little bit. 


I know WP liked Kidd's production last season. What I said was, it's basically the ONLY statistical measure that did (PER, WS, WS/48 all had him as below average), and that it was predisposed to liking him because WP loves players with low usage rates that take most of their shots at the rim or from 3, whether they connect at a good percentage from there or not. He was slightly below average in TS% for guards, but it was by just over 1% so I won't quibble about it. He was 41st out of 70 guards who appeared in at least 40 games and averaged at least 25 MPG though. 


As for turnovers, Kidd turned the ball over on 24.2% of his possessions, while Lin was at 21.4%, so no I was not wrong in saying Kidd turned the ball over more often. 


I'm also not sure that Dirk having a subpar year would preclude Kidd's on/off numbers from drastically improving when he shared the floor with Dirk, which is exactly what actually happened. Dirk can be sub-Dirk and still raise Kidd's numbers, which again, is what happened last year. 


Also, I didn't "put those teams (Indiana, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Philly) ahead" of the Knicks. I said it's no guarantee the Knicks will be a top 4 seed for the next 3-4 years like you said they would almost assuredly be because all those teams will be strong over the next 3-4 years. They don't all have to be better. If just three are in any given season, the Knicks are already out of the top four seeds (Miami). There's also Cleveland and Washington to consider as presumably up-and-coming squads over the next few years, with quality young players and room to improve. That by no means assumes they definitely leapfrog the Knicks, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. There is just no guarantee to me that the Knicks are a top-4 seed at any time during this group's run. It's certainly possible, and I hope it does happen, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. 


I also didn't say I dislike Novak. I said they gave him four years guaranteed when they didn't need to. As it stood, the only player they had any guaranteed money to beyond 2015 was Shumpert. Then they went and guaranteed money to Novak for 2015-16 and gave Felton a player option for that year as well. They could have had a completely clean cap sheet with room to presumably sign three stars in the 2015 offseason like the Heat did in 2010, but they just squandered some of that space on a 28-y/o journeyman who, while I like him as a player, is a 28-y/o journeyman for a reason. 


Judging by what you've cited as evidence for both Kidd and Novak, it seems like you're a big believer in WP, which is probably why we don't agree on things like Kidd, because I'm not a big believer in WP at all. There are too many easily recognizable flaws for me to totally buy into it (overvaluing low-usage players just like PER overvalues high usage players; not recognizing any interaction between players on the court and giving sole credit for each box score action to one player; assuming possessions - not points - win games, a few others that I'm sure you know if you are a big believer in the stat because they are widely cited). 

2 years, 7 months ago on SWAGMOSIS: The Value Of Vets, Knicks & Nets And So Much More


 @tayottt We can't seem to get your comments to show up on the article page, but I'll say here that I vehemently disagree and if you'd like to discuss why, I'm at @JADubin5 on Twitter.

2 years, 7 months ago on SWAGMOSIS: The Value Of Vets, Knicks & Nets And So Much More


 @tayottt I see you responded to my 2 comments and received the email notifications as such, but for some reason your response is not showing on the article page. Once it does, I'll respond. 

2 years, 7 months ago on SWAGMOSIS: The Value Of Vets, Knicks & Nets And So Much More


 @tayottt Additionally, I firmly believe there is a difference between "being a top 4 team in the East" and "being a true title contender," and I take issue with the statement that they'll definitively be a top 4 team in the East for the next few years. Indiana, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago and Philly will all be strong teams for at least the new few years. There's no guarantee the Knicks are consistently top 4. There's no guarantee they're top 4 this year. 


I agree they have a strong bench, and that they should be better this year, but I think it will only be marginally so, if that. As for an offseason grade, I can't consciously give them a B when they let Lin walk for nothing, signed Felton and Kidd and gave Novak 4 years guaranteed. Can't do it. But that's just me. 

2 years, 7 months ago on SWAGMOSIS: The Value Of Vets, Knicks & Nets And So Much More


 @tayottt By what measure was Kidd good last season? It was pretty easily the worst season of his career.


His PER continued a 3-year downward trend. His FG% was under 37% for the second consecutive year. He dropped under 7.0 AST Per-36 for the first time in his career. His AST% was lower than Monta Ellis' (below 33% for the first time ever). He posted his lowest WS/48 in 5 years. He turned the ball over more often than even Jerremy Lin did. And his defense continued to fall off a cliff. Additionally, when Kidd was on the court with Dirk Nowitzki, his on/off numbers were great, but without Dirk, they were awful. His value was almost entirely tied to playing with his team's best player. I just don't see how any of that equates to good. 


The only metric I know of that liked his performance in any way last season is Wins Produced/WP48, which will always value guys who don't shoot a lot - and have extremely low usage rates, like Kidd's microscopic 12.7% - highly. 

2 years, 7 months ago on SWAGMOSIS: The Value Of Vets, Knicks & Nets And So Much More


 @Patty_Tam Is it because what you could get for him would be less valuable than his $7M per? Or because he doesn't fit and so letting him walk for nothing is a positive versus negative?


Essentially, yes. A combination of both. Because he doesn't fit, and because he was unlikely to improve on the previous season and a half he played with Melo (due to said bad fit), paying him and then trying to trade him later likely wouldn't yield as good a result as doing the same with Lin would. Fields' value (as I see it) is restricted to certain kinds of teams, so the market for his services would be limited. And his contract is a clear overpay, whereas Lin's was an unknown with two years of a likely underpay to find out if the third, possibly overpaid year would be worth it.

2 years, 8 months ago on A Few Things I Liked And (Mostly) Didn't Like About The Knicks Offseason


 @partager OKC was 22-11 in the regular season when Westbrook took more than 20 shots. 6-2 in the postseason.

2 years, 10 months ago on Russell Westbrook: 11 Different Kinds of Smoke


 @johndoe1234 In clutch situations this year, Harden attempted 3 of the Thunder's 120 shots. Westbrook and Durant combined for 103 of the 120.

2 years, 10 months ago on Great Exercises in Internet NBA-Related Postings 6-5-12


 @AlejandroMacri That's what I meant. I didn't use Silver's direct quote, but he noted that it was in the Olympics: "What he meant when he said that was that we think international soccer has an excellent model and in the case of soccer, of course, there's the World Cup of football, which is the biggest sporting event in the world every four years, and then in the off-years, for the World Cup, they play, in essence, with some exceptions, a 23-and-under competition at the Olympics." Sorry that wasn't made more clear in the post.

2 years, 10 months ago on Lingering Lottery Thoughts


@Zeze1234 Also Mystery #4 is Kyrie Irving-Chris Paul. Brandon Jennings is Mystery #3.

3 years, 2 months ago on Mystery Statistics Theater: Point Guard Edition


@Zeze1234 Per-36 minutes. Says that in the intro.

3 years, 2 months ago on Mystery Statistics Theater: Point Guard Edition