Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Chris Herrings Midseason Grades for the Knicks

  1. #1
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    4,696
    Rep Power
    20

    Default Chris Herrings Midseason Grades for the Knicks

    Love this guys stuff, here's his article from the WSJ on his grades for the Knicks. Pretty fair grades I think all around and I think some of the stats he points out supports comments about players I see in the game threads like whether the good AA or bad AA shows up affecting a win or loss. Did you know Grant was only 45% inside of 3 feet so add his strength of driving to the basket as another thing he has to improve.


    Giving the Knicks Their Midseason Report Cards

    Grading Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Derek Fisher and the rest of the Knicks 50 games into the season

    Forward Carmelo Anthony, head coach Derek Fisher, and rookie big man Kristaps Porzingis have pulled the Knicks out of the cellar, but there’s plenty of work left to do

    By CHRIS HERRING

    Feb. 3, 2016 9:02 p.m. ET

    Things can change quickly in the NBA, something the Knicks understand as well as anyone.
    Two weeks ago, they were looking up at 22-22, having won eight of their previous 12 games. But a small rash of injuries and some poor, disjointed play in recent days have knocked them down to 23-28, mired in the Eastern Conference’s 11th spot with the NBA All-Star break 10 days away.

    The Knicks are a long way from the 17-65 disaster of last season, with a spate of new additions—including guards Jerian Grant and Arron Afflalo, forwards Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick Williams, and center Robin Lopez—helping to redefine the team’s identity. Whether they’re good enough to right the ship and reach the postseason in 2016 remains to be seen.

    In any case, the Knicks have passed the 50-game mark in their rebuilding campaign, and we’ve seen enough to evaluate how all of the players and coaches are performing as they prepare for the final three months of the season.
    Here’s a midseason look the rotation players, as well as head coach Derek Fisher.

    JOSE CALDERON
    Point Guard

    For all the things the 34-year-old Calderon doesn’t do—he’s well-below average defensively, and isn’t going to start many fast breaks—he’s been consistent, shooting about 49% in each of the first three full months of the season.
    Jose Calderon has struggled to create his own shot this season, and he lacks speed on defense.

    But Calderon can’t unlock his best attribute—his jump shot—because he lacks the footspeed to get open. His 2.7 drives and 7.8 shot attempts per 36 minutes rank last among starting NBA point guards, leaving his opponents with plenty left in the tank at the ends of games because they exert so little energy defending him.
    Calderon does have value, though. Without him, the Knicks struggle with rotations, sometimes playing without a point guard at all when Langston Galloway needs rest and Jerian Grant is ineffective.

    Grade: C-

    ROBIN LOPEZ
    Center

    The Knicks’ top free-agent signing has his flaws, but he’s accomplished what the Knicks wanted when they acquired him: help stabilize the team’s defense at the rim. New York ranks now third in defending shots inside of 3 feet, according to Basketball-Reference.

    Lopez’s presence allows wing players to discourage perimeter shots. He has also quietly made a considerable impact on Kristaps Porzingis’s ability to rebound through solid box-out efforts. Porzingis has grabbed 22.7% of defensive boards with Lopez on the floor, but just 17.8% when Lopez is on the bench, per NBA.com.

    Despite Lopez’s pedestrian scoring numbers, he’s become a more dependable low-post option lately, with the team steadily feeding him hook-shot opportunities as he’s developed a better understanding of the offense.

    Grade: B

    CARMELO ANTHONY
    Small Forward

    Anthony’s scoring and efficiency numbers are down, leading some to wonder aloud if he is in decline at age 31. It’s a fair question, considering that he had major knee surgery a year ago. But Anthony has put together great stretches of team-oriented basketball this season.
    He’s come within two assists of a triple-double three times this season (more near triple-doubles than he posted in his first 12 seasons combined), and has generally played sound wing defense while rebounding effectively.

    The Knicks—who are 0-5 in games he has missed, underlining how critical he is to success—may need one of his patented April finishes to sniff the playoffs. But if the Knicks miss the postseason, it certainly won’t be Anthony’s fault.

    Grade: B+

    ARRON AFFLALO
    Shooting Guard

    Afflalo can score in bunches, but he’s had as many empty performances as stellar ones, making him perhaps the NBA’s most inconsistent player. Consider that he’s making 52.1% from 3-point range in wins, and 25.3% in losses, the widest disparity in the league, according to Stats LLC.

    Arron Afflalo may be the most inconsistent player in the NBA.
    It’s no accident that the Knicks are 1-21 when Afflalo registers a neutral or negative plus-minus rating, and 18-3 when he posts a positive rating. He doesn’t bring much to the table if he isn’t scoring. He’s not the wing defender he used to be (often getting hung up on perimeter screens), and his passing has been poor at times.

    In fact, four of the five players he passes to most—Calderon, Robin Lopez, Carmelo Anthony and Langston Galloway—all shoot worse when their shot stems from an Afflalo feed, according to NBA.com.

    Grade: C

    KRISTAPS PORZINGIS
    Power Forward

    The rookie big man has surpassed everyone’s expectations. Porzingis picks things up very quickly. His rebounding and passing were both questions entering the season, but he’s largely erased them by showing incredible flashes of both at times. And he’s nearly as comfortable putting the ball on the floor as he is with shooting from 30 feet.

    His performances have been up and down so far. He performs best against top competition—shooting almost 45% against winning teams but just 39% against losing teams, per Hoops Stats. Defensively, he leaves his feet in hopes of blocking shots more often than he should, resulting in fouls.

    On offense, his post-up looks have been forced lately, with defenders pushing him farther out of the paint, a sign that he needs to get stronger to establish better positioning. Still, it’s hard to see how the Knicks didn’t hit a home run with this draft pick.

    Grade: A

    LANCE THOMAS
    Forward

    Here’s how well Thomas has played to this point: If it weren’t for the playoff race, some in the Knicks’ front office might just want him to regress to the mean a bit, if only to limit how much his salary will explode this coming summer in free agency.

    The 27-year-old, in the midst of a one-year-deal (the first guaranteed contract of his career), has been the Knicks’ most versatile defender and most consistent player. Thomas’s game, which now includes 3-point range (41.9% this season, after not attempting a single 3-pointer in four years at Duke), has enormous value in the 3-point-happy NBA.
    His tenacity and professional demeanor makes him one of Derek Fisher’s favorites, but his solid play should make him a fan favorite.

    Grade: A

    LANGSTON GALLOWAY
    Guard

    The second-year guard looked reformed to start the season, when he shot better than 55% from 3-point range over the Knicks’ first 14 games. Some remnants of that hot start remain (Galloway is still shooting better than 52% from the short corner for the season), but his numbers have regressed since then.

    That’s nothing to be ashamed of, though, as the 24-year-old has had to toe the line between running the offense (and sharing the task with Jerian Grant) and being thrown into a number of different lineups over the course of the season.
    Galloway is a tough case: He has turned the ball over less frequently this year, but his assist numbers are down. His 3-point shooting is improved, but his midrange jump-shooting is down. He gets to the free-throw line more often, but he’s also been out of control at times in forcing one-man fastbreak scenarios.

    Grade: B-

    DERRICK WILLIAMS
    Forward

    The former No. 2 overall pick is another case study in how his play from this point forward could impact his free-agency value. (Williams can opt out this summer in the hope that another team will give him more than the $5 million the Knicks are in line to pay him next season.)

    Derrick Williams shoots 15.2% from 3-point range at home, and 30.2% on the road.

    Williams’s play on offense has been uneven—he shoots 15.2% from 3-point range at home, and 30.2% on the road—and he isn’t a difference-maker on defense. But he does make plays that other players can’t. His violent jaunts to the basket sometimes make him look more like a running back, and they get him to the foul line frequently. And his rebounding has improved markedly, grabbing 14.5% of all misses in January after collecting 9.5% in December, according to NBA.com.

    If the Knicks don’t keep Williams, it’s clear they’ll need another player (maybe even two) who can at least replicate a number of his skills.

    Grade: C+

    KYLE O’QUINN
    Forward

    The former Orlando Magic big man, who signed a four-year deal with the Knicks over the summer, plays with the sort of grit that the front office wants underneath the rim. He has a decent jumper and can make reads as a passer in the triangle offense.

    There are a couple key issues with O’Quinn, though. First, he tries do too much. He has unsuccessfully tried to test his range, which is solid as long as he stays within 10 to 16 feet (just above 52%), but poor once he strays beyond that (31.5%, including just 1-of-13 from three-point range), according to NBA.com.

    Also, the Knicks, who didn’t bank on Porzingis contributing this much this quickly, probably signed one more big man than they needed, meaning that O’Quinn has to split time he’d otherwise get with teammate Kevin Seraphin.

    Grade: C

    JERIAN GRANT
    Point Guard

    When he’s at his best, Grant allows the Knicks to function like a modern NBA team by using more pick-and-rolls and generating additional transition offense. New York has seen a nearly 43% boost in fast-break scoring per 48 minutes when Grant is on the floor, and has cut opponents’ fastbreak scoring by more than 24% with Grant, per NBA.com.

    Rookie point guard Jerian Grant has had trouble finishing close to the rim, shooting just 45% inside of 3 feet, according to Basketball-Reference

    Also noteworthy: his ability to draw fouls. The Notre Dame product is tied for second (with Carmelo Anthony) among Knick regulars in free-throw rate.

    The biggest problem, aside from his poor outside shooting, is his inability to finish at the rim, where he has shot just 45% inside of 3 feet, according to Basketball-Reference. One would assume the jumper (18-of-84, or 21.4%, from 16 feet and beyond) will improve with time. But waiting on that becomes more painful if Grant doesn’t develop as a better finisher in the next year.

    Grade: C-

    DEREK FISHER
    Head Coach

    The second-year coach is somewhat difficult to evaluate. While there are a number of things to criticize him for—he often leans too much on veterans like Calderon and Sasha Vujacic, and his puzzling rotations sometimes feature five reserves on the court at once—it’s hard to say the team is underperforming relative to its expectations.

    The Knicks finally have a true defensive system in place, one that could be a top-10 unit if it had better defending in the backcourt. We’ve seen growth from players such as Thomas, Galloway and Porzingis. And the recent decision to make sure that either Lopez or Porzingis is on the court at all times was very smart.

    If there’s an area where he has truly impaired the team, it’s in managing the team at the ends of close games—including four in which they had a lead in the final five minutes despite missing Anthony, when Fisher allowed Afflalo to isolate rather than draw up a creative play. Those will come back to haunt the Knicks if and when they narrowly miss the playoffs.

    Grade: C+

    Write to Chris Herring at [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

  2. #2
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    3,083
    Rep Power
    10

    Default

    Thanks for posting this, Tiger. My immediate reaction was the grades are probably a little higher than I would have expected for Melo and Porzingis, but I guess a lot of this is shifted based on expectations. I think a C+ for Derrick Williams is a little lower than I would have given him. He has been erratic, but his good games have far exceeded my minimal expectations for him coming into the season.

  3. #3
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    4,696
    Rep Power
    20

    Default

    Originally Posted by htr10
    Thanks for posting this, Tiger. My immediate reaction was the grades are probably a little higher than I would have expected for Melo and Porzingis, but I guess a lot of this is shifted based on expectations. I think a C+ for Derrick Williams is a little lower than I would have given him. He has been erratic, but his good games have far exceeded my minimal expectations for him coming into the season.
    That was what I thought also that the C+ for DWill was a little low. He's single handedly won a couple of games by himself so I think that by itself rated a B but Herring doesn't like his D and the uni-dimensional nature of his game.

    I wonder if we're going to be able to keep Lance Thomas who will be an UFA who can sign with any team this off-season. He's due a healthy raise and many teams will be able to give him a multi-year deal for at least the MLE. He's my pick for Most Improved Player as well though I read that believe it or not Steph Curry is in the running and leading for that award.

  4. #4
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    2,044
    Rep Power
    6

    Default

    Originally Posted by htr10
    Thanks for posting this, Tiger. My immediate reaction was the grades are probably a little higher than I would have expected for Melo and Porzingis, but I guess a lot of this is shifted based on expectations. I think a C+ for Derrick Williams is a little lower than I would have given him. He has been erratic, but his good games have far exceeded my minimal expectations for him coming into the season.
    Spot on

    Except disagree with D-Will he's been average, when he's bad or non existent he's bad and non-existent which has canceled out his very good games. Calderon is a D+...laughable that Lopez is a B...Fisher C+ hilarious....Grant too should be a D+...Galloway C+

    Lance is the only player that should have received an A

  5. #5
    Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8,317
    Rep Power
    22

    Default

    Calderon = C-
    AFFlalo = C-
    Melo = C-
    Porzingis = C-
    Our most minute played starters all deserve a C- minus or less for having a 23-29 record.
    Head Coach Fisher = C- for several reasons ..
    1 being not giving Lopez any playing time in 4th qtr. when Lopez = B+
    2 being not knowing what they call a player in a 9 game slump? BENCH-Afflalo!
    3 being making the team into the nightly missing "JUMPSHOT-Knicks club"
    4 being clueless of the best 3 lineups .. offense, defense, and both side of the court lineup

    Grant = B .. u have to luv Grants determination of driving to the lane
    Gallo = B .. u have to luv Gallo rook/vet effort in the 2nd half of the game
    Lance = B .. u have to luv Lance hustle on both sides of the court
    D.Will = B .. u have to luv D.Will movement without the ball
    Quinn = B .. u have to hate Fisher for Quinn DNP plus not putting Quinn n Rolo in the same lineup

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 7
    Last Post: Mar 07, 2012, 19:30
  2. Knicks Midseason Report Card
    By malik singletary in forum NY Knicks
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Jan 24, 2011, 13:34
  3. Knicks Midseason Report Card
    By malik singletary in forum NY Knicks
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jan 23, 2011, 06:38
  4. Frank Isola grades the Knicks players
    By JayJ44 in forum NY Knicks
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Oct 25, 2008, 23:40
  5. Knicks Grades Mid-Season
    By nyKnicks126 in forum NY Knicks
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Jan 28, 2008, 19:02

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •