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Thread: RED'S Quarter-Season Analysis

  1. #1
    TYPE-A Red's Avatar
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    Nyk Logo RED'S Quarter-Season Analysis

    With a quarter of the 2012-2013 season finished and in the books this is how the numbers stack up.

    At 15-5, the Knicks have the best record in the Eastern Conference, our best 20 game start since 95-96.

    They say it's not how you start but how you finish. In fact, "finish" is a big mantra by another team in town, the New York Giants. The Giants have 2 Superbowl titles in the last 5 years and both have the common factor of finishing strong in the face of adversity. The Knicks should understand that there is still room for improvement.

    We have a league leading 6 wins by 20 or more points.

    Hiring Coach Woodson full time was a topic of controversy since his takeover of the lifeless Knicks. The old Knicks lacked defensive intensity and cohesion among other things. Using the same exact roster with limitations apparent, Coach Woodson has turned water into wine. The roster and tweaks made over the off-season have reflected the changes Coach Woodson wanted and the team needed. We had potential, but as time has told us, we needed the right coach.

    18-1 at home since Coach Woodson took over.

    Can you believe that stat? There was a time when teams would fear coming to the Garden. That all changed when instead of teams staying awake at night with the impending rugged Knick team in wait, teams began staying awake at night partying and living it up knowing those Knicks had no chance. The Garden became the enemy's stage to show off. That has all changed.

    The Knicks are ranked better offensively than defensively. They are ninth in points allowed and fifth in scoring average.

    Part of the formula for success in any league is to rank amongst the best in offense and defense. Teams have won without being the very best, but one compliments the other. There was a time when arguments over what the high offensive rating meant in relation to the Knicks poor defense and rebounding. Just as coach Woodson proved he was the better answer, so too have the stats proved, no matter how many low percentage shots were taken and made in seven seconds or less; it means absolutely nothing without the defense. Hello?!

    The Knicks have whipped the Heat twice, and won a rugged road game in San Antonio. They have soared 10 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2000-01 season, are the NBA’s lone unbeaten team at home and own the best record in the Eastern Conference at 15-5.

    With 20 games in, this is no fools gold. As per the winning formula, win the majority of home games and go at least .500 on the road has been preached by Coach many times. Those wins against the top teams helps put things into perspective. When the Knicks beat the Sixers twice in back to back games early in the season, there was the observation that the Sixers were short staffed missing Bynum. What has happened since added validity to who the Knicks are. In other words, Bynum probably wouldn't have helped much.

    They're No. 2 in the league in offensive efficiency behind only the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    When I think of efficiency I think of our leaders Chandler, Kidd, and Melo. All have contributed to the efficient manner in which the Knicks go about their business. Part of this is due to coach Woodson intentionally slowing down the offense and designing plays that showcase our strengths- size and IQ. We are versatile which is something no one saw but many fans have dreamed about. We can go P & R, or we can shoot the lights out. It's pick your poison, and you can't spell that (unless you add the e) without poise. Jason Kidd and co. are cool calm and collected.

    Entering play Monday, Kidd had the second-best assist to turnover ratio in the NBA and the second-highest 3-point field goal percentage (50%). He also had the best true shooting percentage (a percentage that accounts for free-throws and 3-points) among NBA guards.

    We had the fewest turnovers in the league and the top assist to turnover ratio guards with Kidd and Felton. Turnovers will kill any team, and I for one was tired of us beating ourselfs.

    Tyson Chandler The All-Star candidate is now averaging a fraction off a double-double — 12.8 and 9.9 rebounds — while shooting 71 percent.

    I recall imploring our old coach to use our assets like Tyson Chandler more. Unfortunately it was a rookie point guard that figured this out and not our coach. Maybe that was because he was from Harvard.

    Anthony ranks third in the NBA in scoring at 26.8 points per game, and his 56.9 true shooting percentage -- a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws -- is a career-high, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

    Melo as any star was open for criticism, he couldn't do enough. Although myself and others reminded detractors of him being the only talent who wasn't afraid to show up when it counted, that didn't matter. The biggest knock on Melo was his isolation prowess that some claimed interfered with the offense and his inefficient play with inferior teammates. Well thanks to coach Woodson and his influence in bringing in new qualified talent as well as molding Melo into a better leader; Melo is now a bona fide MVP candidate.

    Yes Knick fans the time has come to put the league on notice, our wait is over. I won't predict a chip or go overboard, and really to be in the hunt for a chip is all a fan could ask for. Thanks go out to our Coach and front office.

    I want to also thank Coach D'antoni... if anything he made it so obvious what we needed. So much so that it couldn't be ignored. We still have a ways to go and still haven't added everyone to our formula. There is no doubt Coach Woodson can and will achieve meshing our entire squad. To question that after our 1/4 season accomplishment, is just foolish.



    Sources: ESPN, NYPost.com, NBA.com

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    TYPE-A Red's Avatar
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    We lead the league in 3pt attempted and made.

    For all the justifiable awe their 3-point barrages generate -- how Mike D'Antoni must wish he could have brought just one of those shooters with him to L.A. -- perhaps we should be even more impressed with the fact mighty Miami has averaged a mere 88 points in two L's to the Knicks.
    We are now #3 in the Power Rankings.

    This was written in November.

    Are the Knicks for real?

    Omar Shaik16. November 2012 19:03

    While it's still early in the NBA season, the New York Knicks have looked very impressive so far. Their performance is even more impressive when you factor in the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy on the NYC metropolitan area, prompting the cancellation of the Knicks' season opener against the Brooklyn Nets. Indeed, when the Knicks finally got on the court and blew out the Miami Heat, I wondered whether their energetic, feisty performance was a cathartic release of the city's frustration stemming from the hurricane. New Yorkers were in misery, and the Knicks were determined to give them something to celebrate.

    As the Knicks continued to blow out 2011 playoff teams, my original hypothesis became increasingly less likely. No, the Knicks aren't simply playing hard for the beleaguered Sandy victims; they simply are very good. They are dominating on both ends, coming in first in Points Scored per 100 possessions and second in Points Allowed per 100 possessions through six games. They were the first team in the last 25 years to start 5-0 with double-digit victories. After narrowly defeating the Spurs on the road in a tough, playoff-like atmosphere, their average margin of victory is now 13.67 points, which is the best differential in the NBA. They are winning by the largest average margin in the NBA despite having played one of the toughest schedules. Their SRS (Simple Rating System), which incorporates both schedule strength and margin of victory, is an incredibly high 15.13, albeit only through six games. For comparison, the best full season SRS in NBA history belongs to the famous 72-win '96 Bulls, at 11.80.

    Does this mean the Knicks are better than the '96 Bulls? Not even close in all likelihood, but it provides a good indication of just how shockingly dominant they've been in this young season. I say shockingly because it has been my conviction that any team built around Carmelo Anthony, because of his over-commitment to offense and under-commitment to defense, will always have an upper limit on its potential success. This conviction has served me well for the last 9 years, as Anthony's teams have alternated between mild success and unmitigated disaster.

    This year could finally buck this trend. New York brought in multiple reputed defenders that could fit seamlessly into Coach Mike Woodson's defensive system, which was already one of the best defenses in the NBA last year. NBA teams primarily pay for points per game, so players who carry tremendous defensive value can often be signed for bargain-bin prices. Ronnie Brewer holds opposing players to a 36.1% FG%, according to Synergy Sports Technology, yet he's only costing the Knicks $1 million this season. To put Brewer's defense into context, note that All-NBA defender LeBron James is allowing players to shoot 31.3% against him.

    Despite fielding one of the best defenses in the NBA last year, the Knicks parted with some of their worst defenders, such as Mike Bibby, Toney Douglas, and Bill Walker. They replaced them with better defenders in Brewer, Kidd, and Pablo Prigioni. Although Prigioni is new to the NBA, he has held opposing players to a 41% FG% so far, the same as Jason Kidd. The defensive emphasis from Coach Woodson has also influenced notoriously lazy defenders such as Carmelo, Felton, and J.R. Smith to buy in, at least so far. Indeed, Felton is holding opposing players to an even lower FG% than Brewer, at 30.9%, while Carmelo is holding players to a commendable 39%. Even JR Smith has been active defensively, as opposing players shoot 43% against him.

    This defensive solidarity will be tested when Amare Stoudemire returns to action. Last year, the Knicks were significantly better with Carmelo, without Amare (+6.3 differential), than when they played together (-1.8 differential). Amare has suffered from major leg injuries throughout his career, which has sapped his lateral mobility, negatively affecting his defense. It could be a challenge for New York to maintain its league-leading defense with Amare playing extensive minutes. In addition, because some Knicks players are on the wrong side of 35, durability could become a concern, and their defensive tenacity could wane as the season moves along. It is also possible that the players' interest in exerting energy defensively could decline, too. This was a factor in their game against Orlando on Tuesday night, in which Carmelo repeatedly left shooters open and lost his player on back-cuts. This prompted Coach Woodson to call Carmelo over to scold him for these lapses, so it is uncertain whether Carmelo will actually play this level of defense for a whole year.

    Even though the Knicks' defense was built by the GM to last, the offense remains unproven. Many players are scoring more accurately than they ever have. Jason Kidd shot 36% from the field over the last 2 seasons, and is somehow currently shooting 59%. This will not continue. Likewise, Ronnie Brewer is shooting 47% from 3, even though he has always struggled with his jump shot in the past. Ultimately, an offense that features Carmelo (Career FG% = 45.6%), Felton (41.2%), and J.R. Smith (42.8%) taking 50 shots a game is not likely to maintain its current top-7 FG% of 56%. In fact, last year the Knicks shot 44% as a team (18th in the NBA) with many of the same key players, so time will tell if things come back to Earth in New York.

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    Cool What can't we do?

    We are on pace to win 60 games.

    Here are the main questions?

    1. What will we do when players aren't hot and the shots don't drop, or injury?

    So far we've done fine with injury. Our strength in multiple areas is our depth and going 16-5 in 21 games while dealing with major and lingering injuries says we got guys willing to step up... the sign of a good team. Much of our depth can shoot and we have an offense that can create shots both with the iso and ball movement.

    2. How will we gel with 3 Stars on the floor?

    This is the same question MIA and others have had to answer, and the answer is TBD. The good news is that until this point coach Woodson has somewhat controlled this team. Although we do lead in Techs, and Melo with the offensive fouls. Thats partly bad ref"n!

    I also think arguably we have 3 stars on the floor and we're fine and can only get better. We've only been playing a few months together. By May we should be at another level.

    3. Do we have enough size?

    No homo we have size. This is why I say TC being the DPOY is relevant; he is one of the best and our ascension correlates with his arrival. We also have Sheed who's long- and hopefully Camby, KT, and STAT. In relation to the rest of the league we have size to compete and at least two of them can score. The real issue is making sure we get rebounds. Since we shoot so well and kick the ball out, I'm not too worried about our rebounding.

    4. Who will step up and lead?

    Easy- since we have one of the oldest teams it'll be leadership by committee. Everyone has a specialty and job, and everyone knows it. That is one of the most confident lines I wrote.

    I'm thinking of more questions.

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    Evacuee Crazy⑧s's Avatar
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    Great read! You beat me to it, BTW, as I've decided to do a quarterly video blog on the Knicks.

    I especially liked your comment on our size, as I'd not given a lot of thought to that since our perimeter players have been dominating the O.

    + rep for this thread, it's brilliant.

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    TYPE-A Red's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Crazy⑧s
    Great read! You beat me to it, BTW, as I've decided to do a quarterly video blog on the Knicks.

    I especially liked your comment on our size, as I'd not given a lot of thought to that since our perimeter players have been dominating the O.

    + rep for this thread, it's brilliant.
    Thanks, now go to work!

    I'm researching more stats.

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    Thumbs up We dat TEAM

    Playing at .750 using a 48 minute halfcourt-offense makes us a dangerous postseason team ..
    Imagine the dynamics when Woody design an uptempo format (Kidd's help) when we add
    a healthy Camby/Amare/Shump to the rotation before midseason ..
    we become that TEAM everyone expects to knock Miami out of the ECF...

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    BALL DON'T LIE MeloforMayor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kiyaman
    Playing at .750 using a 48 minute halfcourt-offense makes us a dangerous postseason team ..
    Imagine the dynamics when Woody design an uptempo format (Kidd's help) when we add
    a healthy Camby/Amare/Shump to the rotation before midseason ..
    we become that TEAM everyone expects to knock Miami out of the ECF...
    I got the heeby jeebies when you mentioned Camby, Amar'e and Shump. Sheed, how much more can our team improve if they are integrated properly into the rotation. I'm really anxious to see what kind of game plan we have for the playoffs. Championship teams always have a different strategy come playoff time.

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    The great thing about this team is all the veterans on it. They've been through a number of systems, they know what works and what doesn't. What if the 3's aren't falling, then we get Melo on the block, or we run a pick and roll and find someone on the weakside. These guys have been through the wars, they know their roles, Tyson knows he's not putting up 15 footers, he knows he's there to set picks, run interference and then roll to the cup. Kidd knows he can run the offense, set a pick here or there and spot up. Felton will run our pick and roll, spot up, draw and attack. Easy to coach, you have a few coaches on the floor in melo, Kidd and Sheed out there. Toss in a matured JR Smith....amazing, things are going well.

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    Member Nyknicks141's Avatar
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    This was the best possible senario for the Knicks this season. Everything seems to be perfect, and we're not even done yet. Amare and Shumpert are on their way back, and if Amare goes back to the Amare of 2 years ago, we can be unstoppable. Shumpert will definitely fit in, but worst case senario with Stoudemire would be to take him out of the line up and have him on the bench. So if you think about it, the team we have now + Shumpert is our worst possible team when everyone is healthy. Meaning, if Amare doesn't do well i wouldn't mind settling for this team we have now.

    The team is working, it's now on Amare to fit in. And this is exactly what we need.

    Additionally, Coach Mike Woodson has completely changed the attitiude of this team, which is why we are winning.

    I don't think we've had a huge lead and blew it, but we have had some great comebacks. We've had some games where we played terrible and still won. I would say this is a good sign. Everything is in our hands.

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