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Thread: Should Azubuike start?

  1. #1
    Veteran LJ4ptplay's Avatar
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    Default Should Azubuike start?

    Kelenna Azubuike could earn starting role

    The Amare Stoudemire signing will go down as the Knicks’ biggest splash this summer but the haul from Golden State in the David Lee deal could mean just as much to the win column. And Kelenna Azubuike is a big reason why.

    Azubuike, 26, joins the Knicks after a 2009-10 season that was cut short due to a fluky and equally horrifying knee injury in the ninth game of the season. The diagnosis was a torn left patella tendon and even though the injury happened back in November, there’s a chance he won’t be fully recovered from surgery in time for training camp.

    But when he’s healthy, Azubuike provides the Knicks with some much-needed depth at the shooting guard position with a real shot of beating Wilson Chandler for the starting gig. Why? Simply put, Azubuike can shoot and Chandler can’t.

    Azubuike boasts a career .409 3-point percentage in his four seasons in the league, giving the Knicks a far superior spot-up weapon on the perimeter than Chandler who had a miserable shooting campaign last season. Among qualified wing players, Chandler shot a league-worst 28.1% on his 89 open catch-and-shoot jump shots last season according to video data from Synergy Sports Technology (the average shooter posts about 42% in such situations).

    Sure, Chandler can create off the dribble and look smooth doing it but Azubuike’s spot-up game is tailor made for Mike D'Antoni's system that relies on kickouts from the pick-and-roll. This is not to say that Chandler, 23, can’t develop a 3-point shot down the road but the Knicks won’t exhibit as much patience going forward now that they have some efficient alternatives. Stylistically, Azubuike gives them what they need and now.

    What’s more, despite a 6-5 frame, Azubuike ranks as one of the top rebounding two guards in the league thanks to his strength and toughness in the paint -- but it doesn't hurt that he wields a nearly 40-inch vertical leap. The average shooting guard, according to Hoopdata.com, grabs seven percent of available rebounds but Azuibuke has collected nine percent over his career, not to mention six boards per 36 minutes of playing time. In other words, he’s not grabbing rebounds because there are more missed shots in the speedy style of Warrior basketball -- he can really pull them down.

    The former Kentucky Wildcat can also function as the late-game stopper the Knicks sorely need at the guard position. Azubuike was the diamond in the rough in Golden State, often assigned the opponent's top scoring threat on the perimeter. By using his toughness and lateral quickness, Azubuike was one of the league’s top isolation defenders in his last full season in 2008-09, holding his man to just 0.70 points per possession on isolation sets (league average is 0.86 PPP).

    All in all, Azubuike’s a fine rotation player and has the chops to start in New York where they need a true two guard. But it all comes down to the stability of his left knee. Above all else, he’ll need to prove his knee is fully recovered from months of rehab if he wants to beat Chandler for the starting spot. Azubuike should thrive in D’Antoni’s uptempo system and he’ll provide some competition for shooting guard minutes along with Chandler and Bill Walker. It would be a shame if his knee injury sidetracks an otherwise promising career, but with an expiring contract, the Knicks can cut bait after the season without long-term salary repercussions. On the hook for a little more than $3 million next season, Azubuike is a low-risk investment who could really surprise on the big stage.

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    If Azubuike is 100% healthy he should be our starting SG. Chandler shot 27% from 3 last season and according to this article he shot a league-worst 28.1% on his 89 open catch-and-shoot jump shots. I like Chandler but he is a liability at the SG position. He should be playing SF or even PF.

    If he is not healthy and we do not make a trade for Fernandez, we are going to be hurting at SG this year.

    One thing that is positive, is regardless of who starts (Chandler or Azubuike) we will have one of the better defensive backcourts in the league. That will be nice for a change.

  2. #2
    Member Ewing's Avatar
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    If we don't get another SG, he's in the pole position to take the spot.

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    Nyk Logo He is a starter!

    Azi will be our starting shooting guard as soon as his knee allows him. Chandler has no energy and no heart. Azi can shoot , defend and grab rebounds. Chandler is gone next year.

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    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LJ4ptplay
    If Azubuike is 100% healthy he should be our starting SG. Chandler shot 27% from 3 last season and according to this article he shot a league-worst 28.1% on his 89 open catch-and-shoot jump shots. I like Chandler but he is a liability at the SG position. He should be playing SF or even PF.

    If he is not healthy and we do not make a trade for Fernandez, we are going to be hurting at SG this year.

    One thing that is positive, is regardless of who starts (Chandler or Azubuike) we will have one of the better defensive backcourts in the league. That will be nice for a change.
    I agree with LJ, if he is 100% healthy then he is our best bet to start at SG.
    He is athletic, good in the fast break, can play good perimeter defense(was assigned to the best offensive player when in GS), and most of all his outside shot is much better than Chandler's. Chandler is out of position at the two and the only advantage would be his height at 6'8 but we need speed and offense at the 2, Chandler would be a solid role player/ sixth man of the bench.

    Felton
    Azabuke
    Gallo
    Amare
    Turiaf/Randolph?

    pretty good but what makes us better is the bench:
    Chandler
    Walker
    Douglas
    Randolph?
    Mozgov
    Fields
    Rautins
    Jordan

    we have 11 guys that can play right from the start, the only projects right now that should not get minutes are Rautins and Jordan because of how raw they are.

    We have a solid bench and a lineup that can take advantage of every aspect of the game...offense, defense, rebounding, steals, blocks, passing...etc

  5. #5
    Veteran mafra's Avatar
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    I think so.

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    Azubuike boasts a career .409 3-point percentage in his four seasons in the league, giving the Knicks a far superior spot-up weapon on the perimeter than Chandler who had a miserable shooting campaign last season. Among qualified wing players, Chandler shot a league-worst 28.1% on his 89 open catch-and-shoot jump shots last season according to video data from Synergy Sports Technology (the average shooter posts about 42% in such situations).

    What’s more, despite a 6-5 frame, Azubuike ranks as one of the top rebounding two guards in the league thanks to his strength and toughness in the paint -- but it doesn't hurt that he wields a nearly 40-inch vertical leap. The average shooting guard, according to Hoopdata.com, grabs seven percent of available rebounds but Azuibuke has collected nine percent over his career, not to mention six boards per 36 minutes of playing time. In other words, he’s not grabbing rebounds because there are more missed shots in the speedy style of Warrior basketball -- he can really pull them down.

    The former Kentucky Wildcat can also function as the late-game stopper the Knicks sorely need at the guard position. Azubuike was the diamond in the rough in Golden State, often assigned the opponent's top scoring threat on the perimeter. By using his toughness and lateral quickness, Azubuike was one of the league’s top isolation defenders in his last full season in 2008-09, holding his man to just 0.70 points per possession on isolation sets (league average is 0.86 PPP).

    =========
    There you have it. He is the right size; athletic; he can hit the 3, run the floor, rebound and play defense.

    PERFECT compliment to Felton-Gallo-STAT.

    He'll be our R-Bell. He'll help take us from a 35 win team to a 40+ win team if he can really fill the starting SG role.

    Walker will be more like a scoring force off the bench. While Chandler will be a PF in some sets (our Marion type), and the leader of the 2nd unit.

    Azubuike just completes the picture really. PG in Felton.... Check. Stud PF in STAT. Centers in Randolph or Turiaf, and scoring sniper SF in Gallo.

    Azu, if healthy, might be a pleasant surprise!

  6. #6
    Superstar elcol's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mafra
    I think so.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Azubuike boasts a career .409 3-point percentage in his four seasons in the league, giving the Knicks a far superior spot-up weapon on the perimeter than Chandler who had a miserable shooting campaign last season. Among qualified wing players, Chandler shot a league-worst 28.1% on his 89 open catch-and-shoot jump shots last season according to video data from Synergy Sports Technology (the average shooter posts about 42% in such situations).

    What’s more, despite a 6-5 frame, Azubuike ranks as one of the top rebounding two guards in the league thanks to his strength and toughness in the paint -- but it doesn't hurt that he wields a nearly 40-inch vertical leap. The average shooting guard, according to Hoopdata.com, grabs seven percent of available rebounds but Azuibuke has collected nine percent over his career, not to mention six boards per 36 minutes of playing time. In other words, he’s not grabbing rebounds because there are more missed shots in the speedy style of Warrior basketball -- he can really pull them down.

    The former Kentucky Wildcat can also function as the late-game stopper the Knicks sorely need at the guard position. Azubuike was the diamond in the rough in Golden State, often assigned the opponent's top scoring threat on the perimeter. By using his toughness and lateral quickness, Azubuike was one of the league’s top isolation defenders in his last full season in 2008-09, holding his man to just 0.70 points per possession on isolation sets (league average is 0.86 PPP).

    =========
    There you have it. He is the right size; athletic; he can hit the 3, run the floor, rebound and play defense.

    PERFECT compliment to Felton-Gallo-STAT.

    He'll be our R-Bell. He'll help take us from a 35 win team to a 40+ win team if he can really fill the starting SG role.

    Walker will be more like a scoring force off the bench. While Chandler will be a PF in some sets (our Marion type), and the leader of the 2nd unit.

    Azubuike just completes the picture really. PG in Felton.... Check. Stud PF in STAT. Centers in Randolph or Turiaf, and scoring sniper SF in Gallo.

    Azu, if healthy, might be a pleasant surprise!
    100% ! this guy looked like a smart move from the organization from the beginning

  7. #7
    is the Bo$$ Toons's Avatar
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    bin saying this all along

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    OG GoKnIcKsDLEE42's Avatar
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    We need Azubuike's fire off the bench. Chandler coming off the bench does us no good. As good a player Will can be, he's got no spark. Azubuike's shooting and Randolph's athleticism will be the perfect pieces to our bench, with a starting lineup of:

    Felton
    Chandler
    Gallinari
    Amar'e
    Turiaf

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    It would be hard for him to take Chandler's spot at the 2 especially if Chandler is playing well. Mike D'Antoni right now is very high on Chandler.

  10. #10
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    Well in D'antoni's perspective, the greatest strength Azubuike has over Chandler is aggressiveness, heart, and toughness. But I think he'll give Chandler a chance to start off the season like in preseason. He'll experiment with that and if it doesn't go well, he'll than move Walker or Azubuike. I do wish Walker or Chandler can prevail over Azubuike cause they have higher potentials.

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    Veteran LJ4ptplay's Avatar
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    Bumped...we've been talking too much about Isiah and players not currently on the Knicks roster lately.

    I'm excited about this season. Especially if Azubuike comes back at 100%.





    If he's healthy and ready to go, he should be our starting SG. A Felton/Azubuike backcourt is probably one of the better defensive backcourts in the league. A lineup of:

    PG-Felton
    SG-Azubuike
    SF-Gallo
    PF-Amare
    C-Randolph

    w/ Douglas, Mason, Chandler and Turiaf off the bench


    That is a good lineup with a good mix of offense and defense. I can't wait for the season to get started.

  12. #12
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    Default The Trio from Golden State

    Although Chief's unwarranted pessimism interferes with my unwarranted optimism, we are indeed putting a lot of hope in the three players Golden State "gave" us just so that they could sign Lee for $80M. Are we expecting too much from what a team like the Warriors abandoned?

    Well, I intend to continue to be an optimist because it is more fun than the alternative, no matter how realistic. I admit, however, that I have routinely harbored high expectations in the preseasons past, only to be just as routinely disappointed.

    Whenever I have seen Azubuike play, I have been very impressed and Randolph is freakishly athletic for an almost 7 footer. Turiaf is solid.

    I am sure we will see quite a bit of Azubuike, his health permitting. But I also expect there is a place for Chandler. And, in apparent agreement with LJ4PtPlay, I think that we will see extended periods of Amar'e, Randolph and Gallo on the floor together, at least when the opposition's 5 is not a beast such as Dwight Howard. I am hoping Gallo comes back substantially bigger and stronger.

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    Originally Posted by Big C
    It would be hard for him to take Chandler's spot at the 2 especially if Chandler is playing well. Mike D'Antoni right now is very high on Chandler.
    D'Antoni is high on Chandler, but D'Antoni also likes having good shooters in his system - and Azibuike definitely is a much better shooter than Chandler is.

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    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GoKnIcKsDLEE42
    We need Azubuike's fire off the bench. Chandler coming off the bench does us no good. As good a player Will can be, he's got no spark. Azubuike's shooting and Randolph's athleticism will be the perfect pieces to our bench, with a starting lineup of:

    Felton
    Chandler
    Gallinari
    Amar'e
    Turiaf
    Chandler MIGHT start at SG until Azabuke is 100% healthy again but i gurantee that Chandler will turn into our sixth man once Azabuke is completely healthy.

    Azabuke is a pure 2 guard who can play great perimeter defense, block shots, is faster than chandler and has a much better outside shot than Chandler will ever have. PLUS Chandler is playing out of position at the two...he is best at the 3(SF).

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    elcol says it best. shooting guard is azubuike first position, unlike chandler, and he was a starter. Chandler will be fine off the bench.

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