Friday, May 13, 2011

Wilson Chandler...again??

Finals are over and now I can get my blood pressure back to an elevated level completely induced by the Knicks offseason. The first nugget that came to my attention was that according to the NY Post, the Knicks would be interested in re-acquiring Wilson Chandler, who is a restricted free agent. Chandler was sent to Denver at the trade deadline for the savior of the franchise, Carmelo Anthony. Reading the headline I though to myself, ok, Chandler could provide some depth and is an adequate option at the small forward position.

Oh, but it wouldn't be the Knicks without the ensuing information. The Knicks would look to acquire Chandler via a sign and trade by sending none other than Landry Fields to the Nuggets.
A post today was offered by David Berri showing who the most valuable player on each team was the previous season and what that team would look like if the most productive player was replaced with an average one.

This is a good starting point for this possible trade. Wilson Chandler profiles to be about an average small forward, his natural position. Landry Fields was the Knicks most productive player last season and essentially the swap of players takes the Knicks from 43 win team as constituted now into a 34 win team. Of course on the other side of the coin, Carmelo and Amar'e now have a full offseason to "Co-exist together"

The Knicks of today look like a lock for the next 5-6 years to win about 41 games and get bounced in the first round every year. Along the way firing the coaches for not winning with the alleged superstars in Amar'e and Carmelo. Trading Landry Fields for Wilson Chandler essentially gurantees another lost era in Knicks history. Over the salary cap, in the lottery every year, but with no draft picks. Donnie - Please don't do it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

What does it mean?

The Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony tonight and New York is blowing up with anticipation for Wednesday's game and his debut. The question to ask is, does this make the Knicks better?

Let's look at the pieces the Knicks gave up and the players that will be coming back. Using wins produced per 48 minutes and overall wins produced we can see what we can expect from the Knicks down the stretch. (Average wp48 ~.100)

To Denver:
Wilson Chandler
Raymond Felton
Danilo Gallinari
Timofey Mozgov + Draft picks

To Knicks:
Carmelo Anthony
Chauncey Billups
Shelden Williams
Anthony Carter
Renaldo Balkman

The breakdown of performance goes as follows

Wilson Chandler (at the small forawrd position) .110 wp48 ~ 4.1 wins produced
Raymond Felton .123 wp48 ~5.3 wins produced
Danilo Gallinari .111 wp48 ~3.9 wins produced
Timofey Mozgov -.081 wp 48 ~.8 wins produced

The collection of this talent, assuming Chandler plays the small forward position instead of the power forward is a group that has amassed 14.5 wins. The group the Knicks will be getting back goes as follows

Carmelo Anthony .143 wp48 ~5.3 wins produced
Chauncey Billups .150 wp48 ~5.1 wins produced
Shelden Williams .091 wp48 ~1.4 wins produced

Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter do not figure to play that much and won't be included. Although in the small amounts of minutes both players were in the negative range of production. The collection of players that the Knicks get back on the year have accumulated 11.8 Wins produced. On the surface it appears that the trade has not made the Knicks any better and in fact may be a bit worse off. The key for New York though is not losing Landry Fields. Denver reportedly had the choice of either Gallinari or Fields and decided on Gallinari. Fields has priduced 10.4 wins this season and is pacing the Knicks in this department.

Chauncey Billups has made it known that he does not want to play in New York and I fear he may be shipped somewhere else for a lesser calibur player and therefore depleting the Knicks talent base even less.

The media is stunned that Carmelo is New York. I am a little less optimistic and I would even say pessimistic about it going forward.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Knicks at the All-Star break

The Knicks sit at 28-26 at the break and most "experts" had picked the Knicks to be about a .500 team. The interesting thing is that the talking heads are right for all the wrong reasons. The common opinion held was that Amar'e Stoudemire + the other guys would get New York back to respectabilty again. As it has turned out, according to the Wins Produced metric the Knicks have been taken to .500 by rookie Landry Fields + the other guys. Landry Fields has emerged as one of the biggest surprise stories of the year. Although at the Wages of Wins blog Landry Fields was projected to have a .212 Wins Produced per 48 minutes (average being .100 WP48). What may come as a surprise to most people is how close Amar'e Stoudemire has been to that .100 WP48 number. Perception in the NBA is driven entirely by scoring numbers and Stoudemire's 26.2 points per game have thrust him into the popularity contest that is the MVP award as well as starting in the all-star game.

Knicks Wins Produced at the All-Star game

The other wrinkle into the Knicks at the all-star break is the likely acquistion of Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets. Anthony has been described as the best pure scorer in the league, a top-10 player in the league, a top 5 player in the league. This is not surprising given that Carmelo Anthony scores a lot of points, the other aspects of his game are swept under the rug. Carmelo at the break has a WP48 of .143, fairly consistent with his career norms. Would this improve the Knicks?

It appears the Denver front office is not interested in acquiring Landry Fields because his numbers are "inflated" from playing in D'Antoni's system. On a side note, it seems that a GM of would realize that a rate basis is more important than a sheer number. But I digress, the latest rumor has NY shipping out Wilson Chandler, Gallo, a first round pick and the corpse of Eddy Curry for the "best pure scorer" in the league.

How does this effect the team?

Wilson Chandler + Gallo have been responsible for 5.0 wins this season for the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony has produced 5.3 wins for Denver. It appears the net would not be that great either way, except the Knicks would lose the financial flexibility to add future players given Carmelo and Amare's contract situation. Should Landry Fields + Wilson Chandler be included in the deal the Knicks would be set to ship off 11.5 wins produced for the 5.3 of Carmelo Anthony, or a -6.2 return. Of course this would be a disaster, but it would be blamed on a lack of team chemistry or the coach not focusing on defense!!

It would be the first major clash of analytics versus popular notion. The Knicks would employ two thought of superstars in the league, but the stats tell us that these two players are average to above average. In addition if Landry Fields was included in the deal there would be no hidden value guys to make Carmelo or Amar'e look better by inflating win totals under the radar.

It should be very interesting to see what happens.

Friday, January 21, 2011

NYK at the halfway point

Through the seasons first 41 games the Knicks stand with a record of 22-19 and hold the #6 seed in the Eastern Conference. This is obviously quite a turnaround from a team that has not had a winning record in a decade. The popular notion that most of the reason for the comeback fo the Knicks is that the arrival of Amar'e Stoudemire has propelled this team from the doldrums to at least being competitive. Looking at Wins Produced, the numbers tell a different story. Currently Amar'e has produced 3.2 wins for the Knicks and on a per 48 minute basis produced .102 wins per 48 minutes. The average NBA player will produce .100 wins per 48 (WP48). A little caveat is that Stoudemire has played 75% of his minutes at the center position instead of his normal power forward spot. Although I have no idea why a 6'10 player with incredible strength and speed can't play at the center position.

Who should we credit for the turnaround for the Knicks? According to the numbers by Andres Alvarez Landry Fields currently leads the Knicks in wins produced with 7.9 and following him is Raymond Felton with 4.5 wins. Both players have started every game for the team this year. This is quite a different backcourt than the Knicks featured last year which was comprised of Chris Duhon, Sergio Rodriguez, Larry Hughes, and Tracy McGrady, all of whom were below average performes. Another bright spot has been the improved play of Wilson Chandler, despite playing out of position at the power forward spot his WP48 stands at .062, if he was playing his normal guard/forward, Wilson would be a very much above average performer. The addition of Shawne Williams has helped, and even though he will not continue to shoot 50% from three point land, he should be a productive player. Here is a rundown of every Knick player and their contribution to the cause this season:

Knicks through 41 games

In a separate story with the Nets pulling out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes (which means they will end up acquiring him) the Knicks have turned up as the front runner to attain him. The New York Post is reporting that the Knicks will be prepared to offer Landry Fields, Danilo Galinari, Bill Walker, the Corpse of Eddy Curry, and a first round pick attained for the center piece in the David Lee trade: Anthony Randolph.

The sum of the trade is the Knicks giving up three players 23 and under, cap space, and draft picks for Carmelo Anthony who is past his peak year of age 24-25. Would this be a wise trade?

Caremlo for the Nuggets has netted 3.5 wins this season and a WP48 of .141. Assuming this trade goes through and every player involved stays at the current level of production the swap would be sending 11 wins to Denver between Landry Fields, Gallo, and Bill Walker and the Knicks would acquire 3.5 Wins. The net result being the Knicks would be expected to perform 7.5 wins worse over the course of the next 41 games by completing the trade.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hollinger hates Landry Fields

I was browsing Hollinger's Player Efficency Ratings today and noticed that our man Landry Fields rates below average in his system. It is interesting that Hollinger calls his system the Player Efficency Rating or (PER) as it is more commonly known as because it really has nothing to do with being efficent. As has been chronicled in the past by the Wages of Wins, the PER has no penalty with respects to shooting efficency which is the primary driving force behind Wins Produced per 48 minutes (WP48). Although this should not be surprising since the PER is heavily driven by scoring totals, which is why Landry Fields can be rated as a below average player in this system.

PER average player - 15
Landry Fields- 14.67

WP48 average player- .100
Landry Fields- .296

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What does it say about our country

Tom Haberstoh wrote an article about who is "clutcher" LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. Of course there is great debate to whether a player can raise their game in clutch situations or not and the general consensus is that if this ability does exist, it only is able to raise performance by the tiniest of margins. So, to educated readers, it should come to no surprise that LeBron is more clutch than Kobe, by virtue of being a better - a much better player. Tom Haberstoh agrees

What I find interesting is the comments section of the ESPN page. Despite the evidence that Haberstoh presents, the public doesn't buy it. Here are some of the comments:

"Anyone who claims Lebron is better clearly has not watched these two players play in a meaningful game in the last 5 minuets with the game on the line. There's a reason almost everyone in the NBA will claim Kobe as the best closer of all time."

"statistics for people who don't know what they talking about. Any idiot who use stats as the cruch of his argument is a fool in any walk of life"

"Why do they even do these Kobe/LeBron comparisons. LeBron isn't on Kobe's level. Kobe's always been clutch and has been the ultimate closer. He's still the best"

"Kobe brings to the table much more than numbers. the intangibles and his refuse to lose that makes Kobe the best player in the NBA for the past 6 years."

"The article glaringly forgets to mention that Kobe has been Mr. Clutch in games that actually MEAN the NBA finals. How many clutch shots does Lebron have in the Finals? ZERO because he's never been there."

So I ask the question, what does it say about the American people that despite looking in black and white at who has performed better - they just dismiss it? I don't particularly understand why supporters of Kobe are so obsessed with claiming him as better than LeBron. You never hear LeBron fans casually throw Kobe into the discussion as not being as good as LeBron, but the oppostie side does. Reading the comments on ESPN just serves as a reminder as why people like Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and Rand Paul can be forces in American politics, because of the inability of people to look at facts and analyze and synthesize information.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why scouts are unreliable

Subject A. Timofey Mozgov.

How many times does he get a pass thrown to him in a position to score and he just bumbles it out of bounds? Literally incredible how many. Throughout training camp and the prelude to the season, all I heard was how great the Russian was going to be. So far in 223 minutes he has produced -.9 wins for the Knicks. The reason for this terrible number is just simply - Mozgov does nothing well on the basketball court...nothing.

Amar'e Stoudemire remembered he was Amar'e Stoudemire and is now an above average player! WP48 of .106 (average of .100) Yay Amar'e! He is bringing the pow as of late.

The Knicks currently sit at 10-9, and the summation of wins produced puts them at 9.7, right in line with the 10 wins. That number should go up if D'Antoni would play Landry Fields more often and send Mozgov to Siberia.