Around the League

This is a post that I wrote for Popblerd.com.  Check them out for music, movies, sports, basically everything.  Popblerd also started an around the league facebook page that I’m a part of so like the Roundball Soundoff Facebook page!

The NY Knicks are 4-0 for the first time since the 93-94 season. They are the only undefeated team in the NBA and played a lineup consisting of veterans Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace and Jason Kidd…in 2012. They are winning by an average of 17 points a game even though their opponents have a 13-2 record against other teams. I wouldn’t have believed any of these things would have happened if you’d told me a few weeks ago.

Boston is having a harder with their new pieces than expected. They are 3-3, with 2 of their wins coming in the last few seconds of the game. On the bright side for the Celtics, Rajon Rondo just had his 30th straight game with at least 10 assists; 3rd all time to Magic Johnson – 44 and John Stockton – 37.

The team many dubbed the best team in New York is 2-2 and have been wildly inconsistent, winning by 30 and losing by 20 in the same week. And in case you missed it, The Nets have a ridiculous mascot. Continue reading

PER and the NYK


Four games into the season and the New York Knicks are still undefeated. I have to admit, I’ve never been this excited about a Knicks team. The last time they started this strongly (1993-94), I was seven, so it makes sense. Usually, with teams who seem like they can’t keep up a great start (sorry, but it’s true), the underlying numbers make the case. With the Knicks, however, I’m not so sure. Let’s examine some NBA metrics to try to make a conclusion about this New York team.

Player Efficiency Rating (PER
This statistic, pioneered by ESPN’s John Hollinger, has become the poster-stat for basketball metric fans everywhere. Basically, it explains how effective a certain player is while on the court, taking into account a variety of factors. Currently, New York’s own Carmelo Anthony is ranked fourth in PER, mostly due to a very high Usage Rate (simply, how often he gets the ball on offense – ‘Melo leads the league) and the fact that he plays 36 minutes a game, third most in the top ten (behind Kobe and Kevin Durant).

The worrying part of this equation is Anthony’s poor True Shooting Percentage (TS%, what a player’s percentage would be with free throws and three pointers included, then adjusted). His .546 is by far lowest in the top ten, and the only person lower than him in the top-23 is Brook Lopez (who, in my opinion, kind of sucks). This is partially attributed to his poor free throw shooting early in the year, which should improve. I think Melo’s PER should hover around fifth in the league for most of the year, strictly due to the aforementioned Usage Rate. Continue reading

KNICKS ARE 4-0, as New York’s attempt to throw the game from the free throw line was denied!!!

Congratulations Dallas!!! Why am I congratulating Dallas? They are the first team to actually beat the spread against the Knicks (I am assuming the Knicks are now favored by 20 points every night). They are also the first team to actually put up a real fight against the Knicks. This game was close most of the way especially through the first three quarters. I was actually getting scared especially midway through the 2nd quarter when the Knicks could not hit a 3 and the Mavs pulled up by 9. The Knicks ended up pulling away in the end thanks to tough D, JR Smith and, of course, new and improved Super Melo. Here are my thoughts:

  • I have to hand it to Dallas they did a wonderful job defending the Knicks uncontested free throws. The Knicks missed 12 tonight including 4 in a row by Melo and 4 in a row by Felton.
  • Last season it was especially frustrating to see how hard the Knicks had to work for every basket. It has been nice to have real point guards this season. It has also been nice to watch how hard their opponents’ have had to work for each basket.
  • If you told me ahead of time Knicks would miss 12 free throws, Felton would shoot 3-11 and Melo would be in foul trouble all night I would have assumed this would be a loss.
  • High props to JR for stepping up when Melo went out with foul trouble and to Melo for playing hard even when in foul trouble.
  • Statistically the Knicks defense was the worst when JR was on the floor last season. I haven’t checked the official statistics but I cannot imagine that trend has continued this season as JR has looked pretty darn good so far on defense.
  • I loved the fact that near the end of the 4th when the Knicks needed to score Melo was extremely aggressive about taking it to the basket.
  • At one point when the Knicks were up by 12 in the 4th, JR took one of his patented terribly inefficient shots – and missed. I think it was Frazier who basically said let’s excuse that stupid shot because he has played so well tonight. Continue reading