Shouldn’t the New York Knicks have a better record?

Last month the New York Knicks began their first full season with the frontcourt of so-called superstars SF Carmelo Anthony and PF Amare Stoudamire.  The team then added the win producing center Tyson Chandler to that frontcourt, and PG Mike Bibby to the backcourt.  Yet the team has a lower winning percentage than they had at the end of last season.  What gives?

Using Marginal Win Score, I calculated the winning percentages produced by each NY Knick performer and projected them out over 66 games.  (See “GLOSSARY” page in the “Courtside Reading” column on the right hand side of this blog).  Here are the numbers I produced:


New York WS DWS MWS W% W66 W>0.5 V66
T Chandler 16.74 11.01 2.86 0.989 10.1__0.1 4.1 13.2
C Anthony 9.55 6.87 1.34 0.729 6.6__2.4 2.1 7.7
L Fields 5.23 4.77 0.23 0.541 4.5__3.9 0.3 4.8
I Shumpert 3.44 2.42 0.51 0.589 3.5__2.5 0.9 4.4
J Harrelson 11.09 11.16 -0.03 0.497 2.7__2.7 0.1 2.8
A Stoudamire 7.36 9.24 -0.94 0.343 2.3__4.3 -1.1 1.2
B Walker 4.55 6.05 -0.75 0.375 2.0__3.4 -0.7 1.3
R Balkman 12.88 11.26 0.81 0.639 1.1__0.6 0.2 1.3
S Novak 3.82 8.38 -2.27 0.116 0.2__1.1 -0.5 -0.3
M Bibby 4.62 10.05 -2.71 0.042 0.2__3.4 -1.6 -1.4
J Jeffries 1.99 7.48 -2.74 0.036 0.0__1.3 -0.6 -0.6
T Douglas -0.46 9.37 -4.91 -0.331 (-2.2)__8.8 -5.5 -7.7

Reasons the NY Knicks are not better

1. Carmelo and Stoudamire are not “superstars”

Carmelo Anthony is playing at his normal, above average level.  He has never posted elite win statistics at any point in his career.  The fact that he is not doing so this season should come as no surprise.   Stoudamire used to be a superstar or near superstar.  Since his knee injury, he has not been, and since he came to New York his winning percentage has been below 0.500%.  It has gotten slightly worse this season.

2. Fields bubble burst

Last season Landry Fields finished among the Top 20 Most Valuable Players in the NBA, according to Marginal Win Score.  That was a shocking outcome, because his college resume did not suggest he could post such outstanding statistical numbers.  Thus, I expected him to come back down to Earth this season and he has so far.  His decline accounts in large measure for the Knicks dreary beginning.

3. Toney Douglas is playing horribly.

Last season PG Toney Douglas was a slightly below 0.500% performer.  This season, he has been awful,as the Win Chart shows.  Douglas is getting outperformed by his counterpart PG to such an extent that he is not merely creating losses, he is actually taking wins away from the Knicks.  The Knicks wised up to this and have given the PG job to the rookie Iman Shumpert.  Shumpert looks like a good defender, so the team could see some improvement at that position.

4. Mike Bibby is shot

If the team expected a major contribution from G Mike Bibby, they did not look at his recent performances.  Last season Bibby was a below 0.500% win producer in both Atlanta and Miami.  So his “performance ceiling” was not very high to begin with.  To make matters worse, it appears as though his “performance floor” has gone down substantially.  At the moment he is playing neither defense nor offense.  He could rally to the point that he would bring himself up to last season’s below average standard, but I am not optimistic that he will.


Tyson Chandler is playing at maximum efficiency.  Carmelo is playing like Carmelo, and I would not expect to see Amare play much better than he is playing.  So the Knicks hope for a play-off berth rests, I believe, in the hands of Landry Fields and the aforementioned Iman Shumpert.  Those are the two players who could improve their play to the point that the team really starts advancing.  If neither one does so, the team may not make the postseason, and that would qualify as a major disappointment for Knick fans.


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One Response to “Shouldn’t the New York Knicks have a better record?”

  1. Jeremy Lin benefiting from a massive “substitution effect” « COURTSIDE ANALYST Says:

    […] basketball when he’s in there and healthy.  The thing that was holding the Knicks back, and I illustrated it earlier in the season, was their incredibly poor play from the point guard […]

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