Here are my favorite pieces of analysis.
The Offense will have to ChangeNBA Playbook broke down the Knicks' offense, and the offensive games of Carmelo, Stoudamire and Billups using video and advanced stats to conclude:
"as presently constructed I just don’t see the Knicks offense working with the roster that is now in place after the trade."Essentially, the arguments are that Billups looks to hold onto the ball too much after the pick and roll, Anthony likes to post up more than the Knicks have run, and in particular, Stoudamire is a liability working off the ball with another post because he keeps shading to the ball, messing up the spacing.
I think the author here is onto something: the Knicks cannot run the same offense now that their three best players are Stoudamire, Anthony and Billups, in that order as when it was Stoudamire, Felton and depending on the night, Gallinari or Felton.
This is on each of the three veterans, and D'Antoni, in a big way. Can the coach teach Stoudamire how to cut and stay on the weak side? Billups to improve on the pick-and-roll? Anthony to pass out of the post? As much attention as Amare and Anthony each attract from defenses when they have the ball in their hands, the other one should be salivating about the open looks and lanes to the hoop he'll get. There should be plenty of open threes for Billups, Fields and Williams.
Yes, it'll be a different offense, but it should still be a very good one.
But There's Little Upside?As usual, if you want nuanced numberical analysis, Nate Silver crushes the field, arguing that the Knicks, by trading away so many cheap assets, severely limited their growth potential.
Given his premise of:
The economics of the N.B.A. dictate that there are only two ways to build an elite team:He concludes:1. Acquire players who produce above-average value relative to the salaries they are making.
2. Exploit the loopholes in the salary cap so that you spend more money than other teams.
The trade is being billed as a high-risk move. But in some ways it is just the opposite, seeming to lock the Knicks in to roughly 50 wins over the next handful of seasons — not a lot more, not a lot less — under most of the more realistic scenarios.Contrast Silver's careful analysis with Mike Vaccaro's take in the Post that acquiring Anthony makes the Knicks "closer" to a championship with less focus on the costs involved. Vaccaro repeated this point, that it moves the Knicks "closer" in a very civil twitter exchange with me as well.
... the trade that [the Knicks] did make was extravagant from the perspective of opportunity cost.
I don't think my girl knows it yet, but we're watching the Knicks on Wednesday night. Or at least I am. She's welcome to join, or just shake her head at me; both responses would be reasonable.