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Tag:Amar'e Stoudemire
Posted on: July 8, 2010 1:24 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 7:57 pm
 

LeBrocalypse: Dolan challenges/takes shot at LBJ

Posted by Matt Moore

 Alan Hahn was at the presser for the introduction of Amar'e Stoudemire today in New York, and caught this very interesting comment from James Dolan:

Dolan: "It takes courage to play where the lights shine brightest."

Maybe that's just a benign soundbite to fill the time. Or maybe it's a challenge to LeBron to accept his fate as the biggest star in the world and that he should embrace the responsibility of being that star. Or, it could be that Dolan expects him to go elsewhere and wants to get a potshot in at James for not opting for the Big Apple. Oh, what a tangled web you weave, Knickerbockers!



Posted on: July 7, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 11:02 am
 

If Bosh goes Heat, what does LeBron do?

If the numerous reports out there are accurat e, and they've been confirmed by just about every major outlet on the planet, then Chris Bosh is joining Dwyane Wade on South Beach for one heck of a party. But as the tango starts up in Miami (it takes two, you see), we're going to have to turn our attention almost immediately back to where our eyes have been glued all along.

What does LeBron James do now?

With both of the significant power forward options off the market assuming Bosh is a done deal, James' decision becomes somehow simpler and more complicated. Our own Ken Berger reports that he's a near-lock to announce he's returning to Cleveland tomorrow during his one-hour ego boost. But James has to be taking a good long look at his options before committing to anything.

LeBron was expected to be the catalyst, but instead Joe Johnson recommitted to the Hawks first, then Amar'e Stoudemire didn't wait for James to decide where he was headed before jumping into the center of MSG. Now Bosh is teamed with Wade. James may want to return to Cleveland, to stay home, to be the hero, but he's got to look at a roster that won 120 games plus over the past two years and still didn't make the Finals and get a little nauseous thinking of having to compete with Orlando, Boston, and now Miami and whatever the Knicks pull off (if anything). Which means James' camp has to be exploring his options, which right now are thus:

Take less money to join Wade and Bosh in Miami. Wade and Bosh are almost definitely assured the max deals (Wade from Miami, Bosh in a sign-and-trade). So it's natural for them to take those deals which means James capitalizes on his enormous celebrity and forms a super-team the likes of which hasn't been seen in decades in the NBA thanks to the salary cap. He guarantees himself multiple rings but also sacrifices home court advantage in terms of market and under the circumstances, looks like the third wheel. James is no third wheel. As important as winning is to James, not giving up his leverage in his attempt to become a global icon is more important, and going to Miami would mean sacrificing stock in that. Still, the allure of a super team has to weigh heavily, especially when combined with the beach and tax situation in Miami.

Head to New York to join Amar'e.
James comes into the world's biggest market as the difference maker alongside Amar'e Stoudemire. All of a sudden New York is the free-agent destination and the team can fill out the roster with quality players while working towards the future. Still, the core roster behind Stoudemire is as shaky as it is in Miami, only without the All-Star duo and only Amar'e instead. The money would be amazing, but the basketball might suffer. It would be an incredible risk, but one with a huge payout.

Head to Chicago with Rose and Noah.
The Bulls have the most ready team to compete over the next decade and with James they would elevate to a whole other level. Noah provides strength low and Rose is one of the most up and coming point guards in the league. He would have his name next to Michael Jordan, for better or worse, and operate in a major market. The team would be ready to contend and could likely snag Carlos Boozer or David Lee to help with low-position scoring. For whatever reason, the Bulls have slipped out of most talks.

Stay home.
The option most are predicting, and have from the start. Our own Ken Berger reports that's the most likely scenario . But James is looking at Antawn Jamison, who did not deliver last season in any way, shape, or form, and Mo Williams as his running partners while the rest of the league gets younger, the Heat become a powerhouse, Boston maintains, Orlando maintains, and the Lakers still rule the roost. But Cleveland is home, and James may feel that his presence will always generate the ability for teams to improve. Maybe the Cavs can pull a rabbit out of a hat. What's strange is the most likely scenario also seems like the most risky. The Cavs are a lock to not be terrible in the future. But they're also a heavy favorite to be not be considered a true contender unless significant changes happen.

Wade and Bosh may force James to reconsider his decision, either way. The options are largely the same as they've ever been, but the pieces have now moved into place. In a little over 24 hours, James will have to publicly declare what's most important to him , with the whole world watching.

-Matt Moore

(Graphic: Roland Liwag)
Posted on: July 6, 2010 11:37 am
Edited on: July 6, 2010 11:39 am
 

Report: Cavs have trade for Bosh in place


Chris Broussard of ESPN is reporting that the Raptors have agreed to a sign-and-trade of Chris Bosh if Bosh agrees to such a deal.

Whoa boy.

So right off the bat, there are conflicting reports . Secondly, again, Bosh has not agreed to such a deal, and Broussard reports that he is cold to the idea of being by the Lake instead prefers Chicago (yes, I know, also by a lake, go with me), New Jersey, or Miami. Miami is out, according to Broussard because they lack the pieces the Raptors would want in a sign-and-trade. Both Chicago and New Jersey have players the Raps would be interested in, but not moreso than what the Cavs have to toss in.

So what's the big deal? Isn't Bosh an unrestricted free agent, able to sign anywhere?

That's true, but the Raptors can let Bosh have his cake and eat it too. He can sign for more money and more years with Toronto, then be sent to where he wants to play, with who he wants to play with.

The tightly held puzzle of free agency is starting to loosen.

If Broussard's on the money, and the Raps can't figure out a deal of high enough value with Chicago or New Jersey, then Bosh will have to decide between the extra money and security, or his own autonomy and a bigger market. It's a tough decision, but consider that once again, LeBron James has the impetus to control the situation here. If LeBron signs with Cleveland outright, he could force Bosh's decision, especially if Wade is still on the fence.

Meanwhile, the report has significant implications for both Miami and Chicago. The time may have come to divert attention from James and to Wade, in an effort to get him off the fence and in their respective uniforms first. With Amar'e in New York, off the market, and Joe Johnson locked up in Atlanta, both Chicago and Miami will have to make significant moves to avoid being left out in the cold if they feel like talks with the Raptors are stagnant. Bosh may be reticent to go to Cleveland but he's now looking at extra money and a direct courtship from LeBron James. That's enough to open some eyes to the beauty of Cleveland.

Things are starting to shake loose. We'll keep you updated on where the next piece falls.

Posted on: July 5, 2010 8:00 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 8:16 pm
 

Did the Knicks win in Amar'e vs. Bosh?

Now that the signing of Amar'e Stoudemire by the Knicks has been agreed upon (though it can't be finalized until Thursday), we have to look at several angles. But how Stoudemire will fit on the Knicks is a question that has yet to be answered, because there are other max free agents in play for the Knicks. We can't look at the impact for Amar'e without knowing who could really be playing next to him (KB has some info on a possible sign-and-trade for a Knicks point guard ).

But what we can look at is if the Knicks made the right decision, committing close to $100 million towards Stoudemire. Amar'e comes with tremendous explosiveness and top-level scoring ability. But he also comes with significant questions as to whether he can play elite level defense, or even acceptable defense, and if he's a good enough player when he's not on offense. So the question is, would the Knicks have been better off if they'd managed to get Chris Bosh?

I took a look at the numbers on each player defensively via Synergy Sports . Synergy Sports tracks every moment of every NBA game and brings you an in-depth look, possession by possession, on how players do not only overall, but in certain situations. For example, their key stat is PPP, points-per-possession. It factors how many points are scored with a player as the primary defender, and then divides by the number of instances a player was in that certain play scenario. It factors turnovers, free throws, and points to bring you how many points per each possession a player gave up overall, and in certain possessions.

I looked at four specific play types breakdowns for Bosh and Amar'e in comparison: overall, pick-and-roll man (guarding the player providing the pick and rolling (as opposed to the ball-handler), isolation (pretty simple, one-on-one defense), in the post, and spot-up (off a pass in a catch-and-shoot situation). The results were pretty surprising.


Play Type Amar'e PPP Bosh PPP
Overall .86 .89
Pick-and-roll man .76 1.13
ISO .95 .65
Post-up .89 .84
Spot-up .84 1.03


Right off the bat, Amar'e Stoudemire allowed fewer points per possession last season than Bosh did. The first thing that you'll say is that the Raptors' defense was a crime against basketball. And you're absolutely right. It's certain that Bosh's defense was impacted by how terrible the rest of his team defended.  But the individual play types are kind of startling in terms of where he was good and where he was bad. The same can be said for Stoudemire. Pick and roll being the biggest alarm bell if you're a team out there still looking at Bosh as your signature big. Stoudemire, despite being known as a terrible help defender, was ranked 18th in the league overall as a pick and roll defender, one of the more complex defensive sets requiring combination and knowledge of where your teammates are.

But Stoudemire certainly struggled in ISO situations. If you put him straight up on a player, he gave up .96 points per possession, a far cry from Bosh's .65. And there were nearly twice as many instances of ISO defense versus pick-and-roll man situations. At the same time, help defense is something you can account for, and switching assignments is something Mike D'Antoni can do to alleviate a situation where Amar'e is getting taken repeatedly straight up.

How about the post-up numbers? I had anticipated a huge advantage for Bosh in this area, with a more physical reputation and Amar'e's notorious softness. Yet Amar'e is still allowing less than .89 in the post, and Bosh is at .84. A difference of .05 points per possessions? Not exactly what I would have expected.

Finally, spot-up, which deals with recovery, is probably the most affected by the Raptors' terrible defense. Bosh was repeatedly having to overcompensate to help his teammates, meaning his man was open for jumpers as he tried to cover too much defense to recover. It's a terrible mark for Bosh at 1.03 while .84 is reasonable for Stoudemire.

The big takeaway here is that Bosh is a better defender, no doubt. But the separation is not one where you would feel the Knicks made a horrific mistake in getting Stoudemire. Stoudemire's defensive numbers match up favorably with Bosh, both play in high-possession systems last year, and both have issues in various defensive sets.

Many will claim that the Knicks got the rough end of this choice between Bosh and Amar'e. But if the evidence from last year is any indication, the Knicks may have gotten a better deal than the consensus believes.


Posted on: July 5, 2010 6:41 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 6:54 pm
 

Amar'e Stoudemire already rocking No.1 for Knicks

The Knicks wasted no time to announce the acquisition of Amar'e Stoudemire as KB told you the were closing in on . Once an agreement was reached today, the Knicks had this image on the front of the Madison Square Garden Marquee, courtesy of Howard Beck of the New York Times on Twitter:



Read more on Amar'e headed to the Five Boroughs from Ken Berger .



Posted on: July 5, 2010 4:14 pm
 

Carmelo Anthony 'serious' about Nuggets offer

There have been rumors about one of the big spender teams in this free agency period making a play for Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, a rumor sources told KB were "laughable."

As funny as those talks of Denver trading away the franchise might be, apparently the discussions between Melo and the Nuggets' three-year, $65 million extension is no laughing matter.  The Denver Post reports that Anthony is "very serious" about the extension offer, but also wants to see the Nuggets add another frontcourt asset before he commits. Which is understandable, given Kenyon Martin's continually failing health and Nene's offensive limits. Let's not even start to discuss Birdman's offense.

Melo's getting married in New York on July 10th to longtime girlfriend La La Vasquz on VH1 . He also selling his Colorado home , but there's been nothing to suggest he's relocating, only moving closer to town.

Anthony is in a similar situation as Chris Paul, where he's committed to the team that drafted him, but has also seen a recent high point (in Anthony's case, making the Conference Finals in 2009) fall off hard in following seasons.  The Nuggets obviously have the very understandable excuse of George Karl's illness, but it doesn't change how far off the Nuggets seem now. Their second star, Chauncey Billups, is getting older, and the Nuggets don't really have a secondary option.

But just as we've seen so far in this free agency period, the logical answer is always to stay home, where you can get the most money and be comfortable. So we may see Carmelo get locked up for the next four years which would give the Nuggets a confidence in their core to pursue pieces to put next to him.
Posted on: July 5, 2010 1:26 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 1:28 pm
 

Free-agency 4th of July weekend winners

After the first weekend of the most important free-agency period in history, and one of the wildest, who were the winners and losers?


WINNERS:


New York Knicks: They continued their rally from Friday by getting a second conversation with LeBron James' people Saturday night. Chicago is the only team we know of to get a second meeting with a max agent or his representatives. On top of that, they're zeroing in on Amar'e Stoudemire. The Knicks have done a complete 180 in the last four days, and look like they're going to be improving at some level in the first week of free agency.

Cleveland Cavaliers: They had to make their shot count. Seven years of hard work and dedication could have been eliminated if they hadn't made a significant pitch when they met with LeBron James Saturday morning. They didn't pitch him a billion dollars or a super team, but they did do a pretty good job of making an appeal to his sense of drama:



David Lee: Dude's getting paid . Lee had meetings with the Timberwolves, who have already proven they love to overpay frontcourt players. The Knicks are looking to use him as a sign-and-trade option to land a major player, which keeps his value high in that scenario. And he gets out from under the Knicks who haven't really valued him much despite his contributions. Win-win weekend for Lee.

LOSERS:


Miami Heat:
They haven't even gotten a meeting with their own free agent yet. The Chris Bosh rumors have cooled off, and Amar'e is headed for New York by all indications. The Heat are still in this thing, but it's their lack of activity over the weekend that makes you think they lost some ground this weekend. The next four days are going to crucial for them.

Chicago Bulls:
They got a second meeting with Wade. They pushed up their meeting with LeBron. They gambled huge to try and pull off a coup over the weekend, and they missed. The Bulls have some great signs, including the latest from ESPN's Chad Ford that Wade's divorce may be leaning him that way .

Joe Johnson:
How could a guy that signed a max-max contract lose? Because he's nearly guaranteed that he won't win a championship in his career. In four years he's going to be one of the worst contracts in the NBA, constantly shopped around as the Hawks try to get out from the crushing yoke they've put on themselves. And Johnson will be facing all the responsibility thereof. Hope he can comfort himself in the gigantic bed made of cash.


Posted on: July 4, 2010 1:06 am
 

Amar'e recruits Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony?

The New York Daily News is reporting that Amar'e Stoudemire, outside of the production of the Broadway play he helped produce, said:

"I've talked to Carmelo Anthony that he needs to come out here," Stoudemire said. "I've talked to Tony Parker. Both guys are ready to join me if I decide to come here. So we will see if we can work it out."
KABOOM.

And so there's that. The number of questions this brings to mind is stunning:

  1. Is Amar'e going to get fined for tampering here?
  2. How will this affect Parker's relationship with the Spurs?
  3. How will this affect the Nuggets' attempts to extend Melo?
  4. Where did Amar'e get the idea to talk to those two about it?
  5. What's Amar'e thinking that he thinks talking about this is a good plan, true or not?
Let's go into La La Land for a second: Parker dribble penetrating from the perimeter, running the pick and roll with Amar'e Stoudemire's athleticism and Melo available for the pick and pop. Two man game with Amar'e and Melo. Running and gunning with those three, all under the age of 29

Ye Gods.

But in reality, if there's one thing we can take away from the Daily News article, it's that Amar'e is already mentally checked into the Knicks.  You don't start shopping for other partners already on rosters unless you're committed to the squad. It also means that the next 24 hours are going to be full of denials and speculation. The 2010 Free Agency Apocalypse: The self-propelling hype machine.

-Matt Moore
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com