Tag Archives: Amare Stoudemire

Seven thoughts on New York’s worst defensive sequence yet

So far, the New York Knicks’ season hasn’t gone so well. A new low was reached last night, summarizing the first 10 games of their season. Check out this defense:

My thoughts:

1) AMARE WHY?!?!      

2) Josh Smiths pass was initially a shot then passed in midair, so that’s a slight buzzkill. I’ve seen players on offense get mixed up on passes that were initially shots, especially whoever’s posting up to which they’ll turn around as if to get the rebound.

But I’ve never saw a defender do that until now, and it’s awesome.

3) What is Andrea Bargnani doing? Instead of defending the rim, he sticks with Andre Drummond, who’s no threat whatsoever anywhere outside five feet. Bargnani knows he’s seven feet tall, the center for the Knicks, and that Peyton Siva is a foot shorter than him, right? It’s a less obvious mistake, but comedy nonetheless.

4) To go along with #2, J.R. Smith and Bargnani basically did the opposite of what I thought would happen. Smith’s guarding Kyle Singler, the guy supposed to stretch the floor for Detroit, but whatevs! He contests Siva’s layup when it really should’ve been Bargnani.

5) But really, just hack Drummond and get him to the line no matter the situation, as long as there’s over two minutes left in the game. He only took five free throws last night, which blows my mind. On the bright side, Drummond upped his free throw percentage to 17.6 percent. So there’s that.

6) Mike Woodson‘s expression doesn’t change. Neither does anyone’s on the bench. That is, except for Carmelo Anthony, whose reaction is priceless.

7) Time for a players-only meeting.

Fantasy basketball history: Shawn Marion ruled the mid-2000s

460px-Shawn_Marion

Photo by Keith Allison

If you have any interest in either fantasy basketball or the history of basketball (but preferably both), I suggest giving RotoMonster a look. It’s a simple, easy to navigate fantasy basketball archive that covers every NBA season from 1952 to now. There’s a ton worth discussing from there and maybe I’ll dedicate a series of posts to what I find, but for now I wanted to use it to write/brag about one of my favorite players ever, Shawn Marion.

In a weird place called reality, Marion might be the very cutoff separating great NBA careers from Hall of Fame-caliber ones. Among other accomplishments, he was good for 20 points and 10 rebounds on both the pre-D’Antoni AND D’Antoni-led Suns of the mid-2000s, all while being a third banana. (Amar’e Stoudemire and Steve Nash were the first two great bananas of those Suns squads, in my opinion.)

But if there’s one description for both the real-life Shawn Marion and his fantasy basketball version, it’s that they were both freaks of nature during their time with the Suns. He could do it all statistically with his average line from 2001 to 2007 being 19-10-2-2-1 with 48/34/83 splits, one chest-passed three, and 2.8 free throws per game. He wasn’t a turnover machine either, ranked outside the top 50 in that category. That made him more valuable in 9-category leagues than 8’s, the difference in the leagues being the inclusion of turnovers in the 9-cats.

Equally as important was Marion’s durability. From 2001 to 2007, he always played 79 to 81 games, making him one of the most valuable commodities in those seven seasons. He was at his greatest from 2005 to 2007, the best in 9-cats during the primes of Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kobe Bryant, among others. Here’s a screenshot of his fantasy basketball career (click to enlarge if you’d like):

shawn marion

For Marion’s entire fantasy basketball page, click here.

The absence of Amar’e Stoudemire in 2006 led to Marion’s greatest season statistically. Though it was only good enough to make third team All-NBA, it was his most convincing first place ranking in fantasy basketball and arguably the most convincing season of his career in terms of his real, on-court value. He bested the 9-cats over second-place Nowitzki and Elton Brand by nearly .40 points in overall value, the largest margin since 1990. Marion was the only player that season ranked in the top 20 in points, rebounds, steals, blocks, field goal percentage and minutes. 

Freak. Of. Nature. Basketball-Reference had him listed at center that season. If fantasy basketball leagues gave him multiple positions, he was that much more valuable.

Stoudemire’s return in 2007 put a dent in Marion’s production, but he still placed first and second in 9-cats and 8-cats, respectively. Kobe bested him in the latter, thanks to turnovers not being accounted for. 2007 was a monster season for the Suns both in real and fantasy basketball. The core of Nash, Stoudemire, and Leandro Barbosa, along with Marion, made the top 15 in each kind of fantasy basketball league.

Per game wise, Marion was one of the best in 2008, ranking fourth in 9-cat leagues and sixth in 8-cats, but he only played 63 games. It was that season when the fantasy basketball torch was passed to Chris Paul, which was then passed to Kevin Durant in 2010. Marion has continued to be a nice addition to fantasy leagues, often ranked in the top 75 in each league since 2009.

Where real basketball is played, Marion’s Hall of Fame status is up for debate, though it might be a losing one. In fantasy basketball, however, there’s no doubt the Matrix was one of the greatest of his time.

Pain in the bank: Here’s a list of players who collectively made over $600 million last season

The next time you spend a few bucks for an expired gas station hot dog, don’t feel so bad. It’s nothing compared to the money owners had to shell out for players last season who underperformed (or didn’t perform) for a variety of reasons.

Though it appears the NBA is getting smarter every year, season-ending injuries, wrong fits for the wrong teams, and lack of common sense by those who overpaid for a player (or three) are reasons, among others, that investments didn’t work out as planned. There’s always a gray area when it comes to who did or didn’t play up to their contract in any season, but those contracts totaled arguably over $600 million in 2013.

A decent chunk of that money paid out last year–about $150 million–was featured in contracts that expired after the season. Others, like Gilbert Arenas’ paychecks, at least didn’t count towards salary caps. Investments such as Chicago’s in Derrick Rose and Indiana’s in Danny Granger still have a good chance of bouncing back and earning their worth. There are also albatross-like contracts that happen because, well, it only takes one team to overpay for a players’ services.

Bad contracts happen in every major sport, though they’re always something to joke about when it comes to the NBA. Off the top of my head with no proof whatsoever, I’ll say that’s probably because, if anything, that draft busts and overpaid signings are easily more recognizable in the NBA than any other sport. Prospects in the MLB can flame out in the minors with very little publicity and I can’t name a single player drafted in the first round of the most recent draft anyway. Free agent deals are a different beast, most notably the contracts for Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.

For the NFL, draft busts and free agent signings also typically don’t receive much publicity unless it’s a wide receiver, running back, quarterback, or a headcase towards ESPN. I’m not even going to try and explain anything about the NHL. I only follow that league a few hours each year. It’s too bad it overlaps with the second half of the NFL’s season and just about all of the NBA’s.

Again, that’s based off nothing more than thinking about attention bad draft picks and free agent signings receive from the media. This post features salaries that I believe gave owners in the NBA headaches throughout the 2012-13 season.

All salaries are from Basketball-Reference.com. Let the fun begin:

Gilbert Arenas – $20,807,922

Amar’e Stoudemire – $19,948,799

Joe Johnson – $19,752,645

Andrew Bynum –  $16,889,000*

Rudy Gay – $16,460,538

  • After getting his eyes fixed, I have no idea what to expect from Rudy next season. He could come back to live up to his contract and bag another similar-sized one or continue being one of the league’s most frustrating talents.

Derrick Rose – $16,402,500

  • : (

Brandon Roy – $16,359,805

  • 😥

Elton Brand – $16,059,854*

Carlos Boozer – $15,000,000

Baron Davis – $14,850,000*

Eric Gordon – $13,668,750

Emeka Okafor – $13,490,000

Danny Granger – $13,058,606

Andrew Bogut – $13,000,000

Ben Gordon – $12,400,000

Kris Humphries – $12,000,000

Hedo Turkoglu – $11,815,000

  • Turkoglu recorded a PER of 3.4 and -0.5 win shares last season. Stellar.

Monta Ellis – $11,000,000*

DeAndre Jordan – $10,532,977

Corey Maggette – $10,924,138*

  • I tried looking Maggette up via Basketball-Reference’s voice recognition search box, only the site instead spat out “Corey My Daddy”. So creepy, yet if I was an NBA player I’d definitely pay the site to interpret my name the same way. Every single time.
  • Also, I had the similar difficulties with Emeka Okafor. The site doesn’t recognize his name via voice recognition at all. Among the names it thought I said:
    • “iMac out of a form”
    • “eMac out open floor”
    • “94”

Richard Jefferson – $10,164,000

Stephen Jackson – $10,059,750*

Andrea Bargnani – $10,000,000

JaVale McGee – $10,000,000

Gerald Wallace – $9,682,435

Andris Biedrins – $9,000,000

Jameer Nelson – $8,600,000

Mo Williams – $8,500,000*

Rodney Stuckey – $8,500,000

Devin Harris – $8,500,000*

Brendan Haywood – $8,349,000

Marvin Williams – $8,287,500

Lamar Odom – $8,200,000*

John Salmons – $8,083,000

Charlie Villanueva – $8,060,000

Tyrus Thomas – $8,000,000

Caron Butler – $8,000,000

Kendrick Perkins – $7,800,531

DaSagana Diop – $7,372,200*

Beno Udrih – $7,372,200*

Metta World Peace – $7,258,960

Trevor Ariza – $7,258,960

Andray Blatche – $7,118,502

Josh Childress – $7,000,000*

Samuel Dalembert – $6,698,565*

Drew Gooden – $6,687,400

Al Harrington – $6,687,400

Glen Davis – $6,400,000

Landry Fields – $6,250,000

Fransisco Garcia – $6,100,000

Luke Walton – $6,091,363*

Brandon Bass – $6,000,000

Michael Beasley – $5,750,000

Darko Milicic – $5,228,000*

Daniel Gibson – $4,792,332*

Marcus Camby – $4,590,338

Wes Johnson – $4,285,560*

  • Including rookie contracts felt like cheating, but poor Wes could barely get off the bench for a 25-57 Suns squad.

Hakim Warrick – $4,000,000*

  • Warrick’s played on six teams in four seasons. He’s like that freak athlete in college every intramural basketball team wants until they realize how good he really is–or isn’t.

Ryan Gomes – $4,000,000*

Joel Anthony – $3,750,000

Gerald Green – $3,500,000

Johan Petro – $3,500,000*

Raja Bell – $3,480,000*

Jan Vesley – $3,294,960

Kwame Brown – $2,819,044

  • It’s a necessity that he makes this list.

Nolan Smith – $1,404,960

Fab Melo – $1,254,720

Hasheem Thabeet – $1,200,000

  • Wasn’t even that bad for OKC last year, but also a necessity he makes this list.

* – expiring contract

This post has been edited to fix up a chunky paragraph or two.

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