These girls understand teamwork - Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
What better way to follow up an exciting basketball game than poring over cold, hard +/- data with your old pal, Joe!
Tandem Stats - they might not be the best way to measure a team's performance, but to a man like myself, with a fourth-grade education and an explosive, violent temper, they sure as hell beat counting to three. I recently took a gander at some of these statistics in an attempt to figure out who is playing well with whom, who is totally jealous of whose moped collection, and just who really wants that pipe.
Take a look at these numbers I've compiled. I invite you, the reader, to make your own conclusions, and argue them in the comment section to the death!
As a frame of reference, keep in mind that the Knicks average 110.7 points per 100 possessions on offense and give up 106.6 points per 100 possessions on defense for an average margin of +4.1 points per 100 possessions. +4.1...keep that number in mind.
- Double-barrel Point Guard Action!
Of course, those Felton-Kidd numbers used to be much higher. Let's check their tandem numbers month-by-month:
Oh sweet Jesus, why can't it be November again? I was vacationing in Italy and every Knick was awesome! December was marred by Felton's injury/slump, and now Kidd's Faustian "my soul for a jump-shot" deal with the Devil has seemingly expired. I'm not so worried about pulling Kidd from the starting lineup as I am curled into the fetal position at the prospect of old man Kidd perhaps being washed up.
- The Trials of Iman Shumpert
Paul Chillsap made some waves recently with his excellent "J.R. should start over Shump" article. Let's see what the tandem numbers say:
|Net (Per 100 Possessions)|
|1||C. Anthony | I. Shumpert||16||255.3||-4.2||+5.1||-.069||+4.5||+15.6||-.033||-0.047||+0.3||+0.1||+.012||-3.6|
|2||T. Chandler | I. Shumpert||16||231.2||-5.5||+1.8||-.067||+3.6||+15.0||-.050||-0.049||-1.5||-3.6||+.066||-8.8|
|3||R. Felton | I. Shumpert||13||195.8||-8.5||+0.6||-.095||+1.9||+12.0||-.074||-0.085||+1.6||+4.1||-.077||-13.5|
|4||J. Kidd | I. Shumpert||15||171.3||-4.3||+0.8||-.050||+3.0||+16.2||-.076||-0.034||-1.3||-5.0||+.139||-6.9|
|5||I. Shumpert | J. Smith||16||113.9||-3.2||+5.0||-.062||+4.8||+9.9||+.037||-0.038||+0.8||+4.0||-.083||-0.8|
|6||I. Shumpert | A. Stoudemire||15||71.0||+1.1||+5.5||-.017||+2.1||+3.5||+.021||-0.009||+1.5||+6.5||-.113||+5.7|
|7||S. Novak | I. Shumpert||12||58.0||-2.6||-6.9||+.008||+5.0||+2.1||+.163||+.041||+0.7||+4.7||-.099||+0.5|
|8||P. Prigioni | I. Shumpert||13||53.0||+7.1||-0.7||+.081||+12.7||+15.2||+.298||+.151||+5.0||+4.6||+.103||+31.9|
|9||C. Copeland | I. Shumpert||4||33.5||+20.1||-5.0||+.252||+8.2||+10.3||+.125||+.302||-15.2||-22.7||-.109||+33.3|
Negative with the starters, positive with (most of) the reserves...just sayin'.
- Novak and Pablo Play Well Together And/Or With Others
I know there are many Knicks fans who cringe whenever Novak or Prigioni check into the game. I understand that trepidation - at least as far as Novak's concerned. But the data suggests that both of these guys have been fairly useful bench players...yes, even Novak!
The Three Bench-keteers - Novak, Prigioni, and J.R. Smith have functioned well together pretty much the whole year.
And they've played surprisingly well with Chris Copeland, albeit in limited minutes.
Put them with the Knicks two stars, and the results get even better:
Don't shoot the messenger here. I'm just throwing these numbers out there; hopefully giving you some peace of mind next time Novak and Prigioni check into the game.
- The Amar'e Thing:
Because this just needs to be shown, here are the tandem numbers for every Knick who has played at least 50 minutes with Amar'e:
|Net (Per 100 Possessions)|
|1||J. Smith | A. Stoudemire||23||465.4||+0.1||+4.0||-.019||+3.0||+6.3||+.029||-0.005||-3.1||-3.6||-.012||+0.2|
|2||C. Anthony | A. Stoudemire||22||376.2||-1.2||+4.8||-.040||+1.4||+5.2||-.023||-0.035||-2.9||-2.9||-.021||-4.0|
|3||T. Chandler | A. Stoudemire||23||250.5||+4.8||+9.9||+.003||+3.3||+3.2||+.091||+.016||-1.2||-2.3||+.025||+11.8|
|4||P. Prigioni | A. Stoudemire||23||246.5||-0.1||+4.2||-.023||+5.7||+10.0||+.090||+.007||-5.6||-6.3||-.027||-0.1|
|5||S. Novak | A. Stoudemire||23||231.3||-0.2||+2.4||-.014||+4.1||+9.7||+.024||+.007||-2.7||-1.4||-.076||+1.0|
|6||R. Felton | A. Stoudemire||13||181.2||+0.1||+5.0||-.026||-1.3||+3.3||-.102||-0.037||-2.1||-1.5||-.033||-3.2|
|7||J. Kidd | A. Stoudemire||21||153.0||-2.9||+9.5||-.082||+3.0||+7.6||+.025||-0.070||-2.2||-3.2||+.009||-5.0|
|8||I. Shumpert | A. Stoudemire||15||71.0||+1.1||+5.5||-.017||+2.1||+3.5||+.021||-0.009||+1.5||+6.5||-.113||+5.7|
|9||C. Copeland | A. Stoudemire||10||66.9||-2.7||+4.9||-.054||+4.7||+3.0||+.136||-0.029||-4.9||-5.8||-.024||-5.6|
And before you are seized with a "ZOMG MELO N STAT CAN"T PLAY TOGETHER" conniption, take a look at these numbers for the Big Three:
I do believe this reinforces what we've been watching on the court. The good news here is we can finally put to rest all those worries we had coming into the season about Amar'e and Tyson playing together. The bad news is that Amar'e is completely ill-suited to be Tyson Chandler's backup. The reason's seem clear enough: defense, defending, a cardboard cutout of a "D" next to - hopefully on the left of - a picture of a fence. At this point it is important to remember that Amar'e is playing the position purely out of necessity - as unqualified as he is, he's still infinitely more qualified than, say, Kurt Thomas: Decade Five or Chris Copeland. The Knicks need someone who can at least approximate some of what Chandler brings to the defense - paging Kenyon Martin and/or Marcus Camby. Then, and only then, can we start thinking of how to properly use the Amar'e-Tyson front-court.