Monday, July 28, 2008

A One-Sided Dialogue with a Knicks Fan

(Boulder-CO) I just received the following email from a Knicks fan in regards to today's Renaldo Balkman deal. First, I'm going to post the entire email without my sub-conscious thoughts. Then I will re-post the email with my exact feelings in italics. This should be fun!
"I don't have a blogger account, so I couldn't leave a comment. I post regularly at Knickerblogger, occasionally with my own byline.
I am not surprised you are upset about getting Balkman. He doesn't look like much. However, he (was) my second favorite player, and in my view, was probably the second best player on the Knicks.
As an acolyte of the Wages of Wins, I have an uncommon fondness for low usage role players. Balkman is one of the best in the NBA in that genre, much like Camby was. In his freshman year, he was the best rebounding small forward in the NBA and led the leagues in blocks as well for his position, and was near the top in steals., all per minute. He doesn't have a jump shot, can't shoot free throws, but managed a ts% over 50% in his first year also.
Last year wasn't good for him, on anyone really on the Knicks, but his Wins Produced suggest that he can be a star player in the NBA, perhaps an unappreciated star, but a star nonetheless.He is an outstanding defender. Knickerblogger wrote a post about how he could be a future DPOY candidate, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

Bottom line, I am devastated to lose him. Leaving the stats aside, this guy is a pure joy to watch. He is unbelievably athletic, makes spectacular plays, hustles like no one I have ever seen, and has real charisma. He may have character questions off the court, apparently he smokes a lot, and he has foul issues and injury issues on the court. But if things work out decently, a few months into the season, you are going to be absolutely loving this guy.
Frankly, I would say he is much much better than Kleiza. "
Now, with my unedited thoughts while reading the email. Again, my thoughts are in italics.
"I don't have a blogger account, so I couldn't leave a comment. I post regularly at Knickerblogger, occasionally with my own byline.
I am not surprised you are upset about getting Balkman. (Gee I wonder why?) He doesn't look like much. However, he (was) my second favorite player, and in my view, was probably the second best player on the Knicks. (A dismal circus of a team.)
As an acolyte of the Wages of Wins, I have an uncommon fondness for low usage role players. (I like that... "Low Usage!" Or as that translates to me, "Not playable.") Balkman is one of the best in the NBA in that genre, much like Camby was. (Camby was the 2nd best rebounder in the NBA last year, has led the NBA in blocks for the past two seasons, and is a former Defensive Player of the Year. Please do not ever mention Renaldo Balkman's name in the same category until he accomplishes something of sustenance.) In his freshman year, he was the best rebounding small forward in the NBA and led the leagues in blocks as well for his position, and was near the top in steals, all per minute (Which means nothing, statistically, because nobody plays 48 minutes.) He doesn't have a jumpshot, can't shoot free throws (Tell me something I don't know.), but managed a ts% over 50% in his first year also.
Last year wasn't good for him, on anyone really on the Knicks, but his Wins Produced suggest that he can be a star player in the NBA, perhaps an unappreciated star, but a star nonetheless. He is an outstanding defender. Knickerblogger wrote a post about how he could be a future DPOY candidate, which I wholeheartedly agree with. (I could probably name ten guys at all different levels of basketball that the exact same thing could be said for, but until they do it's merely over-optimistic flattery.)
Bottom line, I am devastated to lose him. (But what are you really losing?) Leaving the stats aside, this guy is a pure joy to watch. (If only there was more minutes for him to be watched in.) He is unbelievably athletic, makes spectacular plays, hustles like no one I have ever seen, and has real charisma. He may have character questions off the court (Great, just what this team needed!), apparently he smokes a lot, and he has foul issues and injury issues on the court. But if things work out decently, a few months into the season, you are going to be absolutely loving this guy.
Frankly, I would say he is much much better than Kleiza. (Not the same Linas Kleiza that scored 41 points in a game against the Utah Jazz and averaged almost three times the points, more rebounds, and more minutes per game for a Western Conference Playoff team that won 50 games last season. Tell me you're joking?)"
Thanks for the email, anonymous Knicks fan. I hope some of what you're saying is true and I'm just overreacting, but I'm not betting on it!

8 comments:

Jason said...

Yeah, I gotta say your overreacting. Balkman is a fan favorite for a reason...he hustles and brings energy.

But why are you so upset? This Knicks fan has no clue (suggesting he could be a star player...LOL) but he brings up valid points that many Knicks fans have been saying for months, that he brings it all the time. That could be particularly useful on a team that rarely brings it enough!

And keep in mind...All we gave up was a box of used condoms and a old dishrag. I mean seriously, we gave up nothing!

You will like Balkman more once you watch him play.

And...btw, Camby is overrated in the fullest sense. I never really cared much for him, and he will not be missed as much as people think.

Nugg Doctor said...

I guess I'm upset because I see a team that is on the decline and betting on long shots. The entire upcoming season is basically predicated on Nene being healthy, Chucky Atkins serving as an effective floor general,and other optimistic what-ifs. Everytime I check the news ticker the Nuggets are either trading two-for-one when they still need another three players to round out a full roster, essentially dumping salary, or letting players walk while not addressing the issues that have kept this team mired in mediocrity.

The issues that still need to be addressed are a solid (and I mean stats folks, not sentiments) big man, a defensive stopper, and the signing of J.R. Smith.

And have any of the aforementioned been addressed for the upcoming season in the hyper-competitive Western Conference?

The answer is a sad, "No." And the addition of Renaldo Balkman to the end of the bench for this team was not a solution either. It keeps the Nuggets right on the cusp of not making the playoffs next year and I doubt that anyone can honestly say with all that has transpired so far this off-season that the Nuggets are a better team now then they were.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Jon-Michael said...

Renaldo Balkman is a hustler and a clamp down defender in one-on-one situations. He's 8 years younger than Eddie and was going to be a lot less expensive. Eddie was injury prone as well. I think you will be glad we picked him up. There are a lot of Knick Fans who are as angry about this move as a lot of people here were about Camby going to the Clippers.

Nugg Doctor said...

Alright, alright. I've heard all the upside, but the bottomline is still what the guy has DONE. Last year his numbers dipped after a marginal rookie campaign, and he played for the KNICKS! If he was the clamp down defender he keeps getting billed as then why did he only see an average of 14 minutes a game last season? Furthermore, if his talent is through the roof then why did the Knicks send him to us for two guys they are going to reportedly waive?

Surely a team like the Knicks could have, and would have, utilized him and all his potential, no?

I just see a guy who will come in and give us one or two "ooh and ahhh" plays a week in garbage time while not being able to serve as a consistent support off the bench. That's what he was in New York and until I see anything more in the boxscores that's all he is at this point.

I'm tired of hearing about the upside of guys who are statistically short. Or as the emailer says, "low usage role players."

But, that's just me...

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Stumbleweed said...

He doesn't fit in with D'Antoni's team concept -- he can't shoot or pass, which is what he wants from all positions on the floor. They just wanted to clear some luxury tax and they had 16 players signed -- it was a dump. And he didn't play much before because Isiah is an idiot basically (that's the vibe I've gotten from Knicks fans -- they all wanted more Balkman).

I was pretty impressed with him the few times I've seen him play -- like everyone has said, he's a sparkplug and can defend the 2-4 spots very well. Bottom line is that we didn't really give up anything to get him, and his defense-first attitude might rub off on some of the guys. Even Marcus would complain about not getting his 3-4 jumpers per game -- we don't have to worry about that from Balkman.. that's worth something.

I understand being disappointed that we haven't gotten a big move or even re-signed JR (who at this point will probably just take the qualifying offer and hopefully be re-signed in training camp), but this trade isn't one of the reasons to complain in my view. We're getting a cheap player who might be able to add another element to our team in exchange for two guys who had a chance to prove themselves and kept disappointing (especially Green... 23% shooting??).

ThaAnswer said...

And the Rockets just scored themselves a Ron-Ron....things keep getting worse.

Sean T said...

This is what it boils down to. When 95% of people read about this trade, they all had the same response:

Who the fuck is Renaldo Balkman?

Keep Melo, keep AI, keep JR, the rest are disposable. Come on NUGS front office, lets start making moves that matter. The west is only getting stronger.

Nugget Guy said...

Nugg Doctor, I've been a reader for a while and totally respect your opinion. But I have to say that I totally disagree with you on this. The fact that we're giving up two guys that never see any playing time unless it's garbage time for the potential replacement of Najera...I'll take that any day of the week. At least he does have some upside, whereas Bobby Jones and Taureen Green really don't have a whole lot.

It seems pretty obvious what the Nuggets are doing now...they are gearing up for the summer of '09, looking to build a team around Carmelo that can win. I loved the team that we had on paper and for entertainment's sake, but let's face it, they weren't going to come back next season and contend for the championship. I think management did a great job of putting a lot of talent on this team, but the whole was no greater, if not less than, the sum of the parts. I hated losing Camby, that's for sure, but when you see that we'll have Iverson coming off the books next summer, we'll actually have some cap room to try to improve the roster and get a few more defensive minded and role players to surround Carmelo. We can avoid another true "rebuilding process".

The bottom line is this...next season, we probably won't make the playoffs. It's really not such a bad thing, considering that we get knocked out in the first round every year anyways. Not to sound cheesy, but I think that taking this one step back in order to take two steps forward is really necessary. The team to watch will be in two seasons, when we can find out what exactly Nuggets management has in mind.