Just heard a comment at halftime of ESPN’s broadcast of the Magic-Heat game. I don’t know which analyst offered this thought, but here is what was essentially said: “What Raymond Felton is doing this year is not that impressive because any point guard will put up numbers in the system of Mike D’Antoni.”
Okay, here is a quick check of the WP48 [Wins Produced per 48 minutes] of point guards who have played at least 500 minutes for the Knicks under D’Antoni:
Chris Duhon [0.090 WP48]
Nate Robinson [0.125 WP48]
Chris Duhon [0.069 WP48]
Nate Robinson [0.074 WP48]
Sergio Rodriguez [0.022 WP48]
So prior to this season, only Nate Robinson posted an above average mark (average WP48 is 0.100). And Robinson was below average last year.
Entering tonight’s game, Raymond Felton has played 550 minutes and posted a 0.208 WP48. Last season Felton played 2,470 minutes for the Charlotte Bobcats and posted a 0.159 WP48. Yes, Felton is somewhat improved (although it is early). But Felton was above average before he came to New York. So I am not sure we can argue that he is above average just because of D’Antoni. This argument is especially problematic given the performance of point guards in New York in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Let me close by noting that the Knicks entered play tonight on pace to win about 39 games. About 13 of these projected wins can be traced to the play of Felton. And about 15 can be linked to Landry Fields (and only three to the play of Amare Stoudemire).
P.S. Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!!