Scouts Divided on David Lee

Via Sports Illustrated:

“On the question of whether to go with Lee or Wallace, I sought out the opinions of an Eastern GM and two pro personnel scouts (one from each conference). The GM and one of the scouts suggested that Lee’s impressive numbers — 19.0 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists — are inflated byMikeD’Antoni’s offense.

“A lot of us in the league right away discount the stats because of the number of possessions and the pace [the Knicks create], which may or may not be fair,” the scout said. “People who have worked with Lee say no way is that fair, and the [coaches] in New York love him, but I think a lot of us feel he pads his rebounding numbers by not getting the tough rebounds so much as the free-throw rebounds and the loose-ball rebounds. He’s one of the bigger enigmas in the league.”

“I completely disagree,” the other personnel scout responded. “They say Lee benefits because Mike runs up and down? Well, they don’t run up and down anymore. Look at the stats.”

It’s true their offense has slowed down. The Knicks are attempting three fewer field goals than last year, and they rank a middling 11th in scoring.

“I completely disagree it’s because of the system,” the scout said. “David Lee was a double-double guy forIsiah[Thomas] and now for D’Antoni. You’re telling me those systems were the same?”

I’m leaning toward Wallace based on Charlotte’s superior record and his all-out style of play. The East coaches, who select the reserves, should recognize Wallace in order to set an example for their own players to emulate. But Lee should not be dismissed as a candidate.”

I don’t get how you can argue that Lee’s rebounding numbers are a product of the “system,” one that the Knicks don’t even really use anymore.  He averaged 10.4 rebounds a game in 06-07, in an offense predicated on force feeding Eddy Curry, and having Steve Francis, Jamal Crawford, and Stephon Marbury chuck up shots.  That team averaged 97.5 ppg.

The point is that Lee is simply becoming a star, and that has nothing to do with the system.  There’s no doubt in my mind that he can become a 20, 10, and 4 type center in New York, if not this year.  He’s at 19, 11, and 3 right now.  Is he an all-star?  The Knicks have to start playing well again, but I think he has a better shot as a center than as a forward.  What are your thoughts on if Lee is an all-star or not? Keep in mind his trade value as we approach the deadline.




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