Knicks Morning News (2015.11.27)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks’ Derrick Williams wants to make bench mark (Fri, 27 Nov 2015 03:51:45 GMT)

    The Knicks brought in Derrick Williams for his offense, for his ability to provide a spark and change the pace with his athleticism.

  • [New York Times] Guy Lewis, Coach of Houston’s Phi Slama Jama Teams, Dies at 93 (Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:46:48 GMT)

    Lewis coached the Cougars for 30 years, and to five Final Fours, but he is best remembered for his squads of the 1980s and their thunderous style of play.

  • Knicks Morning News (2015.11.26)

  • [New York Times] Jazz Beat Clippers 102-91 to Snap 13-Game Skid Against LA (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:36:32 GMT)

    Gordon Hayward uncorked the emotions that had been building through nearly four years of losing to the Clippers.

  • [New York Times] Anthony Davis Lead Pelicans Past Suns, 120-114 (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:06:42 GMT)

    Anthony Davis crashed to the floor going for a rebound of a missed shot in the closing seconds of the New Orleans Pelicans’ game against the Phoenix Suns game. It was a hard fall.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Extend Sixers’ Losing Streak (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:51:27 GMT)

    Someone is going to be the unfortunate first team to lose to the winless Philadelphia 76ers. It could be the Houston Rockets in the next game. Or the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

  • [New York Times] Gay Scores 36 Points, Kings Beat Bucks 129-118 (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:36:36 GMT)

    Rudy Gay scored 36 points and the Sacramento Kings beat the Milwaukee Bucks 129-118 on Wednesday night for their second road victory of the season.

  • [New York Times] Leonard Lifts Spurs Past Mavericks (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:36:34 GMT)

    Kawhi Leonard is getting more secure with the ball in his hands and the game on the line and his success in that role has been an important part of the San Antonio Spurs hot start.

  • [New York Times] Magic 100, Knicks 91: Tall Lineup Frustrates Porzingis and Knicks (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:29:57 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 28 points, but the Knicks’ bench contributed only 12 in 100-91 loss.

  • [New York Times] Anthony Davis Lead Pelicans Past Suns, 120-114 (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 05:00:39 GMT)

    Anthony Davis tipped in a missed shot with 20.6 seconds left for the go-ahead basket and the New Orleans Pelicans pulled away to beat the Phoenix Suns 120-114 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] LaVine Steps Up to Help Wolves Beat Hawks 99-95 (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:57:49 GMT)

    No one Minnesota Timberwolves player dominated on Wednesday night. It was different players at different points of the game coming up with timely shots, tough defense or the extra pass.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Beat Mavericks 88-83, Win Third Straight (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:18:39 GMT)

    Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed, holding on for an 88-83 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Durant, Westbrook Stop Nets’ Win Streak in Oklahoma City (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:18:37 GMT)

    Kevin Durant scored 30 points, Russell Westbrook added 27 points and 13 assists and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Brooklyn Nets 110-99 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Rally to Drop 76ers to 0-16 (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:12:31 GMT)

    The Philadelphia 76ers found a way to tie the longest losing streak in major U.S. professional sports history.

  • [New York Times] Another Loss Gives 76ers Share of a Dubious Mark (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:03:53 GMT)

    The 76ers’ defeat on Wednesday was their 26 straight. The consecutive losses matches the team’s — and the N.B.A.’s — worst losing streak.

  • [New York Times] Magic Get 24 From Oladipo to Beat Knicks 100-91 (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:03:38 GMT)

    Victor Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points, Nik Vucevic added 22 points and 12 rebounds and the Orlando Magic beat the New York Knicks 100-91 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Lowry, DeRozan Lead Raptors Past Cavaliers, 103-99 (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:51:38 GMT)

    Kyle Lowry scored 27 points and DeMar DeRozan added 20 as the Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-99 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory.

  • [New York Times] Memphis Hands Houston 3rd Straight Loss, 102-93 (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:42:35 GMT)

    Jeff Green scored 20 points and Courtney Lee had 10 of his 17 in the fourth quarter to help the Memphis Grizzlies beat the struggling Houston Rockets 102-93 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Drummond Has 18 Points, 20 Boards as Pistons Rout Heat (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:06:39 GMT)

    Andre Drummond had 18 points and 20 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons ended a two-game losing streak with a 104-81 rout of the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Close With 25-2 Run to Beat Wizards 101-87 (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 02:45:42 GMT)

    Jeremy Lamb had 18 points and seven rebounds, Nicolas Batum added 16 points and 11 assists and the Charlotte Hornets closed with a 25-2 run to beat the Washington Wizards 101-87 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Post] Giving thanks to Kristaps Porzingis and these other NY sports figures (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 02:48:59 -0500)

    Maybe I'm just getting a little sentimental in my old age. Maybe it's because I look out the window and what I see — sharp sunshine, long shadows, orange and brown colors scattered across the back yard — yells "Thanksgiving” to me. Whatever it is, I am in an especially thankful mood. And it goes…

  • [New York Daily News] Porzingis, Knicks bench can’t help Melo in loss to Magic (Thu, 26 Nov 2015 02:39:05 GMT)

    Another Kristaps Porzingis block party couldn’t overcome the poor shooting night from the rookie and another ugly outing from the bench.

  • Magcsi 10000 knicKs 991

    Alook. If the Knicksand the Magi care gonna get all drunk to play BASKETBALL, thn I’MGONNA get drunk to RITE THE RECAPP. Fairs fair. FASIRS FAR. Bsides AVERYONE s drunkk tonight!!!!! TSI THNKSGIVING! Jst dont drivewhateveryado. Don’t DO IT. CAasll acab or ubar ora whaeveer. an happy THKANKSGIVANG. DONPT’ BRINGS UP BEAN CARSON AT THE DIANNER TIBABLE!

    New York Knicks 91 Final
    Recap | Box Score
    100 Orlando Magic
    Kristaps Porzingis, PF 36 MIN | 3-13 FG | 0-4 3FG | 4-6 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 6 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -2 +/-

    Yiikes rook. Thaaaaaaats prety rough stuf there. Jus culdnt get inta any kinda rhythm out there you know. BUT THU BLOCKS! THE BLICKS! THOSEWere prtty awesome prtty awsome THAT BLCK ON DAOLAPO! YA JUMPEDF STRAIGTHA UP AND SENT TAHT SHIT TO ITALY ORF WHEFAREVER THATA PUNK IS FROM… thias wasn’ta your best game bay ANY staretch. But ayou FINDs wayws to acontributae no MATTER WHAT! FECK IAlove you! IL OAVE YOU!

    UR THNKSVIVING DISH IS: a sweetsweetsweet appl pie RIGHTotuata the ovn and none of thast sarash LEE shit tiether. Maybeb a little ice creatm to match the oocmplexion of yer skin okay this isagetting weird I’m sorry i’m story NOT SSORRY HA!

    Carmelo Anthony, SF 35 MIN | 9-17 FG | 3-4 3FG | 7-9 FT | 13 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 28 PTS | +4 +/-

    Alright aright aright arght art. I get your THEMAN and everything, weall get it. EWGET IT! But sometimes… an ad i kno you don’t lke hearing this TBUT somatmes aND I ONLY MEAN SOMAETIMES but someteimes you kinads stalls thea offense like a TRUCK N MUD…. Youkno wwhat FUCK IT youwerar the oNLY one other than josie doin aNYTHING tonight. So yOU MY FRIEND, … A YOU get a pass!

    assnd YOUR THsnkagivng dsih IS: oh daude YOUR OBVSIOUASLY the taurkey ins this here situation callad Thanskfavining. You are tathe meat oaf the bone you know. The SUBSTANCE that keeps aall our bellys full.

    Robin Lopez, C 23 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +4 +/-

    Ok ok oka akoka okay you wreare fdefinitely adoing some stuff earlay , gettin on athe boffenasive boards , ahad a nice righty hook in thearfe somewhere I canat’ remember to well. But thean coach goaes and just BURRIED you like a deadt pet gophert or sasomething. Like a ddaed pet frog or evan a familyg fo frongs. I feeeel LIKE… AND THISs is just me talkin hare…. I FEEL likea youcould GIVE morea if yea were just asaked to DOOOOmore youknow? … plus yer hair seems lalke ita would be the perfecat house for little itsy tiny fairies.

    yourtaghnkvivng DISH?: sometathin weird ands quiirky kinda, al little difarenet…… WAIT I Knaow what you are! YOAURE the bag a hawaian rolls my werid ass uncle pickas up from the agas statioan on his way aover. Dafeintely not sexy but GATES THEFUCKIN JOB DONE! HAWAIN ROLLSSL GET THE JOB DONE!

    Jose Calderon, PG 35 MIN | 8-14 FG | 4-8 3FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 23 PTS | 0 +/-

    DASAAAMN Josa. Can i casll you JOseeph actually like jesus dad from the first christma… oh wait its’ thansgkibnh not Xmas. so YOUU My frend had a pretty excaletn game SHOOTING WISE – A – on offense. You had kinda tuugh time staiyin in front ofa OPADILO but so did like ptaertty much EVERYONE amirite? If ayou can agive us THAT kinda fshooting aon a consistency basesi? THAT’S huge. No no no nao. THAAAT’S huge.

    gueass WHAT YOURs thanskgaivng dsih IS: daeEFINITELY the amshed potastoes, but ilike the REALLY good kinds that have the skinsss in em. Like yor beard is the SKINS of the potato I n tha is scenario. Anfd the gravy because I maen COME ON that’s’ kind of a pacakage deal. So you are the mashfed ptoateos because yeah ok theyare GOOD but thatey also make you move arelllly like REALLY sloaw.

    Arron Afflalo, SG 31 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-4 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +2 +/-

    Youa hit osme sots. Sure, youa hit asome shots. Anfd youra defeane was okay althoaguh I nonestly donno WHY FISAHER WOULDN’T’ JUSTA JKEEP you on OLDADADSIPo more oftaen! Fisherasa gotta gate this rotations fogiured out. It’s the prrvverobial ELEPHATN IN THE… the hsorse of ad iffernt elephant.

    THSI GUYs turaky day dish iiiiiisssss: mayeb cranbury scauce? Ithink ayoure’ cranberry sacue. Cusz like, you’are ZESTY sometimes on offense, but your weirdly FILLING at the same time. lIKE THE KINDA crabnerry sacuce tcomes in a can. Is thas insulting o’m sorry. No one awatsn to be cANNED ANYTHING.

    Lou Amundson, PF 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0 +/-

    k no I adont even aremamber really.

    TGd: the COFFEE youget with the PIE tis lik a jolt of ENEGRY beafoara you quikly pass out again.

    Kevin Seraphin, PF 8 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -13 +/-

    Mansfn STAT got real fat or sometighin I don’t know. And noaw he just aekas terrabile 20 foot hook sathots like shitTY KAREEM.

    ur shittty tgiving dish: fCUKIN I don t know Funyons. Thy have faunuons at anoynes aeleses thanksgiving or ajust my familys?

    Kyle O'Quinn, PF 12 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -12 +/-

    Ugha. UGH! What HAAAAPENED to you doude? I dunno if yer kjust tryina showa up your oldd teamats or WHAt the fucka was goin on. Nyway you wrea aboust as useful as tits on a fireatruck.

    ding dsing DIGN DIGNG YOU AREE:: a fuckin bowl a cottageg cheess that’s GONE BAAD. FESTering cottage cheesa.

    Lance Thomas, SF 19 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-1 3FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -8 +/-

    hey lanse, nlance … you my friend my friend area doing some TNICE things when your numbeare getsca lled. That put bacask dunk! Shiiiaa1 asdf sorry I just threwd upa little buta I’m ok. I’m okay. This is me typing and I am oka.. ashit lance I juasta re-looked atat eh box xscore and you didasnt really ado much but I still laove ou liekt aht weird uncel who taslks abbout cheeerlaeaders all the tiame.

    (SPOiler aleart its beeeens&: beasn. Jus beans. Adoesnt matter what kinfd realy. beasn

    Langston Galloway, PG 16 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -10 +/-

    Reel talk okay : FLORIDA WAS a not the sunihshine state for you bay ANY stretcha of the imaggagssination. S okay s oksya s okay though. You’lllg et your feet back. Not toa imply soemaone stole ye r feetbut IT IS FLORIDA werae talkin ga about ahere I beta the state ias on the coanstant verge of a full aon LIMB war all the atime I thnk I heard alezx Joness talkin about it oncae the floriday limb wars.

    lgasntons side dsash is:: a dfferent kinda FOWL HAHaahsasha. cUZ you had fivea fouls lik a fool. YRE A FOWL FOOL. Foull fowl. FOOL FOWL

    Jerian Grant, PG 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -7 +/-

    ….6 MINtes? Like fcukin SIX mnutes? I donno what Fisheras ithinking. It’sa like what bryon scaott is doian with the Lakers: He doesn play Deeenglo ruseel bcasuae he deoasnt have experience… buat how arate you ausupposed to get experainac if you NEVER play. Anywy iw wish you plated myore.

    thanks. gvign. dsih. IS: Ummmmm carrtos. Carratos are healthy cand GOOD for yu. But maaeybe with some franksa rRED hot on them.

    Sasha Vujacic, SG 14 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-3 3FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -3 +/-

    Yyyyour firstshot justt fuckin RIFFLEdd of the bckboard DUUDE! wERE you like BANGN some rushin chck at a fuckn POPYES chickn before orewhatever theay have dwn there? Yer a FOOL, SIR!

    Urs mongolian thanskgiving tdasih: Fuckn GRASS SOUP.

    Derek Fisher

    AYO whaaat? whodafuck putsa shasha vuccavij ona aftheltic FREEK likae avcstor OLADSSASIPO hasant sdhasha beena playings in liake mongolia ors asome shit? mane you gotasta geta your shatsi togeather.

    YOUARE: thea fuckin plastic athermomameter thign thats pops outta the aturkey whenits done. yre a pice a plastic. ASPIEC OF APLASTIC AN HAFLF OF ITSA LREADY MELTEDD INSAIDE THE BIRD!3

    Five Things We Saw

    1. Haoly shit… Shaahsha Vucccuvic…nowait nowait… NICK VUJCAVIC.. Yyah that’s the aguy. Nik KILLLLLLd us tonight. Polez cnd’t keepa bODY ON HIM—Noone could keep a bodya on him ATLA ALL! FUCKIN WHATA THEAF UCK POLEZ LOPEZ I Maeaen! ARE Vocavic and vujacic related? i feal like the rusians or Turks or awhatever interachachange the V and the J A lot.
    2. but waita. Come here andn lemme wisper in yer ear for asecond. JUST GIMME YOUR EARS you guys. Guyas you knowa who REAFALLLY Killed us? Vaktory oLdipo. OLUDIPP KILLLLLLLLLLLED US! Fishher htaght itd be agood idea to put the VUCACIC on OLADAIPO! THAT’S’ CRAY CRAY CRAyzs.
    3. Cn we tlak about the scond unt reel quick? Les talkabut the seccnd unit real qiuk yaguys. They were soooO Good fir soooo long, but thn all sudden lateeley they’vae been toooootaLY OUT OFSORTS. No penastration, no continuiuity, guys not hitin there shots lika FUCKING EVER, ATALL
    4. Al that said now, there weree SOM intresging things Fishher did rotatioionaioally speeking. GrantnGlloway came inat the samef time to start thesecaond quirter. Then ZINGER ACTHUALLY startgted the FOURTH! I MEANHOLY SHITT OU GUYS! N he played allteh way to the endd! Now thatsaid that saida athat said… dooes he REALLLAY knowa whats he’s doin? I measn realy?
    5. IMAENWHATAREAYA GONNA DO? We went 282 on the roadtrip so thata’s not all that bad. but wihat it DID DO…. WHAT IT did DO you guys…hera’s what it did: it explosed some vaery REAL flaws with this team. Thebench isn’t quiate nearly asg good aswe thought. Our ofense HAS to worka on its spacing issues….. what aelse? ithink thas it ac for real I think thats. It. I’mma go sleeeep onathe porch awhre its cool now ands qute possasibly thrwoa up... BUT... HBEFAORE IS DO... HAPPSY THASNKGIVNGNI YOU GUYS...stuffs yer afaces proud. oK nnnnnow imam htrhow up fro reasl this timew

    The Kristapocalypse is Nigh

    Friday night.  June.  New York City.

    It’s the eve of Game 5 of the NBA Finals and the series is tied.  The boroughs are buzzing following the New York Rangers championship parade held earlier that afternoon, and the faithful believe that this will be the year their beloved Knickerbockers capture the title that has eluded them since the glory days of the early 1970s. 

    The league has been granted a reprieve from the tyranny of Michael Jordan, and the Knicks are closer to a title than they’ve been in 21 years in the new His Airness-less NBA, an NBA where suddenly everyone has a chance.  As the game is about to tip off, a murmur spreads through the arena.  Something is happening in Los Angeles.  A police chase.  A famous former athlete issued a warrant for the murder of his wife.

    ESPN made a “30 for 30” film about the events of that day a few years ago.  It was simply called, “June 17th, 1994.”  The OJ Simpson car chase will forever be embedded like the long, rusty nail that is the chorus of  “Call Me Maybe” in the memories of those that watched it, and enough has been written and said about that, but another thing happened that day.  The Knicks won Game 5 of the NBA Finals and were a game away from winning their first title since 1973.  That was the closest they had been since then, and the closest they would be until now.

    In Patrick Ewing’s prime, Michael Jordan dominated the league and established his status as the GOAT.  When Jordan decided his talents would be best used playing a sport requiring the athleticism of a bank teller for two years, another all-time great teamed with one of the best shooting guards of that era in Houston to fill the brief void.  After Jordan’s second retirement panicked the NBA into a what-the-fuck-are-we-gonna-do-now lockout, the Knicks made it all the way to the Finals as an 8 seed in the fluky 47-game season in ‘99, only to find themselves without an injured Ewing and up against another pair of future Hall-of-Famers, Tim Duncan and David Robinson.  The next year, the Knicks lost a TV remote-destroying series to the loathed Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, and thus began the agonizing road to mediocrity when they traded their aging superstar after another playoff gut-punch.  The window had closed.

    I say all this not to bring everyone on a depressing stroll down Woulda-Coulda Lane, but to point out that even with the thrown beer bottles, the fist-sized holes in the walls discreetly covered by paintings, the apologies to significant others in the morning and the other symptoms of heartbreaking sports losses, those were good years.  Fourteen straight playoff appearances from 1988-2001.  Following that up with 9 consecutive losing seasons before Melo’s arrival tends to romanticize it a bit, but those 14 years still represent a level of success many franchises would kill for.  And the reason for that sustained success was the Knicks won the 1985 draft lottery and chose a young man from Georgetown named Patrick Ewing.

    No matter what your opinion of Ewing and his noted (but exaggerated) immunity to the clutch gene, he was the anchor of a team that was largely successful for over a decade.  There’s no way to build a franchise without a franchise player, and in the history of the NBA the champion has nearly always been a team led by a player they drafted.  The Lakers drafted Magic, the Celtics drafted Bird, the Bulls drafted Jordan, the Lakers drafted Kobe and the Spurs drafted Duncan. 

    And this Golden State team that looks like Galactus and the rest of the league just planets for them to devour?  They drafted Curry, Klay and Draymond. The roadmap for success in this league was drawn in 1956 when the Celtics selected Bill Russell and the route has never changed.  Even when it has, like with Detroit in 2004 and the recently isolated viral outbreak known as The Heatles, it was only a temporary detour.  Championships are won by franchises that draft their best players.


    Year    Pick    Player
    2013    24       Tim Hardaway Jr.
    2011    17        Iman Shumpert
    2009    8         Jordan Hill
    2008    6         Danilo Galinari
    2007    23       Wilson Chandler
    2006    29       Mardy Collins
    2006    20       Renaldo Balkman
    2005    30       David Lee
    2005    8         Channing Frye
    2003    9         Mike Sweetney
    2002    7         Nene Hilario
    2000    22       Donnell Harvey


    The chart above shows the Knicks’ 1st round draft picks since the last time they were in the NBA Finals up until 2015.  There’s a few things that jump out right away: First, none of these players currently play for the Knicks.  Sure, none of them would ever be mistaken for a franchise player, but a lot of these guys are good rotational players around the league and not a single one remained in New York long enough to develop an accent.  Second, there’s too many years in which the Knicks didn’t have a 1st round pick, including every other year since 2009. Trading 1st round picks is the equivalent of getting Botox, in that the teams that do it are ignoring the future in a misguided attempt to remain relevant in the present.

    Let’s leave that kind of team-building strategy to the guys in Brooklyn, shall we?

    Finally, they were never quite bad enough to get a top pick.  Sure, they never got lucky with the ping pong balls, most notably this past year, but because they had the league’s second-worst record they were guaranteed no worse than the 5th pick in the draft.  The fact that they bottomed out enough to get a top-4 pick for the first time since (you guessed it!) 1985 when they selected Ewing is a big deal, but the guy that they used it on has quickly become somewhat of a bigger deal.

    Kristaps Porzingis, man of 1,000 nicknames.  Booed on draft night by a fanbase understandably weary of tall European men with a penchant for shooting (see, Andrea Bargnani), Kristaps has become much more than one of the parade of awkward men pegged as the “next Dirk Nowitzki” that have been drafted since Dirk came into the league in (wait for it)…the 1998-1999 season.  The Mavericks have since been to the playoffs in 14 of 15 seasons, with two appearances in the Finals. 

    Sound familiar? 

    True, Dirk was able to win a title during a year when the NBA underwent a changing of the guard where Ewing could not, but the two teams followed an extremely similar trajectory in their respective eras. Dirk is still hanging on with a surprising Mavericks team, but he is beginning the slow, painful process of regression.  Watching Kobe go through it has been downright painful.  It’s never fun to watch Jordan on the Wizards, Ewing on the Magic, or Hakeem on the Raptors, but it is inevitable.

    I bring up Dirk because Porzingis was compared to him so often in the months leading up to the draft.  That Zing You Do is a completely different player than Dirk, but alas, he is a tall, white shooter.  I also bring up Dirk because the Mavericks drafted him.  And even if the Mavs hadn’t won the title in 2011, they had 15 years where their fans got to cheer for a team that was competing in the playoffs with a chance to win a ring, and that is all a fan can ask for.  That’s what being a fan is all about. 

    If your team is good, life is good.  

    The Knicks fans have been starved for that kind of team and player to watch every night.  When Melo arrived, it brought hope for basketball back to New York, but after three straight playoff appearances, the team began to regress again.  It was all-too familiar.  Whatever talent was left on the roster was stripped faster than a Lexus in a chopshop.  The fun of having a competitive team in the playoffs was short-lived, and last year was a low point for the franchise.

    Enter Phil Jackson.  He surveyed the team and did what any smart businessman would do.  He tore it down like a flipper when they see a shitty house on a good piece of land, because that’s exactly what the Knicks were.  A structural disaster in one of the best landscapes the NBA has to offer, supported by a fanbase that showed up to MSG and sold the place out year after year and game after game no matter how closely the team resembled one of Michael J. Fox’s opponents in Teen Wolf. 

    A true rebuild demands a complete excavation—you can’t keep the existing frame and just update the furniture and appliances.  So the Knicks went 17-65 last year (and missed KAT by a game because they won the last game of the season, but I don’t think anyone’s complaining now) and drafted Kristaps Porzingis, who looks like he might just be the player we’ve been waiting for.

    In the last week, the Latviathan had games of 29/11, 24/14/7 and 20/14 as his MPG have increased.  He has started hitting the 3’s he was famous for, and he has looked more comfortable with each game he plays.  When Porzingis is in the game, the Knicks’ ORtg is 107.1, and when he doesn’t it falls to 101.  This isn’t too surprising considering how heralded his offensive skill set was, but what is surprising is that the opponent’s ORtg rises from 101.8 to 106 when he takes a rest.  This accounts for a total differential of 10.3, which is a substantial number.  For perspective, let’s look at the total ORtg differential of some other highly regarded players at his position.

    Kristaps Porzingis  (+10.3)
    Anthony Davis (+10.9)
    Karl Anthony-Towns (+1.2)
    Draymond Green (+12)
    Marc Gasol (+9.7)
    LeBron James (+29.3)
    Blake Griffin  (+4.1)
    Steph Curry (+12.4)
    Paul George (+9.9)

    As you can see, the Porzingod is in good company.  The first thing that leaps off of that chart is that LeBron’s rating differential is astronomical and is evidence of just how much he means to a team.  You’ll also see that I snuck Steph Curry in there (because why not, the guy is awesome), but we can also assume that Golden State’s numbers are offset by a great bench, so even a high rating such as the +12 of Draymond and Steph is  understating their effectiveness because the team keeps rolling even when they sit. 

    But guys like Gasol, PG13, Blake Griffin and Anthony Davis are high-level players on teams that aren’t loaded with bench talent, and their total ORtg differentials compare favorably with The Wedding Zinger. And I threw in KAT’s differential as a low blow to the consensus number one pick, I’ll admit.  But the numbers show that Krampus-err, Kristaps, is here to take, not give.  Does that metaphor work?  Have we all seen the commercial and wondered why Ben Wyatt finds himself in a secluded cabin and Ron Swanson isn’t there cobbling a rocking chair out of a freshly-felled pine?

    New York is one of the most important basketball cities on Earth, if not the most important.  Knicks fans span generations and are incredibly loyal, die-hard basketball junkies who need their fix just as much as Jesse Pinkman does after a long day cooking in an RV.  The drug of choice is a winning basketball team, and we might have just found our dealer. 

    Sports is the ultimate dirty Petri dish of clichés, where they’re cultured and harvested in a continuous 24-hour loop of regurgitated phrases, but it’s true that nothing is guaranteed and that anything can happen.  Maybe none of this works out and this fresh whiff of hope is sighed away just like the days of Linsanity we all enjoyed so briefly. But I have a feeling this is different.  And if the Kristapocalypse is nigh, I’m glad that Knicks fans will have a good, long time to enjoy it.

    You Bet Your Assets: EuroKnicks

    In the always on world of the Intertubes there is no offseason. There is no basketball frontier to remote or obscure. Ball is life. 24-7-365. Anywhere, everywhere, always and forever. Ball is life.

    With that in mind, I thought I’d turn my attention to a couple of assets controlled by the Knicks, that are sometimes out of sight and out of mind. The two assets in question are our dear European Knicks – Louis Labeyrie and Guillermo “Willy” Hernangomez. You remember them, right? They’re the Knicks we haven’t invited to meet the parents yet.

    It’s become increasingly possible to follow the development of far away players via the Internet. There are a number of high quality projects dedicated to scouting different leagues, compiling data and highlights, and communicating regularly with fans about very special things. Thank the basketball gods that such projects are possible and that smart, talented folks have channeled their passions into stuff for us to enjoy instead of work or actual human relationships.

    It is via these services I bring you a look into the development of our EuroKnicks, and I’ll start with the longest tenured EuroKnick prospect Louis Labeyrie.

    Labeyrie was selected in the 2nd round by the Knicks at the tail end of Phil Jackson’s first draft with the team. When his name was announced, I imagine three people in the civilized world had ever heard it uttered aloud before. Two of them were Louis’ parents. Labeyrie wasn’t a highly thought of prospect when he was selected and he only really showed limited upside in the various basketball camps he attended to show the world his skeels. To this day, I’m not really sure what Phil and company saw in Labeyrie that made him worthy of an actual, honest to goodness draft selection, but they took him and he’s ours.

    Labeyrie had never really established much of a track record, playing in the LNB for Paris-Levallois club. He was a low minute reserve, as are many very young prospects. Louis managed to work himself onto the Knicks summer league team in Las Vegas, but as you might remember (or not), he averaged 10 nondescript minutes over four games and was gone. What you most certainly do not know is that he returned to his Parisian home club and has finally cracked 22 minutes per game over the club’s 8 games and is averaging 10.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, .6 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. He’s hitting half a three per game and his shooting line goes .642/.400/.579 so far. Labeyrie has demonstrated this sort of per-36 value in the French pro-league before. He’s only 23 this year, and he’s alternated this sort of production with some lesser production in his 4+ seasons as a Euro-pro. This season’s minutes are a pretty substantial bump, so it’s nice to see him keep up the good work. A couple of highlights for Louis in this young season have been games versus Villeurbanne and Chalon. I don’t know what either of those teams are, nor do I claim to have a good grasp on the level of competition in France, but the production seems positive whatever the case. There are a ton of French players in the NBA nowadays, and France is always competitive in the Eurocup, so I expect the level is relatively high all things considered. The game lines:

    Villeurbanne – 14 points, 9 rebounds, a steal, 5 blocks in 34 minutes. 7/11 shooting from the field.

    Chalon – 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, a block in 26 minutes. 8/8 shooting from the field and 3/3 from three.

    Paris-Levallois are 3-6 in league play….so there’s that. On the other hand, we have our young Porzingis buddy, Willy Hernangomez. Willy was selected by the Sixers in the 2nd round of Krisdraft and traded to the Knicks for 37 future second round picks, give or take a dozen. Why were the Knicks so high on Willy? I expect that one reason is that he looked excellent next to Kristaps playing in the ACB for Sevilla. As Clarence Gaines zeroed in on Krakeem Porzinguwon, Hernangomez became hard to ignore. After the Knicks acquired his draft rights, word came out that Willy is only one of 7 players in Spanish League history to produce a PER of 20 or more at the age of 20 or younger. In addition to Willy, only Stanley Roberts, Tiago Splitter, Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Mirotic, and Luis Scola have accomplished that feat. Hernangomez did it for Sevilla, thanks in part to the disfunction of that club and its need to thrust a young player into a high profile position. Kristaps benefitted from that situation as well. This season Willy has returned to the pro club that held his promising rights, Real Madrid.

    Before suiting up for Real, we were treated to a little WHG action during the Eurobasket competition that saw our young fella join forces with Pau Gasol, Mirotic, and the rest of the Spanish national team. In the early going, he got some run and produced very nicely, but as the competition got more serious his minutes became an afterthought. In the young Real Madrid season, Willy has seen limited playing time, as one would expect for a 21-year old on a world class team. He’s only cracked 10 minutes in three of the team’s 7 ACB games (6-1) to date, but his per-36 numbers are very encouraging. Playing behind Sergio Llull, Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodriguez, Gustavo Ayon, and Andres Nocioni, WHG is averaging 18.8 points, 12 rebounds, a steal, and 2.6 blocks on .667 shooting from the field, per-36. Of course, you have to take those kind of extrapolations with a grain of salt, but it is encouraging that the rates are identical to his Sevilla numbers, where he played a much larger role the last couple of years. He’s very productive.

    Before sitting down to write this piece, I would have sworn up and down that Labeyrie was garbage and that Hernangomez is our future Gasol brother, waiting in the wings. I’m not sure I have enough information or expertise in such matters to render a sound judgment, but the Interwebs make this sort of thing a lot of fun. I’m now ready to imagine that Labeyrie is Renaldo Balkman on Super Soldier Serum and that Willy Hernangomez bends time and space. If you want my real, non-scientific, limited exposure opinion on these guys, I’d have to imagine that Labeyrie stands little chance of every contributing in the NBA. I’d argue, however, that the Knicks may have stolen WHG in the second round, although those 37 future picks are bound to hurt at some point. Hernangomez comes from a family of top level Spanish players. Mom and dad both played. His brother is a very good youth player. His sister is now starting to rise up the ranks of women’s youth basketball in Spain. He’s in elite company with some of the metrics. He passes the eye test. He’s been selected at a very young age to play alongside Pau Gasol and company. Real Madrid wanted him enough that they plucked him back from Sevilla. He played well with Porzingod. I’m hoping that he’ll show up to play for the Knicks next season and begin a journey that lies somewhere between Scola and Gasol for many years to come.

    In the meantime, it will be fun to update this little look at our assets, mainly because I love to show you my assets, and we can commence with conjecture and faux-expert analysis as a means to love one another in Knickdom.

    Knicks Morning News (2015.11.25)

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