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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Knicks 2017 Roundtable: New Guys’ Health

How many games do Noah and Rose each play this year?

Fisher-Cohen: Derrick Rose possesses just about all the predictors of a short career — terrible injury history; poor perimeter shooting; previous success predicated on athleticism. Similar players such as Marbury, Steve Francis, Baron Davis and Penny Hardaway all were basically bench caliber players by their late 20s if they were even still in the league. The only somewhat similar players who were able to extend their relevance are Dwyane Wade and Gary Payton, who unlike Rose were both excellent post players.

While, as his anemic free throw rate illustrates (lower than Galloway’s last season), Rose has reformed his game so as to protect his body, I’m not sure he can be an effective player again unless he starts playing a more risky style, and I’m not sure he can stay healthy if he does.

I’ll go with Rose playing it safe and having a largely healthy (for him) year — let’s say 70 games.

As for Noah, the injuries haven’t deterred him from throwing his body at opponents, and while that’s allowed him to remain an effective player even as his athleticism has faded, it hasn’t and won’t help him protect his aging body. I’ll say 60 games played for Noah.

From among the Knicks’ crew of players with awful injury histories, the player I have most hope for both in terms of health and productivity is Brandon Jennings due to his youth and his much lower impact style of play and build.

Kurylo: I fully believe the Knicks’ short term success is based on the health of Noah. Even if he’s not 100% healthy, he will be the catalyst for the Knicks defense, which was a lukewarm 18th last year. If Hornacek isn’t totally incompetent, Noah stays healthy, and Porzingis continues his development, New York could have a pretty good defense.

But how many games will Noah play? He’s been pretty consistent, although not in a positive way. Over the last 5 years, he missed 2 games twice, 15 games once, 16 games once, and 53 games last year. Looking at his entire career, it seems there’s about even odds he’ll miss just a handful of games or about 15-20 games. It’s a coin flip, and I’ll choose to be cautiously optimistic and split the difference – 74 games.

As for Rose, even if we ignore his mostly absent 2012-2014, over the last 2 years he’s missed an average of 23.5 games a year. It’s possible that he puts his health problems behind him and bounces back. So I think he suits up for 60, although the less we all see of Derrick Rose the better (for a number of reasons).

Plugh: I actually expect both guys to play most of the games. I expect their individual absences to be maintenance-related most of the time, with a short stretch of actual injury related DNPs each. Noah is older, which means he’s not going to be as durable as he was in his prime, but his two most recent injuries seem to be non-chronic in nature. I expect Noah to play in around 70 games, maybe 75, and I also expect Rose to play north of 70.

One of the reasons I expect Rose to play so many games is that he’s entering this year as healthy as he’s been at any time in the last 4-5 years. His preseason absence was legal in nature, and he seems to be in very good shape. The key to Rose playing most of the year is avoiding early wear and tear. Hornacek can make very good use of Brandon Jennings (who’s dealing with his own recent injury issues) and limit the minutes and back-to-backs Rose plays. If Rose makes it out of the All-Star break with a strong management of his health, there’s no reason to think he won’t finish the season out playing more minutes and more games. If he gets hurt at any point, they’ll be conservative bringing him back, which is my only hesitation in saying he’ll play much more than 70.

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44 comments on “Knicks 2017 Roundtable: New Guys’ Health

  1. Nick C.

    I’ll randomly guess 67-72 for each. Noah really is the key to the team. If he misses significant time his minutes go to KOQ, Lance, Plumlee and I guess Willy H. That is no bueno, at a minimum defensively. It will also place a heavier burden on KP, than he needs. But this is all speculation. It would be nice when the games come a bit more frequently than football games.

  2. chrisk06811

    I hope Hornacek will actually manage minutes, especially for Noah. It seems we have a trend of coaches playing guys way deep into games; I hope that stops. We should spend some time each game with Melo at the 4 and Zinger at the 5. I think the key with O’Quinn, Plumlee and Willy (maybe less Willy) is that they not strictly be part of a 2nd unit; you need to have Melo or Zinger on the floor pretty much all the time so they are not expected to score. And if O’Quinn takes another 3 we should shave his beard.

    With Rose, I’m certain he will miss 10 games min, and my fear is lack of depth. When you push Jennings to 30 mins, someone needs to play the other 18. We know what we are going to get w/ Sasha and it’s scary. Baker needs burn early in the year because we will be forced to go to him, and he needs to be ready.

  3. kevin5318

    Really don’t feel comfortable with the backup C position. Willy couldn’t defend his little sister and O’quinn plays like he should about 3 times a month. I could see a trade down the line for like Oquinn and one of our SG’s.

  4. chrisk06811

    how can you discredit Phil by singling out Bakers’s hair while not factoring in Shump Shump; Jackson shipped his crazy hair out of town. Lets be fair.

  5. kevin5318

    Just when I thought he was playing up to his potential he starts jacking up 3’s. I want to believe in him.

  6. JK47

    Kyle O’Quinn has low basketball IQ, but he’s still an effective player. If he had a high basketball IQ he’d be a really awesome player, but he is what he is. You have to go to war with the Kyle O’Quinn you have, not the Kyle O’Quinn you wish you had.

  7. Theo

    Hornacek’s dilemma: limiting starter minutes diminishes injury risk but maximizes losing chances because our bench is very weak.

  8. reub

    KP took care of Shump Shump’s hair and head the other night by using his ribs against them. This should count as a victory in and of itself. We should be 1 and 1 for the season so far.

  9. reub

    I like our bench btw.

    BJ Holiday Kyle WillyBilly LT Kuz Baker and Sasha are nice! I really don’t know what you’re talking about.

  10. SJK

    I’ve been thinking about what would constitute the best possible outcome for this season. Is it not the following? We lose enough games early to fade from playoff contention and start playing the young guys early to see what we’ve got.

    I feel like if we can get some prosecution from 2 of Justin holiday, Willy, baker, and kuz along with development from KP that’s pretty good.

    Then hopefully Melo would realize we’re not going anywhere and we could start over with new draft picks etc.

    Wouldn’t that be a better outcome long term than getting the 6 seed this year?

  11. reub

    We are fine for the present and the future. All Stars at every position now and terrific young talent going forward.

    Plus draft picks.

  12. Theo

    I see no scenario where Melo leaves the Knicks and they get something (anything) in return. In fact, I can’t imagine why Melo would want to leave the Knicks.

  13. latke

    @SJK

    that seems like the best case scenario every season since Stoudemire’s body gave out. The moment that it was clear STAT was done as an elite player was the moment the Knicks were no longer capable of putting a good supporting cast around Melo and making any serious playoff run. Great luck with role players outperforming expectations turned 2012/13 into an interesting year, but it was built off old players with no room to grow.

    It’s so frustrating that because ownership and the front office are so misguided or at a minimum just have the wrong priorities, to be truly loyal to the Knicks, I’m often forced to root against them.

    I know the response to this is, “You don’t have to be championship or bust,” or “so you want to tank?” No. I want a team that isn’t counting on unprecedented free agent miracles to become great.

  14. Theo

    Dolan knows as long as he keeps feeding NY fans big names, most of them will remain hopeful and excited about the next season. That’s good for his bottom line, not so much for the team’s performance.

    Phil Jackson is here because the gigantic name bought Dolan 4-5 years of fan approval, excitement and hope; all for a relatively modest price. Actual performance has always been a secondary concern for our team’s front office.

    There’s an excellent chance Chris Paul will be here in 3 years, max contract in hand and fans cheering and dreaming of a championship.

  15. Geo-n-SoCal

    was looking at some of Baker’s college stats (oh, you stat guys are getting in my head)…it seems like he’s a “combo” guard type (did a little bit of everything, with a “decent” 3pt fg%)…any chance someone with his background could actually run the pg position in the nba?

    i’m guessing that when we do start eventually implementing the triangle more as the season progresses it’ll benefit him…

    what really stuck out to me when i watched him on the court was just how friggin big he was – looks like he could have played football instead of basketball…he really impressed me though with his ability to get close to the basket (at that size he doesn’t appear to have too much lift) and drop off some really nice passes to teammates around the basket (demonstrated a lot of poise and very good court awareness)…

    not that i’m punting on this season – but, i’m wondering for next year (when jennings and rose are both more than likely to be playing elsewhere) if he could actually be a legitimate backup point guard…

  16. SJK

    If we really flame out, you have to think that would force the organization’s hand to a certain extent for a number reasons:

    1) it would be flat out embarrassing given the way they billed this season
    2) I don’t see how Melo would want to stay around for another 20 win season
    3) it would prove Phils ineffectiveness

    I don’t see how you could justify anything but a rebuild if we are bad again this year. But then again, Knicks.

  17. kevin5318

    Where would we trade Melo so he’s willing to waive his NTC? I was thinking Boston but I don’t know if he’d want to go there.

  18. JK47

    I don’t see how you could justify anything but a rebuild if we are bad again this year. But then again, Knicks.

    Why do a rebuild if we’re bad again, when there are aging mediocre free agents that will be available?

  19. Theo

    I don’t see how you could justify anything but a rebuild if we are bad again this year.

    That’s easy: Porzingis (unless he really sucks, which seems highly unlikely) will be the carrot for the next 5 years. He will need a cast of “veterans” who “know how to win” (read “a 35-year old Chris Paul”, Andre Iguodala once GSW releases him because his back is finally gone, Dimarcus Cousins and Paul Pierce in a small contract that the usual sucker fans will justify as “low risk\high reward).

    Dolan will never run out of excuses in New York, because average NY fans know very little about basketball.

  20. thenoblefacehumper

    What sucks is this season going off the rails might be the most beneficial long term outcome, but would still suck. It would mean we gave away Robin Lopez and Grant for absolutely nothing. It would mean we wasted what is likely going to be the best of Noah’s 4 years. It would mean Melo is at least a year older the next time we have a chance to be good. Make no mistake; Phil Jackson went all in this offseason. This wasn’t a situation in which he looked at either outcome (playoffs or lottery) as acceptable.

  21. ClashFan

    Read today that Hornacek was making the customary excuses for Rose and the offense, but then his expectation that Rose get to “seven or eight assists” per game.

    I wonder if that is his passive/aggressive way of setting a goal for Rose, putting a bit of pressure on him to share the ball more? Only twice in his career (2010-11 and 2011-12) has he averaged that many assists. In recent years he’s been mid to high 4’s.

    Setting Rose up to fail?

  22. ClashFan

    Oh, here is a possible good outcome to this year: Rose actually stays healthy, flashes his athleticism, and puts up lots of POINTZZZ, but the team languishes below .500, and he wears out his welcome.

    Some team gets really stupid before the trade deadline, seeing Rose as its final piece to contention, and gives the Knicks a good asset (nice young player or 1st round pick) and some garbage expiring contract(s) to make the salary match.

    It won’t happen, but it would be nice.

  23. Nick C.

    Give it to Thanksgiving at least, before we start speculating on the blow up, trade Melo etc.
    I know the “gel”, “training camp” needs time stuff has been an annual excuse-planation since the days of He Who Shall Not Be Named, and “Tim Thomas’ sister dies and he missed some of pre-season so next year with a full training camp …”

  24. Owen

    I really wish I felt confident Derrick Rose would be better than Jeremy Lin this year. I think that’s a long shot though.

  25. MamaThereGoesThatMan

    Def would prefer Lin on his contract to Rose. I’d even prefer Lin on Rose’s contract.

  26. thenoblefacehumper

    Even I wouldn’t be at peace with the Nets having a better record than us this year. That’s a step too far. Yeah yeah I know way ahead of myself, but I want me some Sean Kilpatrick.

  27. Silky Johnson, Phil Jackson Hater of the Year

    There would be nothing more vicious than a Brooklyn team headed by Jeremy Lin outperforming our capped out disappointment

    Luckily there’s 81 more games to play

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