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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Knicks Fall to Cavs

Cleveland 2, Knicks 0. At least that’s the season record. The Cavs beat the Knicks again, trumping them 115-109 last night. No doubt the mainstream media will tout Amar’e and Carmelo combining for 58 points, which will lead most to believe that it was their teammates that let New York down. However the pair needed 49 shots to accomplish that goal.

Instead it was Chauncey Billups who brought the Knicks within a shot of victory. New York’s new PG had 26 points on only 14 shots, including 20 in the fourth quarter. Nonetheless the effort was in vain, as the Knicks allowed Cleveland to score 32 points in the final frame to seal the victory.

Billups was +9 on the night, but there was Knick who was even better in that category: Renaldo Balkman. The prodigal forward only played 8 minutes, but was a whooping +15. He didn’t do much that was recorded on the box score, only 2 rebounds, 2 fouls, and zero shot attempts. However he did play good defense between the forward spots, and more importantly he actually played. I didn’t think that D’Antoni would use the energetic yet jumpshooting-challenged forward. but it appears he might have a tiny role as a defensive stopper, for now.

122 comments on “Knicks Fall to Cavs

  1. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    49 shots, 14 free throws. That doesn’t even count missed FGA while being fouled. It’s going to be a long four years.

  2. Z

    Remember Marbury’s second game as a Knick? Garden debut. A “buzz” back in the Garden. Knicks went out and lost by 30 to the Rockets…

  3. d-mar

    THCJ – that must have been a perfect evening for you – the Knicks lose to the worst team in the NBA, Melo comes up small in the 4th quarter, and Gallo and Chandler have excellent games for the Nuggets (although they also lost) Just promise that you won’t disappear from this board on nights when Melo gets 30 and 10, the Knicks beat a quality opponent and Gallo has one of his 2-11 nights in a Nuggets loss.

  4. ess-dog

    The problem with Williams and Balkman (and to a lesser extent, Melo although he doesn’t really play defense) is that they are 3′s, not 4′s. We scarily do not have a single 4 or 5 that can play good man defense. Stat and Turiaf are both better at help D. Neither rebound that well. Amare isn’t awful when he tries. He’s probably around average on D and on the boards but we need much more than that. I’m surprised we couldn’t turn any of our bench players into even the most meager big man. No Nazr? Gadzuric? We need something.
    Despite our offensive inefficiency, the offense will be fine if we just get 2nd chance points, limit the other teams second chance points, and occasionally guard the other teams players. And aside from now having even less interior defense, we also can’t push the ball as much without Ray.
    But on the positive side, the Billups/Stat p&r will be completely unstoppable (only Melo will be able to stop it if you catch my drift) and our perimeter defense SHOULD eventually be above average.

  5. Resounding Rebounding

    Alot of people think Carmelo takes too many shots. I think this is generally true. The bigger issue to me is the length of time he holds on to the ball, whether he ends up shooting the ball or passing it. He’ll just stand there holding the ball for a while before he decides what he’s going to do. That kills the flow of the offense. He’s got to learn to make quicker decisons, which I DO think he is capable of doing. On a side note, I would REALLY like to see Landry Fields get more than a couple of shots per game.

  6. Resounding Rebounding

    Another thing, it’s only been two games but Landry Fields’ rebounding has been down since Carmelo arrived. Does anyone else think this is a concern going forward?

  7. Jim Cavan

    Resounding Rebounding: Alot of people think Carmelo takes too many shots. I think this is generally true. The bigger issue to me is the length of time he holds on to the ball, whether he ends up shooting the ball or passing it. He’ll just stand there holding the ball for a while before he decides what he’s going to do. That kills the flow of the offense. He’s got to learn to make quicker decisons, which I DO think he is capable of doing. On a side note, I would REALLY like to see Landry Fields get more than a couple of shots per game.

    D’Antoni said as much after the game, albeit in a veiled manner. He said something along the lines of “we’re gonna have to re-learn where the ball’s supposed to go and when”. Reading between the lines, that to me says: “we’re going to reign Melo in and teach him not to be such a ball-stopper”. It could mean anything, but I hope that’s what D’Antoni was getting at.

  8. Brian Cronin

    Obviously, Melo’s ball-stopping and long twos are a problem. But you have to figure that that is not something that you’re going to fix in just one practice. So that will take some time to adjust. The key issue, and this will really tell us a lot about Melo one way or the other, is if he is willing to make the change. I presume he is, but we shall soon see.

  9. Owen

    From True Hoop

    “Anthony missed his last seven field goal attempts from 5+ feet on Friday night against the Cavaliers and scored just eight of his 27 points in the second half. Anthony is now 7-27 (25.9 percent) from that range as a Knick. He shot 39.3 percent with the Nuggets.”

  10. massive

    I think in D’Antoni’s system, Melo is capable of 25, 8, and 3 on a TS hovering around .540-.550. D’Antoni is not Scott Skiles, so an inefficient offense is the last of our worries. I would like to see Fields get more touches though. Billups and Fields has to be one of the most efficient starting back courts in the NBA (like top 3), so I think we need to take advantage of that.

    BTW, has anybody seen Billups’ WS/48 since he’s been here? Through the roof.

  11. Nick C.

    The one thing none of us mentioned about the trade was the time It would take to “gel.” If two weeks ate gonna have to be written off where is that going to leave them? Charlotte is 4 games back in 9th. I don’t see them passing the Knicks after trading Wallace, but to drop to a 7 or 8 seed followed by a quick exit would make this season kinda a waste. That being said we saw them have a great run after a discombobulated start so maybe hopefully … we don’t have to wait till next year and the next crop of available “stars.”

  12. KnickInSeattle

    Melo did aggrevate an elbow injury last night, between his relatively efficient first half and the precipitous drop off in the second. Perhaps the two are related.

    He does hold the ball too long and slow the offense down, no question.

    I’m definitely excited about Billups…he’s ridiculously efficient and he’s very poised…he saw Melo and the rest flailing around when we were down and took the situation into his hands and got us close as Mike said.

    Fields utterly disappeared in the second half. I’m not sure he took a shot. I’d like to see them run some plays for him as Massive said.

  13. latke

    The reason Fields didn’t get touches is because the offense stopped working. If ‘Melo and Amare aren’t drawing extra defenders, Fields isn’t going to get open, and he’s far from our best offensive creator. The better Amare/Billups/Anthony click, the more opportunities Fields will have.

  14. Robert Silverman

    Didn’t watch the game (workin’) but I did watch Gallo drop 30 on the Blazers. Anyone else starting to hate Melo already? Nah, it’s probably just me…

  15. JK47

    We’re probably gonna lose to Miami and Orlando, so the hate here will be overflowing.

    The good news is that there are lots of winnable games on the docket in March and April: @Memphis, @Indiana, @Detroit, @Milwaukee, @Charlotte, @Philly, @New Jersey, @Indiana again. Then also home games against New Orleans, Cleveland, Utah, Indiana, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Cleveland and Toronto. Those are 17 winnable games out of our last 26. We go 11-6 in those and steal 2 of the less winnable games, and that’s 42 wins. And I think there’s a chance we could even maybe do a little better than that.

  16. hoolahoop

    Sometimes you don’t know what you got till it’s gone. Our young homegrown guys were fun to watch and played well. The knicks were back to being a .500 team with so much upside considering their youth and cap space. With the right big man and point guard they could have challenged anyone in the east. Two glaring holes and a ton of money and talent to solve the problem. Amare should have remained the focal point. With the addition of complimentary pieces to complete the puzzle we would have been a force to be reckoned with.

  17. hoolahoop

    I love watching good ball movement, hitting the open man, fast paced offense, along with tough, gritty defense. (Miami, Boston, Lakers, Dallas, . . . ) Winners.

    Once upon a time, the NY Knicks were synonymous with good ball movement and intelligent basketball. They were a team of great individual talents that sacrificed for the greater good, the collective being stronger than the individual. They were champions.

    I hate ball stopping, one-on-one, selfish statistic compiling players. They’re teams are usually not remembered as much as they are – big individual stats, few championships (marbury-iverson club).

    Welcome to the Melo era.

  18. Robert Silverman

    hoolahoop: I love watching good ball movement, hitting the open man, fast paced offense, along with tough, gritty defense. (Miami, Boston, Lakers, Dallas, . . . ) Winners.Once upon a time, the NY Knicks were synonymous with good ball movement and intelligent basketball. They were a team of great individual talents that sacrificed for the greater good, the collective being stronger than the individual. They were champions   

    Yeah, but that was 1973, even the Riley/JVG Knicks pretty much just ran ISO’s for Ewing (and later Sprewell/Houston). Associating the Nix with “Good ball movement and intelligent basketball” is like still associating the US Presidency with Nixon.

  19. hoolahoop

    Robert Silverman:
    Yeah, but that was 1973, even the Riley/JVG Knicks pretty much just ran ISO’s for Ewing (and later Sprewell/Houston). Associating the Nix with “Good ball movement and intelligent basketball” is like still associating the US Presidency with Nixon.  

    As I said, “Once upon a time” .
    You’re right, it’s been a long long time, but fans of that era still cherish those knicks and that style of play.
    I remember a game when LeBron was on Cleveland he passed the ball to a teammate for the last shot for the win. The teammate missed the shot and Lebron was critisized for not taking it. He replied that he made the right play, that he’d do it again. That’s winning basketball.
    I don’t think Melo makes that pass. That, to me, that’s one big difference between the two. The other is defense. If melo could bring those qualities to the knicks I think he’d win over a lot of his detractors, and the knicks would be feared.

  20. ess-dog

    hoolahoop:
    As I said, “Once upon a time” .
    You’re right, it’s been a long long time, but fans of that era still cherish those knicks and that style of play.
    I remember a game when LeBron was on Cleveland he passed the ball to a teammate for the last shot for the win. The teammate missed the shot and Lebron was critisized for not taking it. He replied that he made the right play, that he’d do it again. That’s winning basketball.
    I don’t think Melo makes that pass. That, to me, that’s one big difference between the two. The other is defense. If melo could bring those qualities to the knicks I think he’d win over a lot of his detractors, and the knicks would be feared.  

    In light of all the Melodrama, it’s nice to recognize just how good Lebron is at basketball, now that the follies of his brain-trust have faded a bit. He can pretty much do whatever needs to be done on a basketball court. It’s hard to fault Melo for not being Lebron. You can’t be mad at Chris Mullin for not being Michael Jordan, or Domenique Wilkins for not being Larry Bird.
    I guess it’s just unfortunate how the player in this case basically controlled all the moving parts in this trade. Neither the Knicks nor the Nuggets were “happy” with the outcome. The Nuggets would prefer to keep Melo, and we would’ve wanted him for less money/players. It’s the unusual circumstance of today’s NBA. Not that it’s good or bad. It’s just how things are. The owners will try to remedy that somewhat. One thing we do know is that the Nuggets wanted Melo at that max extension and most other teams probably would’ve as well. Between Stat, Melo and hopefully, CP3, we will have the talent to do some things. Starting now, it really depends on if the players will do what it takes to get to the top.

  21. KnickInSeattle

    I too loved watching the Knicks pre-Melo this season. The ball movement at times was just great and the spirit and grit of WC, Gallo, Felton, and even Mozgov will be missed.

    That said, the team had that ball movement in part because of the coach and his system. I don’t doubt that the system will be adjusted to match up better with Melo’s skills, but on top of that I don’t doubt that Melo will adapt to and we’ll end up with a team we can still root for and love.

    I love the Knicks, always have and always will. I’ve got some hope for this season and a lot of belief in the players and staff. We’re going to go through a rough stretch of games, but we’re going to end up with a solid, fun, even efficient team.

    Go NY Go NY Go!

  22. daJudge

    hoolahoop–what big man should they have signed instead of Melo? Also, Melo was born in Brooklyn and you know he played for Syracuse, so maybe you can cut him some slack for his own home grown talent. The acid test for this trade is whether the Knicks will acquire another CP3 or another superb player. Melo and Stat are stars, like it or not. Stars have more gravitational pull and attract other stars. So long as Melo is a star and not a black hole, we’ll be fine. My concern is whether Coach will mold this team according to their strengths or, instead, try to force his system. Also, yeah, Melo is not Lebron. Who is?

  23. BigBlueAL

    One thing about watching the Nuggets last night was how awful Felton looked and played. If down the stretch of games Denver is going to have the ball in his hands all the time they will lose all their close games like they did last night.

    It was no different than watching the Knicks loss to the Thunder or the Cavs earlier in the season. Gallo and Chandler were easily the 2 best players on the Nuggets last night but they barely saw the ball late in the 4th and in OT but Felton had the ball in his hands almost the entire time. Only time they scored was when Afflalo got the ball a bit.

    Knicks shouldve found a way to trade Felton for Billups straight up lol.

  24. hoolahoop

    I agree. The Heat use the word “trust” a lot. At first, I didn’t get why they kept stressing that. Now, I realize, when you’re Lebron or Wade, and feel like you can score whenever you want, it takes trust to give up the ball to a teammate who is in a better position to score or keep the ball moving to someone who is in that position. The Celtics are terrific at that. I’d love to see the Knicks play that brand of basketball.
    Lebron and Wade are sometimes unselfish to a fault. Instead of coming to the Garden in a splash hoisting up twenty five shots in his first game, while admitted “under the weather”, it would have been great to cede the ball to Amare. That’s what I think Melo should be doing, learning to fit into Amare’s team. He’s taken the team over, and to me, Amare seems a little lost out there.

    Another thing that concerns me is that Billups favors melo over Amare, which acerbates the above situation.

  25. hoolahoop

    daJudge: hoolahoop–what big man should they have signed instead of Melo?Also, Melo was born in Brooklyn and you know he played for Syracuse, so maybe you can cut him some slack for his own home grown talent. The acid test for this trade is whether the Knicks will acquire another CP3 or another superb player.Melo and Stat are stars, like it or not.Stars have more gravitational pull and attract other stars.So long as Melo is a star and not a black hole, we’ll be fine.My concern is whether Coach will mold this team according to their strengths or, instead, try to force his system.Also, yeah, Melo is not Lebron.Who is?  

    First, I don’t expect melo to be Lebron, but he can play unselfish, intelligent basketball. Is that asking too much? Isn’t that what we love about Fields.
    Second, none, zero, no slack whatsoever for being born in Brooklyn and playing at Syracuse. That’s BS to cut slack for that reason – and it’s prejudice. I’d rather have a guy from Russia if he was better. (I’m third generation brooklyn born).
    Third – here we go again. “You see, fans, this trade is going to be good once we get CP3 or D. Williams”. Tell you what, call me when he’s here. And are we going to go through another drama of where is CP3 going to sign. Spare me.
    Fourth – Who? I don’t know who we would get, but there are always opportunities that arise. Who knew Deron Williams or k. Perkins was going to get moved? If you have cap space you sit patient and strike at the opportune moment. Make the right move, not the now move.

  26. latke

    hoolahoop:If down the stretch of games Denver is going to have the ball in his hands all the time they will lose all their close games like they did last night.

    I think they went with Felton because Miller was burning them and Lawson is too small to guard him. The offense was clearly much better with Lawson running things. You have to figure that Ray will end up as a reserve.

    hoolahoop: Now, I realize, when you’re Lebron or Wade, and feel like you can score whenever you want, it takes trust to give up the ball to a teammate who is in a better position to score or keep the ball moving to someone who is in that position. The Celtics are terrific at that. I’d love to see the Knicks play that brand of basketball.

    It takes a great degree of trust and humility. Admitting that you need your teammates to succeed is hard for these guys that have been trained to believe the world revolves around them. But controversy can force guys to mature quickly. Like the Miami 3, Carmelo demanded this situation. If things don’t go as well as planned, he will not hear the end of it.

    One thing that I have found a bit disturbing has been the volume of shots that Anthony has taken. I figured at least for the first few games he’d defer to Amare and the system, since MDA and Amare have a track record of success via MDA’s system. It’s really not hard to play the job of a wing in the MDA system. You go to your spot on the perimeter, and you let Amare and the PG run PnR, and if your defender hedges off you, the PG passes you the ball and you use the space to shoot or drive. It was the ideal situation for Carmelo to advertise his willingness to adapt. Later, the knicks could work out the best way to take advantage of ‘Melo’s other offensive talents.

  27. JK47

    We have a coach who’s known as an offensive genius. I’d be pretty surprised if this team ends up being an all-iso, all-the-time, team. I don’t think Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are some sort of ball-movement wizards who are capable of doing things Melo is not. Melo’s career AST% is 15.5. Gallinari’s is 7.3 and Chandler’s is 9.2.

    Melo can pass. Give the guy more than two freaking games to fit into the system.

  28. Count de Pennies

    BigBlueAL: One thing about watching the Nuggets last night was how awful Felton looked and played.  

    I guess “awful” depends on one’s perspective. I was reading the Nugget blog, Roundball Mining Co, this morning and the writer couldn’t have been more delighted with Felton’s defensive play. And while he lamented some of Ray-Ray’s offensive decisions, the writer said that the game would not have been “salvageable without Felton’s defensive effort in the second half.”

    I guess fans who’ve spent as many years watching a team as defensively challenged as the Nuggets were during the Melo Era are probably so delighted with the upgrade in that department that they’re far more forgiving of Felton’s offensive shortcomings than Knick fans who watched him in a system that does not put much of a premium on defense.

    http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/2011/02/26/2010-2011-game-60-denver-nuggets-106-portland-trail-blazers-107/

  29. daJudge

    hoolahoop–1. Totally agree with you on point one. It’s reasonable and not at all too much to ask. Perhaps you are prejudiced by discounting his ability to perform in this regard without watching more than two games with our team. I think he will do what is needed.
    2. I thought you raised the home grown talent issue in your own post. I guess you meant brought up as Knick. I, myself, do pull for my home town, but I think your point is certainly valid if applied consistently. In other words, even if the players were former Knicks, if trades can make us better, we should not be swayed by the fact that they were Knicks. Myself, I go for St. John’s players (alum), Queens and upstate dudes like Jimmer. I concede that it is a prejudice.
    3. Don’t agree at all. I think you’re missing an important collateral aspect of the trade.
    4. I would have loved to sign a great center and I posted many times about that, but the opportunity wasn’t available at this point.

  30. KnickInSeattle

    Wow, Hoola.
    You’re waiting for the return of an era that died about 38 years ago and yet 2 games and 5 days…that’s long enough to convince you that we’re going the wrong direction. Time certainly is fluid, huh?

  31. gbaked

    hoolahoop: Sometimes you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.   

    I knew what we had.

    How much did it piss all of you off when Melo fouled himself out with like a min left.

    Landry and his 1 fouled was right next to him to send whoever it was to the line and stop the clock. Why is the guy who is supposed to be the one of the best “closers” in the game taking himself out of the game?

    To me, that was the most worrisome thing I saw. Nerves and not understanding each other as players will help with lots of the other problems (not all… but Melo isnt gonna miss that many gimme shots all season. One thing he can do is score…). But that was one of the dumbest thing I have ever seen a “star” do.

  32. hoolahoop

    KnickInSeattle: Wow, Hoola.
    You’re waiting for the return of an era that died about 38 years ago and yet 2 games and 5 days…that’s long enough to convince you that we’re going the wrong direction. Time certainly is fluid, huh?  

    Wrong. That era still exists. Check out Miami, Boston San Antonio, LA. Just about all the good teams play that style. That era died for Knicks a long time ago.

    I thought we were going in the wrong direction before the trade. Two games confirms my suspicion. Hey, I’m a knick fan, I want them to be good. And if they’re not good I can still love them – if they play hard, play defense, and move the ball. If they play selfish, i’ll love-hate them like I did when marbury was here. melo reminds me of marbury!

  33. KnickInSeattle

    Hoola, I get what you’re saying.

    I think Melo will be a lot better for the team than Marbury…who is obviously certifiable. Melo may be immature and a ball hog, but he isn’t crazy. Comparing the two says a lot about the suffering Knicks fans have endured for a decade or more, and not much at all about the actual prospects of the team.

  34. dmull

    It’s funny how some of the same people who wouldn’t have moved D-Lee for Kobe Bryant (like, dead honest) hate the Carmelo deal because “he doesn’t play any defense.”

  35. Thomas B.

    Out rebounded by 20 against the Cavs. Rebounding was an issue before the trade. But we have a “star” player, so why is rebounding still an issue? Sigh.

  36. HoyaSaxa33

    I’m not gonna freak out and jump off the boat yet…there aren’t gonna be very many nights where melo AND amare shoot this poorly. A lot of my felo Knicks fans really are bugging me, we’ve sucked for 10 years….now we are .500 at least and people are having a coniption…just be patient all good things take time, plus WE HAVE AMARE STOUDAMIRE AND CARMELO ANTHONY ON OUR TEAM ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! So please knick fans, relax and go buy yourself a melo shirt if you haven’t don so already…but if you can’t settle down….the nets boat is right over there, please feel free to jump on.

  37. Owen

    “It’s funny how some of the same people who wouldn’t have moved D-Lee for Kobe Bryant (like, dead honest) hate the Carmelo deal because “he doesn’t play any defense.”

    I hate the deal because he takes a lot of shots and doesn’t make enough. And he doesn’t play any defense. And we are going to pay him 20 million to pound the ball into the floor for the next three years.

    Re Lee – It hasn’t escaped my notice that the Biedrins-Lee frontcourt hasn’t worked out quite as well as Wins Produced would have suggested. And I can’t tell you why Lee’s fg% is 6% below last years. Maybe it’s the arm injury, the new situation, maybe he really wasn’t as good as we thought he was. It’s definitely really strange though. We can argue all we want about Lee’s true talent level and whether the numbers overstate his impact, but it’s downright bizarre for a guy to shoot 60% from the field his sophomore year and 49% after making an all star team and signing a huge contract three years later.

    Re Lee and Kobe – It’s interesting to look back on those heady days, two Lakers championships ago. I know a little bit more about stats now than I did then. And David Lee is no longer averaging 65% ts% with a 20% reb rate.

    If I had a time machine that made me the Knicks GM in December of 07 I still wouldn’t make that trade. And I would definitely use that machine in some devious way to keep Chris Wallace from making the Gasol trade, without which, the whole Kobe-Lee thing wouldn’t seem quite so ridiculous right now.

    It was a very similar debate to the one we have had of late. One side of the debate argued that the way forward was a high priced high scoring superstar who could win by himself. The other side argued for drafting well, locking up cheap, undervalued assets and waiting for a legit superstar. I still feel like the latter model is better. But Knicks management doesn’t seem to agree.

  38. hoolahoop

    To be honest, I don’t, never did, find melo very likable, whereas I loved the guys we traded away. So, unless the trade clearly makes the knicks better, I prefer the team we had before.
    It’s not the case that I don’t like melo because he’s a superstar. It’s that he’s an overrated star that hogs the ball and doesn’t play defense. I like players who work hard and do whatever it takes to win. If I’m mistaken and that’s what melo turns out to be, he’ll win this city over, myself included. If he plays the game selfish and lazy, he’s going to dread the day he came here.

  39. Ben R

    I am disappointed the Knicks lost, but overall I am happy because Balkman got some playing time and played well. Long term I think Balkman playing and not getting bought out is going to have a much greater impact on the Knicks than one bad game against Cleveland.

    Once this team gels it will be better than the team that played last night, I don’t know if it will be better than the Knicks before the trade but I admit, even though I hate the trade, that it might be.

    We can go round and round about whether the trade was good or bad but at this point, what’s done is done. I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that this, for better or worse, is our team now. I can live with that but I really really need people to stop saying we are going to get Paul or Howard or Williams in 2012.

    I honestly think that the people on this board are knowledgeable and intelligent Knick fans, so please stop with the pipedream that we can sign another superstar and that waiting until 2012 to build this team is smart. Everytime someone defends this trade by parroting the morons in the media “that we are on our way to a big 3″ while having neither the assets for a trade or the potential capspace for a signing, I see red.

    I can come to terms with having Melo, Fields and Amare as our future core, I can deal with having very few future opportunities to improve this team, I can stomach game after game of ugly ISO basketball and disinterested defense, but I cannot take people I respect defending this move and this team by saying lets just wait till 2012 and everything will be okay. No it won’t. If Billups was 26 then I’d be feeling pretty good about our future after 2012 but he is 34 and there is no replacement waiting in the wings. People need to realize that this team gets worse when Billups contract comes off the books not better.

    This is our team, love it or hate it, it’s not really changing anytime soon.

  40. Resounding Rebounding

    BenR, this is why I favor taking a PG with our 1st round pick. We really need a center but unless Enes Kanter or Jonas Valanciunas fall to us, which is unlikely, the best value for where we will likely be picking in the draft is at the PG position.

  41. Ben R

    Resounding Rebounding: BenR, this is why I favor taking a PG with our 1st round pick. We really need a center but unless Enes Kanter or Jonas Valanciunas fall to us, which is unlikely, the best value for where we will likely be picking in the draft is at the PG position.  (Quote)

    I agree picking a PG in the draft would be the best move. I defeinitely think it’s got to be either a C or a PG, but since we have a C prospect overseas in Jordon a PG would give us a PG prospect as well.

    Douglas is a good backup PG, especially now that we have Melo to take ball handling pressure offf of him, but I am not sure if he will ever develop into the kind of starting PG we need long term, so the draft is the most likely place we will find a replacement for Billups.

  42. Resounding Rebounding

    Ben R: I agree picking a PG in the draft would be the best move. I defeinitely think it’s got to be either a C or a PG, but since we have a C prospect overseas in Jordon a PG would give us a PG prospect as well.Douglas is a good backup PG, especially now that we have Melo to take ball handling pressure offf of him, but I am not sure if he will ever develop into the kind of starting PG we need long term, so the draft is the most likely place we will find a replacement for Billups.  (Quote)

    Honestly, we shold probably buy a couple of picks as well, in fact right after the Carmelo trade was made, I read an article that stated that’s what we would do. However, from what I can recall, we could have purchased a late first round pick in the last draft, but chose not to in an effort to maintain as much cap space as possible. I think the same thing may happen this time.

  43. dmull

    Owen, I was really only trying to point out that this constant talk about Carmelo not playing defense is ridiculous. First off, I highly doubt that many of these commenters have truly watched Melo closely enough out in Denver to make such assertions. I think they are more likely simply regurgitating what has become a widespread belief. D-Lee, for as much as I loved him too, only contributed on defense in terms of his defensive rebounding percentage. What will Carmelo be on defense? I think the issue is a touch cloudier than most here seem to think, however, I think we might be better suited at changing the view there…are we really worried about Carmelo’s lack of defense? Or are we worried about our coach’s reluctance to teach any type of efficient defensive principles?

    Where did Denver rank in terms of defensive efficiency over the last three years prior to this season? Is Melo really as bad as most think? What is the bigger issue here? 1 player or 1 coach?

    I have no problem with anyone who didn’t like the trade. To me, it was a heist. But I certainly respect the efficiency/salary/youth debates…but can we please back off the statistics overdose just once in a while? A few years ago it was annoying how ignorant most people were of advanced statistics. Now it is even more annoying how if you think differently on certain things than advanced statistics that you are ripped to death as if you are the most ignorant person walking the planet.

    Look, stats are great. They’re fun, they’re insightful. Often, they make our senses look dumb. But we also see a lot of cases where they don’t tell the whole story. The Knicks are a work in progress but if you can’t enjoy the prospect of this team come playoff time then you really need to loosen up a bit.

  44. Brian Cronin

    First off, I highly doubt that many of these commenters have truly watched Melo closely enough out in Denver to make such assertions.

    The guy who has coached him since 2005 made that assertion. I think George Karl has watched him a lot more closely than any of us.

  45. Brian Cronin

    I honestly think that the people on this board are knowledgeable and intelligent Knick fans, so please stop with the pipedream that we can sign another superstar and that waiting until 2012 to build this team is smart. Everytime someone defends this trade by parroting the morons in the media “that we are on our way to a big 3? while having neither the assets for a trade or the potential capspace for a signing, I see red.

    Pre-”The Decision,” I’d agree that it was a pipe dream. Now I think it is likely to happen (and if it does, then the Melo deal is more than worth it).

  46. endyendy

    I’ve seen a number of people say that the year Melo truly stepped up on defense was the year the Nuggets made the WCF. I don’t have any stats to back it up nor did I watch Nuggets games that often so I can’t confirm, but it doesn’t seem a totally illogical statement.

    Regardless, anyone can be a good team defender. It comes down to effort and motivation, so the question is whether or not D’Antoni can get that out of his players. I know he cares about that side of the court, but his apparent desire to have the players gamble more to start the break can backfire often.

    I see no reason to worry about the offense. If anyone can get them playing proper team offense it’s D’Antoni, so I’m not going to declare 3 years of Melo ISO 18-footers to be the Knicks’ destiny quite yet.

  47. Ben R

    Brian – How? How can we get Paul or Howard? Do you think we can trade for them? Do you think the new CBA will raise the salary cap? I honestly want to know how. I’m not trying to pick a fight or be argumentative, I just do not see how it is possible.

  48. latke

    Ben,

    It could happen, but it’s dependent on a lot of long shots. The CBA/cap situation and how it affects our cap space, sign and trades, and the advantages of using one’s bird rights is one factor, and it will affect the approach that Deron/Paul take come the deadline next year. Another is the development of Fields, who would have to be the central piece in any trade for Deron/Paul/Howard (and really if it’s a trade it’s hard to imagine NJ ever sending ups Deron). Finally, you have our team success. If Carmelo and Amare struggle to coexist and we end up with 47 wins next year or something like that, I don’t see NY as a premiere destination.

    Your larger points stands though IMO. I don’t think anyone could make a rational argument that there are good odds for stars to align and for us to pick up one of these superstars. Therefore, it’s counterproductive to place all our bets on 2012 when in reality the most likely possibility is that this team PEAKS next year.

  49. Brian Cronin

    If the cap remains just at the current total, the Knicks could have enough cap room (provided they are willing to part with their 2011 draft pick)(with Amar’e, Melo, Balkman and 9 cap holds) to give Paul or Williams salaries beginning at $13.5 million (about a million more if they could get someone to take Balkman for a pick, which likely won’t be crazy if they let him play this year and next) (the half a million, by the way, is because the new player would take the place of one of the cap holds – the Knicks would have roughly 45 million committed with the three players and the 9 cap holds, but when you sign a free agent, the free agent is allowed that cap hold’s salary, since it no longer needed).

    That’s provided that the cap stays the same. If it goes up, even better. Do note that if the new CBA rolls back the cap, it would likely lower salaries, as well, so proportionally it would be the same.

    Now, if you have Chris Paul or Deron Williams tell their team that they will take the $13.5 million (or $14.5 if you can dump Balkman for a pick) if they are not traded to the Knicks now, the Knicks could then trade Billups, Fields and Douglas to the Hornets/Nets for Paul/Williams (Fields and Douglas is better than nothing) and then the Knicks would not have to renounce all of their players.

    Alternatively, there could be a hard cap. If there is a hard cap, the salary cap would rise to roughly where the luxury tax level is, so the Knicks could just sign Paul/Williams outright.

    Without seeing the new CBA, it’s hard to say more.

  50. Brian Cronin

    I do agree, though, that it is not logical for Chris Paul to be dead set on coming to New York, but he sure seems to be, and post-”The Decision,” I think he will find a way.

    An interesting situation is what happens with Extra E this offseason. He is a free agent, so I wonder if he will get multi-year offers.

  51. Ben R

    Brian – 13-14 mllion is about 5-6 million per year less than a max contract for Paul or Howard will be and about 5-6 million a year less than Melo or Amare make. So to come play here in NY, one of the most expensive and tax prohibitive places in the country, Paul or Howard would have to take a major pay cut (and make far less than their 2 less talented teammates) and then be stuck on a team in which 12 of the 15 players are at replacement level or below. We wouldn’t have our 2011 draft pick or Jerome Jordan, much less Fields or Douglas. You think Miami is thin, imagine them if you took away, Anthony, Miller, Haslem, Chalmers and Jones (all players they would have lost if they had to renounce everyone but their big three). Take away those players and Miami wouldn’t be in the upper echelon and they have a better “big 3″ than we would have with Paul or Howard.

    Top that off with the fact that there is a pretty good chance the MLE is going away (one can only hope) and there might be no way for a capped out team to really improve.

    Paul or Howard could both together go to LA and team up with Griffin and Gordon (and Jordan, Aminu, Bledsoe, and Minny’s 2011 pick) or sign individually with whoever else puts themselves into a great position to compete. OKC is under the cap in 2012 and even after signing Westbrook to his qualifing offer would be able to offer a max contract if Howard wanted to team up with Durant and Westbrook (and Hardin, Ibaka and Collison). If Paul and Howard really want to compete for a championship Paul in LA and Howard in OKC make alot more sense and they wouldn’t even have to leave money on the table to do it.

    Maybe if Paul or Howard are willing to leave over 25% of their contract on the table and play with d-league castoffs and over the hill veterans they will sign with Amare and Melo but it seems like a pretty bad and far-fetched option to me.

  52. Brian Cronin

    I agree that it is far-fetched, but so was The Decision. Chris Paul clearly wants to come to New York, and Carmelo Anthony clearly believes he is coming to New York. I believe that they have planned it, so it likely will happen. Heck, all Paul needs to do is to convince New Orleans that he is willing to sign with the Knicks for the $13.5 million and he can force a trade to New York, at which point he could get the full max from the Knicks. New Orleans will not have the new CBA to hold over his head like Denver did with Carmelo.

  53. Resounding Rebounding

    One scenario where they can sign Howard or Paul would be to trade either Amare or Melo. For obvious reasons, this is unlikely to occur.
    If there is a hard cap and the cap rises to luxury tax levels I`m pretty sure one of them would sign with Miami.

  54. jon abbey

    it would not be hard for any big company (Nike?) to sign Paul or Howard or Williams to a megabucks advertising deal to supplement the below max salary. that is how I see it happening (if it does happen), some way that subverts the cap/CBA.

  55. jon abbey

    what people sometimes forget is that there is a huge huge long-term value in being a star member (or even a contributing member) of the team that finally breaks through and wins another title in NYC, breaking the close to 40 year drought.

    if Paul did come here and NY managed to win a title, Paul/Amare/Melo would be gods for life in NYC. that could easily translate into the bottom line for them, in a long-term way that no other city could match. LA/CHI/BOS have all won numerous titles since NY’s last one, a title there or pretty much anywhere else would not be nearly so highly regarded. think the 2004 Red Sox, but in NYC this time.

  56. BigBlueAL

    “Brian – 13-14 mllion is about 5-6 million per year less than a max contract for Paul or Howard will be and about 5-6 million a year less than Melo or Amare make. ”

    There is no chance in hell that in the new CBA a max contract will allow players to get close to 20 million per year from everything I have read. I think Brian is dead on because from all indications max contracts in the new CBA might only go as high as 14-15 mil per year if even that much. Its the whole reason Melo wanted to sign the extension because he knows if he waited to sign as a FA he wouldnt be able to make 20 mil per year.

    If they go to a hard cap from all indications the salary cap will rise to around the current Luxury Tax levels. That would be perfect for the Knicks from what I can tell because they could give TD his 2 mil option, re-sign Fields to something in the 5-6 mil per year range, have their 1st round pick from this year’s draft and be at or below 50 mil. The current salary cap is around 58 mil so if it actually rises to around 65-70 mil which is something as I mentioned before could happen if they adopt a hard cap along with max contracts not being anywhere near as high as in the past the Knicks could be just fine.

    Of course its all hypothetical. It truly depends on what the new CBA turns out to be. There are a few different scenarios that have been thrown around, not to mention the possibility of roll-backs which would lower Amar’e and Melo’s salaries. Lets just wait and see what the new CBA turns out to be before we truly can evaluate what the Knicks can do in the summer of 2012.

  57. yoda4554

    Where are you getting $13-$14 million? Let’s assume we have just Melo and Stoudemire under contract. After the ’11-’12 season, Melo will be going into the second of his three-year $65 mil. deal, so he’ll presumably be making about $22 million for the next season; Amare will be going into the third of his five-year $100 mil. deal, so he’ll be making $20 million. That’s $42 million against a $58 million cap (if it doesn’t drop) for two players. Cap holds for ten additional spots is–what, $5-$6 million more? That leaves $10-$11 mil., not $14 mil. I don’t think Chris Paul is coming to NYC to make half of what two inferior players who don’t seem to complement each other’s abilities very well do.

    We’ll see if Melo can be persuaded to stop chucking and/or play defense. It really is too soon to say what this team will be like. But if he can’t–which not only means we’re playing a player who’s not very productive himself, but who’s killing the ball movement that lets us take advantage of the abilities of our role players–the smart move, frankly, might be to trade him to a team that either likes him or for an offense-starved whom his abilities might be really useful. He could absolutely bring back, say, a borderline-star center and a high-quality role player wing, and that might be much more useful to us. If we don’t trade him, after all, we have to trade Billups in the middle of next year, because he’s our only real asset-acquiring chip.

    That’s obviously premature, but it’s the only way I really see the team seriously improving or gaining assets beyond the Miami strategy of adding over-the-hill veterans and the occasional salary exception. Having both Anthony and Amare on those contracts just absolutely kills any ability to add anything significant to the team, particularly since we’ve traded away so many draft picks.

  58. hoolahoop

    No matter which way you cut it, signing melo eliminated the flexibility the knicks had to make a combination of acquisitions that would made them a better team. This lack of foresight inhibits organizations, like the knicks, from becoming champions. The media frenzy-circus put too much pressure on Dolan, who is not a basketball guy, to sign melo – at any cost. As it turned out, the cost was too high.

    Now, we’re stuck with melo and the media has moved on. The guys who get paid big bucks to talk in front of cameras don’t give a crap about what happens to the knicks and are not accountable in any way.

    Donnie Walsh – He blew it. Donnie has been held up to be some kind of GM god. Listening to him post trade his fingerprints are all over this, as well. Donnie finally got the knicks cap space – but that was easy to do. It was all set up for him and anybody with a little discipline could have done it. We got Amare for one reason only – we threw a boat load of money at him that no one else would offer. And to everyone’s surprise Amare stepped up beyond expectations.

  59. Thomas B.

    The team had rebounding and defensive problems before the trade. So Carmelo isnt to blame here. The core problem of the team is the same, Carmelo just puts the problem in a new box. The team needs a rebounding, paint protecting big man that can play strong overall interior defense–not just weak side shot blocking like Stoudemire and Turiaf do. They also need better defense in the backcourt to stop penetration and maybe–here is a strange concept–make it harder for folks to enter passes into the post. I also never see the Knick backcourt get their hands up. TD is about the only person who does it.

    On David Lee’s defense: Yes it did blow but Lee was a great rebounder, and an efficient scorer. That means he secured possessions with his rebounding and he did not waste many scoring possessions with bad shots. Those things make up for the bad defense. Right now you have Carmelo–who should not even be compared to Lee anyway since they play different positions–Anthony not giving you dominant rebounding for the position or uber efficient scoring. So the Lee vs. Anthony debate falls flat on its face. It is not about Lee’s defense vs. Melo’s. It is about overall contribution to wins. Lee has done more to contribute to wins over his career than Anthony has.
    Career win Score/48:
    Lee: .148
    Anthony: .124
    ’nuff said.

  60. Frank O.

    @49
    Brian:

    Thanks for this. I have been thinking this, and I think I have written on this, less articulately.
    People look at the CBA in a vacuum, as if somehow the cap would come down, but the massive salaries would remain the same. That’s ridiculous.
    The water level will rise and fall for all teams.
    The Knicks’ situation relative to the rest of the league will be no different than it is now. They will be in very good shape.
    This team was never meant to contend this year. In fact, if you had said the Knicks would be .500 this year, we all would have been pretty pleased.
    If they take a small step back during the season to make a better team for the playoffs and for the future, then it is well worth it.
    Honestly, I loved many of the guys the Knicks traded. I had argued that the Knicks should give Mosgov a chance to play and I believed he would play well. But I think the players the Knicks traded have somewhat inflated numbers because of D’Antoni. I am not surprised that Lee’s numbers declined this year. Some of it may be due to injury, but I suspect a big part is just him playing in a different situation.

    One last point, there is almost no personal incentive for a player in the NBA to place defense above offense. These guys are wealthy because they score points. The transcendent players understand the role defense plays in winning championships. Championships are hard to win. It’s easier for an individual to make millions just being a big scorer in this league.
    I don’t get the sense, to date in his career, that Carmelo has the ethic to work hard and play a complete game. It troubles me that he is saying things like, we don’t have to do that much. We just need to play out games.
    No.
    Amare and Melo will need to work hard and adapt their games to the presence of the other. It won’t work otherwise. Melo can’t be content being what he is. That won’t be good enough.
    He will need to grow up and work hard at this.

  61. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I love how all of this is about whether Carmelo can and will turn into the player all of you want him to be. If there’s any indication that you’ve made a trade based on risk, it’s that.

  62. hoolahoop

    Thomas B.: The team had rebounding and defensive problems before the trade. So Carmelo isnt to blame here.The core problem of the team is the same, Carmelo just puts the problem in a new box.The team needs a rebounding, paint protecting big man that can play strong overall interior defense–not just weak side shot blocking like Stoudemire and Turiaf do.They also need better defense in the backcourt to stop penetration and maybe–here is a strange concept–make it harder for folks to enter passes into the post.I also never see the Knick backcourt get their hands up.
    ’nuff said.  

    That’s the point. So, why would management spend all their money and NOT address the problems?
    Answer: Ineptitude.

  63. Ben R

    When they instituted max salaries they grandfathered in previous players so the current veterans would not have to take pay cuts even on their new contracts. Even if they lower max contracts, that is most likely what they would do. It is much easier for someone, in this case the players, to agree to something if the only thing they are giving up effects future players and not themselves. I don’t see them drastically lowering max salaries so players like Paul and Howard have to take huge 40-50% pay cuts on their new contracts while players who just happend to get their contracts before the new CBA get to drastically out earn them. Plus most of the owners hate what is happening with the “big 3″ in Miami and are terrified that if they are not NY, LA, Miami or some other huge market they will be relagated to 2nd class citizens so I highly doubt they write up a new CBA that actually makes it easier for all the superstars to team up in big cities.

  64. Brian Cronin

    Where are you getting $13-$14 million?

    Hoops Hype.

    Knicks’ 2012-13 salary committments = $41,073,799

    Add in about $4,000,000 in cap holds and you get $45,000,000.

    Subtract $500,000 because the new free agent would be taking that cap hold’s place, and you have $13,500,000 (obviously it would be $13,426,201, but I think you can forgive me for saying $13.5).

    Balkman, meanwhile, is due $1,675,000. If he plays at all this season and next, you could easily dump his expiring contract for a draft pick, so you could add $1,175,000 to the pot (Balkman’s salary minus the $500,000 cap hold they’d have to get to take his place), making it over $14.5 million.

  65. Brian Cronin

    But I think the players the Knicks traded have somewhat inflated numbers because of D’Antoni. I am not surprised that Lee’s numbers declined this year.

    Lee’s numbers were better before D’Antoni (or, if you prefer to say not better, they certainly did not substantially change).

  66. hoolahoop

    Okay, here and now.
    Danatoni needs to look melo in the eye and tell him this is how it goes:
    Move the ball and play dee. I want less shot volume, more quality shots, and more assists. I want you playing defense like you’re a player that can’t score and your livelihood depends on it. Otherwise, we’re going to have problems.

  67. Brian Cronin

    That’s the point. So, why would management spend all their money and NOT address the problems?

    Because they’re certain they’ll land Chris Paul in a year, in which case they’ll be a good playoff team just with their three stars and a team of D-Leaguers and washed up veterans, with room to improve every year through the draft (and possibly some form of the mid-level exception – I believe the mid-level will mostly be gone, but I bet there’s some watered down version of it still in existence in a couple of seasons).

  68. Brian Cronin

    Okay, here and now.
    Danatoni needs to look melo in the eye and tell him this is how it goes:
    Move the ball and play dee. I want less shot volume, more quality shots, and more assists. I want you playing defense like you’re a player that can’t score and your livelihood depends on it. Otherwise, we’re going to have problems.

    Melo had one practice! We’re mad that he’s his typical ball hogging self after one practice? If he is still ball stopping and taking long twos in two weeks, then I’ll be pissed. But I think he’s got at least two weeks’ worth of lee way on the subject.

  69. Brian Cronin

    By the by, with the cap issues in mind, the Knicks likely should look towards stockpiling first rounders this year, so that they are available to trade to New Orleans if they turn out to be any good. Then in 2012, depending on the circumstances, they should not try to replace the pick they’re due to lose to Houston (since all first round picks exceed the cap holds for minimum roster spots). They should look, though, to stockpile second round picks, which all count the same as minimum cap holds.

  70. d-mar

    @69 That’s really sound logic, hopefully Donnie will get renewed soon and be thinking along the same lines.

    I’m sure there will be a thread up later, but I hope we all don’t take too much from this game despite the hype. If we get spanked, which is a very real possibility, PLEASE, hoolahoops and cock jowles of the world, don’t start singing “it’s the end of the world as we know it” Think about how we would have fared in Miami before the trade, and think about where Miami was after the first 17 games of the season. And if we somehow manage to squeeze out a victory, I personally promise to not make predictions about the Knicks now being a position to make the Eastern Conference Finals.

  71. totti

    The evidence is that the “trade” worsened the chances
    to contend for a title.
    Possible solution is:
    decide which one, between stat and melo, is
    to be traded in summer,
    in order to spend better those 20mil

    as for now, i can tell you that denver people cannot stop to laugh
    at knicks management

  72. hoolahoop

    Brian Cronin:
    Because they’re certain they’ll land Chris Paul in a year, ……  

    Really? Let me know when he’s here.
    And if it’s anything like the melo-drama I don’t even want him. It more of a soap opera than a sport, Great for WFAN and ESPN and bad for the fans and players. I hated the episode we just went through.

  73. Brian Cronin

    Really? Let me know when he’s here.
    And if it’s anything like the melo-drama I don’t even want him. It more of a soap opera than a sport, Great for WFAN and ESPN and bad for the fans and players. I hated the episode we just went through.

    I’m not saying they’re correct, merely responding to your question of why management made a deal that did not address their problem areas. They did it because they believe that it will get them Chris Paul in a year, and if this deal gets them Chris Paul in a year, then it is worth it, as Paul/Amar’e/Melo/9 scrubs is a better team than the Knicks team now and the Knicks team before the trade. Chris Paul is that good.

  74. outoftowner

    My take on the CP3 issue, the big questions are:

    1. Would CP3 want to come to NY? I think almost certainly yes. The biggest benefit for him would be finally getting recognition for his greatness. He’s been playing MVP-caliber ball for years and getting no credit because he hasn’t been in a big market or playing for a contender. Coming to NY would solve one maybe two of those issues.

    2. Would NY want Chris Paul? This sounds crazy, but IMO his knee issue is more serious than Amare’s, since microfracture at a young age appears to be something you can recover from, but losing knee menisci is a known downward spiral. By the summer of 2012, we might be looking at CP3 the way we look at Brandon Roy now. But, it could also work to our advantage, if other teams are scared away, the way they were with Amare. Knicks might say, this is a 2 year window, lets just try to win it now with Amare/Melo/CP3.

    3. Cap space: I agree with the projection that we’d have ~14 million under the current cap. The cap wouldn’t stay the same though – reports this year are that ratings are up 30%. Under the current CBA, the cap would be well above 60 million by 2012. Its in David Stern’s best interest to paint a doom and gloom situation regarding the cap – remember last year he said the cap would be 52 million, and it ended up being 58.

    4. The new CBA: It is impossible to say what will happen. But agents are sharp, and Chris Paul’s agent, Leon Rose, is the sharpest. They will make sure there is a way for superstars to go where they want to go – so no franchise tag. At the same time, its hard to see them clawing back existing contracts – the agents would hate setting the precedent of teams taking money back that they promised players. It might end up being a lower cap, fewer exceptions, and shorter/lower max contracts. I would never bet against Leon Rose though, so far he’s 2 for 2 in getting his players exactly where they wanted, exactly how they wanted, against…

  75. dsulz

    latke: Another is the development of Fields, who would have to be the central piece in any trade for Deron/Paul/Howard

    I agree with this. And it sickens me. We continue to ship away our homegrown talent in the pursuit of “stars.” Name me one championship team–just one–who has one a championship without having at least one major player on the team who they originally drafted. Lakers: Bryant. Celtics: Pierce. Spurs: Duncan, Parker, Ginobs etc., Pistons: Rip Hamilton. Now, I’m not saying it would be impossible to win a championship by importing your major stars. A lot of these teams did that too. But the point is that they didn’t just rip teams apart in search of “talent.” That is the staple of the James Dolan era. It might get us Paul, but it’s the kind of yankees-style team building that I reflexively root against (as a Mets fan). Trust fund championships. ugh.

  76. jon abbey

    totti: The evidence is that the “trade” worsened the chances
    to contend for a title.  

    haha, no. they needed an additional superstar either way to have a chance, and you can argue forever about whether Amare/Melo’s recruiting ability will trump having more cap space, but you really have no way of knowing right now.

  77. jon abbey

    dsulz:
    it’s the kind of yankees-style team building that I reflexively root against (as a Mets fan).Trust fund championships.ugh.  

    yeah, what’s much better is to outspend everyone in your league and still suck. good luck with that rotation and with trying to stop K-Rod from triggering his 2012 option! (from a Yankees fan)

  78. Brian Cronin

    Pistons: Rip Hamilton.

    Pistons did not draft Hamilton. Prince would be your example on that team (and he was the fifth most valuable player on that Pistons team).

    And if the Knicks get a Big Three, a drafted player will almost certainly be part of their “major players,” since their roster will be made up of rookies and washed up veterans (although, if the Knicks keep Balkman, there is your “drafted player” ;)), so a rookie will undoubtedly be part of their core group of players in 2012, and by the time the team is ready to win championships, that rookie will be a part of it.

  79. hoolahoop

    …. and I think CP3 is overrated, too. Honestly, haven’t seen him play that much, but whenever I watched him it never equaled the hype. I may be wrong, but I see more and more, someone makes an opinion, then it becomes common knowledge – INCORRECT common knowledge.
    (i.e. melo is one of the top five players in the NBA. you MUST get him – or else.)

  80. Brian Cronin

    In the case of Paul, like Lebron, the player lives up to the hype.

    In D’Antoni’s system? Hoooooleeeee crap, would he be good.

    The injury concerns are real, though.

  81. Thomas B.

    @62 hoolahoop

    I’m not quite sure it is ineptitude. I think management tried to improve on the one thing the team did well, that being scoring. I’m not sure how many rebounding, defensive bigs were available. So management got a player that does what the coach and the majority of fans value. The only player I can think of that moved that could have helped the glaring interior issue was Kendrick Perkins, and NYC probably lacked a player comparable to Jeff Green. Chandler is close but not quite. Besides the Celts would not send Perkins to a division rival.

  82. jon abbey

    actually I totally agree that Paul is overrated, and to mention him in the same breath as LeBron is hilarious to me. I would rather have Deron Williams, if given the choice, but either would be by far the best PG we’ve had since Clyde.

  83. Owen

    “…. and I think CP3 is overrated, too. Honestly, haven’t seen him play that much, but whenever I watched him it never equaled the hype.”

    Hmm, yeah. Not going to parse the logic too closely.

    Jon – I disagree. I agree Lebron is better. But they aren’t that far apart in value.

    Just look at his numbers hoolahoop. Go to the stats page here, go to basketball reference and run some player comps. Go to basketballvalue and look at raw and adjusted +/- numbers.

    Imo, Paul is the best point guard in the NBA by a huge margin. And he is one of the four elite young talents in the league, the guys who generate a big surplus after being paid a max salary. The only reason that isn’t readily apparent is because the best player he has played with is either David West or Emeka Okafor. If Paul had played next to Boozer, Millsap, Kirilienko, Okur and Brewer he might have a title and would be considered the second best player in the NBA.

  84. latke

    Brian Cronin:
    Pistons did not draft Hamilton. Prince would be your example on that team (and he was the fifth most valuable player on that Pistons team).And if the Knicks get a Big Three, a drafted player will almost certainly be part of their “major players,” since their roster will be made up of rookies and washed up veterans (although, if the Knicks keep Balkman, there is your “drafted player.” ;)), so a rookie will undoubtedly be part of their core group of players in 2012, and by the time the team is ready to win championships, that rookie will be a part of it.   

    They also drafted Okur. Neither Prince nor Okur were that big a deal during Detroit’s best years, but you could argue that their rookie deals makde them great values and allowed the pistons to bring in the more important pieces without losing depth.

    Regardless, they didn’t sign or trade for ANY stars, except for Rasheed Wallace, and even though Wallace had star-level impact on the game, he was cheaper because of the attitude concerns (I think Bob Sura was the main piece to the deal that netted them Wallace). Pre-Detroit, Hamilton was a star like Nick Young is a star right now. Sure, he looked good, but his team was terrible despite his good numbers. Billups looked mediocre pre-Detroit, and Ben Wallace also broke out in his 1st year with Detroit. So even though Detroit’s championship team wasn’t built through the draft per se, Dumars built the team by seeking out undervalued players, the exact opposite of what the Knicks have done by going after big names and paying them the max. I’m not saying that that strategy is a faulty one. The Pistons, after all, were one of the few teams to every win the championship without a superstar.

  85. Caleb

    I don’t think Deron Williams can sniff Chris Paul’s underwear right now, but if you’re figuring on who deserves a 5-year deal and you have to weigh the medical reports, then it’s tough… Deron prob gets the vote.

    And no, I don’t think Chris Paul is in LeBron’s league. No one is. I guess Dwight Howard’s long-term value is similar.

  86. Owen

    Latke – I agree about Richard Hamilton and Nick Young.

    I don’t agree they didn’t have a superstar. Ben Wallace’s 03-04 season on the defensive end was the best of all time by defensive rating. Or do you have to be a two way player to be a superstar?

  87. Brian Cronin

    And he is one of the four elite young talents in the league, the guys who generate a big surplus after being paid a max salary.

    Lebron, Howard, Durant, Paul? Those would be my top four building blocks right now.

  88. Brian Cronin

    And yeah, Lebron is a lot better than Paul, but that’s only because Lebron is in his own special tier. It’s weird to put one guy in his own tier, though, so I like to look at the top five or so guys in the NBA as one tier, even though Lebron is better than all of them.

  89. latke

    Owen: Latke – I agree about Richard Hamilton and Nick Young.
    I don’t agree they didn’t have a superstar. Ben Wallace’s 03-04 season on the defensive end was the best of all time by defensive rating. Or do you have to be a two way player to be a superstar?  

    Yes, he was a star, you’re right. What I meant was when he signed he wasn’t a star, so he didn’t get star $s. None of their main guys did.

  90. jon abbey

    Owen: “…. and I think CP3 is overrated, too. Honestly, haven’t seen him play that much, but whenever I watched him it never equaled the hype.”Hmm, yeah. Not going to parse the logic too closely.Jon – I disagree. I agree Lebron is better. But they aren’t that far apart in value.
    Just look at his numbers hoolahoop. Go to the stats page here, go to basketball reference and run some player comps. Go to basketballvalue and look at raw and adjusted +/- numbers.Imo, Paul is the best point guard in the NBA by a huge margin. And he is one of the four elite young talents in the league, the guys who generate a big surplus after being paid a max salary.The only reason that isn’t readily apparent is because the best player he has played with is either David West or Emeka Okafor. If Paul had played next to Boozer, Millsap, Kirilienko, Okur and Brewer he might have a title and would be considered the second best player in the NBA.   

    yeah, I think his numbers are misleading. you might be right about the guys he’s played with, but I just think he’s not as good as his numbers, more like a 6-10 player than a 1-5.

  91. Doug

    jon abbey:
    yeah, what’s much better is to outspend everyone in your league and still suck. good luck with that rotation and with trying to stop K-Rod from triggering his 2012 option! (from a Yankees fan)  

    No, what’s even better is to have your team’s owners lose hundreds of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme and then get subjected to a $1 billion class action lawsuit by victims of said Ponzi scheme. Then your team is forced to accept a $25 million bailout from Major League Baseball just so the legal costs of that class action lawsuit don’t bankrupt the team. Also, your farm system is barren, you can’t afford to sign any free agents, your Opening Day starter is Mike Pelfrey, and you are still paying Oliver Perez $12 million a year.

    Money != success. (Also from a Yankees fan)

  92. Brian Cronin

    My concern with comparing the Knicks’ current plan to the Pistons is that the NBA is so different now. You would never in a gazillion years have three free agents in the peak of their careers do what Lebron/Bosh/Wade just did. Those guys changed the whole ball game. Under the old ball game, then yes, what the Knicks are currently doing would be foolish. But if it ends up with Chris Paul as a Knick (or Deron Williams – I just get the feeling that in the end it will be Paul, not Williams), it is not foolish.

  93. Brian Cronin

    yeah, I think his numbers are misleading. you might be right about the guys he’s played with, but I just think he’s not as good as his numbers, more like a 6-10 player than a 1-5.

    You agree that, regardless of specific rank, you’d have both Paul and Williams in the top 10, though, right?

  94. Doug

    Brian Cronin: And yeah, Lebron is a lot better than Paul, but that’s only because Lebron is in his own special tier. It’s weird to put one guy in his own tier, though, so I like to look at the top five or so guys in the NBA as one tier, even though Lebron is better than all of them.  

    It’s like Japanese video games, where “S” for “special” is above an A+. Lebron is the one and only “S”.

  95. KnickfaninNJ

    Frank (in @60)

    We were a .500 team and we were all pleased. I think everyone defending the Melo trade here doesn’t realize what a pleasure it was to watch a coherent team this year. They defended reasonably and were getting better and now we lost a lot of that. The two seasons before this all we saw was the team continually get worse as talent was traded for cap space and team unity suffered from regular trades. This was done to prepare for the future. Now we had a watchable team out there with potential growth. But we are back to where we were last season with a trade messing up team chemistry in the name of the future. What is more, the Knicks of this year used to be mostly players who both defended and scored. They weren’t superstars, but they were good at both. Now all that is left of that is Fields, Douglas and Williams. only one of whom is a starter. It’s hard to tell about cap space, but it’s clear the team is less watchable at the moment than it used to be and all the Melo trade enthusiasts in this forum are basically saying we did it for the future and the future will be good.

    Honestly, I had more fun watching Denver play Boston, than I did the Knicks play Cleveland and, as a lifelong Knicks fan, that’s really hard for me to take.

  96. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin:
    You agree that, regardless of specific rank, you’d have both Paul and Williams in the top 10, though, right?  

    yeah, I’d just feel more comfortable about Paul if I actually ever saw him dominate a game. like hoolahoop said, whenever I see him play, he doesn’t live up to the hype.

  97. KnicksFanInVA

    I just really miss Gallo.

    Even my mom, who is in her 70s and who barely understands basketball(but watches Knicks games with me) said he was such a good player and is sad to see him go.

    Honestly whether or not Melo works out here or not, Chris Paul or Deron Williams comes here or not, I think we all agree that it doesn’t feel right in our hearts what happened.

    I don’t know, maybe I am being overly emotional.

  98. HoyaSaxa33

    “Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo” Miami Heat…thats nothin, Carmelo wit the shot, and Stat dunkin. Knicks put it down in the garden they be ballin homie…..LEEEGOOOO KNICKSSS les win one tonight and silence all them haterrrs

  99. Brian Cronin

    yeah, I’d just feel more comfortable about Paul if I actually ever saw him dominate a game. like hoolahoop said, whenever I see him play, he doesn’t live up to the hype.

    Well, the weird thing about Paul is that he’s definitely still working his way back from the injury. But that, I think, is what impressed me more about him, is that he seems to often be going half-time, and yet his half-time is as good as other guy’s full-time!

    But I can definitely see what you mean about the seeming lack of domination. Like against the Knicks, he was blowing them away and then he sat the entire fourth quarter.

  100. totti

    The present don’t count anymore.
    It is 2012 hope as knicks are capped out.
    That’s the reason why the trade was so fool.

    All this because knicks were not happy to have two 17ppg SF 22 and 23 years old, with terrible upside and potential. Two guys unselfish, team oriented and afficient scorers. Both rookies, one to renew at 7/9 mil this summer. No they had to gut the team for a 20 millions one trick pony star and accept billups, being so capped out again. The craziest thing is that the trade did not address any of the weeknesses of the team.

  101. hoolahoop

    Owen: “…. and I think CP3 is overrated, too. Honestly, haven’t seen him play that much, but whenever I watched him it never equaled the hype.”Hmm, yeah. Not going to parse the logic too closely.Jon – I disagree. I agree Lebron is better. But they aren’t that far apart in value.
    Just look at his numbers hoolahoop. Go to the stats page here, go to basketball reference and run some player comps. Go to basketballvalue and look at raw and adjusted +/- numbers.Imo, Paul is the best point guard in the NBA by a huge margin. And he is one of the four elite young talents in the league, the guys who generate a big surplus after being paid a max salary.The only reason that isn’t readily apparent is because the best player he has played with is either David West or Emeka Okafor. If Paul had played next to Boozer, Millsap, Kirilienko, Okur and Brewer he might have a title and would be considered the second best player in the NBA.   

    I don’t know what your smokin? As Jon said, you can’t put him in the same sentence as Lebron.
    Number two in the league? There’s a guy that plays for the Lakers that’s pretty good. I think his name is Kobe. I’ll stop here.

  102. hoolahoop

    HoyaSaxa33: “Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo” Miami Heat…thats nothin, Carmelo wit the shot, and Stat dunkin. Knicks put it down in the garden they be ballin homie…..LEEEGOOOO KNICKSSS les win one tonight and silence all them haterrrs  

    That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a satire of the real thing all in one.

  103. Caleb

    When Knicks are heading into the 2012 trade deadline as the 5-seed, you have to think the Knicks would at least gauge the possibility of trading Carmelo (or Stoudemire).

  104. ess-dog

    Yeah, when we start getting into the CP3 is overrated arguments, I think we need to step back a bit. Stars are easy targets but stars are stars because they’ve put up the numbers. Even a guy like Melo has a history of numbers that are really very rare. The dude already has 800 more career points than Dwayne Wade for Chrissake!
    Yes he’s inefficient, but he’s ours now. And Donnie has to build around him very carefully. This will be a much harder job than adding young pieces willy nilly like Kahn’s doing in Minnesota. There is very little room for error.
    I think Donnie’s hand was forced with Melo but I trust he can do what it takes to get us winning with Melo. He clearly needs some time though. And I’m going to give D’Antoni another 12 games before I judge how he’s doing with this new team. It just makes sense to. It’s just unfortunate though that either Balkman, Shelden Williams or Jeffries will soon be our starting power forward or center.

  105. latke

    IMO, all you have to do to realize how special Chris Paul is is to look at their roster in 07/08: http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/NOH/2008.html

    No one except Lebron could carry that team to more than the 56 wins that Paul led them to.

    The next year, Chandler and Peja missed about 60 regular season games combined. Rasual Butler and James Posey were 3rd and 4th in minutes played that season, and they still got to 49 wins.

    Then he got hurt, and don’t think he’s been the same dominant force since then. He’s still a top 5 player IMO, but it’s hard to say whether he’ll get back to where he was pre-injury.

  106. HoyaSaxa33

    HoolaHoop how bout you go start rooting for the nets or somethin…Like I said before…We’ve sucked for 10 years so if it takes another year or two or three WHO CARES!?!?!? Just relax man at least we got the Yankees.

  107. Jim Cavan

    Assuming Paul stands pat and doesn’t demand a trade between now and the summer 2012, I think we’re forgetting that, by that time, we’ll have had the benefit of watching 2 post-surgery seasons from him. It’s well known that procedures like that take well over a full season to fully recover from. I for one wouldn’t be surprised at all if Paul got back to his “old form” next year. Would that still make him a risk? Sure. But DWill could also blow out an achilles tomorrow. That’s the NBA.

    As for the cap flexibility issue, I agree with those who think it’s more than feasible that one of the big 3 FAs ends up here. My money would be on that player being a healthy CP3. And if for some reason we end up with CBA rife with impediments to future Big Threes, well, we’ll just have to get creative. To wit: assuming the Heatles stand pat, their weaknesses going forward will continue to be the PG and C positions. Here’s a list of FAs at those positions — both restricted and non-restricted — that will be available come next summer:

    JaVale Mcgee (R), The Brothers Lopez (both R), Russell Westbrook (R), Ray Felton (U), Derek Rose (R), Andrew Bynum (U), Roy Hibbert (R), Ramon Sessions (U w/ player option), Jason Thompson (R).

    None of ‘em (with the exception of Westbrook and D Rose, neither of whom are going anywhere) are world beaters, but all of them are serviceable and many — particularly McGee — still have nice upside.

    And let’s not forget we still have this year’s draft, which, while not the strongest ever, at least promises a strong crop of PGs. So even worst case scenario, where we don’t land CP3, DWill or D12, let’s not act like we don’t have options.

  108. Owen

    “I don’t know what your smokin? As Jon said, you can’t put him in the same sentence as Lebron.
    Number two in the league? There’s a guy that plays for the Lakers that’s pretty good. I think his name is Kobe. I’ll stop here. ”

    I’ll stop here?

    This is not exactly the kind of board where you can name drop Kobe and end an argument. Not worth arguing about though…

  109. latke

    Jim Cavan: None of ‘em (with the exception of Westbrook and D Rose, neither of whom are going anywhere) are world beaters, but all of them are serviceable and many — particularly McGee — still have nice upside.

    The problem isn’t so much that there aren’t some good free agents in the scenario where we don’t get a 3rd star. The problem is that none of them (except the guys who will demand a much higher salary) are near as good as Billups, so that 2012/13 team still wouldn’t be as good as what we have now. The only way that scenario works out imo is if we manage to get an utter steal of a point guard in the draft.

  110. HoyaSaxa33

    latke:
    The only way that scenario works out imo is if we manage to get an utter steal of a point guard in the draft.  

    NBA Draft.net has the Knicks selecting Brandon Knight as the 17th overall pick…I think give him a year with Chauncey to learn the ropes and Knight could be the answer to our prayers. What do you think?
    http://www.nbadraft.net/2011mock_draft

  111. jon abbey

    to change the topic slightly, I’d much rather be in our position than NJ’s, even if I’d take Williams over Amare or Melo. NJ is now in a situation where they have to probably at least make the playoffs next year to get Williams to maybe stay, but the FAs available this offseason are nowhere near as good as the ones available in 2012. do they spend money now or later? I think they’re screwed either way. Hollinger called their trade an A if Williams resigns, an F if he doesn’t, and I will be extremely surprised if the former scenario comes to pass.

  112. hoolahoop

    HoyaSaxa33: HoolaHoop how bout you go start rooting for the nets or somethin…Like I said before…We’ve sucked for 10 years so if it takes another year or two or three WHO CARES!?!?!? Just relax man at least we got the Yankees.  

    You can be an apologist for the knicks if you want. I hope Dolan is paying you well for propagating the company line, “yeah yeah yeah, just wait three more years”.
    This has been my team for over forty years. Please don’t ever tell me I should not root for the knicks, or to support their idiotic decisions.

  113. Owen

    Sorry i missed the Lakers-Thunder game. Looks like a humdinger. Will be a hell of a playoff series. Not sure what Bynum ate for breakfast but that’s an unbelievable line he put up today

    And go Cavs…

  114. HoyaSaxa33

    hoolahoop:
    You can be an apologist for the knicks if you want. I hope Dolan is paying you well for propagating the company line, “yeah yeah yeah, just wait three more years”.
    This has been my team for over forty years. Please don’t ever tell me I should not root for the knicks, or to support their idiotic decisions.  

    I would hardly say bringing in two top 15 players idiotic…but whatever…you probably still watch every game hoping that Willis Reed comes out of the locker room to save us. Give it time, or cry about it…its up to you but lets have a little faith.

  115. latke

    agreed, jon. NJ management is really dumb. The Deron deal may work out, it may not, but they showed their true colors last summer. Rather than overpaying a guy who was at least good, like Tyson Chandler or Carlos Boozer (neither of whom got max deals), they overpaid average-to-bad players the equivalent of max money (outlaw, petro, morrow).

    As far as Brandon Knight goes, who knows. His stats look good. He’s only like 18. I don’t follow college BB so I haven’t seen him play IRL. No matter what though the draft is a crapshoot.

  116. d-mar

    @115 yeah, you really have to wonder if NJ makes that trade if the Knicks hadn’t just made their Carmelo splash. I know it’s the opinion of many that it’s a risk the Nets had to take, but what are there chances really of making the playoffs next year? Maybe the 8 seed and a first round sweep? Then D-Will has to theoretically “recruit” another star to come to Brooklyn? Sounds a little farfetched. What I really loved was the initial knee jerk reaction by the media that Prokhorov had upstaged the Knicks before they realized that D-Will was just a rental.

  117. Robert Silverman

    Owen: Sorry i missed the Lakers-Thunder game. Looks like a humdinger. Will be a hell of a playoff series. Not sure what Bynum ate for breakfast but that’s an unbelievable line he put up todayAnd go Cavs…  

    If that impressed you, check out Kevin “AJ Soprano if he was 6’10″ Love’s stats midway through the 3rd: 28 mins, 27 points, 8-11 FG, 18 rebounds.

  118. BigBlueAL

    HoyaSaxa33:
    I would hardly say bringing in two top 15 players idiotic…but whatever…you probably still watch every game hoping that Willis Reed comes out of the locker room to save us. Give it time, or cry about it…its up to you but lets have a little faith.  

    I watch every game hoping that Patrick Ewing comes out of the locker room to save us :-)

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