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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Knicks-Hawks Roundtable

As the Knicks and Hawks prepare to square off in a home-and-home on Wednesday and Saturday, we thought it prudent to blow it all out with a long roundtable among a few Knicks bloggers and a few Hawks bloggers. In addition to myself, I called upon hometown favorite Kevin McElroy, and Cole Patty and Bo Churney from our ESPN TrueHoop sister site HawksHoop. With two games against Atlanta in the next four days, we hit on as many possible topics as we could:


Let’s start plain and simple – which team is better right now, Atlanta or New York?

Cole Patty (@ColePatty): I’d have to go with Atlanta, and confidently do so with Chandler out despite both teams struggling early. Even when the Knicks had Tyson the problems for the Hawks seemed more of the “testing the water” variety with learning a new system and Bud trying to figure out his rotation. The Knicks are having an issue adjusting to the life of starting two traditional big men and cutting themselves off from two point guard look early and often. I can see the Atlanta having it all figured out by December a lot clearer than an ultra foggy New York picture.

Kevin McElroy (@knickerbacker): Atlanta by virtually any measure. The Hawks have sported a top-10 offense in the early part of the year, limiting turnovers at an elite level and shooting very efficiently from the field. The Knicks are nearly as stingy in the turnover department but the comparison ends there: New York is a subpar shooting team that doesn’t draw fouls and gets crushed on the boards. Defensively, the early numbers say it’s a fairer fight. One problem though: the early numbers don’t know that Tyson Chandler’s on the shelf with a knee injury. Of the Knicks’ two defensive strengths, their ability to force turnovers remains relatively unaffected by Chandler’s injury but their rim protection goes out the window.  Furthermore, Chandler’s inability to cover for teammates caught out of position should only exacerbate the Knicks foul woes, already debilitating to the tune of the league’s highest rate of FT’s allowed per FGA. Additionally, the game is in Atlanta where the Hawks have sported one of the NBA’s best home records in the past decade. While it’s true that Atlanta has yet to beat a particularly good team this season, it’s also true that the Knicks have yet to be a particularly good team this season…

Bo Churney (@bochurney): Without Tyson, it’s Atlanta. Melo may be the best player on these teams by a decent margin, but with Chandler injured, the next three best players between the two definitely belong to the Hawks (Horford, Millsap, and Teague). It will be interesting to see if the Knicks can take advantage of Atlanta’s pick-and-roll defense, which had been poor so far, but that might not be enough to overcome what’s been a top five offense from the Hawks.

Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin): No question, Atlanta. The Knicks weren’t inspiring much confidence even before Tyson Chandler went out with his injury, and they certainly haven’t been since. The Hawks haven’t quite been blowing their opponents out of the gym, and they have a few legitimate worries on defense, but the Knicks rank in the bottom 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency through six games this season.


With Tyson Chandler out, how can Atlanta look to attack New York’s defense?

Conlin: Without Chandler, the Knicks have no big men that can effectively corral guards coming off high screens. When Kenyon Martin, Amar’e Stoudemire, or Andrea Bargnani are at center, the Knicks are left in the unenviable position of either hedging high and most likely seeing Jeff Teague or Dennis Schröder split the defense and head straight down the middle of the floor, or hanging back in the paint and hoping Teague’s arsenal of creative runners and floaters aren’t falling. A steady diet of Teague attacking from the top of the key should send New York’s defense scrambling.

Patty: More of the same for the Hawks more than anything. Paul Millsap and Al Horford are averaging a huge 37.5 points per game together. Without Tyson, look for them to continue feeding the bigs.

McElroy: Unfortunately, Atlanta is precisely the type of team best-suited to capitalize on the Knicks’ damaged front line. As athletic, powerful, and skilled low post pairings go, Al Horford and Paul Millsap are essentially the gold standard this season. They go for nearly 40 a game combined at excellent efficiency, and that’s on nights when they aren’t being guarded by Andrea Bargnani, Amar’e Stoudemire, and a limited Kenyon Martin.  Beyond the bigs, Jeff Teague comes from the breed of super-quick ballhandlers that the Knicks always have trouble staying in front of. Look for Atlanta’s interior bulk and Teague’s deftness to flummox the Knicks switch-happy perimeter defenders, forcing overhelping and disorganized collapses into the lane that are all the scarier without Chandler — the defensive signal-caller — in the middle of the action. And collapses mean kickouts, and kickouts mean open threes for Kyle Korver, one of the best clean-look shooters in the history of the league. He’s hitting 54% from deep so far this year. So, yeah. How can Atlanta look to attack New York’s defense? Just be yourselves, gentlemen.

Churney: This will be the game that Jeff Teague needs to be in full attack mode. Teague is currently second in the NBA in assists per game at 10.1, and he’ll have a chance to add a bunch of points to his assist numbers in this game. Without Chandler, Teague should be able to get penetration at will, which will either allow him to get to the basket and score, or allow him to kick out to Millsap and Horford. If I had to set over/unders for Teague in this game, I’d go ahead and put it at 20 points/10 assists; the Knicks without Tyson are simply made for Teague to thrive.


Which player, or what scheme, is Atlanta’s best bet to guard Carmelo Anthony?

Patty: Out of the box thinking leads me to really think Paul Millsap has the best shot. He’s an underrated defender that happens to also have a 7’ 1” wingspan. He won’t be pushed around by Melo down low either, and could force Melo to try to be effective from mid-range to the three point line. If he ends up lighting in up against Paul out there, then Atlanta can adjust from there.

Churney: This might be where the Knicks miss Tyson the most. In last year’s matchups, New York was able to kill the Hawks with Felton/Chandler pick-and-rolls, which then forced help off of Melo, allowing him to get a lot of open jumpers. Without Tyson, Atlanta should be able to matchup Millsap or DeMarre Carroll on Melo without too many worries.

Conlin: In a mash-up of Cole and Bo’s answers – this could be a perfect storm for Atlanta. The Chandler injury will force Carmelo to play more of his minutes at the four, which means he’ll be likely matched up against Paul Millsap for most of the game. Millsap has quick feet for a guy his size, and long arms to bother Carmelo’s beloved step-backs and pull-ups. Throwing Millsap at him straight-up and not trying to double him on the catch should be able to bait Carmelo into low-efficiency shots.

McElroy: If there’s anything to like about this matchup for the Knicks it’s that Josh Smith isn’t wearing a Hawks jersey any longer. The rare defender with the length, quickness, strength, and guile to match Melo stride for stride, Smith’s departure to Detroit opens this issue up for debate and none of the options Atlanta has at its disposal are perfect. Atlanta should look to challenge Melo to beat them with his outside shot (infamously rusty in the season’s early-going) and refuse to let him get position in the post through a series of fronts and overloads. If the shot is dropping, maybe then they’ll need to adjust. But the Chandler-less Knicks are at their scariest when Melo’s post presence starts to open up some space for their shooters. Atlanta should do their best not to let that happen.


New York often plays lineups with two point guards (Felton and Prigioni) – should Atlanta counter with one of their own (Teague and Schröder)?

McElroy: I’m a fairly outspoken proponent of imposing your own style on your opponent rather than the other way around. I see Atlanta winning this game with size and that means the proper backcourt is the one that best feeds the post and is able to get clear for catch-and-shoot threes that are likely to come off of New York’s defensive adjustments. To me that’s Teague and Korver.  Felton and Prigs are solid but not the type to present matchup nightmares; the burden of proof should be on the Knicks to demonstrate that Atlanta needs to worry about adjusting to the New York backcourt.

Churney: Atlanta will play Teague and Schröder together, but they shouldn’t do it just to match up with the Knicks here. I like the idea of Korver tiring out the Knickerbocker guards by running all around the court, so I still think the starting backcourt of Teague/Korver is Atlanta’s best option here.

Conlin: “Should” is a perhaps too strong a word here – the advantages the Knicks see in their two-point guard lineups aren’t ones that are obviously countered by the opponent mirroring the lineup. But Atlanta has been using a two-point guard lineup of their own (the aforementioned Teague and Schröder), and it would seem the most opportune time to do so would be against Felton and Prigioni. That way it becomes harder for the Knicks to use Shumpert to guard one of them.

Patty: The Hawks do deploy Teague and Schröder together often, through six games one-third of Dennis’ minutes are in two point guard lineups. As for should, this is the best time to use their abilities together. Teague must defensively be on Prigs if this happens also, as he’s been giving up a lot of dribble penetration early this year.


The Knicks are on the first night of a back-to-back. How will this affect their rotations?

Churney: Considering the Knicks have a few older guys in their rotations, yes, the back-to-back will likely affect this game. I don’t know enough about the Knicks this season to know exactly how it will change their rotations, but I know Woodson enough to know that this will be in his mind preparing for this game.

Patty: Do Knick people have a set feel for their rotations? All I’ve seen is utter chaos and Bargs, which admittedly those two things could mean the same thing.

McElroy: And the tail-end of that back-to-back is against Houston so, yeah, the fact that the Knicks don’t have a single rim protector who should really be playing on consecutive nights is basically not the best. In my mind, you sign for a split in a heartbeat. Send K-Mart out there, see what’s happening, if the game is winnable do what you have to do to win it. If we spot the opponent another 20 point lead, maybe then you hold back and try to beat Houston at the Garden. Honestly, though, we don’t have an NBA center capable of playing 20 minutes. We’re realistically only going to beat a team like Atlanta or Houston if we have a great shooting night or they have a terrible one. Which is certainly possible — Atlanta’s perimeter defense has its issues and an off-night from Korver renders them without a reliable deep threat. But no matter what the Knicks will be outmanned in each of these games and should be playing to win one of them and worry about the next one later.

Conlin: As Kevin said, the fact that Thursday’s game is against Houston makes it a near-certainty that Woodson will try to keep his big men fresh for both games. I would expect Carmelo and Metta World Peace to see extended time at power forward, and Cole Aldrich to make an appearance at some point to spell Martin or Stoudemire.


What is one matchup, trend, or storyline that we should pay attention to?

Conlin: The more the Knicks play without Chandler, the more apparent it will become that the overwhelming majority of playable guys on the roster are perimeter players. Woodson seems to fight lineup innovation tooth-and-nail (he’d bring Charles Oakley out of retirement to play power forward if he could – in fact, that might not actually be a bad idea, but that’s a story for another time), but he may find that playing some super-funky lineups (like, say, Felton-Prigioni-Shumpert-World Peace-Anthony) for short stretches can keep the Knicks afloat until Chandler returns. If he feels like he has nothing to lose, it might not be so crazy to turn to lineups like those, and that’s where these Knicks could become very intriguing.

McElroy: The Knicks’ lineup decisions remain the only compelling storyline of their season thus far.  Will Woodson start playing dual-PG units more consistently? Who will emerge as the guy that gets the most center minutes with Chandler out? What will Bargnani’s role look like after the dust settles? Can the Knicks even tread water until their big man comes back or are they going to hit the quarter pole at something like 7-16? When will my eye stop twitching? You know: typical Knicks questions.

Patty: For the Knicks, it will be how they handle a player like Al Horford without Tyson Chandler. New York is trying to stay afloat without the defensive center, and will need to learn how to check opposing bigs. For Atlanta, it is all about the three point defense. New York liked to bomb it from deep last year and the Hawks have been one of the worst in the league covering it so far. This is the kind of game Bud and Ferry would love to see improvement from the team in this aspect.

Churney: Woodson is apparently considering starting JR Smith over Shumpert because something insane is going on in New York. If the Knicks do come out with Shumpert on the bench, I have no idea who they expect to play defense in that starting lineup. Atlanta could get out to a quick lead that just makes things even more complicated for the Knicks.


Paul Millsap is shooting 55% from the floor, Jeff Teague is shooting just 27% from three – which is more likely to return to normal quickly?

Churney: Millsap’s will probably return to normal quicker, mainly because what I think he’s capable of is closer to his normal than Jeff’s numbers.

Conlin: Millsap actually had three full seasons shooting over 53% from the floor, so while 55% might seem not so far from normal to begin with, I think that number drops due to his higher rate of three-point attempts. His overall percentage from the floor should drop back to Earth, but his True Shooting Percentage should rival his career high at the end of the season.

McElroy: Define normal. Millsap’s number will go down but not by as much as Teague’s will go up. Also the lower number of three-point attempts means that drastic swings can happen much quicker. My answer’s got to be Teague.

Patty: Teague, but those are going to both change. Atlanta’s offense really is doing wonders for Paul and a field goal percentage over 50% isn’t that crazy, but 55% is a little extreme. Teague will surely shoot better than 27% from deep.


Elton Brand has been seeing fewer minutes than Pero Antic and Mike Scott. Hawks people – is this something that you expect to continue? How does the return of Gustavo Ayon affect this?

Patty: Budenholzer has been playing around with the rotation, and the feeling around Atlanta’s rotation is sheer uncertainty. Do I think Brand plays more eventually? Yes. Do I also think he might not be utilized unless the team they are facing could be considered bit? Another yes. Mike likes his spacing, and I feel Pero is going to be a large part of the bench rotation. As for Goose, I can see him pushing Scott out of the rotation, but I have no idea as of now. We will get a more set feeling with the rotation in December ideally.

Churney: Atlanta has a very deep big rotation on the bench, so whoever ends up getting the most time is likely dependent on the matchup/how each game flows. If the Hawks are having defensive issues, Budenholzer will be more likely to send in Elton or Pero. If the Hawks need a pick-and-roll/pop guy, you’ll see Mike Scott. Elton should keep getting some minutes, though, as he is really Atlanta’s only bench big that isn’t a complete liability on one side of the floor.


Which is the real Andrea Bargnani – the one we saw before the Chandler injury, or the one we’ve seen since?

McElroy: The one we saw before the injury, the one we’ve seen since the injury, and also the one we’ve seen for the last seven years. All of those. He’s a streak scorer who can be a matchup nightmare when he’s right and an utterly useless liability when he’s wrong. He’s not going to wake up one morning and just be one or the other. This is the Andrea Bargnani experience and barring a role change or an unprecedented deviation from his career averages this is basically who we should expect to get for the next two seasons.

Conlin: His two best offensive games have come in the two games since Chandler’s injury, and I would expect that to continue – better spacing will make it more likely that he can use his offensive skills in a vaguely positive way. However, after a (shockingly) good defensive game against Charlotte, he was abused by the Spurs on Sunday. The Sunday defense is true to Bargnani form – every point he gives you he’s liable to give up on the other end.

Churney: What Kevin said. When Bargs is hitting his shots, he looks good. The problem is that he’s never consistently hit his shots, nor does he play defense or rebound. I doubt that’s going to change at all.

Patty: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA


Knicks-Hawks tips off at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN

Statistical support for this story from NBA.com/stats

51 comments on “Knicks-Hawks Roundtable

  1. Nick C.

    Informative stuff about Atlanta. Superficially I would have thought Horford and Millsap were too similar to mesh. But then again I have barely seen them play and certainly do not parse them. Strange how at the moment the teams fortunes are in opposite directions. My impression was heading into the playoffs last season the Knicks were ascendant while Atlanta seemed to be trending down and perhaps having to re-boot.

  2. thenamestsam

    We really need Melo to step up and get the offense clicking in this one, because as you all rightly pointed out – solid interior scorers are obviously going to be an issue sans Chandler and waterbug point guards always give us problems. So Atlanta is probably going to put up some points in this one. The Knicks will have to score.

  3. thenamestsam

    It’s official, JR will start for Prigs tonight, because of course he will. Nothing screams “Get me in the starting lineup” like a drug suspension and a 1-9 shooting performance.

  4. er

    I like Earl starting. I would have rather they started Prig over Felton especially with Tyson out. The only thing Felton has been doing well was the PnR with Tyson. I dont get the big uproar about JR starting, we need someone to score if no one is playing D

  5. JK47

    Road game against a competent team… Tall order for the Bargnani-at-center Knicks.

    I forgot that Guitar Jimmy guaranteed a win in this one though, and with a guarantee like that you can’t go wrong.

  6. stratomatic

    “One reason general manager Steve Mills was brought in to replace Glen Grunwald was to guide the Knicks out of this luxury-tax nightmare. Next year, the Knicks will be “repeat offenders’’ and a certain portion of their payroll will be taxed at a 4.25 ratio. There’s no relief until 2015 when they plan to be under the salary cap.”

    I hope he realizes that resigning Melo for the max guarantees they can never both win a title and stay on budget.

  7. thenamestsam

    I like Earl starting. I would have rather they started Prig over Felton especially with Tyson out. The only thing Felton has been doing well was the PnR with Tyson. I dont get the big uproar about JR starting, we need someone to score if no one is playing D

    I see what you’re saying but to me it just shows how completely and utterly B.S. all of Woodson’s talk about “accountability” is. From the partying in the playoffs to the offseason drug test failure, and from his playoff struggles to that hideous game against San Antonio, JR has been at his absolute worst recently, both off the court and on. But he’s clearly one of the “inside guys”, so no matter that Prigioni has done nothing but keep his mouth closed and keep playing good basketball, and no matter that we play our best ball in 2 PG alignments – JR wants the starting spot, JR gets the starting spot.

  8. KnickfaninNJ

    That was depressing reading. Smith starting is more of Woody choosing offense over defense. The only positive I see from that is that maybe Melo won’t play quite so many minutes.

  9. DRed

    And not to defend Jimmy Dolan, but there really is no point in spending more money on a serviceable big man when there’s one sitting on the bench gathering dust right now.

  10. SirJim

    Good stuff from all contributors, especially Kevin. As usual.

    I’m well aware that no big man out there is going to solve the Knicks’ current issues, but if Woody is committed to trying to make the “big” lineup work, when is he going to stop halfwaying it?

    Maybe I’m being black and white, but it seems like this middling path is causing a lot of confusion, and is only hurting us in the long run as guys don’t know if they’ll be starting or sitting from game to game.

  11. d-mar

    I really don’t get the JR starting move at all. Our problem in 1st quarters is defense, not offense. Yes, we started off vs. the Spurs 0-8, but those were mostly clean looks that just didn’t fall.

    I’d rather put Metta and Shump out there and be losing 21-15 after one quarter than have to face another 30+ point explosion by the other team and be climbing out of a hole the rest of the game.

  12. Brian Cronin

    I’d rather Prigs start instead of JR, but my real issue is that it was not an earned position but rather something that JR was clearly promised when he re-signed, which just goes back to how poorly the Knicks handled JR’s re-signing. They gave him the most money he was offered on the market and they still had to throw in a roster spot for his brother and a promise that he would start. That’s just gonzo.

  13. JK47

    So the lineup is Felton-Smith-Shump-Melo-Bargnani. Not a lot of defense or basketball IQ in that lineup I’m afraid. Or rebounding for that matter. Or shooting.

  14. stratomatic

    I’m most curious to see how serious Knicks fans react when it becomes apparent that the “bears” have been right about this team all along. The focus should not even be on this season. It should be on the 2015 rebuild.

    Who do we keep long term?
    Who can we trade and get good value for?
    How can we get a few draft picks?
    How can we kidnap Dolan and keep him away from all decision making?

    Walsh and D’Antoni had a plan. It was a good idea to dump salary, free up space etc… and begin the rebuild. But along the way they made some highly suspect moves to get there fast enough to be in a position to sign James. In hindsight, when they didn’t get James, it became obvious they did some really dumb things. The panicked Amare signing (that many thought was going to be a long term debacle even then), the dumping of Jordan Hill (who is now developing into a very solid player) etc..

    But they added insult to injury when Dolan took over the Melo negotiations and signed an overvalued player that didn’t fit with Amare while giving up way too much to get him. The only thing that salvaged it all was the Chandler and Kidd signings. That at least made them a decent team even though you could never turn them into a serious contender with Melo and Amare as your max players.

    So here we are.

    Our next chance to do it right will rapidly be upon us.

    Let’s not make the same mistakes for what seems like an endless number of times.

  15. DRed

    JR, Shump and Melo can all shoot. And Big Bargs and Felton both like to shoot. It should be, uh, interesting to see how they mesh.

  16. Brian Cronin

    Walsh and D’Antoni had a plan. It was a good idea to dump salary, free up space etc… and begin the rebuild. But along the way they made some highly suspect moves to get there fast enough to be in a position to sign James. In hindsight, when they didn’t get James, it became obvious they did some really dumb things. The panicked Amare signing (that many thought was going to be a long term debacle even then), the dumping of Jordan Hill (who is now developing into a very solid player) etc..

    Jordan Hill was traded before Lebron turned the Knicks down.

  17. yellowboy90

    The positive from JR starting is Beno is not on the floor turning the ball over. I had hopes for Beno but I questioned why he never really saw time in Milwaukee.

  18. DRed

    I’m pretty surprised to see Jordan Hill looking like a good NBA player. Didn’t Mr. Pringles hate him when he was in NY?

  19. er

    The focus should not even be on this season. It should be on the 2015 rebuild.

    Holy Crap this was the fastest season ever. 6 games and its over lol

  20. Brian Cronin

    I’m pretty surprised to see Jordan Hill looking like a good NBA player. Didn’t Mr. Pringles hate him when he was in NY?

    He’d fit right in on the Knick front line since he can barely play 20 minutes a game due to injuries.

  21. Owen

    This was an excellent and very comprehensive roundtable. Great read.

    I cannot believe Chris Smith is costing Dolan 2 million dollars. That and everything else in that article blew my mind….

  22. Owen

    Stratomatic – You are going to get no end of crap for writing that stuff but you are correct, as you always seem to be.

    And I like the bulls and bears analogy.

    If this team were smart it would let Melo walk and start over. This team isn’t smart of course but we can at least hold out hope now that it gets bad enough Dolan decides to blow it up….

  23. bocker84

    You know sometimes I read all of the situations we are in because of the bad contracts, and I can’t help but think of the analogy where the Knicks are a cash bloated company and Dolan is the CEO running the show.

    Where I work, companies like that are so easy to walk into and sell some mid-grade consulting services for a premium just because it ‘looks amazing on paper’. Those mid-grade consulting services don’t do much for the company long term, and just damage the chances of getting things together in the short term because of the squandered resources. I’m sure everyone can see where that analogy is apt for us…

    It just sucks to realize that today though. There is no accountability because these large companies keep making money on the balance sheets by the automatic process of acquiring and divesting companies. Just like Dolan will keep making money by happening to own a team with a faithful fanbase which continuously collects money by just ‘existing’. Is there really no end in sight unless Dolan dies?

    Ugh… I need a drink.

  24. Frank

    I’m one of the most optimistic Knick fans out there, but even I am really troubled by JR starting already. It’d be one thing if he played very well for 3-4 games coming off the bench — but he sucked balls in game 1, looked terrible on both ends of the floor, threw up an air ball on a wide open 3 point attempt– and he’s supposed to be the guy to make us start faster? And just like Brian (and everyone else), it just bothers me that he’s getting this starting spot based on nothing but Dolan’s man-crush on him. If you’re going to do anything, start MWP. He’s been as advertised IMO.

    Re: Pablo – I love Pablo but to be honest, the Knicks lineups with him have not been so great this year. If you have to sit someone, it has to be either Pablo or Shump (or actually Felton IMHO but that’s never happening). And since Pablo is sort of undersized at the 2 anyway… I guess that’s how that works.

    Shump hasnt been defending anyone

    totally agree. his defense has been one of the major disappointments of this young season. Overhelping, gambling at steals, running directly into picks, or just getting blown by off the dribble. I think someone’s been reading his press clippings too much.

    I watched part of that Spurs game again– and what struck me was how undisciplined the defense was – like no one trusted the guy next to him to do his job. If I see Shump needlessly help off another corner 3 point shooter named Danny Green, who’s only shooting like 89% from 3P range, I’m going to go crazy. And there’s just no communication at all out there. If for no other reason, Kmart needs to play more. At least he’s out there talking and directing traffic. The Knicks are used to Tyson being the QB of the defense, and with Bargs on the floor– he’s just not that type of guy. Overall I think he’s been serviceable when the action is in front of him, but in terms of seeing the big picture, that’s not why he’s here.

  25. Frank

    Stratomatic – You are going to get no end of crap for writing that stuff but you are correct, as you always seem to be.

    And I like the bulls and bears analogy.

    If this team were smart it would let Melo walk and start over. This team isn’t smart of course but we can at least hold out hope now that it gets bad enough Dolan decides to blow it up….

    It’ll be very interesting to see what happens if this slow start continues, and we’re something like 7-15 when Tyson comes back, and no better than .500 when January rolls around – ie. clearly not a contender for anything but a 1st round exit. At that point I think you would have to seriously consider trading Melo for whatever package you could get. The trouble is, most of the teams that would have room to swallow Melo’s cap number are run by “advanced stats” guys who might not love Melo’s game. But there’s a guy down in North Carolina who might just bite on something like that.

    I’ll tell you what though – if it ever comes to that, I’m glad Grunwald is not the guy leading that negotiation for us. We’d end up giving up Shump and draft picks for the privilege of trading Melo to a team.

  26. er

    if you’re going to do anything, start MWP. He’s been as advertised IMO.

    I saw that Woodson is mulling this, so we shall see

  27. Z

    “One reason general manager Steve Mills was brought in to replace Glen Grunwald was to guide the Knicks out of this luxury-tax nightmare.

    That’s why Steve Mills was brought in??

    Steve Mills was team president from 2003-2009. During that time Dolan shelled out $165,727,121 in luxury tax payments alone! (That’s $72,935,941 more than the second highest taxed team during his tenure (Dallas), and $130,981,329 more than the third worst offender (Portland)).

    The only employee in Knicks recent history to pay any attention to the benefits of salary flexibility at all was Donnie Walsh, and Dolan didn’t like his methods. And Grunwald’s tenure was defined by one move more than any other: not signing Jeremy Lin because of the luxury tax implications.

    So, once again, reports out of MSG leave us all scratching our heads…

    When will this lunacy end?

  28. Frank

    holy %@@@#$% Isola is reporting the Knicks and Nuggets are discussing a Shump-Faried trade. You have got to be kidding me. Not that I don’t think Faried is a good player, but can we, for once, just develop our own player?!?!?

    Not even sure how the Owens and THCJ’s of the world would feel about this.

    I’m sure we’ll have to throw in 3 future 1sts in this deal.

  29. er

    That deal sucks. Unless we get picks or a good big along with KF. Manimal is a bad defender who is undersized

  30. Owen

    Faried for shump? Contracts? Isn’t Faried going to be a free agent? Don’t understand the long term implications.

    I love Faried and I would do that in a second. Although he has some defensive shortcomings which I think the raw stats don’t capture. But he is awesome to watch and well above average which is more than I can say for shump right now, though I like shump more than I should based on the numbers.

    And hey, we need to open a spot in the rotation for Halfpipe right?

  31. KnickfaninNJ

    Honestly, the trade doesn’t sound so bad to me. We have more guards than we need and fewer forwards than we need. They are both 23 years old and not highly paid by NBA standards. On paper it meets a need. If we could get a draft choice out of it that would be nice icing on the cake. The trouble is I don’t know what lineups we would use. If we had a starting lineup of Chandler, Melo, Felton, Smith and Faried, that’s not so bad. But that puts Bargnani on the bench, which I find unlikely to actually happen. With Chandler injured a starting lineup would be Bargnani, Melo, Felton, Smith and Faried. I am not sure that is worse that what we will see tonight.

  32. thenamestsam

    It’s definitely an intriguing trade but I’m not sure it necessarily makes this version of the Knicks much better because Faried isn’t really a great fit for what we want to do. For one, he can’t play as the center in lineups with Melo – that would be a massacre defensively, so he doesn’t really resolve our lack of frontcourt depth – it’s true centers we’re woefully short on, not guys who are capable of playing the 4 – Amare, Bargs, Melo, MWP all are fine playing the 4. Two, stylistically it’s just not that great of a fit. If we start a Tyson-Faried-Melo frontcourt that’s two non-shooters with Melo which doesn’t seem to optimize his talent. Further, Faried is clearly at his best when you’re pushing the tempo and that’s pretty much the antithesis of what this Knicks team is built for. He has had a harder time fitting in with a more traditional offensive style in Denver this year (which is why he’s available) and I don’t see any reason it would be a better fit here.

    The positive thing is that if they are going to look to trade Shump at least they’re looking at young guys with some upside, not for big-names on their last legs. But the negative is that I don’t think Faried is the right guy. Oh yeah, and that they’re looking to trade Shump at all. I love Shump!

  33. JK47

    Shump for Faried? Yeah, all right. Shump is burning a hole in the Knicks’ pocket. He’s the only asset the Knicks have and he’s not going to be here for long, so trading him for Faried is actually not all that bad a scenario. At least there’s another young asset coming back in return. And maybe the Knicks are slowly realizing that Andrea Bargnani is a hopeless stiff and that Amar’e Stoudemire is finished, and a Faried trade would bring a merciful end to the Andrea Bargnani experiment.

    At the end of the day, a Felton-Smith-Melo-Faried-Chandler lineup has some potential, with Prigs, MWP and K-Mart as key bench pieces, the Beno-Hardaway-Murray trio fighting it out for additional guard minutes and Bargnani making a cameo every now and then, finally in the “Novak role” where he belongs.

  34. d-mar

    With all due respect to the Shump-o-philes out there, I would trade him for Faried in a heartbeat. Faried is just what this team needs, an energy guy who hits the boards and keeps possessions alive. Who do we have that remotely fits that description, other than maybe Chandler? And I hate to say it, but I don’t think Shump’s ceiling is that much higher than what we’re seeing right now.

    I also don’t care if Faried can’t score, we’ve got plenty of guys to do that. Make it happen!

  35. Hubert

    Shump for Faried actually isn’t terrible. I don’t want to lose Shumpert at all, I have an unabashed mancrush on him. But the numbers don’t lie, Faried is better. We all love Shump’s potential and his personality, but Faried is better right now.

    And the fact that JR is around means Shumpert is always going to have that assclown taking his minutes.

    I’d hate to lose him, and I think in the long run he will be better than Faried, but in the short term we would improve. Dolan is going to demand we trade him eventually. Better this than the deal he might make in 3 months.

  36. Hubert

    thenamestsam November 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    If we start a Tyson-Faried-Melo frontcourt that’s two non-shooters with Melo which doesn’t seem to optimize his talent.

    That’s a good point. Our worst lineups have been Melo playing alongside Tyson and a power forward who can’t stretch the floor. We would be comitting to our worst lineup. It’s like a souped-up version of the Melo-Chandler-Martin lineups that suck horrendously (no offense to Faried, who obviously brings much more to the table than Martin ever will, but he spaces the floor about as well).

  37. Donnie Walsh

    THCJ will no doubt be excited by this one (he still bemoans the drafting of Shump 5 spots ahead of Faried in 2011)

    And Shump’s personality is a plus, but Faried is a pretty cool guy with a neat story too (raised by lesbian muslims!) He’s also over-achieved at every level by a pretty ridiculous extent. I don’t think there’s much downside to this, as long as we’re not “sweetening” it with typical Knick garnishes.

  38. DRed

    I don’t think there’s much downside to this, as long as we’re not “sweetening” it with typical Knick garnishes.

    Do we even have any picks left to toss in for no reason?

  39. Donnie Walsh

    Do we even have any picks left to toss in for no reason?

    Haha. Good point. We’re already throwing in our ONLY asset (Shump)!

  40. massive

    I hope we never trade Shump for Faried. Faried is currently scoring on a TS% of .493. That won’t help our 25th ranked offense when we’re getting rid of a guy on a .575 TS%. We’re currently a bad rebounding team, and a Melo, Faried, and Chandler front court has the chance to make us a great rebounding team. But please, not Shump. I’d take Faried, but I don’t think Shumpert will struggle defensively for long and I don’t think JR Smith’s performance vs San Antonio is one to be encouraged by.

    There’s no way to get Faried and keep Shump, so I don’t want to do this trade. And yes, I do have an irrational love for Iman Shumpert. Sue me.

  41. nicos

    Shump for Faried isn’t a bad trade though I’d rather just keep Shump. He’s been disappointing so far this year- he’s shot it well but been too passive on offense and he’s turned into the second coming of ball-watching, bad gambling JR on defense. Still, we’re only six games into the season- I’d take the Shumpert from last year’s playoffs over Faried without hesitation and hopefully that guy shows back up soon.

  42. flossy

    I hope we never trade Shump for Faried. Faried is currently scoring on a TS% of .493. That won’t help our 25th ranked offense when we’re getting rid of a guy on a .575 TS%.

    If only these guys had a track record that went back farther than the first 6 games of this season…

  43. massive

    Sure, it’s easy to look at these things from a whole standpoint. But Shump’s TS has been rising every year. Faried’s TS has taken a slip every year. It feel something like 40 points from year 1 to year 2. Of course, going from amazing to great isn’t terrible. I’d just much rather keep Shump because he has more potential as a two way player and Raymond Felton is likely to give up big games to every point guard he plays.

    Shump for Faried is a win for us, but I’d really rather see JR Smith go in that trade. Or Bargnani. Anyone but Shump.

  44. JK47

    Shump for Faried is a win for us, but I’d really rather see JR Smith go in that trade. Or Bargnani. Anyone but Shump.

    I’d like to get something for nothing too, but it’s not gonna happen.

  45. Hubert

    DRed November 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I don’t think there’s much downside to this, as long as we’re not “sweetening” it with typical Knick garnishes.

    Do we even have any picks left to toss in for no reason?

    We haven’t used our $3 million yet. I’m sure that will get included.

    It would be swell if we come out of this with our draft pick back. Not that we should. But it would be nice.

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