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Friday, August 22, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.01.18)

  • [New York Post] Can’t blame J.R. Smith for latest Knicks debacle (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 03:43:40 -0500)
    For once, it wasn't J.R. Smith's fault. The problematic shooting guard, who was benched in two of the Knicks' previous five games by coach Mike Woodson, actually was a bright…

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Iman: 'I didn't lose any confidence' (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 01:15:23 EDT)
    Iman Shumpert went scoreless in 25 minutes against the Los Angeles Clippers. Afterward, Mike Woodson suggested that the third-year guard may be having a confidence issue. “We haven’t tied his hands. I mean, he’s still playing the minutes and he’s got the freedom to play. I don’t know if he’s down on his confidence or what,” Woodson said. “But that’s something we gotta sit down and talk about here in the next couple of days, because I need Iman to not only defend, but I need him to just play all-around, like he was playing on that Texas swing.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Melo: Knicks 'can't figure it out' at MSG (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 01:01:37 EDT)
    You’d think that a team would feel pretty good about playing eight straight games at home.But the Knicks? Not so much.New York fell to 7-13 at home after Friday’s 14-point loss to the Clippers.They are tied with the Orlando Magic for the second-worst home record in the NBA.So Carmelo Anthony was asked if it feels as if there’s a positive vibe around the team heading into the remaining seven games of this season-long homestand.”No it don’t,” he said.

  • [New York Times] Durant Scores 54, Thunder Beat Warriors (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 07:06:23 GMT)
    Kevin Durant drained three 3-pointers in 75 seconds. And when the crowd wanted even more, the NBA’s leading scorer responded.    

  • [New York Times] Larkin Scores Career-High 18, Mavs Edge Suns (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 05:12:08 GMT)
    Rookie Shane Larkin, son of baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, scored a career-high 18 points, including two free throws with 11.1 seconds to play, and the Dallas Mavericks held on to beat the Phoenix Suns 110-107 on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Clippers 109, Knicks 95: Knicks’ Dream of Home Streak Runs Into Ugly Truth (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 05:02:31 GMT)
    Instead of starting an eight-game homestand with a victory, the Knicks lost their third straight game and were doomed by poor shooting and turnovers.    

  • [New York Times] Irving’s 23 Helps Cavaliers Top Nuggets, 117-109 (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 04:57:15 GMT)
    Kyrie Irving scored 23 points, Tristan Thompson had 20 points and 10 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 117-109 on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Rondo Returns but Lakers Beat Celtics 107-104 (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 04:36:19 GMT)
    These are not the Boston Celtics that Rajon Rondo left behind almost a year ago, a roster of All-Stars just a couple of seasons removed from their second trip to the NBA Finals in three years.    

  • [New York Times] Clippers Rout Knicks 109-95 to Open 7-Game Trip (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 04:24:26 GMT)
    Jamal Crawford was back in the locker room throwing up, a tough way to start a lengthy road trip.    

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Lakers Spoil the Return of Rajon Rondo in Boston (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 04:19:41 GMT)
    Rajon Rondo, in his first game after almost a year recovering from an injury, missed a 3-point shot that could have sent the game into overtime, and the Celtics lost to the Lakers.    

  • [New York Times] Aldridge, Matthews Lead Trail Blazers Past Spurs (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 04:18:08 GMT)
    LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Wesley Matthews scored 24 points, and the Portland Trail Blazers held off San Antonio’s furious rally to beat the Spurs 109-100 on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Conley Leads Grizzlies Past Kings 91-90 (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 04:06:15 GMT)
    Mike Conley had 25 points and six assists, then grabbed possession of a jump ball in the final 2 seconds to help the Memphis Grizzlies secure a 91-90 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] James Leads Heat Past 76ers to Snap 3-Game Skid (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 03:39:14 GMT)
    So much for Miami’s losing streak. LeBron James & Co. were back in business in a big way.    

  • [New York Times] Burke Leads Jazz to 110-89 Rout of Pistons (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 03:15:09 GMT)
    Trey Burke had 20 points and a career-high 12 assists in his return to Michigan, and the Utah Jazz routed the Detroit Pistons 110-89 on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Lowry Powers Raptors Past Timberwolves 94-89 (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 02:54:21 GMT)
    Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, Amir Johnson had 19 and the Toronto Raptors beat Minnesota 94-89 on Friday night for their 10th straight home victory over the Timberwolves.    

  • [New York Times] Free Throws Help Bobcats Beat Magic 111-101 (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 02:54:20 GMT)
    Al Jefferson had 30 points and 16 rebounds, Kemba Walker added 19 points and 10 assists and the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Orlando Magic 111-101 on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Wall Leads Wizards Over Bulls 96-93 (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 02:45:11 GMT)
    John Wall had 23 points and 11 assists, and the Washington Wizards reached .500 for the third time this season with a 96-93 win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Rondo Back in Lineup for Celtics (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 02:00:16 GMT)
    Rajon Rondo returned to the Boston Celtics on Friday night for the first time since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee almost a year ago.    

  • [New York Daily News] Garden jeers Knicks’ lame showing as Griffin, Clippers fly high (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 06:45:50 GMT)
    Not having the services of veteran forwards Amar’e Stoudemire or Kenyon Martin for at least the next two weeks should at least be partially offset by the Knicks not having to travel at all during that time frame. Or so it would seem.    

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: Amar’e, Kenyon to miss at least two weeks (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 06:10:11 GMT)
    They both opened the season with minutes restrictions aimed at keeping them healthy for the long haul, but Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin now will be sidelined for at least the next two weeks.    

  • [New York Daily News] Lawrence: Injuries really starting to hurt Woodson (Sat, 18 Jan 2014 05:48:25 GMT)
    There must be some sort of cruel rule at work here. The one that says Doc Rivers can never come into the Garden with his starting point guard healthy and playing at the top of his game.    

  • 72 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.01.18)

    1. JK47

      The season is about halfway over, and the sample sizes aren’t so small anymore. The team is 15-25, on pace to win about 30 games. The Knicks are 20th in the league in SRS, their offense is below average (ranked 19th) and their defense is poor (ranked 25th). All of the old guys are hurt, and Melo has been averaging over 39 minutes per game.

      This is just not a good team. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    2. knickster

      This is just not a good team. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

      I agree. In fact, the best thing that could happen to the Knicks would be to see Melo go somewhere else – so that they are forced to reset the team with a truly clean slate. If Dolan & Co. had any vision, they would immediately shop Chandler around because, not being a “luxury” item like Melo, more teams would be in a position to trade with the Knicks.

      Steps:

      1. Fire Woodson and get a coach willing to work with young players; a coach who believes in growing from within the organization without overlooking free agent opportunities.
      2. Shop Chandler for young players (preferably a promising point guard) or draft picks
      3. Do the same with Melo.

    3. ruruland

      I absolutely understand Knicks fans who want to rebuild. To me, the 15-25 record is more an indication of the team’s floor than it is its ceiling.

      Losing 3 out of 4 games over 5 nights when 3 of those teams are above average (to elite) is nothing out of the ordinary, even for teams better than the Knicks.

      The game they had to get was the one in Charlotte, but the Bobcats are playing pretty well right now with Jefferson dominating.

      The Clippers game was totally winnable under normal circumstances. The Pacers are on another plane when Hibbert and Stephenson dominate their match-ups with Chandler and Shumpert. When they are shooting well, they are basically unbeatable (and yes, the Knicks interior defense was atrocious and certainly fueled their outside shooting, too).

      With Chandler showing signs and Prigs on his way back, not all is lost.

      I would take more from the previous winning streak than the current losing streak. IIRC, winning percentage in the 4th game in 5 nights goes down like 25 percent for an NBA team.

      Would be surprised if Knicks don’t win at least five of the next 7 home games. I expect 6-1.

    4. knickster

      I absolutely understand fans wanting to keep hope alive – but the questions is: hope for what? To win 37 games, make a cursory playoff appearance and start the sad cycle again next year?

      What is New York really playing for? (I think it’s safe to say nobody thinks we can compete for a ring)

    5. ruruland

      They are trying to win as many games as they can until 2015, when expectations change.

      Knicks fans who want to blow things up don’t expect Dolan/Mills/Wark/mgmt to execute free agency situation and build a championship-caliber team (Wark was GM of year in similar situation), but they somehow think those people will do better at a rebuild, which is infinitely much difficult/complex to pull off, especially given the Knicks asset situation.
      Currently and in the near-term future, the Knicks biggest assets are the allure of the Garden, an owner willing to stay in the tax, and the prospect of a star player playing at a discount.

      That would be my argument.

    6. nicos

      Murry quite frankly shouldn’t be in the league right now- a TS% of .438 and a usage of 22 is beyond terrible and teams have figured out that he stops in his tracks under even light pressure, failing to get the team into even routine sets. He’s a decent defender but he’s nowhere near where Shump was in his rookie year (hopefully that Shump makes a reappearance someday) and certainly not good enough to make up for his offensive deficiencies. There has to be somebody better at the point in the D-League though with Prigs about to come back it’s probably not a big issue.

      It’ll be interesting to see how Tyler does the next couple of weeks-

    7. cgreene

      I am still in the camp that we should keep Melo. However, you do not have to wait until 2015 to build around him. You could start that process right now. You could give the assets that Toronto wants and trade for and extend Lowry and shore up PG right now for the future if Tor is still willing. Shumpert, Ray and the 2018 pick lottery protected. Then you move on to Chandler and try and send him to GS, LAC, Hou (maybe he accepts the backup role at this pt? and we can get Asik) or some 3 team version of that that nets us low picks and players.

    8. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

      the Knicks biggest assets are the allure of the Garden, an owner willing to stay in the tax, and the prospect of a star player playing at a discount.

      Unfortunately, the allure of MSG is fallacious, as the “Summer of 2010″ proved. And “an owner willing to stay in the tax” isn’t much of an asset, considering said owner let the best thing to happen to his team during his reign walk because he didn’t want to pay the tax. So that leaves only the prospect of a star player playing at a discount, which really isn’t really an asset, because a “discount” means what exactly? Something less than $129,000,000?

      Knicks fans who want to blow things up don’t expect Dolan/Mills/Wark/mgmt to execute free agency situation and build a championship-caliber team (Wark was GM of year in similar situation), but they somehow think those people will do better at a rebuild, which is infinitely much difficult/complex to pull off, especially given the Knicks asset situation.

      I think this is a fair counter-argument to blowing it up; however, I think that “blowing it up” would constitute a policy shift, and the FO hasn’t proven that they can’t rebuild from scratch yet (and they have proven that they are unable to buy free agents and make a contending team with them). I can’t speak to Mills and Wark (because Mills has no record, and no one knows exactly what Warkentien’s exact role is), but the Knicks have actually been quite good at playing the draft in recent years, when given the chance to actually make picks. And Walsh actually did lay down a long-term plan in 2008 and he stuck to it for 3 years, even when it was painful, so it can be done.

      They are trying to win as many games as they can until 2015, when expectations change.

      Funny, that was Walsh’s plan in 2008. (But it was 2010 when the expectations were supposed to change, not 2015!)

    9. max fisher-cohen

      @ruru

      Given that NY management has never tried a legitimate rebuild, how could we know how they’d do? We do have a lot of experience watching them try to build with their wallet, and they have flopped. Smith, Felton, Melo and Hardaway add up to about $37m in salaries for 15/16. That leaves the Knicks room for basically one max contract. Even if you give them the jewel of 2015 free agency — Kevin Love — I don’t see how the Knicks with basically junk plus Melo and Love — become a good team. Then in summer 2016, you have Smith and Felton coming off the books for around $10m while Hardaway, Love and Melo all go up, leaving the Knicks with about $6m in cap space. Again, forgettable. By 2017, if they use their MLE, they can have a decent core of 5 players assuming Hardaway JR is a legit starter, but Melo will turn 34 at the end of that season. It’s just really hard to conceive of a way the Knicks become a great team through free agency barring the “everyone will take less money” dream, but I just don’t see why players would do that to play on such a losing organization.

      The problem with the “the Knicks will spend big” theory is first, you can’t add salary as quick a you used to. Over the apron teams can’t make sign and trades, get a smaller MLE and can’t use the bi-annual exception. This severely limits a team’s ability to bring in new talent if it wants to stay at a high salary level and generally lowers the rate at which at a team can add salary. I really doubt we’ll see teams go more than about $10m over the apron for the duration of this new CBA.

      Besides, if the Knicks really are a place free agents want to play, they don’t have to play the long rebuild game. They can simply clean the books and keep lots of picks and just wait for a superstar to become available. If we flashback to 2010, had the Knicks simply had all their picks the previous three years, this Melo/Stoudemire era might have looked a lot different.

    10. ephus

      The allure of the Knicks is, first and foremost, the allure of bringing a championship to the fans of NYC. Some of those fans are incredibly knowledgeable, some are incredibly passionate, some are basketball royalty, some are incredibly powerful, some are incredibly famous, some are incredibly wealthy and a few are all of the above. Being the toast of NYC – a la Derek Jeter- is a lifetime pass to every room a player would ever want to enter. And to become Derek Jeter of the NBA, it is not enough to be Bernard King (who I idolize beyond all reason), there has to be a championship.

      If the Knick FO can paint a plausible picture for a free agent to come to NY in 2015 to win, I think there will be a strong allure. In order to paint that picture, the Knicks need to have salary cap space or players who are worth their salaries.

      I dream of Rondo.

    11. Owen

      Can you believe we gave a first round draft pick up for Bargnani? So crazy. I literally still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that we gave up a pick for the right to pay the worst regular in the NBA 11 million dollars for two years. How does that happen? What if that turns into a top 5 pick?

      I will say, I am sympathetic to the idea that management is too inept to do anything, so we should just play out the string. Ruru, you honestly make a good point, although it’s very frustrating to accept. I don’t know who we could get for Melo and Chandler at the deadline. Making the salaries match and getting genuinely good talent back will be difficult, I agree. With Amare and Bargnani’s contracts on the books next year we are pretty screwed no matter what.

      But it’s becoming increasingly clear that the best thing for both Melo and the Knicks is a parting of the ways. The cap situation and talent situation is so bad there is no realistic hope to contend next year. What is the best case scenario? 2016? When Melo will be 33 when the playoffs roll around? Who wants to come and share the ball with him and play all the defense?

      Really, he should bail and move to a better situation while his stock is high, something he probably realizes at this point.

      And if we are losing him, we should get whatever we can while we can, as long as it’s any kind of reasonable building block….

    12. JK47

      I’ve been watching the Knicks try to put together a winning team through free agency for 15 freaking years now, and the results have been craptacular. I’m not falling for it anymore. It’s a really, really dumb way to try to build a winner. When you factor in the team’s CAA bias, it’s even dumber. The Knicks will probably extend Melo, trade the expiring contracts of Amare’/Bargs/Chandler for other “name” players represented by CAA who other teams are trying to dump, and a year later they’ll be giving away assets to dump the very same players they just acquired. It’s like “Groundhog Day.” I’ve just seen it too many times.

      The guy who runs the show is an idiot with massive entitlement problems who has no patience and no common sense. That is one very tough problem to overcome.

    13. yellowboy90

      If they move Tyson the only team I could see as a partner is Portland. Maybe Lopez, scraps, and a 2015 first for Tyson to get them over the top with defense and leadership.

    14. knickster

      Knicks fans who want to blow things up don’t expect Dolan/Mills/Wark/mgmt to execute free agency situation and build a championship-caliber team (Wark was GM of year in similar situation), but they somehow think those people will do better at a rebuild, which is infinitely much difficult/complex to pull off, especially given the Knicks asset situation.

      They have tried the free agency route. Failed several times. The never tried a serious rebuild – doesn’t it make sense to give it a try?

      Currently and in the near-term future, the Knicks biggest assets are the allure of the Garden,

      Argument was disproved in 2010, as someone mentioned earlier in the thread.

      an owner willing to stay in the tax,

      Players don’t have a reason to care about that. They care about their own salary and how much they can get out of Dolan.

      and the prospect of a star player playing at a discount.

      I see you have mentioned that several times as a very real possibility. Why type of discount do you have in mind? I have suggested that Melo would be great value and worth rebuilding around at 17 millions per for 3 years – but I am sure the chances of that happening are less than remote. I’d be the first one cheering him at the Garden if that (or something close to that) ever happened.

      What figure do you have in mind?

      Finally, a very interesting possibility is (assuming Melo stays at a discount) to start the rebuild NOW by shopping Chandler around. He is the only valuable asset left after Melo.

    15. knickster

      Dolan should pull a “Pat Riley” and negotiate some secret deal with Melo where he takes far less now and gets the difference somewhere else (maybe an after-retirement job, whatever).

    16. lavor postell

      I think if you can get Melo to take a legitimate discount say about 5 years, $85 then I think you move Chandler for a 2016 pick and some decent young talent from a team like the Suns who will then make him healthy and have him return to DPOY form somehow.

      I’d see if you can swing a Chandler and Shumpert for Frye, Marcus Morris and Gerald Green and a 2016 pick. All those contracts at the end of next season and we get a pick out of it. It also gives us time to evaluate all three of those players to see if they can potentially be rotation players for us following 2015 and I think all of them would fit well next to Melo.

      Let’s say we can re-sign Melo for 17 mill (pipe dream), Green for 3m, Morris for 3.5m and keep Felton, JR, THJR and 2015 first round pick (assuming 1.8m) we’d be around 37m. The cap right now is set at about 58.7m and I’d expect it to be around 60m if not higher by 2015. Let’s just say 60m is the cap, then we’d have 23m left to play with. I’d like to see if we can get Reggie Jackson for around 8-9m AAV, Vucevic at 10m AAV and spend the remaining approx. 4m on whatever looks best at that time.

      That would give us some nice young pieces still developing to put around Melo, but good enugh to contribute immediately. I think this would also give us more trade flexibility and then we’d have 10m to spend in 2016 with JR and Felton expiring. Ideally we’d draft a young big in 2015 and go after another quality pg and sg in 2016. Maybe spend all of that space on a player like Dragic who can fill in at both spots and then use the MLE and biannual exception to fill out the roster.

      That would leave us in the 2016/17 season with a starting lineup of Jackson, Dragic, Melo, Morris and Vucevic. Idk it’s hard for me to concentrate when I’m slightly drunk after the Michigan game but a plan along those line would be more ideal to me than simply blowing it up or going for 2 max guys in 2015.

    17. d-mar

      I was really excited to see Chandler returning to DPOY form at the beginning of the year, then he broke his leg, contracted Beri-Beri and now he’s just a shell of himself. Can anyone remember the last time he actually blocked a shot? Took a charge? I get that our guards are sucky, but Chandler since his return from injury has been pretty bad also. In fact, it seems that our defense has gone from below average to awful since his return.

    18. Owen

      Chandler played fine against the Clippers. Given that he broke his leg three games in and then had a pretty serious case of ebola I don’t know how anyone can really knock Chandler at this point. He hasn’t played that badly. He basically hasn’t played at all.

      Frankly, I don’t care if he is no longer over .200 WS/48 like he was his first two seasons in NYC, although I think he has a good shot to play that way again when he gets back to fully healthy. .144 so far is a decent base.

      But no one gives more on this team. Easily my favorite Knick since Oakley…..

    19. knickster

      @19

      First rule of Fight Club is don’t talk about Fight Club.

      Since Ruru is always suggesting he has the inside track to all things Melo and he keeps mentioning “the discount” that nobody else deems realistic, I’d like to know what numbers he has knowledge of. I doubt he has any numbers or inside knowledge (given his history following Melo and making false predictions – he assured everyone Melo was going to Dallas, not New York*), but it’s fair to give him an opportunity to clarify his position/prediction.

      ****************
      Anthony is not going to New York, not with Donnie Walsh overplaying his hand.

      Mark Cuban will slip in at the 11th hour and Melo will join forces with Dirk Nowitzki (and sign an extension), putting the Mavericks into the NBA Finals before the totally not epic bi-sport lockout of 2011/2012.

      http://studentmedia-dev.jmc.asu.edu/2011/02/16/no-drama-melo-situation-makes-sense/

    20. ruruland

      Silly column I wrote on deadline sophomore year of college.

      Not sure how long youve been on this board knickster, but I doubt anyone wants to go through the who is ruru thing again.

      I’ll just repeat this. If Melo signs the full max with the Knicks or anyone else, I’ll leave this board in shame. I’ll become a verb in the Knickerblogger lexicon as I’ll have done the anatomically impossible.

      But as you were/are watching Melo on the floor and in interviews this year, ask yourself if he looks happy. Does he seem like someone who wants to be in his late ’30s with $300 million and championship ring (and everything that comes with it) and a legacy that can make him happy, or $330 million, no rings, and a lifetime of regrets and a bad itch he can never scratch?

      Does it seem plausible to you that Melo has learned the hard way that he can’t have all of the money, all of the glory, and get all of the credit?

      The guy has grown up a lot since the summer of 2007, when Goerge Karl and Brett Bearup wanted to trade him (and were stopped by Kroenke and Warkentein).

      He might be naive, sometimes selfish and lacking self awareness, but he learns. And he wants to win.

      He’s running out of time. Do you think he wants to spend the next four years as he did the last four?

      Is there anything to be inferred from his comments on the Heat coming together?

      Why do the Knicks seem so confident Melo will remain a Knick and that they’ll build a championship caliber team around despite the new CBA constraints?

      Does a guy who is reported to be sensitive to public perception not think that he will live the rest of his life in infamy of he greedily takes as much money from the biggest brand in sports while inhibiting it and starving its fans of a champiobship run?
      You think Kobe Bryant takes all the money if he doesn’t have a ring?

    21. Donnie Walsh

      Does a guy who is reported to be sensitive to public perception not think that he will live the rest of his life in infamy of he greedily takes as much money from the biggest brand in sports while inhibiting it and starving its fans of a champiobship run?

      I’m afraid you still just simply don’t understand the Knicks yet. They aren’t going to ask him to take less. They are going to put $129,000,000 in front of him. What’s he going to do? Say “no, I think I should only get $96,000,000″.

      This organization bid against nobody to max-out Allan Houston– a contract so bad it got an amnesty clause named after it.

      So your armchair psychology is moot.

      He’s getting the max.

    22. JK47

      Why do the Knicks seem so confident Melo will remain a Knick and that they’ll build a championship caliber team around despite the new CBA constraints?

      James Dolan is confident in a lot of things. He’s confident that his band is excellent. He’s confident that he looks super cool in a fedora. He’s confident that Mike Woodson is a good coach. I wouldn’t put too much stock in James Dolan’s confidence. Atrocities happen when he is confident of something.

    23. Tony Pena

      He might be naive, sometimes selfish and lacking self awareness

      Fwiw I think Melo has been a bit more eloquent as of late…

      I think Chandler re-fractured his fracture? and is just working himself back, he will be fine. However given the current state of affairs in Knickland and his sputtering health, the idea of trading him for some depth might be a good one.

      I can’t think of any NY/LA teams in NBA, NFL, MLB in the last 10 years that went into a true rebuild mode. You don’t spend hundreds of millions in new (in the Knicks case I guess refurbished) arenas/stadiums, charge patrons ridic prices, then turn around and put Mardy Collins, Andy Rautins and Renaldo Balkman out there. Have the season pamphlets say something like “Just give us 3 years, we promise it’ll be worth the wait! In the meantime, for your $$$ enjoy these guys playing team ball! They are swell, rootable guys- we swear!

    24. knickster

      But as you were/are watching Melo on the floor and in interviews this year, ask yourself if he looks happy. Does he seem like someone who wants to be in his late ’30s with $300 million and championship ring (and everything that comes with it) and a legacy that can make him happy, or $330 million, no rings, and a lifetime of regrets and a bad itch he can never scratch?

      He looks to me like a guy who only cares about getting his points every night. Otherwise, he would play basketball the right way: he would rush back on defense, trust his teammates, pass out of double and triple-teams, etc.

      I think your love for Carmelo makes you blind to what is evident to virtually everyone else: Carmelo is NOT interested in anything other than his own goals – as evidence by the fact he does not have any regrets over his Denver exit. But you don’t have to wait to get an answer to your own question – Carmelo and his followers (you are the perfect example) ARE using what would be his perfect excuse (the same one used for his Denver tenure and eventual exit): “What could he do? He never had a good team around him!” That is his Denver legacy. That will be his NY legacy.

      Does it seem plausible to you that Melo has learned the hard way that he can’t have all of the money, all of the glory, and get all of the credit?

      Does not seem plausible – as evidenced by his desire to “see what’s out there” (opt-out).

      He might be naive, sometimes selfish and lacking self awareness, but he learns. And he wants to win. He’s running out of time. Do you think he wants to spend the next four years as he did the last four?

      He wants to win, of course. But when the choice is between winning or making the max , he will choose the money. That’s exactly the reason he didn’t want to wait until free agency, right? If he wanted to win more than he wanted the money, he would not have allowed NY to be fleeced by…

    25. knickster

      Is there anything to be inferred from his comments on the Heat coming together?

      ????

      Why do the Knicks seem so confident Melo will remain a Knick and that they’ll build a championship caliber team around despite the new CBA constraints?

      Because they know they have what nobody else can give him: the most money, the longest contract available under the current CBA.

      Does a guy who is reported to be sensitive to public perception not think that he will live the rest of his life in infamy of he greedily takes as much money from the biggest brand in sports while inhibiting it and starving its fans of a championship run?

      He was not worried about that 2 or 3 years ago when he left Denver, right? As I said before, his future excuse is being written today: he never had the necessary support. That was the reason for his Denver actions, that will be the reason for his NY actions.

      You think Kobe Bryant takes all the money if he doesn’t have a ring?

      He probably would, of course!

      Look, these guys are NOT evil, they are not out to harm anyone. I don’t hate or love Carmelo. I don’t think he is a bad guy. If I were in his shoes, I’d probably do the same (but I would pass the ball more, though). I’d love for the Knicks to keep him *at the RIGHT price*. But there is no reason to believe Carmelo will take less money so that can Dolan waste it on some overpaid second free agent – that would be utterly stupid on Carmelo’s part.

      Not sure how long you’ve been on this board knickster, but I doubt anyone wants to go through the who is ruru thing again.

      We don’t need to do it – if you are here, spending your time debating Carmelo with people like me, you are one of us…lol

    26. knickster

      So, Ruru, you never answered the simple question: what type of “discount” are you talking about? 10 dollars or ten millions? Or is it just a fuzzy dream?

      I think the only useful discount (assuming Dolan does not immediately waste on Steve Nash! lol) is Melo at 17 millions for the next 3 years. What’s your “discount”?

    27. flossy

      Why do the Knicks seem so confident Melo will remain a Knick and that they’ll build a championship caliber team around despite the new CBA constraints?

      Because they are delusional?

      This organization bid against nobody to max-out Allan Houston– a contract so bad it got an amnesty clause named after it.

      You forget the best part: we didn’t even use the amnesty on Houston aaaaaaaahah:LDFH;lae;ld c

    28. Owen

      “Does he seem like someone who wants to be in his late ’30s with $300 million and championship ring (and everything that comes with it) and a legacy that can make him happy, or $330 million, no rings, and a lifetime of regrets and a bad itch he can never scratch?”

      He doesn’t. But if that’s the case it would be crazy for him to stay in New York. Both the management team (which sucks) and the cap situation make it impossible this is the best place for him to cement his legacy.

    29. lavor postell

      During the Michigan-Wisconsin telecast yesterday they did a promo for the Knicks-Nets game on Monday. Dan Dakich was announcing the game and went on a completely unsolicited diatribe against how poor the Knicks were, which was mildly amusing and shockingly honest. He finished by saying this about their performance against Indiana; “If you pay money to watch the Knicks after that performance……you must have a lot of money.” Hard to argue with that seeing as how we really are the most boring unenjoyable team to watch in the NBA.

    30. ephus

      There is a road that leads to Melo/Rondo/Love. I think that grouping could be the core of a championship contender. I think it would require all three to essentially agree to take equal salaries (as the Miami 3 did). It’s hard to imagine how that works if Melo exercises his ETO and becomes a free agent this summer – one year before Rondo and Love. Melo could structure his deal to take a salary dip in 2015-16 to create space to sign others. If Melo did that, he would be imbuing a lot if trust in the Knick FO with no escape hatch.

    31. Owen

      Why would Love come to New York to play with Melo? They are the same player except Love is much better and much younger.

      Everyone knows Love wants to go to the Lakers, as he should….

    32. yellowboy90

      Well the only thing that could push KLove away from the Lakers is if he is tired of missing the playoffs and going through rebuilds. Who would be in LA with him?

    33. Owen

      I don’t know who they would have. But it seems with Kobe and Gasol expiring they would have a pretty clean cap, the allure of LA, and unlimited financial resources….

      Plus, he is from SoCal…

    34. JK47

      I can’t think of any NY/LA teams in NBA, NFL, MLB in the last 10 years that went into a true rebuild mode.

      The Mets are in the midst of a true rebuild. They made the painful but wise decision not to give Jose Reyes a $100M extension, they flipped Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler, they flipped RA Dickey for two blue-chip prospects and they’ve drastically curtailed their free agent spending.

    35. ephus

      Love and Rondo will each have a max salary of approximately $17.5 million in the summer of 2015 (number is in flux, but this year it would be $16.4 million). If Melo took a five year deal this summer starting at $20 million, he could cut to $18.5 for 2015-16, go back to $20 million for 2016-17, $21.5 million for 2017-18 and $23 million for 2018-19. $103 million over five years. That is roughly $30 million less than his absolute max deal, which is what Ruru has been hinting at for the last year.

      Love and Anthony have similar skill sets but they are complimentary. A PnR with Rondo/Love or Rondo/Melo sets up the other guy for open three point shots. The team would need a rim protecting five, a strong wing defender and a slashing wing. I think you could get those pieces with the salary cap and exceptions left over after spending ~ $53 million on the three biggest pieces.

      All of this depends upon:

      1. Rondo making a strong comeback.
      2. Rondo wanting to leave Boston (unclear).
      3. Kevin Love wanting to leave Minnesota (seems likely).
      4. Love not wanting to go to the Lakers for the death throes of Kobe.

      How likely? I have no idea. But it is theoretically possible.

    36. ephus

      And Love is from Oregon, not SoCal. He played for one year at UCLA. He is also SoCal royalty because he is the nephew of the Beach Boys singer Mike Love.

      The real question is whether Love and Anthony bonded during the 2012 Olympic run. Melo is in a better position to know than any of us.

      This plan does not require Love or Rondo to take a discount. Only Melo.

    37. lavor postell

      The Lakers may have a history of success but that all predates Jim Buss running the show. Sure Love is from LA and I don’t think that’s an understated line of thought, but who exactly is he going to go to play with? The Lakers future is also restricted by a lack of first round choices and overall assets. If anything they are in a worse position than the Knicks after having re-upped Kobe for whatever absurd dollar amount they extended him reducing their ability to be players in the next couple of summers.

      The Lakers will not have their 2015 (Nash trade) or 2017 pick (Howard trade). Maybe they finish this season and since they’re the Lakers they land a top-3 pick and get Parker, Embiid or Wiggins. Precluding that I don’t see how signing to play with 37 year old Kobe is more attractive than signing with a 30 year old Melo given the Knicks would not have any outstanding assets owed after the 2016 season if they stand still.

      If Melo decided to put his future in the hands of the Knicks front office and took a 17 mill per year salary and the Knicks were only on the hook for Melo, Felton, JR and Hardaway that would put them around 28.5m leaving them around 31.5m under the cap.

      If I’m the Knicks I would try to package Felton with Shump for an expiring rather than give up the 2015 pick assuming we suck next season as well. I’d also try and trade Chandler and JR for an expirings. That would leave us with Melo, THJR and a first rounder in 2015. Assuming the first round salary is approx 2m and a 17m salary for Melo that would put us at 20.5m around 39.5 under the cap (assuming the cap is 60m). If you could convince Love and Rondo to take 17.5m in the first year with raises after we would still have another 5m under the cap plus, our MLE to play with along with the biannual exception. I doubt any of that is likely, but I can see how we’d possibly make room for Love and Rondo.

    38. flossy

      A Rondo/Melo/Love trio is absolutely not a championship contender, IMO. The giant, glaring hole in the middle of our defense would be a critical liability, and anyone who thinks we can count on picking up someone fit to be the starting center on a team with championship aspirations for the MLE is kidding themselves. Rondo is a great player but wouldn’t be my first choice for a team that would need to be PnR-centric since he can’t shoot, and Melo/Love are highly redundant players, maybe not completely but like… 80%. And neither is a difference-maker on defense. That team, would, again, be a perennial 2nd round out, and that’s assuming all 3 core pieces stay healthy.

    39. lavor postell

      @ Flossy

      I tend to agree. I still think carving out the maximum amount of cap space would be good seeing as how we don’t have the draft picks to retool around Melo in that way. I still think signing Reggie Jackson and Robin Lopez both for far under the max is a preferable scenario. That would leave us plenty of room under the cap to fill with solid supplementary pieces on reasonable salaries that we could move in trade. I’d rather have multiple assets that are tradeable than build around a flawed triumvirate of Rondo, Melo and Love.

    40. JK47

      If you’re going to build around Melo the smart thing to do is surround him with great defensive players. Let him be do his volume scoring thing and let everybody else play great defense– similar to the Iverson teams in Philly. Getting a poor defensive PF to be his main sidekick seems like insanity to me.

    41. ephus

      There is no “convincing” Love or Rondo to take 17.5. The max salary for players with 7-9 years experience is 30% of salary cap or 105% of prior year’s salary, whichever is more. Both Love and Rondo would be capped at 17.5. (Assuming the salary cap goes up as predicted for the next two years). The two sacrifices they would make: raises limited to 4.5% (not 7.5%) and contract limited to 4 years (not 5 years).

    42. flossy

      Getting a poor defensive PF to be his main sidekick seems like insanity to me.

      Honestly, the notion that Kevin Love would be Carmelo Anthony’s “sidekick” is what is truly insane. Is there anything Melo does well that Love doesn’t do better, aside from get his own midrange jump shot in isolation?

    43. knickster

      Why talk about Love and Rondo? The absolute best path would be for Melo to take a discount and be surrounded by solid rotation players – we don’t have to have more than one star.

      The idea of the 3-star championship team is a fallacy. Miami did it because it had a home-grown star in Wade and Riley colluded with LeBron and Bosh to fix everything, down to the lower salaries. That can’t be replicated – but the Heat should not be the role model. Indiana and San Antonio should.

      Melo surrounded by good young defensive-minded players under the leadership of a capable coach would be a great team to root for – and they would do no worse than the crap we suffer today.

    44. Owen

      Rondo/Love/Melo in 2016? I don’t know, I just don’t see that working out all that well. Love and Melo are almost as duplicative as Melo and Stat. Very similar skill sets. And if I were Love I don’t know why I would trust Melo to be a reliable sidekick hitting his middle 30′s.

      What’s happening with Anthony Davis? Any chance he moves in 4 years or is he sure to stick in New Orleans?

      If I were Love I would be figuring out how to team up with him….

    45. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

      There is a road that leads to Melo/Rondo/Love. I think that grouping could be the core of a championship contender.

      I respectfully disagree, though I do understand the reason why you would want to make that argument, as it is the absolute best case scenario for the Knick’s long term plan. What we have seen is that the “Big 3″ model comes at an extremely high opportunity cost, and that unless you get the pick of the league, diminishing returns are almost certain to be at play. Obviously, if you have a transcendent two-way player (ie, LeBron), the diminishing returns are not so drastic. But there is nobody available to the Knicks in 2015 who is a transcendent two-way player.

      Basically, my big question is: if you can have Kevin Love starting at $17.5 million, why do you pay Carmelo Anthony anything at all?

    46. er

      Honestly, the notion that Kevin Love would be Carmelo Anthony’s “sidekick” is what is truly insane. Is there anything Melo does well that Love doesn’t do better, aside from get his own midrange jump shot in isolation?

      He’s shooting better from the line and from 3 lol

    47. flossy

      He’s shooting better from the line and from 3 lol

      Love: .391 from 3 on 6.2 attempts per 36, Melo: .392 from 3 on 3.9 attempts per 36.
      Love is a much better 3 point shooter when you look at their respective career numbers. As for FTs, he and Melo shoot nearly exactly the same amount of FTs per 36 and virtually the exact same percentage, too, for their career. Melo’s shooting a few percentage points better this year, but he’s also shooting more than 1 FT less than Love per 36.
      So… “lol” at yourself.

    48. Owen

      Kevin Love = 58.7% ts%
      Melo = 54.2% ts%

      Love = .256 ws/48
      Melo = .156 ws/48

      Melo is just a guy at this point. He isn’t a top 10 guy. He isn’t a top 20 guy either. Certainly not if you are talking the next five years….

      If he came back for 10 million per year, sure. But signing Melo to any kind of a major deal is a huge mistake.

      It won’t happen I know but it should….

    49. ruruland

      Christ, the only time Owen shows up on this board is when Melo is shooting poorly.

      He’s coming off a 4-23 on a 4/5. Perfect time for Owen to start putting his numbers up.

      Just a guy…

    50. max fisher-cohen

      It seems pretty clear that the Melo and Knick F.O. teams are not communicating or else not communicating well. If Melo wants to win now, the team would make trades to win now. These two trades seem completely feasible to me:

      1) Nelson and Big Baby for Bargnani and Shumpert

      2) Tim Hardaway Jr, Metta World Peace and 2018 first round pick for Gordon Hayward

      These are just examples. I’m sure there are a number of other possibilities to move these pieces and upgrade the Knicks back up to a surefire 3rd seed in the East this year and next.

      Alternatively, the team could build for 2015 by moving Shumpert and Chandler, both of whom expire in 2015, for assets that will remain moveable/cheap after next season.

      What they’re doing now, instead, is nothing, which is a sign that the team is clueless right now. You don’t sit on your hands when you have the third oldest, second most expensive roster in the league and you’re 10 games under .500. Even under Isiah Thomas, the Knicks understood this. The only explanation is that they’re hoping that they learn more about Anthony’s plans before the trade deadline.

      I do think there is potentially a third factor here other than the team’s hope to retain Anthony: money. Re-signing Hayward (or Lowry) would likely add $30+ million to the team’s tax bill just next season. Refusing to re-sign Lin and trade for Lowry both point towards the possibility that Dolan really is worried about the tax.

    51. Owen

      Christ, the only time Owen shows up on this board is when Melo is shooting poorly.

      He’s coming off a 4-23 on a 4/5. Perfect time for Owen to start putting his numbers up.

      Just a guy…

      Just a guy is right though. Above average guy sure but far from an elite talent you build around in his 30′s.

      And yeah, bad night the other night. But the 54.2 true shooting percentage he is posting this year is right on his career average of 54.5. Same same but same….

      This is who Melo is. He’s a guy who takes a ton of shots and doesn’t make enough of them to be a real star.

    52. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

      What they’re doing now, instead, is nothing, which is a sign that the team is clueless right now.

      Max– I don’ think the Knicks are being clueless (a sentence I never thought I’d write!!). The Knicks cannot negotiate an extension with Anthony until February, so if it seems like the “two sides” aren’t talking, it’s because they probably aren’t. Come February, I’d expect the Knicks FO to engage Anthony, talk about the team needs going forward, and about what Anthony may or may not be willing to accept.

      Considering the team is going nowhere this season, there is no hurry to jump into things, and to make moves before knowing where Anthony stands. Hopefully by the deadline the team will have a reasonable idea of what Anthony wants, and can either trade him or make requisite moves to make the next five years with him as the centerpiece more bearable.

      But the 54.2 true shooting percentage he is posting this year is right on his career average of 54.5. Same same but same…. This is who Melo is. He’s a guy who takes a ton of shots and doesn’t make enough of them to be a real star.

      I think this is fair. Owen hasn’t disappeared. He’s been on every game thread I’ve read this year, and he’s congratulated Anthony on his play when deserved. But Anthony’s body of work is what it is, and the last game wasn’t just a poor-shooting mirage. Anthony has had a lot of issues this season, especially in the 4th quarter, and his critics are well within their right to point out how his production per dollar may not be up there with like salaried players.

    53. ruruland

      It’s in the .560 area since he developed a reliable 3-point shot.

      Do you think Melo takes the same kind of shots and the same amount of shots with a more balanced team around him?

      We do this all the time, but if you’re able to skew Melo’s shots away from isolations, which a balanced offensive team (especially one with a pg like Rondo), it’s clear his ts would go up quite a bit.

      He can age better than Pierce did. He’s bigger and stronger.

      Pierce got more efficient later in his career.

      Is Melo a guy who can put up elite efficiency at elite usage?

      No.

      Can he put up elite efficiency on high usage?

      The numbers suggest he could. When you throw in low turnovers, rebounds, passable defense and ability to draw double-teams in the right match-up, he’s a top 10-ish player.

      Dean Oliver has him as a top 15 player. And he knows more about how he affects the game than anyone else on this board and perhaps in the league.

    54. max fisher-cohen

      @Ghost of Ted Nelson

      He’s not going to sign an extension as he would only be able to add three years. Nothing stops him from telling the front office what he wants regardless of if he’s able to sign anything. If NY is refusing to trade Chandler, as has been reported, and refusing to upgrade the roster, killing the team’s odds of avoiding Miami and Indy in the first round, they are going to end up with nothing to show for this season. No future assets to attract Carmelo to 2015, no current wins to give him hope for 14/15. It’s the worst possible option. That might change over the next month, but right now, it seems like NY’s FO is in the dark.

    55. ruruland

      “his critics are well within their right to point out how his production per dollar may not be up there with like salaried players.”

      That’s fine.

    56. JK47

      All I want is to watch a Knicks team that plays some mother-effing defense. I’m sick of this soft-ass switching, traffic cone defense by guards, awkward-ass Italian GIF generating machines… It’s just wack. This team is 25th in defensive efficiency and they aren’t trending upwards, and that is the kind of team that in my opinion is not really worth caring about.

    57. Owen

      Ruru – I just recently read that interview. Despite all your attempts at leading the witness I really really enjoyed it. It was excellent, so nice work, belatedly.

      But if you sat Dean Oliver down and said, we are doing a franchise player draft, you can offer contracts of 5 years at 20 million per, do you really think Melo would be in that top 20 he would pick?

      I love the effort Melo is bringing this year. He’s been a horse. I don’t fault him on that score. But I have said it for three straight years, he is actually a pretty limited ball player offensively. His scoring arsenal just doesn’t compare to the elite players in this league. He doesn’t score in transition, he doesn’t have a great outside stroke, he doesn’t move well off the ball, and he doesn’t have the athleticism and durability to live under the hoop and bang. His particular mix of midrange and post play just isn’t that conducive to efficient scoring. And he isn’t a plus on the defensive end, especially at power forward.

      We have been having this argument for as long as you have been on the board. Every time we have it you say, “things are about to turn.” And I say, “I hope so but I really doubt it.”

      At what point are you going to admit that maybe the skeptics have a point?

    58. yellowboy90

      Another scenario would be to forget Rondo and Love for right now and go after Thaddeous Young and Lowry.

      http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=lsatfdo

      Ny:
      Lowry
      Young
      Lopez

      TO:
      Claver
      Shump
      Udrih
      2018 1st
      Phi:
      Meyers
      Metta
      2015 1st (via portland for Tyson)

      Port:

      Tyson
      Aldrich

      Circulate some 2nd rounders around plus the 3 million NY still has and I think that is a decent trade. Lopez and Young are young and will still become good trade chips in 2015. I actually think this is a better trade than the one that was reported for Lowry because they won’t have to take Felton’c contract.

    59. ruruland

      …”he is actually a pretty limited ball player offensively.

      he doesn’t have a great outside stroke

      especially at power forward….”

      Just no…

    60. er

      Flossy the reason I put lol is because I was agreeing with you. Love is a netter player obviously Jeez. Such a hard on for a guy who can’t even make the playoffs tho.

      Also anyone who thinks Melo isn’t top 20 is clearly unreasonable

    61. er

      actually a pretty limited ball player offensively. His scoring arsenal just doesn’t compare to the elite players in this league. He doesn’t score in transition, he doesn’t have a great outside stroke, he doesn’t move well off the ball, and he doesn’t have the athleticism and durability to live under the hoop and bang.

      WHAT?

    62. Owen

      If he is such a great offensive player why doesn’t he put up the kind of efficiency numbers that legit superstars do? That’s the bottom line. This is a guy who is barely above league average right now. We have a ten + year sample at this point with a range from 52.5 in the lockout year to 56.8% back in 07-08. Right now, Durant is at 63%. Lebron is at 66.5%. Love is at 58.7% and he’s been struggling. Melo is at 54.2%

      It’s a puzzle right? Why can’t this guy, with a vaunted reputation for being an elite offensive talent, not score efficiently?

      My analysis is that he doesn’t have enough elite tools. No transition game to speak of. Doesn’t move well without the ball, as he proved post-Linsanity, the one stretch of play he wasn’t completely ball dominant. And his mix of threes and ft’s never really seems to move the needle that much, unlike with Love. He can play inside but he doesn’t have the build of a legit inside force like say Barkley or Malone that would allow him to take the pounding day in and day out. And he beats guys off the dribble less and less from what I can see.

      When I watch Melo it just seems like a steady diet of 18 footers and post moves with a sub-optimal mix of three point shooting and ft’s. Sometimes things change a little bit but he always falls back to being basically the same mediocre efficiency guy.

      As always, I am hoping to be proven wrong about Carmelo. But I have been writing these things for five years and absolutely nothing has changed. Different team, different teammates, same guy.

    63. er

      He takes bad shots. Period. He’s not an efficiency whore. Not saying that it’s a good thing but it’s what he does. If he took only optimal shots his percentages would skyrocket. Especially now that he’s a good three point shooter. He seems to be fine in transition to me. The real issue is actually his production at the rim. He misses way too many layups or gets blocked. I don’t have the numbers but that’s got to be a bad percentage. Also regarding fts as has been discussed ad nauseum here Melo gets a terrible whistle so he should avg way more fts. But hey he’s just a guy ….. Funny how all the elite defensive coaches tilt the defense toward “just a guy”

    64. er

      When I watch Melo it just seems like a steady diet of 18 footers and post moves with a sub-optimal mix of three point shooting and ft’s.

      So your saying he has a varied offensive game?

      Jumpers , post moves, threes., fts….

      Seems whenever the Knicks are in a bad stretch it’s pile on Melo time. I just don’t get it.

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