Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.04.23)

  • [New York Times] Pacers Rally Past Hawks 101-85 to Even Series (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:24:26 GMT)
    The Pacers got tired of talking trash.

  • [New York Times] Wizards Beat Bulls 101-99 in OT to Take 2-0 Lead (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:24:28 GMT)
    This one looked like it was slipping away from the Washington Wizards. Then, in a flash everything changed.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan Scores 30 as Raptors Beat Nets 100-95 (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:03:32 GMT)
    DeMar DeRozan put his playoff jitters aside and turned in an All-Star performance for the Toronto Raptors.

  • [New York Times] Youth Served as DeRozan Leads ‘Northern Uprising’ (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:03:18 GMT)
    The Toronto Raptors have promoted their return to the NBA postseason after a six-year absence as a ‘Northern Uprising’ and on Tuesday they backed up the marketing campaign with a 100-95 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

  • [New York Times] Raptors 100, Nets 95: Raptors Outlast Nets to Even Up the Series (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:03:02 GMT)
    The Nets stumbled on Tuesday night and fell, 100-95, to the Toronto Raptors, allowing their first-round playoff series to become tied at 1-1.

  • [New York Times] Rangers Beat Flyers 4-1 in Game 3, Take 2-1 Lead (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:54:23 GMT)
    Never afraid to raise his fists, Dan Carcillo made his mark in the league as a puncher more than a postseason star.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: George Leads Pacers in Rout of Hawks to Even Series (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:50:18 GMT)
    The Indiana swingman scored 27 points in Game 2 as the best-of-seven, first-round matchup now moves to Atlanta.

  • [New York Times] Pacers Rally Past Hawks 101-85 to Even Series (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:33:28 GMT)
    When the Indiana Pacers needed a lift. Paul George stepped up. All over the court, over and over again.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing: Randle Enters Draft (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:36:07 GMT)
    Kentucky forward Julius Randle decided to leave after one season for the N.B.A. draft, where he is expected to be among the top five selections.

  • [New York Times] Pacers Rally Past Hawks 101-85 to Even Series (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:24:26 GMT)
    The Pacers got tired of talking trash.

  • [New York Times] Wizards Beat Bulls 101-99 in OT to Take 2-0 Lead (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:24:28 GMT)
    This one looked like it was slipping away from the Washington Wizards. Then, in a flash everything changed.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan Scores 30 as Raptors Beat Nets 100-95 (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:03:32 GMT)
    DeMar DeRozan put his playoff jitters aside and turned in an All-Star performance for the Toronto Raptors.

  • [New York Times] Youth Served as DeRozan Leads ‘Northern Uprising’ (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:03:18 GMT)
    The Toronto Raptors have promoted their return to the NBA postseason after a six-year absence as a ‘Northern Uprising’ and on Tuesday they backed up the marketing campaign with a 100-95 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

  • [New York Times] Raptors 100, Nets 95: Raptors Outlast Nets to Even Up the Series (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:03:02 GMT)
    The Nets stumbled on Tuesday night and fell, 100-95, to the Toronto Raptors, allowing their first-round playoff series to become tied at 1-1.

  • [New York Times] Rangers Beat Flyers 4-1 in Game 3, Take 2-1 Lead (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:54:23 GMT)
    Never afraid to raise his fists, Dan Carcillo made his mark in the league as a puncher more than a postseason star.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: George Leads Pacers in Rout of Hawks to Even Series (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:50:18 GMT)
    The Indiana swingman scored 27 points in Game 2 as the best-of-seven, first-round matchup now moves to Atlanta.

  • [New York Times] Pacers Rally Past Hawks 101-85 to Even Series (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:33:28 GMT)
    When the Indiana Pacers needed a lift. Paul George stepped up. All over the court, over and over again.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing: Randle Enters Draft (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:36:07 GMT)
    Kentucky forward Julius Randle decided to leave after one season for the N.B.A. draft, where he is expected to be among the top five selections.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Should Phil expand his coaching search? (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:00:35 EDT)
    If you’re the New York Knicks, here are your immediate options for head coach: Steve Kerr, who is a fine choice, is your leading candidate. The other candidates include Phil Jackson disciples such as Bill Cartwright, Kurt Rambis and Jim Cleamons. So, if for some reason things don’t work out with Kerr, the Knicks wouldn’t be left with what you’d call a Murderers’ Row of coaching candidates. Jackson hasn’t shown any inclination to coach.

  • [New York Daily News] Source: Dolan tries to stop Jackson’s Knick staff firings (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:00:00 GMT)
    Phil Jackson’s formidable task of rebuilding the Knicks and establishing a professional, winning culture at Madison Square Garden has already hit a familiar roadblock: James Dolan.

  • [New York Daily News] Source: Dolan tries to stop Jackson’s Knick staff firings (Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:00:00 GMT)
    Phil Jackson’s formidable task of rebuilding the Knicks and establishing a professional, winning culture at Madison Square Garden has already hit a familiar roadblock: James Dolan.

  • 90 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.04.23)

    1. Farfa

      Just one month into his role as Knicks president, Jackson has already clashed with the chairman of MSG over personnel decisions, the News has learned. According to a team source, Jackson is looking to remove several staff members, which is commonplace when a new administration takes over, but Dolan opposes removing certain employees.

      I want to be an optimist. I want to believe that this news leaking is a bluff by Jackson: a power move made by Phil to make sure that Dolan knows that he can’t meddle around without anybody knowing.

      If that is instead the truth, we’re in for a long, long journey to delusion, once again. Dammit Dolan, cut the checks (and cash in much, much fattier checks) and get your hands off everything basketball related!

    2. Hubert

      I think the only story here is that Isola intends to continue his narrative no matter who is in charge. This is him “flexing his muscles” and showing that a new regime won’t stop him.

    3. lavor postell

      Isola is the only person who’s reported the Kerr story yesterday and now this Jackson/Dolan story today.

    4. Hubert

      What was the Kerr story yesterday?

      EDIT: never mind, I’ll google it, lest you post a link of one those “How hard was that?” google searches.

    5. Hubert

      Yeah, more of the same. Look, Isola’s industry is talking shit about Dolan and the dysfunction of the Garden. If the place suddenly morphed into the Garden of Eden, what the hell are they going to put on the back page of the Daily News? They need this stuff.

      The fact is Phil Jackson fired everyone. Even Herb. If Dolan didn’t approve, it didn’t matter.

      Nothing to see here, as far as I’m concerned.

    6. lavor postell

      Jimmy Butler played all 53 minutes in last night’s game and went 2-9 from the field for 6 points along with 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Thibs’ devotion to defense is a major reason why the Bulls won 48 games without Rose, but playing somebody for every single second of a playoff game is ridiculous.

    7. Hubert

      And it’s one of the reasons I think he’s overrated as a coach. I’m not saying he isn’t excellent. I just think he’s the defensive version of Mike D’Antoni.

      If Melo thinks he’s going to get him a ring, good luck to him.

    8. d-mar

      @7 yeah, that’s unbelievable, even Durant doesn’t play every minute of a playoff game.

      Also, regarding Lance Stephenson, heard today that he had a serious fistfight with Turner in practice recently. I’m starting to think he’s following the JR Smith career arc, having a great season in his contract year but still very much a knucklehead who teams will have to think very hard about signing.

      I also heard from a friend of mine that Paul George had a recent fling with Doc Rivers’ daughter? Now I’m really hoping for a Clippers-Pacers final.

    9. ephus

      When it was announced that Phil Jackson fired the entire staff, including Herb Williams, I cheered. It was not because I blame Herb Williams for the Knicks’ problems in 2013-14. Rather, I was happy to see evidence that Phil Jackson actually had the autonomy to dismiss a guy who has (fairly or unfairly) been described as Dolan’s pipeline to the locker room.

      If Phil Jackson does not actually have autonomy, I expect this to be a really short tenure as President of basketball operations. I have no doubt that Jackson would walk away in a heartbeat if he feels he cannot control the team.

    10. thenamestsam

      Lance is immensely talented, and immensely talented 23 year olds don’t become available as free agents all that often, but I would be absolutely terrified of being the team that gives him a big money offer. And I think he has become a little overrated because of what a big character he is. He’s still young and definitely still has room to grow, but right now he’s not more than 3rd option really. If some mediocre team throws a ton of money at him and then heaps a bunch of pressure on him to be their lead guy I think it could turn out pretty ugly. I think finding a way for him to stay in Indy is by far the best thing for his career.

    11. Farfa

      I don’t know if Indy is the right long-term solution for Lance. It becomes more and more apparent that David West is the only thing that’s keeping that team together. I have to stress that again: look at the awful body language of those guys. When/if David West walks away, that team is going to be a mess. I think Lance would be superb in OKC (where the stupendous human being that is Durant leads the way), in ATL (Horford seems positively West-like, character-wise), and that’s it.

    12. Hubert

      When it was announced that Phil Jackson fired the entire staff, including Herb Williams, I cheered. It was not because I blame Herb Williams for the Knicks’ problems in 2013-14. Rather, I was happy to see evidence that Phil Jackson actually had the autonomy to dismiss a guy who has (fairly or unfairly) been described as Dolan’s pipeline to the locker room.

      I agree. And that’s why I think this latest “news” is just Isola’s desperate attempt to keep the News’ favorite backpage soap opera going.

      On the one hand, you have evidence of someone acting with complete autonomy. On the other hand, you have someone whispering to a reporter that he doesn’t have complete autonomy.

      We shouldn’t be freaked out by Isola’s fear mongering.

    13. Zanzibar

      The solution to the Pacers’ problems is the Triangle. I’m semi-serious. I think many of the team issues have been worsened by a lousy offense without any kind of identity. Players fight over who should be taking shots. Offense needs structure and more motion which Triangle would provide. David West is an excellent passer who’s able to operate out of the post. Hibbert also operates out of the post and has that left-handed baby hook. Hill is not a shot creator but would be just fine shooting corner 3s. Memphis BTW is also a team which might benefit from the Triangle. Knicks in 2015: Shump/Butler/M Gasol/Millsap would also be a candidate.

    14. lavor postell

      Yeah let’s get Jimmy Butler and Shump in the backcourt together. That’s a great idea.

    15. Hubert

      I know I’ve said this before, but I feel like saying it again:

      I really want Carmelo Anthony to leave if he opts out.

      Opting in is such a great move for the team. It allows him to get paid the max next year (which will surely be a transition/culture rebuilding year), and allows us maximum flexibility in the summer of 2015, when he can try to convince his buddy LeBron to come join him.

      Opting out is a selfish move that hurts the team and only serves to benefit his long term security, something he claims he isn’t about any more.

      I love how RuRu – absent for months – came back here a few months ago to claim “I TOLD YOU SO!” when Melo issued a statement saying he would consider a pay cut. No pay cut helps this team as much as opting in for next year. No pay cut increases his chances of winning a title as much as opting in this year.

      This is the Alex Rodriguex opt-out all over again.

      We have two chances of winning a title:

      1) Melo is able to recruit LeBron to come here in 2015. (And let’s be real: LeBron James is literally the only free agent we can add in 2015 that would make us a contender.)

      2) We let Melo walk and rebuild through the draft.

      If he opts out and signs a long term deal, I think option 1 is pretty much impossible. (LeBron is going to take less money to come and play with Melo making the super max? Ha! I doubt it). So if he opts out, go with option 2.

      And I would love to see RuRu pop up and try to feed us the “Melo only cares about winning with the Knicks” bullshit the day he opts out.

    16. Zanzibar

      @Lavor You’re being sarcastic, right? But why not? We’d have maybe the #1 defense in the league. Shump guards the opposing PG and Butler, arguably the best wing defender in the league, would guard George/LBJ/etc. And M Gasol is the defender everybody thinks Chandler is. The triangle does not require a prototypical PG; sure Shump would have to work on his ball-handling skills but it could work. The gist of my post was that defensive juggernauts like Pacers and Grizz struggle on offense and that the Triangle might help those type of teams.

    17. lavor postell

      You need perimeter shooting for the triangle to work. Shump and Butler don’t do that well enough. They are also very duplicate in their skill sets. Marc Gasol isn’t leaving Memphis where’s he went to high school and has major roots to come to New York and play with Shump and Butler.

    18. Hubert

      And we shouldn’t be kidding ourselves into thinking Marc Gasol teaming with Melo is going to do anything.

      The ONLY REASON to retain Melo is to get him to try to recruit LeBron. Because there is no other player in the league who, teamed with Melo at a max contract and a bunch of role players, is going to win us a title.

    19. johnno

      “You need perimeter shooting for the triangle to work. Shump and Butler don’t do that well enough”
      Saying that Shump and Butler don’t shoot well enough from the perimeter is being generous. Shumpert shot 33% from 3 this year and under 38% overall and Butler shot 28% from 3 and 39% overall. They are both pretty bad shooters in general and really bad perimeter shooters in particular.
      Re: Butler playing every minute — check out Walt Frazier’s career numbers. He averaged over 40 minutes a game for six straight season and, one year, averaged 43.5 minutes a game. (I realize that that is not in any way relevant to the current discussion; I just thought that it was really interesting. He really was a great player in all ways.)

    20. er

      @16 how do you go from opting out to taking the max? Aren’t those mutually exclusive? I also love how people count athletes money. So he’s supposed to give up financial security against a career ending/ changing injury so you can be happy? Ok then. Arods opt out was a little different in that he had like 3 yrs left no?

    21. lavor postell

      I don’t see how Melo opting out and re-signing at a discount is a negative thing if the goal is to still try and lure Lebron here in 2015, which I don’t think is going to happen. The maximum we could offer Lebron is a 4-year deal which would expire the same time as Melo’s if he signed a 5 year deal this summer. That would be fantastic.

      Additionally Melo re-signing this summer gives you some kind of pitch to make to potential free agents going into 2015. Playing with Melo probably is appealing to certain guys (certainly not everybody), whereas teaming up with THJ and Shump is probably not going to pull in a lot of guys. I also think it’s not likely a guy is going to risk his long-term contract status to do what would be the best for the Knicks.

    22. Zanzibar

      Butler’s shooting figures are surely influenced by the excessive minutes he’s being played this season. When your legs go, your shooting goes – ask Kidd. Butler had a 3FG% of 38% last season. Shump had a 3FG% of 40% last season and even in his rookie year his spot-up 3 shooting was excellent. Don’t you think that all of the turmoil this season affected Shump? I think both Shump and Butler would ultimately rate out as average 3 shooters; they’re not Tony Allen or Ronnie Brewer. As for Gasol, Memphis may be the favorite but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he (and Pau) decided to play for Knicks in a system which plays to their strengths.

    23. DRed

      Marc Gasol is going to be 31 by the time he gets here, if he gets here. And then I’ll be reading comments like “DeAndre Jordan is the defender everyone thinks Marc Gasol is. Marc got his payday with the Knicks and he stopped trying hard.”

    24. EB

      Shumpert has a long history of being a poor shooter. I love the guy but we have no reason to believe that last season was representative of Shump’s shooting ability.

    25. Zanzibar

      @DRed It’s risk/reward situation and would depend on salary. Gasol on a 10-11m/year 4 year deal seems fine to me. I would much rather take the health risk at that price than sign either Robin Lopez or Asik at 8m/year or Jordan at 13-14m. Melo, on the other hand, is not worth the risk at 20m. He’ll be 32yo in the first playoffs that matter; his numbers are very good this season but much of that is attributed to much improved outside shooting. Are we sure that will still hold 2 years from now? I’m not persuaded by all of these internet doctors saying he will age like Pierce. A couple of months ago I believed Melo would stay but now it’s 50/50. Paradoxically, Jax’s triangle imo makes it more likely Melo will leave since I don’t believe he wants to learn an entirely new and different system at his age; his comments have hinted at that.

    26. Zanzibar

      Shumpert has a long history of being a poor shooter. I love the guy but we have no reason to believe that last season was representative of Shump’s shooting ability.

      History of being a very good spot-up shooter, terrible shooting off the dribble or any kind of motion. That’s the profile of a 3andD player (Raja Bell, Bruce Bowen). I’ll take Shump at 4-5m as that type of 3andD player any day.

    27. DRed

      I mean, Gasol for not huge money would probably be fine. Assuming he stays healthy and productive. But then he’s probably going to go for more money. And if he gets hurt again and his productivity is slipping, are you sure you want to sign him for 4 years? Also, we don’t know who is going to be coaching the Knicks, what system they are going to run (if Kerr is our coach, I would be surprised if he implemented a classic P Jax triangle after his years playing for Pop), where Pau is going to be, etc. I like Gasol-he’s a good player. But in some ways it’s too early to be talking about our FA moves 2 years from now. But I do understand that it’s more fun than discussing the FA moves we can make this year.

    28. Zanzibar

      And if he gets hurt again and his productivity is slipping, are you sure you want to sign him for 4 years?

      Shame on you DRed..don’t you realize who his backup will be…Interesting decision, should Jax use mle to offer Cole a 3 year deal at 2.5m/year? That could be a real bargain if Cole turns out to be the equivalent of Asik.

    29. Brian Cronin

      Jackson responded to the Daily News story:

      “As far as Jim Dolan’s promise or his premise when I took this job that’s he’s going to leave basketball decisions up to me, really, he’s been loyal to that promise,” Jackson said. “And going forward from last week through this week, just wanting to talk to (ex Knicks head coach) Mike (Woodson) when we were through talking to him, the staff — it’s all our decision. He’s been very true to his word to this point.”

    30. airkent

      Did i miss something?? When did Lebron say he was opting in …. Why is everyone assuming that? I would be shocked if he opted in especially it they don’t win the title or wade gets hurt. Simmons was talking about how much harder he had to play this year because wade was out, he basically had to do everything for that team for them to win. I think he will definitely opt out.

    31. Brian Cronin

      I just don’t think Lebron has a huge incentive to leave a year early when he can wait until the following summer and have more options (as Miami can start trying to replace Bosh or Wade then).

    32. JK47

      Two beautiful Chris Herring tweets:

      “Asked Phil about Carmelo’s salary, and whether he’d need to take less. He immediately brings up Tim Duncan, and the Big 3 in Miami.”

      and…

      “Phil says he hopes Carmelo will “stay true to his word” by potentially taking less. “That’s the beginning of team play,” he says.”

      LOVE THAT TWEET. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

    33. Hubert

      @16 how do you go from opting out to taking the max? Aren’t those mutually exclusive? I also love how people count athletes money. So he’s supposed to give up financial security against a career ending/ changing injury so you can be happy? Ok then. Arods opt out was a little different in that he had like 3 yrs left no?

      I’m not saying what he’s supposed to do.

      HE is saying that he doesn’t care about the money, and it’s all about winning with the Knicks.

      Saying that and opting out do not add up. He can go be as rich as he wants somewhere else. He already fucked our future over to get his money once. Let him fuck the Bulls over instead this time.

    34. Hubert

      As an aside, I’ve only watched 4 Wizards games all year (the two v NY at MSG, and these first two games v Chicago). Based on that admittedly tiny sample size, I can’t believe people were saying Randy Wittman might be as bad or worse than Woodson. Randy Wittman did more positive coaching things by design (as opposed to being forced to due to injury) in those 4 games than I saw Woodson do in two seasons.

    35. domiknick

      “Phil says he hopes Carmelo will “stay true to his word” by potentially taking less. “That’s the beginning of team play,” he says.”

      I love Phil’s subtle choice of words here; “stay true to his word.” It really puts the onus on Carmelo. In the event that he does leave, it makes it not so much that the Knicks wouldn’t pay him or even didn’t want him, but that Carmelo in effect lied about what he was willing and wanting to do.

    36. Brian Cronin

      Saying that and opting out do not add up. He can go be as rich as he wants somewhere else. He already fucked our future over to get his money once. Let him fuck the Bulls over instead this time.

      It really does seem, though, that you can’t go by what Melo says, not even as an insult of the guy, just that he doesn’t always think through what he says and so it doesn’t always match what he really means.

    37. Hubert

      Did i miss something?? When did Lebron say he was opting in …. Why is everyone assuming that? I would be shocked if he opted in especially it they don’t win the title or wade gets hurt. Simmons was talking about how much harder he had to play this year because wade was out, he basically had to do everything for that team for them to win. I think he will definitely opt out.

      You see, LeBron is smarter than Carmelo Anthony, so we all assume he will do what makes the most sense long term, being secure financially and caring mostly about winning. Whereas Melo has proven himself to be short-sighted and manages to put him in situations where he sacrifices his future for marginal gains today, so we all assume he just wants to cash in ASAP, at the cost of ever having a chance to win something.

    38. mokers

      I don’t think an athlete choosing between a 1 year and a 4 or 5 year contract is making it about the money. That is mostly about longevity. If Melo takes the supermax, he is about the money. If Melo opts out and takes a 5 year deal at Lebron’s current salary, I wouldn’t say that he cared mostly about money. What kind of contract do people want Melo to sign before his not about the money? And why does it make a difference if he signs it this year or next year? I would rather have him sign this year as it means we are paying for fewer years of the decline phase overall.

    39. DRed

      Its going to be a long summer.

      The two best options for the Knicks would be to sign and trade Melo or pay him an amount of money he’d never accept. Melo 4/48 is a deal i would be comfortable with, but (understandably) I don’t think Melo would take that. Failing that, I’d tell him to take his chances on the open market. If he really wants to win he’s not going to get big money from any team he’d want to go to.

    40. flossy

      Marc Gasol is going to be 31 by the time he gets here, if he gets here.

      He’ll still be younger than Carmelo Anthony.

    41. airkent

      You see, LeBron is smarter than Carmelo Anthony, so we all assume he will do what makes the most sense long term, being secure financially and caring mostly about winning. Whereas Melo has proven himself to be short-sighted and manages to put him in situations where he sacrifices his future for marginal gains today, so we all assume he just wants to cash in ASAP, at the cost of ever having a chance to win something.

      Lol The Decision wasn’t that smart. I agree with you for the most part except it doesn’t make sense for an athlete to risk injury …. They got that opt out clause for a reason, they will use it and lock up one more long term deal. Also i can’t believe people still think there is a possibility lebron ends up in NY, that ship has sailed. People are criticizing Melo fairly about forcing the trade but in his defense i think he thought that we would end up with CP3 and a healthy Amare.

    42. JK47

      LeBron has two chips in three seasons with the Heat, and they’re contenders for a third. I think “The Decision” worked out okay for him.

    43. swiftandabundant

      The Decision wasn’t smart? The Heat have been to the Finals every year since Lebron teamed up with Bosh and Wade and they have two championships. Most likely can 3peat this year. He also teamed up with Riley so when they decide that Bosh and/or Wade needs to go in order to retool, they’ll do it the right way cause Riley is a BOSS.

    44. Brian Cronin

      LeBron’s decision was smart, but The Decision was dumb.

      Yeah, pretty much. Although, I do think it is fair to say that it was a bit odd for the best player in the world to decide he wanted to go play for some other guy’s team. It’d be like Michael Jordan in 1990 going to join Isiah Thomas in Detroit or Magic in Los Angeles.

    45. Glew

      The decision did make a ton of money for charity though something to the tune of 1 million dollars cue doctor evil

    46. Frank

      What kind of contract do people want Melo to sign before he’s not about the money? And why does it make a difference if he signs it this year or next year? I would rather have him sign this year as it means we are paying for fewer years of the decline phase overall.

      +1 on all your points.

      Melo opting out this year is such a no-brainer for him. I’m not even sure why we’re still talking about this. Even if he takes a pay cut he will be guaranteeing himself probably somewhere near an extra $75MM by opting out this year. You don’t have to be “all about the money” to want to guarantee yourself an extra $75MM. It makes zero sense for him to pick up his 1 year option from any perspective. If he wants to stay with the Knicks he can do that. If he wants to leave he can do that. I can’t imagine a single reasonable argument from his perspective, not the Knicks’ perspective for picking up the last year of this deal.

      Melo 4/48 is a deal i would be comfortable with, but (understandably) I don’t think Melo would take that. Failing that, I’d tell him to take his chances on the open market. If he really wants to win he’s not going to get big money from any team he’d want to go to.

      I think bringing up the Spurs was a great move by Phil — their big 3 (Duncan/Parker/Ginobili) combined make only about $30MM. I don’t think Melo at 4/48 is remotely doable, and would probably be looked at as an insult, but just by introducing a number around $10-12MM/season (like the Spurs guy are making) probably brings down Melo’s expectations.

      I’m expecting Melo to sign for about $21MM/year average value. If Phil could somehow Jedi Mind Trick him into a Pierce (~15.5MM) or even Miami Big 3 average value ($19-20MM) that would be a very nice surprise.

      And I think Melo is coming back. I don’t see Morey being on the other end of a McGrady-like deal, and I don’t see Chicago dumping contracts either.

    47. nicos

      It’ll be interesting to see what effect, if any, a Washington win over Chicago would have on the Melo situation. If Chicago loses you have to think they’d be more likely to go all in on trying to sign Melo but it also might make Melo less likely to want to go there. Washington can create max cap space pretty easily (though resigning Gortat would then become problematic) and if they can make it to the conference finals they might become a more attractive destination for Melo, especially since he’s from Baltimore. I do think he’ll wind up staying at something like 5 yrs/100m but if Phil starts low-balling him other places are going to start looking a lot more attractive.

    48. DRed

      Melo allegedly wants to:

      1. Play in a major market;
      2. Contend for a title next year.

      How many teams meet that criteria and can offer Melo, say, 16 million a year?

    49. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, I’m still about 80% certain he’s coming back. But if it is for $21 million, that’s a pretty shitty discount.

      $18-19 million, then we’d be talking. That‘s a real discount.

    50. Brian Cronin

      It’ll be interesting to see what effect, if any, a Washington win over Chicago would have on the Melo situation. If Chicago loses you have to think they’d be more likely to go all in on trying to sign Melo but it also might make Melo less likely to want to go there. Washington can create max cap space pretty easily (though resigning Gortat would then become problematic) and if they can make it to the conference finals they might become a more attractive destination for Melo, especially since he’s from Baltimore. I do think he’ll wind up staying at something like 5 yrs/100m but if Phil starts low-balling him other places are going to start looking a lot more attractive.

      I agree that 5/$100 is what he’ll likely sign for, but I would not be shocked if Jackson actually does try to play hard ball with him. Jackson obviously likes Melo but at the same time, I don’t he likes him that much. I think he’d be willing to play sort of hardball with Melo.

      If so, I dunno, I just don’t see him going from New York to Washington. Chicago is feasible, though. Not likely, but feasible. I don’t think their results this season would mean much to Melo. They’d be adding him without removing too much from the current team and they’d have the possibility of D-Rose returning.

    51. Donnie Walsh

      As far as market size goes, Chicago is the largest unshared market in the league and Washington is 2nd.

    52. er

      +1 on all your points.

      Melo opting out this year is such a no-brainer for him. I’m not even sure why we’re still talking about this. Even if he takes a pay cut he will be guaranteeing himself probably somewhere near an extra $75MM by opting out this year. You don’t have to be “all about the money” to want to guarantee yourself an extra $75MM. It makes zero sense for him to pick up his 1 year option from any perspective. If he wants to stay with the Knicks he can do that. If he wants to leave he can do that. I can’t imagine a single reasonable argument from his perspective, not the Knicks’ perspective for picking up the last year of this deal.

      I totally agree. I just dont understand Hubert’s POV. Players have a finite window to make money. If he basically extends 1 year early at a discount, how is that being about the money? If he destroys his knee with next year after opting in , then what? Rememeber that Melo doesnt have HUGE shoe and endorsement deals like Lebron and Derrick Rose. Shit Lillard might even make more now.

    53. Kahnzy

      Bobkitties looking frisky. Keeping it close at least.

      They’ve impressed the hell out of me. I’ll admit, I’ve watched like maybe one Bobcat game outside of their games with the Knicks. After the past few seasons they’ve had, I figured they made the playoffs entirely because the rest of the conference is garbage. And while there is definitely still some truth to that, I never would have guessed that I would enjoy a Charlotte Bobcat/Miami Heat game. Plus, Al Jefferson is having a good second half despite playing with a Kurt Thomas.

    54. DRed

      Bobcats fucked up by not releasing the Biyombo. Especially with big Al hobbling around on one leg.

    55. Cock Jowles Has Predicted the Last Three Knicks Seasons

      I really love how half of the people on this board think the Rockets will give up 3 out of 5 of their starting lineup for Carmelo. Did you just see that move by Jones?

    56. Will the Thrill

      Even though Sir Charles is pretty dumb when it comes to analyzing the game, he looks like a genius compared to Shaq. Listening to Shaq talk about other big men is cringe-inducing.

    57. BigBlueAL

      If people here dont think Melo is that good then they certainly shouldnt be fans of Aldridge and his career 53% TS%. This season Aldridge’s TS% is below 51%!! He did rebound at a career high rate this season though and by a huge margin.

    58. DRed

      Can any contender offer Melo 5/100? If not, why would we? If Melo seriously will only go to a big market team ready to contend, he’s in for a rude awakening when he hits the market.

    59. lavor postell

      Yeah that move by Jones was impressive but that sounds dangerously close to using the eye test

    60. lavor postell

      Would be very funny for Houston to lose the series to a Portland team who’s franchise player who’s favorite shot is the mid-range jumper and attempted more by himself this year than Houston did as a team.

    61. Farfa

      @everyone re: Harden/LA

      I think it comes down to coaching. I like McHale, but he’s not a great tactician. If his players don’t play well on their own, it’s not likely he can do something to improve his team’s chances. I think Harden is a really, really good player; simply put, he is too often left on his own to create something. Add to that the fact that it seems like the Harden-Howard pick’n’roll doesn’t seem to work that well, a pair of very competent defenders on the wing for Portland, and you’re left with very poor results.

      On the other hand, Aldridge is destroying the Rockets because at the moment they don’t know what to do with his midrange shot, an they are ill equipped to defend him that far away from the basket, leaving them in a catch-22 at the rim (where he’s doing the most of the damage). He’s a good player, but not that (44,5 ppg) good. I think this series will go down to seven.

    62. Brian Cronin

      I do agree that Stotts is a much better coach than McHale. I also do agree that the Rockets are shockingly bad at tactics. Not Knicks level bad, but up there!

    63. Farfa

      It looks like the Harden-Howard dynamic underscores once again the majesty of the job done by our beloved Phil with the Lakers (Kobe-Shaq). It seems it takes a great manager of egos to build trust and a working relationship between dominant (…and kinda jerk-minded) centers and talented perimeter scorers.

    64. Frank

      Haven’t been able to watch any of the west coast series — the games end too late for my old bones. Re: Harden’s struggles, is he just missing open shots? Or are the officials just not calling his usual flopping bullsh*t?

      That was always my worry about Harden (or Gallo, or other similar guys) – that so much of his value is tied up in hoping the officials call stuff, >50% of which is him flopping off minimal contact or him flopping off contact he actually creates. I remember one specific ridiculous play against JR when he drove, stuck his elbow into JR’s side, pushed off, and used that force to throw himself out of bounds– and got the shooting foul call. His FTA/FGA during the regular season was 0.55, and is only 0.29 so far in this series. Yes, it’s only 2 games, but it only takes a few games to end a season.

    65. Farfa

      @81

      Yes, there are times when the refs call bullshit on Harden’s dummy flops, but these are scarce and very few in between lots and lots of broken plays where Jones or Asik (god forbid Howard to set a screen for the Beard) try to set a pick at the top of the key, only for Harden to be immediately switched by Batum or for Matthews to keep on guarding him completely unfazed by the screen. So Harden is left playing one on one against a good defender, and tries a step back jumper with little separation.

      The real problem is that Houston’s offensive schemes are not at all creative, and Portland (as currently built and matched with the Rockets, see Lopez offensive rebounding, LaMarcus scoring and a general full-court concentration on not being outran) doesn’t offer many chances to run in transition, the very fuel that propelled Houston during the regular season.

      Also, Houston the first game because Hack-a-Dwight worked very well.

    66. Farfa

      Also, Houston the first game because Hack-a-Dwight worked very well.

      I meant to write “Houston lost the first game…”

    67. lavor postell

      @Frank

      I think it’s a combination of both because I don’t want to undersell how much effort Matthews and Batum are giving on the defensive end to shut down Harden and self proclaimed “best small forward in the series” Chandler Parson. Harden is definitely not getting the whistle he got in the regular season and it has seeped into the rest of his game. He was far less aggressive yesterday after his first few forays into the paint resulted in missed shots without his antics leading to free throws.

      His effort level defensively is also pathetic for a supposed superstar and top-10 player. He had a great sequence at the end of the game yesterday where he scored a bucket to cut the lead to 4 with under a minute left and Harden completely switched off. Matthews, who he was defending, leaks out for an easy layup as Harden stood and watched in disbelief. Melo even at his worst has nothing on how apathetic Harden is on the defensive end.

    68. DRed

      I haven’t seen much of either Houston games, but who is “guarding” Aldridge? Is he burying clean looks, or is he just playing out of his mind?

    69. Farfa

      @85

      They’re guarding Aldridge with Jones, Howard and Asik. He’s playing very well but he’s due to regress to the mean (in term of TS%). Many good looks, but the real problem is that they’re giving him too much at the rim.

    70. lavor postell

      I think the biggest problem Houston has in this series is that they are really reluctant to allow Matthews, Batum and Lillard to get any clean spot up threes so Portland is just clearing out one side of the floor for Aldridge and Houston isn’t sending any help that way to prevent open looks from three. Aldridge is also hitting some ridiculous shots, but that’s what happens when he gets 5 clean pick and pop looks at the beginning of the game to establish a rhythm. Eventually Aldridge will cool down, but Portland just needs to win 2 more games and Houston will have to beat them twice at the Rose Garden to knock them out.

    71. mokers

      Completely agree about McHale. I think harden flops a ton, but McHale has done nothing to switch up the offense and try and get the wings moving and taking shots close to the rim. There are so many step backs and pull ups in Houston’s offense. They don’t worry too much about Howard isolating in the post and they are trying to make harden and Parsons work on the defensive end too. I think this goes only 5 or 6.

    72. Frank

      Interesting stuff from Marc Berman today – http://nypost.com/2014/04/23/players-trashed-woodson-in-exit-interviews-jackson/

      “One of the messages from the players was that it was a very talented team,’’ Jackson said. “They had to have a lot of games where they forced their talent on opposing teams rather than playing with freedom to make things easy. All the wins were hard to get. They were winning with talent and not with team play, which I thought was an accurate statement.
      “I think the talent’s there,’’ Jax added. “How to blend it together is a coaching decision and a personnel decision.’’

      It’s an interesting flip-flop by Phil — it was just last year that he thought it was an awkward roster. JVG, Kerr, etc. have all said “it’s a roster issue, not a coach issue”. But here’s Phil now saying the talent is there, a general is what’s needed.

      But yes – sounds like Woody has been fully thrown under the bus by his own players and by Phil. Scapegoat found, let’s move on.

      (can’t say I disagree. there’s no way that a team that has this level of talent in the Eastern Conference should miss the playoffs. we all know this wasn’t a real contender or even really a good team, but all they needed to be was slightly below average, and they still couldn’t do that)

    73. lavor postell

      Well I think what Phil actually sad in the interview you reference is pretty interesting. He said that the team “clumsy” and that they needed for “someone come in that can kinda blend that group together.” It just sounds like he’s saying that the construction of the roster was poor, but a good coach could piece it together. He then went on in that interview to say that “the ball can’t stop every time” it hit Melo’s hands and that Amar’e is a fantastic player, but he needs to play “in a certain system and a way”. I think the bit about Melo is straightforward, but what he said about STAT leads me to believe that he probably doesn’t have a future with this team. He seemed to be hinting that STAT needs to play in an uptempo heavy PNR offense and that within the confines of those parameters he’s a fantastic player, but that he struggles outside of that

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