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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.05.11)

  • [New York Daily News] Lupica: Glenn Sather proof that not all resume’s ring true (Sun, 11 May 2014 05:27:00 GMT)
    Glen Sather didn’t win as many Stanley Cups in Edmonton as Phil Jackson won NBA titles in Chicago and Los Angeles. If there was a comparable figure to Phil in the NHL, truly, it was Scotty Bowman, not Sather.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Go Up 3-0 With 118-103 Win Over Blazers (Sun, 11 May 2014 06:42:04 GMT)
    Spurs coach Gregg Popovich took pains to make sure guard Tony Parker was well rested for the playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Dominant Spurs Move to Brink of Trail Blazers Sweep (Sun, 11 May 2014 06:26:53 GMT)
    Guard Tony Parker scored 29 points as the San Antonio Spurs whipped the Portland Trail Blazers 118-103 on Saturday to move to the cusp of the Western Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] Nets Cool Heat Sweep Talk by Handing Miami First Loss (Sun, 11 May 2014 05:20:54 GMT)
    The NBA champion Miami Heat lost for the first time in the playoffs this season when they were soundly beaten by the Brooklyn Nets 104-90 in Game Three of their Eastern Conference semi-final series on Saturday.

  • [New York Times] James Fades While Nets Broaden Focus (Sun, 11 May 2014 04:45:36 GMT)
    LeBron James’s 16-point first quarter did not faze the Nets, who were most concerned with limiting his teammates. James had just 2 points in the second and 28 over all.

  • [New York Times] Nets 104, Heat 90: Nets and Their Fans Dig Deep to Shift the Tone Against the Heat (Sun, 11 May 2014 04:40:53 GMT)
    The Nets, inspired by a vibrant crowd at Barclays Center and lifted by their reserves and role players, beat Miami to cut their series deficit to 2-1.

  • [New York Times] Nets Cool Heat, Cut East Semifinal Deficit to 2-1 (Sun, 11 May 2014 04:09:06 GMT)
    Two losses in Miami didn’t faze Paul Pierce, nor did 16 quick points by LeBron James.

  • [New York Times] Nets Hand Heat First Playoff Loss (Sun, 11 May 2014 03:08:54 GMT)
    The Miami Heat lost for the first time in the playoffs this season when they were soundly beaten by the Brooklyn Nets 104-90 in Game Three of their Eastern Conference semi-final series on Saturday.

  • 28 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.05.11)

    1. Mars

      Since it seems that Kerr will our head coach. What pieces you all think we should move and who should we really go after ?

    2. d-mar

      The Spurs are just scary good right now. Parker is peaking at the right time (3 weeks off during the regular season, another great move by Pop), Splitter knows his role and plays it perfectly and Leonard is just getting better and better. And of course Duncan keeps going and going…

      I really like their chances vs. Miami in the Finals (yes, I’m assuming that’s the matchup), in fact, the way they’re playing, I could see it being a 6 game series.

    3. Z-man

      I wouldn’t be so quick to write off the Thunder. Last I checked they looked pretty good.

    4. d-mar

      Yeah, but when it comes down to a coaching matchup of Brooks vs. Popovich, I think it’s a TKO. Big advantage for the Spurs.

    5. max fisher-cohen

      The Spurs look great partly because they’re playing a much worse team than OKC. Portland is in over its head at this point.

    6. Z-man

      In any case, it looks like we will be exactly where we should be for the conference finals. Kinda sad that NBA basketball is so predictable.

    7. Z-man

      As much as I can appreciate wanting to see the Spurs get revenge, I was so disgusted with the way they coughed up game 6 last year that I don’t think they deserve another shot. Would rather see a healthy OKC team give us Durant-LBJ II. But the conference finals should be very entertaining, especially now that it looks like the Pacers are re-gelling.

    8. ephus

      UPau Gasol cannot come to the Knicks unless he accepts the mini-MLE, if Carmelo stays or leaves. If Carmelo leaves, the Knicks could acquire Pau in a sign and trade (but not a lot of assets to trade).

    9. Brian Cronin

      Good ol’ Wittman. Drew Gooden shooting a three with less than two minutes left in a one-point game. Great strategy.

    10. Hugo Busto

      I really want Russell and Durant to duck out of OKC first chance they can get. Cheap ass owners don’t deserve what they have, it pisses me off.

      and my god Scotty Brooks is just an abomination, they will never win a championship with him as their coach. And the ownership is too cheap to ever fire him

    11. Mars

      Wall wasn’t confident in his game tonight you could really see on his face and in his body language. Also this whole series shows how important experience is, especially in the playoffs.

    12. Donnie Walsh

      Scotty Brooks is just an abomination, they will never win a championship with him as their coach.

      Scotty Brooks may win a title, but it will be because of Kevin Durant, not because of Scottie Brooks. Just like LeBron’s rings are because of LeBron, not because of Spolestra. Good players make coaches look good, bad players make coaches look bad.

      Doc Rivers had a pretty mediocre coaching record before he got Allen and Garnett. Jordan, Shaq, and Kobe have all made Phil Jackson look pretty good over the years.

      Besides, judging coaches on the # of championships they win would lead to the conclusion that 99.5% of all the coaches over the past 30 years have been bad. Afterall, only 10 coaches have managed to win rings during that time.

    13. Farfa

      Scotty Brooks is just an abomination, they will never win a championship with him as their coach.

      Also, as much as I don’t like Brooks as a coach, he’s far from an abomination. He’s just too rigid in his rotation belief and not very proficient at little nuances; he’s prone to lose some games just because of small details the other coach is implementing, and that’s infuriating. Anyway, there are not that many coaches who could overpower Brooks: I count Pop, Carlisle, Rivers, maybe Stotts, probably Joerger, probably Budenholzer, possibly Hornacek, and I think that’s all (maybe Malone, but I haven’t seen enough of him). So, not really an abomination.

      Brooks as a talent developer, though? Not sure there’s a better guy in the world. Just look at ol’ Serge Ibaka. Look at every first round pick he developed along, while winning lots of games. He may rely too much on veterans (Fisher, Perkins – who is having some nice games, anyway -, Butler), but he knows how to play his guys. I don’t remember a first round pick wasted by Brooks. Here’s the list since Brooks came along: Westbrook (pretty much flawed as a collegiate, he was seen as a defense first guy with little-to-no offense in the NBA with tremendous potential but still… go figure), Ibaka (please, go see a video of Serge’s rookie season and compare it to 2014 Ibaka), James Harden, Reggie Jackson, Perry Jones (yes, the jury’s still out on him. But he played well in short bursts this year), Steven Adams. Much credit has to go to Presti, but GMs can only go so far. Maybe only RC Buford-Pop come close.

      It’s really possible Brooks won’t ever win a championship, but if I was in charge of a young team with lots of guys to develop, he’d be my first choice.

    14. lavor postell

      @Farfa

      OKC has coaches that are specifically hired for development. That is not Brooks’ doing. A coach that is good at developing young talent wouldn’t continue to play Perkins and Fisher heavy minutes loads when far more productive young players are sitting on the bench.

      @Donnie Walsh

      While I agree that to win a championship it is more important to have great players than a great coach, I also think great coaches make a massive difference. Phil Jackson looked good because of Jordan, Pippen and Shaq, but those guys also didn’t set the world on fire without him.

      http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/advice-for-phil-jackson-hire-phil-jackson/

      I think you’re also doing a disservice to Spoelstra who I think is an excellent coach.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/MIA/2010.html

      The year before the big 3 were together in Miami, Spoelstra led the Heat to 47 wins and had them ranked 6th in defensive efficiency while playing Michael Beasley, Quentin Richardson, Udonis Haslem and Jermaine O’Neal over 2,000 minutes and Mario Chalmers, Carlos Arroyo, Dorrell Wright and Joel Anthony over 1000 minutes.

    15. Farfa

      Lavor, it’s absolutely true that OKC (as I guess every other team) has some coaches whose specific task is player development. But I don’t think it’s random luck that under Brooks guidance those players became so strong. Otherwise, since everybody knows how cheap Bennett & Co. are, why nobody go grab them coaches, luring ‘em away with mo’ money? It’s obvious it was not Brooks alone, but we have to acknowledge his skill in managing his development team (and in facilitating the growth of those young players)

      Just to further prove my point, DraftExpress listed the following best cases/worst cases:

      Westbrook: Leandro Barbosa/Shannon Brown (king of last minute steals).
      Ibaka: Tyrus Thomas/Maceo Baston.
      Harden: Manu Ginobili (this one was easy but right on the money)/Jason Terry
      Jones: Gay+Josh Smith (wowzers. basketball QI: -100)/Yi Jianlian.
      Jackson: George Hill/Garrett Temple.

      It’s fair to say the Westbrook, Ibaka and Jackson have surpassed by far expectations, Harden pretty much met them (with some more scoring and some less defense) and Jones… well, we don’t know what to make of him yet.

      Brooks had to have a say in this process.

    16. lavor postell

      Farfa, Brooks doesn’t have a say in who the front office drafts. He may give them his thoughts on the roster following the season and what he feels they need to add to improve the team, but he doesn’t tell Presti to draft Harden, Ibaka, Jackson, etc. He doesn’t help develop players’ games as OKC has dedicated staff specifically in place to help along the development of individual players. His coaching decisions of not playing young players may not be the best for their development, but what I’d give him is that he doesn’t berate young players when they make mistakes which is probably a good technique when dealing with younger players.

      The Thunder did acquire and draft our very own Cole Aldrich at No. 11 in the 2010 draft. Either way your overall point is right that OKC has hit on the majority of their first round picks, though I still don’t think Brooks has much to do with it. To add to your list of coaches that would greatly outwit Brooks I’d add Spoelstra, Thibodeau and Brad Stevens.

    17. Farfa

      Not sure about Thibs (I’m pretty much confused about his smarts, tactics-wise). I completely missed Spoelstra and Stevens.

      Maybe I’m explaining myself in the wrong way. Brooks surely had little-to-no say about who to pick, but it’s impossible he’s not the one who’s leading the process of implementing the developing players. I wouldn’t say he’s that much to blame if he doesn’t trust Lamb or Jones to carry the load the same way Fisher or Butler can; it’s possible that they are not capable of handling that much. After all, Adams is playing minutes right now. And he’s a frigging rookie. So Brooks cannot be that dumb.

      Anyway, my thoughts are as follow: Brooks is a mediocre coach and OKC would be well-served to fire him and take someone new on board (SVG? JVG? MDA – not really – ? Jerry Sloan?) if they want to win the ringzzz. But you still have to acknowledge the sheer number of players who developed under his coaching tenure, even if he wasn’t directly in charge of the development team. Bad coaches don’t develop players. Look at the way Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are playing under Rivers. No way they play like that under Del Negro. And they have developed, it’s not like they only follow different orders.

    18. lavor postell

      In regards to Rivers I don’t think he’s done anything spectacular in the development of Griffin and Jordan other than to implement an actual offensive system beyond simply PNR with Paul and iso post ups for Griffin. This has led to a higher quality of looks for Griffin, who to his credit has maximized the returns by improving his jumper and post game greatly. Jordan is still just a PNR roll man and offensive rebounding putback machine. He’s empowered Griffin to be a ball handler and creator and given both Jordan and Griffin a ton of confidence by trusting them in critical situations.

      I guess it’s cynical of me to say Doc hasn’t helped them in their development, but I think he’s done so by providing a system which makes life easier for them and puts them in positions to succeed whereas Del Negro just rolled the ball out there and expected his players to figure it all out on their own. That is a great achievement, but I don’t give him the credit for Blake’s improved overall game. He’s reaping the benefits by recognizing those improvements and creating an environment for them top flourish.

      With Brooks, I think you’re again giving him a lot more credit than he deserves. Remember he had Adams nailed to the bench in the Memphis series until Game 6 when OKC was really up against it and was desperate for a win. Derek Fisher should play a maximum of 5 minutes. Even if he doesn’t want to risk playing Lamb or Jones minutes, Jackson and Sefalosha should be able to split the remaining amount of minutes at the 2 if Brooks plays the 2 PG lineups with Jackson and Westbrook more minutes.

      Brooks deserves some credit for creating a positive atmosphere among the team and getting his guys to compete at a high level night in and night out. Other than that I don’t think he’s done much of note. Plenty of bad coaches have developed players. Lebron developed under Mike Brown. Anthony Davis developing under Monty Williams. Curry developed under Mark…

    19. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

      OKC has coaches that are specifically hired for development. That is not Brooks’ doing.

      I don’t think it’s fair to say the things the OKC coaching staff does poorly is Brooks’ fault and the things they do well is because of somebody else. He’s given a team to win with, and the Thunder win a lot of games. They’ve been to the finals. They could return to the finals this year. Kevin Durant will likely win a championship in his career, whether Brooks is his coach or not.

      Doug Collins didn’t win a championship with the Bulls. He had weird substitution patters, and his players didn’t understand what he was talking about some of the time leading to frustration. Still, he led the team to the ECF finals and lost to the eventual champions because he had great players that were improving every year. If Collins had managed to survive one more year as coach, he’d probably have six rings right now. As it is, he looks like “the guy that was holding Jordan back” while Phil “implemented a system that brought out the best in Jordan”. That’s a nice narrative, but it’s just as likely that Jordan and Pippen were getting better just as the Pistons dominance was beginning to decline.

      Popovich, too, is obviously a great coach, but Bob Hill could also have 4 rings right now had Popovich not fired him back in 1996. Hill led the Spurs to 62 wins in 1995, and only struggled the next year because of injuries to David Robinson and Sean Elliot. Was Popovich’s system so much better than Hill’s, or did they draft Tim Duncan and watch him dominate from game one?

    20. Farfa

      About Popovich/Hill, I’m not really sure. I agree that the ’99 title would have been won by Hill too, but after that I’m not that sure. Would Hill promote to starter Tony Parker from day 1? Would Hill play Ginobili? Would Hill take a flyer on Stephen Jackson? And so on. Also, no way Hill makes that transition from early aughts boring Spurs to firing on all cylinders modern era Spurs so seamlessly.

      About Collins, I agree a bit more. Collins was perfect for ’90s b-ball.

    21. lavor postell

      @22

      If the Thunder win a ring with Brooks as the head coach, it will be in spite of him, not because of him.

      You really think Doug Collins is going to win 6 championships with the Bulls? IMO there’s no chance they beat the Knicks in 93 if Collins is on the sideline instead of Phil Jackson. I highly doubt Collins could have got an extremely disgruntled Pippen during the Bulls’ second threepeat to produce to the level Phil Jackson did. Even in 93-94 Jackson coached the Bulls to a 55-win season and pushed the Knicks to 7 games.

      I don’t even know what to tell you if you think Brian fucking Hill would have overseen the same level of success that Popovich has. That’s one of the most absurd assertions I’ve ever seen made.

    22. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

      That’s one of the most absurd assertions I’ve ever seen made

      Whoa, even more absurd than the guy who said David Lee’s contract wasn’t that bad? I’m honored.

      But to be clear, I said Bob Hill, not Brian fucking Hill. Brian fucking Hill didn’t have much to do with the Spurs championships. However, Brian fucking Hill probably would have a few rings too, had Shaq stayed in Orlando and not bolted to Phil Jackson. (Perhaps that’s one of the most absurd assertions you’ve ever seen too. Personally, I think it’s pretty absurd to claim coaches have as much impact on a game as a dominant player does.)

    23. lavor postell

      I don’t think coaches have as much an impact as players do. For the most part often coaches are detriments because they don’t pick the right rotations, which is the most important thing coaches do. Great coaches though like Popovich and Jackson do more than that IMO, which is why they have won big. Those 2 actually play system basketball, that through it’s motions and reads generates good shots and put players in a position to succeed.

      Popovich wins around 60 games a year even while he rests and maintains the minutes of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. I think Pop’s a big reason why Danny Green couldn’t get a roster spot anywhere else and is able to be the starting 2 for the Spurs. Patty Mills had a 50.4 TS% and 48.2 eFG% in 2 years before coming to the Spurs. In his 3 years with the Spurs Mills has put up a 59.1 TS% and 56.9 eFG%.

      The Spurs haven’t drafted high in the first round since Duncan was drafted. They value skill sets that work well in Pop’s system because he puts players in a position to maximize their strengths, whereas most coaches fail to do so. I don’t have any great memories of Bob Hill as the coach, but I’d assume that since his only stint after that in the NBA came over 2 seasons with the Sonics from 05-07 and he compiled a 53-81 record most NBA teams didn’t think he was as good as Pop or Jackson either.

      I’m often fairly accused of being hyperbolic. Probably doesn’t do much for my general argumentative skills but my underlying point was that Lee’s contract is bad because if you traded him it wouldn’t return much in the value of assets and would be more of a salary dump type move. Lee’s a good player, but one that with his contract I feel would be difficult to get equal value for in trade.

    24. KnickfaninNJ

      Lee’s contract is bad because if you traded him it wouldn’t return much in the value of assets and would be more of a salary dump type move.

      The tradeability part of what you said is in the nature of free agency. If you hire someone as a free agent and don’t have to give up any personnel to do it, than you are willing to pay more because the personnel cost is zero. We tend to think of max players as someone like Lebron, who can get you into the playoffs single handed, but the truth is Lebron is way underpaid. The league market for talent values scoring a lot, so Lee is worth a large contract. Other teams also have highly paid scorers, for example, Joe Johnson or Amare. Lee’s contract is probably tradeable too, but you’s have to trade it for another highly paid guy, and that would probably be a scorer like Lee, so why bother?

    25. lavor postell

      The tradeability part of what you said is in the nature of free agency. If you hire someone as a free agent and don’t have to give up any personnel to do it, than you are willing to pay more because the personnel cost is zero. We tend to think of max players as someone like Lebron, who can get you into the playoffs single handed, but the truth is Lebron is way underpaid. The league market for talent values scoring a lot, so Lee is worth a large contract. Other teams also have highly paid scorers, for example, Joe Johnson or Amare. Lee’s contract is probably tradeable too, but you’s have to trade it for another highly paid guy, and that would probably be a scorer like Lee, so why bother?

      That’s true. I also think Lee is more valuable to the Warriors than he would be to most other teams.

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