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Monday, January 27, 2020

Knicks Morning News (2015.09.26)

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: For Better or Worse, These Knicks Belong to Phil Jackson (Sat, 26 Sep 2015 02:58:26 GMT)

    Since agreeing to preside over the team in 2014, Jackson has made over the Knicks, acquiring players like Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo who he considers more aligned with his approach and his philosophies.

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    64 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2015.09.26)

    1. Totes McGoats

      Not to sound overly optimisitic, but..
      This team really does seem to be made in Phil’s image..or vision. I don’t have high expectations for this season, but I’m ok with Phil’s vision. I’m beginning to see his plan a little more clearly. We’ll be tougher on defense, which is always a plus. It’s offense that has a lot of folks worried. When Phil coached, he had 2 players over 20 ppg on each team, then other players basically not hitting 10 ppg. They got close, but secondary scoring was not evenly spread. We’ve got 1 all star scoring machine in Melo. I think that the team will be OK on offense if the scoring gets spread around a little more. From what I see, we’ve got around 6 other guys (Afflalo-Calderon-Galloway-Grant-KP-Lopez) who can get around 10 ppg, 7 if Williams starts at PF. Seraphin can as well if he gets consistent PT and touches. Lopez may average a double double this season. I think 12 and 8 is more likely, and that’s fine. In a system that generates midrange opportunities, there’s no way Williams doesn’t get 10 or more ppg since midrange is in his wheelhouse. I’m not gonna go into a long post about scoring expectations, so I’ll just say that given this offseason’s great start to building chemistry, the Knicks will be ok on offense. Again, my expectations aren’t high, but the team doesn’t look so bad. I know it’s a star driven league, and everybody loves offense, but a better balanced team with Melo as the go to scorer shouldn’t be underestimated. If guys can just make shots then this team can be pretty damn good offensively.

    2. KnickfaninNJ

      Totes, I agree about the team this year. The thing I most worry about is Fisher. I watched the news conference video and I got the impression Fisher is not confident of his abilities as a coach and probably felt he didn’t do well as coach last year. There is some truth in that he didn’t do very well, but he was also a rookie coach with no assistant coaching experience in a difficult coaching situation. It’s very hard to predict how he will do this year. My fingers are crossed.

    3. KnickfaninNJ

      I disagree. We certainly won’t win it all this year, and probably won’t be above .500; but the better a team we have the easier it will be to get whatever free agents we want to hire next summer.

    4. DRed

      That’s certainly true, but unless Fish is a spectacularly bad coach, we’re probably talking like a 2 game difference between him and a very good coach. And I don’t think there are many free agents willing to come to a 36 win Knicks team but not to a 34 win Knicks team.

    5. KnickfaninNJ

      Fair enough. It’s probably more important that Fisher appears to free agents to be a reasonable coach to play for than any specific number of wins.

    6. Totes McGoats

      Totes, I agree about the team this year. The thing I most worry about is Fisher. I watched the news conference video and I got the impression Fisher is not confident of his abilities as a coach and probably felt he didn’t do well as coach last year. There is some truth in that he didn’t do very well, but he was also a rookie coach with no assistant coaching experience in a difficult coaching situation. It’s very hard to predict how he will do this year. My fingers are crossed.

      Ah yes! I haven’t even thought about Fisher. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see more input from Phil, as he is a coaching legend. But it kinda feels like Fisher feels like he’s in over his head doesn’t it? I wonder what effect it’s gonna have on his command as the coach. Fish is a bright guy, I hope he hasn’t lost his confidence. I’ve said all along that he needs a strong assistant. One out of Cleamons and Rambis is fine. I would prefer Hamblen or Cartwright as better fits on this staff. I don’t know much about Longstaff, but Fish loves him so I suppose he’s fine here. Fisher’s “guys” are so young in the game that he really does need another veteran coach. Preferably one who’s played and coached in the system. That’s just my opinion though. I wonder if Cleamons and/or Rambis were forced on Fish. I would imagine it being a tough go of it if you’re the HC, and subordinates on your staff has coached you before. That dynamic certainly didn’t work for Kidd and Frank.

    7. Z-man

      DRed, I understand your pessimism regarding this year. We’ll know in two weeks whether some of the basis for this pessimism is justified.

      Regarding the talent level , it’s certainly fair to say that Melo is in decline, Afflalo is mediocre at best, Lopez and Calderon are limited role players, the rookies won’t have an impact, at least 8 guys on the team: Galloway, Amundson, Seraphin, Cle, Thomas, Williams, O’Quinn, and Vujacic are at best borderline rotation-level players on any contending team. Based on that view, it’s easy to conclude that the coach doesn’t matter much.

      On the other hand, it’s not difficult to imagine a scenario where Melo comes back to his ’12-’14 level of play, Lopez anchors a strong defense, O’Quinn (who started playing late) develops into a quality PF/C, Afflalo and Vujacic play reasonably well, Calderon is healthy and plays like he did in Dallas, Porzingis and Grant have strong rookie seasons, Williams takes the next step (he did improve a bit last year), Galloway improves his O (he’s already pretty good on D), Seraphin provides quality bench minutes, and someone out of Thanasis, Atkins or Trice surprises. Then whoever is coaching might make a significant difference. In fact, the coach could be instrumental in getting some of these things to happen.

      I am cautiously optimistic about Fisher. He has the hallmarks of a good coach: a journeyman-level talent who made his mark with heart, IQ, and work ethic, a player rep during a contentious labor dispute, an unflappable leader who never let the losing get to him last year and who kept the respect of his players all year. I have great respect for people who are loyal, who work tirelessly to get better, and who hold themselves accountable. He seems like that type of guy. He didn’t really have much time to transition from player to coach, so I’m willing to give him a total pass on last year.

    8. DRed

      it’s not difficult to imagine a scenario where Melo comes back to his ’12-’14 level of play, Lopez anchors a strong defense, O’Quinn (who started playing late) develops into a quality PF/C, Afflalo and Vujacic play reasonably well, Calderon is healthy and plays like he did in Dallas, Porzingis and Grant have strong rookie seasons, Williams takes the next step (he did improve a bit last year), Galloway improves his O (he’s already pretty good on D), Seraphin provides quality bench minutes, and someone out of Thanasis, Atkins or Trice surprises.

      It’s very easy to imagine everything going well. What’s harder to accept (as a fan) is that it almost never does.

    9. Totes McGoats

      We really, really need shooters. Remember that Gigi Datome rumor? Shoulda inked him. Also, would we rather have the youth and energy of Trice, Thanasis, and Atkins on the back end of the roster or the experience and good soldiering of Amundson, Thomas, and Summers? And if Saunders proves to be a knockdown shooter, what does the team do with him? What scares me on offense is the team’s best shooters are guys who are gonna have the ball in their hands a decent amount of time, save for Vujacic. And if Galloway beats out Grant for back up PG duties, then I expect Vujacic to have the ball more. That’s not a great plan to have, unless you have a Steph Curry type. Boy we sure could use Novak on this roster..

    10. max fisher-cohen

      IMO far more important than whether the Knicks win 28 or 38 games or whatever is how they handle Porzingis. He is almost definitely going to struggle for some extended period this season if not all year, and the Knicks will face a choice: push for the playoffs or continue to give Porzingis experience. Play him 5-10 MPG or 20-30 MPG.

      There is going to be so much cap space around the league next summer that if one of the few true max players chooses to switch teams, he’s almost definitely going to have numerous better options than the Knicks. These Knicks aren’t the Bucks. They don’t have a bunch of young guys with room to grow. By signing with them, you aren’t potentially joining a team that with or without you could potentially bust out, so even if you’re trying to get in on the ground floor a rising team rather than join one that already has shown itself to be elite, you’re not picking the Knicks.

    11. Z-man

      “It’s very easy to imagine everything going well. What’s harder to accept (as a fan) is that it almost never does.”

      It did for the Mets! :)

      I don’t think all of those things have to go well. Melo being healthy and productive is an absolute must. Porzingis being more than an overmatched rookie is a must. After that, it’s more fluid.

      Someone needs to emerge from the O’Quinn/Seraphin/Williams trio as an impact player
      Someone needs to emerge from the Grant/Galloway duo as a solid starting-caliber two-way guard
      Someone needs to emerge from the Early/Thanasis/Atkins/Saunders/Trice group as a legit rotation player

      I agree with Totes that we need another shooter but don’t agree that Datome was the answer. With that said, I wonder whether Phil will be willing to cut his favorites like Amundson and Thomas to pick up better fits as guys are cut from other teams. Guys like Lin and Novak.inevitably become available. In other words, I am hoping that this roster isn’t a finished product for this year.

    12. Z-man

      I’m not sure he’s done, probably is, but if not, my guess is that he would only come back to a legit contender.

    13. Totes McGoats

      I know one thing, Early better have an unexpected turn around- as he is most likely to be Melo’s primary backup at the 3. I am looking forward to the camp battle for minutes at PF and C though. After Lopez, it is gonna really be competitive with KP, Williams, O’Quinn, Seraphin, and Amundson all deserving of PT. Amundson obviously less than the other guys, but I still like the mix there. Fisher is gonna hafta make it work like Phil did in Chicago with no consistent low post threat that can get you 18-22 ppg at least. Imagine how much easier the game would be with a Dwight Howard (overrated, yes- but he still warrants attention down low) in the paint. Seraphin and O’Quinn need to be good this season, I don’t want to be lamenting the fact that we missed out on Kosta frickin Koufos all season- even if he was the better choice over Seraphin at least. I really hope O’Quinn breaks out this season. He seems to have a skillset suited for the triangle.

    14. stratomatic

      I don’t see how that team is going to score enough. Afflalo is not a #2 scorer. I’m not even sure he’s a really good #3 scorer. He can force up shots and score points, but I think he’d be at his best if there were other scorers and he could pick his spots playing off others.

      I think we are going to have to hope that Porzingas is a freak and can score well right out of the box. If not, we are going to lose a lot of low scoring games and 20 games into the season Melo is going to start getting frustrated having to carry load every night.

    15. Kahnzy

      This team isn’t going to be very good, and will probably miss the playoffs. But at least they seem to be building something more sustainable and, if nothing else, should be more fun to root for than the past couple of years.

    16. vincoug

      This team reminds me of the 37 win team from two years ago, only slightly worse. Melo’s 31 and coming off knee surgery. Robin Lopez is a poor man’s version of Tyson. Derrick Williams takes over the lottery bust role from Bargnani (and he doesn’t shoot well from midrange at all. Under 40% on shots between 3 and 16 feet from the basket). Our backcourt isn’t any better than it was that year either.

    17. DRed

      I don’t see how that team is going to score enough.

      On a per/36 bases we lost 9 of our top 11 scorers from last season. Which is pretty fucking funny, because they also all sucked at scoring (except for Amare, and maybe Shved)

    18. alsep73

      I don’t see how that team is going to score enough.

      We have to hope for one of three things to happen, listed in order of probability:

      1)We lack a consistent scorer other than Melo, but one or more of our big men role players performs well enough that he gets traded at mid-season to a team with a surplus of scoring wings.

      2)Porzingis is ready to score, and play relatively big minutes, from day 1.

      3)Grant is ready to score, and facilitate, and play relatively big minutes, from day 1.

    19. Z-man

      There is some reason for hope re: scoring. Galloway and Calderon should both have better years than last year. Early looked like he had worked on some things that he showed in summer league. Seraphin is actually a pretty good low post scorer and is still young. Afflalo is an upgrade from Shump and more talented but mercurial (i.e. dumb) JR. Grant is pretty savvy for a rookie. Lopez is very good on the offensive boards…he’s certainly not a “poor man’s Chandler.” Who knows what Williams really is or whether he can improve? There’s an offense in there somewhere!

    20. CNB

      Here’s the bad news, guys:

      Melo, Chandler, Shumpert, JR & Felton were a better (and more ‘proven’ statistically…yikes!) team than any combination of the current roster.
      Prigioni, Hardaway, Amare, Kenyon Martin, Beno Udrih, Artest, etc. were a better (and more ‘proven’, see above) bench that any combination of ‘bench players’ in the current roster.

      That team was pretty bad and won 37 games. I’d say, 30 wins is a reasonable expectation for the current group. The big question (to me, at least) goes beyond this season: were do the Knicks go from here?

    21. danvt

      2)Porzingis is ready to score, and play relatively big minutes, from day 1.

      3)Grant is ready to score, and facilitate, and play relatively big minutes, from day 1.

      Right. Everybody else we pretty much know what we have. I do think interaction effects could result in a better team. Like Alfalo may be a smarter player than Shump/ JR if not a superior athlete. Rolo as a low usage defense first center seems well suited to making the team better, but no, there’s not a major talent upgrade from 13-14.

      The true x factors are the rooks. We’ve seen high picks fail and succeed spectacularly. I think the questions on the eve of camp will be partially answered as October progresses and fully answered by the end of November. It didn’t take Odell Beckum JR long to make an impact. If KP/ Grant are he real deal we make the playoffs. The longer the questions about these guys linger the longer NYK remains in purgatory.

      Good to see Carmelo’s knee healed up. Good news right? We are pretty jaded around here. Psyched for camp. Very. Good luck folks. I’ll look forward to reading your posts.

    22. DRed

      ODB was at least arguably the most productive rookie WR NFL history. So yeah, if Porzingis comes out of the gate playing like Tim Duncan we should be in pretty good shape.

    23. reub

      Mike Miller now on waivers. Is he our outside scorer? Btw it seems that he is very good friends with a certain Kevin Durant!

    24. Z-man

      CNB, I don’t know which stats you are looking at, but look at these TS%’s and WS48’s from that year:
      Felton: .476, .053
      JR: .527, .073
      Shump: .480, .048
      Bargnani .510, .058

      Chandler was compromised for much of that season with a leg injury, and put up a typically near league-low usage of 12%. Prigioni’s usage was in single digits! Bargnani is the poster boy for negative interaction effects. JR was in a cloud of cannabis smoke, plus hurt and suspended, and Shump regressed. Felton was plain bad. Amare, Hardaway and Bargnani might be the worst defensive trio ever assembled.

      That said, you can certainly argue that this team is worst than that one on paper, but mainly because that team had mostly veterans with a (spotty) track record. This team is loaded with unproven rookies (Porzingis and Grant) and young players possibly ready to break out (O’Quinn, Seraphin, Williams, Galloway, Early). Those players would have to work hard to be as bad (on one end or the other, if not both) as Shump, Felton, JR, Hardaway, and Bargnani.

    25. danvt

      ODB was at least arguably the most productive rookie WR NFL history. So yeah, if Porzingis comes out of the gate playing like Tim Duncan we should be in pretty good shape.

      I’m not saying he will be that good, but that if he is on that kind of level (or isn’t) it won’t be a mystery for long.

    26. massive

      Kristaps Porzingis is the Knicks best hope at making the playoffs this season. We know if Melo is healthy for the season, he’ll get us 25 ppg on an above average efficiency. I think RoLo will have a career high in both rebounds and points per game this year as he will have to step up for us, and José Calderon, if healthy, should be playing good basketball for us. I’d expect those three to produce around 25-30 wins for the Knicks this season. O’Quinn and Afflalo could get us 5 wins each, but will probably produce 7 between themselves. Everyone else should have replacement level impacts on the game or worse, and then you have Porzingis. Porzingis’ performance as a rookie is going to be a determining in factor in how Mike Conley, DeMar Derozan and Kevin Durant look at us this off season. If they see a player that’s the next great European player, they might run over to play with him, Melo, and RoLo. If he’s not the looking like the franchise player he was drafted to be, we’ll have a hard time attracting anyone without a serious overpay.

    27. iserp

      Of the rookies, i think Grant is whose success will be more important to the team. We are stacked in the frontcourt. Even if Robin Lopez is the only good one, we have a platoon of bodies to throw, play hard, give fouls, and being fresh during a game. And we can always play small and put Melo at the 4 and Afflalo at the 3.

      The problem i see is the backcourt (the same as with that 37 win team). Let us hope Calderon does not get injured, but even if he does not, him and Galloway cannot fill all the minutes (Gallo is better suited to play SG). So we need Grant to step up. Fortunately he seems ready, and at 23, should not have many of the problems other rookie have.

    28. slovene knick

      The debate up the thread made me come up with this sheet to see how many points per game this assembly of players is capable of scoring per game.
      Attributed PT is made up. p/36 and r/36 are career numbers/36 courtesy of bball reference. Zinger and Grant…thin air.

      Min p/36 r/36 tot tot
      lopez 31 13,9 8,6 0,86 11,97 7,41
      melo 36 24,9 6,5 1,00 24,90 6,50
      afflalo 33 14,7 3,8 0,92 13,48 3,48
      calderon 27 12,7 3,1 0,75 9,53 2,33
      o,quinn 24 13 10,5 0,67 8,67 7,00
      galloway21 13,2 4,7 0,58 7,70 2,74
      grant 20 14 5,5 0,56 7,78 3,06
      porzingis17 17 5 0,47 8,03 2,36
      seraphin 14 14,1 8 0,39 5,48 3,11
      williams 11 15 6,9 0,31 4,58 2,11
      early 3 11,7 5,4 0,08 0,98 0,45
      attetocu 2 10 5 0,06 0,56 0,28
      vujacic 1 12,7 4,2 0,03 0,35 0,12

      240 103,99 40,94

      Rebound tots are NBA bottom …..scoring seems ok.

    29. JK47

      Other than Melo, who takes all the FG attempts on this team? I guess probably Afflalo will be second on the team in FGA, maybe Calderon third if he’s healthy? Calderon is going to be 34 and looked absolutely feeble last season; his TS% plummeted by 75 points. I’m not so confident the .600 TS% Calderon is coming back through the door.

      I dunno, this looks like a pretty shoddy offensive team to me, an offense that will probably rank in the lower third of the league. I think if this team is going to surprise anybody, it will be because they’re a surprisingly decent defensive team. Achieving a league average defense is probably going to be easier for this team to attain than a league average offense.

    30. slovene knick

      I think that secondary and tertiary scoring is a legit concern as Straromatic pointed out also. Backcourt quality is a concern. But looking at a glass half full, there is a lot of FGA for grabs on this team. Hungry players, smart coaches good systems have to take advantage of this. There seem to be no low BBalIQ chuckers, Bargnianis, JR’s and Hardaways on this team any more. There are no proven below average burden/players on this team. In my theory this team can score over 100(in spite of triangle pace) points per game to be middle of the pack offensive tem. On defense, among other, they will have to address the opp3P issue that’s been hurting our eyes for extended period of time.

    31. CNB

      There seem to be no low BBalIQ chuckers, Bargnianis, JR’s and Hardaways on this team any more.

      Not trying to create controversy, but, in all honesty, other than Melo, I’m not sure any of the players on the roster is a better overall basketball player than JR Smith, warts and all. The point is not that JR is a great player, of course. He is not. The point is that our roster is full of question marks and players expected to perform well beyond what reasonable analysts would project (Porzingis emergence into star status is just a matter of time, according to all analysis offered on this site).

      It’s good to be optimistic, but perspective is also necessary, in order to keep the conversation and projections within the realm of reason.

    32. johnno

      “but perspective is also necessary”
      Beg to differ. This is the time of year for unbridled, perhaps unwarranted, optimism. Granted, such optimism causes the inevitable crash and burn to be exponentially more painful but, at least for the next few weeks, I choose to believe that this is, at a minimum, a .500 team. (Feel free to laugh and ridicule…)

    33. thenamestsam

      I agree with you that this is the time of year for optimism, but even in optimism mode I feel the need to point out that this team has pretty strong “hitting rock bottom” potential, specifically because so much is dependent on Melo. If he’s out for a long stretch, or just playing poorly because of lingering knee issues, this roster starts to look very top-5-picky (to use the technical terminology). We have a lot of eggs in the basket of a 31-year old (and it’s an old 31 in terms of miles on the odometer) coming off a knee injury.

    34. CNB

      I choose to believe that this is, at a minimum, a .500 team. (Feel free to laugh and ridicule…)

      You won’t get that from me. I have no problem accepting diverging views. After all, there is no guarantee this (or any other) team won’t fool even the most educated guess. Odds very low, but you never know :-).

    35. Frank

      So happy the NBA is almost back. Even if we’re not going to be very good.

      Interesting tidbits from Media day–

      1) Melo himself said he’ll be playing a lot more 4 this year.
      2) Porzingis apparently said he’ll play some 5 this year
      3) Knicks beat reporters are asking Vujacic about Maria Sharapova *smh*

    36. DRed

      Are the Knicks going to be good this year? Probably not. Are they going to be better than last year? Almost certainly. So that’s something, and we have some young players who look like they might be fun to root for. I certainly don’t think we’re going to be good, but I’m still looking forward to the start of the season. And if you want to be like Knickerblogger’s Fox Mulder Johnno, well, there’s no right or wrong way to be a fan.

    37. stratomatic

      1) Melo himself said he’ll be playing a lot more 4 this year.
      2) Porzingis apparently said he’ll play some 5 this year

      Melo saying that he will play a lot of 4 is the most interesting news we got, but it raises questions about playing time for Porzingis/Lopez doesn’t?

      I guess Porzingis is going to split time between the two positions.

    38. alsep73

      Melo saying that he will play a lot of 4 is the most interesting news we got, but it raises questions about playing time for Porzingis/Lopez doesn’t?

      Well, RoLo has never been a high-minutes player, maxing out at around 32 MPG for his most prolific season. So if the plan is to not overuse him, Porzingis (and/or O’Quinn/Seraphin) could get a fair amount of time at the 5. Jackson said the other day that one of the reasons they preferred Lopez to Monroe is that it allows them to play Melo more at the 4 if there’s a center like Lopez on the court.

      The problem with that is that we have many more big men I trust than we have wings that I trust. Unless Early or Williams takes a big leap up in previous play, and/or one of the young guards plays well enough that the team can afford to play Afflalo a lot as a small-ball 3, I worry that whatever benefits we get from Melo at PF will be taken away by whoever we have at the 3 and/or 2.

    39. JK47

      Well, if Porzingis plays the 5, we have the Bargnani/Jah role of “center that never gets a rebound” all locked up.

    40. DRed

      One thing I’d really like to see this year is Melo playing 32 minutes a night. Maybe even a little less. Melo at the 4 sounds fine, but it does make one wonder who we’re planning on playing at the 3. We have some options, I just don’t know if any of them are actually productive NBA players. Maybe Derick Williams? He can’t shoot, though, and you’d essentially wind up with Melo playing the 3. I guess I would at least try to start with something like Calderon-Galloway-Afflalo-Melo-Lopez. On offense at least you’d have Melo surrounded by 3 capable+ long distance shooters who can all handle the basketball, plus a solid garbageman in RoLo.

    41. yellowboy90

      I guess I would at least try to start with something like Calderon-Galloway-Afflalo-Melo-Lopez. On offense at least you’d have Melo surrounded by 3 capable+ long distance shooters who can all handle the basketball, plus a solid garbageman in RoLo.

      I think this could work but it would take some serious rotation management by the coach. I just do not know how you would rotate everyone. I would think you want Calderon to start the 2nd qtr to manage the flow of the second unit. I’d Probably find a way to have Grant and Calderon starting the 2nd qtr with D. Williams, Porzingis, and O’Quinn if Phish went with DRED plan.

      Honestly, I think Phil will try to push for Fisher to start D. Will. Phil, probably wants Calderon, Afflalo, Williams, Anthony, and Lopez to start.

    42. yellowboy90

      I think Afflalo and Galloway will be a better combo than Shump and JR ever was. I have a feeling Arron will have a Luol Deng type offensive rebirth. He’ll get up 11-13 shots with a TS% of 57% or higher. If he plays the 3 with Melo at the 4 I think you will see Orlando Afflalo but better. Teams rarely every guards Melo with their 4 man so if Afflalo will have a clear advantage against another teams Power forward.

      I maybe wrong but I think Galloway returns to his College shooting form and settle in as a spot up shooter that occasionally takes it to the hoop. You no what I will go pre-season crazy and claim he will be short Danny Green.

    43. swiftandabundant

      I’m cautiously optimistic about the season as well. I get the holes we have and there are a lot of question marks and a lot has to go right to win more than 40 games. But I think some people on here discount the intangibles more than they should. IE, team chemistry. I know its a vague concept but looking back to when we won 54 games…on paper was that team a 54 win team? Were the advanced stats before the season started pointing to a 54 win team? I don’t think they were. But they couldn’t factor in the veteran leadership aspect of that team (esp Kidd). Or how Kidd, even though his individual stats were small, had a huge effect on the offense getting the team to really share the ball. Or how Melo played engaged on both sides of the ball, etc. Or how each player played a very well defined role (JR as the 6th man, Novak as the 3 point dagger guy, etc). A lot of that was the first part of the season (18-6) and the last 14 games, but again overall that team was better than the sum of its parts because of their team chemistry. Do we have that this year? Maybe, maybe not. But the people Phil brought in and from what we can tell so far, things look promising. I think they can overachieve and there are a lot of young players who could make big improvements within the season (KP, Grant, Gallo, OQuinn, Williams).

      Worst case scenario Melo wants out in which case we actually have a core of young players to really rebuild around and no bad contracts (even Calderon is not that bad).

    44. d-mar

      Worst case scenario Melo wants out in which case we actually have a core of young players to really rebuild around and no bad contracts (even Calderon is not that bad).

      I think there’s a typo, I believe you meant to say “best case scenario”

    45. swiftandabundant

      D-mar. Yeah I knew someone would say that. :)

      Personal opinion. Melo is really good at basketball. Melo will still be good at basketball in 2 years when KP and Grant hopefully are really coming into their own. The rising cap will make his salary look very manageable after this season. As long as his knee holds up, Melo will still be able to get buckets in a few years. We can build a contender with him.

      We could also do a true restart on the rebuild but maybe don’t have to.

    46. thenamestsam

      My very premature feeling is that the rotation will look something like Calderon, Grant, Galloway, Afflalo, Williams, Melo, Zinger, O’Quinn, and Lopez, with small helpings of Early and Seraphin. There just isn’t really a way to juggle that group so that Melo plays much at the 4.

      I’ve been a huge supporter of the Melo at the 4 plan in the past, but the players you need to make that work are guards/wings who are versatile enough on D to cover a variety of matchups and can spread the floor on offense. This roster is mostly barren of that kind of guy, unless either Early or Williams make major strides. DRed is right that the best we could do would be something like Calderon-Galloway-Afflalo-Melo-Lopez, but I’m not sure either Galloway or Afflalo can check forwards (It also puts our only 3 our guards who were NBA players last season on the floor at the same time, which is questionable minutes allocation). What the roster does have is good depth at the 4 and 5.

      It would be pretty Knicks-y for us to have spent multiple season avoiding Melo at the 4 when it fit naturally with the team/roster, and then to turn to it as soon as we built a team where it doesn’t make sense.

    47. Z

      I’m cautiously optimistic about the season

      What’s the opposite of ‘cautiously optimistic’? Rashly pessimistic?

      Put me down as that.

      Traid him !

      I don’t know what this means, but I like the speed and enthusiasm with which it was typed and posted!

    48. DRed

      DRed is right that the best we could do would be something like Calderon-Galloway-Afflalo-Melo-Lopez, but I’m not sure either Galloway or Afflalo can check forwards (It also puts our only 3 our guards who were NBA players last season on the floor at the same time, which is questionable minutes allocation).

      Afflalo has played the 3 a lot in his career, so I think my lineup could work in general.

      It’s easy to look at the Knicks as a whole and think that it’s a lot better than last season and there’s good upside to the team, but when you start to look closely it’s pretty easy to see where we’re likely to have problems. The 4/5 should be fine. Between Rolo, Melo, O’Quinn and Lou we have 4 guys who are at least mediocre NBA players. And then we’ve also got a very interesting rookie.

      After that though it gets ugly. I think Galloway proved last year he can be an okay pro-guard if he doesn’t improve at all. Not a guy you’d want on the floor if you were a playoff team, but someone who isn’t a Bargnani-class disaster either. So we’ve got 3 proven NBA guards. But one of them plays no defense whatsoever and probably won’t be healthy a lot of the year. So we’re down to two reliable NBA caliber guards-neither of whom were particularly good last year-and then we’re hoping either Grant or the egghead kid play better than you’d project them to. Same on the wing-we’ve got Melo and Afflalo, but if Melo’s playing the 4 then we’re down to Afflalo (who you may remember is also one of our two reliable guards) and a bunch of underwhelming youngsters and retreads.

    49. Brian Cronin

      I’ve wanted Melo at the 4 for a while now, but yeah, they just went out and signed a bunch of 4s and 5s (including drafting one with their highest draft pick since Patrick Ewing) so them deciding to now play Melo at the 4 after not playing him there last year? That’s….weird.

    50. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      As long as his knee holds up, Melo will still be able to get buckets in a few years. We can build a contender with him.

      Melo will also not get a whole lot of buckets, which will make his team bad.

      The Knicks can build a contender, for sure. Just trade him for a couple of 1sts and pray before scratching off those fickle NBA-lotto tickets.

    51. johnno

      “Fox Mulder Johnno”
      Due to a pop culture knowledge gap, I had no idea whom I was being compared to. So, I looked up Fox Mulder on Wikipedia. I think the part where they refer to his theories as “spooky and far-fetched” must be a reference to my optimism about this season…

    52. reub

      It certainly hints of a trade. But where and for whom? Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta seem to fit. If he would approve of it. What would be a fair return from these teams?

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