Knicks Morning News (2016.07.28)

  • [SNY Knicks] Breaking down Hornacek and Rose in the ‘Modern Triangle’
    (Wednesday, July 27, 2016 9:18:23 AM)

    Can the duo, arguably the two biggest moves of the Phil Jackson Era, co-exist in what figures to be an updated version of the triangle offense?

  • [NYTimes] Flush With Cash, N.B.A.’s Players Union Will Improve Retiree Benefits
    (Wednesday, July 27, 2016 9:35:37 PM)

    With the upgrade, players who were part of the league for at least three years can obtain a coverage plan that includes medical, hospital and prescription drug benefits.

  • [NYTimes] Team USA Look to Sweep Golds in Rio
    (Thursday, July 28, 2016 5:48:27 AM)

    Team USA will be without many star players in Rio due mainly to concerns over Zika and injuries, but such is the depth of the country’s basketball talent that they are expected to cruise to a third consecutive gold medal.

  • [NYTimes] Team USA Look to Sweep Golds in Rio
    (Thursday, July 28, 2016 1:30:28 AM)

    Team USA will be without many star players in Rio due mainly to concerns over Zika and injuries, but such is the depth of the country’s basketball talent that they are expected to cruise to a third consecutive gold medal.

  • [NYTimes] Beal Ready to Max Out for Wizards After 5-Year, $128M Deal
    (Wednesday, July 27, 2016 7:10:05 PM)

    Washington’s Bradley Beal understands the expectations that come with signing a five-year, $128 million contract.

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    Mike Kurylo

    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    78 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.07.28)”

    1. You know the Bulls were a really shitty team last year in terms of health. Derrick Rose was 3rd on the team in minutes and he only played 66 games. Jimmy Butler, the team’s leader in minutes, only played in 67 games. Pau was the only other player to play more than 2,000 minutes, and he played 72 games. All of Rose, Butler, Dunleavy, Gasol, Noah, Gibson, and Mirotic missed time due to injury. They still managed to win 42 games despite the only positive contributors to that team (guys with WP48s and/or WS/48s over .100) being Butler, Gasol, Gibson, Noah, and Dunleavy with the last two guys playing under 1,000 minutes for the season.

      So, if Noah can be our Butler (leader in wins produced), and KP can be our Gasol (Gasol averaged 16, 11, and 4 on a .529 TS%), that’s a good amount of wins right there between those two. Let’s say 20 wins from those two. I honestly expect Rose to give us 4 or 5 wins over a 2,000+ minute sample like I expect it from Melo, so let’s put them down for another 10. Courtney Lee might give us 5 too. That’s 35 wins from our starting line up, and if O’Quinn gets 2,000 minutes he should give us another 6 wins, so we’re already at 41 wins. Jennings, Thomas, and Holiday could end up giving us 8 wins total and Hernangomez could give us 3, but I think Kuz is going to prove to be a negative contributor as they’re likely to play him at the 4 all season. Plumlee, Sasha, and Ndour should all be close to zero wins combined unless N’Dour becomes DeMarre Carroll of something.

      I don’t think it’s too hard to see the Knicks winning over 45 games if health permits. Take away Rose’s 5 or so wins and give him -2 wins and you’re still in okay shape.

    2. Among the criticisms of Rose the last few weeks is that he is a veritable turnover machine. Here’s a list of some guys who averaged more turnovers per 36 minutes than Rose last year –Westbrook, Wall, Schroeder, Rondo, Mudiay, Bledsoe, Curry (Steph, not Seth), Teague, Knight, Carter-Williams, R Jackson, Jack, Holiday (Jrue, not Justin), Lillard, G Vasquez, Russell, I Thomas, Rubio and Payton. Chris Paul averaged a tenth of a turnover fewer than Rose.

    3. Johnno, you’re doing that thing again where you try to pretend Derrick Rose wasn’t really bad last season. Rose isn’t a turnover machine (as long as you take shooting out of the equation). He’s middle of the pack. But for a guy who doesn’t generate that many assists he has a lot of turnovers.

    4. I honestly just refuse to believe Derrick Rose will be as terrible as he was the last two seasons.

      He needs to get the turnovers under control. The main cause for his turnover issue is his propensity to make jump passes and I guess the Bulls’ Rose centric offenses since the turn of the decade lead to more opportunities for him to turn over the ball. Basically what I’m saying is Bulls suck Knicks rock and all thing bad about Derrick Rose will be solved when he wears our jersey. Word.

    5. And Rose’s TOV% is actually lower than Calderon’s despite averaging twice as many turnovers per 36. That assist to turnover ratio is under two though, and that’s really bad. Rose has been really good at wasting possessions with those turnovers and missed shots on that usage. Wow.

    6. His turnover% is lower than Calderon’s because he shoots so often. Shooting a lot lowers your turnover%. It’s not the best stat. Calderon is very good at avoiding turnovers, Derrick Rose is not. (he’s about average)

    7. One thing about Rose’s assist rate being as low as it was last year that gets lost is that Butler and Pau started dominating the ball a lot more. He’s never going to be a high assist player and he wasn’t even in his best Chicago years, but I do think he’s better than he showed the last couple of years where he played more off the ball, which shouldn’t be as much of an issue in New York as the talent around him is better suited to playing off of Rose than a lot of the guys around him the last 2 seasons have been in Chicago.

      Either way, while I think he’ll get around 33 AST% and around 6 APG, his scoring efficiency is the primary concern and that is very dependent on him being able to get to the line more frequently.

    8. Bottom line is this, guys: some people believe we’re getting the former Rose and Noah; some people believe we are getting the current versions.

      The process is always the same: as soon as the
      Knicks sign some has-been, a lot of fans scramble to come up with reasons to explain why it’s a great move in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. Simultaneously, the same people start to demonize and belittle all the players that left the team. Bargnani just needed new surroundings,
      Lopez is a terrible center, much worse than Noah (never mind Noah was never Tim Duncan and is not even Joakim Noah anymore), Calderon is no longer one of the greatest shooters in NBA history (that was the justification when PJ stupidly brought him here), Grant will never amount to anything but he was a steal when PJ got him in exchange for Hardaway, Porzingis is a no-miss superstar and all calculations of future team performance take that for granted in spite of a rather pedestrian 3/4 of the season, Hernangomez is a great find even before he plays a single NBA minute, Chandler was never any good but Cleanthony Early was ‘Melo Light’ until it became abundantly obvious he wasn’t even Tim Hardaway Light, Vujevic is not bad, just needed to tutor his fellow players on the Triangle’s intricacies, etc., etc.

      PJ has been a great GM in spite of the team’s terrible record and his obvious lack of a plan beyond completely overhauling the roster every season in hopes some sh*t might stick. He will be bad once Dolan brings the next big hope/has been.

    9. Bargnani just needed new surroundings

      Clearly I and many others were wrong about this.

      Lopez is a terrible center

      Not one person has said this. Not great or irreplaceable doesn’t equal terrible.

      much worse than Noah (never mind Noah was never Tim Duncan and is not even Joakim Noah anymore)

      Tim Duncan is the only caliber of big better than Lopez? Noah looked back to being very good if not at his peak levels on that end last year, posted a career high in assist and rebound rates and rated higher than Lopez on WP despite hideous shooting from the field last year.

      Calderon is no longer one of the greatest shooters in NBA history (that was the justification when PJ stupidly brought him here)

      Calderon is one of the greatest shooters of all time. I and others felt bringing him here was a fine move. It didn’t pan out because despite his great 3P%, he can’t get off enough volume to make a difference any longer and he adds nothing else offensively while being a total sieve defensively. This new information in 2 years of watching him has shockingly changed people’s opinions. Crazy isn’t it?

      Grant will never amount to anything but he was a steal when PJ got him in exchange for Hardaway

      Getting a first for THJ was a steal since many people here thought getting a lower end 2nd round pick was the best we could do. Grant may or may not be good, but some people don’t think he’ll amount to anything and said as much when he was on the Knicks.

      Porzingis is a no-miss superstar and all calculations of future team performance take that for granted in spite of a rather pedestrian 3/4 of the season

      So similar to the great Landry Fields.

    10. Calderon is still a great shooter. He added that to our offense. It wasn’t a lot, because he’s not capable of getting off a lot of shots, but it is something. He also doled out more assits than our new point guard while turning it over a lot less. Not turning the ball over was the only thing the Knicks were good at doing on offense, so that helped. He was bad enough on defense that it was all a wash, or maybe even a slight negative, but Jose was alright. It’s not his fault we played him too much.

      I don’t know what Porzingis has to do with Landry Fields. Porzingis wasn’t that good last year. So what? He was good for a 20 year old rookie.

    11. Theo, I think it would be more efficient if you spread the strawmans across several different posts instead of putting them all into one comment.

    12. The current version of Joakim Noah is still a good player as long as he’s healthy.

      Yes, as long as his insanely bad shooting last season was injury related, which is I think at least a reasonable assumption.

    13. This new information in 2 years of watching him has shockingly changed people’s opinions. Crazy isn’t it?

      We talking about Calderon or Rose?

      Theo, I think it would be more efficient if you spread the strawmans across several different posts instead of putting them all into one comment.

      Nonsense. It’s no surprise that the pro-Jax posters on this board hold to party lines as though they were members of the Knicks Apologism National Convention. Summarizing their positions is not making strawmen out of them. He’s right.

    14. We talking about Calderon or Rose?

      Both?

      Rose isn’t close to the player he was. Imo he’s also closer to the player he was in his last 49 games last season than he was in his first 17 with the mask. I suspect that without having to share the ball handling responsibilities with a guard like Jimmy Butler who declared himself a PG before last season and with more natural off ball shooting talent in Lee/Melo/KP he’ll be closer to his 32 AST% than he was last season.

      That being said that isn’t as important as him getting to the line more to up his efficiency, which I also said previously.

      Calderon looked a lot better staring at BRef page prior to the trade than he was in actuality once the trade was done. It’s not totally his fault he struggled, but he’s not capable of being a starting NBA PG or leading guard anymore. Maybe someplace where he can play off the bench and play next to a penetrating guard he’ll be better, but the point that people felt differently about Jose 2 years ago than they do now is irrelevant was my point.

    15. “you try to pretend”
      You call it trying to pretend. I call it trying to figure out in my own mind and justify why there is real good reason why I am optimistic about this year despite all arguments (or, as some would call it, evidence) to the contrary.

    16. PJax has been more lucky than unhealthy, and my favorite plan is the one where we win 20 games and get a great player in the 2017 draft.

      I still wanna see the Knicks defy the odds and be that super team though.

    17. Jowles, the only things he can actually claim are true are the Bargnani comments(which many have apologized profusely for).

      At least on this board, very few(if any) have made the argument that
      -Calderon isn’t one of the best shooters in NBA history
      – Lopez is a terrible Center
      -Cleanthony is Melo light
      – Chandler was never any good
      -Vujacic isn’t terrible

      It remains to be seen how good KP, Grant and Hernangomez can be.

    18. Vujacic was actually really good as a starter last season. He was better the Afflalo down the stretch by a considerable margin.

    19. I seriously enjoy reading how Rose, Noah, Jennings, Vujevic and any other players currently on the Knicks’roster would be good IF….

      Rose is terrible, but IF he….
      Noah has not been the same, but IF he…

      Happyland is the birthplace of the asterisk!

    20. Sasha Vujacic is my least favorite player in the NBA that is neither Paul Pierce or employed by the Boston Celtics Basketball Club. It is, however, undeniable that he played great ball when he got the starting nod over Afflalo. Just look at the game logs. He posted a TS% above .540 in 11 of the 17 games he played in from that point on, and nine of those games the TS% was above .630.

    21. I seriously enjoy reading how Rose, Noah, Jennings, Vujevic and any other players currently on the Knicks’roster would be good IF….

      Your sarcasm is slightly undercut by the reality that Noah and Vujevic were good last year – Noah, despite his inability to score, did so many other things that he still rates out as a positive, and Vuj, as massive points out, was very good.

    22. I think it would be more efficient if you spread the strawmans across several different posts instead of putting them all into one comment.

      That’s the understanding of efficiency that got us into this situation in the first place.

    23. @24

      Honestly it’s so much more enjoyable to read non-stop negativity and posts that compare KP’s rookie season to Landry Fields.

    24. @25 how are you measuring his efficiency?

      IF the goal is to troll AND you’re in a setting WITHOUT a finite number of posts, I posit the greatest efficiency would be achieved by a broad but shallow approach.

      Spread out your one-liners, quips, and jabs for a greater visual surface contact and someone, somewhere will be more likely to take the bait.

      NB: I don’t have hard data, or peer-reviewed studies to back this up. Come at me bro

    25. IF the goal is to troll AND you’re in a setting WITHOUT a finite number of posts, I posit the greatest efficiency would be achieved by a broad but shallow approach…Come at me bro.

      In a world of infinite resources, there is no concept of efficiency.

    26. The finite resources are the attentions of one’s would be trollees.

      If your readers tend to skim longer posts, your words will be read at a higher percentage if they are broken into separate trollings.

    27. Heat making people crazy….

      Nah, people are always crazy on this site.

      “Winter, spring, summer or fall
      All we talk about is basketball”

    28. The constant negativity here is so mind-numbing, boring, and repetitious. (Which is in direct opposition to posters who think they’re being ingenious, clever, and unique) Come on.

    29. Repeatedly constructing shit teams out of washed-up scrubs is something the Knicks do well. We just follow suit.

      If you want blind optimism, I’d suggest r/nyknicks.

      You will also get a dose of ~80 IQ opinions about Knicks basketball while wondering if these guys fondle the sleeve of their favorite Knicks jersey during the evenings, but at least you won’t have to hear reasonable and objective assessments of the 25-win team with three All-Stars we’re about to witness.

    30. The constant negativity here is so mind-numbing, boring, and repetitious.

      And the constant cheerleading is mind-numbing, deluded and pretty stupid.

      Now, given the team’s performance over the last 15 years, it stands to reason that the ‘negativists’ are operating much closer to reality. At least, that’s what the numbers would suggest, but why pay any attention to data, right?

      If the team is so good and the front office’s moves are good too, why are the results so bad?

      Statistical mischief, I’d say. Numbers hate New York.

    31. but at least you won’t have to hear reasonable and objective assessments of the 25-win team with three All-Stars we’re about to witness.

      This team is winning 25 games? Is that your prediction?

    32. I honestly feel like if everybody was on the same pessimistic page we would be debating the merits of adding an all world talent like Harry Giles (considering his injury history) or if a guy like Josh Jackson is the wing we need to pair with Porzingis. Next year’s draft is stacked with top shelf talent so it’s not a bad discussion to have. Personally, I really like Markelle Fultz or De’Arron Fox as our future starting point guard and I’d take either guy with the high lottery pick people around here are expecting us to have. De’Arron Fox is the rare leader/athlete combo that skips a generation and is the type of guy who would excel in the NYC spotlight. Fultz is basically a more athletic version of D’Angelo Russell.

      I think it’s clear that there is no way Melo stays on this team if the stats-only community is correct. If we’re the 20 win suck show they believe we will be (which won’t happen because we’ll be too good on the defensive side of the ball), Melo is headed out of town to either Boston or the Clippers at mid season(in a three team deal that sends Blake to Boston where we get a majority of the young assets). If the stat guys are right, they’ll get their wish as we’ll hit the restart button (and hopefully we’ll keep Hornacek).

      I think the most likely scenario is that we build a top 8 defense around Porzingis and Noah while the offense is by the grace of Hornacek’s super triangle an average unit and we win a total around 48 games. Vogel’s offensive teams were by and large terrible every year he was there but their defense carried them over 50 wins a couple times. Porzingis, Noah, Ndour, Lee, Holiday, Thomas, and to a lesser extent Melo and O’Quinn should all be good defenders this season and that will matter in the end.

    33. I’m sorry. I thought they won 50 in 2013 but they went 49-32 that season. I think their game with Boston was canceled due to the attacks. But Indiana and Memphis are good reference points for how the Knicks can overcome a bad offense to be successful in the NBA. If you rebound and defend well, you’ll win games.

    34. Well, I guess I’m an established member of Team Pessimism, and this doesn’t look like a 20-something win team to me. My best guess is that this teams wins somewhere between 35-40 games. Which is still a dreadful outcome, a worse outcome actually than the 25-win apocalypse some are projecting. 35-40 wins with a “win now” oriented roster is basketball purgatory.

    35. There doesn’t seem to be a huge world of difference between what most of the “pessimists” and “optimists” are predicting, but the optimists also seem to be more comfortable projecting KP to be a really good player moving forward whereas the pessimists seem very focused on Rose’s shittiness.

    36. My prediction is 35 wins with a 3-win error margin.

      Can’t wait to watch Melo’s expression waiting for Rose to pass the ball; team has a lot of clusterfuck potential, but I’m doing my best to stay positive.

    37. The 17 win team wasnt that bad on paper to start the season either. This team could be pretty good (like 45 wins). It’ll probably wind up being mediocre, but I think it has significantly more trainwreck potential than shockingly good potential.

    38. I don’t know, man. Rose’s shittyness (and he was as shitty as they come) didn’t stop a Bulls team that might have had the worst luck with injuries outside of Memphis from winning 42 games. His 1530 minutes of shittyness didn’t stop the Bulls from winning 50 games the year before, either. You know what the real difference was those years? Joakim Noah couldn’t play this season, and he’s now a Knick.

      People are downplaying the individual excellence of Joakim Noah. When he’s healthy he’s a top 5 defender in the league and he’s a great facilitator from the free throw line. Between Noah, Porzingis, Melo, Lee, O’Quinn, Holiday, and Thomas, the Knicks have enough talent to be a playoff team no matter what Derrick Rose does or doesn’t do. The season is all going to be based around how much KP improves and how many minutes Joakim Noah/Kyle O’Quinn will play for us.

    39. Jimmy Butler is far better than any player the Knicks have baring a bounce back from Noah. Melo and Lee are above average, but Porzingis hasn’t been good on offense yet and coaches keep not playing O’Quinn. I can see what you’re getting at, but I think you’re making too many positive assumptions

    40. My main prediction is that whichever people end up correctly predicting this year’s win total will be more lucky than good. That’s pretty much true every year (which is why bragging about predicting a single team’s win-loss record is really silly), but when you have a team that is really shallow and has multiple guys with fairly serious injury concerns I think that gets turned up to 11. Throw in that Porzingis’ production at this point is also basically a question mark and trying to pin a specific win number on this is basically folly to me.

      I think this team could be pretty good but I also definitely see serious trainwreck potential. Not just the injury stuff, but we also have a lot of new faces in here and that includes the coach. Both Noah and Rose were involved in some locker-room clashing in Chicago (although it may have been mostly Butler’s fault? I can’t say I followed it that closely). We don’t really know how cohesively the front office and coaching staff are going to work, but if things are going bad I’m guessing Phil will think we should be running more triangle, and Horny is going to be thinking the opposite. It’s not hard for me to imagine a situation where this goes sideways in a pretty significant way devolving into a bunch of different factions and a lot of finger pointing.

    41. @47 I have to make positive assumptions before the season and then excuses when the Knicks end up being terrible. It’s the only way I can keep my sanity as a Knicks fan. I have to count on a bounce back from Noah and an ASG year from KP and for Rose to not be the worst PG ever again.

    42. Jimmy Butler is far better than any player the Knicks

      I dont think Jimmy Butler is a better player than Melo, aside that since he is younger, he is better in the long run.

    43. Wow…D Lee in San Antonio?? Some things just ain’t fair..
      Happy for him though. That’s a great landing spot for him.

    44. I’d certainly much rather have Jimmy Butler. By a mile. And I think finding a shooting guard who can produce like him is hard to do in the NBA.

      But you do also have to consider that Butler’s numbers (Win Shares anyway) have been lifted by Thibodeau.

      Still, I will take his body of work over the last two seasons over any similar stretch by Melo. And obviously, he is a ton younger.

    45. Butler is far better than Melo…that’s not an insult to Melo–Butler is really, really good. And, fittingly, Butler beats Melo roundly in every career productivity metric

    46. I don’t know about far better but this years Bulls team should provide good data for the floor spacing debate.

      Can’t imagine this team not turning into a trainwreck with that backcourt.

    47. Jimmy Butler has two All-Star appearances and Melo has nine. You do the math.

    48. I don’t know about Melo being far worse than Butler. I just ran the comparison tool on them and Butler is clearly the better player considering his eFG% and TS% are higher while fouling less, turning the ball over less, and getting to the line more frequently. Melo rebounds better and Butler edges him in assists, but considering production relative to the position Melo is the better passer. Butler is also a much better defender historically, but how good will his numbers look when he and Melo are playing the same position this year? Five boards per 36 is great for a guard, but that’s nothing crazy for a SF. He’s still playing the wing, but the responsibilities are different for that position and it’s important he picks up his intensity on the glass if he wants to have the same impact. I’d rather have Butler over Melo for sure, though. He beats him on defense and in three of the four factors offensively.

    49. And the constant cheerleading is mind-numbing, deluded and pretty stupid.

      I’m not a blind chearleader. For what it’s worth, I would project a 43-win team, which is below average. I’m saying that the constant, nagging, annoying bickering and being negative about every single facet of every single move is just damn annoying. If you were a movie character, you’d get killed first, and everyone in the audience is quietly rooting for it.

      It’s one thing to be realistic. But constant negativity is unrealistic. Not pointing out the positives in life is unrealistic. Not mentioning any upside to this team is being unrealistic.

      Yes, we have KP. Noah is unanimously a good player to have on your team, especially to help with KP’s progress. If you’ve been watching any of the olympics, you can see the sheer terror Melo can bring to an admittedly inferior foe when teamed up with other good players. Jennings and Rose are on freakin’ one year contracts, so they can go if they suck. Trust in Phil that he won’t supermax Rose only to let him get injured. We’ve mentioned Lee as a good pickup only to go negative once we signed him. Lance is back, and is very good at what he does. We picked up SOLID upside-friendly Euros. Hornacek is an above average coach, and better than what we’ve had the past 10 years at least. Come on, guys. I’m not saying we’re even getting to the playoffs. There’s at least something to look forward to, just wake the fuck up.

    50. @59

      So what’s your angle when they get a top-5 lottery pick?

    51. @60

      Same as yours. Ignore it when I turn out to be wrong and then twist it all up until I look like Nostradamus.

    52. I mean, can you really look at the roster and objectively think it’s THAT bad? Rose/Lee/Melo/KP/Noah? With backups of Jennngs/Vujacic/Lance/Oquinn?

      You’re telling me they will be as bad as last years’ (top minutes played):

      76ers: Hollis Thompson/Jerami Grant/Isaiah Canaan/Noel/Covington

      Lakers: Clarkson/Randle/Russell/Lou/Hibbert/Bryant

      Nets: Lopez/Thaddeus/Bogdanovic/Joe Johnson/Larkin

      Come on.

    53. How many of that starting 5 can you count on to give you 70 games of above average NBA prodution? Lee and Melo, and I’m being a little generous with Melo. That’s the problem.

    54. What’s wrong with KP? Noah has historically played just short of 70 games per season. I do expect Rose to again play at least 67 games, but it’s a coin toss with him. I expect 4/5 starters to be healthy the vast majority of the season.

    55. Melo played 72 games last year including a couple he chose to sit out towards the end of the season because we had nothing to play for. We actually have enough injury concerns between Rose and Noah that there’s really not much of a need to include borderline cases.

    56. “Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists.”
      Thomas L. Friedman

    57. Thomas Friedman is a big time windbag.

      Don’t be such a pessimist. His bag is half full of it.

    58. “The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit”

      “Communication needs sacrifices”
      Knew Your Nicks

    59. @60

      Same as yours. Ignore it when I turn out to be wrong and then twist it all up until I look like Nostradamus.

      I guess it’s been easy for me to do since I’m right more often than I’m wrong.

    60. This blog has been a hopeless back and forth of “I’m right, you’re wrong” all week. Anyone wanna talk about Sasha Vujacic some more? We should probably get used to it given that he’s our only back-up 2 guard not named Justin Holliday. I feel like he’s gonna end up getting some minutes next year, like it or not.

      Was Sasha actually good (or decent) last year after Afflalo got benched? I had tuned out at that point.

    61. He was actually quite good, but I seem to remember it was fueled by unsustainably good 3 pt shooting. But even if he can knock ’em down at his career rate he’s playable. He rebounds well for a guard, and he gets the ball up the court in a hurry. Plus he’s high on my rootability index.

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