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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.09.09)

  • [SNY Knicks] Enes Kanter talks ‘Hoodie Melo’ and more on Timeout with Taylor Rooks
    (Friday, September 08, 2017 5:26:51 PM)

    Oklahoma City Thunder C Enes Kanter spoke on his time playing with Knicks SF Carmelo Anthony’s alter ego, “Hoodie Melo,” on Timeout with Taylor Rooks.

  • [NYDN] Short-lived Knick Tracy McGrady to enter Hall, despite no ring
    (Friday, September 08, 2017 11:05:45 AM)

    After a 15-season NBA career and a couple years spent as a commentator and analyst, Tracy McGrady will get the nod Friday to join the Hall.

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis, other young Knicks making noise at Euros
    (Friday, September 08, 2017 9:09:48 AM)

    Knicks fans can be excited about is the team’s young core of international talent.

  • 44 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.09.09)

    1. Totes McGoats Makes 18mil For 14ppg

      Unless Ntilikina has a LeBron type rookie season at the 1, we won’t have the playmakers capable of turning Melo into Olympic Melo. That in mind, assuming Melo stays, I wouldn’t mind if Hoodie Melo suits up this season lol. Sheesh! If you’re not a Knicks fan, Hoodie Melo will make you believe he’s better than he actually plays. Not saying Melo’s not good- he’s an exceptional scorer when he’s locked in. But at this stage, he’s not that good against nightly NBA competition. If he didn’t make superstar money- and we didn’t already have a cheaper version in Beasley for the preferred role for Melo- he’d be perfect for that 6th man combo forward. A Vinnie Johnson role if you will. We just don’t have the players to make it happen.

    2. Z-man

      From last thread…
      Zach Randolph averaged 10.7 rebounds per 36 for his career, peaking at around 12. I think Willy can average 12-13 per 36. Last year he averaged 13.6 per 36 in over 1300 minutes, and it didn’t look flukey. He has a great body for a rebounder, good nose for the ball, loves to bang and has a great motor. It’s tough to move him off of his spot once he establishes rebounding position. He tips the ball to himself very well. If anything, he needs to develop a bit more of a mean streak.

      Zach is a unique player, averaged 20/10 without jumping. Willy is sort of more athletic, which bodes well for maintaining that high reb/36 number. I doubt that he ever becomes as versatile offensively as Zach, with the classic fadeaway moves setting up his drives, but he’s very crafty. If he develops some range, or even a reliable 3-pointer, he’s potentially a 18pt/13reb per 36 player.

      I also think Willy can become a very good defensive player down on the block. It depends on his instincts and footwork. He’s got Oakley-like strength and quickness, but not the technique or intimidating mean streak. The rules have changed since Oak’s time, but I think it will be a strength of Willy’s game.

      I’m less optimistic about his PnR defense and perimeter defense and potential as a rim protecter. Just don’t see the footspeed, instincts or vertical to make great strides in that area. If he works hard and becomes at least adequate in those areas, and the other parts of his game develop as outlined above, he’s a potential all-star.

      We’re gonna love watching him this year. This team is going to be highly rootable.

    3. lavor postell

      One thing about Willy that’s very different than Z-Bo is he makes quick decisions with the ball and keeps the offense flowing. Zach has always been more of a focal point of the offense type scorer, for better or for worse.

    4. Z-man

      Re: Melo, I wonder if Parker seeking a max contract (iz he cra-zay?!) makes a 3-way deal more likely? How about a deal like this one:

      http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yczphlsm

      Knicks get Henson, Parker and Taylor
      Bucks get Anderson, Onuaku, Quarterman
      Rockets get Melo

      Some sweeteners might be required to get Milwaukee to bite, or maybe even Houston. Obviously, the Knicks should draw the line at future 1st rounders.

    5. Z-man

      One thing about Willy that’s very different than Z-Bo is he makes quick decisions with the ball and keeps the offense flowing. Zach has always been more of a focal point of the offense type scorer, for better or for worse.

      Agree, I don’t see Willy ever being a featured offensive player, more of an opportunist with plays occasionally called for him, moreso if defenses go small on him. He’s very,very good at the opportunistic flow-of-offense thing, though. My guess is that he tops out at 14-18 points per 36 but with a top-5 rebound rate, which are possibly all-star numbers.

    6. lavor postell

      Agree, I don’t see Willy ever being a featured offensive player, more of an opportunist with plays occasionally called for him, moreso if defenses go small on him. He’s very,very good at the opportunistic flow-of-offense thing, though. My guess is that he tops out at 14-18 points per 36 but with a top-5 rebound rate, which are possibly all-star numbers.

      I agree. If he can improve his decision making and cut down his TO rate, he’ll be an extremely well rounded offensive player.

    7. stratomatic is despondent

      To get the full value out of KP, eventually he’s going to have to play the 5 so he can anchor the defense and protect the rim. If/when he’ll be ready to guard the stronger Cs and rebound well enough to be in that role is an open issue. But assuming “eventually”, where does that leave Willy? He’s not quick enough to guard PFs on the perimeter and I don’t think he’s ever going to be a good anchor on defense at C even though he can rebound. He’s kind of like Enes Kanter. He’s an efficient scorer and rebounder, but it’s hard to figure out a way to keep him on the court because of the defensive liabilities at C and his inability to play PF.

    8. Frank

      Not sure there’s ever been any objective evidence that willy is a bad defender. He had a positive DBPM and DRPM (although he doesn’t rank particularly well by DRPM), and his on off numbers were good defensively. He rebounds and he doesn’t do stupid stuff.

      He’s only 23. Let’s give him some time before we doom him to Enes Kantership.

      It is true that his overall fit with KP is questionable. But KP doesn’t have to play the 5 full time. 12 min per game at the 5, 20 min at the 4, 16 min in the bench still leaves plenty of minutes for Willy. draymond doesn’t play any more than 12 min or so at the 5.

    9. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      If KP is gonna be the star we hope he’s going to be, and Willy is also very good, you just stick KP at PF even though it’s somewhat sub optimal and figure that if he’s good enough he’ll produce from that position anyway, because the replacement PF isn’t going to nearly as good as Willy in all likelihood.

      Sometimes you just need to ignore fit and put your five best players on the floor and figure it out from there.

    10. Z-man

      Strat, I disagree completely. I think KP is a versatile 4 and that will always be his primary position, and he will play 10-20 minutes at the 5, depending on matchups. He will likely be utilized something like Dirk (with, say, Dampier) and Duncan (with, say, Splitter). Now, if the league continues to gravitate to playing “small” that makes it so that KP might play more 5. But there’s just too many guys in the league who KP will get in foul trouble and/or woefully outrebounded against if he plays the 5 …Boogie, M Gasol, Jonas, Gobert, DeAndre, and probably Embiid, Towns, and Jokic. Regardless of strength, his center of gravity is just too high to maintain position against those guys. He’ll have to reach, and thats when he gets into foul trouble.

      On the other hand, he’s so long that even if he gets beat by smaller, quicker 4’s initially, he can recover and block shots from behind, or switch and protect the rim.

    11. stratomatic is despondent

      Not sure there’s ever been any objective evidence that willy is a bad defender.

      I don’t think he’s as bad as Kanter, but I think that’s the correct profile. He’s not big enough, long enough, or athletic enough to guard the rim well and he’s not quick enough to play PF. In fact, maybe that’s why we were able to draft him so late. A lot of teams are looking for longer athletic rim guarding Cs. They also realize it’s tough to put guys like Willy or Kanter at PF unless they expand their skills.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love everything else about him. But there are still questions to be answered about whether he can be a starter in this league or whether he’s just going to be a great guy off the bench.

    12. stratomatic is despondent

      Strat, I disagree completely. I think KP is a versatile 4 and that will always be his primary position, and he will play 10-20 minutes at the 5, depending on matchups. He will likely be utilized something like Dirk (with, say, Dampier) and Duncan (with, say, Splitter).

      To be clear, I was talking long term (like 2-3 years from now). No way can he play C full time now.

      I don’t necessarily disagree with your view. However, there is a big difference between Dirk and KP. Dirk was never the rim protector, menace, and potential impact player on defense that KP is. Having KP running around chasing smaller quicker PFs on the perimeter is not ideal when he could be wreaking havoc in the paint with blocked and changes shots. He is the very rare player that could conceivably change and dominate a game at either end or on both ends. He’s a unicorn. He just can’t do it all now all the time because some of those guys are too strong for him.

    13. Cock Jowles, #1 Usage Soaker

      But there are still questions to be answered about whether he can be a starter in this league or whether he’s just going to be a great guy off the bench.

      Wait, are we still talking about James Harden???

    14. fmikieo

      Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      KP and Willy are very good, effective players. Let Hornachek figure out how to get the most out of them.

    15. Z-man

      I’m not sure that Willy can’t play the 4 reasonably well on D. I don’t see a lack of quickness as much as a lack of defensive awareness and technique. He certainly has quick feet and good lateral speed on O.

      It’s a choice, really. do you give up rebounding for rim protection? Do you give up perimeter defense for post defense? There aren’t too many guys who are great at all of those things. Bottom line is that the other team has to match up with our guys too. The key is that KP and Willy have to make teams pay for going small. For example, if GSW go small, Willy will likely guard Green and KP will likely guard Durant. Can Willy do work against Green in the post? Can KP go toe-to-toe with Durant on the perimeter? Obviously not yet, but that would be the hope. Otherwise, Willy will have to sit in those situations.

    16. stratomatic is despondent

      Wait, are we still talking about James Harden???

      If the Knicks defense still sucks partly because KP is chasing 6’8″ PFs that he can’t guard and everyone keeps finishing in the paint because Willy is not long or athletic enough to stop them are you planning to show me Willy’s Wins Produced and Win Shares to demonstrate that he’s the best player on the team and should be getting 36 minutes a might as the starting C?

      If that’s what you are selling, I’m not buying.

      I like both players a LOT, but KP’s ideal position will eventually be C where he can wreak havoc in the paint and the Knicks are going to have a lot of issues defensively again if Willy is the rim protector.

    17. Cock Jowles, #1 Usage Soaker

      Undervaluing high WP/WS/VORP players is what we do here, pal. The dude could post a .250 WP48 this year and all I’d hear about is his matador D and how overrated ORBs are.

    18. Z-man

      Well KP can’t protect the rim when he’s on the bench with foul trouble, or when stretch 4’s are knocking down 3’s, especially on second chance shots that resulted from offensive rebounds that KP allowed while he was getting boxed out. Rebounding is far more important than rim protection in today’s game. Who was the great rim protector for GSW? Or CLE? Or BOS? Or SAS? Or HOU?

    19. Totes McGoats Makes 18mil For 14ppg

      Suppose the team thinks PF is KP’s best position. Would we be ok with a Drummond deal centered around Willy? Or is it possible to do that deal centered around KOQ?

    20. Z-man

      The most notable rim protector 5’s are Whiteside, Jordan, Gobert and Gasol. But there are also rim-protecters at other postions: Giannis, Durant, AD, LeBron, Draymond, Ibaka, to name a few. You need a defensive scheme that maximizes KP’s talents while minimizing his flaws. You sort of have to mold him into a position-less player.

      But there’s no way you should let KP’s “position” determine how much Willy plays. Willy needs to be on the floor, period, and it’s the coach’s job to make that work.

    21. Totes McGoats Makes 18mil For 14ppg

      Z @22.
      Agreed. Hornacek really isn’t that coach. Perry has to get him alot of defensive players in order for Hornacek to craft that type of defense. I just don’t think he’s creative enough defensively to fully take advantage of KP’s ability there. What we need is another JVG. We need to luck up and find that young assistant with the work ethic and defensive acumen of JVG. With the team we have today, that would be a great blend of offense and defense. I don’t think Willy is a bad defensive player. He’s bright enough to find his lane there and make it work, he probably just needs a better defensive coach.

    22. Bruno Almeida

      I honestly don’t care much if Hernangomez is ever a good defender. Like the Horford comparison on the last thread, he was a guy who never had the size / speed expected from a top defender, yet worked very well within a larger defensive scheme in Atlanta for years.

      How many star 4s out there are able to dominate a game and destroy a weaker defender? There’s Anthony Davis, there’s Draymond and maybe Love and Millsap? Aldridge when healthy? I remember seeing a list last season of the top 30 PFs in the league and Gorgui freaking Dieng was like 8th.

      If youre talking about superstars occasionally playing the 4, like KD or Lebron, who cares? No one is stopping those dudes anyway unless you have Dray or Kawhi.

      As long as the guards and wings do a decent job defensively and there’s a well structured scheme around it, it’s going to be fine.

      The production Willy has shown so far is definitely, 100% enough to guarantee him a starting spot this year.

    23. ClashFan

      KP and Willie’s games appear to complement each other so well, that worrying about who is a 4 or 5 or whatever doesn’t really worry me. It all depends upon the team you are playing, matchups at the time, etc. Get a good defensive scheme that everyone buys into and some guys who can guard on the perimeter, and things can get better.

      Frank and Timmy will be huge in this area. The Knicks just have to stop all the easy penetration of the past years. Frank is the big hope, but Timmy is a big concern. No more Calderon or Rose, though!

    24. Z-man

      Good stuff coming up in Eurobasket. Kuz in a couple of hours, they should beat Greece; Then Latvia and Spain should both win. I also think Latvia should beat a tough Slovenia team (sorry slovene knick!) and Spain should beat Germany. Spain vs. Latvia should be interesting! Lithuania probably gets by either Russia or Croatia, and then faces Serbia. Would love to see Lithuania vs. either Latvia (preferred) or Spain (more likely).

    25. Owen

      I love Wily but the vibe I am getting right now is David Lee, but before he got ruined by turning into a jump shooter (not that that isn’t a wiser move once you get paid than battling in the paint for 82 games.)

    26. stratomatic is despondent

      Well KP can’t protect the rim when he’s on the bench with foul trouble, or when stretch 4’s are knocking down 3’s, especially on second chance shots that resulted from offensive rebounds that KP allowed while he was getting boxed out. Rebounding is far more important than rim protection in today’s game.

      You are talking about the present. I am talking about the future. I already know KP has as many issues at C right now as he does at PF. If he doesn’t get strong enough to defend and rebound at a satisfactory rate so he can play mostly at C, then he’s always going to be a kind of “tweener” defensively and we are never going to get the full potential out of his length and athleticism defensively.

    27. stratomatic is despondent

      I love Wily but the vibe I am getting right now is David Lee, but before he got ruined by turning into a jump shooter (not that that isn’t a wiser move once you get paid than battling in the paint for 82 games.)

      Exactly.

      David Lee is a good player, but he slowly lost his starting job and minutes around the league because he’s not big, long, strong, and athletic enough to play C , has some defensive issues on the perimeter against quicker PFs, and he can’t stretch the floor on offense. The old style PF is dying off, but if you want to shift to C, you need to be able to defend that position. He can’t. It’s a similar problem to Kanter.

      These are still very good players, but the way the game is played now they are bench players.

      That’s what I am saying is the risk with Willy, but it’s compounded by the fact that KP’s length would be a great attribute to have at C.

    28. ptmilo

      Then Latvia and Spain should both win. I also think Latvia should beat a tough Slovenia team (sorry slovene knick!) and Spain should beat Germany.

      Slovenia is gonna make the sloppy Latvia defense look the Knicks of Eurobasket. I’ll take the other side on that one.

    29. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Luka Doncic posted 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists on 5/10 shooting in his most recent game

      I want him so badly

    30. Z-man

      Wow, Greece eliminates Lithuania! Good game (and good tournament) for Kuz: in 28 minutes, 20pts on 12 shots, 5 rebs. I think he contributes way more this year than last.

    31. JK47

      Willy has some similar attributes to Lee, but in some key areas he’s just a tick better. Willy had a 20.4 TRB% as a rookie, and 27.1 DRB%. Those are solid numbers. Lee’s career averages are 17.0 TRB% and 24.0 DRB%. If Willy improves a little bit, he can separate himself from Lee as a rebounder even more. Willy is also two inches taller, and has legit center size– he’s not a smallball center. Willy’s also a better passer than Lee, with the caveat that he commits a lot of turnovers, but he did do a really good job cutting down his turnovers later in the season.

      If you take David Lee and add two inches of height to him and bump up his rebounding and assist numbers a little, that’s a pretty nice player.

    32. Ntilakilla

      Luka Doncic posted 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists on 5/10 shooting in his most recent game

      I want him so badly

      Join the club.

    33. Z-man

      I’m not so sure that Willy is a better passer than Lee, but no matter. He’s really not a PF and Lee is really not a C, so the comparison is not a great one. However, I think it’s fair to say that they are both smart, moderately athletic, efficient, high-motor rebounders with limited offensive range and suspect defensive capabilities. Willy definitely has the potential to have a better career than Lee, but even if he tops out at that level, meaning as a two-time all-star, that’s not too shabby for a 2nd rounder!

    34. Ntilakilla

      I’m not so sure that Willy is a better passer than Lee, but no matter.

      The stats are. He almost has twice the AST% (11.5%) that Lee had (6.5%) his rookie season at the same age.

    35. stratomatic is despondent

      The similarity between Lee and Willy is that neither is long, athletic, or can defend the paint adequately and neither is the prototypical modern PF on offense.

      That’s why Lee is on the bench despite stats that suggest he’s still an excellent player.

      That’s why Kanter is on the bench despite stats suggesting that he’s a star.

      The details of their individual skills are not that important. No two players are exactly alike.

      If Willy turns out to be an efficient scorer and solid rebounder that can’t defend the paint or perimeter, there’s a pretty good chance he’s going to be coming off the bench as the backup C. If he winds up getting a lot better becausae he’s slimmer, quicker, and smarter maybe he can start.

    36. Z-man

      The stats are. He almost has twice the AST% (11.5%) that Lee had (6.5%) his rookie season at the same age.

      Lee averaged 1.4 assists and 1.6 turnovers per 36. Willy averaged 2.6 assists and 2.7 turnovers. If you want to conclude that Willy is a better passer based on those numbers, go right ahead. In my book, they sucked pretty equally.

    37. Bruno Almeida

      Btw just wanted to say that I defended David Lee at the time and I will still defend him, so I’m perfectly fine if Willy turns out to be his Spanish clone as a worst case scenario. I know the Spurs are the Spurs and all but he was terrific off the bench for them, on his age 33 season after so many crippling injuries.

    38. JK47

      Lee averaged 1.4 assists and 1.6 turnovers per 36. Willy averaged 2.6 assists and 2.7 turnovers. If you want to conclude that Willy is a better passer based on those numbers, go right ahead. In my book, they sucked pretty equally.

      Willy’s turnovers were a real problem for much of the season but it looked like he ironed it out somewhat as he adjusted to the speed of the NBA.

      First half: 9.3 AST%, 21.5 TOV% (yuck)
      Second half: 13.9 AST%, 13.6 TOV%

      That 21.5% TOV% from the first half is almost ridiculously bad for a big man. I don’t think we’ll see atrocious turnover numbers like that from Willy again.

    39. johnnyhoops

      Willy will also be able to shoot threes soon. He’s been practicing them and his form wasn’t too terrible. This will help make him a great modern center and expand his horizons.

    40. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Willy Hernangomez will be an MIP candidate and so will KP. The Knicks are not the terrible team people believe them to be.

    41. Ntilakilla

      Lee averaged 1.4 assists and 1.6 turnovers per 36. Willy averaged 2.6 assists and 2.7 turnovers. If you want to conclude that Willy is a better passer based on those numbers, go right ahead. In my book, they sucked pretty equally.

      I conclude Willy’s a better passer on the basis of the advanced stats. Willy had a 11.5 AST% to a 16.1 TO%. Lee had a 6.5 AST% to a 15.2 TO%. Its not even close.

      Its not even close.

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