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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.11.13)

  • [NYPost] MSG flushes integrity, credibility down toilet with DraftKings deal
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:00:26 PM)

    Permit me to draw your attention to something you should ignore: Tonight, as the Knicks play Cleveland on MSG Network, MSG+ will show the game as previewed in a news release, headlined, “DraftKings and MSG Partner For First Ever Live Fantasy Infused Broadcast.” How will this benefit viewers? It won’t. It’s designed to benefit the…

  • [NYPost] Knick star helps 5th grader get elected as class president
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 5:59:31 PM)

    A 10-year-old Queens boy was a slam-dunk for class president thanks to a big assist from his new BFF — Knick star Enes Kanter. Pint-sized politician Ihsan Yumak, a fifth-grader at PS 188 in Bayside, met the 6-foot-11 center during a three-day basketball camp in New Jersey last summer, and the pair bonded over the…

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis is studying how superstars live
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 1:53:22 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis wants to be like Mike. And not just Michael Jordan, but Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and all the other superstars who through choice, opportunity, skill, or popularity were dubbed the “face of the franchise.” And Porzingis will see one Monday when James and the surprising sub-.500 Cavaliers invade the Garden. So Porzingis…

  • [NYPost] ‘Pissed’ Knicks rally around Ntilikina amid LeBron furor
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 12:08:17 PM)

    It was just LeBron being general manager LeBron. Still, the Knicks are not asking for a do-over in the draft. Teammates rushed to support Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina after the ruckus from LeBron James claiming the team drafted the wrong point guard last June. Acknowledging his comments would cause “headlines,” James said the Knicks’ pick…

  • [NYPost] Fan-favorite Kuzminskas is Knicks’ odd man out
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:04:18 AM)

    Mindaugas Kuzminskas, the 6-foot-9, second-year forward became the odd man out Sunday, when the Knicks waived him to make room for the return of Joakim Noah from his suspension for a banned supplement. In a statement on Twitter, Kuzminskas said “one of the most beautiful chapters in my life is over. “Too soon? I don’t…

  • [NYDN] Knicks waive Mindaugas Kuzminskas to make room for Joakim Noah
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 1:01:01 PM)

    The Knicks waived forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas on Sunday.

  • [NYDN] Plenty of pals on hand to watch Ewing get 1st win at Georgetown
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 12:36:24 PM)

    Patrick Ewing apparently prefers to coach outside the box. It’s where he clearly is most comfortable.

  • [NYDN] Knicks fire back at LeBron, praise rookie Frank Ntilikina
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:38:30 AM)

    Frank Ntilikina remained diplomatic Sunday when responding to negative comments made by LeBron James the previous night.

  • [ESPN] Knicks defend Ntilikina after LeBron’s remarks
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 4:25:47 PM)

    Knicks defend Ntilikina after LeBron’s remarks

  • [ESPN] Knicks waive Kuzminskas with Noah’s return
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 2:33:52 PM)

    Knicks waive Kuzminskas with Noah’s return

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis learning from LeBron James how to be face of franchise
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:07:17 PM)

    Two NBA superstars will go head-to-head in The Garden Monday night as LeBron James and the Cavs travel to face Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] As Porzingis becomes face of a franchise, he learns from LeBron, Kobe and Jordan
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 4:22:41 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — As Kristaps Porzingis becomes the face of the Knicks in the post-Carmelo Anthony Era, he says he is taking some leadership cues from LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

  • [SNY Knicks] In wake of LeBron’s rip job, Ntilikina says ‘I don’t care what people say’
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 5:35:09 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina is involved in his first NBA controversy and while his teammates vehemently defended him, Ntilikina is taking the high road.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks waive Mindaugas Kuzminskas ahead of Joakim Noah’s return
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 3:28:08 PM)

    With Joakim Noah eligible to return on Monday, the Knicks waived Mindaugas Kuzminskas on Sunday.

  • [SNY Knicks] Dirk Nowitzki calls Porzingis ‘the real deal’ after hot start to season
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 12:00:46 PM)

    Mavericks star F Dirk Nowitzki was waiting for the start Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis has had this season.

  • [SNY Knicks] Kristaps Porzingis leads Knicks in return from rest day
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:19:26 AM)

    Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis returned to the hardwood with a vengeance as he scored a tem-high 34 points to lead the Knicks over the Kings Saturday night.

  • [NY Newsday] LeBron James thinks Knicks erred by drafting Frank Ntilikina
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 6:24:18 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y — Frank Ntilikina stayed on the court after most of the Knicks had left it on Sunday, working on his offense, working on his defense. But LeBron James, all-time great/part-time unofficial NBA analyst, didn’t think the rookie point guard should have been at the MSG Training Center.

  • [NY Newsday] Jeff Hornacek enjoys ‘perfect’ Courtney Lee, energetic Enes Kantner
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 12:54:00 PM)

    The final 15 minutes or so of the Knicks’ victory over the Kings on Saturday night was the “garbage time” at the end of a blowout. And while no one had more to do with making it so than Kristaps Porzingis, this was no solo performance.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Everyone Is Worried About the Cavs. Except the Cavs.
    (Monday, November 13, 2017 3:54:39 AM)

    LeBron James and his reconstituted Cleveland team are 6-7, but their confidence is fully intact heading into a Monday night game at Madison Square Garden.

  • [NYTimes] Knicks 118, Kings 91: Knicks Roll Over the Kings as Porzingis Returns and Scores 34
    (Sunday, November 12, 2017 6:48:11 AM)

    After missing a game because of injuries, Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks to their fourth consecutive win at Madison Square Garden.

  • 84 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.11.13)

    1. alsep73

      Starting over in the new thread: If Kuz is claimed, does that affect our cap situation at all? I know it’s a small contract; just curious.

    2. thenoblefacehumper

      The Noah and Hardaway deals were about equally dumb. No point in arguing over terrible vs horrible.
      The galling thing about the Hardaway deal is they already had Lee and Dotson so it had an added level of stupidity. You’re paying 28 mil a year for 2 average SGs. It’s typical infuriating Knicks redundancy.

      When the same amount of money is given to a 25 year old and an especially injury-prone 31 year old, there are very few circumstances in which the latter contract won’t be worse. This is no exception. Again, the THJ contract sucks, but at least you know there’s a baseline level of production he’s unlikely to fall below. He could even conceivably improve to the point where it’s not one of the 15-20 worst contracts in the league (low bar, but low bars are big part of what we do here). We literally don’t know if Joakim Noah can play basketball anymore!

    3. Frank

      I’m actually a little bit optimistic about Noah. He got to rehab from his operation and then go through a full training camp this year, as opposed to missing much of training camp last year. He looked decent in the preseason from what I remember. For 10-15 minutes/game he might be ok, although I don’t envision any circumstance in which he is better than KOQ. But he could give some of what Kanter gives (in terms of rebounding) without being pretty bad on defense. What’s pretty crazy given how terrible the Knicks were and how bad he was too, he still had a very positive BPM (+2.1) and DBPM (+2.8). And even crazier is that he was actually better offensively in 2016-17 than he was in 2015-16.

    4. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      Alsep, sorry I replied in the previous thread just now. Here it is again.

      That’s a good question. I’m pretty sure your cap space doesn’t go up even though some other team is paying his salary. Otherwise, teams might try to use waiving players to get below the cap and sign someone else. I tried looking up the answer to be sure, but it was quite complicated. I did find:

      “If a team makes a successful waiver claim, it acquires the player and his existing contract, and pays the remainder of his salary — the waiving team is relieved of all responsibility for the player.”

      So maybe the salary would come off the cap. If he clears waivers, and then someone hires him, I found this confusing example

      “For example, suppose a fifth-year player is waived with one guaranteed season remaining on his contract for $5 million. If this player signs a $2 million contract with another team for the 2017-18 season, his original team gets to set off $2 million minus $1,312,611 (the minimum salary for a one-year veteran in 2017-18), divided by two, or $343,694. The team is still responsible for paying $4,656,306 of the original $5 million. Note that between his prior team and new team the player will earn a combined $6,656,306, which was more than he earned prior to being waived.”

      So Kuz might actually get a raise out of this.

    5. GoNyGoNyGo

      Kuz deserves to get claimed. He’s got NBA talent – not starter talent, but he’s a good energy guy off the bench. I wish him well.

      About Noah, unless he fixed that stupid shot of his and took 1000 free throws a day since last season, he’s an offensive zero. I simply can’t understand a player that refuses to change his “signature shot” when it’s that shot that holds him back.

    6. Frank

      @5 – if there was ever a player who should shoot the granny free throw, it’s Noah. It’s just ridiculous. That said, he used to be a 75% free throw shooter with that ridiculous form so I sort of see why he doesn’t want to change, but man, is it ugly.

      Knicks up to #9 offense (per Hollinger) and #6 offense (per B-R, not sure why they are different) and #3(!) offense per cleaning the glass (at 111 per 100poss, cancels out garbage time), which is truly astounding given most preseason pundits expected us to have so much trouble scoring and that we’re getting 9 PPG total out of the PG position. If anyone hasn’t seen the Cleaning the Glass website ($ though it’s really nice) – our offensive 4 factors are pretty awesome (#6 in eFG at 54.4, #1 in ORB%, #18 in FTR) – except for turnovers where we are still 16.5% and #24 in the league. If we could even be league average in turnovers, this really could be a top 6 or so offense, which really tells you have terrible the Triangle was, and how poorly last year’s personnel fit with it.

      Overall I’m fine with the Kuz waiving — I kinda think that Jack eventually will fall out of the rotation and Sessions will be back to playing. Jack is no great shakes on defense, and Sessions is probably the better offensive player — certainly has a history of being a lower TOV guy.

    7. Frank

      Good signs so far – we actually have a positive point differential this year (as opposed to last year’s good start where we had a negative differential). We aren’t winning (or losing) close games (we haven’t had one that ended within 3 points somehow) so not much regression worry there.

      That said, all but one of our wins are against teams with losing records, and we’ve had a disproportionate number of home games.

    8. johnno

      Over the last six games, in just over 23 minutes per game, Ntilikina is averaging 13.8 assists per 48 minutes, which ranks first in the league. His assist/turnover ratio during that time is 3.35/1, which is third best of the top ten guys in assists/48. I know, small ample size and arbitrary cutoff, but that’s still pretty impressive for a kid who just turned 19. My kids are 14-1/2 years old and it is mind-boggling to me that a kid who is just 4-1/2 years older than they are can play at that level against the best athletes in the world.

    9. english_knick

      ESPN power rankings have us 19th. We have a better record than the 6 teams above us, and only one between us and 6th has an outright better record than us. I get we’ve had an easy schedule but some love would be nice.

      Meanwhile, our franchise player is 7’3”, 22, is sniffing 50/40/90 while leading the league in opponent fg at the rim, and averaging second in PER and points and third in blocks per game. He’s also currently averaging over 2 blocks and 2 threes per game. When people say he’s a unicorn they are not kidding – that’s an absurd combination of attributes.

      The guy with whom he shares the best 2-man point differential on the team is 19 and leads all rookies in assist % and steal rate.

      All in all, even though I fully expect some mean-reversion/am uncomfortable ground-based impact shortly, today is a good day to be a knocks fan.

      Which is good, as I’m also a giants fan. I take solace from the fact that this scratches my ‘high draft pick’ itch since the Knicks seem disinclined to do so.

    10. english_knick

      Oh, and in the time it took me to write that post Johnno was kindly seeking out some data to make me even happier – now that’s what I call a community.

    11. d-mar

      Speaking of rookies, the epitome of lazy reporting was in a recent NY Post article by Brian Lewis referring to Donovan Mitchell as “the steal of the draft”. He went on to cite stats like 3rd among rookies in 3’s made and 5th in pointz.

      Didn’t bother to note that his FG% is .366.

    12. swiftandabundant

      @ 10 – I was just about to comment on that. I went on there just now to see where we sat and we had only moved up 3 spots from last week. I thought for sure after going 2-1 this week that they would recognize that we’re not a joke and move us up a few spots but dang is that annoying when we have a better record than 6 of the teams in front of us. Guess we’ll just have to beat Cleveland again tonight, which we will.

      Of course long term we need one more all-star caliber piece to put with KP. And this year our success will be contingent on KP staying healthy and not losing steam. But assuming KP keeps this up or is close to it, there is no way we aren’t a 500 team. There are just too many nights where average and below average teams aren’t going to have an answer for KP and we have enough offense from Kanter, Hardaway, KQ, Lee, etc…to put us over the top. Our rebounding is very strong overall and our defense is not bad. Again, we might see some regression to the mean and maybe it all falls apart but this feels very different than last year or the year before. Yes, KP carries much of the load but outside of him its pretty evenly distributed and the team plays good TEAM ball. Plus I think we will see improvement throughout the season from Frank and Hardaway and Dotson/Ron too.

      I think the move now is to look for a way to eventually cut Sessions and improve that backup PG spot. I think Frank will take over the starting role by January and JJ will be a nice back up but we could use a third PG as insurance and if we grabbed one that was better than Sessions that would be nice.

    13. Ingmarrrr

      KP’s championship window is open. The only play right now should be to get a 2nd two way top 20 player next to him, and become a finals contender.

      Which player would you target in the next 2 years, either in FA or a trade?

    14. Bruno Almeida

      The SI power rankings does have the Knicks at 12.

      Tonight’s game can either be a really feel good win or one of those “LeBron comes to the garden” losses. I really hope we win.

    15. chrismcnealy

      A bit of a sidebar, but I was at the westchester knicks game yesterday, where baker and dotson also played. my assessment of some of the guys:

      Baker – he did not look like an NBA rotation player. to me, he is a more of an end of bench player on an NBA team. to be fair, he hasn’t had much time with the G league team, but he surprisingly had a few defensive lapses, and that’s what he is most known for. i know it was the phil era, but still can’t believe we gave him 2 years at $9 mil including a player option

      Dotson – we’ve seen it before, but he has a beautiful stroke and doesn’t need much room to get off a 3. he was the most impactful player on the court. however, still unclear to me if he will be more than a shooter. He only drove maybe 2 or 3 times all game and each time was looking to pass as the first option. but if he can develop this part of his game with confidence, he could be a valuable player for us

      Burke – was hoping to see a little more. he scored a lot of points, but also made some really careless turnovers. i haven’t seen him play in awhile, but he just seemed to lack the command and control he showed in college. really hoping he can regain his form a bit because the talent is still there

      Kornet – yes, he is 7’1″ and yes he can shoot 3s. that’s about it. hard to see what merited a 2-way contract

    16. Bruno Almeida

      @15

      I think the ideal guy to bring together with Porzingis would be a player like Jimmy Butler, a two-way wing player who has an impact on both sides of the court. He’ll be 30 when he’s a free agent so I don’t know how effective he’ll still be, but that’s the sort of player I think the Knicks should target.

    17. Henry George

      I’m fairly okay with the status quo. So far, from July 1st onward, every move this FO and coach have made this season has worked out. So if they think keeping Sessions is the smarter move, I’ll trust them. If they feel that having Frank play 25 min off the bench and putting pressure of Willy to fight for his minutes, I’ll trust them.

      BTW, I’m beginning to think Frank will be that 2nd star-his ceiling might well be a longer, more athletic CP3. This team has enough scorers and doesn’t need that from Frank.

      Not for nothing, but aside from the Houston game after the 0-3 start, these Knicks have been tooling their other opponents.

      You know who also does that: teams that are hot.

      You know who does that consistently: elite teams.

      Just saying.

    18. english_knick

      @15 – love it, but how hypothetical are we being here?

      Identikit need right now is a two-way wing who can create his own shot and is not too much older than KP. Not many of those around. Obviously Giannis is the dream…

    19. Z-man

      @9 I just saw Michaelangelo’s Pieta and find it impossible to believe that one of the greatest sculptures ever was created by a 23 year-old kid. Or that all of Rafael’s work was completed in a 37-year lifetime.

    20. ptmilo

      It’s funny I didn’t think twice about Lebron’s DSjr comments, but calling out Kanter bc “he’s always got something to say I don’t know what’s wrong with him” is kind of off putting. Most of what Enes has to say is about standing up to Erdogan strong arming and even when he has no filter it’s rarely passive aggressive potshots like certain players.

    21. Robtachi

      Just in case there are still those out there who believe being an all-time great basketball talent also automatically makes you a great talent evaluator: LeBron just claimed that a guy who’s TS% is .474 on 29% usage and who’s ORtg-DRtg differential is sitting at a crispy -21 per 100 possessions is the “diamond in the rough” and should’ve been with the Knicks instead of Frank. Obviously SSS warning, but Smith Jr looks every bit the high volume chucker who people think is good at basketball because pointz, and obviously LeBron is no exception to this “reasoning”

    22. Zanzibar

      What if Paul George were to tell OKC this summer he wants to go to Knicks and if they don’t Sign And Trade him to NY he’ll go to Lakers. We could give OKC Timmy or maybe Timmy and WHG. I’d prefer to trade Timmy and a first and then trade WHG – Harkless or Bertans or Anderson.

      1: Frank, MLE
      2: Lee, Dotson
      3: George, McD
      4: KP, Lance
      5: Kanter, KOQ, Noah

    23. Ntilakilla

      LeBron just claimed that a guy who’s TS% is .474 on 29% usage and who’s ORtg-DRtg differential is sitting at a crispy -21 per 100 possessions is the “diamond in the rough” and should’ve been with the Knicks instead of Frank.

      Watching DSJ in that Thunder game yesterday reaffirmed my belief that we made the right choice. That dude is a box score player, and even then his box score was plenty ugly. I do not like the way he seeks his own shot before setting up the offense and I see little defensively to rave home about outside of some quick hands. Like Micheal Jordan before him, Lebron fails as a talent evaluator.

    24. lavor postell

      Yesterday was the first full game I’ve watched of Dennis Smith and the main takeaway I had from it is that like every guard we’ve had this millennium he makes zero effort to fight over even a token screen and switches on instinct. So if nothing else, I’m happy we drafted somebody who consistently shows more fight and effort defensively.

    25. d-mar

      Can Frank Ntilikina play angry? I can’t imagine it.

      He should, I doubt he wants LeBron to turn him into French Toast.

    26. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      A longer, more athletic CP3 for Frank’s ceiling? If we’re that lucky the Knicks will win 55 every year. I think the Knicks need more defensive minded players. We’re the #6 offense despite attempting the 5th lowest amount of 3s a night. Our defense is 21st. We need a center who can cover 4s so KP can protect the paint. Hornacek started experimenting with that last game as KP was on WCS and Kanter was on ZBo. The results were promising as evidenced by the final score, but Sacramento is terrible so it’s not much of a litmus test. According to the 4 factors defensively, our eFG% against is 12th in the league, but we’re 20th or worse in terms of creating turnovers, grabbing defensive rebounds (this is KP’s fault), and fouls. We need more defense, more three point shooters, and one more shot creator so KP’s usage can come down ten percent and TH2’s usage can come down five percent. Having a scorer/rim protector type like KP and having a defender/playmaker type like Frank Ntilikina means we need a guy like Paul George and a guy like Shawn Marion if this team is to contend for real.

    27. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I think Dotson should be given a shot at the starting job over Hardaway. He’s the better shooter, much better rebounder, and better defender. Sure, there would be some growing pains, but if he keeps working he’s going to be the better player. However, don’t count on that happening anytime soon. Doing that would be an admission that management dramatically overpaid for Hardaway and are stuck with him for 4 more years even though he’s a backup at best.

      This is more or less the same reason they let Kuzminskas go instead of Beasley. You can make a case for keeping Sessions as a mentor, but Beasley is “their” guy and Kuz was Phil’s guy. That’s why we kept Beasley despite his obvious issues defensively and his lack of basketball IQ and got rid of Kuz despite him showing some progress shooting and elsewhere in Europe. One is “their” guy and the other was Phil’s guy.

    28. Henry George

      Do your numbers include those from the 0-3 start. If so, I think you’re including conflicting data. If you take out the 0-3 start data, you may find that the rankings you’re referring to improves.

      The real question I eluded to earlier was whether this is a hot team or something more. Because these are NOT the same old Knicks.

    29. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      If I was the Cavs, I would definitely go small against NY tonight. If they put Love at C, there’s no way Kanter will be able to stay with him on the perimeter. Love will burn him relentlessly if he stays right on him. If he gives him space, Love will be getting good looks from 3 throughout the matchup. In either event, it will drag Kanter away from the basket.

    30. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      It’s funny I didn’t think twice about Lebron’s DSjr comments, but calling out Kanter bc “he’s always got something to say I don’t know what’s wrong with him” is kind of off putting.

      This is the thing I like MOST about Kanter. He’s a great guy that has put a lot of things at risk for a bigger and greater good.

      Lebron talking about the PG situation in NY is just another shot at Phil. For better or worse, it was Phil that made the decision to select Frank over several other possible options.

    31. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, the Kanter comments were really stupid. LeBron went on another one of his ego trips to take shots after Phil Jackson without being direct about it, and honestly failed really hard.
      Love the guy, but sometimes you wonder whether his status as a legend is getting a little too much to his head.

    32. Frank

      A longer, more athletic CP3 for Frank’s ceiling?

      You know I am a big fan of Ntilikina and am a founding member of Team Optimism, but on my most optimistic day, snorting coke and doing LSD (these are things I do not do), and having Minka Kelly feeding me grapes — even on THAT day, I could not be so optimistic about Frank to call his ceiling a “more athletic CP3″.

    33. Mike Honcho

      We might want to pump the breaks on the CP3 projections . . . CP3 does a lot more than pass efficiently. That’s not a knock on Frank, btw. I think Frank has real potential to be a legit starter if he gets his shooting settled and works on driving. He certainly works well with KP.

    34. lavor postell

      Frank is just way more raw than Paul was coming out. I’m not entirely sure what his ceiling is yet, but I think it’ll be quite good.

    35. Frank

      I’m not sure what Frank’s ceiling is (not a more athletic CP3). He has obvious physical gifts and a reportedly great work ethic, so that gives him a great shot to be a completely different player in 5 years than he is now. In terms of “likely outcome”…. He comes with the rep of being a good shooter (not showing that now, but the fact that he’s allowed to shoot 3’s probably means that he hits a lot of them in practice). So good shooter, great court vision, and super long wingspan. Someone said Nate McMillan — that’s probably a very good comp — during his prime years, McMillan was basically 10 points, 10 assists, 2.5-3 steals per game with a below-average usage of 14-15%. Basically a guy who could be a starter on a championship level team, but probably never an All-Star (especially since PG is such a high-powered position now). Maybe an All-defensive team or two. by the way – that is a win out of the 8th draft slot.

      Even the George Hill and Ron Harper comps are a little weird, only because those guys were always caretaker combo guards on offense — I could see Ntilikina averaging 9-10 assists/36 in his career, and neither Hill nor Harper ever had that kind of court vision.

    36. Frank

      Will be interesting to see how the Cavs decide to do the starting lineup. If you start Love and Lebron in the front court, i guess that makes sense on the offensive end, but does Lue really want Lebron guarding KP? Lebron loves to coast on the defensive end, but there’s no hiding from Kristaps if Love is at center and Lebron is at PF. Love couldn’t possibly begin to guard KP, so it pretty much would have to be either Lebron or Crowder, and Crowder’s literally a foot shorter than KP.

      What they might do is start Crowder on KP and just hard double KP in the post?

    37. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I wonder if Noah is going to get any minutes?

      Personally, I’d like to see him get some playing time, but I’m not sure how to do it. They like Kanter because they brought him in for Melo and he also makes a lot of money. But O’Quinn is playing too well to bench. Then there’s still Willy. Maybe they will give Noah some of O’Quinn’s minutes just to see how he looks and then decide if they are going to make some kind of move.

    38. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      If you start Love and Lebron in the front court, i guess that makes sense on the offensive end, but does Lue really want Lebron guarding KP?

      Maybe they put Crowder on Kanter, Love on Porzingis, and use James to help a lot?

    39. Frank

      Maybe they put Crowder on Kanter, Love on Porzingis, and use James to help a lot.

      Kanter might break the single game offensive rebounding record if you put a 6’4″ wing on him. And Crowder is tough, but Kanter would destroy him in the post. Kanter destroys actual center-sized people in the post.

    40. bobneptune

      If I was the Cavs, I would definitely go small against NY tonight. If they put Love at C, there’s no way Kanter will be able to stay with him on the perimeter. Love will burn him relentlessly if he stays right on him. If he gives him space, Love will be getting good looks from 3 throughout the matchup. In either event, it will drag Kanter away from the basket.

      According to BB Ref Love has played 100% of the time this season as the 5. When they play Lebron and Love at the 4/5 the Lance is going to play alot and there will be cross matches when Kantner is playing but there isn’t an easy cover for him, but who defends Kantner in the post. These match ups work two ways.

      Fortunately for the Knicks the Cav’s don’t have anyone to knock KP around like Dwight Howard did the other night. At sometime the Knicks might have to invest in a Charles Oakley/ Dave Semenko :-) type to keep KP from getting pole axed every night.

      I am looking forward to an actual interesting game with the Cavs tonight.

    41. d-mar

      What the Cavs should do (and I hope they don’t) is watch game film from the Celtics game. Boston completely flummoxed KP with quick doubles and our entire offense was out of sync right from the start.

      Then again, Ty Lue is not Boy Genius

    42. nicos

      It’ll be interesting to see if Shump guards Frank- Frank hasn’t handled ball pressure particularly well and Shump has very quick hands so Frank could have some issues. It’ll be a nice test for him.

    43. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      According to BB Ref Love has played 100% of the time this season as the 5. When they play Lebron and Love at the 4/5 the Lance is going to play alot and there will be cross matches when Kantner is playing but there isn’t an easy cover for him, but who defends Kantner in the post. These match ups work two ways.

      That Love percentage at C can’t be right. Tristan Thompson played in 8 games and started 5.

      Kanter is always a load to cover inside, but on defense he’ll be on the perimeter getting run ragged by Love. I think Love should be on Porzingis and they should use James to help a lot on whoever gets Kanter. Kanter will get “his” on offense, but he’ll give up more trying to cover Love.

    44. Frank

      Love doesn’t exactly run people off screens like Reggie Miller. I don’t think it would be that bad to put Kanter on him, although LBJ/Love PNRs could get pretty ugly. The rebounding matchup between those two would be pretty awesome.

    45. chrisk06811

      How is Dotson provably better at anything than Timmy? he’s played like 30 career minutes. and he’s shot 29% from 3. You can’t use G-league, or Jimmr would be here tearing shit up

    46. The Infamous Cdiggy

      LeBron is warranted in his dislike of Jackson, but why make comments now? Phil’s gone.

      Unless he feels the Knicks are now worth his ire? A lil extra intrigue to boost ratings for tonight’s game?

      Speaking of Phil: we can debate all his flaws in his execution of his vision, but I think his vision in part was to have the team led by players that can transcend the league and counter how the game is played right now. KP is becoming one – can Frakie be another in time?

    47. ess-dog

      LeBrah just proving how you should never, ever let players GM for you, no matter how good they are on the court. Yes, DSJ is a great athlete, but he isn’t even Starbury material. No thanks. LBJ brought his bro DWade in… how’s that goink?

    48. geo

      back to being off/on topic for a second:

      the msg and draft kings thing is definitely something which bothers me…needless to say gambling is not included as one of my many vices…

      it seems over the last few years both espn and fox sports (two of the largest sports entertainment content providers) have fully embraced the whole “fantasy” gambling trend…

      it actually feels at times like they are the ones pushing it…

      within the SVP sportcenter show point spreads and over/unders play a large part in the show…

      oddly, i believe individuals in almost all aspects should have the right to choose what they wish to do with their life, their body, their money…

      however – exposing young folks (junior high/high school – of whom i would imagine make up a significant viewership) to the “excitement” of being part of the game by gambling on it – absolutely fucking stinks to high hell…

      is it as bad as crayola “pushing” smellable markers on kids…maybe not…but, it’s still really wrong in my opinion…

    49. chrisk06811

      Not sure why I am apologizing for Timmy today. I agree, $17M was an overpay. I would have been OK at $14M, and I’m not sure why we outbid ourselves.

      But….might be one of the 15-20 worse deals in the NBA? No way.
      -It’s 4th worst on our team (Noah, Baker, Thomas)
      -It’s the 63rd highest deal in the league, for a 25 year old.
      -Here are 20 other deals that are worse, and have at least 2 yrs @ $10M per: Deng, Turner, Mosgov, Parsons, Anderson, Mahimini, JR Smith, Ingles, Asik, Carroll, Leuer, Hensen, Crabbe, Waiters, Solomon Hill, Gallo, Zeller, Carroll, Brandon Knight, Biyombo
      -Here are 10 more that are just as bad: Barnes, Olidipo, Bazemore, Reggie Jackson, Diung, Melo!!, probably Tristin Thompson and Otto porter.
      -There are twice as many bad deals given to Plumlees as to Timmy

    50. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      How is Dotson provably better at anything than Timmy? he’s played like 30 career minutes. and he’s shot 29% from 3. You can’t use G-league, or Jimmr would be here tearing shit up

      Granted I am using the “eye test” (frowned upon here), but he clearly seems to be better on the boards, had a reputation for being a very good shooter coming in, is starting to get more comfortable and shoot better now, and looks better on “D” to me. IMHO (and I may be wrong) the only thing stopping him from being better than Hardaway is minutes on the court. He has to go through the growing pains and mistakes. Hardaway will be the more explosive scorer at times, but I could easily see Dotson being the better “all round” player towards the end of the season. They nay not give him a chance to start though unless it’s blatantly obvious.

    51. JK47

      Before the season I wondered aloud if the offense would be greatly improved by getting rid of two low-eFG% chuckers and giving those shot attempts to more efficient players. Well, the results are in. The Knicks have zoomed up the charts in team eFG%. They’re 6th in the league, up from 25th last year.

      Somehow they’ve managed to do this without Melo’s God-like “gravity effect” making the game oh so much easier for everybody else.

    52. Hubert

      I’m actually a little bit optimistic about Noah.

      There is reason to be mildly optimistic for this year. His body has had a long rest and he was taking PEDs, so he might be fresh. Still got two more years to go, though.

    53. Hubert

      As stupid as the contracts handed out by Phil (Noah, Lance, Lee) and Mills (Hardaway, Baker) are, I think people are overdoing it with the long-term gloom. If we don’t roll them over into longer term mistakes, we’re not in bad shape.

      In the summer of 2020, when all these mistakes are coming off, Kristaps will be a 25 year old max player and Frank will be 22 years old, coming off his rookie deal. And we’ll have maximum flexibility.

      We’re a borderline playoff team now. With modest improvement year to year (good drafting, smart free agent pickups), we could be a solid playoff team the next two years, even one that wins a round.

      The key is setting 2020 as your end date. We can’t be flipping Noah when he has one year left for a guy with three years left who only provides a modest upgrade.

      But if we just stick with this core, even though some of it is on terrible contracts, we’ll likely have a playoff team for 2-3 years while these awful contracts are running out. We’re going to have to walk before we can run, and we’re actually on that pace.

    54. ClashFan

      Yeah, not buying Lebron’s explanation for the tweet being a shot at Jackson. If so, every bit as poorly timed and awkward as any of Phil’s tweets.

      Sorry, but he was clearly trolling the Knicks, not Phil, and it backfired.

      More reason to beat them!

    55. Bruno Almeida

      @57

      Right on… I could see something like a gravity effect happening in some situations on the court, for example when LeBron drives, defenders tend to be pulled into the paint to help against him and it does matter, leaving shooters open all the time.

      But how can a guy jab stepping 5 times and then shooting over someone do it I can’t understand. If Melo was even a good passer it could make sense, but he’s not (and is averaging 1.8 assists per 36 this year btw).

      The Knicks are 7th in assists per game so far this season starting Jarrett Jack. They were 19th last year and 24th in the 2015-16 season.

    56. 2FOR18, understands math

      “In the summer of 2020, when all these mistakes are coming off…..”

      Problem is, we’ve been saying this for 18 years. Once Houston comes off. Once Marbury comes off. Once Curry comes off. Once Amare comes off. Once melo comes off. Last year it was once Noah comes off. Now already it’s once Noah and Timmy come off . That’s why that feeling of impending doom is always hanging over us. Next year could have been the year if they didn’t sign Timmy and Baker, but it’s always 3 years down the road because every year they have cap space they do something stupid.

    57. swiftandabundant

      @ 62 – I mean I get your point but I would be hard pressed to find a team in the NBA that didn’t have one bad contract on it. I mean the Rockets are probably saying to themselves “once Ryan Anderson comes off the books.”

      One bad contract doesn’t mean you can’t win a championship. And yes we shouldn’t give out bad contracts but I think it might be impossible in the NBA to completely avoid them.

      I think there is a difference between a bad contract for a useful player and a bad contract for a useless one. Amare was useless after his second year for the most part. Noah is useless. Hardaway is not a useless player. He isn’t a walking time bomb bc of injuries. He’s young. He’s an average NBA rotation player and could conceivably be better. We’re getting him during his prime. That isn’t going to kill us.

      Noah is dead weight even if he comes back and is a bench big for us. He’s getting paid starting center money and is a back up at best at this point.

      Rob Baker’s salary is so small it really doesn’t matter. I get people hating the NTC but its this year and next and his salary is not going to be the difference in us winning or losing.

      Lance I think is only a slight overpay.

    58. swiftandabundant

      Lee is not a stupid contract. Ugh, I get so annoyed at people saying that. He’s been steady for us and is not overpaid. Just because he isn’t 23 doesn’t mean its a waste to have him on the team. He’s played up to his contract in my opinion.

    59. GoNyGoNyGo

      @6 & 7 –

      I don’t care what Noah used to be able to do with his shot. I care about what he can do today. The last time I saw him, he was an offensive liability. He couldn’t score and when he was in position to do so, the opposing team sent him to the line instead.

      Back in the day I used to admire Rick Barry (on the Nets, in the ABA) who shot all of his free throws underhanded. What’s more embarrassing? Going 5-8 from the line or shooting underhanded? I would rather go 8-8 underhanded. And Noah seems to be OK with people saying he has a weird free throw shot because people are saying that about his jump shot. Only a stubborn streak would prevent him from trying it.

      I want us to crush LeBum and his Cav-ities. Are DRose and DWade showing up? I want us to show them something too!

      We need to teach Dotson and Frank to cut to the basket. Both can handle it and that’ll be a big improvement in both their games. From what I saw of Dotson’s game, he was a draft steal. Phil’s picks were impressive. Maybe we need him heading our scouting department?

    60. Frank O.

      If KP still has an Achilles heel it’s the smaller, but very strong defender.
      Boston succeeded.
      The Rockets used Harden effectively against KP.
      Lebron is even stronger.

      If KP goes head to head with Lebron, a 6’8 linebacker, and scores 30, the young fella will have arrived.

    61. Frank

      Before the season I wondered aloud if the offense would be greatly improved by getting rid of two low-eFG% chuckers and giving those shot attempts to more efficient players. Well, the results are in. The Knicks have zoomed up the charts in team eFG%. They’re 6th in the league, up from 25th last year.

      Somehow they’ve managed to do this without Melo’s God-like “gravity effect” making the game oh so much easier for everybody else.

      while I generally agree with this, this improvement from offense is also confounded by KP suddenly becoming a God, and also the dumping of the triangle, which no one liked. Also we have Kanter and his 21 usage shooting 64% from the field instead of Noah and his 49% from the field. So some of this can be “blamed” on Melo/Rose being gone, but some isn’t.

    62. lavor postell

      also the dumping of the triangle, which no one liked

      KP liked it. Said it on the record and got bitched out by Melo.

      The Knicks still use plenty of Triangle. They run a few sets every game specifically to get KP the ball in his sweet spots out of Triangle action. They run the blind pig action all the time.

    63. Frank

      KP had a few possessions against LeBron in the last game and got where he wanted and took the shots that he wanted. Regular season LeBron doesn’t want to guard KP. Playoff LeBron is another story, but this isn’t the playoffs.

      I do expect KP to see some hard doubles though. Frank may need to take 6-7 3 pointers tonight as he’s the obvious guy to double off of assuming some combination of McDermott, Hardaway, and Lee will be on the floor with them.

    64. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      Problem is, we’ve been saying this for 18 years. Once Houston comes off. Once Marbury comes off. Once Curry comes off. Once Amare comes off. Once melo comes off. Last year it was once Noah comes off. Now already it’s once Noah and Timmy come off . That’s why that feeling of impending doom is always hanging over us. Next year could have been the year if they didn’t sign Timmy and Baker, but it’s always 3 years down the road because every year they have cap space they do something stupid.

      That’s exactly my position.

      There is no evidence this new management team is any better at valuing players than the prior ones. These little things like releasing Kuz instead of Beasley, Baker’s contract, and to a much larger extent Hardaway’s contract are not crippling, but for 1000th time, despite all the mistakes Phil made he left us in a good position. He handed over some good young players (one that’s looking like a superstar), all of our draft picks, and plenty of cap space.

      They added Hardaway, overpaid for Baker, and like Beasley.

      IMO we won the Melo trade, but quite honestly how much worse off would we be if we bought out Melo and were playing Hernangomez instead of Kanter and put someone like George Hill into the cap space instead?

      Where is the evidence that Mills and Perry are not going to continue making little mistakes that eventually lead to the next “big one”.

    65. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      Rose is out. I think the Cav’s net rating is much better without Rose.

    66. Jack Bauer

      @73 – Ha, I think you may be right. That’s bad news for the Knicks.

      I would love if Frank has his break out game tonight, say 20 points, 6, assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. Eat it LeBron with your DSJr man crush.

    67. lavor postell

      IMO we won the Melo trade, but quite honestly how much worse off would we be if we bought out Melo and were playing Hernangomez instead of Kanter and put someone like George Hill into the cap space instead?

      Where is the evidence that Mills and Perry are not going to continue making little mistakes that eventually lead to the next “big one”.

      Well we’d be much worse off because we’d have dead money on the cap through next year with no way to move. Right now we got a starting center who has the 7th best PER in the league a sharpshooting SF who is better at everything Kuz was supposed to maybe be good at and younger under team control heading into RFA this summer and a 2nd round pick that is likely to be one of the top 3 picks in the round, basically the type of pick that can land you a Willy caliber player.

      Beasley over Kuz doesn’t indicate some horrible basketball decision making even though I’d have preferred to cut Beasley and Sessions over him. It’s strange to criticize them for the mistakes they’ve made and then dismiss the Melo trade with some alternative reality which definitely isn’t better.

      Also Baker and Hardaway were signed before Mills was appointed GM. Since then the decisions that have been made were not dealing Melo to Houston for Anderson’s trash contract, trading him to OKC for a better package, signing Jack to a minimum deal, signing Beasley to a minimum deal, refusing to include Frank and Willy in any trade for Bledsoe and waiving Kuzminskas. That’s fine.

    68. DS

      I have little/no interest in a THJ/DSJ (“The Juniors?”) back court.

      Frank is getting assists at a higher rate than any rookie.

    69. GoNyGoNyGo

      @75 – Yep. I was hoping to see Frank guard Rose. This works in favor of the Cavs. I’m still pumped about the game and am looking forward to it.

    70. TheOakmanCometh

      Kanter’s value is probably higher now than it will be all year. With Noah coming back and our center glut getting worse, Perry should be trying like hell to trade him, even if it’s just for bad expiring contracts. Next summer is going to be a huge buyer’s market; there are only a few teams with any cap space. Getting out from Kanter’s $18m would allow us to sign some real bargains.

      If we keep Kanter, his minutes and his value will decline, Willy will probably never play, and Kanter will surely opt in next year. Dump him now, while we can.

    71. swiftandabundant

      If next summer is a buyer’s market, shouldn’t we look to hold on to Kanter and see if we can resign him for a reasonable contract? 18 million a year is too much but he might be tempted to do 3 or 4 years at 12 million a year. It would give him job security and he’d get to be on a good team for the prime of his career. 12 million seems reasonable for me and if it was for 4 years then he’d make more over the course of that contract than one year at 18.

      I like Kanter and he’s only 25. Seems like we should be trying to hold on to our younger players. And if he was resigned at say 12 million then later he might be much easier to trade if it comes to that.

    72. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      IMO we won the Melo trade, but quite honestly how much worse off would we be if we bought out Melo and were playing Hernangomez instead of Kanter and put someone like George Hill into the cap space instead

      Melo’s salary would still be on the books, so where would the cap space to sign Hill come from?

    73. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      Re: Cavaliers going small, maybe the Knicks could play zone defense with Kanter in the middle and KP on the wing.

    74. Brian Cronin

      Melo’s salary would still be on the books, so where would the cap space to sign Hill come from?

      I suppose he means instead of THJ (note that Hill is making more than THJ, but I guess we’ll ignore that aspect for now).

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