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Friday, December 15, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.11.17)

  • [NYDN] Enes Kanter brags to ‘Dictator Erdogan’ while flying to Toronto
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 2:10:56 PM)

    Enes Kanter is cleared for international travel and he’s flaunting it to the person who tried to take that freedom away.

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ good start can be traced to this surprising upgrade
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 9:58:59 PM)

    Yes, the Knicks rallied and beat Utah by cramming 29 points into the fourth quarter Wednesday with 14 from Tim Hardaway Jr. And yes, it was the fifth time, fourth time in six games, this season the offense rallied from a double-digit deficit to win. And really, how did they do it? “We play team…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ January schedule looking brutal
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 8:44:16 PM)

    Hey, Knicks. “Win now” has double meaning. And given what awaits, it would be wise to do so. Teams talk of winning now when building for the future, but for the Knicks, “now” may mean the rest of November and most of December. Beyond that is a potentially brutal landscape. From Dec. 27 to Feb….

  • [NYPost] How Ntilikina’s LeBron faceoff defines these Knicks: Mike Breen
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 5:11:54 PM)

    MSG Network play-by-play man Mike Breen talks about the Knicks’ surprising start, the standoff with LeBron James and a different Garden this season with The Post’s Justin Terranova. Q: What has been the most enjoyable part of this Knicks start? A: Maybe the best part of the start is what it’s meant to the Knicks…

  • [NYPost] How Ntilikina endeared himself to Knicks of present and past
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 10:22:39 AM)

    Maybe LeBron James would have picked Dennis Smith Jr. over Frank Ntilikina last June if he ran the Knicks. Still, the team that got Ntilikina is happy. They’re not alone. One guy who has been impressed so far is the greatest point guard in Knicks history, Hall of Famer Walt “Clyde” Frazier. Frazier, of course,…

  • [NY Newsday] Frank Ntilikina making global impression with shove of LeBron James, strong defense
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 7:24:50 PM)

    Frank Ntilikina pushing LeBron James inside a raucous and appreciative Madison Square Garden on Monday night wasn’t felt only in the United States. Ntilikina’s friends back in France saw it through social media and had questions.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks Insider podcast: Tim Hardaway Jr., young team show potential with clutch comeback
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 10:59:00 AM)

    If the Knicks were demoralized by LeBron James’ big night at Madison Square Garden on Monday, that feeling didn’t last too long.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks could use stretch provision to cut Joakim Noah for cap relief
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 9:30:11 PM)

    The Knicks could cut Joakim Noah by using the stretch provision and save $11 million in cap space this summer.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks management trying to win over Kristaps Porzingis’ brother, Janis
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 2:25:54 PM)

    Janis Porzingis said earlier this month that money won’t be the main factor regarding whether Kristaps remains with the Knicks long-term.

  • [SNY Knicks] Ntilikina’s offense growing to match his defensive abilities
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 10:45:26 AM)

    Knicks rookie PG Frank Ntilikina has touted defensive abilities, but his offense is starting to show as well.

  • [NYTimes] Celtics 92, Warriors 88: Celtics Ride Huge Third Quarter to Win Over Warriors
    (Friday, November 17, 2017 5:00:29 AM)

    Boston took a page out of Golden State’s notebook, completely taking over the game in the third quarter and riding to the team’s 14th consecutive victory.

  • [NYTimes] Sixers Begin to Reap Rewards From Their Much-Debated ‘Process’
    (Friday, November 17, 2017 4:58:59 AM)

    Sam Hinkie has left Philadelphia, but his unconventional methods of slowly building a team by being purposefully bad are starting to show results.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Remember When the Warriors Stunk? These Guys Had a Front-Row Seat
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 10:00:23 AM)

    Before Golden State rose to the pinnacle of the N.B.A., members of the franchise’s broadcast crew gave themselves pep talks through many wretched seasons.

  • [NYTimes] How Trump Helped Liberate U.C.L.A. ‘Knuckleheads’ From China
    (Thursday, November 16, 2017 9:43:43 AM)

    The American president had appealed to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in the case of the three members of a university basketball team accused of shoplifting.

  • 50 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.11.17)

    1. Frank

      I’m so impressed with Boston’s defense — I really thought they might struggle on D this year without Crowder and Bradley, but it really does seem like the defense is as much a Brad Stevens thing as it is a players thing. Jaylen Brown is going to a serious problem in this league — not sure he’s going to be any kind of a really superior offensive player, but defensively he is so quick/long/strong. I can see him being 90% the player that Paul George is (within the Celtics system), and I applaud Ainge’s stubbornness re: trading him. Holding GS to 88 points is no joke, and honestly, GS looked sort of rattled on the offensive end in crunch time. Some of those shots were just awful.

      (Kyrie did get some mighty charitable calls down the stretch)

      Re: the extend/waiving of Noah or Deng — I’m not sure how the league could really shoot that concept down if the player is actually getting more guaranteed $ out of it — especially someone like Noah or Deng whose career (and basketball earning potential) is likely over after this contract. The player is really getting something of value, and so I can imagine the players union filing a grievance if the league unilaterally says that players can’t sign extensions worth meaningful dollars that also meaningfully (if not significantly) affects the team’s cap situation for the future. Any change to the stretch-waive provision would need to be collectively bargained – ie. that loophole probably couldn’t just be unilaterally closed by the league.

    2. lavor postell

      That whistle last night for the Cs was beyond charitable. They played great, but man those calls throughout the 4th were fucking ridiculous.

      Bostons length is a very significant advantage more than the narrative of Kyrie’s elevation to a new level or whatever nonsense the media is peddling. Brad Stevens is the only MVP candidate from that team.

      I still feel that the best way to combat these teams long term from the Knicks perspective is something I like to call the Double Unicorn Hypothesis (D.U.H). If you can get two bigs that are comfortable switching out onto the perimeter on D and are able to stretch out the floor offensively and can punish the size advantage out if the post you stay big without conceding a skill or tactical advantage.

      Rebounding is a critical element in this and that’s here a second potential unicorn would need to make up for KPs weaknesses.

      Basically what I’m saying is I hope the Knicks spend the next 3-4 years accumulating wings and combo forwards before signing Anthony Davis.

    3. Bruno Almeida

      Kyrie is just giving a fuck on defense now, it’s the only elevation I see to be honest. Stevens is definitely the MVP of this team.

    4. Ntilakilla

      Danny Ainge is the real MVP of that team. He managed to stock it with so much talent they were able to lose an All-Star forward and still have the best record in the league.

    5. d-mar

      It is amazing that Boston is 14-2 with pretty awful shooting by their guards.

      TS%
      Irving .531
      Brown .535
      Rozier .460
      Smart .389

      I always thought the Boy Genius tag on Brad Stevens was annoying, but man, can that guy coach defense. Still not 100% sold on this team though, in crunch time it’s all Kyrie and I’m not sure that’s always a recipe for success, particularly in the playoffs.

    6. Bruno Almeida

      @5

      Yeah, but it’s also being compensated by the fact that Horford (.681 ts%) and Tatum (.636) have been absolute monsters while playing heavy minutes. I’m quite sure at least Horford will eventually come back to earth and I don’t think Tatum’s crazy .489 3p% should be sustainable. That’s why they really haven’t missed Hayward, because Horford is playing well above his usual production and Tatum has easily replaced Hayward in that sense.

      If their defense stays what it is though, they’ll be a first seed and probably beat the Cavs.

    7. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The Celtics are built a lot like the 2011 Bulls. This team might really win 60. Taking the under on this team seemed like such sure money but damn. That defense is something else.

    8. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      From the previous thead.

      The Knicks are +7.6 with KP on the court YTD and -5.0 with Kanter. Tiny sample, but odd disparity for two starters.

      This has basically been the story of Kanter all along. His rebounding and scoring stats are great, some models say he’s one of the most underrated players in the league, and when you watch him play he’s always hustling and even trying hard on defense. When you look at his +/- it tells you that he’s a big net negative.

      He obviously has some issues with rim protection relative to what you’d like from a C. His P&R defense is an issue on switches. But it’s hard to understand these stats.

    9. 2FOR18, understands math

      I can’t recall seeing a team playing this well being this underestimated by the line-makers. Throughout this winning streak they’ve had very reasonable lines, and were 7.5 pt dogs at home coming off 13 wins in a row. I thought that line was a misprint when I first saw it.

      I’d like to know if strato has been partaking in them at all?

    10. DRed

      Brad Stevens calm eyes, pure heart and Boston Strong soul make other teams miss wide open shots at unsustainable rates. He’s the greatest American in history. Also Kyrie is vegan now.

    11. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I’d like to know if strato has been partaking in them at all?

      I haven’t been making any “game” bets yet. I usually wait until around the 20 game point unless I have some special insight. My long term records indicate I do better once the teams have established some kind of form with new players and getting into top shape.

      I would have guessed wrong on Boston. I didn’t think they would be this good even before the injury, but their defense has been terrific.

      A friend on my pointed out that line to me yesterday. He thought it was nuts. It was nuts by my own methodology too, but I didn’t pull the trigger.

    12. djphan

      the celtics don’t have any big men…. and once horford starts aging it’s going to be a bit of a problem for them… and they have decisions on the plethora of ok but flawed guard and wing pieces to see who is going to fit long term…. brown and tatum look like real pieces tho….

      the sixers are going to be really tough… simmons and embiid are real foundational pieces and i’m confident fultz will be another…

    13. danvt

      Yo. Tough loss to CLE!! Egads. Took me a couple of days to recover. I really liked Lebron after he defended Curry and ripped Trump but that whole DSJr episode confirmed why I’d come to not like him. Really wanted to make him eat it but unfortunately it became his double nickel moment. Anyway, nice to see a bounce back win Wednesday.

      I’m trying to enjoy this season so far. In spite of some up and down play, we’re over .500. KP has been exceptional. Kanter has surprised. TH2 has been Starks-like. Frank has been unselfish and excellent on defense. The team is playing together. The Melo exit has been a net positive for sure. The players we got for him have been productive and getting away from him has been a breath of fresh air from a team culture standpoint.

      There are storm clouds on the horizon, however. More road games now against tougher opponents. Will KP continue to excel against defenses dedicated to stopping him? Will we be more consistent and play mistake free basketball in atmospheres less conducive to our success against teams with records of success? I’d love to think the answer is yes. A road win against TOR will have me howling with delight. It would be a strong indication that, yes, good times are here to stay.

      As to long term, if this team finishes 41-41 and plays a hard fought series or two in the playoffs I say we enjoy it and live with the consequences. Unfortunately, those consequences would be a hamstrung payroll and a low first round pick. Our options for making ourselves significantly better will be limited. It might be that we’re stuck in the same situation until some deals we have with good players sunset and become a pile of cash we can throw at a true difference maker.

      Anyway, right now I’m enjoying the team and hoping, maybe against reality, that they have the squad right now. (At times Kanter makes you feel like he’s our Scotty Pippen). Anyway, at least I actually like this bunch of players.

    14. Z

      I’m so impressed with Boston’s defense — I really thought they might struggle on D this year without Crowder and Bradley, but it really does seem like the defense is as much a Brad Stevens thing as it is a players thing.

      Who was Tatum guarding in that game? He was a -16 for the game, but it looks like he played almost the entire 4th quarter when the Warriors only managed to score 20 points. It seems from the highlights that Brown was covering Durant, so Tatum was matched up with either Thompson or Green I guess? They both had bad nights (3-13; 3-11).

      What I’m getting at here is: is Tatum ridiculously good on defense too?! If so, it’s lights out in the Atlantic division for everybody else.

    15. Z

      The Celtics and 76ers are going to be our nemeses for a long time.

      more likely, they are going to be each other’s nemeses for a long time, while the Knicks are wrestling with the Raptors and Nets for the perennial bronze medal in the division…

      (…which, of course, we’ve all seen coming for a long time. Stockpiling assets is always going to put you on the path to long term success, yet it recently took an outside consultant to convince JD this might be so)

    16. Cock Jowles, #1 No-Trade Clause DNP-CD

      Shooting 38 FT when your opponent shoots 19… yeah, you’re gonna win that game unless Drummond is taking all those shots.

      Kerr’s refusal to play Jordan Bell is unfathomably dumb. Keep on plugging Looney in when it’s clear that Bell could be their next All-Star. Very smart.

    17. Cock Jowles, #1 No-Trade Clause DNP-CD

      Also, Boston looks legit. 60-63 wins is basically a lock unless they lose a starter for a long portion of time. Hayward will probably never be the same, but if he’s even an average player for 30 minutes per game next year they’ll have a serious shot to knock off the Dubs in 7. Scary how good that team is… and they have FOUR first rounders next year. FOUR.

    18. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      Kerr’s refusal to play Jordan Bell is unfathomably dumb. Keep on plugging Looney in when it’s clear that Bell could be their next All-Star. Very smart.

      Not disagreeing, but it’s hard to tell how productive a guy is going to be off such limited minutes. Maybe they are seeing things in practice that lead them to think Looney is still better. Looney is also younger. Either way, it’s an embarrassment of riches.

    19. Jack Bauer

      @18 – this. I hope the Knicks are in that discussion going forward but the all round talent disparity between Boston and Philadelphia vs. the Knicks seems large at the moment. Getting an above average point guard would help a great deal. Of course as mentioned getting Anthony Davis would too, but I’m not counting on that.

      Those calls down the stretch for Kyrie and Boston were ridiculous, you could see the Warriors frustration. But holding GSW to 88 points is no joke, so their defense was solid, especially in crunch time.

      Maybe the earth is flat?

    20. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      The Knicks are definitely a year or two behind the other young rebuilding teams like the Celtics, 76ers, and T-Wolves etc… Had we had those other 2 first round picks I think we’d be right with them. But let’s use our imagination a little. Let’s say Frank becomes a really good 2-way PG in 2 years, KP keeps expanding his game, and we come up with an all-star caliber SF via draft or free agency. I think we’ll be able to hang with almost anyone not named the Warriors.

    21. Ntilakilla

      We’d be further along had our FO traded to get a draft pick to take OG Anunoby with like I wanted. Imagine him guarding the wing with Frank on the perimeter and KP patroling the paint? Can you say defensive domination?

    22. Z

      Scary how good that team is… and they have FOUR first rounders next year. FOUR.

      It’s a bit hard to follow due to all the protections and all, but I think Boston is more likely to have 4 (or even 5) 1st rounders in 2019, not next year.

    23. Frank O.

      I hope all the positive prognosticators are correct.
      Right now I’m just having fun watching them.
      Although I’m losing sleep given these games all seem to be come back wins…

    24. Z

      Kerr’s refusal to play Jordan Bell is unfathomably dumb. Keep on plugging Looney in when it’s clear that Bell could be their next All-Star. Very smart.

      Steve Kerr’s .840 career winning% as a head coach should probably earn him to not be called unfathomably dumb. It’s a road game in november, not the playoffs. My guess is that since they declined their option on Looney, they may be trying to trade him for a future asset rather than seeing their investment through his injury phase amount to nothing, whereas Bell is cheap and under team control beyond Looney.

    25. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The Knicks are a good team and as impressive as Simmons and Embiid have been they gotta play 60+ games in a season before we say Philly absolutely has a better future than us. I like what we have in Frank, KP, McDermott, Timmy, and Kanter. Willy Hernangomez doesn’t even play and he’s probably better than 10-15 starting centers in this league. Milwaukee, Philly, Boston, and New York are looking like the future of the NBA. I wouldn’t count Minnesota because I still don’t believe in Andrew Wiggins. Also, we’re probably the most likely team to have the wheels fall off (we started 8-6 the last 3 seasons), and if we land a top 5 pick I’m taking KP and one of the studs at the top of the draft against anybody’s group of youngsters. If the wheels don’t fall off, it’s looking like TH2 is turning into a fringe all-star. He’s giving us a .564 TS% on a 25% USG over the month of November along with 5.8 boards and 3.3 assists. We need more defensive minded players but we’re on our way. KP, to me at least, is in the conversation with Giannis, Simmons, Embiid, and KAT. He’s probably the best scorer of all of those guys, which matters in the playoffs when you need a bucket. TH2 is a good 2nd option and might actually be worth the contract he signed. Milwaukee is really just the Giannis show with no player even a level below him, so I don’t worry about them unless Giannis gets in the playoffs one year and goes ’06 D Wade. Philly is the scariest team, even scarier than Boston because Boston doesn’t have a true superstar. Between Fultz, Reddick, Covington, Simmons, and Embiid that’s a lot of firepower if they can stay healthy.

      Boston really pisses me off the most. They get all this credit because Billy King was the worst GM of the decade. If they don’t regress a little bit I’ll be so mad.

    26. ess-dog

      So… if we can move O’Quinn and Lee and stretch Noah, we could sign LBJ outright, I believe. But does Frank/TH2/James/Unicorn/Kanter make us tops in the east? Is LBJ worth it at this point in his career?

    27. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I’m in no huge rush to take on the Warriors, let alone with James. If everything goes right, our team won’t be peaking for another 4 years. KP will be 26 and Frank will be 23. There may STILL even be some upside from them at that point. We need to keep focusing on adding picks and players on good contracts so we can make trades, generate cap space, or make a draft selection that lands us another star player (hopefully at SF). In the mean time we can keep watching the development of our young players and get them some experience and seasoning in the playoffs. We aren’t that far away from being good other than time and a player or two. If Frank breaks out a bit in the 2nd half of the season, stars are going to want to come here. They will see we are getting closer.

    28. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I’m more interested in being one of the Eastern Conference powerhouses of the next decade than I am in grabbing LeBron. I can see all of Chicago (post tank), New York, Boston, Philly, and Milwaukee being top 10 teams in the league along with Detroit and Orlando being good teams, too (Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, and Jonathan Isaac will be no joke). LeBron is on his way out. Let’s really commit to KP because once the Warriors and LeBron are done there is no clear cut powerhouse team in either conference.

    29. Bruno Almeida

      One issue is also that free agency might not have many good options for the Knicks. Excluding unrealistic guys like Lebron or Durant, and guys that are very likely to pick up options or re-sign (like George or Paul for example) the list is very thin.

      There’s DeAndre and Cousins, if they don’t re-sign, dudes like JJ Redick, KCP, Ariza, Avery Bradley, Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe and a bunch of underwhelming RFA (Parker, Smart, Aaron Gordon who the Magic will match, Zach LaVine, Rodney Hood).

      There’s not going to be a lot of talent available in free agency anyway in the immediate future, even 2019 looks quite underwhelming after the few very unlikely top guys. I would still try to make cap space simply because the best way to acquire a good player would be to trade for a disgruntled guy, but it’s also very dependent on many conditions, and keep a relatively clean slate for 2020, 21 etc.

    30. ClashFan

      @33
      Agree almost completely. I really think that the Knicks need a real good young legit three/SF in order to move to another level. Also, another young PG to pair with Frank, or even for them to play together some. Imagine a younger, taller version of Courtney Lee at the three. A three and D three, if you will, someone who defends, rebounds, and can shoot a little. Pair with McD (who I hope they can keep as a solid rotation three, or four in a small ball lineup, but not a starter).

      If a young PG or SF with upside can somehow be gotten in a trade without giving up draft picks, do it. At worst, this year’s 1st and the Chicago 2nd are huge assets.

    31. ClashFan

      @35
      Yeah, I hope they don’t try to sign an overrated big name in the next year or two. I really don’t want LBJ here unless he to come real cheaply. Get young.

      I also hope they don’t stretch Noah. Just ride it out; maybe he’ll be willing to take a buyout or retire after this year.

      Who to resign? How much will McD cost? Do you extend Kanter if he seems willing?

    32. Frank O.

      I hope we’re done paying for past greatness, or goodness.
      Lebron can take his talents somewhere else. Thanks.
      And I’m happy if he announces that somewhere in NYC

    33. Jack Bauer

      The salary cap will likely bring the Warriors back to earth within the next 2 years. They cannot pay all of those guys what they’re worth without an astronomical luxury tax.

      I think Frank will end up at the 2, so getting an above average point guard remains the same goal as it has for most of the last, oh I don’t know, say 20 years or so.

      Yeah the Knicks flushing those 2 first round picks down the toilet really hurts now.

    34. Bruno Almeida

      I would re-sign McDermott if he took a contract similar to the current Lance Thomas one, 4 years 27, maybe 3 years 20, 22. More than that only if he shows a lot of development this season. Kanter is a tougher one, because if really depends on what happens with O’Quinn and Willy. I think its gotta be either him or O’Quinn, re-signing both while the Noah contract is still in board is way too costly.

      The Knicks should try to keep any deal under 3 years, so that the worst time would be 2019-20 (when KP’ s extension will kick in and Noah, Lee, THJ will all be filling the cap space), then when Noah, Lance and Lee all expire the other smaller contracts will too. Then we would have only KP and THJ on large contracts (with Ntilikina still in his rookie deal), maybe a Willy extension and space everywhere else.

    35. Brian Cronin

      Yeah the Knicks flushing those 2 first round picks down the toilet really hurts now.

      Signing and trading Melo back when he had actual value would have been a way to recoup some of their lost picks. Alas, they instead gave him a mega-max contract with a no trade clause.

    36. Z-man

      We are a loooooong way from contending for anything. In the next 8 games, that will become very apparent. We will be a .500 team soon and that is without any injuries. Sooner or later a key piece will tweak something and we will go on a 10-game 2-8 bender.

      This team is not making the playoffs. Celts, Cavs, Bucks, Raps, Pistons, Wiz and Sixers are all clearly better than us. Probably Hornets, Heat and Magic as well.

      The best thing for this team to be doing right now is playing Willy, Dotson, Baker and Frank max minutes. But Horny is so worried about winning games, it will never happen. So instead, we will flounder to a 30-35 win season and miss out on the top picks in a great draft.

      That’s all for now. Cheers!

    37. The Infamous Cdiggy

      @43 aww c’mon, man. You think the only reason we’re 8 – 6 right now is because Hornacek is suppressing the youngins’ (which I don’t quite think he’s doing)? Nothing to do with the fact that several players are playing better than most figured to start the year?

      I’m dubious to believe Horny is worried about winning games when he stated that isn’t the main goal of this season. The two most important factors of this season are KP’s growth and Frank Ntitty’s acclimation, and as it so happens, the results of said factors (so far) are helping to produce some wins. Can’t be mad at that.

      Still early in the season.

    38. Cock Jowles, #1 No-Trade Clause DNP-CD

      It’s a bit hard to follow due to all the protections and all, but I think Boston is more likely to have 4 (or even 5) 1st rounders in 2019, not next year.

      I meant next season’s draft, but yes.

    39. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      Signing and trading Melo back when he had actual value would have been a way to recoup some of their lost picks. Alas, they instead gave him a mega-max contract with a no trade clause.

      You still harping on that?

      It was a bad deal, but he probably would have gotten fired if he traded Melo. The average fan is not an advanced stats guy that could tell that Melo was overrated and should be moved. Neither is Dolan. The fans and media would have crucified him. There is the ideal world and there is the real world.

      If you ask me, we did quite well trading Melo.

      Kanter > Melo
      McBuckets > Kuz
      Chicago pick = gravy

      The Kanter contract is not attractive either, but at least we got a better player plus more.

    40. Brian Cronin

      It was a bad deal, but he probably would have gotten fired if he traded Melo.

      They would have fired the guy who they had just hired and very publicly told, “Do whatever you want”? Is that seriously your position here?

    41. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      We are a loooooong way from contending for anything. In the next 8 games, that will become very apparent. We will be a .500 team soon and that is without any injuries. Sooner or later a key piece will tweak something and we will go on a 10-game 2-8 bender.

      Right, but the conversation is mostly about talent on the team now assuming KP and Frank continue developing for 3-4 years or more. If they do, that team is 1 or 1 1/2 star players away from being really good 3-4 years from now. That means it’s more about time than players.

    42. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      They would have fired the guy who they had just hired and very publicly told, “Do whatever you want”? Is that seriously your position here?

      My position is that if you think the dimwits in the NY media gave him grief for any number of things he actually did and did not do wrong along the way, they would have given him that much or worse for trading Melo back then.

      Set aside our opinion about Melo. The opinion of the fans, media, players and management around the league at that time was that he was a superstar and far and away our best player. The Houston Rockets and Morey wanted him a lot. Chicago wanted him a lot.

      If he made that trade, there would have been an uproar. Granted, he would’t get fired. That was hyperbole. But he would have immediately been on the defensive and in trouble.

      Our media, fan base, and owner are not capable of thinking very long term. 3 games into this season they were getting close to calling for Hornacek’s head.

      You and I play fantasy sports here thinking about what moves we should make long term, but I don’t think it works that way for people that want to keep their jobs.

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