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Friday, December 15, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.11.30)

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis sprains ankle in Knicks’ rout of Heat
    (Thursday, November 30, 2017 12:04:33 AM)

    The Madison Square Garden crowd fell silent as Kristaps Porzingis was lying on the floor, and then it gasped and moaned after he had to be helped off the court.

  • [NY Newsday] Never a dull moment for Knicks with Enes Kanter around
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 11:18:37 PM)

    Enes Kanter was back and basketball was fun again at Madison Square Garden.

  • [NY Newsday] Joakim Noah assigned to Knicks’ G-League team
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 8:09:16 PM)

    Joakim Noah was inactive again Wednesday night, but he got his most game action of the season earlier in the day playing in the G League.

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis carried off court with ankle sprain
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 8:16:05 PM)

    Porzingis had to be helped off the Madison Square Garden floor early into Wednesday’s Knicks game.

  • [NYDN] Enes Kanter continues entertaining journey, scores a game-high 22
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 8:15:36 PM)

    Wednesday’s Knicks injury report came with a bit of both good and bad news.

  • [NYDN] Enes Kanter continues ongoing feud with LeBron James on Twitter
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 6:08:13 PM)

    The greatest trolling Twitter feud outside of LaVar Ball vs. Donald Trump continued Tuesday night.

  • [NYDN] Knicks lose Kristaps Porzingis in 115-86 win over Heat
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 5:02:31 PM)

    There was the Knicks season flashing before the eyes of thousands at the Garden.

  • [NYDN] Three men accused of mugging Cleanthony Early taking plea deals
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 8:51:35 AM)

    Three men accused of holding up ex-Knick Cleanthony Early are taking plea deals, their lawyers said Wednesday.

  • [NYDN] Judge, Porzingis and these sports icons received NYC mayor votes
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 6:33:39 AM)

    Bill de Blasio may have been re-elected as New York City mayor, but he’s lucky that Aaron Judge and Kristaps Porzingis didn’t run.

  • [NYPost] Enes Kanter snaps Knicks out of losing funk
    (Thursday, November 30, 2017 12:23:50 AM)

    Enes Kanter has had a busy week. And that was before he stepped back on the court, posted a dominant first-half double-double and received the lion’s share of credit for lifting the Knicks out of a losing skid. Kanter needed a mere two quarters Wednesday night to show all of the energy, rebounding tenacity and…

  • [NYPost] Michael Beasley becoming a stabilizing force for Knicks
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 11:47:14 PM)

    No one would confuse Kristaps Porzingis with Michael Beasley. If Porzingis is a unicorn, Beasley is some more bizarre creature, materializing at odd times in the mythical forest. But when the Knicks have been without Porzingis twice this season, and a de facto third time Wednesday night when Porzingis exited after 2:30 because of an…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ other injury worry: Frank Ntilikina’s ankle acting up again
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 11:15:01 PM)

    Frank Ntilikina’s rookie season took another turn in the wrong direction when he twisted his right ankle in Tuesday’s practice and missed his third game in the Knicks’ 115-86 win over Miami on Wednesday. It was the same ankle that sidelined him after the season opener for two games. Ntilikina, 19, said the injury isn’t…

  • [NYPost] Porzingis scare: Reliving 20 minutes when Knicks’ season hung in balance
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 9:27:17 PM)

    Here are seven words you never want to come tumbling out of the mouth of your 7-foot-3 franchise cornerstone, the hope of the decade to come, the centerpiece around which you hope to someday build a contending team. “I felt my ankle touch the floor.” Ankles aren’t supposed to touch the floor, not unless you’re…

  • [NYPost] Knicks survive Porzingis scare in dominant victory over Heat
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 5:15:32 PM)

    Somehow it was two victories in one night for the Knicks. Porzingis’ horrific-looking ankle injury turned into just a sprain and the club, behind Enes Kanter’s off-the-charts energy, routed the Heat 115-86 without the Latvian phenom Wednesday. Porzingis said he knew his ankle wasn’t broken as he was helped off the Garden floor less than…

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis avoids disaster after cringeworthy ankle twist
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 2:54:07 PM)

    The Knicks — and all of their fans — can breathe again. Kristaps Porzingis was diagnosed with a sprained right ankle after X-rays were negative Wednesday night, the team announced, which must be considered the best-case scenario after the future of the franchise had limped off the court following what appeared to be a nasty…

  • [NYPost] A rusty Joakim Noah shows how far he’s plunged
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 12:30:17 PM)

    Knicks center Joakim Noah could have had a different view, but he wasn’t going to decline a chance to play basketball — even if it was the G League. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek revealed Noah was gung-ho about the decision to send him down to the Westchester Knicks for an 11 a.m. matinee Wednesday against…

  • [ESPN] Porzingis on ankle: ‘Don’t think it’s that serious’
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 7:57:49 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis left the Knicks’ game Wednesday with a sprained right ankle, however X-rays taken were negative, and Porzingis said, “I don’t think it’s that serious.”

  • [ESPN] The votes are in: Judge, Porzingis, Eli get write-ins for New York mayor
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 11:45:31 AM)

    Aaron Judge, Kristaps Porzingis and Eli Manning were among a handful of New York sports stars to receive votes in the city’s 2017 mayoral election.

  • [SNY Knicks] GEICO SportsNite: Porzingis injures ankle in win
    (Thursday, November 30, 2017 12:45:19 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis on injuring his ankle in the Knicks’ 115-86 win over the Heat, a victory which snapped their three-game losing streak.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks overcome loss of Porzingis, rout Heat, 115-86
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 10:20:40 PM)

    Enes Kanter had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the New York Knicks beat the Miami Heat 115-86 on Wednesday night despite losing Kristaps Porzingis to a sprained right ankle after 2 1/2 minutes.

  • [SNY Knicks] Sprained ankle forces Porzingis from Knicks win
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 10:05:26 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis was forced from Wednesday night’s game in the first quarter against the Heat with a sprained right ankle.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s game: Knicks vs. Heat, 7:30 p.m.
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 5:30:00 PM)

    One day after traveling to face one of the premier power forwards in the league, the Miami Heat tangle with another Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

  • [SNY Knicks] Kanter warned by Knicks after telling teammate to fight on Monday night
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 12:56:27 PM)

    Enes Kanter received a warning from the Knicks’ front office after he encouraged a teammate to fight an opponent.

  • [SNY Knicks] Dolan sings about Knicks fans bugging him to sell, more
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 11:39:44 AM)

    Knicks owner James Dolan had poked fun at the sports blog, Deadspin, through a song he wrote for their award show Tuesday night.

  • [NYTimes] Knicks 115, Heat 86: Kristaps Porzingis Exits With Injury, but Knicks Roll to Win
    (Thursday, November 30, 2017 3:39:08 AM)

    A scary ankle injury in the first quarter forced Porzingis out of the game, but Enes Kanter led the team to a blowout of the Miami Heat.

  • [NYTimes] Snapper Jones, N.B.A. Broadcaster, Dies at 75
    (Wednesday, November 29, 2017 9:08:36 PM)

    Jones, an A.B.A. All-Star, was a longtime broadcaster for the Portland Trail Blazers and reached a national audience through ESPN, NBC and other networks.

  • 74 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.11.30)

    1. alsep73

      Let KP rest not only until Sunday, but longer, ideally. Don’t let the ankle problem linger, and give the elbow extra time to heal, too. I’ve enjoyed the early wins this season and think the tank has mostly sailed (at least as far as getting into the bottom 5), but I also don’t care if we lose a few extra games while waiting for our man to get back to full strength. If the ankle gives us an excuse to let the elbow get better, too, by all means.

    2. chrisk06811

      Did you guys see the Philly box score last night? Simmons was 15-29 from the line, they tried to hack a shaq him. He took 24 FTs in the 4Q, a record. That’s insane! I looked up the record for attempts in a game, it was 86 back in a 5 OT game in 1949. So, that’s 25 more minutes, or like an extra half

    3. Farfa

      I agree with resting KP, but I hope that means more minutes for Willy (or Noah, since Willy really looks like a bum 85% of the time) and McDunking and not for Beasley.

    4. Farfa

      Oh and BTW, how freaking good is to have a guy like Kanter on the team? For all his glaring flaws the kid brings such a contagious energy to the team, it’s awesome!

    5. GoNyGoNyGo

      I know that it’s almost heresy in some corners to bring up the name, but it’s been fun reading twitter posts from OKC fans lately. It’s been brutal. They’re calling for the hooded one to come off the bench or get traded.

    6. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Between Kanter, KP, and Ntilikina, the player the Knicks really need on this team is Luka Doncic. It really sucks he’s going to end up playing in Atlanta instead of New York.

    7. Farfa

      @6

      Yeah, but honestly he’s not the problem. That’s why I couldn’t really agree with giving the MVP to Westbrook last year. Does he really make his team better? I don’t think so.

    8. Bruno Almeida

      People are focusing on Melo because, well, surprise surprise, their expectations that he would suddenly become a different player have been so far proven wrong, he’s just Melo, not a player who bring too many wins. Specially after yesterday’s game where Westbrook was a force of nature and even shot efficiently and they still lost by double digits.

      Westbrook has generally been the biggest issue and the play style simply does not work, too many guys sitting still and waiting for stuff to happen. Donovan’ s rotations have been bad too but they have so little depth after the trades it’s not like there’s many options too. If OKC had simply traded for George and kept Kanter and McDermott they would be deeper, so its fair OKC fans are pissed.

    9. Totes McGoats Makes 18mil For 14ppg

      Even though Miami played without Whiteside, last night’s game was a very goid sign for our ‘Bockers. Best player goes down and we easily get the W without someone having an “out of their stratosphere” type of game. When this team gets rolling and settles on a rotation, I think we have the makings of a really good team. At some point though, I expect Ntilikina to grow into our 3rd best weapon behind KP & THJ, but Kanter may push THJ down to 3.

      With our strength up front, Ntilikina is gonna have an easier way to go than other young PG’s. I think he’ll grow just fine. Sometimes I feel like he’s rushing his shots and his mind is racing. The more he plays, those issues shoud correct themselves and allow him to expand his game. Now..if the team can just learn how to play on the road…

    10. Farfa

      I expect Ntilikina to develop into a longer Patrick Beverley. Which would be very cool for an 8th pick.

      I have to say that I’d really like to see a Frank-Ron backcourt for 10 minutes per night. It could be an offensive mess but a defensive nightmare for other teams.

    11. ptmilo

      Yeah, but honestly he’s not the problem. That’s why I couldn’t really agree with giving the MVP to Westbrook last year. Does he really make his team better? I don’t think so.

      not giving him the mvp is one thing, but saying you don’t think he makes his team better is nuts. last year’s OKC team is a guaranteed lottery team without RWB, and they proved it by being horrific when he was off the court (and +4/100 when he was on). they’ve also been terrible when RWB isn’t playing this year, and good when he is. the same cannot be said about their differential when george or melo rest.

      it’s fair to criticize westbrook for having the kind of game that has steeply diminishing returns, at least relative to his enormous baseline productivity, as the team gets better and better. this might mean he is less valuable than he looks when it comes to what matters most — winning it all. but he is still an incredibly valuable player who makes his teams better.

    12. Farfa

      Yeah sorry, I was definitely too harsh. He makes a bad team good, but does he make a good team great? Sorry for my awful phrasing :)

    13. Jack Bauer

      I have to admit I was underwhelmed at the return the Knicks received when the trade to OKC went through. What a difference a few months makes! Kanter has been solid, even with his flaws on the defensive end. His scoring inside and rebounding really lightens the load for KP and they compliment each other nicely, particularly on offense. It’s hard to over emphasize what Kanter brings to the team’s attitude. McDermott has been somewhat inconsistent but he’s young, plays hard, and has potential. Getting Chicago’s 2nd round pick as well looks like icing on the cake.

      Melo has been Melo in OKC, and the fact it’s not working out for them is ok with me, childish as it sounds. Nothing personal against Melo, but the Knicks are far better off without him this year. As someone suggested, it’s too bad they didn’t get OKC’s first round pick, that may turn out to be a good one.

    14. Hubert

      I badly wish the Knicks had gotten OKC’s 1st round pick this year in the Melo trade. That would have been so sweet.

      The trade is looking pretty sweet as it is. It might be one of the best NBA trades that doesn’t involve either Danny Ainge or someone taking advantage of James Dolan in the past decade.

      Say what you will about Kanter’s deficiencies. He’s a flawed player. But he’s a lot more productive than a 33 year old Iso-Specialist who plays no defense. AND we got McDermott and a high 2nd rounder.

      This is probably the best trade the Knicks made since we got Latrell Sprewell. The Scott Perry Era remains unblemished.

    15. Hubert

      I badly wish the Knicks had gotten OKC’s 1st round pick this year in the Melo trade. That would have been so sweet.

      And it may help your trade remorse to know that OKC already traded their 2018 pick away to get Enes Kanter in 2015, so it was never an option.

    16. 2FOR18, understands math

      ruruland
      October 17, 2017 at 12:54 pm
      I agree on the first half showcase for Kanter and KOQ. Both guys can solidify the bench of a west team, and GSW is still giving 30 minutes a game to an actual center, so I’d think they’d have some value to any of the top 8 teams in West (sans injury), excluding perhaps Denver who has Plumleee coming off bench.

      But more importantly, KP is a center and his best chance of developing into a franchise-altering player is with space in a more modern offense. He HAS to develop some ability to generate shots near the rim eventually, but his strengths in pnr and catch and shoot have be emphasized.

      Last year, 20% of KP’s shots were unguarded (59.8 EFG%), 26% of his shots didn’t have a defender within 4 feet (51%efg).

      KP lost the NBA’s league leader in gravity score, according to the Washington Post. (Yes, Melo led all of the top scorers in the rate of defenders not helping off of him, and the last time that stat was made public, he was 4th in the NBA in 2014).

      So, he needs to be generating clean looks, and the way to do that is playing against opponents centers not accustomed to guarding a pick and pop 3-point center.

      Pitting him against mobile power forwards forces him to attack off the dribble and post up more often, and further clutters spacing.

      Everything should be done to maximize KP right now, giving him the confidence and reinforcing the notion he can be a superstar while allowing his body and game to develop closer to the basket.

      Also, the notion of PG and Melo being severely overrated might be accurate had they been traded to teams where they were the top option.

      All of the new advanced stats support the idea that top options get a lot more defensive attention, and that there is a large discrepancy in efficiency based on that attention.

      RW, PG and Melo will all reap the benefits of the feedback loop that is a defensive unable to properly account for all 3 at same time, as been the case with…

    17. 2FOR18, understands math

      JK47
      October 17, 2017 at 4:50 pm
      If the Thunder can get Melo to take more efficient shots and do a lot less heroballin’ then yeah sure his efficiency might go up. Problem is that Melo really enjoys heroballin’. He thinks that’s the best way to win.

      I expect him to have another .530 TS%, .100 WS48 type season. He’s in his decline phase, it’s completely obvious. He can’t jump anymore, never gets dunks, and is slow.

    18. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I don’t think the problem in OKC has been Melo or the individual talents of Melo, George and Westbrook. It’s that they are not complementing each other (at least yet) in a way where the sum is greater than the parts. All 3 of them have a lower TS% as of last night than they had last year (especially Westbrook).

      There’s something not clicking in the way they are running their offense.

      It took James/Wade/Bosh in Miami about 20 games to get used to playing off each other to enhance the whole. So it will probably take time in OKC too (though of course the OKC 3 aren’t nearly as good). If not, it says something about those players and/or that coaching staff for not being able to take advantage of having 3 guys that can score in a variety of ways that should be tough to double team.

    19. 2FOR18, understands math

      I don’t think it’s apt to compare the Miami big 3 to the OKC mess. Miami had a top 3 all time player who was unselfish and tripled as the game’s best passer and defensive player. All 3 were also in their prime.

      OKC is not running an offense. They’re taking turns running isolations while the rest of the team watches.

    20. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      OKC is not running an offense. They’re taking turns running isolations while the rest of the team watches.

      That’s exactly what I am saying.

      Neither George or Melo has ever played with a guy like Westbrook that can break down a defense and create for himself or dish. He averaged over 10 assists a game last year with fewer weapons. Melo & George have never played with anyone that can score like the other two and ease the pressure of having to create most of the lower efficiency tough isolations by themselves.

      It defies explanation to understand how Westbrook could possibly have such a terrible TS% this year compared to last year. Last year he was a 1 man wrecking crew with no help at all.

      Either the coach is doing a terrible job, these players are not listening to him, they are still learning, or it’s random.

      You can argue that the “sum is greater than the parts” benefit is not a huge plus. I can buy that. But it should never ever be a negative for all 3 players. That’s utterly ridiculous.

    21. chrisk06811

      I’m starting to shift to be of the opinion that we do not trade Kanter, for the sole reason that if we do, I think the dude’s going to cry, and I like him too much to watch that.

    22. Bruno Almeida

      The other part of the Miami comparison is Bosh. As much as people like to shit on him and dismiss him, the fact that he accepted the role of 3rd guy and a lesser role on offense than his teammates helped Miami a lot. If a big 3, super top heavy team is to work, it either needs all of the stars to be extremely complementary of each other (like Garnett, Pierce and Allen or Parker, Ginobili and Duncan) or one of the 3 guys HAS to be the “Bosh”.

    23. GoNyGoNyGo

      Of course Melo, PG and Russ aren’t meshing in OKC. They all need the ball. This was the same exact problem when Melo joined the Knicks and couldn’t figure out how to play with Stoudemire. And when you wonder about why KP took such a leap this year, maybe it’s because he has the ball more.

      I was the biggest Carmelo Anthony fan, but watching him now is painful. He is slow and/or lazy on defense. See this clip. He doesn’t pass the ball. He’s an ISO offensive player and that’s all. His misses lead to fast breaks.

      This video made me laugh: Melo on seasons like this. Let me ask you all, is there a common denominator?

      On the flip side, Kanter is dominant down low. He doesn’t need the ball. He demands double-teams which frees up our spot-up shooters. McDermott is not only a 3-pt assassin, but he cuts and drives, rebounds and defends. Take a look at this clip: McDermott on defense.

      This is “Eye test” reactions. No stat is going to show you this as clearly.

    24. JK47

      OKC is finding out the hard way that it’s kind of impossible to put a good offense on the floor if the guys taking the shots are all low-eFG% players. They’re getting 53 FGA per game from Westbrook, Melo and George. Their eFG% numbers look like this:

      Westbrook .457
      Melo .491
      George .512

      They just don’t get enough easy buckets. Their free throw rate has also plummeted this year, so they’re actually a worse offensive team than they were last year despite adding Mr. Gravity Effect. Melo’s free throw rate is at a career low, which is not surprising since he has the explosiveness of a wet sponge at this stage of his career.

    25. JK47

      I guess we can add er to the “I’m so tired of being wrong about everything that I’m just going to leave” club.

    26. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I agree that the goal is to find complimentary pieces and that at least one of the “scorers” has to accept a reduced role, but you also have to be running plays that get better looks for those players.

      If they are all taking the same shot distribution as before but in reduced numbers, there will be no increase in efficiency. You have to use the talent of each scorer to limit the ability of the defense to help and double team (something that Westbrook, George and Melo did NOT have last year).

      We are struggling with that to some degree now also. Teams are making it tougher on KP by doubling and sending help. We have to make them pay. He can’t just learn to pass out of it. He has to find the open guy.

      If they send 2 people at Kanter at the post, he has to kick it out for an open 3.

    27. 2FOR18, understands math

      It might be the ultimate team game. It comes down to: are you a Wilt guy or a Russell guy. I’m a Russell guy. A CP3/Stockton guy or a Westbrook guy? I’m a CP3/Stockton guy. A melo guy or an Iggy guy? Iggy for me.

    28. d-mar

      I was never a believer in the OKC hype. For all the talk about PG13 being a 2 way player, he’s not a very efficient scorer, and putting him along side Melo just amplifies that. Plus, their bench is dreadful.

      I really think Donovan is gonna get axed, beyond their awful start, it’s pretty damning that Oladipo is having a career year in Indiana.

    29. JK47

      Kanter is enjoying career highs in TS%, FG%, ORB%, DRB%, WS48 and WP48. He leads the league in ORB%, and is top ten in both WS48 and WP48.

      He is obviously not a top 10 player in the NBA because defense matters, but productivity matters too, and he is just crushing it in terms of box score stats. The .680 TS% on 20.1 USG% and 14.3 rebounds per 36 speak for themselves. You would have to play some unbelievably shitty defense to completely offset those incredible numbers.

    30. Bruno Almeida

      OKC honestly reminds me more of the Kobe, Nash, Howard Lakers than the Heat. A superstar who puts ridiculous numbers with an iso-heavy style gets together with a fading star and a dude who forced a trade. Of course the injury issues that doomed beyond any recover that Lakers team are different, but just as Kobe wasnt the easiest dude to adjust to, so is Westbrook.

    31. DRed

      Carmelo & PG have been roughly league average in terms of scoring efficiency. OKC has a terrific defense. So they should be good with an average offense. . .except Russ has been shooting like dogshit. Russ was an all NBA level player last year, now he’s like a guy who you’re considering for the last spot on the all-star roster. That’s obviously still a good player, but that and some bad luck in close games is why OKC aren’t doing as well as people expected.

    32. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      @31 I’ve made round trip journey on Kanter over the years. At first I thought he was very valuable based on the stats I was seeing. Then as I started seeing him play in OKC more often, I could see why he was having trouble staying on the court at times. I’m not seeing the same level liability on defense this year I saw previously. Either he’s getting better or we just haven’t faced enough teams that are good enough to exploit him yet. Right not though, he couldn’t be playing better for us. IMO, he’s a key to our early success.

    33. swiftandabundant

      I know this is going to be one of those non stat related statements so I might get dismissed for this but isn’t there some truth to the fact that big men take longer to reach their peak especially on defense? And that maybe the whole Kanter sucks on defense meme is based on information that is no longer completely true? I’m not saying he’s great on defense but from what most people are observing, he seems to be better than advertised for us and he’s only 25, so couldn’t he still improve in that area?

      I think we have this sometimes false idea that a player only improves their first few years in the NBA and by the time they’re 24 or 25 they’re done improving and that because they will soon reach their physical peak and start declining, that there’s no way they can get better. But I feel like most players have their career best years (if they don’t deal with injuries) somewhere between 28 and 31 years old.

      So the fact that Kanter is only 25 (and Hardaway for that matter too) gives me hope that he can continue to be even better than he is right now. And that maybe we should resign him. I mean if we gave him a 4 year extension after this season we’d be getting him from ages 26 to 31, which will be his peak years. Plus, the more him and KP play together, the more they’re going to learn how to compliment each other both on offense and defense.

      So fuck it. I’m all in on resigning/extending Kanter.

    34. DRed

      . Either he’s getting better or we just haven’t faced enough teams that are good enough to exploit him yet. Right not though, he couldn’t be playing better for us. IMO, he’s a key to our early success.

      If a player or two on OKC would have hit another shot or two in the playoffs he would have been good enough two years ago to play real minutes on an NBA finals team. Granted, that’s not a super meaningful accomplishment, given that he had some very good teammates, but the idea that his defense was single handedly so bad that his teams couldn’t compete in the playoffs has never held water.

    35. swiftandabundant

      @ 36 yeah I mean I’ve never fully understood this argument. He wasn’t good enough on defense to play in the playoffs.

      This happens to almost every player on playoff teams at some point in their career where they’re facing a team in a series and that team is a particular bad match up for that player so he goes to the bench for that series. It doesn’t mean OKC gave up on him or he was unplayable. Just that in that particular series/match up the team was better off going with another player.

      And honestly I don’t think we are in a position to worry about that type of shit right now. If Kanter can make us a perennial playoff team/50 win team and eventually a contender, we can worry about him being a bad match up in the late rounds of the playoffs later. You have to get there first!

    36. GoNyGoNyGo

      I know this is going to be one of those non stat related statements so I might get dismissed for this but isn’t there some truth to the fact that big men take longer to reach their peak especially on defense?

      I disagree with that statement totally. First, big men can influence the game earlier in their careers than guards. Ewing, for example, came out of college as a defensive center but learned offense. NBA footwork in the post is what most need to learn. Point guards are like QB’s in that they need to understand the full scope of offense and how everyone plays best. And they need to guard. That’s where the learning curve is.
      With Kanter it was weight. He was (and he admits it) overweight last season. That hindered his defense because he wasn’t quick enough to keep up with faster bigs.

    37. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      If a player or two on OKC would have hit another shot or two in the playoffs he would have been good enough two years ago to play real minutes on an NBA finals team. Granted, that’s not a super meaningful accomplishment, given that he had some very good teammates, but the idea that his defense was single handedly so bad that his teams couldn’t compete in the playoffs has never held water.

      I suspect you are not familiar with what actually happened.

      I can’t recall the series, but I remember it because it blew up on twitter after Haralabob tweeted about it. The best teams were directly targeting him with pick and rolls as a strategy and killing him. It got to the point where on one occasion you could lip-read the head coach saying to an assistant “He cannot play in this series” right after he got burned badly on 2 consecutive possessions. He got very few minutes after that.

      So “yes” he could play on a very good team and contribute, but he had holes in his defense that made him unplayable against some teams.

      I have yet to see that level of a problem this year.

    38. djphan

      defense for big men does take awhile to come around for some… pnr and to challenging shots happens at lightning quick speeds in the nba and it’s tough for big men to adjust to that…. he’s def gotten a bit better but he’s also def more engaged… the guy has been killing it on the boards….

      i’m still in the ‘not sold’ on kanter camp…. but i’ve come a long way since the trade also on him…

    39. djphan

      he’s def still not good against the pnr… except when he’s not asked to hedge as hard… he does a lot better when he’s asked to sag in the paint area… when he’s out on the perimeter that’s when bad things start to happen since going from pressuring the ballhandler to getting back to his man is a very long process for him…. in fact asking him to switch his attention to different things is still an adventure… it just hasn’t been as big of a problem since it doesn’t get exploited as much on a night to night basis….

      against golden state tho they will and have abused that….

    40. swiftandabundant

      We’re a long way from worrying about Golden State. By the time we might even have a shot at facing them in the NBA Finals their reign will be over. Golden State abuses EVERYONE.

    41. swiftandabundant

      GoNYC – but Ewing played 4 years in college, no? As did most players back in that era (or at least 2 years). Dudes came into the league way more polished and finished products than they do now.

      And I have to disagree with you about PGs. Or I should say, maybe we should both agree that in general a lot of players today don’t come into the league a finished product. But I feel like some PGs and guards in general can come into the game today and because of their speed and athleticism and scoring ability can immediately have an impact whereas the big men are skinny/undersized coming in compared to the grown men centers and their value is more on the defensive/rebounding end of hte game so they take a while to catch up to that.

      I think in general players today are not really “finished” products until at least 25 and even then I think improvement can happen until about 28 or so. So I think Kanter is worth an extension because I think his best years might still be ahead of him and we would get those years if we extended him.

    42. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      We’ll find out more about his defense as the season moves on. Like I said, I haven’t seen any glaring issues so far. That makes his offense and rebounding a huge plus. But it has been a problem in the past and not just with Golden State. Against Golden State it got so bad they benched him.

    43. Frank O.

      Someone said early in this thread that KP was the Knicks’ best player.
      I’m not sure he is.

      Kanter has been the Knicks best player so far.
      His offense is off the charts. His rebounding, particularly on offense is stellar.
      His defense is not bad.

      It was clear the Knicks are a different team when Kanter is playing. The Knicks lose when he’s not there. So far, the Knicks have won games with KP out. It’s a thin margin, but still.
      Also, I would argue that Kanter has emerged as the spiritual and emotional leader of the Knicks.
      Few guys have excited the crowd like Kanter. And say what you will about his mouth (Isola’s an idiot), Kanter getting in Lebron’s face after Lebron bullied Frankie-Long-Arms made it clear to me that this team will derived its toughness from the Turk.
      And Kanter has never been called upon consistently to be the starting center. He has responded well to the challenge.
      No, the most indispensable Knicks player to date, in my book and as much as I love KP, is Kanter.
      He’s an All Star so far.

    44. Bruno Almeida

      Also, being unplayable against by far the two best offenses in the league (bordering on historic greatness, too, or already there with GSW) is not really that terrible to be honest.

      If Kanter can be passable on defense everything else he does is so damn good it’s still worth it. He’s top 10 in both ws48 and wp48, that’s frankly superstar production.

      It would be one thing if he produced well and was terrible defensively, but we can work with a bonafide superstar with poor defense in some ways. Let’s see if he keeps it up, but I don’t see much that would tell me he’ll fall off hard as he gets older. He doesnt rely on crazy athleticism or anything that clearly erodes with age, like Amare did for example.

    45. DRed

      The ‘can’t play him’ was from the OKC-Hou series last year. And he was, indeed, terrible in that series. He was bad on defense and even worse on offense. He wasn’t good against the Warriors, but he wasn’t that bad, and that was against-arguably-the best NBA team of all time (at that point). And he’d been good against a very good Spurs team the round before.

    46. Hubert

      Keep in mind, Kanter’s main sin is that he was unplayable against an elite. I think the damage to his reputation was greater than it should have been.

      If he turns out to be unplayable for us in a competitive conference finals against one of the greatest teams of all time, we can cross that bridge then. Right now he’s our most productive basketball player, and he should be able to be this productive for many years. I think we bought low on a good one.

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

      he’s going to ask for $150M this offseason, no way we’re keeping him if he plays this well for another 60 games

    48. ptmilo

      One of the strange and interesting things about Kanter’s start is how smallish seeming statistical differences have had such a large impact on the some of the advance stats. BPM, for example, thinks he went from being a bad player to an elite player. RPM, similarly, thinks he went from bad to good.

      Some of the underlying differences are genuinely modest. Small uptick in assist rate from horrid to typically low. Small uptick in offensive rebounding from awesome to best in the world.

      Some are bigger. His defensive rebounding so far has jumped from meh to excellent, a big difference. Most important, his TS has exploded from merely prett good to Tyson Chandler heights. How much of the uptick is sustainable? No clue. A small amount is not, bc he is shooting too well from mid range. But most of it is from more and better shooting at the rim, not a notoriously volatile variable. I don’t have any feel for the cause of this, or what it’s even about.

      My personal take is that people are overdoing his defensive improvement, and he is still a big defensive liability. But he’s been better in other ways, from an already productive baseline, so this isn’t necessarily the complete offset it once was. At least so far.

    49. SJK

      If we move forward with a Kanter/KP frontcourt we’re going to need awesome perimeter defenders 1-3 bc neither of those guys can hang on the perimeter. We might have the 1 in Frank but we’re going to need to pick up a truly elite wing somewhere along the way. Paul George would be perfect… too bad we’re paying Joakim to play in the G League.

    50. GoNyGoNyGo

      @44 – I wouldn’t argue that NBA players don’t peak until 25. That’s not the issue. But comparing centers to point guards at 19-20 years old is. Yes. Ewing was a 4-year college player. But so were all players. Back in the day you needed to play 4 years of college. And in college he was a dominant rim defender. He went from 15/9 (ppg/trb) in college to 20/9 his first year with the Knicks.

      Point guards have so much to learn, just like QB’s. I’ve heard coach after coach talk about the learning curve for them.

    51. hornyKnickfan

      Kanter has had a WS48 at or over. 200 for three years running before this season so I really don’t understand why everyone is so surprised by how good he’s been.

      His performance last night (after we had 3 bad, demoraling losses in a row without him) probably earned him another twenty million on his next contract. Not a bad night’s work.

    52. hornyKnickfan

      This team has so many weapons of all sizes ages and shapes. I mean our bench has Frank, McDermott, Dotson, Baker and Willy on it. That alone could be considered the beginnings of a good young team right there.

    53. Bruno Almeida

      @50

      We could theoretically keep him because the Knicks should own his bird rights, I think. He played 3 seasons without being waived or becoming a free agent, so the Knicks should be able to re-sign him even for a max contract if they wish to do it.

    54. Hubert

      he’s going to ask for $150M this offseason, no way we’re keeping him if he plays this well for another 60 games

      I don’t know. Salaries sure got ridiculous after the cap spiked. But all reports indicate things are getting tighter and everyone who wasn’t a free agent the lost couple years is likely to get screwed.

      https://basketball.realgm.com/analysis/247355/The-Maximum-Available-2018-Cap-Space-For-All-30-NBA-Teams

      Is Dallas going to pay him $30mm? OKC wants to pony that up to get him back? He may ask for it, but I doubt he’ll find takers.

    55. geo

      Ian Begley
      ESPN Staff Writer

      The Knicks – and their fan base – can breathe a sigh of relief. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and I: an MRI taken Thursday on Kristaps Porzingis’ injured right ankle was negative, revealing no damage, league sources say. ESPN sources say Porzingis is considered day-to-day after spraining his ankle on Wednesday against the Miami Heat. The Knicks next play on Sunday against the Orlando Magic. On Wednesday night, Porzingis said he was optimistic that he’d play against Orlando.

      yay…that shit seriously looked gruesome there…not sure i 100% get the “lizard” thing (maybe kp is trying to be sexy for the models)…it definitely seems though like they have a good and fun locker room this year…

      so, what the heck is up with ron…is he like the 5th or 6th guard on the depth chart…

      yeah, could be in perry we trust…loved how when the cameras panned him and mills up in the stands towards the end of the game – he had a serious stank face on…phil with his mouth agape (mouth breather that he is) seemed as though he was about start drooling on himself at any moment…

    56. geo

      The New York Knicks had interest in Dion Waiters in free agency but he ultimately decided to re-sign with the Miami Heat. Waiters signed a four-year, $52 million deal to stay with the Heat.

      Waiters met with Steve Mills during the offseason.

      “They were talking, they were trying,’’ Waiters told The Post. “My agent was talking to them more than I was.”

      The Knicks eventually moved on to sign Tim Hardaway Jr.

      yikes, even if it cost an extra 5 million a year, we definitely dodged a bullet there…

    57. Bruno Almeida

      Waiters is playing like his career averages, which incredibly means a .491 ts% with 26% usage… I can’t believe people are not destroying Riley publicly for the absolute horror thar was Miami’s off-season. They have the 4th highest payroll in the league and are basically capped out for the next THREE years with this giant bundle of mediocrity they have.

    58. dtrickey

      Waiters is playing like his career averages, which incredibly means a .491 ts% with 26% usage… I can’t believe people are not destroying Riley publicly for the absolute horror thar was Miami’s off-season. They have the 4th highest payroll in the league and are basically capped out for the next THREE years with this giant bundle of mediocrity they have.

      That was discussed a bit at the time. Miami definitely had a head scratching off-season (Waiters contract and Olynyk and Johnson deals). Given their last two off seasons (handling of Wade situation and overpays), I don’t think Riley is quite the same front-office genius he once was.

      On the question of Baker, I feel that if he hadn’t have missed a bit of time with injury he would probably be up the depth chart. It seems that given Jack’s play (even though it hasn’t been amazing) and the need to give Frank minutes has put him back. The upside is that Horny is taking the stance that you have to outplay guys at your position to get minutes, regardless of what your status was last year. He seems to have really developed as a coach on the front. Coming back from injury doesn’t guarantee your spot back in the rotation which I love for the sake of creating a competitive culture.

    59. TheOakmanCometh

      Kanter has played 18 games and been excellent. He spent the previous 445 games of his career being consistently good on offense and piss poor on defense. Let’s not elevate the 18 over the 445.

      Either this is a miraculous leap in Year 7 of a guy’s career or regression is coming.

    60. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      1. I highlighted one series where Kanter was unplayable because it made an impact on me to actually see him get shredded and watch the coach say he was unplayable. However, the problem was NOT limited to one series against an elite team. A lot of people called him out last year for his poor defense. Haralabob was ragging on his defense all season long and practically called him one of the worst defenders in the league.

      2. He hasn’t looked bad on defense this year by my eye test. I solicited Haralabob’s opinion a few times this year, but he’s not commenting much on basketball lately. I’d like to know whether he’s seeing improvements. He watches every game and has stats that are not publicly available.

      3. I think he’s had an enormously positive impact on the team in multiple ways so far and IS working on defense. He’s aware of the issue. He tweets about his defense when he gets a positive review from Knicks Film School

    61. ClashFan

      To me, the question with Kanter is what is he worth in $ and years? We still have all this season to evaluate him. If he continues to play at this level or close, I’d offer him an extension. The question is the years and amount.

      Is he worth $20m per year? He seems like a 24 mpg guy, not a 30+ guy, and I agree that is pick and roll D still needs work.

      OTOH, The guy has an incredible heart and is still young. He may very well be a building block along with KP and, hopefully, Frank and Willy. Maybe McD and Dotson, but we need to see much more of them going forward. Willy has looked much better the last two games; I think the guy just needs regular PT.

      We keep talking about getting high lottery picks. This guy was one, and is playing like one, so far.

    62. Ben R

      Defensive regression isn’t really a thing. Unless you think his effort will dwindle which has never really been a problem for Kanter. His shooting will probably come down a bit but he is shooting by far a career low in shots from 10 feet out so a career high in efficiency is expected. His offensive rebounding isn’t far off of his best year in OKC and the uptick in defensive rebounding is probably due to not playing with Westbrook and Adams combined with playing with KP. The assist improvement seems like growth because it has been trending up, and only slightly better than last year.

      Overall I think the defensive improvement is a combination of growth, losing weight and playing next to KP in a defensive system that covers his weaknesses better. The only thing I think that regresses is the shooting which will probably be more like 62% TS% instead of 68%.

      Nothing about what Kanter is doing seems like a flash in the pan.

    63. Z-man

      Ewing, for example, came out of college as a defensive center but learned offense.

      Ewing was pretty good on offense right off the bat. No one expected him to come in as offensively polished as he was his rookie year; it was truly a revelation. He put up a modest TS% of .526 on a usage of 26.5 (his team’s TS% was dead last at .505 and league average was .541). Over the year, his TS% steadily improved and then peaked in January, when he put up .571 in 15 games, averaging 23.8 ppg. By then, his offense was the talk of the league. Then he got hurt and was pretty much done for the season. So I would say he didn’t “learn” offense, he just improved somewhat and played on better teams.

    64. Bruno Almeida

      @66

      I agree very much. His numbers aren’t otherwordly in comparison to stat milestones he already reached once in his career, he just seems to be more experienced and putting it all together. His game isn’t based at all on being a freak athlete so it’s a good bet he’ll be productive well into the next 6 or 7 years.

      He won’t ever be a rim protector or a good pnr defender, he lacks the quickness and the instincts I think… but as long as his offensive production stays the way it is and the defensive rebounding is there, there’s no way he’s worth less than 22, 24 million per year, which is what a guy like Whiteside makes.

    65. thenoblefacehumper

      I was a huge Willy fan last season and continue to be a supporter, but it would simply be batshit insane to move on from Kanter if he continues to play like this. The defensive improvement seems very real, it’s captured by both the eye test and statistics (this is the first year he’s had a positive DBPM in his career). We have plenty of time to evaluate him and I anticipate some drop off, but nothing seems all that unsustainable. The man is crazy efficient because he takes good shots and is really good at making them.

      It is fucking hilarious that we got him (and other goodies!) for Carmelo Anthony.

    66. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Anybody think the Thunder would trade us Paul George for Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas, and Willy Hernangomez? Okay, I know it would never happen but getting rid of Paul George creates more usage for your superstars, and in the deal you get back a guy who isn’t too far off in defensive value in Lee (but has a far superior eFG%), and your bolstering your bench with a 23 year old and Lance Thomas.

      In a vacuum it’s a terrible trade and OKC could get a lot more in return, but in February at the trade deadline with the threat of losing him to a big market city? It may not be such a bad idea for a capped out organization tied to Russell Westbrook’s eventual decline phase.

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

      No, the Thunder will not trade a three-time All-NBA player for those three players. Nor should you want them to. He’s a mediocre volume scorer and has a player option remaining on his contract. I saw the earlier post about expected cap room, but he will absolutely be one of the players who takes a max contract from some dumb-luck franchise like the Lakers. He’ll help them to a 42-to48-win season (that’s his M.O.) but he’ll never be a franchise centerpiece, or a guy worthy of a max contract over 82 games plus the postseason.

    68. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Paul George would be a great 3rd piece to Kanter and KP, though, and having Paul George and Frank Ntilikina probably boosts our ability to create turnovers and easy offense. I agree he’s nobody’s franchise player and isn’t worth the max contract the Lakers are lining up to give him this off season.

    69. rama in the JING

      I thought George was older, like 29. At 27, he could still be pretty good in 2 years when KP is entering his prime. So, not a totally crazy idea.

      Never gonna happen, though. And though Cock Jowles is underrating his defense, which would really help solidify what KP and Frankie Smokes (maybe) can bring, we might be better off hoping for luck in the draft. He’d take such a huge piece of the cap.

    70. Z-man

      Not to mention that Paul George probably wants to play out west. He would probably be a good fit but not at the price he will command. That’s the problem with Enes, he will eat up lots of cap and give you mostly his money’s worth, but at a less vital position in today’s NBA than an all-NBA PG or wing. Since it is assumed that KP will get the max, paying 60+% of your cap to KP and Enes doesn’t sound like the way to build a true contender, it should be one or the other, and KP is the franchise right now (deservedly or not, he hasn’t earned it quite yet.) The shame is that Enes is so easy to root for the way he’s playing, I’d love it if we could prudently keep him. If he would take , say $22 mill per for 5 years, or $25 mill for 4 years, I’d do it. He’s certainly worth more than Lance and Noah combined!

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