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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2017.12.08)

  • [NYPost] Why fewer Knicks sell outs are not concerning MSG officials
    (Friday, December 08, 2017 12:00:09 AM)

    The Knicks are showing they don’t have to sell out to win at the Garden. In an odd quirk, the Knicks have sold out fewer than half their home games this season on their way to an 11-5 home mark. Only seven of 16 Garden games have seen a full capacity of 19,812. The nine…

  • [NYPost] Boxing champ has secret to Kristaps Porzingis recovery
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 10:40:08 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis can take a punch. Recovering in just one week from his right ankle bending sideways at 90 degrees was no surprise to Latvian boxing champion Mairis Briedis. Briedis, the WBC cruiserweight champion, and Porzingis trained and boxed together for two weeks in July. Latvia’s two most famous athletes have remained in contact across…

  • [NYPost] Carmelo Anthony accepts he’s not always ‘going to be the man’
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 3:41:31 PM)

    MEXICO CITY — Carmelo Anthony has had to make all sorts of adjustments since being traded from the Knicks to the Thunder in September. The ex-Knicks star has had to adjust going from New York to Oklahoma City. But most importantly, he has had to adjust going from being the man to being a teammate,…

  • [NYPost] Knicks finally feeling the effects of no Phil Jackson: NBA expert
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 1:48:53 PM)

    Turner Sports Hall of Fame NBA reporter David Aldridge talks Knicks, Lonzo and covering Gregg Poppovich with The Post’s Justin Terranova. Q: Have the Knicks removed the laughingstock label that was plastered on them in recent reasons? A: Nobody seemed to understand what Phil [Jackson] was doing, and he wasn’t really sharing that information with…

  • [NYPost] The draft incentive that comes with Knicks ending road woes
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 11:46:32 AM)

    A victory in Chicago Saturday would be a boost to the Knicks’ awful road record. And it also would be a boon to their draft-night hopes — getting them closer to the coveted 31st pick in the draft. In the unsung part of the Carmelo Anthony trade with Oklahoma City that netted Enes Kanter and ex-Bull…

  • [NYDN] Ntilikina hopes to return to all-around game he displayed earlier
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 2:47:26 PM)

    Frank Ntilikina admits he’s put too much emphasis on defense recently.

  • [NYDN] Porzingis hangs with female pal, banters with fans at NYC club
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 11:00:49 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a balky ankle this week, appears back at full strength.

  • [NYDN] Jarrett Jack explains why Durant quizzed him about Steph Curry
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 9:54:25 AM)

    Jarrett Jack received a strange phone call in the early hours of the morning in late June 2016.

  • [NYDN] Ex-Knick Chris Smith converts to Judaism, signs deal in Israel
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 8:42:44 AM)

    Chris Smith has signed a three-year deal with Ironi Nahariya of the Israeli first division.

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily New Live: Knicks’ expectations rising?
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 7:54:02 PM)

  • [SNY Knicks] Co-captain Thomas dazzles with defense in start Wednesday night
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 1:44:48 PM)

    Knicks F Lance Thomas may not dazzle on the scoreboard, but the co-captain of the Knicks leads the way with his defense.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis confident the Knicks will win without Hardaway Jr.
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 10:31:23 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis assured everyone that the Knicks will find a way to win without Tim Hardaway Jr. in the lineup.

  • [NY Newsday] As captain, Lance Thomas brings energy and defense to Knicks
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 7:46:38 PM)

    Lance Thomas doesn’t often fill up the boxscore, but he’s usually one of the Knicks’ most active players and definitely the one talking the most. He can be seen directing the defense as well as the offense when he’s on the floor.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks Insider podcast: Kristaps Porzingis has youth on his side in quick injury recovery
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 12:08:00 PM)

    It didn’t look good when Kristaps Porzingis went down with an ankle injury last week.

  • [NYTimes] Nets 100, Thunder 95: Short-Handed Nets Beat Thunder in Mexico City
    (Friday, December 08, 2017 6:29:16 AM)

    After a trade earlier in the day, Brooklyn had to scramble, but with 21 points off the bench from Caris LeVert they toppled Oklahoma City.

  • [NYTimes] Jahlil Okafor Headed to Nets in Trade With 76ers
    (Friday, December 08, 2017 1:54:05 AM)

    The Nets have two of the top three picks in the 2015 draft after adding Okafor, along with Nik Stauskas and a draft pick, in exchange for Trevor Booker.

  • [NYTimes] Perry Wallace, College Basketball Pioneer, Is Dead at 69
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 11:42:21 PM)

    As the first black varsity basketball player in Southeastern Conference history, he distinguished himself on the court while battling racism.

  • [NYTimes] N.B.A. Plans to Put a Minor League Team in Mexico City
    (Thursday, December 07, 2017 11:04:01 PM)

    The G League will have a team in Mexico City that is owned and operated locally. The expansion could help gauge the viability of putting an N.B.A. team there.

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    99 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.12.08)

    1. thenoblefacehumper

      It is still a mystery to me why Sam Presti thought 33 year old Carmelo Anthony was going to be a serious part of a team that at least nominally wanted to challenge the fucking Warriors.

      Sitting on a cool .508% TS.

    2. Frank

      It is still a mystery to me why Sam Presti thought 33 year old Carmelo Anthony was going to be a serious part of a team that at least nominally wanted to challenge the fucking Warriors.

      To be fair, a lot of people thought this was a no-brainer for OKC, especially given Kanter’s weaknesses (unplayable in the playoffs basically) and McDermott’s lack of development.

      I’m actually surprised at how bad Melo has been, and though the season is young, it’s not that young. I guess it’s possible that he’s really hit the wall athletically. Props to Mills and Perry for making that deal, and getting the Chicago pick to boot.

    3. thenoblefacehumper

      To be fair, a lot of people thought this was a no-brainer for OKC, especially given Kanter’s weaknesses (unplayable in the playoffs basically) and McDermott’s lack of development.

      Well yeah, but the general public has always had a much higher opinion of Carmelo’s basketball abilities than they should have. I’d expect more from Presti, though it’s looking more and more like he’s great at drafting and terrible at everything else.

      What I never understood about the overwhelmingly positive reaction to OKC making that deal is it seemed to not take into account the human aging process. Even if you want to be extremely generous to Carmelo and say there was a time when he could’ve drastically elevated his game via better shot selection, etc., do you really think he can still do that at age 33? That’s before we even take into account the unlikelihood of someone even being willing to radically alter the way they play at that age. Made no sense from the start.

    4. Bruno Almeida

      @4

      Yeah, it was 100% reputation and the fact most people really didn’t watch Knicks games in the past 2-3 years.

      OKC fans are turning really hard on Melo as I’ve seen on Reddit and other places, so the narrative is changing pretty fast.

    5. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Didn’t Russ sign that mega deal shortly after the Melo trade? There’s your answer.

    6. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      And say what you want about Melo, but it’s Russell Westbrook’s .499 TS% on a 33.7% USG that is killing the Thunder. Those are Dion Waiters level stats.

    7. er

      And say what you want about Melo, but it’s Russell Westbrook’s .499 TS% on a 33.7% USG that is killing the Thunder. Those are Dion Waiters level stats.

      Yeah he seems to be pretty bad at layups and horrible turnovers and bad shot selection. Thunder fans definitely are scapegoating Melo because otherwise they would have to look at the hometown hero. Like it’s his job to feed Adams which was working the last four games. Instead he shoots 10-27

    8. Bruno Almeida

      @7

      Well, it’s not like the guy who’s shooting .508 ts% in 25.7 usage is helping the cause much. At least Westbrook contributes everywhere else.

      Having one Dion is bad, having 3 Dions taking 60 shots a game is not going to lead to many wins.

    9. er

      Well, it’s not like the guy who’s shooting .508 ts% in 25.7 usage is helping the cause much. At least Westbrook contributes everywhere else.

      It’s not the point. Like others have mentioned he’s a fading 33 year old. Yes he needs to shoot better but Westbrook is the reigning mvp. Westbrook has been a bad offensive player period this year. As bad as Melo has been he’s still shooting better than Westbrook from 2,3 and the foul line

    10. 2FOR18, understands math

      All 3 are doing what they do. Which is why people with any sense knew what what was coming.

    11. DRed

      I watched the second half of that game in Mexico city last night and Melo was atrocious. But, as some of us have been pointing out, OKC’s problems on offense also have a lot to do with Russ & Paul George.

    12. Bruno Almeida

      @11

      No, the point is, while Westbrook has been shooting like crap and is still turnover prone (a bit less than last year), he’s still averaging 9.7 assists, 9.3 rebounds and getting to the line 7 times. He provides other stuff to the team, so just looking at his shooting ignores the impact he has everywhere else.

      Melo only contributes through scoring and a bit of rebounding, he’s getting to the line 3.6 times a game and shooting .009 better than Westbrick.

      Of course where Westbrook goes the team goes, he’s the best player and should definitely be criticized for his horrible chucking, but the talk was that Melo would improve as a 3rd option and lessen the burden on Westbrook in the scoring department, both things that really haven’t happened this year so far.

      All 3 stars are doing what they do, Westbrook worse than usual, and it shows.

    13. 2FOR18, understands math

      there has to be some OKC blog where ruru is getting toasted.

      Re: Okafor’s value, it’s an example of why I think it’s nuts that people think Kanter is going to fetch 25 mil a year in today’s game.

    14. er

      @11

      No, the point is, while Westbrook has been shooting like crap and is still turnover prone (a bit less than last year), he’s still averaging 9.7 assists, 9.3 rebounds and getting to the line 7 times. He provides other stuff to the team, so just looking at his shooting ignores the impact he has everywhere else.

      He is the reigning MVP. Hes supposed to be in the class of James Harden, KD, Lebron, not Carmelo Anthony. The fact that hes shooting 42% from 2 point range as a slasher is ridiculous. He has just awful turnovers for the point guard position and takes terrible contested shots at crunch time. His rebounds are not a game changer as Adams could just as easily get those boards. His passing should be even better but he stops going to Adams for chunks of the game. Hes supposed to be the superstar on the team. Hes playing awfully there is no sugar coating it. Its not just shooting, hes playing badly as a player. His shooting is just a big part of it.

    15. lavor postell

      The main thing is that Melo’s shot selection hasn’t changed at all. Just go through his attempts last night and count how many of those even qualify as good shots. He also doesn’t get the same lift that he used to on his J.

      He got blocked on a spot up by Joe Ingles a couple of days ago. Says it all.

    16. rama in the JING

      @16

      You’re saying that a trade of a big who’s terrible on offense and defense is proof about the value of a big who’s near league best on offense and weak on defense?

    17. er

      The main thing is that Melo’s shot selection hasn’t changed at all. Just go through his attempts last night and count how many of those even qualify as good shots. He also doesn’t get the same lift that he used to on his J.

      I think last night was more of an outlier in terms of volume of mid range shots because of George being out and he felt like he had to play like “option 1b”

      Donavan needs to put his foot down and make the pick and roll with Adams the main play of the half court offense. Like 100 times a game. Then play off of it with George and Melo. Russ score in transition. I dont think its that hard.

    18. Bruno Almeida

      Where did you guys get that me, 2for18 etc are saying Melo is the only problem? What the hell?

      We’re responding to assumptions that were widespread before that Melo would change his game and make a positive change on OKC, people said he would be more efficient, more engaged, shoot a lot better with a better team around it. It hasn’t happened.
      Westbrook has been crap, but his turnovers are down from last year and he’s still producing in other categories, just like he did on the MVP he (undeservedly) won. To throw the entire burden of this on him, when he is the one out of the 3 who has won a lot of games recently in his career as the main guy, is not the case. If anything it can be argued that the other 2 stars are making Westbrook worse, not better.

    19. JK47

      We all knew the back end of the MMM contract was going to be dreadful. Hell, the FRONT end of it was dreadful. This is what happens during a player’s decline phase. They decline. This is why it was a bad idea to build around 30-year old Melo in the first place.

      It’s not surprising at all that he is playing the way he is.

    20. DRed

      Kanter is useful. It’s hard to tell exactly how valuable he is because most big men who can score really well are athletic enough to be at least decent on defense. But he’s so good at scoring/rebounding he is a useful guy to have on your team. Okafor’s upside is he becomes a player like Kanter. Right now he’s Enes Kanter without being good on offense. He has a negative value on the court. Whatever value he has as a player comes from his college production and his age related potential.

    21. lavor postell

      @21

      It’s not just about shot location, but also the type of shots he’s getting. That hasn’t changed much. He doesn’t move off the ball well, so other than when he can get a stand still spot up look, he doesn’t generate quality shots for himself off the ball.

      Also fundamentally, his efficiency is capped because he can’t get to and finish at the rim anymore. This also limits his ability to get to the line with any frequency.

    22. 2FOR18, understands math

      @20, they seem like similar players to me. Kanter is better, but still the same type of all offense, no defense, strong low post player.
      My offer of a wager that Kanter won’t get 25 mil a year is still on the table for all comers.

    23. er

      ” If anything it can be argued that the other 2 stars are making Westbrook worse, not better.”

      Not really. He’s just playing bad. He’s shooting 40 percent from the floor in his prime. How is that anyone else’s fault. Melo shot like 44-45 percent in his prime and people were right to call it out. Now some people are afraid to call out russ. He’s the engine. He’ll he started the season shooting like 50% from the line. Did the other guys make that worse too?

    24. KJG

      not only will okafor never be the rebounder that kanter is, he’ll never have the heart either… reminds me of beasley except at least the beas brings that eccentric personality to the table… okafor’s toast… he’s the exact kind of player I would take Lance Thomas over any second of the day… not to bring up yesterday’s wounds or anything… ;-)

    25. 2FOR18, understands math

      I took a look at some OKC blogs and melo is getting destroyed. Same stuff you’ve read on here.

      The funniest thing I came across is a story about melo being asked if he would be willing to come off the bench and he said “Hell no” lol. They agree with ER that Adams needs to be a lot more involved in the offense, so it makes sense to have melo lead the second team.

      A lot of the bloggers would like to trade for Courtney Lee, but it’s tough to find anything left to give up for him.

    26. swiftandabundant

      OKC made the deal bc of Westbrook. This is what happens in the NBA. Houston wanted Melo bc of Harden and Paul, not because of Dantoni. Stars want their star buddies on the team with them and if they don’t play with them all the time but only at the all star games, the olympics, etc…they don’t see all the flaws. They also don’t think about stuff like declining abilities bc they themselves don’t think they would ever decline from how awesome they are. Russ wanted help. They got him Paul George. Then Melo became an option and Russ probably pushed for it.

    27. danvt

      Melo is ARod. I didn’t think there was a chance in hell we’d be able to trade him. Not only that but we got three good to very good assets in the exchange. This is how it feels to win a deal! Wow. But it gets better, the lack of Melo has the team playing refreshing, unselfish, and fun to watch basketball. They give a shit on defense. Kanter is a dream come true culturally. Look at how he stood up to Lebron as opposed to getting into a boat shaped like a banana with him. Scott Perry really should be considered for exec of the year just for that move. Watch Donovan get fired now.

      Bottom line is we have a team with players I like so much that I’m willing to watch them struggle to a middling record without wishing for guys to be traded out of town. It feels like my team again.

    28. 2FOR18, understands math

      Yeah, it is so refreshing. I think it might be time to pounce on Rubio. Mitchell has completely taken that backcourt over.

    29. Bruno Almeida

      @28

      It also wasn’t anyone’s fault but Melo’s that he’s a low efficiency shooter who doesn’t make a team better, and yet people argued endlessly about how he was getting dragged by bad teammates, bad coaches, Phil Jackson, injuries, bad luck, and now was finally free of the Knicks to play with good teammates.

      Now that he’s showing he’s just what he is, it’s Westbrook and Donovan. Thunder fans and frankly most people I’ve seen, including writers and analysts, are ripping on Westbrook for playing terribly, so its not like there’s this huge conspiracy to blame Melo for everything that’s wrong with the team.

    30. Owen

      It’s incredible how good it feels not to have to deal with the Melodrama anymore. It can’t be said enough.

      I wouldn’t say Kanter has been a revelation. His numbers were exceptional the last three years. The only surprise is how mediocre his defense has been, which is to say better than I expected.

      I don’t know if I said that I thought Kanter was a lot better than Melo when we made the trade but I hope I did. It would have been on brand and totally correct.

    31. ClashFan

      If Kanter is willing to sign a 4 year, $80 million extension right now, should the Knicks do it?

    32. er

      It also wasn’t anyone’s fault but Melo’s that he’s a low efficiency shooter who doesn’t make a team better, and yet people argued endlessly about how he was getting dragged by bad teammates, bad coaches, Phil Jackson, injuries, bad luck, and now was finally free of the Knicks to play with good teammates.

      Now that he’s showing he’s just what he is, it’s Westbrook and Donovan. Thunder fans and frankly most people I’ve seen, including writers and analysts, are ripping on Westbrook for playing terribly, so its not like there’s this huge conspiracy to blame Melo for everything that’s wrong with the team.

      This is my last statement on this. Melo is old and over the hill, he isnt playing well. But the Thunder are not playing well because their MVP is playing like shit. Both things can be true, everything else is just narrative. Melo is an easy scapegoat. pure and simple. Its not about a “Melo Conspiracy” its about people who need to find a scapegoat. Its like if someone was blaming whoever was third in shots on the Knicks for losses last year for their troubles like Courtney Lee. People are viewing Melo through a biased lens of “hes supposed to carry us”. Hes not an all star anymore, so why do people think the team moves up and down with him? It doesn’t. It goes with the best player and team leader. I dont think its that hard to comprehend. But what do i know. And finally the season is about a quarter of the way thru. They are not a finished team so we will see.

    33. JK47

      People are viewing Melo through a biased lens of “hes supposed to carry us”. Hes not an all star anymore, so why do people think the team moves up and down with him? It doesn’t.

      Then why is he making $26.2M this year? Call me crazy, but when you have a dude making $26.2M you kind of want him to move the needle a little bit. You can’t look at Melo as just some unimportant role player when you’re paying him that much money. You need him to produce. I can’t buy the argument “Melo has been bad but it’s not his fault the team is bad.” Yes it is greatly his fault! He’s the second highest-paid player on the roster and quite honestly he’s a $26.2M sinkhole.

      Throwing large dollars at a player like Melo is a surefire way to make sure your team is mediocre.

    34. er

      ok then. I guess thats what held the Knicks back was Amare all those years. So Melo should get a pass for those years? Money is a sunk cost. Has nothing to do with on court. Hell isnt Noah almost making 20 million?

      Like i said Melo has been bad. Hes a part of the problem for sure. I never said he wasnt. Just dont get why hes the first thing people look at. The team isnt that good, they actually need all of the players to win. Not having Grant and George obviously was a big deal for them.

    35. Bruno Almeida

      He’s the first thing people look because this a Knicks blog and he played for the Knicks for 7 years while being one of the most controversial and heavily discussed players.

      You can’t expect people to not comment on him being terrible after all the drama and all the talk about how Presti, the genius, fleeced the Knicks and the Pacers so hard.

    36. danvt

      He did have 11 rebounds last night and was a plus 3.

      IDK, Melo is an enigma. At times not hateful. His teammates like him or say they do (KP, Lance…)His coaches have famously hated him (D’Antoni, Karl). He’s one of the most talented guys to touch a basketball in the last twenty years and yet his teams consistently underperform. It’s only really worked for him when he’s had a stealth best player on the team that can make up for his weaknesses. Tyson Chandler comes to mind. He committed to defense, only dunked, and was uber-efficient. Jason Kidd, also a guy who, at that point, took less than ten shots a game while setting a standard for ball movement.
      D’Antoni tried to make him a Paul Pressey type point forward but he rebelled. Finally, his price point just overwhelmed his productivity. I’m amazed a deal was possible. Yes, he wasn’t brought in to OKC to carry the team but so far we see that it’s not in his skill set to be a complimentary piece.

    37. GoNyGoNyGo

      It’s pretty amazing that we all knew what OKC didn’t about Melo. Those who are pointing fingers at Westbrook are right, but why is he under-performing? Maybe it has to do with the fact that Melo’s negative impact on those around him is a factor?

      Kanter isn’t worth 4-Yr/$80M. More like 4-Yr/$60M. $20M/year is what you put aside for All-star (aka top-30) NBA players. He ain’t that. But the market will set his price.

    38. JK47

      Hell isnt Noah almost making 20 million?

      Yes, Noah is making almost $20M, and Noah is a big reason why this team isn’t better than it is. Wasting a bunch of money on players who don’t help you makes you worse, that’s kind of my whole point.

    39. ClashFan

      @45

      Kanter isn’t worth 4-Yr/$80M. More like 4-Yr/$60M. $20M/year is what you put aside for All-star (aka top-30) NBA players. He ain’t that. But the market will set his price.

      I agree about Kanter. I’d be iffy about extending him at $20m per. If he opts out, hopefully it isa tough market and the Knicks can bring him back for less that that. But, it only takes one dumb team…

      However, I don’t think that $20m is the range of top 30 players any more, esp. on new contracts or extensions. More like $25+m.

    40. MSA

      I had the opportunity to watch some OKC games this year and I have to say, unfortunately, Melo looks done.

      His numbers of short-range shots (attempts and %) are at career lows and those long twos are right back at the top of his shot selection again.

      Unless he starts shooting really well, he has no value anymore. And for 26 million, that’s a lot o money down the toillet in a capped league.

      The last year of his contract has the potential to be really ugly. Like 38yo Kobe Bryant ugly…

    41. MSA

      I don’t think Kanter will take any paycut of his actual salary.

      Agents chat with FOs all the time. If he’s not getting a better contract, he will just opt in.

    42. danvt

      I’d like to not worry about contract numbers for a while. I like the squad. We need to learn to win a few on the road. What would make this team better, like, with the same players? I’d be interested to know your take, fellas.

      One thought I had. KP needs to learn to be a better passer. He made a pass to McDermott the other night that was on time but off target and he missed a corner three. He still takes too many dumb shots. It’s almost like a double standard with him. We know his skill set is not that of a traditional big but we give him a pass on passing. If he started looking to get triple doubles we could take a quantum leap. That wouldn’t be as out of the question as it might seem. He’s already practically a double double every night and with his ability to draw double teams he should be able to get more assists. Pick it up KP!

      What else makes us better right now?

    43. thenoblefacehumper

      ok then. I guess thats what held the Knicks back was Amare all those years.

      Uh, does anybody dispute that the enormous gap between Amar’e’s cap hit and his production was a major reason those teams never amounted to much? The gap with regards to Melo was another reason. There are usually multiple reasons a team isn’t good. Both Westbrook and Melo are major reasons OKC is failing.

    44. er

      I had the opportunity to watch some OKC games this year and I have to say, unfortunately, Melo looks done.

      Id agree here. I think that knee injury messed up what could have been a nice end of career lesser role player status

    45. lavor postell

      Dirk was never some passing savant and still was a beastly offensive player. He can stand to improve, but I’m not very concerned about his lack of playmaking thus far. He’s still a clear plus player on both sides and he’s really not close to being a fully formed player, mentally or physically.

    46. JK47

      Cutting down on turnovers would help a lot, but our point guards all kind of stink so that’s going to be a challenge.

    47. MSA

      We have 4 terrible players using a lot of minutes every game.

      Ntilikina, Jack, Beasley and Thomas.

      Not playing Ntilikina is not really an option at this point, but the other 3 should be replaced by someone productive ASAP.

    48. Early Bird

      He’s already practically a double double every night and with his ability to draw double teams he should be able to get more assists. Pick it up KP!

      You can count on KP to get a double double every night the same way you can count on winning the lotto as a career plan. He has 3 this season and he’s averaging 6.7 rebounds per game. That’s as automatic as Ben Wallace from the free throw line.

    49. geo

      i absolutely love that we no longer have to discuss rose, phil or melo’s weird bullshit as it relates to the knicks…

      so much more enjoyable to discuss them now…

      not sure how much their absences can be reflected in our current won/loss record – but, thankfully they no longer can ruin our day…

      wonder now if and when phil will ever raise his head up out of montana, will rose play in china next year; and just how pissed will those fans in okc be next year when they’re paying melo 28 million…

    50. 2FOR18, understands math

      Apropos of nothing, LeBron may be having his best season right now. He’s exceeding his career averages and rates in every stat I can find, plus he’s shooting 43% from 3 and blocking shots at twice the rate of his career average. Supposedly he changed his shot this offseason, so he’s still working on his game.

    51. Brian Cronin

      Lebron has been amazing this year. I said a while back that it seemed like we were at the point where, every season, people are, like, “Well, this is it for the Cavs” and then Lebron somehow starts pulling wins out of his ass and they’re amazing again. And it happened. That Lebron and that collection of misfit toys has won 13 straight games is remarkable.

    52. 2FOR18, understands math

      Yeah, #1 on KP’s list of things to improve is rebounding. His rookie season was his highest in RB% and assist%, which is kind of disturbing. He should be getting better at these things.

    53. lavor postell

      He rebounded well his rookie season because RoLo boxed out and let him (and Melo) grab a ton of uncontested boards. Kanter cannibalizes those. He’s done a better job of boxing out this season and generally not getting totally rag dolled which is fine.

      It’s not disturbing that his individual AST% is low IMO because the team functions as a unit when he’s out there and we’ve been among the highest assist teams in the league this year. This is more important than what he does individually right now at age 22. He’s already showing he can be the centerpiece of a high assist offense and that’s without him even leveraging the attention he draws when he gets the ball to create for others. I feel confident it’ll come.

    54. lavor postell

      LeBron has been great this year, but he’s not the 2 way force he was in his first Cavs stint or in Miami. Greatest offensive season, sure, but he’s not at his peak levels here. Still the best player in the game.

    55. 2FOR18, understands math

      You can make excuses/give reasons, but he’s played in 3 different line-ups over the last 3 years (due to them basically having a new team every year) and the rebounding results have been pretty much the same = poor for a 7 ft 3 guy.

    56. lavor postell

      The rebounding has been drastically better this year team wide. That’s not an excuse just a reality.

      We rebound at the same rate with him on or off. We’re 9th in DRB% and 2nd in ORB% according to BRef. So yeah, I’m fine with what we have going on right now in terms of rebounding.

    57. danvt

      I agree that he could rebound a bit better. My question was how could we play better with this roster. I think him rebounding better would move the needle. I think him passing better and, related to that, him passing up some bad shots would move the needle even more. This was just one thought though and not a judgement that he isn’t good enough. I get that there are players like Dirk who never piled up assists but we’re still good. The question, was what can this roster do to improve. All of our PGs and Lance not playing is not exactly the answer I was looking for unless you think Ron Baker and three present Westchester Knicks are the answer.

      Is this a fantasy sports blog or is anyone at all concerned with X’s and O’s?

    58. lavor postell

      @danvt

      I agree he should and needs to get better at those things. I’m just not at a point where it bothers me in his 3rd season in the league while he’s anchoring a team on both ends of the floor at a level that’s very surprising to me at this stage of his career.

      I’m concerned that we don’t seem to run plays designed to generate 3s, which is odd and is likely systemic. That’s a significant issue I hope is addressed as the season progresses.

    59. Brian Cronin

      I’m concerned that we don’t seem to run plays designed to generate 3s, which is odd and is likely systemic.

      And Horny’s teams shot the three a lot in Phoenix. It’s mind-boggling. I blame Rambis. He notoriously didn’t like threes. How in the fucking world is this team third from the bottom in threes per game?!

    60. Bruno Almeida

      @64

      I don’t see Milwaukee ever accepting this. It was said they specifically didn’t want to give Brogdon away in the Bledsoe trade, I doubt they’d do it + Henson for Lee when they already lack depth in the center position. The Jazz and the Knicks would get better, probably, but way too expensive to Milwaukee.

      I would pursue something like the Bucks 2020 or 2021 pick with some protection + Rashad Vaughn + Teletovic to match salaries for Lee, I like Vaughn quite a bit as a prospect. Bucks future picks are interesting assets because there’s always a chance they fizzle completely and Giannis either asks for a trade or out right leaves.

    61. lavor postell

      I wouldn’t trade Willy for Randle. I’m pretty sure the Lakers want to use Randle to dump Deng’s contract anyways.

    62. bobneptune

      How in the fucking world is this team third from the bottom in threes per game?!

      Because they don’t have a pg that can initiate the offense by collapsing the defense and causing switch/scrambles defensively off a screen?

    63. Mike Honcho

      I kind of wonder if Kanter’s presence is depressing his rebound rate a little, but it does seem like the guy could be a little more aggressive. How many times have we seen KP not even contest a rebound? My mind goes to that DWade offensive rebound in this years “Lebron really hates us” game.

    64. d-mar

      @73 the exact opposite in Boston, where Kyrie constantly breaks down defenses and gets his teammates wide open looks. Horford has a really slow release on 3 pointers, but he’s so wide open most of the time it doesn’t even matter.

    65. BklynBoy

      @73 I agree that we could use a PG to collapse defenses and open up our 3 point shooters. But where can we get a guy like that?

    66. Brian Cronin

      Because they don’t have a pg that can initiate the offense by collapsing the defense and causing switch/scrambles defensively off a screen?

      The Clippers are starting Austin Rivers at the point and they are averaging 7 more three per game than the Knicks. It’s ridiculous that the Knicks are shooting so few threes.

    67. lavor postell

      @BC

      Yep. This isn’t just a personnel issue, it’s also a systemic thing. We aren’t hunting to create these looks.

    68. Brian Cronin

      KP hasn’t increased his threes per game average at all from last season. That’s absurd, especially since he’s raised his three-point field goal percentage from 36% to 40%. They should be, as you note, hunting to get KP more looks for three.

    69. bobneptune

      Yep. This isn’t just a personnel issue, it’s also a systemic thing. We aren’t hunting to create these looks.

      I do agree there is a scheme component to this. For example when Houston brings the ball across half court, the defender has to navigate a gauntlet of about 3 screens BEFORE the dribbler reaches the arc.

      But glacially slow footed a pg initiating an offense is a problem. I’m not sure why Rambis is the fall guy…. isn’t Horny the coach and isn’t it his offense?

    70. Brian Cronin

      Sure, Horny could have moronically changed course from how he coached in Phoenix, where he had the team shooting a lot of threes. And Rambis, who has been vocally critical of the three, might have no impact on the Knicks not looking to shoot three more. That’s legitimately a fair point, as I certainly cannot prove that Rambis has any influence on the team’s offense system. Rambis is still a moron for his views on threes, but there’s no proof as of yet that he has any role in this particular moronic decision. So my apologies, Rambis, I rescind blame from you and place it back on Horny, who needs to get the team shooting more threes.

    71. bobneptune

      Sure , Horny could have moronically changed course from how he coached in Phoenix, where he had the team shooting a lot of threes. And Rambis, who has been vocally critical of the three, might have no impact on the Knicks not looking to shoot three more. That’s legitimately a fair point, as I certainly cannot prove that Rambis has any influence on the team’s offense system. Rambis is still a moron for his views on threes, but there’s no proof as of yet that he has any role in this particular moronic decision. So my apologies, Rambis, I rescind blame from you and place it back on Horny, who needs to get the team shooting more threes.

      Or … alternatively maybe Horny doesn’t have a pg athletic enough to force switches on the pnr.

      I’m not getting the Rambis hate here. I mean if Horny is dissuaded from running a 21st century offense by Satanic Rambis, why is he the HC?

      Calling William of Ockham :-)

    72. Brian Cronin

      I agree, it is ultimately Horny’s responsibility. Whether he is influenced by Rambis or not, it is Horny’s fault that they’re not shooting more threes. So hopefully he works to improve that area.

    73. bobneptune

      No, I agree, it is ultimately Horny’s responsibility, so it is his fault.

      I believe Horny would like to run more pnr but Jack has no quickness and Frank is green as grass with the ball in his hand so that’s not the primary offense even though he would like it to be. Their OR is above average with the way they are running it and I am guessing he thinks this best suites the personnel now.

      I’d like to see Frank force fed the minutes as experience is the world’s best teacher.

    74. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      Despite being close to last in threes per game, they are the thirteenth ranked offense in the league, so they must be doing something right. They do seem to get a lot of inside buckets. I suspect this is part of what makes their team offense good.

    75. 2FOR18, understands math

      I’m no X and O genius, but if the Knicks have 2 bigs who command double teams I would think that would lead to open 3s which makes me think part of the problem is said bigs are shitty/unwilling passers.

    76. Brian Cronin

      I’d like to see Frank force fed the minutes as experience is the world’s best teacher.

      I agree, I’d like to see Frank, in effect, thrown to the wolves, as well. Better to see what they have with him than keep on giving big minutes to guys with no future. On that point, why is Ramon Sessions still on this team?

    77. ptmilo

      Once in a very rare while the Knicks run a play where KP sets an off ball screen (sort of, since KP almost never actually screens anyone), usually for TH2 coming of a curl, and when KP’s man naturally collapses a step he backs up behind the line and spots up for an open 3. I think they would be better off, especially with their shitty PG situation, doing more of that stuff and less of the KP isolation from 20 feet out stuff. Everyone hates the idea of wasting a 7′ 3″ leaping unicorn a spot up shooter from 25 feet but he is good at it — it’s an efficient shot for him and he can get it off pretty easily with little TO risk.

      The three things hurting their 3PA seem to be no true PGs, two below average passing bigs in KP and Kanter, and initiating KP’s offense in the mid range ISO too often. So Hornacek maybe deserves some blame, but it’s not the easiest offensive group to coach. Thibs in Minnesota on the other hand is really fucking things up.

    78. Brian Cronin

      Thibs in Minnesota on the other hand is really fucking things up.

      Holy shit, right? The Knicks at least don’t have that many good players, the T-Wolves have a bunch and are still not shooting any threes.

    79. Early Bird

      For whatever reason, Courtney Lee has never shot many 3s. He’s shooting .467 on his 3’s, but he doesn’t take more. Jack can’t shoot, Ntilikina can’t shoot. Hardaway can shoot and does, but he’s at .316 3P% this year.

      I think part of the issue is that we just don’t have guys who are capable of converting that many 3’s a game. And yeah, most teams shoot 3’s off the pick and roll. Even with a double team on KP, most teams can rotate if nothing else is going on.

    80. Bruno Almeida

      The Pacers break the Cavs streak… I’m honestly almost ready to admit that Oladipo has made the leap to superstardom.

    81. Grocer

      Part of the issue with our lack of threes is that we haven’t really developed much of an offensive scheme. We run simple plays and only seem to have a handful which makes us pretty easy to defend. It’s not the only reason, but it’s the one that makes me not worry too much about it. That’ll change with time.

    82. lavor postell

      I’m not worried about it in the short term, but there are minor tweaks we can make with the spacing on sets we run for our wings like THJ, Lee, McD, etc. that could up our 3PA noticeably. I also think Hornacek has done some very nice things with what he has to work with on both ends, so it’s not even close to all bad on both ends. He deserves quite a bit of credit tbh.

    83. TheOakmanCometh

      As bad as the Noah contract, the THJ contract, the Baker contract, our roster imbalance, our murky strategic vision, and our team president are, I am genuinely grateful that the Melo debate is no longer my problem. This team would be really, really hard to watch if he was still here jab-stepping the season away.

    84. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      1. Melo’s TS% had been hovering between 53%-54% for awhile. He just had terrible back to back games. and it dropped sharply. I’d be willing to bet it ends up higher than it is now and probably closer to his typical range.

      2. I’m starting to think Westbrook is one of those guys that gets a lot of low quality assists.

      a. If you have the ball and get your teammate a great look at the basket or a wide open 3, the efficiency of those shots is going to be very high.

      b. If you hold the ball trying to create something for yourself and then just pass it east/west to another player that’s covered that shoots late in the clock, you still get an assist if he makes it, but you aren’t helping him at all. You could even be hurting his efficiency.

      We typically think of players with a lot of assists as helping the efficiency of their teammates (assisted shots of more efficient), but quality of assist does matter. We’ve seen a few examples this year of players that seemed to get better away from Russ and not improve with Russ for it all to be a random event.

    85. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      Thats an interesting thought. Certainly, if Russ gives an assist at the last moment to Melo, Melo will certainly take the shot.

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