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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2017.12.28)

  • [ESPN] Knicks guard Hardaway’s return still unclear
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 12:16:24 PM)

    Tim Hardaway Jr. has increased his on-court activities but his return to the Knicks lineup is still undetermined.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks tumble down stretch to another road loss
    (Thursday, December 28, 2017 12:06:42 AM)

    The brutal road stretch that started for the Knicks Wednesday night began in brutal fashion with another gut-wrenching loss.

  • [NY Newsday] Tim Hardaway making progress but no timetable on return to Knicks
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 7:55:00 PM)

    Tim Hardaway Jr. hasn’t been cleared for running yet, but he jogged over to the ball rack on the sideline, jogged back and shot a three-pointer.

  • [NYTimes] Bulls 92, Knicks 87: Knicks Let Big Lead Slip Away in Loss to Bulls
    (Thursday, December 28, 2017 4:12:01 AM)

    The Knicks led by as many as 15 in Chicago, but Kris Dunn led a comeback for the Bulls as they edged ahead in the final moments.

  • [NYTimes] Suns Pull Off the Hidden-Rule Trick and Emerge With a Victory
    (Thursday, December 28, 2017 3:04:29 AM)

    In the latest instance of a coach exploiting an obscure rule, the Suns avoided a goaltending call on a last-second inbounds pass that was dunked by Tyson Chandler for a win.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks crumble late in 92-87 loss to Bulls
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 10:30:00 PM)

    Kris Dunn scored 17 points, including two clutch free throws in the final seconds, and the surging Chicago Bulls rallied to beat the New York Knicks 92-87 on Wednesday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s game: Knicks at Bulls, 8 p.m.
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 6:00:00 PM)

    The Chicago Bulls will go for their ninth win in 11 games when they return home to host the New York Knicks on Wednesday night at United Center.

  • [SNY Knicks] Hardaway, Jr. making progress as he rehabs stress-reaction
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 12:11:27 PM)

    Hardaway, Jr. recently began jumping while shooting and is no longer wearing a brace.

  • [SNY Knicks] Hornacek says Knicks won’t retreat like last year’s squad
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 9:35:35 AM)

    Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek implied that this year’s team is stronger-minded than the one that collapsed in the second half of last season.

  • [NYPost] Knicks reveal new ‘City Edition’ jersey
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 10:09:22 PM)

    Every NBA team is adding another alternate uniform, and the two local teams will highlight some of the best parts of the Big Apple with their “City Edition” threads. The Knicks will honor the New York City Fire Department. The jersey features an FDNY crest that says “Knicks” and “N.Y.C.” along with ladder and fire…

  • [NYPost] Jeff Hornacek questions Knicks’ physicality after latest road loss
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 5:36:51 PM)

    CHICAGO — It ended with a missed free throw by Jarrett Jack and a weird 3-point shot by Enes Kanter that Jeff Hornacek called in the huddle. It ended with the Knicks coach calling out his team for not being tough or “physical’’ enough late in games away from the Garden. It ended in disaster…

  • [NYPost] Willy Hernangomez knows decision on his Knicks’ future is coming
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 4:53:10 PM)

    CHICAGO — At the Knicks’ Christmas Eve practice, center Willy Hernangomez got clocked by assistant coach David Bliss during a one-on-one drill. The blow caused a big welt on his right cheek. It swelled up, got infected and the normally handsome Hernangomez wasn’t ready for a modeling gig on Christmas. “I was worried — national…

  • [NYPost] Derrick Rose speaks: I’m not depressed, and I’ll be back
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 12:18:07 PM)

    Derrick Rose’s time with the Cavaliers did not get off to a good start, and after deciding to take some time away from the team, there was plenty of speculation about the ex-Knicks point guard’s NBA future. He wants you to know he has one. Rose left the Cavs on Nov. 22, but rejoined his…

  • [NYPost] Hornacek thinks Hardaway Jr. won’t miss all of crucial stretch
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 7:18:11 AM)

    CHICAGO — Tim Hardaway Jr. said he hopes to be cleared to run next week, and Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek still is eyeing a January return after Tuesday’s latest reevaluation. In the latest update after Tuesday’s reevaluation with team doctors, the Knicks announced he still will “continue to be reevaluated weekly.” The Knicks said in…

  • [NYDN] Knicks center Joakim Noah will be inactive against Bulls
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 8:27:48 PM)

    Joakim Noah will not play at the United Center this season. And that’s only because he’s no longer good enough to make the roster.

  • [NYDN] Knicks blow lead late in fourth, fall to Bulls, 92-87
    (Wednesday, December 27, 2017 8:27:17 PM)

    The Knicks blew it.

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    85 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.12.28)

    1. Z-man

      Picking up on the hand-wringing from the last thread, it’s not that we are especially young, it’s that the direction of the team has clearly changed. Noah is the only true albatross contract, but that’s totally on Jackson. Lance is overpaid but also on Jackson. Lee has maintained his value and can (and might still) be traded before the deadline in a net-zero deal at worst. Tim is an overpay but looks like a productive young player. Ron? Who cares? Kanter and McDermott were more than fair return for Melo and are productive young players on reasonable deals that at most go to 2019. Everyone else is on a minimum or a rookie-scale deal.

      The future of this team is nearly completely dependent on KP’s development. So far, the results have been mixed. He’s been overrated by the media and lay fans (i.e. less enlightened than us!) but is still young and on a dysfunctional team with a horror show at PG.

      I understand that the complete tank/rebuild isn’t happening. That sucks. But for whom is it happening right now? The Bulls? The Mavs? The Suns? The Mavs? All of these teams are on hot streaks. Brooklyn doesn’t care, and a bunch of other teams are in accidentank mode.

    2. Z-man

      If we had tanked last season, who would we have drafted? All the geniuses on this board HATED Tatum and Markkanen. Rather than Ntilikina, would you want your franchise depending on the development of Fultz? Or Ball? Or Jackson? Or Isaac? Yet the most promising players in this draft thus far other than Tatum and Markkanen were available at 10.

    3. Z-man

      I left out O’Quinn, another team-friendly Jackson deal with value at the deadline.

      In @1 I said the Mavs? twice, meant the Hawks?

    4. Bruno Almeida

      I think people are just frustrated, and rightly so, because Porzingis seems to be going through the same issues as last year, with no real improvement being shown, and there’s this constant idea that the Knicks will eventually fuck things up which, to be honest, is still a real possibility.

      The Knicks ended up well on the draft considering everything. Most people didn’t see Markkanen, Mitchell or Tatum playing this well, but I don’t think many people expected Smith Jr, Monk or Fultz to have so many issues too. The fact that the result of a draft is completely different from what we expected shouldn’t mean that it wasnt, at the time, the right decision to maximize draft position. Bagley or Doncic could end up being worse players than Bridges or some of the other guys out of the top 5, but well, we can’t really know.

      It’s frustrating because once again everything “changed”, and yet the Knicks are still on pace to be mediocre. I agree it’s different this time and more hopeful, but we can’t expect people to be very optimistic after such a loss.

    5. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      I gave into to temptation and played with the trade machine. How about O’Quinn and Sessions to Boston for Rozier and Nader and the Clippers protected 2019 first round pick?

      Is it goid for the Knicks? Would Boston even consider it?

    6. Z-man

      Well, I DO expect people to be consistent with their pre-season predictions. Those who are bemoaning losing on the road to a team that is on a hot streak when we are missing a key player should explain how this isn’t just regression to the mean.

      I mean, what has happened thus far is entirely predictable. We had an early run (lack of scouting by other teams because of the relative newness of our post-Melo roster, friendly home schedule, catching a couple of teams at the right time e.g. Cavs) and because Hornacek was going to try to establish himself as a winning coach and not play young guys just for the sake of playing them. Now we are regressing to the team we thought we would be. And that could be a good thing…if TH2 is out for another couple of weeks, we could go on a 1-9 bender that would make our own version of the accidentank a possibility. Again, who expected Phx, Chi, Atl, Sac, Bkn and Dal to be within tanking reach after we went 10-4, then 6-2 in two earlier stretches? And Orl, Cha and Mem are all accidentanking, not purposely outmaneuvering us.

      Since Perry was hired, we are no longer the laughingstock of the league and at least have the potential to improve dramatically in the next 3 years. That’s at least something.

    7. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I don’t think much has changed just because we lost to Chicago last night. We aren’t as good as our record or SRS (imbalance of home vs. away). On the flip side, Chicago is better than their record. So what’s the big deal? Plus, I’m not a huge Hardaway fan, but I think we are clearly missing a 2nd scorer that can create for himself. He would have helped last night.

      I think we should mostly continue doing what we are doing.

      The only thing I would change would be trading O’Quinn. I’m not convinced Kanter is the C of the future or better than Hernangomez long term. Willy has to start getting some minutes so we can find out what he is and determine what to do with Kanter. I’d rather be playing Noah some minutes too. Noah may still be the best C on the team. He can at least defend and make plays. If there is any chance at all of moving Noah (however remote), people have to see whether he can still play.

      Other than that, people have to get used to the idea that this team is on 3-4 plan. That’s when KP will be peaking, That’s when Frank will start coming into his own. That’s when Noah will be gone (if we don’t stretch him or move him). Other than that, if someone wants Lee and offers us a winning trade, I’m all for it. I’m just not in favor giving anything away.

      There will be plenty of time to go into all out tank mode and start playing Dotson and some of the G league prospects if at the end of this road trip and after Hardaway returns we are getting buried.

    8. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      @4

      There are very few “no brainers” in the draft. That’s why I think the obsession with tanking only to HOPE we get a slightly better pick in the lottery is misplaced. It’s a very small long term edge unless you are at the very top of the draft (which we won’t be). I’m not sure Frank is the answer at PG long term, but I think he can become a very good player if his offense improves over time. We’ll probably get another one next year regardless of whether we pick 10th or 16th. That’s the one thing the organization does well.

    9. chrisconley

      Frank sucked down the stretch last night, but in general we should still have hope. The case for Frank thus far:

      He’s young (I feel annoyed at myself for even writing this bc it’s been said a billion times, but it’s true).

      His defense is already phenomenal. 5th in STLp36 among players with at least 500 min. 14th (tied with Westbrook) in deflections per 36.

      Solid passer already. 1.72 AST/TO which is above average. 23% AST% which is good (a hair above Giannis).

      His major deficiency is obviously scoring but we’ve seen glimpses of potential with the handful of big late game 3s he’s hit.

      Our best 2-man lineup (with at least 200 minutes together) is Frank & KP with a NETRTG of 17.2 (Curry & Durant are at 15.2).

    10. d-mar

      That block of KP by Markkanen last night made my stomach turn a little. Yes Markkanen is 7 feet, but KP’s offensive moves are so damn predictable- receive pass 15 feet from the basket, look for double team, if no double take a few dribbles and launch a turnaround jumper. Markkanen barely had to jump to block it. How about a head fake or two? How about a rip through like all the other scorers in the league do?

      He still has time to develop but the league has figured him out somewhat. Between he and Hornacek, they need to figure out a way to better utilize him in the offense.

    11. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      @9, I agree with most of what you say, but think Ntilikina also needs to improve his handle. Too many of his possessions go nowhere when he’s pressured.

    12. Bruno Almeida

      @6

      The issue here is, I, for example, predicted the Knicks to win between 26 and 28 games, can’t remember the number I ended up with, because that was my rational expectation. However, what I really wanted is for this team to either win 40 or 20, I just understand that’s not realistic.

      The Knicks are pretty much on pace to be where I predicted pre-season. I just hate the fact that that’s where they’re heading, so in a close game thread with yet another collapse, to hold people to their rational opinions of 3 months ago is a bit too harsh I think.

    13. Hubert

      @6 all fair points, Z-Man.

      I, personally, would be less despondent if KP wasn’t channeling Carmelo Anthony so well.

      I could deal with the losing better if I saw improvement in his game, or the foundation of a functional offense.

    14. Bo Nateman

      It’s difficult to be a fan without maintaining some type of hope, however irrational at times. As a lurker, it is interesting to observe this phenomenon leak out at times with such a rational, sophisticated group. Should the Knicks ever reach some sort of pinnacle (ECF?), that result will be that much sweeter because the climb has been so long and fraught ( see, eg ’69 Mets & Knicks).
      Tracking progress of this team on a game by game basis is an exercise in self-torture.

    15. Hubert

      On the flip side, Chicago is better than their record. So what’s the big deal?

      For me it was the terrible execution. Like the Detroit game. Detroit is good. No shame in losing to them. But we look pathetic in these close games on the road. An Enes Kanter three-pointer? Really? And that was actually positive considering we could have been called for 5 seconds. There’s just so much ineptitude.

    16. ClashFan

      I missed most of last night’s game but did see the awfulness late. However, when you miss a ton of three pointers (I think Chicago was +18 points on threes) on the road, you are going to lose a lot, and Chicago has been playing fairly well lately. Last night shouldn’t have been close late to blow in the first place.

      The late game follies really shouldn’t surprise anyone. There is not a decent PG on the team (Frank may be one day, hopefully). Recently Lee has tried to step up and make things happen late, with awful results. I too hope that KP can stop all the bad iso stuff. Hornacek may be a cultprit, too, but I think we also see some low IQ play from lots of the guys, inc. Lee.

      We’ll see what happens, but I still think the team has overachieved so far and is and will come back to reality. And that’s okay as long as, soon (by the middle of next month?), the “tank” comes in as the vets move aside and the young guys play more. Willy simply needs to play.

      It’s all going to come down to Mills and Perry. Will they embrace a tank or continue with trying to squeeze wins out of veterans for the sake of a “winning culture”? I guess my lack of anger at games like last night is that I simply believe that this team is not talented enough. More young talent is needed, and the current young ones (inc. one or two G League guys), need to start playing.

    17. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      For me it was the terrible execution. Like the Detroit game. Detroit is good. No shame in losing to them. But we look pathetic in these close games on the road. An Enes Kanter three-pointer? Really? And that was actually positive considering we could have been called for 5 seconds. There’s just so much ineptitude.

      I agree 1000%. That’s one of a few reasons I am one of the very few here (maybe the only one) that doesn’t want to tank yet. Executing at the end of games and learning to win is a process. Developing young players is about more than just minutes on the court. It’s about learning to deal with pressure situations, end of the game execution, etc… To experience it and improve at it you have to be put in those situations, especially in the playoffs. The games have to matter.

    18. RomeLives

      I’ve been really trying to hold off my opinions until the end of the season but I honestly believe that at least 50% maybe even way more of our problems is on our coach Jeff Hornacek.

      I’ve been trying to give him the benefit of the doubt since the whole Phil thing happened while he was here but the amount of stupid plays and mistakes combined with the lack of development from our young players and of course the questionable rotations, is really starting to concern me. Is he only trying to save his job ? He’s doing a great job at that either lol

      This next brutal stretch of games, wins or loses will show us how good of coach he is. We’ll see that by the execution, attitude and the play of the team.

      As of now I believe Hornacek is the equivalent to the Mike Woodson type of coach in which he is better suited as a assistant coach who can still help and have a impact on the team.

      By all means I hope I’m completely wrong though.

    19. ClashFan

      @19
      To me, learning to win is step two or three in developing a winning team. The Knicks have not yet completed step one, though, which is to get a good young talent base.

      Philly and Minny believe that they have finished that step and have gone into step two, which is to add a vet or two and try to win. It may nor may not work out for them. I don’t think the Knicks are there, but I’d be happy to be wrong.

      Hornacek has shown a willingness to leave Frank in late in close games, so that is good. But what about Willy and Dotson? What good does it do for them to sit and watch guys like Jack, Lee, LT, and Beas fail repeatedly in close games? They rarely ever even get in games, esp. Willy.

    20. ClashFan

      @20
      Good questions. Hornacek may end up a victim of the early season success of the team, IF it collapses in the next few weeks.

      What we don’t know is what management has told him in private. In public, we hear that the team just needs to play hard, etc. But, what if the late game follies continue? His rotations and substitutions seems smart at times, but really dumb at other times.

      Maybe he should be tied to KP’s development? KP has got to stop taking so many crappy shots.

    21. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      None of you seem to like my trade suggestion, but we get a better point guard than Sessions and a young small forward and we have one less center. What more do you expect if we trade O’Quinn?

    22. kevin5318

      I’d like to see Hornaceck with a PG who isn’t bottom 5 at that position. He’s the least of our problems IMO.

    23. ClashFan

      @23
      Dealing with Ainge is dicey. He seems to really only like to deal if he feels like he’s getting a big win (and he usually seems to do so).

      Rozier is a big piece of their rotation right now. Sessions is garbage. OQ would help them, but they might view such a trade as a sideways move at best.

    24. mase

      ainge likes rozier and would want back a lot more…lakers want to dump clarksons contract but i cant find a trade that makes sense

    25. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      @21

      I agree with you. The Knicks are still at the point where they are building their team, but playing meaningful games still matters to the development of what they have now. Earlier in the thread I argued for getting Willy on the court. So I agree with you on that also.

      I’m not sure what to make of Dotson. He hasn’t played enough NBA minutes to know whether he belongs on the court. I have no problem with testing him here or there, but I don’t think he should be getting a lot of minutes just because he’s young.

    26. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      Thanks for the inputs. If they consider Rozier that important, i can see they wouldn’t do the deal.

      I looked at LA trades. A trade of Thomas and Sessions for Clarkson actually works, but I don’t understand why, since NY is over the cap and gaining salary in the deal. So does O’Quinn, Sessions and Jack for Clarkson. I would do those deals, but I don’t think LA would.

    27. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      @15

      I think that article sums it up nicely.

      I would just say the difficulty of the situation compounded by the fact Kanter and Hernangomez have similar strengths and weakness. In my ideal world, Willy would earn the starting job, we’d trade Kanter and O’Quinn for things we need, and Noah would be the backup C we could use against certain matchups where Willy was having a tough time. That would also leave minutes for KP at C. We could find someone cheap to be at the end of the bench in case of injuries.

    28. mase

      L.A. wants to subtract $ to sign lebron and PG13 so they wouldnt take back lance or KOQ (does he have a player option?)

    29. Jack Bauer

      @29 – Unfortunately in the real world Kanter is outplaying Willy by so much he can’t get minutes and Noah is so used up he likely can’t be counted on for more than a bit role. I agree Noah at backup C would be a huge lift but it doesn’t appear that is possible.

      I sense a bad stretch coming right now.

      Hornacek plays some weird lineups, but I dont think he is near the top of the list of problems. The ongoing dreck they throw out there every night at point guard has the Knicks playing at a major disadvantage every single game. This recurring problem has been lingering for most if not all of the last 20 years or so. Management is unwilling or unable to address it and so it goes on and on.

    30. Z-man

      I’m not a big Hornacek fan, but whatever. For me, the decision to keep the kids other than KP and Frank on the bench is on management. The decision to keep Ramon Sessions on the roster and not sign G-League stud Trey Burke is on management. All of that is steeped in Perry’s and Mill’s belief that you don’t pull the plug unless making the playoffs is a lost cause. That’s why it is probably best if we go on a prolonged losing streak, which is more likely than not right now. That would result in either Hornacek being fired, or being forced to play the kids, or in management trading/dumping some vets. He’s not going to do so on his own.

      The odd thing is that, like Chicago and Phoenix, we might actually play better if we dumped Lee, Jack, Beasley and Lance. Sometimes when you put talented young guys out there and just let them play with no pressure, good things happen.

    31. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      They would have less committed sakary if they did the deal by about 4 or 5 million, depending on the details. But I don’t think that much gets them where they want to be. That’s why I think a deal with them is unlikely.

    32. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      @31 Unfortunately in the real world Kanter is outplaying Willy by so much he can’t get minutes

      I’m not convinced that Kanter will outplay Willy over the long haul. Willy has some issues with TOs and PFs that he needs to get past (he’s inexperienced) and he’s not as efficient as Kanter has been so far this year. But he may be the better defender (granted it’s still a weakness) and play maker. If we could get Willy minutes I think he’d close the gap and eventually be the better all around player.

    33. domiknick

      Clarkson/Randle/Deng for Kanter/Lee works money-wise. Gets Lakers out from under the Deng deal and Knicks get 2 young players back. Deng and Noah can hang out on the bench together in street clothes and reminisce on their Chicago days when they were each playing 47 mins a game.

    34. Z-man

      Even if Willy is only 4/5 as good as Kanter, he’s making 1/12 of his salary. Kanter should be viewed as trade bait right now.

    35. domiknick

      @37 Lol. Not sure they’d want him as their future with his position is already secure for the next 10 years with Kyle Kuzma. ;)

    36. Count de Pennies

      The future of this team is nearly completely dependent on KP’s development.

      You can color me a sKePtic. Yes, he’s only 22 (as we’re repeatedly reminded) but he’s still been playing pro ball for nearly six years now. Sadly, he does not appear to have moved beyond the concerns that were raised about him when he was still an unknown Euro prospect.

      In the lead-up to the ’15 draft, many here (who had never seen him play) were adamant that they did not want KP based on his piss-poor rebound and assist numbers in Europe. Fears that the Knicks had drafted Bargnani 2.0 resulted in a hail of boos at the draft and a widespread rending of garments elsewhere. To his credit, KP was well aware of the reasons for his rude welcome to NY and vowed on draft night to show the fans that he was not another “soft Euro.”

      Despite that fine talk, has anything really changed to dispel fans’ draft day misgivings? Here we sit, 2 1/2 years later, attempting to envision a future built around a piss-poor rebounding, no-assist big so soft that he can be easily defended by players six inches shorter. Worse yet, KP seems to have learned all of the wrong lessons re: taking on a leadership role from his two years’ experience of playing Robin to Melo’s Batman.

      To be fair, KP’s shot-blocking & rim protection have been a revelation. But is that really enough to justify a max deal for a volume shooting big who has demonstrated scant ability to board or pass in nearly six years of pro ball? Sure the shot selection might improve somewhat with the addition of a competent PG or new offensive system. Apart from that, I fear that what you now see is pretty much what you’re going to get with KP. Anointing such a player the centerpiece of your team with a max contract figures to doom this franchise to yet another decade of the mediocrity to which Knick fans have become all too accustomed.

    37. Bruno Almeida

      Perry and Mills are not looking for trades, I’m pretty sure.

      They’re gonna chalk the losses up to being a young team (only partially true) and being without Hardaway (actually impactful) and that they’re committed to winning and development and the double approach of winning culture + development has it’s growing pains bla bla bla.

      The only way I see them trading Lee is if Lee actually requests a trade. He’s the sort of player every good team would kinda like to have but not that much if it costs useful pieces of any sort. If he was waived then yes, a lot of teams would make offers.

      This is what’s annoying about the whole thing, the lack of commitment to one strategy or another, which is a Knicks staple under Dolan. Anyway, at this point I’m hoping the Knicks to like 1-9 for the next ten games (or 9-1, even more impossible) just so were out of this imminent limbo.

    38. djphan

      these hot takes are really something… kp is fine… yes he has improved markedly… it is basically just masked by the fact that he is taking a lot more mid range shots now… which if you look at his usage and just watch the games… it’s evident these are not shots that he prefers to take….

      as soon as there are more shot creators and takers around him… and it might just take having th2 back… then i’m sure it will be pretty evident to everyone out there that kp is a franchise level player…

      right now ppl are just being too knee jerky… even for being a knick fan….

    39. geo

      To me, learning to win is step two or three in developing a winning team. The Knicks have not yet completed step one, though, which is to get a good young talent base.

      this is the same exact thing i keep telling myself clash…

      you would/could hope for our veteran guys to help lead us to those victories – however, jack, lee, beasley have demonstrated throughout their careers – they really aren’t those kind of difference makers…

      here’s a crazy thought for you all:

      with the emergence of mitchell in utah and the kings relying on frank mason jr. to run their offense – any chance we try to go after either rubio or hill?

      should we?

    40. Z-man

      @39, fair points. However, paying KP the max is not necessarily a death-knell for championship hopes. Even if he doesn’t evolve into a transcendent star on offense, his defense unquestionably has superstar-level potential. Paying your #2 guy like a #1 guy is only terrible if he actually IS your #1 guy. And even as an offensively soft, non-rebounding, poor-passing, mediocre-efficiency volume shooter, he still will have enormous value if paired with a transcendent player. And it’s still not unreasonable for him to improve offensively as he gets older, stronger and smarter and has better teammates.

      But I agree that he’s probably not suited to being the #1 guy. The problem is, how do we get that #1 guy, who almost has to be a PG or a wing? The most cost-effective way is via the draft, which is what makes this past draft so frustrating (Ntilikina is likely to be good, but extremely unlikely to be a transcendent #1 option 2-way stud) and the next one so bewildering (top-heavy and we’re not tanking yet). Then there’s trades, but that will only work if a disgruntled star forces his way here (LeBron, are you listening?). Then there’s free agency, and we will be capped out until KP’s max year.

    41. ptmilo

      If we want to take a shot on a young laker we should skip their no-D-not-a-real-pg Clarkson whose contract is not a value and Randle, who has zero control years left, and instead try to grab Thomas Bryant. He has killer G league stats like Burke, but has not proven himself to be a horrific NBA defender and is only 20. He’s also shooting 6 3PA/gm at a good %, which would be an unexpected development for him. Obviously could be a complete fluke, but in case not that’s an interesting trait for a guy built like
      Kanter and who can block a shot.

    42. ptmilo

      @42 I wouldn’t be shocked to see Kanter for Hill before the deadline. Perry obviously likes Hill, and I’m sure our current situation of angry agents and playing fourth quarters with zero of Kanter/KOQ/Noah/Billy even with Timmy down is a headache to the front office. Could happen. The contracts are similar iff Kanter opts in.

    43. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      it’s evident these are not shots that he prefers to take….

      Bruh last night I saw him call for the ball 2 feet inside the line, and then immediately ISOed it

    44. Grocer

      It’s a very small long term edge unless you are at the very top of the draft (which we won’t be)

      This is mostly what I think. I predicted 26 wins, but to hit that number now we have to lose all our road games and half of our home games. It could happen but that’s probably worst case scenario for this team, and even if we do we’re probably still sitting at 7th at best. That’s relying on a lot of luck. And fire sale deals for Lee/Kanter/etc isn’t getting good value. I don’t want to break up camaraderie to get pennies on the dollar.

      I watched the Suns/Grizz the other night. Talk about a bunch of dispirited, sucky teams. The Knicks play hard even when they’re fucking it all up. I really like that they care. I don’t want to watch a bunch of disillusioned players, I got plenty of that shit last year.

    45. Z-man

      I truly don’t get why the Knicks don’t sign Trey Burke. He’s the best guard in the G-League and was no worse than either Jack or Sessions in 6,000+ NBA minutes.

    46. mase

      there are a few negatives to bringing up Burke, the main being he could stunt Franks development and limit his experience as a rookie with a former lottery pick who failed at the pro level.

    47. ClashFan

      @42
      I’ve always liked Rubio. It depends on what the Knicks could get for him. If some sort of deal with Lee and Rubio as the principals, I’d do it. Unload Jack and Sessions.

      As for Burke, from what I’ve read, I think there may be off-court or attitude issues with him. Sure, I’d say dump Sessions and/or Jack and bring him up, but I wouldn’t expect much. So far, isn’t the whole league is passing on Burke, not just the Knicks?

    48. Z-man

      Re: Burke:

      @50, why would anyone be concerned about Burke stunting Frank’s development? It’s really about replacing Sessions with Burke, not Frank. Burke might not even get off the bench. And maybe some youthful competition in practice would actually help Frank’s development, especially since he just got schooled by 2 diminutive 1-foot-in-the-G-League guards TJ McConnell and Ish Smith.

      @51, I haven’t seen anything recent about off-court issues, and we have Dotson and Beasley on the team despite their off-court issues. And the whole league passed on Jeremy Lin for a while too, no?

    49. mase

      z-man
      so why bring him up if you only want to use him as Sessions, end of the bench- non playing role; how does that help us or him?
      btw, mcconnell or ish would probably start on our team

    50. nicos

      [Kp’s] defense unquestionably has superstar-level potential.

      The problem with KP is that as good as he is as a rim protector he gives all of it back with his rebounding and perimeter defense. The fact that he falls down about 5 times a game doesn’t help much either. His DBPM is negative (and was zero last year) and while his DRPM is positive he doesn’t rank in the top 40 among power forwards defensively.
      And offensively he can’t play screen and roll because he can’t set a screen without getting knocked off balance and he isn’t strong enough to yet to play the post so I’m not sure how much his shot chart can change- if he only shot threes and at the rim off cuts he’d certainly have a better TS% but his usage would be so much lower that he wouldn’t be a guy you could build your offense around. I do think they could try to use him more like McDermott and run him off more screens so he can get more catch and shoots and back cuts but I’m not sure he has the stamina to be in constant motion for 36 minutes a night. As it is you basically have to hope for a physical transformation that allows him to carry his early season play deeper into the season

    51. hoolahoop

      Kanter is an absolute beast on the offensive glass. And a beast with the ball in the paint. He runs the floor. He’s tough. He’s tremendously positive. He pairs well with KP. He’s relatively young.
      Yeah, guys like him are expensive, but he’s a keeper.

      The knicks are managing the over supply at center terribly.
      For starters, we don’t even know what we got. Give Willy minutes! That’s a no brainer.

      And Noah too.
      He’s a tough defender, very active, moves the ball well, PNR’s well and we’re stuck with him. If he proves himself durable enough to stay on the court, maybe Willy and KOQ can be packaged for something really nice in return. The most obvious guy to trade is KOQ. But Willy should not be untouchable.

      The knicks are going to have to give up something valuable to get something valuable.

    52. Z-man

      @54 because he’s worth a look. He might be an end-of-bench guy or he might be better than all of our current PGs. And I doubt that either Ish Smith or McConnell would start over Jack, especially Smith, who has a career WS48 of .036 and TS% of .456, both lower than Burke’s. I like McConnell and he has been very good in his role; if he were available I’d love to have him as a backup. But he’s not, so why not Burke?

    53. Z-man

      Yeah, guys like him are expensive, but he’s a keeper.

      Not when we have essentially the same player on a minimum deal. I’d rather spend the money on other positions.

    54. Count de Pennies

      kp is fine… yes he has improved markedly

      Apart from defense, in what other aspect of KP’s game have we seen this “marked improvement”?

      I identified rebounding and passing as two areas of weakness in which he’s made almost no progress from the feeble numbers he posted in Spain. The rebounding of Enes and KOQ have somewhat mitigated KP’s continued aversion to cleaning the glass but his inability to execute even a rudimentary pass remains a vexing issue- especially in light of the increased double teams he now faces.

      WRT to the undisputed fact of KP taking a lot more mid range shots now, I’d argue that this is a clear cut sign of his regression rather than something that is “masking” the evidence of his improvement. One may legitimately point out that this unfortunate development is due to Hornacek’s poorly designed offense or the current lack of an NBA caliber PG but I’d counter by noting that the resulting bad habits, once learned, will be very difficult for KP to unlearn. KP seems to be very aware of what his weaknesses are and seems to have little trouble acknowledging them publicly but that has not really paid off in terms of measurable on-court improvement in rebounding and passing. Moreover, we have no idea to what extent he relishes assuming the role of The Man (at least how he came to understand it from observing Melo) and whether or not this is something he would willingly relinquish once more talent comes on board.

      In short, there are more than enough red flags with KP for me to feel less than sanguine about his future as the cornerstone of this franchise. I wish that I’m wrong but in all likelihood, I’m not. As a fan of this woebegone ballclub for some 50+ years, I’ve long since learned to hope for the best and expect the worst.

    55. hoolahoop

      Unlike most people here, I see these recent losses as a good thing. They’re blowing games to decent teams on the road. If they get better at closing out games, and THJ comes back playing well, this is a good squad to start building winning character. Each new piece brings them a little closer to the top.
      And if they have any hopes of landing a prized elite free agent, tanking and sucking is not going to lure anyone.

    56. hoolahoop

      Yeah, guys like him are expensive, but he’s a keeper.

      Not when we have essentially the same player on a minimum deal. I’d rather spend the money on other positions.

      Who’s that, Willy? Sure, that would be fantastic, but we don’t even know what he can do anymore. And in Hornacek’s opinion, he can’t even play himself into the rotation.

    57. djphan

      it is year 3…. it is not some out of bounds possibility that he hasn’t improved in rebounding and passing…

      what he has done is improved his free throw rate… he’s improved his free throw rate even with a sky high usage rate which means it is for real…. that isn’t some easy thing to accomplish…

      on that basis alone he has improved his ws48 to .140… that’s a 40% improvement that isn’t elevated by a hot shooting streak…

      so no i’m not buying any arguments that kp has stagnated on the whole… that is not really supported by anything….

    58. hoolahoop

      KP has not stagnated. He developed additional offensive moves and got a little stronger in the offseason. A new set of problems has been thrown at him.
      Is he going to be an MVP? Probably not. But he may develop to be the best knicks player ever. 22.

    59. geo

      Unlike most people here, I see these recent losses as a good thing. They’re blowing games to decent teams on the road. If they get better at closing out games, and THJ comes back playing well, this is a good squad to start building winning character. Each new piece brings them a little closer to the top.
      And if they have any hopes of landing a prized elite free agent, tanking and sucking is not going to lure anyone.

      hoolahoop – are you sure you’re a knick fan??? that sort of unbridled optimism isn’t very knick fan like :-)

      in all honesty though – i did have that same exact thought recently…thankfully years of anguish and disappointment were able to beat that notion into submission and relegate it somewhere back in to my deep subconscious…

      and, we are so losing by at least 15 tonight – now that is true a knick fan response…

    60. Brian Cronin

      I’m not a big Hornacek fan, but whatever. For me, the decision to keep the kids other than KP and Frank on the bench is on management. The decision to keep Ramon Sessions on the roster and not sign G-League stud Trey Burke is on management. All of that is steeped in Perry’s and Mill’s belief that you don’t pull the plug unless making the playoffs is a lost cause. That’s why it is probably best if we go on a prolonged losing streak, which is more likely than not right now. That would result in either Hornacek being fired, or being forced to play the kids, or in management trading/dumping some vets. He’s not going to do so on his own.

      The odd thing is that, like Chicago and Phoenix, we might actually play better if we dumped Lee, Jack, Beasley and Lance. Sometimes when you put talented young guys out there and just let them play with no pressure, good things happen.

      Yeah, this is all management.

      And yes, holy shit, why is Ramon Sessions still on this team? What kind of moronic reasoning is, “We need to keep the shitty Ramon Sessions on our bench in case the slightly less shitty Jarrett Jack breaks down?” How in the fuck is Ramon Sessions any sort of insurance policy for anything?!

    61. geo

      have you noticed, when sessions does get in a game – he goes straight to the hole…irregardless of whatever is going on with his teammates out on the floor – or what the opposition is doing…

      obviously at some point horny emphasized penetration, and, ramon really takes that to heart…

      rubio, rubio, rubio, rubio…

    62. GoNyGoNyGo

      I am rolling on the floor laughing. I predicted about 30 wins +/- 5 and I think that I’m on target. This is the month that we lose 12 out of 16 games. Knicks fans will freak out: Hornacek’s job will be on the line, fans will freak out because 19-year old Ntilikina isn’t playing like Jason Kidd, the suicide hotlines will be tied up as fans realize that Porzingis is not the best player in the game.

      This is the Knicks. This is what I expected. This is NOT bad. It’s the process. Sure, it would be nice if they rid themselves of the yips but I don’t expect it. Sit back, enjoy good ball. throw something soft at the TV when they crumble with 2 minutes left in the game. Eventually they’ll wake up and start to win on the road. Eventually. Just chill please.

    63. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      If Jack breaks down, and he has in the past, you’re stuck with Ntilikina starting and Baker being the backup point guard if you don’t have Sessions. If you are really tanking you don’t mind, but that is not Knick management stated priority.

    64. Z-man

      I would rather have Baker backing up Ntilikina starting or vice versa than depend on Sessions in any way. I doubt that our record would be much different in either case, and wonder if it would be better in the former.

    65. Brian Cronin

      I would rather have Baker backing up Ntilikina starting or vice versa than depend on Sessions in any way. I doubt that our record would be much different in either case, and wonder if it would be better in the former.

      Absolutely agreed. But even if I didn’t prefer Baker to Sessions, I would also just call Burke up, so Burke would be the backup. There is no need for Sessions on this team.

    66. ClashFan

      @67

      obviously at some point horny emphasized penetration

      Careful now!
      :-)

      But yeah, totally agree with all on Sessions. Keeping him is probably bad for him, too. Maybe another team could give him some minutes.

      I think and hope that next month we’ll see some roster moves.

    67. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      This place gets very depressing after a few losses. lol

      We are still in a pretty good position long term. We have a few iffy contracts and Noah is problematical, but it was clear we weren’t gong to be very good for another few years anyway. All those contracts will be gone by then. If we don’t panic and make a dumb deal or sign any more bad contracts, our young players will get better, we’ll add good young players in the draft, and we’ll have opportunities to add pieces in free agency. If we pull off just one coup in a trade or free agency everything will change over might. If KP figures it all out this year or next, it will all change over night. If we strike hidden gold in the draft it will all change over might. What we can’t do is make any panicked or highly suspect moves like we made this off season. They all make a mistake here or there (including SA and HOU) . You just can’t make too many of them or they add up. We have to be patient and win trades.

    68. TheOakmanCometh

      If Horny needed Sessions around because he didn’t trust Frank to run the point under pressure, I guess that would make some sense. Savvy veteran, knows how to handle crunch time, blah blah blah. But Horny plays Frank down the stretch of most of these games, despite Frank providing almost zero offense, so what’s the point of having Sessions? We have our one washed-up veteran PG in Jack — that should be enough.

      Burke has 95% proven himself to be below NBA caliber, but we should absolutely waive Sessions for him just for that 5% chance. This team needs shot creation in the worst way.

    69. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      Unless Sessions is helping Frank a lot in practice (something we wouldn’t know about), I see no reason to keep him over Burke.

    70. latke

      I think if we go all in on veteran players, we’ll be even more of a rebuilding team. We should trade Frank and some picks for like Marvin Williams and move KP to the bench so he can get better faster the same way we’re making Frank, Willy and Dotson better faster by keeping then on the bench. The key to improving your young players is to have as few as possible, and the key to making your team have a brighter future is having an older team. If we can get our average age up to like 32, we’ll have nowhere to go but up.

    71. hoolahoop

      rubio, rubio, rubio, rubio…

      Rubio always was my dream PG for the knicks. But you really need a guy that knocks down 3’s in today’s NBA.

    72. BigBlueAL

      Burke is playing great in the G-League and is still only 24. He was the 9th pick in the draft and had pretty good numbers in college so there is a reason to think he could be a decent NBA player. They should call Burke up and give all the PG minutes to him and Frank.

    73. geo

      yeah, ‘ol ricky kind of does make marcus smart look like a sharp shooter out there…

      think though of how great it would be to hear clyde call him rubedo, ruberio, and, of course ricardo every once in awhile…

    74. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I’m still a Rubio fan despite him having a bit of a down year. I think it’s mostly an issue of Utah’s offense being weak overall and not strictly a Rubio issue. Brian made a good point a few weeks back about it not being an ideal fit with Frank because Frank is not much of a shooter either. But I’m sticking by my guns and saying Frank is eventually going to be a very good shooter. He may not be great off the dribble, but long term I think it could work with Rubio and I think Rubio would be great for KP now.

    75. Bruno Almeida

      I have always vouched really hard for Rubio and I still think he’s a valuable player, but his massive drops in FTr and AST% do scare me.

      He was able to be a positive offensive player despite his shooting because he managed to get to the line (and shoot very well there) and have a great assist to turnover rate. Without both things, he’s a real liability on offense.
      Incredibly he’s still 27, so it might just be a bad stretch.

    76. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I have always vouched really hard for Rubio and I still think he’s a valuable player, but his massive drops in FTr and AST% do scare me.

      That’s what I meant by it being a function of their offense and not just Rubio. That doesn’t mean I am right. lol

    77. Bruno Almeida

      @82

      It might just be, I also don’t have any idea… It’s not like he had a great offense to work with before, so specially the drop in free throws is very weird. Might be fucked up spacing, a lot of stuff. I would wait until the off-season at least to make a move on him unless it’s a fantastic deal.

    78. Grocer

      I feel like there should maybe be backup refs. Like, call up a G League ref or something when a ref goes down to injury.

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