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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.03.19)

  • [NYTimes] Freshman’s Desperate Shot Saves Michigan at the Buzzer
    (Sunday, March 18, 2018 9:55:01 PM)

    Jordan Poole hit a long 3-pointer as time ran out to keep Michigan’s season alive and win it a berth in the Sweet 16.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Lose Now, Win Later? In Sixers, Knicks Have a Role Model
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 10:24:33 AM)

    The long-term absence of Kristaps Porzingis and a visit by Philadelphia on Thursday offer lessons for the Knicks, and a reminder that losing doesn’t have to last forever.

  • [NYPost] Knicks have lottery position at stake even if they won’t admit it
    (Sunday, March 18, 2018 7:56:20 PM)

    NBA commissioner Adam Silver may want to take the subway from his NBA offices for a celebrity-row perch Monday when the Bulls visit the Garden for the “Tank Bowl.” It’s some of the little suspense left in another melancholy Knicks season as they “battle’’ the Bulls for the eighth and ninth lottery seeds. Finishing with…

  • [NYPost] Ntilikina gets fired up, as two-thirds of Knicks’ PG trio heat up
    (Sunday, March 18, 2018 9:41:59 AM)

    It is rare to see Frank Ntilikina get riled up. But after the reserved Knicks point guard scored his NBA-high 15 points in Saturday’s streak-busting Garden rout of the Hornets, the Frenchman didn’t like to hear Jeff Hornacek’s concern about his defensive matchups the past two games. According to Hornacek, he gave Ntilikina limited minutes…

  • [NYDN] Frank Ntilikina confident he can build off his career night
    (Sunday, March 18, 2018 11:01:04 AM)

    Frank Ntilikina didn’t get the start on Saturday against the Hornets, but he still posted his best finishing performance of the season.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks’ young players going all out for wins
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 2:08:34 AM)

    As Enes Kanter was telling a reporter the Knicks are not “tanking,” Trey Burke interrupted and said he doesn’t even know how to do that.

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    63 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.03.19)

    1. Frank

      Figures that the Knicks win a game in which Hornacek finally gets his head out of his butt and plays Mudiay less and Ntilikina more. Assuming he thinks that winning might save his job, it’s mind-boggling what he’s done with his lineups.

      Obviously a terrible win for the #tank but if we win games because our young players play a lot and play well, I can live with that. The “good” news is that it’ll be really difficult for us to fall past #9, and even if another team jumps us in the lottery, there are 10 players I would be happy coming out of the draft with – Ayton, Doncic, JJJ, MPJ, Young, Bagley, Bamba, Carter, Mikal Bridges, SGA.

      man did Miles Bridges have an awful game last night.

    2. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      I recorded the Charlotte game and finished watching it recently. My major impression was that we looked like a good team, a much better team than a team competing for the eighth spot in the lottery. If Charlotte played Golden State in California, or played Houston in Houston, you’d expect a game like that. There were comments in the press about some of teams using reverse analytics to tank, and I’m wondering if the Knicks were one of them. After all, they traded for Mudiay and management insisted he start, despite a whole season of trying to create an atmosphere where players win minutes by their performance. I can imagine reverse analytics would suggest starting Mudiay. Reverse analytics probably also suggest not playing Ntilikina too much.

      Trouble for the strategy is that Mudiay seems to be getting better (though he’s still not good). It was like Hornacek’s public comments about his defense on Embiid motivated him. I predict Chicago may have it’s hands full tonight, much to the regret of tanking enthusiasts.

    3. DRed

      The Bulls left LaVine, Dunn and Markkanen back in Chicago. They’re not coming here to win.

    4. wetbandit

      He should. Benching players for rest before the playoffs =/= benching players for the tank.

      If my team is worse than yours, we should have the benefit of the ping pong balls without your stacking the deck.

      And they should really look into Sacramento, Dallas, Orlando, Atlanta, Memphis and the Suns as well for their antics. And take away the Nets pick too since they’re so close to my home and they don’t give me enough reason to jump ship from this stinking franchise.

    5. ess-dog

      We were bound to win one more game. I’m glad it was because of the young guys.

      But crap, I really want to keep moving up. I’m praying we can at least get one of Mikal/Carter Jr. as a backstop at #9. I can’t even if we end up with chuckers Miles or Sexton…

      Hopefully, they’ve pinpointed Zhaire Smith as someone to grab that’s more off the radar in case they drop to 10.

    6. swiftandabundant

      I doubt they would take away the bulls pick entirely. More likely they would just freeze the envelope against them and make sure they do not get higher than they finish or maybe push them down in the draft a few spots. Its so freaking blatant. And yeah everyone here complains about meaningless wins in November with our team but it irks me to no end that we actually had a competitive team and decent product out on the court this year and had bad luck with Zinger going down and all these other teams just threw in the towel so early and will get a higher pick because of it.

    7. wetbandit

      ^ Well, the other teams might say, you have a player like KP and a competitive team, so why would you get a higher pick than us?

      The issue from the outset was having NBA players like Jack, Lee, Lance, and O’Quinn playing real minutes and raising a shitty team to mediocre team early. No issue with any of the players, but my qualms lie in the roster creation and minutes allocation. Even Tim, who is young and talented to a degree, and a ‘good get’ on many levels, was acquired way too early in our team-building. We’re still at “talent through draft, maximized by losing games” level.

    8. swiftandabundant

      @ 11 – sure. But its not like the teams ahead of us haven’t had top draft picks the last 3 or 4 years. The Suns, Kings, etc…have all had picks in the top 8 multiple times the last 4 or 5 years. Should we be punished because we drafted well when we drafted KP, making us a little bit better than those teams.

      And yes, from a “lets get the best pick possible” perspective having players like Jack, Lee, etc….hurt us. But honestly are we gonna blame Jarret Jack for making us too good? And I feel like having a competent vet like JJ as our PG, since Frank was a super raw rookie, was actually really important for KP’s development. After deferring to Melo and Rose he needed a PG who fed him the ball and got him good looks in the flow of an offense. Also, Lance didn’t help us win games. Maybe a little with his grit. You’re advocating a full on play no one but young players approach and I wonder how said young players are supposed to learn how to get better without some good veterans on the team to play with.

    9. ptmilo

      on defense markannen and lavine are actually our kanter and mudiay so leaving them at o’hare isn’t actually a big deal in the tankville chornicles

    10. DRed

      The Cavs announce that Tyronn Lue is stepping away from coaching the team for the time being. Associate head coach Larry Drew will take over. More to come.

      oh

    11. TheOakmanCometh

      You can’t blame the tanking teams for tanking. They’re taking advantage of the system as it’s constructed. At the same time, blatant tanking is bad for the league, and it should absolutely consider punitive measures for such teams. It would have to start next year though. They can’t just take away a team’s draft pick this year.

      I hope we follow Chicago’s lead and do what it takes to lose tonight. If Burke is lighting it up, sit him for the 4th quarter. Fuck it. Any means necessary.

    12. wetbandit

      @farfa
      I wrote “NBA players” not “true”

      I don’t think Jack or Lance have anything positive to give to a team, but I have no doubt Jack somehow provided some of the impetus for our early season success, and Lance is a bucket of emptiness as far as I know, but provides some motivation/stability/defense/something, but I’m probably wrong on that, but I don’t care.

      Either way, as I wrote in November:

      we have guys like Kanter, Lee, O’quinn, etc, who all may not be part of our long-term success but are giving us wins now regardless, so what’s the point of that.

    13. wetbandit

      In terms of tanking, we’ve spoken about it before- it has to be directed from management: players don’t want to tank, both vets and youth; coaching doesn’t usually want to tank, especially on-the-bubble guys like Hornacek; really, only management has reason to lose one season to get better long-term. They are the ones who tell the coach to tank each game, because, don’t worry, your job is good. Maybe Mudiay coming in and getting all the minutes is reason to believe… or hate. I don’t know.

    14. ProjectKnicks

      Is tanking alone the best course of action for the Knicks?

      I think serious consideration should be given to trading Porzingis for a couple of prospects (assuming he returns un-diminished, of course). Given the contracts in place, offering Porzingis a mega-contract will land us squarely back in Melo territory: a pseudo-star gobbling up the cap for a team without the resources to get better during his contract.

    15. lavor postell

      We’d be really fucking stupid to not keep Kyle O’Quinn. He’s one of the rare bargains we’ve signed in years, a beloved teammate, is in his prime and has a game which should withstand the ravages of time for the next 3-4 years at least.

    16. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      This Chicago move is so blatant the Knicks should give Berman a 10 day contract and start him at PG. Total BS if this costs us a significant player.

    17. Bruno Almeida

      I think it’s a hard question because Porzingis has shown something at least, he is a good defender. It’s very disappointing to me that he couldn’t get over his mediocre shooting numbers, even though this season he shot 3s at a very good percentage, mostly because it seemed to be so much about shot selection.

      A 7’3″ guy who shoots 5 3s a game at .390 and almost 6 FTA at .800 should never have such a low ts%, it’s just on those stupid long twos and contested shots he kept taking over and over.

      So I really don’t know about trading him. Sometimes I think he’ll put it together, fix his shot selection and be a star, other times it seems he views himself as this guy who has to be the traditional, Kobe / Melo star who has to carry the scoring with injury issues and won’t ever amount to much.

      I guess I would be fine with trading him if it brought back a major haul, something like this year’s 1st overall pick plus something else, but who is going to offer so much for him after the injury? As much as the injury put this team into tank mode, which should have been the plan from the start, it was just so terrible in terms of evaluating the future of this team and what the optimal possibilities are.

    18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      We’d be really fucking stupid to not keep Kyle O’Quinn. He’s one of the rare bargains we’ve signed in years, a beloved teammate, is in his prime and has a game which should withstand the ravages of time for the next 3-4 years at least.

      1) He’s a bench player, so he’ll be shit against starters because bench players don’t play hard.
      2) He don’t score no points.
      3) Anyone can rebound and play defense if you teach them right.
      4) Anyone can hustle and be a good NBA player. Like Kenneth Faried — no talent, he just tries hard.
      5) He was the 49th overall pick, so he can’t be that good. If he showed upside and potential, he would have gone higher. I think Thomas Robinson, the #5 pick in that draft, is available. Why not take a flyer on a high-reward, low-risk pickup like him?

    19. ess-dog

      I’ll be curious to see what O’Quinn is offered on the open market. I’d love to bring him back and have him swap roles with Kanter (might need a new coach for that). His passing would be welcomed as a starter, and Kanter would be a more effective defender against 2nd units.

      But what do I know! I’m not a big-time basketball mind like Horny.

    20. kevin5318

      David West is still killing it a 37. I think medical advancements are extending players window of playing at a high level (look at our very own Courtney Lee).

      KOQ could still play at a high level well into his 30’s when we’re hopefully competitive again.

    21. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      I’m on the “keep O’Quinn” train, especially now that Willy is gone and Noah is in exile. IMO, he should be the starter getting more minutes than Kanter. If he can’t be as productive with a lot more minutes against better starting players night after night, we could always make an adjustment.

      I think it’s likely he’d consider giving us a home discount if management made the case to him. He loves playing in NY and hasn’t been shy about saying that living close to family means a lot to him.

      Lee is a different case. I like Lee, but if you could get an expiring contract plus a couple of second rounders it makes more sense to move him now than it did earlier. If KP was going to play next year, you could make the case for trying to make the playoffs and getting the young players that experience under fire next year. But now that we are in tank mode this year and next, there’s not much upside to keeping Lee around. I don’t think I’d give him away for just an expiring contract to get the cap space 1 year earlier (and then fill it with some other fairly priced player), but even a couple of 2nd rounders and an expiring would be OK.

    22. d-mar

      We’d be really fucking stupid to not keep Kyle O’Quinn. He’s one of the rare bargains we’ve signed in years, a beloved teammate, is in his prime and has a game which should withstand the ravages of time for the next 3-4 years at least.

      1) He’s a bench player, so he’ll be shit against starters because bench players don’t play hard.
      2) He don’t score no points.
      3) Anyone can rebound and play defense if you teach them right.
      4) Anyone can hustle and be a good NBA player. Like Kenneth Faried — no talent, he just tries hard.
      5) He was the 49th overall pick, so he can’t be that good. If he showed upside and potential, he would have gone higher. I think Thomas Robinson, the #5 pick in that draft, is available. Why not take a flyer on a high-reward, low-risk pickup like him?

      My sarcasm meter just went to 11

    23. ProjectKnicks

      Keeping KOQ is totally dependent on how much he can be had for. I’m all for it if he gets a couple of years at 3M with a team option for the 3rd year at 5M. Any more than that and we are overpaying for suspect talent.

      Food for debate: would a KOQ + Cole Aldrich tandem make the Knicks into a powerhouse at the center position for very little money? Do you guys envision a good Knicks team with KOQ as the starting center, with Cole Aldrich coming off the bench? I don’t.

    24. Frank

      @28 – I’d be in favor of bringing him back at the right price especially if we end up drafting a non-big. Otherwise if he’s getting $10MM (I don’t think he will) AAV to play bench minutes behind KP (who will be playing center full-time eventually) it’s just not a good use of resources. But if he comes in at, say, 3 years 20MM, which is probably a reasonable # for him with hometown discount incuded — I’d be up for that.

      Whatever, won’t matter after we win the lottery and draft Doncic. It’ll just be an embarrassment of championships no matter what.

    25. ess-dog

      It sucks for Kyle. He’s at the very least equally productive to Kanter, but Kanter got mad paid at the right time and Kyle will likely get half of Kanter’s salary if he’s lucky.

    26. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The best way forward is to trick Kanter into opting out, signing Julius Randle to that money, and keeping Kyle O’Quinn. At least Julius Randle can play power forward next to Kristaps Porzingis.

    27. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      @36

      I was aboard the Randle train before the media noticed. I’d have given up a first rounder for him. He’s had a terrific year.

    28. ess-dog

      Sacto and Brooklyn wins are highly possible tonight btw. Dang, we really need to lose this game to the Bulls… Will someone please deliver some tainted duck l’orange to Frank ASAP?

    29. TheOakmanCometh

      Given that KOQ couldn’t fetch much on the trade market, it’s hard to believe he’ll get much in free agency. Still, signing yet another center is not a good use of our limited resources. Unless he comes back on a <$5m AAV deal, let's not tie up our cap. Zing should be playing more center anyway.

    30. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      @39

      Now that Willy is gone and Noah is in exile, all we really have is Kanter and O’Quinn. KP is probably on a path to playing C, but he’s not going to get much time at C next year.

      The following year Kanter may be gone.

      If we lock up O’Quinn now, we can let Kanter go the year after that and use his cap space to fill another need. I’d way rather have O’Quinn locked up at what he’s going to make than allow him to walk and be forced to bring back Kanter for more than that.

      Maybe I’m wrong on what Kanter and O’Quin will get, but unless O’Quinn gets offered a lot more than I think, we are going to need a long term productive C anyway. So why not him?

      Maybe an exception to that might be if we drafted Wendell Carter. If we took Carter, then we could conceivably let O’Quinn go and roll with Kanter, Kornet (or someone like that) and Carter next year. Then if Carter looks good, the following year we could allow Kanter to go and roll with Carter, KP, and Kornet (or someone like that).

      The other less likely scenario is that Hornacek gets fired and we bring Noah back into the fold as a backup. Then we could tweak the above depending on who we draft.

    31. djphan

      if we draft carter or another big… we can’t really bring koq back… so it’s going to depend largely on how the draft pans out for us….

    32. geo

      can’t wait to watch these two teams “compete” for the L tonight…it should be fascinating…

      yeah, pretty low move by chicago…ha – but we have beasely, mudiay, kanter… hopefully they each play 30 plus minutes tonight…give hardaway 30 also, he’s usually down with contributing to the tank…

      definitely though need to restrict frank, trey, troy, and dotson’s minutes…those guys are a little too hungry and talented to tank…

    33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      can’t wait to watch these two teams “compete” for the L tonight…it should be fascinating…

      Excuse me, but there is NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION among these so-called “tanking” teams. This whole “tanking” thing is a TOTAL WITCHHUNT! Where’s Jack Bauer to back me up on this?

    34. 2FOR18, understands math

      All I can find is that Silver “issued a warning” to the Bulls. It seems to me that Silver has to take whatever action he threatened, or he’ll lose a lot of credibility. Not that I blame the Bulls; they’re playing the system the way Knicks should have been from day 1.
      I’m a “no” on O’Quinn because he will add wins to the team next season, and anything less than a full tank with no KP is dumb. By full tank, I mean playing kids. No one over 27 need apply.

    35. english_knick

      If we want big-time cap space in 2019 we can’t really afford to tie up KOQ this summer unless he is absurdly cheap…

    36. english_knick

      Gotta love how we managed our Center glut this year! Although fair enough, it’s not like anyone saw it coming as a problem last offseason…

    37. TheOakmanCometh

      If we lock up O’Quinn now, we can let Kanter go the year after that and use his cap space to fill another need. I’d way rather have O’Quinn locked up at what he’s going to make than allow him to walk and be forced to bring back Kanter for more than that.

      Why restrict ourselves to a binary choice between KOQ and Kanter? No, I don’t want Kanter back in 2019. But there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Free agent centers are going to be a dime a dozen in 2018 and 2019. If the plan is to play Porzingis 20 mpg at center in 2019-20, then we should be able to get two competent backups on the cheap. Not to mention that Noah will still be under contract (and we ought to just play the guy since he’s here anyway) and we might draft a center this year or next.

      KOQ is good. But we don’t need him, and he’s about to turn 28, and he’s having a career year from which he could easily regress.

    38. 2FOR18, understands math

      While the Bulls appear to be tanking, no reasonable commissioner would prosecute them, as there is no proof of intent to tank. To be sure, the internal memos addressed to Hoiberg have the letter “T” all over the margins, but as Hoiberg explained, he thought “T” stood for the Model T, an automobile built in the early 20th century in nearby Detroit.

    39. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      Why restrict ourselves to a binary choice between KOQ and Kanter?

      We don’t have to.

      We have to use our cap space effectively, find a good fit, and convince someone to come to NY.

      One of the issues we’ve had in recent years is convincing players to play in NY given that we are a rebuilding team and some players don’t want to play in NY for this organization. That’s why we’ve wound up with guys like Afflalo, Derrick Williams and others on short term deals and probably why we’ve had to sweeten deals with an extra year or an overpay on others.

      I’d rather have a bird in the hand than hope we can sign someone else later. If someone better comes along later, we can go after him then. The key is not having contracts that can’t be moved (like Noah) or that will have to be sweetened to move. As long as we don’t overpay for O’Quinn, we can always move him.

    40. Farfa

      Who knows if ruru is preaching gravity in the Welcome to Loud City board or something like that

    41. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      It took them awhile to settle in and then again to adjust to the loss of Andre Roberson on defense, but OKC has won 11 of 14. The 3 losses were to Golden State, Houston, and Portland. If they could convince Melo to go to the bench they’d wouldn’t be too far away from being a dangerous out.

    42. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      If you go by VORP, Melo is having one if the 100 worst seasons in NBA history.

      ptmilo knows this, but for those who don’t, VORP is a counting stat, so it’s not saying that he’s been among the 100 worst players in league history in terms of performance per possession. It’s saying that few players have been that bad and been allowed to play a ton of minutes. Brand equity is reaaaaaaaal strong in the NBA.

      Just remember this next time someone talks about how brilliant Sam Presti is: he traded actual assets for the corpse of Carmelo Anthony, despite years of evidence of being overrated AND signs of a sharp decline in ability.

      Out of the 57 players who have played >2000 minutes this year, Carmelo is ranked 57th in BPM at -3.8. He is worse than Wiggins, who sits at -2.6 BPM at 56 of 57 players.

      If I change the parameters to include any player with >1000 MP, we see 248 players. Carmelo sits at 9th worst, with Mudiay (2) and Ntilikina (8) hovering around the same level of suck. According to BPM, Tyler Ulis is the worst player in the league with a staggering -5.9 BPM.

    43. nicos

      NBA Math has Carmelo as the worst with Ulis at #2. Frank slots in the 8th worst player- just a few spots ahead of Mudiay who’s at 11 and Jack at 13. A couple of people posted NBA Math’s post about Frank being the best pnr defender but overall they have him as a below average defender though a bit above average for a point. I’m guessing he’s getting dinged for his high foul rate which should hopefully drop as he matures.

    44. 2FOR18, understands math

      If OKC had made the same trade for Ryan Anderson instead, they’d be a real threat.

    45. TheOakmanCometh

      As frustrating as it is to have another season spiral into “really bad and capped out but with November wins that will keep us from a high draft pick”, we must remember to be grateful that Melo is no longer here. Watching his corpse limp around the court, taking 20 iso jumpers a game, with endless trade drama swirling, knowing we’d have to watch him for another season, would be UN-bearable. It would really be depressing as hell. So thank you, Scott Perry, for at least sparing us that.

    46. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Yeah, I have a hard time imagining that he opts out of that contract this year, even if George goes elsewhere. There are only 7 teams with more than $16.6M in practical cap space next year:

      Lakers (unlikely)
      Bulls (unlikely, though they did sign Wade’s corpse to a bloated deal)
      Sixers (impossible)
      Hawks (possible)
      Mavs (no way)
      Rockets (0% chance)
      Kings (also known for signing overpriced vets)

      Then there are the Nets, Magic and Suns, all in the midst of rebuilding with very little practical cap space.

      So unless he gets word that the Kings want to offer him 3 years, $60M, I don’t see him ending his contract after this year. The Thunder will be on the hook for $27M in luxury tax with George opting in (he won’t), so if George gets a huge extension, they could be looking at $65M+ in tax, easily.

    47. Jack Bauer

      @ 44 “Excuse me, but there is NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION among these so-called “tanking” teams. This whole “tanking” thing is a TOTAL WITCHHUNT! Where’s Jack Bauer to back me up on this?”

      Don’t worry Jowles , I’m sure there will be a full report on the Tanking Collusion out by 2024.

    48. geo

      reading about just how bad melo has sucked this year definitely brings a smile to my face.

      yep, we got rid of melo – at least we got that going for us this year…

    49. Jack Bauer

      “NBA Math has Carmelo as the worst with Ulis at #2. Frank slots in the 8th worst player- just a few spots ahead of Mudiay who’s at 11 and Jack at 13.”

      It’s not tanking if your team legitimately sucks

    50. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      I’m more in favor of trading Lee than O’Quinn because trading Lee would probably mean THJ plays the two instead of the three, which I think is the better position for him.

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