Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.03.20)

  • [SNY Knicks] Hardaway, Beasley lead Knicks past depleted Bulls, 110-92
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 10:34:46 PM)

    Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points and Michael Beasley added 17 as the New York Knicks defeated the Chicago Bulls 110-92 on Monday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks welcome banged-up Bulls to MSG
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 5:53:02 PM)

    Coming off their biggest win in months, perhaps their biggest win of the season, the New York Knicks host the visiting Chicago Bulls on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks don’t have tanking mindset for rest of season
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 1:05:53 PM)

    Sorry fans, but the Knicks aren’t listening to any tanking talks. They are still trying to win.

  • [NYTimes] Cavaliers Coach Tyronn Lue Cites Health Issues as He Steps Away From Team
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 11:06:26 PM)

    The 40-year-old Lue said he has been having heart problems in his third year leading the Cavaliers. It is not clear when he will return.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Lose Now, Win Later? In Sixers, Knicks Have a Role Model
    (Tuesday, March 20, 2018 10:23:50 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.

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis’ apperance on basketball court sparks concern
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 5:34:43 PM)

    A photo of Kristaps Porzingis shooting on a basketball court was worth 1,000 questions that the Knicks weren’t prepared to answer.

  • [NYDN] Knicks-Bulls rivalry now just competing for draft position
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 5:24:46 PM)

    The rivalry that once produced great drama plus lots of elbows and forearms is long gone.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks refuse to go in the tank, beat Bulls for second straight win
    (Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:00:36 AM)

    Tanks for nothing.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis not neglecting his shooting touch
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 8:32:18 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis is a long way from participating in basketball activities or playing again, but a picture has circulated of him shooting.

  • [NYPost] Michigan hero saw Trey Burke’s miracle then went out and lived it
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 9:11:06 PM)

    Trey Burke’s phone started buzzing, and all those March memories starting flooding back, the big shot he hit in the Sweet 16 five years ago to propel Michigan to overtime against Kansas, and eventually the Final Four. Everyone was asking the Knicks guard, out to dinner following a win over the Hornets, if he saw…

  • [NYPost] Jeff Hornacek really trusts rehabbing Kristaps Porzingis
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 8:28:56 PM)

    Jeff Hornacek wasn’t concerned about the photo circulating online of Kristaps Porzingis shooting in the gym at his Manhattan apartment building just over a month removed from major knee surgery. “Technically I don’t know what he’s allowed to do from the doctors. Once you have a surgery like that — I had not that extensive…

  • [NYPost] Knicks lose Tank Bowl with victory over lowly Bulls
    (Monday, March 19, 2018 5:56:38 PM)

    Remember this night come May 15. If the Knicks finish behind the Bulls in the NBA draft lottery and lose out on a coveted player as a result, it could be costly. Monday night’s 110-92 victory at the Garden, the Knicks’ second straight after losing 17 of their previous 18, dropped them to 1 ¹/?…

  • 97 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.03.20)

    1. Ingmarrrr

      Anyone else thinks Bamba should go top 3? I know he’s old school but he reminds me of Ben Wallace, and Big Ben is one of my top 10 players since I started following the NBA in the 90’s.

    2. ess-dog

      Zhaire Smith looks shockingly polished for an 18-year-old. I’d be on board with him even though we have a ton of guards at this point.

    3. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

      Bad observation to make here while we should be tanking, but THJ is having himself a really nice month of March. I know this was expected of him late season, but what’s significant about it is he’s doing it out of position. And..is it me, or does he look taller & bigger than his listed 6’6″ 205?

    4. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

      I’ll ask again, anyone like Lonnie Walker? I see a bit of James Harden in his offense…or Buddy Hield

      I think he’s pretty good, but we shouldn’t draft him. If we fall far enough to where he’s the BPA, then we need to trade that pick for something useful- unless we have a trade in place to clear up the guard glut

    5. Frank

      Some real talk by Steve Clifford re: Willy. I love it.

      “Frankly if you were one place and you didn’t play much, I think that if you want to play more in the next place — I would work harder, do more, kill myself, that’s the way I would see it,” the coach said. “Unfortunately, in the world the players live in, they don’t hear that. Instead, it’s the (fault of the) organization, it’s the coach, the assistant, that isn’t working with him right. No, come on. I tell our guys that all the time. They’re surrounded by people who tell them what they want to hear. The reality is this — he wasn’t playing here for a reason. You know, he’s going to have to change things.”

      wonder whether Willy thought he was guaranteed a little too much by virtue of a nice rookie year, some nice words from management, and the fact that KP is his BFF.

    6. Brian Cronin

      Speaking of Bamba, that’s what makes the top 9 of this year’s draft so impressive. I liked last year’s top eight because I thought you could get a solid rotation guy (with upside for more) as late as #8, but the top 9 guys this yeat seem like they even have more upside than that!

      Most drafts, #9 is going to get you guys like Jordan Hill or Chris Wilcox. This year it could get you Mo Bamba!

    7. Z-man

      You can’t be a contending team in today’s NBA without perimeter firepower…guys that can both shoot and attack the paint, like Steph, Harden, Kyrie, etc. As such, I don’t see the point in drafting a Mo Bamba unless he’s clearly the best player available for us, since we already have in KP one of the best rim protectors in the NBA. We either need a PG or a wing that can both stretch the floor and finish in the paint (Trey, Lonnie), or a banger who can shoot and score a bit but also defend the perimeter like Draymond (Mikal Bridges looks like the right guy for that role.)

      I’d stay away from the tweeners (Miles) and would only take Bamba if I was convinced that his offense could develop enough for him to be a 2-way threat and he could guard the perimeter a bit on the high PnR.

    8. KJG

      @6 … just becoming more clear he wasn’t / isn’t making anything of his opportunities… he’s playing for bad teams (knicks/ hornets) where minutes are undoubtedly up for grabs… he can’t even get seconds…

    9. Frank

      Meanwhile I am loving Troy Williams. TS of 58 on 24 usage, with 84% of his shots coming in the restricted area or from 3 point range. Pretty much seems to be taking shots only within the flow of the offense also, great basket-cutter etc. Defense has been fine/good (2.3 steals/36 and a 13.3 TRB% from the SF position is nice). IF he could ever just shoot the 3 even at 33%…

      While we would have liked to just pick him up off waivers from Houston, next year’s deal looks as team friendly as it gets.

      The THJ and Baker signings were clearly awful, but those were Mills moves. the post-Perry moves have all been pretty reasonable. OK value for Melo given the circumstances, a defensible Willy trade (don’t @ me!), a too-early-to-see and at least good-for-the-tank Mudiay trade, and picking up Trey Burke and Troy Williams off the scrap heap.

    10. thenoblefacehumper

      I’m a diehard Canes fan…and I think we should stay far away from Lonnie Walker. Unfortunately he’s kind of a consummate chucker. The athleticism is real and his numbers are a little misleading because he was recovering from surgery to begin the season, but he makes more sense as an upside play well after the lottery.

    11. lavor postell

      @11 – What surgery did Lonnie have? Wasn’t aware? He’s struck me as a guy where the numbers look worse than my impression of him using the old eye test.

      If we’re going to add another piece to the backcourt, at least in the mold of a lead or combo guard, I think Gilgeous-Alexander would be very nice. Nearly a 2:1 AST/TO ratio, good size at 6’6″ and a very smooth athlete. He flew under the radar as a 4 star recruit to UK, but Calipari basically re-jiggered the team around him midseason and since that point they’ve really taken off. I think he’s a late bloomer.

      I’m also a big fan of Robert Williams who I think has the mobility to defend on the perimeter and do the dirty work on the glass and as an above the rim, screen setting, rim runner that KP prefers not to do offensively.

    12. cgreene

      Re: Willy. Yeah maybe he felt entitled and then got beat to minutes by KOQ and Kanter who are real NBA players BUT the organization is responsible for finding the proper motivational tools to get him to play harder and improve his attitude. Seems like a decent kid. That’s part of player development not just skills. Think What Would Pop Do?

    13. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      a too-early-to-see and at least good-for-the-tank Mudiay trade,

      IMO, the Mudiay trade stunk.

      If you are going to take a flier on a young player, it shouldn’t arguably be the worst PG in the NBA at this time. “Good for the tank” has been a positive, but you can’t give someone credit for that when they thought they were bringing in a pretty good player with upside.

      The Hernangomez trade looked bad when they made it, worse when they immediately went into tank mode and started playing Kornet, and even worse last night. It will look even worse if O’Quinn walks and we buy out Noah. Even if Willy never becomes more than a solid backup, we are less than 50% to get someone that good out of the 2nd round. But the real risk is that Willy gets better than just a solid backup. The minimum is that by totally burying him they destroyed his trade value.

    14. djphan

      i know we should be drafting bpa but we really should avoid taking a backcourt player…. if it lines up that they are the bpa then i’m all for taking a sg but walker is not a guy i would use a lotto pick over….

    15. KJG

      i think pop would have cut him once he saw the the kid lacks that hunger… pop is not a spoon feeder…

    16. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      Strat, I think Mudiay does have upside, because he does seem to be slowly improving, but I also think Knicks management knew he’d be good for the tank, and that was part of their reason to get him. Otherwise, why would they insist he start?

      For WHG, unfortunately, someone with some skills who has to learn more skills to crack the rotation is what a second round pick usually get you. So two second round picks is probably fair for WHG. Even though I really liked him, I don’t think it was an awful trade. And I’m not sure Kornet is worse. Kornet seems a better defender and shoots threes well. That’s more valuable than post up skills in today’s NBA.

      Honestly, I think we’re having trouble tanking lately because our bench players are pretty good as young bench players go.

    17. djphan

      i do think zhaire smith is a bit better… but i happen to think troy brown does what he does but has the size to play sf….

    18. ess-dog

      I was also thinking that about Kornet. I think management just liked Kornet’s skills more than Willy’s, even though it sometimes looks like Kornet could break in half on a hard foul.

    19. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      Strat, I think Mudiay does have upside, because he does seem to be slowly improving, but I also think Knicks management knew he’d be good for the tank, and that was part of their reason to get him. Otherwise, why would they insist he start?

      1. I have upside too if I work on my game this summer, but I will still stink. :-)

      2. They started him initially because they had no idea how bad he is and they wanted to get a good look at him before the season was over. They are starting him now because they are not ready admit it was a mistake and they don’t care that much about winning anyway.

      3. Kornet is supposedly a really bright guy and hard worker. The sample size on him is too small, but I have seen no indication so far he’s any good on either end of the floor. He blocks an occasional shot, but he’s getting killed the rest of the time.

    20. d-mar

      I really hope Trae Young falls to us. I know there are concerns about his size, but he’s pretty much the same build as Steph Curry when he came into the NBA. And supposedly Steph can now bench press more than anyone on the Warriors (hard to believe but think about how effortlessly he shoots those 30 foot jumpers) Young is a true PG, which we haven’t had since maybe Mark Jackson. The NBA is a guard driven league, and we suck at that position right now.

      I’d also be ok with Bridges (Mikal, please not Miles)

    21. ptmilo

      it’s some serious stockholm syndrome when people like a trade for a third year player with 4500 minutes under his belt simultaneously because he is so good at losing and has some nice upside. everyone needs to repeat to themselves four times a day that players at the end of their deals who have a 0% shot at becoming mini-max level studs are close to worthless (to a bad team). they are elfrid payton or kentavious caldwell-pope or reggie jackson or evan fournier or tim hardaway jr (last year). not always totally worthless, but close. that’s not the bad case or base case for mudiay. that’s the upside. he makes a shocking leap toward mediocrity next year at gets a contract near or above that value.

    22. ess-dog

      I think Kornet needs an offseason in the gym before we can judge him. The rim protection and 3pt shooting he brings can be very valuable. He needs both strength and stamina, but he could be a solid backup center in a few years.

      I’m pretty torn on Trae Young. I think you take him if he’s there at 9, but the turnovers are worrisome – around 6 a game! Wendell or Mikal would be safer picks. It’s annoying that Wendell is basically a younger Jordan Bell but the Warriors got Bell at #30 smdh.

    23. djphan

      kornet has some viable skills… and i think he can be a backup of variable quality because he at the very least block shots…. whether or not he hangs around depends on his work on the boards(which despite the numbers is pretty mediocre) and his inside scoring which is about as bad as the numbers show….

      hicks on the other hand… has zero redeeming skills… and he absolutely does not belong in the nba…

    24. ptmilo

      And supposedly Steph can now bench press more than anyone on the Warriors

      i feel like you’re thinking of that article on his deadlift being second best on the team a couple of years ago. there is no way he can bench more than anyone on GSW.

    25. swiftandabundant

      I know everyone is pissed we won and therefore hurt our draft spot but I’m encouraged by the play of our young players. Frank, Burke, Williams, Kornet….all have played well the last two games and when they play with KQ its genuinely good basketball they’re playing on offense. Sharing the ball, etc.

      And I gotta say..I think Horns deserves some credit. This team, despite it being a lost season, hasn’t completely phoned it in and the fact that he’s basically now had a completely new team to work with since KP went down and here we are, seeing some results…to me that is promising. I know, who cares about winning culture. But this is player development before our eyes.

      Of course I don’t want us to go on a hot streak or anything. Lets at least stay at the 9 spot and maybe we catch a break and move up some spots in the draft. But I really think Horns should be allowed to coach out his contract next year. Its gonna be another development year but if a year from now KP is coming back and he’s joining a team with Frank, Burke, Hardaway, Ron, Williams, Kornet, Bridges, Dotson…and we’ve seen development from those guys…maybe we’ve picked up some second rounders for Lee and we’re closer to Lance/Noah coming off the books and looking at another top ten pick next year…I mean it ain’t ALL BAD guys.

    26. kevin5318

      Trae looks about 6’0-6’1 but even a poor mans Steph Curry is a pretty damn good player.

      His vision is far better than Stephs IMO.

    27. swiftandabundant

      Oh and I really do think we should resign KQ. He’s been a good player for us. If we can resign him to a similar contract we just had him here under I think he’s worth it. Let Kanter opt in and we can trade him at the deadline. But KQ is gonna be a good player and he’s from NYC. Let’s reward someone who lives up to their contract.

    28. d-mar

      I’m pretty torn on Trae Young. I think you take him if he’s there at 9, but the turnovers are worrisome – around 6 a game! Wendell or Mikal would be safer picks. It’s annoying that Wendell is basically a younger Jordan Bell but the Warriors got Bell at #30 smdh

      I’m not that concerned about Trae’s turnovers. He dominated the ball out of necessity at Oklahoma because his teammates basically sucked. The 2nd half of his season he did drop off dramatically, but teams were loading up on him, and when he passed out of double teams, no one could hit a shot.

    29. lavor postell

      But I really think Horns should be allowed to coach out his contract next year.

      I’d be fine with that if we look to shoot more 3s like we have been the last couple of games, he allows young players to play through mistakes instead of benching them for vets and we stop using Kanter and Beasley ISO/post ups as first options for 4-5 minute stretches at a time. He needs to realize the bench guys he’s been playing try to do all the stuff he claims he’s wanted to install since he’s been here. They play with pace, move the ball, shoot more 3s, cut and, at the very least, try on defense.

      If he’s going to keep doing stupid bullshit like start Jack, Lee, Lance, Beas and Kanter at various points in the season regardless of their performance – despite preaching accountability constantly – while seemingly actively searching out midrange and post up looks as the best possible options then there’s no world in which he should stay.

    30. Z-man

      Lonnie just has a beautiful looking stroke. I’m not going to draw any conclusions on anyone until May or June, but on first glance there looks to be several interesting guys that might be available when we draft.

    31. TheOakmanCometh

      Kanter is untradeable except for an equally bad contract. We couldn’t move KOQ at the deadline, and he makes 1/4 what Kanter makes and is a better player.

    32. swiftandabundant

      @ 30 – I hear ya. I just think sometimes you guys think its as easy as you don’t play veteran players and I don’t know in the real world how realistic that is all the time. The minutes distribution the last few games has been ideal though. But I don’t think you can have a whole season if Kanter, Lee and Lance are all here next year where they all get significantly less minutes than the younger players. I think that can lead to some real locker room issues. Maybe not. But yeah, more minute for the young guys. Its been fun watching them get at it.

      I really hope a Lee trade is worked out this summer. If we can get back something decent for him or even just a few second rounders, I think it really opens things up for guys like Dotson (and Ron) and if we draft a SF then Tim can play his natural SG position.

      I honestly feel we are closer to being a fun and competitive team than people might think.

    33. Bruno Almeida

      I’m honestly kinda falling in love with Zhaire Smith, everytime I watch him or see videos of him he impresses me so much. His defense is very advanced for his age, he has elite size and athleticism for his position and if he becomes a more consistent 3 point shooter he will be a beast. He could be the Kawhi Leonard of this draft, but as a Shooting Guard.

      I’m very much fine with Bamba too, I’d love to see either him or Wendell Carter Jr. With the 9th pick, considering Young and Mikal are gone, these are probably my top 3 now.

    34. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      I have no idea how good Trae Young is going to be long term, but I’d be willing to bet a lot of money he’s going to be a very low efficiency very high turnover player next year. If he’s on our team, everyone is going to be grumbling about how we wasted a 1st round pick on a player that’s not even as good as Trey Burke coming off the bench all while Frank is starting to break out as a solid starting combo guard and we still need a SF.

    35. lavor postell

      I just think sometimes you guys think its as easy as you don’t play veteran players

      Not me. I’ve never been a member of #TeamTank, but when the season gets away from you as it has it’s time to play the kids and limit the vets minutes. You also don’t need to run the entire offense for large periods through individualistic talents who do nothing to help foster team play and ball movement like Kanter and Beasley.

      2 games ago, for no apparent reason, Lee played 37 minutes and Williams got DNP’d on a night Lance didn’t even play. In that game Frank also only played 13 minutes which was less than freaking Hicks. Things like that are mind bogglingly stupid and inexcusable in the team’s current situation. Dotson has played more than 15 minutes once since the start of February. Why?

      If Hornacek can’t keep vets who have accomplished nothing noteworthy on a personal level like Kanter, Lee and Lance in line if/when their minutes get reduced then he’s not the guy we need. If his only way to keep them on board is by giving them major minutes and in Kanter’s case force feeding him unimaginative post touches he’s being an active detriment to the long-term well being of the franchise.

    36. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      @36

      +1

      I feel the same way. I think you have to play players based on merit early in the season otherwise you’ll lose the locker room, players will demand trades, agents will get pissed off when their players are playing for new contracts, and it will impact your ability to attract players later.

      But once the team is basically eliminated, everything should change.

      There’s not much reason to continue playing any of the vets at this stage. I’d even reduce Hardaway’s minutes to get Dotson a lot more run. Hardaway’s spot is secure. He deserves minutes on merit and because he’s still considered to be part of the young core, but he doesn’t have to play 30+ minutes a night.

    37. djphan

      next year’s crop is wing heavy but comparitively weak…. it probably will look a lot like the 2016 draft….

      tanking next year probably won’t net a great prospect…

    38. swiftandabundant

      @ 40 – that’s ridiculous. Its over a year away and every year recently people have lauded the draft class as one of the best ever. Its all hype and speculation. We have no idea what the draft will yield player wise until at least 4 years after the draft.

    39. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Trae Young is probably a faster, less patient version of Steve Nash. I believe in Young so much, and even more after watching him adjust against URI. Lon Kruger did him no favors in terms of creativity with the offense, so Young’s turnovers are probably that high because he had the ball on every single possession he was on the floor. That offense was dreadfully unimaginative but they managed to lead the nation in scoring? That’s all Trae Young. You get him on this team with KP, Frank, and TH2 and you’ve got something. If he falls to us in the draft we have to grab him. He’s a special passer and can shoot it from anywhere.

      After Trae Young, I’m looking at Mikal Bridges, but he’s played his way into the top 7. It’s really Trae Young or bust for us at #9.

    40. thenoblefacehumper

      The easiest way to avoid tensions with veterans not playing on tanking teams is to not acquire veterans when you shouldn’t be doing that.

    41. 2FOR18, understands math

      I feel the same way. I think you have to play players based on merit early in the season otherwise you’ll lose the locker room, players will demand trades, agents will get pissed off when their players are playing for new contracts, and it will impact your ability to attract players later.

      This line of thinking is why we draft 8 or 9 instead of in the top 3.

    42. 2FOR18, understands math

      Trae, Mikal and Carter are my top 3 based on who’s likely to be available, but now you guys have me looking at Zhaire, and his numbers and style kind of look like a 2 year younger version of Mikal, so he might be a nice get if we fall to 10.
      I also like Robert Williams, but I’d like to see how his pre-draft measurements look. I really don’t want a 6 ft 9 center who can’t shoot.
      Bamba can be anywhere from a 3 pt shooting Whiteside to Hasheem Thabeet; I really have no idea.

      None of this works without a real modern-style PG; that’s why I’m on the Trae train.

    43. djphan

      that’s very true…the future isn’t promised and i generally think hs is a very bad environment to judge prospects… college has a good way of separating the wheat from the chaff…. and there are guys who come out of nowhere to go on to be fine nba players…. i mean this year’s draft i happen to think is very overrated…. a draft like 2016 or 2005 was viewed as very weak but still had a bunch of useful to great players emerging…

      but when there aren’t a fair number of ‘can’t miss’ guys near the top that usually isn’t a good sign for the quality of the draft… as you’ll generally have a few guys who come out of no where but the true blue chippers establish themselves very early on….

    44. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      This line of thinking is why we draft 8 or 9 instead of in the top 3.

      We’ve covered this ground before.

      Sure, for example, we could dump O’Quinn so we are worse next year, but then it will take us longer to dig ourselves out of the pit of hell we’ll find ourselves in going after that better pick next year.

      The system is fairly efficient.

      The worse you are, the better your pick, but the longer the path back and vice versa.

      There are many ways to improve (draft, trade, free agency, g league, undrafted players). All sorts of combinations of that have created champions. I see no huge upside to insisting that we take the pure 76er route when there is no guarantee we’ll even select the right players. To be honest, even though I’m frustrated by the 2 recent wins, part of me knows I’m being silly because there’s no way our management or any other teams’ management knows which of these 19 year old kids are going to be the best 3-4 players. The people that make draft boards are monumentally overestimating their ability to efficiently select the best players.

      If we keep sucking, we’ll keep getting good picks and hopefully eventually get it right. If we select well, add players well etc… we’ll get better quicker and not get as many great picks, but it just means we are doing everything right.

    45. ClashFan

      RE OQ
      If the guy wants to get PAID, he’s gone. If he claims he wants to stay, tell him to opt in to his final year of the deal and then talk to him after next year. Maybe offer to extend him at around $4m per year. Maybe not.

      If he won’t do that, he’s looking to get at least mid-level money for 4 years (probably $36m or so), and should be let go. The Knicks aren’t going to be good for at least 2-3 years, and maybe longer. He doesn’t fit the team’s time frame.

      The Knicks need to really actually TANK next year. Chicago showed them last night how to do it. Do away with the vets and play all young guys. Hey, if they overachieve and win, so be it. But don’t win meaningless games with OQ, Kanter, Timmy, Lee, and Beasley playing lots of minutes.

    46. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I think you have to play players based on merit early in the season otherwise you’ll lose the locker room, players will demand trades, agents will get pissed off when their players are playing for new contracts, and it will impact your ability to attract players later.

      Ah yes, I remember when the Cavs were terrible and dysfunctional and then LeBron came and he had a lot of trouble attracting talent on team-friendly deals because they were like, “Wait, remember 2011 when the Cavs sucked and they lost their locker room during a 19-win season?”

      Nah dude. Players will join a winning team in a heartbeat if they offer money. Sometimes they don’t even have to offer more money than the other guys.

    47. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      The easiest way to avoid tensions with veterans not playing on tanking teams is to not acquire veterans when you shouldn’t be doing that.

      When you are young, rebuilding, and still suck, no one that’s young and any good will come to your team. But if you have cap space, you still have to sign players. Some veteran presence is universally thought to be beneficial to young players by both players and coaches. The idea is to bring in veterans cheaply and/or on short contracts. That way they are more like temps or consultants at a job instead of being like long term full time employees. :-) On that count, we have often screwed up.

    48. kevin5318

      Who cares about losing the locker room. Most of these guys won’t even be on the team after next season.

    49. TheOakmanCometh

      From Al Iannazzone:

      Hornacek was asked about Joakim Noah’s status with the Knicks and how the matter will resolve itself: “I’m not sure,” he said. “In the summer, Scott [Perry, the general manager] and Steve [Mills, the team president] will be talking with him. I guess that’s how it will get resolved.” Noah has been away from the Knicks since getting into a heated exchange with Hornacek in January and won’t be back this season. If the Knicks can’t trade him, they’ll likely stretch his contract and waive him on Sept. 1 to minimize how much they have to pay him in 2019, when they hope to be spenders in free agency.

    50. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      When you are young, rebuilding, and still suck, no one that’s young and any good will come to your team.

      Is that why the Knicks couldn’t sign Seth Curry? Or was it because they’re shit at evaluating and acquiring cheap talent?

      Also, the draft is how you get young players to join your team. I believe the Dubs bought Jordan Bell’s contract last year. Why can’t the Knicks do that? (Because the Knicks are shit at evaluating and acquiring cheap talent.)

      But if you have cap space, you still have to sign players.

      So?

      Some veteran presence is universally thought to be beneficial to young players by both players and coaches.

      It’s universally thought that Porzingis was mentored by Carmelo Anthony and that’s why he takes an obscene number of long-range 2PA. “Veteran mentorship” should be on minimum contracts. The Knicks are fundamentally incapable of understanding that concept.

    51. TheOakmanCometh

      Looks like we’re back to mortgaging the future, boys! Gotta stretch Noah so we can sign free agents this summer. We’re just one player away from really making noise in the East!

    52. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, I still think the winning culture thing is utterly bullshit.

      NBA players aren’t stupid, they aren’t simply unable to understand situations and context. They go to wherever there’s talent and money. Who cares if Lee or Beasley or Kanter get angry? Players line up to play for Dan Gilbert of all people because Lebron is on the Cavs.

      Bring talent and everything else will follow. Nobody gives a shit if the Sixers won like 47 games combined in 3 years.

    53. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      Ah yes, I remember when the Cavs were terrible and dysfunctional and then LeBron came and he had a lot of trouble attracting talent on team-friendly deals because they were like, “Wait, remember 2011 when the Cavs sucked and they lost their locker room during a 19-win season?”

      Nah dude. Players will join a winning team in a heartbeat if they offer money. Sometimes they don’t even have to offer more money than the other guys.

      You are talking about one of the 2-3 best players of all time. He came into the league and was having a huge positive impact on his team by his second year when they won 42 games and skies looked bright.

      No one cares about dysfunction from years ago if you are really good now and have turned things around. But if you are trying to attract players, you better be really good or considered a great organization. If anyone should understand that it’s Knicks fans. How many times have we had a ton of cap space and the best players wouldn’t even come in for an interview because we either weren’t good enough or considered a dysfunctional incompetent mess.

      Agents and players all talk to each other and they all know. They’ll deal with a shit show in Cleveland to play with Lebron, but they aren’t come to NY and Dolan unless the deal is so good it’s bad for us.

      We have to change that both as an organization and by getting much better.

      There’s even evidence of that in Philly. There were being run really well, but the perception was negative because they were bad for so long. So they had to overpay a few veterans to help fill out the team and help get it over the hump and into the playoffs so Embiid and Simmons could get experience under fire. They just did it intelligently. They sharply overpaid, but only for a single year.

    54. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      Is that why the Knicks couldn’t sign Seth Curry? Or was it because they’re shit at evaluating and acquiring cheap talent?

      I don’t recall saying the Knicks or anyone else was perfect at identifying undervalued talent, but that’s different than all the well regarded free agents we were interested in that wouldn’t even give us an interview. I didn’t hear it first hand, but I heard that in a recent interview Bosh said that in the year they all hooked up in Miami, one of the reason they didn’t consider NY was because it was still considered a shit show and they’d have to deal with a lot of crap they wouldn’t have to deal with elsewhere .

    55. djphan

      with all this zhaire smith talk… i’m surprised that there isn’t much hype for shae-gilgous alexander….

      he’s had himself a really crazy march and it’s clear that kentucky… with all the other heralded prospects… probably should have handed the reigns to sga a lot earlier….

      i know he’s a pg… but if we’re going to create even more of a logjam in the backcourt with smith… i’d much rather have sga in comparison….

      he also has the best chance of pushing himself into the top 8 since kentucky will probably make the final four… a team like the magic is a prime spot for him….

    56. TheOakmanCometh

      Over the previous 4 seasons, the Lakers won 27, 21, 17, and 26 games. That’s why you NEVER hear them mentioned in free agent rumors, and probably never will again. They are dead as a franchise. All they’ve had to show for their losing is the #7 pick and three #2 picks. Who cares about that? Obviously they should have played the veteran Roy Hibbert over Julius Randle, then maybe they’d have won 20 games instead of 17 games and everyone would respect their wonderful winning culture.

    57. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      But if you are trying to attract players, you better be really good or considered a great organization

      Dude, the Knicks attracted Amar’e, Carmelo and Tyson in a matter of years after a team so dysfunctional that its “star” guard was implicated in a massive sexual harassment lawsuit. Like, in consecutive years. The Knicks were NOT considered a good or great organization when Kidd, Sheed and Camby decided to come sign. They were fresh off a 36-30 season after years — fucking YEARS — of being the league’s laughing stock.

      And yeah, no one gave the Knicks an interview because they sucked. And then they stopped sucking, ever so briefly, and players forgot about the losing culture because they had money and spent money. This isn’t fucking rocket science. The Sixers were shitty for like five years and now they’re frontrunners to sign LeBron. I wonder if he’s going to reference their 10-72 season from TWO YEARS AGO.

    58. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      @62

      You don’t play players because they are veterans. You play players based on merit. If the veterans are the best players, you play them and try to balance it with player development.

      The Lakers are playing Brook Lopez a lot of minutes this year. Last year they played Deng, Nick Young, Williams, and Mosgov etc.. The year before that Hibbert did play around his typical allotment and they also played Kobe, etc..

      The Lakers are just way further along in their development because they had attractive picks in years we did not. Now they are seen as an up and coming team and may look good enough to attract a a top free agent. That’s where we should aspire to be next year after KP comes back. Even if we are horrid early in the season, we should not be all out tanking late in the season when KP comes back. We should hope to turn it around late and look good enough to add a serious player via free agency with that cap space. Otherwise we are going to wind up overpaying for a player we don’t even want.

    59. thenoblefacehumper

      If we keep sucking, we’ll keep getting good picks and hopefully eventually get it right. If we select well, add players well etc… we’ll get better quicker and not get as many great picks, but it just means we are doing everything right.

      Surely you understand the massive middle ground here, because it’s the middle ground the Knicks have found themselves in for years. It’s very, very easy to get better enough to sabotage your draft pick without actually making any meaningful progress as an organization.

      You do that by signing Courtney Lee, riding your veterans who might be marginally better than players under ~23, not making logical moves at the deadline (taking what you can get for veterans whose contracts are getting worse by the day), etc. If a move makes you a “better” team in the short-term but quite clearly decreases your chances at being a contender in the next 10 years, it’s simply not worth doing under almost any circumstances.

    60. TheOakmanCometh

      I honestly don’t get how the winning culture thing is still an argument. The Warriors were bad, then they drafted a bunch of All-Stars, and then they were awesome. The Cavs were bad, then they drafted LeBron, then they were awesome. The Spurs were bad, then they drafted Robinson, then they were bad again for one year, then they drafted Duncan, then they were awesome. The Mavs were bad, then they drafted Dirk, then they were really good for 15 straight years. The Heat were bad, then they drafted Wade, then they were really good.

      Having a bad record does not matter to future success.
      1) Stars make you good.
      2) The easiest way to get stars is to draft them.
      3) The higher the pick you have, the more likely you are to draft a star.
      4) The worse your record, the more likely you are to have a high pick.

      Ergo, being temporarily terrible is the best way to be very good in the future. There is simply no evidence that a “winning culture” (i.e. patching up your team with enough vets to win 30 games every year instead of 20) does anything but keep a franchise trapped in perpetual mediocrity.

    61. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      @63

      You are missing the point.

      Getting good enough to attract players and being good enough to attract players are related. They are like the chicken and egg situation. You can’t just say, “all we have to do is be good and then we’ll attract players”.

      How do you get good if all the desirable free agents don’t want to come to NY.

      How many times do you have to see a top player not even give us an interview or see a player take less money just to play for the Spurs to know that part of the equation is how good you are and part is faith in the organization?

      If case you forgot, we got the ball rolling with Amare by giving him a contract no one else was dumb enough to give him because of his health. He looked good that first year, which netted us Melo. Then once we had Melo and Amare it was easier to get Chandler which made it really easy to get Kidd. We got the ball rolling by doing a dumb thing. We would have been better off rolling with Gallo for awhile and trying to attract free agents later, but that’s a different story.

    62. Bruno Almeida

      @60

      How is that even relevant? They went to Miami because Wade was already there and loved it. The Knicks were never ever going to be in consideration.

      No one is saying players ignore dysfunction. If they can choose to build the next superstar team in Miami instead of NY they will go to Miami every time. But if the Knicks had prime Wade on the roster, I can assure you 100% that they would have been a destination for every top free agent out there. If we had James Harden you think CP3 would say “oh no I’m not going to New York because they benched Courtney Lee and Enes Kanter for no reason”?

      The Celtics treated their top 4 players of their last title team like shit, basically benching Ray Allen and threatening to trade him until he left, dumping Rondo to the Mavs and trading KG and Paul Pierce, after 15 seasons and a title with the team, to the Nets with the clear intention to rebuild, and they were a top destination again after one whole year, attracting Horford and then Hayward.

      If anything, what matters is Dolan and he’s not going anywhere any time soon, so it’s even less relevant to imagine winning cultures being built at MSG.

    63. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      Surely you understand the massive middle ground here, because it’s the middle ground the Knicks have found themselves in for years. It’s very, very easy to get better enough to sabotage your draft pick without actually making any meaningful progress as an organization.

      I certainly understand the potential to maneuver yourself into a position of being too good get a decent draft pick, but not good enough to contend. But you won’t find yourself in that position UNLESS you give out bad contracts and give away all your picks. If you have all good contracts and your picks, you have the currency to continue trading up, signing free agents, and making picks, to improve.

      You are saying being the middle is automatically bad.

      I am saying, there is nothing wrong with being in the middle if you still have cap flexibility, all your picks, and all your contracts can be moved. If you are in the position I am describing and you keep making value oriented deals you’ll keep getting better. If you win most of them, you’ll eventually trade for or attract the whales you need to contend like Houston.

    64. swiftandabundant

      @ 66 – I completely disagree with this premise. The Knicks aren’t where they are because they were just good enough to get non lottery picks. They’re where they are because they usually didn’t have picks PERIOD. And when they did they traded them away. Lets revisit shall we? And I’m not including second round picks here bc they are basically shots in the dark.

      2017 – #8 pick – Frank (we all believe he can be a solid piece to a good team eventually)
      2016 – No Pick
      2015 – Zinger (foundational pick, potential perrenial all star)
      2014 – no pick
      2013 – Hardaway (late first round pick after a 54 win season. I guess we should have tanked that year to get higher?)
      2012 – No draft pick
      2011 – Shump (we made the playoffs that year for the first time in a decade)
      2010 – No pick
      2009 – Jordan Hill (ok here I will give you we should have tanked a few more losses to get higher and grab Curry BUT there were actually really good players picked after Hill that we passed on and regardless we traded Hill anyways)
      2008 – Gallo – solid pick. Traded for Melo
      2007 – Chandler – solid pick. Traded for Melo
      2006 – Balkman/Collins – we actually had 2 first rounders and they were late so yeah I guess we should have tanked to get higher. Can’t remember the details here but it looks like according to our record we should have picked higher so I’m assuming we did a dumb swap here?
      2005 – Frye, Lee – um both of those guys were solid. Should have held onto them. Let them go to clear cap space for Lebron, um, I mean STAT.
      2004 – No pick but we grabbed Ariza in the second round who has had a great pro career and we traded away!

      I’ll stop there. The point is we aren’t where we are because we refused to tank. We’re where we are because we traded away our picks or picked someone decent and traded them away for cap space.

      Everyone knows how we traded away picks that turned into Noah and Aldridge.

    65. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      @70

      You are identifying once course of action that has been successful for some teams and a monumental failure for others. I have not rejected that option. I couldn’t be happier we have all our draft picks and have been the only person here suggesting the major reason we are in this boat is because we didn’t have our 1st round pick for 2 years.

      I am adding that the draft is not the only demonstrated method of success.

      However, it is unquestionably the one that takes the longest even if you execute it very well like the 76ers.

      Given that many Knicks fans already have KP classified as an over-hyyped volume shooter that can’t rebound and Frank as having a terrible year and a bust at PG, I suspect we’d have a few nervous breakdowns here if we went all out 76er style. :-)

    66. ClashFan

      RE #67

      I honestly don’t get how the winning culture thing is still an argument. The Warriors were bad, then they drafted a bunch of All-Stars, and then they were awesome. The Cavs were bad, then they drafted LeBron, then they were awesome. The Spurs were bad, then they drafted Robinson, then they were bad again for one year, then they drafted Duncan, then they were awesome. The Mavs were bad, then they drafted Dirk, then they were really good for 15 straight years. The Heat were bad, then they drafted Wade, then they were really good.

      Having a bad record does not matter to future success.
      1) Stars make you good.
      2) The easiest way to get stars is to draft them.
      3) The higher the pick you have, the more likely you are to draft a star.
      4) The worse your record, the more likely you are to have a high pick.

      Ergo, being temporarily terrible is the best way to be very good in the future. There is simply no evidence that a “winning culture” (i.e. patching up your team with enough vets to win 30 games every year instead of 20) does anything but keep a franchise trapped in perpetual mediocrity.

      Sorry for the long copy and paste, but that post is about as well said as it gets. 100% agree.

      And don’t even really care how teams X, Y, and Z got to be good. What is best for the Knicks, right now. TANK at least through next year. I’d love to acquire more #1 picks, but how? They have their own this year and next (and beyond), so make them the best that they can be.

    67. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      How is that even relevant? They went to Miami because Wade was already there and loved it. The Knicks were never ever going to be in consideration.

      It’s relevant because Bosh said all the nonsense in NY was a consideration even though all 3 of them interviewed with NY.

      In other words, Wade was happy in Miami party because he had a lot of faith in Pat Riley to deliver another championship after having delivered one to him and Shaq. If Wade was in NY, they may have all gone to Miami.

    68. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      @72

      I said this.

      I couldn’t be happier we have all our draft picks and have been the only person here suggesting the major reason we are in this boat is because we didn’t have our 1st round pick for 2 years.

      Sorry, I did’t mean to exclude you given you just said the same thing. :-)

      On the one hand people are arguing that we have to build via draft (which I agree is a big part of it) and on the other hand when I have said Phil didn’t leave us in such a bad position given we didn’t have 2 1st round picks in his 4 years, that gets totally rejected as an excuse because he made some mistakes too. If we had those 2 picks, we might be where the Timberwolves or 76ers are now. Of course, we probably wouldn’t be in the lottery this year. lol Instead we are 2 years behind them and still in the lottery.

    69. JK47

      Phil should have tried to acquire picks. He should have tried to acquire assets that made sense in the context of a rebuild. Instead he spent resources on Jose Calderon and Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose because they were great “win now” players for his awesome Triangle offense that was going to very quickly lead us to glory.

    70. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, Phil was so, so bad at his job.

      He was so bad that I can’t believe we have to still have “But was he?” conversations every few weeks, but hey, whatever, we can do it.

    71. JK47

      “Phil didn’t have draft picks” is the lamest excuse for his dismal failure as a GM. Yeah, that’s right, he didn’t have draft picks. That’s why he should have tried to get some, instead of building a whole team around the decline phase of Carmelo fucking Anthony.

    72. Hubert

      The THJ and Baker signings were clearly awful, but those were Mills moves. the post-Perry moves have all been pretty reasonable.

      I used to toot this horn, too. But the Mudiay trade killed me. There was nothing reasonable about it and it undoes everything positive Perry may have done. Unless it can be proved that Mills did it on his own, which would not surprise me.

    73. Brian Cronin

      “Sign and trade Melo for draft picks?” “Nah, mega max extend him with a no trade clause”

      “Trade Chandler for a first rounder?” “Nah, trade him for Jose Calderón.”

      “Trade Shump for a first rounder?”
      “Nah, use him to get rid of JR Smith’s $5 million contract so that we can sign Arron Afflalo.”

      “Loan our salary cap to other teams for first rounders?”
      “Nah, sign Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams.”

      What could Phil do? He had no first rounders!

    74. thenoblefacehumper

      David Griffin has said he was willing to give up a first for Shumpert. Phil countered by offering that they take JR without having to give up a first so the Knicks could save money to sign Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams.

      The man was a complete and utter failure and had no understanding of how to build an NBA team.

    75. Brian Cronin

      Regarding the Mudiay trade, we’re thrilled about getting the Bulls’ second rounder for Melo, which will be #38, while the pick they traded for one of the worst players in the NBA is going to be, like, seven picks away from that pick.

    76. Bruno Almeida

      @75

      It’s not relevant because if Riley was the main reason, it was over anyway since the Knicks did not have him, and the reason the Knicks don’t have a guy like Riley or West who can attract those guys is called James Dolan.

      Wade was not happy in Miami because of a winning culture. Miami had a 15 win season in 2008 and were barely treading water in the next two seasons in the east before Lebron and Bosh. They got the big 3 because of a favourable situation with ownership + front office that the Knicks don’t have and won’t have under Dolan ever.

      If you don’t have a favourable management situation, you hope to get lucky on the draft. I can’t see how it’s possible to believe anything else regarding the Knicks under Dolan and the clown fiesta managing everything.

    77. Frank

      Regarding the Mudiay trade, we’re thrilled about getting the Bulls’ second rounder for Melo, which will be #38, while the pick they traded for one of the worst players in the NBA is going to be, like, seven picks away from that pick.

      Right, but trading away that 2nd round pick could result in us having a better 1st round draft pick. C’mon Brian, gotta think 4-D chess like Mills/Perry are!

    78. 2FOR18, understands math

      And don’t even really care how teams X, Y, and Z got to be good. What is best for the Knicks, right now

      There’s way too much verbiage being thrown around, when the above is the real factorial shit. All of the other what if arguments and history lessons are just noise.

    79. ptmilo

      otto porter has become one of those players who everyone agrees is good but is still underappreciated because his greatness is buried in small increments of the known and the boring. everyone knows he’s a really good 3&D type player and have come to realize that good 3&D type players are really valuable.

      but the thing about porter is that he would be a really good 3&D player if he shot 38% from 3, turned it over less than 2/36 and grabbed a few boards and played solid defense. it’s easy to forget he’s shooting over 42% from 3 for the second consecutive year (and over 53% from 2) and turning it over only once per 36. how many players in NBA history have at least 100 steals, 400 rebounds, shot over 40% from three while turning over fewer than 100 times? Otto Porter is the whole list and this will be his second consecutive year doing it. in fact he’s only turned it over 105 times total since the beginning of last year.

      i’ll tell you another thing about otto porter since you asked. how many nba players have taken at least 100 long twos (16+) and shot at least 50% on them each of the last two years? only klay thompson and otto porter and i was actually lying about klay it’s really just otto.

      I don’t think you can say the same sort of supercharged thing about his defense like you could about, say, a pat bev or young kawhi or maybe bruce bowen (or maybe robert covington now i’m not really sure). but the efficiency is just so damn elite it’s easy to miss.

      this interruption from another episode of the great tank debates of 2001-2027 has been brought to you by otto porter.

    80. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Love that Otto Porter intermezzo. Easily the best player on the wizards and maybe the most underrated player in the league along with Covington, Gary Harris, Kyle Anderson, and our very own KOQ

    81. Ben R

      A lot of people on this board seem to be hoping we tank next year and get a top 3 pick. If that happens that would be a bad thing for the Knicks, not a good thing. For us to be a bottom three team next year most if not all of the following things would have to happen: KP would have to have major setbacks in his recovery, Ntilikina would not have taken a step forward, Hardaway would be a total bust, our pick this year would have not contributed much, none of our other young players (Burke, Baker, Dotson, Williams) would have improved and we would have let O’Quinn walk.

      I for one hope we fight for a playoff spot with Ntilikina and our rookie starting, KP coming back strong by New Years and Hardaway playing SG and living up to his contract. The choices aren’t shut down KP next year and tank or sign a bunch of mediocre veterans to win 35 games. If our rotation next year is: Ntilikina, Hardaway, O’Quinn, Baker, Burke, Williams, 2018 1st, Dotson, 2018 2nd and KP then I’ll be okay with whatever total of games we win.

      I want to focus on youth and move Mudiay, Thomas, Lee, and Kanter for anything we can get, let Beasley and Jack walk, and maybe throw a contract at Hezonja, Randle or Noel. I couldn’t care less what our pick is next year.

    82. Bruno Almeida

      An interesting stat from reddit: if Ben Simmons played for the Knicks, he would be our franchise record holder for triple doubles with 9. If Lebron had played the last two months with the Knicks he would be in the same position with 9 triple doubles.

      The Knicks record holder is still Micheal Ray Richardson. Clyde is second with 8, then Mark Jackson, our future coach, has 7.

    83. dtrickey

      Potentially off topic for the thread, but if we do move on from Hornacek, one name I don’t think I have seen thrown around is Jerry Stackhouse. Looks to have done a pretty decent job with the Toronto G-League team the last few years. Would be an interesting wild card option.

    84. Grocer

      Just cause this seems to keep coming up, don’t underestimate how lucky the Warriors got. They were mediocre for over a decade (8-14 in the west), drafted Curry, and were mediocre for the next three years before they made the playoffs. It can take time for players to pan out, is what I am saying. KP is gonna lose a year to injury. If we still suck in the 19-20 season then we should blow it all up and roll the dice again. But it’s pretty damn likely that we’ll spend some time being mediocre even if it all works out, no matter what we do.

    85. Bruno Almeida

      I don’t think a fanbase has turned on a player as fast as the Thunder fans are turning on Melo. It was kinda obvious but I didn’t think it was going to be THIS ugly.

    86. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      The Bucks have Jeff Van Gundy in mind as a possible coach if Prunty can’t win a playoff series. That could be formidable.

      They are also considering Kevin McHale. I have no idea how he would do.

    Comments are closed.