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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.04.16)

  • [NYDN] Knicks meeting with David Blatt, set to interview Mike Woodson
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 3:33:35 PM)

    David Blatt is reportedly flying from overseas next week to interview for the Knicks job.

  • [NYPost] David Fizdale will have to answer for this in interview with Knicks
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 6:46:31 PM)

    The NBA was stunned when current Knicks target David Fizdale got the boot in late November — the longtime assistant-coaching stud getting cut down in just his second season in Memphis. LeBron James, who won two titles with Fizdale in Miami, summed up the league’s reaction in a tweet: “I need some answers. Feels like…

  • [NYPost] Knicks trying to finalize meeting with LeBron’s former coach
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 4:07:45 PM)

    As expected, the Knicks are trying to finalize a meeting with David Blatt, the former Cavaliers coach who interviewed with Phil Jackson in 2016 at president Steve Mills’ urging. According to ESPN, Blatt is out of the country and may not be able to interview until next week. Blatt just won the Euro Cup with…

  • [NYPost] The Knicks-Mike Woodson interest is officially mutual
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 10:49:47 AM)

    Former Knicks coach Mike Woodson got his wish. One day after telling The Post he would “love” to interview with the Knicks to “finish what I started,” team brass received permission from the Clippers on Sunday to talk to Doc Rivers’ top assistant, according to a league source who confirmed an ESPN report. Woodson was arguably…

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks set up several head coaching interviews
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 2:17:26 PM)

    The Knicks are planning to meet this week with head coaching candidates David Fizdale, Mark Jackson, and Jerry Stackhouse, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

  • [SNY Knicks] Report: Knicks reach out to Jeff Van Gundy,
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 12:34:30 PM)

    Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry reached out to Jeff Van Gundy’s representatives on Saturday as the team searches for a new head coach, reports the New York Post.

  • [ESPN] Sources: Knicks add Woodson, Blatt to search
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 2:29:14 PM)

    As the Knicks finalize plans to meet with their top four coaching candidates, they also got permission from the LA Clippers to speak to former head coach Mike Woodson, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

  • [NYTimes] Warriors Shake Off Their Late-Season Stumbles and Thrash the Spurs in Game 1
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 7:45:15 AM)

    Golden State picked up its defense and beat San Antonio, 113-92, on Saturday in the N.B.A. playoffs. In other games, Philadelphia romped and Toronto ended a losing streak.

  • [NYTimes] 2018 N.B.A. Playoff Preview: As the Playoffs Begin, the N.B.A.’s Biggest Stars Are Going Ring Hunting
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:00:39 AM)

    The Rockets, Warriors and Cavaliers all think they have an edge in the league’s annual contest for the jewelry that tends to dominate the conversation.

  • [NYTimes] New Coach? New Players? Prayers? How to Fix the Knicks (and Nets)
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:49:32 PM)

    The New York Times asked a handful of interested parties how to restore the luster of New York basketball. And get it started in Brooklyn.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks set to begin interviewing coaching candidates
    (Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:03:29 PM)

    The Knicks are setting up interviews with candidates for their coaching vacancy.

  • 86 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.04.16)

    1. GHenman

      I really hope Blatt gets the job. He seems to win wherever he goes. He even got Cleveland to the finals despite problems with Lebron.

    2. wetbandit

      Aside from LeBron James, David Blatt is universally regarded as an incredibly smart, versatile, and tough coach who brought multiple overachieving teams to success, including an Israeli team overmatched like crazy. He runs Princeton, pick and roll, iso, and every other system, according to the strengths of his lineup, and switches mid-game.

      We can do so much worse than him. If he didn’t have a prior NBA stint poisoned by the world’s greatest player, he’d be top of my list. I actually think he still is. If the choice is between Mark Jackson, Mike Woodson, JVG, and Blatt, I think I’d be equally happy with the latter two.

    3. thenamestsam

      April 16, 2018 at 10:08 am

      I really hope Blatt gets the job. He seems to win wherever he goes. He even got Cleveland to the finals despite problems with Lebron.

      I have to say I don’t really get why people have a positive view of Blatt. Saying that he “even got Cleveland to the finals” is one of the biggest reaches I’ve ever heard. Lebron has made the finals seven straight years. Lue is no no genius as a head coach and he took over for Blatt and immediately won the title. Blatt’s first NBA head coaching gig was every bit the disaster than Mark Jackson’s in my view (note: I’m in no way advocating for Jackson to be the head coach). He showed zero ability to mesh with NBA players and had an extremely talented team in open rebellion against him within 18 months. I get that he has done nothing but wrack up Euro titles but the guy has huge red flags based on his stint in Cleveland.

    4. xcat01

      Well there is no way that Blatt is going to get the job if Dolan thinks that he has any shot at all to get LeBron. I can only hope that everyone in the front office are aware that LeBron is not coming here. That said, I like Blatt from a player development stand point. He may or may not be a good coach for the Knicks long term but he is a good coach to help a young team to learn how to play the game as a team. Mark Jackson has shown no ability to develop players. Woodson is a big no way, all the Knicks are going to do with Woodson as coach is run a bunch of ISOs. If the Knicks don’t get Blatt then I would like to see Stackhouse as the coach.

    5. cgreene

      Well our 2 youngest and most important development assets including the alpha star of our current team come out of the European system. Blatt has had no issues communicating with Euros obviously…

      …and once we win the draft lottery and get Doncic our top 3 assets will be Euros.

      So Blatt may in fact be the perfect choice.

    6. bobneptune

      I can’t believe Van Gundy wants to coach a 24 win team next season even if the outlook could be pretty good 3 years down the road.

      Blatt is perfect. He played with the club president and Robinson. He has been uber successful everywhere he coached. He took the Love-less Cavs to a 2-1 lead vs the great Warriors. He had the Cavs at 30-11 before LeBron threw a hissy fit and got him fired. The guy is an educator and a teacher and if there is one thing this roster needs is a guy who can teach basketball and improve players.

      It makes so much sense I can’t imagine it could ever happen…….

    7. DRed

      I’d be fine with giving Blatt a shot but not being able to get out of the way of your ego to work with Lebron seems like a pretty big red flag.

    8. thenamestsam

      It’s not necessarily about Euros vs. not Euros I don’t think. What Blatt didn’t seem to be able to do in Cleveland was get NBA players to respect him. I have to say I don’t know too much about the Turkish superleague but I suspect the power dynamic between the coach and players is pretty different than what you see in the NBA. Being able to manage that power dynamic, i.e. being “in charge” of players who know that you’re more replaceable and less important than they are, is a really tricky aspect of being an NBA coach. Blatt may be an Xs and Os genius, but the Cleveland players (and not just Lebron) just straight up didn’t listen to him. They changed the system on their own, they changed plays on their own, they were bad mouthing him publicly. KP has already shown some willingness to buck against management. Concluding that he would be fine with Blatt because he was born in Europe seems tenuous to me.

    9. ptmilo

      It’s hard to judge a season and a half of basketball, an issue that applies to both Blatt and Fizdale, but especially Blatt because it’s unclear how much he was able to transmit to the court. Maybe their respective problems with Gasol and Lebron are red flags but they might be just yellow flags. Those guys can both be idiosyncratically difficult.

      One thing seems clear irrespective of the similar coarse grained outcomes in the win loss column. Blatt is a much much better X and O coach than Lue/Lebron and if he were in charge he would never stick Lebron out there with so little shooting as has commonly been the case this year. He damn well would not be starting Jeff Green. I’m not sure about Blatt but he is clearly a thinking basketball mind who hasn’t watched the game pass him by, and he doesn’t seem to be a George Karl level prick. I think he seems like a reasonable choice.

    10. swiftandabundant

      I think we should dispel the idea that a certain type of coach (JVG, Rivers) would not want to coach a rebuilding team. That they are only coaches who would want to coach a team that is ready to compete.

      Maybe they want the challenge of a rebuilding team? Maybe that’s appealing because its not a win now team. Maybe they want the challenge and are excited about the idea of shaping young players and helping them grow. Maybe they want a long term project. We shouldn’t assume that a certain type of coach, just because they’ve had teams that won chips or competed for them now only wants that in a coaching job.

    11. swiftandabundant

      Lue taking over and winning the finals over GS had nothing to do with him being better than Blatt and had everything to do with Draymond Green being suspended. That was an awesome finals and I was happy for cleveland but they got VERY lucky in that series.

    12. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      Picking up the thread from yesterday, I’m not sure why a lack of players in Minnesota who can make an entry pass should suddenly show up in the playoffs and not before

    13. cgreene

      That’s not what I said. I never mentioned where they were born. I mentioned where KP and Frank actually played and the coach/player culture being something they are used to and Blatt’s historical ability to communicate with Euro players. Lebron didn’t want any coach that would do things differently than what he wanted. Lebron is a great player and seemingly a good guy. But he is a prima donna of massive proportions. I believe the other players lashed out bc they were following his lead. If he had liked Blatt they would have been fine. Also Blatt was hired before Lebron decided to come back for the explicit purposes of a rebuild. So all of a sudden Blatt was faced with a massively different dynamic than what he had accepted and probably prepared for. I would imagine he would not have even been a candidate for that job had Lebron chosen to come back prior to the Blatt’s hiring. The job of coaching Lebron at this point in his career is simply and only ego management. The GM job is way more important. I.e. getting him the right players. Riley was able to persuade him to listen to Spoelstra. Riley had enough cred to get them there. KP is not Lebron.

    14. GHenman

      Cleveland went to the finals his first year. They were 30-11 when he got fired. Other than not getting along with LeBron, I’m not aware of any player issues. If anyone has any other examples please share them.

    15. xcat01

      If are looking for a reason that JVG would want to coach the Knicks, just look at Jackson and how much money he got from Dolan. Add in the thumb in the eye aspect of Dolan hiring him after he fired him and if he were to come back and eventually start winning with NY, he would be truly the only successful coach that the Knicks have had since Riley. It would be an ego thing for JVG to come back and after taking Dolan’s money he can always go back to the booth.

    16. mase

      Not getting along with lebron is a red flag can’t deny that aspect. Maybe blatt learned his mistake though

    17. kevin5318

      Blatt was brought in to develop a young team and then Lebron happened. KP is a bit of a diva himself but I think he’ll let Blatt coach a few crossovers/ISO’s out of him.

    18. ess-dog

      My money is on Fizdale.

      – gets endorsements from stars of the modern game

      – comes from a strong defense-first background

      – isn’t too untested nor is he too old (the right age)

      – Memphis is run by idiots

      – has cool glasses

    19. ptmilo

      my biggest takeaway from the games yesterday is the biggest reason Rose has been a horrible defender is that he normally doesn’t try. the difference in his effort last night vs what we saw every night last year was as visceral as anyone I can remember outside of superstars. it’s not that was a great defender last night as he got beat and made a couple of big mistakes but he was a world apart from being one the dregs of the league. Maybe this was already obvious to everyone else but I actually thought he was mostly trying until now.

    20. GHenman

      My order of preference is Blatt, Fizdale, Van Gundy. Why are they interviewing so many people? They must have an idea of who they want already.

    21. JK47

      The Knicks have an opportunity to either:
      1. Do something non-Knicksy (Blatt, Fizdale, Van Gundy), or
      2. Do something Knicksy (Woodson, trade a draft pick for Rivers), or
      3. Do something Knicksiest (Mark Jackson)

    22. DRed

      Didn’t Blatt fuck up something stupid in the playoffs? Like not knowing how many timeouts they had or something. I don’t think it was a huge deal but I remember thinking he didn’t seem to be as good of a game coach as people made him out to be.

    23. GoNyGoNyGo

      Blatt? Woodson? Is 2019 going to be another tank season?

      Blatt was run out of Cleveland because LeBron got sick of his mistakes. LeBron literally took over coaching of the team.

    24. ClashFan

      @23
      They might want to claim “due diligence” and all that. Not later have to answer questions to the media like, “Why didn’t you at least interview Van Gundy/Jackson/etc. when he was available?”

      Woodson, though? That seems to come from way out of left field.

    25. DRed

      I looked it up he tried to call a timeout the Cavs didn’t have right before Lebron hit that corner three to beat the Bulls in game 4 of their series.

    26. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, and Bridges will take us to the promised land"

      Picking up the thread from yesterday, I’m not sure why a lack of players in Minnesota who can make an entry pass should suddenly show up in the playoffs and not before

      That’s a good question. Perhaps is has to do with the way Houston was defending vs. the way other teams defend Minny. Houston was switching a LOT and creating a lot of those mistmatches that Minny was not trying to take advantage of. Perhaps they don’t get those mismatches as often against other teams so it wasn’t as noticeable.

    27. wetbandit

      Thought this was well-known. Blatt lost his job because he wasn’t part of LeBron’s Klutch Sports agency. Woj reported it.

      I don’t think anyone other than LeBron ever had an issue with the guy.

    28. wetbandit

      To me, there’s a clear two-tiers of coaches here:
      Tier 1: Van Gundy, Fizdale, Blatt, Stackhouse, any of Popovich’s guys (MESSINA PLZ)
      Tier 2: Mark Jackson, Woodson, other idiots

    29. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, and Bridges will take us to the promised land"

      Didn’t Blatt fuck up something stupid in the playoffs? Like not knowing how many timeouts they had or something. I don’t think it was a huge deal but I remember thinking he didn’t seem to be as good of a game coach as people made him out to be.

      He called a timeout he didn’t have, but I think the ref didn’t grant it and saved him from a tech. He also had some other issue with calling timeouts that he used to ask Lue about (TV timeouts or something like that).

      I have mixed feeling about him.

      He’s probably very good and maybe getting the respect of a young team will be easier than getting the respect of Lebron. Had Lebron respected him, the rest of the team probably would have fallen right in line. We don’t have any ego driven pain in the asses like Lebron in NY that will test him just for the sake of testing him.

    30. GHenman

      @30. Thanks. I thought it was an issue of LeBron, like all new GM’s, wanting to bring in his own guy.

    31. ClashFan

      Not knowing much about how Blatt got fired, I read a few articles. This one seems to sum up most of what’s out there about him:
      http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2016/01/why_david_blatt_got_fired_and.html

      Toward the end of the article Blatt is somewhat defended, too, so the article doesn’t seem like a hit job.

      Rather than just having an issue with LeBron, his troubles seem to have started with kissing the stars’ assess too much early on, esp. during practice and when going over game film. He may have been afraid to criticize LeBron, Love, and Kyrie, thus getting the rest of the roster against him, first. Sounds like inexperience dealing with superstar players as well as some problems managing games (like drawing up plays during timeouts).

      Maybe he learned from that?

    32. djphan

      i always thought that excuse about entry passes was a huge cop out…. yes entry passes are sometimes difficult but it is a basic pass that you can iron out during practice….

      the cop out is because you have a bunch of folks who are shooting way too much for their skill level… namely wiggins and crawford.. but now it’s drose also…. and it’s a coverup to excuse the kind of behavior that has had towns be an afterthought in that offense….

    33. JK47

      LeBron, in his infinite wisdom, really really wanted the Cavs to hire Mark fucking Jackson to replace Blatt. David Griffin wisely responded “Nah, fam” and that never happened, but LeBron orchestrated one of the great coach-killing campaigns of all time when it came to Blatt.

      LeBron is a great player, but he’s a douche and he’s not as smart as he thinks he is. I mean, Mark Jackson. Nuff said. He’ll make a terrible NBA GM someday.

    34. bidiong

      I would like Van Gundy first and Blatt second, but I’d be happy with giving Fizdale or Stackhouse a shot as well.

    35. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, and Bridges will take us to the promised land"

      LeBron is a great player, but he’s a douche and he’s not as smart as he thinks he is. I mean, Mark Jackson. Nuff said. He’ll make a terrible NBA GM someday.

      If that story is accurate, I’m sure he didn’t want Jackson because he thought he was the best available coach. He wanted him because it meant more money to the agency. He knew he could walk all over Jackson and do whatever he wanted anyway (just like he did to Blatt).

      It sounds like this was the kind of business/political BS that occurs behind the scenes that fans don’t get to see that helps explain things that would otherwise seem dumb or illogical.

      I never have any idea what’s going on, but when I talk about dealing with players and agents when it comes to playing time, this is what I am referring to. If you don’t play nice with these prima donnas they can respond in not so nice ways in the future when it comes to other free agents, trades, etc..

    36. domiknick

      I don’t think I’ve seen this suggested anywhere yet, but is it possible they’re interviewing Woodson as an assistant coach? Or is that just a dumb suggestion since any head coach would want to bring/choose their own assistant coaches?

    37. TheOakmanCometh

      It could be that Mills/Perry reached out to Doc about possibly coming to NY, and Doc said “No thanks, but you guys should really talk to Woodson again, he’s the best assistant I have.” Something like that.

    38. TheOakmanCometh

      What’s the story with Fizdale’s feud with Gasol? Is it something that could be a repeat problem for Fizdale?

      (BTW, if we hire him, the NY tabloids will go nuts for his wife. She’s gorgeous.)

    39. kevin5318

      Knicks president Steve Mills says that owner James Dolan is on board with taking a patient approach with the team’s rebuild : “Jim has given us the room to be patient which, again, is not something that’s been common in this organization. Patience hasn’t been one of our biggest attributes here ….I don’t have any doubt that he’s comfortable with the plan we’re on and (that he) wants us to be patient and not do things that are just you know for the quick hit,” Mills said last week. My take: this is probably encouraging for Knicks fans to hear but actions will speak louder than words here.

      http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0777538606695715233-4

    40. Hubert

      The Knicks will get Lebron when he is 41 after his second ACL surgery.

      His record as a player/GM suggests he’s MSG management material. Future President of Basketball Operations.

    41. d-mar

      LeBron is a great player, but he’s a douche and he’s not as smart as he thinks he is. I mean, Mark Jackson. Nuff said. He’ll make a terrible NBA GM someday.

      And then we can have endless arguments about who’s the worst GM of all time – Michael Jordan or LeBron James.

    42. thenoblefacehumper

      It speaks to my expectations that I’ll be fine, even happy, with any non-Mark Jackson announcement.

      As I typed that, I realized the Knicks could very easily turn it into a Monkey’s Paw situation on me with Isiah Thomas or Mike Woodson redux.

    43. Cock Jowles, a Real Value Contract at .502 TS% and $26.2M

      Forgive me if we’ve already discussed this, but did anyone read Morey’s AMA on Reddit? I’m not sure what I enjoyed most: him saying that there was a common denominator in all of the Knicks’ failures, claiming that basketball and pro League of Legends had strategic crossover, or that Hinkie isn’t blackballed but waiting for the right opportunity. Truly a breath of fresh air from a senior executive in an industry known for banal platitudes.

    44. alsep73

      @IanBegley
      4m4 minutes ago

      The Knicks have not shown any interest in Jeff Van Gundy as a candidate for their head-coaching position at this point, league sources told ESPN. Full story coming.

      But Mike Woodson tho.

    45. ptmilo

      @48 I read it, thought it was awesome. at one point I think he said he has gotten a trade idea from reading twitter/blogs and actually proposed it.

    46. thenamestsam

      Honestly the JVG thing has always seemed like more of a half-baked fantasy than something with any chance of actually coming to pass. He has been out of coaching for more than a decade at this point and has surely had opportunities during that time to get back in – opportunities that on logic alone you’d have to assume were probably at least as good as the current Knicks situation. I imagine once you step outside the coaching bubble a bit it probably becomes apparent that for the most part being on ESPN is the way better gig. You still make great money and get to be affiliated with the league, but without 1/10th of the work, the stress or the criticism. I know which job I’d rather have.

    47. TheOakmanCometh

      Knicks president Steve Mills says that owner James Dolan is on board with taking a patient approach with the team’s rebuild : “Jim has given us the room to be patient which, again, is not something that’s been common in this organization. Patience hasn’t been one of our biggest attributes here ….I don’t have any doubt that he’s comfortable with the plan we’re on and (that he) wants us to be patient and not do things that are just you know for the quick hit,” Mills said last week.

      Sounds like a great opportunity to fire Mills and bring in Hinkie.

    48. TheOakmanCometh

      The Knicks have not shown any interest in Jeff Van Gundy as a candidate for their head-coaching position at this point, league sources told ESPN. Full story coming.

      Both Isola and Berman reported that Mills/Perry reached out to JVG’s representatives. So somebody has their facts wrong.

      Anyway, I’m not as high on JVG as a lot of people are. He’s been out of the game a looong time. His teams had a style of play that looks nothing like the modern NBA. And he recently said that tanking was a scandal, not a strategy. Which means he would not be down for a proper rebuild. I’d rather have Wright or Fizdale.

    49. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Blatt feels like the right pick but I think it would be Fizdale. I want Blatt more than anyone else because I feel like everyone else would refuse to play Ntilikina the amount of minutes necessary to develop his talent. Mark Jackson and Mike Woodson would almost certainly be career ending injuries for Frank Ntilikina.

    50. Frank

      One thing that may only interest me — Mills has called Dolan “Jim” more than once in press conferences, whereas in the past I believe pretty much everyone else was forced to call him “Mr. Dolan”.

      Re: JVG – the question is whether he is the type of person to be able to adapt to the “new NBA”. Is he Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis, forever thinking that the way things were done in 2000 will still work now? Or does he adapt, like Pop or Spoelstra or Belichick or whoever? I tend to think he is the latter given how much time he’s spent at Sloan and by what he says on shows like the Lowe Post etc.

      He is a great basketball mind that inspired undying loyalty from his players, and showed undying loyalty to him (well, until he quit lol). I would feel fully comfortable going into a playoff series with JVG and putting him up against any coach out there, trusting him that he can go adjustment for adjustment with the best of them. Can you say the same about Fizdale, Mark Jackson, Stackhouse, or whoever else they’re throwing around out there? Woodson for God’s sake?!

      And re: tanking – tanking IS a scandal precisely because it IS a strategy. It is a stain on any competitive sport, and unfortunately it’s taken over every sport. As long as there is any incentive for losing, people will lose on purpose, which undermines the whole concept of competitive sports.

    51. Frank

      That said, I’d be happy with Fizdale — too many people around the league spoke too highly of him for them all to be wrong, and to be honest I think he was probably conceptually right in the Gasol dustup, even if maybe he didn’t handle it the best way possible.

      Stackhouse would be fine. At least he has some experience. No idea about how sharp he is though.

      Blatt would be fine.

      No Woodson.
      No Mark Jackson.

    52. Hubert

      Mark Jackson and Mike Woodson would almost certainly be career ending injuries for Frank Ntilikina.

      I don’t want Mark Jackson, either. But I think we’ve gone a little too far. He did play a significant, positive role in player development on that Warriors team. He’s got a low ceiling and you know it would end badly, but he’s not a career-ending injury for young players.

    53. kevin5318

      Interesting quote form Stackhouse.

      Offensively, Stackhouse’s G League team doesn’t play at a quick pace, but his philosophy is otherwise attune with today’s NBA in that he prefers 3-pointers over midrange jumpers.

      “I probably wouldn’t like my game as a coach,” said Stackhouse, a deadly midrange shooter in his heyday. “Midrange 2s – I tell guys, all right if it’s against the shot clock and the guy runs you off and you got to take a one-dribble pull-up, OK, do it.

      “But otherwise, let’s try to get into the paint and find another trigger and find something else on the weakside. Or just sidestep him and take the 3.”

      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/jerry-stackhouse-new-york-interview-knicks-head-coach-article-1.3937369

    54. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

      “I probably wouldn’t like my game as a coach,” said Stackhouse

      That’s pretty self-aware. While part of me is screaming that it’s going to be Mark Jackson and I’ll have reasons to hate this team even more, I am for the moment choosing to view it as, “Look how many good options we have! Each with their own strengths and abilities!”

      I mean, really. It’s possible Blatt, Fizdale,Stackhouse, and JvG could fail, but each is likely to be average to above-average. That’s not so bad!

    55. TheOakmanCometh

      Re: JVG – the question is whether he is the type of person to be able to adapt to the “new NBA”. Is he Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis, forever thinking that the way things were done in 2000 will still work now? Or does he adapt, like Pop or Spoelstra or Belichick or whoever?

      Thibodeau is an interesting test case. He did a good job in Chicago, with one glaring flaw — he played his best players a million minutes, and all of their careers suddenly fell off a cliff in their late 20s/early 30s. When he got fired, he took a year off to study the league. He visited practices and training camps for lots of different teams, taking advice from the best coaches and learning how other people ran things.

      When he took over in Minnesota, it was his chance to prove he could adapt. But no, he went right back to his 7-man rotation and playing his stars way too many minutes. Wiggins played the 3rd most minutes in the league. Towns was 7th. Butler was 7th in mpg and would have finished 2nd in total minutes if he’d played all 82 games like Wiggins and Towns.

      And Thibs was actually making an effort to learn. Most of these guys are stubborn and arrogant.

    56. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I probably love the draft as much as anybody here, but re: “The Process” I think it’s a load of bullshit. The 76ers tanked 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 and ended up with Noel, Embiid, Saric, Covington, Okafor, Simmons, and Fultz. People are clamoring over how effective the strategy was but what’s lost on people is the time Embiid and Simmons spent on the DL. We don’t know how well the strategy would have worked if Embiid and Simmons were healthy, and on top of that the executive who was in charge of the Process got fired.

      The Knicks aren’t a bottom five team in this year’s draft because Porzingis was too good a draft pick. That’s hardly an indictment on our front office and scouting department. Dame Dotson rebounds well, defends well, and has a eFG% above .500. Playing him big minutes down the stretch blew our draft position. Frank Ntilikina’s defense on some of the league’s marquee talent won us some games early on. The Knicks exhibited the ability to find cheap guys in Troy Williams, Trey Burke, Michael Beasley, and Luke Kornet who can all contribute to winning basketball. I firmly believe that good organizations pick up the parts they’re given and make them work. The best teams in the NBA this year were Houston and Toronto. The last time either of those teams made a top 5 selection was 2011, and that was Toronto with JV (who isn’t even the franchise player). Toronto didn’t even recruit free agents; they did it all by consistently winning trades and keeping guys in their building. Houston won a bunch of trades and drafted Clint Capela with the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

      My point is to say that willfully tanking multiple seasons is a skill-less proposition and that good organizations draft well regardless of where they pick and then develop talent. What Philly did is overblown due to injuries making their talent look worse and the NBA won’t even allow an executive to repeat what happened.

    57. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      That being said, I really hope the team the Knicks field next season is bad enough to land RJ Barrett. He’s the real Maple Jordan.

    58. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, and Bridges will take us to the promised land"

      Forgive me if we’ve already discussed this, but did anyone read Morey’s AMA on Reddit? I’m not sure what I enjoyed most: him saying that there was a common denominator in all of the Knicks’ failures, claiming that basketball and pro League of Legends had strategic crossover, or that Hinkie isn’t blackballed but waiting for the right opportunity. Truly a breath of fresh air from a senior executive in an industry known for banal platitudes.

      Thanks for the heads up. I always enjoy reading what Morey has to say. Unfortunately, I think if he comes to MSG he may get dragged out in cuffs like Charles Oakley. :-)

      I see no reason why Hinkie can’t come back. He’ll just never be allowed to do what he did last time given he was run out of town over it and the rules are evolving to reduce the probability of it happening again.

    59. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, and Bridges will take us to the promised land"

      I probably love the draft as much as anybody here, but re: “The Process” I think it’s a load of bullshit. The 76ers tanked 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 and ended up with Noel, Embiid, Saric, Covington, Okafor, Simmons, and Fultz. People are clamoring over how effective the strategy was but what’s lost on people is the time Embiid and Simmons spent on the DL. We don’t know how well the strategy would have worked if Embiid and Simmons were healthy, and on top of that the executive who was in charge of the Process got fired.

      I agree to a large extent. The system is designed to reward failure, but stop rewarding you as you get better. Assuming you draft high and well, you should immediately start improving and draft lower and lower in subsequent years making hard to accumulate much top tier talent. The 76ers certainly would have drafted lower in a few years if Embiid wasn’t out and limited for so long. The intended efficiency of the system was short circuited by his injuries and helped them accumulate more top 3 picks than would have occurred without all the injuries to him and Simmons.

      It was the same phenomenon that allowed The Spurs to draft Duncan when they already had David Robinson (who was hurt).

      It’s the same phenomenon that’s going to allow the Knicks to draft in the top 10 this year and probably have a lottery pick again next year because Porzingis is hurt. It’s just less extreme in NY’s case.

      What the 76ers did well on their own was accumulate picks with value oriented trades, stash players overseas, and make other value enhancing deals hoping to strike gold somewhere outside the top 3 picks they earned by being bad or because of injuries. It was partly good execution and partly bad short term luck that turned into good luck (assuming Embiid and Simmons don’t eventually break down with foot issues). They shot a lot of blanks in the draft also.

    60. #firedRambis

      Blatt was hired prior to Lebron home coming. He was there for player development and then it changed to say hail to the king.

    61. Cock Jowles, a Real Value Contract at .502 TS% and $26.2M

      Drafting injured players to continue the tank was part of the plan. Knowing that even future-superstar rookies suck at NBA basketball was part of the plan. Knowing that there’d be mouthbreathers saying that The Process was a load of bullshit was part of the plan.

      The Sixers have a potential dynasty in place AND a max slot for any of the available stars. Laughing at anyone who thinks that a 52-win team spearheaded by players on rookie contracts was luck: probably also part of the plan.

      Hahahahahaha I wish I were raised outside of Philly instead of outside of NY

    62. Bruno Almeida

      @66

      Yeah this is stupid. The process was designed precisely because Hinkie understood the draft is not a guaranteed thing, so you do need more chances at top picks to eventually make it work.

      People keep talking that they got lucky Embiid didn’t play so they got Simmons, but they conveniently ignore the times they got unlucky. They went 50% on top draft picks before Fultz and are still in a fantastic place because they rebuilt properly and made the necessary moves.

      Meanwhile the honorable Knicks have 2 guy with potential upside to show for the same amount of years sucking completely.

      I can’t believe we’re actually still questioning Philadelphia and what they did at this point. Despite a lot going wrong in the plans the process worked incredibly well and has built a potential east juggernaut.

      It’s funny that the same people that think there’s no difference between drafting 1st or 8th because the the draft is a “crapshoot” are attributing Philly’s success to Embiid getting injured and allowing them to draft Simmons 1st. What Philly shows is that building through top picks is more valuable than the bs winning culture arguments and that talent trumps “doing things the right way”.

    63. lavor postell

      The luckiest thing that happened for Philly was Embiid getting hurt before his draft and thus dropping to them at 3 in the first place otherwise they’d have landed Wiggins aor Paker, who can’t stay healthy.

    64. dtrickey

      Mark me as a skeptic of the Process, but it’s hard to argue with the result considering we are now looking at a 52 win team with home court advantage. Credit should also go to Brown. Not sure there are too many coaches who would have been willing to out their reputation on the line to take that many loses and losing seasons.

    65. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Good to know I’m a mouth breather.

      First of all, going 50% on draft picks at the top of the lottery is not bad luck. If your entire process is based around the draft, you need to have one of the best scouting departments in the entire league. Otherwise, you end up looking like a mouth breather for taking Jahlil Okafor over Kristaps Porzingis. It was reported at the time that the 76ers drafted Jahlil Okafor just so the Knicks wouldn’t take him. It also doesn’t help that Philly’s medical staff is probably the worst in the entire league, but we should process that information differently I guess. What Philadelphia did worked for them, and there’s no questioning that. The issue is how repeatable The Process is as a strategy to build a team, and I don’t think we’ll ever see it again. Teams aren’t giving you 1st round picks to pay Nik Stauskas anymore, and lottery odds flatten after this season. You could draft Michael Porter Jr and rehab him all year to increase your chances at Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett, but you need to have good developmental infrastructure in your building. I will always believe it is a better strategy to field the best team possible at the intersection of talent, youth, and payroll. Don’t hand out dumb contracts, don’t trade 1st round draft picks, and have a first class scouting department. That’s how you find Donovan Mitchell at 13, Jimmy Butler at pick 30, Draymond Green at 35, Nikola Jokic at 41, and so on. It’s how you avoid being the Kings and the Knicks.

    66. hoolahoop

      The Process is like the guy spending his whole paycheck on lottery tickets every week. “Well, the guy down the block did it and won $100 million”.
      It says, we’re too stupid to build a good team, so we’ll suck and pray for good draft picks.

      It’s a slow, dreadful, soulless, demoralizing process with a low probability of success.

    67. Bruno Almeida

      Except that the Knicks and the Kings have been trying to avoid being the Knicks and the Kings for a decade now and it hasn’t worked.

      Steve Clifford apparently loved Mitchell and wanted to draft him, but the Hornets management liked Monk better. If they had drafted Mitchell and Monk fell to Utah, would Utah still be “well managed”? Or just another team who drafted a forgettable player in the late lottery and lacks talent to compete?

      Yet it’s easy to conveniently ignore that the overwhelming majority of top stars in the league were drafted in the top 5 or close to it and the Sixers might have two of the future ones, while the Knicks, Hornets, Pistons, Kings have been trying to build “correctly” and find their Giannis or Kawhi in the late lottery for a decade with zero success, because it’s so damn easy to find this sort of talent and these teams are just stupid and shit.

    68. Brian Cronin

      The Process is like the guy spending his whole paycheck on lottery tickets every week. “Well, the guy down the block did it and won $100 million”.

      Or, like the people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars exploiting times when state lotteries end up having odds that run far too beneficial to the players. Like the Process, they succeed. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/02/how-mit-students-gamed-the-lottery/470349/

      As we have seen for years and teams are all starting to see, the way that the system is set up, the odds are just way too beneficial to intentionally lose to get into the bottom five, which is where the vast majority of top talent resides. The key is not even necessarily to win the lottery, but just pick in the top five as much as you can. The Thunder picked in the top five for three years in a row and, well, it worked out for them.

      Most teams don’t have the patience to lose even three years in a row to get top five picks for three years in a row. The Thunder drafted two Hall of Famers and still managed to finish in the bottom five a third time because they made sure to get rid of any good veteran talent outside of those players. Most teams are too short-sighted to try something like that.

    69. djphan

      they also happened to get guys like covington, saric, mcconnell and holmes…. they have a very decent draft record pre-colangelo and the couple high profile busts shouldn’t overshadow a draft haul that should make every team jealous…. they have what… one FA in the rotation?

      it’s also ironic that some of the same ppl who are trashing the sixers were also giddy over our draft ‘haul’ of kp, frank and what was previously wily…. well the sixers basically tripled that … so that’s that.. end of discussion….

    70. Bruno Almeida

      @75

      Everybody does and I’m sure Sixers fans were as tired of the losing as anyone would be.

      While we, Knicks fans, have endured like 15 losing seasons in 18 years while trying to win… Sacramento hasn’t been to the playoffs in 12 years.

      I hate losing, but I would 100% every time trade losing badly 4 years in a row for a 52 win team with at least two elite talents under 23 (too early to tell with Fultz) + cap space than lose slightly less badly for 15 out of 18 years and be on the route to lose slightly bad again for next year.

      You anti-tank guys always try to make it seem like we enjoy the intentional losing or some shit. Nobody does, it’s ridiculous and it’s a disgrace. But as the NBA is currently constructed it’s far better of a strategy than winning 7 more meaningless games while you draft 9-12 every year.

    71. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

      Aren’t you tired of losing?

      Yes, which is why I wish we had had the good fucking sense to lose more once it was clear the season was over. I mean, we lost a lot, but a couple more games and our odds for a higher draft pick would have gone up substantially. And the odds of picking up a franchise-changing player go up substantially with a higher pick, meaning that it would be more likely we’d STOP losing after doing more of it in the short term.

      Not sure why that’s difficult to understand.

    72. Bruno Almeida

      @76

      Yeah, and the one FA who started the season with them is Redick, a proven veteran who people said was the exact type of player who wouldn’t ever choose to join a “losing culture” team, and they got him by having so much cap space they could heavily overpay him for one year just for the sake of it. That’s also a direct result of not wasting cap space on veterans who won’t move the needle and focusing on rookie contracts and efficient bargains which was a huge part of the process.

    73. bobneptune

      But, don’t you dislike losing, especially to that degree? Aren’t you tired of losing?

      Of course we’re tired of losing but this season the fates have intervened (mercifully) with KP’s injury. Should they win more than 20 games next season or KP plays before March 15th I’ll consider it a crime against humanity!

      One caveat… should they win >20 games rolling out 2018 picks, Trey, Dotson, Frank, Kornet. Mudiay, Hicks, Baker THJr and Williams big minutes …. so be it but if they garner as single win by Kanter, Lee, or beasley, that should be a fireable offense.

      Common sense needs to rule sometimes.

    74. Brian Cronin

      One caveat… should they win >20 games rolling out 2018 picks, Trey, Dotson, Frank, Kornet. Mudiay, Hicks, Baker THJr and Williams big minutes

      Oh, absolutely true. If you put together a super-young team and you catch lightning in a bottle, then that’s great, too. It’s all about putting together a good team. If the young guys somehow turn good all at once, then that’s totally fine, too.

      The killer thing is exactly as you noted, winning games due to guys who won’t be here when the young guys mature. It’s just a total waste. That is precisely what the Kings have done for years and it’s what the Knicks have also done and it is so, so stupid.

    75. Brian Cronin

      But, don’t you dislike losing, especially to that degree? Aren’t you tired of losing?

      I don’t like them losing, but there is no way for them to avoid losing. The Process doesn’t kick in if you have an actual good team. It’s only when your team is already not going to be very good. There is no realistic way that the Knicks are not going to lose next season. So if they’re going to be bad, why be bad in a way that just makes sure that they will perpetually be bad when you can be bad in such a way that helps you be good?

      Think back over the last three years. The Knicks have been awful. Imagine if they had been awful, but had picked up high draft picks in all of those years that they could? Imagine that they drafted Lonzo Ball last year and were about to draft, say, Luka Doncic this year. That would be a lot better, and it would have “only” required them to get rid of the players…that led to them losing anyways!! They were already losing and yet they have only gotten Frank and the #9 pick out of it (well, knock on wood that they somehow win the lottery. Hey, it could happen!).

      Note that no one was saying that they should tank in 2011-12 or 2012-13. Because it didn’t make sense then. They were on a different Win Curve.

    76. dtrickey

      Ultimately there are a number of ways to rebuild, majority of which are nowhere near as extreme as the Process. The Knicks problem (aside from having years with no 1st rounders) is the FO changes tack 1/2 through a season. If you are going to rebuild, don’t half arse it on the hope you might make the playoffs.

    77. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, not commiting is a major issue. As soon as Porzingis went down the plan should have been to immediately change gears and tank.

      But the issues came from before that. The Knicks ultimately came into the season with a roster that was never going to outtank Phoenix or Memphis or even Dallas and Atlanta, and that’s because they either refused to deal O’Quinn and Lee or had no offers (which I highly doubt), signed Hardaway Jr for no reason at all and instead of filling the last roster spots with young players right away decided to go with Beasley and Jack.

      If we had gone the Bulls route, we would have traded at least one of O’Quinn and Lee and went for Dotson, Kornet and Hicks instead of the veterans for the last roster spots, and then tanking for a top pick was a real possibility. But from what happened with the Knicks and how he managed the situation in Sacramento, it just doesn’t seem to be the way Perry works.

    78. Brian Cronin

      But the issues came from before that.

      Yeah, even if they had committed to tanking as soon as Porzingis was hurt, they would have gotten to, what, the #7 seed? Maybe? The problem was all of their moves and lack of moves before the season began. Besides playing Jack too much, there wasn’t even that much to blame Horny for, since it was more a matter of the roster that he was given. I agree with the general idea of “You can’t just bench Courtney Lee all season.” The key, then, is to not have Courtney Lee on your team period.

      And, you know, not giving THJ the contract that they gave him, as well.

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