Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.04.19)

  • [NYTimes] LeBron James Almost Single-Handedly Powers Cavaliers to Win
    (Thursday, April 19, 2018 3:58:48 AM)

    Cleveland is now tied 1-1 in the team’s first-round series with Indiana, while Utah also pulled even in their series with Oklahoma City.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Trail Blazers Shun the Pass, and It Costs Them in the Playoffs
    (Wednesday, April 18, 2018 9:43:06 PM)

    Portland had the fewest assists of any team in the regular season, but its one-on-one style of play is hindering them as the playoffs bring tougher defenses.

  • [NYDN] Steve Mills, Scott Perry thorough in Knicks’ head coaching search
    (Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:02:24 PM)

    In the early stages of the Knicks last coaching search Phil Jackson decided to take a vacation.

  • [SNY Knicks] Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head coach
    (Wednesday, April 18, 2018 9:22:53 PM)

    Knicks GM Scott Perry said that head coaching experience in the NBA doesn’t matter in their search for a new head coach, and it looks like they weren’t bluffing.

  • [SNY Knicks] Fizdale receives stamp of approval from Erik Spoelstra
    (Wednesday, April 18, 2018 9:10:01 PM)

    David Fizdale, who is one of the Knicks’ head-coaching candidates, has one endorsement that says he will be great with whoever decides to employ him next season.

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily News Live: Is Mark Jackson the right guy for the Knicks?
    (Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:16:21 PM)

    The Daily News Live panel breaks down the Knicks’ decision to interview Mark Jackson for their vacant head coaching job.

  • [NY Newsday] Kyle O’Quinn: No decision yet on opt-out clause with Knicks
    (Wednesday, April 18, 2018 9:00:44 PM)

    Kyle O’Quinn said he hasn’t made up his mind about the opt-out clause in his contract with the Knicks and instead has focused on taking care of another important decision.

  • [ESPN] Source: Knicks to interview TNT analyst Smith
    (Wednesday, April 18, 2018 8:54:05 PM)

    Kenny Smith, an analyst for TNT, will interview with the Knicks for their head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. The Knicks are looking to replace Jeff Hornacek, who was fired after the season.

  • [NYPost] Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for coaching job
    (Wednesday, April 18, 2018 9:33:15 PM)

    Add another former Queens point guard turned broadcaster into the Knicks’ coaching mix — though this one doesn’t appear to have much of a shot. TNT’s Kenny Smith, who interviewed for the Knicks’ general manager vacancy in 2008, reportedly will get an audience Friday with team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry, according…

  • [NYPost] Dolan discusses how the Knicks are approaching this rebuild
    (Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:11:52 PM)

    Jim Dolan was talking about the Rangers and then he was talking about the Knicks. “Basketball is different than hockey,” the Garden executive chairman said during a conversation at his MSG office on Wednesday. “A great player in hockey is the difference, but a great player in basketball is the team. “And I think we…

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    71 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.04.19)

    1. Henry George

      After reading Woj’s 2016 article (posted on KB, of course-thanks!) recounting concerning why LaBron got Blatt fired (LBJ simply wanted his agency to make some extra money), it effective changed my thoughts about David Blatt as the next Knicks coach.

      In fact, it effectively negates Blatt’s one question mark. So, as far as I’m concerned, David Blatt is now the Knicks best coaching option.

      As an aside, hiring Blatt would serve as an effective FU to LBJ, especially if he can coach KP and Frank into the team that displaces team LBJ the East’s dominant team, which David Blatt could well achieve. His record seems to suggest as much.

      LaBron has make screwing over and denigrating the Knicks and their fans as a not insignificant part of his brand. Because of that, beside beating him and his, I do not want anything to do with LaBron. Nor should any self respecting Knick fan either.

    2. Brian Cronin

      Just as an aside, you know how we often say, “The Western Conference Finals will be the real Finals”? It’s funny how that idea has been basically true for many years (except the years that Lebron or MJ had good teams – even when the East actually won, like the Pistons’ most recent win, they weren’t given great odds going in), but it seems like it rarely works out that the two best teams actually face each other in the Western Conference Finals.

      It’s a normal result, I suppose, of the somewhat random nature of the playoffs, but I just found it kind of interesting. Like, will we even get a Rockets/Warriors finals?

    3. wetbandit

      @1: The second I read that article in 2016 I was ready for a huge scandal to rip through the major news outlets. I thought it was that big: Woj taking down the best NBA player of the past 20 years through some shady business dealings and forcing out his coach? But nope. Every time I bring it up to people who should know this, they look at me like I’m a conspiracy theorist.

      Truth is, Blatt is very much qualified to run an NBA team, and has proved his basketball smarts by taking a bunch of overachieving teams to championships in Europe/Israel. And those teams SUCKED before and after him! He runs so many different systems based on the matchup and his strengths, that other teams can’t prepare for him. He’s really, really good.

      I’ve been hoping for Blatt since 2016. Sucks for him he’s not black enough.

    4. mase

      Do we need a coach like blatt who can probably coach us to 30 wins and another 9 seed? Idk he seems like a good coach but at the wrong time for us. I like the stack house choice for many reasons. Jvg also the wrong timing. Jax is a no.

      @2
      We are def seeing a rockets – warriors wc final, that’s going to be the best series

    5. djphan

      woj wields his powers in unscrupulous ways… if he wants to grind axes he will absolutely do that… and that’s basically what that lebron article was…

    6. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Call me crazy but I’m really interested in Kenny Smith as a head coach. None of Kerr, Rivers, and (I know) Mark Jackson had any head coaching experience before leaving the broadcaster’s booth to coach. I don’t think he would be a terrible choice if he wants the job.

    7. wetbandit

      I would assume Woj had some facts on this kind of story or else he’d get skewered the next day.

    8. thenamestsam

      Seriously. Woj is known for pushing agendas in his articles – it seems to be a big way he builds up his connections. It doesn’t mean you should ignore it, but you shouldn’t treat it as unbiased either. Here’s the Windhorst story (i.e. the version probably sourced significantly from Lebron’s camp although Windhorst is generally really well tied into the Cavs). The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

    9. thenamestsam

      Since we’ve been talking coaching so much recently I have to bring up that I was absolutely losing my mind last night watching the Cavs-Pacers game about McMillan only playing Oladipo 28 minutes because he picked up a few quick fouls. This is a guy who commits 2.5 fouls per 36 and has fouled out of one (1) career game. Dramatically limiting your usage of your best player because of the possibility that further fouls might later prevent you from using him is some truly galaxy brain thinking.

      If I could wish for one thing with the next Knicks coach it would be that he occasionally rubs two brain cells together and thinks for himself instead of mindlessly doing things The Way Things Are Done.

      edit: I should have mentioned that Oladipo finsihed with the same 3 fouls that led to his huge minutes reduction and was a +11 in a game his team lost by 3 points.

    10. mase

      @5
      That’s not what I’m saying. Blatt is a win now move sorta that’s how I see him, we need someone onboard who can teach the youth core and grow with them. We need to be an enticing place for a FA to want to play that’s not happening with blatt as HC. Who would want to play for a team with a vet coach looking for wins without the personnel. Wrong timing.

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

      @11

      I totally agree on Oladipo. It was crazy to have him sit out.

    12. wetbandit

      If anything the Windhorst story also showed how badly LeBron treated Blatt.

      “James’ representatives were surprised the Cavs had hired Blatt and hadn’t waited to see if James would have input… After James signed, he showed no interest in meeting Blatt… it was clear James’ respect for Blatt was limited…To complicate matters, the Cavs hired the runner-up for the job, Lue, to be Blatt’s assistant. To keep him away from the Clippers, the Cavs gave him a record four-year, $6.5 million deal… Within days of the start of the past season, James began expressing doubt that Blatt would work out as the Cavs’ long-term answer… James nonchalantly told the media he didn’t consult Blatt on the [offense] changes. “No, I can do it on my own,” James said. “I’m past those days where I have to ask.”… From that moment forward, it was clear James gave little more than lip service to Blatt…James’ and other players’ complaints about Blatt’s style got out quickly. During games, Cavs players complained about the coach to opposing players. Once, while on the road, an injured Cavs player used the home team’s therapy pool and complained about Blatt, with his thoughts literally echoing throughout the home locker room….Those who knew Blatt from Europe, where he was known as a fire-breather with players during games, were stunned at how he had changed….James made perhaps the biggest undercutting of his coach… He changed the final play of Game 4, which resulted in his hitting a game-winning 3-pointer that evened the series at 2-2 and effectively propelled the Cavs to the Finals… “To be honest, the play that was drawn up, I scratched it,” he said……………….

      COME ON!

    13. wetbandit

      LeBron didn’t like Blatt when he came in, and preferred Lue. He overrode Blatt’s decisions, undermined him at every turn, sat in his seat, and changed plays or waved them off. His disrespect directly or indirectly led to the other players disrespecting Blatt. He staged a boycott for a couple of games, one of which was a loss, and the other was barely won against a struggling Suns team. He made several horrible comments about Blatt to the media. Blatt got fired, and LeBron’s guy got the job.

      If this was done by anyone but LeBron, he’d be lambasted for the next four decades.

    14. Brian Cronin

      Blatt was specifically hired by the Cavs to help their young players develop. Then they suddenly had a chance to get Lebron and they went for it. Signing Blatt wouldn’t be a win now move.

    15. Brian Cronin

      If this was done by anyone but LeBron, he’d be lambasted for the next four decades.

      Players kill coach’s careers all the time. No one ever cares.

      No one gives Magic shit for Westphal, no one gives MJ shit for Collins, no one even really gives Melo much shit for D’Antoni. It’s just how things work.

    16. Bruno Almeida

      LeBron was criticized quite a lot for his dismissal of Blatt, but then they won a championship and well, that changes most narratives. If they didn’t win one I’m sure we’d be hearing more of it, but it came away as justified by the results.

    17. chrisk06811

      I know there are a lot of solid coaches in the league who we would have never heard from 5 years ago; but what makes us think Jerry Stackhouse is more qualified than David Blatt, or anyone else? he has 1 year experience as an NBA assistant, 2 years in the D league. What makes him more of a sure thing than David Blatt who has won on multiple levels? Stack is motivating guys who make $35K / year. how do we know he’s better equipped to handle millionaires? why is he a better choice than current G league coach of the year, Mike Miller, who at least we know more about?

      I was not aware that Stack has sung the anthem at Mav’s games, so that’s something. Plus he might have handled the Noah situation with his fists, which would have been pretty cool. On that topic, if anyone runs into Stack; please don’t tell him that he’s not my number 1 choice.

    18. wetbandit

      Right, I’m bringing this up in the context of Blatt should be our next coach. In that context, Blatt was given a raw deal and shouldn’t be wholly blamed.

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

      I won’t have a problem with either Blatt, Fizdale, or Stackhouse.

      I guess I prefer Blatt’s long term record of success, but it’s not a huge factor for me. I want the smartest guy in the group. If Stackhouse is some brilliant basketball mind, I don’t care if he’s still learning on the job next year. We aren’t going anywhere next year anyway. Just get the smartest guy.

      Personally, I don’t really understand this whole “understands today’s players” narrative. You are either easy to get along, a good leader, and good at motivating people or you are not.

      There have been plenty of great coaches that were a lot older than their players. There have always been differences between one generation and the next. The coach doesn’t have to hang out with the players. He has to get their respect, teach them, have good strategies for offense and defense, and make good game time decisions.

      If the coach is doing all that, the players will respond even if they don’t want to party with him after practice.

      If the players respond, the coach will love his players even if he doesn’t understand why they like and do some of the things they they do.

    20. DRed

      I guess it’s shitty for David Blatt that Lebron was a dick to him, but he also had a year and a half to win him over and he couldn’t do it, and then Lebron went and came back from being down 3-1 against the best regular season team in NBA history and won a title so maybe Lebron wasn’t all wrong.

    21. TheOakmanCometh

      “Everybody who wants to talk about the Knicks wants to ask me about Phil Jackson,” Dolan said, smiling and shaking his head. “The entire market wanted to me to hire him and when I did, the entire market said it was a great move. The only thing was, everyone said that I shouldn’t interfere with him. Three years later, everyone wanted to know when I was going to do something about Phil. The same people who told me not to interfere wanted me to interfere. But that’s OK. I just think that Phil underestimated the job.”

      As always, Dolan is completely insufferable. I’m worried that he now thinks he’s supposed to interfere again.

      Hey Jimmy, there’s a difference between oversight and interference. Nobody wants you to meddle in the jobs of your executives. They know more than you do about basketball, always. Even Phil. What you should do is monitor the overall performance of your executives and, if they are running the team into the ground like Phil was, fire them and bring in someone better. It’s not complicated.

      Also, “the entire market” did not want you to hire Phil. A few casual observers and media talking heads wanted Phil because he’s a big name. Real basketball fans noted that the guy had no management experience and was wedded to an antiquated offensive system, and had major question marks from Day 1.

      Please just go play with your little band and leave the work to the professionals.

    22. Hubert

      To the people ripping KAT last night as some sort of defense against KP:

      KP struggles that much against post-Christmas NBA defense. You don’t think he’d be struggling if he were in the playoffs right now facing the Raptors?

      So far in his career, KP has only proven to be efficient on offense against First 10 Weeks Of The NBA Season defenses.

    23. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      If you ask me, Blatt and LeBron was really more about LeBron vs Gilbert. LeBron didn’t want to be coached by a guy that Gilbert’s team chose, and that’s probably what led to the big split between Kyrie and LeBron. When Kyrie signed that big deal and Blatt was brought in, it was because the organization was ready to build around Kyrie and committ to him as their franchise player. I think it’s been reported that Kyrie and Blatt had a good relationship, too. When LeBron came home, Blatt and Kyrie were no longer the priority and that’s probably why the latter two are no longer in Cleveland. The Cleveland job was also supposed to be a job where Blatt learned the NBA, so things shifted heavily from “develop a team and learn the nuances of the league” to “coach the greatest player on the planet and win championships.”

      I’d take Blatt to coach the Knicks in a heartbeat. I don’t judge him based on what happened in Cleveland because Cleveland is a shit organization with two many large egos in town.

    24. Henry George

      Strat,

      What the Knicks are looking for in their next coach, to the best of my knowledge, sounds a lot like a Jim Collins Good to Great level 5 manager, not an old-school level 3 or 4 manager. The difference between the 2 lies in the next coach trusting and delegating responsibilities amongst the assistants, players, staff, and even front office personnel to maximize their inputs and production.

      For someone raised in the old authoritarian ways, trusting others can be a very difficult thing to learn to do. Fortunately, Perry strikes me as one who’s learned to trust and delegate effectively and become a level 5 manager, which gives me hope that he’ll find a coach who will also share those same capacities as well.

    25. Brian Cronin

      I guess it’s shitty for David Blatt that Lebron was a dick to him, but he also had a year and a half to win him over and he couldn’t do it, and then Lebron went and came back from being down 3-1 against the best regular season team in NBA history and won a title so maybe Lebron wasn’t all wrong.

      Why I have no problem with players burying coaches.

    26. Brian Cronin

      What the Knicks are looking for in their next coach, to the best of my knowledge, sounds a lot like a Jim Collins Good to Great level 5 manager, not an old-school level 3 or 4 manager. The difference between the 2 lies in the next coach trusting and delegating responsibilities amongst the assistants, players, staff, and even front office personnel to maximize their inputs and production.

      And yet they’re interviewing Mark freakin’ Jackson.

    27. alsep73

      Dolan said KP could miss all of next season, which… I’m fine with? Obviously, you’d like him to get some time to shake off the rust post-surgery, but if we go into the season knowing he won’t be playing, this will hopefully shape strategy about tanking, won’t lead him to rush back too soon because the team might have a chance at the playoffs, etc.

    28. Henry George

      I don’t think he’s actually a serious candidate, but rather that his interview serves merely for checking boxes.

      Truth is, that the folks that like Jackson even in spite of his nonsense would be bitching something fierce if he didn’t even get an interview. Now, after interviewing, they can argue that that he just didn’t impress them.

      Honestly, Jackson interviewing is merely as diversion.

    29. Frank

      I’m convinced we are going to hire Stackhouse, Fizdale or Jackson, and so this Blatt stuff doesn’t really do anything for me. When the FO will interview Mike Woodson and Kenny Smith but not JVG, Budenholzer, or other extremely successful coaches, it (IMHO) means that being black is a prerequisite for this job — and combined with what they said during the press conference, you can read that to mean that they think only black coaches can connect with black players (never mind the non-black players?).

      I say this as someone who fully sees how underrepresented black coaches / GMs etc. are in the NBA and other professional sports. But being non-black shouldn’t disqualify you from even getting a job interview.

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

      To the people ripping KAT last night as some sort of defense against KP:

      KP struggles that much against post-Christmas NBA defense. You don’t think he’d be struggling if he were in the playoffs right now facing the Raptors?

      So far in his career, KP has only proven to be efficient on offense against First 10 Weeks Of The NBA Season defenses.

      Oh, I think KP would be struggling his ass off if the Knicks were in the playoffs.

      The point was not to say that KP would be doing well. It was to give another example of a player that’s a focal point of his offense having the defense take away those open 3s he’s used to getting and doubling him when he’s inside. It’s not so easy to score efficiently on high usage anymore when they are focusing on YOU. You have go through it to learn when to pass, when to shoot, and know what you have to add to your game to get more good shots.

      KP and all the rest of our young players are going to benefit when they finally break through and go to the playoffs. That was the point (right or wrong) of trying to get there sooner. There’s almost no doubt in my mind that KAT, Wiggins and the other young T-Wolve players are going to benefit from this experience and come back better prepared mentally and in terms of skillset next year. They may even do better at home as the series continues with those 2 games under their belt.

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

      @27

      That makes perfect sense to me. I have no problem with that. It just sounds to me like it’s also about personalities and generations. I’m calling BS on that part if it.

    32. GHenman

      I’m a black man who wants Blatt to get the job. I also doubt Mills would jerk him around if he weren’t a serious candidate, given that they were teammates at Princeton.

    33. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

      Hubert, it IS a defense of KP, but only in what Strat said: that once you become a focal point of a tough NBA defense, you look bad (and do poorly) if you don’t adapt. I think KP was a step ahead of KAT because of that – he’s already felt what KAT is feeling now. And I do think he started to figure it out, so probably would not have been quite as bad if the Knicks had made the playoffs.

      But with him being out, KAT will now be a step ahead (assuming KP comes back at full strength, which isn’t a certainty). He will have got the kind of experience that teaches you what you need to do to overcome that kind of pressure and attention. He’s so talented, I’m sure he will – just as I would say the same about KP were he healthy.

      Mostly I was just noticing how KAT’s poor play was very similar to KP’s when everyone started keying on him. And that made me feel a bit better about KP – who I still think was the second-best player in that draft, and not so much below KAT that he couldn’t be even with him in a couple years.

    34. thenamestsam

      I also doubt Mills would jerk him around if he weren’t a serious candidate, given that they were teammates at Princeton.

      I obviously have no knowledge about whether Blatt is a serious candidate or not but I think you could easily see it the other way as well. Getting an interview for a job gets his name back in the mix for NBA jobs and maybe puts him back on other teams radars. Certainly Blatt’s name hasn’t come up much in rumors since his ouster in Cleveland (not that shocking if Lebron hated him, for whatever many here may think of him Lebron seems to be generally very well like and respected in the league and is a significant power broker). I think giving him an interview could be seen as a favor even if they don’t plan to consider him that strongly.

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

      who I still think was the second-best player in that draft, and not so much below KAT that he couldn’t be even with him in a couple years.

      I was pretty harsh during the season when it came to KP. But in hindsight, I think I was being too impatient because I was getting so frustrated watching him.

      IMO, KP is already the better defender. That narrows the overall gap. And while KAT is stronger and more polished in a lot of ways on offense, I think KP has at least as much talent. He’s just too weak and raw to impose his will inside. Maybe he’ll be on of the guys that never puts it all together, but if he does, he’s going to be a terror on both ends. He literally had no help at all this year during some stretches.

      If we get a good coach, have 2 scorers on the court with him, and give him a good play making PG, I think we are all going to be happy with the result.

    36. DRed

      Whenever Kristaps comes back what I want to see more than anything is better shot selection and more passing. He doesn’t have to turn into Jokic, but if Andre Drummond can learn how to move the ball so can Kristaps.

    37. geo

      Everybody who wants to talk about the Knicks wants to ask me about Phil Jackson,” Dolan said, smiling and shaking his head. “The entire market wanted to me to hire him and when I did, the entire market said it was a great move. The only thing was, everyone said that I shouldn’t interfere with him. Three years later, everyone wanted to know when I was going to do something about Phil. The same people who told me not to interfere wanted me to interfere. But that’s OK. I just think that Phil underestimated the job.”

      “I think Hornacek had the same kind of issue that Phil (Jackson) did in that he didn’t grasp how different the players are now in the way they think and deal with management and the coaches,” Dolan said. “I think he was way behind on that.”

      “But I think Jeff is a good coach and he’ll do well when he’s hired by another team.”

      dolan is such a tool on so many different levels…

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

      Kristaps had no help but Kristaps kept taking shots of the dribble he sucks at making

      That’s why many of us (especially me) were ranting. I was calling him a rich man’s Bargnani. lol

      The kid can shoot and create for himself, but there’s a limit to what makes sense. He had no idea where that line was, but I think he started figuring it out a little just before he got hurt. We have no choice but to be hopeful.

    39. bobneptune

      I’d take Blatt to coach the Knicks in a heartbeat. I don’t judge him based on what happened in Cleveland because Cleveland is a shit organization with two many large egos in town.

      Actually DO judge him on what happened in Cleveland….. took the Warriors to game 6 without Love and was 30-11 the following year dealing with a petulant ass hole the entire season….. its been a long time since the Knicks had a winning coach.

    40. JK47

      Dolan’s comments about Phil and Hornacek seem downright reasonable.

      Broken clock and all that I guess.

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

      Blatt’s not going to turn shit to gold. He was 30-11 because he didn’t mismanage a championship-caliber roster. There isn’t a single coach in the league who can turn a bunch of G-League-level players into a playoff team.

      The important thing is to find a coach who doesn’t hamstring you with stupid rotations and ancient schemes. If Blatt’s that guy, and I think he is, great! If he plays Mudiay 25 MPG in an effort to win games, not great!

    42. DRed

      Blatt did a brilliant job going 30-11 with one of the 2-3 best basketball players who ever lived and two other all stars. We could have won 30 games with that team by sitting down and saying guys do whatever Lebron tells you to

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

      Dolan’s comments are reasonable but it doesn’t change the fact that he prioritized individual games in a losing season over the possibility of getting a better player to put next to Porzingis.

      It also sounds like the mega-max is a done deal, so we’re going to have fun building around a $195M contract and virtually no other assets. Hope their plan is for 10 years, not 5, because this team will be lucky to break 45 wins with post-ACL Porzingis getting 40% of the cap.

    44. thenamestsam

      I think if you want to praise Blatt for his Cleveland tenure then you would also have to acknowledge that Ty Lue is a similarly fantastic coach since he took the exact same team to a very similar regular season coaching performance and then an actual upset of an even better Warriors team! And all while having to put up with that same petulant asshole!

      Somehow I think something other than coaching may have been the main factor driving both of their tenures, but then again that’s just me. Kudos to both Blatt and Lue for overcoming the burden of having Lebron on their teams I guess.

    45. d-mar

      Phil Jackson sat in a chair with his arms crossed and that smug look on his face and won 9 NBA championships.

      I never quite figured out what coaching he was doing, but he’s got the ringz.

    46. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      He must have done something, and he did manage big egos on the team well. Luke Walton was quoted sometime this year saying he sometimes calls Jackson for advice and that it can help.

    47. Brian Cronin

      Jackson was an amazing coach. He got through to the players in a way that few coaches did and he hired assistants who were, for the time, true innovators. He was the ideal mold for the “players” coach – great with the players and smart enough to let his process guys do the process stuff.

      Then he got old and either stopped learning or, I dunno, stopped giving a shit, maybe? I really don’t know why he was so, so bad as the Knicks President. I really don’t get it.

    48. ess-dog

      Sixers look nearly unstoppable against a very good Heat defense. The Atlantic is going to be impossible for the Knicks and Nets for years.

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

      Over/under on Embiid winning an MVP award: 0.5

    50. DRed

      Embiid has problems playing enough games and (probably) a better player on his own team, I’d go under.

    51. DRed

      If Simmons gets just a little better at scoring he’s going to be the best player in the league. I thought he was going to be something like a Lebron who can’t shoot but he’s more like Magic Johnson.

    52. Brian Cronin

      I’d take the under on Embiid, as well. He’s awesome, but with Simmons on his team and so many other similar players to him, it’ll be tough for him to get an MVP (especially with the games he typically misses due to routine injuries).

    53. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, I say under too. I would bet tho on Embiid winning a DPOY at least once if he stays healthy, he’s just a beast of a defender and has the media’s attention.

      Now Simmons, yeah, at this point I feel confident saying he’s a future MVP. If he simply shoots free throws like he did today, he doesn’t even need an outside shot. The Heat defense is tough as hell, super disciplined with a billion wings with size and he’s still so much in control of the game.

    54. Bruno Almeida

      Are the Blazers really going to get swept by the Pelicans? Damn.

      Mirotic is better than Boogie, quote me on that.

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

      Would be a great opportunity to get in on next year’s under for the Pels. People will assume that Cousins will add several wins to their playoff momentum, when they’ll probably be the same old team once he’s back.

    56. DRed

      The Pelicans with a juvenated Rondo are not a team I would want any part of. Their bench is trash, but the starting lineup is nasty

    57. Brian Cronin

      Would be a great opportunity to get in on next year’s under for the Pels. People will assume that Cousins will add several wins to their playoff momentum, when they’ll probably be the same old team once he’s back.

      Oh, wait, Boogie is signed through next year? I thought he was a free agent. Or are you just figuring that they are a lock to re-sign him?

    58. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, Jrue Holiday is playing like a man possessed too. I thought they would cool down eventually but they’re just steamrolling Portland hardcore. They can’t beat the Warriors with Curry, but its been fun to watch.

    59. Donnie Walsh

      I don’t quite get how people here are down on Cousins but high on Embiid. Embiid’s 23 year old season was almost identical to Cousins’ 24 year old season.

      http://bkref.com/tiny/fmMt3

      Embiid has a higher ceiling, but Cousins has turned into a very productive player after a rocky start to his career.

    60. TheOakmanCometh

      Sweeping Portland and putting up a strong fight against GS should make NO seriously consider letting Boogie walk. They won’t do it, because they’ll feel like a small market team can’t let stars leave for nothing, but they probably should. He’s going to destroy their cap for years while he jogs around on D and packs on the pounds.

    61. Bruno Almeida

      Embiid is a more efficient scorer already at this stage and is a much stronger defender.

      If you told Boogie would play interested every game, stop shooting 6 3s a game and stop with the incessant whining / techs, I wouldn’t be so down on him. The guy has all the talent in the world but it’s his 8th season already and like Clyde likes to say, he just doesn’t play winning basketball. I know it’s one of those platitudes we generally hate around here but Boogie is the one case in which I agree with the statement. I just hate his shot selection, effort and constant whining and pouting.

    62. JK47

      Jackson was an amazing coach. He got through to the players in a way that few coaches did and he hired assistants who were, for the time, true innovators. He was the ideal mold for the “players” coach – great with the players and smart enough to let his process guys do the process stuff.

      Then he got old and either stopped learning or, I dunno, stopped giving a shit, maybe? I really don’t know why he was so, so bad as the Knicks President. I really don’t get it.

      Phil Jackson was indeed a great coach, and the triangle offense worked wonders when it was run by elite players. I’m sure it would still work just fine if you had elite players running it.

      Phil’s problem was that he couldn’t recognize which players were good and which players weren’t. He thought of player personnel in terms of “can this guy play in the triangle,” and that caused him to make a long series of bad decisions. I mean, gotta have a big who can really pass out of the pinch post, right? That 4/72 to Joakim Noah will look like a steal when he’s zinging around those sweet ass pinch post passes.

      Phil was very good at coaching a talented roster over the hump, which is why he is hands-down one of the greatest head coaches who ever lived. Identifying and acquiring the talent, and doing so in a way that maximizes your win curve, is a completely different task, and he didn’t have the skillset for that.

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