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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.10.12)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks Notes: Ntilikina, Fizdale, Thomas, Baker
    (Thursday, October 11, 2018 10:51:06 PM)

    The Knicks are set to give second-year player Frank Ntilikina a major defensive test in their next preseason game on Friday, a home contest against the rival Nets. Ntilikina, who’s known for playing most of his minutes at point guard, will have the chance to guard the power forward position when the two teams clash, […]

  • [NYPost] Knicks call on Chris Bosh for help with talented rookie
    (Thursday, October 11, 2018 4:46:23 PM)

    More important than the 30 minutes Kevin Knox played against the Wizards on Monday night might have been the 35-40 minutes he spent with Chris Bosh. The 11-time All-Star, who played under Knicks coach David Fizdale when he was an assistant with the Heat, sat down with Knox for a conversation about how to handle…

  • [NYPost] Smart offseason proves Knicks are rebuilding the right way
    (Thursday, October 11, 2018 3:25:46 PM)

    The Knicks aren’t back. There is no talk of making the playoffs or of a big name acquired in the offseason. The possibility of trading for Jimmy Butler at the expense of future assets was met with a shrug more than excitement. It has been replaced by the acceptance of the early stages of a…

  • [NYPost] Knicks are ready to give Frank Ntilikina a major defensive test
    (Thursday, October 11, 2018 1:50:08 PM)

    David Fizdale was not kidding around about the Knicks playing position-less basketball. Coming Friday night to the Garden: Frank Ntilikina versus a power forward. “You might see that next game,” Fizdale said Thursday after practice, ahead of the preseason finale against the Nets. “In fact I guarantee it, how about that?” Ntilikina won’t be starting…

  • [NYPost] The smoke behind Kevin Durant’s early exit rumors
    (Thursday, October 11, 2018 7:54:04 AM)

    The NBA season is still a few days away from officially beginning. But because this is a league that draws just as many headlines from player movement as it does from actual games, the conversation has naturally jumped ahead to 2019. The league is likely to see one of the most loaded free-agent classes in…

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    58 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.10.12)

    1. alsep73

      With Herring gone from the beat, the best guy covering the Knicks daily is Mike Vorkunov over at The Athletic. Yesterday, he wrote about whether the Knicks still see Frank as a potential full-time point guard or not. Paywall (and the subscription’s very much worth it for me), but here’s an excerpt:

      The Knicks want to take his blend of size and athleticism and turn him into a fluid, multi-positional hybrid. Fizdale hopes to help Ntilikina develop a post-up game this season — Ntilikina posted up on just four possessions in 2017-18, according to Synergy Sports — and has seen signs of progress. Ntilikina showed off a turnaround jumper during Summer League and has continued to add flair to his game this month. Fizdale also wants him to feel comfortable on the block and use his size to an advantage over smaller defenders by next season. He’ll continue to play Ntilikina alongside other point guards because it gives him the leeway to have Ntilikina guard wings and small-ball fours while also putting another ball-handler on the floor.

      Fizdale sees a comparison to Shaun Livingston, who was drafted as a dynamic point guard prospective but has evolved into a tweener-type over 14 years in the NBA, his career changed by a traumatic knee injury. Livingston is an efficient mid-range shooter and dangerous when posting up.

      I still think the team’s best move is to play him at point guard, without Burke or Mudiay on the floor with him, as much as possible until they’re absolutely sure he can’t do it, just because his upside as a PG with that defensive ability is so much higher than if he’s in the Shaun Livingston (or latter-era Jason Kidd) role. Even if you don’t want to start him at the point, put him in charge of the second unit offense for a while.

    2. thenamestsam

      As much as I’m still on board the Frank train, “He could become just like post-traumatic knee injury Shaun Livingston!” isn’t exactly what you’re hoping the coach’s spin on your lottery pick PG is going to be coming into year 2.

    3. Owen

      I love watching Frank play D. Really! Probably the most fun thing about the Knicks for me right now is focusing on him on defense. But I wish he could dribble above a high school level.

    4. Z-man

      I like the Shaun Livingston comparison and I believe I have made it before re: Frank’s offensive ceiling as a “positionless” PG. However, if you look at film of Livingston pre-injury, there’s really no comparison. He might have evolved into a top-5 PG 10 years ago. It’s pretty amazing that he’s playing as well as he has, considering how his knee was literally blown apart.

    5. Frank

      I like the Frank : Livingston comparison too although Frank clearly has more defensive potential because he’s not built like a stick.

    6. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      Frank, Knox, Durant, KP, MitchRob would be pretty freaking long and athletic.

      Pinch me.

      Durant is so ridiculously great he should come to NY just to prove it.

    7. Hubert

      Frank, Knox, Durant, KP, MitchRob would be pretty freaking long and athletic

      Not to mention RJ Barrett ;)

    8. Hubert

      The thrust of that Ringer article is that KD should be (and wants to be) a primary ballhander. Theoretically, that would mitigate Frank’s primary weaknesses and allow him to stay at PG while not actually being the point guard, which is kinda perfect.

    9. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      The thrust of that Ringer article is that KD should be (and wants to be) a primary ballhander. Theoretically, that would mitigate Frank’s primary weaknesses and allow him to stay at PG while not actually being the point guard, which is kinda perfect.

      It would be perfect if KP came back strong and Frank finished the year breaking out. Then the fact that the team is so young might not be an issue for Durant. He’d more or less be giving up 1 year to get these kids some playoff experience and seasoning and then get serious the next year. It would be similar to Lebron in LA. Lebron doesn’t expect to be a serious title contender this year, but the following year they could get serious with a year of development and another addition.

    10. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Bleacher Report has us slated to pick Cam Reddish 4th overall with Atlanta, Boston, and Phoenix picking ahead of us. I love everything about Reddish but his demeanor, and to me he is without a doubt the most talented player in this draft. I don’t think Ainge and Stevens pass on him, but if he’s a Knick I will worry about him until he proves he’s more than a taller Devin Booker.

      I don’t think the Knicks will add KD in free agency. I think it’s much more likely we end up striking out on everybody and going after Terry Rozier, which to me wouldn’t be the worst outcome ever so long as it’s at or under the TH2 contract. I could definitely get behind a team with Rozier, Trier, Ntilikina, Hardaway Jr, Knox, Ron Baker, any of the Duke frosh, Knox, Porzingis, and Mitch Rob.

    11. chrisk06811

      I think we are way too concerned about trying to slot Frank into a position. I think with 30+ minutes a game, it’s realistic to think about him as one of the top defensive “guards” in the league within two years. His offense needs to improve only to ‘average’ for him to be a well above average player. I think we fall into the trap of offensive statistics and box scores.

      So, my question is, not this season, but next…..if Frank is in the starting lineup, shooting 42% from the floor and 35% from 3, 5 assists and 2 turnovers / game, that prob rounds out to 12 -14 pts a game…are we happy w/ that, based on where he was drafted?

    12. Hubert

      going after Terry Rozier, which to me wouldn’t be the worst outcome ever so long as it’s at or under the TH2 contract

      I honestly can’t believe anyone on this board would advocate adding another contract like that Hardaway disaster. He’s at best a mid-level free agent who doesn’t move the needle enough. $36mm tied up in a Rozier-Hardaway backcourt is lunacy.

    13. Hubert

      I think we are way too concerned about trying to slot Frank into a position.

      I agree. I’m just saying that the optimal roster construction probably involves letting him be a point guard while another player handles the primary ballhandling.

      If you can get away with him being at that position offensively because you have enough playmaking and ballhandling from another position, then the upside of letting him hold that position defensively is enormous.

    14. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      I think we are all underrating Frank’s ceiling. He’s an improved 3 point shot away from being a pretty darn good player already and he just turned 20. Defense is a big part the game.

    15. Jack Bauer

      @17 – I agree, defense is a big and overlooked part of the game. From what I’ve seen so far he is not close to being a starting caliber point guard, so they should just let him play a wing position, guard the best PG or wing on the other team, give him get a lot of burn, and hope for the best.

    16. Hubert

      From what I’ve seen so far he is not close to being a starting caliber point guard

      This speaks to the point I was trying to make. He’s not close to being a team’s primary ball handler. We’re conflating that with being a point guard.

      so they should just let him play a wing position, guard the best PG or wing on the other team,

      This is where we’re heading, but the problem with it is it requires us to use precious resources to acquire a point guard, which inevitably robs us of something else.

      I think the optimal roster construction for a team that has Frank is to have a primary ball handler at a wing position. That allows us to let Frank be a point guard but not the primary ball handler. That’s something (among 1,000 other things) that Durant would solve.

      You could have, for instance, as that article suggested:

      1-Frank
      2-Reddish
      3-Knox
      4-Durant
      5-Porzingis

      or even

      1-Frank
      2-Reddish
      3-Durant
      4-Porzingis
      5-Robinson

      Thinking about that is…. nice (even if we don’t get a top pick and I have to substitute Hardaway for Reddish).

    17. geo

      it’s been a while since i’ve been this eager to see a team play with a chance to win only about a third of their games…

      i’m glad we’ve been able to put some good people (if not great basketball players) into knicks uniforms…the guys and coach are almost all easy to root for…

      i did though cancel my nba league pass…between free nba league pass previews and a handful or so of televised games, i should be able to watch at least 15 or 16 games this year…

      i’ll be following game threads here mostly…

    18. Farfa

      Heh, too much optimism around here. I can’t wait for the season to start so we can get depressed as usual :)

    19. Hubert

      31 year old KD isn’t going to be enough to save the Knicks.

      Likely true. But it sure would be fun.

      Even with a young supporting cast, you’d have to think Durant’s individual greatness would put us in a position to contend with, and on a good day beat, Boston and Philadelphia in the East.

    20. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      @15 I wouldn’t have too much of an issue with paying age 25-29 Terry Rozier a contract somewhere between what Schröder and Hardaway Jr make in terms of AAV, and there would only be an overlap of those deals for a year since Hardaway Jr has an opt out clause after his 3rd year. I also think Rozier is a better player than Hardaway Jr and most stats show that to be true.

      If Boston ties Kyrie Irving up to a huge contract, I really hope we offer Rozier a 4 year deal.

    21. Ben R

      While I don’t think the Knicks are getting Durant, he most certainly would “save” the Knicks. Durant is the second best player in the NBA and if LeBron ever starts to decline he could easily be the best player for the last two or three years of his next contract. I think Durant’s decline phase will start around the last year of his next contract or right after.

      Any team in the Eastern Conference with Durant is instantly a top two or three team and if anything else breaks right for the Knicks they would be a true contender to at least make the finals. With that said, they are most likely not getting Durant.

    22. bobneptune

      I had a dream last night and this vision came to me:

      http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yb4pp4e8

      Knicks uber tank this season and move THJr and Lee’s contract next year as well as lose 11M in salary this year.

      Clips get Butler and a big upgrade at center and win a lot more games.

      Mn gets the player they want in Harris

      Yes…. the Moody Blues “Legend of a Mind” was playing in the background during the dream :-)

    23. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Kevin Durant is available in 2019, but Anthony Davis is available in 2020 and Giannis is available in 2021. I’m not sure the win curvers would agree with the Durant pursuit.

    24. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      I can’t wait for the season to start so we can get depressed as usual :)

      How’s this?

      Knox is a bust. Let’s trade him while he still has some value.

    25. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      Knox needs to work on getting the ball in the basket.

    26. Jack Bauer

      “This is where we’re heading, but the problem with it is it requires us to use precious resources to acquire a point guard, which inevitably robs us of something else.”

      Considering they’ve ignored putting any resources into the point guard position for 20 years or so any cost to obtain an above average one should be amortized over 20 years.

    27. mase

      I like our starting 5 except sub
      Lance for frank, Baker for Burke,
      And Knox for Vonleh , trier for thjr… lol

    28. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      Extend Frank now! lol

    29. mase

      Franks defense has been the highlight of the first halfand this is the best offensive game I’ve seen From him… he’s attacking the rim

    30. thenoblefacehumper

      I don’t like to get giddy about one non-game but I kinda want to buy a bunch of Frankie stock right now

    31. ClashFan

      Pretty brutal half. Knox looks abysmal.

      Knox and Trier seem to have 0 court vision.

      On the bright side, just focus on Frank when the Knicks are on D. It’s a joy to watch.

    32. DRed

      Knox obviously has some ability but he doesn’t seem to know how to finish or be able to shoot NBA 3s.

    33. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      I know most of us will agree with this but Frank should be starting this year, whether at PG or SG.

    34. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

      Saw the box score and came to the blog just to see what DRed would say about Scrappy Doo.

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