Knicks Morning News (2018.11.23)

  • [NYDN] Courtney Lee tells the News he is inching closer to a return to the Knicks’ lineup
    (Thursday, November 22, 2018 8:45:00 AM)

    Courtney Lee is inching closer to making his season debut for the Knicks, telling the Daily News he is one step from returning to full practice following the troublesome neck injury.

    Lee, who hasn’t played after straining his neck in training camp, said he began participating in limited contact…

  • [SNY Knicks] Kevin Knox says start to Knicks career has been ‘tough’
    (Thursday, November 22, 2018 10:51:41 PM)

    Kevin Knox is still looking to get into the swing of things in his rookie season with the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] Trey Burke’s dagger 3-pointer silences Boston crowd in big win over Celtics
    (Thursday, November 22, 2018 10:32:18 AM)

    The Knicks kept this one close, but the Trail Blazers eeked it out as New York dropped their sixth straight game, 118-114, on Wednesday night.

  • [NYPost] Why Mitchell Robinson is OK not starting
    (Thursday, November 22, 2018 8:06:52 PM)

    Mitchell Robinson had his taste of starting and is fine with Knicks coach David Fizdale’s decision to bring him off the bench. The company line was to keep the 20-year-old project out of severe foul trouble. In the Knicks’ stunning 117-109 win at Boston on Wednesday, Robinson played just 16 minutes but registered six blocks…

  • [NYPost] Trey Burke forces Knicks to ask serious questions at point guard
    (Thursday, November 22, 2018 10:15:49 AM)

    The Knicks will play their season’s 20th game on Black Friday vs. New Orleans, and their point-guard situation still stands as a darkened quandary. The Knicks’ point guard merry-go-round whirls on, and Trey Burke’s spectacular four-game tour de force has only confounded the issue. In successive games off the bench, Burke, the opening night starter,…

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: LeBron James Is the Change Fans Want to See in the Basketball World
    (Thursday, November 22, 2018 10:59:49 PM)

    James changed free agency forever the first time he left Cleveland. His second departure from the Cavaliers, for Los Angeles, shows how much he has changed, too.

  • [NYTimes] Lakers 109, Cavaliers 105: LeBron James Returns to Cleveland, and Lakers Come Back to Win
    (Thursday, November 22, 2018 4:00:29 PM)

    The former Cavaliers superstar led a fourth-quarter comeback for the Lakers, keeping a hot streak going while sending his former team to yet another loss.

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    Mike Kurylo

    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    98 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2018.11.23)”

    1. There’s only one thing better than watching the Knicks team effort against Celtics and that’s reading the post-game 500+ comment thread on sbnation Celtics site:

      FAD STEVENS is a rebuild coach. Not a player elite coach i wish we had Crock Rivers for this talent.

      WE need to blow this team up, really hope DA is thinking to trade guys like AH. This guy is so slow

      Trey Burke Was he drafted?? Where did he come from – he’s everything Roziers suppose to be

      Trade Rozier and Memphis pick for Trey Burke. I’m a believer in Trey Burke now.

      Scal says”Low point for the Celts”Scal ain’t seen nothing yet.and of course brad says the Knicks are a great team!LMFAO.

      I see doom ahead. Like biblical style doom, without Danny stepping in and using his strange Mormon magic to fix it!

      God please don’t bring in Carmelo Anthony to lay even more bricks.

      Horford is aging. Jaylen is just not a very good basketball player. Tatum is inconsistent and really lazy on defense.If Kyrie walks at the end of the year, woof, I’m not sure they make the playoffs next year.

      Our new uniforms were based on warmup jackets from the past Unfortunately the C’s played like they were in warmups the whole game!

      Who knew our best lottery chances at this point in the season would be our own Celtics pick and not Sacremento

      Maybe we should get melo. He’s so terrible he’ll motivate everybody to not be as bad as he is

    2. Good to know that there are fan bases out there more delusional than us Knicks fans lol

      But hell yes! Ainge should absolutely do that trade for Trey

    3. Here’s a thought:
      Now seems to be the absolute best time to jump on a THJ trade. Lee is on the way back, and THJ is playing by far the best basketball of his career.

      But where’s the market for him?

    4. But where’s the market for him?

      The Kings. They’ll have about 50m in free cap this summer. Shump’s expiring and no top player is gonna want to join the Kings. After Butler/KD/Kyrie/Kawhi, there’s slim pickins so Timmy ain’t lookin’ bad at all. I don’t want to trade Timmy just yet but the probability of landing Kyrie and/or KD just skyrocketed in the last week.

    5. I still think Philly could be a trade partner for THJ. They need more shooters/scorers.

      THJ + Lance for Chandler + Fultz works and gives us another broken PG to tinker with <3

    6. I still think Philly could be a trade partner for THJ. They need more shooters/scorers.

      THJ + Lance for Chandler + Fultz works and gives us another broken PG to tinker with <3

      You can get Fultz for the vet min in 18 months

    7. Here I was on a high but then I made the mistake of reading yesterday’s KB thread. Shame on Z-man, JK47 and Nicos for trying to stick a fork in Franky on Thanksgiving Day. The Frenchise is not done. He’s still 19yo! On defense, the last few games we’ve learned that Frank’s able to shut down not just 1 guards but 2s and 3s as well. How many times did we witness one of them catch the ball, look up and go “Aw crap, it’s Frank” and then just swing the ball. The word is out: You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind. You don’t challenge Frank and You don’t mess around with Mitch.

      Couldn’t we have some patience on the offensive side? You could cite stats pro and con. Here’s a few related to his shooting:
      > In 2016-17 in Europe he shot 43% from 3 on 51 attempts
      > In 2016-17 in Europe he posted a 52% 2P% on 79 attempts
      > 100th percentile as PnR ball handler in Fiba competition
      > 99th percentile in pull up jump shot in Fiba competition
      > 92% FT% so far this season

      There are cons of course but doesn’t all of that merit maybe just a freakin’ bit of patience? Couldn’t we all agree that nobody really has a clue how Frank is gonna end up? Let’s just admit it’s tough to get a handle ;) on what Frank will look like in 3 or 4 years.

    8. Frank’s going through the typical ups and downs of your typical NBA 20 YO. Fiz and Pills see this and are comfortable giving the kid steady PT. It’ll pay off by 2020 at the latest, when he’s one of the leaders of a competitive Knicks playoff team.

    9. Zanzibar in top form this AM!

      I have high hopes for Frank. Whenever I get high, I feel hope for him.

      Seriously, my Frank rants are mainly about two things:

      1) despite the possible accuracy of any claims of elite defense, he’s by far a net negative on the court right now, and anyone who says otherwise is delusional
      2) he has zero aptitude as a lead guard, PG or by any other name

      However, I think he has potential to be a very valuable 3-and-D off the ball wing. He has shown flashes of that value. It will mostly depend on whether he can become a consistent 38+% shooter from 3. Anything less than that and he will be a Luc Mbah a Moute-level role player at best. Or Shump, or Marcus Smart, if you will. Not a bust or a scrub, just not anything to ever justify the hype of his fanboys here. I think his ceiling is a Trevor Ariza-level player, more of a guard but that level of value. But he has a long, long way to go to even sniff that level.

      And bringing him up in the same breath as Kawhi, Pippin, Rodman would be an automatic failure on a field sobriety test.

    10. Seriously, my Frank rants are mainly about two things:

      1) despite the possible accuracy of any claims of elite defense, he’s by far a net negative on the court right now, and anyone who says otherwise is delusional
      2) he has zero aptitude as a lead guard, PG or by any other name

      However, I think he has potential to be a very valuable 3-and-D off the ball wing. He has shown flashes of that value. It will mostly depend on whether he can become a consistent 38+% shooter from 3. Anything less than that and he will be a Luc Mbah a Moute-level role player at best. Or Shump, or Marcus Smart, if you will. Not a bust or a scrub, just not anything to ever justify the hype of his fanboys here. I think his ceiling is a Trevor Ariza-level player, more of a guard but that level of value. But he has a long, long way to go to even sniff that level.

      And bringing him up in the same breath as Kawhi, Pippin, Rodman would be an automatic failure on a field sobriety test.

      So many straw me were erected here I feel like Ray bleepin Bolger :-)
      I’ll just suffice it to say, ask CJ McCollum what he thinks of Frank’s value and if he would like him on the Blazers……

    11. Last I checked, McCollum had 31 points on 23 shots vs. the Knicks, but I guess that Frank really shut him down…

    12. I believe that scoring usage matters, but not to the extent that I think Frank’s low usage automatically makes him a net negative player. He’s not just shutting down scrub players. He’s having an impact on star level players at 3 positions. He has a chance to become a DPOY caliber player in a couple of years.

      In case no one has noticed, he’s been shooting much better from 2 this year (.385 vs. .444) and has been terrific from the FT line in a limited sample (11/12). The problem is his 3p%. The thing is, 3p% is notoriously noisy and variable in small samples. Frank was a decent 3 point shooter in France and not nearly as bad last year (.318 is not bad for a 19 year old). It would not shock me if he starts hitting 3s in the 32%- 35% range going forward. With his improved ability to finish and higher 2p% he’ll be doing enough on offense to be a net positive player even though he still has a long way to go to get to positive on offense.

      As long as he’s on the wing and not handling the ball as much, he’s not going to get as many assists. That’s not a valid criticism.

      However, a legitimate criticism is that as a slightly taller and stronger sophomore on the wing more often, he should be rebounding better. He has to change his mentality from looking for the outlet pass to actually getting in there and rebounding.

    13. And bringing him up in the same breath as Kawhi, Pippin, Rodman would be an automatic failure on a field sobriety test.

      Yep.

      Odds are Ntilikina is what we have seen in close to 100 games, over 2000 minutes of NBA duty: a below-par player with some flashes of good defense who is not a very competent pg or sg. He reminds me of Shumpert, who, exactly like Ntilikina, came into the league on a hyped reputation as a ‘lock-down defender’. Shumpert, like Frank, had problems at the basket. We know the rest of the story.

      I think Frank’s ceiling is a K-mart version of Shumpert. Call me pessimistic.

    14. But, the again, Frank is the NBA’s oldest 19 year old at 20. He was born on July 28, 1998, according to Basketball Reference. He is a unique teenager. Give the boy a break, Z-man!

    15. CJ McCollum, a career 17.4 ppg player, averaging 21.4 this season, dumps 31 on the Knicks.

      Frank Ntilikina locks him down!

    16. I asked CJ McCollum if he’d like for Frank Ntilikina to play on the Blazers and he answered “Who’s Frank Ntilikina?”

      I said he was the backup tweener gaurd on the Knicks, and he said “Who are the Knicks?”

      Then I asked him how old he was and he said “I was born in 1991.” And I thought back to the Riley era and realized that 1991 was the year we traded Jerrod Mustaff for Xavier McDaniel — a trade the Knicks kind of won, even though X-Man fled after one season to the greener pastures of bean town, and we’ve been basically rebuilding ever since.

      Ah ha!

    17. I have high hopes for Frank. Whenever I get high, I feel hope for him.

      that’s funny (I seem to have a weakness for light drug humor)…hmmmm, I always wondered if the “z” stood for zig-zag…

    18. When a team is 7-3 at home in Minnesota and 0-8 away, is it fair to presume that they party like crazy when they’re out of town?

    19. I asked CJ McCollum, what’s your career fg%? He said ‘45.5’.
      I said, then how come you had a 56.5 fg% against our great defender, Frank ‘19-year-old Lockdown Defender’ Tilikina?

      He smiled. ‘Locked me down, I guess’.

    20. Odds are Ntilikina is what we have seen in close to 100 games, over 2000 minutes of NBA duty

      Yes, the odds are definitely likely that an NBA player will show you exactly who he is in his age 19 and 20 seasons and never improve. It’s science.

    21. I asked CJ McCollum, what’s your career fg%? He said ‘45.5’.
      I said, then how come you had a 56.5 fg% against our great defender, Frank ‘19-year-old Lockdown Defender’ Tilikina?

      He smiled. ‘Locked me down, I guess’.

      Frank guarded CJ on 13 possessions. He scored 3 pts on 1-3 from the field. He guarded Lillard on 10 possessions. He went scoreless on 2 fga with 1 asst and 1 to. He guarded Evan Turner on 19 possessions. He scored 2 pts on 1-3 shooting. But don’t give up on your screenplay. People watch Designated Survivor, so you never know.

    22. Fultz also shoots free throws like Shaq. So that’s a problem.

      He’s been a reasonably decent boxscore stuffer in other ways, but that shot is a deal breaker. If he could shoot a little bit he’d be an excellent prospect but you know the deal about my aunt and her balls.

      Yeah, I liked Fultz a whole lot coming into the draft, but the dude’s shot is just broken. How could you ever bet on it just returning out of thin air? It’s like trading for Rick Ankiel in the hopes that you could get his wild pitches under control. Maaaaaaaaaaaaybe it could happen, but how could you ever make a realistic bet on it?

    23. I’m curious where you found those statistics, ptmilo. I knew he played good D in that game but didn’t want to get involved because I didn’t know where to find the actual stats.

    24. I wouldn’t even trade Lee for Fultz right now. Although I’d happily facilitate a three way trade in which Philly gets Lee, someone else gets Fultz, and we get an expiring.

    25. Welp, you certainly post with the intellectual acumen of Bolger’s most famous character.

      I wouldn’t go there if I was you…. it would be like putting a Hyperion vs a satyr if you get the reference.

    26. I would absolutely grab fultz for lee …. fultz would instantly become our best prospect…. the shot is questionable but betting on a jumpshot improving is a good one to take…

      his secondary numbers are all really good and he’s still really good driving to the hoop…. those are the things that you can’t really teach and it’s why i would even trade frank for fultz … fultz is better and a much better prospect at this stage…

    27. Hubert, your post is total strawman bullshit. It’s a given that everything we say about Frank, whether positive or negative, is a prediction based on an interpretation of the current available evidence. Sure, at 20 years old, he can improve. No one is questioning that. No one is saying that he’s actually 27. But many more

      But you and others predict that his improvement will be dramatic (which it would have to be for him to be even decent), it’s only a matter of time. Some even dispute that he is objectively one of the worst rotation players in the league right now despite every commonly used advanced statistical measure confirming beyond a doubt that he is. As this list would indicate, improvement is far from a sure thing.

    28. Last I checked, McCollum had 31 points on 23 shots vs. the Knicks, but I guess that Frank really shut him down…

      Did you actually watch he game….probably not by this comment… you know there are generally 5 players on the floor for each team. but snark always score big points to the great unwashed.

    29. I would absolutely grab fultz for lee …. fultz would instantly become our best prospect…. the shot is questionable but betting on a jumpshot improving is a good one to take…

      Betting on a jumpshot improving is typically a fine bet. It’s why Fox was drafted #5 overall and Rose and Wall were drafted #1 overall. But I don’t think this is a typical situation, since his shot was fine and then it broke. That’s a whole different animal. I would not bet on Fultz’s shot improving. I sure hope it does and I agree, he does so many other things well that if I had any hopes of his shot improving, I’d be all about him right now, but I don’t think it will.

    30. Yeah, I liked Fultz a whole lot coming into the draft, but the dude’s shot is just broken. How could you ever bet on it just returning out of thin air?

      Maybe if you change his name to Ntilikina all needed improvement will just return out of thin air?

    31. Frank could improve a lot and still stink. He’s going to need to improve a metric fuckton to NOT stink.

      It’s his second season, and his stats have flatlined from his first equally terrible season. There’s not really a positive trendline here to look at, nothing that makes you say, “Well, at least he’s getting better at X.”

    32. So the eye test and ptmilo’s specific stats about his actual performance vs elite guards in the recent game on question are NOT useful information when evaluating his performance? Ok, then.

    33. But you and others predict that his improvement will be dramatic (which it would have to be for him to be even decent), it’s only a matter of time.

      No, I really don’t. And others don’t either. I asked any poster who believes this position you keep imagining to come out and identify themselves last week and I’m still waiting.

      I just know minutes played at age 19 are not the best indicator of a player’s likely future performance. If you’re productive at age 19 or 20 in the NBA, you’re probably extremely special. It’s OK for a 20 year old to need improvement in many areas of his game.

      I also know that the guy is an absolute beast on defense. And given that, he has a very low bar to reach on offense to become a productive player.

    34. On Fultz, I just think for Lee it’s worth the gamble. His contract is smaller per year and I think the same length or one year longer so it’s not costing us much. He could still be a serviceable player with no J in the right lineup and if he can rebuild the J over time then great.

      Don’t get me wrong – there’s a good chance he flames out totally. But it’s a relatively low stakes gamble that could pay off huge…

    35. So the eye test and ptmilo’s specific stats about his actual performance vs elite guards in the recent game on question are NOT useful information when evaluating his performance? Ok, then.

      Yes, those stats matter, but they should be added to the putrid stats for the rest of his putrid NBA career. His game stinks.

      Very telling that a case for Ntilikina not sucking can only be built on a single game (where he was not very good, anyway) or by falsifying his age (he is not 19 but 20+)

    36. If anyone watches Frank’s 2nd half against the Celtics and doesn’t see very good defense, please go back to basketball 101. He was matched up against Smart, Tatum, Hayward and even Horford on a couple of possessions and held his own against all of them. He was fighting under the defensive boards, moved very well and caused at least two turnovers for which he won’t get credit because they weren’t a direct steal.

      He’s obviously not in Pippen, Rodman, or Kawhi’s level, and I wish his activity level was Tony Allen like. But these are all time greats, did anyone really think Frank would be there in his 20 years old season, or ever? He doesn’t need to be, to become a legit plus rotation player.

      I also liked the two possessions the Knicks used him as the secondary point guard next to Burke in the 4th quarter. The first turned into a beautiful assist to THJ, and in the second one the play wasn’t there and he gave the ball back to AI-B, who turned it into 2 points.

    37. yea fultz is sort of a unique situation… but like with anything there’s risk/reward… if the shot gets respectable… he has a very easy path to reaching dwyane wade levels of good… if it doesn’t.. well what was lee giving you to begin with? and frank is basically just as bad as fultz is shooting wise without the creativity towards the basket or the rebounding….

    38. He’s obviously not in Pippen, Rodman, or Kawhi’s level, and I wish his activity level was Tony Allen like. But these are all time greats, did anyone really think Frank would be there in his 20 years old season, or ever?

      He is not even Mudiay, for god’s sake!

      https://herosports.com/nba/player-comparison/emmanuel-mudiay-vs-frank-ntilikina

      He is not even Trey Burke

      https://herosports.com/nba/player-comparison/frank-ntilikina-vs-trey-burke

      But he is 20+ years old!!!!

    39. Some even dispute that he is objectively one of the worst rotation players in the league right now despite every commonly used advanced statistical measure confirming beyond a doubt that he is.

      All of them are bad at evaluating defense, especially when the player isn’t grabbing rebounds. I’m not saying Frank is good, he’s real bad, but the parts of the game he is good at aren’t measured in those stats (except second hand in a couple that vary wildly depending on your teammates). This is what all of his defenders are saying. ptmilo dropped some numbers up thread highlighting this exact thing. Frank’s boxscore was anemic, but he mostly shutdown whoever he was guarding.

      Maybe on ball defense isn’t actually important. I could be convinced that it doesn’t have much of an impact compared to other factors, but I don’t know that we have the numbers to run that comparison.

    40. Pippen and Kawhi, if they were terrible offensive players, wouldn’t be very good basketball players.

    41. Very telling that a case for Ntilikina not sucking can only be built on a single game

      You think that because ptmilo isn’t here to drop possession stats for every game that somehow this one is an outlyier? Smdh. Some people.

    42. Pippen and Kawhi, if they were terrible offensive players, wouldn’t be very good basketball players.

      Sure. And if LeBron played like Ntilikina, Trey Burke and Mudiay would be much better than him!

    43. I can’t see any reason not to trade Fultz straight up for Lee. I don’t think his shot will come back – something is weirdly wrong there – but so what? More cap space next year.

    44. I like defensive oriented players, which is why I was okay with the Frank pick. I’m pretty sick of watching horseshit defense, I mean it’s been like 20 years of this crap now. And Frank can really play D! So it’s not like he’s a zero. Not at all.

      But his offensive game is nonexistent. He’s not good at anything on the offensive end. I’m trying to squint my eyes here and see something positive from him on offense, but, uh, it’s not really happening. I guess “good shooting form” is the thing to hang your hat on, maybe that works out. And more concerning is his demeanor– he plays like he’s very scared on the offensive end. He competes his ass off on defense, but he’s really very timid on the other end.

    45. He is timid of offense and it is concerning. But there was an argument starting that he’s not good on defense, and that’s crap.

    46. The vast majority of player who put up negative WS48’s in significant NBA minutes before age 21 turned out to be scrubs. If Frank’s positive impact falls through the crack of DBPM, WS, WP, PER, VORP and RPM, how many other players is that true about? I mean, is Justice Winslow far more productive than he appears to be? Somehow he was able to put up a positive DBPM at ages 19 and 20. Right now his ceiling looks like Avery Bradley (Frank is taller but a brutally bad rebounder for his size). I remember thinking that Bradley was one of the best on-ball defenders in the league, and that Boston was crazy to let him go. Turns out they were actually better without him.

    47. I got those stats from a nonpublic service but they’re also available for free on nba.com I think under “matchups”

    48. The argument isn’t that he’s not good on defense, it’s that no commonly used stats confirm that he’s good on defense, and that’s indisputable. You could argue that defensive rebounding has no bearing on defense and it deflates Frank’s actual impact, but then you could counter-argue that his shitty rebounding negates his on-ball defense and makes him a net negative on the defensive end because his presence extends possessions.

    49. The problem with Ntilikina right now, other than the fact he’s not playing good offense consistently, is his draft position. His growing pains make him feel like a reach and sometimes we forget he’s a kid. A kid who is still maturing. It definitely doesn’t help his case that his game isn’t predicated on athleticism like other young star potential players. We see so much of those types of exploits here and it makes watching a player like Ntilikina go through his growing pains really hard.

      All that considered..the combination of Hornacek and the way the team was structured has hurt his development. We had Jarrett Jack at the point! Hornacek should have let him take his lumps at one of the guard spots instead of giving him spot responsibility until late in the season. In this, THJ is also a problem. I feel like Ntilikina would be further along if he were able to start at SG with a PG who could take pressure off of him. Fiz had a good idea at the start of the season, but Timmy got in the way. As the scorer, he was destined to have the ball more than Ntilikina. And this is why THJ needs to be moved. I really believe that if we have a starting backcourt of Burke and Ntilikina for the rest of the season, it would do so much for the development of Ntilikina’s game.

      I don’t wanna make excuses for the kid, because the fact is he just needs to play better. But we really haven’t done him any favors as a lottery pick. We KNEW we weren’t going anywhere, but neglected to give our lottery pick consistent development minutes at a position he was drafted to play. And if you don’t give him minutes there, SG next to a PG that can handle himself is the next best thing. Thus far, Ntilikina has gotten neither.

      So..patience..more patience for the kid please?

    50. I don’t know why we spend so much time talking about Frank when Mitchell Robinson is the best rookie in basketball.

    51. The argument isn’t that he’s not good on defense, it’s that no commonly used stats confirm that he’s good on defense, and that’s indisputable.

      This is true, but it’s also true that some of the things at which Frank excels are things that box scores don’t capture well: pick and roll disruption and on-ball defense mainly. He’s probably more valuable on D than his raw defensive stats suggest. How much more valuable, it’s hard to say.

    52. On Fultz, I just think for Lee it’s worth the gamble. His contract is smaller per year and I think the same length or one year longer so it’s not costing us much. He could still be a serviceable player with no J in the right lineup and if he can rebuild the J over time then great.

      Don’t get me wrong – there’s a good chance he flames out totally. But it’s a relatively low stakes gamble that could pay off huge…

      Oh sure, I’d trade Lee for him in an instant. But I also think that it would be hard for Philly not to be able to beat Courtney Lee on the open market, since NBA GMs all seem to believe that their staff can fix a broken jump shot, ya know?

    53. I don’t know why we spend so much time talking about Frank when Mitchell Robinson is the best rookie in basketball.

      It’s time to stop comparing Mitch to other rooks. Across ALL NBA players:
      > 15th in BPM
      > 41st in WS/48
      > 41st in WP48
      > 65th in PER
      > 97th in RPM

      And look at how Mitch compares at the moment to KG’s 3rd season, D. Jordan’s 2nd season, Tyson Chandler’s 3rd season, and Capela’s 2nd season. BRef shows them all as 21yo during those seasons and keep in mind that Mitch is still 19yo ;).

      —————BPM——–WS/48——-TS%——-ORB%——BLK%——-TO%—-USG
      Mitch……. +5.7……….. .173……….. 65………. 12.5……… 9.6…….. 9.4………. 10.1
      KG………… +3.3………. .120……….. 53……….. 8.1……….. 3.9……. 12.1……… 20.8
      Jordan….. -3.8……….. .068……….. 57………..11.6……….. 4.7……. 19.2…….. 14.4
      Tyson….. -1.3………… .091……….. 55………. 10.2……….. 4.5……. 18.2…….. 16.8
      Capela…. 0.0……….. .137………….54………. 14.3……….. 5.3……. 16.4…….. 16.4

    54. Totes, I agree that the problem is Frank’s draft position. If he were a 2nd rounder like Dotson or an undrafted FA like Trier, he’s actually have to earn his minutes and wouldn’t have so many people here squinting to justify their pre-draft enthusiasm about him.

      Your arguments about TH2 getting in his way are ridiculous. If that was true, then there’s a very simple solution: send Frank to the G-League where no one would be in his way. Unless you think that being in the G-League would stunt his development, which is silly.

      Did being in Arizona (far worse than the G-League) stunt Trier’s development?
      Did being in the G-League stunt Burke’s or TH2’s development?
      Did not playing basketball at all, or having Kanter, Vonleh and Kornet on the team, stunt Mitch’s development?

      If anything, what’s stunting his development is babying him and giving him more NBA minutes than he deserves. It helps with the tank, but I am 100% sure that spending anywhere from a couple of weeks to the rest of the season in the G-League would actually help his development, not hurt it. He could work on learning to rebound, to shoot, to dribble, and to be a deserving leader on both ends. Or, Fiz should glue him to the bench for a few games, just like he glued Burke, Mudiay, Hezonja, Ron, and now Dotson to the bench. What has he done to merit the preferential treatment he’s getting, other than getting drafted at #8?

    55. Whether fair or not, they can almost certainly do better than Lee (so a more than fair deal, I guess?). One of the best things that the Sixers have going for them is their cap room next season. I doubt they’d want to significantly cut into it for Courtney Lee.

    56. @61

      Yeah, I’m done with it personally. He hasn’t shown anything different this year, there’s good defensive moments to like and terrible overall moments to hate like the entirety of last season was, so really there’s nothing else left to discuss. Some people choose to believe that he still has potential for whatever reason, others are prioritizing the evidence so far which is that he hasn’t and is probable that won’t ever, and there’s really not much of anything interesting to discuss after that. I like the kid and I like to have defensive minded players and I think it’s not impossible that he develops and that’s pretty much it.

      Mitch, on the other hand… he really excites me as a prospect because the path to development seems fairly clear: it’s expected that he’ll get stronger and better in terms of conditioning, it’s expected that he will become more comfortable with the pace of the game and with positioning / timings now that he’s playing and training in a real environment and the athleticism and production are already there.

      Out of all the years of sucking the best player we got might just be a 2nd rounder we got for dumping Carmelo fucking Anthony on the Thunder.

    57. Note 1: the Mitch ranks (except RPM) were all players >=100 mp .
      Note 2: the Mitch comps to other players showed cumulative stats for the other guys. Here is the LINK for single season comparison.

    58. I’m psyched about tonight’s game. That’s because my sons got me tix for my B-Day! I think these are nice seats too. I don’t get to go to a lot of games. It’s tough because of where I live and work so each visit is special.

      I posted yesterday about how it’s time for Frank to show something. I’m actually much more hopeful about every other pick this year and last (Dotson, Knox, Robinson and sure, add Trier).

    59. It would be kind of hilarious if we added another huge-project PG in Fultz. The three-headed monster of Fultz-Frank-Mudiay would have the highest theoretical ceiling of any troika that actually plays like crap 85% of the time.

    60. Happy birthday, GoNyGoNyGo! Hope you have a blast at the game! Knicks games when the team is young and exciting are such a treat!

    61. At this point we can say with high confidence that Frank is never going to be a traditional starting point guard. There’s just no evidence that he’ll be able to break down defenses or draw defenders as a lights-out shooter.

      Could he become a Patrick Beverly-type starter playing alongside a Harden or LeBron? I guess. His defense is almost good enough already, and he could maybe get his 3pt% up to 37%.

    62. The fact that Fultz’s offensive numbers are better than Frank’s despite not being able to raise his arm above his shoulder pretty much tells you all you need to know about Frank’s offense. As for his defense I think everybody agrees he’s at least good on that end- how good is up for debate. His fg% allowed is very average- very good at defending 2 pointers, bad at defending threes. For all his length he doesn’t get a lot of steals or even deflections, he’s a crappy rebounder and commits way too many fouls (especially completely needless 30 feet away from the basket ones). That said, I agree the stats don’t capture what he’s good at- he’s a terrific on the ball defender. Eliminate the stupid fouls and I think he’d be at the Aminu/Mbah a Moute level on that end. Really good but not game-changing the way a good rim protector (Mitch!!) is. I don’t think anyone believes that he won’t improve or that he should be benched but there are a bunch of us who think he’s a pretty bad player right now.

    63. Z-man..I’m with you bro. My thinking is maybe if he started in the backcourt with a PG like Burke in this situation, is maybe it might force him to evolve quicker rather than deferring so often. Especially this season. He’d also be sharing ballhandling duties more with more responsiblity. This would be the season to do it.

    64. @71 That point guard group (Frank, Mudiay, Fultz ) would be must see TV.

      Kind of like driving past a car wreck where you can’t help slowing down to look.

      Knicks need to finish with no worse than the 3rd worst record to get that 14% chance at the top pick.

    65. I agree with Brian about Fultz.

      Loads of young players shoot poorly and get a lot better. It’s that his shot is broken and it became broken AFTER his injury. It looked fine in college.

      The question from here is whether the injury permanently impaired his ability to shoot with good form or whether he adjusted his shot while hurt and changed the muscle memory in a way that has permanently or temporarily screwed him up mentally and physically.

      When you change the mechanics on your shot, golf swing, pool stroke, bat swing etc.. it can take a LONG time for it to become natural so you can do it without thinking about it. If he changed it in a negative way (due to injury), he has to start from zero to reverse it. If it’s a physical issue, he’s probably screwed.

    66. I cannot believe that Courtney Lee has another year on his contract after this one. I don’t think there’s a team that would offer him more than a vet’s minimum for one year at this point. Jesus fucking christ Phil Jackson was a moron.

    67. In case no one has noticed, he’s been shooting much better from 2 this year (.385 vs. .444) and has been terrific from the FT line in a limited sample (11/12). The problem is his 3p%. The thing is, 3p% is notoriously noisy and variable in small samples. Frank was a decent 3 point shooter in France and not nearly as bad last year (.318 is not bad for a 19 year old).

      No comment on the fact that Frank has improved his 2p% sharply this year, is shooting FTs very well albeit in a limited sample, and that the problem is primarily in his 3p% which is notoriously noisy and down this year?

      To me, that is THE conversation about his offense.

      He IS probably improving other than noise.

    68. @80

      The injury made it even harder to trade him, but if he comes back and plays well, we are back to where we were. That means it would still be difficult, but not impossible. On our team he literally may be the 2nd best two-way player on the team after Porzingis. IMO, it’s either him or Dotson, but I’d give the nod to Lee because he’s more experienced. That’s not a compliment.

    69. What’s more concerning to me about Frank isn’t his scoring but rather the drop in his already poor secondary skills. His TRB%, STL%, FTR, and AST% have all dropped from last year, and his fouls have actually increased from last year. There’s really no excuse for that, and it’s pretty much impossible to be a productive NBA player if you have zero secondary skills to speak of. I guess his passing is “fine”, but he’s such a negative on the boards and has shown zero signs of improvement in any of his secondary skills.

    70. c’mon strat, he’s been terrible on o. whatever the %, he’s shot only 12 ft’s. that in and of itself is a huge problem.

    71. @83

      I’m not that worried about his AST%. I know these stats TRY to capture what’s going on, but imo they don’t always do a very good job of it. If he was playing PG all the time he’d have more opportunities to get assists and get more per time he handles the ball. It’s his rebounding that he should be able to do a better job with.

    72. No comment on the fact that Frank has improved his 2p% sharply this year, is shooting FTs very well albeit in a limited sample, and that the problem is primarily in his 3p% which is notoriously noisy and down this year?

      Sure, his FT shooting has been good, but he gets to the line a whopping 1.2 times per 100 possessions. That works out to 0.9 FTA/36.

      Great! He makes that one free throw attempt he gets every game. Lookin’ good, Frenchie!

    73. c’mon strat, he’s been terrible on o. whatever the %, he’s shot only 12 ft’s. that in and of itself is a huge problem.

      He has improved his 2p% from .385 to .444.

      If before the season I asked people if they would sign on for that for this year almost everyone would have said yes. Of course he has to get to the FT line more, but at 75% over 2 years, shooting FT% is not an issue there either. It’s primary a 3p% issue this year, but that’s a volatile number. If he just gets back to last year, he would have made a LOT of progress. He’s improving, but it’s mostly probably hidden in volatility.

    74. I’m not that worried about his AST%. I know these stats TRY to capture what’s going on, but imo they don’t always do a very good job of it. If he was playing PG all the time he’d have more opportunities to get assists and get more per time he handles the ball. It’s his rebounding that he should be able to do a better job with.

      His assist rate as the starting point guard this year was 21.8. That’s bad- factor in a turnover rate of 19.8 (not as bad as it looks because he never shoots but still bad) and you have an awful playmaker.

    75. Frank last year had a higher ast% then Ariza it Bah a Moute ever did.

      Can we still call him only a 3&D(potentially) guy if he can add some secondary/tertiary playmaking o a team?

    76. I’m almost at the point where I don’t want to discuss Frank anymore.

      It’s so damn obvious he’s a very good defender with a chance to become a DPOY caliber player eventually (switching 3-4 positions) and that he’s also improving on offense (albeit from a very low level) we are at the point where it’s the equivalent of discussing politics with most people. People are so locked into their positions they aren’t seeing or thinking clearly.

    77. a chance to become a DPOY caliber player

      FYI, a guard hasn’t won DPOY in the NBA since before Frank Ntilikina was born.

      And talk of DPOY for a burgeoning Knick was last posited here:

      http://kbdev.knickerblogger.net/renaldo-balkman-for-dpoy-oh-yeah-and-knicks-119-denver-112/

      Yes, fans tend to overvalue their own team’s young players. And, yes, there is a lot of similarity between Balkman and Ntilikina when it comes to them shooting the ball (…but Balkman was a great rebounder and a very good distributor, so Frank has a lot of work to even reach Balkman levels of excitement).

    78. Frank will never win it but I could see a lot of defensive first/second teams in his future.

      Of course the offense will need to progress to where he’s actually playable on a good team.

    79. There’s no comparison between Balkman and Ntilikina on offense.

      Balkman couldn’t throw a basketball into the ocean. He was a horrible shooter. The only thing he could do was shoot right at the rim. So he had more opportunities to do that (and rebound) because he was bigger, but he was one of the worst shooters you are ever going to see stick in the NBA for awhile.

      I don’t remember much about Balkman’s defense other then his energy, but even there Frank can switch 3 positions now and will probably switch 4 when he gets a little stronger.

      Frank will never win it but I could see a lot of defensive first/second teams in his future.

      This is the more likely scenario because he’s a guard, but he has a chance to be in the conversation.

    80. I don’t remember much about Balkman’s defense other than his energy

      To the eye, Balkman played like Anthony Mason if Mason had pogo sticks for legs. He was an absurd physical specimen that, to the eye, could effectively guard 4 positions. BUT he averaged 5 fouls a game and couldn’t stay on the court…

      (…don’t you kind of feel that 12 years from now Stratomatic jr is going to post something like “I don’t remember much about Ntilikina except his ability to guard the high pn’r?)

    81. I think his offense was actually worse than Ntilikina’s, but he did get rebounds. He was picked 20th instead of 9th, so it was easier not to be disappointed in his performance.

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