Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2019.02.20)

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks To Sign Henry Ellenson To 10-Day Deal
    (Tuesday, February 19, 2019 9:16:20 PM)

    The Knicks will sign Henry Ellenson to a 10-day contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Detroit selected Ellenson with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2016 draft, but he never saw much action for the franchise, playing in a total of 59 games. He was waived by the team shortly […]

  • [TheRinger] Knicks To Sign Henry Ellenson To 10-Day Deal
    (Tuesday, February 19, 2019 9:16:20 PM)

    The Knicks will sign Henry Ellenson to a 10-day contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Detroit selected Ellenson with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2016 draft, but he never saw much action for the franchise, playing in a total of 59 games. He was waived by the team shortly […]

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks sign former first-round pick Henry Ellenson to 10-day contract
    (Tuesday, February 19, 2019 11:43:47 PM)

    Ellenson averaged 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 59 games with Detroit.

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on Knicks target Kevin Durant: New York the ‘consensus’ destination if he leaves Warriors
    (Tuesday, February 19, 2019 9:32:56 AM)

    Warriors star Kevin Durant can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kyrie Irving on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam. Here are the latest rumors…

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: For Anthony Davis and the Pelicans, the Solution Is to Stop Playing Games
    (Tuesday, February 19, 2019 12:00:04 PM)

    The N.B.A. had its reasons for forcing New Orleans to play its superstar after a trade request, but the risk is not worth the reward.

  • [NYPost] Michael Beasley heading back to China for the third time
    (Tuesday, February 19, 2019 10:44:25 PM)

    Michael Beasley is heading back to China for the third time. Beasley is finalizing a deal with Guangdong of the Chinese Basketball Association, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted. The tweet also stated it will be a short run of two months for Beasley with significant cash. The Chinese basketball season ends in mid-May. Beasley, 30, has…

  • [NYPost] The Kevin Durant pal who could be a factor in any Knicks deal
    (Tuesday, February 19, 2019 5:06:07 PM)

    One theory is Kevin Durant needs another star companion such as Kyrie Irving to make the leap to New York — which is why Knicks brass was so eager to create the extra cap space with the Kristaps Porzingis trade. Knicks president Steve Mills may also want to save a couple of bucks for Durant’s…

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    85 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2019.02.20)

    1. alsep73

      To echo last night’s comments, Zion shouldn’t play another game until he’s wearing a New York Knicks (or possibly New Orleans Pelicans) uniform.

    2. Hubert

      I agree.

      The boxscore also does not capture the value that Klay contributes because he can’t be left alone for a second on offense. That extra space makes everyone else a little better than they would be with a more average shooter on the perimeter. Granted, it’s hard to quantify or measure. But it’s a plus. Call it the “space assist”.

      To be clear, Strat, this was not part of my position. This goes more towards the “gravity effect” argument, of which I’m skeptical.

      The specific contributions I think some off guards make that isn’t captured in current statistics are all on the defensive side of the ball: guarding the three point line, switching effectively, and preventing quality shots. Because the three-point shot is now the most important weapon in the game, guys like Klay, Beal, prime Wade, etc are as impactful on the perimeter as rim-protectors are in the paint. For example, remember how useless Steve Novak was in the playoff series against Miami because Wade (and to a lesser degree, Battier) could effectively play in the middle of the court *and* get to the corner in ridiculous speed to take away his shot. It rendered all the spacing he could have provided useless.

      A rim protector’s contribution is easier to quantify and tends to show up better in the box score because blocks are an effective stand in. Steals are not as good a stand in now as they were back when defense was mainly straight up.

    3. thenoblefacehumper

      Zion being potentially injury prone eases the blow since we’re obviously not getting him.

      I’m not sure how much we can glean from a single incident in which his shoe exploded, but regardless that kid should not step foot on a college basketball court ever again. It would suck for my personal entertainment interests, but this situation (him getting a possibly severe injury in a regular season game he single-handedly turned into the Super Bowl, while seeing none of that money) is a near-perfect example of the NCAA’s exploitation.

      Re: shooting guards and box score aggregators, yeah I think it’s fair to say some of them get underrated. I think on teams with a primary playmaker and good rebounders, some SGs basically get told to stick to what they do best. Klay Thompson could probably rack up some assists, but why would Golden State let him do that when they have a clearly superior option? Bradley Beal’s career AST% is 17.5, but this year in the games Wall has missed it’s 27.5%. That doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to back up the brinks truck for any of these guys–it’s just the position where box score aggregators should be viewed most skeptically.

    4. ess-dog

      2 year contract for John Jenkins? Well ok then. I guess we need live bodies, and I assume it’s a pretty cheap deal.

    5. ptmilo

      It’s interesting how the draft has expanded into the 2nd round as a place to find franchise players. For 23 years (from 1989 , when the draft become two rounds to 2012), the best 2nd round picks were Manu followed by a few overpaid quasi-stars like Boozer, Redd, Arenas, Rashard Lewis, Van Exel, Cliff Robinson, and Cedric Ceballos, and then pretty much exclusively role players.

      this is weird bc it omits some of the best sleepers. paul milsap. marc gasol. deandre jordan. ben wallace (undrafted). pre-injury IT.

    6. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      If the Knicks fail to grab Zion, I would be very happy with trading down to pick up more future picks (a 1st, a 1st swap, and a 2nd, perhaps) to pick up Clarke. Not really concerned about his age — he’s too good to care about getting his shitty early-20s years.

      Zion should never play another NCAA game. Fuck the NCAA.

      And to be clear, Klay is definitely a possession-ender — i.e. he’s one of their top options to make a final pass to — and that’s not a bad thing. He does a ton of off-ball movement and that has to have a positive effect on his team’s overall offense — and his own, by extension. So I’m not going to say he’s a bad player because he doesn’t create offense (although he looks really stiff trying to make dribble drives, something I’ve picked up after 100+ Warriors games over the last few years) nor a bad defender for not getting steals (he very rarely gets beat for an easy shot attempt, he has a great body for switching, and he’s got great awareness). I just don’t think the metrics are that far off with him, especially since his 3PT shot faded a bit.

    7. alsep73

      Zion got everything he could have possibly wanted out of playing at Duke for free, other than completely avoiding injury. There’s nothing to be gained by playing another second of NCAA basketball.

    8. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      @4

      For example, remember how useless Steve Novak was in the playoff series against Miami because Wade (and to a lesser degree, Battier) could effectively play in the middle of the court *and* get to the corner in ridiculous speed to take away his shot. It rendered all the spacing he could have provided useless.

      I wholeheartedly agree with you about defense.

      It’s me (and the entire NBA I a guess) that thinks space matters.

      Novak was a one trick pony. That made him very easy to neutralize. However, imo, he wasn’t totally useless in that series (just mostly lol). Wade was a great defender, but Novak’s ability to knock down spot up 3s is what made it essential for Wade to get out there any time he had the ball. He couldn’t lay back and cheat. If he cheated, Novak would have punished them. Wade’s ability to get out there quickly deserves credit but so does forcing Wade to the perimeter to begin with.

      The value of space is independent of how many 3s you actually knock down. It accrues to the boxscore of the other players whenever they get a slightly easier shot or extra offensive rebound because one of the defenders was on the perimeter.

      When KP was parked 3 feet past the 3 point line, got the ball, and dragged a big man all the way out there, that was adding value. Even if he missed, having that big out there made it subtly more likely Kanter would get the offensive rebound and a better shot.

      Typically outside shooting was a skill the “shooting guard” needed because his role was helping to create space. Now they want everyone to have it. Klay has it in spades.

      I can’t measure it, but the value of good outside shooting exists.

    9. thenoblefacehumper

      I’m not sure what to make of some of the commentary yesterday about tanking, team building, etc.

      I definitely think some people are a bit confused about what it actually means to tank/rebuild. Any GM who is tanking with a specific pick/player in mind is an idiot. Even before the reforms, the lottery was way too random to do something like that. All you’re trying to do is 1) maximize your chances at a good pick and 2) minimize the number of slots you can fall. Those are the only things in a team’s locus of control.

      When you think about it that way, it doesn’t really matter what other teams are doing. If you’re not a contender, and not a team with some very special circumstances (you have a lot of good young players AND some degree of financial flexibility), then that’s probably what you should be doing if you want to win a championship as soon as possible.

      What complicates this discussion is that not all teams have that in mind as their primary goal. I’m just speculating here, but I don’t think anyone working with the Charlotte Hornets is stupid enough to think that signing Nic Batum to a a 5/$120M contract increased their chances at winning a championship. It almost certainly decreased them, since it destroyed their financial flexibility before they were anywhere near contender status and worsens their draft pick every year. I think they can live with that though since it helps them put a decent product on the floor. I guess how you feel about that is a subjective matter.

      What I didn’t like about the Bulls’ OPJ trade is it was basically a concession that they’re going to operate in a similar fashion to the Charlotte Hornets despite being one of the NBA’s flagship franchises. OPJ will make them better for sure, but he almost certainly decreases their chances of being an elite team.

    10. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      It’s me (and the entire NBA I a guess) that thinks space matters.

      It’s more important to put a guy behind the arc who can make shots than it is a guy who simply draws a defender out but misses a lot. There are very few players in the league who could camp behind the line and be unguarded by their man there, and to those players I say: get in the paint.

    11. thenoblefacehumper

      To bring it back to the Knicks, one of the reasons I liked the KP trade is because I think signing him to his max would’ve been a similar concession on our part. When you do all the math (his production even with improvements projected + the cap hit) it’s just very hard to see a scenario in which we’re even fringe contenders with that contract on our books. With the built in advantage of the New York market, and an almost half-century championship drought, I do not think that’s how we should operate.

    12. Hubert

      I didn’t watch the game last night (well, actually I tuned in, said “where the fuck is Zion?”, figured out where he was, and quickly tuned out), but Barrett’s box score looked pretty good despite a 3-11 performance from 3. Did it seem like empty stat-stuffing to those who watched it?

      I did watch the Virginia game and he impressed me (for the first time). His stats are creeping towards respectability. I’m mostly just talking myself into him now since I maintain there’s an 86% chance we draft him, but he might not be as bad as we initially thought.

    13. thenoblefacehumper

      Barrett isn’t an objectively bad prospect. The rebounding and 2PT% volume + efficiency are encouraging. I don’t think he’ll be a bust. He’s just relatively unexciting as a reward for a 15-20 win season, and has a game that’s always going to strike fear in the hearts of Knicks fans.

      I would take Morant over him for sure but he wouldn’t be awful at #3, though I’d prefer to trade down for Bol or Clarke with pick 3 on down.

    14. d-mar

      That Jim Boeheim car accident story is really awful. Sounds like it could have happened to anyone, no alcohol involved.

    15. Hubert

      I assumed he was Wiggins 2.0, but he seems to be a better prospect.

      If we get stuck drafting him, I can talk myself into tuning in for the upside of a Barrett, Knox, and MitchLob front court.

      The overall outline of a Smith, Frank, Barrett, Knox, Mitch core of kiddies at least makes sense in terms of complementary skills. The odds of all of them reaching their potential are low, though.

    16. MBunge

      I don’t really get this “I’m so glad we didn’t pay KP” attitude. What if the Knicks get Barrett in the draft? Should they trade him after a couple of years because HE won’t be worth a max?

      Yes, KP had an injury issue but the Knicks could go another 20 years and not draft a player with as much potential for greatness.

      It’s like how people hold up the Sixers as proof that tanking works. Well, they tanked harder than any team ever has and if Kawhi stays in Toronto and Kyrie stays in Boston, Philly may have done all that tanking to spend the next-half decade as THE FOURTH BEST TEAM IN THE EAST.

      Mike

    17. DRed

      In college football this year one of the players most likely to be taken with the top 2-3 picks got hurt in the 3rd game of the year and decided he wasn’t going to bother playing anymore. College football is different (the kid already had 2 years of playing football), but he correctly realized he couldn’t improve his draft stock any further and there was no point in him coming back and risking another injury. This is only going to become more common. Zion should have probably walked off the court after leading that incredible comeback against Louisville and told Coach K he was done. What else does he have to gain playing college basketball?

    18. Hubert

      Should they trade him after a couple of years because HE won’t be worth a max?

      We should trade any player who demands to be paid twice what he is worth and is willing to create havoc behind the scenes to destroy his trade value if he doesn’t get what he wants.

      There’s not a lot of players who are clearly not max guys but also definitely will be paid the max. KP, Booker, and Wiggins come to mind. Barrett could be one of those guys that are just good and gets paid appropriately, like Miles Turner, Victor Oladipo, Giannis before he blew up. If after three years RJ Barrett turns out to be overrated and injury prone, then yes, absolutely we should trade him instead of giving him the max.

    19. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      What if the Knicks get Barrett in the draft? Should they trade him after a couple of years because HE won’t be worth a max?

      If Barrett shows no signs of improvement in his third year and then blows out his knee, I for one hope the Knicks don’t pay him $30M a year on a prayer and a wish.

      Yes, KP had an injury issue but the Knicks could go another 20 years and not draft a player with as much potential for greatness.

      He still hasn’t played a game since that injury, and likely won’t until October of next year. Draft for potential, pay for production.

      It’s like how people hold up the Sixers as proof that tanking works. Well, they tanked harder than any team ever has and if Kawhi stays in Toronto and Kyrie stays in Boston, Philly may have done all that tanking to spend the next-half decade as THE FOURTH BEST TEAM IN THE EAST.

      Embiid is 24. Simmons is 22. Harris is 26. Butler is 29. And their three-year tank ensured that the failures of Noel, Okafor and Fultz — that’s the #6, #3 and #1 overall picks, by the way — wouldn’t ruin their ability to field a 50+ win team. You really want to point to the Sixers to the Sixers as an indication that tanking doesn’t work?

      Like, you’re convinced that Porzingis, who’s still all upside on offense, has some kind of world-beating potential, but you don’t look at Ben Simmons or Embiid and think that the Sixers could be a 60-win team as early as next year?

      That sounds like some MSG-tinted glasses you’re wearing.

    20. thenoblefacehumper

      I don’t really get this “I’m so glad we didn’t pay KP” attitude. What if the Knicks get Barrett in the draft? Should they trade him after a couple of years because HE won’t be worth a max?

      If they’re not already a contender re-signing one of their core pieces, absolutely. Paying max money to guys who aren’t worth it before you’re a contender is the most verifiably bad way to build a team.

      It’s like how people hold up the Sixers as proof that tanking works. Well, they tanked harder than any team ever has and if Kawhi stays in Toronto and Kyrie stays in Boston, Philly may have done all that tanking to spend the next-half decade as THE FOURTH BEST TEAM IN THE EAST.

      If Kyrie stays, and if Kawhi stays, then Philly might have done all of that tanking to be the fourth best team in the East, something I believe the Knicks have accomplished exactly once in the last 20 years. Seems like you’re stretching pretty hard here to try to paint them as some kind of cautionary tale.

      I mean, they could also very easily make the finals this year and re-sign a damn good under-30 core, but hey, who’s to say that was worth the four consecutive losing seasons (the Knicks are currently working on their sixth)?

    21. Owen

      Somewhat heartening to hear that he has an 8 million dollar policy that Duke paid for. Should be a lot more.

    22. Donnie Walsh

      Just wondering, do any of you guys go to the cock fights in Tijuana and analyze which birds effectively create space and pontificate on how the roosters work to maximize their efficiency?

      (Cause it’s obviously fun for you all to put a lot more time into thinking about this stuff than the actual players do:)

    23. Bruno Almeida

      @24

      I think the policy only kicks in if he falls out of the lottery in the draft, so that’s very likely not happening… but still, it’s a good move for the guy. He should absolutely not play another single minute in the NCAA.

    24. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      (Cause it’s obviously fun for you all to put a lot more time into thinking about this stuff than the actual players do:)

      Apparently we think about it more than the front office does, too.

    25. ptmilo

      It’s not at all clear that the Sixers are the 4th best team even if Kyrie and Kawhi stay. The Sixers are fucking awesome and their two best players might still get better. They’ve only had a few games with Tobias and he really matters in the playoffs bc he’s taking marginal minutes from some shitty space guys like shamet and korkmaz. it’s key to have a good shooter with their big 3 and they are putting up plus 15 differentials when Embiid and Simmons play with either jj or harris in 1000 mins. There are suddenly 4 really good teams in the east and yeah Toronto adding gasol is big for this year, but the sixers are right there when starters are going 40 in the playoffs. If they had somehow pulled off the butler trade using fultz and keeping Covington they would be insane. Their biggest problem is that Embiid is still a big injury risk. i know the bucks have been much better than everyone this year but, I think the semis and conferences finals will be competitive and awesome in the east if everyone is basically healthy.

    26. ptmilo

      Just wondering, do any of you guys go to the cock fights in Tijuana and analyze which birds effectively create space and pontificate on how the roosters work to maximize their efficiency?

      (Cause it’s obviously fun for you all to put a lot more time into thinking about this stuff than the actual players do:)

      i was young once and met with some guys at a company and after what was surely one arcane question too many an exec snickered derisively to his exec buddy “these fellows spend a lot more time thinking about us than we do.” he was sure it was an insult.

    27. d-mar

      The one thing that worries me about Philly is their performances in late game situations. Maybe Harris will help there, but I’ve seen too many games where they just play like garbage at the end of games and show no poise. The Celtics playoff series last year is an example, and also their loss to Boston last week.

    28. ptmilo

      @30 I agree this has been a real issue even with butler, oddly enough even on defense. I don’t think brown is a great coach in these situations and you also have one star who can’t shoot at all and another who is a shitty risk reward decision maker. on the other hand adding butler and Harris to these situations might really matter.

    29. ClashFan

      @25

      Just wondering, do any of you guys go to the cock fights in Tijuana and analyze which birds effectively create space and pontificate on how the roosters work to maximize their efficiency?

      Does Michael Vick post on this forum? And, why would anyone need to go to Tijuana to see cock fights? For example, right here in East Tennessee…. never mind.
      :-)

    30. Hubert

      Just wondering, do any of you guys go to the cock fights in Tijuana and analyze which birds effectively create space and pontificate on how the roosters work to maximize their efficiency?

      I do hope there is an alternate timeline with a Bizarro Strat who devised a system for betting on cock fights.

    31. Hubert

      There are suddenly 4 really good teams in the east

      And I bet Brooklyn is going to take one of them to 7 games and give them a proper scare.

    32. chriskZIPCODE

      we’re going to turn our franchise over to a guy who can’t wear sneakers properly. I’ll pass.

    33. djphan

      brandon clarke has great numbers… but hes got a few big red flags.. hes essentially a senior and hes playing center…

      hes not a center in the pros… hes more of 3/4.. and he doesnt have much ball skills or an outside shot…

      still hes an okish prospect in a shallow draft… normally hed be a late first but i have him mid first this year..

    34. Brian Cronin

      The one thing that worries me about Philly is their performances in late game situations. Maybe Harris will help there, but I’ve seen too many games where they just play like garbage at the end of games and show no poise. The Celtics playoff series last year is an example, and also their loss to Boston last week.

      And their Boston loss on Christmas, too. It’s very strange.

      And I bet Brooklyn is going to take one of them to 7 games and give them a proper scare.

      It does seem like the end of games is where the stronger coaches do shine a bit. So yes, Atkinson’s advantage might come out there over a Brown or a McMillan. But I think the other three top teams in the East have some pretty strong coaches in Budz, Nurse and Stevens (although interestingly, late game adjustments had been a problem with Budz when he was a younger coach, so maybe Brown just needs to work through it).

    35. Hubert

      Does Philly have a late game problem or a Boston problem? Even more specifically, an Al Horford problem? He seems to know everything they intend to do and get there one step ahead of them. I don’t know if those problems exist as much against everyone else.

    36. The KnickerBlogger's Apprentice

      just heading over now to pin #11 and #13 from noblefacehumper to the front door of the knicks front office.

    37. Brian Cronin

      Does Philly have a late game problem or a Boston problem? Even more specifically, an Al Horford problem? He seems to know everything they intend to do and get there one step ahead of them. I don’t know if those problems exist as much against everyone else.

      They’ve done poorly against all the top teams in the East this season. I don’t know if it is a fluke or not, but they’re 1-7 against the Celtics, Bucks and Raptors (to be fair, they have only played the Bucks once so far).

    38. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      It’s more important to put a guy behind the arc who can make shots than it is a guy who simply draws a defender out but misses a lot. There are very few players in the league who could camp behind the line and be unguarded by their man there, and to those players I say: get in the paint.

      It’s unquestionably more valuable to have efficient scoring from pretty much anywhere (I’ll still take Shaq) than just having the extra space. But if you can be highly efficient and draw defenders to you way outside, you are kind of adding sprinkles to the ice cream.

    39. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

      The 76er’s model for success will not be duplicated any time soon.

      The only reason it was as successful as it was (and remember we are about 6-7 years into it now) is that that they had a series a crippling injuries that allowed them to keep drafting near the top of the lottery. That gave them multiple chances to draft MULTIPLE franchise caliber players. It was the Spurs Robinson/Duncan injury model all over again but taken to a greater extreme “by accident”.

      Whoever gets Zion this year (assuming he lives up to the hype) is going to drop a bunch of notches in next year’s draft and even more after that. That will take them out of the high probability “franchise changing” slots.

      Is anyone actually going to root for Zion to get an injury that keeps him out for a year so they have a shot at drafting another franchise caliber talent next year?

      Is anyone actually going to hope Zion re-injures himself and the new pick gets hurt also. Then they’ll have 3 chances to come up with 2 franchise changing players?

      I hope not, but that’s a big reason the 76ers are where they are. They certainly didn’t draft well or plan injuries all these injuries so they could stay near the top lottery while accumulating talent.

      People should understand this conceptually. We drafted better than we should have last year because KP was out and will again this year for the same reason (even if Jordan and Smith get us a few extra wins down the stretch because we upgraded the team for the stretch drive this year given that KP would not have played at all).

    40. Bruno Almeida

      @38

      Are we sure McMillan is not a very good coach? I used to think he was pretty bad, but this indiana team is 38-20 and they’ve been without Oladipo for quite a long time now… the roster is good, but hardly what you’d expect of a 38-20 team. He could obviously be better in other aspects of the game, like developing or building a scheme, but it’s been a very impressive season by him without a doubt.

    41. TheOakmanCometh

      McMillan is underrated. His Xs and Os aren’t impressive but he has coaxed good overall performances out of Indy the last couple years. Keep in mind they’re still 3rd in the East after losing Oladipo 12 games ago. They won’t finish lower than 5th.

    42. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Is it possible that the year after the age limit might be a strong draft, too? I feel like there are going to be a lot of teams whiffing on their lottery picks because they “need” to lock down a guy with “a lot of upside.”

      Like, imagine if teams had drafted based on preseason hype.

      #2, Reddish: “Of all the newcomers in Durham this coming season, Reddish might have the most eye-popping numbers of them all.”

      #3, Little: “Combining Little’s versatility with the skills of Taurean Prince would give the Hawks a dangerous one-two punch on the perimeter for years to come. Little still has to polish parts of his game, but Atlanta is in a position to be patient.”

      #5, Grimes: “The Magic have focused on the frontcourt in recent drafts. Grimes would give Orlando a perfect guard to develop alongside Mo Bamba in pick-and-roll sets.”

      #7, Langford: “Due to his quick release, Langford will be able to create shots for himself as a rookie. Chicago already has a dynamic offensive presence in the post with Lauri Markkanen, Langford would provide the same upside on the perimeter.”

    43. thenoblefacehumper

      The only reason it was as successful as it was (and remember we are about 6-7 years into it now) is that that they had a series a crippling injuries that allowed them to keep drafting near the top of the lottery. That gave them multiple chances to draft MULTIPLE franchise caliber players. It was the Spurs Robinson/Duncan injury model all over again but taken to a greater extreme “by accident”.

      You say this a lot but it’s not really supported by the record. First of all Philly had four consecutive losing seasons before winning 50+ games.

      More importantly, though, you tend to greatly exaggerate the extent to which their injury situation helped them.

      Embiid was drafted 3rd overall in 2014. No injury help there.

      Okafor was drafted 3rd overall in 2015 so, uh, Embiid’s injury didn’t exactly help there.

      Simmons of course was #1 overall in 2016 and Embiid’s injury likely helped them get that pick, but Philly lost seven more games that year than anyone else. I highly, highly doubt a 21 year old Embiid makes up for that difference on his own.

      Fultz was drafted in 2017, and Simmons’ injury didn’t help at all because the pick they used to trade for him was given to them as a result of a swap with the Kings. Also, Fultz sucks.

      Butler was acquired with a second rounder and a guy they drafted 10th. Harris was acquired primarily with a 2021 Miami first rounder they acquired when they were already good.

      So no, injury “luck” didn’t play much of a role in their success. What Philly did was very simple; they didn’t win a single game more than they had to, and acquired tons of surplus assets in the…process ;). If they won a game, it was because players who might’ve been part of their future helped them win it. That is very obviously what we should’ve done starting in 2014-2015, but I’m glad we’re mostly coming around to it now.

    44. Bruno Almeida

      And please, if the injuries to Embiid didn’t happen, they would still have Embiid, who’s a legit 24 year old superstar, which is more than the Knicks have had in 20 years of not tanking, and more than Philly has in 15 years of not tanking, and they would have used the picks outside of the top 5 on other players too. They wouldn’t have Simmons, but they’d still have the cap space and the assets Hinkie accumulated. I can’t possibly see how that’s a bad position to be in.

    45. geo

      i was engaged in a very uncivilized work pace all day, so, just had a chance to see this article on lowering the nba draft age to 18:
      http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/26049542/nba-proposes-changing-draft-age-19-18-players-union

      seems one of the main points of contention was for agents to reveal all medical history (which they don’t want to do)…

      i think jowles post above (#48) is a clear indication of what’s to come in the future…maybe the flattened lottery odds won’t be so bad then for the team in the league with the worst record…

    46. geo

      The Associated Press reported that Isiah Thomas will remain with Madison Square Garden as he completes his contract as president of the New York Liberty but will not work with the Liberty under its new ownership in the coming season.

      i can’t wait to read that same statement regarding steve mills…

    47. JK47

      The 76er’s model for success will not be duplicated any time soon.

      Doing a complete “from scratch” rebuild, putting young and bad teams on the court, collecting assets and building organically in that fashion is not going to go away, because it works. That’s the kind of rebuild most people here want to do. Ditch the veterans who are not part of the long term plan and invest exclusively in young players and draft picks. If you’re signing market value free agents when you’re like a 30-win team you are simply doing it wrong.

      This shouldn’t be controversial, this is basic simple common sense.

    48. d-mar

      Man, ever since the sports media discovered the lovable Nets (aka The Little Team that Could) they’ve pretty much sucked eggs.

    49. Bruno Almeida

      Boban got the start with Embiid out, and he’s 19/12 in 27 minutes on 7 shots… damn, he’s so good. I hope it’s killing the stupid perception that he can only be effective for 10 minutes or so.

    50. Brian Cronin

      His Xs and Os aren’t impressive

      But that’s specifically what I was referring to. Coaches who could be exploited at the end of the game vis a vis Xs and Os. Now, don’t get me wrong, Lue wasn’t good at that stuff either and the Cavs went to three straight finals with him but he was bailed out by having Lebron basically call the plays at the end of games, but it’s still something that I think is problematic for some teams at the end of games and it is a place where Brown struggles.

    51. Brian Cronin

      Doing a complete “from scratch” rebuild, putting young and bad teams on the court, collecting assets and building organically in that fashion is not going to go away, because it works. That’s the kind of rebuild most people here want to do. Ditch the veterans who are not part of the long term plan and invest exclusively in young players and draft picks. If you’re signing market value free agents when you’re like a 30-win team you are simply doing it wrong.

      This shouldn’t be controversial, this is basic simple common sense.

      And when the Thunder did it, that also somehow didn’t count. If you strip your team of their veterans and let your young players play, even if you draft Hall of Famers, you should end up in the bottom five of the league for at least three years in a row. You will probably end up getting one or two players worth building around.

    52. ptmilo

      Giannis blatantly hacks Tatum in what should by a clear path but refs swallow the whistle and TNT announcers act like it’s the chase down block of the year. here for it.

    53. geo

      I just saw that, it kind of looked like he got ball before body (not sure if that even matters or not)…

      oh yeah, I probably should qualify that by saying – I hate the celtics…and, giannis is my favorite player in the league right now…

    54. ptmilo

      i hate to be a celtic apologist tonight but they had that last play set up perfectly when kyrie picked middleton on the inbound and he just grabbed a hold of marcus morris who was back cutting to the promise land. maybe giannis could have recovered to help but hard to miss that grab

    55. Bruno Almeida

      The Giannis block was not a foul, on the slow motion replay you can see that he clearly hits the ball first.

    56. geo

      another “rules” thing: ernie just stated that the clock doesn’t start until possesion after the tip…

      I don’t think boston should have had that final possesion…

    57. Bruno Almeida

      @64

      Because it’s the rules in basketball? If a player hits the ball on the blocked shot and then there’s incidental contact, it’s not a foul. Giannis had no way to not come in contact with Tatum after the block.

    58. ptmilo

      not actually a rule? i’ve seen plenty of block-fouls called and not called. when they don’t call it it’s “incidental” by definition.

    59. geo

      lakers starting off looking a little desperate – finally, let’s see if they can maintain it for the rest of the evening/season…

      good to see capela back in action, the harden show can be pretty hard on the eyes at times…

    60. geo

      well, that didn’t last long…it is though pretty enjoyable watching lebron’s body language around the rim every time one of his teammates bricks another three…

      hmmmm, maybe he and magic can find some more ball handlers for their team this off season (which will no doubt start much sooner than they’d like)…shooting is waaaaay overrated…

    61. vincoug

      @69

      Lol. That team was always going to be a project and wasn’t going to be a title contender overnight but they did themselves no favors with what they did in the off-season. Just a truly bizarre series of signings to surround LeBron with.

    62. Brian Cronin

      not actually a rule? i’ve seen plenty of block-fouls called and not called. when they don’t call it it’s “incidental” by definition.

      It’s not a rule. The hand is part of the ball when the hand is on the ball, so you can hit the player’s hand while it is on the ball but that’s it. That said, it is definitely an “unofficial” rule that they’re never going to consider the follow-through as anything but incidental contact if you get all ball at first and don’t, like, punch the other guy after it. ;)

    63. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Lol. That team was always going to be a project and wasn’t going to be a title contender overnight but they did themselves no favors with what they did in the off-season. Just a truly bizarre series of signings to surround LeBron with.

      It makes you wonder whether LeBron & co. acknowledge that he’s nearing the end of his career (I think he’ll play until 38-40, but we’re in the endgame now) and that he becomes irrelevant as soon as he stops winning.

      I expected something like 46 wins for them, and maybe a Playoff LeFuckYou performance, beating up on the #2 or #3 seed in the first round and getting bounced no later than the Conference Finals (but most likely a 2009esque Semis loss). I didn’t expect them to nosedive to ~40 wins and a shitty spot in the lottery. I can’t even see them catching the Kings, much less the Clippers or Spurs.

    64. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Also, would it have been possible for LeBron to do a 1+1+1+1 player option contract and still get all the money he did? Any capologists out there who can weigh in?

    65. Bruno Almeida

      What do you mean by 1+1+1+1? Multiple player options?

      If I recall correctly, player options can only be attached to contracts that have a minimum of 2 years guaranteed (2 years plus the 1 player option year), like the contract he signed with Cleveland in 2016 and then declined the player option to go to the Lakers, and it can only be for the final year of the deal. If he did that, then he would get the same money he’s getting now for the 3 years of the contract.

      Edit: I’m wrong on the two years, I think Teodosic’s contract was a 1+1 with a player option.

    66. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Ah, I assumed that because teams can give a 1+1 with a team option, it’d work the other way too.

    67. Grocer

      I thought you could do a 1+1 player option? Huh.

      I love the new Strato idea that tanking doesn’t work because everyone is doing it. Really outside the box.

    68. Donnie Walsh

      if the injuries to Embiid didn’t happen, they would still have Embiid, who’s a legit 24 year old superstar,

      I think if the Embiid injury didn’t happen, he would have been drafted #1 (or possibly #2) and either way the Sixers would have ended up with Jabari Parker, no?

      (As I recall, the Sixers drafted Embiid because he fit their curve specifically because he was injured).

    69. Brian Cronin

      As I recall, the Sixers drafted Embiid because he fit their curve specifically because he was injured

      They drafted him because they thought he was the best player available and they didn’t care about him missing a year. In other words, they weren’t actively looking for an injured guy, they just didn’t care if he was injured because of the tanking.

      I also disagree that Embiid would have gone #1 that year. He should have gone #1, but I think Wiggins would have been #1 even if Embiid had been healthy. People really liked Wiggins for whatever reason that year. It’s possible that Parker would have been picked #2, as well.

    70. Bruno Almeida

      @78

      I was wrong, I read somewhere you couldn’t, but Milos Teodosic signed a 1+1 contract with a player option with the Clippers just last season, so it’s definitely possible.

      I think Embiid would still have been drafted after Wiggins, but if he didn’t get injured he would also have played an entire NCAA season, so that could have skewed the perception of the teams involved. Anyway, a healthy rookie Embiid and 10 g-leaguers would hardly have won many more games for Philly, so the argument doesn’t hold much value anyway.

    71. Brian Cronin

      Maybe, but I remember a lot of articles like this one:

      I went back and looked at about 15 mock drafts before his foot injury, and Wiggins was the most common #1 pick, but it is fair to say that Embiid did show up on a lot of them (and Parker was even #1 on one!). So I think your main point still basically stands. Do note, though, that I only found a single mock that had him as #4 after the injury. In other words, he seemed to be the consensus #3 pick after the injury, with everyone liking Wiggins and Parker over him after the injury, but feeling that he shouldn’t drop past #3 (except for one mock draft that had Exum ahead of him).

    72. Farfa

      I thought you could do a 1+1 player option? Huh.

      Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams and Ron Baker thought the same :)

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