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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2019.03.26)

  • [ESPN] Former Knicks, NYU player Cal Ramsey dies at 81
    (Monday, March 25, 2019 2:14:08 PM)

    After his playing career, Cal Ramsey went on to broadcast for the Knicks and served as a team ambassador.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ David Fizdale frustrated at timing of Kevin Knox’s injury
    (Monday, March 25, 2019 11:22:00 PM)

    Knicks head coach David Fizdale said he felt bad at rookie Kevin Knox suffering another sprained ankle, especially given the timing of this injury.

  • [SNY Knicks] Ex-Knicks player, broadcaster Cal Ramsey dies at 81
    (Monday, March 25, 2019 1:55:43 PM)

    Ramsey was on the Knicks during the 1959-60 season and was a color analyst for the team’s broadcasts from 1972-82.

  • [NBA] Knicks x Squarespace: Fifth Exclusive Full-Arena Poster Giveaway
    (Monday, March 25, 2019 6:49:53 AM)

    The Knicks have featured five full-arena poster giveaways this season in collaboration with Squarespace user and New York artist Mike Per

  • [NYTimes] Cal Ramsey, Knicks Broadcaster and Community Representative, Dies at 81
    (Tuesday, March 26, 2019 12:41:41 AM)

    A standout player at N.Y.U., he had a brief N.B.A. career but made his mark as a color commentator and the team’s link to the youth of New York.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: With the Playoffs Out of Sight, What’s Left for the Lakers?
    (Tuesday, March 26, 2019 4:26:09 AM)

    As an off-season of uncertainty approaches, Coach Luke Walton is trying to keep his job, young players are aiming to prove themselves, and LeBron James is holding himself up to “basketball gods.”

  • [NYTimes] Paul George, at Peace in Oklahoma City, Reels In a Career Year
    (Monday, March 25, 2019 7:00:06 AM)

    George, a star forward for the Thunder, is playing his best basketball in his second season for a team many thought would only be a pit stop in his career.

  • [NYPost] David Fizdale’s Knicks honeymoon is coming to an end
    (Monday, March 25, 2019 9:13:07 PM)

    Player development and progression is in the eye of the beholder. Looking through David Fizdale’s trademark thick black glasses, the Knicks first-year coach says it is happening. As the Knicks descended to 14-60 Sunday against the Clippers, on pace to set the worst record in franchise history, Fizdale is throwing the kitchen sink at the…

  • [NYPost] Kevin Knox’s ankle injury may end Knicks rookie’s promising stretch run
    (Monday, March 25, 2019 5:30:45 PM)

    Kevin Knox’s game had grown this month in David Fizdale’s eyes. On most nights, Knox saw the court better, was more aggressive, assertive and not afraid to keep launching shots even when he was off. His weakside defense was another matter, but Fizdale felt legitimate steps were being made despite a lethargic outing here and…

  • [NYPost] Cal Ramsey, Knicks and NYC hoops legend, passes away at 81
    (Monday, March 25, 2019 11:20:58 AM)

    When Marv Albert made the transition from Knicks radio to TV in the late 1970’s, there was Cal Ramsey in the booth to make it easy and enjoyable. “Wonderful to work with — one of the most popular, nicest people I’ve ever been around,’’ a choked-up Albert told The Post on Monday. “Such great dignity….

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    87 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2019.03.26)

    1. alsep73

      I was on the bike at the gym this morning when they started showing the Blazers/Nets highlights. I assumed I’d have to look away to avoid seeing the Nurkic injury, but God bless the SportsCenter producers for deciding nobody should have to see whatever it was. Ugh.

      Kanter’s time to shine(*)!

      (*) “shine” = “stop the ball, steal rebounds from teammates, and make you weep watching him on defense”

    2. bobneptune

      The Berman piece can only be seen as greasing the skids for Fiz.

      Maybe Durant et.al. don’t care for him or maybe management knows they are getting shut out for UFA’s and realize a snake oil salesman isn’t the one to work with developing players if he can’t teach a simple system in a year.

      In the no UFA scenario Blatt is the perfect guy….

    3. Hubert

      The Clarke convo is interesting. Where are we talking about taking him, though? This is starting to look like a 4 player draft to me with Zion, then Ja, then the Culver/Barrett duo. I would be open Clarke if Dolan’s Razor puts us at 5, but given his age and fit with Mitch I wouldn’t look at him over Culver or even the often disappointing Barrett.

    4. chrisconley

      I like BPM more than the next guy, but I don’t think I’m taking Clarke over White or Culver (tho def over Langford). So I guess the highest I could possibly put him is 5, but even then I’m trying to talk myself out of it for many of the reasons mentioned by others. His age thing isn’t that big of a deal tho imo. He’s not putting up historically efficient numbers because he’s slightly older than his average competition. Sorry.

    5. Z-man

      No way Clarke is going in the top 10. The Availability heuristic is a real thing with GMs, whose reputations and job security is as much contingent on draft choices as anything else. There’s probably a heuristic about the “shiny, new, improved” being favored over the reliability-tested but older model year product, whether we’re talking about iPhones, Boeing jets, or draft picks. No one wants to get fired for bucking the trend.

      If we want Clarke, we should trade down with the Celtics or some other team and get an additional pick to use on another underrated upperclassman or Mitch-like “red flags” guy. Taking him in the top-5 would be a fire-able offense if he doesn’t become a star. If you pick Reddish, at least you can say that most experts had him in the top 8.

    6. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      avg age doesnt change… but yes players get older…

      But not all players go from “good bench player” to “2nd-best F/C BPM of the decade.” Saying that lots of players dominate as they get older belies the fact that very few NCAA players have ever played at the level Clarke is playing now. And of course, some of them are Anthony Davis and Karl Towns (impressive to have done that as freshmen, but no surprise as they’re two of the best bigs in the NBA) and some of them are Gary Clark and Frank Kaminsky. My point is simply that the historical data, even at its dumbest, suggests that Clarke has a very high chance (relative to other draftees) of being an outstanding NBA player.

      picture yourself in high school playing ball… did you find it easier playing ppl as a senior than as a freshmen?

      High school ball is a lot different, since bodies change much more between 14 and 18 than 18 and 23. But again, age is not the sole factor once players are past puberty. It’s more likely about time, which must be used to develop skill, physique and mentality. You could look at Brandon Ingram’s stagnant NBA development and go, “Well, he’s older now — why isn’t he improving anymore?” There is no inherent improvement with age; you still need to get better at the game itself.

      Now once you hit a certain age (30?), the changes in the body — namely, the precipitous dropoff in HGH and testosterone that happens to all of us at varying points in our lives — will function independently of skill, experience or talent (although a good player, like Ray Allen, can leverage those gifts to slow the aging curve down). But 20 is physically not much different than 25, all else equal.

    7. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      some players are more exploitive of this… they play in a way that dominates younger weaker comp… and then when the athleticism and difficulty gets dialed up they fold… thats generally what happens to super seniors…. with big men in particular its very much about physical dominance which is why the vast majority of nba bigs were also crushing as freshmen and subsequently leave early…. if youre physically dominant its not gonna take long for it to translate to the court….

      A lot of players are excellent as young NCAA players, but again, few of them are as good as Clarke has been. No counterfactuals here re: how good Towns/Davis would have been as seniors.

      which is why you have to be very suscipious when it does… esp when it comes from a relative dimunitive and not very athletic guy… he does it by having quick reflexes and with a series of dinks and ducks and hooks from 3 to 10 ft out…

      Not very athletic, but has quick reflexes and dunks and hooks all over his man. This is either a paradox, or it’s flat-out wrong.

      is that gonna keep happening in the pros? maybe but i kinda doubt it… with someone like davis or towns or duncan… was there ever a doubt?

      Not as often, for sure. The NBA is longer, taller, stronger, faster, more skilled, more savvy. He’s not going to waltz into the league at .700 TS% on 24 USG%. The question is whether he’s going to suddenly become a .500 TS% player at 12 USG% who can’t find the basket from 3 feet out.

      And no, I don’t see Clarke as having the upside of a Davis or Duncan. Towns is probably a pretty damn bad defender (anecdotally) and Clarke could very well fit the mold of a Draymond on the next level. He has great instincts, and that can’t be taught.

      I am skeptical, because there are no guarantees in the transition to NBA ball. It’s too different a talent pool. But as a bet, I am pretty damn confident in Clarke as a…

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

      I’m not a huge Berman fan, but every once in awhile he writes an article I think it pretty close to spot on. I liked the Fizdale article. He gave him the benefit of the doubt for experimenting this season, but he also pointed out how little development there has been on either side of the ball and individually (in some cases there was backsliding). He also subtly pointed out Fizdale is a bit of snake oil salesman. I think that’s all accurate.

    9. Z-man

      “He’s not putting up historically efficient numbers because he’s slightly older than his average competition. Sorry.”

      Maybe not, but it’s one thing to say he’s playing “great” and another to say “historic.” We’ll never know how he measures up to ALL college players because a huge number of guys you would want to compare him two these days has been in the NBA for a couple of years by the time they are his age. Jaren Jackson Jr. will have 3+ years of NBA experience under his belt by then. Imagine what he’d be doing in the NCAA at age 22. My guess: Utter destruction.

      Doesn’t make him any less of a good pick. Just a rhetorical issue with the framing of his performance.

    10. alsep73

      Yikes, that Berman hit piece sure was something.

      If you assume, as most of us do, that Berman often functions as Mills’ mouthpiece, then that piece is not promising at all for Fizdale’s future. But promising for those of you who fear the FO has bought in fully to a guy who talks a much better game than he coaches.

    11. Ingmarrrr

      I wonder if GMs would ever figure out that selecting a 21-22 year old give them more wins over the next 2 years than a better, but younger prospect.
      Or even if this assertion is true. Did anyone look into the question whether older lottery picks generate more wins while the GM who selected them is still on the job?

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

      Clark is a terrible 3 point shooter at the college level. He’s not going to be able to take an NBA 3 point shot at all. He’s also 22. So he’s less likely to get a lot better at it. He might be the kind of player I’d be thrilled to take later in the 1st round because he’s so productive in other ways (especially if my team was ready to compete now and I wanted to add a player that could contribute right away). But with the 4th or 5th pick he’s not for me. We need to find a potential star scorer that can do some other things. Maybe he’s close, but he’s going to be a little limited in the NBA without any outside shot.

    13. Owen

      Frank Kaminsky is a great call. He’s half as athletic as Clarke but a legit 7 foot with range and put up monster numbers his senior season at the same age as Clarke is now. Clarke has been better but also played in an easier league. Frank is a cromulent NBA player but nothing like what you would want from the fifth pick or hope from drafting Clarke.

      It’s an interesting discussion but I hope we don’t have to entertain the possibility all that seriously….

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

      Most of the recent great freshmen college players played against mostly other very talented freshman college players (and less talented older players). We don’t have much of a sample of potentially great 22 year old players that stayed in college to compete against 18-19 year olds. In the past they all stayed and now they all leave.

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

      By the way, Clark is not going to play C in the NBA. So shooting the 3 is practically a must unless you are a wizard in every other way.

    16. DRed

      Is Clarke even the best player on his own team?

      Yeah, by a mile, but he might not be the best prospect.

    17. DRed

      One thing that jumps out to me about Clarke is his substantial increase in blocks-block rate is a pretty stable stat, it’s unusual to see someone improve significantly every year.

    18. Ntilakilla

      Yikes, that Berman hit piece sure was something.

      If you assume, as most of us do, that Berman often functions as Mills’ mouthpiece, then that piece is not promising at all for Fizdale’s future. But promising for those of you who fear the FO has bought in fully to a guy who talks a much better game than he coaches.

      I don’t understand what Mills or Perry expected from Fizdale his first season here if either did unofficially cosign on the Berman article. I don’t think it’s reading too much into things to extrapolate that the underlying agenda of this season was to tank for a high draft pick. In that assignment Fizdale performed his duty quite admirably. This team lost big while maintaining an overall cohesiveness that’s been commendable under the circumstances, Kanter’s complaints about playing time notwithstanding. I assume the gripe is regarding his in game coaching decisions, which are head scratching to say the least. But that’s not even the main issue Berman takes with Fizdale’s coaching performance this season:

      The worst part of his first season is Fizdale failing to ingrain a winning mentality or a disciplined defensive team that defends the 3-point line.

      Really? You field a team pull of G-Leaguers, rookies, and castaways and you expect Fizdale to “ingrain a winning mentality”? What is this? The Bad News Bears? Emmanuel Mudiay and Alonso Trier are your backcourt and you expect a “disciplined defensive team that defends the 3-point line”?

      I think it’s a good thing that Berman/Mills is putting Fizdale on notice that their standards for evaluation next season will be results-oriented, but I am not sure they have a handle on how shitty this team. And in that respect it’s really the same old Knicks with the front office perfecting the art of finger pointing as they throw yet another head coach under the bus to distract from their own ineptitude.

    19. geo

      @22

      yeah, just read the article…reminds me of those high school english assignments where you have to write x number of words and end up repeating yourself a bunch, and, point out some really obvious shit…

    20. DRed

      For Mills to last as long as he has at MSG he has to be really good at blaming other people for his bad decisions.

      It’s hard to imagine anyone coaching this team to a different overall result. If we’re being generous there are maybe 4 decent players on the roster and they all play center. That being said, Fizdale has done nothing to make me think he’s a good coach.

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

      There are a multitude of problems with Fizdale, but the primary one is that he doesn’t recognize who his best players are quickly, doesn’t create lineups that maximize the team output, and does not treat all his players equally with regards to who is in the doghouse and why.

      Berman correctly pointed out that he was experimenting at times trying to develop players and put them into new situations. At times he probably knew full well he wasn’t optimizing the current output. The problem is there is little to show for any of it at the individual or team level. I don’t buy the tanking argument for a minute. They may not have cared much one way or the other about how many wins they got, but the goal was to get a lot better. It was not to get the top pick.

      Very few of our young players got better as the season went on, the offensive system (or whatever it is) is putrid, and the defense is worse.

      On top of that, our best player, who he worked so hard to court in the off season, decided mid season the culture and management still sucked and he wanted out. That’s not really all on Fizdale. Mills screwed up the cap space, Perry gave him a bunch of lottery busts and bad players to work with, and they drafted another project in Knox. But it’s not a good sign when players are asking out.

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

      For Mills to last as long as he has at MSG he has to be really good at blaming other people for his bad decisions.

      It’s one of the great mysteries of the universe ranking right after women and horse racing. :-)

    23. alsep73

      Reading the Berman story again, it’s missing the one ingredient that would point to it be a Mills-by-proxy hit piece: there’s no point where he so much as alludes to unnamed Knick sources feeling discontent with Fizdale. So in hindsight, it’s more Berman writing the same kind of Fizdale skepticism opinion piece that Vorkunov, Bondy and some of the other beat writers have done.

    24. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, I can buy it as a straight hit piece done on his own. It’s still fascinating to see him break out a hit piece this late in the season.

    25. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      6’6” Small Forward

      Doesn’t have great height or leaping ability and will not be able to overpower opponents as much at the next level. Doesn’t do any one thing exceptionally well. Although he’s improved a lot as a shooter he is not yet a consistent threat from outside.

      Lacks top end speed and might struggle to guard quicker small forwards in the NBA. A below the rim player with average athleticism.

      Name that player. Hint: he plays a lot of center, has won a DPOY award and has almost filled up one hand with championship rings.

    26. Ntilakilla

      @28

      I mean, in fairness, what else is there for him to write about at this point season? Even though we’re not quite there yet, April truly must be the cruelest month for a Knicks beat reporter. The team is irrelevant as usual, the fans are mostly checked out, and the league is moving on to the playoffs while you’re still trying to figure out who to blame the most for its ineptitude.

    27. bobneptune

      Name that player. Hint: he plays a lot of center, has won a DPOY award and has almost filled up one hand with championship rings.

      Draymond Green is maybe 6’7″ but that’s quibbling :-)

    28. thenoblefacehumper

      On top of that, our best player, who he worked so hard to court in the off season, decided mid season the culture and management still sucked and he wanted out. That’s not really all on Fizdale. Mills screwed up the cap space, Perry gave him a bunch of lottery busts and bad players to work with, and they drafted another project in Knox. But it’s not a good sign when players are asking out.

      According to Zach Lowe and Ian Begley, the relationship between KP and the Knicks never recovered from the damage Phil Jackson did to it (02/22/19 episode of the Lowe Post). That, and KP didn’t want to play with Durant.

      Don’t kill the messenger!

    29. d-mar

      Man, I really hope all this discussion about who we’re gonna pick with the #4 or 5 pick in the draft turns out to be completely irrelevant.

    30. bobneptune

      Very few of our young players got better as the season went on, the offensive system (or whatever it is) is putrid, and the defense is worse.

      The real dis to Fiz is he didn’t install an offensive or defensive philosophy or identity (especially defensively). That plus he didn’t hold his pets accountable. He didn’t have to put anyone in the dungeon and throw the key away, but he should have made it abundantly clear to Mudiay and Knox and Trier that lack of effort on the defensive end gets you yanked off the floor by your earlobe. He had not trouble doing it to Kanter once it dawned on him 30 games through the season he was killing them, but didn’t hold his boyz to the same standards.

    31. Farfa

      I have no qualms with anyone thrashing Fizdale’s poor job, but some of Berman’s observations are really random. My primary issue with Fizdale is that he didn’t install a consistent system or rotation, even after it became clear that Mitch is by a long mile our best player and Knox is a terrible player. Other that than, all that talk about winning culture and disciplined defensive schemes… WTF.

    32. Brian Cronin

      I mean, in fairness, what else is there for him to write about at this point season? Even though we’re not quite there yet, April truly must be the cruelest month for a Knicks beat reporter. The team is irrelevant as usual, the fans are mostly checked out, and the league is moving on to the playoffs while you’re still trying to figure out who to blame the most for its ineptitude.

      That does make me think that while it might not be a flat out “Steve Mills delivers his thoughts via Marc Berman” special, like some of Berman’s greatest hit pieces in the past (there was one during Phil’s time that I thought, “Oh, okay, so it’s on“), it might still be something along the lines of a Mills-approved hit piece, in the sense that nothing Berman wrote today wasn’t true a month ago, ya know? So that he dropped it now might mean that Mills told him that he wouldn’t mind it if Berman tossed a couple of shots across Fiz’s bow, just to let him know how easily he could be buried if they chose to go that route.

    33. Ntilakilla

      @38

      That’s the thing of it. If the open secret is that Berman relays public messaging regarding Mills’ thoughts about the state of the team then the insinuation is that he just doesn’t have carte blanche to just spout off about the coach without some approval. There has to be a certain quid pro quo there where Berman gets unfiltered access to the most secretive front office in the NBA for essentially being their unofficial mouthpiece. So I can’t imagine he’s allowed to be critical about Mills’ head coaching choice without Mills even tacitly signing off on it.

    34. english_knick

      On an unrelated note…just checked back in at the Stephen for the first time in a while. They don’t update their main ‘tiers’ of their big board that often but have recently and have Culver in tier 2 now with Barrett. I know a few people here have liked Culver for a while and it does seem like he’s a pretty nice prospect. If it’s a four player draft, at least it moves us into better than evens territory for getting one (assuming there’s not some guy everyone else has slotted at 11bit who is a 3-on-3 savant…)

    35. ess-dog

      I would for sure take Clarke at 5 because he’s a great fit with big free agents, particularly a Durant/Kyrie combo. Kyrie/sg X/KD/Clarke/Mitch would be terrific and gives you enough shooting.

    36. Nick C.

      From watching or at half listening to the MSG postgame shows and hearing Fiz say “yes Berman” with an almost audible and visible groan prior to or after a question my impression is they don’t like each other

    37. Hubert

      This Berman/Mills stuff seems a little too conspiratorial. I doubt every Berman article needs Mills’ stamp of approval.

    38. Hubert

      On an unrelated note…just checked back in at the Stephen for the first time in a while. They don’t update their main ‘tiers’ of their big board that often but have recently and have Culver in tier 2 now with Barrett. I know a few people here have liked Culver for a while and it does seem like he’s a pretty nice prospect. If it’s a four player draft, at least it moves us into better than evens territory for getting one (assuming there’s not some guy everyone else has slotted at 11bit who is a 3-on-3 savant…)

      They have Ja in Tier 3, below Culver and Barrett. But they’re also the only place I’ve seen that doesn’t have Reddish in the top 10.

      FWIW they have Clarke at 5.

      I’m increasingly of the opinion that there are 4 players I’d be happy with in this draft and if we draft 5th I will question the existence of goodness.

      Side note: Who has been the big Culver champion on this site? I know we have one. I’m beginning to come around to him as the 2nd best prospect.

    39. geo

      as draft doomsday approaches, I’m becoming increasingly more intrigued by coby white (not sure who darius garland is – another point guard up on the draft boards)…

      sometime during the rest of my lifetime I’d love to watch a knick game and think how wonderful it is to have an nba caliber starting pg on the team…

    40. Ntilakilla

      @43

      I mean, not every one. Just the ones who shit on the organization. The fluff pieces which comprise 80% of Berman’s reporting are just filler anyways talking about coach X’s practice philosophy, player’s Y development, etc. But I assume the stuff that takes direct pot shots at coach X, executive Y, player Z in the organization are deliberate should he really be in collaboration with Mills.

    41. JK47

      I like Culver, I’m not sure I’m the Culver “champion” but he’s a guy I’ve had my eye on for a while. Good well-rounded player, projects to be a good two-way player in the NBA I think.

      Ja has the higher ceiling, but Culver is a solid high-floor player with upside.

    42. djphan

      first … bpm is not indicative of future success… second even assuming thats viable most of the success stories on the top bpm list are freshmen or were already really good as freshmen… the ones that were not.. they kinda sucked as underclassmen.. if you ask me who clarke is closer to.. it certainly is not davis or towns…

      the one saving grace is that his soph year was also pretty good so there might be some level of stickiness.. i just dont think its much given his physicality and what he did as a freshmen…

    43. Ntilakilla

      Oh snap, speaking of conspiracies…Avenatti is beginning to point fingers now that he’s being outed for the two bit scumbag lawyer anyone with half a brain could see. Seems like he’s going to take Nike down with him for outing his little extortion racket.

      On his Twitter account Tuesday morning, Avenatti wrote, “Ask Deandre Ayton and Nike about the cash payments to his mother and others. Nike’s attempt at diversion and cover-up will fail miserably once prosecutors realize they have been played by Nike and their lawyers at [the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner]. This reaches the highest levels of Nike.” Ayton played collegiately for one year at Arizona before becoming the first pick in the NBA draft last year. Avenatti included no specifics to back up his allegation.

      Mind you, this was the man who some in the media wanted to be the Democratic Party nominee for president in 2020.

      I wonder if this whole issue will open up a whole Chris Webber college bribe scandal can of worms for Ayton.

    44. Hubert

      I mean, not every one. Just the ones who shit on the organization

      I understand. But I think Berman can take a dump on the Knicks any time he wants and still be Mills’ mouthpiece. It seems unreasonable for Mills to have that level of control over a reporter.

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

      Avenatti has been an obvious sleazeball from day one. How anyone gave him a forum to spout his BS is beyond me. Well, actually, it’s not beyond me. When your brain is obsessed with a single goal and someone is saying what you want to hear, you sometimes can’t think straight.

    46. Ntilakilla

      If one good thing comes from Avenatti’s extortion of Nike I hope it will be the light it shines upon the unfair, corrupt and hypocritical sports cartel that is the NCAA system. A kid like DeAndre Ayton should not have his name dragged into all this mess for having to work under the table to make a little money off an multi-billion dollar apparel company that is profiting off his name and labor when he can’t do it as a college athlete.

    47. alsep73

      I think Berman can take a dump on the Knicks any time he wants and still be Mills’ mouthpiece. It seems unreasonable for Mills to have that level of control over a reporter.

      Yeah, as someone in a related media field, this is right. Berman and Mills need each other, to a degree, which means Berman would have latitude to go off on the coach, so long as he’s not directly attacking Mills (or Perry) in the process.

    48. djphan

      theres a ton of upside with culver… he wouldnt be a top prospect if he wasnt…

      he is one who def benefited from a growth spurt… the stepien actually did some good analysis on that (not the norm btw)… so its likely we are seeing an actual new level of play from him…

      and that level is pretty good… he scores in lots of ways.. creative around the basket… solid midrange game.. handles the ball well and creates for others.. good athleticism and reach… and a good to great defender… this is what a prototype sf looks like…

      the one knock is his ft shooting but hes not terrible and his shooting form isnt broken like josh jackson is…

      hes a bit melo esque stylistically since hes got a spin and jab step he features… but theres more shades of grant hill here… and it would be a great outcome if we picked him..

    49. Z-man

      If the Knicks DID draft Clarke at #5, I’d be cautiously optimistic because I’ve always believed that once you get past a certain level of athleticism and instinct, basketball is played mainly between the ears. You can’t possibly put up the numbers Clarke is without being highly intelligent and having other-worldly instincts. It does speak volumes that he’s “figured out” how to do what he’s doing. Kind of like Shane Battier and Draymond Green figured it out by being highly intelligent and instinctive. Shawn Marion is another guy…who would have thought that he would become a dangerous 3pt shooter with that god-awful shooting form of his?

    50. Z-man

      From The Stepien:

      “I’m very interested to see how Clarke continues to develop as a jump shooter over the course of the season. His 3-point and free throw shooting numbers will be some of the stats I track closest among all prospects. In the end, I think he’s worth a dice roll in the top 20 whether or not he starts taking and making many more 3s. His willingness to make massive changes to his shot is a great sign that once he gets with an NBA organization, they could continue to cultivate his 3-point shot. If he starts taking and making many more 3s and his free throw percentage rises in accordance, he enters lottery territory pretty quickly. He has a case as the best defender in the draft and is more than competent on offense, which is far from a given with a lot of high-level wing defenders. At the end of the day, players with his size, athletic tools, feel for the game, and willingness to get better are the types of players you want to gamble on. In a weak class with few sure things, I feel very confident that Brandon Clarke is going to be a high-level NBA defender. How he develops as a jump shooter will dictate whether he is a situational defensive specialist, or whether he is the next role player that every team wishes they had.”

    51. nicos

      My one question with Culver is can he adjust to playing off of the ball more often- they really run their offense through him. I doubt he’ll be ready for that at the pro level for a couple of years if at all. To me, he’s like what I hoped Frank might be- a long, defensive-minded wing with real potential as a secondary playmaker. Of course, he’s not much younger than Frank but he has a big head start in terms of ball-handling and comfort level playing downhill.

    52. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      if Clarke is a good defender, doesn’t that rule him out as a Knicks’ pick by the current Knicks’ management?

    53. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      That is a good point. But watching them play and seeing who they play on the court, and seeing their pick of Knox, its hard to believe they will use a top pick on defense.

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

      if Clarke is a good defender, doesn’t that rule him out as a Knicks’ pick by the current Knicks’ management?

      lol

      I don’t think they have anything against defenders. If he learns to create low efficiency shots for himself they’ll love him. His defense will be an accidental bonus.

    55. Bruno Almeida

      I think for me it’s pretty clear at this point the best course of action is to go something like Zion – Morant – Barrett or Culver – Clarke, preferably trading down if Clarke’s stock is not that high around the league.

      I frankly don’t see a NBA Superstar when I see Clarke playing but I’m pretty confident he’ll be productive and a strong player regardless. Just like I wanted Mikal Bridges over Knox, I still think there’s value in drafting older, more productive players, specially in this specific offseason where the Knicks might go all in on free agents.

      If we go for top free agents, picking a guy like Clarke makes even more sense as he should be ready to contribute right away and there’s plenty of minutes in either big positions for him with Mitch. You’d like to see him eventually shooting 3s, but I’d still rather bank on him being good and developing than hoping against reason one of Reddish / Langford / Little etc improves a lot based on their current production levels.

    56. ess-dog

      Idk, I think you have to pick Zion, you have to pick Ja, but then I’d seriously look to trade down at 3 – 5. I’d love to get Boston’s three 1sts – even two plus their 2nd – for our top-5 pick. Maybe you get Clarke at 14 or Grant Williams at 18? Or a guy I really like, Tyler Herro. And maybe you take a gamble on Porter at 22? I like the ‘spray and pray’ school of drafting, I guess…

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

      I’m a little more optimistic on Barrett than most people here. This is not another Knox situation. Barrett rebounds well, makes plays, and can score in bunches. The thing that’s turning people off is his efficiency. But if you look closely at his efficiency, he’s actually very efficient from 2 and gets to the FT line often enough. The problem is his 3P shot and to a lesser extent FT%. At his age, I think you can gamble a little on his outside shot improving and him eventually becoming an efficient high usage scorer that can do other things on the court.

      I don’t watch a lot of college basketball. Maybe other people can comment on his defense. But if he’s considered an average or plus defender, I think he’s a reasonable 3rd pick.

    58. nicos

      If he learns to create low efficiency shots for himself they’ll love him.

      Please stop with this. Among the regular rotation guys here’s who Perry has brought in:
      Mitch: .679 TS%
      Kanter .585
      Trier: .564
      Vonleh: .561
      Mudiay: .537
      Hezonja: .485
      Knox: .475

      Add in Smith at .475 but while I think they liked him there’s no way they would have traded for him if KP hadn’t forced their hand. And if you count Smith then you have to count Jordan (.688) as well. So you’ve got two high efficiency bigs in Jordan and Mitch, Kanter who’s above average (and who they shipped out because he plays no defense and they had no interest in resigning him), two guys putting up around league average in Vonleh and Trier, one guy a little below league average in Mudiay, and then three crappy TS guys in Knox, Hezonja, and Smith. Mario will probably be gone next year, I’m not convinced Smith or Mudiay will be here either if we draft Morant or sign Kyrie (though one will probably remain), and Knox is 19 years old. How many of Phil’s guys (Lance, Dotson, Kornet, Frank) have been more efficient than even Mudiay? Answer: none.

    59. Bruno Almeida

      @64

      I would agree if it was any other draft, but on this draft I think there’s very little chance that a trade down will bring much of value. Just as we know the draft is crap outside of the top 2 or 3 players, everybody else does too. Why would Boston trade all their picks for a guy who’s only not much more interesting than the guys they could pick with their own selections? This draft has an absolute glut of random wings who could be good or terrible and nobody really knows, from Barrett at 3 all the way to the end of the projected 1st round, so unless someone really loves one of those guys randomly, I don’t think there’s going to be many teams looking to trade up.

    60. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      I agree. You tradevdown when the guy you really want is going to lower in the draft than your actual pick. That iswhat Boston and Atlznta did.

      On the subject of Knicks’ picks and defense, rationally, Z-man and Nicos are right, but emotionally it just seems different thsn that.

    61. Owen

      Why did they have to ruin a great matchup between the two best players in basketball with Isiah Thomas commentating….

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

      @66

      Mudiay, Burke, Hezonja, Knox, and Hardaway are guys they CHOSE to bring in. They share something in common. They suck at defense, but can create their own shot. The problem is they are inefficient at it.

      Trier is more efficient, but he’s also bad on defense and suspect as a play maker so far even though he may have the talent for it.

      Kanter was never someone they wanted, but let’s assume they liked him. He scores efficiently inside, but he sucks so bad on defense it more than offsets his offense.

      They basically have 1 major success in Mitch and one minor success in Vonleh (who they may let go anyway) and a good find in Trier.

      No matter, the pattern is very clear. They value offense over defense and don’t pay close enough attention to the efficiency of the scoring when choosing players. If they did, Mikal Bridges would be on the team instead of Knox and he would have been teamed with Frank, Dotson and Vonleh for most of the season because Mudiay wouldn’t have been on the team. Hezonja wouldn’t be around either. Maybe we could have picked up some low usage efficient defender for that money instead. Sure, they’d struggle to score and lose most of the time anyway, but they’d pass, play hard, and defend.

      All I am saying is that we know what they prefer. It’s NOT the lower usage efficient scorers that defend, rebound, and make plays.

    63. swiftandabundant

      Maybe they prefer those guys right now because they think if they hit the lottery with one of them, they could have a potential superstar player. The guys you talk about are great but they have lower ceilings and especially with young players on rookie/cheap contracts when your team sucks, why not shoot for the stars? Knox might suck but if he has the tools to be a great scorer and they can coach him up on defense, he could be a great player. Same with Mudiay, Trier, etc.

      Guys like Mikal Bridges are good but maybe its better to go after those types after you’ve found a couple of stars. The odds of mudiay becoming a star are slim but if he or Knox, etc…suddenly takes a huge leap forward, you’ve now turbocharged the rebuild and can find guys like Bridges to fill in the gaps on the team.

      Just a thought.

    64. ess-dog

      I think someone might trade up for Barrett at #3 because of his pedigree. I might even trade the #2 if the haul is big enough because I’m not sure Ja is a better prospect than some other players his age or younger.

    65. Bruno Almeida

      @72

      For Barrett yes, I agree there will be interest. But then I’d rather just grab Barrett than gamble on the Celtics picks for example, even though he’s a somewhat scary prospect for me. He’s still pretty talented and there’s a lot to like about his production and some aspects of his game. I just don’t want anything to do with anyone not named Williamson, Morant, Barrett, Culver or Clarke.

    66. JK47

      I might even trade the #2 if the haul is big enough because I’m not sure Ja is a better prospect than some other players his age or younger.

      I think Ja’s passing is a special enough skill that it puts him into the “rare” category. He needs to cut down on the turnovers (do-able, since most of them are “I’m bored” kind of turnovers) and he’ll be an elite passer. He’s the best passing PG I’ve seen in the draft in quite a long time.

    67. Z-man

      Mikal Bridges over Knox? Not me. Knox is a full 3 years younger. He shot better from 3 on much higher volume and rebounded better. Neither got many assists, or turned the ball over much, or blocked many shots. Mikal had more steals and shot better from 2, but is playing to a Tyson Chandler usage. Knox got to the line more. They foul at about the same rate. I would not trade them straight up right now because I think Knox is worth waiting another year on and he has a much higher ceiling than Bridges, although admittedly a much higher floor.

    68. JK47

      Re: Ja’s defense
      1. Point-of-attack PG defense is a lot less important than it used to be now that we’re in the age of “switch everything” defense
      2. Ja gets a good number of steals, an imperfect but decent proxy for overall defense among guards
      3. He is the right size for a PG (6’3″) and also has a long wingspan
      4. He’s a freakish athlete who moves well laterally

      I think his defense will be fine.

    69. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      Knox might suck but if he has the tools to be a great scorer and they can coach him up on defense, he could be a great player. Same with Mudiay, Trier, etc.

      Many people seem to think you can coach players up on defense, and it is true to a limited extent, but my impression is that it is harder “coach up” defense than offense. Most players who are lousy on defense stay that way and it is more common for a player to improve his shooting than his defense. Of course, rookies do have to learn NBA defenses, and that can make them better, but it doesn’t make them good. As an example, consider Tim Hardaway Jr., He did get better on defense while he played for Atlanta, but I never read anyone here compliment his defense during his second stint as a Knick and I don’t think he will ever be a good defensive player. This doesn’t mean that Knox will never be a valuable player. It just suggests it will be because his offense improves a lot. His defense is likely to always be bad, just maybe not this bad.

    70. JK47

      I think a guy like Mikal who plays within himself is probably more conducive to winning than a chuck artist like Knox, who actively damages your chances of winning games. Mikal might not be a huge needle mover, but he’s not going to rack up an endless string of 6-21 games either.

    71. Brian Cronin

      I disagreed with the Knox pick and I would have absolutely have picked Mikal or SGA over him, but eh, at the same time, the issue was more that they were picking at a shitty spot where there is more of an argument to be made to just take a huge risk on the pick and draft a guy like Knox who, if he ever did come into himself, likely would become a great player. The odds were never very good that it would happen, but after the no doubt about it guys were gone, I understood the pick and I didn’t (and still don’t) knock it too much, even if it wasn’t what I wanted them to do with the pick.

      It’s the same basic reason why I was fine with the Frank pick at the time, too. It was a longshot, but with a team this shitty, and picks towards the back end of the top ten, I get going with the longshot picks because if they pan out then they really pan out. If Frank did suddenly develop a three-point shot, then he’s a great pick. He didn’t. If Knox changes his entire body, he could be a great pick, too. He probably won’t, but he might!

      The key point was that they didn’t optimize their chances of picking higher in the draft either year like morons. They figured it out this year, at least, so they will get a top five pick. It’s a worse draft than those other two drafts, but at least it is is a top five pick! They’ve owned their own top five pick just once in the past 30 years! That’s something!

    72. djphan

      i really refuse to believe that frank or knox had any upside….

      they were… and are… bad players.. and bad players generally are very high risk and low reward… you don’t go from where frank and knox are and all of a sudden turn into james harden on offense… that will never happen… when you are this bad.. if you make it.. you’re just barely making it… and the upside is actually someone like lance thomas…. or austin rivers… someone who sucks but hangs on for a bunch of years…

      this is basically semantics but better players have better upside… guys like zion or towns or davis … these guys have the highest of upsides…. but if you’re comparing mikal vs knox… mikal might only be a role player… but mikal is certainly more capable of delivering on his potential than knox is …

    73. JK47

      Knox and Ntilikina were both, in part, drafted because of their measurables. Ntilikina has the long wingspan, Knox is tall and runs well for a tall guy.

      They should have focused on players who were good at basketball, rather than guys who you can dream on because of their size/length/whatever. This is very common across all the major sports. Just this year the sad sack football team that I (used to) follow, the Oakland Raiders, drafted Kolton Miller in the first round, because he has great size for a left tackle and because he moves so well. The problem was that Kolton Miller sucks at football, so now a year later they’ve abandoned him as a left tackle and have moved him to right tackle. It’s ridiculous to spent a high first round NFL pick on a right tackle.

      Get guys who already know how to play. The end.

    74. Z-man

      I guess where I disagree is with the overall premise that, as JK47 just essentially said, Knox “sucks at” basketball. He has one definite skill that he’s demonstrated all year (shooting 3’s at high volume and decent %) and as I rattled off in @76, was around as good in everything (especially telling is rebounding, which Mikal should have an advantage over him hands down, right?) but getting steals as Mikal. He has been given an unprecedented green light (for a 19yo) by Fiz, while Mikal hardly ever shot. That’s on the coach, not the player. If Fiz told him “hey rook, Players V, W, X, Y and Z (Booker, Warren, Ayton, Jackson and Oubre) are our scorers, just get them the ball and only shoot open 3’s and dunks” then maybe Knox’s TS% is not in the .400’s for the year.

      I also think Knox has shown some durability for a kid that’s probably still growing.

      The other thing is that Knox has been playing with the worst PG rotation in the league (Mudiay, Frank, Burke, DSJ, and Allen…where’s Jarrett Jack when you need him?) Who needs a solid PG more than a rookie wing?

      I’m not saying that he’s a star in the making, just pointing out that he’s a) better at basketball than some are suggesting and b) not all that far removed from Mikal “stand in the corner” Bridges. And right now, my guess is that Knox has more trade value, i.e. is the better market asset, if only due to perception.

    75. Nick C.

      Knox is shooting .349 from three. That’s nothing special. I was a Frank supporter. I gave up. To me these arguments are just perpetual rehashes of what I will call the Ruru v naysayers arguments. It’s the system, time, surrounding cast v. performance argument.

      @ 84 the Raiders OT description sounded very much like one of Erick flowers with the Giants. sigh

    76. Z-man

      “Knox is shooting .349 from three. That’s nothing special. I was a Frank supporter. I gave up. To me these arguments are just perpetual rehashes of what I will call the Ruru v naysayers arguments. It’s the system, time, surrounding cast v. performance argument.”

      Such a dumb and unnecessarily dismissive overgeneralization, Nick, I expect better from you. For example, did you bother to check how many 19-20yo rookies have shot better than Knox on as many attempts? It’s a pretty short list. If you limit it to 19 yo’s, the only other player on the list is D’Angelo Russell, who also sucked his rookie season.

      More importantly, you missed the point of what I was saying, which is really more about Mikal Bridges than Knox.

      And considering how many idiotic arguments were made in support of Frank by people such as yourself, I’d be a little less quick to make comments like the one above.

    77. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

      I actually was impressed with the 0.349 figure. Knox isn’t a three point specialist, after all, and he does get a lot of grief here at Knickerblogger. It’s better than I expected. I think sometimes we expect improvement to be evident faster than they actually happens. DiAngelo Russell is a good example of this.

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