Knicks Morning News (2019.03.28)

  • [NYDN] David Fizdale: Knicks defense will be great … once better players arrive
    (Wednesday, March 27, 2019 2:05:23 PM)

    David Fizdale believes his system — while unrecognizable with this roster — will work with better players.

    Navigating the third-worst defensive-rated team in the NBA, the Knicks coach acknowledged his scheme is designed with the summer additions in mind.

    “Our defense won’t really, really get to…

  • [NYDN] Dennis Smith Jr. returns to Knicks practice and reveals he had two displaced discs in his back
    (Wednesday, March 27, 2019 11:58:08 AM)

    Speaking for the first time since a back injury forced him out of six straight games, Dennis Smith Jr. said an MRI uncovered some displaced discs and inflammation but he doesn’t seem concerned about the long-term outlook.

    The 21-year-old, who was recouped from Dallas in the trade for Kristaps Porzingis,…

  • [NYTimes] What Better Muse than James Harden’s Beard?
    (Thursday, March 28, 2019 1:03:00 AM)

    Filip Perai? needed a career boost. He found one by drawing Harden, the Houston Rockets guard, in profile over and over and over again.

  • [SNY Knicks] David Fizdale knows schemes won’t work until help arrives for Knicks
    (Wednesday, March 27, 2019 10:29:21 PM)

    David Fizdale wants to be aggressive on both ends of the floor, but with the group he has now, he just can’t make it happen. Free agency can change that.

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on Knicks target Kevin Durant: Bill Simmons would ‘bet the house’ he lands in NY
    (Wednesday, March 27, 2019 4:31:26 PM)

    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 since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors…

  • [NYPost] David Fizdale: Knicks need to add players who can defend
    (Wednesday, March 27, 2019 6:56:15 PM)

    David Fizdale, after failing to get the Knicks to defend with consistency this season, vowed the club will add more defensive-minded players in the offseason. It just so happens Kevin Durant’s most underrated attribute is his length and effectiveness on the defensive end, but Fizdale knows the overall mindset is to add defenders. Ironically, Fizdale…

  • [NYPost] Dennis Smith nears return as Ntilikina experiment hope is dying
    (Wednesday, March 27, 2019 11:41:40 AM)

    Dennis Smith Jr. was back to practice and back to talking. In his first public comments since throwing his back out and missing six straight games, Smith revealed an MRI exam showed a disk issue. Indicating he’ll need further rehab to correct the malady, the 21-year-old Smith believes he will be back on the court…

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    Mike Kurylo

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

    96 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.03.28)”

    1. Haven’t logged in for a while and so I hope I’m not repeating anything that has been said. but i was looking through yesterday’s thread about Knox and just wanted to throw my take in there–

      Like others, I am really concerned that we messed this pick up.

      But… in my Team Optimism mindset, here are some mitigating factors:

      1) Knox –> 2nd youngest player in the NBA

      2) Much more physically undeveloped than other rookies – in fact, if you look through the last 5-6 NBA drafts, he’s basically weighs the least out of any NBA combine participant around his height. Even his college coach, who you would presume would know him best going into the draft said that his body is nowhere near ready yet.

      3) Very few teenagers that are not the most elite prospects have been given the absolute green light + minutes that Knox has gotten. If you look for teenagers with >1800 minutes played and a usage >22, it basically is all HoFers or top 5 picks. Knox (and Mudiay, who unfortunately is one of these players too) has been given a basically unprecedented green light to do whatever he wants. He also has had by far (and I mean BY FAR) the least amount of talent around him, meaning that literally no one on this team bends the defense at all for him. Knox has basically been treated to the perfect storm of rookie badness – terrible team that doesn’t care about winning, coach that wants to play him endlessly and let him do whatever. Essentially, very very few players have been given the opportunity to be as bad as he has been, which makes searching for comps fruitless.

      (An interesting physical comp for him is Otto Porter who REALLY struggled until his age 21 season and obviously is a good NBA player now, and just this half-season with Chicago has broken through the USG>20 threshold).

      Anyway, overall I’m concerned but I’m ok with giving him a mulligan for this season…

    2. I’m really concerned about our young guards and their injuries. Especially DSJ and Ntilikina. We seem to be saying “so what..we’re getting Kyrie!”, but even he has injury concerns. That being said, I’m as good with getting our young guards healthy and relatively worry free as I am with signing Kyrie. But I probably lean more toward the youngins because they’re our youngins. I sincerely hope the back issue won’t be a long term issue with DSJ. I think the kid has the potential to be really good with a vet PG mentor backing him up.

      Oh and I wanna bring DJ back too

    3. Re: Knox’s 3-pt shooting, I expanded the search to include 19-21 yo rookie forwards who took at least 2 attempts per game during their rookie year. Nearly every guy is or will surely be an NBA rotation player. Knox is also one of the youngest players on the list and is 3rd on the list in total attempts, making it less likely that it’s a small sample size mirage.

    4. re sir robin – zion…

      zion is def one of the best prospects we have seen in a long while…. but i dont think guys like morant or culver are that much worse..

      the risk with zion… and this is relatively minor… is that big wide dudes in college tend to dominate but underwhelm in the pros… so bully ball is quite effective in college but the exact opposite in the pros… jahlil okafor or sean may are some recent examples but theres plenty more…

      his 2p fg% is over 70% which is ridiculous but being that high could mean that hes getting a lot of easy opportunities that hes exploiting… all the lobs arent going to be as frequent… hes not gonna consistently get the position he wants in the pros… in the nba things get difficult which is why you need to do a lot of things well in order to score effectively… and you cant be a star without great scoring..

      what makes zion different is that hes in another stratosphere in terms of quickness and explosion to any of those other big dudes… and his handle is also very strong.. so its a minor concern… but you have guys like beasley and larry johnson that creep into zions comp list… it might not seem all that different but there is a difference if zion is more lebron or if hes more chris webber or even LJ..

      i would offer a lot dont get me wrong… but if i have #2 or 3 I would be ok with standing pat….

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

      We have a lot of disagreements about Frank here, but I finally found something we can all agree on.

      This is via Marc Berman

      “There are eight games left, and the 20-year-old (Frank) could be traded on draft night to open cap space to potentially re-sign Emmanuel Mudiay, a Fizdale favorite”.

    6. shooting a lot of 3s as a rookie is not really a good thing… a high 3pr signifies that he needs to go further out to generate offense… thats enormously bad…

      3p shooting is popular but the grand majority of the game is still played inside… if you cannot go in there for offense you are toast… and thats where knox is at the moment…

    7. I just don’t know where all the arm-waving is coming from. Kevin Knox is playing exactly the way you’d expect from a late second-round flier on a kid who took a whole year off after high school and then went straight into the NBA.

      On the other hand, our #9 pick MitchRob is looking more and more like a top-four pick all the time.

      What’s not to like?

    8. “There are eight games left, and the 20-year-old (Frank) could be traded on draft night to open cap space to potentially re-sign Emmanuel Mudiay, a Fizdale favorite”.

      Please tell me this is just dumb Berman conjecture. Opening up cap space to re-sign Emmanuel Mudiay is like saving up all your money to buy a Radio Shack franchise.

    9. shooting a lot of 3s as a rookie is not really a good thing… a high 3pr signifies that he needs to go further out to generate offense… thats enormously bad…

      3p shooting is popular but the grand majority of the game is still played inside… if you cannot go in there for offense you are toast… and thats where knox is at the moment…

      You just made all of this up, didn’t you?

    10. “Please tell me this is just dumb Berman conjecture. Opening up cap space to re-sign Emmanuel Mudiay is like saving up all your money to buy a Radio Shack franchise.”

      We could call it a “Blockbuster” signing…

    11. “There are eight games left, and the 20-year-old (Frank) could be traded on draft night to open cap space to potentially re-sign Emmanuel Mudiay, a Fizdale favorite”.

      When Mudiay is on the court, the Knicks are -10.7 points per 100 worse than their opponents. Even with the other dreadful PGs on this roster, the Knicks are worse by -2.5 points than they are with him off the court. And Fizdale wants to make a move (it doesn’t matter what the move is, because Frank sucks ass) to open enough space to re-sign him to a multiyear. What the fuck.

      This is fucking terrifying. We’re gonna end up with Kemba, Mudiay, Reddish, Knox and Jordan on opening night next year.

    12. Not sure if this was discussed in yesterday’s thread or not, but here’s a direct quote from Fizdale on Frank from the Bondy piece:

      Still, Fizdale won’t publicly give up on the Frenchman. As scouts have observed, Ntilikina’s game and ego (he has no problem playing without the ball) is better suited to play alongside superstars like Durant. The key is that Ntilikina develops a consistent 3-pointer shot.

      “It’s been a tough year man. Obviously just alone with injuries, that part has been a rollercoaster for (Ntilikina). He’s had his ups and downs obviously with his performance,” Fizdale said. “But I asked him to do a lot of different things this year and he took them on all well. With Frank, it’s going to be a measure of when we fill in these gaps, Frank is a winning player. He knows how to play the game. The biggest thing is to get his health right to set him up to have a great summer.”

    13. Re: Knox’s 3-pt shooting, I expanded the search to include 19-21 yo rookie forwards who took at least 2 attempts per game during their rookie year. Nearly every guy is or will surely be an NBA rotation player. Knox is also one of the youngest players on the list and is 3rd on the list in total attempts, making it less likely that it’s a small sample size mirage.

      I’ve talked about this before. I’m a Knox optimist, but this doesn’t support his case. Knox has a lot of 3PAs because he plays a lot of minutes on a 14 win team and has the green light to chuck whenever he wants. He’s not good at getting open. He’s not playing so well that he’s earned the minutes. He’s gaming the statistic.

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

      I can’t tell if Berman is all out trolling on Frank because he knows he’s a bit of a lighting rod on Twitter where the opinions are just as divided and even more passionate than here or whether he’s getting information from Mills.

      I’d prefer to think Fizdale is being honest about this because I think he “gets it” with Frank. Frank is going to a very high level role player if he just adds a 3 point shot in the off season and then goes from there year to year. He’ll defend very well, switch 3-4 positions, keep the ball moving, make good plays and take open 3s when the star players kick the ball out. That’s more or less what I was hoping for this year except that we had no stars and he’s had a rough year both playing and with injuries. Give it one more year at least to see if he makes progress.

      The problem is you can’t expect a coach to publicly say “We’ve given up on Frank because he’s not a true PG and not enough of a shot creator and scorer to fit into what we want to do”. So it’s hard to be sure if what he’s saying is just coach talk or an honest assessment. Either way, moving Frank to make room for Mudiay would be pretty crazy.

    15. Tell me, how do you “game” a statistic so that you hit 35% of 315 3-pt attempts in real NBA games at age 19? By “he’s not good at getting open” are you suggesting that all of his 3-pt attempts are contested?

    16. Resigning Mudiay and getting the #5 pick in the draft.

      That will surely get Durant and Kyrie excited about signing in NY

    17. Emmanuel Mudiay is ass. Only this dumbshit franchise could think to itself “Man we need to figure out a way to keep Emmanuel Mudiay.”

      It’s like you can just predict who is going to be on this team by identifying the shiftiest players in the league. Find me a shitty player and I’ll show you a future Knick. I look forward to the inevitable Dragan Bender era that is no doubt coming.

    18. It’s weird that I think that some coaches, front offices and fanbases would rather be in the Knicks’ position than, say, the Celtics’ or Raptors’ or Nuggets’ or Sixers’. According to 538’s ELO tracker, there’s a combined 73% chance that the Warriors or Bucks will win the title — and a combined 17% chance that any of the above four will hold the trophy. I think the Raptors in particular will be an outstanding playoff team, but the SRS and ELO show a team that would be overcoming the odds to beat the Pistons, Sixers, Bucks and Warriors in consecutive series.

      We can debate about the predictive power of ELO or SRS, but that’s kind of beside the point, because even if you think that they underrate these teams when they play 6-deep instead of 12-, we can all agree that the odds of any of them winning a title are still pretty slim when the Warriors and Bucks are at full strength.

      So I think if you’re in the management (or fanbase) of one of those teams, and you lose in the Semis or Conference Finals, you have to ask the question: what the hell can we do to improve from here, outside of organic player growth? And when that happens, a la the 2014-15 Hawks or 2013-14 Pacers, the media helps to create a win-now window, and when there’s some regression from that peak, everyone gets fucking fired.

      Fizdale and Mills get to set the lowest of expectations — see how we sit here and argue about the historically-bad Knox’s ceiling, or people start railing about how also-terrible Mudiay is only 22 so he should be given one — no, two more contracts to see where he actually ends up through his athletic prime — and ride the gravy train that is slow, nominal improvements. When the Knicks win 25 games next year, and maybe 32 after that, Fizdale looks like a developer. The hope is much easier to sell to a fanbase whose expectations are this low.

    19. Re: Knox’s 3-pt shooting, I expanded the search to include 19-21 yo rookie forwards who took at least 2 attempts per game during their rookie year. Nearly every guy is or will surely be an NBA rotation player. Knox is also one of the youngest players on the list and is 3rd on the list in total attempts, making it less likely that it’s a small sample size mirage.

      This list doesn’t tell you anything about Kevin Knox. It’s like showing an encouraging list of rookies who are in the top 5% in rookie salary and then wondering if paying Ron Baker more might make him good. To put a fine point on it, check out this slightly altered list. This is your list of 19-21 YO rookie forwards but instead of minimum 2 3PA / G it requires at least 2 TOV a game. The second list is actually significantly better, with higher career numbers by every conceivable measure, BPM, WS, whatever. If only Knox turned it over a bit more he could be an even better prospect.

      http://tinyurl.com/y66r9ur8

    20. Yeah, Knox adequate 3 point shooting is just that, a statistical indication that he can shoot 3s at an adequate level. He’s garbage in literally every single other aspect of the game offensively and defensively.

      Obviously just play the kid and hope he develops. We defended Ntilikina’s strong defensive numbers last season until it became clear they were nowhere near enough to justify how terrible he’s everywhere else, and the same should go for Knox. Play him because he’s on our team, if he has high trade value and something good comes up, get rid of him and let anyone else hope he gets better.

      I was hoping we were just getting desperate for nothing with Mudiay, like we predicted Rose to be re-signed many times and it didn’t happen, but this time it might really happen. This is very annoying.

    21. Dolan’s Razor:
      -Knicks get fourth pick in draft
      -First three picks are Zion, Barrett, Culver
      -Ja is still available
      -Knicks draft Reddish, because they’re already “deep” at PG with the dynamic Mudiay/DSJ combo

    22. It’s so disgusting that the #1 overall pick is the only place we expect the Knicks to not fuck it up.

      And then they draft Barrett because… … … … ?

    23. Frank’s salary next year is basically the room exception. If Mudiay were to re-sign for the room exception, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world and I say that as someone who doesn’t want Mudiay to return next year period. I just doubt Mudiay is actually going to re-sign for the room exception, so I think they’re seriously planning on carving out actual cap room to re-sign Mudiay because they over-value Mudiay.

    24. Even these guys aren’t dumb enough to pass on Zion. God, I hope they get him so we can watch it all become a horrible slow-motion shitshow somehow.

    25. I’m trying to figure out what Fizdale and Knicks management see in Mudiay that I don’t. Is it his occasional finishes at the basket in traffic? The few and far between games where he actually shoots well and makes a few 3’s? The few games where he actually passes to open teammates?

      He’s not even an average PG, he’s below average. Seems like there’s players all over the NBA and in G-League that could do the same things Mudiay does (and doesn’t)

    26. The thing is that neither Frank nor Mudiay should be on the team, so yeah, if we’re keeping one it doesn’t matter who it is, as they’re both equally not players we should be re-signing at all. This is just pointless. It’s very simple, just don’t give multi-year deals to bad players, it can’t be that freaking hard to execute this plan.

    27. You just made all of this up, didn’t you?

      i actually didnt… but i also dont rely on calls to authority to back my opinions or analysis…

      what conclusion are you trying to draw with his 3p shooting? volume 3p shooting is some sort of leading indicator? is that it? if its not then we can talk about that…

      if it is.. thats clearly wrong… and i can show you why…

      my arguments can stand on its own without having to put someone down.. if youre capable of having a discussion without having your world crumble we can do that… if not we can bring this down to the toilet if you prefer that…

    28. Tell me, how do you “game” a statistic so that you hit 35% of 315 3-pt attempts in real NBA games at age 19?

      Was going to explain it but, as usual, ptmilo did it better than I could.

    29. “This list doesn’t tell you anything about Kevin Knox. “

      Yes it does. It tells you that he is pretty good for a rookie at one of the most critical skills in today’s NBA…high-volume 3-pt shooting. If your point is that it is not enough to value him overall as a player, that’s fine. Your “TO” comparison is beneath you.

      “Yeah, Knox adequate 3 point shooting is just that, a statistical indication that he can shoot 3s at an adequate level. He’s garbage in literally every single other aspect of the game offensively and defensively.”

      Overstated. He’s a better rebounder and better at drawing fouls than Mikal, more “mediocre” than “garbage” especially for a 19 yo rookie. His foul rate is relatively low and his turnover rate is relatively low for a moderate-usage player. He’s garbage at shooting 2’s, getting steals and blocks, getting assists, and playing team defense.

    30. Was going to explain it but, as usual, ptmilo did it better than I could.

      I respect pt, but he explained nothing. You can’t possibly “game” the fact that he hit 35% on 6 attempts per 36. The statistic stands on its own. There’s plenty to criticize with Knox, but his 3–pt shooting is not one of them. For a rookie, especially a long 6’9″ forward, it’s a very promising number.

    31. Well, Frank is a couple years younger but not really a point guard… Yes, they both suck, but I guess if you want a role player behind big free agents, Mudiay would be the choice the same price, but if you’re hopeful you can develop one of the two for the future, Frank is the choice. But let’s be honest, neither will be worth their next contracts as #8 picks. That’s why they likely won’t re-sign Mudiay and will just let Frank’s contract run out.

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

      I’m trying to figure out what Fizdale and Knicks management see in Mudiay that I don’t.

      He scores points.

    33. Mudiay is a much better player than Frank. He’s just not much better than the average G-Leaguer, so he shouldn’t be on a veteran contract in the NBA. He’s gotten enough minutes for us to know what he is: a bench player on a high-lottery team.

      I’d take him on the vet’s minimum for three years with two team options. Why? He’s young enough to keep improving, the Knicks are years away from contending, and I have no faith that they would replace him with a a better option: namely, an undrafted rookie who played well in Euroleague or the NCAA but maybe has “poor athleticism” or “is too old to use a draft pick on.”

      I will cry tears of joy if the Knicks get Ja, since it means that spending veteran money on a third-string PG would be a hilariously dumb waste, so dumb that even Mills wouldn’t do it.

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

      I think everyone is partly right.

      The fact that Knox takes a lot of 3s tells us very little, but the fact that he hits a decent percentage of them for a kid his age despite putting up some really horrific ones because his shot selection is so poor is actually pretty encouraging. In time he’s going to improve both his shot selection and become a better shooter. I think we can look forward to him being a pretty good 3 point shooter in time.

      The problem is that his defense and the rest of his offense totally sucks. You can get away with just being a 3 point shooter if you are a solidly plus defender and contribute in some other way (maybe an above average rebounder or play maker for your position). If you are a higher usage scorer whose overall efficiency is low and you are a negative defender you shouldn’t even be on the court much. Despite his decent 3 point shooting for his age, Knox has so far to go on both sides it’s probably going to be a long time before he becomes a productive player (if ever).

      The key is, if you are a plus player on one side, all you have to do is not be a major liability on the other side and you are fine. If you are a negative on both sides you can’t be on the court much.

    35. But let’s be honest, neither will be worth their next contracts as #8 picks.

      I mean, I don’t think Mudiay would command much more than maybe $2-3m on a two-year deal, with a team option. I’m very skeptical there’s a market out there for him. Is he worth that? Idk, maybe. I’d guess strongly you can find much better production at that price.

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

      Mudiay is a much better player than Frank.

      Mudiay is not even close to Frank.

      Mudiay has a more diversified portfolio of skills, but he’s not good at anything right now. He can’t add value to a good TEAM no matter how you use him and what the lineup construction is.

      Frank is a horrible scorer, but he’s a plus 3 to 4 position switchable defender than moves the ball and can make plays. If you put him in a lineup with a few high quality high usage scorers, his own very low usage would not cost the TEAM much in terms of overall offensive efficiency but his plus defense, willingness to pass, and play making would help the team in those areas.

      Naturally, you want Frank to add to his portfolio and improve everywhere because he’s not good yet. You’d way rather he can do “something” as a scorer even if you have Durant and Kyrie and don’t really need much from him. But I’d WAY WAY WAY rather have Frank than Mudiay if we are bringing in star scorers.

    37. I think we can look forward to him being a pretty good 3 point shooter in time.

      We need to be prepared to not retcon this shit when he doesn’t improve, though. Brandon Ingram jumped from a 29% to a 39% shooter in his second year, and dipped to 33% this year despite playing next to Ball, Rondo and LeBron, three passers about as good as it gets.

      If Knox posts a 33% season next year, I don’t want to hear shit about how his ceiling is as a 42% shooter from range. I want to talk about why he’s a 33% shooter, not how he, like literally every other player out there, could improve his shot with These 5 Simple Tricks to Putting a Ball Into a Ring from 35 Feet Away.

      It would be useful to this board to agree on the reality of the present before fixating on the fantasies of tomorrow.

    38. If you’re talking backup or 3rd string pg, why not just sign Kadeem Allen tomorrow for a 3-yr, $500,000 contract with team options? He’s better than Mudiay in basically every way except age.

    39. Mudiay is not even close to Frank.

      You think, right now, that Mudiay is a worse player than Ntilikina? Is this a real opinion?

      I’m not talking about hypothetical roster constructions or salaries or age curve or anything like that. I’m saying: Do you argue that Mudiay contributes more wins to the Knicks than Ntilikina does in the 2018-19 season?

    40. @41 – Strong agree. If they think Frank sucks, want to stick with DSJ as a development guy and are convinced Kyrie is coming, then Kadeem makes a hell of a lot more sense as a 3rd PG than Mud.

    41. Frank “moves the ball” because he’s terrified of the ball.

      I suck at basketball, I’m almost always the worst player on the court whenever I play a pickup game. When somebody passes me the ball I am looking to pass it again as soon as possible to somebody who knows how to play. If I see open floor ahead of me, I don’t dribble into it because I have no handle and no ability to make anything happen. So I “keep the ball moving.” It’s not really helping anything, but hey, at least I’m not trying to score or dribble.

    42. Frank has a .395 eFG%.

      I don’t care if you’re a miniature 6’5” Bill Russell on defense, a guy with a .395 eFG% is unplayable in the modern NBA. Flat out unplayable.

    43. I am soooooo stealing this for later use, somewhere, somehow:

      It would be useful to agree on the reality of the present before fixating on the fantasies of tomorrow.

      thanks jowles…

    44. Yes it does. It tells you that he is pretty good for a rookie at one of the most critical skills in today’s NBA…high-volume 3-pt shooting. If your point is that it is not enough to value him overall as a player, that’s fine. Your “TO” comparison is beneath you.

      i think i misunderstood your argument? i thought you were taking solace from that the fact that “nearly everybody” on the list was a rotation level player, so maybe knox will be, too. but really you just meant his 3P% is decent versus those guys? if so, you didn’t really need that list, we know the league average is 35% and knox is 35% (and that list is barely different at 34%). i think anyone would agree with you that this year he’s been around an average three point shooter. even strat, who believes that frank has also been an average 3 pt shooter once you look through the stats and adjust for shots where mudiay was clearly distracting him from the bench.

    45. I so wanna like frank and see him play well out on the court…sadly though, everything jk47 said in @44 and @45 sounds exactly like the truth…

      I think I read that BPM takes in to account the quality of team you play on, but, it’s not hard to imagine our organization not putting them in the best situation to succeed…

      then again, dotson, trier, robinson all seem to have found a way…

      at this point, I’d be very open to moving frank (late first or early second round pick would be fine)…give knox a chance at a second season on the team, and take kadeem allen over mud all day every day…

      initially I had thought that keeping deandre would be cool – I’m just not sure how that would benefit mitch…

      one thing is for sure – whatever ideas anyone may have as to what our roster will look like when the 2019 season kicks off, are most likely gonna be wrong…

    46. I’m just tired of endlessly arguing about which garbage player is less garbage or has the most potential to be less garbage one day down the line.

      This franchise had a chance to maximize draft value two years in a row, and could have ended up with an a lot more exciting core of guys like Fox, Doncic, Trae Young, Jaren Jackson Jr, Bagley, Isaac, Ball, etc. instead they kept chasing meaningless wins and giving minutes to trash veterans with no value for the team and were again arguing over the merits of stuff like Ntilikina vs Mudiay.

      None of this matters, the only thing that matters is getting lucky and getting a top 2 draft pick and / or top free agents.

    47. @47 well, sort of. As I’ve said, shooting a decent % on a high volume of 3’s is quite rare for a rookie. Generally, 19-20 yo rookies don’t shoot a high volume because they’re not allowed to because they’re bad 3-pt shooters, or they are not given a green light even though they are rookies and suck at other things, or their coach doesn’t value the 3 like he should.

      In Knox’s case, he was given the green light and has taken 315 3’s. That’s an enormous number for a rookie of any age…34th most in history. Of the 33 players who took more than him, he was tied for the 24th highest %. He’s the youngest guy on the list by at least 6 months. If you narrow the list to 6’6″ or above, there are only 10 guys who took more attempts (including Mike Miller 2000-01 and Dennis Scott 1990-91) and only Luca shot more attempts this year at a whopping .327 clip.

      Maybe he doesn’t develop at all in any other facets of the game, and his 3-pt % craters, but if we are to “agree on the reality of the present” then there should be agreement that his 3-pt shooting (again, the single most important skill in today’s NBA) is a reality today.

    48. @49 totally agree, but the past is the past. Now they need to stop screwing up with expensive gambles like the Knox pick and make worthwhile lottery picks (while continuing to take “cheap” gambles like the Robinson pick). We have to give them credit for the Robinson pick, and in theory, the jury is still out on Knox, but for once, I’d love for them to make a lottery pick that the numbers back up.

    49. In Knox’s case, he was given the green light and has taken 315 3’s. That’s an enormous number for a rookie of any age…34th most in history. Of the 33 players who took more than him, he was tied for the 24th highest %.

      I laughed at 24th highest of 33.

      then there should be agreement that his 3-pt shooting (again, the single most important skill in today’s NBA) is a reality today.

      who doesn’t agree that kevin knox is shooting 34.9% on 315 three point attempts? i honestly can’t understand what you are adding to that by highlighting how rarely a rookie a rookie has shot that often? a big part of the sparse volume you’re seeing is just because the NBA shot 12.7 threes a game in 2000 and 31.9 this year. only six guys in history 7′ 1″ or taller have taken 200 total 3 pointers by age 23. luke kornet at 35.6% is 3rd out of 6! check back in 5 years and you’ll see the list of 34 grow a lot. 5 rookies did it this year.

    50. even strat, who believes that frank has also been an average 3 pt shooter once you look through the stats and adjust for shots where mudiay was clearly distracting him from the bench.

      pt leads the board in making me look like an insane person (i.e. a person who stares at his phone and all of the sudden unleashes a bout of hysterical laughter) in public

    51. I mean, I don’t think Mudiay would command much more than maybe $2-3m on a two-year deal, with a team option. I’m very skeptical there’s a market out there for him. Is he worth that? Idk, maybe. I’d guess strongly you can find much better production at that price.

      Payton got $3 million for a year and Mudiay is more of a pointz guy than Payton and he has the “Fizmagic” narrative, so I think he gets closer to mid-level money (more than the room exception, at least).

    52. Payton got $3 million for a year and Mudiay is more of a pointz guy than Payton and he has the “Fizmagic” narrative, so I think he gets closer to mid-level money (more than the room exception, at least).

      yeah, it’s a crapshoot. mudiay is kind of in a hezonja 2018 situation, but with more cap room available. or a ben mclemore in 2017 (think he got 2/$10).

    53. Mudiay is much, much better than Frank. I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon, or even at all to be honest. There are a million different numbers I could cite but if you disagree you’re not someone who’s going to be swayed by any kind of statistical analysis, so whatever.

      The problem is that says absolutely nothing about Mudiay.

      We’ve spent so much time arguing about Frank Ntilikina here (myself very much included), but I’ve become increasingly sure his situation comes down to a basic reality; you need a baseline level of athleticism, hand-eye coordination, and determination to play in the NBA. You can have a lot of one, less of another, etc. but there’s a reason not a lot of people get paid handsomely to play basketball.

      Frank Ntilikina simply does not have the bare minimum levels of those things required to stick in the NBA as anything other than bench fodder. It’s the most basic reason most aspiring NBA players fail.

      Again, I could cite a million Frank Ntilikina statistics but some of this comes down to the #eyetest. The guy is the JK47-in-a-pickup-game of the NBA (no shade, that also sounds exactly like how I play pickup).

    54. I suck at basketball, I’m almost always the worst player on the court whenever I play a pickup game.

      This explains why Mudiay never passes the ball to JK47.

    55. the knicks havent drafted anyone ive agreed with since forever… i think danilo was the only one.. and john wallace back when i didnt know any better…

      the knox pick was discouraging because it pretty much lends credence that whoever is deciding these things has no idea what they are doing… whether youre depending on scouting or numbers… he just fails with any level of scrutiny…

      the mrob pick was encouraging though in that its the right risk to take there in the 2nd.. but thats literally blind luck… he played a weeks worth of games in two years and if anyone could tell you one way or the other they would be lying….

      so i dont have that much faith and reddish is absolutely on the table if we dont grab #1… i also think someone like clarke is also which is almost as terrifying… ive come to expect no less than the worst possible choice being picked in these slots and more often than not its been true…

    56. I have a friend who plays a lot of pickup games but who is also pretty bad (he’s way better than me). He’s the Lance Thomas of pickup games. Waves his arms around a lot, looks like he’s exerting effort, never makes a good play.

    57. I have a friend who plays a lot of pickup games but who is also pretty bad (he’s way better than me). He’s the Lance Thomas of pickup games. Waves his arms around a lot, looks like he’s exerting effort, never makes a good play.

      It’s such a common thing in pickup games and it is hilarious that it seriously does translate to professional basketball. If you look like you’re giving a lot of effort, people will assume that you’re giving a lot of effort.

    58. the mrob pick was encouraging though in that its the right risk to take there in the 2nd.. but thats literally blind luck… he played a weeks worth of games in two years and if anyone could tell you one way or the other they would be lying….

      So good scouting doesn’t exist? Just hogwash?

      Mitch was a blue chip prospect in a class loaded with bigs. He often outplayed contemporaries like Bamba, JJJ and Ayton in EYBL competition. Then he sat out for a year because of a bunch of bizarre circumstances. The Knicks did their due diligence, were one of the only teams who met with him, were pondering even trading up for him (which I’m positive Mills would have done at the cost of 15 future firsts if Perry wasn’t there to hold his hand), and pulled the trigger when he was still there at 36 despite them also being high on Trier at that spot.

      That’s just good scouting and player evaluation, not blind luck. It’s lucky that 35 picks were made before and a number of teams passed up on him, but classifying the Knicks selection of him when they had the opportunity to do so as blind luck is BS.

      Payton got $3 million for a year and Mudiay is more of a pointz guy than Payton and he has the “Fizmagic” narrative, so I think he gets closer to mid-level money (more than the room exception, at least).

      Idk. There have been multiple reports throughout the season that his value hadn’t changed much around the league. Maybe the Knicks are stupid enough to give him more than that, but I really don’t think he’s gonna have much of a market. There’s just better guard options available on the market, even at the lower end.

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

      You think, right now, that Mudiay is a worse player than Ntilikina? Is this a real opinion?

      I think you should read the Fizdale quote because imo he 100% spot on when it comes to Frank. When he says stuff like that, it gives me hope that he gets it.

      Basketball is a team sport. The idea is to find combinations of players that maximize TEAM output. To maximize team output, you want “plus players at one or more things” and you want “balance”. Generally, you want efficient inside and outside scoring, play making, rebounding, and solid interior and perimeter defense etc…

      I don’t care what Mudiay’s BPM and WS48 are relative to Frank’s. Mudiay is below average at everything. It’s hard to build a productive 5 man unit with Mudiay taking a lot of below average efficiency shots, stopping the ball with his dribbling, and being a significantly net negative defender the way he is now.

      However, on a team with 2-3 efficient scorers already, Frank’s ability to be a plus defender, switch 3-4 positions, and his willingness to move the ball and make plays are exactly the kinds of things you want from a role player. He needs to add “something” on offense and improve, but he’s got the core makings of a terrific role player.

      If you are asking me who is the better all around player right now, imo it’s closer than BPM and WS48 suggest. On/off is an indication of that.

      IMO, Mudiay is the way better scorer and Frank is the way better defensive player, but Frank is WAY closer to being a valuable role player on a very good team because he’s already a plus player in a couple of areas other than scoring which we expect (hope) to get elsewhere.

    60. “Fizdale is a moron and snake oil salesman unless he appears to agree with me about something, in which case you really have to value his opinion”

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

      “Fizdale is a moron and snake oil salesman unless he appears to agree with me about something, in which case you really have to value his opinion”

      It has nothing to do with me.

      It has to do with results on the court.

      When he starts Mudiay and creates lineups dominated by low efficiency ball stopping scorers that can’t defend a lick even though according to on/off they are terrible but he had some success with lineups dominated by mildly plus defenders that had a tougher time scoring, he’s being an idiot because he’s undervaluing defense, overvaluing inefficient scoring, and ignoring what was happening on the court.

      When he says things that demonstrate he understands some of the nuances of lineup construction and doesn’t just look at PPG, it gives me hope.

    62. I laughed at 24th highest of 33.

      Probably because you dissociated it from his being by far the youngest player on that list. He has at least 2 years of practice to catch up to most of the others the others he hasn’t passed already.

      who doesn’t agree that kevin knox is shooting 34.9% on 315 three point attempts? i honestly can’t understand what you are adding to that by highlighting how rarely a rookie a rookie has shot that often?

      Because if he was destined to be a mediocre 3pt shooter going forward, he probably would have revealed it in such a large sample. The size of the sample suggests that it was not a small-sample-size outlier. Sure, the league shoots more 3’s. That’s irrelevant to the discussion of when a sample size becomes large enough to make the data reliable. He shot twice as many 3’s from a longer distance and made a higher % than he did in college.

      only six guys in history 7? 1? or taller have taken 200 total 3 pointers by age 23. luke kornet at 35.6% is 3rd out of 6!

      So you’re saying that the pool of guys 7’1″ or taller who shoot 200 3’s by age 23 is similar in size to the pool of guys 7’0″ or below who shoot 200 3’s by age 23? Just for argument’s sake, how many guys 7’0″ or below shot more than 200 total 3 pointers by age 23? I’m guessing it’s a little bit more than 6.

    63. That’s just good scouting and player evaluation, not blind luck. It’s lucky that 35 picks were made before and a number of teams passed up on him, but classifying the Knicks selection of him when they had the opportunity to do so as blind luck is BS.

      You’re right. And what about Knox, who had bad NCAA stats and has been a trainwreck in the NBA so far, even if only compared to the rest of the outmatched rookies around him?

    64. Idk. There have been multiple reports throughout the season that his value hadn’t changed much around the league. Maybe the Knicks are stupid enough to give him more than that, but I really don’t think he’s gonna have much of a market. There’s just better guard options available on the market, even at the lower end.

      Oh, I definitely agree that there are better options than him on the guard market. I just think he’ll still manage to beat Payton’s deal, that’s all, to the point where the room exception would be a paycut. So, like, $6-7 million.

      As to your other point, I also agree that you have to give the Knicks credit for the Robinson pick. The Knox pick was not a good one, but the Robinson pick was a great one. Even if Robinson didn’t pan out, I liked that pick a lot right from the get go.

    65. @61 apart from the fact you’re appealing to the Knicks’ authority as able talent evaluators and trashing their brain trust in the same post…

      how could someone possibly conduct good scouting on Mitch given his lack of exposure? as far as I can tell, he was in the EYBL in the summer of 2016, and that’s it.

      how often does a player’s rating/ranking/estimation change with just a single year of college basketball, which Mitch did not get?

      there was a ton of missing data on Mitch. I’m glad he’s a Knick but the best you can reasonably do is give the Knicks credit for being courageous enough to pull the trigger despite the lack of information. there are simply too many variables to be some high percentage play that only they saw.

    66. Sometimes I think that Z-man and I are slowly converging to consensus on most important Knicks-related things, and then threads like this happen. Kevin Knox is not the hill to die on, my friend. That should be Mitch Robinson. I have seen the top of the mountain, and it is good.

    67. i thought you were taking solace from that the fact that “nearly everybody” on the list was a rotation level player, so maybe knox will be, too.

      And I thought you were alluding to the fact that a high number of 3PAs at a young age usually correlates to success. You can “game” that by taking more shots than you deserve to bc your team is hot garbage and your coach encourages everyone to chuck and the league shoots more threes than ever.

      I’m ultimately on your side in being optimistic about Knox, but I also am biased towards overvaluing human development. I see a kid who never passes the ball, and who could be so much more efficient if players guarding him had to respect the fact that he might pass. Then I think “passing isn’t hard to learn”, it’s not like magically becoming a good shooter. So I’m optimisitic he can improve his numbers if he makes a simple adjustment.

      Or maybe he’s just stupid and will never look for his teammates and he’ll only get worse. That’s realistic, too.

    68. I can see where you’re coming from Z-man. I mean, Knox is an average 3pt shooter. That’s encouraging, in the sense that he would seem to have a reasonable chance to be a useful offensive player considering his age and rookie status. But he’s been absolute trash at everything else which would indicate that his chances of being a useful player in general are extremely low. No point in giving up on him now, but he’s been one of the absolute worst players in the NBA.

      8/9 has turned into a really shit place to pick. Not because there aren’t good players to still be had, but it seems like the size of the contracts are really big considering the level of player generally available there. Like, Mikal would have been a better pick than Knox but I wouldn’t be happy about paying him that much.

    69. I’m not arguing that Kevin Knox has been good. He has not. I’m only saying that he has done a few good things for a 19 yo and I’m not ready to write him off.

    70. Z-Man’s take seems pretty reasonable. Three point shooting can be noisy and the rest of Knox’s game is a dumpster fire but he’s roughly a league-average three point shooter as a 19-year old. That’s at least something positive. I don’t personally think Knox is going to be a valuable player in the league, but that is one thing you can say about him, he has shot the three passably well.

    71. It’s fun to get to see the Raptors try out their trick plays on us. The hidden benefits of be a flailing failure. I hope they have more of them.

    72. If Knox can learn to finish and pass a bit-both things some guys have been able to significantly improve after entering the NBA-he can probably be a useful player. I think he’s always going to be a terrible defender and that hurts his ceiling, but it’s probably more likely than Frank learns how to dribble, how to create shots for himself, how to get to the rim, finish, and shoot. Maybe less unlikely?

    73. Hoping for another trick play out of this timeout. C’mon Nick Nurse, act like the other kind of raptor and stretch your wings!

      EDIT: Lame.

    74. That stutter step traveling violation that Knox seems to do once a game is something I see a lot refereeing high school basketball games.

      Probably not something an NBA player should be doing on a regular basis.

    75. See that guy Siakam? That’s Brandon Clarke in 2 years.

      His pre-draft scouting reports weren’t exactly like Clarke’s, but the knocks on his leaping ability, athleticism, age and defense look downright silly right now.

      “Not an elite level leaper, though solid … Could be a little more aggressive in attacking the rim for dunks …”

      This moments after that sky-high flush.

    76. @83 Idk about that – Brandon Clarke’s intrigue levels are positively mediocre, and his ruff ryder rating is decidedly subpar

    77. Knox’s body language is fucking disgusting. Jordan hit him a bit low with a great pass in motion and I’m pretty sure he put his arms up like, “What the fuck was that, D?”

    78. I like how Kadeem Allen is better at floaters in every conceivable way than Knox, and it’s still not an especially impressive offensive move

    79. Surprisingly wholesome for a game in which we’re getting reamed by a team of actual, competent NBA players

    80. DeAndre Jordan has more assists than all Knicks PGs combined tonight, a sentence that would have dumbfounded me 4 years ago.

    81. I had no idea the Knicks were even playing tonight. Went for a nice dinner at Jongro BBQ in K town, which wrapped up at the same time the knicks game did. Couldn’t get a taxi home bc of the chaos. Dolan’s fucking razor, man.

    82. Well, the Knicks suck.

      I did start an MVP chant for Mitch. That was fun.

      The two missed foul shots at the end were a little crushing, 20-20 would have been awesome. He was pretty ragged at the end too and was definitely block hunting. But he changes so many shots. Like at least 10 that I saw.

      Also, Henry Ellenson came in, set up on the block and immediately got the ball. Mitch did not receive the ball once on the block all game.

      Ellenson was good for Mitch though, he’s got a real passing knack , and found him a couple times I think for lobs or on cuts around the basket. Why is it so hard to just pass him the ball? He’s one of the best targets in the NBA.

      Anyway, about the best 30 point loss I could have watched.

      Also, Kadeem is better than Mudiay right?

      Finally, haven’t been to the Garden it seems in like four years. Concessions are WAY better.

    83. @92. I didn’t either – for the first time all year. So sad. The guys on the team now I want on the team next year: Mitch, Dotson, Allen, DJ. Maybe Frank – I still hold out hope he can be part of a good team but he is making it hard. DSJr has a lot of talent but I’d rather trick someone into trading for him and get someone else who attempts to make his teammates better. Knox is talented too but is missing the key ability of knowing how to play the game.

    84. I totally forgot that they were playing tonight, too. Whoops. Sorry about that, folks. It’s really kind of hard to pay attention to these super meaningless last half dozen games. However, that’s dumb of me, because if they suddenly go on some crazy, like, 3-2 result at the end of the season, the Suns can catch them by losing out.

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