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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2019.05.09)

  • [NYPost] Kevin Durant injury update: Scary scene clouds Warriors win
    (Wednesday, May 08, 2019 8:45:01 PM)

    Warriors (and Knicks) fans are holding their breaths. The superstar impending free agent exited Game 5 of the Golden State Warriors-Houston Rockets second round series early with a right calf strain, and although the Warriors escaped Wednesday night with a 104-99 win to take a 3-2 lead, all the focus is on Durant’s immediate and…

  • [NYPost] Kyrie Irving and the Knicks are officially on the clock
    (Wednesday, May 08, 2019 7:05:50 PM)

    You can now ask him about July 1. Kyrie Irving’s two-year stint with the Celtics appears over as he bowed out with another stinker of an outing Wednesday — 6-for-21 from the field, 15 points, one assist, three turnovers in a 116-91 Milwaukee victory that eliminated Boston in five games. Irving saved his worst for…

  • [NYPost] ‘KD’ author: Knicks’ Kevin Durant scuttlebutt is way too much
    (Wednesday, May 08, 2019 4:55:33 PM)

    The author of a new biography on Kevin Durant said Knicks fans should slow down before buying a Kevin Durant jersey. “If they don’t mind their hearts broken, they can listen [to the speculation],’’ author Marcus Thompson II told The Post. Knowing Durant’s “vacillating’’ nature, Thompson believes any Knicks talk is premature regarding pontificators who…

  • [NYPost] The Knicks know exactly what they’d do with NBA draft’s No. 1 pick
    (Wednesday, May 08, 2019 9:13:22 AM)

    David Fizdale claimed there’s no debate on whom the Knicks would take if they win Tuesday’s lottery. “If we win the lottery, do we know who we’re taking?” the Knicks coach said in an appearance Wednesday morning on the “Dan Patrick Show.” “Yes.” Patrick then quipped, “OK, let’s bring out Zion Williamson.” Fizdale laughed. Asked…

  • [NYTimes] Kevin Durant Pulled from Game 5 Against Rockets with Leg Injury
    (Thursday, May 09, 2019 6:34:30 AM)

    Durant left the game in the second half with what at first appeared to be an Achilles’ tendon injury. The Warriors later said it was a calf strain.

  • [NYTimes] Bucks Reach Eastern Finals With a Rout of the Celtics
    (Thursday, May 09, 2019 4:28:22 AM)

    This will be the first conference finals for Milwaukee since 2001.

  • [NYTimes] Tyronn Lue Is Out of the Hunt for the Lakers’ Next Coach
    (Thursday, May 09, 2019 5:07:23 AM)

    Lue, who guided LeBron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers to three N.B.A. finals, was considered the favorite to replace Luke Walton, but negotiations broke down.

  • [SNY Knicks] As Boston’s season ends, here’s how Kyrie Irving could land with Knicks this offseason
    (Thursday, May 09, 2019 1:27:34 AM)

    Kyrie Irving didn’t give a direct answer when he was asked late Wednesday night about the possibility of re-signing with the Celtics.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks fans hold their breath after Kevin Durant injury in Game 5
    (Thursday, May 09, 2019 12:48:51 AM)

    All was lost for Knicks fans…at least for a moment. In Game 5 of the Warriors-Rockets series, Knicks potential free agent target Kevin Durant hit a mid-range jumper, but pulled up awkwardly on his right foot.

  • [SNY Knicks] David Fizdale confirms Knicks would take Zion Williamson No.1; talks free agent strategy
    (Wednesday, May 08, 2019 3:45:41 PM)

    Knicks coach David Fizdale confirmed what we’ve all assumed for months: if New York wins the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, the club will pick Duke sensation Zion Williamson.

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on Knicks target Kevin Durant: KD suffers injury in Game 5 vs. Rockets
    (Thursday, May 09, 2019 12:39:50 AM)

    Warriors star Kevin Durant can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kyrie Irving on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors…

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    70 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2019.05.09)

    1. Frank

      Prediction:

      Durant sits out the next 5 playoff games.
      Steph goes 16 for 27 and 8 for 12 from 3 point range, scores 48 points, Warriors win game 6 in HOU.
      Media says Durant was holding Steph back
      Warriors win WCFs but lose in 6 to the Bucks.
      Durant never forgives the world for saying that he held Steph back.
      Durant signs with Knicks.

    2. Brian Cronin

      Any scenario that ends up with Durant healthy and in New York next season is cool by me!

    3. Brian Cronin

      Of course, the Knickiest thing would be Durant missing Games 6 and 7, the Rockets winning both games and Durant feeling he has to return to avenge the loss that they suffered due to his absence and thus opts in for one more year.

    4. Frank

      In the back of my mind I almost feel Kerr / Myers / Steph are playing 4D chess and letting KD score 35-40 per game to make him feel like he’s the man and that Steph’s struggles are on purpose.

    5. Brian Cronin

      They’ve definitely been bending over backwards sucking up to him recently. There was a recent report that noted how much happier he has been of late with the team, most likely right around the same time that they essentially just told him to go score as much as he wants.

      I think he pretty much made up his mind that he was joining the Knicks, though, before the season even began. We all remember the scuttlebutt at the time and while it seemed hard to believe then, it’s sure as heck a lot easier to believe now (as soon as the KP trade happened, everyone in the world basically said, “Ohhhhh….I see what’s happening here” at the same time).

    6. Hubert

      I still think he hasn’t made up his mind at all, and can be swayed. This is a guy who was going to join the Celtics until 5 guys showed up at his door, and that extra $50mm the Warriors can offer him is hard to turn down.

    7. Hubert

      This Knicks Wall offseason game has me pondering AD trade scenarios. If we get the 2nd or 3rd pick, how good is our best offer compared to Boston and LA?

      Ja or Barrett
      Knox
      Smith
      Frank
      Our 2020 pick
      Dallas’ two picks

      I know we hate Knox but his trade value is still very high. Frank, in this scenario, is basically salary filler with a little potential.

      Given Tatum’s disappointing sophomore season, the fact that Ball has said he doesn’t want to play in New Orleans, and the extra value that comes with hype and narrative, I think Ja or Barrett might be viewed as the best chip available.

    8. thenoblefacehumper

      I don’t think the Pelicans even talk shop with us unless Mitchell Robinson is on the table. Trading him would absolutely gut me to the point where I’m not even sure I’d want to do it even in a scenario where I thought it objectively made sense.

      I think there are two AD trade formulas that make sense for us:

      1) The kitchen sink minus Mitch–our 2019 pick, the two Dallas picks, DSJ/Knox/Frank, etc. I don’t think NOP bites here unless the pick is Zion, in which case we shouldn’t do it. Just not enough upside.

      2) A package centered around Mitch and not much else–Mitch, salary filler (this is actually harder than it sounds FWIW), maybe some lower picks

      The first option would be pretty tempting if we don’t land Zion (I’d consider it off the table if we did) and NOP is actually willing. The second option might make perfect sense for both teams but maaaaaaan it would be hard for me to come away from it feeling good.

    9. Frank

      The other possibility is that AD is our 2nd max, not the 3rd. Then salary filler is not necessary since it can be an unbalanced trade.

      Frank, Knox, whoever the non-Zion pick is this year, and 2 1st rounders.
      So assuming, say, pick #3, we’d be sending out about $15MM in salary and taking back $27MM.
      Assume KD signs for 37. Then add the net $12MM. We’d still have about $20MM left.
      I’m not sure that gets it done from the Pels’ standpoint but it’s not a bad possiblity to think about from an NYK stnadpoint. Mitch, AD, KD — good luck scoring on that crew. We’d still have Dotson + Trier + DSJ, could bring back Vonleh, then spend the rest on a shooting or a veteran PG.

    10. Hubert

      I don’t think the Pelicans even talk shop with us unless Mitchell Robinson is on the table.

      I hear you. But we can’t do that. The goal has to be to assemble a Durant-Davis-Mitchell frontline, which would utterly devastating on both ends.

      Doesn’t our offer, even without Mitchell, top Boston and LA’s best offer?

      Narrative drives trade value. Tatum, Brown, Ball, Ingram are all coming off disappointing campaigns. Ja and Barrett have that new car smell. Just because that’s bullshit doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s the same bullshit that let Cleveland get love for Wiggins.

      Even Knox has the narrative behind him. Put aside our distaste for inefficient volume scorers. People think he had a great rookie season. He’s a 19 year old lottery pick who scored a ton of points, has tremendous upside, and three more years on his rookie deal. NBA GMs still like that kind of guy.

      After the way the season ended, I think Ja or Barrett would top LA or Boston’s best piece, and Knox would be perceived as the best 2nd piece.

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

      I don’t think there’s any question that Durant holds Steph and Klay back in terms of scoring opportunities, but he helps the overall efficiency of the team.

      So it really depends what you want.

      Do you want Steph to score 30 a night with a prettier boxscore rating and Klay to have more of those explosive nights where he totally goes off or do you want to win more games?

      I think everyone that matters understands that dynamic. The media, maybe not so much.

      I don’t think there’s any question at all that Kerr has been talking up Durant as a player and allowing him to be the leader so he would feel more appreciated and more apt to stay.

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

      Out of all the players that we could possibly land, my preference would be to land Anthony Davis. He’s the only one that’s all of young, not overrated, and seemingly getting past injury issues. Khawi may be the better player, but he’s only going to play 60 games and I’m still not sure what’s going on with his leg issues from last year. It was reported as a degenerative condition. Durant is older and gives us a short window. Irving is overrated.

      The problem with Davis is that you can’t just throw him into space like some of the others. You have to give up a lot of assets to trade for him. That makes it harder to build a team around him.

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

      For all the Mitchell Robinson fans that aren’t worried about him expanding his offense, this Warrior/Houston series is exposing Capella’s limitations as a player. It’s one thing to be able to pile up points on a nightly basis when half the nights you are covered by scrubs and 2nd string defenses. It’s another in the playoffs when they do a good job taking away your best weapon and you don’t have another.

    14. swiftandabundant

      Off topic a bit but the more I think about it, I do not think Kyrie’s poor playoff performance should sour us to signing him (with Durant). Lebron kinda shit the bed against Boston when he had one foot out the door in Cleveland (before he went to Miami). Does anybody really remember that? Kyrie never wanted to go to Boston.

    15. Hubert

      For all the Mitchell Robinson fans that aren’t worried about him expanding his offense, this Warrior/Houston series is exposing Capella’s limitations as a player. It’s one thing to be able to pile up points on a nightly basis when half the nights you are covered by scrubs and 2nd string defenses. It’s another in the playoffs when they do a good job taking away your best weapon and you don’t have another.

      I’m not going to get into this argument, but I’m interested in watching it play out. Frankly, watching Austin Rivers be more useful to Houston than Clint Capela does worry me a little wrt Mitch.

      But it also could be that he’s just having a tough series. It happens.

    16. Grocer

      If you want Davis then make sure we have cap space in 2020. But trading the damn farm for a one year rental when you don’t know if he wants to be here is extremely Knicksy, I’ll grant you that.

    17. DRed

      When Clint Capela was 20 he played 90 minutes in the NBA and he sucked. When he was 21 he played roughly as many minutes as Mitch did last year and he was significantly worse. Mitchell is a much better version of Capela.

      Also, most players are worse in the playoffs, and that’s even more pronounced when you’re playing the best team ever. It’s not really worth worrying about.

    18. Bruno Almeida

      @16

      It could also be that the Warriors are a ridiculously great team loaded with superstars and two of the best players in league history who won two titles in a row with this core, so they’re kinda hard to play against you know.

    19. thenoblefacehumper

      I’d be delighted if we run into the problem of Mitchell Robinson being marginalized as we mount a serious challenge to one of the best teams of all tme

    20. thenoblefacehumper

      I think the Rockets’ downfall will be that Chris Paul took a step back one year earlier than they were hoping. He hasn’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination, but both the numbers and the eye-test support the idea that he isn’t an elite player anymore.

      Last year he was almost as good as ever, which is why I think they definitely would’ve won that series had he been healthy. If they had that version of him during this year’s series, I think they’re up 3-2…or maybe the series is already over.

    21. DS

      I still think he hasn’t made up his mind at all, and can be swayed. This is a guy who was going to join the Celtics until 5 guys showed up at his door, and that extra $50mm the Warriors can offer him is hard to turn down.

      Four guys showed up at his door.

    22. cgreene

      The Warriors are the best team ever narrative is the worst narrative on this board.

    23. domiknick

      I still think he hasn’t made up his mind at all, and can be swayed. This is a guy who was going to join the Celtics until 5 guys showed up at his door, and that extra $50mm the Warriors can offer him is hard to turn down.

      Four guys showed up at his door.

      I read this as Durant was swayed to Golden State by a delivery of his favorite burgers.

    24. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Mitchell is a much better version of Capela.

      Doesn’t this just make you want to jump up out of your chair and sing? Because it does to me.

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

      I’m happy this is the case. It helped the Bucks get to the conference finals.

      Peter Vecsey Retweeted
      Coach Mantia
      ?@KenMantia

      Brad Stevens scrapped most his sets this year to let Kyrie flourish in free lance game. ESPN posted stats that confirm. This season per 100 possessions Celtics had

      10 % less passes
      25% less screens off ball
      50% less handoffs

    26. Hubert

      It could also be that the Warriors are a ridiculously great team loaded with superstars and two of the best players in league history who won two titles in a row with this core, so they’re kinda hard to play against you know.

      Like I said, I don’t have a firm opinion either way. But this doesn’t really say anything. They’re tough to play against for every member of the Rockets, you know? It’s the one guy who can’t shoot that’s having the hardest time staying on the court, though. Does that say anything about Mitch? Probably not. But since we may be counting on Mitch being the third star on a contending team next year, it’s worth watching.

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

      I think the Rockets’ downfall will be that Chris Paul took a step back one year earlier than they were hoping. He hasn’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination, but both the numbers and the eye-test support the idea that he isn’t an elite player anymore.

      I co-sign on this one.

      I absolutely hate the way Houston plays with Harden dominating the ball so much, but it wasn’t by choice for much of the year. There were a lot of injuries this year. CP3 clearly had a down year, but he was injured for much it. He started playing better down the stretch. The question was whether he could return to top form and split the load with Harden better. The answer is apparently “no”.

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

      @18

      I simply pointing out that if all you’ve got is a dunk and put back game on offense, you are not even a consistent good 3rd option when the playoffs come around. You are a terrific role player. I don’t care about the regular season.

    29. Frank

      For all the Mitchell Robinson fans that aren’t worried about him expanding his offense, this Warrior/Houston series is exposing Capella’s limitations as a player. It’s one thing to be able to pile up points on a nightly basis when half the nights you are covered by scrubs and 2nd string defenses. It’s another in the playoffs when they do a good job taking away your best weapon and you don’t have another.

      The problem with Capela in this series is that he’s not a good/quick enough defender to guard GS’s guards/wings on a switch. That won’t be a problem for our golden child Mitchell.

    30. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The Warriors are the best team ever narrative is the worst narrative on this board.

      I’m not prepared to get into the “who’s the absolute best team ever” argument today (or ever), but the Warriors have won 3 of 4 titles in dominating fashion, beating ridiculously good team like the 2015-16 Thunder and 2017-18 Rockets, and managed to take down LeBron last year when LeBron was putting up video game numbers for like 20 straight games. (Seriously, let us never forget that LeBron did what he did last year. As heroic a playoff run as you can get in sports.)

      The thing about the Warriors’ dynasty is that it is happening in an era in which it should be impossible to have a roster like theirs, replete with excess-value contracts and underrated stars even coming off the bench! I am totally fine to talk about Bill Russell and the Bird/Magic dynasties and the truly-great Bulls team that would have won 8 in a row if Jordan hadn’t gotten caught gambling. Hell, we can even talk about that Lakers team with Shaq and Kobe that obliterated all comers for three years, and probably should have won every title until 2006 or so were it not for the ego and hubris of basically everyone involved. They’re all great teams. The amazing thing about the Dubs is that it’s happening in the analytics, free-agency and luxury tax era.

      Let’s just consider the Celtics’ dynasty. Not only did they have to win just two series to be champs, but every single one of their core players (Cousy, Havlicek, KC Jones, Russell, Heinsohn, Sanders, Ramsey) played not just their prime with the Celtics, but their entire careers!

      I’m not saying to knock the Celtics for existing in such a team- and championship-friendly era. I’m saying that the Warriors are doing this against all odds. They should not be able to be this good this long. The system is rigged against that.

    31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Paul is still very quick, a great shooter and a genius with the ball, but it’s sort of this slow aging decline creep that’s easy to miss with the eyes. Watch his highlights from 2008-2010 to remind yourself what he used to be like, and how utterly dominant the Rockets would have been had he gone to Houston in 2012 instead of 2017. He was one of the most fearless and aggressive driving PGs I’ve ever seen. Watching Klay body him up really made me nostalgic for old-school CP3.

    32. Hubert

      I’m not saying to knock the Celtics for existing in such a team- and championship-friendly era. I’m saying that the Warriors are doing this against all odds. They should not be able to be this good this long. The system is rigged against that.

      Actually the rigged system helped them. When there’s a rigged system, if you fluke into an advantage, it’s impossible for everyone else to match. They fluked into THREE advantages. They got Curry on an undervalued contract, they got a DPOY on a 2nd round salary, and the greatest fluke of them all: a new TV contract created a salary cap spike that enabled them to sign Durant.

    33. DRed

      I simply pointing out that if all you’ve got is a dunk and put back game on offense, you are not even a consistent good 3rd option when the playoffs come around. You are a terrific role player. I don’t care about the regular season.

      Clint Capela’s stats against Golden State might mean that big men without a diversified offensive game are only terrific role players in the playoffs and not a consistent good 3rd option (whatever that means). It also might mean Draymond Green is a really good defender. It could mean that the Warriors are more vulnerable to isolation plays than pick and rolls. Maybe Clint Capela is worn out. There are a lot of explanations. It is way too small of a sample and tied to a specific opponent for you to be drawing any conclusions. You are not pointing out that centers who don’t shoot jump shots are much less effective in the playoffs, you’re pointing out that Clint Capela hasn’t been as good

    34. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Actually the rigged system helped them. When there’s a rigged system, if you fluke into an advantage, it’s impossible for everyone else to match. They fluked into THREE advantages. They got Curry on an undervalued contract, they got a DPOY on a 2nd round salary, and the greatest fluke of them all: a new TV contract created a salary cap spike that enabled them to sign Durant.

      Curry’s contract was a fluke in the same sense that Mitch’s contract was a fluke: they expected a good player on a great contract, but got an exceptional player on a 99th percentile contract.

      Draymond Green was not a fluke. He was one of the best college players of all-time and 29 other teams passed on him before the Dubs got him. They picked him. He wasn’t randomly placed on their team.

      The Durant thing was opportunism, no doubt. A truly unique circumstance, but the Warriors still put themselves in a position to sign him — because they did.

      The last point is the only one you can attribute to luck. The first two were savvy moves by an exceptional front office. They simply haven’t made a serious roster mistake since 2013-14. Other teams are out there blundering, and they’re barely making an inaccuracy. That sustained success rate is no accident.

    35. geo

      I still think he hasn’t made up his mind at all, and can be swayed. This is a guy who was going to join the Celtics until 5 guys showed up at his door, and that extra $50mm the Warriors can offer him is hard to turn down.

      I read this as Durant was swayed to Golden State by a delivery of his favorite burgers.

      ha, that is a pretty tasty burger though…

    36. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ha, that is a pretty tasty burger though…

      Do you mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?

    37. DS

      I still think he hasn’t made up his mind at all, and can be swayed. This is a guy who was going to join the Celtics until 5 guys showed up at his door, and that extra $50mm the Warriors can offer him is hard to turn down.

      Four guys showed up at his door.

      I read this as Durant was swayed to Golden State by a delivery of his favorite burgers.

      Whereas the Celtics were In-N-Out [BOOOO!!]

    38. ess-dog

      I never thought I’d say this, but with the league so skewed toward perimeter players now, I think we’re better off sticking with Mitch and his cheap-ass contract rather than trading for AD. Lopez played about 18 minutes in the Bucks’ clincher, and they didn’t play a backup center. Giannis was their “big” for most of the game, and it worked. Mitch is also my reason for not drafting Clarke. Our guards are unbelievably bad, so we need to load up on them.

    39. DS

      I never thought I’d say this, but with the league so skewed toward perimeter players now, I think we’re better off sticking with Mitch and his cheap-ass contract rather than trading for AD. Lopez played about 18 minutes in the Bucks’ clincher, and they didn’t play a backup center. Giannis was their “big” for most of the game, and it worked. Mitch is also my reason for not drafting Clarke. Our guards are unbelievably bad, so we need to load up on them.

      I don’t think the game has eclipsed AD, whose 3-point game isn’t so bad, even on a massive contract.

    40. Hubert

      Curry’s contract was a fluke in the same sense that Mitch’s contract was a fluke: they expected a good player on a great contract, but got an exceptional player on a 99th percentile contract.

      Draymond Green was not a fluke. He was one of the best college players of all-time and 29 other teams passed on him before the Dubs got him. They picked him. He wasn’t randomly placed on their team.

      The Durant thing was opportunism, no doubt. A truly unique circumstance, but the Warriors still put themselves in a position to sign him — because they did.

      The last point is the only one you can attribute to luck. The first two were savvy moves by an exceptional front office. They simply haven’t made a serious roster mistake since 2013-14. Other teams are out there blundering, and they’re barely making an inaccuracy. That sustained success rate is no accident.

      These are all excellent points about how astute Warriors management has been, and I agree with all of them. I shouldn’t have used the word fluke, it’s too disparaging.

      The point in question, though, was about the system. The system doesn’t hurt them, it helps them. The system is designed to prevent teams from gaining an advantage. But once a team does, the system then drives the value of that advantage through the roof.

    41. Hubert

      I think we’re better off sticking with Mitch and his cheap-ass contract rather than trading for AD

      It should be Mitch and AD, not Mitch or AD.

      We got really lucky after the trade deadline. The value of the Lakers and Celtics trade chips went down a lot. I think the offer I outlined in @8 might be the best one the Pelicans find.

    42. Hubert

      Kyrie’s expected departure changes a lot, too. How keen will AD be on re-signing in Boston without Kyrie there? Are they willing to include Tatum if Kyrie is gone and AD could leave after one year?

      If Boston doesn’t include Tatum, their deal isn’t that great. Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, and Memphis’ draft pick is woefully inadequate for AD.

      If Boston does include Tatum, their team isn’t that great. Terry Rozier, Gordon Heyward, and old Al Horford isn’t a great supporting cast.

      Things have changed. I think we’ve become the asset-rich team everyone said the Celtics were.

    43. Ntilakilla

      Insightful Tim Bontemps story on ESPN about the Celtics implosion this season. I highly recommend it for a run down of the various issues which plagued their attempts to integrate Kyrie and Hayward onto a squad that contended for an Eastern Conference title last season. Interesting tidbit is how Kyrie was happier and the team played better when Marcus Smart was his backcourt mate.

    44. Bruno Almeida

      I just get annoyed that playing badly against the Warriors is somehow an indictment on a player’s entire ability to produce on a basketball court. They’re not the standard, and even if you won’t put them up with the all time great teams for whatever mystical reason, you have to admit that it’s HIGHLY unlikely Mitch or even Capela for that matter will ever face a team that’s this good in the next couple of years in the playoffs. They lost Durant and were still left with a team that is at the very least amongst the league’s top 3 or 4 best teams.

      Capela played very well against the Jazz twice, when he was healthy, last season and this season, and they’re a top defensive team. Failing against the Warriors cannot mean you’re unplayable because the Warriors are not your standard team. Like it’s been said, I’ll be ecstatic if Robinson only struggles when he faces a Warriors level team, because that’s not going to happen many times if it even happens.

    45. JK47

      Mitch’s unique special attribute is the 3-point block. He’s already practically the GOAT of 3-point shot blocking. He practically invented it. Might that come in handy against the Warriors or a similar team someday?

    46. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I’m really not looking forward to having the hirsute Jaden Smith as the starting PG for the next four years. Winning basketball or not.

    47. DS

      Looks like KD’s injury (mild calf strain) isn’t serious but that he’s out for the rest of the Houston series.

    48. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The Finals begin on May 30, so they have 3 weeks to get Durant ready. If it’s a Grade 1, he should be fine by then. If it’s a mild Grade 2, it could take more time. Either way, this is not good for the Dubs.

    49. Hubert

      Either way, this is not good for the Dubs.

      Great news for the guy who bet heavily against them! My money is no longer on fire.

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

      It seems like karma to me. Last year Paul got injured and Houston couldn’t close Golden State out. This year the shoe is on the other foot with Durant injured.

    51. ess-dog

      I think Tatum and the Memphis pick are the next most valuable pieces after Mitch (besides this year’s #1, of course). Maybe they’d like Dennis Smith as well, but it would probably take Mitch and at least one Mavs pick to get AD. It’s likely that New Orleans will first want to try and strike a deal with whoever gets Zion. It’s odd to think about a team like Sacto or Dallas winning the first pick and perhaps doing that deal to try and contend right away.

    52. Brian Cronin

      It’s odd to think about a team like Sacto or Dallas winning the first pick and perhaps doing that deal to try and contend right away.

      Philly gets Sacto’s pick if it is #1 overall.

    53. MBunge

      Insightful Tim Bontemps story on ESPN about the Celtics implosion this season.

      As bad as Kyrie was this season, it amazes me how little criticism Stevens is getting in comparison. Forget about him chickening out on getting Kyrie to play with the rest of the team or any of his other failings, Stevens’ handling of Hayward is one of the worst coaching exhibitions any good coach has ever vomited up.

      He force fed Hayward minutes and responsibilities when he obviously wasn’t physically ready for them. That hurt the team because the best Celtics line up last season was Baynes, Horford, Tatum, Brown, and either Kyrie or Rozier. It had plenty of scoring and defensive size inside and on the perimeter. But Baynes, Horford, Tatum, and Brown hardly ever played together this season because Stevens HAD to have Hayward in there. And by the time Hayward started to get back physically, his confidence was shot from embarrassing himself so many nights.

      Mike

    54. Owen

      I’d be delighted if we run into the problem of Mitchell Robinson being marginalized as we mount a serious challenge to one of the best teams of all tme

      +1

    55. Ntilakilla

      @54

      I hate to be the guy to defend Brad Stevens but I have to give him a pass when I put myself in his situation. He had to integrate a damaged player on a 4 year max contract deal in Gordon Hayward while being careful not to alienate his mercurial ISO-style point guard the season before he turned FA.

    56. d-mar

      Philly fans are the worst. Their lead goes from 19 to 7 and they boo! I mean, they’re still winning the damn game!

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

      We all felt Woodson did a horrible job when the Knicks lost their second round series. after a while, in hindsight, that was a good result and he was far from the worst of recent Knick coaches. I think it may similar for Stevens. In the heat of the moment, he’s getting a lot of criticism, But he may look better in hindsight.

    58. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      I think the main difference between Woodson and Brad Stevens is that Brad Stevens never trotted out a Kenyon Martin Tyson Chandler frontcourt or ran Raymond Felton iso sets

      Which is to say one is good but made some decisions and the other had no idea what made his team good

    59. JK47

      That Celtics team doesn’t have the horses, it’s a mediocre team and they were never gonna be able to hang with the Bucks. Thr Celtics were the #8 team in SRS and the Bucks were #1 by a wide margin, so the result was right in line with what you’d expect.

    60. Hubert

      We all felt Woodson did a horrible job when the Knicks lost their second round series. after a while, in hindsight, that was a good result and he was far from the worst of recent Knick coaches. I think it may similar for Stevens. In the heat of the moment, he’s getting a lot of criticism, But he may look better in hindsight.

      Woodson did do a terrible job and it does not look better in hindsight.

    61. dtrickey

      Woodson also failed to exploit the advantage he had with Chris Copeland in that Indiana series, because the East is big man.

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

      Woodson may not have been good, but people in thus forum definitely said nicer things about him Here at Knickerblogger after experiencing Rambus and Fisher.

    63. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Man imagine if Jamal Murray wasn’t incredibly overrated

    64. Brian Cronin

      Woodson may not have been good, but people in thus forum definitely said nicer things about him Here at Knickerblogger after experiencing Rambus and Fisher.

      Oh yeah, Woody was normal NBA coach mediocre, not crazy terrible like the other guys. He was smart enough to mostly keep D’Antoni’s offensive system in place when he took over. He was bad at handling it beyond the general aspect of it all, but hey, just that general stuff is smarter than a lot of other coaches.

    65. Brian Cronin

      Man imagine if Jamal Murray wasn’t incredibly overrated

      He was big in Game 5, though!

    66. Bruno Almeida

      But the thing is that we never had a very high opinion on Woodson anyway. Brad Stevens was praised for like two years as a basketball savant who made awesome adjustments and was able to extract more from this players than what they had. So of course he should be getting a lot of flak as well, this Celtics team was expected by many to be the best team in the east this year.

      I never expected Woody to be a genius, I just wanted him to not be actively terrible. But when you’re praised as a great coach and you fail to make any adjustments, keep your locker room together or make sure your team takes good shots and plays good basketball, well you’re gonna be criticized.

    67. Z-man

      @64 I don’t think Jamal Murry is “incredibly overrated.” He just turned 22 on a rookie-scale contract and is an above average shooting guard on a team that’s one game away from the WCFs. No one is talking about him as a superstar, just a very good young player with a lot of potential.

    68. Z-man

      Despite the hype and length of these conference semis, the games have largely been not all that dramatic. There was the 4-overtime game and a couple of squeakers early, but otherwise not all that much 4th quarter drama. The Celts-Bucks series was 5 blowouts.

      Maybe the remaining games will be more entertaining…

    69. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, it’s kind of fascinating, right? They’re ostensibly tight series, but not really in the games themselves. Man, seeing how the Rockets find a way to lose tonight is going to be high-larious.

      Speaking of “not being close,” the Bucks so far have had the same point differential through nine games as the 1995-96 Bulls did in their first nine games in the playoffs that year!

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