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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2019.05.26)

  • [SNY Knicks] Latest on Knicks free agent target Kevin Durant: Knicks legend says KD can’t come alone
    (Saturday, May 25, 2019 6:57:42 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] Kevin Durant center of attention in packed sports summer
    (Saturday, May 25, 2019 3:23:48 PM)

    After all the winters of their discontent, the Knicks are poised to be the Boys of Summer. LeBron James never intended to take his talents to New York, but here we are, nine years later, and the Knicks will be asking the basketball gods for help. The lottery awarded Zion Williamson to New Orleans, but…

  • [NYPost] Bernard King: Kevin Durant can’t fall into this Patrick Ewing trap
    (Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:56:15 PM)

    If Kevin Durant wants to come to the Knicks, he had better bring along another star or he’ll wind up like Patrick Ewing — ringless. So says Brooklyn-born Bernard King, the former Knicks legend who played a role this past season as rookie Kevin Knox’s unofficial mentor. King, who signed as a Knicks free agent…

  • [NYPost] Nets’ Irving, Russell curiosity could ‘1,000 percent’ work
    (Saturday, May 25, 2019 12:45:58 PM)

    The Nets’ summer has been framed as having to pick between keeping D’Angelo Russell or chasing Kyrie Irving. But maybe they don’t have to choose. Sources told The Post that some within Barclays Center feel Russell and Irving could actually coexist. And Kevin Boyle — the only man who has coached both — guarantees that…

  • [NYTimes] Kevin Durant center of attention in packed sports summer
    (Saturday, May 25, 2019 3:23:48 PM)

    After all the winters of their discontent, the Knicks are poised to be the Boys of Summer. LeBron James never intended to take his talents to New York, but here we are, nine years later, and the Knicks will be asking the basketball gods for help. The lottery awarded Zion Williamson to New Orleans, but…

  • [NYTimes] Bernard King: Kevin Durant can’t fall into this Patrick Ewing trap
    (Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:56:15 PM)

    If Kevin Durant wants to come to the Knicks, he had better bring along another star or he’ll wind up like Patrick Ewing — ringless. So says Brooklyn-born Bernard King, the former Knicks legend who played a role this past season as rookie Kevin Knox’s unofficial mentor. King, who signed as a Knicks free agent…

  • [NYTimes] Nets’ Irving, Russell curiosity could ‘1,000 percent’ work
    (Saturday, May 25, 2019 12:45:58 PM)

    The Nets’ summer has been framed as having to pick between keeping D’Angelo Russell or chasing Kyrie Irving. But maybe they don’t have to choose. Sources told The Post that some within Barclays Center feel Russell and Irving could actually coexist. And Kevin Boyle — the only man who has coached both — guarantees that…

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    53 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2019.05.26)

    1. alsep73

      Call it, friendos: how many games does Toronto win if…

      1)Durant doesn’t play at all?
      2)Durant plays but is hobbled?
      3)Durant plays and is healthy, but misses a couple of games?

      (It doesn’t sound like he’ll be ready for game 1, regardless.)

    2. Farfa

      I think Toronto will win Game 1 or Game 2, and then they’ll be crushed 4-1 in every scenario.

      I also think Draymond Green will win Finals MVP.

    3. KnickfaninNJ

      I’m also wondering if Cousins will play; and, if so, will it help the Raptors.

    4. DRed

      The Raptors are going to win the title if KD can’t play. GS is going to have trouble scoring if he can’t go.

    5. DRed

      People are wildly overreacting to the Warriors beating a Portland team that can’t play defense.

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

      I think the Warriors may be better than the Raptors without Durant as long as at least Iggy is playing and healthy. If Durant is playing and at 100% the Warriors are almost certainly the better team. It sounds like Durant may miss some games. So this could get interesting.

    7. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Even though I lost $20 taking the Bucks to win it all (thanks for choking, Philly!) I am very up for this Finals. No idea who’s gonna win or how many games but my body is ready

    8. Ingmarrrr

      Pretty cool finals. One team plays the most beautiful basketball we’ve seen in a long time, and the other was built by a master GM, and features one of the all time favorites of this blog.
      If Durant doesn’t play I’d give a slight edge to the Raptors because I don’t know that Draymond can dominate like he did vs the Blazers.

    9. DRed

      The Rockets could play dcfense and they beat them too.

      In one game, sure. The Rockets had a slightly better than league average defense. Yeah they had injury problems, so the actual defense was probably better than that, but it wasn’t like they were an elite defense. They had a really good defense last season.

    10. DRed

      I mean look, the Warriors are great, they certainly can beat Toronto without KD, but the Raptors just beat the best regular season team in the NBA 4 games in a row.

    11. thenoblefacehumper

      Giannis is one of the most physically gifted players any of us has ever seen. He also doesn’t appear to have a low BB IQ. It would make sense someone so athletically dominant would come into the league with holes in his game because he was so unstoppable doing certain things that he never needed to develop other skills.

      Giannis has now, I believe, been in the league for six years. He’s had six years of being paid millions to do nothing but play AND PRACTICE basketball. How is it possible, then, for someone so talented to be so freakin’ bad at multiple elementary basketball skills?

      Seriously? What is the explanation? How can Giannis not have even a rudimentary post game after six years in the league? Or does he have a post-game but has been so brainwashed by analytics that he never uses it, no matter what?

      After a series ends I think there needs to be a 48 hour moratorium on any kind of commentary about the losing team, punishable by having your internet access removed for life. I understand the free speech concerns, but if the takes stay this hot it’ll only make the climate situation that much worse.

    12. abk

      I’ll take the Warriors whether KD comes back or not.

      I’m still curious where the “Danny Green is washed” comments are coming from. He was awesome in the regular season. Is it only because his shot is off and he’s missing wide open threes right now? I don’t really see that as evidence of age related decline.

    13. abk

      Also someone said yesterday that Middleton cost himself a bunch of money in this series. I don’t think that’s true at all. He is looking at multiple max offers, as there’s just too much money available in free agency this year. Let’s hope it’s not with us.

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

      Here’s an interesting Hot Take

      @ClarenceGaines2
      Let’s hope @NBA MVP voters were wise enough not to vote for @Giannis_An34 – Too many holes in his offensive game – Go to Work!

    15. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The Raptors have the best player on either team unless Durant comes back healthy. The Warriors probably have 4 of the 5 best players in this series. I still like GSW.

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

      I have the Raptors at 9.85 – 1

      I’m trying to decide whether to just stick with it (all or nothing), hedge the series, play GS some of the games. The series is -300 now. The Raptors are a 1 point favorite in game 1.

    17. ClashFan

      I’m happy for Toronto; it is such a well-run organization and finally gets to go to the big dance. I’ll be rooting for them. If I had to bet (I don’t gamble), I’d go GS 4-2, though, assuming that KD plays and is not seriously hampered. Hard to really gauge the series with KD a looming question, and how much more does Kawhi have in his gas tank?

      Side dream: KD and Kawhi’s friendship grows during the series, and they decide to play together for the NY Knicks. Just a dream.

    18. chriskZIPCODE

      At first I thought this would be a GS sweep. Then I thought about what someone said here….if Durant doesn’t plan, Kawhi will stick Curry and Tor will make someone else beat them. That’s pretty formidable. Of course, Kawhi is about to be conjoined twins with Draymond. These are my thoughts, for what they are worth:
      With NO Durant, I think Tor has a shot, if:
      -Fred V keeps shooting lights out, obviously
      -Gasol steps up. Without Durant and Boogie, GS is small. Gasol does not seem to be washed up. I would use him on offense more than shooting 3’s
      -Same token….Gasol plays D. GS got lots of back cut layups, and Looney offensive rebounds. Gasol can stop that.
      -Lowry leads. Tor needs to not have the ball in Kawhi’s hands all the time
      -Danny Green shoots well enough to stay on the court. Houston was good on D, but Kawhi, Gasol, Siakam and Green would as tough to score on as anyone

    19. Brian Cronin

      I love Spencer Dinwiddie’s burn about how KD will come in like Bran and win the Finals MVP.

    20. chriskZIPCODE

      WITH Durant, I think Tor is kinda f’d, unless:
      -He’s not full speed, or he misses a game or two. GS plays differently without him; it’s tough to switch styles midgame.
      -Iggy is hurt. I think he’s the glue.

      All that said, I think a great series from Thompson overrides everything else.

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

      The Hot Take on Giannis is essentially correct but wildly exaggerated. Despite his handful of flaws on offense, he’s clearly one of the best 5 players in the NBA. If he did nothing, he’d still be great.

      However, to become a more complete offensive player he needs to improve his FT shooting, develop some kind of very reliable pull up 2 if open, and hopefully extend out to 3 point range. Ideally, you don’t want him doing much outside shooting (unless he gets really good from 3). The problem is that when it’s playoff time you invariably run into top defensive teams that are focused on taking away the strengths of any key players. If you can’t adjust and punish them for whatever they are doing to slow you down, you can’t force them to come out of it. If they are going to give him space and build a wall inside so he has to dish or throw up a rough shot, he has to knock down wide open shots at a rate that forces them out of that strategy. He also needs to be more reliable under pressure from the FT line.

    22. chriskZIPCODE

      Last point, this is the the CJ…..I posted the question about a month ago about moving the 3 pt line back. Jowels asked something to the effect of…..there’s nothing wrong with fast pased offense, solid shooting, transition basketball, great athletics. After watching these playoffs, I agree. See, I’ve been watching the Knicks all year. so these ideas were new to me.

    23. Hubert

      People are wildly overreacting to the Warriors beating a Portland team that can’t play defense.

      This would have been my two cents but you beat me to it.

      Im not exactly confident in my raptors bet but I’m happy to have them at 12-1 instead of whatever they are now. This is a really good Toronto team. I think they can win, even with a healthy Durant.

    24. The Infamous Cdiggy

      Yeah the hot takes on Giannis needs to chill. They not even coming at him like that on the Brewhoops blog (I see more blame aimed at Coach Bud which is still hot-takish but still).

      I think Toronto’s experience can’t be understated in this case. And they got better overall point guard play.

    25. thenoblefacehumper

      This is a boring take, but I think the Raptors’ chances hinge mostly on their non-Kawhi players. It’s always possible that he’ll go supernova and carry them to a win or two, but you pretty much know what you’re going to get from him—high efficiency, reasonably high volume scoring, great defense regardless of matchup, ferocious rebounding, and recently some sneakily nifty playmaking.

      Toronto is an entirely different team when Lowry is doing his thing, Siakam is creating chaos, Gasol is hitting shots, ditto for FVV/Green, etc. If those guys show up, I think Toronto has more than a puncher’s chance regardless of KD’s health (maybe 25% or so).

      If it looks more like game 7 against Philly…could be a very short series.

    26. DRed

      Giannis had a a rough series while being defended by Kawhi fucking Leonard, Pascal Siakim and Serge Ibaka.

      It’s going to be interesting to see who they matchup Kawhi on against GS. I’d probably try to defend Curry with Lowry and Van Vleet to start with and have them just rough him up-I think Steph is probably too mobile for Kawhi.

    27. Z-man

      I am guilty of underrating the Raps and overrating the Bucks. But I also feel that the Bucks were out-coached. For all of his reputation, Budz kept sending Giannis into double and triple-teams. They also had no answer for Fred whatshisname. Give Nick Nurse credit for some very smart adjustments.

      I give Toronto a puncher’s chance. Prediction: GSW in 6.

    28. Z-man

      I guess Lowry has worked his way out from under the playoff choke artist label, He way outplayed Bledsoe.

    29. Z-man

      And I will again say that as great as the Warriors have been, win or lose, they haven’t faced world-class competition and are not the GOAT team in my book. You could say that last year’s Rockets were great until they lost Paul, and if so, that only makes the case that the Warriors are not as great as their record indicates, since they were on the verge of losing that series.

    30. Brian Cronin

      But if you were going to give them credit if they beat the Bucks, then surely you have to still give them credit for beating the team that beat the Bucks, no?

    31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I can’t imagine Kawhi taking 35 shots and guarding Curry for 42+ minutes. Lowry and VanVleet for sure, maybe Kawhi if they get lit up. Iguodala and Klay will guard Kawhi. Maybe even McKinnie.

    32. BigBlueAL

      People are so desperate for the Warriors to lose they’re trying to convince themselves the Raptors have a chance to beat them. With KD the Raptors would be lucky to win 1 game, w/o KD the Raptors will be lucky to win 2 games.

    33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The Raptors just won 4 in a row against the team ranked #1 in three of the four defensive factors. They are legit, so long as Kawhi remains a superhero.

    34. Bruno Almeida

      It’s obvious that Giannis can still improve, but to say his flaws lost them this series is a bad take simply put. Bledsoe was literal garbage, shooting like 20% from the field for the entire series, Middleton was lackluster and Mirotic was so bad he barely played towards the end of game 6. That allowed the Raptors to collapse 3 defenders every time Giannis went for a drive, and those 3 defenders were people like Leonard, Lowry, Siakam and Gasol, all either great or good defenders in their own rights. Of course if Giannis did everything he does plus shot at an elite level they would have probably won, but then we’d be calling Giannis the GOAT and not only a MVP candidate. The series was lost much more because of Milwaukee’s role players and the complete inability of the team to play in a different way once it became clear Toronto would not allow Giannis to live at the rim.

      I was very, very impressed by the Raptors. They played extremely well, got contributions from all key players either on offense, defense or both, and executed their game plan really well. I think they’ll be a handful for the Warriors and will take games at home if Durant isn’t fully healthy.

    35. Early Bird

      People can put whatever spin they want on the Bucks Raps series, but sometimes the better team loses thanks to chance. Either the ball bounces the wrong way a few too many times or Fred Van Vleet shoots absurdly well from 3 during the series.

      The exact same series minus Fred Van Vleet going off likely results in a Bucks win. For all the analysis you give it still can come down to one team rolled the dice better than the other.

      A 7 game series is not a great sample size for two relatively evenly matched teams.

    36. Early Bird

      @ClarenceGaines2
      Let’s hope @NBA MVP voters were wise enough not to vote for @Giannis_An34 – Too many holes in his offensive game – Go to Work!

      I think the correct response is that Giannis has exactly 4 holes in his game–the other 4 players on the court.

    37. BigBlueAL

      I’m super impressed with Kawhi obviously but not necessarily with this Raptors team. They were lucky to beat the 76ers and only did so because of a super human performance by Kawhi. They needed double OT to avoid going down 0-3 to the Bucks. The Bucks had a great regular season but let’s be serious, they don’t come close in comparison to the Warriors. I will be shocked if the Raptors take more than 2 games from the Warriors and the only reason I give the Raptors a chance at winning 2 games is because they have homecourt and the Finals is no longer a 2-3-2 format plus it looks like KD might be out for most of the series if not the entire series. With a healthy KD this series won’t go past 5 games regardless of Toronto having homecourt.

    38. geo

      I don’t know…I’m gonna have to marinate on this one a little longer…

      golden state got down by 17 in each of their last 3 games…the raptors are playing with a lot of confidence right now, and, they start out at home…

      nick nurse may be a really good coach, and, kawhi can anchor your defense and run the offense…

      golden state has the better, way more experience playing together, playoff roster and coaching staff…

      I’d probably pick the warriors in 5 or 6…hope i’m wrong…

    39. Z-man

      But if you were going to give them credit if they beat the Bucks, then surely you have to still give them credit for beating the team that beat the Bucks, no?

      I had posted about a week ago that I overrated the Bucks. In order for them to have been classified as an historically very good team, they would have needed to not only beat the Raptors, but to beat them in like 5 games. Credit the Raptors, but they are not great either, certainly not in an historic sense. Kawhi is playing at a Jordanesque level, but beyond that, they are just so-so. They’re a marginal playoff team without him. The Warriors are a championship caliber team even without Durant. This ain’t the mid-’80s Lakers-Celtics.

    40. yellowboy90

      I think the series hinges on how well each team defends the PnR. Can Looney, Bell, Bogut/Jones guard Leonard better than Bogut? Will Curry give Gasol/Ibaka problems when they defend the PnR?

      The Raptors last two series have been against primary ball handlers who were not 3pt shooters now they will have to extend there defense. I look forward to seeing how they fair.

    41. JK47

      Kawhi is playing basketball about as well as you can play it.

      When Jordan was in his prime, there was this sense of dread about him, like he was just going to stick the dagger in you and beat you no matter what you did, and Kawhi has that same look to him this postseason. If he keeps beasting like this you have to like the Raptors’ chances.

      The comments above about the role players are on point too. If Van Vleet keeps playing like the Kerr to Kawhi’s Jordan, that makes them that much tougher. The Raptors definitely look like a much tougher out than the “LeBron + garbage” team the Dubs faced last year.

    42. Bruno Almeida

      @43

      Yeah, if we compare the Warriors of last season and this season, last season’s team was probably better right? And the Raptors this year are better than the Cavs they faced last season.

      The Warriors tend to destroy role players on good teams, so I don’t expect much of Van Vleet, Ibaka or Powell, who were all important factors againt the Bucks. But Leonard is the best possible non-LeBron player they could be facing now, and Lowry, Siakam and Gasol were impactful through good stretches in the Milwaukee series.

      I don’t think the Raptors really have a chance to win it all, but I don’t think it will be a sweep or a super easy series for the Warriors.

    43. Ben R

      I think anyone doubting Giannis need to calm down. He is 24. Neither Jordan nor LeBron won the Finals until they were 27. Before that Jordan had never made the finals and LeBron made it twice, once when he was 22 and got swept by the Spurs and then again when he was 26 and lost with the Heat.

      If in three years Giannis has still never made a Finals and still has holes in his game then talk to me. Giannis is right now probably the 2nd or 3rd best player in the NBA. In two years if he isn’t the best I will be shocked.

    44. ptmilo

      Raptors not getting enuf respect here on knickerblogger. they played almost 2000 minutes without kawhi his year and had the same spreads as OKC/Indy in that time, better than Philly. kyle lowry at 32 isn’t peak kyle lowry but he’s still damn good. siakam didn’t immediately become an all nba player but he is exactly the sort of player you need against gsw (3 things in tandem: defend the paint and the perimeter, be useful in transition both ways, don’t be completely ignorable on offense).

      i’m not sure how effective gasol will be in this series but he has played incredibly smart defense in the playoffs. the extra rest probably benefits kawhi more than any player save kd. og coming back will be useful since they’ll want to keep up their frantic defense as much as possible. most of the rest of their guys are useful at least, and their coach is excellent. draymond has been incredible in the playoffs but toronto’s defense is extra tough when they can ignore two shooters.

      without kd i think it’s competitive but i think i like the raptors. the raptors come out as the 5th best defense but i think they are the best. to me kawhi really dogged it on D for most of the year and he’s right there with dray in the playoffs. gasol works better for them on that end than valunciunas and they don’t really have a single defensive soft spot in their rotation, except when serge gets temporary vertigo. warriors without kd are great but they are still not the 73-9 warriors.

    45. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The biggest hole in Giannis’ game is Eric Bledsoe. I don’t wanna hear that Giannis is the reason the Bucks lost. Toronto has a bunch of players who have been deep in the playoffs before (4 of their 5 starters were playing in at least their 2nd conference finals) and their experience along with great game planning by Nick Nurse got them over the hump. You can’t overstate how great Kawhi Leonard was in this series, either. The 58 win Raptors beat the 60 win Bucks. There’s not much to it other than Leonard’s more experienced supporting players were better than Giannis’ role players.

    46. bidiong

      I think it’s going to be an epic finals. Toronto is going to give them a run. I love how Golden State plays basketball, but it would be nice if Kawhi has a once in a lifetime series to beat them.

    47. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Bledsoe took 68 shots and 21 FTA and scored 61 points. Giannis did that?

    48. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Bledsoe took 68 shots and 21 FTA and scored 61 points. Giannis did that?

      Exactly. When the guy you just gave a 4yr $70M extension decides he wants to turn in a string of performances that bad, it’s kinda hard to say “THEY FIGURED OUT GIANNIS HE HAS THE GAME OF A COLLEGE SOPHOMORE.” Giannis will be back and he’ll be his All NBA self again. If those role players can’t hit shots, though, you gotta wonder if he signs that mega deal in Milwaukee.

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

      It’s obvious that Giannis can still improve, but to say his flaws lost them this series is a bad take simply put. Bledsoe was literal garbage, shooting like 20% from the field for the entire series, Middleton was lackluster and Mirotic was so bad he barely played towards the end of game 6.

      The adjustments teams are making are not just to stop a single player and let all hell break loose everywhere else. Each players’s strengths and weaknesses are scouted to death and everyone is fully prepared to take away as much of everyone’s game as possible. You don’t get the space you normally get. The defenses are more physical. They take away you best locations and best plays etc… All your weaknesses are exposed in the playoffs. It’s a different game.

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

      Bledsoe took 68 shots and 21 FTA and scored 61 points. Giannis did that?

      Playoff defense did that.

      If you have weaknesses they get exposed.

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