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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, Jun 07 2013)

  • [New York Times] 5 Things to Note in Game 1 of NBA Finals (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 08:14:43 GMT)
    Five things to note from San Antonio’s 92-88 win over Miami in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night:    

  • [New York Times] Column: Spurs Turn Down the Heat Just in Time (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 07:53:45 GMT)
    One reason the Spurs always get called “boring” may be because we rarely see the most important guy on the team do his best work.    

  • [New York Times] Parker’s Shot Gives Spurs 1-0 Lead Over Heat (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 07:29:34 GMT)
    One by one, Tony Parker was confronted by Miami’s Big Three, surrounded even as the shot clock ticked toward zero and his San Antonio Spurs clung to a two-point lead.    

  • [New York Times] Parker Proves His Worth in ‘Money Time’ (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 07:23:17 GMT)
    Tony Parker weaved his way across court, slipped and stumbled and almost fumbled the ball, got to his feet and banked in a jump shot that sealed the Spurs’ win over Miami.    

  • [New York Times] Game 1: Spurs 92, Heat 88 : Parker’s Manic Final Shot Helps Give Spurs Game 1 (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 06:28:33 GMT)
    Tony Parker sank an improbable shot in the final seconds as the Spurs overcame a triple-double from the Heat’s LeBron James in the opener of the N.B.A. finals.    

  • [New York Times] Ortiz Walk-Off Homer Gives Boston Win Over Texas (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 06:20:17 GMT)
    - Boston’s David Ortiz smashed a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Red Sox a 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday.    

  • [New York Times] Tiredness and Turnovers Cost Heat, Says Wade (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 05:44:17 GMT)
    Miami guard Dwyane Wade said the Heat may have paid the price for their grueling seven-game series against the Indiana Pacers as the San Antonio Spurs took advantage of late turnovers and missed opportunities to win game one of the Finals 92-88.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs Rally to Stun Heat in Game 1 of N.B.A. Finals (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 05:12:48 GMT)
    Tony Parker banked in a 16-footer with 5.2 seconds left for the last of his 21 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat 92-88.    

  • [New York Times] Game 1: Spurs vs. Heat (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 05:04:04 GMT)
    The Spurs’ Tim Duncan had 20 points and Tony Parker made a desperation jumper with 5.2 seconds left to lift San Antonio over the Miami Heat.    

  • [New York Times] Leonard’s D Helps Spurs Contain LeBron (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 05:02:36 GMT)
    Manu Ginobili said before the NBA Finals started that Kawhi Leonard was San Antonio’s only hope of containing LeBron James.    

  • [New York Times] Heat Sputter Late, Fall in Game 1 to Spurs (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 04:56:50 GMT)
    LeBron James had a triple-double. Dwyane Wade played like his painful knee wasn’t so painful anymore. And the Miami Heat spent most of the night holding a lead.    

  • [New York Times] Parker Sparks Spurs to Finals-Opening Win in Miami (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 04:47:18 GMT)
    Tony Parker led a masterful fourth quarter performance from San Antonio as the Spurs beat the Heat 92-88 in the opening game of the NBA Finals in Miami on Thursday.    

  • [New York Times] Parker Inspires Spurs to Win in Miami in Finals Opener (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 03:56:20 GMT)
    Tony Parker led a masterful fourth quarter performance from San Antonio as the Spurs beat the Heat 92-88 in the opening game of the NBA Finals in Miami on Thursday.    

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Keeping Score: Key Statistics Favor Heat (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 02:21:59 GMT)
    Analyzing the championship games or series of the N.F.L., N.B.A., N.H.L and Major League Baseball, and the major finals in golf and tennis, and identifying the statistics that determine champions.    

  • [New York Times] George Karl Is Out as Coach of NuggetsGeorge Karl Is Out as Coach of the Nuggets (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 01:02:18 GMT)
    George Karl, 62, guided the Denver Nuggets to a franchise-record 57 wins, but they were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round for the fourth straight year.    

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Jason Kidd and Tony Parker, and What Might Have Been for Spurs (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 00:55:18 GMT)
    A decade ago, the Spurs did everything they could to replace a young Tony Parker with the league’s premier point guard, Jason Kidd.    

  • [New York Times] Stern Overseeing His Last NBA Finals (Fri, 07 Jun 2013 00:38:52 GMT)
    David Stern thinks that when it comes to the NBA Finals, his last might be the best.    

  • 70 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, Jun 07 2013)

    1. Hubert

      Did y’all see the video of the Spurs coaching themselves in a late game huddle last night? I can’t post youtube links because it’s blocked at my office. But if you google: Tony Parker coaching spurs, it’s the first video you see.

      If you can’t see it, it’s basically Poppovich standing off in the corner looking at some notes with an assistant, Tony walks up to him to confirm that he knows exactly what he’s supposed to say, Pop just nods at him, Tony goes into the huddle and just runs it like a boss, and every player is chiming in with smart things like “don’t jump at a Wade head fake”, “no fouls”, etc.

      Amazing stuff. That team is so well-drilled Poppovich doesn’t even need to do anything! I love a smart basketball team.

      I’m glad I picked Spurs in 5. The LeBronnettes look done and dusted.

    2. flossy

      Hubert: I’m glad I picked Spurs in 5. The LeBronnettes look done and dusted.

      That’s what everyone said after game one of last year’s finals, so let’s not go sucking each other’s lollipops just yet

    3. flossy

      Kikuchiyo:
      Anyone else notice how much Parker’s last shot looked like Allan Houston’s shot that finished Miami in ’99? Delicious.

      Yes! This! I only caught a bit of the 1st half but when I saw the recap this morning I was gobsmacked by the similarity.

    4. d-mar

      When did Christine Bosh’s game become all about 3 pointers? The guy never gets anywhere near the basket on offense. I understand Duncan’s a pretty good defender, but I don’t think Miami envisioned the big man of the big 3 becoming purely a 15 foot and out jump shooter. Pretty eye opening.

    5. mr.JayP

      d-mar:
      When did Christine Bosh’s game become all about 3 pointers? The guy never gets anywhere near the basket on offense. I understand Duncan’s a pretty good defender, but I don’t think Miami envisioned the big man of the big 3 becoming purely a 15 foot and out jump shooter. Pretty eye opening.

      I think establishing lebron on the post more has something to do with bosh fading out to the 3pt line. That’s just my guess.

      I wouldn’t know how bosh n lebron can both be in the post tho.

    6. Frank

      d-mar:
      When did Christine Bosh’s game become all about 3 pointers? The guy never gets anywhere near the basket on offense. I understand Duncan’s a pretty good defender, but I don’t think Miami envisioned the big man of the big 3 becoming purely a 15 foot and out jump shooter. Pretty eye opening.

      yeah very bizarre. He took only 74 3′s the entire year (exactly 1 per game), and now in the playoffs he has already taken 35 (in 17 games). Sure he’s hit 15 out of those 35, but he only shot 29% during the season. I’m pretty sure the Spurs are happy to let him fire away (especially from the wings) as much as he wants. If you look at his shot chart from the 3 point line at NBA.com, looks like McDonalds it has so much red and yellow.

      http://stats.nba.com/playerShotchart.html?PlayerID=2547

    7. DCrockett17

      d-mar:
      When did Christine Bosh’s game become all about 3 pointers? The guy never gets anywhere near the basket on offense. I understand Duncan’s a pretty good defender, but I don’t think Miami envisioned the big man of the big 3 becoming purely a 15 foot and out jump shooter. Pretty eye opening.

      Fair enough, but Wade is the player transforming before our eyes. He’s becoming the player Melo’s critics accuse him of being.

      That was the WORST 7-15 (vs. a good defense) I’ve ever seen. Sometimes +/- can gloss over some pretty important stuff, but last night it told the whole story. MIA was palpably worse with Wade on the floor. I have never in my life looked up +/- during a game, but his play was so bad I thought, “He has to be -6 or 7.” (He was -8, and got worse.)

      The play down the stretch where he passed up a mid-range shot, dribbled left into the lane, got shut off, pivoted, and then passed the ball to a totally covered Chalmers in the corner (who then shot it off the side of the backboard), might have been the single worst play of the whole game. It’ll probably be the worst play of the series however long it goes.

      Wade has a habit of bouncing back from games like this, but make no mistake. Bosh is going to get nitpicked–not without some justification–but Wade killed them last night.

    8. Frank

      DCrockett17: Fair enough, but Wade is the player transforming before our eyes. He’s becoming the player Melo’s critics accuse him of being.

      Wade has been borderline awful this entire playoffs. he’s much worse than the player Melo’s critics accuse him of being. If he didn’t have Lebron passing him the ball and getting all the defensive attention, there’s no telling how bad he would look on paper and on video.

    9. lavor postell

      I mean Wade is just not a very good basketball player right now and the fact that he pouts about not getting touches and his involvement in the offense when he’s playing like shit is beyond ridiculous. How Wade is not getting excoriated for that pathetic performance last night it was beyond me?

      DCrockett17:

      The play down the stretch where he passed up a mid-range shot, dribbled left into the lane, got shut off, pivoted, and then passed the ball to a totally covered Chalmers in the corner (who then shot it off the side of the backboard), might have been the single worst play of the whole game. It’ll probably be the worst play of the series however long it goes.

      Literally couldn’t stop laughing as I watched this. This series feels eerily similar to the Pistons championship run in 2004. It is early to say that especially after game 1, but while Miami’s struggles stem from Bosh and Wade impotent play and lack of any real impact, San Antonio just seemed to miss a lot of open 3′s. Maybe Bosh will find his mojo or Wade can become Flash again or Lebron is just that good he can do it himself, but without 2 of those 3 things happening Miami cannot beat San Antonio.

      The Spurs are certainly on a mission right now and for all the bullshit ESPN comparisons of Kobe to Jordan, Duncan and Shaq are the best players of that generation (I like Duncan a bit more). A fifth ring for him and Pop would be appropriate. It really has been something to be able to watch a player like Duncan for his entire career. Definitely in my top-10 players of all time.

    10. Owen

      Duncan is amazing. I am rooting for the Spurs hard. Would be a real validation for the way they run their organization. Which is the right way. Not that Dolan will notice.

      Not ready to count out the Heat yet though….

    11. Frank

      Owen: Duncan is amazing. I am rooting for the Spurs hard. Would be a real validation for the way they run their organization. Which is the right way. Not that Dolan will notice.

      Interesting that on the Spurs roster there are EIGHT international players. I feel pretty confident that that is part of the reason they are so fundamentally sound and low drama. There isn’t a guy on that team that looks like he played AAU ball.

    12. Brian Cronin

      Interesting that on the Spurs roster there are EIGHT international players. I feel pretty confident that that is part of the reason they are so fundamentally sound and low drama. There isn’t a guy on that team that looks like he played AAU ball.

      And Matt Bonner is so unsettling he might as well be from another country!

    13. jon abbey

      Owen:
      Duncan is amazing. I am rooting for the Spurs hard. Would be a real validation for the way they run their organization. Which is the right way. Not that Dolan will notice.

      so so so so so so sick of hearing this crap about the Spurs and Popovich and Dolan. put Tim Duncan on any other team in the league for his entire career and see how different things would have been, my guess is not much.

    14. jon abbey

      Duncan is amazing, but jesus is he boring to watch. he has singlehandedly made the NBA more dull for close to two decades now.

    15. stratomatic

      I can’t believe all the criticism Wade is taking here.

      At his best, Wade was arguably the 2nd best SG of all time. He’s playing on ONE LEG right now. If he wasn’t on a team that has a chance to win it all he wouldn’t even be playing now. He would have had surgery weeks ago and he’d be in rehab. He’s fighting through the injury hoping to win a championship and then he’s probably going to get the required surgery in the offseason.

      lmao

    16. stratomatic

      Owen:
      Duncan is amazing. I am rooting for the Spurs hard. Would be a real validation for the way they run their organization. Which is the right way. Not that Dolan will notice.

      Not ready to count out the Heat yet though….

      Dolan is incapable of valuing players properly, thinking long term, or relinquishing power to people that can. If you gave him any team in the NBA right now, within 2 years he would destroy it with short term thinking, bad management signings, bad coaching, bad trades, bad FA signings, and by allowing the real value to leave. I can’t totally blame him. The media and most former NBA players are just as bad. So he’s most likely just following conventional wisdom in his thinking. However, when it’s obvious you are bad, the idea is to find someone that is good and give him the freedom to do it way HE sees fit. He’s incapable of that either.

    17. DRed

      jon abbey: so so so so so so sick of hearing this crap about the Spurs and Popovich and Dolan. put Tim Duncan on any other team in the league for his entire career and see how different things would have been, my guess is not much.

      Look at KG’s career if you think it’s that easy. He’s Tim’s contemporary, was a pretty similar player, and did nothing for years and years because his team was run by morons.

    18. d-mar

      DRed: Look at KG’s career if you think it’s that easy.He’s Tim’s contemporary, was a pretty similar player, and did nothing for years and years because his team was run by morons.

      KG is not Tim Duncan, who is probably the best power forward in the history of the NBA. Once the Spurs won that draft lottery, they were guaranteed years of success no matter who owned the team. However, I will say that without the best coach in the NBA (and I’d take Popovich over Jackson any day of the week) at the helm, they might not have won as many championships, this year hopefully included.

    19. johnno

      d-mar: KG is not Tim Duncan, who is probably the best power forward in the history of the NBA.

      You are selling KG short, probably because you are remembering the KG of the last few years rather than the KG of the first 14 years of his career (the KG who was 1st team all defense practically every year and led the league in rebounding 4 years in a row while averaging about 24ppg). Go to basketball-reference.com and compare Duncan to KG. A good argument can be made that “in-his-prime KG” was slightly better than “in-his-prime Duncan.” Duncan has probably had a better career overall, but you shouldn’t make it sound like it’s silly to mention the two of them in the same sentence. If I had to pick between the two for my team, I’d pick Duncan but I agree with the poster above who said he is just plain boring to watch. P.S. I don’t care what they list him as, Duncan is a center, not a power forward.

    20. stratomatic

      d-mar: KG is not Tim Duncan, who is probably the best power forward in the history of the NBA. Once the Spurs won that draft lottery, they were guaranteed years of success no matter who owned the team.

      This is definitely NOT true.

      If the Knicks drafted Duncan, they would have immediately surrounded him with overrated, overpaid, and overhyped players, a bad coach, and squandered all their cap space and draft picks doing so. So Duncan would have left.

      One main reason guys like James, Garnett, Bosh, and even to some extent Howard etc.. leave is because they want to win a championship, but the management sucks and the team has been managed into an inescapable hell hole.

    21. flossy

      johnno: You are selling KG short, probably because you are remembering the KG of the last few years rather than the KG of the first 14 years of his career (the KG who was 1st team all defense practically every year and led the league in rebounding 4 years in a row while averaging about 24ppg).Go to basketball-reference.com and compare Duncan to KG.A good argument can be made that “in-his-prime KG” was slightly better than “in-his-prime Duncan.”Duncan has probably had a better career overall, but you shouldn’t make it sound like it’s silly to mention the two of them in the same sentence.If I had to pick between the two for my team, I’d pick Duncan but I agree with the poster above who said he is just plain boring to watch.P.S.I don’t care what they list him as, Duncan is a center, not a power forward.

      Moreover, if Garnett had played with David Robinson and then Manu Ginobili/Tony Parker for the early/prime years of his career, how many championship years of his career, how many rings do you think he’d have?

    22. jon abbey

      KG had huge problems scoring in the 4th quarter in big games for almost his whole Minnesota career, head issues. he and Pierce were such a great combination because Pierce always liked to take off long stretches in the first three quarters and then come up big in the fourth, perfect mesh of two not-quite championship-level franchise players, plus of course Ray Allen and a young Rondo.

    23. MeloDrama

      jon abbey: so so so so so so sick of hearing this crap about the Spurs and Popovich and Dolan. put Tim Duncan on any other team in the league for his entire career and see how different things would have been, my guess is not much.

      The Spurs blow nearly everyone else away in terms of coaching and organizational structure. You’re underrating them terribly.

    24. jon abbey

      MeloDrama: The Spurs blow nearly everyone else away in terms of coaching and organizational structure. You’re underrating them terribly.

      there is no way to know this, they have always had Tim Duncan. it might be true, it might not be. having the most egoless top 10 player in league history helps in about a billion different ways.

    25. jon abbey

      do people honestly think that if Pop coached Charlotte, they’d be a .500 team? because they wouldn’t be.

    26. Owen

      I agree with both sides of this. KG didn’t play with an All Star caliber player in Minnesota. Maybe Terrell Brandon. Some might say Spree. But he never had a legit sidekick. Whereas Duncan came into the league with Robinson and had Parker and Manu too and a great organization behind him.

      I think if you swap spots KG probably has 3-4 titles.

      That said, hard to not give Duncan the edge, substantially, just given how things have turned out.

      I also think that calling Duncan a power forward is ridiculous. He is a center. Robinson was more a power forward than he was.

      And I agree Duncan has made Pop look great, as discussed before. But he hasn’t messed it up either, as coaches often do.

    27. flossy

      jon abbey: there is no way to know this, they have always had Tim Duncan. it might be true, it might not be. having the most egoless top 10 player in league history helps in about a billion different ways.

      jon abbey:
      KG had huge problems scoring in the 4th quarter in big games for almost his whole Minnesota career, head issues. he and Pierce were such a great combination because Pierce always liked to take off long stretches in the first three quarters and then come up big in the fourth, perfect mesh of two not-quite championship-level franchise players, plus of course Ray Allen and a young Rondo.

      Amazing how you can know that the success of a whole franchise is due more to having Duncan than coaching/FO management, while at the same time knowing that Garnett’s failure to win in Minnesota is something psychological on KG’s part. As if Duncan would definitely have been a crunch-time killer surrounded by scrubs in the frozen north while Garnett would have choked away games left and right while playing with other HOFers in SA.

    28. stratomatic

      jon abbey:
      do people honestly think that if Pop coached Charlotte, they’d be a .500 team? because they wouldn’t be.

      Not immediately, but if had input into the trades and draft, they would be very good within 3 years.

    29. flossy

      Owen:
      I agree with both sides of this. KG didn’t play with an All Star caliber player in Minnesota. Maybe Terrell Brandon. Some might say Spree. But he never had a legit sidekick. Whereas Duncan came into the league with Robinson and had Parker and Manu too and a great organization behind him.

      I think if you swap spots KG probably has 3-4 titles.

      That said, hard to not give Duncan the edge, substantially, just given how things have turned out.

      I also think that calling Duncan a power forward is ridiculous. He is a center. Robinson was more a power forward than he was.

      And I agree Duncan has made Pop look great, as discussed before. But he hasn’t messed it up either, as coaches often do.

      I think it’s fair to say that both these statements are true: Duncan is an all-time great player, and the Spurs are one of the best coached teams/best manged franchises in the league.

      You could swap one all-time great player for Duncan (like Garnett) and the Spurs would probably still be extremely successful; likewise you could put Duncan on a crap team and he’d probably have been just as frustrated.

      That being said, the Spurs are not so well-coached or well-run that they could have racked up multiple titles without an all-time great player. If you try the same thought experiment with like, Vin Baker in Duncan’s place instead of Garnett, things don’t look so rosy. It generally takes a combination of great players and great coaching/smart front office management to have sustained success in this league, and even then you need luck on your side. But just one or the other isn’t enough.

    30. Frank

      flossy: I think it’s fair to say that both these statements are true: Duncan is an all-time great player, and the Spurs are one of the best coached teams/best manged franchises in the league.

      Look at Cleveland. They luck into getting the best player in the world, possibly the best player EVER, but in SIX years they can’t get to a title, mostly due to really crappy management.

      Their draft picks after the Lebron 2003 draft:
      2004 – Luke Jackson (who?) at #10
      2005 – no pick – traded away years prior for Wesley Person?!?!? Ended up being the #13 pick
      2006 – Shannon Brown at #25 (granted, this was an awful draft)
      2007 – they had 2 picks this year — #22 was traded to Charlotte for Sasha Pavlovic! #24 was traded to Boston for Jiri Welsch!
      2008 – JJ Hickson at #19 (many players left on the board such as Ryan Anderson, Batum, Ibaka, George Hill, Pekovic, Deandre Jordan, Asik, Dragic,
      2009 – Christian Eyenga?

      That’s not even counting the Larry Hughes, Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison etc. trades.

      Lucky teams get really lucky — like the Spurs with Duncan/Robinson, Cavs with LBJ, Thunder with Durant/Harden, etc. — the bad teams can’t do anything with it, whereas the great teams take that luck and run with it.

    31. flossy

      Frank: Look at Cleveland.They luck into getting the best player in the world, possibly the best player EVER, but in SIX years they can’t get to a title, mostly due to really crappy management.

      Their draft picks after the Lebron 2003 draft:
      2004 – Luke Jackson (who?) at #10
      2005 – no pick – traded away years prior for Wesley Person?!?!? Ended up being the #13 pick
      2006 – Shannon Brown at #25 (granted, this was an awful draft)
      2007 – they had 2 picks this year — #22 was traded to Charlotte for Sasha Pavlovic!#24 was traded to Boston for Jiri Welsch!
      2008 – JJ Hickson at #19 (many players left on the board such as Ryan Anderson, Batum, Ibaka, George Hill, Pekovic, Deandre Jordan, Asik, Dragic,
      2009 – Christian Eyenga?

      That’s not even counting the Larry Hughes, Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison etc. trades.

      Lucky teams get really lucky — like the Spurs with Duncan/Robinson, Cavs with LBJ, Thunder with Durant/Harden, etc. — the bad teams can’t do anything with it, whereas the great teams take that luck and run with it.

      Not to mention they refused to trade JJ Hickson to Phoenix to get Amar’e Stoudemire when LeBron was pretty much publicly begging for help, with the idea that Antawn Jamison would be an acceptable substitute.

    32. massive

      Frank: Look at Cleveland.They luck into getting the best player in the world, possibly the best player EVER, but in SIX years they can’t get to a title, mostly due to really crappy management.

      Their draft picks after the Lebron 2003 draft:
      2004 – Luke Jackson (who?) at #10
      2005 – no pick – traded away years prior for Wesley Person?!?!? Ended up being the #13 pick
      2006 – Shannon Brown at #25 (granted, this was an awful draft)
      2007 – they had 2 picks this year — #22 was traded to Charlotte for Sasha Pavlovic!#24 was traded to Boston for Jiri Welsch!
      2008 – JJ Hickson at #19 (many players left on the board such as Ryan Anderson, Batum, Ibaka, George Hill, Pekovic, Deandre Jordan, Asik, Dragic,
      2009 – Christian Eyenga?

      That’s not even counting the Larry Hughes, Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison etc. trades.

      Lucky teams get really lucky — like the Spurs with Duncan/Robinson, Cavs with LBJ, Thunder with Durant/Harden, etc. — the bad teams can’t do anything with it, whereas the great teams take that luck and run with it.

      Exactly. Cleveland is the best example of how having one of the greatest to play the game doesn’t mean you’ll have a dynasty. The Spurs took Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili with the 28th (2001) and 57th (1999) picks in the draft. That is great management. Not every team has that.

    33. Frank

      massive: Exactly. Cleveland is the best example of how having one of the greatest to play the game doesn’t mean you’ll have a dynasty. The Spurs took Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili with the 28th (2001) and 57th (1999) picks in the draft. That is great management. Not every team has that.

      and George Hill with a pick in the 20s, then traded him for Kawhi Leonard, who was awesome last night (missed wide open 3′s notwithstanding). And picked up Danny Green off the scrap heap (waived by the abovementioned Cleveland Cavs!!). Splitter was a late pick who was stashed for years (patience). In fact, in terms of the guys who actually play real minutes for them, the highest draft pick other than Duncan is Leonard, and he was 15th (I’m not counting McGrady).

      If anything, Pop and Buford don’t get enough credit for what they’ve built there, all while not breaking the bank.

    34. Frank

      That said — this whole run started with lucking into Duncan. It’s very easy to have patience when you already have your cornerstone. You don’t have to do what we did and what Houston is trying to do — collect assets over years and then blow them all in one or two transactions, hoping it works out.

    35. jon abbey

      Frank:
      That said — this whole run started with lucking into Duncan.It’s very easy to have patience when you already have your cornerstone.

      exactly. just because Cleveland did a horrendous job around LeBron doesn’t mean SA should get too much credit for building around Duncan, who was a more finished product than even LeBron immediately upon entering the league.

    36. Brian Cronin

      What is it with Rodman and making foolish assessments about players being average in different contexts?

      If LeBron was playing in the late ’80s and early ’90s, he would be just an average player,

      What a goofball.

    37. massive

      jon abbey: so so so so so so sick of hearing this crap about the Spurs and Popovich and Dolan. put Tim Duncan on any other team in the league for his entire career and see how different things would have been, my guess is not much.

      jon abbey: exactly. just because Cleveland did a horrendous job around LeBron doesn’t mean SA should get too much credit for building around Duncan, who was a more finished product than even LeBron immediately upon entering the league.

      You don’t think 4 championships (with a player who isn’t as good) is a LOT different from 1 NBA Finals appearance and two trips to the Conference Finals (which according to you is a horrendous job)? Building a dynasty the way the Spurs did is not easy, and management should be given a lot of credit.

      This is not like how OKC had 3 lottery picks in Green, Westbrook, and Harden (and a 4th this season) to build around Durant. The Spurs built around Tim Duncan with assets that usually turn into long-term bench players or guys with short careers. You can’t act like they didn’t do a great job just because they had Tim Duncan. Teams like Minnesota, New Orleans, Cleveland, and Orlando had a player of around the same caliber and all failed.

    38. Brian Cronin

      I think your rhetoric is just a bit too extreme, Jon. “I think the Spurs get too much credit for the job they’ve done” is fair enough, but you’re essentially going 180 degrees the other way, and that is not fair. The Leonard comment by Frank I think is the most salient point here – the highest draft pick they’ve had to work with since Duncan got there was Leonard, which was outside of the lottery and they only got a pick that high by trading a good player (a player that they drafted in the #20s)!

    39. jon abbey

      maybe you guys are just underestimating the greatness of Duncan? my point is it’s impossible to know either way. Mike D’Antoni looked like the greatest offensive coach in league history in Phoenix, now we all know much better.

    40. jon abbey

      massive:
      Teams like Minnesota, New Orleans, Cleveland, and Orlando had a player of around the same caliber and all failed.

      I’m not saying it’s easy but I also don’t think it’s factored in enough in the constant ballwashing of Popovich.

      and only LeBron of those four guys is in the category of Duncan, Garnett/Paul/Howard are not, IMO obviously.

    41. ruruland

      I don’t see why you have to pick one.

      Part of Duncan’s greatness is his blend of skills, which has allowed the Spurs to build a variety of teams around him.

      He can be/has been a centerpiece shot-creator in the post, and allowed Pop/Spurs to attain and play defensive minded centers (the list is long).

      He’s a great rim protector, which has allowed the Spurs to transition into small ball and remain effective on defense.

      He’s excellent in the pick and roll, which has given space for Parker and Manu to operate the last decade — it’s still the primary staple of their offense.

      As Dean Oliver emphasized over and over again, team context is the most important consideration when evaluating individual players.

      The Spurs, as an organization, have been able to consistently build great teams around Duncan, Parker and Ginobli because of the trio’s synergism.

      Yes, all three are great players in their own right, but one could speculate/argue that each, especially Parker imo, is an ideal fit next to the other two and wouldn’t be as good in other contexts (in the sense that you are withdrawing value from him)

      Building a cast of quality role players is much easier around a core of three excellent players — you don’t have to reach for project-able shot creation, you can go after the best role players every year.

      Is Leonard a great player on the Knicks in place of Melo? Hell to the no. Can he thrive in lower usage environments where he can focus on playing defense, making open 3-pt shots, and finding spaces to get to the rim? Yes.

      But he’s only able to focus on those things because he plays in an ecosystem where three top predators drawing attention and ensuring he doesn’t have to try to do things he’s LIKELY not capable of doing well.

      Could the Spurs lose the big three and get right back on track? It’s highly unlikely.

      While they’ve drafted extremely well, they’ve also been extremely lucky. There’s no way around it.

    42. ruruland

      Brian Cronin:
      I think your rhetoric is just a bit too extreme, Jon. “I think the Spurs get too much credit for the job they’ve done” is fair enough, but you’re essentially going 180 degrees the other way, and that is not fair. The Leonard comment by Frank I think is the most salient point here – the highest draft pick they’ve had to work with since Duncan got there was Leonard, which was outside of the lottery and they only got a pick that high by trading a good player (a player that they drafted in the #20s)!

      Right, but they don’t need to pick in the top 20 to get quality role players.

      That’s one of the benefits of having 1-2, or in the Spurs case 3, players who can carry an offensive load at efficient levels.

      Teams in the top 10-15 often don’t have those players, and therefore reach to draft them.

      Drafting relatively low skill role players — even if they are really good like Leonard — is actually a hindrance because a) it could mean attrition in terms of developing good role player habits b) it could lead to inflated market value because of increased usage, even if said player is relatively inefficient and is not optimized in that kind of role.

      Anyway, the Knicks seem to be in a pretty decent spot right now. I think they’re going to be able to cobble together a team that can win mid-50′s in the regular season the next two years and have a puncher’s chance of making a championship run. At which point, they can build a much stronger team.

      Secondly, they can draft another quality role player with, perhaps, some project-able upside.

      I think it’s pretty clear that Shump has a chance to be really good. He, Melo, perhaps Chandler moving forward, with a lot of cap space in two years, that’s a good position.

    43. SeeWhyDee77

      My take since everybody’s talkin about it..
      Pop is IMO a top 5 maybe even top 3 all time coach. But for argument’s sake lets just say top 5. Duncan is an all time great big who belongs in the Shaq/Russell/Dream category. Now..u will get no argument from me on the way the Spurs are run. Everybody knows they do a great job acquiring and cultivating talent while making sound decisions and keeping drama at a minimum. But in picking players it’s just the luck of the draw. Anybody can make a mistake. More importantly I think people are losing sight of the fact that great coaching + great players = real success. Remember..bad luck had to hit San Antonio before the could land Duncan in the draft. I mean..Chauncey Billups went third that year! What if they thought Van Hotn or even T Mac was the best pick? No one can say for sure if they would have had the same success. So it takes the perfect blend. Hell..even seemingly incompetent management can look smart. Most pundits said Dolan screwed up by throwing so much in to get Melo. But..where would we be without him? Nowhere near where we are now with Stat’s failing limbs. So that goes down as a smart move. In any case..like I said earlier u hafta have the rigt blend. Sometimes mismanagement will keep u from getting it like when we ha Larry Brown and gave him Marbury and Francis. But…MJ didn’t really win until Pippen and Phil came along. That said..I won’t give too much credit to this person or that person. Management and players just matched up well.

      Which is why Duncan is problee gonna get ring 5..

    44. SeeWhyDee77

      Sorry for the typos..this iPhone has gone thru the ringer and it doesn’t always respond to touch accurately

    45. ruruland

      SeeWhyDee77:
      But in picking players it’s just the luck of the draw. Anybody can make a mistake. More importantly I think people are losing sight of the fact that great coaching + great players = real success. Remember..bad luck had to hit San Antonio before the could land Duncan in the draft. I mean..Chauncey Billups went third that year! What if they thought Van Hotn or even T Mac was the best pick? No one can say for sure if they would have had the same success.So it takes the perfect blend. Hell..even seemingly incompetent management can look smart. Most pundits said Dolan screwed up by throwing so much in to get Melo. But..where would we be without him? Nowhere near where we are now with Stat’s failing limbs. So that goes down as a smart move. In any case..like I said earlier u hafta have the rigt blend. Sometimes mismanagement will keep u from getting it like when we ha Larry Brown and gave him Marbury and Francis. But…MJ didn’t really win until Pippen and Phil came along. That said..I won’t give too much credit to this person or that person. Management and players just matched up well.

      Which is why Duncan is problee gonna get ring 5..

      The problem is, there are some people in this thread who actually think that trading for Melo and signing Amar’e was akin to building around Marbury and Francis. They don’t see any difference at all. They don’t like the fact that the Knicks won 54 games last year, and they certainly aren’t going to credit anyone but Tyson Chandler and anything but a relatively weak ECF for the Knicks success.

    46. d-mar

      jon abbey: I’m not saying it’s easy but I also don’t think it’s factored in enough in the constant ballwashing of Popovich.

      and only LeBron of those four guys is in the category of Duncan, Garnett/Paul/Howard are not, IMO obviously.

      Sorry, Jon, I’ll continue to wash Popovich’s balls, (figuratively speaking of course). Ever watch the Spurs when Duncan or Parker or Ginoboli (or all 3) sit out? Same offensive execution, same team defense, same cohesiveness. Or how about at the end of close games, when the Spurs need one good look and always seem to get it?

      I just think he is a master at maximizing his talent and getting role players to buy into the system. The big 3 missed a combined 51 games this season, and they still won 58 games, that’s pretty impressive.

    47. lavor postell

      ruruland: Right, but they don’t need to pick in the top 20 to get quality role players.

      That’s one of the benefits of having 1-2, or in the Spurs case 3, players who can carry an offensive load at efficient levels.

      Teams in the top 10-15 often don’t have those players, and therefore reach to draft them.

      Right but they also picked Parker with the last pick of the first round in 2001. They took Ginobili in 1999 with the second to last pick overall in the draft at No. 57. Popovich being able to blend those guys together and help in the development of both Parker and Ginobili is pretty hard to overstated. It’s a lot easier to find and develop quality role players when you’ve found All-Stars and HOFers much later in the draft than virtually everybody else in the league. They are also willing to take risks like trading Hill for Leonard. Sure now it’s a no-brainer, and though I liked the move at the time, nobody could have told you with certainty it would have worked out this well.

      Also the fact that Buford and Popovich have been able to work so closely together over the past decade and a half while building team after team after team around their Big Three speaks volumes to their greatness. There are few operations in sports that run this smoothly for as long as the Spurs have with such an extended run of success. Honestly the only similar thing I can think of is Sir Alex Ferguson with Manchester United and he just retired after 26 years.

    48. SeeWhyDee77

      ruruland: The problem is, there are some people in this thread who actually think that trading for Melo and signing Amar’e was akin to building around Marbury and Francis. They don’t see any difference at all. They don’t like the fact that the Knicks won 54 games last year, and they certainly aren’t going to credit anyone but Tyson Chandler and anything but a relatively weak ECF for the Knicks success.

      I can dig it

    49. Z-man

      I’m a big KG hater, but if we’re playing pick-up for a million bucks and you take Tim Duncan, I’d be OK with settling for KG. Both are all-time greats and leaders, Duncan quietly and classy, KG loudly and profanely. And I also agree with johnno that Duncan is really a center, not a PF; really a hybrid leaning towards the C. KG is a hybrid leaning towards PF.

    50. ruruland

      lavor postell: Right but they also picked Parker with the last pick of the first round in 2001.They took Ginobili in 1999 with the second to last pick overall in the draft at No. 57.Popovich being able to blend those guys together and help in the development of both Parker and Ginobili is pretty hard to overstated.It’s a lot easier to find and develop quality role players when you’ve found All-Stars and HOFers much later in the draft than virtually everybody else in the league.They are also willing to take risks like trading Hill for Leonard.Sure now it’s a no-brainer, and though I liked the move at the time, nobody could have told you with certainty it would have worked out this well.

      Also the fact that Buford and Popovich have been able to work so closely together over the past decade and a half while building team after team after team around their Big Three speaks volumes to their greatness.There are few operations in sports that run this smoothly for as long as the Spurs have with such an extended run of success.Honestly the only similar thing I can think of is Sir Alex Ferguson with Manchester United and he just retired after 26 years.

      I agree with that. Like I said, it’s not just one or the other. Neither is possible without the other.

    51. jon abbey

      d-mar: Sorry, Jon, I’ll continue to wash Popovich’s balls, (figuratively speaking of course). Ever watch the Spurs when Duncan or Parker or Ginoboli (or all 3) sit out? Same offensive execution, same team defense, same cohesiveness. Or how about at the end of close games, when the Spurs need one good look and always seem to get it?

      do you get how this is different from Tim Duncan never being part of the Spurs organization? the Bulls were pretty good the two seasons Jordan was away too, but a lot of that was because of all of the confidence and good habits they’d developed while winning titles on his back the three prior seasons.

    52. Z-man

      Why can’t both be true-that Duncan is an all-time great player and Pop is an all-time great coach?

      I do agree with jon that Duncan is the most underrated all-time great ever. Part of being a great coach is keeping the all-time great player happy and keeping the core together (e.g. Red and Bill, Phil and Mike, Pat and Magic). Nobody has done that better than Pop, and my guess is that if he wasn’t all that, the Spurs would have broken up a long time ago. Did Duncan influence and develop Pop? Probably, but the reverse is probably true as well.

    53. Owen

      That’s a true knicks fan for you….

      Z-man:
      I like Leonard, but would still hesitate to trade Shump for him straight up.

    54. Z-man

      Owen:
      That’s a true knicks fan for you….

      True, but I do think that Shump might have more upside. I don’t see KL as ever being much of a scorer, and they are pretty similar defensively.

    55. ruruland

      Owen:
      That’s a true knicks fan for you….

      What a jackass

      Shump’s last 26 games are as good as any stretch in Leonard’s career.

      Further ahead? Leonard.

      Could Shump be as good or better, and soon? Of course.

      You’ve never written anything on this board that makes you worthy of a high-horse.

    56. massive

      I personally believe it’s a lot easier to be an off-the-ball player like Kawhi Leonard when you play in a system that is built on ball-movement the way the Spurs are (and the pre-Melo 2011 Knicks were). Kawhi Leonard isn’t some superior player who has a load of responsibility. His job is simple; let Tim Duncan and Tony Parker do all of the heavy lifting on offense while you space the floor and play good defense.

      He’s a good player, but not the godsend advanced stats make him out to be.

    57. DRed

      massive:
      I personally believe it’s a lot easier to be an off-the-ball player like Kawhi Leonard when you play in a system that is built on ball-movement the way the Spurs are (and the pre-Melo 2011 Knicks were). Kawhi Leonard isn’t some superior player who has a load of responsibility. His job is simple; let Tim Duncan and Tony Parker do all of the heavy lifting on offense while you space the floor and play good defense.

      He’s a good player, but not the godsend advanced stats make him out to be.

      If it’s so simple, there would be a lot of players like him. Maybe he does need a certain system to thrive (we don’t know for sure), but he plays his role in that system about as well as anyone. I’d trade Shump for him in a heartbeat. As ruru points out, he’s further ahead than Shump and he’s also a year younger. Every GM in the NBA woud deal Shump for Leonard. And Shump’s job on the Knicks is simple-he plays great defense and takes open 3s.

    58. TheRant

      Forgive my “out of the blue” comment if someone has previously mentioned this pass by Ginoblili which is f’ing insane.

      I don’t think I have seen a more amazing pass in decades of watching basketball.

      http://bit.ly/197tJ00

      It was so slick that Van Gundy and Breen didn’t even mention it. I don’t think anyone noticed that he flipped the ball past the long arms of Ray Allen and threaded the needle between Norris Cole’s legs AS HE WAS RUNNING and perfectly fed Parker on the way to the post.

      I mean, really. Really. He’s just toying with them, it seems.

    59. Brian Cronin

      If it’s so simple, there would be a lot of players like him. Maybe he does need a certain system to thrive (we don’t know for sure), but he plays his role in that system about as well as anyone. I’d trade Shump for him in a heartbeat. As ruru points out, he’s further ahead than Shump and he’s also a year younger. Every GM in the NBA woud deal Shump for Leonard. And Shump’s job on the Knicks is simple-he plays great defense and takes open 3s.

      Plus, with the Knicks playing Melo at the 4, they actually could really use a 3 more than a 2. So Leonard would slot into the Knick roster pretty perfectly.

      Felton/JR/Leonard/Melo/Chandler would be a sick lineup.

      This is no knock on Shump. It is not like Leonard blows him away. Shump is great and after Shump’s performance in the Boston series, a lot more people realize how good he is, but he’s still behind Leonard on the ol’ trade value rankings.

      Shump’s value is only rising, though, so maybe by this time next year he will be more valuable than Leonard. Of course, Leonard’s value has been rising, as well, so who knows?

    60. GHenman

      TheRant: Forgive my “out of the blue” comment if someone has previously mentioned this pass by Ginoblili which is f’ing insane.I don’t think I have seen a more amazing pass in decades of watching basketball.http://bit.ly/197tJ00It was so slick that Van Gundy and Breen didn’t even mention it. I don’t think anyone noticed that he flipped the ball past the long arms of Ray Allen and threaded the needle between Norris Cole’s legs AS HE WAS RUNNING and perfectly fed Parker on the way to the post.I mean, really. Really. He’s just toying with them, it seems.

      Wow! I missed that play during the game. Truly amazing. Thanks for posting it.

    61. Z-man

      DRed: If it’s so simple, there would be a lot of players like him.Maybe he does need a certain system to thrive (we don’t know for sure), but he plays his role in that system about as well as anyone. I’d trade Shump for him in a heartbeat.As ruru points out, he’s further ahead than Shump and he’s also a year younger.Every GM in the NBA woud deal Shump for Leonard.And Shump’s job on the Knicks is simple-he plays great defense and takes open 3s.

      Brian Cronin: Plus, with the Knicks playing Melo at the 4, they actually could really use a 3 more than a 2. So Leonard would slot into the Knick roster pretty perfectly.

      Felton/JR/Leonard/Melo/Chandler would be a sick lineup.

      This is no knock on Shump. It is not like Leonard blows him away. Shump is great and after Shump’s performance in the Boston series, a lot more people realize how good he is, but he’s still behind Leonard on the ol’ trade value rankings.

      Shump’s value is only rising, though, so maybe by this time next year he will be more valuable than Leonard. Of course, Leonard’s value has been rising, as well, so who knows?

      Shump is coming off ACL surgery and has only played a little more than a full season. Leonard has had more time to refine his game, and frankly, a much better team to fit in with. Shump has already had 2 coaches, one who played him out of position from the get-go and encouraged him to take the same bad shots that made him inefficient in college.

      Yeah, Leonard is the better player right now, and may always be, but man am I excited to see what Shump can do with a whole summer to work on his game.

    62. Z-man

      “And Shump’s job on the Knicks is simple-he plays great defense and takes open 3s.”

      Shump’s role will probably need to expand, especially if JR doesn’t come back. He has excellent ball skills for a 2, and can get the pull-up J at any time. He seems very awkward attacking the rim, which should be a focus for him this summer. If he stays within the role you mention above, he will definitely never be as good as Leonard. The question is: who is more capable of expanding their role? Say Manu goes down, can Leonard step into that role? Say JR goes down/elsewhere, can Shump step into that role? This is where the comparison is intriguing.

    63. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, Leonard is the better player right now, and may always be, but man am I excited to see what Shump can do with a whole summer to work on his game.

      Definitely agreed. Should be a lot of fun.

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