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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Jun 20 2012)

  • [New York Post] Mobley’s lawsuit vs. Knicks dismissed (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 03:07:38 -0500)
    Cuttino Mobley’s lawsuit against the Knicks claiming discrimination in their diagnosis of a career-threatening heart condition was thrown out of court.
    Judge Deborah A. Batts of the South District of New York granted a motion to dismiss the disability discrimination lawsuit, ruling Mobley did not prove he could perform…

  • [New York Post] PG Prigioni looks ready for NYC (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 02:20:28 -0500)
    The Knicks’ interest in Spanish League veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni does not surprise Walter Szczerbiak one bit.
    Prigioni, the playmaker on Argentina’s 2004 Olympic gold-medal-winning team that knocked off Team USA, is 35, but Szczerbiak â?? the U.S. ambassador to the Spanish League for 25 years before stepping…

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Finals Game 4: Heat 104, Thunder 98: Heat Move Within One Win of N.B.A. Title (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 07:52:30 GMT)
    Despite Russell Westbrook scoring a career playoff high 43 points, the Miami Heat took a three games to one lead in the N.B.A. finals after beating Oklahoma City for the third time in a row.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: N.B.A. Finals: Battier and Howard United in Bid for N.B.A. Ring (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 04:12:32 GMT)
    The Miami Heat’s Shane Battier and Juwan Howard were teammates in Houston in 2006-7, but their stories also intersect at the bitter rivalry of the early 1990s between Duke and Michigan.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Finals: N.B.A. Finals — Scott Brooks, Thunder Coach, Owes It All to Mom (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 03:36:46 GMT)
    As a player, Scott Brooks was loved by coaches for his passion and toughness, but as a coach, he is as understated as his Oklahoma City Thunder is flashy.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Womens Basketball: After Taking Early Lead, Liberty Beat the Atlanta Dream (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 05:30:07 GMT)
    Cappie Pondexter had 14 points and a season-high 13 assists, and Essence Carson added 14 points in the Liberty’s 73-60 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Column: Cavalry Rides to LeBron’s Rescue in Time (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 09:42:20 GMT)
    History is rarely this neat.

  • [New York Times] Heat on the Verge of Closing Out a Title (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 09:11:15 GMT)
    LeBron James played until his legs had nothing left. Mario Chalmers went from struggling to sensational in the span of about two quarters. Dwyane Wade wore yet another pair of silly eyeglasses to a postgame news conference. And the Oklahoma City Thunder failed to win the game that they said was a must-win.

  • [New York Times] Game 4 Loss Puts Thunder Title Hopes on Brink (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 08:01:54 GMT)
    Oklahoma City was more than OK at the start. At the end, not so much.

  • [New York Times] Williams Tries to Put Fatal Shooting Behind (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 07:36:26 GMT)
    Jayson Williams wants to walk. After 26 months behind bars, Williams never squanders an opportunity to stretch the legs that once helped make him one of the NBA’s most ruthless rebounders. Besides, he doesn’t have a driver’s license.

  • [New York Times] Shot-Clock Blunder Mars Brilliant Game for Westbrook (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 07:17:03 GMT)
    Russell Westbrook shone for the Oklahoma City Thunder for almost all of Game Four with a spectacular offensive display on Tuesday, but a rash blunder in the closing seconds left his team on the brink of an NBA Finals defeat.

  • [New York Times] Hobbling LeBron Helps Heat Keep Home Fires Burning (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 06:14:01 GMT)
    A case of leg cramps did what the Oklahoma City Thunder have yet to accomplish in four games of the NBA Finals, stop LeBron James.

  • [New York Times] Heat Beat Thunder to Move One Win From NBA Title (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 05:42:24 GMT)
    The Miami Heat moved within one win of claiming the NBA title after getting a rousing performance from unheralded guard Mario Chalmers to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-98 on Tuesday for a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

  • [New York Times] Thunder on Brink After Game 4 Loss (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 04:49:52 GMT)
    Oklahoma City is most definitely not OK in these NBA Finals.

  • [New York Times] Heat Beat Thunder to Move One Win From NBA Title (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 04:10:49 GMT)
    The Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-98 on Tuesday to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals and move within one victory of claiming the National Basketball Association title.

  • [New York Times] Heat President Riley Gets Coaching Achievement Award (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 01:23:11 GMT)
    Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley, the current president of the Miami Heat, was named winner of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday by the National Basketball Coaches Association.

  • [New York Times] Dwyane Wade Asks Court to Suspend Ex-Wife’s Child Visits (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 00:13:38 GMT)
    An attorney for Miami Heat basketball star Dwyane Wade asked a judge on Tuesday to suspend his ex-wife’s child-visitation rights after she was charged with attempting to abduct their two sons.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Riley Receives Award for Lifetime Coaching Achievement (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 01:28:30 GMT)
    Pat Riley, the Miami Heat’s president, became the fifth recipient of the award that is named for Chuck Daly and is presented by the N.B.A. Coaches Association.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Finals: Heat 104, Thunder 98: Heat Top Thunder and See Championship in Sight (Wed, 20 Jun 2012 05:20:06 GMT)
    LeBron James had 26 points and Dwyane Wade scored 25 as the Heat rallied from behind to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 on Tuesday night.

  • 55 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, Jun 20 2012)

    1. thenamestsam

      That was one of the best games of recent memory last night. I was just astonished at how much both teams gave, and in the end, I felt bad that either team had to lose. They both deserved to feel good about their performance at the end of that game.

      For OKC, Westbrook made the boneheaded play at the end, but they still needed a stop and a 3 just to force OT, so it in no way cost them the game. And he was just unreal the rest of the night. Reminded me of Wade in ’06 (minus the ref lunacy) more than anything else. Just overwhelming athleticism going to the rim unstoppably time after time. When he’s knocking down the jumper he’s as unstoppable as anyone in the league, and he put on a show last night. Harden is the other side of the coin. Really struggling right now. However, I think people are really overreacting saying he’s not a max guy now after three bad games. Banging with Lebron in the post for 30+ minutes is enough to hurt pretty much anyone’s offense. KD needs to find a way to still have a big impact on the game when Westbrook is carrying the offense. Hit the glass, lock down on D, something. He was mostly just invisible last night.

      For the Heat another shockingly gutty victory. Before the Knicks series I (and many others) labeled them as front runners who were great when things were going their way but were quick to fold up when things went bad. I’d say that criticism is dead at this point. Lebron was amazing again. His ability to iterate his game, playing a new way every night as the defense tries new things on him is truly astounding. Watching him lead a comeback from down 17 by playing as a backdown PG was just awesome. The level of effort he was giving, chasing Durant around screens on D and then backing into the post every possession on O was a sight to behold. Even before the cramps you could see that he was physically done.

      What a great, great game.

    2. jon abbey

      yeah, this is the most enjoyable Finals of my lifetime, I’ve been watching since at least 1980.

    3. thenamestsam

      Oh also worth pointing out that people will be using the silly stat that no team has ever come back from down 3-1 to declare the series over. I really don’t think this is over. It’s incredibly evenly matched and personally I still think OKC is ever-so-slightly better, and with every game they’re closing the experience gap on the Heat. The Heat are obviously the favorites now, but that may work in OKC’s favor to some extent as they may play a bit looser. If OKC can get game 5 it’s still all to play for as winning a clincher on the road in that building is not an easy task for Miami or any team.

    4. thenamestsam

      jon abbey:
      yeah, this is the most enjoyable Finals of my lifetime, I’ve been watching since at least 1980.

      If I weren’t so excited for next year’s Knicks I’d be fine with them just having these two teams play a 101 game series for NBA dominance in lieu of an actual season.

    5. JC Knickfan

      I think still liked 80’s final Boston-LA rivalry more, but I admit I’m on edge sofa when watching this Final. Don’t want LBJ to win, but still hard root for OKC as they are such a young team. I like notion that you have to pay your dues first.

      It does make me even more pessimistic of Knicks though. Even at our best this year I don’t we come close to this level B-ball.

    6. d-mar

      Agree with all above, this series has been incredibly entertaining and played at a really high level. Really hope it can go 7.

      I do think it’s gotta be killing OKC to get burned by Chalmers last night. Having him hit an open 3 after a LeBron double team is one thing, but allowing him to get to the basket in crunch time just can’t happen. If you watch the replays, Chalmers blows by Westbrook several times – I’m sure he was exhausted carrying the team on his back offensively the whole 4th quarter.

    7. Frank

      JC Knickfan:
      I think still liked 80?s final Boston-LA rivalry more, but I admit I’m on edge sofa when watching this Final. Don’t want LBJ to win, but still hard root for OKC as they are such a young team. I like notion that you have to pay your dues first.

      It does make me even more pessimistic of Knicks though.Even at our best this year I don’t we come close to this level B-ball.

      Maybe I’m just channeling my inner ruruland, but I don’t feel that bad about the Knicks next year. It’s lots of ifs, but if we can somehow bring back JR and Novak, get a relatively healthy year out of our stars, sign just one more wing/Lebron defender (Pietrus etc.), and get the expected development of our young guys, I think we can seriously compete with these teams.

      We have to remember that we have never seen our current team (or any team since 2009 for that matter) play with any sort of preparation or chemistry – no real training camp (especially not with Lin, who will be our starting PG), sudden change in offensive philosophy mid-season when Woodson came aboard, sudden personnel changes with Lin, Novak, JR, and Baron all basically showing up midseason. And that’s not even considering Amare’s wasted offseason last year, Melo’s injuries and feud with MDA, etc etc.

      We need to come back FOCUSED, with as little drama (either good or bad) as possible. As awesome as Linsanity was last year, it was just another thing that threw the team dynamic up in the air. We need to find our identity and rotation early and then work on continuity and attention to detail.

    8. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Frank: Maybe I’m just channeling my inner ruruland, but I don’t feel that bad about the Knicks next year. It’s lots of ifs, but if we can somehow bring back JR and Novak, get a relatively healthy year out of our stars, sign just one more wing/Lebron defender (Pietrus etc.), and get the expected development of our young guys, I think we can seriously compete with these teams.

      We have to remember that we have never seen our current team (or any team since 2009 for that matter) play with any sort of preparation or chemistry – no real training camp (especially not with Lin, who will be our starting PG), sudden change in offensive philosophy mid-season when Woodson came aboard, sudden personnel changes with Lin, Novak, JR, and Baron all basicallyshowing up midseason. And that’s not even considering Amare’s wasted offseason last year, Melo’s injuries and feud with MDA, etc etc.

      We need to come back FOCUSED, with as little drama (either good or bad) as possible. As awesome as Linsanity was last year, it was just another thing that threw the team dynamic up in the air.We need to find our identity and rotation early and then work on continuity and attention to detail.

      I think you mean that the Knicks have to do all of that. If you’re part of the “we,” you should bring it up during training camp.

    9. BigBlueAL

      jon abbey:
      yeah, this is the most enjoyable Finals of my lifetime, I’ve been watching since at least 1980.

      This series has been fun to watch but it doesnt come close to the 1993 Finals for pure entertainment or the 1997 Finals for drama.

    10. jon abbey

      you never thought (or I never thought anyway) that Jordan would lose to Barkley’s Suns or the Malone/Stockton Jazz. in this series, there was never really a clear favorite, and OKC still could easily take the series IMO.

    11. formido

      I thought Miami was clearly better than Dallas last year (still do), but it’s hard to argue with results. Miami is winning most quarters. They match up better. And Lebron is, for the first time, summoning the demon every game.

      thenamestsam: personally I still think OKC is ever-so-slightly better

    12. johnlocke

      Souce confirms @DraftExpress report that Hornets have agreed to trade Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to Wizards for Rashard Lewis, 46th pick.
      —> amare for Rashard Lewis expiring contract wishes can now die…

    13. ephus

      Like JC, I doubt that the Knicks have the talent level that equals either the Heat or OKC. Of course, the Heat are extremely dependent on two players and OKC could blow up (like the 1995 Magic). But if the Heat are healthy and OKC keeps it together, I think we may see them meet in the Finals several times in the next three years.

      My crazy thought (after watching Phil Jackson on HBO last night) is that OKC might think about bringing him in to replace Scott Brooks, who turned down a 3 year/$11 million contract extension. Westbrook is not a great fit in the Triangle, but Jackson would have the talent level he wants to compete for a title right away.

    14. formido

      Anyone can be blown by at any time by a skilled dribbler. Basketball is designed to give the initiative to the offense. Only team defense can stop drives. Even Shumpert, with his 43 inch vertical, was blown by plenty this season. Of course, you can foul, but fouling is overrated by folks who like “tough nosed” defense.

      d-mar:
      Agree with all above, this series has been incredibly entertaining and played at a really high level. Really hope it can go 7.

      I do think it’s gotta be killing OKC to get burned by Chalmers last night. Having him hit an open 3 after a LeBron double team is one thing, but allowing him to get to the basket in crunch time just can’t happen. If you watch the replays, Chalmers blows by Westbrook several times – I’m sure he was exhausted carrying the team on his back offensively the whole 4th quarter.

    15. ephus

      I put a lot of blame on Thabo Sefolosha for his defense on Lebron on the 3 pointer with 2 minutes left. Sefolosha played off of Lebron, daring him to take the long range shot. But given the obvious agony that Lebron was in, Sefolosha should have been pressed up, knowing that Lebron did not have the explosiveness to get to the rim. Not a Monday morning quarterback, I was saying it at the time.

    16. BigBlueAL

      jon abbey:
      you never thought (or I never thought anyway) that Jordan would lose to Barkley’s Suns or the Malone/Stockton Jazz. in this series, there was never really a clear favorite, and OKC still could easily take the series IMO.

      I was just basing it on the actual games played. This series has been fun to watch because of the basketball being played which to me is the best/funnest in a Finals since 1993. That Suns team was extemely fun to watch and the first 3-peat Bulls team was real fun to watch too obviously, alot funner than the older 3-peat team that followed.

    17. johnlocke

      You should be blaming Harden for his general ineptitude this whole series…. when he had that breakaway layup, I actually said out loud…”watch him f* this up” …guess what?

      ephus:
      I put a lot of blame on Thabo Sefolosha for his defense on Lebron on the 3 pointer with 2 minutes left.Sefolosha played off of Lebron, daring him to take the long range shot.But given the obvious agony that Lebron was in, Sefolosha should have been pressed up, knowing that Lebron did not have the explosiveness to get to the rim.Not a Monday morning quarterback, I was saying it at the time.

    18. JC Knickfan

      @13

      Next year I agree OKC – Miami rematch is highly likely baring injuries. Team pretty much going to be the same. I think Mike Miller might be amnestied.

      Next year Harden and Serge Ibaka will be contract years and funny thing is player tend to have career year in those scenarios. The magic money of futures earning seem to make you play harder. I willing bet that both will get 8 digit per contracts and Harden will probably get the max.

      So OKC has about $49,736,281 sign contracts/team option in 13/14. Team ownership doesn’t have history willing to go into luxury tax hell. I’m guessing Harden or Westbrook will be gone alone with Perkins. Durant, Harden, Ibaka with more tradition pass-first PG could possible be even more formidable. Either way after next season Thunders will be different team.

    19. johnlocke

      Harden’s shooting in Fields/Douglas level of production in the Finals… 35% from the field, 29% from three and 72% from the line. All this while turning the ball over at the worst moments and playing below average defense.

    20. ephus

      I agree that Harden has played badly, but the Thunder did a poor job of recognizing Lebron’s weakness in the last five minutes of the game. Since the Heat were trying to hide Lebron on defense by having him play Sefolosha, Sefolosha should have been setting ball screens for Westbrook, with Durant camped out for the corner 3 that Sefolosha missed. On defense, Sefolosha should have been pressing out on Lebron, making him try to get to the rim.

    21. Frank

      sounds as if Rashard Lewis will be bought out.
      any interest here for him? we could definitely use a stretch 4 type especially if Novak leaves. His stats were so awful last 2 years you’d have to think he’ll have to take a vet’s minimum type deal. But he’s a guy who historically has been a very good shooter and has lots of playoff experience, has hit some big shots.

    22. johnlocke

      Per my post above, he’s being traded to the Hornets for his very valuable expiring 2013 contract, when TONS of high quality free agents including Chris Paul, Josh Smith and Blake Griffin b/c available.

      Frank:
      sounds as if Rashard Lewis will be bought out.
      any interest here for him? we could definitely use a stretch 4 type especially if Novak leaves. His stats were so awful last 2 years you’d have to think he’ll have to take a vet’s minimum type deal.But he’s a guy who historically has been a very good shooter and has lots of playoff experience, has hit some big shots.

    23. johnlocke

      OFFICIAL: Hornets acquire Rashard Lewis & 46th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft in exchange for Trevor Ariza & Emeka Okafor.

    24. JC Knickfan

      Question if Rashard Lewis get bought out does his cap hit = original salary or bought-out price?

    25. ephus

      Lewis only had about $13.7 MM of his contract guaranteed for this year, out of a total of $23.7 MM in salary for this year. They only take the cap hit for the $13.7 MM that was guaranteed. Since the players that the Hornets traded away had a total guarantee of $20.7 MM for this year, they save $7 MM in cap space this year. They also free themselves of the commitments to Okafor and Ariza for 2013-14 ($14.5 MM for Okafor and a $7.7 MM player option for Ariza).

    26. ephus

      Once Lewis clears waivers, there will be a lot of teams interested. I doubt that Lewis will get anywhere near the $10 MM he lost by being waived, but I think he can get the full MLE from someone (or the mini-MLE if he goes to the Lakers or Heat).

      If you are Steve Novak, this is not good for your market value.

    27. Robtachi

      Can anybody manage a positive spin on LeBron winning a championship? Because I’m really struggling to find one.

    28. TelegraphedPass

      Robtachi: Can anybody manage a positive spin on LeBron winning a championship? Because I’m really struggling to find one.

      The best player in the league and a positive role model for our youth can finally be recognized for being one of the best players in NBA history?

      The insufferable “Ringless King” meme will finally die?

      Fans are forced to re-evaluate their concept of “clutch” and it’s value in the NBA?

      The concept of “empty stats” takes a hit?

      I think LeBron winning a ring is far more positive than Durant winning a ring. I also don’t buy into the Durant : Good as LeBron : Evil idea to which so many ascribe.

    29. ruruland

      Full MLE?????

      I have serious doubts about that. This is a guy whose TS slipped to 535 and 457 since leaving Dwight. Moreover, he couldn’t get playing time on the second worst team in the NBA. Obviously the Wizards would have loved to have their major investment be able to help their young pg by spreading the floor and making shots.

      He’s 32 and the last two years has looked nothing like the player he was in Seattle or Orlando. Physically he’s lost a couple of steps and his shot has disappeared. He was truly an awful player the last few years.

      I’d be shocked if he got the full MLE. Shoot, there is no guarantee Ray Allen gets the full MLE and he looks a lot better than Lewis despite being older.

      Remember, Lewis came into the league at 19. He’s played 14 years in the league. Given the dramatic declines the last couple of seasons it seems like he’s moving rapidly on the downside of his career.

      BTW, the Ariza/Okafor for Amar’e trade was one I suggested and we talked about months ago.

      Because it would not have just been Ariza and Okafor, two quality defensive players who when surrounded by elite offensive talent have been efficient offensively Remember, Ariza was traded to Houston with the idea that he’d evolve into a No.1 option. He’s been a major failure in that role.

      However, when he played with Dwight or Kobe/Gasol/Bynum, where he could be a drive and shoot player, he had TS of: .567, .568, .544 and was arguably the most important player in the Lakers ’10 championship run.

      Okafor is still just 29 years old. He’s a poor man’s Serge Ibaka. A two way player who can guard 4s, is physical inside and can block shots, and whose posted TS of 584 and 581 two of the last 4 years, with WS/48 of 147. .147 and .136 and much less talented teams than the Knicks.

      The savings in the trade (I think 3 million) for Amar’e could have helped the team sign JR and or Novak as well.

    30. ruruland

      ephus:
      Lewis only had about $13.7 MM of his contract guaranteed for this year, out of a total of $23.7 MM in salary for this year.They only take the cap hit for the $13.7 MM that was guaranteed.Since the players that the Hornets traded away had a total guarantee of $20.7 MM for this year, they save $7 MM in cap space this year.They also free themselves of the commitments to Okafor and Ariza for 2013-14 ($14.5 MM for Okafor and a $7.7 MM player option for Ariza).

      They have a combined guarantee of 20.7? What is Amar’e, 20?

      Obviously the Knicks would have been able to shed a year of their major commitment, but I was under the impression they were a combined 17 or so.

    31. ruruland

      formido:
      Anyone can be blown by at any time by a skilled dribbler. Basketball is designed to give the initiative to the offense. Only team defense can stop drives. Even Shumpert, with his 43 inch vertical, was blown by plenty this season. Of course, you can foul, but fouling is overrated by folks who like “tough nosed” defense.

      I think you’re under-emphasizing the value of guys who can beat their defender of the dribble on a somewhat consistent basis.

      The Knicks, outside of an occasional Melo and Fields drive, had exactly zero of them in the playoffs last year.

      Against good defense, they are much less common then you’d think.

    32. jon abbey

      TelegraphedPass: The best player in the league and a positive role model for our youth can finally be recognized for being one of the best players in NBA history?

      The insufferable “Ringless King” meme will finally die?

      Fans are forced to re-evaluate their concept of “clutch” and it’s value in the NBA?

      The concept of “empty stats” takes a hit?

      I think LeBron winning a ring is far more positive than Durant winning a ring. I also don’t buy into the Durant : Good as LeBron : Evil idea to which so many ascribe.

      “clutch” isn’t always a constant thing, this doesn’t change LeBron’s disappearance in last year’s Finals or against Boston the year before that (and I am a big LeBron fan), just as A-Rod’s dominance in the 2009 postseason doesn’t retroactively change the fact that he had some massive head problems on and off for years before that, to the point where he was seeing multiple psychiatrists at once.

    33. thenamestsam

      Robtachi:
      Can anybody manage a positive spin on LeBron winning a championship? Because I’m really struggling to find one.

      I think by far the biggest positive is that it will allow the league to move forward. For the last 3 years now “Will Lebron ever win a championship?” is a story that has completely overtaken every other. He’s the league’s biggest star, and every time he does anything the discussion inevitably turns to that. It’s getting stale, and if they fall short again this year it will be even staler when that’s STILL the central NBA discussion again next year, and for the foreseeable future. Lets get it over with already.

      The second big positive is that it may allow some more people to appreciate Lebron. For a large class of people it seems like they’ll never accept his greatness until he has a ring, and the thought of basketball fans not appreciating what he does on the court honestly makes me sad. If a championship unclouds the hate in some peoples eyes and allows them to appreciate (not like, or root for necessarily, but just appreciate) one of the greatest players to ever play the game I think that would bea pretty big positive.

      And some people may disagree with this, but the guy deserves it. He has been the best player in the league for a number of years, and has been saddled with some truly horrendous teams. He has played his heart out in some series just to come up short, and stubbed his toe in others to the glee of much of the basketball world. He has experienced every sort of failure you can experience in the NBA. Failure of his own making and of others making and taken hell from all corners for all of it. Seeing him summit the mountain, and not as a passenger but as the most important cog on a truly great team will be a fantastic moment if it happens.

    34. ruruland

      Frank:

      We need to come back FOCUSED, with as little drama (either good or bad) as possible. As awesome as Linsanity was last year, it was just another thing that threw the team dynamic up in the air.We need to find our identity and rotation early and then work on continuity and attention to detail.

      Go back and watch those 15 or so games with Melo, Chandler, Lin and Amar’e.

    35. thenamestsam

      jon abbey: “clutch” isn’t always a constant thing, this doesn’t change LeBron’s disappearance in last year’s Finals or against Boston the year before that (and I am a big LeBron fan), just as A-Rod’s dominance in the 2009 postseason doesn’t retroactively change the fact that he had some massive head problems on and off for years before that, to the point where he was seeing multiple psychiatrists at once.

      I agree with all of this, but most fans out there apply a pretty blatant double standard on this. Of course assessing someone’s “clutch” record should include assessing all of it, failures and successes. And I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot of that in the coming weeks if the Heat close it out as people clamber to remind us about last year.

      But you weren’t hearing too much after last year’s playoffs about Lebron’s clutch heroics against Boston or Chicago, or about his past phenomenal clutch performances against Orlando and Detroit. Everyone was perfectly willing to dismiss them ENTIRELY and focus only on the most recent evidence.

    36. TelegraphedPass

      jon abbey: “clutch” isn’t always a constant thing, this doesn’t change LeBron’s disappearance in last year’s Finals or against Boston the year before that (and I am a big LeBron fan), just as A-Rod’s dominance in the 2009 postseason doesn’t retroactively change the fact that he had some massive head problems on and off for years before that, to the point where he was seeing multiple psychiatrists at once.

      I don’t believe in clutch as a consistant ability either. Personally, I feel that guys who are good at making shots and take a lot of shots are more likely to make shots in close games. I think the whole idea of clutchness is a bit of a fabricated story to lionize our sports heroes.

      With LeBron (and his team) very likely defeating “Kid Clutch” (and his team) I would hope that a dialogue over the existence and value of clutchness would surface among fans. I can’t tell you how exasperated I became listening to my coworkers state that LeBron will never be the main reason a team wins a ring because he just doesn’t have “it.”

    37. ephus

      ruruland: They have a combined guarantee of 20.7? What is Amar’e, 20?
      Obviously the Knicks would have been able to shed a year of their major commitment, but I was under the impression they were a combined 17 or so.

      The $20.7 MM is for 2012-13. I think you were looking at the 2011-12 number.

      If you believe Larry Coon, no one is going to take Amar’e’s contract and give the Knicks salary cap relief. The fact that the Hornets took Rashard for Ariza/Okafor does not mean that they would take Amar’e. Getting Rashard allowed them to shed $7 MM in salary this year and $22 MM for next year.

      If Rashard is in shape, he provides shooting at the 4 in a way that few others do. I think that makes him more valuable than Ray Allen, but we will see what the market thinks. If the Lakers move Gasol, I think that Rashard makes a lot of sense to space the floor for Bynum/Kobe. Of course, he would only be able to get the mini-MLE from the Lakers.

    38. nicos

      One thing that’s become clear in the finals is how good KG still is on the defensive end- Ibaka (third in defensive player of the year voting) isn’t nearly as good as Garnett on either end of the floor. Is there a team out there that offers KG three years/36 million? If you’re the Thunder and are in a win now mode do you possibly move Ibaka and try to sign Garnett and hope he stays healthy?

    39. ruruland

      nicos:
      One thing that’s become clear in the finals is how good KG still is on the defensive end- Ibaka (third in defensive player of the year voting) isn’t nearly as good as Garnett on either end of the floor.Is there a team out there that offers KG three years/36 million?If you’re the Thunder and are in a win now mode do you possibly move Ibaka and try to sign Garnett and hope he stays healthy?

      Ibaka is a very good defensive player. Not as good as his numbers suggest, but you’re still talking about the best weakside shot blocker in the NBA who has the physical strength to slow down a lot of guys who try to attack him head-on.

    40. thenamestsam

      nicos:
      One thing that’s become clear in the finals is how good KG still is on the defensive end- Ibaka (third in defensive player of the year voting) isn’t nearly as good as Garnett on either end of the floor.Is there a team out there that offers KG three years/36 million?If you’re the Thunder and are in a win now mode do you possibly move Ibaka and try to sign Garnett and hope he stays healthy?

      Supposedly KG has said he doesn’t want to play for anyone but Doc, so that might be a big factor. Just based on his body language etc. I think being a Celtic means a lot to him and unless they’re so committed to rebuilding that they essentially tell him to get lost I think he ends up taking a bit less to keep playing there.

      If he really did want to leave he’d definitely be a guy who could pick his own spot. He can’t bring it every night any more, but the way the NBA is trending towards smaller quicker teams he’s really an ideal center. He could help every team in the league. Can’t see him leaving though.

    41. nicos

      thenamestsam: Supposedly KG has said he doesn’t want to play for anyone but Doc, so that might be a big factor. Just based on his body language etc. I think being a Celtic means a lot to him and unless they’re so committed to rebuilding that they essentially tell him to get lost I think he ends up taking a bit less to keep playing there.

      If he really did want to leave he’d definitely be a guy who could pick his own spot. He can’t bring it every night any more, but the way the NBA is trending towards smaller quicker teams he’s really an ideal center. He could help every team in the league. Can’t see him leaving though.

      I agree that he’s likely to stay but his price tag is probably going to be a lot higher than Celtics might have anticipated before this season. Does two years/20 million get it done now? Garnett’s made a ton of money so I’m sure he’d be willing to take a discount to stay but he’s also huge on respect so if the Celtics throw out a lowball offer just assuming that he’ll take it I could see that backfiring.

    42. ruruland

      To me, KG is a guy who’s willed his body pretty close to its limit. I think when he loses it he’s going to lose all of it. I could easily see that happening next year.

      I think even last year you saw how much of a struggle it was at times for KG to coax his body into doing things it used to do.

      KG’s defense is all about length, intilligence and incredible effort. I’m not sure how much longer he can play harder than everyone else. When he doesn’t, he’s not good.

    43. ephus

      Given the huge amount that the Celtics have to spend this summer, and the enormous cap hold that Garnett creates until he is signed (or renounce), I think that the Celtics will move quickly to ink him. A 3/30 contract probably gets the job done — and leave the Celtics more than $14 MM in cap room.

      The “over 36″ rule means that no one will offer Garnett four years (because 1/3 of the fourth year salary will get charged to this year’s salary cap).

    44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      According to Berri, NBA players tend to fall off a cliff at age 35. Notable examples are Stockton and Nash, but those were also amazing shooters (and the jump shot doesn’t fade as quickly as other ways of scoring). Garnett could make some team very unhappy with their decision to sign him.

    45. ephus

      I have no desire for KG to come to the Knicks, and they do not have any cap space for him anyhow. If he resigns with the Celtics and is horrible, I will be ecstatic. But, I think the market is going to give KG 3/30.

    46. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      According to Berri, NBA players tend to fall off a cliff at age 35. Notable examples are Stockton and Nash, but those were also amazing shooters (and the jump shot doesn’t fade as quickly as other ways of scoring). Garnett could make some team very unhappy with their decision to sign him.

      I meant notable exceptions. Stockton was awesome until he retired; Nash is still great.

    47. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      According to Berri, NBA players tend to fall off a cliff at age 35. Notable examples are Stockton and Nash, but those were also amazing shooters (and the jump shot doesn’t fade as quickly as other ways of scoring). Garnett could make some team very unhappy with their decision to sign him.

      I tend to agree with this, but I wonder how much is pure chronological age and how much is # total minutes played. It’s around now that the data on the high school guys will start becoming relevant.

      The other curve balls – all the tailored workouts/diets that guys have going on now, and unfortunately, all the PEDs that are probably flying around this league.

      Another notable exception – Ray Allen, whose age 37 season was basically indistinguishable from the 4 seasons prior to it. His overall efficiency (with much less usage in a different role with the Celts) is better than it was in Seattle.

    48. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Frank:
      The other curve balls – all the tailored workouts/diets that guys have going on now, and unfortunately, all the PEDs that are probably flying around this league.

      Sure. I’d guess that there is still a disproportionately high number of players who go out and wreck their bodies with rec. drugs and alcohol, not to mention benchwarmers like Curry who eat like they’re training for a marathon.

    49. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Sure. I’d guess that there is still a disproportionately high number of players who go out and wreck their bodies with rec. drugs and alcohol, not to mention benchwarmers like Curry who eat like they’re training for a marathon.

      Funny you mentioned that. Have you seen Curry on the Heat bench? Looks like he’s lost about 100 pounds.

    50. jon abbey

      ruruland: Funny you mentioned that. Have you seen Curry on the Heat bench? Looks like he’s lost about 100 pounds.

      which, as I’ve said all along, is ironic since his fat ass was his only real asset.

    51. iserp

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: According to Berri, NBA players tend to fall off a cliff at age 35. Notable examples are Stockton and Nash, but those were also amazing shooters (and the jump shot doesn’t fade as quickly as other ways of scoring). Garnett could make some team very unhappy with their decision to sign him.

      In this case you can look a bit more than pure statistics. Not everything declines with age … height, good shooting, floor vision are all characteristics you keep while you are still older. Meanwhile athleticism, reflexes, stamina, etc. you lose.

      That’s why i’d bet that Nowitzki has more NBA years remaining in him than D-Wade, even though he is 4 years older.

    52. Brian Cronin

      totally off-topic, but check out this link and tell me it’s not great to be a pro athlete. You can shoot 27% from 3 point range and shoot FTs at 55% as as shooting guard, and still have this lady on your arm:

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/extramustard/hotclicks/06/20/elaine-alden-dating-landry-fields-rays-wear-1979-uniforms/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_bf1_a3

      While no doubt that it is great to be an athlete when it comes to getting ladies, I think Fields is probably one of the best catches that we’ve seen on the Knicks since Allan Houston. I mean, if you’re the type of lady who likes to date athletes, Fields is pretty much the perfect package – Smart, funny and good looking? Like I said, not since Houston have the Knicks had someone like that (Houston is probably the best-looking Knick of the last 20 years. That dude is like a freakin’ model).

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