Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Lance Thomas carves out bigger role, warts and all

As Langston Galloway’s shooting has melted into a putrid sludge, Lance Thomas has emerged as the main dude off the bench. Thomas is leading the Knicks’ bench players in minutes per game over the last 10 games, edging Galloway by a few decimal points.

I get it. Thomas has the second-highest TS% among the Knicks’ rotation players, second only to Jose Calderon. This season he’s more prolific and more accurate from three than he’s been in his entire career. He also has a solid .318 FTr.

But the size of Thomas’ role indicates how flawed the Knicks’ roster is, and shows why we should temper our expectations for a playoff appearance.

That’s because Thomas’ shooting has been pretty much his only strength. Especially for someone who stands 6’8”, Thomas is a wimpy rebounder. His individual REB% is tiny. He’s the worst rotation rebounder, even worse than Calderon. When he’s on the court, Knick opponents grab 29.4% of available offensive rebounds, a rate that would be the second-highest in the league; it’s basically like adding Andre Drummond to the enemy roster. When he’s off the court, opponents are suddenly much more middling at grabbing boards.

On defense, he’s a mixed bag. Tracking stats love Thomas: Opponents shoot 5.4% worse when he’s defending them. Defensive rating does not: According to basketball-reference.com, his mark of 110 is the worst on the team. (NBA.com, which has a different, I think more noisy calculation, gives him a more average score.) That’s likely due to how conservative Thomas is: He rarely forces turnovers or blocks shots.

The thing is, Thomas should be a good defender. I mentioned his length, but he’s also quick on his feet. Unfortunately, the Knicks are so short on good perimeter defenders, that Thomas is often matched up with the other team’s best or second-best outside scorer. On Saturday, it was Damian Lillard. That did not go well.

He had some moments, but for the most part, Lillard burned Thomas alive. In the fourth quarter, when Lillard was Thomas’ primary responsibility, he lost the Portland point guard on Mason Plumlee picks three possessions in a row. On a sideline-out-of-bounds play in the final seconds, he got stuck on a Meyers Leonard pick to allow Lillard a wide, wide open alley oop catch that would have brought Portland to within two. Luckily, Lillard missed.

Unfortunately, us Knick fans are going to have to live with Thomas’ flaws. The Knicks are a bottom-five shooting team, and Thomas can shoot. This roster offers few other solutions. I’d rather see some minutes go to developing younger players with more upside, like Jerian Grant and Derrick Williams, but Fisher is coaching to win, and even though I’m mostly burying playoff hopes deep inside, as I do with all my other hopes, I know I’d be thrilled with some postseason basketball, especially with no picks this year. So, long live Lance.

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81 comments on “Lance Thomas carves out bigger role, warts and all

  1. KnickfaninNJ

    If Thomas is often guarding the other teams best offensive player, that could explain the two different defensive ratings. His man could shoot 5% worse and still score a lot of points on Thomas because the other team was having that opponent do a lot of shooting.

  2. thenamestsam

    Nice article. I have to say Lance has been a pleasant surprise this year, mainly because I didn’t see this shooting coming at all. He already has more than twice as many made 3s this year as he had total in his career prior to this year. If he can really shoot 35% from 3 on a decent volume with some of the secondary skills he has shown offensively than he really is an NBA player, which is more than I thought coming into this year.

    I don’t really understand those rebounding numbers – he has the length, he works hard on the floor, he has sound fundamentals, so I really am not sure what to make of such horrific numbers. If he can pick that up a bit then he’ll round into a solid rotation guy. 27 years old though, so not young. Stil, for better or worse, he looks like one of Phil’s more astute moves.

  3. lavor postell

    @2

    Yeah I thought that was a wild exaggeration. Lillard getting open on 1 lob attempt doesn’t mean he roasted Thomas. He went 2-6 for the game when being defended by Thomas.

  4. Frank

    Holy sh*t, I will have died and gone to heaven if this trade happens (from here):

    5. What’s one trade you’d really like to see happen?
    Ford: Carmelo to the Heat, Robin Lopez to the Kings and a combination headlined by Justise Winslow and Willie Cauley-Stein to the Knicks (with other players included for salary matching). Miami is a place where Anthony might agree to go, the Kings would get a center who adds defense and toughness and the Knicks would get two good prospects that intrigued them before the 2015 draft. While the Knicks would be taking a step back, it would show they were serious about building a great team.

  5. DRed

    Lance is alright. And that’s pretty good!

    And lol to that trade, Frank. That would be one of the biggest heists in NBA history. We can dream, at least. . .

  6. Brian Cronin

    It’s one thing for us to throw out “Maybe Sacramento will be morons for no reason” but for a national NBA writer to suggest a trade like that is really weird.

  7. Frank

    Would anyone do Melo for McBob, Chris Andersen, Deng, and Winslow + some sort of lightly protected future pick?

    Salaries match…

    And we’d be left with something like $35MM in cap space this summer.

  8. Brian Cronin

    From the same article:

    Right now this looks like a team destined for one of the last two seats at the dais in Secaucus in May.

    Huh? Is he really suggesting that the Suns will end up as one of the two worst teams in the NBA?

  9. Brian Cronin

    Would anyone do Melo for McBob, Chris Andersen, Deng, and Winslow + some sort of lightly protected future pick?

    Salaries match…

    And we’d be left with something like $35MM in cap space this summer.

    Of course. I just don’t think Winslow is available in any Melo deal. But hell, if they’re getting WCS for Robin Lopez, then they can do that deal without Winslow. ;) WCS for Robin Lopez…SMDH…

  10. lavor postell

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/carmelo-anthony-on-knicks-sensation-kristaps-porzingis—nobody-can-come-between-us-144844460.html

    “I know what we have as teammates. Nobody can come between us despite what anybody says. Nobody,” Anthony told Yahoo Sports.

    “When things are going good, they put you way up there,” Anthony told Yahoo Sports. “When things are going bad, they kick the chair from underneath you. Those are experiences that he is going to have to go through. But if I can be there and be that guy who can grab him up and say everything is going to be all right, I’m going to do that …

    “I support him 100 percent. In New York they can run you in the ground with all that attention. I’m there to just let him know that when it’s good, it’s great.”

    “He comes into this league at [20] and can shoot and score and play in the biggest and greatest city in the world. He deserves it,” Anthony told Yahoo Sports about the attention Porzingis is getting.

    Porzingis credited Anthony for mentoring him and boosting his offensive game.

    “His is making a lot of situations [easier] for me,” Porzingis said. “Because of him I’m getting wide-open looks. He’s great. Playing alongside him, I can just read him and play off of him. When I am open, he is going to hit me. I don’t doubt that.”

    Sorry to disturb the daily dreams of Melo trades that will never happen

  11. Frank

    I just don’t think Winslow is available in any Melo deal

    Winslow’s actually been quite bad this year. RPM has him as the 75th best SF in the league. TS of 47. PER of 6. Maybe Riles would think this is selling high on him?

  12. Brian Cronin

    Winslow’s actually been quite bad this year. RPM has him as the 75th best SF in the league. TS of 47. PER of 6. Maybe Riles would think this is selling high on him?

    On many teams, yes. But on Miami, he’s their one young guy. So I think he’s darn near untouchable. It’s not even a question of value, just that with all of their trades for the present, their future is so barren they can’t deal their one young guy.

  13. lavor postell

    I don’t think Riley would hesitate at all to deal Justise Winslow for Melo despite Winslow being a constant presence in virtually all of Miami’s best 5-man units. This is a guy that traded two first rounders for a free agent to be Dragic and more or less mortgaged the future to win here and now. If there’s some universe where Phil wants to trade Melo and he’s willing to accept a trade to Miami I’d find it hard to believe that including Winslow is going to hold the deal up and for all his scoring failures this year Melo’s tracking numbers paint him as one of the best defensive wings in the league this season.

  14. lavor postell

    Tyler Johnson is only 23 and he’s been excellent this season, but he’s the only other young guy they have other than Winslow that they could expect internal improvement from.

  15. Brian Cronin

    And Johnson is almost four years older than Winslow (March birthday for Winslow, May for Johnson). Winslow is crazy young.

  16. er

    @13 That’s a good interview. That is true that Melo has always been painted with the ” he cant coexist with player x” tag. Everyone forgets about he and AI dominating offensively. Those were just horrific defensive teams and they played the Spurs in the Playoffs. The List of guys hes coexisted with

    1)AI
    2)Billups
    3)Stat (hurt)
    4)Lin….they played well together and mostly liked each other but Dantoni and Melo hated each other lol
    5)Porzingis

  17. lavor postell

    I know BC. I’m just saying he’s young enough where he still theoretically still has room to improve more as a player. Not disagreeing with you that Winslow is their youngest piece and should have the most upside, just saying that Johnson is the only other player on the roster that could be described as being part of a young core and he has improved a lot so far this year.

    Almost all of their best lineups include both Johnson and Winslow and one of Bosh or Whiteside. The Bosh and Whiteside pairing hasn’t actually been that good for Miami and they actually have a -2.5 net rating on the floor together.

  18. Brian Cronin

    Oh sure, I like Johnson, too. I just think that Winslow is so important to the future of the Heat that they’re not going to trade him, even in a fair value deal like the suggested Melo deal.

  19. misterma Post author

    @2, @4, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration. Here’s what I saw on the possessions Thomas defended Lillard in the fourth:

    8:32 Lillard shakes him with a stepback from the right elbow, but misses.
    5:25 Lillard gets a backdoor layup.
    4:12 Loses Lillard on a Plumlee pick, Lillard hits a floater.
    0:42 Loses Lillard on a Plumlee pick, Lillard misses a layup, and Thomas, who has switched onto Plumlee with Lopez, allows an offensive rebound that luckily Plumlee loses out of bounds.
    0:24 Loses Lillard on a Plumlee pick AGAIN, for a made layup.
    0:19 GOOD ball denial on Lillard to force a timeout during an inbounds.
    0:19 Loses Lillard on Leonard screen during a sideline out of bounds, Lillard misses WIDE OPEN layup.
    0:02 Fouls Lillard on a 3, sending him to the line and giving him a chance at the rebound that almost destroyed the Knicks.

    Not great.

  20. Donnie Walsh

    The List of guys hes coexisted with

    1)AI
    2)Billups
    3)Stat (hurt)
    4)Lin….they played well together and mostly liked each other but Dantoni and Melo hated each other lol
    5)Porzingis

    Wow, that is some list.

    Anthony has played in over 850 games. 17 of which he played with Lin and 24 of which he played with Porzingis. Ebola has a longer list of people it’s co-existed with.

  21. Frank

    Man Chad Ford is going for the gold with his clickbait today. check out his trade with us trading Melo and Lopez (and Early and Vujacic) and somehow coming out with Ben Mclemore, Deng, Winslow, and WCS. This is the most idiotic thing ever posted perhaps.

  22. Garson

    I can see the Miami side happening if Pat gets desperate but Lopez for Stein? Why would a non playoff King team looking to develop do this deal?

  23. max fisher-cohen

    Willie Cauley Stein was drafted 6th overall; he’s not some super high untouchable level draft pick. The Sixers traded about $16m in cap space to the Kings for Stauskas, a pick and a pick swap.

    The Knicks traded $16m in cap space for Derrick Williams and Robin Lopez.

    Would you trade a future Kings pick, swap rights to another future Kings pick and Stauskas for WCS? The two sides to that deal IMO are pretty equal.

    Well, if Lopez and Williams are worth $16m in cap space (are they, Phil?) and if to the Kings, $16m in cap space is worth the Stauskas/picks package above, and if that same package is similarly valuable to WCS, then the Kings should be happy to take Lopez and Derrick Williams for WCS.

    The only other possibility is Phil Jackson did a poor job of getting value with the cap space he so aggressively pursued.

  24. lavor postell

    @28

    So you would have done what exactly? Kept JR who would continue to suck and is posting a sub .500 TS% currently and let Shumpert walk in free agency or traded him for like two second round picks or a late first instead of one second round pick? Is that the gist of your criticism? Not to mention for now I’d rather have Lance Thomas who was got in that trade than either Shumpert or Pipe.

    So far based on win shares Derrick Williams has been an average player as well so that contract only looks bad in terms of the 2nd year player option and not so much in the actual dollar value.

    RoLo’s value is being submarined by our shitty guard play which is actually a valid criticism of Phil and the fact that our team is failing to make the proper cuts off the ball when they enter the ball in to RoLo in the post, which is on Fisher. Defensively and on the glass he’s been a positive. I’m pretty comfortable having RoLo on his contract moving in to a ballooned cap.

  25. max fisher-cohen

    I would not have chased cap space. Waive JR or trade him for whatever long term value you can get. A second rounder is better than cap space that you’ll only use to overpay a player because free agency is a poison for teams that intend to win titles but suck. It’s great if you suck and want to be average. It’s hit or miss for great teams, who can occasionally recruit stars via free agency. But otherwise, it’s a total waste for title-seeking teams.

    Unless it’s used creatively. Like Hinkie and Morey have done. Or fuck, like the Hawks did when they got Millsap.

    But if you think Derrick Williams is good and Rolo is under a good deal, why can’t we trade them for WCS? He’s similarly valuable to what we could have gotten from SAC with the cap space we spent on D-Will and Rolo.

    TBH, when it comes to teams like the Kings, I have no idea how they evaluate players’ worth, so maybe the trade really is realistic.

  26. Frank

    Yeah Lopez is a legit NBA center who is arguably as good as Mozgov, who (while on a much better contract) netted 2 1st round picks at the deadline last year. Given how big the cap is getting the next few years, his contract is pretty tradeable if need be. So I have no problem with the Lopez signing.

    What’ll be interesting is when/if a playoff team’s center goes down this year… does Phil think about trading him straight off?

    Derrick Williams is a meh signing to me. Even if he picks up the $5MM option (which he won’t), that’ll be like 6% of the cap next year. Tough to get worked up over that.

  27. reub

    I hope that Phil doesn’t blow up this team but instead tinkers around the edges. I’d like to see him move Seraphin and/or Early for a Lawson/ Jrue/ Jennings/Vazquez type of point guard. We should try Jimmer or Erick Green there too. Grant will hopefully grow into the job over time.

    We can try to add a Conley or Batum next year.

  28. GoNyGoNYGo

    I don’t know if I would make a trade for a player. I might be inclined to trade a few players for a 1st round pick. Phil can promote from Westchester to fill the gaps.

  29. lavor postell

    @32

    Yeah if we make any trade I hope it’s just Seraphin for some similarly shitty slashing guard or wing on an expiring contract or a 2nd rounder or two.

    @33

    I also expect Westchester is a more likely source for any additions.

  30. lavor postell

    @30

    JR was unmovable and Dolan wanted rid of him ever since his ridiculous reaction to his piece of shit brother getting waived and Phil wanted rid of him for low IQ brand of basketball and his club loving shenanigans. If you want to keep your owner happy and prevent him from meddling, dumping an idiot at the price of a player that was about to get overpaid while getting a second round pick and saving him $15m or whatever the total was for trading him and Shumpert in salary and luxury tax is a good start.

    But if you think Derrick Williams is good and Rolo is under a good deal, why can’t we trade them for WCS? He’s similarly valuable to what we could have gotten from SAC with the cap space we spent on D-Will and Rolo.

    I mean sure I’d make this trade 100%, but I don’t see how or why they do it when RoLo is probably a worse fit with Cousins than WCS is. I don’t think Williams is good btw, I just don’t think looking at his numbers and from watching him that he’s been awful like many expected. $5m doesn’t really seem horrible for the production he’s given us so far.

    TBH, when it comes to teams like the Kings, I have no idea how they evaluate players’ worth, so maybe the trade really is realistic.

    Lmao. Very true.

  31. DRed

    December PER:
    1. Kyle O’Quinn: 34.5
    2. Curry: 32.4
    3. Durant: 30.5
    4. LeBron: 29.7
    5. Kawhi: 29.4
    6. Westbrook: 29.1

    M-A-T-H math, bitches.

  32. dtrickey

    In fairness to Lance, Lillard is torching everyone at the moment and is probably one of the most improved guards this year. That’s saying something considering he is already an All-Star level guard. I would tend to agree that for someone his size, his rebounding numbers could vastly improve. Watching Lance, there seems to be a bit of I guess for lack of better words, ‘shyness’ to his game, i.e. he doesn’t seem to (at least from a spectators point of view) have a real killer instinct. With his athleticism he could be way more aggressive with his rebounding efforts and his penetration. That said, I have been surprised by his play, and by all reports he’s the kind of guy that works hard at training and is a good locker room guy.

    I hope that Phil doesn’t blow up this team but instead tinkers around the edges. I’d like to see him move Seraphin and/or Early for a Lawson/ Jrue/ Jennings/Vazquez type of point guard. We should try Jimmer or Erick Green there too. Grant will hopefully grow into the job over time.

    We can try to add a Conley or Batum next year.

    This is probably the best scenario I have read on the thread today. I am happy for us to not make any massive changes to what we have now. If we can tinker a little with a d-league guy or a trade that will help fill a need, then I would be content. Otherwise, I am happy for us to fly under the radar on the trade front.

  33. MSA

    Didn’t Williams sucked for a couple of seasons in Sacramento before joining the Knicks?

    Why on earth would they want him back?

  34. Kahnzy

    Sacramento is run by people just as dumb as the Knicks (or as dumb as the Knicks used to be…I hope), and I can easily see them being convinced that a veteran center could get them into the playoffs when their rookie can’t. They’d be wrong and stupid, but they are desperate to make the playoffs, so it’s possible they could be duped into trading their future for a chance to make the 8th seed and get stomped by GS in the first round.

  35. Kahnzy

    Watching this Boston/Cleveland game on NBATV with the Boston call guys makes me incredibly grateful for Clyde and Breen.

  36. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    In fairness to Lance, Lillard is torching everyone at the moment and is probably one of the most improved guards this year. That’s saying something considering he is already an All-Star level guard. I would tend to agree that for someone his size, his rebounding numbers could vastly improve.

    http://www.boxscoregeeks.com/players/1309-damian-lillard

    uh, what? You mean like when his shooting efficiency, rebounding and steals per minute went down, and turnovers went up?

    I don’t even think he’s changed all that much from last year, but most improved guard? Bro, what?

  37. Donnie Walsh

    Yeah, I think CJ McCollum is a more likely Blazer to win an MIP award this year than Lillard, who has really just increased his shot volume due to the fact that all the guys he used to pass to left the team over the summer.

    But Curry really should win MIP this year, along with his 2nd consecutive MVP award, which is just scary.

  38. JK47

    uh, what? You mean like when his shooting efficiency, rebounding and steals per minute went down, and turnovers went up?

    Moar pointz doe

  39. DRed

    But Curry really should win MIP this year, along with his 2nd consecutive MVP award, which is just scary.

    Kawhi actually has a pretty strong MIP argument if he keeps this up

  40. TyQuando

    Calderon? Good grief. He couldn’t drive past someone on crutches. Lance Thomas? Even wide open you can never count on him to hit a shot. Would like to see Derrick Williams with more minutes and he has to make sure not to give up his dribble too quickly. He has the size and energy of a Kenyon Martin.

  41. dtrickey

    I don’t even think he’s changed all that much from last year, but most improved guard? Bro, what?

    I did say one of as opposed to the most improved, but I guess that’s semantics.

    Yeah, I think CJ McCollum is a more likely Blazer to win an MIP award this year than Lillard, who has really just increased his shot volume due to the fact that all the guys he used to pass to left the team over the summer.

    I did overlook McCullum, so you are probably right there. However, Lillard has had a pretty good last month and a bit. Maybe (for me at least) his presence is more notaceable given the players that aren’t on the court anymore for the Blazers. I have been more of an eye test guy lately, so if you guys have the data to suggest I am full of shit then I can deal with that ha ha

  42. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I did say one of as opposed to the most improved, but I guess that’s semantics.

    But he’s gotten objectively worse, so, uh… what?

  43. Frank

    Interesting bits from Zach Lowe’s podcast with JVG — http://espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/archive?id=10528553

    Some highlights —
    Lowe says that league execs are laughing at the Knicks and how we didn’t use Hinkie-like leverage on Langston Galloway to make him sign a 4 year deal. I have to say I agree with them. Langston’s had his ups and downs but we should have signed him to a 4 year $6MM deal or something like that rather than wasting money on Lou Amundsen when we already had 8 PF/Cs. That said, it is possible that Langston refused to sign something like that, so hard to say.

    JVG with a great solution to the tanking phenomenon — after 3 years of being in the lottery, your next pick is forfeited (or placed out of the lottery). I think a more reasonable plan would be — if your pick is in the top 7 3 straight years, your next pick cannot be in the top 7. You can’t reward people for being persistently incompetent.

  44. ptmilo

    Curry and Kawhi have been awesome, but if the season ended now my most improved race would be between

    (1) Kyle Lowry
    (2) Reggie Jackson
    (3) CJ Miles
    (4) Ian Mahinmi
    (5) Tyler Johnson

  45. adrenaline98

    I posted LT’s tracking stats defensively. Like some of you said, D-Rating can be a bit misleading. He holds opponents FG% really low compared to others at his position.

  46. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    according to WP48, Calderon has been our best player.

    ikr how could a player leading his fucking team in scoring efficiency be anything but a net zero, since he was so shitty earlier in the season

  47. iserp

    But he’s gotten objectively worse, so, uh… what?

    His usage has gone way up, while giving up just a little in very few areas. His PER is up, consequently.

    It is not fair to say that you can do 20% more work on offense without getting tired or getting penalized in some way, as WP48 implies.

  48. lavor postell

    ikr how could a player leading his fucking team in scoring efficiency be anything but a net zero, since he was so shitty earlier in the season

    There’s a pretty big difference between best player and net zero.

  49. Zanzibar

    ikr how could a player leading his fucking team in scoring efficiency be anything but a net zero, since he was so shitty earlier in the season

    He’s not a “net zero”, he’s a NET MINUS to the tune of -9.6. And he’s been a net minus the last 5 seasons. Here’s a clue Professor Plum: he’s a -10.6 on defense this season. Even if he hits 2 out of 4 from 3 in a game, if his opponent blows by him 5 times for easy buckets, he’s a net minus. According to WP48 he’s an all-time great at his position. I tried to warn y’all about Calderon when the trade was made. It’s one thing when Professor Jowles fails to comprehend why shooting efficiency and rebounding is not the end all be all but when Phil and Fish don’t comprehend it and sign players like Calderon and Afflalo, that’s a problem!

    I’ve advocated from the beginning for a starting 5 of Grant/Galloway/Melo/KP/Lopez. That lineup has the second highest plus/minus in a limited sample of 18 minutes behind another lineup featuring Grant/Galloway which has fewer minutes. That backcourt is waaaay better than Calderon/Afflalo on defense and probably better on offense as well. In any event, we should be playing it because it’s probably our future and we need Grant/Galloway to receive quality minutes to develop.

  50. Alecto

    To be fair WP48 punts on defense which would sink Calderon even though he’d still be a net positive (I think.)

    That being said he’s been giving us what we expected when we traded for him last year, which is all we can ask.

  51. DRed

    I’ve advocated from the beginning for a starting 5 of Grant/Galloway/Melo/KP/Lopez. That lineup has the second highest plus/minus in a limited sample of 18 minutes

    I’m gonna have to stop you right there. I’m sure you can make a solid argument for playing that lineup, but 18 minutes of plus minus is a very small step above saying I feel it in my gut.

  52. Zanzibar

    I’m gonna have to stop you right there.

    In 360 minutes played, the Grant/Galloway tandem is +2.5 (per 100 poss), second only to Grant/Lance which is +2.7 in 281mp. Calderon/Afflalo are -3.6 in 430mp. Our defense is obviously much better and just execute Grant/Lopez high PnR to start the offense. Now do I have the green light?

  53. EB

    Grant has been pretty godawful this year, as most rookie pg are. We should definitely play him, but I think it’s silly to suggest that he’d contribute more to the starting 5, than Calderon at this point. Grant’s TS% is 100 points lower and his TO rate is much higher.

  54. DRed

    I mean, obviously write whatever you want. But 18 minute lineup samples are ridiculous.

    The only objection I’d raise is that we’re basically stuck playing Calderon/Afflalo because we what else are we gonna do? I’m fine starting Grant/Galloway, or whatever, but Calderon/Afflalo are gonna get minutes. If Calderon is going to get roasted on D, and he is, shouldn’t he be on the floor with the bigs best suited to deal with the penetration he allows?

  55. Zanzibar

    If Calderon is going to get roasted on D, and he is, shouldn’t he be on the floor with the bigs best suited to deal with the penetration he allows?

    I’d play him at the 1 or 2 depending on the match-up. In most instances, he’s less likely to be torched by the opponent’s backup 1, starting 2 or backup 2. The only other credible starting back court would be Galloway/Afflalo. Though more of a natural SG, Gallo could be a Triangle 1. But our defense would be worse and our offense would suffer lacking a real PnR threat and transition buckets.

  56. DRed

    I’d probably try something like Calderon/Grant, with Calderon guarding the opposing 2 guard, on my theory that shooting guards are generally less skilled PGs, and my theory when a player gets older you should move him to the lowest skill position that he has the size to handle. Obviously, there are 2’s who would murder Jose, but I’m speaking generally.

  57. Zanzibar

    I agree about Calderon guarding opposing 2s but I’d be more inclined to pair him and Galloway when staggering the substitutions so Gallo could take the tougher cover and then hope there’s enough play making skills on offense there against opponents’ backup units.

    The Gallo/Grant back court is effective because of (1) transition buckets (2) PnR opportunities using Lopez/KP (3) Gallo is above average defender at 1 and Grant above average defending 2. The last one is key because it maximizes the abilities of the players. You want Gallo shooting 3s (as a Triangle 1 or PnR SG) and guarding opposing 1s while Grant initiates offense through fast break or PnR. The Grant/Lopez PnR would do wonders for our stagnant half-court offense.

  58. EB

    I think playing Grant with the fist unit would just lead to players doubling Melo/whoever off of Grant. Grant cannot shoot. Any good that could come from a PNR is mitigated by everyone sagging off Grant and daring him to shoot. Even when Grant gets to the basket he’s terrible at scoring.

  59. JK47

    Calderon’s poor defense shows up in the team’s bad defensive FT/FGA numbers. The Knicks are one of the foulingest teams in the league because they have no ability to contain penetration. Porzingis and Lopez commit so many fouls playing help defense. The Knicks have done a good job all year long of defending the 3 point line, but they give so much of that back with all the fouls.

  60. max fisher-cohen

    We have matching rights on Galloway so I’m not too concerned about it.

    @Lavor Postell

    So Galloway qualifies for a Lin style contract. That’s more than he is worth, and it would consume cap space because hte Knicks will be under the cap. He could have been a bargain. Now, keep him or use the money elsewhere, who cares? He has no long term value.

  61. Frank

    So Galloway qualifies for a Lin style contract. That’s more than he is worth, and it would consume cap space because hte Knicks will be under the cap. He could have been a bargain. Now, keep him or use the money elsewhere, who cares? He has no long term value.

    I tend to agree with Max on this one. He will probably get paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $8MM/year, at which point he’s not as valuable anymore. I love Langston but he’s probably a 3rd or 4th guard on a good team.

    Now he might not hurt our FA spending this summer if he doesn’t sign an offer sheet until after we’ve spent our cap room. Then we could go over cap to match with EB rights. But yes, after that he’s no longer a bargain.

    Honestly, it still remains to be seen how good he is. If he shoots 45% from 3 point range then sure, he’s a really valuable player. But at this point he’s a 37.5% career 3 point shooter with a TS hovering around 50. He’s a decent defender (if undersized), never turns the ball over, and is a good rebounder, but I don’t think that’s a guy you spend a ton of $ on.

  62. DRed

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of the most durable players in league history, was listed at 7-foot-2

    I had no idea Kareem was that tall. No wonder he wrecked people until he was like 50. Kareem was pretty skinny back in his college days. We should seriously reach out to Kareem and see if KJ is willing to work with KP on some post moves.

  63. DRed

    But at this point he’s a 37.5% career 3 point shooter with a TS hovering around 50.

    This is true, but Langston hasn’t even played 82 games in the NBA yet.

  64. Donnie Walsh

    Imagine the tabloids if Kareem taught Zinger the sky hook and converted him to islam?

    He’d go home to Latvia for the summer and not be let back into the States by President Trump.

  65. yellowboy90

    Why doesn’t Langston contract fall in line with Tyler Johnson contract? They both are two year RFAs. I read somewhere that a team can’t go over a 6m mid level exception type offer for Johnson. So why does that not apply for Gallo

  66. Unreason

    We should seriously reach out to Kareem and see if KJ is willing to work with KP on some post moves.

    It really should happen. Kareem has let it be known that he wants to coach. KrisP wants to learn to dominate like Jabbar. The obvious next phase toward achieving Zingularity is to fuse them together inside a superconducting super collider basketball hoop to form …KrisPKareem!. Or just hire Kareem as an assistant coach if Mamazingis finds that type of extreme physical transmorgrification objectionable for some reason.

  67. lavor postell

    I tend to agree with Max on this one. He will probably get paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $8MM/year, at which point he’s not as valuable anymore. I love Langston but he’s probably a 3rd or 4th guard on a good team

    C’mon guys. Terrence fucking Ross who is completely terrible at everything related to basketball just inked an 8 figure a year contract extension. If we get Galloway on an $8m AAV contract locked up moving in to a $90m and then $108m cap then really what we’re doing here is picking nits.

    Also you’re just assuming these guys are idiots that will sign the Hinkie and Morey special of a 4 year sweetheart deal with all non-guaranteed years when that’s just conjecture. I know that K.J. McDaniels didn’t sign a 4-year deal. Who’s to say that Langston was going to or that the Knicks didn’t at least try to get him to sign that? You really think if that’s what the Knicks had on the table for him he couldn’t have just rolled the dice that another team would have seen him be pretty good over the course of his two 10-day contracts and given him a better deal?

    So Galloway qualifies for a Lin style contract. That’s more than he is worth, and it would consume cap space because hte Knicks will be under the cap. He could have been a bargain. Now, keep him or use the money elsewhere, who cares? He has no long term value.

    He’s 23. He’ll probably get a bit better and still have value even on a contract that pays him more than the league minimum.

    He only costs the Knicks cap space if they fail to use their space to sign free agents before handing him a deal or matching on a contract he gets. Otherwise it doesn’t matter if he gets a max, because the Knicks can go over the cap to keep him.

  68. lavor postell

    Why doesn’t Langston contract fall in line with Tyler Johnson contract? They both are two year RFAs. I read somewhere that a team can’t go over a 6m mid level exception type offer for Johnson. So why does that not apply for Gallo

    I think their current team can’t offer them more than that like us with Lin unless they dip in to their cap space to do so, but they can match any offer such a player gets. The bet for these guys is sign that mid-level deal, find a team willing to up the ante at a number they’re comfortable with and feel the player’s current team won’t match or sign the qualifying offer and become a UFA in a year. My guess is player’s like Johnson and Galloway would opt for long-term security over gambling on themselves for a year.

  69. DRed

    I just realized Kareem could teach the Zingularity the kung fu he was taught by Bruce Lee. Someone get me Phil Jackson on the phone

  70. rama

    I just realized Kareem could teach the Zingularity the kung fu he was taught by Bruce Lee. Someone get me Phil Jackson on the phone

    DRed for GM 2016

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