Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

New York Knicks 108 – Denver Nuggets 115 – Game Recap

So maybe I was a bit harsh on Fiz in the last “recap”, huh? I mean, at least this one was a competitive game with one of the best teams in the NBA this season, all the while being pretty easy on the eyes save for a few stretches of iso/eat what you kill offense that struck down the mojo of the whole team. Anyway, this game is without a doubt a victory: we watched 48 minutes of decent basketball and scored another loss in the process, and a few of our young pieces played well enough.

This was touted as the Mudiay revenge game from MSG Network, with Rebecca citing a few of his teammates going on air saying they wanted to win this one for him. I’m not sure I get this thing. It’s one thing if you were the coach of a team and were fired for the wrong reasons: then I get you wanting to get revenge and the team having your back (think the Memphis game for Fizdale). It’s another thing wanting to show your former team what they could have had if they hung onto you instead of trading you unceremoniously (I still hope that Gallinari goes for 40 everytime he faces us, I can’t really get over the fact that we sent him away for Melo), but that makes sense only if you’re a legitimately good player. We know Mudiay is getting better at a few things, and it’s ok that his teammates want to win for him, but he’s a fringe starter in the NBA universe. Why wasn’t the Chicago game the Vonleh revenge game then? Shouldn’t the next Atlanta game be the THJ revenge game? See, this are the little things that worry me a lot about how our front office will manage Mudiay’s extension/free agency. Apart from Breen and Clyde – and to a lesser extent Kenny – every other MSG employee doubles as a management mouthpiece. We can collect the clues and put them together to form a coherent picture: Mudiay is very likely another focal piece of this team. We’ll have to deal with it – and yes, there are fates worse than extend Mud, but it’s frustrating trying constantly to find silver linings in a dumpster. Especially because it’s too damn easy to mistake a stray iron wire for a silver bracelet.

The good:

–  It’s hard to find a clearly good player to emerge from this game, so I’ll go with Kevin Knox (18 pts, 4 rebs, 1 ast, -2 +/-). His numbers aren’t tremendously impressive or efficient, as he went 7-for-16 from the field and 2-for-7 from three, but if you watch the games you have noticed that Kevin is shooting only the right shots and has kinda stopped throwing up only wild layups. Sometimes the angles in his penetration attemps are still super awkward, but he lays the ball closer to the rim to diminish that effect. Tonight there was another auspicious hot start from Knox, who got fouled thrice while scoring at the rim (one of those and-ones was also a gorgeous sequence where Frank pressured Monte Morris close to the right sideline, stole the ball and passed it to Knox that in stride went for a very cool finger roll) in the first quarter, only to cool off in the second half. Some of that has to be because his conditioning is still lackluster, but you notice that playing with Mudiay, THJ and Trier doesn’t do him any good. Those guys could freeze even a fire elemental out of a game. I’m not a believer in the hot hand theory, but I do believe in confidence building, and when your youngest player is on a roll, your duty as a team (and moreso as a coach) should be to keep featuring him. Alas, that’s a story for another season, I hope. Four rebounds are not a good tally for him, but I swear he was almost always in the right position to grab a few more. Baby steps, but Knox is not lost anymore.

– Luke Kornet (19 pts, 6 rebs, 1 ast, 0 +/-) has been the scoring leader for the Knicks in two of his three starts, and keeps on hitting threes at a blistering pace. His numbers as a starter: 18.7 PPG, 5 RPG, 3.7 APG on 51/63/100 splits. Totally unreliable sample size, but it could have gone a lot worse. His impact on defense isn’t what it should be (every time the other team runs a short roll he’s always caught in the middle of nowhere in the paint, as if he wants to help but he’s two steps slow – having Mudiay on the perimeter though doesn’t help a lot) and I’m not sure I ever saw him catch a clean board. He’s always multiple-tipping the ball to himself after he’s in position. On the other hand, his offense is limited but very effective. He won’t hit 63% of his threes for the season, but you can’t deny the effect he has on the team’s spacing. He also rolled well more than a couple times, but neither Mudiay nor THJ were quite willing (or able) to hit the rolling open man. I also liked a lot his set shot banked from 18 feet with 8:52 to go in the third quarter. It was positively KPish.

The bad:

– Allonzo Trier (7 pts, 2 rebs, 2 ast, +1 +/-) started his game very well, with two hard drives to the rim and a clean three pointer, then it all went downhill. It seems that the injury (or the contract, if you’re versed in conspiracy theories) has robbed Zo of all his right moves. He’s less able to get separation from his defender with the herky-jerky dribbling he showcased in his first games as a Knick, and generally speaking he looks like he did in Summer League, a muffled ball hog than passes the ball here and there as if it was for contractual obligations. I don’t think the League has figured him out, because it’s not like defenses change their gameplans for him: I think he’s not 100% fit and he’s forcing too much because, you know, of that dietary advice from Fiz.

– Damyean Dotson (1 pt, 3 asts, 50% FT, +4 +/-) is going through the motion in a very bad way. Through his last four games, he’s scoring 4 PPG while shooting 21.1% from the field. So much for helping Mudiay win his revenge game! But anyway, Dotson is the rare case where I don’t worry about his actual production. We know who he is as a player, and he’s playing in the same way he always did. The ball just doesn’t fall (though I have to admit that his rebounding numbers are a bit worrisome, yes).

Fun-sized bits:

– You know the typical rom-com situation where the protagonist has finally learned to let go of his crush after being let down one too many times, and just as he starts to feel liberated from that life-altering weight on his soul the aforementioned crush shows up again kind of purring and he (or she) falls for it as if nothing ever happened, not even oblivious to the fact that he/she’s bound for another round of delusion and existential sorrow? Welcome to the Frank Ntilikina experience. I really did let go, Frank. Why did you have to do this to me? 10 pts, 5 ast, efficient shooting and goodish defense in just 18 minutes of play. Don’t make me love you again, I beg of you. Don’t look at the assist numbers: Ntilikina was our best point guard tonight. Boy has he gotten slower on defense, though. His matchup blows by him at least twice every game, I don’t know what happened to him to slow him so much.

– Enes Kanter reacted pretty well. 17 points and 12 boards in 20 minutes off the bench. His defense was as bad as always, but at least the production was there. And there’s my silver lining for today: February, 7th is the trade deadline. I think we have to endure only 36 more days of Kanter.

– Stop giving the ball to Chuck Hardaway with the game on the line. He’s great in transition (especially if matched up with slow behemoths like Jokic) and getting charges, and pretty bad at everything else. I hate his shot selection, but I hate his loose handle even more. It seems everytime he tries to dribble his way to the rim from the perimeter with a set defense he gets he ball stripped clean from someone. I’m tired of THJ and his careless crucial turnovers. I liked the fact he shot the ball just twelve times, though.

– Mudiay had 9 assists, ok. I counted just two of them as “real assists”, as in “I’m improving my teammate’s chances of scoring”. The other 7 were more of the generous scorekeeper variety. Other than that, he scored 15 points in 20 shots. But sure, guys at MSG, keep on feeding us your takes on how Emmanuel is a good player.

– Vonleh had a bad offensive night, but did everything he could to stop Jokic, 14 boards included. It’s not his fault that the Joker is so good at basketball. By the way, if LeBron is playing Friday it’s very likely he’ll draw the assignment. I’d be very curious to see how he acquitted himself in such a situation after he also guarded Giannis and Jokic in less than a week.

– Speaking of Jokic, that man is awesome. 14 assists for the night, and he had already 10 with more than 6 minutes to go in the second quarter. Ok, playing against our defense must be an all-you-can-eat buffet for pass-happy players, but his passing instincts are top notch. He’s the embodiment of high basketball IQ.

– 66.7% of our field goals were assisted tonight. No wonder that the game was so pleasant to watch (the Nuggets did better than us: a whopping 81.8% of their field goals were a direct consequence of an assist. I love their style).

– Brendan Brown is a terribly bland commentator, but I’d rather have him than hear Wally. Wally is like the Enes Kanter of color analysts.

Ok, I feel better after this one. Let’s see what happens at the Staples on Friday!

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98 comments on “New York Knicks 108 – Denver Nuggets 115 – Game Recap

  1. alsep73

    Farfa, we’re all guilty of recency bias here. It’s all good that you’re roller coastering with Fiz, Frank and others.

  2. Farfa Post author

    I know :)

    At the same time I’m baffled by myself. I’m a very rational guy, definitely not prone to emotional fluctuations, but this season is proving to be hard on my feelings. I feel like I’m overreacting a lot more than I usually do, and it’s strange that it’s happening in a “numb” season.

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

    Jokic practically makes me think we’ve been playing basketball the wrong way all along. He looks like a tall quarterback standing in the pocket, watching the play develop, and then delivering the pass to whoever gets open. That seems like a better formula than some small PG trying to drive, find open players over others that are way taller than him, and then finding seams to get the ball to them so it doesn’t get blocked or stolen. Jokic is great on offense.

    Some of the data says otherwise, but I still think he’s a pretty big liability on defense. He didn’t do such a great job on either Kanter or Kornet and it seemed like Knicks players were getting to the rim too easy. He may have trouble in the playoffs on that end.

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

    Kornet looks like more than an end of the bench piece. He’s a legit rotation player if he can keep knocking down 3s at a 40% clip. He’s not much of a rebounder (like KP), but alongside Vonleh that’s not too much of an issue.

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

    For those of you still bemoaning the Hernangomez trade, you should remind yourself that it basically represented management’s decision to keep Kornet instead of Willy. So far, management seems to be winning that bet.

  6. alsep73

    Jokic makes me really wish Arvydas Sabonis cane to the nba as a young man. In his prime, he was allegedly Jokic-esque on offense but a great defender.

    Am I remembering right that Bill Walton was also a great passer when healthy?

  7. ProjectKnicks

    For those of you still bemoaning the Hernangomez trade, you should remind yourself that it basically represented management’s decision to keep Kornet instead of Willy. So far, management seems to be winning that bet.

    For all the pretense of this site being a ‘stats-oriented’ one, we have some of the most irrational, ’emotion-oriented’ fans in the Knicksverse.
    Some people fall in love with some statistical bs they can unearth about Player X, others follow and soon, there is a myth built around Player X where he is a star in the making and those who still have contact with reality are dumb or just ignorant.
    Hernangomez, KOQ and Cole Aldrich are recent, clear examples of ‘misunderstood, un-appreciated jewels’ that are just regular scrubs.

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

    For those of you still bemoaning the Hernangomez trade, you should remind yourself that it basically represented management’s decision to keep Kornet instead of Willy. So far, management seems to be winning that bet.

    I understand the point you are making, but I’m not sure I agree with it entirely.

    If I have Kobe on my team, add Jordan, and then decide to trade Kobe because I think Jordan will work out better long term, I still better get back something really good for Kobe.

    I think the argument (right or wrong) is that it’s hard to find as good a prospect as Willy in the 2nd round. Most 2nd round selections don’t even stick in the NBA.

  9. ProjectKnicks

    I think the argument (right or wrong) is that it’s hard to find as good a prospect as Willy in the 2nd round. Most 2nd round selections don’t even stick in the NBA.

    Hernangomez is just a decent scrub – a player that does not, in any way, make a difference. Players like him are perfect trade material (because the team is the same, with or without them!), regardless of where or how they were acquired. Knicks treated him as such – and that’s the right thing to do.

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

    But if you have too many shooting guards, it is normal to trade one. If they are both great, like Kobe and Jordan, then you try and trade one for another great player who plays a different position. You seem to be saying that Hernangomez was worth more than we got for him. That is a different question than whether management was correct in wanting to trade him because they had too many big men on their roster and preferred Kornet to him.

  11. d-mar

    Farfa, I feel you on the Frank relationship. Just when you’re ready to relegate him to total bust and be done with him, he puts up an efficient, productive game like last night.

    But why the hell only 18 minutes???

  12. Early Bird

    I am completely unconvinced that management is winning the bet on Kornet over Willy. At best it seems pretty even.

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

    Six months ago, I didn’t like either player much because Kornet seemed slow and not actually hitting his threes and Willy seemed horrible on defense and limited offensively to scoring around the basket. I prefer Kornet now because he is hitting threes at a clip that suggests he’s good at them even if his current percentage is unsustainable and his defense is not totally horrible. But I can understand someone preferring Willy’s skill set.

  14. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Hernangomez is just a decent scrub – a player that does not, in any way, make a difference. Players like him are perfect trade material (because the team is the same, with or without them!), regardless of where or how they were acquired. Knicks treated him as such – and that’s the right thing to do.

    k

  15. ClashFan

    About Frank’s 18 minutes. Yes, I’d like to see him get more, and some with Mudiay to see how that goes. He did have a brief token 3rd appearance late.

    Maybe the thinking is that, after he’d had two pretty good runs in the game, to just sit him and let him have a complete “good game” to reflect on. If he’d played more crunch time minutes, he might have ruined that with a couple of missed shots or a bad turnover. Instead, he has a 5 assists/0 turnover game in the books. Also 2/3 threes.

    Baby steps? Who knows with Fiz’s rotations, though.

  16. ClashFan

    Shouldn’t the Willy debate include the fact that he was signed for four years to a very team and cap friendly contract? He had a very encouraging first year.

    It’s not a case of thinking that he was some sort of star in the making, but that at worst he was a decent backup at a very cheap price going forward. Then he got in Hornacek’s doghouse very early on and was moved with over 2 years on his deal.

    And it is not necessarily an either/or with Kornet. They ended up getting nothing for OQ. Why not just dump him, though, and keep a young asset going forward, esp. with Kanter expiring in another year.

    Maybe he’s got serious off the court issues and the deal will seem good in retrospect.

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

    You seem to be saying that Hernangomez was worth more than we got for him. That is a different question than whether management was correct in wanting to trade him because they had too many big men on their roster and preferred Kornet to him.

    Yes. I am saying that Hernangomez was worth more than 2 2nd rounders even if that’s what the market was at that time.

    Personally, I’m not sure which of the 2 players I’d rather have. Kornet hasn’t played enough at the pro level and both are still improving. They are very different.

  18. ClashFan

    @18
    Trier really likes to drive to his right. I do worry that the league has figured that out and just bodies up on him. He now needs to adjust rather than force the issue so much.

  19. Farfa Post author

    This game’s rotations were pretty much ok. If you give Kanter’s minutes to Mitch, play Knox and THJ 32 minutes and give Lee (or preferably a young wing on a new two-way contract, like a Troy Williams 2.0) the resulting 15 minutes, you’d have pretty much a great tanking/developing rotation with the current roster – hoping someone wants to trade for Mudiay :)

  20. Farfa Post author

    Shouldn’t the Willy debate include the fact that he was signed for four years to a very team and cap friendly contract? He had a very encouraging first year.

    And this is why the debate should be Kanter vs Willy (pretty much the same production, very different contracts).

  21. thenoblefacehumper

    In all of my anger at the trade, I totally forgot about the quirk in the CBA that stipulates no team is allowed to have both Luke Kornet and Willy Hernangomez on their roster at the same time.

    In all seriousness, I like what I’ve seen from Kornet too but maybe pump the breaks if you’re going full speed ahead because of 195 minutes.

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

    I like what I’ve seen from Kornet too but maybe pump the breaks if you’re going full speed ahead because of 195 minutes.

    Some people probably already think he’s better than Porzingis at a fraction of the price. :-)

  23. d-mar

    In all seriousness, I like what I’ve seen from Kornet too but maybe pump the breaks if you’re going full speed ahead because of 195 minutes.

    If you take 10 games of Trey Burke’s best, 10 games of Alonzo Trier’s best, 10 games of Mudiay’s best, 10 games of Dotson’s best and those 195 minutes of Kornet, you’d have some damn NBA team.

    Unfortunately, there’s something called regression to the mean. Or in layman’s terms, return to suckitude.

  24. Farfa Post author

    I think Kornet’s ceiling could be a useful 4th big in the mold of Matt Bullard, which isn’t that bad starting from undrafted guy with very few chances to make an NBA roster.

  25. wetbandit

    The association of Knicks beat reporters with an axe to grind (AOKBRWAATG) are now pushing the story that KP “has never been happy with the way things are done at MSG” and has “a lot of options” this summer. They cite guys like Kyrie and Butler as examples of guys that bolted. None of them were restricted.

    Always the laziest negative headlines- it’s not even like we don’t come up with real reasons to be pessimistic anyways…

    I think with the roster, front office, and ownership overhaul we ask for, we also need new journalists. Is there anyone worth reading? Sheesh!

  26. Ingmarrrr

    Predictions for the 2nd half of the season:

    — Mudiay would continue to suck.
    — Kornet would not suck and would get better to the point he earns a two year contract for next year.
    — Frank’s body language would continue to look as if he’s a 10 years old playing with his father and uncles.
    — Knox would have some truly awful games and if he continues to get so many minutes get injured.
    — Dotson is what he is, a journey man at best.
    — Trier would improve late, he’s fighting for his team option contract next year.
    — MitchRob would come back strong.

  27. ProjectKnicks

    The association of Knicks beat reporters with an axe to grind (AOKBRWAATG) are now pushing the story that KP “has never been happy with the way things are done at MSG” and has “a lot of options” this summer.
    Always the laziest negative headlines- it’s not even like we don’t come up with real reasons to be pessimistic anyways…
    I think with the roster, front office, and ownership overhaul we ask for, we also need new journalists. Is there anyone worth reading? Sheesh!

    What if the press has no axe to grind and they write the truth, Mr. Trump?

    There is a very real world outside your twisted fantasay, you know? Common sense indicates there is a good chance Porzingis is a primadonna, after all. He has done and complained more that you would expect from players with his mediocre production.

  28. Early Bird

    – Agree on Mudiay sucking, he’ll end the year with a TS% back around .500
    – I don’t really see how Kornet gets better. He’s currently shooting 48% from three. Usually, a number that high will only go one way and it’s not up
    – I think Frank will start to look better than he has recently, that said you legitimately cannot look worse than putting up zeros straight across the boxscore most nights
    – I love MitchRob, but I think we’ll start to realize that he’s just not very good. Despite gaudy block numbers, he’ll struggle to be in the right place on defense, continue to foul at an outrageous rate, and not be able to score

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

    Maybe we should trade Porzingis for Devin Booker and the Suns 1st round pick.

    Didn’t we try that once already?

  30. ProjectKnicks

    Maybe we should trade Porzingis for Devin Booker and the Suns 1st round pick.

    Maybe we should find out how good Porzingis really is after his serious injury, given his injury history and mediocre production, before we max him out.

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

    Maybe we should find out how good Porzingis really is after his serious injury, given his injury history and mediocre production, before we max him out.

    Now that we have Kornet, we already have a tall guy that can hit 3s but can’t rebound. :-)

  32. Ingmarrrr

    I don’t really see how Kornet gets better. He’s currently shooting 48% from three. Usually, a number that high will only go one way and it’s not up

    I agree the 3 point % would probably go down but overall he looks a lot more comfortable on the court this year than he did last year, when he didn’t belong in the NBA. I think he’s the kind of guy who plays within himself, makes incremental improvements, and doesn’t do the stupid stuff that hurts you. A good 9th, 10th player, with a ceiling at 7th or 8th on a good team.

  33. wetbandit

    What if the press has no axe to grind and they write the truth, Mr. Trump? There is a very real world outside your twisted fantasay, you know?

    k?

  34. wetbandit

    By the way, Hernangomez vs Kanter isn’t even a question- Willy wins. Especially when you think of production:salary.

  35. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I bet Mudiay ends the year around .500 TS% and the Knicks re-sign him anyway. Because that’s the Knicks.

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

    I bet Mudiay ends the year around .500 TS% and the Knicks re-sign him anyway. Because that’s the Knicks.

    Yeah, but pointz. :-)

  37. Farfa Post author

    Hey there

    Question: would it be that bad shopping around Kanter in exchange for picks and a longer contract, pivoting on our (probably doomed) strategy of a big signing? I know that this is the summer to sign free agents before KP gets the max, but wouldn’t another pick be better that Tobias Harris for 4 years?

  38. Farfa Post author

    He has played 195 minutes, 521 total for his career. A bit too early I’d say.

    Hah, those pesky sample sizes and their usual getting in the way of Knicks fans’ hopes (see: Mudiay, Emmanuel).

  39. Zippy Le Pin

    2018-19 Player A Player B Average BIG
    WP48 .268 .256 .099
    Points 26.1 27.4 21.9
    Def Rebs 12.1 10.8 9.3
    Off Rebs 7.2 7.4 3.4
    Rebounds 19.3 18.1 12.7
    Assists 3.5 3.2 3.5
    Turnovers 3.3 3.6 2.7
    Blocks .7 1.4 1.6
    Steals .8 1.2 1.4
    Fouls 4.5 6.2 4.9
    FG% 54.3% 51.4% 49.9%
    2P% 55.2% 52.1% 55.4%
    3P% 33.3% 48.0% 34.6%
    FT% 84.2% 73.5% 72.7%
    E FG% 55.0% 55.6% 54.5%
    True shooting 59.5% 60.5% 57.9%
    FG attempts 19.5 18.7 16.7
    3P attempts .9 3.3 4.5
    FT attempts 5.4 8.9 5.1
    Salary 17.15 mil 1.35 mil 12.2 mil (C only)

  40. geo

    good to see perry had a sit down with enes…

    not sure why fiz has knox playing so many minutes lately…hopefully he can stay healthy…

    anyone hear any rumblings of when mitchrob might hit the floor again?

    At the same time I’m baffled by myself. I’m a very rational guy, definitely not prone to emotional fluctuations, but this season is proving to be hard on my feelings. I feel like I’m overreacting a lot more than I usually do, and it’s strange that it’s happening in a “numb” season.

    that’s too funny farfa…no doubt most of us can definitely appreciate the feeling…thankfully i’ve been able to embrace my normal springtime knick apathy early on this season, so, surprisingly enough – this season hasn’t really been that painful so far…

    good to see the knicks are getting some practice time in this week…hopefully we can continue this small trend of getting more assists…

  41. Ingmarrrr

    Hah, those pesky sample sizes and their usual getting in the way of Knicks fans’ hopes

    I hope for him to be a solid 9th or 10th player on a minimum salary, with a ceiling of 7th or 8th. Not 10x all nba.

  42. thenoblefacehumper

    Question: would it be that bad shopping around Kanter in exchange for picks and a longer contract, pivoting on our (probably doomed) strategy of a big signing? I know that this is the summer to sign free agents before KP gets the max, but wouldn’t another pick be better that Tobias Harris for 4 years?

    Yeah, I would do it. Even with KP’s max we’ll have 10+ year max space in the summer of 2021, which seems like a much more reasonable time to use it.

    It’s barely worth talking about though. Perry/Mills haven’t exactly been subtle about the fact that they plan to have max space this offseason. My only semi-realistic hope is that they don’t feel obligated to just blow it all on multi-year deals if/when KD shuns us. It would be a good opportunity to take on bad contracts that end by 2021 for assets but I should probably keep dreaming.

  43. Ingmarrrr

    I bet Mudiay ends the year around .500 TS% and the Knicks re-sign him anyway. Because that’s the Knicks.

    They do their stupid stuff for players with more flair. I don’t think they’ll break the bank for Mudiay, who clearly sucks.

  44. Grocer

    It’s barely worth talking about though. Perry/Mills haven’t exactly been subtle about the fact that they plan to have max space this offseason. My only semi-realistic hope is that they don’t feel obligated to just blow it all on multi-year deals if/when KD shuns us.

    They explicitly said they would pass on any FA that wasn’t top tier and implied that they don’t expect that to happen.

    But are any trades out there for Kanter at all? I suspect the answer is no, even if he is expiring.

  45. Farfa Post author

    But are any trades out there for Kanter at all? I suspect the answer is no, even if he is expiring.

    I think there are, especially since you can also trade Lance Thomas who is minimally guaranteed for next year. It depends on how much you’re proactive on the trade market. There’s always someone with a bad contract willing to unload it, especially facing a summer where KD and Kawhi might be available.

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

    So Zippy, who are the two players?

  47. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I don’t think they’ll break the bank for Mudiay, who clearly sucks.

    Breaking the bank isn’t what I’m worried about. Wasting a roster slot on Mudiay is more my concern.

  48. thenoblefacehumper

    You know what kind of team gives any non-minimum contract to a low-end backup point guard before they have a starting point guard?

    A really stupid team.

  49. Farfa Post author

    I don’t understand why there are people who still think Mudiay is a PG. He’s a point guard just as much as Trier is, which is to say that nominally they can be, but lack the instinct to play that role. I counted at least four occasions where Kornet was open as the roll man 12 feet from the basket and Mudiay didn’t pass him the ball once.

  50. Farfa Post author

    And if the argument is “but he got 9 assists!” then I suggest you all angrily sign a petition to have Jokic as a backcourt player on the All-Star ballots.

  51. Farfa Post author

    To cap it off, if we didn’t have notorious chucker THJ as our starting SG maybe Mudiay would make a little more sense as a shot creator. As it stands now, Mudiay + THJ = ball dominant chuckers who pass the ball sparingly and aren’t suited to play with each other.

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

    I’m assuming player A is Kanter, but I have no idea idea who Player B is. And how does an average big score 21 points a game? That seems unlikely to me.

  53. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Jowles, I thought you said you’d be cool with 3 years at 5 million a year for Mudiay. You don’t want him on the team at all now? Even as a back up PG?

    I sobered up

    (but mostly it was contingent on him being a >.560 TS% shooter for the rest of the season, which doesn’t appear likely)

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

    Willy scores 7.4 points a game, not 21.9

  55. wetbandit

    Fixed:
    To cap it off, if we didn’t have notorious chucker THJ, Trier, Knox, Kanter, Hezonja, and Burke as parts of our rotation maybe Mudiay would make a little more sense as a shot creator. As it stands now, the team= ball dominant chuckers who pass the ball sparingly and aren’t suited to play in the NBA.

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

    Anyway, if you are trying to persuade me that Willy is a cheaper version of Kanter, I would think about it except that since Kanter doesn’t seem to help us win, why would want someone else who is similar and therefore also won’t help us win? That’s sort of like saying let’s still have a bad team, just a cheaper bad team. You could argue that we should have gotten more for Willy, like Strat did, but you are not making me regret not having Willy.

  57. swiftandabundant

    Side note. Reading what Courtney Lee said about not playing vs. how Kanter…man, Courtney Lee is just a stand up guy and a real professional. I feel bad for him but his statements are exactly what you would want a veteran on a tank team to say. I hope we can find a trade partner for him but if we can’t, he is not the worst overpaid veteran to have on this team. A guy like that can be a nice influence on younger players.

  58. JK47

    Yeah there’s not really a whole lot of need for this sad sack team to lock up a backup point guard. Even with his big surge in productivity Mudiay is still a mediocre player— WS48 is around .050. And he’s probably due for a regression even at that level of play. That’s not the kind of difference maker you need to worry about locking up long term. Guys like that tend to be available.

    If Mudiay was drafted at like #28 instead of in the high lottery we wouldn’t even be having this discussion, he’d probably be playing in the Turkish League already.

  59. Zippy Le Pin

    Player A is Kanter, Player B is Willy. (C is the average big.)
    They are surprisingly similar, except for that last line…

  60. Zippy Le Pin

    I THINK those are per 36, hence the ‘inflated’ numbers across the board. (Could be per 40, but doesn’t much matter for comparative purposes.)

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

    The comparison makes me not want either player, since I don’t think Kanter is helping us win.

  62. thenoblefacehumper

    If Kanter made $1.5M a year and was signed for another season and a half, I think people would rightfully view him much differently. The guy was in the rotation on a WCF team that went up 3-1 on the Warriors. It’s not out of the question that he can have a role on a successful team, and that’s all anyone was ever hoping for with Willy.

    He’s an enormous net negative at his current salary, and his current salary seems to make him think he’s entitled to 30 MPG.

  63. rama, mayor of Realitytown

    It’s amazing to me that people don’t think Player B, at that salary, isn’t a huge asset. It doesn’t matter if he can’t play D – 20 minutes a game of that, especially next to someone like Vonleh or a mature Mitch, would be WAAAAYYYY more valuable than that salary.

    And unlike the Cole situation, I don’t think there’s any reason Willy couldn’t play more minutes. He’s got to stop sleeping with the coaches’ wives….

  64. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Do we really need to go over this again?

    There are different categories of mistakes. The WHG trade was not on the level of Bargnani or Curry. Nor was it on the level of the Melo trade. Nor was it on the level of drafting Kevin Knox over a SGA or similarly-talented player.

    It was a minor mistake, but still a mistake, for all the reasons we’ve gone over a hundred times.

    Some in this thread are saying, “Getting punched in the thigh isn’t so bad,” and the rest of us are saying, “How about not getting punched at all?”

    As for any idiot trying to say that the punch was in reality a massage? Newsflash: you’re an idiot.

  65. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    While reasonable people may disagree about just how bad Willy is on D (I think he’s pretty bad but not horrific), one thing is absolutely certain: he’s far, far, far less bad on D than Kanter is. Kanter is among the worst defensive players in the league–if not the absolute worst–and it’s not even close. Willy could be horrible on D and still significantly better than Kanter on that end (which is evidenced by his significantly better DRPM [-.4 vs. -1.67] and DPIPM stats [-.28 vs -1.69] though I’m pretty sure each includes an MP weight which could theoretically explain at least some of the difference), and wins out in absolute and relative productivity terms even if he never gets better on that end. You pick Willy every time, even if their contracts were even. He’s 2 years younger, has a higher TS%, is a better passer, and is shooting the 3 well on low volume.

    For further justification (note the career BPM):
    https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=1&player_id1_hint=Enes+Kanter&player_id1_select=Enes+Kanter&player_id1=kanteen01&y1=2019&player_id2_hint=Willy+Hernangomez&player_id2_select=Willy+Hernangomez&player_id2=hernawi01&y2=2019

  66. Brian Cronin

    If 22-year-old Nick Fazekas were in this year’s NBA Draft, would he make the first round? Would he play in the NBA? I guess, in the alternative, would 22-year-old Nick Fazekas already be in the NBA because he left school earlier? I have no real idea at how much the valuation of guys like Fazekas have changed in a decade.

  67. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Trading WHG may not end up being a mistake, but trading a cost controlled asset with great advanced metrics when you hadn’t been giving him minutes because of his (way more expensive) carbon copy on a shorter term deal, that’s a mistake. No doubt about it. If Willy had been playing more minutes he would have been traded to Milwaukee or somebody like Portland or New Orleans for a much better haul. If Kemba Walker leaves Charlotte, those picks would look a lot better I guess.

  68. Brian Cronin

    If Kemba Walker leaves Charlotte, those picks would look a lot better I guess.

    I was just thinking earlier today, “Man, now we really have to hope he leaves Charlotte, because he seems to almost single-handedly keep them just decent enough for those picks to not be too great.”

  69. JK47

    Centers who are not rim protectors just don’t have lots of value in today’s NBA. You really need to be an offensive beast like Ayton to offset a lack of rim protecting ability. Guys like Willy just don’t move the needle much, and inept defenders like Kanter are unplayable.

  70. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Centers who are not rim protectors just don’t have lots of value in today’s NBA. You really need to be an offensive beast like Ayton to offset a lack of rim protecting ability. Guys like Willy just don’t move the needle much, and inept defenders like Kanter are unplayable.

    Agreed, which is why I’m not apoplectic about it. Still, he’s making 1.5% of this year’s salary cap and will make even less a share of that cap next year at $1.7M.

  71. ptmilo

    the single guy who most escaped the modern nba-wide dungeon in that respect has to be Kevin Willis. Kevin Willis played 38K minutes and no way is he even a regular in today’s game

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

    If Denver has a lot of success, in 10 years Cs may all need to stand in the pocket and deliver passes over smaller defenders after the rest of the team runs a play.

  73. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Trading WHG may not end up being a mistake, but trading a cost controlled asset with great advanced metrics when you hadn’t been giving him minutes because of his (way more expensive) carbon copy on a shorter term deal, that’s a mistake.

    I’m going to spitball here: what if (and this is an “if”) the team does value this, but just didn’t feel Willy was worth the trouble? Because…

    Centers who are not rim protectors just don’t have lots of value in today’s NBA. You really need to be an offensive beast like Ayton to offset a lack of rim protecting ability. Guys like Willy just don’t move the needle much, and inept defenders like Kanter are unplayable.

    In other words: they value cost-controlled assets, but moreso for premium positions or player-types in today’s NBA, which Willy wasn’t.

  74. Early Bird

    Jokic does a lot of things well, not just pass. It’s hard enough to find a 7ft tall human being, let alone one who can pass well. But having a 7ft tall human being I’d rather him play defense, rebound, and score. Passing is so far down the list that it’s just not viable to teach that skill on top of all the others.

  75. Grocer

    I think there are, especially since you can also trade Lance Thomas who is minimally guaranteed for next year.

    I went looking, options: could we get anything worthwhile from Portland for Evan Turner? Does Miami want to dump one of their Johnsons? Biyombo? Is LA tired of Gallinari always being injured? We could trade Kanter straight up for Wall but that seems like a poor choice.

  76. Grocer

    Maybe the Grizz are tired of Parsons, we could swing that. I can’t see more than a couple late seconds for any of these, if that.

  77. Donnie Walsh

    I think Philly is going to score 300 points tonight

    Embiid halfway to a 60 and 30 night. Wow.

    Also, I know he’s a Celtic, and used to kind of belong to us back when he was but a cytoplasm encased in a draft shell, but it’s nice to see Gordon Hayward have the game he had tonight.

  78. bidiong

    Pardon my scotch… But we have to remember that we’re watching the worst team in the league so should we really be offering any contracts to any of our future free agents on the team?

    “X” player is playing good on our team. “X” player wouldn’t be a rotation player on most any teams.

  79. ess-dog

    Well, Willy started tonight because of Zeller’s injury and sort of shat the bed: 3 for 8 for a -14. Biyombo was better off the bench.

  80. Z-man

    As to Willy, I will again say: is what we gave up worth more than what we acquired? Willy was traded for 2 second round picks. If you had to make a trade right now, what would you get more for…the 2 picks or Willy? I say you could get more for the 2 picks.

    If you agree with that, then calling the trade a bad trade is silly. If you disagree, then what do you think Willy could fetch if CHO wanted to trade him? more than what we got for him?

    I don’t understand the hand-wringing about his “controlled” cost. There is nothing more cost-controlled than 2 second round picks.

    I also don’t get the comparison of Willy and Enes. One was the price for freeing us up from the Melo albatross and might still have some value at the deadline. The other is a young benchwarmer on a borderline lottery team for whom we received fair market value.

  81. Brian Cronin

    Maybe the Grizz are tired of Parsons, we could swing that. I can’t see more than a couple late seconds for any of these, if that.

    Yeah, I just don’t think there’s a scenario where they get any amazing asset in exchange from letting teams dump their longterm garbage on the Knicks. I think the best bet is see if one of the superstars moronically want to play here and if not, try to sign and trade KP, and if that fails, just sign no one to big contracts (outside of KP, which I guess I would reluctantly still sign if there’s no good sign and trade offer out there) until 2021.

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

    @94

    What you can get for a player is the market value, but that does not mean the market is correct. The idea is to value players better than the current market. That’s how you create value.

    So to say that Willy’s fair market value was two 2nd round picks is accurate, but some of us think his intrinsic value was higher.

  83. Z-man

    Sorry Strat, that makes no sense, and I’d expect a better answer from a successful gambler. Right now, Willy is almost 25 years old, more than a year older than Noah Vonleh or Luke Kornet. Charlotte has had him for over almost a full season and despite having a bunch of injured players and scrubs at center, he’s played 600 minutes. The “well, Hornacek and Borrego are terrible coaches and don’t get how good he is” argument only goes so far. He’s a dime a dozen, period.

    If we kept Willy, we would still have Kanter and we probably wouldn’t have either Vonleh or Kornet. Considering that, isn’t it better to have those guys AND the two 2nd rounders (probably 40th-ish picks) than the option to keep Willy around for another year?

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

    I don’t really care much about who else we have. Those are strategic factors. I’m just talking about value. I don’t think it’s easy to get a player like Willy in the 2nd round. Most never make it to the NBA. If other teams don’t value his skill set, that’s fine. I think they are wrong. He’s a productive rotation player off the bench and still getting better.

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