SNY.com: Does interim head coach Mike Miller have a future with the Knicks?

Interesting stuff from Ian Begley:

After taking over for David Fizdale, interim head coach Mike MIller coached the Knicks to a 17-27 record before their season was paused in mid-March and is now over. They were still under the .500 mark with Miller, but the team showed considerable improvement.

But now that Leon Rose is in control, it’s likely that he’ll look to bring in “his guy” to be the team’s head coach, whether that’s Tom Thibodeau or someone else.

So where does that leave Miller?

In response to a Knicks mailbag question, SNY’s Ian Begley explains that Miller is still expected to interview for the head coaching job, and even if he doesn’t land it, there are some in the organization who would like to see Miller stay with the team, either as an assistant coach or in a different front office role.

The video was a follow-up to an earlier mailbag where Begley disagreed with a reader who suggested hiring Miller just so that they could tank next season ahead of the much better 2021 Draft Class and then hire their coach of the future. Begley thinks that that wouldn’t work very well, as he thinks that the players wouldn’t respect a coach that they knew was a lame duck coach. However, I think he felt that he made it seem like Miller wasn’t a serious candidate for the job, so he issued this video to clarify.

So far, only Thibs, Atkinson, Miller and Mike Woodson have been announced as being interviewed for the Knicks coaching gig, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a fifth candidate was looked at, as well.

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58 thoughts to “SNY.com: Does interim head coach Mike Miller have a future with the Knicks?”

  1. Miller did a solid enough job but if we decide to go with a new coach we should let them pick their own assistants.

  2. ***Miller did a solid enough job but if we decide to go with a new coach we should let them pick their own assistants.***

    They always do. It was just coincidental that 9 straight coaches picked Herb Williams.

  3. It’s days like this where I wish we had actual hoops to focus on. I found out from his ex wife (whom I’m still close to), that my very best friend in this whole world killed himself yesterday- 4 hours from where I live in MD.. We hadn’t spoken since 2017 due to a falling out over his not accepting the fact that just because they split up over some dark and painful events, that she’s still FAMILY to me. I mean, their sons are my nephews for Christ’s sake! They still call me unc and we still maintain a close relationship. Their sons and my sons are the same ages, and are thisclose as well. How the fuck do you even get closure, y’kno? So..imma need yal to bring your best banter today lol, cuz imma need the distraction

  4. Totes, my heartfelt condolences go out to you. I will do my best to distract you here.

  5. still stuck at the beginning of season 4 of the wire…waiting for god daughter who’s still in season 2 to catch up…

    watched a band of brothers last week, and I’m going through seasons 2 thru 4 of game of thrones…now I’m thinking I should re-watch john adams :)

    it’s funny that there are a ton of shows I’ve never watched before, but, makes me happy to go though familiar territory….

  6. Totes, I’m terribly sorry to hear about your loss. I wish I could think of something funny to help distract you, but nothing comes to mind. Maybe another episode of Bob Neptune vs. the Greek Chorus can flare up?

  7. “Maybe another episode of Bob Neptune vs. the Greek Chorus can flare up?”

    I’m always available for enlightenment and comic relief……

  8. I’m so sorry to hear that Totes, my condolences. I’ve been thinking about how a tragic byproduct of quarantine might be that it pushes people on the mental health brink over the edge. Good time to remind everyone to always, always, always seek out mental health treatment before you feel like you’ve reached the point of no return.

  9. So sorry for your loss Totes. Just for you, I’m going to boldly proclaim that next year’s Frank/RJ/Joe Harris/Toppin/Mitch starting lineup will take the 5th seed in the East, and Frank will win MIP – prove me wrong, internet!

  10. Thanks everyone for the kind words.

    All this time, I didn’t realize Trier was a restricted FA. Call me crazy, but if we keep RJ at the 2, then I think we’re set at SG between RJ, Trier, and Dotson. I am perfectly ok with rolling with those 3. That being said, I think we should all hope that Knox isn’t truly a lost cause. If he can continue the progression he made on defense late in the season, that makes filling the roster way easier. He can already shoot pretty well- at least I feel like his shot is going in when he releases- add defense to that and he makes a nice compliment to RJ and Mitch.

    However, if we move RJ to the 3, then we absolutely need a PG who can shoot because I think Ntilikina becomes the new starting SG. Rather, it will come down to him or Dot, and I think Ntilikina wins because of his defense and secondary playmaking. I’d definitely go with Haliburton in that scenario. You’d have smart playmaking and defensive versatility at all 3 perimeter positions should they start together. And I kinda am intrigued by the idea of having a Wood, Jalen Smith, or even Bobby P at PF flanked by Mitch, RJ, Ntilikina, and Haliburton. Surprisingly, I’d be perfectly fine with targeting Smith in the draft, dumping Randle, and keeping Portis. I don’t think a starting 5 of Mitch/Portis/RJ/Ntilikina/ Haliburton is a horrible combination. Obviously it would be better to have a true shooter out there at SG, but who though? Dotson could be it, but his shot isn’t consistent enough. Actually if someone could coach Randle up to not dribble so much and if he can get back to 32% on the 3 ball at least, I’m ok with keeping him in that possible starting 5.

  11. ess-dog:
    So sorry for your loss Totes. Just for you, I’m going to boldly proclaim that next year’s Frank/RJ/Joe Harris/Toppin/Mitch starting lineup will take the 5th seed in the East, and Frank will win MIP – prove me wrong, internet!

    Great minds ess..great minds lolololololololol

  12. ” Jalen Smith”

    Curious as to why this guy projects into the low 20’s with a fairly impeccable statistical profile… efficient, shoots well from distance, protects the rim and rebounds in a tough conference.

  13. Right bob! He’s the one player in this draft I am absolutely sure of. But top 6 is wayyy too high and 26ish is wayy too low. If the option was there, I’d use a Dallas pick to trade up for him without a second guess. He reminds me of a more athletic Joe Smith..probably a better rebounder too. Definitely a better shooter from distance.

    I recently watched a Ray Felton interview on KnicksFanTV, and I thought “what about Felton as PG3 if we don’t get CP3?”. I actually would be ok with it if we commit to starting a rookie PG and Frank as the backup.

  14. Another guy I like in the late part of the draft is Vernon Carey out of Duke.

    The trick to those picks is to take a guy you know will be an NBA player. Just getting a top 8 rotation guy from that position is a huge win.

  15. Are there really 20 odd players in this draft who line up better statistically? I seldom watch college BB so I have never seen him play but his numbers look as good or better than anyone in the draft except maybe Obi Topin (lol SOS)

  16. Hubert,
    If Vernon Carey is somehow still available when we pick in the 2nd round, I will be beyond ecstatic. Short of Smith being available with our late 1st, I’d be happy to pick Carey there as well. Though, I would make a play for Nesmith before I settle on Carey even if I had to trade up slightly for him.

  17. I know Jalen Smith is mocked within the range of the Clippers’ pick at the moment, but I’m inclined to think he’ll skyrocket closer to the draft. His skills are just too sought after for him to be drafted that low, especially in this draft. I bet he’s in the lottery by draft night.

  18. Jalen Smith is the Maryland guy with the glasses right? He is awesome. Everytime I watched him I was impressed.

    I’d take Carey over him though.

    I agree both those guys will be underdrafted.

  19. Those of you who want Haliburton should note that he is apparently high on the Warriors list

    There’s really no evidence that the Warriors know what they’re doing anymore.

    Jordan Poole, -6.6 BPM, 1274 MP
    Eric Paschall, -2.7 BPM, 1654 MP
    Jacob Evans, -7.4 BPM, 622 MP
    Damian Jones, -1.5 BPM, 1471 MP
    Kevon Looney, -0.5 BPM, 3121 MP
    Harrison Barnes, -1.0 BPM, 18823 MP
    Festus Ezeli, -2.0 BPM, 2394 MP (and an inexplicable $15M contract from the Blazers in the infamous summer of ’16)
    Draymond Green, GOOD PICK
    Klay Thompson, GOOD PICK
    Ekpe Udoh, -1.4 BPM, 5694 MP
    Steph Curry, HAHAHAHAHA HE COULDA BEEN A KNICK (until he was traded to the Nuggets for M3L0)

    They also traded for Omari Spellman and signed Ky Bowman, both scrubs. Jordan Bell is the one that I would have failed with them on — there’s no reason he couldn’t have been a 6MotY candidate, but now he’s looking like a career vet’s min journeyman. He’s only 25 but it seems like he’ll be overseas shortly.

    The Russell sign-and-trade was forced by their cap situation, but the Wiggins trade is the real head-scratcher. Sure, they keep a max contract on the books for matching purposes, but who’s going to take that contract on in a future trade? This is all to say that it’s been awhile (8 years, to be precise) since the Warriors have shown that they can identify talent where others can’t.

  20. The Honorable Cock Jowles: the Wiggins trade is the real head-scratcher. Sure, they keep a max contract on the books for matching purposes, but who’s going to take that contract on in a future trade?

    Manipulative spirits that haunt the Knicks FO: PSST! Hey..that Wiggins kid sure is athletic…

  21. The Russell sign-and-trade was forced by their cap situation, but the Wiggins trade is the real head-scratcher. Sure, they keep a max contract on the books for matching purposes, but who’s going to take that contract on in a future trade? This is all to say that it’s been awhile (8 years, to be precise) since the Warriors have shown that they can identify talent where others can’t.

    I dunno, a minimally protected pick (top 3 in 2021 and then unprotected) from a team like the Timberwolves is just about the best sweetener that gets attached to to a contract these days. I don’t see many scenarios in which that pick isn’t at least in the top-10 in a draft that’s pretty highly regarded at the moment.

    Between having a high pick of their own this year, getting healthy, and the Wolves’ pick, the Warriors probably figure they can assemble a very good team even with Wiggins’ albatross on the books. Who knows, maybe they can even move him cost-neutrally if he shoots a standard deviation above his career numbers from 3 next season or something.

  22. I think Wiggins could also be a Harrison Barnes type for the Warriors. You know, not a good player but also not actively destroying the team, either. His numbers were fairly mediocre this year rather than being insanely terrible. He’s astonishingly overpaid, of course, but if you’re capped out already, I don’t think he’s a huge problem, especially with that pick that they got along with him.

  23. Right, I completely forgot about the attached pick. I would guess that they’ll move him, the MIN pick and their own pick for a max-level player if the right one becomes available. No idea who that’d be.

  24. It’s also the case that Wiggins fits with the current Warriors much better than Russell did.

  25. Ok ok ok..I got it..who is the most frustratingly puzzling player?
    Wiggins or DSJ?

  26. Someone on Twitter asked if the Warriors should trade Klay Thompson in part of a package for Greek Freak. You’d be surprised how many Warrior fans were against it which is of course insane, you trade Klay every day of the week for Greek Freak especially considering he’s coming off major knee surgery.

  27. I can understand not wanting to trade Steph Curry for Giannis. even if he is 32.

    Wait, what? Klay Thompson?

  28. who is the most frustratingly puzzling player?
    Wiggins or DSJ?

    although DSJ has shown some glimpses of potential – because of where he got drafted and the contract he signed, wiggins all day…

    why in the world would the bucks ever trade giannis…even if you don’t think you can resign him – giannis puts you in contention for a title every minute he’s there in milwaukee…

  29. jalen smith is good… he’s sort of a cross between bobby portis and john collins … and the bobby comparisons are meant in the best possible light… bobby was a decent prospect until he started exclusively concentrating on being a stretch big….

  30. ***You’d be surprised how many Warrior fans were against it which is of course insane, you trade Klay every day of the week for Greek Freak***

    That’s what everybody here said about trading him for Love once, too.

  31. “jalen smith is good… he’s sort of a cross between bobby portis and john collins … and the bobby comparisons are meant in the best possible light… bobby was a decent prospect until he started exclusively concentrating on being a stretch big….”

    Jalen Smith’s numbers are significantly better than Portis wrt BPM, rebounding, shot blocking, TS% and SOS. Portis isn’t a bad floor but Smith’s numbers look more promising.

  32. That’s what everybody here said about trading him for Love once, too.

    I still think the Dubs win a ring with Love. Hell, he won one against that very team.

    But this is insane. Giannis is a two-way superstar in his prime. As good as Love was during that short peak in Minnesota, Giannis is basically prime Shaq in the pace-and-space era. And he’s younger than Klay. And he would be exceptional with Curry in the high screen. Totally unguardable.

    This is endowment effect. Sentimental. Nostalgia for 2014-15. Likewise, because our expectations are just so much lower, I’m sure you could find someone (right here on this board!) who wouldn’t trade Ntilikina for, say, Brandon Clarke. The average fan is real, real dumb when it comes to his own team.

  33. This is a joke right? Giannis is 5 years younger than Klay. Is this an actual conversation?

  34. Donnie Walsh:
    ***You’d be surprised how many Warrior fans were against it which is of course insane, you trade Klay every day of the week for Greek Freak***

    That’s what everybody here said about trading him for Love once, too.

    You’re talking about when Cleveland traded Wiggins for Love? I don’t remember their being much of a consensus. Feel like the reactions were pretty mixed. I know I like the trade for Cleveland but I didn’t like Wiggins coming out of college.

  35. i don’t mean to say that jalen smith is exactly like bobby … he’s similar in how his stat profile is constructed…. sort of solid across the board after a mediocre freshman year….

    sometimes those guys turn into john collins …. who had probably the best soph year out of the three…. sometimes it’s like bobby…. it’s not guaranteed that he turns into something in better, worse or even in between… but he’s some approximation if you’re trying to triangulate on his pro outcome….

    that’s worth something …. especially in this draft….

  36. No, rumors of Klay being traded for Love before 2014-15 ended, I believe. I think GSW turned it down.

  37. Relatively glowing profile of Noah’s comeback. I did not realize he had nearly ruptured his achilles moving an ice bath. Anyway, he is on the Clippers and hoping for a shot at a title. Apparently he fixed his reputation problem in Memphis, was a “model citizen.”

    So strange that everyone who comes to the Knicks seems to go the wrong way.

    https://theathletic.com/1844238/2020/06/08/im-as-ready-as-can-be-joakim-noah-earns-one-last-title-shot-with-clippers/?source=dailyemail

  38. Love v Klay looks worse in hindsight. It was legitimately controversial to support the Warriors decision at the time when Love’s statistical profile was at a superstar level and the Warriors were a scrappy 6 seed in the West.

    It did encapsulate a fascinating argument, though. The stats we use do a much better job capturing Love’s value than Klay’s. It doesn’t make the stats less meaningful, as some would argue. It just means maybe in 1 out of 1,000 cases there is a chance the stats don’t tell the whole story.

  39. Noah went from sub-50% FT w/ the Knicks to over 70% w/ Memphis. Looks like he cut down on the turnovers a good amount, too. Probably not a bad move for the Clips.

    It’s kinda wild how bad he was with the Knicks. Still wouldn’t have been worth anywhere close to the PJax contract even with the Memphis #’s tho. What a stupid deal.

  40. It just means maybe in 1 out of 1,000 cases there is a chance the stats don’t tell the whole story.

    Love was 2nd in the league in BPM, 3rd in VORP, 4th in WS48, and was 25 years old at the time of the proposed trade, just 2 years older than Klay. According to the new BBRef TSAdd stat, Love’s shot attempts were worth 171.6 points more than the league average in 2013-14; Klay had 38.0. Now Klay would go on to set a career high in 2015-16 at 165.5, but I don’t think the stats missed something, here — the Warriors simply decided that pairing Curry with an off-ball-genius sniper/solid on-ball defender who cannot dribble with his left hand, and can barely dribble with his right, was more important than having a post genius with questionable defensive skills.

    In this parallel universe, the Warriors would have been a phenomenal team with a starting lineup of Curry, Iguodala, Barnes, Love and Draymond. Hard to imagine that they would have failed to make the Finals that year or 2015-16, provided Love stayed healthy. And it’s sort of irrelevant to argue anything about the effects of Love vs. Klay on the 2016-17 to 2018-19 Warriors, as Durant’s addition made a healthy squad a reasonable bet to go 16-0 in the playoffs no matter who started at SG or PF.

  41. It did encapsulate a fascinating argument, though. The stats we use do a much better job capturing Love’s value than Klay’s. It doesn’t make the stats less meaningful, as some would argue. It just means maybe in 1 out of 1,000 cases there is a chance the stats don’t tell the whole story.

    The Dunc’d On podcast did a good job of covering this topic a few episodes ago. They talked about players overrated and underrated by all-in-one metrics. The topic has come up more than a few times here so I recommend everyone give it a listen when they have a chance (May 25th episode).

    Basically, the metrics by their nature have to use shortcuts that do a good job estimating value most of the time (e.g. good defenders get steals) but will sometimes blow it on a player like Klay.

    Relatedly, I think they give a short shrift to really good scoring guards who don’t rack up much in the way of other box score statistics. Devin Booker, for example, could probably snag a few more rebounds and assists if he were so inclined. His lackluster defense wouldn’t be that big of an issue if the Suns had better personnel around him–bad defense from guards is just not that hard to overcome.

  42. but I don’t think the stats missed something, here — the Warriors simply decided that pairing Curry with an off-ball-genius sniper/solid on-ball defender who cannot dribble with his left hand, and can barely dribble with his right, was more important than having a post genius with questionable defensive skills.

    This is precisely what I meant. The stats did not miss anything at all: Love was better than Klay. But for the reasons you listed, it made sense to make a decision based on something other than the stats.

    Some (strat *cough*) would say this indicates a failure of statistics. I just think it was an extremely rare case of unquantifiable synergy being more important than production.

  43. Some (strat *cough*) would say this indicates a failure of statistics. I just think it was an extremely rare case of unquantifiable synergy being more important than production.

    It may be more prominent than other cases of synergy mattering to player selection, but I’m not sure “extremely rare” is a fair characterization. Just look at the Knicks. Randle actually has pretty good stats, but it’s clear he would be more valuable on a team with players that complement him better that the current Knicks roster does. I’m sure there are other cases around the league.

  44. Totes – I’m so sorry. That’s terrible. I can’t imagine.
    Dolan makes rooting for the Knicks painful.
    It seems to me that Noah’s biggest problem wasn’t skill it was behavior and extracurricular activities.

    Since we’re done for this season, I’m trying to figure out who’ll be on the roster come next season. I started by trying to figure out what we start with.

    The fact is that nobody knows what the 2020-21 cap will look like. It was supposed to be $115 but it could drop below $90 ultimately because of COVID-19. I’ve been breaking down the Knicks baseline roster entering the offseason. Here’s what I see. Let’s see how much I got wrong…

    What we have, salary wise under contract is $49.1M/$92.1M where the first figure is Dead Cap and the second is the total cap figure. It is made up of this:
    Signed: Ntilikina ($6.2M), DSmith Jr ($5.7M), RJ Barrett ($8.2M), Knox ($4.6M), Brazdekis ($1.5M), Randle ($18.9M), Mitch Robinson($1.7M)
    Minimally guaranteed contracts: Payton ($8M), Ellington ($8M), Bullock ($4.2M), Gibson ($9.45M) – That amounts to $29.65M but only $4M is guaranteed.
    Dead cap: Noah ($6.4M)
    Team option: Bobby Portis for $15.7M.
    Restricted F/A’s: Trier, Dotson, K.Allen, I.Rabb (Apx $9.6M cap holds)
    2-Way player: Kenny Wooten.
    draft picks: 3 players total $9M compensation

    There’s no way they’re picking up the Portis option.
    Barring trades, I’m assuming that we start with the 7 “Signed” deals and the 3 draft picks. That’s already 10 players. I would add Wooten on the cheap, to balance the roster. After we add in the Noah cap hit and the 4 low cost guaranteed contracts, that looks like a total of $66M which leaves about $30M for free agents. If we just keep the quartet of Payton, Bullock, Gibson and Ellington, they’re set.

    I would love the Knicks to go after Bertans or Galanari at the 4 and a quality backup center for when Mitch lands in foul trouble.

    Thoughts?

  45. I also think it’s worth reiterating in relation to Love vs. Thompson that Love was an absolute monster in Minnesota. Top-5 in the NBA in offensive BPM 3 of his last 4 years and 2nd in the NBA (ahead of Lebron) in total BPM his last year there. I think that overall figure pretty clearly overrates him (the fact that he was a very good rebounder was juicing his defensive box score prior a lot I think) but he really was top-5 offensive player. He never got to fully show it in Cleveland and I think that altered people’s perceptions of him but I don’t think it’s fair to assume that if he had gone to Golden State the progression of the rest of his career looks exactly like it did in Cleveland. He might have done amazing things in that Golden State offense with more ball movement and a more creative offensive coach.

    That’s not to say they made a bad decision because of course Klay is also awesome and it clearly worked out; you take the 3 championships in the hand every time. But I think there’s a good chance if they made the trade it still works out fantastically for Golden State.

  46. I think the big thing with the Love situation is that Green took such a big leap in 2014-15. If you knew Green would be Green before the 2014-15 season, you’d probably hold off on getting Love, as well. It was Green’s development that really changed everything for that Warriors team.

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