2015-16 Game Recap: Knicks 120 Celtics 114

HELL $&*%ing YES. I really want to just copy and paste that 200 times, once for every time I screamed it during the game.

Like a one-footed Robin, my whole life is off balance right now. If I could rub a magic lamp and ask the Porzingod for three wishes, the first would be that every Knickerblogger poster gets one free punch on Jared Sullinger and the ref who tripped Melo. The second would be that after some ice and a good night’s sleep, Melo is back on the court tomorrow against Brooklyn. But the third, oh mighty Godzingis, would be to bottle up this feeling, this goofy-ass grin that can only rise up from a feeling of euphoria deep within. Boston had beaten the Knicks four straight times, and damn it felt (almost?) orgasmic to get them back.

The first 23 minutes were a continuation of the last five games, with Melo and KP feeding each other spoonfuls of open jumpers and dunks. Kristaps opened the game with 14 points in eight minutes, knocking down three 3s, including one from near halfcourt, a patented putback, and a gorgeous off-the-dribble banked-in 18 footer. The list of guys that size who can pull that move off is one deep. Carmelo was moving and grooving as well, with 17 points on 7-10 shooting (2-2 3 PT) to go along with Ramon Razor-sharp passing. In one memorable sequence, Carmelo received a pass at the top of the key with space to take an in-rhythm 3, but instead drove past Kelly Olynyk and his Amish pube-beard and dumped off a perfect pocket pass to KP for the slam. This is neo-Knicks basketball! Contagious and outrageous, dishing and swishing! Jae Crowder, you may now efficiently shut your mouth and know your role.

Robin Lopez again showed off his nifty hook shot and Big Al Jeff-esque up-and-under, while Derrick Williams was aggressive in leading a second team effort to maintain the lead. Jerian Grant had a nice seven minutes, although it was likely that his performance would end up as just that – a nice, if not noteworthy, seven minutes.

Then, with one minute left in the first half, Carmelo Anthony is tripped by The 6th Man (damn you, Marlon Wayans!), and he goes down, clutching his ankle. Further reviews confirming that the Knicks are not cursed by a Wayans brother or any other omniscient being, but rather that Melo actually stepped on a referee’s foot while turning to run up the court, was no consolation. Hopefully, he would be back after halftime and the Knicks’ stellar play would continue.

From his mention of – pick your preference: techgate (source: ptmilo) or techgazi (source: DRed) – to his apt description of Melo’s working conditions (“Melo in his office, 15 feet away”), Clyde Killa Cam Frazier – that pink suit, though – was on point tonight, and he’ll take us through the second half.

“The Knicks formerly cruisin’ and bruisin’, but now doom and gloom looms.”

The feeling of relief to see Carmelo out on the floor to start the second half lasted exactly 19 seconds, as, without any further exacerbation of the injury, he exited after one play and shortly thereafter headed back to the locker room. (Carmelo sprained his ankle: he’s questionable for tomorrow’s game against Brooklyn but confident he’ll play Saturday against Memphis.) Then Kristaps, at the 8 minute mark of the third, picked up HIS third and fourth fouls. Isaiah Thomas continued to mystify the Knicks defense while Crowder knocked down a few successive jumpers, and uhh ohh…

“Double A starting to percolate.” “Posting and toasting from 10 feet away.”

It’s Melo, it’s KP… no, it’s SuperAfflalo! At a time when they needed him most, when it felt like it was him or no one, Arron poured in 14 3rd quarter points to keep the Knicks ahead. Brad Stevens sent one Celtic defender after another to stop Arron, but they couldn’t contain him in the post or on the perimeter. Afflalo had 20 of his 24 in the second half and I think, in fact I daresay I’m almost positive, that I even saw Double A drive all the way to the rim for a layup!

“The Little Lilliputian thriving in the lane on the Gullivers again.”

Tonight the Celtics were all-Isaiah, all the time. It’s hard to even fault the defense… much like Melo, when he’s got it going, his good offense is going to beat your good defense. The guy is a wizard navigating the pick and roll, changing speeds and finishing with miraculous lefty hook shots and floaters. Thomas put up 34 points (11-23 FG, 11-12 FT) and 8 assists, and on a night when Boston couldn’t stop the Knicks, Thomas kept the Celtics in the game on the offensive end all night. Thomas actually went 1-8 from behind the arc, and it’s scary to think that the damage could’ve been worse.

“That’s the type of fortitude the neophyte has shown. Languishing on the bench all this time, come right in and right away drain a ten foot jumper.”… “Showing the neophyte blunder right there. Gotta live with his grandeur and the folly.”

KP rejoined the game early in the fourth quarter and his presence was felt with two blocks on one play and a nice pull-up jumper on Marcus Smart. But he picked up his fifth foul at the 8-minute mark and his sixth on a particularly ill-advised foul of a 3-point shooting Crowder shortly after returning near the five-minute mark, fouling out for the first time in his young career. KP finished what could have easily been a 35-40 point night, as he missed his final six three-point attempts after making his first three, with 26 points (10-18 FG), and his first quarter was fucking glorious.

A quick aside on the KP-Smart battle in the post. I regularly play ball at a local LA Fitness and the court is packed with short, jacked, untalented dudes. At 6’1 185, I have the height advantage over all of them. But when it comes time to get the rock in the post and use said advantage, getting deep post position is near-impossible, and backing the guy down is not happening. My only chance is to catch on the wing, turn and face, and shoot or make a quick one-dribble move before he impedes my progress or rips the ball out of my hands. That’s where KP is now, with Marcus Smart appropriately playing the role of the offensively lacking, shorter, jacked dude. So when people call for KP to make smaller guys pay in the post, remember: with his frame, it ain’t that easy. Catch and shoot or pump fake and drive/pull-up – those are his moves.

“Sullinger was catapulting the celtics but he’s been inexplicably removed from the game.”

I hate Jared Sullinger so much. I hate his stupid hair and his stupid set shot and his stupid Ohio State/Celtics career. I hate that every time I play him in DFS, Stevens sits him in the second half for lack of effort. So when he went on a fourth quarter tear to give the Celtics a lead, it added 350 pounds of insult to to injury. But Stevens removed him from the game at the 4:00 mark to both Clyde’s and my confusion… and delight.

“Lopez looking and hooking from 8 feet away.”
“Precarious passing by the Knicks but Williams defiant underneath.”
“Thomas turned the corner, Lopez would have none of it!”
“The Knicks, thriving on adversity tonight. The loss of Melo, then KP… they continue to be undaunted.”

This was the story of the game. With Melo sidelined for the second half and KP in foul trouble, it took a team effort to get the Knicks to the finish line. RoLo chipped in a huge shot with two minutes left and thwarted Thomas’s last-ditch drive to the rim on the Celtics’ final possession with the Knicks up 3. Williams had another big game at the free throw line (5-5) and on the boards with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Double A had some starting-to-be-characteristic huge shots down the stretch. But tonight, the fourth quarter – and this win – belonged to the Knicks’ “other” rookie.

“Grant, the orchestrator… the neophyte has been a delight tonight!”

Remember those seven nice minutes in the first half? I don’t, either. I remember a 3rd quarter-buzzer-beating baseline fadeaway. I remember a swished 3-pointer under pressure. I remember a beautiful pick and roll with RoLo. I remember the rookie calmly making free throws down the stretch. I remember a driving left, right-handed floater off the glass, the Knicks’ biggest bucket of the night. I remember a pass to D-Will for a two-handed exclamation point on the team’s biggest win of the season. I remember his poise as he played the final 15 minutes of the game without committing a turnover, notching 10 points and 6 assists in the fourth quarter. I remember thinking that this was our point guard of the future. I will remember tonight as the Jerian Grant game.

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110 thoughts to “2015-16 Game Recap: Knicks 120 Celtics 114”

  1. Nice recap, Jacob.

    And yes, very, very nice win. Hopefully Melo is okay.

    You know how this win felt so much better because it was against the Celtics? Well, the next team the Knicks play is another team that I love to see them beat, the Nets, so let’s hope it’s a back-to-back of delightfulness!

  2. The Melo injury really sucks because he usually puts on a show against the Nets and the way he has been playing it might have been a great one. Also, the observations about KP? Melo chemistry are spot on. Melo was looking to set KP up over shooting open shots on most possessions. He initiated the two man game to get Kp an open 3 but unfortunately a kick ball was called on the pass. I believe later in that possession Melo wanted to give it back to KP in the corner but the defense to it away so he drained his jumper instead. His last healthy play of the night was a PnP pass to KP for three that he missed. It’s an awesome thing to see.

    Next year I expect to see even more 4/5 two man game between Melo And KP but sometimes with a twist. I truly believe next year that they will run some PnR action with KP as the ball handler. There have already been some occasions this year where KP has handle the ball in some PnR action and the coaches have raved about his ball handling ability in practice. So I will not be shocked if that is added more next yer.

  3. Agree, great recap. I felt like I was there. Big win against the hated Celtics. Porzingis was blowing up in the first half along with Melo. Maybe this was Grant’s coming out party, he was huge down the stretch. Showed great poise, especially for a rookie- 16 points 8 assists and Zero turnovers. Keep it going and get over .500 while beating the Nets. This is Sooo Good.

  4. One more thing, when did Rolo turn into Andrew Bynum in the post? If he continues his play down low and improve his passing he will need to change his name from Lopez to Gasol.

  5. I hate Jared Sullinger so much. I hate his stupid hair and his stupid set shot and his stupid Ohio State/Celtics career.

    As a Michigan/Knicks fan I approve this message. Same applies to Evan Turner.

    Next year I expect to see even more 4/5 two man game between Melo And KP but sometimes with a twist. I truly believe next year that they will run some PnR action with KP as the ball handler. There have already been some occasions this year where KP has handle the ball in some PnR action and the coaches have raved about his ball handling ability in practice. So I will not be shocked if that is added more next yer.

    Agreed that once KP really learns his spots in the offense there are a lot of opportunities to use him as the ball handler in PnR and PnP. I’d actually be very intrigued to see him be the ball handler in a 4/5 PnR.

    Also the guards are doing a much better job of utilizing the drag screens in semi-transition that Fisher has had KP and RoLo setting all season. It’s very frequent now that when we push the ball in semi-transition one of the bigs will set a drag screen for the ball handler to drive middle and if that produces nothing we go straight in to Triangle.

    That’s exactly what the Lakers started doing more of when they won Phil’s 2 last titles. It was actually an automatic that when Kobe brought the ball up it would trigger a drag screen from Gasol to look for early offense. A

    Derrick Williams has been a good NBA player this year and that’s more than I expected. His athleticism is huge and he’s a natural fit on the weak side of the Triangle with the spin backdoor for the lob being his signature play. If we get more adventurous with our passing from the perimeter there are a lot lobs designed in to the offense that should give us more easy buckets with guys like Williams, KP and even Lance in the frontcourt that can play well above the rim.

  6. I had the great fortune of being at tonight’s game, and it was as glorious as it looked on TV. In fact, I came home and watched it again.

    (All the more sweet because I brought my friend the Celtics fan to the game! Hee hee.)

    Don’t have a lot to add to all the recaps, except for the glorious feeling that we are finally building a team. Melo was fluid and passing, and Porzingis continues to amaze. (And I will start to suggest that they add a four point line in his honor.)

    But when they were out, you could really see Afflalo willing to be “the man,” and showing us the reasons he was taken as a free agent. RoLo was oddly an offensive force, even with only one shoe on. Williams was willing to be a sixth man. And Jerian Grant is finally starting to show us why 2015 was our year at the draft.

    So many contributions, so much ball movement, so many guys covering each other’s back.

    Boston has nothing to be ashamed of — I’m wildly impressed that such a young and inexpensive group of players are playing so hard and overachieving. And they committed a super-fleecing of Brooklyn — I think they have the next two or three years of Nets draft picks, so they aren’t going away soon.

    But tonight was our night, and this is the year of our team. And Clyde’s suit was a lovely coral orange.

    Berating and devastating.

  7. A few observations:
    1. For I believe the first time we saw a team try to double KP. The young fella has arrived.
    2. For the first time in his career Melo is playing with a player he is willing to defer to, in stretches.
    3. Afflalo has ice in his veins. His ability to hit big shots is uncanny. Nice to know we have a third option who can lead. Remarkable.
    4. Lopez is a far better offensive player than anyone believed. His baby hooks left and right, his up and under, his proficiency from the line, makes him another solid scoring option when the Knicks have perimeter shooters that keep teams honest.
    5. DWill is showing the promise of a high draft pick. His energy and explosiveness makes it very hard on other teams.
    6. It seems every time the wolves begin to circle a player on this blog, the player shows his worth. Grant last night was very good. I can see what is possible and the future looks good.
    7. Three weeks ago, no one could have predicted the Knicks would be defeating some of the best teams in the east routinely. No one scares me in the east anymore. Even Cleveland. The Knicks are deep and big and athletic and young and smart.
    8. Fisher and the triangle work with elegance. The team is playing basketball right and hard and on both ends. Rotations are crisp on D and passes are crisp on O.

    This is going to be a top four team in the east, barring some major injury to Melo or KP.
    They beat a very respectable team with a very good defense, putting up 120 with Melo playing a half and KP’s minutes restricted by fouls.

    Phil Jackson is looking more like a man whose hype is justified.

  8. Great recap of a great game.

    The Knicks gave full effort last night. No counted at least four floor dives for loose balls.

    I want Afflalo’s Knick name to be MCO. As in “Double AA (honk honk) MCO”. http://youtu.be/_xumSuPhrpc

    I love have Porzingis. And, at the risk of offending THCJ, I am confident that the Knicks will improve as he improves. One year from now, I expect he will not commit his fifth (not strong enough in the post) or sixth (out if control late close out) fouls.

    I love how Carmelo and KP play together.

    I love that I was wrong in predicting that the Knicks first opportunity to get to .500 was in four weeks when they play Utah.

    This IS a good time to be a Knicks fan.

  9. Sorry. Brain cramp.

    I meant to type that my previous upside hope was that the Knicks could get back to .500 after playing in DENVER (not Utah) six weeks from now.

  10. I wouldn’t really worry about offending Jowles. He magically disappears when the Knicks are winning. Makes me question why he wastes his time here at all.

  11. Boston has nothing to be ashamed of — I’m wildly impressed that such a young and inexpensive group of players are playing so hard and overachieving

    Boston has so much to be ashamed of, actually.

    But regarding the Celtics, they have a shit ton of high draft picks (3 lottery picks and 3 more guys taken in the top 20 comprise most of their rotation) and a guy they gave up a first rounder and more for in Thomas. This is hardly a plucky team of walk ons.

    Fuck the Celtics. And fuck Brooklyn for being so stupid. May they draft the next Darko in 2016.

  12. Lots of excitement about Grant, and justifiably. But I would caution against raising your expectations. I think we saw a glimpse of what might be, but I think it’s going to take him a year or two to be able to bring it consistently. He reminds me a lot of Greg Anthony. Not that they have similar games, per se. But they have similar limitations (outside shooting, inability to command an offense consistently early in their career). And Anthony also started his career backing up a PG who was a sieve on defense (Mark Jackson). Hopefully he will develop his outside shot, which Anthony never did.

  13. I wouldn’t really worry about offending Jowles. He magically disappears when the Knicks are winning. Makes me question why he wastes his time here at all.

    I mean, this is only the 4th “the knicks are winning” period in the history of this site (1. The post-Amar’e, pre-Melo trade Knicks, 2. Linsanity, 3. 2012-13 season, 4. Now) and I kinda remember him being here for all of them. But whatever.

    Did we get a prediction from Nostradamus before the season started? I wasn’t around much this summer.

  14. The next Power Rankings should be very interesting. I’m thinking #8? In the last 6 games, NYK offensive rating ranked 5th behind Cavs/GSW/Spurs/Clips. Cherry picking you say? Perhaps, but what makes it remarkable is that it was achieved against the the #1,#2, #7, #12, #29 defenses in the league (Bucks D better than 29th). And what’s also remarkable is it doesn’t seem flukey because Melo’s had a couple of meh scoring games in there and was out the 2nd half against Boston.

  15. As much as I loved the win last night, I can’t help but to be a teeny bit annoyed. Last night was probably the first chance that we could have seen Melo and KP go supernova in the same game. If those two play like they did in the first half for a whole game…….wow. But again great play by the others to step up with Melo out and KP hacking and whacking

  16. Did we get a prediction from Nostradamus before the season started? I wasn’t around much this summer.

    I don’t remember distinctly and can’t cite the source, but if my recollection is correct it was somewhere in the ballpark of 30 wins (which is what I predicted as well–so glad I’m wrong.)

  17. Great recap. I’d like to add one thing: i forgot how annoying this iteration of the celtics are. It’s a completely different brand of annoying fuckery than that exhibited by their big 4 KG/Pierce teams.

    These guys, like Breen and clyde said, are 29th out of 30 in foul rate, but half those fouls are their dumb big men. The guards get away with so much shit off of reputation (like avery bradley’s “block” on Dwill’s dunk). IT does the admittedly smart but annoying move of baiting people and then blatantly leaping into them and falling his tiny ass over while throwing his magical hook shots at the rim. They are all athletic, so they can afford to play up physically and then catch up if they get blown by, so i get it strategy wise, but holy shit is it annoying.

    The whole team, esp Sully and Crowder, talk so much shit, you would think they were an actual contending team. Every second half basket their bench reacted like it was the playoffs. I get it, they’re young and excitable. But FOH. You guys talkin smack and waving towels and hitting the floor because you came back on the mediocre new york knicks, without their superstar, with their 20 year old in foul trouble. You would think they were coming back vs steph and dray and GSW.

    Anyone who plays pickup basketball has played teams like that — guys who think hacking = physical defense, are far worse than they think at offense, and get entirely too excited when a couple of lucky shots drop. These guys are the worst in pickup, and the worst in the NBA.

    So happy we pulled that win out.

    /rant

  18. water under the bridge here… but… i re-watched the last shot from Spurs game… LMA COMPLETELY FAKES falling down to prevent KP from getting in the lane for a chance at a rebound… it was the complete opposite of incidental… whether or not it changes the outcome, probably not… developed too late… but that was desperate… not savvy

    i know it was brought up from a timing perspective, contact before or after buzzer but whatever… my apologies for rehashing

  19. Hopefully he will develop his outside shot, which Anthony never did.

    Actually Greg turned into a good three point shooter late in his career.

    I think Greg Anthony not an apt comparison for Jerian. He’s just been struggling to adjust to this offense and he needs to work on his shot (though off of last night so far so good) but he’s way more well rounded on offense already. Every time he’s gotten a high pick this season beautiful things have happened.

    Gosh I hope Carmelo is alright. We were on our way to a blowout. Nice to see the guys stepping up, though, and we’ll look back at this game as proof that we’re more than just Melo and KP.

    20-20!

  20. Guys… I can’t even….
    that win was AWESOME.

    I’ve been cautiously optimistic, and I’m sure something terrible will happen just because this franchise seems cursed, but — does anyone see a team in the eastern conference except maybe Cleveland (a team we’ve had 4th quarter leads against in all 3 games so far) that we can’t beat in a 7 game series?

    We just put up 120 freaking points on a team that at the time had the 2nd best DRtg in the league – with Melo only playing 17 minutes and KP playing only 26. (by the way – Melo with 17/4/3 on 10 shots in 17 minutes).

    Since that Chicago game that everyone is calling the turning point, we are 5-1 against teams with a combined 114-80 record. Our point differential is +7.5 during that stretch. We have the 6th highest ORtg during that time (112.3) despite the fact that the defensive rank of those teams for the year are 1, 3, 6, 12, (and 29 for Milwaukee).

    Robin Lundberg said it on his show this morning and I had the same thought last night when Kristaps hit that 3 from about 30 feet — literally – I can’t believe Kristaps is real and that he plays for the New York Knicks.

    Yes – it’s only been 6 games on this stretch, but you can imagine a world in which we have 2 bona fide superstars, a bunch of solid role players, AND max cap space heading into the summer.

    This feels so different from any team in the last at least 15 years. Even 2012-13, you knew it was fully a win-now team because half the roster was 40 years old. Even pre-Melo trade on that team with Gallo/Amare etc., I sort of felt that was unsustainable because we knew Amare was being run into the ground and that he couldn’t last.

    We’re not there yet, but you can imagine a world in which this team is a true contender within Carmelo’s prime.

  21. Re: Anthony and Grant, I’m thinking more of their rookie year progression. Greg’s rookie year he ended up becoming the preferred late game option even though he didn’t have complete command of the offense because the guy in front of him was so bad on defense. He was never the starter, but he was often the finisher (along with his two other bench mates, John Starks and Anthony Mason; those were the days!).

    Over the next two seasons he was given multiple opportunities to grab the starting position, but he was unable to lock it down because he could never consistently knock down a shot. And then we got Derek Harper and that was that. I expect Grant to be given the same opportunities and face the same challenge. If he can knock down outside shots consistently, I think he’ll win the job the way Anthony never could and we’ll never have to blow precious resources on a PG. If not, we’ll seek an upgrade.

    Maybe Anthony fixed his outside shooting problem after he was taken in the expansion draft. I never watched a Vancouver Grizzlies game.

  22. Greg Anthony’s rookie year does actually line up pretty well with what Jerian has done so far, except Greg had more assists. And given the era it was more acceptable to hit fewer than 20% of your 3’s. But he didn’t play in the triangle, and Jerian shot well enough in college to leave me not too worried about his shot so far this season.

  23. Alan Hahn always calls the Knicks’ seemingly endless big-splash-FA chase “the banana in the tailpipe” (from Beverly Hills Cop for the younguns out there – great movie). It feels so great that we don’t need to do that anymore. Yes, it’d be amazing to go and get Durant (not happening), but no longer are we throwing all our chips into somehow, hopelessly landing the big fish.

    It’ll be so interesting this summer to see how Afflalo and Derrick Williams handle their free agency. Afflalo has made a lot of money in this league already, apparently has always loved playing with Melo, and specifically wanted to come to the Knicks to play in the Triangle with Melo. Derrick Williams has played in Sacramento and Minnesota for 2 hopeless franchises, has never been part of a winning atmosphere, and hadn’t found a place in this league yet until now. I imagine he will want more $ and a bigger role, but will being happy and in a setting where he is comfortable make a difference?

    Hopefully Phil can work some Pop-like magic and (if he wants), re-sign these guys to reasonable contracts.

    Re: Afflalo – man he is a beast against smaller guards. He absolutely torched Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, or anyone they tried to put on him last night.

  24. Evan Turner was playing for the Knicks last night, I think. Every time he shot I was like “Yeah, let that guy shoot!”. He built a nice house in the Hamptons with all those bricks.

  25. On the negative side, we got lit up by a bottom 10 offense last night on our home court. On the plus side, we lit up a top 3 defense despite Melo missing half the game. And the bottom line is that we scored more points than the other guys.

  26. Speaking of free agents, for those who were part of yesterday’s convo, I completely changed my tune on Batum and now have dreams of him on the wing with Melo & Porzingis. Especially when I realized how great our cap situation is. When your two top players will combine to make slightly under $30mm in a $90mm cap, you can afford *one* true impact player who may technically be overpriced if he’s the right player. If you look at it as your top three players (Melo, Zinger, Batum) making less than $50mm (i.e. 55% of the salary cap), it’s much more feasible.

    But that’s for the distant future.

  27. Let’s talk about Fish for a second. He deserved the benefit of the doubt when he was benching Grant, and it looks like he knew what he was doing. He (Fisher) really seems to be growing into the job. Maybe it’s in my head (because I am becoming more confident in him), but he also seems a lot more self assured on the sidelines and especially in press conferences. We’ve also had some sweet plays coming out of timeouts, most notably Zinger’s free dunk against the Spurs. I’ve been ambivalent about him so far. Now I’m starting to like him. But who knows. I’m currently overcome with glee about Porzingis and this team, which is something I didn’t expect so soon.

    We did see Seraphin and Admundson last night, though.

  28. Fisher has been improving every game–I still don’t know how he’ll hash out as a coach long-term, but his upward trajectory is comforting to see.

    Re: Afflalo: I don’t like him that much, but it’s pretty amazing how good he is in the post for his size and position (I think on his career he averages like 1.15 PPP in the post or something like that); if he could drive more often like he was doing last night we might have an offensive player that outweighs the negative value given by his poor defense.

    Re: DWill: He’s one of the surprises of the season and one of the dark-horse candidates for most improved player, if he keeps it up (not that he should win–that probably goes to Reggie Jackson or someone like that.) That being said, Derrick–PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE learn how to shoot from outside if we resign you. He’s pretty horrid at every shot that doesn’t involve slashing or dunking.

  29. Best win of the season, IMO, because our 2 best players were out and the other guys stepped up big time against a decent team desperate for a W.

    And holy crap, how about those 3 consecutive blocks by Zinger in the 4th quarter (and how does he end up with a total of 2 on the stat sheet??) Our rim protection has been off the charts lately, with Rolo and Zinger making it really difficult for the opposition.

    The Zen Master abides.

  30. Neither D-Will or Afflalo are that great, but you can see how valuable it is to have decentish NBA players instead of bums like Bargs or Timmy.

  31. Speaking of free agents, for those who were part of yesterday’s convo, I completely changed my tune on Batum and now have dreams of him on the wing with Melo & Porzingis. Especially when I realized how great our cap situation is.

    I believed Nic and Pau would be a great summer until about 10:30 last night but now I’m starting to waver especially if Nic’s gonna cost 25m. We’ll know more in a couple of weeks, but what if offense isn’t our problem like the last 6 games suggest? KP/Lopez/Dwill are only gonna get better on offense. Let’s stipulate that Calderon could be stretched at 2.5m hit or that Phil could give a team our 3m cash to take him for the last year of his contract. And let’s stipulate that Dwill and Afflalo opt out (also likely). And let’s say we’d be able to go over the cap to re-sign Gallo and Lance (bit dicey on Lance). That would give us about 35m of cap if league cap is 90m.

    I’m confident Pau would sign a 2-3yr deal at 7-10m/year further augmenting our offense. Would NO take KOQ/Hernangomez/1st round pick for 25yo Jrue Holiday, an excellent fit for Triangle? If so, after Pau and Jrue, we’d have about 20m left (Jrue only 6m hit because of losing KOQ’s 4m). Maybe we should use that to re-sign Afflalo and Dwill instead of overpaying for Bazemore or Fournier? Take a gander at this 10-man rotation:

    1: Holiday/Grant/Galloway
    2: Galloway/Afflalo/Lance
    3: Melo/Lance/Dwill
    4: KP/Pau/Melo/Dwill
    5: Lopez/Pau/KP

  32. And holy crap, how about those 3 consecutive blocks by Zinger in the 4th quarter (and how does he end up with a total of 2 on the stat sheet??)

    That was awesome. I thought he was going to end up blocking the whole team that possession. I was wondering the same thing about the scoring. I guess our scorer is stingy because I remember Galloway blocking two shots and he’s only got 1 in the boxscore.

  33. I wouldn’t really worry about offending Jowles. He magically disappears when the Knicks are winning. Makes me question why he wastes his time here at all.

    Not true. Which is why his borderline trolling rarely bothers me. He’s a real Knick fan – poor guy.

    Though, maybe not so poor. I’m trying not to get too excited, but four things have encouraged me to believe we may have a shot at a title in the next two years:

    1) KP, obviously. He is much better much sooner than I imagined he ever could be. He won’t need 3 more years to become a good complement to an ancient Melo; he is one now. Next year I expect a big leap. He has superstar potential.

    2) Melo is a complete player. I never liked him. I hated how he handled the trade that gutted us. I grudgingly admired how hard he played a couple years ago in a bad season. But I LOVE how he’s playing right now. Efficiency, dimes, boards, D. Be/c of KP’s age, I was for trading him for younger assets who’d grow w/KP. Be/c KP is ready sooner than expected, & be/c Melo is playing a game that should age well for the next 3 years, I no longer feel that way.

    3) Cap room. We have enough room to do whatever we need to do this off-season. Sure, KD is unlikely. But the way the team is playing, it isn’t impossible. More to the point, we’re winning, so Batum et al are much, much more likely to want to come, and we have room (or can easily make room) for whoever.

    4) Fish and the Triangle. I have issues with the Triangle, even well-run. That said, Fish has clearly adapted this last stretch of games. He has always had the players on his side, but now he has more of a clue on the sidelines. At the least, he is no longer hurting the team. At the best, he has figured some things out, will continue to grow, and will be able to sustain the ability he has shown over the last few weeks. And the team will continue to share the ball, continue to work hard on defense, and we’ll have maybe the best time to be a Knicks fan in my lifetime!

  34. Sorry, I never saw Greg Anthony create anything on the court except a melee against PHO. If he had as many assists as Jerian to this point in his career it only meant he dumped the ball to Ewing in the post a few times. His lack of, and then acquisition of, a bit of touch from outside is apropos but Jerian is a way better dribbler, finisher, and passer already. He’s longer and I think will prove the superior defender of the two as well.

    Maybe a better comp might be 1983 first rounder Darrell Walker? Great athlete, well rounded game, somewhat awkward body language, not great outside shot entering the league. Maybe Jerian can be the player those other two never quite became. Amazing to think of that kind of upside from our backup 1 in any case.

  35. Would NO take KOQ/Hernangomez/1st round pick for 25yo Jrue Holiday, an excellent fit for Triangle?

    Yeah probably considering Holiday is always hurt. This is an awful idea.

  36. I didn’t realize Nic’s max was 25mm. Thought it was 20mm.

    Regardless, that’s a long way away.

    I don’t like the idea of stretching Calderon and giving up assets for Jrue, though. That seems aggressive and old Knicks. I’m totally fine letting Calderon play out his contract while Grant develops. We won’t win a championship next year with or without Calderon.

  37. It’s not really a mega max since the rising cap enables top tier players signing contracts starting next summer to have higher maxes and this will be the case going forward which is why this has been a misnomer…not sure why?

    Melo
    15/16: 22.8
    16/17: 24. 5
    17/18: 26.2
    18/19: 27.9 player option

    Projected Maxes for top tier
    15/16: 22.1
    16/17: 29.5

  38. Sorry, I never saw Greg Anthony create anything on the court except a melee against PHO

    Fuck that. Kevin Johnson created that shit, and Greg Anthony gave him what he deserved after the melee already broke out. I never understood what the big deal about him being in street clothes was, anyway. He was sitting on the bench with the rest of the team. It was worse because he decided to wear his own clothes instead of a jumper? Ridiculous.

    That was only ugly ass shirt, though.

    Sorry, I’m still very sensitive about everything involving the 1992-93 Knicks. I want to throw my remote at the TV every time I see a commercial for Charles Smith Beginnings on MSG.

  39. It seems like they are running a lot of pick and roll. Wally and/or Alan mentioned in the post-game that they did a lot with Grant in the game. I never am the best at play parsing while I watch, except for the obvious, so I take then at their word. This, to me is a huge thing, either it means the triangle is not the clunky old “we know every play they run” offense it was being accused of or Fish has the ability to learn, adapt and modify (or both). Anyway it is a great time to be a Knicks fan. @Ephus TM.

  40. @43

    There are built in high PNR and side PNR options in the Triangle. The drag screens in semi-transition when we push the ball up the floor are automatics that Fisher has been using since after the ASB last year, but our guards and Melo (who often brings the ball up now) are becoming much more adept at using them. Those high PNR and drag screens are straight from Phil’s playbook in his 2nd Lakers stint.

  41. @31 – We saw Lou and Kevin probably based on the schedule of having back-to-backs, so less guys are gassed for tonights game. I actually think it was part of the coaching plan, and not a terrible plan either.

  42. whatever PJ does with the cap space next summer, please, no Gasol.

    He’s opting out because apparently 7,5 million is not enough and will be 36 next season.

    He will cost precious cap space and the edge of the cliff is right around the corner.

    committing multiple years for him will be even worse risk.

    We did a similar move with Camby a couple of years ago. Signed a somewhat productive old big man to a 3 year contract and ended up with Bargnani.

    No Gasol for me, thanks!

  43. Pau is 35, he’s started every single game of the last two seasons, he is one of the two best players on the second best team in the East, and he is producing at very high levels on both ends of the court.

    So yeah, it would be just like the time we signed fat 38 year old Marcus Camby.

  44. Camby was terrific the season before we signed him. As was Jason Kidd. Pau’s continued quest to make me look like an idiot is rolling along, but guys his age are prone to collapse suddenly. Given our roster imbalance, it would seem to me to be a better use of money/cap space to upgrade the guard/wing areas then rolling the dice on Pau.

  45. Exactly DRed. The frontcourt is fine. We’re getting great production out of it. Throwing more resources at the frontcourt is foolish. What we need to add is creation from the guards and wings.

  46. whatever PJ does with the cap space next summer, please, no Gasol.

    The comparison with Canby doesn’t fit at all. Camby was a player whose entire game revolved around athleticism. Gasol is a big finesse player with a high skill level. He might be very intrigued to play 26 minutes a game with the current Knick crew. He’s be quite an upgrade as the 3rd big over O’Quinn, no?

    When Marc Gasol was being courted, he made a big point of NYC not being important to him, but he stated Pau is a more cultured sort that loves ballet, opera and museums. Maybe he’d like to conclude his career in the big city playing under has former teammate and coach in the system that won him multi rings……

    Phil has got the Jedi shit down pat. Only Phil saw Williams as being an actual good rotation piece. Once healthy Aflallo has been what Phil (and few here) expected. He had the ballz to make the epic Unicorn selection. He saw the end coming with Chandler (a year early) and knew he didn’t want to invest in him long term and didn’t want him polluting the atmosphere.

    All I can say about Phil is to give the famous Ice T quote from Boyz in the Hood when Furious has just given Tre and Doughboy a lecture about gentrification:

    ” Man your pops is like, mothafuckin, Malcolm Farrakhan. ”

    That’s Phil…. mothafuckin MalcomFarrakhan!

  47. Pau on a 2-year deal is the way to go. Lopez will improve but it’s not clear he’s able to play big minutes. Same goes for KP. Why not put a front court out there which would be solid for 48 minutes? Right now KOQ’s not working out and the second unit struggles for offense. Pau could be productive right away in the Triangle and he would not have to play big minutes for us. Just who are these guards and wings who are gonna take us to the next level? Is Westbrook or Conley gonna show up here? In any event, we have enough to sign both Pau and Nic.

  48. Pau on a 2 year deal of > than 10 mil/ year is weird to me.

    Is he doing to start? If not, why bother? He’s the equivalent of a stud 6th man scorer wing…he’s TREMENDOUS at offense and rebounding at this point in his career, as usual, but his defense is horribawful.

    Is he going to even sign somewhere to play 20 mpg when he can put up the counting stats that he does with starters minutes?

    If he does come/we do sign him, are you going to Play him and Zinger in the 4th and depend on zinger solely for rim protection? If so, is Pau going to defend perimeter guys? Because he sucks at regular bigman defense, forget perimeter defense.

    Are you going to waste cap space on a bench PF/C and take time away from our productive front court starters, RoLo and KP? If so that’s less money to spend on the back court and less value derived from the contracts of RoLo and KP, respectively.

    If you’re going to risk money on a old big guy to come off the bench in limited minutes, i’d honestly do it on Jo Noah. He will command much less (in theory, cuz who the hell knows), would be OK with not playing starters minutes or starting at all, and is a good defensive rebounding/passing fit for the Triangle.

  49. Pau and Nic would be a good offseason. But this team can surprise this year and I’d like to see Phil pull a rabbit out of his hat to help us win now.

  50. The Bulls’ frontcourt was fine, too, when they added Gasol. They had Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah playing his positions. Funny how that turned out.

    And boy, this is for way in the future. But he is a potentially excellent fit and may be able to be acquired at a reasonable price because of his age and relationship with Fisher and Phil. I’m not saying “Make Pau The Priority At All Costs!” But if we could squeeze him in at $8-9 million for two years and still have enough room to add Batum, that’s a great offseason. But sure, by all means, add Batum and acquire a PG for $9 million instead that provides a significant upgrade over Calderon and Grant. Don’t know where you’ll find him, but do that instead of Pau if you can.

  51. I’m hoping that by the end of this season we’ll see that General Grant will be our solid PG who we’ve been craving. Then we can go after other pieces to get us to the next level like Pao, Noah, Batum, Gordon, Bazemore. If Grant can make that leap it would be like winning the Powerball. Well, almost.

  52. We are fine sharing the 4/5 minutes between Melo/KP/Rolo. If a big man is required to spot minutes here and there you don’t spend 10 million on it.

    We need a decent guard and a wing.

    I think we are having a too romantic view on AA and DW. They may love playing here but they are gonna want to get paid. There is a good chance of one of them not be here next season.

  53. but Pau’s defense is horribawful.

    His DReb% is a remarkable 26.4, his DRTG (97) is higher than anyone on the Knicks, he’s blocking 2.6 shots a game (KP leads the Knicks with 2.0, Lopez is at 1.3) and he’s playing center on the league’s 7th best defense.

    In what world is his defense not outstanding? In what world does he not immediately improve the rotation?

    His two year $16 million deal was one of the best free agent signings of the last decade. If we can get him on a good deal and add a player like Batum, it’s a no-brainer. You do it.

  54. I’d like to see Grant get the start tonight if Melo can’t play.

    Grant
    Calderon
    Afflalo
    God
    Lopez

    If Grant can continue where he left off it would be fantastic!

  55. But if we could squeeze him in at $8-9 million for two years and still have enough room to add Batum, that’s a great offseason

    agreed. 8-9 mil would be good value for sure.

    re: his defense…

    They got worse on defense. They also have Taj, Noah, Butler, and years of running thibs defensive principles to fall back on. So let’s not pretend that “the bulls frontcourt added him and were fine” is evidence that our frontcourt defense would not suffer significantly with Pau there. He blatantly doesn’t even try on defense half of the time. The reason they can put up with it is because their offense desperately **needs** a Pau and their defense is great enough that it can **handle having** a Pau.

  56. There are a few metrics that show Gasol’s box score numbers to be pretty misleading. For one, oppposing centers are extremely productive against the Bulls…

    But he does clean it up pretty nice and it’s hard to be a BAD defender with his length.

  57. The other thing I’m gathering here is that I’m much more confident in Grant and Galloway than everyone who thinks we need to use our resources on a PG.

    I’m cool going into next year with Calderon as the starter in name only, and one of those guys developing into at solid triangle PG by next year.

    PGs in the triangle have traditionally been very easy to find and is not a position you need spend a ton of resources on.

  58. Personally don’t think we need to add another high usage frontcourt player. What we need is more usage in the backcourt and wings. Batum, Fournier, Bazemore, Clarkson and Tyler Johnson are all guys that would help address our need for ball handling, athleticism and passing. Bazemore and Batum are excellent rebounders for their position. Ian Clark is a player I’d be intrigued in if we could get him for cheap.

  59. Arent metrics overrated? What would last year’s metrics have said about Afflalo and D Williams?

  60. That would be Ice Cube, bobneptune.

    Correct…. can’t believe I did that…it was still a great line.

  61. Yeah, playmaking is balanced in triangle, and the Knicks really have one rotational playmaker, though everyone shares the ball well (sans A.A.) once the ball is in rotation.

    I’d target Batum and Noah first. I mean, it’s insane how depressed the perception of Jo’s value could be this off-season.. the plan was for him to get a max this year.

  62. Last thing i’ll say on Pau – his 97 DRTG is by far the best of his career. Does that make any actual sense? No, it doesn’t. lol. He is obviously a great rebounder, but somehow his team rebounds better with him off the floor. And his team’s defense doesn’t suffer when he sits. It’d be even better with him on the bench if Hoiberg didn’t love playing mirotic, portis, and broken jo noah so much with bench units.

    I know I sound like a hater, but i’d obviously take him at 9-10 mil, lol. He’s a great shotblocker for sure! But his defensive box stats are a tad misleading.

    I would much rather overpay Batum by a few mil, help solve our shitty guards problems, and then dip into the much deeper pool of lower-end FA bigs (when compared to the FA pool of guards) to reinforce the back end of our frontcourt.

  63. No worries.

    And of all the words in the English language, who would’ve thought there’d be a run on “Ice” for rapper names in the late 80s/early 90s. Ice T, Ice Cube, Vanilla Ice, Just-Ice…am I leaving anyone out?

  64. Personally don’t think we need to add another high usage frontcourt player.

    Any team in any sport can use a significant upgrade in an area of relative strength at a fair price if the player in an area of greater need isn’t available.

    I’m guessing Aroldis Chapman at a reasonable price is good value and adds wins, even though they couldn’t find a starter at a reasonable price.

  65. What would last year’s metrics have said about Afflalo and D Williams?

    Afflalo is the same player he always was.

    His numbers are almost the same of his career.

    DW was a young player that didn’t do anything but shot and improved his numbers every year.

    Surprise! He’s still improving his TS% and doing nothing more on a basketball court.

  66. I like the idea of adding Noah if he is healthy and cheap….

    That’s a good veteran gamble…

  67. Any team in any sport can use a significant upgrade in an area of relative strength at a fair price if the player in an area of greater need isn’t available.

    I’m guessing Aroldis Chapman at a reasonable price is good value and adds wins, even though they couldn’t find a starter at a reasonable price.

    Bob the talent upgrade needs to address an actual weakness. I’m not sure what exactly at this point Pau does so well that would improve us. His rebounding is overrated and his team has boarded better with him off the floor for 2 years running unlike RoLo’s whose teams career differential rebound with him on versus off is pretty close to Andre Drummond. His passing is nice, but to benefit from this you need to run offense through him taking away touches from Melo and KP which is not beneficial. He’s not an efficient scorer at all anymore with his spectacular 51.3 TS% and defensively he’s only good at the rim, but struggles to contest anything outside of that area and is a pretty horrible when switched out on to smaller players. Signing Pau would do nothing to make us better.

  68. I’m guessing Aroldis Chapman at a reasonable price is good value and adds wins

    Justin Wilson overperformed and got the yanks a pretty great amount of wins all things considered. 2.7 war? That’s what is expected of chapman, not Justin Wilson. Yanks are paying for chapman so they **continue** to dominate the pen matchups they *already were winning* all the time last year. They’re paying to reduce variation in a historically variable area (bullpen production) and to hopefully continue to dominate those matchups.

    So the analogy is a bit off…it’d be accurate if we signed pau to replace someone who unexpectedly and unsustainably played like pau, and then left.

  69. If we add Batum on a somewhat flexible deal, that would be a major score in the offseason. We have a solid frontcourt and have Willie H locked up who may be coming over here as well. I wonder if melo/phil are gonna make a push for d wade? Seems Miami might have to choose between whiteside or wade right? If Phil could work something out where we end up with wade and batum that would be pretty damn interesting. A squad of calderon, galloway, grant, wade, batum, affalo, melo, kp, rolo, o’quinn I would think could challenge the cavs. Still not really a true contender in my mind but should be winning 50 plus for the next 2 years

  70. Last thing i’ll say on Pau – his 97 DRTG is by far the best of his career. Does that make any actual sense? No, it doesn’t.

    Yes it does. It means he’s played 36 games. By the end of the year he will likely be closer to his career average, which is better than every on our team except KP and Oaq.

    He is obviously a great rebounder,

    You should stop there! He is obviously a great rebounder!

    but somehow his team rebounds better with him off the floor. And his team’s defense doesn’t suffer when he sits.

    somehow = Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah are also outstanding rebounders and pretty good defensive players, too.

  71. Last thing i’ll say on Pau – his 97 DRTG is by far the best of his career. Does that make any actual sense? No, it doesn’t. lol

    DRTG is heavily dependent on team defense, so it makes sense if he’s playing with a bunch of good defenders

  72. somehow = Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah are also outstanding rebounders and pretty good defensive players, too.

    Last year they rebounded worse when he started with Noah. Pau has a negative impact on his team’s rebounding when he’s on the floor even when paired with excellent rebounders positionally like Noah and Butler.

  73. Anyway, this is a long way off.

    What surprises me is that so many people think we need to sign or trade for a PG instead of trusting Grant to develop into a starter in 1-2 years.

    I’m completely fine ignoring the PG position this summer, improving the team in other areas, and waiting til the summer of 2017 when the cap rises another $15-$20 million and Calderon comes off the books and Grant may be a real player.

  74. I think Pau Gasol is a great player, but I see no reason to commit more resources to the 5 spot unless we can’t find anything of remotely good value in the backcourt or wing spots. Sure, if Pau is willing to come for $8MM x 2 years, and people like Bazemore want $15MM, ok we can sign Pau and take our chances in the backcourt. But KOQ (occasional dumb plays aside) is a legitimate NBA big and can’t get on the court at all right now. Why would we add another 5 to the mix when we have weaknesses elsewhere?

    The great thing about this roster right now is that it can deal with pretty much any opponent. Memphis with Marc + ZBo? We can go against you with a big lineup too. want to go small with us? KP at center, Melo/DWill at the 3/4. We always have rim protection, and we can always put 4 (and sometimes 5) guys on the floor who are legitimate 3 point threats so we will space you out if we want. Adding Pau Gasol doesn’t necessarily help that.

    Honestly, I think Batum is perfect. he’s big, can guard multiple positions, is a good shooter, and is an outstanding playmaker from the wing position. If you look over the last 10 years, there have only been 8 wings that have averaged 5+ assists/36 –

    Batum
    Kobe
    Lebron
    Gordon Hayward
    Tyreke (who’s really a PG)
    Iguodala
    Pierce
    Lance Stephenson

    Batum’s done it 3 times in those 5 seasons.

    Let’s see – for Phil’s (or anyone’s) system:

    1) Big guard – check
    2) Good shooter – check
    3) Good defender – check
    4) Playmaker – check

    He may not feel like a $25MM/year guy, but that’s all relative. In today’s pre-cap-explosion dollars, i’d be happy to pay him $18. It’s probably fine.

    Just not sure Phil wants to blow all his $ in one place.

  75. Justin Wilson overperformed and got the yanks a pretty great amount of wins all things considered. 2.7 war? That’s what is expected of chapman, not Justin Wilson.

    If you don’t think Chapman’s performance will out strip Wilson (departed) this season, I’ll take all the over you care to fade. I’m guessing Betances in the 6-7th innings will outperform the ’15 combo of Wilson and Chasen Shereve, so Chapman should be a huge upgrade making a top bullpen even better.

    Ask the KC Royals how going from an area of strength to one of ungodly strength works.

    What I don’t understand how adding a good player at a reasonable price to an area of supposed strength is ever a bad thing. Everybody here screams about playing the 7’3″ 20 yr old too many minutes on a developing bone structure and I agree. Lopez as never played big, big minutes and has had back issues throughout his career. Adding Pau at a reasonable price allows one of gasol Melo or Zinger to be on the floor all 48 minutes and play with the second unit insuring a primary offensive option is always on the floor.

    How is this bad?

  76. Re: Tyler Johnson

    He is a RFA and on top of that no team can offer him more than the MLE, so there is almost zero chance that he will not be retained by Miami. Maybe a S&T can get him but that’s doubtful too. The only other possible way is a poison Pill contract but the poison pill will be in a year where the League’s cap is north of $100m.

  77. Which exception will the Knicks have next year? Will they have the room exception again or the full MLE?

  78. Wait why can’t any team offer him more than the MLE? I wasn’t aware of that and if that’s true the same should apply to Galloway correct?

  79. Last year they rebounded worse when he started with Noah. Pau has a negative impact on his team’s rebounding when he’s on the floor even when paired with excellent rebounders positionally like Noah and Butler.

    You know the only pertinent stat… How does Gasol playing impact on wins and losses?

  80. You know the only pertinent stat… How does Gasol playing impact on wins and losses?

    Probably not a whole lot. They didn’t improve all that much last season from their injury riddled 2013/14 campaign and they look to be worse or about the same this year.

  81. OF COURSE it’s a great bet to say that chapman will outperform Wilson next year. I didn’t say that he wouldn’t.

    The point is, Wilson performed in a chapman-esque way last year against all odds, so it’s unlikely that chapman THIS year will be better than Wilson LAST year, and while it’s possible the yanks pen will be better it’s not likely ( http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-yankees-bullpen-probably-wont-be-any-better/ ).

    The yanks lost 3 times after going into the 7th with a lead last year. THREE! lol what are they gonna do next year, lose 0 times?

    The yanks will have to settle for another year of incredible pen, which they’ve had for a few years now

    edit: just saw the same link posted. well done

  82. Robin Lopez is playing 25 minutes a game. Porzingis is playing 27. There are plenty of minutes at the 4-5 available, and plenty of room for improvement in the frontcourt (especially if Derrick Williams gets a contract offer we can’t match).

    Even if Pau isn’t your guy (Noah sounds great, too) I would not be so confident that our frontcourt can’t use an upgrade.

    In the last couple of days, honestly some people sound like we’re talking about a team that is 30-10, not 20-20.

  83. Willy H projects as a 5. I want him to have minutes available to him there. Even if RoLo stays at 25 all at C and KP gets 10 MPG there, I’d rather have KOQ and Willy H fill those minutes instead of spending money on Pau and committing to playing him major minutes while running a high percentage of offense through him.

    This team doesn’t need another center.

  84. The Knicks need a banger in the frontcourt who will rip down defensive rebounds. Porzingis has been a better rebounder than expected, but the Knicks are a poor defensive rebounding team, and the one guy who could really help them in that regard, Kyle O’Quinn, can’t seem to get on the floor for more than 2 minutes without getting yanked out of the game. Pau has been a pretty awesome defensive rebounder for the past few years, in fact his defensive rebounding rate has been higher from ages 33-35 than it was in his prime. He’s #12 in the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage.

    The problem is, he’ll be 36, and I’m wary about investing in more guys who are tiptoeing up to the edge of the ol’ cliff. He would be a risky signing.

  85. Hubert I think a lot of those minutes will go to Melo at the 4 especially to end games as most teams are going small down the stretch. I agree that with this roster we are probably a .500 to slightly above .500 team, the question is really where our resources should go to make us a significantly better team.

    IMO if we upgraded from Calderon to a top 15 point guard we could be a 50 win team. Can grant be one of those guys, i don’t know…. What i do know is that Dallas won a title running pick and rolls/pops with jason terry and dirk. KP is not Dirk yet but you could have a deadly offense at the end of games with him, melo, lance thomas(if his shooting holds up), Galloway and that point guard whoever it might be. I also think that team would compete defensively as well. Obviously you could upgrade the lance and galloway positions too.

  86. Wait why can’t any team offer him more than the MLE? I wasn’t aware of that and if that’s true the same should apply to Galloway correct?

    The same does apply. Neither were drafted and have only played two yrs. Think Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik situations.

  87. Part of me thinks O’quinn just needs an offseason learning and training in this system to get it right.

  88. Not sure that season stats for MPG are useful right now. Since Fisher pared down the rotation:

    KOQ = 13 total minutes in 6 games
    Seraphim – 2 total minutes in 6 games
    Amundsen – 3 total minutes in 6 games

    I’m not sure Pau is coming here for those 3 minutes per game. And not sure that is the best use of our resources.

    Things can certainly change as the season goes on, but you have to figure that as the years go by, KP will be playing more 5, not less. If RoLo plays 30 min/game (which is what he’s averaging in January)… there are only 18 minutes left at the 5. I guess you could move KP full-time to the 4 and so Pau can play 18-20 minutes, but that still doesn’t feel like a good use of either Pau or KP.

    Look, I love Pau Gasol. I just don’t think that (barring injury) adding another front court guy at big $ is what we should be doing. If Grant develops, then great. We definitely still need a wing stopper way more than we need another productive big.

  89. Y’all realize this whole Pau thing started from one simple comment:

    We found a lot of value last year, we should continue finding more. Pau is an example.

    We shouldn’t be looking at this team like “we need a PG, so let’s trade assets for Jrue Holiday”. The point was to take what the market gives you and only spend big for the perfect fit (which Batum might be). If, at the end of the day, the market doesn’t let us upgrade PG at a reasonable cost, let it go and upgrade something else.

    That’s it. His last contract was one of the best values in the NBA, and his next one could be, too.

    Bottom line: I would rather have good value at a position of strength than a bad contract at a position of need.

  90. This may be taken unkindly… But I feel now is the perfect time to offer Melo to the heat for Winslow.
    2 weeks ago I don’t think Miami does this trade.
    Melo heated up.
    Miami slowed down.
    Dragic got hurt.
    Cavs got healthy.

    Riley might pull the trigger.
    I know Melo has a no trade clause but after a call from BFF Wade, I believe he can sell him on his last shot for a ring in his prime.

    If you can pair a Winslow and KP , you do it. Now is the chance.

  91. Bottom line: I would rather have good value at a position of strength than a bad contract at a position of need.

    Nicely stated.

  92. Bottom line: I would rather have good value at a position of strength than a bad contract at a position of need.

    yup. Pau for 15-20 mpg for 10 mil > Jennings for 28 mpg for 16 mil. lol. I think it just escalated bc of differences of opinion in terms of how good exactly Pau is, haha

    Hubert’s point is not just semantic either, because there’s a very real chance that all the FA’s we want like baze, conley, fournier, clarkson, batum ALL spurn the knicks, leaving us choosing between dregs of the a shallow guard class and a big who may not get as minutes as he theoretically deserves.

  93. Look, I love Pau Gasol. I just don’t think that (barring injury) adding another front court guy at big $ is what we should be doing

    Me, neither. Definitely not big $. But let’s say D Will & AA opt out and you improve the wing with Batum and you’ve got $8-9 million to play with and there are no great PGs available. Then I’d like some Pau Gasol on a reasonable contract. That’s all I’m saying.

    F Melo
    F/C Zinger
    F/C Gasol
    C Lopez
    F/G Batum
    F/G Thomas
    G Calderon
    G Grant
    G Galloway

    ^ That is a very good rotation with lots of flexibility (both on the court and on the salary books). One of the three guards at the bottom would likely be squeezed.

    But sure, give me Noah instead. Or find me a solid guard at a discount. Value is value, and an upgrade is an upgrade.

  94. What are the odds Winslow becames 3/4 the player Melo is right now?

    10 percent, 20?

    I don’t get it.

  95. Jesus even if you want to trade Melo please come up with something better than Justise Winslow who can’t shoot at all. Unreal.

  96. I semi get the idea of selling high on Melo and buying low on Winslow, but man, that is awful. Can you apply to be GM at any non-Knicks franchise? We would love to do business with you.

    I actually think we are clearly going to be buyers at this trade deadline, not sellers, unless someone wants to give us picks for guys outside our rotation.

    Chances are we’re not making any consequential moves. We don’t have a clear position of need other than the backcourt, but I don’t see any moves that are possible without giving up significant future assets, which Phil has been very tight with.

  97. Question
    In allocating PT, what is the proper balance between getting:
    A) Enough wins to
    – increase confidence among players and enthusiasm among fans
    – interest current guys in staying next year and FAs to sign next year, maybe for a little less dough
    B) Enough time for new/young guys to develop.

    For example how should that balance affect PT allocation decisions for:
    Grant vs. Calderon
    O’Quinn vs. all other bigs
    Galloway vs. Afflalo
    DWill vs. Anthony

    Do you always focus just on winning and wait for chance to dictate when to give developing guys important minutes in important games?

    I’m in favor of giving up a couple of W’s here and there to give more meaningful time to Grant and O’Quinn especially because without steady doses of that, their development will be slower and it will be harder to judge their potential value.

  98. I see you Garcon. Trade high on an expensive depreciating asset for a cheap asset likely to improve because it might increase our chance of achieving a sustained run of excellence. Winslow would become the Pippen to Jordaningis. What’s crazy about that?

    Granted, I could argue that trade either way, and there’s 0.000000% of it ever happening, but it’s definitely not crazy.

  99. Melo isn’t currently depreciating, and even in the off chance Winslow develops fully, his profile is not of a guy you build a championship contender around. It makes no sense to give up the next 2-3 years for Justice fucking Winslow.

  100. Winslow gets you 5-8 years of low cost control over a player who may turn out to be very good, plus lots more money to spend, and it leaves the Knicks heading into next season with a core of guys who will hit their prime roughly at the same time. It absolutely makes fucking sense to give up Melo for Justise fucking Winslow. It makes no sense to not get a guy who may turn out to very good because he doesn’t have the profile of a guy you build a championship contender around.

    Granted, it also makes some fucking sense to keep Melo.

  101. Funny thing is, this was posted around 2 weeks ago when Melo was underperforming and Winslow was playing well.
    The consensus was that it was a no brainer and Riley would never do it.
    How the tables and Knickerblogger minds have turned.

  102. Funny thing is, this was posted around 2 weeks ago when Melo was underperforming and Winslow was playing well.
    The consensus was that it was a no brainer and Riley would never do it.
    How the tables and Knickerblogger minds have turned.

    It depends greatly on the assets coming back to us. Miami has no first round pick to send until like 2030. They have no other low-cost assets under their control other than Tyler Johnson, and he’s a RFA this summer so won’t be low-cost for long. Even Whiteside doesn’t come with full bird rights, so he’d just be a rental.

    Justise Winslow is good and has a bright future. But it’s very difficult to trade Melo (underperforming or not at the time) for a guy who hasn’t proven he can shoot at all, and intangibles aside, is an undersized guy for the NBA anyway. in the recent GS/MIA game, GS completely ignored him on offense, “guarding” him with Bogut who basically just camped in the lane waiting snuff out anything going to the basket.

    Winslow gets you 5-8 years of low cost control over a player who may turn out to be very good

    how do you figure 5-8 years? 5 I get, not sure where years 6-8 come from.

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