Just a quick look at the box score and some quick thoughts. Tomorrow morning I’ll share my game notes.
* Derrick Williams was on fire: 24 points on 17 shots.
* Co-MVP was Langston Galloway. 16 points on 10 shots, including 4-5 from downtown. He looked like he couldn’t miss. At the end of the game he had an easy layup and gave it up to Early for a bucket. Very unselfish!
* The offense looked good on designed plays. There were a number of scores after breaks, and as a Knick fan, I welcome this change. Credit: Derek Fisher.
* Melo had a quiet night in his return from injury. Thank goodness the Knicks didn’t need him. But Fisher still stuck him out there for 29 minutes, when he clearly wasn’t needed in the fourth quarter. Blame: Derek Fisher.
* Calderon looked awful. If him and Galloway play the same way for the next month, they’ll be switching spots.
* Zinger showed some flashes of what it is to come, but he’ll bring the growing pains with him. He looked best on defense (when his feet stayed on the floor).
So here we go with a new season for our beloved New York Knicks. Most pundits have predicted a poor season for our ‘Bockers. However just about everyone agrees that this season can’t be worse than last year’s.
More importantly this year lends more hope to our downtrodden franchise. Most notably is the start of the career of Kristaps Porzingis. New Yorkers are hoping the fourth overall pick has a long bright future ahead of him. Today we’ll get a glimpse of his, and perhaps our, future. Should he become a player worthy of such a high pick, the Knicks are almost certain to succeed during his tenure here.
But it doesn’t stop at Kristaps. Fellow rookie Jerian Grant also begins his journey in the NBA. While his ceiling isn’t as tall, if Grant can become a productive starter, he would give the Knicks two young players to build around. Meanwhile undrafted Langston Galloway returns for his second season, after earning a spot on the All-Rookie Second Team.
Brook Lopez gives the team a defensive minded center, the hallmark of every good Knicks team. Alongside stat-friendly players Kyle O’Quinn and Lou Amundson, New York could have a formidable interior defense. And veterans Jose Calderon and Aaron Affalo should provide more stability at the guard positions.
There are a lot of players to like on this roster, which makes this team different from most that I’ve covered in the KnickerBlogger era. Even if New York fails to win half their games, there should be enough happiness to go around for Knick fans.
And whether you’re an optimist, realist, or pessimist, we all stand together when our boys don the orange & blue. LET’S GO KNICKS!
Kurylo: I so want to take the over, but he only managed 41.8% in the preseason. The worst part of his shooting was his inability to draw contact (0.9 fta/36), which indicates to me he’s has a lot to learn about the NBA, especially the inside game. He’ll be good one day, and he’ll certainly have his moments this year, but I don’t think he’ll be able to sustain efficient scoring over the course of the season. UNDER
Cronin: I think once the season starts, he’ll get more outside shooting opportunities, and I think he’ll hit enough there to get over 50%. OVER
Ephus: Way under. Rookies do not get a good whistle. Euro rookies really do not get a good whistle. He is going to be battered on both ends.
Cavan: Slightly under–but only slightly. So much depends on how Porzingis fits into the rotation, and where. If he’s spending most of his time on the floor with Melo, that’s going to free up all sorts of open looks. In the end you have to defer to history, and rookies seldom get the looks, calls, or consistent playing time conducive to that kind of efficiency.
Heather: KP’s going to struggle at the start. However, there have been flashes of he and Melo developing a nice one-two punch, particularly in pick and pop situations. While I expect his outside shooting to be very good this season, his body frame is so thin that on the block, the kid’s shooting percentage is going to drop. Beyond 15ft, I wouldn’t be surprised if he flirts with 50%. however, overall, I expect him to be around 40%. UNDER
Fisher-Cohen: This is a tough question. Porzingis drew fouls well in summer league but not in preseason. He shot threes well in preseason but not in summer league. Even his Europe stats whimsically jump around from season to season and league to league. Given his age, his beautiful stroke, and the fact that bigs in the NBA are less comfortable defending the perimeter than in Europe, I’m more inclined to buy the shooting than the foul drawing, which fits better with the role he will be asked to play starting alongside Melo. For that reason, while I doubt he’ll average more than 12 or so points per 36, I do think he has a good chance to break 50% TS%.
Gibberman: Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I’ll go push. Exactly 50%. What kind of odds do I get for that? I think he ends up right around there. I don’t see him getting to the free throw line a ton and the three-point shot is going to take a little bit of time for him to get adjusted against NBA athletes closing out on him.
Carmelo Anthony Games Played: 62.5
Kurylo: To come up with this number, I took a weighted average of the last 4 seasons, counting every season twice, and 2015 only once. Basically the question becomes: can we discount 2015 when calculating Carmelo Anthony’s health? I’m taking the UNDER.
Cronin: 19.5 games is basically “Melo gets significantly injured again,” so I think the odds are strong enough that he won’t that I’ll take the OVER. I think 8-12 games is more likely.
Ephus: Over. If I am right that his minutes will down below 36 mpg, Melo’s odds of getting hurt decrease tremendously.
Cavan: Definitely over *cough*. Barring some *cough cough* kind of pizza rat-spawned plague that *BLLLLLAAAAACCCHHHH* causes one to hack up organs, he should be fine *cough*.
Heather: The Knicks have 17 sets of back-to-back games this year. Melo and Derek Fisher have both mentioned he may not play every back-to-back if he doesn’t have to. If the Knicks decide to rest him for eight of those back-to-backs, he’d still be over 70 games played. Aside from a routine ankle injury he always seems to suffer each year, I’d count on Melo playing around 70 games this season. OVER
Fisher-Cohen: If it’s games played as a Knick, I’ll take the under. But while it wouldn’t surprise me for Melo to go down for an extended period, that’s a lot of missed games, and to predict that many games lost to injury for any but the most vulnerable players is quite bold. OVER
Gibberman: It has to be over. I’m going to watch this team play basketball 82 times and Melo makes that a reasonably fun thing to do. Melo, play 75 games, I beg you. I can’t do last year again.
The offensive efficiency: the defensive efficiency.
(Taking the OVER means that the offense will be better than the defense.)
Kurylo: UNDER. I this this has the potential to be a decent defensive team. Adding Lopez obviously helps, but so do Affalo, O’Quinn, and holdovers Amundson, Galloway, and Porzingis. Now how much guys like Calderon, Vujacic, and Derrick Williams hurt the defensive efforts, I don’t know. But I think there’s a decent core of defenders on this team to make them average. Also I’m really hesitant on the offense given guys like Grant, Galloway, Vujacic, and for this year Porzingis.
Cronin: Totally agreed, Mike, with this being likely more of a defensive team than an offensive team (at least in year one of Zinger and Grant’s career). They might even turn out to be flat out good! UNDER
Ephus: I go with the crowd: UNDER. O’Quinn is mean and tough. Lopez is not as mean and not as tough, but he is much bigger. Defense starts at the rim, and the Knicks will be able to protect it this year.
Cavan: Under. I don’t know why.
Heather: UNDER. Defensively, the Knicks have the pieces to be an above average defensive team. Honestly, I’d go so far as to say that their defense is what will win games and give them a shot at the playoffs. Lopez and Afflalo will help the starting lineup; Melo was committed on the defensive end during the preseason so I expect that to carry over; also, with Galloway, Grant, Williams, Early, and O’Quinn in the second unit, we know their mindset is to cause havoc defensively and get out on the fastbreak.
Fisher-Cohen: I worry about coaching when it comes to the defense. The Knicks are starting a bunch of slow players, and that’s how you get killed from 3. Teams that succeed playing big surround their bigs with ruthless perimeter defenders. Chicago has Butler, Memphis has Conley, Allen and Lee. Does Fisher fantasize that Afflalo can be our Butler/Allen? The starting lineup says yes, and when Fisher tightens his rotation, he’ll have the chance to mold all rotations in the image of his starters. OVER
Gibberman: A question like this is so difficult to answer without knowing what the Knicks rotation is going to be. If the starting five is Calderon, Afflalo, Melo, Porzingis and Lopez they’re going to be a terrible at everything, but the offense is probably slightly better than the defense because of the three-point shooting. #FreeTheSecondUnit
Knicks wins: 34.5
Kurylo: Since I don’t see many here agreeing with Vegas’ Knicks win total line of 31.5, I’m going to up it to 34.5. Is that enough to discourage anyone here to take the over? Well anyone other than me. Honestly I might have taken the UNDER even if it were 31.5, but I’ll stick with the vegas line and say 32 wins. This team has too many things that have to go right: ‘Melo’s health, Zinger, the back court, Derek Fisher, Isiah Thomas, James Dolan…
Cronin: I have faith! I’m going for the same win total as Woodson’s last year! 37 wins, baby! OVER
Ephus: I have more faith! I’m going for the 38 wins that got the 1987-88 Knicks into the 8th seed. The team will end the season with 38 wins, because they will not take a game in the first round.
Cavan: Slightly over. For all its apparent youth-spurred strides, the East is still an unpredictable mess at best, and an unmitigated chemical spill at worse. There’s something about this team–the camaraderie, the chemistry, the smell–that suggests a defiance of expectations.
… Actually I figured out the smell: It’s Zinger’s herring paste hair product.
Heather: I like the makeup of this team and like Charles Barkley, I expect the Knicks to make the playoffs. The East won’t be as easy as it was in the past, but if this team can stay committed to a defense-first mentality, I expect many games to be competitive. A competitive game that needs a closer, sounds like the perfect opportunity for a healthy Carmelo Anthony to win some games. People forget that Carmelo Anthony carried his team to the playoffs every year, other than the last two seasons. I have the Knicks over .500, in the 40 wins range, without a doubt. OVER
Fisher-Cohen: Hffkggkg (phlegm generating noise) I spit on your optimism! Like the Spurs never seem to decline despite annual predictions to the contrary, so too does the East refuse to ascend. But I think this year you will at least see improvement from Miami, Boston, and Indiana, and probably from Philly, Orlando, Charlotte, Cleveland and Milwaukee as well. The one team that will be (much) worse is Brooklyn. So I’m going UNDER. But the Knicks WILL win New York.
Gibberman: I wanted so badly to be optimistic about this roster because there are some pieces I like — Melo, Grant, O’Quinn, Lopez, Galloway and Porizingis are all going to be enjoyable to watch. Between the young talent not being ready to have a positive impact and Fisher not playing the right lineups I’d be surprised to see this team get to 35 wins. I have to go under no matter how much it pains me to do so.
Stephen Curry threw his arm in the air in delight and body bumped teammates after knocking down shots from all over the floor, and it all looked so familiar to what happened here only four months ago.
[New York Times] NBA Capsules (Wed, 28 Oct 2015 05:51:41 GMT)
NBA MVP Stephen Curry showed in a hurry he hasn’t lost a step or his swagger, scoring 40 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 111-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night to open their title defense.