2016 Game Notes: Knicks 84 Spurs 94

Since this worked out well last time, I’m going with my game notes again.

1Q
Duncan & Lopez trade baskets to start the game. A battle of the fundamentalists.

The Muscles!
The Muscles!

Porzingis on Aldridge. Lama backs him up & Zinger goes for a non-shooting foul. This should be fun to watch. I’m having flashbacks to a skinny Camby going against Tim Duncan and David Robinson.

Zinger then gets the ball from Calderon & does as smooth of a finger roll as you can expect from a 20 year old 7-3 footer.

Loose ball rebound tapped to Jose by Porzingis. He’s everywhere right now.

After the time out from the Spurs, (guess who?) Porzingis knocks down another three. For a few minutes, the future is now!

Duncan gets Kristaps on the low blocks. The savvy veteran draws a foul & Zinger is headed to the bench with two whistles. Good teams do smart things. The Spurs knew the rookie had one foul and as soon as they had this matchup they got the ball to Tim.

Look at all the bad shots I've found!
Look at all the bad shots I’ve found!

Lopez tries to post up Duncan, and ends up shooting a 10 foot hook shot. With all this low-post work, I’m feeling like it’s the 90s again. Queuing up Sublime for halftime.

2Q
The Dr. Jekyll of Derrick Williams seems to have shown up today.

Oaq hits a jumper from the free throw and he’s 3-3.

Williams has Duncan on him & tries some shake & bake, but the jumper hits iron. Annnnnd now he’s Mr. Hyde.

Duncan steals the inbounds pass. Good teams … smart plays.

Leonard blocks ‘Melo and takes it away, kinda how you’d play with your pre-teen nephew. ‘Melo doesn’t run back on defense (so the over/under was game 4). Instant reply shows it to be clean.

Robin Lopez takes 3 attempts from 3 feet to finally get a bucket. Strangely I’m OK with that.

Porzingis uses his length to swat Tony Parker’s layup into the camera row.

Porzingis boxes out & gets a rebound. These two plays show his potential as an all-around player. The ability is certainly there.

HALFTIME 47-35

3Q
Good play by Porzingis denying the baseline, forcing a turnover.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And Zinger reaches in for his fourth foul. Back to the bench…

Robin Lopez gets the ball at the arc & the Knicks spend what seems like 28 minutes to find an open player as the Spurs deny the ball. They actually convert on this play, but this is indicative of San Antonio. They are so good at taking you out of your offense.

Oaq with a great back door play to Grant for a dunk. Exploiting the weak side of the triangle.

The Knicks are the mouse.
The Knicks are the mouse.

Oaq steals the cross court pass, but the Knicks can’t convert. Clyde mentions that it feels the Spurs have dominated the game, but the Knicks are only a run away from being back in it. Sure, and that mouse just needs to scamper out of the snake’s grip to run away…

Another nice slashing score by Grant.

Then one by Lance Thomas.

And then Melo impersonates a bowling ball to get to the line.

Annnnd the Knicks are almost back in it 70-65. They end the quarter with a nice defensive sequence.

4Q
Knicks hit two quick baskets and are only down by 4!

Grant drives & gets the whistle. He’s been slashing to the hoop this game…

Kinda this high.
Kinda this high.

Galloway with a nice drive & a high (so high) layup off the glass.

Zinger with a quick jumper from 10 feet.

Carmelo trips over an already fallen Kristaps, and the rookie isn’t getting up. I think Zinger just broke his neck.

SUMMARY
New York had a hard time scoring. You might think they’re having a bad shooting night, but this is the Spurs. They’ve made an art form of forcing opponents to take lower percentage shots. I honestly don’t think New York has missed many open jumpers, or at least not more than normal. They’ve just had a lot more shots that either had a hand in the face, were off-balance, came from the Spurs taking away their first option with ball denial, etc.

As I said yesterday there were lots of positives to take from this. Porzingis showed a variety of ways to help the team. Galloway & Grant were effective, each in their own way.

One thing I didn’t mention is Carmelo Anthony. He had an awful shooting game (4-17, 19 points), but so did everyone not named Jerian Grant (5-8, 12 points). At this time we’ll tip our hats to the Spurs defense and Kawhi Leonard.

108 replies on “2016 Game Notes: Knicks 84 Spurs 94”

So true. This was a tip your hat kind of game and I ain’t mad at the NYK. The better team did what they were supposed to do. The Spurs are what the NYK could be in another season or 2. But on this day, not so much. This game was just a measuring stick that shows how far they have to go. The Spurs do what we saw to most teams they play. That all being said, I do believe that the time will be upon us in the not too distant future when the NYK will kick the shyt out of the Spurs. You can see that they are getting old and their era is coming to an end. Funny how it’s easy to respect the Spurs as a good team with class, even when your team plays against them.

Porzingis sure has been fun so far. Who knew he had such quick hands? And he’s rebounding like a grown man already.

As the year goes on, hopefully we’ll see some shooting improvements, and maybe a little more dishing and fewer turnovers. But through 1/20th of the season he’s exceeding my expectations.

What impresses me about the Unicorn is that he seems to learn very quickly and adjusts his game accorddingly. In the summer league he was getting bullied by Okafor but then in the 2nd half he changed up his style and gave Okafor fits. He also had a poor rebounding game in SL and it seems like he has been attacking the glass in his amount of time on the floor.

This game he took a pounding from Aldridge then he adjusted again and really bother LA. Aldridge had a better time going agaist O’Quinn who needs to learn how to stay on his feet and just keep his hands up. I mean his .000004 vert isn’t going to help him blk a shot. ( combine vert not reflective of in game vert) lol. Back to KP: I think once he gets confindence in his jumper he will take another step. He seems to pass up a lot of open shots but maybe I am wrong.

Lol so true about Oquinn. There was a stretch in the middle of the game where Aldridge was just abusing him repeatedly. That’s kinda where the game got away. They accomplished what they were trying to do to KP in the first quarter

Kawhi really is special, is there anyone else in this league besides maybe LeBron, Durant and Brow you’d take over him?

Meanwhile, I do not understand to this day why Melo doesn’t get whistles when he attacks the basket. Yes, there were some clean blocks last night, but when he runs back up the court and his headband is half off, well, how exactly did that happen? I’ve heard some theories that he initiates the contact, but so does a certain bearded one in Houston (who btw, CNB, has had 3 atrocious games and 1 good one) Just mystifying to me.

Kawhi really is special, is there anyone else in this league besides maybe LeBron, Durant and Brow you’d take over him?

Steph Curry.

Not mad at the Knicks at all for losing. In both losses they’ve fought hard the whole way. The 2nd Quarter is what did us in last night. If we have a better 2nd quarter, we win the game.

Also, I have to echo the sentiments on the last thread. Bring back the grades!!!! The grades are what initially drew me to this blog years ago. I seem to remember either last season or the season before you stopped doing them bc of how painful it was to write them (cause they were always losing and the grades were always bad). I remember when it was all Fs. And then you stopped. And I understood. But I think its time to bring them back. They were hilarious and insightful and the most unique thing about this blog.

Kawhi really is special, is there anyone else in this league besides maybe LeBron, Durant and Brow you’d take over him?

Steph Curry.

Oops, my bad, although Curry does miss a shot or two on occasion.

i hope KP is okay because I want to see how he plays this light version of Love. How much will his length bother Kevin and will he be able to keep up with him.

I’m normally a “glass half empty” type, but gotta say I’ve never been so psyched about a Knick team in the last 15 years as this one. Linsanity was like shacking up with a wild chick, never leaving the apartment for a week, only using the phone to order pizza and only answering the doorbell to receive said pie. You knew it was gonna end and just enjoyed the ride. Amare’s first year was a lot of fun but his health hung over the team like the sword of Damocles. 2012 was a magical year but you wondered whether it was sustainable (e.g., age of some players) and that peach turned into a prune. While the Mets may have faltered, Phil’s likely hit a grand slam in Grant/Zinger/Galloway/KOQ.

Short-term, it’s kinda obvious to me that our best lineup’s gonna be Grant/Galloway/Zinger/Melo/Lopez. Gallo guards speedy 1’s and Grant guards SGs. That’s an above average backcourt defensively and part of a potential top 10 defense when you factor in Zinger/Lopez PnR defense and shot-blocking. Good things happen on offense when Grant’s on the court (team 1.2ppp and net +.2 overall). He’s got excellent play-making skills in the half-court which Gallo will supplement and is able to push the ball in transition. He’ll be a better all-around version of 2012 Felton and probably will be at least as good as Mudiay. Zinger will start to be featured more in the offense; he’s showed some faint Dirk-like glimmers in his shooting off screens around the elbows. His 3ball may be suffering from stamina issues (shades of Cole?, yikes). I hope they don’t ride him like Secretariat – don’t overload those knees/ankles.

If this team makes the playoffs and Grant/Zinger show real promise, Durant may be in play. He might want out of the brutal West. In any event, he’s close to Fish who will at least have his ear this summer. KD’s analytical and he’ll conclude Wall is great but the NYK package is better overall.

OK that’s it. I await Ephus’ validation: Is this a great time to be a…

although Curry does miss a shot or two on occasion.

The very rare occasion, thus far… Guy’s got a .770 TS% on a 35% usage rate. Averaging 42 pts, 7 assists, and 6 rebs. O-rating of 148 (D-rating of 91).

Hard to believe, but Curry is still getting better every year!

So kp had 14 rebs 3 steals and 2 blks, I thought all the espn nba “gurus” said he was soft on the glass and couldn’t play d?

Porzingis is exceeding everyone’s expectations right now. He will have his rough moments at some points during the season, but what we can see so far gives reason for much-needed optimism.

Guy’s got a .770 TS% on a 35% usage rate. Averaging 42 pts, 7 assists, and 6 rebs. O-rating of 148 (D-rating of 91).

It’s kind of mind-blowing that “coming back down to earth” would be a TS > 60% on usage of 30%. In terms of “might-have-beens,” Curry going one slot higher than Jordan Hill is pretty up there.

Should the Knicks trade Porzingis, Galloway & Grant to the Nets for Joe Johnson, Andrea Bargnani and Jarret Jack plus a 2016 late second round draft pick?

It would address a few critical areas in our roster where we are not weak enough to successfully compete in next year’s draft.

Looking repeatedly at Porzingis’ dunk video and I can’t understand why Tiger Woods appears smiling on the left at the end of the video, wearing a Knicks uniform, mingling with the bench players.

As much as I’d love another season of tanking unfortunately I’ll have to pass

On that note: are the nets the worst team in he league? They might be.

I think it’s reported as a soft tissue injury in his neck but he’s currently probably for the Cavs game

As much as I’d love another season of tanking unfortunately I’ll have to pass. On that note: are the nets the worst team in he league? They might be.

I was being sarcastic, of course! Don’t know how bad the Nets are, but they are pretty un-watchable.

The Nets may not be the worst team in the league (and it’s probably close), but they definitely have the worst future. It would be brutal to be a fan of that team right now.

Forzingis the first time in a while, we have a nice young corezingis that isn’t a borezingis to watch. The team seems to have morezingis rapportzingis than beforezingis. I think we’ve seen that in the appreciative roarzingis of the garden crowd, as well as in the fourzingis boxscorezingises so far.

@6

Kawhi really is special, is there anyone else in this league besides maybe LeBron, Durant and Brow you’d take over him?

Chris Paul as well as Curry, but yeah he’s unbelievably good. He owned Anthony so completely it was a little painful to watch.

@unreason, I’d take Kawhi over cp3, points guards are plentiful in the league, lock down defender wings that can score at will, not so common,but I’d still take curry over him

Curry is just out of his mind out there right now. There are some amazing top tier players in this league right now. It’s a great time to be a basketball fan!

I am so excited to watch this team. Hopefully Fisher and Jackson pull Melo aside and tell him to quit the griping and get back down the court. Maybe its my rose colored glasses but I feel the whistle has been a little tough on the Knicks so far. Initiating contact has been around forever so Melo should be getting calls on that stuff especially with his perceived stature throughout the league. Ginobelli had a cheap flop last night that was called and he didn’t even fall down he just swung his chest back. I think that was on Grant.

Prayers for Zinger’s neck! Hopefully that is not anything serious.

They continue to play hard, and when there’s football on and I stay to watch them lose the game knowing they’re not going to make the climb back against the Spurs that’s saying something for these guys.

I’ve watched a lot of basketball in my 34 years and one common criticism I see of melo is he settles for jumpers and doesn’t go to the hoop enough. Have you ever watched him play? Anytime he puts it on the floor he’s hacked mercisslessly and the refs whistle remains silent, I’ve never seen a player get less whistle love than melo, I don’t blame him

Leonard is just really good on defense, and improving on offense every year. Pride of the Aztecs! He made it very difficult on Melo to score which is unusual. As stated above when Melo has a bad game it’s normally he’s own shot selection or stupid decisions.
But since the narrative is we can replace Melo with a bag of donuts, it should not affect the Knicks chances of winning even if he’s off, he’s reportedly just not that good.

Yours truly – “Fanboy”

@30
I could be wrong, but if you think PGs like Paul are plentiful, it sounds like you might not be too familiar with who he locks down on a regular basis and how he compares to other PGs, or all other players for that matter, in terms of impact across multiple dimensions: scoring efficiency, facilitating, defending, as well as intangibles like leadership, consistency of effort etc. He’d probably be my second pick after James.
Apart from your favorite advanced stat – pick almost any one and he’s pretty guaranteed to shine – here’s couple of more detailed and nuanced things to check out if you haven’t:
http://grantland.com/features/department-of-defense/
http://grantland.com/the-triangle/monster-of-the-midrange-dont-sleep-on-chris-pauls-deadly-elbow-jumper/

Yeah, I’ve seen him play. lol

We’ve had the Melo foul discussion about a million times. I think a solid consensus from most of the posters is that Melo is a pretty strong guy. He powers through the contact a lot more effortlessly (Really more willingly is probably a better description) than most guys. He doesn’t try to accentuate the contact he receives and he gets the bad end of the stick for it from the refs. Melo’s game is a lot better when he does drive to the hoop because it opens up his midrange game for him more and even though they are the least efficient shot he is deadly at hitting them when he’s open. Unfortunately he needs to drive to create a little more space to have that opening to hit those shots at the high clip he can when he’s not overly pressured.

He did get 10 FTs last night though. I think that’s actually higher than usual. He definitely gets his fair share of non calls, however he can’t be bitching about it and letting his man go down the court to hit critical 3 point FGs. That was the point I was making, not that he doesn’t get screwed.

More important quiet Tim Duncan liked KP: “He was impressive. He’s a young guy, but his skill set is there.”

It’s way too early and only time will tell but how bizarre would it be if Timmy Hardaway becomes one of the most important figures in NYK history? If Timmy doesn’t go super nova in that win over Atlanta, Phil might not listen to Gaines and take Triangle poster boy Okafor or Russell. AND Atlanta was so impressed by Timmy’s performance that they gifted us Jerian Grant.

Also given Gaines’ performance to date, I’m really eager to watch Early in action. He must be in Fish’s doghouse for some reason.

A lot of the time Melo doesn’t get calls because he takes shots when guys are draped all over him– he did this several times with Leonard last night. You’re a lot less likely to get the call in that kind of scenario than you are when you have a guy beat but he fouls you in the act of recovering on the play.

There are some signs though that Melo’s game is perhaps changing a bit for the better, shoddy performance last night aside. His assist rate is up a tick, his usage is down a bit and his turnover rate is very low. It’s a small sample size but other than his bad shooting his peripherals look pretty good. His defense looked awful last night though. I don’t know if it’s a desire problem, an athleticism problem or a smarts problem, but he was getting creamed by every screen, as numerous posters here have pointed out. I don’t know if anything can really be done about that but it’s not a lot of fun to watch. When Melo, Calderon and The Machine™ are all on the floor it’s trouble, because none of those dudes has the ability to go over a screen.

I think it’s reported as a soft tissue injury in his neck but he’s currently probably for the Cavs game

Which if that’s is what the Knicks FO is reporting you can be sure it’s either that, or a broken bone in his neck that needs to be fused.

Either one, really.

Mudiay is currently shooting 33% from the field and averaging 6.3 turnovers a game. Please don’t compare Grant to Mudiay. Mudiay is going to single-handedly tank that Denver team.

So should I drop Kyle o Quinn or RoLo for Porzingis in one of my fantasy leagues I wanna hear opinions.

“Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis said he was “surprised” this morning with how well his neck responded to treatment. He sprained his neck in Monday’s game against the Spurs but expects to play tomorrow.”

I wouldn’t carry Lopez or O’Quinn, but if I had to pick one, I’d pick O’Quinn because he’ll be a lot more productive per minute, so if there’s injuries or Fisher bumps his minutes for some other reason, he’ll get you a lot more production than Lopez, who will never get you more than slightly above waiver wire production.

Yeah my league is a bit deeper so theyre bit of a better proposition than normally–I was leaning toward o Quinn because I think the minutes differential between him and RoLo is going to be pretty variant throughout the season and RoLos only advantage is said minutes load.

Thanks KB fam

And yeah Porzingis seems pretty confident about playing tomorrow; fingers crossed that the Knicks medical staff for once managed to diagnose the injury correctly

defensively porzingis has held up well and that’s really all due to his size and athleticism…. boards/stls/blocks all right where you would want out of an elite prospect… we’ll see how he holds up over the course of a season but it’s all there…

his offense is not so good despite his shooting touch… but that’s expected out of rookies…. he’s not good inside yet and he relies on that jumper but that’s less of a concern if he can hold his own as a PF defensively… the offense will come…

The most encouraging thing about Zingis thus far is that he hasn’t embarrassed himself in any game. He was drafted as a raw talent who would take years to develop, which meant that his rookie season would be a rough one. It hasn’t been. He looks like an actual NBA player every night. Not a standout yet by any means, but competent.

Will he develop the jumper or learn to block shots without fouling? Will he take a huge leap? Who knows. But he’s already showing that, with only modest improvement, he will be a rotation staple for years. Establishing that floor as a raw rookie is hugely encouraging.

Especially if he can break out a White Howard putback dunk every few games to fire up the crowd.

I was really trying to stay pretty realistic about KP at first. I mean, let’s be honest, he is a tall skinny white guy who looks like he’d be pretty unathletic.

But he’s shown flashes of those very skills that were his supposed weaknesses – defense, contact, attacking the rim, even passing. The shot will come, I am confident of that. It’s already there, really, but the sample size has been small. His finishing around the rim on post moves and drives has been decent, and you can tell he has the touch to go off the glass very skillfully. His 13 rebound effort was probably an anomaly with several uncontested gimme rebounds, but he certainly is no Bargnani out there. Fouls appear to be his kryptonite and I am not sure how well he will be able to handle that because of his frame and his position.

But basically I am about as bullish as I could be after FOUR games. This guy is a hard worker. He is smart. He wants to learn. He is super motivated. If this guy continues to develop, it’s hard to not get excited about his potential. I mean, this is obviously unlikely, but he could be a massive plus on both offense and defense within a year or two. Not too many players like that in this league.

Rebounds can be fluky. This was a game in which the Knicks shot poorly, generating a lot of available boards. Some were uncontested rebounds. Some were generated by Lopez’s boxouts. So 13 rebounds in and of itself shouldn’t make us think he’s going to be a 10 rpg guy.

But to reiterate my point about his floor being higher than we thought, getting 13 rebounds this early differentiates him from Barfnani, the comp that terrified me on draft night. In his entire career, Barf had two games of 13+ rebounds. Two. In 508 games as a 7-footer. Zinger has one in his fourth game.

So Zinger has already established his rebounding ceiling as higher than Barf’s, which is a relief I can’t even put into words.

I’d say his rebounding floor is higher than Bargnani’s ceiling at this point.

Why is it okay to make fun of “white guys”? Is this acceptable in basketball forums?

I hope you’re right, but I’m not ready to guarantee that Zing will always average at least 6.2 rpg, which was Barf’s career high.

I have a problem with Oaq. It’s too Oakley (even though that’s what we’re going for). I propose O’q pronounced the same.

I think the -zingis suffix is gaining traction and I’m all for it.

One of my criticisms about the team last night was the turnovers. The triangle is susceptible to them and what happened in Q2 was that the Spurs started to overplay the triangle passing lanes. That’s a pass within the formed triangle (post, corner, wing). I think it plagued us all game after that and I hope that Fisher comes up with a counter-plan because lots of coaches are going to mimic what Pop did. It wasn’t lazy or bad passing, it was a strong strategy which caused the issues.

Reports from camp are all positive about Porzingis. He’s likely to play and Afflalo is going to miss the game Wednesday but might appear after that. Let’s hope the team stays healthy.

I like the drafting of Jimmer to the D-league team. That will be a very interesting lineup. Jimmer, if he can learn the ropes of the system in short order, would be the perfect 15th man on this team – the guy that comes off the bench for 6 minutes and pops a couple of 3’s. Let’s keep an eye on him.

I think that Oakman summed up KP’s performance the best — he’s looked like a real NBA player in every game. He hasn’t looked intimidated or overwhelmed by the big moment or the size of the stage at all — which is pretty impressive when you consider the pressure he’s under (i.e., high draft picked, booed on draft night, trashed by clowns like SAS, tough fan base, thrust into the starting lineup and having to deal with rumors that the team’s marquis player didn’t want him on the team). By the way, the replays of his injury were very scary – that had the potential to end really badly.-

I love this KP quote — “In New York, if you suck, they’ll let you know. I’m not worried about sucking.”

The two biggest concerns about Porzingis thus far — shooting efficiency and fouls — are things that virtually every rookie has a career worst in. Towns is a future superstar and it looks like Willie Cauley-Stein is Tyson Chandler 2.0, but I’m pretty happy with the sheer length of this dude. Didn’t he force a turnover on Kawhi last night?

With the all the good Porzingis stuff, Grant is flying a bit under the radar. His start has been equally impressive, in my view. He has better than average rates across the board. WP proponents in particular will be happy with his stats.

I love KP’s character and work ethic. I think he can do the thing where he adds a facet to his game every summer and blossoms into a star. Can’t wait.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at0a9HRiCeg KP highlights from last night.

Synopsis:

#1 he runs from the 3-pt line to the rim to pursue an offensive rebound in traffic, tipping it twice to himself, securing it, then smartly kicking out to Melo for the open 3.

#2 Sets a screen then rolls right, takes the pass and does an Ice Man palm it-double pump layup.

#3 Strokes an open 3 off a kick-out

#4 missed two point-blank put-backs, padding his o-rebounding stats

#5 threw Parker’s shit into the stands

#6 threw Kahwi’s shit right back at him, starting a break

#7 Dives on a mishandle by LMA during a perimeter iso and passes from the floor to start a break

#8 Takes a pass in the lane for an iso on LMA and executes a power reverse post move for a righty hook banker, made it look easy

#9 LMA tries to overpower KP baseline on a left-side iso, KP holds his ground and LMA coughs it up out of bounds

#10 KP breaks the internet with a filthy put-back slam, poses and hollers NBA2K15-style

#11 Snags an offensive rebound between Leonard and Duncan, gets fouled.

#13 Takes a pass at the foul line for a slight fade catch and shoot jumper

#14 Uses length and positioning to steal a lob attempt to LMA in the deep post

His start has been equally impressive, in my view.

Grant has been terrific. He’s actually rebounding well so far after spending his college career as a terrible rebounder. I would venture to guess that after only 4 games there’s not a team in the NBA who would trade him for Tim Hardaway Jr

In terms of production, he’s been much better than Brickzingus, but he’s not 20 or 7’3″.

Fair enough on age/production for Grant. Clearly Porzingis has the higher ceiling. The thing is, Grant doesn’t have to improve much from where he is now to be a pretty good player. Pretty exciting stuff.

And yes, his rebounding seems much better than I expected, even though it’s probably unsustainable. The one area where he needs to improve is defense. His assist rate is perhaps a bit below where it should be too.

The two biggest concerns about Porzingis thus far — shooting efficiency and fouls — are things that virtually every rookie has a career worst in. Towns is a future superstar and it looks like Willie Cauley-Stein is Tyson Chandler 2.0, but I’m pretty happy with the sheer length of this dude. Didn’t he force a turnover on Kawhi last night?

Early days obviously but this rookie class looks downright ridiculous at this point. So many of them playing well just a few games into their NBA careers. Really impressive. Towns in particular is even better than I expected. I know it’s full on KP-fever in Knickerbloggerland (and rightfully so), but Towns is a cut above. Truly special talent. Also very impressed by Winslow in Miami.

I don’t see why his rebounding is unsustainable. He’s doing everything right, except holding his position. The anticipation, pursuit, quick jumping, use of length and desire all seem to be there. Why does 10-12 rebounds/36 seem unrealistic?

Melo’s had some good games against Leonard and some rough offensive ones that forced him to try to impact the game elsewhere (the win in 2012 at San Antonio where Melo made 3 shots but was great defensively and on the board): http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/h2h_finder.cgi?request=1&p1=anthoca01&p2=leonaka01

But the one thing Leonard does really well on Melo is deny him the ball, which is the reason his usage is sub-30 in his career against Kawhi.

Outside of that impressive block on the step back, that’s what he did well again last night. When Melo got the ball he was actually pretty effective — drove on Kawhi pretty consistently from the 2nd quarter on, and could have had 16-18 free throws. He missed all but one of his open spot-ups, which along with the physicality allowed near the basket, was the biggest reason for the struggles.

The Spurs set great screens, and Melo was very poor defensively in the 1st quarter.

Outside of KP, Grant and the overall doggedness of the team, the biggest storyline for me is differential in penetration when Calderon is on the floor which is really tough for the first team to overcome. I’m not sure how his presence on the court can be justified when his only ability at this point is spot-up shooting, and he’s even struggled there.

KP is basically living off his competitiveness, athleticism and length at this point, and is sitting at 18/12/3 per 36… incredible.

He’s far more mobile than any 4 he’s faced thus far, and one thing not spoken about is the quickness and fluidity of his release — he looks like a shooting guard.

Dirk or Gasol never had that. I don’t know who to compare him to in the last 30 years other than AD.

I was mocked for that comparison before summer league, but I still think his ceiling isn’t so far off, and his floor (should he avoid injuries) is Serge Ibaka.

Shit, he’s basically at Ibaka’s per 36 now — but he you can see there are more dimensions…

What about the comp of Porzingis’ ceiling/best case as an Arvydas Sabonis? I don’t know how similar their game is, because I was pretty young and uninterested in basketball at that point, but they seem at least somewhat similar–long 7’3 european big men who could stretch the floor (Porzingis more than Sabonis but Sabonis shot 3’s at a decent clip his first two seasons), make canny passes (which Porzingis has shown only flashes of), and affect all areas of the floor with rebounds, blocks, and steals. But I don’t really know how their game compares (someone older can help with that maybe) but I do know Sabonis was extremely good (what really impresses me about Sabonis is that he came into the NBA at 31. He then played until he was 38 and posted only two WS/48 below .200, those being .196 and .136. That’s damn impressive, and he was on the tail end of his prime when he came into the league! His defense also seemed to be very good so he was likely undervalued by the WS/48 metric).

Here’s some vintage Sabonis footage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwwHCYGGS5Y

Sabonis was much more of a power player, but with great range on his set shot. Not really a catch and shoot jump shooter or ball handler, very powerful in the post, great post passer and rebounder. Porzingis seems more of a Dirk/Gasol/Shawn Bradley hybrid.

His assist rate is perhaps a bit below where it should be too.

Well, it’s still early days. But Grant is playing in a triangle heavy offense and he’s almost always had Galloway on the court with him. Both those things are going to suppress his assist numbers a bit.

As for Arvydas/Porzingis, I don’t know. I (obviously) didn’t watch Sabonis in the Soviet Union, but when he came to the states he was huge, relatively immobile (he’d had a bunch of knee surgeries, I think), and a tremendous passer. Think Marc Gasol with 3 point range.

Yeah, Sabonis is a pretty good comp. He’s 7’3″ like Porzingis, and he was rail skinny when he was in his early 20’s. By the time he came to the NBA he was ravaged with knee and leg injuries– the Soviet coaches ran him into the ground, forcing him to play when he was injured. And of course he was still a very productive NBA player even without a lot of his mobility.

Sabonis was superior to Porzingis in one obvious way: he was a better passer. Sabonis was one of the best passing big men of all time. But other than that, there are definitely some similarities in their games as well as their physiques. The young, pre-injury Sabonis must have been one hellacious player. If that’s Porzingis’ ceiling, we’re in business. 7’3″ with great athletic ability and basketball skills is a pretty rare combination.

I think Porzingis will eventually be better than Karl Anthony Towns. Krispy’s ceiling is everything Karl Anthony Towns does except with 3 point range. Between Towns, Porzingis, Cauley-Stein, and Okafor, I think the Lakers will regret passing on one of those three for the next 15 years.

Kareem has Harlem roots and always wanted to coach. Phisher should hire him as a big man coach. Lopez to some extent, but Porzingis especially could learn so much from the man.

Lopez to some extent, but Porzingis especially could learn so much from the man.

Have you seen Lopez’s hook shot?

Early days obviously but this rookie class looks downright ridiculous at this point. So many of them playing well just a few games into their NBA careers. Really impressive.

It’s nuts how good this draft was.

The new almost position-less NBA is funny. Charlotte started PG Hairston at the 3 and Batum at the 2 the first couple of games. But tonight they started Batum at the 3 and Hairston at the 3.

It’s nuts how good this draft was.

And supposedly next year’s is gonna suck, so it’s good that we don’t have our pick!

@78 I have of course and noted it’s less than Kareemy smooth character. I only emphasized the greater amount Porzingis could learn because he is younger more impressionable and much more Kareemlike in physiognomy.

Tim Hardaway Jr is racking up his fifth consecutive DNP-CD tonight. He has yet to play a minute this season. Thanks for the free point guard, Atlanta!

@80 Thanks of the tip. The ads for that are what prompted the idea. I don’t have HBO, but hope to see it when it comes to Netflix or Amazon.

Tim Hardaway Jr is racking up his fifth consecutive DNP-CD tonight. He has yet to play a minute this season. Thanks for the free point guard, Atlanta!

It is hilarious.

That Atlanta defense is pretty suffocating, pretty safe to say the Knicks lost to two very good defensive teams

Drummond’s pulled down 19, 10, 20, and 29 rebounds in his 4 games so far. I’m not good with math, but that’s a lot of rebounds.

ELIAS: Andre Drummond is 1st player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (75-76) w/multiple 20-pt/20-reb games in the team’s 1st 4 games of the season

Nice factoid to take you into the Kareem movie.

The Lakers are both devoid of talent and a terribly coached team. No reason your back up players should be going one on three.

Why is it okay to make fun of “white guys”? Is this acceptable in basketball forums?

I find it in poor taste, but perhaps a tiny bit below my threshold line for censorship. However I’m fine with people voicing how needless/tasteless it is, if that will make the offenders stop.

Sabonis was superior to Porzingis in one obvious way: he was a better passer. Sabonis was one of the best passing big men of all time. But other than that, there are definitely some similarities in their games as well as their physiques. The young, pre-injury Sabonis must have been one hellacious player. If that’s Porzingis’ ceiling, we’re in business. 7’3? with great athletic ability and basketball skills is a pretty rare combination.

Sabonis was the best passing big man I’ve seen. You could probably argue a few others (Vlade?, Webber?) so it’s not a good comparison. Definitely not Porzingis’ skill set. It’s hard to think of big men that shoot well from outside, rebound, block shots, and being thin. Camby? LaFrentz? I may need to sleep on it.

The Lakers are both devoid of talent and a terribly coached team. No reason your back up players should be going one on three.

What in the world has Byron Scott ever done to deserve such a long leash?

Jury’s still out on Russell. So far, Mudiay is looking like the much more promising pick at PG (not to mention KP, Okafor, Johnson, etc.) I know it’s too early to tell, but If I was a Lakers fan, I’d be concerned.

Lakers looking like a lock for another top-4 pick, though.

I haven’t seen Mudiay play. The only reference is from this board. It was lol’ing. I looked at his numbers and in 4 games he leads the NBA with 25 turnovers and is shooting .309. He is 8/17 from three !?! That would only make his other shooting at a Sheldon Cooper level. He has 26 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks so that cannot be it. Is there something that is not evident from the black “ink” on my screen? Russell is not great either, but at least his A/TO is in the tight direction 11/6. Are we just trying to pump up the guy we passed on?

Not sure I can think of a comp for Porzingis. I don’t know that there has been a big like him in terms of his mobility, height, AND his shooting mechanics (which to this point haven’t yielded good results, but my guess is that will come around given how small this sample size is compared to his European stats). Defensively he is short of guys like Camby in terms of sheer activity — he doesn’t seem to be a great help/weakside defender at this point. He seems to be a pretty decent passer but he’s not close to Sabonis from what I’ve seen (albeit in highlights) on Sabonis. I don’t know – maybe a young Rasheed Wallace?

But arguably we aren’t even using KP where he might be the most dangerous. I’ve seen very few pick and pops for 3– except a few notable exceptions, KP will set the pick and then sort of meander into the elbow area. He and Grant, or even Melo should be an absolutely deadly PNP combination. As a PNR guy – I don’t think he fully understands how to finish at this level yet — seems like a lot of offensive fouls when he’s the roll man going to the hoop.

I’ve also seen very few opportunities for him shooting off screens, which was one of his strengths in Europe – 1.16 PPP according to the DX draft video.

Not me. I have been Kristaps biggest fan, starting way before the draft, but I liked Mudiay over Russell.

Meanwhile – it is obviously very early but I definitely think we have a very good shot at making the playoffs this year. Right now we’re sitting #7 in the eastern conference, and I REALLY don’t think the teams from 9 to 16 are necessarily better — Boston, Indiana, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Orlando, Philly, and the Nets. I think Miami (who is #8 right now) is overrated and a very shallow team. One injury to their starting 5 and they’re really in trouble. I think Boston’s ceiling is about 44 wins, so it’s hard to get too nervous about them. And maybe Milwaukee figures it out? 38-40 wins probably gets the 8 seed, and I think we have a pretty good shot at that.

Three things made me see KP as a top PF in the NBA potentially this year:
His double pump, palmed layup off the glass showed hang time and controlled athleticism rarely seen in a man that large, and that young in the NBA.
His dunk over a very big and strong NBA all star PF was great, but the fire he displayed after showed something as well.
Diving for a steal was also eye-opening. I’m 6’3 and diving for a ball feels like a bit of a fall. At 7’3, it takes enormous commitment. It was not a flop, it was a lunge and capture of a loose ball. Very impressive.

Last thing, the dynamics of the game with the Spurs changed entirely while KP was out there. They did not cope well with his rebounding, his movement and his length. But, as Duncan noted, he’s inexperienced, so they knew if they went at him, he would commit poor fouls and that would limit his minutes.
It’s hard to find a man that big, mobile, with that kind of stroke. The only guys with that kind of length and that skill set come from Europe. If he had come up in the US, he would have developed differently and certainly not with 3 pt range.
I’m hard pressed to recall an American 7 footer with that kind of range.

johnno
November 4, 2015 at 7:11 am
Re: best passing big men — Bill Walton?

Vlade Divac was pretty great at passing too.

@unreason,

Paul’s the 4th best PGA in the game right now (curry,westbrook,wall) his d is deeply overrated, that said my point is quality pointment guards are plentiful, and true 3 and d wings are not. It was stated in plain english.

@unreason,

Also, if you’d take Paul over curry, durant or westbrook, than I’d love to bet on sports against you, like every game

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