Roundtable: Gallo/Melo, Second Scorer, and Fisher

Who will have the higher TS% when the season is over: Carmelo Anthony or Langston Galloway?

Kurylo: Carmelo. Right now Galloway leads 63.0% to 50.3%. I want to say Langston, given all the hard work he’s put in to become a better player. However his 3p% is at 60% and is propping up that ts%. If we knock his 3p% down to last year’s rate of 35.2%, Gallo’s ts% drops to 50%. Or in simpler terms, Galloway isn’t hitting enough of his other shots (1s & 2s) to give me hope.

Domenic: Carmelo Anthony. Once Galloway’s 3P% normalizes (35 to 37% is my guess), I see his TS% hovering around 50%. He only shot 42.4% on 2s last season and (small sample size alert) is only shooting 37.5% this year. He’ll have to turn that around dramatically and get to the line a hell of a lot more to keep up.

Plugh: Carmelo Anthony (I hope). Galloway has a lot more talent around him than he did last year, and the dream would be that he can play within the framework of a better offense. If his efficiency goes up because he isn’t a bailout guy, or the best of bad options, it would be lovely. Gorgeous, in fact. But…you really want the answer to be Carmelo Anthony given the volume he produces. He seems to be playing better team ball so far, despite some very isolate-y business in recent games, and I think you’ll see his TS% bubble up as the team starts to give him better situations to get himself going. Afflalo should help here, and Calderon’s continued shooting will as well. (Hear me, Jose. Hang on.)

Fisher-Cohen: Without reading his comment, I just typed out the exact same thing as Mike, so yeah, I agree with Mike. I don’t expect a great year from Melo, but it would have to be an awful year for him to drop below Galloway, who looks headed towards a 48-52% TS%.

Who will be the second scorer behind Carmelo Anthony?

Kurylo: I can’t say Porzingis, last second shot or not, because he’s too inconsistent on offense, and fouls will keep him on the bench throughout his first season. As I said above Galloway is propped up by his magmatic three point shooting. Jose Calderon is clearly Bibbying. And I don’t know about Afflalo yet. So I’m going with no one. They’re going to need a team effort to score, and not rely on a single person for secondary scoring. I’m sure Tex Winter agrees.

Domenic: I think Fisher will give Porzingis every opportunity to be the second option on offense, and it’ll be up to him to make the most of that. If he can stay out of foul trouble and find his stroke, the team will be forced to get him the ball and allow him to make things happen. At the very least, his propensity for electric putbacks will help him get his own easy buckets without being a focal point. Afflalo is my uninspired second guess – I imagine the Knicks offered him a decently large role to come on-board.

Plugh: It’s got to be Afflalo, right? Porzingis might end up being a mega-evolved Pokemon at some point, but for now the expectations have to be a bit lower. He’s clearly one of the best players on the floor every night, and he seems to figure something out during each game. Afflalo is going to shoot. He’s aggressive and he knows he’s an established veteran. Fisher seems to like the established veteran thing, as much as he likes the workhorse journeyman. Those are his favorite toys. Afflalo can fill it up when he’s given the opportunity, and there’s opportunity on the Knicks, if nothing else.

Fisher-Cohen: I’m going to be optimistic and say Porzingis. He has a good level of comfort catching and shooting from around 12’, using a jab step to create space, not that he needs much. Most guys guarding him can’t reach high enough to bother him when he pulls up. I’m also hopeful that as the year goes on, Fisher will try him more as a primary guy with the second unit, where the faster pace can generate more easy opportunities for him. A lot of this depends on where the Knicks are in the standings and whether guys like Lance Thomas and Kyle O’Quinn continue to give Fisher alternatives.

Fisher has shown a strong preference for playing vets “when the game counts”, so if the Knicks are fighting for a playoff spot, I could easily see things going the opposite direction, with Porzingis’s minutes, confidence and opportunities all dwindling.

Grade Derek Fisher’s performance so far (on a scale from 1-5).

Kurylo: 3. Pleasantly, he’s been better than I expected. Say what you want about his handling of Calderon, but Galloway is ahead on minutes and Grant is just behind Jose. The offense has been better than expected, even though (as I said above) they don’t have a second scorer. And now the defense is ranked 16th. Additionally I like his play calling out of timeouts (if the Knicks had .1 more seconds, that Porzingis play would have worked) has been good, which New York hasn’t had in years. Finally I really like that he was tossed in the Laker game. Players tend to like coaches who appears to be on their side (see: Ryan, Rex; Ryan, Buddy, etc.), and winning the players over is half the battle.

Domenic: 3. My only criticism of Fisher would be his minutes distribution, but it’s difficult to blame that entirely on him. With Afflalo out, not giving minutes to Calderon and Vujacic would have meant giving 35-plus minutes per to the inexperienced duo of Galloway and Grant. That probably wouldn’t have been a bad thing – but I can’t fault Fisher for leaning on his veterans a bit in the first eighth of the season. If Afflalo being back means reduced minutes for Galloway and Grant instead of those veterans, though, it’ll be a different story. The team is middle of the pack in offense and defense despite a great deal of overhaul, and Fisher hasn’t actively hurt them with inane substitutions or sets. I suppose I could nitpick his usage of Porzingis, but the luscious Latvian hasn’t helped matters by finding himself in foul trouble several times.

Plugh: Boy…..I guess I’ll say 3 as well. On a game to game basis it can range between 2 and 4, so 3 seems like an average. He’s been stubborn about playing Calderon and Vujacic during the young season, and for the time being it seems like some of the Calderon faith is paying off. Paying off in the lowest common denominator sort of way. Vujacic deteriorated before our very eyes. I always liked his energy and activity level, which were a double-edged sword, but he got worse as he was exposed several games in. I don’t like Porzingis on the bench so much in the 4th quarter. I think he wants a less mistake-prone squad closing out games, which is a nice change from recent years, but he’s also sacrificing the largely positive impacts Kristaps brings on defense, in my opinion. You save him from foul trouble so he can keep altering shots aggressively later in the game, so let him do it. Fisher’s been better more often than not, but I haven’t developed a whole lot of confidence in him so far. I have to see him transition some of the younger players into more prominent roles as the season goes on. If he does that successfully, and the Knicks get better as a whole at the same time, I think he’s done his job very well. The alternative is eerily similar to Byron Scott, which no one wants. (I don’t expect that, for the record. No one is as bad as Byron Scott.)

Fisher-Cohen: I went off on Fisher some in my last recap, but he hasn’t been much different from the standard coach archetype. He experiments some, but he gives up on his experiments quickly. He prefers veterans just because they’re veterans. He coddles his star by letting isolate towards the end of close games. Most of my irritation with him is not his fault. I don’t like the Knicks’ split focus on winning immediately and developing youth. It’s an approach that has benefits such as allowing younger players to play smaller roles and develop confidence, but I feel strongly that it only makes sense for teams that aren’t already tremendously talent poor like the Knicks. Fisher’s choices to play vets over kids are part of the greater machinery of the Knicks organization, and to be fair, aren’t really his fault.

So sure, have a 3, Derek Fisher. You’re better than Mike Woodson even if you’re less entertaining.

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