Knicks Morning News (2015.12.05)

  • [New York Daily News] Melo, red-hot Porzingis lead Knicks to beatdown of Nets (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 07:17:47 GMT)

    The Knicks are the kings of New York basketball, and it isn’t even close.

  • [New York Daily News] S. Bondy: Knicks, Nets moving in opposite directions (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 06:19:02 GMT)

    Shane Larkin looked up and threw a pass to nobody. Literally nobody. Somebody used to be there but he left long before.

  • [New York Post] Knicks struck gold: They found Carmelo Anthony’s wingman (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 02:04:29 -0500)

    Carmelo Anthony finally has a wingman with a wingspan and a game. It was all beautiful to watch Friday night, especially at the start of the third quarter, when the Knicks completely ran the Nets out of the Garden as Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis combined to score their team's first 14 points of the quarter…

  • [New York Post] Joe Johnson denies being dirty after elbow to Calderon’s face (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 00:00:32 -0500)

    The Nets got their first nationally televised game of the season, their first chance to show how much they supposedly had improved. Instead, what they got was a nightmare, a 108-91 loss to the Knicks. How bad was it? Mild-mannered Joe Johnson was ejected for the first time in his 15-year NBA career. "I've never…

  • [New York Times] Pelicans Survive James’ Late Surge, Beat Cavs 114-108 in OT (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 07:18:34 GMT)

    After New Orleans survived a stunning fourth-quarter surge by LeBron James and forced overtime, injured veteran center Kendrick Perkins pulled Pelicans teammate Anthony Davis aside for a quick word.

  • [New York Times] Harden Scores 25 After Rough Start, Rockets Top Mavs 100-96 (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 05:30:58 GMT)

    James Harden was off to another rough shooting start against Dallas and not getting to his usual spot at the free throw line either, so Houston stayed in the game with 3-pointers.

  • [New York Times] Harden Leads Rockets Past Mavericks (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 05:27:27 GMT)

    Guard James Harden scored 25 points, including a step-back jumper with 7.4 seconds to go, to lead the Houston Rockets to a 100-96 win against the Dallas Mavericks.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | College Basketball: Maryland Wins in Romp (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 05:20:01 GMT)

    Robert Carter Jr. had 20 points, and No. 2 Maryland routed visiting St. Francis (Pa.), 96-55.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Prevent Comeback by Lakers (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 04:51:27 GMT)

    Center Al Horford scored 16 points to lead five double-figure scorers and added nine rebounds as the Hawks took a 19-point lead in the second quarter and held off a Lakers rally for a 100-87 victory on Friday.

  • [New York Times] Drummond Leads Pistons Past Bucks 102-95 (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 04:45:31 GMT)

    Whatever Stan Van Gundy told his team, it seemed to work.

  • [New York Times] Horford, Hawks Spoil Bryant’s Last Game in Atlanta (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 04:43:05 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant wanted to give his Atlanta fans one last epic performance.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 108, Nets 91: Kristaps Porzingis Flourishes Again as Knicks Beat Nets (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 04:20:33 GMT)

    The rookie had 17 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.

  • [New York Times] Beal Scores 34 Points, Wizards Rally to Beat Suns (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 04:18:52 GMT)

    The Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman had to improvise without four of his tallest players.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Wizards Edge Suns in Turnover-Filled Matchup; Drummond Leads Pistons Over Bucks (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 03:52:40 GMT)

    The Washington Wizards rallied to beat the visiting Phoenix Suns, 109-106, on Friday night in a turnover-filled game.

  • [New York Times] Anthony Has 28, Knicks Rout Nets 108-91 to Get Back to .500 (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 03:48:40 GMT)

    Kristaps Porzingis hit one 3-pointer and then another, with hardly a Brooklyn player in sight.

  • [New York Times] Column: Warriors So Good, They’re Turning Rivals Into Fans (Sat, 05 Dec 2015 00:39:48 GMT)

    When Byron Scott forgets he’s a coach of a rival team, just focuses on the game he loves, he can’t help but be impressed with the Golden State Warriors.

  • 20 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2015.12.05)”

    Re: Melo — go to basketball-reference.Com and check out his numbers this year. It’s pretty surprising. He is at or near his career best in virtually every stat but one – field goal percentage at the rim (and, as a result TS%). He’s shooting below 50% at the rim (which confirms the eye test) but very well from everywhere else. His WS48 is also pretty close to his career high and, most surprisingly (or maybe not because it also kind of confirms the eye test) he’s playing career best defense. I know that it’s unpopular to say it around here, but the numbers say that he’s having a really good year so far.

    Z-Man: You all realize that you’re witnessing the beginnings of a top-20 of all time career, right?

    THCJ: you say that but you also said that Bargnani could be a good player so… idk you know?

    Re: Bargnani, “could” is the operative word. I was wrong, though, and have tried to learn from that experience.

    Drafting Trill over KP (who you dismissed with a very unflattering culinary analogy at draft time) would have been the biggest mistake of all, way worse than drafting Shump over your beloved Faried.

    Really, the credit goes to Phil for making the loss of next year’s draft pick as irrelevant as possible. He hit a walk-off home run in the most critical moment of his reign as GM. Everything is pretty much gravy after this.

    Re: Melo, what’s troubling is that he has had some monster games vs. lousy teams but has been rendered Kobe ’15-like vs. good defensive teams. The lack of success at the rim could be a sign that the knee is barking (I saw the team doctor rubbing it while he was on the bench during an earlier game, and have seen him limping and wincing at times.) When his shot flattens out and he doesn’t do well at the rim, it’s usually due to lack of lift. Hopefully it’s just residual rust or a tweak, but it is a concern. The last 2 games are pretty meaningless in assessing his condition, and if you throw out his best 2 performances, he’s been largely mediocre on the offensive end.

    Knicks-Bucks tonight. When Greg Monroe went to the Bucks because they were better positioned, it sure didn’t seem like that would be subject to debate by December. I’d love to see the poll results among each Knicks and Bucks fans of the following questions:

    (1) would you favor trading antetokounmpo for porzingis?
    (2) would you favor trading antetokounmpo plus jabari parker for porzingis?

    i think you’d see some drastically differing results from each fan base.

    I wonder if Phil and Bucks GM both have buyer’s remorse. Lopez’s value on offense is setting picks/offensive rebounding (like Tyson), not posting-up; the experiment of trying to turn him into a Triangle big isn’t going very well. Monroe started like gangbusters for Bucks but has really regressed and I have no idea what’s happening there. Would Phil and Bucks GM consider a swap on December 20th (or whenever the first date they could trade players signed this summer)?

    Personally, at this stage, I’d prefer to keep Lopez and move away from the Triangle but it’s almost a religion to Phil so I dunno. Monroe is a perfect fit for his system and KP’s defense somewhat mitigates Monroe rim protection issues.

    @6 Very interesting question. I’d like to see the Knicks not mess with the front court so much, but try to maybe make a deal for a guard. Not sure what might be doable, though. That and a good backup center/rim protector for when KP6 and Lopez are not in the game.

    I wonder if O’Quinn might be shopped?

    Would Phil and Bucks GM consider a swap on December 20th (or whenever the first date they could trade players signed this summer)?

    I have a different take on this.

    At the time I was disappointed we didn’t get Monroe because I thought we were going to need more scoring. I also thought the concerns about Monroe’s defense were unwarranted. After watching Lopez and seeing how he doesn’t really fit playing in the post or making passes out of it, you would think I’d feel even stronger about that now.

    The thing is, I expected us to be dependent on Afflalo as our #2 scorer without much of an option after that. I was not comfortable with that at all. I wasn’t expecting Porzingis to develop into a #2 scorer so quickly. But he has. Now we have Melo, Porzingis, and Afflalo. I think that’s pretty darn good. So we don’t need Monroe’s better offense.

    Furthermore, I am going to have to count the Bucks lack of success against Monroe a little bit. The Pistons are better without him and the Bucks are worse. I’m not blaming that all on Monroe, but if was as good as many (including myself) thought, we should have seen enough negative/positive impact on each team to at least offset whatever else is going right or wrong. My guess is that he’s simply not much of an overall impact player even if he has some decent stats that suggest he has good value.

    From here I think it’s on Fisher to find a way to bring out the best in Lopez in other ways. I like him and want him on the team even if he eventually becomes a backup to KP or we trade him at a later date for something we need more than KP’s backup at C at that high price.

    I’d also be against this swap. I don’t think Monroe and Melo sync particularly well on either side of floor (but especially on defense), and I think the contract differences matter. Monroe makes $4 million more per year and I’d much rather have Lopez fixed at $14m in yrs 3 and 4 than monroe’s one way $18 option in year 3. It’s been a dicey start for Lopez, but I think if he stays healthy and Fish shows a little more flexibility he can be quite a good fit, and his defense is a really valuable asset at his contract level, more difficult to replace than Monroe’s offense. if the knicks were a really good team the porzingis/lopez combo could be a really cool small-ball antidote running a PNR/heavy and crashing offense, but running the triangle with lopez in the high post doesn’t exploit that at all. you could get away with having lopez or porzingis stuck jumping at undersized-at-the-five three point shooters while still having the other to protect the rim, yet wouldn’t be sacrificing any spacing on offense at all.

    It is definitely true that Monroe is more suited to be a point on a triangle than Lopez, but I refuse to stop praying the Knicks figure out that squeezing all personnel into a predetermined polygon is not required in the NBA rules.

    I hear you Strat and don’t disagree but let me play devil’s advocate for a moment. Consider a lineup of Galloway/Afflalo/Melo/KP/Monroe. Galloway could be an effective Triangle 1, his primary functions being to knock down open 3s and play strong defense. You would have 4 guys who could operate out of the post (give zinger a couple of months). Gallo and Afflalo’s 3FG% plus their ability to attack closeouts could make teams pay for double-teaming Melo/Monroe/Zinger. The pieces do appear to fit very well if you’re committed to the Triangle.

    I’m just not convinced that Galloway is a starting quality guard, nor that he is as good a defender as advertised. He too gets beaten a lot off the dribble and through screens. He can be a solid bench combo guard, though. His shot still seems a bit flat, so he may never be a consistent shooter or good penetrate and dish guy.

    I’d be happy to be wrong about him and am certainly rooting for him.

    However, you have identified the Knicks #1 need: starting point guard. Someone who provides very good on the ball defense and can penetrate and break down defenses at times. Calderon has played better recently and is an efficient shooter, but not a good defender or penetrator. He’s a solid hold-the-fort guy. I’d happily give up his shooting for a replacement who is quicker.

    Maybe Phil will just play this roster out through the season and see what it does. But, there might be some pressure to make a move and push for the playoffs.

    I agree that Robin is a better fit for us than Monroe would be. Robin is a much better defender and he does not need the ball on offense to be productive; which leaves space and touches for KP, Melo, and Afflalo. Now that we seem to finally have somewhat of a set rotation, I expect to see Robin and everyone else play a lot more consistently.

    Just got done playing at the Knicks practice facility, we won, I played well for an old man (we had two ringers on our team, thank the lord) and got pix of my son with John Starks and Charles Smith. All I need is a Knicks win tonight to make it a perfect weekend!

    When talking about the offense, let’s not leave Calderon out. If nothing else, he takes care of the ball, doesn’t force shots, sees the open man and spreads the floor. He’s trying on D at least. If we can get this level of play from Calderon for the next two years, his contract is much less onerous.

    Classic JR quote:

    J.R. Smith laughed when told Blatt thinks LeBron needs more help. “I mean, I had 15 in the first. I don’t know what else you want me to do”

    I am happy with Lopez’ defense. Very happy. Not sure whether what he does on the offensive end matters much. I can’t really believe anyone ever pictured him as the cog in a triangle offense….

    I am happy with Lopez’ defense. Very happy. Not sure whether what he does on the offensive end matters much. I can’t really believe anyone ever pictured him as the cog in a triangle offense….

    I agree with you, but I think you can argue that overall he’s been less productive for us that has been in the last few years for others. So how do we get his efficiency up, TOs down etc..

    He told Zach Lowe he still isn’t comfortable with the offense yet. Not sure if that’s what makes him miss point blank at the rim a lot more often, but it hopefully has sometyto do with the turnovers

    Z-man
    December 5, 2015 at 2:26 pm
    Just got done playing at the Knicks practice facility, we won, I played well for an old man (we had two ringers on our team, thank the lord) and got pix of my son with John Starks and Charles Smith. All I need is a Knicks win tonight to make it a perfect weekend!

    How many times did Charles have to take the picture to make the shot?

    With Lopez, he may have a mismatch with Melo and Treetops. But I think we ought to give him another 20 games. The numbers are down considerably, that is true. To me, it looks like he is trying to do too much. Maybe he will settle down and get back to his form from the last two years.

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