2016 Quick Recap: Knicks 99 Lakers 95

Well, that was a game. It was a game played between two teams on a basketball court. You could call it sloppy. You could call it scrappy. You could call it ugly. All of those things would be correct. It was sort of the event equivalent of Sasha Vujacic.

* The Knicks are establishing themselves as a club without jump shooting of any kind, and that’s really making life difficult in a lot of ways. Part of the problem is that the starting backcourt doesn’t hit shots, but that would be piling on. Jerian Grant is better than both those guys, by a mile, but he can’t shoot either. It’s telling that we saw Lance Thomas thinking seriously about being that guy during the second half. He gets that itchy, desperate look when he has the ball behind the arc sometimes. Calderon fed off Grant’s penetration briefly and got his shot going, but his awful defense made things way too easy for the Lakers on the other end of the floor on most possessions. (Afflalo will relieve some of that pressure soon, which is welcome news.)

* With Melo hot and cold, somehow Langston Galloway is the most reliable shooter on the floor. Oddly, both coaches yanked him just as he was starting to impact the game. In the end, he hit the huge shot that gave the Knicks the lead for good. You have to love his cool and his hustle. He’s special.

* Kobe is really a shell of himself on both ends of the floor, which helped Melo a lot. Most of the cooking Carmelo did today was when Kobe was “defending” him and Byron Scott wisely removed Kobe each time to stop the bleeding. Kobe wanted the ball late in the game, as the Knicks were turning the tides and moving closer to the win and Melo played extraordinary ball denial on him, keeping him out of the picture. Credit where credit is due, Melo really played him well, but real Kobe would have found a way to get open.

* The education of Porzingis continued as he showed flashes, clanked shots, got his hands dirty, fouled some, and generally impacted the game positively while he was on the floor. He tipped a few balls in that late comeback and closeout and grabbed some typically aggressive boards. The Knicks are really much better with him on the floor and he’s going to be a beast when he starts hitting some of those shots he’s floating on.

* If the Knicks had been playing a good team, it may have been over at the half, but they were always the better team and had the better star player. The full recap will be up tomorrow, but let’s put aside the frustration for the night and just feel good about our first home win.

Liked it? Take a second to support mikeplugh on Patreon!

38 thoughts to “2016 Quick Recap: Knicks 99 Lakers 95”

  1. Kp is a double double machine..lol what I’m really excited about was the knocks on him were his rebounding and his hesitancy to draw contact, so far he’s getting 6 ft attempts a game (I believe) and pulling down almost 9 boards a game. His shot will come. The knicks have the most irreplaceable building block in the league, we can sign a rim protecter or a 3d guy, but how many 7ft rim protecting ball hawk sharpshooters are there?

  2. Porzingis’ shot is just a little rushed and/or floaty. If he can slow himself and square up better, he’ll start canning those. His rebounding is really astounding. He crashes the boards. Crash.

  3. The knicks have the most irreplaceable building block in the league

    I’m as high on KP as the next guy, but Anthony Davis he is not. Though, it is very fun to think about Porzingis being on that level in another year or two.

  4. Clearly Calderon’s best game. If he can get his shooting stroke, he’ll be useful and possible trade bait. Once AA gets back, I don’t think that Calderon will see much time in the 4th quarter even if Fisher continues to start him.

    KP still struggling with his shot, but the rebounding and D is very solid. He’s really a joy to watch play other than the dumb rookie fouls.

  5. @kahnzy, clearly I did not say he was on brows level, yet. But kps ceiling is actually higher than brows because of his size, and shot mechanics. Brow will never hit even 35 percent from 3, that should be kps rookie percentage.

  6. @kahnzy, my point is a team with brow or a team with say Drummond or d.j. will receive the same type of conttibution, kp offers a unique skill set that no one player atm replicates

  7. Reading the draft reports on Grant, he’s not a bad shooter (one year he shot 40% from 3) but very inconsistent. That characteristic screams out for a shooting coach. Did we ever replace Hopla? This could be a test for the organization in developing our rookies.

  8. With Davis, Towns, Okafor, KP and a few others, the big men of the NBA’s future are looking pretty amazing. And Durant and a few others aren’t that much older.
    Length is back in.

  9. Reading the draft reports on Grant, he’s not a bad shooter (one year he shot 40% from 3) but very inconsistent. That characteristic screams out for a shooting coach. Did we ever replace Hopla? This could be a test for the organization in developing our rookies.

    The college season’s relatively small amount of games lends itself to some wonky shooting statistics from year-to-year. I don’t think they play enough games for 3 PT shooting to truly stabilize. His career average was 34%, and that’s probably the best figure to use.

  10. It was absolutely Calderon’s best game. And it should be noted that he had the game against D’Angelo Russell. You can tell from the first few offensive sets that the Knicks were looking for Calderon as they set double screens on Russell. Calderon hit on one shot and missed the 3 pointer. 14 points on 50% shooting is what he needs to bring every night. We have to root for him…for now.

    If we are to believe that it will take 2-3 years for him to develop, what will Porzingis be like in 2017? He looked like a better pick than Russell.

    Is Afflalo finally playing in Toronto? He’ll be rusty for a few games.

  11. If Kobe retires at the end of this season, I hope he joins the TNT team. He always speaks his mind and is very insightful. Watching him and Barkley interact would be a hoot. I haven’t watched it this season so don’t know if Shaq is still there but wouldn’t it be so funny if he elbowed Shaq yet again out of an organization? Kobe mentioned Zinger’s skills and competitiveness in his tweet. After the game, he told the kid to keep working hard, that he’s got a bright future. Kobe and MJ had a maniacal focus on improving their games and Kobe appears to already have recognized that trait in PROzingis.

  12. By next game, the bulk of the minutes should be spent on Galloway, Grant (who I think has performed well in almost every category, including shooting, at this moment- TS .541 isn’t bad for a rookie), Melo, KP, and Lopez.

    Calderon is pretty good as a 15 mpg backup. Nothing more. His defense is beyond atrocious and impacts his teammates, and his offense does not come close to making up for it.

    Most importantly, ball movement is a must in today’s NBA. Look at the Spurs, Warriors, Cavs (LeBron at least), Toronto, Clippers… All emphasize extra passing. We started the season well, and Galloway’s been doing his part, but I’ve been seeing more and more hero ball. Here’s hoping that (1) it stops, and (2) our rookies don’t learn this stuff.

  13. I was talking to a friend about the progression of speedball era basketball and how it made sense for LeBron (the one man fast break) to be the best player in the league after D’Antoni and Steve Nash (7SOL) changed the game, and how Steph Curry (3 point fast breaks) as the top dog makes sense considering where the game has gone. I’m wondering what the next phenomenon will be and how the current crop of bigs in the NBA will change it. All of this is to say I feel great about the Porzingis pick going into the future. Everybody loves KAT, but would you believe that Porzingis’ TRB% (18.8) is higher than Towns (17.7)? Their per 36 numbers aren’t too far off and if Porzingis contributes to a team that makes the playoffs, he should have a shot at winning rookie of the year over Towns. We have a bright future with Porzingis, I would think.

  14. Many felt that Russell had fewer ?’s than Porzingis. And one of those question marks, that of KP’s durability is still an open one. But many also felt that Porzingis had the most raw upside in the draft, but that he might take the longest to develop. He’s still pretty raw in lots of ways, but wow, is he proving the doubters wrong thus far!

  15. @massive

    About the only thing KAT has on Porzingis right now is the blocks rate. Probably shooting efficiency. The rest of the stat line is right there for our guy.

  16. Galloway and Calderon should play together more often. Along with Melo, Rolo and KP that’s a lot of shooting acumen.

  17. @reub

    Galloway should just play 35 minutes a game, period. Galloway and Afflalo should start the game and Grant ought to be the first guard off the bench. The one thing we saw today, though, was that Grant’s shot is broken, but his drive and dish game works well with Calderon, when Jose is hitting. They hide each other’s weaknesses on offense a bit. The three guard rotation of Galloway, Afflalo, and Grant would be ideal….with Calderon spelling Afflalo about 12-15 minutes a game.

  18. How can anyone, never mind a rookie, have a broken shot after 7 games, I’m a long time knicks fan, I know how Murphys law afflicted us, but I’d be stunned if grant isn’t a top 10 pg in the nba after 2 to 4 years. Nothing I saw of him playing 4 years in a loaded conference tells me he’s a bad shooter

  19. The only reason I’m hesitant to advocate for Galloway as the starting point guard is he’s not the best playmaker in the world. He can definitely play some spot minutes at the 1 but I think he’s best as an off-guard. I have no idea what Afflalo will look like but if he’s entrenched as the starter I’d want Grant to start next to him with Galloway as the first guard off the bench, Calderon relegated to the 10-15 minutes those 3 don’t pick up, and Vujacic banished.

  20. It’s really amazing to see how much room to grow Porzingis has. Imagine that Porzingis’ TS% in under .500, has a low assist rate and that he has trouble with his stamina. There were times today, I think twice, where Porzingis just stood tall and shot the ball right over Julius Randle just because he’s 6 inches taller than him. He’s at least 2 years from being a complete basketball player, but he’s already contributing to the game. It’s going to be very fun watching him grow with the team. Phil Jackson really made a great pick, now he just needs to put the right pieces around him for the Knicks to get back to being a dominant franchise for a decade.

  21. I think you have to start Grant with Afflalo and bring Calderon off the bench with Galloway if you’re going with the current offense we have. In a pure triangle, you start Galloway and you don’t look back, but we run a hybrid offense that needs a playmaker. Grant’s the right man for the job over Galloway.

  22. @kp6

    I don’t mean permanently broken. It just hasn’t shown up yet, and on top of that it looks horrible. He’s hesitating a lot. I think he’ll see the season even out for him and he’ll start making some shots at some point, but he hasn’t shown any signs that will be soon. I hope it’s soon…

  23. I am guessing that lots of rookies, even 4-year college players, don’t understand how hard it is to shoot vs. NBA-level defenses and defenders, not to mention the extra distance to the 3-pt line. Grant was the best and/or most experienced)player on the floor most nights, now he’s often the worst and/or least experienced. Proper shooting mechanics matter in making the transition. Some guys like Landry Fields can take the league by storm, but eventually bad mechanics lead to slumps and loss of confidence. Some guys adapt and adjust via hard work during the summer, some don’t. Too early to tell with Grant, but if he keeps clanking his shot, defenders are gonna lay back half-step and take away his best asset of dribble penetration. Whether mechanics or something else, he needs to start shooting better before too long.

  24. It seemed like Grant had a sub-par game because he didn’t shoot well. However, he had a staggering 8 dimes in only 18 minutes!! (and, despite an ugly turnover, a healthy 4:1 dimes/to ratio). NBADraft.net quote: Grant is also a strong shooter, both off the dribble, and spotting up. His shooing woes, like Zinger’s, are probably due to rookies having to adapt to and process so much that things at which they’re not so bad at start looking a bit like weaknesses. And the problem is then compounded by their losing some confidence, thinking too much, and being overly tentative. This should improve over time as they both become more acclimated to NBA.

    I think Grant and Galloway is our best back-court against the best teams (even when AAA returns) so should start and finish games. Their minutes could be staggered as shown below to play with others in the middle of the game. IMO The key here is that the sum is greater than the parts when they are together. Grant’s defense benefits significantly by guarding SGs and Galloway’s offense (3FG%) benefits from Grant’s playmaking. This duo maximizes both the offense and defense not only in the back-court but the whole primary lineup.

    A Very Rough Outline
    PG: Grant (30), Galloway (15), Calderon (3)
    SG: Afflalo (25), Galloway (18), Calderon (5)

  25. FWIW, Melo is ranked 7th among 42 frontcourt players getting 30 mpg in adjusted assist rate.

    Also, his usage is below 30 for the first time in his career. Two peripheral stats that will regress Melo’s numbers to a very good place if it contunues throughout the season.

  26. An annoying thing about this season is that while the Knicks look decent enough to challenge for a playoff spot, a bunch of other teams are also looking surprisingly decent, including Detroit and Orlando. That’s annoying. I want to see a playoff game again, please!

  27. Drummond looks like man child. SVG has put together a nice squad. Orlando has had nice young parts for a few years (Kyle Oquinn) so they are bound to be near .500 at some point. Thing is the Knicks could compete with any of these teams. Besides the obvious Melo hitting more shots, the rotation needs to be optimized.

    I think they should start Grant and Aflalo in the back court. Calderon is a nice spot player for the middle of the game. Also keep running the Melo and Porzingis/Lopez PnR. That play has worked exceedingly well all season. This could be run at times when Langston is in at the 1. Also more Derrick Williams in the middle of the game and just have him keep slashing relentlessly. For him to put the other team in the penalty is very nice seeing as the Knicks have so many plus foul shooters.

  28. A cool thing about Zinger is a similar thing to Drummond. Players often make huge strides in their fourth season. Drummond was always good but now he’s reeeally good. So I could foresee Zinger going through something like that in the future, which is really impressive seeing as how he is already good.

  29. By the way, can you think of a shittier coach to develop a young guard than Byron Scott? How is that guy still a coach in the NBA!?

  30. I’m sick of bench guys as starters. Get the 5 best in there, Fisher! That means Grant and Galloway at 30+ minutes. Stop being so damn creative. Maybe we beat the Spurs if that happens.

    Remember when Thabo Sefalosha started for OKC over James Hardin? I mean, that is just ridiculous in retrospect.

    In general, I think accountability is big. I’d like to see the better players win jobs now as opposed to waiting for vets to come around (though seven games is not many). I’d even like to see Melo benched the next time he breaks the offense. Knicks have a pretty good squad. Shots will fall for Grant and KP. They just need rhythm which is hard to get in less than starters minutes. Long term, lots of guys have improved their FG%. Productive minutes for our pedigree puppies despite.

  31. Drummond was always good but now he’s reeeally good.

    And he’s younger than jerian Grant. Which seems crazy. Crazy like a Knicks guard getting more minutes than Galloway

  32. @danvt, everyone wants to be the spurs, and they brought Manu off the bench for years. now everyone wants to be the warriors, and their finals mvp comes of the bench. a rotation isn’t just about who starts. The season is 7 games old and we’re ahead of most projections at the current pace. Fish is right, can’t rise with the sun and fall with the moon. Define a system and rotation and give it a chance. Haven’t even had a completely healthy roster yet.

  33. @36 many was semantically a bench player. He played the most important mins. That is not happening here

  34. @36 many was semantically a bench player. He played the most important mins. That is not happening here

    Galloway pretty much plays all the important minutes down the stretch.

    I don’t have a huge issue with calderon starting. Yes he’s an awful defender and couldn’t take my 3 year old off the dribble but he’s a great shooter (I feel quite sure his #s will turn around — you don’t just forget how to shoot at age 34 when you’ve been one of the great shooters in the NBA for a decade) and takes care of the ball. No need to throw Grant into the fire right off the bat. And Gallo is playing 30+ minutes/game anyway.

    Now – if it’s Thanksgiving and Calderon is still shooting horribly– then fine. But I feel like the 1st unit will get significantly better on both sides of the ball when Afflalo comes back.

Comments are closed.