Knicks Morning News (2016.01.22)

  • [New York Daily News] Unselfish Melo not manufactured storyline, numbers don’t lie (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 03:48:37 GMT)

    There was Melo receiving the ball near the 3-point line, played closely by Trevor Booker down the stretch of Wednesday’s 1-point game.

  • [New York Daily News] Carmelo Anthony gets seventh straight All-Star starting nod (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 00:54:52 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony survived a late push from Pau Gasol in the All-Star voting, securing enough support to start for the seventh straight time.

  • [New York Post] NHL All-Star joke John Scott chooses mayhem over honor (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 00:06:14 -0500)

    Given that it's difficult to return to a place we've never been, the chances for common sense to make a comeback grow dimmer. A Puncher's Chance: He had two ways to go. He could be known for doing the right, common sense thing, or choose a legacy for being the punch line to a bad…

  • [New York Times] Leonard Puts on All-Star Display as Spurs Maintain Streak (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 10:06:30 GMT)

    San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard celebrated his election as an All-Star starter with 21 points and reserve center Boban Marjanovic had his first career double-double in a 117-89 victory over the injury-depleted Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] ABC Begins NBA Saturday Primetime Schedule With Cavs-Bulls (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 08:45:36 GMT)

    The NBA and ABC have big Saturday night plans.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Cruise to 12th Straight Win, 117-89 Win Over Suns (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 07:30:43 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs keep rolling, and part of their winning ways includes overwhelming the NBA’s struggling teams and making good use of their quality depth.

  • [New York Times] Cousins Has 24 Points, 15 Rebounds as Kings Beat Hawks 91-88 (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 06:03:41 GMT)

    DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 15 rebounds to help the Sacramento Kings beat Atlanta 91-88 Thursday night for their fourth straight win and first against the Hawks in nearly eight years.

  • [New York Times] Gasol Scores 27 as Grizzlies Hold Off Nuggets, 102-101. (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 05:54:57 GMT)

    With the game on the line, the Memphis Grizzlies leaned on Marc Gasol.

  • [New York Times] LeBron, Love Lead Cavaliers Past Clippers, 115-102 (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 05:33:41 GMT)

    LeBron James has mostly gotten over the stinging loss to Golden State earlier this week.

  • [New York Times] Davis, Evans Lead Pelicans Past Pistons, 115-99 (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 05:24:40 GMT)

    Sprinting for a loose ball, Anthony Davis found himself attempting to leap the first three rows of seats along the sideline and was flooded with memories of the lower back injury he wound up with the last time he did something like that.

  • [New York Times] Kobe Tops All-Star Game Votes in Final Season (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 05:12:30 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant may be struggling through the final season of his illustrious career but the Los Angeles Lakers great was still the top choice to be a starter at next month’s All-Star Game, the NBA said on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] Kobe Top Vote-Getter; Leonard, Lowry NBA All-Star Starters (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 02:07:04 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant is the leading vote-getter for his final NBA All-Star Game, and Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry made late moves to join him in the starting lineup.

  • [New York Times] Kobe Tops All-Star Game Votes in Final Season (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 01:12:27 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant may be struggling through the final season of his illustrious career but the Los Angeles Lakers great was still the top choice to be a starter at next month’s All-Star Game, the NBA said on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] Hack-a-Shaq Not Pretty and Often Not Effective, Either (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 00:55:13 GMT)

    Imagine Kobe Bryant, late in his final All-Star Game, going basket for basket with LeBron James, fans in Toronto on their feet as the NBA’s best put on a show.

  • [New York Newsday] Carmelo Anthony will start All-Star Game for seventh straight year (Fri, 22 Jan 2016 03:05:20 EST)

    Carmelo Anthony was voted to start in the All-Star Game for the seventh consecutive time and fifth time as a Knick, it was announced Thursday night. But it was a close race.

  • 79 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2016.01.22)”

    Ahh that first article has given me the chance to ask this question that’s been sitting with me for a while.

    There were many, many people on the board who were committed to the fact that Melo wouldn’t change his game. There was a lot of good supporting evidence and the adage “can’t teach an old dog…”, however, I think that with Melo assisting & rebounding more than ever he has actually changed his approach to the game.

    I wanted to see if anyone (especially THCJ) could comment on what they are seeing w.r.t. Melo’s game. This isn’t me calling anyone out to eat crow or anything. I am legitimately interested in seeing how Melo’s game has been interpreted by his staunchest opponents. The first rule of debating is knowing your opponent’s case, and I am wondering what they all think.

    Thanks boys. Go Knicks. (how the hell are we a -1 against LAC?)

    I forgot who it used to be, but DRed has far and away been my favorite poster on this board for a while.

    Melo has good teammates and he’s in a system that has way more passing options when he gets the ball in any location than either MDA’s SSOL or Woodson’s YOLO offense.

    Pretty amazing but this team currently stands 9th in ORtg with Melo below his career averages in TS%, FG% and 3P%. There’s still more room for improvement on that side of the ball. Quite impressive for a system that was better suited for the dark ages of the NBA.

    I just looked at the standings and realized something — the Knicks are just as close to fifth as they are to twelfth place. The next few weeks will determine whether the last 20 games or so are going to be worth watching for anything other than seeing how the young players develop and figuring out who we want on the team next year. This could turn out to be a lot of fun.

    This could turn out to be a lot of fun.

    It’s already been fun! But yes, I totally agree, way too many things have been going their way recently. It’s actually starting to freak me out (in a good way).

    @Hubert

    Actually, the Knicks had a 107.9 offensive rating with Melo on the floor last year, which would have ranked it 4th as a team.

    Yes, incredibly, the Knicks offense was elite with Melo on the court last season.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/anthoca01/on-off/2015/

    @RuRu this is an incredibly misleading apples to oranges comp.

    You’re comparing the Knicks offense only when its best player is in to other offenses no matter who is on the court and saying Melo is elite because the Knicks offense would rank 4th in such an unsound comparison.

    To make this a valid comparison, you would have to calculate the offensive efficiency of the Warriors when Curry was on the floor, the Cavs when LeBron was on the floor, the Thunder when Durant was on the floor, etc. And then see where the Knicks rank with Melo on the floor.

    If you feel like doing that, and the Knicks were still an elite offense, I’ll believe your assertion.

    Ha! The Clippers have traded Josh Smith back to Houston. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Houston, a team seemingly without any chemistry, is the only place where Josh Smith is not a team cancer?

    I wanted to see if anyone (especially THCJ) could comment on what they are seeing w.r.t. Melo’s game. This isn’t me calling anyone out to eat crow or anything. I am legitimately interested in seeing how Melo’s game has been interpreted by his staunchest opponents. The first rule of debating is knowing your opponent’s case, and I am wondering what they all think.

    I would start by looking at his overall efficiency this year, and then asking yourself if he’s really a different player.

    Yes, he has been good this year, but not All-NBA good. If his TS% were 57 instead of 53, you’d hear me humming a different tune. At his usage, every point of TS% makes a huge difference.

    Ha! The Clippers have traded Josh Smith back to Houston. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Houston, a team seemingly without any chemistry, is the only place where Josh Smith is not a team cancer?

    I’m starting to think that Morey’s brain is broken.

    Ah, I was using ESPN’s site. Somehow they calculate ratings slightly differently.

    Not sure how you missed my point.

    The offense played really well with Melo on the floor last season, as you mentioned, in the top third of the league.

    If you looked at it from the perspective of lineups, as in a lineup with player X on the floor, it still doesn’t change anything, it just adds spreads out and gives greater range to the data set.

    Yeah, with Curry on the floor the Warriors not only have the best lineup in the game, but undoubtedly, one of the most efficient offenses ever.

    It’s at the far end of the top percentile. The offense with Melo on the floor was in the ~66th percentile. Without him, it was on the extreme of the other end.

    Alright, I see that comment is being discussed. Just inquired about it on the previous thread….

    I would start by looking at his overall efficiency this year, and then asking yourself if he’s really a different player.

    Yes, he has been good this year, but not All-NBA good. If his TS% were 57 instead of 53, you’d hear me humming a different tune. At his usage, every point of TS% makes a huge difference.

    I think that’s part of the disconnect – we’re not talking about his efficiency – we’re talking about how he’s improving everyone else’s.

    So if we look at an arbitrary “since the Bulls game” timeline — since that’s the turning point of the season according to interviews/beat writers, he has a net on-court rating of of +16.9, an offensive rating of 118, defensive rating of 101, and a personal TS of 55. if you take into account his off-court rating (Knicks are -11.9 with him off the court), that leads to a “total” net rating of +28.8. The team’s eFG with him on the court is a cool 54.8, compared with 47.6 with him off it, in spite of his “inefficiency” and high usage.

    As a point of reference, over the same period of time, Steph Curry’s “total” net rating is +27.7.

    There’s no question in my mind that he has been an elite player since the turn of the year. But that’s only about 10 games — can he keep it up?

    “But that’s only about 10 games”
    Warning — THCJ is about to tell you that you have chosen an arbitrary cutoff date that artificially makes Melo look better than he really is. You should know by now that he is the only one around here who is allowed to cherry pick stats.

    Not sure how you missed my point.

    The offense played really well with Melo on the floor last season, as you mentioned, in the top third of the league.

    I got your point. My point was all offenses play better when their best player is on the floor. Almost any top offensive player will appear to have an elite efficiency when you’re comparing stats of when he’s on the court to stats that include all the data from when teams best players are not playing.

    Memphis with Mike Conley on the floor, for instance, leaps to 108.4 in offensive efficiency, which would push the Knicks with Melo out of the top 3rd. Who knows how much further down he would go if you calculated the ORtg consistently.

    You can’t just alter the variable for Melo and say he’s top third in the league. You have to alter the variable for everyone to get an apples to apples comp. What are the ORtgs for all teams with their best player on the court? Where does Melo’s 107.9 rank? That’s how you prove it’s an elite number.

    Regardless, I really love what Melo is doing this year and don’t feel the need to mount any anti-Melo attack. I just feel you’re overstating it a bit.

    My point was that regardless of system and teammates, offenses HAVE ALWAYS performed at a high level with Melo on the floor, even in years when his individual scoring efficiency was merely slightly above average, and his assist rate barely mediocre for a SF.

    Basically, there have been seasons or large parts of seasons where there was little to suggest Melo was an elite offensive force, and yet his team performed like that when he was on the floor (and often didn’t when he wasn’t).

    What I was suggesting is that he’s always been a much, much better creator of opportunities than he’s been given credit for.

    AS for Melo, this season, so far, in my opinion, is maybe the second season in which he has shown himself to be a max player.
    The season the Knicks won 54 games he was also very good.

    But this season, Melo is becoming the type of all around great player that can make a team win championships. Not that this team will be able to do that, but his play has been balanced and complete.

    Warning — THCJ is about to tell you that you have chosen an arbitrary cutoff date that artificially makes Melo look better than he really is. >

    No, you did it for me.

    I have a question for ruruland:

    I know they play different positions, but I’d like a yes or no answer on this one. Is Steph Curry better than Carmelo Anthony at basketball?

    My point was that regardless of system and teammates, offenses HAVE ALWAYS performed at a high level with Melo on the floor

    If your basis for defining high level is comparing his ORtg when he is on the floor to the comprehensive ORtgs of the rest of the league, your statement is correct. But it would most likely be correct for 50 other NBA players.

    @Hubert

    Basically everybody in the league played with more offensive talent than Melo did last year and the Knicks were still highly efficient when he was on the floor. So sure Hayward and Conley’s on rating is more or less on par with Melo’s, but they also had the benefit of playing with better offensive players than Melo which would boost their on court rating.

    Hayward net offensive rating +5.9
    Conley net offensive rating +5.9
    Melo net offensive rating +12.5

    The fact is when Melo was off the floor there was not one player last year on the Knicks that you could describe as good on offense.

    I have a question for ruruland:

    I know they play different positions, but I’d like a yes or no answer on this one. Is Steph Curry better than Carmelo Anthony at basketball?

    My name is not ruruland but the answer is obviously yes. Steph Curry is the best player in all of basketball. No one is saying Carmelo Anthony is the best player in basketball. We’re just saying that he’s better than you think he is.

    Who’s going to match up with KP for the Clippers?

    Excellent question. Based on last night’s starting Clippers line up, Luc Mbah a Moute (6’8″) will guard him with Wes Johnson (6’7″) backing him up. Paul Peirce (6’7″) is their their other starting forward and my guess is that he will guard Melo. It would make more sense to use Aldrich as a starter, but I would be very surprised if Doc does that. Any way you look at it, it’s a match up nightmare for the Clippers and suggests they need a back up big man. If one of our back up big men does well, say Seraphin, Doc might want to trade for him, given his history of trading for people who play well against the Clippers. Unfortunately the Clippers have few draft choices worth trading for. So we’d have to trade for youth. Previously I suggested Seraphin to the Clippers for Johnson and Wilcox. I think that would be a good trade for the Knicks and help the Clippers match up against big teams in the near term, which they probably want to do.

    My name is not ruruland but the answer is obviously yes. Steph Curry is the best player in all of basketball. No one is saying Carmelo Anthony is the best player in basketball. We’re just saying that he’s better than you think he is.

    I know that’s your opinion, but you don’t talk about Carmelo the way Mr. Ru does.

    “No, you did it for me.”
    Glad I could be of assistance.
    “If his TS% were 57 instead of 53, you’d hear me humming a different tune.”
    There was a debate a week or so ago over the difference between Melo’s and Paul George’s TS% and you took the position that a .025 difference was huge. I think that you would agree that a turnover is worse than a missed shot because, at least with a missed shot, there is a small chance that it could become a “Kobe assist” while a turnover often leads to a fastbreak the other way. Paul George averages 1.4 more turnovers per 36 than Melo. If you count each of those turnovers as a missed shot, his TS% drops to .008 lower than Melo’s for the year. So, who is more “efficient” this year offensively, Melo or George? For what it’s worth, here are some other guys who average more turnovers than Melo — Curry, Harden, Durant, LeBron and Westbrook. Should turnovers count against their “efficiency?”

    I think that’s part of the disconnect – we’re not talking about his efficiency – we’re talking about how he’s improving everyone else’s.

    RuRu’s thing has always been that Melo’s mere presence on the court makes everyone around him more efficient, even if Melo is having a 7-28 game against Philadelphia.

    I think Melo is having a great season, and when he plays like he did in the 4Q of Utah (zipping cross court passes to open teammates, taking quality shots, and scoring with high efficiency) that is some elite offense and yes, he is actively improving the efficiency of his teammates.

    What I don’t agree with is this assertion that he made:

    With Melo on the court, regardless of his individual efficiency, the offense operates at an elite level.

    This is the same argument from years ago. Now we’re talking about Kobe assists and court gravity and all this stuff that may or may not be real. I don’t want to hear this nonsense again. And that supporting evidence was just noise.

    When Melo plays well, the offense is operating at a very high level. We are all seeing it, enjoying it, and happy for it.

    Just don’t tell he can shoot 7-28 and the offense is still elite because his greatness is making life easier for everyone else, and that it’s always been that way throughout his career.

    “No, you did it for me.”
    Glad I could be of assistance.
    “If his TS% were 57 instead of 53, you’d hear me humming a different tune.”
    There was a debate a week or so ago over the difference between Melo’s and Paul George’s TS% and you took the position that a .025 difference was huge. I think that you would agree that a turnover is worse than a missed shot because, at least with a missed shot, there is a small chance that it could become a “Kobe assist” while a turnover often leads to a fastbreak the other way. Paul George averages 1.4 more turnovers per 36 than Melo. If you count each of those turnovers as a missed shot, his TS% drops to .008 lower than Melo’s for the year. So, who is more “efficient” this year offensively, Melo or George? For what it’s worth, here are some other guys who average more turnovers than Melo — Curry, Harden, Durant, LeBron and Westbrook. Should turnovers count against their “efficiency?”

    1) Why are we comparing Melo to George? They’re similarly overrated.
    2) Turnovers do count against players’ value. They’re even worse than a missed shot. Curry sometimes plays like he’s stoned, and it is the reason that he’s not blowing away the all-time WP48 record, and merely challenging it. His shooting efficiency and volume makes him the most valuable offensive player in the league, but those turnovers are bad, bad, bad.

    If the Warriors lose in the playoffs, I would suspect that a high-turnover game (or a Mo Speights-plays-twenty-minutes game) would be the culprit.

    Sounds like Kerr is back tonight and NBA Twitter is all about applause for Luke Walton now, which is totally deserved.

    I wonder why Phil didn’t ask Luke to be coach after Kerr turned him down? Luke actually had some real coaching experience too.

    Curry’s tov% this year is 13.3, good for 126th worst in the league. His per36 average is well behind that of Harden, Westbrook, Wall, and Rondo, and also better than George, Bledsoe, and Cousins. His turnovers have actually gone down as his usage has gone up (his tov% has pretty much gone down every year that he’s been in the league).

    Re: Melo’s efficiency

    Didn’t Herring tweet something about how his career #s show he starts slow and improves as the season goes on. It seems like he is on the same track. If it wasn’t for his ankle he might of went supanova for January.

    If you want to reduce your tov% all you need to do is shoot more frequently, which is what Steph has been doing.

    I just picked Gordon Heyward at random. Utah’s offense with him on the court that season was 107.3, which is good for just outside the top 3rd at 11.

    Stop it. This only shows that Gordon Heyward is one the of the top players in the NBA.

    What I like the most about Heyward is his lunch bucket attitude. None of that flashy stuff to his game. Reminds me a lot of George Mikan.

    “Why are we comparing Melo to George? They’re similarly overrated”
    Because that was the discussion last week in which you (I think) made a big deal of the difference in their TS%. I was merely saying that TS% can’t be looked at in a vacuum and that it is not the only stat that factors into whether a player is “efficient.” Based on your statement that Curry’s turnovers are “bad, bad, bad,” it sounds like you agree with me that, when a guy doesn’t turn the ball over much, it improves his efficiency and, when he does turn it over a lot, it detracts from his efficiency. The debates here are more fun when you take ridiculous positions and disagree with the obvious.

    I am not going to pile on here because Melo just played one of the best quarters I have ever seen from him in a Knicks uniform. As we all know the haters aren’t allowed to come out if he’s had a great performance. That’s Ruru’s time to shine.

    But certainly, if his ts% were 58% or if he were logging a ws/48 over .200 year after year, like all the truly elite guys in the league, we wouldn’t ever need to have these conversations.

    What I like the most about Heyward is his lunch bucket attitude. None of that flashy stuff to his game. Reminds me a lot of George Mikan.

    Yeah, unlike most NBA players, that guy had to work really, really hard to become the player he is today. Not a gifted athlete.

    Just don’t tell he can shoot 7-28 and the offense is still elite because his greatness is making life easier for everyone else, and that it’s always been that way throughout his career.

    This isn’t what he’s saying. What he’s saying is that even in a down individual efficiency year from Melo like last year and this the offense consistently operates at a much higher level with him on the floor despite his relative inefficiency and higher usage.

    I doubt anybody would argue 7/28 from the field is a good night or has a positive impact. That 3 was nice though.

    But certainly, if his ts% were 58% or if he were logging a wz/48 over .200, like all the truly elite guys in the league we wouldn’t ever need to have these conversations.

    We might be able to not have these conversations if certain people didn’t feel the need to talk about Melo like he’s an awful player because of his contract or feed in to bullshit about how Melo hates KP and that he’s a selfish scumbag piece of shit despite plenty of evidence none of that is true.

    What he’s saying is that even in a down individual efficiency year from Melo like last year and this the offense consistently operates at a much higher level with him on the floor despite his relative inefficiency and higher usage.

    If you look at the lineups from last year, you’ll find a couple things. One, we had a ridiculous number of lineups. Melo’s most common lineup was an offensive juggernaut, but the next two were mediocre and a flaming trainwreck, respectively. What does that say? The sample sizes were too small?

    offense consistently operates at a much higher level with him on the floor despite his relative inefficiency and higher usage

    What does that say about Melo relative to other good offensive players in the NBA? I don’t know.

    7-28 was an extreme example.

    The point is I don’t think the offense is that elite when he isn’t playing efficiently. And those numbers he posted were misleading.

    I do love the way he is playing this season, and am happy to celebrate his performance. Not sure why we need to embellish anything.

    Wow.
    Blatt got a pretty raw deal. No one has figured out GS – he’s in good company there. He gets dumped despite the fact that Cleveland is something like 44-7 with LBJ/Love/Kyrie all healthy.

    If you want to reduce your tov% all you need to do is shoot more frequently, which is what Steph has been doing.

    Hasn’t exactly worked that way for Harden. (Or Westbrook)

    Yeesh. Cavs just fired David Blatt. While in first place in the Eastern Conference.

    Seriously, wtf. Not only are they in 1st place, but they’ve only lost two games in the past month: 1 to San Antonio and 1 to Golden State– two historically good teams.

    Weird that they are coming off a good win to one of the better teams in the league, too. (But if they are firing him for the hack-a-D’Andre strategy he had the poor taste to employ, then I am all for it because I freaking that lame-ass tactic whether it works or not).

    I think it’s pretty obvious that Blatt wasn’t really fired because of the results. One it seems like just about all the players disliked him and that was pretty obvious every time you watch a Cavs game. Two, they’re winning games but I don’t think they’re really playing a style that management is thrilled about. Three, if you believe some sources out there seems like he basically demanded that Love be traded. It’s pretty obvious that he wasn’t really understanding his place in the pecking order in the organization or getting along with those above him. Not too surprising to see him gone in that situation even if the results were in line with what you’d expect given the talent.

    Yeesh. Cavs just fired David Blatt. While in first place in the Eastern Conference.

    That’s low class.

    Huh. Has this been rumored to be in he offing?

    No, but it was pretty clear things weren’t ideal there. I actually like Tyronn Lue a lot as a coaching candidate (he reminds me a lot like Derek Fisher, who I also thought was a strong coaching candidate), but I was thinking about him taking over a new program – what’s he going to do with this? Is he going to change the offense? I mean, seriously?

    Blatt is the first coach in the history of NBA conference play to be fired while his team was first in the conference.

    Amazing to think that the worst thing that ever happened to the guy was having the best player in the world join his team. Blatt teaching the Princeton offense to Wiggins & Kyrie? Fun. Blatt having to massage egos of LeBron and Love? Less so.

    No, but it was pretty clear things weren’t ideal there.

    It’s a strange situation because everyone sort of knew that he was at least on somewhat thin ice and had been basically since they started slowly last year. It was pretty obvious that despite their success he wasn’t 100% locked in there. But there also wasn’t any reason to think this was coming immediately. I think it always seemed quite likely that he’d be fired if they didn’t win the title this year, but given that this year was basically going exactly how you would have expected it’s surprising for them to make the move before then.

    It’s a strange situation because everyone sort of knew that he was at least on somewhat thin ice and had been basically since they started slowly last year. It was pretty obvious that despite their success he wasn’t 100% locked in there. But there also wasn’t any reason to think this was coming immediately. I think it always seemed quite likely that he’d be fired if they didn’t win the title this year, but given that this year was basically going exactly how you would have expected it’s surprising for them to make the move before then.

    I mean, I guess I kind of sort of kind of sort of figure their theory is that they are probably going to lose in the Finals if they get there, so they made the move now. It’s also possible that Blatt made a D’Antoni-esque “Either he goes or I go” move with Love.

    But yeah, in general, it is absolutely absurd.

    I don’t follow them close enough, but if they’re confident they can’t win a title with him, I see no reason they should let their standing in the conference stop them from firing him. That team would be first in the East right now if it didn’t even have a coach. There’s nothing wrong with the logic, IMO. They’re running out of shots at this. Why take maybe your best shot with a coach you think is the wrong guy?

    Right, that’s the only theory I could sort of kind of sort of kind of get, but I don’t really get how they can possibly be that confident that they won’t win. Who knows if it will even be Golden State or San Antonio in the Finals!

    Amazing to think that the worst thing that ever happened to the guy was having the best player in the world join his team. Blatt teaching the Princeton offense to Wiggins & Kyrie? Fun. Blatt having to massage egos of LeBron and Love? Less so.

    While this sounds good on the surface the reality is that all NBA players have egos, and getting along with them is the #1 requirement for being an NBA head coach. Maybe Blatt would have been more successful with the young players than he was with the vets, and I do think the biggest successes of his tenure would have to be the significant steps forward taken by Delly and Thompson (basically the only two young guys left) so maybe there’s some truth to that. But if you can’t get along with NBA stars you’re never going to really get anywhere as an NBA coach.

    I don’t follow them close enough, but if they’re confident they can’t win a title with him, I see no reason they should let their standing in the conference stop them from firing him. That team would be first in the East right now if it didn’t even have a coach.

    100% agree. We went through the same thing at the start of Woodson’s last year where it was obvious he was a trainwreck as a coach, but a lot of people were still saying “You can’t fire a guy who won 54 games last year” as though there’s some hard and fast rule about these things. To me it doesn’t make sense to keep a guy who you know is the wrong guy just because he hasn’t given you a good excuse to get rid of him yet.

    But if you can’t get along with NBA stars you’re never going to really get anywhere as an NBA coach.

    Sure. But he was also a rookie NBA head coach who had spent years and years coaching overseas. There was going to be a learning curve, and one that would have been a lot easier to deal with if he was coaching kids on a team with minimal expectations. Once LeBron arrived, followed by Love, there was no longer time for on the job training.

    LeBron has been trying to get him fired since day 1, right? Just seems weird they didn’t do it in the off season. It’s not bad coaching making Kyrie kinda suck this season

    I never liked the Blatt signing. Never thought of him as an NBA guy, especially for a win-now LeBron-is-really-the-coach team. The Cavs need either a nobody (like what’s-his-name who coaches the Heat) or a big-time NBA Jackson/Reilly/Pop-type…or an ex-scrub-PG-preacher who can eventiually be ignored and fired if/when they lose again to the Warriors…hence, Tyronn Lue.

    I knew George Mikan. I was friends with George Mikan. Gordon Heyward is no George Mikan.

    What, was he the one behind those Kevin Love for Dwight Howard rumors earlier this week?

    Sure. But he was also a rookie NBA head coach who had spent years and years coaching overseas. There was going to be a learning curve, and one that would have been a lot easier to deal with if he was coaching kids on a team with minimal expectations. Once LeBron arrived, followed by Love, there was no longer time for on the job training.

    I don’t disagree that he was put in a very tough situation. I just think it’s a little simplistic to say this is about Lebron’s ego. If you read or listen to what reporters are saying there wasn’t a guy in that locker room who liked him. Look at Jason Llloyd’s timeline for example. That sort of adversarial relationship can work in college, and maybe it can work overseas but I really believe the NBA is a players league and if your players don’t like or respect you it’s just never going to work.

    Maybe the whole team was taking their lead from Lebron and Love, but from what I’ve seen (and I watch them a lot, more than any other non-Knicks team) I just don’t think he has the temperament for it. He’s the kind of guy who will be much better off as somebody’s lead assistant than as a head guy.

    I hope Van Gundy is doing one of the games tonight because he is going to go snakeshit over Blatt’s firing.

    It should be fun watching his head asplode:

    cue Scanners gif 🙂

    I don’t disagree that he was put in a very tough situation. I just think it’s a little simplistic to say this is about Lebron’s ego. If you read or listen to what reporters are saying there wasn’t a guy in that locker room who liked him. Look at Jason Llloyd’s timeline for example. That sort of adversarial relationship can work in college, and maybe it can work overseas but I really believe the NBA is a players league and if your players don’t like or respect you it’s just never going to work.

    Maybe the whole team was taking their lead from Lebron and Love, but from what I’ve seen (and I watch them a lot, more than any other non-Knicks team) I just don’t think he has the temperament for it. He’s the kind of guy who will be much better off as somebody’s lead assistant than as a head guy.

    The main job of an NBA coach is to get his players, especially the stars, to buy in to what he’s selling. if you do that then they’ll play hard for you, execute what you ask them to and go to bat for you. If not, you’ll get Lebron basically telling the press they aren’t running anything Blatt is telling them to and that he’s more or less calling the shots in timeouts. There are a lot of great basketball minds, but the ones that succeed as coaches are the ones that can develop actual relationships with their players.

    Blatt was signed well before they got LeBron, probably to be in sort of a Brad Stevens role.

    Also, Windhorst reports that LeBron wasn’t consulted on the decision. Uh huh…

    ZMan — you are really dating yourself with that joke (clever using such an old reference when talking about Mikan though). I bet at least half of the people on this site have no clue what you’re referring to.

    Yeah, johnno, one thing I don’t have to worry about is dying young.

    Anyway, enough of this Cavs-Blatt bs, KNICKS GAME, Y’ALL!!

    Gotta get this one tonight, Clips on a b2b, we’re all heathy except for Crazy Lance, let’s get in on!

    +.500 or Bust!

    I believe JVG is doing the Cavs-Bulls game on ABC tomorrow night. That should be fun to listen to.

    Man, a win tonight would awesome. I’m pretty terrified of what Paul and Redick will do to Jose and Afflalo, but I’m confident we won’t have major problems scoring. Should be a shootout.

    Derrick Williams needs to go hard on the 2nd unit tonight. I do not see a defender that can guard him on the Clips

    ZMan — you are really dating yourself with that joke (clever using such an old reference when talking about Mikan though). I bet at least half of the people on this site have no clue what you’re referring to.

    Any real hoops fan knows George Mikan. If he had made a Bevo Francis reference, then it would be impressive. 🙂

    Uh, I was referring to the Lloyd Benson/Dan Quayle reference.

    It is so weird when you consider that that reference is now over 27 years old!!

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