Knicks Morning News (2016.12.10)

  • [NYPost] Carmelo Anthony answers critic Jackson with monster game
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 8:45:49 PM)

    SACRAMENTO , Calif. — Carmelo Anthony went from a star on Instagram to a star in Sacramento. But he needed a late hand from Joakim Noah and his suddenly soft free-throw stroke. Anthony made two controversial Instagram posts aimed at Knicks president Phil Jackson, then posted 23 of his 33 points in the first half…

  • [NYPost] Derrick Rose sits again but expects to play vs. Lakers
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 11:17:09 AM)

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Derrick Rose missed a game for the second time as a Knick on Friday against the Kings, but said he expects to face the Lakers on Sunday at Staples Center. “The back is good — no pain, just stiffness,’’ Rose said at Golden 1 Center, the Kings’ new downtown arena. “I’ll try…

  • [NYPost] Carmelo Anthony baffled and hurt that Phil Jackson picked a fight
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 10:08:57 AM)

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Carmelo Anthony said Friday he was hurt by the timing of Phil Jackson’s criticism during the Knicks’ winning stretch and confirmed his recent Instagram posts were in response to the team president. Anthony also said he wishes Jackson would come to him first with his critiques. “I think I said my part…

  • [NY Newsday] Three Knicks have moms with serious hoop skills
    (Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:26:29 AM)

    Willy Hernangomez used to spend hours a day with his mother on the basketball court. That all ended four years ago when things got a little rough in the low post during a two-on-two family game that also involved his father and brother.

  • [NY Newsday] Carmelo Anthony scores 33 points as Knicks hold off Kings
    (Saturday, December 10, 2016 2:41:36 AM)

    Carmelo Anthony missed some big shots down the stretch and, with a chance to put the game away, missed two free throws with 2.6 seconds to go. But the Knicks still were able to pull out a 103-100 win over the Kings at Golden 1 Center in the opener of a five-game Western swing.

  • [NY Newsday] Carmelo Anthony surprised by Phil Jackson’s comments
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 11:39:26 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony said he was “caught off guard” by Phil Jackson’s critical comments about him and that the Knicks don’t need any “negativity” right now.

  • [NY Newsday] Derrick Rose misses second straight game because of back stiffness
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 10:54:45 PM)


  • [ESPN] Rose misses 2nd straight game with back issues
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 9:54:16 PM)

    Rose misses 2nd straight game with back issues

  • [ESPN] Melo: Prefer to hear Phil’s criticism in private
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 3:47:38 PM)

    Melo: Prefer to hear Phil’s criticism in private

  • [ESPN] Friday’s Knicks News: Phil Jackson needs to start acting like the boss
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 6:04:23 AM)

    Friday’s Knicks News: Phil Jackson needs to start acting like the boss

  • [NYDN] Carmelo Anthony scores 33 as Knicks edge Kings, 103-100
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 8:51:02 PM)

    Down the stretch with Carmelo Anthony unable to carry the offense, the Knicks benefitted from a blown layup from DeMarcus Cousins

  • [NYDN] Carmelo Anthony: Knicks don’t need negativity from Phil Jackson
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 8:35:08 PM)

    If there was any doubt, Carmelo Anthony acknowledged Friday that his Instagram posts were about Phil Jackson.

  • [NYDN] No Derrick Rose vs. Kings, but Knicks get good news on his back
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 10:26:08 AM)

    Derrick Rose is expected to miss Friday’s game against the Kings because of a back injury, according to Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek.

  • [NYTimes] Knicks 103, Kings 100: To Carmelo Anthony, Phil Jackson’s Comments Are a ‘Temporary Black Cloud’
    (Saturday, December 10, 2016 6:26:18 AM)

    The Knicks star dismissed the team president’s remark that Anthony sometimes holds the ball too long.

  • [SNY Knicks] Anthony scores 33 as Knicks hold off Kings, 103-100
    (Saturday, December 10, 2016 1:20:05 AM)

    Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points, including two free throws with 14.8 seconds remaining, and the New York Knicks held on to beat the Sacramento Kings 103-100 Friday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] Rose to miss second consecutive game with back injury
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 9:29:00 PM)

    Knicks guard Derrick Rose will not play Friday night, missing his second straight game because of lingering back spasms.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s Game: Knicks at Kings
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 7:34:48 PM)

    The Knicks head to California to take on the Kings at 10:30 p.m. ET. on Friday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] Melo says recent Instagram posts were indeed about Phil Jackson
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 3:30:14 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony told reporters Friday that his two Instagram posts on Thursday were indeed a reaction to recent comments made about him by Knicks president Phil Jackson..

  • [SNY Knicks] Jennings calls Knicks’ blowout loss to Cavs ’embarrassing’
    (Friday, December 09, 2016 8:49:08 AM)

    New York Knicks guard Brandon Jennings ripped the team’s effort in Wednesday’s blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, calling the loss “embarrassing.”

  • 99 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2016.12.10)”

    We should overtake Boston in the standings by the time our west coast trip is over. Boston plays OKC, San Antonio, and Charlotte over their next three.

    Russ goes 8-25 and has 8 turnovers in a 3 point loss at home to Houston but everyone is praising him for his 7th triple double in a row. He is quickly becoming the most overrated player in the league. KD looks better and better every day for his decision to leave Russell Westbrook.

    I’m just glad that the spam filter seems to be working again. 🙂 Me personally approving every comment was not a good system. 🙂

    Rama’s comment at the beginning of the thread last night was great. I haven’t had the time to make my un-witty game thread comments this year but all of your comments are read and appreciated except Jowles of course. Nobody can appreciate Jowles. <3

    Good win last night w/o Rose.

    So, is the media narrative that Phil insulted Melo but that Melo then went out and was less selfish b/c of it?

    Noah looked much better. Lee looked good. O’Quinn is playing nice ball. Melo started out great and by the end was forcing and missing and couldn’t make 2 free throws with the game on the line. Porzingis has been awful on offense except for his dunks. What we saw with Jennings I believe is that he may be better off as a 2nd PG, where he can come in against 2nd units and create a spark. As a starter last night he made some atrocious turnovers that looked liked passes to our opponents and couldn’t sustain the energy that we see when Rose is starting and Jennings is relieving him. Oh, and Lance has been a help in the last 2 games (since his shot started falling again).

    rama rocks!

    Watched the 4th quarter, yeah, the Kings are awful. But any road win is a good win!

    The league is sorting itself out into five levels of teams:

    Level 1: The top 2 (Cavs and GS, is there really any doubt that they will be in the finals again?)

    Level 2: The pretend contenders, will pile up regular season wins but disappoint in the playoffs:
    SA, Clips,Raps

    Level 3: The good but not special, will beat most teams below them all things being equal, can beat anyone on any given night:
    Rockets, Griz, OKC, Jazz, Hornets, Celts

    Level 4: The playoff bottom-dwellers, likely to be .500 +/- 5 games, if they make the playoffs, pile up wins vs level 5 teams, guaranteed first round exits, maybe one or two bump up to Level 3 if they gel (Bucks?):
    Knicks, Bulls, Bucks, Pistons, Blazers, Hawks, Pacers, Magic

    Level 5: The lottery locks:
    Lakers, Kings, Nuggets, Suns, T-Wolves, Mavs, Pelicans, Wizards, Heat, Nets, Sixers

    Watched the 4th quarter, yeah, the Kings are awful. But any road win is a good win!

    Especially playing with Vujacic as their back-up point guard! So yeah, it was still a good win despite how shitty the Kings are. I’ll take whatever wins they can get on the road playing with Sasha as their backup point guard.

    Uh Melo played a great game till those two misses. Had sooo many deflections all night. KP will get his groove back. The Lakers are a great team for that. Jennings definitely showed why he’s our backup. He was wilding out there. Hurry back Derrick!!!

    The center triumvirate is probably the best in the league.

    I think the east is sorting itself out a bit. I feel pretty comfortable about 5 playoff teams and I think 4 other teams will be fighting it out for the last 3 spots.

    Five clear playoff teams= CLE, TOR, BOS, CHA, DET
    Four others = NYK, MIL, ATL, CHI

    I actually have no faith in Chicago, and I think the Pacers are totally overrated. I’m really impressed with what Kidd has been able to do with that team minus Middleton. Giannis is just a monster. If/when Middleton comes back they will be a tough first round opponent for someone.

    Given I am a total nonbeliever in both Chicago and Indiana, I think we have a really solid shot at the playoffs barring an injury to either Melo or KP.

    Yeah, Sasha is not a good third PG for us. When they took him out in the second half you could see that he knew it too.

    I didn’t see the game last night but I still think KP is taking too many runners and off the dribble shots. He should at least for now stop attacking closeouts and let it fly from 3. Also, bring back the Dirk one foot step back. Just doing those two things will prob get him back on schedule.

    By the way for all the bellyaching about Lance Thomas he’s now shooting 47.6% from 3.

    Oh, and there’s no way we win the game without the yeoman work of one Rudy Gay. He sucks.

    Our team is so much better with Rose than without him. The turnovers from our point guards was through the roof last night and we almost blew it down the stretch where Rose shines the best.


    Yeah, Lance is fine. Guy had plantar fasciitis in both feet and a sprained ankle. Let’s give him a chance.

    A very ugly win against the Kings. Wow, Cousins+Barnes+Lawson one team? And the Kings really didn’t want to win this game. Hornacek said “…and Thomas fouled Cousins on that last shot.”

    I love having Jennings on the floor, but he showed his weakness last night with the turn-overs. He’s much less in control than Rose. He also doesn’t play any defense at times. He won’t guard his man but he’ll make the occasional steal and create havoc defensively. It was tough to determine what the Knicks were without Rose against the Cavs because Lebron’s team is just cooking, but last night proved how much we need Rose. Our third string is Sasha. The Knicks lose so much when there’s no penetrating point guard on the floor. It’s great having Jennings dominate most of the other backup point guards in the league but it sucks when that second unit has Sasha. It’s just not the same unit.

    Our bigs had a big job trying to stop. Willy didn’t see action. The trio of Noah-KP-O’Quinn was all that Jeff wanted on the floor. What’s up with KP? He needs to find consistency. I think that’s the next thing for him. Cousins also shows why he can’t, at this point in his career, be the thumper we need at center. Noah’s athleticism and all around tenaciousness is what we need today, but I predict Willy being that guy in two years. Right now KP is a stretch 4 and occasional center.

    What can we say about Anthony? He is showing up and having an amazing season and last night he was better than usual. The ball didn’t stick much. No matter how what Phil said landed everywhere else, it was evident how it landed in Melo’s play last night. The ball didn’t stick. By that I don’t mean there wasn’t a lot of iso-Melo, there was, but it was good iso-Melo. So few players can dominate like he can in 1-on-1 basketball. It all came in the flow of the game.

    This next game should be a fun, Sunday night circus.

    Oh, and there’s no way we win the game without the yeoman work of one Rudy Gay. He sucks.

    The one thing I’ll give Gay is that at least the rest of the NBA world understands that he sucks now. Unlike the very Gay-like Andrew Wiggins.

    Both Rose & Jennings are badly flawed. Jennings did fine last night-neither he or Rose play defense and they both are a bit turnover prone, so he did what you can hope for from a PG this season-ran the offense pretty well and hit half his shots. If Rose played you’d get another bucket or two and lose a couple assists and a TO.

    Kudos to Noah for making those 2 clutch FTs. I don’t know how or why his FT shooting ability disappeared, but it makes me wonder if he has some sort of permanent physical handicap that’s hindering him. He was a decent FT shooter for his career until last season and now he seems to be a total fucking trainwreck from the line. It’s pretty weird.

    Haha, Brian! Yeah, I haven’t seen much of Gay but man is he bad.

    If Lance is healthy and making shots do we really need NDour? It seems like he hasn’t shown anything and we could sure use a 3rd PG. Is it true that his contract is for 2 years but only the first is guaranteed? I wouldn’t mind seeing him go and signing Randle or someone else.

    There’s a reason one of the first things Ujiri did when he got to Toronto was trade Gay.

    There’s a reason one of the first things Ujiri did when he got to Toronto was trade Gay.

    Anytime we think a contract is untradable we have to remember the Sacramento Kings exist

    He’s super talented, so, I mean, I guess? He’s definitely a very good player, but ugh, he’s such a mess as a player, as well. He’s amassed so many bad habits over the years. But he’s probably still worth it for a team as he really is quite good (not, like, All-NBA good, but up there). The crazy thing about last night is that it wasn’t even like the Kings were running bad plays. Dave Joerger is a good coach. They were running good plays. Their players just either suck or just make awful decisions out there. I mean, someone else noted it last night, but it’s true, the Kings ran much better (much better) plays at the end of the game than the Knicks, but their guys just couldn’t do shit with them.

    Ben McLemore shouldn’t even still be in the NBA and he’s a key contributor to their team!

    Their players just either suck or just make awful decisions out there.

    And we still almost lost. At some point we’re going to start losing some of these close games, but the cool thing is the ones that we’ve won still count. I imagine we have a pretty solid chance of making the playoffs now if we have decent health luck.

    Yeah, the hope really is that the Knicks have one of those seasons where they end up dramatically outperforming their pythag, as yes, logically, they can’t rely on always winning these ugly games against shitty teams. Three of their last five wins were ugly wins against shitty teams where it was basically a coin toss near the end as to who would win the game (the other two wins were clear victories over two shitty teams). So far they’ve been winning every coin toss. That probably doesn’t continue, but hey, it might!

    Let’s hope that they improve so it doesn’t come to that, but hey, if it keeps happening, I guess we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth and just accept the good fortune. Just like how we should be glad that they’re playing so many shitty teams in this stretch of games (if you were going to lose Derrick Rose, these were two good games for him to miss – one where they probably don’t win even with him and one where they played a bad team).

    It seems that as soon as we get a lead we try to slow down the game and run out the clock. We end up dribbling on the perimeter until there’s 8 seconds left on the shot clock and then just force up a shot. I know this isn’t what horny wants because he commented on it in the postgame interview. And, yes, I did stay up for the post game interviews too.

    One thing that I really like is that we have so many varying options to win a game and to compete. It can be our starters or any of Holiday, O’Quinn, Lance, Jennings, Kuz or Willy. That’s 11 players who can effect the game depending on who Horny decides to go with.

    One huge thing for the Knicks is something Frank alluded to earlier, which is that holy shit are a lot of teams disappointing this season. That’s huge for the Knicks, as it opens up not just a playoff spot, but a chance to get up to a playoff spot in the middle of the pack rather than an automatic exit in the first round against the Cavaliers. The Raptors are an impressive team, but wow, they are a weak ass #2 seed. And who would even be the #3 seed? The Celtics? The Hornets?

    I said it the other day, but this really does remind me of those mid-to-late 1990s Eastern Conferences where the #6 seed beating the #3 seed would really not surprise you, since there wasn’t a huge different between #3 and #8.

    This has been a real benefit to the Knicks, which I’m thrilled that they’ve taken advantage of so far.

    In 1996 and then in 1999, 2000 and 2001, the #6 seed beat the #3 seed. And in 1999, of course, the #8 seed made the NBA Finals. 😉

    I didn’t see the game last night but I still think KP is taking too many runners and off the dribble shots. He should at least for now stop attacking closeouts and let it

    I agree 100%. Same for LANCE Thomas. If I was the coach I would punch them in the chest every time they did that. It’s just sooooooo annoying seeing them pass up open looks to throw up some bs. For all Melo’s warts this is actually something that he’s great at. ( The quick catch and shoot from three with a little daylight)

    For the last two years the Knicks have been losing close games or were the team 15-20 pts down fighting back to get the game back to single digits only to run out of gas. So far this Knick team has been the ones with the lead fending off the other teams who try to make the come back. Hopefully, they get where they keep the lead they have and enjoy easy wins but really only the elite teams do that. Almost all the other ones let teams back into games.

    So this got pretty much lost during spamfilterghazi yesterday, but who would you say the knicks best player has been so far this season?

    This was the only answer I got, from ruru:

    I think on a per minute basis, and relative to roll, KOQ has been far and away the Knicks player playing the best. That’s not the same as best player.

    I mean, sure, relative to role, KOQ is it, but overall, it’s still KP, even though he’s in quite the recent funk.

    I still think it’s Melo. Without him, we’re probably a bottom-5 team right now. Any other guy on the roster is at least somewhat replaceable.

    We has Melo, KP and O’Quinn last year and we stunk. DRose is the difference. Jennings too. Plus Horny.

    Melo was the reason we won 32 games and not 22.
    KP was a rookie.
    Oaq was lousy and benched.
    Rose has made a difference, but he is replacing dogshit. He’s still probably a bottom 5 starting PG, statistically speaking. We didn’t have Lee last year either, maybe he’s the difference. Or even Noah.

    Horny is a huge difference, but we’re talking players.

    I would say Melo as well. He has carried the team in a few games this year (including almost leading a win in TO)plus hit a few game winning shots. It was KP before this stretch.

    Melo has been fine this year, but I think KP has still had the better year. Melo has probably been more consistent, though.

    But yeah, such a huge part of this team is that they are allowing the coach to actually fit the system to the strength of the players. It still galls me looking at how many wins this team probably lost due to the players just not fitting the system last year.

    Letting Hornacek do his thing has been such an upgrade.

    By the way, we talk about how the New York media is a detriment, but the fan outrage over the notion of Rambis getting the job worked in that regard (Jackson’s mouthpiece, Rosen, even said that it was the constant bitching about Rambis being the next coach that led to Jackson moving on from the guy he wanted to coach the team – Rambis).

    Melo was the reason we won 32 games and not 22.
    KP was a rookie.

    If we won 32 games because of Melo last year (ignoring KP and Lopez), then why are we on pace to win 48 or more this year? Is he taking vitamins?

    Yes, Horny has made a difference but to ignore Rose’s influence is foolish.

    “Yes, Horny has made a difference but to ignore Rose’s influence is foolish.”

    Well reub, I think if we took a poll, you would be anointed the KB village idiot by a landslide, but whatever.

    Melo’s shooting percentage is down to 43.5%, near his career lows. His rebounds are down. His assists are down. His free throws are down too. He has played very well at times and very terribly at other times.

    “Melo has been fine this year, but I think KP has still had the better year. Melo has probably been more consistent, though.”

    I think that Melo is not playing all that great for him. But I still think that he’s the guy who has been the most instrumental in terms of w’s and l’s. But you can make a compelling case for KP as well. It’s probably pretty close.

    Rose is playing better than the low bar many set for him, and is so much better than last year’s pgs that he may be more responsible for the improvement of the team vs. last year than either Melo or KP. But statistically, he’s not a plus player on either end, and is among the worst starting PGs in the league. But reub thinks he’s the best, so he must be.

    Z-man, if you took a poll Hillary would be President Elect also.

    If KB had an electoral college, you’d win that by a landslide too. No amount of voter fraud would matter either.

    I think that Melo is not playing all that great for him. But I still think that he’s the guy who has been the most instrumental in terms of w’s and l’s. But you can make a compelling case for KP as well. It’s probably pretty close.

    They’re definitely the two guys where they’d be fuuuuuuuucked if either of them got hurt.

    Melo’s shooting percentage is down to 43.5%, near his career lows. His rebounds are down. His assists are down. His free throws are down too. He has played very well at times and very terribly at other times.

    True, but that doesn’t make him not our best player.

    In fact, if you look at Rose’s splits, Rose has played better (and played more minutes) in our losses than our wins. By “game score” in the b-r game log section, Melo’s game score is more correlated with wins than KP’s and far more than Rose’s.

    hornacek seems to be the real deal when it comes to competent coaching in terms of player rotations, offensive flow and handling ny’s media spotlight…

    Melo has the best defensive rebounding differential on the team. With him off the floor we morph into an all-time terrible defensive rebounding team and with him we’re close to league average. I think it’s something he doesn’t get enough credit for.

    I’d still say he’s the best and most important player on the team as far as getting wins right now, but KP has been our best player so far.

    Since the question is about “best player so far” and not “correlation to wins” or “considering past performances” i will give it to O’Quinn

    He’s doing everything right so far despite the somewhat limited minutes compared to Melo, KP and Rose.

    should recall Randle as another backup instead of Plumlee, Vujacic as backup SG is already meh, now he is backup PG.. even more so

    yeah, if they don’t consider Baker a viable option at the point, they need to bring in Randle or somebody else so Sasha doesn’t have to pretend to play the position. Ndour seems the most expendable bench player at the moment.

    Melo’s game score is more correlated with wins because when he takes his 30 shots and more of them actually go in the basket it’s more conducive towards winning. But if they don’t it’s a totally opposite result.

    The Knicks best player this season has been Kristaps Porzingis. After that you I say Melo and D Rose are 2A/2B with KOQ and Noah at 3A/3B. Porzingis isn’t playing well right now but he’s our best two way player and the offense seems to run better when he is the focal point. He also makes guys think twice about lay ups.

    Rose and Melo have been great. Not statistically, but in terms of what we want to do stylistically. The Knicks can run both the triangle and the pick and roll offense because Rose and Melo are great initiators for those sets. They make it possible for other guys to get open by either collapsing a defense or tilting a defense. Their stats could be better, but it’s hard to undersell their importance when you watch how the team is playing.

    KOQ and Noah have been great on the glass, passing the balls, and with the energy defensively. Both guys could foul less, but their offensive rebounding ability is huge for a team with Melo and D Rose.

    Reading the discussion, I agree Melo has been our best player so far. O’Quinn is better value, but he’s not the scoring threat Melo is. And Melo also gets rebound and assists at a good rate for his role.

    @66 then I guess that explain why over the years the Knicks win more when he doesn’t play. Oh wait…

    “Best” player so far this year- KOQ. MVP- If it’s one player: Melo by a hair over KP. Biggest difference from last year: Hornecek/Rose/Jennings allowing the Knicks to play some semblance of a modern offense. KP was probably the best player for the biggest chunk of games but when he was shooting well he wasn’t rebounding/defending that great. That said, his progress is really the only thing that matters this year as him becoming a superstar is really the only chance this team has to move into the upper echelon in the next few years.
    I will say that KOQ has been playing really well- if he could keep his per 36 numbers while playing heavier minutes (and he should be playing 20+ minutes every night) that would go a long way towards solidifying them in that 3-6 seed range rather than being on the fringe.
    Finally, as Baker really can’t play the one I’d waive him (I think Sasha, Plumlee, and Ndour are more likely to be decent contributors if forced into minutes at this point) and look for another point, whether that’s Randle or someone else.

    Speculation: I think KP’s foot he injured in the first Minnesota game is still bothering him.

    @75 Uh, because we’re talking about this season and not what happened in the previous ones.

    Melo’s points are down, his assists are way down, rebounds are way down, free throws are way down, fg% down, and his WS/48 is also down. And we all know how he plays defense. Ole!

    I’m not saying that he can’t still be productive but he has fallen off a lot and doesn’t play much of a team game. I’ll still root for him though because he’s on the Knicks.

    Melo’s points are down, his assists are way down, rebounds are way down, free throws are way down, fg% down, and his WS/48 is also down. And we all know how he plays defense. Ole!

    Melo’s WS/48 last season was .121

    This season it’s .118


    Come on Dred, Melo’s career WS/48 is .135. His WS/48 average for his first 3 seasons with the Knicks was .172. He’s at .118 for this year.

    I mean, that’s not that great, and it might not properly reflect his bad defense, but it’s twice as high as the best player on the Knicks

    That his production has fallen. That I don’t think he’s our best basketball player in a team sense. That he isn’t very clutch, holds the ball too long, doesn’t pass enough, he’s not a rim protector, his rebounding is falling off, his shooting % isn’t good, his defense is poor. That he’s been getting worse every year. That’s all. But he’s still a Knick so I root for him. And for the team.

    Klay & Steph both 4-14 tonight. Pretty obvious they don’t like playing with Kevin Durant and his selfish attitude.

    The fact that there is a legitimate debate about who has been the best player on the Knicks this season is why they are over .500. Melo, KP and O’Quinn have all been very good and either one could be considered the best player but because of the minutes played and the fact nobody can directly replace what they do for the team the best player debate is between Melo and KP.

    Also important is the rest of the players have all been decent at least, there haven’t been too many minutes given to guys playing like garbage unlike the past 2 seasons. This team has some pretty nice depth of average NBA-caliber players and thats very important.

    i think it’s time to start getting worried over kp… he’s in a bit of a shooting slump but every other category from last year is down… the only thing that makes him better from last year is that he’s shooting and making more 3s….

    the big red flag is his ftr rate… it’s now below even last year’s very low rate at .250… if he’s going to take a step up this year and be a foundational player he needs to be a bit stronger in the paint on both ends of the floor….

    I’m very late to the debate, but I don’t think there’s a single “best player” so far. Rather, I’d say the improved bench has been the best improvement about the Knicks this year, led by OQ, but lots of nice games from Willy, Kuz, Holiday, and Jennings.

    I also think Lee has been much better for the Knicks than some here on the board. He’s a nice improvement over Afflalo. I know that’s not saying much, but still…

    The single biggest team improvement is the coach, though.

    Lakers are the worst defensive team in the league. Sucks that swaggy p and nick young are out. They are two of the worst. This is definitely a “get healthy” game for KP

    I don’t think Melo has played well this year. He has not been driving nearly as much, he has not seen nearly as many double-teams as he typically does, he has not rebounded or passed particularly well.

    But he is, however, getting some great looks in the offense and if he begins to start playing similar to how he did last season, his numbers should rise.

    The career low turnover rate seems to be a function of the quality situations he’s been getting in. His 3-pt percentage NEEDS to rise closer to 40 % based on the amount of open catch-and-shoot opportunities he’s getting.

    Melo is shooting 48% on 2pt shots, the best since his .568 TS season in 2007, and his TS inside the 3pt line is close to 58.

    What would this team’s record be if Kurt Rambis was the coach instead of Jeff Hornacek? Where would this offense rank if Coach Rambis was running pure triangle? This team would suck so bad.

    Hornacek is a good coach and I hope he sticks around here for a while. He has been a difference maker.

    Derek Fisher had them playing well until Melo got hurt. They were 22-22 with an inferior team to this one, which was far above expectations at that time. I like Hornacek way better, but let’s be fair. This team could easily go into a tailspin if Melo (or KP) gets hurt.

    The Lakers won’t be an easy team to beat. We need KP to hit his stride again offensively. If we can get his offense back and keep his defense where it is we’ll be a lot better off for it.

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