Knicks Morning News (2017.03.18)

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: The Difference Between the Nets and the Knicks? The Nets Have a Plan
    (Friday, March 17, 2017 7:59:57 PM)

    As fans try to guess what the Knicks are doing, the Nets have set out to rebuild the team from the ground up.

  • [NYTimes] Dave Stallworth, Bulwark for Knicks’ First N.B.A. Title, Dies at 75
    (Friday, March 17, 2017 11:26:35 PM)

    Stallworth, an all-American forward at Wichita State, helped the Knicks slow Wilt Chamberlain in the 1970 N.B.A. finals after an injury to Willis Reed.

  • [NYDN] Ex-Knick Baron Davis says team has ‘no real plan’
    (Friday, March 17, 2017 10:29:09 PM)

    Baron Davis sees the Knicks, his former team, in a long rut with “no real plan.”

  • [NY Newsday] Dave Stallworth, ex-Knick on 1970 NBA champions, dies at 75
    (Friday, March 17, 2017 11:01:00 PM)

    Former Knick Dave Stallworth, who played a key role in the team’s NBA Finals win over the Los Angeles Lakers in 1970, died Wednesday at age 75.

  • [NYPost] Knicks now have had three years of disaster under Phil Jackson
    (Friday, March 17, 2017 8:28:17 PM)

    Phil Jackson will celebrate his three-year anniversary as Knicks president Saturday by flying to Los Angeles. The Knicks will practice there on Sunday and face the Clippers on Monday night. How poetic. Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco. Jackson left his basketball brains in La La Land. No longer engaged to Lakers president…

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily News Live: Should the Knicks tank the rest of the way?
    (Friday, March 17, 2017 10:06:27 PM)

  • [SNY Knicks] O’Quinn says Nets “don’t belong in the gym” with Knicks
    (Friday, March 17, 2017 1:30:18 PM)

    Kyle O’Quinn took a shot at the Nets after the Knicks lost to them, 121-110, on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

  • [SNY Knicks] Hornacek will play veterans unless directed otherwise
    (Friday, March 17, 2017 8:35:18 AM)

    Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek plans on playing his veterans for the rest of the season unless given directions from management to do otherwise.

  • 71 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2017.03.18)”

    Huge night for the #tank yesterday with Orlando, the Sixers, and the Pelicans all winning.

    We have to figure out some kind of a minor injury for KOQ.

    I think Hornacek should cut Melo & Rose’s minutes in half- and also be (Elmer Fudd voice) vewwy vewwy careful in regards to bringing KP back. And when he does get back, he should be the starting 5 while KOQ gets 15 minutes a game as the backup 4 to allow Ndour and Cheese to get some meaningful experience.

    We should keep KOQ unless a really good offer for Melo comes along that has to include him. I think our big rotation is in good hands between KP/Willy/KOQ/Plumlee when you add in Thomas as a guy who can give good minutes as a stretch 4. It should be easier to find a role playing true 4 than it qill be filling in our SF and PG gap

    I was scouring through videos and came upon a revelation, namely one Dennis Smith, Jr. He would be our true savior. Our ankle breaker. Our tour de force. Just an exquisite combination of an inside/outside game. CP3 and Westbrook combined. This guy has great shooting form to go along with highlight level finishes and dunks. A lefty, he already possesses Harden’s stutter step deception. He is not wiry but rather a solidly built young man who would most definitely greatly impact our team for a decade or more. Eureka!

    Main thing I worry about Smith Jr is his explosive play style which could lead to injury. Already tore his ACL once and some people have mentioned that he lands similarly to Rose on hs drives to the rim.

    I am struck in recent games at Melo’s inability to dunk in traffic.
    He can no longer generate any real explosion without a serious run up.
    It’s a bit shocking to watch his physical decline.
    I’m convinced he settles for long 2s to cover for his decline in leg strength.


    He does not play any defense at all

    Totes, that’s a good point about getting Ndour some minutes. He has not looked good this year, esp. seeming to have bad hands. However, he’s played so little that it is tough to know what he really is. Let him play some to at least see if he’s worth having on the roster next year. I think his deal includes next year?

    OQ needs to continue to play some to build some sort of trade value for him. I think we’re probably overrating him on the board as far as possible trade value, though. I hope he really is worth a 1st round pick for some team.

    please don’t talk about cutting Rose’s minutes, this will majorly hurt the tank.

    just stay the course and try to be as good as the team can be with the veterans playing heavy minutes (which is, well, ridiculously bad) and hope for the best.

    I have long preached that there are no depths this team can’t sink towards if they commit to a full on tank. Here we are, 6th worse record, not too far away from the Futile Five.

    BTW, Ntilikina played yesterday in 22 minutes. Had four fouls (a recurring problem for him) and scored only 6 points of 2/4 shooting from three, a rebound, a steal and 4 assists to 0 turnovers. The thing that is standing out to me is his increase in assists as he gets increases in minutes as a starter.

    please don’t talk about cutting Rose’s minutes, this will majorly hurt the tank.

    just stay the course and try to be as good as the team can be with the veterans playing heavy minutes (which is, well, ridiculously bad) and hope for the best.

    Normally I’d agree. I can accept Rose continuing to get his 30-plus minutes a game, but not Melo- if we hope to get something of any value for him in the offseason. His legs look shot this season, and we don’t need to be making him look worse. Besides, for as good as Randle and Baker have looked to us (which may be way better than they actually are with larger roles), the team would most likely lose as much with them playing more as they would with Rose at his current clip. Not that I don’t think they’re worth the time, they just don’t have the experience to lean on. Willy’s good, but as savvy as he is-even he still makes kid mistakes. With 13 or so games left, the only thing I’m worried about negatively effecting the tank is KP coming back and playing lights out.

    OQ needs to continue to play some to build some sort of trade value for him. I think we’re probably overrating him on the board as far as possible trade value, though. I hope he really is worth a 1st round pick for some team.

    6 in one, half dozen in the other, I guess. KOQ is good, but only good enough to be a top shelf role player- especially with his contract. I don’t think you expand his role too much for risk of overexposure. Keep him as a spot starter and a consistent 22 mpg or so, and you maximize what he gives you. To contenders, he’s worth a 1st. But if you’re rebuilding, not so much. Unless Divac is on the other end of the phone lol. And quite frankly, we need a guy like KOQ on this roster. He plays with passion, and happily does dirty work. With all the finesse on this roster, we need a guy like that who actually is healthy enough to get on the court.

    We’re probably stuck with Melo. To move him you’d need to find a team that is:
    A. Dumb enough to trade for him
    B. Be in a city that Melo is willing to play in

    Maybe th Clippers fit both of those criteria, but they’re probably the only hope. We are probably stuck with two more years of decline phase Melo.

    Every time I think about the no trade clause I get more and more appalled

    Imagine the NTC didn’t exist, and Carmelo’s shite contract were traded before the season for two unprotected first-rounders and a couple of 2nd swaps. Imagine how good that’d feel, then remember that we are Knicks fans and that simply does not happen for us.

    We could probably draft Isaac at this spot.

    1 Fultz
    2 Ball
    3 Jackson
    4 Fox
    5 Tatum
    6 Isaac

    This is a good thing!

    If Isaac and Smith Jr are both on the board there is no way in hell the New York Knicks pass him up. No way. Isaac is a guy I have rated higher than Smith Jr long term (I don’t really think high usage PGs have productive games) but drafting Smith Jr means you don’t have to pay Jrue Holiday $20M a year.

    I understand why people would be apprehensive to add Smith Jr because of his defense, but a total of 3 top PGs in today’s game plays defense and that’s CP3, Lowry, and John Wall. All of Westbrook, Harden, Irving, Thomas, Lillard, and Curry are below average to downright terrible NBA defenders. At least Dennis Smith gets you 2 steals a night by playing the passing lane.

    As much as I love Jonathan Isaac and think he’s the most talented player in this draft, there is no way in hell the Knicks should be passing up on Dennis Smith if he’s on the board. Pairing DSJr with KP and Hernangomez makes too much sense.

    Ideally, the Cavs would trade Kevin Love and we’d flip him to Minnesota for Rubio and their draft pick. Then we can select Isaac and draft Ntilikina. Rubio, Ntilikina, Isaac, KP, and Billy would kick ass a thousand times over.

    Smith is an ankle breaker and should not be discounted.

    Cleveland ain’t trading us Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony’s broken down old ass.

    Isaac is a guy I have rated higher than Smith Jr long term (I don’t really think high usage PGs have productive games) but drafting Smith Jr means you don’t have to pay Jrue Holiday $20M a year.

    This is the #1 way not to build a team. A team as underdeveloped as we are should always, always, always pick best player available on its board. This isn’t even a question. We’re just starting our rebuild not ending it. You do not settle on talent for need. You accumulate talent and then access what your needs are so you can trade or sign someone to fill it.

    Cleveland ain’t trading us Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony’s broken down old ass.

    You’re probably right and all but it bears noting that Kevin Love isn’t exactly the model of health himself. He’s breaking down too, probably at an accelerated pace if you account for age.

    Isaac’s ceiling is very high, if he’s on the board when we pick, it will be hard to pass him up. #BestPlayerAvailable please. Lets not get cute on position at this juncture of the process.

    Assuming we stay more or less where we are now (somewhere between 5-8) everybody is going to have a pretty high ceiling. Most years, Smith would be the first point guard taken. My board would be Fultz, Ball, Fox, and then Isaac- Obviously Fultz and Ball are long shots but I think there’s a pretty good chance either Fox or Isaac will still be around when we pick. If we’re in a position to draft Jackson then I’d try to trade back a spot or two if possible. Smith/Frank would be the tough choice for me.

    Dennis Smith Jr is a really good point guard prospect though, and it’s very clear that a PG is what KP needs right now for his development. Like one that will actually pass him the ball. If we were to rank the PG prospects that came out since 2010, Smith Jr is probably #4 out of all of them behind Irving, Ball, and Fultz. He has such an advanced game at his age it’s hard to pass up on him. When prospects are similarly rated it’s not an issue to go with need. Isaac is still in development and you really don’t know if he’ll gain the necessary weight to be a stud. I wouldn’t be upset with either guy, but I do not see anyway we can pass on Dennis Smith Jr if that knee checks out okay. He’s simply too skilled and too athletic a point guard.

    Josh Jackson is going to be terrible. We should avoid him and Tatum like the plague. Any of the 5 guards or Isaac should be impact players at then next level. Monk, Tatum, Markannen, and Jackson will all be replacement level.

    About Isaac. Most of the little bit about him I’ve read is that he’ll fill out to be a 4. So, you’d be looking at a future with KP at the 5, Isaac at the 4, and Willy as the 3rd guy playing some of both.

    That’s really nice and all, but then who are the guards? PG is such an essential part of a good team these days that I’d be real loath to pass on Fultz, Ball, Fox or Ntilikina if any of them are still on the board. I don’t feel that Fox or Frank would be a “reach” over Isaac. KP might just settle in nicely at the 4 mostly with Willy at the 5.

    I would not take Smith over Isaac, though. The other guys all play D. I’m so sick of the Knicks’ horrible perimeter D and the ease with which PG can drive inside. Ron has shown us flashes of what a good PG defense is like. Imagine a Fox or Frank instead, with their athleticism!

    My point was that we are more than a PG away from being set, so drafting the best available talent with the highest upside regardless of position makes sense. At the very least that player is an asset that can be parlayed (or make it easier to trade another asset).

    By the way, whats wrong with Josh Jackson? He looks like a very good player. Athletic wing that can play defense, and shoot the 3. Whens the last time the Knicks had one of those?

    His shooting form is too far away from his body and his handle is very very suspect.

    The Knicks are ten million miles away from contending. You don’t draft for need when you suck this bad. When you suck this bad, by definition you need everything, so you draft BPA.

    Dennis Smith Jr is a really good point guard prospect though, and it’s very clear that a PG is what KP needs right now for his development.

    KP could also use another rebounder who can pair with at foward and defend the wing.

    He’s simply too skilled and too athletic a point guard.

    He’s a very lackadaisical defender and we simply must draft for defense right now.

    That’s really nice and all, but then who are the guards?

    This team is not a finished product. It won’t be a finished product no matter who we draft. We must, must, must, must, get the best talent available irrespective of position. We can figure out other ways of getting guard help, but its imperative that we get stock up with best assets even if it means we don’t draft a guard so we have more assets to trade or build around.

    Passing on Dennis Smith Jr over defense is like passing over Westbrook and James Harden because they don’t play defense.

    I would love to have a team with KP, Willy, Isaac, + another first round pick to pair up with Rubio when he becomes a free agent the offseason after this one. But that only happens we think long-term instead trying to do another half-assed rebuild for next season.

    @31 Ignore PhilMelo like the rest of us tend to do. Smith is a rare find at a position that is much harder to fill than PF.His talent level is at least as good as Isaac’s and probably better. I’d also throw in the possibility that Isaac has higher bust potential than does Smith because he’s so weak and so raw.

    Passing on Dennis Smith Jr over defense is like passing over Westbrook and James Harden because they don’t play defense.

    Smith is not Westbrook or James Harden. Harden was a 6-7 WS player coming out college, Westbrook was a 5.3 WS player coming out of college. Smith is a 4.0 WS player.

    @41 Isn’t a win share a percentage of how many wins your team has and ipso facto if your teammates stink you will have a lower WS?


    No. I explained it elsewhere but put shortly the sum of the win share distribution determines the win total rather than the win total determining the available win shares to distribute.

    DSJ has worse physical measureables than Russell and was way less productive than harden was in college. He has the game sense of neither, turns the ball over 4 times per 40, and, of course, he’s an awful defender. Russ became a bad defender because of his ridiculous usage rate–Harden has always been a pretty poor defender but became worse when he left OKC because of his central role. Regardless, its ridiculous to project him as approaching Westbrook or Harden’s level. He’s a very good prospect but he has a ton of question marks and shooting 35% from the college 3 point range isn’t particularly impressive given that’s where much of his college scoring production comes from…

    I’d take Fox over him easily. Smith/Ntilikina is a more difficult choice though. I’d probably take Frank for the higher upside + my personal need to see a guard actually be able to play defense

    With Dennis Smith Jr., KP, Willy and possibly Melo our offense will be set for a decade. We could add a strong defensive presence at the wing and at SG and our team will be on it’s way to greatness. Smith is a special talent.

    Here’s a video of some of his many highlights:

    Wins and losses are just another meaningless stat. It’s all about attitude.

    @47 Maybe not like Smith, but I think he has the tools to stop ankle-breakers from killing us as they have done for the last 20 years… I can already see him blocking Isiah Thomas’ shot from behind, next year 😉

    @50 I’d definitely settle for that. I really like Frank’s outside shot to go along with his physical gifts and would expect Phil to take him over Smith (or Fox). I just think that Smith is such a game changer on offense, possibly like an Isaiah, Kyrie, Kemba, Lowry, if not better.

    re: BPA

    I could understand being hesitant about drafting a PF/C even if he was the BPA. I think the Sixers’ situation has demonstrated the potential pitfalls of a pure BPA approach (especially when you don’t wind up taking the actual best player available, but that’s a separate issue), with them having to deal Noel for pennies on the dollar since other teams knew they were somewhat desperate. If I actually liked Markkanen (I don’t), I could still be convinced that we shouldn’t draft him.

    Isaac, though, is a 3 or small ball 4. We still have a pretty distinct need on the wing unless you think Carmelo Anthony is the long-term solution. I want a good point guard just as badly as everyone else but there’s no particular urgency to fill that hole. There’s always next draft unless you think we’re contending next year (lol).

    Also I don’t hate Smith Jr. but with the injury history and defense issues it feels like there’s a lot of Knicksy potential there

    While I agree with the BPA strategy in principle, it’s not like anyone really knows who the best player is. The overlap between the floors, ceilings and most likely cases makes it nearly impossible to judge which player will wind up being the best. For example, De’Aaron Fox could be anywhere from a top-5 starting PG to Brandon Jennings with better D. Markkanen can be anything from Dirk to Novak. So it’s not like there is a clear choice for BPA in the 3-12 range.

    For me, it’s about the tradeoff between upside and risk. In 2015, when the Knicks picked at #4, the player with the most upside was KP, but WCS was the safer pick. Hard to say who was the BPA.

    There’s also the 1-way player vs. 2-way player consideration. Do you prioritize offense or defense? Or do you choose the player who has the potential to be above average (but likely not great) on both ends?

    I’m very bullish on both Isaac and Fox and would be happy with either

    With next year having a fair number of solid PG prospects and excellent ball dominant SGs (Doncic being primary among them) I wouldn’t be too worried about drafting a PG specifically, though if I had to choose between Fox and Isaac I think I’d choose Fox by a hair.

    One guy who has quietly crept up the draft board is Robert Williams. Maybe he will be the BPA. He looks like a Spurs kind of player.

    If only KP could develop enough lateral quickness to play the 3, a front line of WHG, KP and Williams would be interesting.

    I just hope the Knicks get the 3rd pick and Sac falls in love with one of Tatum/Jackson/Smith. Divac might be the only gm out there that could save Jackson from himself by offering Phil 1 of Sac’s lottos, WCS, and a 2nd rd swap.

    Then again I thought Greg Monroe saved Phil but then he turned around and traded for Rose a year later. Its funny how things work out. We all thought the Knicks dodged a bullet but it turned out Monroe would’ve not only saved us from Rose but Noah’s contract too.

    Robert Williams is a good example of a player I like but could be convinced that we shouldn’t draft. The fact of the matter is when you get into a situation where you pretty obviously have to trade someone, you almost definitely aren’t getting fair value in return.

    Having said that, there are still 96 minutes to go around at the big man spots. If the guys can all play together (big if) there’s a good chance you can make them all satisfied with their playing time. If we were picking in the 10-12 range I’d definitely be interested in Williams. He has a very good chance to be the “surprise” of this draft.

    Willims is quite raw and looks A’mare-ish in terms of defensive awareness. But I’d be thrilled with a vintage Amare on my team, just not the version we paid $100+ million.

    A mediocre-efficiency, ball-dominant PG who thinks “shoot” first and “pass” second, has a history of knee injuries, has a 6’3″ wingspan and is known as a bad defender? Where do I sign up for that? That’s EXACTLY the player I’ve been clamoring for all these years! Just think of all the “ankle breaking!” And all those Kobe assists! We could have another Steve Francis on our hands, guys!

    @64 That’s exactly the closed minded attitude that caused teams to pass on Isaiah, Kyle, and Kemba.

    If that thinking was used Kyrie Irving would have been an UDFA as well.

    LOL Smith has been compared to Westbrook, Harden, Thomas, Walker, and Irving here so far. Anyone else you guys want to throw into that list? How about we go for broke and invoke Chris Paul and John Stockton while we’re at it?

    Can we just stop talking about wingspan like it’s a make or break thing? CP3 is probably the best defensive point guard in the league and his wingspan is all of 6’4.5″. The best defensive prospect in the draft is probably Fox with the same wingspan as Paul. Kyle Lowry is a plus defender with a 6’2″ wingspan. I’d be much more concerned with Smith’s ability to move laterally. My biggest concern is that he’s a guy who’s very dependent on athleticism and he’s already had an acl tear. He definitely gives off a Francis/Marbury vibe to me (though more athletic than either) but both of those guys had some solid seasons- Francis led the league in VORP his second season! If the Knicks pick him over Isaac or Fox I’d be upset but if neither of those guys is on the board I wouldn’t complain too much if they picked him.

    For me, I’d rather have Ntilikina over Dennis Smith Jr. I just think his size allows him to play at the 2 if required, and you can’t argue about his defensive potential. Frank just seems to have a more mature game and would suit KP more. Also, Smith coming off an ACL concerns me a little.

    I’m also big on Jonathan Isaac too for some reason and I don’t know why.

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