Knicks Morning News (2017.08.13)

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Once in the Vanguard of Diversity, Knicks Build a Future That Echoes the Past
    (Saturday, August 12, 2017 3:20:52 PM)

    Seven decades ago the Knicks pushed to integrate a predecessor of the N.B.A. Their new general manager and president are breaking ground again.

  • [NYDN] Moe Harkless talks about being named in Carmelo trade rumors
    (Saturday, August 12, 2017 9:54:48 PM)

    Moe Harkless has firm roots in Knicks territory, an upward-trending NBA career and is now part of the never-ending Carmelo trade cycle.

  • 26 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2017.08.13)”

    Regarding the last string of phil commentary:
    The first trade for Melo was a travesty.
    But Phil’s Waterloo was the second Melo contract and NTC.
    Should have cut the cord right there.
    From the extension on, Phil really never stood a chance. I don’t recall, but, again, I think Dolan insisted on the extension. Maybe I’m wrong about that.
    Melo’s legs already showed signs of being gone, and he was never that explosive to begin with.
    Just a bad choice.

    From the extension on, Phil really never stood a chance. I don’t recall, but, again, I think Dolan insisted on the extension. Maybe I’m wrong about that.

    Phil’s said that the extension was all him.

    Rosen’s subsequent “reporting” seems to agree with that idea (as he explained why giving Melo an extension made a lot of sense, which he only would do if it was Phil’s idea. Otherwise, Rosen would obviously use it being forced on Phil as a defense of Phil).

    I wouldnt read much into KP’s performance v. Poland.
    He looks stronger, but the opposition just wasn’t very athletic.
    My concern is he rolls and ankle or falls awkwardly. Second concern is that he gets tired during the season because he competed in the offseason.
    Still a young body.

    Thanks, Brian.
    It’s the move that killed him in the end.

    It certainly was one of those “there is no way that this will work out” type of situations.

    I kinda wish Phil would’ve faked negotiations with Melo (to placate Dolan) to make the case that Melo was effectively not coming back. And then pull the trigger on a Bulls S&T. Sigh.

    Regarding KP’s game:

    His awareness, mobility and shot speed look improved. His crossover is a thing of beauty. Some of those cuts have me worried about his knees, though.

    z-man. Baylor was similar in some ways. LBJ is faster, even in comparison to today’s faster players. elgin a better on ball defender and on ball shot blocker. LBJ a great off ball defender. Jordan was compared to Baylor who had a lot more moves than LBJ. Bron is just quicjer faster and stringer than today’s players.
    The shame is that Baylor retired ( I’m not sure why) just before the Lakers won their first championship in 1972.

    Elgin was pretty much done by that time. Knowledgeable basketball fans knew that the Lakers’ “big 3” of Elgin, Wilt and West was in reality a “big 2” as Elgin was a star only in name by then. Injuries took a far greater toll in that era than they do today. Many careers are now extended by developments in modern medicine, training, diet, rehab, etc. Bob Petit, who I posted on Friday, retired at 32, and he was one of the guys who saw the value of weight training early on.

    This Bill Simmons article is a great read for those who want to understand Elgin’s greatness fully:

    From Simmons:

    “It’s impossible to fully capture Elgin’s greatness five decades after the fact, but let’s try. He averaged 25 points and 15 rebounds and carried the Lakers to the Finals as a rookie. He scored 71 points against Wilt’s Warriors in his second season. He averaged 34.8 points and 19.8 rebounds in his third season — as a 6-foot-5 forward, no less — and topped himself the following year with the most amazing accomplishment in NBA history. During the 1961-62 season, Elgin played only 48 games — all on weekends, all without practicing — and somehow averaged 38 points, 19 rebounds and five assists a game.

    Why was this better than Wilt’s 50 per game or Oscar’s season-long triple-double? Because the guy didn’t practice! He was moonlighting as an NBA player on weekends! Wilt’s 50 makes sense considering the feeble competition and his gratuitous ball-hogging. Oscar’s triple-double makes sense considering the style of play at the time — tons of points, tons of missed shots, tons of available rebounds. But Elgin’s 38-19-5 makes no sense whatsoever. I don’t see how this happened. It’s inconceivable. A U.S. Army Reservist at the time, Elgin lived in a barracks in the state of Washington, leaving only whenever they gave him a weekend pass … and even with that pass, he could only fly coach on flights with multiple connections to meet the Lakers wherever they happened to be playing. Once he arrived, he would throw on a uniform and battle the best NBA players alive on back-to-back nights — fortunately for the Lakers, most games were scheduled on the weekends back then — and make the same complicated trip back to Washington on Sunday night or Monday morning. That was his life for five months.”

    “Try to be Elgin Baylor,
    Get used to failure,
    Settle for Tractor Traylor.”

    -Chinese Proverb

    thanks fir the posts z-man. We tend to overlook how players in those days blazed a trail that today’s athletes and fans take for granted. I don’t see why Elgin couldn’t have just been kept on that 1872 roster even as,a reserve. He had earned it.

    watched the KP highlights vs. Poland – loved seeing him as a roll man not just for the jumper but attacking the rim. we’ll see whether he can finish strong like that against NBA competition.

    another sequence I enjoyed can be found here at about the 5:15 point – KP goes into a post move, then turns over his R shoulder for a turnaround — defenders were selling out on that last year and basically jumping on top of him to try and contest. But in this sequence he pumped and got his guy in the air. In the NBA that would’ve been an and-1.

    The KP highlights are fun because he seems so comfortable. Yeah, bad competition and all, but it really makes me wonder if playing on a team where he’s the number 1 option, set up to succeed by his team, will do wonders for his impact in game. He might be one guy that has a better impact with more usage, if that usage comes in the form of setting him up to use his entire skillset instead of having to either stay at the 3pt line or iso when the ball inevitably stops with Melo etc.

    Agreed, Bruno. I would love to see Hornacek use him the same way. He looked like a different player, more confident and aggressive. Of course the level of competition he was up against wasn’t up to par, but it showed me that he has that killer instinct in him. He took the game seriously regardless of who he played against. Alot of guys would see that level of competition and maybe not play as hard to preserve themselves. So the next question should be, can he translate that play into NBA success? If he’s not the top option on offense this season, it’s gonna be hard for him to play that way consistently. He still needs solid weapons with him, and hopefully TH2 and Willy will play well enoigh to be those weapons.

    I don’t see why Elgin couldn’t have just been kept on that 1972 roster even as,a reserve. He had earned it.

    “During the first two weeks of the ’72 season, Elgin believed he was holding back a potentially great team and retired nine games into the season. The Lakers immediately rolled off a record 33-game winning streak and eventually beat the Knicks for the title. How many guys have the dignity to walk away when it’s time? How many would have walked away from a guaranteed ring? When does that ever happen?”

    Z-Man, thanks for the Baylor stuff and the Chamberlain stuff as well. Much appreciated history lessons.

    The thing I noticed on the Baylor highlight reel and that stands out in comparison to LBJ is how righty dominant he was. He really only dribbled with his right hand and scored with his right hand on both sides of the basket. It’s something I’ve noticed in much vintage video. An example of how the game has changed and probably for the better.


    Yeah, I mean, the competition was surely bad but a 7’3″ guy with KP’ s skillset should be able to get those shots against most NBA players outside of the absolute top tier defenders in his position. He needs to be the featured player on offense no matter what happens with Melo. That change alone will give us a much better way to evaluate his long term potential.

    danvt, the old-time game seems stiff and disjointed compared to today’s game, but it didn’t seem that way back then, all movements looked smooth. This is just educated guessing, but I think a few factors were at play:

    1. some moves/techniques simply weren’t invented yet.
    2. most players were coached by very rigid HS/college coaches who taught players to protect the ball and do a lot of straight-line drive stuff.
    3. less practice on dribbling in general.
    4. as little kids we emulate guys we watch. who were these guys watching when they were kids?

    All that said, defenses surely knew to force guys to their weak hand, so some of that appearance of right-hand dominance is an illusion. Elgin et. al. clearly could deal with guys overplaying his right hand.


    Yeah, I mean, the competition was surely bad but a 7’3? guy with KP’ s skillset should be able to get those shots against most NBA players outside of the absolute top tier defenders in his position. He needs to be the featured player on offense no matter what happens with Melo. That change alone will give us a much better way to evaluate his long term potential

    Great minds, Bruno. Only problem is if Melo is still a Knick, at this stage in his career without established all NBA talent he will become the selfish player that most say he is. And by that I mean I can’t see it going well if Hornacek asks him to defer to KP. He needs a player better than him, one that he also respects, on the roster with him for him to feel like he can defer. That’s why Houston is absolutely the best place for him. I think he thinks KP will end up better than him, but living in the moment- he still sees himself as the best player on the team. This might ruffle a few feathers, but I don’t think he’s wrong in that assessment. But best doesn’t equal the most important in this case. And Melo has been “THE GUY” for so long, he can’t reconcile with that fact. I do believe that if Melo defers to KP and Hornacek makes him the top option, KP will undoubtedly be the best player on the team. His skillset is once in a lifetime at that size. Our Knicks will rise from the ashes, but only after KP becomes the alpha and puts it all together.

    I’m bored watching the PGA and started playing with the trade machine. How’s this?

    Knicks get Felder, Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye and Wayne Ellington
    Heat get Kyrie and Courtney Lee
    Cavs get Melo, Dragic, O’Quinn and Okaro White

    Would that be enough to get Melo to agree to a trade? Cavs probably need to get draft picks in this deal.


    I would hate to be in Hornacek shoes, tho. If Melo stays he’s screwed either way: he either puts him in the premiere position he commands due to his status, loses games and becomes the easiest scapegoat to blame, or he limits Melo’s minutes and role to a more optimal situation and gets destroyed if the team doesn’t produce better results. If Melo gets traded at least he gets some leeway for the post-Melo rebuild, but otherwise I can’t see how he survives long in his job.

    z-mz. I greatly respect your posts but in my humble opinion I would have wished elgin did NOT retire that seaon. In addition. to their record-tying 69 wins in the regular season, the Lakers went 12-3 in the playoffs. Even Ron Baker could not have derailed that runaway freight train. Fir that reason I wish someone had persuaded Elgin to stay on the team. He had earned that right.

    @22, oh, I completely agree! I just wanted to point out that it was totally Elgin’s call.

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