Knicks Morning News (2017.11.04)

  • [NYTimes] Knicks 120, Suns 107: Led by Porzingis Again, the Knicks Defeat Hornacek’s Old Team
    (Saturday, November 04, 2017 3:54:35 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis scored 37 points in Friday’s win over Phoenix, the sixth time in eight games that he has scored at least 30.

  • [NYTimes] The Unspeakable Greatness of Giannis Antetokounmpo
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 6:46:05 PM)

    The Bucks’ All-Star isn’t changing the way his position is played. He’s changing the way all the positions are played.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis drops 37 in 120-107 win over the Suns
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 10:15:08 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis came one point shy of his career and season high as he finished with 37 points in the Knicks’ 120-107 win over the Suns.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s game: Knicks vs. Suns, 7:30 p.m.
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 6:30:03 PM)

    NEW YORK — New York Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said he didn’t bother showing his players film of their ugly loss in Boston on Oct. 24.

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily News Live: What is Porzingis’ future with the Knicks?
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 6:09:56 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis’ brother says the player’s future with the Knicks will not be solely based on money.

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily News Live: Should the Knicks start Ntilikina?
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 10:46:09 AM)

    The DNL panel discusses Frank Ntilikina’s great start coming off of an injury and if he is ready for a starting role with the Knicks.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis nets sixth 30-point game of season as Knicks roll to win over Suns
    (Saturday, November 04, 2017 12:08:33 AM)

    Turns out Kristaps Porzingis is feeling just fine.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis says brother’s comments to Latvian magazine taken out of context
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 10:02:43 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis said a “big part” of what his brother said to a Latvian monthly magazine was taken out of context. He also said fans shouldn’t worry about him leaving when his contract is up.

  • [ESPN] Porzingis downplays exit talk: ‘I love New York’
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 7:02:45 PM)

    Porzingis downplays exit talk: ‘I love New York’

  • [ESPN] Kristaps Porzingis talks about life after Carmelo, being face of Knicks
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 7:00:06 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis talks about life after Carmelo, being face of Knicks

  • [NYDN] Enes Kanter sounds off on Knicks games not airing in Turkey
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 9:41:31 PM)

    Mindaugas Kuzminskas is keeping his hopes up that he’ll eventually crack the team’s rotation.

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis stays hot, scores 37 in Knicks’ rout of Suns
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 9:40:22 PM)

    Porzingis professed his love for New York on Friday.

  • [NYDN] Porzingis says brother’s comments were ‘taken out of context’
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 9:39:40 PM)

    The Latvian stopped short of condemning the words of his brother and agent, Janis.

  • [NYDN] Caroline Wozniacki engaged to former Knick David Lee
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 9:22:49 AM)

    Game. Set. Match made in heaven.

  • [NYDN] Porzingis lands Zing Bars deal thanks to Daily News back page
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 9:07:16 AM)

    You’re welcome, Kristaps!

  • [NYPost] Enes Kanter playing well for Knicks, but can’t be watched in own country
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 11:39:23 PM)

    It’s too bad citizens of Turkey can’t watch their native son, Enes Kanter, play this season. He’s having a helluva year as the Knicks’ starting center, adding another vibrant 16-point, 15-rebound, three-assist performance Friday in the Knicks’ 120-107 win over the Suns. Kanter said for the second straight year Turkey’s NBA channel 8 has banned…

  • [NYPost] Michael Beasley’s third-quarter flurry douses threatening Suns
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 9:47:48 PM)

    Michael Beasley always has had the reputation of being able to put up points in bunches. On Friday night during the Knicks’ 120-107 wipeout of the Suns at the Garden, Beasley more than lived up to his rep. In the final 1:04 of the third quarter, Beasley scored three straight baskets, all within spitting distance…

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis walks fine line under New York microscope
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 8:52:54 PM)

    Lonzo Ball seems like a nice, well-mannered guy. Yet probably half the NBA-following world wants him to fail. No fault of his, but as one NBA team exec put it, “the father’s an idiot.” So blame LaVar, not Lonzo. Which brings us to Kristaps Porzingis. You can choose your friends but not your family and…

  • [NYPost] What controversy? Porzingis scores 37 as Knicks drub Suns
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 6:18:47 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis seemed nervous before Friday’s game as he explained his brother’s threatening remarks about his future with the Knicks. But Porzingis remained focused when he hit the court, getting the Knicks back on the winning track with his sixth game of 30 or more points in eight outings. With Porzingis dunking his way to…

  • [NYPost] Porzingis’ damage control: ‘I see myself as a Knick a long time’
    (Friday, November 03, 2017 4:18:39 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis said his older brother Janis’ threatening remarks to a Latvian magazine were “taken out of context’’ and nobody should read into the notion his long-term future as a Knick is in doubt. In playing damage control, Porzingis spoke to the media Friday before facing the Suns at the Garden and restated his summer…

  • 113 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2017.11.04)”

    Porzingis handled his brother’s comments very well. Good for him.

    Also, good for David Lee! Caroline Wozniacki? Very impressive. I wonder what David Lee will do in retirement. What do most players do? I mean, Lee must have enough money to live off of for the rest of his life, no? So does he even work? I know a lot of players get into coaching or announcing, but neither of those two options strike me as likely for Lee.

    Beasley tonight showed why he’s probably worth at least a roster spot. But that makes it very difficult to figure out who gets cut when Noah returns. What do you guys think?

    Enes Kanter, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Kristaps Porzingis are outplaying the OK3, who at the start of the season are looking OK and not elite. A lot of that, to me, is Billy Donovan can’t coach on the NBA level. I’ve always thought OKC’s offense was too simple, and watching Russell Westbrook chuck up a bad three out of a timeout with less than 90 seconds in the game confirmed that for me. OKC needs a real coach.

    Kanter and KP have been awesome, and TH2 is finding his way back. There won’t be a tank this year, guys. Jack may suck, but he isn’t Derrick Rose-ing the offense.

    I wouldn’t touch a thing in regards to trading anyone right now.

    I get it but consider a Willy/Kuz/Lance TRADE and the possible benefits:

    – The two 1-guard offense of Hornacek worked great in PHX
    – We’d have a guy in Bledsoe who could attack the rim
    – We’d take advantage of Frank’s passing and spot-up shooting
    – A Bledsoe/Frank/Dotson perimeter defense would be awesome
    – KP/Kanter lineups but also KP at 5 in spread PnR with Bledsoe and excellent spot-up shooters
    – We could re-sign KOQ
    – If we could trade Lee for just an expiring, we might be able to make play for UFA Covington
    – Screw the tank, we’re ready to compete for ECF right away

    Check out possible rotation:
    1: Bledsoe (30) Frank (18)
    2: Timmy (32) Frank 16)
    3: Covington?, Dotson, McD
    4: KP (34)
    5: Kanter (19) KOQ (19) Noah (10)

    Regarding Janis and KP, I think KP’s priority is being a star and getting that lucrative extension. John Lennon said he and Paul when they were starting out just wanted to be stars. They only wrote songs because the bands which played before them in the club were all covering 50s RnR hits so they had to differentiate themselves. The real artistic urge was later after they were stars. KP said his goal this season was to make the All-Star team and his idols were stars like Kobe. The winning – just like the quality art – will be important later.

    What could derail an extension and his stardom? A major injury. That IMO is why he doesn’t want to play the 5 at this time. He could suffer a hip injury setting all those picks not to mention the wear and tear of having to guard and box out other centers. Kanter is like Lopez in terms of the rebounding piece. My guess is that he also wants the team to get a quality 1 guard who would get him some easy buckets while Frank gains experience. I think those are his priorities.

    If Sessions isn’t gonna play, we should do him a solid and cut him. I’d rather cut Beasley, but that’s just me.

    @3 GREAT! (Just don’t sort by ts%, PER, or VA)

    PER = VA. Are you really gonna cite on this site PER? And where’s the column there to sort on defense? Z-man, I don’t know if you’re trolling but it’s odd that a guy who champions Baker (whose “not a big deal” contract BTW might affect us in landing Covington) and somehow finds the positive in the Rose trade is unable to be optimistic for a very rootable rookie.

    I am optimistic about him! I’ve said repeatedly that he’s a potential stud on D. But when I see post that in any way exaggerate how he’s playing or his potential as a PG, I’m going to respond.

    PS can you point to the post where I got surly/snarky/nasty when someone who was dismissive in response to my take on Ron Baker? I believe that I was almost uniformly light-hearted about it.

    Your response in@9 is fine, but as you know, others have not been as civil.

    Man, Kanter is solid. He’s a very flawed defensive player, but Hornacek is dead on that his energy at the start of game is contagious. It’s a welcome change from last season’s constant lethargy at the outset of games.

    We need to him sustain this, but KP may have made the leap. Even a drop off from his current level makes him an All-Star lock. What a player he’s turning into. Teams just can’t live with trying to defend him with combo forwards, wings or even straight power forwards. Once he starts seeing aggressive traps and double teams he’ll need to get better and more decisive at passing out, but it’s an improvement I think he can and will make.

    THJ with a cool and quite 21-3-3. That’ll do. Just needs to bring the 3P% up and he could be a very nice complementary piece to KP.

    I only wish that Dotson got some time last night because I really like the pressure him and Frank put on opposing backcourts. Frank uses his length to great effect to make guys uncomfortable, but Dotson is really aggressive about getting into his man and he really heats up the ball. Hopefully we see more of that as the season goes on.

    I would like to see us run more PnR for Frank, but it seems like right now Horny has him focusing on initiating the offense. I’d like to see him be more aggressive at times and he showed he can with his easy layup yesterday. He passed up a few opps to drive. It’s something he’ll need to get more comfortable with.

    Count me in, I really thought Mudiay or Hezonja were the way to go.

    However, I’ve seen the light and euro prospects with high ceilings over volume shooters with low efficiency became a lifestyle.

    Damn, Melo went 3/17 last night with 14 rebounds, that’s the weirdest line I’ve seen in a while. I get the 3/17 (which by the way dropped Melo’s ts% so far to a very anti-gravity knicksian .533) but that’s like 10 rebounds more than I would expect.

    I’ve looked into the possibility of landing UFA Covington if we do that Willy/Kuz/Lance trade for Bledsoe. Covington would then be a perfect fit at SF(and some PF) since shot creation would be driven by KP/Bledsoe/Kanter. Here’s the #’s (I’m presuming Lee and Baker could be moved for only expiring contracts where we receive no draft picks):

    Noah…………18.5
    Kanter……….18.6
    Timmy………17.3
    Bledsoe…….15.0
    KP……………..5.6
    KOQ…………..4.2 (cap hold?, extension?, bird rights?,)
    Frank…………4.1
    Dotson……….1.0
    Other Holds..4.0
    ————————-
    TOTAL…….88.3
    Depends what cap is but if it’s 105m we could offer him about 17m. And BTW that’s why you don’t give out that deal to Baker because you never know.

    I’m still keeping the porch light on for Baker, but understand that his contract was not a smart business move by Mills. I guess that Hornacek just really wanted him that badly. It’s a long season though, and I think he’ll get his opportunity.

    We’re in a very favorable stretch right now and all’s well with the world. The last two weeks of November will be telling, I could see us going on a 1-9 bender, which will put some pressure on Hornacek to make rotation moves. In a way, I hope that’s what happens, since we’re in that no man’s land of mediocrity right now.

    Sometimes I think about if we had gotten a few more ping pong balls in 2015 and drafted #3 instead of #4 and taken Okafor (and I’m convinced Phil would have) Philly can afford that mistake because they have Embiid and Simmons, for the Knicks, it would have set us back years.

    Also, great point by Lavor in @12, Kanter brings a lot of energy to the start of games. We used to routinely get crushed in 1st quarters and that’s not happening any more. I get that he’s flawed, but the man is a beast on the boards and unstoppable down low.

    I think Kanter is kinda what we thought he would be, just more energetic and lovable. I agree he sets the tone early on, and even considering his defense I just can’t see how a player this productive on offense could ever be a net negative. He’s grabbing 6 offensive rebounds per 36 and 15.2 overall, with a Tyson-esque .665 ts%. This sort of production is amazing. Damn, he’s had a .376 wp48, which is superstar caliber.

    He annoys me sometimes when it looks like he doesnt even care on defense, but with O’Quinn available off the bench we can take those; if he’s having a specially tough stretch just sub KOQ in.

    Melo is on my fantasy team and his numbers have been very weird. Shooting wise the same old stuff, but generally surpringly low rebounds and assists and surprisingly high block and steal totals. I think he’s gotten a block every game.
    Another guy I have is Smith Jr., and he’s been hot garbage. Horrible fg% and steals for such an ankle breaker, can’t make a ft, and his turnovers are brutal.

    Anyone thinking about revising their predictions for win totals or playoffs? I’m really pleasantly surprised so far but wondering if it can last.

    KP has been so great so far. Beautiful soft touch. He’s going to be the best player on the floor a lot of nights.

    Do you think coach is circumscribing Frank’s role a bit? Maybe he wants him to stay perimeter on offense so he can be in position on defense and keep the other offense from getting transition baskets? Or is he too hesitant?

    On Wily for Bledsoe. I’m tempted as Kyle is playing amazing and Wily doesn’t have a place in the rotation right now. I don’t know much about Bledsoe though. Is he a good locker room guy? Does he move the ball or does he look to shoot first? It seems like we have something special going on and I wouldn’t want to upset the apple cart. Jack is playing his role well. I like Frank off the bench for twenty minutes and I like Wily’s potential, but maybe Wily and Cuz going with Bledsoe coming back solves the Noah logjam and makes us a legit contender.

    Educate me my brethren. Inquiring minds want to know.

    I’m a pro tanker but I’d be excited about adding Bledsoe and covington based on would be given up in this thread. You still would have your young, hopefully improving players except for Willy, who is expendable with this roster. You still have your picks. You’re not taking back bad long term contracts. And a lineup of Bledsoe, Frank, Covington, KP and O’quinn would be fun as hell and effective on both ends.

    My main reservation about the Bledsoe trade is that he’s almost 28yo and relies on his athleticism. That makes it a bit of a dicey deal and a close call.

    The sample size is tiny and eyes can be deceiving, but I’ve noticed Kanter trying Roy Hibbert’s old verticality thing on defense a few times. It seems like a good way for immobile, enormous human beings to try and extract some value on defense. If he’s just slightly less horrible on that end than usual we definitely got the best player in The Melo Trade 2.0.

    I would only trade Willy if I thought he didn’t have greater upside than Kanter (Kanter is also young and may also still get a little better).

    Long before we even traded for Kanter, when we were discussing Willy, I said Willy and Enes had similar strengths and weaknesses. I still think that. Ultimately, I think we are only going to keep one of them. We should keep the better of the two. I think it’s too early to make that decision.

    I’d like to add Bledsoe, but I don’t think I’d give up Willy yet.

    It all may be moot though.

    Didn’t Mills just say that Willy is an untouchable?

    @2

    I think Beasley has the ability to take over a game which is why he deserves rotation minutes… a roster spot is not in question.
    Sessions is the odd man out now even without baker in the lineup

    I think Robert Covington is a really good player and I’d be excited to have him. I see him as a more mobile, less consistent shooting Jae Crowder. Still a hard pass on Bledsoe. I feel he’s low-key a head case and he thinks he’s much better than he is, which is not a good combination in New York with a young core. I think he has about 2 more “prime” years and he might fall super hard due to his reliance on athleticism, like Zanzibar pointed out, and the fact that Phoenix seems much less worse without him is not a good sign.

    I’m in the no Bledsoe camp. He’s very talented, but somewhat injury prone and not a heady PG. I wouldn’t give up on Willy just yet, especially since both Kanter and O’Quinn are upping their trade value and at the same time upping their chances of getting paid (i.e. we might lost them for nothing.) At 22, Kanter was very Willy-like and he has improved his offense a lot and his defense somewhat. He’s now worth the money, but do you really want to tie up $25-30 mill in cap space in him 2-3 years from now? Or pay O’Quinn Noah money? I think it would be best to stand pat until someone makes a great offer for Kanter or O’Quinn, maybe PHX takes one of them for Bledsoe.

    Honestly, I don’t think Willy will ever be quite as good as Kanter, but he will be more economical and should get paid like a solid role player, whereas Kanter will get paid like a star. We have to start figuring out what kind of team we want to build around KP when he gets that max contract. They complement each other well, especially on the offensive end. But we will not be contenders if Kanter is one of our Big 3 salary-wise. He’s never going to be a good defensive player or a high IQ offensive player. The best outcome for us would be to maximize his trade value and get some good assets for him from a team tat needs what he brings.

    I don’t see how Philly doesn’t move mountains to lock Covington up with an extension. He’s too important to their roster construction.

    @30

    I agree.

    The path from where we are now to serious contention is 2 more legitimate all-stars. We can’t be tempted to give big contracts to good, but limited players that hurt our flexibility to sign or trade for one later. Niiti looks like he can become strong plus defender and maybe even a plus play maker, but the path to all-star from where he is now as a scorer is a very long trip. This is coming from someone that’s not even worried about his shooting much at this point. It’s no lock that he’s going to become that 2nd key critical piece even though I think he’ll be very good.

    @32 exactly. My best hope for Frank is that he can fill sort of an Iquodala role for us, a versatile uber-defensive wing off the bench that plays starters minutes many nights. I don’t see him ever being a big-3 player on a contender. On the other hand, I am very, very high on Dotson’s potential. He’s got a Klay Thompson look to his game where his calling card is defense and rebounding but he could go off for 40 on any given night. He made two moves that were really encouraging vs. Houston…the sharp step-back that put Tariq Black on his ass, and the drive across the lane where he dipsy-doo’d and banked it in across his body. Those were crazy athletic plays that can’t be taught. Maybe I’m overhyped on him, but I see a long-time starter at the 2 there.

    I don’t see how Philly doesn’t move mountains to lock Covington up with an extension. He’s too important to their roster construction.

    Wouldn’t they only be able to offer him a 3 year extension? He’s gonna get at least Timmy/Crabbe/Fournier/Bazemore money from one of Phoenix/Atlanta/Nets and maybe Knicks. If I were him, I’d rather have that 4th year @18-20m than a 3-year deal at the same rate but maybe 76ers give him 24m for 3 years? Would they go that high considering they have Saric?

    How awesome was it that horny pulled niti for not pushing the ball… if he pushes the pace like he is capable of doing he could be the pg we covet sooner than later. I’m excited to see how it unfolds

    My best hope for Frank is that he can fill sort of an Iquodala role for us, a versatile uber-defensive wing off the bench that plays starters minutes many nights.

    I think he will become a solid starter. If we are so good that we are using Frank off the bench like Iggy, this is going to be one happy forum. 🙂

    I’m pretty sure Philly can offer a 4 year deal to Covington. He signed a 3 year deal with Philly with the 3rd year being a team option, which was exercised, so he shouldn’t be eligible for a veteran extension, but I think Philly can simply offer him a 4 year deal anyway once he becomes a free agent anyway, which they would be pretty dumb not to. I think there will be competition and he might just choose to leave, but they’ll probably offer him a pretty big deal.

    Kanter’s play is sort of good news bad news. If he continues to beast on offense (he seems to be a more willing passer now, too, which could be huge), and not be totally awful on D, he’s a keeper. But at what cost in $ and years?

    But the bad news is he can opt out at the end of the year. So, we might lose him for nothing. Same with OQ, so I’d be very reluctant to trade Willy unless a really good young talent (under 25) can be gotten.

    The Knicks will be smart to just wait and evaluate for awhile. Remember 14-11 last year? Can KP keep this up? As much as I like what OQ and Lee are doing right now, if a good offer comes around, they should be traded. Otherwise, let’s wait a good month and see where things stand.

    We need to keep in mind that Kanter, OQ, and McD (all players I’d like to keep) can all walk at the end of the year if they want, unless an extension can be worked out with either or all. We can’t blame them for getting as much $ as they can on their next contracts.

    I read the article on Kuz and feel sorry for him.

    I still think it’s too early to look for trades. We still don’t know what we have in our players and most the other teams will want to see how things shake out for themselves too.

    OQ would be selling high, so that’s good. Same with Kanter. Hard to say it’s the right call to break up the frontcourt yet when it’s been so dominant for the last few games.

    I’d probably cut Kuz right now. He doesn’t bring much to the table. I like the guy, but he’s probably the odd man out. Beaz for all his warts is still ahead of him and put together a pretty solid last year. Sessions may be necessary because I still expect Jack to completely fall apart at some point.

    If I was the Knicks I’d be talking to Cleveland. Thompson is out a month and they have no other rotation quality centers. Crowder is redundant and has played only 20 minutes in about half their games. O’Quinn + Kuz + bulls pick for crowder.

    Yeah ok. No need to rush. Bledsoe is probably not a great fit. Our best prospect for truly excellent pg play is Frank and Jack has been a very good stop gap solution and mentor. Plus we keep all our possible trade pieces for a moment when a truly blow away deal potentially comes our way. In the meantime we’ve won 4 of 5 with a really likable roster. I’m enjoying watching Kanter very much. Yeah, I can see how a couple of years down the line he may price himself out of us making a long term commitment but right now he’s busting his butt and making some great plays.

    I’m gonna be ecstatic if we beat IND tomorrow.

    Despite being just 4-4 the Thunder have a +8.6 point differential. They have the 9th best offense and 2nd best defense. By the end of the season they’ll easily be in the Top 3 in the West with Golden St and Houston.

    The Knicks should be looking at what they have currently. You wonder what a guard like Bledsoe would do for the Knicks but I’m not trying to make any trades until the deadline. If we’re well above .500 and KP, Kanter, and TH2 are balling, then you go grab a point guard like Bledsoe and build around what you have. If we’re below or even hovering around .500 then you stand pat unless you get a really good deal. If we’re below, then sell for whatever assets you can get. 8 games into the season is probably too short a period of time to determine where we stand.

    It would be very nice to add Bledsoe or Crowder, though. Both guys fit what this team needs. Maybe Cleveland would even be interested in a Crowder for Lee swap depending on how their seasons go.

    Knicks sold high in Komives + Bellamy ( underrated big) for Debusschere deal, who became the final piece of the ’69 Chp team. The move also allowed Reed to move to center, which also served as a catalyst for the team’s ascension. There were no cap considerations then, so deals were much less complicated to engineer. Still the deal was probably facilitated by the cognitive bias of the Komives/Bellamy Knicks going on a unKnicksy hot streak.
    ( sorry for the ancient history references)
    Bledsoe certainly does not appear to be a Debusschere type add on, but if an undervalued pg could be
    had, it would be a worthy risk. As pointed out above Kanter seems to bring a strong energy to the game, which combined with his stellar advanced metrics may provide value to a putative trade partner.

    @42
    Unless you also have a deal for Lee or McD ready to go, that trade creates a logjam at the three. Lee, McD, and Crowder all deserving time. And, why would Cleveland want Kuz? He probably has zero value right now.

    I’d be reluctant to give the Chicago pick there. I don’t think the Knicks need to trade away any picks to get a decent deal somewhere.

    IIRC, Lee and OQ to the Cavs for Crowder and an expiring (Frye) would benefit both teams.

    Crowder needs a playmaker to be effective on offense. The Cavs really miss Isaiah; it’s too much of a load for LBJ to carry by himself. If I were Cavs, I’d offer Frye/Osman for Bledsoe, wait a month or two for NO’s experiment to fail and then trade Isaiah and Nets pick for Boogie.

    Despite being just 4-4 the Thunder have a +8.6 point differential. They have the 9th best offense and 2nd best defense. By the end of the season they’ll easily be in the Top 3 in the West with Golden St and Houston.

    Eh, I’m still not sold on OKC. I watched the end of that Boston game last night, and for a supposedly top notch defensive team, they played some really stupid D down the stretch and allowed wide open shots to Horford. And on offense, it seems like it’s basically Russ, PG and Melo taking turns going one on one.

    The other issue is that their bench is awful so one injury to Russ or PG and that team could go south quickly

    @37, lots of guys can be solid starters, but on what level of a team? Contender? Fringe playoff team? Lottery team?

    On Wily for Bledsoe. I’m tempted as Kyle is playing amazing and Wily doesn’t have a place in the rotation right now

    Unless Bledsoe makes us a contender this season there’s no reason to trade a good young player for him

    Lee and O’Quinn for Frye and Crowder works in the trade machine. If necessary, throw in the Chicago pick . . . that would be an awesome trade for us and fill some needs for the Cavs. Frees up the front court logjam, gets us a quality wing – what’s not to like? We can always buy more second rounders.

    Despite being just 4-4 the Thunder have a +8.6 point differential. They have the 9th best offense and 2nd best defense. By the end of the season they’ll easily be in the Top 3 in the West with Golden St and Houston.

    I highly doubt that Adams’ .688 TS% on relatively high usage is legit, even though I think he’s a tremendous player and a person earning his huge contract. Jerami Grant is also playing out of his mind. I could see them being a top-8 defense at year’s end, but the offense won’t finish better than 15th when those two come back to earth. Won’t be surprised when they fail to hit 50 wins.

    Looking ahead, we most likely go 2-2 in the next 4 games, so will be 6-6 heading into Cleveland. Then the next 10 games:
    Cavs
    Utah
    @ Raps
    Clips
    Raps
    @Hawks
    @Rockets
    Blazers
    Heat
    Magic
    I could see us going 3-7 in that stretch to be at 9-13. Then I can see us going .500 until Christmas. , maybe a bit better, to be at around 17-20 or so.

    Then a brutal stretch: from December 27 through March 7, we play 24 games on the road and only 9 at home, starting with a stretch of 16 of 20 on the road, including 7 in a row (well, one is in Brooklyn, but still.)

    That’s why it’s tough for me to see us as a playoff team this year, and why we’re probably looking at another 32 win season, give or take, with most of the win differential coming during that stretch.

    I literally wrote that I was pretty sure Hornacek wasn’t the answer right before this little hot streak started, and I feel happy to say I must have rushed to judgment. Couple things stand out–

    1) I have to give props to him starting Jack over Frank/Baker/Sessions. I think it’s fair to say that Knickerblogger and Twitter had a unanimously negative reaction to that announcement – yet it’s obviously been the right call. Jack’s effect on the offense probably has been a little overstated, but his net rating on defense (99.3 with him on court, 104.8 with him off-court) is outstanding especially given he shares the court with THJ and Kanter, and doesn’t get to benefit (on defense) from ever playing with Ntilikina. Knicksfilmschool has had a couple clips on him directing traffic on defense, specifically physically pushing Kanter into place at times.

    2) Sticking for the most part with the two big lineup — Knicks have the luxury of having KP being competent enough guarding 4’s on defense, yet being utterly unguardable by 4’s on offense. We all want KP to play center, but given we don’t really have a good candidate to play small-ball 4 if he plays C, it does make sense to go bully-ball with KP+Kanter.

    3) The offense (subtracting out the first 2 games during which the players admittedly didn’t even know what they were doing) has been solidly average – like exactly 15th out of 30. Given we literally get zero production point-wise out of the PG position in a PG driven league, I think that is really impressive, especially since Hornacek’s offense in PHX was so PG driven. He’s really done some nice stuff springing guys along the baseline, getting KP on the move (see Zach Lowe’s article), etc. McDermott really has had some nice stuff run for him leading to a career high 2P% so far (58.3) in addition to his 39% 3P%.

    4) the defense has really been pretty solid esp given the relative lack of good defensive players. Even Kanter has been ok!

    Why do you guys want a player whose team couldn’t wait to get rid of him for personal reasons and them played waaaay better after they got rid of him? I thought we wanted no drama type players after Rose and Melo left.

    by the way KP for the year is now averaging 31.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per 36. Not saying he’s going to keep that up, but those numbers have never been achieved over a season in NBA history.

    Another small sample tidbit –

    Kanter is now averaging 20.4 points and 15.2 rebounds per 36. In the last 50 years, only 2 players have reached those levels for a season – Moses Malone and Kevin Love. Across all of NBA history, only 7 players have reached those numbers for an entire season — Walt Bellamy, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Kevin Love, Bob Petit, and some Knick from the 50s named Kenny Sears.

    I know Kanter is mostly empty calories, but still a fun little exercise.

    Why do you guys want a player whose team couldn’t wait to get rid of him for personal reasons and them played waaaay better after they got rid of him? I thought we wanted no drama type players after Rose and Melo left.

    Bledsoe had a legitimate beef. PHX front office sat him for I believe a couple of months at the end of last season so they could tank and this is the same front office that mismanaged the whole Dragic situation. It’s gonna be the Hinkie 76ers for a few years. I don’t believe there have been any major issues with him in the past (but I could be wrong about this). In any event, Hornacek would know and would nix any deal if he didn’t like Bledsoe. He posted a bpm of 3.3 last season, the highest of his career. He plays solid defense (elite early on in his career), rebounds, and has a high FTr through attacking rim, something we need (and it’s not clear Frank ever will and Timmy, Lee, Dotson don’t either). If he were two years younger, this would be a no-brainer to me but his age and reliance on athleticism is very worrisome.

    The Knicks still need lots of pieces and are still years away from contending. No Bledsoe. He is not on our timeline. Keep acquiring young guys, spend some money on free agents to fill in the holes a few years from now when the shitty contracts start coming off the books.

    Win curve, win curve, win curve.

    If you can get Bledsoe for things not named KP, Willy, Frank or first round draft pick then it’s probably worth a dice roll. Otherwise tell them to fuck off because they’re delusional with their asking price.

    Why do people feel we’re so far away from being a serious competitor?
    – We’ve got KP and franchise players started to be real productive at 22yo
    – Like it or not, we’ve got Timmy in his prime right now and he’s gonna be here for a while
    – We’ve got Kanter in his prime who likely is gonna be here for at least the next 2 years
    – Dotson is 23yo and NBA ready
    – KOQ is in his prime
    – We’ve got Noah for a while who could be a plus player like last season in limited minutes
    – We’ve got a solid reserve 2/3 guard in Lee

    Our only glaring weakness is the 1 guard position. We’re gonna be too good to get a high pick this summer. I’m not saying we should trade for Bledsoe for the reason I gave but why is it such a stretch that a guy like him couldn’t place us right in the Celtics/Wizard tier in the lousy East? A rotation of Bledsoe/Frank/Timmy/Lee/Dotson/McD/KP/Kanter/KOQ/Noah seems pretty strong to me and we haven’t given up any future draft picks. Of course, I’m higher on Dotson than everyone else.

    We almost CAN’T trade Willy. We’ve got 18m per year tied up in Noah. KOQ definitely opts our this summer and can easily command 10m per year. Kanter either opts I’m at 18m or opts out and expects a big money long term deal. We can’t tie up nearly 50m in centers when we have a good young one on the roster at 1m

    Fine to keep the rotation as-is for now – we’re winning and the centers are playing well. But this rotation is max a 1 year thing…

    Please, this team beat the freaking Phoenix Suns, Cleveland in a terrible state of not caring, the Nuggets and Nets. Out of those, the Nuggets win was legit and all the others were very circumstantial. The Knicks also got obliterated against every single legitimately good team they played, Boston, Houston and OKC, 20+ losses and the games weren’t even close.

    Going win now with this roster is as stupid as it gets, an Isiah-esque move. Appreciate that the team seems to be making good progress and it has promising young players. Trading for veteran non-superstars is precisely the sort of move that would lead only to losing by 10 to the Celtics instead of 20. If a super value deal comes up, then yeah, take it, but this team is very far away from being a top contender even on the east.

    If, and it’s kind of a gigantic if, this team is .500 at the trade deadline, then by all means go for a trade to bring more talent. It’s way too early to think this team is even close to being legitimately good.

    The goal is to win a chip, not to be faux-competitive. For the love of all things decent, let’s have some patience for once. KP/Hardaway/Kanter is not the core of a real contender, that’s the core of a fake contender.

    @66 I agree. As nice as Kanter’s hot start has been, I think making him more tradeable is our biggest gain, while Hardaway is a 5th option on a contender, at best. And as much as I love O’Quinn, history has shown he’s about to max out his potential.
    I’m glad we’re competitive, but the trade deadline is the real time to move any of these guys that don’t fit the timeline to teams looking to contend this year. The Wiz will probably need another big body, same with the Spurs and other teams.
    We just have to collect young players with potential and hope they blossom or can eventually be flipped for stars when the time is right.

    I’m not sure Cleveland would want Lee since JR has two years left and Shump will probably opt in next year. I think they still have a trade exception large enough to fit KOQ and maybe they’d trade their own first for him- I’m pretty sure you can combine trade exceptions with picks but not players but I could be wrong. I’m not sure they’d want to move any picks given that there’s at good chance LBJ leaves and they need to start another rebuild but I’d do it from the Knicks end. I’d do the Crowder/Frye for Lee KOQ trade as well as Crowder has two years after this one at low dollars at a position of need, you clear some cap space with Lee and open up playing time for Dotson and Willy. And if you really want KOQ you can resign him when he opts out.

    Just spitballing…

    What if we used Willy as the lead in a Bledsoe deal and KOQ and the Bulls pick as the pieces in a Crowder deal? How good does that make us if KP is a top 10 player in the league?

    Bledsoe/Frank/Jack
    THJ/Lee
    Crowder/Lee
    KP/Crowder
    Kanter/KP/Noah

    I bet you could grab Osman in any Cleveland trade involving Lee and KOQ. He’s buried on the bench there and not getting out and they probably value their first more than the already “known” 22 year old commodity.

    We need to hold tight on trades except for clear winners for us. The team is playing well and if they continue to do so it will just up the value of all of our players. There’s no rush right now. We’re in a win win situation cause we’re playing well and we got young pieces and our picks. Just grow internally as a team and individually for the young players. Trades will present themselves to us if we continue to perform well cause teams will desire our players.

    We really don’t even know how good we are yet. Noah isn’t here yet. McDermott seems to be doing more every game. Dotson looks promising but has gotten very little burn. And Frank might be getting better every time he sets foot on the court. Even Hardaway has been uneven.

    @69

    That’s probably a 42-44 wins core at max, unless KP really is so damn good.

    I wouldn’t say this roster is clearly better than Milwaukee last year for example, as they had a legit unquestioned top 10 player (more like almost top 5 in terms of overall impact) and won 42 games last season.

    I would definitely say it’s not worth it.

    Yeah seriously. WE have no idea how good we are yet. This could just be the start. Obviously KP might slow down a bit after this hot start but Frank will only get better and Dotson has barely played. Hardaway is learning how to play off KP and will get better. Kanter and KQ might be at their peak now but Kanter could still get better and the team defense could get better. Plus we got Noah and Willie H and Ron not playing at all right now. So there is no need at all to rush. The more wins we get, the more our players value increase. I’m not opposed to a trade and obviously long term we can’t have Kanter, Willie, KQ and Noah but who knows. Maybe Noah shows himself to be back to his old form and that’s enough to get a team to bite on him. I know that’s wishful thinking but fuck it. After years of sucking, I’m gonna be a homer right now and be super positive and optimistic. this feels good!

    I still think the Knicks still need 2 more good young pieces before a “going for it” type of deal. So, sitting and waiting sounds good.

    And hang on the Chicago pick. That’s not just any old 2nd rounder there.

    If somehow the Knicks could nab Crowder for OQ and some salary fodder like Sessions or Beasley, that would be wonderful. Getting him might speed up the Knicks timeline by a year.

    Cleveland might do KOQ and Chicago pick for Osman. Don’t know enough about Osman to say whether we should do it but he’s on a nice contract.

    Cleveland might do KOQ and Chicago pick for Osman. Don’t know enough about Osman to say whether we should do it but he’s on a nice contract.

    Depends whether it’s Donnie or Marie

    Osman’s stats in Europe are quite mediocre, but he did play for a very good team (top 6 in the Euroleague) and those teams very very rarely put youngsters like him in a position to succeed. He’s talented and while not a great shooter, he can knock down open 3s, probably has a lot of room to grow still… I like him as a prospect, scouts used to rave about his high IQ, ability to play in transition and defensive instincts.

    For the record the following comment on a deadspin post about Kristaps was not written by me:

    I still think the Knicks should have drafted Justice Winslow instead, let’s see how both of their careers play out….

    @78
    Donnie or Marie? Everyone knows Jimmy was the most talented Osmond, but I wouldn’t trade OQ for him.
    🙂

    Reading the thread from today/yesterday, if you think this play/streak will last, you haven’t (1) watched past years’ trend of early wins with later heartbreak, (2) looked at our roster closely enough, (3) lost your youthful optimism. We will lose many games, and it’s a good thing. I enjoy watching our unicorn pounce, and our neophyte be precocious, but I’m not kidding myself. We are a lottery team.

    I still think the Knicks should have drafted Justice Winslow instead, let’s see how both of their careers play out….

    I thought Winslow was almost certain a become a good player. I didn’t necessarily think he was going to be a star, but I thought he’d be a lot better than he has been so far. At the time, most people thought Miami got a steal.

    We are a lottery team.

    I still think that unless KP sustains this level (not certain), Kanter is better than we thought. and Frank matures rapidly and starts really contributing instead of showing flashes of significant promise.

    Didn’t the great Stephen A. Smith excoriate the Knicks for not drafting Winslow? I thought it was curious that so many GM’s passed on him and that he dropped to #10, and then of course he was immediately labeled the “steal” of the draft.

    Meanwhile, the guy drafted after him, Myles Turner, has turned into a really good NBA player. THAT was the steal of the draft.

    As nice as Kanter’s hot start has been….

    Kantner’s start isn’t hot at all. He has played to precisely this level for the past 2.5 years. I believe he is 6th in ws/48 since his trade from Utah and is playing to precisely that level over the first 8 games w/o Westbrook. He is elite in his offensive efficiency and as an offensive rebounder, two fairly big keys to being successful as a team. He has obvious weaknesses as a defender and his BB IQ doesn’t seem optimal, but I don’t get all the “he sucks” from the Greek Chorus here.

    Sure I’d trade him for a good return but he is very good at the things he does well and I’m not really sure why his best role isn’t to be the primary offense on a second unit but WTF do I know :-0 And he is 25 yrs old.

    I bet the answer to the question “between Porzingis, KAT or Jokic, who would you build your team around” has changed for a lot of people.

    but I don’t get all the “he sucks” from the Greek Chorus here.

    Kanter is a very good player on offense who gives a lot of it back on defense. Who here is saying he sucks?

    The Mavs are getting crushed again, soon to be 1-10, and Smith has been hot garbage today against Teague… damn, I feel bad about Dirk, coming back to this shitshow, it hurts to watch.

    On Kanter, I’m pretty convinced he’s a plus player no matter what. If he keeps this sort of ts% there’s no way in hell he gives up more on defense than he provides on offense, just by sheer calculations. The dudes who are taking shots against him wont be as efficient as he is on the other end.

    I don’t expect it to stay at this superstar level, but even a .600+ mark would already be pretty valuable.

    I don’t expect it to stay at this superstar level, but even a .600+ mark would already be pretty valuable.

    Look at his stats since leaving Utah and they are fairly eye popping. It isn’t a small sample. He has a David Lee on steroids quality to him.

    Kanter is improving defensively. He was really good against Phoenix on a couple plays. Jarret Jack might make a man of him yet.

    There are limits to TS%. Steve Novak was fun and valuable as novelty, but at the end of the day, he was not really an NBA player even with his .600+ TS%. Kanter is obviously much more valuable than Novak, but his deficiencies are very real and very costly as you move up the playoff ladder. But yes, he is still young and from what I see he has a great attitude. He runs his ass off in transition, which is nice to see. He also lost lots of weight and that could help somewhat on D. But at some point, defense is not about hustle or practice or conditioning or coaching. It’s about anticipating and making quick reads. No one worked harder than Amare, but he just couldn’t keep up mentally. I see the same thing with Kanter.

    I bet the answer to the question “between Porzingis, KAT or Jokic, who would you build your team around” has changed for a lot of people.

    And those people are morons who still fail to see that Jokic is already an All-NBA-caliber player and will be an All-NBA-caliber player for the next ten years.

    Porzingis has been exceptional this year — it is not easy to have a USG% of 35 while putting up solid efficiency numbers — but he is not Jokic. We’re talking about a 22-year-old who’s put up a .616 TS% over 4,000+ minutes, and who averages 18/13/5 per 36 from the center position. Don’t be a dumb fanboy — Jokic is the better player.

    Yeah, I’m slowly warming to Kanter as a long-term secondary piece since he’s only 25.

    He’d be incredible as a #1 scoring option off the bench, though he’s overpaid for that. But I think he also has value as a starter in helping KP and THJ on offense. Teams have to commit 1-2 guys to Kanter down low as he’s crashing the boards relentlessly when everyone shoots. Neglect him at your peril.

    Still a long way to go to see what he’s really worth. But if he continues to play well, he may opt out like OQ probably will.

    THCJ, What a shallow comment, intellectually speaking. You totally ignore that Jokic is well known for being a complete cipher on the defensive end. Jokic is clearly the better offensive player right now, by a relatively narrow margin. But it’s beneath you to be so dismissive of the vast chasm between them on the defensive end.

    I should clarify that my comment is based on the assumption that KP continues to play somewhat like he has thus far this year. If he regresses to last year’s efficiency number, then it’s a different argument.

    Nikola Jokic was screening his own players when the Knicks faced off against them. That’s cute if your an off guard but as a rim protector you cannot win a championship with that effort on defense.

    He’s probably still better than KP, though.

    Nikola Jokic is a wonderful offensive basketball player. A true Sabonis clone in that regard. But he so looks like he couldn’t care less about playing defense. It is almost obscene at times.

    As for Chicago, I am worrying they will get the #1 pick and take Doncic. It will reignite my nightmares of watching Jordan cook us in a red and black uniform.

    Chicagos front Office is a mess so I’m not worried about them in the short term. Plus we have Frank to lock him up 🙂

    A Markannen/Donic combo could do some of the same damage we envisioned with a KP/Doncic combo. I would be most upset about this.

    Well, at least Chicago has 0 talent on their roster, so even if they do land Doncic it will take a while, and they’ve been so horribly managed nothing is out of question. Markkanen looks good but GarPax will probably trade him for Jordan Clarkson or something.

    After watching the Kings and Mavs play today in fairly certain they’ll outtank the Knicks. The Kings play like headless chickens 90% of the time, with the rest being Z-Bo post ups, and the Mavericks are giving so many minutes to horrible players and have possibly the worst bench of the league. They’ll continue to get crushed by the better teams in the west all season long.

    I doubt Chicago would trade Markannen away after they worked so hard to get him on draft day. He and Doncic could be a lethal pair.

    There are limits to TS%. Steve Novak was fun and valuable as novelty, but at the end of the day, he was not really an NBA player

    The real valuable things actual NBA player Steve Novak did in real NBA games didn’t count because he, uh, wasn’t a real NBA player.

    The real valuable things actual NBA player Steve Novak did in real NBA games didn’t count because he, uh, wasn’t a real NBA player.

    I mean, it’s not like he was a key piece of a 54 win team or anything.

    He didn’t create shots for himself, therefore not a NBA player.

    I would trade like 10 Beasleys to get Novak’s shooting.

    Luka Doncic will not be the 1st pick in the NBA draft. He might not even go top 3 this year, and it has nothing to do with his ability to play the game. Luka Doncic doesn’t present you with the opportunity to dominate a game physically the way Michael Porter Jr, Marvin Bagley, and Deandre Ayton do. Those three are flat out dominating athletes, and that speaks to a higher ceiling than Doncic’s basketball IQ does. My money is Doncic goes 3rd or 4th depending on how Bagley does at Duke.

    Doncic is a prodigy playing against grown ass men in the 2nd best league in the world. Passing on him would be stupid.

    I would agree but this year is loaded with potential franchise players at the top. Mo Bamba was in Australia looking like Karl Towns, Deandre Ayton looked unbelievably dominant in that pre season game, and Michael Porter Jr is about to roast SEC power forwards something nasty. Doncic is by far and away the safest pick at the top of the draft, but his ceiling isn’t as high as at least Ayton, Bamba, and Porter Jr because those guys just have better athletic profiles.

    Competition is definitely important, but LeBron came from high school and in the same draft nobody is picking Doncic over LeBron. Out of Porter Jr, Bamba, Doncic, Ayton, and Bagley, the only guy who I think for sure goes below Doncic is Bagley, and Bagley was the consensus #1 prospect this year. Well Mo Bamba is a good bet to go after Doncic because Texas probably won’t be as good as some other clubs, but he has a 7’9” wingspan and a very smooth game.

    Doncic may turn out to be the best player in this draft, but he may not be the best prospect.

    I’m not sure Doncic and Markannen would make the best pairing on the defensive end but it’d be nice offensively. They are as playmaking challenged as the Knicks so unless a point impresses enough to leap into the top five (assuming that’s where the Bulls will pick) it’s hard to see them passing on Doncic. That said, one of the bigs could easily wind up so impressive that they’ll be the consensus, impossible to pass up #1.

    I think the long NCAA season will give us the answer as to who is going to go #1. We just don’t have that much information to go on for the bigs (I mean, obviously we have a decent amount of information, but not enough to see how they will all be ranked against each other at the end of the year. Towns, for instance, did not enter his freshman year as the consensus #1 pick. Heck, he wasn’t even consensus top 3 or 4 headed into the season).

    Novak was extremely limited. If you take away the spot up 3, all that’s left is a guy that doesn’t rebound, make plays, or defend at an NBA level. In the regular season or against certain matchups he added value because he’d get some open looks and score efficiently in limited usage. But in the playoffs when the good defensive teams locked him down he was useless.

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