Knicks Morning News (2017.11.20)

  • [SNY Knicks] Tim Hardaway Jr. questionable for Clippers game with left foot soreness
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 2:38:05 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Tim Hardaway Jr. said he first noticed the soreness in his left foot after the Knicks beat the Utah Jazz on Nov. 15, but he didn’t take it seriously at first.

  • [SNY Knicks] Jeff Hornacek compares Kristaps Porzingis’ struggles to Aaron Judge’s slump
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 11:47:50 AM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Kristaps Porzingis and Aaron Judge are both outsized New York superstars.

  • [SNY Knicks] Larry Johnson spills Knicks eating secret, more on ‘Athletic Appetites’
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 10:14:02 AM)

    Knicks great Larry Johnson gave up his former teammates’ eating habits in “Athletic Appetites” with Michelle Yu.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis says elbow is nothing to worry about
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 10:41:48 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Kristaps Porzingis is in a mini-slump. But Jeff Hornacek tried to put all concerns to rest by comparing the Knicks’ young star to one of the Yankees.

  • [NY Newsday] Tim Hardaway may be sidelined by sore foot
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 10:38:55 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Knicks could be without Tim Hardaway Jr. when they face the Clippers on Monday night.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Remember When the Warriors Stunk? These Guys Had a Front-Row Seat
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 11:42:35 PM)

    Before Golden State rose to the pinnacle of the N.B.A., members of the franchise’s broadcast crew gave themselves pep talks through many wretched seasons.

  • [NYDN] Tim Hardaway Jr. questionable for Monday against Clippers
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 9:02:38 PM)

    Tim Hardaway Jr. missed Knicks practice Sunday with a sore left foot and is officially questionable for Monday’s home game.

  • [NYDN] David Lee, former Knicks All-Star, retires from NBA
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 9:01:40 PM)

    Lee won’t lace ’em up again.

  • [NYDN] Jeff Hornacek likens Kristaps Porzingis’ slump to Aaron Judge’s
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 9:01:00 PM)

    Jeff Hornacek is using the experiences of a different New York sports star to quiet concerns over Kristaps Porzingis’ recent struggles.

  • [NYPost] Why Knicks won’t guarantee when Tim Hardaway will return
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 8:06:02 PM)

    Tim Hardaway Jr. officially is listed as “questionable” for the Knicks against the Clippers at the Garden on Monday because of a sore left foot. And if there is any question, the Knicks seem set to err on the side of caution. “Just wait and see. Tomorrow come back in here get treatment again, go…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ explanation for recent Kristaps Porzingis: Aaron Judge
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 12:19:06 PM)

    Hey, if a slump can hit Yankee Aaron Judge with the strength of Hercules, one certainly can affect Knick Kristaps Porzingis, New York’s favorite unicorn. “Didn’t Aaron Judge kind of just go through this?” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said Sunday. “So relax, people, relax. He’ll be all right, just like Aaron Judge.” Well, Judge did…

  • [NYPost] Ex-Knicks fan favorite retires for life with Caroline Wozniacki
    (Sunday, November 19, 2017 10:12:28 AM)

    David Lee called it a career with some literal fireworks. The former two-time All-Star, Knicks first-round pick and Warriors world champion announced his retirement on Sunday with an Instagram post, saying his 12 seasons in the NBA were over. “An epic night celebrating my retirement with my friends and family!” the 34-year-old wrote with pictures…

  • 43 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2017.11.20)”

    Repeating a Sunday question that got lost in the deserved nostalgia for David Lee: If Hardaway’s not good to go tonight, who starts in his place? Lance? McBuckets? Or Dotson, to preserve the rest of the rotations? Hoping it’s Dotson, fearing it’s Beasley.

    I think it’s going to be McDermott. Beverley will play, but Gallinari is still out, so the Clippers will start Beverley, Rivers and Wesley Johnson probably. There’s no need for Lance against Johnson and Lee will check Rivers at the start, and Horny has been bringing McDermott as the first wing off the bench for a while now.

    If Hardaway is out I’m going to be very disappointed if Dotson doesn’t get some run. If he can’t crack the rotation on this team even with an injury in front of him, then maybe I need to temper my enthusiasm for him becoming a significant contributor eventually. It’s not like he’s 19 or 20.

    The Clippers are in very bad shape ritght now. It makes me wonder if Doc might be fired… If they keep this pace (granted, they are suffering amid a myriad of injuries), the FO can change directions, blow it up (Griffin’s can be traded before ‘gulp’ the next injury) and start a violent rebuild. Teams should be calling them to ask for DeAndre Jordan’s price. Anyone else here wish the Clippers moved to Seattle? I think it would be interesting, but the league probably doesn’t want it now.

    (By the way, I read a lot of Cavs Twitter, and their fans are in complete desperation mode – challenging the Warriors can do that – so every day they come up with new trade ideas: the Clippers are bad right now –> TRADE FOR JORDAN!; Conley gets injured: HEY GRIZZLIES, WHAT ABOUT TRISTAN AND OUR 1ST ROUND FOR GASOL?!)

    Regarding David Lee: absolutely instrumental to the Warriors title in 2015, he changed the pace of that series, and GSW never looked back. Great career.

    McDermott would likely get the biggest increase in minutes, but I could see someone else getting the start, for the ol’ “try not to mess up rotations for the main rotation players for a short term injury” deal.

    The Clippers are nowhere near as bad as their record indicates.

    Gallinari missed 6 games and got off to a terrible start.
    Teodosic missed 13 games.
    Beverly missed 5 games.

    We are lucky to be catching them now because if they ever get healthy they are a lot better than us. We have a shot tonight.

    Going to the game tonight. I’ve been to knicks games before, but never actually in MSG, so I’m beyond excited. We really need to win this game and we ought to, as well.

    Going to the game tonight. I’ve been to knicks games before, but never actually in MSG, so I’m beyond excited. We really need to win this game and we ought to, as well.

    I’ll be there also. If it’s competitive game you are going to love MSG. Let’s cheer them home.

    because if they ever get healthy

    This was always the concern with the Clippers. Blake hasn’t missed any time yet either. I’m not a believer in what they did this summer.

    The Clippers just cannot hit a shot right now. Blake himself is shooting about 35% over the last couple of weeks. He must have completely abandoned his inside game. Worst contract in the NBA.
    Rivers is a monster chucker of 3’s who also can’t hit a shot during this team slump.

    So we know what’s gonna happen. Rivers is gonna look like Reggie Miller and Blake will look like Bird. At some point these guys’ shots will fall, and here comes the worst 3 point defending team in the league.
    It’s funny how no matter who the coach is and what players they have, they’re horrible at defending the 3. It’s like the Giants with defending the TE or the Mets and injuries.

    I think McDermott will start, with Lance taking the rest of Timmy’s minutes. For whatever reason, they’re not too keen on playing Dotson significant minutes. If it were up to me, McDermott would start and play as much as he can handle, with Dotson getting 20-30 minutes backing up Lee and McDermott.

    I dunno, maybe I’m on an island on this one, I still root for losses. I still think that a future core of KP, Hernangomez (wtf I was so high on him, hopefully he bounces back to playing), Ntilikina, and Hardaway, +/- Kanter, McDermott and Dotson/Baker/oldOquinn, can stand to get another good lottery piece. I hope for losses, with guys like KP missing ample time to rest, yet still getting better. Maybe we’re too good to tank, I just still don’t believe it yet. I would hate to have KP become our Anthony Davis or Cousins.

    @6 I agree we are catching the Clippers at the right time. When healthy they are a lot better than their record and a lot better the Knicks.

    The Clippers are not moving from LA, Balmer has signed up to build a new arena in Inglewood.

    If THJR is out they should start McBuckets and Dotson should definitely got some run.

    @13

    Saying we don’t have enough quality in place is a good argument for losing.

    The counter argument is:

    1. Getting playoff experience is a plus for the development of young players.
    2. Winning and looking like we are getting close to becoming a serious team gives top free agents and unhappy players seeking a trade an incentive to put NY on their list of possible destinations.
    3. The difference in value between 6-10 pick and 11-15 pick is not very large statistically. I don’t think we are bad enough to get one of the really attractive picks. We are going to have to find a hidden gem somewhere below that or get another star in a trade or free agency eventually.

    The good thing is that this draft is loaded with wing talent in our best and worst case spots. Also I know people don’t want to hear this but guys are gonna want to come play with KP and Frank in NY.

    Miles Bridges is our destiny, and is a good fit.. Let’s just hope he turns out to be more Tatum than Beasley.

    I think the best argument against rooting for losses is if we’re truly Doncic-level awful this year (which it tentatively seems like will not be the case), it means Porzingis and the other young guys we’re relying on to become good weren’t all that good. There would be no way to spin that as not having negative implications for our future. So Porzingis and co. actually being good + the ~17 pick > Porzingis and co. not being good + a top-8 pick. I think that’s more or less my attitude about this season.

    (By the way, I read a lot of Cavs Twitter, and their fans are in complete desperation mode – challenging the Warriors can do that – so every day they come up with new trade ideas: the Clippers are bad right now –> TRADE FOR JORDAN!; Conley gets injured: HEY GRIZZLIES, WHAT ABOUT TRISTAN AND OUR 1ST ROUND FOR GASOL?!)

    I was at the Heat game last night (because a friend couldn’t go, would never have spent my own money on that hellish game) and it got me thinking about how the Heat are pretty screwed if they don’t turn things around quickly. They dealt their 2018 (top-7 protected, unprotected in 2019) and 2021 firsts to Phoenix for a quickly aging Dragic, and don’t have any cap flexibility due to a bunch of really confusing signings.

    If they wanted to pull the plug, they could trade Whiteside and Dragic to Cleveland for TT, Shumpert, Frye, and the Brooklyn pick. Maybe they could get more by trading them separately, or maybe they’d seek out a buyer with more to offer, but regardless it seems like Miami could be in fire sale mode pretty soon.

    @ 18 – not necessarily true. Another scenario is that KP plays the first 40 games and continues to improve, with the Knicks being about 16-24. Then he shuts it down to have his elbow surgery, at which point they fall off a cliff, Lee and O’Quinn are dealt for picks, and they end up with a top 5 pick, all the while with Frank and Dotson developing.

    Well, that’s my dream scenario.

    Silky, have fun at the game but don’t playa hate, or Dolan will throw you out like Oakley

    besides kp.. alot of the folks contributing heavily likely won’t be on the next good knicks team… lance, lee and koq fit in that group along with the junkyard pgs… there’s another group that’s in the ‘probably not’ category… and that’s kanter and mcdermott…. the core that might be rotation players consists of kp, frank, th2, baker and wily… and half of those guys aren’t seeing reliable minutes yet…

    so i don’t think there’s anything wrong with rooting for losses.. esp with the draft being top heavy… we still need core players…. and a playoff berth will most likely lock us into this roster like resigning both kanter and mcdermott to long term deals which imo would be pretty bad…

    that being said… early returns on the prospects after the top 4 or so look promising as a number of them have started off well… so this draft could be another decent one all the way up until the top 10….

    the lottery will play itself out, I want to see some competitive games.
    if someone gets injured and has to shut it down , like Kp god forbid, then we will can start looking at lottery position. until then lets build some experience winning. we still dont know what we have with frank or if we have a ‘core’ becasue the core is Lee and thjr with question marks(baker? willy? KOQ? dotson?) hard to tell

    I know this is only kind of related but I think its a little premature to say stuff like “this draft is top heavy” or “this draft is loaded.” The NBA draft, lottery and all the prospective articles, vids and related media that comes out before it scouting the talents, etc…is now a big business. It seems like every year now we’re hearing “oh man this draft is so loaded” when the fact is there is no real way of knowing that. KP’s draft was described as loaded at the top. Towns is good, KP is good but the rest of the top 10 have just been ok so far. A lot of them will go on to have good NBA careers and some of them might even take that leap to very good, but 3 years in and there’s really just KP and Towns that you can say were absolute great picks in the top 10.

    I get wanting to tank but I really think its premature. People lamented the knicks not being worse than we were last year but now it feels like fans for the most part are happy with Frank as our pick and many are lamenting the fact that we didn’t pick the guy who was picked AFTER Frank, not before.

    Good talent is throughout the draft. If Frank can improve and become a starting caliber PG in this league who plays great defense and compliments KP well, then we are in very good shape. We don’t need a top 5 pick every year to build a good team. We just need picks in general, which we now have going forward.

    Do we really need to tank if we are able to find dudes as good as Dotson in the 2nd round?

    I don’t like the sound of THJ’s injury. Ambiguous foot injuries tend to linger and he was starting to play pretty well. Hopefully I’m wrong and it’s just general soreness, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out he has plantar fasciitis. Seeing as how his big nights have lead to more than a few wins, that might be as good a reason as any to start actively tanking.

    @ 24 – exactly. I think people overhype the top of the draft every year. You build a good team by drafting well (regardless of where that pick falls in the draft), developing your young players, having a good system/coach in place, making smart trades that bring in young players with upside or assets or overlooked vets who are paid less vs. what they can contribute and by making key free agent signings of younger veterans. Do these things consistently and you will build a good team.

    We keep discussing ‘what’s the difference between picking at x vs y,’ but regardless of anecdotal differences between picking X at 6 who was better than Y at 2, it’s been pretty much proven that the better your pick, the better your chance at succeeding. 82games has a few old articles on it, but it’s all irrelevant, because if you’re so good at drafting in the second round, wouldn’t you want to maximize your skill at drafting with a higher pick?

    And yes, I agree, we have guys like Kanter, Lee, O’quinn, etc, who all may not be part of our long-term success but are giving us wins now regardless, so what’s the point of that.

    With KP in the lineup, we are clearly better than Atl, Chi, Sac and Dallas…..and we’ve won 5 more games already than all those teams. We are probably also better than Phoenix, Brooklyn and the lakers. So, that’s 8 teams. Even if KP sat out the 2nd half of the year, we’d probably still finish 6th worse….which means we probably draft between 5 and 8 instead of like 12th. I just don’t get why we would root for that. These kids need to play and develop, and part of developing is winning.

    @24

    Well, if our coach is not going to play those guys…

    I do agree with wetbandit, having a higher pick is necessarily better. But I do think this draft specifically is weird in the sense that outside of Doncic and Porter, who might end up going 1 and 2, the other 3 elite guys are all big men and a poor fit hypothetically for the Knicks. Of course, if we do get Bagley you draft him and then adjust properly, but this might not be a terrible year to get a 6-10 range pick, as most of the non-Doncic/Porter prospects that are good fits for the Knicks are in that range.

    I’m happy either way, to be honest, I want them to either show promise winning or lose badly. The inbetween scares me a bit but I don’t think this is the same situation as the last few years, where the Knicks are hopelessy devoid of talent and picks.

    the draft definitely gets overhyped at times …. but this year in particular it’s justified… doncic in particular is running into can’t miss territory and guys like ayton and bagley are dominating early also….

    so just having a blanket.. ‘this draft can be overrated’ without actually looking at it… can lead to incorrect assumptions…. it’s like looking back at durant and lebron and saying ‘there’s no way we could’ve known those guys would turn into superstars’…. that would be a little naive….

    Yeah, I can’t believe we’re having this “it doesn’t matter where you draft” argument again. I guess Probability is hard.
    To head off the straw men:
    1) Yes, a higher pick does not guarantee a better pick, but a) it gives you better odds of a better pick, and b) more choices are better than fewer choices.
    2) Yes, it takes more than high draft picks to build a team. Duh.

    think about how long we’ve been plotting the knickerbocker’s future… all the while, with each day, we get closer to our deaths… lets enjoy some of the excitement that goes along with these wins!!!… 2018 and beyond doesn’t guarantee us any excitement…

    @31

    We’d all rather have the 6th pick than the 8th pick and the 8th pick than the 10th pick, but on average, once you get outside the top few picks where most of the franchise players are located, the expectations are not much different if you are talking about the 6th pick vs. the 8th pick, 8th vs. 10th etc.. The talent is typically so similar, on “average” they wind up being fairly similar players. On top of that, because there’s a lottery, you aren’t even guaranteed the extra losing will get you a better pick.

    So imo you CAN argue that players like KP, Frank etc… would benefit from playoff experience and the team would benefit by being able to attractive top tier players more than us picking 10th instead of 15th.

    On the flip side, if you are so bad you are going to wind up picking somewhere between 1 and 5, that’s an entirely different scenario. Then the gap between 1 and 5 is huge because the probability of getting a franchise player is MUCH larger in the top couple of picks.

    Here’s some data. You can see how the slope really explodes near the top few and is flatter after that. I saw some other data on Twitter this year that really spelled it out. I just can’t find it now.

    http://nbasense.com/draft-pick-trade-value/

    “but on average, once you get outside the top few picks where most of the franchise players are located, the expectations are not much different if you are talking about the 6th pick vs. the 8th pick, 8th vs. 10th etc.. The talent is typically so similar, on “average” they wind up being fairly similar players. ”

    – ???

    To add to the well-articulated 2for18:
    – Yes, winning is good, but what if parts of the reason we’re good is guys that won’t stick with us and we are stuck in mediocrity.
    – If we are to draft an amazing big prospect like Bagley, are we so set at our positions that we can’t take a great stud? I don’t get it. You keep KP/Bagley and trade Kanter/Oquinn, and Hernangomez can play too.
    – Guys like Doncic and Fultz and Okafor and Derrick Williams can sometimes look like ‘can’t miss’ but turn into busts/rotation pieces. I’d still take the gamble, and the rotation piece.

    Again, I get the logic behind tanking to get a higher pick. I just feel like there can be good picks throughout the draft and if you scout well, you will find the talent you need. Also, being a good team that is on the rise is important for free agency. Not just in big free agent acquisitions but in smaller ones too. A big name free agent will take into consideration money/years but also if the team looks to be a good one. We’re more likely to land free agents we want and more likely to pay a bit less for them if we are a good team. We’re also more likely to sign a fringe free agent at a value contract if we are decent. IE, an older journeyman free agent or veteran who is closer to the end of his career but could be a valuable bench role type for us…those guys want to play for teams that play in the playoffs.

    The issue as always is: yes, you can draft a guy at 15th that’s better than dudes drafted at 2. But if you’re picking 2nd, you can choose between all those guys including drafting the dude who’s at 15 in the projections.

    There’s no downside at all to having a higher pick in a vacuum. The issue is how much you value wins in terms of player development. I particularly don’t think they matter, but I can’t really prove it obviously.

    Strat and Silky, Have fun at the game. Make a lot of noise!

    @15 – I’ve been looking at the 2018 draft boards and this looks like a deep, deep draft. Thing is, many of the very high picks are bigs. Most projections don’t have a PG going top 5. In fact, Collin Sexton looks like the first one off the board in most projections. Some names:

    Collin Sexton (Alabama) looks like the highest ranked point guard. He’s in the 6-10 range.
    Trevon Duval (Duke) is an explosive offensive PG we could get 10-15
    Troy Brown (Oregon), Devonte Graham (Kansas) and Shake Milton (SMU) will be on the board late.

    But as others said earlier, we need picks, not necessarily top-5. Good mid-1st round picks, are very valuable and are going to help. The big benefit is price. The first few years of NBA ball are absolute bargains. Young, athletic and cheap is much better than old, sluggish and expensive.

    I don’t think wins are necessarily good for development, but they do prove that player developing is happening at all if they’re coming from the players you’re trying to develop.

    Courtney Lee never should’ve been signed and if there’s any trade at all we can finagle for him in which we don’t take back long-term salary we should do it yesterday. He does contribute to wins while obviously having no future here.

    For almost everyone else the situation is at least a little murkier. We have older guys who will never have trade value (Jack, Noah, Beasley), young guys who we need to be good if we’re ever going to be a good team (Porzingis, Willy, Frank, THJ), and guys who we’re not quite sure about (Kanter, KOQ, McDermott, and uh Baker I guess).

    For guys in the last group, playing well enough to contribute to wins is probably more positive than negative. Even if we don’t wind up keeping them, the most optimal outcome is trading them for assets. That’s not going to happen if they aren’t playing well.

    @ 33 makes sense. Thanks for the post/info.
    As much fun as the wins are, I really think we can get into the top 5 if we sell off Lee and O’quinn. And if KP goes down all bets are off as to how far we can fall.
    I’m just not a fan of mediocrity, which is where this is headed without another real superstar, which we can only acquire through the draft.

    As we talk about the draft, I put together a quick “Advanced Stats” analysis using Basketball-Reference advanced stats (VORP, BPM, WS) going back to 2000. In it I rank the top 25 players for each of those advanced stats and indicate the year they were drafted and where they went. I wanted to see how important those very early picks are compared to mid-1st round picks. About 50% the top 25 players are picks 1-5. And amongst the top-10, 70% of the picks were top-5. Clearly, getting a top-5 player increases the odds of getting a superstar. However, there’s value throughout the draft, but it gets more difficult to find.

    VORP, BPM and WS since 2000

    I root for the Knicks to win every game, but I’m okay with the losses b/c I believe that the team does not have enough talent, yet. So, getting next year’s pick to be as early as possible is desired.

    Somehow getting another 1st rounder would be great, too. And, the Chicago 2nd could be nice as well.

    Now, if the team totally goes with the young guys and wins some games, so be it. That’s good even if it costs draft position.

    However, if come January the Knicks are a .500ish team and still giving lots of playing time for Lee, LT, Jack, Beasley, etc., then something has gone wrong. Now, Lee is okay if they are showcasing him hard at that time, but he really needs to be dealt along with one of Kanter or OQ. Willy needs PT.

    Marvin Bagley looks like he’d be an excellent frontcourt partner for KP, assuming he lives up to his scouting report which is far from a given. He is supposedly a plus rebounder and has dominated on the glass so far at Duke, and he is also supposedly quick enough to play strong perimeter defense. A plus-rebounding stretch four with a strong drive game who also defends well on the perimeter? Sign me up for that.

    Bamba is terrifying with those long arms at his height. Just put him at the 4 then let him, Frank and KP terrorize other teams.

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