Knicks Morning News (2017.11.23)

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks’ 28-0 run in third quarter makes Raptors extinct
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 11:24:56 PM)

    It was a quarter for the ages.

  • [NY Newsday] Steve Kerr defends Phil Jackson’s disastrous Knicks tenure
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 7:27:56 PM)

    Steve Kerr, the head coach of the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, almost ended up as Phil Jackson’s first coach with the Knicks. The two are close, and Kerr defended his old Bulls boss for his disastrous Knicks tenure in comments reported by ESPN.

  • [ESPN] ‘Explicit’ halftime talk leads Knicks to historic win against Toronto
    (Thursday, November 23, 2017 2:02:56 AM)

    New York players respond to coach Jeff Hornacek’s displeasure by scoring 28 straight points in a decisive third quarter of a feel-good victory.

  • [NYTimes] Knicks 108, Raptors 100: Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 38 Points Carry Knicks Past Raptors
    (Thursday, November 23, 2017 3:54:07 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds and Hardaway scored 12 during a 28-0 third-quarter run at Madison Square Garden.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Basketball Mimics Soccer’s World Cup Qualifying (Minus the Stars)
    (Thursday, November 23, 2017 12:40:30 AM)

    In a twist, national teams will have to qualify for FIBA’s World Cup without help from N.B.A. players, though the stars would play in the actual tournament.

  • [NYDN] Knicks explode for 28-0 run, hold on to beat Raptors
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 8:51:47 PM)

    The notion that Kristaps Porzingis doesn’t have enough offensive help on the Knicks’ roster was obliterated.

  • [NYDN] Steve Kerr: Phil Jackson ‘did some good things’ for Knicks
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 8:50:54 PM)

    Kerr looks like the smartest person in NBA history for turning down Phil Jackson’s offer to coach the Knicks in 2014.

  • [NYPost] Courtney Lee answers bell after getting torn into by Hornacek
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:19:26 PM)

    The Knicks had just completed a first half that was … gee, what’s the word? Oh, right. Lousy. So coach Jeff Hornacek let his gang know, collectively and individually. “We came in here, watched film and coach kind of got on me,” Courtney Lee said. “I really didn’t like what was being said.” And what…

  • [NYPost] Knicks getting big Thanksgiving feast courtesy of Jarrett Jack
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 8:54:21 PM)

    Jarrett Jack is the Knicks’ starting point guard, quarterback, organizer and now host for a Thanksgiving party on the road. The team will make the best of Thanksgiving Day after a big 108-100 comeback victory over the Raptors on Wednesday. They won’t practice, but will fly to Atlanta ahead of Friday’s game versus the Hawks….

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ Enes Kanter shows he’s more than just a rebounder
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 8:16:11 PM)

    It was a favored expression of Pat Riley, one he used frequently to emphasize the importance of the dirty work of the NBA’s blue collar laborers. “Rebounds equal rings.” And it was an expression everyone in basketball knew. “I never heard that,” Knicks center Enes Kanter said. “Seriously. But I like that. A lot.” OK,…

  • [NYPost] Don’t put an asterisk on this one: This was a Knicks statement win
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 7:59:25 PM)

    There was no need for qualifiers now. The final seconds were bleeding off the clock, and Tim Hardaway Jr. was exhorting the sold-out crowd to shout ever stronger, roar ever louder. The other Knicks were flipping the ball around, the basketball equivalent of the victory formation. A few Raptors extended their hands. “This,” Hardaway said…

  • [NYPost] Knicks put together a historic run in win over Raptors
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 5:16:03 PM)

    Now that’s a Thanksgiving run. The third-quarter numbers were historic. It was 28-0 in all — more like an NFL run than an NBA one. Yes, the Knicks scored a team record 28 straight points in a 108-100 victory over the Raptors on Wednesday night after playing one of the most ferocious quarters in franchise…

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks use 28-0 run to rally past Raptors, 108-100
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 10:25:10 PM)

    Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a career-high 38 points, including 12 during a 28-0 run in the third quarter that sent the New York Knicks to a 108-100 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] Walt “Clyde” Frazier says Knicks can keep winning
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 6:15:33 PM)

    MSG analyst and former Knick great Walt “Clyde” Frazier told WFAN’s Mike Francesa he believes the Knicks are capable of maintaining their early-season success.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s game: Knicks vs. Raptors, 7:30 p.m.
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 5:45:00 PM)

    Five days after getting dealt their worst loss of the season by the Toronto Raptors, the New York Knicks will welcome their northern visitors to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night for a rematch.

  • [SNY Knicks] Jay-Z calls out LeBron James’ ‘King of New York’ comments
    (Wednesday, November 22, 2017 10:30:13 AM)

    Superstar rapper JAY-Z chimed in with his own take on LeBron James’ “King of New York” comments while performing a concert in Cleveland.

  • 40 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2017.11.23)”

    Guys, I had this crazy dream where we went on a 28-0 run against a really good team and Hardaway looked underpaid.

    Dreams, man…

    Happy Thanksgiving to all the regular posters, and thank you to the quants who have taught me a new way to view the game.
    For the first time in a long time, we have a rationale basis to be cautiously optimistic about future prospects… dare I say, to have hope.

    Is there any info regarding the team’s intentions concerning Noah?

    I don’t want to throw cold water on an amazing win, but KP is really struggling. If my back of the envelop calculations are right, his TS% over his last 5 games is 47%. That’s despite being 28 for 33 from the FT line – which is both plenty of opportunities and at a high percentage. Fortunately, he rebounded and defended well last night, but he’s really struggling with shot selection and the defense focusing on him. He’s got to learn to say “no” to bad shots and make plays instead. The Knicks are not going to win a lot of games if he’s playing like that. We aren’t going to get games like we got out of Timmy last night on a regular basis even though it appears like his 2nd half from last was not a fluke.

    Speaking of Timmy, when a player scores 38 points you’d expect to see an off the chart TS%. You figure the guy was exceptionally hot and/or took a lot of FTs. But it was only a tad over 60%. He took a lot of shots. He was all around terrific though.

    The Knicks won’t get that kind of game from Hardaway all the time, but he’s been surprisingly good. Over his last 13 games, he’s averaged 21.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.6 steals with a .585TS%.

    Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek admitted he got on the team in a big way at halftime.

    Lee, who scored 15 points with seven assists and five rebounds, revealed afterward the coach aimed darts mostly at him. Lee said they exchanged words, and then he ignited the third-quarter carnage, with Hardaway joining in.

    “We challenged the guys at halftime to get up and get after it,’’ Hornacek said.

    What’s the over/under line on how many times Horny used the “Stop playing like fucking pussies” line 🙂

    I hear you strat, but this was a great win in that it showed that others can step up when KP is not scoring efficiently. I was keying on KP during that run, and he and Kanter did an exceptional job of preventing shots close to the basket. Think about it, how many times did Lowry and others penetrate, only to have to dribble through the lane and then kick out because KP was lurking? He blocked 3 shots but affected the Raptor’s shot selection throughout the game.

    He also had an impact on the offensive end just by being a threat. An example was that last p&r play that led to the THjr coup de grace dunk. Ibaka hedged toward KP slightly, opening up the drive for Timmy.

    Yes, KP should cut his usage down somewhat, now that Timmy, Lee and Kanter are all scoring well. But he is still having an all-star impact even on nights like last night. He’s not yet ready to dominate efficiently when defenses are keying on him, agreed. But now that Timmy, Kanter and others are stepping up, things should get a bit easier for him.

    The thing about Timmy usually boils down to shot selection. He takes those weird angles, those really quick shots and it is not always the optimal decision.

    I think what he’s been doing really well is being aggressive. Almost every single time he went aggressive into the paint something very good happened, either a good pass, a good finish or drawing fouls. He had 7 assists and only 2 turnovers and shot 10 free throws.

    He’s averaging 3.7 FTA per game, if he keeps being so aggressive it’s not far fetched to think he could shoot at least 7 or 8 per game, which would help his efficiency tremendously. Toronto is not a bad defensive team by any means.

    The 72-year-old also admitted he was against trading Carmelo Anthony, but admitted he should have adapted his style of play to benefit the rest of the players around him.

    “I thought they should’ve kept him, but I also thought he should’ve tried to be more of a team player,” Frazier said. “I always told him he should have been a 20/10/5 guy. But he wanted the 28, 29 points, not the rebounds, not getting guys involved.”

    As always, Clyde gets it……. That’s a perfect summary of Me7o

    Kanter is a bit of an enigma to me in terms of measuring how much he actually contributes, but if you put some value on intangibles, I think he’s had a huge positive impact on team energy and the players feeling like they are part of real team.

    Frank has been putrid his last 4 games. 65 minutes, 21 points on 22 shots, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 7 turnovers, 11 fouls. He walks the ball up to the midcourt line and passes it off, or just goes east and west. Still not seeing any semblance of an NBA PG. It’s not costing us yet, so by all means, keep throwing him out there. But if this team becomes serious about winning, is he a better option than Sessions, or even Dotson, right now?

    I know people hate when I say this, but I truly hope he gets sent down to the G-League for a couple of games to focus on pushing the ball and being more aggressive offensively. We know he can shoot spot-up jumpers, but right now, that’s pretty much all he offers. We’re soon headed into a tough schedule and if he doesn’t improve his play he’s going to either start costing us wins or is going to be benched.

    A couple overlooked things in this stretch:
    Hornacek- it’s been very hard for me to dislike the guy. He comes off as a lover of the game, and brightens up when he calls and later brings up plays that work. He legitimately turned an incredibly low- tempo offense to a much faster one, and his rotations have almost always been on point (I am constantly aware of his Lance-McDermott switches). The defense has been relatively superb, and I cannot believe how different this team plays both sides of the ball this year.

    Kanter- one of the leagues leaders in TS, WS/36, the leader in points per play, and pretty good (eye test alert) defense. A very big reason we’re here.

    Hardaway- when he’s on he’s on, and I like it, and the hell with you.

    To my untrained eye Kanter has been not atrocious on defense, and I’m not sure how someone scoring and rebounding like he’s been doing isn’t a net positive if he’s not one of the worst defensive players in the NBA.

    He did have that sweet block last night, and at the very least he’s not the sieve his reputation suggests.


    Unfortunately, I agree with you about Frank. He made some brilliant passes in the first few games that made me think he’s a lot further along in PG skills than I feared. But if you focus on him closely, he rarely breaks down the defense or makes a pass that leads to a good shot that would otherwise not be there. He mostly just makes the obvious east/west passes that typically accomplish little or nothing. He’s been under the weather so that probably accounts for some of it.

    If he’s not going to be ready to take over and be a productive PG for quite awhile, we should probably try to upgrade the PG position if something good comes along that makes sense. Let’s give him to another 20-30 games to see if he’s making progress before drawing any conclusions or making any moves.

    Frank has been shitty, but so are all our other point guards, and he’s legitimately good at defense, so might as well let him learn on the job.

    To my untrained eye Kanter has been not atrocious on defense, and I’m not sure how someone scoring and rebounding like he’s been doing isn’t a net positive if he’s not one of the worst defensive players in the NBA.

    I agree. To my eye his defense has not been as bad as advertised. I think he understands that defense was the issue in Utah and OKC and he’s trying to get better.

    It’s starting to look like we killed OKC in that Meo deal. If Kanter can just be around a neutral defender, he’s so good at other things, he’s a definite plus.


    Yeah, I agree. He has been specially poor since the Cleveland game. He seems still super hesitant about shooting (and when he does it’s either a beautiful swish or a horrible brick), his assists and steals have plummeted down and he still has issues against NBA defenses pressuring him.

    If you look closely, he plays just like Jack does, this whole cross half court and pass it to Kanter / KOQ while motion happens with the wings has been the strategy for the Knicks the whole year. But Jack is a wily veteran who knows how to switch it up sometimes and find space to create a little bit, while Frank still seems clueless or way too hesitant to do it. I think Hornacek also designed the offense this way partly because he likes it, partly because he knows his PGs aren’t reliable to play in a more traditional pick and roll style.

    I would leave the team as it is, and let him learn on the job, he’s still 19 and his development should be a priority over all else. We’re early enough into the season that we still don’t know whether the wins are sustainable, and his defense is still a plus.

    Kanter has become a real X-factor player, in the Marcus Camby mold except reversing offense and defense. He simply has to be accounted for or he can put up an uber-efficient 20-20 line on any given night. He’s also starting to pass a bit, not to confuse him with Jokic, but not the black hole he was early on either. The guy’s numbers simply can’t be argued with.

    I am not convinced that Frank’s defense is a big plus at this point. He’s not rebounding (a part of defense) not getting many steals, not getting any blocks, and having typical rookie issues in making decisions/denying penetration/covering the arc. He’s at best an erratic defender with great tools who can “defend in bunches.” If you want to say that he’s not hurting us on D, I can accept that, but he’s clearly a net negative right now. In the G-League, he can play 40 mpg at PG vs. reasonably good comp and gain some condfidence; move Trey Burke up for a couple of games or go with Ron/Sessions or even Dotson (share ball-handling with Lee and Hardaway when Jack is out.)

    On the positive side, he can definitely shoot the spot-up shot, is a great teammate with a great attitude, and seems unfazed by the moment. He’s easy to like and to believe in. Love how he went at LeBum.

    I agree somewhat with the Frank-Jack comparison, but the difference is that Jack seems to be controlling the game, while Frank is much more passive and tentative. But yes, Jack is a good role model for him, their games are similar enough. And Jack has surprised me with his D, he looked great last night!

    He’s getting plenty of steals and has a positive net rating on both sides of the court. He’s been sick the last few games so we should let him play through it.

    Like any other rookie, if he can’t get 20 mpg for any reason, he should aboslutely be supplementing his play with g-league play. And like any other guard, he will need a year or two to be a positive.

    I’m not in favor of moving Frank down to the G league here or there. It could even hurt his confidence. It’s not like he’s buried on the bench now. He’s getting plenty of minutes to learn and develop and it’s not like he’s so terrible we are hurting the team a lot by playing him ahead of Sessions. I would say keep doing what we are doing. If at some point it starts looking like he’s clearly 2-3 years away from taking over as a productive starting PG, we could always look to upgrade our starting PG position over Jack (who is not a long term solution) and keep Frank as the next PG’s backup until he’s ready.

    Tht’s one way of looking at it. Another is to say that Frank has never experienced being a full-time starter playing big minutes without worrying about messing up getting him benched. He’s playig the same role with us as he did for Strasbourg, and not playing as well. Right now, he’s looking incredibly tentative and playing not to make mistakes. It could be argued that that is hindering his development, whereas playing big minutes in a few games down in the G-League against near-NBA-level competition without worrying about mistakes would accelerate his development. It’s not a demotion, it’s an opportunity that is not available to him on this suddenly playoff-contending team. If we were tanking, by all means, do what Dallas is doing with Smith Jr. or the Kings are doing with Fox. I am only bringing this up because we are playing better than advertised.

    Even after that amazing game, and nice SRS, 538 has the Knicks finishing 10th in the East with 41% chance at playoffs.

    Frank’s development is more valuable to the team than whatever small amount of extra production they’d get by replacing him with Sessions in the rotation. It’s been a rough few games but I’d still say he’s ahead of schedule overall–being a legitimate plus on defense is hard as a rookie guard.

    Now, I would be interested in seeing what Burke can do at some point. He’s probably bad, but I think Utah pulled the plug pretty hastily with him. He was good in college and even showed some signs his rookie year. We can save him for Jack’s inevitable injury (which I think will hurt the team a little more than people realize) though.

    re: Hardaway–the scoring explosions are always nice, but the way he can earn his contract is by keeping up his career high TRB% and AST%. At some point we’re going to need Porzingis (though loved the defense and rebounding last night) to stop sucking because “get THJ his efficient 30+ every night” is not a sustainable offensive game plan.

    The g league is hardly near NBA talent.

    Virtually none are 15th man on the roster types or they would be in the Nba

    I would like to see the Knicks play a big stretch of away games before making any decision over trades, G-League assignments or personnel. The Knicks are still 1-4 on the road, granted, against some pretty tough teams, but it is a concern. I don’t think it’s a team that already merits making any sort of win-now move, and thus developing Porzingis, Hardaway, Ntilikina, Kanter, McDermott, Dotson etc should still be the priority, players who can be a part of the next win-now roster. In that sense, I’m still disappointed that Dotson and Hernangomez are getting no minutes.

    Dotson has gotten minutes though. He’s not getting them every game and if the game is close and both Lee and Hardaway are not completely shitting the bed, Horns isn’t going to put him in yet but Dotson has gotten decent minutes I believe.

    Willy…I mean it is what it is. When he has come in, he’s looked AWFUL. Maybe he was only good to us last year because we sucked and he was a breathe of fresh air at the end of the season. Plus I think Kanter could still be a part of our future as he’s only 25 and is pretty damn good. If he keeps improving on defense he is absolutely a keeper, so its not like Willy is losing minutes to a 32 year old big man who sucks.

    Putting Frank in the G-League after a few off games I think is a big mistake. He’s getting minutes and is learning the NBA. He is only 19! Please repeat that to yourself every time he messes up or plays poorly!

    I don’t see the point in him going to the G-LEague to light it up a few games against way inferior opponents. Let him take his licks. He’s mature and can handle it. Its not going to destroy his confidence and ruin him to get taken to school by veterans sometimes.

    Among all players with at least 100 minutes, Frank is currently 3rd in deflections per 36 behind Paul George and Bazemore, and tied with CP3 for 1st in steals per 36.

    Frank needs to play…. if hes as hard a worker as ppl say he is he needs to know what he can and cant do…. and you only find that out by playing against top comp….

    Th2 has been a huge surprise to me… i always thought his progress the last couple of years was because of the hawks system but it looks like he legitimately has made steady progress to his game…

    Kanter i dont think i can ever come around to him… but he does bring things to the table… in wins you see those things but in losses you see the bad sides… hes like the big man version of starks…

    Frank is struggling offensively but he’s clearly a positive defender and I’m unsure why we don’t get him on the floor more with KP and Kanter, both players who would make his life easier.

    The point of this season is to compete hard and develop KP and Frank. We shouldn’t send him down to the G League because he’s struggling, we should let him take his lumps. It’s fine.

    Despite the recent slump by both players, the KP-Frank 2-man lineup is the best 2-man lineup on the team (> 100min) with an offensive rating of 120.9, defensive rating of 91.9 for a net rating of 29.0. For comparison, Steph-KD are the best on Ws with OFFRTG of 119.2, DEFRTG of 102.2, for NETRTG of 17.1.

    Willy…I mean it is what it is. When he has come in, he’s looked AWFUL. Maybe he was only good to us last year because we sucked and he was a breathe of fresh air at the end of the season.

    Yeah this is utter nonsense. He was objectively good by the numbers and the eye test. Him not getting any minutes is easily the most disappointing aspect of the season so far. I get that the big man rotation isn’t easy to navigate, but this is something that needs to be figured out.

    I’m not saying Willie was bad last year just that this year he’s looked awful and he’s not as good this year as kanter and OQuinn. And last year was last year. Different team with different players and a different system. He obviously hasn’t adjusted so he shouldn’t play until he does. When he’s come in during garbage time he’s looked like shit.

    Happy TG, Folks. Thankful to have you guys to share this crazy fixation.

    As to NYK, you also got to realize that this is a team with three new starters and five new rotation players out of the top eight, one of which is a 19 year old rookie. We’ve been inconsistent and are still 10-7. It’s possible that we could continue to improve. The narrative right now is about how we’re destined to bottom out once the road games come but we may just be starting to figure it out. We’re already a tough out in front of our home crowd. If we can be an opportunistic road team and steal a few we may end up plus .500. How great would that be?

    Happy Thanksgiving to the entire Knickerblogger community.

    I am thankful for this place, a haven from the insanity that the real world is. I am thankful for the humor and the insights. I’m thankful for KP and the gang and for watchable basketball. I’m thankful for the Knicks.

    “Think about it, how many times did Lowry and others penetrate, only to have to dribble through the lane and then kick out because KP was lurking?”

    I saw the same thing – they really didn’t want to shoot when they got inside, because KP was always lurking. I was wondering whether that was our adjustment on D, making sure he kept switching to be near the hoop or what. Or bad spacing from Toronto? It was a real factor, even though he didn’t have a great game on O.

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