Knicks Morning News (2017.11.26)

  • [NYTimes] Rockets 117, Knicks 102: Knicks Briefly Make Do Without Porzingis, Then Fall Hard Against Houston
    (Sunday, November 26, 2017 4:40:16 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis missed Saturday’s game because of tightness in his lower back, and the Knicks let an early 22-point lead disintegrate.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks look for success on road
    (Sunday, November 26, 2017 1:55:00 AM)

    HOUSTON — It was quiet inside the visiting locker room. Players’ heads were down. Some tried to explain how they gave up a big lead and lost to the NBA’s worst team.

  • [NY Newsday] Minus Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter, Knicks lose to Rockets
    (Sunday, November 26, 2017 12:14:31 AM)

    HOUSTON — The Knicks already were facing a big challenge that grew even bigger and more daunting with Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter unable to play because of back issues.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis, Enes Kanter both out for Knicks vs. Rockets
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 10:27:12 PM)

    HOUSTON — Kristaps Porzingis was on the locker room floor working on his core muscles. A few minutes later, Enes Kanter walked in and was moving gingerly.

  • [NYDN] Knicks deserve credit for moving on from Phil Jackson stench
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 8:58:54 PM)

    To fully appreciate the levels the Knicks have graduated, you have to remember what Steve Mills and Scott Perry inherited.

  • [NYDN] Knicks, without Porzingis and Kanter, get routed by Rockets
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 8:57:04 PM)

    Riding Michael Beasley could only take the Knicks so far.

  • [SNY Knicks] Harden, Rockets beat shorthanded Knicks 117-102
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 10:43:47 PM)

    HOUSTON (AP) James Harden had 37 points and 10 assists as the Houston Rockets rallied from an early deficit to beat the New York Knicks 117-102 on Saturday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis, Kanter miss Saturday’s game with back issues
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 8:55:15 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter missed Saturday night’s matchup against the Rockets due to back ailments.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s game: Knicks vs. Rockets, 8 p.m.
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 6:40:42 PM)

    HOUSTON — Soon enough, the sample size won’t be so small that it will be easy to disregard, and the influence Chris Paul has made on Houston’s offense will be cause for examination.

  • [SNY Knicks] Kanter (back spasms) officially listed as questionable for Saturday night’s game
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:30:34 AM)

    Enes Kanter (back spasms) is officially listed as questionable ahead of the Knicks’ game against the Rockets on Saturday night.

  • [ESPN] Porzingis, Kanter sit as Knicks drop 2nd straight
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 6:49:48 PM)

    Knicks leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis and fellow big man Enes Kanter sat out against the Rockets on Saturday due to back ailments, according to the team.

  • [NYPost] Hakeem Olajuwon would like to teach Porzingis a few things
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 8:55:32 PM)

    HOUSTON — Hakeem Olajuwon is now a Rockets adviser who has expressed interest in an ownership stake. So the Nigerian great no longer can run his post skills school where he once hosted Amar’e Stoudemire as a Knick. Nevertheless, Olajuwon said he would love to work with 7-foot-3 Kristaps Porzingis, but frankly, the retired Rockets…

  • [NYPost] Porzingis-less Knicks start quick but fade away in loss to Rockets
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 5:48:14 PM)

    HOUSTON — There’s a theory the 22-point lead the undermanned Knicks built in the first quarter was a mirage, that Michael Beasley didn’t actually score 17 first-quarter points. But it really happened — even if it was in the blink of an eye as the Rockets dominated the rest of Saturday night and cruised to…

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis sits out as Knicks claim ‘back issues’
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 3:19:11 PM)

    HOUSTON — On the second night of a back-to-back, Kristaps Porzingis rested. With Enes Kanter still out with back spasms, the Knicks held Porzingis out of Saturday’s 117-102 loss to the Rockets — also claiming back issues. Porzingis said he had tightness in his lower back along with some spasms. It’s the second time Porzingis…

  • [NYPost] Derrick Rose is a sad sports tale of what could have been
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 1:53:33 PM)

    We are besieged with the melancholy subject of “What if?” all the time in baseball, especially when it comes to pitchers. What could Mark Prior have been? Or Matt Harvey, for that matter? In some ways, that’s always an underlying reality waiting just beneath the turf. It’s worse in football, of course, because the nature…

  • [NYPost] The Knicks’ flaws were on display in an unforgivable loss
    (Saturday, November 25, 2017 7:33:03 AM)

    HOUSTON – Anyone who labeled the Knicks for real after a historic victory over a tough Raptors squad Wednesday at the Garden, received a stark reminder Friday after a trip to Hotlanta that they haven’t arrived just yet. The Knicks, now 10-8, could be a playoff team this year — if not for the fact…

  • 21 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2017.11.26)”

    That run to start the game and build a 22 point lead was amazing. Equally amazing, but not that surprising given the circumstances, was the 37 point turnaround and a 15 point loss. All things considered, not a bad effort. I’m still not a fan of Beasly, although he did go off in the first half. That look on his face makes me think he took some bong hits before the game. When Houston starts hitting those threes it just gets ridiculous, everyone seems to get hot at once.

    Those Rockets announcers on NBA TV are truly laughable.

    Well, we’ve had a lesson in how important Kanter is. I think he’s a keeper going forward.

    The thing about the NBA is that a 20 point lead really is not what it once was. Seven possessions in a fast paced game with multiple dudes who shoot 40% from three can result in a lead like that erased in minutes. The Rockets are really good! We just could not match their firepower. When they missed, Capella got them the ball back anyway.

    The Rockets announcer at one point talked about how nice it would be to have Courtney Lee in a Rockets uniform. Last night looked pretty conspicuous in terms of the minutes O’Quinn and Lee both got. They both played well and are probably drawing attention. I guess I’m starting to think it might be time. I’d be sad to lose those guys because I really like them but I’m not seeing a leap from here where we rip off ten wins in a row and put ourselves in the middle of the playoff picture.

    Frank Ntilikina’s stat lines are becoming worrisome.

    If you look at his scoring level in France, it should have been obvious he was going to have a difficult time scoring in the NBA. However, we need him to be able to knock down open looks so he can be efficient on low usage. Otherwise we are playing 4 on 5.

    Things like a lot of fouls and TOs are very common to rookies. I’m not worried about that much at all yet.

    More troubling is the drop off in assists. We need for him to be a good enough play maker to run the team, create easy shots for others, and deliver good passes to them. If he’s not going to be a scorer that can play SG and he’s not enough of a play maker to play PG, then all we have if a defensive specialist off the bench to use in certain situations. He has to get more aggressive and create for others even if it causes some extra TOs for now.

    I’m going be super patient with him achieving stats lines that indicate he’s really productive, but I want to see the “potential”.

    Our early success should not have any effect on our long term plans. Lee, KOQ, Enes, Willy, and Lance should all be available for trade. Every time someone plays well for a few games, people want to sign them to a 10 year extension. Then inevitably they revert to expectations.

    You have to sell high. Willy should have been dealt in the offseason. Enes and Lee should be dealt now that their stock is up. They’re not going to look this good for long.

    I agree on trading KOQ, and I still think Boston makes sense. They just have so many picks. But, Enes and Lance…..who are you going to trade them to and get anything of value back in return at all? Enes makes $17M. What contender is he the missing piece for? Lance makes $6M. who is taking that on and why? Lee is outplaying his $11M contract but he’s 32 and has 2 years left.

    If you want to trade KOQ now, I’m all for it. but for enes / lee, wait until the break so you can maybe find a desperate trading partner.

    So we should trade Enes, Willy and O’Quinn? We need a center. We should keep Enes and then trade O’Quinn unless an amazing offer comes for Willy then trade him. We don’t want to trade everyone that’s good, we need a team. Enes is young and very good. His play isn’t going to fall off. His rebounding and scoring have always been this good, or close to it and his defensive improvement looks real.

    As for Lee and Thomas, I’d trade either one for an asset but I don’t think there are teams lining up to give us value for them. I’d need an expiring for Lance and a young player or a 1st for Lee. Anything less and we might as well keep them.

    I would keep Kanter. He’s only 25, he’s our best C, and we’ll probably be able to keep him for less money next time around. If Willy passes him by, we can revisit trading him later.

    I would keep Willy. He’s young and we have no idea what his upside is yet. Even if it’s just “very good backup”, we’ll need that anyway.

    I would trade O’Quinn if a decent deal presents itself . He’s a good backup, but we have a surplus of Cs.

    I see no downside to keeping Lee. He’s a good player. He’s probably having the best season of his career. The contract is fine. So if he hangs around for another 2 years after this, I’m fine with that. If we get an offer of a mildly inferior younger player with more upside or a decent pick I’d consider moving him, but having Lee on the team is the least of our problems. He’s probably the highest IQ player on the team and he’s a steady veteran presence.

    Surprised that some of you needed to see Kantner out of the lineup to see his importance. He’s been beastly in the paint. Clearly, the toughest guy on the team. As much as I wanted Melo out, I thought the knicks got fleeced. My mistake. Love his game. He’s going to be expensive to keep. And worth it.

    Speaking of toughness, KP needs some. I love him as much as everyone else. But he’s soft. He can’t let guys get away with throwing him to the floor. When a guy like Wade throws him down he has to make him pay. That’s why we’re born with elbows. Word is out. Rough him up to take him out of his game. He’s got to dispel that notion.

    Ntilikina remains a question mark. I love his patience and poise with the ball, and that he plays within himself. But c’mon man, shift to the next gear. If he can consistently penetrate and knock down three’s, beware! Beaseley should look in his medicine chest for something to give this guy a jolt.

    Keep Kanter. He’s young, provides reliable inside scoring, rebounds well, and adds some attitude to the team.

    I agree Kanter should be negotiable, but his value is higher than the other guys by a wide margin right now.

    Talking about Boston, he would fit really well with them, even Toronto if they don’t see Valanciunas improving.

    He’s a very good player but I don’t think other teams would give much to get him, so a valuable trade would be hard to pull off.

    The “big man surplus” is not looking like so much of a surplus considering that Willy is looking like a bum that can’t make it into the rotation and O’Quinn is his usual hot-and-cold self. If the Knicks can lock up Kanter on a reasonable contract he’s worth it. He’s not THAT much of a travesty on defense that it negates his .667 TS% and 14 rebounds per 36.

    @13 I think we should trust the 1324 minutes we saw of Willy last year over the 112 we’ve seen so far this year. He lost his spot in the rotation because Kanter is better and O’Quinn outplayed him for awhile, but I wouldn’t call him a bum because his season is off to a rough start and his confidence is down. We know what he has to work on. He’s not a good defender and has a rough time defending without fouling. That’s not too unusual for a young player. It’ disappointing that he didn’t make enough progress to just take the starting job, but I’m a long way away from giving up on him off the equivalent of about 3 games. KP just recently had 5 mediocre games in a row.

    Yeah, maybe I was being a bit harsh on Willy, who looked very promising last year. But I do think Willy’s struggles and Kanter’s surprisingly strong play have flipped the script: Kanter is looking like the foundational piece and a guy the Knicks should probably look to extend if they can get him at a decent salary. I wouldn’t have guessed that coming into the season.

    Clinging to Kanter because he’s playing well is the same short-term thinking this team has been cursed with forever. He’s only under contract for 2 more years, during which it doesn’t really matter if the Knicks are good, and it’s probably better for our long term future if they’re not good so we can maybe draft a star player. Enes Kanter doesn’t win championships. Luka Doncic and Michael Porter do.

    We also have 3 other centers, not including Zing, who sometimes closes games at center because that’s his optimal position. And if we trade Kanter and then for some reason find ourselves starving to bring in another big, guess what, there are about 67423964723 centers out there that teams would be HAPPY to unload on us. There are also several available on the free agent market this offseason. Big men who can’t stretch defenses or guard the rim are not valuable in today’s NBA. You can get them extremely cheaply.

    And that’s what Kanter is. He’s not a starting C on a good team and he’s not worth $18m. We should absolutely trade him if we can get even modest value, and we should absolutely not extend him for anything more than $10m AAV. Dewayne Dedmon got $6m this offseason and he’s just as good as Kanter.

    The team needs to keep its eye on the ball. What is the long-term goal? What is the long-term strategy to achieve that?

    We can’t be a prisoner of the moment. Winning 39 games and being in a race for the 8th seed is not important right now. We’re too far away from contention with not enough foundational pieces to get there.

    And we have to evaluate players based on all the evidence, not spurts of good or bad play. Is Willy a cornerstone or is he a bum? Well, he’s probably neither, but I was calling for a trade in the offseason precisely because I expected the league to adjust to him. Was Kanter underrated defensively his whole career? Probably not; he’s probably a big minus there. Is Frank the great facilitator we saw early or the timid puppy we’re seeing now? I don’t know, but I do know that we can’t make the pronouncement one way or the other yet.

    Long-term thinking, steady analysis. That’s what good management does.

    I’m still cautious about Kanter since he almost always has to be on the bench in the 4th quarter. P&R heavy teams still carve him up.

    Michael Porter played two minutes of NCAA ball before his back crumpled like an accordion. I’d be real nervous about drafting Porter right about now.

    I was a skeptic of Kanter coming into the season. I don’t care for players who don’t defend well. He’s not a GOOD defender by any means, but he’s clearly not a bad enough defender where it outweighs the undeniable production he brings to the table. If Willy hits his ceiling, he’ll be… current Enes Kanter. If he doesn’t hit his ceiling he’ll be poor man’s Enes Kanter.

    Kanter is a bargain at his current cost. Not sure I would invest $30+ million over 4 years for him, but for, say, 4 years @ $25 million or less, I’d have to consider it. He’s a two-trick pony (rebounding and interior scoring) but he’s exceptional at those 2 tricks. I totally agree with JK47 that Willy’s ceiling is essentially Kanter, although he seems to have marginally better passing instincts and maybe a bit more polished footwork. The big dilemma is whether Willy can largely replace Kanter’s production at a much lower cost, freeing up cap space for other positions that are harder to fill. I think it’s an open question.

    There’s a good chance that Willy becomes a better defender than Kanter, only because Kanter has been so awful throughout his career. I see both of their ceilings as being a fringe starter, though.

    The difference is that Willy makes $1m to Kanter’s $18m, making him a more valuable asset.

    I don’t think either Willy or Kanter is much of a trade asset at this time. Kanter makes too much money to be easily tradeable and Willy isn’t that well known or that accomplished. They both don’t play a position of need for most teams. We got Hernangomez with a second round pick, and he did well for where he was drafted, but if he’d been picked in the first round we probably would already be worried about him. I don’t think other teams will give more than a second round pick for him, and that really isn’t worth that much. Maybe we should think of him in the same light as THJ. THJ was picked late in the first round, didn’t set the world on fire, got traded for another late first round pick, got sent to the D-League by Atlanta, but eventually got enough better that he is a reasonable starter (if maybe a little overpaid). We could send Hernangomez to D-League if he needs minutes or just keep making him earn minutes and maybe he’ll get better the way Hardaway did. That would be better than trading him for a second round pick now.

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