Knicks Morning News (2017.12.02)

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ Jeff Hornacek: G-League can be good for Joakim Noah
    (Friday, December 01, 2017 10:14:21 PM)

    Joakim Noah could be line for more minutes — with the Westchester Knicks. Noah, who has played just three minutes with the big league Knicks since returning from his season-opening 12-game suspension, debuted with the team’s G-League affiliate Wednesday, scoring nine points, with five rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes. He may need to…

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis in limbo with ankle injury
    (Friday, December 01, 2017 8:54:48 AM)

    It could have been so much worse. When Kristaps Porzingis’ right foot violently turned during Wednesday’s win over the Heat, he thought it might be. “I felt the ankle went completely 90 degrees,” Porzingis said Friday. “It felt pretty bad, but it wasn’t that painful. I didn’t really know what to expect. Maybe it’s just…

  • [NYPost] Single Robert Pattinson has his eyes on Knicks dancers
    (Friday, December 01, 2017 8:00:38 AM)

    Pattinson split from singer FKA Twigs this fall.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis progressing as he attempts to return from ankle injury
    (Friday, December 01, 2017 12:20:26 PM)

    Despite the Knicks — and all of Madison Square Garden — expecting the worst, Kristaps Porzingis’ ankle is only sprained.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis on ‘unicorn’ nickname: ‘At first I was a little confused’
    (Friday, December 01, 2017 8:28:21 AM)

    Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis joked that he didn’t understand it when Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant first called him a “unicorn” when describing Porzingis’ play on the court.

  • [NY Newsday] Porzingis won’t rush back if he’s not 100 percent
    (Friday, December 01, 2017 11:53:53 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Kristaps Porzingis has watched the video of how he sprained his ankle, and he said it looks much worse than it was.

  • [NYTimes] After 312 Straight Losses, Juvenile Court’s Girls Basketball Team Prevails
    (Saturday, December 02, 2017 2:42:50 AM)

    Carroll Academy, a day school in Huntington, Tenn., won, 29-27, in double overtime to end the country’s longest high school losing streak.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: The All-Star Who Ended Ugly Streaks for the Warriors and the Knicks
    (Friday, December 01, 2017 10:00:14 PM)

    David Lee, 34, unexpectedly announced his retirement from the N.B.A. last month. He took a ring and some extraordinary memories with him.

  • 37 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2017.12.02)”

    In response to yesterday’s post:
    I’m doing great, yesterday and today. Thanks for asking Jowles.

    That Noah contract is climbing up the list of worst contracts ever handed out by the Knicks, and that is really saying something. It would be one thing if he was playing badly, but he’s not even playing.

    Playing around with ESPN’s trade machine, I’m having trouble finding a trade to loosen this glut of centers on the team that makes sense. Sure, it’s easy to make the numbers work, but finding a logical trade is difficult. I’m havinf trouble with finding a good trade for DeAndre Jordan as well. LAC needs to trade him before his value plummets. I would love to see him on the Knicks, but I’m not sure he’s playing well enough to trade him for Kanter and salary filler. Besides, I doubt Doc Rivers would want Kanter and Griffin up front.

    @3 Not me. I liked Mitchell before the draft and like him even more now (not because of last night, either.)

    Here was my pre-draft take (June 19.):

    June 19, 2017 at 10:12 pm
    Just watched Ntilikina’s highlight reel very carefully, and I am simply not impressed. He’s an east-west pull up for a jumper with very limited ball skills, no finishing skill, and like zero explosion. He looks like he’s at least 3-4 years away, if he ever even gets there. If it weren’t for all the hype, and I only had his stats and his videos to judge by, I’d see a 2nd round pick. He’s 18 and all and playing against grown men (who suck), but there’s just nothing there that excites me. I essentially see a Langston Galloway-level player.

    I’d surely pick DSJ, Collins, Markkanen, and Mitchell over him. I’d also consider TJ Leaf, Kennard and Allen.

    But hey, if we draft him, I’ll hope that Gaines saw something I don’t see and that he was right.

    How the hell does Mitchell compare to Brandon Jennings? Damn that’s some serious delusion. Mitchell has way more tools. ie size and athleticism

    Yeah, the Knicks do not have a ton of cap space for 2018 but, compared to the rest of the league, the Knicks are smack in the middle of the pack when it comes to cap space. Most teams are over the cap. Most. Here’s RealGM’s The Maximum Available 2018 Cap Space For All 30 NBA Teams, an analysis of that.

    The free agent class this year is insanely top-heavy with LeBron (PO), Durant (PO), DeMarcus Cousins (UFA), DeAndre Jordan (FA), Isaiah Thomas(UFA), Paul George (PO), Melo (PO) and Chris Paul (UFA) potentially being available. Kanter falls somewhere around 30th in the potential list. If you look at some of the the centers on the list: Cousins, Jordan, Capela, Brook Lopez, Nurkic, Noel, Monroe and Okafor, where does he rank? When Kanter looks at that list and the rankings and the money, what decision does he make about opting in?

    I don’t know the answers but we can’t fall into the trap of assuming that he’s Shaq, Kareem or Wilt and paying him like that. It’s the same trap we fell into with Jeremy Lin.

    How the hell does Mitchell compare to Brandon Jennings? Damn that’s some serious delusion. Mitchell has way more tools. ie size and athleticism

    Yeah, 6″3″ vs. 6’1″, that’s some big time size disparity. He should totally dominate all the smaller guards in the NBA.

    Jordan Bell is having the greatest rookie season of all time by WS/48 (.252) and BPM (8.2). Of course he’s playing on GSW so his numbers are likely inflated, but still, fuck you, Chicago.

    Tatum is also having an all time great rookie season so far.

    @7 maybe he’s only a couple inches taller but the size disparity is huge. Mitchell has 40-50 pounds on him. Even before the injury Jennings would bounce off picks like a superball, and Mitchell is already a pretty tough defender for a rookie. I dunno how efficient he’ll end up on offense but it’s a pretty bad comparison bc Mitchell is a two way player with NBA size. Jennings was literally one of the 5 lightest guys in the league.

    I wasn’t comparing the 2 players, just pointing out that everyone went gaga when Jennings put up his 55 point game his rookie season, and he turned out to be a pretty mediocre NBA player.

    Mitchell had some pretty dreadful shooting performances before last night (3-21, 6-19, 1-10) and his TS% sits just above .5o0, so I’m just trying to keep it real about the guy after one breakout performance.

    No it’s trying to be a wet blanket. He has been plying better and is a rookie so he’s not a finished product. I see him as a more versatile Eric Gordon on offense and a stronger cp3 type defender

    A more versatile Eric Gordon on offense and a stronger CP3 type on defense means that you’re a top 5-10 player in the league.

    Donovan Mitchell is not going to be a top 5-10 player in the league. He had a nice game but his shot selection is some of the worst I’ve ever seen and he tries to do too much on O. I think he’ll be solid but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    Mitchell reminds me a little of Bledsoe with a best case something like Kyle Lowry. Of course that would be a big long shot. Seems hard to know if he’ll become more efficient. Most don’t, some do. He may be older than the teens but he’s still only a few weeks into his career.

    Mitchell is more of a combo guard (leaning towards a 2) than Lowry, Bledsoe, or Jennings. All signs are pointing to him being a very good 2-way player. In his last 10 games he’s shooting 42% from 3 on 7 attempts a game. Sure, no one should go go gaga over his game last night, but he is looking very, very good. I’d trade Frank for him in a heartbeat, even if he had to play PG for us.

    I liked Mitchell before the draft too, but he’s almost 2 years older than Frank. Maybe give Frank another offseason of training before deciding he’s crap.

    I liked Mitchell before the draft too, but he’s almost 2 years older than Frank.

    I totally get what you’re saying here, but I think it’s time that we start looking at older rookies as a good thing. Otherwise you get contracts like Embiid’s (risky, but he’s awesome) or Wiggins’ (risky, because he’s not good). I’d rather see a player’s ceiling before I throw $150M at him to get there.

    Agree — unless you are getting a sure thing like a 18yo Lebron, I don’t see value of 18 over 21. Either way if you get. A star you are paying out a max contract on the extension but the 21 yo will be in his prime at 25 while the 18yo will have more risk at 22.

    I totally get what you’re saying here, but I think it’s time that we start looking at older rookies as a good thing. Otherwise you get contracts like Embiid’s (risky, but he’s awesome) or Wiggins’ (risky, because he’s not good). I’d rather see a player’s ceiling before I throw $150M at him to get there.

    I understand what you are saying about the risks of extending some kid you haven’t seen enough of yet, but the I think the “older rookie” route is better once you have your stars and are trying to build around them. At that point you want players you know better and that can contribute right away.

    I haven’t seen the data, but if you are 21-22 coming out of college the chances of you becoming a top all-star talent almost have to be a lot lower than if you come out at 19. The ones that show all star potential go for the money in the NBA after their freshman year because they can. The one that’s don’t show that kind of potential are the ones that stay behind.

    I like Frank Ntilikina long term over Donovan Mitchell, but Mitchell was the safer choice.

    Agree — unless you are getting a sure thing like a 18yo Lebron, I don’t see value of 18 over 21. Either way if you get. A star you are paying out a max contract on the extension but the 21 yo will be in his prime at 25 while the 18yo will have more risk at 22.

    Look at my previous post.

    Well the Golden State Warriors won 73 games with two guys they drafted after their junior years and Draymond Green, who was a senior when he came out.

    With that said, I’m all in on Allonzo Trier.

    I like Frank Ntilikina long term over Donovan Mitchell, but Mitchell was the safer choice.

    Are you actually suggesting that Frank has more “upside” than Mitchell? I don’t see it. And it’s not like Mitchell is a bad seed, or a head case, or undersized, or unathletic, or one-dimensional, or has a low b-ball IQ, or is soft, or lacks critical skills.

    I just noticed that Enes Kanter and Clint Capela are putting almost identical stats per 36 with two differences: Kanter shots a much higher FT% and Capela blocks way more shots.

    Considering that Capela is playing with two HOF PGs and other great shooters in the ultimate floor-spacing situation and Kanter is not, it’s hard to argue that Kanter is not as valuable as Capela, which is saying something! Man, did we fleece OKC in that trade!

    Physically, Frank Ntilikina is Donovan Mitchell’s superior, and I’d argue Donovan Mitchell’s love of the 19 foot jumper (he had this problem at Louisville, too) tells you his basketball IQ could use some work. Frank’s ceiling on defense is higher than Mitchell’s and offensively, Frank is a better passer and floor general while Mitchell is more of the “go get a bucket” type. Ntilikina’s ceiling is probably a mid usage level player that gets a lot of assists and reroutes your offensive game plan with his long arms. Some guys take a longer time to develop, like Gordon Hayward and Paul George (who were taken around the same draft position as Frank was). Even Chauncey Billups took some time after bouncing around from program to program.

    I’m hopeful that Frank will get where he needs to be. I just want to see him drive and draw fouls more often and I’ll know we’re set long term at the one.

    Physically, Frank Ntilikina is Donovan Mitchell’s superior

    This is simply not true. Frank is slightly longer and taller, but is not nearly as agile, explosive or strong. By your definition, KP is physically superior to LeBron.

    Frank is a better passer and floor general while Mitchell is more of the “go get a bucket” type.

    Based on what? There is absolutely no evidence that Frank is, was, or will ever be a good passer or floor general. So far, for a get me a bucket type, Mitchell’s assist% is 19.5% and his TOV% is 12.4. For a passing floor general, Frank’s is 23.9% and 25.5%, respectively. You can HOPE that one day Frank will be better at passing, but the stats right now (and Frank’s history in France) do not suggest that his passing will improve any more than Mitchell’s will. For reference, take a look at Harden’s passing stats during his rookie year…did they suggest that he would one day lead the league in Asst% while also being the most efficient go-to scorer in the league?

    Some guys take a longer time to develop

    …and some guys don’t develop much no matter how hard they work. Mitchell has a head start on Frank, but that doesn’t mean that Frank will ever catch up. In fact, the odds are right now that Mitchell will widen the gap, since he’s improving and showing things he didn’t show much in college (ability to finish in traffic) while Frank is not displaying anything different than what he displayed in France.

    Watching Nrilikina play, I see what many posters here are worried about. So even though I wanted Ntilikina because he seemed the most likely of many attractive possibilities to be a two way player, it’s very easy to have second thoughts. But I also think this really was a strong draft. There are several players drafted mid-first round that are looking good, not only Mitchell, but also Markannen and Smith. So I try to tell myself that he was clearly worth an average number eight pick, even if some players drafted after him turn out better. I also tell myself that KP didn’t look at all the equal of Towns in his first season, and he was also a really young draftee who was tall for his position and had learn how to use that. But the comparison is a lot more equal now. I hope that happens for Ntilikina too.

    Donovan Mitchell is not more agile than Frank Ntilikina. He looks so on offense because his handle is more advanced but Frank is plenty agile and makes good use of that athleticism on defense. And Donovan Mitchell is a 6’3” shooting guard. Frank Ntilikina is a 6’5” point guard. The discussion about strength and explosiveness is a loaded argument as Donovan Mitchell has 2 years on Frank in terms of growth. Give Frank two years and we can revisit who is the better athlete.

    As far as the stats go, let’s let these guys play 1,000 minutes before we analyze 300 minutes of Frank Ntilikina’s career. You also have to take into account Mitchell, due to his age and college experience, is a lot further in his development. Frank Ntilikina is more or less learning a new position this yea while Mitchell has been an attack two guard virtually his whole life. We won’t know who Frank Ntilikina is until year 3 the earliest, but right now I see a guy who will develop a reliable outside jumper, has some pick and roll acumen, and can be a hound defensively. The stats don’t bear that out obviously, but stats don’t predict as well as they record. We know historically that turnover percentage comes down, though, so I don’t worry with the turnover rate.

    I would have drafted Mitchell over Ntilikina. I thought he was worthy of a top 10 pick because of his two way potential, and Frank Ntilikina felt like a project I didn’t have time for. However, I’m more than happy to wait for Frank to develop because his defense could eventually be All NBA level and all it takes is for a guy to know his limitations offensively to develop into a plus offensive player. Guys like DeAndre Jordan and Courtney Lee (and Lance Thomas conversely) are living proof of that principle.

    As I have said many times, I hope Ntilikina becomes a cross between James Harden’s O and Tony Allen’s D. I just don’t see much yet to justify the hope.

    I was a believer in KP before his draft for the same reasons I was not a believer in Frank before his draft. In both cases, the video evidence was very compelling. In KP’s case, the pure basketball skills (for a 4-5) were clearly there, the questions were about strength and durability. In Frank’s case, the pure basketball skills (for either a PG or a SG) were clearly not there.

    What you seem to miss every time is that Frank Ntilikina played for Strasbourg’s senior team in France while KP was still in Real Madrid’s farm system. Frank Ntilikina’s basketball skills were pretty apparent in FIBA U18 when he played against guys his age.

    These are Frank’s November highlights. Whether he’s on offense or defense, when he’s not passing the ball to KP for what seem like cheap assists (and they are but a lot of guards, like Derrick Rose don’t like free money), you clearly see a kid with advanced basketball intelligence. He has command in the pick and roll, he has a decent stop and start move that freezes bigs, and some of the passes he makes are absolute dimes. Where he struggles is with his dribble moves and that’s obvious in situations where he just wants to make one move and either shoot or dish. Defensively he’s already a heady ball hawk and a disruptor at the head of a defense. Watching those highlights I see a guy who has an enormous ceiling. Once he gets his dribble moves and gains more confidence in his jumper he’ll be one of those guys that’s impossible to sit down in crunch time. I feel confident in his eventual development and I think, looking at the landscape of the NBA, he has a chance to rival Lonzo Ball as the best two way floor general in the entire league. Of course highlights are misleading, but you can see where he will eventually develop his game.

    I’m rooting for Frank and hopes he becomes the PG for the next decade but I just don’t see how so many people here can be so optimistic about his offensive capabilities. Quite frankly he has been beyond awful offensively this season and I’m not sure his ceiling on offense is that high at all. Love his defense although it would be nice if he rebounded better.

    Frank was racking up a lot of dimes early in the season– through his first ten games he had a really healthy 31.1 AST%. Since then he has fallen off the cliff, and has posted a pitiful 10.6 AST%. Woof.

    What does this all mean? I don’t really know. The guy is a very enigmatic player at this stage on the offensive end. Early on he looked like a guy who usually made the right play on offense, but lately he has been offensive liability. I’m still in the “too early to tell” camp with the kid.

    On defense though he’s the real deal– he gets in the passing lanes, moves very well laterally, harasses ball-handlers and blows up lots of pick and rolls by fighting through screens.

    I agree that he looks like a very good defensive guard with the potential to be great. But if he isn’t a PG, then what is he?

    As to the highlight reel, we really don’t need that to evaluate him. We’ve all watched all the games and have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. We also have his stats. Sure, he might be one of the very few players that develops a burst, separation and finishing ability with both hands, but the odds are very much stacked against him ever being an asset on offense as a PG, much less an elite one that you hope for at #8.

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