Knicks Morning News (2017.12.13)

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis paces Knicks with 37-points in 113-109 win
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:15:38 PM)

    The only Big Baller at the Garden was Kristaps Porzingis. Lonzo Ball wasn’t even the best rookie point guard on Tuesday night.

  • [NYDN] Frank Ntilikina stole Lonzo Ball’s thunder when it mattered most
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:48:58 PM)

    The rookie point guard garnering much of the national attention was thriving for the other side.

  • [NYDN] Amar’e Stoudemire returns to MSG, lights Hanukkah menorah
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:27:36 PM)

    Amar’e Stoudemire hadn’t attended an NBA game this season.

  • [NYDN] Lakers coach Luke Walton receiving advice from Phil Jackson
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:40:42 PM)

    Banished from the Knicks, Phil Jackson is still helping out the Lakers.

  • [NYPost] ‘Ultimate pro’ who groomed the Warriors is helping the Knicks
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:23:07 PM)

    The Knicks were winless throughout the preseason and the first three games of the regular season. Even the most diehard Knicks fans were checking when pitchers and catchers reported, while also keeping an eye on the Giants and Jets. Well, football and Jarrett Jack helped bring their attention back to the Knicks. And this isn’t…

  • [NYPost] No foul trouble, no problem in Beasley’s big finish
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 8:26:30 PM)

    In his previous game, Michael Beasley received a standing ovation from the Garden crowd. For fouling out in 9:49, which really takes some doing. But Tuesday, Beasley had the Garden crowd in a frenzy because of what he did when the game mattered most. And that was not just staying on the court. “I guess…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ ‘other’ rookie point guard shined against Lonzo Ball
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 8:15:31 PM)

    Lonzo Ball was the rookie point guard that the masses flocked to the Garden to eyeball Tuesday. The young Lakers stud did not disappoint. But neither did the Knicks’ guy, Frank Ntilikina. Maybe seeing the 6-foot-6 Ball, who was the No. 2 pick in the draft, revved up the fellow 19-year-old’s blood. “I have the…

  • [NYPost] Porzingis, Ntilikina steal the Ball family spotlight in OT thriller
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:49:18 PM)

    LaVar Ball stalked the Garden sidelines in his bright red “Big Baller” shirt and matching sneakers, and Magic Johnson lit up celebrity row with his smile. But the visitors’ Hollywood star power and gold uniforms couldn’t stop Kristaps Porzingis and rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina from lighting up the Lakers at the Garden. Yes, “The…

  • [NYPost] Amar’e Stoudemire’s pointed advice for Kristaps Porzingis
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:26:46 PM)

    Amar’e Stoudemire was on hand Tuesday at the Garden for spiritual reasons, to help the Knicks celebrate Hanukkah Night. But the retired ex-Knick also delivered a spiritual message to fellow power forward Kristaps Porzingis. Likely referring to Porzingis’ blowing off of last April’s exit meetings with the coaches and former team president Phil Jackson, Stoudemire…

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis has historic night in Knicks’ win over Lakers
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:58:44 PM)

    Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 37 points in the Knicks’ win over the Lakers on Tuesday, became the first player in NBA history to combine at least 35 points with 10 rebounds, five blocks, and five three-pointers in a game, according to Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders.

  • [SNY Knicks] The French Prince outplays Lonzo Ball down the stretch as Knicks edge Lakers in OT
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:31:57 PM)

    NEW YORK — With all the hype surrounding Lonzo Ball and his family on Tuesday night in a nationally televised game at Madison Square Garden, it was easy to forget about the Knicks own soft-spoken rookie point guard, Frank Ntilikina.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis propels Knicks to 113-109 overtime win over Lakers
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:30:15 PM)

    NEW YORK (AP) Kristaps Porzingis had 37 points and 11 rebounds, Michael Beasley made the biggest plays in overtime, and the New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 113-109 on Tuesday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] Kanter thinks LaVar Ball is ‘putting too much pressure’ on Lonzo
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:53:35 AM)

    With Lonzo Ball and the Lakers coming to New York, Knicks C Enes Kanter couldn’t help but to add his two cents about his father — LaVar Ball.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Jahlil Okafor Gets a Second Chance, and Nets Get a Bargain
    (Wednesday, December 13, 2017 3:07:20 AM)

    Okafor, the No. 2 draft pick in 2015, lost his spot to Joel Embiid in Philadelphia but now has the opportunity to develop in Brooklyn.

  • [NYTimes] Fix Lonzo Ball’s Shot? Here’s the Blueprint
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:41:59 PM)

    Kevin Martin’s stroke in college was nearly identical to Ball’s unorthodox method, but Martin managed to slowly improve it and become an effective shooter.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis scores 37 points to lead Knicks’ OT win over Lakers
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:45:53 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis scored a game-high 37 points and had 11 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Knicks to an overtime victory over the Lakers in Lonzo Ball’s Garden debut.

  • [NY Newsday] As usual, LaVar Ball goes gonzo over Lonzo
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:20:55 PM)

    As always, LaVar Ball was impossible to miss.

  • [NY Newsday] Luke Walton wanted to see Phil Jackson succeed with Knicks
    (Tuesday, December 12, 2017 8:04:31 PM)

    Luke Walton wanted to see Phil Jackson and the triangle offense succeed with the Knicks. Jackson’s departure didn’t sit well with Walton, the Lakers coach.

  • 124 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2017.12.13)”

    Start Frank. It’s time.

    He’ll have rough nights, but on his good night’s the team plays so much better with him than with Jack.

    Agreed. Let’s just see what he can do. I have faith that he will come out the better for it.

    I just wanna repost my comment from the game thread because I woke up still perturbed: I lay in the hopsicle recovering from another surgery to rid me of thyroid cancer(who would have thought it would be this difficult?), I get angered at mainstream media. All I’m hearing is “Lonzo Ball dows this at the Garden, Lonzo does that at the Garden!” But I hardly hear anything about the game KP had, the similar stats to Lonzo that Ntilikina put up OFF THE BENCH in less minutes, and the outstanding OT work that Beasley did- AND WE WON THE GAME!

    I get it, Lonzo’s good. But he’s having as much of an up and down rookie year as Ntilikina and DSJ. The only rookie PG that really has been consistent is Fox. But nobody’s talking about him either. I can’t knock LaVar’s hustle- his crazy marketing scheme has worked. But sheesh! Does the talk about Lonzo Ball’s 1st pro game at Madison Square Garden REALLY hafta overshadow the winning team’s efforts? Particularly that of KP, Ntilikina, and Beasley? Enough is enough..and by the way- Ball was a hearty -11 in his 40 minutes while Ntilikina’s D slowed him in the 4th. Just sayin..

    @3 Kick that cancer’s ass my friend.

    @1+2 I want Frank to start as much as anybody but I think having him get comfortable in the league coming off the bench before is smart. Let him string together a few of these performances together before putting him in there. As long as he keeps getting 20+ a night I’m okay with Hornacek doing it as he sees fit.

    @1 & @2..great minds fellas..great minds. I felt the same way about a week ago. It’s time. I believe he’s mature enough to handle it. I love his interviews- he talks like a real point guard with humility

    @4..thanks. Hangin size 11’s up it’s ass as we speak lol

    “When we were lining up for the anthem, I looked over at Frank and said, ‘Are you ready to go?’ He said, ‘I’m ready. Are you ready, Coach?’ You could tell he was ready.”

    FN played great last night. He is the guy.

    What the hey was Hornacek thinking in the 4Q? That offense was the worst: everyone spread out, nobody move, cut or screen; ISOKP at mid-range, and try to get a forced shot. I’ve seen that with CM over the years, and we don’t need that.

    Further, Michael Beasely is soooooo frustrating. I know he was positive +/- for the game, and yet my gentle wife heard me yell cuss for the first, second and third times of our young marriage. Box out some one! Pass the ball (AT THE RIGHT TIME!). TRY TO STAND NEAR THE MAN YOU ARE GUARDING!!! LAY OFF THE SMOKE PRE-GAME!!!

    That was one of the most entertaining Knicks games I’ve seen in five years, for sure. Get the ball into FN’s hands on each possession and we will play better.

    Didn’t get to watch the whole game last night but 2-3 things seem clear to me –

    1) Ntilikina is going to be just fine. Court vision, defense, and a jump shot are great basic tools to have, and I like that he’s getting more aggressive taking the ball into the paint (doesn’t have any advanced finishing moves at this point, hopefully can learn them?). I don’t feel any strong need to start him, especially if he’s going to play so many 4th quarter minutes, but I would like to see him on the court with KP more.

    2A) – Porzingis needs to play center — on defense he wants to play center regardless of who he’s guarding, which just leads to so many 3 pointers given up (he leads the league by a pretty significant amount in terms of 3PA/36 (6.1) given up on defense by a frontcourt player), and on offense the paint is just wide open when he is on the perimeter. All those basket cuts by McDermott work because of the screens KP is setting for McDermott and the gravity that KP has.

    2B) We (and unfortunately every team) need a guy who can play both forward positions and can rebound the ball. Lance, McDermott, and Beasley are theoretically these players but Lance and McDermott can’t rebound, and Beasley is just too unreliable (and a dumb defender). KP at center is great in many ways, but he will never be a good rebounder. Jonathan Isaac or a similar player would be so perfect next to KP. Assuming we will be in the 8-15 range in the draft, maybe guys like Kevin Knox, Miles Bridges, or Jaren Jackson could fit the bill?

    Meanwhile – I almost wish the Knicks weren’t so ingrained in my soul, because I love what Atkinson is pulling off in Brooklyn. Man — to be 11-15 with that roster and essentially zero favorable draft picks over the last several years — really amazing, especially given Lin has been injured the entire year. Love Caris Levert and Dinwiddie, and the job Atkinson and co. have done developing them. They’re better than the Lakers and the LA has had 3 #2 overall picks and a #7 pick in the last 4 drafts, SEVEN first round picks and overall 9 top 34 picks in those 4 drafts.

    The only rookie PG that really has been consistent is Fox.

    You mean consistently awful?
    TS 45.5, Usage 22.7, OBPM -4.0, DBPM -1.2. That is terrible.

    The best rookie by a long shot (not counting Simmons) has been Tatum. Kuzma has been pretty good especially considering his draft position. Mitchell has really started to come on although his defense has really suffered since he really upped his offensive usage. The rest of the rookie PGs have been pretty up and down (Ball) or underwhelming – Frank included although we certainly have cause for optimism. DSJ has been terrible (TS 45.5 on USG 29.8 yeeeccch), Monk has been even worse (TS 43.2 on usage 22.7 as a guy whose usefulness is 100% tied to scoring), and Fultz has of course been MIA.

    Have a good recovery, Totes!

    Since I’m not much unti Twitter, I generally check Reddit to see news and highlight etc, and it’s generally a good barometer to see what fans (even if it’s mostly younger people) and the media are looking at, and Ball is just the hottest topic always.

    There’s like 4 or 5 Lakers-Knicks posts on the front page, and one of them is the incredibly relevant discussion “Lonzo Ball mean mugs the camera after converting the alley oop”.

    Kids are just fascinated by the whole Ball family stuff (and there’s a LOT of rabid Lakers fans out there too).

    Haha! That is consistent . And yes, Tatum is far and away the best 2017 drafted rookie. He’s giving Simmons a run for ROY


    Meanwhile, I’m sure Thibodeau will run the Wolves to the ground before they’re even a thing. Minutes played by their starters in last night’s overtime loss against Philly:

    Towns 48
    Butler 45
    Wiggins 40
    Gibson 39
    Teague 37

    Only 3 bench players even played (Crawford, Dieng and Jones). This is a mess I can’t wait to see.

    For those paying any attention it is crystal clear that in the short, intermediate and long term Frank gives the Knicks the best chance to win. He should play as much with the starters as possible as long as he is healthy enough for the workload.

    When Kantner is on the floor we’d probably like as few forays into the paint by opposing PGs and when Kantner gets hung up in a pnr I’d prefer Frank harassing on the switch/mismatch than Jack. In that respect he makes Kantner more playable

    You’re in my thoughts Totes.

    Porzingis is so tantalizing because, without checking the numbers, it seems like he’s great at converting the shots that we all know players should be focusing on (open threes and shots near the basket). He gets into trouble when he starts trying to be a 7’3” Carmelo Anthony, though those shots were largely falling last night.

    Shoot relatively open threes and dunk. You can always whip out the Melo stuff when nothing else is working and the shot clock is winding down. That’s the path to 20+ PPG with a 58%+ TS.

    @18 – at this point KP is just so much better on the move. I wonder whether they are giving him those iso/post-up shots almost as a development thing as opposed to it being what they actually want from him right now. But seriously – the McDermott pin-down for KP seems basically unstoppable with how well those 2 shoot the ball – defender goes under the pindown and KP pops for 3. Defender goes over the screen and KP has way too much foot speed for the help (I think P&T wrote about this a few weeks ago). If 2 defenders go with KP then McDermott pops out for the open jumper.

    Using KP as the screener/screenee on the perimeter just opens up so much for everyone else, especially when he’s the only true big on the floor for the Knicks. Sure, if you’ve engineered a switch and 7’3″ KP is posting up 6’4″ Lonzo Ball, by all means go at the mismatch in the post. But he had a pretty hard time with Kuzma and Randle who are taller/bigger. Maybe in a year or two when he’s even stronger (or better yet, learn the freaking Dirk 1-foot fadeaway!!!) they can just dump the ball into the post to get a good shot, but he’s just not there yet.

    Kick cancer’s ass, Totes.

    IsoKP is definitely the most troubling aspect of our young superstar’s game at the moment. I can’t tell if that’s the result of him spending two years watching Melo, or it’s just a byproduct that none of our PGs are great at breaking down defenses, Frank included (give him time), so hero ball sadly remains our best option late in games when defenses are clamping down.

    Get healthy, Totes. Meanwhile, Dennis Smith Jr. is indefinitely out with a hip injury. Frank will have the better career.

    To me the post/ISO KP is close to becoming a very real late game weapon and a necessity for us to grow through for now. Yesterday you could tell he was trying to find the open man when he got doubled, his recognition of where the double is coming from and who the open man is to hit is just a step to slow to take full advantage, which led to some ugliness. He’s got to keep getting those reps to learn though.


    The kind of thing you are going through reminds us that basketball is just a game and we shouldn’t get so upset when things don’t go our way. Best of luck beating it!

    I was wondering if it wasn’t the case to start Frank and Ron, with Lee at the 3. I mean, Ron isn’t that good, but he complements well Frank and is at least as good a defender as team captain Lance Thomas. What’s to lose in trying? This, obviously, until THJ is out.

    Last night we saw the same KP we saw early in the season. What I don’t understand is why he can’t focus and bring the same level of energy more often. Everyone is going to have nights when they don’t feel well, have a bad matchup, have some aches and pains, or the shot is just not dropping. But it shouldn’t be as streaky as it has been with him. He plays 10 great games, 10 games where you start getting concerned he’s just not that good, and then he teases you with another break out game on both ends again.

    Speaking of DSJ and Dallas – there are some REALLY wild on/off numbers for that team–

    Their starters are just amazingly awful — Wesley Matthews has a net -26.1 rating, Harrison Barnes is -25.9, and DSJ is -12.5, whereas Dirk is a net +1.6.. and these aren’t such small samples anymore.

    @27 – consistency is really hard. Hopefully KP finds that.

    Get better Totes.

    @8 I really like the idea of Jaren Jackson Jr paired up with KP in the frontcourt. Having a super agile and long big guy who can chase around perimeter players looks like the way to abuse small ball teams.

    Not to mention his 14 rbs and 5.4 Blk’s per 40.


    I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of Jaren Jackson too. I’m more and more on the re-sign McDermott camp, and I think once Lee leaves or declines too much he should be the starter at the 3. I can see a lineup of Ntilikina, Hardaway Jr, McDermott, Porzingis and Jackson Jr being very exciting.

    I’m still very much in love with Mikal Bridges but it’s getting increasingly clear that he won’t last long on the board.


    Honestly it doesn’t make a lot of sense. We need 3&D guys or playmaking guards, not other bigs. Randle is not bad but I don’t know what to make of a Z-bo lite.

    @ 27 – KP is only 22! Those second 10 games teams adjusted to him and started sending the double team his way a lot more often. Its the first time in his career he’s had that happen to him. Someone made the point the other day that even Dirk early on had Steve Nash as his PG whereas KP has Jarret Jack. Kid is still learning. Even that second stretch of 10 games it wasn’t like he was absolutely awful. Just not beasting out. He’s still learning and growing.

    Fun game last night! Nice to see McDermott, Frank and yes even Ron contributing to another W. This Hardaway absence could be a good thing in the long run for the development of some of our young players. This is how a team grows…through adversity. Hardaway being out forces these other dudes to step up and so when Hardaway comes back, the team will be stronger.

    We gotta get that W against Brooklyn! We need this and the OKC game cause then it starts to get really tough and our home stretch is almost over!

    Noah needs to earn his money teaching Porzingis how to pass. He was getting doubled on the catch last night at times no matter where he was on the floor and it seemed to bother him a lot.

    @3 Kick that cancer’s ass my friend.

    What about last night’s game surprises anyone? Yes, nice win. I thought the two teams would be an even match and I was correct.

    Frank played well but I have criticisms. His drives to the hoop were not always aggressive enough. He was caught going behind screens and burned by it a few times. KP played great but I have my criticisms. He forced a few shots and is relying on hero ball instead of distributing the ball. His 1 assist is telling.

    Ball has a lot of potential. Frank was better. I’m happy with our pick.
    We can’t look past the Nets Thursday.
    I wish Timmy was playing Saturday against OKC.

    Meanwhile – I almost wish the Knicks weren’t so ingrained in my soul, because I love what Atkinson is pulling off in Brooklyn. Man — to be 11-15 with that roster and essentially zero favorable draft picks over the last several years — really amazing, especially given Lin has been injured the entire year. Love Caris Levert and Dinwiddie, and the job Atkinson and co. have done developing them

    Think I’m going to go to Nets-Pacers on Sunday. Tickets are cheaper than a movie and that should be an interesting game.

    jarret jack is a perfect pg for frank to learn from…. jack knows how to be aggressive and just take it to the hoop but he’s also very selective about it… i feel like that some of that is rubbing off on him but frank just doesn’t have any finishing moves.. at least yet… hopefully that changes but it’s going to look awkward for awhile….

    jarren jackson is going to be interesting but he’s probably going top half of the lottery….

    we do have the bulls 2nd rd pick also and that’s likely to be very early… an interesting name in that range is isaac bonga who is currently in the pro b league in germany and he’s holding his own there… the shooting is a work in progress to say the least.. but he’s a true wing with nice secondary skills including his passing…. sort of like a more athletic kyle anderson….

    Pretty notable that Horny has started going small down the stretch in these games. I’ve always expected that it would eventually become our go-to crunch time look, but seeing him start going that way now, when we have 4 centers that need minutes (and are taking up like 40+% of the cap) is still somewhat surprising. If Perry can just figure out how to swing even some lateral moves turning one or two of the centers into equivalent level players at other positions this roster starts to make so much more sense.

    I was not particularly impressed by Ball last night (nor have I been the couple other times I’ve watched him this year). Drive into the paint, jump in the air and then hope a pass opens up seemed to be his best option down the stretch. His passing didn’t look as elite as I was expecting given that it’s supposed to be the skill that’s going to carry all the other weak points. Of all the PGs taken near the top of last year’s draft (excluding Fultz who it’s impossible to know about right now) I think I’d rate him lowest at this point.

    The emergence of Scorezingis isn’t something I feel all that great about but there is no question that it’s what maximizes his long term value financially. The NBA hasn’t changed.

    To be fair, moving the ball has never been his strong suit.

    Wilco’s definitely time to see what Ntilikina has as a table setter. The thing that’s so nice about Jack is his game fits this team as both a starter and backup. With his being able to maintain his health thus far, we may even be able to afford moving Sessions (Wiz? Cavs who may be moving away from Rose? Raps? Rockets?) and bring Burke up to the big league squad. Ntilikina’s shooting is beginning to trend back up as expected, and Baker is contributing, so I would be comfortable with Jack as the lone sage with young grasshoppers in Burke, Baker, and Ntilikina around him.


    I’ve been big on taking Bonga with our Chicago pick for a while—dudes measurables are insane, and he’s pretty good at everything besides shooting. His shooting is admittedly awful, though.

    Pretty notable that Horny has started going small down the stretch in these games. I’ve always expected that it would eventually become our go-to crunch time look, but seeing him start going that way now, when we have 4 centers that need minutes (and are taking up like 40+% of the cap) is still somewhat surprising.

    per NBAwowy (which I thought had closed down but I guess not?) – Knicks are freaking good in small sample (82 minutes, 170 possessions) with KP as the only big on the court:

    ORtg 119.7
    DRtg 105.6
    Knicks TS 57.6
    3PAr 29.9, 3P% 34.9

    Unsurprisingly the achilles heel of these lineups is rebounding – TRB of 45.3% (7+% less than the whole season TRB%).

    Defense stats might not be real as the opposing team has taken 42.7% of their shots as 3 pointers but shot only 31.3% — feels like a major regression possibility.

    Really speaks to the notion that we need a rebounder at the 4 in those KP-at-center lineups.

    Most minutes in these lineups other than KP – Courtney Lee (60), McDermott (59), Ntilikina (60), THJ (47), Lance (35). McDermott actually has the highest DRB% in those lineups at just 20%. KP’s TRB in those lineups is only 9.2% which is frankly pitiful given he’s 7’3″ and should be anchored to the paint as the only big.

    The thing that’s so nice about Jack is his game fits this team as both a starter and backup.

    Yeah, and on the nights when Frank clearly doesn’t have his shot, or is making dumb rookie mistakes, Jeff can send Jack in early to steady the team.

    @44 – Yeah, that’s a move we need to make. And trading Wily wouldn’t be a bad idea either. The Knicks, for the first time, have some pieces to trade that other teams should be interested in.

    randle could be a young player that fits well with Kp, last nite he was giving us problems inside..he bounds well, can he play defense is my question?

    Proving once again how uninsightful he is, Barkley said this morning that he’s not sure who he’d take between Simmons and KP. His reasoning was that KP is a better scorer and therefore might be a better player.

    Give me Simmons all day and night (no offense to our boy.)

    maybe this has been mentioned… and i apologize… but…it really irks me

    does anyone notice how KP, when he attempts to do good re: defensive rebounding, he only goes halfway, like he doesn’t know what to do, even though i’m sure he does… he turns and faces the guy he is going to presumably box out… ok great, check, he’s located his box out man… but then, HE NEVER TURNS BACK AROUND!!! im surprised he doesnt get called for more fouls… its like hes blocking in a flag football game, except he’s using his hands, which in most flag football rules, IS ALSO ILLEGAL… maybe this doesnt happen all that much, but why the hell does it even happen once…

    Proving once again how uninsightful he is, Barkley said this morning that he’s not sure who he’d take between Simmons and KP. His reasoning was that KP is a better scorer and therefore might be a better player.

    Give me Simmons all day and night (no offense to our boy.)

    Not sure it’s so cut and dry
    Simmons certainly has tons of potential and his counting stats are ridiculous, but there are some limitations in terms of lineups you can deploy when you have a nonshooter as your PG or other perimeter player. I guess it depends who else you have on your team. If the Sixers didn’t have a bonafide perimeter threat at center, then I wonder whether the spacing would be really terrible and they’d struggle. If you look at lineups with Simmons on the floor and Embiid off, they struggle (-7 net rating 107/114 ).

    Also having an elite rim protector is important. It’s just that rebounding thing with KP….

    The Sixers are looking nice, but there is zero doubt it is Embiid that makes that team go.

    Up until last night’s game I did not see Frank as a serious point guard candidate, but he really looked under control and had a very solid game on both sides of the ball. Considering he’s only 19, there’s a good chance he can improve with experience as well. Very encouraging. Lonzo looked good, but Frank was as good or better, particularly shooting the ball and on defense. KP hit some seriously ridiculous shots, he was the best player on the floor. Beasley was a huge surprise and one of the main reasons they won, as weird as that sounds. NY got a little lucky that Ingram was shooting like Stevie Wonder, he could not make one. All in all a very exciting game to watch.

    Crazy stat of the day: Ron Baker is posting an .608 TS% this season. It’s only been 130 minutes and he’s s due for a regression, but what the hell?!

    I’m getting more comfortable with my original position that Frank is eventually going to become an excellent shooter. He may not have the all the tools to become a high volume efficient scorer that can create his own shot from almost anywhere, but he could turn out to be a Billups caliber scorer that’s deadly if left open from 3 that can score in some other ways too. He’ll just have to learn to get to the FT line more often.

    I keep looking for the article I read about his shooting, but I can’t find it. He rated extremely highly on some test. He was close to elite level. Small sample or not, you don’t go from some expert on shooting saying he has elite shooting potential to it turning out to be a liability. The kid is nervous, has been injured, and is trying to learn a ton of new things while getting comfortable in a new country. That’s a lot to take in. I’m still more worried about whether he’s a true PG or some variation of combo guard that we are going to have to combine with another playmaker.

    Totes, all my best to you! Keep up the fight; I have a teaching friend who fought cancer and has now been free of it for several years.

    IIRC, Frank has played pretty well the few times he’s logged crunch time 4th quarter minutes. All in on starting him, or at least gradually building up his regular minutes per game.

    A big three/wing is still so desirable for this team, one who can defend and rebound (yes, some shooting would be nice, too). Someone younger and better than LT. I noted Lee trying to guard Kuzma late last night. He’s giving up 3″-5″ to some of the guys he’s playing against. He’s fighting hard but is simply overmatched with the bigger wings in the game.

    Ron Baker is posting an .608 TS% this season. It’s only been 130 minutes and he’s s due for a regression, but what the hell?!

    He’s been hot from 3, but even though he’ll regress from there, there is still some upside elsewhere. Last year was a negative aberration from the FT line and I think he can still do better this year than he’s doing so far. Maybe he’ll level out to a more tolerable level to go along with his hustle and defense. That’s not bad.

    A big three/wing is still so desirable for this team, one who can defend and rebound (yes, some shooting would be nice, too).

    Yeah. We have several weaknesses, but SF is a glaring one because we don’t have someone in the pipeline that can fill it like Frank might at PG. I like McBuckets, but he doesn’t do enough to be considered a long term solution at SF. He’s better off the bench. That’s where trading O’Quinn and/or Lee might come in. If we can get a quality SF, we are on our way. But we have to be patient.

    there’s a lot of things that go into shooting… frank is very good at the catch and shoot and everything that involves his body being already square with the basket… but off the dribble or when there’s a decent amount of pressure where he has little time to get square i would rate him as not very good….

    and for a pg being good at catch and shoot is good but he would need to play off the ball more to put him in those situations… and it’s not like he’s so good that we can run him off of curls… he’s not like that .. at least yet… that’s why it’s imperative that he becomes a credible threat getting to the basket… it seems like he’s working on it tho….

    Ron always should’ve been off the ball. He looked terrible as a PG even in Summer league where Chasson Randle outplayed him.

    I almost want to keep Frank on the bench since him and Ron seem to have good chemistry together(or maybe just trade Lee and start them both).

    I’m fine with Frank staying on the bench as long as he finishes games like last night. He played 28 minutes to Jack’s 26, and I would like to see that eventually settle on 28-30 for Frank and 18-20 for Jack, with the occasional situation where both play together if we really need to.

    Jack is borderline unplayable anyway on defense on the 4th against teams with guards who run the pick and roll since he gets burned every single time, and his unreliable shot is clearly not an improvement over Ntilikina’s. I’m fine with Jack continuing to start but being effectively the backup in terms of minutes played overall.

    howdy totes…my thoughts and prayers are with you…heck, as a knick fan – i know you’re already plenty tough enough…

    get well soon sir…

    hmmmmmm, a noticeable absence of tanking talk today…go figure 🙂

    just one game, and no doubt probably a better chance of going 0-3 than 3-0 the next few games, but, last night felt good to be a knick fan…

    that 3rd quarter was a blast…can’t wait for that philly game…

    too funny that beasely had us all backing up off of him last night…he legitimately looked engaged on defense…diving on the ground for loose balls – holy crap – who was that guy…

    Beasley reminds me of JR’s tenure here. The good news is there’s nothing he can’t do on a basketball court (on offense particularly). The bad news is there’s nothing he WON’T do on a basketball court.

    I don’t see the need to start Frank just yet. That was really his first good complete game- he’s had some nice stretches (like the 4th quarter against Indiana) but that was the first game where I felt he was solid on both ends throughout. Also, he’s a bit like a rookie quarterback who’s fine if his first read is there but if that’s taken away he’s not really adept at resetting the offense yet- that should come but it’ll take time. That said, he should see more minutes with the starters- he should be the first guy off of the bench- and he should be closing games any night his shot is falling.


    I have to think the drills I was referring to put him through all sort of shots and not just wide open spot up looks. I’m expecting to him to be a good shooter in almost every way even though he’s clearly not there yet. What I’m not expecting him to do is become a go to scorer than create his own shot almost any time he wants. Personally, I don’t think he’s quick or athletic enough and doesn’t have the handle for that. He looks more methodical. Hopefully he exceeds expectations. At least he’s starting to shoot better than he was on the easier ones.

    @50, 57, & 63
    Aw shucks, thanks yal. Your kind words are much appreciated and they give me more to fight with.

    Fight the fight totes. Beat cancer.

    A few years ago I almost got divorced and I drew strength from knickerblogger and all the well wishes I got. We are all pulling you for you buddy……..

    Regarding the Knicks- I’m going to MSG on Saturday night for melo’s return game. I’m so pumped. I haven’t been to the garden since the renovation was finalized.

    Will be interesting to see the Garden’s response to Melo — my guess is that he’s getting booed.

    I think the Oladipo case is teaching is some things about not making finite arguments about young players, and he was even 21 when he was drafted.

    People went on him for not being able to shoot, even though he showed small incremental improvements every year in all categories. It took him 4 years and some changes of scenery to figure it out and now I truly believe he’s taking a leap as a scorer.

    Rooting for you Totes.

    Only got to see from mid 4th quarter on last night. Multiple opportunities to put the game to bed that we failed at. This team will be a lot better in those situations once they develop more robust and varied offensive schemes.

    The KP iso is the same damn play we ran for Melo. If they keep running it we really need more off ball movement on that to get KP outlet passes as soon as the help defense starts to collapse on him.

    Anyone else getting the impression that Hornacek isn’t great at the x’s and o’s coming out of time outs?


    Hang tough. You’ll beat this.
    I’m a cancer survivor myself. Clean since 1998.
    Be strong. Hold close those you love most.

    Will be interesting to see the Garden’s response to Melo — my guess is that he’s getting booed.

    I hope not though. He’s not the one who gutted the team to add him, nor is he the guy who traded a 1st for Bargs or tried to mix a win now/rebuild phase with an ill fitting primary offense. As underachieving as the Melo era was, he played his heart out for Knicks fans- most of it through unnecessary bs. But that’s not to say he doesn’t deserve any of the fans’ ire- he’s an opposing player now, and when he left, we got better. So, I would hope that when he’s announced in the beginning, he gets the love. During the game he should get heckled like crazy. After the game he should get a little love from the crowd. Sounds schizophrenic, but it seems fair

    There is a piece out there on Oladipo and his transformation this summer. Pretty amazing. You wouldn’t think a guy like that would have much literal fat to trim on his body. Turns out he did.

    But he was always a good candidate to breakout. Numbers have always been strong. Being behind Westbrook didn’t help.

    Very happy for him, one of my favorite lesser known guys….

    Get well soon, Totes…

    One thing that I’m not liking in KP the last couple of games is his constant bitching to the refs.

    There where several plays in the 4th last night when he just didn’t get back on defense after a no call.

    That’s the sort of thing that used to drive me crazy with Melo and now is happening with KP. I hope it’s just frustration and not a trend.

    Will be interesting to see the Garden’s response to Melo — my guess is that he’s getting booed.

    There will probably be a scattering of boos, but I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get a warm response. I’m going to the game. #MerryChristmasToMe.

    @77: Owen-could you imagine if we had gotten Melo to waive his NTC before they traded Oladipo to Indy?, Now, I realize that Melo would likely not have accepted the trade without the possibility of a Big 3. But tantalizing to imagine. We could have had Oladipo and Sabonis. Realize that I do like Dougie and Kanter, but …

    Oladipo would be a good fit on a lot of teams the way he’s been playing.
    Good luck Totes, as Jimmy V would say Don’t give up, don’t ever give up

    I doubt that OKC valued Melo as highly as they did PG, so even if he waived his NTC sooner, OKC may not have made that deal. Also, yeah, I’d rather have Oladipo and Sabonis than what we got, but honestly I’m not sure any of us thought that Oladipo would be this good, so there’s a hindsight is 20-20 element here, at least for me.

    In the context of the Totes dialogue, I can honestly say that the camaraderie of this sports blog is something else. It would be pretty cool (but probably disorienting to the max) if we got to share reflective thoughts on a championship Knicks team at some point soon.

    I heard today on Dunc’d On (great podcast by the way) that Oladipo is shooting 45% on pull up 3s this year, which is Steph Curry territory. I get that he transformed his body to some extent, but no amount of sit-ups explains what has happened to his shooting. Interested to see where his 3P% ends up this year.

    @88-Zman: understood, but i’m of 2 minds on that-they are really only assured of PG13 for 1 year, so, that may have depressed his value. And even though I think Kanter is very good, I think Sabonis can be much better.

    stay strong Totes,

    @59 – Harrison Barnes, 25yr , former All-Star, won an NBA Championship as a third option, good shooter/scorer, decent defender. Is he top 10 small forward in the league? Not sure but I know that he is just a HUGE contract that Mark Cuban would love to dump while tanking…aka “building through draft”.

    Checked trade machine – Kanter’s expiring contract and Ron Baker works. Thoughts?

    In the context of the Totes dialogue, I can honestly say that the camaraderie of this sports blog is something else. It would be pretty cool (but probably disorienting to the max) if we got to share reflective thoughts on a championship Knicks team at some point soon.


    Thank you muchly Giana and hoolahoop.

    RE: Olapido vs THJ,
    I’m quite happy with THJ minus the injury. Olapido is playing really well, but IMO the only thing that separates him from THJ as a prospect is we already knew Olapido was a good 2 way player. We thought THJ was on hin his way to it..trending upwards. Playing with Westbrook kinda hindered Olapido’s offense, so I’m not sure I would have been all for adding him over THJ. Who’s to say Olapido would be playing that well as the 2nd option to KP’s alpha? Either way we would have added a good player this offseason.

    The George contract is a real issue for the Thunder. The fact that he can just walk away next summer and leave OKC with nothing pretty much dictates 100% they’re all in this year and there’s no more time left.

    They’ll probably get to the playoffs, but this year on the west you’re either 4th or 5th or you’re screwed, Houston and GSW will destroy anyone and the Spurs are too good. I don’t think just going to the playoffs and getting destroyed right away is enough to make George stay, they would have to win at least one series and be competitive while losing to the big 3.

    It’s amazing how only 2 guys in the top-10 of the crazy-hyped 2015 draft class are looking like future stars right now (Porzingis and Towns). There’s a bunch of guys below that that look good, but the top 10 has some real clunkers. I guess that’s the problem with drafting teenagers.

    You got this Totes, cancer doesn’t stand a chance against you!! Knickerblogger has your back, we’ll all be here rooting for you.

    GianaDani, I like the trade. But Dallas might want more cap room instead of Baker. Maybe we could send Sessions and Beasley instead of Baker. Both are expirings.

    It’s interesting that both the Pacers and the Knicks have reason to think that they got the better of OKC on the deals for PG13 and Melo. Oladipo is in All-star territory and is playing lights out, but where would the Knicks be without Kanter and McDermott?

    BTW, it seems like Paul George is not welcome in Indiana any longer. I wonder what it’ll be like for Me7o at the Garden on Saturday?

    So I get home and turn on tv, and instantly I see westbrook walk the ball up, throw it into melo, and watch melo dribble and dribble and dribble and then throw up a 20 foot fade away brick. Then of course Indiana gets the rebound and melo’s man hits a wide open 3.

    Long story short thank you Scott perry.


    Myles Turner was the 10th pick wasnt it? He’s looking quite good, not a superstar or anything but at least solid, better than Russell or Okafor.

    Stephenson is such a clown but I get why it’s fun to root for him when he’s on your team.

    Harrison Barnes is just a guy, but he’s paid like an all star. I’d rather have Ron Baker. Dallas’ good players all come off their bench

    100% no on Barnes, he’s not even good. Much more of a chucker than a shooter and his contract is terrible.

    Why aren’t we talking more about the Ntilakilla ascendency? He’s improving on a month by month basis.

    I think we know what Ntilikina is today. He’s a 19-year old kid playing on the biggest stage in a foreign country with the best ballers on the planet. He comes here with poise, maturity, spunk, drive and skill. We see his potential: court vision, intelligence, ++defense and swagger. He’s improving every day. By the end of the season he’ll be starting and playing 25-30 minutes per game. In two years he projects to be a consistent 15 ppg, 7 apg starting PG. Yesterday he was 13 and 5. It was a glimpse.

    The Pacers showed a long video going through all the greats in their history — Wayman Tisdale, Chuck Person, Dale Davis, Jeff Foster, Jalen Rose, Reggie Miller, etc. Paul George was not included.

    that was kind of petty…jeff foster, really???

    The Thunder win was good for us. I’m not entirely convinced the Pacers are better than us. I want to keep as many of these teams as possible within striking distance.

    Westbrook, George and Melo are a combined 10-41 and the Thunder are winning by 9

    They make it easy for the other guys

    Totes, you are welcome. I would have commented sooner, but it’s morning here and Ijust saw your comment soon after I got up.

    Frank had a decent game against a fellow struggling rookie. He shot 2-7 the game before. He had another modestly decent game against the woeful Bulls. Befort that, he had a long string of mostly awful, and at best mediocre games. I’ll continue to be highly skeptical about his development as aPG and cautiously optimistic about his overall utility.

    We had false starts in each of the past 2 seasons, and this one is more dubious than any of them. We’ve played a friendly schedule with mostly home games. I think the real season starts tomorrow. We play a scrappy Brooklyn team (5-4 in their last nine, including 3 road wins), then the hungry Thunder with the reigning MVP at Frank’s position, then a billion road games vs. lots of good teams. We’ll learn a lot more about Frank, and this team in general, over the next 20 games or so.

    Meanwhile, despite another monster game from Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz lost to the Bulls, who are starting to fuck up their tank!

    Right on cue after my post @97, Hezonja has a career night, 35 minutes, 17 points on 11 shots, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks. Trey Lyles (#12) seems to be breaking out a bit as well.


    I really thought we should have tried to get Hezonja for free. Should still be possible, as he’s only playing because Orlando unbelievably has 5 wings injured now, Isaac, Fournier, Afflalo, Gordon and Ross. Even former Knicks summer league Jamel Artis played for them tonight.

    Totes, if there’s one thing I know, you must be one tough dude – you have to be to have been a fan of the Knicks over the last couple decades! So hang in there, man, we all want to be reading your posts for years to come…

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