Knicks Morning News (2018.01.02)

  • [NYTimes] Keeping Score: How Much Will Isaiah Thomas Improve the Cavaliers?
    (Tuesday, January 02, 2018 3:26:47 AM)

    The key player acquired for Kyrie Irving, Thomas is a tremendous offensive talent, but he might not do much for Cleveland’s defensive shortcomings.

  • [NYDN] Jeff Hornacek explains why Frank Ntilikina isn’t starting yet
    (Monday, January 01, 2018 2:39:28 PM)

    Hornacek said that in order to get him 30-plus minutes they may not have a choice but to start him.

  • [NYDN] Knicks hope to carry momentum of rare road win into new year
    (Monday, January 01, 2018 1:58:20 PM)

    The Knicks will be home again on Tuesday.

  • [NYPost] Jeff Hornacek won’t alter Knicks’ plans for tough back-to-back
    (Monday, January 01, 2018 5:17:52 PM)

    The Knicks play Tuesday against the Spurs and Wednesday against the Wizards. Suffice to say a back-to-back set is not the Knicks’ preferred modus operandi. They have had seven back-to-backs and are just 2-5 in the second games of such sets. Now when the opponent faces a similar scenario, the Knicks have feasted. Ten times…

  • [NYPost] Knicks have to savor every win during brutal stretch
    (Monday, January 01, 2018 3:38:28 PM)

    When the NBA schedule-maker revealed his work for 2017-18, the Knicks saw a stretch that began around Christmas and lasted seemingly forever. All the positive vibes and harmony established by some unexpected early-season success easily could go up in flames. The Knicks started the segment with an even bigger surprise: they beat Boston. Then came…

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis takes control during crunch time for Knicks
    (Monday, January 01, 2018 8:40:00 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The ball has a way of finding Kristaps Porzingis late in games, as evidenced by his scoring seven of the Knicks’ final nine points in a 105-103 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night. The 7-3 forward, however, deflects talk about his being the “go-to guy.”

  • 45 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.01.02)”

    So we’re on a stretch in which 6 out of 7 games are on the road and the one home game is against the Spurs??

    That just seems kind of mean.

    Just need to stay within a couple of games of .500 till Timmy gets back. February/March the schedule gets easy again and this where we make up ground and get to 6th seed. Till then, keep licking wounds.

    I have a feeling we’re going to do better in January than we anticipate. I think the NO win was huge for this team from a mental perspective. NO has a similar record to us, which means they aren’t a bad team. And we gave up the lead in that game only to persevere and figure out a way to win the game. It stopped a losing streak, got us back to 500, KP was huge in the game especially down the stretch AND we got Noah’s first significant contribution of the year, which probably means Horns now considers him an option if needed. I think the emotional/morale boosting aspect of that win could potentially fuel us during this upcoming stretch. And we should get a boost from Hardaway’s return at some point during this month as well.

    Maybe I’m being overly optimistic but I think we’re going to do better in January than we think we will.

    I want more lottery balls but we’ll probably do better than expected on the road this month.

    Would be nice if we do fall apart and start selling off the vets.

    Goodt Mornting folks! Hope everyone had a great Festivus/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Christmas/New Year’s/Holiday season!

    I’m gonna go ahead and plant myself on the Michael Beasley support train here. Not only does he score well, but he’s getting double doubles of the bench and he’s playing decent defense as a backup 4! At first, I thought he and Lance Thomas would make a decent forward tandem on that second unit, but now I’m convinced that it doesn’t matter who he’s playing with on that second unit. Courtney Lee sounds like a good soldier who might not mind backing THJ up at the 2 once the latter returns. Also, Lee’s trade value is never gonna be as high as it is now, so he’s great trade bait. And whether it’s Noah or Willy backing Kanter up(assuming KOQ is moved), we still would have a nice offense/defense balance on that 2nd unit with Ntilikina and Baker out there. Even if Jack is playing 2nd string PG, there’s still good balance. So, I’m saying all of this to say that maybe Perry should go ahead and give Beasley a 2 or 3 year extension now while his price should be reasonable. It might not be reasonable a few months down the road.

    Hornacek and company are doing a great job thus far keeping him focused, and he’s rewarding the team as a result. Count me as one of those guys who won’t have any issue with him staying on as a backup 4 for a couple of years.

    I watched the Raptors – Bucks game last night, and every time I see the Raptors I get a little bit more angry that Ujiri stole Anunoby in the 23rd pick.

    He didn’t take a single shot but he’s so damn impactful on defense and so smart he really looks like Kawhi Jr. out there.

    Speaking of the Raptors, DeRozan has really taken it to another level this year. He’s got his TS% up to a career high .584 while also averaging close to 5 assists/game.

    I don’t know if it’s sustainable, but he has come a long way from Canadian Melo.

    beasley’s been good and was a decent signing… some team should be able to use his off the bench scoring ability… i would want to bring him back since we do need more guys who can create offense for themselves but he’s a solution to a problem that we shouldn’t be focusing on yet….

    we have huge holes at the 1 and 3 spots… we are currently playing the worst collection of guys there in the league…. we have to fix those if we plan on doing anything….


    nothing wrong with being optimistic! truth is we won cuz AD missed a wide ope three to win the game though.

    @6 i’ve been singing B-easy praises most of the season. he is the offense when he gets it going and I think we should be running the offense through him more. I like KP to be the first option but a using B-easy attack is sneaky.

    Every time I look at the Raptors I get mad because of the Bargnani trade that gave them Jakob Poeltl, a guy posting a .666 TS%, a .203 WS/48 and a 3.4 BPM in 600 minutes this year.

    Still one of the worst trades of all time.

    the worst thing about that trade was the fact it came on the heels of isiah’s tenure; you’d think we had learned our lesson about epic bad trades and then we turn around and give away another first for a flawed player no one wanted. smh knicks

    Yeah, i had forgotten about this stupid pick.

    The Raptors are looking quite dangerous to be honest, this DeRozan that shoots 3s occasionally is very good, Lowry is his usual reliable self and they have very, very impressive depth, they’re almost three men deep in every position.

    I’d be very happy if the Knicks could somehow steal Delon Wright from them.

    raptor drafts since ujiri took over:

    2014 – bruno caboclo, xavier thames, deandre daniels – the only poor draft but he’s hit on every pick after these….
    2015 – delon wright, norman powell
    2016 – jakob poeltl, pascal siakam, fred vanvleet
    2017 – og anunoby

    every single one of these guys were extremely productive in college… and i was screaming for the delon wright pick at the time but we picked grant… wright could start for half the teams in the league right now including us…

    because of those drafts the raptors probably rival the celtics in terms of the best collection of young talent in the league and they’ve only had one lotto pick in the last few years….

    @ 11 – that is true but looking at the last few road losses (excluding the spurs), we’ve been in those games up till the very end and its been against decent teams. Sometimes you need a lucky break or bounce for a game to go your way but getting that W gives you the confidence to win other games in the future. What is encouraging is that the road losses recently have been close and we’ve even been ahead by a decent amount of points in those games until it kind of fell apart. That happened against NO but instead of hanging our heads, we fought back and got the W, lucky bounce or not. So I’m encouraged bc I think they aren’t telling themselves they can’t win on the road, they just haven’t been able to but now they have.

    you don’t have to… but you also have to draft like them and it’s highly dependent on other teams around you making mistakes… the lower you draft.. the more dependent you are on other teams…

    there’s a lot of skill involved with how the raptors draft… but if og and/or delon wright weren’t available then the results start looking a lot different….

    just look at the spurs… they have a reputation for being outstanding drafters but they’ve only hit on a few their picks in the last 10 years… and that’s actually pretty good… they have kawhi, kyle anderson and dejounte murray to show for it but it takes a lot more than being good at drafting to actually draft good players…

    I guess it means much more that you don’t have to tank to find talent if you have Masai Ujiri drafting.

    But also let’s not get ahead of ourselves, he’s got a lot of very good contributors and young players out of lower picks, but it’s not like these guys are superstars in the making like you can expect out of some of the top tier picks.

    Maybe it’s easier to find highly productive role players in the middle of the draft because everyone is trying to find a superstar. Teams are looking for elite talents, scoring, and athleticism when rebounding and defense is available.

    drafting is only part of the puzzle – a pretty big part 🙂

    drafting guys that can be coached makes a difference too…

    having a stable organizational infrastructure which is composed of good coaches and team support personnel may be even more key in some of the success these “later” picks will have in their early careers…

    if timmy had stayed with the knicks the whole time – would he still have developed into the player he is now…probably not…

    stable organizations seem to definitely have the advantage in developing young prospects…

    prior to this year – i can’t even begin to remember when i thought of the knicks as a “stable” organization…

    I like mock drafts so here goes. The Knicks pick is a new name for me.

    14. New York Knicks: Dzanan Musa, Boznia and Herzegovina F (6-9, 18 years old)

    Musa has quickly emerged as the second-best international prospect in this year’s crop, thanks to his simmering shooting talent and budding slashing skills. He’ll be more of a shooter than a handler in the NBA, but his ability to sprinkle in some drives will keep defenders off balance.

    It’s exciting to envision the Bosnian prodigy in New York’s offensive attack. He’d help space the floor for Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway, Jr.; as his game matures, he could become more of a decision-maker off the bounce. Defensively, however, it might be a tougher transition for him. Musa doesn’t have top-tier lateral agility, and he’s gotten pushed around by some of the Adriatic League’s stronger forwards.

    Dzanan is pretty good, his shooting touch is legit and he’s a willing though flawed passer from the 3 position. What makes me hesitate is his inconsistent defense and really poor rebounding (3.5 rebounds per game this year forCedevita). He could grow into an adequate defender, but not much more, imo. Give me Troy Brown or Mikal Bridges. I’d be alright with the pick if we did in fact choose Dzanan, though. It’d just be difficult to put together a top defense without a wing defender.

    Geo, that to me is the biggest thing. A stable organization. Of course I would love us to draft another superstar to pair with KP and if we were 6 or 7 games under 500 as opposed to 500 right now I’d be all about tanking the rest of the way. But I also believe it is important to win games and “build a winning culture.” I know that phrase gets thrown around a lot of people kind of mock it on this blog. But there is a difference between building a winning culture and making desperate “win now” moves. As long as we aren’t trading away draft picks and our young players for older players in order to make a playoff push, then I have no problem with trying to win games and make the playoffs and if that means we draft 17 or 18 in the draft as opposed to the top 8 then so be it.

    We can let our larger contracts for the older players expire naturally. We can fill in our holes (1,3) through the draft. Our young players that are good will get better. Frank in particular will take over JJ’s role naturally when its time. If we’re patient, keep winning games, make the playoffs and grow as a team a good trade or free agent signing will become available to us in due time. Golden State should be a great role model. They really only had one high draft pick (steph). Draymond was a second rounder. Klay was later in the first. We’ve all ready had two high draft picks (KP and Frank). We’ll continue to add young players via the draft the next few years and they will take over for the older guys (Beas, Noah, Lance, Lee) in due time.

    I’m not opposed to a Lee trade if a really good one becomes available. Same with KQ. But there’s no rush to trade either of them either.

    Things could change, but I’d be stoked with either Mikal Bridges or Collin Sexton. The mock draft linked above had them at picks 8 and 9, but who knows in the end?

    Bridges would slot right into the three from day one, or if he’s gone Sexton as PG (Frank could slide to the two/combo as soon as Sexton is ready with Timmy at the three).

    Timmy at the three would not be great on D, but imagine all the pressure on opponents’ ballhandlers with Sexton and Frank playing together? Yeah, shooting might be an issue (though with Timmy, KP, and Kanter/Willy, scoring should still be okay next year and both young PGs could improve their shots).

    Still hoping that some sort of Lee/OQ/Bulls second round pick combo could net a mid first rounder… probably a pipe dream.

    musa’s numbers look good but i think he looks more like a sg … he has trex arms and small hands for those who care about that but his defensive numbers look ok in a small sample… i do like the college guys more than him but he’s in the discussion…

    also the top of the draft looks a lot weaker and i’m pretty glad that we didn’t actually tank… doncic is still for real and trae young looks legit but ayton, bagley, bomba and porter have some questions pop up about them that make them far from sure things now….

    Uses of word “draft” so far in this January 2nd thread about Knicks basketball: 25

    O/U by end-of-business: 75

    also… troy brown is playing like the best sf right now… i think he’s a fair amount better than both bridges and knox atm…

    The Knicks don’t need to “tank” into the top five, nor will they even be able to at this point.

    However, with several big men going early that the Knicks really don’t want, “tanking” just inside the top 10 could be huge. Really nice fits for the Knicks like Bridges or Sexton, as I mentioned above, will likely be gone if the Knicks are outside the top 10.

    There appears to be a bit of a dropoff in threes and PG after them. Let’s see how this upcoming road epic ends up…

    @22 I won’t pretend to know anything about that international prospect, but I like that our last two top picks are impactful defenders and would prefer to see us keep that trend going.

    RE: Frank and where he stands amongst the rookie PGs —

    Figure there are 6 PGs to compare him to: Fultz, Mitchell, Monk, Ball, Fox, Smith.

    Fultz gets an incomplete.

    Mitchell has clearly been better than Frank, although his defense has really slipped since he turned into the 1st option.

    Monk has been awful.

    Ball’s net ratings and lineup info sort of suggest he’s been pretty much a wash, but his peripheral #s are ok.

    Smith has been what we were all worried about — flashy plays, ok counting stats, but he has singlehandedly turned Devin Harris into the league-leader in +/-. Dallas is -13 per 100 poss worse when he’s on the court, with defense being the big culprit (102 without him, 112 with him).

    Fox’s numbers are eerily similar to Smith – as in terrible.

    Defensively, I think it’s fair to say that Frank has been the best or 2nd best defensive guard in the 2017 draft class – certainly by DRtg he’s the #1 rookie guard in the league that’s aged like a rookie (ie. not 27 year old Brandon Paul). He’s struggled on offense at times but has shown a fair amount of improvement especially in terms of turnovers.

    Since defense is by some calculations roughly ~50% of the game, I’d say that means he’s been pretty good despite being the youngest player in that group.

    by the way for people saying that his 9 months doesn’t make a difference, just look at the difference between what Donovan Mitchell was as a freshman and what he was as a sophomore, and now what he is as the age of a college junior. Designations like “young for his class” or “old for his class” carry a lot of weight in front offices if you believe Draft Express and other guys who are dialed into how FO’s think.

    by the way – it is extraordinarily rare for a rookie PG to have a positive net-rating especially when not playing for a really good team. When I have some time I’ll try to get specifics.

    I’m still fixated on Mikal Bridges, I think he’ll be a superstar. He has all the tools to be an elite 3 and D guy worst case scenario, and that’s really what the Knicks need the most, a strong 3 and D guy who can get to the basket decently.

    Unfortunately I think Bridges will be long gone by the time we pick (unless we somehow suck into the top 10).

    Same here. I try not to get too attached to any draft prospect, but the Knicks really could really use a good all-around legit three. Bridges probably will go in the top 10.

    I don’t think that it is impossible for the Knicks to get him. Let’s see what happens in this all-important month of road games. If the team dips several games below .500, management might be okay with a “soft tank” after that.

    Bridges will almost definitely be gone, but Troy Brown might be there and I agree that he looks like great value in the late lottery or just outside the lottery. Bruce Brown, Lagerald Vick, and De’Anthony Melton (despite his stupid situation with USC) look intriguing to varying extents as well. Don’t know much about Musa but the 1.5:2.5 AST/TO and 6 TRBs per-36 scare me.

    As for the second round, I continue to find it weird that there seems to be so little interest in Bonzie Colson. He’s undersized as a traditional PF, but who cares these days? 2 steals and 2 blocks per game along with plus rebounding and constantly improving scoring is hard to find. He’s more than worth the gamble for a second round pick.

    He’s a heckuva player, but the “tweener” label will probably mean late first rounder. Hey, if he’s there for the Knicks in the early second, sure, take him!

    Kanter for Rubio works in the Trade Machine.
    Utah has a shit ton of guards, and with Mitchell dominating the ball it kind of makes Rubio borderline useless (see his horrible assist numbers this year). Both have 2 years left on their contracts. Favors is in the last year of his contract and they don’t really have any other quality bigs outside of Gobert.
    Kind of makes sense, no?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Frank has a big breakout game sometime in January where he goes for close to 20, hits a few 3s, is efficient overall, and has something like 7-8 assists, 5-6 rebounds, and 2-3 steals. It’s coming.

    The most shots he’s taken in a game is 11, which he’s done 5 times, and he’s gotten 5 rebounds 4 times.

    The closest he’s come to your numbers is a 13/5/5/1 game vs the Lakers, and with them coming up soon maybe that will be that game.

    @39 – makes perfect sense…

    kanter has played well for us – but, the way our roster is set up – he doesn’t make a lot of sense for us long term…as long as noah is on the roster we can’t really afford to pay another center 18 to 20 million a year…

    especially not with willy, noah, and then kp at the 5 late in games…

    rubio is having a down year with the jazz – but, i’d bet he’d be a huge upgrade over jarret jack…

    not sure where to find the “drives to the basket” stats – but, have to imagine he’d help our 3 point shooting out some…

    if we did trade for him – hopefully rubio would be okay with coming off the bench in a another month or so 🙂

    don’t want to slow up frank’s train to springfield…

    Kanter kind of trashed Utah on the way out right? I don’t think either side would likely be interested in a reunion.

    Every time I look at the Raptors I get mad because of the Bargnani trade that gave them Jakob Poeltl, a guy posting a .666 TS%, a .203 WS/48 and a 3.4 BPM in 600 minutes this year.

    Well, at least we got some funny GIFs out of the deal

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