Knicks Morning News (2018.02.24)

  • [NYDN] Ntilikina, Mudiay and Burke may all get chance to guard Irving
    (Friday, February 23, 2018 8:31:11 PM)

    Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said he has been encouraged by his three guards recently, but now the trio faces a tall task.

  • [NYDN] Knicks’ Kyle O’Quinn named in bombshell Yahoo NCAA report
    (Friday, February 23, 2018 5:00:30 PM)

    Knicks center Kyle O’Quinn found himself caught in the middle of an NCAA scandal on Friday.

  • [SNY Knicks] O’Quinn denies receiving loan from agent while in college
    (Friday, February 23, 2018 7:48:49 PM)

    Knicks C Kyle O’Quinn denied ever receiving a loan from his ASM agent, Andy Miller, after his name came up in the FBI’s investigation of NCCA corruption.

  • [SNY Knicks] Mudiay shows improved chemistry with teammates in first start
    (Friday, February 23, 2018 6:37:56 PM)

    Emmanuel Mudiay saw his first start as a Knick on Thursday night in Orlando, and what he did was a rare sight. It wasn’t his overall play, but a particular play instead.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks’ point guards face a challenge covering Celtics’ Kyrie Irving, Warriors’ Stephen Curry
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 2:49:02 AM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — With the Knicks now firmly focused on seasons ahead, evaluating their young talent has become the priority. There are three point guards in that category — Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke — and coach Jeff Hornacek wants to see each of them tested and get an idea of how well they might work in tandem.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks’ Kyle O’Quinn says he didn’t need a loan and didn’t ask for one
    (Friday, February 23, 2018 8:29:06 PM)

    Kyle O’Quinn said Friday that he didn’t need a loan from agent Andy Miller and he didn’t ask for one.

  • [NYPost] The next test for Knicks’ young PG trio? Kyrie Irving
    (Friday, February 23, 2018 8:56:33 PM)

    It’s one thing to do it against guards D.J. Augustin and Shelvin Mack playing for a team that is on pace to win its 40th game sometime in the year 2020. But now the Knicks’ three-headed point guard alignment, effective Thursday at Orlando, gets to face the challenge of the Celtics and Kyrie Irving on…

  • [NYPost] Kyle O’Quinn denies taking illegal loan while in college
    (Friday, February 23, 2018 7:14:16 PM)

    One of the Knicks’ guys in the middle, backup center Kyle O’Quinn, learned he is in the middle of the current FBI probe into of one of the worst-ever NCAA basketball scandals. O’Quinn on Friday defended himself and denied any involvement in the acceptance of an illegal loan. “I don’t know too much about the…

  • [NYPost] How Lance Thomas took the Knicks’ defense to another level
    (Friday, February 23, 2018 5:35:22 PM)

    When the media types came over to the Knicks after practice in Tarrytown on Friday, forward Lance Thomas might have been the first guy out of the gym. He was nowhere to be found. And that is totally unlike his presence on defense for the Knicks. Look at Thursday at Orlando, especially in the second…

  • 30 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.02.24)”

    New topic: is Kanter a net positive? I can’t for the life of me figure out if he’s worth having on the basketball court, salary aside.

    As a starter probably not. Off the bench I have to believe a guy who is as good at offensive rebounding and scoring efficiently as him can give you a life. I’ve wanted the Knicks to flip KOQ and Kanter’s role for awhile now, but Hornacek doesn’t seem interested at all.

    Kanter is a good situational player depending on matchups. Which means we can’t afford him.

    Kanter has great advanced stats but suffers in on/off numbers and plus minus. I think the bad stats are influenced by his backing up Adams in OKC, and having O’Quinn backing him up in NY, both of whom are excellent players and better defenders. On some team with weaker centers, I think he’d be a net positive.

    I think Kanter is a good player who just happens to not have a broad skill set, so you have to maximize his effectiveness. Whether he starts or not, he can be effective- and that’s the value in his game. Give him about 25 minutes per, and you have yourself a wildly efficient player. Anything more and you risk exposing the not so good parts of his game. This is where Hornacek didn’t really do enough to maximize the player. On the bench, there were 2 defensively superior players who aren’t suitable for large roles themselves in KOQ & Noah. On top of that, he didn’t run enough plays for Kanter to soften the defense up. That makes me really wish that the FO had concentrated more on finding a trade for Kanter so Willy could have played the same role Kanter should have been playing. That would have given us another young piece to develop without worrying about a huge price tag. Even if Willy had gotten less than my proposed minutes plan for Kanter, he still could have played that role really well and maybe the Noah situation wouldn’t have gotten so ugly. Whether Noah is a player that we feel is worth a role or not, it’s still a very bad look for a franchise that “wants” to fix the culture

    @6 +1 on your thoughts.

    IMO, Kanter is the 3rd best C on our team if you include KP. It’s possible he’s even 4th best depending on what Noah has left for 15-20 minutes a night. I’m not being harsh. He’s a good player, but I think having a good defensive C is more valuable than having a good offensive C. On dozens of plays every night the C is not just responsible for the other C, he gets put into P&R situations and also must protect the paint event time ANY OF THE OTHER 4 players on his team gets beat. Kanter is a weak defender.

    If I was in charge of the team, we’d resign O’Quinn, start him, and play Kanter off the bench. Then I’d try to either trade Kanter, sign him for backup money, or let him go and use the space for something else the following year.

    When KP gets back (assuming all is OK), I’d start O’Quinn, KP, Hardaway, and whoever wins the battle between Mudiay, Frank, Burke, Lee and our draft pick in the other 2 slots. Hardaway would play either the 2 or 3 depending on who wins and who we draft.

    Strat, nice post last thread. I largely agree with your points, except that I think Kanter (and some) for Carmelo is a steal, mostly because I think Carmelo is terrible and the Knicks should have had to give up 1RPs to unload his NTC.

    New topic: is Kanter a net positive? I can’t for the life of me figure out if he’s worth having on the basketball court, salary aside.

    .641 TS% on 21.9 USG%
    .203 WS48
    1.8 VORP
    3.0 BPM
    +15 net Rtg
    .346 WP48

    This Knicks team is bad, but you have to explain their 23 wins as much as you do their 36 losses, and his numbers suggest he’s responsible for the Knicks not being a bottom-3 team. Maybe he’s a black hole on defense, but he’s one of the very best offensive players in the game and is a monster on the boards.

    And that actually pisses me off, since I’d rather he were somewhere else so the Knicks could have won 15 games instead of 23.

    O’Quinn is a serviceable player with starter potential, but I don’t think that would stop the Knicks from drafting a center if that’s the BPA, either if Bamba falls to us or if we land in the top 3 and take Ayton. Of course, many think center is KP’s best position, but we have no idea how he’ll look upon his return.


    I would have made the Melo deal also. It’s just a fact of life that it caused problems for us.

    @8 Where did you get the +15 net rating from? I’m seeing -4.2 on BBall ref.

    Sorry, I meant the difference between his ORtg and DRtg. His Simple Rating per 82games is +2.0, which is still excellent for a “role player.”

    Again, I’d like to see him gone because I want a higher draft pick and he will accidentally shoot 6-9 with 16 rebounds and help the Knicks continue to suck in the long-term.

    Jowles: much respect for you, but Kanter is worth 8 wins to this point? I don’t buy ut.

    Anyone else get the feeling kpwill have knee issues for the duration of his career being so tall and all…

    Probably could get a 1st top three pick for him… just saying

    In a league where going small is all the rage, keeping Kanter to punish those lineups inside and on the boards for 20-25 minutes a game seems like a smart move. The Knicks can’t match the better teams small ball lineups so they, and other teams, need to find a way to combat it. Going big, at least for stretches, might be the way. IF NY had a fucking staff that develop players like Kanter and improve his defense to near mediocore we’d have a valuable asset. IF I win the lottery tomorrow I’m retiring….


    He might not be worth 8 wins on his own, specially since his backup is probably the 2nd or 3rd most productive player on this team. That’s something that needs to be taken into account when people argue about Kanter’s on / off numbers and plus minus, if O’Quinn wasn’t his backup I’m pretty sure those numbers would be better.

    I think he’s just a very very good offensive player who can definitely start for a very good team provided it can cover for his weaknesses. The ideal scenario is to have a KP on his side who can block shots and defend, the issue is just that he makes too much for a team that should be fully rebuilding.

    Kanter is legitimately one of the best offensive players in the sport, which is weird to say but objectively true. The problem is it’s extremely difficult to build a contender-level defense around a bad defensive center. At every other position I would say take the elite offensive player and make it work defensively with the guys around him, but centers are tasked with too much to make that a viable strategy if you want to have a top-10 defense. I’d be happy to re-sign him for $8-$10m AAV, but anything more than that probably doesn’t make sense for us.

    Also with the Bulls now 3 games ahead of/behind us in the tank war, holding off the Lakers for the 9th slot should be our #1 priority. There are legitimately 10 guys in this draft I wouldn’t be shocked to see emerge as the best player (though I’ll be somewhat surprised if it’s anyone but Doncic) so unlike most years, the 9th pick is still an exciting one to have.

    By the way Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic are having one of the most amazing races for player of the month in the West. Jokic had his 3rd straight triple double last night and Davis put up the first recorded game in NBA history with 45+ points, 15+ rebounds, 5+ steals and 5+ blocks. 45/17/5/5 plus 2 assists.

    Kanter against teams that don’t run a ton of P&R(Philly for example) is as good as WP and WS says he is IMO. Against teams like Houston and GSW he’s borderline unplayable in the 4th quarter.

    If he really loves New York then he’ll take a paycut to play for us long term.

    As I and others here have long said, Kanter is a terrific scoring big off the bench, playing like 18-20 minutes or so. Against certain teams you can play him a bit more. If he’d resign here keeping that in mind, he’d definitely be worth keeping.

    Surely he’ll opt in, and then if he’s not interested in a reasonable extension, they should try to get something for him before next year’s deadline.

    My fear is OQ leaves for greener (as in money) pastures, Noah is bought out, and the Knicks decide to PAY Kanter next year for a Timmy like deal, or worse…

    BTW, on OQ, caveat emptor. The guy finally got in good shape this past offseason and has played his best BB. I wonder why? Could it have anything to do with having a player option that he can decline, become a FA, and get PAID? Hmm. Once paid, will he still stay in shape, motivated, etc.?

    Good offensively depending on game circumstances. Bad defense. Appears to be a good teammate and durable. Just pay him correctly. The current contract rate is too high IMO.

    We absolutely can’t give Kanter 8-10m AAV on his next deal. We’re already paying $18m to a guy who should be our 6th man based on skill set. We have a terrible roster. If we want to add any type of decent FA in 2019 or 2020 we need to be super-careful about our cap.

    KP is going to be on 25% of the cap soon enough, with Hardaway not far behind. The rest of the deals on this team should be rookie-scale deals and low-cost fliers, not 10m per for guys who might fit well off the bench on a good team but just don’t move the dial for us.

    Mase. You might be right, and that would mean his value may never be higher than it is right now, factoring in the low cost contract, so if we trade him before his max deal we don’t have to take back too much crap.. But unless he blows out a knee in the next two years he will still retain great value.
    I also don’t like his landing patterns. Too prone to stress on the ankles and knees. The NYKs’ MUST invest in a big man coach who can totally break down his Achilles’ heel, his footwork. That includes landing, flexibility and strength training. To focus only on upper body development is a fool’s errand.
    The NYKs failures in player development are another check box on the “trade KP” side of the ledger.


    Adjusted on/off takes into account who you play with and against. Kanter is still a net negative player and O’Quinn is solidly positive this year.

    If it was just one year, I’d suspect it was some aberration related to sample size or a specific lineup that doesn’t work with him. But Kanter has been a net negative for as long as I’ve been looking at numbers like that. That’s partly why my view on him has been all over the map. On the one hand he’s a very efficient scorer and solid rebounder, but on the other hand all the evidence suggests that when he’s on the court the team does worse (both OKC and NY).

    Some of it is clearly defense.

    I suggested recently that OREBs in combination with efficient scoring may be overvalued by boxscore metrics. Both have value, but the combination probably gets too much. I recently ran this by Dean Oliver on twitter when he tweeted about the value of OREBs. He “liked” my theory that the combo is overvalued. So maybe he agrees.

    Recently I took a look at some of the highest ranked players by boxscore metrics when a lot of their value comes from OREBs. When I looked at their adjusted on/off numbers, they were mostly disappointing relative to what the boxscore models were saying. Stevie Adams is another.

    I’m not going to argue that adjusted on/off is perfect. It’s not. But when you see a pattern like that, I think it’s telling you something useful.

    My thoughts on Horns are that he’s not a great coach. I don’t even know if he’s a good coach. Specifically do not like what I see about his communication style, e.g. KP, WHG, Noah, Frank, etc. Doesn’t seem to provide clear direction to his players.
    But the FO doesn’t really care, cause he may be next out the door as part of clearing Phil’s dead weight. Willy was part of that program as well. And Frank may also be in that category as well. Why clean house now, when “blame Phil” is the gift that will keep on giving over the next few years?
    Don’t get me wrong, Phil did a horrible, lazy job and had to go.


    I’m not saying it’s not useful, it definitely is, all i was saying is that just on off splits and plus minus is not enough, it has to be adjusted. Kanter is not better at the adjusted numbers? Really can’t find them right now.

    Anyone else get the feeling kpwill have knee issues for the duration of his career being so tall and all…

    Probably could get a 1st top three pick for him… just saying

    Maybe, but there’s probably a 50% chance that that player turns out to be a bust or just mediocre. It’s like Let’s Make a Deal – you can keep the 2 week Hawaii vacation or roll the dice and maybe behind door #3 is a 200 foot yacht. But it might also be a dishwasher.

    I can’t give up on KP yet.

    Playing next to a solid rim defender like KP is Kanter’s best possible option, which is why the adjusted numbers look so bad. Keeping Kanter around depends on that combo, and if you think KP is going to transition to the 5 there’s no point in keeping him. But within that constraint yeah, he’s probably worth 8 games.

    Effective small ball lineups still score a lot in the paint. Going big against them is going to be an effective strategy going forward, provided you’ve got the wing defenders to keep the perimeter from getting too easy for them. Frank’s a good step in that direction, but Hardaway is not. I don’t see our future lineup being one that can realistically feature Kanter as a starter and still compete at a high level.

    Comments are closed.