Knicks Morning News (2018.02.25)

  • [ESPN] Trey Burke ties renaissance with Knicks to renewed faith
    (Sunday, February 25, 2018 2:25:04 AM)

    Trey Burke went from top-10 pick to out of the league in four years. But he is on the rebound after finding himself in New York.

  • [NYPost] Joakim Noah’s old buddy can’t help jumping to his defense
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:41:58 PM)

    When Joakim Noah came home, signing a four-year, $72 million with the Knicks in summer 2016, Al Horford figured it was the best possible destination for his former college teammate, playing for the team he grew up rooting for. Instead, it has gone in the opposite direction, Noah playing little and now in exile after…

  • [NYPost] Bar has been set for Knicks’ point guard solution
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:36:47 PM)

    There was a moment in the fourth quarter Saturday night at the Garden where it looked like the Knicks has found their backcourt of the future. Frank Ntilikina intercepted a lazy, cross-court pass and quickly fed the ball to Trey Burke. The speedy guard with the tight cornrows raced up-court, slashed past Celtics defender Terry…

  • [NYPost] Troy Williams making most of his Knicks 10-day audition
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:56:04 PM)

    Troy Williams is making the most of every second — let alone these 10 days. Signed to a 10-day contract Wednesday, Williams, the 6-foot-7 athletic small forward, played the entire fourth quarter of the Knicks’ 121-112 loss to the Celtics on Saturday at the Garden. He flew for 14 points in 12 minutes, shooting 6-of-9…

  • [NYPost] Kyrie Irving show leaves Knicks dreaming of 2019 homecoming
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:25:32 PM)

    Wait ’til 2019! Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving, out of West Orange, N.J., erupted for 31 points, including 15 in the third quarter, to help Boston repel the Knicks 121-112 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Irving was close to a triple-double with eight assists and nine rebounds, shooting 11-of-22 from the floor to outduel…

  • [NYPost] No regrets from either side of Carmelo Anthony trade
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:53:53 PM)

    Sunday is the five-month anniversary of the Carmelo Anthony trade to Oklahoma City. Though the first Melo-less season hasn’t panned out like the Knicks hoped, lowlighted by the catastrophic ACL injury to the Knicks’ new leading man, Kristaps Porzingis, nobody in the organization regrets the move that became official on this day five months ago….

  • [NYDN] Knicks keep it close but collapse late in 121-112 loss to Celtics
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:45:42 PM)

    For the Knicks (24-37), it was an ideal defeat.

  • [NYDN] Jeff Hornacek admits Knicks season is lost
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:45:18 PM)

    The writing’s been on the wall for nearly three weeks, ever since Kristaps Porzingis’ season ended with a torn ACL.

  • [NYDN] Al Horford: Joakim Noah always wanted to be a Knick
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:44:35 PM)

    Joakim Noah’s return to New York was heralded as a feel-good homecoming.

  • [NYDN] Carmelo Anthony feels vindicated after leaving misery in New York
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:24:17 PM)

    Five months after leaving the Knicks – or getting traded from “hell,” as he once called it – Carmelo claims he’s much happier in OKC.

  • [SNY Knicks] Irving scores 31 to help Celtics beat Knicks, 121-112
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:14:50 PM)

    NEW YORK (AP) Kyrie Irving had 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, leading the Boston Celtics over the New York Knicks 121-112 on Saturday for their second victory in two nights since the All-Star break.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s game: Celtics vs. Knicks, 7:30 p.m.
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:49:59 PM)

    The New York Knicks picked up their defensive tenacity late against Orlando Magic on Thursday, resulting in a victory.

  • [SNY Knicks] Ntilikina looks forward to challenge of guarding Irving
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:00:50 PM)

    Frank Ntilikina admits that Kyrie Irving can’t be stopped, only limited. Ntilikina is looking forward to that challenge.

  • [NY Newsday] Young Knick guards overwhelmed by Kyrie Irving in loss to Celtics
    (Sunday, February 25, 2018 12:57:01 AM)


  • [NY Newsday] Carmelo Anthony says he’s ‘having fun with the game again
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 7:56:27 PM)

    After a rocky start with the Thunder, Carmelo Anthony said it’s “it’s refreshing” to be in Oklahoma City and not New York.

  • [NY Newsday] Enes Kanter still wants to stay with Knicks
    (Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:54:00 PM)

    Enes Kanter’s stance hasn’t changed.

  • 49 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.02.25)”

    The tanking teams never ever win anymore. They’re 0-13 since the break. We’re 4.5 games ahead of the pack and it might as well be 45 games. We’re not catching them.

    Good thing we had those mid-season wins though. Who cares about the #1 pick when we were able to establish the delightful winning culture we have now!

    Good loss yesterday.

    We could finally assume that Burke is for real (he could have a ceiling as a change of pace, instant offense sixth man, but even that is very useful) and Williams showed interesting traits, he’ll get another 10-days or maybe a 1-plus-1 soon.

    Assuming that Kanter will opt in (yesterday he let go some strange comments about it, fingers crossed!) a second unit with him and Trey as the offensive punch could be very effective against other benches.

    On defense yesterday’s game and the previous one in Orlando were interesting.

    Burke is trying, his defense on Kyrie was pretty decent most of the time (Irving is simply too good to stop when on fire), Frank is already good and he could become even better, THJ in a good system could be decent (see Budenholzer, Mike), Dotson and Williams have the athleticism and some instincts, Mudiay has the size.

    While Frank and the “new version” of Burke are pretty much always focused, the other have recurring mental lapses and plays where “they’re away”.

    Kanter is another story, he tries but lacks the speed and footwork to be good. KOQ is much more quick and nimble (as in “I must be in good shape in a contract year” nimble).

    Add that KP is an excellent rim protector (and with good effort level most of the time), that Thomas and Lee are good defenders/veteran models and I think it’s really mandatory to hire a competent defensive minded AC.
    Put the tools and instincts that most of our youngster have in a good system that rewards accountability and make them grow on effort, defensive awareness and focus.

    On offense… some turnovers were embarassing, you could not have lazy passes versus Boston’s wolfpack, but again this is an issue that could be fixed with the right coaching staff.

    And now let’s go studying the Bridges, it’ll be hard to catch any team of the Tank Brigade.

    Next stop Golden State, over/under for Beasley’s shots is 18… 🙂

    I doubt Burke can sustain what he’s been doing for NY so far, but I don’t think it would be crazy to assume he’s improved quite a bit from prior years. I have a few thoughts on that.

    1. It shows that sometimes a player can still put it all together in his mid 20s

    2. I suspect that if KP and Hardaway had more typical years in terms of injuries and Burke was our starter this year instead of Jack, we’d be in the playoff battle right now.

    3. If we can add 2-3 good players in the next 2 drafts (we have the Bulls 2nd rounder), Frank makes some progress, and KP is 100%, the 2019/2020 season could be a lot of fun.

    Burke’s career ts% is .484, and he’s averaging .600 with the Knicks so far. He’s also averaging 8.2 ast/36 with only 1.6 tov/36 which is just insane.

    While it screams small sample size outlier, he’s been scoring truly greatly and has very low turnover numbers for his entire career. Some regression is obviously to be expected as he gets more minutes and defenses start caring more about him, but I do believe there’s at least some level of significant improvement with him.

    It pisses me off even more that this team kept him in the G-League for so long to start Jarrett Jack.

    Burke’s probably due for a clunker in GS (a là Jeremy Lin in Miami) and I doubt he could shoot like this forever, but some improvements seem real.

    I’m surprised by his assists numbers and his effort on defense.

    As a side note, he was First Team All Rookie and third in ROY voting…
    … And traded for a 2021 2RD (but after 3 years)!


    It was always going to be difficult to move up much if at all. I’ll be completely content if we get Mikal/Wendell and Miles to a lesser extent.

    Next years early top 10 is loaded with wing talent so that’s a good spot for us. Barrett, Hachimura, Reddish and Zion could be good additions to our core.

    Nearly 9 millions in two years… With a player option!

    I can’t forget the Man Without Skills!


    I actually think Baker can be a part of our core moving forward. He is a tremendous defender which makes sense since he was one of the best defenders in the NCAA at Wichita State. His shot distribution is outstanding, almost 85% of his shots are either 3 pointers or shots at the rim. His efficiency at the rim this year was terrible at 47% but last year it was a solid 55% so that should be okay. His 3 point shooting is only okay but should continue to improve since he was a good shooter in college. Combine that with his good ast/to numbers and you have a nice defensive specialist 2 guard.

    Even with him shooting a TS% of 50% and scoring 6.6 pts per 36 he still has the best +/- on the entire team. His ability to be a perceived threat at the 3 pt line while keeping the ball moving kept him from being a drain on the offense. I see a Bruce Bowen/Avery Bradley type defensive specialist.

    Trying to be serious now: Baker is a NBA-level defender but is not a NBA-level player. It pains me to say so since I really like him, but he should never see a minute in the NBA unless a roster is decimated by injuries.

    I didn’t watch the game, so can someone tell me if Burke took 20 shots in the natural flow of the offense, or does it look like he was coached by his agent to chuck at volume if he wants to stay in the league?

    Burke is taking 58% of his shots from long-2 range and hitting 59% of those shots. In other words, he’s taking lots of bad shots but drilling them at a completely unsustainable rate. That predicts major regression.

    I’m glad we’re giving him shot and would be fine if he started, but let’s not do the thing where a new player has 2 good games and people go, “Despite lots of evidence to the contrary, this guy is obviously good now and a building block for the next 10 years.”

    Burke shot mostly in the natural flow of the offense, more than THJ and Beasley and much more than Mudiay.

    Burke is a perfectly competent backup PG who can carry some of the scoring load for any second team. He looks the part of the quintessential Thibs backup at PG.

    Every metric that looks at non-box score stats to rate players puts Baker as one of our best players this year in admittedly limited minutes. He is one of four Knicks (KP, Baker, O’Quinn and Troy Williams) to have a positive +/- for the season and his +16 is the best on the entire team. The Knicks outscore their opponents by 3.1 per 100 poss. when he is on the court and get outscored by 3.1 when he’s off it. He has the 2nd best dbpm of all Knicks playing over 50 minutes.

    Baker this year is a net positive player, and his offense can only improve moving forward.

    Ron can play on my team any time. He’s not worth any more than the vet’s minimum, but he gives 110% of what he has every minute he’s out there and plays a physical, lunchpail kind of game that I loved watching back in the ’90s. In the 29 games he appeared in this year, the team was outscored during his stints in only 12 of them. He probably played through a bad shoulder for muh of the year, along with assorted other injuries. I’m glad he will be back.

    As for Burke, of course, he is going to regress he has a ws/48 of .221, a TS% of 60% and is averaging 24 pts and 8 asts per 36. I’m pretty sure he is not a top 5 PG in the NBA. That said he has plenty of room to regress and still be a very positive player for us moving forward. I think a lot of his improvement is real and think we have room to be optimistic.

    Long term I don’t see him as a starter, my favorite comp is still Lou Williams, if he could come close to that it’s still a good prize for a lottery ticket.

    And I agreed with Farfa on Ronnie, good defender, not an NBA regular (more a 12th man), his team oriented game is perfect for Europe’s top leagues, less appreciated in the NBA.

    Alas his contract is terrible, but it’s not his fault.

    Ok I might have gone overboard with my evaluation. But Baker’s limits on offense are atrocious and very hard to hide.


    I actually think Baker’s ability to keep the ball and himself moving makes his offensive limitations easy to hide when surrounded with good offensive players. That is the reason he hasn’t been a drain on the offense this year and one of the best reasons to be hopeful for him moving forward.

    I didn’t watch the game, so can someone tell me if Burke took 20 shots in the natural flow of the offense, or does it look like he was coached by his agent to chuck at volume if he wants to stay in the league?

    In my view, it was a combination of both, and it seems like Hornacek has given him the green light. He definitely put up his fair share of questionable shots. He chucked a bunch down the stretch, maybe trying to out-Kyrie Kyrie. But he does play with lots of confidence and does seem to be a pretty good scorer. He’s sort of like a Knicks-stint Derrick Rose with a better 3-pt shot and a better defensive effort, which is a pretty good player.

    I was a big fan of acquiring Burke, and have been lobbying to bring him up (and send Frank down) since about 20 games into the season. He may not be a starter (assuming some regression in his TS%, if it stays up around .600 he IS a starter) but he’s very exciting on the offensive end and definitely a keeper. He’s light years ahead of Mudiay and Ntilikina at PG.

    I’m much more hopeful for Dotson than I am for Baker at this point. Luckily Ron has a player option or he might’ve been out of a job coming off that torn labrum.

    A couple of things I noticed about Burke’s BR page:

    He is posting a 40.9 assist%, by far a career high rate, and a ridiculously low 7.5 tov%, by far a career low rate. In the G-League, those rates were 25.3 and 10.9 respectively, more in line with his career averages. Hard to tell what this means going forward, but it is definitely a big reason for his inflated WS48 and screams regression.

    His 3pt% seems pretty sustainable at around 38-40%. Between his last 2 NBA seasons and his G-League stint, he’s attempted 263 3-pointers at a reasonably high per-36 clip and made over 40% of them. That bodes well for his TS% remaining relatively high, especially since he’s not shooting FTs particularly well yet (68% compared to career 81%, 83% in G-League on 130 attempts).

    He’s shooting 40% long 2’s at a 59% clip, which seems unsustainable and bad strategically, but in his last 2 NBA seasons he shot 42% and 43% from there on lower volume (not good but not terrible) and shot 52% from 2 overall in the G-League on 361 attempts compared to 59%. So his overall % from 2 is not crazy-higher than it was in the G-League. Since his 3PTrate is at a career-low, he could possibly sustain a higher TS% just by taking more 3’s and less 2’s.

    His FTr is at a career-high, and was at a very respectable .247 in the G-league. It seems that he’s figuring out how to get to the line more, although there’s still lots of room for improvement there.

    The Knicks have one of the best benches in the NBA. Unfortunately, most of them start for us. 🙂

    I still don’t get acquiring Mudiay. I’m fine with giving up McBuckets as he’s a fringe player on any team, but Mudiay just plain sucks and is not going to suddenly discover how to shoot and become an intelligent basketball player. (BTW, Clyde has pointed out a number of times that Mudiay has a flawed jump shot, he kicks his legs in all directions)

    Since KP went down, we should have been playing Burke and Frank and maybe Jack for a few minutes here and there. I get that Mudiay helps the tank, but he’s really bad at basketball and painful to watch.

    (BTW, Clyde has pointed out a number of times that Mudiay has a flawed jump shot, he kicks his legs in all directions)

    Hardaway also does that sometimes. That’s probably why he’s streaky. When he squares up and take a good quality shot with good form he looks way better.

    I was just thinking that the other day. Burke, Beasley, Timmy, and Kanter are all good bench scorers. Really, Lee too. But most of them start here and get badly exposed.

    BTW, Burke was chucking a bit last night, but they were going in, at least in his first shift. Mudiay was mostly terrible, but they do need to keep running him out there.

    I was very encouraged by Frank’s game last night. He missed all his threes, though one of them was a last second of the shot clock heave. The shooting is still not there, but he had 3 hoops close to the rim and is beginning to show some rebounding chops.

    There is a lot of learning that goes on with a point guard between the ages of 19-21 and 25. 25 (Burke’s age) is around the age that guys put it all together if they have the physical tools.

    I think the concern with Mudiay is how he seems to drop focus a lot (and/or is maybe slow on reads). He has moments where he gets to the hoop and looks like vintage Marbury or finds guys in transition beautifully, but far too often he takes plays off (especially on D) and almost seems to get bored later in the shot clock and just gives the ball up.

    That’s definitely something you could expect from a rookie like Frank, but Mudiay should be better than this after two years in the league. I bet if he’d change his diet/workout habits alongside better coaching (his shooting form is terrible) he could make some progress, but odds are that he won’t be any more than a league-average point guard in a best-case scenario.

    The problem is that Mudiay looks years away from even being serviceable(if at all) while Frank and Trey are already outplaying him. How much of a look are we going to give him with those two on the roster?

    You know what’s funny to me? How Mudiay is better on this team with or without KP than Rose was as a Knick- and Rose shot better and scored more. I swear I didn’t know Mudiay was the kind of passer he is proving to be so far. He may end up being worth salvaging if he can improve on team defense. Kid still can’t shoot though.

    If we stay at 9, there will be a more intriguing player on the board than Miles Bridges. It’ll be on the Knicks to pick him.

    In other words, congratulations to future New York Knick Miles Bridges!

    Out of the lottery guys, the ones I really wouldn’t go after are Knox, Sexton and Miles. I’m fine with anybody else. I’d rather get Miles than the other 2, though.

    burke’s shot looks like he’s throwing darts…super flat…which looks a little weird for someone his height…

    he must be a really strong guy…he definitely looks super confident at the moment…i hope he keeps playing well…

    it was good to hear troy williams say how welcoming the locker room was when he got to the knicks…

    even when mudiay looks okay, which seems to be in more half court stuff – in the open court/transition, who knows where the ball is going to end up…

    someone recommended: river ave. blues

    haven’t taken the time yet to follow…

    i’m still entranced by this magical knicks season…

    River Ave Blues (RAB) is by far the best Yankee blog on the internet. Knickerblogger and RAB are the only blogs I visit every single day of the year.

    i’ll tell ya big blue…joe never wore his cap tilted back like boone does in the dugout…

    i miss joe already…

    Willie played 3 mins today for Charlotte. he somehow was -11.

    Howard and Zeller must be practicing harder.

    I tried river ave, but I didn’t see a message board; that’s what I’m looking for. I still say, Ellsbury for Noah straight up….who says no to that?

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