Knicks Morning News (2018.03.13)

  • [NYPost] Courtney Lee rants over Knicks’ effort — and stats back him up
    (Monday, March 12, 2018 6:51:17 PM)

    The Knicks have been lacking everywhere this season. Undoubtedly in wins. Definitely in talent. And now, according to Courtney Lee, undeniably in effort. “When you watch film, it’s just all effort,” Lee said Monday after practice in Tarrytown, his first non-game work with the team in nearly a week following a death in the family….

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ surprising spark plug earns himself a deal
    (Monday, March 12, 2018 4:08:23 PM)

    Opportunity knocked. And so far Troy Williams has answered. Williams, a 6-foot-7 forward who has gone through the maximum two 10-day contracts with the Knicks after he was waived by the Rockets, has agreed to a deal for the remainder of this season with a partially guaranteed opportunity for next season, league sources confirmed. Coach…

  • [NY Newsday] Courtney Lee critical of Knicks’ effort on defense
    (Monday, March 12, 2018 11:44:36 PM)

    Courtney Lee takes pride in playing defense. He said not enough Knicks do.

  • [NYDN] Helicopter crash victim formerly worked for Westchester Knicks
    (Monday, March 12, 2018 8:19:01 PM)

    Tristan Hill, one of five people who were killed in a fatal helicopter crash in the East River, was only 76 days from his wedding.

  • [NYDN] Knicks, Troy Williams agree on contract for rest of the season
    (Monday, March 12, 2018 4:43:09 PM)

    Troy Williams appears to have made the most of his opportunity.

  • [NYDN] Dirk Nowitzki is what Knicks hope Kristaps Porzingis can become
    (Monday, March 12, 2018 2:07:40 PM)

    This could be the last go around for Dirk Nowitzki, which would mean a final game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

  • [NYTimes] Scandal Hits Big3 Basketball as It Prepares for Second Season
    (Tuesday, March 13, 2018 4:21:25 AM)

    Reports that Roger Mason Jr. had been fired as the league’s commissioner were confirmed when he leveled some big accusations against the league‘s founders.

  • [NYTimes] Keeping Score: The Nets Aren’t Good, but Shouldn’t They Be a Lot Worse?
    (Monday, March 12, 2018 2:45:44 PM)

    Their most productive player this season has been Spencer Dinwiddie. The story of this team is overachievement.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks, F Williams agree to contract with partial guarantees for 2018-19
    (Monday, March 12, 2018 5:08:00 PM)

    The Knicks and small forward Troy Williams agreed to a contract for the rest of the 2017-18 season and with partial guarantees for the 2018-19 season.

  • [SNY Knicks] Nigel Hayes gets some revenge against former team Sunday
    (Monday, March 12, 2018 11:10:53 AM)

    Nigel Hayes made his Madison Square Garden debut on Sunday night, but it wasn’t for the team he started his 2017-18 season with.

  • 49 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.03.13)”

    Absolutely huge game for the tank tonight. It should be amusing to watch the two coaches try to out dump the other with match ups in the last quarter if the game is remotely close……

    We do have the General Patton of tank commanders on out side… but Smith isn’t far behind!

    Hopefully DSJr sits out with his knee issues. Can’t have him going 2-12 with only 4 points again.

    Smith Jr will score at least 30 tonight if Mudiay gets over 20 mins.
    It is known.

    I’m glad that the Knicks have put some notable separation between them and the #10 spot. That’s great.

    Brandon Jennings is back in the league?!
    16/12/8 for the Bucks last night!

    As long as Ntilikina is starting alongside Mudiay, we will keep losing. That’s a horribly matched backcourt. Also, my money’s on Kanter sitting out one more game. I really would love to see a Ntilikina/THJ pairing in the backcourt for the remainder of the season. No way THJ is our SF. We’d probably like him more if he played SG more. But as we all know, the best way to stealth tank is to start 2 lottery picks in the backcourt so Silver doesn’t come calling…so…tank on!

    This text chain

    “You know what to do tonite!??”

    “Yes Lose.”
    – hornacek

    “We re not eliminated are we?”


    “”Either way your fired”

    “Got it.”

    Certainly a big couple of days for the tank.

    FiveThirtyEight has us getting to 30 wins and Chicago to 29. No-one else is close on either side. Chicago hosts the clips tonight then visits Memphis. We host Dallas and Philly. Those are all games that could go either way but FTE has us winning one and Chicago winning neither so if we can beat that outcome things are looking good. Clearly two losses for us and two wins for them might be too much to hope for but three results out of four going our way would be great…

    Meanwhile I have to say, while people on this blog have really brought me round on Mikal Bridges, count me among those who would be thrilled if Bamba or Trae falls to us. Bamba might be a slightly odd fit but he looks like a foundational defensive piece in the mould of Gobert. Hard not to like.

    It’s Porter i’m now weary of. Not sure you can pass on him if he falls but BIG bust potential with that injury and ESPN now also talking up possible character issues.

    Problem with bamba is offensive rebounding, no good. That’s all effort like defense so I’m thinking hard pass.

    I think we all know Mudiay will pick tonight to become a highly efficient scorer, dynamic play maker and lock down defender.

    It’s just inevitable.

    Every time Mudiay scores more points than his total FGA, I assume the Knicks will announce a four-year, $50M deal and hire Mark Jackson as Head of Player Development on the same day.

    I feel ashamed. I consoder myself an advocate of advanced stats. And I also study behavioural economics so I know people are prone to optimism bias.

    Yet when we made the Mudiay trade there I was in camp ‘maybe he just needed a change of scene – I mean athleticism, lotto pick, Larry Brown… gotta mean something’.

    Many of the good people here were voices of reason – but I hoped nonetheless. Yet I t is frighteningly clear he is just bad. Thank god badness has positive value for us for more or less the remainder of his contract…

    th2 should be playing sg… in order to be a viable full time SF you have to be solid on the boards…. he’s a SG through and through….

    Yeah, playing Lee and THJ a lot at the three is not really fair to them. It is good for tanking, though.

    You know, Lee’s latest remarks about effort are similar to what the announcers often say. That there is a lack of effort, but rarely are individual players named. Now, who are they referring to? We all know that Kanter is not a good defender, but he does try, so I doubt he’s one of the ones Lee is referring to.

    My guess is that the list starts with Beasley. Mudiay strikes me as lazy or disinterested, too. I’d put THJ in the lazy category, as well, but maybe he’s just dispirited trying to guard threes so much. On occasion those guys show some effort, but not consistently. Burke seems to try most of the time, but he gets wiped out by screens a lot.

    The only guys who seem to try hard pretty much all the time would seem to be Frank, Lee, Kanter, OQ, and now Williams. But other than Frank and Lee, the other guys seem clueless at times.

    if we lose to Dallas tonight, I think there’s a semi-good chance we jump all the way to 6 (or at least a tie for 6). Chicago likely is favored to win more games than us at this point. Brooklyn doesn’t need to lose. Dallas has more overtly winnable games than we do against super-tanking teams (Magic, Suns, Kings) whereas if we lose this game to Dallas, the only supertanking team we have left on the schedule is Orlando.

    Yeah, playing Lee and THJ a lot at the three is not really fair to them. It is good for tanking, though.

    Not fair to them and not smart for the Knicks…sounds like a Knick decision, all right! 🙂

    Yup, and another reason why signing THJ was so silly, given that Mills had no deal to trade Lee ready to go.

    However, good for the accident tank, I guess.

    Hey, we’ve got one okay (but not really good) starting two. Let’s sign another! And overpay, to boot!

    I agree that Hardaway is a SG, but I’m not worried about the Lee/Hardaway combo long term. By the time we have a decent team in 2019/2020 (hopefully), Lee will either be gone or playing off the bench in the final year of his contract. The bigger problem is Frank/Hardaway. If Frank winds up moving to the SG position full time, then Hardaway will have to continue playing out of position at SF or one of them is going to play off the bench. Both those scenarios are not good. If it’s the latter, that would mean Frank didn’t develop much or we are paying too much for Hardaway to be 6th man.

    Ideally, Frank is the PG, Hardaway is the SG, we have upgraded SF (Mikal Bridges or free agency 2019?), Porzingis is playing PF/C, and we have upgraded the front court to go with KP either through the draft or free agency.

    Watching the Knicks is kinda like watching a baker decorate a cake before it’s baked, so yeah, the THJ signing makes a lot of sense in that regard.

    And here’s Courtney Lee, again, complaining about effort, vaguely referring, to the media, as usual, about unnamed teammates. I’m so happy with this astounding display of veteran leadership.

    I’m starting to not stand the guy, honestly. Can you do your job as a veteran, understand that the team is trying new players and lost it’s best player in the middle of the season? The guy who hasn’t stayed with a single franchise for more than 2 years in a 10 year career and will only stay more with the Knicks because Phil Jackson is stupid is the quickest to go to the media with the same bullshit all the time. If you don’t want to go through a rebuild just ask for a trade and get out.

    I saw some more encouraging data on Frank’s defense yesterday. All we need is for him to become an average scorer and he’s going to be a solidly “plus” all around player. It’s almost sad that he’s still so far away from being an average scorer, but I guess it wasn’t unexpected given he didn’t score much in Europe and the competition is better.

    Watching the Knicks is kinda like watching a baker decorate a cake before it’s baked, so yeah, the THJ signing makes a lot of sense in that regard.

    The way the Knicks operate, it’s like they just throw the frosting in the mixing bowl with the raw eggs and cake batter and call it a day

    Yes, but on the flip side, if Lee did name names, then he’d be open for lots of criticism about calling guys out in public. There’s the whole, “this should stay in the clubhouse” attitude.

    I’m guessing he’s just really sick and tired of certain players not giving consistent effort. He probably should’ve just said nothing.

    There is no more sg position. The off guard has to be a playmaker as well as do all positions. Neither Lee or thjr have that ability and are not geared for modern game. And neither does frank because he doesn’t look to score.


    I mean, I get that it’s probably very annoying and frustrating, it certainly is to watch, imagine playing.

    But if you’re gonna keep it in the clubhouse, then keep it. What use is going to the media and saying an obviously flawed team sucks and gives no effort when it’s crystal clear for everyone paying attention? This is the sort of useless rant that has the intention of making himself look good in spite of his teammates (hey look guys I’m trying, but hmmm you should know that there’s some other guys not trying).

    I don’t get it. It’s not like he’s Russell Westbrook playing 40 minutes and self destructing to keep his team afloat to go to the media and call everyone out. Just stay quiet and be the veteran you’re supposed to be.

    Hardaway, like so many overpaid Knicks of yore, is a guy who would be a solid sixth man. Bring him in for some high-usage/mediocre efficiency scoring on the second unit and he’ll play well in that role. As a starter he’s below average, and I don’t really see that changing. He’s not really all that good.

    I don’t think most players have a “tanking” mindset even if they understand conceptually why we’d be better off losing and know that the team is trying to develop young players and figure out who is going to stick next year.

    I’m going to guess Lee was talking about Beasley because he specifically mentioned things “we’ve been doing all year”. You’d have to cut Mudiay some slack when it comes to the Knicks defensive strategy given he just got here. There’s usually a reason guys like Beasley fail to stick despite their raw talent and flurries of good play. This might be a critical period for him if he wants to be back.

    He is a 6th man on a contender, we should consider bringing in thsr and teach jr to play point.


    I’m going to guess “right or wrong”, Lee thinks he’s doing the team and certain players a favor by calling them out for throwing in the towel on defense. He’s doing the “vet leadership” thing even though the season is over and the rest of us want the team to lose every game from here on.

    I guess I’m more of a cynical than you strato, and all I see is him parroting his own professionalism and effort to make himself look good while throwing his teammates under the proverbial bus.

    The problem is then you get guys who give meaningless cliches for copy, which becomes a defacto version of omerta. As for Lee, he may bounce around but he starts everywhere he goes.

    We’re just taking it one game at a time
    It is what it is
    At the end of the day……

    If Lee was referring mostly to Beasley, which is entirely possible, then maybe it might have been partly motivated by Beasley’s remarks a few days earlier where he complained about the team not passing the ball as much since Jack went to the bench (translated as, I’m not getting the ball as much as I want).

    That looked like a thinly veiled shot at Mudiay, who’s taken over as the starter. Maybe Lee’s just had enough of Beasley, and it boiled over.

    I agree with Bruno that Lee should’ve just shut up, but I’ve been around outspoken hypocrites like Beasley from time to time, and keeping quiet can be a challenge.

    As for Lee, he may bounce around but he starts everywhere he goes.

    Before he signed with the Knicks, he had started 360 out of the 600 games he had played in his career.


    And probably holds the current NBA record of players most involved in multi-team trades, as he’s been tossed around as fodder in 2 3-teamers and even one 4-teamer.

    Wow – the new b’ball insiders mock is wild. They’ve got Miles Bridges at 5! Trae at 9, Mikal at 12.

    If someone above us reaches for Miles and shunts everyone else that’s left down a rung I will be delighted. Equally, it feels more likely we reach for him and let Mikal slide to the Sixers…

    I guess I’m more of a cynical than you strato, and all I see is him parroting his own professionalism and effort to make himself look good while throwing his teammates under the proverbial bus.

    If Noah was still around, playing really well, and he said something like that, it would be perceived differently because he was a star player on a very good team and former DPOY. In fact, that’s partially why he was brought around. He was supposed to be that guy. Lee doing it doesn’t have the same impact because it’s kind of like “who the hell is Lee”. At this stage of the season it’s also kind of pointless.

    Re: THJr,

    He is so miscast on this team, it’s ridiculous. I’m not saying he’s a great player, he isn’t, but they minimize what he’s best at, which is NOT shooting threes.

    First of all, he’s too short/not long enough to guard modern threes. Second, they should really preach defense as his best way of scoring since he’s our best finisher in transition. He’s also decent at the 2-man game when he actually does it.

    But instead, he mostly comes off screens and shoots bricks. Then loses interest on D.

    The worst hypocrite was Derrick Rose. It seemed like every post-game show interview with him had him talking about defense.

    Trae and 8 or 9 would be tremendous. I’d probably still take Mikal over him tho.

    I’ll cut Lee some slack. No matter what your profession, it’s frustrating when your colleagues don’t give a crap and aren’t pulling their weight. Lee does at least try to play the right way, so I understand why he wants to light a fire under these guys. He’s probably tried the “keep it in the locker room” approach already, with no luck.

    FiveThirtyEight has us getting to 30 wins and Chicago to 29.

    FiveThirtyEight’s prediction for us isn’t that accurate because it doesn’t know that Zing is out for the season. Of course it also doesn’t know that Chicago traded Mirotic.

    Yeah, DRose has always been a tone deaf narcissist. Still is, as his most recent interview shows. He’s like, “I’ve got no problem if you don’t like me.” Then two sentences later, says, “‘F you” to his “doubters.”

    The worst hypocrite was Derrick Rose. It seemed like every post-game show interview with him had him talking about defense.

    That was right up there with Isaiah Thomas talking about the Cavs defense. lmao

    How many winnable games are left on the docket? Dallas, Charlotte, Chicago… Orlando?

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