(Wednesday, March 28, 2018 8:34:05 PM)
PHILADELPHIA — Enes Kanter could barely walk in the visitor’s locker room after Wednesday’s 118-101 Knicks loss to the 76ers still racked with back pain after a hard fall. He hobbled down the hallway for X-rays that were negative, but he still plans to see a back specialist in New York. It was as tough…
(Wednesday, March 28, 2018 5:46:23 PM)
PHILADELPHIA — Everything has changed at Wells Fargo Center … except the moribund Knicks. The telltale sign of that is the paucity of Knicks jerseys in the crowd and lack of cheers for the road team. The Broad Street arena once was the Knicks’ home away from home during the 76ers’ depressing “Trust The Process’’…
(Wednesday, March 28, 2018 12:59:30 PM)
PHILADELPHIA — Frank Ntilikina’s rookie season has been a cakewalk compared with Philadelphia’s No. 1-overall pick, Markelle Fultz, who has reportedly battled an odd physical and mental issue that forced him to relearn his shot. After not playing since October, Fultz made his return Monday, when Ntilikina’s roller-coaster season saw a high and then a…
(Thursday, March 29, 2018 4:45:02 AM)
Towns’s 56-point performance set a single-game franchise record, moving Williams to second place. Kevin Garnett? He’s not even in the top three.
(Wednesday, March 28, 2018 10:28:49 PM)
PHILADELPHIA — The Knicks have lost nearly as much as the 76ers in recent years, but Philadelphia trusted the process and it has paid off.
(Wednesday, March 28, 2018 9:55:25 PM)
The Knicks couldn’t stop the red-hot Sixers, who extended their winning streak to eight on their home court in a 118-101 win.
(Wednesday, March 28, 2018 6:15:04 PM)
As if the Philadelphia 76ers needed to add any more fuel to their raging fire heading into their Wednesday night home matchup with the Knicks at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center, the return of No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz is giving a jumpstart to a team that hardly appears to need it.
(Wednesday, March 28, 2018 10:22:23 AM)
At this point in the season, the Knicks are beginning to give minutes to their young guys for evaluation, and what their potential could hold for the future of the franchise. For 2017 second-round pick Damyean Dotson, those minutes have been very few.
(Wednesday, March 28, 2018 9:47:03 PM)
Remember, it’s a process. But do you trust it?
78 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.03.29)”
caught only bits and pieces of the game last night. Mudiay’s line looks good. Was his defense passable?
FWIW and by that I mean not much — last 5 games Mudiay has a 53.4 TS on 22 usage and nearly a 5-1 A:TO ratio.
I am a little discouraged by Frank’s line last night. He puts up a good game then puts up a bad game (offensively). Dude is always solid defensively, and the few possessions I saw of his guarding Fultz looked like a mismatch (as in Fultz couldn’t do anything).
I actually don’t think it’s a terrible idea for Frank to play pick up over the summer. He needs to play more freely and has to be a little more selfish – not a lot more selfish, just a little more selfish. That doesn’t count as a development plan, but it’s not a bad idea per se. He also needs to work on his core — his bread and butter offensive play is probably going to be getting around that pick and taking a pullup J — and if you look at his body, it’s always drifting while he’s shooting as if he can’t get control of his body after taking off. No wonder it’s sort of all over the place. And working that core will help him get into guys when he goes to the basket. He has a pretty big frame and should be able to pack on a lot more muscle.
Meanwhile, what does Dotson have to do to get into a game for more than garbage minutes?
I kinda dig Luke Kornet too – I think he’s an NBA player. His shot hasn’t really gone down during this stint but I think he has a pretty good track record of being a real 3 point shooter – that’ll get better, certainly better than 29.6%. He moves his feet well on defense, sets good screens, and knows how to get tall on defense.
Kornet is a good fourth big to have on the cheap. As for Dotson… Who knows? Hornacek choices doesn’t often come around as easily explicable.
Dotson was injured.
Is the season almost over? Who’re we taking with the 9th pick? A valuable 6th man? Are we going to be players in the FA market? I like Burke. I’m tired of Hornacek. Kornet is a G-league player. Muddy too. There’s a lot of work to get this team respectable. A lot of work.
I remember Breen saying recently that Frank literally never went to the gym before this year because of lack of easy access to facilities in Europe. This is basically what he looks like without any strength training, so I surmise that he can stand to add a fair but if strength this off-season which would help him in all kinds of ways.
To carry on from the last thread I don’t have a problem with the team telling Frank to go play a few pick up/Drew league games. He would play a handful at the most and spend the rest of the off season getting stronger and work on his shot/handle.
We don’t have to kill the Knicks for everything they do here.
The top nine of this draft looks like a real improvement over last year’s top nine, which was also a better than average top nine, so I think that the Knicks will be able to get a solid starter out of their pick this year. Mikal Bridges, for instance, would be a great fit for this team.
Bridges has been dropping in most of the mock drafts because he hasn’t had an especially good tournament. If that keeps up, he’ll probably be available to us even though we haven’t been able to secure more ping pong balls.
A core of KP, Bridges, and Frank is a very good start on the defensive end. We’ll probably have to add an above average usage efficient scorer to that mix somehow and hope KP also improves his shot, shot selection, and with better PG play. But that’s still a core you can feel pretty good about. It’s a long path, but if we add a really good FA the following year we’ll have a team.
Yes, the length of KP, Bridges, and Frank would be very enjoyable on defense, and if Frank improves his shooting, it could offer good three-point depth too. You need to add a penetrator/passer to that (Burke for now?) and a bruiser pf, but that would be a fun team to watch.
If Mudiay is able to continue his improved 2-way play through season’s end, does that not serve to support Hornachek’s ability to coach up players?
Turning Mudiay into a serviceable NBA player in 4 weeks is actually fairly impressive for any coach/teacher. Or perhaps the kid’s problems really came from Denver making all kinds of wrong development decisions and that he just needed the right kind of learning environment to begin to realize his potential.
I have a bigger problem with Mudiay’s defense than offense. Even though his career was in a bit of a death spiral in Denver, he was slowly improving his shot and efficiency. Granted he’s been terrible from 3 in NY, but he was getting a little better at that in Denver too. He’s only 21. It’s not impossible that he becomes an average efficiency scorer that can makes plays and limit TOs. The problem is that if you are an average efficiency scorer, I want you to be a plus defender. He’s also a negative defender. It’s harder to imagine huge leaps on both ends. If what they say about his conditioning is true, maybe we can see a leap from him next year, but I’m not betting on it.
The developing nation of Europe is due to get its first gym any day now.
I know it sounds crazy because Europe is highly developed, but that seems to be a recurring pattern of anecdote from euro players moving to the NBA: KP also talked about the lack of adequate strength training and gym resources with Sevilla when he was drafted by us, and a couple others have said as much as well. Unless you’re playing for Real Madrid I’m not 100% sure your euro team has its own dedicated gym and trainers–most euro basketball teams seem to be fairly cash strapped.
Yeah and I think culturally the gym isn’t as big of a thing over in Europe. They tend to get their exercise doing other things like running, cycling, team sports, etc. I don’t think the idea of going to the gym solely to exercise/work out is as big of a thing there as it is here.
Yeah, some of the stories of European athletes and their lack of access to gyms is shocking because, again, we’re talking about totally normal countries otherwise, but I guess that gyms just aren’t a big deal there. Like the Irish Olympic swimmer who couldn’t practice her events in her home country because the entire country didn’t have a single Olympic regulation pool.
Haven’t we watched the Shumpert/Ntilikina movie before? A “lock-down defender” who can’t play the point (or sg), score, pass or penetrate.
Yes, it’s too early to give up on him. But it’s definitely not too early to say it looks like Frank will need some sort of magical transformation to become a valuable building block for our Knicks.
I think a Shump/Frank comparison is not really that accurate. Yes, Shump came into the league with this defensive rep and his rookie year he showed a lot of promise. But his defense seemed much more rough rider based. Getting up in people’s grills and going for the steal but the fundamentals and defensive IQ wasn’t as good as Frank’s. Like he was a good one on one defender (depending on the match up) whereas Frank is not just a good one on one defender but a good team defender and his IQ on that end will also lend itself to maybe eventually making his teammates better too as he gains more confidence and gets more vocal on that end. He isn’t as “flashy” as Shump was but is more fundamentally sound. And as far as on the offensive end, both needed/need a lot of work but Frank is showing more court vision and passing ability from the get go and again, seems to just have a much higher bball IQ.
Shump never lacked confidence his rookie year. Frank is the opposite. The fundamentals and skills are better but he is more deferential and lacks confidence.
Shumpert was 21 when he came into the league.
I think our real question should be: is Trey Burke for real?
So far we have over 1000 minutes of G-League and NBA minutes showing an uptick in TS, WS, and 2 point FG%. Interestingly, he was a better 3 point shooter last year. His defense looks decent, and his stats are OK.
I don’t think his long-2’s are for real, and that’s what’s tying all of this together. But…. 1000 minutes???
That was not people’s view of Shumpert at the time, though. a little ruruland jewel, just for amusement on a rainy thursday morning:
Trey Burke is not for real, if you mean is he really this good. But I think there’s a good chance he’s for real as in a useful NBA player. His defense seems pretty awful, and his offense is not this good, because his 2pt shooting percentage is ridiculously out of whack with his career averages. That notwithstanding, there are still places he could reasonably improve on offense-he can probably shoot 3’s a little better, he can definitely shoot free throws better, and he (like so many other knicks) could reasonably improve his shot selection.
Burke just might be one of those outlier mid range shooters where he can get a away with those shots being his main offense.
Realistically he’s a very good 6th man for us long term.
@10 Turning Mudiay into a serviceable NBA player would be up there with Moses parting the Red Sea
He tries on D, but Burke is er, very limited there, to say the least, mostly because of his size/length.
Shump never amounted to any sort of distributor and although he appeared to have ok shooting form, he couldn’t shoot the three. And as stated, he was 21 as a rookie. He also seemed generally lost in schemes. Frank is already a much more cerebral player than Shump. Plus, Shump was a constant “above the rim” athlete, which is why he got injured. It’s not a good comparison at all. I see Frank as more of a 3 and D guy who can be a secondary ball handler/passer. That could be valuable, but he has to raise his 3pt% asap.
Trey Burke, a career 44% long two shooter, is hitting 59% of his long twos this season. That’s not in any way sustainable, unless Trey Burke has somehow become by far the best shooter from 16 feet out in NBA history.
That is a funny blast from the past but we were all high on shumpert his rookie year especially during the Linsanity period. He was pretty badass coming off the bench during that stretch. Shumpert always gambled a bit too much on D though. Part of that cockiness that he had. Frank is much more fundamentally sound and like its been pointed out, almost 3 years younger. Shump could play great man defense but gambled a lot and lost as much as he won on that end. He did shut down Rose though in that Chicago game.
Shump never recovered after that injury too. The thing about Frank is that he is freakishly long physically but he’s not overly relying on his athleticism the way Shump seemed to rely on it. After that knee injury he lost some of his athleticism and that kind of doomed him. Frank is just so much more solid fundamentally.
Shump’s a weird player. It wasn’t wild to be optimistic about him. Most guys, especially guards, improve as they get older. Shump never really did. He peaked when he was 22.
Ruru’s whole shtick was “everything the Knicks do is great, and every player the Knicks acquire is great, because Carmelo Anthony is super duper great, and soon his unappreciated greatness will be seen by all when the Knicks start dominating the NBA.”
This is a guy who told me I didn’t know what the fuck I was talking about because I said Andrea Bargnani sucked.
I don’t think the Shump/Frank comparisons are unreasonable, in that they were both unpolished rookies who we had/have high hopes for in the future (granted, Frank now is much younger than Shump was then). Shump didn’t really develop, but that’s doesn’t really say anything either way about Frank.
To be fair to Shump, he did have some bad injuries. He was mega-athletic before those injuries, although he was never really point-guard material and he never became a better shooter or even a much better finisher.
Shump and Ntilikina both shared poor penetration to the basket. Frank usually kicks it out rather than shoot, often to an open man, and Shump usually turned it over.
By “for real,” I meant is he now a decent NBA rotation player. I don’t think 550 minutes in the NBA and 1000 minutes in the G-League is anything to scoff at, maybe a little. He was trending upwards in all shooting stats until this year, but who knows. And no, I think his defense is not poor. If he was taller he’d probably be above average.
His game is kind of like Isaiah Thomas, but with OK defense. For the 6th man, that’s pretty good.
The Shump injuries complicate the comparison, but even beyond that, Frank reminds me of the kind of kid that’s going to work extremely hard, study film, and use his intelligence to get a lot better. I don’t see him out on the town partying with JR Smith.
Well, Frank Ntilikina and Iman Shumpert also happen to not be the same person. I’m all for some comparisons in terms of impact and productivity but Ntilikina’s development will be his own, either bad or good.
Shumpert was also a useful player for a while, and he faced some pretty nasty injuries in his career. I know people are very quick to dismiss guys who never figure it out as useless players but he was a decent role player for a while.
What’s similar about Frank and Shump is defensive reputation, shooting and penetration issues. But each of those are very different in each: Frank is now a good 1-3 one-on-one and team defender; Frank has a good shooting stroke and has ‘history’ of better shooting; and he seems to want to penetrate, but needs experience, strength, and ball handling skills. Each of those can improve. Shump just went for steals, couldn’t shoot, and missed dunks and layups every game. Biggest difference is in Frank’s IQ and effort.
Hornacek running Frank as the off-ball guard most of the time is probably hampering Frank’s development. He really should have been in the G-League for a bit.
i think the comparison to shump isn’t that bad… the numbers make them out to be pretty similar… and i imagine if frank stays at sg that will be his fate.. i do think frank has a lot more pg skills than shump did and he’s much more of a below the rim player than shump was….
frank’s problem is getting to the basket… shump can finish but relies on others to get his attempts… so they’re not completely the same… but low usage guards who defend well who are liabilities on offense isn’t exactly an uncommon thing….
also ran into reub on reddit… he sends his regards to kb…
I’ve been complaining about them not giving Frank more 1 minutes for months now. 🙂 If any team should have been okay with letting a rookie suck at his job at first, it should have been the Knicks, but nope, gotta play Jarrett Jack 30 minutes a game.
Well, there was the argument that Jack was needed for KP to develop, and that was most important at the time.
However, even if you go for that, once KP went down….but then, of course, they traded for Mudiay…
I think Trey Burke might be for real in that he’s the best PG we’ve had since Linsanity. That’s not saying much, I know, but while his shooting percentages may drop somewhat from midrange, he HAS always been known as an excellent shooter and so perhaps they won’t drop that much. But some of the things he is good at doing are just unequivocally valuable on the offensive end — 1) he never turns the ball over, 2) he can hurt you if you go under the screen with the 3 ball, 3) he can get to the basket against bigs on a switch (that hesitation move he pulled on Embiid was freaking awesome), and 4) is an excellent pull-up shooter against drop coverage (this year he’s shooting in the high 40s on pull-ups, which is good, and this is actually the LOWEST he’s been in the last 3 seasons). I think you get an idea of how good he could be with a real PNP threat when he plays with Kornet — they’ve only had 164 possessions together but when those 2 are on the court together, the Knicks ORtg is 112.2 – and that’s with Kornet missing 70% of his open or wide-open attempts from 3 per NBA.com. Imagine that with Porzingis instead.
Now – he doesn’t get to the line. He is sure to regress in terms of both his jumpshooting and his finishing at the rim. That combo will bring his TS from 58 probably closer to 55. He’s a defensive liability even though I think he tries really hard — I mean he is way better than Isaiah Thomas.
Not sure if that equals a starting PG on a good team, but it’s definitely a rotation player.
Re Shump – Shump was a really excellent man-on-man iso defender before the injury. He’s shown flashes since but I don’t think he’s ever gotten his quickness and confidence back. But Frank is already far superior against ball screens, executing the scheme, and in the passing lanes.
Frank and KP were one of our best two man lineups this season. So logically that means play Jack has to play with KP more.
I’m not saying that Burke hasn’t turned a corner, but I think we’re too soon to say that he definitely has. His career high TS% was 53% last season. He only cracked 50% in one of his first three seasons in the league. I’d love it if he has, in fact, turned a corner on his shot, but it’s likely too soon to know for sure. Either way, of course he should play a lot while we find out.
It really was maddening. It was then and it’s possibly even more so now.
@42 – our best 3-man lineup (KP+THJ+Frank) was a +14.8 net rating (98th percentile overall) – 86th percentile on offense and 98% percentile on defense, but somehow only played 236 possessions together (otherwise known as 3.3% of the total number of non-garbage-time minutes). That is Exhibit 1 in “Why Jeff Hornacek Should Be Fired”.
Can’t remember who it was on the radio but someone brought up two interesting comps for Trey Burke – Kemba Walker and Chauncey Billups. Both basically were below average players until their age-25 season and then took off. (Another one from this season – Victor Oladipo). One can only hope.
I hate saying it but THIS. These three are indisputably a central piece of our core for the next few years, so WTF!
I would love to see a Trey/Frank/THJ/KP/Willy lineup. That would be really, really, fun. Idiots.
While true, Horny did not know if he was going to be a part of their core, so he felt he had to with veterans to win as many games as possible. That the veterans, as noted here, weren’t even better than going with the younger guys is a big knock on the guy, but I at least understand his motivations. The Knicks had a bad team this year and yet didn’t want to do anything but try to win as many games as possible, with only a horrible injury to their star player causing them to actually try developing some younger guys.
Yeah, the problem with the Horny stuff is we can’t know what the front office was telling him. Does he have carte blanche with his minute allocations? The FO shouldn’t micromanage game decisions, but at the same time if they’re letting the coach play vets when they want him to play young guys than one or both need to go.
Wasn’t Hornaceck supposed to be an analytics guy? Nothing about his coaching method seems to indicate that he is.
I’m betting on Moses and Hornachek.
Nothing about his coaching method indicates he isn’t, either.
How would we know, anyway?
If a team wins, the ‘method’ is correct. If not, the ‘method’ is not. Greg Popovic, perhaps the most revered NBA coach of the last 25 years, expressed his view on this issue:
If he keeps winning, he must be making great use of analytics. If hew starts losing, he doesn’t know what to do with them. Same for every other coach and organization.
There is a serious problem with analytics: they are mostly used to confirm/support certain observations. They very seldom accurately and consistently predict anything the ‘eye test’ has not predicted, either. For every good analytics ‘find’ there is a notable analytics ‘miss’.
I believe analytics is just one more tool, a good one, available to NBA people and fans in any capacity. Sometimes the situation calls for that tool, sometimes it doesn’t. But it always takes a skilled operator to get the most out of it.
The fact that were bottom of the league in 3 pt attempts shows that he isn’t.
I think the shot distribution of this team tells us something — that while he may not be able to scheme as many 3 pointers as a team with a real penetrating PG, he certainly isn’t emphasizing 3 pointers.
For years now the Knicks have been the leader in % of FGA in mid-range or long 2, and have generally given up the most 3 pointers in the league. Basically other than Pop, it’s generally well accepted that you should avoid low-efficiency long 2’s and do your best to take away opponent 3PA. He hasn’t been able to do either.
I think some of it is not his fault and is personnel based, but if there were enough emphasis on those points, I think the Knicks could at least be average in those measures rather than the worst in the league.
@ 48 – actually we don’t know that bc KP’s injury happened right around the time where the chance of making the playoffs was almost out of reach anyways. So the question is would they have shifted towards the youth movement if KP had stayed healthy or would they have kept riding the vets hoping to turn it around. I don’t know if we know either way but I feel like they were about to throw in the towel and go youth movement anyways.
@ 45 – Frank your statement ignores the fact that Hardaway missed A LOT of games (I believe 20 games), in November and December. When he came back Frank was kind of in his rookie wall/slump phase for the season and then KP went down. How many more minutes would those 3 have played together if Hardaway hadn’t missed 20 games the first half of the season?
Do the Knicks have the roster that justifies “emphasizing 3 pointers”? They are 28th in the NBA, with a 34.7% average, including some inflated outliers like Burke and Thomas.
@ We’d still be riding the Jarrett Jack express since the team would still be in faux contention.
Of course they would still play some minutes together but not nearly as much as they should’ve.
They were “only” six games out of the playoffs and the All Star break hadn’t even occurred. If you think that they were about to change course, well, think again. 😉
I actually think there are reasons to be hopeful about Burke. Even if you lower his % from 10-16ft to 48-49% right in line with the last two years and lower his % to from 16+ to 45-46% a small improvement over the last two years Burke still has a TS% of around 55%. This is with him shooting a career low in 3ptr and a much lower 3pt% than last year or in the g-league. So moving forward even if he regresses to simply being a good long 2pt shooter he should be able to maintain a solid TS% around 55-56%. If he can do this while taking more 3 pointers and less long 2s he could shoot a 58% TS% like so far this year.
His lack of size and score first mentality makes him a better sixth man than starter but overall I think he has a legit chance to stay a good NBA player and hopefully an important part of our rotation moving forward.
Hardaway played in 41 games before KP got hurt. So even taking into account the injury and just looking at the games Timmy played, the three of them played together in <<10% of the available non-garbage minutes.
I have hope for Trey as a good 6th-man. Unfortunately, that’s the role Timmy should be playing, but that deal is done, so may as well let it go and forget about it.
Well, at this point it doesn’t matter much if Burke’s improvements are for real or not, as these games coming up are mostly meaningless since it would take a very surprising combination of results for Sacramento and or Brooklyn to get past us.
Burke fits well with Ntilikina in the backcourt, as Frank can compensate his weak defense and work as a secondary handler, so just keep them playing together and see what comes out of it. What we need to see is Frank’s minutes guaranteed with THJ playing mostly the 3, then Burke + Frank + Mudiay taking all the guard minutes and maybe Dotson if he’s healthy. Lance played 18 minutes last game which just shouldn’t happen at all, but at least Lee was out so it was kinda his minutes for Lance.
For next year, obviously Mudiay shouldn’t be part of the plans and just give Burke + Frank a lot of minutes and let’s see what comes out of it. If he really has improved this much then he can just start and the team can focus on strengthening everywhere else.
Knicks should’ve traded for Stanton.
Go watch Mudiay vs Philly again. Hornachek has taught EM how to use his body to protect his shots, especially close to the basket, not unlike how Burke does.
The Red Sea is parting as we speak.
This might be the most hyperbolic headline in the history of sports writing (and that’s saying something):
“After Giancarlo Stanton’s sensational debut, Aaron Boone’s Yankees already seem unstoppable”
It’s freaking me out how many mocks have Trae Young dropping to us.
Frank will be a better pro than Shump but he’ll never marry as well
Yeah, call me when this newfound skill allows him to hit a ts% over .500 for once in his career. I’ll be here in my corner dismissing him as a NBA player still.
Is it just me or was Ray Allen dismissed hard by the HoF committee?
Embiid’s injury bums me out. Bad news for basketball.
Who knew his face bones were as fragile as the rest of his body?
I agree about Embiid.
It’s weird but we could have too many guards next year, after being so short of them for the last couple of seasons. We have Ntilikina, Burke, Mudiay, THJ, Baker and Courtney Lee, plus possibly Jack and maybe Trae Young, if he is the best player available. I don’t know why it’s so hard for the Knicks to have a balanced roster.
On another note, an 18 year old just decided to go to G league instead of college. He won’t be draft eligible until a full season in G league. If he does well with his strategy, this could be the first sign of a big change in college athletics.
Singing a hs kid on your G league is a little weird since you don’t get any draft rights you don’t have a whole lot of incentive to develop the kid. I guess you get a nice look at him, and if you’re a shit team you have some incentive to develop him.
Markelle Fultz’s rookie year is putting Murphy’s Law to the ultimate test… (How did this guy not end up a Knick??)
Yeah. There’s going to have to be a bunch of changes in drafting/contracts/cba before the g league really works as a minor league.
I think G-League teams would be happy to get top prospects if only for attendance/marketing purposes.
Yeah, it’s not like they have any roster stability anyway with the 2 way contracts, it can’t be bad for them. I’m glad to see more blue chip prospects heading that way, this season has had many players coming from the G-League and making a lot of impact already.
The only thing left for Fultz to do is snap Simmons’ achilles during a Fortnite game and then demand to be traded for Jahlil Okafor.