Knicks Morning News (2018.03.30)

  • [NYPost] Tim Hardaway Jr. appreciates Jeff Hornacek let him call a play
    (Thursday, March 29, 2018 9:12:25 PM)

    Tim Hardaway Jr. says his chance to draw up a play with a clipboard in the fourth quarter of a one-point game at Charlotte on Monday was genuine boost to his relationship with Jeff Hornacek. Nobody knows exactly what transpired to prompt Hornacek to spontaneously hand over the clipboard to the Knicks swingman, but Hardaway…

  • [NYPost] Emmanuel Mudiay’s demotion is just what he needed
    (Thursday, March 29, 2018 11:13:09 AM)

    Leave it to Walt Frazier to paint it most properly in Philadelphia. “Every time I give up on [Emmanuel] Mudiay,” the MSG Network analyst said, “he comes up with a good game.” It’s actually two good games, as Mudiay is suddenly thriving in his demoted role off the bench after crashing and burning as a…

  • [NY Newsday] Emmanuel Mudiay on the attack coming off Knicks’ bench
    (Thursday, March 29, 2018 7:56:31 PM)

    Emmanuel Mudiay says his mentality isn’t different whether he starts or comes off the bench. But his play has been.

  • [SNY Knicks] Former Knicks Cheeks, Kidd to be inducted in Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
    (Thursday, March 29, 2018 3:15:16 PM)

    Former Knicks point guards Maurice Cheeks and Jason Kidd are expected to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2018.

  • [NYTimes] Top Private Schools Bring In the Power Elite (and the Power Forwards)
    (Friday, March 30, 2018 9:00:17 AM)

    Sidwell Friends and other exclusive schools want to be great at everything. That includes basketball.

  • [NYTimes] Kings Partner With Black Lives Matter Sacramento and Build Black
    (Friday, March 30, 2018 2:19:32 AM)

    The N.B.A. is far more willing to address social issues than other leagues, but a partnership with a Black Lives Matter group is the first of its kind.

  • [NYTimes] Keeping Score: Karl-Anthony Towns Dethrones Timberwolves Scoring King: Mo Williams
    (Thursday, March 29, 2018 1:33:05 PM)

    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.

  • 48 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.03.30)”

    Slow day here.

    Couple interesting tidbits from Zach Lowe’s most recent article.
    1) He believes a little bit in Mudiay. That counts for something, right?
    2) The Dragan Bender bit really reminds me of Ntilikina. Super young european player shows a fair amount of talent but is too afraid to actually do anything resulting in near-absence of productivity stats.

    I can’t think of any non-fluky reason Mudiay is shooting so much better at the rim in NY than in Denver, but hey, what do I know

    Mudiay has had two pretty good back-to-back games.

    If you zoom out a little bit and look at the last 10 games he played before that, he stunk to holy hell.

    I’m not buying the fact that he has turned any kind of corner.

    Your buy in is not necessary.

    As per Lowe:

    Provide some stability, and he could grow into something.

    Mudiay genuinely wants to get better and my perception is that Hornachek is finally prividing him with much needed stability. My money is on him becoming at least a solid rotation player because of his desire for self-realization.

    Out of all players who have played >4000 MP since 2001, Mudiay ranks 9th-worst (of all players) in BPM (of all players).

    Those esteemed peers above him on the list include the indefatigable Andrew Nicholson, the unparalleled Tony Massenburg, the upside-laden Marcus Fizer (I remember having half the Bulls’ young guns on my fantasy team back in like 2003), the very-tall-man-who-allegedly-plays-basketball Yi Jianlian, the utterly unforgettable Milt Palacio, the gentleman-and-scholar Michael Doleac, and the unpronounceable Predrag Drobnjak. Then there’s another guy I won’t even mention due to anti-bullying concerns.

    I really hope Mudiay at least wanted to improve in Denver. There is about a 1% chance of him ever being anything useful to an NBA team. He seems like a decent guy, so I hope he makes a lot of money in China, but he is not an NBA player. That he’s on “our” “beloved” “NBA franchise” is a sure sign that they have literally no idea what they are doing.

    There was a thing where Shumpert shot better when Lin was bringing the ball up than when Felton was. The difference was Felton would bring it up on the right and Lin on the left. Shumpert’s spotups came in correspondingly different situations. Small situational changes can have a big effect on marginal shooters, is what I’m saying. That doesn’t mean they’ve actually improved, it doesn’t indicate they are improving, it just means the situation is more conducive to the limited skills they do have. There’s probably less chance of Mudiay turning efficient at the rim than there was of Shumpert becoming an efficient threat from 3. A desire for self-realization in the absence of any demonstrated ability to learn doesn’t translate to skill development.

    Oh good, Mudiay “wants” to improve. That’s all it takes I guess.

    I “want” Jennifer Lawrence to come over my house and cuddle with me while we binge-watch Rick and Morty. I have a desire to self-realize that ish so the smart money is that it’ll prolly happen

    The Secret, basketball version! Phil is gone but his spirit lives on.

    First it was Ron Baker who would turn into a good player by the power of self realization and being able to magically outsmart everyone else, now Mudiay is an unstoppable psychic force that will become a solid rotation piece by sheer will.

    I’m so happy Zach Lowe has confidence in him, maybe he’ll finally get one prediction right after getting 32 wrong in october of last year!

    I love Zach Lowe, but jfc, his opinions on unrealized talent are insane. Dude has been Boogie Cousins’s waterboy for years.

    I think he’s mostly great, but he puts waaaaay too much value on individual play analysis and way too little on larger sample size. I don’t really care what 10 FGA tell us about Mudiay. I care about his entire 4500 minutes of play, and that he’s barely improved from “league’s worst player” to “league’s worst veteran point guard.”

    I hear that Andrea Bargnani hit the trash with three crumpled up tissues IN A ROW recently. 1-year-deal with a player option?

    Out of all players who have played >4000 MP since 2001, Mudiay ranks 9th-worst (of all players) in BPM (of all players).

    State your source and a link, or your stats are fake news.

    Mudiay may suck forever. That’s on him. But the guy is tremendously athletic and has one of the most fixable games I’ve seen. He needs to stop being a body contortionist at the rim and stop taking highly contested shots. That alone will hugely elevate his game. His lack of defensive effort is a more concerning matter.

    He’s played some brilliant quarters, surround by putrid play. And now, a couple of good games. By no means do I believe he turned the corner. But, he has the talent to be a solid starting PG.

    Even if the knicks waive him, he was a good bet. Low downside risk, high upside potential.

    For a team that sucks as much as the knicks have for as long as they have, Mudiay isn’t the problem. He cost almost nothing.
    As the 8th pick, Frank cost a lot more.
    And THJ?

    When your stock portfolio goes deep into the red, it’s not the high flier that’s 1% of your portfolio that’s the problem.

    Mudiay has a -2.9 BPM this season, which is by far the best mark of his career, considering he has a -4.1 career average.

    Out of every single NBA player with more than 1000 minutes this season, he’s the 6th worse in the league. If you discount rookies, taking Fox, Jackson and Ntilikina out of the list, he becomes the 3rd worst, behind only Tyler Ulis and Ian Clark.

    I really cannot believe this is even a discussion happening on this board.

    Anti-fake news edit:

    I’m fine with Mudiay now that he’s not starting. The fact that he was handed that job without a practice was ridiculous.

    We’re at the point of the season where we should give 35 minutes to Frank come high water or hell and tell him to shoot at least 15 times. Why Mudiay???

    He cost almost nothing.

    Second round picks are apparently only “almost nothing” when the Knicks are trading them. When they’re getting them back, they’re great value.

    From Begley:

    “Jeff Hornacek: Triangle offense ‘probably’ was a turnoff for free agents last summer”

    This just pisses me off. We probably weren’t getting any significant free agents last summer, but Phil’s insistence on the dumb triangle was the height of arrogance. He really set this franchise back 3 years.

    How’s it goink? Not so good.

    If you want to evaluate Mudiay I think the idea should be to build a profile of his attributes, find players with a similar profile, and then see how often that subgroup has been able to turn it around and become a useful player.

    How often does a formerly highly regarded reasonably athletic 21 year old player with good passing skills but a terrible shot, finishing ability, and defensive instincts become any good?

    What about if he was especially raw when drafted (in his case because he was hurt and didn’t get high quality training in China?)

    What about if he spent the last year or so allowing himself to get out of shape because he wasn’t happy with his former team?

    The idea would be to continue asking questions like that.

    I’d guess the probability is still very low, but it’s probably not as bad as his stats now suggest.

    As for Mudiay, you can see what the Knicks are trying to do. They’re bringing in a bunch of former high draft picks who have sucked (apparently we were trying to trade Lee for Monk) and hoping they can turn them into something useful. I think the price for Mudiay in particular was too high, but it’s not a crazy strategy.


    If we’re using BPM, Baker’s career average is -3.3, which is decidedly Mudiay-esque.

    I’m obviously a lot more willing to excuse him for this since he barely played this year and showed some very slight improvement shooting when he did (and he’s a capable defender), but he’s also 3 years older than Mudiay and has a more limited athleticism.

    I was more referring to the idea that some hidden intangible will surely turn a bad player into at least a rotation piece is a bit too extreme for me in terms of optimism.

    So Mudiay, Beasley, Derrick Williams, Anthony Randolph, Bargnani, Rose, the husks of Baron Davis, Mike Bibby, Noah, Penny Hardaway, Vin Baker (did we have T-Mac or Jonathan Bender) …
    Are there any I missed and more importantly can we name any that worked for more than a year (Kidd, Sheed, K-Mart)

    They’re bringing in a bunch of former high draft picks who have sucked (apparently we were trying to trade Lee for Monk) and hoping they can turn them into something useful

    I still think there’s a good chance Monk becomes a decent scorer off the bench. I’m just pretty sure a player like Monk is not what we need right now.

    @ 25 – we’ll do you want us to take chances in potential talented players who might turn a corner and be a bargain for us or not?

    And that list isn’t really fair. Some of those were overpriced, over the hill vets we stupidly traded for or gave contracts to and others were young guys we signed for the vet minimum or were throw ins in trades. Anthony Randolph, for example, was part of the David lee trade and we were going to lose lee to free agency for nothing.

    But you know LOL Knocks is such an easier narrative.


    I’m also pretty sure the Knicks are not really what Monk needs right now.

    The thing is swift, how is LOL Knicks not the appropriate way to react to a franchise who has 3 winning seasons since the beginning of the last decade and is not even close to even .500 for this year and very, very probably next year too?

    I get wanting to be optimistic and wanting to see the things that could work out instead of enumerating the reasons why it won’t, but how is this just a “narrative” when this franchise has objectively been ridiculously bad for so long? It can’t be just a narrative when it’s also the truth. You make it sound like people actively root for the Knicks to fail to shit on them, when in fact we’re all just as jaded and frustrated as everybody else.

    The idea is to stop rooting through other people’s garbage hoping to find a hidden treasure or fall back on “low risk” and maybe try to develop your own. But it looks like they have half-given up on Frank. We all know the history of rookies making it to their second contract. Even the only guy they found that worked, Lin, was let go. Burke may be a reclamation project that works. I’ll grant you that.

    did we have T-Mac or Jonathan Bender

    T-Mac was in the infamous Jared Jeffries trade, but they actually did also sign Bender at one point!

    With Baker, Hardaway, Lee, and Dotson, we have way too many inferior “off guards”, especially considering Horny likes 2-pg sets more than most coaches. None of them are adequate small forwards, but all of them, except maybe Dotson, are basically untradable, and the guy we might end up with in the draft, Mikal Bridges, might work best at sg. So that’s cool.


    that aberration of a trade was Nene, Mark Jackson and Camby to the Nuggets for Antonio McDyess, a 2nd rounder and the 25th pick in 2002 who ended up being a guard named Frank Williams (yeah, exactly, who?)

    I remember being so pissed about it because I’m Brazilian and had super high hopes for Nene… instead we got zero value for it.

    This was pre-Knickerblogger, so I only had the New York mainstream, who loved the idea of getting a “proven star” in Antonio McDyess.

    But yeah, that’s one of the worst Knick trades of the Dolan era, and it happened, like, right away!

    Another underrated awful trade was dealing Glen Rice for Howard Eisley and a sign-and-traded Shandon Anderson (six years/$41 million – in 2001 money, so that’s just insane! The modern day equivalent would be a five-year/$80 million dollar deal).

    Mudiay may never improve and be out of the NBA in three years. His defensive effort is abysmal. I despise that in any player, let alone someone who is underperforming. His shot selection is, at times, horrendous, and his decision making in general is far too risky.
    But, hate him all you want (I can understand that), his athleticism and skills in relation to his size are elite. That’s what you’re buying. At the cost of a second rounder, you get a young, top 20% NBA athlete that does a lot of stupid shit, with flashes of brilliance.
    Apparently, a lot of people here think he’s incapable of improving. If Mudiay has any b-ball IQ aptitude, with some good coaching, he’ll turn into a much better player. If not, waive him and move on.

    If not, waive him and move on.

    I was totally fine with the trade at first for that very reason. That was back when it was being reported as a pick swap. I agree that that would have been a no-risk scenario. Give him a shot and if he sucks, move on. But trading a second rounder for him is not “no risk.”

    Yeah I mean look at Brooklyn’s “no-risk” trade in comparison:

    They trade an expiring Trevor Booker (who was later moved) for Okafor (who’s arguably more promising than Mudiay) and a lesser project in Stauskas and they RECEIVED a 2nd rounder.


    The vast majority of 2nd rounders never amount to much. Mudiay has more of a chance than most of them. And if he only improves to “marginal” NBA rotation player, we can probably get the equivalent of that 2nd rounder back for him. It was a dumb deal, but only incrementally so,

    Oh sure, I do agree that it probably won’t matter in the end, just like the second they traded to clear room for Travis Wear probably won’t come back to haunt them. But they’re still dumb moves. Or like how Ron Baker’s contract probably won’t matter much, but it’s still a dumb move (and so on and so forth).

    Another vintage performance by Melo. Only problem is that once good (but overrated) vintage has now turned to vinegar.

    My problem with Mudiay is that he’s far away from being someone we should invest in long term. Its highly doubtful that he improves enough this off season to warrant keeping him past next year.

    Sure second rounders don’t amount to much but I don’t want us to just give them away.

    Mudiay had more value than Okafor when each trade was made. Okafor is one of the few guys with worse advanced stats than Mudiay, has skills that don’t matter, and plays a position of little need. And he’s out of shape. He might be playing in Turkey next year.

    It was never only about the cost with Mudiay, it’s about the decision making that leads to taking a gamble on Mudiay specifically, specially when Burke and Frank were already on the roster. At least Okafor and Russell were guys who could eventually fit their team and were on different developmental stages from their other options, as they had no big men after Lopez left and no reliable 2 guard.

    Brooklyn has had no choice for 3 years, they either find someone out of the complete scrap heap or they have literally no one to develop, and they still made better deals than the Mudiay one in terms of value. They gambled on Okafor, he’s still terrible, but they got a 2nd rounder. They gambled on Russell and he’s still bad, but they only lost Lopez who was gone anyway and useless cap space for them with Moz.

    Now the Knicks gave away a second plus McDermott, who falls in the Lopez category of useless player since he wouldn’t be staying anyway, to bring a guy who showed zero signs he should even be in the league for 3 full years playing big rotation minutes, who also happens to play the very same position as two of the guys we should be developing in the first place.

    How is that not stupid? It is probably going to be inconsequential, yes, but inconsequential moves can be stupid too. If I drink and drive and nothing happens to me at all, does that mean the decision making wasn’t stupid because it ended up being inconsequential?

    I didn’t like that the Nets gave up a late first in the Russell deal. That didn’t seem to make sense for the purposes of the deal. That that pick then turned out to be Kuzma just made it all the more painful, but I didn’t like the first being included even before it was used to take a very good young player. Before they reported the first rounder being involved, I thought it was a great deal for the Nets, but then the first pick news came out and I wasn’t a fan. There’s no way that the Nets should have had to give up a first in that deal.

    What bothers me about the Mudiay deal is that we gave up something for a player Denver didn’t want. It’s like a much, much less harmful version of the Bargs deal. When a team wants to get rid of a guy you shouldn’t be paying them for him.

    What bothers me about the Mudiay deal is that we gave up something for a player Denver didn’t want. It’s like a much, much less harmful version of the Bargs deal. When a team wants to get rid of a guy you shouldn’t be paying them for him.

    Right, which is why the original deal seemed like it made sense at the time. “Oh, okay, so Denver just want to get rid of him. Fair enough. Let’s give him a shot.” But then it turned out that they actually gave a real asset up for him!

    Oh, I forgot about the Kuzma pick, yeah, the Russell deal is for sure worse than I thought.

    Still tho, that’s the point. Denver managed to deal a player they didn’t want so much they turned their promising SG into a PG to play ahead of him and got back Devin Harris, who’s for sure a better player at this stage and the 2nd rounder.

    This deal from the Denver perspective is something we pretty much haven’t seen from the Knicks in so long, a clear win on a deal.

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