Knicks Morning News (2018.04.06)

  • [SNY Knicks] Jeff Hornacek confident in Frank Ntilikina
    (Thursday, April 05, 2018 8:50:25 PM)

    Jeff Hornacek is confident in Frank Ntilikina and has no worries about his future.

  • [NYTimes] Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Will Miss the N.B.A. Playoffs
    (Thursday, April 05, 2018 10:32:12 PM)

    His knee injury is a big blow to Boston, which had hopes of contending for the championship. That now seems highly unlikely.

  • [NYTimes] Mavericks Forward Dirk Nowitzki Has Season-Ending Ankle Surgery
    (Thursday, April 05, 2018 3:10:30 PM)

    The 39-year-old said he plans to return next season, but the injury and age have taken their toll on his mobility and speed.

  • [NYDN] Enes Kanter has LeBron on his mind but injuries may get in way
    (Thursday, April 05, 2018 9:36:19 PM)

    Enes Kanter had circled the last two games of the season as his opportunity to finally face LeBron James again.

  • [NY Newsday] Enes Kanter refuses to take the selfish way out
    (Thursday, April 05, 2018 8:12:57 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Before the Knicks call it a (bad) season after four more games, Enes Kanter wants to play again if he can. There may be megamillions of reasons for him not to risk it with the chance to opt out from the final year of his contract, but he’s still all in.

  • [NYPost] Enes Kanter not ready to pull the cord on his Knicks season
    (Friday, April 06, 2018 12:40:00 AM)

    Enes Kanter isn’t sure he can make it back from his wrist and back woes this season, but he plans to try. The Knicks’ injured center said it would be selfish to think about shutting himself down or concentrate on this summer’s contract decisions while there are still four games remaining — including a pair…

  • [NYPost] Where Ntilikina must improve if he’s to survive in the NBA
    (Friday, April 06, 2018 12:20:07 AM)

    This has been an adjustment year for Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina, with nothing tougher than getting accustomed to how quickly the bigger, faster NBA players close out on shooters. But after watching the French teenager struggle with his offense, Jeff Hornacek is convinced he can adjust — and having him over the summer would help….

  • [NYPost] Sign near MSG asks for LeBron to join Knicks
    (Thursday, April 05, 2018 10:21:59 PM)

    First it was The Decision to join the Heat and then the homecoming with the Cavaliers. Will the kingdom in New York City be next for LeBron James? A New York City marketing company, NYC Ads Co., is trying to do its part to make it so. It laid down a challenge to the Cavaliers…

  • 87 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.04.06)”

    re: the Post article on Ntilikina, it seems like most people that write or commentate about the NBA are oblivious to the fact that they keep score for both teams (yes wally I’m looking at you). If you score 16 but give up 25, you are getting killed. If you score 5 but give up 4, you are winning. Sigh

    Tillie reminds me a lot of TJ Leaf, with a similar set of strengths and weaknesses. Take that for what you will.

    i don’t know much about killian tillie… although he looks like a typical gonzaga big in the mold of olynk… but rui hachimura is a guy to pay attention to… he’s a solid prospect altho he’s probably declaring next year…

    The reason I brought up my starting line up question at the end of yesterday’s thread is that Burke had just been compared to ” LeBron, Russell Westbrook, John Wall, James Harden, Dennis Schroder, and D’Angelo Russell”. The comparison suggests a certain potency to a line up with him, KP and Hardaway, especially since they can all shoot threes and will be backed up by a scoring center in Kanter

    I like a Burke, Hardawy, KP lineup on offense, but it’s a problem defensively with Kanter at C unless maybe we had a real lock down defender at SF that could also help.

    It’s tough to get 3 legit scorers on the court together without sacrificing a lot of D. That’s partly why KP could be extremely valuable eventually. He can be a plus player on both ends. But after him we have mostly one-way players (at least at this stage). You can’t have too many weak links on either side. You can get away with 1, 2 is a problem, and 3 can be a disaster.

    The reason I brought up my starting line up question at the end of yesterday’s thread is that Burke had just been compared to ” LeBron, Russell Westbrook, John Wall, James Harden, Dennis Schroder, and D’Angelo Russell”

    That’s an “arbitrary endpoint” kind of comparison though, and it generates pretty meaningless results: “Hey, this guy is similar to LeBron James! Or maybe D’Angelo Russell. Somewhere in between there.”

    Burke and KP are perfect complements and will be a problem to guard. Look for 50 ppg production with high efficiency out of those two.

    This is why Lee and Frank would start and complement those two perfectly. Especially, if Frank spends the summer shooting corner threes.

    THjr would flourish & destroy the league coming off the bench. Top 3 candidate for 6th man of year.

    Also really expect Kanter to ball out and have a typical career year in final year of his contract year, especially with effort plays on the offensive end.

    If we sign a Crowder and/or Bradley with a smart coach, we’re a 4-5 seed next year.

    It’s gonna be a sad day around here when Trey Burke stops shooting 60% on shots between 16 feet and the 3 point line

    Actually, I think the Knicks might be better than a 4-5 seed next year!

    In the Lottery, that is. Seriously.

    I think Ruruland might be back

    Nah, there was nothing in that post talking about how awesome Carmelo Anthony is and how interaction synergy feedback loop gravity effect was going to prove Melo’s eternal awesomeness

    It’s gonna be a sad day around here when Trey Burke stops shooting 60% on shots between 16 feet and the 3 point line

    Sadder than it often is already?

    I don’t think my refrigerator full of Blue Moon is going to cut it next season. 🙂

    Actually, I think the Knicks might be better than a 4-5 seed next year!

    From your lips to Dolan’s ears. Except for the Duke guys, I have no idea whose the hot prospect for next year’s draft. The Duke guys seem legit, though.

    The comparison quote from Lowe was more about Trey’s usage and ability to have the offense run through him. That is a rare skill, though you can do it crappily like Russell has thus far.

    Trey might not keep this up from midrange, but he is actually a really good form shooter and an above average 3pt shooter. He also has surprising finishing moves around the basket. Everyone says backup, but I think he’s a legit starter, not a Chris Paul, but maybe a Kyle Lowry if he works hard.

    He has to be hidden on defense, and it would help if his teammates were good defenders, but he could be pretty good. Imagine if he had real rim runners and finishers playing with him? He could be a top 5 assist guy.

    I think it’s just amazing how LONG this team has gone without a real pg and many are so quick to poke holes in Trey’s game or relegate him to the bench. IMO he’s a breath of fresh air, and I still like Frank in the long term.

    I don’t want to offend anyone by praying publicly, but I’m hoping you will all forgive my momentary self indulgence.

    Please dear Lord, let the Knicks lose these next 4 games. If it’s Your will also please maximize the results for the Knicks among Chicago, Brooklyn, and the other teams we are tanking with. I can only take so much pain. Amen.

    I’m saving a little prayer for our draftee to become a star wherever he’s picked, whether that’s at 6 or 10. For instance, some other team could save us by picking Trae Young before we get the chance to… who knows!?

    With the proper coach, Burke could be our Isiah Thomas. Ainge flipped last pick of 1st round and Marcus Thornton into Kyrie Irving by turning Isaiah Thomas into an MVP candidate.

    Look at the 16-17 Boston Celtic roster that won 53 games, held #1 seed and fairly compare it to current Knick roster. One way limited role type player similarities are evident in both rosters. This is why coaching matters more than most realize.

    Is there even a team in the NBA with two guys combining for 50 ppg with very good efficiency? Probbaly only Curry + Durant right?

    Let’s please lose them all.

    I know the narrative is “IT had an incredible turnaround in Boston!”, but he was a very good and productive PG way before he joined the Celtics. He was just dismissed because of his size and defense, but he was very productive both in Sacramento and Phoenix.

    Burke has 32 games where he is producing way above any career average he had (while losing every game pretty much).

    I think it’s not very adequate as a comparison.

    So I know we all think Trey Burke is going to regress and regress hard…. but what if he just regresses a little?

    With the big club so far this year he has played 648 minutes. He has shot 56.9% from mid-range overall including floater range, and 56% from long 2 (16-24 feet).

    The G-league is clearly not the NBA, but in 961 minutes there this year, he shot 49% from mid-range overall (which includes floater range etc.) but 53% from long 2 (15-24 feet) on over 200 FGA. (He also shot some sort of absurd 37 of 44 on pullup jumpers!)

    So he’s shot somewhat better in the NBA than the G-league, but has basically sustained really exceptional midrange shooting for 1600 minutes this year.

    Prior to this year he had been more like the 44% range from mid-range which is actually still pretty good.

    Hard to know. Let’s say he regresses somewhat and his TS falls to 55 range. He still has a 4.4 to 1 assist to turnover ratio, averages 7.8 assists per 36, and it’s not clear why those would regress unless you believe in other teams “gameplanning” for him — and in fact, assuming KP comes back and is healthy, you’d think it’d actually be easier for him to get assists and to score.

    Could he be like 80% real, in which case he’s still an above average offensive starting PG?

    Trey Burke is shooting 2.4 free throws per 36 and has a .576 ts% while shooting 37% from 3. This simply cannot be sustainable unless he suddenly became a significantly better mid range shooter than Chris Paul.

    Isiah Thomas averaged like 6.5 FTA before Boston and at his peak efficiency shot more than 9 per 36. That’s a huge difference and it allowed him to keep a great ts% even though he always had erratic 3p% numbers.

    I just don’t buy it, I’m sorry. If he regresses even a bit on his mid range shooting he is still a score first PG who doesn’t get to the line, is a bad defender and has the least efficient shot in the game as his main weapon.

    He’s not really a score-first PG in this current iteration – he has a 38% AST% which is basically 8th in the NBA this year. And he has an absolutely superlative turnover percentage – like WAY better than anyone else with anything close to his AST%. And his usage is “just” 25, meaning it’s not a totally low turnover percentage just because he throws up 25 shots per game and inflates his denominator that way (see Melo).

    Burke was out the league for off court and attitude issues. He was 19-23 yr old who had a poor inner circle. He’s married & humbled now. On court production was never the issue, he worked hard and at 25 the game actually slowed down for him. Proof is in his lack of turnovers and poor shot selection. Why is that impossible to believe?

    it’s kind of funny that burke is pulling a low key linsanity stretch…. and i think he might end up having a similar career… he will probably jump between a .070 – .120 ws48 going forward… which for what we got him for isn’t bad…. but not something i would depend on…..

    there is some organic growth to his game… he’s always had pretty decent ast/to ratios…. and he’s made some improvement finishing near the rim and his shooting … while probably not this good… is probably at least OK….

    If he could substitute a few of those mid rangers for 3’s then the regression wouldn’t be so bad. Right now is the lowest rate 3PAr of his career.

    I’m just excited to see KP finally with a PG who isn’t Derrick Rose, Calderon or Jarett Jack. He might be a bench piece going forward but he could be an extremely valuable one at that.

    The good news about Burke is that the Knicks have him for next year on a sweet deal. So, just wait and see how he plays early next year, how much his efficiency regresses. Let Frank and him split the PG minutes next year, at least early on.

    Do the Knicks like Burke/Frank enough to pass on Trae Young in the draft, if he’s there when they pick.

    Burke’s midrange will regress but he has room to improve in other places. His Ft% is the worst of his career, and his 3pt rate is the lowest. If both move to career average, his TS% will still be around 55-56% even if his 16+ 2pt% drops to around 45-50%. If he can shoot more like 40% on 3’s like last year and g-league, he could maintain his 57% TS%.

    I’m not saying he is the answer but this for sure regression that you all are talking about might not be as dramatic as you think.

    Long term though I think his best role is sixth man scorer off the bench.

    The Knicks have a very good bench, unfortunately they mostly start.

    The good news is that Burke could regress quite a bit and still be a useful player. We’ve had a lot of dreck at the PG position for a long time, so having a guy who might actually be a competent, non-black hole player at that position is nice.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the Knicks go with a smallball lineup next year: Burke at the 1, Ntilikina as the secondary PG of a “two-PG” attack, Hardaway at SF, whoever else is around at PF/C.

    I am happy about Burke and I will be until we extend him for 4 and 20.

    However, I kind of agree with the consensus about small guards though. Being a six footer in the NBA is a very difficult way to make an honest living.

    frank should be coming off the bench until he fixes his shooting/scoring…. he’s good defensively but he should not be starting until he becomes a competent offensive player…. that’s not winning basketball…

    th2 at SF is not ideal but probably necessary given the glut at sg that we have…. his rebounding is a liability for the position and if it wasn’t for kanter we’d easily be lose that battle every game… and if koq is gone i’m pretty sure it’s going to be really bad next year….

    we have a huge need at SF but we also need a long term answer for KP’s frontcourt partner… kanter is definitely not it…. which is why i like carter a lot…

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for just letting Burke play, we have no better options anyway and he has been good. I’m just explaining why I have a real hard time seeing him as this solution to the PG position. Undersized, bad production before this year, bad defender, relies on the worst shot in the game. Those are all valid reasons to not jump into the he’s the PG of the future train.

    I was responding to the dude who thinks it’s a sure thing he’ll lead us to the 4th seed next year, that’s all. He’s cheap and showing some promise so let him start, obviously, but taking 30 game stretches as clear indication of a very good player while ignoring red flags is a good way to predict delusional stuff.


    I’m pretty much with you.

    There’s always a chance Frank comes back so much better after the off season he deserves to start, but on the assumption he only makes slow and steady progress, he should probably come off the bench for awhile. My two favorite players in our range are Carter and Bridges. They both fill a need which makes it even better. Longer term, I could still see Frank taking over at PG.

    Frank, Hardaway, Bridges, KP, KOQ/Kanter is a decent lineup if Frank improves his shot enough. Throw in Carter instead and we are still fine. Eventually KP takes over at C.

    Melo sucking this year does not equal “there is no such thing as gravity”. That’s like saying that because I got the flu this year in spite of getting the flu vaccine that all vaccines are bunk. It’s just a dumb statement (*THCJ readies his burn cannon*).

    This comment from Frank is 24 hours old, so pardon me for going back a bit, but I never saw my reply addressed so I’ll just throw it out there.

    I may be mistaken, but I never thought we were laughing at RuRu because we thought gravity doesn’t exist in basketball. I always thought it was his specific argument that Carmelo Anthony created so much gravity that he was able to turn limited players like Kenneth Faried into stars that we were laughing at.

    I believe in basketball gravity. I just don’t believe Carmelo Anthony ever had it.

    Melo had gravity he just never passed out of double/triple teams enough to capitalize on it.

    KP had a lot of gravity this year also, but he mostly caused to me to rant about his poor shot selection. That’s one of the things he’ll have to learn.

    And the Ruruland thing goes way farther back than this. He made every possible cherry picking argument or twist he could to prove Melo was actually great, from dragging his teammates / coaches, finding singular isolated stretches of great play and using them as proof of greatness, etc. Then he goes away for months when everything he said initially was proven wrong and came up with gravity and feedback loops “proving” Melo made his teammates better just by being on the court.

    Nobody said the idea was stupid per se, we were just laughing at his last effort with yet another theory to sanctify Melo that has been confirmed wrong by the results once again.

    Yeah, I remember his gravity argument being preposterous.

    I just didn’t think the concept of gravity was preposterous.

    Frank, I literally read #8 and thought “This sounds like ruru.” Then scrolled down and read your comment.


    I mean, as close as 2009 the Magic reached the NBA finals by playing entirely through Dwight’s gravity pulling double teams and surrounding him with good shooters. It’s obviously a concept, how valid it is or how measurable it is I have no real idea. But to use it with Melo who just shot over double teams anyway and never passed was a bit too much of a desperate last effort.

    Burke needs to be masked with defenders same way as IT was masked with Bradley & Crowder in order for it to work. So, if he starts then Frank & Lee have to start with him which leaves THjr off the bench. This is why coaching matters.

    Come November, starting Burke & THjr with Kanter and/or Beezman is suicide.

    When’s this Burke regression happening I need it because I want to max him at the moment

    I mean, as close as 2009 the Magic reached the NBA finals by playing entirely through Dwight’s gravity pulling double teams and surrounding him with good shooters.

    The Rockets won a championship that way with Hakeem.

    Burke is killing Miami. I hope he cools down soon.

    On another note, we’re maxing him right?

    Knicks are gonna Knick…

    I mean, what is there even to say? This is so fucking stupid, I can’t take it.

    Remember this day when someone tries to tell you the Knicks know what they’re doing

    I can’t believe how fucking stupid this is

    One of the lineups I have been calling for next year was O’Quinn, Burke, Frank, KP, and Hardaway. That’s a pretty good balance of offense and defense. We don’t have KP, but I’d say the team looks better tonight with O’Quinn than Kanter.

    I thought for sure it would be Hardaway that had a big night to screw up our tank. At least there’s some upside to it being Dotson, but we didn’t need Kornet getting hot tonight too. This is why we can’t have good things.

    Dwyane Wade! Please, more of that!


    This is why I was praying (only half in jest) this afternoon. It was a 100% certainty the Knicks were going to try to win. They were all grumbling after the recent loss as if it mattered. I understand that professionals are hyper competitive, but this is idiocy. We were in a position to basically lock up either Bridges or Carter (or if you prefer Young) and now there’s a chance we aren’t going to get any of them. And don’t think this is over. There are 3 more games and there’s a pretty good chance the Cavs will rest their starters in one or both of those games while the Knicks are trying to beat them for pride.

    It’s hard to get mad about the youngsters shooting the lights out. But yeah, it’s annoying.

    Is Dotson really about to drop 30

    Can’t make this up, we’re cursed. But at least it’s the young guys winning us this game

    Dolan’s Razor: The most irritating possible outcome will be the actual outcome

    Dolan’s Razor will never fail you

    I mean Dotson with 26 points, 4-9 from three? Kornet 4-6 from three? Ok, whatever…

    Dotson all has 10 rebounds. Me thinks we have a surplus of guards that deserve minutes. I wonder who (that we like) they will trade for a 2nd round pick so they can keep Mudiay. lmao

    I know practice is just practice, but I watched Dotson work on his shot a couple of times at MSG before the game and he was smooth as silk. He shot great. Naturally it’s different in the game, especially when you are young and probably a bit nervous, but a night like this was probably inevitable for this kid.

    Our useless fucking coach gives 0 minutes to Dotson to play Lance fucking Thomas the entire year when we’re trying to win, then here he comes and Dotson does this. We’re just cursed forever, there’s nothing to do.

    Frankie Smokes with 9 assists (but he can’t play PG)

    Not watching but can’t be mad at the young guys showing out. We want these guys to be good.

    Can still tie with BKN and Chicago can beat Boston on the last game of the season.

    Our useless fucking coach gives 0 minutes to Dotson to play Lance fucking Thomas the entire year when we’re trying to win, then here he comes and Dotson does this. We’re just cursed forever, there’s nothing to do.

    IMO, Dotson is one of our better defenders too. lol

    Maybe the Heat are trying to drop a spot to draw Boston instead of Philly?

    Despite our record and all the holes we have, I would feel strangely optimistic about this team long term if we still had Hernangomez, didn’t trade for Mudiay, traded Kanter for a piece next year, and were able to re-sign O’Quinn to a reasonable contract. Not that Willy is so good, but it would be another live young body with upside. I would feel a higher level of confidence about what we have and in our talent evaluation without those 2 moves. We do have some interesting pieces.

    Speaking of Willy

    5 for 6, 1 for 1 from 3, 11 points, 12 rebounds, and +14 in 19 minutes.

    Good luck finding someone like this in the 2nd round. smh

    Well, Begley reported that executives around the league feel it’s possible that Kanter opts out for a long term deal. I really hope he does, but that it’s not us giving him the deal.

    You can’t keep a good shooter down forever?

    Andy Bailey
    Verified account

    Malik Monk’s last seven games: 20.7 MIN, 15.6 PTS, 3.3 3P, 2.6 AST

    (27.1 PTS, 5.7 3P, 4.5 AST per 36 minutes), .629 TS%

    I couldn’t watch the game, but outcomes like this are making me wonder if we could actually be good next year. Our kids are doing great, and this game wasn’t against a tanking team. Bad teams with young players some times take leaps and are all of a sudden good from one year to the next

    Losing the Beas/Kanter frontcourt may have been the fatal blow

    As was finally figuring out he should be playing Burke.

    The fatal blow was not playing Mudiay more. We have freaking Rommel on the team, gotta roll with that tank commander shit.

    Well, Begley reported that executives around the league feel it’s possible that Kanter opts out for a long term deal. I really hope he does, but that it’s not us giving him the deal.

    Yep. It could be a blessing or a disaster. This is where trust in management is so important.

    Bad teams with young players some times take leaps and are all of a sudden good from one year to the next

    We are bad, but we aren’t THAT bad.

    If Hardaway and KP did not go down, we probably would have won 35 games or more. We would have won a few of the games while they were out and we wouldn’t have been semi tanking after the all star break. So next year, add in a significant upgrade at PG with Burke over Jack, some development from Frank, a 1st round pick, and whatever else, and we probably would have been in playoff contention. That was the plan. With KP out, the plan was basically delayed one year. The upside is that we’ll get a better pick this year and next.

    This franchise can’t do anything right. Every other tanking team is benching their best players when they get hot. It’s a bad look, but you know what, it works. We ride them to blowout wins.

    The good news is if we manage to lose the rest we’ll at least tie for the 8th pick. So slightly more pingpong balls. Mudiay is out tomorrow with a concussion and THj has a sprained ankle and those probably balance out? Maybe we’ll be tired tomorrow. At least the Cavs still have an incentive to win.

    I really want to come away with either Carter or Bridges.

    On one level I realize I have no special insights into who the best prospects actually are and should defer, but at least there is a statistical basis for my view. If our scouts have a better idea, so be it. They did a good job with KP, Willy (even though management traded him), Dotson, Frank, and even Baker given where these players were selected. I just don’t want to blow it with these stupid wins.

    Everyone here seems to be complaining about our stupid wins. I do want the best pick possible, but looking in perspective, we just blew out a playoff team with a late second round pick (Dotson), and two undrafted pickups that started the season in G league as our leading scorers. Tanking teams that are losing games like Chicago, as well as the Nets, are also playing their second picks and G league callups, but our tanking roster seems better quality than theirs. That’s not a reason for considering our management stupid.

    The Big 3 of Tank Ball in Mudiay, Beasley, and Kanter didn’t see time tonight. I didn’t think we’d blow out the Miami Heat, but when Dame Dotson goes off for 30 points and 11 rebounds, you can’t be too mad that you won. Dame Dotson did a lot to confirm that he is indeed the Courtney Lee of his era.

    True, can’t really pin this one on management. Injuries kept the tankiest players out of the game and the kids managed to win it. Probably not great for development to pull them when they’re doing that well.

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