Knicks Morning News (2018.04.11)

  • [NY Newsday] Jeff Hornacek believes the Knicks are close to contending
    (Tuesday, April 10, 2018 9:42:50 PM)

    CLEVELAND — Jeff Hornacek seemed to be asking for more time.

  • [NY Newsday] ‘Trust our future,’ says Knicks’ Frank Ntilikina
    (Tuesday, April 10, 2018 12:23:18 PM)

    Frank Ntilikina had a message for anyone concerned about the type of player he would become or the kind of team the Knicks eventually would be.

  • [NYDN] Hornacek never had a chance with roster Knicks brass gave him
    (Tuesday, April 10, 2018 10:32:21 PM)

    The clock will strike midnight for Jeff Hornacek and the Knicks at approximately 10:20 p.m. on Wednesday in Cleveland.

  • [NYDN] Carmelo Anthony happy to be back in the playoffs, not on vacation
    (Tuesday, April 10, 2018 8:57:37 AM)

    The Knicks will soon be free to go on vacation early for the fifth straight year, but Carmelo Anthony has other plans this April.

  • [NYPost] Jeff Hornacek’s grim moment of truth is here
    (Tuesday, April 10, 2018 3:53:04 PM)

    CLEVELAND — There was no final practice for Jeff Hornacek, who canceled Tuesday’s session. But there is a final flight and a final game. Hornacek will take the sidelines Wednesday with a 59-104 Knicks coaching record to face the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Then, Hornacek will likely face the firing line. Lacking a vote…

  • [NYPost] Frank Ntilikina is showing a new side to his game
    (Tuesday, April 10, 2018 9:53:01 AM)

    CLEVELAND — The Knicks’ season shuts down Wednesday against the Cavaliers, but a light bulb has turned on inside rookie Frank Ntilikina’s head. Although it’s probably too late for Ntilikina to make one of the two all-rookie teams, the 6-foot-5 guard has adapted more of an attack mode/scorer’s mentality — weaving in some razzle-dazzle moves…

  • [SNY Knicks] LeBron James trolls Kanter, Knicks with message on signature shoe
    (Tuesday, April 10, 2018 8:52:50 AM)

    Cavaliers star F LeBron James was back in New York on Monday night, and he wanted all in MSG to know that he still believes he is “King of New York.”

  • [NYTimes] Andre Ingram Got a Cup of Coffee and Turned It Into a Shooting Show
    (Wednesday, April 11, 2018 6:27:29 AM)

    A veteran of the N.B.A.’s development league, Ingram was called up by the Lakers and became the oldest American rookie in at least 50 years. Then he started scoring.

  • [NYTimes] Keeping Score: Sizing Up the Spurs’ 21-Season Playoff Streak
    (Tuesday, April 10, 2018 2:22:27 PM)

    The streak compares favorably with the Dodgers, Patriots and Penguins. But the Spurs have a ways to go to catch the Edmonton Eskimos.

  • 44 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.04.11)”

    Sorry about all the ugliness of yesterday’s thread. It’s fine that Z-man doesn’t believe in Frank. I’ll continue to be a board member of Team Optimism re: his potential.

    I’m sure y’all saw it but what a nice job the Lakers did with Andre Ingram. Best part was all the love he got from other players, and on top of that, he killed it on the court last night. Crazy that he’s such an amazing shooter with such weird shooting form. I mean his legs are all over the place. He looks like Mudiay when he shoots except he’s averaged 47% from 3 point range over 10 seasons and >1500 3 point attempts.

    I’m sure he’s not athletic enough or is bad defensively or whatever but you have to think there’s a place in the league for a guy like this? He’s probably one of the best shooters in the world. Especially on a team that has a point forward that doesn’t need their smaller guards to do a ton of playmaking? I mean Lebron turned into a >0.100 WS/48 player, he certainly could do the same with this guy.

    It was really heartwarming to watch. It would be cool enough just for him to play, but he shot the lights out and had like 4 steals / blocks too!

    It really is weird he was never even called up once with a .461 3p% career average. Everything else he does seems mediocre and he lacks size, but guys like Anthony Morrow played decades in the league as one-dimensional 3 point shooters. With the publicity this generated I’m pretty sure he’ll get a summer league invite at least from a team looking for the good PR.

    yeah anthony morrow is a good comp for a guy like that. the tail of nba near replacement level players is long and seemingly getting longer, making the fate of any particular borderline case pretty capricious. anthony morrow BTW was arrested last summer by the same NC officer who is now off the force and being charged with assaulting a black pedestrian.

    tonight i am rooting for minnesota to lose by 4 in a game where thibs’ rose/crawford lineups go minus 12 in 9 minutes.

    Ingram’s shooting form and release isn’t so bad. It’s the unorthodox landing that freaks me out. Great story though, and it’s good to see that the business of the game can sometimes be heartwarming like it’s been in his situation.

    Re: trading KP for Luka Doncic, I wouldn’t be as eager to do that just because Luka Doncic is not going to physically dominate his peers while KP will likely always be taller or faster than his match up that night. His best comparison, I think, is James Harden, but even James Harden has a 7’ wingspan and is probably the strongest off guard in the NBA (watching him torture Justin Holiday for 50 points last year was very difficult). Doncic is a lock to be a productive NBA basketball player, but it’s his ceiling that gives me some question marks.

    My philosophy on team building is not to find a franchise player but to find a group of two-three similarly talented guys and hope one of them rises to the top. Kristaps Porzingis, Luka Doncic, and Frank Ntilikina are all different level prospects, but when you put them together you hope the sum is greater than the parts. The reason I’d give up so much future draft capital (2018 and 2020 picks unprotected with swap rights in 2021) is that it gives me one final year to tank and add an elite level talent like Reddish, Barrett, Williamson, Bol, or maybe even Nasir Little. If your franchise group has Porzingis and Ntilikina anchoring the defense with Reddish and Doncic leading the offense from the wings, you can supplement the loss of a draft pick in 2020 with free agency and compete in the Eastern Conference against Boston, Toronto, and most importantly Philly.

    The process yielded Simmons, Embiid, Fultz, and Covington. If the Knicks could yield Porzingis, Doncic, Ntilikina, O’Quinn, Burke, Dotson, and a high 2019 draft pick, we’d be in great shape. That’s why I trade the farm and bet on Doncic and my 2019 draft picks to complete the rebuild.

    Injuries and all, I wouldn’t trade KP.

    For me, his true value has been demonstrated by is absence. We’ve all be obsessing about his lack of rebounding and poor shot selection (especially me), but the bottom line is that we are close to the worst team in the NBA without him and were very competitive when he was on the floor and the rest of the team was healthy. He was critical to our defense and very helpful on offense.

    IMO, the 2 most important things are high usage high efficiency scoring and high level defense.

    He’s already a high level defender. It also seems obvious to me he has the talent to become a high usage high efficiency scorer. He has more to learn and improve, but it’s easily within his range. If you have a player that can do both at a high level, who gives a crap about rebounding when there are dozens of guys around the league and in the G league that we could stick next to him that would be more than willing to bang, clean up on the boards. and defend for a few million a year.

    I’m not entirely opposed to trading picks if we get back good young value, but I want to stick with KP and Frank, see where a few of the other young players go, and just keep adding young two way players. We have a long way to go, but we have the beginnings of a good starting unit and bench. We are in the early/middle stages of our own process. Just keep adding.

    Oh sure, I agree. At this point on a trade for Doncic I would rather give away future picks than Porzingis. As much as I have my doubts about his superstar potential it’s very very unlikely that 2 or 3 picks in the 6-10 range will yield a player of his potential and ability. If they were guaranteed top 3 picks I might think twice, but we know the Knicks don’t get those.

    adding is great except that every team is adding players so the prospect of trading up for doncic is intriguing as is the trading down; our pick to a team who wants to be in the lottery, like phx, for 2 firsts is a good backup plan imho

    I think Adam Silver should reward the Knicks the same way the Lakers got rewarded for winning games down the stretch last season. With what has been going on with the race to the bottom, I feel like we were legitimately trying to win every game we could while teams like Chicago sat their good young players just to get the 7th best lottery odds. So we sat down Jarrett Jack. We started to play him towards the end and we actually had a better player than him in Trey Burke on the roster. All of the players the Knicks gave larger minutes to down the stretch will likely be a part of what we do going forward, and then the veterans still got a chance to play. Get the Knicks into the top 3 where we can land Doncic, and let Chicago pick 10th for being blatantly disrespectful to the game.

    I think Adam Silver should reward the Knicks the same way the Lakers got rewarded for winning games down the stretch last season.

    Wait, do you actually think that the NBA rigs its lottery? Do you actually think the University of Chicago-educated lawyer who runs the NBA is going to conspire with Ernst and Young auditors to defraud the 29 other franchises that pay his salary? You’re kidding, right?

    Adam Silver could fix tanking tomorrow if he so desired, and the solution wouldn’t involve a 15-year federal sentence.

    Do you actually think the University of Chicago-educated lawyer who runs the NBA is going to conspire with Ernst and Young auditors to defraud the 29 other franchises that pay his salary?

    I fully understand the intention of this sentence and yet think its wording convinces me of the opposite.

    I was suggesting that in jest, but the lottery has always been too coincidental for my liking.

    New Orleans trades Chris Paul and then wins the Anthony Davis lottery.
    Cleveland loses LeBron and won the Kyrie Irving lottery.
    The Wolves lost Kevin Love and then won the Karl Towns lottery.
    The Bulls magically win the lottery when Chicago native Derrick Rose is available.
    Orlando picks 2nd overall when Dwight Howard is traded.
    The Lakers pick 2nd last year when LA Native Lonzo Ball was largely regarded as the 2nd best prospect.
    The Sixers finally win a draft lottery after they fire Hinkie.

    I’m sure there’s no conspiracy going on, but some years you can see the storyline coming down the pipe.

    @8… I posted this yesterday but I don’t understand how people can argue the bulls and Mavs should be punished. Since KP went down we’ve got a worse record than both of them, and arguably they’ve also done more to develop their young guys in that time. Especially if also arguing we sho Me have tanked harder/better. It is what it is – they’re playing to the league-defined incentive structure and doing it more effectively than we are…

    WordPress logged me out and thus deleted the comment I intended, but I’m talking about one of the best-paid lawyers in the country being smart, not scrupulous, enough to avoid criminal conspiracy while under the watchful eye of E&Y auditors whose very presence is intended to deter said conspiracy. The NBA is printing money right now — why would he risk that to help 1 of 30 franchises?

    In order for rigging to work, Silver (et al.) would have to somehow notify the Lakers that they had “won” via an invisible hand and notify the “offending” teams that they had been punished via criminal means. Feel free to laugh at anyone who thinks that Adam Silver is trying to melt steel beams to defraud 29 of the 30 teams that he helps manage.

    The problem with Porzingis is that the Knicks might give a superstar contract to a Melo-caliber (not Melo-type) player, repeating recent history.

    @11 – apologies… feel others have made this point and meant it, I see that you did not.

    They probably will give him a super star contract, the only saving grace being he is still before his prime. Melo was already past his prime

    The problem with Porzingis is that the Knicks might give a superstar contract to a Melo-caliber (not Melo-type) player, repeating recent history.

    Oh, he’s definitely getting the designated player max. The question is whether it locks the Knicks into a 30-win team or a 40-win team.

    Yeah, KP getting a max is not what will keep this franchise at its usual mediocre level. You can get away paying for a player about to enter his prime who’s not really a max player. It’s not like giving a max to Wiggins.

    The issue is paying for this guy + effectively wasting another 2 max slots on the Noah + THJr + Kanter + Lee combination which is the core of a 25 win team at max.

    If Perry and Mills keep the contract mistakes to a minimum the Knicks will have a good cap situation regardless of KP, I’m just not confident they will.


    This. You can afford some mistakes when you make great decisions elsewhere. See: Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. Sure, the Sixers wished they could have kept Noel (they couldn’t) and that Okafor was better than a G-League scrub (he’s not), but they’re doing just fine by making innumerable great moves elsewhere. Redick and Johnson were brilliant short-term pickups and the Sixers have a real shot of making a Conference Final this year. Boston should be an easy series without Kyrie and there’s also a real shot that Toronto knocks off Cleveland in the Semis. The Sixers — unbelievably — could be the runner-ups in this year’s playoffs. And they did that despite completely whiffing on two high-lottery picks.

    Porzingis is like Jekyll and Hyde. He was really outstanding early in the season, had a .570 TS% through the first 30 or so games, and the Knicks were over .500. Then after about 30 games he fell apart, and over the next 25 games he mostly stunk. He had a .503 TS% over his last 25 games, and the Knicks went 7-18 in those games.

    Average it all out and you get a guy who scores not all that efficiently and doesn’t rebound, but who is a good rim protector and plays good overall team defense. Add in the questions about his durability… I dunno. I’m not real psyched about a max extension for him. He doesn’t look to me like a guy who is going to be year-in, year-out a top 10 player in the league. I’d trade him. His perceived value is probably higher than his actual value.

    well – thank god the regular season is over…

    on a plus note – the knicks did exceed the 27 wins i thought they’d get…i think one of the major reasons it didn’t look like we’d win more games at the beginning of the season was the awful roster balance we had (still have)…

    we had plenty of opportunities to find ourselves a point guard last year – but didn’t…instead we loaded up on more shooting guards and centers…

    depending on how useful our draft pick turns out to be, and, what KP looks like when he returns – we can probably win anywhere from 24 to 32 games next year…

    it’s tough to think about and read different paths forward knowing that most likely our front office isn’t going to make decisions which put us in the best position to be successful – short term or long term…

    i definitely enjoyed watching the team this year a lot more than i have the last few years prior to this season…

    just wish someone up top in the knicks front office could balance out their roster so it makes more sense than it does now…

    i won’t be disappointed if horny is let go on friday…won’t be surprised if he stays though…

    Most of KPs production has come on the defensive end this year, which isn’t captured well at all by the box score metrics. He has elite defensive +/- numbers (RAPM and PIPM especially) and slightly plus offensive numbers, good for anywhere from top 30-40 in the league depending on which stat you look at. I think it’s no brainer to max a top 25-40 in the league guy if he’s doing that at age 22 (even if he is disappointing relative to Jokic and Towns), but there’s two open questions here that give me pause:

    1. Are the +/- stats reliable indicators of his value (I think they’re the best stats we currently have so I defer to them over, say, his BPM or WS/48 numbers)

    2., And more importantly, his ACL tear. Do you max the guy who gives you maybe a 20 game sample of post tear play?

    Average it all out and you get a guy who scores not all that efficiently and doesn’t rebound, but who is a good rim protector and plays good overall team defense. Add in the questions about his durability… I dunno. I’m not real psyched about a max extension for him. He doesn’t look to me like a guy who is going to be year-in, year-out a top 10 player in the league. I’d trade him. His perceived value is probably higher than his actual value.

    Totally agree on this. Trading him after agreeing to the extension would be the way I’d go, since teams would be more comfortable giving up assets for a 5-year contract with the “unicorn” than a 1-year commitment and the subsequent free agency shitshow. I’m just not comfortable with a 7’3″ coming back from an ACL tear, especially since he’s being asked to be a high-flying rim protector. Without his defensive play in the paint and his ability to finish above the rim, he’s a rich-man’s Bargnani. That ain’t good.

    The Knicks were a hell of a lot better on defense with him than without him, but it’s the whole opportunity cost thing: when you give $38M to a terrible defensive C and a player who literally cannot play basketball anymore, you’re probably fucked when your actually-good rim protector goes down for the season. You just can’t give 60%+ of your cap space to big men to offset the impact of losing Porzingis, even though the Knicks have given their best effort to do just that.

    Yeah, the ACL tear is an issue because it hampers so much of what the Knicks could do. If he’s screwed and his body is never really recovering his trade value plummets and we have to either overpay to keep him or let him go for nothing or a bad trade.

    If he comes back healthy before the trade deadline then we’ll have to see how he develops. I just hope he recovers fully otherwise we’re totally screwed.

    Also, daily reminder that it if wasn’t for Phil Jackson’s stupid ass we would have a max slot in cap space instead of Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee.

    I dunno..maybe I still have too much faith in KP, but he was at his best when THJ was healthy. The ACL is a major concern, but if he and his trainer can pull it off, maybe this rehab will force him to strengthen his legs ALOT and allow him to play the 5. I still believe KP at the 5 is a player to build around. Maybe THJ isn’t the best 2nd option in the world, but albeit a small sample size- KP was great with him taking pressure away.

    This is one helluva catch 22, unless Phoenix wins the lottery and likes KP more than Ayton or we actually get a top 3 pick

    Yeah, I have to agree. I know Mills and Perry will never do this because they’d be too afraid of backlash from the fans, media, and Dolan but the move is to trade KP after he recovers and signs a deal. Boy I wish we could get our hands on Doncic.

    So… I wonder whether Isola has any reliable sources:

    Hornacek’s likely removal would open the door for the club to hire Mark Jackson, Doc Rivers, David Fizdale, David Blatt, Jerry Stackhouse or Jeff Van Gundy. A long-shot candidate, according to a team source, is Craig Robinson, who currently serves as the Knicks’ VP of player and organization development. He’s also a former college coach. Don’t rule anything out.

    Craig Robinson would be a really weird hire – he has a 124-133 record as a college coach. While I would hope that hiring him might make Obama try and get a group together to buy out Dolan, that would literally be the only reason I’d want him to coach besides that he seems like a good guy.

    But I do like how JVG’s name is in there.

    I might trade KP for Doncic straight up, but overall I think we are all a little pessimistic on KP.
    If he had an actual modern coach there is no way he’d be doing 10 post-up possessions per game. He’d be shooting 3s (at 40%) and getting the ball on the move. He had average efficiency despite shooting maybe the worst shots in basketball. That’s on the coaching staff more than it is on the player.

    He’s also a game changing shot blocker.

    I like Doncic but it’s hard to know whether he’s real a franchise player or not. I think we can all agree that he’s not Lebron. He doesn’t have the freakish athleticism and length of Durant. He’s not a generational shooter like Curry – in fact, his 3 point percentage (30.4% this year) has gone down every year of his career. And he’ll be average at best on defense most likely… he’ll be a great player but is a franchise changer? I guess we’ll see.

    Bringing up Mike Miller to coach the big league squad would be the least controversial hire.

    I think Nick Nurse would be an excellent hire. The number one thing the Knicks need is a modern offense, and he has created one in Toronto despite relying heavily on Derozan.

    The problem with Porzingis is that the Knicks might give a superstar contract to a Melo-caliber (not Melo-type) player, repeating recent history.

    I disagree with the view that Porzingis is a Melo caliber player in the same way I disagreed with the view that Kanter is a borderline all-star player because that’s what some models say. I think models that don’t include defense are misleading and I think all of them underrate/overrate certain other contributions.

    We don’t all have to agree on how to value players or which model works best at measuring certain things. However, it sure is interesting how bad we got when KP got hurt (and he’s nowhere near as good as he’s capable of getting yet). The risk is “injury”. IMO, he’s a VERY good player already.

    I don’t know if that’s much of an argument strato. We were on something like a 6-18 stretch with him still on the lineup before the injury. The team was showing clear signs of slowing down a lot and Porzingis was playing much worse.

    Of course the team got worse when he got injured but it was already pretty bad with him healthy. I don’t think he has shown so far much to be clearly above Melo’s best seasons with us. Obviously a better defender but if his downward spiral continued in terms of shooting his numbers would have looked even worse.

    His perceived value is probably higher than his actual value.

    IMO, his perceived value around the league includes a projection component that has yet to be achieved and some hype because of the occasional highlight play he makes, but his actual value is higher than the consensus here. I say the latter even though when he went through his rough patch after he started getting double teamed and was throwing up 4-5 trash shots a night I was the biggest whiner here. It was frustrating to watch that, but I think I overreacted and have a better understanding of his value now anyway. I can’t wait until he’s back.

    Injuries and all, I wouldn’t trade KP.

    In a vacuum, I wouldn’t trade him either. But I would rather trade him than sign him to a 5 year max contract.

    Keeping Hornachek is my preference. But if he has to go, Mike Miller would be my choice. No baggage, plus I think he’s earned a shot. And it shows everyone organization-wide that hard work does pay off.


    No doubt he struggled a bit when they started double teaming him. It got even worse when Hardaway went down and he was the only scoring option. The team struggled as well at less than 100%. But just before he got hurt he said he realized he was forcing up too many shots because he thought he had to score 30 a night to help the team. He realized that was a mistake. He made some adjustments and I thought he looked and played a lot better even though he didn’t have much help.

    JVG would be great, but don’t know why Dolan would all of a sudden like the guy.
    Vogel was an asinine rumor, I don’t like him, and has a job anyhow.
    I’d be very happy with Blatt, who has seen success everywhere he went, and Popovich’s James Borrego, Ettore Messina are by all accounts modern and superb. Also, Nick Nurse definitely improved the Raptors’ entire offense.


    I truly hope that’s the Porzingis we get back, because it became clear that his torrid start was more of an unsustainable stretch than anything. I do think he needs help, and that’s why I’m so desperate for any chance to pick up Doncic, but he really needs to put in the work on his shot selection. We’ve heard many times players saying they gotta take better shots and it’s not always what happens.

    I just want Hornacek and his middle age offensive schemes gone. Making KP the focus of the offense should never ever mean having him on the post or hovering around the mid range isoing. I understand the issues that arise from having no real Point Guard but the offensive schemes were simply unacceptable for a NBA team in 2018.

    I’m fairly ambivalent towards firing horny, mainly because I don’t trust the FO to hire someone better, but one of the things I like least about horny was using Kristaps as an iso scorer on offense, because he’s fucking terrible at it. Kristaps should be shooting 3s and dunking the ball, not trying to cross guys over 19′ from the rim so he can shoot off the dribble.

    Love and Korver are out tonight, and LeBron is expected to be pulled early. I’ve got a bad feeling about The Walking Bucket going off when we least want him to.

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