(Sunday, April 29, 2018 6:19:40 PM)
Phil Jackson knew everything. Just read his volume of books and he’ll let you know it. Jackson’s “11 Rings’’ arrogance became his undoing in New York. That is why you cherish this exhaustive coaching search being conducted by the first-year managerial tandem of president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry. The number is up…
(Monday, April 30, 2018 2:27:03 AM)
It was an easy victory for Houston in Game 1 of their semifinal series against Utah. Game 2 will be Wednesday.
(Monday, April 30, 2018 3:23:17 AM)
It had been rough for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ supporting cast, but in a key stretch late in Game 7, the non-LeBrons likely saved the series.
(Sunday, April 29, 2018 6:34:58 AM)
Curry, who has been out since March 23, is expected to return to action on Tuesday.
81 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.04.30)”
Berman, who is essentially Mills’ mouthpiece, says Bud, Fizdale and Blatt have separated from the pack and are the clear front runners, while Mark Jacksons candidacy hasn’t gained any traction.
Works for me.
Same here. Anyone but Jackson, please.
I just looked at LeBron’s playoff stats and I just can’t
I’d be happy with any of those but prefer Bud, Fiz, Blatt in that order.
Lebron’s 1.4 VORP in one round of playoffs is higher than following players for the entire season:
Budenholzer wanting to come to NY would make Fizdale a huge disappointment for me. I’m more on the fence about Blatt if they choose him but he’s a clear 2nd choice for me.
Do not fret, Young Padawan. He will wear orange and blue in 2023.
Oh yeah, I do agree about that. Budz should be the guy, since he’s head and shoulders above the rest, and if not him, then I would also prefer Blatt, but hey, Fizdale isn’t Mark Jackson. So I’ll be fine with Fizdale. But yes, it would be disappointing to not get Budz, if he wants to be here.
I think they need to change the rules to not allow players to back each other down in the post. If the defensive player is stationary the offensive one should have to create space with side to side movement. I see LBJ taking advantage of this all the time and I particularly feel it in pickup games where bigger dudes simply push me back like an offensive lineman.
I’m not buying the recent success of Lebron, Federer, Nadal, or Serena (and I LOVE Federer). When I look at Lebron now he looks thicker, stronger, and his head bigger than it used to be. I even see subtle changes in his facial features. Obviously, I could easily be totally off my rocker, but I think he’s using PEDs.
I suspect Federer, Nadal, and Serena are all using PEDs also.
With Nadal and Federer there have been suspicious patterns to their layoffs and subsequent new peaks that former all time great tennis players in that age range could not pull off. They may be using something different than Lebron.
With Serena I simply refuse to believe her body is natural given I’ve never seen another physical specimen like her before and she is also doing things like Federer and Nadal.
I believe that modern medicine, nutrition, and training is having a positive impact, but I’m not buying that we are practically a new species and people can remain at or hit new peaks in their mid 30s.
I wanted to comment two things about this:
1st, probably every professional athlete is using PEDs within the limits given by the sporting regulations at least (and maybe more).
2nd, I believe the longevity of most athletes depends on injuries (although not necessarily career ending ones). In tennis, there have been periods dominated by a few players that lasted very long (Sampras, Agassi) and other periods in which top players stood very little time at the top due to injuries (Hewitt, Moya, Ferrero, Safin, Roddick). I think Nadal, Federer and Serena have just lasted enough as the new challengers became injuried themselves, meanwhile they were (relatively) healthy, to regain the top spot.
If Bud, Fiz, and Blatt are truly the 3 finalists, I’m satisfied. All 3 have had recent coaching successes and no major baggage. Blatt is the highest risk, highest reward guy, given his great success in Europe but failure to connect with his players in his short Cavs stint. But he’d still be fine with me.
With the specter of Preacher Mark and his drama out there, I’m pleasantly surprised to have 3 sane choices.
Pick-up games are a strange bird because there’s only a gentleman’s agreement to not be a flaming asshole. The only thing keeping guys from flagrantly fouling is a sense of ethics and/or the desire to not get in a fistfight.
If a guy is abusing people in the post or swatting at hands on a rim-facing backcourt player, I’ll call a goddamn foul for my teammate. I don’t want to be that guy on the court but it’s bullshit to see someone playing as though they can’t foul out and can hack with no repercussions.
I agree with you on this.
However, great tennis players have typically peaked in the mids 20s (give or take) and by 30 are clearly on their downside even if still very competitive. Women used to peak and decline even earlier.
Nadal has had an injury riddled career, repeated layoffs, and keeps coming back strong. By some measurements Federer is playing the best tennis of his life at 36 after layoffs.
I’ll buy that athletes have learned that reducing their schedule reduces the strain on their body, allows them to recover from minor injuries better, and can help them peak for major tournaments. I’m just not buying that you can keep coming back after injuries and layoffs at your peak in your mid 30s. The “layoff” aspect of this could be significant in that it could allow you to juice while not actively playing and then be clean by the time you are, all while stilling gaining some benefit.
I’ve read the articles on Nadal and Federer. There’s no hard evidence, let alone proof. I just don’t believe we could have made this much progress without “help”.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Federer is on some kind of PED regimen. I’m almost certain Nadal is.
Another major development during Nadal’s career which has aided his performance on non-clay surfaces more than previous clay court specicialists is the uniformity with which the major surfaces play to a large degree. Wimbledon is the prime example as the surface looks like a dirt patch by the start of the 2nd week and this was done intentionally as they reseeded the Wimbledon courts in the early 2000s. There is a school of thought that this was done in reaction to many of the sport’s best Spanish and South American players, who predominantly grow up playing on clay and were often not good on the slick. quicker grass surface, started to skip out on the event entirely.
It’s one reason I’ve always been very impressed by Federer’s career as he came up in the youth ranks and in his early major days as a heavy serve-and-volley player who adjusted his game to play more from the baseline with racquet technology and the slower courts working against that type of play style.
I guess alot of that was pretty random, but that’s my 2 cents!
Easy to throw those kind of accusations around but who the hell knows. I went to an event with Federer and stood right next to him. The guy is ridiculously skinny. I know there are many varieties of PED’s but there is nothing about Federer’s physique that would remotely suggest he is doping. Maybe blood doping but I doubt it. The guy just hits the ball better than anyone in history. Plenty of guys have managed good results into their late thirties and Fed hasn’t turned 37 yet.
I’ve been saying it for years.
More clues – After LeBron went to Miami, Wade suddenly looked like a body builder. And Koby, too. Always had a lean body, then became Mr. Universe.
That being said, I’m not sure I’m against it. Is it bad? Yes. It’s harmful and it corrupts the game.
On the other hand, it can’t, and won’t, be policed.
And can you blame a person for doing it?
It’s easy to say, “I’d never do that”, but when you’re faced with the options of working at the factory like your father or grandfather, or live a life of fame, fortune and women, playing your favorite sport, it’s not easy to just say no.
All I know is that our astute blog observers would not detect any PED usage if LeBron were in a Knicks uniform. In fact, they would, instead, be noticing how Lebron doesn’t have a history of injuries, domestic violence, drug use, weight gain, drinking, staying up late at clubs during the week, or anything that would endanger his health.
I would be shocked if Fed weren’t blood doping. Same with LeBron. LeBron’s $1M “training” budget reminds me of the myriad articles written on Roger Clemens’ training regimen to give him an explanation for his late-career dominance. I know people are generally interested in how top athletes stay in peak form, but there are alternate explanations for the press they receive (or demand).
I love Federer, but to me, it seemed clear he was on the normal decline path as he hit 30ish and Nadal and then Djokovic were reaching their peaks. It wasn’t just that they were beating him. He was also getting upset by lower ranked players a little more often and struggling late in tournaments. It looked like he had almost not shot to win another Grand Slam unless he got really lucky in the draw. Now all of a sudden he’s playing the best tennis of his life again after a bad back injury and taking layoffs.
I’m no doctor, but there are even pictures that claim to show changes in the veins in his arms veins in recent years.
Again, there’s no hard evidence against any of these players (including Lebron). The speculation could be way off. But what’s going on now doesn’t make sense to me.
Didn’t Kobe use the blood spinning platelet “treatment” it’s not exactly PEDs but it’s not far removed and IIRC it was with a doctor in Toronto who was busted for administering HGH and PEDs. Beyond that din’t LeBron and Melo “slim down” the summer before HGH testing was going into effect.
@19 – agrees. We Brits are especially bad at this. We suddenly developed a cycling programme that was so far ahead of the rest of the world that in a decade they haven’t really caught up. Our coach EXPLICITLY told everyone that this was through the mass aggregation of marginal gains, and yet most British sports fans refuse to countenance that Wiggins, Froome and, probably, most of the track team might have been doping. Yet the minute an athlete from another country steps up a gear we all scream ‘drugs’!
That’s not to say Lebron isn’t doping – who knows. But I’m sure we’d have an easier time believing he was clean if he wore the orange and blue…
If only Ron Baker could use Lebron’s doctor.
. . . or maybe, he alreay is.
The thing is LeBron has performed at an incredibly high level since day one. There is no ‘late surge’ to his career. He may or may not be doping – my point is there is no credible evidence to make a direct accusation.
Was John Stockton on steroids?
All dopers should be banned. PERIOD.
It is so unfair to other athletes that so much of this shit is tolerated.
While it wasn’t as prevalent in my sport in college (basketball), it was ridiculous how many PED-users there were in football. Some of my best friends were on the football team and were forced to make the fucked up decisions to use that shit or lose their job (scholarship?) to someone else that was. Those fucking drugs will kill you. I’m sure the PEDs are better now than the were in the 80s but I watched an offensive lineman (who was also an all-american basketball player) start using anabolic steroids, double his squat, get freakish fat pockets under his muscles in his arms, get extremely violent for a pretty calm dude, and then have a heart-attack in less than a year!
According to this logic Lance Armstrong could never have doped either, I mean, he’s skinnier than Federer no?
There are certain red flags. Remember that ridiculous “paleo diet” he was on which conveniently happened when the league began changing its HGH testing standards? He lost an insane amount of muscle mass.
Yes, me neither and calling offensive fouls in a pickup game is pretty unheard of.
NBA and basketball in general favors the tall and strong. That’s why LBJ is the consensus best in the league right now and someone like Steph Curry who (IMHO) shoots better, passes better, and dribbles better, does not have that reputation. I can live with it, but I think there are ways that the rules can be fairer and the post is one place where they need a tweak. If guys weren’t allowed to do it so much in the pros, LBJ would have a little chill put on his dominance and it would filter down to where people in gyms around the country would understand the rule as well.
@28 Also his little mid-season vacation in Miami a few years ago that revitalized his entire season.
Someone on my Twitter feed that might actually have sources hinted that Budenholzer is the leading candidate and Blatt is being used as leverage to try to get Bud’s price down.
or the odd, for such an allegedly high end health maintenance plane athlete, alleged dehydration, such as was reported in the game yesterday.
Interesting. I wonder what Budz’s price is?
I think a lot of this stuff is going to be conjecture forever, specially since there’s a gap between medicinal development and league rulings. There’s new stuff coming up all the time in sports medicine and I’m pretty sure a lot of the high end new stuff blurs the line between what’s seen as doping and what’s not, but there’s no way the NBA or any other league is going to have the resources or allocate them in a way to keep up with every new thing and to review regulations as often as necessary.
It’s an issue that has no easy solution, you can’t disallow players who take such a toll to their bodies of looking for any possible alternative to keep performing because they literally are cash cows, but I’m sure some shady shit definitely happens in those situations.
Lebron must be guilty because he never gets hurt. Nadal must be guilty, too, because he is always hurt. Federer is guilty because he is winning too much for his age, which automatically proves Djokovic is not cheating. John Stockton and Karl Malone were clearly doping compadres.
And the ‘cheatest’ of them all: Hussein Bolt! How can a human being run so fast so often without using PEDs?
The first one to cheat was Babe Ruth, though. There’s no way that fatso could hit like that without help.
Btw, and fwiw, one of my brothers worked for years in the pharmaceuticals industry for various companies and had contact with scores of doctors. He’s told me a number of very interesting stories from those years about the corruption in that industry, etc.
He also is a workout/fitness fanatic who just recently (he’s in his late 40’s), stopped competing in triathlons and such (he still works out, swims, and bikes extensively, but his joints have become increasingly problematic, esp. when running).
He used to be a huge pro and college sports fan, but not for a while now. He’s convinced that nearly 100% of serious athletes from high school on up are using performance enhancing drugs, etc. to varying degrees, especially in pro sports.
I remember reading an article a few years ago during the “cramping” controversy in the playoffs that was by a doctor. The take-home message was that when you’re as much of a physical outlier as LeBron and as muscular as he is that you’re in fact more prone to cramping and dehydration than your average athlete because of the way muscles work. It made sense when I read it, at least.
hahahahahahahaha…nice…yeah – what really was in those hot dogs and beer george herman ruth was constantly consuming – CHEATER, CHEATER…
honestly though – it’s hard not to think about lebron doing whatever it takes that might be on the “edge” of acceptable (or legal) to maintain his performance…
for some reason – i kind of do associate the use of peds with injuries to athlete’s who enter their thirties…
than i think about lebron being able to play 82 games and i’m like – no way can he stay that healthy using peds…
but, how in the world can he stay that healthy without them…
modern science coupled with insanely athletic freaks is perplexing to say the least…
The thing about LBJ is that he IS past his athletic prime- he doesn’t move laterally nearly as well as he used to, he’s not as fast end to end, doesn’t have quite the lift he used to, etc… His athletic peak was late Cleveland/early Miami and statistically he was at his best from age 24 through age 29 just like you’d expect. It’s just that when you’re that much better than everybody else you can decline and still be dominant. Of course that doesn’t mean he isn’t doping (or hasn’t been all along) but whatever he’s doing hasn’t made him completely invulnerable to aging.
It wouldn’t shock me if he was
The thing is almost all these guys are probably using peds. Literally everyone Lance Armstrong competed at a high level against was popped at some point. With the amounts of money at stake why wouldn’t you?
What Knicks fans does TBone know? Because all the ones I know are thrilled.
@44 The ones who want Marc Jackson to coach the team.
I want to live in the alternative universe where TBone is just constantly delivering according-to-him “heartbreaking” news but in reality is great news for the Knicks.
Sorry Knicks fans, but LeBron will be signing a veteran’s minimum contract with New York.
To Knicks fans dismay, Steph Curry says he’ll only sign with NY if the team accepts him and Klay as a package deal.
If Mills/Perry deliver Budenholzer I may give up being grumpy for a few weeks.
I thought LeBron was aging naturally until this season. I just don’t understand how anyone can be that much better than his peers when the talent pool is as deep as it is.
I’m agnostic about all of this. It’s not like Barry Bonds where someone published an article statistically analyzing the odds of someone being as good as he was in 2001-2004 at his age (can’t find the article link, but it was like 1 in 28 million player seasons or something like that). LeBron is probably the GOAT so it doesn’t surprise me that he can go max effort for 7 games and be almost as good as his historic 2009 playoffs. If he keeps it up through four rounds I will demand that we check if he’s an alien lifeform.
Yeah, as good as Indiana actually is, it’s going to be much much harder to do the same against Toronto. They have much better size and length on the wings and they’re going to force LeBron to guard someone relevant every possession.
I still think he can do it because LeBron but the Cavs winning would be sort of an upset at this point.
guys who are elite are on different age curves… magic came back from 5 years off AND hiv and put up a ws48 of .180 in his age 36 season… chris paul is still performing at his peak at age 32…
what lebron is doing is amazing… but it happens fairly regularly for guys of his caliber…. he’ll be a viable starter until his 40s health permitting….
It seems like an impossible question to me because the line of what constitutes cheating vs. trying your hardest is so fuzzy and frankly arbitrary. Someone like Lebron who supposedly is spending $1M a year on his body is clearly doing things to sustain and improve himself physically that are going way above and beyond standard. But which of those things are cheating? Very hard to know and basically impossible to regulate. If I were a betting man I’d say I doubt that Lebron does anything that explicitly breaks any rules because:
(1) He has way too much to lose – at this point the amount he can improve his reputation is fractional and the amount he can ruin it is basically endless. I’m sure he’s still insanely driven (obviously) but it’s just too risky when you’re looking at tens of millions of dollars annually for the rest of your life in shoe money that could be ruined by a scandal.
And (2) I doubt he has to break the explicit rules. He’s working on the cutting edge of sports science. The league hasn’t even asked the question of whether they should be regulating these things yet, let alone answered that question.
Whatever he’s doing it’s clearly working though I’ll give him that. He has clearly lost a couple steps physically but to play the game he did yesterday in his 15th season? I frankly would not have thought it was possible pre-Lebron and while watching it I was thinking: “Not his best game”. He has completely reconfigured my expectations about what’s possibly physically.
It will be interesting to see what condition LeBron is in for game one in Toronto. He looked genuinely spent at the end of game 7 and rightfully so after his other worldly effort. If he comes out fresh and with a hop to his step through 4 quarters then I will be firmly on board with the theory that he is really a Cyborg or the PED theory.
Considering he played every game this year, he’s 33, and has gone to the finals 7 years running, on top of playing in the Olympics, and going straight from High School to the NBA Lebron’s performance is truly amazing.
I have less of a problem with the way Lebron is still playing than how he looks. Most basketball players gain some weight and get thicker as they age, but to me it looks like he’s getting thicker and more muscular. I even think his head and facial features have changed very slightly (that was one of the signs with Bonds). Like I said, I may just be nuts, but I’d like to know his current hat size compared to what it used to be. 🙂
That’s different than what I am saying about Federer. Federer is more like Roger Cleamons in that he seemed to be aging appropriately and then suddenly had a resurgence at an age well past what you’d expect from tennis players given the record of other great players.
I read somewhere that 80% of Hall of Fame NBA players were retired by age 33.
LeBron is not only not retired, he’s playing at an MVP level. And with all his playoff and Olympic games, he’s probably at about age 36 in basketball years.
I’d like to believe it’s nutrition and taking care of his body, but this is unprecedented and other worldly. There’s something else going on….
The unbelievable thing with Lebron is just how little he has had to change in his game. He made several improvements over the years of course, got more experienced, but the way he plays is still similar, just a bulldozing all around incredibly skilled guy who sees the court like no one else.
Kareem played until he was 40 and was pretty damn good well into his late 30s, but his rebounding and blocking went downhill and he was really much more of an efficient scorer and not much else as he started to get older. Lebron is still Lebron and just about as effective at everything he does at this age.
Defensively Lebron is not the guy who used to guard Tony Parker when the Heat needed stops. But on offense he’s just about as good as he was in his prime-hes like Karl Malone, only better.
Lebron leading the league in minutes played at 33 and coming off 7 straight finals appearances is one of those things people probably don’t appreciate as a remarkable athletic achievement.
it’s been a while since i’ve really did any digging into the ped stuff…
probably since the lance situation…he was one of my favorite athletes of all time…sucks to find out he was such a maniacal dick…
got that poster of him at the house (sitting in a closet) talking about: This is my body and I can do whatever I want to it. I can push it, and study it, tweak it, listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I’m on. What am I on? I’m on my bike, busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?
it’s tough because not all these peds are geared to do the same stuff…some enhance recovery, some strength, some endurance, some for bumping uglies in the dark…
what really surprises me most about lebron is how well his tendons, ligaments, and cartilage have all held up…he generates some serious force on his joints…
i get it that some good broth, stem cell therapy, platelet rich plasma therapy, and, a lot of other stuff i have no clue about can help a bit with some of it…but still…
Yeah, it’s a good point, Lebron has declined as a defender at least. I would argue that the Cavs defense is overall so bad when compared to those Miami teams that he looks worse than he should probably, but he has lost a step at least in terms of effort defensively.
Lebron is off the charts amazing in so many ways, but this is how I know he’s an alien.
More than a couple of times I’ve seen him roll his ankle. Bad. He goes down and can’t get up. Limps off the court. Looks like a season ending injury. Calls time out. After commercial break, he comes back like nothing happened..
yeah, no doubt – if this was like 325 years ago – i’d be holding a torch and screaming witch…
Lebron could have legitimately been given the MVP for the last 10 years. And for sure, he’s been the best player in the first round of the playoffs this year. By far.
the biggest compliment to Marcus smart’s defense is that he’s a pretty good 3&D player despite being the worst shooter on earth
Is the Sixers game plan to just shoot a 3 every time someone touches the ball, then allow an open layup on the other end?
Pathetic first half so far from them.
Marco is a problem on defense no matter what but why the hell would you put him on Tatum when the Celtics always have a couple of non-scorers in the floor
I thought it was a mistake putting horford on simmons but he’s doing okay
Redick was also on Tatum to start the 1st, which made no sense at all.
Y’all called me crazy when I said the Celtics could definitely win the series. They are just super well coached and they always overachieve. The Sixers probably, hopefully won’t shoot this terrible every time but it’s not looking good. Horford and Tatum are playing like the best players on the court.
Counterpoint to “LeBron must be doping”: At age 33 MJ turned in a similar season to LeBron this year and dominated the playoffs for his 5th title. There was never serious chatter about him using PEDs.
I’m not necessarily saying this exonerates LeBron. Maybe we should talk more about the probability MJ was doping. Frankly it’s far more likely. He is mentally deranged and his psychology suggests he would do anything to win.
That may be true but I don’t know that it’s all that relevant. Unlike other sports, there is no Pro Basketball HOF it’s just the Basketball Hall of Fame. So there’s a bunch of guys in there that didn’t have HOF worthy pro careers but they get in based on their college careers. I’d say there’s at least a decent chance that those guys are pulling down the average. Plus there’s a good amount of much older players that didn’t get the benefits of modern medicine and they retired earlier than what would be usual today.
Baynes has hit more threes than any sixer
I can’t believe how this board has a measured, balanced take on PEDs (they’re great for sports, terrible for athletes except for those rich enough to have the best supervision, but ultimately we all understand and condone in the need to be a top performer given the billions in earnings available to them)—
And then I remember when someone says Mark Jackson might be a great coach for a young team, or that Carmelo only needs a change of scenery, or that Willy H. was probably worth half his trade yield. I don’t understand it sometimes.
I don’t understand it sometimes.
and here you are. and it’s a beautiful day.
Celtics shooting almost 50% from 3. If they keep that up, they’ll win the NBA championship
You might want to check your bookmarks if you’re talking about me.
It’s really going to stick in my craw if these fucking high lottery pick scrappers make the finals.
God damn Celtics…
It’s so frustrating that a team I hate has been run so successfully…
Hate is strong, for me anyway. It’s just really really dumbfounding. I can’t even imagine a situation where the Knicks lose players like Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving and then coast to a win in the first game of the second round of the NBA playoffs. It sounds like an episode of Black Mirror.
It’s way early in the series, but I did say after the Sixers beat the Heat that people needed to chill a little on the Philly love. They are a flawed team with 2 future stars and a bunch of feast or famine role players.
This was definitely a one team shot the lights out and the other team didn’t shoot well game, but in a 7 game series that matters
[stares blankly through security mesh]
I do admire the work happening in Boston and still hate them, I would root for literally any other team always. Let’s hope it was a lucky break and hot / cold shooting nights and nothing else.
my userId were fireJackson and fireRambis..
I’ve been with you and I’m still with you. 😉