Knicks Morning News (2018.10.01)

  • [Hoops Rumors] 2018 Offseason In Review: New York Knicks
    (Sunday, September 30, 2018 12:45:55 PM)

    Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the New York […]

  • [Newsday] 2018 Offseason In Review: New York Knicks
    (Sunday, September 30, 2018 12:45:55 PM)

    Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the New York […]

  • [NYDN] 4 things to watch as David Fizdale-led Knicks open up preseason against the Wizards
    (Sunday, September 30, 2018 2:00:00 PM)

    David Fizdale will coach a game Monday for the first time since he was fired by the Grizzlies 10 months ago.

    It’s just preseason, so the final score against the Wizards means very little.

    But when a franchise is attempting a reboot (yet another one) with a new coach and possibly three new starters,…

  • [NYDN] Neil deGrasse Tyson says LeBron James will play another 5 years because science… so there’s still hope he signs with the Knicks
    (Sunday, September 30, 2018 6:55:00 AM)

    Hold out hope, Knicks fans.

    There’s still a slight chance LeBron James will fulfill every Knicks fans’ dream and bring a title to New York before he eventually hangs ‘em up.

    Astrophysicist — and expert on just about everything — Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks The King will play until he’s at least…

  • [NYPost] Knicks want free agent addition to get ‘more greedy’ on offense
    (Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:05:41 PM)

    They are the words any player loves to hear: shoot more. New Knicks wing Mario Hezonja officially has received that directive from coach David Fizdale. “I wish he’d be a little more greedy about letting the 3-ball go, which I’m going to be hammering on him,” Fizdale said after practice Sunday. “When he’s open, he’s…

  • [NYPost] What David Fizdale wants to see in Knicks’ preseason opener
    (Sunday, September 30, 2018 2:17:07 PM)

    If David Fizdale had his way, the Knicks would not be playing a game Monday night. “Coaches want to practice 100 times more before you get to the game,” the Knicks coach said. Alas, the NBA schedule-makers have mandated the Knicks take the floor against the Wizards to begin their preseason slate, ready or not….

  • 119 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2018.10.01)”

    Burke, THJ, Knox, Lance Thomas, and Kanter will start for the Knicks tonight in their preseason opener.

    Not a guarantee of what the starting lineup will be for the season opener, but the early frontrunners. I suppose Lance starting instead of Mario makes this group slightly less godawful defensively. Also makes it a lot less fun offensively.

    Replace LT with KP and how does it look?
    From what I’m reading, Mitchell Robinson may need to go to the G-league and work at being a PF for a bit. He’ll need a mid-range and perimeter offensive game until his body fills out – much like KP. If it works like it should, KP should be ready to play center starting next season and Robinson can slide in next to him. I’m drooling as I think about what our D can look like next season.

    So we’re basically rooting for the second unit of frank, Lee, hez, ?, Mitch Rob. Seems like a better unit

    The thing about Lance is that he should be playing in China and not in the NBA.

    Lance is mediocre defensively, which with this roster makes him one of our defensive stoppers.

    Lance sucks, has always sucked and will always suck, and giving minutes to him is a waste of time.

    On the other hand, he is good at tankball.

    I mean, I don’t hate the lineup, at least Knox is starting and Lee is on the bench, and I don’t believe Lance will play big minutes, just start and then preferably play less than 20 minutes.

    But if Hardaway won’t play SF like Fizdale has said, then Hezonja should be playing instead of Lance. That also means that Frank is going to play minutes at the 1 with Lee playing at the 2 (because if Hardaway is too small to play 3, then so is Lee), and that probably leaves Mudiay out of the plans which is not a bad thing. Let’s see how rotations work out and if someone surprises in preseason games.

    Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised landsays:

    Lance in in because Burke, Hardaway, Knox, Hezonja, and Kanter would be one the worst defensive units the Knicks have ever put on the floor (and that’s saying a lot). The options were inserting Frank into the lineup at PG or SG or throwing Lance in at PF. I have to think that Fisdale would like to see Burke and Hardaway together both on merit and because they have a history together and probably know each other’s game really well. Long term, that back court is not ideal. I’d way rather see a back court of Burke/Frank with Hardaway as 6th man, and KP taking the PF spot. That team is very balanced and leaves some good scoring on the bench.

    identify the area of strength of that starting lineup in a word or phrase that doesn’t rhyme with crank. pre-fails: defense, offense, balance, rebounding, shooting, speed, athleticism, passing, shot blocking, ball hawking, ball handling, youth, brawn, potential

    Lance is a net negative in any lineup and should be cut from the team but “veteran leadership” or whatever. Really seems like same old same old half-measures from Fiz if this lineup sticks.

    Lance simply shouldn’t be taking anybody’s minutes. He really shouldn’t be in the rotation, he is utterly pointless.

    Also, what’s the rub with playing THJ at SF? Isn’t this the age of “positionless basketball” and all that? Let Frank play the 2 and THJ the 3, and if you need Frank to guard certain 3’s, that’s fine.

    I guess they’re still operating under the delusion that Frank is a point guard, and so he’s the backup to Burke.

    I’m kinda of hoping they are just saying the “we don’t want to play small at the 3” thing as a temporary way to make Courtney Lee and his agent feel better, and if they’re able to deal him it will magically go away and you’ll suddenly see Frank, Trey and T2 out there together.

    Lance Thomas’s TORP is superstar level. His film shows a try hard defender with no basketball IQ and decisiveness-to-a-fault on offense. Zion Williamson here we come!

    Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised landsays:

    Lance is the 3rd best defender on the team and hits over 40% of his 3s in limited minutes. He’s not a rotation player on a good team, but he is on this one. Fisdale isn’t going to stop coaching and putting out sensible lineups based on merit because Knickerblogger wants to go 0-82.

    Frank is going play multiple positions, but at this stage he’s apparently not good enough to send either Burke or Hardaway to the bench. Fisdale already said he wants a bigger stronger guy at SF because there are a lot of SFs in the league that will kill guys like Hardaway, Lee, and Frank if they play SF. One of them may sneak in at times against a small lineup, but that’s not going to be something they want to do for now.

    We can whine for the next 7-8 months or just get used to it. He’s telling us what he’s going to do and why. Maybe we should fire Fisdale. I think we’ve given him long enough. lol

    We can whine for the next 7-8 months or just get used to it.

    “Whine” apparently means the same thing as “have an opinion about.”

    What’s the point of talking about basketball here? Everybody just shut up and watch the team. This isn’t the forum to express your opinions about the Knicks apparently.


    What a great word. I guess offensive rebounding could be a post-fail?

    Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised landsays:

    “Whine” apparently means the same thing as “have an opinion about.”


    Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion (except on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube), but when you already know what the plan is it gets silly to endlessly bring up the same things. The team has had multiple press conferences and interviews with the president, gm and coach.

    1. They want to win games.
    2. They want to develop young players.
    3. Merit will play a major role in minutes
    4. They seem to be concerned about players, their careers, families, agents and their happiness

    They are going to balance those things.

    We don’t have to agree with the plan, but that’s it.

    Lance in in because Burke, Hardaway, Knox, Hezonja, and Kanter would be one the worst defensive units the Knicks have ever put on the floor (and that’s saying a lot).

    This sentence perfectly sums up why I am so confident that we are on our way to a top 4 pick.

    Lance hit 50 threes in all of last season, and that was a career high. Who cares if he shoots 40% on those threes, when everything else about his game is completely devoid of impact? It pretty much means that every two games he’ll hit one single three and that’s it for his overall production.

    He moves around and flails his arms a lot and looks like he has a pulse, and that’s pretty much the extent of his abilities. He should get zero minutes and it would be a lot more productive to take a shot at anyone in the G-League than continue to give minutes to a player like him.

    But hey, I’m just here whining y’all, don’t mind me, we know he will play so what’s the point of discussing his absolute uselessness as a player.

    The biggest thing I’m looking at early is which of the large number of 1s and 2s are going to play and how much we’re going to play 3 guard lineups. That’s the biggest rotation question at this point I think and that’s what will ultimately determine Lance’s minutes as well. I would argue the only guys on the entire roster whose real position is either 3 or 4 in the modern NBA are Lance, Knox and Hezonja. So unless we intend to play a decent number of minutes with lineups that are either quite small (meaning someone from the THJ, Lee, Dotson, Frank grouping as the nominal 3) or very large (Vonleh or Kornet as the 4) there’s plenty of minutes to go between those three true wings I think.

    It looks to me like Lance is probably fighting for his minutes with some of the fringe guards. Burke, Frank, Lee and THJ are all going to play. That’s four guards and leaves Mudiay, Baker, and Dotson (with Trier even fringer I think) all on the outside looking in but all with legit developmental cases (some more legit than others certainly) to be getting minutes. If some of those guys actually end up in the rotation we’ll have to play 3 guards a lot (regardless of what Fiz is saying for now) and Lance’s minutes will disappear.

    Nothing makes sense about playing Lance Thomas tonight.

    If you want to win a preseason game at all costs, (and somehow you assume that LT gives you the best chance), that’s dumb in and of itself.

    If you don’t care about winning or losing this game and it’s more about getting a look at what you have before the regular season starts, then it’s dumb also.

    But I’m not going to crucify Fizdale over this, let’s wait until Lance is getting major minutes in the regular season before we burn MSG down.

    I actually don’t mind not playing THJ at the 3. I know positions are more irrelevant than ever but if he’s slotted in at the 3 you have to make up for a lot of rebounding and defense elsewhere. It’s hard to see a lineup that would be able to do that (or anything else, really) on this team. Wins are bad this season so I hope they don’t avoid it like the plague but Fizdale’s comment makes sense in general.

    Lance is a nice guy. That’s the best thing I can say about him by far. I would politely let him know that he’s free to stick around until we find someone intriguing with the roster spot but any serious playing time is a wasted development opportunity. I’d rather see any of the 2-way guys get run. He’s good enough for tanking that it won’t make me all that angry but replacing him with someone who might have upside, no matter how little, is the kind of move a smarter organization would make. The “merit” argument, which is pretty weak already, doesn’t carry any weight here because Lance Thomas is a fucking terrible NBA player. I think there’s a very good chance someone from the G League or an undrafted free agent would be more conducive to wins in the present.

    Lancerblogger. Man. If all publicity is good publicity he has to be pretty happy today.

    How long until not taking Doncic 1.1 is viewed as a giant mistake? I am setting the o/u at 10 regular season games

    Lance is mediocre defensively, which with this roster makes him one of our defensive stoppers.

    That’s been Lance’s M.O. his entire time here. “Look, he’s actually exerting himself! He must be a good defender!” where, sadly, simply exerting oneself on defense does make you a better defender than most other Knicks.

    How long until not taking Doncic 1.1 is viewed as a giant mistake?

    -10 games

    Thing is, Lance playing doesn’t mean a development player sits. Lee playing does. So I’m fine with the decision. If Hez were under contract for 3 years then I’d be irritated, but as is, who cares?

    And Lee won’t be playing tonight. Neck strain.

    I also wonder if Fiz’s aversion to playing Lee or TH2 at small forward is an absolute thing, or just in terms of the starting unit. But the good thing about Frank’s physical growth is that you could very easily play Burke at the 1, Hardaway at the 2 and Frank at the 3, at least with certain matchups.

    My guess is that Lance is in because.. I have no idea. Maybe he knows the plays and Mario doesn’t yet? Eh. Starting lineup for the preseason means exactly jack shit. Fiz is likely to be throwing a whole bunch of different combos out over these games and a lot of them will probably seem stupid. I’ll hold any concerns until we see what minutes look like a couple weeks into the season. I care about who is getting playing time, followed by how well the younger guys are developing, followed by what Fiz is showing as a coach, and way way down the list is who actually starts games. The kids should be getting all the minutes they can handle and as long as that’s true I don’t care if the starting lineup features Lance Lee Kanter and Mario.

    Lance played 1300 minutes last season. I’d like to see him under 800 minutes this season. Ideally, in a perfect world, I’d like to see him play 0 minutes.

    Lance who? If the over under on his minutes tonight is 15 I take the under. No need to stress about it.

    I think Lance starting is a respect/earn it type thing. Lance is one of four veterans that were on the team last year, the captain, and the longest tenured Knick. I would be shocked if he is starting by game 4 of the preseason.

    Lance gets minutes because he does exactly what coaches ask him to do except rebound. Coaches like that and when you play on a team as talent starved as the Knicks that means around 20 minutes a night. Hopefully with Knox, Mario, Vonleh, etc… Lance will spend most nights on the inactive list but my guess is he’ll still call out enough switches on defense and clear through and stand in the corner like he’s supposed to on offense just enough to get 10 minutes a night.

    We can’t send Mitch Rob to the G League because he might be the only mildly intriguing thing about this team

    Frank guarding Jason Smith and Mudiay guarding John Wall is not the move here coach

    I don’t think Enes Kanter will keep the starting job past New Year’s Day. Mitchell Robinson is a game changer.

    Kara Lawson is doing a great job on the Wizards broadcast steadfastly refusing to agree that Jeff Green is good without actually saying it

    It seems like the refs are determined to make this game 4 hours long. So many off the ball and non shooting fouls called.

    Knox looks slow. Robinson looks amazing. Mudiay looks like Mudiay (the worst player in the NBA?)

    I know it’s only the first 20 minutes of a pre season game, but the Knicks actually look good out there. They’re a team short on talent but they’re playing hard and they’re playing together.

    @50 so true, this game is almost unwatchable, are these refs auditioning or something?

    I don’t think there’s any chance Knox is productive this year and probably not next. So uh at least he won’t be ruining the tank?

    Lance is having his fu Knickerblogger game. Knox will have lots of problems on d, and probably on o, but he’s doing some okay things out there.

    Again, VERY early but the Knicks move the ball and play together on defense. Fizdale might be legit.

    Lance learned offense?
    I think there’s talent on this team. They have to develop chemistry.

    I can’t wait until Mudiay is replaced by Frank at backup PG. I know Frank’s not a true point guard and may never become one but I can’t think of anything that Mudiay is better at than Frank. Watching him is just brutal on both ends.

    And I also am in love with MitchRob

    Burke reminds me a lot of Iverson. Obviously bargain version but that’s how he plays quite a bit…

    Muddy has 4 assists in 10 mins, which over a full 48 min game is 19 assists, and you know he’s in shape to go 48. haters?

    It is mind boggling that literally every other team passed on this guy!

    Nice to see Knox rebound well in the first half. Needs more Ron Baker-the defense is shit.

    You guys are nuts if you don’t think Knox is showing a lot of game and high b ball iq tonight. Guy has made tons of different kinds of plays tonight

    I’m surprised that MitchRob has gotten this much burn, and it’s really encouraging that he has held his own.

    Vonleh is like a poor man’s Julius Randle who is usually referred to as a poor man’s someone else

    If I watched Mario and Kanter play D together in practice I might start Lance too

    If Kornet could actually shoot 3’s he’d be pretty decent but I’m not sure he can shoot

    Just arrived home to see garbage time. Damn, Hezonja looks so damn tall, did he grow or something? How did Knox and Robinson look out there?

    Trier has some young Ben Gordon sort of swagger. He also plays D like Ben Gordon.

    Knox started slow but picked it up. M-Rob was as dominant as in the summer league.

    Vonleh will need to play minutes this year for his board work and physicality.

    Trier had some impressive shake. He needs to learn he can pass too.

    Hezonja has been awful.

    Both Knox and Mitch looked pretty good in context. Rob bricked four free throws and gave up a couple of offensive boards, but was a genuine force on defense and a real finishing threat in the PNR and in the offensive glass. Knox took some unwise long twos and looked awkward in space on D. He also didn’t finish at the rim with the nearly force you’d like to see. But he had a nose for the ball and didn’t look a bit overwhelmed out there, especially when grabbing the board and pushing the ball. His shooting form always looks smooth.

    That’s very nice, specially Robinson not looking completely lost, just a bit lost but with the high upside production we’ve see in the SL. Knox should get treated with the utmost patience too, the kid is clearly still so raw. Good to know.

    Knox did not look all that raw. Played with his head up and made a lot more smart plays than Hezonja.

    Knox was very impressive. He wasn’t perfect, but he played pretty well on offense, rebounded very well, showed some good open court skills and was in control with the basketball.

    Yeah, Knox started slow but then heated up. He’s for real and has no fear. Double-double 13-10.

    Better get these Ws out of the way now. They won’t be tolerated come opening night.

    I was hoping for a triple overtime nail biter ah well.. fizdale looked like he was coaching game 7 of the ecf, gotta love it

    If Knox ends up developing as a good rebounder it would be awesome for his progression. I wouldn’t expect him to go further than 5 per 36 or something like that for his rookie season, based on his college production, but if he eventually inches closer to 8-9 per 36 he could play the 4 full time or play the 3 and help a lot on that end.

    Knox played a good well-rounded game– scored efficiently enough, only had one turnover, drew a few fouls, mixed it up on the boards and even got a couple of steals. Played within himself for the most part. In Summer League he looked like he was turned up to 11 at all times but he played a nice controlled game out there today.

    There is something very endearing about our young players. Knox seems very much a kid that just turned 19 but very grounded, similar to Frank last year. Mitch has a tough naivety to him. Dot is brash but humbled. Trier and Baker are two talented non-draftees who will do anything to prove that they belong. Fun to root for these guys.

    @108 agree, but the opposite of fun to root for is Emmanuel Mudiay. He is a blight on the sport of basketball.

    Please don’t play him when the season starts Fiz.

    @110 I think Emmanuel Mudiay should play 2500 minutes this season. He’s the Knicks’ leader in TORP.

    Also, if Lance wants to shoot 3s and play defense at a respectable rate we better move his ass for a 2nd round pick.

    Maybe we could sell Morey on some prime Lance Thomas, considering he’s already been collecting players who shouldn’t be in the NBA anyway this offseason?

    How come no one is talking trier, that dude created a new logjam at backup to the backup guard . How many logjams at the guard spot , 3or4?

    Knox was so much better in this game than he was in the Summer League. He looked like a real player tonight. Nice to see.

    There is no d in Hezonja.

    Well, there is a “zone”, so maybe he can be useful in a box-and-one scheme?

    @115 lol

    @114 honestly, he presented like a Jayson Tatum clone. It’s early yet, but at the very least, it has become harder to fault Perry/Mills for rolling the dice on him if this is what they saw in the pre-draft process.

    @113 I really like Trier. He’s got a bit of a one-track mind but looks like he has a lot of ways to score. It’s true, we have like one PG and 8 SGs.

    Did anyone catch when Vonleh tried to pull a Wesley Snipes in White Men Can’t Jump on Jason Smith?

    One subtle observation: Lance Thomas seemed 1) more jacked and 2) like he worked that funky hitch out of his jumper. Maybe I was squinting.

    It’s true, we have like one PG and 8 SGs.

    I missed most of the second half and overtime, but how much, if at all, did Frank play without either Burke or Mudiay on the floor? All of his first half minutes were as a secondary ball handler. That may ultimately be his destiny, and I’m not upset about any rotation decisions in the first preseason game, but I want him to get opportunities to run the offense himself. If there’s even a chance he’s a PG and not a 3-and-D guy, finding out should be one of Fiz’s top priorities this season.

    Overall, really liked what I saw in terms of energy, defense and style of play. We won’t be good, but we should be entertaining.

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