Knicks 96, Hornets 93

[Editor’s Note: The recap generator’s on the fritz. We’ll cram all this info into the appropriate boxes as soon as humanly possible.]

Charlotte Hornets 93 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 New York Knicks

CARMELO ANTHONY, A-
Being the sixth youngest cager to surpass the big, gaudy, arbitrary 20,000 point threshold is the lede here, but it was points 20,021-24 including an oh-so-smooth elbow jumper that gave the ‘Bockers the lead for good. (See what I did there?) He also rose up to snaggle the most important ‘bound of the night after Kemba bricked a floater Definitely a small sample size alert but weirdly, he’s got only managed to corral eight total caroms through three games. This could mean absolutely nothing, especially since we saw him do a ton of yeoman board work as recently as last season, but I think the fact that the Knicks have shown the ability to put forth a more-than-competent if fairly conservative un-switchtastic defense means that Melo, playing more minutes at small forward isn’t finding himself at the rim nearly as often. It’s not his fault, is what I’m saying and may just be a whole lot of signal and very little noise.

Here’s something that is a big, red, blinking signal: As was the case for the fourth quarter of One Of The Most Important Sporting Events In, Like, The History of Everything. Ever (©, LeBron James), Melo sat for a good chunk of the beginning of the final stanza, and the whole kit and kaboodle didn’t come tumbling down. It seems that Fisher’s dead serious with this whole “not grind Melo into a substance that resembles guacamole, such that he can drain big buckets down the stretch” thing, whether Anthony’s in foul trouble or not.

You can read Chris Herring’s scribbling here about Melo’s ever-shrinking field goal percentage when logging serious pt, or you can take my word for it and beam at the 4-8 he banged home in the final eight minutes. The fact that he’s getting the bulk of his shots playing off the ball, waiting for the various points of the triangle to be aimed squarely at his eager mitts can’t be overlooked either. Melo’s buying in to the system–which was far from a given–and he’s not expending nearly the amount of effort he had to in seasons past to carve out space. There were some really glaring mistakes on defense, where he got caught on screens and he wasn’t passing out of doubles with the decisiveness that we saw whilst throttling the Cavs, but this is pretty much what we all hoped to see from Anthony. (More good and smart things via Fish-Head Coach later.)

AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE, B+
So in whose hands did all those pretty, pretty rebounds land? What’s got two thumbs, racked up his first double-double of the year and carried the non-Melo portion of the offense via flurry of deft low post buckets? STAT guy! He’s still not really equipped to be the backup center, though. This is a tune we all know the words to, but the RobertCats Hornets ended the second on a 20-7 run, mainly by feeding Big Al, who crept closer and closer to the bucket, causing wings to start creeping ever closer–though never sending a hard double-team–or lingering a half a second longer within his field of gravity. That opened up a ton of open looks on the perimeter and/or created lanes for Stephenson to barrel through. Amar’e did a better job of at least contesting shots in the third, but I still don’t think they’ve rolled with a combo that can really maximize his skills at the other end. There may not be one no matter how you re-arrange the flawed pieces of this puzzle.

QUINCY ACY, C-
No more threes, kay Quincy? He’s a capable defender, especially when the Knicks were ICE’ing pick and rolls like fiends in the first, but on offense, he just gets ignored completely, and it’s a problem, especially when he’s sharing the floor with other bros that give opponents a collective ¯\_(?)_/¯

SAMUEL DALEMBERT, B
This was without a doubt Dalembert’s finest outing in Blue n’ Orange. We’ve carped on his issues with playing defense in space, but he was soooo much more effective tonight when his responsibilities were limited to pushing Big Al a foot or three out of his comfort zone and remaining firmly planted to terra firma no matter what jukes and up-fakes were thrown his way.

IMAN SHUMPERT, B+
A lot of What We Talk About When We Talk About Iman Shumpert can tend to devolve into rather ineffable, borderline-Talmudic questions about his “confidence”. Does Iman feel confident in his jumper and that’s why his mid-range/off the bounce game looks so durned sweet, or is that self-same confidence causing him to firing up weird, off-balance heaves? Conversely, is the lack of self-assurance causing him to hesitate and pass up open shots? And that’s before we get to the armchair psychoanalyzing about his emotional well-being. Playing “angry,” lingering resentment about trade gossip, being in a certain ex-coach’s doghouse v. the effervescent joie-de-vivre we heard about at Media Day and into the preseason.

We use this kind of language with Shump in part, I think, because more than any other Knick, he’s our very own too-precious/precocious child. It’s also not at surprising, therefore, that he’s often the subject of vicious, vaguely parental/protective squabbles about his potential, worth, development and c. If you want to slap a “Proud Parent of an Iman-or Student” bumper sticker on the back of your Audi for tonight’s outing, go right ahead. The gaudy gold stars—the calmly drained three that knotted the score at 93-all, the clever strip of Jefferson down low with New York up tow, the first eight minutes of the game, when he rattled home nine points—are plain for all to see. But you can just as easily go all tough love on the fact that he committed two dumb fouls to relegate him to the bench mere seconds after his early scoring outburst, or carp on his ongoing inability to finish at the rim, or even “Well, actually…” the fact that he was royally lucky to have the opportunity to drain the aforementioned trey, considering how badly he botched the exchange with Prigs.

SHANE LARKIN, C+
Larkin’s been a really nice surprise filling in for Calderon. I was trying to think of the last time that the Knicks employed a player with this much pure speed at the point. Nate Robinson comes to mind, but he wasn’t anyone’s idea of a floor general. Marbs, Sugar Ray and Rod Strickland were more quick than fast, which leaves us with… Shane Larkin. Throughout the fourth, I was counting off the minutes till he returned, if only to pester Kemba Walker or shadow Gary Neal through a thicket of picks. Of course, he stayed glued to the pine because of the heady, steady play of…

PABLO PRIGIONI, B+
…PABLOOOO. How do you feel about taking the tiller for a robust 24 minutes, including the last 15:32?

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 9.38.32 PM

the Pablosneak that resulted in the above image was part of a Morris Mentum-changing play, after a Roberts jumper put the lead at three, the Bugs had the ball when Pablo darted and sent the rock skidding downcourt. Hurtling towards the sideline and picking up floorburns a-plenty, he boinked the ball off of Roberts’ leg and out of bounds, then gave MSG a big ol’ thumbs up More importantly, he deftly ran weakside pick and rolls with Smith and STAT, frequently drove the lane (even though every fiber of his being was howling that he was getting way too close to a position where he might be called up to shoot), did a more-than-solid job of steering Walker into waiting bigs, and both he, Shump and Larkin closed on shooters better than we’ve seen round these parts in a long, long time.

JASON SMITH, C-
Still banging home long twos at a Doleac-ian pace, but he’s sort of the anti-Dalembert—often in the right place defensively, but once there, he really lacks the foot speed or the hops to serve as any kind of deterrent.

JR SMITH, C+
For all the things that one might say about JR—and there are many—he’s a pretty smart, self-aware feller. Peep these post-game sound bites.

Yeah, what he said. JR still has a tendency to gum up the works on offense and wildly flail away/reach on D, but he’s been driving with a purpose and developing some nice (legal) chemistry with the other Smith brother (no, not Chris), and limited his step-back heaves to the moments when it’s the only option available, mainly when the shot clock is running down. Of course, for the life of me, I’ll never understand why he felt the need to charge like a meth-addled, toreador-stabbed bull towards Lance Stephenson with .8 seconds to go, very nearly drawing a foul that would have sent Born Ready to the line with the chance to tie the game. It was so mind-boggling stupid that you wonder how it’s possible he retains the power of speech, let alone muster the verbal skills to not only digest the game plan, but regurgitate it to a reporter in a concise and clear manner.

Warlord Kevin of the Clan McElroy, what say thee?

This is the paradox of Earl. Phil hasn’t really solved this Rodman-esque mystery wrapped in an enigma stuffed neatly into a discarded empty 25k bottle of Legacy by Agnostura either. Not to say that a journalistic bastion like Rupe Murdoch’s fish-wrapper is prone to scurrilous, clickbait-y rumor mongering, but even if you imbibe this with a pinch of NaCl, it’s a deal that most of us would jump at, amirite?

TIM HARDAWAY JR., C
Tim got to spin a little longer than he did on Thursday, and did a nice job converting when given space. He also used that little hesitation move of his to finish at the rim on a blind pig (Knickerbloggeristas, if that play was not a blind pig, please let me know. Like the team, I’m still learning these sets. Actually, scratch that. Don’t correct my sub-par analysis It’s way too much fun to write “blind pig.”), and even dumped off a pocket pass (really!) to STAT off a weakside pick and roll. He got yanked after a few missed defensive assignments, but look! A coach that will use playing time as a teaching tool. What a concept!

Cole Aldrich, D+
COLE ALDRICH 2014-15 ANAGRAM: CHOLERIC LAD

Five Things We Saw

  1. It was a jagged, ragged game to be sure, but more than anything, I’m impressed with the job that Derek Fisher is doing. Granted, the bar was set pretty effing low by his predecessor, so to our jaded eyes basic competence may look like strategic brilliance worthy of Sun Tzu or Gregg Popovich. That said, it’s the little things, like yanking Hardaway after a string of missed assignments, the aforementioned managing of Melo’s minutes, or his willingness to alter the rotation based on game situations as opposed to a frantic flailing or clinging to antiquated notions of what geographical regions possess size. going small in down the stretch with Melo at PF. In an NBATV post game interview, he answered questions directly, pointed to specific game situations and avoided tired coach-speak cliches. Shocker, right? No curbs or kicking or buses or puzzles or ends of days, just a human being that knows the game talking hoops. Fish just gives off an air of being calm, in control and equipped for the task at hand, probably because he is all of those things.
  2. Granted, if it weren’t for a gift of a five second violation call with 36 ticks on the clock, one they could easily have blown this one, and, after a boffo start and an early 43-28 advantage, the offense devolved from three-sided shape to a half-hearted, sloppy attempt to disguise your standard-brand pick and roll/ISO/Meloball. Even so, what occurred tonight, win or lose, is infinitely preferable to the sense of all-encompassing doom that you felt last season, girding your loins against a galling, laugh-to-keep-from-crying self-inflicted wound that you knew was just around the corner. There are a ton of things that this team still needs to work on but it’s such a comfort and a relief to know that the folks in charge are not only aware of the issues, but have a good idea about what it’ll take to fix them. Watching the lead ping back and forth was stressful, to be sure, but there’s a world of difference between this team already, just because there’s room to breathe, and enjoy it.
  3. I’m still chuckling at this.

  4. Hi Patrick!
    Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 8.04.09 PM
  5. There are a slew of manageable games up next, but that’s really not important. This, however, is. For those who aren’t aware, Jim Cavan’s six-month old son Everett has a tumor on his liver. You all know what a great writer Jim is, but he’s also one of the most genuinely kind, profoundly caring human beings I’ve ever met. It’s so unfair and unjust, that I want to scream at God or the void or whatever; I can’t even imagine what Jim’s going through right now. There’s a lot of optimism about the long-term prognosis, but he is going to probably have to undergo months of chemotherapy, and because this is America, paying for treatment is going to be fucking expensive. This is the link to a Go Fund Me page where they’re raising funds help cover his treatment. I know that money is tight everywhere, but every dime really does make a difference. Please help out if you can and spread the word. Thanks.
Liked it? Take a second to support Robert Silverman on Patreon!

Robert Silverman

Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times and at ESPN, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.

75 thoughts to “Knicks 96, Hornets 93”

  1. Dalembert is a poor man’s Chandler, assuming a poor man doesn’t have $$ to pay a guy to argue with the refs and talk shit about his teammates.

  2. Why would anybody be in favor of a JR for Copeland trade? That would basically force us to play defensive sieve, THJ extended minutes. Also JR is a much more valuable commodity than Copeland regardless of how stupid he can be at times. The value of solid, even if erratic, wing play is at an all-time high around the league. Trading JR for Copeland would be the epitome of selling low on JR and buying high on Copeland, who’s off to a nice start.

  3. Sure, I’d be down with that. We’d probably lose more this year, but it would get rid of JR’s contract. Copeland is another nice O guy who plays 0.00% defense, so I’m not sure he helps us win, but getting JR off the books is probably worth it.

  4. Why would anybody be in favor of a JR for Copeland trade?

    Copeland is an expiring contract. JR still has his player option for 2015-2016. I would guess that would be the motivation.

    But I agree, that trade would make the Knicks worse this season. We already have a bunch of stretch-4 types that don’t defend or rebound. Copeland is a better shooter than the two we have, but I’d rather try to move JR for a defense-oriented PF/C and keep trying to compete this year.

  5. Hope everyone who can afford to takes a minute to support Rett. And at the risk of getting political I hope someday we live in a country where parents don’t have to worry about whether they can afford to provide their child with medical care when they need it.

    As for the Knicks, I’m feeling a lot of good things right now. I’m currently open to the possibility of considering that maybe there might be just the slimmest of chances that we’re going to be kind of decent this year. At the very least, even if we end up stinking as much as we all expected this year is almost guaranteed to be a hell of a lot more watchable than last year. Just the fact that we pass the ball on offense and don’t give up a layup every time the other team runs a PnR makes such a big difference. The Woodson —–> NBA coach upgrade is so, so real. Obviously a long, long way to go but good feelings for a couple days at least (John Wall is probably going to feast on Pablo and Larkin on Wednesday unfortunately).

  6. Calderon-Hardaway-Copeland-Bargs-Josh Smith defense here we come!!

    I actually would support the move. I think Fish is smart enough with the rotations to not use a ridiculously stupid lineup. I think of Copeland as a more versatile version of Novak. He can hit 3’s at an incredible rate and still do a bit of posting and driving too. Our defense is already going to be dead last in the league.

    I think it really all depends on contract length, we need JR off the roster before we look to compete.

  7. I’d support that trade, too. JR Smith needs to be off this team yesterday. It’s not even a pro-Cope thing (although I prefer Cope to either Jason Smith or Bargs), it’s about getting out from under JR’s contract.

  8. You could also dump JR to the Sacramento Kings for the useless Derrick Williams’ expiring contract. Sacto might actually go for that, since their guard rotation is pitiful.

  9. I would not do it. At least, i would want some more time of JR with the triangle. JR is a headcase, but he is really talented. If he buys into the system, he is a bargain; and he the atmosphere around the team looks good at the moment.

  10. But I think Cope is less useless than Williams. Cope at least is a legitimately good offensive player (it is shocking, shocking I say, that Cope went from being a DNP-CD player to being a good offensive player again – could it be that appeals to authority are a flawed argument?).

  11. Getting out from JR’s contract? Have you guys been paying attention to the money moderately decent wings are getting nowadays? Avery Bradley signed for $8m/yr last summer. Alec Burks got over $10m/yr. Hell Jodie Meeks is making as much money as JR. Even if we don’t trade JR this year, I find it highly unlikely he’s going to opt in and wait another year to enter free agency.

    That’s fine if you want to trade JR, but you don’t trade him for Chris Copeland. That is a horrible value trade and makes zero sense in building a team for this year when our stated goal is to make the playoffs.

  12. Moderately decent wings were making the same crazy money last year and no one else wanted to give any of it to JR. So I imagine he’ll opt in.

  13. Plus, as seen by their willingness to cut Larkin (and yes, I was mistaken – I didn’t know teams gave up their Early Bird rights when they turned down their third year option – so yes, by not exercising his third year option, the Knicks are essentially telling Larkin that they’re fine with him leaving), it looks like they are really, really concerned about even the possibility of not having enough cap space next season. So I can see why they would want to make sure they’re not going to have to pay JR next season. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them deal Calderon, too, if he plays well upon his return. Okay, I would be surprised, but not that surprised.

  14. There is a very limited trade market for JR. Basically you need to find a team with an expiring contract that is close in value to JR’s, and that team has to have a need at shooting guard, and that team also has to be the type of organization that doesn’t mind The Pipe’s wacky antics. That rules out most NBA teams.

  15. Yeah – I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the JR Cope thing (and not sure what would have to come back to us since their salaries don’t match). But without JR’s contract we would only have 4 guaranteed contracts including Shump’s QO (Melo, Calderon, Hardaway, Shump) which total about $35.3MM. Add in our 2015 draft pick, which in the teens would be worth about $1.5MM in the first year, so guaranteed contracts equal about $37MM for 5 guaranteed contracts. Add in ~525K each for 7 more cap holds gives you roughly $41MM in commitments. Now I assume we would bring Early, Wear, maybe Pablo, but the idea is that we could have as much as $25MM in cap space in 2015 if we wanted it. we could sign Gasol to a max contract which would be around $20MM, re-sign Shump/Pablo/Early/Wear and still have the room exception and minimums to fill out the roster.

    Signing Gasol would probably be the end of our Durant pipe dream, which is maybe ok. I don’t think KD is coming here anyway. IMHO it’d be pretty difficult to have another transitional type year next year when Melo is already into his 30s just on the off-chance KD wants to come.

  16. throw in some draft picks and I’d consider it. Maybe a couple of 2nd rounder and then use one to get Brandon Bass?

  17. That is a horrible value trade and makes zero sense in building a team for this year when our stated goal is to make the playoffs.

    That’s our stated goal, but it might not be our actual goal.

  18. Yeah, the second transitional year is the killer for me. Jackson has to do whatever he can to get them to being a legit contender next year. Just adding Gasol to this current team doesn’t do that. So I’m all for anything that involves him creating as much cap space as possible for next season in the hopes of making them a legit contender next year. Because if they have to wait until 2016-17, then you’re playing a very dangerous game there. And hell, if the salary cap doesn’t even go up dramatically in 2016-17 then you might be looking at 2017-18 and then you’re really screwed.

  19. That’s our stated goal, but it might not be our actual goal.

    Couple these rumors with the Larkin decision and yeah, I agree that it is likely that their actual goal is clearing out as much cap space for next season as possible. Note that next season is the only season Melo’s giving them a discount, ya know? So he must be on board with their plans.

  20. In for Rett. I will be sending all my positive energy to Jim’s family and hope for a speedy and complete recovery.

    This is personal for me. I just became a first time father last January (my daughter was born the night before Melo went off for 62) and I lost my wife to cancer 6 weeks later.

    I know what it is to lose someone you love to this evil fucking disease but I can only imagine, as a father, what Jim is going through right now. Basketball talk on hold for me for a minute. Jim, if you’re seeing this, keep your chin up and stay strong for your little one. I hope you receive all the support than can possibly be mustered.

  21. I’m sorry, guys, I often look at the comments first before the article (I read them from the moderator page), so I missed the news about Rett at first. I’ve donated and I urge others to give, as well. Obviously my heart and hopes go out to Jim and his family.

  22. The other issue is how many $ you want to pour into one position in terms of roster construction. Let’s say we want to re-sign Shump (or match whatever he gets up to, say $10MM/year). With JR’s contract we would have something like $18MM committed to the SG position.

    Berman’s article also indicates that Phil wants to wait until mid-December (or later) to do anything. That gives us 6 weeks of seeing how JR behaves and how well he’s picking up the triangle. Probably more importantly, it gives us 6 weeks to see if Shump can operate as a secondary ball handler / creator. If Shump plays like he did last night, I honestly would trade both JR and Hardaway. Given the lack of good SGs in the league right now, they both probably have significant value.

  23. Moderately decent wings were making the same crazy money last year and no one else wanted to give any of it to JR. So I imagine he’ll opt in.

    Who were the guys signed for crazy money the same summer as JR? Genuinely asking because I don’t know.

  24. Martell Webster, Kevin Martin, JJ Redick and Chase Budinger all signed for more money than JR (so did Korver but Korver is a legit star, ya know? He was obviously going to get a lot of money).

  25. I would trade the shit out of Hardaway. We might actually be able to get something valuable for him.

  26. trying to donate to Jim’s son but the site is frozen — hopefully it’s from too many people donating.

  27. Yeah, it took a while for my donation to go through, too. Just wait on it, it’ll eventually go through.

  28. If Shump plays like he did last night, I honestly would trade both JR and Hardaway. Given the lack of good SGs in the league right now, they both probably have significant value.

    That’s my point. Trading JR or basically anybody on the team is fine, but you should definitely be able to get more for him than an expiring Copeland. A couple of 2nd round picks would help the cause.

    Martell Webster, Kevin Martin, JJ Redick and Chase Budinger all signed for more money than JR.

    Budinger got less money than JR, but yeah you’re right. I still think he makes more than $6m/yr in the current environment with teams eager to spend money in anticipation of the new TV money.

  29. I would trade the shit out of Hardaway. We might actually be able to get something valuable for him.

    Really? What are you getting for Hardaway better than a good shooter with potential on a rookie deal for the next 2 years?

    I agree his defense really fucking sucks, but I think Fisher’s willingness to sit guys who aren’t getting it done on that end will have a positive influence on his development.

  30. Really? What are you getting for Hardaway better than a good shooter with potential on a rookie deal for the next 2 years?

    The question is whether Shump will develop. If Shump can, say, have an average ts of 53-54, shoot 38% from 3, average 4 assists/36, continue his usual excellent rebounding from the 2 position, and play his lockdown D, then he should be playing 34-36 minutes per game. That just doesn’t leave a lot of minutes for Hardaway, who might be a more explosive scorer but doesn’t do anything else as well as Shump. If you can get something of real value for Hardaway and JR, I think you do it– if you believe that Shump can be a slightly-less-efficient Wesley Matthews-type player.

  31. That just doesn’t leave a lot of minutes for Hardaway

    Shump has got minutes at the 1, 2 and 3 this year. Minutes really shouldn’t be a reason to trade all of our other SG’s especially given how many teams play small around the league now.

  32. Shump has got minutes at the 1, 2 and 3 this year. Minutes really shouldn’t be a reason to trade all of our other SG’s especially given how many teams play small around the league now.

    It all depends on what you’re getting back.
    Would you trade Hardaway for a 1st round pick in the 20s? I probably would. That isn’t a ridiculous valuation.

    Would you trade JR for Copeland + filler and two 2nd round picks, thereby opening up true max space in 2015, which might help you land Gasol, or maybe a combo of Greg Monroe and Dragic? Maybe.

    Again it all depends on whether Shump shows more consistency. As it is now, JR is probably our most complete SG even if Shump’s defense is still the most outstanding attribute out of any of our SGs.

    The other wild card is whether JR might just opt out. If he has a good season, I can’t imagine he’d play for a $6-7MM one year deal.

  33. I don’t know how successful they’re going to be getting Hardaway’s defense up to snuff. He’s a pretty good athlete and he’s long for the SG position but he just does not have good lateral speed. That has always been the knock on him, and because of that he cannot stay in front of ballhandlers worth a damn. In the NBA most 2-guards are very quick off the dribble, so it’s a serious problem.

  34. This conversation is absurd. TH2 is 22 years old. JR Pipe is 30. His best days are behind him and he’s an IDIOT. I would trade him for some nachos and a coke. Maybe just a coke.

    We need his money off the books to compete. He’s fouling up the 2nd unit with his dumb shots and turnovers. I mean, there are so many reasons to trade him!!!

    Despite his defensive shortcomings, TH2 at least has a professional attitude and lots of room to grow. Plus Shump is looking pretty damn good, and Calderon/Prigs can get spot minutes at the 2 if need be.

    I’m voting yes on Proposition Trade J.R. Smith

  35. IDC how young he is, if Alec Burk got >10 mil per yr, JR can get more than 6 mil. 100000% confident in that statement. The only reasons he would have to stay are if 1) he fucked the season up royally and wanted to go into the market with a better season, or 2) if he banked all in on the rising cap in 2 years and wanted to wait for that instead of locking in before it rises.

  36. The Knicks so far are having major FT/FGA problems again on both sides of the ball. Their opponents have taken 23 more FTA than the Knicks in only three games. You don’t have to be a math genius to see that is over 7 FTA per game. Charlotte is a joke of an offensive team and they managed 29 FTA.

  37. IDC how young he is, if Alec Burk got >10 mil per yr, JR can get more than 6 mil. 100000% confident in that statement.

    He couldn’t get $6 million when he was on the open market after his best season in years. The same offseason that Martell freakin’ Webster got more money than him. JR Smith is not seen as a viable big money signing for most teams, whether rightly or wrongly. That said, yeah, if he opts in, it likely would be more to wait another year for the salary cap to jump. Either way, it seems like Jackson is worried about even the possibility of JR opting in, so he wants to get rid of that possibility.

  38. It was a great season he was coming off of, but also a extremely, MEMORABLY bad playoff.

  39. As for JR’s worth, I think the market has clearly changed since he was signed, which was a year ago, and contracts are pricier. If a team needs scoring, he’s certainly not overpaid in today’s market. Whether he’s worth more than Copeland is hard to say. Based on last year’s stat’s he is, because Copeland played so little. This year’s stats are based on only three games each, which is way too little to be really relevant.

  40. BANG! Like Mike Breen – I am so sorry for your loss. I got choked up reading your story.

    I hope that everyone reaches into his/her [do we have any female regulars?] and gives for Rett. Now is the time to step up for the Cavan family.

  41. If a team needs scoring, he’s certainly not overpaid in today’s market. Whether he’s worth more than Copeland is hard to say.

    Copeland is actually a far superior scorer to JR. JR is just better at everything else than Copeland.

  42. Thanks, Ephus. Much appreciated. If you want to get even more choked up, here’s our story.

    I’m more than willing to sacrifice my anonymity to share this story because it’s inspiring and the courage my wife showed is something I’m extremely proud of and my hope is that it can give others facing incredibly challenging situations some strength.
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/02/health/joice-pregnancy-cancer/

    The Cavans will prevail and I have faith that Rett will grow up big and strong and, hopefully, witness the raising of the first blue & orange championship banner at the garden since Walt and Willis & co. Let’s go Rett!!

  43. I just donated to Rett’s fund. I cant afford to donate much but I know any little bit helps and over the past few years Jim and his writing on this site has brought alot of laughs and fun times to me and all the readers of this great site so he definitely has my support and I wish all the best for his son.

  44. Wow, Max. Unbelievable. Thank you for sharing that. Your family is amazing and you have great strength.

  45. I’m more than willing to sacrifice my anonymity to share this story because it’s inspiring and the courage my wife showed is something I’m extremely proud of and my hope is that it can give others facing incredibly challenging situations some strength.
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/02/health/joice-pregnancy-cancer/

    This is truly tear-jerking, and puts all of my problems and struggles in perspective. You really seem to be taking it about as well as anybody reasonably could, which is pretty amazing. I can’t donate much to Rett (broke college student here) but hopefully my contribution coupled with the others is enough to see to it that he lives a long and healthy life with the only thing plaguing him being his inevitable Knicks fandom.

  46. Thanks, Donnie. Hope her story can inspire.

    Well now I’m choked up so let me bring it back to basketball.

    I love Cope. I wish we had kept him…but unless we plan on moving another of our all O no D bigs, don’t really see where he would fit in our rotation and, as much as I loathe JRs JRness, that deal on it’s own makes little sense to me when it comes to competing this year.

  47. You really seem to be taking it about as well as anybody reasonably could, which is pretty amazing.

    I’m doing okay. My little baby girl (who I’m already decking out in Knicks onesies and likely forcing her into a lifetime of fanhood frustration…unless, of course, she shuns basketball altogether) keeps me grounded and sane. Still have my rough patches but such is life. We all go through challenging shit.

    Amazingly, the Knicks (and Rangers and Jets…ugh) are like salves for me. Even when my teams range from mediocre to god awful to fucking putrid, following them fanatically, and immersing myself in communities like this one here, helps me get through those rough patches.

    Even if I’m only a minor contributor here, I haven’t missed at least reading a thread in 3 years. I love this site and I love my ‘Bockers, for better or worse (usually worse).

    I will say that there really is a noticeable culture change going on with this team thus far. Granted, I know, 3 games, sample size, whatever…it just FEELS like a team…the polar opposite of last season. Call me cautiously optimistic. Still not thinking we’re going to win more than 40-42 games…but we will be a team worth committing our time as fans to. Here’s to small victories.

  48. While it’s early going, I’ve been impressed with coach Fish so far. He seems to understand that playing Pablo in 2 point guard sets works well with this team (something Mike Woodson stumbled into and then spent 82 games last year inexplicably ignoring), and he seems willing to adjust his initial plan if things aren’t working. And the suit game is right. I haven’t seen anything so far that makes me rue missing out on Steve Kerr, at least.

  49. I haven’t seen anything so far that makes me rue missing out on Steve Kerr, at least.

    Agree 100%. In fact, I think I might be really happy that we missed out on Kerr. Again, I know it’s early, but he seems like the right personality for this group. I’m also really impressed with his chutzpah regarding his sub patterns. I haven’t agreed with everything he’s done (thought STAT should have gotten some minutes over Acy in the fourth last night once Dalembert came back in to guard Big Al), but, he’s using nearly the whole damn bench and he hasn’t been afraid to pull guys for doing stupid shit…a.k.a. holding people accountable. Something Woody seemed incapable of doing.

  50. . I haven’t seen anything so far that makes me rue missing out on Steve Kerr, at least.

    Hey, Steve Kerr is undefeated in his coaching career!

  51. Off topic but does anyone but me think Cleveland is pretty overrated in terms of potential right now? Let’s just compare them to the Miami team that Lebron just left-

    – Lebron now is < Lebron 2-3 years ago
    – Love is reasonably comparable to Bosh if you take defense into account
    – Irving is worse in every possible compared with Wade other than being healthier and being a better 3 point shooter (but far worse in terms of chuckery). Even 2014 Wade is a better defender and more efficient scorer than Irving.
    – Dion waiters sucks
    – Varejao is ok I guess, but is a pretty bad defender in his own right.

    then what? 45 year old Shawn Marion? Tristan Thompson? Dellavedova?
    There's no Battier on this team. There's no Ray Allen. There isn't even a tough defender like Chalmers on the perimeter. Lebron's defense is about 50% of what it was 3 years ago, and the only other defensive-minded player on this team is Marion, who's playing about 10 minutes per game.

  52. why compare them to the one he just left instead of the first iteration of that team?

    Bosh didn’t come into Miami good at defense. Not saying Love can make that transformation, as he doesn’t have the physical tools, but there **were doubts** about Miami in that first season: bron and wade with overlapping skills, as neither was a proven jump shooter, bosh as a defender, lack of role player help…

    Point is, love is 25, and kyrie is 22 — both younger than wade and bosh at the start of the Heatles era. So of course Wade and bosh were better than love and kyrie — wade and bosh were in their primes.

  53. major difference between 2010 Miami and 2014 Cleveland is that Lebron is probably on the downside of his powers, and he is without a doubt the most important member of the Cavs. So unless Kyrie and Love are going to be better than peak Wade and Bosh, I think this Cleveland team has a lower ceiling.

    lol 2 games into their season and i’m already burying them

  54. People also seem to be forgetting how long it took Miami to click at first. Miami started off pretty mediocre before challenging for the title that year

  55. @Frank

    I’m with you on this. I think Cleveland will steamroll their way to around 60 regular season wins, but this team will not be able to defend no matter how hard they all try and I think that will get them beat in the playoffs. Wade and Lebron from 2010 through the 2011-12 season were the two best two-way wings since Jordan and Pippen. Bosh while he definitely improved defensively over his time in Miami has always been a better PNR defender than Love which is going to be a major issue for this Cleveland team. Lebron isn’t even close to being the defensive player he was then now. Idk maybe he’ll be able to save his energy more in the regular season with this team, but I still think it’s going to be very hard for him.

    As good as Love is and Irving may be, it is difficult to imagine either of them having the impact on both ends of the floor that Wade had in his prime. Varejao is their best interior defender and that is a serious issue for them moving forward. The upside is this team should be together for awhile so they’ll have a lot of chances to find the right mix of perimeter and interior defenders around what will be an insanely potent offensive team.

    If Rose is 75% of what he was and the Bulls can get to the ECF in relatively good health I think they’ll take Cleveland this year. Then we can all reminisce about how it was totally worth it to give away Joakim Noah for the right to give Eddy Curry a 6 year, $60m deal.

  56. So far Fisher is a lot better than Woodson, which I thought he would be (of course I also thought a pile of bricks would be better too). In regards to JR, no one can dispute he is an idiot, and in my opinion, being an idiot matters in the NBA. All the NBA players are talented to one degree or another. The winning teams play smart basketball and limit the stupid mistakes, and avoid the stupid players. He is talented, but at his core he is very immature with the basketball IQ of a moron. They need to trade him before he starts untying opponent’s shoelaces, again.

  57. To add to what prezs2reprsntme said above not just Love and Kyrie but the rest of the supporting cast has a lot of room to grow that the Miami cast didn’t. Battier and Allen were great for them but both fell off a lot last year. Birdman was always a health risk. Haslem past his best, Miller same deal. Talking about Wade is slightly a misnomer since Lebron really only played a single year with prime Wade I would say. Basically, their cast was always aging, and they had no picks to back it up. In contrast, This supporting cast is only going to get stronger the next few years. Thompson, Waiters, Delledova all have potential to improve, they have multiple draft picks still, and the escalating cap is going to leave them with a lot more flexibility than Miami ever had. Plus I think they have a lot more flexibility in terms of shuffling the deck than Miami did. It never felt like Miami had real trade options since those guys all joined up by making a pact to play together. If they decide to flip Kyrie into something else 18 months from now I don’t think there would be the same kind of restrictions.

    Basically the cast around Lebron in Miami improved from year 1 to year 2 and then deteriorated every year after that (and would have continued to do so if he stayed). The supporting cast here – not just Kyrie and Love but the rest of the team is likely to improve. The question is whether that improvement can offset Lebron’s decline. It’s an open question and I think a lot depends how you view Love. Can they win say the 2017 finals with Love as the best player and Lebron taking more of a backseat as the super-Pippen, Kyrie adding scoring punch and what might be, by then, a strong and deep roster? I think Love is good enough to be the best player on a champion but I’m sure some disagree with that.

  58. Miami yr. 1 started 9-8 before going on a huge winning streak. What we see now isn’t necessarily the best representation of how they’ll look later (and they still beat the top contender in the East).

  59. Thompson, Waiters, Delledova all have potential to improve, they have multiple draft picks still, and the escalating cap is going to leave them with a lot more flexibility than Miami ever had

    Thompson is going to get paid this summer and likely by the Cavs as part of the deal when Lebron came back last year as they are both represented by Rich Paul. Zach Lowe has discussed this numerous times since this summer.

    Additionally the escalating cap is nice, but Lebron signed a 2-year deal specifically so he could cash in when the new TV money raises the cap. Love will also have to re-signed this year and is going to make more money than he is currently I would think. I don’t think the escalating cap is going to help them out a ton.

  60. Additionally the escalating cap is nice, but Lebron signed a 2-year deal specifically so he could cash in when the new TV money raises the cap.

    Lebron was even shrewder than that. He signed a two-year deal with the second year being a player option. Under that deal, he would get a 4.5% raise between year 1 and year 2.

    Lebron WILL opt-out and sign a new deal with Cleveland at his max non-Bird Rights level – a 20% increase over this year. That deal will again be a two-year deal with the second year being a player option. In the summer of 2016, when the cap goes up to $90 million (or, if smoothed, only $79 million), he will sign a five year mega-max deal that starts at $31.5 million and goes up by 7.5% per year for 5 years. He will make around $175 million over the course of those five years.

  61. Being smart enough to draft Ariza in the second round and then trading him for Steve Francis may have been the Knicksiest move of the last 30 years.

  62. Lebron was even shrewder than that. He signed a two-year deal with the second year being a player option. Under that deal, he would get a 4.5% raise between year 1 and year 2.

    Lebron WILL opt-out and sign a new deal with Cleveland at his max non-Bird Rights level – a 20% increase over this year. That deal will again be a two-year deal with the second year being a player option. In the summer of 2016, when the cap goes up to $90 million (or, if smoothed, only $79 million), he will sign a five year mega-max deal that starts at $31.5 million and goes up by 7.5% per year for 5 years. He will make around $175 million over the course of those five years.

    As always ephus thank you for the knowledge. How much would Durant’s 5-year max be in 2016? Also do you know what Marc Gasol’s starting salary on a full max with the Knicks next year would be?

  63. Gasol’s contract would start at $19,950,000 (30% of a projected $66 million salary cap. It could be less if the cap for next year is $65 million instead of $66 million).

  64. It’s all good cuz we traded z-bo for cuttino mobley’s broken heart.

    So we drafted Ariza and ultimately turned him into a guy who was medically barred from ever stepping into a basketball court again. The Knicksiest!

Comments are closed.