Knicks Morning News (2014.01.03)

  • [New York Times] LA Sparks Ownership Group Gives Up Franchise (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 08:12:05 GMT)

    The Los Angeles Sparks’ ownership group has given up control of the franchise.    

  • [New York Times] Blazers Hits 21 3s to Down Bobcats 134-104 (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 06:33:48 GMT)

    The Trail Blazers made their first seven 3-pointers against Charlotte and from there it almost seemed too easy.    

  • [New York Times] Anthony Returns, Knicks Surprise Spurs 105-101 (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 06:27:07 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony’s presence in the lineup has a way of making things right for the Knicks.    

  • [New York Times] Sixers Beat Kings 113-104 for 3rd Straight Victory (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 06:00:11 GMT)

    Thaddeus Young had 28 points, Evan Turner had 24 and the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Sacramento Kings 113-104 on Thursday night for their third straight victory.    

  • [New York Times] Nets 95, Thunder 93: Johnson Beats Buzzer, and Nets Pull Off a Stunner (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 05:59:07 GMT)

    Deron Williams’s season-high 29 points and Joe Johnson’s last-second jumper helped the Nets begin 2014 with a victory at Oklahoma City.    

  • [New York Times] Knicks 105, Spurs 101: Key Plays by Shumpert Help Knicks Shock Spurs (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 05:52:41 GMT)

    The Knicks looked like a new team against the perennial contender San Antonio, as Iman Shumpert scored 27 points and repeatedly came through in the clutch.    

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Curry Leads Warriors Past Heat in a Shootout (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 05:20:57 GMT)

    Stephen Curry made eight 3-pointers and finished with 36 points and 12 assists, helping Golden State beat host Miami, 123-114, to extend its winning streak to seven.    

  • [New York Times] Johnson’s Jumper Lifts Nets Over Thunder, 95-93 (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 05:18:12 GMT)

    The way Brooklyn guard Joe Johnson looked at it, it was his turn at the game-clinching shot. So he asked coach Jason Kidd for the ball on the final possession.    

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Nuggets Suspend Miller for 2 Games (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 05:08:20 GMT)

    The Denver Nuggets suspended the veteran guard Andre Miller for two games for “conduct detrimental to the team.”    

  • [New York Times] Bayless Spurs Grizzlies to 99-91 Win Over Suns (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 05:03:19 GMT)

    Jerryd Bayless scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, coming off the bench to help the Memphis Grizzlies overcome Goran Dragic’s 33 points in a 99-91 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.    

  • [New York Times] Hayward, Favors Lead Jazz Over Bucks 96-87 (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 04:36:23 GMT)

    Gordon Hayward scored 22 points and Derrick Favors had 21 points and 11 rebounds to help the Utah Jazz hold off the Milwaukee Bucks 96-87 Thursday night and claim consecutive wins for just the third time this season.    

  • [New York Times] Curry’s 36 Leads Warriors Past Heat, 123-114 (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 04:24:33 GMT)

    Game-high in points. Game-high in assists. Game-high in steals. Oh, and for good measure, he made as many 3-pointers as the entire Miami Heat roster.    

  • [New York Times] Noah Leads Bulls to 94-82 Win Over Celtics (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 04:06:28 GMT)

    Joakim Noah had 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to help the Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 94-82 on Thursday night.    

  • [New York Times] Without Lopez, Nets Redefine Strategy and Go With a Smaller Lineup (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 03:20:32 GMT)

    The Nets are trying to redefine themselves as they have to compensate for the loss of center Brook Lopez.    

  • [New York Times] Varejao Leads Cavaliers Past Magic 87-81 in OT (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 03:18:23 GMT)

    Anderson Varejao hit two crucial jumpers in overtime and tied a franchise record with a career-high 25 rebounds to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-81 win over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night.    

  • [New York Times] Anthony Hits Roof, Then Hits Court for Knicks (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 03:12:35 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony’s sprained left ankle had shown enough improvement that he started for the Knicks against the Spurs, two days after insulting a fan on Twitter.    

  • [New York Daily News] J.R. says he’s ‘over’ Knicks releasing brother Chris (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 05:58:50 GMT)

    J.R. Smith admitted that he “wasn’t happy” that the Knicks waived his younger brother Chris Smith earlier this week. Speaking for the first time since the Knicks decided to cut Smith to create a roster spot for Jeremy Tyler, J.R. Smith declined to discuss the Instagram message he posted that read:    

  • [New York Daily News] Melo returns, says he is cool with taking heat (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 05:35:02 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony is experiencing losing for the first time in New York and all that it encompasses, particularly the criticism a franchise player receives for a 9-21 start.    

  • [New York Daily News] New Year, new results: Shump leads Knicks to win over Spurs (Fri, 03 Jan 2014 04:18:38 GMT)

    If Iman Shumpert’s New Year’s resolution was to get back to be an athletic two-way player then maybe the Knicks can still make something of this season.    

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    Mike Kurylo

    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    25 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.01.03)”

    1. Whew!! Very nice win last night! But…let’s not get too excited. We cant expect a lot of 10-13 games outta Shump. Hopefully this “breakout game” has restored his confidence and convinced Woodson that he needs to use Shump a little bit more. Surprisingly though, TH2 only got 14 minutes while Earl got 29! I didn’t get to watch the whole game (been feeling under the weather) so I dont really know what he did on the court to deserve 29 minutes, but I did wake up to see the box score. I will say this: for all the flak that myself and others give Melo, I really do appreciate his presence on the team. His 3 game absence has really highlighted his importance to the team. If we knew somehow that he would take less than 30 mil a year to help the team get a little more help, I wouldn’t be pro-rebuild. Melo’s kinda hard for me to gauge because he’s a volume scorer with more gifts than scoring. And I’ve seen the team do just as well with him doing other things than just scoring as they have with him gettin crazy buckets. But it’s clear he’s at his best scoring and boarding from the floor and just flat out SCARY. If we can get on a roll and are back in 1st come February, then I might be ok with keeping him and reloading as opposed to rebuilding.

      Side note: I wonder if Mills called Cleveland to gauge their interest in a STAT-Bynum swap. And I wonder what it would take to oull that off

    2. Amazing win last night – could hardly believe what I was seeing. Great to see Shump play with so much confidence. And no one’s even talking about his defense, which was almost as impressive as his offense. He really gave Tony Parker a hard time yesterday, and although the Spurs had about 15 wide-open 3’s, just on initial watching it didn’t look like more than 1 or 2 were his fault.

      And no one’s been harder on Woody than me, but I thought he did a great job last night. Much less switching on PNRs, occasional traps thrown in, etc. And I thought he did a very good job with allocating minutes. Murry should be getting 15 min/game now (and hopefully into the future too since his defense is a difference maker). Bargnani was ridiculously/laughably/tragically horrible on defense yesterday, and even though he had some good moments on offense, he didn’t deserve more than 22 minutes based on his effort on defense. He literally had guys driving past him and his eyes were 180 degrees the opposite direction.

      And is it just me or did Amare actually look semi-ok on D yesterday? And did JR play really under control (only forcing 1 shot by my count)? And why does Beno seem to turn the ball over at exactly the worst time and in the worst way all the time?

      And last thought – anyone who thinks Melo has a foot out the door or that he smiles too much or whatever — take a look at that play where the teams were chasing the ball over the floor which culminated in JR’s great pass to Iman for the triple with 30-something seconds left. Yup- that’s Melo coming way down the floor, diving to knock the ball away from Ginobili who had a big head start. Without that play there is no Shump 3-pointer -it’s probably Ginobili in for a layup and the Knicks losing another heartbreaker. Thought Melo played GREAT yesterday.

    3. Melo had a pretty solid game, but down the stretch he tried to take over the game and he really isn’t capable of doing that on his own this season. I don’t want to say anymore. But he doesn’t appear to have the athleticism to just impose his will on another team on his own.
      When he does hero ball, the other team collapses on him and he doesn’t have the hops to be effective. He’s often getting shots blocked, stripped or he’s forced into a very high-difficulty fall away.
      The Knicks were far more effective down the stretch when they moved the ball around and found the open guy. On this night, open guys like Shump hit their shots.
      On the other hand, Beno was a bit of a train wreck late. Several times he dribbled into trouble with no real plan. Twice he lost the ball. One of those times, he was able to scramble on the floor and pushed it to another blue shirt.
      On defense, Melo played tough as well, but he committed some bad fouls.
      But no matter how one critiques him, this team desperately needs his scoring, and also the threat of him, for others to score.
      Murry has been a very nice find. He shows moments of real improvement and his arm length and strength appears to bother opposing guards. The guy deserves minutes.
      And as rough as Stat can be at times, he was very important last night. I wish his hands were better, but he’s a real threat on the block and he still is a very good mid-range shooter. And honestly, his D was good. Couple blocks, couple nice helps.
      Last night Bargs was exactly what he needs to be. He gets the occasional shot, drives, ala another Italian we used to have, and when he stays in the paint is helpful. He has had a few nights where his +/- was the best on the team, and mostly they come when he plays within the flow and isn’t featured.
      Last, JR as a facilitator was very useful last night. He’s dangerous enough a scorer that the defense must react, but he was kicking to great effect.
      Team found mojo last night. Hope it stays.

    4. On the Spurs 3s, Shump said at half it was their plan to give up some threes to keep the Spurs out of the paint, and, honestly, it worked. Duncan wasn’t a force and Ginobli had to practically kill himself to get to the glass. It was nice to see the Knicks actually attack the attacker.
      In most cases, you can live with denying the paint and absorbing some threes, if you paint defense is effective. Last night, it was and the Spurs hot hand outside the arch faded late…except for the other Italian. But even he missed a late 3. You had a sense he was going to eventually miss.

    5. Yesterday was like the bizzaro Knicks. JR played a great floor game , Shump was making open 3s with confidence(still cant make layups lol) , Melo was letting the game come to him and facilitating quite nicely(shoulda had 2-3 more assists on the PnR with Amare) except for a small stretch of iso Melo. Woody played good rotations while keeping Tysons mins low. It woulda hurt to lose that one ala the Indy game so im glad they pulled it out. Hopefully we can build. Too bad the Nets won tho …Stupid Joe Johnson

    6. My favorite Play last night was in the 4th, I believe, where they were trying to post Melo and S.A. tried to deny the entry so much that Danny Green completely left his man to help out which left Sump wide open to receive the pass from Beno for 3.

    7. Obviously Shumpert is the story here. Nice game kid! Just take what the defense gives and don’t hesitate. JR as facilitator and overall stat stuffer was a nice revelation as well. Actually good two guard play really makes a difference!

      We won despite getting two defensive rebounds from our PF’s. Amazingly we out-rebounded them 40-34, though. Shump and JR did a nice job helping out on the boards. Making 9-17 from three really helped and we beat an excellent team who had all their guys and played their game. Chandler really played Duncan well. Splitter missed some bunnies.

      Jowles, would you still trade Anthony strait up for him? Hey, 3-6 and 10-20 both equal 50% right?

    8. And that’s factorial!

      I know that efg% gives players a bump for difficulty of shot. Should Splitter’s two 1st quarter misses from 6 inches away make the 3-6 count more like a 3-7?

    9. Carmelo, career WS/48 .135
      Splitter, career WS/48 .186

      Carmelo salary 22 million
      Splitter salary 10 million

      Now, Carmelo’s WS/48 is dragged down by the fact that he put up crappy numbers as a prodigious neophyte. And WS doesn’t capture all the intangibles Melo brings to the table. Tiago, because he’s not a star who shoots a lot has all his value accurately captured in box score stats, so he gets no bonus. So let’s say Melo is really more productive than Splitter. Is he 12 million dollars more productive?

    10. You dont build around Splitter and you do around Anthony. So yes he is 12 million more productive on and off the court.

      btw it helps to play with 3 hall of famers and one of the best coaches of all time

    11. DRed — Any statistic that puts Splitter in the same conversation as Melo in terms of how many wins he contributes to his team is fatally flawed on its face. Last season, the Knicks were well below .500 in the games that Melo missed and played over .700 ball when he was in the lineup. If Splitter got hurt and missed 20 games, do you really think that the Spurs record would suffer even the slightest during that 20 game stretch? My bet is that they would win about 2/3 of their games during the time that he was out, just like they have won about 2/3 of their games during the entire 17 years that Duncan has been in the league. Put another way, Splitter is, at best, the 5th most important player on that team. Melo is by far the most important player on the Knicks and last year, when they won 54 games, he came in 2nd in the league in the MVP vote so, yes, there is absolutely no doubt that Melo is worth well more than twice what Splitter is worth.

    12. You dont build around Splitter and you do around Anthony. So yes he is 12 million more productive on and off the court.

      That makes no sense. You could, if you wanted to, build a team around Tiago Splitter just like you’d build one around Carmelo Anthony. Deciding to “build around” a particular player does not make that player 12 million dollars more valuable.

    13. Melo is by far the most important player on the Knicks and last year, when they won 54 games, he came in 2nd in the league in the MVP vote so, yes, there is absolutely no doubt that Melo is worth well more than twice what Splitter is worth.

      What about this year? We’ve won 10 games so far. Is Carmelo still the second most valuable player in the league?

    14. That makes no sense. You could, if you wanted to, build a team around Tiago Splitter just like you’d build one around Carmelo Anthony. Deciding to “build around” a particular player does not make that player 12 million dollars more valuable.

      —-YOU could build around Splitter. Not many other ppl would, he is not a game changer. Im sorry there is no way to quantify that with all of these new found advanced stats but i would like to hope that the eye test still exists to some extent. Also like i said off court marketing is more lucrative with Melo. So he would be worth more anyway just off court

    15. What about this year? We’ve won 10 games so far. Is Carmelo still the second most valuable player in the league?

      This is the classic WOW strategy* when arguing this. When Kevin Love doesn’t make the playoffs ever despite being the greatest player in history, it’s blamed on his teammates and their negative WP or whatever. When Carmelo’s teams don’t advance far into the playoffs, it’s his fault, and why doesn’t he pass to Landry Fields (who will choose not to shoot the open 3 but instead pass it back to him with 2 seconds left on the clock)?

      *I don’t mean you in particular – just others that argue for WOW in general.

    16. Look at WS, WP, XPPS, Regularized Adjusted Plus/Minus-they all say Splitter is roughly as productive as our man Melo. Now, no single stat is going to tell you everything. But it seems to me to at least suggest that it’s not crazy to think that Carmleo is not twice as productive as Tiago, even though Carmelo finished really high in last years MVP voting and you can say something meaningless like “he’s a game changer you can build a team around” about Carmelo without most people laughing at you.

    17. This is the classic WOW strategy* when arguing this.

      Frank-it’s a response to “Last season, the Knicks were well below .500 in the games that Melo missed and played over .700 ball when he was in the lineup.” I think it is fair to note in response that this season the Knicks are well below .500 in the games that Melo has played.

    18. DRed — You must be bored today. The Knicks have 10 wins. How many do you think that they would have if Melo had been hurt all year? With the rest of the team playing as crappy as they have played this year, probably no more than 3. What if the Knicks had Splitter instead of Melo? Would they have more than 3 wins? Probably not. The Spurs have 25 wins this year. How many do you think that they would have if Splitter had been hurt all year? Probably 25. Seriously, Duncan, Ginobuli, Parker, Leonard, probably Green and definitely Popovich are all much more important to their success than Splitter. You realize that Splitter plays 21 minutes a game, right? If he was really that good, don’t you think that a bright guy like Popovich would play him a little more than that? And it’s not like he’s a young guy with loads of upside potential. He’s already 29. I was stunned when Splitter signed his contract last year. I realize that centers are routinely overpaied but, in my opinion, he is an MLE player.

    19. By the way, I’m trying to picture the GM of the Clippers going to Chris Paul and saying, “You’re not going to believe this but the Knicks called today and offered to give us Melo for 2 draft picks but I turned them down. Do you know why? Because I turned around and traded those 2 picks for… are you sitting down because this is good… TIAGO SPLITTER!!” And Chris Paul saying, “C’mon man. Don’t toy with me. You didn’t get Tiago. That’s too good to be true. Tiago Splitter?! Yahoo!! We’re going all the way!!”

    20. Splitter is a very good basketball player. He had a 10 year career in Spain where he was the league MVP and was on the first or second all-league team repeatedly.

      I think that the Knicks would have 10 wins at this point if they had started the season with Splitter on the roster instead of Anthony. (That’s not saying much. 10 wins is 10 wins, which is a terrible number any way you look at it, but I don’t think they would have less.) Anthony and his end-of-game antics have lost more games for the Knicks this year than he’s won for them. That’s not Carmelo-Hating, that’s just the way it’s been this year (factorial!?). If you’re going to take up 40% of the salary cap, and 90% of final-minute possessions, you have to be judged fairly on what you accomplish for your team, and in this regard Anthony has been notably bad (even his most noted defender here has acknowledged it).

      As for Splitter, if didn’t play with 3 greats and a hall of fame coach, he’d still be able to make a strong impact in the league. He has a long career of success. He’s not the product of the San Antonio system.

      Comparing the relative values of Anthony and Splitter is not ludicrous in my view. (Though the imagined conversation between the Clippers GM and Chris Paul is kind of funny:)

    21. I wonder if the knicks will employ the same ‘pack in the paint’ defense they employed against the Spurs.
      The Spurs actually have the highest 3pt shooting percentage in the league.
      The Rockets can hit the 3 as well, but it’s their penetration that does so much damage.
      I think the over on Harden’s trips to the line tonight could be as high as 15.

    22. Comparing the relative values of Anthony and Splitter is not ludicrous in my view.

      No, it is ludicrous. They are completely different players with completely different jobs. Anthony’s job has a MUCH greater degree of difficulty. Splitter might be a great guy to start a team with. Anthony might be a poor candidate for a max deal but this is beside the point. I have respect for Jowles but he said he’d simply replace Anthony with Splitter on the Knicks. He may be right. He’s smarter than me about basketball and does more research than me but I just think that this particular point is funny because it’s a ridiculous sounding conclusion.

      After last nights game I thought it was a worthwhile point for me to make with Splitter missing bunnies and Anthony being, like, the best player on the floor and everything. I mean, did Splitter win the individual battle with Anthony last night? Maybe so? Am I missing something? What do the advanced statistics say?

    23. @21 — I realize that Splitter had an amazing career in Spain, which is why, when he came to the NBA, I was expecting him to be a stud. Now, when I watch him play, I think to myself, “How in the world was this guy ever considered to be a star?” (although I will acknowledge that that one pass he made was downright Walton-esque) I go back to what I said in an earlier post — if he is that good, why is the smartest coach in the league only playing him 21 minutes a night, especially when the only other competent big man on their roster is about 97 years old and Popovich is trying desperately to limit his minutes?

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