Knicks Morning News (2014.03.09)

  • [New York Times] American Breaks 20-Year Spanish Three-Point Record (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 08:26:44 GMT)

    American point guard Jacob Pullen set a Spanish league record for most three-pointers in a game when he drained 12 in Barcelona’s 111-66 victory at Valladolid on Saturday, beating the previous best of 11 set by Oscar Schmidt 20 years ago.    

  • [New York Times] Clippers Outlast Hawks for 7th Straight Win (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 05:29:52 GMT)

    Blake Griffin had 27 points and eight rebounds, Chris Paul added 19 points, including a go-ahead layup in the final minute, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Atlanta Hawks 109-108 on Saturday night for their season-high seventh straight victory.    

  • [New York Times] Intrigue Over Jackson Continues to Percolate (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 04:37:31 GMT)

    Phil Jackson won 11 championships as a coach but has never been a front-office executive. That could change.    

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Spurs’ Streak Reaches 6 (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 03:52:22 GMT)

    Tony Parker had 30 points as the host San Antonio Spurs overcame the Orlando Magic, 121-112.    

  • [New York Times] Beal Scores 23 in Wizards 114-107 Win Over Bucks (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 03:41:53 GMT)

    Bradley Beal scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Washington Wizards avoid blowing a 28-point lead and beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-107 on Saturday night.    

  • [New York Times] Knicks 107, Cavaliers 97: Knicks Win Third Straight and Gain Ground in East (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 03:19:48 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points as the Knicks beat the Cavaliers and moved into a tie with Cleveland for 10th in the conference, three and a half games behind eighth-place Atlanta.    

  • [New York Times] Scorned but Still in Love, Cleveland Beckons James (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 03:17:39 GMT)

    LeBron James was at a Cavaliers home game on Saturday to honor a former teammate, but his visit fueled speculation about a possible return to the team he left in 2010.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs Beat Magic to Win 6th Straight (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 03:11:55 GMT)

    Tony Parker scored 30 points, Manu Ginobili added 24 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a lethargic performance to beat the Orlando Magic 121-112 on Saturday night.    

  • [New York Times] Grizzlies Pull Away in Second Half, Beat Bobcats (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 02:44:51 GMT)

    Mike Conley scored 20 points, Zach Randolph added 16 and the Memphis Grizzlies turned up their offense in the second half to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 111-89 on Saturday night.    

  • [New York Times] Anthony’s 26 Points Lead Knicks Past Cavs, 107-97 (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 02:38:52 GMT)

    On a night of celebration, there were two surprising, strange sights: LeBron James back on Cleveland’s bench. The Knicks back in the NBA playoff chase.    

  • [New York Times] Jazz End Skid, Send 76ers to 16th Straight Loss (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 02:11:52 GMT)

    Gordon Hayward scored 22 points, Alec Burks added 19 and the Utah Jazz beat Philadelphia 104-92 on Saturday night, sending the 76ers to their 16th consecutive loss.    

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks hold off Cavs for third straight win as Big Z’s No. 11 retired (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 07:00:40 GMT)

    The Knicks came out flat in the third quarter following a lengthy halftime ceremony to honor LeBron James’ former teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas –- blowing yet another double-digit lead — before they persevered for an important 107-97 win over the Cavaliers.    

  • [New York Daily News] Lupica: Knicks holding out for a savior (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 06:51:51 GMT)

    There was barely a story written six years ago when Donnie Walsh was hired to be the new front-office savior of the Knicks — even if Donnie always said he wasn’t some kind of savior — that didn’t include the word “autonomy.”    

  • [New York Daily News] Lord of the Rings: Knicks plan is to have Phil show off hardware to recruit free agents (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 06:28:57 GMT)

    When Phil Jackson is standing in front of a top-tier free agent, the Knicks want him to begin his recruiting pitch with an old Pat Riley trick; throw all of his rings on the table. All 13, in fact.    

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: LeBron jets home for old Cavs mate (Sun, 09 Mar 2014 05:42:02 GMT)

    The Cavaliers were honoring one of his former teammates Saturday night, and LeBron James made sure his presence didn’t steal the show.    

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    57 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.03.09)”

    1. One of these stories (the 2nd to last one) touches upon my biggest fear of the Phil Jackson rumors. Already there is talk about him being hired to lure big name free agents in, as basically a prop to lend some credibility to our pathetic front office. If this isa plan, it is most disheartening. What we need is a philosophical shift, not more tricks to attempt to get better at a failed strategy (the big free agent thing).
      The Heat have in some way been a success. they have 2 championship, but could easily have 0. Either way, I dont see a Lebron in his prime type player coming around for free agency that often. that person can only choose one team by the way. Sitting around and waiting for an aging phil jackson to show off rings to dominant free agents is not a strategy. I can only hope the plan isnt to have phil jackson show off rings to non-dominant players like Kevin Love, or Deron Williams, or Demarcus Cousins, etc, so that we may have the right to pay them max money. that is not a winning strategy either.
      What we need is a smart rebuild. A rebuild that includes growing young talent, keeping our draft picks, accumulating assets (as opposed to bad contracts), and making our roster (not our presidents hardware) attractive to free agents.
      If an aging Phil Jackson is down for that, Im down for him. If not, its just more of the same, just with a better pitchman.

    2. Having the cache to command awe and respect in major free agents is always a nice thing to have even if we can agree that maxing out Love and Rondo next to Melo isn’t a great route to winning a championship. What would be different about this and our 2010 plan is that Jackson is not taking this job without assurances being made that all personnel decisions would be subject to his approval without Dolan’s meddling. If Dolan is actually willing to give Jackson that kind of power to wield as the overlord of the Knicks front office is a massive step.

      I also believe Jackson wouldn’t be a starry eyed executive desperate to make a free agent splash at the cost of building a legitimate contender in New York and that he would have the gravitas and latitude to mold a team as he sees fit. Jackson also seems like somebody more than comfortable surrounding himself with competent subordinates and allowing them to operate in their roles with freedom, taking in their opinions and ultimately formulating decisions based on all of that. Maybe it’s just my desperation for anything positive as a Knicks fan, but I’m having a very hard time seeing negatives to hiring Jackson.

    3. Dude, it would be the best move the Knicks have made since I’ve been watching (about ’94), regardless of how it ultimately works out. Every move that could ever be made is a risk. Trying to find the new sexy GM is a risk. This as sure a bet as you can make.

      Seriously, knick fans everywhere unanimously agree that Dolan’s meddling is the number one reason the Knicks have sucked. The team W-L record since he’s been the owner proves that. We are talking about him having full control of basketball operations. Essentially swapping Dolan’s brain for Phil’s when it comes to Knick things basketball. It’s exactly what fans have been clamoring for: Hire a good basketball mind and step the fuck back.

    4. Phil Jackson is not coming here to be some prop dummy flashing his 11 rings at potential free agents (although the rings can’t hurt!) and to let Dolan continue to make basketball decisions. The man has a massive ego and a platinum reputation, and he doesn’t need this job. The only way he would take it is if he had 100% decision making autonomy; if that ever changed, he’d be gone in a second.

    5. Also completely random but what are James, Wade and Bosh doing this summer? Lebron I believe I read is opting out, but what about the other two?

    6. Phil Jackson is a genius. There is no other way to explain his greatness. He knows good talent and he knows how to use it. If he were given complete control of personnel and allowed to coach the team — and this is important — given a five-year contract which could be terminated only by Jackson, or due to an extreme circumstance like sexually harassing a female employed by MSG, I believe that the Knicks could be in the conference finals by year 5.

      Will that happen? Absolutely not. You may not think good things about the Knicks so long as JD is calling the straight shots.

      Don’t bother being optimistic. That’s my humble advice to all of you. Enjoy individual wins but do not expect competent management to ever reign in MSG. They got lucky with some undervalued pieces (cough cough Jason Kidd) last season and were predictably dumb in last season’s wake. There was not a single good offseason move, and that should be expected from this group.

      But best of all, Jackson probably won’t end up coming here. That means at least another half-seaosn of Woodson, followed by disorganized chaos with an interim and another lottery showing (which will be traded away to bring in Demar Derozan or something).

      Don’t be optimistic about these rumors. It will never be good to be a Knicks fan so long as Dolan is alive.

      (Also, I loved Popovich’s comments about not coaching his team. Loved it. Another management genius, right there.)

    7. Yup, too good to be true. It would be nice if Jackson shot down the rumors. But now on day 3 it makes me think there’s a real possibility. But then again, why the leak if he was just thinking about it.

    8. Berman’s article today says PJ wouldnt even have full autonomy:

      “According to an report, the position’s title could be president of basketball operations. But a league source said, despite the fancy moniker, Jackson wouldn’t be usurping the current power of new president/general manager Steve Mills.”

      It basically says PJ doesnt want to have to move to NY and live there full time and put in the amount of hours it takes to truly run the entire basketball operation. Like Isola has tweeted already, if PJ does sign with the Knicks it will likely end just as bad as all Knick hirings end up being unfortunately.


      Ultimately though it sounds like basketball related decisions would fall under Jackson. There’s no way Jackson is going to take an official role within the Knicks front office without having a certain level of autonomy in personnel decisions. I feel like at this point the Knicks simply hired Steve Mills to find his own replacement because Dolan wasn’t happy with Grunwald.

    10. “According to an report, the position’s title could be president of basketball operations. But a league source said, despite the fancy moniker, Jackson wouldn’t be usurping the current power of new president/general manager Steve Mills.”

      Well that would certainly be a disappointment. I’d be surprised if he went for that, though. Like everyone else has been saying, why would he?

    11. Hasn’t he been an advisor for the pistons? Was that only for the coaching position or was that for FAs and other stuff too?

    12. It was just for the coaching search, because Phil Jackson is friends with lots of billionaires, including the guy who bought the Pistons.

    13. Hahahaha. There should be an article headlined as “Billionaire Bro” with Gores holding that pose.

    14. I don’t know- Jackson is nearly 70, ran one system his whole career (one the Knicks are unlikely to run unless he coaches), and has never been a GM and done the kind of long range planning/dealt with the tricky cap issues needed to turn a franchise around. He’s also kind of an egotistical dick and if things got off to a rocky start it could wind up being an ugly media circus. I’d love him to coach but that’s not happening. He would certainly have some value in that he’s a real basketball guy who would presumably have the power to say no to Dolan but I’d rather try to find a young, smart GM and actually let him do his job than bring Jackson in.

    15. I agree, nicos, but I think a guy like Jax is the only one that Dolan would actually give that much power to, so I’d rather have a decent GM with total autonomy than a good one with Dolan micro-managing.

    16. Watching the Bulls game and you just have to Love Noah. Amazing how far he has come and how people didn’t think he would be a good nba player.

    17. Who wouldn’t you want to play with Noah?

      No one wants to play against him….

      I love Noah. And he just played, as Wally would say, a TREMENDOUS game….

    18. 20 pts., 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 blocks, 1 turnover.

      And people still think Dwight Howard is the best center in the NBA? C’mon.

    19. I’d rather try to find a young, smart GM and actually let him do his job than bring Jackson in.

      I believe the technical term for this is: pipe-dream.

    20. When Noah came into the league, he was accused in the press of “fake hustle.” I read many articles and posts with unattributed sources saying that Noah’s pony tail flying around created the false impression that Noah was working harder than other players.

      At this point, it is safe to say that Noah’s “high motor” is a real skill, and something he has not lost as a veteran. When a 7′ 250 lb player gives that level of effort, he makes good things happen for his team.

    21. Watching Noah I realize how scary good Anthony Davis is going to be if he continues on this trajectory

    22. Here’s Atlanta’s schedule:

      @ Utah
      vs Milwaukee
      vs Denver
      @ Charlotte
      vs Toronto
      vs New Orleans
      @ Toronto
      vs Phoenix
      @ Minnesota
      vs Portland
      @ Washington
      vs Philadelphia
      vs Chicago
      vs Cleveland
      @ Indiana
      vs Detroit
      vs Boston
      @ Brooklyn
      vs Miami
      vs Charlotte
      @ Milwaukee

      That’s at least twelve losses left for them, so 9-12 (and possibly more losses).

      If that’s the case, the Knicks would just have to go 10-7 in their last 17.

      vs Philadelphia
      @ Boston
      vs Milwaukee
      vs Indiana
      @ Philadelphia
      vs Cleveland
      @ Los Angeles
      @ Sacramento
      @ Phoenix
      @ Golden State
      @ Utah
      vs Brooklyn
      vs Washington
      @ Miami
      @ Toronto
      vs Chicago
      @ Brooklyn
      vs Toronto

      That’s seven very likely wins for the Knicks, eight if you count Cleveland. Then they just need two more wins.

      They can totally do this.

      Making the playoffs would be so great, if only to keep Denver from getting a lottery pick.

    23. Dolan does cede power to those he trusts. He gave Isiah a blank check to do whatever he pleased. For some reason Dolan trusts some people more than others, and I guess he though Isiah’s NBA championships as a player trumped Donnie Walsh’s Fordham Law degree.

      Phil, obviously, has the rings, as both a player and a coach, so I can see a world where he comes in and Dolan disappears again.

      That said, what on earth is Phil Jackson going to be able to do as President of Basketball Operations to get himself anther ring? Recruit Kevin Love by instituting a “winning tradition”? That seems like the best case scenario, which isn’t horrible, but there’s no way Phil thinks the Knicks are just one piece away from a dynasty.

      I’d feel better about this is I thought Jackson would come in and say “we need to blow this shit up”, but I don’t think that’s what Dolan is hiring him to do. More likely, Jackson will be the guy with the rings while Steve Mills does the day to day stuff. Kind of like how ex-presidents and governors join law firms and get paid a lot just for the business their names bring in. Needless to say they don’t practice a whole lot of law in these roles :(

    24. Btw, I don’t think a Melo “discount” to stay in NY would make a lick of difference. The extra $5 mil in cap space in 2015 could open access to some players, but there is nobody available in 2015 that puts this squad into a top tier.

      Melo at $20 mil could lead to this lineup: Melo, Love, Rondo, Hardaway, Minimum Priced C

      Melo at $25 mil could lead to this lineup: Melo, Jennings, Smith, Girdon, Tyreke Evans.

      One may be slightly better, but neither look particularly threatening to the league.

      If there was a perfect compliment to Melo available in 2015, then I’d understand. But Kevin Love is the worst superstar to pair with him. He’d be a great replacement for Melo, but a redundant teammate. (Too bad that guy who plays C in Chicago isn’t available–he’d be a perfect compliment to Anthony!)

    25. I don’t see why you’d bother to bring Jackson in if the plan is to just do the same stupid shit you always do. I mean, I can see why Dolan would want to do it, but I can’t imagine why Jax would agree to that.

      Jax may not be an experienced GM, but he knows the game of basketball as well as anybody on the planet. He knows you can’t run a bunch of shitty defensive players out there and expect to win. He knows you’ll need good two-way players, and that those kinds of players don’t grow on trees. And he has to know there is no viable quick fix when it comes to rebuilding this team. I just don’t believe Phil Jackson is going to come here to preside over some half-assed Melo/Rajon Rondo rebuild. There’s nothing in it for him.

    26. If PJ comes in with complete control over personnel decisions I doubt we seriously go after Kevin Love in 2015 unless Melo leaves and/or Dolan once again hijacks another GM. Left up to Jackson I think he would allocate our resources in a reasonable way around Melo rather than pushing all our chips into the middle of the table for a team that’s a perennial second round exit.

    27. I can’t believe I’m rooting for Boston tonight…ick. But…Let’s Go Celtics!

    28. I’m amazed that Tommy Heinson is still broadcasting. If you reversed allof Clyde’s positive habits, you would get Heinson. Tommy does not do yoga, he does shots.

      He also is an egregious homer. I still recall Tommy comparing Dee Brown to JoJo White.

    29. The other thing is if we land PJ it will give JR a smoke buddy. So we’ve got that going for us which is nice.

    30. Westbrook played about as badly as you can play. The contrast with Noah was pretty striking. What a terrible game….

    31. Detroit played the first quarter like Bad JR.

      I really hope Josh Smith does not become a Knick. He is an infuriating mix if talent, low motor and low basketball IQ.

    32. Tommy Heinson just announced that he expects two Celtics to become “special players”: Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk.

      Now that’s a homer.

    33. I love Westbrook on defense and in transition…..

      But his tendency to take over an offense can be pretty destructive….

    34. Westbrook for Love makes the Thunder the best team in the NBA next season. Any guard in the league could do better than Westbrook did tonight.

      And Meeks for 42 points on 18 FGA. Who created those shots? That’s what I want to know. Couldn’t be Meeks.

    35. If OKC’s knocked out in 2nd round, would you make this trade?

      Melo/Chandler/THJ for Westbrook/Ibaka/Perkins

      Westbrook/Ibaka/Shump would make a nice defensive core.

    36. No. Doesn’t bring the Knicks any closer to anything significant. Why make a move like that just because it can be argued it’s fair value?

    37. The Pistons and the Pelicans need to make a trade. Sign and trade of Monroe for Gordon improves both teams.

    38. The Celtics are shooting lights out. It also helps that Detroit is just conceding wide open three after wide open three.

    39. Dolan is only interested in Jackson so he can have someone to take the heat when Melo walks for bupkis at the end of the season

    40. Dolan is only interested in Jackson so he can have someone to take the heat when Melo walks for bupkis at the end of the season

      Don’t get me wrong, Dolan is a moron. That a man that foolish should be so rich is an insult. But, and maybe I’m reaching here, but even he can’t be that stupid to think that plan would actually work. Further, even if Dolan is that stupid, Jackson isn’t.

    41. Clearly I’m still bitter but anything that goes against David West I am a fan of. Also today has been a glorious Sunday. I’ve got a bit of a break from a crazy work schedule so basically just been chiefing and watching NBA all day and man there has been and still is a ton of great basketball today.

      Anthony Davis is one of my three favorite players to watch in the league. 32 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 6 blocks. Just ridiculous what this kid is doing at age 20.

    42. Joakim Noah is the 2nd most underrated center in the league, next to Andrea Bargnani.
      -James Dolan

    43. Westbrook has been injured or recovering most of the year. Because Westbrook and Durant are both so ball-dominant, it’s not clear they fit well together. An early playoff loss could open OKC to a shake-up. Love for Westbrook works salary-wise. Minnesota gets 4 years of Westbrook. OKC gets an offensive juggernaut.

    44. @ephus
      It’s tough to say whether moving Westbrook for Love is a great play. Love has an opt our earlier than Westbrook who they extended before his injury. They essentially chose to keep Westbrook over Harden so I think that’s an indication that Presti believes that Westbrook does form an effective duo alongside Durant to build along. I think it would take a catastrophic exit for OKC to move on from Westbrook this season. Also I don’t know if OKC would make that trade without a guarantee that Love would opt in to his contract for the 2015-16 season and I’m sure that while playing for a winning franchise would make it more likely for Love to stay with the Thunder he may still want to become a free agent and see what else is out there.

    45. I’m not totally convinced of the whole Phil Jackson thing getting splashed around. I would like for it to happen, but won’t be too surprised if it doesn’t.

      I don’t think him signing as GM would be a gimmick as suggested above. I can see why you would think that, but I think he would bring a lot more to the table than a flashy name to wheel out when suiting FA’s. I think it would be good to get someone in that has actually been around winning cultures for much of his career. I also think he has more sense than to just go all in on ridiculous deals. The only thing is, does he have a enough clout for Dolan to appreciate that the man knows what he is doing and just sit back and sign the cheques? I think that would have to be the biggest hurdle for him to join i.e. having final say on transactions.

    46. Based on Stephen A. Smith’s comments this morning, I really suspect Phil Jackson is using the Knicks as leverage in the Lakers’ drama.

    47. It’s funny, I was trying to think of how Melo would come up with a reason for returning, and now the Knicks might be bringing in Phil Jackson. It all fits!

    48. Stephen A. said this morning on Mike & Mike that the prospect of Phil Jackson going to NY was putting pressure on Los Angeles to resolve the questions of whether Phil Jackson and/or Jeannie Buss would be brought back into the Lakers front office. He cited Jerry Buss’s dying wish that Jimmy Buss run the team and the high esteem for Kupchak as two things that were pushing Jackson towards New York.

      I think Jackson believes there is one more chapter to be written for him in LA.

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