Knicks Morning News (2014.04.04)

  • [New York Daily News] Phil focused on Melo’s present with Knicks, not future (Fri, 04 Apr 2014 02:19:44 GMT)

    Phil Jackson believes there will be a better time for him to really sit down and talk at length with Carmelo Anthony about their potential future together with the Knicks.    

  • [New York Daily News] Jax says Knicks could give teams ‘trouble’ in playoffs (Fri, 04 Apr 2014 02:19:28 GMT)

    Phil Jackson’s first two weeks on the job as the new president and overseer of the Knicks have included three games he’s attended in person.    

  • [New York Times] Mavericks Beat Clippers 113-107 Behind Nowitzki (Fri, 04 Apr 2014 05:40:14 GMT)

    Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points, Jose Calderon added 19 and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Clippers for the first time this season, 113-107 on Thursday night.    

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing: Spurs’ Win Streak Ends (Fri, 04 Apr 2014 05:16:21 GMT)

    Kevin Durant scored 28 points to help the host Oklahoma City Thunder defeat San Antonio, 106-94, on Thursday, ending the Spurs’ winning streak at 19 games.    

  • [New York Times] Durant, Thunder End Spurs’ 19-Game Win Streak (Fri, 04 Apr 2014 04:37:07 GMT)

    Kevin Durant scored 28 points to help the host Oklahoma City Thunder defeat San Antonio, 106-94, on Thursday, ending the Spurs’ winning streak at 19 games.    

  • [New York Times] Phil Jackson Praises Knicks’ Energy, Saying They’re ‘Playing With Purpose’ (Fri, 04 Apr 2014 02:20:39 GMT)

    Jackson, who has watched the Knicks win 12 of 15 games, acknowledged their inconsistency but said they looked strong down the stretch.    

  • [New York Post] J.R. Smith steps up in playoffs pursuit (Fri, 04 Apr 2014 00:48:27 -0400)

    As Phil Jackson discussed everything just short of his favorite recipe for key lime pie Thursday, the conversation turned to suggestions the Knicks could be dangerous in the playoffs. Jackson…

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    Mike Kurylo

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

    32 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.04.04)”

    1. UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT!!
      We absolutely hafta show up against the Wiz tonight. The ATL-CLE tilt has the feeling of an Atlanta win to me. So if making the playoffs and somehow saving face is the goal, I think tonight is a must win.

    2. Raise your hand if, one month ago, you thought that the Knicks would be playing basketball tonight that mattered for any reason other than to find out what the team has in Aldrich, Tyler and Murray. My hand is certainly not up. I for one can’t believe that they are playing relevant basketball going into the last week of the season. This has really been a bizarre year. Look back at the results for the whole season. The Knicks didn’t have a single 15 game stretch during which they were just mediocre. They were either very good or very bad for extended periods. I could see them going undefeated for the rest of the season, and I could also see them going winless.

    3. I’m pretty confident we won’t have a tough time with the Wizards tonight. This is still part of the prelude.

      At Miami Sunday is more important than people think, in my opinion. I think it’s a winnable game. Miami may not rest guys but I don’t expect them to be in peak Miami form. And I think it’s vital that we help Indiana get the 1 seed, because otherwise we’re doing all this work just to lose 4 playoff games by 100 points.

      Call me crazy, but I see us winning this game handily and stealing a win Sunday.

    4. Raise your hand if, one month ago, you thought that the Knicks would be playing basketball tonight that mattered for any reason other than to find out what the team has in Aldrich, Tyler and Murray.

      Actually, if one month ago you told me that one month from today, either:

      A) We would still be in the race for the 8 seed in the worst conference in modern NBA history,

      or

      B) Woodson would be smart enough to give meaningful minutes to Aldrich, Tyler, and Murray in order to see what we have in some young players on the roster

      I would have thought A was a more reasonable projection.

    5. I’m with you Hubert. I mean I’m concerned about this game and that we could lose because that would just be very Knicksy of us, but this seems like a game we will win. I also think we’re going to be getting a favorable whistle in our remaining games, particularly at MSG. There is no way the NBA wants Atlanta in the 8 seed against Miami or Indiana when they could have the Knicks and have that series be a huge media bonanza.

      The game on Sunday in Miami I agree is bigger than people are letting on either. I mean at this point with how tight the race is, I think every game is a must win. The Hawks may be in tank mode, but they’re still playing Millsap and Korver big minutes, so until they shut them down with some mysterious injuries of some sort I’m not going to assume they’ll just drop games for the sake of it.

    6. I think that just the fact that these games are still full of meaning is a boon to Knicks fans (given the first half of the season).

      Anyway, I think we just need three other wins to get in. Also, we still have to witness the usual Melo explosion in April. The only two guys who really really worry me are Felton and Chandler. If Chandler is focused, we still have one of the best goalies and offensive rebounders of the league. If Felton is focused, we still have one of the worst point guard in the league but he won’t limp around like a penguin on drugs, which is still something. But if those two have a bad night, effort-wise, we can be in trouble even against Phila and Milwaukee, go figure Brooklyn or Toronto or Miami or even Washington.

    7. At least they’re playing meaningful (sort of) games down the stretch. I don’t know how anyone can be confident in the Knicks going up against a team starting John Wall and MVP candidate Bradley Beal.

    8. I think the Wizards are likely to show up on a clinching playoff berth hangover like the Nets did on Wednesday night. I also think Melo is bound to go off on an April tear like he has the last 3 seasons with the Knicks.

    9. If given a choice of either Melo explosion in which he shoots 25-30 shots and scores efficiently or a team effort where Amare, JR , Melo and JR are splitting the load and each scoring 18 – 22 points I would much rather prefer the latter.

      I feel when Melo goes into his Me-First mode, the rest of the team loses its offensive and even defensive aggressiveness.

      I am all in for Melo going off, and feel when the ball finds him and he’s hitting his shots in stride after a couple of passes, everyone feels involved and is more passionate as opposed to just standing around watching.

      Watching somewhat equal contribution from Amare, JR Melo and crew has been the most satisfying part of this hot streak for myself.

    10. Yeah I agree balance is better, but I was hoping Melo would go off on one of his crazy catch and shoot explosions, versus pound down the shot clock and score in isolation type effort.

    11. Also, isn’t it nice to know that, with Phil Jackson in charge, making the playoffs won’t earn Woodson an extension?

    12. Also, isn’t it nice to know that, with Phil Jackson in charge, making the playoffs won’t earn Woodson an extension?

      I wonder what the public choice would be on the below:
      A. Defeat the Heat in the first round + Woodson being coach next year.
      B. Embarrasing sweep to Heat + No More Woodson

      At first i quickly said B however after imagining the bliss of a 7 game series with Heat with a ulitmate insane upset, I was Torn.

    13. I wonder what the public choice would be on the below:
      A. Defeat the Heat in the first round + Woodson being coach next year.
      B. Embarrasing sweep to Heat + No More Woodson

      I can’t understand how anyone would not pick A. The only way I would consider B is if you said 100% chance we lost in the 2nd round. The reality is that if we did somehow slip past the first round in that scenario we would have a real chance of going on a ’99 like run to the finals. No way would I consider giving that chance up just to be rid of Woodson.

      But I also think the chances of us beating Miami in the first round are extremely, extremely low, even with how well we’ve been playing lately and how well we have done against them the last few years. Indiana is way more realistic (unlikely, but realistic).

    14. Oooh, good question, Garcon. Beating the Heat somehow would be really enjoyable. And with or without Woodson I don’t think the Knicks are competing for a title next year. I dunno. It’s probably better for the franchise long term to get in a coach who is on the same page with Phil, so I’d go embarrassing sweep + no more Woodson.

    15. The only way I would consider B is if you said 100% chance we lost in the 2nd round.

      I agree… if were going all the way… thats priceless. the scenerio i had in mind was a heat victory without a ultimate championship.

    16. If beating the Heat meant Mike Woodson would continue to be our coach, and being humiliated by the Heat meant we’d hire a real coach, I would choose humiliation 100,000 times in a row and never, ever, ever hesitate more than 1 second.

      It’s a no brainer to me.

      The only circumstance in which I would ever consider having Woodson back is if he beat the Heat, then the Bulls, then the Pacers, then the Spurs.

      EDIT: Whoa, that’s almost precisely the same route as in ’99. And the only team that doesn’t match has the same team colors. Twilight Zone music.

    17. If you read these threads it’s like a virtuous / vicious circle…we get on a nice streak and someone says there is no way we will lose to the Cavs @ home, or there is no way we lose to the Lakers w/o Kobe and Pau and Nash. The Wizards are way better than both those teams. Not saying we won’t win, but part of what makes these guys the Knicks this year is that I have no idea what will happen game to game…none. Yes, if JR plays well and we play good PnR defense, and Hardaway’s shot is on and Felton doesn’t self destruct we can beat anyone….but.

    18. Also John wall is basically Knicks krytonite at this point. Lighting quick PG who attacks the paint relentlessly out of PnR? We know how that story goes.

    19. Also John wall is basically Knicks krytonite at this point. Lighting quick PG who attacks the paint relentlessly out of PnR? We know how that story goes.

      Given how well JR is playing as pseudo-PG, I wonder whether we’ll see some PG-less lineups out there with Shump, JR, Melo, THJ or Amare, and Chandler. That would let us stick Shump on Wall where he belongs.

    20. I’d take a repeat of 99 no problem. Getting slaughtered by the spurs in the finals would be a miraculous finish for this team.

    21. I can’t open it (ESPN is blocked at my office).

      Let me guess: Larry Drew. And…holy shit I can’t believe they ranked him 28th. That’s an insult. I would have been inclined to say Mike Brown, but not after watching him work Woodson like a punching bag last month.

      Jacque Vaughn? He at least has being a novice as his excuse. Mike Malone?

      Someone enlighten me. What idiots did ESPN incorrectly state are worse than Mike Woodson?

    22. @23 Hubert: Larry Drew is 29 and John Loyer is 30 (if it didn’t say “Pistons” I would have had no idea), Corbin is 27, Mike Brown is 26, and Sixers coach Brent Brown is 25, Wittman 24, Brian Shaw 23 and that’s as far as I glanced.
      Are there bonus points for the near triple crown of futility of owner, GM and coach?

    23. As much as I think Woodson should go, I think he does deserve some credit for this turnaround. I think he’s way better than Mike Brown or Ty Corbin. Not sure how you rank Brent Brown given they’ve been trying to lose all year.

    24. Frank, how do you figure? From my vantage point, we appear to be operating just as wretchedly as we were all year. We’ve just gotten offensive revivals from Amar’e and JR, and most of the league stopped trying once their fates became clear.

      What part of this turnaround do you ascribe to anything Woodson has instilled?

    25. Woodson has had an awful year but for his career he’s been a decent coach. Is he someone who’s going to take the team to another level, no, but his teams have generally played about as well as you’d expect them to. This year his rotations have been terrible (though I wonder if he didn’t have pressure from upstairs to start Bargnani) and his refusal to make any kind of adjustments defensively is certainly worth getting fired for. I’d still take him over Brown, Corbin, and Whitman but I’ll be very happy to see him go.

    26. “Not sure how you rank Brent Brown given they’ve been trying to lose all year.”
      One thing that I don’t understand is why the conventional wisdom is that Brad Stephens has done such a good job. The Celtics have pretty much stunk all year. I’m not saying that Stephens is a bad coach or that they are bad because of him, but I think that, so far, the best that you can give him is an incomplete. It might turn out that, when he has talent, he’s a great coach. It is also possible that he will be no better than Calipari when he tried to make the jump to the NBA.

    27. “(though I wonder if he didn’t have pressure from upstairs to start Bargnani)”
      Has anyone else notice that the Nets’ success has kind of coincided with Garnett’s absence? Could it be that, at this point in his career, Garnett is a huge net negative but Kidd couldn’t sit him down when he was healthy because, after all, he used to be Kevin Garnett?

    28. Also, if Bargnani were healthy, Woodson would be playing him, and there would be no turnaround.

      So other than fortunate injuries (again!) and a run of tanking/disinterested opponents, I’m really curious what you think Woodson has done to turn anything around. Everything looks pretty much the same to me.

      I give Melo a ton of credit, though. Dude never stopped working. Not for a minute. I think he’s displayed some admirable leadership this year.

    29. The coaches rank is just a mess. There just isn’t enough info to make any real judgements. A few stick out like sore thumbs to me:

      I like Spoelstra lot, but he’s an 8.4 and Mike Brown is a 3.6. Mike Brown had a heck of a lot of success when he was with Lebron also, and with a lot less talent. I bet if this list had been made 4 or 5 years ago Mike Brown is near the very top – and what changed has a lot more to do with his players than him. Where would Spoelstra be on this list if he’d been fired when Miami got off to the rocky start in year 1 of the Big 3 and was coaching the Pistons now?

      Brad Stevens in 11th. There are 3 teams with a worse record than Boston. There coaches are ranked 22nd, 25th, and 29th. Boston is tied with Utah who’s ranked 27th. I like some of what Stevens has done and I think there’s a pretty good chance he ends up being a good coach but it seems like he’s getting an awful lot of benefit of the doubt that isn’t being given to others in similar situations.

      And lastly: 10 of the top 11 are white. 4 of the bottom 5 and 6 of the bottom 9 are African American. In an environment like this where people are asked to rank with very low information I think a lot of people end up subconsciously falling back on ingrained prejudices. Brian Shaw’s team and Mike Budenholzer’s team have the same record. Both first year coaches. Both have dealt with some really tough injury issues. Both had excellent reputations as assistants. Bud ranked 14th, Shaw 23rd. Does make you wonder…

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