Knicks Morning News (2014.05.09)

  • [New York Times] Steven Adams Gets Under the Skin of Thunder Opponents (Fri, 09 May 2014 10:00:01 GMT)

    The Thunder’s Steven Adams, a rookie from New Zealand, annoys opponents with an energetic, physical style that reflects his rugby background.

  • [New York Times] Allen Comes Up Big _ Again _ for Heat in Playoffs (Fri, 09 May 2014 07:29:21 GMT)

    The latest Ray Allen playoff moment was not highlight-reel worthy. It will not have a catchy name like The Shot. It probably was forgotten seconds after it happened.

  • [New York Times] NBA-Spurs Stay Hot to Blaze Trail in Portland Series (Fri, 09 May 2014 07:08:14 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs continued their run of hot form to trounce the Portland Trail Blazers 114-97 on Thursday and take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semi-finals series.

  • [New York Times] Blazers Rattled by Snake in Locker Room (Fri, 09 May 2014 07:02:15 GMT)

    The Portland Trail Blazers had a snake in their locker room on Thursday. Not a backstabbing, treacherous team mate — a real live snake.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Roll to 2-0 Lead Over Trail Blazers (Fri, 09 May 2014 05:47:25 GMT)

    Portland coach Terry Stotts is running out of adjectives and analogies to describe the San Antonio Spurs’ dominance in the second quarter.

  • [New York Times] Heat 94, Nets 82: Coming Off Rout, Nets Adjust but Are Left Adrift (Fri, 09 May 2014 04:07:58 GMT)

    The Nets shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and had a 46-45 halftime lead, but the Heat pulled away in the fourth quarter to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

  • [New York Times] Heat Finding Other Ways to Score, Go 2-0 Up on Nets (Fri, 09 May 2014 04:05:19 GMT)

    The Miami Heat delivered another strong performance on defense to beat Brooklyn 94-82 on Thursday and take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven National Basketball Association Eastern Conference semi-final series.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Rather Than Buzz, the Nets Garner a Ho-Hum (Fri, 09 May 2014 03:54:57 GMT)

    The Nets have not yet established the intense rivalries or fan devotion that other teams enjoy.

  • [New York Times] Halfway There: Miami Tops Nets in Game 2, 94-82 (Fri, 09 May 2014 02:17:20 GMT)

    Strange as it sounds, missing shots worked wonders for the Miami Heat.

  • [New York Times] NBA-James Leads Heat to 2-0 Series Lead Over Nets (Fri, 09 May 2014 02:02:13 GMT)

    LeBron James scored 22 points as the Miami Heat beat the visiting Brooklyn Nets 94-82 and took a 2-0 lead in their National Basketball Association Eastern Conference semi-final on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] Sterling’s Wife Asserts Her Ownership Share (Fri, 09 May 2014 01:41:07 GMT)

    The N.B.A. is moving to strip Donald Sterling of his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, but Sterling’s wife, Rochelle, wants to keep her share of the team.

  • [New York Times] Snake Rattles Blazers in AT&T Center Locker Room (Fri, 09 May 2014 01:32:20 GMT)

    The Portland Trail Blazers were clearly rattled by the San Antonio Spurs in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals, and they were almost snake bit before Game 2.

  • [New York Daily News] Raissman: TNT may tab ex-Warriors coach Jackson to replace Kerr (Fri, 09 May 2014 03:47:21 GMT)

    In the eyes of some viewers, as soon as Steve Kerr takes a coaching job, he will go from being one of the NBA’s top analysts to running a team they despise.

  • [New York Daily News] Kerr to decide between Knicks and Warriors by Monday (Fri, 09 May 2014 03:36:55 GMT)

    Steve Kerr was home in San Diego contemplating his next move and giving no indication as to when he will make a decision to either coach the Knicks or the Golden State Warriors.

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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).

    29 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.05.09)”

    1. So apparently Kerr is leaning towards the Knicks. I guess Phil really is a calling card because the situation in GSW comes with some risk but has to be appealing to coaches. Although if they make out with a Van Gundy I’m not sure we won…

    2. If Stan Van Gundy goes to coach GSW, I guess the west gets even tougher… you have to think that, right now, the west has 9 of the best 10 teams in the NBA (based on playoffs and gut feeling the list goes like this: MIA, SAS, LAC, OKC, MEM, GSW, POR, HOU, DAL, PHO and only then IND). If Phil and Kerr rejuvenate the ambient in NY then the conference finals are not that much of a longshot, even in a down year as the next one will be.

    3. I’ve said it a few other places, but the GSW job is attractive, but not a can’t miss opportunity. People are starting to compare the ownership situation to Dallas(cowboys, not mavericks). Lacob makes the final call (input from West and Myers) with Myers mainly handling the contracts and negotiations with other GMs. Looks like they are setting up Lacob’s son to be GM at some point. Kirk Lacob is not necessarily going to be bad at the job, but the way things shake out could be very interesting.

      From a pure basketball standpoint, they have the awful Lee contract, the so-so Bogut contract and are going to be playing for Iguodala’s decline. Not a ton of draft picks left, and no cap to add more players. Lots of pieces on offense, but I think the biggest thing for that team is keeping all of their pieces healthy.

    4. From a pure basketball standpoint, they have the awful Lee contract, the so-so Bogut contract and are going to be playing for Iguodala’s decline. Not a ton of draft picks left, and no cap to add more players. Lots of pieces on offense, but I think the biggest thing for that team is keeping all of their pieces healthy.

      Definitely legitimate points, but at the end of the day the roster does give you a chance to compete for a championship, even if it’s remote. Also I feel like Curry has to be one of the most appealing players to potential coaches, right?

    5. From a pure basketball standpoint, they have the awful Lee contract, the so-so Bogut contract and are going to be playing for Iguodala’s decline. Not a ton of draft picks left, and no cap to add more players. Lots of pieces on offense, but I think the biggest thing for that team is keeping all of their pieces healthy.

      Also, couldn’t Klay be packaged — with Lee, or Bogut, and whatever picks they have — for a disgruntled superstar, i.e. Kevin Love?

    6. Lee’s is not an awful contract. The problem is that he’s a situational player, and makes sense only if he and Bogut operate alternatively from the high post. I bet there are teams more than willing to take on his contract, the question is what the Warriors are going to get back.

      Anyway, with that backcourt you have so many options that (to borrow a pet expression from the atrocious Reggie) if you’re a renowned, intelligent coach you find ways to make it work and then some. If Lacob is an asshole, who cares? Mark Jackson rubbed it not only on his bosses, but on his “underlings” too. Jackson getting fired does not prove the quotient of assholeness of Lacob.

    7. @7

      I disagree that Lee contract is terrible. It extends through the 2016 season by which point they will have to make a long-term commitment to Klay which could potentially take them well over the luxury tax with most of that committed to Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Lee and Bogut. You’re not going to get great value for Lee by himself because he’s a complete sieve on defense and while he’s a productive offensive player, he doesn’t compromise opposing defenses who tend to live with allowing Lee to operate 1-on-1 instead of sending extra help his way.

      Bogut is a major injury risk and while being a great defensive player is awful offensively, with his greatest asset being being great at setting picks. Barnes needs to develop and they need to find a 15-20 MPG backup point and another big man off the bench for them to be real contenders. They do have a $9.8m trade exception this summer that they can use. I wonder if the Knicks could pull off trading Chandler for the exception and Barnes.

    8. Yeah, I shouldn’t act like Golden State is a bad job. Mark Jackson coached them to be a pretty good defensive team this year. Any coach with a little bit of imagination should be able to make that team even more dangerous on offense. The idea is that Mark Jackson “changed the culture of the franchise” or whatever and that the next coach needs to take them to the next level. The problem is that you are in the West and you could have 51-55 wins and still be 4th or 5th place. Or a few injuries makes you a 48 win team that misses the playoffs. I actually think the best situation in the West would be Houston as McHale is awful and Harden/Howard are going to keep them in contention for a while and you have Morey who you know is fairly smart working on the back end.

      I think Lee is an awful contract. What team is going to take on a 31 year old Lee for two years at $15 million a piece and give you anything useful back. He is still great on offense, but you need to add more to that deal. Yes, you can say package Klay, but he is a great shooter and his ability on defense makes him a perfect fit for Curry and he is young. The conventional wisdom is Timberwolves and Kevin Love, but I would think Phoenix is going to be in on that as well and they have more picks and young assets to send back.

    9. @9

      Yes, in a vacuum Lee’s is a terrible contract, but as I said, it’s not a complete albatross. Before going to Memphis, even Z-Bo’s contract was seen as an abomination. It’s not like Z-Bo and Lee are entirely different players.

    10. It projects 10 years worth of draft picks using machine learning techniques. Unfortunately(?) it uses Berri’s WP as the measure for player productivity, but it’s an interesting study nevertheless

      interesting paper. Looks like it only takes WP data from NCAA for players that have been drafted. I wonder if there were any players that WP identified as being productive that weren’t drafted at all?

    11. Ok but now you’re looking at two different scenarios. In a vacuum trading for Lee and Z-Bo is very similar, but paying $15m for a one-way, 31 year old player who is your third option offensively is not a great position to be. Additionally it’s almost impossible to get equal value in return for Lee. The best thing the Warriors can hope for is to trade him for an expiring and use the cap savings next summer to make a splash, but idk what team is going to prefer $15m worth of Lee instead of using that on free agents on the open market.

    12. How is the Lee contract awful? 20 and 10 per 36 on a 50+ win team? That’s a hell of a lot better production than a lot of other $15 million players.

      Plus, he’s had no decline over his 4 years on that team. And he’s played over 2000 minutes every year.

      Lee is a great contract, NBA wise. And Golden State is a WAY better basketball situation than NY now and in the future. The only thing NY has going for it is it’s conference. A 35 win team in the west could make the ECF.

    13. Hahaha yeah Lee’s a great contract. How deluded are you? What do you think the Warriors would get if they offered up Lee to the highest bidder right now? No team is forgoing $15m in cap space for David Lee’s 20 and 10 which has to be some of the emptiest 20 and 10 nights I’ve ever watched a player put up. Notice how when Lee joined the Warriors his acquisition didn’t even improve them one bit. The drafting and development of Curry and Thompson, trading for Bogut and the signing of Iguodala are the reasons why the Warriors are a good team. The Warriors lost Lee before the playoffs last year, inserted Barnes into the starting lineup, won a playoff series against Denver and then took the Spurs to 6 games. Lee’s a good player, but at $15m he’s not a good value. Get real.

    14. David Lee’s defense has improved over the last year or two. He’s not the same player he was when he was in NY or when playing hobbled early after the trade to GS. He’s still undersized and not long, but he improved.

    15. How deluded are you?

      Well now, that’s a pretty challenging question to ask a deluded person, but I’ll give answering it a shot:

      I’m not sure how far away from planet earth I live. All I know is that in the world I live in Josh Smith is owed $45 million over the next 4 years; Eric Gordon is costing $45 million over the next 3 years; and Amar’e Stoudemire is making next year what Lee earned the past two years combined.

      Even if you were right that Lee isn’t worth $29 million over the next two years, despite the fact that he produces at a high level, stays healthy, and hasn’t declined, you’d still have a hard time offering evidence that “nobody values empty stats” amongst the NBA general management.

    16. The one thing all those players and David Lee have in common is that they were signed by teams motivated by desperation to make a splash. Detroit overpayed hoping to make a playoff push, we overpayed because we refused to come out of 2010 free agency without a flashy new toy, Gordon was maxed by Phoenix who were looking to build after Nash left and was matched by New Orleans since he was the best piece they got back in the CP3 trade and they didn’t want to walk away with nothing and Lee got overpaid because the previous Warriors management was awful.

      Bad contracts are given out every year in free agency usually because teams with cap space feel the need to spend it rather than waiting for value in the market to emerge. All of the players you mentioned are a result of exactly that. Subsequently these contracts become extremely hard to trade not because those players have zero value, but because getting equal value in trade and finding somebody that wants to incur that cap hit is hard. David Lee is a good player and stratomatic is right he’s made some slight improvements defensively, but he’s still a big minus on that side. You would not find a team giving up much of value other than some expirings and a player on his rookie deal that has failed to impress so far in the league.

      Also Donnie, sorry for the personal attack. That was unwarranted.

    17. Last year, David Lee was third team All-NBA. Even though I think that was a foolish choice, it reflects CW that Lee has value in at least some NBA corners. I would live to see what Thibs could do with him. If the Bulls do not amnesty Boozer, Lee for Boozer plus one of Chicago’s picks could make sense.

    18. lol @ 17, nice opening retort

    19. Lavor– you’ve done a nice job explaining the reasons behind the bad contracts in the league, but that kind of proves my point. Teams value players for various reasons, some good, some bad. But in reality every team is trying to “make a splash” in free agency, and that is how all of these bad contracts are created. And teams that strike out in free agency turn to trades to make a splash. That’s how horrible contracts like Gerald Wallace, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, and Andrea Bargnani get traded for valuable assets.

      And I didn’t think I really needed to name all the contracts on the league that are worse than David Lee’s. The Nets alone have 4: Joe Johnson and Deron Williams are both going to make $20 more than Lee over the next two seasons and the Nets still over drafts picks for the honor to pay them. And Brook Lopez is going to make more that Lee over the next two years, and he has serious injury concerns which Lee doesn’t have. Lee makes as much as Kevin Garnett. And with respect to the good teams and their comps, he puts up a similar production as Al Jefferson for almost the exact same rate, and better production than Chris Bosh for about $15 million less.

      Would the Warriors prefer to clear Lee and spend his $15 mil on another player? Perhaps. But just about every team has a contract like that. And he’s not a bad player to be “stuck” with. But I don’t think they feel stuck with him, otherwise they wouldn’t have wasted their amnesty provision on the cheap and expiring contract of Charlie Bell.

    20. Donnie – I see your point. I guess I disagree since I think that under the new CBA moving inflated money deals even for somewhat productive players is less likely unless you find a really stupid GM like Billy King, which is also becoming less common. I’m sure the Warriors could send him to Brooklyn if they really wanted too and get the Nets’ 2020 first round pick and the right to swap in 2019.

    21. If Thibs somehow ends up as the Warriors’ coach, I look forward to seeing the results. Can Thibs coach an offense? Can he get more defense than Jax did last season?

      Lee is far from the worst contract in the NBA. But he is a prime example of what the owners wanted to change. He got a 6 year deal as part of a sign-and-trade. Today, he could not get more than 4 years as part of a S&T.

      Under the new CBA, it is much harder to have a good player on a bad contract.

    22. So what’s the over/under for points and/or rebounds on Hibbert tonight?

    23. I think that under the new CBA moving inflated money deals even for somewhat productive players is less likely

      This should be true in theory, but in practice it hasn’t been. The two worst contracts of the 2010 bonanza, Johnson and Gay, were both moved. (Gay was even moved twice!). Bargnani was moved for cap relief and picks. Gerald Wallace was traded for what became the rookie of the year. This has all been done under the new CBA. As will always be the case, good teams will make good roster decisions and bad teams will make that ones.

      But this conversation began with the contention (by somebody) that Golden State’s future is bleaker than the Knicks’s because of the Lee albatross, which I thoroughly disagree with. Golden State is in the fortunate position of having one of the league’s most desirable young talents locked into a long and affordable contract (Curry is due to make $12 million in 2017!). That allows them significant margin of error in constructing a team around him, and makes it easy to absorb a contract like Lee’s– one that may be a bit high, but still produces significant return on the dollar. That situation is a fabulous one. They won 50+ games in an extremely good conference and can get even better. That’s why Kerr needs to think long and hard and not rush to the same mistake D’Antoni did when he chose the Knicks job over the Bulls job in 2008.

    24. Hibbert taking 17′ jumpers and contested hook shots is an awful offense. He needs to get his shots off of rebounds and open rim dives.

    25. Hibbert taking 17? jumpers and contested hook shots is an awful offense. He needs to get his shots off of rebounds and open rim dives.

      If Washington insists on giving up on getting any shots up on their own offensive possessions, Hibbert can spend the rest of the night chucking up 3’s and Indiana would still win.

    26. Hubert I hope you’re having a nice glass of bourbon to celebrate the Rangers scoring 5 goals tonight!

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