Knicks Morning News (2014.05.22)

  • [New York Times] Spurs Roll to 2-0 Lead With 112-77 Rout of Thunder (Thu, 22 May 2014 07:34:39 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs have been here before.

  • [New York Times] Spurs 112, Thunder 77: Spurs Again Rout Thunder to Take a 2-0 Lead (Thu, 22 May 2014 05:20:14 GMT)

    Tony Parker scored 22 points, and the Spurs used a dominant third quarter to beat the Thunder and take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Rout Thunder to Take 2-0 Series Lead (Thu, 22 May 2014 05:01:26 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs put the Oklahoma City Thunder to the sword with a spectacular exhibition of shooting in the second half to tighten their grip on the Western Conference finals with a 112-77 win in Game Two on Wednesday.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Roll to 2-0 Lead With 112-77 Rout of Thunder (Thu, 22 May 2014 04:04:49 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs are rolling toward a return to the NBA Finals, and Oklahoma City looks powerless to slow them down without Serge Ibaka.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Rout Thunder to Take 2-0 Series Lead (Thu, 22 May 2014 04:01:39 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs put the Oklahoma City Thunder to the sword with a spectacular exhibition of shooting in the second half to tighten their grip on the Western Conference finals with a 100-77 win in Game Two on Wednesday.

  • [New York Times] Pacers Star Sustained Concussion (Thu, 22 May 2014 01:42:23 GMT)

    Following his team’s loss to Miami in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, Paul George said he had blacked out after taking a blow to the head from Dwyane Wade’s knee.

  • [New York Times] Ageless Veterans Are Still Giving Spurs Extra Kick (Thu, 22 May 2014 00:07:36 GMT)

    Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan have played their entire N.B.A. careers with the San Antonio Spurs, who year after year have continued to be championship contenders.

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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).

    47 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.05.22)”

    1. I don’t know if I should root a Spurs-Heat rematch (so that the pretentious Heat would hopefully meet their demise at the hands of the best team of the last 10 years – emphasis on team) or a Whomever-Pacers finals, just so the Heat don’t reach the Finals. Four years after the Decision, I still can’t get over them and over how entitled they are. And if it was only James, well, fine, he deserves it, even if sometimes he acts like an asshole. In my eyes he already surpassed Kobe as the best individual player of the post Jordan era.

      But Mario Chalmers? This Dwyane Wade? Norris Cole? Bleah. I know it’s not right to wish defeat to an opponent, but I’m not sure if I ever hated a team that much. Not that Indiana strikes any favorable chord, but it’s the lesser evil.

    2. 1. Fuck the Pacers

      2. Fuck these Pacers.

      3. LBJ, while probably not all that likeable if you had to interact with him in real life, is an incredible basketball player to watch. And it would be interesting to see what happens to that team if the Spurs give them the thrashing I think they will.

      So I guess I’d rather see Miami lose to the Spurs than watch more Indiana.

    3. @2 couldn’t agree more. I can’t understand how anyone could root for the Pacers, they act entitled and haven’t won a damn thing, at least Miami has 2 titles. And it’s laughable how they like to project this tough guy image, but are the most emotionally fragile team I’ve ever seen.

      Spurs over Heat in 5 would be my dream scenario.

    4. Spurs over Heat in 5 would be my dream scenario.

      Mine too, but I couldn’t stand a Heat threepeat.

    5. Agree with DRed and d-mar. The most annoying thing about this Pacers team is how they harp on about being disrespected even though they were universally picked to finish second in the East, talked about as the only real challenger to the Heat in the East and get lauded for their “blue collar, lunch pail, hard hat mentality”. Hibbert is a mental midget who would have retired from the game if he played in any major market after the abuse he would have received from fans and the press considering his 40 game no show this season, all while earning a max contract. More importantly Miami can at least be fun to watch and Lebron James is amazing. The Pacers on the other hand are boring and painful to watch.

    6. “I know it’s not right to wish defeat to an opponent,”
      Disagree. I think that, not only is it right to wish defeat to an opponent, it is expected. (Childish, I know, but that’s how I feel.)

    7. On another note, am I the only one who has talked himself into being excited at the prospect of Tyronn Lue as coach? He has spent his entire career being associated with great coaches. He’s been an assistant under Doc Rivers for five years and, as a player, he played for both Van Gundys, Phil Jackson, Doc Rivers, Scott Skiles and Mike Woodson. Ok, so maybe he’s spent almost his entire career hobnobbing with great coaches…

    8. He has spent his entire career being associated with great coaches. He’s been an assistant under Doc Rivers for five years and, as a player, he played for both Van Gundys, Phil Jackson, Doc Rivers, Scott Skiles and Mike Woodson.

      I see what you did there.

    9. “I can’t understand how anyone could root for the Pacers, they act entitled and haven’t won a damn thing, at least Miami has 2 titles. And it’s laughable how they like to project this tough guy image, but are the most emotionally fragile team I’ve ever seen.”

      Wow, I couldn’t disagree more. I see Indiana as a scrappy, blue-collar team without a true superstar going up against the preening, god’s gift to basketball, back-door dealing, turncoat Riley inspired, fan-less, gutless cheats. Did anyone notice how LeBron flopped into the stands when West nudged him, or how Wade nursed his poor knee after George suffered a concussion?

      David West is a gritty player. Lance is a kid from NY’s playgrounds who goes balls out on every play, making good after being passed over in the 2nd round for the likes of Andy Rautins. Despite their “emotional fragility” they finished with the #1 seed and if they win one in Miami it becomes a 3-game set with them having home court. Even if they don’t, they still will wind up exactly where everyone (except the naysayers) say they would. If they lose, it wouldn’t be because of their emotional fragility, it will be because the Heat have LeBron and they don’t.

      I also don’t get the fake tough-guy stuff. They had the best defensive rating in the league. I thought NY was a place where tough defense and blue-collar play was appreciated. How any Knicks fan could root for the Heat over anyone (other than the Celtics and any team with Pierce and Garnett) is beyond me. If the Heat don’t make the finals, I would truly revel in what would be an epic failure. Fuck LeBron and fuck the late-arriving, aloof, entitled Heat fans and their ever-obnoxious PA announcer.

    10. I believe Lance Stephenson was the only player who received a fine for flopping in game 2 (and celebrated his buzzer beating tip-in before halftime like he had just won an NBA championship)

    11. I don’t understand how anyone who cares about watching basketball as opposed to basketball storylines or whatever could be rooting for the Pacers. The Heat play about as aesthetically appealing basketball as you can find outside of San Antonio. The Pacers are unwatchable. Heat-San Antonio has the potential at least to be an amazing finals. I think the Spurs are too good for them this year, but we saw what a good version of those two teams going at it looked like last year. One of the great finals ever. Does anyone want to make the case for Pacers-San Antonio being even a moderately enjoyable series to watch?

    12. Well, the 1990’s knicks were as unwatchable as any team who ever played in a finals, and also the most emotionally fragile (lest we forget Ward? Starks?) The Pacers are very similar to those teams. So if you rooted for the Knicks then, don’t have a double standard.

    13. if you like 90’s basketball and enjoyed watching the pistons, knicks, heat (when they played the knicks), you wouldn’t mind watching the pacers…fuck these four point plays and non-stop flagrant foul calls. i also enjoy watching memphis play.

    14. d-mar, are you seriously going to argue that Lance flops more than LeBron? Or that you could root for JR but are outraged by him?

    15. The 90s Knicks could be brutal to watch at times, but at their best (like 1994) they were significantly better on offense than the Pacers.

    16. Lance Stevenson is a preening jackhole who once threw his pregnant girlfriend down a flight of stairs and got off scot-free. How anyone could argue that someone who nicknamed himself “Born Ready” isn’t entitled is beyond me. Who could root for that guy?

    17. The 90’s Knicks were also celebrated by Knicks fans and hated by the national media and fans of all other teams for their generally unappealing style of basketball. The Pacers have been lauded for being their toughness, defensive mentality and blue collar attitude, but get a pass on being a god awful offensive team. I get why Pacers fans would root for their own team, but as a neutral while I hate both Miami and Indiana equally at least Miami has the best player on the planet and runs an offensive scheme with more variations than straight isos and post-ups.

    18. flossy, did you root for Jason Kidd?

      Again, Lance is a kid from the projects who made mistakes, paid his dues (probably in the millions of dollars in lost salary due to his draft position) and is playing his ass off. The Knicks have certainly had their share of scumbags.

    19. While the defense was good on those 90s teams, the offensive sets looked sloppy. Even in the late 90s teams, the only offense I remember are post up Isos by Ewing, Houston, Sprewell, and Johnson.

      I don’t know if I’m remembering this wrong but the way the Wizards lost at times reminded me of the 1994 Finals. The Knicks weren’t down by a lot (7-9 pts I believe) but within the 3 min remaining mark, they started to give the ball to Starks to throw 3s up. Similar to how the Wizards stopped penetrating and started doing Jamal Crawford crossover 3s.

    20. Well, I grew up in South Florida, so I root against the Heat because their pathetic front-running fans don’t deserve to win anything, ever. The minute LeBron leaves that place it will turn into basketball Siberia.

    21. I’ve generally been on the bandwagon that says the Spurs’ success hinges on their big 3 and that guys like Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter wouldn’t be nearly as valuable on another team…. but man, I watched only about 15 minutes of the game last night and boy did Splitter look like freaking Bill Walton and Kawhi look like Scottie Pippen out there.

    22. Kawhi is an incredibly valuable player, and the Scottie Pippen comparison has crossed my mind as well. Kawhi’s defensive play is just tremendous; with his wingspan and high-IQ team defensive play he is a nightmare in the passing lanes, and he is also a very strong one-on-one defender. Even if he were a zero on offense he’d be a valuable player, but when you factor in his deadly efficient offense– .602 TS% with a low 10.3 TOV%– you’re talking about a special player.

    23. Is it out of the question that the Knicks trade Anthony to Cleveland? Not even for the #1. Just for relief and young assets. They can build a big 3 around Melo, Irving, and the #1. Take Felton or Smith as well. Give us some diverse young players to either grow or shop. Win win?

    24. @24 What players do you want off of Cleveland? I understand that it is tough to let Melo go for nothing, but I think that would be preferable over bringing over some middling guys instead. The relief from Melo would be to not sign him. No reason to take on middling assets that could affect the cap for 2015/2016.

    25. Hardaway was a very nice late first round pick. Gotta give credit for that. Actually the Knicks do draft well in the late stages, ie. Shump, Landry. Who do we thank for that, Isiah?

    26. I think Cleveland is too out of the way (in terms of location) and too far from actual contention for Melo to consider resigning there.

      Best locations for Melo in terms of pure basketball opportunity IMHO are (in no particular order)

      Charlotte
      Chicago
      Houston
      Phoenix

      I actually think he’d be basically perfect on Phoenix, and Phoenix can nearly sign him outright for the non-Knicks max number. Dragic, Bledsoe, Melo, Frye, Plumlee is pretty freaking deadly, and they’d still have PJ Tucker, the Morris bros, Gerald Green, and the #1 drafted center from last year’s class in Alex Len. And their 3 #1s from this year.

    27. @25

      From Cleveland I’d take:

      Waiters (who is born to be a Knick, but maybe in the wrong way), Thompson (very solid pro, if not misused), Bennett (gulp), the right to swap picks in 2015 or Karasev and a 2016 1st. I’d make this trade in a heartbeat, but again only if Melo is set to go and/or wants only the max.

    28. I’d take Varejao, Thompson and picks.

      Varejao is a very good role player and his contract expires next year.

      Thompson is decent and still young.

      No Waiter and no Bennett please.

    29. They will never give up Varejao. Of course your trade is much better… but I don’t think it’s feasible. More over, I still think Bennett can be worth a look, Waiters needs the ball in his hands but is not a bad player and Varejao is kinda old and makes no sense for a rebuilding team (which NY would be, without Melo, let’s be honest…).

      Of course, Bennett is probably a bust, Waiters is possibly an egotistical jerk and so on. But let’s try for a year to be young and hopeful, instead that trite, bloated and still hopeful.

    30. Umm I think if we’re trading them Melo we’d be able to pry Varejao from them. Anyways it doesn’t matter because there’s no chance Melo’s going to agree to a sign-and-trade to Cleveland. They make the Knicks look like a competent organization.

    31. “They make the Knicks look like a competent organization.”
      I don’t think that it matters whether their organization is Knicks 2.0 or the Spurs of the East, we can stop discussing potential trades with the Cavaliers — no way no how is Melo agreeing to re-sign with Cleveland. He wants a big market (and his wife presumably wants to go somewhere where her career — such as it is — won’t completely wither and die). Have you ever been to Cleveland? I have. Let’s just say that it ain’t exactly Broadway, Tinseltown or South Beach.

    32. Bennett’s worth a look? Where the fuck am I right now…

    33. http://bkref.com/tiny/X3m1l

      Few players (who actually got some burn) have had a worse rookie season than Bennett. And he was the #1 pick. Why would you ever waste actual playing time on this guy? Why would you trade anyone for him? He should have been a UFA.

    34. THCJ, I understand what you’re saying. But at 20, you can still improve if managed differently. Do I think Bennett is a great player? Absolutely not. I even wrote that he’s probably a bust. Do I think giving 20 minutes a game to an hypothetically Knicks Bennett would destroy our 2014-15 team? Now, come on. If there is one thing that is severely understated and underrated in the NBA is the highly variable opportunity of development for guys in the league. Do you remember Danny Green in Cleveland? Or Matt Barnes in Sacramento? Why not try to develop some young talent (even if it’s not there. Who cares? Next season isn’t exactly make or break) along the way? If it doesn’t work, then in 2015-16 you nail him to the bench and don’t extend him for his fourth season. So what? Why all this animosity towards a busted 1st overall pick?

    35. Just to be clear: I think Bennett will be out of the league in three years. But what if he just got badly mismanaged? We can’t be sure right now. That’s it. Probability of bust: 98%. Hurt factor for 2014/15 Knicks: zilch.

    36. Few players (who actually got some burn) have had a worse rookie season than Bennett. And he was the #1 pick. Why would you ever waste actual playing time on this guy?

      One of the players that had a worse rookie season than Bennett was Allan Houston, who, as the #11 pick, had a worse TS% and a worse WS than Bennett (in 3 times the minutes played).

      Jamal Crawford (#8) was also quite a bit worse than Bennett in his rookie year, too.

      And Jim Jackson (#4) was way worse, and he went on to play 30,000 minutes of reasonably productive basketball.

      Bennett wasn’t a good #1 pick, but don’t punish him for Cleveland’s mistake. He could still become a useful player (though his contract will always be bloated because of his draft status).

    37. “Could” is not sufficient grounds to take on a contract that large. You’d be better off getting someone for $500k who put up the same numbers last year, and make the same “but X was even worse than Y in his rookie year” argument. Total nonsense to want Bennett because of his draft placement. Same with Irving, who I thought would be a good pro but has been anywhere from bad to mediocre, rarely good.

    38. Bennett’s interesting, because if it wasn’t for his almost unbelievably bad shooting he would have been good. But holy shit was he bad. I couldn’t even imagine an NBA player that bad on offense.

    39. On the topic of the Conference Finals, I have really struggled to get into the Heat/Pacers matchup. I just seem to not give a shit about either team. The petty NYK supporter in me believes the best outcome would be neither of them winning. I know both games so far in the SA/OKC series have been blowouts, but the Spurs have been really entertaining to watch throughout the playoffs. Also OKC were in the same position in 2012 so I still look for them to rally. Could be hard without Ibaka, but at least it guarantees Durant and/or Westbrook to potentially explode at home.

      On the topic of Lue as a potential coach, I like the idea. I feel more comfortable with a first year head coach when they’ve done their time with experienced coaches and paid their dues as an assistant.

      I’m also super wary with trading with Cleveland. Outside of getting Irving I would only really be wanting to get picks off them and maybe Thompson and Varejao. Varejao is a risky trade piece as well as it’s pretty much guaranteed to miss a chunk of games. If you were looking at Bennett you would want to make sure sure you’ve got a good veteran presence around him. I think he could be serviceable, but he’s a serious working project. Should rally have gone to the D-League for a spell, but I would imagine that would basically have been the Cavs conceding that they cocked up taking him no.1.

    40. OKC certainly could rally, but in 2012 they had Ibaka and James Harden and now they don’t. I just don’t see them coming back. (which is, to be fair, what I was saying at this point 2 years ago)

    41. I was curious about Riley’s Knick teams since the comparison was brought up to the current Pacers. Defensively they finished 2nd, 1st, 1st and 1st under Riley (wow). Offensively they finished 12th, 22nd, 16th and 16th (meh). Also played at a snail’s pace for the most part, between 25th and 23rd in pace all 4 years.

      On D in 1994 they finished 1st in efg% allowed, 1st in def reb rate and 3rd in forcing turnovers %. Thats some pretty good D lol.

    42. Riley is just great at getting teams to play to their strength. That’s really to me where is brilliance lies most. He has created very different types of elite teams.

    43. If only we’d had knickerblogger in the early 90s. I’m pretty sure I would have gotten banned in those days after someone tried to explain to me how Charles Smith spaced the floor.

    44. I hate Charles Smith as much as any other Knicks fan but he actually had a pretty good 1st season with the Knicks, unfortunately we all know how that season ended for him and the Knicks. It was all downhill from there though.

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