Knicks Morning News (2014.06.08)

  • [New York Daily News] Lawrence: Dolan can learn from Spurs, Heat execs (Sun, 08 Jun 2014 03:44:52 GMT)

    Jim Dolan is busy watching his Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final, but he would do himself a world of good if he came to the NBA Finals. Dolan could see what it takes to build a winner in the NBA, mainly by observing how San Antonio’s owner, Peter Holt, and his counterpart, Miami’s Micky Arison, run their respective franchises.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Grizzlies Forward Is Arrested (Sun, 08 Jun 2014 05:25:26 GMT)

    Grizzlies forward James Johnson was arrested on charges of domestic assault against his wife at their home.

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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).

    54 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.06.08)”

    1. Z-man said this:

      As to Jordan vs. LeBron, I just think that Jordan was better, and more aesthetically pleasing to watch. LeBron seems like a cyborg, cold, calculating, mechanical. Jordan seems like some kind of hybrid between a human and a jaguar, just out for the jugular on every play. I’d probably enjoy LeBron’s company more on a golf outing, but would rather have Jordan on my team.

      If there was any one more cold and calculating than Jordan, I’d be amazed. Every move, every fade, everything that guy ever did in a game he did hundreds of thousands, if not not millions of times, in his backyard, in his high school and college gyms, and through thousands of hours of repetitive muscle memory drills.
      He was a freak, not just because he had physical gifts, but because his mental game was cold, methodical, and calculated, immune to boredom, machine like. The stories on this part of his game are many.
      Jordan wishes he could have been 6’8, with a 270 pound, ‘lean’ frame.

      Lebron in a way can be as imposing at his position as Shaquille was at his.
      There were plenty of 6’6 guards, strong and with sick hops in the NBA.
      What made Jordan different was the focus and will that rarely broke. He was a machine.
      But there is no one like Lebron, running down hill, charging the hoop. Too strong, too powerful, and, frankly, too graceful for a man of that size.
      Oh, and he can play point like Magic…

    2. And Jordan never posted seasons even close the Lebron’s last two in terms of efficiency.
      Statistically speaking, Lebron is better.

    3. MJ’s career TS% with the Bulls is identical to LeBron’s career TS%. He never had a 2 yr stretch efficiency wise like LeBron has just had but MJ did have 4 years in a row with a TS% over 60% with USG rates between 32.1 and 34.1 in those 4 seasons and only once in those 4 seasons was his TO% in double digits which is pretty insane (LeBron has never had a TO% below 10 while MJ’s career TO% is 9.3).

      MJ had a season where he averaged 32, 8 and 8 for an entire season for god’s sake and he did that with a TS% of 61%. Not to mention his insane steal rates which LeBron doesnt come close to matching. LeBron is amazing and statistically is the closest player to MJ ever but lets see how he ages once he starts to lose his athleticism and has to reinvent his game a bit like the older MJ did (which were his worst seasons statistically in his Bulls career despite winning 3 titles in a row again).

    4. I think LeBron will be fine as he ages. He already demonstrated he can work on his flaws (and he did all too well). Still, nobody can deny the built-in advantages LeBron has over almost anyone, having that physique and that speed. I would like to see LeBron in the Western Conference just to have a taste of his greatness in a much more difficult road to the Finals, but I won’t get it.

    5. LeBron is asked to handle the ball and run the offense more than Joedan was, so it’s not surprising his turnover percentage is higher. I don’t have the numbers, But my guess is he probably gets more assists than Jordan did because of this. Similarly, he often plays a forward and is bigger than Jordan, so he probably slso gets more rebounds than Jordan did. I would think this makes up for the steal difference.

    6. Not liking him because of his “no fun” mentality on the court is pretty silly, since his job is to win basketball games. Nobody’s happy.

      As a neutral fan, I root for the players and the teams that give me joy. I may be different in my tastes, but I would hardly call this silly. What you say, Jowles, is ok if I’m a fan of a specific team. If LeBron played for the Knicks, would I hold his stoic demeanor against him if it helped us win games? Obviously not. Would he be my favorite player? Hardly so. I already stated I have an underdog complex, so I would probably end rooting more for Iman Shumpert or any overmatched 6-8, scrappy dude playing center. Sorry if this feels wrong, but I like myself some Cinderellas.

    7. Jordan played in an era of much more physical defense. Big, burly guys who would whack you if you came into the paint were not rarities, they were staples of NBA teams. Hand checking was not banned. Jordan putting up the TS% numbers in the era he did is the equivalent of somebody in baseball hitting .330 every year in the late 60’s.

    8. Why is it that in 2014 the league average eFG% is .501 while in 1989 it’s .489? Surely the defenses were more stifling then. Only one additional shot made per 100?

      Considering that in 1989 teams only attempted 3-pointers 7% of the time, as opposed to 26% in 2014, I wouldn’t exactly say that Jordan’s feat is better than LeBron’s relative to the eras in which they played.

      But that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

    9. Another big difference between the MJ era and the Lebron era is the change in the illegal defense rule. During MJ’s time, isolations and post-ups were much more difficult to defend, because a team could send three offensive men (and their defenders) to the weakside. The change in the zone defense rule runs in the opposite direction to the change in the hand-check rule.

      If you click through my name, I have a blogpost on Lebron’s Cramps: Gatorade vs. Powerade. Short version, Gatorade got burned when it fed the trolls.

    10. Anyone else annoyed by Norris Cole just dribbling out the clock at the end of the quarter instead of chucking up a prayer? I mean, I get that the odds are long on a 3/4 court shot, but what have you got to lose? I’m always irked when I see players do that.

      I mean, why wouldn’t you? Seriously, is there a reason?

    11. Two reasons not to take the last second heave:

      1. Hurts the shooting percentage of the guy taking the shot.
      2. If you shoot too early, risk a turnover and a scoring opportunity for the opponent.

      Reason #1 is selfish. On this score, you have to give JR Smith his due. He is always willing to fling the last second heave.

    12. The zone defense rules now are bullshit because you still cant play a real zone. The paint still remains wide open because a defender cant stand in the paint if they arent within an arm-length of an opposing player.

      The reason MJ reached God-like status is simple, his playoff performances. Prior to winning championships MJ had seasons where he averaged 37 and 35 ppg. He had a season where he averaged 32, 8 and 8. He had a couple of seasons where he averaged 3 stls and 1.5 blks per game. But most people dont remember those seasons, they just remember his championship years.

      His career playoff scoring average is 33.4 ppg!! His TS% was 57% so while he wasnt quite as efficient as he was during the regular season obviously he wasnt exactly jacking up extra shots just to score 30 pts. He averaged 6.4 reb/g and 5.7 ast/g along with 2.1 stls/g so he wasnt just scoring. But yes his scoring is what made him a legend especially come playoff time. The winning 6 titles helped as well lol.

    13. The zone defense rules now are bullshit because you still cant play a real zone.

      By the letter of the law, you are correct. But a great defensive coach, like Thibs, Rivers or Vogel, can get his team to play a zone by the way attack the pick and roll. They each use different strategies, but Young, Noah and Hibbert are almost always in place to defend the rim.

    14. Eyetest comment: Tony Parker is as good as anyone at finishing below the rim. Anyone have stats that show shooting percentage at the rim ex-dunks?

    15. You’re totally right ephus and I like the rules alot better now than back in the day because it has opened up the game more w/o so many ISO’s (Knicks notwithstanding lol). It has forced coaches to open up and change their playbooks and schemes on both ends. The overall game is alot better to watch now than 20 years ago.

      But the no hand-checking rules on the perimeter is such a dramatic difference from the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s and even early 2000’s. Not just the hand-checking but all the off-the-ball contact that is not allowed today too. The flagrant fouls issue is obviously also another aspect so different in today’s game from back then.

    16. i’ve caught every Spurs game this post-season and i’ve been playing particular attention to Leonard. He plays great defense and has a high bball IQ but i worry about his offensive development in terms of creating his own shot. He has trouble doing that and most of his points come assisted…that’s the brilliance of Pop’s system and Leonard benefits greatly (note the WP percentages of a lot of Spurs being more than Duncan and Parker, WP obviously more gimmicky than meaningful). Offensively he’s kind of interchangeable with a lot of the Spurs bench players offensively and i’m not even sure he’s value as a shot creator is even top five on the team. He’s young though and has lots of room to develop (his improved jumper is a testament to the work he puts in) but i don’t see him going to a team like Orlando and going all James Harden. Maybe he’ll take a major step offensively wants duncan and parker fade away.

    17. How about Manu though? Seriously, Manu is the best….

      The refs are the worst. Did their best to try to ruin this quarter….

    18. 32-8-8 from a shooting guard is fucking preposterous, by the way. Young mike, despite being a tremendous cunt, was absolutely amazing on the court.

    19. I am comfortable saying that Lebron is in the neighborhood. But no one is ever going to take the crown off Jordan’s head. Because no one is ever going to go 6 for 6 in the Finals…

      Great game…

    20. I get the feeling missing four consecutive free throws might come back to haunt the Spurs…

    21. Why is anyone not named Lebron shooting? Leonard is all over him and he’s sticking everything

    22. DRed when Melo is on fire you dont say the same thing about only letting him shoot lol. That sequence of Lebron to Allen to Birdman was nice though.

    23. That’s a great effort by the Heat. I hate them but they played a great game. The defense was outstanding.

    24. I get the feeling missing four consecutive free throws might come back to haunt the Spurs…


    25. Cant believe the Heat won tonight but then again shouldnt be surprised. They arent 2x time defending champs for nothing.

    26. Popovich is the greatest coach around, so I trust he will have a strong counter for James on Parker. Maybe run the offense through Manu and have Parker come off of a bunch of downscreens. Force LBJ to be heading away from the rim when the critical offensive action occurs.

    27. Just seems inevitable that this series goes 7 (and at least this year it’s in San Antonio.) Pop will make adjustments like he always does and figure out a way to take 1 of the next 2 and away we go.

      And I hope casual viewers who don’t normally watch NBA games appreciate what incredible, high level, high IQ basketball they are seeing.

    28. Casual NBA fans will not appreciate that these games are being played at such a high level. They do not have a basis for comparison.

      I’ve been incredibly impressed with Diaw in these playoffs. He has an incredible understanding of basketball strategy. He is always on top of time, score and situation to get the team into 2-for-1 or to hold for last shot. I used to think that Diaw was a fat and sloppy player. Now I think he is a future NBA coach, but he is still quite rotund for an NBA player.

    29. So glad two well coached teams are in the finals. A lot of fun to watch. If LeBron can maintain this level the heat are going to win.

    30. no one is ever going to take the crown off Jordan’s head. Because no one is ever going to go 6 for 6 in the Finals…

      Oh I didn’t realize we were still in 1955, and using antiquated and sophmoric methods to judge players. But ur right, seven time champ Robert Horry is clearly the greatest player of the modern era.

    31. Sorry but whatever measure you wanna use to judge NBA players Jordan is still the greatest period. I give LeBron credit because I never thought we would see a player who would come even close to being as good as Jordan (people tried to compare Kobe to him but thats a joke) but LeBron is pretty damn close.

      But again the thing is Jordan in the regular season was amazing and in the postseason he was just as amazing and he won 6 freaking titles. Using championships as the measuring stick for an individual player is stupid I agree. But when the player has the numbers during the regular season to be considered the best ever then backs that up with 6 titles and just as good numbers in the playoffs then what else is there to debate?? LeBron to come close to matching Jordan has got to win at least 5 titles. His regular season numbers in the end will be right up there with Jordan but the postseason resume will be ultimately what defines him and his comparison to Jordan and thats definitely fair I think.

    32. whatever measure you wanna use to judge NBA players Jordan is still the greatest period.

      It’s funny how you admit using championships to measure greatness is stupid, but still use it. It’s funny you toss around using “whatever measures” then still only use championships.

      Since by your very own admission, doing is so is both stupid and superfluous, go ahead and tell us why he’s better without using the word championship or ringzzz in a sentence.

    33. I love how this LeBron vs. Jordan debate keeps on raging on. It shows how great LeBron is (because otherwise this would have ended years ago), and it shows how great Jordan was. Jordan was supposedly appointed GOAT while he was still playing, and while it’s true that at the time there weren’t all those internet trolls, that was a stupendous feat given that it was just 6 years removed from the last Magic vs. Bird Finals.

      Honestly though, I think we have to wait. Jordan cemented his legacy in 1996 (came back, won it all again and fueled arguably the best team ever) and kept on building on that in 1997 and 1998. Right now, I think LeBron has already surpassed Kobe and reached a Shaq-prime level: greatest of his time in his prime by a long mile, dominant before, who knows what happens next?

      I never saw Bird or Magic play. Neither did I with Bill Russell. So I can’t really say anything about them in a Bron vs. them scenario. But I remember, as a child, that feeling of despair when Jordan played against you, and LeBron is approaching that territory very fast.

      Oh, and in my mind, LeBron is surely the best perimeter defender I have ever seen, Pippen included. The real difference between Game 1 and Game 2 of the finals isn’t the number of points scored by him. Is how stifling the Heat defense got in the last 3 minutes with him in Game 2 vs. how loose if was in the last 5 minutes in Game 1. Credit to the Spurs anyway, because if Bosh doesn’t hit that corner 3 we’re talking 2-0 and a great chance for them to win the ring. Right now, Miami in 6.

    34. BTW: Jowles, I hope it’s clear once and for all that I respect the shit out of LeBron (not that any sane person couldn’t). Respecting something and liking it, though, are very different things and I don’t think it’s right to express disdain for personal tastes. Also to be clear: I’m obviously not making it personal, because I really couldn’t care less if you dislike what I think and what I don’t, and I totally respect (as I stated before many times) your views.

      I would just like to remind you that some people can easily get offended when called “silly”, “least favorite” and when “publicly” derided. This board is great because of all the different opinions, and I would like to think that everyone is encouraged to share his opinion, flawed as it may be, without the chance of having someone bulldoze at him because of his views.

    35. If the Spurs lose, how about Chandler for Splitter, Patty Mills, and San Antonio’s #30 pick? Who says no?

    36. I think the Spurs say no. I suppose they have no use for a big man who quit on his team before half-season (for the right reasons, probably, but that’s not professional all the same), can’t pass the ball like Splitter and can’t really defend stretch 4s. Maybe Shumpert for #30 and Belinelli, but then the Knicks say no (rightfully so).

    37. Some of the commentary here on Jordan is just silly and uninformed.
      1. The 6 for 6 argument isn’t very good, as shown by the Horry comment earlier.
      2. Lebron’s playoff efficiency is simply better than Jordan’s
      3. In the playoffs and regular season, Lebron gets more assists and rebounds per 36
      4. Yes Jordan scored about 5 points more per 36 in the playoffs, but his usage was at 35.6, while Lebron’s was at 31, and again Lebron’s efficiency is simply better.
      5. Those who talk about Lebron as he ages…Geez folks, Lebron is in his 11th season, and his 10th and 11th were his best, while Jordan, who only played 15 seasons, was already well into his decline.
      6. And in this, his 11th season, Lebron is posting in this playoff a TS% of .666 and a eFG% of .611, numbers Jordan never came even remotely close to.

      Lebron is a more efficient scorer, a better passer, better rebounder, better from 3. Jordan is slightly better at steals, but is better in foul shooting.

      Again, at a time in his career when Jordan was in decline, Lebron goes entirely against norms and is actually posting his bests seasons. And Lebron plays on a team where he literally suppresses his output, and has done so for years, to give Wade room. Jordan never did anything remotely like that.
      Lebron is better, now, than Jordan ever was, and he appears to be improving.
      He is two inches and 50 pounders heavier than Jordan ever was, and he is as athletic.
      I don’t love Lebron, and I hated Jordan, but we simply have not seen a player like Lebron James.
      Take emotion out of it. Take away the thoughts of how badly Jordan owned the Knicks.
      Look at the cold hard facts. Lebron in his 11th year is having his most exquisite year.
      And Jordan’s best statistical year, 1988-89, when he was 25, doesn’t even come close to Lebron’s best year, his 11th, when he is 29.
      Yes, Jordan won six championships, and was the greatest player of his day, and up to that point, probably ever. But there is clearly a new…

    38. “Oh I didn’t realize we were still in 1955, and using antiquated and sophmoric methods to judge players. But ur right, seven time champ Robert Horry is clearly the greatest player of the modern era.”

      Lol, I love it.

      What I should have said I guess was that winning six of six will always be the argument that puts jordan over the top in barstool debates. Lebron will never replace him as the brightest star in the firmament, if only because he will have done it all with a little bit less panache and style. Lebron loses on pure entertainment value.

      As i said upthread, I dont see a huge difference in the numbers. Lebron is very close, though i would still give jordan an edge. Being the clear cut second greatest of all time is pretty historic.

      But unless Lebron wins this year and then wins four more, I don’t see the public reconsidering…..

    39. When it’s all said and done, I think Jordan and Lebron will be 1a and 1b on the Mount Rushmore of the NBA. But just like all the other inter-generational comparisons, you can’t really compare them, if only because the league is much different now than it was back then. Jordan in this new league of zero hand checking? Forget it, he’d score 40 every game (on 15 FGA and 20 FTAs/game) no matter what kind of crazy zone defense you’d try and throw at him. And re: efficiency – Lebron shoots 20% of his total shots from 3 point range – Jordan shot 6%, and didn’t really make any effort to add the 3 to his arsenal until late in his career. If the 3 was as emphasized back then as it is now, I’m sure the overall efficiency numbers would be very close.

      Meanwhile if you go by WS/48, at age 29 Jordan still had a (slightly) better year than Lebron (0.270 vs. 0.264) although Lebron is at 0.292 for these playoffs and Jordan was 0.270 that year. Hard to say that Jordan started falling off at age 29. Lebron had one of the great seasons ever last year with a WS/48 of 0.322, but it bears noting that at age 32, MJ put up a 0.317 season (and followed it up with a 0.306 in those playoffs).

      The thing MJ had that Lebron doesn’t have is Pippen — someone who could let MJ rest somewhat on the defensive end even in crunch time. LBJ is option 1A on both ends of the court for Miami, which makes his endurance even more impressive.

      I still think of MJ a little like Mickey Mantle. How much better would/could he have been if he actually took care of his body? He was already the GOAT!

    40. Just a hunch (please don’t kill me :) For whatever it’s worth Jordan would have had an easier time scoring on Lebron than vice versa. I think MJ could have closed in on Lebron to bother his jump shot, and still have enough foot speed to stop his penetration. So in a one shot to win it all situation, or a one shot to defend it all I would take Jordan %100 of the time.

    41. “For whatever it’s worth Jordan would have had an easier time scoring on Lebron than vice versa.”
      I would love to see the two of them guarding each other — LeBron would breath on MJ and get called for a foul and then Jordan would barely touch LeBron and LeBron would recoil and grimace as if he had been shot…

    42. I would love to see the two of them guarding each other — LeBron would breath on MJ and get called for a foul and then Jordan would barely touch LeBron and LeBron would recoil and grimace as if he had been shot…

      lol. The bolded is probably the main reason I find LeBron so distasteful.

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