Knicks Morning News (2014.10.22)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks season opener in doubt for banged-up Andrea Bargnani (Wed, 22 Oct 2014 02:32:17 GMT)

    Derek Fisher may have more faith in Andrea Bargnani than the big Italian has in himself. With the Oct. 29 season opener against the Chicago Bulls on the horizon, Fisher refused to rule Bargnani out despite the fact that the Knicks forward has not played since suffering a hamstring injury during the club’s first preseason game two weeks ago.

  • [New York Times] New-Look NBA: A Player’s Perspective, Paul Pierce (Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:47:05 GMT)

    The Associated Press will periodically look at the changing landscape of the NBA during the upcoming season from three perspectives: A player’s viewpoint, from the bench, and from the front office. An interview with veteran forward Paul Pierce of the Washington Wizards tips off the series:

  • [New York Times] Ezeli Returns as Warriors Beat Clippers 125-107 (Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:38:13 GMT)

    Festus Ezeli played for the first time in 17 months, scoring 10 points and grabbing three rebounds to help the Golden State Warriors beat the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers 125-107 in Tuesday’s preseason game.

  • [New York Times] Phoenix Survives Lakers in 114-108 Overtime Win (Wed, 22 Oct 2014 05:23:03 GMT)

    Isaiah Thomas scored 26 points — including a buzzer-beating jumper at the end of regulation — and Gerald Green tallied 10 of his 21 points in overtime as the Suns topped the Lakers 114-108 in Tuesday’s preseason game.

  • [New York Times] Aldridge, Lillard Connect in Blazers’ 93-75 Win (Wed, 22 Oct 2014 04:38:08 GMT)

    LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points and had 11 rebounds in Portland’s 93-75 win over Denver in an exhibition game Tuesday.

  • [New York Times] Bennett Leads Timberwolves Past Pacers 107-89 (Wed, 22 Oct 2014 04:20:08 GMT)

    Anthony Bennett scored 17 points and Ricky Rubio had 16 to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 107-89 preseason win over the injury-riddled Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Utah’s Kanter Runs Floor in Win Over Thunder (Wed, 22 Oct 2014 04:20:06 GMT)

    Utah’s Enes Kanter did it all against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Wade Leads Late Charge, Miami Tops Houston 90-85 (Wed, 22 Oct 2014 02:50:05 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, including a jumper that made it a two-possession game with 35.8 seconds remaining, and the Miami Heat rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 90-85 in a preseason game Tuesday night.

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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).

    30 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.10.22)”

    1. How much will it cost the team to outright release Outlaw? 3 mil? Clearly Wear is the better fit for this roster so I don’t think Dolan should care if it costs 3 mil. It’s easy to say when it’s not you money to spend lol, so I guess the bigger question is- what does Phil think in regards to the Outlaw-Wear conundrum? Another thought on the roster, in my mind, is Bargs is really gonna screw the frontcourt rotation up. He still has enough skills at his size to tantalize coaches, but at this point should he be getting minutes over Cole-Jason Smith-STAT-Acy?? Hellz no should be the answer, but even I like his offensive skillset in the triangle. The rest of his skillset is just offensive. See what I did there? LOL. Anyhoo..I’ve read that Phil may showcase STAT and Bargs in an effort to move them. I don’t think STAT should be moved as his skillset fits in very nicely, but more importantly- he would bring in too much salary being way overpaid at 23 mil. Bargs I have no qualms with showcasing for a trade. Hypothetitically let’s say Milwaukee still has Sanders on the market. Is Bargs & Larkin for Sanders a move Phil would consider? Sanders is young and plays D but the downside is the extra years of salary. Phil’s rumored top target, Marc Gasol, is older and will command much more money. But he also brings post play and uncanny versatility as a post player. The only thing that scares me is his age. We would have 2 thirty-somethings taking the majority of the cap. So, is Sanders worth being included in a plan that grabs a few younger players that are already good but haven’t reached their potential? Or is Marc Gasol really good enough to be the difference maker to get Melo deep into the postseason?

    2. Also..I think folks are really underestimating Calderon’s value on this team and it’s probably because his stats didn’t stand out in Dallas. Everyone is used to seeing him at 13 ppg and 8-9 apg, but his skillset are just straight up perfect for the triangle- even as a traditional PG. The game’s gonna be so easy for him this season, which in turn will make the game easier for Melo and TH2 and possibly JR and Shump.

    3. Rant coming – sorry if it’s a little disorganized, but here goes:

      This thing about OKC and Philly (and maybe Milwaukee) objecting to the lottery rules is IMHO so irritating. The only thing changing the lottery balls does is disincentivize purposeful losing. It’s not like the lottery balls are being given to the best 10 teams in the NBA — there’s just being more evenly split amongst bad teams. So if you’re a bad team, you no longer can “control” your destiny as easily by losing more games on purpose — it’s much easier to control losing than to control winning.

      In terms of lottery balls, there is a risk and benefit to winning games — winning games may make your players and (short-term-focused) fan base happier (=benefit) but comes at the risk of losing lottery balls. It’s a very easy calculation for Hinkie etc. to make — we don’t really care about the short-term fans or any of the players we don’t control on long-term cheap (rookie) contracts, so there is only risk when trying to win games, no benefit. The only thing giving more lottery balls to the slightly less bad teams does is decrease the “risk”/disincentive of winning games which is what we should all want. The NBA in general should never encourage a situation in which losing games > winning games. Seriously, how often have we all bemoaned winning a few meaningless games back in the Gallinari / Jordan Hill drafts? We should never be sad that we won some games.

      And this whole “small market” vs. “large-market” dichotomy is probably better described as markets in which fans are happy just to have any team and are fine with just punting multiple seasons in a row vs. markets in which constant losing is not accepted. If I were a large-market team owner and were expected to subsidize Philly’s bastardization of competition via revenue sharing, I’d be pissed too.

    4. “How much will it cost the team to outright release Outlaw? 3 mil?”
      It would cost the same to cut Outlaw as it would to keep him on the team — $3 million plus luxury tax on $3 million. The only increase in cost would be what they pay Travis Wear — $500,000 or so, plus the luxury tax on $500,000. I’m in favor of keeping Wear over Outlaw simply because it’s pretty much a given that Outlaw won’t contribute much this year and has no future with the team, whereas there is at least a chance that Wear contributes something this year and might have a future with the team. The worst that can happen is that we find out that Wear has no future and the 15th spot on the roster doesn’t contribute.

    5. Been away a bit. Has there been a predictions thread yet? Would love to see what everyone thinks, especially if anyone is going to spend the whole year crowing about being right.

      I’m of the opinion that if all goes well the Knicks could win 42-45 games and acheive the 8 seed. But I don’t think all will go well, and I think they are more likely to win 38-41 games. And frankly I’d rather they do, especially if lottery reform is enacted this year and it becomes easier to move up. Ideally, Carmelo Anthony will miss a decent amount of time with a non-significant injury (like a broken bone in his non-shooting hand, or something). That would really improve our lottery odds.

      But I’m extending my prediction (actually this is more like a wish) to the lottery. I predict Phil Jackson, in his first ever lottery (right? I don’t think he’s ever missed the playoffs as a coach), meditates in the wilderness until he can open the mystical lines of communication between he and the ping pong balls and he convinces them that the wisest course of action would be to let our balls come out first, giving this team the first bit of luck in a very, very long time. Hopefully this draft has an Anthony Davis in it, and not an Andrew Wiggins (though even that would be swell, as long as there is another team stupid enough to trade a player like Kevin Love to us for an overrated #1 draft pick).

      I also predict a solid year for Shumpert, similar to but better than his second year. And I think JR does well enough that we can actually pick up a solid asset for him at the trade deadline.

    6. If I were a large-market team owner and were expected to subsidize Philly’s bastardization of competition via revenue sharing, I’d be pissed too.

      Philadelphia is a large market team. It’s the #4 media market in America. (Or is that your point?)

    7. Elsewhere in the East, I’m not buying the “Miami will still be good” arguments. I respect Bosh and Spoelstra, but I think they fall apart without LeBron (who was wise to jump ship) and miss the playoffs completely.

      1. Cavs
      2. Bulls
      3. Hawks
      4. Pistons (banking on SVG and Drummond breaking out)
      5. Wizards
      6. Raptors
      7. Hornets
      8. Nets

      I think the window is open this year for a new champion, and either Chris Paul or Kevin Durant steps through it. Since Durant is out for an extended period already, I think that will be enough for the Clippers to earn home court and that will give them the edge. So Clippers over Cavs in the NBA Finals.

    8. Excellent rant, Frank. I agree wholeheartedly. The system is so fucked that it doesn’t even hurt Philadelphia financially to tank, because they get just as much a slice of the overall revenue pie as the teams trying to win! Fucked up.

      Oh and they’re going to be awesome eventually, because they’re playing the game well per the stupid rules that were set.

    9. Reprinted from last thread:

      My concern with this team is that we don’t have enough players with 2-way skill, size and what I’ll call “youthful athleticism” to match up with the many young athletic teams. I fear we’re gonna lose a lot of games to non-playoff teams like the Celtics and Bucks, not to mention the athletic playoff-caliber teams that seem to be a thing now. The only true 2-way skilled athletes we have are Melo (and he’s not really an up-tempo player any more) Shump, and JR (and those 2 are flawed.) Maybe Hardaway, although his D is inexplicably bad for a young, smart, athletic player.
      The rest are either slow (Jason, Dalembert) undersized (Larkin, Acy) raw (Early, Larkin, Acy, Cole) not physically/mentally capable of defending their position (Calderon, Prigioni, Amare) or just suck (Bargnani, Outlaw).

      We’re not looking good right now. And I’m usually the optimist around here.

    10. @7

      The Heat are in trouble. We saw what happened to a perennial 60-win team last time LeBron switched jerseys. As productive as he (surprisingly still) is, Wade will be 33 in January. Bosh isn’t far behind him. Chris Andersen, the perfect complement to a player like LeBron, is, like, 50 and now has to primarily rely on players like Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers to run the PnR with. I wouldn’t be surprised if they fell to a #7 seed. If Wade gets injured, they could be a lottery team.

    11. Miami is getting way too much respect. They were a 54-win team last year with Lebron. With Lebron, Wade was able to rest for 28 games last year and play 54 games at a high level coincidentally shooting 54% from the field, a career best mark. I have zero faith in Wade to coming close to replicating those numbers from last year without Lebron commanding defensive attention away from him and without the ability to rest whenever he sees fit to preserve his health.

      Deng and McRoberts are nice players, but they did absolutely nothing this year to rectify their biggest weakness which was that they were an awful rebounding team. It was easier to get away with that when they had the best player on the planet performing miracles nightly and when their offense was one of the most efficient in the league. Their offense will get worse (No. 5 DRtg) and their defense may at best stay the same (No. 11 DRtg last year).

      Not sure about the Pistons up to No. 4 Hubert. They will be playing Brandon Jennings a lot of minutes and while I believe in SVG I don’t think he can coach the stupid out of him, at least not to that degree.

      I’m with you on Atlanta and I hit the over on 42 wins for them hard.

    12. Also..I think folks are really underestimating Calderon’s value on this team and it’s probably because his stats didn’t stand out in Dallas. Everyone is used to seeing him at 13 ppg and 8-9 apg, but his skillset are just straight up perfect for the triangle- even as a traditional PG. The game’s gonna be so easy for him this season, which in turn will make the game easier for Melo and TH2 and possibly JR and Shump.

      Pretty much any optimism regarding the Knicks’ outlook this year versus last in any NBA projection system is based on Calderon’s offensive skills, so I don’t think he’s being underestimated.

    13. 1. Important question. Does Phil Jackson believe that Quincy Acy is Quincy Miller?

      2. If Tim Hardaway is really 6′ 8″ as Phil claims, does this mean he grew two inches since being measured at the combine? Also note, if TH2 really was 6′ 8″, his 2.3 rebounds / 36 would be the lowest in NBA history for any player that tall with at least 300 minutes played.

      3. Describing Jason Smith as Bargnani with less range is not very nice. Suggesting that what Bargnani really needs is to develop a crossover, however, seems like outright cruelty.

    14. Once I read, “Travis Outlaw is strictly a shooter, and a very good one. ” I officially erased all other Phil quotes from out of my head.

    15. you guys getting pissed at phil’s quotes need to chill a little bit. Honestly, is he going to come out in public and shit on his players?!?!?! LOL. It’s very easy to see when he’s being PC about player’s specific weaknesses, or about players as a whole like outlaw. It’s the beginning of the year, we know he is at very least going to give a good faith effort to build guys up for 1) morale reasons (he knows they read that shit, knows they know he’s aware of their flaws) and 2) to keep trade options (few as they may be) open. There is literally no downside to him answering questions in the matter in which he did, practically speaking.

      I feel like he’s also kind of gotten the point across that we are far far far from being competitive. He also knows that half these guys will be gone next year. I don’t think he’s the type of dude to tank outright, what with the east being awful, but I don’t think he’s gonna put his top lineup out there for 40 minutes a game like thibs or some shit. He’s gonna balance developing players knowledge of the triangle, trying to build up guys’ values, and winning. His interviews pretty much reflect that, IMO.

    16. TL;DR: the dichotomy between how he talks about individual players abilities and how he talks about the team’s competitive prospects should alert savvy fans to his game plan, broadly speaking

    17. Wow, Phil really says a lot in that piece. That is as candid as I’ve heard any MSG person be, ever. (But does he really think amar’e can become a better rebounder, with bad knees and 25,000 minutes of bad habits programed into him?)

    18. Imagine if Phil gave a totally honest assessment of all the Knicks.

      Travis Outlaw – “Travis has long been one of the worst players in the league and we only took him on as a salary dump because we wanted Quincy Acy.”

      Andrea Bargnani – “Andrea doesn’t do anything well and I would never willingly choose him to be on my team, but we’re kinda stuck with him. There’s only one year left on his terrible contract, so we’re just gonna ride that out because there is no GM in the league dumb enough to take him in a trade.”

    19. Well so much for lottery reform. The NBA didn’t come close to passing it. 13 teams voted in favor of the tankerific system.

      Great. Just great.

    20. “That Cole report is troubling.”
      Probably just part of the conspiracy discussed at length here yesterday to depress Cole’s trade value so other GM’s don’t start insisting that he be included in any deal that the Knicks might propose…

    21. Not sure about the Pistons up to No. 4 Hubert. They will be playing Brandon Jennings a lot of minutes and while I believe in SVG I don’t think he can coach the stupid out of him, at least not to that degree.

      I’m not sure about it, either. But one team usually does surprisingly well and they’re a decent candidate, IMHO.

    22. Phil on Amar’e:

      “Playing adequate defense is a real challenge for him”

      Considering that candidness, I’m actually a little concerned that his Barngani report was so optimistic. But at least he stated explicitly that he should not be shooting 3’s.

      This part was odd:

      “Also, he [Bargs] is a finger-roller, not a dunker. Could he have small hands? Or does he just need to be more aggressive?” I don’t know Phil, can’t you look at his hands?

    23. I can’t wait for the Bargnani crossover GIF ala Vince Carter 2010. I’m praying this is an elaborate ruse by BCT to get Bargs to injure himself.

    24. Phil on Amare: “Playing adequate defense is a real challenge for him”

      As Mike Myers said after Kanye’s “Bush doesn’t care about black people” rant:


    25. That Phil Jackson guy needs glasses… how could he miss Aldrich’s otherworldly skills?

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