Knicks Morning News (2014.11.05)

  • [New York Daily News] Bondy: Carmelo’s positivity will last as long as Knicks are winning (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 06:20:56 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony now says the Knicks of last year — the same Knicks, more or less, who were coming off a successful 2012-13 season and boldly talking NBA title — gave off bad vibes from the start.

  • [New York Daily News] Carmelo Anthony off mark, J.R. Smith up to old tricks as Knicks lose to Wizards, 98-83 (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 06:20:11 GMT)

    It was early in the third quarter when the vaunted triangle offense quickly deteriorated into “Please Bail Us Out Melo.” There are worse options, of course. But on a night when Carmelo Anthony wasn’t nearly at the top of his game, the Knicks sank like his shooting percentage. “I thought we did a good job of making life harder for him,” long-time Knicks tormentor Paul Pierce said.

  • [New York Daily News] How Kobe Bryant could be traded to team like Knicks, and why trade may never happen (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 04:50:42 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant trade rumors on the Internet are now second only to Kim Kardashian photos with her baby. With each successive Lakers loss, speculation grows that Bryant could spend the twilight of his brilliant career with a championship contender and perhaps even reunite with Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher in New York.

  • [New York Times] Phoenix Suns Beat Lakers 112-106 Despite Kobe’s 39 (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 07:16:14 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant took over the Los Angeles Lakers’ offense and tried to take over the game, digging back into his famed history and carrying his undermanned team to the brink of its first victory.

  • [New York Times] Lillard Has 27 and Blazers Beat Cavs 101-82 (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 05:46:02 GMT)

    Damian Lillard snapped out of a shooting slump with 27 points and the Portland Trail Blazers held LeBron James to just 11 in a 101-82 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Rockets Rout Heat to Improve to 5-0 (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 05:07:01 GMT)

    James Harden had 25 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds for Houston, which used a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter to pull away.

  • [New York Times] Wizards 98, Knicks 83: Knicks’ Offense Runs Aground Against Wizards, and a Promising Start Follows Suit (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 04:29:59 GMT)

    The Knicks were ready for John Wall, the Wizards’ star point guard, but an offensive dry spell in the third quarter spelled doom.

  • [New York Times] Rockets Move to 5-0 by Topping Heat (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 04:04:09 GMT)

    James Harden had 25 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds for Houston, which used a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter to pull away.

  • [New York Times] Davis Powers Pelicans Past Hornets 100-91 (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 03:57:55 GMT)

    Anthony Davis had 24 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Charlotte Hornets 100-91 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Knight Helps Bucks Hold Off Pacers, 87-81 (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 03:54:53 GMT)

    Brandon Knight had 23 points and seven rebounds, making a key jumper with 22 seconds left, as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Indiana Pacers 87-81 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Bulls Beat Magic 98-90 Without Rose, Noah (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 03:43:08 GMT)

    Pau Gasol had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls beat the winless Orlando Magic 98-90 on Tuesday night despite playing without Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

  • [New York Times] Wizards Top Knicks for Fourth Straight Time, 98-83 (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 03:25:11 GMT)

    Paul Pierce and Garrett Temple each scored 17 points, and the Washington Wizards beat the New York Knicks for the fourth straight time, 98-83 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Raptors Beat Depleted Thunder 100-88 (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 03:22:07 GMT)

    DeMar DeRozan scored 16 points, Patrick Patterson had 14 and the Toronto Raptors beat the depleted Oklahoma City Thunder 100-88 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Brittney Griner Sustains Cut in Knife Attack in China (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 02:55:03 GMT)

    Griner, a star for the W.N.B.A.’s Mercury who was cut as her team boarded a bus after practice Monday, did not need to go to a hospital, her agent said.

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: In Rapidly Changing World, Nets Strive for an Important Constant (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 02:41:59 GMT)

    With an owner who talks like an investor and an old-school coach who is trying to modernize, the Nets have set their sights on winning.

  • [New York Times] Bulls Without Rose, Noah Against Magic (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 00:51:56 GMT)

    The Chicago Bulls were without Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah for their game Tuesday night against the Orlando Magic.

  • [New York Times] National Basketball Association Roundup (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 00:24:43 GMT)

    It was fear, not fatigue, that pushed Kevin Durant away from Team USA this summer.

  • [New York Post] Oh, nuts: J.R. Smith may be in more trouble (Wed, 05 Nov 2014 00:26:45 -0500)

    J.R. Smith's availability for Wednesday's game in Detroit could be in doubt if the NBA deems his fourth-quarter incident with Glenn Rice Jr. intentional. The Knicks' volatile shooting guard was…

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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).

    40 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.11.05)”

    1. No recap today? I want my money back. Some thoughts on last night’s game:

      Defense was actually reasonably good again I thought, particularly in the first half. Obviously we’re not going to be a really good defensive team until we get some more good defensive players and we still have too much of a tendency to sag off 3 point shooters for no reason (Melo’s over rotation in the 4th quarter to give Pierce that open 3 was particularly painful), but the simple fact that it stands out this year when we allow a PG to just walk to the hoop off a simple pick and roll (Stat had a galling one) is a big improvement. Last year it seemingly happened 3 times a quarter.

      I thought a big part of the problem on offense was our inability to get anything positive out of the strong side primary options in the triangle. We look much more comfortable when we swing the ball to the weakside guard and run two man action there, but our lack of real post up options (particularly with Stat and Melo struggling) really hinders us when teams cut off that option – as Washington seemed to consciously work to do in the 2nd half. I love me some Country Cole, but we had multiple possessions where we threw him the ball 12 feet from the hoop on the right block and let him go to work. That’s just bad offense. Dalembert made a couple slick passes again, but he also can’t generate any offense of his own from that spot. I think this is going to continue to be a problem, particularly once teams scout it out. Second half had a lot of possessions with the 3 triangle guys sort of aimlessly moving it between them with no real plan.

      Shumps best game in a long time – maybe since that Texas trip last year where he was red hot. Really hope he can keep it up. Side note: my man needs a hair cut so desperately. I have no problems with the retro look, but you got to keep it shaped up.

    2. ^^^agreed about the inability to make anything out of the strongside triangle options. Reversing across the floor for the 2 man game is always gonna be easier for players who are just used to traditional pick and roll plays.

      In the attempts to set up the strong side triangle in the 2nd half, one thing I noticed was the wizards off ball defenders would drape themselves over one side (usually the ball side) of the player who looked to be expecting a pass. Sometimes this would be the post up option, sometimes this would be the other big cutting to the foul line for the possible pass. It was like half-fronting them — enough so you couldn’t safely lob it over, and enough so that it makes entry passes tough for players who aren’t good at them (i.e. everyone except Pablo and Jose).
      I am not too well versed on the counters for this, outside of making admittedly tough entry passes. Making that pass into the corner (which we never seem to do) instead of the post is one, reversing the ball to the other side to reform a triangle on the other side is another (we did 0 of that — every reversal ended up in pick and roll 2 man game stuff). I’m sure there are other things to counter with that Fish will cover — I take a bit of solace in the fact this strategy by the wiz seemed to be responsible for almost ALL of the knicks troubles in the 2nd half on offense, so solving that problem would go a long way.

      It doesn’t seem like it would be TOO complicated to fix, but what do I know…I aint tex winter

    3. And now Seth has a nice post over at P&T detailing the same thing. Guess everybody noticed the same stuff last night.

    4. So it’s a trend that everyone is picking up on. The success that the Wizards had defending the triangle is being reported everywhere. We should expect the Pistons to do the same tonight.

      Fisher needs to teach the team how to counter it and without a practice and 4 games in 5 nights, it may be difficult. This is why the first 1/4 of the season will be rough for the Knicks. This is also why defensive intensity is what will win us games now.

    5. Very astute analysis re: the Triangle (which is what I’ve come to expect from this site)
      I think the Triangle works best when you have an actual low post threat (like Shaq). When Dalembert gets the ball in the post to initiate the offense, he’s no threat to score (and man, does he have an ugly jump shot) and I think that gives the defense an advantage. Maybe we could try Stat in that position, although I get that he’s not the greatest passer in the league.

      I do have confidence that Fish will figure it out, I’m so impressed with his post-game interviews (and haven’t heard the word “again” once, which is refreshing)

    6. I think the Triangle works best when you have an actual low post threat (like Shaq).

      You mean Luke “The Shaq of the Outback” Longley?

    7. You got me there guys, except I said the Triangle would work best with a low post threat, not that it can’t work without it. And offensively, Dalembert makes Longley and Wennington look like Hakeem by comparison.

    8. Watching Cavs Blazers last night, it is hard to imagine how the game would look any different if Lebron were covertly throwing it. He tried on maybe 20 percent of defensive possessions.

    9. Have to say that seems pretty harsh on JR. Looks like a pretty standard swipe with his hand that just happened to land a little south of the border. If he didn’t have such a checkered rep I can’t see him getting suspended for that.

    10. Watching Cavs Blazers last night, it is hard to imagine how the game would look any different if Lebron were covertly throwing it. He tried on maybe 20 percent of defensive possessions.

      See my quote from the Cavs /Bulls game…..i think Lebron has declined.

    11. @12 plus if JR was doing it intentionally, he’d had left a Dwight Howard dunk contest sticker.

    12. JR being JR again…. a mind is a terrible thing to waste. What a fucking idiot, it will never stop with him. I don’t care how talented he is, it is terrible for team morale to go forward with him on the roster
      Trade him asap

    13. Teams with championship ambitions are not built with players who get suspended for untying opponent’s shoelaces, punching other players in the balls, partying till dawn the night before playoff games, playing high, etc….

      I know how this site works, the next dozen responses will name examples of winning teams with guys on the roster who performed some or all of the above. Good luck with that…

    14. Dennis Rodman?

      I occasionally smoked pot in college with a guy who started for an NBA champion. Some of these dudes do some pretty wild shit. JR isn’t the only one.

    15. It seems that JR has a target on his back. That did not look intentional. He’s done lots of stupid crap but the NBA needs to get called out on this one.

    16. I would say if you don’t have a low post threat then you need a lethal high post threat that rebounds and plays D.

    17. “I think Lebron is off the steroids for some reason”
      I’m not sure if you are serious or not, but I’m surprised that more people aren’t saying this. He was always a physical specimen but I thought that, over the last two seasons, he had gotten freakishly muscular. Now, coming off arguably the two best years of his career statistically, he suddenly decides that he would be better off if he lost 50 pounds? Why? Something is fishy.

    18. Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley kind of hinted toward the issue of steroids when talking about Lebron on Sportsnation today. The quickness of the loss of muscle mass is the most alarming thing.

    19. If anything, seems more like an HGH kinda thing, which I believe is harder to detect. That said, LeBron was never a particularly skinny kid, say like Barry Bonds.

    20. Or maybe LeBron realized that he’s soon to be on the wrong side of 30 and figured the best way to extend his career would be to lose all of that extra mass that takes a tremendous toll on joints and such.

      I’m all for fun conspiracy theories to pass away the time, but LeBron on PED’s with the only evidence being he slimmed down? Gimme a break, that’s what top world-class athletes do as they age because it’s easier to maintain.

    21. It does seem to be impacting him also – I saw somebody saying this was one of the worst 3 games stretches of his career in terms of finishing around the rim. It’s definitely pretty weird. I think you can understand the impulse to lose a little weight because he’s basically hauling an unprecedented amount of weight for a perimeter guy and has a serious ton of miles on him now (he should pass MJ in career minutes this season – how crazy is that?). But to lose as much weight as he did does seem a little funny, and it’s not like he looks quick which is what you would expect the hope was.

      Then again I’ll just play devil’s advocate on myself and say that when Lebron is off it’s always extremely offputting because we’re so used to him just being a machine. His first few games in Miami, that finals against Dallas, he just gets in these funks and it really impacts his game. Even if there is some physical decline (and there definitely is) it’s going to be hard to say how much until he snaps out of whatever mental thing is going on also. Because nobody really thinks that this is who he is now right? I’d bank a good amount that whatever decline there is he won’t end up shooting 40% from the floor this season.

    22. Am I alone when I say that the only thing I care about for this season to be a success is a big-time Shumpert breakout?

    23. 2-2 is about right (maybe better than expected.) I had said that a 3-4 start would be acceptable if we are really a playoff seed contender. 1-2 in these next 3 games would get us there. If we go 2-1, that’s a nice sign for the future. But my fear is that Chicago and Washington have exposed our weaknesses a bit…play the post 1-on-1 and force us to hit contested mid-range shots or to get hot from 3. Also, make someone other than Melo beat you, especially in the 3rd Q.

    24. I agree that LeBron is probably not juicing, but disagree with the “losing weight is better for the joints” logic. If your weight consists almost entirely of bone, muscle mass and connective tissue, and you have no sign of wear and tear injuries, why worry about prolonging your career by becomng lighter? Maybe the muscle is actually protecting your joints rather than hurting them. If 2 NBA bodies collide, the less muscular and lighter one is more likely to be put in an awkward, off-balance position, right? If anything, keep the muscle and stay closer to the ground (i.e. play more like Zach Randolph rather than Blake Griffin.) That’s what Jordan did, he actually got stronger but relied more on his jump shot than jumping over everyone for dunks.

    25. To a point, sure. But charging up and down the court (not to mention his training) with that extra weight certainly takes a toll as you get older. Plus, he has every reason to be concerned with making sure he stays near the top of the heap if he’s hoping to resign not one, but two contracts in the next two years. That man has a crazy amount of miles on him for his age, I’d be just as concerned about my longevity as he rightfully is.

      We can disagree about what’s best for LeBron’s longevity, and that’s all well and good. What I find the most absurd is that the first jump is to “he must be on PED’s.” The fact that that’s what jumped out first is laughably ridiculous to me, especially on a board that I’ve come to expect rational and intelligent (usually) discourse from. I’m not trying to be offensive here, but surely we can come up with more reasonable and rational explanations for LeBron’s change in size other than “must be drugs, duh.”

    26. If you’re gonna question how LeBron got so freakishly muscular, then I think you have to throw Amare and Dwight Howard into the mix as well.

    27. Interesting note related to constant ongoing debates about “shot creators” between the WP/48 people and others:

      Bomani Jones tweeted today about Kobe’s 37 shots last night(seriously Kobe? 37?):

      and i get it. kobe’s teammates aren’t good. but most of them could score 39 on 37 shots. so don’t give me that one.

      That’s basically the WP/48 mantra. And our own Phil Jackson, president of basketball operations, responded:

      you don’t get it. Most players can’t GET 10 shots let alone 30+ shots. It takes a special athlete to get a good shot in NBA.

      Pretty interesting.

    28. Funny that Jason Smith has turned out to be exactly the player some people hoped Bargs might be at the time of the trade. Efficient scoring, terrible defense and rebounding- any one think Smith would be worth trading a first round pick for? I’ll admit that I thought that if we got the Bargs of his first few seasons then the trade wouldn’t be a total disaster, still meh, but not a disaster. Watching Smith (who may wind up looking better than he has thus far) has definitely proved me wrong. And in really small sample size news- Cole hasn’t blocked a shot yet and is committing 8.3 fouls per 36- yikes! And who had Shump leading the Knick in PER through the first 4 games?

    29. you don’t get it. Most players can’t GET 10 shots let alone 30+ shots. It takes a special athlete to get a good shot in NBA.

      I didn’t watch the game because…well it should be obvious. But I suspect that not all of those shots were “good” shots.

    30. If you’re gonna question how LeBron got so freakishly muscular, then I think you have to throw Amare and Dwight Howard into the mix as well.

      I’d throw most of the top players in the NBA into the mix. Not saying any of them are doing steroids, but I surely wouldn’t be surprised by pretty much any of them. Kobe would probably be the least surprising one, though, since the dude travels to Europe for special treatments to heal his knee. Come on now.

    31. If you’re gonna question how LeBron got so freakishly muscular, then I think you have to throw Amare and Dwight Howard into the mix as well.

      Amar’e’s really only bulky in the upper body- his waist/lower body doesn’t have the bulk I’d expect from someone really juicing. That’s one the reasons he can be tough to get the ball to in the post- despite his strength he doesn’t have the body type to create a lot of space.

    32. I’m not saying Lebron is, or was, juicing. I’m not even saying he probably was. But I think it’s naive to an extreme to think that there aren’t a lot of guys on the league on some type of PEDs.

    33. We weren’t talking about “a lot of guys.” We were talking about one guy. Or at least I’m pretty sure we were.

      Again, I’m not suggesting it doesn’t happen. I’m merely suggesting that to make such a claim as if it were such obvious fact with absolutely no evidence for it other than “look at him at two different points in time” on a board that’s generally more interested in real data is a bit absurd.

    34. @26 – That would be great, but it’s not enough. He’s not a lock to be with the team next year. The Knicks did not extend his contract by the 10/31 deadline and he becomes an RFA. So, it doesn’t mean it helps for the future.

      @35 – I agree. Even at 6’11” he’s a small big. He was overwhelmed by Nene last night.

    35. “I’m merely suggesting that to make such a claim as if it were such obvious fact with absolutely no evidence for it other than “look at him at two different points in time” on a board that’s generally more interested in real data is a bit absurd.”
      I don’t think that anyone suggested that it was an obvious fact. I just said that I’m suspicious. I was also suspicious of Florence Griffith and Usain Bolt when they went from being mediocre sprinters to being by far the best who ever lived in a six month time period, or when Marion Jones suddenly got much faster, or when Brady Anderson gained 40 pounds of muscle and went from a 10 homerun to 50 homerun guy, or when Barry Bonds got better in his late 30’s, etc., etc. Unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times when pro athletes do things that defy logic — like suddenly and for no apparent reason decide to lose 50 pounds of muscle, right about the time when the league announces that they are going to start testing for HGH — cynics like me become suspicious (especially when the guy who made the decision had previously packed on about 40 pounds of muscle, his head appeared to grow, and he never ever got hurt during the prior four years when he lived about a mile from a notorious clinic that supplied HGH to numerous pro athletes.)

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