Knicks Morning News (2014.12.02)

  • [New York Post] Anthony has ‘ordinary soreness’ in back following Knicks return (Tue, 02 Dec 2014 01:02:01 -0500)

    Carmelo Anthony's bad back responded well the day after he made his return to the Knicks lineup. The Knicks star scored 31 points in 41 minutes in Sunday night's 86-79…

  • [New York Daily News] As Knicks sink, minutes for Carmelo and Amar’e rise (Tue, 02 Dec 2014 05:36:07 GMT)

    How desperate were Derek Fisher and the Knicks to win Sunday night’s home game against the Heat, even though they fell short yet again?

  • [New York Daily News] Bondy: Knicks and Nets rival each other in failure (Tue, 02 Dec 2014 05:24:07 GMT)

    There is one notable difference, at least: The Nets have a coach who publicly questions his players’ efforts.

  • [New York Times] Leonard Leads Spurs Over Winless 76ers 109-103 (Tue, 02 Dec 2014 08:13:04 GMT)

    The Spurs didn’t have Tim Duncan or Tony Parker, and that gave Kawhi Leonard a chance to shine.

  • [New York Times] Griffin Leads Clippers Over Timberwolves 127-101 (Tue, 02 Dec 2014 06:25:01 GMT)

    Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick each scored 23 points before sitting out the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers returned from the most successful road trip in franchise history with a 127-101 rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Spurs Drop 76ers to 0-17 (Tue, 02 Dec 2014 05:43:10 GMT)

    Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 26 points and had a crucial 3-point play in the final minute to help visiting San Antonio beat winless Philadelphia.

  • [New York Times] Lawson Late Jumper Lifts Nuggets Over Jazz 103-101 (Tue, 02 Dec 2014 05:01:14 GMT)

    Ty Lawson had 15 points and made a double-pump jumper to beat the shot clock with 29.6 seconds left that boosted the Denver Nuggets over the Utah Jazz 103-101 in a charged atmosphere Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Heat Go 2 for 22 on 3s, Lose to Wizards 107-86 (Tue, 02 Dec 2014 04:19:00 GMT)

    With his Wizards leading the Heat by 15 after two quarters, 37-year-old Paul Pierce implored his younger teammates to put the game away.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Prepare to Host the Nets in a Battle of Futility (Tue, 02 Dec 2014 02:00:30 GMT)

    New York’s two N.B.A. teams, which meet Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, are turning the city into a mecca of bad basketball.

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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).

    24 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.12.02)”

    1. For the first time this year, I was able to watch the entire game (Heat @ Knicks). I thought it would have been worse, but I was treated to something resembling real basketball here and there.

      Some thoughts:
      1) Great stuff by coach Fisher in making JR play just a shade under 7 minutes. Maybe he’s getting it after almost 20 games. Encouraging!
      2) Bad stuff by coach Fisher in making Pablo play just a shade under 7 minutes. Maybe he doesn’t get anything, really. The plan should have been less JR, more Pablo.
      3) Great stuff by Fisher in making Jason Smith play so little. He’s very bad. I know he’s going to be featured in our 14-15 highest moment (W vs. Cle, him staring down LeBron), but boy, he’s even worse than Bargs. I was against his signing but even I didn’t think he would have been that bad. I don’t want to see another minute by him. He doesn’t do anything apart from chucking 18-footers.
      4) Where is the Triangle? If the plan is to make Melo shoot in Kobe-ISO down the stretch, than by all means make Rambis the head coach and give Fisher a suit so he could go out there and shoot clutch three after clutch three and give us veteran leadership.
      5) Whoa Amar’e. The guy can still score. He just should be the third big man in the rotation (the real third big man, not the first hampered by exploding knees). I guess in the next two years he’s going to make some contender very happy. Dallas anyone?
      6) Bleah Amar’e in PNR defense. He’s getting worse, and I don’t even know how that’s possible.
      7) Real question: why do we play awful veterans? I get why we would want to play Jose, Pablo (long live) and to some extent Amar’e and Dalembert. But come on, since we aren’t going anywhere, recall Thanasis from the D-League, and give some burn to all the youngsters (if they play with passion).
      8) Watching the entirety of this 82-game season must be a real chore.

    2. @ swift & donnie….I was under impression of the game GSW@DET I saw….and boy does the vortex of players running from side to side with blocks and pump/drive fakes, raining triples create chaos among defenders….Detroit really tried to slow them down but it’s almost impossible to stop that style and of course high quality roster GSW has also is integral part of their success…..
      And that style and roster construction comparing to the Knicks( I started with League Pass some two weeks ago) is really what frightens me. Knicks do and are exactly what the latest BB “wisdom” tells us is not OK. System and roster are both questionable.
      Intent, “only option”, mistake? Future knows. I sure as hell don’t.

    3. We have been taking a lot more 3’s lately, so I’m not sure if the worries about the triangle being a poor fit for the modern, 3 happy NBA are valid. We have just missed almost all of them. I do have some questions about coach’s rotations *cough cough COLE cough cough*, but like last season, the big problem with this team is that there aren’t many productive NBA players on the roster.

    4. Exactly. We have precisely zero players who can play as modern NBA dictates (not that I would say that’s the only way to play, but boy is it fun. Melo at the 4 is maybe the closest we have to modern NBA players). The only good shooters we have are Melo and Calderon, which, sadly, are also the only players who can create something from the bounce. Timmy could be a good offensive piece if put in the right position (JR is not redeemable), and Pablo is always useful in 15-20 mpg. Amar’e is a good scorer, but he serves no purpose since he is a train wreck on defense.

      But what I totally, completely don’t understand is the lack of passion in everybody on the court. That’s the most unnerving thing.

    5. “We have been taking a lot more 3’s lately”
      Interesting article yesterday (postingandtoasting.com, I think) about how, over the last 6 games or so, the Knicks’ shot distribution has improved — i.e., fewer mid-range shots, more 3’s and more shots in the paint. Also, I think that the defense has improved a little bit. Over the last 5 games, Knicks’ opponents have shot something like 28% from 3 (down from 42% prior to that) and, even if you ignore the Mavs’ 4-31 “outlier,” the other teams have shot 35%. They’ve also been fouling less and are no longer dead last in opponent foul shots. Small progress, but maybe progress nonetheless (or maybe just a small sample size anomaly).

    6. I think our offense is going to show significant improvement over the course of the season. While the Knicks are a very flawed team, we do have a bunch of guys who can really shoot. Yes, the 3s have not been falling lately, but if we keep taking them, they should start going down.

      The defense, though, that’s a tough one.

    7. looks like our problems are the same as last year. we have 3 positions on the court where we don’t have 2 way players. Last year it was PG/SG/PF (when Melo wasn’t playing the 4) and this year it’s SG/PF/C.

      tough to win when the roster is so limited.

      Jason Smith is just awful. If possible I think he’s worse than Bargnani. Bargs’s defense is like benign neglect – he’s just nowhere near the play. Jason Smith is a foul machine, turns the ball over like crazy, and is amazingly just as bad a rebounder as Bargs is.

      Honestly, the Knicks should just go small again.
      Start Calderon, Pablo, Shump, Melo, and Dalembert and try to outscore other teams.

    8. Smith is definitely worse than Bargs, the issue is that he’s not so much worse than Bargs and yet Bargs gets treated like he is a great player while Smith gets pretty much treated like he is – a shitty player who offers the ability to nail open 20-footers at a good rate. That is worth something, but not for a team that needs more two-way players. For a team that has enough and that can hide Smith, he has a use. Just like Bargs does. But instead teams act like Bargs is a key piece of a rotation when he is definitely not.

    9. Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. Ain’t nobody definitely worse than Bargs. I can’t stand for that on this blog. Not on my watch, people.

    10. Huh?

      “Andrea’s activity was good. He was versatile, just like I’d always observed from a distance. He can shoot the basketball, he can put it down; he’s a matchup problem for other teams when he’s playing the frontcourt at the 4, the 5.” – Derek Fisher

    11. Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. Ain’t nobody definitely worse than Bargs. I can’t stand for that on this blog. Not on my watch, people.

      There’s plenty of players worse than Bargs, the issue has always been that he is so bad and yet gets so many minutes. That’s why he is such a special bad player. He is not only awful, he hurts the team more because teams continue to play him despite his awfulness, which makes him a bigger negative than worse players.

    12. Bargs is consistently one of the 10 or 20 worst players in the NBA on a rate basis. His unique talent is being one of the very worst players in the NBA but also playing lots of minutes and staying in the league. If you’re going to take a big picture approach, I will agree that there are many basketball players who are worse than Andrea Bargnani. As far as NBA players go, though, there are not plenty of players worse than him.

    13. Jason smith has made $13 million over 7 years in the league.

      Bargnani has made $60 million over 8 years in the league.

      They are equally sucky, yet one gets paid a whole lot more to suck, making his suckiness even more detrimental to the health of an organization.

    14. interesting stuff tooling around on nbawowy (which is so much easier to use than the NBA website by the way):

      Amare on floor – NYK O-Rtg = 107, D-Rtg = 110 (-3 net)
      Amare off floor – NYK O-Rtg = 100, D-Rtg = 109 (-9 net) –> so Amare is a net +6

      Amare without Melo (162 min) – NYK ORtg 92, DRtg 111 (-19!!)
      Melo without Amare (308 min) – NYK ORtg 103, DRtg 111 (-8)

      Amare+Melo on floor (251 min) – NYK ORtg 116, DRtg 111 (+5)

      Last two-
      Amare+Melo+Pablo (77 min) – NYK ORtg 124, DRtg 107 (+17)
      Amare+Melo+Pablo WITHOUT Dalembert (72 min) – NYK ORtg 124, DRtg 109 (+15)

      or

      Amare+Melo without either Cole or Dalembert (ie. Amare at center) (206 min)- NYK ORtg 124, Drtg 113 (+11)

      Amare+Melo+Dalembert (only 41 minutes) – NYK ORtg 86.3!, DRtg 96.3 (-10)

      Morals of story:

      1) Amare and Melo should play more together, with Pablo if possible.
      2) Amare without Melo (ie. focal point of offense) is awful and should be avoided at all costs
      3) When Amare and Melo are on the floor, playing them with a true center absolutely craters the offense far more than said Center helps the defense.

      **disclaimer – nbawowy’s numbers don’t totally match with NBA.com for some reason

    15. Jason smith has made $13 million over 7 years in the league.

      Bargnani has made $60 million over 8 years in the league.

      They are equally sucky, yet one gets paid a whole lot more to suck, making his suckiness even more detrimental to the health of an organization.

      Yes, but even further, not just the money but the minutes allotted to Bargs because of the money.

    16. Jason Smith is actually the Bargnani that scouts got right. They are the same height, same weight, same age, same color, have the same strength, and have the same weaknesses. Bargnani was selected first in 2006, Smith was selected 20th in 2007.

      If Bargnani had been selected 20th in 2006, where he should have been, he’d have played less minutes and made less money, and he would have had a fine career as a niche player with marginal value. It’s like PTMilo’s sliding doors reference again.

    17. Frank,

      Your numbers are very interesting. I agree with your conclusions. Looking at the numbers I saw something additional. With the exception of the 46 minute of data at the end of your post, the defensive ratings were all very similar and in the range of roughly 110-117. The wide variation in plus or minus almost all come from variations in the Offensive rating, which range from 92 to 124. To me this suggests that our defense may be irredeemably bad, but that we can swing games (maybe) with our offense. I wish this hypothesis weren’t so, but I fear it is.

    18. Maybe Fisher could start an offense oriented line up and the switch to a mostly defensive one when he starts subbing.

    19. And who exactly would play on a defensive-oriented lineup? Don’t we need five players on the floor not to forfeit the game?

    20. Unfortunately we couldn’t play a mostly defensive line-up even if we wanted to…

      Larkin, Shump, Melo, Acy, Dalembert? Yuck. This team is so fucked this year.

      While that’s depressing right now, it doesn’t really matter long term. The more we suck, the better draft pick we get and hopefully we’ll be able to build the team with real 2-way players this offseason.

    21. Thinking about it, I agree it’s difficult to play a good defensive line up. Best I can think of is Larkin, Shump, JR, Dalembert and Acy/Cole. I put Smith instead of Prigioni, because Frank’s numbers suggest Prigioni really makes the offense hum. I also left Melo out as he should be a starter on the all offense team. I tried looking up these two lineups on nbawowy; but as far as I can tell, neither line up has been on the floor. It probably would be a disaster overall, but it does show up how much posters are right we can’t put a good defense on the floor. So I guess we just have to out shoot the opponents.

    22. 7) Real question: why do we play awful veterans? I get why we would want to play Jose, Pablo (long live) and to some extent Amar’e and Dalembert. But come on, since we aren’t going anywhere, recall Thanasis from the D-League, and give some burn to all the youngsters (if they play with passion).

      Interesting you bring this up as I was thinking about it the other day. By all reports Travis Wear has picked up the triangle better than just about anyone on the squad. Why not give him a bit of burn? Same with Early, and yeah maybe even call up Thanasis. It was pretty clear from the start of the year we were going to suck, but why not suck and develop some young guys? I guess the probalem is managing veteran ego’s. I would have though one of the harder jobs a coach has is maintaining the peace in a a locker room, and I guess it would be easier for a rookie like Fish to persist with vets, rather than have disgruntled players messing up the locker room chemistry.

      Also, really hoping the Knicks get up against the Nets tonight. My sister is in NYC and getting to the Garden for the game. Having been a Knicks fan since I was 9 or 10, I am massively jealous she gets to go to a game at MSG before me, but really hope they win so she has a decent MSG experience.

    23. Travis Wear has got some burn, and hasn’t really shown any reason he should be on the floor. Then again, compared to almost everyone else on the roster, there isn’t much reason he shouldn’t be on the floor, either.

      As for Early, he’s injured, and Thanasis…well, he was so raw in summer league I can’t say I’m optimistic he’s ready for prime time. Then again, compared to almost everyone else on the roster…

      Reality is that the best-case scenario for this team is #8 seed and out in the first round. We all know it; it just stinks to live with it for five more months. Especially because it’s not as if Fisher has made huge errors in allocating playing time – at least based on the observation that Cole simply isn’t in shape to play more.

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