Knicks Morning News (2014.12.09)

  • [New York Daily News] ‘Disappointed’ Phil Jackson ‘not happy’ with Knicks’ start (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 06:59:19 GMT)

    Phil Jackson admitted that he’s ‘obviously disappointed’ with the Knicks’ 4-18 record.

  • [New York Post] Phil Jackson dishes on Knicks: Melo must do more than score (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 02:52:21 -0500)

    It was not a case-by-case, player-by-player assessment. But during the course of Phil Jackson speaking on virtually all things Knicks Monday, he spent time answering questions asked about three specific…

  • [New York Post] Phil Jackson struggling to wield the power of a president (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 00:19:39 -0500)

    Phil Jackson walked into the little conference room at the team's Tarrytown practice facility in a gray Knicks sweat suit, looking like a coach, sounding like a president. Onto his…

  • [New York Times] Clippers Beat Suns 121-120 in OT on Griffin’s 3 (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 07:54:46 GMT)

    Blake Griffin stepped back and lofted a 3-pointer that bounced off the rim. Everyone in the arena was spellbound, watching the ball go straight up before it dropped through at the buzzer, stunning the Phoenix Suns and the crowd.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | pro basketball: Wizards Win in Double Overtime (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 05:56:59 GMT)

    John Wall scored 26 points, including Washington’s last 10, and the host Wizards rallied for a 133-132 win over the Boston Celtics.

  • [New York Times] Sacramento Kings Beat Jazz 101-92 Without Cousins (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 05:45:47 GMT)

    Rudy Gay scored 29 points, and the Sacramento Kings overcame the absence of center DeMarcus Cousins to beat the struggling Utah Jazz 101-92 on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] John Wall Helps Wizards Beat Celtics in Two Overtimes (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 05:36:41 GMT)

    Wall scored 26 points, including Washington’s last 10, and the Wizards rallied past the Celtics.

  • [New York Times] For LeBron James and Other Stars, the Political Is Personal (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 04:58:54 GMT)

    With his choice of T-shirt, James paid tribute to the last words of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man killed in July in a confrontation with the police.

  • [New York Times] LeBron, Cavs Roll in Front of Royal Audience (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 04:13:05 GMT)

    LeBron James showed Prince William that it’s good to be the King.

  • [New York Times] Lowry Helps Raptors Beat Nuggets 112-107 in OT (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 03:39:59 GMT)

    Kyle Lowry had 13 points and 13 assists, Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points and 12 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors rallied to beat the Denver Nuggets 112-107 in overtime Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Beat Wolves for 13th Straight Win (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 03:24:49 GMT)

    Stephen Curry overcame a rare off night from long range to post 21 points and seven assists and help the Golden State Warriors to their 13th consecutive win with a 102-86 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

  • [New York Times] Horford Leads Hawks Over Pacers 108-82 (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 02:48:50 GMT)

    Al Horford scored 25 points, and Jeff Teague added 21 as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers 108-92 on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] A Long, Complex Day on the Hardcourt (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 02:10:22 GMT)

    As British royals took in a Nets game and players addressed the decision not to indict a police officer for the death of Eric Garner, Phil Jackson said the foundering Knicks must stay the course.

  • [New York Times] National Basketball Association Roundup (Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:03:41 GMT)

    Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob apologized to Mark Jackson after criticizing his former coach’s management skills last week.

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    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).

    44 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.12.09)”

    1. Courtesy of postingandtoasting, PJ’s remarks are just good PR, and don’t say much at all:

      “In summary: I see a president trying to tickle everyone’s ear holes at once at a trying juncture. That’s what presidents do. He wants us to know he’s unhappy with losing, but cares more about the quality of play than the final result. He wants to encourage the guys on the team, but acknowledges some of them aren’t in the long-term plans. He’s looking at trades, but only with long-term goals in mind.”

    2. I don’t know, I really don’t think we can say anything about this season at all. What’s the point? 75% of the team is gone next year, 18.3% may be traded, and 6.67% is Melo.

      For all I know, next year could be Calderon/Wesley Matthews/Deng/Melo/Hibbert.
      Or, more Knicksy: Calderon/Crawford/Melo/Boozer/Monroe.

      The possibilities are endless!

    3. Sorry for the interruption, just a little clarification:

      @61

      Don’t worry. I don’t take offense that you’re upset. I do like your quickly aggressive tone, though. Soon to go the way of the Italian Stallion and jon abbey, I’m sure…

      Jowles, if by any chance the Italian Stallion you mentioned in your post was me, I hope you don’t mind if I point this out:

      1) I’m not gone.
      2) I don’t get why you should be angry at me. Yes, in my first two months here we had a few verbal fisticuffs, but after that I’ve agreed with you much more than the vast majority of this board (not sure if this speaks good about me).
      3) Anyway I like the nick Italian Stallion. It’s trite, and it’s backhanded, but don’t worry, a lot of foreign gals won’t mind.

      If that Italian Stallion wasn’t me (highly doubtful), then I just want to reclaim the nick for the reason highlighted at 3).

      Go Knicks, Knicks suck.

    4. I don’t think we ever argued, really, but I thought you got banned for verbal instigation.

    5. Wesley Matthews would make the Madison Square Garden drool. He’d be a perfect Knicks hero (and a fine player, too). Thanks, no thanks for Deng (due to physical breakdown in two years or less) and Hibbert… well… I’d say he’s better suited for a small market team where he’s not overscrutinized. Here, he would melt in two weeks.

    6. Why should I have been banned? I’m pretty level-headed almost all the time… maybe you’re confusing me with someone else.

    7. Italian Stallion was a poster from pre- Melo era who would go on and on and on with horse betting and pool shooting analogies. As I recall he and the poster formerly known as Ted Nelson argued incessantly.

    8. Oh well, I won’t get a solitary grasp on that nickname, then. I already imagined myself running in Philadelphia screaming “Adriaaan!”. Too bad.

    9. Courtesy of postingandtoasting, PJ’s remarks are just good PR, and don’t say much at all:

      “In summary: I see a president trying to tickle everyone’s ear holes at once at a trying juncture. That’s what presidents do. He wants us to know he’s unhappy with losing, but cares more about the quality of play than the final result. He wants to encourage the guys on the team, but acknowledges some of them aren’t in the long-term plans. He’s looking at trades, but only with long-term goals in mind.”

      But that’s whole part and parcel of the slight criticism Jax has been getting. Since essentially everything he ever says is bullshit, how can anyone claim to guess what his plan was going into the season? People want to credit him for secretly tanking this season, but I don’t think there’s any real evidence that that is the case since everything he says is PR bullshit. How are we ever going to know either way?

    10. I just don’t get how “secretly tanking” could get along with “playing Melo so many minutes”. Playing Melo all those minutes means wasting precious minutes we could save for 2015-16 and after. I don’t buy any secret tanking theory, since to do that you should have dealt Chandler for a much shittier (although on a shorter contract) player than Calderon.

      The only thing that gives me hope this season for Phil Jackson, President of Basketball Operations extraordinaire, is that after December, 15th, there will be many more trades available. Only then we will know if he can work some magic on the trading market or not. Until then, we can safely say PJ’s moves have failed (for now).

    11. For those interested, PJ’s comments are available on video at MSG.com. I watched all three and felt the press mis-stated some of what he said. In particular, his comments on which players had adapted to the Triangle offense were reported differently by different reporters. I felt his comments on this topic were kind of aimed at other GMs, rather than at fans or others. He wants them to know that every player will learn the system eventually so that no player has to be traded. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to trade, just that that he doesn’t want to be perceived as having to make a trade.

    12. In the spirit of GM thinking, I would like to hear people’s opinions on which Knicks are most likely to be traded. I haven’t been able to watch many games yet, so I am limited in information to make my guesses, but I will go out on a limb and propose the following in order of likelihood.

      Hardaway — he is young and known for scoring so I think he is marketable. But he seems to be learning the triangle slowly and is bad on defense.

      Cole. — his stats are very good, but he doesn’t get much playing time, so I think he’s very expendable but also marketable.

      Samuel Dalembert. — I know he just arrived, but he hasn’t impressed me. He is known as a reasonable NBA player, so he’s marketable if we get a replacement.

    13. I don’t know about saying PJ’s moves have failed so far, especially given the sample size of time we’ve given him.

      1. Lamar Odom signed: Ok, risk-free, could teach the triangle, and possible rotation player, didn’t pan out. Whatever.
      2. Woodson fired: GOOD
      3. Derek Fisher hired: 5 years, $25M. A long time to hire a first-time coach. We can see he is pretty smart, puts in effort, and is unflappable. He is interested in culture change, and pretty good with X’s/O’s. Rotations, offensive sets and defensive play suck.
      4. Tyson Chandler + Felton for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and two second-round picks: We were losing Chandler after this year anyway. Addition by subtraction for Felton. We gained picks too. I see this as a huge positive.
      5. Cleanthony Early at No. 34 and forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo of Greece at No. 51: No idea how these guys can contribute in the future, and I have no read on Thanasis. We’ll see.
      6. Melo signs for Mega Max: It takes a great player to attract a great player, if that’s what we are trying to do. Who knows what the Bull’s were offering, if anything. I’m ambivalent. Melo is tough, plays hard, and scores well enough at high volumes. He needs another leader to take charge of the offense and defense though, that much is clear.
      7. Signing of Jason Smith, Wear, etc: Who cares. Scrap heap pickins are scrap heap pickins.

      I don’t know, all of these moves weren’t AIMED at this season, so how did he fail at these so far?

    14. As Farfa noted, the trade for Calderon certainly did seem like it was intended for this season, or else he would have dealt Chandler somewhere without taking on any additional 2015-16 salary. Taking on Calderon, though, theoretically helped the 2014-15 team.

      Now don’t get me wrong, you could argue that he just really highly valued the 2nd round picks. I don’t buy that, but I could see the argument being made. However, again, to do so you’d have to be just be taking a shot in the dark as to that being the reason. There’s nothing you can point to to say “that was clearly the reason” because Jackson never lets on what his plans really are so it just lets people argue whatever angle they feel like on stuff.

      Like Fisher’s signing – “Great signing! We will win a bunch more games this year just based on the improvement from Woodson to Fisher.” Then the season happens and the Knicks are worse at the end of the games than last year and then it’s “No, they meant to lose those games! They’re secretly tanking! You can’t blame Fisher.”

    15. Who cares. Scrap heap pickins are scrap heap pickins.

      I care. If you’d signed, oh, Ed Davis or Aminu instead of a useless player like Jason Smith, you could at least try to trade them for something of future value. Or you’d win more games. I said Jason Smith was a waste of a roster spot the day we signed him, and nothing I’ve seen since has suggested I was wrong. There’s no point to having a guy like Jason Smith on the Knicks. He doesn’t help you win, he’s got no upside, and he’s got no trade value. Acy isn’t bad, which is good, and he’s young, so he might actually have some upside. Might not pan out, but I can understand the logic behind him taking up a roster spot.

    16. My read on Phil Jackson is that he knew that this was a transition year, that the plan is 2015, but that he was not going to tank this year (intentionally).

      Some of you argue that the trade of Chandler + Felton for Calderon, 2nd rounders + filler works against 2015. But i think PJ likes Calderon as point guard and wants to sign one of the many PF/C that are free agents next summer. It was more difficult to trade Chandler for a capable C and then sign a free agent PG. And if he did not trade Chandler, it would be impossible to sign both a PF/C and a PG as free agents without spending future assets to dump Felton and/or JR Smith.

      I thought they would be a playoff team this season. I think Fisher should try more lineups with Melo at the 4. But it may be better for the future this way.

    17. I did not argue that the trade was made for picks. I don’t know where you see that. I see it as prepping for the future. Calderon can be a great passer and is a great shooter from three, so he is by far our best offensive point guard since… I don’t know. Defensively, he is lacking quite a lot, so there may be a plan for a defensive SG in the future.

      As Iserp said, this move may have been made because it would be easier to find a PF/C than a good PG.

      I agree, JSmith sucks, but Acy was a good signing. And I do love Ed Davis.
      Ed Davis – This year/Last year:
      TS: .608/.542
      WS/48 .129/.129
      +/-: -3.9/+4.1
      Jason Smith – This year/last year:
      TS: .529/.495
      WS/48 .039/.054
      +/- -13.9/-2.9

    18. You know who Jason Smith plays like? he plays like me. Not me if I was in the NBA; not me if I was seven feet, just me.

    19. All the criticism of Jason Smith is unfair, I think he’s doing a great job of filling in for Bargnani and duplicating his skill set.

    20. My read on the season is that PJ is truly disappointed (as we all are). He made a statement (I’m paraphrasing) that if the 2014-15 team really stinks it’ll be difficult to attract free agents. I buy that. The trade for Dalembert and Calderon was for this year as well as the Jason Smith signing. But the fact that we got Early and Thanasis Antetokounmpo out of it was a nice bonus. Understand this. Simply making the playoffs is worth millions of dollars to Dolan. The playoffs are an objective.

      I do take solace in the fact that they’re right in each of these games that they’re losing. They just haven’t figured out how to close. I do hope they make a trade next week to bring in a player or two.

      @13 – Antetokounmpo is playing in the D-League and is having some highs and lows, learning to play the NBA game. I watched two games Westchester games on MSG and in the 1st the kid dominated defensively, blocking shots all over the place, hustling everywhere and scoring too. He was quieter the second time around. He’ll end up being a lock down defensive SG/SF in the NBA. His long arms and high motor are big time assets. The question is about his offense. So he’s learning the triangle in the D-League and should be ready to contribute next year.

    21. Jackson and Fisher have to do something about the free throw discrepancy problem. Knicks opponents have taken a whopping 200 more free throw attempts than the Knicks in only 22 games. On average, their opponents are taking about 9 more free throws per game.Every frontcourt player on the team is averaging 4 fouls per 36 or more:

      Aldrich 7.7
      Ja Smith 4.8
      Stoudemire 4.4
      Dalembert 4.4
      Acy 4.3

      Iman Shumpert also chips in with 4.1 fouls per 36. This team is really a mess. I don’t know how you go about even starting to fix something that is so broken. None of the guards can really stay in front of opposing guards– Larkin and Calderon are totally ineffective defenders, and they’ve played the bulk of the PG minutes. So guards just waltz into the lane, where the clueless likes of Amar’e Stoudemire, Jason Smith, Quincy Acy and Cole Aldrich “defend” the play by fouling. You look at the 82games numbers and even the Knicks defensive lineups that are supposed to be their “good” defensive lineups are getting completely shredded. You could make an argument that Larkin-Shump-Melo-Acy-Dalembert is the best defensive lineup the Knicks could possibly field, and that lineup is getting TORCHED, and is especially bad when it comes to free throw discrepancy.

      You really have to question what the hell is going on with the coaching when you see numbers like these.

    22. @21 “What the hell is going on” is that Knicks literally can’t put 5 decent defenders on the floor at once – even without regard to position. The players are that bad defensively.

      Which is why I totally agree with a poster from a previous thread who argued that we ought to then focus on putting the best OFFENSIVE team on the floor, because we do have some positive lineups there that would give us a better chance of winning some games.

      But we don’t, because tanking. Or triangle. Or…the coaching staff simply doesn’t believe or isn’t acquainted with advanced metrics. (Though even +/- makes the picture pretty clear, and that ain’t so advanced.)

    23. @22 im not even sure that they were trying to win. If they were they would start

      Calderon
      Shump
      JR
      Melo
      Dally/Stat

      And run an uptempo offense

    24. Also i would go with a super small lineup with melo at the 5 for short periods to create dramatic mismatches

    25. @23 Agreed, er. And I might enjoy watching that team more…especially with STAT back in some semblance of beasting mode. (Acknowledging that he’s still awful on defense doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy his offense, when it’s in the flow and he’s not forcing the issue and turning the ball over.)

      It really is amazing to me that years of proof that small ball with Melo at the 4 brings the best results and still Woodson/Fish refuse to believe.

    26. @26 D-Will, Lopez and Johnson – a PG who’s on the downside of his career and is always hurt, a center with a screw in his foot who can’t rebound and is never healthy and a SG who has 2 more years on his contract at 23 MM+ per.

      Where do I sign?

    27. Nets’ picks

      2015 — Atlanta Hawks have right to swap first-rounders (Joe Johnson).
      2015 — Owe second-rounder to Atlanta Hawks (Mehmet Okur, Raul Neto).
      2016 — Owe first-rounder to the Boston Celtics (Kevin Garnett)
      2016 — Los Angeles Clippers have rights to swap second-rounders (if Clippers’ pick in top-55, Reggie Evans)
      2017 — Boston Celtics have the right to swap first-rounders (Kevin Garnett).
      2017 — Owe second-round pick to Atlanta Hawks (Joe Johnson).
      2018 — Owe first-rounder to the Boston Celtics (Kevin Garnett).

      OUCH!

    28. Yeah, that Nets run at a title did not work out so well.

      They’ll always have that first-round win over the 2013-2014 Toronto Raptors though. Nobody can ever take that away from them.

    29. The only guy I would take a chance on would be Lopez. They would have to take on JRs contract though. I would say Calderon’s too but I think the knicks can pawn him off on a western Con. playoff team.
      I seriously doubt JR and Bargs would get Lopez though.

      There are not a lot of teams I can think of that would trade for Lopez maybe Milwaukee and N.O. Anthony Davis would be a good pairing for Lopez. The nets tried to pair him with old K.G. but N.O. would be pairing Lopez with a prime Big Ticket, possibly better version.

    30. Yeeeah, I don’t think anybody is trading for Brook Lopez and his $16.7M player option for next season.

    31. Yeah, that Nets run at a title did not work out so well.

      They’ll always have that first-round win over the 2013-2014 Toronto Raptors though. Nobody can ever take that away from them.

      Just like the Knicks will always have their first-round win over the decrepit Celtics.

      The greatest basketball city in the world, and these teams are it’s shining representatives…

      (At least the Nets seem to know when to at least try to fold ’em, no?)

    32. I guess all the hoops experts who proclaimed Brooklyn as the team in the East to watch out for after their victory over the Spurs will have to recalibrate.

    33. —At least the Nets seem to know when to at least try to fold ‘em, no?

      The problem is that if they bottom out they have to trade the pick to atl

    34. (At least the Nets seem to know when to at least try to fold ‘em, no?)

      Yeah, I guess, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an NBA team as deep in the hole as the Nets are now. Their veteran guys are piss-poor trade assets, and they essentially punted their first round pick for the next FOUR drafts. Swap rights to Atlanta in 2015, no pick in 2016, swap rights to Boston in 2017 and no pick in 2018. They’re basically looking at four years of sucking with no lottery picks to look forward to. This is a scenario that not even Isiah Thomas could create.

    35. One of the Nets reporters was on the radio a few weeks ago saying that he expected this, not to rebuild the team, but because Prokorov wants to sell the team and knows it will be impossible with all the expensive and highly taxed components.

    36. Prokorov comes in, spends millions of dollars, cripples the franchise then will sell with what will probably be profit (Im guessing, the Brooklyn nets brand is pretty big so many people here in Australia wearing nets gear)? We thought Dolan was bad….

      By the way whats the most knicksy move by non knicks team you can think of?

      Just of the top of my head pistons getting Ben Gordon and Villanueva, that announcement would have fit perfectly coming from MSG

    37. You know, the Tyson trade makes a bit more sense as a salary dump if we didn’t add salary. Tyson expires after this year and Felton has a $4.5M player option next year. Calderon is making $7.5M+ next year and the year after. I don’t believe for a second that the plan was to tank this season. After last season we had two players that could net us something good in a trade: Melo and Tyson. We maxed out Melo and gave him a no-trade clause and we traded Tyson for a 33-year Calderon, two 2nd round picks, and added salary past this season. Does that look like tanking?

    38. You know, the Tyson trade makes a bit more sense as a salary dump if we didn’t add salary. Tyson expires after this year and Felton has a $4.5M player option next year. Calderon is making $7.5M+ next year and the year after. I don’t believe for a second that the plan was to tank this season. After last season we had two players that could net us something good in a trade: Melo and Tyson. We maxed out Melo and gave him a no-trade clause and we traded Tyson for a 33-year Calderon, two 2nd round picks, and added salary past this season. Does that look like tanking?

      I personally agree, but I still think that we can’t know for sure because Jackson plays his cards so close to the vest. I think it is most likely that you are correct, though.

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