Knicks Morning News (2014.12.23)

  • [New York Times] Christmas a Rite of Passage for Wizards, Pierce (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 08:58:39 GMT)

    The Associated Press will periodically look at the changing landscape of the NBA during the season from varied perspectives: A player’s viewpoint, from the bench, and from the business side. In this installment, Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce sits down to talk about the significance of Christmas to players:

  • [New York Times] Thompson, Curry Help Warriors Whip Kings, 128-108 (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 05:58:40 GMT)

    Klay Thompson scored 25 points, Stephen Curry had 12 points and 11 assists, and the Golden State Warriors eased past the Sacramento Kings 128-108 on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Parker Returns, Leads Spurs Past Clippers, 125-118 (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 05:46:40 GMT)

    San Antonio point guard Tony Parker watched helplessly as the Spurs were drained emotionally and physically by four straight defeats, including a pair of crushing losses at home in triple overtime.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Pistons Part Ways With Josh Smith (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 05:08:49 GMT)

    The Detroit Pistons waived forward Josh Smith on Monday.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: James Harden’s 44 Points Lift Rockets (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 05:05:50 GMT)

    Harden’s had his N.B.A.-leading third game with at least 40 points this season, and all three have come this month.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Hold Off Mavericks for Fourth Straight Win (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 04:49:42 GMT)

    Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 22 points and the Atlanta Hawks held off the Dallas Mavericks for a 105-102 victory on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Rose Keys Bulls’ Big 4th in Victory Over Raptors (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 04:16:39 GMT)

    Derrick Rose scored 29 points, Jimmy Butler added 27 points and 11 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls snapped the Toronto Raptors’ six-game winning streak with a 129-120 victory on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] No. 17 St. John’s Beats Long Beach State 66-49 (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 04:13:44 GMT)

    St. John’s is in a place they haven’t been in well over two decades, but Red Storm coach Steve Lavin isn’t jumping up and down in celebration. The No. 17 ranked St. John’s beat Long Beach State 66-49 on Monday night to improve to 10-1.

  • [New York Times] Burks, Hayward Lead Jazz Past Grizzlies, 97-91 (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 04:05:00 GMT)

    Alec Burks scored 23 points, Gordon Hayward added 21 and the Utah Jazz handed the Memphis Grizzlies their third straight loss with a 97-91 victory Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Top Nuggets 110-82 for Third Straight Win (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 03:58:41 GMT)

    Kemba Walker is beginning to emerge as the multifaceted point guard the Charlotte Hornets hoped he would become.

  • [New York Times] Keeping Score: Worst Knicks Team Ever? That’s Saying a Lot (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 03:57:23 GMT)

    This year’s team, at 5-25, could surpass the club’s previous worst season mark of 21-59, set by the 1962-63 Knicks.

  • [New York Times] Harden’s 44 Lead Rockets Over Blazers, 110-95 (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 03:46:45 GMT)

    James Harden scored a season-high 44 points to help the Houston Rockets cruise to a 110-95 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night and snap a two-game skid.

  • [New York Times] Rose and Gibson Return for Game Against Raptors (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 00:25:51 GMT)

    Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson have returned to the Chicago Bulls lineup for their game against the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors on Monday night.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks’ Dalembert fined $15K for elbow on Valanciunas (Tue, 23 Dec 2014 05:51:42 GMT)

    In a rare and minor victory for the Knicks, Samuel Dalembert was fined — but not suspended – for elbowing Jonas Valanciunas.

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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 (2014.12.23)”

    1. A thought occurred to me. We keep saying, we can’t be tanking, because why are we playing Melo so many minutes – so we must be trying, and suck.

      Maybe, we are playing MMM minutes to up his value and trade him?
      Or, maybe we are trying, in order to train Fish, Melo, and crew to the triangle, but then pull back at the end of games to lose?
      Or maybe we are just doing Knicks things because Knicks.

      I know we need to wait until next September to say anything at all. I know.

    2. Just watched the power beats LeBron commerical. LeBron is clean & jerking what appears to be ~65 lbs. I would suggest that as a starting weight for children and the elderly recovering from back surgery. Also the kettle bells look comically small.

      Seriously the guy probably lifts for real, but maybe for the commercial he isn’t allowed to due to contractual obligations?

    3. @1

      Agree 100%. There is no reason Carmelo should be in a Knicks uniform. He should be in a suit. It’s not like taking the year off will hurt him financially. The guy’s locked in for the next half decade. Sit his ass down so he doesn’t Amar’e (verb).

    4. Really solid piece by Marc Berman today:

      http://nypost.com/2014/12/22/debate-rages-are-phil-jacksons-orders-sinking-derek-fisher/

      The lede is pretty much just click bait, but some lines I thought were really good:

      “I think [Fisher] is doing fine,’’ Van Gundy said. “Their start was hindered by injury and some close losses. The good part of their start is it leaves no doubt about a couple of things — Woodson did a terrific job there and their system of play is fine, but they need more and better players to win at a playoff rate.’’

      We’re losing a bunch of close games — I think Herring or Hahn tweeted that we were something like 2-16 in one possession games under 5 minutes. If we’re even just below average (ie. 7-11) in those games then we’re bad but not super awful.

      I’m generally in agreement that the system is fine but the players are not. And that there just isn’t enough belief / expertise in the offensive system. Bears noting that our ORtg has steadily crept up — 99 in October, 101 in November, 102 in December — and that’s with Melo missing a few games.

      Totally agree that we need to start playing the young guys. I’ve seen enough of Dalembert. Play Cole a lot more. I’ve seen way too much of Jason Smith. Play Wear a lot more. And when Cleanthony is healthy again, he needs 20 minutes/game.

    5. A thought occurred to me. We keep saying, we can’t be tanking, because why are we playing Melo so many minutes – so we must be trying, and suck.

      Hahn had an interesting theory on his radio show — that Melo is holding off surgery (or long-term rest) to be sure that he gets voted into the All Star Game at MSG. That Melo cares a lot about stuff like that (ie. being introduced as an All-Star on his home floor). I guess we’ll know if he shuts it down after the ASB.

      And wow- from Newsday: Pablo Prigioni: ‘Maybe we don’t have enough talent to win’

    6. Shut down Melo, play Hardaway, Cole and Shump (when he gets healthy) major minutes and hope they increase their trade value, bring up Cleanthony and Thanasis from the D-League and get them on the floor also.

      What do we have to lose, except more games (and that’s a good thing, right?)

    7. I’ve said this before, but the biggest reason the Knicks are losing is their defense, not their offense. In the games I’ve been able to watch, they just can’t get timely stops at the end of games.

      Their offense has gotten better, but their recent schedule is tough and may have hidden this. Starting January 10th, they get a relatively easy stretch of games. Maybe we will see some better results then.

    8. @frank:
      Really?
      I guess it all makes sense now. They won’t rest Melo because he’s refusing to sit. Sounds like the type of crap a good coach wouldn’t put up with.

      I agree with above, we don’t have enough talent to win (especially defensively). I just still think Fisher and Jackson are subtly sabotaging the end of games to lose. At least I hope so.

    9. A team does not put up a record like the Knicks because of a single problem. There are numerous reasons. It takes a special type of team to be 5-25 with a max player. So, what’s wrong?

      1) Melo is on an alone on an island. When he comes out of the game, the Knicks can’t score.
      2) Interior defense. Dalembert is the only real rim protector but he’s lousy on the offensive side.
      3) Perimeter defense. The Knicks play off their man instead of pressing.
      4) Rebounding. They get demolished on the boards.
      5) No penetration. The only guard that can break down a defense is Larkin and he barely does so.
      6) Not enough 3pt shooting. Calderon isn’t putting up the ball. There’s no real outside threat.

      In response to other thoughts here. Do not bring up TA from the D-league. Keep him far away from this culture. Early will be back soon but maybe he should join Thanasis in Westchester. It’s good to see Cole get some PT. Does he know he has a fan club? Pablo is right. There isn’t enough talent on this team.

    10. How can I find a log of in-game rotation switches? I have a feeling sabotage is in the rotations.

    11. Pablo is going to snap. He has been chucking at times, making silly TOs, and getting fired up a lot lately. Priggy is still the man though but I feel like he might just chuck a ball in the stands one night after a ref misses a “call”.

    12. Guess who leads the Knicks in WS48? I’ll give you a hint, his name rhymes with “Mole Fall Britch.”

    13. I wrote in April that I would trade anyone on the roster not named Cole Aldrich for Jimmy Butler, and now I’d even consider Cole if they kicked in a draft pick.

    14. Seriously the guy probably lifts for real, but maybe for the commercial he isn’t allowed to due to contractual obligations?

      He probably had to do many, many takes of that from all sorts of angles.

    15. Jimmy Butler has to be who we target in the off season. Offer him a max deal and hope the Bulls don’t match because of Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic. Jimmy Butler is the next James Harden, and when I say that, I mean “the next superstar player to be on a loaded team with cheap ownership so they let him within the division go for basically nothing.”

      Jimmy Butler, Jahlil Okafor, and Cole Aldrich. That’s who we build around and let Melo take all of the glory for the 55+ win seasons to come.

    16. Lots of talk about Jahlil Okafor on the Knicks. Does anyone think Adam Silver would freeze an envelope for Dolan? Any chance he’s a big Eagles fan?

    17. Lots of talk about Jahlil Okafor on the Knicks.

      NOkafor? Unable to defend the P&R and pass out of the post. Sound familiar? Actually I have no clue but those are worrisome draft comments for an NBA center in the Triangle.

    18. With the 2nd worst record in the league, the Knicks have only a 20% chance of winning the first overall pick. If they slip to 5th, it drops to 9%. I give better odds to Cole Aldrich finishing the year with 1000 minutes than NY getting the first overall pick.

    19. I much prefer to pick second. No chance to select Bowie or Oden but, given our curse, we’ll end up taking Darko.

    20. All that matters now is draft position. Any move the knicks make should be intended for next year going forward, and absolutely do nothing to improve this season’s chance of winning.
      If PJ makes a deal that strengthens the knicks this season, there you have it.

    21. Guess who leads the Knicks in WS48? I’ll give you a hint, his name rhymes with “Mole Fall Britch.”

      Curious, what’s your source for that? The last time I looked, the first name rhymed with Tamari.

    22. Curious, what’s your source for that? The last time I looked, the first name rhymed with Tamari.

      basketball-reference.com has Mole edging ahead of Tamari .129 to .128.

      I’m not 100% sold on Jahlil Okafor, because it’s not clear that Jahlil is going to be a good two-way player. If he turns out to be a pedestrian defensive player you’re looking more at an Al Jefferson type guy than a true franchise player type.

    23. If he turns out to be a pedestrian defensive player you’re looking more at an Al Jefferson type guy than a true franchise player type.

      Thats really what he looks like to me. I think Towns, Johnson, Harrell, or Turner would be better picks

    24. Jimmy Butler has to be who we target in the off season. Offer him a max deal and hope the Bulls don’t match because of Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic. Jimmy Butler is the next James Harden, and when I say that, I mean “the next superstar player to be on a loaded team with cheap ownership so they let him within the division go for basically nothing.”

      The Bulls’ cheap asses are helped hugely by the increasing cap. If they max out Butler, they’d likely be over the luxury tax for just a single season. So I suspect that they will match. Not only that, but there’s a decent sized chance that since everyone knows that the Bulls will match that teams might not even make the offer.

    25. The Bulls’ cheap asses are helped hugely by the increasing cap. If they max out Butler, they’d likely be over the luxury tax for just a single season. So I suspect that they will match. Not only that, but there’s a decent sized chance that since everyone knows that the Bulls will match that teams might not even make the offer.

      yeah i think the bulls will match and based on butler’s previous comments, he really wants to come back. prob a pipe dream.

      i think it’s more likely we’re looking at either Gasol (maybe he’ll think about it Memphis gets swept in the 1st round) or something like Dragic + Millsap.
      I’d be fine with either scenario

    26. With the 2nd worst record in the league, the Knicks have only a 20% chance of winning the first overall pick. If they slip to 5th, it drops to 9%.

      Thank goodness they turned down lottery reform this year. Knock yourselves out in 2016, though, guys.

    27. On the one hand, I’d love Dragic/Millsap. On the other hand, how in the world could they afford both of those guys? Dragic is going to get at least $15 million a year and I don’t see Millsap signing for anything less than $12 million (and that’s probably low).

      Gasol, on his own, is at least a theoretical possibility. I don’t think Dragic and Millsap together are.

    28. Keep in mind a few things about Okafor. First, Anthony Davis coming out of Kentucky was solely a defensive stopper with minor remnants of an offensive game. Nobody could have predicted this ceiling for him. So, while Okafor will enter the draft before he is ready like every college star does nowadays, you never truly know what you’re getting. That’s a bit scary and exciting at the same time. Everything we touch turns to shit so I feel more for Okafor than for us.

      Second, Okafor is a good passer out of the post. Anybody who watched him this year has seen that. Keeps his head up, knows where the cutters are and isn’t scared to fire the pass. His teammates haven’t done the greatest job converting for him (see the UCONN game the other night).

    29. It’s very early to talk about the draft but what else do we have? I too am not sold on Okafor as some sort of savior. The Knicks need a lot. Start with a point guard.

      When was the last time we had a dominant starting point guard?

    30. While I like Milsap I don’t really want to give him the four years/12 per (or more) it’ll take to sign him. He’s an undersized four who offers no rim protection and will already be 30. I’d definitely prefer Robin Lopez if we’re still looking for a big. If we draft a five I’d go for W. Matthews as I think Butler and Leonard aren’t going anywhere. I think adding Matthews and maybe a Beverly is more realistic than adding Milsap and Dragic. Even with Okafor or Towns I still don’t think that’s a recipe for a championship (unless one of those guys morphs immediately into Anthony Davis) but they’d be pretty competitive. The fact remains that they’d be better off moving Melo and rebuilding around whoever they drafts since by the time their pick is really all-star caliber Melo will probably be solidly in the decline- if he isn’t already.

    31. The fact remains that they’d be better off moving Melo and rebuilding around whoever they drafts since by the time their pick is really all-star caliber Melo will probably be solidly in the decline- if he isn’t already.

      Yeah, that fact is so obvious I’m still somewhat surprised that Jackson gave him the deal.

    32. Could the reason Philet-O-Fish haven’t shut down Melo is that they don’t want the very dubious distinction of being the President and Coach who presided over the worst record in New York Knick history? I mean, would you?

    33. I think Melo is playing because he’s healthy enough to play. He’s not going to say, “No, let’s just tank and get me Okafor”. When/ if he cannot run, jump or shoot, he won’t play. It’s not about the ASG. I also understand the coaches and GM letting him play. I doubt he’d jeopardize his career, or that Phil would. I mean, he’s sore and not 100% but he’s the captain and it’s clearly too soon for him to shut it down. I understand the urge to put him on ice and trade him for prospects.

      Two things we have going for us. As has been said we may add three impact players this off season through the draft and free agency. Also, Carmelo is a coveted player, and our only long term contract. That’s different from the “he who shall not be named” era (2000’s). We had multiple long term deals which were underwater assets at that time. Right now (presuming he’s healthy) Melo is an investment with decent value. Someone would take the contract and give up assets for the privilege. Maybe not what we gave up to get him, but he can help us get better.

    34. Also, not sure I’m down with W. Matthews or R. Lopez. We don’t just need somebody. I hope this time around we don’t go for a poor man’s version of something. That’s probably why I could be convinced rather easily to deal Melo. We wouldn’t feel under pressure to put another bullshit marquee name up on the billboard.

      Then again maybe those guys are good, IDK. I’m just saying. Know when to fold.

    35. We wouldn’t feel under pressure to put another bullshit marquee name up on the billboard.

      I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this has been the Knicks’ biggest problem for all the last 14 years or whatever. They overpay for some players, and then use that committed salary as an excuses to overpay for more players.

      Basically, the Knicks have been negotiating from a cornered position for 13 years, like walking into a car dealership and saying “I need a car today.” Morey’s building strategy is the polar opposite. He was always willing to go either way on any deal. If he found bargain free agents, he signed them. If he could move players for picks with the potential to be more valuable, he did it. He just made deals with the most desperate teams, and by being I guess the Wal-Mart for NBA GMs — he was willing to move any type of player — he got richer and richer until he had James Harden and the cap space and role players to lure Dwight Howard.

    36. The problem is this: We’re paying one player (Melo) more money than another team is paying 2 superior players (Horford and Millsap) combined. The saddest part is that every single one of us knows that the Knicks absolutely will not trade Melo for at least another 4 years.

    37. Knicks gain another 1/2 game in the race to the bottom. And, just a 1/2 game ahead of Phila. In a way, this is more fun than being in the middle of the pack. They’re actually good at something – losing – -a lot.

      In the little I’ve seen of Okafor, he isn’t the athletic pedigree of past #1 picks. Ewing was a defensive monster racing up and down the floor. Same with Greg Oden. He never got to play in the NBA, but he was an athletic stud in college.
      Okafor seems far from a sure thing.

      Atlanta beats the Clippers. 14-1 in last 15 games. One of these days they’re going to be taken seriously.

    38. Also fun to see Kobe finally takes a game off, and the Lakers are up 15 on GSW at the half.

    39. I am loving all these other bad teams winning! The Knicks are solidifying a bottom three spot. This is actually kind of sort of exciting. I just fear that we’re going to see a 4-4 couple of weeks at some point to ruin everything.

    40. freaking hilarious that the Lakers beat the best team in the league without Kobe. That’s as much an F-you to Kobe as the rest of the Lakers can say without saying it.

      re: the warriors – sort of like Tyson in Dallas, they’re just not a great defensive team without their totally injury-prone center. GS is awesome with Bogut but can you really count on that guy to play more than 50 games a season?

    41. So awesome the Lakers won without Kobe….

      I think calling Anthony Davis only a defensive stopper in college is no small besmirchment of his record. He didn’t learn to play offense in the NBA.

      Davis is really the most interesting guy to come along in a while. Didn’t play AAU and was in a high school team that went 8-20 or something like that. Now he is the best asset in the NBA.

      From what I have seen of Okafor, not buying. Not yet.

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