Knicks Morning News (2014.12.24)

  • [New York Post] Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire hoping to play on Christmas (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 04:25:48 -0500)

    Amar'e Stoudemire was given a recovery day Tuesday following his two recovery games. Knicks fans probably would like a recovery season. But there is a method to the inactivity for…

  • [New York Times] Lakers Stun Warriors 115-105 Without Kobe (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 07:27:41 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant wasn’t anywhere in sight when the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off one of the most stunning upsets of the NBA season so far.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Paul Walther, N.B.A. Player From 1950s, Dies (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 05:14:09 GMT)

    Walther, who played six seasons in the N.B.A. in the 1950s after a stellar college career at Tennessee, was 87.

  • [New York Times] Bledsoe Gets Triple-Double, Suns Beat Mavericks 124-115 (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 05:03:51 GMT)

    Eric Bledsoe got his second career triple-double and Phoenix won its fourth in a row, beating the Dallas Mavericks 124-115 on Tuesday night in the Suns’ highest-scoring game of the season.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Nets Rally to Beat Nuggets; Cavaliers Rout Timberwolves (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 04:56:26 GMT)

    Joe Johnson scored 27 points, Mason Plumlee added 19 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and the Nets came back in the fourth quarter to beat Denver.

  • [New York Times] Love, Cavaliers Roll Over Timberwolves 125-104 (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 04:21:41 GMT)

    Kevin Love’s first meeting with his former team wasn’t packed with much emotion.

  • [New York Times] Lillard’s 3 Forces OT, Has 40 in Win Over Thunder (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 04:12:42 GMT)

    Damian Lillard scored 40 points, making a tying 3-pointer with three seconds left in regulation, and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied from a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-111 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Walker, Henderson Lift Hornets Over Bucks 108-101 (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 03:57:44 GMT)

    Kemba Walker scored 27 points and Gerald Henderson added 16 as Charlotte held off the Milwaukee Bucks 108-101 on Tuesday night, extending the Hornets winning streak to a season-high four games.

  • [New York Times] Carroll’s 25 Lead Hawks Past Clippers, 107-104 (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 03:30:52 GMT)

    DeMarre Carroll scored a career-high 25 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 107-104 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.

  • [New York Times] Hill Leads Pacers Over Pelicans 96-84 (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 03:27:55 GMT)

    Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill made an impactful season debut Tuesday night, leading the Pacers to a 96-84 home win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

  • [New York Times] 76ers Rally From 23 Down, Stun Heat 91-87 (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 03:18:47 GMT)

    Michael Carter-Williams scored 20 points, Luc Mbah a Moute added 19 and the Philadelphia 76ers erased a 23-point second-half deficit to stun the Miami Heat 91-87 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Johnson, Plumlee Lead Nets Past Nuggets, 102-96 (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 03:18:45 GMT)

    Joe Johnson scored 27 points, Mason Plumlee added 19 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Denver Nuggets 102-96 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Magic Use Big 1st Half to Hold Off Celtics 100-95 (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 02:51:40 GMT)

    Tobias Harris scored 19 points and the Orlando Magic hung on to beat the Boston Celtics 100-95 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Suns 99, Knicks 90: Knicks’ Latest Major Loss: Faith in Themselves (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 02:41:00 GMT)

    The Knicks, with several injured players, lost to Phoenix for their seventh straight home defeat, despite Carmelo Anthony’s 25 points and 11 rebounds.

  • [New York Times] Rose’s 25 Lead Bulls Over Wizards (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 02:33:53 GMT)

    Derrick Rose scored 25 points and Pau Gasol had 18 as the Chicago Bulls won their fourth straight, beating the Washington Wizards 99-91 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Kobe Rested by Lakers Against Warriors (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 02:24:44 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant is sitting out the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the league-leading Golden State Warriors to rest his tired legs.

  • [New York Times] Glen Grunwald, Former Knicks G.M., Is Not Gloating (but He Could) (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 01:06:03 GMT)

    Grunwald, now the athletic director at McMaster University, was pushed out of his job in New York despite two straight winning seasons and a run to the 2013 Eastern Conference semifinals.

  • [New York Daily News] ‘Nightmare’ before Christmas: J.R. Smith sums up Knicks (Wed, 24 Dec 2014 03:52:38 GMT)

    J.R. Smith certainly doesn’t have visions of sugar plums dancing in his head when he hits the pillow every night.

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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).

    54 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.12.24)”

    1. Not to chase the ambulance, but if Varejao is hurt, can we hurry up and trade Dalembert to the Cavs before Jermaine O’Neal decides to come back? He fits neatly into their Bogans trade exception. Maybe we can get that weird Memphis first they have that won’t come free until 2018? Okay, no? Joe Harris?

    2. “Not to chase the ambulance, but if Varejao is hurt, can we hurry up and trade Dalembert to the Cavs before Jermaine O’Neal decides to come back?”
      The Mavericks could also use a backup center now for when Chandler’s immune system inevitably breaks down and he gets the flu or a stiff neck or some other weird ailment that no other NBA player seems to get. I’d be all for trading Dalembert for whatever the Knicks can get for him (which I think might have been the plan all along).
      What would everyone think if the Knicks were to sign Josh Smith to a vet minimum contract (not that he would take it, but what if)?

    3. By the way, “Amar’e Stoudemire hoping to play on Christmas” is an ominous headline. He’s only “hoping” to play after four days off? That doesn’t sound so good.

    4. I’d be all for trading Dalembert for whatever the Knicks can get for him (which I think might have been the plan all along).

      The plan was clearly to compete, otherwise they wouldn’t have taken on Calderon’s contract.

    5. Maybe they think Calderon is a great piece if they get a big in the draft and free agency, and if not, is clearly movable. I don’t think he was brought in for this year per se.

      I doubt we keep Dalembert past this season, so any trade that nets us a movable asset or pick this year would be a plus.

      For Amar’e, he would be an awesome pickup ONLY for min salary next year. He’s a beast when compared to our expectations, and his advanced stats are actually pretty good (even defensively). I would be more than OK with him on a 2 yr contract for MINIMUM only.

    6. Personally, Calderon’s also one of the few “culture” guys we have (or good locker room guy, etc.). We need those, since stoicism, confidence, intelligence (bascially, guys with a good personality) are things we most lack, and are necessary for success. Who else do we have? Prigioni? Amare?

    7. I don’t think he was brought in for this year per se.

      He’s 33 years old. If he wasn’t brought in for this year, was the plan for him to be the final piece of the puzzle at age 36?

      We need those, since stoicism, confidence, intelligence (bascially, guys with a good personality) are things we most lack, and are necessary for success.

      You know what else we most lack, that’s necessary for success?

      Talent, cap space, and draft picks.

    8. Next year. The year after. He’s a pass-first, outside shooter in good health. And very movable.

    9. So let me get this straight, according to you the plan was to trade for a 33 year old guy, who would be useless on a tanking team. Have him eat up cap space for 2 years on a team going nowhere. Then trade him at the age of 35, because teams are dying to trade for guys at the end of their career at the most stacked position in the league.

      I mean, hey, the Celtics were forced to eat crow to trade an in his prime Rondo. But I’m sure a 35 year old Calderon who’s a total defensive liability should be plenty easy to move.

    10. Taken from the previous thread:

      Owen December 24, 2014 at 9:54 am

      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.

      The fact that he didn’t play AAU ball is, in my opinion anyway, one of the best things about him. AAU is the single worst thing to happen to basketball, and steering players away from it could only help…just ask the Spurs.

    11. Really? Of all the issues plaguing the Knicks, you’re turning to Calderon?

      He is a 33 year-old, elite passer and 3-pt shooter (not this year, I admit), known to have great character. He is “eating up” 7.1-7.7M per year. That is NOT a lot for what he should be able to do. He is our first good PG in ages.

      And I don’t know how you think the Celtics were “eating crow” when yesterday we discussed just how GREAT of a deal the Celtics got compared to Chandler’s. Wright, Crowder, and a FIRST round pick are pretty good for an expiring Rondo.

    12. yeah especially when the cap goes nuts in 2 years, i think it’s likely we could dump calderon if necessary (assuming health) without having to give up much at all. pretty much any team can use a PG who is a great A:TO guy, great locker-room guy, and shoots 45% from 3 point range.

      He is a 33 year-old, elite passer and 3-pt shooter (not this year, I admit)

      dude how much better than 45.9% from 3 point range do you want?

    13. Not to chase the ambulance, but if Varejao is hurt, can we hurry up and trade Dalembert to the Cavs before Jermaine O’Neal decides to come back? He fits neatly into their Bogans trade exception. Maybe we can get that weird Memphis first they have that won’t come free until 2018?

      Anything that hurts the knicks this year and makes them better in the future is a great move.

      For Amar’e, he would be an awesome pickup ONLY for min salary next year. He’s a beast when compared to our expectations, and his advanced stats are actually pretty good (even defensively). I would be more than OK with him on a 2 yr contract for MINIMUM only.

      He’s going to get much much more. He’s in beast form this season. His lack of durability is his big drawback for major money.
      New Years prediction
      Knicks are going to make a run at the playoffs, get the 8 seed, then summarily dismissed from post season activities – and any shot of a great draft pick.

    14. The Celtics fucked up, if they had traded Rondo before his injury they could have gotten a much bigger haul than what they got from Dallas. His value has gone steadily down and the C’s were really selling low at this point. There were even rumors not that long ago of a Westbrook/Rondo swap and a deal with the Kings for Isaiah Thomas, McLemore and 2 draft picks.

      Even Celtics homer Bill Simmons said he was disappointed in the Mavs trade.

    15. yeah i feel like Amare will get at least a mid-level type deal if not more – probably 2 years with maybe the 2nd year as a team option. Honestly – put him on a PNR-heavy team and let him do his roll man bit, and he’ll be great. He really is one of the most versatile scorers — if he wasn’t quite so turnover prone (which he wouldn’t be as a roll man as much as he is when posting up), he’d really be something. And actually i think defensively he’s been just below-average this year, not horrific like usual, especially considering his rebounding has been as good as ever in his career. Believe it or not, his total rebounding rate is BETTER than Anthony Davis. And he’s averaging 18/10 per 36 with a TS of 60 and 23 usage.

      Someone will pay good money for that. And honestly Amare deserves a chance at playing on a better team. No one, except maybe guys like Shaun Livingston, has gone through more than Amare the last 4-5 years.

    16. If you try to construct a Calderon trade right now, it isn’t easy to find a deal that makes sense Most decent teams have better point guards than Calderon, and aren’t really in a position to commit money to a great shooting backup guard. . Maybe you could do a deal with Sacramento where he matches with Derrick Williams and they are pretty strange in general, but there’s not much exciting you can get besides unloading his out years. The Kings don’t really have any 2nd rounders to give, and you’re not getting a 1. I doubt you could even get Stauskas, who isn’t exactly exciting to begin with.

    17. Really? Of all the issues plaguing the Knicks, you’re turning to Calderon?

      This is a team going nowhere that needs to get younger while freeing up cap. Calderon is both the most expensive and longest contract on this team outside of Melo. So yea he’s a problem.

      He is a 33 year-old, elite passer and 3-pt shooter (not this year, I admit), known to have great character. He is “eating up” 7.1-7.7M per year. That is NOT a lot for what he should be able to do. He is our first good PG in ages.

      That and a dollar will get you a lotto ticket. This team isn’t going anywhere for the life of his contract, so why are we wasting money, roster space, and minutes that could actually go to someone young enough to be here when it matters.

      And I don’t know how you think the Celtics were “eating crow”

      The Celtics had a whopping 3 teams interested in Rondo.

      PG is the most stacked position in the league by far. Calderon isn’t even in the top 20 starting PGs, he’s arguably not even in the top 25. And that’s not even counting the dozen or so rookies/sophomores waiting for their chance to start. And yet you think a 35 year old PG with no defense is going to be an easily movable asset?

      Tell me what teams exactly do you see trading for this “very movable” asset?

    18. “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.”
      How in the world does a high school team with a 6’10” athletic freak on it have a losing record? Unless his team was playing an elite schedule (like an Oak Hill or St. Anthony), half the time he would be playing against 6’2″ centers who can’t dunk. Weird. By the way, I didn’t realize that Rajon Rondo and Josh Smith were high school teammates. How good must that team have been?

    19. By the way, I didn’t realize that Rajon Rondo and Josh Smith were high school teammates. How good must that team have been?

      Oak Hill was a factory for like 15 years.

      I saw an Oak Hill team with Ty Lawson and Michael Beasley in person. Boy was that shock and awe on the High School level.

      GREAT NEWS!
      For those who have been following the struggle of Rett Cavan (Jim’s 6m son). He had successful surgery yesterday.

      Im ecstatic to hear this. congrats guys

    20. PG is the most stacked position in the league by far. Calderon isn’t even in the top 20 starting PGs, he’s arguably not even in the top 25.

      Well by WP48 he is the 15th best starting PG in the league.
      http://www.boxscoregeeks.com/players?direction=desc&positions%5B%5D=PG&sort=per48_wins_produced

      meanwhile – Varejao is out for the year with a torn Achilles. We need to trade Dalembert there asap, although I’m not sure what we could get back. They’ve pretty traded all their 2nd round picks forever, and Sammy is definitely not worth a 1st of any kind.

    21. Dalembert and Shumpert for Memphis’s first round pick plus Heywoods magic contract using the bogans trade exception to make the numbers work. Who says no?

    22. Josh Smith supposedly a done deal to the Rockets in part because he demanded a starting job. Should tell you most of what you need to know about the chances they get the best out of him. He and Kobe have been vying hard for worst player in the entire league this year. Suspicious about both the Rockets and the Mavs in the playoffs this year.

    23. Rockets sign Josh Smith.

      Someone explain that rationale to me, because I was under the impression that Morey wasn’t an idiot.

    24. Varejao is out for the year with a torn Achilles.

      Not always, but one of the toughest injuries to come back from.

    25. Frank,

      It’s a shame that the league doesn’t evaluate teams according to Pythagorean wins, too. I don’t know how to explain the huge gap between where they should be and where they are.

    26. Frank
      December 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm
      Dalembert and Shumpert for Memphis’s first round pick plus Heywoods magic contract using the bogans trade exception to make the numbers work. Who says no?

      I think Cleveland does. If anything, they’d be looking to make that same deal but for Brandon Wright or Kostas Koufos and if I’m Boston I would seriously consider it. Memphis might but I think they would turn down the chance to improve a team they could be playing in the Finals. I’m sure there are other deals, including signing Jermaine O’Neal, Cleveland would look into before dealing for crappy Dalembert. And I don’t see them giving up more than a couple of 2nd rounders for him.

    27. It’s not just dalembert in that deal. They need Shump’s perimeter d just as much as they need a body inside.

      I actually think it’s a pretty fair deal for both sides.

    28. My man Stanley Johnson had a terrible game yesterday and Arizona lost. Myles Turner had another solid game though, and he is looking like a pretty unique player. How many 7′ shot blocking centers who shoot 90% from the free throw line exist in the world? Oh, he’s also pulling down 13 rebounds per 40 minutes.

    29. Call me crazy, but I think Calderon is a top-half PG in the league (only weakness is defense, but it is still much better than our prior PG’s). He is not making as much in terms of other PGs. Heck, Lawson makes 12M, Rondo 13M, Hill 8M, Nash 9.7M. In the triangle, you don’t need a top PG. You need great wings and bigs. That was the plan.

      And Calderon is a top player in terms of advanced stats, last year his TS .596, with .122 WS/48 (year prior .168), and he’s shooting lights out from 3. And a FT% of 1.00.

    30. To put it into perspective, here is the list of PG salaries from top-down:
      1 Chris Paul : $20,068,563
      2 Deron Williams: $19,754,465
      3 Derrick Rose: $18,862,876
      4 Russell Westbrook: $15,719,062
      5 Jeremy Lin: $14,898,938
      6 John Wall: $14,746,000
      7 Eric Bledsoe: $13,000,000
      8 Rajon Rondo: $12,909,090
      9 Tony Parker: $12,500,000
      10 Kyle Lowry: $12,000,000
      11 Ty Lawson: $11,595,506
      12 Tyreke Evans: $11,265,416
      13 Stephen Curry: $10,629,213
      14 Jrue Holiday: $9,904,495
      15 Steve Nash:$9,701,000
      16 Mike Conley:$8,694,216
      17 Monta Ellis:$8,360,000
      18 George Hill: $8,000,000
      19 Jeff Teague:$8,000,000
      20 Brandon Jennings :$8,000,000
      21 Goran Dragic:7,500,000
      22 Isaiah Thomas : 7,238,606
      23 Avery Bradley: $7,191,011
      24 Jose Calderon: $7,097,191
      25 Kyrie Irving: $7,070,730

    31. Not in the top 25? You think you would rather have Lin? Bradley? George Hill? Evans? Jennings? Holiday? Come on.

    32. Myles turner is very intriguing. Numbers jump off the page.not sure why Olagor is the pick over him so far. I totally agree a center who can hit free throws is one of the rarest things on earth.

      Speaking of which,!I had forgotten AD grew so much late in high school. Makes his story all the more remarkable. He needed basically a year or two of basketball on a terrible charter school team in his new body to figure out how to be the best young player in the country. Then two years and a major injury later he’s in the discussion for best in the world. Remarkable.

    33. I think the reason Okafor is getting more buzz than Turner is the good ol’ eye test. Okafor looks like a polished operator in the post and has a thick, grown-man looking body. Turner has spindly legs and an awkward gait. He just looks sort of… wobbly. Also Okafor is racking up more counting stats because he plays more minutes.

    34. Jahlil Okafor also plays for an undefeated top program in the country and is actually a really good basketball player. I don’t understand why people are doubting a 19 year old center who is good enough to average 17.4 and 8.9 a game (24 and 12 per 40) with a TS% of .634 and an eFG% of .652. Jahlil Okafor is the real deal, people.

      However, this year’s draft from early feels very strong. Okafor, Johnson, and Myles Turner could all be franchise players, and the players like Towns, Russell, and Mudiay could develop into top NBA players at their position (but not exactly franchise players). This is a really good year to have a high draft pick.

    35. Okafor is the real deal on the offensive end, I don’t think there’s any question about that. He has real touch around the basket and a polished post game. It’s the defense that is a question mark; the consensus about Okafor is that he does not project as a plus defender. The Knicks are in desperate need of good two-way players.

    36. All the top prospects have some flaws but this draft does look like anyone in the Top 5 should be a very good pick. Assuming the Knicks get a Top 5 pick at least it seems like they are doing so in a pretty good draft year.

    37. I doubt Sam is looked bad upon throughout the league(I could be wrong). I think most know he is not a could fit for the triangle. Get him back in more PnRs and he’ll go back to doing what he was doing before. He’ll go to another team and contribute just like Beno is doing in Memphis.

      Brendan Wright is the only guy I would worry about with Cleveland though. Memphis will likely not deplete depth on their way to make a run in the playoffs and Jermain will probably head to Dallas.

    38. I wouldn’t sleep on Karl-Anthony Towns. He is not as flashy as the other big man prospects, but he has been a monster shot blocker and the best rebounder on a Kentucky team that likely features three big men who will go in the first round this year. He is also a very good passer for a big man and has the “high IQ” reputation. I definitely see some Pau Gasol in Towns’ game. He’s very well rounded. That Kentucky team is just insane on defense.

    39. If the knicks do not land the top spot and this year’s draft seemed to have several prospects that the knicks could use. Would you be okay with the knicks trading back and how far is okay and what would it take for you to be okay with it?

    40. As far as guys I’d want on the Knicks, I like Okafor, Towns, Turner, Johnson and Harrell, and to a lesser extent D’Angelo Russell. Somebody will probably draft Mudiay in the top 5, so if the Knicks pick in the top 7 they should get a pretty useful player. Once you get past that group of players things get kind of dodgy.

    41. I’ve only commented a few times here, but I felt the need to speak up. I think Okafor is being heavily overrated. I echo JK47: I really like Towns and Cauley-Stein too. Defense is important! They’re well-rounded on offense and defense with great size and athleticism. I particularly like Towns because of his passing and shooting ability. I’d be worried about taking Okafor with the top pick because of his defense and relative lack of athleticism. It’s a lot easier to build around a great defensive center. Also personally I’d like to see the Knicks play some defense.

    42. The plan was clearly to compete, otherwise they wouldn’t have taken on Calderon’s contract.

      Probably Jackson thought that 7 million in a decent player is better than 4 million in dead cap space. Which PG would you find for 3 million (to account for the fact that you have to pay Felton)? And as have been already said, what PG better than Calderon would you find for 6 million? He fits the culture and the triangle, and if he wasnt bad at D, he would be much more expensive. We’ve clearly taken a risk on his age, Nash was useful till 37, and Calderon is of that type of PG (not as good, of course); but it doesn’t mean he will last that long.

    43. Merry Christmas everyone! Hope Santa brought you all some Cole

      How long have you been holding that one in your back pocket?

    44. @JD & The Rim Shot – Calderon would be an expiring at that point, so moving him at the deadline wouldn’t be too much of a problem. But he’s not going to fetch you the guy you’re going to pair with THJ to build that dynasty.

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