Knicks Morning News (2015.01.05)

  • [New York Post] Knicks big man may be angling for way out of ‘tragic’ season (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 00:45:44 -0500)

    Knicks center Samuel Dalembert admitted the Knicks' season has been "a tragedy'' and a "tragic thing.'' And there's a chance he could escape it soon because of a quirk in…

  • [New York Post] There’s nothing left for these Knicks to do except give tanks (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 00:44:51 -0500)

    OK , it’s time for big changes at the Garden. Replace the Knicks "Defense!” chant. Time to go with "Tank!” The fans started a mild "Fire Fisher” chant late in Sunday…

  • [New York Daily News] Terrible Knicks lose 11th straight, fall to Kidd’s Bucks (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 06:31:05 GMT)

    Even Phil Jackson’s Zen-like presence wouldn’t have fixed this mess as boos filled the air in the game’s final seconds.

  • [New York Daily News] Bondy: For Knicks, little can make up for futility at Garden (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 06:16:56 GMT)

    Things are so bad at the Garden these days, and celebrity row is so depleted, that the team featured two Westchester Knicks.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: Scott’s cancer battle personal for Fisher (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 05:34:14 GMT)

    Derek Fisher spoke eloquently of what the late ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, who died of cancer on Sunday at 49, meant to him.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Flourish After Big Trade They Didn’t Make (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 09:13:05 GMT)

    Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make.

  • [New York Times] Kobe Bryant Rallies Lakers Past Pacers, 88-87 (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 06:27:51 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant has gradually accepted that it’s a good idea to miss a few games this season to keep his 36-year-old body in top shape for the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers’ schedule.

  • [New York Times] Kobe to Skip Lakers’ Game in Portland on Monday (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 04:54:43 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant will skip the Los Angeles Lakers’ game in Portland on Monday to rest.

  • [New York Times] Bucks 95, Knicks 82: Seeking Better Play, if Not a Win, the Depleted Knicks Get Neither (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 03:59:52 GMT)

    The Knicks, playing without several injured players, fell to 5-31 with a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was their 11th straight defeat.

  • [New York Times] Suns Guard Trio Leads 125-109 Rout of Road-Weary Raptors (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 03:42:51 GMT)

    Eric Bledsoe scored 20 points, fellow guards Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas added 18 apiece and the Phoenix Suns handed the Toronto Raptors their second straight blowout loss, 125-109, on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Bucks Hand Knicks 11th Straight Loss, 95-82 (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 03:36:44 GMT)

    Zaza Pachulia had 16 points and 14 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks handed the New York Knicks their 11th straight loss, 95-82 Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: With Loss to Heat, Nets Fall Shy of .500 (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 03:28:05 GMT)

    Chris Bosh scored 26 points, Dwyane Wade scored 10 of his 25 in the last five and a half minutes, and Miami held off the Nets to end a four-game losing streak.

  • [New York Times] Despite Tumult Around Them, the Atlanta Hawks Have Risen to the Top (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 02:57:57 GMT)

    Atlanta has compiled the best record in the Eastern Conference while up for sale and battling public relations problems.

  • [New York Times] Heat Hang on, Top Nets 88-84 to Stop Slide (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 01:51:43 GMT)

    Chris Bosh scored 26 points, Dwyane Wade scored 10 of his 25 points in the final minutes and the Miami Heat held off the Brooklyn Nets 88-84 on Sunday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

  • [New York Times] Jennings Leads Pistons to 114-95 Win Over Kings (Mon, 05 Jan 2015 01:45:44 GMT)

    Brandon Jennings scored 35 points as the Detroit Pistons beat the Sacramento Kings 114-95 Sunday for their fifth straight win.

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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).

    72 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.01.05)”

    1. Grizzlies-Wiz-Rockets – losing streak to 14 easily. Our next potentially winnable game is January 21 vs. the Sixers, which I got tickets for as a Christmas present!! (I live in Philly but am from Brooklyn)

    2. I’ve pretty much given up on watching any more Knicks games this season – too much to do and it’s just a waste of my time at this point. But… crazy line from Berman this morning in the first link above:

      Jackson will soon decide the best thing for the Knicks is playing the younger players, which could affect Amar’e Stoudemire’s status. He missed his fifth straight game and perhaps he’ll be eventually waived to open a roster spot.

      Wow- can you imagine us waiving Amare? On the one hand it would let him sign with someone that has has some meaningful games left but wow – would that be a shocker.

    3. What I did do this past weekend is go see the Westchester Knicks at the County Center. Tickets are 2-for-1 during the week so I took my son to see them this past Friday for $40 total, parked for $1/hour in municipal parking across the street, sat in the balcony with a perfect view, probably equivalent to the closest 100s seats at MSG. Great atmosphere, tons of kids and families that were totally into it. Guys played hard, dove for balls, tried on defense etc. Some takeaways I had after watching (just one) game —

      1) Langston Galloway is probably the best 2 way point guard on any Knicks roster. Dude is only listed at 6’2″ but he’s got obviously long arms (DX has him listed with a 6’8″ wingspan) and quick feet. He has a reputation as a shooter and looks to be a pretty decent ball handler in the half court. He loves to push it on the break and had some really impressive finishes in transition. I would love to see him called up to the big boy club.

      2) Thanasis is occasionally fun to watch but he’s not really any sort of offensive basketball player at this point as far as I can see. Looks completely undirected on that end. His jumper is very flat, and if my untrained eye can see that his form is different every time, it probably is really different every time. He does look like he’s adequate as a secondary ball handler and keeps his head up when dribbling. Defensively he had a couple great blocks but was absolutely destroyed on a dunk by Markell Brown.

      3) there probably aren’t any other NBA level players on that roster.

      One more thing about Thanasis and the whole D-League experience– Thanasis and Orlando Sanchez came out afterward and signed autographs and took pictures with kids for probably a full hour after the game. They were so gracious and patient, and my kid was over the moon when he got to meet them. Highly highly suggest the D-League experience in this awful Knicks basketball year

    4. Re: Thanasis and getting called up – there’s no way I call him up this year. As long as he’s in Westchester he’s protected from callups from other teams, and I’d much rather him get minutes and instruction down there while extending our control over him. The real question is whether our D-League coaching staff can really develop him, but I don’t see him getting a whole lot better with the parent club.

    5. Aren’t teams prevented from signing Thanasis anyways, because the Knicks drafted him?

    6. Do we really think bringing up Galloway to this incredibly bad, low-IQ, horrible culture is in any way beneficial to his development?
      Because helping us win games is not what we’re looking for here.

    7. I took my daughter to the Knicks/Bucks last night. Here are some observations:

      1. Cole Aldrich and JR Smith have the beginnings of some chemistry. JR hit Cole for three easy baskets. He tried to force one too many passes into Cole heading towards the rim, but that is is a good problem to have.

      2. Cole got yanked in the first quarter because he left THJ on the low block to handle Zaza. Fisher was livid about the failure to help.

      3. JR Smith is a powder keg ready to go off. He got Teed Up when he was getting frustrated. He does not even pretend to run the offense in most cases.

      4. THJ actually gave effort on defense.

      5. Quincy Acy is a poor man’s Gerald Wallace (from 4 years ago). Very high motor. Good basketball IQ. No range.

      6. There is no “d” in Caleron.

      7. Travis Wear does not have the makings of a varsity athlete (h/t Uncle Junior).

      8. Jason Smith (as others have noted) is a a white bread Bargnani, with slightly more toughness.

      9. The “Fire Fisher” chant was late and weak. As a veteran of the 1980s MSG crowds, this crowd was largely supportive and wanted to root for the Knicks.

      10. I expect that Knicks tickets are going to get mighty cheap on Stubhub in the next four weeks.

    8. 10. I expect that Knicks tickets are going to get mighty cheap on Stubhub in the next four weeks.

      You’d think, and yet they really haven’t dropped much at all so far! Cheapest tickets for their upcoming game against Charlotte (Charlotte!!!) are $58!

    9. I’m OK with keeping Acy, Larkin, and THJr, but they cannot be higher than #8 on our roster.
      Early hasn’t looked too good, but only played 90 minutes so far.
      Don’t care for JR, JaSmith, Wear, Dalembert, Shumpert, Bargnani, Amar’e
      We should trade Calderon only if he nets assets. Otherwise, he’s vastly underperforming his prior years.
      Leaves us with Melo, Cole, Prigioni, (Calderon).
      We will be a very, very different team next year (I hope)

    10. The way this team shapes up in the next 8 months will say everything we need to know about Phil/Fisher.

    11. If we’re not going to play Dalembert in favor of developing Cole (and this is definitely the right move by Fisher), Sammy should be shipped out of here ASAP. He’s a stiff, but he’s a 7 foot stiff and he should get us at least a 2nd round pick and maybe some sort of mildly interesting end of bench young guy in return. His value certainly isn’t going up with any more DNP – CD on a 5-31 team.

      And there’s plenty of other spots on the roster that could be cleared if there’s any young guys Phil is interested in taking a chance on. I haven’t seen Galloway play, but sure, why not? Same for Seth Curry. I’d be much more interested in seeing what those guys have then watching Calderon, who is supposed to be one of the best players on this team put up another 7 point and 5 assist performance (but that efficiency! only 5 shots!) while playing no defense. If we’re going to suck lets at least suck and be young and energetic.

    12. “THJ actually gave effort on defense.”
      I think that, over the last 10 games or so, he has played much better than earlier in the season, even though his shot still isn’t falling. He’s still a defensive liability, but not as much of one as he was earlier in the year and last year. He’s also been averaging 3 rebounds and 3 assists, which isn’t great, but it’s trending in the right direction. A lot of people are in a big hurry to trade him, but I think that he might develop into a pretty good rotation player. Cole, Acy, Prigioni/Larkin, THJ, Early might be a decent 2nd unit next year. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the Knicks’ first unit right now.

    13. Wow- can you imagine us waiving Amare? On the one hand it would let him sign with someone that has has some meaningful games left but wow – would that be a shocker.

      I think it would be a smart move. We have nothing more to give to Amar’e, and he has nothing more to give us. Free Amar’e.

    14. I’m all for bringing Galloway up and giving him some NBA minutes, let’s see what the guy’s got. Even if he plays great, he’s not going to suddenly turn this team around by himself. And if worst case we actually start winning games, we give Jason Smith major minutes at the 5, that should turn things around quickly.

    15. I hope Amare lands in a good place, whether it’s sooner or later. His committment and attitude have been outstanding. One of my favorite knicks of all time.

      Re Dalembert – trade him for a draft pick or young potential to a team that needs a big man.

      ANY MOVE THAT MAKES THE KNICKS WORSE THIS SEASON, AND BETTER IN THE FUTURE, IS A GOOD ONE!

    16. One more note, Cleanthony Early is absolutely lost on defense on many possessions. He often ends up just camped in the paint, until he figures out his assignment. He also was responsible for a Bucks transition dunk in the second half, when he made a boneheaded run from the perimeter to try to grab an offensive rebound and left no one back to defend the rim.

      He may get better, but Early is very flawed right now.

    17. I think we need to bring Galloway up – since we didn’t draft him, any team that wants him can call him up and he’s gone.

      Release Bargnani already, although that would definitely hurt our tanking plan.

      Still think trading Dalembert + Shump to Cleveland is the way to go, for both teams.

    18. Would be nice if we could include JR in that deal. Might even take back Waiters in that case.

    19. Re: Player development.

      I never looked this up previously, thought you guys may find it interesting. It looks like we have a good staff of assistant coaches with a solid track record of training young talent.

      Player Development
      Joshua Longstaff: 4 years with OKC doing video analysis and then player development

      Assistant coaches:
      Brian Keefe: 7 years with OKC as player development and assistant coach
      Rasheed Hazzard: With PJ for 5 years with the Lakers on player development and scouting.
      Jim Cleamons: Served with Jackson on the Bulls and Lakers, head coached the Mavs 96-97 (fired with 28-70 record)

    20. DRed – I am not suggesting that the Knicks give up on Early. I am just saying that he has flaws that are not readily apparent on TV.

    21. That interesting because it seems that player development has been weak, at best.
      Aside from the horrendous contract he offered Melo . . . and giving away Tyson Chandler, my biggest disappointment with PJ and Fisher is the lack of player development. I didn’t think it possible, but they’ve actually seemed to have gone backwards in this area.
      Say what you want about JR, but his athletic ability and skills are among the leagues best. I thought that Jackson and Fisher were going to help him achieve his potential.
      Same with Shump. With a little work his offense could be a lot more efficient, and his defense should have continued to develop as his identity in the league.
      Amare improved immeasurably, but that seemed to be due to his own committment. That’s one reason I like him so much.
      And what can you say about Melo? He’s a great scorer that plays hard when the ball is in his hands (which is always), but does the play smarter, pass better, lead the team to wins?

    22. Nope, nope and nope.

      Maybe they spent too much time on the Triangle (TM), but not on fundamentals/talent development?
      I don’t know. We’re not THAT horribly constructed; our players are better than the bottom feeding teams’ players. It makes no sense.

    23. Who is there really to develop on the team? JR is a finished product – what you see is what you get, and actually probably less than that since he’s getting older and more injury prone.

      “developing guys” = Wear, Early, Larkin, Cole, and even Cole is stretching it since he’s been in the league a bunch of years already. Wear and Early have hardly played and I think Larkin is getting better. Too small a sample to call.

    24. Early is just dipping his toes in at this point. It’s really silly to be judging him too harshly at this point. He should play 25+ minutes every game from here on out as long as he’s healthy. Might as well see what we have. The positives I’ve seen so far are that he looks really long, his shooting stroke passes the eye test, and he seems to have an idea what he’s supposed to do when he has the ball in his hands on the offensive end. He definitely isn’t as polished as you’d expect for a 23 year old coming out after his senior year, but we knew that going in. He needs reps and luckily we’re well equipped to give them to him.

      I don’t know. We’re not THAT horribly constructed; our players are better than the bottom feeding teams’ players. It makes no sense.

      As for this, I’ll just say that I strongly disagree. The only thing you can really say about our roster relative to the other awful teams is that we have a star talent in Melo. Unfortunately, even leaving aside the never ending debate about whether he’s worthy of that label overall, I think we can all agree that he hasn’t played like a star at all this year. So where does that leave us? Calderon is a borderline NBA starter, would be a backup on most good teams. Amare is capable of being a high level bench player when he’s healthy. Cole is arguably an abo0ve average bench player, as is Pablo (although he has minute limitations). The entire rest of the team is generic bench player level or worse. THJ, Shane Larkin, and Quincy Acy are in the top-6 in minutes on this team. They’re all end of bench fodder at this point. I do not have any idea where people get the idea this is a talented team.

    25. JR is what he’s always been-fools gold. At his very best, he was a slightly above average 2 guard. His athleticism is on the decline. He is wonderfully skilled, but he doesn’t translate that to effective play. He’s never going to. All we can do is hope Phil can find one more sucker to take a shot at getting JR to put it all together

    26. Early played the 4 in college which he’s waaaaay too small to play in the pros. In addition to rehabbing from an injury and going from college to the pros. Early needs to learn how to play on the perimeter rather than the inside.

    27. I don’t think this is a “talented team.”

      I do, however, think Calderon/Shumpert/Melo/Amare/Dalembert is a better lineup than MCW/Noel/Mbah/McDaniels/Wroten.

    28. What I’m saying is, we have a bad roster; but not THIS bad.
      It comes down to breakdowns on every level of offense and defense.

    29. Speaking of developing for the future —

      I’m guessing that Marc Gasol, Aldridge, and the other front-level bigs are not coming here. I’m hoping we get the 1st pick or 2 and come out with either Towns or Okafor. But then we have the problem of our backcourt and the total lack of 2 way players.

      The obvious – Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler. Both guys will get max offers and probably will go back to their respective teams. Bulls do have $64MM already tied up without Butler but I can’t see them not matching at this point.

      But a few guys I think we could get are

      Dragic (less likely)

      Wes Matthews (with a big offer Portland might not match given Aldridge’s likely max in 2015 and Lillard’s impending max, plus they have a reasonable facsimile of Matthews in Allen Crabbe)

      Brandon Knight – better than you think

      Patrick Beverley – just to stick it to Morey

      Beverley and Knight are both restricted I think.

      All these guys can shoot, are smart players, and tenacious defensively. This is what we need.
      If we can draft Okafor or Towns, let them play the huge share of center minutes, re-sign Cole for the backup role, and pick up some other low-priced free agents to fill out the front court.

      A lineup of:

      PG: Beverley
      SG: Matthews
      SF: Melo
      PF: someone
      C: Okafor

      would be so much better, and probably cheaper than supermaxing out Gasol.

    30. That lineup has played 21 minutes this year, wetbandit, and that might be all it ever does

    31. Knicks twitter promoting tonight’s massacre with a photo of Gasol . . .and Cole Goddamn Aldrich. I’m so proud.

    32. “I do, however, think Calderon/Shumpert/Melo/Amare/Dalembert is a better lineup than MCW/Noel/Mbah/McDaniels/Wroten.”
      If you are saying that they have more talent than a 4-28 team, that’s probably true, but pretty much damning them with faint praise.
      “That interesting because it seems that player development has been weak, at best”
      Maybe I don’t understand the term “player development” but I always thought that you measured the success or failure of a team in developing players over a period that is just a tad bit longer than 2 or 3 months — like maybe 4 or 5 years or so. Now, if you want to say that, since Shumpert came into the league 4 years ago, the Knicks (and Shumpert) have done a lousy job developing him as a player, that’s a valid point, but Jackson, Fisher, et al, have not been here for much of those 4 years.

    33. I was driving last night and caught part of the game on radio. At one point, our second string last night was Early, Acy, Prigioni, Larkin and Wear. And this was against a team the announcers said has the highest scoring bench in the NBA. When I heard that lineup, I thought to myself how can they score with that lineup? And it turned out that they couldn’t and that’s when Milwaukee started pulling ahead. They’ve got four games in five nights and they have to play everyone to survive, so this wasn’t an aberration; we’re going to see lineups like this again. At least it’s four young guys getting experience playing along with a point guard who will get them the ball. But it’s definitely not a lineup better than other bottom feeding teams. And without Melo, our starters aren’t better than many teams either.

    34. I do, however, think Calderon/Shumpert/Melo/Amare/Dalembert is a better lineup than MCW/Noel/Mbah/McDaniels/Wroten.

      Yeah, to follow up on Johno’s point, that Philly team is quite possibly one of the least talented (in terms of how good the players are currently, not future) team in the history of the NBA. When I look at the Knicks compared to the other bottom rung teams I think it’s pretty comparable. Particularly when you factor in that our guys can’t stay on the court.

    35. Who is there really to develop on the team? JR is a finished product – what you see is what you get, and actually probably less than that since he’s getting older and more injury prone.

      I understand what you’re saying. At this age, and stage in his career, this is who JR is.
      But, considering his talent and athletic ability, he seems so close to being a much better player. Here’s a guy that’s has a great handle, a good shot from any range, can create his own shots, shoot off the dribble, go to the hoop, and he’s fast and a good size.
      Really, he needs a tweaking to his mental approach to the game. . . and his life. That’s where I thought the wise, zen master would be valuable.
      Same goes for Shump.And Melo!!!

    36. I have a missing tooth fetish.

      More seriously, this team is difficult to root for because they lose all the time. Coleis goofy as fuck, but is actually a pretty decent basketball player, and I find him one of the few bright spots on the team and enjoy it when he plays well.

    37. @32. My problem with Knicks FA speculation is that no one ever comes here. Tyson would have been the last in or near his prime player to do so. Maybe that is a no cap space thing, if so my bad for not retaining the information, but I think it is more a disinterest in a dysfunctional mess. Perhaps Jackson and Fisher can change that, but to this date that is just speculation based on success at previous lower level roles.

    38. Am I the only one who doesn’t think JR is a great athlete? He makes the occasional highlight reel dunk but so does just about every other wing in the league. He does have great body control but he lacks a great first step- all those step backs and herky-jerky moves are necessary because he can’t explode past guys. For a wing, a quick first step is probably the single most important athletic trait and JR’s (and Shump’s too) isn’t anything special.
      Speaking of non-athletes, shouldn’t Cole be in game shape by now? He’s been playing steady minutes the last nine games and it still looks like he’s seriously sucking wind after about 6 minutes of game time.

    39. I understand what you’re saying. At this age, and stage in his career, this is who JR is.
      But, considering his talent and athletic ability, he seems so close to being a much better player. Here’s a guy that’s has a great handle, a good shot from any range, can create his own shots, shoot off the dribble, go to the hoop, and he’s fast and a good size.
      Really, he needs a tweaking to his mental approach to the game. . . and his life.

      I wish you were a GM for another NBA team. Are you, by any chance? hmmm…?

    40. Cole might legitimately be the best player on the team with the second highest payroll in the NBA. Just think about that.

    41. @38…JR’s shooting 69% from the line and 40% from the floor…he’s not a “good shot” He’s not particularly fast and he’s about/slightly above avg height for a SG. In years prior, JR’s claim to fame would be his superior athleticism and occasionally getting hot and hitting 4-5 threes in a game…now we don’t even have that. There aren’t a lot of Knicks with worse trade values than JR right now.

    42. I think what is amazing from this season is the difference in what we are hearing come out of the locker room. Whereas last year it seemed quite poisonous, this year, whilst everyone seems down which is understandable given the mountain of losses, there doesn’t appear to be that same kind of venom. Obviously there is so much we don’t know about what goes on behind closed doors, but I think Fisher is doing (or at least it looks like he’s doing) a pretty decent job of keeping an even keel despite the woeful season so far.

      Also on the Amare front, I would be devastated if we waived him. He has definitely been one of my favourite Knicks simply for his enthusiasm and work he has put into this team. I would love to see them bring him back next year (on a less onerous contract of course in maybe a bench role), but I really think he deserves some success so might better off elsewhere.

      I would also tend to agree with the sentiment that we give some young guys more burn. If we are going to suck, lets suck and potentially develop some youth. It’s a foreign idea for this franchise, but when you’re 5-31 why the eff not?

    43. Also, let’s not get carried away on Cole. He’s a good defender and rebounder (great by this Knicks team’s standards / much better than the terrible bigs behind him), but as his minutes have increased and his shots have increased his shooting % has declined. If he’s able to average 12-14 points on 50% shooting then we can talk.

    44. Since Cole has been starting he’s actually improved on his numbers from earlier this year. His numbers aren’t where they were last year still, but no one, NO ONE, thinks an NBA offense should run through Cole. (except maybe Jowles).

    45. Except the Knicks are running their offense through Cole. Like for real. Is that ideal? No. But I’m still amazed that its actually happening. And he might get better, considering he was the emergency center as recently as like 2 weeks ago. Until we start doing things like Langston Galloway there’s not a whole lot else to root for.

    46. Except the Knicks are running their offense through Cole

      . Yeah that was kinda my point. He runs the offense because everyone else on the Knicks is that much worse. And the Knicks don’t really have an NBA offense. I could see Cole being a key player in a team oriented offense, but not the sole Melo/Kobe running the offense type player, though he’s done an admirable job.

    47. Last five games:
      1/4: 20 min, 6/10 FG
      1/2: 36 min, 5/15 FG
      12/31: 31 min 4/9 FG
      12/28: 34 min 6/16 FG
      12/27: 24 min 8/9 FG
      12/25: 22 min 5/6 FG
      12/21: 22 min 4/4 FG

      Moral of the story: dude gets tired and shouldn’t take too many shots since he is a large non-shooting center.

    48. Agreed on rootability. I do root for Cole and I like Larkin, if only because he’s a little guy that tries hard and seems to have at least one elite skill (his speed). On the he tries, so I can root for him team are Quincy Acy and Prigioni, but that’s about it. And all these players were after the fact acquisitions by the Knicks.

      What has happened to Calderon? Did our culture just rub off on him, he’s now over the hill or was never all that good? He’s terrible on D and mediocre at everything not involving shooting threes on offense (terrible asst to turnover ratio, no threat to penetrate / create, passive, etc). I almost like the team better when Larkin is out there with Prigs.

    49. “Speaking of non-athletes, shouldn’t Cole be in game shape by now? He’s been playing steady minutes the last nine games”
      Kind of hard to undo four years of no playing time in nine games…

    50. I am, perhaps, the world’s biggest non-Aldrich Cole Aldrich fan, and not even I think Cole should be shooting 16 times in an NBA game. But what’s insane was that we really didn’t have better options that night. This team is legit garbage right now.

    51. This team is legit garbage right now.

      Id like to nominate this for understatement of the year hahaha.

    52. Cole is obviously a pretty damn good role player. He’s a rebounding machine, a decent rim protector and a guy who will put a body on an opposing center. He’s also not a zero on offense, as he gets his share of easy buckets and can even knock down free throws. There is no reason Cole could not be a useful player on a reasonable facsimile of an NBA team with actual NBA players on it instead of the dreck the Knicks are sending out there right now. Sure, he doesn’t look like the greatest option shooting the ball 16 times in a game. If he could keep up his efficiency while shooting 16 times in a game he’d be a freaking NBA All-Star.

      He started getting significant minutes in game 28 of the season and has not embarrassed himself– he has a pretty solid .564 TS% in those games and his rebounding has remained solid, with a TRB% of 18.0, which is right in line with his career average.

    53. Cole is obviously a pretty damn good role player. He’s a rebounding machine, a decent rim protector and a guy who will put a body on an opposing center. He’s also not a zero on offense, as he gets his share of easy buckets and can even knock down free throws. There is no reason Cole could not be a useful player on a reasonable facsimile of an NBA team with actual NBA players on it instead of the dreck the Knicks are sending out there right now.

      Also I have to say the thing that has stood out to me about Cole since he started playing more is that the guy can actually pass pretty well for a big man. He’s not like Marc Gasol or anything like that where he has the vision of a PG, but if guys come open when he’s making a move in the post he has actually been pretty decent at finding them. He’s a real NBA player, and if he can get in shape I think he still has a bit of upside. Somebody close to him should be in his ear every day telling him that $10M a year is easily within his future grasp if he turns 20 pounds of baby fat into muscle.

    54. What has happened to Calderon? Did our culture just rub off on him, he’s now over the hill or was never all that good? He’s terrible on D and mediocre at everything not involving shooting threes on offense (terrible asst to turnover ratio, no threat to penetrate / create, passive, etc). I almost like the team better when Larkin is out there with Prigs.

      I think Calderon has really suffered from the lack of a penetrating guard to play with. He’s not really a primary ball handling PG any more do to a lack of quickness. In Dallas that worked fine because Monta has the ball in his hands all the time, and Dirk draws a lot of attention in the post obviously. In theory, that’s why Calderon was a good fit here – quickness and penetration aren’t the traits needed from a Triangle PG, he could do a lot of the same stuff, i.e. be a secondary option that was a great shooter and a heady passer.

      Practically, this hasn’t exactly worked out, mostly because the triangle has basically fizzled (in my eyes at least). I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve been trying to watch for it and as far as I can tell we basically never get anything (literally not more than four or five times a game) out of the primary options in the offense. So many of our possessions end up stagnating out top where we transition into basically a standard pick and roll NBA offense, which again Calderon isn’t really equipped to be the lead option in. Put him next to a quick 2 guard who runs most of those PnR and I think he’d be a lot more in his comfort zone.

    55. @60.. that’s an interesting / thoughtful observation. Think most of it makes sense. What has surprised me most is some of the terrible passes / turnovers he’s committed and his passing has not wowed me in the least, thought he would have been a better distributor

    56. ANY MOVE THAT MAKES THE KNICKS WORSE THIS SEASON, AND BETTER IN THE FUTURE, IS A GOOD ONE!

      Sorry. There is no move out there that can make this team worse this season. They started 2-1. Since then they are 3-30. That is a historic pace they are on. They lost to the horrid Pistons by 20+ points, at home. There is literally no team, including the Sixers, that they can’t lose to on any given night. All-time worst record in NBA history is a mere half-season away. It’s more attainable that the #1 pick is even!

      (ps– are people here okay with spending time following the worst basketball team in NBA history just for a 25% shot at drafting first this summer??)

    57. A nice chunk of the Cole-love is because he is one of the few decent players on this team (with even some theoretical upside left) but an even bigger chunk is likely a reaction to the torrent of “Cole is garbage!” stuff from early in the season which you don’t really hear any more, but it was so prominent that Cole-love sort of became a thing in response to it.

    58. In Dallas that worked fine

      Did it? Calderon was a large net minus player there. In fact, including this season, he’s now been a net minus for the past 4 seasons for 4 different teams. Those teams have been better when he wasn’t on the court. People swooned over his TS% but the proper way to evaluate players who are either terrible or elite defenders is not WP or WS but plus/minus. If Phil had looked at that, he never would have made this trade. And Calderon’s contract will likely cost us the ability to sign a second impact player this summer. Terrible trade.

    59. What has surprised me most is some of the terrible passes / turnovers he’s committed and his passing has not wowed me in the least, thought he would have been a better distributor

      He has been a massive disappointment to me on that front as well. I guess on top of what I wrote above I’d attribute it to a couple related factors. The first is that he was over-hyped coming in here due to the not-Felton factor. We were all so excited to be rid of that fat bum that Calderon probably took on a bit too much sheen. The second is that with guys you don’t watch play all the time there is a definite tendency for perception to lag a bit behind a guys actual ability. Calderon was a phenomenal distributor in Toronto, but previous 4 years you can see the skills eroding…assists/36 10.4, 9.4, 8.6, 5.5 and now this year 4.9. I think many of us, myself included, hadn’t really recognized the extent to which his game had been slipping, which is easy to do if you only see a guy play when it’s a national TV game or vs. the Knicks (neither the Rockets nor last years Mavs were big league pass destination teams). Other than his shooting percentages being significantly off his other /36 numbers look very similar to next year. I think we all just probably expected too much.

    60. Did it?

      I should have made it clear I was merely talking about it in terms of offensive fit, since I think when Johno and myself talk about being dissapointed in Calderon we are really talking about being disappointed in his offense. We all knew he would be terrible on defense, but he has made up for even less of it on the other end than I expected.

      But yeah, as I addressed above I think many of us including myself, but perhaps not you, bought into the hype a little bit with him, when a closer look at the numbers would have revealed he really wasn’t all that good of a player any more. And I will definitely second your terrible trade assessment. Thanasis may someday win 5 consecutive DPOY awards and salvage the thing, but from where we sit now it looks awfully lopsided.

    61. And I will definitely second your terrible trade assessment. Thanasis may someday win 5 consecutive DPOY awards and salvage the thing, but from where we sit now it looks awfully lopside

      I didn’t like the trade initially but Larkin to me was the wildcard. When Phil refused to exercise his option, WTF? Why did he make the trade if he was willing to abandon Larkin that fast? Felton could have been waived-and-stretched for 1m cap hit. Jax must have liked Calderon at 7m for the future to make that trade. But from a negotiating position, Cuban was ecstatic to unload Calderon’s contract and receive Chandler in his contract year. Phil should have held out for Brandan Wright even if it meant keeping Felton or not taking Larkin/Early in the trade. Worst case he holds on to Chandler and, as it turns out, both Cavs and GS might have had interest in a deal. Combo guard Delladova at 1.1m cap hold and restricted agent might have been there for us.

      Signing a 30 yo (throwing away his first year of health because of roster) with 33,000 NBA minutes to a max NTC contract was even worse. Millsap, for example, has just under 20,000 minutes. And now Melo’s got a chronic knee condition. But Phil always seems to land on his feet. If this leads us to Okafor or Towns who then turns into Duncan (Phil’s next Jordan/Kobe/Shaq), it will have all been worth it. But we will have succeeded in spite of Phil not because of him.

    62. Tyson Chandler or not, this team was missing the playoffs again. The Tyson Chandler trade allowed us to bottom out and secure a top 3 pick in this draft, so I call that trade a positive for the direction of the team. I don’t care about free agency because it’s the same type of quick fix this team has been going for the put us in this terrible situation. There is nobody, and I mean nobody, in free agency that will be a franchise altering talent. Marc Gasol won’t make us a contender. Jimmy Butler is a pipe dream and he won’t make us a contender. The Knicks need a miracle if they want to be a contender next season, and everyone in the organization knows that. Carmelo Anthony has acknowledged that he knew it would take a season or two to get this team back in contention, and if he knew that, you can believe the front office sold it to him.

      Everyone is patient until they have to watch the Knicks lose games, but that’s not going to change this team’s plan. All I care about is this organizations ability to stay the course and not sign certified bums like Travis Wear, The Smiths, and Andrea Bargnani-Smith.

      Dion Waiters is a Knick?

    63. Tyson Chandler or not, this team was missing the playoffs again. The Tyson Chandler trade allowed us to bottom out and secure a top 3 pick in this draft, so I call that trade a positive for the direction of the team.

      It turned out to be a positive for the team, but that it wasn’t one to begin with.

    64. Oh fuck, it’s Waiters and not Jackson?

      I take it back. You done fucked up, Phil.

    65. Apparently Waiters and Shump to OKC and JR to CLE.

      Nothing about what we are getting.

      I hope it’s some picks.

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