Knicks Morning News (2015.01.11)

  • [New York Daily News] Phil Jackson says Knicks’ disastrous season is ‘on me’ (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 04:05:53 GMT)

    Phil Jackson offered his “mea culpa” for this disastrous Knicks season, calling the worst start in franchise history “on me.”

  • [New York Daily News] Bondy: Phil fesses to Knicks mess, but can he fix it? (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 02:42:58 GMT)

    This was a very different Phil Jackson on Saturday, chastened by the sort of start he might not even wish on Pat Riley.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: Jax praises recovering Amar’e (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 00:22:38 GMT)

    Amar’e Stoudemire missed his ninth straight game on Saturday with knee swelling, but he is “trending in a pretty good direction.”

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Nets Fall to Pistons as Both Teams Struggle to Shoot From Beyond the Arc (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 04:11:42 GMT)

    Brandon Jennings scored all 18 of his points in the second half, leading the Detroit Pistons to a win at home over the Nets.

  • [New York Times] Rockets Win 3rd Straight, 97-82 Over Jazz; Harden Has 30 (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 04:00:26 GMT)

    James Harden had 30 points and five assists to lead the Houston Rockets to their third straight victory, 97-82 over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] AP Source: Grizzlies, Pelicans, Celtics Agree on Green Trade (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 04:00:19 GMT)

    The Memphis Grizzlies, Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans have agreed on a five-player trade that would send forward Jeff Green from Boston to Memphis, a person familiar with the situation said Saturday.

  • [New York Times] Gasol Powers Bulls Past Bucks, 95-87 (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 03:45:35 GMT)

    Pau Gasol had a career-high 46 points to go along with 18 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls bounced back from a pair of ugly losses with a 95-87 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Carter-Williams’ Layup Lifts 76ers to 93-92 Win Over Pacers (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 03:39:19 GMT)

    Michael Carter-Williams hit a running layup with 9.2 seconds left to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 93-92 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Give Timberwolves 15th Straight Loss, 108-93 (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 03:36:25 GMT)

    Austin Daye scored a season-high 22 points and had 10 rebounds to help the San Antonio Spurs hand the Minnesota Timberwolves their 15th straight loss, 108-93 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Carter-Williams’ Layup Lifts 76ers to 93-92 Win Over Pacers (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 03:30:40 GMT)

    Michael Carter-Williams hit a running layup with 9.2 seconds left to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 93-92 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Jennings’ 20 in 2nd Half Helps Pistons Down Nets, 98-93 (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 03:09:33 GMT)

    Brandon Jennings scored all 20 of his points in the second half as the Detroit Pistons beat the Brooklyn Nets 98-93 Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Lowry Leads Raptors Over Celtics 109-96 (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 02:57:24 GMT)

    Kyle Lowry scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, James Johnson had 15 points and 10 rebounds and the Toronto Raptors won their fourth straight meeting with the Boston Celtics 109-96 Saturday night, snapping a season-high four-game losing streak.

  • [New York Times] Hornets 110, Knicks 82: Phil Jackson Takes Blame Before Yet Another Knicks Loss (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 01:29:09 GMT)

    Phil Jackson took responsibility for the Knicks’ terrible season before the team went on to lose its 15th game in a row, a team record.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Thrash Mavericks 120-100 for 6th Win in 8 Games (Sun, 11 Jan 2015 00:09:14 GMT)

    The Clippers have been playing with big leads in their last two games and not blowing them.

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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).

    34 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.01.11)”

    1. The Knicks’ schedule is becoming very soft. If the young guys develop any sense of desire to win it could quickly become a 4 way race, with Boston joining in. From the group of 10 wins or more Boston really scares me because Ainge is very good at tanking.

    2. Nothing good will happen here until Melo is gone.
      Same as the day before he arrived in NY, antithetical to the vast majority of fans and NBA analysts, only few among us knew what laid in store for the new and improved NY Knicks.

      Now, the knicks latest farcical plan is too suck beyond belief, hopefully winning the anti-Championship, for a 25% chance at a number one pick.

      Even if the knicks get Okafor – nothing will change!!! He’s going to struggle. He’s going to underperform. He’s going to have trouble feeling comfortable or integrated into the knicks offense. . . no matter how talented he is.
      No one can excel alongside Melo. He leaves no room for it. He’s a low IQ, ball dominant, hero-baller, more interested in scoring than winning.

      Though I doubt it, maybe, just maybe, when PJ had the revelation that he screwed up and needed to redesign his master plan, he was conscious enough to realize that Melo may be the chip for a high draft pick or young, promising talent to play Okafor’s sidekick.
      Now, that would be zen.

    3. Read alot of stuff on Twitter today criticizing Okafor’s defense and people saying Towns would be the better pick because of his “upside” since Duke lost today and looked bad defensively in the process. Okafor today scored 23 pts (8 for 11 FG, 7 for 11 FT) with 12 rebs, 3 blks and 3 stls. He has a TS% close to 67% on a usage rate nearly at 30%. Why is it that Towns will improve in the NBA and has a ton of upside but Okafor is apparently a finished product (a pretty damn good one at that). Sorry but I would be beyond thrilled to get Okafor in the draft, the kid is an absolute stud already and there is no reason he wont get better.

    4. @BBA — Towns is clearly the better athlete. You see it watching him. You see it in his block and rebounding numbers.

      Towns per 100 possessions: 20.4 rebounds, 6.9 blocks
      Okafor per 100 possessions: 18 rebounds, 3.3 blocks

      Post offense has also been marginalized for the most part in the NBA over the last decade, and that seems to be Okafor’s greatest strength. Successful defenses today rely on mobile big men like Joakim Noah who allow you to switch when necessary and open up more opportunities for efficient defensive rotations, allowing you to effectively defend the three point line and the rim. Towns clearly fits that bill better than Okafor.

      I don’t know who I’d draft. I’m no expert. But I get the argument.

    5. I’d be happy with either, but yes, I think Okafor is the real deal. If the Knicks get him, they’d be building around him very quickly, that’s how good he is.

    6. From the scouting videos and highlights I’ve seen (admittedly not much to go on) Okafor can’t jump at all. He plays completely below the rim. He also looks slow laterally. What that will mean in the NBA is beyond me, but I can see why people are concerned.

    7. If we’re talking about keeping Melo and adding pieces around him, then Towns seems like the better bet. Why? Defense, defense, defense. What is the better piece to add to Melo– another volume scorer, or a stud defensive center?

    8. Would it make sense to trade down in the draft… does the #1 for the #3 and #15 (Sixers, who have too many young guys) work? Is that equal value? We need talent and a lot of it. Okafor might be a great college player/not so great pro. Not so sure he is a can’t miss NBA superstar…I think Cauley-Stein is better than Towns anyway and more of what we need. Take him or Turner from Texas or Stanley Johnson with #3 and a point guard at 15 – Rozier from Louisville or Tyus Jones from Duke…

    9. I think okafor just needs to get used to his body more. As time goes on he’ll refine it and grow into his man body. The guy is carrying 25-30 more lbs than Towns. I wouldn’t expect him to look as fluid. Let him get comfortable like Andrew Bynum did. A healthy Bynum was something serious. The guy is still only 27 and would be just entering his prime if he was healthy.

    10. Ive seen Okafor go way above the rim to block shots, did so today to cleanly block a dunk attempt. I just dont get it, for all the talk about advanced stats you cant possibly have better offensive numbers than Okafor and he isnt exactly a chump on the boards or blocking shots either. I would think he would be the slam dunk, no-brainer choice. I mean I get the defensive argument and the questions about him on that side of the ball, dont get me wrong. But his numbers this season are pretty damn amazing and he is just 19 yo like Towns so I dont understand why its ok to assume Towns will improve in the NBA because apparently its easy to teach a gifted big man to become an efficient scorer in the NBA but you cant teach someone like Okafor how to be a better team defender??

      We arent talking about a pretty good college scorer in Okafor, we are talking about a kid who has a TS% approaching 70% on a near 30% usage rate. That is freaking absurd and he isnt doing it playing for a small school either.

    11. Would it make sense to trade down in the draft… does the #1 for the #3 and #15 (Sixers, who have too many young guys) work? Is that equal value? We need talent and a lot of it. Okafor might be a great college player/not so great pro. Not so sure he is a can’t miss NBA superstar…I think Cauley-Stein is better than Towns anyway and more of what we need. Take him or Turner from Texas or Stanley Johnson with #3 and a point guard at 15 – Rozier from Louisville or Tyus Jones from Duke…

      If they get a mid-round pick, I’d want someone like Montrezl Harrell. Perfect complimentary player, good rebounder for his size, which is deceptive anyway – he has long arms and when I saw him in person last season at Louisville, he looked like a man playing with kids. Definitely has an NBA body. TS% has consistently improved in college, up over 60% this season. Doesn’t need to dominate the ball but can definitely go on a beasting type run if needed. I think he’d be a really nice piece for someone. If the Knicks ended up with something like #15 from the 76ers, that’s the kind of guy I want.

    12. I think what concerns people, myself included, about Okafor is that he really only derives value from scoring. His rebounding is solid but not top-20 in the country. Obviously his scoring is good enough that if he carried it over to the NBA he’d be an elite player even without developing other skills, but from what I understand scoring is pretty volatile when it comes to NBA translation. So he has one elite skill, and it just so happens to be the skill with the least carry over to the NBA.

      On the flip side seeing as how he’s sporting Tyson efficiency with Melo usage, I completely understand why people are excited about him. I just can see the argument for taking someone like Towns or Turner who have things to fall back on if they don’t become good scorers.

    13. I mentioned the other night that someone I am very close with personally was with Morey in an intimate setting recently. Morey said specifically that Love is good as gone from Cleveland and that his destinations of choice are NYC, LA and Houston fwiw.

    14. Love emphasized that he wanted to join a winning culture.
      And why would he want to play with someone that shoots as much as he can while dominating the ball, and rarely kicks it out to open shooters.

    15. And I thought you were going to ask how everyone feels about the fact that KB darling Kevin Love’s team is like 2-8 without LBJ even though Love has been putting up Love-like numbers.

    16. Maybe it’s just because I’ve spent the last couple of decades watching the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford, Stephon Marbury, Jose Calderon, Zach Randolph, Allan Houston, Tim Hardaway Jr, Andrea Bargnani, Jason Smith and Al Harrington, but I’m just about ready to watch somebody play some goddamn defense. If the Knicks get Okafor, great– he should be a very good scorer. That’s also the foundation of a shaky defense, considering Carmelo Anthony and Jose Calderon are the other two guys penciled in as starters. I haven’t heard anybody say that Okafor projects to be a plus defender, and I’ve seen enough shitty New York Knick defense to last me a lifetime.

    17. Maybe it’s just because I’ve spent the last couple of decades watching the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford, Stephon Marbury, Jose Calderon, Zach Randolph, Allan Houston, Tim Hardaway Jr, Andrea Bargnani, Jason Smith and Al Harrington, but I’m just about ready to watch somebody play some goddamn defense. If the Knicks get Okafor, great– he should be a very good scorer. That’s also the foundation of a shaky defense, considering Carmelo Anthony and Jose Calderon are the other two guys penciled in as starters. I haven’t heard anybody say that Okafor projects to be a plus defender, and I’ve seen enough shitty New York Knick defense to last me a lifetime.

      +1,000. Preach it brother!

    18. @17 – I can deal with going back to the Van Gundy shut-down, grinding game. Bring back Oakley and Ewing!

    19. I pretty much stopped posting with the Melo trade. Mostly stopped watching the team. But it’s been tough to stop reading KB – in fact, I haven’t, though I do miss ruru. That sh*t was hilarious. (I don’t miss Abbey much, since he was so nasty sometimes.)

      Anyway, this is the first glimmer of hope I’ve felt since they brought on the T-1000. If that team had had a good coach, one who knew where his wins were coming from – and who wasn’t a prophet of Switching D – it could have done some serious damage that one year everyone was healthy. But Woody had no idea why they were winning, and then they extended Melo, and…I really almost quit for good. It’s car-wreck awful at this point. UNLESS, for the first time in 30 years, they luck out in the draft, and Phil makes a few smart acquisitions. Given his comments the other day, it’s possible. I wouldn’t bet on it, but it’s possible.

      Meanwhile, I continue to live in hope that I’ll have more to feel good about with the Knicks than KB. Good as it is, it’s not enough. (Though Cavan’s recaps were awesome, and I really hope things are working out for him personally.) Thanks DRed, THCJ, Hubert, BCronin, and everyone for keeping this Nix fan sane.

    20. I will be thrilled with getting any of Okafor, Towns, Turner or even Stanley Johnson. They all project great and all are having great statistical seasons so far. It just looks like to me because Okafor seems to be the obvious choice at #1 and thats who the Knicks seem to be targeting that automatically means he will be the wrong choice because Knicks. Okafor is not just an amazing efficient scorer, he has the same TREB% as Towns and is proving to be a better rebounder than Turner. He might not be the shotblocker those 2 are but he does block shots, he is no Kevin Love defensively.

      I just dont wanna read people bitching and moaning draft night if the Knicks somehow win the lottery and draft Okafor because its already obvious most people will be complaining about the pick. Its probably why I hope the Knicks dont win the lottery but still get the 2nd or 3rd pick. Of course if that happens I pray they dont take Mudiay….

    21. You guys continue to play “make-believe”. . . and the knicks (MSG Inc.) love it. You did it with Landry Fields, Shump, and even TDDWTDD and many many more. And now Cole, and the lottery pick.

      Okafor, Towns, Turner or any other college star is NOT the answer.

    22. I’d be good with either Okafor or Towns. I suppose I prefer Towns because he is a legit 7-footer C who can play both ends and is less redundant with Melo’s skillset. If somehow Bynum can come back relatively healthy and Phil can play him 25 mpg at a high level, then Okafor makes more sense. Then we can use the FA money on two solid 2-way guards. How’s this lineup: Healthy Bynum-Melo-Okafor-Matthews-Dragic? Or maybe: Towns-Melo-Millsap-Butler-Jackson?

    23. @hoolahoop

      We’re fans watching their historically awful team lose. What do you expect us to do?

      If you want us to speak more practically, then all I have to say is I’m positive we have at least one more big trade coming, so I won’t try to predict anything at all.

    24. One season of Love does nothing for me and I can only say about Love and Melo what I said about Amare and Melo – it’s hard to imagine two more duplicative players. It would never ever work. I’d rather have Love than Melo but his game is maybe even more severely flawed by his inability to defend though his boarding and passing make up for it.

      Okafor is climbing the WS/40 rankings which is nice to see. He seems to be emerging as a legit #1 for statheads and scouts alike. Turner still looks intriguing and Kennedy Meeks will probably fall deep into the bottom of the first round where the Spurs will pick him up and turn him into their new franchise centerpiece. There are some other guys out there who seems like they might make great Knicks. Willie Cauley Stein is a little old I know but he seems like a guy who can defend like the Knicks of old. Dakari Johnson? Myles Turner? Or I guess Towns, although he doesn’t seem to be separating himself numbers wise from the pack.

      I don’t know, I really want the Knicks to add a legit defender for once. Seems unlikely PJ will go that route but like those above that’s what I want, someone who brings a real defensive presence. Sure seemed to work when Tyson was around….

    25. We’re fans watching their historically awful team lose. What do you expect us to do?

      It’s fanciful to assume that anyone coming here is going to turn this team around. If that’s the game you want to play with yourself, go for it.
      The problem with the knicks is systemic. For starters, they have a flawed player as their centerpiece, which makes it virtually impossible to succeed. A hero baller that plays without regard for the team to takes it’s best (highest percentage) shot can win a limited number of games.
      Secondly, the triangle may not be practical to implement with such a transient team, and very possibly, not a successful formula at this stage in the NBA.
      Third – a team that is overhauling it’s roster year after year cannot possibly have the chemistry and cohesion to compete with teams that play with a foundation of players and coaches that have been together for multiple years.

      However, all is not completely hopeless. Step one is getting rid of Melo in exchange for great draft picks or promising young talent. For once, I’d like to see the knicks on the good side of a big trade.
      With two or three very young, highly talented players. . . and a young max contract guy that fits well with them . . . you start locking down role players that fit the puzzle and will be around for the transformation.
      All this must happen playing under a system that suits the talent, not the GM.

    26. I can’t believe someone actually thanked me for my posts. Remember: they are wholly absent of independent research, and I back up my conjecture with nothing but pure, and dumb, reason.

    27. Lol Jowles honestly I like your posts as well. I like to see differing opinions and you are arrogantly funny

    28. Jowles, let’s face it, you’re on the verge of becoming mainstream. But I suppose it has to do with you going to Portland… as the Romans said, nemo profeta in patria.

      Seriously, I think that without you this blog wouldn’t be the same. You’re the chili to the KB’s meat, you know (not ironic – a serious compliment)? So thanks for commenting.

      @32

      Exactly. Not that Whiteside is an NBA unknown (he failed repeatedly in his first stints, and I will eat my hat if he posts another 20-15 before April), but at least he’s a gamble with upside! With Amundson and Thomas we’re doing nothing, and it’s not like Fisher is showing commitment in playing his youngsters. I expected to see Galloway in the starting lineup against Charlotte. I also expected to see Jason Smith cut. It seems like I’m expecting too much from this braintrust.

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