Knicks Morning News (2015.01.20)

  • [New York Post] NBA All-Star concert to paralyze Flatiron District (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:02:24 -0500)

    The city will turn one of New York's busiest neighborhoods upside down for four days — all for a 45-minute concert, The Post has learned. The NBA All-Star Weekend concert,…

  • [New York Post] NBA All-Star concert to paralyze Flatiron District (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:02:24 -0500)

    The city will turn one of New York's busiest neighborhoods upside down for four days — all for a 45-minute concert, The Post has learned. The NBA All-Star Weekend concert,…

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks snap 16-game losing streak with win over Pelicans (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 05:26:05 GMT)

    Winning won’t cure all or make previous questions about the Knicks irrelevant. But it’s certainly better than losing.

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: Hawks, Knicks head in opposite direction (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 04:57:45 GMT)

    The Atlanta Hawks, the NBA’s feel-good story, own the best record in the East while the Knicks are now the league’s bottom feeder.

  • [New York Daily News] Bondy: Knicks finally win, but too many would hurt them (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:24:52 GMT)

    The Knicks won a game Monday, despite starting two guys on 10-day contracts and looking awfully scared in the fourth quarter.

  • [New York Times] Lillard Scores 22 to Help Trail Blazers Beat Kings 98-94 (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 06:20:27 GMT)

    Damian Lillard scored 22 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:20 remaining, and the Portland Trail Blazers ended a three-game losing streak Monday night with a 98-94 win over the Sacramento Kings.

  • [New York Times] Guard Trio Leads Suns to 115-100 Win Over Kobe-Less Lakers (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 06:08:14 GMT)

    Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas scored 24 points apiece, fellow guard Eric Bledsoe added 17 and the Phoenix Suns pulled away in the second half to hand the Los Angeles Lakers their fifth loss in a row, the last two without Kobe Bryant, 115-100 on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Atlanta Wins 13th in a Row, Beating Detroit (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 04:51:04 GMT)

    The Atlanta Hawks earned their 13th consecutive win, one shy of tying the team record.

  • [New York Times] LeBron Scores 26, Cavaliers Roll to 108-94 Win Over Bulls (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 04:20:20 GMT)

    The pieces, old and new, are beginning to fit together.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 99, Pelicans 92: Knicks Win! Knicks Win! (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:50:55 GMT)

    After losing 16 straight games, the Knicks defeated the Pelicans at Madison Square Garden for their first victory since Dec. 12.

  • [New York Times] Lowry Scores 18, Balanced Raptors Beat Bucks 92-89 (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:50:27 GMT)

    Kyle Lowry scored 18 points and was one of six Toronto players to reach double figures in the Raptors’ 92-89 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Grizzlies 103, Nets 92: Nets Put On Sleepy Show After Morning Workout (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:51:25 GMT)

    Lionel Hollins put the Nets through a morning shootaround on Wednesday, their first on the day of a home game this season. But they went on to their seventh straight loss, falling to Memphis.

  • [New York Times] Knicks End 16-Game Skid, Beat Pelicans 99-92 (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:44:21 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks walked off the court, and for the first time in weeks it wasn’t with heads hanging.

  • [New York Times] James Harden’s 45 Points Lead Rockets Over Pacers 110-98 (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:26:15 GMT)

    Rockets coach Kevin McHale lamented Houston’s lack of effort in a lopsided loss to Golden State on Saturday.

  • [New York Times] Nowitzki’s Late Points Lead Mavericks Past Grizzlies 103-95 (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 01:17:33 GMT)

    Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points, including the last eight for Dallas in the final 2 minutes, and the Mavericks defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 103-95 on Monday.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Whip Nuggets 122-79 for Season’s Most Lopsided Win (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:41:47 GMT)

    James Michael McAdoo signed a 10-day contract Monday morning after getting called up from the NBA Development League. By late afternoon, he had teammates and fans cheering his debut and went home with the game ball.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Beat Celtics 102-93 for 8th Win in 11 Games (Tue, 20 Jan 2015 00:23:34 GMT)

    The Clippers blew most of a 23-point lead and they got away with it against the struggling Boston Celtics.

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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).

    105 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.01.20)”

    1. Yeah, but a win here or there until we reach at least 10 wins is a good thing and doesn’t really hinders our chances.

    2. With Melo and Amare back, I’m concerned this team is going to return to mediocrity and start winning 1 out of every 3…

    3. With Melo and Amare back, I’m concerned this team is going to return to mediocrity and start winning 1 out of every 3…

      If Galloway pans out, that’s a real risk. Fortunately, those guys aren’t going to stay healthy.

    4. Especially Amar’e.

      DRed, why aren’t we lamenting the disappearance of Cole? The rotations are weird (although Cole’s conditioning is probably the worst we’ve seen since Eddy Curry and Michael Sweetney).

    5. With Melo and Amare back, I’m concerned this team is going to return to mediocrity and start winning 1 out of every 3…

      This is what I predicted a month ago. I suggested that around January tenth the team would start to get better results because players would be back from injury, the schedule would get easier around this time, and the Knicks would have more time to get as a team. I’m a game or two off of schedule with my prediction, but otherwise it still seems to be a good one, considering that we have games with Philadelphia, Orlando and Charlotte coming up.

    6. I’m concerned this team is going to return to mediocrity and start winning 1 out of every 3…

      Great, now mediocrity is a .333 winning%. I suppose excellence is .500?

      Welcome to James Dolan’s NY.

    7. For the next nine games it’s not inconceivable that we will go something close to .500 or even 5 and 4. The Thunder are probably the only team we are almost a lock to lose to, and the next toughest two teams are the Nets and the Kings. And the Kings aren’t the same since they fired their coach.

    8. DRed, why aren’t we lamenting the disappearance of Cole?

      Well, this year should be about seeing what we’ve got on the roster and what, if anything, we can develop. Cole is either not in the best shape, or the best shape he can be in doesn’t equal viable NBA starter. I think the coaches would have a better handle on that than I do. I’d still be playing Cole instead of Jason Smith, because he’s terrible, but otherwise I can’t get too mad. Amundson should not be on the roster, but he’s been a decent rebounding big in the past, so giving him some playing time on this team is not the end of the world.

    9. @Marvs Teeth…two most interesting pieces in that article..(i) no team w/ no 1 draft pick since Tim Dncan in 1997 has gone on to win championship (Lebron is trying to change that now) and (ii) how many teams mess up in A BIG way in hindsight the #1 draft pick….teams always somehow seem forced to draft the big guy at the expense of the better player.

      1998 – #1 Michael Olawakandi (bust) over Dirk Nowitzki (9), Paul Pierce (10), Vince Carter (5),

      1999 – Elton Brand (solid, not terrible) over Baron Davis (3), Ginobli (57) and Ron Artest (16)

      2001 – Kwame Brown (bust) over Pau Gasol (3), Tony Parker (28), Joe Johnson (10), Zach Randolph (19), Arenas (31)

      2005 – Andrew Bogut (ok) over Chris Paul (4), Deron Williams (3)

      2006 – Bargnani (smh) over Aldridge (3), Brandon Roy (6), Rondo (21), Milsapp (47)

      2007 Greg Oden (Bust) over Kevin Durant (2), Joakim Noah (9), Al Horford (3), Marc Gasol (48)

    10. I’m probably more upset that Lance Thomas has taken Early’s minutes rather than Amundson taking Cole’s. Unlike most of the team, Early is almost certain to be on the roster next year so there’s no excuse for not giving him minutes. Hopefully Melo will shut it down sooner rather than later and open up an active roster spot and some minutes for Early- as well as keeping the tank moving in the right direction.

    11. teams always somehow seem forced to draft the big guy at the expense of the better player

      It is interesting how #1 picks don’t turn into gold very often in recent years. But the trend of choosing size over talent seems to have shifted. Between 1983-2008 only 4 players shorter than 6’10” were selected #1 (Larry Johnson in 1991, Glenn Robinson in 1994, Iverson in 2006, and LeBron in 2003). That’s 4 out of 25, with Iverson being the only guard.

      Since 2008 the #1 picks have included 3 point guards. (And two of the bigs, Griffin and Davis, haven’t been busts). So, yes, teams historically gamble on size over all else. But as the league changes, so does the mentality of roster building, and just like in the 80s when Olajuwon, Ewing, Daugherty, and Robinson were all successfully drafted #1 in continuous years forming a center dominated league, the current run of draftees will reflect the new guard driven league.

    12. Like Nicos it’s the lack of PT for Early that is really sticking in my craw. I would like to see Cole play as well but he has gotten his opportunities this year, and I do think we have a much clearer perspective on what he really is as a player than at the beginning of the year. He plays hard and rebounds well when he’s in there, but he’s not a great defender or offensive player (when asked to expand his role even marginally he struggles) and either can’t or won’t get in shape enough to be a big minutes player. He’s a fine guy to have in the org and is good enough to be the backup C to somebody like Gasol on some hypothetical future Knicks team that was good, but I think even our biggest Cole believers have been pretty thoroughly convinced that he’s not a true diamond in the rough that’s about to transform into a top-15 starting C with just a few more opportunities.

      But Early, to get back to my main point, has hardly gotten a sniff yet. 192 minutes is nothing, and it’s not like he has been that awful – not worse than THJ or Wear to my eyes, both of whom are still getting minutes. To play Lance Thomas over him, given our circumstances, is just incredibly dumb.

    13. Good points Donnie…although I’m not sure that the #1 picks alone is indicative of GMs favoring guards over bigs.

      Should note though that the 2nd pick in that Blake draft was Hasheem “cant teach size” Thabeet over James Harden (3), Stephen Curry (7), and Demar Derozan (9), Lawson (18), Teague (19)

      That John Wall draft was a weak one, but Derrick Favors was still selected #3 over Paul George (10)

      And the same year Kyrie Irving was drafted #1, Derrick Williams was drafted #2 over Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight

      Blake and Griffin were crazy athletic freaks…watching Okafor he’s very skilled but not a great athlete, reminds me of a more skilled, less athletic Elton Brand. It’s clear he’s the #1 consensus pick but I’m not 100% sold on him.

    14. “But Early, to get back to my main point, has hardly gotten a sniff yet. 192 minutes is nothing, and it’s not like he has been that awful – not worse than THJ or Wear to my eyes, both of whom are still getting minutes. To play Lance Thomas over him, given our circumstances, is just incredibly dumb.”
      I don’t know what the issue was in London, but Early was hurt last night. Apparently, he twisted his ankle the other day. Prior to that, he was just working himself back into game shape after being out 5 weeks. I think he’ll probably start getting 20 minutes or so a game.

    15. I don’t know what the issue was in London, but Early was hurt last night. Apparently, he twisted his ankle the other day. Prior to that, he was just working himself back into game shape after being out 5 weeks. I think he’ll probably start getting 20 minutes or so a game.

      Ah, thanks for sharing. I’m really glad to hear that. I only got to watch the 2nd half last night and must have missed that news. Hopefully you’re right and he’ll start getting some real burn ASAP.

    16. One thing about a guy like Okafor…people knock not being that athletic and yes, the game is faster and more athletic. More players who rely on their athleticism tend to fall off a cliff once they hit their 30s or if they suffer a major injury. I wouldn’t say Duncan, for example, even at his peak was crazy athletic (a big knock on the Spurs in the 2000s was how boring they were to watch, which I agreed with at the time but of course is a dumb knock on a team). So maybe Okafor can’t jump out of the building. Maybe that means he scores because he’s fundamentally sound and he’s gonna be consistent night in and night out.

      Maybe all of that makes no sense or you think its dumb, but I do wonder if we overvalue “ceiling” and “athleticism.” A lot of great players weren’t athletic freaks.

    17. watching Okafor he’s very skilled but not a great athlete, reminds me of a more skilled, less athletic Elton Brand.

      Okafor’s a legit center while Brand is a 6’9″ dude with long arms but I get the comparison. I’m not sold on Okafor either- I think he’s a lot closer to Brook Lopez than Tim Duncan. I guess I’d still take him number one (Towns just seems to blend in with the other Kentucky bigs too often for me to get a real sense of what his ceiling is) though I’d definitely look to see what trading down a few spots would net you. I’d take Cauley-Stein and another first rounder (or decent young player on a good contract) over Okafor right now.

    18. Hard to know what to make of Okafor. He’s 18th in the country in o rebound rate. . .and 236th in defensive rebounding. Is that some weird Duke thing?

    19. I looked for guys who rebounded like Okafor in the NBA (orb? > 15 with drb% < 20) and it is pretty rare. Only been 9 such seasons since 1990, including one by Elton Brand.

    20. Assuming he’s available for free, Miami should grab Prigs. Norris Cole is playing like 25 mpg and Norris Cole sucks.

    21. Okafer v Duncan – Coming out of college Duncan was more athletic. He might not have been Dwight Howard athletic but he was dinged due to his unathleticism. Plus, Duncan’s defense was already a plus. The comparison between the two is not comparable. However, I think Okafer is way above Lopez – offensively and defensively.

    22. Assuming he’s available for free, Miami should grab Prigs. Norris Cole is playing like 25 mpg and Norris Cole sucks.

      I’d much rather see him in San Antonio, or Atlanta even. A system that stresses unselfish play.
      #FreePrigs

    23. San Antonio and Atlanta are already scarily good. I am not sure Prigioni would help them that much. Miami, on the other hand, could be much scarier with him on the team.

    24. Duncan is one of the smartest and most polished players to ever play the game, and probably has one more championship if idiot Pop keeps him on the floor to get a defensive rebound at the end of game 6 vs. Miami. To compare Okafor to him in any way at this stage strikes me as ludicrous. Okafor may be 20x more athletic than Larry Bird, but who cares?

      Please, let’s stick with the rich man’s Al Jefferson or Elton Brand comparisons for now.

    25. Duncan blocked 4 shots a game as a freshman. He wasn’t an explosive dunker, but he was pretty athletic. Okafor passes well, and hrs got a nice post game, so I can see some Duncan to his game on offense, but defensively they’re very different.

    26. Remember, Duncan was coming out of the virgin islands. The knock on young Tim (from what I remember) was that he was raw offensively. Granted, he figured it out quick (he probably would have gone first in 3 drafts), but he was known at the time as a defensive force above anything.

    27. Any action that makes the knicks better this year at the expense of next year is complete stupidity. This season is shot. The process of rebuilding is right now.

    28. The thing is there are about 2 draft year where there are some of franchise changing and game changing players
      90s- Shaq , Penny, Iverson, Kobe
      2000s- Lebron. Durant
      2010s- None so far
      There is a big chance that this draft class will have once in a generation player. The Knicks sucks for a decade but with one LUCK we will be back in respectability for a decade

    29. Not to be rude, heavencent, but what about Anthony Freaking Davis?

      Also, in the ’90s you have to (at least) substitute Penny with Duncan and, honestly, I’m not completely sold on Iverson (to be fair, I’m not sold on any high-volume/low-efficiency player, so for me not even Kobe is a real franchise changer). Agree with LeBron and Durant in the ’00s.

    30. In the ’90s I forgot Nowitzki. So to me it’s Duncan and Nowitzki in, Iverson and Penny out. Maybe even Nash in, Kobe out. Or Kevin Garnett in, Kobe out.

    31. I loved Penny, it’s sad that injuries derailed his career. But the same can be said about T-Mac or Grant Hill and I hardly doubt anyone would call them franchise changing talents (given how their careers panned out; in terms of sheer talent that’s of course right, prime T-Mac was otherworldly).

    32. My larger point is, if you took Duncan’s brain and put it into the body of any reasonably athletic 7-footer, you get an immortal player. Same for Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, etc.

      I havn’t seen anything from either Towns or Okafor that suggests that kind of player, but admittedly probably wouldn’t have seen it from Duncan as a freshman. Towns is probably more physically like Duncan, with a more similar game. Okafor is more of a traditional, back to the basket low post player, with a lot of lower body bulk and strength.

    33. Look, if Okafor is Al Jefferson 2.0 and we coach him well, I won’t be disappointed. Al played in many bad teams, but he has been always a good-to-great player since 2008. I get the problem in terms of fit with Melo (who I still hope gets traded, but I don’t think it will ever happen), but having a truly dominant post scorer can do wonders for a team (we would badly, badly need a 3-and-D specialist and an enforcer-type of PF for sure). Does a Calderon-Matthews/Danny Green-Melo-Seraphin-Okafor team look that bad? And after that we’d have another 8-10 millions to spend on quality role players. And the MLE. Oh god, I’m talking myself into retaining Melo.

    34. “Look, if Okafor is Al Jefferson 2.0 and we coach him well, I won’t be disappointed”
      I for one would be pretty pissed if the grand prize for a really crappy season is Al Jefferson 2.0. The danger of tanking to get the number 1 pick — you might be lucky and stink in the year that the next Durant or LeBron is available or you might be unlucky and stink in the year that the next Bogut/Bennett/Bargs/Kwame/Candy Man/LaRue Martin (for those of you who want to go really old school…) or Al Jefferson is the “prize.”

    35. On the other hand they have sucked for fifteen years or thereabouts with no hope of anything other than the fantasy of the next big FA (LeBron, CP3 and the wedding party toast, LeBron again, Durant) coming in.

    36. if Okafor is Al Jefferson 2.0 and we coach him well, I won’t be disappointed.

      Why draft a young Al Jefferson when you can have the real Al Jefferson for just $15,000,000 more? (Win now!)

    37. Why draft a young Al Jefferson when you can have the real Al Jefferson for just $15,000,000 more? (Win now!)

      Who let Zeke back on the board?

    38. Al Jefferson isn’t sexy, but having him as a cost controlled asset is really valuable. The real Al Jefferson was the centerpiece that brought one of the best players in the league to Boston and directly led to them winning a championship. I hope we get more than that with this draft pick, but it’s not nothing.

    39. to be fair, I’m not sold on any high-volume/low-efficiency player, so for me not even Kobe is a real franchise changer

      Ridiculous. Kobe in his prime was unquestionably a great player by whatever metric you want to measure that by.

      I loved Penny, it’s sad that injuries derailed his career. But the same can be said about T-Mac or Grant Hill and I hardly doubt anyone would call them franchise changing talents

      I think all 3 of those players were comfortably franchise changing talents prior to their injuries. Hill and Penny were on amazing prior to their injuries.

      Why draft a young Al Jefferson when you can have the real Al Jefferson for just $15,000,000 more? (Win now!)

      Well if we draft Okafor or sign Jefferson we’ll need to re-sign Bargs to space the floor.

    40. Al Jefferson on a rookie contract sounds pretty tight to me!

      I’ve also heard people say Okafor’s floor is Al Jefferson and his ceiling is TIm Duncan. So funny how everyone is bringing up Al Jefferson but not Tim Duncan. If we landed a player that is somewhere in between Al Jefferson and Tim Duncan, that would be a very very good piece for the Knicks to have going forward.

    41. I never said Kobe wasn’t great. I just think that he’s not on “franchise changer” level. That’s not a knock on him. (Setting up a strawman) Would you describe Melo as a franchise changer?

      Re: T-Mac, Hill and Penny. I said as well they had the talent to be franchise changers. It’s just that a real franchise changer has to be durable.

    42. Kobe at his prime was significantly better than Melo at his prime. Comparing the two is ridiculous. If you consider Nash or Dirk franchise changing talents, Kobe Bryant sure as hell is a franchise changing talent.

      Yes durability matters, but describing their talent as franchise changing isn’t crazy given what those 3 accomplished prior to their injuries. They obviously weren’t able to fully realize that potential over an extended period of time to exert that kind of influence, but the talent definitely was there.

    43. Kobe at his prime was a wonderful player and was so much better than Melo at defense, but I think ringz and pointz eschewed the evaluation of Kobe. Wade is a franchise changer. Kobe is quite there. That said, it’s only my opinion.

    44. I’ve also heard people say Okafor’s floor is Al Jefferson and his ceiling is TIm Duncan.

      Neither of these really fit to me. I guess Al Jefferson is his floor because he had nice post moves but was not an efficient scorer? Okafor, at least in college, puts the ball through the hoop at a ridiculous rate. So are people saying he’s so dominant in college that if he can’t translate that to the pros, the worst you’re getting is an Al Jefferson type?

      Okafor may turn out to be an all time great, but it’s not going to be from being Tim Duncan 2.0 You don’t go from being unable to guard pick and rolls to the extent that Coach K actually has to play zone defense to being one of the all time best defensive big men in NBA history.

    45. If Al Jefferson was a much, much, much more efficient scorer, Al Jefferson would be a really great player. That’s Okafor right this second. And he’s 19 years old. Al Jefferson with run of the mill efficiency was an All-NBA (third team) player last year! I think a much better Al Jefferson to start (and then who knows what he will develop into) comparison works well, and if that’s the case, that’s well worth a #1 pick and has a chance to turn into something even greater.

      Towns, though, I could also see flourishing in the NBA.

      So really, #1 or #2 pick, I’d be thrilled either way. #3 on down…gulp.

    46. @Marvs Teeth…two most interesting pieces in that article..(i) no team w/ no 1 draft pick since Tim Dncan in 1997 has gone on to win championship (Lebron is trying to change that now)

      What I think is more amazing about this is that going even further back, no team that has drafted first has won a championship since 1985 except the Spurs with their 1997 Duncan pick and 1987 Robinson pick. Meaning we have 30 years (30!) of first pick mediocrity with the indomitable Spurs being the only team that could buck convention. Almost impossible to believe. In 1984 the Rockets draft Hakeem, and that turned out okay as well.

      But that misses part of the point, since it neglects to answer whether those #1 picks perhaps brought championships to other teams later on after leaving via trade/free agency. After all, we are trying to think about drafting talent, regardless of how our future GM decides to manage that talent in 5 years. When looked at through this lens, we see that the following teams have won with a former #1 pick as their centerpiece in the last 30 years of picks:

      1) Lebron (CLE > MIA)
      2) Duncan/Robinson (SA)
      3) Shaq (ORL > LA > MIA)

      So still not a much prettier picture.

      At the end of the day though, we can argue all day long about whether a #1 pick guarantees anything (it doesn’t), but it is hard to argue that a #1 pick gives us a higher expected probability of having a good playoff team than a #2+ pick. Whether that additional boost to probability is worth tanking, etc. is hard to say. At this point in this lost season, it probably is.

    47. Also, while this is a really minor point, I’m irked that I keep seeing stuff like “The team with the worst record has a better chance of getting the #4 pick than #1, 2 or 3!”

      While it is true that the odds are better of getting the #4 pick than any one specific pick between #1, 2 and 3, when you begin combining the odds for either 1 or 2, then that goes higher than #4 (that is, the odds are better that the team with the worst record will get #1 or #2 than they will get #4) and if you combine the odds of getting either #1, 2 or 3, the odds are much higher that the team with the worst record will pick in the top three than #4.

    48. When Kobe was in his prime he was a very effective defender, and he put out an incredible amount of effort on that end of the floor, so he wasn’t a one-way player. Melo is an adequate defender at best, and is much more of a one-way player than prime Kobe.

    49. “no team that has drafted first has won a championship since 1985 except the Spurs”

      Yeah, but ringz aside, some of those #1 picks did help lead their teams to the finals. Iverson, Howard, Ewing, Martin all did. And some of those guys did it almost singlehandedly.

      So it depends how you look at it. Was Yao a bad pick with the #1? He’s as unique a talent the NBA has seen. Durability was an issue, as was the durability of his teammates. So it’s hard to tell whether a tiny bit of luck could have brought a whole lot of success.

      To me, the main problem with the #1 pick is that that player always becomes highly paid. So a weak #1 pick becomes a hinderance if he doesn’t develop into an elite talent. And that makes it hard to build a long-term winner around.

    50. On the plus side, Donnie, even if your #1 pick turns out to be a tremendous failure and is wildly overpaid, you can always trade him to the Knicks for more draft picks.

    51. The Knicks-iest result of this draft would be for Brooklyn to get the #1 pick despite having a 1% chance (sort of like the Bulls getting Rose, which still pisses me off to this day)

    52. How the hell is Wade a franchise changer and Kobe isnt? Prime Wade was not as good as Kobe in any aspect of basketball period.

    53. Any above avg player is a franchise changer so yes Melo is. But as the North Philly Philosopher Meek Mill said, “Its levels to this shit”

    54. @58

      Please take a look at the 2006 Finals. That’s a superb performance. A Shaq in ’00-’01 performance. A Duncan in ’03 performance.

    55. Just to chime in with my .02, I would personally take prime Wade over prime Kobe, but I think it’s very close. To say he wasn’t better at any aspect of basketball just makes you look ignorant and saying “period” at the end doesn’t make you right. Wade lived at the free throw line and consequently was the more efficient scorer on similar volume. Wade was a significantly more willing distributor, and defensively racked up more blocks and steals (although I would still rate Kobe higher as a lock down defender). They were both absolutely phenomenal but the way Wade took apart the Mavs in that finals (arguably the greatest finals performance ever) nudges him above Kobe in my eyes.

    56. Talking about Okafor, how does TS% translate to the next level?

      I was looking, and some examples where it did not translate are:
      -Chris Kaman (Final NCAA Season .66%, Career .52%)
      -Carlos Boozer (Final NCAA Season .69%, Career .56%)
      -Roy Hibbert (Final NCAA Season .62%, Career .51%)

      I think in the draft you should not look at the actual production but try to project how a player will grow.

    57. Here’s what I don’t get – we just saw Galloway put on a strong performance and perhaps look like he’ll be worth keeping around long term. So why aren’t the Knicks adding more guys on 10-day contracts?

    58. Talking about Okafor, how does TS% translate to the next level?

      It reduces, but the issue is that Okafor is not only so high but so high as a freshaman (the idea is that the longer you play, the more a player can dominate in college, as he’d be playing against younger guys). If Okafor was doing this as a junior or a senior, it’d be less impressive. The fact that he’s doing it as a freshman is what is so astounding. So the odds are that his true potential as a college scorer is even higher than it is now, which suggests that he can see a notable reduction and still be extremely efficent.

      In addition, a lot of these things you have to just scout the guy, ya know? Real life scouting is extremely valuable. You have to look at a player and determine whether their skills will translate to the NBA and looking at Okafor, there’s little doubt his post moves will translate.

    59. So why aren’t the Knicks adding more guys on 10-day contracts?

      We don’t have the roster space?

      Oh, you mean why don’t we free up some roster space? Then I have no idea. Because we sure have some useless players we could get rid of.

    60. What’s a good example of a really good offensive NBA big man who sucked on defense? Maybe Okafor is a back to the basket Amare?

    61. Brian, that’s what puzzles me about Phil. Do you remember that interview, a few months ago, where some undisclosed guy in an NBA front office talked about having a basketball PhD? I worry Phil might think along those lines, so grizzled vet Lou and seven-of-all-trades Lance Thomas are better players (because known quantities) than whomever plays in the D-League.

    62. Al Jefferson is getting way too much love on this thread. I don’t think he is even in the ballpark of “good to great” and is much closer to a low-good player than great. He is a good rebounder, okay scorer with good usage but mediocre efficiency offset slightly by minimal turnovers, a poor passer, and a poor positional defender despite blocking some shots, and unhelpful in transition. He has played 23,000 minutes, a decent sample even for slippery +/- and his (generally poor) teams are 3 per 100 better when he’s on the bench. He is a shot blocking big whose teams have been consistently and materially better defensively when he sits. That is basically unprecedented among guys we would agree were great or near great. I would actually take young Boozer over young Jefferson, but Boozer got old early.

    63. I just want Khem Birch and Seth Curry and for some reason we have lance thomas and lou amundson instead

    64. Just to chime in with my .02, I would personally take prime Wade over prime Kobe, but I think it’s very close. To say he wasn’t better at any aspect of basketball just makes you look ignorant and saying “period” at the end doesn’t make you right. Wade lived at the free throw line and consequently was the more efficient scorer on similar volume. Wade was a significantly more willing distributor, and defensively racked up more blocks and steals (although I would still rate Kobe higher as a lock down defender). They were both absolutely phenomenal but the way Wade took apart the Mavs in that finals (arguably the greatest finals performance ever) nudges him above Kobe in my eyes.

      Wade was the best shot blocking guard. That is what he was better at. There are no talent evaluators who would ever take wade over kobe. You may “like” wade more but he wasnt better. This man still cant shoot outside of 20 feet.

    65. What’s a good example of a really good offensive NBA big man who sucked on defense? Maybe Okafor is a back to the basket Amare?

      Kevin Love

    66. There are no talent evaluators who would ever take wade over kobe.

      I strongly disagree with this statement, but like you, have absolutely no way to prove it. It adds 0 to the conversation. I will say that I agree that most traditional talent evaluators would probably take Kobe over Wade. I think that traditional talent evaluators have a bit of a fetish for the ability to do the exceptionally difficult things well, and nobody I have ever watched play basketball was better at doing really, really hard things than Kobe. Nobody routinely made shots that made my mouth hang open as much as him. Getting in the lane and to the free throw line will never make your mouth hang open, but it does win basketball games. And of course the “talent evaluator” will say “Kobe could get to the line as well” because of course he could, he just didn’t do it as often as Wade, which is something that is hard to ID without looking at stats.

    67. Does coach K even waste time teaching one and done players defense? Kyrie and Parker sure didn’t come out looking good defensively. I can’t think of the last Duke player that was a good defender, battier withstanding. I see Okafor getting better as he develops and is taught better.

    68. There’s no right answer to Kobe or Wade. Wade had a better peak, but Kobe was vastly more durable.

    69. Yeah, I rate them both pretty much the same. They’re both Hall of Fame level players and I think would both count as “Franchise players.”

    70. What’s a good example of a really good offensive NBA big man who sucked on defense? Maybe Okafor is a back to the basket Amare?

      Young Bill Cartwright. Poor defender, true post player, consistent TS > 60% as a knick @ ~20p/36.

    71. I’ve said before that Okafor looks like a better rebounding Brook Lopez to me. Strong (but not nearly as physical as someone like Bynum) and big with a nice variety of post moves but not overwhelming athletically. Now Okafor is much further advanced at 19 than Lopez was so you’d think he’d wind up being far superior but who knows. The defensive rebounding number that DRed posted yesterday is pretty scary- Duke is playing a lot of zone so Okafor should be in good rebounding position most of the time. Yes, playing zone makes it harder to put a body on someone but Okafor is just so much bigger than everyone else on the court that you’d think he’d still dominate the glass. Either he doesn’t move well enough, is way too passive, or just has terrible instincts- all of which are red flags.

    72. It’s his advanced skill level for a 19 year old that is what does it for me. It’s unusual and really his biggest selling point.

    73. Forbes just valued the Knicks at $2.5 billion, a 79% increase over last year. Fucking Dolan, man. They’re about to have their worst year ever and the guy just saw the value of his team go up by 79%.

    74. Brook is not a bad comp. Okafor seems like a rich man’s Brook Lopez-he’s a better offensive rebounder, and scores more efficiently, but has the same weaknesses on defense.

    75. @ 74 Both of those guys had severe knocks against their defense by scouts and stat guys alike. Kyrie has not gotten better defensively and is one of the worst defensive PGs in the league. Parker obviously has less experience but it is doubtful he is ever going to play good defense against opposing 3s. Maybe he will be passable against 4s.

    76. It’s his advanced skill level for a 19 year old that is what does it for me. It’s unusual and really his biggest selling point.

      The problem is adding more finesse moves is only going to get you so far in the NBA. It’s just too easy to double the post with today’s rules. Adding more drop-steps and counter moves doesn’t really help when you’ve got a second defender in your lap. To defeat doubles you have to be either too quick for them ala Dwight or so strong you’re catching the ball right under the basket like Bynum. I’m not sure he’ll be able to do either hence the Brook Lopez comp. What he could do is add enough of a jumper to be able to move his game out to the high post and operate like Marc Gasol- Okafor’s a decent passer and has great feel for the game (at least offensively) for a guy his age so I’d say that’s a real possibility.

    77. I’ve tried not to get excited about Okafor (or any prospect) because I fully expect to finish with the worst record but only get the third pick. In fact, I’m sure somehow the Bulls will make the playoffs and win the lottery at our expense.

      But since y’all are on the subject… how does he compare right now to Anthony Davis in his freshman year? Are we even talking about the same potential? I don’t watch college basketball but I read about it. And while no one is directly comparing Okafor to Davis, I’m hearing similar things about the two.

    78. Okafor can pass really well for a 19 year old big man-so, at least in theory, he should be able to pass out of double teams effective.

    79. Okafor is also a legit 6’11 and already weighs 270 lbs and looks it too. He plays real physical. He is also alot more athletic than he is being given credit for. I love the kid and if the Knicks draft him it will be the best day this franchise has had since defeating the Heat in Game 7 of the 2000 playoffs.

      Now dont get me wrong, I dont think he is the next Tim Duncan. But if Okafor in the NBA is “only” an 18-9 guy with a TS% around 60% that is a pretty damn good player.

    80. Yes, it’s not about average/numbers, it’a about having gravity in a crucial area of the floor. If Okafor averaged 16ppg for all of his career, but caused defenses to collapse on him freeing shooters or cutters, it would be a great pick. That said, I agree with Hubert: we’ll pick 3rd (and pick Mudiay, may I say!).

    81. There are no talent evaluators who would ever take wade over kobe.

      Maybe no “talent evaluators” employed by teams like the Knicks.

    82. I playfully got carried away with the wade v kobe thing. I think Wade is a great player, but the simple difference to me is just one thing. There is nothing that Kobe couldnt do. Not the same thing for wade.

    83. Brian, that’s what puzzles me about Phil. Do you remember that interview, a few months ago, where some undisclosed guy in an NBA front office talked about having a basketball PhD? I worry Phil might think along those lines, so grizzled vet Lou and seven-of-all-trades Lance Thomas are better players (because known quantities) than whomever plays in the D-League.

      And yet Phil also gave a 10-day contract to Langston Galloway.

      @58
      Please take a look at the 2006 Finals. That’s a superb performance. A Shaq in ’00-’01 performance. A Duncan in ’03 performance.

      You mean the most obviously rigged Finals series of all time? Yeah I saw it and I vividly remember that Dallas wasn’t allowed to play defense against Wade leading to a parade of free throws.

    84. There is nothing that Kobe couldnt do. Not the same thing for wade.

      What about “get along with Shaq”? Or just teammates in general?

    85. “Now dont get me wrong, I dont think he is the next Tim Duncan. But if Okafor in the NBA is “only” an 18-9 guy with a TS% around 60% that is a pretty damn good player.”
      Maybe, maybe not. If a guy puts up those numbers and plays decent defense, that’s a good player. If he puts up those numbers and plays Bargnani-esque defense (like he did the one and only time I saw him play), Knicks fans will be booing him by his third year in the league and people on this site will be screaming about his lack of defensive win shares, his real plus/minus and how the team is net better with him off the court than on the court.

    86. What about “get along with Shaq”? Or just teammates in general?

      I dont understand what this has to do with the discussion.

    87. I just think the worry over whether Okafor (or Towns for that matter) will be worth it is silly. We should be stoked that we have a good shot at getting either of these players. Barring injuries I think both will turn into, at the least, solid NBA big men and that’s something we need. I hope if we grab either of them, Phil isn’t tempted to trade them for a win now player (even if its a younger one like say Cousins) to try and build a win now team around Melo. I’d rather we be only somewhat successful while Melo is here but have a young piece that will make rebuilding the post Melo Knicks easier.

    88. I hope if we grab either of them, Phil isn’t tempted to trade them for a win now player (even if its a younger one like say Cousins) to try and build a win now team around Melo. I’d rather we be only somewhat successful while Melo is here but have a young piece that will make rebuilding the post Melo Knicks easier.

      Feel ya conceptually, but by the time Melo leaves, our first rounder’s rookie contract will be up and we will need to re-sign him, therefore it won’t really make rebuilding post-Melo THAT much easier.

    89. Feel ya conceptually, but by the time Melo leaves, our first rounder’s rookie contract will be up and we will need to re-sign him, therefore it won’t really make rebuilding post-Melo THAT much easier

      Yea… Bird Rights

    90. No Noel or Wroten for the Sixers tonight. They’re not going to go down in this tank war without a fight. Fisher gotta get 48 minutes from Jason Smith tonight come hell or high water.

    91. Wow. Philly is taking the reverse arms race down to pure torso. Furkan Aldemir is getting his first ever NBA start. Here’s a question that wasn’t in the preseason cache: How is Furkan Aldemir going to defend Travis Wear / Langston Galloway pick and roll? Someone better check and make sure Philly isn’t deflating any basketballs on offense.

    92. And yet Phil also gave a 10-day contract to Langston Galloway.

      But that’s why I brought it up – they finally gave out a 10-day contract to a D-Leaguer and it has worked out really well, so it seems really weird that they haven’t followed it up with any more of them when there’s some really intriguing talent out there like Quincy Miller and Seth Curry.

    93. @97 wow are they actually hurt or is this just tank warfare

      Noel is “sick”. Prettttaaaaay, prettttaaayy convenient that he’s sick for the game they most want to lose if you ask me.

    94. Tony Wroten sucks, but then the Knicks can’t guard perimeter players. I’m not sure I can even decipher these high level tank moves.

    95. Honestly, I haven’t looked forward to watching a Knicks game this much since game 1 against Indiana 2 years ago.

    96. But that’s why I brought it up – they finally gave out a 10-day contract to a D-Leaguer and it has worked out really well, so it seems really weird that they haven’t followed it up with any more of them when there’s some really intriguing talent out there like Quincy Miller and Seth Curry.

      I think you’ll see more activity after the trade deadline. I know everybody is ready to waive Bargs and Jah right now, as am I, but there’s no way Phil’s just going to dump them without at least seeing if he can get rid of them in a trade by the deadline. After that I fully expect that Bargs will be gone and I think they’ll move Pablo by then too.

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