Knicks Morning News (2015.02.25)

  • [New York Daily News] Without Melo, Knicks hope Bargnani can become go-to scorer (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 06:02:18 GMT)

    Phil Jackson’s Knicks have another opportunity to please the basketball Gods Wednesday night in Boston.

  • [New York Times] Chicago’s Rose Out Again With Knee Injury, Needs Surgery (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 06:28:25 GMT)

    Derrick Rose’s knee has failed him again.

  • [New York Times] Ellis, Nowitzki Pace Mavericks to 99-92 Victory Over Raptors (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 05:46:31 GMT)

    Discord in Dallas, even in victory.

  • [New York Times] Westbrook’s Triple-Double Leads Thunder Past Pacers, 105-92 (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 05:05:16 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook shrugged off his triple-double.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Curry Lifts Warriors Over Wizards in His Return (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 05:05:07 GMT)

    Stephen Curry returned from a one-game absence to lead all scorers with 32 points, playing nearly 34 minutes and hitting 11 of 18 field-goal attempts.

  • [New York Times] Bulls’ Rose to Undergo Knee Surgery (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:55:17 GMT)

    Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose will undergo surgery for a torn meniscus is his right knee, the National Basketball Association team said on Tuesday.

  • [New York Times] Curry Leads the Way With 32, Warriors Down Wizards, 114-107 (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:37:38 GMT)

    Considering the workout he gave it Tuesday night, Stephen Curry’s right foot appears to be just fine.

  • [New York Times] Love Hits 8 3-Pointers, Cavaliers Beat Pistons 102-93 (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:31:33 GMT)

    LeBron James rarely likes to talk about his individual achievements.

  • [New York Times] LeBron James Passes Pippen for Most Assists by Forward (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 02:34:52 GMT)

    Showing off his all-around game, LeBron James broke Scottie Pippen’s NBA record for career assists by a forward when he found Kevin Love for an open 3-pointer against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] KG Returns to Minnesota as Player, Wants to Stay as Owner (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 01:40:52 GMT)

    Kevin Garnett never wanted to leave Minnesota when the Timberwolves traded him to Boston nearly eight years ago, never wanted to jump from a sinking Celtics ship before Paul Pierce convinced him to follow him to Brooklyn two years ago.

  • [New York Post] One man the Knicks are hoping will replace some of Melo’s points (Wed, 25 Feb 2015 01:14:53 -0500)

    Certainly, it is not going to turn around the team's fortunes but the Knicks would like to replace part, if not all, of the 24.2 points Carmelo Anthony produced before…

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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).

    38 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.02.25)”

    1. Yet another injury for Rose. You got to feel sorry for him – he just does not deserve this. The Cavs’ path to the finals just got a lot easier though I’m sure the Bulls will still put up a fight.

    2. Jowles I’m surprised you haven’t changed your name to “I staked my reputation on the Warriors being idiots for trading Klay for Love because I put all my eggs in the production basket and ignored the possibility that team dynamics are vital and often difficult to measure” ;)

      Well, I said I was wrong about that, but before this season Thompson was not, by any measure, a great NBA player. This year he’s improved his TS% considerably while taking many, many more shots. Most players don’t go from poor to excellent over one offseason.

    3. Even with the Rose injury, I’m still not a big believer in the Cavs getting to the Finals. They’ve got 2 main guys, Love and Irving, who have exactly zero games of playoff experience, their defense is mediocre at best and their rebounding is atrocious. Plus, they have JR in the starting lineup, good luck with that.

      My prediction is the Cavs go out in the 2nd round.

    4. I agree that Rose was dragging them down…

      Also agree that the example of Klay Thompson is at least as confounding to the “usage” crowd as the “efficiency” crowd given how anomalous the leap he has made has been….

      Part of me thinks there are some sample size issues. He’s a talent though for sure….

    5. Cleveland is clearly the team to beat in the East, and maybe the whole shebang. When they’re at their best, they look better than the Heat did with Lebron.
      Multiple guys that can create their own shot and knock down 3’s, a solid presence in the middle, they’re learning to share the ball more and more, a good coach, depth, and the Lebron factor.

    6. Even with the Rose injury, I’m still not a big believer in the Cavs getting to the Finals. They’ve got 2 main guys, Love and Irving, who have exactly zero games of playoff experience, their defense is mediocre at best and their rebounding is atrocious. Plus, they have JR in the starting lineup, good luck with that.

      My prediction is the Cavs go out in the 2nd round.

      Yeah, I’ll also step in to defend the Cavs, at least in terms of making the finals. For one, their rebounding isn’t really atrocious, more just mediocre. It’s also significantly better than their main opposition in the East (Hawks are the worst rebounding team in the league pretty much). As for the defense, don’t look now, but it has been pretty damn good since they fixed up the roster. They’re 2nd in the whole stinking league over the past 15 games in opponent eFG%. They don’t generate a lot of TOs, but they’re been quite good all season at limiting opponent FTs also. When you watch them now it’s night and day from the defensive team they were before the trades.

      As for the experience thing, I think the Eastern conference does them a lot of favors in this regard. They’re obviously going to have a relative cakewalk of a 1st round series, and I really can’t see Toronto, Washington or a team like that knocking them out in the 2nd round. By the time they face a tough opponent those guys will have 9 or 10 playoff games under their belt. Not exactly seasoned vets, but enough to mitigate some of that. I think they’ll have their hands full with the Hawks certainly but even they’re struggling a bit at the moment.

    7. As for Rose, I agree he has been garbage this year and the current version of Rose was pretty clearly not going to help Chicago make the finals. But as long as he was healthy there was at least the chance (however slim) that he was going to go back to being old-school Derek Rose, and while I think most here agree that old-school Derek Rose was at least slightly overrated he was still really damn good. That upside represented their best chance of making a deep run. Now I’d put their chances of making the finals at slim to none. They’re still going to give at least one team (and quite possibly two) a pain in the ass type of series, but like the last couple years I just don’t think they have the horses to win multiple rounds.

    8. Also agree that the example of Klay Thompson is at least as confounding to the “usage” crowd as the “efficiency” crowd given how anomalous the leap he has made has been….

      Part of me thinks there are some sample size issues. He’s a talent though for sure….

      Thompson’s offensive improvements aside, I think the box-score crowd that ridiculed Kerr for not wanting to trade Thompson for Love under appreciated Thompson’s defense. (Or over-valued offensive efficiency vs defense efficiency). But Golden State was a top defensive team last year and is the top defensive team this year. They are an explosive offense, but their success is predicated on forcing bad shots (league leading eFG% against). So even without Thompson improving his efficiency, I think it was a good non-trade.

      That said, Thompson has improved his efficiency, which I think can be explained through things that the box-score community has tended to marginalize over the years: 1) chemistry, and 2) coaching.

      Curry and Thompson obviously play well together. Maybe that’s 80% Curry and 20% Thompson, but whatever it is, it seems to work pretty well. They are a dynamic pair and very exciting to watch play together.

      And we know that Kerr is analytically savvy. He attended Sloan. He’s written about the evolving game and the importance of efficiency. He’s implemented a system in Golden State that seems to play to the strength of his roster. It’s not just Thompson that has seen an increase in efficiency since last season: Curry (.014%); Green (.032%); Barnes (.105%); Speights (.43%); and Barbosa (.57%) are all up in TS% from last year.

      I think the “Klay Thompson Study” might be a good future piece. It’s a good measuring stick because people were really up-in-arms last summer that Golden State would be so dumb.

    9. I agree with the premise re: Thompson but would like to give it a little more time to play out. As Knicks fans we are all to familiar with the one month or half season wonders that turn out to be just that.

      That Daily News headline has me too scared to even look at the article. If Bargs is the purported savior. I know about the tank, but my fear would be that powers that be actually believe this. Based on the early season moaning about Bargs not being there maybe they do.
      http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/nydnrss/sports/basketball/knicks/~3/nGga02MCYkk/story01.htm

    10. @10 – Are you that high on Mirotic?

      My take on the Rose injury is that he’s done. Toast. It’s over for him and he’ll never be the same. I pray that the same is not true for Melo.

    11. I’m still not really sold on the cavs, they pretty much sucked on defense until february and in feb. they had quite a soft schedule (like during their whole recent streak). I still think the hawks are the team to beat, although people seem to sour on them a bit, for no particular reason.

      I think toronto and washington are really coming down to earth and might both lose in the 1st round if they don’t get to play against each other since cle is gonna get to 2..

      E: speaking of coming down to earth, kyle lowry has really sucked in 2015 so far

    12. @10 – Are you that high on Mirotic?

      I’m not so much high on Mirotic, but it would be an opportunity to wrestle out of the Melo contract while picking up an asset, and at the same time, letting Rose’s contract expire to free up cap space for the bountiful 2016 FA market.

    13. Melo for Rose and Mirotic.

      I posted this trade idea yesterday. It kind of makes sense for everybody involved. Rose is finished, but his contract is shorter than Melo’s. The Bulls are in win-now mode and were highly interested in Melo less than a year ago. The Knicks get a nice asset in Mirotic, who has been a good all-around player for the Bulls and the Bulls get gimpy Carmelo Anthony, who would probably be an upgrade over the utterly washed up Rose.

      It works in the trade machine.

    14. I know Washington has been slumping lately (Beal has been injured), but if they’re healthy come playoff time, I could see them giving Cleveland a very tough time. They’re very strong up front with Nene and Gortat, and I think Wall could neutralize Irving to some degree.

      I stand by my prediction that Cleveland flames out in the 2nd round.

    15. Well, I said I was wrong about that, but before this season Thompson was not, by any measure, a great NBA player. This year he’s improved his TS% considerably while taking many, many more shots. Most players don’t go from poor to excellent over one offseason.

      The thing is it’s one of those things where (like Carol said to Rick in Alexandria), even though you were wrong, you were right. On the surface, you trade Klay for Love all day if you’re standing in our shoes.

      The GS front office deserves a ton of credit for seeing beyond production, though. There’s just no stat that we can see that could have effectively measured the domino effect of losing Klay, especially on the defensive end. Even if Klay had just improved his TS% at a more expected rate, I still think it would have been the right move.

      Incidentally, they have become my favorite non Knicks team to watch, by far. It does feel like they need another piece, but it also feels like if you take one piece away the house of cards would fall down.

    16. I’m not so much high on Mirotic, but it would be an opportunity to wrestle out of the Melo contract while picking up an asset, and at the same time, letting Rose’s contract expire to free up cap space for the bountiful 2016 FA market.

      Rose is signed through 2017, and no one is trading for him.

    17. Carmelo Anthony for Derrick Rose & Mirotic would be the ultimate proof that James Dolan has taken his hands off of the reins.

      It also would be trading for salary cap space at a time that the salary cap will be $25 million/year higher than it is now (hence less valuable).

      I’m not sure how I feel about that trade, but I am certain we do not have to think about it until October.

    18. I can’t believe Bargnani is still on the team. I can’t believe the Knicks are saying they hope Bargnani will take some of the scoring load now that Melo is gone. It’s bad enough that he’s still here but now there’s a little piece of me that thinks Phil might resign him this Summer. And then I’ll have a stroke.

    19. “the Bulls get gimpy Carmelo Anthony”
      Don’t guys on this site always complain when the team “sells low?” Is there a lower value time to trade a guy than when he is recovering from knee surgery?

    20. On Bargnani, I think the Knicks are trying to showcase him so that his agent will agree to a buyout and he can go to a contender. He has to show he can be useful before a playoff team will be interested in bringing him in as a 9th man.

      And, if he is awful, he helps with the tanking.

    21. ephus
      February 25, 2015 at 4:08 pm
      On Bargnani, I think the Knicks are trying to showcase him so that his agent will agree to a buyout and he can go to a contender. He has to show he can be useful before a playoff team will be interested in bringing him in as a 9th man.

      And, if he is awful, he helps with the tanking.

      That doesn’t make sense. He’s almost certainly not going to accept anything less than the full value of his contract no matter what. And we were awful enough without him, I don’t think we’ll need his help to continue to be awful.

    22. Vicoug, If he takes a buyout at $1 million less than the roughly $4 million he would get from the Knicks, he could get that amount from a new team in salary plus playoff shares. In addition, he would set himself up for a new contract if he was effective for 8-12 mpg.

    23. Bargnani would injure his wrist signing a new contract

      Or, given his aim, end up signing the conference table

    24. Bargnani = dead-man-walking.
      Why are we even discussing him?
      @30/31 – You’re being to soft on him.

    25. ephus
      February 25, 2015 at 4:22 pm
      Vicoug, If he takes a buyout at $1 million less than the roughly $4 million he would get from the Knicks, he could get that amount from a new team in salary plus playoff shares. In addition, he would set himself up for a new contract if he was effective for 8-12 mpg.

      I found a flaw in your argument.

    26. Bargnani would injure his wrist signing a new contract

      Or, given his aim, end up signing the conference table

      Drop the mic. You win.

    27. By the way I still think Love for Melo can happen this summer.

      But now, as an added bonus, we’ll get to see how LeBron would have performed with the Knicks when he teams up with Melo, JR, Shump, and Mozgov.

    28. Looks like Rondo’s going to be available as a free agent ;)

      Haha. It looks that way. I knew he was trouble. But, Carlisle laid down the law.
      I’d want no part of Rondo on the knicks.

    29. By the way I still think Love for Melo can happen this summer.

      That’s interesting.
      Love doesn’t strike me as a guy to build around, but a great second or third piece . . . like in Cleveland. They’re working things out there. He’s been much more productive the last several games. Also, he’s expressed in the past that he wants to go to a contender with a winning culture. Nix the knicks.

      And I think Melo isn’t a good fit in Cleveland . . . as long as the NBA allows only one ball on the court at a time. However, that just might be the situation where Melo accepts a role as a second or third scoring option.

    30. Man our starting lineup tonight isn’t even D League material. Maybe not even an average Mexican League team.

    31. After seeing the Triangle run for a season (largely ineptly), I cannot imagine a worse fit than Rajon Rondo.

      1. Rondo is a ball-dominant slash-and-kick PG. The Triangle takes the ball out of the hands of the PG.
      2. The Triangle creates open shots for players in the mid-range (and sometimes at the 3 pt line). Rondo hates being a catch-and-shoot guy.
      3. The Triangle demands that a player put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket if he is being overplayed. Rondo hates taking the ball to the rim.
      4. The Triangle demands that the players adhere to the system, making the cuts and reads in response to the defense. Rondo (as demonstrated in Dallas) does not want to defer to any system.

      At one time, I thought Rondo might be a good fit. Now, PASS.

    32. Bargnani would injure his wrist signing a new contract

      Or, given his aim, end up signing the conference table

      Drop the mic. You win.

      Now that is funny…

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