Knicks Morning News (2015.03.20)

  • [New York Times] Hayward Scores 22, Jazz Hand Lakers Their 50th Loss, 80-73 (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 06:32:05 GMT)

    The Utah Jazz overcame plenty of adversity to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, whose injury-placed season reached historic proportions.

  • [New York Times] Suns Survive for Ugly 74-72 Win Over Davis-Less New Orleans (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 05:04:44 GMT)

    Brandan Wright scored 16 points and matched his career high with seven blocked shots, helping the Phoenix Suns to a sluggish, cold-shooting 74-72 victory over a New Orleans Pelicans team playing without star Anthony Davis on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: James Harden Scores Career-High 50 Points (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 04:17:10 GMT)

    Harden scored a career-high 50 points with 10 rebounds to lead the host Houston Rockets past the Denver Nuggets, 118-108.

  • [New York Times] Hurry Up! Wolves Sign Player Close to Arena to Fill Roster (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 03:49:43 GMT)

    The Minnesota Timberwolves were so desperate for bodies they signed a player Thursday based on how quickly he could get to the game.

  • [New York Times] Highlights of Thursday’s NBA Games (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 03:37:39 GMT)

    Highlights of Thursday’s National Basketball Association games:

  • [New York Times] In a Battle of the Lowly, the Knicks End Up a Bit Lower (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 03:07:02 GMT)

    The Knicks and the Timberwolves entered Thursday night with matching records: 14-53, which qualified them as the two worst teams in the N.B.A. Minnesota emerged with the victory.

  • [New York Times] Harden’s Career-Best 50 Leads Rockets Over Nuggets 118-108 (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 02:52:45 GMT)

    James Harden scored a career-high 50 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to a 118-108 win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Wolves Edge Knicks in OT Matchup of NBA’s Biggest Losers (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 02:32:00 GMT)

    Zach LaVine made the tying and go-ahead free throws with 10.7 seconds left and scored six of his 20 points in overtime as the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the New York Knicks 95-92 on Thursday night in a matchup of the NBA’s biggest losers.

  • [New York Times] Diana Taurasi Focusing on Playing in Russia, Where the Money Is (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 01:30:03 GMT)

    Taurasi, a veteran star, chose to sit out the coming W.N.B.A. season to honor the wishes of her foreign team, which pays her a lot more than the Phoenix Mercury do.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks back in NBA cellar with OT loss to Timberwolves (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 06:48:09 GMT)

    Both madness and badness were on display Thursday night at the Garden.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Knicks' loss to Wolves acceptable to some (Fri, 20 Mar 2015 01:26:45 EDT)

    NEW YORK — To Lance Thomas, the New York Knicks’ effort in their overtime loss on Thursday was “unacceptable.”To a large segment of the team’s fan base, however, it was perfectly acceptable. Preferable, even. That’s where we are with the 2014-15 Knicks, who are at the tail end of the worst season in franchise history. For New York, the focus now is on losses and on lottery odds. So, in a sense, Thursday’s game against Minnesota was oddly one of the most pivotal of the season.

  • Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

    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).

    118 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.03.20)”

    1. Townes with a very nice stat line to start off the tourney, 21 pts (8-12 FG), 11 Reb, 3 Blk. If Kentucky keeps running the table like everyone thinks they will, it’ll almost be certainly be on the back of a nice series of games for Townes, and his stock is going to sky rocket. (Even though yes by now scouts should already have formed their opinion and tourney games shouldn’t count for much in their assessment. But let’s be honest that not how the reality works.)

      Let’s see what Okafor brings tonight.

    2. Townes with a very nice stat line to start off the tourney, 21 pts (8-12 FG), 11 Reb, 3 Blk. If Kentucky keeps running the table like everyone thinks they will, it’ll almost be certainly be on the back of a nice series of games for Townes, and his stock is going to sky rocket. (Even though yes by now scouts should already have formed their opinion and tourney games shouldn’t count for much in their assessment. But let’s be honest that not how the reality works.)

      I’m not sure I’ve ever seen something in a real basketball game like that Kentucky-Hampton matchup. The only thing I can relate it to was the Looney Tunes vs the Monstars, and at least the Looney Tunes had MJ. Kentucky had like a 6+ inch edge at every position. It looked like the varsity scrimmaging against the junior varsity’s younger brothers.

    3. I want either Towns or Russell (and I prefer Russell). I’m negative on Okafor. If we somehow wind up with Okafor, I’d immediately trade him. To me, Okafor is kind of like Eddy Curry but without the weight, motivation, and injury issues. Curry was a very efficient scorer. The problem was he couldn’t rebound or play defense a lick. That’s exactly what Okafor is. Even against much smaller college players he doesn’t rebound or defend well. When he gets into the NBA, imo he’s going get exposed badly. You can project he’s suddenly going to become a good defender and rebounder at the NBA level if you want, but it usually doesn’t work that way. Rebounder/Defenders sometimes develop an offensive game, but it rarely goes the other way. I’m not sure Okafor should be a top 5 pick no matter how much scoring he does in this tournament.

    4. Okafor is about eleventy million times better as a passer than Curry was. If Curry was anywhere near a decent passer, he’d still have been a good player (well, besides the weight issues, of course, but that’s not about his game – that was just personal to Curry himself).

    5. Curry had turnover issues. As I recall it, teams would send double teams at him and he would travel, charge or otherwise bumble as often as not.

    6. Okafor is about eleventy million times better as a passer than Curry was.

      I don’t want to get into an OVERALL comparison between Curry and Okafor because there obviously isn’t one. But we’ve seen first hand what Okafor’s flaws mean from watching Curry, Lee, Amare etc… (and the latter 2 were better rebounders than Okafor will probably be)

      I’ll grant you that Curry wasn’t so great out of double and triple teams (lol), but we don’t need a center that gets 6-7 rebounds per 36, scores 20, and gives up 25-30 between his own man and the parade a small men that go to the hoop unimpeded. You can live with the lack of rebounding if he defends like Marc Gasol, but not like Eddy Curry.

    7. “Okafor is about eleventy million times better as a passer than Curry was.”
      Since Curry never threw a pass, the world will never know whether he was a good passer or a bad passer…

    8. Curry had turnover issues. As I recall it, teams would send double teams at him and he would travel, charge or otherwise bumble as often as not.

      Exactly. That was his biggest deficit. We could live with the shitty defense and the poor rebounding if it meant that you could build an offense around him. But you couldn’t, because he couldn’t pass for shit. So he was a complete waste. A guy who can score efficiently but can’t pass out of a double team is pretty much useless.

      And I think Okafor is a better scorer than Curry was, just in general, as well. Plus Okafor is not a terrible rebounder. He’s just not a good defender.

    9. Since Curry never threw a pass, the world will never know whether he was a good passer or a bad passer…

      Ha! Fair enough. Okay, Okafor is infinity times better than Curry at passing. :)

    10. I want either Towns or Russell (and I prefer Russell)

      This is the part that surprised me. I think it’s Towns and not close.

    11. Last comment on this. A frontcourt with Okafor and Melo will be just about as much fun as a frontcourt of the healthy version of Amare and Melo, except Amare is proven to be an extremely efficient scorer and a better rebounder at the NBA level.

    12. Except the Knicks never built their offense around STAT posting up. That’s the biggest benefit of adding Okafor, is that he’s a big enough “name” that they can safely center the offense around his post game instead of just iso-Melo, and as we’ve seen, when Melo plays off of the ball, he’s actually quite good.

      Okafor posting, passing to Melo for threes? That’s A. awesome and B. right in keeping with the heyday of the Triangle in Los Angeles with Shaq and company.

      Also, come on, STAT was never a great rebounder. And, at the same time, Okafor is not that bad of a rebounder. Now defense? Sure, that’s a problem for Okafor, no doubt. Just like it was a problem for STAT.

    13. I want either Towns or Russell (and I prefer Russell)

      This is the part that surprised me. I think it’s Towns and not close.

      I can see that point of view.

      Towns is a little limited on offense for me. He can score at the college level because he’s so much bigger than the opposition on many nights. But at the NBA level I think you are looking at a guy that doesn’t contribute too much on offense. I’m OK with that because he seems to be getting better and already seems to be a solid defender and rebounder. If we wind up with Towns I’m going to pop the cork on the bubbly and start celebrating.

      I think Russell could turn out to be a version of Harden. I think he has real star potential. He will fit great in NY and fit perfectly into what we are doing.

      Then again, no one is hiring me to be their scout. :-)

    14. Maybe you are right Brian, but I’m hoping we never get to find out. I’m pretty sure we’ll have a good offense that can’t beat anyone.

    15. I think Russell is good enough where I would feel lucky to have the Knicks get him at #3.

      But I’d also feel quite sad at missing out on Towns and Okafor.

      But that’s why getting the worst record is so important – getting one of these three guys is really important and having the worst record gives a team a two in three chance of getting a top three pick.

    16. Brian, wasn’t Stat a big enough name? I mean geez, when Melo came here Stat was receiving MVP chants only a few weeks prior. I know Stat wound up with injuries making it a moot point but why would Okafor, a mere rookie, not get the same red headed stepchild treatment?

    17. I want Towns but am certainly not going to be upset if we get Okafor. I haven’t watched Russell much so I can’t say about him.

      I think its a little unfair to say Okafor is going to be a horrible defender in the NBA and to compare him all ready to Curry and Amare on that end.

      First, as people have noted…he’s an excellent passer…which is a skill neither Curry nor Amare had. That’s SUPER important if you want to kick it out to the 3 point shooters/Melo.

      Second, when you say Curry or STAT are/were bad defenders, you are basing that on years of NBA play. Okafor is still in the NCAA and its not like he’s a 4th year guy either. And the idea that players never improve on defense, only on offense…I just don’t agree with that. I’m not saying it’ll be pretty or easy for him or that he’ll turn into Tim Duncan of Shaq, but I think you shouldn’t write off a 20 year old kid as a bad NBA defender when he hasn’t played a single NBA game.

      Curry without the weight issues, motivation issues, who can pass better and is a slightly better rebounder and is only 20…that sounds like a pretty good prospect to me.

      Besides, Melo’s getting traded this off season anyways :)

    18. Okafor’s total rebounding % at Duke is 17%, assist 10%, and TOV 16%. TS of 65%.

      Eddy Curry’s, for his NBA career, was 12%, 4%, 17%. TS of 58%.

      Towns is at 19%, 11% and 14%, with TS of 62%.

      Obviously hard to compare one year in college to a decade in the NBA.

    19. The book on Okafor is that he is an adequate rebounder for a C, just not an “out-of-zone” rebounder, and that seems to be a fair analysis to me. He pulls down around 12 boards per 40 minutes, which ain’t shabby. Let’s say he’s a Greg Monroe-like rebounder in the NBA eventually– combine that level of rebounding with some brutally efficient scoring (.669 FG% with high usage as a freshman in the ACC) and that’s not a bad guy to have around. I’d rather have Towns but Okafor ain’t a chump.

    20. Brian, wasn’t Stat a big enough name? I mean geez, when Melo came here Stat was receiving MVP chants only a few weeks prior. I know Stat wound up with injuries making it a moot point but why would Okafor, a mere rookie, not get the same red headed stepchild treatment?

      We all hoped so at the time, but it soon became clear that he wasn’t. Hell, Melo seemed to defer more to Chandler than STAT on offense!! Anyhow, a top two draft pick who is famous for his offense? With Melo now in his 30s and having gone through two horrendous team seasons? I think Melo will be willing to defer. Heck, he was already talking about it during the season, the possibility of playing with Okafor. That’s how well-known Okafor was, that you had a star NBA player talking about playing with him.

    21. On an unrelated (and I suppose sort of self-aggrandizing) note, apparently Taye Diggs digs comics. He just followed my comic blog on Twitter. I just found that amusing enough to share it with you all.

    22. Then again, no one is hiring me to be their scout.

      Hey I don’t know what I’m talking about either, and that’s twice as true for players like Russell even though I’ve seen a lot of him. I do like Towns though. The defense is obvious, and I think he has shown a lot more promise than you usually see at this stage from a D-first big man prospect. He has good fine motors skills and general coordination, and he’s an excellent passer. He’s not quick or explosive but he’s a better athlete than he seems, kinda like Bynum was. Remember this kid is shooting 80%+ from the FT; he is no Bogut from mid range. I think there is just a ton to like here.

      As for Russell, he often looks good but these kind of talents have much more volatility, it seems. He simultaneously has spectacular handle (in that he is 6′ 6″ and a teenager and does Steph like stuff sometimes) yet is very shaky into the lane (he has trouble turning the quarter and protecting the ball in the lane relative to the foul machines like Harden, who was already getting to the line 7/pg as a freshman). But he should be a better defender with better length and does have a lot going for him in general.

    23. Okafor is not a bad rebounder. He’s a weird rebounder. He’s one of the best in the country on the offensive glass and awful on defense. I don’t get it. Maybe someone who watches a lot of Duke games could explain it.

    24. Yeah I mean if Okafor turns into prime, injury free STAT that’s an AMAZING player. We rag on STAT bc of his large contract and his injuries as a Knick but dude was an 8 TIME ALL STAR. And this was despite being a poor defender. If we get a guy who turns into prime STAT (when he’s actually in his prime and not at the tail end of it) and he can not have all the injury issues, we should feel blessed.

    25. Also, gotta stick up for STAT here. Why are we comparing STAT to Eddie Curry? Come on! We can’t be clouded by his Knicks career/contract. Curry barely had a career in the NBA. One or two decent seasons on horrible teams. Once he got out of shape/injured he never tried to come back at all. He SUCKED.

      STAT…8 time all star. Multiple trips to the WCF. One of the most unstoppable pick and roll big men of all time. Dropped 40 on Duncan in the playoffs. Was a borderline MVP candidate one year. Came back from multiple knee injuries, a major eye injury and still was an all star. We were just unfortunate/dumb enough to pay him 100 million and then he got too injured. But to compare Curry to STAT is a HUGE insult to STAT. Had to say that!

    26. He pulls down around 12 boards per 40 minutes, which ain’t shabby.

      I would argue it’s not good compared to the college stats of some of the Cs that have eventually gone on to be stars and good rebounders at the NBA level.

      Plus, I’d like to see him sustain that rate playing more minutes.

    27. On an unrelated (and I suppose sort of self-aggrandizing) note, apparently Taye Diggs digs comics. He just followed my comic blog on Twitter. I just found that amusing enough to share it with you all.

      As did I after reading this.

    28. STAT was a freakish athlete who finished like a mad beast on Steve Nash pick and rolls and was basically unstoppable in his prime.

      I see a better comp for Okafor as Brad Daugherty from the great Cavs teams of the late 80’s, early 90’s. Not necessarily the most athletic or mobile of centers, but great fundamentals and really solid at both ends. (And he was a 5 time All Star, who might have had an even more stellar career if he hadn’t had to retire at age 28 due to back problems.)

    29. Why are we comparing STAT to Eddie Curry?

      We aren’t.

      We are saying we already know what the Knicks look like on defense when you team Melo with a big man that is not a top defender.

      Okafor is considered a weak defender at the C position and the limited stats I’ve seen back that up.

    30. D’Angelo Russell is a box score-stuffing guard with good physical attributes, and is about as solid an NBA guard prospect as you’re gonna find. He has maintained a nice level of efficiency despite being the only good player on Ohio State, shooting .420 from 3PT as a freshman in a tough conference.

      I’m also still of the opinion that Stanley Johnson is a can’t-miss NBA player. His defense gives him a very high floor; there is no question in my mind that he is going to be an excellent NBA defender, and that makes him at minimum a guy who will be a rotation player for many years. I can’t think of a player with a similar body type to Stanley; he’s a ridiculously muscular 6’7″ with long arms. He plays high-motor, high-intensity on-ball defense and is a very high IQ player in terms of off-ball defense, and a high-character guy with a lunchpail mentality. He has also had a nice offensive season– compare Stanley’s numbers as a freshman in the tough PAC-12 to Kawhi Leonard’s freshman numbers in the far weaker Midwest Conference. Johnson is a way more developed player than Kawhi was at the same age.

    31. Al Jefferson is my favorite Okafor comp. Al was quicker and niftier when he was younger than he is now, and similarly lacked ups. He was a better shot blocker than JO but was nonetheless also weak defensively. I think Okafor is a bit better than Jefferson/Monroe level talent, he has upside to them the same way Cousins did with more diversified skills relative to his great size, but still not in the same ballpark as Towns as a prospect. That still makes him a pretty strong top 3 talent, but I see the dropoff in this draft between 1 and 2 as the largest, though 3/4 might also be pretty steep.

    32. The Knicks played their best since the Melo trade when he was paired with a healthy Chandler at C locking down the middle. Towns is a lot more like Chandler, but perhaps not as limited on offense long term. So maybe we trade a little on defense for a little more offense and passing. Then again, maybe Towns turns out to be better all around than Chandler and we are in great shape.

    33. One of the really nice things about this draft for us is that all four of the really exciting prospects — Towns, Johnson, Okafor and Russell, seem to have excellent makeups. We could use someone who is both good and easy to root for.

    34. Okafor is 5th in the nation in eFG, as a freshman, in a good conference. His shit FT shooting drags his TS down a bit (he’s 22nd), but if he can maintain that sort of production in the NBA he’ll be much, much better than Al Jefferson.

    35. The two things that worry me about Okafor are his FT shooting and his block rate. Most guys gradually improve their FT shooting into their late 20s, but not by a degree that would make you confident Okafor will ever be pretty good. Some big guys do dramatically improve (Karl Malone and Chris Webber are two that come to mind now) and if Okafor could hit 70% I don’t care if he can’t play defense. That block rate is a huge red flag, though, because I can’t think of a dominant NBA big who wasn’t a better shot blocker in college. Okafor could be a unique guy, and I’d be happy taking him in the high lottery, but I think Towns is far safer if we get the first pick. Dude is a monster, and playing on that stacked team probably suppresses how good he is.

    36. Chad Ford is very down on Stanley Johnson, calling him “the most overhyped player in the draft.” Quotes a scout as saying his motor and athleticism are very overrated.

    37. The two things that worry me about Okafor are his FT shooting and his block rate.

      Agree 100%. Those are precisely the reason I likely lean Towns, as well. But either guy would be a great get. So would Russell. Anyone after that, well, they could work out (Johnson, Mudiay, Cauley-Stein, Turner, Enigmatic European guy) but those three I am very confident about.

    38. Durant out for the year. Thank god they nabbed Waiters.

      If Dion don’t take ’em, who’s gonna? Gotta shoot the ball to win the game.

    39. In the finals with Durant, Ibaka, Harden and Westbrook all under 25-I thought I was watching the birthing pains of a dynasty. And now its down to Russ and Dion Fucking Waiters. Amazing

    40. Myles Turner faded pretty badly down the stretch, enough to where I would say he should not be a candidate for the Knicks. The two Euro guys that project as lottery picks– Hezonja and Porzingis– both have intriguing elements to their game but come with massive question marks. Porzingis is an odd duck of a player– a seven foot stringbean with freakish length and great shotblocking ability, but with the offensive game of a two-guard. I look at him and I’m just really skeptical that his overall skill set is going to add up to a player that makes sense– I mean, what do you do with a seven-foot tall two guard? He has zero inside game and pitifully weak strength and balance. Hezonja looks like a more prototypical NBA player, but dude is a straight chucker and a party animal, kind of like a Euro JR Smith. No thanks on him.

    41. In the finals with Durant, Ibaka, Harden and Westbrook all under 25-I thought I was watching the birthing pains of a dynasty. And now its down to Russ and Dion Fucking Waiters. Amazing

      You were in good company.

      That shows you how many things can go wrong over and above simply losing to a team that’s similar to you.

    42. The two things that worry me about Okafor are his FT shooting and his block rate.

      I agree that shooting stats (FTs, 3p%) tend to improve and that athletic stats (blocks, rebounds) tend to decline, but I’m kind of surprised how easily overall defense is getting dismissed on a Knicks forum given our recent history.

    43. Porzingis is an odd duck of a player– a seven foot stringbean with freakish length and great shotblocking ability, but with the offensive game of a two-guard. I look at him and I’m just really skeptical that his overall skill set is going to add up to a player that makes sense– I mean, what do you do with a seven-foot tall two guard? He has zero inside game and pitifully weak strength and balance.

      That’s pretty much what Dirk was as a teenager. From what little I’ve seen of him, Porzingis actually looks like a pretty nice athlete already with a nice touch.

      Speaking of comparisons – anyone think Willie Cauley Stein resembles a taller/longer Kenyon Martin? Same crazy explosive movement skills, same awkwardness on offense. If we get stuck with the 4 or 5 pick, I would not be sad to have a younger/longer Kenyon Martin.

    44. Re: Okafor’s defense – I haven’t watched much of Duke at all but many ESPN talking heads have been saying that he’s really gotten better as the season has gone along.

      If Towns is off the board and we have a chance to draft Okafor, I wouldn’t think twice about it. Go get him.

    45. If the Knicks get the #1 pick, would it be a good idea to trade it for 2 picks, like #4 & #8, for example?
      What 2 picks (or any other crazy combination, like 4, 10, 16) would be good?

      Trading down a bit and acquiring an unprotected 2016 pick in the process would be something I’d be interested in.

    46. If the Knicks get the #1 pick, would it be a good idea to trade it for 2 picks, like #4 & #8, for example? What 2 picks (or any other crazy combination, like 4, 10, 16) would be good?

      Still depends on how the lottery plays out. Looking at how the draft plays out right now without the lottery, which teams have something you want to pick up?

      http://www.nbadraft.net/2015mock_draft

      I think the dream scenario would be the knicks getting 1. Say lakers and orland get 2 and 3. Minnesota gets 4. Philadelphia gets 5. Philadelphia has lots of picks this year and next year and could be willing to give up some of them to get another number 1 pick.

      The knicks are so bad that you can make a case for a lot of different players who will end up helping the team, but I wouldn’t want to go lower than 5 in this draft.

    47. If the Sixers get the Lakers pick, then that would mean that two teams got into the lottery, so the Sixers, if they stay third-worst record, would then get the #5 pick and the #6 pick. I could easily see them willing to deal the #5 and the 6 for the #1 in that scenario.

    48. Myles Turner’s fade was pretty much Rick Barnes not playing him. He had 5 blocks v Kansas and 6 against Baylor and then didn’t crack 20 minutes in the rest of the horns games, including a 2 point loss to Iowa state in which coaching genius Rick Barnes decided to put his best player on the floor for 10 goddamn minutes. How that man keeps his job is something I cannot explain

    49. I could easily see them willing to deal the #5 and the 6 for the #1 in that scenario.

      Yeah, but the knicks shouldn’t trade out of the top 3.

      Looking a bit into past drafts, I’d say the #1 is usually worth more than the #2 and #3 combined. So, unless the FO thinks the player they want at #1 will go later (let’s say they consider Russell the top prospect, and can get him at #3), i’d stick with the top pick.

    50. If the Sixers get the Lakers pick, then that would mean that two teams got into the lottery, so the Sixers, if they stay third-worst record, would then get the #5 pick and the #6 pick. I could easily see them willing to deal the #5 and the 6 for the #1 in that scenario.

      I don’t know. I don’t follow the Sixers, but they have Noel and Embiid. It seems like they’d be less likely to draft Okafor or Towns — they need guards. So why trade up if you’re not going to draft Okafor or Towns, who seem like the top two (or top two of three) picks?

      There is are also some analyses of expected value by draft position, looking historically. 5 and 6 seems like a big price to give up for #1, especially in a year where there is no standout #1 (like LeBron or Duncan).

      I don’t really follow MIN so I have no idea who they are likely to draft.

    51. I agree, we aren’t going to and shouldn’t give up #1 for lower picks in the draft. On the other hand if we have, say, the #3 pick and it’s someone Philly or Boston or someone really wants, we could trade down a little bit if we got quality young players in return. A trade on draft day of a not top pick for something somewhat lower is much more common than trading a #1.

    52. I saw this a while back on another board. Any thoughts

      http://www.basketballanalyticsbook.com/2015/03/13/updated-college-prospect-ratings-cpr/
      Russell: 10.9
      Okafor: 9.2
      Looney: 8.2
      Turner: 7.1
      Towns: 5.8
      Jones: 5.6
      Wood: 5.6
      Portis: 5.5
      Johnson: 5.1
      Hunter: 4.7

      A player above 10.0 has never been a bust since these stats were recorded (other than Oden who played well but was always injured). Towns has rapidly climbed throughout the year.

      I think Towns is hurt by not playing a lot of minutes to stack up big numbers or else he would be closer or above a 10.

    53. Just eyeballing, looks like #1 is worth the equivalent of any of 2-5 plus a late teens or early 20s pick.

      Just no way.

      Let’s look at the drafts from 2003 to 2012. In hindsight, how many drafts would you want the #2 and #3 instead of #1? The ones i think of are:

      2009: I’d rather have Harden (and Thabeet) than Blake Griffin.
      2007: I’d rather have Durant and Horford than Greg Oden
      2006: I’d rather have Aldridge (and Adam Morrison) instead of Bargnani
      2005: I’d rather have Deron Williams and Marvin Williams instead of Bogut

      Just 4 out of 10. And in 2009, the value is close. But many times, the #1 is just much better than the #2 and #3. Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard.

    54. Yeah, but the knicks shouldn’t trade out of the top 3.

      Oh, I agree. I’m just saying I could see Philly being willing to do that.

    55. I also do not see the comparison to Melo and Stat and Melo and Okafor. You can’t build your offense around a guy with a minutes restriction and who will be in and out of the line up. Plus Stat was featured in the Post to get himself going. Okafor would be featured in the Post to get the whole offense going because he will actually pass. I actually thought Melo did a good job getting STAT post touches and would actually direct the offense to feature stat in the post. I think he failed at running PnRs with stat though. That’s something they should have really done better.

    56. Myles Turner has only played 25 minutes more than Towns. He runs funny, but he has had his minutes and his production limited by playing for a team with a horrible coach. If we screw up the tank or have bad luck, I would strongly consider him with (say) the 4th pick

    57. I also do not see the comparison to Melo and Stat and Melo and Okafor. You can’t build your offense around a guy with a minutes restriction and who will be in and out of the line up. Plus Stat was featured in the Post to get himself going. Okafor would be featured in the Post to get the whole offense going because he will actually pass. I actually thought Melo did a good job getting STAT post touches and would actually direct the offense to feature stat in the post.

      While I agree that he will be willing to defer to Okafor, I think the criticism wasn’t meant about STAT later on, but rather how as soon as Melo got here he pretty much took over the offense. Back when STAT was more involved and not on a minutes restriction (heck, D’Antoni had him on the opposite of a minutes restriction ;) ).

      I think he failed at running PnRs with stat though. That’s something they should have really done better.

      Yeah, that’s what I meant about how he deferred to Chandler more than he did STAT, as he allowed them to run a lot of PnR with Chandler on the floor and yet didn’t seem to do the same when STAT was on the floor.

    58. Oh, I agree. I’m just saying I could see Philly being willing to do that.

      Philly will probably try to trade Embiid and get one of the bigs in this draft.

      If Philly offers Embiid and the #4 for the #1, do you accept? How does Embiid compare to Towns?

    59. I’ve been on record saying I’m praying the Knicks get either Towns or Okafor and would be thrilled with either one. But Russell as the consolation prize aint too bad either.

    60. Okafor’s defense is going to look terrible playing with the ridiculously horrible defensive perimeter players Duke fields on a nightly basis. Other than Winslow there isn’t one player on their team who’s a plus defender. I don’t think Okafor’s going to be a massive difference maker on that side of the ball ever, but if you can find the right 4 (very tricky) who can be the help side defender and rim protector we need he should be fine. If Memphis can find a way to make Z-Bo look competent defensively I have faith Okafor can be covered for.

      Russell’s nice, but there’s no way I’d consider taking him over either Towns or Okafor.

      I’m with DRed on Myles Turner. Barnes effectively sabotaged his draft stock by sticking him on the bench and playing him like some 3-year 2 star recruit from North Fuckface, Alaska. He has some potential to be a Drummond like steal later in the lottery.

      Philly would consider trading up if they ended up at 5 and 6 because neither Russell or Mudiay is last that long and those two have star potential at guard/wing where Philly desperately needs help and why they were so high on Wiggins last year. It wouldn’t be worth it for the Knicks at 1 or 2, but if say you can trade down from 3 for that I think you’d have to seriously consider that and potentially grab Stanley Johnson, Myles Turner or players of that ilk. I personally wouldn’t make that trade but there is plenty of valid reason to do so.

    61. “Philly will probably try to trade Embiid and get one of the bigs in this draft.

      If Philly offers Embiid and the #4 for the #1, do you accept? How does Embiid compare to Towns?”

      Depends on what I could reckon re: Embiid’s long-term health. If healthy, I think Embiid has more upside than either Okafor or Towns. He’s a true two-way C in the Ewing mode, the others are sort of hybrids. Even if Embiid breaks down before we could get value for him, the #4 pick (Mudiay? Johnson? the European? The UCLA kid?) should be a legit NBA starter. So I would have to be open to making that deal if Embiid is doing lots of contact work by that time.

    62. I think you have to make that trade if you’re the Knicks.

      If you can get Embiid and still land one of Okafor, Towns, Russell, Mudiay or Johnson that’s a no brainer for a team with no draft picks next year.

    63. The entire point of me bringing up guys like Stat, Lee, and Curry was not to compare them to Okafor. I don’t know where people are getting that idea. It was because they were recent Knicks bigs that were flawed defensively.

      We got see first hand how they would often score 20+ points efficiently, but give up as much or more when you considered their counterpart scoring and the lack of interior defense when the guards got beat on the perimeter. When you consider that Melo is probably on the weaker side of neutral as a defender, pairing him with a weak defender at the C position seems almost obviously problematical. We saw that with Amare. The defense sucked when they were paired.

      There’s no question that Okafor is a hot prospect and an extremely talented offensive player. He’ll probably work very well with Melo on offense and probably become a star somewhere. The problem is on the defensive side of the equation.

      WE WILL SUCK DEFENSIVELY AGAIN unless Okafor suddenly learns how to play high level D.

      IMO Melo paired with Towns is WAY more attractive than Melo paired with Okafor. Also, more controversial perhaps, in my opinion given a choice between Okafor and Russell, I think I’d prefer drafting Russell or drafting Okafor and trading him to try to pair Melo with a very high level big that defends.

    64. If Memphis can find a way to make Z-Bo look competent defensively I have faith Okafor can be covered for.

      Marc Gasol would make a lot of bad defenders look good.

    65. Marc Gasol would make a lot of bad defenders look good.

      Pretty sure it’s more than just Gasol. Randolph is a good enough man defender and understands the team concepts defensively. Plenty of players improve on that end in their career.

      Klay Thompson for example was a minus defender entering the draft and is now one of the better wing defenders in the league.

    66. That shows you how many things can go wrong over and above simply losing to a team that’s similar to you.

      Yeah, I thought the Blazers, when they had Roy, drafted Oden, and had loads of cap space to boot, were going to rule the west for a decade.

    67. Holy crap, you have to check out Mamadou Ndiaye on UC Irvine. He might be the tallest basketball player I’ve seen since Manute Bol. Listed at 7’6″, looks 8 feet tall.

    68. towns would be as good a #1 pick as there has been since davis… you don’t trade davis for any combination of picks… if you have #1 and can take towns you shouldn’t trade him either…

    69. and the last lowe article had good stuff regarding kanter’s play in okc and how he’s affecting them… the main takeaway being.. okc is scoring 92.5pts per 100 with it’s current starting lineup(westbrook, waiters, roberson, kanter, adams) and 24th in the league in def since the asb…

      which is about what you’d expect…

    70. “Bit of a sloppy first quarter”

      Masterful understatement by Breen. Has a team this bad ever had an announce team so good?

    71. Masterful understatement by Breen. Has a team this bad ever had an announce team so good?

      Clyde for MVP

    72. Barnyarnee’s “inconsistency” is not what enrages me, Breen. It is, in fact, his consistency for sucking that does though.

    73. What a rebound off the Spurs debacle. I love how this team refuses to stay off the ground.

    74. Watching Dieng and Noel makes me more interested in the Knicks drafting Towns even though I like Russell more than Towns or Okafor.

      Towns could offer the same defensive ability as Dieng and Noel but in a bigger pkg with better offense. Although Dieng seems like a pretty good offensive player.

    75. Excellent job Fish, Bring in Jason Smith to run the point for Shved.

      Oh, Larkin’s still out there. You should bring in Bargs for a truly big backcourt. We are in the East, afterall.

    76. The first Noel smackdown of the Knicks. 5 steals, 3 blocks. Watched him since Tilton, kid can really catch a lob and can seriously play some D.

      As much crap as Hinkie and nerds in general have taken this year, I would love to be a sixers fan. I think in 2-3 years all the pieces and cap room are going to snap together and they will have a dangerous contender in the making.

    77. If we hold Q4, we’ve basically secured more balls than the Sixers. Not likely to make up 3 games in the final 13.

    78. Making Nerlens Noel look like an awesome offensive player is a big part of what we do here. We’re not gonna kick making Nerlens Noel look like an awesome offensive player to the curb.

    79. Well, his jumpshot looks a little funny. But I think Noel can parlay catching lob passes and being the best defender in the NBA into a fairly decent career.

      But yeah, it’s kind of like Christmas out there for him now….

    80. Yeah he’s not making the AD leap into a jump shooter but he can still be plenty good.

    81. Warning. Do not switch directly from this game to the college wrestling currently playing on ESPN. The spike in crowd noise will startle you.

    82. Has any team given up more career nights than the Knicks over the past two years? I’d love to know.

    83. JAH, Galloway, Lou and Wear currently have 1 FGM in 88 minutes. Where is Chris Herring on whether this is an NBA record.

    84. I missed the beginning of the game and I didn’t want to jinx the game by starting a game thread. I am silly like that. :)

      What a great loss!

    85. I, for one, am a bit disappointed. Yesterday’s game thread was an instant classic. Today’s was kind of a dud.

    86. Yeah, I really should have started the thread, even with the fear of jinxing it. My bad!

    87. It wasn’t the lack of an official thread. It was that there was no nail-biting tension and a bunch of die hard fans praying that shots rim out. It was hilarious (and exciting) to read the thread yesterday. This one just seemed like the Knicks were losing yet another dumb game to some lame-ass opponent. It lacked charm.

    88. I don’t get why there are so many back to backs in the NBA when some teams have played 4 more games than other teams. The scheduling computer must suck or something.

    89. Disappointment is on the way, fellas. I predict a #1 lottery slot, followed by a #4 pick, then traded away for Enes Kanter’s shiny new max contract.

    90. Yup. Let’s face it, the Lakers are walking away with the #1 pick. They are luckier as a franchise than Phil is as an individual.

      Also– Klay Thompson is out and Steph Curry is 1-9 but the Warriors still lead the fighting pelicans by a dozen thanks to Barnes, Bogut, and Barbosa (the killer B’s) going 11-14. That’s a team.

    91. Leading the Pelicans without Davis at home isn’t much of an accomplishment. That’s what I’d expect from the team with the best record in the league.

    92. Why would the Knicks trade a pick for Kanter when they can get him in FA if they wanted to. I doubt okc would match a max deal with Durant deal up next year and Westbrook/ibaka’s deals up the following year.

    93. The Knicks have not had a top 4 pick since Ewing 30 years ago, despite sucking real bad for a lot of those 30 years.

    94. I can sort of kind of live with the #4 pick, even though it would be horribly disappointing. But anything past four would be devastating. I can at least sort of kind of talk myself into Mudiay (Johnson, too, but he’s not going to be the pick there. It’ll be Mudiay). After #4, though, good golly, Miss Molly.

      So just come on, Knicks, get the worst record so that the worst case scenario is Mudiay. I need a world where Mudiay is the worst case scenario!!

    95. Could Stanley play a Draymond Green role for the Knicks? I mean the 18 y/o kid measured in at 243 lbs over the summer with a body type very similar to Lebron or a Michael Beasley. I know Stanley is known for his defense but can he guard 4s or is he just a wing defender. An athletic Draymond Green would be nice.

      Also, did anyone see that article on Towns where it said he was examined and it showed that his growth plates are still open and he could possibly grow 3 more inches. That’s kind of scary.

    96. I think he could, yes, but the Knicks’ pick will be one of Towns, Okafor, Russell and Mudiay, so I wouldn’t drive yourself nuts thinking about Johnson.

    97. you never know what a good tourney run could do. There has to be some hope he is viewed higher than Mudiay in the Knick’s FOs. Also, if they fall to #4 and Orl is behind them it makes since to at least say they are taking Johnson for strategic purposes. Orl is supposedly in love with Johnson and the Knicks might be able to make a deal.

    98. I’m all good with one of towns, okafor, Russell, Mudiay, or Johnson. IMHO we absolutely can’t drop below the 5th pick unless it’s in a trade down scenario where we might be able to get 2 good players (like Cauley stein + Kaminsky or something like that).

      Meanwhile what has gotten into Berman lately? suddenly really negative. Clearly whoever his source is in the Knicks FO has turned on Phil and co.

    99. I actually think kaminsky will end up going a lot higher in the draft than most mocks have him- he’s 7 feet, great rebounder on both sides of the floor, and can pass and shoot. Is he really that much worse of an athlete than the Gasol brothers?

      Honestly if we arent in position to land either okafor or towns, I would not be opposed to taking him.

    100. I watched Kaminsky and agree that teams that pass him over after, say, #5 will probably regret it. But I also think he is not nearly the athletic presence as either Gasol brother. Marc is HUGE and Pau is underrated physically (he was a HOF-level player in LA on both ends.) Frank really tries hard on D but just doesn’t seem to have the speed or strength to effectively guard NBA PFs or Cs, and he’s not a rim protector at all. But winding up with Cauley-Stein/Looney and Kaminsky (and, say, dumping Calderon’s salary) would be a tempting exchange for an Okafor or Towns.

    101. It is also problematic that we can’t trade the pick until after we select, i.e. after we find out our draft spot. There is a HUGE gulf between the value of a #1 and #4 pick in this draft (not LeBron or Tim Duncan huge, but pretty huge!)

      Man, is lottery night gonna be stressful!

    102. From wikipedia:

      “In the event that teams finish with the same record, each tied team receives the average of the total number of combinations for the positions that they occupy. In 2007, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Portland Trail Blazers tied for the sixth worst record. The average of the 6th and 7th positions in the lottery was taken, resulting in each team getting 53 combinations (the average of 63 and 43). Should the average number not be an integer, a coin flip is then used to determine which team or teams receive the extra combination(s). The result of the coin flip is also used to determine who receives the earlier pick in the event that neither of the tied teams wins one of the first three picks via the lottery.”

      I had assumed that positions were decided much the same way that playoff seedings were determined, i.e. if teams finished tied, the lottery position would be determined by head-to-head, etc. So I thought if we tied, Lakers would get the higher lottery seed than us and Minny would get the lower lottery seed. But it seems that the lottery combinations would be evenly divided.

      It also means that, say the Knicks and Lakers tie for the 1-2 spots, if neither team gets one of the first 3 picks, who gets the 4 or 5 is determined by a coin flip!!!

      I guess that the good news is, if we end up tied with the Lakers, we have an even chance even though we beat them twice. On the other hand, the reverse is true with Minny. Weird.

    103. Meanwhile what has gotten into Berman lately? suddenly really negative. Clearly whoever his source is in the Knicks FO has turned on Phil and co.

      Yeah, I was writing about this the other day, about how I think his article ripping Jackson was very worrisome, because Berman never writes anything just for the sake of writing something. There’s always an angle. So clearly someone wants him to rip Jackson now. Let’s just hope it is not really high up. It would be the most Knicksian thing ever to hire Jackson, have him start on a plan centered on this offseason and then undermine him before he can even implement his plan.

    Comments are closed.