Knicks Morning News (2015.03.22)

  • [New York Times] Curry Bounces Back to Lead Warriors Past Jazz 106-91 (Sun, 22 Mar 2015 05:13:49 GMT)

    Stephen Curry bounced back from his worst shooting performance of the season to score 24 points, Leandro Barbosa added a season-high 19 off the bench and the Golden State Warriors pulled away late to beat the Utah Jazz 106-91 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Steve Nash Ends 19-Year Career (Sun, 22 Mar 2015 04:05:49 GMT)

    Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash announced his retirement Saturday, ending his 19-year N.B.A. career.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Nets Top Slumping Pacers (Sun, 22 Mar 2015 04:03:45 GMT)

    Brook Lopez had 26 points and 4 blocks to lead the Nets to a 123-111 victory at Indiana, their fourth win in five games.

  • [New York Times] Bledsoe Scores Career-Best 34 as Suns Beat Rockets 117-102 (Sun, 22 Mar 2015 02:52:47 GMT)

    Eric Bledsoe had a career-high 34 points and the Phoenix Suns withstood a fourth-quarter charge by the Houston Rockets for a 117-102 victory Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Green Scores 23, Conley 21 as Grizzlies Beat Blazers 97-86 (Sun, 22 Mar 2015 02:49:43 GMT)

    Jeff Green had 23 points and Mike Conley scored 21 with nine assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 97-86 victory over the struggling Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Pistons Erase 19-Point Deficit in 3rd to Beat Bulls 107-91 (Sun, 22 Mar 2015 02:37:45 GMT)

    Reggie Jackson had 22 points, including 17 in the third quarter, and the Detroit Pistons came back from a 19-point deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls 107-91 Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Lopez Scores 26 to Lead Nets Past Slumping Pacers 123-111 (Sun, 22 Mar 2015 02:26:07 GMT)

    Brook Lopez had 26 points and four blocked shots to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 123-111 victory over the slumping Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

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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).

    77 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.03.22)”

    1. There was a debate here a couple of weeks ago about whether the Knicks should be willing to trade the #1 pick for Cousins. After watching college games for the last couple days, I think that, in the unlikely event that the Kings were willing to give up Cousins and the #7 or so pick, the Knicks would be crazy not to do it. He is so much better than anyone in this draft it’s not funny.

    2. cousins doesn’t make 20 mil, he will make 14.7 next season (15.7 and 16.7 in following years). It is an extremly good value contract and the kings would be incredibly stupid to trade it, let alone to send their own pick with it.

      I probably wouldn’t trade him for this years knicks-pick and an unprotected ’18-pick..

    3. But Cousins is a head case and at best a break even value at his contract level. Unless he gets his turnovers under control he’s just gonna be an average efficiency, high volume scorer who excels at rebounding and is mediocre on defense.

      Towns, meanwhile, is the most complete prospect since Davis and can be knocked only because of his inexplicably lowish minutes load at Kentucky.

      The only thing we should be trading our pick for is more picks barring fantasy Godfather offers.

    4. I wasn’t advocating trading the pick for just Cousins but, rather, for Cousins and the #7 pick — which might be Cauley-Stein or Johnson or some other high upside young guy.

    5. To add a further point I think that any of the top five prospects project about as well or better than Cousins did and are currently going to cost a fraction of the money

    6. I’m not really saying that the knicks should pay two picks for him, I’m saying that cousins has way more value than the number 1 pick, look at what love fetched last off-season, a similar high praised (if not even higher praised) prospect + a young player (who while he sucks had at least made some strides at the end of the season) + a really good draft pick in the next draft, and it was essentially a one year rental.

      Cousins has struggled a bit since they fired malone, but last season he put up monster numbers on offense, despite a really high usage and he has become a very good defender. Plus he has ALL the tools a triangle center needs. Yeah he is a headcase, but I think it’s pretty unlikely that any player from this draft has a ceiling as high as what boogie is doing right now and he is just entering his prime.

    7. I think there’s a precipitous drop between top 5 and #7 in this draft. Cauley stein or Prozingis are nice but dont have the same home-run franchise cornerstone potential that the Knicks essentially require to be relevant now or in the future.

    8. @8 I strongly disagree, draft classes always get hyped up, last years class was supposed to be super awesome too and it remains to be seen if one of those prospects will become as good as cousins. Cousins contract is a steal, considering it runs through two off seasons in which the cap should skyrocket.

      A scenario in which the kings trade cousins for the right to move up in the draft is just insane.

    9. well, let’s just agree to disagree, I think Cousins at this contract is a better acquisition than any free agent this off season (he will make less than a maxed out monroe) and his contract runs almost as long as melo’s doesn. Of course, if you want to do a full scale rebuild (which the knicks aren’t doing) you keep all your picks…

      I just find the value some people give the number 1 pick a bit crazy and I think many might be in for massive disappointment in regard to what the player the knicks pick will be on the nba level.

    10. The difference here is that the players from last years draft class weren’t all that good. This years crop is statistically better, project better under a few different metrics, and look better by the eye test. The Knicks need safe, yet high value dice rolls to be in contention any time soon: a top 5 pick in this draft is categorically that. Cousins at best is a break even or slightly positive value at his contract. Also his defense is passable to good, depending on what aspect of his play you’re addressing; it’s not “very good”.

    11. Yes, by all means let’s make some “win now” moves that involve bringing in head case players who have never won jack shit in their whole careers, because we’re just so close to contending for a title. Cousins is better than a 19-year old Karl Anthony-Towns RIGHT NOW, and I wanna win RIGHT NOW, future be damned. We’re only about 40 wins short of making some real noise in the East, so let’s go all in.

    12. Demarcus is a tough call. He’s a HOF talent who is not yet 25 years old. If we get a #7 pick (Kaminsky? Hezonja? Porzingas?) that would be tough to turn down. I doubt that we are going to sign a better FA than Cousins, he’s the best player available in the $15-17 million range. You would still have $13 million in cap space to sign a FA guard, and the following year, the cap goes up another FA’s worth. Considering that we are already all in on Melo, this is not a bad strategy. The alternatives are:

      Melo, one of Towns/Okafor/Mudiay/Russell, 2 second to third tier FAs (I’m convinced that neither Gasol or Aldrich are coming here)

      or, Melo, Cousins, Kaminsky/Hezonja/Porzingas, 1 second-third tier FA

      So, the question is: Is Cousins (as a sure thing) enough better than whoever we MIGHT get as our top FA to justify the drop from, say, Towns/Okafor/Russell to Kaminsky/Hezonja/Porzingas?

      I think that on paper, its an even trade, but considering the clock is ticking on Melo, getting a NBA-ready Cousins tips the scales in favor of the deal. I’d be OK either way, though.

    13. Additionally, I would not, under any circumstances, trade the pick unless I got an all-star level player and a top 10 pick in return. So straight up for Cousins, I say NO!

    14. Cousins is a guy who racks up lots of POINTZ because his usage is 33.5%. His efficiency is “meh” with a .549 TS% and a high turnover rate. He’s one of the more unrootable players in the league, a constant whiner on the court with terrible body language who also happens to have a long history of locker room outbursts. He’s a very good rebounder, I will give him that, but he is also at times indifferent on defense and is not a great rim protector.

      In other words, the perfect Knick.

    15. If we trade a top 3 pick for Cousins I will become a Nets fan. I mean seriously, acquiring Cousins to pair with Melo would be the dumbest, Knicksiest thing ever.

      It would be like Melo and Stoudemire over again. Just with even more crazy.

      Seriously, please no. We have suffered enough.

    16. He is not a great rim protector, but he has made strides on defense, elevating the pathetic kings defense to league average when he is on the floor. He is also a pretty good passer for a center that commands double teams. He is turnover and foulprone, but he is still young and playing in one of the worst situations in the nba.

      I don’t really care if the knicks trade for him, but its completley unrealistic to expect to get him AND a top 10 draft pick for the 1st pick, when you needed the 1st pick, a 2nd year player (and because in front offices it still counts “a former number 1 pick”) + a sneaky good miami pick to get a one year rental for kevin love.

    17. Melo and Stoudemire were much more similar than Melo and Cousins. Cousins is a GREAT rebounder, and a better defender and passer than Stoudemire. He is also younger, healthier and cheaper. He is a traditional back-to-basket C.

      On the other hand, he is a much less efficient offensive player than STAT.

      I understand what you are saying, Owen, but if a #7 pick is included, I don’t really get the visceral reaction. Anyway, it’s not gonna happen, so no use debating it.

    18. If you want to check out some thrilling March Madness hoops, tune into the Virginia-Michigan State game.

      Score is 27-22 with 17 minutes left in the game. Eww.

    19. I’m sorry but anyone clamoring for Cousins has some form of battered wife syndrome. You know we’re allowed to have players who don’t have multiple major flaws in their games, right? We’re even allowed to have players who, like, play defense well and stuff! I swear!

    20. @24 while I’m hardly “clamoring” for Cousins, I don’t get the crazy talk like yours. I thought this was a forum for objective, advanced stats-based debate. Why do you suggest that Cousins plays no D?

      He led the league in defensive rebounding last year and is near the top this year
      He avgs 1.5 steals and 1.7 blocks per 36
      His DBPM is nearly double his OBPM and well above league average.

      If anything, his glaring flaws are on offense (usage too high, low TS% for a C, too many turnovers). He has only one on defense (fouls too much.)

      As to the players who don’t have multiple major flaws, who do you suggest we go after that we actually have a better than 50-50 chance to get?

      And which college player doesn’t look to have such flaws? Okafor? Can’t defend, has limited range, can’s shoot FTs. Towns? Fouls too much. Russell? Check out his last 10 games box scores, he’s all over the place.

      Again, straight up, I don’t make the deal. But if a top-7 pick is included, I’d have to consider it.

    21. If anything, his glaring flaws are on offense (usage too high, low TS% for a C, too many turnovers). He has only one on defense (fouls too much.)

      This is mainly what I was referring to. I’m hard pressed to think of a player who is a worse fit with Melo, and even if we don’t take that into account he’s just not a guy I’m very interested in as a foundational piece. He’s talented and it’s certainly possible that he cuts down on his turnovers and improves his efficiency in his 6th year in the league, but banking on that happening seems pretty Isiah-y.

    22. I get that, but I also don’t think we are talking Eddy Curry here. Or even Amare (again, cheaper, younger and healthier) As to fit, it’s a legit concern, but it could also be a GREAT fit based on low post play, rebounding and rim protection.

      My biggest issue is his b-ball IQ, which is very questionable (as is Melo’s). But he’s worth every bit of $15 million per year.

    23. cousins doesn’t make 20 mil, he will make 14.7 next season (15.7 and 16.7 in following years). It is an extremly good value contract and the kings would be incredibly stupid to trade it, let alone to send their own pick with it.

      I’m having a hard time seeing where the “extremely good value contract” is. Kawhi Leonard has an “extremely good value contract.” Hassan Whiteside, Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert: those guys have “extremely good value contract[s].” Demarcus Cousins is the prototypical NBA max player: shoots a lot, scores a lot, but not quite efficiently enough to be a top-tier NBA player. He is the Carmelo Anthony of big men. He’s the perfect Knick.

      But if you’re going to assert “extremely good value contract,” you might want to look at his numbers. Here’s his similarity chart, courtesy Basketball Reference:

      Chuck Share
      Gheorghe Muresan (Wow! Let’s get this guy, ASAP!)
      Tom Burleson
      Jack Nichols
      Emeka Okafor
      Brad Miller (at least he could fight Shaq)
      Vlade Divac
      Marvin Webster
      Don Otten
      Roy Tarpley

      Wow! Wow! Double wow! This board rotates its cast of characters, but the volume scoring luv stays the same.

    24. He is the Carmelo Anthony of big men

      Yeah…this is kind of what it comes down to. I really hope this doesn’t happen.

    25. Okafor is looking amazing on offense. He is nothing on defense. Who is available to put in the front line with him that will cover up the lack of D and rebounding? Draymond Green? Anybody? Winslow is a nice player. Grant Hill says he’s a better defender than Battier! Trade down with Philly and pick Cauley Stein and Winslow.

    26. Agreed that it is not an “extremely good value” contract, but it isn’t STAT-level overpayment either. He’s certainly not Josh Smith.

      Offensively, he is very “Melo-like” but he is also an elite rebounder and an above average defender.

      Again, I’m not clamoring for him, but I don’t think it’s a crippling move either (WITH a #7 pick included), especially with the cap going up.

    27. I think it’s really important to avoid scouting 19-year olds as if they are finished products. Okafor may not be a great defender right now but he is 19 years old. Do you give up on a 19-year old outfielder in Single A ball because he doesn’t take good routes to fly balls? No, you try to teach him. Okafor doesn’t seem to be shockingly slow, he’s not physically weak, he doesn’t seem to have an attitude problem and he has good size for his position. There’s no reason he couldn’t be at least a decent defensive player at the next level.

      But of course, who wants to wait for a 19-year old to develop some skills? WIN NOW ALWAYS. DEVELOPING YOUNG PLAYERS IS STOOPID.

    28. I would be surprised if Okafor ever becomes a plus defender. He has unusually slow reaction times…like Amar’e level radio-delay reaction times. Plenty of big men can turn into excellent defenders without great timing or explosive shot blocking. But it’s hard to find anyone who is not a shot blocker and is a naturally slow reactor who then turns into a strong defender.

    29. DFG % in isolation isn’t perfect, but the tracking stats show that Cousins is a slightly above average defender. He’s a solid rim protector, per these stats. It doesn’t really take into account his post defense, which is pretty poor. But he’s still slightly above average taking that into account:
      http://stats.nba.com/player/#!/202326/tracking/defense/

    30. Okafor doesn’t seem to have the skills or athleticism to become a plus defender I think. But if he develops enough as a defender that he’s not a gaping, Amar’e or Bargnani sized hole in the center of the half-court while maintaining a semblance of his collegiate offensive efficiency, he’s going to be an excellent, excellent player. Not a good fit for the Knicks, I think, but an excellent player.

    31. Okafor doesn’t seem to be shockingly slow, he’s not physically weak, he doesn’t seem to have an attitude problem and he has good size for his position. There’s no reason he couldn’t be at least a decent defensive player at the next level.

      Right, but given those assessments, there should be no reason that he’s currently such a poor-looking defender. And especially against college players, who are (relative to NBA players) comedically inept at offensive play.

      I know that the underlying assumption on this board is that coaching matters and you can turn a piece of dogshit into a hunk of gold if the “fit” is right, but maybe the Knicks should start drafting guys who are already good at things instead of rubbing our rabbit’s foot charms and hoping that all of the “weaknesses” of a player will magically disappear. Eddy Curry never stopped sucking at defense. Amar’e never stopped sucking on defense. Bargnani never stopped sucking on defense. I think maybe it’s time to dispel the idea that spatial awareness is something that can be taught and applied on a basketball court as if it were a Rick Barry free throw.

    32. Guys that will never come close to an NBA floor are going right at him/over him/ around him. Will be frustrating if we have to watch that every night.

    33. @28 similarity scores are quite a shitty stat, since they take in account win shares only and cousins was on shitty teams his whole carreer (of course partly due to his fault..)

      first of all he isn’t even making his full max and please stop treating all “max” players the same. He’ll be making less than 15 mil next year, which is lower than greg monroe’s max..
      But

      yeah, players on rookie contracts are better value bang for buck IF they perform like the ones you mentioned and again I’m not advocating that the knicks should trade for cousins, I’m saying the 1st pick wouldn’t get it done because most people either severly underrate cousins value or overrate the value of the first pick.

    34. Embiid was the better prospect than towns but towns doesn’t have the injury question marks….

      I would say Russell towns and okafor will be better than cousins…. If we trade a top3 pick for cousins it would be the worst move in franchise history…. Worse than mcdyess.. Worse than curry… It would be the last straw for many fans… Including me…

    35. The only way I want Demarcus Cousins is if we can get Isiah to come back and get the most out of him….

    36. Did you guys know the Knicks were playing? Even if you didn’t, I’m sure you could guess they’re losing.

      When’s the draft? I need something to look forward to.

    37. Crap Kahnzy, had no idea. Should have thrown up a post. The DRed-Kahnzy game threads are about the only thing I have enjoyed about this season….

    38. JR and Shump scored a combined 33 on 12-18 shooting for the Cavs today. I wonder what the BB gods think about that.

    39. JR and Shump scored a combined 33 on 12-18 shooting for the Cavs today. I wonder what the BB gods think about that.

      They probably figure JR and Shump still aren’t very good basketball players since the Knicks have a better record without those 2 this year despite having their minutes replaced by an undrafted rookie free agent (Galloway), a tiny PG the Knicks don’t care about keeping long-term (Larkin), an inefficient chuck and defensive sieve (THJ) and Lance Thomas.

    40. Kyle Andersen has been fucking horrible so far this year.

      Pop will probably have him playing like Magic Johnson within 3 years.

    41. Philly vs Lakers tonight. Talk about a conflict of interest.

      Philly: Alright guys, if we lose then we get L.A.’s pick. SO DON’T PUT THE BALL IN THE BASKET. EVER.

      L.A.: Alright guys, if we lose we won’t have to give up our pick. SO DON’T PUT THE BALL IN THE BASKET. EVER.

      Final score
      Philly: 0
      Lakers: 2

      Game winner by a one legged, suit wearing Kobe.

    42. If anyone was wondering whether Gallinari could make it all the way back from his knee injuries, I think we got the definitive answer tonight.

    43. I like Cousins. The Melo Volume 2: The post version, comparisons might be a bit harsh, but here we are. Captain Luke said a while ago that this isn’t a 2-3 year rebuilding project and he’s right. Trading your number 1 pick in a draft that presents Okafor or Towns is like actively spitting in your future’s face. Like i said, i like Cousins, but i would much rather draft him on a cheap rookie deal than trade for him at 14 mil plus.
      Let’s no longer mortgage our future on the short sighted front page splash signing. Unless, of course, that front page signing is for an aging veteran or an overpaid mid level guy. Go NY go NY go!!!!

    44. Kyle Andersen has been fucking horrible so far this year.

      Pop will probably have him playing like Magic Johnson within 3 years.

      Yes he has. And if Pop doesn’t have him playing like Magic, they let him go after two years and they’re only out a #30 pick.

    45. Yes he has. And if Pop doesn’t have him playing like Magic, they let him go after two years and they’re only out a #30 pick.

      I wish we had problems like that.

    46. Here’s the problem — much as Jowles is correct that we have to stop assuming that bad habits and poor play can be coached out of someone, we can’t keep assuming that every player who has “Anthony Davis tools” is going to become Anthony Davis. Stromile Smith had great tools, Evan Turner had great tools, most scouts thought that Darko had great tools, some thought that Thabeet had great tools, etc., etc. Besides that, no one in this draft has close to his tools. When he was in college, if you watched 10 minutes of one of his games, it was obvious that he was the best player on the floor, even if he didn’t score a point. No one in this draft stands out like that. Cauley-Stein is an athletic freak, but has very raw skills. Okafor has great low post moves, but limited athleticism and zero defensive awareness. From what little I saw of Towns, he is nowhere near the athlete Davis is, and he doesn’t have nearly the “motor” Davis has. (And, yes, I believe that the ability to play hard all the time is an innate skill that you are born with and cannot be “learned.”) By the way, Cousins is still only 24. Do you know how old Ewing was as a rookie? 23. David Robinson was 24 as a rookie. Cousins is still likely to get much better than he is currently. I think that there is less than a fifty percent chance that anyone in this draft is a better player than he is at any time in the next five years. Of course, if in two years Towns IS the next Brow, I’ll deny posting this. (Until DRed finds it and re-posts it…)

    47. My head’s spinning, I think I’m living in “Groundhog Day”…
      Is there anyone out there that really think that we should/would trade our pick this year?
      (and by the way, we don’t know exactly which pick we have right now, the lottery is weeks away)

      2 things come to my mind: first, Cousins is a certified head case, second, we always get the short stick in trades, this isn’t ESPN’s trade machine, other GMs are smarter then ours.

      But let’s recap the last 10 years:

      1. the Thomas years, no comment.
      2. Then, a crafty GM and a “revolutionary” coach, so “let’e sell everybody and we can get LeBron” (update: no, we can’t).
      3. Ok, we get Amare, we start building something and… bang! Idiot Owner imposes himself over crafty GM and revolutionary coach: let’s gut our roster to get the offensive superstar, the King of ISO (exactly when the league is steering to ball movement and spacing… just like our coach teach!) and forget that you could get the same superstar in free agency if he really wants to play in NY.
      4. The crafty GM, disgusted, says goodbye to the Idiot, while the revolutionary coach is stabbed in the back by the King of ISO…
      5. Then, after 1 (ONE) decent season, the new interim GM, the brilliant new coach and the Idiot Owner, trade a first rounder (and 2 second rounders) for Bargnani, and we (the fans) every day blame Bargs, not the Idiot Owner and the incapable GM for that…
      6. Then, in the middle of another disappointing season, we hire a legendary coach (years removed from coaching) to be the GM…
      7. He’s the GM, but he wants to install his system, a system that take players years to master and doesn’t work anymore in the “new NBA” of ball movement, spacing and three pointers so… He proceed to ink the King of ISO and his cranky knees for 5 years, sells nearly everyone on the team, admits the season it’s been a disaster, gives his bless to the tanking…

      And we think we should trade our pick (not having one in 2016)? Maybe we deserve James Dolan….

    48. My head’s spinning, I think I’m living in “Groundhog Day”…
      Is there anyone out there that really think that we should/would trade our pick this year?
      (and by the way, we don’t know exactly which pick we have right now, the lottery is weeks away)

      Would we trade the pick? Yes. But that’s only because the Knicks management is stupid. Really, really stupid.

      Should we trade the pick? Of course not.

    49. @44… No top 3 is a position that you don’t want to trade out of this year for anything short of a godfather offer..

    50. I still can’t tell whether we are debating the original question: should we trade the #1-3 pick for Cousins AND the #7 pick?

      Totally different question than if we should trade the pick ONLY for Cousins. Huge difference. Nobody is advocating that we should do that, right?

    51. We should all give up on trying to anticipate what Phil Jackson is going to do with this draft pick. None of us have access to the stuff he’s smoking. And i live in Denver.

    52. I still can’t tell whether we are debating the original question: should we trade the #1-3 pick for Cousins AND the #7 pick?

      For me, Cousins just isn’t good enough to justify moving down from hopefully franchise player territory to hopefully pretty good territory. There might be players I would do it for beyond the obvious ones but Cousins isn’t one of them.

    53. If anyone was wondering whether Gallinari could make it all the way back from his knee injuries, I think we got the definitive answer tonight.

      It’s awesome to see. Brian Shaw must be a bit irked that Gallo got healthy after he was fired (that said, Shaw was awful).

    54. There’s nothing wrong with thinking players improve with coaching (they do), but I wouldn’t bet on a terrible shooter becoming a great one, or a terrible defender becoming a great one, or a player getting enormously better after age 25.

    55. Most of y’all seem to know basketball. Here’s a question: does anybody really think that any GM in the league isn’t gonna go out of their way to screw over Phil? Like, i can’t see anybody doing him any favors. Unless he has some Danny Ainge out there that i’m unaware of then i think he’s ice skating uphill.

    56. Most of y’all seem to know basketball. Here’s a question: does anybody really think that any GM in the league isn’t gonna go out of their way to screw over Phil? Like, i can’t see anybody doing him any favors. Unless he has some Danny Ainge out there that i’m unaware of then i think he’s ice skating uphill.

      Who cares? Morey hasn’t exactly endeared himself to people around the league and he seems to be doing just fine.

      7. He’s the GM, but he wants to install his system, a system that take players years to master and doesn’t work anymore in the “new NBA” of ball movement, spacing and three pointers so… He proceed to ink the King of ISO and his cranky knees for 5 years, sells nearly everyone on the team, admits the season it’s been a disaster, gives his bless to the tanking…

      The Spurs and Grizzlies both use plenty of Triangle sets and they’re pretty successful. The Spurs also take mid-range shots and aren’t a shoot 3’s and shots at the rim at all costs type of team. They focus on getting good shots, though the corner 3 is their most desired outcome. The Knicks actually do generate good looks from the corners but unfortunately those shots suck when they fall to Early, Jason Smith, Lance, etc.

      Also the Knicks have one of the best team wide assist rates in the league, so ball movement isn’t the issue.

    57. But Cousins doesn’t have to become a better shooter, just a more selective one. He’s already a great rebounder and a decent defender.

      Neither Okafor, Towns or Russell strike me as franchise players, but that’s just me, I guess, especially in the next 3 years. As I said, Jax did go all in with Melo, and that won’t be undone, and we have no draft pick next year, and therefore we are in “win soon” mode.

      I’m ambivalent, but is is not unreasonable to consider.

    58. But Cousins doesn’t have to become a better shooter, just a more selective one.

      Couldn’t this be said about every inefficient scorer in the game? Some guys just don’t get it and never will. How many examples are there of guys who became a lot more efficient just by altering their shot distribution? I know there are some, but there’s a much larger list of guys who never did that.

    59. Tyson Chandler is a great example. Wilt Chamberlain is an extreme one. It’s not the norm, but one would think that it’s easier than developing a skill one doesn’t have, like rebounding or making FTs. In Cousins’ case, a coach has more control since he needs to get fed the ball before shooting.

    60. Z-man — I’m not advocating trading #1 for just Cousins. I’m not even sure that trading the pick for him and the #7 is a great idea, but it would be worth considering if the opportunity presents itself.

    61. Sacramento is specifically building their team around veterans while they’re making plans for their future in the city. That’s why they keep trading for veterans. They want as many famous players as they can get. They’re not trading Cousins for a pick period. That is not to say that it shouldn’t be debated as a rhetorical exercise, of course, just noting that he is not in play (for picks, that is).

    62. Just want to point out that Cousins had a better single college season than either Towns or Okafor.
      That being said, I’d keep the pick since we need good players at a low cost to make up for our overpaid “star”.
      I would take Towns 1, Okafor 2, and I guess Russell 3, but I’m less keen on Russell. If we drop to 3-6, I consider trading the pick.

    63. JK47

      March 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Cousins is a guy who racks up lots of POINTZ because his usage is 33.5%. His efficiency is “meh” with a .549 TS% and a high turnover rate. He’s one of the more unrootable players in the league, a constant whiner on the court with terrible body language who also happens to have a long history of locker room outbursts. He’s a very good rebounder, I will give him that, but he is also at times indifferent on defense and is not a great rim protector.

      In other words, the perfect Knick.

      THIS
      Cousins is an idiot with a bad attitude

    64. The Spurs and Grizzlies both use plenty of Triangle sets and they’re pretty successful. The Spurs also take mid-range shots and aren’t a shoot 3’s and shots at the rim at all costs type of team. They focus on getting good shots, though the corner 3 is their most desired outcome. The Knicks actually do generate good looks from the corners but unfortunately those shots suck when they fall to Early, Jason Smith, Lance, etc.

      I’m digressing here…

      Yes, the Spurs mix some Triangle sets (many teams do, the system is what, 250 years old and predicated on passing the ball?), but that’s the trick: mix e contaminate with good ideas with the goal of getting good shots.
      Popovich Spurs of 2014/2015 don’t play the same system they played in 2007, Pop adapted to the direction of the sport even if he don’t like it and hate the 3P (he admitted to steal some of D’Antoni’s plays!).

      And the Spurs are 14th in 3PA/G (NY is 21st).

      Memphis is the only team that play 80’s basketball (that I like a lot for sentimental reasons), with a pass-first point guard and two beasts taking turns in the low post (31st in 3PA/G).

      In our only decent season of the last 1500 years we lead the league in 3PA/G (5th last year).

      And yes, right now we’re playing without much talent, but before the season? Not so bad to justify a 5-36 start…

    65. does anybody really think that any GM in the league isn’t gonna go out of their way to screw over Phil?

      I don’t think so. I think that doing well at their jobs is too important to every GM to go out of their way for anything. They will be singlemindedly focused on what’s best for them and their team. If they think doing a deal with the devil would help their team, they would do it.

    66. I honestly think this draft is Okafor/Towns in some combination, and everyone else. Russell seems like a nice player but I don’t really get the feeling from him that he’s a franchise-changer. Mudiay is a complete unknown although seems to have nice tools. Stanley Johnson’s ceiling is probably a slightly better Ron Artest, which is great and all, but still a secondary/tertiary player on contender.

      Re: Okafor – dude shot 67% from the field as a freshman as the clear focal point of the offense. This is not Tyson Chandler or Deandre Jordan shooting 67% on a usage of 12 either (nothing against those two, just that shooting 67% on literally double the FGA/36 is amazingly impressive). People talk about his floor being Al Jefferson – but he’s probably already at least as good as peak Al Jefferson and he’s only 19. The defense thing is hard to figure of course, but just his sheer size and mobility should be enough to make him average at least. Who knows.

      I’m still very intrigued by Kaminsky. They call him very unathletic but he does very athletic things, like put the ball on the floor, spin, etc. Certainly I don’t think he’ll have any trouble scoring the pros – I think he led the NCAA in post efficiency, and shoots nearly 40% from 3 point range. Defensively he’s really tall. That’s a good thing.

    67. And yes, right now we’re playing without much talent, but before the season? Not so bad to justify a 5-36 start…

      Sure but somehow we replaced this supposedly “superior” talent of studs like JR, Shump and Dalembert with much less talented players and our win pctg. has actually improved.

      Popovich Spurs of 2014/2015 don’t play the same system they played in 2007, Pop adapted to the direction of the sport even if he don’t like it and hate the 3P (he admitted to steal some of D’Antoni’s plays!).

      The Knicks’ 3PA rate look bad because they were struggling to figure things out within the Triangle in November and December. I don’t have time to look through the numbers right now, but my guess is from January onwards the Knicks are closer to league average in terms of their attempt rate from 3.

      I agree. Fisher has actually talked about mixing in more high PNR within the offense so he is adapting the offense a bit.

    68. People talk about his floor being Al Jefferson – but he’s probably already at least as good as peak Al Jefferson and he’s only 19.

      I’ve been saying for a while that his floor is a much better Al Jefferson, which is an excellent floor to have.

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