Knicks Morning News (2015.04.12)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks grab 16th win in ugly game vs. Magic (Sun, 12 Apr 2015 01:46:51 GMT)

    Saturday’s 80-79 win over the Orlando Magic gave Phil Jackson’s team 16 wins for the season.

  • [New York Times] Redick and Griffin Lead Clippers Past Grizzlies 94-86 (Sun, 12 Apr 2015 06:07:59 GMT)

    Don’t ask the Los Angeles Clippers about their playoff seeding or first-round opponent.

  • [New York Times] Curry, Warriors Too Much for Timberwolves (Sun, 12 Apr 2015 05:05:01 GMT)

    Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 34 points in the first half, Klay Thompson made three 3-pointers in the final 4 minutes and the Golden State Warriors set yet another franchise record in a 110-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Booker Has Career-High 36 Points, Jazz Beat Blazers 111-105 (Sun, 12 Apr 2015 04:49:54 GMT)

    Trevor Booker scored a career-high 36 points and the Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 111-105 on Saturday night with both teams missing key players.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Another Sad Record for the Knicks (Sun, 12 Apr 2015 04:18:05 GMT)

    Cole Aldrich scored a career-high 19 points as the Knicks beat the Magic in a game that may be most notable for the lowest-scoring quarter in N.B.A. history.

  • [New York Times] Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose Help Bulls Beat 76ers 114-107 (Sun, 12 Apr 2015 04:04:59 GMT)

    As Derrick Rose stepped to the free-throw line late in the Chicago Bulls’ 114-107 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night, several fans in the United Center began chanting, “M-V-P! M-V-P!”

  • [New York Times] Raptors Put Heat on Brink of Elimination, Beat Miami 107-104 (Sun, 12 Apr 2015 03:10:59 GMT)

    When the playoffs open next weekend, the Toronto Raptors will be at home.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Hold Off Magic, Teams Set NBA Scoring Low for Quarter (Sun, 12 Apr 2015 02:44:08 GMT)

    The New York Knicks and Orlando Magic have had trouble winning games this season. In their latest matchup, they had an equally tough time scoring points.

  • [New York Times] Knicks, Magic Set NBA Record for Fewest Points in Quarter (Sun, 12 Apr 2015 00:40:56 GMT)

    The Orlando Magic and New York Knicks set an NBA record for fewest points in a quarter.

  • [New York Post] Despite injuries, adversity, Shved wants to remain a Knick (Sun, 12 Apr 2015 01:57:12 -0400)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Alexey Shved's season ended on March 22 in Toronto with a cracked rib — but his Knicks career might not be over yet. The revelation from the…

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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).

    63 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.04.12)”

    1. The sentiment on this board over Hardaway from last night is way over the top. You should never, ever, expect a player to willingly throw a game. The only ones that do are the ones that get banned from the sport and prevented from entering the HoF, even if they otherwise earned it. To think otherwise is both childish, and outright absurd.

      This team has been in full tank mode for most of the season, but sometimes even record setting bad teams win games against other bad teams. Orlando scored 7 points in the second quarter, and we still only barely won.

      Is hurting our draft pick odds a bad thing? You bet. Should you blame the player for playing to win? Only if you’re a child. Shit happens, get over it. I wanted them to lose as much as anyone, and will still actively root for losses in the last two games. But the idea that a young player didn’t throw the game, purposefully or otherwise, should not be something we get all up in arms about.

    2. Someone has to explain to me why the Knicks keep talking up Lance Thomas. I realize he gives 100% and has been reported to be a great locker room guy, but he hasn’t been very productive.

      A lot of players on this team are very likable, but some of them are going to have to go to make room for our draft pick and 2-3 free agents. Then there’s still Thanasis to consider as likely to come up from the D league next year. I’d way rather keep guys like Shved, Larkin, Amundsen, and Acey than Thomas. I’d even like to give Ledo a spin in summer league and perhaps keep him (or maybe send him down to D league). You can see the talent with him.

      So who leaves?

      Wear is probably the only player sure to leave.

      Management also seems to like Smith and Bargnani if they are willing to come back on minimums.

      A few more have to leave. I know who I wouldn’t resign, but what is management going to do?

    3. Kahnzy,

      No one is suggesting they THROW a game.

      There are multiple teams in the NBA right now that are obviously in all out tank mode. To play tough defense or go for game winning 3s and hard drives to the basket late in the game (unless your career is at stake) is to put your team at a disadvantage against teams that are obviously not playing defense or trying to win down the stretch with any real enthusiasm.

      You can go out there and play loose pickup type basketball and maybe stumble into a win here or there. That’s fine. But you don’t have to go all out and put your team and organization at a clear disadvantage relative to others who aren’t. It’s on the NBA to change the rules so it never makes sense to tank. Until such time, we shouldn’t put ourselves at a disadvantage.

      Down the stretch, Hardaway was playing and celebrating like it was a game seven. And unfortunately for us, he had one of his rare flurries of success. If that costs us Towns, we don’t deserve to win for being that stupid.

    4. No one is suggesting they THROW a game.

      There are multiple teams in the NBA right now that are obviously in all out tank mode. To play tough defense or go for game winning 3s and hard drives to the basket late in the game (unless your career is at stake) is to put your team at a disadvantage against teams that are obviously not playing defense or trying to win down the stretch with any real enthusiasm.

      You can go out there and play loose pickup type basketball and maybe stumble into a win here or there. That’s fine. But you don’t have to go all out and put your team and organization at a clear disadvantage relative to others who aren’t. It’s on the NBA to change the rules so it never makes sense to tank. Until such time, we shouldn’t put ourselves at a disadvantage.

      Down the stretch, Hardaway was playing and celebrating like it was a game seven. And unfortunately for us, he had one of his rare flurries of success. If that costs us Towns, we don’t deserve to win for being that stupid.

      You and I fundamentally disagree as to what constitutes throwing a game then. Throwing a game is actively not trying to win, and that is on the organization (Phil), not on the players; Phil has actually done a very good job at it though (worst record in franchise history, woo!). To expect a player to not actively try to win is about as unrealistic as expecting Cole to average 40 min/game for an entire season.

      You wanted Hardaway to, what? Feel ashamed for making a game winning shot? To willingly miss it? To just hold onto the ball and not even shoot it? To throw it out of bounds? I don’t get what you expect him to do in that situation that doesn’t entail throwing the game. It’s just not something you should ever expect out of a professional athlete.

    5. For me, the most annoying part is that the game winning stretch of plays has come from a player with no heart, hustle or BBIQ whatsoever. If the game winning shot was hit by Thomas, Amundson, Galloway, heck, even Cole Aldrich, I’d say this board would have been angry at the result, but not at the player. Lou is a guy who has only one gear, and you can’t expect for him nothing but pure effort. But THJ? Kid has played what, 150 games in the NBA and has learned absolutely nothing about team defense, rebounding, shot selection, passing, individual defense and, well, every single facet who makes a player serviceable. For him to hit those shots in a must-lose game, and then celebrating like he put a motherf***ing stake through Dracula’s heart, well, that’s just too much. It’s like when you teach, I don’t know, your cousin kid to always wash his hands before eating something you have to touch, and watching him fail to remember to do so everytime you go to Burger King. Then, one day the kid remembers… And he washes his hands with his own pee in plain sight. At your crush’s house. Just two seconds before you were going all in to kiss her.

    6. when Timmy drained that infamous (I have the feeling that thing is going to be on Knicks’ top 5 worst moments in history come May 19th) three

      Most of us are old enough to remember Isiah Thomas’s parting gift to the organization: an inane 3 game winning streak in the final week of the 2008 season to give the Knicks 23 wins instead of 20.

      If the Knicks had lost those 3 games, they’d have had the same number of pingpong balls as Oklahoma City– the team that drafted Russell Westbrook in that draft– the player that Walsh had targeted going into the draft.

      Hardaway’s dagger last night was bad, but he’s got to really bring it over the next two games to get into Isiah territory.

    7. You wanted Hardaway to, what?…. I don’t get what you expect him to do in that situation that doesn’t entail throwing the game. It’s just not something you should ever expect out of a professional athlete.

      Throwing a game is actively turning the ball over, missing shots on purpose, etc… No one would advocate something like that.

      Every year we watch two elite teams play in the NBA all star game.

      Are they trying to win?

      100% YES! These are the most hyper-competitive players on the planet and they have huge egos.

      Do they play really tough defense?

      Do they always go for the best shot?

      No! They play loose pickup type ball.

      If you are in tank mode:

      It’s on the management to make excuses for certain players not playing due to injuries they might ordinarily play with. Is that 100% trying to win? No, but it’s accepted under the current rules that give teams an incentive to lose.

      It’s on the coach to bench the better players and say he’s playing the younger players because he wants to see what they have for next year (as Fisher has done to some degree). Is that 100% trying to win? No, but it’s accepted under the current rules that give teams an incentive to lose.

      If you are the players, you don’t take offensive charges, don’t dive for loose balls, don’t protect the paint with physical contact, don’t drive and take contact etc… You play defense like it’s the all star game where the primary goal is to have fun and not get hurt. Is that trying 100% to win? No, but it’s acceptable to not do things that might get you hurt in meaningless games .

      If you are Hardaway, you don’t aggressively drive to basket trying to draw fouls or shoot game winning 3s in the last seconds. You look for an open shot and do your best to make it. If you win, so be it. Just don’t out of your way to win.

    8. Yup. That’s why I wrote “top 5”. Sadly, this franchise has had many… unlucky moments.

    9. You look for an open shot and do your best to make it. If you win, so be it.

      And that’s exactly what he did. He had a wide open shot (several feet beyond the arc if I remember correctly) and he did his best to make it.

      You and I are just not going to see eye-to-eye on this. To me, playing with the same level of effort as an All-Star game (the most boring game of the year as far as I’m concerned, I’d be fine if they just did away with it for a week off for all the players) is actively not trying to win, which to me is throwing the game. It may not be as blatantly obvious as scoring in the wrong basket, but it’s still doing your best to not win.

      As for it being on management (Phil and Fisher) to tank a season, we’re in complete agreement there. For the most part, I think they’ve actually done a good job at it. Worst season in franchise history while playing in one of the worst conferences of all time? That’s not easy to do. Or maybe it is, I dunno.

    10. The one problem with the construction of this tank is all these dudes don’t have contracts for next season, so they are incentivized to play as hard as possible. Except for Tim fucking Hardaway. Which is why he is the worst. Also because he’s terrible at basketball. On the one hand, we wouldn’t be in this tanktastic position if it wasn’t for the 1600 minutes of wretched basketball he’s given us this year. On the other hand, did he really have to hit those shots?

    11. As for it being on management (Phil and Fisher) to tank a season, we’re in complete agreement there.

      So it’s OK to claim that players with mild injuries can’t play, to not play totally fit superior players on your bench instead of terrible players, but it’s too much to ask that the defense play relaxed and that Hardaway not drive to basket trying to draw fouls or not shoot a very long 3 (that wasn’t even a good shot) that might accidentally go in.

      I get what you are saying.

      The entire tanking aspect of the NBA is pathetic. The rules have to be changed. And maybe I’m just overly pissed off because I’ve been a fan for so long and I’m tired of my team sucking. But I don’t think it’s out of line to ask players to not go all out to win when everyone on earth including the commissioner knows that multiple teams are doing as little as possible to win.

    12. Man, Melo and Greg Monroe on the same team!?

      That first of many 38-win seasons is going to be so sweet, guys.

    13. Even if the Knicks get the 5th spot there is still a great chance Russell slips down to 5. That would be my best case scenario. A team could pull the trigger on Winslow early because of his Tourney run and another team could draft Mudiay because of his athleticism and potential leaving the Knicks with Russell.

    14. If we are second worst, we’ll have a 61.3% chance of picking 3 (17.1%), 4 (31.9%) , or 5 (12.3%), so here’s a breakdown of picks number 3, 4, and 5 in the last 10 drafts:

      2014
      Joel Embiid
      Aaron Gordon
      Dante Exum

      2013
      Otto Porter
      Cody Zeller
      Alex Len

      2012
      Bradley Beal
      Dion Waiters
      Thomas Robinson

      2011
      Enes Kanter
      Tristan Thompson
      Jonas Valenciunas

      2010
      Derrick Favors
      Wesley Johnson
      Ekpe Udoh

      2009
      James Harden
      Tyreke Evans
      Ricky Rubio

      2008
      OJ Mayo
      Russell Westbrook
      Kevin Love

      2007
      Al Horford
      Mike Conley
      Jeff Green

      2006
      Adam Morrison
      Tyrus Thomas
      Shelden Williams

      2005
      Deron Williams
      Chris Paul
      Raymond Felton

      So, if PJax’s bball gods blow the ping pong balls the wrong way, let’s hope this year is more 2008 than 2006 (and that the Knicks don’t draft this year’s OJ Mayo – or miss out on Deron Williams and Chris Paul, settling for a close approximation, Raymond Felton).

    15. What certain picks were in past drafts doesn’t say anything about this draft.

      Monroe would be okay, but we’d really, really need some sort of big man who could play defense (like, say, Towns).

    16. The book on Monroe among Pistons fans is that he is actually a pretty good pick and roll defender. So there’s that at least. Still not worth the ridiculous contract Jax will give him.

    17. Monroe is not, and never will be, peak Pau Gasol. Melo is not, and never will be, peak Kobe (who was a beast on defense as well as a volume scorer). So what are we trying to do here? I guess I will talk myself into Monroe, who is still a normal-to-good player, but this would be a bad free agency bounty.

    18. The weird thing about Monroe is there have basically been three different versions of him in his relatively short career. His first two seasons he was productive as a good-not-great rebounder and relatively efficient scorer. His next two seasons he wasn’t very good, as the scoring efficiency fell off a lot and nothing else major happened to offset that. Then this year his scoring efficiency has gone up a bit, still not to the level of his first two years, but he’s having a career year in terms of rebounding leading to good overall productivity.

      So…which one would we be getting? I think the version from his first two seasons or this season could be worth it at his max (which would be less than 20% of the new cap). The version from his middle two seasons wouldn’t.

      So basically, I dunno man.

    19. I don’t understand the Monroe hate. He’s a better version of stat. He can shoot from the mid range and has a great post game. He rebounds and is not a stiff on defense who can defend two positions. What am I missing ?

    20. His first 2 years, Monroe played almost exclusively at the 5 and took about 70% of his shots from less than 3 feet from the rim. The last two years, he’s played mostly PF and has taken about 55% of his shots fro within 3 feet, which could explain his lower TS%.

    21. It seems clear to me that Jackson wants to replicate the last championship Laker team, with Melo in a mix of the Odom and Kobe role, Monroe in the Gasol role and Towns/Okafor in the Bynum role. Odom/Gasol/Bynum represented the true nature of the Triangle – lots of posting and lots of passes (Kobe was sort of an abberation to the system). I suppose we will find out if that sort of set-up can work in the modern NBA.

    22. Of course, this dumb team just hurt their chances at getting Okafor/Towns, so it might not come up.

    23. Lets hope this isnt a repeat of Isiah’s plan of going bigger when the rest of the league is going smaller so pairing Eddy Curry with Zach Randolph would be similar to pairing Monroe with Okafor. I dont mind signing Monroe but I would think he would be a much better fit with Towns than Okafor.

    24. On a rate basis our hero Cole Aldrich has been a top 10 passing center in the NBA. An actual skilled passing big like Monroe could do real damage in the triangle. He’s had a weird career, but there’s at least a chance he’d be a very good knick. Maybe not fully worth the max, but close.

    25. With the way the cap is rising, a current max for Monroe will be a bargain soon. And I say that as not Monroe’s biggest fan (I do like the guy, though).

    26. I said it last night and stand by it. It’s gross how pissed off people were about the win. I get wanting the top pick but having the worst record does not guarantee that nor does the number one pick guarantee we get the best player.

      We have the worst record in franchise history. Is it really “so Knicks” to end up not with the worst record just bc we can’t out tank teams that are also intentional tanking?

      Worst case we end up with Cauley Stein or mudaiy or someone other than towns and Okafor. We still are getting a top draft pick in a good draft plus close to 30 million in cap space. I feel sorry for whoever our draft pick is even if its Towns bc the expectations on that kid from this fan base is gonna be unreal. If we don’t get the top pick this blog is going to be insufferable all summer.

      Just lighten up. The season is almost over and we’ve got lots of moves to make this summer. Let’s make the moves and hope for the best like real fans.

    27. We have the worst record in franchise history. Is it really “so Knicks” to end up not with the worst record just bc we can’t out tank teams that are also intentional tanking?

      Yep. Having the worst record in franchise history and then not even ending up with the worst record in the league due to some ridiculous late season wins is practically the definition of “so Knicks.”

      Just lighten up. The season is almost over and we’ve got lots of moves to make this summer. Let’s make the moves and hope for the best like real fans.

      You’re the one who is telling people that they’re “gross.” Maybe you should lighten up.

    28. I said it last night and stand by it. It’s gross how pissed off people were about the win. I get wanting the top pick but having the worst record does not guarantee that nor does the number one pick guarantee we get the best player.

      It guarantees being in the top 4, which is hugely important. The win does absolutely nothing good for us and has a chance to do so serious long-term harm to the franchise. Maybe it won’t, I sure hope not, but the chance exists and that’s a good enough reason to be mad about it.

    29. The Knicksiest move of all will be when the Knicks lose their draft pick this year because of tampering with Greg Monroe.

    30. I don’t understand the Monroe hate. He’s a better version of stat.

      A better version of old, injured, NY stat or young, explosive, PHX stat?

    31. The Knicksiest move of all will be when the Knicks lose their draft pick this year because of tampering with Greg Monroe.

      Ha! True.

      The Pelicans are screwing with me. If they win, they’ll be a game up on OKC, but they are currently losing. I need OKC to not need to win that last game! Also, I guess I need Westbrook to not play that last game.

    32. His first 2 years, Monroe played almost exclusively at the 5 and took about 70% of his shots from less than 3 feet from the rim. The last two years, he’s played mostly PF and has taken about 55% of his shots fro within 3 feet, which could explain his lower TS%.

      Nice post…

    33. I said it last night and stand by it. It’s gross how pissed off people were about the win. I get wanting the top pick but having the worst record does not guarantee that nor does the number one pick guarantee we get the best player.

      So I guess you’re Eric Idle:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoaktW-Lu38

    34. The difference between a 25% chance at the top pick + a guaranteed top 4 pick in a top heavy draft versus a 19.9% chance of the top pick and a guaranteed top 5 pick is enormous. That 6% may be the difference between becoming a relevant franchise and staying irrelevant. Why would you ever want your team to willingly increase its chances of irrelevance? It’s a dumb holdover from an antiquated notion of fandom that sees wins as goods in themselves rather than something that’s only good if it leads to enjoyment and a chip or a playoff run.

      So fuck Tim Hardaway Jr. for being useless except when he’s unwanted (not that he should’ve actively thrown the game), and fuck winning in a done season–it’s dumb, and to take “the moral high ground” just means that you misunderstand opportunity cost and how it affects your Knicks-related happiness and in doing so misunderstand what’s best for the team and its fans.

      Put another way: why would you ever want to see players like Jason Smith, Andrea Bargnani, and Tim Hardaway Jr. get the satisfaction of winning at basketball when they generally make a mockery of the sport? Is the fact that they’re wearing a Knicks jersey really that important? This team is unlikeable and shitty and should be treated merely as a means to an end.

    35. So if we pay Monroe the Max and have Melo at the max is that MMMMMM? If it happens I hope it’s mmmmmm…good

    36. I think what the argument is that may have been looked over is that it’s difficult to expect players to go out and actively try and loose. It’s on management and the coach to put out the worst possible lineup (which they have done), which they have done for the entire season.

      Everyone obviously knows the benefits of losing. I don’t think anyone here disputes that. I would imagine everyone wants the top pick and appreciates the only way to give yourself the best chance at doing that is to be crap. However, I can’t imagine any of the players ever went into any game this season where they have actively thought “fuck it, I want Towns on the team next year”. Plus you also have to consider that a chunk of these guys in the rotation aren’t going to be on the team next year, so even though a lot of the guys kind of suck, they are really doing themselves a disservice if they look disinterested in games, or don’t fully show off their skills (or lack there of).

    37. I think what the argument is that may have been looked over is that it’s difficult to expect players to go out and actively try and loose. It’s on management and the coach to put out the worst possible lineup (which they have done), which they have done for the entire season.

      Everyone obviously knows the benefits of losing. I don’t think anyone here disputes that. I would imagine everyone wants the top pick and appreciates the only way to give yourself the best chance at doing that is to be crap. However, I can’t imagine any of the players ever went into any game this season where they have actively thought “fuck it, I want Towns on the team next year”. Plus you also have to consider that a chunk of these guys in the rotation aren’t going to be on the team next year, so even though a lot of the guys kind of suck, they are really doing themselves a disservice if they look disinterested in games, or don’t fully show off their skills (or lack there of).

      Sure, but that’s why THJ is specifically being targeted, since he is guaranteed a spot next season.

    38. Sure, but that’s why THJ is specifically being targeted, since he is guaranteed a spot next season.

      Okay fair enough that it is in Timmy’s best interests to tank as it’s going to make his team better. Certainly not arguing that, but I just think it’s difficult to expect players to have the desire to lose and throw games. Do players appreciate the consequences of having a bad record and a first rounder up their teams sleeve? Of course. Does that mean they aren’t going to try and win? Of course not. I very much doubt any player in Hardaway’s position would be thinking about ping pong balls when they are in a position to win a game, so I think it’s potentially a little far out to expect that he does.

      This is the problem with the current system. If your team legitimately sucks (which this team does), you should be entitled to a top pick. If you hold out healthy players for no decent reason other than to throw games and the directive to players is to throw games as well, that in my mind is pretty shit albeit the reality of the current system. I don’t have a problem with teams clearing house with an eye to rebuild, but the whole throwing games irks me despite the obvious benefits.

    39. Are we that weak?

      Welp, I figured it out. Mike Lupica is a regular poster here. Welcome. Mike Lupica, ladies and gentlemen.

      (And guys, let’s not try to confuse our interests with players’ interests. We want to see winning basketball, and that is more likely by watching losing basketball now. Tim Hardaway doesn’t give a damn whether the Knicks pick #1 or #2. You think Norris Cole is getting a big contract because he won two rings next to a 6’9″ god? If you shoot, you earn. This is the NBA and even though we focus on the Spurs and other smart franchises, there are a lot of shitty ones still. If you shoot, you earn. Also, I hate Tim Hardaway.)

    40. The sentiment on this board over Hardaway from last night is way over the top. You should never, ever, expect a player to willingly throw a game. The only ones that do are the ones that get banned from the sport and prevented from entering the HoF, even if they otherwise earned it. To think otherwise is both childish, and outright absurd.

      Agreed, i understand the disappointment in the win. But you cant hate a player for do what they are paid for.

      Intentionally throwing a game would give really bad reputation to the player and to the organization. It would definitely have the good side of forcing Silver’s hand into changing the lottery system; but it would also be possible that the knicks would be given a penalty. It is really bad image for the NBA; and lots of people would be clamoring for the knicks to surrender their pick. Playing at the level of the All-Star game would be definitely considered throwing a game, the All-Star is a joke.

      And thinking ‘advanced stats’, the last shots of THJr are worth the same as the 12 he missed before. Do not lose our head; it is not as if Fisher was playing Melo and all the starters trying to win the game.

    41. Much like points in a game, don’t all losses count equally? Really this doesn’t come down to THJ having a lucky 25 foot huck go in. This is all about Dolan or whoever not shutting down a certain someone way back when it was both obvious that the season was hopeless and that he was injured.

    42. but it would also be possible that the knicks would be given a penalty

      If that was the case, Minnesota would have been banned by the league for years when Mark Madsen shot 7 three pointers in a game, or even this year (how many freaking injuries did they really have?).

      But then again, I’m not pro-tanking at all costs. I’m just mad at a guy who never seems to play basketball in a smart way, contributing in doing so to so many losses and to the most moral-devastating win I’ve ever seen. It’s the sheer absurdity of seeing one of the worst players this season putting a nail on the coffin and celebrating like he had won a crucial playoff-seeding game. Sorry, I’m still mad. Please ship THJ somewhere else.

    43. not shutting down a certain someone way back

      Yeah, some of this. But if we are true to form, the fault should also be on whomever thought it was a good idea to sign Galloway and Amundson.

    44. The real issue as DRed mentioned is how our tank is less well constructed than Minnie’s and others because of the surfeit of guys we have playing for contracts this year. Also I’m perfectly fine with telling/demanding hopelessly bad basketball players like Bargnani or THJr to intentionally lose while letting players like Galloway and Amundson show their stuff–maybe that makes me unscrupulous, but I don’t really give shit about the feelings and basketball-related goals of players like THJr and Bargnani especially if I’m the GM who is trying to secure his historical legacy or the newbie coach coaching the worst Knicks team ever.

      Or you can go the Minnie way and just say all of your half-decent players are injured and run a 7-8 man rotation in your bid to intentionally lose. If Fish and maybe PJax were more intelligent they’d probably do just that with Bargnani (who has been “good”) , Larkin, and Cole if possible while giving Ricky Ledo, Acy, Cleanthony, and Jah Smith all the playing time. Though the window for properly doing was a few weeks ago rather than after what is likely to be one of the worst wins in Knicks history. If they had done what all the other horrible teams are doing, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation about what is appropriate to demand from players on a tanking team. But this is the Knicks, and Knicks gonna Knicks.

      Furthermore I think it’s naive to expect that coaches and GMs don’t do exactly what I outlined above–does anyone really think Hinkie and Brett Brown were giving MCW the green light this year because he was a promising young product or because he was their biggest tanking asset? If he ever started playing consistently well he’d be be getting the Gorgui Dieng treatment right now.

    45. It’s goddamn stupid to blame the players for not tanking. Players don’t tank, they’re supposed to play at their best, always, because (a) they’re professionals, (b) they need a job next year and they’d be idiots not to play hard, and (c) it’s not their job to tank.

      Tanking is the work of a GM and coach, who put out a lineup and play list. If the coach says, give the ball to MCW every play, that’s tanking. If the GM pulls a few good players due to “injury,” it’s tanking. None of this is up to the players who are supposed to play hard.

      I don’t know why anyone would blame a 23 year-old shooting guard for an organizational failure.

      I’ve defended Phil in the past, but honestly, this is on him and Fisher (why play Cole so many minutes when playing so well? And Galloway? Uch.)

    46. don’t all losses count equally? Really this doesn’t come down to THJ having a lucky 25 foot huck go in. This is all about Dolan or whoever not shutting down a certain someone way back when it was both obvious that the season was hopeless

      Um, the Knicks lost the games Anthony played in this year, too.

      The Knicks don’t have the worst record in franchise history because of injuries. They were just as bad when they were healthy. They were just as bad before they started “tanking”.

      Obviously, Hardaway’s not going to try to miss the game winner. He’s not going to dribble it off his foot and then feign frustration to avoid a fine.

      The thing that stinks about Hardaway isn’t his making shots now. It’s about his missing shots, back when the season was a month old, and the Knicks were entertaining their fans with playoff aspirations.

    47. “I’ve defended Phil in the past, but honestly, this is on him and Fisher (why play Cole so many minutes when playing so well? And Galloway? Uch.)”
      Well, if I were Phil and Fisher, my answer to you would be, “What ‘good players’ on our roster should come up with bogus injuries? We had Galloway, who had shot something like 4-16 up to that point and Hardaway, who had shot 3-15 so far, in the game at the end. What were the odds that either of them would hit a game winner? With Cole, everyone knows that, the more minutes you play him, the more winded he gets, and the less effective he is, so more Cole is better for tanking. What more are we supposed to do — grab Spike Lee out of the stands, put his old Landry Fields jersey on him, and run him out there to take the final shot?”

    48. We have the worst record in franchise history. We can’t blame Fisher or Phil for not tanking correctly. Its hard to only win 16 games in an NBA season. Its not their fault other teams suck equally as bad or worse.

    49. I’m fine with Monroe. By most reports he is a decent defender despite his low block rate, and he seems to fit the multi-dimensional big profile that has done well in the triangle (Pau, Odom, etc.). Like others have said, even a max contract this year will look like a reasonable contract once the cap explodes.

      Now if we could just get Towns…. Towns/Monroe/Melo would be a really strong front court. Add someone like Danny Green at the 2 or even someone like Patrick Beverley if Green is too pricey, and we might really have something.

    50. We have the worst record in franchise history. We can’t blame Fisher or Phil for not tanking correctly. Its hard to only win 16 games in an NBA season. Its not their fault other teams suck equally as bad or worse.

      Seriously. The Sixers, openly losing as many games as possible for several years now and with a payroll half that of the rest of the league, has managed more than 16 wins.

    51. Its not their fault other teams suck equally as bad or worse.

      But it is some of their fault not acknowledging the obvious tank of the Wolves and planning accordingly. Anyway, I’m mad at Hardaway but not just because he made that shot. In his position, I would have taken that shot and I would have tried to score, obviously. You are paid to do that and you try to do that, even if you failed at basketball for most of your professional career. But one thing is to do what you are supposed to do. Another is to rub it in the face of the majority of the fans of your team. Look, if he didn’t celebrate a-la JR after hitting that shot (and away from home! I would have sort of understood celebrating to put on a show for the kids at the Garden, who knows, maybe for some of them that would have been the only game they saw live in their life, might as well give ’em something to remember), I would have gently thrown up in my mouth and would have writter an half-assed comment about Knicks Knicksing something Knicks. But when I say him celebrate? Damn, that was something unbearable. That celebration is fucking inexcusable. It underscores his maddening character. He brings nothing to the table when he’s not scoring, and when he does he acts like he’s done something heroic? Go play at Rucker Park, kid. You’re not wanted around here anymore. You have shown the worst of your horrible low character.

      Sorry guys, I’m just that mad.

    52. my answer to you would be, “What ‘good players’ on our roster should come up with bogus injuries?

      Well, the final lineup was: Larkin, Galloway, THJr, Early, J Smith.
      So they sat Amundson, Acy, Ledo, Lance Thomas.

      Whatever, I still think if you bench players getting hot (like Cole), and play bad lineups all game long, you can lose a game.

    53. “and play bad lineups all game long, you can lose a game.”
      OK, I’ll bite — what lineup made up out of the collection of characters who were in uniform the other night is not a “bad lineup?” Hell, they even kept Bargnani off the floor with an injury to his non-shooting hand just to avoid the chance that he might get hot and have one of those rare games in which he actually efficiently scores a whole bunch of points.

    54. ricky ledo, apotheosis of tank, was sitting on the bench at the end of a must-lose game, indicating that Fish is either only half-tanking or dumb.

    55. I am of the opinion that a Larkin, Ledo, Acy, Early, J Smith lineup would be really good for our chances at the end there.

      Also, benching “hot” players when they’re on a roll (like Cole) would be nice. You can disrupt the game flow by benching and playing certain players at certian times.

    56. Really why not put out a lineup of Jah, Acy, Cole, Lance Thomas and Admunson and let them bring the ball upcourt or just make Cole the PG if we want to go that route. Larkin should have jumped center. All right handed players should have worked on their left handed shot and dribbling. That’s what should be done if they are serious about things. Also have the sub 6’8″ guys defend inside to work on those underutilized skills. The 6’9″ guys defend above the FT line extended to develop those skills for when the team needs them.

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