Knicks Morning News (2015.04.13)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks, Hawks going in opposite directions (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 02:34:18 GMT)

    The Knicks finished a single game behind the Hawks for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference last season.

  • [New York Times] Rockets’ James Harden Bolsters Scoring With Foul Shots (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 09:00:20 GMT)

    On his way to what could be an N.B.A. scoring title, Harden has been drawing fouls and sinking free throws at an impressive rate.

  • [New York Times] Around the NBA: Picks for NBA Awards _ and League Champion (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 05:31:58 GMT)

    The final days of the NBA regular season have arrived with a few things still to be decided, such as a scoring champion and exactly who gets what seed in the respective brackets.

  • [New York Times] Mavericks Hold Off Lakers 120-106 for Season Series Sweep (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 05:13:58 GMT)

    Tyson Chandler gave a kind smirk when he learned that the Dallas Mavericks had just swept a four-game season series with the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time in franchise history.

  • [New York Times] Duncan Leads Spurs to 11th Straight Win, 107-91 Over Suns (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 03:23:05 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs have refused to pay attention to the standings or any other team over the past month and a half, instead focusing on their own game.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Bucks Clinch Playoff Spot in Win Over Nets (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 02:20:14 GMT)

    Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 points as the Milwaukee Bucks clinched a playoff spot with a 96-73 victory over the Nets.

  • [New York Times] Harden Has 30 to Help Rockets Over Pelicans 121-114 (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 01:44:01 GMT)

    James Harden scored 30 points and the Houston Rockets used a big run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to take the lead and held on for a 121-114 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Bucks Rout Nets 96-73 to Clinch Playoff Berth (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 01:04:54 GMT)

    The rebuilding plan is way ahead of schedule for the Milwaukee Bucks.

  • [New York Times] Westbrook Scores 54, but Pacers Hold Off Thunder 116-104 (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 00:55:55 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook scored a career-high 54 points Sunday night, but Indiana fended off his late charge for a critical 116-104 victory over Oklahoma City.

  • [New York Times] Celts Close In on Playoffs, Rout Cavaliers 117-78 (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 00:43:58 GMT)

    Celtics coach Brad Stevens didn’t get carried away by Boston’s rout of a Cleveland team that bore little resemblance to the real Cavaliers.

  • [New York Times] Wall’s 24 and 9 Lead Wizards Past 2nd-String Hawks 108-99 (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 00:31:56 GMT)

    John Wall had no trouble finding his rhythm after resting for two games, producing 24 points and nine assists Sunday night to lead the Washington Wizards to their highest win total in more than 30 years by beating a second-string group of Atlanta Hawks 108-99.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Game of the Week: Grizzlies at Warriors (Mon, 13 Apr 2015 00:08:19 GMT)

    Golden State is largely playing for history’s sake at this point in the regular season, but Memphis, once considered a top contender, is desperately clinging to the second seed in the Western Conference.

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    Mike Kurylo

    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    38 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.04.13)”

    1. I agree that we should all be hoping that the Knicks get the #1 pick because, based on what little I know about college basketball (having watched only a handful of games in the tournament), it appears that Towns is far and away the best prospect. As far as who is the second best prospect, can’t an argument be made that any one of the next 4 or 5 guys — i.e., Mudiay, Russell, Okafor, Winslow and Cauley-Stein (and who knows about the European guys and maybe Stanley Johnson) — each has about the same chance of being the second best player in the draft?

    2. Honestly, there’s a small chance that Hezonja (in the right environment) could become the second best player. But that’s only if he gets drafted by the right organization and is given the right time. Which means, here he would be a terrible fit. But if he somehow goes to Atlanta with the Brooklyn pick, in the Nets fall out of the playoffs, or to Utah…

      Of the others, I would bet the best overall career (in terms of relevance, wins, help on the court) will be had by WCS. I think we could envision a 15-year career where he anchors a top-5 defense on 10 consecutive years, maybe winning a pair of championships along the way and earning multiple All-Defensive Team accolades, while being kinda underpaid because pointz will rule bargaining even in 2025.

    3. In other news, the NBA has rescinded that 16th tech on Westbrook. So the chances of the Thunder losing the game against Portland got lower, which in turn lowers the chances of the Thunder not playing for anything against Minnesota on the last day of the regular season (given that the Pels will pummel Minnesota in their next game).

      Anyway, I bet that match will be something to watch: there’s a scoring title to be won between Russ and Harden! Are you telling me (against Minnesota!) that Brooks and his teammates will not give him the green light to shoot as much as he wants, even more than yesterday, a-la David Robinson? I would put 2 cents (but only 2 cents) on the Kobe record being broken on Wednesday.

    4. WCS and Stanley Johnson are both guys who have nice high floors as NBA players, because both of them are can’t-miss defensive players. They’ll both be impact players even if they don’t contribute much on offense.

    5. I think Mudiay has the 2nd highest “ceiling” in this draft, as speculative and vague as that is. But the chances of him reaching that ceiling are lower than Okafor or Russell or WCS reaching their respective ceilings.

      My unscientific ordering of the top 10 prospects (ordered by vague ideas about upside and skill floor and current performance) goes like:

      1.Towns

      2. Mudiay (after watching a lot of college ball I might take him over both Russell and Okafor just because he has the potential to be a two way player unlike the other two but his jumper is broken)
      3. Okafor(im really low on efficient post scorers who cant shoot free throws or play d)/Russell (is a defensive sieve with bad lateral quickness who gets his ass covered by Ohio’s zone D but is a great offensive guard)
      5. WCS
      6. Winslow/Stanley Johnson
      8. Myles Turner
      9. Porzingis
      10. Hezonja

      But anything after towns is a real loss for the Knicks because he’s the best player in the draft and also a great fit for the Knicks’ needs (defense!) even if he’s not your prototypical triangle big.

    6. The question is: Are we strong enough for this?

      Rebuilding isn’t a task, it’s a lifestyle. It’s going to take sacrifice, as Jackson and Fisher well know. They are, after all, former NBA champions. So far, they haven’t had what it takes.

      Planning. Discipline. Strength. Gatorade. Focus. Heart. Winning.

      Champions.

      The true test — the test of the one true NBA champion — will be whether Carmelo is ready to insert himself into this family of winners and come out a fully-fledged brother: a warrior, a priest, a teeming mass of buckets, buckets and buckets. But it’s not going to be easy.

      Is he ready?

      Only time will tell.

    7. The question is: Are we strong enough for this?

      Rebuilding isn’t a task, it’s a lifestyle. It’s going to take sacrifice, as Jackson and Fisher well know. They are, after all, former NBA champions. So far, they haven’t had what it takes.

      Planning. Discipline. Strength. Gatorade. Focus. Heart. Winning.

      Champions.

      The true test — the test of the one true NBA champion — will be whether Carmelo is ready to insert himself into this family of winners and come out a fully-fledged brother: a warrior, a priest, a teeming mass of buckets, buckets and buckets. But it’s not going to be easy.

      Is he ready?

      Only time will tell.

      Picturing inspirational strong music. Melo doing whatever the knee strengthening exercises du jour are these days. Melo shooting, spinning, posting, draining shot after shot in an empty gym. Melo sweating, toweling off his face . Melo sitting down and drinking a Gatorade.

    8. I’m warming up to Monroe and Middleton if we can pull that off.

      The major question mark I would have then is what happens if we get the 2nd pick and Towns is gone.

      Okafor, Monroe, and Melo scares me defensively.

      If we drop out of the top 2 we can play Monroe at C and look for defensive player at PF. Cauley- Stein would be perfect if he could shoot with a little range and help create space, but I could see he and Monroe having spacing issues. I guess there are a lot of moving parts. Before we decide which FAs we want we have to find out which player we draft.

    9. Monroe could start at the 5 and we could draft Winslow/Johnson/Russell

      With the 2nd pick?

      Phil might be second guessed if he did that. If he’s not interested in Okafor and we have the 2nd pick, then I think he’d have to try to trade down a notch or 2 and get something besides the player he wants.

    10. With the 2nd pick?

      Phil might be second guessed if he did that. If he’s not interested in Okafor and we have the 2nd pick, then I think he’d have to try to trade down a notch or 2 and get something besides the player he wants.

      Yea that could actually end up being the best scenario. trade with say a Celtics or Sixers, get WCS or one of the other players + something else.

    11. Losses gather, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until the draft lottery. I shall set no picks, block no shots, take no pre-game naps. I shall score no points and win no games. I shall live and die in the mid-range. I am the brick off the glass. I am the sitter on the bench. I am the shill that guards no men. I pledge my life and honor to the Tank’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come

    12. The Tank’s watch oath should really just be “I am the Bargnani on the court”, but yours is a lot more poetic.

    13. Mance Rayder is cunning, calculating, and a skilled fighter. I don’t think that’s a good comparison.

    14. We really gotta get Cory Joseph somehow.

      As an aside, I will laugh my ass off if Miami maxes Dragic.

    15. What’s Miami’s draft pick status? Under what circumstances do they lose their pick?

    16. I believe they will keep the pick if they miss the playoffs, but that stuff confuses me.

    17. Oh, okay, so Miami is actually in a slightly better longterm position if they miss the playoffs, then, right? They get into the lottery, maybe they get freakishly lucky and if they don’t, they’ll pick up at least a decent player and then next year they go to war with Dragic, Wade, Deng, Bosh and Whiteside (McRoberts will be back from his injury, as well). That team should make the playoffs. Does Deng have a player option?

    18. Is Bargs healthy enough to go tonight? It is so fucking Bargsy that he’s sick when we need him the most.

    19. I fear Bargs. He can theoretically make some stupid shots and then freakishly lead them to a win by mistake. The Detroit game I am petrified about. Detroit isn’t trying to win, either, so holy shit, that game…ugh. And then I’ll have to hear Mike Breen, “The Knicks trying to end the season on an up note by winning the last game.”

    20. what’s Miami’s draft pick status

      If Miami makes the playoffs they lose the pick.

      If they don’t make the playoffs, which they won’t unless Brooklyn loses their last two and Miami wins out, there’s a chance they lose the pick.

      Their pick is 1-10 protected. They are currently the 10th worst record. If they stay with the 10th worth record they have a 9% chance of losing their pick.

      However, if they drop to the 11th worst record they have only a 3% chance of keeping their pick.

      As it stands, they are 2 back of Indiana, Brooklyn, and Utah, who are all currently tied for 11th wort record. The Pacers play the Wizards and Grizzlies; the Nets play the Bulls and the Magic; the Jazz play the Mavs and the Rockets; and Miami plays the Magic and the Sixers.

      So Pat Riley has some decisions to make. Does he try to beat the Magic and Sixers in the hopes that the Nets lose? Does he watch the scoreboard and give a “thumbs up” sign to Spolestra based on the outcome of the Nets game (the games start at the same time).

      Or does Riley play it safe and try to lose to the Magic and Sixers– a monumentally hard task, as evidenced by the Knicks recently.

      If he wins both games, he’s gonna be hoping Utah manages to beat either the Mavericks or the Rockets…

      It’s coming down to the wire, baby!

    21. OKC can play a starting 5 of Waiters, Novak, Kyle Singler, Andre Robertson, and Mitch McGary and they will still beat Minnesota.

    22. Can Russell just pick up his 16th tech tonight so he is out against Minny?

      He could probably punch a ref in the balls and they wouldn’t call a tech on him tonight.

    23. Thanks, Donnie! I thought that their draft pick situation was really crazy. That is definitely quite crazy.

    24. Miami is going to owe that pick sooner or later. I guess you’d rather lose the pick in a year where your record is better, but the pick is top 10 protected this year, top 10 protected again next year then unprotected in 2017.

    25. But since they’re getting Bosh and McBob back, don’t you think that they feel like they have a good chance of making the playoffs next year, especially with a top ten pick thrown in there? So I imagine that they’d much rather give up the pick next year when they’re in the playoffs then this year, when they’re in the lottery.

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