Knicks Morning News (2015.05.23)

  • [New York Times] Cavaliers 94, Hawks 82: LeBron James Scores 30 as Cavaliers Hobble Past Limping Hawks (Sat, 23 May 2015 04:32:12 GMT)

    The Cavaliers and the Hawks both were short-handed, but James stepped up to lead Cleveland to a victory and a two-games-to-none lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] Cavaliers Take Control With Dominating Win Over Hawks (Sat, 23 May 2015 04:18:41 GMT)

    LeBron James scored 30 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers, playing without an injured Kyrie Irving, cruised to a 94-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] James Leads Cavs to 94-82 Win Over Hawks, 2-0 Series Lead (Sat, 23 May 2015 04:07:08 GMT)

    LeBron James scored 30 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers took total command of the Eastern Conference final even without injured star Kyrie Irving, routing the Atlanta Hawks 94-82 on Friday night for a 2-0 lead with the series heading to Ohio.

  • [New York Times] Conference Finalists Are Dotted With Knicks’ Castoffs (Sat, 23 May 2015 01:09:32 GMT)

    J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Timofey Mozgov, Pablo Prigioni, Trevor Ariza and David Lee are still making contributions for other teams in these playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: After a Close Call, the Warriors Head to Houston Up, 2-0 (Sat, 23 May 2015 01:02:01 GMT)

    “You put a lot of hard work into your craft,” said Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who scored 34 points in Game 1 and 33 in Game 2.

  • [New York Times] Hawks’ DeMarre Carroll Starts vs. Cavaliers in Game 2 (Sat, 23 May 2015 00:25:00 GMT)

    Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll took part in shootaround Friday morning but is still questionable for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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    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).

    56 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.05.23)”

    1. In general, I am not a big fan of drafting guys that can’t shoot, or that have a glaring physical weakness. What makes Porzingas intriguing is that he is skilled and very tall, but he is physically very weak. Still, when it comes down to the Bargnani comparisons, I think Bargs’ problem is between the ears and under the ribcage. I don’t know how you scout that…but if there is any way to determine whether Porzingas is smart and driven to get better, I think he’s worth very serious consideration. My gut tells me he won’t be a bust on Bargnani’s level but it is a very risky proposition.

    2. Wow look Captian Luke repeats possibly the most facile observation in the history of sports: truly good players make their teams better! WOW! Someone call up some FOs and get this guy in!

      I think Porzingis has a lot of red flags but I think any pick that we could possibly have at #4 has some besides Winslow–who will likely be the safest pick. I just don’t know who to pick at all, really. Russell if he’s available, but I’d be fine with trading down to 9 or 10 and getting another first rounder for next year if that were possible. Mudiay and Porzingis are both so volatile it’s scary.

      Does anyone have any idea how next year’s draft is going to be yet, at least in broad strokes?

    3. I have a few things to say.
      It seems to me that we have NO POSSIBLE WAY to be championship possibility good over the next couple three years. Therefore we should trade Melo. For his own good and ours.
      Second thing is I really hate what JR did to us. How could he be such an irresponsible idiot for us and then go and kick butt deep into the playoffs. Sickening.
      Third thing is, if we keep Melo, then try to somehow get Leonard first, Draymond Green second. Have to draft Russell, as I saw him play twice and nether time had his shot, but passed amazingly, rebounded and had a bunch of steals. He is a basketball player vs Mudiay, who is an athlete playing basketball. Russell has some Steph in him. We need his skill set.

    4. JR is what JR is. We’re good to be rid of him. He’s a defensible risk for a team like the Cavs, but he was pointless on the Knicks, and now we have more monies.

    5. LeBron has been pretty bad offensively and has said so himself. Hes shooting 30% on non layups. Also those players are good role players.

      Dellovadova is playing better than anyone on the Knicks did this year. JR goes hot and cold and is hot when he can catch and shoot and doesn’t have to dribble.

      Shump was hurt most of this year and played well in the playoffs two years ago.

      Tristan thompson is better than anyone on the Knicks LeBron is the best player in the nba.

      But yes let’s jerk LeBron off. Smh.

    6. LeBron James’s game is a joy to watch: he forces his teeammates to take responsibility for their own game by passing them the ball when the right move is to pass the ball!

      Obvious, right? Not so much to our own ‘star’, whose followers defend his ball-hogging, low-IQ hero ball with the silly argument that everyone around him is a worse player, so it does not make sense to pass the ball…lol…

      It’s no coincidence mediocre players like Dellavedova, Shump, JR, etc., are playing much better than their usual: they are playing team basketball.

      From roster construction perspective, this is the knicks’ single biggest problem. Watching the playoffs, you see former knicks scattered around the league making valuable contributions in big games. These are the same guys that were, supposedly, not good enough to support Melo.

    7. Kenny Walker was an enormous slouch… I remember that draft well… we passed over a bunch of great players: Mark Price, Dennis Rodman, Buck Williams, John Salley to name a few.

      Wow, hard to believe the Knicks haven’t had a top 5 pick since 1986. (I mean, it should be hard to believe, but I guess it really isn’t).

      That 1986 draft was pretty weird. Outside of Daugherty at #1, it produced 6 all-stars and 3 hall of famers– all of them from pick #24 and later.

      Back then I couldn’t appreciate how #lolknicks it was to have a top five pick in that draft. Now, 30 years later, it all makes perfect sense.

    8. At the beginning of this season I remember laughing at the ridiculous extension Tristan was going to get, but I’m to the point where I think he’s going to earn a lot of it.

    9. Tristan Thompson is the prototipycal player who makes sense only in a winning team. Otherwise he’s just a rich man’s Thomas Robinson.

    10. Please god, No Euros at pick#4. He will be a guaranteed bust if we pick him. It looks like it will be Russell or Mudiay , sigh, don’t know if either of these guys are game changers or worth that high of a pick. I like Melo to a point, but I have to agree with the idea above- by the time the Knicks will be good Melo won’t be anymore. So trading him sooner rather than later might be a great idea for the Knicks and him too, everybody wins.

      Still really pissed that the Lakers leapfrogged over the Knicks to get to #2. The fix is in again

    11. You replace LeBron with Melo and there is a very good possibility Cleveland does not get out of the first round (assuming it makes the playoffs in the first place).

      I agree with this.

      we should trade Melo. For his own good and ours. If he refuses, Fisher and Jackson should ‘Marbury him’: glue him to the bench until he begs for mercy.

      I disagree with this.

      Marbury was marginalized after a regime change. Walsh and D’Antoini didn’t give him his contract, nor did they trade for it. On top of that, he’d already played 6 of the 7 years on it. Signing Melo to a 5 year contract only to give him the “Marbury” treatment would, quite obviously, taint the franchise’s reputation around the league even further than it already is. I’m sure you can understand what a truly horrible move it would be.

      If the Knicks turn realistic to the fact that they can’t legitimately compete during Anthony’s contract, they should work with him to move him. If they can’t move him, they simply need to sleep in the bed that they made for themselves.

    12. Melo does not deserve it. I guess he didn’t put a gun to Phil’s head. I am all in for trading Melo, but let’s not give him the blame for something he didn’t do.

      Oh, and in the East you take any team, put LeBron in, and that’s instant ECF contender.

    13. Dantoni’s treatment of Marbury was uncalled for. If Phil and Fisher did the same to Melo it would be even more uncalled for. Say what you want about Marbury (and Melo) the player (selfish, score first, doesn’t make teammates better) neither of them have had off the court issues really. OK, so Marbury went a little nuts and Melo made the stop snitching vid but one happened after he was a Knick and the other years before.

      Marbury deserved a shot to redeem himself under Dantoni and was ready to do it. He got into great shape. The idiotic thing about that whole incident was that the next PG on our team was Duhon. Marbury would have put up points under Dantoni and we’d conceivably had won more games. He would have been tradable and we would have gotten us assets. But don’t get me started on the beginning of the Walsh Dantoni regime. I’m still mad at how they started out 6-3 and then Walsh traded Randolph and Zbo for garbage.

    14. And I think it would be damaging to give Melo the Marbury treatment. Why? Because it would be yet another drama filled incident that the press would write about all the while not focusing on good basketball. It would be a distraction and we’re the franchise of distractions. It would show that we didn’t know what we were doing. Why sign him only to give him the Marbury treatment? We need to focus on basketball and putting a team out there that is respectable, even if they aren’t legit contenders. If the time comes to trade Melo, I believe Melo and Phil and Fish will handle it appropriately (I hope at least). Its time to put together a team and try to win some games. Even a 500 Knicks team is at least enjoyable to watch for the fans and keeps the press sharks away. That is what we need more than anything. That is what will make players want to play here.

    15. Nobody stopped talking to the Knicks for burying Marbury alive and nobody will stop talking to the Knicks for giving Melo what he deserves

      But Phil gave him the contract! If he exiles him a few months later, that would be inane, psychopathic behavior. Phil Jackson made a mistake with re-signing Melo. No need to compound that mistake 10 fold!

    16. You replace LeBron with Melo and there is a very good possibility Cleveland does not get out of the first round (assuming it makes the playoffs in the first place).

      Yet he won one more game with a worse team. Last I checked 54 is more than 53.

    17. The idiotic comments here are remarkable.

      Melo would be great on that team with Kyrie and two defensive bigs. Not even counting Kevin Love

    18. Kyle Korver is out for the rest of the playoffs. They should just skip the last 2 games in Cleveland.

    19. If Irving plays a single minute in any ECF game but an as-necessary Game 7, Blatt should be fired before the Finals even begin.

    20. It’s really too bad what happened to the Hawks. There was a long stretch this season where they could have beaten anyone in a 7 game series.

    21. Not sure what to make of fans who iron out the same tired arguments over and over again, then find away to constantly rephrase it. This is truly misery behavior, saying it a hundred times won’t make it better. Then, when you try to provide an answer they down that too, with ridiculous excuses like, “oh it’s the knicks” so you know that guy won’t work on this team. What does that mean? They spend their time drooling over players the knicks don’t have on the roster. Truly they have no answers.

    22. There is a huge difference between Marbury and Melo.

      D’Antoni and Walsh were getting rid of all the problem personalities. They weren’t particularly interested in whether you could contribute or not. Marbury was a distraction and locker room disaster waiting to happen. They wanted him out. The correct comparison is Marbury to JR Smith. Fisher and Jackson know JR Smith is a talented player that can contribute when his head is on straight. They just don’t want to risk him poisoning the locker room with his antics. They are looking for mature dedicated professional adults. They gave Shumpert away just to get rid of Smith a year earlier.

      Melo is not a poisonous personality like Marbury or JR Smith (though he has his self centered moments).

      The problem with Melo is that he’s not worth his contract. When you overpay players (especially with very big contracts) it becomes difficult to fit enough assets around them to build a legitimate contender. That’s where we are now. If for example we were paying Melo a more reasonable 14-15 million for a high usage, average efficiency scorer, that is more or less average at everything else, we could fit 2 max players next to him this year and immediately have a solid team. Instead we have a lot of space, but we can’t quite get the same quality if it becomes available. In fact, if we had that space and could offer 2 full max contracts some of those free agents might be more willing to jump to us because we’d be positioned so much better.

    23. we could fit 2 max players next to him

      There aren’t 2 max players out there and we still have plenty of space. Our best hope is to use this draft to get another max who can replace Melo’s leadership very quickly. The Knicks also have a few good young assets. The development time means they don’t have to be paid any time soon. They could choose to conserve money, while overpaying one guy, and still using his veteran presence to get relevant quickly. The big issue for the Knicks is Phil Jackson’s mind. If he continues to believe in Melo and in the present over the future, this team is screwed from getting a championship during his tenure even if they contend.

    24. I was pissed at the way D’Antoni treated Marbury, and I didn’t even like Marbury. He was far and away the team’s best player (talent-wise) at that point. Duhon was a bum. It was a glimpse into D’Antoni’s rigid mindset that would ultimately cost him his job and expose him as a deeply flawed coach.

    25. Marbury was a garbage NBA player at that point. Remember what he did after he left the Knicks?

    26. Marbury was a garbage NBA player at that point.

      That’s an understatement.

      Whatever game he had was pretty much gone. There was absolutely no justification for dealing with any BS at that point. It’s always smart to do what D’Antonio/Walsh and now Fisher/Jackson are doing. You build a team of high character guys that are going to be professional at all times and not become an off the court distraction.

    27. Truly they have no answers.

      Okay! Here’s an answer.

      (1) Shed all veteran contracts. Players who are no longer on rookie contracts (barring undrafted FA on year-to-year contracts) should be waived or traded for any assets offered. This includes Carmelo Anthony. If he is not worth a future 1st (and he likely is, despite not being very good at basketball), trade him for multiple future 2nds. No “veteran” talent that have no room for growth, the only caveat being long-time veterans who have demonstrated the ability to teach. Even then, it would be preferred to hire them as coaches, not players.

      (2) Stockpile draft picks, preferably high 2nd rounders and unprotected 1sts. Buy picks when available.

      (3) Draft 3- and 4-year college players whose rookie contracts will last until age 27. Take the best available talent with most picks. Draft players who have demonstrated ability, not potential, in college. A player who shoots 40% 3PT over four years in college should be drafted ahead of a young guy who shoots 30% but has a “nice looking” shot. Trade down in lottery only when a team inflates a prospect’s value, e.g. Anthony Bennett (supposing you had the #1 pick and you knew Cleveland wanted the pick to draft a dude just for looking like Larry J.).

      (4) Banish James Dolan from any basketball-related activities.

      (5) Fire Phil Jackson and replace him with a guy who understands today’s NBA talent marketplace.

    28. @19 (and others):

      Dantoni’s treatment of Marbury was uncalled for.

      What is clear to me is that Marbury was flat out insane – out of his mind, loony-tunes. We aren’t privy to the locker room and what is said, but Marbury published a number of Youtube videos that were just plain scary to watch. Insane asylum scary. I can just imagine what it was like to coach him.

    29. We aren’t privy to the locker room and what is said

      But we are privy to his deposition from the ABS suit, in which he explained that “I didn’t call her a black bitch. I called her a bitch.”

      So, yeah.

    30. The Knicks are many years away from respectability. They have exactly one valuable asset– their 2015 draft pick. Beyond that, there are really no good young players on the roster, there are barely any decent veteran players on the roster and there is no draft pick coming in 2016. And even worse, there is no sign that anybody in charge even understands the situation. They think they’re just gonna go out and get a few free agents, teach them Triangle Magic and start racking up the victories.

      All the Knicks ever do is dig the hole deeper and deeper.

    31. Lol God forbid the Knicks. Get a good player in the draft and sign quality free agents. This board would implode

    32. Lol God forbid the Knicks. Get a good player in the draft and sign quality free agents. This board would implode

      Thank You

    33. That will not happen under Melo’s watch.

      can’t respond since no counter evidence was given.

      The Knicks also have a few good young assets.

      They don’t. Really.

      What I meant to say was last years draft picks have potential.

    34. @er FA is built to be a bad value. It’s simple. Rookies come at discounts. Bird Rights give teams an advantage in retaining their own players, meaning most of the best players never make it to free agency.

      So between those two things, you have a lot of teams underpaying a lot of players.

      They then turn around and use those savings in free agency, so the market gets flooded with the dollars teams save in those other avenues of filling a roster.

      The teams that win are almost NEVER successful because of free agency.

      And the last CBA put a real dagger into the “our market appeal will overcome the disadvantages of free agency” by changing things so you can’t switch teams in a sign and trade and still get a five year deal with 7.5% raises. Instead, you get the same deal you would have gotten as a free agent — 4 years, 4.5% raises. That wasn’t true when the Heat built their big three.

      A 10 year vet max player next summer who leaves via sign and trade or free agency would make give up an extra $2m over the first four years of his deal and entirely lose a $30m 5th year. That’s going to further reduce the free agent talent pool. I don’t blame Melo if that math is why he stuck with the Knicks. It’s a lot of money to give up.

      Now if Jackson wants to win with Melo, he’s probably not intending to gamble on oddball scenario super-young free agents like KJ McDaniels. He’s going to pursue vets, further minimizing the chance that he gets lucky and scores a player who ends up more valuable than his contract.

      So Jackson is stacking hte deck against himself if he goes the route he seems intent on going, and that’s dumb. It could work out, but that doesn’t make it any less dumb.

    35. Well the 2016 pick was traded before Phil.

      And I can actually think of three teams built thru FA that won chips.

      Miami
      Los Angeles
      Dallas
      Detroit

    36. And I can actually think of three teams built thru FA that won chips.

      Miami
      Los Angeles
      Dallas
      Detroit

      All of those teams had a superstar that they drafted and retained throughout their entire career except the Pistons, who’s best players came via trade not FA.

    37. David Lee made the All Star team just two years ago and he doesn’t even sniff the court during the playoffs. That’s how deep the Warriors are.

    38. The teams that win are almost NEVER successful because of free agency.

      This is true, but is mostly due to their stupidity rather than there not being quality free agents at good prices. Atlanta found the market inefficiencies and exploited the hell out of them with Korver, Millsap, and Carroll. Last season Ed Davis and Al-Farouq Aminu both signed minimum deals while Jason Smith got our whole mini MLE. Good teams can be built through free agency if teams are smart, they just generally aren’t.

    39. It looks like David Lee will finally get some playing time this series. ;)

    40. This will be LeBron’s 6th trip to The Finals (and 5th in a row!), and he’s never been on a more underdog team.

    41. This has actually been one of the more boring set of Conference Finals I can remember. Hopefully GSW/CLE will be an exciting Finals.

    42. This will be LeBron’s 6th trip to The Finals (and 5th in a row!), and he’s never been on a more underdog team.

      I disagree. The 2007 Cavs had absolutely zero chance of winning the Finals. I could totally see the Cavs winning the Finals this year. They probably won’t, but it is far from a certainty. All of the Heat teams, though, of course, were favorites, that’s true.

    43. Golden State is gonna smash Cleveland. They’ve been the best team in the league all year long, wire to wire. The team is loaded with good two-way players in their primes– they were the #1 defense and #2 offense in the league. They were #1 in the NBA in both offensive AND defensive eFG%. They are a fucking great team. There is no way they are losing to this half-assed Cleveland team that doesn’t even have a healthy Kevin Love and is giving 100 minutes of floor time every game to JR Smith, Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavadova.

    44. The Warriors should win, certainly, but the 2007 Cavs had to triple-team Tim Duncan, for crying out loud! Lebron, JR, Shump, Thompson and Mozgov is at least a legitimate team. The 2007 Cavs were rocking a Boobie Gibson and Sasha Pavlovic backcourt! Drew Gooden was their starting power forward and leading big man!

    45. Can anyone quantify the value of being in NY in terms of what advertisers would give you? Being a star in NY is obviously more valuable to Nike (just an example) than being a star in Oakland. But is it enough money to offset the new free agency rules that favor a player’s current team?

      If you look at ESPN’s interview with Draymond Green right after the game, you can see more than a trace of ego leaking into his face when he’s asked about Curry. Give him equal money and the pleasure of being the man, and you have a shot at getting to him.

    46. I am not really sold on Mudiay and how he´s going to develop next to Carmelo Anthony in a non pick and roll based offense, and thats a fact we have to consider even if we don´t like it, so I wold really consider trading down a bit so we can get Justise Winslow and either another pick or a player in a reasonable contract. I would be looking for players that play defense and run the break.
      It´s been some buzz around Denver, how they would like to go up in the draft by trading Lawson and Mudiay makes a lot of sense for them but I don´t know Lowson that much, he´s not known for his defense but he runs the floor well, shoots some, attacks the rim and would make some sense in our offense. ¿Is his defense that much of a red flag? Because if he´s just an average defender and they take Calderons contract I would not mind paying him 37 mill through the next 3 years.

    47. I am not really sold on Mudiay…I would be looking for players that play defense and run the break.

      You know that two of Mudiay’s supposed strengths are his ability in transition and his defensive potential right?

      Re Draymond- I’d love him but whether or not he comes here isn’t his choice- he’s restricted.

    48. Yeah, as Frank notes, Green’s ego won’t play a role in him leaving the Warriors. Only they can decide to let him go or not. And clearly they’re not going to let him go. Dude’s waaaaaaaaay too valuable to them. I expect them to try to dump David Lee with a first rounder to some team with cap space. I could see Philly taking Lee for a first rounder.

    49. Yeah Frank, I know that. Is just that I see Winslow as a better cutter, better defender and a better shooter, even if he’s not a great one. Also, we need more than a player so if we can get value from the trade and still get Winslow I would be fine with that. My thing is, ¿are we getting value in that trade? Because even if I see Winslow as a better fit, Mudiay is clearly the most valued prospect around the league.
      Finally and just to clarify. I am not saying that Mudiay is not a good prospect is just that I´m worried about drafting someone for his potential and put him in an enviroment that isn’t the best for his development, even if I acknowledge that we can use his athletic ability (we need everything really except an offensive minded convo forward).

    50. There is every indication that was not the case: Dantoni played Marbury during the preseason and Marbury played well, btw. If the original intent had been the one you assume, Marbury would have been banished from day 1.

      If you paid attention to D’Antoni you would understand how he operates. He does the same thing every time. He gives players a chance (maybe even a couple). Then when he tires of whatever it is that is annoying him, he banishes them to the doghouse. That’s why everywhere he goes there are always a couple of players that hate him. He didn’t want Marbury, but he gave him a chance. Something changed his mind. So he banished him. We don’t need to know what it was, but it’s not’s all that difficult to speculate since we are talking about a nitwit like Marbury.

      What is not true is that the reason was Jackson and Fisher are “looking for mature dedicated professional adults”. If that were the case, Jackson would not have given Lamar Odom a contract, even for one day.

      Jackson had a close relationship with Odom in LA where he was a very good player and never a big problem. He knew Odom’s personality well. Odom’s drug use apparently went off the rails for awhile. His friend was giving him a chance for a comeback because he must have felt strongly that he was a good guy that would fit if he had gotten beyond his problems and could get back in shape. He also thought an Odom contract could potentially be used as trade filler. Jackson took a look at him and didn’t keep him. I have no issue with any of that. Had he kept Odom despite him being disruptive, you’d have a case.

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