Knicks Morning News (2015.06.05)

  • [New York Times] Cavaliers Laid Low by Missed Opportunities, Irving Injury (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 06:08:06 GMT)

    LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers promised to “make some adjustments” after several missed opportunities cost them Game One of the NBA Finals to the host Golden State Warriors on Thursday, losing 108-100 in overtime.

  • [New York Times] Warriors 108, Cavaliers 100: With Overtime Surge, Warriors Squeak By (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 05:53:09 GMT)

    The Warriors slipped past LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to take Game 1 of the N.B.A. finals.

  • [New York Times] Cavs Lose Game 1 of Finals, Kyrie Irving to Injury (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 04:56:34 GMT)

    The frustration on Kyrie Irving’s face was evident as he spoke to the media and then buried his head in his hands.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Beat Cavs in Game One OT Thriller (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 04:49:54 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors, led by the league’s Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry, drew first blood in the best-of-seven NBA Finals with a thrilling 108-100 overtime victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game One on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] The Latest: Cavs’ Irving Being Evaluated by Team Doctors (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 04:32:56 GMT)

    The latest from Game 1 of the NBA Finals:

  • [New York Times] Bucks Unveil Arena Deal (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 04:13:45 GMT)

    Taxpayers would pick up half the cost of a new $500 million arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said.

  • [New York Times] NBA Says ‘No Suggestion’ of FIFA-Style Corruption in Basketball (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 03:43:54 GMT)

    NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Thursday that the biggest scandal to ever hit soccer’s governing body will lead all sports federations to revisit how they do business.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Silver Addresses Playoff Themes and a Dramatic Void (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 02:59:09 GMT)

    Commissioner Adam Silver was hoping for a classic finish starring the Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Warriors’ Stephen Curry, despite a lack of playoff drama for almost three weeks.

  • [New York Times] Problems Accompany W.N.B.A.’s New Success (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 01:27:06 GMT)

    The W.N.B.A. opens its season this weekend, looking to move past an off-season filled with controversy.

  • [New York Times] Bevo Francis Dies at 82; Scored 113 Points in College Basketball Game (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 00:55:57 GMT)

    In 1954, Francis scored 113 points in a single college basketball game, setting an N.C.A.A. record that stood for nearly six decades.

  • [New York Post] J.R. Smith hoists 3 after 3, but loses his touch (Fri, 05 Jun 2015 02:01:06 -0400)

    OAKLAND, Calif. — J.R. Smith certainly wasn't a treasure in Game 1 of The Finals. The ex-Knick sniper lost his shot in the second half, missing all six of his…

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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).

    65 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.06.05)”

    1. Why oh why do they torture us

      “Emmanuel Mudiay has scheduled only two predraft team workouts so far: the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday and Minnesota Timberwolves on June 20 and possibly sooner, with the T’Wolves convincing the 6-foot-5 guard that he’ll be under serious consideration with the No. 1 overall pick, sources told RealGM.”

      There is exactly a zero percent chance that this happens

    2. Why do say that? Maybe they like pairing him with Wiggins and Gieng and Lavine more than Rubio. Then with Rubio they have a sign and trade asset. I dont agree but who knows

    3. My dream is that Mudiay shows up to these workouts looking like Adonis and displays a 6′ vertical leap, runs a 4.1/40 and rains down 3’s like Stephen Curry. The T-Wolves take him. LA take Russell, the 76’ers take Okafor and Towns lands in NY.

      Deep down I know that it’ll end up being a nightmare. We trade the #4 for a slew of 2nd rounders who combine for less than a year of NBA service at the end of the bench and a washed up former superstar that has a big contract that expires in 2019.

    4. Cross your fingers. Mudiay’s gonna knock these workouts out, and one of either Minnesota or LA is going to take him.
      :-)

    5. Cross your fingers. Mudiay’s gonna knock these workouts out, and one of either Minnesota or LA is going to take him.

      If that happens, then would Philly really take another big? I could see them still going for Russell.

    6. If that happens, then would Philly really take another big? I could see them still going for Russell.

      That’s not a bad thing, is it? If Mudiay goes top 3 that means one of Okafor, Towns, or Russell falls to us. We should be dancing in the streets if that happens.

    7. I can envision a scenario where Minnesota picks Mudiay, LA picks Okafor, Philly picks Russell and New York trades the fuck down.

    8. That’s not a bad thing, is it? If Mudiay goes top 3 that means one of Okafor, Towns, or Russell falls to us. We should be dancing in the streets if that happens.

      Oh, absolutely, but I would prefer one of the bigs to Russell. But don’t get me wrong, I’d still do cartwheels if Russell was the one to fall to us. Then I’d probably have to go to the hospital because I can’t do cartwheels without severe bodily harm.

    9. But before we go too far down this road, let’s all agree that this scenario will never happen because the Knicks are a cursed franchise and nice things never happen to us.

    10. But before we go too far down this road, let’s all agree that this scenario will never happen because the Knicks are a cursed franchise and nice things never happen to us.

      Which is why I worry that Farfa’s scenario will become the reality.

    11. And that whoever we’re gonna draft will break his leg in a baffling rollerblade accident the day after the draft.

    12. And that whoever we’re gonna draft will break his leg in a baffling rollerblade accident the day after the draft.

      I just watched the 30 for 30 on Len Bias last night :(

    13. I just watched the 30 for 30 on Len Bias last night :(

      One of the saddest moments in NBA history.

    14. To get some good luck on draft night, PJ just needs to not offend the Basketball Gods again. He did so by letting Steve Mills be at the draft lottery. Big mistake, as the gods wanted to see his head fall in dismay. Bad karma.

      Keep him OFF CAMERA on draft night. Dolan and Isiah, too. Then, Mudiay goes somewhere in the top 3. And, of course, becomes the next Jason Kidd.

    15. “I just watched the 30 for 30 on Len Bias last night :(”
      It is almost impossible to believe today that such an unbelievable tragedy actually occurred. The sad reality is that hard core drug abuse was not uncommon in the NBA at the time. When the news came out about Bias, I distinctly remember not being particularly surprised — which, in hindsight, is really shocking. I can’t even imagine the same thing happening today.

    16. if mudiay goes #1 or #2 … okafor is going to be there at #4 and that’s not going to be good…

    17. Since I don’t have cable TV, I was not able to watch Game 1 last night, so I decided to get my bball fix by watching 30 for 30 on the Spirit of St. Louis ABA team (awesome) and the Len Bias one. I only heard about Len Bias sparingly and on wikipedia, so I wanted to know more. It was very sad; he died about two months before I was born. In both 30 for 30s, alcohol and drug abuse by the players (black, white, poor, rich, didn’t matter) was rampant.

      The most startling thing from the Spirit of St. Louis one was that the team owners were denied their franchise being merged with the NBA, so they negotiated this deal: 1/7th of the TV rights for the 4 franchises that would merge with the NBA (Nuggets, Pacers, Nets, Spurs) would be paid to the owners IN PERPETUITY (aka FOREVER). So every single year, they are laughing to the bank without having to do a thing! They have amassed like $250 million at this point. At the time, TV deals and money were in its infancy, but that was one of the best business deals ever struck.

    18. if mudiay goes #1 or #2 … okafor is going to be there at #4 and that’s not going to be good…

      I understand the concerns about Okafor’s D, but are there really people who would be upset if we snared him with the #4 pick? That would be an obscenely good value at that spot.

    19. “I understand the concerns about Okafor’s D, but are there really people who would be upset if we snared him with the #4 pick?”
      Yes. I was wondering if I was the only one who felt this way.

    20. Okafor would be great at #4. He’d be a great fit for the triangle– he’s a true back-to-basket post up player with excellent passing ability. Dude had a .664 eFG% on high usage as a freshman in the ACC. I want a defensive player in this draft but his scoring chops are nothing to sneeze at.

    21. Yeah, the craziest aspect of the Len Bias thing is that no one was shocked (well, of course we are all a little bit surprised when anyone young dies, like, say, Amy Winehouse dying).

    22. There is no way Mudiay goes in the top two, so there’s no point in getting our hopes up for it. In fact, the only glimmer of hope I had was him wowing Philly at #3, so he better schedule a workout with them soon!

    23. someone like okafor is exceedingly difficult to build around… his offense needs to be dominant in order to make up for his defense to be even considered good… you turn into something like the magic and handcuffed with a player who’s useful but is also capping how good your team can be…

      i still have him top 4 in my book.. but i like winslow more which is probably an unpopular pick but i think getting good multitalented two way players was going to be key because we are sorely in need of that…

    24. you can watch the finals online for free on watchespn with most major ISPs.

    25. someone like okafor is exceedingly difficult to build around… his offense needs to be dominant in order to make up for his defense to be even considered good

      He’s 19 years old. Obviously not a good defender now, but he’s 6’11”, 7’5″ wingspan, has a good basketball mind, decent quickness, good hands. I personally believe that he has the talent to be an easily above average defensive center at the NBA level.

      Biggest issue on D was his lack of effort. Might have something to do with the massive offensive load he was asked to carry on offense, as a freshman, in a strong conference, when he clearly wasn’t in the best shape. Supposedly he’s already slimmed down a lot. Get him a nutritionist and a year of NBA-level weight training and there’s no reason we can’t be looking at a two-way force in the NBA.

    26. I’d be ecstatic to get Okafor at #3, let alone #4. He and Towns are the class of the draft. He’s historically good on offense. Russell, though, would be one hell of a consolation prize. Even Mudiay, by the way, isn’t a piece of crap. He’s still going to be at the very least a rotation player in the NBA.

    27. Question… How would either of the Bigs fit in with Melo? I’d assume there would be spacing problems in the paint.

    28. I think they’d both fit in great with Melo. With Okafor, he’d play off the ball more (I’ve written a few times in the past about how I dream about Okafor’s great post passing leading to him posting and passing to Melo for open threes – Melo is good at shooting guarded threes, imagine how he’d do with open ones!) and with Towns, Towns can work inside and out, so whatever they want to do works.

      At this point in his career, I think Melo honestly would love to play off the ball more. Him in the All-Star Game last year is exactly what I think he’s looking to do, he just doesn’t have a teammate who can let him do that (the last time he did have a teammate who could let him do that, he wasn’t yet in that phase of his career where he understood the benefit of doing it this way – that’s the Knicks in a nutshell, the timing never works out).

    29. when i look at okafor i see a guy who’s just not exactly fast twitch … he reacts very slow… i just picture him in a game like yesterday’s finals not even having his head turned by the time someone is right by the basket…

      and the fact that he got out of shape while still playing basketball is also worrisome.. there have been more than a few guys who have come through msg with weight issues… it’s minor and might not be a concern but if it were up to me i wouldn’t want to deal with that… heaven forbid there’s a work stoppage…

    30. and with Towns, Towns can work inside and out, so whatever they want to do works.

      I also think Towns’ offensive game is also very much in its developing phase, so you don’t have to worry too much about how he fits with Melo. It’s not like he’s going to be a 25% usage guy early in his NBA career (in my opinion). First year or two he’s going to be dunking off the PnR, offensive rebounding, and getting the occasional post touch. He’ll add stuff as he goes along, but I don’t think whichever drafts him is really going to be featuring him on offense in Years 1 and 2 (or at least shouldn’t be).

      As for Okafor you’re exactly right. The triangle is supposed to be a double post offense, and having a second guy who can score down there but is also a talented passer would diversify the offense and let Melo work off the ball a bit more.

      Alas I do not think that either of those guys is going to be wearing the blue and orange come the fall (although I’m still holding out that sliver of hope that Okafor drops).

    31. when i look at okafor i see a guy who’s just not exactly fast twitch … he reacts very slow… i just picture him in a game like yesterday’s finals not even having his head turned by the time someone is right by the basket…

      There are quite a few centers who aren’t exactly that fast twitch type who are elite defensive centers – Duncan, Gasol, Noah, heck, one of them, Bogut, actually played in that game last night. I think the explosive athlete factor is overrated as an important factor for defensive centers. Two biggest things are having the size and having the head. Okafor clearly has the size. And he’s a smart player, although he doesn’t show the best defensive instincts. Still if you can coach him up I think he can get there.

      As for the conditioning thing, I agree that it’s a minor concern, but then I remember what I ate my freshman year of college and I don’t worry about it too much. There aren’t many 19 year olds that size, and he was carrying a heavy load for that team. If he’s already getting into good shape as reports are saying he is, that mostly answers my questions.

    32. Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting my hopes up at all for either one of them. Russell is the only one I am sliiiiiightly hopeful for, and even there I’m not hopeful at all.

    33. what separates guys like gasol, duncan, bogut is that they are able to survey the defense and anticipate.. so they don’t have that fast twitch ability but they are able to simulate that… to me at least i don’t think he has that ability.. at least yet.. but i think it’s foolhardy to assume that will happen…

      i just see the best case being something like moses malone.. a player that you will be thrilled to have on the surface but in terms of wins and losses just doesn’t help in that regard… kinda like melo…

    34. Djphan with the on-point analysis. Apparently Jax has called Rodman the greatest athlete he’s ever coached. How could that be? Barely scores, not very tall, no ball skills to speak of … but he knew where to be and when to be there. That kind of spatial awareness is as valuable in a ball sport as speed, quickness or strength. Andre Miller has been proving for years how little “athleticism” means if you’re without anticipation and spatial skills to effectively employ it.

      “He’s big and quick! He’s a poor defender, but the upside is there!” is a pre-Moneyball opinion all the way through.

    35. That kind of spatial awareness is as valuable in a ball sport as speed, quickness or strength.

      +1

      Goes hand-in-hand with basketball IQ. We need more players with high basketball IQ.

    36. what separates guys like gasol, duncan, bogut is that they are able to survey the defense and anticipate.. so they don’t have that fast twitch ability but they are able to simulate that… to me at least i don’t think he has that ability.. at least yet.. but i think it’s foolhardy to assume that will happen…

      i just see the best case being something like moses malone.. a player that you will be thrilled to have on the surface but in terms of wins and losses just doesn’t help in that regard… kinda like melo…

      Oh, I agree that I wouldn’t draft Okafor thinking that he’s going to suddenly put it all together and become a good defender. I think the Moses Malone comparison is fair enough, but I’d take Moses Malone in the top two picks in most drafts of the past few decades. A dominant scorer like Malone can win you a title.

    37. “He’s big and quick! He’s a poor defender, but the upside is there!” is a pre-Moneyball opinion all the way through.

      Not sure how much of a baseball fan you are but Billy Beane has spent the last 10+ years now trying to make people understand that the point of Moneyball was not that scouting and athleticism don’t matter.

      I’m also pretty sure I specifically mentioned not his height and his quickness, but his height and the fact that he seems like he has a good basketball mind, i.e. he has that spatial awareness but isn’t employing it well at the moment. I suspect it is very hard to scout for such an attribute though. Did anyone actually anticipate that Marc Gasol would be an elite defensive C when he was a fat 18 year old in Barcelona, or is it only obvious now?

    38. like i said that’s best case and that’s stretching okafor’s a good bit in the rebounding dept… malone didn’t have great team success until he got traded to a loaded sixers squad either… flukey finals appearance in houston aside…

      i just get bad juju from okafor but i think the knicks won’t have the stones to pass on the big name if he’s there so you okafor fans can rest easy…

    39. It was a good team (most teams that win titles are), but he was also the best player on that team, especially in the playoffs, when they dominated their opposition.

    40. like i said that’s best case and that’s stretching okafor’s a good bit in the rebounding dept… malone didn’t have great team success until he got traded to a loaded sixers squad either… flukey finals appearance in houston aside…

      i just get bad juju from okafor but i think the knicks won’t have the stones to pass on the big name if he’s there so you okafor fans can rest easy…

      I don’t see what the problem is. If we drafted a three-time MVP including back-to-back, like Malone, with our pick that means we absolutely nailed it. He would probably go down as the greatest Knick of all time or at least be in the discussion with Clyde and Ewing.

    41. BklnBoy
      June 5, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Since I don’t have cable TV, I was not able to watch Game 1 last night,

      USTVnow is a helpful cord cutting option

    42. I don’t see what the problem is. If we drafted a three-time MVP including back-to-back, like Malone, with our pick that means we absolutely nailed it. He would probably go down as the greatest Knick of all time or at least be in the discussion with Clyde and Ewing.

      Well, he’s saying Malone best case, but I think Okafor really could be that dominant of a scorer (and also that shitty of a defender ;)).

    43. I think Okafor can be a good defender given time. People forget that part of the reason he got out of shape was that he hurt his ankle and could not really practice after that. I will agree that Okafor weight is a real concern, the dude weighed 270lbs at 16 I believe. So it will take the same dedication he has put on the offensive end to manage his weight and become a better defender.

      I’d also like to ask: Does anyone blame coach K for his lack of D?
      Kyrie, Parker, and Okafor all carried the bulk of the offensive load for Duke while they were there and people had concerns about their ability to defend when they came out. Could it be that coach K let them sort of slide on D sense they were carrying a heavy load on offense? He likely wanted to get the most out of his one and dones.

    44. 1. Awful news about Kyrie. Funny that the Warriors are the healthiest team in the playoffs.

      2. Andre Drummond is the second coming of Moses Malone. Okafor will probably be a completely different player.

    45. i just see the best case being something like moses malone.. a player that you will be thrilled to have on the surface but in terms of wins and losses just doesn’t help in that regard… kinda like melo…

      I often wonder if people on this blog read what they write before they post it. It would really suck to land a 3 time NBA MVP, World Champion, Playoff MVP with the 4th pick in the NBA draft :-)

      This guy was a high volume scorer with high efficiency for his volume. Also a GREAT/ALL TIME rebounder, first in offensive and 3rd in total for all time. Also first in free throw attempts.

      Comparing him with Melo is like comparing a Hyperion to a satyr!

    46. Also, RIP Bevo Francis. Forever immortalized in Abby Hoffman’s “Woodstock Nation” !

    47. Cross your fingers. Mudiay’s gonna knock these workouts out, and one of either Minnesota or LA is going to take him.

      I love that Knick fans are now hoping that the guy projected to be available to them at #4 is so good that another team snatches him up first. Classic.

    48. @40 — but Rodman also did have speed, quickness and strength. He was also in phenomenal condition — he used to ride the exercise bike for an hour after games. He also had a tremendous “motor” and wanted to play hard on defense. That desire can’t be taught. Playing defense is hard — and non-glamorous — work. Lots of guys have good defensive tools but aren’t good defenders. That’s my biggest concern with Okafor. He’s lazy on defense and I can’t think of any lazy defender who became an un-lazy defender. Wally Scerbiak (speaking about Thanasis) once said that the ability and willingness to play hard is a skill that not everyone has. I agree with that .

    49. Not sure how much of a baseball fan you are but Billy Beane has spent the last 10+ years now trying to make people understand that the point of Moneyball was not that scouting and athleticism don’t matter.

      I get it, I get it. “Exploit market inefficiencies.” It’s been discussed at length, but one of the symptoms of baseball’s old-world mentality was that biases and heuristics didn’t apply to scouts and coaches. As in, “That bad behavior that the scout perceives in him can be coached out of him by this coach.” My point isn’t that players don’t improve at different rates (they do — look at Kevin Durant’s shitty rookie year and then compare where he is now to where Kwame Brown ended up after his shitty rookie year) and it’s not that scouting doesn’t matter. My point is that we are ready to say, “This player’s flaws can be fixed because I perceive him as athletic enough to do so,” when perhaps we should say, “There is a reason that he is poor at this thing despite X years of organized basketball, so perhaps he will not improve drastically with coaching.

      To me, it all comes back to drafting players who perform really well already. Although players’ flaws can be fixed with coaching, I don’t have faith in the Knicks’ front office and coaching staff the way the Spurs did when they drafted the mediocre college shooter Kawhi Leonard and turned him into a perennial MVP candidate with a great shot.

    50. @40 — but Rodman also did have speed, quickness and strength. He was also in phenomenal condition — he used to ride the exercise bike for an hour after games. He also had a tremendous “motor” and wanted to play hard on defense. That desire can’t be taught. Playing defense is hard — and non-glamorous — work.

      He also had terrible shot mechanics:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-b6zmS5Cms

      I think that Rodman was an incredible athlete and is probably the most dominant player in the modern era of basketball, but my point is that the definition of athleticism is all too often “speed, strength and quickness,” because it’s something we can play Mr. Scout with each other about. Steve Novak is reportedly a shitty athlete, but he’s also put up an all-time-great season at doing something that requires tremendous athleticism to accomplish.

    51. There was something in Rodman’s personality that made him play defense like it was something personal. Like he just craved being able to deny somebody of something, that it really fulfilled a need for him. He was probably the best defensive player I’ve ever seen.

    52. To me, it all comes back to drafting players who perform really well already.

      i think the whole performing well goes back to.. if you can’t dominate guys around your age(college).. how do you expect to dominate once you’re in the nba?

      ppl underestimate how quickly you need to perform… going back to my point made a couple days ago… there are very few players who show that they don’t belong in the nba initially and then going on to become players of value later in their careers… by and large it’s a sink or swim league… and even the high schoolers … all of them who had any value showed that they belonged at 19… guys like kwame and darko were basically swimming against the current…

    53. The problem with 1 and done guys, or guys who played in China, or 19 year olds who were pretty good in a pro league in Europe is that it’s pretty much impossible to tell who is performing to their true talent level. For example, is Justice Winslow really a 41% 3pt shooter? Probably not. But maybe. The fact that he was a 65% FT shooter makes it less likely. But is he really a 65% FT shooter? Maybe not. I’d rather take a guy who actually did play really well in college for one year than a guy who was okay but can jump real good, but I am glad I just complain about these decisions on the internet and don’t have to make a pick for real, because there is still so much uncertainty surrounding even the top guys.

    54. but I am glad I just complain about these decisions on the internet and don’t have to make a pick for real, because there is still so much uncertainty surrounding even the top guys.

      What happened to DRed for GM ’16?

    55. I am willing to accept the burden of risk for several millions of Mr. Dolans monies.

    56. @57/58
      Tots agree. That’s why if none of the top 3 drop, I’d have to take the highest character guy out of the remaining 4-5 guys worth looking at. They’re all pretty much even to me, they all fill needs, and you can’t teach work ethic.

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