Knicks Morning News (2015.06.15)

  • [New York Times] Surprising Sun Sit Atop the Eastern Conference in WNBA (Mon, 15 Jun 2015 06:48:41 GMT)

    There is no doubt Connecticut is the early surprise of the WNBA season.

  • [New York Times] Warriors 104, Cavaliers 91: N.B.A. Finals: Stephen Curry and Warriors Aren’t Short on Big Shots (Mon, 15 Jun 2015 05:28:16 GMT)

    Curry made 7 of 13 3-point shots and scored 37 points as Golden State pulled away from visiting Cleveland in the fourth quarter and closed in on its first N.B.A. title since 1975.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Liberty Lose to Mystics (Mon, 15 Jun 2015 04:37:29 GMT)

    Ivory Latta scored 20 points as the visiting Washington Mystics beat the Liberty, 74-59.

  • [New York Times] Cavs Waste James’ Stellar Game 5 in 104-91 Loss to Warriors (Mon, 15 Jun 2015 04:24:31 GMT)

    LeBron James soaked his tired feet in an ice bath, had ice wrapped around both knees and his back as he sat smiling in Cleveland’s locker room after a second straight loss in the NBA Finals.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Move Within One Win of NBA Title (Mon, 15 Jun 2015 04:18:29 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors won the battle of small-ball and defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-91 on Sunday to move within a win of their first NBA title in 40 years.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Move Within One Win of NBA Title (Mon, 15 Jun 2015 03:30:28 GMT)

    June 14 (Reuters) – – The Golden State Warriors won the battle ofsmall-ball and defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-91 on Sunday to move within a win of their first NBA title in 40 years.

  • [New York Times] The Latest: Curry Leads Warriors to 104-91 Win Against Cavs (Mon, 15 Jun 2015 03:15:41 GMT)

    The latest from Game 5 of the NBA Finals:

  • [New York Times] These Golden State Warriors Won Before. In April. (Mon, 15 Jun 2015 01:43:32 GMT)

    James Michael McAdoo and Ognjen Kuzmic could become the first players to win Development League and N.B.A. titles in the same season.

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: Playground Legend Revisits the Streets, His Fall and His Rise (Mon, 15 Jun 2015 01:18:47 GMT)

    Carlton Greene, who was a promising basketball player before he became homeless for a time, is the subject of “Still Got Game,” written as a playbook for life.

  • [New York Times] Lauren Hill’s Family Continues Fight Against Brain Cancer (Mon, 15 Jun 2015 00:30:38 GMT)

    Lauren Hill passed away two months ago from brain cancer two months ago. Her mother knows she’ll be carrying on her daughter’s mission for quite some time.

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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).

    59 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.06.15)”

    1. I’m so glad that the Knicks unloaded JR. Just clearing his salary off the books for this offseason wins that trade. And as for Shump, he won’t be missed. Next year, I think that Thanasis might give the Knicks about what Shump would (good D, bad O off the bench) for a fraction of the cost.

      Okay, Thanasis’s O might be even worse, but he’s got some upside. Shump has none.
      :-)

    2. Having watched him a bunch in person, Thanasis’s jumper is possibly broken and unfixable. But– he is a truly impressive finisher, has enough ball handling skill to attack closeouts, and has more court vision than you’d think when the help defender comes. So in comparison to Shump he doesn’t shoot it as well on catch and shoots but when he gets going to rim, it’s a completely different story.

      Defensively he’s a little bit like Shump in that he’s very very aggressive and maybe gambles too much. Amazing shot blocker from the wing position and plays the passing lanes really well.

      I didn’t see a lot of KJ McDaniels last year but my guess based on stats and what people wrote about KJ is they are very similar players.

      My impression of Thanasis is that he needs put up 500 3 pointers a day this summer and become a league-average 3 point shooter in order to be a useful rotation player, or else teams will dare him to shoot all day long.

    3. Frank, what about T’s jumper is broken? Mechanics? Flat trajectory?

      Just read an interesting article about Porzingis from Orlando Magic Daily. It tempers the expectations that one should get from his workout, but also generally is optimistic about him, esp. with regards to the “energy and drive in his eyes” and his defensive potential as a weakside shotblocker. It says all the Nowitski and Bargnani comparisions are not valid. Rather, it uses different comparisons for his floor vs. ceiling potential. The one that struck me was a floor of Brad Sellers vs. a ceiling of Kevin Garnett.

      More and more buzz that he’s going to go #3 to Philadelphia, though.

    4. re: Thanasis – mostly that his shot never looks the same twice. Shoots on the way down sometimes, sometimes good arc, sometimes flat. He just doesn’t look comfortable shooting it. I’m no shooting expert and even I can see this stuff.

    5. @Frank, from what you say, it sounds like he needs a good shooting coach and strong discipline to put in a redic amount of reps to make consistent his mechanics. I haven’t kept up with him, but is he that type of worker? If he is there’s hope. If not…

    6. Meaning.. It sounds to me that, rather than having broken mechanics he has NO mechanics. So hopefully that’s a blank slate.

    7. “energy and drive in his eyes” Sold. As long as he’s got drive in his eyes then I’m all for….sorry y’all. Couldn’t keep a straight face while typing that. But like I’ve said before, if we draft him I hope he’s Dirk 2.0 and people rub it in my face, but at 4 Dirk 2.0 is exactly who you better get.

      Jesus, Orlando Magic Daily. This, “energy and drive in his eyes” is the most subjective thing possibly ever written about a draft prospect.

    8. Thinness definitely has a great motor during games (dives all over the place, runs hard in transition on both ends, has had a whole bunch of chase-down blocks) — but I have no idea what he’s like in practice or between games. Hopefully he’s working hard on getting better.

    9. I saw Thanasis play live also. His shot was not good, but I thought he outplayed Renaldo Balkman for what that’s worth. :-)

    10. “I thought he outplayed Renaldo Balkman for what that’s worth. :-)”
      I actually think that that is worth something. I always thought that Balkman could have been a solid contributor, but he didn’t have the right drive, mentality or whatever you want to call the thing that separates guys who reach their potential from the guys who merely have potential.

    11. yea i sorta liked balkman but wing guys with zero.. and i mean zero… offense have a tough time sticking in the league… which is why i hated the thanasis pick since he was already old to begin with… i’m not too optimistic about him…

    12. Embiid Could Miss Entire 2015-16 Season

      Monday, June 15

      Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Embiid’s status for next season, saying the big man “may not be available” at the start of the season and that there was a “legitimate chance” he could miss the entire season.

      On June 13, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported Embiid has another issue with his right foot, which initially kept him out of action for his rookie year:

      So that means they will take Okafor if hes there

    13. Thanasis is 22. That’s the age of a college senior. It’s a little late in his life to be learning how to shoot. I’m not expecting anything out of him at all.

    14. The one that struck me was a floor of Brad Sellers vs. a ceiling of Kevin Garnett.

      So, somewhere between “sucks” and “Hall Of Famer,” somewhere in there. Personally, I think his floor is Chris Smith and his ceiling is Michael Jordan.

    15. Balkman had only a tenuous grip on reality, but he was a decent player for a few years. If we could get that from Thanasis it would be a good return on investment. Balkman was a terrific rebounder, though, and Thanasis doesn’t seem to be as good on the glass, so I guess we’re hoping he is a better shooter.

    16. Thanasis is a bench player. Forget his shooting. Let’s just say he gets better. League average. Fine. If we can get Tony Allen d outta him then it’s a win in my book. The potential to supplement 3 point shooting off the bench is there. Ultimately, it comes down to how Fisher uses the skill set of guys like Thanasis and Early.

    17. Thanasis is 22. That’s the age of a college senior. It’s a little late in his life to be learning how to shoot. I’m not expecting anything out of him at all.

      There are tons of guys that became serviceable shooters in the mid 20s and later. Carmelo didn’t become a 33%+ shooter until his 5th season in the NBA (age 23). No one thinks he’s going to become Ray Allen but if he works hard enough can he shoot 34-35% from 3 point range? Sure.

      Anyway, interesting stuff from Chad Ford (insider) re: the Knicks – basically that he’s hearing that the Knicks might trade down if Okafor/Towns/Russell are not available at 4 but that they’re still looking at Mudiay and Porzingis (no mention of Winslow or WCS). Denver/Indy trying to trade up. And that teams in the end of the 1st round might be willing to sell their picks.
      http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2015/insider/story/_/id/13081365/nba-draft-workout-reports-myles-turner-jarell-martin-more-vegas

    18. There are tons of guys that became serviceable shooters in the mid 20s and later. Carmelo didn’t become a 33%+ shooter until his 5th season in the NBA (age 23). No one thinks he’s going to become Ray Allen but if he works hard enough can he shoot 34-35% from 3 point range? Sure.

      Going to nit-pick.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/anthoca01.html

      Carmelo saw a large increase in his FG% from 16-23 feet in his 3rd season. At the same time, his 3pt shooting fell to 24.3% while taking proportionally fewer of those shots per possession, while being assisted on substantially more of those attempts. His numbers make no sense.

      Also, the average distance of his shots has gotten larger over time (fewer 0-3 and dunk attempts, the recent years having about half as many as in his early years). And while his 3PT shooting has increased, his FG% on long twos has essentially been the same, so attributing the improvement in 3PT shot to … I don’t know, whatever … doesn’t really make much sense. He’s assisted less often on 3PA on the Knicks than he was with the Nuggets, yet shoots considerably better. But his 2PA are not better. His numbers make no sense.

      My point is that there’s no sense in building a narrative around it, especially to suggest that another player can become a better shooter. Most players improve their shooting over time, even independent of usage. Going from a broken shot to a 35% 3PT shooter is just not likely, no matter what Carmelo Anthony (or Michael Jordan, who famously developed a 3PT shot out of nowhere) has accomplished (or hasn’t accomplished).

      Draft the players who can already shoot and there are no mechanics to fix. Just build the system to get them open looks and assisted attempts.

    19. Wow, Denver with a strange coaching hire. Rather than reward Melvin Hunt, who did a great job there as an interim coach, or go with Mike D’Antoni, who seems tailor-made for a team at that altitude, they went with Michael Malone. I like Michael Malone well enough, but it is still a curious hire. A pair of curious hires so far this offseason (plus Hoiberg, but that one made perfect sense).

    20. Turner also went out to prove he can be a stretch 4. He clearly showed an ability to stretch the floor at Texas, but he shot just 27 percent from deep on 17-for-62 shooting. During Friday’s workout, Turner looked very comfortable shooting the ball with range. While he’s not the elite shooter Porzingis is, that should be a major area of his game going forward.

      Hey Chad, if Porzingis is an elite shooter, why did he shoot 30% from 3 the last two seasons?

      Turner actually had a solid post game at Texas, but a certain moron had assembled a team with nobody who could shoot and Myles was called upon to be stretchier than he probably should have been.

    21. Yeah, once again, Ford is great at telling us what teams are thinking at various spots, as he has strong connections there. But when it comes to evaluating talent, the guy is a hype man.

    22. Wow, Denver with a strange coaching hire. Rather than reward Melvin Hunt, who did a great job there as an interim coach, or go with Mike D’Antoni, who seems tailor-made for a team at that altitude, they went with Michael Malone. I like Michael Malone well enough, but it is still a curious hire. A pair of curious hires so far this offseason (plus Hoiberg, but that one made perfect sense).

      Denver has become one of the most mismanaged and dysfunctional franchises in all of sports.

      I think there’s a chance that if Gallo can stay healthy (he looked great down the stretch last year when he finally got his legs), he’s going to leave after next year and get paid REALLY well.

    23. The knock on Turner in HS was that he would often fall in love with his outside shot, for what that’s worth.

      Turner actually had a solid post game at Texas, but a certain moron had assembled a team with nobody who could shoot and Myles was called upon to be stretchier than he probably should have been.

      Exactly. While a helluva recruiter Barnes just gave up the ghost with any sorta offensive creativity.

    24. I never thought of Thanasis as a shooter or a scorer. His appeal to me is being a royal PITA on defense. If he rebounds and harasses opponents, he’s OK with me. His defensive numbers were impressive. He averaged 2.6 steals, 4.3 blocks and 10.2 rebounds per game.

      His shooting:
      2014: 2p%: 57.2%, 3p%: 30.9%, ft%: 66.3 (with Westchester)
      2015: 2p%: 52.3%, 3p%: 23.2%, ft%: 61.8% (with Delaware)

    25. Balkman was a box score-stuffer– over his career he averaged 10.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.2 blocks per 36 minutes, which is kind of hard to believe really. He could have been a really good player if he was not such a clown.

    26. It’s looking more and more like the Knicks are going to trade down with Denver. That could be a good thing. Denver is the new “NBA sucker” in deals.

    27. In theory, trading down with Denver and picking up an asset in the process makes a lot of sense. You’d still be guaranteed one of Zinger, Mudiay, Winslow or Cauley-Stein, all guys who would be reasonable picks at #4. What I’m worried about is Phil trading down to #7 and drafting Kaminsky or Trey Lyles.

    28. Balkman has Hustle Hard tattooed on his eyelids. The DRed administration vows to never sign a player with eyelid tattoos

    29. What I’m worried about is Phil trading down to #7 and drafting Kaminsky or Trey Lyles.

      Why? Why would you put this evil out there in the universe? That was almost as depressing as that article about the Knicks drafting Hezonja.

    30. The 2016 draft pick that the Knicks wasted on Andrea Bargnani already had swap rights with Denver placed on it from the Melo trade. Would it be possible for the Knicks to pick up Denver’s 2016 first rounder, with those same swap rights attached to it? The Knicks would essentially be getting their own pick back– the less favorable of the Denver or Toronto (via NY) pick is supposed to go to Toronto anyway. Since we will probably suck again next year, it would be nice to have our own pick back.

    31. I now vote for trading down and picking Trey Lyles to be the Knickiest thing ever.

    32. I have faith in Phil.

      He knows this is a 3 player draft with 1 question mark (Mudiay) just like the rest of us. If he likes Mudiay better than the other alternatives, I expect him to draft Mudiay and keep him. If he thinks Mudiay is equal to several others and has something lined up with Denver for him, I expect him to draft Mudiay and trade him to Denver for one of either Winslow, WCS or someone else that he ranks equal – plus an asset. If he likes someone else better than all the rest (WCS or Winslow), I expect him to draft that player and call it a night. Maybe someone that goes after our pick will turn out better than out pick, but I expect that at this point Phil knows these players better than we do and will do the statistically correct thing next week based on all available information. I’m not worried about Phil. I’m just hoping someone ahead of us makes a mistake given how we blew this lottery to begin with.

    33. Whoa. Clips just traded Barnes and Hawes for Stephenson. I have no idea if this makes sense.

    34. They still have no depth at all, but that starting 5 could be absurd. Or CP3 could kill Lance

    35. If Chad Ford thinks the Knicks will trade down if Russell, Mudiay and Okafor aren’t available, either he’s nuts or we are all gonna be really really pissed. If those three aren’t available, it means that Towns is.

    36. Chris Paul and Lance Stephenson is an interesting mix. I think Lance works hard enough to be good, and he’s kind of the last ditch move the Clippers have to make with their cap being considered. He still doesn’t answer what I think the Clippers needed most which was a player who can get you 20 points on an island. If Lance is the player we saw in Indiana, then I think the Clippers just stole a Western Conference championship. If he’s the guy from Charlotte, then they wasted another year of Chris Paul’s prime and the headlines in the 2nd largest media market won’t be friendly. I guess the best part of this deal for the Clippers is they can cut/trade him easily since essentially a one year contract since he has that team option for 16-17.

    37. If we can get Tony Allen d outta him then it’s a win in my book.

      Yeah, getting the best perimeter defender of his generation would be a win. But that might be setting the bar a bit high for a 2nd round pick that calls the D-league home.

      Balkman may be a more realistic comp. I think if he is anything even close to Balkman that would be a major coup. When he was on, Balk could dominate a game without commanding the ball. I’m still not sure what went wrong between him and Isiah. I loved watching Balkman play.

      I’d say if Thannaisis can develop into a “sane”, foul conscious (Balkman’s foul rate was really, really high if I recall) Balkman, he’ll be a major contributor to a Knick resurgence (but even that is probably setting the bar unrealistically high)

    38. I’d love to see Balkman and Anthony Randolph compete against each other during a practice. It would probably make any coach’s head explode.

    39. RE: Born Ready
      I think he will be an excellent fit as a Clipper. Slot him between CP3 and Blake and he is a great 3rd option. Great move for both teams..especially the win now Clips. If CP3 can’t do for Stephenson what LeBron did for JR, then Lance is un-fixable. Is that a word? LOL

      RE: NYK moves
      I’m at peace with Phil possibly adding WCS and Monroe in the offseason. A WCS-Monroe-Melo frontcourt doesn’t really sound that bad. Add in bounce back seasons from Calderon and TH2, that makes a pretty nice starting 5 in the East. I hope TH2 and every other perimeter player is ready to go all out on defense. They’re gonna need to if the team is gonna improve. Question though: Is WCS really potentially THAT good on defense? I’ve heard him compared to a younger Tyson Chandler and even a Marcus Camby. Kentucky had so many gifted players in that rotation, it was kinda hard to see if anyone was really good. Except Towns- because of his showing in the tournament. If he can rebound and defend like Camby once did, then he’s a steal if Phil is able to trade down and draft him.

    40. I’m at peace with Phil possibly adding WCS and Monroe in the offseason. A WCS-Monroe-Melo frontcourt doesn’t really sound that bad. Add in bounce back seasons from Calderon and TH2, that makes a pretty nice starting 5 in the East. I hope TH2 and every other perimeter player is ready to go all out on defense.

      A. THJ is terrible
      B. THJ is never going to be “all out” on defense. He’s terrible.

    41. WCS-Monroe-Melo is a spacing nightmare.

      Anyway, here is some footage of Myles Turner ASM workout. I think his workout was before Kristaps but hopefully Phil was there for the whole event. Another player that was there I like is Danilo Fuzaro, Brazilian combo-G (6-4 185 lbs), I think he is a nice late 1st/2nd rd guy.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLGeP0L6-CY

      Myles seems to look smoother in his gate which is good. I really think he would make an excellent trade down choice. How can you not like a big that shoots it 84% from the line while also being a productive shot blocker and rebounder. I wonder if he is done growing the dude just turned 19 less than 3 months ago?

    42. I’m totally cool with looking for hope with the future of this team. I personally am right there with everyone else coming up with scenarios in my head where they might become good somewhat soon (most involve the unlikely scenario that Russell somehow falls to the Knicks at #4). But no scenario should include THJ in them. He’s an awful, awful player. He can’t do anything but score. Anything. And then he can’t even score well! Think about that – he’s good at one thing and he’s not even actually good at that one thing! That he has an NBA career is actually kind of maddening to me right now, in part because the one thing he is supposed to be good at is something that the NBA overvalues so much that a guy like THJ can stick around because teams believe they can teach him to do other stuff all due to the fact that he has the theoretical ability to be good at scoring.

    43. Heck, and I say this as someone who has always admired him and felt that he was the largest part of what made the Chandler trade a solid C at the time (which is how all trades should be judged, how they looked at the time of the deal), but I don’t think anyone should reasonably expect Jose Calderon to be any good next season, either. He might turn out to be good, but the amount of players his age who are terrible one year, get hurt and then come back and are suddenly good again? It is not a very large list of players. Most players in similar scenarios were just washed up.

    44. I’m with Brian on both TH2 and Calderon. If you’re hoping for those two to be good, You might as well hope we draft WCS and hope that he becomes Wilt Chamberlain II.

    45. Also @49 I laughed out loud and woke my partner up and now she’s mad at me, thanks.

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