Knicks Morning News (2015.07.17)

  • [New York Times] Kings Drop Mbah a Moute (Fri, 17 Jul 2015 03:42:08 GMT)

    The Sacramento Kings have voided the contract of forward Luc Mbah a Moute after he failed a team physical.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Sign Free-Agent Forward Josh Smith (Fri, 17 Jul 2015 02:01:39 GMT)

    The Clippers signed free-agent forward Josh Smith, who helped eliminate them in the playoffs when he was with the Houston Rockets.

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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).

    56 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.07.17)”

    1. Josh Smith + Lance Stephenson = Doc will have his hands full
      Pass the Prozac

      Actually not a terrible basketball move, Smith can provide some offense from the PF position while Blake Griffin is off the court

    2. I really like Montrezl Harrell. He’s a Faried clone at #32. Nice job by Houston.

    3. Re: Porzingis, he seemed pretty out of shape for a skinny 19 year old. I don’t think the European players work out like top-level NCAA players. I mean, he’s tired after 3 games, playing 20 minutes a game?

    4. Actually not a terrible basketball move, Smith can provide some offense from the PF position while Blake Griffin is off the court

      You know that the last two years he’s posted a 46 TS%, right?

      Last season, there were 17 players who qualified for the MP/G leaderboard and shot worse than 47 TS%. Seventeen!

      Of those, Josh Smith took the 2nd-most shots, with 987 FGA. That makes him a horrific offensive basketball player. Like bad bad shouldn’t-be-in-the-NBA bad.

      With Detroit, he had a 41.7 TS%! 41.7!

    5. Grant’s gonna be a solid pro. I bet he becomes an above average starter and maybe an all star game or two. His head is always up. He just knows how to play. What a great draft.

    6. Grant’s gonna be a solid pro. I bet he becomes an above average starter and maybe an all star game or two. His head is always up. He just knows how to play. What a great draft.

      Summer. League.

    7. Snark aside, Grant does look promising, especially in the open court. He almost can’t be worse than Timmy

    8. My. Opinion.

      Does NOTHING matter in summer league? Why do they have it? Would you ever dare to voice an opinion or just be safe and not say anything about any player? he is a 6’4″ point guard who is quick, plays defense, passes well, is always looking up, pushes the ball, can take it to the hole and hits open jumpers. Most of this I BELIEVE will translate to the NBA. I’m not saying he’ll be a superstar. I think he’ll be a solid pro.

    9. Anthony Randolph had amazing talent. Grant knows how to play the game. Big difference. Ledo makes an occasional great move. Grant has a feel for the game.

    10. Thanasis 7/7!
      :-)
      bockadoo, I hope you are right about Grant. His play has been very encouraging, but it seems a bit early to be saying that he’ll be an all-star. That would be great, though.

    11. Labyerie does fight, and he’s got a great Kurt Thomas scowl, but not much in the way of skills.

    12. Jerian Grant was a fine player in college, and was first team All-American as a senior, and was widely considered one of the most polished, NBA-ready players in the draft. It’s not like he’s some scrubby player who just got hot in a few summer league games. He’s a known commodity. I will be very surprised if Grant stinks out the joint in the NBA.

    13. I like Grant. He gets some rebounds his first 20 games in the NBA and can get into the lane and I’m on board.

    14. Willy Hernangomez signed a deal with Read Madrid. Hopefully he can get some nice playing time next season for them and hopefully good buyout terms.

    15. Grant will hopefully be an efficient Jrue Holiday. Just hoping he gets to the line more than Holiday.

      I also, am high on N’dour he needs to be signed. Thanasis needs more seasoning and they have his rights unlike N’dour. If they can sign N’dour, I look forward to reading how the Westchester Knicks held their opponents to 15 pts and how Thanasty and Mr. Mo’dour accumulated 32 blks and stls between the two of them. lol.

    16. 25. I thought he was always signed to Madrid and was just on loan? Either way I’d imagine he’ll be with the knicks next year.

    17. Thanasis or Ndour to make the final roster? I might lean toward Ndour because he can score a little better. Would love to find a shooter.

    18. I think Grant will be a step up from Larkin who just had no feel for running an offense. I wonder if he’ll be able to finish against NBA length- I think he’ll need a floater if he wants to be a quality starter. I still wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the starting line-up by the all-star break (or even earlier) but that has as much to do with how low my expectations are for Calderon as anything I saw from him in summer league. Unfortunately, he could be pretty lousy and still be the best guard on the team. I do think he’ll wind up being a pretty good player- as some have suggested Jrue Holiday seems like an achievable comp.

    19. I like Thanasis, great attitude, but he’s just not ready.

      Ndour gets my vote. I suppose keeping Ledo around is palatable, until a better option comes along. That still leaves one roster spot open. Please don’t give it to Alex Kirk.

    20. And thus, the worst 2-month stretch of dog days for NBA fans begins. The best thing is that Zinger and Grant stayed healthy.

    21. Jerian Grant was a fine player in college, and was first team All-American as a senior, and was widely considered one of the most polished, NBA-ready players in the draft. It’s not like he’s some scrubby player who just got hot in a few summer league games. He’s a known commodity. I will be very surprised if Grant stinks out the joint in the NBA.

      Recent 1st team All American point guards that proceeded to stink up the NBA:

      Russ Smith
      Scottie Reynolds
      Nolan Smith
      Shabazz Napier
      Trey Burke
      Acie Law
      Randy Foye
      Jimmer Fredette

      (Every silver lining’s got a touch of gray:)

    22. Way up thread somebody made a mention of how out of shape Porzingis seems to be. It’s actually notable that European players don’t have 24/7 access to a facility the way NBA and NCAA players have since those arenas are used for other things. I remember reading an article where Doom said the coolest thing about being in the NBA is you get to practice 24/7 and that the idea of being able to walk into a facility at any time was strange to him at first. So I think his lack of practice time might have to do with his conditioning.

    23. somebody made a mention of how out of shape Porzingis seems to be. It’s actually notable that European players don’t have 24/7 access to a facility

      You don’t need a gym to get in shape. Haven’t you ever seen Rocky IV?

    24. Actually not a terrible basketball move, Smith can provide some offense from the PF position while Blake Griffin is off the court

      You know that the last two years he’s posted a 46 TS%, right?

      No I didn’t know all of that. I did know he averaged 16 points a game and signed with LAC for the vets minimum. Considering they’re way over the cap and their options are limited, it might turn out to be not a terrible move. When you point out all of those stats, all I can say is I’m glad the Knicks didn’t sign him.

    25. You know that the last two years he’s posted a 46 TS%, right?

      With Josh Smith, it is an attitude problem. If they can get him not to shoot 3pt, his %TS increases. It is always much better if he plays near to the basket. If you get his TS to be near average, he has tons of positives in high rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Not a bad gamble to make at the vet minimum for a contender who has trouble adding more pieces to the team.

    26. Josh Smith has the same problem MCW has.

      They are very skilled players that are above average in everything but shooting and turnovers.

      And they are so bad at those that they became a liability to their teams.

      They need a coach like Pop that will bench them as soon as one of them shoot a ill-advised shoot.

      At this point in his career, Josh Smith is probably a lost case. MCW on the other hand is young enough to learn something from Jason Kidd.

    27. I don’t think it’s as simple as an attitude problem. He and Bargnani are just dumb players who are what they are. I mean, why would he leave Houston, which was supposed to be the perfect situation for him?

    28. With Josh Smith, it is an attitude problem. If they can get him not to shoot 3pt, his %TS increases.

      It’s natural to think this given what a terrible 3 PT shooter he is, but it may not but true at this age. If you ignore his 3s entirely in the last two years , his TS% was an amazingly bad 45.7% and 45.4% respectively, even worse than his actual numbers. You could maybe argue that by not shooting 3s he would change his game such that he had more easy opportunities, but I’m sure how convincing that would be. For example, if you take all the games in the last couple of years where he attempted 1 or fewer 3s, his TS% was even worse than normal. He is also a bad mid range shooter, so you’d have to imagine him playing in a way he has rarely played before. Even in his few decent TS% in Atlanta, the results were either anomalous (a good shooting year relative to career avg) or due to things that are probably gone forever due to age (FT/36 has one of the most predictable aging curves). Really the one exception was 09-10, where he shot zero 3s and took by far a career high 55% of his shots at the rim. This is probably Mike Woodson’s crowning achievement, but my guess is they will find out pretty quickly that it is also ancient history.

      Smith played much better than expected for the Rockets last year, by just being inefficient on offense (with both very high TOs and a below average TS%) as opposed to maybe the least efficient offensive player in the NBA. That’s a big deal because he’s helpful defensively. But his bad-but-not-abysmal offense came mostly because he shot 33% from 3 in the reg season and 36% in the playoffs, versus 28% for his career — and shot a ton of them. And it wasn’t because he was taking above-avg rates of corner 3s or more assisted 3s than usual. Probably it was just luck; lots of volatility in 3P%.

    29. I don’t think it’s as simple as an attitude problem. He and Bargnani are just dumb players who are what they are. I mean, why would he leave Houston, which was supposed to be the perfect situation for him?

      I don’t think Houston is that perfect for him. He got playing time last year because injuries, he could very well be behind Montiejunas and Terrence Jones. In the Clippers, he is only behind Griffin, and might play some SF too.

    30. his TS% was an amazingly bad 45.7% and 45.4% respectively

      In Detroit he was in a situation where Monroe and Drummond had all the interior shots. And his role was to shoot from the outside, which isnt a good idea.

      Offensively, he can contribute in transition and with his passing. I think it is not a bad gamble for the Clippers, let’s see what Doc Rivers can do with him.

    31. iserp, I agree that at the price, it’s not a bad gamble. Griffin and Jordan will both be playing 35+ minutes a night, so as cheap back-up, he’s fine. If he doesn’t work, cut him and sign a D-Leaguer.

      He did have some decent seasons in the past…a solid defensive player with a TS% of around .540 at a USG% of 22-28, WS48 of .116 to .155, and a VORP of 3.4 to 5.4. So at age 30 w/o injury concerns, he could be a nice bench player if he can sniff those stats again. The trend doesn’t look good, though.

      I also think that being behind Monty and Jones is less daunting than being behind Jordan and Griffin. At his best, he might actually be better than either of those guys.

    32. (I meant statistically, I wouldn’t want a low-IQ player like Josh Smith on my team under any circumstances. I’m just surprised that HE thought the opportunity was better.)

    33. Josh Smith can be a useful player. He was pretty decent for Houston. Granted, he was super awful for Detroit, so there’s obviously some risk involved. Same thing for Lance. But LA was in a terrible cap spot and has a real chance of winning a title if they hit on their gambles, so they make sense to me. Either way it should be entertaining.

    34. He did have some decent seasons in the past…a solid defensive player with a TS% of around .540 at a USG% of 22-28, WS48 of .116 to .155, and a VORP of 3.4 to 5.4. So at age 30 w/o injury concerns, he could be a nice bench player if he can sniff those stats again. The trend doesn’t look good, though.

      Sure, whatever, yeah. If. That’s the thing. We’re always talking about players based on reputation, because the human brain and stuff. If he plays more like he did when he was 25 (which some would suggest is the average peak for an NBA player) then he might be a neutral minutes-eater. If.

      Josh Smith is basketball cancer and he should be a China league superstar. No NBA team should have him on their roster. That he’s going to the Clippers makes sense, because Doc Rivers is obsessed with old players who were good in like 2009, but he’s a terrible NBAer. I don’t want to shovel coal in the Ted Nelson hate-furnace, but the Clippers would be better off finding some tall 4-year NCAAer who led his conference in WS and giving him a shot to be a 0.05 WP48 player rather than having Josh Smith chuck your team out of multiple playoff games.

      I can’t fucking believe that a likely #2 seed just signed Josh Smith to play basketball. I just can’t.

    35. They need Josh Smith and Austin Rivers on the team to cancel out the effects of Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan.

    36. I can’t fucking believe that a likely #2 seed just signed Josh Smith to play basketball. I just can’t.

      You can’t believe it? It’s the second time it’s happened this year.

    37. 1.5 million for Houston .141 wp/48 Josh Smith is a steal. If he’s just mediocre that’s still good. It’s a definite gamble, because we’ve all seen he can be so much worse than that, but I can see what LA is thinking.

    38. 1.5 million for Houston .141 wp/48 Josh Smith is a steal. If he’s just mediocre that’s still good. It’s a definite gamble, because we’ve all seen he can be so much worse than that, but I can see what LA is thinking.

      Not sure WP48 is too useful here. For example, it assumes that Smith was a 4 for Detroit and a 3 for the Rockets. If the WP48 calculation applied the same positional adjustment with as it did with the Pistons earlier in the year or for the entire rest of his career, his WP48 would drop down to a well below average .049 with the Rockets. Seems hard to make a convincing claims that Smith’s “position” in Houston changed his production value from a well below average to a well above average player. And that’s after including the fact that they got lucky with this 3 point %, which is unlikely to last.

    39. It doesn’t assume he didn’t play small forward. Smith played the 4 and occasionally was a small ball 5 on the Rockets. You may be right about his improvement from downtown though.

    40. It doesn’t assume he didn’t play small forward. Smith played the 4 and occasionally was a small ball 5 on the Rockets.

      No it does, check out the position number of 3.0 assigned for his Rockets run versus 4.0 for his Pistons time last year, and for most of his career. This 3.0 is what determines the huge position adjustment embedded in the WP48 formula.

      http://www.boxscoregeeks.com/players/6-josh-smith

      Under Berri’s formula, the 3.0 creates a much smaller downward adjustment to the “ADJ P 48” (which is wins produced per 48 before position adjustment) of .203 than if he was assigned a 4.0. If he had been considered a C (5.0) at Houston as you suggest, the downward adjustment would be even bigger, and his WP48 would actually have been a horrific -0.016

    41. What is this? Numbers?! Answer this, nerds: how could numbers tell us anything about basketball?

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