Knicks Morning News (2015.07.27)

  • [New York Times] Second Half of WNBA Season Set to Get Under Way (Mon, 27 Jul 2015 06:25:38 GMT)

    With All-Star weekend finished, the WNBA turns its attention to the second half of the season.

  • [New York Times] Australia Dumps Cambage for Attending Rock Festival (Mon, 27 Jul 2015 01:25:30 GMT)

    Australia have dumped leading women’s basketball player Liz Cambage from Olympic qualifiers after she skipped the first day of a training camp to attend a rock festival.

  • [New York Times] W.N.B.A. Star Tamika Catchings Nears End of One Career While Preparing for Another (Mon, 27 Jul 2015 00:35:05 GMT)

    Catchings, of the Indiana Fever, dreams of becoming a general manager after a long and decorated career. She has sought advice from another Indiana luminary: Larry Bird.

  • Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

    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 (2015.07.27)”

    1. Why is Boston just helping out Miami with their cap situation? I get helping them out with their cap situation to gain some draft picks, like what Portland just did with Cleveland. Or helping them out with their cap situation to get a young asset, like what Orlando just did with Miami and Napier. But help out the Heat with their cap situation to get Zoran Dragic and nothing else? Why?

    2. Was just thinking about melo/zinger pnr’s and pnp’s next year and going forward. I think they could be very devasting as zinger can shoot over any sf if the defense decides to switch and we have all seen how effective melo is as a shooter when he gets open. Zinger seems quite interested in setting picks and presumably is comfortable making quick decisions out of those scenarios. This 2 man game could end up getting us a lot of buckets in clutch situations. Provided the defense holds up enough to actually keep us in games

    3. Pt 5 Phil files.

      I really don’t get why Rosen consistently avoids throwing in corrections to these pieces when he or Phil says something that is clearly wrong. I don’t mind keeping the wrong info in there, as Rosen is just showing what they said to each other, but a quick note to correct stuff would be very helpful (“And we had to do everything right now simply because we don’t have another first-round draft pick until 2016, and no second-round picks until 2017.” They don’t have a first-round pick in 2016. So just a quick “Note: The Knicks don’t have a first-round pick until 2017”).

      But beyond that, these continue to be interesting articles.

    4. Regarding the Boston trade, Boston got a second round pick and cash out of the deal. You have to send something back in a trade so they sent a pick to Miami that was apparently so protected it will never actually change hands. I don’t know the details of it’s protection, but it might something like the pick reverts to Boston if it’s in the top 55 picks in that draft (which is what Milwaukee got for Dudley). So essentially Miami paid Boston to take Zoran off their hands. If he’s good for Boston in training camp, they keep him. If he’s not, they waive him. They still have to pay him, but they have cash from Miami to do that. They end up with a future second round pick for going to this trouble.

    5. Aha, the original description of the trade just said Miami got a fake second rounder and the Celtics got Dragic. If the Celtics got a second rounder, as well, then yes, that makes perfect sense. Thanks!

    6. From Phil files:

      Are [Lance and/or Lou] keepers?

      Jackson: “That depends on who chases them when they become free agents this summer. And if we can sign them to salaries that works for us.”

      So we got them at a price that works for us!!!

    7. crazchino
      July 27, 2015 at 1:09 pm
      http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/13307527/the-phil-files-part-5-kobe-bryant-jerry-krause-criticisms

      Pt 5 Phil files.

      these rosen articles are interesting, but i don’t think phil is doing himself (or the knicks) any favors with them. he is bad mouthing former players, bad mouthing current players, bad mouthing dean smith, and also appearing a bit ignorant about how the salary cap works.

      most GMs won’t give this type of and i have to believe it is for good reason. phil hasn’t said anything too damaging, but there is likely going to be some backlash to these articles and i don’t see the benefit to the knicks. only to espn and rosen.

    8. I don’t share the opinion that Jackson should be tight-lipped. What he was doing is making public the notion that this isn’t easy. Kobe wanting to free style? JR only looking to chuck up the ball? Marc Gasol maybe being too expensive? Nothing rings false. I agree with you Brian that a “sic” comment would have been appropriate on the 2016 FA gaffe.

    9. Uh where did he bad mouth dean smith? I just saw him saying that unc has historically focused on talented athletic guys compared to duke which teaches more fundamentals type basketball. That may or may not be true, but if that’s what you’re referring to, I don’t think that constitutes badmouthing dean smith.

    10. Jackson is affecting JR’s career for the sake of these “insight into the thinking of a basketball genius” puff pieces. JR is a selfish player: not news. JR was traded in part because he hadn’t been given a green light to be selfish by Jackson and Fisher: maybe news that affects JR’s next contract. Does JR “deserve it”? In the sense that it’s probably an accurate record of his behavior, sure. Is it information that a team president should allow to be published when his former player has so much at stake? In my opinion, definitely not. Who needs to know that JR teared up and made excuses about having girl trouble, etc.? It’s humiliating JR in public and repeatedly emphasizing his worst traits. I know most others don’t agree with me on this so I won’t rail on about it after this comment, but it really seems low to me. Journalists are paid to get this kind of story. Fine. It’s part of your job description to get accurate information that could have bad consequences for people you write about. Coaches and team presidents on the other hand are paid to guide players and nurture their development when they’re in your charge and, if you take that charge seriously, after they’ve left. None of the “insights” into his thinking from these articles seem half so revealing as Jackson’s decision to allow his mouthpiece to publish this stuff, especially at a time when it could diminish JR’s next contract. I hope this is the last one of these.

    11. What’s interesting about the Phil Files is he is circling back around to issues that were debated last year and taking the final word long after anyone cared to continue the conversation.

      He must be the most legacy-conscious NBA personality ever, at least in terms of his willingness to engage and manipulate his legacy as it unfolds. I find it kind of creepy but mostly harmless.

    12. @9: i think a coach talking about his players is different than a gm talking about his players. he is not saying anything incorrect, but i don’t see why he has to say these things publicly.

      @10: phil suggested that UNC doesn’t teach fundamentals to their players. i depiction that i think is inaccurate. smith taught fundamentals, he just also got better athletes. it was a throwaway line, but a subtle shot nonetheless.

      again, i don’t think this rosen series is a big deal, but I also don’t see the upside. if there is a slight chance that phil wants to recruit a FA next year and that guy is a huge UNC fan, or disliked it when a a previous GM bad mouthed them in public, it can come back to haunt him. it’s not likely, but even if its possible, why risk it?

    13. @11, JR Smith not having an NBA contract now or in the future is 100% on JR Smith. If NBA execs are meaningfully swayed by Phil Jackson’s evaluations the Knicks would be getting a better return on their trades.

    14. I do agree that Phil comes off a bit oddly here (and most of his public interactions, really) but at the same time he is so well known for just this sort of thing that I don’t think it makes much of a difference. He’s been doing this stuff for decades now. He was a key source for one of the greatest hit pieces in NBA history, The Jordan Rules, and he went on to win ELEVEN titles after that.

    15. Does anyone really find Phil’s behavior surprising? He’s a notorious self-promoter and pot-stirrer.

      I don’t care at all that he’s stating the obvious about JR Smith, who was arrogant enough to think that a better offer than his player option was waiting for him, and who posted “one team’s trash is another team’s treasure” as a direct swipe at Phil. It was JR who manipulated prior management into giving a roster spot to his talentless brother. JR damaged his own brand with his on-court and off-court actions far beyond Phil’s ability to damage him further.

      Phil’s comments re: Shump didn’t stop Shump from getting overpaid for the next 4 years.

      It’s douchey and self-serving, but of zero consequence. He is clearly driving the bus right now, which is more than can be said for his predecessors. His legacy in NY will be about W’s and L’s in the next 3 years.

    16. Also, is what Phil said about JR and Shump any worse than what Morey did to Jeremy Lin by mounting that huge poster of Melo wearing Lin’s #7? I thought that that was beyond disgraceful. But because Morey’s team went to the WCF’s and came back vs. the Clips, nobody cares.

    17. @14, I agree that JR has earned his well-established basketball rep and that will be the major determinant of JR’s future. I doubt Jackson’s assessment of JR’s emotional maturity and coachability has no sway on anyone considering whether or how much to offer JR. Even if it doesn’t have an impact though I wish that just knowing it might hurt JR was enough to make Jackson be more discreet. Who does it serve to reveal embarrassing details from private conversations? Imagine a colleague sharing stories with everyone at a party about how a former subordinate teared up and made excuses when confronted in a performance evaluation, knowing that the former employee and his prospective new employers were listening. Even if it’s all accurate info and consistent with what’s suspected about the guy, doesn’t that seem really inappropriate?

    18. I think that’s a perfect description, Z-Man, “douchey and self-serving, but of zero consequence.”

    19. Z-Man, I don’t find it surprising or unique. I just care about it more because it’s the Knicks. They’ve been such a bad organization and they’re making such a big deal about rebuilding with less egotistical high-character guys, that I strongly wish that Jackson was better at walking the walk.

    20. Unreason, I agree, but this is Phil we’re talking about. It’s like wishing that he was Donnie Walsh (the real one, not the KB poster!)

    21. Interesting – on the one hand, I agree with many of you that there’s no real tangible gains by Jackson allowing Rosen to reveal his feelings on player-related matters. Basketball-related matters, on the other hand, is good to be open about to some degree.

      Perhaps part of the reason why these ‘Phil Files’ exist is to show the world that MSG is no longer about closed doors and approved interviews? Probably a bit of a stretch, but I imagine this may be part of the culture change.

    22. I know there probably has been conversation about this already, but the Phil Files is a pretty interesting read. One can surmise a lot by observing, but getting some insight into his thinking is enlightening.
      I was a little shocked to see he still had interest in Bargs, if the price was right. Given everything, I’m not sure any price would have been worth signing him. He’s not a winner and he can’t stay on the court.

    23. “Perhaps part of the reason why these ‘Phil Files’ exist is to show the world that MSG is no longer about closed doors and approved interviews? Probably a bit of a stretch, but I imagine this may be part of the culture change.”

      Yes, that’s part of what I meant by “driving the bus.” If Dolan was looking for the ever-loyal, tight-lipped kind of GM, he should never have hired a irreverent blowhard flake of Phil’s magnitude.

      If those two have a falling out and it ends ugly, look out!

    24. Frank O, that was well before the end of the season. He just recently threw Bargs under the bus as well.

    25. I think the Phil Files are great for people like us, who spend our time speculating on what Knicks management is thinking. All year long I heard arguments like “we don’t know what Phil Jackson is thinking”, and when people would use Jackson’s direct quotes to make their points, people would rebut “but GMs say stuff all the time that they don’t really mean because if they said how they really felt about players nobody would want to play for them”, etc…

      So, the more we can tap into Phil’s mind, which these pieces clearly are giving us access to, the better we can speculate what Phil Jackson is thinking.

      As for JR Smith, what Phil Jackson says publicly has little impact on Smith’s next contract. GMs talk, and when they call former employers during the hiring process, Phil will say candidly how he feels. Danny Ainge and Sam Presti are not reading the Phil Files to make personell decisions.

    26. @25, that’s one advantage of Phil over the real Donnie Walsh. Phil isn’t too classy to have a smear job ghostwritten over his name.

    27. @22, I think you’re right Z-man. It’s at least a bit naive of me to hope that age and a new role would be enough to keep Phil from reviving this nasty habit.
      I’m sure neither Donnie Walsh would stoop so low.

    28. @27. Maybe they do call each other up all the time. I don’t know. I suspect these pieces and all the coverage of them do have an effect though. JR was 6th man of the year a couple of years ago. Lebron supposedly wants him back for some mysterious reason. There have been pieces on him saying he is well-liked by team mates. There have been others describing his “revival” with the Cavs. That’s all being weighed, I suspect, against the obvious lack of discipline he’s shown throughout his career. Say you’re a GM weighing whether to take a flier on JR. You’re wondering whether he’s matured enough to at least not be a major distraction. Then Phil Jackson weighs-in repeatedly in the press describing reasons and anecdotes about the personal and professional negative traits that led him to trade JR. Then those comments echo repeatedly in all the stories about the story. I’m sure that is not the main reason you lower your offer, but it obviously can’t help JR’s and at least seems plausible that it hurts, no matter what private conversations you have. People are risk averse in general and personnel decisions are huge. Hearing over and over again that the guy is immature and unreliable as the story reverberates could easily have an impact I think.

    29. . Who needs to know that JR teared up and made excuses about having girl trouble, etc.? It’s humiliating JR in public and repeatedly emphasizing his worst traits

      He was clearly giving JR the business for being an unprofessional employee with the Knicks. He served notice that if you accept Dolan’s money, you agree to play hoops in an egalitarian fashion… I you refuse, I’ll extract my pound of flesh the best way I can.

      Now that may stop some players from signing up, but he doesn’t want those guys. He coached plenty of real stars that realized the best way to win at hoops is to have talent and share the ball.

      Ask Kobe now if he’d like Phil back…….

    30. If those two have a falling out and it ends ugly, look out!

      Oh man, can you even imagine?!? It would be glorious. We’d all learn to love the smell of napalm in the morning!

    31. Kuzmic signs to play in Greece. So who else is out there at Center?

      Wesley Saunders is impressing me more and more from what I’ve read being a big, multi-talented 2 guard. Can he beat out Ledo?

    32. Just posted this on UK about the Phil Files:

      And he’s contradicting himself throughout the series. In this very article he says, “All I can say is that I’m following the same script that Jerry followed after I left the Bulls. That is, basically clean house and look to rebuild around a top-notch draft pick.” And then later on, “At the beginning of the season, I hoped that we would at least be able to compete.” And if we’re cleaning house then why are we looking to trade for Dragic, Kanter, or Afflalo?

      Then there’s this, “As I’ve mentioned before, J.R. was more interested in hunting for his own shots than in buying into the triangle. Plus, he has a player’s option for next season that would limit our flexibility.” The first part of that is totally reasonable but if the second part is true why, in his first trade with the Knicks, did he take on additional salary past last season?

      And this, “Above all, we needed cap space and draft choices to start to right the ship. And we had to do everything right now simply because we don’t have another first-round draft pick until 2016, and no second-round picks until 2017. The various trades gave us what we needed — cap space and future draft choices. In truth, this is our last chance for a while to build through the draft.” The various trades he made added only about $3M in cap space this past Summer and has cost us cap space while Calderon is still with the team. The draft picks are basically neutral as well; we traded one 2nd rounder and the rights to swap another one to Philly to open up a roster spot for Wear. We’ve gotten back one 2nd rounder from Cleveland/Orlando (Orlando has the right to swap with Cleveland that year) and two more from Houston. So its 3 in and 2 out when the interview was made. We traded two future 2nds for Philly’s pick in this draft so now we’re dead even: 4 in, 4 out.

    33. I do get people calling Phil a self serving blow hard about this although it is how he’s always been. However, one thing that he has said repeatedly regarding players he traded including JR and Iman was that he was happy that they found better situations and he was actively looking to help them do that. I don’t think that stuff goes unnoticed.

      And yeah ask Kobe how he felt when they shunned Phil for MDA. Kobe is full of shit.

    34. Then Phil Jackson weighs-in repeatedly in the press describing reasons and anecdotes about the personal and professional negative traits that led him to trade JR.

      Let’s be honest though. Knowing JR like we do, there is a good chance that if any of this had adversely affected his ability to sign anywhere, or if he had a serious gripe with it, there would have been a post on Twitter or Instagram.

      And he’s contradicting himself throughout the series. In this very article he says, “All I can say is that I’m following the same script that Jerry followed after I left the Bulls. That is, basically clean house and look to rebuild around a top-notch draft pick.” And then later on, “At the beginning of the season, I hoped that we would at least be able to compete.” And if we’re cleaning house then why are we looking to trade for Dragic, Kanter, or Afflalo?

      When you read those two lines like that, yeah he’s contradicting himself, however as we are all aware, Phil changed his stance and the script so to speak when it became apparent that Melo needed to be shut down and the team was going nowhere; so I don’t think him offering up different opinions in different articles is that big a deal. Especially considering the discussions are from different points of the season. I would also imagine part of cleaning house means bringing in players. Those three guys were FA’s this past off-season, so we could have traded and given them a trial run. Although it seems unlikely we would have been able to get them considering the cupboard was pretty bare after the JR and Shump trade.

    35. When you read those two lines like that, yeah he’s contradicting himself, however as we are all aware, Phil changed his stance and the script so to speak when it became apparent that Melo needed to be shut down and the team was going nowhere; so I don’t think him offering up different opinions in different articles is that big a deal. Especially considering the discussions are from different points of the season. I would also imagine part of cleaning house means bringing in players. Those three guys were FA’s this past off-season, so we could have traded and given them a trial run. Although it seems unlikely we would have been able to get them considering the cupboard was pretty bare after the JR and Shump trade.

      All the quotes I pulled are in this most recent article; the interview for it was all done on Feb 24.

    36. All the quotes I pulled are in this most recent article; the interview for it was all done on Feb 24.

      My apologies. I don’t think I quite articulated myself well there. Either way I still don’t feel like it being a big deal or a massive contradiction. Phil was very open at the start of the year for (rightly or wrongly) saying that he believed the team would be able to compete. When it became obvious a change was needed, he put up his hand and said he was wrong and started the semi-rebuild we currently have on our hands. The ‘script’ changed mid-season, so I would think that his reference to following what Krause did in Chicago was probably intended (without putting words in the writers mouth here) to be in conjunction with the teams change in direction as opposed to the FO’s initial thoughts at the start of the season.

    37. I’m going to take the other side of this. I love these Phil Files. I want some insight into what he thinks about certain players and what he was thinking at the time he made various trades. It makes it easier for me evaluate him and compare his thoughts to my own. He could probably word some of this stuff in a way where the message gets across as well but doesn’t come off as taking a shot at anyone, but this is nothing new for him.

    38. @ vincoug.

      Phil clearly uses different tenses to talk about what he was doing versus what he is doing. You’re being silly.

    39. I like when you guys try to make rankings of dudes who have played a couple hundred minutes of Summer League. Keep at it, folks. I love it.

    40. I’m going to take the other side of this. I love these Phil Files. I want some insight into what he thinks about certain players and what he was thinking at the time he made various trades. It makes it easier for me evaluate him and compare his thoughts to my own. He could probably word some of this stuff in a way where the message gets across as well but doesn’t come off as taking a shot at anyone, but this is nothing new for him.

      I agree. It’s nice to get a bit of an inside view considering the previous culture of MSG lock downs. They are a bit puffy, but at least we have something to work with when we debate what Phil has done in his tenure so far.

    41. “I like when you guys try to make rankings of dudes who have played a couple hundred minutes of Summer League. Keep at it, folks. I love it.”

      This, coming from a guy who had Kenneth Faried and Kyle Anderson inducted in Springfield before they got to training camp…

      Is Milutinov this year’s overlooked HOFer?

    42. He could probably word some of this stuff in a way where the message gets across

      Like in 140 characters or less?

    43. All kidding aside, summer league is a joke when it comes to making definitive judgments about future success. It’s still fun to speculate, though, kind of like speculating what your final hand in Texas Hold ’em is before the flop. The difference is, everybody is already “all in” and we’ll have to wait 2-3 years to see the rest of the cards. And of course, there’s not just one winner. There could be ten future HOFers in this draft class…or none!

      I think it’s an interesting hypothetical question: In a re-draft, would the order change on the basis of SL performance? Or put another way, if you’re the GM of the Lakers, would you make a straight up Russell for Zinger trade? Or as the Knicks GM, would you still trade Zinger straight up for Russell or Okafor? (I assume that just about everyone still thinks that Towns is the best prospect.)

    44. @33. Thanks, Kahnzy. for posting this link. Need a laugh? Read the convulsion-inducing analysis and take-down of the “I’ve got a family to feed” meme.

    45. All you guys bitching about Phil dishing this story about JR and harming JR’s street cred, well let’s face it, we all read those articles and probably all looked forward to them. He’s just confirming what we’ve suspected of him and shump even since before the trade. JR is garbage, he never deserved all that money he made with us, and worse off, he wasted a lot of our time.

    46. @47 isn’t he just doing points per touch? So a chucker who does not bring up the ball would fare well while a PG who doesn’t shoot much like Eric Snow or Mo Cheeks would not by my understanding .

    47. @50, yeah, it’s a noisy stat. Just wanted to point out how SportsVu data is working its way into the analytics fold. But it does raise some interesting questions. For example, Mozgov averages more points per touch than Chandler. Neither handle the ball much, and Chandler shoots at a higher TS%. Maybe points that the team scores per touch would be more telling.

    48. Would doing point per touch for a team take pace out of the equation to determine the best scoring teams?

    49. I don’t think this stat means anything at all.

      Why should I care about how many times a player touch the ball before scoring?

    50. Why should I care about how many times a player touch the ball before scoring?

      I don’t know why YOU should care, but coaches care because there is a correlation in the number of touches per possession and true shooting percentage. The deduction is that more passes tends to result in more open shots and more fouls (from guys out of position) and better positioning on offense in general. Kerr used that stat heavily in creating his offense.

    51. Ha! So at the end of the day (or possession) it comes down to the skill of the shooter. What a novel concept!

      Remember how insanely low the Knicks’ turnover numbers were in 2012-13? Even though they were iso-heavy, it didn’t matter as much because they rarely ended a possession without a shot (or FTs.) More passes usually leads to more turnovers, so there’s that.

      If Westbrook or finals LeBron are hogging the ball, your team can still win. If the ball is moving like crazy, but ending up in Jason Smith’s or Lance Thomas’s hands, not so much.

    52. Ha! So at the end of the day (or possession) it comes down to the skill of the shooter. What a novel concept!

      Exactly. I don’t wanna go Ted Nelson on you guys but is there any evidence that more passes leads to better TS%?

      A NCAA team passes the ball for 25 seconds before thinking about shooting.

      A lot of passing could also mean a lot of forced shots with the clock expiring.

    53. I don’t know if anyone has done this but I would think that the raw sportvu data – not the prepackaged metrics based on them at NBA.com – would allow you to define and model outcomes for half court offense that might be more interesting than points; things like “good shots” and “bad shots”. You could define good shots by choosing combinations of values for: the shooter, where they shot from, set vs. off the dribble, number of defenders, distance from defender(s), time on shot clock. You could choose combinations that have something like a > 50% chance of going in for 2s or > 40% chance for 3s. The actual % cut-offs could be chosen empirically based on the distribution of shooting success in your sample so the success rate is meaningfully “good” but feasible to achieve; not really rare combinations that have >70% success (infeasible and more likely to be noise than signal), nor too common/easy to achieve (not meaningfully “good”).
      Then you could do the opposite to define combinations of the same variables that have success rates that make sense to define as bad shots.
      Then you could do analyses that tell you which sequences in a possession are most likely to lead to a good or a bad shot. Sequences would include things like high screen(s), dribble penetration, passing out of the post, passing out of double-teams, mismatched defender (size/strength/quickness). Then you could see how the best predictors of good and bad shots vary with the unit on the floor.
      That would suggest which variations on your offense to run and which to avoid with each unit.
      If no one has yet, someone should start an open source GitHub site and wiki where people can contribute to algorithms that scrape the raw data and use it to define standardized outcomes and predictors like this.

    Comments are closed.