Knicks Morning News (2015.08.03)

  • [New York Times] Loyd Starting to Feel More Comfortable in the WNBA (Mon, 03 Aug 2015 07:25:39 GMT)

    Jewell Loyd is beginning to pick up the nuisances of the WNBA.

  • [New York Times] Ramu Tokashiki, a Japanese Rookie, Blossoms in the W.N.B.A. (Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:45:36 GMT)

    Seattle’s Ramu Tokashiki, the third Japanese woman to play in the W.N.B.A. and the most successful yet, has become a growing fan favorite.

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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).

    37 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.08.03)”

    1. I listened to Zach Lowe interview Stan Van Gundy on his latest podcast. It was very interesting, especially Van Gundy’s take on negotiating salaries and such. Also, he seemed very like Jackson in thinking that length is very important for defense.

    2. Re: Jowles listing 40 players he’d pick over Melo:

      HAHAHAHAHA

      And how did you leave out Tyson Chandler?

    3. I, for one, am excited to see the current version of the team. The team can’t be worse than it was last season. Melo can’t be worse than he was individually. I wanna see if Fish takes some cues from Larry Brown’s Sixers team that went to the Finals with AI. Of course I don’t think that’s in the cards for these Knicks. I just wanna see the team compete, focus on defense, and move the ball while Melo and Calderon do most of the playmaking and the rookies bring the energy off the bench. That happens and I won’t complain about the record. Last year’s team just looked discombobulated and overwhelmed. Probably had as much to do with the new system and culture change as it did talent and health. This is year 2 under Fisher’s voice and Phil’s vision. I expect the team to look much different now that Phil has assembled a roster with better IQ and more willingness to play team ball. The only player’s individual stats that should matter on this team is Melo’s. Last year more guys were concerned with individual numbers as opposed to team synergy and success. Phil has done a decent job of surrounding Melo with guys who put team first, so we should all look forward to a better team.

    4. in terms of importance for next year’s success and beyond… i would def rank it:

      1)Porzingis
      2)Melo
      3)Grant

      I think we all know what to expect from melo… probably a little better than last year but probably well short of his career years as a knick… the probability of collapse is probably a little higher than what most ppl think which would be disastrous… only because it would deflate his trade value and simultaneously torpedo our season…

      but our playoff hopes rest on our biggest unknowns which are the rooks… for porzingis.. if he’s going to be a star he’s going to have to be at least be a passable and major piece of the rotation… if he gets over 2000 minutes then i think we can safely punch our playoff tickets…

      grant has been treated as freeroll given what we gave up but he’s almost as important.. our whole backcourt is littered with question marks and he’s one of them… he’s the one guy who could totally surprise or totally disappoint… and given his age he’s going to need to excel also if we’re going to get any long term value out of that trade…

    5. @7 i think you phrased that wrong. Melo is the most important player on the team as he is the engine of the offense. But for the team to hyperexceed expectations Grant and Porzingis have to be at least league avg players, which would be great for a rookie.

    6. yea i mean melo has to be our best player.. and he probably will be… but the rooks have the highest volatility in likely outcomes and they are going to have to hit the high end of their projections if we’re going to sniff the playoffs…

    7. nah Jowels no one really expects anything. So i dont think you can do your whole “i told you so” move this year.

    8. @7 djphan – I would take it a step further. Porzingis and Grant are the key for the future. I’ll toss Early’s name into the mix too as last year was lost. This next decade depends heavily on their success.

    9. “rough” is relative. As in, for Kerr, 58-24 with a 2nd round exit would be a rough season. For me, as long as we hit 25 wins without being dead last in the conference is good.

    10. I still think 35 wins is likely. Which would be fine, if the rookies show they’ll be rotation players or better.

      With luck, that record will make it easier to add another significant player in the next FA class. Question is…who?

    11. So, a frequently hoped-for outcome for the upcoming year is that Melo is healthy and great and the Knicks stink. Melo then asks out, and the Knicks engineer a trade to an acceptable destination while receiving multiple assets in return.

      Can this scenario coexist with unequivocally productive seasons from the Zinger/Grant/Early/Galloway set? Maybe even throw in some expectation of O’Quinn to take a step forward with a larger role. If the wildcard youngsters perform, and Melo performs, is it possible for the Knicks to disappoint enough for Melo to ask for the trade?

      Is rooting for a Melo trade request cutting off our nose to spite our face at this point?

    12. I’m not sure our playoff hopes rest on our rookies per se, I think they depend more on the play of our guards. I compared our estimated starting lineup to Miami’s. I picked Miami for comparison purposes because they were barely out of the playoffs last year, but the press seems to have considered them substantially improved for this coming year. So they represent an Eastern conference team that is expected to be a contender for one of the bottom playoff spots. Then:

      Whitesides versus Lopez. Whitesides had a fantastic season last year, but it was the first such season he’s every had. Lopez has been much more consistent but didn’t his average stats weren’t as good as
      Whitesides. He was a much better passer though. Edge: Whitesides by a little bit.

      Bosh versus Melo: Both are aging players with injury concerns. I give an edge to Melo because he has more ways to score and can play the 3 or the 4.

      Deng versus O’Quinn: Stats are remarkably even. O’Quinn is a little bigger. I give this one a draw

      Wade versus Afflalo: Clear edge to Wade, but he has to stay healthy, which is a big if. Afflalo has seemed more durable. Afflalo’s probably better on defense.

      Dragic versus Calderon: Dragic was much better than Calderon last year, but if you compare Dragic’s stats last year to Calderon’s two years ago they are closer. However, Calderon’s defense is obviously a negative. Edge to Miami

      Overall, our centers and forwards are similar in quality to Miami’s and could be significantly better if Porzingis makes an impact. On the other hand, Miami’s starting guards are better. If you compare the Knicks to Washington or Toronto similarly, you probably find a similar picture. At least both our starting guards can hit an outside shot. If the guards can play well, I think the Knicks probably will be competing for a playoff berth next year (knock on wood!)

    13. Yeah basically they have to be a functioning team. Lol. I do expect good things from O’Quinn and ROLO. Hopefully Cle can improve

    14. no one really expects anything. So i dont think you can do your whole “i told you so” move this year.

      Well, Totes did write this a few comments back:

      The team can’t be worse than it was last season.

      So, the Knicks may have a glass floor or two to break still…

    15. I think Grant is a bigger key to the season since the back court is so God awful. He needs to be great and eat up a ton of minutes for them to even hit 35 wins. He has to be like the kid running the point in Portland, which is a lot of pressure lol.
      Zinger has time to develop and some semi decent bodies to help take the heat off him.

    16. So, a frequently hoped-for outcome for the upcoming year is that Melo is healthy and great and the Knicks stink. Melo then asks out, and the Knicks engineer a trade to an acceptable destination while receiving multiple assets in return.

      Can this scenario coexist with unequivocally productive seasons from the Zinger/Grant/Early/Galloway set? Maybe even throw in some expectation of O’Quinn to take a step forward with a larger role. If the wildcard youngsters perform, and Melo performs, is it possible for the Knicks to disappoint enough for Melo to ask for the trade?

      Is rooting for a Melo trade request cutting off our nose to spite our face at this point?

      It’s an interesting thought process. I’d say that if the young players play well it’s unlikely we’ll be truly awful, even if guys like Afflalo and Williams are mostly just their normal mediocre selves. But I think even in the case that those guys perform well overall it’s likely we’d be pretty mediocre (35-40 wins and a scrap to get in the playoffs with a near certain beatdown to come if we did make it). So I guess it depends how much patience you think Melo will have.

      If we (say) win 37 games, narrowly miss the playoffs, and have similar luck in next year’s free agency class (i.e. strike out on the biggest names, sign a mid-tier guy or two), is Melo going to be encouraged enough by the (in this hypothetical scenario, seemingly bright) future of Grant, Zinger and the crew? I suspect he’d be too wary of protecting his rep to demand a trade in that scenario, but he’s a tough one to read.

    17. I think that it’s important to try to keep Porzingis and Grant in mostly separate rotations for the sake of the team and each other. Why play two rookies together if you don’t have to? A little overlap would be enough for them to gain familiarity but no more unless it’s garbage time.

    18. We basically have to play the rooks together a good percentage of their time. Not too many viable options at their positions. One could actually argue that they are the most talented players on the roster at their positions. And that’s not so bad. Those 2 are very heady rookies.

    19. Why do we have to play them together? Do you think that they’ll both be starting? I’d really doubt it. Actually I’d be surprised if either of them started as rookies with decent vets to play in front of them. Why kill their confidence and overwhelm them at the beginning of their careers?

    20. Btw from what I read, Phil likes a big butt at the center position. That settles it. Andrew Bynum is a must!

    21. As always, the Phil Files are an interesting read. I dunno if they’re all that informative, though. Except, I suppose, that it is now pretty clear that Charley Rosen sure does like to talk about Jackson’s love for big butts. I mean, the guy seemed to be pissed off that they were losing games at a point in the season where losing was very important for them. Plus, the idea that he would possibly have chosen Okafor over Towns because the Knicks need to be good fast? Say what?

    22. I mean, the guy seemed to be pissed off that they were losing games at a point in the season where losing was very important for them. Plus, the idea that he would possibly have chosen Okafor over Towns because the Knicks need to be good fast? Say what?

      I suspect the part of him that was pissed off about losing particular games was more or less Phil the coach coming out. I would imagine it’s hard to turn off the coaches mentality, which maybe speaks of his tenure so far. Given the article is from the March period, Okafor was still no. 1 for a lot of people, but his reasoning definitely seemed interesting for taking him over Towns at that stage. I don’t think Towns really became a consensus no. 1 until after the Tournament.

    23. Why do we have to play them together? Do you think that they’ll both be starting? I’d really doubt it. Actually I’d be surprised if either of them started as rookies with decent vets to play in front of them. Why kill their confidence and overwhelm them at the beginning of their careers?

      I don’t see them starting in year 1. But they’ll get a lot of minutes. At PF and both Guard spots, we just don’t have enough viable options that are better than them. Now, if Melo plays primarily at the 4, then things change for Porzingis. Grant’s gonna get a ton of playing time regardless…unless of course Phil swings a deal for a better PG. With the amount of time I expect the rooks to be on the floor, I think it’s inevitable that they play a lot together. They may even develop great chemistry and a good 2 man game.

    24. Is rooting for a Melo trade request cutting off our nose to spite our face at this point?

      Absolutely. I think we saw, when we slipped to 4th in the draft and struck out on A-list FA’s, that tanking is not a good diet. NYK has to play well.

      I said 27 wins as a baseline just because I think being out of tank mode guarantees that. Last season we literally put a team out there because they could maximize effort and still lose. Just the B-List FA’s, I think, mean closer to the 31 wins that Vegas has us at (Thanks Z-Man). I’m really HOPING that we can get to 41 and that the rooks show all pro skills. Why the fuk not? They have the pedigree. Then KD really has something to think about next summer. He’s NOT coming to play with the package of picks and expirings that we get in a Melo deal.

      Back to Melo the player. All of Jowle’s list are terrific players. If Melo’s that good we’re good. Especially if the cap goes up enough to build the roster despite his slot. I’m worried about an Amar’e like drop off but there’s no reason to assume that.

    25. My favorite thing about Melo by far are two things that age well, even with injuries, which are his size and his three-point shot. He has the size to shoot over smaller players and he has a very good three-point shot. So I don’t see him having any sort of STAT-like drop off, as STAT’s greatness was directly tied to his explosiveness. Melo certainly does use explosiveness, as well, but it’s not all he has. That three-point shot changed his entire career, basically.

    26. So I don’t see him having any sort of STAT-like drop off, as STAT’s greatness was directly tied to his explosiveness.

      Thanks for that Brian. Do you think we (at least) hunt a .500 record? I think that and a group of root-able guys that don’t buy camo suv’s and NBA league pass might be worth it this year.

    27. I think they have a chance for just that – hunting for a .500 record. Doesn’t mean that they’ll get there, of course, but I think that they’ll have a chance. But I think that that chance is tied pretty closely to how well their rookies play. They’re sort of the Knicks’ X-Factor. If Zinger progresses from how he looked at Summer League (no guarantee, of course) then he could be the Rookie of the Year! If that happens, then I think the Knicks will be right in the mix for the final playoff spots in the East. Right now, Arron Afflalo or Jose Calderon are the Knicks’ #2/#3 scoring options (in whatever order). That’s not very good. Now if Zinger could become the #2 scoring option, watch out!

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