Knicks Morning News (2015.08.08)

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Knicks Sign Guards From Clippers and D-League (Sat, 08 Aug 2015 03:29:08 GMT)

    Sasha Vujacic arrives from the Clippers, while Thanasis Antetokounmpo comes from the Westchester Knicks.

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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).

    31 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.08.08)”

    1. So for fun, I tried to match up and compare the guys on the 54-win team to our current team:

      Melo @28 vs. Melo @31, Edge Melo @28
      Lopez vs. Chandler, Even (alright, Edge Chandler)
      Porzingis vs. Amar’e, Edge Porzingis
      Afflalo vs. JR, Even (factoring in b-ball IQ)
      Calderon vs. Kidd Even (factoring in age)
      Grant vs. Felton, Even
      Galloway vs. Shump, Edge Shump
      O’Quinn vs. Camby/KMart, Edge O’Quinn
      Seraphin/Lou vs. Sheed/Kurt, Edge Seraphin/Lou
      Vujacic vs. Prigs, Edge Prigioni
      DWill vs. Novak, Edge Novak
      Early vs. Copeland, Edge Cope
      Lance vs. White, Edge Lance

      The 2012-13 team was crazy old! It had 6 guys age 35 or older, a washed up Q at age 32, and a shell of Amar’e at age 30. It had only one player (Shump) under age 27!!!

      The current team doesn’t have a single guy over age 34 and over half the roster is under age 27.

    2. Whenever you give the 15-16 team an edge it’s dubious at best.

      The 12-13 team was old, but they were pros, each with at least one solid skill. This team falls between mediocre and unknown (unknown usually leading to mediocre or below.)

      I like these guys, but this is a 30-34 win team this year. Maybe the following year if Grant, Zinger and at least one other young guy get solid reps and show promise, we could get up to 40+ wins.

    3. Porzingis vs. Amar’e, Edge Porzingis

      Grant vs. Felton, Even

      I think PZ /Amar’e is a good comp. Maybe we have a young version of STAT!

      I really hope Grant becomes everything Felton was not. Are you just saying even based on age / experience?

    4. Felton was at the end of his useful career, but he was an averagish NBA point guard in 12-13. That’s a lot to expect from a rookie

    5. I think shump and Gallo are even based off their rookie years but give Gallo the edge because of health. Shump was not available at the beginning of that season.

    6. I think Felton ’13 and Grant ’16 will be a close match. Grant should be on the upswing during the second half of the season, and is a quick learner by all accounts. He will likely be at least and adequate defender (like Felton) a somewhat below average perimeter shooter (like Felton) inconsistent (like Felton) and a decent floor general (like Felton.) Of course, I hope that Grant continues to improve on his way to being a star down the road, but a higher IQ and bigger “good” Felton might be a reasonably likely (and objectively acceptable) career outcome for him.

    7. ess-dog, I wasn’t trying to suggest that this team would win as many games, or even close. This was more about being happy to have the makings of a nice team to root for going forward rather than a win-now before the clock strikes midnight team of 2012-13.

      30-34 wins is a very fair projection…maybe even a bit optimistic based on Vegas having them at 29.

      They could be a surprise 40+ win team if everything pans out. We really don’t know what to expect from Zinger, Grant, O’Quinn, Williams, or Galloway. Early and Seraphin are question marks as well. All have some degree of potential and some should play better than expected.

    8. Grant is extremely unlikely to play as well as felton. He’s a rookie. That’s all you really need to know. Most rookies hit a wall the second part of the season, they don’t improve. In fact it would be a pleasant surprise if Grant ever plays at an average level given the uncertainty in rookies.

      Second Kidd outplayed what Calderon has done in the last few years and still was better on defense despite his age. Also kidd didn’t get injured

    9. @1. You’re more optimistic than I am about those comps with one exception. If his knee is all better, I think there’s a decent chance that Anthony’s O stats this year are as good as in 12-13. He’s not old yet. Whatever the system, he’ll be the mayor surrounded by hardworking selfless role players trying to put him in a position to shine. I doubt that’ll translate into a lot of Ws, but it bodes well for his individual stats IMO.

    10. Grant is extremely unlikely to play as well as felton. He’s a rookie. That’s all you really need to know. Most rookies hit a wall the second part of the season, they don’t improve. In fact it would be a pleasant surprise if Grant ever plays at an average level given the uncertainty in rookies.

      Grant is an older rookie, i think he will play closer to his true level than most rookies, and there will be less growing pains. The question is how good is he?

    11. I’m kinda disappointed that Porzingis is switching from his SL number of 46 back to the number 6 that he wore in Spain. I think that it makes him look a little thin!

    12. I dont’ think you can do a comp like that unless you factor in minutes too. Like, will Calderon be healthy enough to play as well and as much as Kidd did? And, Vujajich (I’m not even going to bother to spell it right); our hope is he gets 0 minutes. You can’t compare that to a productive Prigs who gave us 1200 quality minutes. You also can’t ding JR for Bball ID and not give props to Kidd. And as for Seraphin and Lou being an edge over Sheed and Crazy eyes? As a wise man once said, “ball don’t lie”

    13. Yeah don’t get me wrong, I’m really looking forward to watching Zinger and Grant progress and hopefully become cornerstones, but this year is shot lol.
      Frankly, it’s so evident that Melo needs to go elsewhere to win a chip… Maybe he just doesn’t care? Maybe being a star in nyc is enough?
      Of course he would rather the team to be good, but I think he’s actually more concerned with being a rich Manhattanite.

    14. And to be clear, I don’t have a problem with that. It just makes team building harder.

    15. Also, even if Calderon is healthy there’s no way he replicates what Kidd did. I mean, this team is going to win a lot less than 54 games.

    16. Why not? Two years ago, Calderon was pretty darn good with Dallas. Check out Kidd ’13 vs. Calderon ’14. They are very comparable. Calderon is also much younger and less likely to become a complete zero on O if he’s healthy.

      http://bkref.com/tiny/eMD31

    17. I think it’s unfair to assume that Calderon won’t be completely recovered from his injuries from last year. None of them were of the career-threatening kind. He played 2500 minutes in 2013-14, and lots of minutes in the years before that. He only played less than 64 games in 2 of his ten years and less than 68 games 3 times. He never played less than he did last year, and before last year he averaged 2000 minutes per season. He may in fact go down, but that shouldn’t be the assumption just because he had a nagging calf injury last year.

    18. Even old ass Jason Kidd could play decent defense. He got toasted by quick PGs, but he was pretty solid against 2s and he still doubled Calderons career steals numbers. Calderon has had some really good seasons, but he’s strictly a one way player. I like Calderon, and I hope he plays well enough for us to trade him, but Kidd was amazing until he died towards the end of the 12-13 season

    19. Just thought about something..
      As a Laker, Vujecic averaged around 13 mpg. I know they had Kobe..but he didn’t play every minute of every game. Given that he could play 1-3 at his size in his younger days, I find it kinda odd that Phil didn’t give him a bigger role. And if Phil didn’t give him a bigger role, or more minutes, why would the PG/Coach on the floor on those Laker teams give him more than a bit role. This team is married to Afflalo playing big minutes at the swing spots, so we need someone out of Grant/Thanasis/Galloway to step up and be ready from jump. That is a rather scary thought. Can Early play any SG? He’s listed at 6’8″ 220 but he’s actually closer to 6’7″ 215 which on the surface seems like it would make him a prime candidate to play both swing spots.

    20. Yes, Kidd was a better defender than Calderon, even at age 39. But he actually was pretty bad offensively after the first 25 games. He was forced to play starter’s minutes in December and seemed to wear down. He never had a TS% of over .524 in any month after December, and has a putrid TS% of .469 after the all-star break. His 3pt% was awesome until New Years, and then dropped off a cliff.

      So I think it’s very possible that Calderon puts together a year that is at least as good overall as Kidd’s year with us, even with his issues on defense.

    21. Also, maybe they should re-categorize player positions. I’m thinkin somethin like doing away with PG and SG. There are so many guards coming into the league that can be effective at both spots. And there are also many forwards that can play both SF and PF and plenty SGs that can play SF. So maybe the NBA should introduce an official Swing position. The game is becoming more and more fluid when it comes to position flexibility, it might be a good time with the reigning champs being such a good example of this super flexibility.

    22. Re: Vujacic, the league has changed since he last played effectively in a way that enhances his value as a solid 3-pt shooter. If he can defend even a little bit, he might be a good player in 10-15 mpg. Maybe I should have compared him to Novak rather than Prigioni…

    23. As long as everyone predicting success from Grant this year realizes that they expect him to have a better rookie season than Stephen curry and about as good as Damian Lillard then that’s fine. Oh and that Grant is projected by 538 to have a 13% chance of being a starter and 50% chance of being a bust.

    24. RE: Early at SG

      He barely has the handle to play SF. Phil needs to lock him in a room til October with nothing but a TV, dvd player and film of Bird, Magic, LeBron, Kobe, Jimmy Butler, Grant Hill, TMac, Jeff Green, Wiggins, LJ, Mase, Mullin, and whoever else in Early’s height range that handles the ball fairly well. Hell, even H20 had a decent handle. Slow, but decent. That’s the biggest reason he’s looked so blah in the NBA. He’s used to being bigger than other players at his position so he didn’t really do too much ball handling..or at least didn’t hafta be proficient at it. I like Early, I really do. But he’s gonna hafta become a better ballhandler. He does that and the floor will open up for him.

    25. Shouldn’t decent ballhandling be a prerequisite if you’re playing a wing/perimeter position?

    26. I think it’s unfair to assume that Calderon won’t be completely recovered from his injuries from last year. None of them were of the career-threatening kind. He played 2500 minutes in 2013-14, and lots of minutes in the years before that. He only played less than 64 games in 2 of his ten years and less than 68 games 3 times. He never played less than he did last year, and before last year he averaged 2000 minutes per season. He may in fact go down, but that shouldn’t be the assumption just because he had a nagging calf injury last year.

      I think it’s fair to say Calderon won’t be able to recreate the Jason Kidd performance of 2013. Kidd played 2000+ minutes that year. Only 4 players aged 34+ played 2000 minutes last year. Three of them are future hall of famers (Dirk, Duncan, P Gasol). Kidd, like the others that do it, was an ironman and an all-time great. And none of these guys were coming off of injury plagued seasons. 34 year olds just don’t get better with age. It’s a pretty safe bet.

      Calderon may be effective next year, but if he is, I don’t think it will be in the same role and carrying the same load as Kidd.

    27. Z, as I said, Kidd struggled mightily the second of the season because of playing way too many minutes. He was absolutely horrible in the playoffs. He piled up stats in the first 20 games or so.

      Calderon shouldn’t play more than 1600 minutes, even if he’s healthy. That would be about 24 mpg x 67 games. If he could be limited to that, like Ginobili has been in recent years, he could be okay, and certainly better than Kidd was after December of that year.

    28. “As long as everyone predicting success from Grant this year realizes that they expect him to have a better rookie season than Stephen curry and about as good as Damian Lillard then that’s fine. Oh and that Grant is projected by 538 to have a 13% chance of being a starter and 50% chance of being a bust.”

      I think Grant has an excellent chance of being in the same neighborhood as those guys as a rookie. He’s bigger and stronger, so he should be a better defensive player. He certainly was among the best PGs in college last year. I know that Summer League is a joke, but he certainly looked pretty NBA ready. I don’t think Grant’s rookie year is the problem, it’s about whether he will develop in subsequent seasons. In other words, will he make the quantum leap like Lillard, or regress like Tyreke Evans?

    29. This is a huge understatement, but I can’t wait 2 see Porzingis at the 4 this season. I believe that even though he’s 19 and hasn’t gotten his strength up yet, he’s gonna be effective and will make a nice forward tandem with Melo. He may even start at some point at PF. I’m also anxiious to see a forward tandem of Melo and Williams. Fish has some intriguing options up front. On the 2nd unit, he can put a bully lineup out there with Seraphin at C and O’Quinn at PF for stretches. If the triangle brings out the best in Seraphin, I would mind seeing him re-signed. If Hernangomez is ready the following season as well, I can see Williams not returning and O’Quinn playing more PF to accommodate him. I’m not so down on the team, but I don’t have high expectations either. I know Coach Hazzard and Coach Keefe are noted as good developers of young talent. Seems to me that those 2 have enough to work with on the roster. Could be very interesting to watch. Melo looks a little bigger but in shape from what I’ve seen. The job of the coach is to put his players in the best position to succeed, so I can’t see Melo not playing alot at the 4. He may still even start there, especially if Williams or someone else can handle SF. I can’t wait to see how the roster unfolds come November.

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