Knicks Morning News (2015.10.13)

  • [New York Daily News] Porzingis misses Knicks preseason game with injury (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 03:32:34 GMT)

    Before he can lead the Knicks out of their misery, Kristaps Porzingis still has to prove he can stay on the court.

  • [New York Post] Jerian Grant won brother’s bet — and is now winning Knicks over (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 02:37:52 -0400)

    The bet has not been paid, but the dream was made. Before last June's NBA draft, Sixers small forward Jerami Grant bet his brother Jerian a substantial sum that he…

  • [New York Times] Knicks 94, 76ers 88 (Preseason): Kristaps Porzingis Sits Out Knicks’ Preseason Game (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 05:29:13 GMT)

    Porzingis, who has a strained quadriceps, said he felt a pinch near his hip running up the court Sunday afternoon at practice but also said, “We’re just being cautious.”

  • [New York Times] LeBron Thrills Fans at Ohio State in Cavs’ Loss to Memphis (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 03:51:50 GMT)

    LeBron James scored 14 points, thrilling fans with a breakaway dunk, but Cleveland lost to Memphis 91-81 in a preseason game at Ohio State on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Trail Blazers Beat Jazz 88-81 in Preseason Action (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 03:48:49 GMT)

    Meyers Leonard scored 19 points to help the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Utah Jazz 88-81 in preseason action Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Lowry Scores 40 Points to Lift Raptors to 112-105 Win (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 03:39:44 GMT)

    Kyle Lowry scored 40 points to help the Toronto Raptors beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-105 on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Davis Leads Pelicans to 123-115 Win Over Bulls (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 03:09:42 GMT)

    Anthony Davis, playing in his hometown, scored 26 points on 10-for-16 shooting to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 123-115 preseason win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Heat Win First Preseason Game, Beat Spurs 97-94 (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 03:06:52 GMT)

    Gerald Green scored 17 points to help the Miami Heat get their first win of the exhibition season with a 97-94 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Beat 76ers 94-88 in Exhibition Game (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 02:24:44 GMT)

    Derrick Williams scored 21 points and Carmelo Anthony added 18 to help the New York Knicks remain unbeaten in the preseason with a 94-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Knicks looking for answers to keep Porzingis healthy (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 01:43:19 EST)

    Knicks looking for answers to keep Porzingis healthy

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Melo to Knicks coaches: Hold me accountable (Tue, 13 Oct 2015 01:23:25 EST)

    Melo to Knicks coaches: Hold me accountable

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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).

    48 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.10.13)”

    1. I didn’t get to watch the game last night, because Gotham and Mets-Dodgers (gawd I wanted to see Harvey plunk Utley..it’s one thing if u can pull that slide off and make it look like you’re aiming for the bag- but that’s a rant for another time). But apparently, Williams has a neon green light on that 2nd unit- and he’s been pretty damn good with it thus far. Can he keep it up, or at least close to it? If so, the team will come together quite nicely. My biggest complaint about Williams right now is outside shot selection. I think he needs to stick to corner 3’s and 20 footers when he takes outside J’s. His effectiveness from those spots will only help his drive game

    2. This team can succeed if we go back to the 2 PG lineup we had a couple of years ago.
      Calderon , Grant , Melo, O’Quinn Lopez is a really solid lineup.
      All can pass , score, hit midrange and aside from Calderon are committed on D.
      This lineup I feel will also shy away from the sets where Melo holds the ball and the rest watch. The other 4 guys seem to look for the pass which is contagious. Grant , Oquinn and Lopez are extremely fun to root for!

    3. I watched a little more than half the game. The second unit was more fun to watch than the first unit. Watching the first unit play against a weak Philadelphia team that was without key players did not give me confidence in the Knicks, especially at the start of the second half where both teams looked disorganized. Triangle or no, I would like to see a more organized looking offense. The defense wasn’t so bad, especially the second unit.

      Also, Fisher seems to be using the preseason to get the first string and second string units used to each other. That’s fine, but it also means that we don’t get to see some of the end of the bench players play. There are 19 players on the preseason roster, so four can’t make the team. The eleven who played last night plus Porzingis, Afflalo and Seraphin will certainly make the team, with the possible exception of Early. That leaves Antetokounmpo, Atkins, Saunders, Summers and Trice competing for one spot unless one of them can displace Early, in which case there are two spots up for grabs. It’s a complete mystery who they will choose for that last spot or two.

    4. Things I noticed last night from 15 rows behind the Knicks bench:
      -Porzingis is very tall and freakishly narrow. He wasn’t limping at all.
      -O’Quinn has very broad shoulders and freakishly long arms and hands. They seem to reach his knees. He’s also a bruiser and committed some ’90s-era fouls and moving screens.
      -Derrick Williams has a sweet J and is very strong in the paint, but seems to have very poor fundamentals as a rebounder and defender. Also makes lazy passes. Frankly, he seems slow-witted.
      -Philly was terrible and woefully undersized w/o Noel and Okafor, but crazy athletic. It was really noticeable when RoLo, Calderon and Vujacic were on the floor. Canaan and Wilbekin were blowing by Calderon (more so) and Vujacic (less so) with ease. Unlike last year, though, we can field a quicker defensive unit with Grant, Gallo and O’Quinn.
      -Most of Sasha’s misses were on pretty good looks. He moves pretty well, just not as well as Philly’s guards. He’s also a legit 6’6″, very nice size for a 2.
      -Christian Wood should not have gone undrafted. He seems like a nice find.
      -Considering that there was a Mets playoff game going on and Zinger, Okafor were both out, it was a pretty big crowd!

    5. Keep in mind that the first unit had 2 guys from the third unit filling in last night. When you add Afflalo and Porzingis to Melo, Rolo, and Calderon the first unit should be pretty darn good! Please excuse my language.

    6. “He’s also a bruiser and committed some ’90s-era fouls and moving screens.”
      He wasn’t the only one. Lopez and Admunson clobbered a couple of guys who wandered into the paint too. Nice to see for a change.

    7. Melo asking the coaches to call him out when he slacks on defense (as reported by Chris Herring) is one of those moments of absolute self-unawareness* that makes Melo Melo.

      * I think I just made this phrase up.

    8. Yes, the “starters” looked disorganized at times last night, but Lance Thomas and Sasha are not going to be starting games in the regular season (barring catastrophe).

    9. It’s true they weren’t the regular starters, but both Thomas and Vujacic are supposed to be players who know the triangle, so you would think they could use it, even if both of them missed the shots that came their way from the triangle. On the other hand, the whole team didn’t seem to be using the triangle much either. So it may be nothing, but I worry.

    10. Vujacic knows the triangle without a doubt. He is our fifth guard so take it easy on The Machine. His shot just wasn’t falling yesterday but he still had the best +- in the game.

      I hope that Phil uses the upcoming waiver wire as well as he’s used the draft and free agency. There should be some pretty good players let go who are more talented than Thomas, Early, Amundson, maybe even Thanasis and we get to pick second. Doesn’t Philly have something like 6 point guards? Steve Novak? An outside shooting wing?

    11. The boffins at espn have projected us to win 25 games.

      They clearly haven’t been following D.Will’s prodigious preseason performances. Pretty typical #LamestreamMedia #bias.

    12. I don’t know what everyone’s been predicting recently, but I’m actually getting excited about this team’s chances to be a lower echelon playoff team.

      It’s refreshing that Phil’s plan isn’t to go from zero to a contender in one season, but rather he’s simply aiming to go from zero to something more than zero. That’s both sensible and attainable.

      Mind you, I say all this without unreasonable expectations for Porzingis to contribute or Williams to average 18 per 36. I think Zinger will be the 8th or 9th man on this team, and I think Williams might be a serviceable player.

      I’m really excited about the upgrades in the backcourt. We replaced a trio of talented knuckleheads (JR, Shump, TH2) with an exciting rookie (Grant), a solid two-way developmental player (Galloway), and a veteran who we can probably expect to be average to slightly below average on both sides (Afflalo…and that may not sound like much, but slightly below average on two sides of the ball is actually a big upgrade, IMHO). And if we get real Jose Calderon instead of the horrible facsimile we got last year, that’s 4 upgrades in the backcourt.

      Combine those upgrades with the strong addition of Lopez and KOQ, and my expectation that we will get a top year from Melo (by his standards), and I’m actually excited about this team’s chances of making the playoffs.

      My biggest concern is Fisher being Mike Woodsonesque.

    13. He’s also a bruiser and committed some ’90s-era fouls and moving screens.

      There was one play where a 76er ran into KO and nearly got KOed. It was like hitting a brick wall. It was called a foul but I called it intimidating.

      The boffins at espn have projected us to win 25 games.

      I don’t know why anything the media says matters.

      I hope that Phil uses the upcoming waiver wire as well as he’s used the draft and free agency.

      I would love to get another FAST point guard. I know it sounds nuts, and he might need a brain transplant, but Nate is out there.

      I’m all in on Jerian Grant. He looks like the real deal. His outside shot isn’t falling but I’ve seen (and posted) video of him knocking down 3’s one after the other. If he gets confidence and the green light I see him putting up nice numbers off the bench.

      Calderon was aggressive with his offense. It was good to see. Either he or Afflalo needs to score. If they’re both offensive options it could be fun.

      Williams looks like he’s going to thrive in this offense. As Z-man said, he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. But if he can attack the rim and finish like he did yesterday, he’ll be a handful to guard.

      Vujacic looked better than I expected. His shots weren’t falling but they were good looks.

      Cleanthony Early played good defense yesterday but it looks like he has no confidence in his offense (except for that monster dunk). He was tentative with his shots.

      Here are our 3rd stringers: Vujacic, Early, Amundson, Thomas and Antetokounmpo. It’s a very deep bench.

    14. Some season previews are starting to come out on podcast and I’ve listened to some. No one seems to think the Knicks will be a contender for a playoff spot. The predictions have a bias towards teams that had good records last year. I heard one commentator who expected the Nets to do better than the Knicks this year, assuming Brook Lopez is reasonably healthy, saying then Lopez could drive the team. I hope this isn’t the case. You could say the same thing about Carmelo and the Knicks and the Knicks have a much better bench, but the commentator didn’t say this about the Knicks. So I think this prediction is intrinsically because the Nets did make the playoffs last year and the Knicks were far from them; so of course the Nets will be better than the Knicks.

      But, even if the Knicks are better than the Nets, you still have Atlanta, Toronto, Washington, Chicago, Miami, and Cleveland perceived as strong teams and Milwaukee perceived as for sure a playoff contender. That leaves Charlotte, Boston, Indiana, Philadelphia, Orlando, Detroit and Brooklyn along with NY looking to be the 8th, 9th or 10th team in the conference and competitive for a playoff spot. Most analysts think Charlotte and Detroit are going to be considerably better this year and Boston is also considered a playoff contender since they made the playoffs last year. Those three teams plus the seven strong teams mentioned above are probably expected to be the top ten in the conference. Twenty five games is very little, but it’s hard to see how the Knicks are going to win more than say 30 to 35 games if they are 11th or worse in the Eastern conference. I like the team this year and think they will be much better than last year, but they have a lot of competition; and so I worry.

    15. I wouldn’t worry about what prognosticators say.

      The problem with a team sport like basketball is that the sum of the parts can exceed the value of the parts. As someone said yesterday, there’s Melo, Rolo who are plus players and then a lot of solid but flawed players. One glaring weakness last season was the rookie coach. If Fisher has learned from the experience and grown as a coach, he might get a lot more out of this team than expected. The difference between a 25 win and a 35 win season will be how the team does in close games.

    16. I agree. I wasn’t say the prognosticators are right, just that we shouldn’t expect them to be anything other than pessimistic about the Knicks.

    17. Say our top 9 are:

      1. Melo
      2. Lopez
      3. Calderon
      4. Afflalo
      5. Porzingis
      6. Galloway
      7. Grant
      8. O’Quinn
      9. Williams

      Melo and Calderon are injury risks. Afflalo is already hurt. Two of those guys have never played a game in the NBA. Williams has washed out of two teams already. If guys go down the end of our bench is Vujacic, Early, Amundson, Thomas and Antetokounmpo. Vujacic is probably a lesser version of Calderon (he can shoot, but not much else). Early was awful last season. Amundson is a nice defensive big. Thomas is terrible. And Thanasis-well, who knows?

      Most importantly for me, this team looks like it’s going to be a lot more fun than last seasons. And because we are a lot younger, there is a lot more upside. I think there’s a better chance that things generally break right for this team than there was going into the start of the season last year. And that’s great. But some things are probably going to go wrong, and we’re not exactly loaded.

    18. I’m not buying Toronto as a lock to make the playoffs. I actually think if given any opportunity to blow it up Masai is going to do exactly that. This team might make the 14/15 Knicks look solid defensively and their master plan is for max player Demarre Carroll to play the 4 where he has spent a grand total of 5% of his career 6834 minutes. Anchoring a defense with Valanciunas and Carroll with DeRozan and Ross as your wing defenders is a recipe to suck balls on that end of the floor.

      Remember Masai was ready to blow the whole thing up a couple of years ago when Dolan backed out of the Lowry deal and all of a sudden the Raptors started winning a bunch of games. This is not a roster he has handpicked and is rather one he has been forced in to keeping with their unexpected success. On top of that Dwayne Casey is their coach and he’s not very good.

      I think the Celtics are better than them for sure and the Knicks could have a shot to jump them if we can get some decent offensive production and not so god awful defense from Afflalo and Calderon. I expect the Knicks to have one of the stronger frontcourts in the league this year in terms of rebounding and rim protection. There is some offensive potential there as well between Melo (obviously), Porzingis, Seraphin, KOQ and Dwill.

    19. Yeah I think some people are badly overrating the talent on this team. The only two guys on that team who are solid bets to be NBA starter quality are Melo and RoLo. After that it’s a whole bunch of bench players and unproven guys.

      Enough of those guys are young and have upside that I can see how you could talk yourself into this team getting around .500, but it’s important to remember that every year around this time every fans teams are optimistic. You can go back to last years preseason win poll and see that 35% of Knickerblogger readers though we’d win more than 40 games, compared with 8% below 30 (and of course the actual number was 17). Tis the season for optimism, but we can at least recognize our own biases.

    20. We might be better than expected, but barring injuries we’re not jumping past Toronto. They won 32 more games than we did last season.

    21. DRed did you see how bad they were to close out the season?

      Their defense is atrocious and their solution was to lose their best defensive big and replace him with Demarre Carroll whose offensive stats are buoyed by shooting a ton of wide open 3’s on one of the most pass happy teams in the league. From there he’s moving to one of the ultimate isolation teams in the NBA that is going to be featuring contract year version of already establish chucker Demar DeRozan. Also while I don’t particularly think Lou Williams is great, he was objectively very much a positive for them and they didn’t replace him.

      I think the Knicks absolutely have a shot to jump them (not the likeliest thing but definitely possible) especially if Toronto struggles early in the season. Like I said if they do that I expect Masai to aggressively look to move DeRozan and Ross and perhaps even Lowry.

    22. The most telling thing to me is that this level of optimism was pretty much completely absent before the preseason started, which means its mainly due to 3 victories, one of which was against a non-NBA team, and one of which was against the Sixers (missing potentially their two best players I might add). By the way, did I mention these were preseason games?

    23. The most telling thing to me is that this level of optimism was pretty much completely absent before the preseason started, which means its mainly due to 3 victories, one of which was against a non-NBA team, and one of which was against the Sixers (missing potentially their two best players I might add). By the way, did I mention these were preseason games?

      I don’t think that’s really fair, no one is showing optimism because of W-L record in preseason, but more based on seeing the personnel we have this year vs. last year and their capabilities.

      I’m not predicting playoffs, but I do think we can win 35-37 games and would be fine with that.

    24. I said 34 wins 3 months ago and I still say that now. I have not been swayed by relatively meaningless pre-season games. That said, it’s totally reasonable to think that if the Knicks catch a few breaks – most guys stay healthy, a few close games go their way – they can win 38 or so.

      But as for the playoffs, why torture yourselves even thinking about them? Let’s just watch some (mostly) young dudes learn to play together. That Amare, Gallo, Chandler team was really enjoyable, even if no one thought they were winning a championship any time soon.

    25. You can go back to last years preseason win poll and see that 35% of Knickerblogger readers though we’d win more than 40 games, compared with 8% below 30 (and of course the actual number was 17). Tis the season for optimism, but we can at least recognize our own biases.

      You know…. like yourself, I’m undefeated playing results.

      If one could look into their crystal ball in preseason and predict a) A guy who played 81 games the year before at 31 mpg (Calderon) at a plus statistical level would miss the first 40 games with a calf/Achilles tear and then play the last 42 dragging said leg, b) Melo would play 40 games on one leg and miss the last 42, c) Jackson would choose at that point to blow it up trading the only other NBA players on the roster (JR and Shumpert), THEN I GUESS NO ONE WOULD HAVE PREDICTED 40, OR 30 OR EVEN 25 WINS.

      We all bat 1.000 playing results.

    26. Charlotte took a big hit with MKG going down. I had them as a 7th seed before that.

      I also think Washington and Miami are being very overrated. Miami is rife with question marks. Even Dragic has been really inconsistent, and he’s probably the LEAST likely to flop this year. Washington lost Pierce and is dependent on two bigs who are getting up in years. Nene especially has been big time for them when healthy but is a major injury liability. Both their guards’ careers have also featured major injuries. Toronto also got worse although maybe Lowry’s fitness will make up for that.

      to me, the east looks like this:

      1) Cleveland
      2/3) Atlanta/Chicago
      4) Boston (excellent depth, great coach, lots of youth — big believer in them and could see them as high as the 2 seed)
      5) Milwaukee
      6/7/8) Toronto/Washington/Miami
      9) Indiana
      10) Charlotte
      11/12) Orlando/New York
      13) Brooklyn
      14) Detroit
      15) Philly

      This is all assuming no one blows it up, but I think Toronto will blow it up and finish in the 20-30 win range.

      I don’t know why people aren’t giving the Pacers respect. George Hill and Paul George are as good a duo there is in the east excluding Cleveland. Then they added Monta Ellis and some decent role players like Jordan Hill and Myles Turner. They should have no problem finishing around .500.

      It’s after that IMO that you get into a bunch of flawed teams who would require a good deal of luck to make the playoffs. The Knicks belong in that bunch alongside Orlando, Detroit, Charlotte.

    27. Toronto wasn’t a good defensive team last year, but they were a near elite offensive team– 4th in the NBA in offensive rating and top 10 in three of the Four Factors on offense. They’re not a title threat but they’re damn sure better than us.

    28. You know…. like yourself, I’m undefeated playing results.

      If one could look into their crystal ball in preseason and predict a) A guy who played 81 games the year before at 31 mpg (Calderon) at a plus statistical level would miss the first 40 games with a calf/Achilles tear and then play the last 42 dragging said leg, b) Melo would play 40 games on one leg and miss the last 42, c) Jackson would choose at that point to blow it up trading the only other NBA players on the roster (JR and Shumpert), THEN I GUESS NO ONE WOULD HAVE PREDICTED 40, OR 30 OR EVEN 25 WINS.

      We all bat 1.000 playing results.

      Just to be 100% clear I’m also including myself among those who are prone to over-enthusiasm about the Knicks’ prospects. I can’t say I remember what category I voted in last year, but I can say with certainty that it was not the under 30 wins group. I still think it’s good to remember when trying to look forward and predict this year’s team that it’s very, very easy to get carried away this time of year.

      To take a specific point from your post, yes any specific injury tends to be unexpected, but I do think that in general most people dramatically underrate the prospect of injuries when predicting how the season will go. Melo playing 81 games, or even something approaching 81 games is probably not a very likely outcome this season. And yet I think a lot of people predicting the Knicks will make the playoffs, if they examined their own assumptions, would find that they are basically implicitly assuming just that.

      Also as a side note I think Jose Calderon just is not a good NBA basketball player any more. Doesn’t give nearly enough on offense to make up for what he takes away on defense. Am I the only one who feels this way?

    29. Wasn’t Lowry hurt in the second half? I mean, dudes could get hurt again, and Masai could trade everyone and Toronto could win 16 games. But if they’re reasonably healthy, they have a much better roster than we do.

      Plus they got the Bismack attack.

    30. He’s also a bruiser and committed some ’90s-era fouls and moving screens.

      There was one play where a 76er ran into KO and nearly got KOed. It was like hitting a brick wall. It was called a foul but I called it intimidating.

      That was the screen on Scottie Wilbekin. If you watch it in slow motion, he looked like a crash test dummy. Love that KO is going to bring some toughness in the interior.

      After the last 3 games I don’t think you can blame people for being optimistic about the team. I think we are all clever enough and have watched enough basketball to recognise that this is going to be a fun team to watch and get behind; largely due to the types of players and character we now have on the team. It is definitely a flawed team that will likely be on the fringe of the playoff race, but it’ll be a damn sight better than last year!

    31. Toronto also lost Amir Johnson though as well as Lou Williams. As much as i love Bizzy B, he’s not as good as Amir. I guess the Demarre Carroll acquisition offsets the loss of Williams. I think Toronto is worse this year though — likely a few games over .500 with no changes. They are absolutely a playoff team, but rumors about blowing it up in Toronto have been swirling for a couple years, and if Lowry kills it this year, he might some real value on the market. Given his age, this could be the last year that’s the case, and Ujiri is pretty aggressive.

    32. Also seems like a lock (from the 3 games and what is going around on twitter), that Grant and Galloway are going to be running the second unit. I would love to see Grant getting the start eventually, but I like the thinking of having the two young guys running the show, without the pressure of starting.

    33. Check out postingandtoasting.com. They’ve got a great vine of Aaron Afflalo standing behind Porzingis measuring how tall he is.

    34. Also as a side note I think Jose Calderon just is not a good NBA basketball player any more. Doesn’t give nearly enough on offense to make up for what he takes away on defense. Am I the only one who feels this way?

      Channeling Bill Clinton, I suppose it depends on what your definition of good is. his last season in Dallas his ts% was .596 and his ws/48 was .122 over 81 game @ 31 mpg which are certainly pretty good. This guy get totally underrated on this board primarily because we haven’t seen him play much in his career

      For all the Tyson Chandler appreciation that goes on here, Calderon is 4 th among active players and 16th all time in offensive rating. He’s been an extremely efficient offensive player, period. His defense sucks and will likely be worse, but he will have the added benefit of rim protection that can actually move their feet.

      The knicks need him to be Steve Kerr or Craig Hodges this season…. not Magic Johnson.

    35. It would be nice to make the playoffs – especially because we don’t have a draft to look forward to.

      35 wins seems about right to me. What’s most important is that they are in the hunt for the playoffs all year. I don’t want us out of it by December. That would mean Jackson and Fisher are getting fired and we get to start over again (and again, and again). I just want to see us start collecting good long-term pieces and we have a few.

    36. I don’t think another bad season means that Jackson would be fired. Fisher maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe, but I don’t think so, either. You don’t give a guy a five-year big money deal before he’s coached a single game and then fire him after two seasons when your team is not that good to begin with.

    37. This team is at least somewhat headed in the right direction for once. It’s not a great situation by any means, mainly because of the idiotic Bargnani trade, but at least there are some asset type players on the roster, only one terrible contract on the books and no more future draft picks have been dealt away. Let’s not talk about firing these dudes right now.

    38. I thought 30 or so wins in late July when the dust settled. I thought that would represent between a ten and fifteen game improvement over last year. I was assuming minimal contributions from the rookies, modest ones from the FA’s, a full healthy season from Melo, and the fact that, with no pick, there’ll be no incentive to tank. Improvement by ten is significant but it’s not as hard to improve by ten games over the worst season in franchise history.

      I guess since the time for optimism IS now, I’m going to say that I’m hoping, with some cause, for higher impact performances from the rookies and the FA’s. Maybe 41-41.

    39. That Melo might ask to be traded, but that’s about it. I think Dolan trusts Jackson enough not to panic yet. If Year 3 is also bad, then sure, he’s in trouble. But just two bad years? I don’t think it’ll mean anything.

      This isn’t like the Larry Brown thing, where Brown was feuding with Isiah, who Dolan bizarrely respects like crazy.

    40. Also, worst case I figure Fish gets the ax at least a year before anything happens to Phil.

      Agreed. If things go horribly, Jackson probably has a year’s leeway beyond Fisher. After all, Fisher might just not be a good coach. It doesn’t mean that Jakcson’s not a good executive.

    41. They’ve got a great vine of Aaron Afflalo standing behind Porzingis measuring how tall he is.

      that was great. Afflalo looks like a kid behind him.

    42. Few thoughts about this year’s predictions:

      1) the talent level is clearly better on this team than last year – not just physically, but mentally too.

      2) our leaders in minutes played last year were Shane Larkin, THJ, and Jason Smith. This is not a joke. Quincy Acy and Lance Thomas were in the top 8 in minutes played. If you replaced those 7658 minutes played with my 5 year old, we probably win 5 more games.

      3) if you look at the top 10 minutes-played guys from last year, the ONLY one who could be considered even average on defense was Langston Galloway. Maybe I’ll give you Lance Thomas if held at gunpoint. This year there will be at least 4 of those players – Lopez, Galloway, Afflalo, O’Quinn. Hopefully KP will be at least average defensively too.

      4) Look at the players we had guarding the rim last year– Dalembert, Jason Smith, Bargnani, Stoudemire, Cole Aldrich. This year – RoLo, O’Quinn, Porzingis.

      I don’t think we can underestimate how truly awful that roster was last year, and how last year’s result really has zero relevance to this year.

      On Indy – during their recent run as a good team, they’ve always been defined by their defense, anchored by Hibbert and David West. Their whole defensive strategy was dependent on channeling players toward Hibbert. Now they have a rookie (high upside) in Turner, and Mahinmi, and…?

      I guess we’ll see this year whether Paul George is really an elite defender. Much different playing aggressive D without Hibbert backing you up.

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