Knicks Morning News (2015.10.14)

  • [New York Times] Nuggets Top Warriors for Third Consecutive Win (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 05:30:51 GMT)

    Kenneth Faried had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets beat Golden State 114-103 on Tuesday night to spoil the Warriors’ first appearance at Oracle Arena since winning the NBA championship.

  • [New York Times] Jury Selection Focuses on Race in Trial of Thabo Sefolosha, Atlanta Hawks Player (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 05:20:03 GMT)

    The trial commenced after Mr. Sefolosha, a forward for the Atlanta Hawks, refused a plea bargain and accused the police of wrongful arrest and brutality.

  • [New York Times] Jones, McDaniels Help Rockets Get by Suns in Overtime (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 05:15:39 GMT)

    K.J. McDaniels scored Houston’s first six points of overtime after a 1-for-10 shooting performance in regulation, helping the Rockets to a 135-129 victory over the Phoenix Suns in preseason action Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Marco Belinelli Leads Kings Past LA Lakers in Vegas, 107-100 (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 04:39:42 GMT)

    Marco Belinelli scored 17 points, Darren Collison added 16 points and seven assists, and the Sacramento Kings beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-100 in an exhibition game Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Lamar Odom Is Hospitalized (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 03:06:27 GMT)

    Odom, a former N.B.A. star, was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel.

  • [New York Times] Westbrook, Kanter Lead Thunder Past Mavs in Tulsa (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 02:57:55 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook, playing parts of the first and third quarters, scored 19 points in 20 minutes to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 100-88 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at the BOK Center.

  • [New York Times] Napier Carries Magic Past Heat in Overtime, 95-92 (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 02:12:54 GMT)

    Shabazz Napier scored 11 of his 15 points in overtime against his former team and the Orlando Magic beat the Miami Heat 95-92 on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] Strong Bench Play Leads Pacers to 101-97 Win Over Pistons (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 02:04:07 GMT)

    Reserve Toney Douglas scored 15 points and Glenn Robinson III had nine of his 13 in the fourth quarter to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 101-97 exhibition victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Times] LeBron Goes Home Sick, Cavaliers Lose 110-101 to Bucks (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 01:51:40 GMT)

    LeBron James and Cleveland’s other four projected starters sat out as the Cavaliers dropped to 0-4 in the exhibition season with a 110-101 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.

  • [New York Post] Why Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s Knicks days may be numbered (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 01:35:30 -0400)

    Despite being Phil Jackson's second-round pick, Thanasis Antetokounmpo never got a chance at Knicks training camp last fall. Jackson decided against signing him, but convinced the Greek forward to bypass…

  • [New York Daily News] Derrick Williams excited for fresh start with Knicks (Wed, 14 Oct 2015 01:47:47 GMT)

    Derrick Williams had just dropped a game-high 21 points in his third Knicks appearance.

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    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).

    96 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.10.14)”

    1. I think we’ll win about 30 games this year. Maybe 35 if all goes fairly well.

      The bigger picture, though is where does the team go from here? Is it realistic to believe the Knicks have the assets (including the added cap space coming up for every team in the NBA) to get the 3-5 pieces missing in order to become a real contender (as in “top-10 NBA”)? How long would that take?

      My feeling is we are treading dangerous territory here, but it doesn’t get mentioned because the Porzingis accidental pick has positively clouded our reality (at least for a while) and we may eventually regret the Melo-centric rebuild. To be honest, I have very little faith in our roster: too many question marks, too many reclamation projects, too many certified bad/mediocre players.

      Sorry for the cloudy forecast, but that’s how I feel on this rainy day!

    2. Last year, I was pretty confident and entirely wrong in my prediction. This year, I’m finding things very hard to predict. Outside commentators are saying that a lot of the teams in the bottom of the East have improved. If that’s actually true, then the top teams in the East will have a tougher schedule than they did last year, and the whole East could be up for grabs. Teams that just made the playoffs, particularly Brooklyn and Boston would then have a harder time going back to the playoffs. But they supposedly improved too. The one prediction I think I can confidently make is that some coach or GM in the East will get fired this coming season or at the end of the season. Not all the teams can do as well as they are expecting to.

    3. the whole East could be up for grabs

      I definitely agree with this. Cleveland is pretty much a lock to be in it at the end. After that the conference just looks like a giant mess. Vegas has 5 teams with over/unders between 45 and 50: Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Toronto and Washington. I think all of those teams are probably playoff teams, although I think both Miami and Toronto do have significant downside risks. Even Chicago has some question marks. Then there’s another group of 3 teams all at 42.5 or 43.5: Indiana, Boston and Milwaukee. I think all those teams are more talented and better coached than we are, but it’s not like we’re looking at some juggernauts. Then the entire rest of the conference (bar the 76ers) are clumped between 28.5 and 33.5: Nets, Knicks, Magic, Hornets, Pistons.

      I think the East could end up with a huge clump of teams in the 35-45 range.

    4. I’m saying 40-45 wins.
      Melo has a strong year
      Lopez will be a mainstay
      Porzingis will develop more quickly than expected.
      Grant will be starting sooner rather than later.
      Affalo will be more like he was two years ago.

      The Knicks have some very solid roll players.
      Coupled with an East that doesn’t impress, they will be a playoff team.

    5. A sincere question to anyone who thinks this team is going to win 40+: What’s the maximum number of games you think Melo can miss that the team can still win more than 40 games?

    6. My feeling is we are treading dangerous territory here, but it doesn’t get mentioned because the Porzingis accidental pick has positively clouded our reality (at least for a while) and we may eventually regret the Melo-centric rebuild. To be honest, I have very little faith in our roster: too many question marks, too many reclamation projects, too many certified bad/mediocre players.

      Accidental pick? What does that mean?

      But yes, I do not like the idea of the Melo-centric rebuild. I think it was a bad idea as soon as it happened. But I also think it was a prerequisite for anyone taking over the team, so I can’t harp on it too much.

    7. @1 – actually having some ” mediocre” players would be a huge improvement over last year. I am somewhat confident as the team is much more balanced this year. They have some legit size up front with Rolo, Porzingis, O’Quinn, and Seraphin. Melo appears healthy , at least for now, and should be his usual scoring self. Add in Afflalo who is at least average at his position, and not a complete idiot or underachiever like the guys he’s replacing (JR &Shump). Grant looks to have promise and at the very least he, DWill, and Galloway add some young legs which will help. They should be more fun to watch at a minimum. Over under = 36 wins

    8. actually having some ” mediocre” players would be a huge improvement over last year.

      This is very true. Sadly, winning, say, 29 games would also be a huge improvement over last year.

    9. Pretty sad story unfolding about Lamar Odom — unconscious in a brothel with cocaine in his system and track marks on his arms.

    10. Accidental pick? What does that mean?

      That having a ray of hope in Porzingis was purely accidental given that it was not part of the team’s rebuilding strategy. It’s definitely a plus, though.

      actually having some ” mediocre” players would be a huge improvement over last year. I am somewhat confident as the team is much more balanced this year.

      Yes. I guess even my predicted 30 wins would be a huge improvement when put in the context of a 17-win previous season. But 30 wins is still ‘bad team” territory and that was the premise for the point of my initial comment: where does the team go after this season?

      They have some legit size up front with Rolo, Porzingis, O’Quinn, and Seraphin. Melo appears healthy , at least for now, and should be his usual scoring self.

      O’Quinn & Seraphin are pretty bad players but we embrace them because they represent (at least on paper) an ‘improvement’ over last year. They would be end-of-bench material in a contender. The best we can realistically expect from them is that they look “good” on our team the same way Cole Aldrich, Steve Novak, Copeland, etc., looked “good” playing for us.

      Porzingis is a total question mark and a very promising prospect. That’s all we can really say about him right now.

      Robin Lopez is a solid journeyman center. A healthy Melo is a very good player. They are the best we have.

      Add in Afflalo who is at least average at his position, and not a complete idiot or underachiever like the guys he’s replacing (JR &Shump).

      To be honest, I’m not entirely sure Afflalo is a better player than JR or Shumpert at this point in his career.

    11. Think about the ’13-14 knicks for second if you dare..To me, this squad seems much better than that one and they won 37 games. Perhaps the conference is stronger but hopefully we have better health (Tyson broke his leg, JR wasn’t right until Feb if at all that season, Felton was either injured or just simply couldn’t shoot for months). Many players on the wrong side of 30…

      We will hopefully have greater chemistry and less tourmoil as we won’t have Amare or Bargs coming in and out of the lineup while playing zero defense/team Offense. This was the year Chris Smith had a roster spot..We cut Beno and MWP mid-season..Melo claiming he was going to be a free agent, etc.

      Who would you rather have on your roster? see if you can follow my logic
      Guards
      Felton vs Gallo=gallo +1
      JR vs Affalo=Affalo +1
      Shump vs Vucevic= Shump -1
      THjr vs Grant=Grant +1
      Prigs vs Calderon=toss up maybe calderon +0

      1+1-1+1+0=+2

      Big Men
      Melo (29) vs melo (31)=honestly based on what we have seen in preseason that’s a toss up+0
      MWP vs D Will=D Will +1
      Bargs vs Zinger=KP +1
      Kenyon vs KOQ=KOQ +1
      Tyson vs Rolo=Tyson -1
      Stat vs Seraphin=Seraphin +1

      1+1+1-1+1=+3
      however tyson only play 55 games and became very disgruntled so possibly Rolo…

      Not sure anyone else left on either squad is of any consequence and this is slightly revision vs projection but seems reasonable to assume there are at least 5 better players on this team than that one. As questionable as Fish is I’d still take his relatively unknown value + Phil supervision over Woodson so there’s that.

    12. Yeah, poor Odom. Dude had a very hard life.

      +1

      lol…true…not that I find pleasure in another human being’s misery, but I’d rather reserve my pity for the many people who never get a chance in life.

    13. That having a ray of hope in Porzingis was purely accidental given that it was not part of the team’s rebuilding strategy. It’s definitely a plus, though.

      Oh, you meant the pick itself. I thought you were referencing Porzingis specifically. Gotcha. Yeah, agreed, having a top five pick in the past dradt was definitely not part of Jackson’s plan for this team.

    14. lol…true…not that I find pleasure in another human being’s misery, but I’d rather reserve my pity for the many people who never get a chance in life.

      I think DRed was being serious. He may have found basketball stardom but Odom has seriously known far more than his fair share of trial and tragedy in his life. It’s no surprise that a guy like that has some serious demons, and is dealing with a lot of things that having a pile of money and a recognizable face can’t help you with (and can even exacerbate in some ways). I hope he makes it through this and finds a way to make something really positive of the rest of his life.

    15. Kyle O’Quinn is actually a pretty good player, but yeah Seraphin isn’t great, so far.

      And it’s awful to hear about Odom.

    16. But yes, I do not like the idea of the Melo-centric rebuild. I think it was a bad idea as soon as it happened. But I also think it was a prerequisite for anyone taking over the team, so I can’t harp on it too much.

      There is a pretty good history book named “What If” which is a compilation of counterfactual essays by David Mc Cullough, Steven Ambrose, Victor Davis Hansen, etc which speculate what would have happened in world history had Cortez been knocked off his horse in the swamps surrounding Tenochtitlan, had Hitler chosen to go through The Levant rather that Leningrad, etc.

      What do you think would have happened has Jackson told Melo, we have no interest in a sign and trade or signing you at anything over 10M/year. What free agents would have come to the team and could the $$$ have been better spent.

      I’m not arguing either side, just “what if”. You realize a UFA chose Milwaukee over the Knicks with a certified scorer on the roster because there wasn’t enough talent…. who would have come that wasn’t GROSSLY overpaid under those circumstances?

    17. +1 hoping all turns out well for Odom. He could’ve been a Knick. What a tragic story.

      @12 Glew,

      Felton vs Gallo=gallo +1
      JR vs Affalo=Affalo +1
      Shump vs Vucevic= Shump -1
      THjr vs Grant=Grant +1
      Prigs vs Calderon=toss up maybe calderon +0

      I’m not getting these comparisons. This might be a better representation:

      Felton vs Calderon = Equally ehh.
      Shumpert vs Afflalo = Equally ehh but TBD
      Prigioni vs Grant = TBD
      Bargnani vs Porzingis = Porzingis +infinity
      Melo vs Melo = Equal

    18. What do you think would have happened has Jackson told Melo, we have no interest in a sign and trade or signing you at anything over 10M/year. What free agents would have come to the team and could the $$$ have been better spent.

      If Jackson had done that, it would have been a pretty pointless move, because there was no chance Melo would accept that. So, it would have been much better (and sent a more positive, stronger message) to not offer Melo a contract at all. And yes, the team would be in much better shape for the future.

      That would have made sense within the context of entering a full-fledged rebuild. As we know now, that was never Phil Jackson’s intentions, so here we are with Melo and a bunch of misfits trying to play above their talent level.

    19. hoping all turns out well for Odom. He could’ve been a Knick. What a tragic story.

      Wasn’t he technically a Knick for a little bit there?

    20. So, it would have been much better (and sent a more positive, stronger message) to not offer Melo a contract at all. And yes, the team would be in much better shape for the future.

      That would have made sense within the context of entering a full-fledged rebuild. As we know now, that was never Phil Jackson’s intentions, so here we are with Melo and a bunch of misfits trying to play above their talent level.

      I don’t think just not offering Melo a contract would have been smart, but I think facilitating a sign and trade would have been. Looking back, how silly does it look now that Jackson kept talking about how he would never accept taking one year of Carlos Boozer’s awful contract in a Melo sign and trade (which was the only real way that Chicago could have traded for Melo)? He didn’t want to pay Boozer for a year, but instead, the team spent, like, $90 million to get 17 wins.

      But, again, I think re-signing Melo was always a prerequisite for Jackson becoming head of the Knicks, so I can’t knock him too much for it.

    21. Who do you think the Knicks would have magically signed if they had just let Melo walk? Or even gotten back in a sign and trade? Having the extra cap space sounds great in theory, but in practice lately rarely seems to net a team a player of Melo’s caliber or better. So while I recognize all of his flaws, I think he makes the team better than not having him. When you start screaming about the “what if’s”, please make them realistic.

    22. Wasn’t he technically a Knick for a little bit there?

      According to Basketball-reference.com you are correct:

      April 16, 2014: Signed a contract for the rest of the season with the New York Knicks
      July 11, 2014: Waived by the New York Knicks.

      @Jack Bauer – I’m in agreement there. I can’t imagine that anyone good would have signed.

    23. @22 — Did Jackson ever actually say publicly that he wouldn’t accept Boozer in a sign and trade? My recollection is that he never spoke publicly at all about a sign and trade. I know that there was a lot of speculation here and by various “insiders” (many of whom regularly make stuff up out of thin air) but my recollection is that his only public comments were consistently along the lines of “we want to re-sign Melo and we hope that he gives us a discount.” It is also my recollection that the Bulls were pretty clear that they wanted to add Melo to their team, not trade part of their team (I.e., Jimmy Butler) for Melo.

    24. I think a sign and trade could have been worked out with Chicago that would have benefitted all parties. Melo for Boozer + Mirotic and a draft pick would have been a reasonable deal. Bulls get Melo and dump
      Boozer’s contract, Melo gets max contract, Knicks get assets and only have to take on one bad year of the Boozer contract. It was a missed opportunity. Maybe it wouldn’t have been for those exact pieces, but I believe it would have been possible to S&T Melo for assets.

    25. @28 – I would have been irate if we did that. What is it with people wanting to get rid of Melo and bring back crap? I reiterate that we would have been signing crap again. In this NBA you only get great players by having great players. Whether you think the money is well spent or not, Carmelo Anthony is a free agent draw. With many Knick draft picks gone, it’s the only way we’ll ever be decent.

    26. Boozer, Mirotic + draft pick in the twenties range > Melo ???
      Oh yeah + that magical cap space that will lure Durant here.
      Bulls were not going to include Butler in any sign and trade

    27. Didn’t we just have an off season in which we failed to entice any big name free agents? I’m not seeing how that means it would have been dumb to trade Melo because we need him to attract free agents.

    28. “I think a sign and trade could have been worked out with Chicago”
      But what you, I or anyone else thinks could have been done is pretty much irrelevant because none of us has any clue whatsoever what was possible. Case in point — if someone asked you if you thought that the Celtics could have traded 4 first round picks and 2 second round picks for the right to draft Frank Kaminsky, you probably would have responded, “Absolutely.” I would have, too. But it turns out that they couldn’t make that deal, even though they tried to. My point is that I think that it’s pretty ridiculous to say that Jackson was “silly” because he “kept talking about” something when I don’t think that there is any credible evidence that he ever said it once.

      “+ that magical cap space that will lure Durant here.”
      What, you don’t believe SAS’s inside information that Durant is already packing his bags to come here next year?

    29. I think a sign and trade could have been worked out with Chicago that would have benefitted all parties. Melo for Boozer + Mirotic and a draft pick would have been a reasonable deal. Bulls get Melo and dump
      Boozer’s contract, Melo gets max contract, Knicks get assets and only have to take on one bad year of the Boozer contract. It was a missed opportunity. Maybe it wouldn’t have been for those exact pieces, but I believe it would have been possible to S&T Melo for assets.

      Yes, I think that exact deal was eminently doable, only I think they could have gotten both of the Bulls’ first rounders (that they ended up trading for Doug McDermott). Tony Snell probably would have had to be part of the deal, as well, for cap purposes. So it would have been Boozer, Snell, Mirotic and the two 2014 first rounders, #16 and #19 (one of them ended up being Jusuf Nurkic, who was a good rookie, but obviously who knows who they would have actually taken with the picks).

      Of course, that approach would have to have been paired with not trading Chandler for Calderon, but for a draft pick (preferably for 2016, to get them back into the draft).

    30. Anybody that thinks Chicago would have made a trade doesn’t follow the Bulls at all. They traded two firsts for McDermott, but prior to that the only trade of consequence they’ve made in like 7 years was dumping Deng for some second round picks and cap relief in an attempt to tank foiled by Thibs’ genius.

      The Bulls front office is the most conservative, risk averse FO in the league and the idea they would have traded Butler, Mirotic and picks for Melo is just Knicks fan conjecture dreamed up based on nothing but hopes and dreams. In fact part of their pitch to Melo was come and join their core of which Butler was a key part of.

      They also couldn’t trade their 2014 first round picks in a deal for Melo because the draft happened before free agency. So then you’re looking at a deal of like Boozer, Mirotic and maybe their 2015 and 2017 first round picks of which we can be certain the 2015 would have been a late first rounder and 2017 likely to be in the same vein.

      Either way a sign-and-trade with Chicago was probably never on the table.

    31. Melo and a bunch of misfits trying to play above their talent level.

      They may not be great but this does not describe this years team at all. It describes teams with Lee, Randolph, and Curry. With Steve Francis, Jamal Crawford, and Stephon Marbury. With Camby and Rasheed and Thomas. Kidd and Prigs. Novak and Copeland. Fuking Melo and Amare! NYK has forever tried to shoe horn misfits with overlapping skill sets, yes. However, this year we have real centers, real, PF’s, real prospects, go to scorers, etc. There is actually a plan this year (and Melo is part of it at actually not such a bad cap hit).

      The past is over. Go back to sleep, darling. It was just a nightmare. Isiah is gone, he’s gone…

    32. Why are we still wringing our hands over a deal that was never close to being made, except according to some “sources?”

      We have a team with 8 good (or promising) rotation players age 28 and under: RoLo, KP, Grant, Williams, Seraphin, O’Quinn, and Galloway. And we have a healthy Melo for the next 3 years on a reasonable (under new cap) contract.

      And we have cap space and draft picks going forward.

      Good times, guys.

    33. They also couldn’t trade their 2014 first round picks in a deal for Melo because the draft happened before free agency. So then you’re looking at a deal of like Boozer, Mirotic and maybe their 2015 and 2017 first round picks of which we can be certain the 2015 would have been a late first rounder and 2017 likely to be in the same vein.

      The Knicks would be making the picks for Chicago in that scenario. It happens fairly frequently that trades involving draft picks aren’t technically executed until July 1st.

    34. I haven’t thought about this for a while, but one thing that’s a bummer is that Afflalo and Williams have those pesky player options for year 2. So if they do well they likely split and take advantage of the cap jump, and if they do really badly they opt in for another year.

    35. +1 Z-man. We don’t have enough draft picks but we have Hernangomez coming next season instead. Let’s add him to the mix. We have a good solid core.

    36. As a long time fan of the Knicks, I am not very impressed with their drafting ability historically speaking. So the idea that Boozer, Mitroic + even 2 draft picks in the high teens for Melo would be worth doing to improve the team is debatable. If it included Butler instead then that moves the needle towards doing that trade in my opinion. Whatever you think of him, Melo is still better than most players and if surrounded by competent teammates he will make the Knicks competitive. Not sure the same can be said of Mitroic + 2 mid to late first rounders .

    37. Plus, without Melo we’d be forced to spend 100% of our time wringing our hands on the 13th-15th roster spots instead of just 50%. Melo is truly the great uniter that brings us all together…so that we can immediately begin disagreeing about him. Really, the man provides endless hours of entertainment.

    38. I know it’s just 3 pre-season games but Ian Begley mentioned today that the Knicks so far are 7th in pace compared to 28th last season. Not to mention being 28th and 26th in Woodson’s 2 full seasons. Would be nice to see the Knicks play at a faster pace this season.

    39. Why are we still wringing our hands over a deal that was never close to being made, except according to some “sources?”

      We’re not wringing our hands– somebody above asked what an alternate universe Knicks would look like if the Knicks had gone in a different direction besides building around Mega-Max Melo.

    40. Yeah, there were a lot of problems with the Knicks offense last year (like having no good basketball players), but one of the issues was that we’d have like 16 seconds left on the clock when we were just starting to run the offense. 8 seconds or more is not how you want to do things.

    41. And Jimmy Butler is better, younger and cheaper than Melo. Sure, adding him to a deal would have moved the needle (from this is a good deal for the Knicks to this is a heist of legendary proportions), but Gar Forman isn’t insane-there was no way that was ever happening anywhere but in the brains of NY beatwriters.

    42. This sounds to me like hand-wringing, i.e. alas, what might have been…

      “If Jackson had done that, it would have been a pretty pointless move, because there was no chance Melo would accept that. So, it would have been much better (and sent a more positive, stronger message) to not offer Melo a contract at all. And yes, the team would be in much better shape for the future.

      That would have made sense within the context of entering a full-fledged rebuild. As we know now, that was never Phil Jackson’s intentions, so here we are with Melo and a bunch of misfits trying to play above their talent level.”

      “But yes, I do not like the idea of the Melo-centric rebuild. I think it was a bad idea as soon as it happened. But I also think it was a prerequisite for anyone taking over the team, so I can’t harp on it too much.”

      “I think a sign and trade could have been worked out with Chicago that would have benefitted all parties. Melo for Boozer + Mirotic and a draft pick would have been a reasonable deal. Bulls get Melo and dump
      Boozer’s contract, Melo gets max contract, Knicks get assets and only have to take on one bad year of the Boozer contract. It was a missed opportunity. Maybe it wouldn’t have been for those exact pieces, but I believe it would have been possible to S&T Melo for assets.”

    43. And Jimmy Butler is better, younger and cheaper than Melo. Sure, adding him to a deal would have moved the needle (from this is a good deal for the Knicks to this is a heist of legendary proportions), but Gar Forman isn’t insane-there was no way that was ever happening anywhere but in the brains of NY beatwriters.

      Yeah, no way was Butler ever going to be involved.

    44. Timmy

      15 minutes, 3-8 for 7 points, and 1 rebound.

      I can’t believe we got someone to trade us a promising rookie for that bum.

    45. Porzingis numbers through 2 preseason games and summer league: .564 TS, 7.2 rebounds per 36, 2.9 blocks per 36

      That block rate would rake 6th among qualified defenders last year.

      He’s +29 dating back to summer league as well.

    46. Clearly, the decision to re-sign Melo to a near-max deal is his signature move thus far. And thus far, it’s still premature to judge whether the move was a good one or not.

      We can quibble about possibly getting more for Chandler. Maybe Jackson dawdles and Chandler gets hurt in a meaningless preseason game, and we wind up getting nothing for him and are stuck with Felton. But whatever, that was of no great consequence compared to the Melo deal.

      I tend to see things for what they are, not for what they might have been…especially when the answers are far from conclusive. If you look at the roster today, and compare it to a roster without Melo and with the assets we thoretically could have gotten for him, is is so clear that one direction was far better than the other? Certainly not to me.

      What I see right now is what I mentioned in @38…a youngish roster, unsquandered future draft picks, a GM that’s not afraid of the owner, and a manageable cap situation…a total transformation in a year and a half. And for all the criticism, Melo has been a pretty good soldier. He’s played hurt, had his surgery, worked his rehab, and engaged his teammates in team-building activities like the PR trip. Phil believes that he can bring out the best in Melo, and we’ll soon find out whether Melo is capable of positive change. I think it was a reasonable gamble.

    47. Melo’s game will defy the age curve just as Pierce, if not better because he’s less perimeter drive oriented than Pierce and can transition full-time to a position where he will maintain a skills and quickness advantage. Beyond that, similar to a Karl Malone in his mid-30s, Melo is thick, strong and will keep his bag of tricks in post-ups/isolations.

      As the talent-base improves around him, his rate of decline (as in, rate of declining abilities) will be slower than the decline of his responsibilities on offense, which not only helps preserve his body, but mask his deficiencies (statistically measured or not), allowing for greater energy output in areas he’s rarely able to focus on (Pierce paradoxically became a much better defender into his 30s, just as his responsibility on offense was reduced).

    48. i dont know about you guys, but id trade melo for mirotic, straight up (in an alternate universe where salary matching didnt matter).

      The logic should’ve been: we’re not winning with Melo, and we’re not creating a healthy, draft-pick-stocked future in the most optimal way if we’re keeping Melo, so why keep him? Melo may be a better player than Mirotic now (frankly even that is debatable), but I’ll take the 24 year old 2 way player over the 31 year old volume scorer every day of the week and twice on sundays. That’s worth Boozer. Never mind the fact that in a real trade we’d be getting draft picks plus tony snell. If Mirotic, Boozer, Snell, and picks would’ve been our haul in a sign-and-trade, that would be an absolute steal.

    49. No age curve I’ve seen factors style of play. While there is a small minority of players who maintain or get better as they get into their, there are tons of examples.

      Is there a highly productive player less reliant on raw athleticism than Carmelo Anthony?

    50. Right, because if Melo played on a team with an elite scoring two-way wing, an elite penetrating point guard, one of the best passing and scoring bigs in the league, and the best passing center in the league, he’d still have the same shot distribution and expend the same amount of energy on defense.

      76 percent of Mirotic’s shots came at the rim or behind the 3-point line last year. With that kind of shot distribution, Melo’s TS would shoot up beyond .600.

    51. Even if Melo’s game does, as you say, defy the age curve, I think Mirotic at 24 is performing at a similar level that Melo is at 31–perhaps even better, given that Mirotic is a plus defender. So assuming (I think generously, but maybe not) that Melo’s decline isn’t precipitous, he’ll stay the way he is now (i.e. a fairly productive offensive player) for what, 2-3 more years? Meanwhile, Mirotic is entering into his prime and will likely improve over the next 2-3 seasons. For me it’s a no-brainer that you’d take Mirotic, even if you think Melo is better and will stay relatively good. The age (and salary–but I’m abstracting from that in my discussion) difference is just too great to justify.

      You can say that Melo’s TS% would be >.600 if he had the opportunities Mirotic had, but he has never actually had above a league average TS, and to assume that he could just get to .600 against 12 years of evidence is pretty baseless, to my mind. Carmelo isn’t a player who bombs 3’s and drives to the rim like Mirotic, so I doubt he would ever in the first place sit behind the 3 point line and attack the rim and that reflects in his TS because his game is just less efficient. Especially now that he’s older and he plays mainly in the midrange (his 3 point shot is what’s keeping him relevant). Also Melo has never been a plus defender, so I don’t think “energy” argument is one that works: Jimmy Butler spends plenty of energy on the offensive end and doesn’t suck on defense–Carmelo is just bad at d.

      Your mileage may vary, I guess, but I don’t see how you don’t take Mirotic over Melo.

    52. @60 wow. You think Miritic is better than Melo? Wow.

      For all the hype I’m not sure about Butler either, but at least that makes sense.

    53. I’m not saying he’s better than Melo, I’m saying that they produce at a similar level, and that, given the age difference, I’d take Mirotic over Melo even in a straight up trade especially given the Knicks position in the NBA (i.e. they’re not gonna “win now”–but since we’re committed to Melo that’s all water under the bridge).

      And Z-man, if you look at his DPM and his Defensive tracking numbers he comes out as a plus defender.

      Moreover Mirotic often played off the bench (his most played lineup involves only Pau and no Butler, D.Rose, or Noah) and actually was far more productive when Rose, Butler, and Noah were off the floor (for example when much of the starting lineup was injured and he was playing with Snell/Brooks/ et al.)–he has the ability to create his own shot in a way that you don’t give him credit for.

    54. Uh, calling Mirotic a plus defender is a stretch. He was one of the worst players in the entire league defending pnr, had a zero DPM, and barely cracked TT’s playoff rotation because of defensive issues.

      Melo’s had an above average TS most of his career. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    55. @Jack Bauer

      Who would you rather have in 2020, when Melo is 37, a 25 year old who was a mid first round pick or Carmelo Anthony?

      If Carmelo gets the Knicks 8 extra wins a season for the next three years, but they never do more than lose in the first round, what has he given the Knicks? He’s given them nothing, and the salary space and draft picks you could have traded him for are unquestionably more valuable.

      So if you can look at a player and say, “He’s not gonna be impactful in three years and his value is only likely to decline with each day that passes,” and you can look at your team and say, “they’re not gonna win a title in the next three years,” it doesn’t matter if that player is Lebron James or Carmelo Anthony or Bob Sura. If he has any kind of trade value, even if it’s just a second round pick, you trade him now because on your timeline, in your world, he’s worth nothing.

      SO the final pipe dream scenario for the Knicks is that Kevin Durant comes here next summer. After that, Melo’s value to the Knicks in their pursuit of winning a title becomes nil. His contract becomes all risk, and if the Knicks don’t move him, I can’t think of any other thing to call them but fools.

      And all that is why Melo’s trade value is low. He only makes sense for teams that fit with his timeline, which is quite narrow. You can’t apply that truth to other teams’ logic but then stop short of applying it to the Knicks’, who are in a lot worse position to utilize his talent than the average NBA team.

    56. All Melo did on Team USA was drive to the rim, shoot 3s and expend energy on defense. Butler is one of the best conditioned athletes in the NBA, plays primarily off the ball, and his defense has suffered a bit as he’s become more involved in the offense.

      There’s an astronomical difference between 32 percent and 22 percent usage. Melo rates very well in virtually every offensive shot/play type; his extreme usage and merely good efficiency is a byproduct of his anomalously high iso/mid-range jumper.

      Yes, he’s a great ISO, off the dribble/jab step mid-range shooter, but with a more offensively talented team with other creators, he won’t take nearly as many of those kinds of shots, which while he’s great at them are still relatively inefficient.

      Melo had one of the worst mid-range shooting years of his career the year he set his TS high, that’s because a higher percentage of his shots came at the rim thanks to playing alongside the only other full-time creator he’s had in his career (A.I.)

    57. Melo’s career TS is .546, his career high being .568. .54 is generally the league average. So the best you could say is that he is barely above average as a shooter. .568 TS while being a defensive liablilty does not a good max contract make, even at his high usage.

      Mirotic’s tracking numbers indicate that he’s at minimum slightly better than an average defensive player, by DPM he didn’t hurt his team on the floor and his on/off stats indicate that opponents had a lower efg and orb% when he was on the floor (remember that his first most played lineup only involved pau and his 2-7th most played lineups involved jimmy butler and pau, so he did do a lot of heavy offensive and defensive lifting in that scheme). I take the confluence of those considerations as good enough evidence that he is at minimum a slight plus defender. So I may have overstated my case (though I don’t think so), but it’s by no means a stretch considering that one of your criteria was “didn’t crack Thibodeau’s playoff rotation”, as if coaches were the final arbiters of a player’s productivity (and, of all people, Thibs, the guy with a known dislike for giving rookies adequate playtime.)

    58. There’s an astronomical difference between 32 percent and 22 percent usage. Melo rates very well in virtually every offensive shot/play type; his extreme usage and merely good efficiency is a byproduct of his anomalously high iso/mid-range jumper.

      Maybe I’m just crazy, but is it possible that Melo should shoot less?

    59. Paul Pierce was 33, on a max contract, when he put up his second highest WS/48 of his career and helped Boston win nearly 60 games.

      KG and Ray Allen were 34 and 35, and the three of them ate up almost all of the cap (and the team was devoid of young talent).

      So many franchises sell out for the future and accumulate assets… it’s the cycle of failure for most, but hey, they never run out of hope.

    60. I’m not even saying that Melo is bad (in fact I think he’s a well above average player), but he’s not worth a max, and I would take Mirotic (a player who I also think is well above average) over Carmelo most any day if only for his age, with reasons similar to what Fisher-Cohen just said (never mind salary). I don’t find that too ridiculous but again you’re free to disagree.

      A lot of the arguments defending Melo as never having the right tools around him or if he was in just this right situation/if he wanted to/etc. just strike me as special pleading. That one has to so strenuously justify his productivity when you can look at any other superstars basic advanced stats and see the productivity right in the numbers is good enough reason to be skeptical of claims about how good Melo is, never mind doing further analysis. He’s just not worth a max to me, and he’s not worth it over young, productive blood that have an opportunity to get better for longer.

      Carmelo may be worth a max if and only if he’s the final piece, but the Knicks are in no position to contend over Melo’s window, even when it’s construed quite generously as a 5 year window. So we gave a max to Melo when he wasn’t the final piece, and that, to me, is a suboptimal move.

    61. Re: Melo and aging. He’s already defied the age curve. Pierce is just a totally random outlier. By remaining at prime level through age 30, he’s ahead of that curve by a good margin. I would also add that a significant factor that distinguishes Pierce from Melo, beyond his random luckbox health, is that he’s a much more cerebral player. He was…

      * able to get under players’ skin on defense
      * to anticipate defenders’ moves while on offense and was a skilled and willing flopper
      * good at seeing the floor and finding the open man

      These are all skills that come from Pierce’s mental approach to the game. Melo doesn’t excel at them.

      But regardless, even if you call Melo Pierce’s proxy, like I said, Pierce is a wild outlier. The only other above average starter level perimeter players (i.e. combo forward or smaller) who were still right at prime level by age 33 that I can think of were Ray Allen and Reggie Miller, both of whom were primarily off ball players, able to continue to thrive because their games were built on stamina and shooting ability, similar to (though better than) Korver today.

      Melo is much more dependent on using his jab step to create space, and all a jab step is is a bluff of a drive. the more he slows, the more defenders will call that bluff.

    62. League TS has only been at or above 54% 5 times in Melo’s career, and nine times since 1980.
      Melo’s been under league TS twice in his career. His turnover rate is elite.

      Offenses consistently perform at a top-10 or better level when Melo is on the floor, regardless of play style or teammates.

      Mirotic looks like he’s going to be a very good player. The things he does, he does them very well. But it doesn’t make sense to compare a really good role player to a guy who you revolve your entire offense around (because its works really well) year after year. There’s a lot that comes with that.

    63. Melo is not in the class of Durant, Paul, Davis or Lebron, whose value GREATLY exceeds their salary.

    64. Melo’s turnover rate is a function of him shooting so much. The more shots you take the lower your turnover rate goes.

    65. The MSG documentary portrayed Jackson as being unwilling to facilitate the Bulls signing Anthony. There was no sign-and-trade to be had.

      For Chicago to have cleared enough space to offer the max ($96 mil), they’d have needed to have amnestied Boozer, shed Dunleavy, Augustin, Heinrich, traded their 2 first rounders for future picks, and told Mirotic to stay in Europe.

      Ultimately, if Jackson had been willing to negotiate a sign-and-trade, he could have gotten some combo of that package, plus maybe Snell (but not Mirotic, and DEFINITELY not Butler). But Jackson wasn’t willing, so it’s moot (and unfortunate too).

    66. So to say he’s not valuable because he’s a max player and not as good as other max players is not necessarily true. Comparing him to role players is also an insufficient way of understanding his value.

      Melo can be both a bridge to the next great Knicks team and a part of it. At the very least for now, his presence protects KP’s development.

    67. The Knicks have looked pretty fun so far (I know its only pre-season) and look like they will be an intriguing team to watch this season thanks to the young talent on the team. Melo has looked great in pre-season and most importantly looks healthy. Him being healthy is the most important factor in having a surprisingly good season and a shot at sneaking into the playoffs.

      Yet today the main topic once again for the 1000th time is about the Knicks not letting Melo leave when he was a free agent. Jesus Christ. Now that the off-season is over and we have actual games to watch and analyze can we finally get off the freaking Melo debate and just talk about the actual team and players we will be watching and rooting for this season instead of some theoretical team we could be watching if Melo left last summer??

    68. Melo is extra valuable because he makes everyone else better

      The reason Melo isn’t extra valuable is his teammates suck

    69. Hey Blue, I started out with some KP numbers. No one cared. It’s been years since I’ve initiated a Melo debate.

      And no, Dred, Melo allows teams lacking in offensive talent to perform beyond their talent because of the amount of attention he receives and the amount of possessions he uses at an efficient level. He would be more efficient if he had more talented teammates because he wouldn’t be used to take as many inefficient possessions.

      You’ve completely twisted the argument.

    70. Melo and his team would be more efficient if he took fewer dumbass shots and passed the basketball to his teammates after receiving all that defensive attention. Over at Nylon Calculus, Seth Partnow has a stat called playmaking usage, which he defines as the “percentage of plays in which the player contributes a potential assist or free throw assist.”. Among front court players with 500+minutes played last year, Melo ranks 28th, one spot ahead of playmaking superstar Cole Aldrich.

    71. Porzingis numbers through 2 preseason games and summer league: .564 TS, 7.2 rebounds per 36, 2.9 blocks per 36

      That block rate would rake 6th among qualified defenders last year.

      He’s +29 dating back to summer league as well.

      I would take that from a rookie 100 times out of 100. Porzingis’ biggest obstacles to success are adjusting the speed of the game and filling out. His translated Euro stats paint him in a very positive light as well. Early days, but I like that he finds a way to stay involved and active in the game even though he’s not a high usage player.

    72. @70 I’m no math wiz, but average efficiency inversely correlates to average usage right?

      Higher usage = Lower ts%

      So how can you compare across usage without adjusting for that usage

    73. Funny how when LeBron was playing with essentially a team of former Knicks in the finals, his usage went up to over 37% and his TS% went down to under 49%. But yeah, teammates don’t matter.

      As to Melo vs. Mirotic, would replacing Mirotic with Melo have benefitted the Bulls during the life of Melo’s current contract?

    74. Did someone really argue above that the Knicks should trade Melo for a second round pick? That’s crazy. Why settle for that?I bet that they could get two second round picks for him. Now THAT would be a real package of valuable assets!

    75. I am just blown away. Arguing that we would want Miritic over Anthony defies sanity.

      Next.

    76. Z-man and others-I am not going to hate on Melo for forcing shots when he’s on the floor with Lou Amundson, Lance Thomas et al. When the Knicks had a great offense three seasons ago, and when there were obviously more competent offensive players surrounding Melo he set a career high for usage rate .

    77. When the Knicks had a great offense three seasons ago, and when there were obviously more competent offensive players surrounding Melo he set a career high for usage rate .

      And he got an Mvp vote

    78. “When the Knicks had a great offense three seasons ago, and when there were obviously more competent offensive players surrounding Melo he set a career high for usage rate .”

      …and because of his incessant, conscience-less chucking, they only managed to win 54 games. If only Melo could have gotten the Master of Efficiency, a.k.a Hibbert’s B, to raise his usage to somewhere in the neighborhood of league starter average, or if Prigioni could shoot something other than an uncontested 3, of if the NBA would abandon the 24-second clock, we would have won at least 75.

      I mean, is your argument really that Melo shot too much that year?! Really?! With THAT team?!

    79. Well, my argument is that Melo clearly doesn’t shoot a lot because there aren’t any other people on the court who can score. Melo has shot a lot no matter who he is on the court with. He shot more often as a Knick when he had better players surrounding him than he did last season playing with a bunch of bums.

      But to your question, I would argue that Melo has shot too often throughout his NBA career. If you’re taking a contested mid range jumper early in the shot clock on a team with Tyson Chandler and a bunch of great 3 point shooters, you’re doing something wrong.

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