Knicks Morning News (2015.10.22)

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Thompson Agrees on Deal (Thu, 22 Oct 2015 04:46:17 GMT)

    Tristan Thompson, a restricted free-agent forward, has agreed in principle with Cleveland on a five-year, $82 million contract.

  • [New York Times] Leuer Helps Suns Rally Past Mavericks 99-87 (Thu, 22 Oct 2015 03:18:51 GMT)

    Jon Leuer scored eight of his 11 points in the fourth quarter and the Phoenix Suns rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 99-87 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Conley’s Only FG Leads Grizzlies Past Hawks, 82-81 (Thu, 22 Oct 2015 02:48:46 GMT)

    Mike Conley hit a 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining, Zach Randolph scored 19 points and the Memphis Grizzlies remained unbeaten in the preseason with an 82-81 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Green Scores 28 Off Bench, Heat Top Wizards 110-105 (Thu, 22 Oct 2015 02:48:45 GMT)

    Gerald Green scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, Dwyane Wade scored with 40.8 seconds left to put Miami up for good and the Heat topped the Washington Wizards 110-105 in a preseason game Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Batum Helps Hornets Stay Unbeaten in Preseason, Beat Pistons (Thu, 22 Oct 2015 02:16:15 GMT)

    Nicolas Batum had 18 points and 10 rebounds to help the Charlotte Hornets move to 7-0 in the preseason with a 99-94 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Cavaliers, Thompson Reach Agreement on Long-Term Contract (Thu, 22 Oct 2015 01:09:42 GMT)

    Already an elite rebounder, Tristan Thompson snatched a long-term contract from the Cavaliers.

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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).

    70 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.10.22)”

    1. Last preseason game tonight, everybody’s healthy, and Fisher suggests we’ll see something resembling his planned regular season rotation. Will this mean a continuation of a 10-man rotation? Might he even try to play all 12 active guys some nights?

      Starters are set:

      Lopez
      Porzingis
      Melo
      Afflalo
      Calderon

      In terms of the bench, we’ve got four locks:

      O’Quinn
      Williams
      Galloway
      Grant

      Does Early squeeze into the rotation based on recent play and the need for a genuine backup 3? Does Fisher’s Lance Thomas fetish continue? If Fisher considers Williams more of a 3, does that mean Seraphin or Amundson is the extra big man? And will Sasha play at all when everybody’s healthy?

      And if Thanasis isn’t going to be the 15th man, will it be Trice, or someone off the waiver wire?

    2. Excellent question. Fish could just play those 9 players, but he’s been running the preseason as though there will be two five man units. I would guess Seraphin or Early, but it’s really hard to tell.

      Another question is who do they cut from the 19 players to get to 15 players. Trice, Antetokounmpo, Saunders, Atkins and Summers are all competing for a fifteenth spot on the roster (I’m assuming Early is a lock for the fourteenth spot because of the recent quality of his play and his getting many more minutes than the other five). They are probably going to pick on potential rather than current performance, which means if you don’t see the practices, you have no information to judge.

    3. I think the 15th spot has to be a guard, based on this roster’s composition. Our front court should be pretty set, but our back court has a few question-marks, especially with health and age (Calderon).

    4. (I’m assuming Early is a lock for the fourteenth spot because of the recent quality of his play and his getting many more minutes than the other five).

      Early’s a lock. Guaranteed contract, has shown well lately, he and Thomas are the team’s only other small forwards besides Melo, and all the beat writers have said the only question is that 15th spot.

      Based on roster composition, Trice — or a guard who gets waived by another team — makes the most sense for the 15th man. But given how little all those guys have played in actual games, KnickfaninNJ is right that it’s almost certainly going to come down to what they’ve shown in practice.

      If we cut Thanasis after he sacrificed a year’s worth of Euro salary so he could play for Westchester, I imagine that’s the end of his relationship with the team. But given how far away he seems from contributing, I wouldn’t be that upset if it happens.

    5. I agree about Antetokounmpo. And I don’t think he’s doing particularly well in training camp. Given his contract and prior experience I would have expected him to have more playing time in pre-season, if he was reasonably competitive with the other guys not in the core rotation

    6. Yeah, I won’t be shocked if they keep him (and then immediately assign him to Westchester so he can play), given the investment of money and a draft pick, but to this point, it seems like a gamble that’s not paying off.

    7. Need to keep an extra guard. It is the thinnest position and Calderon is bound to get hurt sooner rather than later. Yeah, I would think if Spell Check had shown anything in camp he would’ve gotten more burn in preseason. He hasn’t looked like he’s progressed that much, still very raw.

    8. The pic of Porzin6is as a young kid with cornrows and baby blue headband is pure gold.

      It really is. I love how he did it “for the ladies.”

    9. Need to keep an extra guard. It is the thinnest position

      Outside of starting power forward. ;)

      Thanasis doesn’t even have a fully guaranteed contract this year, so I think the contract is less the issue with him and more as alsep73 points out, if they don’t give him a contract this year, that means they lose him for good, as they’re already on thin ice with Thanasis playing last year for, like, $25,000. Is he intriguing enough for that to be that big of a factor? Or is someone else who looks like he can contribute now worth the spot more?

    10. Is he intriguing enough for that to be that big of a factor? Or is someone else who looks like he can contribute now worth the spot more?

      Thanasis is already 23, which is a big factor to keep in mind here. When you draft a project who’s on the older side of the age scale you’re really looking for them to start coming on pretty quickly, and by all appearances he has failed to do that. Trice for example, is actually about 6 months younger than Thanasis.

      Thanasis clearly has pretty impressive physical talent, but I see a guy who’s just way, way too raw for his age to really be all that intriguing any more. Given the progress we’ve seen in the past 12 months I feel like his offensive game is close to a write-off at this point. Even if he gets to an NBA level on that end it will be in a fringe-y Tony Allen kind of way where he’s a perimeter player who can’t shoot or make plays. Could he become a Tony Allen level defensive player? That’s a pretty high bar given that TA is a perennial DPOY candidate, but maybe. I think he has immense defensive talent. But even if he can hit the high end of his range and be Tony Allen, that isn’t exactly upside that I’m terrified to let walk out the door.

    11. I tend to agree that it is unlikely that Thanasis ever really puts it together, so I guess if they think Trice has a real shot, it’s worth it. I think it is more a case of – do they believe in Trice? Do they believe in some other guard who gets cut before the season begins? I think it has to be about a player you really like to dump Thanasis (as whoever you pick up will likely be inactive or playing in the D-League, just like Thanasis) and not just another warm body.

    12. Trice seems like the kind of player you can sort of find anywhere, a good D-I college point guard without the athletic ability to compete in the NBA. Thanasis was a nice guy to take a flyer on in the draft and maybe someday he figures it out but right now he looks like a bust.

      I’m kind of hoping Saunders makes the cut, as he’s the guy I can sort of envision becoming an NBA rotation player if I squint real hard. He seems like the most triangle-y player of the three and is the best two-way player out of the three guys trying to get that last roster spot.

    13. I think the thing with Saunders is sort of a game theory deal, though, in that you know you’re pretty safe in stashing Saunders in the D-League. Trice, I don’t think will be as easy to stash.

    14. Has anyone been paying attention to other teams’ fringe roster decisions? Since we have second priority on the waiver wire, we have a decent shot of grabbing someone else’s castoff.

    15. Perry Jones III I know is likely to not make Boston’s roster.

      Jimmer got cut by the Spurs.

      Furkan Aldemir and Christian Wood are competing for a roster spot in Philly (Wood almost certainly will get the gig, though). Sadly, both play the 4.

    16. If Wood gets cut I would hop on that immediately–kid has NBA talent. Lou Amundson can keep the bench warm for him while Wood plays a few minutes a game.

    17. Agreed, but I think he almost certainly has a spot in Philly. Aldemir, though, looks like the one who is going to get cut. He’s less of a clear decision to add. He has interesting upside (and I read an article recently where Philly likely will plan to ask the league for the hardship rule, and “cut” Aldemir only to re-sign him as soon as the team is eligible for the hardship exemption) but if he’s never going to get a chance to play, seems like a bit of a wasted roster spot.

    18. Thanasis isn’t a bust; he’s a second round project that didn’t pan out. That’s what’s expected to happen with picks like that.

    19. Fair point about our expectations for second round picks. But damn, Thanasis is just soooo athletic. It kills me that he’s not better than he is.

    20. Furkan Aldemir wins the official “Jeff Adrien Outlier WP48 Superstar Of The Year” award. He had a higher WP48 than LeBron James last year.

    21. So Porzingis is confirmed as a starter for next week. Not what I would do, but at the same time it’ll be fun to watch.

    22. I like him starting. He’s the future of the team, might as well let him get right on with it.

    23. What I would go with including depth:
      1- Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant, Travis Trice
      2- Aaron Afflolo, Langston Galloway, Sasha Vujacic
      3- Carmelo Anthony, Cleanthony Early, Lance Thomas
      4- Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick Williams, Lou Amundson
      5- Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn, Kevin Seraphin

    24. After a couple weeks of ulcer-inducing, high stress Mets playoff games, this meaningless preseason game is a welcome respite.

    25. Gawd I “severely dislike” Celtics’ broadcasts. “Kristin Porzingis”? Really?

    26. Marcus Smart is really good.

      Some dumb fouls by Porzingis, but he was also effectively aggressive on the glass

    27. Derrick Williams has looked not terrible at defense?

      Proof that the eye-test is for squares.

    28. This is pretty discouraging. The Celtics are getting easy looks off screens, they’re getting second chance points, they’re getting easy buckets in transition and they look like a much better coached, much more put-together team.

    29. That was a throw away half.

      Boston was perfect
      Knicks were the worst.

      Only down 12. Not bad considering how bad they were. I like afflalo and Calderon and porzongiz.

      Melo and Lopez had bad halves

    30. Positives:
      NYK had seven blocks in the first half
      Zinger made some smooth looking plays on offense
      O’Quinn has 5 reb, 3 ast, 1 blk in 10 minutes

    31. I’m really not sure yet why they have Rebecca Haarlow instead of the lady they’ll had last year. Anyone have any comments on her?

    32. I think the most encouraging part of Zinger this pre-season is his rebounding. He may not be a 10+ reb/g player but he won’t be a Bargs or Eddy Curry type rebounder either.

    33. Crap, Afflalo is out with a tight left hamstring.

      That’s not great. But what’s encouraging is that Fisher went to a Galloway/Calderon backcourt, rather than sliding Sasha up. Langston’s probably a better running mate for Jose to begin with, and if this game is meant to represent the actual rotations going into the season, I’m glad Fisher has done away with this “when a first-stringer is out, I’ll start a third-stringer to avoid disrupting a second-stringer’s habits” nonsense.

    34. Galloway’s defense has been impressive. He does a great job containing dribble penetration and he tries really hard to fight through screens. Lunch pail player.

    35. Yes I meant Tina Cervasio. Somehow I have the impression she was let go by MsG (I could be wrong) but I don’t see an obvious improvement. So I was wondering why the change.

    36. If Lance Thomas plays in anything other than a blowout in the regular season I will be dumbfounded. Meanwhile, Melo just keeps taking shots that even he shouldn’t be taking.

    37. I thought one positive was that almost every time Porzingis got the ball in the low post something good happened. Towards the end of the game Boston seemed to realize this so they double teamed him. But he made nice pass. He’s going to draws lot of defensive attention.

    38. Brian, weren’t you a big Melo at the four guy?

      I am, but it clearly isn’t happening with this roster, so if not Melo, then Zinger!

    39. At the end of the day complaining about what is clearly happening is major piece to the puzzle and I’m not gonna just kick it to the curb. The east is big man

    40. If only the Knicks on the court had half of Robin Lopez’ Back to the Future trivia game off it….

      Also, luckily, his voice is 85% less annoying than his brother’s, although very similar.

      When does this season start, ready for the debut of Foulzingis….

    41. Not a good effort by the starters. Melo looked flustered by Crowder’s D tonight. Jose was the only starter who looked good tonight, especially on the offensive end.

      Can’t say enough how encouraged I am by DWill’s play. He has legit 3 point range and is a far better athlete that I realized!

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