Knicks Morning News (2015.11.09)

  • [New York Daily News] Lakers’ Kobe Bryant trash-talks with Spike Lee (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 04:10:40 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant won five championships under Phil Jackson’s three-sided system, so it’s fair to call him an expert.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks coach Derek Fisher ejected after cursing out refs (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 02:48:23 GMT)

    A foul-mouthed Derek Fisher dropped three F-Bombs before being ejected in the third quarter of Sunday’s Knicks victory.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks beat Lakers in what could be Kobe’s final Garden game (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 02:40:42 GMT)

    The shell of Kobe Bryant made its likely final appearance at the Garden and blew it for the Lakers.

  • [New York Post] Lakers hint they misjudged Porzingis as D’Angelo Russell struggles (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 00:46:14 -0500)

    Kobe Bryant and Kristaps Porzingis could have been teammates, could have been the reason Bryant stuck it out one more season. In fact, Lakers coach Byron Scott hinted they miscalculated the 7-foot-3 Latvian's rookie immediate impact when the club chose point guard D'Angelo Russell with the second pick of the draft. After the game, Bryant…

  • [New York Times] Kobe’s Wish: Treat Visits Like He Did Jordan’s Last All-Star (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 08:00:41 GMT)

    It’s off to Florida now for Kobe Bryant, for two more games that will potentially be his last in those cities.

  • [New York Times] Drummond Leads Pistons to Comeback 120-103 Win Over Blazers (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 04:42:41 GMT)

    Andre Drummond had 29 points and 27 rebounds, Reggie Jackson scored a career-high 40 points and the Detroit Pistons rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 120-103 on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Game of the Week: Spurs at Trail Blazers (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 04:25:19 GMT)

    Portland is retooling after losing a star player, LaMarcus Aldridge, to San Antonio. The Spurs’ depth gives them an advantage as Aldridge returns to face his former team.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Beat Suns 124-103 to Snap 3-Game Skid (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 04:15:45 GMT)

    The Thunder looked more like they usually do on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Cavs Win Sixth in Row With Lift From James (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 04:13:12 GMT)

    Playing with a bruised quadriceps, LeBron James lead the host Cleveland Cavaliers to a 101-97 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

  • [New York Times] Heat Run Away in 2nd Half, Top Raptors 96-76 (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 01:54:38 GMT)

    The jerseys that the Miami Heat are wearing this week have a military theme and say “Home Strong” on the chest, a nod to the name of the program the team founded to honor soldiers at every game.

  • [New York Times] Byron Scott: Kobe Said Recently This Could Be His Last Year (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 01:24:40 GMT)

    Lakers coach Byron Scott asked Kobe Bryant recently how he wants to handle his minutes this season.

  • [New York Times] James Scores 29 Despite Bruised Quad as Cavs Beat Pacers (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 01:21:50 GMT)

    LeBron James with a sore leg was about as effective as LeBron James at full health.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Beat Lakers, Spoil Kobe’s Potential MSG Finale (Mon, 09 Nov 2015 00:43:01 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant shared a lengthy embrace with Carmelo Anthony and made his way toward the exit, tapping his chest and waving to the fans.

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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).

    32 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.11.09)”

    1. He may turn out to be a great player but, based on early returns, how pissed would we all be if the Knicks had ended up with the second or third pick and taken Russell?

    2. By the way, can you think of a shittier coach to develop a young guard than Byron Scott? How is that guy still a coach in the NBA!?

      Seriously kinda wondering whether this is a stealth tank job by Kupchak. I doubt it, but it certainly is a possibility.

      Anyway, speaking of Porzingis (because we’re always speaking about him) — how about this stat…

      Kristaps is 20.1 years old. He is currently averaging 18.2p/12.7r/1.9stl/1.9blk per 36.

      The only players since 1947 from age 18-22 who have averaged (per 36) numbers inferior to Kristaps of – 16 pts, 11 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks:

      Shawn Kemp
      Andre Drummond
      Charles Barkley

      Now extend that to age 26 — and that list looks like this:

      Shawn Kemp
      David Robinson
      Hakeem Olajuwon
      Barkley
      Demarcus Cousins
      Drummond
      some guy named Rich Kelley from 1978
      Jared Sullinger (wow?)
      and Porzingis.

      Only Kemp put up these numbers at or before his age 22 season (of course players didn’t really come out at age 20 until the last decade or two, but whatever).

      Dudes – we are seeing a truly special start of a career here. And we haven’t even yet seen what was supposed to be the best thing about him — his shooting.

    3. Yeah I think Porzingis is the 2nd best rookie in the league (among those with high minutes allocations) by a pretty comfortable margin. Towns has been ridiculous and Porzingis is only a few points lower in WS/48 which is nice to see. If KP improves his shooting he can match or even be better than Towns this season (which is crazy). But I imagine Towns will have the better career, which is no insult to Kristaps, considering that Towns have perennial all star and DPOY written all over him.

    4. I didn’t catch the game yesterday. Where were most of KrisPKareem’s shots taken from?

      I’m eager to see his height/movement advantages exploited to better effect than they they seem to have been in the first 6 games. His roll/oop/low post potential seems large. Yet the sets seem designed for him to take more 15+ ft jumpers. I’m not suggesting he abandon those just cause they haven’t started falling yet. But his bread and better seems like it could be closer to the basket in any event.

    5. Also I’d be pretty happy if we never played Seraphin again

      Kristaps mostly took long 2’s/open 3’s last night but yeah he tried a few close to the basket bank shots that didn’t go in but were close. He’s offensively versatile and we should be encouraging things that aren’t long 2s (though hes pretty good at those)

    6. Meanwhile Jahlil Okafor’s rebounding has been even worse than Kristaps Porzingis’ rebounding was supposed to be. He’s averaging 5.8 REB/36 and has a paltry TRB% of 9.1. That’s sub-Eddy Curry, down there in Bargnani Land. Porzingis’ rebound rate is literally double Okafor’s.

      When all is said and done I think it’s Okafor we might be glad we missed out on rather than Russell. “Eddy Curry with less rebounding” is not a profile to get too excited about.

    7. I think Okafor’s been ok. 20 points 6 rebounds on 56% TS isn’t so bad for a 19 year old. And he doesn’t seem to have the above-the-neck issues that Eddy had.

      Russell though– it’s hard to find anything redeeming about the start of his rookie year. Can’t shoot, can’t finish, barely 1:1 ast/to ratio, not really rebounding, can’t play D. Obviously it’s quite early but it’s very hard to find top 5 draft picks with a negative WS/48 that look good in retrospect. If he looks like this in 20 games, I think the Lakers have a big problem.

    8. It doesn’t sound terrible when read that your center is being crushed on the boards by a MVP level superstar like Langston Galloway, but it’s bad for your defense when you can’t get the basketball from the other team.

    9. Not sure what to make of Lopez’s rebounding numbers. Like in other stops in his career, the Knicks’ TRB% is better with him on the floor (51.7) than off (49.8). That may have more to do with playing next to Porzingis who is just vacuuming the boards at this point, but the 2nd unit has KOQ and Galloway who are both really good rebounders.

    10. Not sure what to make of Lopez’s rebounding numbers. Like in other stops in his career, the Knicks’ TRB% is better with him on the floor (51.7) than off (49.8). That may have more to do with playing next to Porzingis who is just vacuuming the boards at this point, but the 2nd unit has KOQ and Galloway who are both really good rebounders.

      As has been discussed here at least since he signed (but also in previous arguments about the relative value of David Lee and Kevin Love), there are some players who get a lot of rebounds that might have otherwise just gone to a teammate, and some players who box out and in other ways set up teammates to not only get rebounds, but get rebounds that might otherwise have gone to an opponent. It becomes a chicken and egg thing with him and Porzingis: is KP suppressing RoLo’s rebounding total, or is RoLo enabling KP to get so many boards?

    11. Frank,

      I think Lopez is a glue guy. He’ll do what they need him to do.
      I wrote this yesterday, but he’s one of the few guys these days who appears to be blocking out. This is helping others on the team grab boards.
      I think we are going to see the stats spread across this team pretty evenly. The Knicks seem to be getting scoring, rebounding, assists and other stats from across the roster. Instead of scoring 92 points with Melo getting 30, the knicks are scoring 100 points and spreading the scoring more evenly. Five knicks in double figures, three guys with 5 or more points.
      It means that they don’t have an enormous drop off when Melo leaves the floor.
      I think every great center or PF has a sound, strong PF or center backing them up. Lopez may be the best thing that could happen to KP.
      We had two big men last night with double-doubles. It’s been a while since we’ve seen that.

    12. Jimmer has signed with the Pelicans, who are still dealing with a rash of backcourt injuries.

      It sounds like we only signed him to try to boost attendance in Westchester, and not because Phil or Fish expected him to wind up on our team, so not a huge deal. Also, Westchester still has his NBADL rights if the Pels waive him once other guys get healthy. (He’s technically their 16th man, I think, because the league gave them an injury hardship exception.)

    13. I didn’t comment on the game yesterday because I watched it on DVR.

      IMO there are some trends I’m observing; some good, some bad.

      Trend#1 – Porzingis is for real. We might as well shelve all that “when he develops” crap. I hereby anoint him the most important Knick and hold him to a higher standard. Move over Melo. It’s time to take out that second fiddle. At that higher standard, he must stop fouling. He also needs to get set better for those 3pt attempts.

      Trend#2 – Anthony can play defense but doesn’t do it enough. He was like Kobe’s sweatshirt yesterday, covering him from head to toe. Why does he do it sometimes and not every time. He has the talent to be a lock-down defender but “picks his spots”. His shot was slightly better but still not good. Has he lost something?

      Trend#3 – Vujacic plays hard but needs to get glued to the bench once Afflalo returns.

      Trend#4 – Galloway is like the energizer bunny. He’s playing with heart. He was the only bench player with a positive +/-. If Afflalo doesn’t round into shape quickly, maybe he’s better suited for the bench at this point in his career.

    14. I hereby anoint him the most important Knick and hold him to a higher standard. Move over Melo

      Porzingis’ most valuable skill thus far has been his offensive rebounding, which is largely dependent on Carmelo Anthony’s shot missing. Therefore, Kristaps cannot be more important than Carmelo.

    15. Willie Cauley-Stein has been a better rookie than Porzingis so far, but I’d probably rather have Porzingis long-term. Actually, can I have both?

      PTS/FGA per 48:

      Average C: 19.2 to 15.1
      Cauley-Stein: 15.6 to 8.2

      crazy efficient

    16. Porzingis’ most valuable skill thus far has been his offensive rebounding, which is largely dependent on Carmelo Anthony’s shot missing. Therefore, Kristaps cannot be more important than Carmelo.

      lol – funny but his ORB% is also high, not just his gross #s.

      Willie Cauley-Stein has been a better rookie than Porzingis so far, but I’d probably rather have Porzingis long-term. Actually, can I have both?

      Predraft I was really hoping we’d pick up WCS. Obviously now I am up front in the KP-lovefest. honestly feels like unless your name is Michael Jordan you couldn’t do wrong in the top 10. And maybe Kupchak.

    17. I’m not that worried about Lopez’ rebounding. He does seem to do a good job boxing out and as long as the Knicks as a team aren’t getting killed on the boards, it’s not a big issue. Here’s the total rebounds by game so far (Knicks first):

      Bucks 49-47
      Hawks 48-39
      Wiz 40-43
      Spurs 49-45
      Cavs 40-48
      Bucks 43-41
      Lakers 52-46

      So nothing all that alarming, maybe the Cleveland game where Thompson seemed to be grabbing every board, but he does that to pretty much every team.

    18. Actually, can I have both?

      Bet if you called up Divac with a Melo deal he’d seriously consider it–which is fucking crazy. If only we had a garbage no-defense shooter to package with him to really sweeten the deal! Unfortunately, we already traded ThJr to the Hawks. And Calderon is a little too old. And Melo has a NTC. But we can dream.

    19. Player WCS KP
      G 7 7
      MP 153 170
      PER 18.2 19.7
      TS% 0.691 0.492
      3PAr 0 0.289
      FTr 0.607 0.342
      ORB% 11.5 15.2
      DRB% 18.1 22.7
      TRB% 14.6 18.8
      AST% 3.7 5.1
      STL% 2.5 2.6
      BLK% 4.4 3.9
      TOV% 14.5 11.2
      USG% 11 24.6

      OWS 0.4 0.3
      DWS 0.1 0.3
      WS 0.5 0.5
      WS/48 0.161 0.155

      OBPM 1.2 0.1
      DBPM 2.6 0.5
      BPM 3.7 0.7
      VORP 0.2 0.1

      So funny that WCS has higher offensive WS than KP and vice versa on defense!

    20. Cauley-Stein is basically Tyson Chandler if Tyson Chandler were Tyson Chandler at the age of 22.

      Just imagine the Porzingis/Cauley-Stein front court…

    21. He may turn out to be a great player but, based on early returns, how pissed would we all be if the Knicks had ended up with the second or third pick and taken Russell?

      In fairness to Russell, the Lakers have totally mishandled him. Turning him into a PG, having the offense run around a washed up Kobe gunning the ball, Scott calling him out every mistake he makes, etc. are all perfect examples of how not to develop a young, talented guard.

    22. @23 – I love that both teams suffer based on the trade offer ;)

      I’m happy with KP, of course, but it’s funny, I really loved WCS at the draft. I thought we would end up with him.

    23. Porzingis’ most valuable skill thus far has been his offensive rebounding, which is largely dependent on Carmelo Anthony’s shot missing. Therefore, Kristaps cannot be more important than Carmelo.

      Actually, I think KP’s best skill has been his defense. He’s averaging 1+ block and 1+ steal a game and improving our defensive per 100 possessions everytime he’s on the court.

      But even if the offensive rebounds were his best asset and he needed someone to miss their shots, he’s still got plenty to get from all the bricks Vujacic and Calderon are laying out there.

    24. Great post on the historical significance of Porzingis’ start in his NBA career, Frank.

      Wow.

      Actually – I didn’t think to look at this before because the point of what I was looking at was how “ahead of schedule” he is — ie. he is putting up great numbers even before the 3-4 year time horizon predraft reports had put on him. But the truth of it is — at least through 7 games which is a pitifully small sample size — he is putting up literally historic numbers.

      Players who have put up 18/12/1.5/1.5 per 36 over a whole season ever, regardless of age:

      Hakeem
      Kareem
      Demarcus Cousins
      Charles Barkley

      That’s it.

      This year – 3 players are averaging that through the young season: Drummond, Sullinger, Porzingis. And both Drummond and Sullinger are in their 4th season.

      Kristaps almost certainly won’t keep this up over a whole year as teams start breaking down film on him and finding weaknesses – but still.

    25. I’ve heard talk that next year’s draft is supposed to be quite weak–this may bode well for the Knicks, as they can probably buy some second rounders or possibly even get a late first by some feat of Zen magic. Does anyone know of interesting players in the range of 30-60 that the Knicks could draft along with Hernangomez?

      Obviously this is all very early but it’s fun to think about

    26. @Frank

      Kristaps almost certainly won’t keep this up over a whole year as teams start breaking down film on him and finding weaknesses – but still.

      I actually believe that Porzingis can keep it up if he stays healthy, out of foul trouble and doesn’t get worn down throughout the season. He’s only playing 24 minutes, which are reserve player numbers. And that’s with him missing open shots he can make.

    27. Just think if we had the number one pick and traded down and got PK and WCS. That would have been the greatest thing ever.

    28. Predraft I was really hoping we’d pick up WCS. Obviously now I am up front in the KP-lovefest. honestly feels like unless your name is Michael Jordan you couldn’t do wrong in the top 10. And maybe Kupchak.

      I think Kaminsky is right up there at the top of the WS/48 rankings, oddly enough. That is what is weird about early season stats, one good game dramatically changes your WS/48 stats.

      EDITED TO ADD: Yeah, he’s actually #1 right now (among guys who have played at least 5 games):

      Frank Kaminsky .166
      Karl-Anthony Towns .164
      Willie Cauley-Stein .161
      NYK Kristaps Porzingis .155

      But yeah, your main point is clearly true. It was one hell of a draft. Thank goodness the Knicks had a high pick in a good draft, for a change!

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