Knicks Morning News (2015.12.01)

  • [New York Post] Phil Jackson would’ve snubbed Porzingis for troubled Okafor (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 00:05:58 -0500)

    Knicks president Phil Jackson wasn't that much a basketball genius that if Duke center Jahlil Okafor and Kristaps Porzingis were both on the draft board last June, he would've gone Latvian. According to an NBA source, as much as Jackson's top adviser, Clarence Gaines Jr., wanted Jackson to take Porzingis even if the Knicks had…

  • [New York Daily News] Up next for Knicks is historically awful 0-18 Sixers (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 03:51:45 GMT)

    The Knicks are in a rut and immersed in a season-high four-game losing streak, but the perfect cure to NBA ills is coming to town.

  • [New York Times] Bulls Halt Spurs’ Five-Game Winning Streak (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 07:09:28 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs went to Chicago on Monday ranked as the NBA’s top defensive team, but the Bulls beat them at their own game.

  • [New York Times] Jordan Grabs 24 Rebounds, Clippers Beat Blazers 102-87 (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 06:45:44 GMT)

    Blake Griffin scored 23 points, DeAndre Jordan had a season-high 24 rebounds along with 18 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 102-87 on Monday night for their third straight victory.

  • [New York Times] Cousins Returns, Scores 31 to Lead Kings Past Mavs 112-98 (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 06:21:38 GMT)

    DeMarcus Cousins returned to the lineup from a back injury and scored 16 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Sacramento Kings past the struggling Dallas Mavericks 112-98 on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Warriors’ Perfect Start Being Put to the Test (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 06:21:32 GMT)

    Golden State extended their NBA record start to 19-0 with a narrow win over the Utah Jazz on Monday but that inevitable first defeat of the season may come sooner rather than later as they negotiate a tough road stretch and injuries start to bite.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Win 19th Straight, 106-103 Over the Jazz (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 05:30:38 GMT)

    Stephen Curry was held in relative check for most of Monday night. The reigning MVP and NBA’s leading scorer had 16 points through three quarters as Draymond Green and other teammates did the heavy lifting.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Warriors Squeak Past Jazz to Win Their 19th in a Row (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 05:09:57 GMT)

    Stephen Curry scored 26 points, Gordon Hayward’s halfcourt shot at the buzzer fell short, and Golden State held on to add to its N.B.A.-record start to the season.

  • [New York Times] Millsap, Teague Lead Hawks to 106-100 Win Over Thunder (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 04:54:32 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook let out an emphatic scream at the top of the key, surely believing his fourth-quarter outburst would carry the Oklahoma City Thunder to another victory.

  • [New York Times] Gasol Gets Double-Double as Bulls Beat Spurs 92-89 (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 04:30:41 GMT)

    Pau Gasol punctuated his big block on LaMarcus Aldridge with a triumphant yell.

  • [New York Times] Monroe Scores 18 in Bucks’ 92-74 Win Over Nuggets (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 03:42:43 GMT)

    Greg Monroe scored 18 points and Milwaukee forced 24 turnovers that led to 35 points in a 92-74 victory over Denver, sending the Nuggets to their seventh consecutive loss.

  • [New York Times] Bradley Gets 25, Celtics Snap Road Slide and Top Heat 105-95 (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 03:21:56 GMT)

    Whenever Boston’s lead looked shaky in the final minutes, Avery Bradley had an answer.

  • [New York Times] Jackson and Drummond Lift Pistons Over Rockets (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 03:19:03 GMT)

    Reggie Jackson had 31 points and Andre Drummond added 24 points and 13 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons beat the Houston Rockets 116-105 on Monday night.

  • [New York Times] Bulls F Mike Dunleavy Jr Has Setback With Back Injury (Tue, 01 Dec 2015 02:13:15 GMT)

    Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. is planning to see two specialists this week after he had a setback in his recovery from offseason back surgery.

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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).

    89 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.12.01)”

    1. Geez – I go away for a week and the Knicks lose 4 straight. Yikes.

      Anyway – I’m sure I’m not the first and won’t be the last, but does anyone think we should bring Jimmer up to the big club? 12-17 for 37 points in Westchester last night. We’re already getting zero defense and some of the worst offense of Calderon’s career, with also basically a career-low usage. Can Jimmer be worse? At least he’s willing to shoot when he has an open shot, and can actually take the ball to the basket occasionally.

    2. Frank, you gotta watch the games. Calderón is playing decent D, even on tough covers like Westbrook. And he had been mostly solid on O, except for some bad passes v Houston.

      Either way, while we need an upgrade, Jimmer is not it. He’s a scorer, not a distributor.

    3. Also, I just checked Basketball reference and Calderon’s stats this season are all very near his career averages, except for assists. For some reason he’s getting a lot less of them this year.

    4. Passing the ball to Robin Lopez, Seraphin, or O’quinn at 22 ft out on every possession will lower your assists.

      Can anyone explain the benefit of this aspect of the triangle? It’s really predictable and incomprehensible.

    5. Berman story today claims Phil would’ve drafted Okafor over Porzingis if given the choice. Another reason to be glad that, if we couldn’t win the lottery and get Towns, then we fell to the fourth pick.

    6. Calderon is definitely trying harder on defense but anytime he plays someone who is actually interested in getting into the lane, they blow right by him, throwing the defense into total disarray.

      He also doesn’t seem to be able to bring the ball up against serious ball pressure, which is a problem with all our guards except maybe Grant. People wonder why we’ve struggled in the 4th quarter — that’s the reason. We haven’t yet learned to play against intense ball pressure, which is mostly because none of our guards can actually get by anyone even if they play way up, and all of our guards are afraid to shoot unless they’re wiiiiide open.

      by the way Calderon (and to a lesser extent, Galloway) was the reason we lost that Houston game. 5 turnovers. In general I’d say his low TO rate is deceiving because he’s never actually asked to do anything with the ball other than bring it up the floor.

      And by the way – Prigioni was OUR player and started doing the Pablo sneak attack here. You would think our players would know something about that, and stop losing the ball on inbounds 1-2x/game.

    7. Calderon is limited, or just flat out bad, in a number of ways. However, he has a 57% TS and is shooting 40% from 3 (this is after a terrible start). I agree that Fisher doesn’t manage his minutes in the most optimal way, but I highly doubt we’d be better with him glued to the bench because we simply don’t have another guard who can shoot/score like he can. To me, he’s a necessary evil on this team. Given Jimmer’s NBA track record, I think he could, and would, be a lot worse.

    8. Passing the ball to Robin Lopez, Seraphin, or O’quinn at 22 ft out on every possession will lower your assists.

      Can anyone explain the benefit of this aspect of the triangle? It’s really predictable and incomprehensible.

      Like everything, it generally works better when you have Shaq or Pau Gasol. It’s not good on this team unless Porzingis is playing center (that’s just speculation)–the triangle just isn’t that great without a very good center/post player.

    9. The Knicks did not lose to Houston because of the triangle offense. 22 turnovers and Marcus Thornton were the reasons the Knicks lost to Houston.

    10. Calderon is limited, or just flat out bad, in a number of ways. However, he has a 57% TS and is shooting 40% from 3

      The problem is not his TS — it’s that the offense is not really better in spite of that. Think about it – he plays with the best offensive players on the team (Afflalo, Melo, KP as well as himself) and yet the team’s TS is higher without him on the floor. His usage is minuscule, so the relatively efficient shooting is not having as big an effect as you might think. He doesn’t really create opportunities for other players, he doesn’t get to the line. He’s basically a standstill shooter who’s afraid to shoot except when left completely open and can’t make defenders pay when they close out aggressively on him or play up on him.

      Grant has looked kinda shaky but it’s sort of telling there are only 2 players on the team with positive net-ratings when on the floor – Grant and Porzingis. Calderon is the only player who when off the floor, the Knicks have a positive net rating (+1.6).

      Really think Grant has to play more, and we just have to live with the growing pains.

      And I think that we have an empty roster spot and are badly in need of better guard play. I don’t see what the harm is in bringing up a guard from Westchester, whether Jimmer or someone else. Give him a couple weeks to get more comfortable in the offense and then bring him up.

    11. I don’t want to talk about Phil Jackson and the fact he is not omniscient. I prefer to live in a cozy world where he makes the right decisions for the right reasons.

      Something I do want to talk about. Steph Curry. Holy %@#$%@# @%#^.

      Has there ever been a player who shoots like him? I can’t remember someone with a quicker release than Curry. His ability to pull up and shoot on the way up, or whatever it is he does, is just remarkable.

    12. I watched that D-League game. It was super fun. It’s probably the only time in half a decade or more that Jimmer’s produced that much offense. It must have felt good.

      But….the D-League is just terrible shit. The players are really, really bad for the most part. Jimmer could get to the hoop anytime he wanted and cashed in on at least 3 different and-ones. Cleanthony Early finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds, but I thought he looked half-assed and mediocre most of the time. I want Clean Tony to be a good NBA player, but nothing I’ve seen so far has convinced me that he can….including a 19 and 13 game for Westchester. The numbers are fools’ gold.

      If Jimmer keeps putting up 30 a game for a stretch, he probably needs to be on the Knicks in place of Vujacic, who is shite. But…I’m skeptical based on the level of competition I witnessed last night.

      Also, Thanasis Antetokoumpo is never going to be a viable NBA player. He can’t shoot, even a little bit, and he hasn’t improved at all. Like….at….all. He ought to cut his losses and head overseas.

    13. I don’t know, the more I watch these games, the more I believe that the triangle is more of a hindrance. I mean, come on, if Seraphin has the ball at 22′, he ain’t shooting, he’s passing. Trap him, and the offense is dead in the water. Other teams know this. I just don’t get it. We don’t see enough pick and rolls to generate quick easy and good looks.

    14. Think about it – he plays with the best offensive players on the team (Afflalo, Melo, KP as well as himself) and yet the team’s TS is higher without him on the floor.

      Well I don’t think nearly enough minutes have been played for anything significant to be gleaned from on/off numbers, but the team’s eFG% is 2 points higher with him on the floor and they score the same amount of points per 100 possessions. Basically it looks like there’s a lot of noise here, which is to be expected with on/off especially with small sample sizes.

      I’m fine with giving Jimmer a shot, but I can’t justify it coming at the expense of Calderon who still does have a well above average NBA skill. There’s plenty of other garbage on this team to sift through.

    15. I don’t know, the more I watch these games, the more I believe that the triangle is more of a hindrance. I mean, come on, if Seraphin has the ball at 22?, he ain’t shooting, he’s passing. Trap him, and the offense is dead in the water. Other teams know this. I just don’t get it. We don’t see enough pick and rolls to generate quick easy and good looks.

      I tend to agree with this. To me, triangle a lot of times means stagnant offense. I was watching the end of the Golden State game last night, and it’s just constant screens and handoffs at the top of the key, which drives defenses crazy. I know it’s the Warriors and Steph changes everything, but I feel like our offense makes it way too easy on the defense. We may set one screen and roll, but that’s it, and then Calderon ends up with the ball back with 7 seconds on the shot clock. Nothing good can happen at that point except a forced shot.

    16. I read the Lowe article.
      Does Miami really hang up if we offer Melo for Deng / Winslow?
      I can see Riley thinking about the Dragic/Wade/Melo/Bosh/Whiteside possibility.
      Can someone email Pat? I really want Winslow /Zinger for the next 15 years.

    17. Yeah, I mean, the most fluid offenses (GSW, SAS- not yet this year, PHO) are constantly setting picks, handing off, penetrating, kicking out, getting fouls, shooting open 3’s… we do none of that.

    18. I’ll tell you one thing, I bet Jimmer could put up better numbers with 10 broken fingers than Sasha Vujacic is managing. Sasha’s stats look like a typo: .330 TS%, .273 FG%, .152 3PT%, 4.6 PER.

      It’s probably time to do what Mike Woodson was so reluctant to do and kick Sasha to the curb.

    19. Yeah, I mean, the most fluid offenses (GSW, SAS- not yet this year, PHO) are constantly setting picks, handing off, penetrating, kicking out, getting fouls, shooting open 3’s… we do none of that.

      The most fluid offenses also have good offensive players. The Knicks not so much.

      I really don’t think it’s the system that’s the problem for NYK. If you look at the Knicks’ personnel and assess it honestly, then you look at their ranking in terms of offensive rating (18th) it seems about right. This is not a particularly offensively talented team, this is a team that is mediocre on both sides of the ball and needs to grind out wins. The Knicks have an overrated and aging “superstar” as the centerpiece of the team, a couple of promising young guys and a whole lot of journeymen. This is not gonna be a top 10 offense no matter what style they play.

    20. Well I don’t think nearly enough minutes have been played for anything significant to be gleaned from on/off numbers, but the team’s eFG% is 2 points higher with him on the floor and they score the same amount of points per 100 possessions. Basically it looks like there’s a lot of noise here, which is to be expected with on/off especially with small sample sizes.

      that’s why you can’t just look at eFG — we literally never get to the line when Calderon plays, and so while the eFG is better, the TS is worse. The team FT rate when Calderon is on court is 0.199 – a rate that would be by far the worst in the league. The team FT rate when Grant is on the court is 0.369 – a rate that would be 2nd in the league. We also somehow turn the ball more and basically never force any turnovers when Calderon is on the court — 10.3% which would be the worst in the league by far.

      i dunno – I don’t think Grant is the end-all/be-all but I think it’s almost certain that Calderon is the worst starting PG in the league, and probably wouldn’t get more than 10 min/game for pretty much any other team. Maybe the Sixers.

      Re: all this talk about the Triangle and no ball movement – isn’t that the whole purpose of the triangle? Less dribbling more passing more screening etc etc?

      I’m not a huge triangle fan but it seems likely that we are just not doing it right. yet.

    21. Anthony watched Kristaps Porzingis shoot, and turned to Steve Mills, the Knicks GM, with a question, Mills recalled in a chat with ESPN.com last week:

      “Do you think we may draft this kid?”

      The question could have implied a lot of things — including the frustration a 31-year-old with aching knees might feel at the franchise, his franchise, banking his NBA twilight on an unknown not far removed from a regrettable cornrows phase. Mills decided total honestly was the best way to push through any tension. “Carmelo,” Mills said, “if he’s there, we probably will draft him.”

      I like how – on the same day as Berman puts out his clickbait on how the Knicks were definitely drafting Okafor if he was there — Zach Lowe writes the exact opposite. With a named source, not an anonymous “NBA source”, which could very well be Berman’s dog for all we know.

    22. I’m all for playing Grant more, for both development and team improvement. I’m just saying that if someone is to get kicked to the curb for likes of Jimmer Fredette, it shouldn’t be one of the precious few guys with a genuinely above average skill. The best case scenario with regards to Calderon is that he continues to shoot well and we can unload him at the deadline for, well, anything. Burying him on the bench won’t help with that, and will probably make the team worse.

    23. That Miami trade suggestion is interesting. Riley went in big with Bosh and that window is relatively small. And it presents a better next 2 years of competitive basketball for Carmelo. And Miami has an ugly rebuild after the Wade/Bosh window shuts because they owe 6 years of draft picks to Philly and Phoenix. Hmmm.

    24. I watched a lot of the D-League game last night.

      @6 –

      Calderon is definitely trying harder on defense but anytime he plays someone who is actually interested in getting into the lane, they blow right by him, throwing the defense into total disarray. He also doesn’t seem to be able to bring the ball up against serious ball pressure, which is a problem with all our guards except maybe Grant. People wonder why we’ve struggled in the 4th quarter — that’s the reason.

      100% . It’s what I’ve been beating the drums about nonstop.

      @12 –

      It’s probably the only time in half a decade or more that Jimmer’s produced that much offense. It must have felt good. But….the D-League is just terrible shit. The players are really, really bad for the most part. Jimmer could get to the hoop anytime he wanted and cashed in on at least 3 different and-ones.

      I agree but you missed a few things. 1) Jimmer passed. Jimmer drove to the hoop. Jimmer played defense. The only thing I would say about replacing Sasha is that we don’t have to. We have an open spot and I would bring him up ASAP and get him working with the team. Not only that, but I would sign him now to a 3-year, low budget deal.

      The problem with Jimmer has been attitude. He’s come into the league thinking he can just fire up the shots like he did at BYU. But this is the NBA and he has to play team ball. It looks like he’s taken a big hit to his ego and has turned it around. The announcers said it but I was thinking it, he plays a lot like Jeremy Lin. He has a knack for getting to the hoop and we all know he can bury the 3. If he can play within the system, (and I want to see 2-3 more games) could be find off the scrap heap.

    25. Berman story today claims Phil would’ve drafted Okafor over Porzingis if given the choice. Another reason to be glad that, if we couldn’t win the lottery and get Towns, then we fell to the fourth pick.

      And the Blazers offered the #2 pick and Drexler to the Rockets for Ralph Sampson. So Houston could have had Drexler, Olajuwon, and Jordan! And the Bulls wanted to trade that pick for Sikma! (If there isn’t a Brian Cronin article on this, there should be!)

      I mean the draft is crap shoot and everyone looks like an idiot when you go back and replay it. It’s like playing black jack, but only seeing the dealer’s card.

    26. @24 very interesting.
      Plus, Melo waives his no trade clause to play in Miami with his boys.

      Still cant see Pat gifting us Winslow.

    27. Like everything, it generally works better when you have Shaq or Pau Gasol. It’s not good on this team unless Porzingis is playing center (that’s just speculation)–the triangle just isn’t that great without a very good center/post player.

      Luc Longley and Bill Wennington sez hai :-)

    28. Michael Jordan sez hai too. He was a great post up player. Hubie Brown called him the most dominating post up player in the game.

    29. The four-man package of Ty Lawson (sunk cost on an expiring deal), Patrick Beverley (a perfect triangle point guard!), Terrence Jones, and Trevor Ariza matches the combined salaries of Melo and Jose Calderon almost exactly — a key bit of math synergy, since Houston is hard-capped. Toss in a Rockets pick, and you have the kind of mega-deal that makes both sides a little anxious.

      Yes please.

      Even James Dolan would have to think about a package of David Lee, Brooklyn’s unprotected 2016 first-round pick, and salary filler.

      That pick could become Ben Simmons! Rebuilding around Porzingis, and without Anthony, would bring some short-term pain, but that pick is exactly the sort of asset that is worth some pain. The pick probably won’t become Ben Simmons, of course. Brooklyn is bad, but it’s hard to imagine them finishing behind Philly or the Lakers. Even in the losingest scenario, they’ll enter the lottery in third position — with only a 15.6 percent chance at landing the top pick.

      Sure and I get to swap my job for beer taster too?

    30. Very optimistic Zach Lowe piece about what Porzingis means to the team’s future. He also tries to find plausible trade partners in the event Melo ever decides he wants out, though he notes it’s hard to find a good match.

      Great article.

      Interesting tidbit in there, though. Remember when Bill Simmons was saying we were going to trade the pick for Kaminsky? My reaction was he is probably getting fed that from Danny Ainge, and Ainge was probably the source of the Kaminsky rumors we heard on draft day, and nothing Ainge says about our intentions can be trusted? Well:

      Porzingis was there at No. 4, though not without some drama. The Boston Celtics were hell-bent on moving up to draft Justise Winslow and offered the Charlotte Hornets four first-round picks — including one of Brooklyn’s unprotected picks — for Charlotte’s No. 9 pick. But that was Boston’s fall-back plan, sources say. The Celtics initially chased Charlotte’s pick with the idea of sending it to the Knicks, along with Boston’s No. 15 pick, to vault all the way into the Knicks’ draft slot — where the Celtics would take Winslow. Charlotte refused Boston’s pitches, and the scenario died. The Knicks downplay their interest in Boston’s offer, though it’s fascinating to consider how the draft might have played out — and which fan base would be chanting “POR-ZIN-GIS!” today — had the Celtics swooped in for Winslow at No. 4.

      The whole source of this bullshit is a rival GM. A rival GM who we would never reveal our intentions to and who is motivated to lie about our operation.

      Bullshit.

    31. The Miami thing is definitely really interesting. Riley loves to swing for the fences, and you just know how much he’d love to send Lebron a message about the decision to go back to Cleveland by making the finals over them.

      But I also think he might be smart enough to realize that Deng and Justise give them a lot more of what they need then Melo does. They already have a lot of competing agendas on the offensive side of the ball, and adding Melo to that kind of mix is a risky proposition. Plus either Melo or Wade would have to be the stopper on the defensive end. I can’t see that working out.

      It’s intriguing, Winslow would be a great piece to get back for Melo and I’d definitely be calling if I was Phil, but I think it’s a definite long shot.

    32. blockquote>Like everything, it generally works better when you have Shaq or Pau Gasol. It’s not good on this team unless Porzingis is playing center (that’s just speculation)–the triangle just isn’t that great without a very good center/post player.

      DW,

      The post I referred to implied the triangle won’t work without top end bigs like Shaq or Pau Gasol. Clearly that is patently false as proved by the bigs on Chicago. Nowhere did I say it doesn’t help to have talent.

      The Warriors offense wouldn’t be quite so good with Jerian Grant and Sasha dry heaving 3’s rather than Curry and Thompson.

      Any reasonable system wins with talent. Which system is optimal isn’t decided law .The system doesn’t make the team. Being married to a system that doesn’t suit the personnel might be a short term error, but installing a system and then acquiring the right personnel to run it with key players having a year or two experience in it might be the way to go.

    33. Like everything, it generally works better when you have Shaq or Pau Gasol. It’s not good on this team unless Porzingis is playing center (that’s just speculation)–the triangle just isn’t that great without a very good center/post player.

      The post I referred to implied the triangle won’t work without top end bigs like Shaq or Pau Gasol. Clearly that is patently false as proved by the bigs on Chicago. Nowhere did I say it doesn’t help to have talent.

      Point taken, but I guess I really meant to say “dominant post player”, which I think is a little harder to argue on your end, but if I’m wrong feel free to correct me. And I agree that systems aren’t unequivocally good or bad beyond brilliant marriages of player and scheme in the vein of SSOL or what have you. I think the issue is that these days there aren’t lots of triangle type bigs available for the Knicks given the league’s move toward 3 point shooting and the current contract situations of triangle-type bigs. It seems harder to build a team for the Triangle than it is to build small ball (or pick your other favorite en vogue “system”) like GS, PHO, or even the 2012-2013 Knicks; so to be married to a system that’s harder to do right in this current day and age might not be ideal even if the system itself doesn’t have much wrong with it.

    34. I love this story that somehow slipped below the radar — in October, Jahlil Okafor tried to get into a bar using a fake ID. I’m not sure what part of the story is the funniest — that Okafor can’t legally go into bars, that he actually went to the trouble to get a fake ID or that he thought that, despite being a famous guy and standing almost 7′ tall, no one would recognize him and say, “Hey, aren’t you only 19 years old?” I’m starting to think that the biggest knock on him shouldn’t be his athleticism, foul shooting or defense, but that he is starting to show signs that he is as dumb as a doorknob.

    35. I feel like Lowe dismissed the Lakers way too easily in his trade scenarios. He said LA doesn’t have a pick to trade until 2021. But LA’s pick is top 3 protected, and can be traded after he is drafted. We could direct them to make that pick, and they could combine it with another of their younger assets, and we’d have a good package. LA could keep Hibbert, acquire Melo, convince themselves they can sign another free agent, and voila.

    36. I don’t know, Bob. I just don’t get why every single possession needs to start with a pass to a big. We need more picks/curls/pops, and more than 1-2 in a row, free up a man or create a mismatch, and shoot with the best chance of scoring.

      If you need to start off with a big with the ball, (A) that’s hella predictable, and (B) you need a great big with good positioning, not 23′ away!

      Am I the only one frustrated by this? You waste 5-10 seconds, and give the ball to a player who is usually the worst passer on the team, and force him to knock it down or start a great play.

      Maybe it’s just me.

    37. The problem with running the triangle exclusively with this roster is that most (all?) of our bigs just aren’t threats to do much with the ball. So they end up just kind of holding it for a while waiting for something else to happen. Sometimes it does, but often it doesn’t. I’d definitely like to see more pick and roll with Melo or Grant as the ball handler and RoLo or KP as the screen setter.

    38. Point taken, but I guess I really meant to say “dominant post player”, which I think is a little harder to argue on your end, but if I’m wrong feel free to correct me.

      I don’t have the chops to correct anyone other than when they get their facts wrong. The Bulls ran an awful lot of triangle through Cartwright, Longley and Wennington in the post and while Bill was a good post player (one time all star with nary a ws/48 > .100 with the Bulls) none of them can be called dominant by any real metric.

      There is nothing magical about the triangle other than when run by competent players, it fosters ball movement and stresses the defense. Jackson had success with it and likes its egalitarian side, so he wants it run and will get the right players for it to succeed.

      Is that the best strategy, I don’t know….

    39. The system is almost definitely a problem in terms of TS%.

      Last year quite a few players had a TS% below their recent average and we are seeing the same thing again this year. This system generates a lot of mid range shots (which are low efficiency). not many free throws (which is bad for efficiency) , and we aren’t running many P&Rs or getting easy transition points (which is the exact kind of high efficiency play the entire league stole from D’Antoni).

      Offsetting that disaster are Phi’s ideas that our offense generates more offensive rebounds (and fewer long rebounds that turn into transition points for the other team).

      If you include those things in the analysis, both the offense and defense should be better and they probably are. But watching this ugly mess of an offense can be painful at times when the other team locks down.

      I’m not buying what Phil is selling on offense. I think he’s doing a great job rebuilding the team. I conceptually love the idea of ball movement and player movement. But there’s a reason every stats oriented team in the NBA is playing fast, playing a lot of P&R, shooting a lot of 3s, going away from post ups, and using guards to drive to the hoop to draw fouls and get needed penetration. It’s because they’ve studied the crap out of this they know it works better. I’m not entirely opposed to the mid range game, but the game has moved past those Lakers and Bulls teams and we don’t have Jordan or Shaq etc…

    40. The problem with running the triangle exclusively with this roster is that most (all?) of our bigs just aren’t threats to do much with the ball.

      Exactly!

      You need penetration to create open looks. There are two ways to get it. You can throw the ball into a dominant player in the post where he will either draw a double or finish or you can give it to a player that can penetrate (a top PG) and both finish or dish depending on if there is help.

      We have neither right now.

      Perhaps Porzingis can become that kind of threat eventually, but he’s not there now.

      No one is going to double team Lopez.

      If you are the other team you want Seraphin to get the ball and either shoot or get a TO.

      Amundsen is not a threat.

      Melo is fine, but only if he has a mismatch.

    41. Last year quite a few players had a TS% below their recent average and we are seeing the same thing again this year. This system generates a lot of mid range shots (which are low efficiency). not many free throws (which is bad for efficiency) , and we aren’t running many P&Rs or getting easy transition points (which is the exact kind of high efficiency play the entire league stole from D’Antoni).

      The Knicks are actually getting a decent amount of free throws– their offensive FT/FGA is .213, just a slight tick above the league average of .212.

    42. I don’t know, Bob. I just don’t get why every single possession needs to start with a pass to a big. We need more picks/curls/pops, and more than 1-2 in a row, free up a man or create a mismatch, and shoot with the best chance of scoring.

      If you need to start off with a big with the ball, (A) that’s hella predictable, and (B) you need a great big with good positioning, not 23? away!

      Am I the only one frustrated by this? You waste 5-10 seconds, and give the ball to a player who is usually the worst passer on the team, and force him to knock it down or start a great play.

      Maybe it’s just me.

      I get the frustration but I think Jackson is looking at this season as a teaching year… primarily for Grant and The Unicorn and maybe Galloway. Maybe Williams, too if he can keep moving forward. I honestly believe he is going to sell off Rolo, Afflalo, Calderon, Seraphin and anyone else who has value (including Melo if a reasonable trade materializes) for younger assets and build a team around Porzingis. It might take five years to gather the assets, but if he can sign mid priced FA’s like Rolo and convert them into a young player or a decent first rounder, that isn’t a bad strategy when your franchise is bereft of draft picks. Sort of an alternate way to “buy” higher picks.

    43. All I know is that non-Phil Jackson coached Triangle teams were 195-628 (.236%) going into this season.

    44. The Knicks are actually getting a decent amount of free throws– their offensive FT/FGA is .213, just a slight tick above the league average of .212.

      Isn’t this in part or in whole the Derrick Williams effect though? Because he’s been racking up an absurd, Harden-esque amount of free throws on a rate basis (3rd on the team while 9th in minutes).

    45. We have neither right now.

      We definitely don’t have an ideal roster, but I think the P&R combos I mentioned could be competent with Grant/KP having a chance to be a serious P&R threat down the road (have we tried a single P&R with those two?). There are aspects of the triangle that I guess are appealing but we aren’t going to build a good offense if we neglect the pick and roll.

    46. This offense would look a hell of a lot better if Melo was shooting better. He’s having one of the worst shooting seasons of his career so far. If that doesn’t turn around this offense is not gonna be real good. Whether that’s a product of the system or just Melo’s old age I can’t really say, but good offenses are generally not built around guys who have like a .520 TS%.

    47. I mean the draft is crap shoot and everyone looks like an idiot when you go back and replay it. It’s like playing black jack, but only seeing the dealer’s card.

      I disagree that the draft is a crap shoot. Good scouting and shrewd decision-making are behind most draft “luck.” I mean, by your logic you can cynically reduce just about any high-stakes decision that works out to either good luck or the absence of bad luck. But at some point, you make a decision knowing that you will be eternally judged on how that decision works out, and so your job is to maximize the chances of being “lucky” and to minimize the chances of being “unlucky” given the level of risk and urgency involved.

      The Knicks had several viable options at #4 when they were on the clock:

      *Take one of the other highly-regarded available consensus top-10 players: e.g. Hezonja, Winslow, *WCS, Johnson, Mudiay, Kaminsky
      *Take a “reach” pick based on need or upside: Lyles, Booker, Oubre
      *Trade the pick

      They kept the pick and went for Porzingis based on scouting and a perception that he had more upside than any available player. Yes, it was a calculated risk like all draft picks (LeBron included), but hardly a roll of the dice. It was a smart decision in the context of many possibilities. Just like drafting Anthony Bennett was a dumb decision in the context of the many possibilities.

    48. imagine if the reports were true and we drafted trey lyles with the fourth pick or traded down for him or Kaminsky my god would my life be horrible

    49. That Lowe article just makes me a little bit sad to know that we won’t see Zinger in a PnR offense any time soon. Can you imagine Zinger in a PnR offense? OH MY GOD.

    50. @52 is it too optimistic of me to think that his value in such an offense will become so obvious as to force the Knicks’ hand? I mean, him and Grant seem pretty well suited to run the PnR already and they’re 18 games into their respective careers.

    51. Calderon is not playing decent D at all. People forget that dunk that Howard posterized Porzingis on was because Calderon was poor at keeping Harden in front of him that Seraphin had to come up and leave Howard a clear lane to the basket. His poor perimeter defense costs us time and time again while he does a poor job of pushing the ball up the court and getting it into the hands of the right people down low.

    52. I think it is more that he’s playing better defense than he was before, so it stands out more. Similarly, Afflalo looks like an offensive god compared to what we were seeing from Sasha, ya know?

    53. @52 is it too optimistic of me to think that his value in such an offense will become so obvious as to force the Knicks’ hand? I mean, him and Grant seem pretty well suited to run the PnR already and they’re 18 games into their respective careers.

      And Melo is really well-suited to be a PnR four. So, well, I’d like to be optimistic with you, also, and believe they’ll make a move but, well, has any indication been given that that’s what they’re thinking? No, right? I mean, whatever, Zinger has been so good that he can pretty much play in any system, but yes, it sure would be amazing to see him playing in a different offense (especially since the PnR is Grant’s specialty).

    54. I find it hard to imagine they won’t migrate toward a PnR heavy offense. It’s too obviously a good fit for the skills on the team. Maybe not this year, but in the next couple of years, PnR and transition offense should become strengths. Grant with a jumper could be a big difference maker IMO.

    55. tonight is porzingis appreciation night. to participate just turn your league pass to the lakers/sixers at 7pm and read a series of random knickerblogger game threads from last year.

    56. I tend to side with the “draft is a crap shoot” camp. Here’s an excerpt from the 2003 Milicic draft report, it sounds like they’re describing Zinger. No one back then was saying the Pistons were idiots for drafting him:

      “Solid athlete who can run the floor and jump like few others his size … Creative scorer who understands how to set-up his defender off the dribble … Excellent finisher when receiving the ball on the break or out on the perimeter as he can cut to the lane and even dunk in traffic … On defense he is an excellent help defender who shows promise of being an adequate shot-blocker… Does a very good job of using his long arms to grab most rebounds around his area despite usually being physically out-matched by his opponents … Can be a nightmare for opposing players to defend due to his versatility as he is too quick for most power forwards and too tall for most small forwards to defend in the post… Excellent ball handler for his size … Plays extremely aggressive and wont back down from a challenge … Competitive, he’ll do whatever it takes to win”

    57. I want us to get Jordan Clarkson in FA this offseason. That dude is exactly what need at the starting guard position – a combo guard who can get to the basket, with a good jumper and play either guard position.

    58. The difference between Milicic and Porzingis that scouts should have picked up on is simple – one played in ACB Liga and the other didn’t. For those who don’t know, the Liga is the world’s 2nd most competitive league, tougher than the NCAA.

    59. Somebody please tell me that Phil is calling Pat Riley to try to swing Lowe’s speculated deal. Win win for both teams. Well, probably more of a win for the Knicks…

    60. Why would a team want Melo?

      Lakers would definitely want him now that Kobe is leaving. I’d have traded Jordan Clarkson and a draft pick for him straight up if Clarkson weren’t a FA this coming offseason.

    61. I’d be beside myself if we pulled pretty much any of those trades but especially if we got Winslow or even Tyler Johnson from the heat

    62. I think we are playing more PNR than you think. We’re 2nd to last in PNR ballhandler possessions but basically middle of the pack in roll man possessions. Grant does a ton of PNR and the offense often devolves into a weak side PNR.

      Melo and KP PNRs and PNP should be a staple of this offense.

      I’d also like to see more of that play when KP comes off a pindown. His shot is so sweet off the screen. Ridiculous that he’s 7’3″.

    63. I think there are D League teams who could compete with these Lakers when Kobe is using his minutes as performance art. I keep waiting for him to really take it to the next level and just fire one up from half court. Or maybe just come out for the second half in the buff or with a ferret on his shoulder.

    64. Hey, leave Kobe alone. He’s 6-18 tonight, which will actually improve his overall FG% this season. Progress!

    65. Kobe is so sorry. He’s become a 3 point shooter who can’t fucking make 3 pointers without conscience.

      Just put this guy out to pasture already.

    66. Okafor’s game went to garbage since this whole off the court scandal broke out for him.

      Seems like he can’t take the scrutiny of being criticized with the burden of playing for such a sucky team.

    67. i think KP PNRs are definitely a future staple but i don’t mind saving some wear and tear while he is at his slightest even if it’s for the wrong reasons

    68. As much as I have loathed what Kobe has done to the Knicks at the Garden, it is pretty sad to see him just be so inept at the moment. I mean he has done enough in his career to basically disregard what is happening to him now, it just sucks seeing the best burn out like that.

      Also happy with the Sixers being up at the moment. I really want them to win, as I don’t like the prospect of us facing a team that may have been on a 19 game losing streak.

    69. @78 that Achilles tear should have been it. he was good that season

      AGE 34
      23 PER
      .174 win shares per 48
      57% TS

      27 ppg
      6ast
      5.6 rbs

    70. d-mar, I still don’t agree. Milicic was 17 when most of the scouting was done, and he had two workouts with no competition. There was very little available scouting info compared to what we have today and scouts were hot to mine the next Dirk. I looked for some pre-draft scouting video for Darko and only found some grainy footage of a 17yo blocking shots vs. 6’6″ soft, slow Euros. Take a look at this clip of his first preseason game:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ_eLleTfLM

      Look at his footwork, shooting mechanics, etc. He looks awkward and slow.

      Chauncey Billups said that it took one practice for him to see that Darko would be a bust.

      There is no comparison between the scouting information available for Milicic in 2003 vs. for Porzingis in 2015. To put it in perspective, You Tube was not even conceived until 2005. Very little attention was paid to European basketball compared to today. Analytics were not where they are today. It is almost the case today that a lay person can scout prospects as thoroughly as professional scouts. I was able to watch not just highlights but entire games that Porzingis played in before the draft. Guys like Mike Schmitz create incredibly detailed (and in retrospect, very accurate) scouting videos, combines and measurements.

      And there was dissent on the Milicic pick if you look for it. He certainly wasn’t the consensus #2, Carmelo Anthony was.

      Jerry West: “We did our research. There’s no way we would’ve taken Darko at No. 2.”

      Joe Dumars: “I could give a dissertation on that,” Dumars said shortly after selecting Drummond. “After I drafted Darko, from that point on, the amount of background we do on every single player that you see us draft is ridiculous. We do as much or more background than any other team in the NBA because of that…The background on (Milicic) was about 20 percent of what we do now. I look back on it now and realize you didn’t know half of the stuff you needed to know.”

    71. Kobe attempted 17 3 pointers tonight, made 4.

      It must be an absolute blast to be one of his teammates.

    72. It must be an absolute blast to be one of his teammates.

      He’s killing that team in the most blase, selfish way possible. Dude just so doesn’t care and its a smack in the face of the younger players breaking their backs trying to win games.

    73. Um- hate it say it but is it just a little possible that Kobe is going out in his blaze of glory to actually help the team? His last gift to the franchise? What could be better for the lakers than being as terrible as possible this year and somehow keeping their draft pick?

      I’m just saying it’s possible. Or that in the back of his mind kupchak knew this might be the result of Kobe plus Byron.

    74. KAT with the double-single tonight (2-12 from the field). KP for ROY looking more possible every day!

    75. Looks like Sporting News caught on to my Porzingis-All-Star story. I hate when this shit happens.

      Will be hilarious to see the interaction between Melo and KP when KP goes to the All-Star game and Melo doesn’t.

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