Knicks Morning News (2015.12.19)

  • [New York Times] Warriors Rally to Avenge Bucks Defeat, Improve to 26-1 (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 07:45:28 GMT)

    Andre Iguodala capped a late seven-point run with a three-pointer as the Golden State Warriors avenged their only loss of the season with a 121-112 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Avenge Only Loss by Rallying Past Bucks, 121-112 (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 07:27:48 GMT)

    The pregame chatter about Milwaukee’s exuberant celebration after handing Golden State its first loss of the season last week carried on throughout the game, peaking in a postgame dustup between Draymond Green and O.J. Mayo.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Hold Off Clippers for 115-107 Win (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 06:48:27 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs had grown accustomed to winning handily at home, but they were challenged on Friday by the Los Angeles Clippers before coming away with a 115-107 victory.

  • [New York Times] Bledsoe, Len Lead Suns Past Pelicans, 104-88 (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 06:30:34 GMT)

    Eric Bledsoe scored 29 points and the Phoenix Suns led nearly the entire way in a 104-88 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Drummond Leads Way, Pistons Beat Bulls 147-144 in 4 OT (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 06:12:35 GMT)

    Andre Drummond didn’t have to say much to describe this four-overtime marathon. He could have stopped after the first word.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Pacers’ Bench Proves Crucial in Victory Against the Nets (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 05:49:56 GMT)

    The Pacers beat the visiting Nets, 104-97, on Friday night, with Paul George scoring 23 points.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Serbs Reach Top 16 (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 05:15:21 GMT)

    The Serbian champion Red Star Belgrade beat visiting Bayern Munich, 85-76, to reach the Euroleague’s Top 16.

  • [New York Times] Wiggins Lifts Struggling Wolves Over Kings, 99-95 (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 05:06:34 GMT)

    Scoring has always come fairly easily for Andrew Wiggins.

  • [New York Times] Hayward Scores 26 as Jazz Hold On for 97-88 Win Over Nuggets (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 04:54:31 GMT)

    Gordon Hayward scored 26 points and the Utah Jazz beat the Denver Nuggets 97-88 on Friday night to snap a season-high, four-game losing streak.

  • [New York Times] Raptors Rally to Finally Beat Bosh, Top Heat 108-94 (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 04:27:36 GMT)

    When the Miami Heat are dealing with adversity, Chris Bosh knows how the team will respond.

  • [New York Times] Afflalo, Knicks Beat Sixers 107-07 for 3rd Straight Win (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 04:21:37 GMT)

    Kristaps Porzingis was excited to face a fellow top rookie for the second straight game.

  • [New York Times] Nowitzki Scores 20, Leads Mavericks Past Grizzlies 97-88 (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 04:09:42 GMT)

    Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points, leading the Dallas Mavericks past the Memphis Grizzlies 97-88 Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Hold Off Clippers, Improve to 15-0 at Home (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 04:03:48 GMT)

    LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Tony Parker scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, and the San Antonio Spurs held off the Los Angeles Clippers 115-107 on Friday night to remain undefeated at home.

  • [New York Times] Millsap Scores 15 in 4th Quarter, Hawks Rally Past Celtics (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 03:36:49 GMT)

    Paul Millsap scored 15 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Al Horford finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks rallied to a 109-101 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] George, Bench Help Pacers Hold On to Beat Nets (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 03:16:00 GMT)

    Paul George scored 23 points, reserve Jordan Hill had 14 points and 11 rebounds and the Indiana Pacers beat the Brooklyn Nets 104-97 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 107, 76ers 97: Knicks Work Over N.B.A.’s Punching Bag (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 03:10:05 GMT)

    Arron Afflalo scored 20 points, Carmelo Anthony added 16, and the Knicks’ starters spent much of the second half on the bench during a 107-97 win over the woeful 76ers.

  • [New York Times] Magic Withstand Late Rally to Beat Blazers 102-94 (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 03:00:47 GMT)

    Tobias Harris and Nik Vucevic each scored 25 points to propel the Orlando Magic to a 102-94 win over Portland.

  • [New York Times] Courtside Seats Don’t Carry a Warning Label, but the Risk Is Real (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 01:22:43 GMT)

    When LeBron James bowled over the wife of the professional golfer Jason Day, it was a reminder that there are no guarantees when it comes to huge athletes playing a fast-moving game in a confined space.

  • [New York Times] Ellie Day Defends Jason and King James After Courtside Crash (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 00:54:31 GMT)

    Ellie Day, wife of Australian world number two golfer Jason Day, was battered and bruised but spent Friday defending her husband and LeBron James as she recovers from a heavy collision with the NBA great.

  • [New York Daily News] Jerry Colangelo and Sixers turn to D’Antoni to assist (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 05:30:19 GMT)

    The one-win Philadelphia 76ers hired veteran NBA coach Mike D’Antoni as associate head coach Friday.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks easily defeat lowly Sixers 107-97 in snoozer (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 05:20:42 GMT)

    The good news for the Knicks is that they won. The bad news is they’ve already used up two of their four games against the Sixers.

  • [New York Daily News] Kid who cried when Porzingis drafted now wears his jersey (Sat, 19 Dec 2015 04:49:20 GMT)

    Plenty of Knicks fans were upset when the team drafted Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick this summer.

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    88 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.12.19)”

    1. It looks like Ty Lawson is available.

      Lawson is trouble that we don’t need. NYC would destroy him.

      So the Knicks and Bulls play tonight on the tail end of back-to-back games. The Knicks had a cake-walk and nobody played 30 minutes. The Bulls won in quadruple OT with Butler and Rose both logging over 50 minutes. Should be interesting.

    2. Yeah, the timing to get this team back to .500 could not be any better. The only thing that would have made it better is if Chicago had won last night.

    3. I watched the Westchester game last night. Jimmer, Thanasis and maybe 7’3″ Bachynski would help us.

      Thanasis looks like he’s becoming that 3 and D guy that we’ve been craving.

      Bachynski shot 14/14 from the field and blocked a bunch of shots!

      Jimmer is a wizard on offense.

    4. One of the hidden drawbacks of the total tank strategy — go to libertyballers.com and read how Sixer fans are trashing Noel and Okafor (including numerous suggestions that they dump Okafor for a draft pick) and everyone else on the team for that matter. Losing is bad enough for young guys but I’m sure they either read or hear about how the fans are trashing them. Then read the comments here when KP and/or Grant have a bad game. All of the comments are some version of trash/trade Melo, Afflalo, Calderon, Sasha, Seraphin, etc., etc. I might not know much about basketball (as I nod towards THCJ) but I do understand human nature. It is much easier to grow and thrive when someone other than you is routinely willing to take the heat as you go through the normal growth and maturation process that everyone goes through. P.S. to the aforementioned THCJ — I seem to remember your killing the idiot coach who didn’t play Drummond more as a rookie. Maybe his “I want to bring this talented kid along slowly so that there is not too much pressure too fast” philosophy wasn’t so stupid after all?

    5. If you listen to Jackson and Fisher they seem to be rejecting the idea that we need a PG that penetrates and runs the P&R. That’s partly what Grant hasn’t been playing. They are trying to get him to change his game! There’s no way they want a small PG like Lawson that wants to play fast, needs the ball, and runs P&R.

      We are essentially running a system that has failed everywhere it has been tried (usually terribly) unless the team had Mike/Scottie, Kobe/Shaq, or Kobe/Gasol.

      Any system would work with those players!

      Our team TS% has been at the bottom of the league for the last 2 years.

      Most of the players on both this year’s and last years’s team have/had a TS% below their long term average or recent skill level outside of NY.

      If that doesn’t tell you something is wrong I don’t know what will. The ball and player movement are good, but the slow pace, post up play without a dominant big, mid range shots, and lack of P&R is the anti advanced stats offensive system. The extra offensive rebounds this system may produce do not make up the difference for the all the disadvantages. Jackson has put together a better team that is easy to root for, but he’s stuck in the past.

    6. strat, the main problem this team has right now is lack of talent. Melo is Melo, but beyond that, every player has glaring flaws. To turn the argument around, no offensive system or coach would have this team at a better record than they are at right now, certainly not without playing Melo 40+ minutes a game. Most of us would have signed up for 13-14 after 27 games in a heartbeat.

      Wins are the ultimate advanced stat. They are 100% correlated with winning. Fisher/Jax are producing wins right now at a pace better than most expected given the lack of talent on this roster.

    7. strat, the main problem this team has right now is lack of talent. Melo is Melo, but beyond that, every player has glaring flaws. To turn the argument around, no offensive system or coach would have this team at a better record than they are at right now

      I disagree. If Grant and Lopez’s talents were maximized, we’d be a much better team, and Melo/DWill and others would be better as well. The PnR is most widely used set in the NBA because its the most productive and we’re limiting it? I’ve said it before, change the distribution to where Galloway/Afflalo/Grant receive almost all of the minutes and execute more high PnRs using Grant and Lopez. Our defense, transition game, and half-court offense would all be better. A rigid President/GM and dumb coach/staff is hurting this team.

      BTW Here’s a recent Jerian Grant quote:
      “It’s tough. You have to figure out a different way to play. Obviously coming in, you’re not going to have the ball in your hands as much. When that’s been your game to kind of create with the ball in your hands off ball screens and such, it’s an adjustment to find other ways to affect the game.”

    8. If you listen to Jackson and Fisher they seem to be rejecting the idea that we need a PG that penetrates and runs the P&R. That’s partly what Grant hasn’t been playing. They are trying to get him to change his game! There’s no way they want a small PG like Lawson that wants to play fast, needs the ball, and runs P&R.

      We are essentially running a system that has failed everywhere it has been tried (usually terribly) unless the team had Mike/Scottie, Kobe/Shaq, or Kobe/Gasol.

      Most of the players on both this year’s and last years’s team have/had a TS% below their long term average or recent skill level outside of NY.

      Agree with some of this and but not with other parts.

      Agree: Jerian Grant was one of the best PNR guards in college BB. It is clearly his strength and where he is comfortable. If you aren’t going to tailor your system to fit his strengths, then you should have drafted someone else. The “he has to get used to playing without ball screens” seems so…dumb.

      Disagree:
      1) I think lumping last year and this year together into a “Triangle” referendum is not useful. We had a terrible team last year and this year’s team is almost completely different.

      2) I still think this offense will be better than it’s looked so far. We have very good shooters on this team — not elite, but good — and yet we’ve been awful shooting wide open shots. Literally 3rd worst in the league on wide open defender >6 ft away shots and 5th worst in the league on open defender >4 ft away. Some of that is because we have dudes like Seraphin taking 18 footers, but good shooters are missing a lot of open shots. But overall our offensive talent is probably average at best, so hoping for amazing results is just not reasonable.

    9. From that NYT article: WTF is this line?!?!?

      A television news crew put a camera in his face and asked how it felt to be playing in New York. Though he was smiling, his eyes went cold, and the muscles of his lips began to tighten.

    10. Jackson has put together a better team that is easy to root for, but he’s stuck in the past.

      Seconded. When Melo says that he isn’t going be running PNRs with Zinger “in this offense” he is really saying that Phil and Fisher are determined to play checkers with chess pieces. The slow pace is one thing; the Knicks have really weak transition personnel. But the Knicks are easily the worst PNR team in the NBA and they don’t have the worst PNR players in the NBA. Lopez was a PNR monster with Batum and overall went 75-125 in the PNR last year. This year in the weird bailout PNRs the Knicks half-attempt he is an excruciating 10-29 as the roller, which is also coincidentally Greg Butler’s career mark.

      Melo has been an efficient PNR ball handler in his career. This year he is the Knicks leading PNR ball handler, but only 87th in the league, behind some weird dudes like Gary Neal and Dion Waiters. His EFG% as the PNR ball handler is…33%. There are only three guys in the entire league with more PNR attempts as a ball handler with worse PPP than Melo this year: Mudiay, Evan Turner, and Jameer Nelson. Calderon is not much better, (.66 vs. .61 PPP) but historically has also been an efficient PNR ball handler.

      It’s not like the triangle is going to slice 10 wins from the Knicks or anything, but that doesn’t make it irrelevant. If we can run the triangle solely by posting up Afflalo on Isaiah Canaan all year then I’m all for it. If not we need guys in charge who are more flexible and know that people are smarter about efficiency today than they were in 1988.

    11. In the tradition of more trade ideas that will never happen, what do you guys think of this?

      Calderon + Jerian Grant + top 5 protected 2018 1st for Mike Conley?

      Obviously I would not be a huge fan of giving up more 1st rounders, but I honestly think this team is a real PG away from being a seri0us eastern conference contender. Then next year we would still have about $19MM in cap space, but would have bird rights on Conley in addition (Conley’s cap hold is about the same as Calderon + Grant). Give most if not all that to Batum and what do you get?

      Starting lineup:
      PG: Conley
      SG: Batum
      SF: Melo
      PF: KP
      C: RoLo

      Bench
      – resign Galloway with EB rights after we use up our $19MM
      – resign Lance Thomas with EB rights if necessary after we use up our $19MM
      – have Afflalo opt into his 2nd year, or if not, resign him with NB rights for $9.6
      – KOQ
      – Jimmer?
      – Thanasis?

      That feels like a team that can really make some noise, Triangle or not.

    12. strat, the main problem this team has right now is lack of talent. Melo is Melo, but beyond that, every player has glaring flaws. To turn the argument around, no offensive system or coach would have this team at a better record than they are at right now, certainly not without playing Melo 40+ minutes a game. Most of us would have signed up for 13-14 after 27 games in a heartbeat.

      I generally agree that the talent is a bigger determiner of the team’s success than the system, but the system is still pretty bad. It’s not a huge deal, but it really does look kind of dumb, especially with the personnel. Why did they even draft Grant when he pretty clearly wasn’t suited to the system that they won’t budge off of? I figured they drafted him with the intent to mix things up more, but that does not appear to be the case. And the whole “Initiate offense 20 feet away with Robin Lopez” stuff is just beee-zarre.

    13. well NVM – Conley’s cap hold is actually $14+MM so our cap space would go down to $15MM. Doubt Batum would take such a big discount. Unless of course Derrick Williams opts out.

      Question for ephus or Brian – if Derrick Williams and/or Afflalo opt out of their contract, do we still have NB rights on them, and is there a cap hold in that case?

    14. Obviously I would not be a huge fan of giving up more 1st rounders, but I honestly think this team is a real PG away from being a seri0us eastern conference contender.

      They have a negative point differential after having played the second-easiest schedule in the NBA so far this season (only Houston has had it easier than them, which says a lot about Houston, as well, and nothing good).

    15. @15 I like Conley, but no to that trade. Too much to give up for a guy that might be gotten for free in the offseason. Also, the Knicks aren’t going anywhere this year. Keep the assets.
      @16 Jackson likes big guards, so that is probably why he likes Grant as a potential future starter at PG. Also, he played 4 years at ND so has good experience, smarts, etc. to handle a major system change.

      I’m not ready to condemn the triangle, yet. This is still largely a new team this year and needs more time to be properly evaluated. As someone said earlier, the Knicks need to knock down more shots. Grant, for example, was bricking again last night.

      Yeah, it is painful to watch Lopez come out awkwardly on the pinch post. But be patient and accept the team NOT making the playoffs this year. If they do, that’s just extra gravy on a nice turkey meal…

    16. Question for ephus or Brian – if Derrick Williams and/or Afflalo opt out of their contract, do we still have NB rights on them, and is there a cap hold in that case?

      Yep and yep.

    17. Apropos of nothing, St. Johns lost last night by 20 points to a team called Incarnate Word

      I got kicked out of the dorms there once

    18. Jerian Grant is a rookie who can’t shoot or finish at the rim (yet, at least.) He’s simply not an NBA player yet. Running more PnR is not going to make much of a difference for him.

      Rolo was on a team with a very good offensive starting lineup: LMA, Batum, Lillard, Matthews. At this point, comparing that squad to Melo, Afflalo, Porzingis and Calderon is a bit of a reach. And that unit’s problems have been much more pronounced on the defensive end, they are doing just fine scoring. I don’t see how putting Grant in would improve things very much.

      In most of our recent losses, the eye test tells me that our most glaring problems have been 1. lack of production by the bench, 2. missing lots of wide-open shots (particularly Melo and Zinger), 3. lousy defensive rebounding, 4. poor defense, and 5. Melo playing hero ball (he stopped doing that as much in last 3 games.)

      Some other notable reasons for poor offensive play: Galloway’s regression and Seraphin’s suckitude.

      I agree that they should run more PnR but doubt that it would make much difference, if any at all. We’re just not that good on either end.

    19. RE: Conley, I would never give up a #1 pick for him at this point unless I had 2 in one year, which we don’t. On top of that, I just don’t think he’s good enough to merit giving up that much.

    20. I wouldn’t mind sending Grant down to the D-league and bring up either Jimmer or Trice for a look-see. He needs to play, and maybe Jimmer can provide some much-needed bench scoring.

    21. The weird thing is that they have an open roster spot! I don’t get why they don’t call up a guard for said look see.

    22. Z-man, my eye test also tells me that the #1 area for improvement on this team is defense. Still way too many opposing guards can slash into the paint, creating havoc and easy baskets, free throw opportunities, etc.. KP and Lopez help some in that area, but they can’t cover for nearly all of it.

      The main way to improve that would be to swap out Calderon with a quicker defender without losing too much of his solid shooting and calm presence at PG.

      I’d have to imagine that the Knicks know this. Perhaps they can make a deal this year to address that, perhaps not. I don’t think that Galloway or Grant is the solution, at least not yet.

    23. The weird thing is that they have an open roster spot! I don’t get why they don’t call up a guard for said look see.

      Yeah I really don’t get why they’re leaving it open. I’d be 100% for sending Jerian down to get some real PT and bringing Jimmer up. Yes they’re d-league stats but he’s 4th in the league in scoring at 24ppg, shooting 45% from 3 point range, and 4th in the league in steals at 2.4/game.

      Or if not Jimmer how about our old friend Toure Murry?

    24. If he wasn’t such a head case, maybe Ty Lawson would be interesting to take a flyer on because, IIRC, his contract is expiring, whereas Calderon’s has another year?

      Some sort of trade of the two (with fodder to even out the salaries, if that would even be possible) would allow the Knicks to get out from under Calderon a year earlier. I wonder if the Rockets would give up a future 1st just to get rid of Lawson?

      However, if KP and Calderon really are close, then keep him at least through this year. I think Calderon would be a solid player off the bench. I just wish that Galloway were ready to start in his place.

    25. Is Westchester still running the triangle? If so, yeah, maybe letting Grant start down there would be a good thing.

      Is Jimmer a complete liability on defense?

    26. The lack of understanding of the Triangle and the idea that simply running PNR would fix everything is hilarious.

      1) There are PNR opportunities in the Triangle. Grant has no fucking clue right now how to get to those spots and initiate those options. There is the side PNR he could initiate after entering the ball in to the post and cutting to the corner. There is the PNR/dribble hand off available to him on the weakside which he never initiates because his rudimentary understanding right now is that he MUST be the the strong side guard and enter the ball to Seraphin in the post. There is the high PNR option available to him on both the strong and weak side. He also sucks at using drag screens in transition which Fisher has specifically put in this season to utilize Porzingis and RoLo more that Grant doesn’t use because he runs at 1000 MPH at all times. Calderon does, but he’s incapable of using it.

      2) How many of those Triangle teams that won championships won titles before and after? How many titles has a complete spread PNR offense won? If the Triangle is so awful why have teams like the Spurs and GSW copied many of it’s sets and principles?

      3) I do agree that Grant needs to get more minutes with RoLo who would be the best PNR and/or dribble hand off option he can play with.

      4) Our rebounding is totally awful when we play small with KP at the 5. You can’t run spread PNR with KP if you can’t get a stop or a board defensively. KP also has been awful at setting screens.

      5) If mid-range shots are god awful and spread PNR taking 3’s and shots at the rim are the highest of priorities why are the Spurs so fucking good on offense despite taking a massive volume of mid-range jumpers, and bottom-5 in 3point attempt rate and shots at the rim? Why are they so good offensively when they only run spread PNR at the end of the shot clock after running a lot of triple post and high low action very similar to many Triangle sets?

    27. Yeah I really don’t get why they’re leaving it open. I’d be 100% for sending Jerian down to get some real PT and bringing Jimmer up. Yes they’re d-league stats but he’s 4th in the league in scoring at 24ppg, shooting 45% from 3 point range, and 4th in the league in steals at 2.4/game.

      Or if not Jimmer how about our old friend Toure Murry?

      Sure, Jimmer, Murray, someone. How could it be that they have an open roster spot and yet they continue to play Sasha as a regular back-up instead of taking a flier on someone?

    28. BTW Here’s a recent Jerian Grant quote:
      “It’s tough. You have to figure out a different way to play. Obviously coming in, you’re not going to have the ball in your hands as much. When that’s been your game to kind of create with the ball in your hands off ball screens and such, it’s an adjustment to find other ways to affect the game.”

      Wow a team doesn’t immediately cater it’s offense completely to maximize a 23 year old rookie’s strength. Shocking stuff. He’s still had plenty of PNR opportunities to run including Fisher letting him run high PNR early in the clock before running Triangle and he hasn’t been efficient.

      I posted the numbers a few threads ago. Grant and Calderon have had plenty of PNR, they just aren’t all that great at running it for various reasons.

      We are essentially running a system that has failed everywhere it has been tried (usually terribly) unless the team had Mike/Scottie, Kobe/Shaq, or Kobe/Gasol.

      Any system would work with those players!

      Wow great players are necessary to win championships. Amazing stuff. How many titles has Pop’s system won without Tim Duncan/Robinson or TD/Parker/Ginobili and now Kawhi and Aldridge? How many titles has Riley’s system won without all-time greats? if all you needed was the best talent how come those teams weren’t winning prior to Phil and why haven’t there been more threepeats in NBA history?

      There are plenty of teams that run spread PNR based offenses that suck at offense and aren’t good basketball teams. It’s not some magic elixir to cure all ills.

    29. @30. Well, your answer to #5 might be coaching. Popovich! We don’t have him. Also, GW and SA are loaded with talent. But generally I agree. Way too soon to blame the triangle.
      ;-)

      Agree RE#3. Against certain lineups, KP at the 5 will work. But mostly, he benefits from being the 4 where he can provide good help D and weakside shot blocking. He and Lopez together can anchor a very good D if the team can somehow slow down/limit opposing players getting to the paint…

    30. RE Sasha. Last night he was purely a garbage time player.

      Recently, it seems like Fisher goes to him when he’s pissed at the energy level of the team. So, he puts in the old, slow white guy who actually hustles and plays hard-nosed bb to maybe shame the other guys, esp. any guard benched for him?

      I can see that in small doses, but if Fisher has to go to him too often, then something else needs to be done. He shouldn’t play too much.

    31. RE Sasha. Last night he was purely a garbage time player.

      Recently, it seems like Fisher goes to him when he’s pissed at the energy level of the team. So, he puts in the old, slow white guy who actually hustles and plays hard-nosed bb to maybe shame the other guys, esp. any guard benched for him?

      I can see that in small doses, but if Fisher has to go to him too often, then something else needs to be done. He shouldn’t play too much.

      My problem with Sasha’s minutes are not so much that he gets them, but more that those same reasons you mentioned for Sasha getting minutes should easily apply to a young D-Leaguer, right? Only with a young D-Leaguer, he might bring something more. Like, say, Jimmer.

    32. The reason I am using TS% to measure the efficiency of the offense is because there typically isn’t much variance in TS% from year to year (unless you are a young player on the upside or old and on the downside). There’s also a lot more than goes into winning and losing but I am trying to isolate the impact of the system on the efficiency of the players ONLY.

      The reason I looked at both individual and team is because we obviously had a dreadful team last year, but the individuals within that team were also under performing badly. If you remember, we were expected to contend for the playoffs before Melo went down but virtually every player on the team was under performing in terms of efficiency. That’s a big reason why we were so bad.

    33. @37 -thanks for the link. interesting read.

      He can’t be any slower-afoot than Calderon.
      The attitude stuff is interesting – maybe that’s why they’re letting him marinate down there in the D-league for a while. sort of a prolonged ego hit.

    34. strat, no doubt that it is a system that takes time to master and requires certain kinds of players (mainly, players with a high b-ball IQ.) But I agree with lavor 100%, there is plenty of PnR embedded in the current way the Knicks run the triangle, and plenty of triangle in the way the Spurs and even the Warriors run the PnR.

      PS Great posts, lavor!

    35. Well, to defend Calderon, he’s 2 inches taller, plays PG (which Jimmer apparently cannot or will not do), and has had a solid NBA career. Jimmer apparently sucks in the NBA. He’s had shots.

      Hey, if the Knicks call him up, I’ll root for him. It would be a great story.

      If we want to try a truly young, hungry player, how about Trice?

    36. @35. Only, Jimmer is NOT a young D-leaguer. He’s 26 (27 in two months). He’s had shots with multiple NBA teams. He’s short for a 2 guard, slow afoot, and might be a stubborn head case:

      I’m not calling for Jimmer specifically – just someone who might have some upside. Sasha just isn’t an NBA player – he can be a warm body, but that’s pretty much it, so why not just throw someone out there who might be more? Especially when they have an empty roster spot?

    37. @30 @39

      1. Fisher was recently asked about running more P&R and he flat out said there is very little room for P&R in this offense and they are not stressing it. Melo was also asked that question recently and sound annoyed they weren’t running more of it. Now Grant is saying the same thing. It doesn’t matter if there are opportunities to run it, they are not doing it. And no one is saying that’s the cure all. There are several things we are doing wrong. That’s just one of them. We don’t have one of the most efficient plays in all of basketball as a meaningful part of our game plan. We play as slow as shit. We play post up with players that can’t play that way efficiently etc..

      2. The Spurs have taken their original system and incorporated aspects of D’Antoni’s offense (faster and more spread). That they also run some triangle concepts here or there says nothing about running it full time. Anything can work if your team is loaded with great players like the Spurs, Lakers or Bulls. But some things been demonstrated to work better. The Warriors are using some triangle concepts under Kerr also, but no one would argue their offense is within a million miles of what we are doing.

    38. Wow a team doesn’t immediately cater it’s offense completely to maximize a 23 year old rookie’s strength. Shocking stuff. He’s still had plenty of PNR opportunities to run including Fisher letting him run high PNR early in the clock before running Triangle and he hasn’t been efficient.

      It’s not just him – it’s him and Lopez! And, more importantly, it’s not even about him so much as it is about executing PnRs in general. Yes, a modern NBA offense not stressing PnRs is shocking! Regarding Grant, he definitely improves the team over Calderon in terms of transition buckets, on defense, generating free throws and more Grant/Lopez PnRs would eventually pay dividends in a half-court offense. His shooting should improve once placed in a more comfortable, stable position; after all, his shooting was listed as a strength in college. Grant was listed as NBA-ready – the problem is he’s not really playing on an NBA team but some warped Jax Triangle experiment. He’s a rookie 1 who will struggle, but the team would be better giving his minutes to Calderon and more effective utilization of Lopez.

    39. Yes they’re playing the triangle in Westchester. And Jimmer’s playing tenacious defense. He wouldn’t be much better than Jose in this department but he is much stronger than Calderon and won’t get pushed around as much. He has a wizardry factor to his offense with alley oop passes and precision accuracy. He really penetrates and then dishes well. Plus, as we know, his long distance shooting is lights out.

      Back to Thanasis, the Maine announcer who was a coach somewhere wondered out loud why he’s not playing in the NBA right now.

    40. Most of the players on both this year’s and last years’s team have/had a TS% below their long term average or recent skill level outside of NY.

      I’m really not sure this is true, at least this season. Afflalo is slightly better than his career average, Anthony slightly worse, Calderon basically the same, Thomas much better. Only Lopez has a much worse true shooting percentage than his career average. I agree that he’s taking more shots away from the basket, but they are still relatively close range shots. He’s just not making enough of them and he’s also not getting fouled as much as before. I agree that could be a side effect of the offense, but I’m not sure it’s enough to indict the offensive system. I was at the game last night with a friend from the Philadelphia area and we both thought the offense was good and had good teamwork which Philadelphia just couldn’t handle most of the time. That is significant progress from last year.

    41. As Owen said, we have a very tough stretch of games ahead (did anyone notice that we play the Hawks 3 times in 10 days?!) Reasons for optimism:

      1. After a stretch where I was worried about his health (knee seemed to be barking, shot flattened out, no burst) Melo looks very spry and is playing very efficient and smart basketball the last 3 games. Could be the weaker comp we’ve been facing…we’ll get a better indication tonight vs. Taj and Butler.

      2. Gallo seems to be slowly recovering his shooting stroke and confidence.

      3. Fisher seems to be shortening the rotation and is playing O’Quinn more and Sasha, Grant and Seraphin less.

      4. Despite his shooting woes, Porzingis is playing solid overall “rookie” basketball. I really like the way that Fisher is bringing him along.

      Tonight’s game is big…we need to take advantage of Chicago being tired.

    42. @41. But, why bring up a truly young guy like Trice or whoever just to mostly sit with the Knicks? The best thing for them is to play a lot for Westchester as Galloway did last year (at least until January). I agree with others to send Grant down for a while.

      As it is, Early just keeps sitting. Seems a waste. If I were running the Knicks, I’d get Early some playing time, esp. if Grant were to go down, instead of Jimmer.

    43. Trice has a good shot but he’s small and much weaker than Jimmer. He also is making too many mistakes and is not nearly as NBA ready as Fredette is. Dleague PG Erick Green has been lighting it up and is shooting the three very well but honestly Jimmer has really sold me. He has savvy and skill and is learning the triangle. 10 day contracts begin in a few weeks and this is probably what Phil is waiting for.

    44. Yeah Melo didn’t sound annoyed he was asked a loaded question about him and KP running PNR where if he said they needed to run it more he’d be challenging Phil and Fisher which this board and NY media would have had a field day with. He didn’t bite and simply said prioritizing that isn’t within the scope of the offense.

      Yeah they aren’t going to focus on running PNR like Fisher said because they do a lot more than just PNR in the offense like off ball screens, split cuts, backdoor lobs, high/low play with the bigs, pinch post action, etc. You seem way too focused on this on element of the offense instead of accepting they could run more PNR effectively if they knew where in the offense to initiate it from.

      This team is still learning the offense and there’s a lot to learn. It takes players awhile to understand all the options in the Spurs offense as well.

      If you can watch some of the Bulls games from the Finals in the 90s. They actually ran small ball lineups with Rodman at the 5 and used high PNR often in 4th quarters with Jordan or Pippen as the ball handler.

      What’s important to Phil and Fisher right now is getting these guys familiar with the more common Triangle sets. I’d expect once Grant, KP, RoLo and other new guys get a better grasp of it we’ll see more of the high PNR late clock Triangle sets we were utilizing after the ASB last season.

    45. Freaking Lance continues to confound and astound me. I really didn’t think he had any chance of being a plus player for us, and the fact that he’s become a critical rotation player is shocking. The most shocking development of all: HE’S SHOOTING OVER 39% FROM 3 ON 3.4 ATTEMPTS PER 36!!! He’s also shooting 87% from the line on 3.7 attempts per 36. Who the hell saw that coming?

    46. Does anyone think it’s an accident that every coach to fall from the Phil Jackson’s coaching tree has gotten dreadful results? (other than Kerr and he want away from the triangle).

      Cleamons, Cartwright, Rambus, Shaw, Scott, and now Fisher.

      Other teams that have tried to run the triangle have also done poorly and abandoned it.

      What we are doing right now is trying to force something that we don’t have the correct players to execute successfully.

    47. What’s important to Phil and Fisher right now is getting these guys familiar with the more common Triangle sets. I’d expect once Grant, KP, RoLo and other new guys get a better grasp of it we’ll see more of the high PNR late clock Triangle sets we were utilizing after the ASB last season.

      Yeah – truth is we are making a huge adjustment with 6 rotation players including 3 starters (Afflalo, Lopez, KP, plus KOQ, Seraphin, Grant) never having played in the triangle before. And even so we’re already much better than we were last year.

      btw has anyone noticed that KOQ is 1st on the team in WS/48 (0.170) and 2nd is Derrick Williams (0.133)? And that somehow Kevin Seraphin (-0.006) stole KOQ’s spot in the rotation for a time?

    48. Phil last coached the Triangle in the NBA over 5 years ago. According to Synergy, there’s been a 33% increase in the use of PnRs in the last 5 years. The 16 best PnR offenses over the last five years all ranked in the top 10 of offensive efficiency. In 2013-14 season, each of the seven most efficient PnR offenses also finished in the top seven of overall offensive rankings. Just two of the 30 worst PnR teams since 2009 ranked in top half of offensive efficiency during their respective years. I feel like Jax’s tweets on 3FG and Fish’s statements on PnR suggest they are like the Japanese soldiers hiding in caves and still fighting WWII after it ended.

    49. I don’t get how anyone could come to the conclusion that our lack of PNR isn’t a concern. It’s the most efficient play in basketball and should be run regardless of personnel. Obviously the Warriors and other teams have personnel better suited to maximize it, but that’s completely irrelevant. It’s not like the triangle is maximizing our guys in a way a PNR offense wouldn’t, just the opposite is happening.

      Porzingis is who we should be catering to, and he almost certainly would be utilized best in a PNR based offense.

    50. It’s pretty funny that the most successful season this franchise has had in the past 15 years (by far) was predicated on running a ton of PnR and shooting a ton of 3pters. Basically using a modern NBA offense. Yet they basically considered that season a fluke and have gone completely away from what made that team so successful. Its kind of mind-boggling.

      Having said that as critical as I’ve been of Fisher in the end the team is 14-15 after 29 games which we all wouldve taken in a freaking heartbeat before the season started. Not to mention the coaching staff has done an exceptional job of handling KP obviously. The team always plays hard and has become extremely fun (if not at times frustrating) to watch and root for. So Fisher and his coaching staff do deserve some credit especially defensively where they really have made strides especially in defending the 3pt line which was something they seemed totally ignorant about last season (including Fisher himself with some of his statements about defending the 3pt line). Fisher has been slow to make the proper adjustments, especially with his rotations, but he does eventually make them so I still have some hope that he will turn into a decent head coach.

    51. Fisher has the Knicks at 13-14 in his second season when the majority of this board was saying we’d be lucky to win 30 running an offense that was ancient and couldn’t possibly ever work. I’m not counting him as a failure and I’d say if anything most people here have shifted the goal posts now that it seems the team is better than expected and that Phil Jackson isn’t a total fucking moron.

    52. How is Porzingis best used in a PNR offense if he literally sucks at setting picks and our guards aren’t good at all at running it?

    53. The fact that we’re doing better than most people thought is not relevant to whether or not we should run more PNR. I don’t understand the connection there, We’re 21st in ORtg as a team. We’re under .500. We’re still bad. Even if we weren’t, it’s never stupid to think about how we could get better. Especially with something like this that has a chance to become entrenched for a while.

    54. Umm yeah it actually does. You’re judging an entire process because of one play type and without understanding that there are multiple PNR options that our guards suck at using and don’t understand how to get too. That’s a talent issue which seems like a way more relevant discussion than the pros and cons of the Triangle offense which both the Spurs and Warriors have multiple sets copied from.

      Seriously you think if we install a spread PNR offense everything will be good? It seems to be working out really well for Washington. Great to see how the spread PNR has really made the Pelicans a better team.

    55. You’re judging an entire process because of one play type and without understanding that there are multiple PNR options that our guards suck at using and don’t understand how to get too. That’s a talent issue which seems like a way more relevant discussion than the pros and cons of the Triangle offense which both the Spurs and Warriors have multiple sets copied from.

      No, I’m not. I’m generally satisfied with the direction of the team (with the caveat that I think we’d be better off if we traded Melo). But our offense is bad empirically and aesthetically, so I don’t understand why we shouldn’t talk about making adjustments to it. Again, our talent is bad, but that just furthers the argument that we should be running the offense best suited to cover for that.

      Seriously you think if we install a spread PNR offense everything will be good? It seems to be working out really well for Washington. Great to see how the spread PNR has really made the Pelicans a better team.

      No, I don’t think that at all. It stands to reason that some of our players would be better and therefore the team would be better. Marginally so, because the biggest issue is talent (as is just about always the case), but better. Seriously what players are benefitting from the triangle? I can’t think of one, and I can name multiple who are underperforming partly because of it

    56. Here is a stat to show the east vs west matchup.

      The Warriors, Spurs, and Thunder have a combined total of 15 losses. 11 of those losses have been to eastern conference opponents.

    57. A quick search shows we’re 3rd in the league in isolations and dead last in pick and roll. I don’t know how one does not think that’s even slightly concerning.

    58. Seriously you think if we install a spread PNR offense everything will be good?

      ABSOLUTELY! We could have our cake and eat it too on offense and defense with KP and Lopez. Both are a great tandem on defense, solid on their PnR D. On offense, start 4-out (like Spurs) allowing for spread PnR keying off Grant/Lopez with Galloway/KP/Melo/Afflalo as 3FG snipers. Sound familiar? Remember how Felton/Chandler started the offense in 2012 which may I remind you was the 5th rated offense that season? And that Grant rates to be a better shooter than Felton in PnR? Obviously, you add more dimensions to the offense but we haven’t even tried this.

    59. I’ve been reading this site forever but never made an account or commented. But I’ve been seeing these comments about bringing someone up from the D-League basically all season, and I know the reason why we haven’t brought anyone up yet to fill that roster spot.

      Per Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ, teams cannot start offering 10-day contracts until January 5th. So, anyone we bring up from the D-Leauge before January 5th – be it Jimmer, Trice, Atkins, Saunders – would have to be signed to a deal that takes them through at least the regular season. I’m sure the Knicks don’t want to waste that spot on someone who may end up being totally useless, end-of-the-bench fodder, when there’s still the potential to absorb a player into that spot via trade.

      After January 5th, if they bring one of those guys up, they can give him a 10-day, then another 10-day, and if they suck, they can cut them and let them go back to the W-Knicks while maintaining the roster spot.

      Anyway, I might take this opportunity to become a more regular contributor, but I just wanted to let everyone know that there is a legitimate and good reason why we haven’t brought a D-League guy up yet to fill that empty spot.

    60. How is Porzingis best used in a PNR offense if he literally sucks at setting picks

      Not sure you mean ‘literally’ there.

    61. Thanks @68, good to know. Another reason to not bring up Trice is that he’s basically sucked in the D League, so yeah. Jimmer is playing well so I’m not opposed to giving him a chance.

    62. @rama

      Lmao. I have a bad habit of using that word where it is totally unnecessary.

      Seriously what players are benefitting from the triangle? I can’t think of one, and I can name multiple who are underperforming partly because of it

      Lance Thomas, KOQ, Galloway, Williams and Afflalo have all benefited from it. Melo has also benefited, but he’s missing a lot of shots you’d expect him to make. KP has no idea what he’s doing in the offense right now, but I think once he figures things out he’ll benefit quite a bit.

      But our offense is bad empirically and aesthetically, so I don’t understand why we shouldn’t talk about making adjustments to it. Again, our talent is bad, but that just furthers the argument that we should be running the offense best suited to cover for that.

      We need a better starting caliber PG and depth on the wing. If we’re still struggling to get shots at the rim after that then we can talk about the system, but I’m not sure any coach can make Calderon a better driver and creator or help Jerian Grant with his decision making, ability to direct an offense in the halfcourt or dribble with his left hand right now. He’s a rookie and he’s learning. He can probably be a solid NBA player, but he’s making a big adjustment right now. Galloway is a solid combo guard that can start in a pinch, but would be best utilized off the bench like he is right now.

    63. A quick search shows we’re 3rd in the league in isolations and dead last in pick and roll. I don’t know how one does not think that’s even slightly concerning.

      A quick search also reveals we’re 5th in PPP in isolation at a level that puts us above every single team’s PPP that finishes a PNR with the ball handler.

      I’m not really even disagreeing with the fact we should run more PNR. I don’t think what we need to do is scrap the offense to do that though. We will run more PNR when these guys are capable of going through more progressions in the offense and know how to get to those PNR options. This is an offense that takes a while to master, with a ton of options for every player on the floor and that requires a lot of reps to maximize.

      More or less, I believe in what Phil Jackson is doing and has done and I do think Fisher will utilize more PNR later on in the season like he did last year when guys were more aware of how to execute the offense. I’ve also pointed out several times that we have utilized more PNR type plays like the transition drag screens than we ever did last year.

    64. Lance Thomas, KOQ, Galloway, Williams and Afflalo have all benefited from it. Melo has also benefited, but he’s missing a lot of shots you’d expect him to make. KP has no idea what he’s doing in the offense right now, but I think once he figures things out he’ll benefit quite a bit.

      The only player in that group with a markedly higher TS than his career/recent average is Thomas, which has a lot more to do with his 39% 3PT%. Meanwhile Lopez and Melo are at career lows. I think in Lopez’ case the triangle has some culpability there, and the numbers back that up.

    65. Why is TS% the only way to judge if a player is benefiting from the system?

      KOQ is close to his career high TS% with a much higher assist rate than he’s ever had.

      Maybe Lance Thomas is shooting better from 3 because Fisher encouraged him to shoot it more and he’s getting good looks from spots he likes? That’s at least partially due to coaching and the system. He’s also probably the best player on the team in terms of utilizing the space to attack the basket in the halfcourt.

      Derrick Williams has nearly doubled his previous career high assist rate and also posting a career low turnover rate. He’s also getting to the free throw line at the 2nd best rate of his career.

      Melo is posting the 2nd highest assist rate of his career on his lowest usage since his 2nd season in the league.

    66. Yeah, the system is beautiful. Everyone is passing, including Melo. Notice how the ball stopper bitching has gone down. Is there a ball stopper bitching matrix to measure how annoying players like Melo and Harden are to bloggers? I’m sure Melo’s numbers have improved on the BSBM.

      Tis the season for Phil hating, fa la la la la…la la la la

      I think the team TS% will improve as KP and Melo improve their shooting. KP’s shot has been just slightly off.

      Grant seems to get in the lane easily but then panic when he has to be the one to finish. As his shooting improves he’ll look more comfortable. Galloway is our best two way PG right now. AA is beasting. That’s our finishing pair. Jimmer might be more suited to this offense than Grant. Calderon is not good playing the Prigioni role. He needs to get his plus/minus up by hunting his shot. Outscore them if you can’t stop them, Jose. Offensively his game is perfectly suited to this offense.

      We may have as many wins by January as we had all last season, but let’s totally scrap the failure of our offense and start again. Amazing.

    67. Brian, I wanted to mention that the SOS was one of the strongest, by prediction at the start of season. I think by the end of season, looking at SOS may be more fitting. I think teams like Houston, Bucks will figure it out. The only true gimmes so far is Philly. We can be certain they will suck regardless.

    68. Fisher needs a better associate head coach than Rambis to help him. Surprisingly Walton credits Jackson for learning the ropes early on when he got injured playing for Lakers

    69. We may have as many wins by January as we had all last season, but let’s totally scrap the failure of our offense and start again. Amazing.

      Your post reads like we’re the Warriors, not 13-14 with the 21st ranked offense.

    70. Actually, his post reads like they are the Knicks who, at 13-14, have outperformed nearly everyone’s expectations thus far this year (except Barkley’s.)

    71. To those who have no problem with our offense, I ask this question: Had we played the Triangle in 2012-13, would we have been the 5th ranked offense? Compare the similarities between our personnel then and now:

      Grant – Felton (PnR guards)
      Calderon – Prigioni
      Shump – Galloway (3&D)
      Melo – Melo
      Chandler – Lopez (screeners, offensive rebounders, defenders)
      JR – Afflalo
      KOQ – Kenyon
      Brewer – Lance
      Copeland – DWill
      Amare – KP
      Kidd – Vujacic

      KP and Kidd present some comparison issues but not really so material to the question. If you answer that we would not have been the 5th rated offense playing the Triangle, then don’t you have to logically conclude that it’s not the best offense for our current personnel?

    72. Our offense is 21st overall, 24th in assists, 3rd in isolations, and last in pick and roll usage. It’s dog shit. Mostly due to lack of talent, but also due to shot distribution that lends itself to the most inefficient shots in the game. The fact that we’re performing better than people thought (still not all that well) does nothing to change that.

    73. First, I think these teams are very, very different, and have very different aspirations. That was a win-now team built around Melo (36% usage!) and JR isolating and the team leading the league in 3-pt attempts. They led the league in turnovers but were dead last in assists. I would hate to go back to that ugly-ass brand of offensive basketball, and Woodson is one of the least imaginative coaches ever. On the other hand, I thought the Spurs played near perfect basketball then, they were 16th in 3-pt attempts and #1 in assists. They did not run the high PnR nearly as much as other teams, much more triangle-y.

      We probably should (and will) increase the use of PnR, but I really don’t get the concern that we aren’t using it enough at this point, when the team is still in the formative stages.

    74. Yeah our offense has nothing to do with us winning 13 games. Great.

      I mean, tell it to the numbers, dude. Winning 13 of 27 games does not indicate having a good offense.

      We probably should (and will) increase the use of PnR, but I really don’t get the concern that we aren’t using it enough at this point, when the team is still in the formative stages.

      What are we waiting for?

    75. You ever heard of an NFL team not throwing the whole playbook at a first year qb? Then in the 2nd year giving him the keys and in the 3rd year letting him audible at the line?

      I’d imagine the purpose of it is to ingrain the fundamental Triangle sets before throwing more wrinkles in right off the bat with a team with 3 new starters including a 20 year old rookie and a whole new bench.

      If they don’t run more PNR as the season goes on I’ll be surprised.

    76. Well if they start running it more, then yeah, that’ll be good. Comments from the staff and players don’t really give us any reason to believe they will, but we’ll see. I sure hope so!

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