Knicks Morning News (2016.01.11)

  • [New York Post] Calderon gets back in good grace of Knicks fan … for a night (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 00:02:05 -0500)

    When point guard Jose Calderon and Carmelo Anthony were taken out by coach Derek Fisher in the final minutes of the Knicks' victory over the Bucks on Sunday night, the Garden crowd gave a huge ovation to the duo. It truly seemed the cheers weren't just for the Knicks superstar, but their oft-critiqued point guard…

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks get out to big lead, need it to beat Bucks at MSG (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 06:10:58 GMT)

    The Knicks were all over the place in the end of the second quarter, one athletic play after another.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 100, Bucks 88: Steady and Unselfish, Knicks Are Winning the Games They Used to Lose (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 06:04:13 GMT)

    The Knicks added more evidence of their progress to the pile with a 100-88 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Hayward Scores 25, Jazz Beat Lakers to End 7-Game Road Skid (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 05:21:48 GMT)

    Gordon Hayward scored 25 points and the Utah Jazz snapped a seven-game road losing streak with an 86-74 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Lillard Scores 31 Points, Trail Blazers Beat Thunder 115-110 (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 05:15:56 GMT)

    Damian Lillard scored 31 points, including five 3-pointers in the last 3:07, and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-110 on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Anthony, Porzingis Help Knicks Roll Past Bucks, 100-88 (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 04:21:50 GMT)

    Kristaps Porzingis leaped from one side of the rim, extended his arm as far as his 7-foot-3 frame would allow to grab the missed shot, and dunked the ball from the other side.

  • [New York Times] Gallinari Helps Nuggets Hang On for 95-92 Win Over Hornets (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 03:46:04 GMT)

    Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points, rookie Emmanuel Mudiay added 11 in his first game in a month and the Denver Nuggets held off Charlotte 95-92 on Sunday night, extending the Hornets’ losing streak to seven games.

  • [New York Times] Ariza Scores 24, Rockets Rally to Beat Pacers 107-103 in OT (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 03:13:11 GMT)

    Trevor Ariza scored a season-high 24 points and Corey Brewer hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime to give the Houston Rockets a 107-103 win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Game of the Week: Cleveland at San Antonio (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 02:56:51 GMT)

    Kyrie Irving’s return boosted a team that already seemed likely to return to the finals.

  • [New York Times] James Scores 37, Leads Cavaliers Past 76ers 95-85 (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 02:54:44 GMT)

    The 76ers put up a fight. LeBron James put on a show.

  • [New York Times] Randolph Leads Grizzlies to 101-98 Win Over Celtics (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 02:18:50 GMT)

    Zach Randolph had 25 points and 13 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a 21-point deficit in the second half to defeat the Boston Celtics 101-98 on Sunday.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Clippers’ Streak Reaches Nine With Overtime Win (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 01:56:02 GMT)

    Los Angeles extended the N.B.A.’s longest current victory streak as Chris Paul scored 25 points and the Clippers subdued New Orleans in overtime.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: With Mikhail D. Prokhorov, a Distant Owner, the Nets Have Lost Their Way (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 01:46:37 GMT)

    Prokhorov’s team, which went through a leadership shake-up on Sunday, can learn from its next opponent, the Spurs, and even a little bit from the Knicks.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Eyes Not Yet on Gridiron, Clemson Scores Upset (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 01:08:55 GMT)

    The Tigers, whose football counterparts were preparing to play for the national championship, stunned No. 16 Louisville.

  • [New York Times] Nowitzki Scores 29 Points, Mavericks Top Timberwolves 93-87 (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 01:06:31 GMT)

    Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points, converted a big three-point play and grabbed a key loose ball in the final seconds to lead the Dallas Mavericks over the skidding Minnesota Timberwolves 93-87 on Sunday.

  • [New York Times] Nets Dismiss Hollins and Reassign King; Owner Vows to Instill ‘Winning Culture’ (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 00:24:13 GMT)

    The team made the moves in the midst of its worst season since it moved to Brooklyn from New Jersey. The assistant Tony Brown will be the interim coach.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Knicks Daily Links: Monday (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 05:37:43 EST)

    Knicks Daily Links: Monday

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] How it happened: Kristaps Porzingis' latest putback dunk (Mon, 11 Jan 2016 02:07:37 EST)

    How it happened: Kristaps Porzingis' latest putback dunk

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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).

    62 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.01.11)”

    1. Man..I must’ve really been out of it. I totally missed the game. Woke up at 3:30am like “damn! I missed the game!”

    2. My favorite moment of the game….Porzingis dunks and fans jumping all over and hugging in the stands. Tears of joy.

      24/16, 10,8. Now that’s how you bild a brand.

    3. We all know about Lopez’s improving hook shot but did anyone notice that soft baby jumper falling away on a broken play? And the fact he’s sportin’ an 85% FT% on 54 attempts? Is it possible this guy has some real untapped potential? He did say he’s never really played a post -up game after college. Put in some focused work this summer on that and his spot-up shooting and who knows? Hey if Lance could transform himself at 27yo over the summer? BTW isn’t it nice to have the flexibility to play Lopez/KP together or KP at the 5 and Lopez anchoring the second unit letting the opponents and match-ups dictate the best course in a game?

    4. Just saw a pic of KP and the kid who cried on draft night…I hate that this kid gets off the hook for that response. He should have to suffer a bit longer ;)

    5. Seriously though, what is up with Milwaukee?? Once they signed Monroe, they were my sleeper pick for a top 4 seed. Good young coach, length and athleticism across the board, and young enough to grow into a really really good team. I thought they could have been GS North- minus the shooting. Looking at the roster, you can’t help but love the position flexibility that guys like Monroe, Henson, MCW, Vazquez, Middleton, Parker, Freak, Bayless, and Mayo offer. I know he’s recovering from surgery and not currently on the sidelines, but is Kidd really not that good of a coach? I debated where Freak should play with a friend, and he contends that he should stay at the 3. But I’ve been saying that since Parker is not as good a rebounder but is a better shooter, that he should be at the 3 and Freak’s length and shot blocking would be of better use at the 4 where is ‘not so great’ outside shooting would be less of a problem. He’s up to 230 now, and he looks stronger, so I think he can play there full time. Of course, that starting lineup isn’t really gonna work until Parker is all the way back. Maybe their starting 5 should be MCW-Mayo-Middleton-Freak-Monroe until Parker’s game fully recovers. In any case, I am loving the 2016 Knicks so far. The execution, chemistry, and grit has been everything I could hope for. Regardless if we make it to the postseason or not, I will be very happy with the season if the team continues to play this way. Of course, we will win a lot more than lose if the team consistently plays this way and will probably be the 6 seed or so. But with the way the team is playing, Phil will only need to find more shooting, a key role player, and a not so big FA addition that can serve as a younger, better 3rd option than Afflalo. I like where this is going. Phil is beginning to look like a genius again

    6. He should have to suffer a bit longer ;)

      It was among everyone’s first thoughts. I mean, this is the Knicks and decision making has not been our strong suit. Nice that people can admit they were wrong.

      My favorite moment of the game….Porzingis dunks and fans jumping all over and hugging in the stands. Tears of joy.

      Yes Buddy! I agree. This team is really important to a lot of people. I would venture a guess that the Knicks have more fans across the country than any other NBA team, and the die hards have been watching a few spoiled brats party with their Russell Westbrook posters for too long. Well, come on into the paint now, little man. We’re gonna poke that shit right outa your hand.

      Wait til Melo starts getting the whistle. 50 wins? OK I need to be slapped.

    7. Wait til Melo starts getting the whistle. 50 wins? OK I need to be slapped.

      LOL! Jokes aside though, if the team maintains this current level of play, that idea is not really too far fetched. In all the years I’ve been a Knicks fan, every time I talk about an expectation it seems to jinx us lol. So I’m just gonna enjoy watching the improved play for however long it lasts. BTW..who’s expected to be on the market this offseason other than Durant?

    8. We all know about Lopez’s improving hook shot but did anyone notice that soft baby jumper falling away on a broken play? And the fact he’s sportin’ an 85% FT% on 54 attempts? Is it possible this guy has some real untapped potential? He did say he’s never really played a post -up game after college. Put in some focused work this summer on that and his spot-up shooting and who knows?

      well – i think we know that he has untapped potential, because he has an identical twin that’s averaging 21 PPG on a 27 usage and has been for a few years considered one of the most skilled offensive centers in the league!

      by the way – since December, Robin’s sporting a pretty sweet 59.3 TS on a usage of 16.3.

    9. From Marc Stein: @ESPNSteinLine: How good are the Spurs at home? Jose Calderon was only the third player all season able to ATTEMPT a go-ahead FG in the fourth quarter at SA

    10. Totes, here’s HoopsHype’s list of the top free agents. Keep in mind that a bunch are restricted (Drummond, Beal), and others aren’t really going to be free agents barring something incredibly weird (LeBron). Also, the general NBA consensus seems to be that Durant will take a 1-and-1 deal, because the CBA is set up so that he would make substantially more money by signing a long-term contract in the summer of 2017. (It also allows him and Westbrook to become free agents at the same time, and they might want to stick together, whether in OKC or elsewhere.)

    11. well – i think we know that he has untapped potential, because he has an identical twin that’s averaging 21 PPG on a 27 usage and has been for a few years considered one of the most skilled offensive centers in the league!

      Huh, I just presumed they were fraternal twins; I guess the hairstyles threw me off. There’s probably some deep psychological reason they developed different types of games (carve out separate identities?…different hairstyles). Now older, maybe it’s time for Robin to realize his potential? I hope we have a competent staff psychiatrist on the team.

    12. “he has an identical twin that’s averaging 21 PPG on a 27 usage and has been for a few years considered one of the most skilled offensive centers in the league!”
      Here’s a weird stat — Brook and Robin have identical defensive ratings for their careers, but Robin has a considerably better offensive rating (116-108).
      “How good are the Spurs at home? Jose Calderon was only the third player all season able to ATTEMPT a go-ahead FG in the fourth quarter at SA”
      That might be one of the most unbelievable stats that I’ve ever seen.

    13. Until this season, I used to look enviously around the league at the young budding superstars – Anthony Davis, the Greek Freak, etc. and wish we had players like that. And now we’ve got this guy who we can build a team around, who as a freakin’ rookie is having a huge impact on games.

      As Ephus would say, it’s a great time to be a Knicks fan.

    14. Here’s a weird stat — Brook and Robin have identical defensive ratings for their careers, but Robin has a considerably better offensive rating (116-108).

      I think that’s similar to Tyson having the highest offensive rating in the league.

      Now knowing they’re identical twins, Phil’s signing of Lopez to play in the Triangle makes a lot more sense. But this might be Zen Phil’s greatest challenge, something more mental than physical. Is Robin really committed to improving in this regard? I mean would he work with his brother this summer on his post moves? This might make for an interesting article by one our writers, looking at identical twins in sports, territoriality etc.

    15. What I loved about last night’s game was it didn’t seem hard.
      The ball moved, open players found and good shots taken/made.
      Defensive rotations are smart, picks are run over, and shots are contested/blocked.
      They are athletic almost everywhere.
      Melo puts up 24 and it didn’t feel like he was ball hogging in the least. He made smart passes and worked the glass. This team will have great energy on the back end of of a back to back because it runs nine effective players, spreads scoring, and plays together.

      It’s hard beating even not great teams, and much harder beating great teams, but because this team spreads the load, no one is getting worn down. When they need Melo to be extraordinary, he has energy to do it.

      And the Fisher critics have much less to complain about: he pared down the rotation to nine; his play calling has been very good (remember the KP dunk off an in bounds pass?); his time outs have been smart, calling them when he sees things he doesn’t like before games get away, and not calling them in moments when he knew his team would get a better shot on its own rather than letting a good opponent set its own plan.
      Also, Fisher is taking opportunity to play KP at the four and five so that he gets experience, but not abused.

      BTW, Monroe’s defense was pretty weak, generally. I have no regrets getting Lopez, who fits this team well.

    16. Is Robin really committed to improving in this regard? I mean would he work with his brother this summer on his post moves? This might make for an interesting article by one our writers, looking at identical twins in sports, territoriality etc.

      I actually think Robin’s already great in the post. Since Dec 1 he’s shooting about 60% from inside the paint… prior to that it was more like 50%.

      There were rumblings early season that Lopez was dealing with an injury. Sure doesn’t look like it now.

      If he could develop a serviceable 18 foot jumper that would be great. he’s only shooting 34.8% on jumpers this year. Getting up to 45% (considering these would mostly be uncontested) would be huge given how many elbow touches he gets.

    17. I actually think Robin’s already great in the post. Since Dec 1 he’s shooting about 60% from inside the paint… prior to that it was more like 50%.

      Frank, so true. Lopez has been solid in the post, tough defending in the paint and even making some nifty passes. He also has a great dynamic with KP. Remember after KP’s big dunk, Lopez had a dunk shortly thereafter? Remember the shot of Lopez smiling at KP, kind of saying, see, I can do that too.
      It’s a fun team. It’s fun watching these young guys play together.
      It also fun seeing both Melo and LT making late career changes to their games that have elevated their play, obviously different levels, but, as some one mentioned, they are defying the ‘you are what you are after about 25 years of age’ crowd. I believe in that concept, generally, but those who have espoused that view have always noted that there have been exceptions.
      I also think DWill is meeting my hopeful views of him back when the Knicks signed him. His brand of play can be electrifying.

      But the play of the game was the rare reverse put back by KP. He has an ability to light up the Garden with a powerful dunk or a nifty block.

      I am just so pleased to be rooting for this squad.

    18. I know he’s coming back from injury and is only 20 years old – two huge caveats – but man, we would be really disappointed with 2nd overall pick Jabari Parker if he was a Knick. At this point there doesn’t seem to be much he brings to the table – his body type and game reminds me a little of Ryan Anderson without the shooting range (which is all that makes RA a serviceable player). What’s the vision for Jabari? It’s tough to see him developing the offensive game to become similar to Paul Pierce, the player to whom he was most often compared around the draft.

    19. @18 he was actually most compared to Melo from what I remember. I think this is a lost season for him because of the ACL injury. Just like a young Melo hes terrific in transition and mid range and awful from 3.

    20. The other day I waffled a bit when someone suggested we dodged a bullet signing RoLo instead of Monroe. I was thinking how dynamic an offense might be with Monroe down low while Melo and Porzingis forced frontcourt players away from the basket.

      After watching last night, yeah, maybe that would be really effective. But a Melo-Monroe-Zinger frontline simply would not be good on the defensive end, and I love what the Lopez-Porzingis combination does defensively. So yeah, that poster was right. We ended up with a better team by getting our second choice.

      This past week or so has been a lot of fun. I was optimistic heading into the season, predicting 40-42 wins, but I never thought we would be this entertaining. It’s a shame the East improved. We could have been in the 4-5 matchup with this team last year.

    21. I don’t think Monroe and Melo would have been a good fit. Lopez was a much better match for a guy as ball dominant as Melo. Although Melo has definitely been sharing the rock of late….

      It’s exciting to see two premium defenders on the court together in orange and white. Surreal too.

    22. G or get the sharing and shooting. I want to talk about Melo’s Defense. The dude was getting over screens and shading Giannis to use he off hand plus at times when he was guarding off the ball he was like a mirror as he denied the pass to Giannis and Parker. I still think the score keeper missed giving him a blk on Giannis shot in the 1st half.

      Sidenote: helping to hold Leonard to 20 pts on 19 shots was not bad either.

    23. I’ve never seen a quieter 28 points than what Greg Monroe had last night. And on the defensive end, you hardly noticed him.

      I’ll take sideshow Bob.

    24. Yeah, Monroe is a lackluster, low-impact defensive player for sure. Pretty much all of Monroe’s value shows up in the box score, while with RoLo it’s the opposite. I think we got the better player of the two.

    25. Amazing read here linked to in Chris Herring’s twitter feed re: Sam Mitchell and coaching that young team up in Minny – so many details in terms of teaching the game that we as fans (and for me at least, non-basketball players) never hear about:

      https://www.minnpost.com/sports/2016/01/qa-sam-mitchell-weighs-zach-lavine-andrew-wiggins-and-wolves-season-so-far?utm_content=buffer2b9d8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

      One especially interesting part was this, talking about how Towns is so skilled but is not big/strong enough yet:

      But what I’m saying is that when you are giving up 40, 50 pounds, man, you start off running and jumping and making shots, but by the start of that fourth quarter — when you are doing this the whole time [mimics jousting for position under the basket] for 30 minutes, then in the last five minutes of the game you are going to feel it in your legs. It wears you down. So by the time KAT gets to the fourth quarter, he’s beat up. He’s tired from all that pushing. And, to his credit, he plays so hard, he competes so hard, he tries so hard.

      This made me think of Chris Herring’s article about the decline in Melo’s “clutch stats”. Melo was basically the best clutch shooter in the league from 2003-2012, then had fallen off a cliff as of the time the article was written (2/13/14) covering the 2012-13 and most of the 2013-14 season. This coincided exactly with when Melo started playing the 4 a lot. Before the ’12-13 season, he had never played more than 26% of his minutes at the 4, and in the 12-13 and 13-14 seasons, he 72 and 62% of his minutes at the 4. Add that his offensive load + playing career high #s of minutes… no wonder he was terrible at ends of games!

      Makes a lot more sense now that he is at the 3. He’s now back to the ~70/30 split playing more…

    26. The Knicks’ offense has been absolutely humming over this little five-game renaissance.
      vs Bucks 114.4
      vs Spurs 105.9
      vs Heat 115.9
      vs Hawks 118.0
      vs Hawks 116.0

      That is five straight games of truly outstanding offense, even more impressive when you consider the Bucks are the only opponent that was a chump defensive team. The Knicks have probably not morphed into the Golden State Warriors overnight but they may be turning into a top 10 offense.

    27. I’m fixated on the identical twins: the inferences from this abound and astound. For example, Brook played 2500, 3000, 2800 minutes his first 3 seasons (starting at age 20) while Robin played 600, 1000, 1000. Brook then suffered foot injuries while Robin’s avoided them. Is this almost proof positive (controlling for genetics) that those are too many minutes so early in a big’s career?

      What is the implication of that for KP? He often looks to be laboring on the court and he hasn’t hit the rookie wall yet – he hit the Cole Aldrich wall! Does this not suggest in our cathartic exuberance that maybe we need to restrict his minutes?

    28. @ alsep73:
      Thanx for the link. I’m trying to drive myself crazy by predicting which way Phil will go in the offseason lol. I want to see who may or may not fit and improve on what the team has going on now.

    29. I kinda like goin after Nic Batum in the offseason. I think he can effectively play the SG spot and fit in perfectly until Melo is done, then slide back to the 3. At least I’d hope so. Mike Conley is so very tempting, but I’m kinda hoping that Grant and Galloway figure the PG position out so Phil won’t have to spend big on a nearly 30 year old, late blooming PG. I wonder if Trice is an option from Westchester if the youngins behind Calderon can’t get rolling, mainly Grant. Seems to me that Grant really needs consistent playing time. And a jumper. I know we’ve got Jimmer out there too, but I don’t think anyone wants to see a backcourt of Jimmer and Galloway right now.

    30. Holy shit the Pellies are going to give Joe Dumars the keys?

      Man why am I not a GM?

      Ha! Desperate times, my friend. AD may need to bail. He’s inches away from being the unequivocal best player in the world, but that situation in Nawlins isn’t helping his case. Maybe Joe D can catch lightning in a bottle for a season like he did in Detroit before the lights went out on him

    31. According to BBR the Knicks are up to 13th in offensive efficiency. They are 18th in defensive efficiency.

    32. Hey, we have lucked into one of the best young players in basketball. What should we do?

      Panic and try to win now!

      That didn’t work out. Now what do we do?

      Hire a retread GM who failed terribly at his last job!

    33. I think Batum could fit in real well here. He has a career .568 TS% and he has a well-rounded game. Batum is a nice wing defender– he’s long at 6’8″ but he is not slow. You could run out a lineup of Galloway/Batum/Melo/Porzingis/Lopez and that would be a strong two-way lineup. That lineup has four plus defenders and some good scoring punch.

    34. Batum seems to be one of the few guys on that list who A)fits what the Knicks need, B)wouldn’t be wildly overpaid given the cap situation in the league this summer, and C)might actually come here. (I mean, a Porzingis/Melo/Durant frontcourt would make the rest of the NBA weep, but that’s not going to happen.) Charlotte still has a major advantage, given what they can offer him versus what we can even if we have that max slot if/when AA and/or Williams opts out, but he’s worth making a run at.

    35. I think Batum could fit in real well here.

      Yeah I think that might be our best option this summer and is a nice fit for the Triangle given Nic’s playmaking skills. He’s relatively young so maybe he would be willing to forego that lucrative 5th year if Charlotte makes a max 5 year offer and then hit the market again at age of 31-32. Also someone posted some stats here a few weeks ago showing how well he and Lopez worked together in Portland.

      I doubt Conley at 29 yo is gonna give up that 35m 5th. And the organization really helped him when he struggled early in his career. The only wildcard here is that Memphis might not offer the max.

      Another alternative might be if Phoenix decides to go into rebuild mode after this horrific season. Bledsoe and Knight are having problems so maybe they choose to keep the younger Knight and trade Bledsoe. Would Grant and Hernangomez be enough? Should we be interested in Bledsoe, a guy who relies on his athleticism, missing the season with a torn meniscus? If healthy, he might make us a top 5 defense and share some of the shot creation allowing Melo to focus more on defense and other facets of his game.

      If we strike out on all of the above, I’m not sure what we should do. Hold cap for 2017 when there will be many free agents including Westbrook and Durant? Perhaps Robin turns into Brook Lite on offense and we’re not so desperate for an elite drive-and-kick guard and Grant is sufficient.

    36. I really wish money and injuries weren’t determining factors in sports, sometimes. Anthony Davis signed a $146 million deal to play for a team that will struggle to win 45 games unless they luck into another Anthony Davis level talent.

      Maybe they’ll get a top three pick and draft one of Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram.

    37. Right now, I’m rooting for the Pelicans to win the lottery, since I’ll be annoyed if any of the Lakers, Sixers, or Celtics wind up with Ben Simmons. I’m fine with a team in the other conference getting to finally pair the Brow wit a potentially great teammate.

    38. Robin Lopez has always had these parts of his game. Nobody sees it coming because he operates down low with a hunched back, but if you look at some film on him from Portland, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

    39. “I still think the score keeper missed giving him a blk on Giannis shot in the 1st half.”
      I’m pretty sure that you’re right. Speaking of Giannis, I realize that he is still only 21, but I’ve been pretty underwhelmed by his performance the few times that I’ve seen him this year and his numbers haven’t been great, either. I kind of expected him to make a bit of a third year leap this season and it doesn’t appear to have happened.

    40. Is there any way we can get our hands on a 1st round pick this year? Buddy Hield at Oklahoma would be a good triangle guard, I think. He’s a 4 year college player so he should be drafted outside of the lottery. Maybe Phil pulls off his magic again, but he’s a name we should keep an eye on. He’s averaging 26.6 points a night on a .685 TS% for the #2 program in the country. Chad Ford has him as the #14 overall prospect on his big board, and Draft Express has him at #23 overall. He’s one of my favorite players to watch this year, and it would be sweet if the Knicks could somehow get him on the roster for next season.

    41. Is there any way we can get our hands on a 1st round pick this year?

      Considering we got a first for Hardaway, I am sure Phil could pull something off.

    42. If Lance is retained and the Knicks somehow got Batum in FA. I wouldn’t mind seeing a big line up without a “pg”: Batum, lance, Melo, KP, & Lopez.

      Melo and Batum could handle the “pg” duties.

    43. Frank – thanks for the link. Great read. You get the impression that Mitchell doesn’t think that Zachary Lavine is the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    44. Gotta give Mitchell credit for being so candid. That said, Minnesota likely still needs to make a change at the coaching position next year. They clearly ween’t planning on having Mitchell be in charge all year.

    45. I keep searching for a stat that suggests that Monroe is as weak a defender as everyone says but I can’t find any.

      His NBA Real +/- is good. In fact it suggests he’s better on defense than offense: http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/rpm/_/sort/RPM/position/9

      His Boxscore +/- is above average: http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/rpm/_/sort/RPM/position/9 and his defensive rating is fine.

      He doesn’t block shots, but I don’t see much evidence he’s some kind of huge liability on defense. I think the Bucks have other issues.

    46. If Lance is retained and the Knicks somehow got Batum in FA. I wouldn’t mind seeing a big line up without a “pg”: Batum, lance, Melo, KP, & Lopez.

      Interesting idea and a lineup of KP/Melo/Nic/Lance/Langston would be intriguing as well though Lance better start rebounding. His WS/48 is below average because he ranks 58th out of 61 SFs in rebounding rate.

      Herring: Really, really good Q&A w Sam Mitchell. Talks a ton of X&O’s, & breaks things down. Wish more coaches would do this <

      Remember MDA did a bit of that in his MSG show. I suppose Phil/Fish might not want to give away too much information to other teams on their implementation of the Triangle. I wish someone would really delve into this and write some articles. I forgot his name but there was a guy who used to do this for the Knicks a couple of years ago.

      One thing I noticed in the Spurs game is kind of symptomatic of the types of changes taking place. Remember how Calderon would dump the ball to Lopez in left low block, nobody would cut, Robin would hold the ball for awhile and then take an ugly hook? In the Spurs game, Calderon passed the ball to Lopez on the left low block, Robin realized right away he was too far out to try the hook, passed it back to Calderon and immediately moved toward him to set a screen. Calderon ended up knocking down an open mid-range shot. Progress.

    47. I like Arron Afflalo, but Batum would be a significant upgrade. We would be lucky to get him, but we’d still need a PG upgrade to be a serious contender. It doesn’t look like Grant is anywhere close to being the answer at PG and may never be.

    48. I think Monroe is a good player. He just doesn’t fit the rest of their team at all. Like at all.

    49. Hire a retread GM who failed terribly at his last job!

      Um, Dumars brought a championship to Detroit. If that is failing terribly, you’re setting the bar awfully high for yourself #dredforgm2016.

    50. That’s a very faiur point, Donnie. Joe D did a terrific job getting Wallace and then signing Billups, and then spent the next decade like he was trying to prove he just got lucky.

    51. Dumars also drafted Andre Drummond, so there’s that. Dumars made some pretty bad decisions, too, like when he gave Charlie V and Ben Gordon big contracts, or when he drafted Darko Milicic. The Pistons were good so long as they had Chauncey. After that, Dumars didn’t look so good.

    52. Batum is my top target for us in FA. If not him I like both Bazemore and Fournier.
      Batum’s ability to create off the dribble and penetrate while swinging between both wing positions makes him an ideal fit for what we’re missing and in the Triangle.

      I think we need to show more patience with Grant. Also trading for Bledsoe is insane given the remaining 3 years on his deal and that he’s had major issues with both knees.

    53. I think we need to show more patience with Grant

      Yes. PG is the hardest position to transition from college to the pros. Because Grant played four years in college, we thought/hoped he might be able to adjust more quickly, but he’s still a rookie playing point guard, and in a system that de-emphasizes some of the things he did best in school. The jumper is a concern, but let’s not give up on him a few dozen games into his pro career.

    54. Grant needs a jumper or floaters. Without that, his *ceiling* is ramon sessions. Which isn’t bad! It’s just…you want your starting PG to be a bit better in theory. Here’s hoping he shows player development as strong as many of his other teammates have in the last year.

    55. I think we need to show more patience with Grant.

      I don’t think anybody’s been higher on Grant than I. That said, I think the comp to Reggie Jackson is instructive here. Jackson was an average player at OKC, someone perceived as talented but a bit wild with a shaky jumper. Now a Piston, his WS/48 has jumped from .100 to .177, the only real difference being he’s running PnRs with AD2. Sound familiar? The Grant/KP high PnR has been very effective but he looks very average in normal Triangle action and the high PnR is not a natural set in the Triangle. And the one constant in all of Phil’s Triangle implementations is the nature of the 1 guard and Grant doesn’t fit that profile. For those reasons, I’d be open to including him in a trade if that’s what it takes to land an elite player.

    56. The interface is a little clunky but I love the nba.com stats site.

      Interesting stuff about our defense — all year long we have been very good at limiting opponent eFG but our defense hasn’t been great – to my eye it was that we were fouling way too much. And that WAS true in November – 2nd worst in the league at opponent FTA/FGA at 0.34. But if you look since Dec 1, we’ve actually been one of 4-5 best teams in limiting opponent free throw attempts (0.24, tied for 4th with TOR). And we’re actually 7th best in opponent eFG over that period of time at 48.3.

      But where we have been suffering all year long is in our defensive rebounding and in forcing turnovers. We’ve been one of the worst in the league in both categories. Interestingly our starters are pretty good on the defensive boards but awful in forcing TOs, and the bench is opposite. Maybe with this mixing of the 1st and 2nd units we will even that out.

      Forcing turnovers probably would require a change in defensive strategy, which I don’t think is going to happen. But man, that defensive rebounding needs to improve.

    57. Forcing turnovers probably would require a change in defensive strategy, which I don’t think is going to happen. But man, that defensive rebounding needs to improve.

      Fisher’s scheme is conservative on Defense, which it should be as we lack athletic perimeter defenders, so don’t expect that to go up — we’ll have to depend on blocks for creating transition as much as steals.

      Our shitty DREB% is related to the same point, a bit, actually. Our guards and wings, melo aside, are not just average rebounders — they can be pretty awful. Lance, Langston, Jose, Jerian, AA. And while RoLo and Kristaps are both passable at Dreb% (neither is a monster), our other bigs are horribawful rebounders, and accordingly have been cut out of the rotation in favor of DWill, Lance, and SmallerBall in general with Kris at the 5 and Melo at the 4 more often.

      so….I don’t expect those two things to change much barring a trade.

      I’m sure in free agency you’ll see Phil go after some big and/or athletic perimeter guys…your bazemores, fourniers, Batums, etc. That’s a classic triangle archetype that is mostly unrealized for NYK @ the moment.

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