Knicks Morning News (2016.01.21)

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Knicks pushing Carmelo Anthony to expand his game (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 02:25:47 EST)

    Knicks pushing Carmelo Anthony to expand his game

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks bailout Porzingis as Carmelo passes Bird in OT win (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 06:00:27 GMT)

    Kristaps Porzingis can thank his teammates for saving his behind.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis is No. 4 in NBA jersey sales (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 05:50:26 GMT)

    Move over, Melo — the rookie’s the one with more jersey sales.

  • [New York Daily News] $3 billion Knicks top Forbes list of most valuable NBA teams (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 03:52:00 GMT)

    The Knicks are followed by the Lakers ($2.7B), Bulls ($2.3B), Celtics ($2.1B) and Clippers ($2B).

  • [New York Newsday] Carmelo Anthony has 30 points, 9 assists in Knicks' OT win (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 00:06:06 EST)

    The Knicks survived a rare mistake by Kristaps Porzingis that could have cost them a game they led by five points in the waning seconds of regulation. Porzingis watched from the bench in overtime, prayed for his teammates to pick him up, and his prayers were answered.

  • [New York Times] Millsap Paces Hawks Over Blazers, 104-98 (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 06:24:38 GMT)

    Paul Millsap had 23 points and nine rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks survived a late rally by Portland to defeat the Trail Blazers 104-98 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Cousins’ 36 Points Lead Sacramento Past Lakers Again, 112-93 (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 06:09:41 GMT)

    DeMarcus Cousins had 36 points and 16 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo added 11 points and 17 assists in the Sacramento Kings’ sixth consecutive victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, 112-93 Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 118, Jazz 111: Porzingis, Lured by Pump Fake, Learns Lesson as Knicks Prevail (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 05:34:42 GMT)

    Gordon Hayward baited Porzingis into fouling him on a 3-point attempt, allowing Utah to tie the game and force overtime, but the Knicks survived to even their record at 22-22.

  • [New York Times] Anthony Helps Knicks Beat Jazz 118-111 in Overtime (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 05:12:43 GMT)

    The New York Knicks kept fighting, and then one final push by Carmelo Anthony and company put away the Utah Jazz.

  • [New York Times] Curry Scores 25 as Warriors Breeze Past Bulls 125-94 (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 05:09:44 GMT)

    Stephen Curry glanced at the “72” banner hanging from the rafters during the morning shootaround. A number that for two decades seemed unattainable just might be in reach for the Warriors if they keep playing this way.

  • [New York Times] Okafor Scores 20 as 76ers Beat Magic 96-87 (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 04:34:23 GMT)

    The Philadelphia 76ers are trending in the right direction. Not so much for the Orlando Magic.

  • [New York Times] Parsons Leads Mavericks to 106-94 Overtime Win Over Wolves (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 04:30:53 GMT)

    Chandler Parsons scored seven of his game-high 30 points in overtime as the short-handed Dallas Mavericks rallied to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-94 Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan Rises to Inspire Raptors to Sixth Straight Win (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 04:15:27 GMT)

    DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 115-109 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, the home team extending their winning streak to a season-best six games.

  • [New York Times] Caldwell-Pope Scores 22 as Pistons Beat Rockets 123-114 (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 04:12:38 GMT)

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris each scored 22 points and the Detroit Pistons beat the Houston Rockets 123-114 on Wednesday night, despite Andre Drummond setting an NBA record by missing 23 free throws.

  • [New York Times] Love (17 Points, 18 Boards) Helps Cavs Bounce Back in Romp (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 04:07:00 GMT)

    There’s only one direction to go when you’ve been floored.

  • [New York Times] Cavaliers 91, Nets 78: Cavaliers, Coming Off a Drubbing, Dish Out Punishment Against the Nets (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 03:58:36 GMT)

    The Cavaliers pounded the Nets in an unattractive game on Wednesday. After a 34-point drubbing by the Golden State Warriors on Monday, it was the result they had to have.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Raptors Defeat Celtics for Sixth Straight Win; Wizards Top Depleted Heat (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 03:46:42 GMT)

    The Raptors won their season-high sixth straight game, 115-109, over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night in Toronto.

  • [New York Times] Durant’s 26 Points Lead Thunder Past Hornets (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 03:43:04 GMT)

    Kevin Durant scored 26 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Charlotte Hornets 109-95 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight win.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan Scores 34 to Send Raptors Past Celtics, 115-109 (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 03:18:57 GMT)

    DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points and Jonas Valanciunas had his eighth double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors won their season-high sixth straight game, 115-109 over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Wall, Beal Each Score 18, Wizards Down Heat, 106-87 (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 02:48:57 GMT)

    John Wall had 18 points and 10 assists and Bradley Beal added 18 more as the Washington Wizards sent the injury-ravaged Miami Heat to their sixth loss in seven games, 106-87 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] How the N.B.A. 3-Point Shot Went From Gimmick to Game Changer (Thu, 21 Jan 2016 01:29:12 GMT)

    In the 3-point shot’s first year, 1979-80, N.B.A. teams averaged less than three attempts a game. Now they’re averaging 24, and the shot is a vital part of every offense.

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    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    79 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.01.21)”

    1. My quick thoughts on last night’s game:

      1) There were some on ESPN Radio last night who were killing the Knicks for “playing down to their opponent’s level” — I think that’s just ridiculous. Utah literally made like 5 perfectly contested 3’s in the last 2 minutes of regulation, plus KP had a brain lock — otherwise it’s a low drama exciting win after a slow start.

      2) Robin Lopez – this guy. is. just. outstanding. And all props to Phil/Fish and the Triangle. He is a legitimate force as an offensive player right now. After what was probably an injury-related very slow start to the season (implied during interviews in November), he now has a TS of 61.3 on a usage of about 17 since Dec 1. To put that in perspective, the only centers this year who have met those criteria (for the season) are Dwight Howard, Whiteside, and Kanter — Kanter obviously is a total zero on the defensive end despite being a max contract player, and both Dwight and Whiteside are/will be max contract players. Add to that his effort, screen-setting, defensive aptitude– this is an under the radar home run signing based on what we have seen, especially with the cap rising. And re: what the Triangle has to do with this– Lopez is a bona fide post player now. unfortunately NBA.com’s stats page doesn’t let you break down play types (ie. post-up) during a time period, but suffice to say he’s shooting 58.8% on hook shots since 12/1, and he is on pace for more hook shots this season than in the two prior seasons combined. He has more than double his career assist rate (yes, with some more TOs too). Honestly, the only weakness in his game right now is his defensive rebounding, which not coincidentally is the biggest problem with our defense right now. But hey, you can’t have everything.

    2. @ Frank

      Nice numbers! With regards to rebounding, RoLo still continues to have a positive effect on both the offensive and defensive glass when he’s on the floor. My guess is everybody grabs more uncontested boards when he’s on the floor, but what we need to get is a plus rebounding wing or guard to take us up a notch on the defensive glass.

      The Knicks are now T-10th in ORtg with spread PNR savants, the Atlanta Hawks. If you compare their shot distribution across the board it’s pretty striking how similar we are to the Spurs. Just saying, maybe the Triangle has some value despite not utilizing non-stop PNR and not jacking up 3’s at top of the league levels.

      Derrick Williams is balling. Before the season I said my target for him would be 55-56 TS% and a return to the rebounding levels of his first couple of seasons in the league. He’s at 55.6 TS% with an 11.2 TRB% which would rank first and 3rd best rates of his career respectively. Even more impressive though is he’s posting a career bests in TOV%, AST% and USG%. Either the guy is coming in to his own as a player or the Triangle is boosting his performance, but either way it sure seems like Phil saw something with this guy that not many else did.

      Scary thing is based on many players’ career percentages this team could still have more upside offensively, especially if Grant can find his mojo and Melo starts hitting on uncontested jumpers.

    3. Now to Carmelo.

      7 for 28 last game notwithstanding, this is easily the best stretch I can remember from him. Numbers for January – 21/8/5.4 in 37 minutes/game. Yes, this is only 9 games, but he averaged 3 assists per game in Nov, then 4.1 in Dec, now 5.4 so far in January. This thing is for real. So far this season he has a career high assist rate, essentially a career high rebound rate (career high per 100 poss, 2nd highest based on TRB%), and the lowest usage rate since his rookie year. And defensively he’s still not amazing but the effort last night was outstanding. He historically has had a really tough time with Hayward (who is really really good and totally worth the contract he signed a couple years back) but he clearly won that matchup last night.

      And so for all those who said he can’t change now that he’s 31 — we’re still in small sample land – but he’s changed.

      Two last thoughts for now –

      1) Derrick Williams – that tap tap tap rebound putback and-1 might have been my favorite play of the year. Fantastic effort out-efforting two dudes bigger than him. And then the chant – gave me chills. He deserves a sizable raise – hopefully he will see this team is a good fit for him and stay at a reasonable rate.

      2) Derek Fisher – threw out some ugly lineups in the first half, but made excellent lineup moves later in the game, going small for large parts of the 2nd half with KP or Lopez at the 5, Melo/DWill at the 3 and 4. The Galloway/AA/Melo/DWill/Lopez lineup played 6.8 minutes and scored 27 points. Is that good?

    4. Anyone else sees resemblance between the way the Bulls (THE Bulls) used Bill Cartwright early in games to establish inside offence, and the way the Knicks are using Rolo in the first quarter recently?

      Also that tap tap tap rebound from Williams was Rodmanesque. Pretty cool.

    5. Re: RoLo and rebounds, when we were looking at him in free agency, didn’t someone point to a study showing that all of his teams rebounded much better when he was on the floor, regardless of other personnel? Can anyone break down our rebounding stats with and without him this season?

    6. 3 interesting plays from last night illustrating how powerful Porzingis at the 5 is/will be in the future.

      here’s the NBA.com recap of the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn5x5imDqmE

      at 0:18 –> Melo gets crushed at the rim by Gobert. Gobert’s wrist actually blocked the shot – that’s how high he was. Ouch. RoLo and KP on the floor and so Gobert was guarding RoLo and was in the paint.

      at 0:40 –> KP at the 5. Melo with the ball on the left wing — KP flashes to the foul line making Gobert come out of the restricted area. As soon as Gobert goes to cover what would be a gimme foul-line jumper for KP, Melo blows by his defender for the uncontested dunk.

      at 0:57 –> KP at the 5. Melo with the ball on the left wing — seeing Gobert camp in the paint waiting for the Melo drive, KP drifts above the break 1 pass away from Melo – easy pass to KP for the 3.

      This kid is going to be a monster.

    7. League Average: 76.1 DRB%, 23.9 ORB%

      RoLo NYK on: 75.8 DRB%, 26.6 ORB%, 51.8 TRB%
      RoLo NYK off: 72.6 DRB%, 22.0 ORB%, 47.9 TRB%
      RoLo NYK on/off: +3.2 DRB%, +3.6 ORB%, +3.9 TRB%

      RoLo Opponent on: 73.4 DRB%, 24.2 ORB%, 48.2 TRB%
      RoLo Opponent off: 78.0 DRB%, 27.4 ORB%, 52.1 TRB%
      RoLo Opponent on/off: -4.6 DRB%, -3.2 ORB%, -3.9 TRB%

      RoLo Differentials on: +2.4 DRB%, +2.4 ORB%, +3.6 TRB%
      RoLo Differentials off: -5.3 DRB%, -5.3 ORB%, -4.3 TRB%
      RoLo Differentials on/off: +7.7 DRB%, +7.7 ORB%, +7.9 TRB%

      For his career his team rebounding differentials in terms of on/off are comparable to Andre Drummond.

    8. Just to be clear all those numbers are for this year only, just wanted to point out that his impact for his team throughout his career is roughly on par with better than Kareem, Andre Drummond.

    9. “and Melo starts hitting on uncontested jumpers.”
      Strange thing is that, according to basketball-reference.com, Melo is hitting shots at or near career best percentages from 3-10 feet, 10-16 feet and 16 feet to the 3 point line. (He and Afflalo are both at elite levels from 3-16 feet.) He is struggling at the rim (although not nearly as much for the last 20 games as the first 20 or so) and from 3.

    10. “Melo gets crushed at the rim by Gobert”
      By the way, when you block a shot, does the rule allow you to follow through and clobber a guy across the shoulder, barely missing his jaw? If not, that should have been a foul. Also, even though he made a bad rookie mistake fouling on that three, for a guy 7’3″, KP showed really quick feet trying to keep the guy in front of him.

    11. I don’t know the exact stats but with eye test(don’t kill me) it seems like he isn’t getting that many spot up jumpers, especially from three. I don’t know if that is the triangle or if it is because we don’t have a point guard who breaks down the defense. Back in the heyday of the felton/chandler spread pick and roll and melo playing the 4 he was shooting 6 to 5 threes a game, now he is down to 4 and a lot of those seem to be off the dribble. I think our number one priority in free agency should be a guard who can break down defenses, but i don’t know if there will be one available.

    12. Watching RoLo play last night, his effectiveness on the glass is pretty evident. He consistently occupies two bodies in the paint on the offensive glass and never gives up on a play when the ball is in the air. I feel that the reason his individual rebounding numbers aren’t great is because the guy is not a good vertical jumper. He seems stuck in cement when he tries to jump sometimes and that keeps him from attacking the ball at its highest when coming off the rim. Lopez is a positional rebounder; he has box out in order to win a rebound, and that’s probably what raises his team’s rebound rate. When he boxes out, he can occupy more than one body and allow his other teammates to come up with the ball.

      We’re a weak DReb team because of our perimeter defense. Calderon and Afflalo can’t guard anybody so the bigs have to rotate often to pick up for them, leaving their man an open opportunity to grab an offensive rebound.

    13. Yeah, Melo looks to be turning into Lebron Lite at this time. He still strikes me as a guy who needs to shoot a lot to get his rhythm, so we have to live with that. But, he’s doing better at making his teammates better, something that previously was not true, IMHO.

      If Phil decides to go for the playoffs, I wonder if the guy he might want to move is OQ rather than LT or DWill. I don’t know how much value he might have, though Phil got a 1st rounder for Timmy last year, so who knows? Moving LT or DWill hurts the team right now, though given the likelihood that the Knicks will NOT be able to retain all of LT/D-Will/Galloway after the year, maybe he does try to sell high on D-Will.

      The problem with trying to trade for an upgrade at PG right now is the new player getting up to speed with the Knicks version of the Triangle. It does seem like Fisher is gradually giving Galloway more time late to try to stay with quick opponents’ guards, so maybe that and Grant becoming more consistent is the best that we can hope for?

    14. From hardwood paroxysm Twitter:

      I asked Mike Conley on a scale of 1 to 10 how difficult it would be to leave Marc Gasol in free agency.

      “An 11.”

      So I guess that isn’t happening.

      Re the defensive rebounding- I think the bigs helping is part of the defensive strategy. Our 3 point defense is elite because the guards are right up on the shooters and daring them to drive into KP and Lopez. We need to figure out how the defense is supposed to rotate to get he rebound when one of the bigs contests the shot.

    15. Maybe Galloway is our PG of the future. I don’t see why he couldn’t be. Seems a prototypical triangle PG.

    16. Frank, yes on the rotations, but sometimes AA and Calderon get so badly beaten/lost on picks and screens that, when the help (Rolo, KP) comes, there’s someone close up wide open. Both AA and Calderon would be great 6th-7th men off the bench, but are starting here. Having both in the game late at the same time is good for offense, but bad for D.

      I wonder if Calderon should just be instructed to go UNDER all picks/screens?

      Yeah, maybe Galloway and Grant can do it, but Galloway is a bit smallish for Phil’s ideal Triangle guard.

    17. Re the defensive rebounding- I think the bigs helping is part of the defensive strategy. Our 3 point defense is elite because the guards are right up on the shooters and daring them to drive into KP and Lopez

      I think the coaches deserve some credit for putting together a defensive plan that plays into our strengths. Given our personnel, a middle of the pack defense is pretty impressive.

    18. Galloway should be our 2 guard of the short term future. I mean, the triangle is not a PG dominant offense, but he isn’t great at initiating the offense himself against a set defense. We have to hope Jerian can develop or Phil pulls a rabbit out of hat in the offseason to get a PG

    19. Brian Cronin
      January 21, 2016 at 1:18 am

      I’m going to the OKC game. Imagine a win that night! Oh man, oh man, I’m getting myself pumped up. :)

      Chalk up the L. I just hope Porzingis survives Cronin.

    20. A random question on D-Will:

      Could he sign an extension now? No one signs extensions in the league anymore. I understand why a max player doesn’t do it. He can only sign for 3 years instead of 5.

      But why don’t any mid-level players sign extensions? They’re not getting the max. Are we prohibited from offering him a 3 year, $25 million contract extension now?

    21. With the jump in cap space coming no player will sign an extension. Dwill is gonna cash in if he keeps this up.

    22. This is a good time to be a Knicks fan. Many people thought I was drinking the Kool Aid when I started saying that 10 games into the season. Now I am more convinced than ever:

      1. Kristaps Porzingis
      2. Carmelo Anthony: Distributor
      3. Kristaps Porzingis’ offensive rebounding
      4. Robin Lopez hook shot
      5. Kristaps Porzingis’ foot speed on defense
      6. Langston Galloway’s progression
      7. Kristaps Porzingis’ hard-nosed attitude (the anti-Andrea)
      8. Lance Thomas’ emergence
      9. Kristaps Porzingis’ low post moves
      10. Carmelo Anthony – team leader
      11. Kristaps Porzingis 3 point range
      12. Knicks are competitive for the 8 slot. We are unlikely to have to live through seeing Denver/Toronto take Ben Simmons with what would have been the Knicks’ pick.

    23. Neither of you guys are sardonically suggesting that floor spacing ISN’T part of the Warriors greatness, right?

      That Kevin Love’s inability to show and recover like an in-prime KG makes the Cavs basically incapable of slowing down GS, as Curry’s range, release and efficiency creates the floor spacing for one of the best offenses in NBA history?

      Because that would be really, really stupid.

    24. A few perplexing things from Fish last night, fwiw:

      1. Vujevic in the 4Q of a close game.
      2. He continues to be really slow to pull Calderon for Galloway.
      3. He essentially fouled Porzingis out well before the refs did. With two minutes to go, don’t you play your best player with 5 fouls? Fish didn’t. Granted, this is the second close game where KP has picked up very stupid 5th & 6th fouls (Boston was another), but a) he needs to learn how to play with fouls, and b) there is a point where you need to put a player back in with 5 fouls otherwise you are essentially fouling him out early.

    25. Seems like an overreaction to Melo’s assist numbers, Clash.

      His prescence with the ball has long created opportunities for teammates, which has been true through myriad lineup combinations.

      With Melo on the court, regardless of his individual efficiency, the offense operates at an elite level.

    26. Somewhat lost in the hubbub about Melo, RoLo and DWill-o last night is the impact that Afflalo had on the game. He made some huge shots in crunch time. It wasn’t his best defensive game, to say the least, but he’s a pretty unflappable offensive player. Like RoLo and DWill, certainly worth the money we’re paying him.

      Even Melo is playing more like a “statistical” max player these days, regularly flirting with triple-doubles, more lower-usage/higher efficiency games. And despite what WP might say about him right now, his importance to winning was pretty apparent int he two games he sat out.

      I’d be interested in the KB community’s answer to: Who on this team is currently under-performing his current salary? (Don’t include real or virtual vet’s minimum guys like Vujacic or Lou)

      Calderon? Seraphin? O’Quinn?

    27. Some quick points about various posts in this thread:

      Rolo is terrific and I’m glad we have him and KP on the team together. Also, I would love for us to get WillyH next year as a rookie to back them up. The 3 of them will give us a dominant dominant rim protection all game long. I like that most of the time either KP or Rolo is on the court.

      Assuming we can resign our guys, Galloway and Grant should eventually move in as starters but they are both still raw.

      Mike and Mike had a great interview with Seth Greenberg today and they discussed how Golden State is playing “like the old Knicks”. It’s really a great formula to play team ball. Greenberg also said that “isolation basketball is not winning basketball”. It was a fair critique of LeBron.

    28. The 3 of them will give us a dominant dominant rim protection all game long.

      I was under the impression that Hernanogomez was much stronger on the offensive than defensive end. Of course, he’s playing so infrequently this year that it’s hard to tell exactly what he is.

    29. Who on this team is currently under-performing his current salary?

      I suppose it depends on what you mean by currently

    30. Honestly, no one has figured out GS’s offense. Except… just maybe Milwaukee, who has such long and freakishly athletic big men that they can trap, recover, switch or do just about anything. Too bad they can’t shoot.

    31. Another positive aspect for this team going forward is that we are developing a pipeline. Our dleague affiliate plays the same system, practices in the same gym, and has a terrific coach. We could trade veterans or if they get injured just replace them with triangle savvy guys like Fredette, Trice, Atkins, Thanasis, or Bachynski. They would fit right in.

    32. Honestly, no one has figured out GS’s offense. Except… just maybe Milwaukee, who has such long and freakishly athletic big men that they can trap, recover, switch or do just about anything. Too bad they can’t shoot.

      This is sort of the crux of the argument that ruruland and I have, aside from him thinking I’m a dunce and me thinking that he’s a windbag. I believe that basketball players’ innate talent is what drives production. He believes that system basketball drives production. It’s a nature vs. nurture scenario, which, of course, is not an either/or proposition.

      GS has a great system, no doubt, but it works because they have insanely good shooters. All of the sharp passing in the world will not make a bad shooter into a great one. And Curry, as evident in his play all year, would be nailing those shots no matter if he were on the Sixers or the Spurs. On the Spurs, he just might get some better (way better) looks. And yes, since the margin between the league’s best and the league’s worst is thin, those extra looks matter. But Curry’s shooting talent — individual talent — is what drives that production, to my mind.

      tl;dr

      You can figure out the system, but you can’t stop Curry from nailing 38-foot jumpers like they’re layups.

    33. From what I read about Hernangomez, he’s not a rim protector…not a leaper. He supposedly is skilled on offense, though.

      As far as Vujecic goes, I too cringe when he comes in since he really can’t defend or score. He does play very hard, though. I said some time ago that I think that Fisher occasionally brings him in when he’s pissed at the team’s effort and brings him in to try to up the intensity. I’m not saying that that is working, but maybe that’s the idea.

      Reub, yeah, what’s being done in Westchester seems very smart. I wonder how many other teams are doing that? Most? Few?

    34. With Melo on the court, regardless of his individual efficiency, the offense operates at an elite level.

      Unless it’s the 4Q of a close game against Philadelphia on MLK Day.

      Or 2014.

    35. You can figure out the system, but you can’t stop Curry from nailing 38-foot jumpers like they’re layups.

      Yeah – Curry and Draymond are singular talents, so it’s not like you can just copy their system and be the Warriors. Sort of like what Washington has done this year – they’ve tried up their pace like crazy and play Moreyball but it hasn’t worked because they don’t have the players.

      What I will say about this team and the “Triangle philosophy” is that something has clearly changed within Carmelo Anthony where the nurture is reshaping the nature of Melo. The other thing that is different from Moreyball is that that system basically designates one person as the driver, the other as the diver, and the 3 others as the the “wait for a kickout for a 3pointer”. Like so many here have said, players then become pigeonholed in their roles and never get around to diversifying their games. We used to ask here that Tyson learn a freaking hook shot and a 15 foot jumper, but he never did that — whether it’s because he couldn’t, wasn’t told to, wouldn’t, or what, we can see from Robin Lopez (and Lance Thomas) that a player can indeed change and improve facets of their game in their late 20s.

    36. Wow

      The Heat will play the Raptors withour Dragic, Wade, Deng, Whiteside, Andersen, McRoberts and Udrih.

      Looks like Amare will have to play 48 minutes.

    37. From what I read about Hernangomez, he’s not a rim protector…not a leaper. He supposedly is skilled on offense, though.

      His Per36 numbers this year: Blocks 1.6, TReb 10.1 (OReb 4.1, DReb 6.0).

    38. Wow

      The Heat will play the Raptors withour Dragic, Wade, Deng, Whiteside, Andersen, McRoberts and Udrih.

      Looks like Amare will have to play 48 minutes.

      You know – Miami has a pretty good shot at dropping out of the playoff picture. 22 out of their final 39 games are on the road. Their schedule starting Jan 31: ATL, @HOU, @DAL, @CHA, LAC, SAS, @ATL, WAS, IND, GS, @BOS, @ NYK, CHI

      Especially if their players are out for a while, the could easily go something like 2-11 on that stretch. They also have the worst conference record of the top 10 teams in the east.

      by the way did anyone notice we’re only 2 games out of the 5 seed?!

      I’m thinking that we take Miami’s spot in the top 8 and so the 8 teams will be CLE, TOR, ATL, CHI, IND, DET, NYK, BOS.

    39. by the way i wonder whether we’re a little bit lucky that we’ve already played 3 out of 4 games against Philly. They really are playing a lot better. They’re a whisker away from being 4-0 over their last 4 — they lost in OT to Chicago when Jimmy Butler went nuts for 53, then beat Portland, then were a game-tying 3 pointer from Melo from beating us, then they spanked Orlando last night.

      Ish Smith (and probably D’Antoni) have really made a difference.

    40. Pretty amazing what happens when you actually have a PG that can dribble and distribute a little bit to pair with a skilled big like Okafor. They’re also probably still benefiting from teams taking them lightly and adjusting to their new lineups. I imagine they still won’t get to 20 wins.

    41. by the way did anyone notice we’re only 2 games out of the 5 seed?!

      Yes :)

      We need to get over this .500 hump. Since we were 8-6, we’ve essentially yo-yo’d.

      8-6
      8-10
      10-10
      10-14
      14-14
      14-18
      20-20
      20-22
      22-22

      It’s like a season-long version of what Clyde always talks about when you play from behind: you spend so much energy getting even that you run out of gas.

      We have LA, at Charlotte, OKC, at Toronto coming up. We can’t afford to keep digging holes, but we could easily lose 3-4 of those games.

    42. by the way i wonder whether we’re a little bit lucky that we’ve already played 3 out of 4 games against Philly.

      On the flip side, I felt we were unlucky playing all 4 games against Milwaukee so early (we went 2-2). The last time we played them that seemed like a team I’d like to see more.

    43. our resurgence can be directly tied with the improvement of rolo…. his offense just wasn’t there but now it’s actually an asset… if it was health related it makes the second half of this season look very rosy for us if we can avoid major injury…

      i can’t believe how much better the playoff picture looks now but we’re definitely in the thick of it….

    44. Honestly, no one has figured out GS’s offense. Except… just maybe Milwaukee, who has such long and freakishly athletic big men that they can trap, recover, switch or do just about anything

      I wouldn’t read to much into the Milwaukee performances. The loss came on the 7th game of a 7 game road trip, on a back to back, less than 24 hrs after playing a double overtime game in Boston, with Harrison Barnes out and Klay Thompson coming back from missing the previous 3.

      Of all the games I’ve watched, Utah actually had the best game plan, which was basically to sag off off of Draymond Green at the top of the arc while trapping Curry and Klay on the wings. Normally Green drives into the paint when that happens, but with Gobert there, he just sort of settled for Long shots, going 8-21 (0-4 from 3). (That was in game 1 of that 7 game road trip (win #19 in a row)). Basically, if Green hits those shots it’s a blow out, but you’d rather it be him taking them than Curry and Thompson. As it was, GS had to really grind out a 3 point win. (The next time Utah played them Gobert didn’t play and GS won by a lot).

    45. Finally got a chance to watch the replay of the game last night. On the KP foul, definitely a rookie error, but I can’t fault him too much for biting on Haywards fake given the rate those guys were hitting well contested 3’s. I have really loved watching Melo the last month. What’s great is that we are actually seeing him be a vocal leader. Best example from last night was when he took over the huddle at the time out while the coaches were in conference. He took charge and gave direction to his players. RoLo has been so great as of late. What I like is that he had such a great game last night, but he almost flew under the radar a little. Just got the job done and moved on.

      Biggest criticism from last night though was the lack of rebounding from the guards. So many long rebounds went Utah’s way. It’s really just and effort and awareness things, but I really hope the coaching staff are getting in Gallloway and Grant’s ears about it. Jose too, but I guess he is what he is at this stage of his career.

    46. Also, this is a terrible job by us the peoples

      Eastern Conference All-Star Game Starters:
      LeBron James
      Paul George
      Carmelo Anthony
      Dwyane Wade
      Kyle Lowry

      Jimmy Buckets should change his name to Jimmy BUSHWACKED. Trash ass D Wade, forsooth. Langston Galloway is better than you old man.

    47. Ha! Zaza Pachulia nearly pulled off an upset and started for the Western Conference! He fell just 14,000 votes shy of Kawhi.

    48. It really is odd to see Lowry and Wade both finishing ahead of Wall. Isn’t Wall supposed to be pretty popular?

    49. At least Melo is starting over that scrub Drummond.

      #takethatjowles

      In all seriousness though I couldn’t care less about the ASG. The 3 point contest is pretty much the only thing I watch…though I may watch the Rookie/Sophomore game for Rookzingis.

    50. tbh, that Obama Drummond video was better than anything Melocentric this year.

      How anyone can honestly think Dwayne Motherfucking Wade is better than Jimmy Butler is beyond me. I get the Kobe votes, but it’s not like Wade’s retiring.

    51. There are currently 5 recent ex-Knicks (6 if you go back far enough for Crawford) on the court in the Cavs/Clips game.

    52. Wade is kinda famous. And has played in a lot of finals games on national tv. And is married to a famous actress. And is in a lot of commercials.

      As for Jimmy Butler, he looks kind of like a tall Jamie Foxx. But, it wasn’t a visual vote, so that didn’t help him much at the ballot box I don’t think.

      (Also, he and Wade probably split the Marquette vote, an important demographic the Butler campaign needed to secure early)

    53. Not to mention the most important voting bloc is the 13-18 year old demographic. Also known as mostly morons.

    54. @Jowles

      I agree with you!

      You’ve created a false dichotomy. Of course it’s both system and talent.

      And of course TALENT drives production. But interaction effects CAN play a substantial role in production, too.

      Curry’s incredible shooting is WHAT creates the unstoppable “system”. Great players, or perceived-to-be great players create great situations for lesser players.

      Defenses have always treated Melo like a great offensive player, which is a big reason why offenses always play so well when he’s on the floor.

    55. You’ve created a false dichotomy. Of course it’s both system and talent.

      bruh did I not just say that it’s NOT an either/or proposition?

    56. But again, Melo takes lots of bad shot attempts, which is why he’s not as valuable as you think he is. You don’t count his misses to be as bad as other players’ misses, because you believe they often have a higher degree of difficulty. So it’s not the player being ineffective, it’s the system that has failed him when he “has to” take a contested 20-foot fadeaway. But nah, that’s wrong.

    57. Curry’s incredible shooting is WHAT creates the unstoppable “system”

      The Curry example is interesting because Kerr, when he came into GS, wanted to install a system that played to Curry’s strength, which he felt Mark Jackson’s iso system wasn’t doing. So was Curry’s explosion from good to great (to beyond great) a matter of his talent developing, or the product of a perfect system? (Could 2013-14 Curry have had a noticeably better season under Kerr? Would Jackson have a ring right now if he was given one more year as coach?

    58. I live in northern North Carolina and was planning on seeing the Knicks in Charlotte this saturday but unfortunately we’re in a state of emergency because of (GASP) a total of six inches of snow and some ice which may leave the roads closed.

      Makes me wish I still lived in New York.

    59. I wonder if Fisher will do Hack-A-Jordan tomorrow night. Blatt was doing it when Cleveland was up 10, which I thought was a little unnecessary.

    60. @72 Time for some serious burn for OQ, Seraphin, and Amundson. That’s 18 fouls to give right there!
      :-)

    61. If they look good, maybe Doc will try to trade with us for one of them. That wouldn’t be so bad.

    62. This dialogue between THCJ and ruru reminds me of that Star Trek episode with Frank Gorshin…

      Mono colored trash!!!

    63. Holy @$&^#%

      if this doesn’t make you deathly afraid of ever getting on a motorcycle, I don’t know what will. I’m glad he’s found a second career on TV, but it’s hard to imagine what it’s like in his mind sometimes because he’s right – he threw it all away. And the idea that he was literally warned not to be on a motorcycle minutes before… wow.

      http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14612318/nba-jay-williams-life-not-accident-memoir-reinvention

    64. @Hubert

      Actually, the Knicks had a 107.9 offensive rating with Melo on the floor last year, which would have ranked it 4th as a team.

      Where did you get that number about our offensive rating with Melo on the floor Ruru? Is that offensive rating? Because Only Amare had higher than a 108 offensive rating amongst the regulars last year.

    65. I’d like to see Porzingis stuff the ball down Pierce’s throat tonight for making that comment earlier about him being like Bargnani.

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