Knicks Morning News (2016.03.04)

  • [New York Times] Warriors Top Thunder for Record-Tying 44th Straight Home Win (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 07:15:34 GMT)

    Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors matched one record set by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls as they close in on the bigger mark.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Beat Thunder, Tie Consecutive Home Wins Record (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 07:06:27 GMT)

    Stephen Curry turned an offensive rebound into a three-point play to highlight a 10-point, fourth-quarter spurt as the Golden State Warriors outlasted the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 to tie the all-time NBA record for consecutive home wins Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Warriors 121, Thunder 106: Stephen Curry Scores 33 as the Golden State Warriors Win Again (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 06:23:43 GMT)

    Curry returned from an ankle injury to lead his team, which tied an N.B.A. record by winning its 44th straight regular-season home game.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Dwyane Wade Helps Heat Win Third Straight (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 05:19:07 GMT)

    Wade scored 27 points, Goran Dragic added 25 against his former club and the Heat defeated the Phoenix Suns, 108-92, in Miami to extend their winning streak to three games.

  • [New York Times] Wade Guides Heat Past Suns (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 05:12:28 GMT)

    After establishing an early double-digit lead Thursday, the Miami Heat never relinquished the advantage.

  • [New York Times] Leonard Scores 30 and Spurs Rally Past Pelicans, 94-86 (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 04:58:19 GMT)

    Kawhi Leonard capped a 30-point, 11-rebound performance with a huge 3-pointer in the final minute, and the San Antonio Spurs extended their winning streak to seven games with a 94-86 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Rondo, Kings End 22-Game Skid in Dallas With 104-101 Win (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 04:25:06 GMT)

    Rajon Rondo had 18 points and 12 assists in his first game at Dallas since an ugly split with the Mavericks last season, and the Sacramento Kings ended a 22-game regular-season losing streak on his old home floor with a 104-101 victory Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] LeBron in No Mood to Justify Miami Trip (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 04:09:28 GMT)

    Cleveland’s LeBron James felt no need to justify his trip to Miami to work out with former team mate Dwyane Wade this week, telling reporters on Thursday he went “because I want to”.

  • [New York Times] Wade Scores 27, Heat Ease Past Suns 108-92 (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 03:15:43 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade never has an off night against the Phoenix Suns.

  • [New York Times] Curry Returns to Lineup for Warriors Against Thunder (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 03:00:48 GMT)

    Stephen Curry is set to return to the starting lineup for the Golden State Warriors after missing a game with a sprained left ankle.

  • [New York Daily News] Raissman: Francesa two-faced on Knicks Melo-Dolan drama (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 06:02:02 GMT)

    For the sin of pointing a heckler in the direction of James Dolan’s baseline seat, Carmelo Anthony was granted Public Enemy No. 1.

  • [New York Daily News] Carmelo Anthony: Apology was idea from James Dolan, Knicks (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 04:26:12 GMT)

    The Knicks star confirmed Thursday what everyone suspected — that his apology for arguing with a fan wasn’t his idea.

  • [New York Daily News] Bondy: Melo summoning Dolan to drop kazoo, help fix Knicks (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 04:24:44 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony has every right to march into James Dolan’s office with the following demand: it’s either me or Phil Jackson.

  • [New York Post] Kurt Rambis addresses the Phil Jackson-bolting-Knicks talk (Fri, 04 Mar 2016 02:46:35 -0500)

    As far as interim coach Kurt Rambis can tell, Knicks president Phil Jackson is still in it for the long haul. Rambis said this week his communication with the quirky Zen Master is terrific as they speak every day — and did so even when he was the associate head coach. Rambis, who has proven…

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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).

    36 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.03.04)”

    1. Man, as depressing as our collective psyche has gotten as a fanbase, I’ve got to imagine that Thunder fans are just melting down right now with how their last stretch has gone and the real threat of that team just falling apart completely if/when Russ and KD leave

    2. Re: Ty Lawson, it’s interesting to me that the idea that this man has an alcohol use disorder does not really stick with the public. Sure, there are articles written, but people still don’t think about how much this man may need to commit to recovery/rehabilitation to get well and his career back on track. People seem to say much more about him being generally “troubled” or that he was a “bad fit” in Houston.

    3. I love watching the Thunder. KD and Russ will combine brilliantly to create a nice open look for Dion Waiters to brick and then the other team will go down and abuse Enes Kanter.

    4. I really don’t know how a D-League shooting guard would be any worse than Dion Waiters. It’s his fourth year in the league and he’s averaging nearly 30 minutes a game for a very good team, rocking a .046 WS/48 and a sub-.500 TS%! And they gave up a first round pick for him!!

    5. Also, how in the world is Dion Waiters not a Knick? He seems destined to be a Knick.

    6. Also, how in the world is Dion Waiters not a Knick? He seems destined to be a Knick.

      shhhhh!

      He’s a free agent next year.

    7. Also, how in the world is Dion Waiters not a Knick? He seems destined to be a Knick.

      Well, the Thunder gave up a first-rounder for him, so I bet Dolan thinks he needs to offer at least two first-rounders since Waiters has been developing under the tutelage of Durant and Westbrook. That’s how it works in the NBA, y’know. He’s a veteran now. You have to give up more for veterans, because they know more things.

      Unless they haven’t played a game yet as a rookie. Then they’re all upside and you have to give up even more to get them.

    8. Ironically enough, our season crashing and burning may just be what had to happen in order for everyone involved (Melo, Phil, etc.) to come to their senses and try to work out a trade. If we hovered around .500 for the whole season we’d definitely continue down whatever non-path we’re on now. Of course, it’s the Knicks, so the most likely outcome is we do the dumbest thing possible. But we can at least pretend something more sensible might be on the horizon!

    9. they did not. they were both part of the three team trade. The Thunder gave up a protected 1st rounder in that mess.

    10. At no time in his career has Waiters looked like a really good player. For that trade to make sense, you had to think he was going to develop a lot as a player.

      Fixing the Knicks from here is not rocket science, but we are dealing with someone that is hell bent on proving that his system was a key reason the Bulls and Lakers won all those championships and not that he coached a bunch of elite superstars.

      I don’t understand why some people here want to put all the blame on the players and not the include the system and selecting players that fit the system as part of the problem. Sure, the Knicks do not have a great “team” and need a better defensive backcourt. But there is no way they are dreadful as their record. We have a few very good players.

      1. There is evidence in the efficiency and shot selection stats of several players that indicates part of the problem is the system.

      2. Everywhere the triangle has been attempted outside of Chicago and LA (with multiple elite superstars), it has been a monumental dismal failure.

      3. Everyone else has been switching to a faster paced game, with higher use of the P&R, moving away from midrange, towards corner 3s etc… based on ADVANCED STATS! We are heading the opposite direction.

      Yet somehow it’s not the system? It’s all on the players?

      If we had a high level coach running a modern system this team would be .500 and several players would have a TS% between .10 and .25 higher.

    11. I’m not sure how to verify this, but it sure seems like we have been running a ton of weak side PNR since Rambis came along. It may not result in a shot or other possession “defining” outcome, but there have been lots of picks and rolls or pops.

      The offense is one thing but like many have written, it’s at the most the 3rd most important problem. Problems 1 and 2 are guard talent on both sides of the ball. We have excellent rim protectors, but even they can’t help when both AA and Calderon are getting torched off the dribble every possession.

    12. 3. Everyone else has been switching to a faster paced game, with higher use of the P&R, moving away from midrange, towards corner 3s etc… based on ADVANCED STATS! We are heading the opposite direction.

      Teams that have a lower pace than the Knicks this season:
      Cleveland – Best team in the East
      Toronto – 2nd best team in the East
      Miami – Current 4 seed
      Memphis – Current 5 seed
      Utah – Only team with slower pace than the Knicks that isn’t currently in playoff position (they are 9th in West)

      % of 3PA that come from the corners:
      Knicks: 24%
      Golden State: 24%

      % of 2PA from 10feet or further
      Knicks: 34%
      Spurs: 34%

    13. But there is no way they are dreadful as their record. We have a few very good players.

      Who?

      Calderon’s best WS48 season was in 2012-13, the same year that Jason Kidd started at PG for the Knicks. He’s halfway to 35. Forget about getting that Calderon back. Ain’t happening.

      Carmelo’s highest WS48 season was also 2012-13 and he turns 32 before the playoffs end. You can forget about that Carmelo coming back — and he wasn’t even that good to begin with.

      Lopez’s best season was 2013-14. Still in his “prime,” so maybe he continues to be an above-average NBA center during a time when there are several players much better than him. As it stands, he is 26th in WP48 among centers with 500+ minutes.

      Afflalo’s best season in WS48 came in 2010-11! Five years is a long time in this league.

      Who else is there? Derrick Williams is a top-pick bust. Galloway is a great bench player, but not a star. Grant is a rookie. Porzingis is a potential future star but hasn’t produced. He’s a rookie, so it’s fine. O’Quinn is an average starter on a 43-39 team. Lancy Thomas, Seraphin and Vujacic are bordeline D-Leaguers.

      There really aren’t any great players on the Knicks. Blaming it on the coaching seems silly when the players aren’t good to begin with.

    14. Thought the same thing right after I submitted the post.

      Seraphin, Grant and Vujacic have taken about 10% of the Knicks’ FGA and shot .425, .445 and .413 TS% respectively.

      That’s a lot of shit FGA.

    15. This is a stat I love about Sasha: He is shooting 30% on shots where the closest defender is over 4 feet away. He’s the guy you would dare to shoot in a rec league, and he is getting real playing time for an NBA team. And he’s an awful defender, too. I’m fine with criticism of the coach who gives minutes to such obviously awful players.

    16. The only way to solve a problem like that is to remove him from the roster. It’s a top-down failure.

      Kerr recently said about Curry, paraphrasing: “I don’t tell him not to shoot. He shoots whenever he wants.” It’s not hard to be a great coach when your players are great. When your players suck, it’s imperative to find new players. So in that sense, this team is fucked.

    17. Calling Vujacic a borderline D-leaguer is an enormous exaggeration of his abilities.

      I laughed audibly

    18. THCJ,

      I think virtually all the “single number” stats are flawed, but if I was forced to use one it would be boxscore plus minus at basketball reference.

      I think you are viewing these players based on their stats. I am saying their stats are being impacted negatively by the system and coaching they are playing in (at the margin).

      I think our frontcourt of Lopez, Melo, and Porzingis is above average. That’s two solid players and a rookie that might be better than both of them if used well. IMO they are underperforming their potential partly because of the system and coaching.

      The backcourt is weak (especially defensively), but not nearly as terrible as we see night after night.

      The bench looked like it was going to be a net plus at the start of the season, but Fisher was terrible with rotations. Both Fisher and Rambis also have no idea who the most productive players on the team are or Sasha and Seraphin would never see a minute. I think a few players are also underperforming their potential. It’s been a net negative.

      Overall, with a good coach and good system I think we’d still be hovering around .500. That’s how bad I think the non player aspects of the season have been.

    19. Sasha Vujajic is like the first slide in the “When The Triangle Goes Wrong” PowerPoint presentation.

      Vujacic had not played in the NBA since the 2010-2011 season. He farted around in Europe for a while in the interim and wasn’t particularly very good playing for such powerhouses as Anadolu Efes and something called Laboral Kutxa. He was finished as an NBA player and not on anybody’s radar in the NBA.

      Yet here he is, trianglin’ it up because it’s important to have guys who know how to triangle. He has played over 500 minutes for this team, 500 horrendous, inexplicable, scandalous minutes. He plays defense like shit and he shoots like shit and generally he doesn’t do much except miss a bunch of shots and stand around looking like a douchebag. I’ve seen some bad players with the Knicks but Sasha Vujacic this season is on the short list of the very worst. The only reason to give him 500 minutes is because you are delusional about the value of somebody who has experience playing in your stupid system. Vujacic is worse than a waste of a roster spot, he’s a living, breathing avatar of the dumb things Phil Jackson does in the name of proving to the world that the triangle is “real basketball” and he’s smarter than everybody else.

      I now see why Dolan and Phil were such a natural match. Dolan loves egomaniacs.

    20. The only way to solve a problem like that is to remove him from the roster. It’s a top-down failure.

      I was saying that a few weeks ago that I thought Jackson had to take Sasha away from Fisher because Fisher was playing him too much and I thought Jackson was smart enough to realize that Sasha was terrible. But then Jackson instead fired Fisher and put in Rambis who plays Sasha basically the same as Fisher. So Jackson might honestly be thinking, “I signed him, so how bad can he be?”

    21. I love watching the Thunder. KD and Russ will combine brilliantly to create a nice open look for Dion Waiters to brick and then the other team will go down and abuse Enes Kanter.

      Remember when “the Presti method” was a thing?

    22. If he had decent owners, though, he would have a team of Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Ibaka and fill-in-the-blank center right now.

      But yes, the Waiters trade was terrible.

    23. We can dwell on the past but I want this team to get better. That’s why I can’t understand holding on to deadwood like Amundson, Sasha, Early and Seraphin instead of going after the best young available guards out there like McCallum, Wroten and Frazier. We have nothing to lose by signing them and playing them along with Grant.

    24. I imagine that they actually are trying to sign McCallum. But I doubt they make any other move. Phil Jackson is not a guy who is going to cut a player he just signed to a guaranteed contract earlier this offseason. He’s too stubborn.

    25. The “Presti Method” is what built the Warriors.

      If he had decent owners, though, he would have a team of Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Ibaka and fill-in-the-blank center right now.

      Yeah. One of his owners drove his car into a wall yesterday, at high speed, with no seat belt on, because he was handed an indictment by the justice department. (Any chance Dolan is on the verge of an indictment by the justice department??)

    26. The “Presti Method” is what built the Warriors.

      Lol. And the MJ Bulls, too, I suppose.

      Lucking into generational talent with high draft picks has been around for a long time. Hell, even we just did it.

    27. I think that’s why he used quotes, as it is a pretty tried and true approach. It just doesn’t work if you don’t end up with good players. If you do, though, then it works really well.

    28. Presti lucked into Durant, who I imagine every other GM in the league would have drafted second that year, but Harden, Westbrook and Ibaka were all good picks. Ever since he extended Kendrick Perkins he’s lurched from one short sighted disaster to the next. It would be interesting to see him takeover a new team

    29. We can debate Presti all day, I don’t mean to say he’s crap. I’ve just always been amused by that moniker.

    30. Please don’t lump KP in with those guys yet.

      Melo can augment the trade kicker. I believe Hibbert just did that

    31. I’d love to be in the room when J1mmy D asks Melo to waive his NTC and forgo earning another 11 million bucks

    32. We can debate Presti all day, I don’t mean to say he’s crap. I’ve just always been amused by that moniker.

      Oh, I totally agree with that. It’s a pretty tried and true method. Heck, it has even worked for the Knicks in the past. So yes, “intentionally trying to lose for a few years in a row to build up draft picks” is a longstanding basketball strategy that predated Presti. Presti was just one of the first people to be open about it as an intentional strategy.

    33. Can Melo waive his “trade kicker?”

      Yes, he can. It’s a bit of a moot point, though, since he’s never leaving, and if he ever did leave, it would be with every single cent he could ge…wait, why did I even write “if” there. There’s no “if.” It isn’t ever happening.

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