Knicks Morning News (2016.03.28)

  • [New York Daily News] Carmelo Anthony celebrates Syracuse win on Snapchat (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 04:36:51 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony finally has reason to celebrate.

  • [New York Daily News] Kristaps Porzingis on Carmelo: ‘We need him. I need him.’ (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 04:06:27 GMT)

    Kristaps Porzingis, who has benefited greatly from Carmelo Anthony’s presence, made a plea for the All-Star to stay with the franchise.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks eliminated from playoffs for third straight season (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 01:30:37 GMT)

    The Knicks are officially headed to the lottery without a draft pick.

  • [New York Times] Wade Looking Forward to a Final Meeting With Kobe (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 06:09:43 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade will never forget his first meeting against Kobe Bryant.

  • [New York Times] John Wall Leads Wizards to Easy 101-88 Win Over Kobe, Lakers (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 04:06:44 GMT)

    John Wall had 22 points and 13 assists, and Marcin Gortat added 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Washington Wizards’ 101-88 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Thompson Scores 40, Green With Triple-Double in Warriors Win (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 03:54:36 GMT)

    Klay Thompson got an earful from Draymond Green for his two-game total: 80 points and one assist.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Warriors Keep the Pace in Extraordinary Fashion (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 03:53:17 GMT)

    The Clippers beat the visiting Denver Nuggets, 105-90, on Sunday to become the fourth Western Conference team to clinch a playoff spot.

  • [New York Times] Pacers Hang On to Beat Rockets (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 02:36:28 GMT)

    The odd adventure that has been the Indiana Pacers’ 2015-2016 season was on display in all of its glory — or inconsistency — on Sunday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse against the equally up-and-down Houston Rockets.

  • [New York Times] George Scores 25 Points, Pacers Beat Rockets 104-101 (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 01:57:36 GMT)

    Paul George did the bulk of his work for the Indiana Pacers early on, and then Monta Ellis and Ian Mahinmi came through at the end.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Game of the Week: Cavaliers at Hawks (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 01:50:53 GMT)

    The Hawks will have a chance to measure themselves against the Eastern Conference’s top contenders this week, including Friday’s game against Cleveland.

  • [New York Times] Cauley-Stein Scores 21 Points, Kings Beat Mavs 133-111 (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 00:51:49 GMT)

    Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein followed a breakout offensive performance with 21 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Sacramento Kings over the Dallas Mavericks 133-111 on Sunday.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Monday's Knicks Links: Officially eliminated from the playoffs (Mon, 28 Mar 2016 05:27:31 EST)

    Monday's Knicks Links: Officially eliminated from the playoffs

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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).

    48 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.03.28)”

    1. I haven’t been on Knickerblogger as much the last few weeks, so i apologize if this has already been posted and talked about…

      but I did not realize that Thibs ran a ton of Triangle when he was coaching the Bulls. See here at BBallbreakdown:

      For those who don’t have the time to watch, it basically goes through all the Triangle sets the Bulls used. He even gave a number (25%) for what percentage of half court sets were actually pure triangle and then showed all the video.

      I was thinking about this saturday night during the 1st half of the cavs game — and how ridiculously awful our defense was. There is just no way a Thibs-coached team would have been torched that badly on basically the same action every play.

      I do worry that Thibs would overplay guys, but honestly, I’d just like to see some tough defense like the NYK teams of the 90s. He’d bring it back.

      As to Phil’s somewhat hostile mention of Thibs at the post-Fisher press conference– I think very much that he did not want to disrespect Rambis by immediately talking about other coaches. Have to think that he will do a real coaching search this offseason. With Thibs’s apparent background in the Triangle, his obvious defensive acumen, and how much he reportedly wants to coach the Knicks, you’d have to think he’ll be given a real shot. The only possible downside would be his history with Dolan, but hopefully Dolan would stay out of it. Heck, maybe Thibs and Phil can bond over clashing with the Bulls FO.

    2. What separates Senior Buddy Hield from sophomore Grayson Allen? If Allen stays in school all 4 years would he be lauded like Buddy? What is Allen’s NBA potential? Yes, he is undersized for a 2 guard but Hield is too and his body build looked very similar to Allen’s as a younger guy. Can Allen be in the mold of oer smaller sgs, like McCollom or Beal?

    3. Allen hasn’t demonstrated the ability to shoot and score off the dribble like Hield. Also his release isn’t nearly as quick as Buddy’s. Not to say Allen can’t improve those things as Hield certainly has since his sophomore year, but he hasn’t done so yet. I actually think that kid Kennard on Duke is the one who gets sold short, but that’s just me.

    4. One thing that Thibs is very good at that gets sold short is his ability to work with players one on one and help really develop their skills. Both Yao (when Thibs was assistant coach of the Rockets) and Noah have said that Thibs worked with them one on one and that it had done wonders for his skills.

      His time working with Yao might also be of particular benefit to Porzingis insofar as Thibs has experience working with uniquely skilled and uniquely tall big men.

      I don’t know if I’d prefer Walton or Thibs (Thibs’ minutes stuff is still pretty scary even if there isn’t much hard data showing that these high minutes loads are hurting players long term) but either of them or Blatt would be such an improvement over Rambis that even Phil should find it obvious.

      I guess I would vote Thibs since Walton had an exceedingly easy coaching job beyond managing the locker room of the greatest team of all time.

    5. Jackson hiring Thibs would demonstrate two things:

      1)Jackson is able to operate completely independently of Dolan, who despises Thibs for allegedly being Isola’s chief source.

      2)Jackson is willing to go way outside his circle of friends and comfort zone, given that Thibs (even if he does run some Triangle sets) is a Jeff Van Gundy protege, and Phil haaaaaaaates JVG.

      Leaving aside whether or not Thibs would actually be a good fit for this team (like others, I’m terrified of him running Porzingis into the ground), the odds on both of those things being true feels so low as to make Thibs speculation a waste of everyone’s time.

    6. I guess I would vote Thibs since Walton had an exceedingly easy coaching job beyond managing the locker room of the greatest team of all time.

      I’m guessing the “greatest team of all time’s” offense wouldn’t look quite so good up against long athletic elite defenders like Rodman, Pippen, Jordan and Harper of the 95-97 Bulls

    7. I guess I would vote Thibs since Walton had an exceedingly easy coaching job beyond managing the locker room of the greatest team of all time.

      Idk, Mark Jackson managed to fuck it up pretty bad.

    8. I’d much prefer SVG to Thibs and I think Dolan would be more likely to approve SVG than Thibs given the history. BUT I think Phil would prefer Thibs over SVG because of his Triangle experience. And I don’t think Phil would ever hire SVG (or Blatt) because of lack of Triangle experience.

      An interesting question for Kerr would be to what extent his time as an analyst influenced his coaching. Did his observation of different offenses and defenses help him as a coach? I think it must have which would argue for SVG hire. A smart guy who’s been exposed to so much is definitely the way to go. I have confidence SVG would figure it out for this team. Not gonna happen though because, well, Phil and his damn Triangle. His “goingk” tweet revealed him to be clueless about the modern game. He probably believed GSW would have been a better team if it played the Triangle and ran the offense through Bogut. Look for Triangle guys like Noah and Pau on the Knicks.

    9. GSW uses Triangle sets. The split cuts they use are a variation of the exact set Phil and Tex used in Triangle.

      Talking about Triangle is a waste of time as most people think it’s some rigid system that’s never evolved instead of recognizing that it has changed a ton over the years often to suit individual players’ talents. For example, PJax put in automatics for Kobe/Pau high PNR in his last stint in LA. There are high PNR options in the Triangle which the Knicks use plenty of, but rarely go anywhere because of our underwhelming guard talent.

      Our main issues to me are all guard or wing related. Creation off the dribble and penetration, on ball perimeter defense, specifically against high PNR, creating turnovers and transition defense and offense. None of that has anything to do with the Triangle.

    10. Triangle has no sets; it uses a basic structure and then players react to the defense. Just because an offense uses cutting doesn’t make it the Triangle. I don’t want the high PnR, the most effective set in the NBA, to be a 3rd option especially when we have Melo/Grant as ball handlers and Lopez/KP setting picks. Grant was tearing it up at the start of the season running all high PnR on that second unit. We’ve blown away teams in the second halves of games when we went exclusively to high PnRs after our offense stagnated in the first half. We’re not the 3rd worst team in the EC because of our personnel; we’re the 3rd worst team because of minutes allocation, rotations, and using a system which is a poor fit for our personnel compared to others. If Pistons used the Triangle and we played their offense, our records would be reversed.

    11. @9 LP, I think you’re generally correct about the Triangle, but the problem is perception more than reality. Players around the league, and most importantly free agents, may be seeing Phil as a dinosaur who’s locked into some antiquated system that will be forced on them.

      Whether that’s accurate or not may not be relevant in terms of players wanting to come to the Knicks.

    12. Just because an offense uses cutting doesn’t make it the Triangle.

      Not what I said. GSW doesn’t run Triangle, but they use many Triangle elements. The split cuts are one taken directly from the Triangle and it’s probably their most efficient play.

      I don’t want the high PnR, the most effective set in the NBA, to be a 3rd option

      Yeah, let’s run high PNR all the time right now with our shitty guards. This would be awesome. GSW uses plays that end with a PNR ball handler and roll man less frequently than the Knicks. High PNR isn’t the holy grail of efficient offense. If it was I’m not sure why the Lakers who use it a ton aren’t better offensively.

      Grant was tearing it up at the start of the season running all high PnR on that second team.

      Yeah, and then teams realized he couldn’t shoot worth shit and it stopped being effective.

      We’ve blown away teams in the second halves of games when we went exclusively to high PnRs after our offense stagnated in the first half.

      No we haven’t. Those high PNR are used all game, it’s just that in the 2nd half Melo will do more of the ball handling so those plays become more efficient as he’s our only effective PNR ball handler currently. Most of our comebacks feature plenty of Triangle.

      We’re not the 3rd worst team in the EC because of our personnel; we’re the 3rd worst team because of minutes allocation, rotations, and using a system which is a poor fit for our personnel compared to others.

      Allocation and rotations I agree to some extent, which is a coaching issue. The system being a poor fit for our personnel is beyond stupid. What system do you want to run that would better utilize our frontcourt? One in which our guards handle the ball more and need to create? Good idea.

    13. @11

      This might be true. It’s why I really want Thibs as he’s a coach I think players would love to play for on top of the fact I think he’d definitely improve us defensively in a massive way. He’s an underrated coach offensively as well.

    14. Congratulations to our old friend, Jim Cavan, on the birth of his daughter, Everly, earlier this month!

    15. Yeah, players respect the shit out of Thibs. It was the Chicago front office that turned on him, not the players. The players loved him. He’s one of the few coaches out there that players specifically want to play for (players generally don’t seem to care too much otherwise, until they’ve played for a coach, of course).

    16. You guys are only making the crash down to earth when Rambis gets hired permanently worse for yourselves. Start adapting to the idea now and it will only feel like a punch in the gut instead of a kick in the groin. That’s my advice.

    17. Yeah, and then teams realized he couldn’t shoot worth shit and it stopped being effective.

      No, they stopped playing it and started using Seraphin. Grant would have been effective if they developed a high PnR using Lopez and Porzingis. Grant was not a poor mid-range shooter in college; his problems in part stemmed from being forced to play in a very unnatural offense, not only to him but almost every other player in the NBA. You fail to recognize that many of Grant’s problems were related to the system.

      If it was I’m not sure why the Lakers who use it a ton aren’t better offensively.

      Lopez and Porzingis >>>>>Hibbert/Randle

      GSW uses plays that end with a PNR ball handler and roll man less frequently than the Knicks.

      Just because PnR doesn’t end with ball/dive guy doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Indeed that was usually the case for our 2012-2103 team where the ball moved to spot-up 3 shooter.

      The system being a poor fit for our personnel is beyond stupid. What system do you want to run that would better utilize our frontcourt? One in which our guards handle the ball more and need to create?

      Grant and Melo handling the ball more often. High PnR/Pop using KP/Lopez. It’s not that complicated. Even Calderon was an elite PnR guard BTW. Like I said, if we played Detroit’s offense and they played ours, the records would be reversed. But keep believing the offense (ranked bottom 3rd) in which which players have said they have no idea what they should be doing is better for this team.

    18. No, they stopped playing it and started using Seraphin. Grant would have been effective if they developed a high PnR using Lopez and Porzingis. Grant was not a poor mid-range shooter in college; his problems in part stemmed from being forced to play in a very unnatural offense, not only to him but almost every other player in the NBA. You fail to recognize that many of Grant’s problems were related to the system.

      Just because PnR doesn’t end with ball/dive guy doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Indeed that was usually the case for our 2012-2103 team where the ball moved to spot-up 3 shooter.

      You realize that Grant ends more possessions than Steph Curry in terms of frequency as the PNR ball handler? Unfortunately he can’t shoot regardless of whether he runs it with RoLo, KP or Seraphin. He’s also not creating assists at a high rate so all of those possible positive outcomes aren’t actually happening when he runs it.

      Grant and Melo handling the ball more often. High PnR/Pop using KP/Lopez. It’s not that complicated. Even Calderon was an elite PnR guard BTW. Like I said, if we played Detroit’s offense and they played ours, the records would be reversed. But keep believing the offense (ranked bottom 3rd) in which which players have said they have no idea what they should be doing is better for this team.

      Yeah Calderon was an elite PNR guard when he could move faster than me. He can’t now and he sucks in PNR.

      We could run Detroit’s offense maybe if we had one guard capable of handling the ball and creating as well as Reggie Jackson. We don’t. So running an offense dependent on guard creation makes no sense. Keep deluding yourself in to thinking the system is the reason our guards suck though.

      This very offense was ranked top-10 through more than half the season, which coincidentally is when Calderon and Galloway’s play dropped off in a big way. Wonder what…

    19. Galloway first 44 games: 51.9 TS%, 48.3 eFG%, 14.9 USG%
      Galloway last 30 games: 47.8 TS%, 45.3 eFG%. 15.9 USG%

      Calderon first 44 games: 59.4 TS%, 57.3 eFG%, 12.4 USG%
      Calderon last 27 games: 53.5 TS%, 51.7 eFG%, 13.3 USG%

    20. We could run Detroit’s offense maybe if we had one guard capable of handling the ball and creating as well as Reggie Jackson.

      You realize Reggie was a consistent average WS/48 guard until he played in a spread PnR offense? His WS/48 then jumped. Grant as a rookie was playing at .140 WS/48 clip before the team changed its focus.

      This very offense was ranked top-10 through more than half the season, which coincidentally is when Calderon and Galloway’s play dropped off in a big way. Wonder what…

      Yes and that included the stretch when that second unit running high PnR was carrying the team.

      Unfortunately he can’t shoot regardless of whether he runs it with RoLo, KP or Seraphin.

      The Felton/Amare PnR took some time to click. Grant and KP looked promising in high PnR but the two of the them rarely played together. They obviously don’t spend a whole lot of time on that in practice. Why do you believe that Grant would be terrible shooting a mid-range jumper when that has been listed by various draft sites as one of his strengths? His 3ball is real question mark. His poor shooting from mid-range was more result of overthinking and lack of confidence due mostly to the inefficient system the coaches and Phil employed.

      He’s also not creating assists at a high rate so all of those possible positive outcomes aren’t actually happening when he runs it.

      Creating dimes is not one of Grant’s problems. Dwill got plenty of open corner 3s from the high PnR. Even KP has said they should run it more often. We’ve been better or equal to every team we’ve played in the rare instances when we’ve gone almost exclusively to high PnRs.

    21. Galloway first 44 games: 51.9 TS%, 48.3 eFG%, 14.9 USG%
      Galloway last 30 games: 47.8 TS%, 45.3 eFG%. 15.9 USG%

      Yes Gallo was knocking down 3s when he was playing on that second team. He’s shooting 38% from 3 in 800+ minutes with Grant. Part of the reason players shot so well from 3 in 2012-2013 is that they knew they would receive the ball in a certain spot as a result of a set which forces defense to react. Both Galloway and Grant would have been much better this season if the two of them were starters. Our team defense and offense would both be much better.

    22. Congratulations to our old friend, Jim Cavan, on the birth of his daughter, Everly, earlier this month!

      Indeed. So happy to hear it. Congrats!

    23. You guys are only making the crash down to earth when Rambis gets hired permanently worse for yourselves. Start adapting to the idea now and it will only feel like a punch in the gut instead of a kick in the groin. That’s my advice.

      I am well prepared!

    24. Cronin must ban himself immediately. He’s making Jowles look like Norman Vincent Peale.

    25. Both Galloway and Grant would have been much better this season if the two of them were starters. Our team defense and offense would both be much better.

      My only disagreement here is about the offense. We’re on the same page defensively and in terms of what I’d have done coaching the team it would have at least tinkered with the starting backcourt more frequently.

      I know Grant can be a good if not, elite Calderon level shooter. He wasn’t doing that at all earlier in the year and has actually been shooting better since Rambis took over.

      I agree Grant should see more minutes,just not that he’s being restricted in the offense and that’s why he’s struggling. To me the minutes allocation is a bigger issue than the offense. Grant and Galloway should clearly be getting more minutes with Melo/KP/RoLo starting frontcourt. I agree with you that Grant should have seen more time with KP in particular. Galloway also, though he got plenty of minutes closing games throughout this season.

      You’re blaming those struggles on the system and I think a lot of our issues are more because of minutes allocation and talent.

      Shit, we’re getting positive production from our frontcourt in this offense. I think it’s worth it to give it a little time to see if Phil can find a good coach this summer and improve our guard play instead of saying it totally sucks and has no value and doesn’t fit the modern NBA, whatever that means since San Antonio shoots less threes, about equal mid-range attempts and are averaging 0.9 possessions more per game than us.

      Every organization has a system. Phil didn’t stop Fisher from running high PNR sets. He explicity went and drafted him a PNR point guard that Fish then hamstrung by not playing with our best frontcourt at all and Rambis has continued doing that. Grant is actually playing better now in this system. The main issue is minutes which is coaching related, not system related.

    26. Just think about this for a second..
      DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 27 ppg 11.6 rpg 3.3 apg 1.4 bpg and 1.5 spg. Bad side to that is he’s taking 3 threes a game. That can easily be fixed by his coach tellin him to stay his big ass in the paint. He’s also shootin 73% from the line. This dude can be better than Shaq if he changes his attitude and operate in the paint more. Makin me dream of scenarios to get him on the Knicks…

    27. I haven’t been on Knickerblogger as much the last few weeks, so i apologize if this has already been posted and talked about…

      but I did not realize that Thibs ran a ton of Triangle when he was coaching the Bulls. See here at BBallbreakdown:

      That is..wow! Crazy encouraging and informative. How in THEEEEEEE HELL did his triangle sets go fly under the radar in Chicago. I’ve long said Thibs is a great coach. I’ve always felt that he and JVG can and should be placed a notch under the Pops, Izzos, Gary Williams, Coach K’s, John Thompsons, Woodens, Auerbachs, Holzmans, Larry Browns, Rileys and Phils of the hoops coaching world- if not in the same sentence. Those guys to me are the elite coaches whom I believe can coach well and be successful at any level. I’m definitely all in on Thibs over a “known” triangle disciple. Good look Frank!

    28. I think it’s worth it to give it a little time to see if Phil can find a good coach this summer and improve our guard play

      Maybe our guard play is only a problem in this system? It would be much better to play Grant/Gallo/KP/Melo/Lopez together for the rest of the season. What if our offense and team is substantially better? Did anyone believe that 2012-13 team would rank 3rd in offensive efficiency? Could you imagine if Phil were here then and implemented the Triangle? We surely would have ranked 15th or lower in offensive efficiency. Sound familiar?

      What if we do look a lot better on offense with Grant/Gallo as starters? Perhaps that would influence free agency? I think it would be difficult to find a 1/2 combination better on defense than Gallo/Grant. And what if Gallo settles into a different offense and shoots 38%+ from 3? Do we then really want to spend 18m on Bazemore or Fournier? Yes we’ll be better if Calderon and Afflalo are replaced by free agents. But we don’t just want to be better, we want to maximize our talent.

      Note: I don’t want to run a spread PnR system to the extent we did in 2012-13. Lopez and KP are far more versatile on offense than Novak and Chandler. I just want an offense which features MORE high PnR because Grant in college, Lopez at Portland, Melo in 2012, and KP’s skills at present suggest this is the better way to go. If we had Monroe/Griffin/Pau I think the Triangle would be more suitable. It’s all about the personnel.

    29. The Grant PNR also fizzled because teams started sitting on that pass back to Gallo on the wing leading to lots of fast breaks going the other way.

    30. The Grant PNR also fizzled because teams started sitting on that pass back to Gallo on the wing leading to lots of fast breaks going the other way.

      Is this real or did it happen once? Did multiple teams figure out the same way to effectively guard a particular PNR play by a 15 MPG backup guard on the Knicks?

    31. The main problem was KOQ went into the doghouse and Seraphin took his minutes. The PnR then mostly stopped and they began to execute a traditional Triangle offense.That fizzled and led to a revolving door of lineups which made it difficult for players to settle into any kind of offense.

    32. Scouting and team adjustments will almost definitely have an impact on the efficiency of your offense, but I’d have to think it’s really hard to isolate normal variations in play from impacts related adjustments.

    33. I’m all for playing Grant more and running more PNR, but I doubt Grant is an NBA starter period.

    34. Scouting and team adjustments will almost definitely have an impact on the efficiency of your offense, but I’d have to think it’s really hard to isolate normal variations in play from impacts related adjustments.

      Exactly. If it were a gameplan adjustment for Carmelo (i.e. triple-team Melo on an end-of-game possession because he will not pass out of it), I’d buy it. But for an adjustment against a guy who is #9 in minutes played on a 30-44 team with alternative gameplan targets like Anthony, Afflalo and Porzingis, all three of whom are shooting worse than league average but have many different ways to approach an offensive possession? Nah, the presumption that Grant’s being locked down by anything other than poor execution on his part and natural, reactive judgment from his defender: nah. Definitely nah.

    35. You might be right but that pass was there early in the season and then there was a stretch where it got picked off 4 or 5 times in a stretch of a few games and Grant pretty much stopped throwing that pass after that. I do think teams started paying a lot more attention to Gallo after the torrid start so it may have been an adjustment against Gallo rather than Grant or yeah, maybe it was just poor execution. Either way, they didn’t stop running the PNR with Grant- it’s just that those PNRs increasingly resulted in Grant throwing up wild shots while falling out of bounds rather than open threes for Galloway.

    36. @1 I’d seen the BBall Breakdown video, but I didn’t know that Thibs worked with Yao in Houston. I’m still wary about his unsustainable minutes allocations. But it does move the needle for me in towards Thibs.

      Like BigBlueAL wrote the other day, I don’t have “championship or bust” expectations for the Knicks (also, like he said, I project those unreasonable expectations on the Yankees.) Just give us a competent, passionate, and hardworking coach that can coach both sides of the ball. I’d love to see NY playoffs basketball again. I’d love for the Knicks to re-earn that old reputation for hellacious defense. You know. The simple things!

    37. This is the year to sign Thibs or another good coach and overpay for Derozan or Batum. Shed Jose, Afflalo if we must. That will give us Rolo, KP, Melo and say, Batum as starters. That’s good!

      We can then play Grant, Wroten, Gallo, or Jose if he’s still here, at the point. Trice too.That’s a very good, still improving team and our bench can be Lance, DWill, Willy, those other guards mentioned, Thanasis or Early, Bachynski, O’Quinn plus any other low cost finds. Next year we’ll have a lot more cap space for a PG if we still need one and a number one pick!

      This can be an excellent team and a contender by 2017.

    38. @39 reub, I posted in another thread that I think the Knicks will look to get a good SG this offseason. From what I’ve read, DeRozen will almost surely resign with Toronto or jump to LA.

      However, there are lots of pretty good SG available this offseason, like Batum and others. Surely Phil can nab one. Go with a stopgap PG and see what happens. Good PGs could be available in 2017 to complete (hopefully) the puzzle.

    39. @39 I’ve been on the Batum bandwagon for a while now, because of his passing, versatility, and length. But your mention of DeRozan brought to mind a section from a Zach Lowe column written before the All-Star break. In it, he argues for DeRozan instead of Wade on the East All-Star team:

      DeRozan, a Dwyane Wade-ish player… has evolved into a new kind of offensive force by replacing a few midrange looks with drives to the basket. He is relentless. He averages 12 drives per game, the highest mark in the league. Only James Harden has attempted more free throws. Even when every avenue to the rim appears barricaded — when just about everyone, including DeRozan before this season, would settle for a jumper — DeRozan is charging ahead, banging dudes shoulder-to-chest, and rampaging wherever he wants.

      Wade and DeRozan both top out as average defenders, but DeRozan has been better. He’s more diligent night-to-night, possession-by-possession, and with DeMarre Carroll out for most of the season, DeRozan hasn’t had the luxury of passing the toughest assignment on to someone else — as Wade often does with Luol Deng and Justise Winslow. DeRozan has propped up Toronto’s scoring margin even when Lowry, a deserving All-Star starter, hits the bench, per NBA.com.

      So, Batum’s passing and all-around play or DeRozan’s driving and scoring? Lord knows we need someone who can get into the paint. I’m still pro-Batum but if DeRozan builds on the play that Lowe describes, I wouldn’t be too upset with him in NY.

    40. Oh hey, here’s what Lowe said last year about Batum vs. DeRozan!

      Batum isn’t as explosive as DeRozan, but he can shoot 3s, he’s a (slightly) better passer and he can defend more positions.

    41. I’m on the Batum bandwagon. In fact, I think he’s a better all around player than Derozan. Derozan may still have more upside and give us the extra explosive scorer we need, but I don’t think he’ll be available to us.

    42. DeRozan is a more athletic version of Arron Afflalo. Let’s let somebody else overpay him and go after the Banana Boat this off season.

      I’d really just prefer Mike Conley and Jared Dudley. If we could somehow grab Conley, Batum, and Thibodeaux, we would have hit a homerun and probably be the #2 team in the EC next year. Long term, I think it’s best to grab Batum, sign Chalmers to a 1+1 and then go after Chris Paul. Paul, Batum, Melo, Porzingis, and Lopez in 2018 could win the East.

      Or we blow it up, trade Melo to be the 3rd Banana, and grab a top 5 pick.

    43. I’m a Dudley fan too, but I don’t like him at PF the way Washington has been using him. He’s more of SF. So what role does he have on NY unless he’s coming off the bench playing multiple positions. He’s not a real SG.

    44. I like Batum, as well, but just remember that he IS going to get $25 million next year. That might be from the Knicks, but just noting that you have to figure in him making $25 million into any scenario involving him coming to New York.

    45. I think that we can pay him. Would we have to shed Afflalo and stretch Jose? I’d like to keep DWill, Lance, Gallo, and maybe Jose plus sign Willy and either Early or Thanasis (who I still like and might bring his brother). Is this financially possible?

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