Knicks Morning News (2016.04.11)

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: On the Selection of the Knicks’ New Coach, a Few Musings From a Past Official (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 09:00:21 GMT)

    Phil Jackson, the Knicks’ president, may want to have a better idea of who is going to be on the bench before deciding on who will lead the team.

  • [New York Times] Around the NBA: Picks for NBA Awards _ and League Champion (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 06:27:37 GMT)

    Combing over the NBA awards this season finds more no-brainers than nail-biters.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Duke Freshman to Transfer (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 04:11:14 GMT)

    Derryck Thornton said in a statement issued by the school that he wanted to play closer to his California home.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Tie Record With 72nd Win, End Spurs’ Home Streak (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 03:40:01 GMT)

    The Golden State Warriors got a momentous victory in the one place they hadn’t won in nearly two decades.

  • [New York Times] Warriors 92, Spurs 86: Warriors Equal Mark for Most Victories in a Season (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 03:32:14 GMT)

    Stephen Curry and Golden State cemented their status as basketball royalty by tying the 1995-96 Bulls’ N.B.A. record.

  • [New York Times] Raptors Stay Alive in Race for East Top Seed Behind DeRozan (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 03:31:04 GMT)

    The Toronto Raptors still can get home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Top Spurs for Record-Tying 72nd Win (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 03:12:27 GMT)

    There are records and then there are monumental records.

  • [New York Times] Fittingly, Knicks Fall in Home Finale (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 03:00:38 GMT)

    In the Knicks’ second-to-last contest in a long-ago-lost campaign, they handed big minutes to their young players and reserves and lost 93-89 to the Toronto Raptors.

  • [New York Times] Keeping Score: Pacers In and Bulls Out as Playoff Picture Sharpens (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 02:58:11 GMT)

    The Pacers were just one of several teams fighting for a postseason position that were overshadowed by the Golden State Warriors’ record-tying win.

  • [New York Times] Whiteside Helps Heat Top Magic (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 02:51:28 GMT)

    It’s the Hassan Hour.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Pacers Rout Nets to Make Playoffs; Three Battle On in West (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 02:27:12 GMT)

    Utah, Houston and Dallas are locked in a race for the last two Western Conference playoff spots.

  • [New York Times] Heat Top Magic in Home Regular-Season Finale, 118-96 (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 01:33:41 GMT)

    The home finale was an easy win for the Miami Heat.

  • [New York Times] Turner, Pacers Clinch Playoff Spot With 129-105 Win vs Nets (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 00:57:47 GMT)

    Myles Turner had 28 points and 10 rebounds and the Indiana Pacers beat the Brooklyn Nets 129-105 Sunday night to clinch a playoff berth.

  • [New York Post] Rambis sounds like Knicks fixture in preaching quick 180 (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 01:58:50 -0400)

    Interim coach Kurt Rambis, in a message to fans on Fan Appreciation Night, said he understands "the blur” of non-playoff seasons but stressed how fast things can change next season. Rambis even referred to last season's 17-65 disaster as "Year Zero” because of the mammoth changes involved in the new Phil Jackson regime. As such,…

  • [New York Post] Why Phil Jackson must get rid of the perfect interim coach (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 00:40:43 -0400)

    Kurt Rambis has played the part of loyal soldier. He has been the model interim coach in a lot of ways: affable, earnest, absolutely committed to carrying out his boss' interpretation of what basketball should look like. If you look up the word "interim” in the dictionary, you don't see Rambis' face, as the old…

  • [New York Daily News] Melo tells fans to keep faith, Rambis praises Jackson (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 05:12:35 GMT)

    The Knicks completed their home schedule of another lost season with only hypothetical legs to stand on.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks fall to Raptors in Madison Square Garden season finale (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 00:23:15 EDT)

    Phil Jackson was in his usual center-court seat about 10 rows up from the floor Sunday night, watching the Knicks play their last home game of the season. His first two full seasons as Knicks president have resulted in more anguish than victories.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Monday's Knicks Links: Melo tells fans to keep the faith (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 05:31:53 EST)

    Monday's Knicks Links: Melo tells fans to keep the faith

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Carmelo Anthony says he's focused on improving the Knicks, not leaving them (Mon, 11 Apr 2016 00:54:30 EST)

    Carmelo Anthony says he's focused on improving the Knicks, not leaving them

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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).

    70 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.04.11)”

    1. Maybe this has been talked about before but…

      Post-All-star break:

      Sasha Vujacic
      18 min/game (400 total minutes – small sample but actually larger than his pre-ASB sample)
      Per 36 = 13.4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.2 steals. 47.6% from 3 point range on 5.7 attempts/36
      Net rating of 4.0 (ORtg 107, DRtg 103)
      eFG 60.2
      TS 62.5
      USG 15.8

      So, um. The only guard that has reached an eFG 60 + TS 60 + USG 15 threshold (for the entire year) is Steph Curry. Even if you lower the eFG threshold to 55%, it’s only Steph Curry and JJ Redick.

      His post-ASB Net Rating is 2nd on the Knicks during that period of time, second only to Lance Thomas who only played 9 games.

      Now is it possible — that he’s been endlessly ridiculed by us incorrectly?

      He’s basically been the best player on this crappy team for the last 2 months.

      Now – Jerian Grant.

      Post-ASB – per 36 numbers of 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.8 steals. TS 53.4 on 19.9 usage

      The list of players who reach 14/4/4 + TS 53 for the year = Curry, Westbrook, Harden, CP3, Lowry, Kemba, Lillard, Jimmy Butler, Oladipo, Dragic, Chalmers, Ginobili, Sessions, and of all people, DWTDD.

      The transformation in Sasha and Grant’s #s has been astounding since the ASB. The only thing that has really changed since the ASB is the new head coach (and more minutes).

      Should we give Rambis any credit for this? *ducks*

    2. Frank,

      I respect your attempt to take an out-of-the-mainstream look at the relative worth of that back court.
      I think the numbers are promising, but I also think they need to be discounted based on the team’s overall performance. As guards go, so go a team.
      The Knicks doubled their win total from last year, which is laudable, except they were 13 and 24 over the last 37 games. Not exactly finishing strongly.
      Frankly, they were almost entirely unwatchable.

      The Knicks back court is weak; stating the obvious here.
      Certainly you want to see Grant improve. You want to see Galloway improve, but they’re not players (young players) that win that many games for you, as the season record attests.
      I think also with Sasha, one must examine his defense, admittedly a tough measure statistically. But my experience with him is that he’s often overmatched by his opponent. To wit, if his per 36 looks reasonably good on this team, I have a suspicion that his opponents were putting up loftier numbers against him. Just a thought.
      Respectfully, putting Gerian in the same class with the names you listed, players for whom teams define strategies to defeat, and they put up those numbers despite those strategies, defies credulity. Gerian is tangential to any teams strategy to defeat the Knicks. He’s not even a micro-thought, as is Sasha, because no one goes into the Garden saying, we need to shut down Sasha and Gerian, or else.
      No need to duck. There are only two good news stories from this season: KP and LT. Maybe Melo’s knee and shoulder largely holding up.

    3. There are only two good news stories from this season: KP and LT. Maybe Melo’s knee and shoulder largely holding up.

      I think you have to add RoLo to the good news list. And I’m fairly optimistic that Grant can develop into a good 20-25 minute a game backup PG.

      On the negative side, Afflalo has basically checked out for the season, which is another reason to dislike the guy. I pray that he opts out.

    4. Sasha’s certainly been a lot better than he was then at the start of the season. But he’s hitting 48% of his three point shots post ASB. As you point out, 400 minutes isn’t nothing, but Sasha’s been a 37% three point shooter over the 8500 minutes he’s played in his NBA career. Has Kurt Rambis taught him a secret that has allowed him to massively improve his three point shooting in the last 3 months or is he just riding a hot streak?

    5. Because we hosted a team with a pending free agent, of course the tabloids are full of stories about whether DeRozan might want to play in the Mecca. I don’t imagine that happening, but let’s just pretend he wanted to come here. What do people think of him as a fit with the rest of the team? We need a backcourt upgrade in the worst way. DeRozan doesn’t really shoot 3s, but he attacks the basket so well that it hasn’t really hurt Toronto overall. Would he be a hypothetical Triangle fit?

    6. Afflalo checked out and everything about his behavior says ‘I want to get away from here.’

      Rookie Westbrook: FG% .398; 3%: .271; TS 0.489; WS/48 0.035
      Grant: FG% 0.387; 3% 0.208; TS .471; WS/48 .027

      All I’m saying is, let the rookie simmer some more before judging. I see nothing Westbrook-like in him, just sayin’.

    7. After all this (the past 5 years), the Knicks and Nuggets could end up tied, making their swap of picks come down to a single ping pong ball. Toronto must be in the end he of their seats. (in the race to the bottom, Denver managed to beat the Spurs and the Warriors, while the Knicks managed to beat Philadelphia in double-overtime…)

      Question: if given the choice today to GM the Knicks or the Nuggets, which team do you sign a 5 year contract with? (Kroenke v Dolan? Jokic v Porzingis? Free agents v draft picks? Hmmmm…)

    8. I’m really not saying that Rambis is great. It’s not lost on me that he basically had to be forced into playing Grant more (by Calderon’s injury and the rest of the team basically telling him he had to).

      But undeniably, Sasha has been pretty darn good the last 2 months. His defensive tracking stats are really good since the all star break and his defensive rating is a net + also (103 with him on the court, 106 with him off).

      But we should also take into account that the Knick’s best team defensive player (Lance Thomas) was out basically the whole 2nd half of the season, and the games he did play he was doing on one leg.

      The Knicks Net rating was -2.5 pre-ASB and -3.1 post-ASB. It’s hard to know whether that is really any different. And if you consider the team was less healthy the 2nd half, one could reasonably argue the team didn’t really play worse then 2nd half – they just got less lucky in some close games.

      I actually have found the team pretty entertaining to watch the last couple weeks in spite of KP’s absence. I’ve thought about why that is, and really it’s this — there’s been a little less Afflalo, more Sasha, and more Grant. What that equals is less ugly post-ups and turnovers by Affalo and less awful defense by both Afflalo and Calderon. Afflalo has really turned into one of my least favorite Knicks ever, and has REALLY checked out the last couple weeks. Over the last 10 games, his on-court net rating is -9.4 and his off-court net rating is +11.9, making for a truly impressive -21.9 total rating.

      I’m not sure what it means for the offseason, but I’m really glad that Afflalo is all ticked off. Go somewhere else and ballhog and play truly awful defense. It really takes some work to have a worse defensive rating than Jose Calderon.

    9. Re: Derozan – I certainly wouldn’t mind him on the team although not sure that he’s a max contract sort of guy. It feels like a lock that Evan Turner will be our next SG. I’d much rather have Batum.

      I’m cautiously optimistic that between Grant/Wroten/Galloway we might have enough at the lead guard position to not have to drastically overpay for someone like Conley. Or Rondo. I’d honestly rather have Chalmers or Dellavadova at a cheaper rate.

    10. Looking forward to next season, this is sort of what I picture:

      C: Lopez / O’Quinn / Hernangomez
      PF: KP
      SF: Melo, Lance Thomas
      SG: FA-to-be-determined, Sasha, Galloway
      PG: Grant, Wroten (hopefully stretch-waive Calderon to get more cap space)

      I’d actually like to see them trade O’Quinn for a second round pick or two since Hernangomez is coming, and maybe give Jordan Bachynski a try from Westchester as another backup big.

      Will be interesting to see what kind of offers Lance Thomas gets this offseason. We have EB rights on him but it seems possible he will get bigger offers. Let’s see whether Phil’s decision/gift to pay him more than the minimum this past season makes Lance come back on a favorable contract.

    11. @1

      I’ve been saying the same thing for the last week or so.

      Sasha was horrible early in the season. So we were all right to be upset when he was getting minutes over our younger players. But at a certain point, he started playing better than Afllalo. People were still mistakenly hating on him because of those very early season results. In his case, I think we already know what Sasha is. We have a long term record to look at. He’s a bargain at the price as a backup or 3rd string, but if he’s getting a lot of minutes or starting you have a problem in the backcourt.

      The same is true of Grant, but in his case we don’t have a long term record and we have a greater probability that he could actually be getting a lot better because he’s young. So I think there is every reason to remain hopeful that Grant is starting to put it all together and will be productive as either the starting or backup PG next year depending on what happens in the off season.

    12. Rookie Westbrook: FG% .398; 3%: .271; TS 0.489; WS/48 0.035
      Grant: FG% 0.387; 3% 0.208; TS .471; WS/48 .027

      Westbrook was 20 when he came into the NBA and Grant is 23. I’m optimistic that Grant is going to develop, but I think the age difference makes that comparison a little too optimistic (not to mention that Westbrook is an incredible athlete not just a good one) .

    13. @10

      If Hernangomez turns out to be ready to contribute, that would make O’Quinn expendable, but I’d rather keep him around until we know what we have with the import. KP can also play some more C next year.

    14. Absolutely not saying Grant is Westbrook’s second coming, although style-wise they rely on a lot of the same things; just saying rookie PG’s need time to properly assess.

    15. If Hernangomez turns out to be ready to contribute, that would make O’Quinn expendable, but I’d rather keep him around until we know what we have with the import. KP can also play some more C next year.

      I actually like KOQ but feel like between RoLo and more C from KP, his opportunity to contribute will be relatively small. It’ll be even worse if Hernangomez can actually play.

      We’ve actually seen a fair amount of small-ball from Rambis also – I could imagine Melo and Lance Thomas both getting some time at the 4.

      Basically I’d love to get a mid 2nd round pick and spend it on Gary Payton Jr – big guard, ballhawk, super athletic. Exactly what we should have in the backcourt. He’s #44 in the DX Mock Draft.

    16. I’d actually like to see them trade O’Quinn for a second round pick or two

      I dunno. He has some talent and if he matures he can be very useful with his favorable contract. It can still happen.

    17. O’Quinn is-at worst- a good back up big man on a very cheap deal for 3 more years. I’d trade him for a first round pick, but the odds of drafting someone better than O’Quinn in the second round are not good, and you don’t save that much money by moving him. He would have been a good return on our investment if we hadn’t lit all those minutes on fire by playing Seraphin. So you’d have to be feeling pretty good about the guy you wanted to draft in the second to think about doing that sort of deal.

      I do like GP2 a lot tho

    18. this board is like months-long discussions on how to win a poker tournament on nothing but 2-7 and 3-8 offsuit

    19. this board is like months-long discussions on how to win a poker tournament on nothing but 2-7 and 3-8 offsuit

      Situation could be worse. Seems likely that AA and DWill are going to opt out. So that leaves us with about $32MM in cap space, or about $37MM if we stretch Jose. We have 3 legit starters (RoLo/KP/Melo), a PG that has some promise (in Grant). We have EB+Arenas rights to Galloway so we can theoretically wait until after our FA spending spree to re-up him. Lance Thomas looks like a legitimate rotation player – we have EB rights to him also but not clear if that will be enough. And after this draft, we have all our own 1sts going forward.

      So yes, we’re going to need a 772 flop to win here, but hey, it’s something.

      Honestly I’d just be happy with making the playoffs next year and being a 4 or 5 seed sometime within the next 3 years. I was perfectly happy in the 90s, could be super happy again with the same outcomes.

    20. Personally I don’t think we should be looking at PGs this summer unless you’re in to giving Conley and his disconcertingly not healthy Achilles a max, which I’m not.

      What would make a really big difference for us is to address our wing situation. Ideally I’d hope we can grab Gbinje in the 2nd round or take a flyer on Caris Levert out of Michigan. Levert was averaging 18-5-5 this year and would have been a lottery pick last season if he had been healthy. He got hurt again this year which submarined his draft value even more, but the talent remains the same and at 6’6 with shooting range and ball handling ability he’s the type of guard that you’d want in a 2 guard front. I like Gbinje for similar reasons in terms of his skill set as a 2 guard that had to take on significant ball handling and creation duties for a team that trotted out Trevor fucking Cooney as a starting guard.

      Other than that I’m sold on betting high on Fournier or making a run at Batum.

      @5

      DeRozan is good, but my issue with him is that he’s a very isolation heavy player. I think we need to identify and move for guards that work better off the ball and don’t turn every possession in to an isolation when they get it. I admit to some degree that’s very subjective, but I think certain players encourage ball movement and get teams to play a stylistically more free flowing offense. I think both Fournier and Batum do this far better than DeRozan though his individual numbers are very impressive and has improved a lot.

    21. Honestly I’d just be happy with making the playoffs next year and being a 4 or 5 seed sometime within the next 3 years. I was perfectly happy in the 90s, could be super happy again with the same outcomes.

      Yes, but that’s still optimistic. Carmelo, Porzingis and Lopez have all been serviceable. Carmelo is mediocre and on the decline. Porzingis is below-average and on the rise. Lopez is productive but not a franchise player.

      Without a true star player, their ceiling next year is .500. I guess I’m okay with that. I think that it’s much more fun to have improbable wins (Giants ’08, ’12) than improbable losses (Yanks ’03, ’04). It must be frustrating as hell to be a Cavs fan because you’ve got the one player that every team dreams of, that can play his style with any team and immediately make them a conference finalist, and you still manage to lose each and every time you make a deep run. The best Knicks team of this century was a 2nd-round exit followed by the scapegoating and jettisoning of its best player. Blech.

    22. I’m really puzzled about what to do with O’Quinn. Coming into the year I thought he’d be a big contributor and a fan favorite. Even with his jerked-around minutes, he’s averaging a per-36 line of 15 points, 12 rebs, 3.4 asts, 1 steal and 2.2 blocks on slightly below average shooting (52% TS). He can play PF or C and he’s a playmaker in the post. After the free agent frenzy this offseason his contract will look miniscule.

      But he’s now put up good numbers for four seasons and yet three coaches have refused to give him heavy minutes. He must be lazy in practice or have some problem behind the scenes that makes him unplayable. If that’s the case, what is his worth on the trade market?

      The league is moving away from bigs in general, and we are going to have four next year in RoLo, Zing, O’Quinn, and Hernangomez. That’s too many. All four of those guys should be playing mostly center in a modern scheme. Melo should be playing mostly PF. In that case, O’Quinn has very little value to us. But if his reputation is bad and the glut of available big men has driven his price down to a 2nd rounder, is he worth moving? I can’t decide.

    23. The O’Quinn question can be answered in this manner: Would you take O’Quinn, a league-average or slightly above league-average player, for a rather low 10 minutes a night, or would you take a second round pick who has ~15% chance of being replacement level, ~5% to be a starter, and ~80% to be a bust? You take O’Quinn, every time, unless you’re really high on someone in the 2nd (which you usually shouldn’t be) or you’re getting offered a first rounder.

    24. We should keep KOQ until we’ve seen what Hernangomez does. There’s no point in moving him unless we have somebody worth creating cap space for in FA.

    25. There’s the added factor of salary. O’Quinn makes $4 mil while a 2nd rounder makes the minimum. O’Quinn was worth 1.7 win shares this year, meaning he costs $2.35 mil per win share. The average 2nd rounder is worth about 0.7 WS per year, according to this guy’s chart:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/36wv9m/trying_to_create_an_nba_draft_trade_value_chart/

      At about $850,000 per year, that’s $1.2 mil per WS. So O’Quinn costs twice as much money per win as your average 2nd round pick. But it’s a small amount of money, so it’s not that significant.

    26. this board is like months-long discussions on how to win a poker tournament on nothing but 2-7 and 3-8 offsuit

      lol. Yeah, but given KP, Grant, and our cap space, we may flop trip 7s or 8s. :-)

    27. bruh Grant is going to make an excellent 12th man someday, let’s not get all aroused over a sucky rookie season from a 23-year-old who has literally 1 year before he enters the “peak” years of an average NBAer

    28. Malik Beasley is an interesting player out of FSU that I wouldn’t mind the Knicks drafting in the 2nd rd.

    29. One of Noah or Pau (maybe both) will be a Knick. Phil will package KOQ/Calderon to free up cap space to sign players like Chalmers. The ship be sinking and Phil will jettison a lot of players to reconfigure team and rescue his legacy. I think Phil’s done an above average job so far in drafting/signings and been terrible in terms of system/coaching especially since the break. I doubt an RFA like Fournier or Johnson will want to play for a coach and a system which the existing players on the team don’t even like. That means paying big bucks to a UFA like Gordon and aging vets like Noah or Pau to improve our record and get Phil to end of year 3 followed by an opt-out.

    30. bruh Grant is going to make an excellent 12th man someday, let’s not get all aroused over a sucky rookie season from a 23-year-old who has literally 1 year before he enters the “peak” years of an average NBAer

      A few players who played 4 years of college ball:

      Draymond Green
      Wes Matthews
      George Hill
      Chandler Parsons

      None of them set the world on fire when they joined the NBA. Now Grant may end up being a 12th man, as you suggest, but it’s still way too early to write him off because he’s 23 and not 19 or 20.

    31. So O’Quinn costs twice as much money per win as your average 2nd round pick. But it’s a small amount of money, so it’s not that significant.

      The other thing to consider is that you could get more out of O’Quinn by actually playing him.

    32. The other thing to consider is that you could get more out of O’Quinn by actually playing him.

      Especially when the alternative was Seraphin.

    33. If I were Grant’s agent, I’d ask for a trade and leak it to the media. The guy’s 23yo and doesn’t need his career nipped in the bud by the likes of Rambis and Phil. In an alternate universe, Grant/Gallo would have started from Day 1 (like I recommended) and we would be playing a hybrid offense (maybe only 25% triangle like Thibs) better suited to our players. Grant would not have been yanked every time he made a rookie error and Gallo’s role would have been better defined. Our defense would have been better and our offense as well if we didn’t rank last in PnRs and actually worked on them in practice. Instead we threw in with aging declining players like Calderon and Afflalo and look where we’re at: we need Vujacic to make our offense work. Even after the break Phil/Rambis continued to throw good money after bad. We still don’t know how a Grant/Gallo/Melo/KP/Lopez would fare. And change only happened after a player revolt.

    34. Again, this seems like a pretty gross oversimplification. “More PnR”doesn’t magically turn this roster into a good squad. We had no depth, and went from “really hot” and “really healthy” to none of those things. I think if we nab some quality guards/wings, we don’t need to rely on sophomores/rookies playing out of their minds and all of a sudden this becomes a fun team.

      Heck, now I might be oversimplifying things. At least that explanation doesn’t rely on magic

    35. If I were Grant’s agent, I’d ask for a trade and leak it to the media.

      And the Knicks would laugh in his face. He has no leverage.

      we need Vujacic to make our offense work.

      Almost like we still have holes to fill a year after blowing up the roster.

      Even after the break Phil/Rambis continued to throw good money after bad. We still don’t know how a Grant/Gallo/Melo/KP/Lopez would fare. And change only happened after a player revolt.

      This is the most annoying part of the year, though Galloway hasn’t shot well for the past 3 months after his crazy start.

    36. @34

      Knicks have actually had more possessions finishing with the PNR ball handler and roll man since Rambis took over.

    37. @lavor Thanks for the data. That’s what I’m saying, “More PnR = winz” is a ridiculous argument.

    38. This is the most annoying part of the year, though Galloway hasn’t shot well for the past 3 months after his crazy start.

      Gallo himself has said his performance has suffered because of his shifting role in all kinds of lineups. Maybe in part he shot so well early on because his role on that second unit was better defined.

      Almost like we still have holes to fill a year after blowing up the roster.

      Sure, but what are they, how vital are they? We’d have a better record, a better read on our needs, and would be more attractive to free agents if we had charted a different course.

      And the Knicks would laugh in his face. He has no leverage.

      Maybe but teams generally don’t want to keep players who don’t want to be on their team and Grant would have trade value. It’s clear Phil and Rambis are not that high on Jerian. BUT if Phil traded him and he suddenly starts posting a .130 WS/48 in a different offense on another team Phil would look like a complete fool. Grant’s already made him look like a fool by his recent play foisted on Phil by Melo/Lopez/Calderon.

    39. It’s clear Phil and Rambis are not that high on Jerian.

      They seem pretty high on him. Rambis has generally talked up Grant’s potential though I wish just like you that they’d have given him more minutes. He even drew up the play at the end of the Philly game specifically for Jerian to drive which he hit the jumper on to go up 4 which I don’t think you do for a guy unless you actually believe in him. His comments after that game about him are indicative of a player they believe has real potential.

      BUT if Phil traded him and he suddenly starts posting a .130 WS/48 in a different offense on another team Phil would look like a complete fool.

      I mean sure anybody would look foolish in that scenario, but I don’t think it’s likely. None of the guards that we’ve had and have gone to other offenses are really putting up better numbers other than JR and THJ who are in lower usage spot up roles. Even Larkin who gets to run a shit ton of PNR in Brooklyn with Brook Lopez and Thad who are both pretty good as roll men hasn’t been good. Shumpert is still a complete pumpkin offensively even on miniscule usage. Felton’s still an inefficient scorer that can penetrate but not maximize his opportunities at the rim.

      Maybe you’re right and Grant would have had a better rookie season elsewhere I just don’t know that’d have been true given his early season struggles. I think the bigger issue is just him fixing the form on his shot and getting his confidence back up. Shit after the game yesterday Grant more or less hinted that his confidence was shot early in the year because Fisher was yanking his minutes around and pulling him after a mistake.

      Rambis hasn’t handled his minutes all that well either, but he’s been more inclined to let him play through a mistake in a stretch of minutes instead of pulling him every time he makes one.

    40. Sure, but what are they, how vital are they? We’d have a better record, a better read on our needs, and would be more attractive to free agents if we had charted a different course.

      Idk to me it’s pretty obvious what we need which is wings and maybe a flyer on a 1-year deal for a stop gap PG, but I’d rather just suck it up with what we have at point and hope Grant can take a leap and replace Afflalo and Cleanthony with 2 better quality wings.

      I’d still keep Cleanthony in D-League if possible. If he can develop a 3 point shot he can be a legit bench wing. Demarre Carroll and Lance Thomas didn’t develop their jumpers until later on as well so at 26 going in to next season maybe he still has a shot.

    41. They seem pretty high on him.

      They only really gave him consistent minutes after Melo/Lopez/Calderon went to Rambis. Even after that, Rambis still didn’t play him enough. He could have played him at the end of the Pacers game. It took the second-to-last game of the season before he cracked 30 minutes in a game and played at the end of a game where a decent opponent was trying to win.

      Idk to me it’s pretty obvious what we need which is wings and maybe a flyer on a 1-year deal for a stop gap PG, but I’d rather just suck it up with what we have at point and hope Grant can take a leap and replace Afflalo and Cleanthony with 2 better quality wings.

      What if Gallo had a 3FG% of 40%? Would you still want to spend 18-25m on a wing? What if Grant were playing like he is now over a large sample size? Would you still want Conley at 25m? I’ve posted similar stats before but Herring just gave one where Grant/Gallo together rank 3rd in NBA in defense by one metric. Wouldn’t you want to know if that was sustainable over a longer period of time before entering free agency?

    42. None of them set the world on fire when they joined the NBA. Now Grant may end up being a 12th man, as you suggest, but it’s still way too early to write him off because he’s 23 and not 19 or 20.

      I advocate for signing four-year NCAA starters because it means you get their prime under rookie contract.

      He will probably improve next year, but unless he adds 10 points to his TS%, I’m not going to refer to him as anything but a bench player.

    43. In my opinion they should have been getting heavy minutes together (and Porzingis) from the jump, but I understand there’s a valid argument to be made the other way. Not playing the G&G connection when we were plausibly “competitive” is defensible, but by the time we fired Fish the season was over, and it really annoyed me that the organization didn’t understand that.

    44. The ship be sinking and Phil will jettison a lot of players to reconfigure team and rescue his legacy.

      Pretty sure Phil’s legacy is safe no matter what he does….

    45. There were 55 college seniors drafted in the 10 years between 2004-2013. By my count, 24 of the 55 (44%) went on to become regular rotation players. (I stopped at 2013 because we don’t yet know what the youngest guys will be.) Most of the 24 rotation guys come off the bench.

      So based on nothing but his status as a guy with four years of college, Jerian is less than 50% to even become a backup PG. We haven’t seen anything this year to suggest he’s better than that. If we have an opportunity to get a serviceable starter, we should take it.

    46. What if Gallo had a 3FG% of 40%? Would you still want to spend 18-25m on a wing? What if Grant were playing like he is now over a large sample size? Would you still want Conley at 25m? I’ve posted similar stats before but Herring just gave one where Grant/Gallo together rank 3rd in NBA in defense by one metric. Wouldn’t you want to know if that was sustainable over a longer period of time before entering free agency?

      Yeah, I’d still want to spend money on the wing because Galloway can’t create much off the bounce and isn’t big enough to check wings consistently. His defensive metrics aren’t all that stupendous this year at the 1 or 2. Why would Galloway have a 3FG% of 40% on a larger sample? We have 2 years of data on him now that have him at basically 35% from three despite shooting 49% from the corners this season. Maybe he’ll get better, but we have a big sample on Galloway now.

      I don’t want Conley either way. I don’t need a large sample to convince me to roll out the PG corps back next year. Get a larger sample on Grant and if it’s not that impressive try to sign one in 2017 FA which has plenty or use your pick on another one.

      I would love to know if it’s sustainable or not, but their pairing has also been disastrous offensively and is getting outscored by 2.8 points per 100 possessions so far this season. Like I said I agree they should have got more minutes this season, but I don’t think it’s an unmitigated disaster.

    47. One of the reasons I had my doubts on Draymond Green was because I thought that his offensive output was not sustainable. His age 23 season he put up 1800 minutes of a .498 TS%. Even though his defense and rebounding made up for his offense, I just didn’t think his offense would improve enough to make him perhaps among the 5 most valuable forwards in the league. He’s now 2800 minutes of a .598 TS% this season. He may challenge Manu for the title of best second round pick ever.

      Of course if every pick progressed like Draymond Green, the league would be a lot different. I think what Grant needs to do is to find a way to improve his percentage at the rim. Draymond went from .449 at the Rim to .537. If Jerian can improve his finishing at the rim (currently at .447), I think his ability to penetrate could make him a fringe starter and not a 12th man. The chances may not be high, but he seems to want to put in the work, so we’ll see.

    48. No comments on the Blatt rumors? At least he’s on Phil’s radar, allegedly.

      Grant will be a solid backup, better than a 12th man.

    49. @48 You beat me too the punch. Probably can’t read too much in it, but it is heartening to see phrases like “strongly considering” and “on their radar” when reading anything about Blatt and the Knicks. I think my number 1. would be Thibs, but Blatt would be a very nice coach.

    50. Blatt’s probably closer in his “philosophy” on basketball than Thibs which is why I think he’s a much likelier candidate.

    51. After Conley, the free agent PG list gets real thin real quick: Rondo, Clarkson, Lin, Deron Williams, Jennings. Ick.

      Now look at the 2017 PG free agents: Curry, Westbrook, CP3, Lowry, Schroeder, Rose, Holiday, George Hill, Patty Mills. Waaaaay better.

      Unless we can get Clarkson or Lin on a reasonable deal, it makes sense to wait another year. That means Jerian gets a chance to show what he can do next season. I’m guessing it won’t be much, but the situation is right to let him try.

    52. I remember there being an article presented at Sloan a year or two ago that argued guards hit their peak a couple years later than players at other positions. Can’t find it via google, though there’s a handful of back of the napkin stuff saying something similar. Which is to say he might not add 10 points to his TS% but he’s still got room to develop. Considering our pick situation and our current roster, I’d rather have Grant starting as a top 30 PG in a couple years and money to spend at other positions than to max out Mike Conley and have to grasp for dregs for the next 4 years at 2-4. The former offers some hope for the future, the later seems like just accepting mediocrity. We need more than a kick ass PG to go with KP to be a contender.

    53. I should add, unless Phil’s got someone inside the CBA negotiations and it’s clear that a max contract this summer will look like a reasonable one next summer. That would be a better case for maxing out Conley, but it seems really unlikely.

    54. After Conley, the free agent PG list gets real thin real quick: Rondo, Clarkson, Lin, Deron Williams, Jennings. Ick.

      Now look at the 2017 PG free agents: Curry, Westbrook, CP3, Lowry, Schroeder, Rose, Holiday, George Hill, Patty Mills. Waaaaay better.

      Unless we can get Clarkson or Lin on a reasonable deal, it makes sense to wait another year. That means Jerian gets a chance to show what he can do next season. I’m guessing it won’t be much, but the situation is right to let him try.

      Yeah, please no Mike Conley, esp. at the max. As much as I’d like to see this team with a decent PG next year, Conley is not getting any better and always seems to be injured. I’m willing to endure one more season of sub-par guard play to take a shot at a much better crop in 2017. Hopefully, Phil feels the same way.

    55. I would love to know if it’s sustainable or not, but their pairing has also been disastrous offensively and is getting outscored by 2.8 points per 100 possessions so far this season.

      They needed to play with the starters and execute more PnRs. There’s no way to justify Grant/Gallo/KP/Melo/Lopez playing only 19 minutes together given the myriad of lineups used. We know their defense would be significantly better than Calderon/Afflalo. Maybe you’re certain the offense would be worse but I’m certainly not. If nothing else, they could push the pace and score some easy buckets.

      Why would Galloway have a 3FG% of 40% on a larger sample?

      Got nothing to do with sample size, but playing minutes in a more stable lineup of starters and having a well-defined role. In such a lineup, he would be receiving ball in certain spots and flow which should help his shooting%. How many gazillion lineups did he play in this past year? Way more than your average SG I would expect. That makes a difference. And he wouldn’t have to guard wings playing with Grant.

    56. The most important point guard need next year is that we don’t have one named Rondo or Rose.

    57. Given that the smartest move is to wait until 2017 to find our next PG, this team is basically locked into another mediocre season next year. Even adding Batum, the best available SG, won’t get them above 40 wins. Hopefully Melo takes a look at that roster, throws up his hands, and asks for a trade.

      That’s the best-case scenario. We get value for him in the form of picks, the team wins 25 games and gets a Top 5 pick in 2017, and we’ll have a ton of cap room for all of the star 2017 free agents. It’s a one-year teardown with the chance to be sustainably competitive as soon as the 2017-18 season.

    58. Got nothing to do with sample size, but playing minutes in a more stable lineup of starters and having a well-defined role. In such a lineup, he would be receiving ball in certain spots and flow which should help his shooting%. How many gazillion lineups did he play in this past year? Way more than your average SG I would expect. That makes a difference.

      Galloway often closed games with the starters sans Jose. He was one of the leaders in 4th quarter minutes for as long as Fisher was here and he was still shooting like crap by the end of it.

      He shoots 33% for the year from beyond the arc when he plays with Melo and 36.8% with him off of it.

      He shoots 31.9% from three with RoLo on and 36.5% with him off.

      He shot 31.2% from three with KP on and 37.1% with him off.

      He shot 34.7% from 3 with Grant on versus off.

      He shot 35.4% with Calderon on and 34.9% with him off.

      He shot 30.9% with Afflalo on and 39.1% with him off.

      The guy isn’t that good of a shooter in any role or with any specific pairing of players. That’s fine, he’s still an okay rotation player and there’s still a chance he gets better moving forward, but he didn’t screwed by anybody or anything other than his inability to shoot from anywhere but the corners this season.

      And he wouldn’t have to guard wings playing with Grant.

      Grant can’t defend wings right now either. He’s a beanpole. Either way you’re giving up a mismatch defensively and Galloway can’t create his own shot off the dribble which is pretty important for an SG.

      Maybe you’re certain the offense would be worse but I’m certainly not. If nothing else, they could push the pace and score some easy buckets.

      Neither Galloway or Grant is in the top half of the league in transition percentile in terms of efficiency. The offense is always going to be worse with 2 guards shooting below league average from 3.

    59. They needed to play with the starters and execute more PnRs. There’s no way to justify Grant/Gallo/KP/Melo/Lopez playing only 19 minutes together given the myriad of lineups used. We know their defense would be significantly better than Calderon/Afflalo.

      I already agreed with this. It doesn’t change my opinion we would need wings regardless.

    60. The guy isn’t that good of a shooter in any role or with any specific pairing of players.

      Pairings are a useless stat here. Sometimes Gallo played the 1 position, sometimes the 2 in all kinds of different lineups. That’s what he meant was he was saying his role was not well-defined and affected his game. How many guys in the NBA have shifted as much as he has this past year? He may end up shooting 35% from 3 for his career but his shooting tear early in the year, his healthy college 3FG%, and his constant role shifting suggest he might improve in a more stable environment.

      Gallo does not have to create off the dribble. What’s important is that he’s able to attack closeouts which is not the same thing. Melo/Grant/KP and even Lopez to a certain degree will be the shot creators in the future. Don’t need Gallo to be a shot creator – need him to knock down 3s and defend well in that lineup (e.g., 3&D guy).

      Stats are fine but you need to be aware of their limitations. Defensive stats are notoriously suspect because players often end up being penalized when they have to cover for other weaker defenders on the team. PnR stats typically omit spot-ups. Here’s where you have to use the eye test. Our defense is far more active when Gallo/Grant are the guards. They generate more turnovers. Ultimately, you have to play the lineup I cited and then look at its defensive efficiency over a large enough sample. Spoiler Alert: You’ll be very happy. Regarding PnR, look at those Grant/Lopez PnRs. Do they not look effective to you? Don’t you think if they actually were to practice them they’d be even better? Certainly better than mindless Triangle cuts ending where Dwill does his JR imitation.

    61. Stats are fine but you need to be aware of their limitations. Defensive stats are notoriously suspect because players often end up being penalized when they have to cover for other weaker defenders on the team. PnR stats typically omit spot-ups. Here’s where you have to use the eye test. Our defense is far more active when Gallo/Grant are the guards. They generate more turnovers. Ultimately, you have to play the lineup I cited and then look at its defensive efficiency over a large enough sample. Spoiler Alert: You’ll be very happy. Regarding PnR, look at those Grant/Lopez PnRs. Do they not look effective to you? Don’t you think if they actually were to practice them they’d be even better? Certainly better than mindless Triangle cuts ending where Dwill does his JR imitation.

      I literally disagree with none of this except for the DW cuts which he is great at and finishes at high efficiency. It doesn’t change my opinion that we’d need wings or that those two together over long minutes isn’t going to be productive offensively until either becomes a better 3 point shooter or can consistently attack closeouts.

      Gallo does not have to create off the dribble. What’s important is that he’s able to attack closeouts which is not the same thing. Melo/Grant/KP and even Lopez to a certain degree will be the shot creators in the future. Don’t need Gallo to be a shot creator – need him to knock down 3s and defend well in that lineup (e.g., 3&D guy).

      Galloway has not demonstrated a great ability to attack closeouts with frequency. He’s also not been that good of a shooter. He’s a good player. We should keep him, but we definitely need to upgrade in the backcourt and imo specifically at the 2.

    62. All I have left this season is to enjoy the Celtics getting their asses kicked at home by Charlotte.

    63. @1 – I hate to be a woe-is-me sort of guy, but as much as I would like to feel good about this team for next year, I’m not optimistic. Sasha has improved but he’s a good 9th man off the bench. Jerian is starting to get it and we must develop him. Right now he probably would be ranked as the 25-35th best PG in the league at best. He’ll battle Wrotten for the backup PG job, which could, in a few years means one of them develops into a good NBA guard. Hernangomez will be a big body off the bench.

      For this team to be good, we need a real point guard who is also a leader. Rule out Rondo. For this team we need a shooting guard that is 3-pt assassin and can guard. Then we can talk about Robin Lopez being a player that we can carry.

      How many Knicks could crack the Golden State or San Antonio starting lineups? Until we’re discussing players of that caliber, we’re not discussing winners.

    64. I literally disagree with none of this except for the DW cuts which he is great at and finishes at high efficiency.

      No those are fine. I’m talking about other times of late where offense often stagnates executing the Triangle and Dwill has to force up a shot. I’m not one who believes the Triangle is terrible. If we had Monroe/Griffin front-court, I’d be all in on it. I’d even say it could be effective maybe 25% of the time like Thibs used it, sort of like what Rick Carlisle did mixing man and zone defenses. I’m most frustrated by the fact that when you have ball handlers like Melo/Grant and pickers like Lopez/KP, I think you should practice it and feature it more. No reason for team to be last in league in PNR.

      To me Gallo is more of a wild card than Grant. Grant would play better in a different offense which is why I would ask for a trade if I were his agent. It’s clear Phil’s going mostly pure Triangle and wants Rambis. It would be unfair to 23yo Grant to keep him on the team under those circumstances. I know Phil believes any player may thrive in the Triangle but I don’t believe that. Regarding Gallo, I think it’s possible he could be a decent 3&D wing but I’m not sure. I’m frustrated because I think we should have the answer by now. Other than the Melo NTC clause (which is important), I think Phil’s done more than fine in draft/acquisitions. But he’s really lost me by the way in which he’s handled the team after the break.

    65. Jerian is unfortunately not close to being the 25-35th best PG in the league. Out of 479 qualifying players, he finished 439th in VORP, 367th in Box +/-, and 385th in WS/48. That makes him something like the 78th best PG in the league. In other words, a mid-tier third-string PG.

      Could he get better? Of course. Is he going to? Not necessarily. Even if he does, he’s got a long way to go to be a rotation player.

      I wanted Toney Douglas and Mardy Collins to become serviceable too. They didn’t.

    66. I’ll tel you this much about a potential Blatt hiring- if I’m Blatt and I just got back stabbed by Tyronn Lue, going into a situation where it looks like Rambis was a mole inside the Knicks coaching staff and is now trashing the guy he was supposed to mentor- you better believe I want full control over the assistant coaching staff. No interim coach Rambis around, thank you very much.

    67. Now look at the 2017 PG free agents: Curry, Westbrook, CP3, Lowry, Schroeder, Rose, Holiday, George Hill, Patty Mills. Waaaaay better.

      What do you guys think about clearing the 2017 contracts, maybe packaging KP and Grant with our 2019 first round pick for the expiring contract of Tracy McGrady jr in order to make a run at Steph Curry? I mean, a player like that only comes on the market once in a generation (aka every 6 years). You kind of have to do everything and anything to put yourself in the position to sign him, right?

      Sincerely,

      Donnie Walsh

    68. I saw a stat on Twitter today that when Gallo and Grant play together this season the Knicks D rating is equivalent to the 3rd best D in the league. That was one of the things that from pre-season and early in the regular season looked promising was the Gallo-Grant backcourt off the bench but Fisher had a real short leash on Grant and that pairing basically went away for the most part.

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