Knicks Morning News (2016.04.27)

  • [New York Post] Phil Jackson’s agents meeting points to inside job with Rambis (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:39:54 -0400)

    Knicks president Phil Jackson met with Kurt Rambis' Chicago-based agents Tuesday night in New York. That may well be a sign things are progressing toward Rambis being announced soon as the Knicks head coach. However, Rambis' agents are also Jackson's representatives. The agents are also close, longtime friends with Jackson. The meeting could have been…

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Wednesday's Knicks Links: Jackson meets with Rambis' agents (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 04:52:35 EST)

    Wednesday's Knicks Links: Jackson meets with Rambis' agents

  • [New York Times] Shaun Livingston, Stephen Curry’s Fill-In, Takes a Far Different Approach (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:13:31 GMT)

    Livingston, who has assumed the starting point guard role for Golden State with Curry injured, has a more inside-out style. He had only 12 3-point attempts all season.

  • [New York Times] Clippers’ Hopes Plummet With Loss of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:14:12 GMT)

    “He’ll get evaluated, but it obviously doesn’t look very good,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Raptors and Hawks Are Each a Win From Advancing (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:34:43 GMT)

    The Raptors overcame 39 points from Paul George and a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Hawks also staged a stunning turnaround against the Celtics.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Look to Advance, Clippers, Heat Aim for Home Wins (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 06:30:37 GMT)

    There’s been the unexpected, like Golden State’s Stephen Curry going down with a knee injury. Then came a double whammy for the Clippers, with Chris Paul out with a broken hand and Blake Griffin’s season ending because of a nagging leg injury.

  • [New York Times] With Big Turnaround, Hawks Beat Celtics 110-83 for 3-2 Lead (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 04:24:44 GMT)

    Talk about a stunning turnaround.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Overcome Slow Start to Torch Celtics (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:24:27 GMT)

    The Atlanta Hawks overcame a sluggish start with a sizzling run that put away the Boston Celtics 110-83 in Game 5 of an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at Philips Arena.

  • [New York Times] Raptors Top Pacers to Take Series Lead (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 03:00:27 GMT)

    Dwane Casey’s decision to go with a mixed-bag group on the floor in the fourth quarter paid off on Tuesday as the Toronto Raptors erased a 13-point deficit to defeat the Indiana Pacers 102-99.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan Scores 34, Raptors Rally for 3-2 Lead Over Pacers (Wed, 27 Apr 2016 02:43:00 GMT)

    DeMar DeRozan finally turned in the All-Star effort Toronto has been waiting for in the playoffs.

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

    76 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.04.27)”

    1. Apparently Phil also met with Rambis’ agents.

      I swear to God if Blatt was just a token meeting for PR purposes I’m going to find where Jackson lives and burn his clandestine traingle-shaped growery to the ground

    2. Our coaching search has officially expanded from one horrible coach to one horrible coach and one mediocre coach!

    3. You guys just slay me! Didn’t we improve by the most of any team in the league this past year?

    4. Good to hear that Blatt and Phil actually met. Maybe there’s hope.

      Berman already has an article out about it. The idea that David Blatt – who is as well-respected and successful an international coach as there exists, and who owns a 0.675 winning percentage in the NBA– would be an assistant to Kurt Freaking 0.284 Rambis is as ridiculous a thought as I’ve heard. There is no chance in the world that Blatt would accept that, and neither should he.

    5. Our coaching search has officially expanded from one horrible coach to one horrible coach and one mediocre coach!

      what makes you think Blatt is a mediocre coach?
      maybe he didn’t know how to play the ego game with Lebron, but the dude can coach. There has never been a debate about that. He’s won 6 CoY in Europe, led Russia to a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics, and took the freaking Warriors to 6 games missing 2 of his 3 best players. And don’t tell me about how great Lebron was in that series (he was) — it was the defensive strategy that held GS to well below their usual offensive efficiency for the first 4 games of the series, until they discovered the Death lineup.

    6. Maybe there’s hope.

      I’ll certainly cling to it as long as we have it!

      And yes, you have to love the way Berman casually threw in the “Maybe Blatt could be Rambis’ assistant” bit as if that wasn’t absolutely insane.

    7. Blatt seems like he was meant for the New York market when you consider all of the international accolades he received. Pair his European legend with a young KP and he should already have the respect of the most important New York Knick of the 21st century.

      He has to be the hire. The only available coach I’d rather have is JVG and that won’t happen. So it’s Blatt or bust for me.

    8. Blatt being the hire would just send out such a beacon of hope. It would show that Jackson is not a stubborn asshole. It would show that the Knicks are more interested in merit than cronyism. It would show free agents that this isn’t an intractable place. It would show that this franchise is willing to adapt to the modern NBA.

      Let’s hope that it actually happens.

    9. And yes, you have to love the way Berman casually threw in the “Maybe Blatt could be Rambis’ assistant” bit as if that wasn’t absolutely insane.

      And in fact, if I’m Blatt and I just saw Rambis backstab the last head coach, I’d politely ask that Rambis not be allowed anywhere near the team. Maybe the closest I’d let him is “assistant” GM, otherwise known as exile.

    10. Yeah, that’s kind of the funny thing. If Blatt is hired, but with Rambis as his lead assistant, I’d certainly take it, but man, that would suck for Blatt, so I don’t think he‘d take it. “Come to New York, where we pick your assistants for you and said assistants will plot against you!”

    11. The one legitimate concern I have with Blatt is the way he underutilized Kevin Love. I don’t want to see KP turn into a spot up shooter if Blatt is the hire.

    12. Blatt let the Cavs hire his lead assistant last time and it didn’t work out for him. I don’t think he would take it, but I can see how/why Phil would want his eyes in the coaching room at all times.

    13. Read this about Blatt and tell me how you could be anything but excited if he was our next coach.

      And THIS. Not only is it an interesting article, but Danny Chau actually compares him to Rambis. That dude should supply my next lottery numbers.

      But please please please don’t let Phil read this:

      T-Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko, who has played under Blatt since the latter took over the national team in 2006, had said that he is a better coach than Phil Jackson.

    14. Blatt let the Cavs hire his lead assistant last time and it didn’t work out for him. I don’t think he would take it, but I can see how/why Phil would want his eyes in the coaching room at all times.

      This goes to the whole “hiring Blatt would show that Phil is not a stubborn asshole” point, as yes, I agree that if they hire Blatt, it can’t be with Rambis as the lead assistant because Blatt would have to be a moron to accept those terms.

    15. By the way, while Isola is annoying because he just keeps on making fun of Phil and that’s it (and he does it over and over and over again, mostly with the same basic joke), Berman is even sadder because he’ll take positions solely on what he is told to do by MSG, so he’ll often have diametrically opposite positions on stuff within weeks (sometimes days!) of his initial positions, based on how MSG has changed their tune. Like Berman wrote about Phil reaching out to contact Walton because it served the “Phil is reaching out to other coaches!” narrative, but then when the Warriors made a point that they never gave permission for Phil to contact Walton, Berman suddenly was writing, “Phil didn’t reach out to Walton. It was just a typical phone conversation that they have all the time.” Just sad, sad reporting.

    16. Under-appreciated point: If you want Melo to waive his ntc, you could do worse than hiring a guy who alienated LeBron.

    17. I mentioned that the other day, but after thinking about it, I think it’s probably not a good thing (presuming Blatt irks Melo), since Melo is never waiving that NTC, so all this would do is piss him off while not actually having him leave, so I think that aspect of it is not a good thing. However, at the same time, I’d also like to believe that Melo wouldn’t be irked at Blatt just because Lebron was, so hopefully it wouldn’t even be an issue.

    18. what makes you think Blatt is a mediocre coach?
      maybe he didn’t know how to play the ego game with Lebron, but the dude can coach.

      I can’t help the feeling that like 50% of the reason Knicks fans are excited about Blatt is b/c he feuded with the hated Lebron. The other 50% is because he’s not Rambis.

      1. The Cavs offense was a mess. A year ago he was constantly pilloried on this site for his usage of Love.

      2. He struggled with a lot of the basics of coaching. He reportedly had issues with timeout usage throughout his tenure in Cleveland, culminating in the massive screwup where he tried to call the timeout he didn’t have in Game 4 of that Bulls series. That mistake easily could have cost them the trip to the finals except the ref bailed him out.

      3. Yes, Lebron has an ego. So does Melo. So do most NBA players. Being unable to manage egos isn’t some minor red flag, it’s a disqualifying trait. The NBA is fundamentally a player’s league. That isn’t true at all levels (college for example), but in the NBA you need to have one of the five best players in the world on your team or you’re going nowhere. That guy is going to be making minimum four or five times as much as the coach and the coach has to be able to get the best from him. Acting like it’s no big deal that Blatt’s team effectively had a rebellion? I just don’t get that.

    19. Melo’s perspective has to be different than Lebron’s though. I mean the best (nba) coach the guy ever played for was George Karl, and that didn’t exactly end super well. I think he’d be at least open to it – he’s arguably the best coach on the market now that Thibs is out.

      And it’s not like him simply saying um, nope and demanding a trade and then being magically teleported to a title contender is a foregone conclusion. Maybe Phil, and Dolan hold his feet to the fire a bit too. He has been talking the talk about staying in New York.

      Wait a minute, I’m expecting everyone to be professional and level headed. Ok, never mind…

    20. @20 – I hear you, but:

      1) Melo is not Lebron. It was clear from day 1 that Blatt was there to hold Lebron’s towels and nothing more. The offense they ran in cleveland in 14-15 (which was btw the #4 offense in the league, poor KLove usage or not) bore no resemblance to anything he had run previously, so it seems at least plausible that the offense was hijacked. Who knows.

      2) Basics of coaching – the dude won 6 CoYs in Europe and was widely lauded for his strategic mind. He’s played and coached in environments WAY more unfriendly and chaotic than the NBA. He’s suddenly forgotten how to call plays? Sure, he almost called a timeout where there was none. It’s not acapital offense. There was a pretty significant (and clumsy) smear campaign by the Cavs to try and justify firing a guy when he’s 30-11.

      3) It IS a big deal that he lost the team. It’s also a big deal that he had a 0.675 winning percentage and a 14-6 record in the playoffs. You don’t have to like your coach – you do have to respect him. And the problem was, that Lebron obviously didn’t respect him from the start. JVG always said that if your best player buys in, then everyone else will too. You’d have to think that Melo would be ecstatic just to not have Rambis. Melo is not as egotistical as Lebron, and certainly KP and Lopez aren’t JR-level whack jobs.

    21. This is a bit of a tangent, but at this point, don’t we have as much evidence that George Karl is a shitty coach as we do that he’s good?

      I mean I understand that everyone loves 3rd Rock from the Sun but does that means he’s good at X’s and O’s?

    22. George Karl is a fraud at this point. But I also wouldn’t give much credit to what happens in Sacramento, place is clearly in disarray. I think he kind of packed it in tho and just cashing them checks!

      But I would be so happy if we hired Blatt. But is anyone really expecting it? Don’t we all know that deep down PHIL is going to go with his boy Rambis?

    23. “This is a bit of a tangent, but at this point, don’t we have as much evidence that George Karl is a shitty coach as we do that he’s good?”
      I can’t believe that you and I are in 100% agreement on something. I’ve thought for years that Karl was the most overrated coach in the NBA.

    24. Now I just need to get you that shooting efficiency is more important than shooting volume, and that turnovers are bad. We’re on the right path.

    25. Quantifying a coach’s impact on a team is hard work, but what I do know about Karl is that it seems he manages to alienate every player and locker room that he’s ever worked with. He’s a locker room cancer as far as I’m concerned.

    26. I gotta say, given the choice between Blatt and Rambis, I go for the latter. Blatt does not impress me at all. He seemed overwhelmed by the task and has no idea how to deal with veteran NBA players.

      @22 – I hear you but I don’t quite think it was a smear job to get him axed. It was your 3rd bullet, that he lost the team, that got him fired. And the near-fatal time-out was inexcusable. I also don’t equate coaching in Europe to coaching the NBA. Europe is not quite D-League quality.

    27. Blatt got fired because they didn’t believe they could beat the Warriors with him at the helm. They were right, but that’s not because Blatt is a bad coach. It’s because NOBODY can beat a healthy Warriors team four out of seven. If the Warriors did not exist, Blatt would still have a job.

      And let’s not get things confused; LeBron wanted Spoelstra fired, too. The issue seems to be LeBron and not Blatt if you ask me.

    28. I gotta say, given the choice between Blatt and Rambis, I go for the latter. Blatt does not impress me at all. He seemed overwhelmed by the task and has no idea how to deal with veteran NBA players.

      Dude… smh

      wait. are you Phil Jackson?

    29. @22 – Honestly I think we mostly agree, it’s just a matter of degrees. I don’t think Blatt is a bad coach. I do think that he had problems from day 1 associating with NBA players. Even the thing with the offense goes back to that, because as you say, I do think it was largely a matter of him being unable to get buy-in from the players, not that he doesn’t have the chops to coach a good offense.

      I think what it boils down to is I’m placing more emphasis on that as a weakness than you are. I can’t really speak too much about the egos of Lebron and Melo as people, but in terms of how they play ball, Melo is to me the more stubborn of the two and certainly has a well-documented history of clashing with coaches who tried to put him into a mold he didn’t like. And it wasn’t just a Lebron thing. If you read the reporting it seems pretty obvious that Blatt didn’t have much success with corralling the locker room as a whole, and the non-players struggled to work with him as well.

      Ultimately to me, that’s a big enough red flag that I’d call him a mediocre hire. That said, I’d take him over Rambis in a heartbeat. I just think we can do better (or at the very least take a shot at somebody untested that has higher upside).

    30. And let’s not get things confused; LeBron wanted Spoelstra fired, too. The issue seems to be LeBron and not Blatt if you ask me.

      The only person who ever claimed that was a Heat minority owner who not coincidentally is from Israel. He said it in defense of Blatt, not because it was true (or as if he would even know). There’s never been any reporting that Lebron tried to get Spoelstra fired as far as I’m aware and they largely seemed to have a good relationship. Lebron certainly respected him, and it showed in how much Spoelstra was able to dictate changes in Lebron’s style of play with him going to the post dramatically more often.

    31. It’s because NOBODY can beat a healthy Warriors team four out of seven.

      I think the Spurs can win a seven-game against the Warriors, but you sure as hell know the front office isn’t going to fire him if he loses a series that he has probably a 35% chance of winning. And that seems to be the reason that the Spurs ended up with a 67-win season after getting bounced in the first round with a championship-caliber roster.

    32. Blatt does not impress me at all. He seemed overwhelmed by the task

      As opposed to Rambis, who is clearly underwhelmed by the task.

    33. As many other people have said, if there’s actually a choice between Rambis and not-Rabbis, I don’t care if not-Rambis is a stray cat, Ms Kitty Fantastico should be the choice.

    34. BREAKING NEWS: Kurt Rambis hired as New York Knicks head coach, and immediately names Carly Fiorina as his top assistant.

    35. @41 JEEEZUS steveoh you almost gave me a heart attack on that one.

      Cruz really overshot the basketball ring on that one, huh?

    36. Yeah, I mean, damn, I am not Blatt’s biggest fan either, but to choose Rambis over him? Come on now.

    37. I would be rooting for it except I can’t stand the inappropriate credit that doc woud get

    38. Out of curiosity, what’s with the uncertainty about Blatt? He seems to be a well-accomplished guy.

    39. I would be rooting for it except I can’t stand the inappropriate credit that doc woud get

      Good call. And all the “See? CP3 is not a winner” stuff.

    40. Whiteside just grabbed Kaminsky’s ball with two hands and squeezed, but it was called improper

    41. But if Miami loses in the 1st round they won’t want to trade for Melo. They need to make it to the conference finals or at least passed Charlotte.

    42. DeAndre Jordan needs to earn those max dollars tonight. Show us all why Chris Paul is so effective, DJ!

      Oh wait.

    43. Btw I love that little misdirection Charlotte ran to open Kenba up for a PNR that is tough to blitz

    44. How pissed must the Jazz be to see how shitty the Rockets are playing against the Warriors? The Jazz played the Warriors tough with Curry!

    45. The Jazz would have been a tougher matchup for sure, but maybe Steph stays healthy against Utah

    46. So the Warriors have an easy road to the conf final even without Curry. They’re both talented *and* lucky.

    47. Haven’t been too wild on any of the 1st round match ups so far this year……..until the Hornets reeled of 3 wins in a row.

      Interesting article from Herring today noting that Phil recommended Blatt for a position when he was a consultant with Detroit. Probably can’t read too much into it, but it’s at least promising that he was on Phil’s radar prior to his Knicks tenure. Recommended him for an offensive coordinator position if that means anything.

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