Knicks Morning News (2016.05.02)

  • [New York Times] Back to the Drawing Board for Thunder Against Spurs (Mon, 02 May 2016 06:18:32 GMT)

    There was a possession where LaMarcus Aldridge grabbed a defensive rebound, outlet-passed to Manu Ginobili, who then turned and fired a 70-foot strike to Kawhi Leonard for a dunk.

  • [New York Times] Heat Off to the Second Round, and Deng a Big Reason Why (Mon, 02 May 2016 06:12:31 GMT)

    Luol Deng’s role with the Miami Heat changed out of necessity in February, when the team lost Chris Bosh for the second consecutive season to a blood clot at the All-Star break.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan, Raptors Shoot Past Pacers in Game 7 (Mon, 02 May 2016 04:42:27 GMT)

    Dwane Casey read the reviews of the Toronto Raptors’ decisive Game 6 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan Has 30 Points, Raptors Beat Pacers 89-84 in Game 7 (Mon, 02 May 2016 04:33:52 GMT)

    DeMar DeRozan pushed the Toronto Raptors into the second round — finally.

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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).

    104 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.05.02)”

    1. I’d prefer they scrap the Triangle period (Porzingis in a more spread out offense? Holy crap, that’d be awesome to watch), but it’s not like teams haven’t won with the Triangle before, so eh, it’s not that big of a deal.

      IMHO – it IS a big deal. Right now we have very little in terms of draft assets — we don’t have any picks this year, and while we do have our 1st rounders going forward, we have basically zero 2nd round picks. That means this team will mostly be built going forward on free agency. Right now, the triangle is toxic. We need guards, and whether 100% true or not, it is viewed as guard-unfriendly. That means that guards who have choice of where to go will likely go elsewhere. That leaves us with guards who a) have nowhere else to go, b) are being overpaid, or c) want to come to NYC for other reasons (nightlife, perceived marketability).

      Add to that the Rambis factor — a guy who is viewed by 999/1000 NBA executives/players as puppet/lapdog who has been a failure in the league. Who in the world wants to play for that guy? Who wants to be an assistant coach for that guy?

      So while the coaching itself may not be so terrible in terms of “wins added”, the structure and perception of this entire process is going to be serious disincentive for anyone good coming to this team in FA. IMHO.

      Now add to that the Porzingis factor — a guy who is a next-generation big, who even as a rookie in this league has shown elite PNR/PNP ability — now being forced by Rambis to be a last-generation big, which may seriously impact his development.

      I don’t for a second think I know more than Phil Jackson about basketball — seriously, the Triangle may be the nirvana of basketball for all I know — but I do feel like I have a sense of its perception around the league. And it is not a good perception. That has ramifications up and down the roster and coaching staff.

    2. From Berman’s article —

      One of Blatt’s downfalls in Cleveland was his being too sensitive about being viewed as a novice head coach after earning legendary status overseas.

      I totally get why he would bristle at being given “gold star” by the press for his first NBA win etc, congratulated for little things that probably mean nothing to him. Dude has been an extremely successful head coach for decades. It’s like a cardiac surgeon with 2000 successful surgeries (done under extremely non-optimal conditions) getting hired by Mass General hospital and getting a little condescending ceremony every time he pops a zit successfully.

      Yes, maybe he should have been more politic about it — but I understand why he was giving eye-rolls at it. Not to make any generalizations (and I apologize in advance for this), but I know a bunch of Israelis and Israeli-Americans and all of them would be irritated by treatment like this. It’s just not in their culture to be condescended to like this.

    3. So I have no idea how u made the statement that the Knick and pacer rosters are =

      That’s not what it said or implied. I said I seriously doubted we’d have made the playoffs this year if we had the Pacers roster except Melo in place of George. You may have noticed that we didn’t just miss the playoffs by a hair; we landed about three area codes and 10 or more wins away. That leaves plenty of room for the rest of the Pacers roster to be somewhat better than the Knicks. I just think that even given that advantage, the gap between Melo and George (yes, I think George was clearly a better player this year, and I don’t see how anyone who pays attention to defense can possibly think otherwise) and the coaching drop off would still mean a lottery team.

    4. we have basically zero 2nd round picks.
      Knicks have Houston’s 2nd round pick in 2017 and two more 2nd rounders in 2019. Not exactly a ton of picks, but not zero either.

    5. And Turner is going to be an excellent player for many, many years. He is a year younger than Porzingis. I’d have no regrets if the Knicks had for some reason drafted Turner instead of Porzingis.

      Having no regrets is recommended, but I’m curious where people here would put their wallets. How many would trade Porzingis for Turner and Indiana’s #1 pick this year? I wouldn’t.

    6. we landed about three area codes and 10 or more wins away.

      0-10 without Melo.

    7. Knicks won 44% with Melo and the pacers won 54% with George. It was two wholly diff situations. George wasn’t even good for a majority of the season..,,so it’s not he was some super transcendent player this year

    8. 0-10 without Melo.

      you’re supposed to move your foot away before you try to drop the mic

    9. Having no regrets is recommended, but I’m curious where people here would put their wallets. How many would trade Porzingis for Turner and Indiana’s #1 pick this year? I wouldn’t.

      Now that’s an interesting question. How strong is this draft class?

    10. These post-Steph injury games just brings to light how amazing their defense is, and how big they are even when they play “small”. Seriously, they were running out a 6’7″ PG (Livingston), 6’7″ SG (Klay), 6’8″ SF (Iggy), 6’8″ PF (Barnes), and Draymond Green. Took about switchability. And all those dudes can defend, dribble, pass, shoot. Unreal.

    11. You know what’s hilarious – it’s that Mike Woodson really was ahead of his time. His whole thing in Atlanta was playing a whole bunch of 6’7″-6’9″ guys and switching all picks. We hated that here because Felton always ended up on Dirk etc. but he was ahead of the curve on that stuff.

      It’s too bad he made that starting Kenyon Martin decision vs. Indiana. That literally was one of the most impactful bad decisions in recent NYK franchise history. If he goes small and exposes Hibbert, maybe we win that series. Maybe Kidd doesn’t retire. we definitely don’t make the Bargnani trade. And Phil Jackson never comes to run the Knicks into the ground.

    12. I’m going to make a prediction that may look silly a few weeks from now, but Cleveland isn’t making it to the Finals (and that would be a disaster for the ratings) And I don’t have a lot to base that on, except that I just have a hunch that the Cavs may wilt in close games and close series. And then LeBron takes his talents to Manhattan (Beach).

      (Feel free to abuse me when they dispatch the Hawks and the Heat/Raptors in 5 games each.)

    13. Frank, the Nets need more fans like you.

      ok – which part am I wrong about again? (or at least not making a reasonable argument for?)

    14. How many would trade Porzingis for Turner and Indiana’s #1 pick this year? I wouldn’t.

      I don’t know enough about this draft class, but if Phil had made that trade last summer, I’d be defending it now. But I don’t think I’d need to be defending it, because I think everybody here would be gaga over Turner, and wouldn’t be thinking about Porzingis any more than Knick fans think about not having Nikola Jokic right now. Fans value the good players they have more than the good players they don’t have, and Turner is a very good player.

    15. meanwhile interesting stuff coming out on Twitter today –

      Woj tweeting that Frank Vogel’s contract expires at THIS season’s end, no extension talked about.

      Seth Rosenthal tweeting out – Frank Vogel was an advance scout for Phil’s Lakers in 2005-2006

      And an excerpt from interview from 5/22/2013 with Vogel (via @PJacksonsBrain and @tommybeer):

      NUVO: Which coach has been the most influential to your coaching style?

      Vogel: The guys I worked for, Jim O’Brien and Rick Pitino, had a great influence on me. From the standpoint of studying the NBA game I was always a big fan of Phil Jackson and his approach. Obviously he had great players, but there were a lot of coaches with great players that didn’t win at the level he did. That was a big reason why I hired [Pacers associate head coach] Brian Shaw. He was as close to Phil as anyone could be and I thought I could rely on that experience and it’s been awesome.

      and:

      NUVO: Name three famous people you would like to sit down and have dinner with.

      Vogel: Phil Jackson, obviously a coaching icon. Jerry Seinfeld is an incredible legend from a comedy stand point and I’m a huge fan of that show, and Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors … and President Obama, add him too.

      I think Vogel is amazing. That Indiana team has overachieved every year under his tenure. They were 3rd in DefEff this year without a ton of defensive talent other than Paul George and George Hill.

    16. Vogel would be awesome, after all, he outcoached Mike Woodson (probably not at the top of his resume)

    17. Okay, but would you rather have Vogel or Blatt?

      (He types, knowing that we will wind up with Rambis as our coach, anyway. Because Knicks.)

    18. Frank your tone is bringing me down. It’s time for some positivity and hope. It’s far from all bad in Knickland these days. We have a bb genius running our organization and an actual unicorn! Things can and will get better. Don’t be a nattering nabob of negativity.

    19. The three legs of the triangle
      HC: Kurt Rambis
      OC: David Blatt
      DC: Frank Vogel

    20. The three legs of the triangle
      HC: Kurt Rambis
      OC: David Blatt
      DC: Frank Vogel

      hmm. which of these is not like the other?

    21. Frank your tone is bringing me down. It’s time for some positivity and hope. It’s far from all bad in Knickland these days. We have a bb genius running our organization and an actual unicorn! Things can and will get better. Don’t be a nattering nabob of negativity.

      wow you should check out max fisher-cohen if you want REAL negativity =)

    22. The three legs of the triangle
      HC: Kurt Rambis
      OC: David Blatt
      DC: Frank Vogel

      How about we stick the third leg in Charley Rosen’s great big daily whatever for safekeeping and just go full biped?

    23. Frank your tone is bringing me down. It’s time for some positivity and hope. It’s far from all bad in Knickland these days. We have a bb genius running our organization and an actual unicorn! Things can and will get better. Don’t be a nattering nabob of negativity.

      You know what, this team has mostly sucked giant elephant balls for like 15 years now, and the “bb genius” you’re referring to is backed into an ideological corner that is probably going to result in him hiring an incompetent toadie as a head coach. Maybe that will work out and maybe it won’t, but we all deal with the perennially embarrassing shitshow that is the Knicks in our own way. Those of us who are not so sold on the plans for the future have earned the right to indulge in a little bit of gallows humor.

      I’ve been on this blog since the Isiah era and one thing I can say without hesitation is that the “negative nabobs” usually turn out to be right.

    24. You know what’s hilarious – it’s that Mike Woodson really was ahead of his time. His whole thing in Atlanta was playing a whole bunch of 6’7?-6’9? guys and switching all picks. We hated that here because Felton always ended up on Dirk etc. but he was ahead of the curve on that stuff.

      It’s too bad he made that starting Kenyon Martin decision vs. Indiana. That literally was one of the most impactful bad decisions in recent NYK franchise history. If he goes small and exposes Hibbert, maybe we win that series. Maybe Kidd doesn’t retire. we definitely don’t make the Bargnani trade. And Phil Jackson never comes to run the Knicks into the ground.

      I’m amazed at how quite often professional coaches/GMs have little clue what actually gave them success. Going small worked for Coach Potato-Head in Atlanta, and in the one series where he had a severe height disadvantage, he played to the other team’s strength instead of going back to what he learned in Atlanta. It’s like they’re Guy Pierce from Momento, and they instantly forget any lesson they may have learned and go back to a strict interpretation of The Coaches’ Bible after every game.

      You can see it with Phil too, as he’s so enamored with the triangle, and just can’t imagine a world where a team can have success outside of it.

    25. Vogel would be an amazing hire. But he probably won’t come for the same reasons Blatt won’t come. He has better options than a roster with so-so talent, a GM who wants to coach the team from afar, a capricious and bumbling owner, a star on the decline, and an assistant coach who is basically a KGB spy for Phil.

    26. Vogel would be an amazing hire. But he probably won’t come for the same reasons Blatt won’t come. He has better options than a roster with so-so talent, a GM who wants to coach the team from afar, a capricious and bumbling owner, a star on the decline, and an assistant coach who is basically a KGB spy for Phil.

      Isn’t this the franchise in a nutshell? We think that everyone (player, free agent, rookie) is dying to come to the Knicks because New York City, but the team is in such disarray, starting at ownership, that they’ve poisoned themselves. The Knicks’ worst enemy isn’t anything else other than the ownership and lack of stability throughout the organization.

    27. Frank your tone is bringing me down. It’s time for some positivity and hope. It’s far from all bad in Knickland these days. We have a bb genius running our organization and an actual unicorn! Things can and will get better. Don’t be a nattering nabob of negativity.

      The Spurs have Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Boban “.400 WP/48” Marajajajajanovich. The Thunder have two legitimate superstars who trade buckets each night, plus Dion Waiters. The Cavs have LeBron Fuckin’ James and a bunch of second-tier stars and are so much better than the rest of the East that they really oughta make everyone else play for the other spot in the Conference Finals.

      None of the above teams is likely to win a title this year. That’s how stacked the talent pool is in today’s NBA. So what about the Knicks’ current situation could possibly inspire hope? One upside-heavy draft pick who shot poorly for much of the season?

    28. Having no regrets is recommended, but I’m curious where people here would put their wallets. How many would trade Porzingis for Turner and Indiana’s #1 pick this year? I wouldn’t.

      Now that’s an interesting question. How strong is this draft class?

      Yeah, that is an interesting question which luckily we won’t have to answer given how in the bag we all are for Porzingod. Myles Turner is a really good young player though….

    29. Yeah the Knicks current situation is really only bright in comparison to how awful it has been at times in the last 15 years.

      Organizational assets:
      One very promising young player
      Not at tooooooo much of a future draft pick deficit
      A pretty clean cap situation
      A GM who at the very least is not so awful that all Knicks fan are united in hate against him

      That makes us probably somewhere in like the 15-20 region in terms of future organizational assets (although you can probably debate this near endlessly). The big issues being that the organization still obviously has a bad rap, the current talent level of the roster is still very low, the owner is a nincompoop, we’re awful at talent development, and the GM may yet unite the entire fanbase against him in the next year. It’s not our customary 28th or 29th slot, but we’re nowhere close to the top of the list either. Phil has largely succeeded in returning the franchise to something like normalcy, but normalcy isn’t actually that great in a cutthroat zero-sum industry. All the hard work still remains.

      Frank Vogel would be a fantastic head coach hire though.

    30. Based on what Vogel has said about Phil in the past, I think it’s likely he’d at least listen if Phil called. It basically sounds like he idolized Phil as a scout and coaching prospect. that Brian Shaw quote is the most telling — to hire someone to be your assistant just because they were close to Phil Jackson — that’s not just idle talk. And those quotes were from 2013, right before we played them in the playoffs. That sounds like an actual honest answer.

    31. Just to be clear, the Pacers haven’t actually moved on from Vogel yet, right? They just haven’t started contract negotiations, right? I’m not saying that he won’t become available, as yes, it is very unusual to not talk to your coach at the end of the season his contracts expires, but it’s not necessarily a lead pipe cinch that he’s leaving, I don’t think.

      If he is, then wow, he’d be a great pick-up. Although he’d make even less sense than Blatt, if you’re talking about running a rigid system.

    32. Why would Frank Vogel leave for NY? I don’t get it. That’s a good situation. Why come here and be fired after another disappointing season?

    33. The Spurs have Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Boban “.400 WP/48? Marajajajajanovich.

      Wasnt Aldridge a below average player?

      You know what, this team has mostly sucked giant elephant balls for like 15 years now, and the “bb genius” you’re referring to is backed into an ideological corner that is probably going to result in him hiring an incompetent toadie as a head coach. Maybe that will work out and maybe it won’t, but we all deal with the perennially embarrassing shitshow that is the Knicks in our own way. Those of us who are not so sold on the plans for the future have earned the right to indulge in a little bit of gallows humor.

      You want to fire Jackson based on a decision he has not yet taken. One of the problems about the Knicks is that they are constantly looking for the next saviour. For once, we have a GM who is trying to build a team in a gradual way, giving importance to things like ‘system’ and ‘culture’. His decisions have been hit or miss, but he is working in the right direction. You have no patience, you are clamoring for the next Sam Hinkie, but would ask for his head when he does not draft the right guy in his first draft!

    34. Looking at the list of teams, it occurs to me that there are only four remaining open coaching spots: Houston, Sacto, Indy (if Vogel tests the market), and us.

      Indy and Houston are clearly better situations when you consider future assets, roster quality, GM, etc. We’re probably ahead of Sacramento, but not by much. Considering the lack of options, Vogel will probably stay in Indy.

      If Blatt is determined to coach in the NBA next year, I guess we have a shot at him just because there are so few alternatives.

    35. Wasnt Aldridge a below average player?

      With Portland? Absolutely. With the Spurs he was pretty good (career high in TS%) and played 2261 minutes for the league’s best defense, and best by a country mile. You know I’m not big on appeals to authority but I think Pop and R.C. have earned my blind trust.

      I certainly wouldn’t want him on a max deal in New York right now, but since the Spurs are in that elite territory, it warrants opening the checkbook for above-average players.

    36. You want to fire Jackson based on a decision he has not yet taken. One of the problems about the Knicks is that they are constantly looking for the next saviour. For once, we have a GM who is trying to build a team in a gradual way, giving importance to things like ‘system’ and ‘culture’. His decisions have been hit or miss, but he is working in the right direction.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if Phil hires a decent coach, then yay! Things will start to look a lot better. If he hires Kurt Rambis, boo! Kurt Rambis is a very very bad coach. So, I have an open mind, but, uh, come on, we all know it’s gonna be Rambis.

      Prove me wrong, Phil! Please, for the love of all that is holy, prove me wrong.

    37. With Portland? Absolutely. With the Spurs he was pretty good (career high in TS%) and played 2261 minutes for the league’s best defense, and best by a country mile. You know I’m not big on appeals to authority but I think Pop and R.C. have earned my blind trust.

      I am just saying this, because his WP48 has doubled, while his PER has remained constant. It is as if PER, for all its flaws manages to compensate your role in your team, and gives a ‘true’ measurement of a player, even if that measurement does not translate to wins in the court.

    38. It is as if PER, for all its flaws manages to compensate your role in your team, and gives a ‘true’ measurement of a player, even if that measurement does not translate to wins in the court.

      I read this sentence three times and I still have no idea what it means. If you’re saying that PER can generally tell you how often a player shoots the ball, sure. Otherwise, no idea.

    39. Just to be clear, the Pacers haven’t actually moved on from Vogel yet, right? They just haven’t started contract negotiations, right? I’m not saying that he won’t become available, as yes, it is very unusual to not talk to your coach at the end of the season his contracts expires, but it’s not necessarily a lead pipe cinch that he’s leaving, I don’t think.

      If he is, then wow, he’d be a great pick-up. Although he’d make even less sense than Blatt, if you’re talking about running a rigid system.

      It’s not a cinch that he’s leaving, but if the season’s over then presumably his contract is expired or expiring any day now (I actually have no idea what the actual end date would be, last day of the finals maybe?). Even if he doesn’t ultimately leave, he’s still “available” as I would think as he’s effectively a free agent. Side note: are there tampering rules with coaches?

    40. I read this sentence three times and I still have no idea what it means. If you’re saying that PER can generally tell you how often a player shoots the ball, sure. Otherwise, no idea.

      I mean that why should i look at WP48 when signing FAs if it is going to change?

    41. Vogel > Blatt. I would also say: Isiah > Blatt. Blatt couldn’t handle Cleveland. How’s he handling NY?

      I’ve been very much against trading Melo in the past but that’s because I’ve held out hope for the team to get into the playoffs and make noise. Alas, I was wrong. The more I read what Carmelo says, the more I realize that Phil is pushing him away, hoping that he asks to get traded, looking for picks. At this point that might be prudent.

    42. I mean that why should i look at WP48 when signing FAs if it is going to change?

      So because one player
      has the same PER
      year over year
      on two different teams
      it must tell you
      something objective and true
      about player value

      My mind is blown. I have no words for this.

    43. Why would Frank Vogel leave for NY? I don’t get it. That’s a good situation. Why come here and be fired after another disappointing season?

      I think the more relevant questions are why would Larry Bird allow him to get to the end of his contract and be a coaching FA and how does Vogel feel about not being shown any commitment by the team?

      There definitely has been talk that Bird is not a Vogel fan. And Bird has been known to fire even successful coaches- like Rick Carlisle.

    44. In a videotaped deposition played for the jury at fired Knicks exec Anucha Browne Sanders’ sexual harassment trial, Thomas said he drew a distinction between whites and blacks when it came to the B-word.

      Asked if he was bothered by a black man calling a black female “bitch,” Thomas said: “Not as much. I’m sorry to say, I do make a distinction.

      “A white male calling a black female a bitch is highly offensive,” Thomas said. “That would have violated my code of conduct.”

      “Maybe I shouldn’t go there. … A white male calling a black female, that is wrong with me. I’m not taking that. I’m not accepting that. … That’s a problem for me.”

      That’s one heckuva coach!

      “What the fuck is your job? What are your job responsibilities, you fucking ho?”

    45. So because one player
      has the same PER
      year over year
      on two different teams
      it must tell you
      something objective and true
      about player value

      My mind is blown. I have no words for this.

      Sigh, just because you keep ignoring every argument when we talk about this, for example, this post by Frank:

      http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-tuesday-dec-11-2012/#comment-411927

      You can check the PER of all those players, and how it changed compared with WP48, if you want.

    46. I literally have no idea what argument you’re trying to make. Nor do I understand how picking a dozen players and throwing a bunch of data at me is supposed to communicate anything of value.

    47. Why would Frank Vogel leave for NY? I don’t get it. That’s a good situation. Why come here and be fired after another disappointing season?

      Well, for one he’d get to pocket the last 4 years and $30,000,000 that would be remaining on his contract…

    48. oh Frank, I’m not that negative, am I? I just have high expectations. I think most people here if they wanted the Knicks to take a championship or nothing approach would be saying the same things I do, probably more angrily.

      I honestly don’t care all that much if Rambis is hired. But it’s mostly for cynical reasons — the team is going nowhere next year, limited interest from FAs is good for the team since IMO FAs are a distraction that will only inhibit the next GM from succeeding. And I still hold out hope (hope, Frank, hope!) that Melo might change his mind and ask for a trade. Hiring Rambis might help there.

      IMO, cap space only becomes valuable when you are an alluring team to play for, and with or without Rambis, that’s not going to be Knicks. All attention should be diverted towards building a 50+ win team internally. That’s the apple that lures FAs. Hell, suddenly Milwaukee is an exciting place for FAs to go just because of the young talent there, and they aren’t even a playoff team. There’d be a line down 7th avenue to play for the Knicks. It’s within reach if the team ever decides it wants that level of success. OPTIMISM, FOLKS… HOPE! #IBelieveNYK

    49. Isiah>Blatt? Are you high.

      Mostly a test to see if anyone would read that :)
      But sadly, I think it’s true. Isiah is a decent head coach (I want to be clear, I don’t want him either and he’s much, much worse as a GM). On the other hand, Blatt is, IMO, the absolute worst NBA coach. He lost the Cavs locker room very quickly and never gained the trust of the players. How many coaches would allow a player to overrule him in the huddle – no matter who it was? Maybe he was a genius in Europe but hasn’t proven squat in the NBA. He looked like a deer in the headlights.

    50. @59 – Max, I have to agree. If we could flip Melo for a top-half of the draft #1 and some players, I would do it in a heartbeat now.

    51. How many coaches would allow a player to overrule him in the huddle – no matter who it was?

      I think the list of coaches who could prevent LeBron from taking over is much shorter than the list of coaches who couldn’t. The fact that Blatt isn’t on the short list doesn’t make him a bad coach, it makes him like most of the others.

      Seriously, other than Riley, Pop, and maybe Phil (2 of whom aren’t even coaching anymore, so there is one guy in the league currently), who tells LeBron to sit down, shut up and listen when he doesn’t want to?

    52. Bird has been known to fire even successful coaches- like Rick Carlisle

      And like Isiah Thomas

    53. @59 Well, that’s the thing — I don’t believe many of us have a “championship or bust” mentality. That sounds to me like a path to being miserable about sports. Who has time for that? We are starving for respectable playoff basketball, a fighting chance.

    54. Blatt won 53 games with the Cavs and took them to the NBA Finals, where they took the heavily favored Warriors to six games. The Cavs were missing Kevin Love, who did not play, and Kyrie Irving, who was lost for the rest of the series after game one.

      The following season Blatt led the team to a 30-11 record, tops in the East, before getting fired. LeBron didn’t like him or whatever, and of course that matters, but Blatt’s results with the Cavs kind of speak for themselves.

    55. I’m sorry. I’m still trying to recover from reading Isiah>Blatt. Didn’t Isiah once run an entire league into the ground?

      Crossing my fingers that Bird wants Vogel out…

    56. After watching the video of Pop talking to the Euro coaches about the Spurs’ basketball philosophy, I don’t think the Spurs would even want LeBron. They have Kawhi, who is putting up LeBron-like numbers without any desire to exploit his brand or control personnel decisions.

      I can’t think of the last time the Spurs signed a player who brought a cult of personality with them. When you hear Pop say things like, “It’s just basketball,” and Danny Green’s recent comments about how they don’t pay attention to other teams’ off-court behaviors, it seems really clear to me that they operate with an inordinate level of discipline and sobriety (heh heh R.C. Buford joke). To me, that vanishes with a global basketball icon on your roster.

    57. The following season Blatt led the team to a 30-11 record, tops in the East, before getting fired.

      For comparison’s sake, the Cavs did us a solid by firing him at the precise midpoint of the season, so we could compare his 30-11 to Lue’s 27-14.

    58. @67 Very interesting observation. I’m curious if you think that the Spurs would have still signed LaMarcus Aldridge if he obsessively marketed himself as a brand.

    59. @GoNyGoNYGo

      I’m not saying I would only be happy with a title. I’m saying I’d only be happy if my team was making a concerted effort to win a title… Let’s say one of the top 5 teams in terms of their focus on making the right moves that could lead them to becoming a title contender.

      If bad luck happens and that leads to lots of awful basketball or if the process is very long term, I’m totally cool with that. I’m happy and excited to watch a 0 win team if I can believe that 0 win season is part of a sensible plan to become a great team. I’d rather watch the 0 win team, in fact, than the fluky 54 win team that I know has no title chance and I know is going to collapse the next season.

    60. Hell, suddenly Milwaukee is an exciting place for FAs to go just because of the young talent there, and they aren’t even a playoff team.

      Greg Monroe didn’t have a very exciting season in Milwaukee

    61. 30-11 to Lue’s 27-14.

      Does this even tell us anything?

      As for those wondering why Vogel would want to leave Indiana, if the rumors are true he’s essentially being fired because the team isn’t playing the style that Bird wants them to play

    62. 30-11 to Lue’s 27-14.

      Does this even tell us anything?

      I feel obligated here to bring up Mike Brown’s 305-187 as coach of the Cavs. .620 winning percentage (51 win pace). He won 66 and 61 games his last two years. And those rosters were awful outside of Lebron. It turns out that coaching Lebron James in basketball is actually not that hard.

    63. I would have normally dismissed Woj’s tweet as being pretty baseless (as all it said was that they hadn’t started negotiations on a new contract), but it is true that Bird has been wary about Vogel in the past. The weird thing is that Bird is the guy who first hired Vogel as the main coach (after Vogel was the interim coach following Jim O’Brien’s firing), so what changed?

    64. Bird today said he will decide after a call with Herb Simon and that he doesn’t want to leave Frank hanging because there are other jobs he could get. Seems pretty damn possible he is gone. We are here for you, Frank. Come to us.

    65. From what I gather Bird would like the team to be heading towards a more “modern” NBA style on offense, and Vogel has reverted to playing two bigs (Myles Turner, for example, played a lot at the 4 instead of Paul George) and focused on defense.

      I think Kevin Durant is the number 1 target for every single team in the NBA

    66. I would have normally dismissed Woj’s tweet as being pretty baseless (as all it said was that they hadn’t started negotiations on a new contract), but it is true that Bird has been wary about Vogel in the past. The weird thing is that Bird is the guy who first hired Vogel as the main coach (after Vogel was the interim coach following Jim O’Brien’s firing), so what changed?

      I can’t say I follow the Pacers that closely, but I have gotten the feeling since he stopped coaching that Bird has a bit of a Phil situation. He kind of wants to coach the team, but doesn’t want the day to day stress (and wear and tear on his health) that it entails. Still he seems to have really strong opinions on how the team should be coached and has clashed with even some pretty successful coaches there. And they do play kind of an ugly style and seem to have had some (possibly related in their eyes) attendance issues. Maybe it’s partially the owner’s decision?

    67. I think Kevin Durant is the number 1 target for every single team in the NBA

      Not unless he can play as a post-up big in the triangle under Rambis.

    68. This is some real bullshit regarding Vogel. I mean, you want to let the guy go? Fine, let the guy go. But don’t pull this “I don’t know what’s going to happen” nonsense. How in the world do they not know what they want to do with their coach? Did they just wake up today and realize he wasn’t signed for next year? This is bush league stuff right here by Larry Bird and Herb Simon. The Cavaliers handled the David Blatt situation better than this.

      I think there’s no way they should let him leave, but if they don’t want him, fine, let him go. But just do it.

    69. I can’t think of the last time the Spurs signed a player who brought a cult of personality with them

      I can’t think of the last time, before Aldridge, that they had signed a free agent ever. Maybe Michael Finley? Or end of his career Dominique Wilkins? (The “Human Highlight Reel” kind of counts as a cult of personality, I guess :)

    70. I think Vogel seems to be a good coach, but if he’s not doing what the GM wants him to do then they should fire him. Just do it classy.

    71. Yeah, if they want him gone, do it. Just don’t dick the guy around.

    72. Re: all my comments about Blatt.
      I do not think he is an NBA head coach. I really don’t. Neither are most people on this planet. There may be a couple of dozen who are NBA head coaches. Fisher and Rambis aren’t. Byron Scott isn’t. Having the job does not make you an NBA head coach….well, technically it does, but you know what I mean. I really don’t want him coaching this team. Then again, we haven’t had a coach that I liked since Van Gundy.

    73. How fucking awesome would it be to get Frank Vogel this year and then Ujiri next year?

    74. Amazing the Hawks are in this game with Horford having one of his worst games all year

    75. Here are some quotes from Vogel

      “I’ve had to unlearn a lot of what I’ve believed in with offensive spacing because of the way the league plays today,” Vogel said. “That’s a challenge on the defensive end as well.

      “It’s not just about you unlearning it, you have to sell that to your guys, a lot of whom have old-school viewpoints and ways (about how) the game has to be played,” Vogel said. “It’s not just my own personal willingness to do it but to get 15 guys to believe in it as well and to see how the game’s evolving. It’s been a challenge that I’ve enjoyed, but it has been uncomfortable at times for sure.”

    76. How fucking awesome would it be to get Frank Vogel this year and then Ujiri next year?

      It’d be pretty fucking awesome. I’d even settle for just one of the two! Having Vogel…man, having an actual good coach would be amazing.

    77. I wonder why Scott wasn’t playing in the fourth over Korver. He was shooting well and moving without the ball and would have improved the Hawks defense. I get that Korver is always a weapon but he did not have it going and could not get open. I think Scott at the 3 and moving Bazemore would have been a much better course of action.

      Have to give JR credit for his defense.

    78. Spurs tore through a 15 point deficit like it was nothing.

      LMA destroying Ibaka and Adams in the post like it’s 1995. Awesome to watch.

    79. Wild ending to OKC/SAS. Waiters may have gotten away with pushing Ginobili while inbounding the ball during the final play of the game. C-Webb is LIVID.

    80. I said after Game 1 that there was no way that the Thunder weren’t going to play them tougher tonight. I was impressed that they actually WON, though.

    81. Re-watching the final play, why didn’t the Spurs just try to score a two there? Why a three down one with seconds ticking off the clock?

    82. Yeah. In the end I don’t think the no-call is a big deal. Manu stepped on the line anyway, which should have been a T. Yeah, he got pushed, but they got the ball anyway, in transition no less, which might be a better proposition than a set play. I agree they should have gone for a two though. Glad the Thunder were able to make it a series for now though I still hope the Spurs take it.

    83. @90 – I wouldn’t quite say that, but basketball is very much a team game. Every piece needs to move in harmony with the others. When you watch Melo work a defender while the rest of the team is staring into space, you are witnessing what poor coaching creates. It’s a joy watching Golden State and Oklahoma and San Antonio. The ball moves. Players move. Games are won. That comes from great coaching. The system is very important but it’s also equally critical to get players to buy in.

      Blatt would be a disaster because I can’t see him getting buy-in. He sealed his reputation.

      @62 Khanzy –

      Seriously, other than Riley, Pop, and maybe Phil (2 of whom aren’t even coaching anymore, so there is one guy in the league currently), who tells LeBron to sit down, shut up and listen when he doesn’t want to?

      Right – Those are real coaches. I can name a bunch of others. Van Gundy, Spolstra, Vogel, Thibs, Stevens, Kerr… The point is that failure to handle a star is a primary failure. It indicates that the coach will be unable to deal with ANY star. Hence, Blatt is unacceptable.

      If we trade Melo and load up with kids, I’m fine with Blatt being the coach because we won’t be in a position to compete for several years. Blatt can teach kids but I can’t see him leading men.

    84. The point is that failure to handle a star is a primary failure. It indicates that the coach will be unable to deal with ANY star. Hence, Blatt is unacceptable.

      That’s actually an absurd logical leap I can’t even

      Just because Blatt can’t handle the most demanding and invasive star in the game does NOT mean that he couldn’t handle someone comparatively docile in Melo (though he did get D’Antoni canned, but I think that was a perfect storm of personality clash); it does NOT mean that he can’t handle a Kawhi Leonard or Steph Curry because those guys have no ridiculously controlling player-coach ambitions like Lebron does.

      So it’s simply fallacious to draw that conclusion. Blatt would be great, and is certainly better than at least half of the coaches currently coaching in the NBA. To deride him on the basis of mismanaging the most controlling player in the game in Lebron (who looked like he rejected Blatt before he even had a chance to open his mouth) is the height of uncharitability

      Give me Blatt or Vogel please please pleaseeeee

    85. Right – Those are real coaches. I can name a bunch of others. Van Gundy, Spolstra, Vogel, Thibs, Stevens, Kerr… The point is that failure to handle a star is a primary failure. It indicates that the coach will be unable to deal with ANY star. Hence, Blatt is unacceptable.

      Ridiculous statement.

      So, because Van Gundy couldn’t “handle” Dwight Howard, he’s unfit to coach in the NBA?

      Because Carlisle couldn’t “handle” the personality of Rajon Rondo the Mavs should have gotten a new coach?

      Jerry Sloan must have been really good at faking being a good coach for 30 years because Deron Williams exposed him as being unacceptable!

      Phil, himself, couldn’t handle Team Dysfunction, a championship caliber team which crumbled under the egos of his players.

      And Steve Kerr obviously can’t handle stars because Michael Jordan once punched him in the face. Golden State must really regret not taking that primary failure of his to heart when hiring!

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