Knicks Morning News (2016.05.03)

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Thunder Hand Spurs a Rare Home Loss and Even Their Series (Tue, 03 May 2016 04:40:05 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook had 29 points and 10 assists for Oklahoma City, which bounced back from a 32-point loss to San Antonio in Game 1.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Liberty Gain a Star Guard (Tue, 03 May 2016 03:27:57 GMT)

    The Liberty acquired the All-Star point guard Shoni Schimmel from the Atlanta Dream for a 2017 second-round draft pick.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Determined to Set Defensive Tone Again in Game 2 (Tue, 03 May 2016 06:15:39 GMT)

    Andrew Bogut has taken to publicly calling himself unflattering names.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Hold on Beat Spurs 98-97, Even Series at 1-1 (Tue, 03 May 2016 06:09:31 GMT)

    The Oklahoma City Thunder nearly gave the game away in a wild final sequence that referees acknowledge should have been blown dead before it started.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Outlast Spurs to Even Series at 1-1 (Tue, 03 May 2016 05:48:27 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook scored 29 points and handed out 10 assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder outlasted the San Antonio Spurs 98-97 on Monday in Game 2 of the Western Conference semi-final and tied the best-of-seven series at one win apiece.

  • [New York Times] LeBron, Cavs Hold Off Hawks 104-93 in Game 1 (Tue, 03 May 2016 03:24:36 GMT)

    Rusty, rested or reeling, LeBron James and the Cavaliers find a way to beat the Hawks in the playoffs every time.

  • [New York Times] Cavaliers Beat Hawks in Series Opener (Tue, 03 May 2016 03:09:27 GMT)

    A week off did not disrupt the Cleveland Cavaliers’ momentum, nor was it enough time to alter the Atlanta Hawks’ history against them. The Cavaliers still have never lost to the Hawks in the postseason, but this one was not easy.

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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).

    70 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.05.03)”

    1. I’m really digging the Vogel rumors, even though they are probably just rumors. No way Bird lets him go unless there is a better option out there. Personally, I think the better options are in Minny and comfortably working with ESPN (JVG). But hey..suppose JVG is interested and lands the job. Phil would hafta go after Vogel, right? He’s gotta make a great hire. HE HAS TO. It will be his biggest move to date, even bigger than drafting KP.

    2. One thing I haven’t seen brought up — according to Woj’s original story, Vogel’s contract is up at the end of this season. Doesn’t it mean he’s literally a free agent? All the stories are about how he’s hanging in the wind and Bird should let him know his status etc etc but at the same time, Vogel could just choose to go elsewhere. Right?

    3. I assume you were referring to Houston and not Minny, since that job was already filled by Thibodeau. Rumors are that JVG is a strong candidate for the Houston job. I do agree though that if Vogel is available that is the man you have to target. He would bring that defensive mindset and toughness the Knicks sorely lack. Landing Vogel would be a terrific way to start the off season. Not that Blatt would be bad either, but my preference would be Vogel.

    4. @2 I guess technically it is true that he will be a free agent shortly. In practice, teams though do not treat coaches the same way as players. For one Vogel’s choice of coaching jobs is limited with right now Houston, Sacramento and NY as the only openings. A player essentially has every team to sell his services to once he becomes a free agent. Also, normally teams do not allow coaches to reach this point of just “twisting in the wind”. Again, no rule against it, but not done in practice for head coaches.

    5. Bird’s comments suggest he’s seriously thinking about letting him go. If he does, then Bird is not as smart as I thought he was.

      Vogel is a Top 10 coach, maybe Top 5. Look at the roster he almost took to the playoffs last year. Rambo would have won 20 games with that squad. Indy pushed Miami in the ECF a few years ago and pushed a 56-win Toronto team this year.

      His teams overachieve every year relative to their talent. I would take him in a heartbeat.

    6. I’m now cautiously optimistic that our chances of hiring a good coach have now doubled.

      Vogel from his interviews seems to be a huge Phil fanboy. I could see him not minding a Triangular vision imposed from up above.

      Please, basketball gods. We’re not asking much.

    7. Also, per P&T – I didn’t know Vogel actually hired Brian Shaw as his assistant in Indy because of Shaw’s Phil connections. He’s basically in the Triangle tree, boys. GET HIM.

    8. The Vogel news really doesn’t surprise me. I’ve said it before that PJax is gonna surprise us with the coaching decision. If he was going to hire Rambis, it would have happened already. He’s been consistently decisive when he has made up his mind.

      Or Rambis is the coach of last resort, or insurance if you will. Or maybe even just the interim coach keeping the seat warm until a new guy gets the job.

    9. Regarding media reports:

      The Fisher firing was a complete surprise. As was the KP drafting. Both speak volumes about the capacity to keep news from the NYC talking heads, a stark contrast to how it used to be around this team.

      The talking heads can’t be loving the disconnect either, which could well explain the prevalent PJax and Rambis hate from the NYPost, NYDaily News and ESPN. And what really drives those idiots up the wall is that PJax really doesn’t care what they write, because he’s going to do his thing: change the culture of the organization, build up the Weschester/Overseas pipeline for players and coaches (not unlike what Miami and San Antonio does), and basically change the way the Knicks do business.

    10. Phil can wait until October 31 to hire Rambis. Might as well. If Vogel says no, ask Blatt. If Blatt says no, ask JVG. If JVG says no, ask Coach K. If Coach K says no, try to resurrect Red Auerbach from the dead and ask him.

      Literally try every other option, and take as much time as you want. Rambis will still be available, don’t worry.

    11. I’m just guessing, but the Vogel thing in Indy seems to be all about egos. Vogel is at the top of the list of coaches I would want to consider. Rambis and Blatt are not on the list.

    12. Right, if Vogel leaves, it is because of a clash of egos with Larry Bird. So Blatt’s bad for clashing with Lebron but Vogel’s okay despite clashing with Bird?

      Also, let’s run that back again – if he leaves, it will be because he couldn’t handle the ego of his boss in Indiana who wanted to micromanage how the Pacers played – so luckily the Knicks have nothing like that here.

    13. i love the idea of vogel as a coach, and think hes tremendous for indiana and would be tremendous in NY. We just saw him thoroughly outcoach Dwayne Casey, too.

      That being said, it’s funny how a few of yall view him through rosey-tinted glasses. He’s great but a top 5 coach!? Come on now. We talk about his teams overachieving relative to their talent, but I hoenstly wonder if you all forgot the *defensive* talent on those Indy teams. Hibbert, Paul George **as a 6’10 2 guard half the time** in the pre-switch everything ping pong ball movement NBA, and George Hill @ the 1 were all arguably top five defenders at their respective positions. And Lance and David West were both tremendous defenders.

      While it’s ALWAYS a testament to the coach’s scheming and disciplining when a team is **number 1** in def eff, lets not go crazy is all i’m saying. He wouldn’t take our knicks anywhere near the top 10 in Def Eff unless we obtained some halfway solid wing/guard defenders.

    14. They lost Hibbert and West, didn’t have Lance and added a weak defender in Monta Ellis and finished third in the NBA in defense, an improvement over their defense the year before (which didn’t have George, true, who is definitely a key part of their defense, but come on, 7th place last year without George is still very impressive).

      Vogel is a great defensive coach period. And great NBA defensive coaches can do wonders for any roster. Jeff Van Gundy had the #1 defense in the NBA with a three guard lineup (when very few teams did three guard lineups) including Glen Rice as one of those three guards! I don’t think Scott Skiles is as good of a coach as Frank Vogel, but they’re similar in that they’re both defensive whizzes, and Skiles took Orlando from #24 in defense to #16 in one season. And I’m sure they’ll improve this year, as well.

      But yes, top five coach in the NBA is a huge stretch for him. I agree with that. I’m not even sure if I’d have him in the top ten coaches. But when we’re talking about the 30th best NBA coach getting the job otherwise, Vogel would be a huge improvement.

    15. @15

      Aw, he mad.

      Seriously if I had Popovich I would never complain about anything.

    16. @15 It’s a big part of what we do around here.

      Even if Sam Hinke had full basketball control of the franchise, we’d find something to whine about ;)

    17. Brian, you have a point but this is the converse situation.

      I’m not sure where the clash is in Indy, but it seems like a clash between Vogel, the coach and upper management, Bird. The clash with Blatt was Coach to players.

      Although it’s different, I’m more worried about the coach-player relationship than a coach-GM relationship.

    18. Vogel is the best coach available, period. And if Phil hires him, I think we can all feel a lot better about him as a GM.

      But we know it’ll be Rambis, because Knix.

    19. I love Pop. But I think David Robinson and Tim Duncan would have turned a lot of coaches into legends.

    20. Vogel is the best coach available, period. And if Phil hires him, I think we can all feel a lot better about him as a GM.

      Yep and yep.

      But we know it’ll be Rambis, because Knix.

      Hopefully not yep.

    21. You guys would still want to whine if you had the highest rated coach.

      Yeah, well averaging around 33 wins a year over a 15-year period will do that to you.

    22. The thing I don’t get is that we’re specifically talking about how we would love to have Vogel, so…huh? This is about as positive as we can get.

    23. “Professor Pangloss: The royal educator of the
      court of the baron. Described as “the greatest
      philosopher of the Holy Roman Empire “.

      Can he shoot the three?

    24. Isola got a good zinger in on Berman today. Barely a day after Berman was all, “Melo should shut up and not undermine Jackson hiring Rambis,” Berman is writing a column about how Jackson should hire Vogel.

    25. I’d say Vogel is one of the ten best coaches in professional basketball, and it’s really difficult to name five coaches flat out better than him. The only guys I’d hands down rather have over Vogel are Poppovich, Kerr, Budenholzer, SVG, and Carlisle. I’d put Thibodeau over him, but Thibodeau has the whole “he plays his players too much” stigma about him so I’d say they’re about even.

    26. I’d put those five guys, plus these four guys ahead of him:
      Thibs
      Spoelstra
      Rivers
      Joerger

      Then you’d have a toss-up between him and Stevens. I like Stotts a lot, as well.

      But yeah, don’t get me wrong, I really really like the guy. And when Kurt Rambis is the other option? Holy shit, do I like the guy! :)

    27. Ha! Hey, like I said, it’s a toss-up. You can have Stevens ahead of Vogel there. I wouldn’t argue that much about that.

    28. Yeah that’s a pretty good list. Okay, so 10th or 11th but he’s definitely top 12 easily.

    29. Top 7/Top 10/Top 12/Top 14, it’s really a difference without a distinction. The main thing is that we all think he is a swell coach, which he is. The Knicks would be lucky to get him.

    30. The other cat we’re talking about hiring would be the 30th best coach in the NBA.

    31. We should hire all of them. Blatt, Vogel, Rambis, Shaw, Scott. We could create such a dearth of head coaches in the NBA that we could hold the league hostage until the other teams give us the right players.

    32. The other cat we’re talking about hiring would be the 30th best coach in the NBA

      I would have taken issue with that statement before Byron Scott was fired

    33. @35

      I WISH Rambis is the 30th best coach in the league. Several assistants are better than him, so he’s closer to 60th-best.

    34. I think Phil would jump at Frank Vogel immediately and offer him a job. Phil would be able to put Shaw or Rambis on his coaching staff, Vogel would probably be receptive to the triangle, and he’d be lauded as a genius for being patient and getting “his guy all along” or whatever.

      If we hired Vogel though I would want Phil Jackson to offer Lance Stephenson the same contract he gave RoLo. Lance played his best ball under Vogel and he can handle the ball when our point guards suck again next year. Get it done, Phil!

    35. @30 Wow, I realized I had stopped thinking of Doc as a Top 10 coach. His shortcomings as GM have overshadowed his coaching for me. Doc overworked as both GM and coach is not a top 10 franchise situation.

    36. @30 Wow, I realized I had stopped thinking of Doc as a Top 10 coach. His shortcomings as GM have overshadowed his coaching for me. Doc overworked as both GM and coach is not a top 10 franchise situation.

      Oh, agreed, he’s a shitty GM. But he’s still a great coach. He lost Paul and Griffin and still played the Blazers tough.

    37. Phil would be able to put Shaw or Rambis on his coaching staff

      It’d be a good problem to have (because it would mean that they’d have Vogel as their head coach), but the Shaw/Rambis thing would be interesting, as you’d have to imagine that Vogel would want Shaw but Jackson would want Rambis. Why any coach would want BackStabby McGee on their coaching staff is beyond me, but I suppose it could just be a condition of the gig.

    38. Here’s a worry – Vogel interviewed for the Houston job back in 2012 in case the Pacers didn’t name him the official head coach (as he was still just an interim coach at the time) and he said that if the Pacers didn’t bring him back, he would have liked to have coached Houston. You have to figure he’d be a great fit in Houston, as well, as that team needs someone who can coach defense.

    39. good thoughts all around but lol Phil is playing each of us just as hard as the NY media

    40. Honestly, I think we should pursue Pablo for HC because who wouldn’t loves them some more Prigioni? Plus, he comes from an entire country that is triangular-ish in shape. Top that Rambis.

    41. Why go coach Houston when Dwight Howard is on the way out and they will likely just get worse this off season (unless they sign Whiteside or Durant, and they won’t)?

    42. Just give me a GM and coach who draft, sign and play the good players and who cut, trade and bench the bad players. That’s much more easily quantified than whatever all of this nebulous chatter about “coaching ability” is supposed to signify.

      No coach in the league can turn shit to gold. Let’s not forget that Popovich went 17-47 in his first season. Why? He didn’t have great players. The next year he wins 56 games. Did he magically become a good coach? No. He had David Robinson and Tim Duncan combining for 5600 MP and nearly 29 WP.

    43. To illustrate the difficulty in analyzing coaches, look at the vote this year. Terry Stotts finished second to Steve Kerr. Steve Kerr didn’t coach his team during games for about half the season, and they didn’t miss a beat. Stotts did really well because he coached a team that everyone expected to suck to a mid-playoff seed. But the reason nobody expected them to do well is that everyone didn’t understand what a good job the front office did re-stocking the roster with talented players.

      So who was the better coach? The guy who wasn’t there or the guy who had better players than people thought?

      (the answer is Brad Stevens, because he’s a genius)

    44. Honestly, I think we should pursue Pablo for HC because who wouldn’t loves them some more Prigioni? Plus, he comes from an entire country that is triangular-ish in shape.

      I’m on board for this idea.

    45. So who was the better coach? The guy who wasn’t there or the guy who had better players than people thought?

      To illustrate, WP ’14-’15 and ’15-’16.

      Ed Davis

      Lakers: 10.1 WP
      Blazers: 10.8 WP

      Aminu

      Dallas: 7.0 WP
      Portland: 7.8 WP (at a much lower rate and higher volume)

      Plumlee

      Brooklyn: 5.7 WP
      Blazers: 7.7 WP

      Wins Produced is not a stat that captures the nuance of basketball well, but if you think there’s a possibility that the purported overachievement of this year’s Blazers might be better explained by poorly-assessed player value than miracle coaching, Wins Produced definitely supports you in that.

    46. Man, Toronto is a team full of horrible passers. This must be the worst passing top five offense in history.

    47. I think kadeem hardison showed up like in the Sixth Man to guide that 3ball in. It looked like it was going wide

    48. Yeah, that was pretty embarrassing by DeRozan. Still great play by Wade.

    49. The Warriors are a ~56 win team without Curry. They’re at home and they’re significantly more talented than Portland. They should win this game

    50. Warriors moving to their Flying Death Machine lineup (-Curry +Livingston.) Green is everywhere. What a player.

    51. In roughly one minute, I saw Draymond do the following:

      Draw a charge
      Putback dunk
      Assist out of the post
      Devour Plumlee’s soul with a two-handed block

    52. It’s like everyone on the Warriors is a variation of Scottie Pippen

    53. Yeah, pretty much. Klay Thompson is like Pippen as a shooting guard, Livingston is like Pippen as a point guard, Green is like Pippen as a center and Iggy and Barnes are like Pippen as…well, as Pippen (although neither Iggy not Barnes are as good at being Pippen as Pippen was, of course).

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