Knicks Morning News (2016.05.16)

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Monday's Knicks Links: Rambis, Blatt and Vogel are the top three coach candidates (Mon, 16 May 2016 05:26:52 EST)

    Monday's Knicks Links: Rambis, Blatt and Vogel are the top three coach candidates

  • [New York Times] Liberty 79, Wings 71: Liberty Win Their Home Opener, Sending a Message (Mon, 16 May 2016 01:40:23 GMT)

    The team, which is aiming to win the title this season, beat the Dallas Wings.

  • [New York Times] Lowry Scores 35, DeRozan Has 28, Raptors Beat Heat 116-89 (Mon, 16 May 2016 00:04:09 GMT)

    Toronto fans chanted ‘We Want Cleveland!’ in the final seconds. They got it.

  • [New York Times] Back to Business for LeBron and Cavs, Who Will Face Raptors (Mon, 16 May 2016 01:15:33 GMT)

    As the score became more and more lopsided in Toronto, LeBron James started to change.

  • [New York Times] Raptors Beat Heat in Game 7, Earn Showdown With Cavaliers (Mon, 16 May 2016 00:48:27 GMT)

    Led by 35 points from Kyle Lowry and 28 from fellow guard DeMar DeRozan, the Toronto Raptors beat the Miami Heat 116-89 at home on Sunday in the seventh and deciding game of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

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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).

    95 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.05.16)”

    1. Interesting stuff about the clandestine coaching search. I’ve been as critical of Phil as anyone and can’t imagine why you’d need to be so secret about it, but if he’s really interviewing theoretically non-triangle candidates then I’ve got no problem.

      I wrote this a couple days ago and still believe it. I think there’s very little chance Rambis is actually going to be the coach. I it’s just hard for me to imagine that if he was going to be the next coach that it wouldn’t already have been announced. I DO think it’ll come down to Blatt or Vogel (not a big stretch)- mostly because these guys have been rumored to other jobs but are still on the market. Sounds like perhaps they are waiting on Phil’s decision before getting more serious about other openings.

      One can only hope.

    2. it’s just hard for me to imagine that if he was going to be the next coach that it wouldn’t already have been announced.

      Again, no one is going to hire Rambis away from the Knicks, so there is no urgency to hire him. I’m not saying he will hire Rambis (I certainly am hoping to heck that he won’t), but I don’t think the fact that he hasn’t hired him already doesn’t mean much. Rambis isn’t going anywhere, so there’s no need to lock him down before Phil is good and ready.

      But yeah, obviously I’m hoping like heck that it’ll be Vogel or Blatt (Vogel first then Blatt). Come on, Phil!

    3. I like Batum a lot and think he’s a perfect fit both long and short term. I’m not sure he’s worth a max contract, but I think it’s irrelevant anyway. It seems he wants to stay in Charlotte and they want to keep him.

    4. Been reading on/off the past couple of weeks, and I’m still with Reub. Keep fighting the good fight, my brother. I really do think Phil’s main moves have been positive, with many iffy moves in between; the main reason Phil’s moves have sometimes been lackluster was probably due to lack of options and trying to position himself for future better moves. Hence, most better guards were unavailable, so he got Afflalo on a short term contract. Whereas getting younguns like Grant, KP, Galloway, as well as getting people like Robin Lopez are really good moves.

      As for our coaching search, everything so far has told me not to judge ahead of a decision by Phil. He’s been clandestine about his moves as a rule. I still think it’ll be Blatt, but wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s Vogel. I would be surprised if it’s Rambis.

    5. Towns unanimous Rookie of the Year, and rightly so. Porzingis a very deserving second place.

    6. I don’t know if it’s a push so much as the old contrarians gradually losing their votes.

      Towns was unquestionably the best rookie. You vote for anyone else — even KP — just to get attention, or be a jerk. There are maybe arguments to be made for someone other than Curry for MVP, but the Warriors just had the best regular season ever, and he was not only their best player but had amazing numbers.

      (FWIW, Porzingis wasn’t unanimous second-place choice. Jokic got 7 votes, and Booker and Okafor(!) got 3 apiece.)

    7. I don’t know if it’s a push so much as the old contrarians gradually losing their votes.

      Yeah, that must be it. I agree that there should be more uanimity in votes, but it is just so weird to suddenly have it (or close to it) all the time.

    8. Jokic had a much better season than Porzingis, but no NYC homer is going to admit that.

    9. I think Phil clearly has done the right kind of moves. Other than Melo’s NTC he’s bringing young players on reasonable contracts and not mortgaging the future.

      Even his short term moves were better in his second year than his first. Last year he brought Acy and JA, two non rotation players. This year Williams and Afflalo, who are rotation level players.

    10. Have you all exorcised your demons yet? It’s really nice just being a fan. I know it’s not your fault. But, trust me, there are better times ahead…and soon.

    11. So much of Phil’s reputation among Knick fans rides on this coaching decision. If he hires Rambis, he’ll have put himself above the franchise. If he hires Vogel or Blatt, he’ll prove that he’s willing to do the right thing and put ego aside.

      If we get Vogel or Blatt, many of us will be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on future decisions. But if Rambis is here, I’ll be ready to shit on every move Phil makes, because I won’t trust him.

    12. Wow! Thinking of a starting lineup of

      Melo
      KP
      Lopez
      Grant or Calderon
      Batum

      and liking it! What do you think?

    13. I’m usually with reub, but this is getting ridiculous. Jokic was great this year. Acknowledging that doesn’t mean you have demons. It’s just true

    14. I think Batum would be a great fit. Interesting the day has come when a player would rather stay in Charlotte than come to NY.

      I wish we were considering Ewing, but it looks like we are not. I’d put him 3rd on my list. What I really think we need is a big man coach to boost Zinger’s development. I wonder if Rick Smits has a camp up in Poughkeepsie like the dream does?

    15. glidepath, I’m not knocking Jokic. I wish we had him here. But we’re going to become a very good team soon even without him. I can just feel it!

    16. Okafor and Mudiay both beat Miles Turner, who wasn’t just obviously better by every eyeball and statistical test, but also contributed to a playoff team. Huh?

      2016 ROY should have been:

      1) Towns
      2) Jokic
      3) Porzingis/Turner

      It was a great rookie class. Seems to silly to have the few guys that were actually horrible make the top 9.

    17. Zinger was #4 in jersey sales, so I’m definitely taking him over Towns or Jokic, they don’t even make the top 15.

      Losers.

    18. Oh, and Reub, just so you know: I am not anti-Phil Jackson (at least, not post 1990s Phil Jackson). I think he’s done a pretty decent job here, all things considered. What I am critical of, and abjectly pessimistic about, is the New York Knicks as a franchise. I don’t think that Jerry West, or RC Buford, or Greg Popovich, or Pat Riley, or Dr James Neismith could do much to get this organization on a winning path as long as ownership remains as it is.

      Part of me actually wants Rambis to get the job, just to prove that Phil is doing it his way and not being swayed by Dolan, or the NY media, or a few nerdy fans on a Knick blog. I’d rather he be married to the Triangle, a system he believes in, than married to the system of MSG, which has been a failed system for close to 20 years now.

    19. Interesting the day has come when a player would rather stay in Charlotte than come to NY.

      As a NY’er who has moved to Charlotte, I must say its a much better quality of life. (Cleaner, lower cost of living etc) I think we tend to look at NY with rose colored glasses. Only Melo is on the same page with us on that and we borderline hate him for it. Go figure lol

    20. Zinger was #4 in jersey sales, so I’m definitely taking him over Towns or Jokic, they don’t even make the top 15.

      True. That’s just factorial.

    21. Zinger was #4 in jersey sales, so I’m definitely taking him over Towns or Jokic, they don’t even make the top 15.

      True. That’s just factorial.

      It’s good to see someone bringing objective measurements to the discussion.

    22. Of course, you can always count on the NY Post to put a positive spin on anything Knicks-related. Their headline about Porzingis coming in 2nd — “No One Thinks that Kristaps Porzingis is NBA’s Top Rookie.”

    23. I agree that that is a douchey headline. The piece, though, was written by the Associated Press. Could the AP be responsible for the headline, as well? I’m unsure of how that works.

    24. It’s remarkable that Vogel’s .580 career winning percentage and Rambis’ intimate knowledge of the triangle offense ostensibly have equal weighting in this decision-making process.

    25. Well, who does think Porzingis was the top rookie? I mean, don’t get me wrong he’s the most exciting thing to happen to this franchise since that run to the finals as an 8th seed, but no one can objectively look at what Towns did this year and state that Porzingis was better.

      Douchey headline? Maybe. Accurate? Yes.

    26. I wonder what Frank Vogel thinks when he hears it’s down to him, Blatt, and Rambis, but they need some time to think it over.

    27. Today is maybe the first day I have begun to feel like perhaps Phil is not going to hire Rambis. It is just an unbelievably bad look if he passes over both Blatt AND Vogel and hires his bespectacled little friend.

      The optics of hiring Rambis would just be too brutal. I think it’s going to be Blatt or Vogel.

    28. @33 I kind of agree with you, but another part of me says Phil is gonna stick it in our faces and say: “I’ve got 11 rings and you don’t, who the hell are you to tell me who to hire as coach? Rambis is my guy, deal with it.”

      It’s almost like the more Phil reads and hears about the outcry over a potential Rambis hiring, the more likely it becomes. But man, I hope I’m wrong.

    29. Now we’ve also interviewed Jeff Hornacek? If it weren’t for the absolute refusal to talk to Thibs, this would almost feel like a normal coaching search!

      Though Berman, of course, suggests Phil is just doing this to appease Melo.

    30. It is just an unbelievably bad look if he passes over both Blatt AND Vogel and hires his bespectacled little friend

      This assumes, of course, that both Blatt and Vogel are waiting by their phones hoping for Phil to call and offer a job. There is still a good chance that Phil offers one or both of them a job, but still ends up hiring his bespectacled little friend.

      (For all we know, Phil spent the entire dinner meeting begging them to come coach the Knicks and they said “maybe, if we have no other options at the end of this month.”)

    31. Minnesota gained 13 wins from the previous season. We gained 17. So Porzingis is better.

    32. Jeff hornacek? He was a hot name last year but lost his team this year. Not sure it was his fault really (the GM caused the Markieff Morris problem).

      Howard Beck apparently tweeted back in February to keep Hornacek in mind for the job since there was mutual respect between he and Phil. I guess Beck still has some very good sources.

      Beck also said in a podcast a couple months back that Phil is not as stubborn about the triangle as was being reported- that really it it’s about the basketball philosophy that he thinks the triangle best demonstrates-

      So let’s see. I lost faith once but I can be reborn. Show us a non Rambis coach and I’ll believe again.

    33. I’ve been so focused on “anyone but Rambis” that I haven’t really thought about whether Vogel or Blatt would be better for this team. Can we do a poll? Or a considered article? (Especially since you never know, someone in Knicks-ville may actually check this blog from time to time…)

      Vogel got so much out of his players and clearly was a great defensive coach, but Blatt seems like he does well with both offense and defense, though he doesn’t seem to get as much out of his players. I’m leaning toward Blatt, though it’s really hard to call. Should it be?

    34. Of note- I’m pretty sure Beck also predicted we’d sign Robin Lopez and afflalo before the offseason last year.

    35. but Blatt seems like he does well with both offense and defense, though he doesn’t seem to get as much out of his players.

      Why do you think he doesn’t get as much out of his players? His entire rep in Europe was getting the most out of limited talent and last year he had the Cavs take 2 games from the Warriors without Love or Kyrie. Seems like he gets a lot out of his players.

      My guess is Vogel would play better with free agents, because he has a longer history in the NBA and he’s a real positive guy who is a player’s coach. There’s something about Blatt though, where I think he’s a better fit in terms of personality and philosophy with Phil.

    36. I guess I’d prefer Vogel, because we haven’t had a good defensive coach here in a really, really long time. It would be a welcome novelty to see a good defensive Knicks team.

    37. reub, man, the positive trolling is becoming almost as tiresome as the negative trolling you used to do. Counterpoint is good and often necessary, but come on already. You’re making me wonder whether your “cruise” timing coincides with Phil taking road trips to “South Dakota”….

    38. Especially since you never know, someone in Knicks-ville may actually check this blog from time to time

      If this was true I’d have a front office job by now

    39. JK47 – I’m with you on defense; I fell in love with this team in the days of Ewing, Oakley, Mase, Harper, Starks, etc. But I’m wondering whether you can get to the Finals (to be beaten by GSW) without a high-octane offense. Not sure Vogel has that in him.

      Why do you think he doesn’t get as much out of his players? … last year he had the Cavs take 2 games from the Warriors without Love or Kyrie.

      I think in some ways he did BETTER without Love or Kyrie. Blame it on him or James, but he wasn’t super successful in getting that team to mesh. Better this year, but he certainly isn’t as good at it as Vogel, whose seems to have taken almost every one of his players to career-best heights.

    40. rama, I do admit to getting upset when the team would lose. But I’m still a fan of the team. I hate whiners and complainers. This team is going places……and soon. I can just feel it.

    41. I lean toward Blatt–I take his decorated European career very seriously, and, like Lavor said, I think he’s a better fit with our FO philosophically and personally.

      That being said I’d be more than happy with either Blatt or Vogel and I’m close to equilibrium between the two.

    42. JK47 – I’m with you on defense; I fell in love with this team in the days of Ewing, Oakley, Mase, Harper, Starks, etc. But I’m wondering whether you can get to the Finals (to be beaten by GSW) without a high-octane offense. Not sure Vogel has that in him.

      Vogel would likely be perfectly competent on offense… with good offensive players on his roster. His contender Pacers team had

      George Hill at .558 TS% (career average .562%)
      David West at .545 (.541)
      Paul George .531 (.549)
      Roy Hibbert .489 (.511)

      Players are who they are, and then you tell them at what position and how often to play.

    43. Vogel could bring a productive Lance Stephenson into the fold too.

      And rama, if you’re asking whether I’ve ever taken a cruise to S. Dakota the answer is decidedly no.

    44. The media should really have some egg on its face for all its crappy “journalism” and cheap shots about the Knicks coaching search, but of course they will never admit to it. Sheesh, so now its between Rambis, Vogel, Blatt, and Hornacek. Who’s next?

      Some media is now changing the narrative from “It’s gonna be Rambis” to now “It’s between Vogel and Blatt.” And some are going the “it’s only to appease Melo” route. Believe none of it as it is all mindless speculation. Most of the media are fiction writers, other than the WSJ and NYT.

      Reub for GM!

    45. The only funny thing I learned from that article is that Mike Lupica still has a career. What an insufferable jackass. He’s probably still crying about how the Knicks wronged legendary scumbag, Larry Brown.

      I think in some ways he did BETTER without Love or Kyrie. Blame it on him or James, but he wasn’t super successful in getting that team to mesh. Better this year, but he certainly isn’t as good at it as Vogel, whose seems to have taken almost every one of his players to career-best heights.

      I don’t buy this because the Cavs finished last season 33-3 and were well on their way to sweeping the Celtics when Love got hurt. Even this season they were at 30-11 when he got fired. The guy can definitely coach and was only fired because he wasn’t team president Lebron James’ choice.

    46. So I think I’d rank my coaching preferences:

      1)Vogel
      2) Blatt
      3) Hornaceck
      4) Phil Jackson
      5) Mike Fratello
      6) Charles Barkley
      7) Amar’e Stoudemire’s Knee Surgeon
      8) Carmelo Anthony’s Bucket Hat Collection
      9) Kurt Rambis

    47. Knickerblogger posters named DRed who should be the next GM of the Knicks, ranked:

      1. Me

    48. 8) Carmelo Anthony’s Bucket Hat Collection

      I’m with you, but for GM, not coach. I mean, assuming we can’t get DRed.

    49. I don’t buy this because the Cavs finished last season 33-3 and were well on their way to sweeping the Celtics when Love got hurt.

      Fair enough. I’m leaning Blatt anyway. Blatt and Batum and we had an awesome offseason.

      I have to guess that the Wiz are feeling sick to their stomachs watching the Thunder push past the Spurs…kind of doubt Durant’s going anywhere at this point.

    50. It’s to too bad we don’t have a few billionaires on this blog that can’t make Dolan an offer he couldn’t resist and then we could all run it as a collective hive. By we I mean the smart posters here that know things, not myself.

    51. The Knicks are sadly such a great investment that Dolan would have to be an even greater moron than we know him to already be to ever take any offer. The dude is going to own the team for the rest of his life.

    52. The media should really have some egg on its face for all its crappy “journalism”

      I remember back when Don Chaney was fired in 2005, the media said Fratello was going to be the coach. Mike Franseca even came on the air and said “I have it from my best source it’s gonna be Fratello.” Then, like 5 minutes later, Isiah announced that Lenny Wilkens was the new coach.

      Point is, NY media is a clown show, always will be, and it doesn’t matter what they say or write, and it shouldn’t be read by anyone. Honestly, you can get more worthwhile news reading Brian Cronin’s speculative analysis in the comments of Knicks Morning News threads than you can get from reading the NY Post.

    53. The French Connection?:

      “Suddenly came the announcement the Pacers had traded their only pick of the draft — at 57 — to the Knicks for cash considerations. The Knicks selected 6-foot-10 Louis Labeyrie of France.

      Who? What? Where?

      There’s still some shred of mystery about this French “stash’’ pick”

      and later from the same article written a year ago:

      “Ndiaye says Knicks European scout Kevin Wilson has followed his client for three years.
      “He’s a combo of size, athleticism and energy with a very nice outside shot,’’ said Ndiaye, who also represents Portland French star Nicolas Batum. “They must think he’s good fit for the system, which is for combos. He’s a combo 3-4.”

      http://nypost.com/2015/03/17/the-backstory-of-knicks-athletic-under-the-radar-french-pick/

    54. Stop ruining my dreams Cronin.

      It really does suck. The guy takes the team over, ruins it, and the team increases in value by, like, 3-400%. On the bright side, one of the same reasons why the team is worth so much (it is the New York City basketball team) gives the Knicks an edge over teams in getting free agents when all else is even. All else hasn’t been even in quite a while, but if it ever gets to that point, the Knicks will have an edge!

    55. I hate agree with Jowles on anything, but Jokic had a better season than KP. Now I would never, ever trade KP for Jokic but the numbers don’t lie.

    56. Not to create more work for people, but I would enjoy some kind of breakdown of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the candidates, whether as a solo piece or a group discussion among the various Knickerblogger writers. If you want to make every answer about Rambis be an insult, so much the better. :)

    57. There are a few good draft-and-stash type guys in this year’s draft. There are two in particular that I really like who are kind of tweeners between the first and second round: polished French wing Timothe Luwawu, who is a bit reminiscent of his countryman Nic Batum, and Croatian big man Ante Zizic, who is a ferocious rebounder and efficient offensive player.

      There’s another French dude named Guerschon Yubusele who is kind of like a chubbier Draymond Green– an undersized PF/C who plays like a bowling ball, but he’s probably going to go in the mid-first. The guard reub mentioned above, Cordinier, is still very raw and at this point is a scoring-oriented guard with an inconsistent shot like most 19-year olds, so it’s hard to say how he’ll develop.

    58. Durant looking terrible so far. I’m glad we don’t have him. A turnover machine!

    59. KP had without a doubt a great season, but it’s pretty obvious Jokic he had the statistically better season, so it’s hard to argue KP was ahead in that regard. I think the fact that Jokic was in the same conference as KAT made a difference. That obviously doesn’t effect the numbers, but it also means he didn’t win any ROM’s (at least to my knowledge). End of the day the numbers don’t lie, but I can see how the perception would be that KP had a better season purely on how often he won ROM. It’s a dumb way to think about it, but I would be surprised if the voters didn’t delve too deep into the statistical pool.

    60. I’m not a numbers guy, but KP had a tremendous defensive influence on the games. I don’t think Jokic compares in that respect.

    61. The guys at Turner Sports really need to demote Reggie Miller and promote Dennis Scott. Reggie Miller is god awful at calling a game.

    62. It’s gotta be so discouraging playing the Warriors, you cut the lead to 5 and a minute later it’s back up to 13 again. Thompson and Curry’s releases are ridiculously quick.

    63. I just thought I’d take this time to mention that Golden State’s offense likes to run triangle sets in transition where they put Draymond, Steph and Klay together. If they play Steph too tight he has to option to hit Draymond at the top for a three or Klay can cut/shoot.

      You can see the “philosophy” Phil is supposedly talking about. Kerr’s offense isn’t the triangle, but the ball movement and overloaded court sets are great basketball ideas and take a team to another level when they play to the philosophy.

    64. @65 agreed, Donnie Walsh. What’s sad, though, are a few intelligent posters on this board buying into the phony narratives concocted by the media. Just last week, there were calls to fire Phil for supposedly not doing anything, and one post I read made it should like Phil was hiding in his bunker retreat while the world whirled around him as if he was Hitler circa 1945. Meanwhile, the team is contacting agents and coaches, setting up meetings (but just not telling the silly NY media about it), vetting players for the upcoming draft, etc.

      Thankfully, reub stands strong amidst the myopia!

    65. @75 agreed, reub. Stats only tell part of the story. I didn’t get to watch Jokic much, so I can’t really comment on him, but KP was even better for the Knicks than his stats would indicate. Every team situation is different, too. Some guys are going to put up better numbers on one team than they would on another.

    66. KP had a tremendous defensive influence on the games. I don’t think Jokic compares in that respect.

      Jokic not only had the same D rating as Porzingis this year, but he was also second among all big men in steal%, second only to Nerlens Noel.

      Jokic had a better season than KP. Now I would never, ever trade KP for Jokic but the numbers don’t lie.

      I don’t know. If the Knicks had Jokic and the Nuggets had Porzingis, I think you’d be saying the same thing in reverse. You can actually make a case for giving Jokic ROY over Towns. Jokic had the 6th highest WS/48 for a rookie ever. The list is pretty solid, too: David Robinson, Arvydas Sabonis, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jokic, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson.

      Why is his rating so high? Because he does everything well: shoots, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks. He’s a “5 tool” prospect.

    67. A couple of things Zinger vs Jokic.

      Clearly Jokic had a better statistical year on lower volume.

      You guys seem to forget what a twig Zinger looked like during he summer league and is in the midst of a morphic change from a Louis Orr body to a Pau Gasol body and has retained his touch and mobility.

      Jokic is more of a finished product body wise,

      Also, there is a defensive end of the floor and Jokic isn’t much of a rim defender and Zinger is amazing at that area. The similarity in other defensive stats may have something to do with the sieve like qualities of the Knick’s back court, etc.

      Jokic is a fine player, but if I could go long one or the other’s career, it would be Zinger. His skill level on both ends of the floor is other worldly. Once he gets a stable core to play off…. look out.

    68. Geez, why can’t we just say that Jokic had a better year, hands down? That doesn’t mean that Zinger won’t develop more (and I think his ceiling is significantly higher than Jokic) but who’s to say that Jokic won’t develop as much as Porzingis and always have the edge on him? I mean to argue that he came in at the same age with a body that’s more “NBA-ready” but that Zinger will now develop more is based on hope, not objectivity.

      I think Jokic is more of a traditional 5 who can step out, while KP is a stretch 4 who can play inside. As Phil commented, KP may be too tall for the game in that he will struggle to keep post players from backing him down (or to back them down) and is not quick enough to guard the Draymond Greens of the world on the perimeter; i.e. he may be a tweener of sorts. But again, I don’t even consider trading KP straight up for Jokic because I have faith in KP’s desire to be great, his intelligence, self-confidence, maturity and character. He’s the most rootable Knick prospect since, I dunno, Ewing?

    69. He’s the most rootable Knick prospect since, I dunno, Ewing?

      Easily. Getting Porzingis was the greatest thing that has happened to the Knicks since Ewing.

    70. You guys seem to forget what a twig Zinger looked like during he summer league and is in the midst of a morphic change from a Louis Orr body to a Pau Gasol body and has retained his touch and mobility.

      That’s great, but he did not have a better season than Jokic.

      better prospect =/= better output in ’15-’16

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