Knicks Morning News (2016.12.13)

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Detroit and the Pistons Are One Again
    (Tuesday, December 13, 2016 12:28:47 AM)

    The N.B.A. franchise will reclaim the city identity it left behind when it took up residence in the suburbs in 1978.

  • [NYTimes] The Best N.B.A. Games This Week: Knicks vs. Warriors, and Three Others
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 7:33:20 PM)

    The Knicks have progressed, but they face a roadblock in Golden State on Thursday. The Celtics visit San Antonio on Wednesday.

  • [ESPN] Tuesday’s Knicks News: Hornacek downplays return to Phoenix
    (Tuesday, December 13, 2016 6:12:42 AM)

    Tuesday’s Knicks News: Hornacek downplays return to Phoenix

  • [ESPN] Jay Z takes shot at Jackson over use of ‘posse’
    (Tuesday, December 13, 2016 1:02:57 AM)

    Jay Z takes shot at Jackson over use of ‘posse’

  • [ESPN] Knicks approaching top-10 status in NBA Power Rankings?
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 10:36:27 AM)

    Knicks approaching top-10 status in NBA Power Rankings?

  • [ESPN] Monday’s Knicks News: Rose, Porzingis play big in win over Lakers
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 6:01:33 AM)

    Monday’s Knicks News: Rose, Porzingis play big in win over Lakers

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily News Live: Have the Knicks shown they’re legitimate playoff contenders?
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 6:11:10 PM)

  • [SNY Knicks] Phil Jackson recently gave coaching advice to Luke Walton
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 3:45:48 PM)

    Knicks president Phil Jackson gave coaching advice to Lakers head coach Luke Walton as recently as three weeks ago, reports Marc Berman in the NY Post.

  • [SNY Knicks] Jennings continues to be the Knicks’ X-Factor
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 1:30:36 PM)

    Knicks PG Brandon Jennings had 19 points, four assists, and three rebounds during Sunday night’s win over the Lakers in Los Angeles.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis had a huge night against the Lakers
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 11:30:08 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis had a huge game during Sunday night’s 118-112 win over the Lakers in Los Angeles.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ depth proving key in win over Lakers, 11-4 run
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 8:35:23 AM)

    While Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick Rose are big names who have proved their worth, the New York Knicks have won 11 of their last 15 games in large part because of their depth.

  • [NY Newsday] Jeff Hornacek downplaying return to Phoenix
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 9:22:33 PM)

    PHOENIX — Jeff Hornacek’s coaching career got off to a good start with the Suns, but it ended quickly and by most accounts unfairly.

  • [NYDN] Woman claiming Knicks player assaulted her says she has video
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 11:00:00 PM)

    A Brooklyn woman claims a Kylie O’Quinn and his jealous girlfriend viciously assaulted her.

  • [NYDN] Jay Z takes dig at Phil Jackson while introducing LeBron James
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 8:48:42 PM)

    Even Jay Z is getting a shot in at Phil Jackson these days.

  • [NYDN] Hornacek has reason to stick out his tongue at Suns GM in Phoenix
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 10:37:11 AM)

    Jeff Hornacek arrived in Phoenix as something of a vindicated coach, a man who was scapegoated and undercut by the Suns.

  • [NYPost] Phil Jackson’s advice to Brandon Jennings is paying off in big way
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 5:21:18 PM)

    PHOENIX — When Brandon Jennings agreed to sign with the Knicks to be Derrick Rose’s point-guard caddie, team president Phil Jackson told him to aim for Sixth Man of the Year honors. Jennings is heeding the advice of the Zen Master. Jennings’ numbers don’t jump off the stat sheet — just his play. He’s the…

  • [NYPost] Hornacek’s Knicks offense has scrapped Phil’s triangle: Walton
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 3:54:01 PM)

    PHOENIX — Jeff Hornacek is getting the last laugh on the hapless Suns. He returns to this city where he still owns a home, riding a wave of momentum with a 14-10 record as Knicks coach, good for third place in the East, and amid an allegation from a credible source he is not running…

  • [NYPost] The startling, happy reality of how good Knicks look
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 11:46:20 AM)

    PHOENIX – We know all of the things that can drive you batty about the Knicks, starting at the top, starting with Phil Jackson and his propensity for generating the kind of buzz that most team presidents shy away from. You can get weak in the knees when you think too much about the 3…

  • [NYPost] This is the Knicks’ opportunity to strike, and they know it
    (Monday, December 12, 2016 8:27:12 AM)

    All of a sudden the raging-hot Knicks, at 14-10, are tied for third place in the Eastern Conference with Charlotte. Following Sunday night’s 118-112 victory over the Lakers at Staples Center, the Knicks are 9-3 in their last 12 and have won four straight road games, including the first two on this five-game West Coast…

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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).

    139 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2016.12.13)”

    1. As much as I like Melo, he does tend to hold the ball, truth hurts.. and the posse remark? trying to be with the boys backfired

    2. That Bleacher Report story from yesterday on why the Lakers passed on Porzingis — demanding he prove he can be an old-school big man, having Mark Madsen beat the hell out of him in his private workout — was a nice reminder that we’re far from the only team with a dysfunctional and/or backward-thinking front office… and we wound up with Kristaps, anyway!

    3. For anyone that needs a good general basketball podcast to listen to, Nate Duncan’s podcast is really good. They brought up an interesting topic the other day about the Heat, who have been pretty awful despite having the greatest player in the world in Hassan Whiteside (sarcasm intended) — namely should they trade Goran Dragic.

      I’m not sure how such a trade would be done, but given that this summer seems to be a HUGE summer for Riley (cap room + their own pick), one wonders whether they would have any interest in a Rose for Dragic swap. Say perhaps Rose for Dragic + McRoberts. Theoretically we might have to send a pick, like maybe a second rounder or 2. As much as I think Rose has overperformed expectations, Dragic is a better player probably on both sides of the floor, and although he’d be signed through his age 33 season, his cap $ is “only” about $19MM/year, which is less than we could get a comparable PG for in FA. McRoberts has been pretty terrible but his contract only runs through next season.

      The move would free up $20MM more in cap space for Miami, leaving them with probably about $42MM in space. And if Rose sucks as bad as many here think, it’d be a nice stealth tanking move for Riley.

      I think the chances of Riley and Phil making a trade are basically zero just because of their history, but would anyone here be interested in that? I guess Miami could probably find a better deal, but maybe not.

    4. Rose for Dragic + McBob would be alright but probably wouldn’t move the needle much. I’m wary of taking on more long term contracts

    5. Rose for Dragic would be a mistake unless the heat give us a bunch of picks (which I don’t think they have) or Justise Winslow, which I doubt they’d do.

    6. Winslow seems gettable. Not sure he moves the needle very much for them given his offensive struggles thus far. Feels like they could get more for Dragic from somebody else though.

    7. Pie in the sky fantasy trade deal:
      Lance, Holiday/Kuz, our 1st and our 2nds for Juan Hernangomez and Jokic

    8. NBA draft mention of the day:

      I feel sincerely sorry for whoever picks Dennis Smith in the draft–he has bust written all over him. I would love Giles but I think we’re drafting at 20 and he’ll be gone by then. I think we’ll end up drafting Ferguson, Kurucs (if Gaines scouts him and likes him), or Edmond Summer. I’d be happy with any of those.

      Flaccadori, Justin Jackson, Kennard, and Josh Hart all seem like decent 2nd round flyers

    9. For anyone thinking about a Rose extension:

      The biggest reason why it would be a terrible idea has nothing to do with Rose. Right now we have 4 out of 5 starting spots already taken by players on multi-year contracts. Noah, Zinger, Melo, and Lee all have at least two more seasons on their deals after this one. That leaves PG as the only position where we can significantly improve in the offseason.

      Re-signing Rose would lock in the team that we have for the next two-plus years. No matter what you think of this team, they’re clearly not contenders. Our only hope of improvement, then, would be growth by Porzingis or some spectacular bench signings (which are very unlikely to move the needle). Meanwhile, Noah, Melo, and Lee are all in at least moderate age-related decline. So for this team to come back next year with the same lineup and actually be BETTER would require Porzingis’ development to not only raise us up but to compensate for the decline of his teammates.

      Using our one remaining starting job, at point guard, to upgrade the team is our most realistic shot at moving into true contender status.

    10. @8

      I love Kennard. Seems like a player that gets underrated because of higher profile teammates, but is always quietly pulling the strings for the team.

      I haven’t watched much of Smith. Why are you so down on him?

    11. Maybe not “bust written all over him”, but he plays literally no defense while hogging all the possessions as a ball dominant guard who can’t shoot. He doesn’t really make his team better and relies way too much on his athleticism. He’s young, but so are all the other players in the top 5-10. He’s the least productive of all the highly touted prospects, so far. I’d pick him in the mid first maybe unless he really starts to ramp up his productivity.

      He has all the tools though, if he manages to fix his decision making, shooting, and motor on the defensive end. That’s just not enough to me though.

    12. Juan looks like he’s gonna be really good and I honestly just want both Hernangomez brothers on the same team because it’d be so fun to watch.

    13. @5

      I am so bullish buying low on Winslow. Shooting problems are something young players can work through given practice, coaching and time. He already shows very good ball handling and passing skills with elite defensive versatility at the wing.

    14. Juan looks like he’s gonna be really good and I honestly just want both Hernangomez brothers on the same team because it’d be so fun to watch.

      That’s great and all but the real catch is Jokic. He’s already so very good and so undervalued by the Nuggets coaching staff. With time he’ll be a Gasol-type talent who can do everything very well. Having him and KP together would shore up our big man situation for a basketball generation.

    15. If Kennard continues to dominate NCAA Div 1 competition this thoroughly and efficiently he won’t make it to the second round. That stroke is pure and he can put the ball on the court and do things with it as a passer.

    16. Yeah, Jokic is certainly the main catch on the Nuggets. But I would love to groom Juan as a combo forward to take over Melo’s role come his retirement/benching when he’s too old.

      You could play small ball with three bigs that can handle the ball and stretch the floor. That’s the final form of NBA basketball, as far as I’m concerned (See: Karl Towns, KP.)

      This is just fantasy, though. Fun to speculate on however.

    17. i mentioned dennis smith last night… i don’t know about complete bust but he has the same kind of issues as mudiay… he has issues with finishing in the paint so far and his shot is iffy…

      kennard i think will def be somewhere in the 1st rd but not sure where he’ll end up..

    18. You could play small ball with three bigs that can handle the ball and stretch the floor. That’s the final form of NBA basketball, as far as I’m concerned (See: Karl Towns, KP.)

      It would be a European Union front court.

    19. It’s most likely that Denver moves on from Malone instead of Jokic, though, right? Even moronic teams generally pick the great young player over the coach, no? Even if the coach is an otherwise intelligent guy, like Malone generally seems to be.

    20. @BC

      You’re probably right, but what they really need to do is move on from certain players. They have guys from like 3 different coaching regimes and 2 different FO regimes. They’ve held on to guys like Gallinari, Chandler and Faried because they’re objectively good NBA player, but it’s all very Knicksy in that they have a collection of dudes acquired for various reasons to play for various coaches with their own unique ideas of how to play.

      It’s clear to me Jokic should be the foundational piece and then they have some other interesting young guys like Nurkic. Murray and Harris, but they have a bunch of guys who probably should hve been moved out to provide a clear direction for the franchise awhile ago.

    21. Even moronic teams generally pick the great young player over the coach, no?

      Depends if the braintrust see the player as great. Sometimes an organization with incompetent management and coaching will fail to properly evaluate a talent in their midst. Look at how the Kupchak/Scott braintrust had interpreted KP’s game under the rubric of traditional NBA big man orthodoxy. Malone might conversely feel Jokic’s game is too low post oriented for his taste.

    22. I’m just glad that Phil has finally smartened up in these past few weeks so that the team can start winning. He was holding us back.

    23. Kennard’s game reminds me a lot of Manu Ginobili. I think he’s definitely a starter in the NBA. He makes up for his below aberage athleticism with his craftiness and basketball IQ.

    24. @24

      Very crafty indeed. And that jumper is pretty wet. I like his overall game. Would love to see a dude like Hornacek coach him because I feel coach was the same type of player.

    25. The only thing I can think with Denver is that the FO is ordering Malone to play guys they want to trade. Or he’s an idiot. If they’re actually trying to win games this season they are doing it very, very wrong.

    26. If they’re actually trying to win games this season they are doing it very, very wrong.

      Maybe they are tanking, but then why does Malone say shit like this about Jokic then?

      You guys got to understand, he’s not going to be the same player he was last year,” Malone said after Jokic scored eight points, grabbed 12 rebounds, struggled defensively, but notably closed the fourth quarter and overtime for Denver. “Gallo was out, Wilson Chandler was out. Last two months of the season we played our young guys, we played them 35 minutes a night almost. We’re healthy, we have guys playings, so everybody stop expecting Nikola Jokic to be something he’s not. I think it’s unfair to him.”

      Malone could be playing three-dimensional chess here and throwing everyone of some devious master plan to pump up guys he wants to trade for Cousins, but the simplest explanation seems the likeliest – he’s not that into Jokic.

    27. He’s good at literally everything besides shooting 3’s. It’s blasphemous to say but I think he has outplayed both Towns and KP this year so far, albeit in a comparatively low-usage (18%) role. He’s the real deal, and were he traded to us he’d be a top 3 player on our team.

      Malone has him playing only 24 MPG! He’s essentially splitting minutes with Nurkic! That’s absolutely bonkers.

    28. Jokic isn’t a great defender but he’s not bad at all. Not a David Lee situation or close. Nurkic isn’t a great defender himself. People in Denver think he starts Nurkic because Nurkic will have a hissy fit otherwise, while Jokic is really quiet, and Malone cares too much about keeping everyone happy. If true that may be an even worse reason than just failing to notice that Jokic is way way better.

    29. Let’s pray that the Tim Connelly does what McDonough did when he traded away guys like Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic and gets rid of Jokic for picks and some filler.

    30. If they’re actually trying to win games this season they are doing it very, very wrong.

      Yeah, but if they’re trying to tank, they’re ALSO doing it wrong. Hard to pull off, but they are.

      Guess we’ll see in person in a few days.

    31. Today’s conversation is pretty lame, guys, so I’ll say it again: don’t buy the fool’s gold peddled by the usual suspects. This is a 37-win team, give or take 3 wins.

      Injuries are around the corner. Water will go back to normal levels. It is what it is. Too many bad/mediocre players. Too many shaky knees.

      Mark the words.

    32. For anyone thinking about a Rose extension:

      The biggest reason why it would be a terrible idea has nothing to do with Rose. Right now we have 4 out of 5 starting spots already taken by players on multi-year contracts. Noah, Zinger, Melo, and Lee all have at least two more seasons on their deals after this one. That leaves PG as the only position where we can significantly improve in the offseason.

      Re-signing Rose would lock in the team that we have for the next two-plus years. No matter what you think of this team, they’re clearly not contenders. Our only hope of improvement, then, would be growth by Porzingis or some spectacular bench signings (which are very unlikely to move the needle).

      While I don’t necessarily disagree with you, this is such a PTSD Knicks Fan post. We literally forget that we actually have draft picks and that draft picks sometimes yield good players.

    33. Yeah. Noah and Lee won’t be starters for us in years 3 and 4 of their deal. It’s very likely we draft Lee’s replacement and Hernangomez or O’Quinn become the starter. Barring injury, Porzingis is going to be good for a very long time. Our window ain’t 3 years wide.

    34. Re: the Rose extension, the real question is whether extending him is the best use of our resources. We should remember that if we renounce him, we may have much less cap space than his extension number. Right now it looks like we’ll have just about $77MM in committed salaries if we renounce Rose, Holiday, and Jennings, but the new CBA will probably have larger roster minimum cap holds (both in number going from 12–>15 and amount) — so we may only have, say, $20MM in space.

      That would definitively take us out of Jrue Holiday and George Hill territory, and probably out of Jeff Teague territory. If we dipped under the cap, we would not have access to the MLE, so our “exceptions” would only be the room exception of 2.5MM (not sure what it will be in new CBA) and Early Bird rights on Holiday (if we kept his cap hold). So even if we wanted to bring Jennings back, we would have to use cap space to do it. Maybe we could afford someone like Patty Mills or Darren Collison with the remaining say $10-12MM per year. I don’t know that that is an improvement, and on top of that, those guys would likely be 3-4 year commitments too.

      If we were to extend Rose, we would have EB rights on Holiday and could use the MLE to re-sign Jennings (or another PG). I’m not sure what is the right thing to do.

      Brian/ephus – please tell me if I’m wrong on this…

    35. I hate to be that guy but you all know that the vast majority of draft picks don’t really pan out, right?

    36. Re: Jokic – it IS really weird what is happening there. I wonder whether he is not a good practice player, meaning lack of effort etc. and that Malone is doing this for “culture” rather than for “wins”.

    37. Re: the Rose extension, the real question is whether extending him is the best use of our resources. We should remember that if we renounce him, we may have much less cap space than his extension number. Right now it looks like we’ll have just about $77MM in committed salaries if we renounce Rose, Holiday, and Jennings, but the new CBA will probably have larger roster minimum cap holds (both in number going from 12–>15 and amount) — so we may only have, say, $20MM in space.

      That just goes to my general concern about the offseason. The plan seemed to clearly be “Renounce everyone and go for Westbrook (it was surely no coincidence that they cleared out precisely enough cap room to sign Westbrook based on the estimations of cap figure for 2017-18)” (with the longshot possibility of “Hey, maybe the Clippers fall apart and CP3 would take a huge pay cut to play here”) or “Resign everyone and this is the team for the next three years.”

      The former seemed unlikely (even before A. The cap figure went down, meaning that the Knicks would have to deal guys to make up more room and B. Westbrook re-signed with OKC) and the latter seemed uninspiring.

    38. I forgot Patty Mills was a free agent–he’d be a great acquisition. He’s knocking it out of the park for the Spurs this year (and last year too.) He might be undervalued, as Spurs free agents always tend to be. We should opt for him or Collison in FA probably.

    39. Yeah, I guess we could trade guys on good contracts like say KOQ or Willy or Kuz to make room for a bigger FA acquisition, but unless it REALLY is a difference making PG like CP3 (and even then it’d be a big paycut for him), that probably isn’t worth it.

      That’s why I floated the Dragic idea. Dragic is better than Rose, and is cheaper than even a theoretical Rose extension. We’d have basically zero cap room, but we would still be able to bring back Jennings and Holiday with exceptions. Also Dragic used to play for Hornacek and already knows the system…

    40. i’m pretty sure the likely scenario is we draft a pg and re-sign jennings as a caretaker…. if we finish around .500 or worse i think trying to pile on more long term contracts in the last available slot is foolhardy and i hope even phil recognizes that…

    41. But due to the banked wins, the odds are very good that the Knicks at least make the playoffs, and I don’t see a likely scenario where Jackson breaks up a playoff team.

    42. And hell, given some of these other Eastern Conference teams, I don’t think you can rule out the Knicks having home court in the first round of the playoffs!

    43. I like Theo telling us not to buy the fool’s gold peddled by the usual suspects in a discussion of the Denver Nuggets. Thanks pal.

    44. I hate to be that guy but you all know that the vast majority of draft picks don’t really pan out, right?

      lol I remember seeing charts and such about how most draft picks don’t pan out when a complaint was made about trading draft picks back during the reign of He Who Must Not Be Named. The more things change the more things stay the same.

    45. That’s why I floated the Dragic idea. Dragic is better than Rose, and is cheaper than even a theoretical Rose extension. We’d have basically zero cap room, but we would still be able to bring back Jennings and Holiday with exceptions. Also Dragic used to play for Hornacek and already knows the system…

      Sure, that’s probably a better scenario than re-signing Rose. What was your proposed deal again? Was it just Dragic for Rose’s cap space?

    46. espn has our projected record at 41 wins and playoff odds at 65% … which looks good on the surface but it tends to be pretty swingy depending on the schedule and injuries and what not….

      i’m a bit more pessimistic on our chances… and even a first rd date with cleveland and a probable sweep is not something to be excited over…

    47. I agree that a #8 seed would probably not be enough for Phil. I think anything better than that would be.

      And as for their chances, they’re almost assuredly going to be five games over .500 after tonight. Even with regression coming, and it likely will come, that’s a big buffer (heck, I think they have a good chance at leaving this trip still five games over). Then they begin to play better teams, but that’s a big buffer.

    48. Dragic + McBob for Rose
      Figure we would/should take on more salary since Dragic > Rose.

      I can’t tell whether that’s a good deal or not.
      Kinda feel like Dragic would maybe be more valuable than just a rental + salary dump.

    49. They’d improve with that deal, sure. And since they’re probably locked in to being capped out either way, might as well get the best capped out team that they can.

    50. And as for their chances, they’re almost assuredly going to be five games over .500 after tonight.

      Oh no, you did not just do that!

    51. Oh no, you did not just do that!

      Oh come on, we don’t need to pretend that they’re not probably going to win tonight. It’s not like I’m saying that they’re going to beat Golden State. It’s the freakin’ Suns.

    52. a rose/dragic deal would add about 4-5 wins and probably put us in the mix with detroit/chi/cha…

    53. Regarding the Phil Jackson discussion… Let’s say Rip Van Winkle was the other contender to take the Knicks’ job as president. Would hte Knicks be better or worse off right now had he gotten the job and simply slept through the last 3 years? Draft picks are auto-selected based on the average of the major draft boards. Random players are signed to reach the salary floor but are only given one year deals.

      Pros of Rip Van Winkle:
      We still tank in 14/15 and still pick KP if you go by draft board averages and we got the #4 pick
      We don’t sign Noah
      We don’t trade for Calderon
      We don’t give Melo mega-max
      We get another great pick this year (although I’m sure some would consider this a con)

      Cons of Rip Van Winkle:
      No Kuzminskas
      No Hernangomez
      No O’Quinn

      Who would you have voted to be the team president, Phil or Rip?

    54. They probably get Towns instead of KP in the RVW scenario, no? As they wouldn’t have tried to win those last few games.

    55. @#9…

      For anyone thinking about a Rose extension:

      The biggest reason why it would be a terrible idea has nothing to do with Rose. Right now we have 4 out of 5 starting spots already taken by players on multi-year contracts. Noah, Zinger, Melo, and Lee all have at least two more seasons on their deals after this one. That leaves PG as the only position where we can significantly improve in the offseason.

      Re-signing Rose would lock in the team that we have for the next two-plus years. No matter what you think of this team, they’re clearly not contenders. Our only hope of improvement, then, would be growth by Porzingis or some spectacular bench signings (which are very unlikely to move the needle). Meanwhile, Noah, Melo, and Lee are all in at least moderate age-related decline. So for this team to come back next year with the same lineup and actually be BETTER would require Porzingis’ development to not only raise us up but to compensate for the decline of his teammates.

      Using our one remaining starting job, at point guard, to upgrade the team is our most realistic shot at moving into true contender status.

      that’s the rub of it oakman – there doesn’t really seem to be many better options (talent wise) over the next 6 or 7 months than what we have currently have at point guard…

      i think it is is smart idea though to not sign him to an extension and wait until the end of the season to try to re-sign him…realistically – if rose does play well if will only cost us a couple of extra million a year on his contract…

    56. I think it’s a bit of a moot point, anyways, as if Rose plays well enough to merit an extension, he’ll be playing well enough that he wouldn’t take an extension.

    57. i don’t know man, after reading some of rama’s and cdiggy’s comments about phil keeping his options open…locking up some of these reaches on players (kuz, plumlee, willy, even LT) on fairly favorable contracts…

      it seems like phil’s starting to get it and become a decent gm…heck – who even knows if all those odd exec comments he makes is actually hurting or helping the team…

      sure, it took phil a couple of tries – but, he did bring in hornacek…no question that was a good move…

    58. As an aside, my wife just watched the latest season of Mozart In the Jungle (it’s a show about a NYC orchestra) on Amazon and one of the characters suffers a major injury to her playing hand and she has to get surgery and she meets Baron Davis and they begin to date. Davis is playing a version of himself, and he has a lot of interesting things to say about how she has to deal with the fact that (like him) the injury might have ended her playing career. Interesting stuff for Knick fans.

    59. The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Sunday marked the first time that the Giants, Jets, Knicks and Rangers all won on the same day.

      army pulls a big upset over navy…oh, what a sports weekend…

    60. For fans of the TV show Flash, someone has a good joke. “Army won, Cubs won and Trump won. Thanks a lot, Flashpoint.”

    61. I think it’s a bit of a moot point, anyways, as if Rose plays well enough to merit an extension, he’ll be playing well enough that he wouldn’t take an extension.

      That was why I brought up the idea of an extension a few days ago. If you want him to accept an extension, you probably have to do it pretty soon. He MIGHT just take it now just to get the guaranteed $, but tradeoff for the Knicks if you have to do it with incomplete info. If you wait until May or June and he’s already gotten through most or all of the season without injury, he definitely won’t take it (if playing well).

    62. Oh no, you did not just do that!

      Oh come on, we don’t need to pretend that they’re not probably going to win tonight. It’s not like I’m saying that they’re going to beat Golden State. It’s the freakin’ Suns.

      Well, we are favored by 3 1/2, which is very rare for us as a road team, but we’re still capable of losing to any team, home or away.

      As a Knicks fan, I’m always waiting for the good times to come to a crushing, disappointing end.

    63. We should totally beat the Suns. . .they’re even worse than the Lakers. But yeah, sometimes shit happens.

    64. Sure, clearly it is possible for the Knicks to lose. Just that the odds are that they will win. And if they do win, they’ll be five over .500. So even if they regress, five over is a big buffer to have. These banked wins are huge. Huge.

      I get always expecting the worst, but this team is a decent enough team, they’ll most likely beat most shitty teams that they play.

    65. Regarding the Phil Jackson discussion… Let’s say Rip Van Winkle was the other contender to take the Knicks’ job as president. Would hte Knicks be better or worse off right now had he gotten the job and simply slept through the last 3 years? Draft picks are auto-selected based on the average of the major draft boards. Random players are signed to reach the salary floor but are only given one year deals.

      It’s an interesting question. According to this predraft article we’d still have Porzingis if we were drafting 4th that year, but if we’d held on to tyson and not traded anyone we probably wouldn’t be drafting 4th-we would have been in that 10-15 range. So the team would be second year player X, Carmelo, Jose and a shit ton of cap space? Or would we not have Carmelo?

    66. We really do need to take advantage of the fact that we’re on a 5 game road trip and there are no back to backs. As long as I’ve been a Knicks fan, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that.

      And we know how the Knicks play on the 2nd game of a back to back.

    67. It’s nice to have Theo, our resident Eeyore, back to set us straight.

      I predicted 43 wins and am upping the number to 48 because, well, we’re ahead of pace. As for the Knicks making the playoffs, the question isn’t whether or not we make it, but if we get a 1st round home court advantage. Brian, you warn us of a regression, and that’s valid, but I checked and so far we’ve had a very fair schedule. Of our opponents, 5 teams were at or near .500 (+/- 2 games either way). Of the rest, 10 were above, 9 were below. The combined records of the teams we face is: 283-289.

      It’s fun to speculate on trades, but I can’t see any coming.

      BTW, are any of us worried about O’Quinn slugging the woman? I’m a bit concerned.

    68. No Calderon means we keep chandler and Felton or basically the same team we had the year before with Pablo shump and jr too. That means we win more than 17 games which means we draft lower than 4…maybe a lot lower like 8 or 10 or 12. So no Zinger.

    69. BTW, are any of us worried about O’Quinn slugging the woman? I’m a bit concerned.

      yikes, just read something on that situation here: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/woman-allegedly-assaulted-kicks-girlfriend-sues-article-1.2661373

      i don’t know much else about KOQ…hopefully it won’t turn in to too much of a distraction if it makes it too court…

      wasn’t really that specific on what he actually did (just claims from the person whom’s suing)…

    70. No Calderon means we keep chandler and Felton or basically the same team we had the year before with Pablo shump and jr too. That means we win more than 17 games which means we draft lower than 4…maybe a lot lower like 8 or 10 or 12. So no Zinger.

      But no Melo in this scenario, right? So it seems hard to believe that they wouldn’t still be bottom 4. Am I remembering the timeline right? Mega-Max Melo was before the 17-win season, right?

    71. MMM was the first move PJax made when he entered office ya

    72. Melo would still be here though bc even if the GM was RVW the owner would still be Dolan. Its not even worth considering us not resigning Melo. Dolan would not have let him go.

    73. Goran for dragic makes sense.( If we get Winslow we have to make that trade)
      if we are capped out at three positions with Lee, melo, and Noah we aren’t going to be contenders so dragic makes sense for us to be a perennial playoff team.

      This makes no sense but how about dragic , Winslow and bosh for Noah and rose. We roll the dice that bosh retires and we get an exemption. Does that make sense?

      Back to the trade of dragic for rose. Would That would allow us to re sign Jennings and holiday?

    74. I get always expecting the worst, but this team is a decent enough team, they’ll most likely beat most shitty teams that they play.

      Yeah – they are just killing inferior competition — 9-1 so far this year against sub-500 teams.

    75. Back to the trade of dragic for rose. Would That would allow us to re sign Jennings and holiday?

      Yes. Frank’s trade is based on the notion that the team is going to be capped out either way, so might as well make it the best capped out team possible. So Dragic would take them over the cap, so they would be able to re-sign Holiday and Jennings using the Early Bird and the MLE.

    76. @77 Yeah seriously. You think Dolan was gonna allow Phil to let Melo walk for nothing? C’mon now.

    77. Yeah – they are just killing inferior competition — 9-1 so far this year against sub-500 teams.

      Beating up on bad teams is a guaranteed route to the playoffs. If the Knicks continue to do this, they are decidedly not a mediocre team anymore. 9-1 is promising.

    78. The Suns have the guards to randomly make this interesting though. I can just see Brandon Knight putting up 30 plus and a game winner like Ray Felton was still running point for the Knicks.

    79. One thing keeps jumping out from games like LA. When KP is guarding a guy who can’t shoot from range, he is a different player defensively. In some cases it’s the difference between being a defensive liability and an all-NBA type defender. This year, when he’s on the court with Noah, we’ve repeatedly put him against the rangier big. Against the Lakers we did that again with Noah on Mozgov, but their “rangier” guy was Randle, who also can’t shoot, and that immediately turns KP into a different player defensively. Just bc he is really agile for a 10 foot tall guy doesn’t mean he’s really agile for a typical guy guarding the stretch four. Noah actually is that agile and has a better motor, at least before he starts panting (and not as good a rim protector so you give up way less).

      I get why you might want to protect KP from getting mauled or into foul trouble against the few true interior beasts in the league like Drummond. But most of the guys we’re opting out of like Mozgov or Gortat or even Capela are just not in that category offensively and do most of their damage off the roll. Against the Suns KP should be on Len or Chandler whenever possible and not chasing some wing type player like Chris or Dudley or whoever around the 3 point line.

      I admit KP will struggle to box out and this creates a DRB liability, i.e. it’s not such a simple trade off. Still would do it, though. They are a different team on defense when KP isn’t chasing Ryan Anderson around the court.

    80. Beating up on bad teams is what good teams do. Yeah obviously the true measuring stick is whether you can hang with the guys in the upper echelon of the league, but the team is doing what they need to do right now.

    81. so, dragic and rose have some similar stats for the season, rose penetrates and gets to the rim a little more and dragic shoots a nice 3 ball…rose will get you a couple more rebounds and dragic will pickup a couple extra assists…

      the big difference is – dragic does what he does for about 10 million a year less over the next few years – 10 million!!!…yeah, let’s get dragic on our team…we might start lacking in a little diversity in the team photo – but – 10 million less!!!

    82. Is there a more out of place player in the NBA right now than Chandler on this shitty Phoenix team? The dude is ancient and yet he is still bringing it every night and yet it’s a waste on such a shitty team. Why don’t they just trade him? Just take whatever they can get for him. There’s no way that they should have this guy on their team in two years and he can clearly help a good team this year.

    83. There is no way the Heat would just dump Winslow in an effort to trade Dragic, who could probably fetch legitimate value on his own.

      My recommended course of action with Rose is still renounce him and dare other teams to sign him while we chase Mills/Hill/Collison etc. Who has both the need for a point guard like Rose and the cap space? I’m inclined to think Rose will still be there if we strike out with the better guys, and if he isn’t his production really isn’t difficult to replicate.

    84. When KP is guarding a guy who can’t shoot from range, he is a different player defensively.

      Yep. This has seemed blindingly obvious from the start. If you put KP anywhere within shouting distance of a shot in the paint, he changes it.

    85. Lavor,
      Indeed a good read. For those who want the Cliff notes, when Kawhi is on the floor, the person he’s guarding stays as far away from the action as he can to make it a 4-on-4 game.

    86. I’m not sure Tyson is movable. His blocks per 36 are the same as Holiday’s this year. Not to say someone wouldn’t happily take 34 Chandler for $13 million if they could make the cap fit, but nobody wants to pay value and also take on $27 million for 35/36 Chandler, which is starting to look suspiciously like maybe not-an-NBA-player-somewhere-in-there. But there’s a good chance that changes before the trade deadline if he perks up a bit on D and a team feels close and needy at 5. I bet PHX would love to turn him into Sam Dekker by taking back Cory Brewer, but Morey wouldn’t do that, I don’t think, though he could probably be useful to his old friend Mike.

    87. The problem with renouncing Rose is that you lose the MLE, so you likely lose Jennings.

      Could they sign Jennings with the MLE…and then renounce Rose? Seems sketchy but is there a reason it couldn’t work?

    88. The weird thing about the headline on the Leonard piece, though, is that the article makes it clear that it isn’t Leonard that’s the issue, it’s that his teammates have gotten worse defensively this season, particularly Gasol stepping into the shoes of Duncan. So it’s weird to say that the issue is that Leonard is “too good at defense.”

    89. I would look to add Bosh (if doctors approve) and Chalmers later in the year and go for a championship. Even if we only played Bosh at home so he wouldn’t have to travel.

      Flame away.

    90. @97

      That doesn’t do anything for the Knicks since you have to renounce the MLE to get full cap space. In your scenario we’d use the MLE to bring back Jennings and then renounce Rose, which effectively just means we used cap space to sign Jennings anyways.

    91. Is Jennings in the running for sixth man of the year?

      You’ve got to love this guy.

    92. You all realize that we’re just an injury to Lebron away from being East Coast Champions, don’t you?

    93. Even quality articles aren’t immune to clickbait headlines these days. Sad.

      I don’t think that you can fully blame the headline, as the article repeatedly makes the claim that it is somehow Leonard’s issue, even as it makes clear that he is not the issue. In other words, the writer is constantly trying to argue for the clickbait headline. So I can’t blame them for going with that as the headline when that’s what he himself keeps saying in the article. He even ends with, “You’d think taking away one of the opponent’s offensive players completely would be a blessing, but in the case of the Spurs, it almost seems that because the rest of their defenders aren’t quite good enough, Leonard may be too good for his own good.” But it’s not that he’s too good for his own good, it’s that his teammates aren’t good enough, so why keep repeating that? He’s repeating it because it sounds catchy.

      But yes, besides that, the article is excellent. Good find, lp!

    94. I like Frank’s idea on the Dragic trade. However, I just don’t see Riley going for it. And forget getting Winslow added to it…

    95. I’m not sure Tyson is movable. His blocks per 36 are the same as Holiday’s this year. Not to say someone wouldn’t happily take 34 Chandler for $13 million if they could make the cap fit, but nobody wants to pay value and also take on $27 million for 35/36 Chandler, which is starting to look suspiciously like maybe not-an-NBA-player-somewhere-in-there. But there’s a good chance that changes before the trade deadline if he perks up a bit on D and a team feels close and needy at 5. I bet PHX would love to turn him into Sam Dekker by taking back Cory Brewer, but Morey wouldn’t do that, I don’t think, though he could probably be useful to his old friend Mike.

      I agree that teams wouldn’t want to give value in a trade for Chandler, but my point is that the Suns shouldn’t be looking to get any value in a trade for Chandler, but rather just get rid of him period. He is a total waste for their roster. They should accept anything that they can get for him.

    96. Adding Chalmers and Bosh could easily put us over the top. Why not think big?

    97. Ah that makes sense lavor, thanks. So basically we can have both Rose and Jennings back (assuming, perhaps wrongly, that the MLE will be enough for Jennings) or try our luck with someone else and risk losing both in the process. I’d still prefer Mills ( just for example) and either trying to bring back Jennings with whatever remains or giving the backup job to a draft pick/minimum guy.

      Here’s a question; how many games do the Knicks need to win to convince people that this team is worth bringing back? The reason doing so is a tough sell for me is because this team is likely to depreciate with Melo, Noah, and Lee all getting older, and one of Jennings/Holiday almost certain to be gone (if not both). So if we win 45 this year repeating that next year is probably going to be difficult. I could understand the logic behind bringing back a ~45 win team if the vast majority of its key cogs are on the younger side (e.g. Portland this past offseason), but I just don’t see why you’d bring ours back.

    98. When I read the headline I thought it was going about how his role on offense increased leading to his defense declining.

      But yeah great analysis nonetheless. The Knicks could use this as their scouting report against the Spurs.

    99. @104 – I disagree. KP needs to learn perimeter defense. He’s got the athleticism to do it., he just needs to play his man tighter.

    100. i’m riding with er on this one…that la game with kp camping by the basket on defense was great to watch…let noah/KOQ/willy chase folks around on the perimeter…

      even if we’re running some type of zone – kp by the rim is an awfully good thing…

      what kind of defense do we use? man to man with switching or zone or some kind of combo?

    101. It’s man-to-man. They seem to want to ice or switch high PNR and have been aggressively trapping side PNR’s of late.

    102. They Played Zone against Toronto I believe. I wouldn’t mind seeing that sprinkled in from time to time. I think a 3-2 with a back line of KP and Noah/Oquinn is pretty formidable

    103. re: leonard defense article… wasn’t it known that perimeter defense is less impactful than interior defense?

      leonard’s defensive rating has more to do with the lineups surrounding him than him actually being so good it hurts… this is why on/off numbers are deceptive even with a full season’s worth of data….

    104. leonard’s defensive rating has more to do with the lineups surrounding him than him actually being so good it hurts… this is why on/off numbers are deceptive even with a full season’s worth of data….

      Again, though, the article ultimately concedes that. Just like it concedes that it might just be early season statistical noise. It’s still interesting to see how teams have essentially abandoned their top perimeter scorer while playing the Spurs and Leonard.

    105. dtrickey: Beating up on bad teams is what good teams do. Yeah obviously the true measuring stick is whether you can hang with the guys in the upper echelon of the league, but the team is doing what they need to do right now.

      But we’re not really beating up on bad teams. We’re just barely beating them. Knicks average margin vs teams below .500 right now is +6.1 points including 4 wins (and no losses) by 4 or fewer points.

    106. leonard’s defensive rating has more to do with the lineups surrounding him than him actually being so good it hurts…

      It’s pretty clearly both. He is so good, relative to his teammates who are sub-standard, that the obvious play is to freeze him out on defense. If he were a 6/10 on defense it wouldn’t make sense to change your whole offensive scheme in order to attack his teammates who are, say, 3/10 or 4/10 players. But he’s a 10/10, so do whatever you need to do to take him out of the play.

    107. That Kawhi article seems like a valiant effort to fight off the probably right but boring answer (sample size). Kawhi has been off the court for 342 minutes this year, and defense is only one side of the ball. So we are talking about only 691 possessions; a finger snap. I know he went to the video for support and didn’t just try to leave it at that, but consider this. In those 342 minutes off the court, the Spurs opponents’ shot 24% from 3 and 74% from the FT line. When Kawhi was on the court, they shot 38% from 3 and 80% from the line. If opponents instead shot the same 38% and 80% when Kawhi was off, their PPP would be 1.1, higher than when he plays.

      Sure, a great wing is less potent than a great center or a great 5-position chameleon, yeah…but that doesn’t explain the +/-. Actually nothing in the article does bc I don’t think it’s a real thing. He doesn’t make his teammates worse defensively (at most he makes them “less better” than a Kawhi-like Center would); it’s probably just a fluke. I didn’t go to SportVu and try to get the contested 3% for those 342 minutes because, I mean, it’s obvious that the non-Kawhi spurs aren’t the best 3 point defenders of all time. It’s probably just noise. 3 point % has substantial volatility (and obviously FT% is noise).

    108. I agree that teams wouldn’t want to give value in a trade for Chandler, but my point is that the Suns shouldn’t be looking to get any value in a trade for Chandler, but rather just get rid of him period. He is a total waste for their roster. They should accept anything that they can get for him.

      Warriors would be a perfect fit. They are starving for a rim protector that isn’t Javale McGee.

      But we’re not really beating up on bad teams. We’re just barely beating them. Knicks average margin vs teams below .500 right now is +6.1 points including 4 wins (and no losses) by 4 or fewer points.

      I think this is a semantics issue; 9-1 is “beating up” in a macro sense even if the games are close in a micro sense. The Knicks are consistently winning against bad teams.

      [Leonard] is so good, relative to his teammates who are sub-standard, that the obvious play is to freeze him out on defense.

      Interesting — it’s like when football teams concede using their #1 receiver when a dominant cornerback is playing.

    109. But we’re not really beating up on bad teams. We’re just barely beating them. Knicks average margin vs teams below .500 right now is +6.1 points including 4 wins (and no losses) by 4 or fewer points.

      I’ll concede beating up was probably the wrong description. However, if you look across the NBA for the season, most teams with positive margin average still only average in the 5-6 point range, with the exception being GS who were about +12 on the season last I checked. Even some of the most horrendous teams are only around the -8 margin mark, which wouldn’t be considered a blow out. Point being, the margins we are winning by aren’t too out of sync with league averages. Still it would be nice to certainly bury these lottery teams, but hey a win is a win.

    110. If Patty Mills is our consolation prize for letting Rose walk this offseason in order to upgrade at PG, then I let Rose walk. Mills is arguably better than Rose in what has been a nice bounceback Rose season.

      Make a hard pitch for CP3/Lowry, then if you strike out, go after Mills.

    111. Ask yourself this. What’s the biggest difference between this and last year? Obviously, Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings. We might actually be worse at center (though I still have hope for Noah). So, why is everyone so hot and bothered to get him out of town? I really think this may be one example of where someones statistics belie their true value. If he does what he did against LAL on a semi routine basis he’s worth an extension. I’m not at all sure that Dragic is better. Just give it time. Sure, if we tail off we can go in another direction, but we’re playing pretty well right now and Rose is THE BIGGEST REASON.

      I’m starting to believe, but I’ve been wrong before, so we’ll see, but concocting trades for other PG’s when we finally have someone playing the position really well (plus an excellent backup) seems a bit premature to say the least.

    112. Question for the Rose detractors. Whats stats would Rose have to put up for you to be in favor of re-signing him?

      Assuming he stays generally healthy and the contract is somewhere around 3-4 years at 20 mill per.

      Would a trip to the ECF justify bringing most of this team back?

    113. For fans of the TV show Flash

      Love that show, Brian. Started watching with my 10-year-old to make him happy, realized it’s actually good. Choices have consequences, kids!

      KP needs to learn perimeter defense.

      No he doesn’t. You realize he’s the #1 rim protector in the NBA – why would you want him away from the rim? To prove what?

      Frankly, I’d play zone a lot more often. Anyone trying to penetrate to disrupt it would be playing into our hands (by which I mean, Zinger’s incredible reach).

    114. I’d say pushing a good team to 7 games in the second round or ECF would be enough for me to run back this team.

      The tricky balance is going to be figuring out how to supplement age-related decline from Melo and Lee with new pieces. It’s going to require good drafting and development from guys like Willy, but if we make it reasonably deep into the playoffs I’m down to run it back.

    115. @dtrickey — yeah, but that’s against all competition. Knicks margin against all competition is -2.3.

      Let’s compare the Knicks to some other teams with similar records and their performance vs sub .500 teams:

      Knicks —
      record: 9-1
      margin: +6.1

      Hornets —
      record: 8-2
      margin: +7.3

      Bulls —
      record: 9-4
      margin: +7.2

      Jazz —
      record: 11-3
      margin: +8.7

      So not only are the Knicks getting demolished by +.500 teams. They are not winning on average by as much against sub .500 teams.

      But like Brian said… those wins are in the bank.

    116. So not only are the Knicks getting demolished by +.500 teams. They are not winning on average by as much against sub .500 teams.

      latke – displaying the uncanny ability to find the “crap” lining in any kind of cloud…

    117. Those teams lack the testicular gumption our group of savvy veteran winners possesses . they may have gaudy point totals, but they can’t ride when it’s rough

    118. @125 What assurances can you give us that Patty Mills will want to sign with us? Or CP3? Or Hill? Or Holiday? Or Teague? After these guys are gone we might have to start Sasha next year.

    119. we’re playing pretty well right now and Rose is THE BIGGEST REASON.

      i don’t know…it’s close, rose, kp – someone mentioned it the other day, and, i think i have to agree – it’s horny, doing horny kind of things like playing effort and execution instead of salary…

    120. We had KP last year. But we also had Grant and Jose instead of Rose.

      Yes Horny has helped for sure. And Phil’s great job of finding cheap, complimentary talent to go with a wonderful mix of veterans, young and old.

    121. We had KP last year but he’s taken a major step up since his rookie season. Rose has definitely complimented the offense, but I don’t see his addition as the greatest contribution to this team.

    122. Jerian Grant is a scrub who’s never actually created his own shot

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